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Full text of "Annals of Wyoming"

M^dls of Wyoming 



Vol. 17 



January, 1945 



No. 1 




A HISTOBICAI. MAGAZINE 




Sketch of Fort Laramie In 1864 donated to the Wyoming State Historical Department by 
A. S. McCullongh of Clifton, Ohio. For a fee of one dollar, the original water color sketch 
on bed ticking was made by an unidentified soldier, a German, for Mr. McCullough's uncle, 
Joseph McCluskey of Company G, 11th Ohio Volunteer Cavalry, Second Battalion, which 
arrived at the fort on October 13, 1863 under the command of Col. William O. Collins and 

the guidance of James Bridger. 



Published Bi-AnnuaUy 

by 

THE WYOMING HISTORICAL DEPARTMENT 

Cheyenne, Wyoming 



STATE HISTOBIOAIi BOABD 

Lester 0. Hunt, President - - Governor 

Wm. * ' Scotty ' * Jack _ Secretary of State 

Carl Bobinson State Auditor 

Earl Wright ~ State Treasurer 

Esther L. Anderson Superintendent of Public Instruction 

Mary A. McGrath, Secy State Librarian and Historian Ex-Officio 



STATE HISTOSICAL ADVISORY BOABD 



Mrs. Mary Jester Allen, Cody 
Frank Barrett, Lusk 
George Bible, Bawlins 
Mrs. T. K. Bishop, Basin 
C. Watt Brandon, Eemmerer 
J. Elmer Brock, Kaycee 
Struthers Burt, Moran 
Mrs. Elsa Spear Byron, Sheridan 
Mrs. G. C. Call, Afton 
Oliver J. Colyer, Torrington 
William C. Deming, Cheyenne 
E. A. Gaensslen, Green River 
Hans Gautschi, Lusk 
Burt Griggs, Buffalo 



Jack Haynes, Yellowstone Park 

D. B. Hilton, Sundance 

Mrs. Joseph H. Jacobucci, Green River 

P. W. Jenkins, Big Piney 

W. C. Lawrence, Moran 

Howard B. Lett, Buffalo 

Mrs. Eliza Lythgoe, Cowley 

A. J. Mokler, Casper 

Mrs. Elmer K. Nelson, Laramie 

Charles Oviatt, Sheridan 

Mrs. Minnie Reitz, Wheatland 

Mrs. Effie Shaw, Cody 

John Charles Thompson, Cheyenne 

Russell Thorp, Cheyenne 



STAFF PERSONNEL 
Of 

THE WYOMING HISTORICAL DEPARTMENT 
and 

STATE MUSEUM 

Mary A. McGrath, Editor . State Librarian and Historian Ex-Offido 
Marie H. Erwln, Oo-Edltor Assistant Historian 



Copyright, 1945; by the Wyoming Historical Department. 



A^^dls of Wyommg 



Vol. 17 January, 1945 No. 1 



I p.RARY OF THE 
/^^^ww^ UNIVERSITY OF WY0^^1NG 

uomcms laramie 82071 

FOET LAEAMIE, GUAEDIAN OF THE OEEGON TEAIL.. 3 

By Merrill J. Mattes 

DOCUMENTS AND LETTEES - -.. 24 

Road from Fort Eiley to Bridger 's Pass 1856 24 

Eeport by Lieut. F. T. Bryan 

Stock Eaising on the Plains 1870-71 .; 55 

Report by Silas Reed, Surveyor General for Wyoming 

WYOMING SCEAPBOOK 64 

The Mail Must Go 64 

By A. E. Eoedel 

National Cemeteries in Wyoming Territory, 1869 75 

Laramie City, 1870 76 

ACCESSIONS - - 84 



ILLUSTRATIONS 

Sketch of Fort Laramie, 1864 Front Cover 

Soldiers Drilling on Parade Grounds, Fort Laramie, 1885 2 

Infantry from Fort Laramie on Field Maneuvers, 1884 10 

Group of Unidentified Officers, Fort Laramie, 1885... 10 

Ruins of Fort Laramie Hospital, 1939. 14 

Map Showing Lieut. F. T. Bryan's Route, 1856 22 

De Haviland Plane Used to Fiy the Mail in 1920 64 



Printed by 

THE WYOMING LABOR JOURNAL 

Cheyenne, Wyoming 



7ort Caramk, Quardian of the Oregon Zmil 

A COMMEMORATIVE ESSAY 
By Merri'l J. Mattes* 

Historian for Fort Laramie National Monument 



In these fateful days marked by the scream of aerial 
bombs and the rolling thunder of artillery, when Americans 
are once more summoned to defend their freedom, Fort Laramie 
National Monument becomes a vivid reminder of another time 
when history was written with the blood of courageous fight- 
ing men. The time was nearly a hundred years ago, and the 
battlefield was Wyoming, but the victory belonged tlien, as 
now, to the United States Army. 

Prom its weak beginnings of 1776 to its colossal groAvth 
of 1944, the Army has been an invincible sword of Democracy, 
carving out the tortuous pathway of America to nationhood 
and enlightened world leadershijD. After fighting the war for 
American Independence, the Army protected the advance of 
civilization from the Appalachians to the Pacific Coast, mean- 
while defending the Union in the agony of Civil War ; and since 
the "conquest of the continent" it has twice been called upon 
to uphold the banner of freedom in world-wide conflict. The 
proud military tradition is symbolized by heroic names — 

*Merrill J. Mattes, an employee of the National Park Service of the 
United States Department of the Interior, was officially designated His- 
torian for Fort Laramie National Monument on November 1, 1941, al- 
though he has been engaged in research activities connected with that 
area since 1938, when it was deeded to the Government by the State of 
Wyoming. His research work has covered broad phases of the Western 
fur trade, the Oregon Trail and Indian warfare, in addition to the more 
specific problems pertaining to Fort Laramie. The research program 
which is being undertaken at the present time is an essential preliminary 
to the improvement program which is scheduled for Fort Laramie after 
the war. 

In addition to his Fort Laramie duties, Mr. Mattes has served since 
1935 as Custodian of Scotts Bluff National Monument near Gering, Ne- 
braska. The interests of Scotts Bluff and Fort Laramie are closely tied 
together by the Oregon Trail. While Fort Laramie, like Fort Bridger 
and Fort Hall, was one of the famous way stations on the Oregon Trail, 
Scotts Bluff compares with Register Cliff and Independence Eock as one 
of the prominent landmarks on that great Highway of Western expansion. 

Mr. Mattes was born at Congress Park, Illinois in 1910, graduated 
from Central High School at Kansas City, Missouri, received an A. B. 
degree from the University of Missouri in 1931, a Master's degree from 
the University of Kansas in 1933, and was awarded a fellowship in 
Special Studies at Yale University in 1938-39, taking graduate courses 
in American History and Prehistoric Archeology. 



4 ANNALS OF WYOMING 

Sai-alo^a, Tippecanoe, New Orleans, Buena Vista, Gettysbnrg, 
San Jnan Hill, Argonne, Bataan, Normandy and a host of 
others. These are all battlefields. In the period of westward 
mig-ration there were battles too — Beecher Island, Sand Creek, 
Julesbnrg, Platte Bridge, Little Big Horn, Wounded Knee — 
bnt the name which stands out is the name of a frontier Army 
]iost — Fort Laramie, Guardian of the Oregon Trail ! 

Today's titanic l)attles of Africa, Asia and Europe are 
far removed in space and time from the Indian Avarfare which 
once reddened the Wyoming Plains. And today millions are 
involved ; then the combatants could be numbered by the 
hundreds. Further, the global concepts of AVorld War II 
seem hardly related to the territorial problems of the Nine- 
teenth Century. But the differences are not as profound as 
they seem. The remoteness is illusory. The warriors of the 
American frontier, on foot or horseback, fought just as bravely 
as the mechanized and air-borne troops of today ; they died 
from an arrow point or a lead ball just as surely as they die 
today from the explosion of a four-ton bomb. And they fought 
tlien as they do now for one primary reason, love of country, 
faitli in the American destiny. Fort Laramie on the Oregon 
Trail was as much a part of America's destiny as A^alley Forge 
or Guadalcanal. The great highway of westward expansion 
liad to be defended then, as the world 's highways and skyways 
have to be defended now. And then, as now, the job was 
done by the United States Army!* 

A monument to anotlier heroic" age, old Fort Laramie still 
stands on the banks of the Laramie River near its junction 
with the North Platte. Of the sixty-odd buildings wdiich once 
comprised the fort onl,y a score remain today, huddled together 
in various stages of decrepitude — long rambling barracks and 
grotesquely ornamented officers' quarters with sightless win- 
dows, buildings of whip-sawed pine and rough concrete and 
adobe, and mere skeletons of buildings, with walls gaunt, 
white and crumbling. Tliese are the veterans of an heroic 
age, honored survivors of the endless battle against time and 
the elements, standing mute and resolute and defiant in the 
same lonely, desolate setting of a century ago. They elo- 
quently tell of men who lived dangerously, fighting for the 
land, of tlie men wlio molded Western America. 



*Let this remark be not niiseonstrued by members of the U. S. Navy 
or the U. S. Marine Corps, who are very much "on the .job" in the pres- 
ent war. But there were no sailors or marine.s at old Fort Laramie! 



FOET LAEAMIE 



II 



It was in 1849 that Fort Laramie was transformed from a 
sleepy decadent trading post of the American Fur Company 
to a bustling garrison of the United States Army. Although 
the California gold rush of that year was the immediate cause, 
the Avisdom of setting up such an establishment had long been 
determined by the earlier migrations to Oregon and Utah, 
when lengthening or-drawn wagon trains frightened the buf- 
falo away from their accustomed haunts along the North 
Platte, much to the alarm of the Indians. Reporting on his 
expedition of 1842 Lt. John C. Fremont had described the 
point of land at the confluence of the Laramie and the Platte 
as ideally suited for a military establishment. In his account 
of his travels of 1846 Francis Parkman urged that troops be 
speedily stationed in the Fort Laramie region, as a precaution 
against the mounting Indian fury ; and in 1847 Thomas Fitz- 
patrick, government agent for the wild tribes on the upper 
Platte, strongly recommended an army post at this point. 
Through Missouri's fiery Senator Thomas Hart Benton, Con- 
gress became fully aware of the perilous situation and on 
May 19, 1846 it enacted a law providing for the establisliment 
of militar}' stations on the route to Oregon. The Fort Laramie 
project was delayed by the Mexican War and by the prior 
establishment in 1848 of Fort Kearny on tlie lower Platte ; but 
early in 1849 rumors of the impending gold rush spurred the 
army to decisive action. 

On June 16, 1849 Major Winslow F. Sanderson arrived at 
Fort Laramie with four other officers and fifty-eight men who 
comprised Company E, Mounted Rifles. Lt. Daniel P. Wood- 
berry of the engineer corps was commissioned to negotiate 
the purchase of the American Fur Company's quadrangular 
adobe fort. This business was transacted with Mr. Bruce Hus- 
band, the proprietor, who was glad to get rid of the place for 
the $4,000 offered, since the fur business was in a decline. 
Company C, Mounted Rifles and Company G, Sixth Infantry, 
augmented by large stocks of supplies, arrived later in the 
summer ; and the sleepy trading post became a large military 
encampment, alive with soldiers hauling and sawing timber, 
burning lime, erecting buildings, making hay and otherwise 
indicating that the stars and stripes of the Federal Union had 
come to stay, and to conquer the wilderness. Thus began the 
epic history of Fort Laramie as the frontier headquarters of 
the United States Army, an epic of empire-building which 
began with the "forty-niners" and ended witli the era of the 
"homesteaders" in 1890. 

The primary function of Fort Laramie during its forty- 
two years of military service was to protect the emigrants 



6 ANNALS OF WYOMING 

and the transcontinental communications which followed the 
Orefzon Trail, and in the fulfilling- of this function are to be 
found some of the most stirring- episodes in American frontier 
history. There was a multitude of duties which the troops per- 
formed to aid the emigrants, such as operating- a ferry across 
the Platte, succoring parties stricken by cholera, or stranded 
in the mud, or bereft of provisions ; but the one big problem 
was that of the Plains Indians, whose justifiable indignation 
at the white man's invasion was a perpetual menace. 

Among the frontiersmen and in official circles alike there 
was always a quota of irresponsibles who l)elieved that there 
was only one solution to the Indian problem, namely, a war 
of extermination. In the light of subsequent history and the 
dominant "hero versus Indian" theme in American fiction, 
it might seem that the Indian was always officially foredoomed ; 
yet Fort Laramie history reveals that the majority of serious- 
miuded citizens, and those most influential in government 
((uarters, hoped to profit by the bitter lesson of Indian war- 
fare east of the Mississippi, and find a peaceful solution to 
the Indian problem of the Great Plains. Port Laramie was 
the scene of the greatest council of Indian tribes in western 
frontier history, and this was a council of peace. 

Congress appropriated $100,000 to finance the Fort Lara- 
mie treaty council of 185L Here assembled more than 10,000 
gaily bedecked and mounted savages from a radius of five 
hundred miles, Sioux, Cheyenne and Arapahoe from the 
Plains, Snakes and Crows from the mountains, Assininboines, 
Minnetaree and Arickaree from the upper Missouri country. 
Besides a few hundred Dragoons, the Avhite men assembled 
included the commissioners I). D. ]\Iitohell and Thomas Fitz- 
patrick, the missionary Father de Smet, and Rol)ert Campbell, 
a St. Louis merchant, one of the founders of the original 
Fort Laramie. The horses of so vast a throng made it neces- 
sary to move the council to the mouth of Horse Creek, near 
present Lyman, Nebraska, where grass was more abundant. 
Here, after much ceremony and delicate maneuvering to pre- 
vent an outbreak of hostilities betAveen hereditary enemies, 
the Commissioners offered the assembled chiefs an annuity 
of .$50,000 iu mei-chandise and provisions to compensate for 
tlu^ liuutiug grouiuls ruined by the emigrant trains, and as an 
exchange for i)i-omises of unmolested i)assage of white men, 
and the right to build military posts. These terms were sol- 
emnly acceded to ])y all, and thus was concluded the "First 
Treaty of Fort Laramie." Following the lavish distribution 
of gifts by the Commissioners, the council broke up and the 
several tribes returned to their accustomed haunts. The out- 
look for peace and brotherly love on the High Plains was 
bright. 



FORT LAEAMIE 7 

The peace so auspiciously beguu was shattered by a 
massacre in August, 1854, at a point about eight miles east of 
Fort Laramie, near present Lingle, Wj^oming. Sioux Indians 
assembled near the fort awaiting the distribution of annuities 
killed and feasted upon a stray cow. In response to the com- 
plaint of a Mormon emigrant, Lieutenant Fleming in com- 
mand sent Second Lt. L. Grattan, 6th Infantry, with twenty- 
nine men and an interpreter to apprehend the culprits. Not 
being properly versed in Indian psychology the rash young 
lieutenant marched into the large Sioux encampment and pre- 
cipitated a fight which resulted in the annihilation of himself 
and his comrades. Subsequently the fort itself was in great 
danger ; and the small garrison there would quickly have 
been overwhelmed by the maddened Indians, but for some 
reason the attack did not come off, although due to the temper 
of the savages who hovered about it was virtually in a state 
of siege until late in the year when Col. "William Hoffman 
arrived with reinforcements. This was the nearest that Fort 
Laramie itself ever came to being assaulted. 

In August of the following year Col. William S. Harney 
set out from Fort Kearny with 600 men, included four mounted 
companies, on a punitive expedition. On Blue Water creek near 
Ash Hollow, about 150 miles east of Fort Laramie, he encircled 
an encampment of hostile Sioux and, in the subsequent attack, 
the band was virtually massacred. This served to quiet the 
Sioux difficulties temporarily ; but in 1856 the Cheyennes com- 
mitted a series of hostile acts along the Oregon Trail, and the 
following spring an expedition under Col. Edwin V. Sumner 
set out against them from Fort Leavenworth via Fort Laramie. 
The Cheyennes proved too slippery, and the campaign was 
indecisive, leaving the Indians only more hostile and em- 
bittered than before. 

Meanwhile federal agents reported that the Mormons in 
Utah were in rebellion against the United States, and in 1857, 
a regiment of 2,500 troops under Col. E. B. Johnston, later a 
Confederate general, was dispatched towards Utah by way 
of Fort Laramie. This expedition entailed an unprecedented 
problem for the quartermaster, and interminable supply trains 
rolled across the prairies. East of Fort Laramie the Cheyenne 
Indians made destructive lightning raids on the supply col- 
umns ; while in the mountains Mormon raiders, deep snows and 
transportation difficulties combined to end the expedition in 
a fiasco. In the following year, just when the dispatch of re- 
inforcements under General Harney promised a successful 
campaign against Salt Lake City, a peace was effected, putting 
an end to the "Utah AVar, " which had cost the government 
around five million dollars, no small sum in those days. 



8 ANNALS OF WYOMING 

IJuriiig the sixties the responsibility of Fort Laramie as 
the guardian of the Oregon Trail was greatly augmented by the 
exigencies of the Civil War, which broke out in the spring of 
1861. In addition to the continuing emigrant and freighting 
trains there came the first transcontinental telegraph, following 
close upon the heels of the Pony Express, all following the 
gi-eat Central route past Fort Laramie. To the duty of pro- 
tecting these was added the daily overland stage coach and 
mail service, transferred from the southern route via El Paso. 
At the same time, notwithstanding the increasing signs of 
Indian unrest, the Fort Laramie garrison was reduced consider- 
ably below the normal complement of 300, to aid in the de- 
fense of the Union. 

In 1862 there were sporadic outbreaks of violence at 
isolated stage stations, which were only momentarily quelled 
when Col. William 0. Collins and his battalion of Ohio Volun- 
teer Cavalry established outposts between Fort Laramie and 
South Pass. The stage line was subsequently moved south to 
the Cherokee or Overland Trail, 100 miles south of Fort 
Laramie, but the telegraph line and the emigrant road re- 
mained. By this move the local danger was heightened be- 
cause now the frontier troops were spread out more thinly 
than ever. In 1863 attempts to negotiate a peace treaty with 
the Sioux, Arapahoes and Cheyennes proved fruitless, and 
Colonel Collins went east to recruit more men in anticipation 
of the approaching crisis. By now the Indians understood 
the bleak future destined for them by the white men who came 
in ever-increasing numbers. Considering their desperation, 
and the attitude of most white men that all Indians were 
enemies, capable of any atrocity, it is clear that a major con- 
flict was inevitable. 

In 1864 commenced a series of Cheyenne and Arapaho 
raids on the stage road along the South Platte. To keep the 
Sioux from joining in hostilities General Koliert B. Mitchell, 
eomnuinding the Platte district, held a series of councils with 
them, to no avail. The warlike intentions of the Sioux were 
demonstrated by a sortie in which they stampeded a number 
of cavalry horses from the Fort Laramie parade ground, right 
under the nose of the post commander. Late in the summer 
tlic laids were intensified along the Platte, paralyzing all 
travel for several weeks. Bungling peace negotiations on the 
part of Colorado authorities aiul the infamous massacre at 
Sand Creek of a peaceful Arapaho band by General Chiving- 
ton 's volunteers, made the Indians furious. Early in 1865 
Julesburg and other stations on the South Platte were sacked, 
after which the hostiles moved toward the North Platte. At 
Mud Si)rings near modern Bridgeport, Nebraska they were 
intercepted by troops from Camp Mitchell (at Scottsbluff) 



FOET LARAMIE 9 

and Fort Laramie, under Colonel Collins, but this engagement 
was indecisive, and the Indians withdrew to the Powder River 
country. 

The end of the Civil War and the release of large numbers 
of troops for frontier duty did not awe the Indians, who were 
made insolent by their success to date ; and in the spring of 
1865 their raiding and murdering on both branches of the Platte 
was resumed. Colonel Moonlight in charge at Fort Laramie 
failed in an attempt to engage the enemy, who preferred 
guerilla warfare. In June a band of friendly Sioux, while be- 
ing escorted from Fort Laramie to Fort Kearny, decided to 
become hostile and escaped from their guard with some blood- 
shed, at the mouth of Horse Creek, the scene of the great treaty 
council of 1851. Colonel Moonlight attempted a large-scale 
pursuit, but only succeeded in having all his horses stolen, 
and a 120 mile hike back to the fort, for which failure he was 
mustered out of the service. In July 3,000 warriors of the 
combined tribes laid siege to Platte Bridge station on the 
upper North Platte. In the fights which ensued twenty-six 
white men lost their lives, including the gallant Caspar Collins, 
son of the former Fort Laramie commander, from whom the 
present metropolis of Casper, AVyoming derived its name. 

Despite the eagerness of General Grenville M. Dodge, who 
commanded the western troops, and General P. B. Connor, in 
charge of "the district of the plains," retaliation for the In- 
dian outrages was slow in forthcoming, due to enlistment and 
transportation difficulties ; but in mid-summer of 1865 the 
famous Powder River expedition got under way from Fort 
Laramie. Although an Arapaho band under Black Bear was 
destroyed near the site of modern Ranchester, Wyoming, sev- 
eral detachments of troops barely escaped starvation and an- 
nihilation. General Connor was recalled and the expedition 
was considered a failure, due partly to inexperience in the 
art of Indian warfare, and partly to hamstringing of the mili- 
tary by peace advocates in Washington, D. C. 

Peace commissioners assembled at Fort Laramie in June, 
1866, together with about 2,000 Sioux. The gesture of Col. 
H. E. Maynadier, post commander, in permitting Chief Spotted 
Tail to bury his daughter at the fort, augured well for the 
success of the conference, but the hopeful atmosphere was 
shattered by the appearance of Col. Henry B. Carringtoii and 
a large expedition intent on establishing posts along the Boze- 
man trail to Montana, through the heart of the Sioux hunting 
grounds. Due to this glaring demonstration of the conflicting 
policies of the War Department, and the Office of Indian Af- 
fairs, a large contingent of Sioux under the implacalile Red 
Cloud withdrew in enmity; and this action nullified the sig- 
nature of the peace treaty by the few Sioux and Clieyenne 



10 



ANXALS OF WYOMING 



chieftains wliu remained. When Colonel Carrin<i-ton moved 
north to establish Forts Reno, Phil Kearny and C. F. Smith 
along the Bozieman Trail, Red Cloud's warriors opened up 
a bitter campaign of sniping and harassment which steadily 
imdermined the morale of the garrisons, and culminated in 
the massacre of eighty men under the reckless Capt. W. J. 
Fetterman, in the vicinity of Fort Phil Kearny, near modern 
Buffalo, Wyoming. Advised of the disaster on Christmas 




Group of unidentified officers from the Fort Laramie garrison, on 
field maneuvers, about 1885. Courtesy of Mrs. May- 
Morrison of Torrington, who was bom at 
old Fort Laramie. 




Infantry from Fort Laramie on field maneuvers, about 1884. 

Courtesy of Mrs. Joe Wilde of Lingle. Mr. WiMe was 

for many years proprietor of the tavern at 

Fort Laramie which was converted 

from the old Cavalry Barracks. 



FORT LAEAMIE 11 

night, 1866 by a trader and scout named "Portugee" Phillips, 
who rode 285 miles through bitter cold, Gen. W. H. "Wessels 
immediately set out from Fort Laramie to relieve the be- 
leaguered garrison. In 1867 these hostilities continued, high- 
lighted by the so-called Wagon Box Fight near Fort Phil Kear- 
ny in which a small force under Capt. James Powell, armed with 
new breech-loading rifles successfully withstood the repeated 
assaults of an overwhelming force of Sioux. Meanwhile the 
savages made incessant raids on the Union Pacific construction 
gangs which were pushing westward from Omaha to Cheyenne 
and Promontory Point. 

In the spring of 1868 peace commissioners again arrived 
at Fort Laramie, with instructions to abandon the Bozeman 
Trail. This was bitter medicine for the Army men, who felt 
that all of their heroic sacrifice had been in vain. Red Cloud 
did not sign the peace treaty until late in the year, after all 
soldiers Avere withdrawn and all. the stockades along the Boze- 
man Trail were destroyed. This treaty was ratified by the 
Senate in February, 1869. 

Althoug'h the ''Second Treaty of Fort Laramie" conceded 
the Dakota lands to the Sioux, it also stipulated they abandon 
the North Platte (Oregon Trail) country entirely. This was, 
in turn, "bad medicine" for the Indians. Fort Laramie had 
been their trading center since the establishment of the orig- 
inal fur company post in 1834, and they were reluctant to 
part company with it, for it was like home to them. For a 
time, therefore, a concession was granted by the United States 
in the form of a temporary agency for Red Cloud's people 
about thirty miles east of Fort Laramie, near the site of mod- 
ern Henry, Nebraska, on the Nebraska-Wyoming line. This 
was occupied from 1871 to 1873, when an agency site was se- 
lected on the White River in what is now Western Nebraska. 
Meanwhile certain factions of the Sioux and Cheyennes under 
the aegis of Sitting Bull remained in the Montana country, 
and demonstrated their continuing hostility by attacks on 
Northern Pacific railroad survej^ors. Inspired by their ex- 
ample, the agency Indians, bored by civilizing influences, 
trickled away from their reservation to join the malcontents. 

The final conclusive struggle between red man and white 
for the possession of the Plains was precipitated by the alleged 
discovery of gold in the Black Hills in 1874. Excited miners 
who illegally entered the Sioux country were arrested by the 
military and sent to Fort Laramie for confinement. To verify 
the gold situation the government in 1875 sent Prof. W. P. 
Jenney of New York City to the Black Hills in 1875. At Fort 
Laramie he was given a cavalry escort under Col. R. I. Dodge. 
Arriving at the Black Hills he found hundreds of white miners 
ahead of him, defying the government edict to stay away. 



12 ANXALR OF WYOMING 

Siib.se(|uent efforts by the fioveniment to purchase the Black 
Hills from the Sioux were unavailinp', while the Black Hills 
gold rush became a torrent which the authorities were unable 
to check. Anticipating trouble, particularly with the outlaw 
Sioux under Sitting Bull, an elaborate military campaign 
was launched early in 1876. 

Prom his Fort Laramie base General Crook pushed north 
with ten troops of cavalry and two companies of infantry. 
The first general engagement near the mouth of Little PoAvder 
River was a victory for the Sioux, and a withdrawal of the 
troops was compelled. A second campaign was launched from 
Fort Fetterman, eighty miles northwest of Fort Laramie, with 
fifteen troops of cavalry, five companies of infantry, and sev- 
eral hundred Crow and Shoshone allies. On the banks of the 
Rosebud. Crook met a force of Sioux and Cheyennes under 
Crazy Horse, greatly augmented by deserters from the agencies. 
After a fierce melee, in Avhich the Sioux general demonstrated 
his remarkable prowess. Crook's campaign was virtually 
stopped cold. Meanwhile General Terry moved up the Yel- 
lowstone River, directing Col. George Armstrong Custer to 
effect a junction with him in the valley of the Little Big Horn. 
The ensuing disaster to Custer's command on June 25, 1876 
was perhaps the most famous as well as the most hotly debated 
episode in the annals of the frontier ; but it is not within the 
scope of this story. While Terry and Crook nursed their 
wounds, the frenzied Indians scattered in all directions. 

Later in the year, while Gen. Nelson A. Miles was on the 
trail of Sitting Bull and Crazy Horse, Gen. Crook started an- 
other Powder River expedition from Fort Laramie, consisting 
of twenty-five well equipped companies, calvalry, infantry and 
artillery. The ul:)shot of this last important campaign based 
at Fort Laramie was the destruction of a Cheyenne village 
under Dull Knife, on the Crazy Horse fork of Powder River. 
Early in 1877 most of the hostiles recognized the hopelessness 
of their case, and surrendered; but Sitting Bull and a small 
ban of irreconcileables took refuge in Canada. The Cheyenne 
escape from Lidian Territory (Oklahoma) into Wyoming in 
1878-79 and the Wounded Knee massacre at Pine Ridge, South 
Dakota in 1890 were isolated incidents, without portent. After 
the tragedy of the Little Big Horn the power of the Plains 
Indians was broken forever. 

Though there was an end to large-scale warfare. Fort 
Laramie continued in active service for fourteen more years. 
Dcpi-edations by small ])ands of revengeful Indians and white 
outlaws continued, making it necessary to use troops for 
scouting and escort duty. By this time the Oregon Trail had 
declined in imi)ortaiu'(', l)ut the new Cheyenne-Deadwood Trail, 



FORT LAEAMIE 13 

alive with gold-seekers, desperadoes and mail-coaches, became 
a serious j)roblem. 

During the eighties the successive commanders at the fort 
■were Col. Wesley Merritt, Col. John Gibbon and Col. Henry C. 
Merriam, all seasoned Indian fighters. The garrison varied 
up to 350 men. As the cattle-ranchers who invaded the buffalo 
land gave way to settlers, and a semblance of peace settled 
upon the Wyoming plains, the doom of old Fort Laramie was 
sealed. Although orders for its abandonment came in 1889, 
this was postponed at the request of Governor Warren of Wyo- 
ming, who pointed out the value of the garrison as the only 
competent authority in that region. But in 1890 the flag was 
hauled down, the last trooper marched away, movable prop- 
erty was salvaged, and buildings and fixtures sold at public 
auction, while the wood and timber reservation was thrown 
open to homesteaders. It was the end of an era.* 



Ill 

The stranger approaching Fort Laramie today might find 
little on the surface to suggest the vigorous militaiy post. His 
first impression, rather, might be that of a deserted village, 
perhaps the scene of a deflated mining boom, possibly a de- 
cadent cowtown sleeping peacefully between Saturday nights. 
There are no visible fortifications, no walls, no bastions, no 
battlements, no bristling armaments. But upon closer inspec- 
tion the visitor becomes aware that he is turning back in time, 
that this is no mere village, no ghostly tenement, but indeed, the 
frontier headquarters of the United States Army ! 

To be sure, this is not the Fort Laramie of 1849, when the 
California gold rush swept by, or the Fort Laramie of 1876, 
when disastrous news came from the Little Big Horn, or even 
the Fort Laramie of 1890, when the United States put it on the 
auction block. No, it bears the scars of a half century of neg- 
lect and even destruction by a public which had not learned 
to treasure its historic shrines. It is no longer the capital of 
the Wyoming plains, perhaps, but it is still Fort Laramie, pic- 
turesque, proud, challenging! 

Old Bedlam there, a hotel-like two-story frame and grout 
building witli a Southern mansion veranda, you might call it 
the patriarch of the tribe, still dominates the rolling landscape 



*Historical data is derived from various authorities listed in the 
"Selected Bibliography" appended to this essay. The standard history 
on the subject is Fort Laramie and the Pageant of the West, 1834-1890 
by LeEoy K. Hafen and Francis Marion Young (The Arthur H. Clark 
Company, Glendale, California, 1938). This is a scholarly and compre- 
hensive review designed for the serious student of history, but equally 
rewarding to every "Westerner" who takes pride in his heritage. 




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FORT LAEAMIE 15 

as it did in 1849 when it was erected, when the sound of saws 
and hammers combined with the creaking and grinding of the 
emigrant 's wagon wheels to make a strange symphony in the 
ears of Sioux and Cheyenne spectators, grim with foreboding. 
Old Bedlam now is silent as a tomb, its shattered windows 
mercifully boarded ; yet there was a time when its hallways 
echoed with the jangle of spurs and officers' crisp commands; 
when its windows of a summer evening, festooned and spark- 
ling with candle-light, gave forth sounds of music and merri- 
ment as amorous young blades and gay hoop-skirted belles 
sought to assuage the tedium and tension of a frontier army 
post. 

Yes, there is the Sutler's Store, a rambling, mongrel sort 
of building, a curious mixture of adobe, grout, frame and sheet- 
metal. It is not a very handsome structure, and it is so de- 
cayed that it has to be buttressed by heavy timbers to prevent 
its collapsing into a heap of rubble ; but it is another building 
hoary with tradition, rivalling Old Bedlam in antiquity. Here 
the soldiers, rubbing elbows with curious emigrants and In- 
dians, invested their pay-checks in worldly goods, principally 
liquor, which flowed prodigiously across the bar. Jim Bridger, 
Kit Carson and William Cody were here, also Mark Twain, 
Horace Greeley and Jack Slade, veteran "mountain men" and 
pale-faced Easterners, gentlemen and desperadoes. Here the 
whole of the fantastic social strata of the frontier assembled, 
and tossed coins at the bartender, blew clouds of foam, gurgled 
barrels of whisky, engaged in occasional knifings and shoot- 
ing scrapes, plotted robberies and assassinations, boasted of 
Indian scalps and gold-nuggets ; and dreamed of (or dreaded) 
a time when this vast wild land would be tamed and civilized. 

Fort Laramie a relic, deserted and forgotten? Why here 
is the very heart and soul of the West, the stalwart, head- 
strong child grown to a wise maturity, witnessing the greater 
America which it helped so notably to conceive. Those ruins 
high up there on the hill-top, stark and vivid against the sun- 
set, they are a perfect monument to that old Hospital where 
soldiers came back to suffer their wounds and their agonies, 
perhaps to die, those same who had gone forth bravely and 
with light hearts to meet the savage foe. Over there to the 
north are the Cavalry Barracks. That was the home of hun- 
dreds, perhaps thousands of troopers who lived beyond the 
pale of civilization, with its soft comforts and conveniences, 
that the West might be reclaimed. Yonder by the river is the 
Old Guardhouse, that sinister-looking building with the thick 
"grout" walls and barred windows. Evil-doers languished 
here, sometimes preliminary to swinging in the breeze for ob- 
structing the orderly processes of civilization. Before us is the 
same parade ground where soldiers would drill smartly during 



16 ANXALS OF WVOMTXG 

a lull ill Indian warfare; and overhead still floats the flag- of 
the United States, now with forty-eight stars instead of thirty 
Avhich were contained in the flag of 1849; but this flag now 
as then is the banner of Democracv and Freedom. 



IV 

The National Park Service is the appointed guardian of 
Old Fori Laramie, wliich in 1938 achieved the status of a na- 
tional monument. It is no accident that this agency was en- 
trusted with the resi)onsibility. "Conservation" is the watch- 
word of the Department of the Interior, and the National Park 
J^ervice is that branch of the Department which protects the 
national parks and monuments so that they may be enjoyed 
iinim])aired in their naturalness by generations of Americans 
to come. 

Scenery, timberland, water resources, wildlife — these are 
not the only things which are implied by the word "'conserva- 
tion."' There is perhaps something even more important still 
than these physical resources — our cultural heritage. We must 
conserve our American Democracy, the Bill of Rights, and all 
of the ideals therein implied. Indeed, it is the preservation or 
"conservation" of these things for which we fight today with 
all our vast national strength. 

Tlie history of America is the history of an ideal — a bright 
shining vision of Freedom and universal Justice. History, too, 
is something which must be conserved, so that we may lie for- 
ever reminded of our heritage, and our responsibility to our 
children to preserve this heritage. 

We would not cancel a billion dollars of our national debt 
in exchange foi- the original Declaration of Independence which 
is "conserved"' in the Library of Congress. All the skyscrap- 
ers in all the big cities cannot conjure up half tlie reverence for 
America that the patriotic citizen feels when he is in the pres- 
ence of j\Iount Vernon or the Alamo, or the battlefield of Gettys- 
burg. The loftiest snow-crowned mountain range is not more 
ti'uly a part of America than the little hill called "Hunker 
Hill"" where our Flag received its baptism of blood, or the 
Little Jiig Horn Valley in Montana where Custer and his troop- 
ers rode to their doom. 

We are proud of these things and these places which 
mark the climaxes of American History. Yet if they had not 
been "conserved" by a few conscientious citizens, if Mount 
Vernon had been auctioned off to real estate promoters, or if 
the field of (Jettysbui-g had been converted into farms, then 
they would not be there today for us to be proud of, and our 
cultural hei"itage would be the poorer. 



FOET LARAMIE 17 

Fort Laramie is an historic shrine as truly as these others, 
being an important trading post, a way-station for travelers 
on the Oregon Trail, and headquarters of the United States 
Army on the Great Plains for over half a century. Buildings 
yet exist there which greeted the emigrants on their way to 
California gold. From here fur traders launched their keel- 
boats down the Platte, and blue-clad cavalrymen rode forth to 
battle the Sioux and Cheyenne and Arapaho. Past here rolled 
the great natural highway to the Pacific, and here youthful 
Pony Express riders, gaunt and dust-covered emigrants and 
profane bullwhackers paused to rest, the hostile Plains behind 
them, the forbidding mountains ahead. 

Being such a unique capital of the Western frontier, such 
a priceless jewel in the treasure of our national heritage, was 
it not "conserved" after its abandonment by the Army in 1890? 
No, unfortunately it was not. It probably occurred to few at 
the time that here was an irreplaceable and invaluable asset 
to our patriotic traditions. There was no visible history here, 
only so many buildings, which included much useful salvage- 
able lumber. Accordingly the buildings were auctioned off. 
Shortly thereafter over half of these were unroofed and 
stripped of every vestige of timber. Adobe buildings crumbled 
to earth and the concrete buildings were left only naked walls. 
The few bliildings which were untouched were used as ranch 
dwellings and shelters for cows, pigs and chickens. Strange 
treatment for a great shrine of American history ! 

The ranchers who occupied the Fort were not at fault, but 
rather the American people, whose conscience in such matters 
had not yet been aroused. It may be that in the East, with 
ample reminders of the Revolution and the Civil War, i)eople 
were more conscious of their traditions. But Westerners had 
a tremendous job to be done, a blistering, back-bending job 
of breaking the soil and building homes in 1890. They can be 
pardoned for not giving too much thought to "conservation of 
history." History in Avestern Wyoming was still in the making. 
Perhaps the Indians were still a little too much in the thoughts 
,of the settlers, still too close a reality to think of Indian war- 
fare as merely a "tradition." Also, the practical problem of 
securing lumber in a Plains country, with transportation prob- 
lems to be considered in terms of wagonloads, might nuike it 
understandable why lumber from an abandoned building would 
be so highly prized, while the historical significance of the 
building itself might be overlooked. 

So if Fort Laramie was not recognized as an historic shrine 
by the Army lieutenant who auctioned off the buildings, or by 
the people who bought them, it was the fault of the times. Ac- 
tually, we should not express disappointment that so much of 
Fort Laramie was lost, but rather surprise tliat so much of it 



18 ANXALS OF WYOMING 

lias been saved. What comparable historic site in the AVest 
survives, with some buildings almost a century old? For this 
rare bit of conservation we should perhaps thank John Hunton 
more than any other man. 

Hunton came to Fort Laramie in 1867, to clerk for the 
post sutlers. Ward and Bullock. In 1888 he became post sutler. 
When the post was abandoned in April, 1890, Hunton felt that 
the fort was so much a part of his life that he decided to stay 
on. At the auction he bought twelve of the Fort Laramie buildings 
for $368.50, including- the Officers' Quarters Row on the west 
side of the parade ground. Apparently he already owned the old 
Sutler's Store. In any case it was due to his appreciation of 
historical values that the picturesque building known as Old 
Ijedlam, and the Sutler's Store, both dating back to 1849, were 
saved, as well as several other officers' quarters, including one 
in which he resided until around 1920 ; and he undoubtedly 
used his influence on other owners to prevent the complete de- 
struction of other buildings. 

From 1890 to until his death in 1928 John Hunton was the 
main ''conservationist" of Fort Laramie; but early in the 
1920 's several prominent citizens of W^yoming took an interest 
in saviiig the old Fort. The idea caught on and was popularized 
])y newspaper editors. The Wyoming State Legislature and 
the Wyoming Historical Landmarks Commission became active- 
ly concerned. After several disheartening set-backs the prop- 
erty was finally acquired from private owners by the State of 
Wyoming in 1987. The priceless historic site was then gener- 
ously deeded to the United States, just forty-eight years after 
the United States threw away the whole fort, complete, at auc- 
tion, for a paltry $1,395.00. 

Since 1939 the National Park Service has had a Custodian 
residing at Fort Laramie National Monument, who has super- 
vised a three-point program — protection, interpretation and 
improvement, all designed to "conserve" old Fort Laramie as 
one of the country's historical shrines. "Protection" has in- 
cluded fencing of the area of approximately 200 acres, and en- 
forcement of Government rules and regulations pertaining to 
national parks. "Interpretation" includes occasional guide 
service for visitors, use of educational signs, archeological in- 
vestigations, historical research work and museum planning. 

Improvements made during the past few years with CCC 
and WPA funds include stabilization measures on historical 
buildings and ruins, conversion of Cavalry Barracks into tem- 
])orary Custodian's Office and quarters; removal of debris and 
overgrowth which accumulated since 1890, and installation of 
electric, tclejjhone and Mater facilities. 

Of course the war program has brought improvements to 
a standstill, since manpower and critical materials are needed 



FOET LAEAMIE 19 

elsewhere; but Port Laramie has not been forgotten. The war 
will not last forever, and there will come a day when plans can 
be pushed actively forward to give old Fort Laramie the full 
status and dignity of a national historic shrine, which has so 
long been deferred. 

In the five years past that records have been available, 
there has been a total of 22,352 visitors at Fort Laramie Na- 
tional Monument. This is not an imposing figure compared 
with the hundreds of thousands of visitors who go annually 
to the large national parks; but it must be remembered that 
Fort Laramie is off the beaten tourist path, so to speak, and 
furthermore it is new as a national monument, and it has not 
yet had an opportunity to become nationally known. 

In 1943 there were 1,359 visitors at Fort Laramie compared 
with the peak of 10,102 in 1940. But this decrease is nothing 
exceptional, being comparable to the war-time decrease in 
travel to all of the nation 's parks and monuments. In 1944 there 
may be even fewer visitors, but Old Fort Laramie can wait. It 
mouldered nearly fifty years before it received recognition as 
an historic shrine ; it can wait in relative quiescence until the 
present foe — the Japs and the Nazis — can be rounded up and 
put back on their "reservations." 

Old Fort Laramie is not an inanimate thing, a mere col- 
lection of time-shattered ruins. It is a thing of spirit, a tradi- 
tion, woven out of a half century of convulsive human history. 
Here is something still ' ' worth fighting for, ' ' something to give 
the soldier of today more pride in his citizenship, a deeper con- 
sciousness of his national traditions, and faith that there still 
survives the fundamental pioneer virtues which will lead Amer- 
ica to new heights of world leadership in war, and in the peace 
that will follow. 



SELECTED BIBLIOGRAPHY 

Bancroft, Hubert Howe, History of Nevada, Colorado and Wyo- 
ming, 1540-1888 (Volume XXV of The Works of Hubert 
Howe Bancroft), The Historv Company, San Francisco, 
1890. 

Bandel, Eugene, Frontier Life in the Army, 1854-1861 (Volume 
II of The Southwest Historical Series, edited by Ralph Bie- 
ber), Arthur H. Clark Company, Glendale, 1932. 

Birge, Julius C, The Awakening of the Desert, Richard C. 
Badger, Boston, 1912. 

Carrington, Margaret Irvin, Ah-Sa-Ra-Ka, Land of Massacres: 
being the Exjjerience of an Officer's Wife on the Plains, J. 
B. Lippincott & Co., Philadelphia, 1879. 

Commissioner of Indian Affairs, Reports for 1849 to 1890, in 
House Documents Series. 



20 ANNALS OF WYOMING 

(,'outaiit, C. G., HLstorij of Wyo})ii)ig from the Earliest Known 
Discoveries (Volume I, only one published), Chaplin, Spaf- 
ford and Mathison, Laramie, Wyoming^ 1899. 

David, Robert Beebe, Finn Burnett, Frontiersman, Arthur H. 
Clark Company, Glendale, 1937. 

Dodgre, Col. Richard Irving, Oio- MUd Indians, A. D. AVorthing- 
ton & Co., Hartford, 1890. 

Gove, Jesse A., The Utah Expedition, 1857-1858, Letters of Cap- 
tain Gove, lOth Infantry, U. S. A., of Concord, New Hamp- 
shire, to Mrs. Gove, and Special Correspondence of the New 
York Herald, New Hampshire Historical Societv, Concord, 
1928. 

Grinnell, George Bird, The Fighting Cheyennes, Charles Serib- 
ner's Sons, New York, 1915. 

Hafen, LeRoy R. and Young, Francis Marion, Fort Laramie and 
the Pageant of the West, Arthur H. Clark Companv, Glen- 
dale, 1938. 

Hebard, Grace R., and Brininstool, E. A., The Boseman Trail, 
Historical Accounts of the Blazing of the Overland Routes 
into the Northwest, and' the Fights with Bed Cloud's War- 
riors (2 volumes), Arthur H. Clark Companv, Cleveland, 
1922. 

Hyde, George E., Bed Cloud's Folk, A History of the Oglala 
Sioux Indians, University of Oklahoma Press, Norman, 1937. 

Lowe, Percival G., Five Years a Dragoon and Other Adventures 
on the Great Plains, Franklin Hudson Publishing Co., Kan- 
sas City, 1906. 

Ostrander, Major Alson B., An Army Boy of the Sixties, a Story 
of the Plains, World Book Company, New York, 1924. 

Sandoz, Marie, Crazy Horse, The Strange Man of the Oglalas, a 
Biography, Alfred A. Knopf, New York 1942. 

Spring, Agnes W., Caspar Collins, The Life and Exploits of an 
Indian Fighter of the Sixties, Columbia University Press, 
New York, 1927. 

Vestal, Stanley, Sitting Bull, Champion of the Sioux, a Biog- 
raphy, Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston, 1932. 

Vestal, Stanley, Warpath, The True Story of the Fighting Sioux, 
Told in a Biography of Chief White Bull, Houghton Mifflin 
Co., Boston, i934. 

Ware, Eugene F., The Indian War of 1864, Being a Fragment 
of the Early History of Kansas, Nebraska, Colorado and 
Wyoming, Crane and Company, Topeka, 1911. 

War Department Reports, 1849 to 1890, in House Document 
Series. 

Wellman, Paul I., Death on the Prairie, The MacMillan Com- 
pany, New York, 1934. 



FORT LARAMIE 21 



FORT LARAMIE NEWS ITEM 

Jess Lombard, Custodian of Fort Laramie National Monu- 
ment since 1939, left that post in April of 1944 to become Custo- 
dian of Dinosaur National Monument at Vernal, Utah. Dinosaur 
contains 203,965 acres, a lot more land to take care of than 214 
acres which comprises Fort Laramie, but then the importance of 
the old fort is not measured by the extent of the property. It is 
one of our national historic shrines, and Mr. Lombard has served 
it well during the past five years. He was the contributor of an 
article on "Old Bedlam" which appeared in the Annals of Wyo- 
ming (XIII, 2. April, 1941). 

The new Custodian at Fort Laramie is Thor Borresen, a 
Norwegian by birth, but a legal resident of New York, who 
hecame a research technician in archeology for the National 
Park Service at Colonial National Historical Park, Va., in 1934, 
later doing historical work in the Service's Region One Office 
at Richmond, Va. In the latter capacity, he was consultant on 
military and domestic structures, restoration of military bat- 
tlefields, ordnance, and other military accoutrement. Begin- 
ning in 1942 Mr. Borresen spent tw^o years at a shipyard in 
Brooklyn as a contribution to the war program. Before join- 
ing the National Park Service, he worked for the U. S. Con- 
struction Quartermaster for eight years, supervising the res- 
toration of Old Fort Niagara. 

Associated with Mr. Borresen are Coordinating Superin- 
tendent John E. Doerr, with headquarters at Rocky Mountain 
National Park, at Estes Park, Colorado, and Mr. Mattes, author 
of the Fort Laramie article in this issue. 



DOUGLAS C. McMURTRIE 

Douglas C. McMurtrie, who so generouslv contributed to 
the ANNALS OF AVYOMING, passed away September 29, 1944, 
at the age of 56. 

Mr. McMurtrie was well known as the author of many 
books and pamphlets on printing. 

His passing will be felt by his many friends. His home 
was Chicago, Illinois. 



BRYANT B. BROOKS 

Wyoming is honored in having the ()pi)ortunity to claim 
Bryant B. Brooks as one of her outstanding pioneers, and as 
one of her governors. Wyoming has lost a great citizen in 
his passing, December 8, 1944. 



Eeeonnaissance of a Eoad from Fort Eiley to Bridger's Pass made 
ill obedience to instructions from the War Department in June, July, 
August, September and October 1856, by Lieut. F. T. Bryan, United 
States Topographical Engineer. 

Numbers represent camps along the route. Numbers from one to 
forty-six show the route going to Bridger's Pass; numbers forty-seven 
to ninetv-six show their return route to Fort Riley. 



Documents and Cetkrs 

Report of Lieut. F. T. Bryan Concerning His Operations in 

Locating a Practicable Road Between Fort Riley to 

Bridger's Pass 1856.i 

Wlien these plains were virgin country nieagerly intersected by 
Indian or buffalo trails, the War Department early realized its re- 
sponsibility and the great necessity to locate and build wagon roads, 
bridges, etc. 

In 1856, the Department undertook to find the most practicable 
route from Fort Eiley (Kansas) to Bridger's Pass (Nebraska, later 
Wyoming) and assigned Lieut. Francis T. Bryan of the Topographic 
Engineering Corps to command a survey expedition to locate a military 
road between these two points. Lieut. Bryan was accompanied by Mr, 
John Lambert, topographer; Mr. Henry Engelmann, geologist; Mr. 
Charles Lamed in charge of the barometers; Mr. Cooper and Mr. Wood, 
rodnicn. Thev met their escort and thirtv-three wagons at Fort Eiley 
and left that 'post June 21, 1856. 

Mr. Lambert wrote an interesting reports on the topography of 
the country traveled. Mr. Engelmann made one of the first, if not the 
first, geological reports of the country. We are not including these 
two reports which are attached to Lieut. Bryan's report in the Con- 
gressional Document,, where they may be found. 

Many of these military wagon roads were the highways of today 
in the making. 

ft will be noticed all through Lieut. Bryan's report the spelling of 
Medicine-/?o;i. Mr. Lambert and Mr. Engelmann also used this form of 
spelling in their reports. It is evident it is not a misprint nor a misin- 
terpretation as Medicine Bow Creek was known by the Indians as ''good 
Medicine" — "Medicine-Bon". Some seem to think the word, Bon, 
through usage, was transjjosed to Bow, It is also understood the name 
Medicine-Bow was used by the Indians with reference to the type of 
wood they found in those mountains for their bows and arrows. The 
name of Medicine-Bow appears on Fremont 's Maji of 1842 as ax'plying 
to both the stream and mountain. — M.H.E. 

