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18 9 2-93 


J . ^^ . P O TS^ E L L 














Say, shall not I at last attain 

Some height, from whenco the Tast is clear. 

In whose immortal atmosphere 
I shall behold my dead again ? 

Bayard Taylor. 

For the fires grow cold and the dances fail, 

And the songs in their echoes die; 
And what have we left but the graves beneath, 

And, above, the waiting sky? 

The Soiig of the Ancient People. 

My Father, have pity on me! 
I have notliing to eat, 
I am dying of thirst — 
Everything is gone 1 

Araj)alio iihoat Song. 




Introduction ^^^ 

The narrative ''°' 

Chapter I — Paradise lost 657 

II — The Delaware prophet and Pontiac 662 

HI— Tenskwatawa the Shawano prophet 670 

IV — Tecnmtha and Tippecanoe 681 

V — Kiiuaki'ik and minor prophets 692 

Kiiuakftk 692 

Pa'thPske 700 

Tii'vibo 701 

Nakai-dokli'ni 704 

The Potawatomi prophet 705 

Cheez-tah-paezh the Sword-bearer 706 

VI — The Smohalla religion of the Columbia region 708 

Smohalla 708 

Joseph and the Nez Perci'i war 711 

VII — Smohalla nnd bis doctrine 716 

VIII — The Shakers of Pnget sound 746 

IX — Wovoka the messiah 764 

X — The doctrine of the Ghost dance 777 

Appendix : 

The Mormons and the Indians 792 

Porcupine's account of the messiah 793 

The Ghost dance among the Sioux 796 

Selwyn's interview with Kuwapi 798 

XI — The Ghost dance west of the Rockies 802 

XII— The Ghost dance east of the Kockies — among the Sioux 816 

Appendix: Causes of the outbreak 829 

Commissioner ilorgan's statement 829 

Ex-Agent McGilly cuddy's statement 831 

Statement of General Miles 833 

Report of Captain Hurst 836 

Statement of American Horse 839 

Statement of Bishop Hare 840 

XIII — The Sioux outbreak— Sitting Bull and Wounded Knee 843 

Appendix ; The Indian story of Wounded Knee 884 

XIV — Close of the outbreak — The Ghost dance in the south 887 

XV — The ceremony of the Ghost dance 915 

Among the northern Cheyenne 915 

Among the Sioux 915 

Song rehearsals 918 

Preparations for the dance 918 

Giving the feather 919 

The ]>ainting of the dancers 919 



The Darrative — Continued Page 
Chapter XV — The ceremony of the Ghost dance — Continued 

