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Home > Dictionary of Science Quotations > Scientist Names Index F > Alice Cunningham Fletcher Quotes

Thumbnail of Alice Cunningham Fletcher (source)
Alice Cunningham Fletcher
(15 Mar 1838 - 6 Apr 1923)

American anthropologist who made pioneer studies of Native American Indian life, about which she spoke on the public lecture circuit. She influenced the passing of the Dawes Act.


Science Quotes by Alice Cunningham Fletcher (7 quotes)

Photo Alice Cunningham Fletcher seated at her writing desk with pen and paperwork, upper body, facing left
National Anthropological Archives, Smithsonian Institution, Photograph 4510. (source)
At the present time all property is personal; the man owns his own ponies and other belongings he has personally acquired; the woman owns her horses, dogs, and all the lodge equipments; children own their own articles; and parents do not control the possessions of their children. There is no family property as we use the term. A wife is as independent as the most independent man in our midst. If she chooses to give away or sell all of her property, there is no one to gainsay her.
— Alice Cunningham Fletcher
Speech on 'The Legal Conditions of Indian Women', delivered to Evening Session (Thur 29 Mar 1888), collected in Report of the International Council of Women: Assembled by the National Woman Suffrage Association, Washington, D.C., U.S. of America, March 25 to April 1, 1888 (1888), Vol. 1, 239-240.
Science quotes on:  |  Article (14)  |  Child (160)  |  Choose (14)  |  Control (76)  |  Dispute (12)  |  Dog (34)  |  Equipment (24)  |  Family (30)  |  Give (31)  |  Horse (36)  |  Independent (31)  |  Lodge (2)  |  Man (339)  |  Parent (33)  |  Personal (26)  |  Pony (2)  |  Possession (31)  |  Property (85)  |  Sell (6)  |  Wife (15)  |  Woman (74)

Imperceptibly a change had been wrought in me until I no longer felt alone in a strange, silent country. I had learned to hear the echoes of a time when every living thing upon this land and even the varied overshadowing skies had its voice, a voice that was attentively heard and devoutly heeded by the ancient people of America. Henceforth, to me the plants, the trees, the clouds and all things had become vocal with human hopes, fears and supplications.
— Alice Cunningham Fletcher
From Preface, Indian Games and Dances with Native Songs (1915), v.
Science quotes on:  |  Alone (33)  |  America (64)  |  Ancient (60)  |  Change (234)  |  Cloud (39)  |  Country (86)  |  Devout (2)  |  Echo (6)  |  Fear (85)  |  Hear (17)  |  Heed (6)  |  Hope (93)  |  Human (316)  |  Imperceptible (5)  |  Land (63)  |  Learn (93)  |  People (121)  |  Plant (154)  |  Shadow (31)  |  Silent (14)  |  Sky (56)  |  Strange (49)  |  Time (320)  |  Tree (128)  |  Voice (29)

Living with my Indian friends I found I was a stranger in my native land. As time went on, the outward aspect of nature remained the same, but change was wrought in me. I learned to hear the echoes of a time when every living thing even the sky had a voice. That voice devoutly heard by the ancient people of America I desired to make audible to others.
— Alice Cunningham Fletcher
On the plaque over her cremated remains in the patio of the Art Museum at Sante Fe. Edited by William Henry Homes from the preface she wrote in her last book, a small collection of Indian Games and Dances (1915). As stated in concluding pages of Joan T. Mark, A Stranger in Her Native Land: Alice Fletcher and the American Indians (1988), 354-355.
Science quotes on:  |  America (64)  |  Ancient (60)  |  Aspect (33)  |  Audible (2)  |  Change (234)  |  Desire (83)  |  Devout (2)  |  Echo (6)  |  Friend (48)  |  Hear (17)  |  Indian (13)  |  Learn (93)  |  Live (71)  |  Native Land (3)  |  Nature (862)  |  Outward (2)  |  People (121)  |  Sky (56)  |  Stranger (9)  |  Voice (29)