Two routes presented themselves for consideration and 
survey before a location could be definitely fixed upon. One 
from Fort Riley to Fort Kearney, crossing tlie divide between 
the Repu))lican and the Platte, and skirtin<r the lieadwaters of 
the small streams runnin<>' into the Bine; then from Fort Kear- 
ney, alon^' tlie Platte valley, to near tlie month of Pole creek; 
thence up Pole creek, through tlie l^lack Hills, to its head ; and 
thence along the foot of the IMedicinc-Hon Mountains to the 
North Platte, and thence to Bridger's Pass, abont forty miles 
distant from the crossing of this stream. The other lay along 
the Republican fork of Kaw river for three hundred and sixty 

1. Congressional Documents. 35th Cong. 1st Bess. S. E.\. Doc. 11, 
pj). 455-481 [Serial 920] 

2. Ibid. i)p. 481-488. 

3. Ibid. i)p. 489-517. 



DOCUMENTS AND LETTERS 25 

miles ; thence across the divide to the South Platte, where it 
turns to run into a southeasterly direction ; thence up the South 
Platte, along its right bank, crossing Beaver, Bijou, Kioway, 
and other small creeks; thence on the left bank of the Platte 
to the mouth of Crow creek ; and thence over to the Cache la 
Poudre, and up it to the foot of the Medicine-Bon range, in the 
Laramie plains, and thence to Bridger's Pass, over the same 
ground as by the other route. It was determined to examine 
the route along the Platte first, and take the route along the 
Republican on the return. For this purpose the party left Fort 
Riley, and followed along the left bank of the Republican for 
more than a hundred miles, and as long as the direction of the 
river coincided with that from Fort Riley to Fort Kearney. 
Leaving the Republican fork, there was about thirty-five miles 
of a high, dry, rolling prairie to the Little Blue. This space was 
intersected by the heads of creeks running into the Republican 
and the Blue, aud is entirely destitute of timber, except the 
small quantity which grows immediately on the banks of the 
streams, and which consists generally of hard woods, such as 
oak, ash, etc. Very little obstruction is offered, generally, to 
the passage of wheeled vehicles — now and then the steep banks 
of a creek which require several hours to cut away and make 
passable. The crossing of the Blue was effected without diffi- 
culty, the river being here not more than fifty feet wide and 
two and a half feet deep ; bed sandy and banks easily prepared 
for crossing. At this point this route turns into the road from 
Fort LeaveuAvorth to Fort Kearney, and coincides with it up 
to that point. This part, for some thirteen miles, lies along 
the river valley and then leaving, leads to the valley of the 
Platte over a high, dry, rolling country. It is supplied with 
water at intervals of fifteen, eight, and then four and a half 
miles, to the Platte river, by large Avater holes, which are con- 
sidered permanent. From the point of touching the Platte, the 
distance to Fort Kearney is fifteen miles, and over a smooth, 
level country, being along the valley of the river. 

In this division of the road lies most of the labor necessary 
to render the routes between Fort Riley and Bridger's Pass 
easily travelled. Most of the creeks which are crossed are deep, 
with steep banks, and, in some instances, re(|uire bridging, and 
in almost all the approaches to the crossing need grading. Leav- 
ing Fort Kearney, the route lies along the valley of the Platte 
to a point about sixteen miles beyond the Laramie crossing. 
It is the route generally travelled to Fort Laramie, and has 
been so often noticed that no description of it is necessary 
here. The route followed by my party and its escort crosses 
the Platte at sixteen miles above the Laramie crossing, keeping 
to the right ])ank of the river thus far to avoid tlie ])luffs and 
rough ground which here juts close in upon the river. The cross- 



26 ANXALS OF WYOMING 

iiig used by the party was an excellent ford at a point where 
the river is about six hundred and ten yards wide. The water 
scarcely came up to the axle-trees of our wagons ; the bottom 
was of fine, hard gravel, so that our crossing was effected 
without any difficulty. This, however, like all the crossings 
of the rivers in tliis part of the country, is liable to injury from 
flood, and to become affected by (luicksand. As to the expe- 
diency of bridging this stream, it is a matter totally out of the 
(|uestion. There is not a particle of material of any sort near 
enough to be used, especially within the limits of the present 
appropriation. Trains passing must, therefore, always be pre- 
pared to take the chances of the ford. From the crossing of 
the Platte to the head of Pole creek forms the next division of 
this road. Our route lay along the Platte to Pole creek, a dis- 
tance of eight miles, over a very level country. Our crossing 
was effected without difficulty at a point about a mile al)ove 
the mouth. The creek is here a swift flowing stream, between 
high l)anks, with a width of six or eight feet. The country here, 
and for some miles further up, is a high, dry prairie — a dead, 
flat, burned up piece of ground. Our route lay on the right 
bank. The valley of the creek is here two or three miles wide, 
but becomes narrow further up. About five miles from our 
crossing ])rought us to a spring running from the bluffs on 
our left into the creek. Here was the first appearance of green 
grass that we had seen along the creek, except immediately be- 
tween its banks. Three or four miles further on was another 
green spot, where we camped, having made eighteen miles. The 
country is extremely barren and burnt up ; nothing green to 
be seen except the willows and grass immediately along the 
banks. The higher ground is covered with buffalo grass, which 
is now burnt dry. 

Scarcely have we seen anything resemlding a tree since 
we were many miles lielow the Laramie crossing of the Platte. 
The soil is mostly sand and gravel. On the higlier ground the 
soil is almost as light as ashes. During yesterday and today 
we have made (|uite a bend. Had we known exactly the direc- 
tion in Avhich the creek ran in this part of its course, we might 
have come straight over from the Platte. This line across this 
bend deserves a reconnaissance. 

Wednesday, July 23. — The country today shows more 
grass. With this exception it is the same as yesterday, very 
ban-en, light and dry. Tbe surface is almost all that could 
be wished for our teams; some few hollows appear, but offer 
no serious obstructions. Tiie valley is of varying width, and 
the creek, in its windings, touches the l)laffs on one side and 
then the other. Camped at the end of 20.10 miles. 

Thursday, July 24. — At 71/2 miles from camp we crossed 
without difficult V to the left bank, the bluffs coming' so close 



DCKJUMENTS AND LETTEES 27 

on to the creek as to interfere with onr purpose on the right 
bank. The country is varied but little from yesterday, the 
bluffs being higher and more irregular and the valley narrower. 
The grass appears better now ; not so much parched up. Cedars, 
too, appear, scattered on the bluffs, intermingled with a few 
pines. The creek is very crooked, and with quite a swift current, 
indicating a great fall. Made today 18 miles. 

Friday, July 25. — Kept along the valley of the creek until we 
came to a point of the Pine Bluffs, which jutted close in to the 
creek. This rough place in the road (the only one of any conse- 
quence which we have met with) occasioned some little delay 
to the passage of the train. About a mile beyond this point 
the water of the creek suddenly disappeared, and was not seen 
again for twelve miles, although it had just previously been a 
bold running stream, more so, indeed, than usual, from the re- 
cent rains which had somewhat swollen it. At 8% miles from 
our camp we crossed the dry bed of the creek and kept on our 
course till we had made 19^3 miles, when we camped on the 
right bank of the creek, where the water was running as briskly 
as ever. Our course today has been very straight and over a 
fine, hard prairie, having a gradual and constant rise, giving 
an excellent location for a road of any sort. The bluffs grad- 
ually fell as we ascended the creek, and have now almost en- 
tirely given way to gentle swells on either side. The grass is 
also much better than below, and affords pasture to immense 
herds of buffaloes. This part of the valley is a favorite winter 
residence of the Sioux and Cheyenne bands. 

Saturday, July 26. — Kept our way up the creek, finding 
all the way a fine hard soil for the road. There were several 
g-ulleys to cross today, affluents of the creek. None of them 
presented any difficulty. The valley of the creek is now so 
narrow that we have been obliged to cross it several times, but 
always without difficulty or delay. Camped on the right bank, 
after a march of 16 miles. 

Sunday, July 27. — In camp. 

Monday, July 28. — Marched today I31/2 miles to the Pine 
Bluffs, where we camped on a small spring running into Pole 
creek, which is dry at this point and for about eight miles fur- 
ther up. Just below our camp a branch, called Didies' branch, 
comes into Pole creek on the northern side. It takes its rise in 
a line of bluffs which lead on to Horse creek. A route from 
this point to Laramie is said to be feasible, passing by the head 
of Didies' branch, thence on to Horse creek, and then to the 
Platte river, eight miles below Laramie. In favor of this route 
is urged the constant supply of running water, a fine hard soil 
to travel over, and the absence of the sand hills, which inter- 
pose such a serious obstacle to the passage of heavily loaded 
trains. These Pine Bluffs afford an abundance of dwarf pine, 



28 ANXALS OF WYOMING 

which answers well for fuel. As this article is very scarce be- 
yond this point, and until the Black hills are reached, it is 
necessary to transport enough for several days' use — buffalo 
chips, wliich have answered heretofore, being scarce. The blutfs 
run in a northerly and southerly direction, and Pole creek cuts 
directly through them, making a wide, level valley, through 
which wagons can pass without the slightest difficulty. Pawnee 
creek heads to the south and in the same blutfs. In Didies' 
branch the water is always running. 

Tuesday, July 29. — Marched 13 miles, to the point where 
the New JMexico and Laramie road crosses Pole creek, and 
camped as the creek again sinks ; and we are ignorant how far 
it is to where water again appears. Water, however, can always 
be had by digging. Road today very good, and soil of the 
same gravelly character as yesterday. 

Wednesday, July 30, 1856. — Course today over a high, dry 
prairie, rising rapidly all the time, but furnishing a most ex- 
cellent smooth road. , Travelled over this country for twelve 
miles, where we found water again running in the bed of the 
creek. At seventeen miles we intended to make our camp, but 
found the creek at this point again dry and water difficult to 
obtain by digging. Made 241/2 miles, and found water running 
and made our camp. The route today has been over ground 
singularly smooth and good. In the latter part of the day's 
march there Avere some hollows, but not very difficult to cross. 
Timber and buffalo chips have almost entirely disappeared, 
and, but for the wood brought from Pine Bluffs, we should 
suffer for fuel. The grass on the upland is very poor, short, and 
dr}^, the soil hard and gravelly. 

Thursday, July 31. — Marched about 7 miles today, merely 
to change camji, over a high, rolling country to another point 
of the creek, where was good grass and a fine spring. Camped 
for the day, as the animals are much fatigued by yesterday's 
long mai'ch. Country the same as yesterday, very poor and 
desolate. Pole creek is noAv a very small stream, the water 
running only at intervals and the bottoms very narrow, and 
the sui)ply of grass for our animals very limited. 

Friday. August 1, 1856. — FolloAved today a high ridge on 
the right hank of the creek, which furnished a fine, smooth 
track for our Avagons. The country still rises rai)idly. After 
eight miles travelling there Avere some holloAvs, but no diffi- 
culty was experienced in crossing them. Tln-ee and a half miles 
further brouglit us to our camp at the foot of the lUack hills, 
and on Pole creek. Here Ave found (piite Avide bottoms, Avith 
plenty of grass for our animals. The tAvo forks of Pole creek 
here met to make the main stream. The creek has so far fur- 
nished an excellent route, so far as the track is concerned, but 
there is a great doficicncy of fuel, other tlian buffalo chips, 



DOCUMENTS AND LETTEES 29 

and at this season of the year grass is veiy scarce. AVater at 
this time of the year is met with at intervals along the bed of 
the creek in the upper part of its course. It is flowing when- 
ever seen, but, owing to the porous nature of the soil, it dis- 
appears and the bed of the creek is dry for several miles to- 
gether. AVater can generally be obtained, wherever the stream 
has sunk, by digging under the bluffs and in the bed of the 
stream. Large quantities of drift wood were found here, which 
proved of great assistance to us in the way of fuel. 

Saturday, August 2. — Following the southernmost of the 
two prongs between which we had encamped, and after passing 
over some high prairies, we arrived at the entrance to the Black 
hills, a steep ascent, which was accomplished, however, by our 
teams without much difficulty. The ground was rough and 
strong, and for about a mile and a half further on the pulling 
was quite even, being up hill and down. At this point there 
was a fine spring, at which the road ascended a ridge, and kept 
a'fterwards on the divide between the northern and southern 
prongs of Pole creek. This was exceedingly smooth and of a 
very gradual ascent, giving an excellent road. This ridge was 
followed for about twelve miles, and then the country became 
rolling, with scattered boulders of granite. A little work 
was necessary to put aside some of them, and we proceeded 
easily. Four miles further, over a rolling country, brought us 
to our camp, on a side hill and near a spring running into the 
southern fork. 

On the other side of this south fork, and directly opposite 
our camp, the mountain was thickly covered with straight 
young pines, affording lodge poles to various bands of Indians 
who resort to this point to supply themselves. From this cir- 
cumstance the creek derives its name. Our route today lay for 
the most part along an Indian trail, information of which was 
obtained from Eagle Head, an Arapahoe. 

Sunday, August 3. — Remained in camp. 

Monday, August 4. — Leaving camp about 9 o'clock, in 
about a mile and a half we reached the summit of the Black 
hills, the dividing ridge between the waters of Pole creek and 
Laramie river. The ascent was difficult to this point, but there 
was no necessity to double teams, the road having been some- 
what prepared before leaving camp. Near the summit is a fine 
spring, which is considered the head spring of this branch of 
the creek. The descent from this point was easy and gradual, 
and about 1 o'clock Ave found ourselves on the right bank of 
the east fork of Laramie river ; the last five miles being across 
the rolling prairie of Laramie plains. The country is poor and 
sandy ; sandstones appearing in abundance in our descent. The 
Laramie river at this point very much reseml)les the Platte, af- 
fords good water and grass, l)ut no wood. Our fuel was brought 



30 ANNALS OF WYOMING 

in wajsrons from the hills which we had just left, and which fur- 
nish a fjreat deal. These hills appear to have been once covered 
with trees, but they have been torn up by the winds, the thin, 
rocky soil not furnishing- sufficient hold for their roots. 

Laramie river has a quicksand bottom; but we found a fine, 
hard ford, the water reaching only to the axletrees of the 
wagons. 

Tuesday, August 5. — Our route for today was across the 
plains from the east to the west fork of Laramie, a distance of 
fifteen miles. Camped on the right bank of the west fork, a 
beautiful mountain stream, flowing from the Medicine-Bon 
mountains ; on our left over a fine, hard bed of gravel and 
pebbles. The water is clear and of an icy coldness. 

Wednesday, August 6. — Today crossed the west fork 
without difficulty, and in about a mile struck into the emigrant 
road along the foot of the Medicine-Bon. This road we suppose 
to coincide with the train followed by Captain 8tansbury. The 
road today is very good, having occasional ascents and descents, 
and over a fine, hard gravel ; it is, however, very destructive 
to the feet of our animals, many of them losing their shoes, and 
becoming tender footed in consequence. Trains travelling 
through this country should be well provided with those indis- 
pensable article, horse and mule shoes, and shoe nails, as many 
are worn out and lost. A forge would be necessary for a large 
train. Camped after a march of fourteen miles on a small creek 
of good water. This we called Cooper's creek; it runs into a 
large lake some ten miles off in the Laramie plains. Several 
large lakes were passed today lying to our riglit ; they are vis- 
ible from tlie liills neai" the camp. 

Thursday, August 7, 1856. — The train moved on today over 
the l)eat('n track of the emigrant route, and, crossing a num- 
ber of small creeks, on which it could not encamj) on account 
of the lack of grass for animals, passed on to the west fork of 
Medicine-Bon creek. The road Avas generally very good, being 
very much like that of yesterday. Li some places the ground 
was covered with loose stones, which it is only necessary to 
remove to insure a good road. In other places there are sev- 
eral long ascents and descents; but these cannot be avoided, as 
they ai"e caused by spurs from the hills whicli run for a long 
distance into the ])lain, and must be crossed almost at right 
angles. To cut through them, for the sake of a moi'e level road, 
wouKI cost immensely, esi)ecially in the present unsettled state 
of the country, as a party and its means would have to be 
transported so far. The hills to the left of our route are cov- 
ered with pines; they are from six inches to eighteen and 
twenty-four in dianu^ter, and, were they more accessible, would 
furnish inexhaustible supplies of fuel aiul timber. Tu many 
places this timbei- can be reached without mucli difficulty. The 



DOCUMENTS AND LETTERS 3] 

head valley of the west fork of Laramie river is one of these 
places, and would make an excellent site for a military post and 
settlement, as there is abundant grass for grazing and hay for 
winter use, excellent water, and timber for building and fuel. 
The train arrived at camp at 6 o'clock, having had a long and 
fatiguing march. Prom the rough, hard soil, and many loose 
stones, many of our animals lost their shoes and became lame. 
We found it necessary to remain in camp next day to pat on 
fresh shoes and make repairs. 

Friday, August 8, 1856. — Remained in camp on the Medi- 
cine-Bon (west branch). The bottom of this creek is broad and 
stony; soil sterile, and grass very poor, thin and scanty, espe- 
cially at this season. Fuel is abundant. This fork of the ]\Iedi- 
cine-Bon creek is said to be famous as a trapping ground for 
beaver. The Medicine-Bon butte, and the interval between it 
and the main Medicine-Bon range, is a noted region, in which 
the different bands of Indians — ^Sioux, Snakes, Utahs, Arapa- 
hoes and Cheyennes — settle their difficulties. Prom the fre- 
quency with which war parties of these different tribes are 
met, it behooves any party of whites passing through the coun- 
try to be well on their guard. 

Saturday, August 9, 1856. — Marched eight miles to find 
camp at the head of Pass creek, and under the Medicine-Bon 
butte, and to the south of it. There is good water here from 
the creek, and a fine body of good grass, which proves very 
acceptable after the short rations at West Medicine-Bon creek. 
The fuel is at some distance on the hills ; we were obliged to 
bring it in our wagons. The creek, I suppose, takes its name 
from the locality of its head, being in a pass between the 
Medicine-Bon butte and the main Medicine-Bon ridge. We 
experienced here very cold weather for the season ; ice form- 
ing in our tents at night. Today was again mostly taken up 
in shoeing animals which had loose shoes, and had become 
lame from the effects thereof. 

Sunday, August 10, 1856. — Remained in camp. 

Monday, August 11, 1856. — Crossing the creek, we fol- 
lowed an Indian trail leading down the right bank, until the 
hills came so close to the creek that we were obliged to take to 
the road again. This we had avoided as much as possible today, 
as it led over a succession of ascents and descents. Even after 
Ave entered the road again we were obliged, for about three 
miles, to make our way almost at right angles across the spurs 
coming down from the Medicine-Bon butte on our right. In 
some places the road ran over side hills so steep that it was 
necessary to hold up the wagons with ropes. Two wagons over- 
turned in making the passage. This three or four miles through 
the canon of Pass creek would retiuire a good deal of Avork, 
a week's work for a company. The road should foHow tlie creek 



32 ANXALS OF WYOMING 

more closely than the present one does, and when the hills 
come too close it might take the immediate valley crossing, and 
recrossing the creek as l)ecame necessary, and without diffi- 
culty, as there is a fine pebbly bottom. After leaving the canon 
the j)resent road keeps the left, or south bank of the creek. It 
might be changed to the north bank for some distance from 
the canon, and be improved. After leaving the canon the road 
is generally very good, being through a sage prairie, and over 
a hard, gravelly soil. We passed an emigrant's grave (Pickens',) 
at a good camping place, where the road touches the creek; 
kept on, making eleven miles to good grass and water and 
plenty of fuel. Sunday was spent making a reconnaissance of a 
pack trail, which it was supposed would furnish a better route 
than the road. This, however, proved not to be the ease, as 
the country was more broken, and would have required more 
work than tlirough tlie canon of Pass creek. 

Tuesday. August 12, 1856. — Eleven miles of travel this 
morning through sage bushes, and over a hard, gravelly soil, 
brought us to the North Platte, a beautiful mountain stream, 
flowing over large stones, pebbles, and gravel. The bottom of 
this stream is several hundred yards wide from the bluffs on 
one side to those on the other. The bluffs on the west, or left 
bank, at this point are not high, and are of earth ; those on the 
right bank are several hundred feet in height, and composed 
of layers of stone, and very steep. They enclose the river for 
miles, and render access to it. excejit at certain points, impos- 
sible for wheeled vehicles. The country for several miles back 
has been rolling, or rather in plateaus, one below another, as 
we approach the river. Over these wastes no vegetation is to 
be seen except the sage plant. The river bottom, in which w^e 
encamped, is wide and level, and furnishes tolerable grass for 
our animals. Fuel is abundant from the cotton-wood trees, 
whicli abound at this point. On the western bank there are sev- 
eral unfinislied houses. Tliese were put up for trading houses. 
but sul)se(|uently al)aiuloiied. as l)eing too much exposed to the 
assaults of hostile Indians. 

Wednesday, August 13, 1856. — Leaving the North Platte, 
and following the beaten road (Evans',) for about twelve miles, 
we came to a narrow stream running between steep banks, 
which we supposed to be Sage creek. The country over whicli 
we passed is a good deal broken and water washed, and mis- 
erably poor and desolate. It is almost entirely destitute of 
vegetation excei)t the sage plant, and an occasional tuft of 
grass, the intervals ])etween these lieing quite bare, or covered 
with fragments of broken stone and gravel. T' -^ sui-face is nuich 
cut up by gulleys and i-avines. and sudden descents from one 
plateau to another, which caused tiie road to wind a great 
deal. A sufficient amount of cutting to make a straight road 



DOCUMENTS AND LETTEES 33 

would involve a great deal of expense in such a desolate coun- 
try, so far from supplies of all kinds, and especially of forage. A 
few miles from the creek we left the road, and turned more to 
the left, towards the mountains, for the sake of grass for our 
animals, of which there was not a particle to be found on the 
creek, or anywhere else on the more level portion of the coun- 
try. After crossing the creek the surface of the country is more 
level and favorable for a road, still of the same clayey nature, 
however, and covered thickly with sage plant, which proves a 
great impediment to our animals and marching men. Some miles 
beyond the first creek we cross a small gully, with yellowish 
water standing in holes ; still not a particle of grass to be seen. 
Finding no grass, we made towards the mountains, which we 
reached about sunset, after a most fatiguing and wearying 
march of twenty-four miles over a loose soil and un])roken 
sage plants. The soil is very light, and soon gave plenty of 
dust, sinking under foot like snow, and fatiguing the marching 
mei'x. The mountain under which we encamped has its sides 
covered with aspen trees, and is supposed to be the Aspen 
mountains, mentioned by Captain Stansbury in his report on 
this part of the country. At its foot there is a beautiful stream 
of clear water, with a little grass on its banks. This stream is 
one of the heads of Sage creek, crossing the more level country 
to the main stream. Other small streams break from the sides 
of the hills, and on their heads we found sufficient grass for 
our almost starved animals. 

Thursday, August 14, 1856. — The trains remained in camp 
today to rest the animals, to give an opportunity to make a 
reconnaissance of the country ahead. As none of the guides 
had ever been through "Bridger's Pass," though they had been 
long in the mountains and in that part of the country, and as 
the appearance of the country did not tally with Captain Stans- 
bury's description of that about the Pass, we supposed that 
we had not struck the exact locality. The result of our exami- 
nations made us still more strongly of opinion that we were 
at a different point from that described as Bridger's Pass, but 
we could not be far off, and provided we could get through 
a practicable pass over to the western slope, it was not of much 
consequence as to the exact spot. I wished to go to the exact 
spot of course but there was not one of all the guides and 
mountain men who had ever heard of such a place. The Pass, 
as laid down on the map, appeared lietween the head of Sage 
creek, flowing eastwardly into the Platte, and Muddy creek, 
flowing westwardly into some of the branches of Green river. 
If an easy route could be found from Sage creek to INIuddy 
creek, it would answer all purposes. Accordingly, a party left 
camp, and climbing to the top of the hill before us. we found 
an open, smooth plateau, inclining gently to the west, and 



34 ■ ANNALS OF WYOMING 

answering the description given by Captain Stansbiiry of the 
country over which he travelled after leaving Muddy creek. 
Following the edge of this plateau in a westwardly direction, 
we found a valley on our right of two or three miles in width, 
having an appearance as if the high table land had been cut 
through from one side to the other. From the edge of the 
plateau the head prongs of Sage creek could be seen running 
eastwardly, and those of Muddy creek to the west, interlocking 
so closely that, at some distance, it was difficult to distinguish 
the channels of the two creeks. Thinking that through this 
valley lay the proper location of the road, we descended from 
the plateau and followed down the valley of Muddy creek for 
some distance, making sure that its waters flowed westwardly. 
On our return the valley was examined as to its practicability 
for passage by our wagons. The result of the examinations cor- 
resjionded witli our expectations, and it was determined to bring 
the train through on this route. 

Friday, August 15, 1856. — Left camp at six o'clock this 
morning, and after eight hours' marching and cutting on the 
banks of a few gulleys and small streams, found ourselves 
in camp on Muddy creek. The surface of the ground was very 
favorable, but the thick growth of sage was very much in our 
Avay, obstructing the passage of the wagons, and fatiguing men 
and animals very much. This, however, fonns no permanent ob- 
stacle, as. the passage of a few trains would soon break down 
the sage and cause it to disappear. In about seven miles we 
attained tlie liighest point of this valley. There is an ascent to 
this point, botii from the east and from the west, by keeping 
along the valleys of the small streams which run into Sage and 
Muddy creeks. The water in Muddy creek was running slowly ; 
some trout were taken in the pools of Muddy creek. The only 
grass in this part of the country lies along the small streams, 
where they issue from the hills. We found it necessary to herd 
our animals on those spots, in succession, no one place having 
sufficient for the whole of them. On tliis account, a large train 
could scarcely travel through this country, much less remain 
any time in it. If it did, it would be necessary to transport 
forage for its animals. The sage plant furnishes quantities of 
fuel, and of a good kind for cam]) purposes, being dry and 
easily kindled. Opposite to the summit there is a green place 
in the hills on the north, indicating a spring. Plere grass enough 
may be found for a small train for several days, and also in 
the dry hollow running into one of the heads of Sage creek. 
The soil is of clay, tlie surface to the south much cut up by 
water. Spurs from the liills on the south run nearly across the 
valley in some places, in othei's ridges run nearly parallel to 
tile genei'al course of the valley. These caused the road at some 
l)oints to wind a good deal. 



DOCUMENTS AND LETTEES 35 

Distance travelled today, twelve and three-quarter miles. 

Having thus completed the reconnaissance to Brido-er's 
Pass, or to the nearest practicable point to it so far as we could 
ascertain, gone through the Pass and encamped on the western 
slope on waters running into the Pacific streams, it only re- 
mained to find out on our return if there was any route pref- 
erable to that by Avhich we had come. We were forced to com- 
mence our return forthwith by fear of starvation for our ani- 
mals, so little subsistence of any kind does this region afford. 

Saturday, August 16, 1856. — Today retraced our steps of 
yesterday for about eight miles to a beautiful little valley, and 
camped in front of a growth of pines, where we found good 
grass, wood and water. 

Sunday, August 17, 1856. — Remained in camp. 

Monday, August 18, 1856. — After a march of three miles 
came opposite the camp of August 13 and 14. Here we turned 
to our left (north), instead of following the outward route. 
This change gave us an excellent road, much smoother than 
the route before followed, and nearer to the creek. This route 
inward has a few places where the banks have to be cut down, 
but it is generally much smoother, and better ground for travel- 
ing. There is less of the sage plant to be encountered, also. The 
camp was pitched on an island, in the North Platte, where there 
was plenty of good grass, water and fuel. Here it was deemed ad- 
visable to remain for a few days to rest our animals and burn 
coal for forge. The point where we are now encamped is some 
five miles below where we crossed the river on our outward 
route. The country is a scene of utter desolation as far as the 
eye can reach. High bluffs, deep ravines and a most sterile soil 
are the characteristics of the scene. The bluffs are composed 
mostly of clay, with layers of sandstones, and are formed by 
the action of water washing out the deep intervening ravines. 
The river near the camp is still enclosed by the same precipitous 
walls of rock, which permit ingress and egress only at certain 
points. As we had determined to examine the north side of 
Medicine-Bon butte, to avoid, if possible, the canon of Pass 
creek on the south side, this crossing of the river is very fa- 
vorable for our purpose. Captain Stansbury had already re- 
ported that a practical)le route existed to the north of the 
butte, but, as it had never been attempted with wagons, we 
hesitated somewhat to make the trial with so many teams. An 
examination in advance, however, showed where there was a 
practicable route, and it was determined to follow it. 

August 19, 20, 21. — Remained in. camp on the Platte. 

Friday, August 22, 1856. — After a very circuitous route 
tlirough the bluffs, and some work for the pioneers, we got 
on the level plateaux which hold on to the foot of the moun- 
tain. This gave a very level, straight road to Pass creek, where 



36 ANNA Lis OF WYOMING 

we encamped. At one point the inward and outward routes came 
close to each other; the former, though, is over much better 
ground. The bottom of Pass creek, where we encamped, is 
Avide, and affords abundance of nutritious grass. The water, 
too, is clear and of excellent flavor. Fuel, however, is scarce, 
most of what we used being buffalo chips and drift-wood. 
"Wood is more abundant liigher up the stream. 

Saturday, August 23, 1856. — Left our camp on Pass creek 
at 61/4 a. m., and marching on our course came, in a couple of 
miles, to the spurs running down from the Medicine-Bon butte. 
The ascent to the first of these hills was very gentle ; most of 
them were so. About four miles from camp there was one very 
difficult to ascend, and which obliged us to double teams. This 
was the only real obstruction on the route. The other obstacles 
were only such as were caused by small drains of ten or fifteen 
inches in depth, and the dense growth of sage plants. About 
eight miles ))roiight us to a small creek, which we think is the 
Rattlesnake creek of Captain Stansbury. Here a few minutes' 
work was necessary ; then following along the valley we turned 
up the valley of one of its affluents, and followed it to its di- 
vide from Elk creek. Descending on the eastern side of this 
divide we found ourselves in the broad grassy bottom of a 
small creek running from the IMedicine-Bon butte. It sinks in 
a marshy plain about a mile below our camp. Elk abounded in 
this vicinity, from which circumstance the creek gets its name. 
The grass on tliis creek, as on Pass creek, was good and abun- 
dant. Wood is in plenty, and tlie water excellent. 

Sunday. August 24, 1856. — ^Remained in camp. 

Monday, August 25, 1856. — March this morning seven and 
a (|uarter miles, to the west branch of Medicine-Bon creek. "VVe 
passed several small creeks during the march, which appeared 
to sink in the prairie at the distance of a mile or two from 
our crossing. They furnished abundance of wood, water, and 
grass of the best (luality. There were several ponds to our left 
(north), which appeared much fre(iuented by ducks and geese. 
After crossing the west fork of Medicine-Bon, we turned to 
the left down the creek, and found a camp ground where the 
grass was luxuriant. The crossing was of the same character 
as that above, the bottom of the creek being covered with large 
rounded stones. At this crossing there are several channels, 
most of which are dry. The valley here is narrow, and shut in 
by liigh bluffs. 

Tuesday, August 26, 1856. — Left camp tliis morning at six 
o'chx'k, and ascending from the narrow, deep valley of the 
west fork, Ave emerged upon an open plain, and, keeping our 
course, reached in about eight miles, a small running stream 
at the foot of some bluffs. Bridging this with little difficulty, 
we were obliged to clear away some loose stones, and then 



DOCUMENTS AND LETTEES 37 

ascended the bluffs without trouble. Country then became 
rolling, and easily passed to Birch creek, where the ascent 
from the bed of the creek was difficult an account of loose 
stones and boulders. These were cleared away, and, after as- 
cending-, we kept on the course for a few miles, and, on the 
top of a ridge, came in sight of the outward road near Aspen 
creek. Bearing towards it, we came into the road, and camped 
on the creek at one o'clock. Where the new road comes into 
the old one, a pile of stones was made and a flag-staff put in. 
This will mark the point of divergence by the two routes of 
the north and south sides of the Medicine-Bon butte. From the 
camp on Muddy creek to this camp the return route is shorter 
by three and a half miles, and is, besides, much better provided 
with wood, water, and grass, and a better surface to travel 
over. The grass at this camp is thin and much parched. 

August 27 and 28. — Followed the emigrant road by which 
we went out ; camped on the 28th on the west fork of Laramie, 
about a mile above where we camped on our outward route. 
No fuel, except a little scattered drift-wood. Higher up the 
stream there is wood, and in the mountain from which this 
stream flows there is plenty of pine timber. The bottom of the 
west fork is very extensive, and much cut up by small streams. 
The soil is clayey, and lying Ioav, is very liable to overflow in 
wet weather, and to make travelling over it difficult. Grass, 
wood, and water are found in abundance at the head of this 
stream, and would furnish a post plentifully. 

Friday, August 29, 1856. — Followed the emigrant road to- 
day, which is excellent, being over smooth, hard, gravelly soil, 
and very straight. Arrived in camp on East Laramie at 12 m., 
where we found excellent grass and water, and some fuel fur- 
nished by cotton-wood trees, of which there are a few scat- 
tered along the river. This stream furnished fish, of which the 
men caught a large supply. 

Saturday, August 30, 1856. — Marched today over an ex- 
cellent road to camp on a ridge lying between the head of two 
branches of the east fork of Laramie. The road crosses the 
branch on which we are encamped some distance l)elow camp, 
making quite a bend to the south. This bend could be avoided 
by crossing the creek higher up, and o])taining just as good a 
location, though at the expense of cutting. Our camp is abun- 
dantly and excellently supplied with wood, water, and grass; 
Avood is mostly of willow and as])en. 

Sunday, August 31, 1856. — Remained in camp. 

Monday, September 1, 1856. — Left eam]i at the usual hour; 
the road, considering the nature of the country, is a very good 
one. It is circuitous, crosses many small streams, affluents of 
Cache la Poudre, and has some hills, where the pulling is some- 
what difficult. But for a mountainous, broken country, it is 



38 ANNALS OF WYOMING 

very g'ood, tiiou<j;]i there are several places where it might be 
improved, either by working it or by a change of location for 
a few rods. The rocks are granitic, and the soil partakes of the 
same character, and forms a fine hard road bed. The country 
today has not been equalled in its broken character, except by 
the Pole Creek pass, through the Black hills. Even there, I 
think, the scenery is inferior to this. Made our camp on a small 
branch of the Cache la Poudre. Wood is scarce immediately at 
the camp, but plentiful at a short distance; water clear and 
good ; grass thin and a good deal parched and dry. 

Tuesday, September 2, 1856. — Crossing easily the creek on 
which we were encamped, and ascending a hill which offered 
little obstruction, we kept on over a very good road for some 
six or seven miles, to a creek on which were encamped a band 
of Arapahoes, under Little Owl, one of their chiefs. At the 
crossings of the small drains the road was encuml)ered with 
loose stones, which should be removed for a good road. This 
is caused partly by the l)reaking aAvay of the earth and partly 
by stones and gravel brought down from the hills by heavy 
rains. These would always render these crossings rough and 
filled with stones. Bridges would obviate the difficulty, but 
there is not water enough, nor are these places sufficiently 
difficult of passage to warrant such an expense. A little beyond 
the Arapahoe camp the road wound through a narrow gorge 
and up a hill covered with loose stones, causing very severe 
labor to our animals for a short time. There was no avoiding 
this place, as a deep canon of great extent prevented us from 
turning it. A little labor would make a good road up the hill. 
The rest of the route for this day was good to another branch 
of Cache la Poudre, where we found wood and water good and 
al)undant. The grass, however, is thin and dry. This is a fa- 
voi'ile camping ])lace for emigrants from Arkansas and Texas. 

Wednesday, September 3, 1856. — Our road today ran 
through a valley all tlie way, bounded on both sides by rough 
hills. It is somewhat winding, frecjuently crossed by small 
drains, wliicli are rougli from being water-washed and the 
loose stones left on the surface of the ground. These only re- 
(|uire to be removed to make an excellent road. The banks of 
the drains re(iuire to be smoothed somewhat, but every heavy 
rain would wash them again and make them rougli. Most of 
these drains flow from our right to the left into a large, dry, 
hollow, wiiich crosses the road and empties into the creek. The 
creek itself, whicli is the main stream of Cache la Poudre, comes 
from the hills on our right. At ten o'clock we camped on it, at a 
point well pi-ovided with wood and grass. The bottom here is 
very extensive, and would furnish numy tons of hay. Timber 
could also be obtained from the adjacent hills. This point 
possesses many of the requisites for a good military site, when- 



DOCUMENTS AND LETTERS 39 

ever it shall be deemed requisite to station troops in this part 
of the country. 

Thursday, September 4, 1856. — Left camp at six o'clock, 
and in the course of a mile the road led through a narrow, steep 
defile. We found some difficulty in getting through our wag- 
ons from the steep ascent, but, as the cutting here would not 
be difficult, it would not take long to make an easy grade for 
wagons. From this defile we emerged into an open prairie 
country, and, turning the hill on our right, came again to 
Cache la Poudre, which we crossed, the bottom being here, as 
elsewhere, covered with loose round stones, making the crossing 
laborious and difficult. Thence our route lay through the val- 
ley of the creek for twelve miles, and on its right bank. Crossing 
again, we camped on the left bank, after a march of fifteen 
miles, and having good grass, wood and water in abundance. 
The right was preferred, as we obtained on that bank a smooth- 
er and straighter road, avoiding crossing Box Elder creek, 
which comes into Cache la Poudre from the east, and was 
reported to be deep and miry. The bottoms of Cache la Poudre 
are wide and beautiful, and the soil good. 

Friday, September 5, 1856. — Today continued on our way 
down the left bank of Cache la Poudre, which furnished us a 
smooth, hard road. The soil today was poor, producing little 
vegetation, and consisted mostly of reddish sand and gravel. 
Occasionally the surface was thickly covered with dwarf 
prickly pears, making the marching difficult and painful for 
our men and animals. Banks of the creek today have been 
steep and high, in places resembling bluffs. Camped on the 
creek about three miles fram the South Platte, of which it is 
a tributary. Grass and fuel abundant. 

Sa^turday, September 6, 1856. — Marched today over a very 
smooth prairie, bordering on Cache la Poudre and the South 
Platte, to our camp on the river at the mouth of Crow creek, 
where we had an abundance of the requisites — wood, water, 
and grass. 

Sunday, September 7, 1856. — Remained in camp. 

Monday, September 8, 1856. — Remained in camp. The 
papty which had been sent to explore Crow creek not having 
come in the night before, it arrived in good health and condi- 
tion today at 11 o'clock. 

Tuesday, September 9, 1856. — Left camp at six o'clock, 
and, crossing the dry bed of Crow creek, directly afterwards 
crossed the South Piatte. Crow creek is dry for about twelve 
miles from its mouth. At this point is a spring, and above 
water is to be met with in holes. At the forks there is a little 
timber. On the east side of the mouth of Crow creek there are 
the remains of some adobe trading houses. The Platte crossing 
is at this time a very good ford, and we passed over with- 



40 ANNALS OF AVYOMING ' 

out any difficulty. These fords of the Platte, however, are very 
variable, being liable to be injured by the flood in the spring, 
and in some instances to be entirely destroyed, so that where 
fords have been (|iiicksand bottom is found in place of them. 
Our road down the Platte today was mostly good and smooth, 
the greatest difficulty arising from the extensive beds of 
prickly i^ear during the first part of the march, and afterAvards 
from the sandy nature of the soil. The route lay over an Indian 
trail for the greater part of the distance, and has lieen used at 
times l)y the wagons of Indian traders. 

Wednesday, September 10, 1856. — Left camp at the usual 
hour, and marching along the Platte over a very rolling country 
composed of loose sand, made 11^2 miles to camp, having dur- 
ing the day crossed the wide sandy bed of Kiowah creek. The 
banks are high, and the road winds along the sandy slope to 
find a crossing. The creek is dry at this point, l)ut about twen- 
ty-five miles above it is a beautiful running stream, with tim- 
bered banks and wide, grassy bottoms. 

Thursday, September 11, 1856. — Continued our march to- 
day over an excellent road to Bijou creek, a distance of eleven 
miles. The surface of the ground was undulating, and the soil 
of sand, which was the only drawback ; but this \vas not so 
loose or deep as yesterday, but afforded a fine hard road bed. 
We confined ourselves to the lodge trail, as it Avas generally 
straight and lay in our course. In fact, it would have been dan- 
gerous to deviate from it, as large tracts on either side are 
densely covered Avith prickly pear, Avhich Avould have proved 
very injurious to our mules. Bijou creek is here a small 
stream, Avith a Avide sandy bed ; the Avater is slightly brackish. 
As Avith KioAvah creek, it is a fine stream nearer to its head 
than Avhere Ave crossed it, though even there it is better than 
Kiowah creek. 

Friday, September 12, 1856.— Still kept the trail today 
along tlie river, and at the end of l-iM> miles camped on the 
river just above the mouth of Beaver creek. Our road for to- 
day Avas remai'kably fine, being OA'er a Avide open plain and a 
hard gravelly soil. At this camp there Avere several bodies of 
dead Indians sus]iended in trees and lodges. 

Saturday, September 13, 1856. — Marched today, 14 miles, 
to tiie point Avhere Ave intend to leave the river. The route still 
folloAved the Indian trail, and lay over a country smooth, and 
was covered Avith grass, and of a hard gravelly soil. There is 
now nothing like Avood to be found on the riA^er, except a feAV 
small AvilloAvs. A tree is A-ery rarely to be seen. Our course to- 
day Avas nearly northeast to our camp on the river. AYe leave 
the river at this point to cross over to the Rei)ublican fork of 
Kaw I'iver. anticipating a dreary niarcli over sand hills and 
elav ravines. 



DOCUMENTS AXD LETTERS 41 

Sunday, September 14, 1856. — Remained in camp. The 
water here, in the river, is nowhere more than 18 inches. One 
of the men of the party, Frederick Bortheaux, died here at 
10^2 a- 111-, aiic^ ^vas buried at one o'clock, on a ridge to the 
rear of the camp. 

Monday, September 15, 1856. — Leaving the river, we 
marched for two or three miles over a good road, then into a 
belt of sand hills. The sand here, no doubt, is easily moved 
by winds, except when covered and protected by grass. Pass- 
ing this sandy range, we came to a flat sandy prairie, covered 
with dog holes and gopher hills. A short distance after passing 
the sand hills was a large pond, apparently of permanent 
water. On our arrival we found this pond covered with ducks. 
Five or six miles further over an alternation of sandy flats and 
slopes brought us to our camp, on the headwaters of a creek 
tributary of the Platte. It has a sand bottom, and is thoroughly 
dry, ex'cept at its head, where a small stream is running, and 
there is Avater in holes. Wagons are apt to bog on crossing the 
bed of this creek. HoAvever, there is no necessity for this, as 
the creek can be turned by its head. The grass at this camp is 
only tolerable, water good, and fuel, except buffalo chips, en- 
tirely wanting. The road today, though heavy, is much better 
than was expected, and, in fact, Avould do very well for trains 
crossing from the Republican to the Platte. 

Tuesday, September 16, 1856. — Ascending from the val- 
ley of the creek up Avhich we were encamped, we came upon 
a high rolling prairie, surface hard and smooth. For the first 
mile or two, the character of the country was wild, from the 
deep ravines and precipitous banks, caused by the action of 
the water. We passed on, however, without the slightest trou- 
ble or difficulty, and came to a gently undulating prairie, cov- 
ered in many places with a luxuriant growth of buffalo grass. 
At several points the water was standing in holes ; the grass 
in these places was green and good. Continuing our march 
over this pleasantly undulating surface, we came, at the end 
of about twelve miles, to a creek with bluff banks, in which 
Avater was .standing in holes, on which we encamped. Dog 
towns were passed today. Near the camp was one of these 
towns, which was thickly inhal)ited. The water in one of the 
holes of the creek was brackish ; the others, however, furnished 
very good drinking water, though it was too Avarm. This camp 
Avas Avell supplied Avith good grass; fuel, except buffalo chips, 
Avholly Avanting. The road travelled today is over a fine hard 
surface, and if Avater can ahvays be had, wliich is someAvhat 
dou])tful, Avould make a very good route. 

Wednesday, September 17, 1856. — Leaving tlie valley of 
the creek on which we Avere encamped, we presently found 
ourselves on a Avide open praii-ie. About a mile and a lialf from 



42 ANXALS OF WYOMING 

camp, and about four liuiidred yards to the left, there was a 
large pond of water, which appeared to be deep, and was cov- 
ered with ducks when we ])assed. From this point the coun- 
try presented almost a dead level, so slight were the undula- 
tions. The ground was fine, hard, and level, and composed 
mostly of fine sand covered thickly with weeds. Grass was 
very scarce. At fourteen miles from camp, we arrived at a hol- 
low where there was a little water, but not enough to camp 
on. Continuing' our march, we came, at the end of twenty-two 
or three miles, to the foot of a range of sand hills, which rise 
between us and Rock creek ; passing these, which were cov- 
ered several miles across, we descended into the valley of a 
branch of Rock creek. This was a dry hollow, destitute of 
wood, grass, and water. Good grass was thinly scattered over 
the sand hills; but as there was no water, and the sand was 
too loose to liold picket pins, we did not dare to encamp here. 
Continuing our march four or five miles further, we arrived 
at another hollow, also belonging to Rock creek, where there 
was water on springy ground covered with rushes and toler- 
able marsh grass. Here we encamped at 8 p. m., after a march 
of thirty-five miles. The range of sand hills is composed of 
loose sand, which, but for the grass, would be easily moved by 
the winds. The travel through these hills is very fatiguing to 
our draught animals. 

Thursday, September 18, 1856. — Remained in camp to re- 
cruit our animals after the fatigue of the long march of yes- 
terday. 

Friday, September 19, 1856. — A march of eight miles this 
morning brought us to the crossing of the main Rock creek. 
Here it is a beautiful stream, flowiiig over a sandy bed, about 
eight or ten inches deep, and six or eight feet wide. It comes 
in from behind a ridge on our right. This ridge forms the di- 
vide between Rock creek aiul the tributary on which we were 
encamped yesterday. Today our route is over a barren sandy 
soil, slightly covered with cactus and weeds of different kinds. 
The ground was fine and rolling, making us a good road. Rock 
creek runs under rocky bluffs composed of material similar to 
that making the bluffs on Pole creek. It is very fine sand 
mixed with lime aiul limestones, and, in other instances, mostly 
made up of gravel from granite rocks; color, a yellowish white. 
Crossing the creek without difficulty, we kept down its right 
bank for about a mile, and then crossing a small spring branch 
coming from tiie bluff, we nuule our camj) on the bank of the 
main stream. The bottom of this stream is well supplied Avith 
excclleiit grass. Fuel very scarce indeed; mostly buffalo chips. 

Saturday, September 20, 1856. — Today marched down the 
creek for seven miles, when, meeting quite a large party of 
Chevennc Indians, and the skv threatening rain or snow, we 



DOCUMENTS AND LETTEES 43 

turned into the creek and made our camp. Our way lay along 
the creek bottom under the bluffs, and was mostly a good 
road for wagons, as it was over a large lodge trail. A little 
cutting was requisite here and there, bvit not much. The bluffs 
in one or two places came close to the creek, which is very 
tortuous in its course. Once or twice we thought of taking the 
high prairie, but, on inspecting the surface, it was found to be 
so cut up with deep ravines as to deter us. The Cheyennes 
whom we met were at first disposed to proceed to hostilities; 
some of them, in fact, had formed part of the band which was 
attacked by Captain Stuart a short time before. On discover- 
ing the strength of the party, however, and that it was pre- 
pared to receive them, they concluded to be friends. Thej^ Avere 
not allowed to enter the camp, the commander of the escort, 
Major Armistead. stationing sentinels to prevent them. At half 
past ten o'clock a cold steady rain set in, which lasted nearly 
48 hours, making our situation extremely disagreeable, as there 
was no fuel but buffalo chips, which cannot be used during wet 
weather. The bluffs on this creek, so far, are almost entirely 
confined to the right bank of the creek, only rolling hills ap- 
pearing on the other side, of various degrees of steepness. 
Stone in these bluffs is composed of fine sand, lime, and coarse 
gravel, and is very friable. 

Sunday, September 21, 1856. — Remained in camp. 

Monday, September 22. — Still keeping the right bank, we 
found an excellent smooth road all along the bottom. At the 
end of about nine miles we arrived at the junction of Rock 
creek with the Arickaree fork of the Republican. Made our 
camp about a mile below the junction of the two streams, 
having crossed Rock creek and found a convenient place on 
the left bank of the stream, resulting from the junction of 
these two. Road today very good and smooth. A few miles 
from camp this morning the rock bluffs ceased on our right, 
and undulating hills appeared on both sides of the creek. The 
grass on Rock creek is abundant. The stream widens to quite 
a river, much resembling the Platte both in its bed and in its 
bottom. No fuel to be found, except a little drift-Avood, which 
we secured at the mouth of Rock creek; soil sandy. After 
crossing Rock creek, and for some time before, the hills on 
the left bank became high and more abrupt and precipitous. 
They were entirely of sand, witli a thin covering of grass. 

Tuesday, September 23, 1856. — Left camp this morning 
in a very heavy fog, and crossed the river (the Arickaree fork) 
within half a mile. The bottom was soft from recent rains, but 
nevertheless easily passable. Route today lay along the bot- 
tom of the Arickaree fork, which afforded excellent ground 
to travel over. Occasionally our progress would be retarded 
by one of those deep ravines, with almost vertical banks, which 



44 AXXALS OF WYOMING 

are so common in this country. It was necessary to expend two 
or three hours of labor in cutting and grading the banks at 
each of these places. These ravines could not be avoided by 
crossing the river, as it is at this place, and in fact through- 
out nearly its whole extent, of a quicksand bottom. Even in- 
dividuals found it difficult to get single animals across with- 
out bogging in it. On the left bank of the river rough looking 
sand hills come close down to the water's edge. They are also 
to our right, on the right bank of the stream, and would no 
doubt be very difficult to pass over. The secondary bottom 
of the stream affords a much better locality for a road. There 
are traces here and there of wagons, probably those of traders 
with, the Indians who spend the summer on the Republican. 
The soil passed over today seems to be of sand, and at inter- 
vals the water cuts ravines with precipitous banks, which al- 
ways require more or less labor before trains can pass. 

Wednesday, September 24, 1856. — Today we had a very 
easy march for twelve miles along the bottom of the Arickaree 
fork. The route lay mostly over very smooth, level ground, 
avoiding the sand hills to our right. This bottom was, in places, 
very soft from recent rains, but in dry weather is easily pas- 
sable. The hills are not to be thought of for a road, as on both 
sides of the river they are rugged and irregular, and composed 
almost entirely of loose sand. Arrived at 11 o'clock at the Re- 
pu))lican fork, which we crossed without difficulty, although 
we had feared it would prove miry and full of quicksands. To- 
day the first clump of timber was seen which has appeared 
since we left the Platte ; it was on the Republican fork, and to 
the right of our crossing. Camped at the crossing of the Re- 
publican. 

Thursday, September 25, 1856. — Continuing over a range 
of barren sand hills, we found ourselves, at the end of half a 
mile, in tlie liottom of the Republican, Avhich gave us an ex- 
cellent travelling ground; here and there, as usual, it was 
necessary to grade the bank of a ravine before crossing, but 
nothing more serious impeded us. Timber appeared in clumps 
today, both on the right and left bank of the river; these were 
always in hollows. At 11 o'clock a creek was crossed, which 
had a good deal of drift-AVood scattered on its banks, indicat- 
ing a supply of timber near its head ; indeed, a quantity could 
be seen from the ])oint where we crossed it. It is called by the 
Indians P>ig Timber creek. A few miles further we crossed a 
spur of the sand hills, and, entering a wide, grassy bottom, 
camped near a grove of cotton Avoods, which furiushed an 
abundance of dry fuel. 

The sand bluffs just below this camp came close into the 
river, and nearly 100 feet in height. The whole country on both 
sides of the river appears to be confused and broken masses 



DOCUMENTS AND LETTERS 45 

of sand hills, composed of pure sand of various degrees of 
coarseness, and seemingly only retained in place by its cover- 
ing of grass ; even this is wanting in some spots, and the pure 
white sand appears. Being loose, it is excessively annoying to 
travellers when the wind blows, being then raised in clouds. 
The river bottom, as far as we can judge from what we have 
seen, offers the only location for a road. Todaj^ we have again 
reached the region of game, buffalo and antelope having been 
killed. As we descend the river the country seems to loose 
something of the desolate character which has marked it since 
we left the Platte. 