The ceremony 920 

The crow dance 921 

Tlie hypnotic 922 

The area covered by the dance 926 

Present condition of the dance 927 

XVI — Parallels in other systems 928 

The BLblical period 928 

Mohammedanism 930 

Joan of Arc 932 

Dance of Saint J ohn 935 

The Flagellants 935 

Ranters, Quakers, and Fifth-Monarchy men 936 

French prophets 938 

Jumpers 939 

Methodists 939 

Shakers 941 

Kentucky revival 942 

Adventists 944 

Other parallels 945 

Beekmanites 945 

Patterson and Brown's mission 946 

Wilderness worshipers 946 

Heavenly recruits 947 

Appendix: Hypnotism and the dance among the Der- 
vishes 948 

The songs 953 

Introductory 953 

The Arapaho , 953 

Tribal synonymy 953 

Tribal signs 954 

Sketch of the tribe 954 

Songs of the Arapaho 958 

1. Opening song: Eijehe'.' ncinisa'na — O, my children! 958 

2. Se'icha' htita'wuni'na — The sacred pipe tells me 959 

3. Ate'ba tWiwu'nanu' — When at first I liked the whites 961 

4. A'hii'ni'hi' — My partner 962 

5. A'-nisi'iiia'a'ltu — My father 962 

6. E'yehe' ! WiVnayu'uhu' — E'yehr'! They are new 963 

7. Hi'sahi'hi — My partner ! My partner 964 

8. A'-nani'ni'hi'na'si wakii'na — The wind makes the head -feathers 

sing 965 

9. He'! Nciiie' th Mshiqa' wd — When I met him approaching 965 

10. Sana'na'wunanu — I take pity on those 966 

11. A-ni'qu wa' wand' nihiiHia' — ^F.ather, now I am singing it 966 

12. Ha'yana'-uai'ya' — How bright is the moonlight! 966 

13. Ha'ti iii'bnt — The Cottonwood song 967 

14. Eyehe' ! A'nie'sa'iia' — The young Thunderbirds 968 

15. A'he'ailna'nini naya'quH'hi — Our father, the Whirlwind 970 

16. A' he' aiina' nini ndya'qiUi' — Our father, the Whirlwind 970 

17. Ninaa'niahu'na — I circle around 970 

18. Ha'nahawii'ncH heni'ni'na — The Hanahawnnm gave it to me . . . 971 

19. Ate'he' tana'-ise'ti — AVhen first our father came 971 

20. A-ni'ani'thdhi'nani'na — Mv father did not recognize me 972 


The sonss — Continued Page 
The Arapaho — Coutinued 

Souks of the Arapaho— Continued 

21. Ni'-athu'-a-u' u'liaLa'nilli'il — The -whites are crai^y 972 

22. Xa'ha'iabi'laa'ifii — The earth is about to move 973 

23. Jhe'siina'nini <'ir)ii<iii'hiVwa-ii' — I am looking at my father 973 

24. Ha' (hiake'i — The Tocli 973 

25. JVa'iva'na'daiiu'duV — 1 am about to hum 974 

26. A-ie'bc dii'netita'nicg — At the boginniiig of existeuce 975 

27. Tahu'na'dna'nia'liuna — It is I who make the thunder 976 

28. Ani' qu ve' chmvit'nani' — Ta.theT, have pity ou me 977 

29. A-ni'iiiha'iiialiu'na — 1 iiy around yellow 977 

30. Xiha'nata'iieche'tl — The yellow hide 978 

31. A-bad'thina'hii — The cedar tree 978 

32. Wa'wa nu'na7uVncdii'li — Now I. am waving an eagle feather.. . 979 

33. A-vi'qana'ga — There is a solitary bull 980 

34. A-ncii'ihibiwd'hanA — The -phice where crying begins 981 

35. Thi'dya' Iw'nuu'awd — Wheu I see the thi'dya 981 

36. A-hu'hu ha'geiii'sti'ti — The crow is making a road 982 

37. Jii'lun'wii hii'hu' — The crow brought the earth 983 

38. M'nini'titbi'nahu'hu' (I) — The crow has called me 983 

39. Nu'nanu'naa'tdni'naha'hit' (I) — The crow is circling above me. 984 

40. Iy)i hd'thdbc'nawa' — Here it is, I hand it to you 984 

41. Hanae'hi ya'ga'alii'na — Little boy, the coyote gun 984 

42. Be'siina' na'nahatha'hi — The father showed me 985 

43. Xdnisa'iaqu'lhi ChUiachV cHbd' iha' — The seven venerable priests. 986 

44. NWnisa'inqi Chi'ndchichibd'ihn' — The seven venerable priests . 990 

45. Nd'nanu'iiaa'tani'nu liii'hu' (II) 990 

46. Na'Uinii'ya chf'bi'nh — The pemmican that I am using 991 

47. Hdi'nawa' hd'iii'ia'quna'ni — I know, in the pitfall 991 

48. Bd'hind'nina'td ni'tabd'na — I hear everything 993 