The Indian may now become a free man; free from the thralldom of the tribe; free from the domination of the reservation system; free to enter into the body of our citizens. This bill may therefore be considered as the Magna Carta of the Indians of our country.
— Alice Cunningham Fletcher
On the General Allotment Act (The Dawes Severalty Act) passed 8 Feb 1887. The Act had tragic negative consequences for Indian tribal life. Quoted from David Phillips Hansen, Native Americans, The Mainline Church, and the Quest for Interracial Justice (2017), 62.
Science quotes on:  |  America (64)  |  Citizen (19)  |  Domination (11)  |  Freedom (58)  |  Indian (13)  |  Magna Carta (2)  |  Reservation (6)  |  Tribe (6)

There is no story in my life. It has always been just one step at a time—one thing which I have tried to do as well as I could and which has led on to something else. It has all been in the day’s work.
— Alice Cunningham Fletcher
Told to an interviewer in her late seventies. As quoted in Joan T. Mark, A Stranger in Her Native Land: Alice Fletcher and the American Indians (1988), 355.
Science quotes on:  |  Life (743)  |  Step (47)  |  Story (43)  |  Try (55)  |  Work (347)

When I was living with the Indians, my hostess, a fine looking woman, who wore numberless bracelets, and rings in her ears and on her fingers, and painted her face like a brilliant sunset, one day gave away a very fine horse. I was surprised, for I knew there had been no family talk on the subject, so I asked: “Will your husband like to have you give the horse away?” Her eyes danced, and, breaking into a peal of laughter, she hastened to tell the story to the other women gathered in the tent, and I became the target of many merry eyes. I tried to explain how a white woman would act, but laughter and contempt met my explanation of the white man’s hold upon his wife’s property.
— Alice Cunningham Fletcher
Speech on 'The Legal Conditions of Indian Women', delivered to Evening Session (Thur 29 Mar 1888), collected in Report of the International Council of Women: Assembled by the National Woman Suffrage Association, Washington, D.C., U.S. of America, March 25 to April 1, 1888 (1888), Vol. 1, 240.
Science quotes on:  |  Ask (64)  |  Bracelet (2)  |  Contempt (9)  |  Ear (19)  |  Explanation (151)  |  Face (46)  |  Family (30)  |  Finger (28)  |  Give (31)  |  Horse (36)  |  Hostess (2)  |  Husband (9)  |  Indian (13)  |  Laughter (18)  |  Live (71)  |  Man (339)  |  Paint (12)  |  Property (85)  |  Ring (11)  |  Story (43)  |  Sunset (9)  |  Surprise (36)  |  Talk (44)  |  White (31)  |  Wife (15)  |  Woman (74)

When living with the Indians in their homes and pursuing my ethnological studies: One day I suddenly realized with a rude shock that, unlike my Indian friends, I was an alien, a stranger in my native land; its fauna and flora had no fond, familiar place amid my mental imagery, nor did any thoughts of human aspiration or love give to its hills and valleys the charm of personal companionship. I was alone, even in my loneliness.
— Alice Cunningham Fletcher
Opening of Preface, Indian Games and Dances with Native Songs (1915), v.
Science quotes on:  |  Alien (22)  |  Alone (33)  |  Aspiration (16)  |  Charm (17)  |  Companionship (2)  |  Ethnology (7)  |  Familiar (18)  |  Fauna (8)  |  Flora (4)  |  Fond (5)  |  Friend (48)  |  Hill (17)  |  Home (38)  |  Human (316)  |  Imagery (2)  |  Indian (13)  |  Live (71)  |  Loneliness (2)  |  Love (121)  |  Mental (44)  |  Native Land (3)  |  Personal (26)  |  Realize (26)  |  Strange (49)  |  Thought (291)  |  Unlike (3)  |  Valley (15)


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Carl Sagan Thumbnail In science it often happens that scientists say, 'You know that's a really good argument; my position is mistaken,' and then they would actually change their minds and you never hear that old view from them again. They really do it. It doesn't happen as often as it should, because scientists are human and change is sometimes painful. But it happens every day. I cannot recall the last time something like that happened in politics or religion. (1987) -- Carl Sagan
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