Friday, September 26, 1856. — Continuing oar march 
through the grove of cotton-woods, at the end of half a mile, 
we mounted a ridge, which ran parallel to the bluffs, and thus 
passed the bend cf the river without difficulty. This bend we 
feared would force us to cross the river — an operation of some 
danger and difficulty, as the quicksands are numerous. Having 
passed the bend, we marched for one or two miles through 
rough sand hills, which fatigued and wearied our animals no 
little. Leaving the sand hills, the river bottom gave us a smooth, 
hard road. This bottom was well covered with grass, and had 
a gentle inclination to the river. On the stream and on the 
creeks coming in on the left bank there was plenty of cotton- 
wood timber. Here might be made a camp for several companies 
of cavalry for some weeks, as wood, grass, and water are all 
convenient, and this point is, moreover, the furthest west on 
the river where these three requisites are found. It is, too, in 
the very home of the Cheyennes, who claim this valley as their 
particular hunting ground, and threaten to prevent the whites 
from passing along the river. Buffaloes were seen in abundance 
today. Passing over more creeks, which again caused delay 
in preparing its banks, a few miles over a very level country 
brought us to our camp on the river, where we found plenty 
of good grass and fuel. 

Saturday, September 27, 1856. — Today a march of thirteen 
and a half miles brought us to our camp ; country smooth ; occa- 
sionally a gully or ravine would delay us for a short time. Tlie 
landscape improves visibly as we descend the river. More clay 
appears in the soil than previously. Several wooded gullies 
appear on the other side of the river. About three miles from 
camp a large creek with treeless banks appeared on the other 
side of the river. On examination it was found to contain more 
water than the Republican itself; this led us to suppose that this 
might be the Frenchman's fork, or Viho Mappy of tlie Indians. 
Camped at 12 o'clock above the mouth of a creek coming in 
on the north side of the river. Its banks were heavily timbered 
with elm, ash, hickory, &c. 



46 ANXALR OF WYOMING 

Sunday, September 28, 1856. — Train remained today in 
camp. Examined today the lar^ie creek on the north side of the 
Republican, and found it larger and deeper than the Republican 
it.self. No trees are near its mouth, but clumps of cotton-woods 
appear five or six miles further up. Several smaller streams 
came into it from above. At fifteen miles from its mouth are 
the forks. These, according to an Indian guide, rise about thir- 
ty-five miles from the Platte, at the mouth of Pole creek. An 
Indian trail runs along this stream, and from its head over 
to the Platte, touching in the interval at several water holes. 
The soil along the banks of this stream is sandy ; few trees 
appear. Fuel consists mostly of buffalo chips. 

Monday, September 29, 1856. — Still keeping the right bank 
of the Republican, Ave reached, at 11 o'clock, the creek (Beaver) 
with very deep cut and vertical banks, and well wooded. Sev- 
eral liours being necessary to prepare a crossing, we camped 
on the river, near the mouth of this creek. Near the mouth the 
banks were soft and water deep ; at the crossing there was 
little or no water. About halfway of today's march, the Indian 
trail followed by us ran into the river. At this point the river 
was close in under the bluffs, not leaving room for a wagon 
road at the bottom, thus forcing us to cross the stream or to 
pass over the hills. We took the latter alternative, after ex- 
amining the river and finding the bottom too soft and miry 
to trust to. Some cutting was necessary in one or two places, 
and the route over the hills and heading deep hollows was cir- 
cuitous, with several ascents and descents ; but there was little 
of it. Passing this place, we struck on to the broad prairie, 
Avliich continued to the creek, near which we encamped. 

Tuesday, September 30, 1856. — Crossing the creek this 
morning, our way still lay on the right bank of the river, which 
affords us an excellent hard road. At 10 o'clock, having a 
creek with steep banks in front, the route inclined a little to 
the left, so as to cross lower down where the banks were not so 
high, and so, for a short time, left the secondary plateaux for 
the river bottom. Pr()l)ably the detour may be avoided at the 
expense of some cutting. At 12 o'clock we reached a point 
where the river runs close under vertical bluffs ; this forced 
us to cross the hills. The detour thus made w^as about four miles, 
and l)rouglit us to the river about tAvo miles beloAV Avliere we 
left it. Our camp today Avas pitched in a small nook in the 
hills, Avhere we were very much crowded. Grass A'ery poor 
and scarce. The hills and rough ground now appear to keep 
close on the right bank of the i-ivei". Hitherto they have been 
confiiuHl mostly to the left bank, leaving excellent country 
for a road on the riglit bank. 

Wednesday, October 1, 1856. — This morning Ave crossed 
the river iiiiiiie(liatel\" at the camp, and marched for six or 



DOCUMENTS AND LETTEES • 47 

seven miles along the left bank to our camp on the bank of a 
creek. The river had here a hard, fine bottom, and we crossed 
without difficulty, the water at this time reaching only to the 
axle-trees of the wagons. We were compelled to cross at this 
point, as our Delaware guides report that the bluffs now 
mostly are on the right bank, and that the face of the country 
is generally rough. The bottoms, or smooth, level grounds, 
are now to be found on the left bank. The hills slope away 
gradually from the river. The creeks which we passed yester- 
day, and the one crossed today, are reported by the Delaware 
guides as long streams, Avell wooded, and with running water. 
They head within fifteen miles of the Platte, and a supply 
of wood and water for a route from the one to the other of 
these two streams. The creek called the Beaver creek by the 
Delawares, and which is supposed to be identical with the 
Prairie Dog creek of Colonel Fremont, is also a very long 
stream, taking its rise very near to the "Point of Rocks." 

Thursday, October 2, 1856, — Made today ten miles down 
the left bank of the Republican, over an excellent country for 
a road. At eight miles from camp arrived at the banks of a 
large creek ; water about three feet in depth and twenty feet 
in width. It is reported to be a very long stream, having plenty 
of timber on its banks. It rises very near to the Platte river. 
Today both sides of the Republican offer smooth country for 
a road. For the last four days our progress has been much re- 
tarded by the almost total absence of grass, a want which tells 
seriously on our animals. The soil is good and produces abun- 
dantly, but the number of buffaloes which have pastured here 
during the summer have left very little for the animals of 
travellers. 

Friday, October 3, 1856. — Continued our way down the Re- 
publican ; country same as yesterday ; grass everywhere eaten 
off by buffaloes. The soil is good, and in many places thickly 
covered by large sunflower plants. Passed, about the middle 
of today's march, a deep creek, which cost about two hours' 
labor to prepare for crossing. It was called "Parsnip creek," 
from the quantities of that vegetable growing wild on its 
banks. Striking from this crossing into the river, we found 
a sandy soil and no grass; afterwards a good camp was found 
at a spring branch running into a creek where there was a suf- 
ficiency of grass for our train. The party examining the right 
bank of the river report a very rough country, which forced 
them to keep some distance from the stream — a very serious 
difficulty, as most of the subsistence for our animals lies on 
the river. 

The character of the Repu])lican continues the same as it 
has been described for the last three or four days up to the 
point where we left it to cross over to the Platte on our out- 



48 ANXALR OF WYOMING 

ward route. It is, for the most part, a wide, level l)ottom, lying: 
generally considerably higher than the river. It is intersected by 
many creeks, which are deeply cat and have very steep banks. 
These occur, sometimes, every mile or two ; sometimes every 
three or four miles. The banks are generally well wooded with 
ash, elder, box elder &c. From their number and the steepness 
of their banks we were much retarded in our march. Almost 
all of them reciuired an hour's labor to prepare their banks 
for crossing', and some of them two and three hours. 

The ))ottoms of this river afford subsistence to immense 
herds of buffaloes and elks. The Cheyennes, Comanches and 
Kiowahs make it their favorite hunting- ground, and on that 
account have repeatedly expressed their intention of preventing 
the making of any road along the river. I suppose it Avould, 
therefore, be necessary to overawe them by posts, in case a 
route was laid out along this valley, as they would stop trains 
and rob them, if they did no worse. Fortunately, the nature 
of tlie country is such that many favorable points for the loca- 
tion of posts may be found, and the fertility of the soil would 
very soon attract settlers, if they were once assured of pro- 
tection. As compared with the valley of the Platte, this valley 
is much superior, either for the establishment of posts or set- 
tlements. The Platte valley furnishes no wood for fuel or for 
building, and no cultivable soil. The creeks Avhich run into the 
Republican are numerous, and the banks of all of them are 
well timbered with hard woods. The l)ottom, also, at many 
points, is of great fertility. 

On the 8th of October I left the main body of the train, 
taking witli me a party for the reconnaissance of the Solomon's 
fork of the Kaw river and the country l)etween it and the Re- 
publican. After my dejiarrure the reconnaissance and survey 
were carried on by ]\Ir. John Lambert. Upon him. also, devolved 
the reconnaissance and survey of a route along Pawnee creek, 
from the Platte to the Black hills, and of one along Crow 
creek, from tlie Hlack hills to tlie Platte. 

Report of the Reconnaissance of the Country Along Solomon's 
Fork, and of That Between Solomon's Fork and the Republican. 

On tlie Sth of (X-tober 1 left the train with a jiarty of men 
jn'ovided witii pack-mules for the transportation of tlie provi- 
sions, &c. We crossed the river a little l)elow our camp of the 
Sth. The water was about IS inches deep, and bottom firm. We 
made, by estimate, 22V^ miles over a high rolling prairie; soil 
was genei'ally good and covered with curly buffalo grass. At 
ten miles from the Republican crossed a large creek called by 
the Delawares Peaver creek ; it was about three feet deep and 
twenty feet wide. The water resembled that of the Republican 
in color and taste; banks steej) and of clay. Leaving this, we 



DOCUMENTS AND LETTERS 49 

kept on for 12 miles, over similar country, to Wolf's creek, 
where we camped ; wood, g'rass and water convenient. 

Thursday, October 9, 1856. — Travelling', this morning, over 
the same high rolling country, we came, in 8 or 12 miles, to the 
banks of a creek, a tributary of Solomon's fork. Crossing this 
creek, we followed the right l)ank, over a level bottom, for ten 
miles further. Crossing then, we made our camp at the end of 
1914 miles of travel. The country passed over today is a good 
deal cut up by water ; buffalo grass covers it. Limestone ap- 
pears in several places cropping out, and, where the ground is 
cut, beds of shell and fragments of limestone are seen. The soil 
contains a good deal of clay, and in the hollows are seen strata 
of blue clay iiulurated. 

Friday, October 10, 1856. — Remained today in camp, de- 
tained by a storm of wind and rain. 

Saturday, October 11, 1856. — Left our camp today at 1 
o'clock, and kept our way for about ten miles, to camp on the 
left bank of the creek whose course we had been following. 
The country is very favorable for a road, the only obstacles 
being occasionally a creek with precipitous banks. These are 
easily crossed, though, after a little labor. The country is still 
high prairies, covered with a short buffalo grass, which is 
eagerly eaten by our animals. 

Sunday, October 12, 1856. — Our route today is still over 
the same kind of country, crossing many of the affluents of 
the creek which we are following. These affluents are all of 
the same character, the beds lying very deep, banks very steep, 
and now, from recent rains, very slippery to descend and 
ascend. The soil contains much clay. A good deal of labor must 
be expended at these crossings to make a good road for wagons: 
but these places are the only obstacles presented. Camped on 
Solomon's fork, about three miles below the mouth of the creek 
which we have followed during the day. Solomon 's fork was 
for a long distance witli high bluffs on its right bank; on the 
left, wide bottoms, covered with the red top grass, affording 
excellent pasturage to the immense herds of buffaloes which 
frequent this stream. The banks where we touched the river, 
beyond camping, are very high, almost vertical, and mucli 
worn by water. 

Monday, October 13, 1856. — Detained in camp l)y rainy 
weather. 

Tuesday, October 14, 1856. — Continued our way down the 
left bank of the river, keeping generally on the level, lying be- 
tween what is called the river bottom and tlie hills. This gives 
an excellent location for a road, the only obstacles l)eing tlu^ 
numerous creeks Avhich are met with at distances from eacli 
other of from three to five miles. Camped at 3 o'clock, being: 
well provided with excellent grass. 



50 ANNALS OF WYOMING 

Wednesday, October 15, 1856. — Getting out of camp this 
inorning, we left the hills behind ns covered Avith buffaloes. 
Strata of fossilliferous limestone appeared on the crests of 
these hills. As we descend the river, the face of the country im- 
proves vastly ; broad bottoms appear covered with a luxuriant 
growth ; the soil is of a rich black mould, covered with a thick 
growth, in places, of large sunflower plants. Many creeks were 
passed today, whose banks were heavily timbered with oak, 
ash, elm, and other hard woods. Occasionally we distinguished 
creeks coming in on the other side of the river, though, from 
our distance from the river, no doubt many escaped our ob- 
servation. The country today has been very beautiful and 
fertile, resembling much that lying about the .Pottawatomie 
Mission in eastern Kansas. Buffaloes are so abundant that no 
notice is taken of them, except when it is necessary to kill one 
for a supply of fresh meat. 

Thursday, October 16, 1856. — The country travelled today 
continues of the same character as yesterday, wide fertile bot- 
toms intersected by deep lying creeks ; the bottoms are covered 
with red grass, as yet not touched by buffaloes. The bluffs on 
this side of the river have sunk to mere swells, well covered 
with grass. On the other side they are precipitous and close 
to the river, rendering that side unfavorable for the location 
of a road. Several bands of antelopes appeared today, but they 
were not molested, as there was plenty of fresh meat in the 
camp. Camped today at 3 o'clock in a fine bottom, well pro- 
tected from the Avind and easy of access to the water. 

Friday, October 17, 1856. — Travelling through the same 
kind of country as yesterday, and still along the left bank, we 
camped at 3 o'clock. Except at one point, where they come close 
to the river, the bluffs have sunk to mere swells in the prairie. 
0)1 the other side they are still at times precipitous, and close 
to the river. 

Saturday, October 18, 1856. — ^Keeping our course still 
down the river aiul over the same wide and well grassed bot- 
toms, Ave arrived at one o'clock at the point of junction of this 
river Avith the KaAV, liaA'ing first crossed the road made last 
year fi-om Fort Kiley to the Arkansas riA'er, and thus termi- 
nated this rcconiuiissance. For some miles back the grass has ap- 
peared burnt up, and encamiinu'nts must ])e sought close to 
the river's edge for the sake of the animals. The banks of the 
Solomon's fork are generally very high and precipitous, and 
it is only at certain points that encamj)ments can be made con- 
veniently, on account of the difficulty of Avatering the animals 
of a party. The left ])ank of the river presents many favorable 
c'ircnmstances for the making of a road and many inducements 
for settlements. The face of the country is faA^oi'able; soil 
fertile and iiard; grass and Avater in alnindance, and of good 



DOCUMENTS AND LETTEES 51 

quality. The only obstacles to the passage of wagons are the 
numerous deep cut creeks with precipitous banks. A pioneer 
party, however, for any train would very soon make them 
easily passable, as very little is needed beyond a little cutting 
and filling. 

Having reached the road made last year, 1 proceeded be- 
tween, as far as Kaw river, to examine and inspect the bridges 
built during the summer over the following streams : the Kaw 
river, Saline fork, Solomon's fork, Armistead's creek, and 
Sycamore creek. The party then returned to Fort Riley, where 
it arrived on the 24th of the month. The party left on the Re- 
publican not having arrived, I was obliged to wait till the 1st 
of November for their appearance. The next day we took up 
our line of march for Fort Leavenworth, where we arrived on 
the 7th of the month. The party Avas then discharged, except 
such as were needed for office work, and care of animals and 
property. The material belonging to the survey was carefully 
packed away in the quartermaster's storerooms, and the ani- 
mals left to recruit for service during the ensuing summer. 

- In considering the several routes that might be followed 
from Fort Riley to Bridger's pass, I think, having in view 
the smallness of the appropriation now available for the road, 
that the route followed in the outward journey presents the 
greatest claim to be adopted. In its favor are to be mentioned 
the following facts : It is well supplied with running water 
throughout its whole extent — first the Republican, then the 
creeks between the Republican and the Platte ; this section is 
over entirely new ground. From the point where the Platte is 
touched to the Laramie crossing, the road is already made, 
and it is an excellent hard road, well supplied with water and 
grass by the Platte. From the Laramie crossing to the head of 
Pole creek, the supply of good water is constant. The grass is 
generally short, as on all of the uplands, though there are spots 
occasionally met with where a more liberal supply than usual 
may be had. From the head of Pole creek over to the west 
fork of Laramie no obstacle of any sort is presented, and the 
streams furnish abundance of grass and water. From the west 
fork of Laramie river to Bridger's pass there is but oiie route 
to be followed; and, it has already been described, as I need 
not speak of it again here. The great objection to locating a 
road over the ground just described is the total want of fuel, 
by buffalo chips being all that can be expected from Fort Kear- 
ney to the Pine Bluffs, near the head of Pole creek, a distance 
of about 300 miles. The absence of timber and the inapplica- 
bility of the soil to purposes of agriculture, prevent tlie estab- 
lishment of posts and the settlement of tlie country along the 
Platte. This absence of timber, and consequently of fuel and 
shelter, must always make the travelling along the Platte in 



52 AXXALS OF WYOMING 

the winter hazardous and painful, especially as there are no 
posts or settlements whereat assistance might be obtained when 
needed. 

Tlie route aloiip' the Republican uj) to the liead of Roek 
creek, and thence over to the South Platte and up ("ache la 
Poudre creek to Laramie Plains, is, in many respects, more 
fa\'orable than the one just spoken of. For more than 200 miles 
uj) tile Republican, the soil is fertile, and there are numberless 
creeks, the l)anks of which, beinji' wooded, furnish timl)er and 
fuel. No obstacle is presented to the passage of wagons, ex- 
cei)t by the .steep banks of these river streams ; settlements are 
already formed some distance out from Fort Rile^", and these 
will rapidly extend, as the country becomes known, especially 
if protection should be extended to them by posts, or otherwise. 

The portion of this route which lies along the South Platte 
is destitute of fuel, resembling much the route along the main 
Platte. The part lying along the Cache la Poudre and its 
branches passes over a country somewhat rough, but supplied 
with fuel and grass, and water, and convenient spots where 
parties could be sheltered from storms in the winter time. The 
strongest and only objection to this route is the desert sandy 
country that must be crossed in passing from the Republican 
to tlie Platte. This space is almost 60 miles in width, and nun- 
be said to be destitute of fuel, water, and grass, so little of any 
of these re(|uisites is to he had. In passing over this track com- 
inu' from the westward, we made two marches of twelve and 
tliirteen miles for the first two days, camping at spots Avhich 
could scarcely be said to be reliable for water for a road that 
should be travelled l)y large trains, and repeatedly during the 
same season. The third march was of thirty-five miles, to the 
head of a branch running into Rock creek. Several points were 
])assed where there was a little water, but not enough for a 
large party, and wliat there was did not seem to be permanent. 
It is very possible that otlier and more extended recoiniais- 
sanees over this tract of country may result in discovering 
other supplies of water, and a better route than that followed 
by my party. But with the information now in my possession. 
I could not recommend this one as the i)roper one for the loca- 
tion of a permanent road. 

After leaving Fort Riley, infornuition was obtained con- 
cerning the Republican and some of its larger branches, -which 
were not previously known to exist, which mades it i)robable 
that otlier routes than the two spoken of al)Ove may be found 
from Fort Riley to Bridger's ])ass, which would ])()ssess ad- 
vantages over tliose travelled during the last summer by us. 
It is tliouglit tliat a very good and direct road miglit be had 
ah)ng tl^e Republican as far as Ihe mouth of the Viho Mappy, 



DOCUMENTS AND LETTEES 53 

or French fork ; then following the French fork to its head, to 
cross the divide by an Indian trail, leading- by water holes, to 
the Platte. But as this route has not as yet been reeonnoitered, 
I cannot speak advisedly of its merits. The probability that the 
valley of Solomon's fork might furnish a good location for a 
road, joined to the fact that there was no information existing 
as to the character of the country through which this stream 
flowed, induced the reconnaissance of that region. In its soil, 
face of the country, and general advantages, it very much 
resembles the valley of the Republican. It is not more in a 
direct line between the two termini of the road than the Re- 
publican ; and, after leaving the head of the stream, the route 
would be subject to the disadvantages which have been indi- 
cated as existing with regard to the route along the ui^per 
Republican and the French forks. 

Barometrical observations were made throughout the ex- 
pedition ; they are now in process of computation. The ap- 
proximate altitudes given by some of those computations for 
certain points are as follows: 

Fort Rilev _....1,180 feet 

Fort Kearney ,-- - 2,250 feet 

Mouth of Pole creek 3,750 feet 

Black bills, near head of Pole creek. 8,480 feet 

Dividing ridge - — 8,680 feet 

Crossing of North Platte 6,900 feet 

Camps 45 and 47, on Sage creek 7,500 feet 

Camp 46, Muddy creek _ _ 7,330 feet 

Ridge north of the pass - 8,400 feet 

Camp 56, Black hills 8,180 feet 

Mouth of Crow creek 4,800 feet 

Camp 67, South Platte - 4,200 feet 

Plateau, between Platte and Republican 4,500 to 4,700 feet 

Camp 72, Rock creek.. 3,340 feet 

Pass in mountains ...7.700 feet 

It will be seen that the altitudes of the pass through the 
mountains is very much the same as that given by Colonel 
Fremont for the South pass. The altitudes for the South pass 
from Fremont, 7,400 feet. In passing over the Black hills, alti- 
tudes considerably greater are obtained. 

During the ensuing summer I propose to go over the route 
from Fort Riley to Bridger's pass, and Avork such portions of 
it as may need improvement, and put up such temporary bridges 
as may be necessary, so far as the appropriation may extend. 
I am inclined to think that a route along tlie Repulilican river, 
as far as the mouth of French fork, and thence up to its head, 
and then over to the plateau, would he most direct; but as 



54 ANNALS OF WYOMING 

before remarked, this country needs examination before any- 
thing can be positively stated as to its merits. Until last sum- 
mer, the existence of the French Fork was known only to a 
few traders and trappers, and no mention has hitherto been 
made of several large streams emptying into the Republican 
on its north side. The whole of the western portion of Kansas 
is almost completely unknoAvn, and should be examined as 
speedily as possible. The reconnaissance and survey of last 
summer made known a kind of country and numberless streams 
that were not supposed to exist. In my opinioii, the residue of 
the appropriation for this road could not be better employed 
than in the reconnaissance of the large streams flowing into 
the Republican, the head waters of the Republican itself, and 
the large stream flowing into the Kaw river, called the Saline 
fork. All of that country is almost completely unknown, and, 
from my experience of last summer, I think it very probable 
that it is much better than it is generally supposed to be. 

The exploration proposed would at least make known what- 
ever resources might exist. The creeks, according to our Dela- 
ware guides and others, are large and better wooded than the 
main streams themselves. The road between Fort Riley and 
Bridgers' pass, as it now stands, is practicable in every part for 
wagons, as is shown by the fact that a train of 33 wagons was 
taken over it last summer. I would call the attention of the 
department to the fact, however, that the road leads through 
a pass in the mountains, and there suddenly stops. To make 
the work already done, and to be done, on the road to the east 
of the pass, available for any purpose, the road should be con- 
tinued to some post or station where it might be connected with 
other roads. As it at pTi-esent stands it leads only to the heart 
of the mountains. Many parts of this road lie over prairie, and 
require only use to become well marked ; some points require 
working. The whole work would be best done by the passage 
of a large train, supplied with its o^\^l pioneers, and the track 
would be made indelible for some years at least. In the moun- 
tains some places are passed over that no amount of labor 
Avithin the command of the appropriation would render good 
road, still they may be easily passed with ordinary care on the 
part of the teamsters. On those parts of this road which lie 
over praii-ies the trace would soon be obliterated by successive 
crops of grass and the fires which generally sweep over them 
at least once in the year. The track on such country can only 
be preserved by immediate use ; if not used shortly after being 
made, a guide would be necessary for every train attempting 
to travel over the same ground. 

Along with this report I have the honor to forward the 
report of l\Ir. Henry Engelmaun geologist; also, the report of 



DOCUMENTS AND LETTERS 55 

Mr. John Lambert, on the topography of the conntry on Pawnee 
€reek and Crow creek and its branches. 

I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant. 

FRANCIS T. BRYAN, 

Lieut. Top. Engineers. 
Colonel J. J. Abert, 

Chief Corps Top. Engineers, U. S. A. 



STOCK RAISING ON THE PLAINS, 1870-1871- 

Report by Dr. Si' as Reed, First Surveyor General of 
Wyoming Territory. 

Silas Reed, the first Surveyor General for the Territory of Wyoming, 
inelud-ed in his 1871 annual report to the U. S. Commissioner of the 
General Land Office, some interesting remarks and statistics on the early 
day cattle and sheep industries in Wyoming. It is with a great deal of 
interest we are including the bulk of liis report on cattle and sheep in 
this number of the Annals. — M. H. E. 

So much has been written by Dr. Latham and other gentle- 
men of experience, in regard to the advantages and facilities 
for raising stock on these plains, and the remarkable fact, proven 
by many years of past experience, that it will subsist through 
the winter upon the summer-cured grasses as they stand on the 
ground without shelter or other care than for the herdsmen to 
guard them from separating and wandering off, that I need not 
recapitulate. 

Below I give the list of stock, so far as I have been able 
to obtain reliable data, which has been pastured this season in 
the localities named, along the Union Pacific Railroad, between 
the waters of the North Platte and the Laramie plains. It has 
been introduced here within the last two or three years, and 
very largely within the present year. There is alnnidance of 
room for many times as much more : 



*('ongressional Document — 42d Cong, -d sess. H. E.\. Doc. 1, I'i*. 294- 
296, 296-298, 300-301. (Serial ]505). 



56 



ANNALS OF WYOMING 











No.-of 


Name of Owner 


Residence 


Where Herded 


What Kind 


Head 


E. ("reif,'liton & Co. 




Laramie Plains 


Stock Cattle 


1.5,000 


E. C'rcifjliton & Co. 




do 


Calves 


1,800 


E. rrt'i^liton & Co. 




do 


Mares 


1,000 


l)r. Latliam and 


Laramie 


do 


Stock and 


4,000 


Captain Coatos 






Calves 




L. Fillmore 


do 


do 


Stock 


300 


L. Fillmore 




do 


Dairy Cows 


100 


Ora Haley 




do 




700 


...-Bennett 




Elk Mountain 


Stock 


400 


Cnrmieliael 




Laramie Plains 


American 


300 


Clarence King and 


California 


Lone Tree Creek 




500 


N. E. Davis 










Thomas & Hay 


Cheyenne 


do 




150 


J. W. Iliff 


do 


Crow" Creek and 
Platte 




12,000 


T>. & J. Snyder 


do 




Beef and Stock 


5,000 


M. V. Boughton 


do 


Horse Creek 




600 


J. H. Durbin & Bro. 


do 


do 




600 


F. Landan 


do 


Pole Creek 




200 


Tracy & Hntchinson 


do 


do 




700 


J. M. Carey & Bro. 


do 


Crow Creek 




700 


Nuckolls & Gallagher 


do 


Platte 




3,000 


Frank Ketehum 


do 




Milch Cows 


150 


W. D. Pennock 


do 




do 


40 


James A. Moore 




Pole Creek 




1,300 


W. G. Bullock 


Fort Laramie 


Horse Creek 




4,000 


Ed. Creighton 


Omaha 


do 




3,500 


Texas Owner 




do 




1,500 


Milner & Davis 




do 




'200 


Farrel 




Laramie Eiver 
Muddv Creek 




300 


Tracy 


500 


Whitcomb 




Box Elder 
Lone Tree 


Beef Cattle 


1,000 


J. S. Maynard 


200 


Generals Duncan, 




Horse Creek 




2,400 


Perrv, and Short 










Keith '& Barton 




North Platte 




3,000 


Brown 




do 


Yearling 


1,300 


Major Walker 




do 


Stock 


500 


Coe & Carter 




do 


do 


9,000 


E. Creighton 




do 


Beef Cattle 


800 


Taylor, Galvlord 




Cache la Poudre 


Beef and 


5,000 


& Co. 






Stock 




D. C. Tracy 


Pine Bluffs 


Pine Bluffs 


Stock 


700 


Ecoflfev & Co. 




Sabylle Creek 


do 


350 


Powell 




North Fork Laramie 


do 


1,500 


Benjamin Mills 




Chugwater 


do 


400 


K. Wlialen 




do 


do 


250 


John Pliillips 




do 


do 


250 


Simpson 




do 


do 


100 


H. B. Kelley 




do 


do 


750 


John Ilinton 




do 


do 


125 


W. G. Bullock 




do 


do 


125 


F. M. Phillips 




do 


do 


2,100 


Adolph Cuuy 




North Platte 


do 


1,000 


Dickev & Sloan 




Muddv Creek 


American 


80 



DOCUMENTS AND LETTEES 57 

The editor of the AVestern World has published in his New 
York paper the following observations in regard to stock and 
grazing on these plains, being the result of what he saw and 
learned while on a recent tour through here to California. In 
his estimate he includes the large herds in the neighborhood of 
the junction of the two Platte Rivers, and in the Hnmboldt 
Valley, and is therefore larger than the list of herds principally 
in Wyoming. I have introduced these remarks from the West- 
ern World in order that stock-growers in the States may see 
what impartial non-residents say of this great industrial interest 
on the late "American Desert'": 

"On a recent visit to the Pacific coast over the Union and 
Central Pacific Railroads, I took some pains to ascertain the 
amount of cattle now being pastured along those roads. I have 
more than once insisted that the belt of country' on the Laramie 
Plains, and just east of the Rocky Mountains, and a portion 
of the Humboldt Valley adjacent to the Pacific road, embraced 
some of the finest grazing lands on the continent, and had heard 
a good deal recently about the large herds which have been 
driven from Texas and the Indian Nation during the past year, 
to be fattened on the nutritious grasses of the Platte River and 
Laramie Plains, preparatory to shipment over the railroad to 
the markets of the East. I knew that the business had become 
a large one, but had no idea of the extent to which it has at- 
tained — a business, be it remembered, which is but just com- 
menced, as two years ago there was not a hoof in the whole 
country, except draught-cattle belonging to trains, and a few 
ranchero's cows, where today there are not less than 140,000 
head of cattle, 5,000 horses, and over 75,000 sheep, on the Union 
Pacific west of Fort Kearney. 

"On the Laramie Plains, and east of Laramie Mountain, 
Wyoming, are a great many small herds of from 100 to 500 
beef and stock cattle, and large flocks of sheep, of which we 
were unable to learn the names of the owners, and which many 
good judges estimate would swell the figures far above the 
aggregate which l' have just ventured to state. The greater 
portion of these cattle were driven hither from the southern 
part of Texas. It is estimated that more than 400,000 Jiccul 

have been driven out of Texas during the past year alone." 

* * * 

"There is no doubt in my mind that the tendency which 
has attained the above startling proportions in a single year 
is a permanent one, and will gi-ow with every season. For a 
space fully seven hundred miles long and two huudred hvo-M\, 
along the base of the Rocky jMountains, there is one of the 
finest and cheapest grazing couutries in the world. The valleys, 
bluffs, and low hills, are covered with a luxuriant growth of 
grama or 'bunch' grass, one of the most nutriMous grasses that 



58 ANXALS OF WYOMING 

grows. It grows from 6 to 12 inches high, and is always green 
near the roots, summer and winter. During the summer the 
dry atmosphere cures the standing grass as effectually as though 
cut and prepared for hay. The nutritive qualities of the grass 
remain uninjured, and stock thrive equally well on the dry feed. 
In the winter what snow falls is Very dry, unlike that which 
falls in more humid climates. It may cover the grass to the 
depth of a few inches, but the cattle readily remove it, reaching 
the grass without trouble. 

"Again, the snow does not stick to the sides of the cattle 
and melt there, chilling them through, but its dr^aiess causes 
it to roll from their backs, leaving their hair dry. There is 
no stabling required; stock 'run out the year round,' and the 
cost of keeping is just what it will cost to employ herders — 
no more — and with the great Pacific road traversing it from 
east to west, it is always within a few days of the eastern 
markets. The advantages ai-e great, and a new and vast in- 
dustry is springing up." 

Sheep and Wool 

This is a subject of so much importance to the welfare of 
the people and Territory of Wyoming, that I have thought 
proper to invite attention to the wonderful adaptability of this 
reo'ion to the cheap and successful raising of sheep and wool. 
J therefore introduce the remarks of the Hon. J. W. Kingman, 
United States judge of this Territory, on the subject. His 
opportunities for observation on these points have been extensive, 
and after a residence of two and a half years in this region, 
he is so well convinced of the success which must follow the 
business of sheep and wool growing on these elevated plains, 
that he has now introduced a flock of 3,000 slieep upon his 
ranch near the head of Crow Creek, fifteen miles west of this 
city. The judge has favored me with the following account of 
his flock and the manner of treating it: 

"Laramie City, Wyoming Territory, September 18, 1871. 

"Dear Sir: Your favor of the 15th instant, asking for a 
statement of the facts in reference to our flock of sheep, is 
received, and it gives me pleasure to reply. 

"The flock consists of 3,000 long-wooled sheep, selected with 
great care in Iowa last summer. We have avoided all merino 
blood, because we wish to cross up with the Cotswold as rapidly 
as possible. 

"Our object is to see if this i-egion will not produce a 
superior (juality of combing wool, as well as a superior nuitton. 
We ai-e confident tluit the character of our climate and grazing 
is so i)ercnliai'ly adapted to the nature cuul habits of sheep. 



DOCUMENTS AND LETTEES 59 

that we can carry the improvement of our flocks, in both these 
respects, to a deg'ree of perfection never attained before. 

'Tndeecl, the improvement in the health, appearance and 
condition of the sheep thus far is so marked and uniform that 
one could hardly believe it to be the same flock that came 
here a few months ago, and warrants the utmost confidence 
in a permanent and valuable improvement. 

"Our cool, dry, even temperature; our hard, gravelly soil; 
our short, rich grasses; our clear, pure water; our aromatic, 
bitter plants and shrubs, and our frequent alkaline ponds and 
licks, must all contribute to the robust health of the animal 
and produce a growth and development of all its functions in 
their highest perfection. 

"It has been said that the long-wooled sheep are not gre- 
garious, and cannot be well herded in large flocks. We have 
not found this difficulty. To be sure, 3,000 makes a large 
flock, and they re(|uire plenty of room; but if they are well left 
alone they do not get in each other's way. and do not care to 
stray. One man can watch them, and watching seems to be all 
the help they need. 

"TTe build, to be sure, large yards, and long, open sheds, 
to protect them from the storms, and to keep off the wolves 
at night ; but we shall soon be rid of the wolves altogether, and 
the bluffs afford sufficient shelter at all seasons of the year. 

"There are in this section of the Territory, besides our 
flock, one belonging to General King and others, of about one 
thousand; Colonel Dana's, of a thousand; Mr. Homer's, and 
others, about a thousand ; and several parties are now in the 
States purchasing flocks to bring here. There are also the 
large flocks belonging to Messrs. Creighton and Hutton, of ten 
or twelve thousand ; and quite a number of small lots, num- 
bering two or three hundred each. 

"Some of these flocks have been here two or three years, 
and each year have shown a surprising improvement. This is 
particularly so where they have not been too closely herded, 
but have been permitted to go out and come in pretty much 
as they pleased. The wool has increased in quantity and fine- 
ness, and the mutton has improved in flavor and quality. 

"There seems to be no doubt that the best quality of 
mutton can be grown here, pound for pound, as cheap as beef ; 
and if so, then sheep-raising must be profitable if cattle-rais- 
ing is. Verv respectfullv, vours, 

"J. W. KINGMAN. 

"Dr. Silas Reed, 

"Surveyor General, Wyoming Territory." 

I also introduce another excellent and comprehensive letter 
from Judge Kingman, written to Dr. H. Latham some months 



60 ANXAL8 OF WYOMING 

since, and published this summer in the doctor's valuable 
pamphlet on the subject of stock and wool growing in this high, 
dry, rolling country, which is so favorable for the growth of 
the healthiest sheep and the most valuable fibers of wool. 

Letter From Judge Kingman 

"Laramie City, Wyoming Territory. 

''Dear Sir: Your favor of a recent date, asking the re- 
sult of my observations on the Rock}" Mountain portion of our 
country in its adaptation to sheep-raising, is received ; 1 hasten 
to reply. 

"It will be remembered that the natural habitat of the 
sheep, as well as the goat and the antelope, is an elevated monn- 
tainous region. They are provided with an external covering 
and a constitutional system fitting them to endure its rigors 
and subsist on its peculiar herbage. They may be removed 
to other regions, it is true, and by careful husbandry made to 
flourish in hot climates, on artificial or cultivated food, and 
even in rainy and muddy localities. 

"But the multiplied diseases to Avhich they are subjected 
are convincing proofs that they are exposed to influences un- 
natural and uncongenial to their constitutions. They require 
a dry, gravelly soil ; a clear, bracing, cool atmosphere ; a variety 
of short, nutritious grasses ; and they love to browse on highly 
aromatic plants and shrubs, like the willow, the birch, the 
hemlock, and the artemisia. In such circumstances, they are 
always healthy, vigorous, and active, and produce the maximum 
of even-fibred wool and the best of high-flavored meats. 

' ' That we have millions of acres answering in all respects 
to the exact requirements for the best development of sheep, 
in the production of both wool and meat, is demonstrated by 
the countless number of antelope that annually swarm over 
the country, and seem to have no limit to their increase but 
their natural eneniies, the wolves and the hunters. They are 
always in good condition, healthy, fat, and active ; and this is 
particularly noticeable in the winter and spring, when it might 
be supposed they would be reduced by cold and want of food. 

"It is well understood by wool-growers that the great dif- 
ficulty in producing a staple of uniform evenness and uniform 
curve is the variable condition of the sheep at different seasons 
of the j^ear. The animal organization cannot produce the same 
quality of growth in extreme cold Aveatlier, on dry hay, that 
it will i)roduce in warm weather, on fresh grass. The result 
is, that the best quality of wool cannot be grown where the 
sheep are exposed to the extremes of climate, and particularly 
wliere they cannot be kept in uniform health and good condi- 
tion. If this is true in the growth of wool, it needs no argu- 



DOCUMENTS AND LETTERS 61 

rnent to prove that it is true also in the production of whole- 
some and nutritious meat. A generous diet of rich and various 
food is required to keep up a rapid and constant growth, and 
it is quick growth combined with good health that makes the 
choicest meat. 

"I have been familiar with sheep-raising in New England 
for many years, and although sheep do pretty well on the 
rocky hills there, yet they are subject to a frightfully long 
list of diseases, every one of which, however, is ascribed to 
local and not inherent causes. The one great cause, exceeding 
all others in the variety and extent of its evils, is the long- 
continued rainy weather. The ground gets saturated with 
water, the feet become soft and tender with the soaking, and 
foot disease is propagated by inoculation with surprising rapid- 
ity. The fleece gets wet, and remaining so for several days 
keeps the animal enveloped ; this produces pustules, scab, tetter, 
and other cutaneous diseases ; everything and every place is 
soaked and dripping with water during those long storms, and 
the sheep are compelled to lie on the wet ground and contract 
colic, scours, and stretches, and other bowel diseases. But here, 
on our hard, porous, gravelly soil, in a bright, equable climate, 
with a dry, bracing atmosphere, having abundance of nutritious 
grasses and a great variety of desirable food, the flocks will 
find every circumstance contributing to their perfect growth 
and development. This is such a country and climate as they 
naturally inhabit. Their constitutions are fitted to its peculiari- 
ties, ancl will produce here their highest possibilities. 

"There is no doubt that any breed of sheep will do w^ell 
here, but for various reasons I would advise the introduction of 
the best qualities of mutton-sheep in preference to the fine- 
wooled animals. In the first place they are hardier and more 
prolific, and will undoubtedly improve faster ; and in the second 
place, Avhile it is possible to overstock the market with wool 
by importation from foreign countries, it is not possible to 
overstock the meat-market. We have now 40,000,000 of people, 
and the annual increase is about 3,000,000 ; our people are all 
meat-eaters, the price of meat in our large cities is enormously 
high, and the annual production by no means keeps pace with 
the demand for consumption. But in addition to all this, the 
actual return in wool, from a flock of medium-wooled sheep, 
will nearly equal in value the net product of a fine-wooled flock. 
They procluce heavier fleeces, and the price of wool bears a 
better ratio to its cost. 

"Most of our flock-masters are purchasing the sheep-flocks 
of New Mexico and the extreme Western States, with the ex- 
pectation of getting good animals by crossing. This may be 
done, it is true, but I do not think it likely to result satisfac- 
torily. It requires too much care and judicious selection, as 



62 ANXALS OF WYOMING 

well as loiip- continued effort, to s'et rid of bad <|ua]ities and 
fix iiernianentiy good ones. We can get sheep, by going further 
east, whicli have been carefully improved for fifty years, and 
in which charactei'isties have been developed by a scientific 
breeding which we may not hope to equal. Such a flock will 
cost more to start with, and will be worth more, but may not 
have cost more, all things considered, after a few years. Very 
respectfullv yours, 

"J. W. KIXG:\rAN." 



The Future of the Wool Interest of the Xcrthwesf— 
With such a sheep and Avool-growing country as we have 
here, "endless, gateless, and boundless"; with such a great 
increasing home and foreign demand; with such examples of 
rapid increase in sheep and wool productions, who shall doubt 
that in twenty years we shall rival Australia and South Amer- 
ica in not only the quantity but the quality of their wools, 
and that the wool-buyers from all the great manufacturing 
centers of the world will visit our plains in search of the 
"fibre" susceptible of such wonderful and varied uses, and 
that with our wool production there will spring up manufac- 
tories here and there that shall rival Bradford, Huddersfield, 
Halifax, and Leeds, in p]ngland, and Rheims, P]l-Beufs, and 
Roubaix, in France, in the magnitude and beautv of their 
fabrics ? 

Along the whole length of the Union Pacific Railway, along 
the Central Pacific Railway, in the valleys of the thousands of 
streams, bordered with timber for buildings and fences, these 
untold millions of acres of luxuriant grazing lands, where sheep 
can be put down from New Mexico, Iowa, Illinois, Missouri, 
and other States for two dollars per head, shepherds can be 
hired for $30 to $40 per month, who can readily herd 3,000 
head. Thousands of tons of hay can be cut on all the streams. 

Rates of Freight to Eastern Marl-ets — Wool has been car- 
ried by rail from San Francisco to Boston for $1.10 per hun- 
dred pounds. Double-decked sheep-cars, carrying 200 sheep, 
can be had from the base of the mountain to Chicago markets 
for $150, thereby putting down fat wethers in market for 75 
cents per head. Dressed-mutton carcasses are delivered from 
the Rocky Mountains, in New York, for $1.75 per hundred, car- 
h)a(l rates. 

Growth of Wijoniiufi Sheej) Industrif — The large introduc- 
tion of sheep into this Territory during the past season is very 
gratifying. The correct and valuable information that has been 
spread over the coimtry by Dr. Latham, Judge Kingman, and 



DOCUMENTS AND LETTEES 63 

others, has attracted the most deserved attention, and the re- 
sult is that large numbers of sheep have been brought in this 
summer. I hear also of other large flocks that are to come 
next spring; and I scarcely need say that half the sheep of 
the United States could find room and food upon our mountain 
plains without being too much crowded. 

The following is a list of the principle flocks and names 
of owners: 

Colonel E. Creighton & Co., on Laramie Plains.... ...10,000 

Winslow, on Laramie Plains 1,500 

Sargent, Thomas & Co., on Laramie Plains 2,000 

Moulton & Co., on Laramie Plains 2,000 

Dana & Boswell, on Laramie Plains 1,000 

Judge Kingman, Crow Creek... 3,000 

James Moore, Lodge Pole..... 9,000 

Maynard, Lone Tree... 1,500 

General King & Co 1,000 

Party from Socco, Mexico 2,000 

Emory Boston 3.000 

Carmichael 200 



ERNEST LOGAN 

Mr. Logan, one of Wyoming's oldest and most respected 
pioneers, passed away October 24, 1944. 

Mr. Logan's father, Hill Logan, came to Cheyenne in 
1868. Mrs. Logan with her children, Ernest, thirteen years, 
and her daughter, Frankie, ten years of age, came to Cheyenne 
in 1871. 

One by one the pioneers of the past but of today's de- 
veloped frontiers pass on, leaving but a memory, but as Con- 
fucius once said: "God gives us memories that we may have 
roses in December." 



Wyoming Scrap book 

THE MAIL MUST GO 
By A. E. Roedel=:= 

Air Services 

Five-thirty A. M. marked the dawn of September 8, 1920, 
on the prairie some two miles north of Cheyenne. It also marked 
the dawn of a new era of transportation, for at that hour one 
Buck Heffron bumped an old De Havilland biplane off the 
bulf'alo grass and headed west with four hundred pounds of 
mail, inaugurating- another and probably the last, of the great 
trail-blazing advoitures of the West. Whereas the fur trader, 
the covered wagon, the pony express and the railroad had 




A De Havilland DH-4 biplane, mainstay of the pilots between 1918 and 

1926. (Airways by Henry Ladd Smith, New York, 

Alfred A. Knoff, 1942, p. 69.) 

previoiislv carved their trails over hill and dale westward from 
tlie Missouri, the Post OfHce Department was now committed 
to pioneering a skyway from Long Island Sound to the Golden 
(iate. 

It is the purpose of tliis paper to deal briefly, and as ac- 
curately as the memory of the author allows, with some of the 

*Andy K. Roodol, liorn in Cheyenne, Wyoming, in 1892, attended 
the grade and high seliools in Cheyeline; received iiis degree of Bachelor 
of Science from the Tniversitv of ;Michigan in 191 0. Joined the U. b. 
Army Air Forces in World War T, 1917-191S. Emphiyed in his father s 
drng store since 1910. Since his fiither's death he has managed the 
oklest drug store in the State, it l)eing established in 1889 by Andy E. 
Hoedel, Sr., in the same location the store is today. 



WYOMING SCEAPBOOK 65 

episodes and personnel connected vrith this project, regarded 
by many persons of the time as utterly fantastic. 

In May, 1920, Congress appropriated about $400,000 to es- 
tablish the Transcontinental Air Mail, proposing to serve four- 
teen cities between New York and San Francisco. Starting 
at Hazelhurst. Long Island, literally as the crow flies, the mail 
went to Bellfonte, Pa., to Clarion to Bryan, Ohio, to Chicago 
to Iowa City to Omaha to North Platte to Cheyenne to Rock 
Springs to Salt Lake to Elko to Reno to Sacramento and thence 
to Oakland. This lone and cobweb-like line across the rafters 
of the nation was the seed from which Avas to spring the vast 
network of commercial air lines that now envelope the ceiling 
of the whole hemisphere, and is likely, after the termination of 
this war, to cover the globe. 

The mail rose and set with the sun. Every morning at 
daybreak an eastbomid and a westbound ship left each of the 
division cities mentioned above to be flown until darkness fell. 
It was then turned over to the railroad and picked up at the 
various division points again the next m.orning. Thus on Sep- 
tember 9, at 5:30 P. M., Jimmie (James P.) Murray alighted 
at Cheyenne with the first Avestbound mail. This had been 
flown out of Hazelhurst some thirty-six hours earlier by the 
fabulous Randy Page. 

Page was one of the most colorful characters of the early 
air mail history. Amongst other accomplishments, he was 
credited Avitli having consumed two quarts of Avhiskey on a 
flight betAveen Omaha and Chicago. Despite all the hair-breadth 
adventures attributed to him in the air, Page succumbed to 
pneumonia in a Texas or New Mexico hospital after several 
years Avith the air mail. 

Murray also had the distinction of bringing the first east- 
bound mail into Cheyenne, for the reason that it Avas delayed 
AA^th the original Avestbound trip, and brought back the delayed 
eastbound mail arriving on the 13th of September. This sec- 
tion had been floAvn out of Sacramento by Jack Sharpneck. a 
nonconformist among airmen since he eliminated from his diet 
all spirituous and fermented beverages. "When I kncAV him he 
was a confirmed bachelor, habitually attired in turtlenecked 
sweaters. A good pilot and fine chap, he died with his boots 
on in the crackup of a transport plane after the contractors had 
taken over the mail. 

The Cheyenne, North Platte, Omaha and Cheyenne, Rock 
Springs-Salt Lake division Avas prac-tically in the center of the 
route. The Cheyenne field, while probably the best in the 
nation, was also the highest; a fact Avhich made landings and 
takeoffs no job for a greenhand A\'ith the ships of the period. 
The flights Avestward from Cheyenne, "Over the Hump" as the 
Sherman Hill country was knoAvn, was generally considered the 



66 ANNALS OF WYOMING 

toughest of tlie whole transeontineiital. Hence this division, 
and Cheyenne in particular, was the scene of some of the most 
interestinji' and imjiortant developments during- the Post Office 
operation of the air mail. Therefore, and hecause we are most 
familiar with its history, this paper will be confined principally 
to tiie Cheyenne division. 

The mail planes were reconverted army De Havillands of 
wooden construction, covered with fabric and powered by the 
then famous Liberty motor. They were open cockpit jobs, hav- 
ing: a top speed of something under 100 m.p.h. and ceiling of 
around 10,000 feet, making the peaks of the Rockies a genuine 
traffic hazard. Limited by gasoline capacity to a range of per- 
haps 300 miles, they were capable of carrying 400 pounds of 
mail. By comparison with today's planes, flying a De Havil- 
land was like being up in the air on a bicycle. 

The deficiencies in equipment were more than balanced 
by the manpower assembled to operate it. Ground and mainte- 
nance crews for the most part, and pilots almost without ex- 
ception, were recruited from the rapidly disintegrating Army 
Air Service. Necessarily young in years, since they were fol- 
lowing an activity that had cut its teeth in a war not yet two 
years finished, they were worthy successors to the pathfinders 
who had trekked across the country beneath the skies they 
themselves w^ere now exploring. 

Drawn by the lure of a better than average wage, the 
love of flying and excitement aplenty, and perhaps to a lesser 
extent by a belief in the future of aviation, these young men 
signed up with Otto Praeger to carry the mail — an undertak- 
ing destined to claim the lives of twenty-one pilots, eight 
mechanics, and one division superintendent by next July. 

The early history of the air mail is largely a history of 
the pilots, since to a great extent they dominated the entire 
picture. As mentioned before, flying a De Havilland in 1920 
was no task for a boy. There was a definitely known number 
of men capable of and willing to fly the mail, and the 
number was hardly sufficient to supply the demand. They were, 
te say the least, a carefree aggregation, sailing the skies Avlien, 
where, and in whatever manner their whims might dictate. 
They could afford to be as temperamental as they wished, 
and the dei)artment had no choice but to accommodate itself 
to their pranks and accentricities, for, as Jack Knight liked 
to say: "The mail must go, but who in hell is going to take it '?" 

A group of pilots en route to one of the early Pulitzer 
races passed over an Iowa village at such a low altitude that 
the mayor of the village telegraphed a protest to headquar- 
ters. On the return trip they unleashed uncounted rolls of 
toilet tissue over the startled coinmunitv. 