49. A-ba'qati' hd'nicltd'bi'hind'na — With the wheel I am gambling. 994 

50. Ani'dm'kita'na — I am watching 995 

51. Ni'chi'd i'ilieti'ld — (There) is a good river 995 

52. m'nini'iubi'na hu'hu' (II) 996 

53. Anihd'ya atanVtd'nu'nawa' — I use the yellow (paint) 997 

54. Ni'nad'niuJdi'tawa bi'laa'wu — I am flying about the earth 997 

55. I'nita'ta'-iisd'na — Stand ready 998 

56. Wa'u-dthd'hi — I have given you magpie feathers 998 

57. Ani'qa li(''tabi'nuhu'ni'na — My father, I am poor 999 

58. Nd'nisa'taqn'ild hu'na — The seven crows 999 

59. Ahu'iid he'siiiia'iiiu — There is our father 10110 

60. Gn'nH'o'Ziit — The ball, the ball 1000 

61. Aim' ni'higa'hu — The Crow is running 1000 

62. Ta'thd-yu'na — He put me in five places 1001 

63. Xi'iiad'qa'ica chibd'ti — I am going around the sweat-house 1001 

64. i/isf'/ii — My comrade 1002 

65. Ka' til' H'ani' sa — My top, my top 1005 

66. He'iia'ga'nan-a'iien — When we dance ilntil daylight 1006 

67. Ni'nd'nlna'Wnaku'ni'na — I wear the morning star 1006 

68. A-ne'iia' tabi'ni'na — My mother gave it to me 1007 

69. Yi'hd'd'd'hi'hi' — Gambling song (Paiute gambling songs) 1008 

70. Xi'qa-hu'lin' — My lather, my father 1010 

71. A'hu'naicii'hii' — With red paint 1010 

72. Ani'qa iiaga'qii — Father, the Morning Star 1010 

73. Ahu'i/K lidthi'na — Closing song 1011 

Arapaho glossary 1012 


The songs — Continued Page 

The Cheyenne 1023 

Trilial synonymy 1023 

Tri))al sign 1024 

Sketch of the tribe 1024 

Songs of the Cheyenne 1028 

1. O'td nci'iiisl'nusisls — Well, my children 1028 

2. Ehii'n esho'ini' — Our father has come 1028 

3. Nd'niso'nasi'stsiJii' — My children 1029 

4. Xd'see'nehe' che'yowo'mi — I waded into the yellow river 1030 

5. Wosi'vd-a'a' — The mountain is circling 1030 

6. Ni'ha-i'M'hi' — My father, I come 1031 

7. HVamu'hi — We have put the devil aside 1031 

8. Ni'ha e'yehe' ! — My father, my father 1031 

9. A'miniVqi — My comrade 1032 

10. He' slut u'ai— The. buffalo head 1032 

11. Nd'mio'ts — I am coming in sight 1034 

12. A'gadii'hi — The crow is circling 1034 

13. Nd'nise'Duse'stse — My children, I am now humming 1031 

14. Oijo'ch ehe ei/e' ! — The crow, the crow 1035 

15. Tsiso' soijo' tsito'ho — While I was going about 1035 

16. Xi'ha e'yehe' e'yeye' .' — ily father, my father 1036 

17. A'ga'ch ehe'c'ye' ! — The crow, the crow 1037 

18. Xti'niso'ndsi'slsi he'e'ye' ! — My children, my children 1037 

19. Agu'fia'-ilii — The crow woman 1038 

Cheyenne glossary 1039 

The Comanche 1043 

Tribal synonymy 1013 

Tribal sign 1043 

Sketch of the tribe 1043 

Songs of the Comanche 1046 

1. Heyo'hdnd hde'yo 1046 

2. Ta'hi'yii'niva'hu 1047 

3. Yaiii tshii'haua'na 1047 

4. Xiiihn'tiiH'i tin 1047 

The Paiute, Washo, and Pit River tribes 1048 

Paiute tribal synonymy 1048 

Sketch of the Paiute 1048 

Characteristics 1048 

Genesis myth 1050 

The Washo 1051 

The Pit River Indians 1052 

Songs of the Paiute 1052 

1 . Xiii'd ha ro'riini' — The snow 1 ies there " 1052 

2. Drtia' (jayo'n — A slender antelope 1053 

3. Do (i'nifci— The black rock 1053 

4. PdsW wi'noghan — The wind stirs the willows 1053 

5. Pdfju'ndKu' — Fog ! Fog 1 1054 

6. Wi'tmhVnilomd'n — The whirlwind 1054 

7. Kosi' inimbi'ndomd' — There is dust from the whirlwind 1054 

8. Domhi'iia so'wina' — The rocks are ringing 1055 

9. Sii'nfi-d ro'yonji' — The cottonwoods are growing tall 1055 

Paiute glossary 1056 

The Sioux - 1057 

Tribal synonymy 1057 

Tribal sign 1057 



The songs — Continued - ^*g® 
The Sioux — Continued 

Sketch of the tril>e 1058 

Songs of the Sioux 1061 

1. Opening song: Ate he' ye e'yayo — The father says so 1061 

2. Michi'nkshi iianpe — My son, let me grasp your hand 1061 

3. He tiiwe'cha he — Who think you comes there? 1064 

4. Wana'ijan ma'niije — Now he is walking 1064 

5. Lechii mUjo' (laii-kte — This is to be my work 1065 

6. Michiiikxhi'ii't teica'qila che — I love my children 1065 

7. Mila Hn hijiu'michi'chiyatia — Give me my knife 1065 

8. Lehe'yahe' — This one says 1068 

9. Nlya'te-yc' he'u'we — It is your father coming 1068 

10. Miyo'qan kin wafila'ki — You see what I can do 1068 

11. Michhikshi mila'waye — It is my own child 1069 

12. A'te he' n-tce — There is the father coming. 1069 

13. Wa'siia wa'tin-kta — I shall eat pemmican 1069 

14. A'te lena ma'qu-we — The father gave us these 1069 

15. Ina' he'kuwo' — Mother, come home 1070 

16. JVa'na iranasa'pi-kta — Now they are about to chase the buffalo . 1070 

17. He! Kn'fiyailka n'gali'-ye — He! They have come back racing . . 1071 

18. Mi' ije u'aiima' ijaiika-yo '. — Look at me! 1071 

19. Maka' sHo'maniyaii — The whole world is coming 1072 

20. Le'na wa'kan — These sacred things 1072 

21. Miijo'qah kin chichu'-clie — I have given you my strength 1072 

22. Michi'nkshi tahe'na — My cbild, come this way 1073 

23. TTana wichc' ahka — Now set uji the tipi 1073 

24. A'te mi'chuye — Father, give them to me 1074 

25. Hai'ipa wecha'ghc — I made moccasins for him 1074 

26. Waka'uyan itlya'nkin-kte — The holy (hoop) shall run 1075 

Sioux glossary 1075 

The Kiowa and Kiowa Apache 1078 

Kiowa tribal synonymy 1078 

Kiowa tribal sign ... - 1078 

Sketch of the Kiowa 1078 

The Kiowa Apache 1081 

Songs of the Kiowa 1081 

1. Da'ta-i so'da'te — The fatber will descend 1081 

2. Da'k'in'ago (im) :»' ntriihe'dal — The spirit army is approaching. 1082 

3. Gu'ato iidd'ga — I scream because I am a bird 1082 

4. Da'ta-i nyii'hoiinr/a'mo — The father shows me the road 1083 

5. Dak'iii'a bate'yd — The spirit (God) is approaching 1083 

6. Na'da'y a ka'na — Because I am poor . 1084 

7. Ze'hdt-fjd'ga igu'dnpa'-ima' — He makes me dance with arrows . 1084 

8. Be'ta! To'ngijii-gu'addl — Red Tail has been sent 1085 

9. Da'ta-i dnka'ngo'na — My father has much pity for us 1085 

10. Da'ta-i inka'fitdhe'dal — My fatber has had pity on me 1085 

11. Dak'iu'ago iiho'/ihe'dal — The spirit host is advancing 1086 

12. E'hgun'i degid'ta — I am mashing the berries 1087 

13. Gu'mgyd-da'ga — That wind shakes my tipi 1087 

14. Dak'in'a dakan' tithe' da! — God has had pity on us 1087 

15. Ansa' gydla'to — I shall cut off his feel 1088 

Kiowa glossary 1088 

The Caddo and associated tribes 1092 

Caddo tribal synonymy 1092 

Caddo tribal sign 1092 


Tlie songs — Coutiniied Page 
The Caddo and associated tribes — Contiuned 

Sketcli of the Caddo 1092 

The AVichita, Kicliai, and Delaware 1095 

Songs of the Caddo 1096 

1. Ha'ijo ta'in' a'lV — Our father dwells above 1096 

2. WiVniilia'ijano' ili'iriti'a — All our people are going up 1096 

3. Nuna r isiya' — I have come 1097 

4. Na'taiwa'ya — I am coming 1097 

5. Na'-ii/e' ino' ga'nio'sH — My sister above 1097 

6. Na'a lia'yo ha'wano — Our father above (has) paint 1098 

7. WH'nti ha'yano ka'ka'na' — All the people cried 1098 

8. Na'wi i'na — We have our mother below 1098 

9. Ni' ika' na'a — Our grandmother and our father above 1099 

10. Hi'na ha'natobi'iia — The eagle feather headdress 1099 

11. Na' aa' o'wi'ia' — The father comes from above 1099 

12. Ka' iwi' o'wi'ta' — See! the eagle comes 1100 

13. A' nana' liana' nito' — Tlie feather has come back 1101 

14. Na' iwi' ha'naa' — There is ;m eagle above 1101 

15. Wi'tii' Ha'sini' — Come on, Caddo 1101 

Caddo glo.ssary 1102 

Authorities cited 1104 