WYOMING SCEAPBOOK 67 

On one of his reg'ular eastboiind trips, Clarence Lange, 
now a major in Africa, landed at Grand Island, Nebraska. 
There he met a young woman employed as a wing-walker by 
a traveling aerial eircns. In a moment of bravado the girl 
declared that no one had ever been able to frighten her ; 
whereupon Lange volunteered to look after the matter. Piling 
her monkey and suitcase on top of the mail sacks, Lange 
took otf for Omaha. Executing an occasional loop and wing- 
over on the way, he arrived at Omaha to discover that the 
monkey and suitcake were missing and that the wing-walker 
required a dash of water in the face to bring her to. 

Then there was the pilot who skimmed across the Nebraska 
prairies to herd a bunch of antelope into a fence corner where 
a confederate butchered several of them. This unorthodox 
sporting technique cost the pilot $500 in fines in a Kimball 
court and the everlasting enmity of the Western Nebraska 
.Sportmen's Association. 

Many another bit of madcap flying might be mentioned 
if space permitted. Ilowever, there were occasional occurrences 
sandwiched in between some really tough piloting which called 
for every ounce of skill and daring that these unusual men 
possessed. 

It must be borne in mind that at this time there were no 
runways for landing and taking off, no beam to follow, no 
communication between ground and plane, nor was the course 
marked. Furthermore, the few instruments which adorned 
the board were of uncertain accuracy and adaptability. The 
gasoline capacity was such that a plane could remain in the 
air only a few hours, and the motor so fickle it might cease 
operating at any time. When it did, it must he started by 
spinning the propeller, a laborious job which sometimes re- 
sulted in the spinner having his liead knocked off. Hence, 
when a pilot left a field, he simply kept flying in the general 
direction of his destination until he reached it, or was forced 
to make an emergency landing. Nobody knew where he was 
from the moment he left until he arrived, so every trip was at 
least a mild adventure. 

Above the doorway of the main New York Post Office is 
this inscription: "Neither rain nor hail nor sleet nor gloom 
of night shall stay these messengers from the swift completion 
of their appointed rounds." Otto Praeger, Second Assistant 
Postmaster General in charge of air mail, to whose vision and 
faith in flying a great deal of the credit for the institution 
and continuance of the air mail must be given, adopted this 
as a sort of slogan for the service and frefpiently (pioted it. 
Naturally, this was not strictly a fact, for rain and hail and 
gloom of night not only sometimes stayed the messenger— 
upon occasion it even killed him. 



68 ANNALS OF WYOMING 

While the pilots iniglit let the mail set around cooling its 
heels in balmy weather, they seemed to take a sort of fierce 
professional ])ride in defying' bad weather. I am reminded of 
one I'hristmas eve with temperature at 28 degrees below and 
Slim Lewis clad in an ordinary street suit and half shoes, sans 
overcoat, taking off for Omaha. On another night, during a 
howling blizzard after three unsuccessful attempts to get off, 
Lewis finally crashed through a fence at the boundary of the 
field, and disappeared into the storm. He was not heard from 
again until he checked in at North Platte. 

Lewis was rather a Paul Bunyan of the airways. He had 
flown before the war with Christoff'erson. Beach, Art Smith, 
and others, and at the time of which we write was perhaps 
the most widely known man flying. He was the subject of 
what was known as the ])ull letter. In the course of a forced 
landing on the Hereford Ranch he sealed down en one of the 
prize bulls with which the property is populated. When the 
Hereford people submitted their bill for damages the Post 
Office Department could not reconcile the amount demanded 
with its liitherto unprofessional knowledge of the value of 
prize bulls. The letter was written by a department clerk to 
the local superintendent asking if Lewis had exterminated a 
whole herd of bulls. 

On a stormy night in December, Hal Collison took four 
planes off the Chej^enne Field in rapid succession, putting 
them all down again within half a mile because of frozen 
carburetor jets. 

On October 20, 1920, Jimmie Murray was out of Salt Lake 
at 12 :30 P. M. Since nothing further had been heard from 
him by daylight next morning, searcliing planes were dis- 
patched from Cheyenne and Rock S})rings. Ground parties 
also scoured the country l)etween Rawlins and Medicine Bow. 
but no trace of plane or pilot could be found. Late in the day 
of October 21 Murray appeared at the Arlington Crossing 
on Rock Creek to report that he had crashed in a blizzard 
above Sand Lake, high in the mountains. He spent the night 
on the shore of the lake, and next day he walked 17 miles 
through heavy snow. The mechanics who were sent to re- 
trieve the mail and the wrecked plane located the crash by 
backtracking a bear that had followed the pilot from tlie crash 
to the shore of Sand Lake where the pilot had spent the night. 

The great Wyoming wind was a major problem in operat- 
ing the low-powered craft of that era. On September 13, 1920, 
^Murray flew from Salt Lake to Cheyenne in 3 hours, 15 min- 
utes, but a pilot named Picup re(iuired more than 7 hours to 
make the trip in the opposite direction. 

Picup, a picturesque character, left the mail to fly for 
the Mexican Government, wliere it was said he took up the 



WYOMING SCEAPBOOK 69 

profession of a toreador in his leisure time. He was erroneously 
reported by local newspapers to have been killed in an auto- 
mobile race in Kansas City, in 1922. He lived more than 20 
years longer to go down as the pilot of the ill-fated plane in 
Avhich Red Love also lost his life in the South Pacific. 

On January 31, Jiggs Chandler, who flew his last plane into 
the side of an Illiiiois Central box ear some years afterwards, 
made the trip from Rock Springs to Cheyenne in 1 hour, 32 
minutes. However, Dinty Moore could not continue on from 
Cheyenne because twelve men were unable to hold his plane 
on the ground in an 80-mile gale. Coming west Jimmie Mur- 
ray ran out of gas twice after leaving Sidney and finally gave 
up at Pine Bluffs. 

Fog, which was then and still is the major foe of the 
flyers, claimed the first life on this division as Johnny Wood- 
ward flew into the hump a few miles north of Tie Siding, on 
November 8, 1920. 

Weather, balky motors and temperamental pilots were 
not all the air mail had to contend with in its infancy. Unim- 
aginative congressmen were also an obstacle. On January 9, 
1921, and during each succeeding January for the next three 
or four years, the House struck the air mail item from the 
Post Office appropriation bill. With only fourteen towns being 
served across the entire nation, the service could not muster 
very potent political support. At this time it was largely 
through the influence and untiring efforts of the late Senator 
Warren that the appropriation was reinstated and the air 
mail continued. 

Under Post Office operations it was strictly against regu- 
lations to carry passengers in mail planes. I recall one pilot 
who was supposed to have been discharged for carrying pas- 
sengers from Rock Springs to Laramie at $100 a trip. Never- 
theless, if one were well enough acquainted with the pilot and 
not too much interested in his personal comfort, it was pos- 
sible to make an occasional trip. 

On a flight to the Pulitzer races in Omaha J perched on 
top of the mail, clinging to a strut, or whatever else was handy, 
to avoid being bumped off when we ran into rough weather. 
I arrived at my destination greatly resembling the tar baby, 
having been right behind a leaky oil pipe all the way down. 
The first person I met at the races was the division superin- 
tended, who remarked: "It beats hell how dirty the trains 
are getting." 

The first official passenger to ride with the mail was a 
newspaper man, John Goldstein. He was flown from Ncav 
York to San Francisco in 13 days, 6 hours, or 33 hours, 59 
minutes actual flying time. The schedule is now about 15 



70 ANNALS OF WYOMING 

hours, although a naval lieutenant recently spanned the con- 
tinent in 6I/2 hours. 

Jack Knight made his memorable flight from Omaha to 
Chicago, on February 22, 1921. To my mind, everything con- 
sidered, it is still one of the most remarkalile feats in aviation 
history, a ride to make Paul Revere 's midnight cantor look 
like a trip to the corner grocery. Washington's Birthday of 
that year had been selected by Otto Praeger as the date of 
the first non-stop mail flight from coast to coast, a schedule 
requiring night flying between Cheyenne and Chicago. Large 
bonfires were built every 50 miles along this section of the 
route to act as beacons. Just at dawn two planes left Oakland 
east bound, while two others hopped off from Long Island in 
the opposite direction. 

The first interruption to the eastbound schedule occurred 
at Reno, when pilot W. L. Lewis was killed in attempting to 
leave the field, thus delaying the second section. At 4 :57 
P. M. Jim Murray brought the first section into Cheyenne, 
and Frank Yager slid oif into the gathering dusk for North 
Platte. At 5 :50 P. M. Tope Payne, one of the most popular 
early day pilots, who later lost his life under mysterious cir- 
cumstances at Salt Lake, arrived with the delayed second 
section, Harry Smith leaving for the east. 

In the meantime, the westbound trips had been abandoned 
at Chicago on account of weather. Jack Knight, although he 
had crashed in Telephone Canyon only seven clays earlier, and 
engaged in a game of leapfrog down the side of the mountain 
with his motor, was waiting for Yager at North Platte. De- 
spite the fact that he had received a liroken nose and other 
injuries in the accident just mentioned. Jack took ofl:' for 
Omalui, in the dead of night, with Yager's mail. By the time 
he reached Omaha that field was closed in by a blizzard and 
the pilot assigned to the Omaha-Iowa City leg sensibly refused 
to leave the ground. 

Knight, therefore, although he had never been over the 
course, hopped off for Iowa City. He found this point en- 
veloped by the same blizzard, and the pilot selected to con- 
tinue the trip, also standing on his right to preserve his exis- 
tence as long as possible. Once again Jack turned the nose of 
his plane into the snow-filled night, finally reaching Chicago at 
daybreak, completing a flight of almost 1,000 miles in dark- 
ness and storm. 

At Chicago it was iieccssary to cut his clothes loose to 
get him out of the cockpit. The trij) was continued to New 
York during the day light hours, achieving the first nonstop 
mail flight from coast to coast. Something over three years 
Avas to elapse before another Avas accomjilished. 



WYOMING SCEAPBOOK 71 

On May 20, 1921, it was announced that Pilot Hopson had 
won the trophy for flying the most completed trips between 
September, 1920, and that date. Hopson was one of the col- 
orful personalities that lent variety and flavor to the air mail 
activity. 

That there is nothing new about the modification of planes 
at the Cheyenne base is attested by the fact that upon Decem- 
ber 17, 1921, it Avas announced six planes had been rebuilt at 
this field, and on the 27th of the following July, Jiggs Chand- 
ler achieved an altitude of 12,000 feet above the city with a 
special motor rebuilt there. 

In January, 1922, after sixteen months of operation, fly- 
ing the mail was still a rugged business. The Cheyenne divi- 
sion topped the entire system in percentage of possible miles 
flown, a record that was not achieved without hardship. On 
January 27, 1922, Bob Ellis sat down on top of a mountain 
near Rock Springs, and was compelled to scale the wall of 
a 200-foot canyon to bring down the mail. The plane was 
dismantled and lowered piece by piece with a rope. 

On April 10, Walter Bunting died when he crashed on the 
Rock Springs field. According to the log of IMarch 24, Dinty 
Moore, eastbound from Cheyenne, was balked by bad weather 
at Sidney. He flew north to Torrington looking for a hole, 
and finally barely made it back to Cheyenne with an emjity 
gas tank. 

On April 6, Hopson became lost after leaving Rock Springs, 
landing- after dark in the Horse Creek breaks. Slinging the 
mail over his back, he trudged several miles to the railroad. 

And again on August 6, of the same year, Harry Smith 
was forced to land on a sandbar in the North Platte River 
with a dead motor. 

During the afternoon and evening of November 5, 1922, 
Cheyenne was lashed by one of the fiercest blizzards in its 
history. This storm put Hal Collison on the ground nortb 
of Corlett station, where it was necessary to shovel the ]Dlane 
out from under a drift to recover the mail. About six weeks 
later, on December 17, Henry Boonstra flew into a storm ])e- 
tween Salt Lake and Rock Springs. There was no further 
trace of him until the evening of the 19th when he showed 
ap at a ranch near Cokeville, having crashed on Porcupine 
Ridge and floundered through waist deep snow for 86 houi's. 

Hence when it was announced tliat during 1922 the i)ilots 
of the Cheyeinie division had completed 98 i)er cent of the 
scheduled trips, again to lead the system, they felt they luid 
really earned the distinction. The air mail «s a whole luul an 
average of 93.4 per cent for this period, flying 7,887 trii)s, 
2,433 of which had been completed in rain, fog or snow. It 
had flown 1,727.265 miles and carried 48,938,920 letters. 



72 ANNALS OF WYOMING 

At a))Out this time there appeared on the Cheyenne division 
a brash young pilot by the name of Paul Oaks. He became ac- 
quainted Avith a young woman who made her residence in a 
room in the second story of a house on Evans street. It was 
his custom to fly up this thoroughfare at a level permitting 
him to wave at her through the window as lie passed. This 
bit of diversion caused great consternation, not only amongst 
the other residents of the street, but also to the superintendent 
who expressed the hope that the girl never moved downstairs. 
Before she had a chance, however, Oaks spun into the ground 
at the local field while stunting during a wind-storm, killing 
himself and an old man who had gone along for his first flight. 
So far as I can recall, this is the only fatality that has ever 
occurred on the Cheyenne field. 

After the experimental coast-to-coast flight "of Wash- 
ington's birthday, 1921, there was considerable talk and some 
agitation for making this operation permanent. Little was 
accomplished in this direction until the spring of 1923, when 
it was becoming apparent that if the air mail was to justify 
its existence, it would have to fly night as well as day. Plans 
were initiated to bring this al)out. Beacons and boundary 
lights were installed at various fields. Planes with landing- 
lights and radio sets for communication Avith the ground were 
tried out, and Jack Knight and Slim Lewis Avere assigned 
to do the experimental night flying. 

In the fall of 1923, after three years of operation, the 
planes had been improved in some respects, but there had 
been no appreciable increase in flying speed. On October 6, 
1923, Dinty Moore captured the Detroit News Air Mail Trophy 
at St. Louis, flying 186.4 miles at an average speed of 124.9 
m.p.h. Moore, an exceptionally likeable Texan, Avas killed 
the folloAving Christmas EA^e Avhen he struck a hill just Avest 
of Egbert Avhile bucking a lieaA'y head Avind coming into 
Cheyenne. 

During the spring of 1924. preparations to inaugurate 
night flying betAveen Chicago and Cheyenne Avere being i)ushcd 
to completion. Acetylene flasher lights had Ijeen installed 
every tliree miles along the route ; emergency landing fields 
Avith boundary lights every tAventy-five. The division terminals 
at intervals of 250 miles were equipped Avith 500-million candle 
power beacons, and boundary lights consisting of lanterns 
hung on Ioav posts. 

Putting out tlieir lanterns around The Cheyenne field 
Avas someAvliat of a task, and Avas in charge of Ira Biflt'le. a 
Avell-known character in aviation circles of that day, Bifl'le 
had been one of the early Army flyers, piloting a plane during 
the punitive expedition into Mexico, in 1916. He served as 
a civilian insti-uctor for tlie Armv Air Service in 1917 and "18 



WYOMING SCEAPBOOK 73 

and later became known as the man who tanght Lindbergh 
to fly. Although he earned a great deal of money during 
his flying career, when he died in a Chicago hospital the ex- 
penses of his illness were borne by old friends and ac- 
quaintances. 

A tornado struck the Omaha field on June 23, 1924, de- 
stroying 12 planes which had been remodeled for night flying, 
and threatened to delay its start. Nevertheless, on July 1, after 
a year and a half of preparation and a couple of trial starts, 
the venture got under way and has continued without inter- 
ruption ever since. At 7 :05 P. M. of that day, Hal Collison 
reached Cheyenne with the first eastbound section and Frank 
Yager continued it to North Platte. At 4:15 A. M. of the 2nd, 
Slim Lewis landed with the initial westbound section out of 
New York, Harry Chandler flying it to Rock Springs. The 
first nonstop schedule was completed in about 32 hours, and 
on July 18 it was announced that the average time of sched- 
ules to date had been 39 hours. 

At this time there had been only one serious delay. This 
occurred when Frank Yager was blown to the ground by a 
hurricane at Chappell, Neb. The plane was demolished, but 
Yager escaped with slight injuries to continue flying and pile 
up the greatest mileage flown by any pilot on the Cheyenne- 
Omaha division. 

During this period the service was beset with all manner 
of disasters. On November 8, 1924, the hangar at the Cheyenne 
field was burned to the ground with the loss of seven planes. 
The hangars at Omaha and Salt Lake had previously burned, 
and as mentioned before, twelve planes were destroyed by a 
tornado at Omaha. 

On November 13, Collison felt his way down through a 
fogbank to land in a small meadow in the Pole ]\Iountain dis- 
trict. The meadow was of such restricted area it was neces- 
sary to dismantle the plane to bring it out. Collison seemed 
to have a penchant for this sort of thing and upon occasion, 
when the superintendent w^as informed that Collison had again 
made a landing in a vest pocket field, he declared, "That so- 
and-so will fly one of those things down a prairie dog hole 
some day." The remark was rather ])r()i)hetic, as several 
years later Collison flew a plane load of passengers into the 
ground just west of Round Top, in an accident tliat has never 
been explained. 

In the spring of 1925, the Army De Havilland was still 
the standard e<iuipment of the Air Mail Service. The plane had 
been somewhat modified by the installation of heaters, landing 
lights, im])roved carburetors, proi)ellors, and so on, but the 
basic design liad not changed. On Marcli 3 of that year the 
Post Office Department invited ten aircraft ))uilders to sul)mit 



74 ANNALS OF WYOMING 

plans for a new air mail ship, the first plane to be specifically 
desipfned for commercial purposes. Harry G. Smith, a veteran 
pilot, and at that time superintendent of the Cheyenne divi- 
sion, was placed in charge of inspection and trial of the models 
to be submitted. A few years later, Smith along- with Ernie 
Allison, the late John Riner, and another superintendent of 
this division l)y the name of Wilke, went to China to establish 
an air line for that Government. While in this service, Smith 
contracted typhus and died. 

Harry Huking-, also a pilot, succeeded Smith in charge of 
the local field. He thereby fell heir to the task of rebuilding 
the hangar which had been destroyed by fire the previous 
autumn. linking did a remarkable .job in this connection. He 
conceived the idea that several unit hangars would be less of 
a fire hazard than one large one; an idea which proved correct 
within a few months after the job was finished, when one han- 
gar burned while three others were saved. Although he was 
not an engineer by profession or training, with the help of an 
assistant by the name of Long, Huking designed these build- 
ings and superintended their construction. The four hangars 
together with the administration l)uilding were formally dedi- 
cated on December 28, 1925, at which time Superintendent Cis- 
ler of the Air Mail declared the Cheyenne setup to be the best 
in the entire nation. The installations ])uilt by Huking are now 
being used as shops by the I'uited Air Lines overhaul base. 

Clare Vance arrived at the local field, in 1926, with the new 
Douglas plane which had been selected by the department from 
those submitted in response to the call of a year earlier. This 
ship had a cruising speed of 130 m.p.h. and a useful load ca- 
pacity- of 1,000 pounds. It was used during the rest of the time 
the mail was flown by the department. 

The first accident involving one of the new planes oc- 
curred when Eddie Allen made an unhappy deadstick landing. 
He had picked out a path between a couple of haystacks, but 
after his wheels were on the ground one of the stacks moved 
over, turning out to be a hay rack. In discussing the matter 
afterwards, Allen said he was busy computing the number of 
revolutions his propeller made between Cheyeiuie and Salt 
Lake and wasn't paying much attention to the landing. Allen 
eventually l)ecame recognized as one of the leading test pilots 
in the country. He was one of the persons instrumental in de- 
V('lo])ing the IJoeing B-29 and lost liis life wlien an experimental 
model he was piloting plowed into a ])acking ])lant at Seattle. 

It was announced on Jaiuiary 20, 1927, that a contract had 
been awarded the Boeing Air Transport Company to c:irry 
the mail between Chicago and San Francisco. Hoeing was to re- 
ceived $1.50 a pound for the first 1,000 miles, aiul an additional 
15c a pound for each 100 miles or fraction thereafter. Boeing 



WYOMING SCEAPBOOK 75 

took over operations July 4, 1927, initiating passenger service 
at the same time by flying a plane equipped with a compart- 
ment for two passengers. The city of Cheyenne fell heir to some 
$600,000 worth of equipment and installations, comprising what 
was of that date the best municipal flying fields in the country. 

Thus ended another truly dramatic pioneering venture in 
transportation. Boeing with vastly improved equipment, astute 
business management and advantages derived from scientific 
research, soon took a great deal of the adventure out of the air 
transport business. Not only the flying fraternit.y but the coun- 
try as a whole is, and eternally' will be, indebted to the men 
who flew the mail from September 8, 1920 to July 4, 1927. No 
equal contribution to the advancement of aviation has ever 
been made by any group of individuals. 

That flying the mail, although in some respect a gay 
life, was not necessarily a short one, is indicated by the fact 
that many of the boys who came in and out of the Cheyenne 
field in the Post Office days are still giving her the gun. 

Ham Lee, the patriarch of the skies, who has flown more 
millions of miles than any man or bird, flies for United, as does 
his son. Testing Flying Fortresses for Boeing, are Slim Lewis, 
Frank Yager, Ernie Allison, Bob Ellis and several others. 
George Meyers conducts United 's training school in Denver, 
while Harry Huking, Cap White and Rube Wagner are flying 
in the Pacific. Jimmie Murray, who flew the first eastbound 
and first westbound mail to Cheyenne, is vice president of 
Boeing with offices in Washington, D. C. Every one of these 
pilots sprouted his wings either before or during the first 
World War. Contemplation of all of which impels one to say 
with all sinceritv to Otto Praeger's one-time Messengers: 
HAPPY LANDLNGS. 



NATIONAL CEMETERIES 
IN WYOMING TERRITORY, 1869 

In 1869, Brevet Major General L. Thomas, Inspector of 
National Cemeteries, submitted his report of Inspection to Wm. 
W. Belknap, Secretary of War. Tn this rejiort we find a report 
of inspection for the Territory of Wyoming. 

At Fort Laramie, in Laramie County, there are one hun- 
dred and fifty-sir (156) bodies: twenty-nine (29) known, and 
one hundred and twenty-seven (127) unknown. At Fort Phil 
Kearny, one hundred and nine (109) bodies: five (5) officers, 
and one hundred and four (104) white soldiers, known. At 
Fort Sanders, forty-eight (48) bodies: twenty-nine (29) known, 
and nineteen (19) unknown. At Foi-t Reno, thirty-one {'-U) 
bodies: two (2) officers and twenty-six (26) white soldiers are 
known, and three (8) white soldiers are unknown. Fort 1). A. 



76 ANXAL8 OF WYOMING 

Russell, twenty-one (21) bodies: one (1) officer and fifteen 
(15) white soldiers are known, and five (5) white soldiers are 
unknown. At Fort Hridger, eighteen (18) bodies, two (2) offi- 
cers and sixteen (16) Avhite soldiers, known. At Fort Fetter- 
man, six (6) bodies, all known. At Fort Steele, two (2) bodies, 
both known. Total, three hundred and ninety-one (391.) 

RECAPITULATION OF INTERMENTS IN WYOMING, 1869 



-Kno^\Ti 



Cemeteries Officers 

Fort Laramie 

Fort Phil. Kearney 5 

Fort Sanders 

Fort Reno 2 

Fort D. A. Rnssell 1 

Fort Bridger 2 

Fort Fetterman 

Fort Steele 



" " " •- 


Unknown 
Soldiers 




Soldiers 


Aggregate 


29 


127 


156 


104 




109 


29 


19 


48 


26 


3 


31 


15 


5 


21 


16 




18 


6 




6 


2 




2 



Total 10 227 1-54 391 



LARAMIE CITY 

Review of Laramie City from May 1, 
to December 23, 1870 

The following is a brief review of some of the prominent, 
general events gleaned from the Retrospective in the Laramie 
Weekly Sentinel, May 5, 1888, J. H. Hayford, Editor. 

May 1st — SENTINEL, purchased by its present ]n-oprie- 
tors — Hayford & Gates — from N. A. Baker. 

MAY 

2nd — John T. McNeil, a son of a former mayor of Roches- 
ter, New York, .was run over and killed by the cars, near Dana. 

3rd — Andrew Malone, a section foreman, was shot and 
killed at Separation Station, by Indians. 

A fight occurred at Sweet watei- between ]\Iajor Gordon's 
comnuiiid and a large l)()dy of Arapahoes. Lieutenant Stam- 
baugh and a sergeant were killed and one private wounded. 
Seven Indians killed. 

6th — JMillard Fillmore was sliot and severel\" wounded by 
a drunken soldier whom he i)ut off tlie ti-ain l)etween Carbon 
and Simjison. 

Ttli — (ieneral Phillip H. Slieridan visited Laramie in com- 
pany with Govei'uor Gampbell. 

8th — Mi-s. Fannie Fisher, the estimable wife of Golonel S. 
W. Downey-, died in the 28tli year of her age, of consumption. 



WYOMING SCRAPBOOK 77 

10th — Quite a large party of miners left here to engage 
in gulch mining at Last Chance. 

11th — The first Presbyterian church was organized here 
by the Rev. Mr. Kephardt of Cheyenne, with the following of- 
ficers : Elder, Charles H. Richards. Trustees : H. H. Richards, 
M. C. Brown, E. L. Kerr, L. D. Pease and J. H. Finfrock. 

18th — News received that the party of miners who went 
to Last Chance, had to shovel through snow fifteen feet deep. 

Sergeant J. K. Menke and Mrs. Joice were married at Fort 
Sanders by Rev. Mr. Cornell. 

19th — A gang of telegraph men were driven in by Indians 
near Cheyenne. 

A young man named Daggett robbed the lieutenant in 
charge of the soldiers at Sherman of $400, four revolvers and a 
watch, and dressed himself in the officer's uniform and took 
the train for Cheyenne were he was arrested. 

The Big Horn expedition started from Cheyenne. 

A woman named Rachael Brown and a man named Pat 
Green were shot at Medicine Bow by David Brookman. 

Colonel J. W. Donnellan was married today in Denver to 
Miss Marion McNasser of that city. 

20th — Lieutenant Harlenburgh's 9th infantry pickets 
driven in at Sidney by a band of Indians. 

A band of Indians drove in a gang of workmen three 
miles west of Rawlins. 

23rd — Chief Justice Howe denied the application for a 
receiver in the case of Davis vs. the Union Pacific Railroad. 

24th — The first Chinese (male and female) arrived in 
Laramie today and established a laundry. 

A Lodge of Good Templars instituted at Fort Sanders, 
assisted by the Laramie Lodge. The officers were installed by 
M. C. Brown, D. G. W. C. T. 

Colonel John W. Donnellan returned from Denver with 
his bride. 

26th — The Cheyenne-Big Horn expedition reached Laramie 
last evening but were unabe to proceed further, being over- 
loaded and their teams giving out. Superintendent Fillmore of- 
fered to take ten tons of their freight to Fort Steele by railroad 
for $50, which amount the citizens of Laramie contril)uted, thus 
enabling them to proceed on their journey. Before leaving they 
held a meeting and passed a series of resolutions thanking the 
superintendent and the citizens of Laramie for their generous 
aid. 

28th — Governor liuHock, of Massachusetts, the judges of 
the supreme court, state officers, meml)ers of the legislature, 
and Boston capitalists, representing $300,000,000, i)assed 
through to San Francisco in eight new Pullman drawing room 



78 ANNALS OF WYOMING 

cars. They had a printing press on the train and issued a daily 
paper. 

A disgusted Morman by the name of John Mowry passed 
through Laramie on his way to Iowa from Utah, Avith his wife 
and siv boys. He started from Echo to transport his earthly 
possessions in a wheelbarrow. 

General Smith with Red Cloud and nineteen native chiefs, 
left Egbert for Washington. 

29th — A. B. Sypher was killed by being caught between 
the cars at Cheyenne. He leaves a wife and two children. 

30th — Snperintendent Fillmore left for Ogden for the first 
invoice of Chinamen to work on the road. 

31st — Tom Dayton appointed express agent at Laramie. 

James Vine and Charles Hillaker opened the first furniture 
store in Laramie today. 

JUNE 

1st— Dr. J. H. Hayford aj^pointed territorial auditor by 
Governor Campbell. 

3rd — Governor Campbell passed through Laramie to have 
a talk with Washakie and other Shoshone Indians at Fort 
Bridger. 

4th — The railroad boys at Laramie presented Master Me- 
chanic Galbraith with a gold watch and chain. 

11th — Quarterly report of the Laramie public schools show 
an enrollment of eighty-three ; average attendance, sixty-three. 

13th — Tliomas Alsop received a carload of blooded stock. 
The first to come to this country. 

14th — Passenger train No. 4 ran through a band of Indians 
and ponies two miles east of Ogallalla. 

15th — Union Sunday school picinc of Cheyenne and Lara- 
mie meet at Dale Creek bridge to spend the day. 

17th — Superintendent Filmore's family arrive in Laramie 
from the east to settle. 

22nd — M. G. Tonn commenced the erection of a two-story 
stone building on Second street. 

Dennis O'Brien killed while engaged in floating ties on the 
Little Laramie. 

24tli — JMasonic Fraternity celebrate St. John's day by a 
ball aiul festival. 

2Sth — Today is remarkable as being the hottest ever 
known in Laramie. Thermometer 83 deg. in the shade. 

JULY 

1st — Laramie postoffice raised to a third-class bffice. 
2nd — Louis Miller left for a visit to Europe. 
Rev. E. D. Brooks appointed pastor of the Methodist church 
of Laramie Citv. 



WYOMING SCRAPBOOK 79 

4th — The day Avas celebrated by a match game of baseball 
between the Laramie and Fort Sanders 'clubs. Oration by W. 
"W. Corlett. The Catholic church held a festival. 

5th — William W., son of Mr. and Mrs. Henry Wagner, 
died, aged two years, seven months and twenty-one days. 

Four miners killed at Shipman's cabin, North Park, by 
Indians. 

12th — Miners in and about Last Chance mines returned to 
Laramie on account of anticipated difficulty with North Park 
Indians. 

14th — C. H. Clark, foreman of the roundhouse, received a 
present from the railroad employees of a select library of en- 
gineering works. 

15th — German citizens of Laramie had a general jollifica- 
tion over the prospect of a war between Germany and France. 

18th— The SENTINEL editorially predicted that the war 
would prove disastrous to France. 

19th — Lady Franklin passed through Laramie from San 
Francisco, on her way to New York. 

21st — Stephen Boyd and Miss Eliza Stewart, married at 
Cheyenne by Rev. J. W. Pephardt. 

26th — Complete assessment returns show 9,536 head of cat- 
tle in Albany county, value $129,595. 

27th — George Bullord, a brakeman killed on No. 4 being 
struck by the timbers of the bridge crossing the Medicine Bow 
river. 

Laramie Lodge of Good Templars elected the following 
officers : W. C. T., T. W. DeKay ; W. V., Mrs. A. Hatcher ; W. 
S., C. H. Richards ; W. F. S., John Wright ; W. T., Miss E. Luce ; 
W. C, Mrs. Dr. Hilton; W. M., J. H. Smith; I. G., Miss Ella 
Galbraith. 

29th — The Baptist Church was occupied for the first time 
by being used for a meeting of the Ladies' Mite society. 

31st — Rev. F. L. Arnold, pastor of Presbyterian church, 
held his first services in the school house. 

AUGUST 

1st — The Methodist church commenced the erection of 
their present house of worship. 

2nd — Died : Mrs. Julia C, wife of John W. Connor, aged 
23 years. Mrs. Connor was the first white woman to settle in 
Laramie. 

8th — County convention (republican) held at Laramie and 
nominated the following ticket: County commissioners, N. T. 
Webber, H. H. Richards and H. Wagner ; Probate Judge, Walter 
Sinclair; County Clerk, L. D. Pease; Sheriff, N. K. Boswell; 
Assessor, T. W. DeKay; Surveyor, William 0. Downey; Super- 
intendent of Schools, M. C. Brown; Justice of the Peace, J. 



80 AXXALS OF WYOMING 

Boies; County Attorney, W. W. Downey. Delegates to Terri- 
torial convention: M. C. Brown, X. K. Boswell, E. Dawson, H. 
Latham, H. H. Richards and W. H. Harlow. 

l-'^tli — Democratic county convention nominated the fol- 
lowinji' ticket: Slieriff, J. W. ("oinior; County Clerk, J. B. Shep- 
herd; Probate Judge, G. W. Ritter ; Assessor, E. Farrell; Coun- 
ty Comissioners, C. H. Bussard, William Crawford and James 
Burnett ; Surveyor, James Vine ; County Attorney, S. C. Leech : 
Coroner, Dr. G. F. Hilton ; Superintendent of Schools, W. S. 
Bra m el. 

W. W. Corlett appointed postmaster at C heyenne. 

19th — Ex-Secretary Seward passed through Laramie on his 
voyage around tlie world, and was interviewed by several of 
our citizens. 

22nd — Democratic Territorial convention at Bryan, nomi- 
nated John Wanless for Congress. 

23rd — Arrival of 3,000 sheep for Thomas Alsop. 

25th — Republican Territorial convention, in Laramie, nom- 
inated W. T. Jones for delegate to Congress. 

SEPTEMBER 

1st — Simon Durlacher went to Corinne to engage in the 
clothing and mercantile business. 

6th — Territorial and county elections held, resulting in the 
electio)! of Judge Jones to Congress. Albany county giving him 
forty-eight majority; H. IL Richards, republican; W. Crawford 
and C. H. Bussard, democrats, elected county commissioners ; 
G. W. Ritter, democrat, probate judge ; L. D. Pease, republican, 
county clerk ; N. K. Boswell, republican, sheriff ; T. W. DeKay, 
republican, assessor; W. 0. Downey, republican, county sur- 
veyor; S. W. Downey, republican, county attorney; ]\I. (.'. 
Brown, repulilican, superintendent of schools. 

The SENTINEL moved into its new office on Front street. 

News received of the surrender of the Emperor Napoleon. 

lOth— Born: Jennie, eldest child of Mr. and Mrs. J. E. 
Gates, of the SENTINEL. 

11th — Baptist church dedicated. 

Fall term of the public school ojiened with fifty-nine ]Mipils. 

15th — The SENTINEL contained the first notice calling a 
meeting for the organization of the W. L. and L. association. 

20th — Meeting held at the school house to organize the 
W. L. and L. association. M. C. Brown, Chairman; A. G. Swain, 
seci'etai'y. The following committee was appointed to draft a 
constitution and bv-laws : Rev. D. J. Pierce, Rev. John Cornell. 
Mrs. E. S. Boyd, Mrs. A. G. Swain and Mrs. L. D. Pease. 

24th — The official returns of the census for 1870, shows 
Albany county to contain a population of 22,436 inhabitants, of 
which 20,000 were Indians 



WYOMING SCEAPBOOK 81 

25th — A disastrous fire occurred at Chevenne. Loss esti- 
mated at $100,000. 

OCTOBER 

1st — Weekly statement of the public schools shows an iit- 
tendance of sixty-eight. Eva Owen, William 0. Owen, Maggie 
Ivinson, Maggie Carroll and Ida Ritter are on the roll of honor 
for the week. 

4th — Laramie Lodge A. F. and A. M. having worked for 
several months under dispensation was duly instituted and or- 
ganized under its cliarter, J. H. Hayford, W. M. ; J. E. 
Gates. Secretary. 

9th — Louis Miller returned with his family from a lengthy 
visit to Fatherland. 

11th — The Wyoming- Literary Association gave its first 
public entertainment. Programme : Oration, B. F. Harrington ; 
Essays, Mrs. A. G. Swain and Rev. J. Cornell; Declamation, J. 
Crandall ; Recitation, Ella Galbraith ; Select Reading, Mrs. 
Pierce; Debate on Woman Suffrage by Judge Brown and D. J. 
Pierce. 

12th — A paper called The Daily Sun started in Cheyenne 
by W. N. Bamberg & Co. 

13th — Sidney Dillon, president of the U. P. R. R., spent 
the day in Laramie investigating its surroundings and re- 
sources. 

17th — Colonel Donnellan purchased $100 worth of gold 
from the Last Chance and Douglas Creek mines. The gold was 
composed of coarse nuggets weighing aliout $5 each. The 
miners had averaged from $5 to $8 per day during the time 
they worked. 

John Morgan, section foreman at Bitter Creek, died from 
injuries received by being run over by a handcar. 

18th — A body of soldiers went from Fort Sanders to the 
hills to procure wood, while encamped at night, one of their 
number played a practical joke by running into the camp cry- 
ing "Indians," and in the confusion that ensued he was shot 
dead by one of his comrades. 

21st — R. Galbraith resumed his position as master mechanic 
of the machine shops. 

24th — A remarkable and brilliant display of Aurora Bo- 
realis was visible at Laramie. 

Married, at Homer, Illinois, Rev. E. C. Brooks, of Lara- 
mie, to Miss Carrie M. Ruland. 

27th — Married, George Young and Miss Mattie Davis of 
Laramie, by the Rev. Adams of Cheyenne. 

J. J. McCloskey and a man named Lowry were shot and 
killed by a drunken half breed at Six Mile rancli, near Fort 
Laramie. 



82 ANNALS OF WYOMING 

28th — Mary Jane, wife of Charles Fisher, died, aged 28 
years. 

29th — Hayden's geological surveying party spent several 
days in Laramie. 

The SENTINEL notices from its exchanges from Kansas, 
New Mexico and Texas the following prices for cattle : Steers, 
$11; Milch cows, $6; three-year-olds, $7; two-year-olds, $4; one- 
year-olds, $2.50. 

Holliday & Williams are running a sawmill in the Black 
Hills, about eighteen miles from town. They purchased the 
mill from tlie Greeley colony. There are now three saw mills 
running in Albany county. 

30th — Married, by the Rev. Mr. Cornell, James Carroll 
to Mrs. Annie Monaghan. 

31st — One of Thomas Alsop's herders found an immense 
mountain lion imprisoned in one of the caves in the rocks. He 
succeeded in capturing the beast. 

J. W. Connor lost a large quantity of hay, a lot of fencing 
and some other property by a prairie fire near Wyoming. 

NOVEMBER 

2nd — Judge Kingman lectured before the W. L. and L. A. 
subject, elocution. 

3rd — A brass band was organized in Laramie todav, with 
J. Pfeiffer, J. J. Clark, Otto Gramm, C. R. Leroy, J. McDowell, 
M. N. Merrill, George W. Fox, T. J. Dayton, J. A. Apperrson, 
H. Altnian, N. F. Spicer and M. G. Tonn as membere. 

6th — Born, to Mr. and Mrs. William Alsop, twins — boys. 

10th — Married, at Weymouth, Massachusetts, W. J. Mc- 
Intyre, one of the pioneers of Laramie, to Miss Emma J. Baker. 

15th — Four carloads of blooded bulls and a fine lot of 
brood mares were received at Laramie. 

One hundred head of fine fat cattle were shipped to Chi- 
cago from Laramie. 

17th — Judge Brown was awarded, at the Ladies' Fair, a 
fine gold chain, as a premium to the ugliest man in town. 

18th — Superintendent Filmore gave a grand party and re- 
ception to his son, J. M. Filmore, who returned from the east 
with his bride. 

A general change in the management of the U. P. R. R., 
with S. H. H. Clark, superintendent of the eastern division, and 
L. Filmore as superintendent of the western division, under tlie 
general management of T. E. Sickles. 

20th— Married, by Rev. John Cornell, T. W. DeKay to 
Miss M. Wagner. 

22nd — The SENTINEL urges the organization of a fire 
company of some kind. 

St. Matthew's Church (Episcopal) gave a fair, realizing 
$390. 



WYOMING SCRAPBOOK 83 

R. M. Galbraith arrived in Laramie with his bride. 

24th — Thanksgiving 'Day. Union religious services. Sermon 
by P. L. Arnold. 

Married, at the Presbyterian church, by Rev. F. L. Arnold, 
N. C. Worth to Mrs. Jane E. Pollard. 

25th— Born, to Mr. and Mrs. V. Baker, a son. 

26th — A woman pilgrim from the Holy Land, named Hadji 
Isabey, delivered a lecture before the Literary and Library 
association. 

30th — W. R. Thomas of the Denver News, delivered a lec- 
ture before the Literary and Library Association. 

DECEMBER 

1st — L. L. Lord, for several years roadmaster, resigned 
his position and left for the east. He was succeeded by Mr. 
Stockwell. 

Eighteen carloads of fat cattle were shipped by Thomas 
Alsop from Laramie to Chicago. 

3rd — Sharp rivalry between dealers brought coal down to 
$8.50 per ton. 

6th — Married, at the residence of Dr. Finfrock, by Rev. 
J. Cornell, Otto Gramm to Miss Catherine Sterrett. 

The South Pass News says : Mrs. Justice Esther Morris re- 
tires from her judicial duties today. She has filled the position 
with great credit to herself and secured the good opinion of 
all with whom she transacted any official business. 

School District No. 2 organized at Sherman by M. C. 
Brown as county superintendent. 

10th — Going down the road to Sidney to hunt buffalo is 
the popular amusement of Laramie sportsmen. 

12th — Pressly Wall shot and killed in the Bullard saloon 
by Littleton Lawrence. Both colored. 

14th — M. G. Tonn opened up an extensive dry goods busi- 
ness in his new store on Second street. 

16th — The scarcity of female help induces some of our 
citizens to try the experiment of Chinese labor. Dr. Finfrock 
engaged one this morning. 

17th — Born, to Mr. and Mrs. Louis Miller, a daughter. 

Three of Creighton's herders were shot by Indians, near 
Pine Bluffs. 

18th — Serious explosions occurred in the coal mines at 
Carbon, setting the mines on fire and producing great con- 
sternation. For twenty-four hours the fires and explosions 
were so terrific that trains could not safely pass on the track 
near the mouth of the pit. 

23rd — The census of the city of Denver showed a popula- 
tion of 4,759. 



ACCESSIONS 

-lO -che 

WYOMING HISTORICAL DEPARTMENT 

May 16, 1944 to November 30, 1944 

United Air Lines, Clieyenne, Wyoming, donor of five pictures of World 
War II activities at the I'^nited Air Lines, Modification Center, 
riieyenne. 

ilagee, Mr. and Mrs. Wayland W., Bennington, Nebraska, donor of 
pamphlet on the Magee Summer Hill farm; two snapshots of !Mr. 
and Mrs. Magee at Jackson Hole, Wyoming, September 1923. 

Fox, Mrs. Thomas V., Cheyenne, Wyoming, donor of one Xo. 5 Blickens- 
derfer Typewriting machine. 

Eicketts, W. P.. Slieridan, Wyoming, donor of one large oil painting of 
Mr. Eicketts Sheridan Eanch. 

Xagel, George, Cheyenne, Wyoming, donor of one 1889 Stock Growers 
National Bank of Cheyenne check by E. Xagel; one envelope car- 
ried by James D. Morton of Douglas, Wyoming, May 20, 1938, the 
day ever}' city and town in the United States received postal airmail, 
so arranged by the General Post Office, Washington, D. C; one 
copy of Swan Land & Cattle Company, account of stockholders. 

Eoseboonj, Jess, Cheyenne, W^yoming, donor of one copy of the Budi)iients 
of Geography of 1822. 

Chapman, Mark, Cheyenne, Wyoming, donor of seventeen photographs 
of Cheyenne people and buildings. 

Warren, Fred, Cheyenne, Wyoming, donor of a framed ])hotogra])h of 
his sister, Mrs. John J. Pershing, and her four children. 

McCuUough, A. S., Clifton, Ohio, donor of a photostat of an 1S97 enveloi»e 
addressed to Mrs. Jane McCullough and showing an advertisement 
by James McClusky who, as a soldier was stationed at Fort Laramie 
in 1864; one Territorial Seal button. 

Mattes, Merril J., Scotts Bluff National Monument, Gering, Xebraska, donor 
of two copies of the History of Scotts Bhiff, Nebraska, by Dr. Donald 
D. Brand. 

Huntington, E. O., Lovell, ^^'voming, donor of one copy of an 1898 
Alaska Xevvspaper ''The Dyea Trail". 

Chamberlain, E. L., La Grange, Wyoming, donor of one Spencer auto- 
matic rifle of 1860 model. 

Moore, Edward S., State Salvage Director, Cheyenne, Wyoming, donor 
of three scrapbooks of newspai)er clii)pings on the scrap drives in 
Wyoming. 

Jenkins, Carl, Cheyenne, W}'oming, donor of one card giving descrip- 
tion of Battle Lake, Carbon County, Wyoming; one snapshot show- 
ing a pack mule witli etjuipment in the early mining days. 



ACCESSIONS 85 

Swan, Henry, United States National Bank, Denver, Colorado, donor 
of one photographic copy of a contract between the Swan Brothers, 
1879; one copy of two western jingles written by Alexander H. 
Swan, 2nd. 

Swan, Alexander H. 2nd, 7046 Hollywood Ave., Hollywood, California, 
donor of the following articles of Mrs. Louise Swan Van Tassel's: 
One pair of boot hooks given to Mrs. Van Tassel by President 

Theodore Eoosevelt. 
Photograph of Mr. and Mrs. Alexander Swan in twin metal frame. 
One leather traveling perfume case, us^d by Mrs. Swan on her 

European tour in 1884. 
One pair of mother of pearl opera glasses. 
One prayer and hymn l)ook. 

One large photograph of Percy Hoyt of Cheyenne, Wyoming. 
Two photographs of Mrs. L. S. Van Tassel's home. 
One photograph of Mrs. Bobert D. Carey, with her daughter, Sarah. 
One photograph of Charles Guernsey. 

Four large photographs of the interior of Mrs. Van Tassel's home. 
Three metal picture frames. 
One ebony box from traveling case. 
Piece of mane from ''Wyoming'' Cody horse used in endurance race 

between Eawlins, Wyoming, and Denver, Colorado; also small 

piece of rein of the bridle worn by "Wyoming". 
Three sheets of music — songs of World War I by Maude McFerran 

Price. 
One photograph of Mrs. Van Tassel in her buggy with her beautiful 

span of horses. 
One photograph of Mrs. William Guthrie. 
Two i^hotographs of Tim McCoy "High Eagle". 
One large scrap-book (red fabric with gold trimming) containing 

many personal items. 
One large photograph album — mostly all of Mrs. Van Tassel from 

childhood to womanhood. 
One guest book of Mr. and Mrs. L. S. Van Tassel. 
One large photograph of Mrs. L. S. Van Tassel. 
One large tinted photograph of Mrs. L. S. Van Tassel. 
One small photograph of Alex Swan. 
One small photograph of Mrs. Alex Swan. 
One group picture of Will R. Swan, George K. McGill, Nellie Stanly 

and Louise Swan. 
One group photograph of Katie H. Friend, Sallie R. Searight, Lillie 

M. Morgan, Fannie H. Crook, Louise W. Swan, Espie S. Wood, 

Hattie White and Maude H. Smith. 
One red leather book, expense account book of her European trij) 

in 1884. 
One letter from General John J. Pershing to Mrs. L. S. Van Tassel, 

1920. 
One birthday greeting (a ])oem) by Floyd L. Heggie. 
One engraved invitation to the 1899 World's Columbia Exi)osition 

issued to Mr. and Mrs. Van Tassel l)y Henry G. Hay. 
A Certificate to Mrs. L. S. Van Tassel, issued by George A. Kessler, 

President of the Permanent Blind Relief World War I Fund, 

for her services and as a contributing member. 
One Certificate issued to Mrs. L. S. Van Tassel by the Woman's 

Council of Defense, World War I. 
One Certificate to Mrs. L. 8. Van Tassel issued by the American 

Red Cross, World War I. 



86 ANXALS OF WYOMING 

Withcrbe, Beth, Box 20.S(3, Vonnilion, Alln'ita, Canaila — donor of a 
Cheyenne saddle about 75 years old. 

Graham, George, 1316 E. 18th St., Cheyenne, Wyoming — donor of one 
sword found on the Custer Battle field; one needle gun, 3.5 caliber, 
over 75 years old. 

Books — Purchased 

Zimmerman, Charles Leroy, White Eagle, Harrisburg, Pa. Telegraph Press 
1941— $2.20. 

Spring, Agnes Wright, William Chapin Deminq, Glendale, California, Arthur 
H. Clark Company, 1944, $6.00. 

Gifts 

Parker, Donald Dean, Local History, How to Gather It, Write It, and Pub- 
lish It. Eev. by Bertha E. Josephson, South Dakota State College of 
Agriculture and Mechanic Arts. 

Map 

I'urchased from the National Archives, Washington, D. C, November, 
1944, cost $2.00, map of Lieut. F. T. Bryan's route when locating a 
military road between Fort Eiley and Bridger's Pass. 



The State Historical Board, the State Historical Advisory Board 
and the State Historical Department assiune no responsibility for any 
statement of fact or opinion expressed by contributors to the 
ANNALS OF WYOMINO. 



The Wyoming State Historical Department invites the presentation 
of museum items, letters, diaries, family histories and manuseripts of 
Wyoming citizens. It welcomes the writings and observations of those 
familiar with important and significant events in the State's history. 

In all ways the Department striv'es to present to the people of 
Wyoming and the Nation a true picture of the State. The historical 
magazine, ANNALS OF WYOMING, is one medium through which the 
Department seeks to gain this objective. All communications concerning 
the ANNALS should be addressed to Mary A. McGrath, Wyoming His- 
torical Department, Cheyenne, Wyoming. 



This magazine is sent free of charge to all State Historical Board 
members, the State Historical Advisory Board, Wyoming County Li- 
braries and Wyoming newspapers. 

It is published in January and July, subscription price $1.50 per year. 



WYOMING STATE MUSEUM 

Housed in the new Supreme Court and Library Building 
in Cheyenne, with vault space and fireproof protection, the 
Museum provides for the preservation and display of the prized 
possessions of Wyoming pioneers. 

Perpetuate your family name by placing your historical 
collections and relics in your State Museum, where they may be 
permanently preserved and enjoyed by the thousands of 
visitors. 

Everything that is presented to the Museum is numbered, 
labeled, recorded and card indexed, thus insuring permanent 
identification. 




i/ifimls of Wyoming 



Vol. 17 



July, 1945 



No. 2 



A HISTORICAL M 



^^^W" 





CAMP CARLIN IN ABOUT 1882 



Publislied Bi-Annually 

THE WYOMING HISTORICAL DEPARTMENT 
Cheyenne, Wyoming 



STATE HISTORICAL BOABD 

Lester C. Hunt, President Governor 

Wm. "Scotty" Jack _ Secretary of State 

Carl Eobinson State Auditor 

Earl Wright State Treasurer 

Esther L. Anderson Superintendent of Public Instruction 

Mary A. McGrath, Secy State Librarian and Historian Ex-Officio 



STATE HISTORICAL ADVISORY BOARD 



Mrs. Mary Jester Allen, Cody 
Frank Barrett, Lusk 
George Bible, Eawlins 
Mrs. T. K. Bishop, Basin 
C. Watt Brandon, Kemmerer 
J. Elmer Brock, Kaycee 
Strutbers Burt, Moran 
Mrs. Elsa Spear Byron, Sheridan 
Mrs. G. C, Call, Afton 
Oliver J. Colyer, Torrington 
William C. Deming, Cheyenne 
E. A. Gaensslen, Green Eiver 
Haus Gautschi, Lusk 
Burt Griggs, Buffalo 



Jack Haynes, Yellowstone Park 

D, B. Hilton, Sundance 

Mrs. Joseph H. Jacobucci, Green River 

P. W. Jenkins, Big Piney 

W. C. Lawrence, Moran 

Howard B. Lott, Buffalo 

Mrs, Eliza Lythgoe, Cowley 

A. J. Mokler, Casper 

Mrs. Elmer K. Nelson, Laramie 

Charles Oviatt, Sheridan 

Mrs. Minnie Eeitz, Wheatland 

Mrs. Effie Shaw, Cody 

John Charles Thompson, Cheyenne 

Eussell Thorp, Cheyenne 



STAFF PERSONNEL 
of 

THE WYOMING HISTORICAL DEPARTMENT 
and 

STATE MUSEUM 

Mary A. McGrath, Editor . State Librarian and Historian Ex-Officio 
Marie H. Erwin, Co-Editor Assistant Historian 



Oop3rright, 1945; by the Wyoming Historical Department. 