Plate LXXXV. M;i]> of the Indian reservations of the United States showing 

the approximate area of the Ghost dance 653 

LXXXVI. The prayer-stick 698 

LXXXVII. Chief Joseph 712 . 

LXXXVIII. Map showing the distribution of the tribes of the upper 

Columbia ^16 

LXXXIX. Smohalia and his priests 721 

XC. 8niohalla church on Yakima reservation 723 

XCI. Interior of Smohalia church 727 

XCII. Winter view in Mason valley showing snow-covered sage- . 

brush 769 

XCIII. Sioux ghost shirts from Wounded Knee battlefield 7.S9 

XCIV. Sioux sweat-house and sacrifice pole 823 

XCV. Map of the country embraced in the campaign against the 

Sioux 850 

XC VI. Map of Standing Rock agency and vicinity 855 

XCVII. Map of Wounded Knee battlefield 869 

XCVIII. After the battle 873 

XCIX. Battlefield of Wounded Knee 875 

C. Burying the dead 877 

CI. Grave of the dead at Wounded Knee 879 

CII. Battlefield after the blizzard 881 

cm. Arapabo ghost shirt, showing coloring 895 

CIV. Arapaho ghost shirt — reverse 897 

CV. Black Coyote 898 

C'VI. Biiirdii, the Kiowa dreamer 90H 

CVII. Bilinki's vision 910 

CVIII. Kiowa summer shelter -'13 

CIX. The Ghost dance (buckskin painting) 9r5 

ex. Sacred olijects from the Sioux Ghost dance 916 

CXI. Sacred objects from the Sioux Ghost dance 918 

CXII. The Ghost dance — small circle 921 

CXIII. The Ghost dance — larger circle 923 

CXIV. The Ghost dance — large circle 925 

CXV. The Ghost dance — praying 927 

CXVl. The Ghost dance — inspiration 929 

CXVII. The Ghost dance — rigid 931 

CXVIII. The Ghost dance — unconscious 933 

CXIX. The crow dance 935 

CXX. Arapaho bed 962 

CXXI. The sweat-lodge : Kiowa camp on the Washita 981 

CXXII. Dog-soldier insignia 988 

Figure .56. Tenskwatawa the Shawano prophet, 1808 and 1831 670 

57. Greenville treaty medal '^71 

58. Tecumtha 682 

59. Harrison treaty pipe "88 

60. Kanakfik the Kickapoo prophet 693 



[ETH. ANN. 14 


Figure 61. Kiinakflk's heaven 694 

62. Oiisawkie 698 

63. Nakai'-doklliii's dance wbeel 704 

64. Smohalla's flag 726 

65. Charles Ike, Smohalla inter|iretei' 728 

66. Diagram showing arrangement of worshipers at Smohalla service. . 729 

67. John Sloeum anil Louis Yowaluch 7.16 

68. Shaker church at Mud bay 758 

69. Wovoka 764 

70. Navaho Indians 810 

71. Vista in the Hopi pueblo of Walpi 812 

72. A Sioux warrior — Weasel Bear 844 

73. Red Cloud Si6 

74. Short Hull 851 

75. Kicking Bear 853 

76. Red Tomahawk 856 

77. Sitting Bull the Sioux medicine-man 8.58 

78. Sketch of the country of the Sitting Bull fight, December 15, 1890. 8.59 

79. Survivors of Wounded Knee — Blue Whirlwind and children 877 

80. Survivors of Wounded Knee — Marguerite Zitkala-noni 878 

81. Survivors of Wounded Knee — Jennie Sword 879 

82. Survivors of Wounded Knee — Herbert Zitkalazi 880 

83. Sitting Bull the Arapaho apostle 896 

84. Two Kiowa prophecies (from a Kiowa calendar) 907 

85. Poor Buft'alo 908 

86. Sitting Bull comes down (from a Kiowa calendar) 9( 9 

87. A'piatau 912 

88. Arapaho tipi and windbreak 957 

89. Bed of the prairie tribes 963 

90. Shinny stick and ball 964 

91. Wakuna or head- feathers 964 

92. The Thunderbird 969 

93. Hummer and bullroarer 974 

94. Dog-soldier insignia— rattle and quirt 987 

95. Diagram of awl game 1002 

96. Sticks used in awl game 1003 

97. Trump sticks used in awl game 1003 

98. Baskets used in dice game 1004 

99. Dice used in dice game 1005 

100. Cheyenne camping circle 1026 

101. Paiute wikiup 1019 

102. Native drawings of Ghost dance — A, Comanche; B, Sioux 1060 

103. Jerking beef 1066 

104. Kiowa camping circle lOMi 

-^ tr 








cT] cn] czi] [zz: czi] 







By James jVIooney 


In the fall of IS'.K) the author was preparing to go to Indian Ter- 
ritory, under the auspices of tlie Bureau of Ethnology, to continue 
researches among the Cherokee, when the Ghost dance began to attract 
attention, and jiermission was asked and received to investigate that 
subject also among the wilder tribes in the western part of the terri- 
tory. Proceeding directly to the Cheyenne and Arapaho, it soon 
became evident that there wns more in the Ghost dance than had 
been suspected, with the result that the investigation, to which it 
had been intended to devote only a few weeks, has extended over a 
period of more than three years, and might be continued indefinitely, 
as the dance still exists (in 1890) and is developing new features at 
eveiy performance. The uprising among the Sioux in the meantime 
made necessary also the examination of a mass of documentary material 
in the files of the Indian Office and the War Department bearing on 
the outbreak, in addition to the study in the field of the strictly reli- 
gious featui'es of the dance. 

The first visit of about four months (December, 1890-Aiiril, 1891) 
was made to the Arajiaho, Cheyenne, Kiowa, Comanche, Apache, Caddo, 
and Wichita, all living near together in the western part of what was 
then Indian Territory, but is now Oklahoma. These tribes were all 
more or less under the influence of the new religion. The principal 
study was made among the Arapaho, who were the most active jiropa- 
gators of the "Messiah" doctrine among the southern tribes and are 
esjiecially friendly and cordial in disposition. 

On returning to Washington, tlie author received a commission to 
make an ethnologic collection for the World's Columbian Exposition, 
and, selecting the Kiowa for that purpose as a representative prairie 
tribe, started out again almost immediately to the same field. This 
trip, lasting three months, gave further opportunity for study of the 
Ghost dance among the same tribes. After returning and attending 
to the labeling and arranging of tiie collection, a study was made of all 
documents bearing on the subiic t in possession of the Indian Office and 



the War Department. Another trip was then made to the field for the of investigating the dauce among tlie Sionx, where it had 
attracted most attention, and among the Paiute, wliere it originated. 
On this journey the author visited the Omaha, Winnebago, Sioux of 
Pine Eidge, Paiute, Cheyenne, and Arapaho; met and tallied with the 
messiali himself, and afterward, on the strength of this fact, obtained 
from the Cheyenne the original letter containing his message and 
instrui'tions to the southern tribes. This trii) occupied about three 

A few months later, in JJie summer of 1S!»2, another journey was 
made to the West, in the course of which the southern tribes and the 
Sioux were revisited, and some time was spent in Wyoming with the 
Shoshoni and northern Arapaho, the latter of whom were perhaps 
the most earnest followers of the niessiah in the north. This trip con- 
sumed four months. After some time spent in Washington in elabo- 
rating notes already obtained, a winter trip (l,S0i!-93) was made under 
another commission from the World's Fair to the ISTavaho and the Hopi 
or Jloki, of Xew Mexico and Arizona. Although these tribes were not 
directly concerned in the Ghost dance, they had been visited by apostles 
of the new doctrine, and were able to give some account of the cere- 
mony as it existed among the Havasujiai or Cohonino and others farther 
to the west. On the return Journey another short stay was made among 
the Kiowa and Arajiaho. In the summer of 1893 a final visit, covering 
a period of five months, was made to the western tribes of Oklahoma, 
bringing the personal observation and study of the Ghost dance down 
to the beginning of 1804. 

The field inves igatiou therefore occupied twenty-two months, involv- 
ing nearly 32,000 miles of travel and more or less time spent with about 
twenty tribes. To obtain exact knowledge of the ceremony, the author 
took part in the dance among the Arapaho and Cheyenne. He also 
carried a kodak and a tripod camera, with which he made photographs 
of the dance and the trance both without and within the circle. Sev- 
eral months were spent in consulting manuscript documents and printed 
sources of information in the departments and libraries at Washington, 
and correspondence was carried on with persons in various parts of the 
country who might be able to give additional facts. From the begin- 
ning every effort was made to get a correct statement of the subject. 
Beyond this, the work must speak for itself. 

As the Ghost dance doctrine is only the latest of a series of Indian 
religious revivals, and as the idea on which it is founded is a hope 
common to all humanity, considerable sjiace has been given to a discus- 
sion of the primitive messiah belief and of the teachings of the various 
Indian prophets who have preceded Wovoka, together with brief 
sketches of several Indian wars belonging to the same periods. 

In the songs the effort has been to give the spirit and exact render- 
ing, without going into analytic details. The main purpose of the work 


is not linguistic, and as nearly every tribe concerned speaks a diiferent 
language from all the others, any close linguistic study must be left 
to the philologist who can afford to devote a year or more to an indi- 
vidual tribe. The only one of these tribes of which the author claims 
intimate knowledge is the Kiowa. 