A^^als of Wyommg 



Vol. 17 July, 1945 No 2 



Contents 

TRAPPEE TRAILS TO THE SISK-KE-DEE 89 

By Carl P. Russell. 

DOCUMENTS AND LETTERS .- 106 

Were the Verendrye Brothers the First White Men in Wyoming? 106 
(Excerpts from Articles by Students of the Verendrye 
Journals). 

Letter of Thomas S. Twiss, Indian Agent at Deer Creek 148 

WYOMING SCRAPBOOK 153 

Letter by E. E. Robinson, dated February 26, 1872 153 

Station Agent at Lookout, Union Pacific Railroad. 

Camp Carlin 157 

Cheyenne Belles of the 1880 's...... 158 

Territorial Seal Button 159 

Rawlin 's Springs Massacre 161 

ACCESSIONS 171 

ILLUSTRATIONS 

Camp Carlin Cover 

Trapper Trails to the Sisk-Ke-Dee 88 

Green River and The Trappers' Rendezvous 1824-1840 97 

Probable Route of Verendrye Brothers 1742-1743 119 

Verendrye Routes of 1738 and 1742 124 

Trans-Mississippi — French and Spanish 133 

La Verendrye Plate 145 

Territorial Seal Button 159 

Cheyenne Belles of the 1880 's 158 

Printed by 

THE WYOMING LABOR JOURNAL 

Cheyenne, Wyoming 



THAPPKH THAILS TO THH 
SISK>KIM)KK 









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Some of the more important routes used ty the Mountain Men 
In exploiting the fur field of the transmountain country, 181Q-1843. 

Courtesy of Dr. Carl P. Russell. 



Zrapper Zrails to the Sisk-ke-dee 

By CARL P. EUSSELL* 

Wyoming' has a rich share of wonder spots and historic 
sites tucked away in its mountains and vast rolling grasslands. 
Of particular interest to the student of the Western fur trade 
is that comparatively small spot of high country in the north- 
western part of the State where the melting snows divide 
their waters three ways, sending them to the Atlantic, the 
Pacific, and the Gulf of California. The peculiar configuration 
of the terrain which brings about this three-way drainage had 
its effect upon the distribution and movements of the primitive 
peoples who inhabited the country, and, as might be expected, 
played a part in determining the routes of the first white ex- 
plorers and the trails of the mountain men, or trappers, who 
discovered very early in the history of the west that this area 
was their particular paradise. 

The region to which I refer is that high area where the 
Absarokas merg'e with the Wind River Range. It overlooks 
the fabled Jackson Hole and looks westward into the face of 
the spectacular Tetons. Flowing from these heights are the 
infant streams of the Snake's eastern headwaters. The Yel- 
lowstone arises here and flows northward ; on the Atlantic side 
the Shoshone receives a part of the runoff as does the eastward 
flowing Wind ; and the Green, queen of them all, claims a 
goodly share of the new-born waters and conveys them south- 
ward, surrendering them finally to the Colorado and the Gulf 
of Mexico. 

To the Crow Indians whose tribal range included the 
heights referred to, the Green River was known as the 
"Seeds-ke-dee-agie" or Sage Hen River. Most of the mountain 
men used versions of this name. Ferris called it "Soos-ka-dee." 
To some it was known as the Rio Verde of the Spaniards. 
Others shortened this to Spanish River. Captain Bonneville 
adhered to the name Colorado of the West. To the average 
trapper, however, it was Sisk-ke-dee. 



*Carl Parker Eussell, Chief Naturalist, U. S. National Park Service, 
has been associatefl with the Service since 1923 as a ))ark naturalist and, 
in turn, Chief of the Wildlife Division, Chief of the Museum Division, 
and Regional Director. He holds an A.B. degree from Ripon College 
and a Ph.D. from the University of Michigan. He is the author of the 
book, "One Hundred Years in Yosemite, " and many articles of scientific 
and historical nature in various journals. He has had a keen interest in 
the history of the American fur trade, the significance of which he 
regards as worthy of more attention. 



90 ANNALS OF WYOMING 

Tlie Sisk-ke-dee and most of the other rivers of the trans- 
mountain region did not figure in any important economic way 
in the American trapper's scheme of activity until the Ashley- 
Henry enterprise pushed westward through the South Pass. 
True, certain members of the Missouri Far Company and the 
Astorians had been well acquainted with these water courses, 
and British interests had exploited them for more than a 
decade prior to Mr. Ashley's venture of 1823-24, but with a 
few notable exceptions the Americans, prior to the Ashley- 
Henry enterprise, had busied themselves on the east side of 
the Rockies. In order that the routes of the Ashley-Henry 
parties and their successors may be delineated and understood 
it will be advantageous to review briefly the history of some 
events which transpired prior to the advent of the rendezvous 
period in 1824. 

The Trading Post System 

On the Missouri and its tributaries the far trade antedated 
the Lewis and Clark expedition and here it was characterized 
by the permanent trading post. A number of these outposts 
of commerce and civilization were established on the Missouri 
immediately after Lewis and Clark returned from the mouth 
of the Columbia. Manuel Lisa and his Missouri Fur Company 
in 1807 designed a system of strong posts in strategic places 
from which centers they could work the upper Missouri coun- 
try systematically. It was a part of their plan to have the 
trapping done by their own employees rather than to depend 
entirely upon trade with Indians and free white trappers. 

Lisa's Fort Manuel at the mouth of the Big Horn was built 
in 1808, the first post in the mountain country south of the 
49th degree of latitude. From here Lisa's trappers ranged the 
upper Tongue, Powder, and Big Horn Rivers. From the site 
of this post, in the fall of 1807 prior to the actual construction 
of the fort, John Colter, one of Lisa's men made his epic 
journey of 1807-1808 into the Green River-Snake River-Upper 
Yellowstone regions for the purpose of inviting trade with the 
Crows and Blackfeet. Colter, presumably, was the first of the 
American trappers to reach Jackson Hole and the Sisk-ke-dee. 
His route continues to be controversial. Lisa was pleased with 
the ])eginnings made by his men in the mountain country and 
he returned to St. Louis in the summer of 1808 and merged his 
business with that of the Chouteaus, his former rivals in the 
trade. 

The First Trans-Mountain Venture. Targhee Pass 

Andrew Henry l)ecame a partner in tliis larger business 

and in 1809 accompanied the company's expedition to Fort 

Manuel. Henry led a party from Fort Manuel to the Three 

Forks of the Missouri where a post was built in 1810. The Black- 



TEAPPEE TEAILS TO THE SISK-KE-DEE 91 

feet made short shrift of this invasion of their territory, and 
in escaping from the Blackfeet wrath Henry with a few follow- 
ers became the second American trapper expedition to cross the 
Continental Divide. Under attack by the Indians he made 
his way southward up the Madison River, cross the mountains 
via the Targhee Pass, and descended the North Fork of the 
Snake (which tributary now bears his name) to a point near 
St. Anthony, Idaho, where Henry's Fort was established, — ■ 
the first American post west of the mountains. The record is 
woefully lacking in detail but there is every reason to believe 
that Henry's men explored not only the Jackson Hole, but 
also the tributary streams in this vicinity, the Hoback, Grays, 
and the Salt which entered the Snake from the South. In the 
Spring of 1811, the Missouri Fur Company party dispersed. 
Henry with a few companions succeeded in retracing his route 
to the Three Forks and in transporting the year's catch of 
beaver down the Missouri. Thev reached St. Louis in Octo- 
ber, 1811. 

Twogwotee Pass 

John Hoback, Edward Robinson, and Jacob Reznor, prom- 
inent members of the Henry party, moved eastward from the 
Snake, across Jackson Hole, and over the Continental Divide 
via Twogwotee Pass, thence down the Wind River and on to 
the Missouri. These men, Hoback, Robinson, and Reznor, de- 
serve special niches in the Westerners' Hall of Fame. Hoback 
has a lasting memorial in the form of a well-known Wyoming 
river and its impressive canyon ; Robinson and Reznor are for- 
gotten by all but the historian. 

After spending three years of danger and privation in 
the Rocky Mountain wilderness, this trio of adventurers made 
their way back to the threshold of civilization only to turn again 
into the wilds on May 26, 1811, with Hunt's west-bound As- 
torians. Hunt's party was encountered by them near the 
mouth of the Niobrara. The partners faced about and, as did 
Colter when home-bound, he met Lisa's party enroute to the 
mountains in 1807, guided the newcomers over the route which 
they had just traversed. 

Union Pass 

When they ascended the Wind River in September of 
1811, Hunt wrote, "On the 15th, Wind River was quitted and 
an Indian trail was followed southwesterly into the mountains. 
One of our hunters who had been on the shores of the Colum- 
bia, showed us three immensely high and snow-covered peaks 
(the three Tetons) which he said were situated on the banks 
of a tributary of that river. On the 16th snow was encoun- 
tered; there were large patches of it on the summit and on 



92 ANNALS OF WYOMING 

the sl()])es of the mountains exposed to the iiortli. Halt Avas 
made beside Spanish River, (the Green), a large stream on 
the banks of which, according to Indian report, the Spaniards 
live. It flows toward the west and empties, supposedly, into 
the Gulf of California." (Hunt, in Nouvelles Annales des 
voyages, etc., Paris, 1821. Quoted by Rollins, Discovery of 
the Oregon Trail, 1935, pp. 286-287.)" It is worthy of note, 
however, that the map Avhich was prepared to accompany this 
French version of Hunt's journal shows the Spanish River as 
continuous with the del Nort or Rio Grande. 

Hunt descended along the Green for two days, then as- 
cended a tributary which permitted a northwesterly course 
s'o moving very quickly to the divide on the Gros Ventre Range 
between the Green and the Hoback, thence down the Hoback 
to the Snake, and into Jackson Hole. At the confluence of the 
Hoback and the Snake, Hunt recorded on Septemlier 17, 1811 : 
"On its (the Snake's) banks and a little above the confluence, 
are situated the three peaks which we had seen on the 15th. 
We should have continued at that time to follow Wind River 
and to cross over the mountains because Ave Avould haA^e 
reached the headwaters of this river; but lack of provisions 
forced us to make for the banks of Spanish RiA'er. " (Rollins, 
p. 288). 

Teton Pass 

Thus we learn that the west-bound Astorians and the 
mountain-wise Hoback-Robinson-Reznor combination used the 
Union Pass-Green River-IIoback route in entering Jackson 
Hole. Their exit westAvard from this favored valley Avas made 
A^a the Teton Pass, already well known to Henry and his 
followers. On the Pacific side of the Teton Range in a country 
wiHi which they were familiar l>ecause of their sojourn there 
(Fort Henry) in 1810-11, the partners detached tlu^mselves 
from Hunt's party and remained (ui the Snake to trap beaver. 
]\lartiii II. Gass and Joseph Miller, of the Astorians, remained 
Avith tliem. Here, in 1812, Robert Stuart and his returning 
Astorians encountered the isolated party and learned of theii- 
explorations on the Snake, P)ear, and the Green. The partners 
Avere siiitplicd witli new e(|uiinnent by Stuart and they con- 
tinued to occupy the Snake River Avilds unli1 all Avei-e killed 
by Indians on the Poise River in 1814. 

The story of Hoback, Robinson, and Reznor. their accom- 
l)lislunents and asjiirations, shines but dimly through the ratlier 
scanty recoi'd of the early events of \vestAvard expansion of 
American commerce and empire. Could it be told in full, I 
have the feelijig that it would constitute a saga of sacrifice, 
endurance, and faith in natioiuil destiny second to none 
among our Avestern folk tales. Prol)abh' it is too much 



TRAPPER TRAILS TO THE SISK-KE-DEE 93 

to hope that dependable sources of information regarding the 
affairs of the unusual triumvirate may yet come to light. 

South Pass 

When Hunt and his ragged band staggered into Astoria 
early in 1812 they entered a post that had been established 
nearly a year previously by Mr. Astor's sea expedition of 1810. 
It was decided by the partners in charge of the outpost that 
another overland expedition Avas in order. Robert Stuart was 
made leader of a party which consisted of seven white men. 
They started late in June, 1812, made their way up the Co- 
lumbia and on to the Snake, where, on August 20, near the 
present-day town of Grandview. in southeastern Idaho, as 
already stated, they came upon Messers. Hoback, Reznor, Rob- 
inson, and Miller tishing in the Snake. The four explorers de- 
scribed to Stuart their adventures iii the country south and 
east of the Snake, and accompanied the party eastward to a 
point where Hunt had cached some e(]uipment the year before. 
Stuart writes, "I . . . proceeded to open the remaining 3 
caches where we found a few dry goods, traps, and ammuni- 
tion, out of which I furnished Robinson, Reznor and Hobough 
as far as lay in my power with everything necessary for a two 
years' hunt, which they are to make on this river below 
Henry's P'ort as they preferred that to returning in their 
present ragged condition to civilized society. Mr. Miller's 
curiosity and desire of travelling through the Indian countries 
being fully satisfied he has determined on accompanying us." 

Under Miller's guidance Stuart's party left the Snake at 
the mouth of the Fort Neuf and proceeded southeasterly along 
the last named stream on a route which if followed persistently 
would have taken it via the Bear and the Green directly over 
a trail which a few decades later became an established road 
to the Platte, — the South Pass-Fort Bridger-Fort Hall section 
of the inevitable Oregon Trail. But tlie guide. Miller, lost his 
determination. Confused by the convolutions of the Bear 
(called then Miller's River) he admitted his indecision and 
Stuart decided to move northward to the Hunt route over the 
Tetons (Teton Pass) and into Jackson Plole. This he did at 
great expenditure of time and energy, finally reaching the Ho- 
back and the Green. His camp on the Hoback on October 9, 
1812, was but thirty miles from his position of September 17 
at the confluence of Grays River and the Snake. Once upon 
the Green, Stuart laid his course to take him over the continental 
divide through that wide gap, the "shorter trace to the South, '^ 
referred to by an Indian informant, a one-time guide for Mr. 
Hunt, who had advised Stuart two months earlier, while his 
party still was in central Idaho. Thus the returning Astorians 
became the first white men kiu)wn to use South Pass. On the 



94 ANNALS OF WYOMING 

22nd of October they passed from the Green River drainage to 
tlie Sweetwater, a feeder stream of the North Platte. This geo- 
graphical triumph might have been momentous but fate decreed 
that Stuart's accomplishment should be ignored or forgotten 
for forty years. In the meantime, another "discovery" of South 
Pass (the Ashley-Henry use of the route, 1824) was inscribed 
upon the pages of history. 

The War of 1812 

Stuart and his associates had no inkling that his country 
had declared war upon Great Britain a few days prior to his 
departure from Astoria. On the very day that he had learned 
from an Indian at the mouth of the Boise River, "of a shorter 
trace to the South," (South Pass) Fort Dearborn on the Chicago 
was laid in ruins and its garrison massacred. Indian bands 
which had rallied to the British side were raiding the Illinois 
and Missouri frontiers throughout much of the time that Stuart 
was enroute East. In February, 1813, John C. Luttig records 
that the Bigbillies at Fort Manuel on the Missouri (on the 
present boundary between North and South Dakota) stated, 
"two men from the Northwest Company came under pretext 
to trade dressed skins . . . They began to harangue against 
the American traders . . . (saying) the Northwest Company 
would furnish them with everything if they would go to war 
and rob and kill the Americans. . . . Chief Borne made 
speeches to that end but retired without success . . . Thus are 
those Bloodhounds, the British, constantly employed, to destroy 
the Americans and their trade. . . . Our government does not 
care . . . how many citizens are sacrificed by British influence. 
... If there was a fort at the River St. Peters . . . and 
another in these parts ... it would do good to hunters and 
traders." (Drum, Stella ]\I., Ed., "Journal of a Fur-trading 
expedition on the Upper Missouri, 1812-1813." St. Louis, 1920, 
p. 123). 

Canadians of the Northwest Company had been active in 
the northern Columbia region since 1807. Fort Kootenay and 
posts on Pend d 'Oreille Lake and in the Flathead country had 
been established by the British prior to 1810. When the Astor 
interests were acquired there were added to the British estab- 
lishments Astoria, aiul such other embryonic subsidiaiy out- 
posts aiii Fort Okanagan, and Spokane House initiated by the 
Americans in 1811. The remunerative business enjoyed for 
such a short time by the Astor Company was entered into by the 
"Northwesters" most vigorously and the Oregni country was 
regarded by these Canadians and by the several former Astor 
employees who had joined them, — Duncan McDougal at their 
head, — as being well within the firm grasp of Great Britain. 



TRAPPER TRAILS TO THE SISK-KE-DEE 95 

But British statesmen experienced a change of heart regarding 
their war with America. In 1814 they joined with American 
commissioners at Ghent, in Belgium, and there, about a year 
after Captain Black laid claim to Astoria, agreed to stop the 
fighting and restore all captured territory to the original own- 
ers. The British minister in Washington denied the right of 
the United States to re-occupy the post at the mouth of the 
Columbia, claiming that the place had not been captured; that 
it had been purchased, and that the Oregon country had been 
occupied in the name of the British King prior to the War of 
1812. After lengthy diplomatic exchanges it was finally agreed 
that the post should be returned to the Americans, but that 
the question of title to the territory should be considered in 
further negotiations. Out of these negotiations grew the con- 
vention of 1818 which recognized the rights of both countries 
to "joint occupancy" of the region west of the Rocky Moun- 
tains for a period of ten years. In 1821 the Hudson's Bay 
Company absorbed its great rival, the Northwest Company, 
and obtained exclusive British privileges of trading in all that 
region drained by the Columbia. 

The Hudson's Bay Company on the Columbia 

The Northwest Company had found that the Indians of 
Oregon were not good hunters. A new policy was inaugurated, 
— that of sending parties of its own white employees with 
halfbreed and Indian hunters into the mountains to trap. After 
the union in 1821 with the Hudson's Bay Company this prac- 
tice was continued. The parties went inland, east and south- 
east and also down the coast to California. This was the period 
of British field forays which provided Alexander Ross, John 
Work, Francis Ermatinger, Peter Skene Ogden, A. R. McLeod, 
and other officials of the Hudson's Bay Company with the 
experiences on the Snake, the Green, and in the Great Basin 
upon which they reported in writing ; reports which today find 
significant places in the literature of the western fur trade. 
These men were intent upon the economic success of their in- 
dustry but their recorded thoughts suggest that they wanted 
more than immediate financial gain. In 1824-25 Sir George 
Simpson, Governor of the Hudson's Bay Company, traveled 
in a canoe from York Factory, to Fort George at the mouth 
of the Columbia to rehabilitate for England the fur trade in 
the Oregon country and to divert the claims of the United 
States to rights there. (See Merk, 1931. "Fur Trade and 
Empire; George Simpson's Journal" p. 277.) Later Simpson 
engaged in some wishful thinking wlien he wrote that the 
American route into Oregon along the Willamette "is im- 
passable even to hunters, and tlie Louis's River (Snake) route 
is unthinkable ... so that I am of the opinion we have little 



9() ANNALH OF WYOMING 

to ai)])relieii(l from settlers in this (jiiarter (Fort Vancouver), 
and from Indian traders nothing; as none except large capi- 
talists could attempt it, and this attempt would cost a heavy 
sum of money, of which they could never recover much. This 
they are well aware of, therefore as regards formidable oppo- 
sition 1 feel perfectly at ease unless the all-grasping policy of 
the American government should enduce it to em])ark some of 
its national wealth in furtherance of the object.'' (Simpson 
writing to Hudson "s iJay Company Officials in London. Sent 
from Foi-t Vancouver, March 1, 1829. Quoted by M. S. Sulli- 
van in his "Travels of Jedediah Smith," 1934. p. 150). 

During the period of exploitation by the Hudson's Bay 
Company the rich fur country west of the Rockies was not al- 
together forgotten by Americans, but legislators were very 
loath to give attention to it. A Congressional committee ap- 
pointed to inquire into "The expediency of occupying the 
Columbia River" had existed since December 1820. Dr. John 
Floyd, "a child of the Kentucky frontier," and Congressman 
from \^irginia, was chairman of this committee and a friend 
of Governor William Clark (of Lewis and Clark fame) and 
Thomas Hart Benton of Missouri. To this trio of westward 
expansionists in Washington, D. C, went Ramsey Crooks and 
Russell P^arnham, former Astorians. Crooks had traveled 
through South Pass with Stuart; Farnham, during the war 
of 1812, had walked across Siberia to deliver documents to 
Mr. Astor. In Washington they lived in the same hotel with 
Dr. Floyd and provided him with factual data regarding the 
wealth and accessibility of the Oregon country. Bills pre- 
l)ared by Dr. Floyd requiring the President to occupy the 
Columbia Valley and to establish the Territorv of Oregon 
were presented in 1821. 1822, 1823, and 1824. the Congress 
refused to pass the bills but considerable public interest was 
aroused. Perhaps these futile attempts to gain legislative rec- 
ognition of Oregon had a bearing upon the action of William 
Henry Ashley of St. Louis (another friend of Thomas Hart 
Benton) in organizing his epoch-making enterprise on the 
Sisk-ke-deean enterj)rise that was to bring the first effective 
resistance to the British aggressiveness west of the Rockies, 
aiul to result, finally, in the settlement of Oregon in s'pite of 
the It'thai'gy of Congress. 

The Rendezvous Period of the Western Fur Trade 

The Missoui'i R('])ul)lican in the spring of 1822 carried the 
following advertisement : 

"To Enterprising Young Men 

The sul)scriber wishes to engage one hundred men 
to ascend tlie river ]\Iissouri to its source, there to be 
employed for one. two or three years. Foi- ])ai-ticulai'S 



i,RLl S RIVj.K 
R Win Rv Rf MJh/rr)i s 



GREEN RIVER AND THE TRAPPERS' RENDEZVOUS 1824-1840 
Drawn under the supervision of Dr. Carl P. Russell. 

Reproduced, by permission of Charles Scribner's Sons, from the 
Atlas of American History. Copjrrighted by Charles Scribner's Sons. 



98 ANNAL8 OF WYOMING 

en(}uire of Major Andrew Henry, near the lead mines in 

the county of Washington, (who will ascend with, and 

command the party) or to the subscriber at St. Louis. 

AVm. H. Ashley 

March 20, 1822" 

The Major Andrew Henry referred to. in the advertise- 
ment was none other than the Henry who with a party of 
Lisa 's men had crossed to the Pacific slope of the Rocky 
Mountains in 1810 and established Fort Henry on the Snake, 
the first American post west of the Continental Divide. Henry 
had not forgotten the beaver streams of the Upper Snake, 
where, in 1810-11, traps were hardly necessary in the busi- 
ness of taking pelts. Out of the Ashley-Henry recruiting 
grew an organization of Mountain Men destined to search out 
every valley in the trans-mountain region and to exploit every 
trail thereto. Sucli giants of the pioneer west as Jedediah 
Smith, the four Sublette brothers, Thomas Fitzpatrick, James 
Bridger, David Jackson. Henry Fraeb, Robert Campbell, and 
Etienne Provot took their first steps toward enduring fame 
when they answered Mr. Ashley's advertisement. The "river 
Missouri to its source" did not hold for long these makers of 
history. 

In September, 1823, a party of Ashley's men, mounted, 
set out from Fort Kiowa, on the Missouri River, for the inte- 
rior. Jedediah Smith was their leader. Heavy snows delayed 
them first on the Wind and later on the Sweetwater. On the 
last-named stream near a point later known as Three Cross- 
ings in March, 1824, they cached a part of their supplies and 
equipment and agreed to assemble at this place about the first 
of June. They then ascended to South Pass, became the 
first white men to cross through the pass from the East and 
entered the valley of the Sisk-ke-dee, where they separated 
and engaged in a highly successful hunt. By June 15, all 
members of the original party had returned through South 
Pass and assembled at the appointed place of meeting near 
the Three Crossings of the Sweetwater, — a reunion which pre- 
saged the arrival of a new institution in the fur trade, the 
annual rendezvous. 

Henry and a part of his company returned to St. Louis with 
their profitable results of the spring hunt. Ashley, encour- 
aged by the favorable returns from his transmountain ven- 
tures personally led a mid-winter expedition to tlie mountains. 
Tn April, 1825, he reached the Green and despatched his men 
in foui- se]>arate groups to the beaver streams. Before they 
parted a place of rendezvous was agreed upon — Henry's fork 
of the Green. 

In the course of the 1825 forays, there occurred a clash 
with Peter Skene Ogden's Hudson's Bay Company trappers, 



TEAPPEE TEAILS TO THE SISK-KE-DEE 99 

foreshadowing- the several years of conflict with the British 
interests which were to follow. Twenty-three members of Og- 
den's party attached themselves, with their spring catch of 
beaver, to Ashley's company. The true circumstances of the 
defection of the Hudson's Bay Company men remained a mys- 
tery to students of fur trade history until Frederick Merk dug 
from the London files of the Hudson's Bay Company records of 
Ogden's official account of the affair. (Frederick Merk, 
"Snake Country Expedition, 1824-25," Mississippi Valley His- 
torical Reviciv, June 1934, pp. 49-77 ; also in Oregon Historical 
Quarterly, June, 1934, pp. 93-122.) In Journal No. 762 is a 
communication of July 10, 1825, from Ogden to Governor 
Simpson, Ogden writes : 

"On the 23 (of May, 1825) a party of 15 Cana- 
dians and Spaniards headed by one Provost and Fran- 
cois an Iroquois Chief who deserted from our party 
two years since joined us . . . shortly after the ar- 
rival of the above party another of 25 to 30 Ameri- 
cans headed by one Gardner and a Spanjard with 15 
of our trappers who had been absent about two days 
also made their appearance ; they encamped within 
100 yards of our camp and hoisted the American flag, 
and proclaimed to all that they were in the United 
States territories and were all free. It was now night 
and nothing more transpired. The ensuing morning- 
Gardner came to my tent and after a few words of 
no import he questioned me as follows : ' Do you know 
in whose country you are?' to w^hich I made answer 
that I did not, as it was not determined between 
Great Britain and America to whom it belonged . . . 
He then left my tent and seeing him go in an Iroquois 
tent (John Grey) I followed him. On my entering 
this villain Grey said, 'I must now tell you that all 
the Iroquois as well as myself have long wished for an 
opportunity to join the Americans, and if we did not 
the last three years, it was owing to our bad luck in 
not meeting them, but now we go and all you can say 
or do cannot prevent us . . . We have now been five 
years in your service. The longer we remain the more 
indebted we become, although we give 150 beaver 
a year. We are now in a free country and have 
friends to support us, and go we wnll. If every man 
in the camp does not leave you they do not seek their 
own interest.' He then gave orders to raise camp and 
in an instant all the Iroquois were in motion and 
ready to start. This example was soon followed by 
others, a scene of confusion ensued . . . Poinding 
myself with only twenty trappers left surrounded on 



100 ANNALS OF WYOMING 

all sides by enemies T resolved on retnrning to the 
Snake River." 

The alliance of the Hudson's Bay Company men with 
Ashley's company had a favorable effect upon the morale of 
the Americans, contril)uted to the streng-tli of Ashley's per- 
sonnel, and yielded an important addition to his strings of 
pack animals. Merk concludes that 700 beaver were pur- 
chased and added to Ashley's returns by this incident, — not 
a tremendous stroke of business so far as immediate results 
were concerned, ])ut its influence on the over-all campaign 
of the American trappers in the Oregon country was signifi- 
cant. That the transaction had the ap])robation of govern- 
ment officials is indicated by the commendation of Thomas 
Foi-syth, (see H. M. Chittenden, The American Fur Trade of 
the Far West. 19;^5, p. 911), who wrote from St. Louis on 
October 24. 1831, to Lewis Cass, Secretary of War: 

"Perhaps it would not be exceeding the truth to 
say that half a million of dollars in furs are now an- 
nually brought down the Missouri River that formerly 
went to Hudson Bay, and it is the enterprising spirit 
of General Ashley which has occasioned the change of 
this channel of trade." 

For fifteen years after the Ogden-Gardner incident, act 
tliroughout the rendezvous period, Hudson's Bay Company 
parties were met and opposed by American trapjiers in the 
regions west of the mountains. Sanguinary encounters were 
avoided, but a persistent fight for supremacy in the trade was 
waged out of which grew American strength and repudiation 
of the Britisli claim to territory. A. R. McLeod's oftMcial 
Hudson's Hay Company journals for the Oregon department 
testify that "due in part to the heavy slaughter of beaver, 
but more to tlip growing competition of the Americans our 
beaver returns from the Oregon country liegan to decrease 
after 1S27." ( W. S. Lewis and P. C. Phillips, "The Journal 
of John Work," 1923, pp. 21-30.^ 

The Asldey-Henry enterprise was so remunerative to its 
owners as to enable them to (|uit the mountains after the 1826 
rendezvous. Their business was sold to three of the men who 
had helped to build it, — Jedediah Smith, David Jackson and Wm. 
Sublette. These indefatigable workers embraced the entire 
west in tlicir field of action. Their energy and sense of ])a- 
triotic duty did much toward awakening the nation to a re- 
alization of the nature and value of far western lands. Their 
reports made to Federal authorities still stand as highly im- 
poi-tant geoi>i"aphical cojiti'ibutions and Smith's Journals have 
provided the basis for many important historical treatises as 



TEAPPER TRAILS TO THE SISK-KE-DEE 101 

well as volumes of legendary stories. David Jackson's name is 
perpetuated in the historic Jackson Hole National Monument 
and in the beautiful Jackson Lake u)ider the Tetons. In 1830, 
the three partners withdrew from the strenuous business in 
the mountains and sold their interests to five of their em- 
ployees, who operated as the Rocky Mountain Pur Company. 

In the six years that had elapsed since Mr. Ashley opened 
the Green River region to American enterprise, considerable 
commercial interest and public concern were focused upon it. 
The American Fur Company, Mr. Astor's ji'reat organization, 
entered the transmountain arena in 1829. This was the firm 
that was destined to demolish or absorb all competitors west 
of the mountains. Gant and Blackwell entered the fray in 
1831 and lasted through 1833. Captain B. L. E. Bonnevill? 
was active from 1832 through 1835. N. J. Wyeth and his 
New Engianders played their interesting roles in 1832-1836. 
Robert Campbell's and Wm. Sublette's company constituted an 
entity in 1833-6, although the owners had been conspicuous 
participants in the trade long before their company was formed. 
Thos. Fitzpatrick, ]\Iilton Sublette, and James Bridger, all men 
of the original Ashley parties, were the last to offer competi- 
tion to the powerful American Fur Company. Their partner- 
ship was established in 1834 and lasted until 1836, in which 
year they sold their business to the American Fur Company. 
Several small, independent operators also had attempted to 
insert themselves in the fur trade picture west of South Pass, 
but their activities were very short-lived. The effective beaver 
brigades of the rendezvous period were limited to those of the 
nine companies mentioned above. 

The fifteen annual meetings, which followed the assembly 
of 1824 on the Sweetwater were held from 1825 through 1840 
on the Green (eight meetings) ; the Wind (three) ; the Weber 
(two) ; the Bear (one) ; and the Snake (one). Due to a mis- 
carriage of plans for the transportation of trade goods there 
was no summer rendezvous in 1831. (For an account of some 
details of the annual meetings see "Winderness Rendezvous 
Period of the American Fur Trade," by Carl P. Russell, 
Oregon Historical (Quarterly, March, 1941, pp. 1-47. A map 
showing rendezvous sites appears as Plate 102, "Green River 
and the Trappers Rendezvous, 1824-1840," Atlas of American 
History, New York, 1943.) 

In 1834 the Metliodist Missionary Society obtained the co- 
operation of N. J. Wyeth, Boston fur trader, in escorting the 
Reverend Jason Lee and three assistants to the Oregon coun- 
try. This was the beginning of a continuing ti'avel across 
country by Protestant missionaries. Samuel Parker and Dr. 
Marcus Whitman followed in 1835 and many otliers includ- 
ing Mrs. Whitman and Mrs. Henry Harmon Spalding, the first 



102 ANNALS OF WYOMING 

Avhite women to cross the continent (1886), joined the trapper 
parties each year. These families were the first bona fide 
American settlers on the Columbia. Their Avritings were vol- 
uminous and convincing. By precept and example, the church 
workers played prominent part in winnin<i' the Oregon coun- 
try hy aronsing pul)lic interest in settlement. They were car- 
ried to their place of leadership by the fur trade. 

The Hudson's Bay Company continued to be active within 
the same areas trapped by the Americans. Gardner's encoun- 
ter with Ogclen in 1825 was but the first of many conflicts in 
the field, none of which resulted in physical combat. The 
British leaders at the very beginning of the rendezvous period 
sensed the fact that their activities on the Snake, the Green, 
and the Bear would soon be brought to an end by the Ameri- 
can trappers ; so more Canadians were sent south and east of 
the Columbia to meet the American competition. John Work 
and James W. Dease were leaders among the newcomers. 
Dease took over the Flathead House, and Ogden, who for sev- 
eral years was in charge of the interior trade, commanded 
brigades in the Salt Lake country and California and worked 
the headwaters of the Snake. He withdrew in 1831, and John 
Work followed him as chief of this British business. Work, in 
turn, was sncceeded by A. R. McLeod. In 1835-36 John For- 
S3'th, Secretary of State, bent upon obtaining "certain specific 
and authentic information in regard to the inhabitants of the 
country in the neighborhood of the Oregon or Columbia River" 
sent William A. Slacum to investigate and report to the United 
States Government. Slacum 's statement is contained in a 
memorial address to Congress on December 18, 1837. A part 
of it is as follows: 

"... last year (1836) Chief Trader McLeod (of 
the Hudson's Bay Company) took up to the American 
rendezvous in about lat. 43 deg. north, a large sup- 
ply of P>ritish manufactures. This assemblage of 
American trappers takes place annually on the West- 
ern side of the Rocky Mountains, generally in the 
month of July, and amounts to 450 or 500 men who 
bring the results of their year's labor to sell to the 
American Fur Traders. These persons purchase their 
supplies for the trappers at St. Louis, though after 
being subject to the duties on these articles (chiefly 
of Britisli manufacture) they transport their goods 
about 1400 miles liy land to sell to citizens of the 
United States within our lines of acknowledged terri- 
tory. Last year they met a powerful ojjponent in the 
agent of this foreign monopoly. Chief Trader JMeLeod. 
who could well afford to undersell the American fur 
trader on his own grounds; first bv having the advan- 



TRAPPEE TRAILS TO THE SISK-KE-DEE 103 

tage of water communication on the Columbia and 
Lewis Rivers for a distance of 700 to 800 miles ; and 
secondly by introducing the goods free of duty which 
is equal to at least 25 to 35 percent. But a greater 
evil than this exists in the influence the Hudson's Bay 
Company exercises over the Indians by supplying 
them with arms and ammunition which may prove at 
some future period highly dangerous to our frontier 
settlements." (Slacum's Report, 25th Congress, 3rd 
Session, House Report, 101. See also Oregonian and 
Indians Advocate, Oct. 1838, p. 9.) 

The Oregon Memorial of 1838, a citizens' petition ad- 
dressed to Congress, asked that the United States take posses- 
sion of Oregon, "the germ of a great state." It was signed, 
by thirty-six residents of the Willamette Valley, including 
some one-time trappers. Jason Lee, escorted by fur traders, 
carried the document East. The resulting Congressional agi- 
tation over Oregon stimulated public interest in the settle- 
ment of Oregon, and the wave of feeling regarding "Fifty- 
four Forty or Fight" found its beginnings. At this time the 
Hudson's Bay Company establishment at Ft. Vancouver (oppo- 
site the present Portland, Oregon) consisted of an enclosed 
group of thirtj^-four buildings and forty-nine scattered dwell- 
ings. About 800 British subjects resided here near the mouth 
of the Willamette and 3.000 acres of land was fenced and 
under cultivation by Hudson's Bay Company interests. (See 
Report of Select Committee on bill authorizing occupation 
of Oregon submitted to Senate June 6, 1838. Oregonian and 
Indians Advocate, V. 1, No. 1, October, 1838.) 

By 1840, the trade in beaver pelts had waned and all but 
died. Joseph L. Meek, who for ten years had frequented the 
trappers' trails, records that in the summer of 1840 he sought 
and failed to find any of the usual parties enroute to rendez- 
vous. The American Fur Company, however, did hold that 
year a final assembly on the Sisk-ke-dee. Some account of 
it is contained in Father Pierre- Jean deSmet's "Letters and 
Sketches." Joel P. Walker, brother of Joseph Reddiford 
Walker, with his family traveling in three wagons, accom- 
panied the same fur trader's party in which deSmet proceeded 
to the Green River. The Walker family continued westward 
from the Green to Fort Hall on the Snake Avhere the wagons 
were abandoned. The trappers, who, under the leadership of 
Robert Newell, had guided the emigrants as far as Fort Hall, 
fell heir to the vehicles. They stripped tliem of their boxes 
and made their way with them to Whitman's Mission at 
Waiilatpu near the present Walla Walla, Washington, so win- 
ning the praise of the missionary for bringing the first wheels 



104 ANNALS Of^ WYOMING 

to the Coliiinhia. (On May 2, 1943, a 10.000 ton Lil)erty sliip, 
the "Rol)ert Newell," glided into the water of the Willamette 
in the yards of the Oregon Ship Building Company, a modern 
recognition of one trapper's part in tlie winning of Oregon.) 
Close beliind the trapper's wagon came a veritable procession 
of emigrant parties. The Oregon Trail replaced the trapper 
route almost overnight. Trappers became guides in the great 
overland movement and when the end of the trail was reached 
many of them remained to assume places of leadership in com- 
munity management. 

The first Oregon settlers could not obtain title to the lands 
they occupied except by "squatters" rights." On May 2, 
1843, a meeting of Oregon citizens was held at Champoeg in 
the Willamette Valley. Attaches of the Hudson's Bay Com- 
pany attended for the purj)ose of thwarting any move to upset 
the established British regime but they were outnumbered by 
a scant majority of two votes. (See "Oregon's Hundredth 
Birthday," by Howard R. Driggs, in the Horace Mann Report, 
June, 1943; also "Wagons West" bv Phillip H. Parrish, the 
Old Oregon Trail Centennial. Portland, Oregon, 1943). Thus 
a Provisional Government was established by compact in order 
that the immediate civil needs of the community might be met. 

By this time tlie Oregon (piestion had ridden into national 
politics on the back of the Tex'as problem and there existed a 
general determination that American rights in the far north- 
west could not be abandoned. A cry for war with Britain 
spread from the frontier to the nation's capital, and the War 
and Navy Departments consulted Avith Congressional commit- 
tees in pre]iaration of sane and eflPective measures. Polk was 
elected President of the United States in 1844 on a platform 
that demanded tlie acipiisition of the entire Orenon country 
("54-40 or fight!"), and the Oregon excitement culminated 
on January 5, 1846, in a xSenate resolution to ])nt an end to 
Britain's permits on the Columbia. On April 26, 1846, the 
President transmitted the notice for termination of Joint Oc- 
cupancy of Oregon. Lord Aberdeen, the British foreign min- 
ister, drafted a compromise treaty in accordance with that no- 
tice and the present international boundary (49th parallel) 
was established. Tlie Hudson's Bay Com])aiiy witlulrew from 
its posts on the Colund)ia, but many of its emi)loyees remained 
to become citizens of tlie Ciiited States. The teri'itory of Ore- 
gon as first establlslied iiieludcMl tlie present states of Oregon, 
Washington. Idaho, and portions of ]\Iontana and Wyoming. 
A notable number of the early statesmen, business men, and 
community leadei-s in the territory were drawn from the r inl:s 
of the American \'\w bi-igades. 



TRAPPER TRAILS TO THE SISK-KE-DEE 105 

111 the fulfillment of the American destiny in the greater 
Oregon, the fur trade was not an incident ; it was an epoch. 
The mountain men not only hunted out the trails and passes 
which opened the transmountain country to Americans ; their 
industry and trade also provided the physical vehicle which 
carried the American idea to the Columbia, and the.y, as in- 
dividuaL% laid the. foundatio-ii& upon which., o-ur, co^m.erce, 
statesmanship, diplomacy, and culture in the northwest have 
built through a century. No fitting memorial to their cumula- 
tive accomplishment was created until President Roosevelt, 
by his Proclamation of March 15, 1943, established Jackson 
Hole National Monument. 

Jackson Hole in Fur Trade History 

Jackson Hole and its beaver streams epitomize the trap- 
pers' role in the winning of the West. Trapper activity im- 
pinged upon the famed valley to provide the very opening of 
the westward expansion movement. John Colter, after partici- 
pating in the Lewis and Clark epic, is believed by many his- 
torians to have made his way into it in 1807 or 1808, and, as 
indicated in the pages W'hich precede, the Henry party of 
Lisa's men and the Astor claimants of the Columbia focused 
their attention upon it during a three-year period prior to 
1812. With the advent of the rendezvous system, the remark- 
able system of natural passes and primitive trails which give 
access to it came into heavy use. From it as a center radiate 
six major routes of prime importance to the fur brigades. 
Trails converge upon Jackson Hole as do the spokes of a 
wheel upon their hub. These routes were in constant use by 
the Indian for untold centuries before the white man came. 
Nature in shaping the mountain masses which enclose Jackson 
Hole provided passageways which determined this use by the 
far-ranging red man and the trappers of both Britain and 
America. The scenic valley became one of the trappers' favor- 
ite haunts and a practical base of operations. It was both a 
great source of beaver and also the crossroads of their trails 
to the other important basins of the Rocky Mountains, — the 
Columbia drainage, the Yellowstone and the upper Missouri, 
the Wind, the Green, and the Bear. In these great fur fields 
was staged the powerful moving drama of "Joint Occupancy." 
Here was no playing of diplomatics by the textliook ; tlie na- 
tion 's effective energy of westward exi)ansion awakened in 
the trappers' camps of the Snake and the Green. The heritage 
of western American traits and frontier tradition, in whicli we 
as a nation take pride, finds living expression in this very aj)- 
propriate historic reserve, the Jackson Hole National Monu- 
ment. No other spot in the old Oregon country could con- 
stitute a more significant shrine. 



Documents and Cettets 

WERE THE VERENDRYE BROTHERS THE FIRST 
WHITE MEN IN WYOMING? 

It is an accepted historical fact that John Colter was the first white 
man to penetrate the country which is now Wyoming, as early as 1807. 

However, while not a proven fact, it seems to be a conclusion of 
leading historians, that the Verendrye brothers were within the State 
of Wyoming as early as 1742-43. As there are a number of theories as 
to the course they took, the matter is still one of controversy. The Veren- 
drj'e Journals do not make it possible for anyone to say with any degree 
of certainty where they went and there is little corroborative material. 

Dr. Lawrence J. Burpee of Ottawa, Canada, a student of the Veren- 
drye Journals and an authority especially on this matter, has a sketch 
"La Verendrye^ — Patlifinder of the West", in an issue of the Canadian 
Geographical Journal, which we are including in this number of the An- 
nals. Dr. Burpee is the author of "The Search for the Western Sea" 
and many papers dealing with the Verendrye journeys. 

We are also including excerpts and maps from articles of students 
of this enigma, which will verify their theories. Some historians finnly 
believe these French Canadians reached Wyoming, others believe that 
they came only to the eastern Black Hills in what is South Dakota today. 

Dr. O. G. Libby of the University of South Dakota, has an article, 
"Some Verendrye Enigmas", in the September 1916 Mississippi Valley 
Historical Review in which he gives his opinion of the Verendrye trek. 

In the next number of the Review, Doan Robinson and Charles E. 
DeLand of the South Dakota Historical Society, both took issue with 
Dr. O. G. Libby on his Sejitember Review Article. Dr. Libby answers 
their criticisms in the same issue. All this brings out the point, whether 
or not, these Frenchmen, ever came into that part of the country which 
is Wyoming today. Maps are included with some of these articles, 
which greatly help in the interpretation of each writer's opinion of 
this trek. 

In the Proceeding of the Mississippi Valley Historical Association 
1907-1908 — Warren Upliam has an article "The Explorations of Veren- 
drye and His Sons", in which he reviews their discovery of the Rocky 
Mountains. 

A cairn monument was erected by the Verendrye brothers under 
which they liuricd a leaden jdate commemorating the expedition. This 
plate was found by South Dakota school children in 1913. Prints of this 
plate Avith the translation of the inscription are also included here. 

These papers, some for and some against the theory that these 
French voyageurs ever readied Wyoming make interesting liistory for 
Wyoming, and whether it will ever be jiroven as an established fact that 
they were the first white men to ever ]'.ut foot on. Wyoming soil, is a 
matter that only time and constant research will reveal. 

However it leaves a question of doubt as to whether John Colter 
i/v;,s- tlie first wliitc man in Wyoming.- -M.H.E. 



DOCUMENTS AND LETTERS 107 

La VERENDRYE— PATHFINDEE OF THE WEST* 

By LAWRENCE J. BURPEE 

Of all that gallant company of adventurers who helped, 
each in his time and degree, to unroll the map of Canada, one 
alone was native born — La Verendrye, Pierre Gaultier de 
Varennes, Sieur de la Verendrye, — to give him his full, high- 
sounding name — was born in the town of Three Rivers, on the 
St. Lawrence, in November, 1685. As his name suggests, he 
was of gentle birth, his father being Governor of the district 
of which Three Rivers was the capital. His mother was a 
daughter of Pierre Boucher, a former Governor of the same 
district. 

With La Verendrye 's early years we are not concerned 
here. It was not, in fact, until he had reached well into the 
forties that he began the course of western exploration which 
was to engage all his thought and energy for the remainder 
of his life, and bring him abundant fame, though not in his own 
lifetime or for many years afterwards. Without doubt La 
Verendrye had dreamed and planned schemes of western dis- 
covery long before there was any possibility of turning them 
into realities. He had served in the army, both in America 
and Europe, had been seriously wounded at the battle of 
Malplaquet, had afterwards married and settled down for a 
time on the St. Maurice, and in 1726 had been put in command 
of an important trading post on Lake Nipigon, north of Lake 
Superior. 

Here there came to him one day an Indian named Ocha- 
gach, who told him that he had travelled far towards the set- 
ting sun until he came to a great lake, out of which a river 
flowed to the westward. He had descended this river, he 
said, until he reached a point where the water ebbed and 
flowed. He had not been able to go down to its mouth be- 
cause of hostile tribes, but had been told that the river emptied 
into a great salt lake or sea. 

La Verendrye 's imagination, already tilled with pictures 
of the unknown land beyond Lake Superior, took fire, and he 
determined at all costs to seek for and find that Western Sea 
which had been the elusive goal of all the explorers of New 
Prance. Resigning his Nipigon command he returned to Que- 
bec, taking with him a curious map drawn by Ochagach. The 
then Governor General, the Marquis de Beauharnois, was a 
man of broad views, keenly interested in the cause of western 
discovery. He entered warmly into the plans of La Verendrye, 



*Canadian Geographical Journal vol. VI no. 4, pp. 159-168. (April 
1933). 



108 ANNALS OF WYOMING 

and wrote Louis XV urging- tliat tlie explorer should be given 
the command of a hundred men and sufficient supplies and 
efpiipment to carry his project to a successful conclusion. The 
King, however, was at that time deeply engaged in European 
wars, and all that he would agree to was that La Verendrye 
sliould he given a monopoly of the fur trade in the country 
beyond Lake Superior. That is to say, he was permitted to 
build trading posts and trade with the Indians, and might use 
the profits to cover the cost of his discoveries towards the 
Western Sea. 

Not a very promising scheme from any point of view, and 
one that at the best must necessarily mean very slow progress 
in exploration. Any man less enthusiastic and determined 
w^ould have thrown the matter up in disgust. La Verendrye, 
however, set to work at once, put his own little fortune into 
the project, and, not without difficulty, persuaded some of the 
Montreal merchants to go into partnershiji with him. on the 
understanding that they would provide e(|uipment and sup- 
plies and pay the men', and in return get all the profits of 
the fur trade. 

In the early summer of 1731, therefore, we find the expedi- 
tion setting forth from Montreal, in a brigade of birch- 
bark canoes. With La Verendrye went three sons, his nepliew 
La Jemeraye, and a party of canoemen, hunters and soldiers — 
a very much smaller party than that contemplated by the 
Governor, but the best that La Verendrye could manage with 
his limited resources. 

Their way lay up the Ottawa that waterway that had 
been the recognized route to the west since its discovery by 
Champlain. They ascended the river past the Long Sault, 
scene of the heroic exploit of Daulac and his young comrades ; 
past the Chaudiere, sacred to generations of Indians ; past 
Allumette Island, where the Algonquin Chief Tessouat had 
contemptuously denounced Vignau to Champlain; over the 
swam])y height of land to Lake Nipissing; and down French 
River to Georgian Hay. From there they followed the north 
shore of Lake Huron and St. Marys River to Sault Ste. Marie, 
where there had been a Jesuit Mission and a trading post for 
many years; and skirted the shore of Lake Superior until 
they came to what was afterwards to become famous as Grand 
Portage — one of three recognized water routes from Lake Su- 
perior to the west. 

To La Verendrye "s iiulignation and disgust, the voyageurs 
who had followed him so far, now took it into their stupid 
heads to mutiny. Tlu^y refused to accom])any iiim into the 
unknown country tJiat lay beyoiul. Finding it impossible to do 
anything Avith them, at any rate for the time being, the ex- 
plorer sent La Jemeraye forward with a small i)arty of picked 



DOCUMENTS AND LETTEES 109 

men to build an advanced post, while he himself took the 
malcontents north to the mouth of the Kaministikwia, to spend 
the winter. La Jemerave made his way from Grand Portage 
over the water route that other explorers and fur traders were 
to use for a hundred years, and that today forms the inter- 
national boundary between Canada and the United States. 
Wlien he reached the point where Rainy River flows out of 
the lake of the same name, he thought it prudent to go no 
farther. He and his men set to work to build a small fort, 
which they named Fort St. Pierre. It stood in or near the 
present town of Fort Frances. 

In the spring of 1732 La Verendrye and his party followed 
the same route to Fort St. Pierre and, leaving a few men in 
charge, paddled down Rainy River to the Lake of the Woods. 
On the west side of that lake, in what was afterwards to become 
famous in diplomatic history as the North West Angle, they 
built Fort St. Charles. This became La Verendrye 's head- 
quarters for several years, while he did his best to bring peace 
to the warring tribes, and matured his plans for further ex- 
ploration. The site of Fort St. Charles was discovered a few 
years ago by a party of historical investigators from St. Boni- 
face College, Manitoba. 

His eldest son Jean was sent forward, with several men 
and an Indian guide, in 1733, to find what might be true of 
the stories of Ochagach and others as to rivers and lakes and 
strange tribes to the westward. Jean made his way down a 
small stream known to-day as the Roseau, to the Red River, 
and descended that river to Lake Winnipeg. Returning up 
Red River a short distance, he built a third post, which he 
named Fort Maurepas, after the Minister of the Colonies in 
France. 

The years that followed were filled with sorrow and dis- 
couragement for La Verendrye. La Jemeraye died from ex- 
posure during the severe winter of 1735, and the following 
year the explorer's son was murdered by the Sioux on an island 
in the Lake of the Woods. The Montreal merchants, on whom 
he had to rely for supplies, refused to send La Verendrye any 
more goods, and he was compelled more than once to make 
the long journey down to Montreal to coax them into a more 
friendly frame of mind. His enemies in Quebec were indus- 
triously poisoning the mind of the King's representatives 
against the explorer. And to croAvn his misfortunes the bitter 
antagonism between the Sioux and the tribes friendly to La 
Verendrye made it very difiicult for him to make any progress 
with his western discoveries. 

Nevertheless he stuck doguedly to his task. In 1736 he 
made his way Avest to the forks of the Red aiul Assiniboine 
Rivers and built a tempoi-ai-y post tliere which he named Fort 



110 ANNALS OF WYOMING 

Rouge. The name is today eommemorated in a section of the 
city of Winnii)e<i'. Ahout this time Fort Maurepas was moved 
from the Red River to the foot of the Winnipeg River. From 
Fort Rouge La Verendrye and liis men ascended the Assiniboine 
to a point in or near the present city of Portage la Prairie, 
where he built Fort La Reine, named after the French Queen. 
His explorations, hampered though they were by the parsimony 
of the King, had now covered a large part of Southern Mani- 
toba, and at Fort La Reine he held a strategic position for 
further discoveries. A short portage would take him to Lake 
Manitoba, Lake Wimiipegosis and the Saskatchewan, while 
in the other direction a journey over the plains would bring him 
to the Missouri. At this time, of course, he knew nothing, 
except what he maj- have learned from the Indians, of either 
of these great waterways, both of which led to the Rocky 
Mountains, but his mind was steadily set on the discovery 
of the Western Sea, and before he was through attempts would 
be made in both directions. 

From Fort La Reine-, he made a journey across the plains 
to the Mandan villages on the Missouri, l)eing the first white 
man to visit this remarkable tribe. He had been hearing such 
extraordinary stories about the Mandans from the Chippewa 
and Cree that he was convinced he would find them to be 
some race of white people, from whom he could obtain reliable 
information as to the way to reach the Western Ocean. He 
was correspondingly disappointed to discover that they were 
merely Indians, though Indians who had developed a civiliza- 
tion of their own, lived in walled towns and cultivated maize, 
pumpkins and tol)acco. 

Nevertheless, a few years later, being unable to leave Fort 
La Reine himself, he sent two of his sons on an aml)itious 
attempt to find the sea somewhere beyond the Missouri. The 
sons went to the Mandan villages, and from there set oflP 
toward the south-Avest. After visiting many hitherto unknown 
tribes, and experiencing many adventures, they finally became 
involved in a warlike expedition by friendly Indians against 
the Snakes or Cheyennes. They reluctantly accompanied the 
war-i)arty because they had been assured that when the 
Snakes iiad been overcome, the way would be clear for them 
to the sea, which they were told was not very distant. This 
of course Avas very far from being the truth, as they were 
then, as far as it is possible to trace their journey, somewhere 
in the present state of Vi^ijoming, in any event still a very long 
way from the Pacific. They were bitterly disappointed when 
the war party, filled with a sudden ])anic, abandoned their 
expedition and turned back, with the mountains, beyond Avhich 
the explorers had hoix'd to find the long-sought sea, full in 
view. 



DOCUMENTS AND LETTEKS 111 

On the return journey to the Mandan villages and Fort 
La Reine, the La Verendryes buried a lead plate with an in- 
scription taking possession of the country in the name of 
Louis XV. It had long been hoped by historians that this 
plate might be found, as it would fix at least one point in the 
expedition of 1742-43. In 1918, one hundred and seventy 
years after it was deposited, the plate was picked up by some 
school children playing about a sand-hill in the neighborhood 
of Pierre, South Dakota. 

Having failed to reach the sea toward the south-west. 
La Verendrye tried the north-west. In 1741 he had built Fort 
Dauphin, near the southern end of Lake Winnipegosis ; and 
some time afterward Fort Bourbon at the northern end of 
the same lake, and Fort Pasquia on the lower Saskatchewan. 
With these as his bases, he purposed making his way up the 
Saskatchewan, and did actually get as far as the Forks, but 
misfortunes were now crowding thick and fast upon him. He 
was forced to return to Quebec, and cliecl there in 1749. His 
sons begged to be allowed to continue their father's explora- 
tions, but were curtly refused. 

La Verendrye failed in the definite object he had set 
before himself — the discovery of an overland route to the 
Pacific Ocean ; but he accomplished something much more im- 
portant. He was in a real sense the discoverer of Western 
Canada; first to descend the Winnipeg river; first to see Lake 
Winnipeg ; first on the Red and the Assiniboine and the Sas- 
katchewan, if we except the somewhat indefinite journey of 
Henry Kelsey ; first to cross the great plains to the Missouri. 
Many years afterward English-speaking explorers were to 
reach the sea he had vainly sought, both by the Missouri and 
the Saskatchewan. 



ADDITIONAL VERENDRYE MATERIAL* 

By DOAN ROBINSON 

In the Mississippi Valley Historical Review for Septem- 
ber, 1916, Mr. Orrin Grant Libby, discussing "Some Verendrye 
Enigmas," and speaking of the lead tablet planted by the 
Verendrve brothers at Fort Pierre, South Dakota, on March 
30, 1743^ says: 

"The geographical difficulties (to the Verendryes having 
been at Fort Pierre), are almost insuperable. "^ .... "We 



*Mississippi Yallcv Hi.storical Review, vol. ITI, no. 3, (December 
1916). 

1. Mississippi Valley Historical Review, 3: 156. 



112 ANNALS OF WYOMING 

uuiy therefore eliminate Ixith tiie Missouri river and the Bad 
river (Fort Pierre) site from any farther consideration. "- 

Mr. Libby's reasons for these conclusions I summarize 
herewith, believin<r I have fairly stated the substance of everj' 
argument advanced by him: 

1. Fort Pierre is 350 miles from the foot of tlie Hi<ihorn 
mountains and the Verendryes could not possil)ly have cov- 
ered that distance lietween Fe))ruary 14 and ]March 19, under 
the conditions then existinji;.^ 

2. If the tablet had ])een ])uried at Fort Pierre the 
curiosity of the Indians would have induced them to tear 
down tlie cairn erected over it to discover what was buried 
beneath it.^ 

3. That the evidence of the citizens of Fort Pierre that 
the first settlers found, a heap of stones upon this hill, at the 
point where the tablet was found, and that these stones were 
removed hy David Lexau for use in the village, is dubious.^ 

4. That if a cairn of stone had stood upon this hill for 
a long- period, fragments of the rock would still remain in the 
soil.'^ 

5. That the explorers vrould have taken some means to 
protect the tablet from corrosion and that no evidence of such 
protection has been found. '^ 

6. That a careful reading of the record left by the Cheva- 
lier indicates that the Little Cherry band had gone from their 
summer home to winter, a distance of 150 miles — 27 days 
journey, contrary to the practices of the sedoitary Indians 
of tile Missouri valley.*^ 

7. Tliat there were fre(|uent settlements of sedentary 
Indians along the Missouri between Fort Pierre and the Mandan 
and if the Verendryes had returned that way they would have 
mentioned these settlements and the river. ^ 

The one big, ujistanding, indubitable fact is that tlie 
Verendrye tablet was actually found at Fort Pierre under ex- 
actly the conditions and in the environment in which Veren- 
drye says he planted it. That fact of itself is very conclusive 
and it is completely so when taken in connection with the 
whole record. I will discuss ]\Ir. Libby's arguments in opposi- 
tion to the Fort Pierre site .seriatim: 

I. Fort Pierre is 350 miles from the foot of the Bighorn 
mountains, and the Verendryes could not possibly have cov- 



2. 


ll>i(l., 


157. 


;-!. 


Ibid., 


15G. 


4. 


Ibid., 


1 r)8. 


f). 
(i. 


Ibid., 
Ibid., 


ir.7. 


7. 


Ibid., 


158. 


8. 


Ibid., 


159. 


<). 


Ibid., 


1 5(). 



DOCUMENTS AND LETTERS 113 

erecl that distance between February 14 and March 19, under 
the conditions then existing. 

This statement is cheerfully granted, but there is not the 
slightest evidence, either directly or by fair inference, that 
the Verendryes were ever within several hundred miles of the 
Bighorns. Every reasonable deduction from the very meagre 
record is that they were not. The conclusion of the highest 
authorities, as for instance Major Powell,!^ and George Bird 
Grinnell,^^ is that at the period under discussion the Comanche 
and Kiowa, confederated, occupied and dominated the entire 
Black Hills-Bighorn region. The record and all the evidence 
is that the Bows, the Little Cherries and perhaps all of the 
trans-Missouri Indians with whom the Verendryes came in 
contact were sedentary, housebuilding tribes.^- These people 
(the house-builders) included the Mandan, Minitares, Gros 
Ventres, Arickara, Pawnee and perhaps at that period the 
Cheyenne. 1^ The Mandan, Minitares and Gros Ventres, with 
whom the Verendryes were familiar certainly were not of the 
party, so it remains by fair inference that the Bows and other 
bands were the Arickara, Pawnee, and perhaps the northern 
Cheyenne of the upper Missouri valley. Their western enemies 
against whom they were making war could have been jione 
other than the Kiowa-Comanche confederacy, whose eastern 
frontier skirted along the eastern edge of the Black Hills. ^'^ 
This confederacy consisted of two powerful and sanguinary 
tribes entirely capable of protecting their preserves from in- 
vasion. Under the circumstances what Avould the Bows do, 
making war upon these western enemies. They would nat- 
urally strike the nearest frontier of that enemy, keeping the 
line back of them open for retreat if necessary. That is pre- 
cisely what the record shows the Bows did. As they approached 
the enemy's country, and a long time before they reached dan- 
gerous ground, they left their families encamped and went on 
until they reached the tirst village of the enemy. Finding it 
deserted, they feared the enemy had flanked them and gone to 
attack their defenseless families. Conse(|uently they beat a 



10. Major Powell's lingual map in Bureau of American etliuology, 
Seventh annual report (Washington, 1891); ''Calendar history of the 
Kiowa Indians," by James Mooney in Bureau of American ethnology, 
Seventh annual rei)ort, Pt. 1, p. 156. 

11. Unpublished letters of George Bird Grinnell to the writer under 
dates of June 25 and July 3, 1914, and Dpceml)er 15, 1915. 

12. As to the chief of the Bows, see Margry, Uccouvertes et etab- 
lis;sements des Fran^ais dans I'ouest dans le sud de 1 'Ameriquo septen- 
trionale, (Paris 1888) 6: 607; for little Cherry as a house builder, .see 
ibid., 608. 

13. Letter of George Bird Grinnell to the writer, July 3, 1914; see 
also South Dakota Historical Collections (Pierre, S. D.. 1914), 7: 232. 

14. Major Powell's lingual map in Bureau of American ethnology, 
Seventh annual rei)ort. 



114 ANNALS OF WYOMING 

hasty retreat and ^ave up the enterprise. It is not believable 
that the Bows, accompanied by their families, practically 
crossed the enemy's country to its western borders and there 
left their families without protection, while they went on to 
fight the enemy upon the furthest limits of his lands. I am 
convinced from a most careful examination of the story left us 
l)y the Chevalier, that when the Verendryes came upon the 
Bows, who were the sedentary Indians of the Missouri valley, 
the latter were enroute to strike their nearby western enemies; 
that they found their first village, located in the eastern part 
of the Black Hills, deserted and so g-ave up the campaign. If 
this be true then the Bighorn assumption is eliminated. 

2. If the tablet had been planted at Fort Pierre the 
curiosity of the Indians would have led them to tear 
down the cairn erected over it to discover what was buried 
beneath it. 

To answer this it is only necessary to quote the record, 
which in absence of proof to the contrary must be taken at its 
face value: "Je dis aux Sauvages, qui n'avoient bas connois- 
sance cle la placpie de plomb que j'avois mise dans la terre, 
que je mettois ces pierres en memoire de ce que nous etions 
venus sur leurs terres, "^'^ which Stevenson correctly trans- 
lates: "I said to the savages, who did not know of the tablet of 
lead which I had planted in the earth, that I was placing these 
stones as a memorial of those who had come to their country. "^"^ 

Chevalier Verendrye and his brother had spent practically 
their entire lives in Indian camps and knew Indian character 
as well as if to the manner born. It is not to be presumed 
that the Chevalier did not know the truth of what he wrote 
when he said the Indians were ignorant of the planting of the 
tablet. 

8. That the evidence of citizens of Fort Pierre that 
the first settlers found, a heap of stones upon the hill, at the 
point where the plate was found, and that these stones were 
removed ])y David Lexau for use in the village, is dubious. 

It would be a reckless man who would come to Fort Pierre 
and assert that the statement of JMr. W. H. Frost, state senator 
from Stanley county, honored citizen and oldest surviving in- 
hal)itant, is dubious. Yet the fact of tlie existence of this cairn 
does not rest upon the testimony of Mr. Frost alone but is 
corroborated by other reliable citizens and by many circum- 
stances. Mr. Libby is quite unjustified in casting any doubt 



15. Pierre Marjjry, Decouvertes ot eta])lisseiiients des Fran^ais dans 
. I'Ameriquo scptentrionale, 6: 609. 

16. South Dakota historical colleetions, 7: 276, 3.57. 



DOCUMENTS AND LETTERS 115 

upon the veracity of these witnesses whose testimony will be ac- 
cepted at one hundred percent in any court of South Dakota. ^'^ 

4. That if a cairn of stone had stood upon this hill for 
a long period, fragments of the rock would still remain in the 
soil. 

All of the stone in the vicinity of Fort Pierre as well as 
the stones found on "Verendrye hill" by the early settlers 
were granite boulders, popularly known as hardheads, as 
smooth and hard as marbles. The adjacent hills are studded 
with them, where they have lain from time immemorial, from 
the day they were dumped there by the old glacier. The action 
of a thousand centuries of ' ' Dakota frost and heat, ' ' has made 
no impression upon them and no fragments of them, however 
minute, are found when they are removed from their mil- 
lenium-old beds. 

5. That the explorers would have taken some means of pro- 
tecting the tablet from corrosion and that no evidence of such 
protection remains. 

Lead is one of the most indestructible of metals. Only 
heat and very strong acids aifect it to any great extent. The 
explorers of America well understood this and so for enduring 
memorials chose lead. Numerous tablets were buried at im- 
portant points some of which have been recovered in recent 
years. Water pipes of lead down by the ancient Romans are 
still preserved. ^^ Pieces of lead, which were made in ancient 
Rome, finely engraved and with the lines perfectly preserved, 
have been recently taken from the earth. ^^ In 1738 the elder 
Verendrye had placed a lead tablet in the hands of the Man- 
dan. ^o That experience may have taught him that savages 
could not be trusted with such a memorial and hence the 
Chevalier determined to bury this one without giving the 
Indians knowledge of it. Clearly no other available material 
would have afforded any protection to the lead. The uncov- 
ered plate buried in the earth was the safest monument, as 
the event has proved. The Chevalier simply says he placed 
the plate in the earth and at this date we are compelled to 
take his word for it. 

6. That a careful reading of the record left by the Cheva- 
lier indicates that the Little Cherry band had gone from their 
summer home to winter, a distance of 150 miles — 27 days 
journey, contrary to the practices of the sedentary Indians 
of the Missouri valley. 



17. The public is referred to the governor, or the judges of the 
supreme court of South Dakota as to the standing and reliability of Hon- 
orable W. H. Frost. 

18. Encyclopa-edia Brittanica. 

19. Americana, IX, see article on lead. 

20. Douglas Brymner, Report on Canadian archives, 1889 (Ottawa, 
1890), 25. 



1]6 ANNALS OF WYOMING 

The entire recoi'd in this particular left by the Chevalier 
is as follows: "Nous contiiiuames a marcher avec les Gens 
de I'Arc jus(|u'au premier jour de i\Iars, faisant toujours TEst- 
Sud-Est. J'envoyai un de nos Francois avec un chez les Gens 
de la Petite Cerise, ayant appris (|u'ils etoient proches. lis 
furent dix jours a leur voyage et nous apporterent des paroles 
pour nous inviter a les aller joinder. ^^ . . . Nous arrivames 
le 15 de Mars chez les Gens de la Petite Cerise. lis revenoient 
d'hivernement ils etoient a deux jours marche de leur fort, 
qui est sur le bord du Missoury. Nous arrivames le 19 a leur 
fort et y fumes recus avec de grandes demonstrations de joi."^^ 
(We continued to march with the people of the Bow until the 
first of March making always east-soutlieast. I sent one of 
my Frenchmen with a savage to the lodges of the people of 
the Little Cherry, having learned they were near. The,y took 
ten days for the trip and brought back word to us (from the 
Little Cherry) inviting us to join them. . . . We arrived the 
loth of March at the camp of the i)eople of the Little Cherry. 
They were returning home from their wintering place and 
were then tAvo days march from their home which was upon 
the bank of the Missouri.) That is the record; read it care- 
fully as you will. 

Nowhere in it is the slightest suggestion that tlie Little 
Cherry Indians were ever 150 miles, or twenty-seven days' 
march from their summer home on the Missouri. Absolutely 
the only suggestion of distance is the statement that they were 
found two days' march from the Missouri, but it is fair to 
infer that they had wintered at a greater distance. To under- 
stand the real situation one must know the local conditions 
about Fort Pierre, concerning which Mr. Lililiy is not informed. 

Th(^ l)aiiks of the oMissouri in the vicinity of Fort Pierre 
are jiractically without timber and where the fort of the 
Arickara and tlieir farm homes were located upon the open 
prairie of the second bench there is a clear and unprotected 
sweep of the northwest winds of winter. At Fort Pierre the 
Bad, or Teton, river enters the Missouri, coming down from 
the west. Its narrow valley is deeply eroded, the banks being 
from three iiundred to four liundi-ed feet high; aiul the l)ot- 
toms are fairly well wooded. Thus i)ei-fect protection is af- 
forded against the severities of winter botli l)y tiie timber and 
the high hanks along tiie north side. There was little tra})ping 
on the banks of the Missouri proper, Avhile the valley of the 
Bad river was then and is still a trapper's paradise. It was 
the ideal place for an Indian winter camp and I have no doubt 
it was fully utilized. The Indian population of the region, as 



21. M.-ir^ry, Di-eouvcrtos et ctiihlissoiiic'iits de.s Fr:ui(;:iis dann 
I'Anieriqiu' si'i>tiMitrion:ile, (i: 607. 
2-2. II. id., (i()8. 



DOCUMENTS AND LETTEES 117 

indicated by the lodge remains, must have been very large ; 
perhaps approximating 10,000 souls ; and to accommodate them 
the winter camps were no doubt scattered along the Bad for 
a great distance. The Verendryes found the Little Cherries 
two days march from their fort on the Missouri, that is to say 
they were ten or fifteen miles up the Bad river. It would not 
be surprising to know that some of the bands went up Bad 
river fifty or sixty miles to winter. Little Cherry may have 
done so. We only know that Verendrye found him much nearer 
the Missouri. 

7. That there were frequent settlements of sedentary 
Indians along the Missouri between Fort Pierre and the Mandan 
and if the Verendryes returned that way they would have 
mentioned these settlements and the river. 

The report of the Chevalier to Beauharnois is brief and 
at the best unsatisfactory. It was written by a young man 
Avho had secured most of his training in the forest rather than 
in the schools, and who was unused to literary enterprises. 
Manifestly he wrote it after his return from very meagre data. 
His father spoke of it deprecatingly as a "little journal."-^ 
It is most remarkable for the information it does not contain. 
Concerning the return trip from Fort Pierre we glean from it 
simply that the four Frenchmen were accompanied by three 
guides supplied by Little Cherry f-'* that they were mounted ;^^ 
that these guides were taking them into the land of the enemies 
of the Little Cherry band,^'^ that they traveled north northeast 
and northwest^"^ and that upon the way they encountered a 
band of Sioux.^^ To me it is very clear that they did precisely 
what mounted Indians and white men have done throughout 
historic times when passing up the Missouri valley. They 
crossed the river at Fort Pierre to the east side and took the 
direct course over the uplands, avoiding the tedious complexi- 
ties and curves of the bottom land and the deeply eroded 
valleys of the west side. Only with the greatest difficulty 
could horsemen travel near the river. It is most probalile that 
the Indians living along the river above the Cheyenne were 
enemies of tbe guides, and the latter would of course aim to 
avoid them. 29 The fact that they met a band of Sioux shows 
beyond question tliat they were upon the east shore for the 



2.S. Margry, Decouvertes et etablissements des Franc^-ais d;iiis . . . 
I'Amerique septentrionale, 6: .594. 

24. Ibid., (Un. 

25. Ibid. 

26. Ibid., 609. 

27. Ibid., 610. 

28. Ibid. 

29. Truteau's journal in American Historical revitiw, 19: 318, 319. 



118 ANNALS OF WYOMING 

Sioux did not cross the river at all until many years later. ^^ 
An examination of the map in connection with the whole 
record is most convincin": on the view that they traveled up 
the east side. That is the natural course for any one acquainted 
with the region ; and the Little Cherry g'uides w^ere taken 
because of their knowledg^e of the country. 

The Verendryes were no longer unsophisticated so far as the 
Missouri was concerned. It was the "river of the Maniannes" 
to them only until they became personally familiar with it. 
The Chevalier had visited its bank in 1738 ;^^ two Frenchmen 
had remained the following winter to familiarize themselves 
with the country and its people.^- They may have been the 
very men who accompanied the Chevalier at this time. Pierre, 
junior, with two Frenchmen had spent the winter of 1741-2 
with the Mandan.33 They knew when the Chevalier started 
out in the spring of 1742 that the "river of the 3Iantannes" 
was the Missouri and that it did not flow west toward the 
Pacific. ^^ It is notable that the Verendryes in 1742 crossed 
the Missouri at the Mandan, without mentioning it.^^ The 
only reference to it in the entire report is made when they 
were approaching the stream with the Little Cherries in the 
spring of 1743.^^ If the Chevalier did not mention it wiien he 
crossed it at the Mandan, is it remarkable that he did not 
mention it when traveling parallel to it and some distance 
from it a year later? 

The Missouri was at that time well known to geographers 
and explorers. It was laid down w-ith fair accuracy upon the 
standard maps of the time.^'' That men as interested and con- 
versant with the west as were the Verendryes should be mis- 
taken in its identity is not reasonable. 

Having, as I feel, fairly and fully disposed of every argu- 
ment advanced by Mr. Libby in opposition to the view that 



30. Stephen R. Riggs in Missionary Herald, 1841, 183. It was not 
until about ITaO that the Sioux began to liave relations with the Missouri 
river Indians. See Dakota calendar, in American bureau of ethnology, 
Tenth annual report, 302 if. In 1891 I talked witli a number of old men 
whose fathers and grandfatliers had taken part in the invasion of the 
Missouri river region liy the Sioux. Swift Bird Chapelle, a half breed 
was especially informed of the situation by his maternal grandfather, 
wlio lived until 1846, and was notable as the tribal historian. The in- 
formation in wliich all of these old men concurred was that the Sioux 
did not atteni])! to cross the Missouri until about 1760. 

31. Brvmnt'r, Report on Canadian archives, 1889, 22. 

32. Ibi'd., 25. 

33. Margry, Decouvertes et etablissements des Fram^-ais dans . . . 
I'Amerique septentrionale, 6: 628. 

34. Ibid., 588. The Chevalier said tliey were to go west of the 
Mandan upon the information of the Indians. 

35. Ibid. 

36. Ibid., 608. 

37. See D'lles map, 1702; Law's map of 1723. 




PROBABLE ROUTE OF VERENDRYE BROTHERS 
From the Mississippi Valley Historical Review vol. Ill no. 3, P. 376. 



120 ANNALS OF WYOMING 

the X'crcndryes visited Foi't Pierre and j^laiited the tablet there 
I will take the occasion to set out t)riefly the situation nt 
Fort Pierre, in relation to which Mr. Libhy has created some 
jreoji'raphical confusion. 

The Bad river enters the Missouri at the center of the 
northwest (juarter of section 34 town 5 north, 31 east lilack 
Hills meridian. The city of P^ort Pierre lies upon both sides 
of Bad river and close to the Missouri, some of the business 
buildings coming down to the high water line. "Verendrye 
hill" the ])eak where the tablet was buried, is the first eminence 
on the Missouri, north of Bad river, its peak being five city 
blocks, about 1500 feet northwest of the .iunction of the Bad 
with the Missouri. The peak is about 250 feet above the water 
in the river. There are higher peaks in the vicinity, but be- 
cause of its location with relation to the two streams this one 
could always be identified and T have no doubt it was chosen 
for that reason. In the southeast corner of section 8 in the 
same township, three miles almost directly north of Verendrye 
hill, are the well j^reserved remains of an Arikara fort. It was 
unusually strongly fortified^ for it had double trenches. ^"^ It 
is reasonalile to supi^ose that these are the remains of the fort 
of the Little Cherry whose hospitality the Chevalier and his 
party enjoyed. Thus every condition of the record left by 
Verendrye is fulfilled. He says they were upon the banks of 
the Missouri, a stream well known in his time and of which 
he had peculiar knowledge. He was staying with an Indian 
chief who lived in a fort at that point. He planted a lead 
plate engraved with the arms and inscription of tlie king of 
Prance on an eminence near the said fort; he built a cairn of 
stone upon tlie eminence to mark the i)lace. That is tlie record. ■^'^ 
At Port Pierre, ui)on the eminence most easily identified, the 
cairn is found and after its removal, a lead plate is found upon 
the spot just as it was emerging from the eroding earth. The 
plate has the arms and inscrijition of the king of Prance and 
to make it unmistakal)le an inscription is scratched upon it in 
the probable liand writing of Chevalier Verendrye, giving the 
date of the planting and tlie names of the ])arties present. To 
suggest that this plate might have been planted at a distant 
point, recovered by Indians and carried to the mouth of the 
Bad I'iver, to be there fortuilously dropped upon this eminence, 
precisely complying with the conditions of the record, is a re- 
finement of criticism approaching absurdity. 

Mr. Libl)y"s extended discussion of the identification of the 
Mantanncs and the points where they I'esided in North Dakota 
is interesting and illuniinating. In a sense it is a local (|ues- 



38. South l):ikot:i liistoric.-il collcctioiis, 3: 542. 

39. Margry, Dei-oiivertes I't ('tal)lis.st'inents des Fraiii^ais dans 
I'Amerique septoiitrionale, (i: (iOO. 



DOCUMENTS AND LETTERS 121 

tion which he has peculiar facilities for considering". I confess 
that I have been a good deal confused in relation to it. While 
I still believe the settlement in 1743 was at the mouth of the 
Heart river'^o I am not wholly clear on the proposition. Whether 
it was at the Heart or the Knife it would make but little dif- 
ference in the general course followed by the Verendryes in 
their trans-Missouri adventures. My reading and reflections 
since preparing the article published in the Proceedings of the 
Mississippi valley historical association for 1914 has confirmed 
the view then expressed that the explorers did not proceed 
further west than the Black Hills. One has only to trace back 
their course from Fort Pierre to understand how reasonable 
that course is. 

Charles E. DeLand 

I shall attempt to supplement Mr. Robinson's refutation 
of Mr. Libby's contentions only in regard to certain points 
which occur to me in the light of my study of the Mandan^ 
and my study, "The Verendrye expeditions and discoveries. 
Leading to the planting of the Fort Pierre tablets. "^ I feel 
that Mr. Libby has made a number of singularly erroneous 
assumptions of fact regarding my treatment of various aspects 
of the general subject in the latter paper. 

In the outset I wish to state that I consider the question 
as to whether the first "fort" visited by tlie Verendryes near 
the Missouri river in 1738 was a Mandan or a Minnetaree 
(Hidatsa) village not in itself a vital factor in determining 
either how far westward the sons went in 1742-43, or whether 
the lead tablet was actually deposited on what is now the site 
of Fort Pierre on the Missouri river. 

Mr. Libby has however, seen fit to assume a very remark- 
able position: that because Verendrye termed this village and 
the one next nearest the Missouri river the ''Mantanne vil- 
lages, ' ' instead of calling them plain ' ' Mandan ; ' ' and because 
in that connection he referred to what everybody knows was 
the Missouri river as being the riviere des Mantannes, not call- 
ing it plain "Missouri river" until he had deposited this tablet 
on the banks of a river which was then for the first time called 
"des Missouris, " therefore, Mr. Libby concludes, it is not cer- 
tain that Verendrye deposited the plate at Fort Pierre or any- 
where else on the Missouri river bluffs, but that he not improb- 
ably planted it on a remote branch of tlie upper Platte at the 



40. See journal of Lewis and Clark for October 20, 1804. It was in 
comparatively recent times the Mandan liad l)een driven higher up the 
river. 

1. "Aborigines of South Dakota," part 2, in South Dakota his- 
torical collections (Pierre, 1902-), 4: 275-730. 

2. Ibid., 7: 99-322. 



122 ANNALS OF WYOMING 

very verge of the mountains from which he liad turned back. 
In view of JMr. Libby's adoption of this theory. I deem it perti- 
nent here to suggest some evidences which I believe conclusively 
refute his assumption, made in the same connection, that 
Verendrye himself was the sole authority for the use of the word 
Mantaiute; and then to consider certain other phases of his 
discussion of the subject of the locality of the first "fort," and 
of the real point from which the Verendrye sons, in 1742, 
started westward from the Missouri river in quest of the "West- 
ern Sea." 

Mr. Libby declares: "The only evidence of which I know 
regarding the origin of the name Manianne is given by Verendrye 
himself in his journal for 1738." 

Speaking of the Mandan, the Handbook of American In- 
dians^ says: "The name, according to Maximilian, originally 
given by the Sioux, is believed by Matthews to be a corruption 
of the Dakota Mawatani. Previous to 1830 they called them- 
selves simply Numakiki, 'people,' 'man' (Matthews). ^laximilian 
says: 'If they Mashed to particularize their descent tliey added 
the name of the village whence they came originally'." Mat- 
thews states that they were "called by the Canadians 'les Man- 
dais, ' by which name these Indians were generally known, though 
it was originally given them by the Sioux. ' ' Again, he asserts 
that they used the word "Numangkake" in referring to them- 
selves, and that "another general name of this people is Mahna- 
Narra, the sulkey, because they separated from the rest of their 
nation, and went higher up the Missouri." Speaking of the 
myth of the "Mandan 'Creation,' " he says: "And before the 
existence of the earth, the lord of life created the first man, 
Mumank-Machana, " etc. Yet Matthews, who is justly regarded 
by Mr. Libby as high authority upon this subject, had never 
heard of Verendrye except as referred to by Catlin.'* 

The Verendryes, however, had been in contact with the 
Sioux, who named the Mandan "Mawatana," when they were 
in what is now northern IMinnesota, years before they came to 
the ^lissouri river ; and they were doubtless well aware of this 
Sioux name for the Mandan. They had furthermore lived for 
a long period of time among the Canadians, who called the 
Mandan "les Mandals." 

It seems that is not only highly probable, but morally 
certain, that the Verendryes derived the word Ma)itannc from 
the numerous originals — "]\Iawatana," "mandals," "Numang- 
kake," "Mahna-Narra," "Mumank-Machana," — which have re- 



3. Handbook of American Indians north of Mexico, edited by 
F. W. Hodge (Smithsonian institntion, bureau of American ethnology, 
bulletin 30— Washington, 1907-1910), 1: 796. 

4. Washington Matthews, Ethnography and philology of the Hidatsa 
Indians (Washington, D. C, 1877), 29. 



DOCUMENTS AND LETTEES 123 

solved among the whites, into the form "Mandan. " In all but 
one of these original forms, the syllable "man" is found; 
while the "dan" readily follows from "dais," "tana," 
"channa," etc. I can not pretend to even moderate philological 
skill in tracing Indian names to their roots ; but I feel confident 
that instances without end may be cited where final word-forms 
have been derived from less cognate originals than in this case.^ 

It is interesting to note that Hayclen gives the name 
"Miahtanes, " or "people on the bank," as the name the Mandan 
applied to themselves ; and draws the inference that ' ' they must 
have resided on the banks of the Missouri in a very remote pe- 
riod." We mentioned this fact as being suggestive of the more 
immediate issue here : that the Yerendryes naturally connected 
the Mandan with the Missouri river in referring to the latter as 
the riviere des Mantannes. When they visited it in 1738 they had 
no occasion to think of the Missouri river except as the habitat of 
the Mantannes ; later on, when they came to consider the stream 
itself, its independent name naturally enough became a matter 
of consideration. Margry says the Tontis used the word ' ' Emis- 
sourita" in 1684, and that Joutel in 1687 referred to the "Mis- 
souris ; ' ' many other forms of the word, in connection with the 
names of Indian tribes on the Missouri further south, as well 
as with the river itself, were in use later on. Is it at all improb- 
able then, that the Verendryes, when they came to settle down 
with the Mandan as Mantannes after the elder Verendrye had 
returned to Canada in 1738-9 or even during the trans-Missouri 
trip, ascertained that the river was known as the "Missouri"? 
And this without their mentioning "les Missourj^s" in the jour- 
nals before the time they deposited the plate ? 

In examining Mr. Libby's article, I can not help thinking 
that his reading of my paper, particularly where it deals with 
my treatment of the question of the location the first village 
reached by Verendrye near the Missouri in 1738, must have 
been extremely casual and incomplete. After stating that 
Verendrye took the latitude of the village and found it 48° 12', 
north latitude, he says: "Ignoring this simple statement of 
fact, probably on account of the misleading name Mantanne, 



5. Incidentally I may remark that Mr. Libbj' 's supposition that 
practically all writers on the Mandan have taken Parknian 's word re- 
garding the Verendrye designation of Mantannes is likewise untenable, 
since all who desire have had access to these general sources. And why 
should it be doubted that Parkman, in his travels among the western 
Indians, had learned some things concerning the various originals I have 
mentioned, — and perhaps others also, — from which he may have formed 
ideas which in turn rendered his adoption of the word Mantannes more 
or less a matter of course? So far as I am concerned, I must disclaim 
having had any thought of relying especially upon Parkman, either in 
my study of the Mandan or in my presentation of the Verendrye visits 
to the Missouri river Indian. 




I)e Laixl's map of Vi'ri>iiilry<> routes nf 17. >. an 1 nf ITJJ 



DE LAND'S MAP OF VERENDRYE ROUTES OF 1738, AND OF 1742 
From the Mississippi Valley Historical Review vol. Ill no. 3, P. 381. 



DOCUMENTS AND LETTERS 125 

Parkman locates this vil]ag:e at the month of the Knife river, 
which is 47° 20' north latitude, while DeLand and Robinson 
locate the village at the mouth of the Heart river, which is 
46° 50' north latitude. None of these authors explain why 
Verendrye could not perform the relatively simple task of as- 
certaining the correct latitude," etc. 

If Mr. Libby had taken pains so much as to glance at my 
map^ of the supposed Verendrye route from Fort La Heine to 
this village, he would have observed that I locate this first village, 
not on the Missouri anywhere — much less at the mouth of the 
Heart — but northeast of the Missouri and at a point on the 
west side of the southern loup of the Mouse river. And not 
only do I not "ignore" Verendrye 's observation, but I expressly 
mention it in several places in my paper. On page 172 I say : 
"But, if we are to credit the astronomical observation made by 
Verendrye 's son five days later, as recorded by the explorer, 
this fort, wherever it stood as to longitude, was at 'forty-eight 
degrees, twelve minutes' in latitude. And that that expedition 
was now somewhere in the near neighborhood of the southern 
bend of the 'loup' of the Mouse river seems reasonably certain, 
from deductions, some of which we have already made, some of 
w^hich we now make : The latitude is substantially five miles 
south of Minot, N. Dak. — and we believe it not improbable that 
the 'small river' of Verendrye 's journal meant either the Mouse 
in this general locality, or some branch of it flowing from west- 
ward. "'^ On page 169 I say: "Now, the 'small river' soon 
to be mentioned was not a branch of the Missouri, since it is 
some fifty miles southerly from the southern extremity of the 
'loup' to Wolf Creek, some five miles north of Coal Harbor, 
North Dakota, where the Missouri turns from an easterly to 
a southerly course. Spring Creek is some .fifteen miles further 
south and about seven miles above the mouth of Knife river. 
Painted Woods Creek is from 30 to 35 miles south of Spring 
Creek and about eight miles below Washburn, North Dakota. 
All these creeks are branches of and are on the easterly side of 
the Missouri." And, as reference to any map will show, Wash- 
burn is some forty-five miles north of Bismarck, which is oppo- 
site the mouth of the Heart. 

I am all but surmising that Mr. Libby, in his hasty reading 
of my paper at this poi)it, may have jumped to the conclusion 
that I regarded the "small river" of that journal as being the 



6. Tins map compiehejuls tlie entire route, f^oing nnd returning: 
the initial trip to this first village, on to the Missouri river hank, thence 
westward to the mountains, bai-k to the Missouri where the tablet waa 
deposited, tlience northward to the place where the ex])l()rers crossed the 
Missouri west-hound, and thence to Fort La Reine. South Dakota his- 
torical collections, 7: opposite 96. 

7. Ibid., 7: 172. 



126 ANNALiS OF WYOMING 

Missouri I Nut that it would liave ])een much if any worse to 
assume that the modest Mouse was the great Missouri than to 
suppose, as Mr. Libby does, that the "north fork of the upper 
Platte" near "the wooded slopes of the Laramie range in 
Colorado" was not improbably the Missouri! This is his as- 
sumption in endeavoring to render plausible the theory that 
the tablet was originally deposited out there at the verge of 
the mountains. 

Time and lack of space forbid detailing my supposition 
as to where the Verendrye sons, in 1742, crossed the Missouri 
west-bound. Suffice it to say, that my map shows the cross- 
ing at Heart river, since I regarded it as being more probable 
that they crossed there than at the mouth of the Big Knife 
or thereabouts. 

Again, it is quite probable that, as Mr. Libby asserts, 
there was an Indian tradition of an "Old Crossing" of the 
Missouri near the mouth of the Little Knife — some seventy-five 
miles by air-line north^Yest from the mouth of Big Knife — 
even though the alleged old village site by this crossing had 
itself been washed away leaving nothing in sight but "the old 
garden and the burial place." And his assumption that at 
"Old Crossing" the Verendryes set out for the "Western Sea" 
is based very largely upon the fact that from a nearby 1)luff 
an observer would see that the Missouri for some ten miles 
ai)peared to flow to the southwest. But if the river's "appear- 
ance of continuing its westerly course" prevailed with the 
ex])lorers in setting out at "Old Crossing," why may not the 
fact that the Missouri again turns to southwest at the mouth 
of Wolf creek, some sixty-five miles by air-line southeast from 
"Old Ci'ossing" and substantially due south from Minot, furnish 
a similar theory of the Verendrye 's departure westward from 
that point? Or from still another bend to southwest about 
halfway down from Painted Woods creek to the mouth of the 
Heart? True, these two bends are shorter than that at "Old 
Crossing"; and I have not reconnoitered either bend. The 
point is that speculation will not substantially determine just 
where the Verendryes did cross. 

But even supposing they did go westward from "Old Cross- 
ing" and not from farther ilown the Missouri? The Verendrye 
journal comjx'ls the liistorian to believe that the general course 
toward the mountains was not far from southwesterly. ]\Ir. 
Libby himself assumes that the route "lay between the Yellow- 
stone and the Little Missouri in a general southwest direction." 
Such also was my theory, as is indi(tated on my map showing 
both the shorter and the longer routes which I took as hypoth- 
eses when seeking to establish a probable conclusion as to 
how far westward the Vci-eiuli-yes proceeded. Surely it can 
make but verv little dift'ei-ence whether thev left the Missouri 



DOCUMENTS AND LETTEES 127 

at "Old Crossing," or at the Big Knife, or at the Heart, in 
determining how far to southwest they turned back after reach- 
ing a mountain somewhere. My deductions from the Verendrye 
journal, as shown by my map, bring the party to a point west 
of the upper Little Missouri, according to my theory of a longer 
march and a destination farther southwest then could have 
been reached according to my alternative theory of a shorter 
march and a destination in the Black Hills, South Dakota. The 
longer route brings the explorers to the westerly part of the 
bend of the Pow^der River, Wyoming, and to a point about sixty 
miles north-northwest from Wolcott, Wyoming, a town on the 
North Platte about midway between Casper and Fort Fetter- 
man ; this point on the North Platte is near the foot of the 
"Laramie range" referred to by Mr. Libby as the place where 
the Verendryes met the Petite Cerise (Little Cherries) and in 
the very locality where he supposes the tablet was deposited. 

Let Mr. Libby take the Verendrye journal, compare it with 
my line of observation and reasoning regarding the distance 
traveled, the land marks noted by the explorers, the directions 
pursued, and the destination reached under my theory of the 
longer route, and then let him demonstrate, if he can that the 
Verendryes went farther southwest than I have indicated on 
my map and in the text of my paper. After spending weeks 
of time with maps old and new, military and civil, and with 
every sidelight that I was able to bring to my aid in addition 
to the journal itself ; and after repeated conferences with Mr. 
Robinson upon many phases of the subject, I arrived at the 
conclusion indicated by my map in regard to the route of the 
Verendryes, first, in crossing from the Assiniboine to the Mis- 
souri in 1738, and second, in making the circuit from the 
Missouri to the mountains and back to the lower Missouri, and 
thence northward and homeward. In making my deduction 
under the long-distance theory I assumed that in going from 
the Missouri to "Horse Mountain," North Dakota, before they 
fell in with Lidians with whom they traveled more or less con- 
tinuously thereafter, the Verendryes traveled an average of 
fifteen miles per day, as compared yviih the nine or ten miles 
per day, to Red Butte, North Dakota, reckoned in the short- 
distance theory. After falling in with the Indians they traveled, 
on the supposed long-distance route, nine miles per day while 
actually en route ; on the short-route theory I placed this daily 
mileage at six miles. Mr. Libby himself asserts that on the 
return trip, while they were with the Gens de L'Arc, the ex- 
plorers "could not average more than five or six miles a day." 
But he makes this statement in endeavoring to establish tiie 
theory that the Verendrye could not have traveled back eastward 
from the neighborhood of "the foot of the Big Horn range, 
Wyoming, where they were camped with the Gens de L'Arc, 



128 ANNALS OF WYOMING 

to tlie mouth of the Bad river in Houth Dakota," where the tab- 
let was discovered, "from February 14 to March 19." 

Mr. Libby, however, nowhere specifies, even substantially, 
where he believes the Verendryes were when they with the 
Little Bow band turned back from the "mountain" to which 
tlie journal refers. How much fariher west than near the west 
side of the bend of the Powder river, where my map indicates 
I estimated they ended their westward journey, can it be fairly 
deduced from the journal and other data at hand that they did 
proceed ? By Mr. Libby or any other investigator ? ? 

But uidess he can do this, and can add some one hundred 
miles to the distance traveled westward, how is he or any other 
student of history able to account for the distance which the 
expedition covered from February 14 to March 19, supposing, 
as he does, that during that period the Verendryes proceeded 
eastward or southeastward 07ily as far as "the north fork of 
the upper Platte" near the Laramie mountains? If they did 
not go farther west than the bend of the Powder, then they 
spent all that time in camping and in traveling substantially 
the sixty miles above referred to, and got but very little farther 
east than the point from which they had started after the scare 
by the "Snakes." Here let me remark that unless one adopts 
my theory that, if they got beyond the Black Hills west-bound, 
they probably reached a point somewiiat to the southwest of 
that group, it can not be supposed that they came in contact 
with any part of the north fork of the Platte ; since the journal 
says they proceeded "east-by-southeast" on their return from 
the mountains ; if they touched the North Platte anywhere, 
then, it must have been close to the Laramie mountains, for that 
branch curves noi'theasterly between the Rattlesnake Hills and 
the Laramies and then flows substantially due southeast, so that 
it would not have been approached eastward from that curve 
by travelers coming from the west in a direction " east -by-south- 
east. ' ' 

Now, in passing eastward from the village which I have 
termed the "baggage village," to which they rushed from the 
"mountain" to the Bow camp, the Verendryes spent twenty- 
niiu^ days in actual travel.^ Mr. Libby estimates the distance 
by air-line from "the foot of the Big Horn range," wherever 
that may be, to the mouth of Bad river, as 350 miles, and he adds 
another 100 miles for "inevitable detoure. " My own estimate, 
which T think is reasonable, is that the travel-distance from the 
"baggage village" (some fifty miles east of the southern end 
of the Big-Horn range ])r()per) to that point on the ]\Iissouri. is 
275 miles; this required an average daily ti'avel of nine and one- 



8. South Diikotn liistorital collrctions, 7: 245. 



DOCUMENTS AND LETTERS 129 

half miles.^ I am still by no means convinced however, that 
the Verendryes went any farther west than to near the north- 
west corner of the Black Hills range, some 175 miles west-north- 
west from the mouth of Bad river on the Missouri. Upon the 
theory of this shorter journey, the daily average distance covered 
would be only six miles. ^^ 

My objection to the theory that the explorers went as far 
west as the bend of the Powder river is intensified by two con- 
siderations : the difficulty in accounting for their covering the 
distance to the Missouri river, within the time consumed ; and 
the fact that if they had gone west of the Black Hills, and then 
made a detour partly around and to the southward of those 
hills, their course would not have comported with the journal's 
statement of an "east-by-southeast" direction. Furthermore, 
according to that theory, they would certainly have discovered 
the Black Hills, the highest range on the continent east of the 
Rocky mountains proper ; yet the journal makes no mention of 
their seeing a mountain after they receded from the "moun- 
tain" of the Snake Indians. 

Although there are several other phases of Mr. Libby's 
paper which I would be inclined to criticize if space permitted, 
r will mention but one further consideration which tends to 
confirm the evidence, to my mind already conclusive, that the 
lead tablet was originally deposited at none other than the spot 
where it was discovered. I refer to additional evidences of a 
habitat of the Bow Indians on and in the vicinity of the Missouri 
river. After my study of the Verendrye expeditions was through 
the press, my attention was drawn to an old map, published at 
the end of Volume VII, South Dakota Historical Collections in 
1914, and designated "Carte Du Missouri Levee ou Rectifiee 
dans toute son Etendue Par Francois Perrin du Lac, I An 
1802." On this map of the Missouri river, at a point in what 
is now^ the state of Nebraska, and not far from opposite the line 
between Clay and Yankton counties, South Dakota, there is 
delineated a small creek flowing into the Missouri from south- 
ward ; beside this stream are found the words "ancien village 
des petite arcs." We are further enlightened regarding this 
very village site by the account of Sergeant John Ordway, who 
was with the Lewis and Clark expedition. In his journal, ^^ 
Ordway says: "We proceeded ou to the mouth of little petark 
(French) little Bow (English) S. S. above the hill opposite to 
which we camped on N. S. at petite wave formerly an old Indian 
village." In a footnote it appears that this creek was named, 
"according to Clark, for an Indian chief. Petite Arc (or Little 



9. Ibid. 

10. Ibid. 

11. Published in State historical society of Wisconsin, Collections 
(Madison, 1916), volume 22. 



130 ANNALS OF WYOMING 

Bow), whose village was situated for a time at its month.. Little 
Bow was an Omaha who seceded for a time from his tribe be- 
cause of his dissatisfaction with Chief Blackbird. After the 
death of the latter Little Bow's band rejoined Blackbird's fol- 
lowers. The name Bow Creek still attaches to the stream, which 
lies in Cedar county, Nebraska. The camp this day was in 
South Dakota, near the boundary between Clay and Yankton 
counties. " 

This newly-published information, taken in connection with 
various facts concerning the Little Bow Indians dealt with in 
my paper, renders still more probable the theory that the Little 
Bow chief with whom the Verendryes traveled, was in their day, 
domiciled in the neighborhood of the Missouri river in what is 
now South Dakota ; although the chief mentioned in the Ordway 
chronicle, being an Omaha, would not be classed as an Arikara 
or Ree. The Ordway account of the Little Bow village is borne 
out by the summary of the Omaha in the Hand-hook of Ainer- 
ioan Indians, ^^ where the Omaha, in connection with the Ponca, 
are referred to as having come up the river to the vicinity of 
the Pipestone quarry, Minnesota. It is said of them: "They 
were driven back by the Dakota, and after the separation of 
the Ponca, who advanced into the Black hills, which occurred 
probably about 1650 at the mouth of the Niobrara r., the Omaha 
settled on Bow cr., Nebr., and may have already been there at 
the date of Marquette's map (1673)." Is it at all improbable 
that, after the Ponca had gone to the Black Hills, the Little 
Bow chief may have followed, and may have remained in that 
vicinity for some time? Or that he may have been the selfsame 
Little Bow with whom the Verendryes traveled down the Belle 
Fourche toward the Missouri? 

Concluding : I regard as utterly untenable the theory of 
Mr. Libby that the Verendrye plate may have been deposited 
on the upper North Platte, and that it may not have been orig- 
inally deposited where Hattie Foster found it on the gumbo 
knob on the site of Fort Pierre. 

Orin G. Libby 

The general aspects of the work of the elder Verendrye 
and his sons, and its si)ecial significance to the student both 
of history and geograpliy will serve as suft'icient reason for 
making a further contribution on the subject. Students of 
western history are necessarily but slightly interested in local 
controversies over the identification of a particular historic 
site. But any real contribution to the increasing volume of 
material on tlie work of one of the foremost explorers in the 
northwest is always welcomed as timely. 

12. 2: Hi). 



DOCUMENTS AND LETTERS 131 

The criticism in the foregoing pages of an article on Veren- 
drye which appeared in the September number of the Review 
brings oat two points very clearly. First that the article in 
question contains an obvious error in the interpretation of 
that part of the Verendrye journal of 1742-43, which gives the 
length of time used by the Petite Cerise in going from their 
winter to their summer quarters. The correction offered by 
Mr. Robinson on this point is gladly accepted by the author.^ 
The second consideration involved in this criticism is, however, 
of more general application and seems to call for a fuller dis- 
cussion, since it is of interest to all students of history. 

The identification of Verendrye 's Mantannes as Hidatsa 
and the discovery on the Missouri river of the village site 
visited by the Verendrye party in 1738 are of fundamental 
importance in any discussion of the route pursued by the Veren- 
drye sons in 1742-43. If the direction taken by the Frenchman 
from this established point of departure is not in harmony 
with a possible termination of their trip at the mouth of the 
.Bad river in South Dakota, this latter point must be abandoned 
in favor of some other terminus which will satisfy at least the 
geographical requirements of the recorded journey. 

It is not necessary to repeat the evidence given in the 
discussion contained in my September article. It will suffice 
merely to say that it has been shown that while the Verendryes 
were acquainted with the Hidatsa and knew them as the 
Mantannes, they had not yet come into contact with any villages 
of the Mandan or the Arikara. These two latter tribes they 
knew only by reports which were given them by the Mantannes, 
who called them Pananas and Pmianis, respectively. The Man- 
tannes gave the elder Varendrye the further information that 
these two tribes built houses like themselves and that the nearest 
of the villages of the Panana was but day's journey from the 
southernmost of their own. Verendrye had his son ascertain 
the latitude of the Mantanne village, where he was at that time 
staying, and he gives it in the journal as 48° 12'. He also tells 
us that the second Mantanne village, discovered by his son on 
the banks of the Manton (Missouri) river, was distant only a 



1. On page 151 of the September Eeview, by a stenographer's error, 
one important phrase was omitted from a sentence in the second para- 
graph, leaving it ambiguous and open to criticism. Th-e sentence, with 
the omitted phrase in italics reads as follows: "Ignoring this simple 
statement of fact, probably on account of the misleading name Man- 
tanne, Parkman locates this village, discovered by V-erendrye's son, at 
the mouth of the Knife river, which is 47° 20' north latitude, while 
De Land and Robinson locate the village at the mouth of the Heart 
river, which is 46° 50' north latitude." Since the second Mantanne 
village was but a single day's journey from the one located at 48° 12', 
it is apparent that it can not be correctly located so far south as either 
the mouth of the Knife river or the mouth of the Heart river. 