Acknowledgments are due the officers and members of the Office 
of Indian Affairs and tlie War Department for courteous assistance 
in obtaining documentary informa^on and in replying to letters of 
inquiry; to Mr De Lancey W. Gill and Mr .T. K. Hillers and their 
assistants of the art and photographic divisions of the United States 
Geological Survey; to Mr A. R. Spoftbrd, Librarian of Congress; to 
Mr F. V. Goville, botanist, Agricultural Department; Honorable T.J. 
Morgan, former Commissioner of Indian Affairs; Major J. W. Mac- 
Murray, first artillery. United States Army; Dr Washington Mat- 
thews, surgeon. United States Army; Captain H. L. Scott, seventh 
cavalry. United States Army ; Captain J. M. Lee, ninth infanti-y. United 
States Army; Captain E. L. Huggins, second cavalry, United States 
Army, of the staff' of General Miles; the late Captain J. G. Bourke, 
third cavalry, United States Army; Captain H. G. Browne, twelfth 
infantry. United States Army; Judge James Wickersham, Tacoma, 
Washington ; Dr George Bird Grinnell, editor of '-Forest and Sti'eam," 
New York city; Mr Thomas V. Keam and the late A. M. Stephen, Keams 
Canyon, Arizona; Eev. H. E. Voth, Oraibi, Arizona; General L. W. 
Colby, Washington, District of Columbia; Mr D. B. Dyer, Augusta, 
Georgia: Eev. Myron Eells, Tacoma, Washington; Mr Enule Berliner 
and the Berliner Gramophone Company, for recording, and Professors 
John Philip Sousa and F. W. Y. Gaisbei'g, for arranging the Indian 
music; W. S. Godbe, Bullion ville, Nevada; Miss L. McLain, Washing- 
ton City; Addison Cooper, Nashville, Tennessee; Miss Emma C. 
Sickels, Chicago; Professor A. H. Thompson, United States Geological 
Survey, Washington ; Mrs L. B. Arnold, Standing Eock, North Dakota; 
Mr C. II. Bartlett, South Bend, Indiana; Dr T. P. Martin, Taos, New 
Mexico, and to the following Indian informants and interpreters : Philip 
Wells, Louis ^lenard, Ellis Standing Bear, American Horse, George 
Sword, and Fire Thunder, of Pine Ridge, South Dakota; Henry Eeid, 
Eev. Sherman Coolidge, Norcok, Sage, and Sharp Nose, of Fort 
Washakie, Wyoming; Charley Sheep of Walker river, Nevada; Black 
Coyote, Sitting Bull, BUn^k Short Nose, (Jeorge Bent, Paul Boyntou, 
Robert Burns, Jesse Bent, Clever Warden, Grant Left-hand, and the 
Arapaho police at Darlington, Oklahoma; Andres Martinez, Belo 
Cozad, Paul Setkopti, Henry Poloi, Little Bow, William Tivis, George 
Parton, Towakoni Jim, Eobert Dunlap, Kichai, John Wilson, Tama, 
Igiagyahona, Deon, Mary Zotom, and Eliza Parton of Anadarko, 

14 ETH — PT 2 2 

thp: narrative 

Chapter 1 

There are limirs Ion-; (le))arte(l which memory brings 
Like blossoms of Edi'ii to twine round the lieart. 


The wit^e iiu'u tell us that the world is growing happier — that we live 
longer than did our lathers, have more of comfort and less of toil, fewer 
wars and discords, and higher hopes and asiiirations. So say the wise 
men; but deep in our own hearts we know they are wrong. For were 
not we, too, born in Arcadia, and have we not — each one of us — in that 
May of life when the world was young, started out lightly and airily 
along the path that led through green meadows to the blue mountains 
on the distant horizon, beyond which lay the great world we were to 
conquer? And tliough others dropped behind, have we not gone on 
through morning brightues.s and noonday heat, with eyes always 
steadily forward, until the fresh grass began to be parched and 
withered, and the way grew hard and stony, and the blue mountains 
resolved into gray rocks and thorny cliffs'? And when at last we 
reached the toilsome summits, we found the glory that had lured us 
onward was only the sunset glow that fades into darkness while we 
look, and leaves us at the very goal to sink down, tired in body and 
sick at heart, with strength and courage gone, to our eyes and 
dream again, not of the fame and fortune that were to be ours, but only 
of the old-time happiness that we have left so far behind. 