132 ANNALS OF WYOMING 

day's journey. These facts are, again, in c(Hnplete accord with 
the identification of the site of this second Mantanne village 
on the east side of the Missouri river at Old Crossing, about one 
mile south of the mouth of the Little Knife river and at the 
point where the riew town of Sanish, McLean county North 
Dakota, has just been located, on the Fort Berthold reservation. 

From this Mantanne village on the east bank of the ]\Iis- 
souri river the two Verendrye sons in 174-2 started on their 
journey in search of the western sea. If this conclusion is ac- 
cepted from the evidence oflfered, it at once eliminates from 
the discussion any possibility of their having begun their 
westward journey from any of the historic Mandan villages 
either at the mouth of the Knife river or at the mouth of the 
Heart river, some forty miles still further south. In fact no 
evidence is yet forthcoming in support of the view that the 
Verendrye sons in 1742 ever visited any Indian villages at the 
mouth of either of these rivers. 

From the journal of the Verendrye sons we find that they 
set out from the Mantanne village on the Missouri river July 
23, 1742, and went west southwest for twenty days. This 
would bring them well into the country between the two rivers, 
the Little Missouri and the Yellowstone, and, at the moderate 
estimate of ten or twelve miles per day, some two hundred 
miles on their journey. Thus by the eleventh day of August they 
would have reached the country near the Yellowstone not far 
north of the present site of Miles City, Montana. Here the.v 
were delayed while waiting for guides till September 18, Avhen 
they resumed their journey until they reached the tribe called 
Gens de I' Arc on November 21. Since September 18 they had 
come, according to their journal, two days in a southerly di- 
rection, three days southwest and seven days south southwest. 
This portion of the trip was more leisurely because of the 
fi'e<|ueiit stops and the slow pace of the Indian villages that 
accompanied them at various stages of their journey. A new 
factor, wliich adds to the uncertainty as to their rate of travel, 
was introduced at the village of the Gens de Chevaux, for at this 
point they seem to have procured horses. Altogether they 
had traveled during these twelve days a distance of at least 
seventy-five miles, perhaps much more, and they would be, 
therefore, at a point approximately one hundred miles marcli 
from the Uig Iloi-n range, whicli lay to the southwest and about 
the same distance from tlie IMack Hills at tlie southc^ast. The 
journal tells us next that after some delay they went with a 
war ])arty of tlie Gens de JWrc toward the mountains '"some- 
times south southwest and sometimes northwest. ""- 



2. riciTc Miirfri'v, Drcouvcrtes et etablisseiiuuits des Frnnc^'ais dans 
I'oiK'st ot dans lo Slid de l'AnuMi(juo sei)tentrionale (Paris, 1888), 6: 60.H. 



TRANS-MISSISSIPPI - FRENCH a'SEANlSH 

1600 -' n^o 












vim Game! ■>x 

i-KMlttas \-^^ 
■^ " CasaGande 






..y 







— — — Oa* 
. StDenu 

*""~'~'*"" BcWMKKW 

— — DuTlrw 
-— •— La Htrpt 



- -"— — ♦ Ytrauhyi .fen/ /^v^j 



TAi' ItTCrt^/rw Aivfw- rfruew (/(kfrr tht rupimtim if Q U Li»w____ 



TRANS-MISSISSIPPI— FRENCH AND SPANISH 1630-1750. 

Drawn uiidt'r tlif su|iprvisi(iii (if \\:iIIit I'liclKird :iii(l ( lulos K. CitslMtii'i-ii. 
The Verendrye routes draw 11 under the suiiervision of (). (i. Libby. 
Rejirodiicpd by i)erinission of Charles .Scribner's sons, from the Alius of .\iner- 
History. 
Coiiyrighted by Charles Scril)ner's sons. 



134 ANNALS OF WYOMING 

On January 1, 1743, tliey came within sight of the moun- 
tains, the location of which is made difficult by the fact that 
we are not told how long the expedition was on the road nor 
the precise direction of the route, beyond the one fact that it 
Avas westerly. P^rom the map it will be evident, howeA^er, that 
the mountains seen by the Verendrye sons can not have been the 
Black Hills and that by this time our travelers Avere Avell into 
the present state of Wyoming. 

It is clear also that the mountains they report as having 
seen on the first of January were of considerable height for, 
from the time when they were first seen, it took some twenty 
days of alternate halting and marching to reach the base of the 
range. ^ There seems to be a fair degree of probability in con- 
cluding that they had come to the Big Horn range of the Rocky 
mountains in northern Wyoming. If the estimate of their rate 
of travel is too low it is possible that they may have gone even 
as far to the south as the Laramie mountains. Taking into 
account the relatiA^e longitude of the Mantanne village on the 
Missouri and the eastern edge of the Black Hills, aa'OuIcI it have 
been possible for the Verendrye sons to go from this village over 
thirty days toward the southwest and yet come within sight of 
the Black Hills still to the Avest of them? More than this, it 
was not until twenty days after the mountains came into view 
(a period of time, perhaps not entirely spent in traA^el) that 
they arrived at the base of the range on their westerly course. 
Here are some fifty days of travel, mostly to the south and west, 
to be accounted for from their starting point at the Maniamie 
village. By reference to the accompanying map and from the 
record in the journal of the Verendrye sons, but one conclusion 
seems possible. The Frenchmen had been traveling the broken 
country far west of the Black Hills during the months of 
December and January and until PVbruary 14, 1743. 

Their return trip fi-om the mountains Avas begun some time 
after February 14 and led them for two Aveeks toward the east 
southeast.^ After the first of March they left the Gens de I' Arc 
and went to join the Petite Cerise. At this point we lose again 
our compass directions and Ave are told merely that until March 



1^. Tlic lang^uage of the journal is somewhat ambiguous at tliis 
point. "We continued our march until the 8th of January. On the 9th 
we quitted the village . . . The greater part of the company were on 
horseback and proceeded in good order; at last, on the twelfth day, we 
came to the mountains." The war party takes flight after coming to 
the first village of the t>nemy and the Chevalier retreats with them. 
"At last we arrived among the first of the villages of the Gens de I'Are, 
on the 9th of February, the second day of our flight.'' Ibid., 6: 605, 606. 

4. As already stated the Frenchmen had arrived at the first village 
of the Gens de I'Arc on February 9. The journal adds that the chief 
of the tribe arrived where thev were five days after this date. Ibid., 
6: 606. 



DOCUMENTS AND LETTERS 135 

19 Chevalier was leading his party to the fortified village of the 
Petite Cerise. Though we are left to conjecture the direction 
of their line of march, it would seem that they had already be- 
gun their return trip to Fort La Reine. The journal is some- 
what ambiguous : " As we saw no prospect of getting an.yone to 
take us to the Spaniards, and had no doubt that my father was 
very uneasy about us we made up our minds to set out for Fort 
La Reine, and quitted the Gevs de I 'Arc with great regret on 
both sides. On the 15th of March we arrived among the Gens de 
la Petite Cerise."^ If this much of the journal were taken by 
itself there would be little doubt in anyone's mind as to the 
direction of their route. LTp to this point the journal plainly 
infers that from March first they were on their howemard jour- 
ney and met the Petite Cerise after two weeks travel in that 
direction. If, therefore, there can be shown to exist serious 
difficulties with the Missouri river hypothesis, this part of their 
journey is in complete harmony with the theory that they never 
saw the Missouri until they reached the Mantanne village, at 
Old Crossing. The journal continues: "They (Petite Cerise) 
were returning from their winter quarters, and were two day's 
march from their fort which is on the banks of the Missouri. 
We reached their fort on the 19th and were received with great 
manifestations of joy. "^ Here is the most serious inconsistency 
in a record that otherwise can be harmonized with the geography 
of the region and with its own chronology throughout. This 
abrupt introduction of the Missouri river into the geography 
of a route so manifestly lying within a territory immediately 
east of the Big Horn mountains must be taken as somewhat 
questionable. It should be noted also that although the French- 
men joined the Petite Cerise on the 15th of March, when the 
latter were two day's march from their fort, yet it was not until 
the 19th that the Chevalier speaks of their arrival there. Tn 
other words they made a two day's march in four days, moving 
even slower than the returning village of the Petite Cerise. 
This hardly comports with the theory" of a forced march from 
the Big Horn mountains to the Missouri river but it is in har- 
mony with the preceding portion of the journal describing the 
beginning of their return march. Since the journal does not 
specify the direction of the line of march of the Petite Cerise 
village, it is not improbable that it was in the same nortlierly 
direction as their own and therefore the Frenclnnen could pro- 
ceed in the leisurely fashion above described. 

To return to the mention in the journal of the Missouri 
river, we may well question the testimony of the Chevalier at 
this point and inquire how his party was able to reach the banks 



5. Ibid., fi: 608. 

6. Ibid. 



136 ANNALS OF WYOMING 

of the Missouri from tlie Bi<)r Horn range by a leisurely month's 
travel, half of which was spent in the company of the Gens de 
I'Arc. If the Mtnitaiutc village at Old Crossing on the Missouri 
is accepted as their starting point, by February 14 the direction 
of their route has led them into a region from which by no 
means of travel then known could they reach the Missouri river 
by March 19. Are we not justified in concluding, therefore, 
that the Chevalier was mistaken in his identification of the river 
he calls the Missouri? In 1738, it may be recalled, he reports 
the same river to his father as flowing west and in the journal 
of the elder Verendrye written in 1739, or later, the river is 
given as the M ant on. Moreover, the sources of his information 
in 1743 as to the river he calls the Missouri were at best but 
meager. His party had come to the village of the Petite Cerise 
ignorant of the language of its inhabitants. He is aided in 
learning this language by the presence of a native who knew 
Spanish from having been brought up among that people. This 
Indian told the Chevalier that the road to the Spanish was 
overland and that it lay through the region frequented by the 
"Serpent tribe," the tribe from which the war party of the 
Gens de VAro had fled the previous month. There is no indica- 
tion in these facts that the Chevalier obtained from this tribe 
any information regarding the Missouri river as a means of 
connnunication with either the Spanish or the French. Quite 
the contrary, what can be found in his journal at this point 
indicates a degree of unfamiliarity with Missouri river condi- 
tions in thorough keeping with all the details of the journey 
recorded up to this date. A people like the Petite Cerise, situat- 
ed only a short distance from the dreaded "Serpent tribe" of 
the western mountains, would naturally be acquainted with the 
white settlements and the traders to the southwestward on the 
Santa Fe trail. 

On the other lumd they would be quite ignorant of tliose 
to the southeast along the Missouri and the ujijier Mississippi 
and in the valley of the Ohio. It is (|uite often overlooked 
that the French had made considerable advance into the Mis- 
souri river valley by the time that the Verendrye sons made 
their far western trip. Early in the century the upper Mis- 
souri country was coming to be known to the French, as it 
had been for a considerable time to the Spanish, as a desirable 
trading area worth a good deal of effort to retain permanently. 
As a defense against t)oth the English and the Spanish, Fort 
de Chartres on the IMississippi rivei", twenty leag'.ies below the 
mouth of the Missouri, was built about 171:0 and soon after 1748 
it had become the most impoi-tant Fi-ench post in the w?st.'' 



7. Clari'iu-e W. Alvord and Claniice E. Carter, The i-vitica] Dcriod, 
1763-1765 (Illinois historical collections, vol. 10 — Springfield, 1915), xxx 
and note 1. 



DOCUMENTS AND LETTERS 137 

The attempt of a considerable Spanish force to close the lower 
Missouri to the French in 1721, an attempt which resulted in 
the mavssacre of their whole party by the Indians, is a clear 
indication of the growino: importance of this region. Parkman 
tells us that in 1704 more than a hundred Canadians were said 
to be scattered in small parties along the Mississippi and the 
IVIissouri and that as early as 1705 one trader . claimed he had 
been far up the Missouri river and visited many of the Indian 
tribes on the way.*^ He speaks, also, of a trader, Du Tisne, who 
went up the Missouri river in 1719 to a point considerably above 
Grand river, and later in the year visited the Osage and the 
Pawnee, returning to the Illinois district near the close of the 
year.^ This brought him as far north as the Republican Fork, 
a tributary of the Kansas river, where Truteau in 1795 men- 
tions that a division of the Pawnee was located. ^*^ Three years 
later a Frenchman named Bourgmont built Fort Orleans on the 
north side of the Missouri river, opposite the site of the pres- 
ent town of Malta Bend, Saline county, Missouri. From this 
post in 1724, Bourgmont led an expedition to the west and south- 
west, meeting and councilling with the representative chiefs of 
the Omaha, Kansa, Oto, Iowa, Osage, Missouri and Comanche 
or Padoucas. His council with the Comanche was held not far 
from the present site of Dodge City, Kansas, on the Arkansas 
river. At this council a treaty of alliance was made with this 
powerful tribe and Bourgmont attempted to bring about peace 
between this tribe and those at the northeast, with which the 
French were already confederated. So much impressed was 
the principal chief of the Comanche by all that he saw of the 
French at this conference that he compared the Spanish to a 
handful of dust while his new friends, he said, were like the sun 
itself. ^^ Some years after this. Fort Orleans was attacked by 
a band of warriors from a neighboring tribe and the entire garri- 
son was massacred. 

But the knowledge the French had of the Missouri river 
was not confined to the reports from Du Tisne and Bourgmont. 
Parkman says: "The French had at this time (1723) gained a 
knowledge of the tribes of the Missouri as far up as the Ar'w- 
karas, who were not, it seems, many days journey below the 



8. Francis Parkman, A half century of conflict (Boston, 1899), 1: 
354, citing Bienville au ininistre, 6 Sei>tember, 1704, and Beaurain, Jour- 
nal historique. 

9. Parkman, A half century of conflict, 1: 358, citin'j; Margry, 
Decouvertes et etablissements des Fran<;ais dans . . . rAmeri(]ue 
septentrionale, 6: 309, 310, 313. 

10. For a reprint of the Truteau journal, see American historical 
review, 11: no. 2. 

11. Parkman, A half ctMitury of conflict, 1: 36o, citing Margry 
Decouvertes et etablissements des Frani^ais dans . . . rAmeri(|uc 
septentrionale, 6: 398. 



138 ANNALS OF WYOMING 

Yellowstone, and who told them of 'prodigiously high moun- 
tains' evidently the Rocky Mountains. "^^ \Ye next hear of 
the French explorations in this quarter in 1739, when two traders 
named Mallet let a party up the Missouri and Platte rivers to 
the south fork of the latter stream. From here their course 
was west and southwest across the Arkansas river till they 
reached Santa Fe. On their return in 1740 three of the party 
crossed the plains and stopped at the villages of the Pawnee. ^^ 
In the Handbook of American rncliauf; it is stated that the 
French traders were established among the Pawnee before the 
middle of the 18th century. i"* On an old map of Louisiana, 
dated 1720, the point farthest north reached by French ex- 
plorers is indicated as being a short distance down stream from 
the Omaha nation who are set down as "Mahas, a Wandering 
Nation. "1^ 

The evidence thus presented makes it clear that from New 
Orleans and from the nearer posts in the Illinois district, the 
French explored and traded as far north along the Missouri 
river as the Platte river and up to the forty-second parallel. 
Fort Orleans was built to check the Spanish and to extend the 
influence of the French north and west. Accordingly, trade 
relations were established or treaties of alliance were concluded 
with tribes as far west as the Comanche on the upper Arkansas 
and as far north as the Pawnee of the Republican Fork. The 
French were even in touch with the Arikara, an offshoot of the 
Pawnee, and on friendly terms with them. And this activity had 
a distinct aim, the supplanting of the Spanish influence and 
the establishment of trade relations with the tribes in this ex- 
tensive region. In view of what the French had accomplished 
by 1742, when the Verendryes set out on their journey to the 
southwest, is it at all probable that they could have come within 
the sphere of influence of the royal province of Louisiana and 
the district of Illinois and not have heard more of French 
prowess in peace and war and of French traders and their 
posts? If the Verendrye sons penetrated what is now South 
Dakota and reached the ]\Iissc)uri at the mouth of Bad river, 

12. Pnikinan, A half century of conflict, 1: 3,60, citing Memoire de 
la Eenaudiorc, 1723. The state historical society of North Dakota has 
recently discovered an ancient village site of the Arikara, dating well 
into the eighteenth century, located on the upper portion of the Knife 
river, near the ])resent site of Beulah, North Dakota. This discoveiy com- 
pletely confirms the evidence given in the al)ove cpiotation. 

13. Parkman, A half century of conflict, 1: 307, citing ]\[argry, 
Decouvertes et etablisseinents des Fran^ais dans . . . 1 'Amerirjue 
septentrionale, 6: i.'55-468. 

14. Handbook of Anrerican Indians north of Mexico, edited iiy 
F. W. Hodge (Smithsonian institution, bureau of American ethnologv, 
bulletin 3(t— Washington, litn7-]910), 2: 214. 

15. John Senex 's "Ma]) of Louisiana and the river Mississippi," a 
reproduction of an old ina]i 1720. 



DOCUMENTS AND LETTERS 139 

they would be in close touch with the sedentary tribes of the 
Missouri, both to the north and to the south. One of these, the 
Pawnee, was already on good terms with the French, was trading 
regularly with them and had entertained more than one party 
of French explorers previous to this. If the Petite Cerise ac- 
tually lived as a sedentary people on the Missouri river it is 
quite inconceivable that the members of that tribe should be 
igiiorant of the powerful French nation to the southeast who 
were friends and allies of the Pawnee and of neighboring Mis- 
souri river tribes. It was certainly no fear of enemies that pre- 
vented the Petite Cerise from trading at the French winter posts 
among the Pawnee. The French government had been exerting 
itself to the utmost for over twenty years in order to smooth the 
way for the development of trade among all the tribes along 
this great highway and westward up the principal tributaries 
of the Missouri. But though the Chevalier spent two weeks 
at their village and learned their language so as to be able to 
communicate with them, yet he heard nothing of the achieve- 
ments of his own people in what must be regarded as a striking 
example of the capacity of the French to make their way among 
the Indians. Instead of hearing of French soldiers, French 
posts, and French traders, he is told of a single Frenchman at 
a few days march from the village, who had resided there many 
years. Yet as far north as the Mantanne village at Old Cross- 
ing they are shown utensils made from the horns of Spanish 
cattle. But here, within the reach of the French traders among 
the Pawnee, not a single piece of French goods is displayed or 
observed by them throughout their two weeks stay at the village 
of the Petite Cerise. The Chevalier hears among the Gens de 
VArc the story of the destruction of the Spanish by the Missouri 
Indians in 1721, but nowhere is he told of the equally striking 
massacre of the French garrison at Fort Orleans, many leagues 
farther up the Missouri. 

Again, it is manifest from internal evidence that the journal 
of the Verendrye sons in 1742-43 is not the record of a journey 
among the sedentary Indians of the Missouri valley. It is not 
possible to fit their narrative into what we know of the Arikara 
immediately north of the Pawnee and in full connection with 
them. The absence of any knowledge of the near-by French 
and their ubiquitous trading operations makes it impossible to 
identify the Petite Cerise as a tribe of Indians on the Missouri 
river. On the other hand, from the time the Verendryes first 
reach the Mantanne villages until tlieir return trip from the 
Petite Cerise, the two journals make constant reference to a 
white people who are undoubtedly the Spanisli. Their crops, 
their houses, their weapons and armor, their manufactures of 
cloth and iron, their herds of cattle are all mentioned again 
and again in the journal of the elder Yerendrye. In the journal 



140 ANNALS OF WYOMING 

of the sons Ave notice the same familiarity with the Spaniard 
and a similar ennmeration of points of interest to the tribe. 
The chief of the Gens de I 'Arc, besides mentionino- the massacre 
of the Spanisli in 1721, repeats to the Chevalier some words of 
a prayer which he recognizes as Spanish. At the village of the 
Petite Cerise one member of the tribe had learned Spanish from 
having been brought np among them. It is evident from these 
facts that all the Indians, among whom the Chevalier's party 
had been journeying in 1742-43, lived in regions belong-ing to 
the Spanish sphere of influence. This would locate the Gens de 
I'Arc and the Petite Cerise as tribes living west of the Black 
Hills and east of some range of the Rocky mountains like the 
Big Horn or Laramie ran.ge. This region, unlike the Missouri 
valley, had been dominated by the Spanish traders of Santa Fe 
from early times. Though this Spanish trading center was far 
south of Fort de Chartres in the Illinois district, at about 36° 
north latitude, yet its traders were able to penerate far to the 
north across the upper waters of western tributaries of the 
Mississippi. On the early map of Louisiana already referred 
to in note 15, the following notation occurs at the upper course 
of a river probably intended for the Platte but given as the 
Missouri: "The Indians say that near this place the Spaniards 
ford the River on Horseback going to treat with some Nations 
lying to the Northwest whence they bring Yellow Iron as they 
call it." 

While, therefore, the French were able to keep the Spanish 
from the lower part of the Missouri valley, the latter had no 
difficulty in maintaining: their trading supremacy over the ex- 
tensive territory north of Santa Fe as far as the Yellowstone. 
Into this area of Spanish trade the Verendrye sons found their 
way in 1742 and they do not appear to have left it throughout 
their entire journey. 

Having: presented at some length the geographical and his- 
torical grounds for holding: that the Chevalier was mistaken 
in his identification of the Missouri river, we may next consider 
in detail the evidence otfered in support of the hypothesis that 
the X'^erendrye sons reached the Missouri river. The Gens de 
l^Arc are held to be sedentary Iiulians principally from the 
fact that their chief promised the Chevalier that his village 
would come and grow corn at a place which he desigiuited. But 
this easily given promise might merely indicate the desire and 
policy of the French to induce wandering tribes to settle perma- 
nently in an established locality. Again, the fact that the 
French called the villajre of the Petite Cerise a "fort" does not 
necessarily imply a sedentary life for the tribe and the posses- 
sion of elaborate earth houses like the M<int(in)ies and their 
neigrhbors to the south. For such a conclusion there is no evi- 
dence anywhere in the journal ; sedentary life has merely been 



DOCUMENTS AND LETTERS 141 

assumed for these tribes as being in harmony with their sup- 
posed residence on the Missouri river. All that is positively 
known of the tribes visited by the Verendrye sons is that they 
lived within the Spanish trading- area and were unacquainted 
with the French in the Missouri valley. Beyond this meager 
information we are compelled to wait for an expert opinion 
from some ethnologist Avho has made a special stuch^ of the 
tribes in this entire region. The material given in the Verendrye 
journals is invaluable for the purposes of identitication but it 
must be interpreted by one thoroughly conversant with the cul- 
ture and language of the tribes who lived at this time within 
the boundaries of the present states of Wyoming, South Dakota, 
Montana, and North Dakota, and who has, besides, an intimate ac- 
quaintance with the geographical names then in use among these 
various tribes. For this task the bureau of American ethnology 
has at its disposal a considerable force of scientists whose train- 
ing fits them for such investigations. It is to be hoped that in 
the near future we may profit by their expert knowledge in the 
further interpretation of the Verendrye journals. 

It is further held as proof that the Verendrye sons reached 
the Missouri river that they mention a tribe they meet, "Gens 
de la Fleche Collee otherwise called Sioux of the Prairies." 
Whether or not this tribe was a member of the well known 
Dakota group has yet to be determined. But granting that the 
Chevalier did meet some members of a Dakota tribe on his return 
trip, this fact will be of very little assistance in determining his 
route. From the Handbook of American Indians we learn that 
the date of the entrance of the Dakota into the Black Hills is 
about 1765 and that before 1750 some of the Dakota had found 
their way to the western side of the Missouri river. ^^ These 
facts regarding the permanent residence of the Dakota make 
it easy to account for the single wandering village of the "Sioux 
of the Prairies" met by the French in 1743. From a discussion 
by Mallery on the "Dakota Winter Counts" we learn that this 
tribe warred upon the Arikara, stealing their horses and killing 
their hunters as early as 1713.^"^ The Arikara were a sedentary 
tribe on the Missouri and therefore it is not inconceivable that 
occasional camps of the Dakota were to be encountered ranging 
far to the west of this river thirty years later. 

The Missouri river hypothesis has been proved to be quite 
untenable from every standpoint. But in order to get the evi- 
dence more clearly before us, let it be supposed that we have 
traced the route of the Verendrye sons from their starting point, 
putting into the line of march a sufficient number of variations 



16. Handbook of Aiiioiican Indians, 1: 370. 

17. Bureau of American etliiiology, Tenth report (Washington, 
1893), 296 S. 



142 ANNALS OF WYOMING 

from the recorded direction so as to bring the Frenchmen at the 
end of their .iourney well east of the Black Hills and within an 
easy two weeks' march of the Missonri river. We have still the 
greater difficulty of marking out the line for their return march 
from the moutli of Bad river. In traveling over the prairie 
the Chevalier seems to have used the compass regularly to 
record his general line of travel for later use. If he had reached 
the Missouri and recognized it as the Man ton river which he 
saw in 1728, he would conceivably make the return journey 
along the banks to his starting point on the same river. Even 
Parkman, the first writer to nake use of this hypothesis, takes 
it for granted that since the Frenchmen reached the Missouri 
river, they would return along its course on their way back. 
But if the Chevalier took this very obvious course, why does 
no mention of it occur in his journal ? He is at considerable 
pains to make a record of each change of compass direction 
from day to day. Surely he could hardly overlook so important 
a fact in his record as the course of a great river which led him 
to his destination. The care he has shown in other points of 
his journal to set down important entries makes this omission 
all the more inexplicable. Again, he says specifically that after 
leaving the Flcche CoUee they met no one on their return to the 
Mimidnne village. If the march were nade along the course 
of the Missouri river, on either side, even at a distance of ten 
or fifteen miles, they would certainly have come into contact 
with the inhabitants from one or more of the Arikara and 
Mandan villages along both banks of the river. The buffalo 
migration would be under way by April, the month in which 
the larger part of their journey was performed. From the 
, villages along the Missouri hunters would be ranging far and 
wide in search of game to replenish their depleted sui)plies. 
The least we could expect for the record of suclr a journey 
Avould be that it must contain some mention of the four other 
larger Mantanne villages which were reported to Verendrye 
as being farther down the river from the one toward which he 
was journeying. On his outward journey the Chevalier was 
cai-eful to record that he met successively the Gens dcs Chcvau.r, 
the Bcdu.r Ilfinnncs, the l'w}ia, the Gens dc hi Belle Ririere, the 
Gens de I'Are, the Ge)is dn Serj)ent, and the Ge)is de la Petite 
Cerise, seven tribes in all. On the return he records but one, 
at the very beginning of tlie journey, though his supposed 
route was through a well-peopled area. By traveling wholly 
by night his party might have been able to avoid meeting any- 
one along the course of the jMissouri but no mention is made 
of such extraordinary pi-ecautions. If he had traveled on the 
east side of the river he would have ex)H)sed his party to an 
attack by the Dakota. After lie liad arrived at the Mantanne 
village on his i-etiii'ii lie still tliouuht it necessarv to travel in 



DOCUMENTS AND LETTERS 143 

company with a considerable body of Assiniboin to protect him 
from the Dakota while on his way to Fort La Reine. But ap- 
parently he takes no such precautions and has no adventures. 
The conclusion seems unavoidable that the Chevalier did not 
travel along the Missouri river on his return trip and that there- 
fore he did not reach its banks at all. 

In thus pointing out mistakes of fact in the journal of 
both of the Verendryes there is, of course, no intention to ques- 
tion their probity or their standing- with their fellowmen. The 
requirements of the discussion, however, make it necessary to 
examine all their evidence with the greatest care and to point 
out obvious errors of judgment or of fact where such seem to 
occur. No observer is infallible in recording his observations 
and the Verendryes were certainly no exception to the rule. 

The evidence offered in the September article of this Review 
and the further elaboration of its main contentions in the pres- 
ent paper make it quite unnecessary to discuss again various 
points of detail connected with the Missouri river hypothesis. 
How the lead plate came to be buried on a hill near the mouth 
of Bad river, and the probable name and location of the stream 
that the Chevalier misnames the Missouri are merely points of 
interest, not at all essential to the discussion as it now stands. 
The suggestions made in my former article on these points are 
still pertinent, however, based as they are on a knowledge of 
Indian nature and the evidence drawn from the journal. In 
what condition we could expect to find a stone pile, heaped up 
over the earth recently dug up for the burial of a lead plate, 
after a century and a half of exposure on a bare butte must 
necessarily be a matter for a geologist to determine. But this 
question, like two preceding queries, is so purely local that the 
general student might well be pardoned for leaving these de- 
tails to be argued out at length by those to whom they are still 
the all-important considerations. 

To summarize briefly the ground covered, it has been 
shown that the Verendrye sons in 1742-43 traveled over a 
course which did not take them within range of the sedentary 
tribes on the Missouri river and that during their trip they 
remained in the area clearly dominated by the Spanish traders 
from Santa Fe, and lastly, that by no interpretation of the 
journal record kept by the Chevalier could he have conducted 
his party on their return trip along the course of tlie Missouri 
river to their point of departure from the Mania nnc village at 
Old Crossing. If the net result of the discussion of this whole 
problem will be to arouse a new interest in the larger questions 
involved in the Verendrye explorations the purpose of tlie writer 
will have been amply accomplished. 



144 AxNNALS OF WYOMING 

THE EXPLORATIONS OF VERENDRYE AND HIS SONS- 

By WARREN UPHAM 

Discovery cf the Rocky Mountains 
. . . A very satisfcictory manuscript dis-.-ussion of the route of 
the farthest western expedition of the sons of Verendrye, cross- 
in«- the plains from the Missouri River to the Rocky Mountains, 
with platting of the courses as narrated, has been supplied to 
the Minnesota Historical Society from a corresponding mem- 
ber, the late Captain Edward L. Berthoud of Golden, Colo- 
rado. This manuscript was received through the kindness of 
another member, ^Ir. Olin D. Wheeler of St. Paul, author of 
an important historical work in two volumes entitled The Trail 
of Lewis (1)1(1 Chirk. 

Captain Berthoud, following the narrative in Margry's 
Memoirs and Documents, shows that quite surely the Verendrye 
sons came, by southwest and south-southwest marching, from 
the villages of the Mandans on the Missouri River to the Big 
Horn Mountains. They first got a distant view of the moun- 
tains, as the journal given by Margry tells us, on New Year's 
Day of 1743. On January 21, in a great war party of the 
Indians of the plains for attacking their hereditary enemies, 
the Shoshone or Snake Indians, at one of their great winter 
encampments, the Verendryes reached the foot of the moun- 
tains, which, as the journal says, "are for the most part well 
wooded, and seem very high.'' 

If they went in this war raid around or alongside the 
north part of the Big Horn range, they may have passed beyond 
the Big Horn River, coming to the Shoshone camp near the 
stream now known as the Slioshone River, tributary to the Big 
Horn River from the west ; so that the mountains near whose 
base was the camp of the Snake Indians would be the Shoshone 
Mountains, close to and southeast of the Yellowstone Park. 
Probably their extreme advance, to the Snake Indian camp, 
was somewhere in the foothills of the lofty and extended Big 
Horn range; and if they went beyond that i-ange, I' think that 
it was only to the Shoshone ^Mountains. 

The route of their i-eturn was eastward to the ^Missouri 
River, as narrated in the journal, and thence northward up 
the west side of the Missouri, to the Mandan villages, from 
which the expedition had started. This part of the journey 
is not considered in Captain Berthoud 's manuscript. Both the 
routes of the outward march and the return are well discussed 
by Parkman in his woi-k of two volumes. A Half Ceniury of 



*Proee'e(lings (if tlu- Mississippi Valley Historical Association 1907- 
]!)0>S, pp. :^'l-W^. 



I'tViiniiii iSfiiiii >i iiiiiiVirSl ''flip' i ' -^n 



>..fc« Ns 



pa'T_p/\_!?[ ,' 




/•'•. 



LA VERENDRYE PLATE* 

"Placed by Chevalier De La Verendrye, Lo (Louis) Jost (Joseph) 
Verendrye, Louis La Londette and A. Miotte, The 30 March 1743" 

Leaden Plate l)nried by f'lievalier De La Verendrye, March 30, 1743. 

French inscription as ajj^reed u|:{)n by Benjamin Suite, Ambassador 

Jusserand, Miss Louise Kellogg, and the South Dakota historical society. 



*From the Mississippi Historical Heview vol. Ill, no. 3, December 
1916, P. 373. 



146 ANNAL8 OF WYOMING 

Coiifiicf, published in 1892. Volume IT, in pages 29-58, with 
a sketch map of the routes going to the Rocky Mountains and 
returning east to the Missouri as recorded in the journal printed 
by Margry, gives a very vivid account of this whole expedi- 
tion. . . . 



THE VERENDRYE PLATE- 
By DOANE ROBINSON 

On February 16th, 1913, a mild winter day, a party of 
school children were playing upon the first considerable emi- 
nence near the bank of the Missouri River, above the mouth of 
the Had or Teton River. The eminence referred to is within 
the limits of the city of Fort Pierre, South Dakota. Harriet 
Foster, a girl fourteen years of age, observing a bit of metal 
protruding from the earth, placed the toe of her shoe under it 
and pried it out of its resting place. Her companion, George 
O'Reilly, a lad of fifteen years, observing something written 
upon the metal, picked it up and carried it to his father. 

Thus was discovered after a period of one hundred and 
seventy years the plate deposited by the Verendrye brothers on 
March 30, 1743, as evidence of their taking possession of all of 
the region west of the Mississippi for the King of France. 

The Verendrye plate is about one-eighth of an inch in 
thickness and upon the obverse bears this inscription in Latin : 

Anno XXVI Regni Lvdovici XV Prorege 

Illvstrissimo Domino Domino Marchione 

De Beauharnois M D CC XXXXI 

Petrvs Gavltier De Laverendrie Posvit 

These lines, freely translated, would read : 

(This plate was) deposited in the twenty-sixth year of the 
reign of Louis XV, for the King and the most illustrious Lord, 
Marquis de Beauharnois, in the year 1741, (by) Pierre Gaultier 
de La Verendrie. 

Moreover, it would seem that the plate had been prepared 
for deposit before the party left Canada, that owing to delays 
upon the way it had not been used, by several years, as soon as 
had been expected, and that the elder Verendrye had been dis- 
appointed in himself not making the claim of the region. 

On the revei-se the plate bears this inscription rudely 
scratched with the point of a knife : 

Pose parle 

Che valvet de Lar 



•Proceedings of The Mississippi Vaiiov Ilistorical Assoeiation 1913- 
1<)14, pj). 244-248. 



DOCUMENTS AND LETTERS 147 

to st Louy La Londette 

A Miotte 

Le 30 de Mars 1743 
These lines, freely translated, would read : 
Deposited by Chevalier de La Verendrve, 
Touissant Louis La Londette, 
A Miotte, 
The 30th of March 1743 

At all events this is the rendering- of M. Jusserand, the 
French Ambassador. Other French scholars have interiDreted 
the abbreviations in the third line of the inscription to be a 
contraction of temoin, a word signifying witness. Personally 
I have a conviction that it in some way designates Louis Veren- 
drye, the youngest son of the explorer. Benjamin Suite has 
been unable to identify either Londette or Miotte among the 
habitant families of Canada. ^ 

Even of greater interest than the tinding of the plate itself 
are the regions explored by the young men west of the Missouri ; 
and so in this connection T will hastilv review their journev of 
1742-1743. 

In the spring of 1742 Pierre Verendrye, the elder, found 
himself for the second time at Fort La Reine (the present site 
of the city of Portage La Prairie, Manitoba) for the purpose 
of pursuing his explorations to the Pacific, by way of the Man- 
dans, whom he had visited four years before. For some reason 
— perhaps ill health he did not start on the trip but dispatched 
his third son, Francois (known as the Chevalier), who was 
accompanied by his youngest brother, Louis-Joseph, and two 
Frenchmen. It has been generally assumed that the second son 
(the oldest living), Pierre, was the Chevalier who led this ex- 
pedition ; but Messrs. Jusserand, Suite and Lawrence J. Burpee 
are fully agreed that Francois Avas the Chevalier, and that he 
was accompanied by his younger brother, Louis. They were 
respectively twenty-eight and twenty-six years of age. It is 
supposed that one of the Frenchmen who accompanied them 
was identical with the man left by Verendrye with the Maiulaus 
to learn that lansruaue in the winter of 1738-1739. . . . 



1. Since the foregoing was written. Dr. Benjamin Suite, together 
with Mr. DeLand and the writer, have adopted the view first suggested 
by Dr. Louise Kellogg of the Wisconsin State Historical Society, that 
the abbreviations in the third line of the French inscri[>tion above are 
"Lo Jos." and stand for "Louis Joseph." Mr. Suite has found a lial)i- 
tant fauMly named "LaLonde", one uiember of which was in the West 
at the time of the expedition of 1742, and he suggests that LaLoiidette 
is LaLonde ]>lus the diminutive "ette". As to "A Miotte" Mr. Suite 
saj's: "A. Miotte may easily be Auiiot, Amyot, or Amyotte, the name 
of a Quebec family anobile par liouis XTV, and always notable. One of 
them, Jean, was a merchant of Quebec in those days." 



148 ANNALH OF WYOMING 



LETTER OF THOMAS S. TWISS, INDIAN AGENT AT 

DEER CREEK, U. S. INDIAN AGENCY 

ON THE UPPER PLATTE 

Deer Creek, Nebraska Territcry, August 16, 1859* 

Sir : The undersigned, United States Indian agent of the 
Upper Platte, begs leave respectfully to make to the honorable 
the Couiniissioner of Indian Affairs a special report on the 
present condition and aspect of affairs in the Indian country, 
in relation to the wild tribes up the prairies and the mountains, 
embraced within the limits of the Upper Platte agency. 

In submitting these views for your information and guid- 
ance in the conduct and policy of our intercourse with these 
tribes, I am animated solely with a desire to prevent their 
utter extinction, and also to preserve and strengthen those 
peaceful relations now happily subsisting between these nomadic 
tribes and the United States government, and to present, for 
your grave and careful consideration, facts and certain con- 
ditions of things, now in process, of rapid development, the 
clear and obvious tendency of which is to interrupt, in a very 
short period of time, this state of repose and tranquillity, and 
involve the scattered white population in all of the horrors and 
calamities of an Indian war. 

The facts to which 1 would call your attention are simply 
these, viz : The state of the Indian mind among the wild tribes 
is one of extreme suspicion in all matters relating to the pres- 
ervation of game, their only means of subsistence; and when it 
disappears the Indian must perish. Hence it has happened 
that, in some parts of the prairie country, the Indians have 
stopped white people, and even United States topographical 
parties, when they have endeavored to penetrate to their hunt- 
ing grovuids, and have turned them back, pretty roughly too, 
for fear that the buffalo would be destroyed or scared away, 
and never return again. The Indians entertain a superstitious 
belief that the buffalo will not return to the .same place again 
where he may have scented the white man. This is all fallacy, 
of course, aiul it is oidy stated as a fact to show the bias of the 
Indian mind, and its tendency aud i-eadiness to adopt error, 
and to cling to it persistently aud perseveringly. The Indian 
is not sufficiently enlightened to know any better. However 
that may be, it is clearly evident that the buffalo is rapidly 
disappearing from his usual feeding grounds; and, for the 
truthfulness of this statement, 1 appeal to the evidence, derived 
from observation and experience, of every white man who may 
have resided in the Indian countrv, or traveled over the great 



*This i>;irt of Nel)ra.sk;j, Ti'rritory l)ecaiiK' Wyoming. 



DOCUMENTS AND LETTERS 149 

enngraiit trail during- the last six years. This noble game no 
longer covers the valleys of the North Platte and its tributaries, 
and makes the prairie appear black, as formerly, as far as the 
eye could scan the horizon ; but is found, in small bands only, 
on the Republican and Loup Fork, L'eau qui Court, White 
river, Cheyenne Water, and the Yellowstone, very far distant 
for the tribes of Indians of this agency. The smaller game, 
the antelope and deer, is found along the foot-hills of the 
mountains, while the elk and mountain sheep flee to their more 
distant peaks, to escape from the white man's rifle. 

I would state another fact bearing upon this question of 
the preservation of game, which in the most favorable seasons 
affords only a scanty and precarious supply of food, to show 
with what jealous care the wild tribes watch over it, and dread 
the ingress of strangers, who may be compelled to hunt this 
same game for food, and thereby cause it to diminish more 
rapidly than otherwise in the ordinary course of events. These 
wild tribes have heard that all of the Indian tribes to the east- 
ward of them have ceded their lands to the United States, 
Qxcept small reservations; and hence, by an Indian's reason- 
ing, in a few years these tribes will emigrate further west, 
and, as a matter of necessity, occupy the hunting grounds of 
the wild tribes, and cause thereby a rapid decrease in the num- 
ber of buffalo. In combatting this idea, which has taken pos- 
session of the Indian mind, and is causing much irritation and 
excitement against both the whites and those tribes who have 
ceded away their lands, the Indian agent of the Upper Platte, 
in council with the chiefs of the Sioux tribes, in September 
last, was put down and most effectually silenced by one of the 
chiefs, by the following narration of facts and events, which 
are all comprehended in a very short period of time, within 
my own memory, as they date back only about thirty years. 

The Sioux chief said: "When I was a young man, and I 
am now only fifty years old, I traveled, with my people, through 
the country of the Sac and P^ox tribe, to the great water Minne 
Tonkah, (Mississippi,) where I saw corn growing, but no white 
people. Continuing eastward, we came to the Rock River 
valley, and saw the Winnebagoes, but no white people. We 
then came to the Fox River valley, and thence to the Great 
Lake, (Lake Michigan,) where we found a few white people 
in the Pottawatomie country. Thence we returned to the Sioux 
country, at the Great Falls, (Irara or St. Anthony,) and had 
a feast of green corn with our relations, who resided there. 
Afterwards, we visited the pipe clay quarry, in the country of 
the Yancton Sioux, and n.ade a feast to the 'great medicine,' 
and danced the 'sun dance;' and then returned to our himtiiig 
grounds on the prairie. And now our 'father' tells r.s tl'.e white 
man will never settle on our lands and kill our game; but see! 



150 ANNALS OF WYOMING 

tlie wliites cover all of these lands that I have just described, 
and also the lands of the Poncas, Omahas, and Pawnees. On 
the south fork of the Platte the white people are finding gold, 
and the Arapahoes and Cheyennes have no longer any hunting 
grounds. Our country has become very small, and, before our 
children are grown up, we shall have no more game." 

The Sioux chief stated pretty accurately the condition of 
things now in process of rapid development, which threaten the 
utter extinction of the wild tribes, by destroying the game on 
which they depend for subsistence. 

This great wave of emigration to the prairie west is moving 
onward with greatly increased velocity. It is beyond human 
power to retard or control it, nor would it be wise to do so, 
even were it po.ssible. 

This process of development, this law of Anglo-Saxon 
progress, is a necessity and a consequence of, and flowing direct- 
ly from, our free institutions, which, in their strength, purity, 
and beauty, tend to stimulate and bring forth the vast resources 
of agriculture, mineral and commercial wealth, within the 
boundaries of our great empire. 

Hence it is that the savage, the wild hunter tribes, must 
give way to the white man, who requires his prairie hunting 
grounds for the settlement and homes of millions of human 
beings, where now only a few thousand of rude barbarians 
derive a scanty, precarious, and insufficient subsistence ; and 
where, by improved methods in agriculture, and an applica- 
tion of labor-saving machinery, these millions may be fed and 
clothed, and add, yearly, to our great staples and products of 
national and individual wealth. 

I have stated, thus briefly, a few of the leading facts, and 
the condition of things, now in process of rapid development, 
as at present existing in the Indian country, and which have 
a tendency to irritate, excite, and exasperate the Indian mind, 
and fill it Avith alarm and jealousy to such a degree that an 
interruption to our fi'iendly relations with the wild tribes may 
occur at any moment. 

"With a view to allay this excitement, calm this irritation, 
and to i-emove all cause or source of uneasiness, alarm, or mis- 
apphension in the future, I beg leave, respectfully, to make 
some suggestions, and offer some plans for your consideration, 
by the a(l()i)ti()n of which, either in part or in whole, or in some 
modified form, or others similar to them, I feel confident in the 
opinion that these wild Indian tribes may be rescued from utter 
extinction, and in due time may be brought into such a state 
of domestication as to be in a condition to raise corn and sup- 
poi-t themselves by theii- own laboi- and industry. 



DOCUMENTS AND LETTEES 151 

rt will require time to accomplish this very desirable and 
philanthropic object, in order to teach and instruct the Indian 
in the agricultural and mechanical arts. It will, likewise, re- 
quire an immediate appropriation, and the selection of faithful 
and competent servants to begin operations ; for whatsoever is 
done, or intended to be done, should be commenced at once, or 
with as little delay as possible. In view of all the circumstances, 
and the difficulties surrounding the subject-matter, I would 
propose the following plan, viz : 

1st. That the chiefs and principal men of all the ^vild 
tribes of the prairies and the mountains should be invited to a 
great council, at a point convenient, central, and neutral. The 
object of said council, shall be to ascertain clearly the state, 
condition, and wants of the Indians, and when certain definite 
stipulations and agreements on the part of the United States 
shall be made with them : provided, always, and on this express 
condition, that they cordially agree to settle permanently on 
reservations, and devote themselves to labor for their own sub- 
sistence. 

2d. In order to preserve the buffalo from destruction for 
a little time, and until such time as the Indian may have learned 
to raise corn, it is recommended that the privilege of trading 
with the Indians by a license, granted to white persons, be sus- 
pended from the year 1860, until such time thereafter as it 
may be deemed proper to restore it. 

3d. That missionary and manual labor schools be encour- 
aged by appropriating a limited sum annually. 

4th. That a physician be employed to reside with each 
tribe permanently. 

5th. That a blacksmith and carpenter, and one or more 
farmers, be appointed for each tribe, and continue in service 
at the discretion of the President of the United States. In 
regard to the necessity of holding a "great council," in which 
all of the wild tribes shall be represented and present, it may 
be stated, that it is intended and proposed, to prevent all 
jealousies and misconception on the part of the different tribes 
as to the views and wishes of the United States government, 
and to show that it is held for the benefit of all the tribes. 
Sufficient and ample time should be taken for mature and care- 
ful deliberation, and nothing essential should be omitted or 
hurried over. The Indian is a creature of forms and cere- 
monies, and in all of his business transactions acts slowly and 
with cautions deliberation. Every stipulation and agreement, 
therefore, should be carefully stated, and then written and 
read in council; and no promises made, unless they are carried 
into effect forthwith, or initiatory steps begun, to prove to the 
Indians that everything is undertaken with earnestness and 
truthfulness. 



152 ANNALS OF WYOMING 

It is necessary and important, according to the customs 
and habits of the Indians, that a present of suitable magnitude 
for the occasion, consisting of clothing and provisions, should 
be given to the chiefs and principal men who are assembled 
at the council ; and that an annuity in provisions, clothing, and 
useful articles of prime necessity, for a certain number of 
years, at the discretion of the President, should be given to the 
tribes in proportion to their numbers. That in making provi- 
sion for one or more farmers, blacksmith, carpenter, and 
physician on the reservation of each tribe, it is made with the 
express condition and understanding, that unless the Indians 
will devote themselves to labor, and cultivate their several 
allotments of land, after a reasonable length of service as ap- 
prentices, these are all to be withdrawn, and the annuities 
terminated. 

In consideration of the above stipulations, agreements, and 
promises duly performed on the part of the United States, the 
chiefs, for and in behalf of their respective tribes, shall cede 
to the United States all of their lands, except such reservations 
as each tribe shall designate, which shall be surveyed, and 
proper boundaries marked, at the expense of the United States. 

With this very brief outline, which, I am aware, is crude 
and imperfect, I submit the grave and important questions in- 
volved to your serious and deliberate consideration, and request 
that you will be pleased to take such action in the premises as 
you may deem proper and best for all the parties, at the earliest 
and most convenient time, for on this prompt and decisive 
action depend the lives and well being of many thousands of 
your red children in these distant prairies and mountains. 

I have the honor to be, sir, very respectfully, your most 
obedient servant, 

THOMAS S. TWISS, 
U. S. Indian Agent, Upper Platte. 
Hon. A. B. Greenwood, 

Commissioner of Indian Atfairs. 



Wyoming Scrap book 



(Letter from E. E. Robinson, Station Agent of Look- 
out Station, Union Pacific Railroad, in which he 
vividly describes the blizzard of 1872 in Wyoming.) 

Lookout Station, 
Feb. 26, 1872. 
Dear Friends : 

You probably have been wondering for the past two 
months why j^ou have not received a letter from me. You have 
probably seen accounts in the eastern papers of the great snow 
storms, and the Blockade of the Union Pacific Railroad this 
winter? Well, we have had one which will be remembered for 
years to come, on account of its severity and long duration. 
Whittier's "Snow Bound" is good but if J. G. could have 
spent this winter in rusticating among the wilds of Wyoming, 
and among the barrens of the Rockies he no doubt could have 
appreciated his own writings better than he now does. "Snow 
Bound" is nice to read but it is "bad medicine" to have ex- 
perienced. I will now endeavor to give you a description in 
brief of the winter and some of the many storms and blocks 
we have had. 

"On the 2nd of December a solitary footman might have 
been seen wending his way across the plain (I've seen this 
expression before somewhere) and apj^roaching Lookout Sta- 
tion. Upon his arrival it proved to be Conductor Harris of the 
eastern bound Freight, which he reported to be stuck in a drift 
six miles down the hill, and wanted me to summon assistance 
to get his train out of the snow, which I immediately did. I 
reported the state of affairs to the Superintendent who sent out 
two engines and crews, to Lookout that night. The next morn- 
ing with forty men and three heavy ten wheel engines we 
started from here and went down the hill to where the train 
was stuck but after working six hours we had to abandon 
the train and work our way back. The snoAV was flying and 
drifting into the cuts so fast that it was hard work for the 
three engines to work their way back to Lookout. Men could 
not stay out of the cars more than half an hour at a time to 
shovel on account of the severity of the storm. One man could 
not keep standing room for himself on the track by shoveling 
the snow drifting faster into the cut than it could be shoveled 
out. It was impossible to see more than one car length. The 
next day we started out again, the storm having moderated 
somewhat, and by hard work succeeded in getting three cars 
and the engine belonging to the train out of the drift, and 



154 ANNALS OF "WYOMING 

l)ri]iuiii<i' them to Lookout. The third day we started out again 
brave as ever, and when we reached the cut where the train was 
the day before, there was no train to be seen. Some thonglit at 
first that help had come from the west during the night and 
had got the train out of the drift, but on examination this 
was found to be a mistake for the cars were still t^ere ])ut the 
snow had drifted over them so 9,s to completel\''v^ury them 
from sight. This was pretty good even for a Roeky^-'^jMountain 
storm. The snow w^as still drifting, and after working hard 
all daj^ with no success whatever we began to get discouraged 
— we Avere "snow bound" — there had been no train at Lookout 
for five days. But we still had our engines and plenty of 
■'grub," so we concluded to "wait a little longer till the good 
time coming," comes. The nex't morning come clear, calm 
and pleasant, and off started our train in good spirits, two 
heavy engines ahead then two cars full of men, then another 
engine coupled in behind them and backing up so that there 
would be an engine headed right, whether we Avent forward or 
back, and we could buck snow going either way, each engine 
having a plow. 

"We started out at a rate of 30 miles per hour, going 
through drifts from 4 to 6 feet in depth. Myself and four 
others were riding in the rear car and became frightened on 
account of the motion of the car, the last engine crowding it so 
hard when the train struck a drift that it would jump around 
like corn in a popper, and the engineer knowing nothing of 
this kept using more steam. I pulled the coupling pin. clam- 
bered over the tender and told the engineer to stop. — He had 
just stopped his engine when on looking out of the cab window 
I saw the other engines and cars in the ditch. If the rear 
engine had been coupled on, every man in the cars must have 
been killed or dangerously hurt. Here we were, after six 
days work at the train, six days worse off than when we first 
began. The banks at the side of the drifts where they had 
been shoveled, were in some places fifteen feet high and the 
track covered with snow to that depth, and the more we 
shoveled the higher it grew. Our engines in the ditch three 
miles from anything to eat, and night coming on. The men 
began to get discouraged. The shovelers all walked to the 
station and the rest of us stayed with the wreck. One of our 
party had a photograph of a chicken Avith him and the six of 
us lived on that photograph of a chicken 24 hours. This may 
seem a poor way of living, to you, but we never enjoyed a 
meal better in our lives than looking at that photo. The next 
morning after ])uilding a track around the wrecked engines, 
work was resumed and at 12 o'clock that night help reached 
us from the west, consisting of snow plows and men, also more 
help from the east and at 8 A. M. all the forces reached 



WYOMING SCRAPBOOK 155 

Lookout with the train and the road was once more open for 
the running of trains after seven days hard work night and 
daj^ Snow fences were immediately constructed and put up 
along the road in places where it was deemed necessary. Large 
gangs of men were at work night and da.y in Omaha con- 
structing this fence and when a sufficient (juantity was made, 
a special train of fencing was started from Omaha and given 
the right of the road over all other trains. These fences were 
found to be insuificient protection against the drifting snoAV. 
Then the company made every effort to open the road by 
means of snow plows of which they had thirteen. Three en- 
gines were coupled behind each plow, and by this means twen- 
ty-five engines were disabled and some of them made total 
wrecks by being thrown from the track, in one week, the 
snow being so hard that it was impossible to force a plow 
through the drifts. Then seven snow train outfits were imme- 
diately fitted out and sent to the front. These snow trains 
were arranged so as to board seventy-five laborers in each and 
also afford sleeping accommodations as well. By the means 
of these snow trains in addition to their usual force of men, 
and each .train provided with a strong snow plow, the road 
has kept trains in motion over the mountainous district by 
shoveling aliead of ten or twelve trains bound west, and then 
turning all the i^lows, engines and outfits and working the 
same force back ahead of as man}' more eastern l)ound trains. 
Every train since December 1st, with but very few exceptions, 
has been worked through the snow in this way. The snow 
belt extends from Laramie to Washakie, a distance of one 
hundred and eighty miles and embracing the divide of the 
Continent. This is a barren country, destitute of supplies and 
during the blockade these had to be forwarded long distances 
by mules or other conveyances at a great cost to the company. 
All snow trains were stocked with two weeks provisions and 
no passenger trains were started out without a train of pro- 
visions and coal enough for thirty days supply. By this ar- 
rangement passengers altliough liable to detention by snow 
were in no danger whatever of suffering from a want of fuel 
and provisions, and some have said the company made no 
effort to supply them — tliis is false. During the ])lockade 
from Feb. 2nd to Feb. 17th was the only time when there was 
any danger of suffering. Then the company immediately piii-- 
chased provisions for five hundred men for 30 days and started 
a train out from Evanston, loaded with this supply and sent '^ 
to the west end of the snow district aad from thei-e forwarded 
it by horses, and by men on foot, to the snow bound pa scu- 
gers as fast as possible and there was no reasonabh' cause f;'r 
complaint. We have had the most severe storms in rai)id suc- 
cession than any before experienced on tliese plains for tliii'ty 



156 ANNALS OF WYOMING 

years, and no human labor could back against them. Of course 
this winter will injure the company; it will injure the reputa- 
tion it has already earned as a short route to the Pacific. But 
the company profiting by the experience of this Avinter can 
keep the road open during any coming winter, no matter if 
more severe than this one. They will prepare for it during 
the summer months and no one need have any fear of traveling 
by this route in the future. The Union Pacific Railroad is 
still the "Highway of Nations" and always will remain so. 
But this winter will be remembered for years as the most se- 
vere one ever experienced on the plains. But there has been 
a humorous side to the blockades as well. The minutes of a 
meeting held by Snow Train, 3 at this station Jan. 2nd, while 
laying still on account of the storms will show you that fun 
was not blocked out if trains were. Meetings were held in my 
office every night to express our views in regard to the weather 
and as to the continuance of the blockade, etc. At last we 
resolved, that we did not want to dictate to the Almiglity but 
would suggest with all due humility to providence that this 
thing of snow every day and wind blowing every night was 
getting altogether monotonous. One of our party found a 
poem "The Beautiful Snow" and read it for our benefit, we 
passed a resolution, that the author of "Beautiful Snow" was 
a Damphool and had no respect for Pacific Railroads. Carried 
unanimously. But now the great blockade is over (so Ave 
think) and probably the like will never happen again on this 
or any other road — three months of severe storms following 
each other in rapid succession each storm making a 1)l(tckade 
of a Aveek or more in duration is something that does not hap- 
pen but once in a lifetime. 

I have given you as good a history of our troubles as I can 
at present you may hear more about it soon, niul you may hear 
that the block is not over yet. 



WYOMING SCEAPBOOK 157 



CAMP CARLIN 



In August, 1867, Colonel Elias B. Carling selected the site 
of the supply depot which he was to establish, on the military 
reservation, about a mile and a half down the creek from Port 
Russell, proper. It was about half way between Fort Russell 
and Cheyenne. This was a military "camp" and was usually 
garrisoned by a detached company of infantry. It was called 
Camp Carling in honor of Colonel Carling. From the begin- 
ning there was confusion in spelling the name, sometimes it 
was Carling, sometimes Carlin — even in official records. The 
granite marker that now stands on the site of the old flag* pole 
says "Camp Carlin". The official name of the supply depot 
was "Cheyenne Depot". 

At Camp Carlin, large warehouses were built along the 
railroad siding so that freight cars could be unloaded on the 
platforms. There were also deep cellars for storage of vege- 
tables and potatoes and other supplies that might be damaged 
by frost. 

It was the second largest depot in the United States Army, 
and was something of a marvel to the frontiersmen, mountain 
men and trappers who came in to this outpost of the greater 
world. The camp had sixteen large warehouses, in addition 
to blacksmith shops, wheelwright shops, carpenter shops, saddle 
and harness shops, sales stores, cook and bunk houses, wagon 
sheds, stables and corrals. One hundred wagons and five pack 
trains operated from the depot, and in the corrals were never 
less than 1,000 mules. Nearly 500 men, teamsters, packers, 
artisans and laborers were employed at Camp Carlin, and 
twelve army posts, some of them 400 miles distant, were sup- 
plied from this point. 

The road from Fort Russell to Cheyenne followed Crow 
Creek and passed through Camp Carlin, a convenient half-way 
stopping place on the way to and from the "city". (Cheyenne). 

As the need for use of military force against predatory 
Indians lessened and finally vanished, Camp Carlin shrank in 
size and importance, and at last, in 1887 or 1888, passed out 
of existence. 




CHEYENNE BELLS OF THE LATE 1880 s 



T. Katie H. Friend; 2. Sallie R. Sebright ; 3. Lillie M. Morgan; 
4. Fannie H. Crook; 5. Louise Swan; 6. Espie S. Woods; 7. Hattie White; 
8. Maude H. Smitli. 

Katie H. Friend never married lives in Waeo, Texas. Sallie E. Sea- 
right married IMajor Koiiert M. Dowdv, U. S. Arniv, lives in Washington, 
I). C; Lillian M.' .Nlorgan, daughter "of E. S. N. "Morgan (Secretary of 
tlie Territory lcSS()-lS87). married an Army Officer; Fannie H. Crook, 
daughter of Dr. Crook, married Dr. Otto Snider, L'^. S. Army; Es]>ie S. 
Wood married P"'red Nash; Louise \V. Swan married R. S. Van Tassell; 
Hattie Wliite and Maude IL Smitli, ut) information obtainable. 



WYOMING SCRAPBOOK 



159 



TERRITORIAL SEAL OF 1882 




Mr. A. S. McCullough, of Clifton, Ohio, has kindly given 
to the Wyoming Historical Department, a celluloid button, 
on which is the Territorial Seal of 1882, the design being col- 
ored. The upper half is a mountain scene in natural colors, 
the lower left quarter is green, and the lower right quarter is 
red. It very much resembles the celluloid political campaign 
buttons of today. 

This button was given to Mrs. Jane McCullough, mother 
of A. S. McCullough, by her brother Joe McClnskey, who was 
a private in Company G. Eleventh Ohio Volunteer Cavalry, 
Second Battalion ; he was stationed at Fort Laramie, and while 
there he served in guarding the telegraph line and the Oregon 
Trail from Fort Laramie to South Pass. Wyoming, from Oc- 
tober 1863 to July 1866. 

The First Territorial Assembly, 1869, enacted the follow- 
ing law which provided for a Territorial seal. 



16(1 ANNALS OF WYOMING 

Be it enacted by the Council and House of Representatives of 
the Territory of Wyoming: 

Sec. 1. That the seal of the territory of Wyoming 
shall be of the following: clesion, namely : A norman shield, 
on the upper half of which is emblazoned a mountain 
scene, with a railroad train, the sun appearing above the 
horizon, the figures "1868" below" the middle point of the 
top of the shield. On the first quarter below, on a white 
ground, a plow, a pick, a shovel, and a shepherd's crook; 
on the next quarter, namely : the lower point of the 
shield, on a red ground, an arm upholding a drawn sword ; 
the shield to be surmounted by the inscription, ''Cedant 
armo; toga," and the entire design surrounded by the 
words, "Territory of Wyoming, great seal." 

See. 2. This act shall take effect and be in force from 
and after its passage. 

Approved, December 9th. 1869. 

This is the only Territorial law which provides for the 
coloring of the seal. 

In 1882 the Territorial Assembly enacted an act to correct 
two errors in the seal, provided for by the 1869 Legislative 
Asseml)ly. It provided for the 1868 to be 1869. and "Cedant 
Arma Toga" to be "Cedant Arma Togae." There were no 
other legal changes in this seal. When the 1882 seal was 
struck the norman shield was greatly embellislied with fancy 
outlines which the 1869 seal did not have. 

The seal of 1882 was used until 1893. The First State 
Legislature, 1890-1891, provided for a new State Seal, but there 
being a definite error in the first State Seal, it was never used. 
The Second State Legislature, 1893, provided for a new State 
Seal. This seal has been in use since 1893, the only change, 
being the dimensions were reduced some few years ago. 

This button was without doubt made after 1882. I have 
everv reason to believe it was made for Statehood celebration, 
in 1890. 

While this button is correct in every detail, it is wrong in 
the green coloring of the lower left quarter, which according to 
the 1869 law, should have been white.— M.H.E. 



WYOMING SCRAPBOOK 161 



RAWLINS SPRINGS MASSACRE 

Report of E. P. Goodwin, J. A. Campbell, and S. R. Hosmer, 
Special Commissioners to Investigate Facts Con- 
nected with the "Rawlins Springs Massacre," 
in Wyoming- Territory, in June 1873. 

To the Hon. Commissioner of Indian Affairs : 

The special commission appointed to investi<iate the facts 
relating to the killing of a number of Indians near Kawlins 
Springs, Wyoming Territory, on the 28th of June last, have 
the honor to submit the following report : 

In the absence of the Hon. N. J. Turner, and the non- 
arrival of his successor, Stephen R. Hosmer, esq., in accordance 
with the instructions of the honorable Secretary of the Inte- 
rior, Gov. John A. Campbell and Rev. Edward P. Goodwin 
commence the investigation at the earliest practicable moment 
after the notification of their appointment. 

It seemed to us of first importance to secure the testimony 
of the parties at Rawlins as principals in the affair : accord- 
ingly we visited that place, and on the 21st and 22nd of July 
took the sworn statements of the persons who seemed to have 
most connection with, and knowledge of the matter. Follow- 
ing that, we proceeded to Fort Steele and took the evidence of 
Lieutenant Rogers, who visited the spot where the fight oc- 
curred, under the direction of General de Trobriand, and noted 
facts of importance connected therewith. 

On the 24th of July we met Mr. Littlefield, Indian agent 
for the Utes, by appointment, at Laramie, and took liis sworn 
statement respecting the non-participation of the Utes in the 
fight. 

Returning to Cheyenne we were joined by Commissioner 
Hosmer, who had arrived during our absence. In view of cer- 
tain reports communicated to Governor Campbell by Dr. Dan- 
iels, Indian agent for the Northern Arapahoes, Sioux, and 
Cheyennes, we arranged for a meeting on the .'50th of July at 
Red Cloud agency with certain Arapahoes, said to have been 
in the party fired uiion. as also with such of their chiefs as 
could be induced to be present. 

On our arrival at the agency we found, much to our dis- 
appointment, that Dr. Daniels was absent ; that none of the 
Arapahoes said to be concerned in the affair had been notified, 
or were within reach. We were compelled accordingly to be 
content with the second-hand statements made to some of the 



Note:^ — Rawlins Springs should be Rawling's Springs. The Springs 
were named after an early day trapper, named Rawling; the town of 
Rawlins was named after the then Secretary of War. 



162 ANNALS OF WYOMING 

Arapalio chiefs, more particularly Plenty Bear and Black 
Bear's son, (known as Black Whiteman.) by members of the 
party on their return. 

The names of the whites engaged in the affray, copies 
of all the evidence taken, and statements made, are herewith 
submitted to the Department. 

Passing to the results of the investigation, it appears be- 
yond doubt that the Indians concerned were not Utes, as at first 
supposed, but Arapahoes. The party of whites who did the 
shooting undoubtedly believed the Indians to be Utes. But 
the admission of the Arapahoes that they were the party, their 
grief for the loss of their dead, and their demand for the re- 
turn of the ponies and guns lost, and for compensation to be 
made to the relations of the Indians killed, would seem to be 
decisive. 

And with this agrees the statement of Agent fjittlefield 
that the Utes knew nothing definitely of the fight ; that none of 
tlieir number were either killed or missing, and that no feel- 
ings of resentment or hostility had been aroused among them. 

It is the conviction of the commission that the affair 
was very nearly what it would appear to have been from the 
SAVorn statements of the Rawlins party. The version given b}^ 
the Arapahoes differs materially from these, as was to be ex- 
pected. But neither their account of the movements of the 
Iiidians prior to the fight nor their explanation of the fighting 
was satisfactory, while tiieir proverbial disregard for truth 
even in matters of trifling importance, according to their 
agent, makes their statements of little worth compared with 
the sworn and agreeing testimony of the whites. 

The truth would seem to be that a party of Arapahoes, 
made up largely of young braves, eager to win distinction, 
took the war-path for a raid upon their traditional enemies, 
the Crows ; that, hearing while on their way that there had 
been a recent fight with the Crows by a party of Arapahoes 
and Cheyennes, they concluded that it would not be wise to 
make the attack proposed, and decided to attack the Utes 
instead ; that tlu\v turned their course to the south for that 
purpose, and crossed the railroad ten or twelve miles west of 
Rawlins ; that some of their party captured two horses belong- 
ing in Rawlins while out at pasture ; that two of their numl)er 
concealed in the sagebrush near the road, the rest being in 
advance and on the bluffs or hills to the south, espied a young- 
man coming with a four-mule team ; that they concluded sud- 
denly to capture the team, and accordingly fired upon and 
wounded the boy in the foot ; that he returned the fire, and 
hastening liaek to Rawlins gave the alarm, whereupon a ])arty 
of ten. headcMl by tlu^ sheriff" of the county, started immediately 
in pursuit; that they supposed the Indians to be Utes and fol- 



WYOMING SCRAPBOOK 163 

lowed them, not with the intention of making an attack upon 
them, but of ascertaining who they were, that they might in- 
form the agent and urge upon him the necessity of keeping 
the Indians in his care upon their reservation ; that, on over- 
taking them, or rather heading them off, the next morning, 
the Indians claimed to be Utes ; that the whites recognized and 
positively identified two horses as belonging to citizens of 
Rawlins ; that they insisted on the surrender of the horses, 
and upon the Indians refusing to give them up they insisted 
upon their return with them to RaAvlins to meet the agent of 
the Utes then expected there ; that the Indians declared they 
would not go; that they denied also the shooting of the boy, 
charging it upon the Arapahoes ; that while the whites were 
seeking to persuade them to return to Rawlins the Indians 
suddenly drew their pistols and firing behind them as they 
rode, spurred their horses into the bushes; that the whites re- 
turned the fire, killed and mortally wounded four of their 
number, captured eleven horses and one Winchester rifle, and 
came back to Rawlins ; that the Indians buried two of their 
dead where the fight occurred, and two on their way back ; 
that they abandoned the proposed expedition against the Utes, 
and immediately returned, not to the agency, but to the Indians 
farther north, and that they now claim the surrender of the 
lost horses and gun, and also that presents be given to the 
relatives of those killed in the fight. 

As is shown by the evidence, the investigation sought to 
ascertain exactly how the trouble originated, and precisely 
who were the aggressors. The result is, in the judgment of the 
commission, that the whites do not appear to be blameworthy. 
Their evidence was positive and agreeing that no old grudges 
existed which they were anxious to avenge ; that there had been 
no difficulties with either Utes or Arapahoes due to recent 
gambling or horse-racing ; that the members of the party were 
not intoxicated when the fight occurred, and that there was no 
liquor with the party; that there was no ill will from any 
cause felt toward the Indians, but that, on the contrary, a con- 
sultation was held before coming up with the Indians, wherein 
it was agreed that they would not attack them unless them- 
selves attacked ; that the Indians fired the first shots, and 
they returned the fire in self-defense ; and furthermore did not 
pursue the Indians after they took to flight. 

The commission are therefore of the opinion tluit the trou- 
ble was wholly due to a war expedition growing out of an an- 
cient feud between the Arapahoes and the Utes, which expedi- 
tion was in direct violation of the treaty i-atified by the North- 
ern Arapahoes and Cheyennes in 1868. where])y they l)ound 
themselves not to cross the Platte nor go beyond the limits of 
their reservation, hunting excursions alone excepted. 



164 ANNALS OF WYOMING 

It is tlierefore the ,jud«>meiit of the commission, that no just 
claim can be set up on the part of the Indians, either for the 
return of the captured property or for damages incurred by 
the fight. And the commission find it difficult to see how such 
claim can be entertained without putting- a virtual premium 
on the very elements of willful lawlessness which it is the 
prime object of all Indian treaties to repress. 

At the same time the commission readil}' perceives that, 
with reference to future dealings, it may ])e deemed politic 
by the Department to conciliate the Indians I)}' the restoration 
of the captured horses. l>ut it is felt that this should only be 
done coupled with the empliatic declaration by the Depart- 
ment, that the Indians had justly forfeited all claim to the 
property; and they should further be made to understand, 
that the government cannot be expected to keep its pledges 
while they break theirs ; and that, therefore, with every viola- 
tion of their agreements, they must expect not only the censure 
of the government, but the penalty which such violation entails. 

As to the best means to prevent such collisions in the fu- 
ture, concerning which it is made the duty of the commission 
to report, the commission desire to express themselves with 
great diffidence. They feel that such a question goes to the 
root of the whole Indian policy, and that to have clear and 
decisive opinions, and to be sure that these are wisely settled, 
where so many and so delicate questions are involved as is the 
case respecting the relations of whites and Indians on our 
frontiers, is no easy thing. 

Nevertheless the investigation made by them has de- 
veloped and deepened in the minds of the commissioners cer- 
tain convictions which they venture to express for the consid- 
eration of the Department. 

First, then, it appears to the commission that it would be 
a helpful step in the management of Indian affairs to have 
the various reservations surveyed at the earliest practicable 
day. and their l)oundaries and limitations thoroughly and per- 
manently established so far as may be jn-acticable ; it is greatly 
to be desired that such boundaries should be the natural ones 
of mountains, streams, divides, and the like. Tlie Indian finds 
great ditt'iculty in getting riglit notions of imaginary lines of 
latitude and longitude. The conse(|uence is, that he is easily 
betrayed into violations of treaty stipulations, both as respects 
invasion of the territory of the whites and that of other In- 
dians; and naturally out of such disregard of lines and boun- 
daries, sooner or later, trouble comes. 

2. Anotlier and fruitful source of "irritation"* is the ]n-ac- 
tice of issuing passes or pei-mits wluM-eliy Indians, individually 
or in small jiarties, are allowed to go l)eyond tiie limits of their 
reservations. 



WYOMING SCRAPBOOK 165 

Such permits are always liable to abuse by offering tempta- 
tions to thievishness, predatory forays among the whites which 
provoke retaliation and excite bad blood, and similar raids 
coupled with more hostile intent upon other Indians. And 
the facts go to show that in many if not in a majority of in- 
stances, Indian nature is not proof against the temptation held 
out, nor white nature proof against the prejudice aroused, and 
in consequence outbreaks occur. 

The general feeling along the frontier is strongly against 
the system, and your commission feel certain that it is produc- 
tive of more mischief than good and should be done away. 

3. Your commission venture further, and raise the ques- 
tion whether it w^ould not be a great gain to so shape the 
policy of the Department as to prohibit at an early day all 
going beyond the bounds of their reservations by the Indians 
for whatever purpose. This would interfere, we are aAvare. 
wnth the hunting privileges now enjoyed, and would hence be, 
without doubt, strenuously opposed by the various tribes en- 
joying such immunities. But there can be little debate as to 
the value of such a prohibition in preventing the collisions 
which under the present order of things continually occur. 

Through the opening of the Pacific Railroad, with its con- 
nections, these hunting grounds of the Indians have been thrown 
open to settlers and immigration is rapidly pouring in. The 
mining-districts also, which border the reservations, are rap- 
idly filling up ; the result is that the hunting expeditions of the 
Indians find, on the one hand, increasing difficulties in their 
path as respects the securing of game, and on the other increas- 
ing temptations to run off stock, pillage, and commit depreda- 
tions generally ; and the likelihood of collisions and troubles 
with the settlers and other whites is obviously very much en- 
hanced by the multiplied opportunities afforded of procuring 
li(|uor, indulging in gambling, horse-racing, and other vices to 
which the Indian is prone, and out of which almost inevitably 
mischief and often bloodshed comes. 

Furthermore, it is the clear policy of the Government, as 
witnessed in all treaties with the Indians, to induce them, at 
the earliest possible day, to give up their roving and predatory 
habits, and, instead of relying upon the always uncertain 
supply of game, to become cultivators of the soil with perma- 
nent homes, and thus gradually, under the influence of labor- 
schools and other appliances of Christianity, cease to be a 
savage, and become a civilized people. 

Obviously, this is the only way in which, apart from utter 
extermination, a complete end of Indian troubles can ever be 
hoped for; and this involves tbe necessity of surrender, at some 
time, by the Indians, of the present privilege of hunting be- 
yond the limits of their reservations. It seems therefore to 



166 ANNALS OF WYOMING 

your commission that the true interests of both whites and 
Indians imperatively demand that the policy of contining' the 
Indians to their reservations l)e steadily and strenuously urged; 
and whenever difificulties should occur in the application of 
such ])olic3', as they doubtless would, especially in its initiation, 
it would seem to your commission better to secure its establish- 
ment by increasing the amount of annuities or of supplies 
granted than to take the risk of pillage and blood shed insep- 
arable from the present system. And if the expense of such 
a policy were deemed by any an objection thereto, it ought 
to be sufficient answer to say that by the witness of experi- 
ence, it is vastly cheaper to feed the Indians than to fight them. 
So the honor of the government must be maintained and the 
beneficent ends it proposes, as respects both whites and In- 
dians, be realized. The avoidance of collisions is cheap at 
any price. 

4. But the most prolific cause of trouble remains to be 
noted. It is the fact, attested by our conferences and witnessed 
to by both Indian agents and officers of the Army who have 
had most acquaintance with the tribes, that there is neither 
any organic unity among them, nor any recognized permanent 
and responsible headship. The Indian chiefs, certainly among 
the Sioux, Cheyennes, and Arapahoes, with whom w^e had more 
particularly to do, are the braves, who, by their prowess and 
daring, have won renown and made themselves leaders by a 
kind of popular acclaim. They are, however, clothed with no 
authority, have no control over their respective tribes other 
than their personal influence, and hence can only lead and 
act for them to the extent of their ability to persuade the In- 
dians to accept their views. At any time a rival may arise, 
and, either by his eloquence or his deeds, wrest away the chief- 
tainship and become the chosen leader of the people. The 
consequence is that the tribal headships are incessantly chang- 
ing, and hence what has been agreed to under one chief is 
r('))udiated under another, or sometimes part of a tribe will 
cling to one chief and abide by his counsel, and part adhere 
to another, and thus two authorities come to exist, each su- 
preme in its sphere, and yet in direct antagonism as upon 
such a question as that of peace or war. 

Naturally enough the Indian transfers this notion of obli- 
gation into his dealings Avith the government, and accordingly 
thiid^s himself freed from the compacts entered into by his 
chiefs whenever these change their opinions, as they so often do, 
or whenever other chiefs with differing views get the people's 
ear and usurp their i)lace. Fui-ther. because of the lack of 
anything like tribal unity aiul lience of tribal responsibility, 
they deem themselves not bound l)y the engagements of their 



WYOMING SCRAPBOOK 167 

chiefs unless they personally concur in the desirableness of 
what is done. 

In illustration of such notions, the commission found that 
the Arapahoes interviewed by them did not consider themselves 
bound by the treaty of 1868, mostly because they had not per- 
sonally agreed thereto, and partly because another set of 
chiefs, who had not been parties to the treaty, had, since its 
ratification, come into power. And that this is the prevalent 
Indian notion of obligation, would appear from the fact that 
no demand for the surrender of Indians known to have com- 
mitted depredations or outrages upon the whites can be en- 
forced anywhere upon the frontier. Your commission have 
been repeatedl.y assured, alike by the officers of the Territory 
of Wyoming and those of military posts situated therein, that 
they are powerless to secure the apprehension of such wrong- 
doers, although their delivery by the Indians upon demand 
by the proper authorities is one of the first provisions of every 
treaty. 

So long as such ideas obtain, it must be obviously impos- 
sible to ratify treaties that will be of any avail. Indeed, it is 
more than doubtful whether, among all the numerous tribes or 
bands throughout this region, a single treaty is today regarded 
by the Indians supposed to be obligated thereby as of binding 
force in all its stipulations ; while they insist stoutly upon the 
full measure of all the pledges entered into by the govern- 
ment, they seem to think themselves privileged to be their own 
judges of the good faith to which they are held. And thus it 
happens that, in the main, the only force of these compacts 
with the various tribes is with those who are either in sym- 
pathy with the objects they propose, or who have discernment 
enough to see that conformity to the treaty is their only sure 
means of securing the bestowals of government. 

In this state of things, something more is needed to insure 
peace than a reliance on the good faith of the Indians in car- 
rying out the provisions of the treaties made with them. As 
in the case of the Rawlins fight, or the more recent massacre 
of two white women in the Sweet Water country, in just so 
far as they dare, the Indians will follow their own likings, and 
in spite of all compacts engage in forays upon each other, or 
in pillaging and murdering the whites. 

The remedy for this unfaith and its consecpient disorders, 
it may not be easy to point out. But after a careful survey of 
the difficulties involved, and comparison of the views enter- 
tained by citizens, Indian agents, and officers of the army, your 
commissioners offer a few suggestions. 

1. It is a matter of especial satisfaction that, so far as 
appears, whatever the difficulties of this vexed question, they 
are not due to any failure on the part of the government to 



168 ANNALS OF WYOMING 

perform its part in the compacts made. On the contrary, while 
hardly an agreement has been fully observed by the Indians, 
and many clear provisions have been repeatedly disregarded, 
no invasions of Indian territory by whites have been allowed, 
no annuities withheld, no supplies cut off. In fact, the govern- 
ment has acted throughout, not merely with scrupulous fidelity, 
but with marked forbearance and generosity. 

2. It is clear, however, that, in carrying out the policy of 
the Department, too much emphasis cannot be laid upon the 
necessity of having agents of unquestionable abilitj^ and in- 
tegrity. Their position is, in its nature, one wielding a pro- 
digious influence, and capable of being made potential for 
good or ill, according as those who occupy it are men with or 
without the true qualifications for the place. The men im- 
peratively needed are those fully in sympathy with the policy 
of the government, above all suspicion of dishonesty, and pos- 
sessed of a good share of discretion, tact and sound sense. For 
standing, as they do, close to the Indian, it is clear that, how- 
ever wise and beneficent the measures proposed by the De- 
partment, they may fail utterly of success, through either the 
cupidity or the stupidity and blunders of the agent. 

3. It may be questioned whether the present rate of com- 
pensation is sufficient to insure men of the ability demanded 
for such an important trust. Too often, it would appear, the 
scant salary of the agent becomes a temptation to practices 
which cost the forfeiture of the confidence of both whites and 
Indians; and when this occurs, as it sometimes does, the very 
medium through which the government seeks to dispense bene- 
fits becomes a source of continual mischief. One unprincipled 
agent can counterwork the whole Department, and foment 
troubles which it will reijuire years of treasure and blood to 
subdue. 

4. Your commission are further persuaded that the vari- 
ous Indian agencies might be so used as to constitute probably 
the most eft'ective of all instrumentalities in the realization of 
those beneficent results which it is the aim of the present In- 
dian policy to secure. Wliatever the Indian fails to under- 
stand, he understands clearly the argument of supplies. Year 
by year it is becoming plainer to nearly all the tribes that they 
are dependent iqjon tlie government for food and clothing. 
Take away the sujiplies now furnished, and it hardly admits 
of doubt tlmt a full half of the Indians of this region would be 
faced by starvation. They could not dispossess other tribes 
of their hunting-grounds, and they could not possibly support 
themselves on their present reservations. 

If, now, the various Indian agencies were instructed to 
nuike the issue of their sup])lies and the payment of annuities 
conditioned upon the Indians keeping strictly within their 



WYOMING SCRAPBOOK 169 

reservations, and upon their prompt surrender of all perpe- 
trators of wrong, it is evident that a most potent argument 
for justice and good order would be brought to bear. 

So keenly felt already is the dependence upon the govern- 
ment for material for tepees, for blankets, and clothing ; and so 
urgent, especially, is the demand for food, that it is firmly be- 
lieved by your commissioners that few tribes or bands can be 
found in these reservations which a rigid application of such 
a rule would not ultimately bring to terms. 

Of course the enforcement of such a policy would demand 
the support of the military arm of the government. But it is 
idle to think that any policy can be made effective without 
such support. And it is the opinion of military officers whose 
long experience among the Indians qualifies them to judge, 
that only a small force of soldiers would be needed to secure 
each agency against possible attack. It was, for example, the 
judgment of officers at Fort Laramie that a single regiment, 
Avith two pieces of artillery, would be ample to protect the 
Red Cloud agency from all uprising among the 12,000 or 14,000 
Indians supplied therefrom. 

5. Finally, if, in connection with such a policy, a provi- 
sion could be made whereby each tribe or each cluster of agree- 
ing tribes could have some thoroughly competent and honest 
attornej'- appointed by the Department, whose duty it should 
be, in all cases of violation of treaties, or of collision or other 
difficulty with the whites, to conduct the case in behalf of the 
Indians before the territorial or other courts having jurisdic- 
tion, it is the opinion of your commissioners that great good 
would result. 

Such an attorney would serve effectually to protect the 
Indians against the undue influence of prejudice and animosity 
so often felt upon the frontier. And, at the same time, he 
would avail more and more, as he secured the confidence of 
the Indians, to restrain their propensity to retaliation for sup- 
posed wrongs ; to cultivate among them true ideas of obliga- 
tion, and to establish over them the full supremacy of law. 

In conclusion, your commissioners desire to express their 
acknowledgments to General de Trobriand, of Fort Steel ; Gen- 
eral Bumford, of Fort Russell; and General Smith, of Fort 
Laramie, with the officers of their respective commands, for 
valuable assistance rendered, and many courtesies received, 
while engaged in the investigation. 

We have the honor to be, very respectfully, 

EDWARD P. GOODWIN, 
J. A. CAMPBELL, 
S. R. HOSMER, 

Special Commissioners. 

Cheyenne, Wyoming, August 9, 1873. 



170 ANNALS OF WYOMING 



FORT LARAMIE— errata 



Reference is made to the article entitled "Fort Laramie, 
Guardian of the Oregon Trail," which appeared in the last 
issue of Annals. On page 8, sixth line from the bottom, " Arapa- 
ho band" should read "band of Cheyennes and Arapahos." 
On page 12, fifteenth line from the bottom, "on Crazy Horse 
Fork" should read "near Crazy Woman Fork." Mr. J. Elmer 
Brock of Kaycee states that the exact site of the destruction of 
Dull Knife's village was on the Red Fork of Powder River and 
that evidence of the battlefield is to be found on his ranch. A 
"Report on Battles and Skirmishes in Wyoming Territory" 
reprinted in Annals of Wyoming, XIV, 3 (July, 1942) from 4536 
H. R. Document 446, p. 401, 57th Congress, Second Session, 
suggests that the Dull Knife engagement took place on "Bates 
Creek, near North Fork of Powder River." 



MILITARY POSTS IN NEBRASKA TERRITORY 

WHICH LATER BECAME WYOMING 

DEPARTMENT OF THE WEST 

Platte Bridge, Nebraska Territory, established July 29, 
1858 ; garrisoned by 86 officers and men. 

Camp Walbach, Nebraska Territory, established Septem- 
ber 20, 1858; garrisoned by 107 officers and men. 

Fort Laramie, Nebraska Territory, estalilished June 16, 
1849 ; garrisoned by 232 officers and men. 



ACCESSIONS 171 



ACCESSIONS 

to the 

WYOMING HISTORICAL DEPARTMENT 
December 1, 1944 to May 1, 1945 

Logan, Ernest, Collection, donated Oct. 1944, by his son, W. E. Logan. 

Johnson, William E., 420 E. 20th St., Cheyenne, donor of a boot jack used 
in 1849. 

Brackley, Captain William L., 410 Cedar St., Laramie, Wyo., donor of 
"Coyote Bill's" three piece buckskin suit; large white felt hat; one 
pair of buckskin gloves; one horsehair watch chain, with one orna- 
ment, a hand carved out of bone. 

Cheyenne Chamber of Commerce, donor of large painting, ' ' Potter 's 
Bull." 

Eoedel, Andy, Cheyenne, donor of eleven photographs: 

1. Dinty Moore; 2. Cheyenne Air Mail field 1922; 3. Plomer Barry, 
Eddie Riekenbacker and Top Payne; 4. Top of Elk Mountain; 5. 
Top Payne noses over; 6. De Haviland remodeled at Cheyenne, 
1924; 7. Winding one up for Jack Knight, 1922; 8. Jimmy Murray's 
wrecked plane, 1920; 9. Collisson's wreck at Rawlins, 1923; 10. C. V. 
Pick up at Rawlins, 1922; 11. First Fatality, Cheyenne-Salt Lake 
Divisions, John Woodward- — Tie Siding, 1920. 

Coulehan, Mrs. Charlotte, 2202 Capitol Ave., Cheyenne, donor of John- 
son's Illustrated Atlas, 1862; one Cheyenne Daily Leader, 1890; one 
Connecticut Courant, Oct. 1764. 

Scheff, Mrs. Sarah Rayor, 2405 E. Lincolnway, Cheyenne, donor of Nazi 
flag taken in March 1945 by her husband. Captain Scheff, U. S. A. 

Hobbs' Furniture Co., Cheyenne, donor of a glass display case — 38"x36" 
x30". 

Purchased 

Two Water Colors of Wyoming trout by G. Lindle Dunn. Cost $25.00 
each. 

Map of Lieut. Bryan's route for a military road between Ft. Riley and 
Bridger Pass, bought from the National Archives, Washington, D, C, 
$2.00. 

Books — Purcliased. 

Altrocchi, Julia Cooley, The Old California Trail, traces in folklore and 
furrow. Caldwell, Idaho, Caxton, 1945. 327 p. ilus. Purchased from 
publisher for $3.12. 

Brooks, Bryant Butler, Memoirs of Bryant B. Brooks, Glendale, Calif., 
Clark, 1939. 370 p. Purchased from publisher for $12.50. 

Torrey, Edwin C, Early days in Dakota. Glendale, Calif., Clark, n. d. 289 p. 
Purchased from Clark for $5.00. 

Adams, James Truslow, Atlas of American History. New York, Scribner's, 
1943. Purchased from McClurg for $6.67. 



172 ANNALS OF WYOMING 

Gifts 

Mazzuchelli, Eev. Samuel. Memoirs, historical and edifying of a missionary 
apostolic of the order of St. Dominic among various Indian tribes and 
amonq tlie Catholics and Protestants of the United States. Chicago, 
Hall,'l91o. 374 p. Gift of St. Mary 's Convent, Cheyenne. 

The Ernest Logan Collection Donated to the Historical Department by 
Dr. W. E. Logan, December, 1944 

Photographs — Picture file 

C 1311 Lake Minnehaha "M" File No. 26 
1 

C 1311 The Denver Post Boys Band— Denver 1908 "F" File No. 88 
2 

C 1311 Camp Carlin 10x8 not framed "C" File No. 95 
3 

C 1311 Quartermaster Depot— Camp Carlin "C" File No. 95 
4 

C 1311 Logan Store, 211 W. 16th St. (Interior) "L" File No. 18 
5 

C 1311 Union Pacific Depot 1876 Cheyenne "U" File No. 5 
6 

C 1311 Telephone Building— Now the Arp Hotel, S. E. Corner of 
7 Capitol Ave. "C" File No. 19 

C 1311 A. Laughlin, Wyo. Pioneer "W" File No. 52 
8 

C 1311 W. E. Ingraham, Wyo. Pioneer "W" File No. 52 
9 

C 1311 Mr. Barnev, Wyo. Pioneer "W" File No. 52 
10 

C 1311 Two unidentified Wyo. peoj^le — one woman, one man ''W" 
11-12 File No. 52 

C 1311 Union Pacific Depot— Cheyenne 9x7 "W" File No. 5 

13 

C 1311 Eleven prints of Allen M. Dean's paintings 5x7, "D" File 

14-24 No. I 

C 1311 "Tonev" the American dollar dog "W" File No. 52 
25 

C 1311 Two Chevenne Homes, unidentified "C" File No. 19 
26-27 

C 1311 Capitol building as of the first contract 1886, The first wings 
28 are being added as of the 1888 contract. 

C 1311 Three j)Ostcards, scenes of Cheyenne streets and buildings. 
33-35 "C" File No. 19 

C 1311 North Side of 16th Street between Capitol and Pioneer. 

65 "C" File No. 19 

C 1311 W. W. Howard, Lost Angeles, California, he surveved for 

66 the U. P. R. R. from Omaha to Laramie City in 1866-67. 
"W" Fili> No. 52 



ACCESSIONS 173 

C 1311 Purchased framed pictures of Camp Carlin, $2.50 
68 

C 1311 Custer Battle Field $2.50— On Wall of Museum 
69 

Letters, Manuscripts, Etc. 

C 1311 Piece of an 1890 Washington, D. C. newspaper torn from the 

30 walls of the log barn on the John Whitaker ranch at Iron 
Mountain. "Vertical File" Logan, Ernest 

C 1311 Two Cheyenne Frontier Days envelopes. 1900, 1902. See 

31-32 Vertical File Logan, Ernest 

C 1311 Morrison, Merrill & Co. 1889, Bill of Sal-e-Vertical File- 

36 Logan, Evjiest 

C 1311 The Bailey school book, the author, Mary Bailey, was Prin- 

37 cipal of the West End School, Cheyenne. Vertical File Logan, 
Ernest 

C 1311 Biographical outline of Mrs. Lizzie Walker Logan, (Mrs. Ernest 

38 Logan). Vertical File, Logan, Ernest 

C 1311 BUI of sale between Mrs. Lizzie Logan and John Hess, 1887. 

39 Vertical File, Logan, Ernest 

C 1311 Historical anecdotes by Ernest Logan, long hand 19 P. no date, 

40 Vertical File, Logan, Ernest 

C 1311 Fort Laramie 1877, some history on, by Ernest Logan. Typed 

41 manuscript of two and one half pages. Vertical File, Logan, 
Ernest 

C 1311 One 1888 A. O. W. W. Select Knights invitation to a Ball, Feb. 

42 22, 1888. Vertical File, Logan, Ernest 

C 1311 One souvenir folder of Cheyenne, Wyoming. Vertical File, 

43 Logan, Ernest 

C 1311 One calling card of Mrs. HiU Logan, mother of Ernest Logan. 

54 Vertical File, Logan, Ernest 

C 1311 One biographical outline of Ernest Logan. Vertical File, 

62 Logan, Ernest 

Museum Pieces. Case No. 46 

C 1311 One rare Indian spoon horn 
44 

C 1311 One spur found on the Thornburg battle field 1879 
45 

C 1311 One pair of Indian moccasins 
46 

C 1311 One clothes pin of 1873 
47 

C 1311 One Indian beaded knife scabbard 
48 

C 1311 One Indian Vjeaded medicine bag 
49 

C 1311 One metal instrument found west of Wheatland on the 

50 Sibylee Wyoming; looks like an old fashioned scissors 



174 ANNALS OF WYOMING 

C 1311 One large arrow head 
51 

C 1311 One pair of shoes, found in the earlv 1850 's 
52 

C 1311 Two elk teeth given to John Hunton at Fort Laramie, by 
53 an Indian, Baptist Peuree (Big Bat) 

C 1311 One ribbon Indian ornament 
55 

C 1311 Two small silver and copjier bracelets made by Ernest 
56-57 Logan 

C 1311 Seven cut nails from ruin of printing office at Fort Laramie 
58 

C 1311 Two copper pieces, one an Indian head, one a head of a 
59-60 Long Horn, made by Ernest Logan 

C 1311 A buckskin bag, an Indian relic belonging to Sir Cedric of 

61 England, who came to Wyoming on a hunting trip. (No 
Date) 

C 1311 One gallon tin oil can made by hand in about 1874 at 

63 Camp Carlin by Hill Logan, Father of Ernest Logan 

C 1311 Tin lid of can, made by hand at Camp Carlin before 1874, 

64 by Harry Lynch 

In Southeast Comer of Museum. 

C 1311 Lathe made bv Hill Logan in about 1869. 
29 

C 1311 One child's chair made by Hill Logan while at Camp Carlin 

67 in the early 1870 's 

C 1311 Photograph of Mrs. Logan and 2 children, Ernest and Ella, 

68 case No. 46 

C 1311 Photograph of Camp Carlin, in picture file 
69 

C 1311 Small wooden chest of Lieut. Col. B. Carling 
70 

C 1311 Book — Ben Boland's Garden. Placed in Vault 
71 

C 1311 4 Pictures: (1) Old Presbyterian Church (2) Central School 

72 (3) Old Court House (4) Capitol in 1890, picture files 

C 1311 Old account books (3) of merchants in early days. Placed 

73 in vault 

C 1311 (Jlass cane in case No. 4t) 
74 



GENERAL INDEX 

Volume 17 



Accessions, 17:1:84; 17:2:171. 



Brooks, Biyant B., 17:1:21. 

Bryan, Lieut. F. T., Eeport of Lieut. F. T. Bryan Concerning his Opera- 
tions in Locating a Practicable Boad Betiveen Fort Biley to Bridger's 
Pass 1856. 17:1:24-55. 

Burpee, Lawerence J., La Verendrye Pathfinder of the West, 17:2:107. 



Camp Carlin, 17:2:Cover; 157. 

Cemetaries, National, in Wyoming Territory 1869, From Report by Brevet 
Major General L. Thomas to Secretary of War, 1869, 17:1:75-76; 
Recapitulation of Interments, 76. 

Cheyenne Belles of the Late 1880 's, 17:2:158. 

D 

DeLand, Charles E., Addiiional Verendrye Material, 17:2:121-130. 



Fort Laramie, Guardian of the Oregon Trail, by MerriU J. Mattes, 17:1:3- 
21; Biographical Sketch of M. J. Mattes, 3; Military History, 5-16; Com- 
pany E., Mounted Rifles, 5 ; Col. WiUiam O. Collins established outposts 
between Fort Laramie and South Pass, 8; Stage Line, 8; Indian Raids 
Along the South Platte, 8; Colonel Moonlight, 9; Platte Bridge Station, 
9; Caspar CoUins, 9; Powder River Expedition, 9, 12; Black Bear, 9, 
General Connor, 9; Col. Henry B. Carrington, 9, 10; Red Cloud, 0, 
10, 11; Fort Reno, 10; Fort Kearny, 10, 11; Fort C. F. Smith, 10; 
Capt. W. J. Fetterman, 10; " Portugee " Phillips, 11; Wagon Box 
Fight, 11; Capt. James Powell, 11; "Second Treaty of Fort Lara- 
mie", 11; Discovery of Gold in the Black Hills in 1874, 11; Sitting 
Bull, 11, 12; General Crook, 12; The First General Engagement, 12 
Fort Fetterman, 12; Crazy Horse, 12; General Terry, 12; Col. George 
Armstrong Custer, 12; Gen. Nelson A. Miles, 12; Dull Knife, 12 
Col. Wesley Merritt, 13; Col. John Gibbon, 13; Col. Henry C. Mer 
riam, 13; Fort Liuamie Abandoned in 1890, 13; Jim Bridger, 15 
Kit Carson, 15; William Cody, 15; Mark Twain, 15; Horace Gree- 



176 ANNALS OF WYOMING 

ley, 15; Jack Slade, 15; Becomes a National Monument, 16; John 
Hunton, 18; Ward and Bullock, 18; Became State Property, 18; 
Deeded to the United States, 18; Selected Bibliography, 19; News 
Items, 21. 



Laramie City, Review of Laramie City from May 1, to December 23, 1870, 
Retrospective in the Laramie Weekly Sentinel, May 5, 1883, 17:1:76- 
83. 

Letter of TJwmas S. Tiviss, Indian Agent at Deer Creek, IT. s. Indian 
Agency of the Upper Platte, 17:2:148-149. 

Libby, Orin G., Additional Verendrye Material, 17:2:130-143. 

Logan, Ernest, 17:1:63; Collection, 17:2:172. 

M 

McMurtrie, Douglas C, 17:1:21. 

The Mail Must Go, by A. E. Roedel, 17:1:64-75; Biographical Sketch of 
A. E. Roedel, 64; First Transcontinental Air Mail, 65; Episodes and 
Personnel of First Transcontinental Air Mail, 65, 66; Cheyenne Di- 
vision, 66; Type of Planes and Motors Used, 66, 74; History of 
Air Mail and Pilots, 66-75; Jack Knight, 66, 70, 72; Clarence Lange, 
67; W. L. (Slim) Lewis, 68, 70, 72, 73, 75; Hal Collison, 68, 71, 73; 
Jimmie Murray, 68, 70, 75; Pieup, 68; Jiggs Chandler, 69, 71, 73; 
Dinty Moore, 69, 71, 72; Johnny Woodward, 69; First Official Pas- 
senger, 69; Frank Yager, 70, 73, 75; Tope Payne, 70; Hopson, 71; 
Bob Ellis, 71, 75; Walter Bunting, 71; Henry Boonstra, 71; Blizzard 
in Cheyenne, 1922, 71; Number of Flying Trips, 71; Number of 
Miles, 71; Number of Letters Carried, 71; Paul Oaks, 72; Ira Biffle, 
72; Harry G. Smith, 74; Ernie Allison, 74, 75; John Riner, 74; 
Wilke, 74; Established Air Line for Chinese Government, 74; Harry 
Huking, 74, 75; Clare Vance, 74; Eddie Allen, 74; Boeing Air Trans- 
port Company, 74; Ham Lee, 74; George Meyers, 75; Cap White, 75; 
Rube Wagner, 75; D. C. Every, 75. 

Mattes, Morrill J., Fort Laramie, (iuardian of the Oregon Trail, 17:1:3-21. 

N 

National Cemeteries in Wyoming Territory, 1S69, 17:1:7.5-76. 

R 

Beport of Lieut. F. T. Bryan Coiu-erning His Operations in Locating a 
Practicable Road Between Fort Riley to Bridger's Pass 1856, 
17:1:24-55. 



GENEEAL INDEX 177 

Eobinson, E. E., U. P. E. E. Station Agent at Lookout, Letter, 17:2:153- 
155; The Blizzard of 1872, 153-155. 

Eawlins Springs Massacre, 17:2:161; Origin of Name, note, 161. 

Eeed, Dr. Slias, Stoclc Raising on the Plains 1870-1871, 17:1:55-63. 

Eobinson, Doan, Additional Verendrye Material, 17:2:146-147; The Veren- 
drye Plate, 17:2:145. 

Eoedel, A. E., The Mail Must Go, 17:1:64-75. 

EusseU, Carl P., Trapper Trails to the Sislc-Ee-Dee, 17:2:89-105. 

S 

Snow Storm of 1872 by E. E. Eobinson (letter), 17:2:153-155. 

Stock Raising on the Plains, 1870-1871, Eeport by Dr. Silas Eeed, First 
Surveyor General of Wyoming Territory, 17:1:55-63; Names and 
Eesidence of Cattlemen, Stock Eange, Type and Number of Head 
of Cattle, 56; Sheep and Wool, 58; Letter from J. W. Kingman on 
Sheep Eaising, 58-60; Future of Wool Interest of the Northwest, 
62; Eates of Freight to Eastern Markets, 62; Growth of Wyoming 
Sheep, 62; Industry, 62; List of Principle Flocks and Names of 
Owners, 63. 



Territorial Seal of 1882, 17:2:159. 

Trapper Trails to the SisTc-Ke-Bee, by Carl P. Eussell, 17:2:89-105; Bio- 
graphical Sketch, 89; The Trading Post System, 90; The First Trans- 
Mountain Venture, Targhee Pass, 90 ; TwogAvotee Pass, 91 ; Union 
Pass, 91; Teton Pass, 92; South Pass, 93; The War of 1812, 94; The 
Hudson's Bay Company on the Columbia, 95; The Eendezvous Pe- 
riod of the Western Fur Trade, 96; Jackson Hole in Fur Trade His- 
tory, 105. 

Twiss, Thomas S., Deer Creek Indian Agency, Letter of, 17:2:148-149. 

U 

Upham, Warren, The Explorations of Verendrye and His Sons, 17:2:144. 

V 

La Verendrye — Pathfinder of the Tl'est, by Lawerence J. Burpee, 17:2:107- 
111; Additional Verendrye Material, by Doan Eobinson, 111-121; 
by Charles E. DeLand, 121-130; by Orin G. Libby, 130-143. 

The Explorations nf Verendrye and His Sons by Warren Ui)ham, 144. 

The Verendrye Plate, by Doan Eobinson, 148-149. 



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ANNALS OF WYOMING. 



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