As with men, so is it with nations. The lost paradise is the world's 
dreamland of youth. What tribe or people has not had its golden 
age, before Pandora's box was loosed, when women were nymphs and 
dryads and men were gods and heroes? And when the race lies 
crushed and groaning beneath an alien yoke, how natural is the dream 
of a redeemer, an Arthur, who shall return from exile or awake from 
some long sleep to drive out the usurper and win back for his people 
what they have lost. The hope becomes a faith and the faith becomes 
the creed of priests and prophets, until the hero is a god and the dream 
a religion, looking to some great miracle of nature for its culmination 
and accomplishment. The doctrines of the Hindu avatar, the Hebrew 
Messiah, the Christian millennium, and the Hesunanin of the Indian 
Ghost dance are essentially the same, and have their origin in a hope 
and longing common to all humanity. 



Probably every Indian tribe, north and south, had its early hero god, 
the great doer or teacher of all first things, from the luskeha and 
Manabozho of the rude Iroquoian and Algonquian to the Quetzalcoatl, 
the Bochica, and the Viracocha of the more ciiltivated Aztecs, Muyscas, 
and Quichuas of the milder southland. Among the roving tribes of 
the north this hero is hardly more than an expert magician, frequently 
degraded to the level of a common trickster, who, after ridding the 
world of giants and monsters, and teaching his people a few sinii)Ie 
arts, retires to the upper world to rest and smoke until some urgent 
necessity again requires his presence below. Under softer southern 
skies the myth takes more poetic form and the hero becomes a person 
of dignified )>resence, a father and teacher of his children, a very 
Christ, worthy of all love and reverence, who gathers together the 
wandering nomads and leads them to their destined country, where he 
instructs them in agriculture, house building, and the art of govern- 
ment, regulates authority, and inculcates peaceful modes of life. 
" Under him, the earth teemed with fruits and flowers without the 
pains of culture. An ear of Indian corn was as much as a single man 
could carry. The cotton, as it grew, took of its own accord the rick dyes 
of human art. The air was filled with intoxicating perfumes and the 
sweet melody of birds. In short, these were the halcyon days, which 
find a place in the mythic systems of so many nations in the Old World. 
It was the golden age of Anahuac." [Prcscoft, l.y When at last his 
work is well accomplished, he bids farewell to his sorrowing subjects, 
whom he consoles with tlie sacred i)romise that he will one day return 
and resume his kingdom, steps into his magic boat by the seasliore, 
and sails away out of their sight to the distant land of sunrise. 

Such was Quetzalcoatl of the Aztecs, and such in all essential 
respects was the culture god of the more southern semicivilized races. 
(!uriously enough, this god, at once a Moses and a messiah, is usually 
described as a white man with flowing beard. From this and other 
circumstances it has been argued that the whole story is only another 
form of the dawn myth, but whether the Indian god be an ancient 
deified lawgiver of their own race, or some nameless missionary who 
found his way across the trackless ocean in the early ages of Chris- 
tianity, or whether we have here only a veiled parable of tlie morning 
liglit bringing life and joy to the world and. then vanishing to return 
again from the east with the dawu, it is suflBcient to our purpose that 
the belief in the coming of a messiah, who should restore them to their 
original happj' condition, was well nigh universal among the American 

This taitb in the return of a white deliverer from the east opened the 
gate to the Spaniards at their first coming alike in Haiti, Mexico, 
Yucatan, and Peru. (Brinton, 1.) The simple native welcomed the 
white strangers as the children or kindred of their long-lost benefactor, 

' Parenthetic references throngUout the memoir are to bihliographic notes following The Songs. 

MooxEY] PUEBLO REVOLT OF 1680 659 

immoi'tal beings whose near advent liad been foretold by orai'les and 
omens, whose faces boiTowed from the brightness of the dawn, whose 
glistening armor seemed woven from the rays of sunlight, and whose 
godlike weapons were the lightning and the thunderbolt. Their 
first overbearing demands awakened no resentment; for may not the 
go<ls claifti their own, and is not resistance to the divine will a crime? 
Xot until tlieir most sacred things were trampled under foot, and the 
streets of the holy city itself ran red with the blood of their slaughtered 
princes, did they read aright the awful prophecy by the light of their 
blazing temples, and know that instead of the children of an incarnate 
god they had welcomed a horde of incarnate devils. •• The light of 
civilization would be poured on their land. Eat it would be the light 
of a consuming tire, before which their barbaric glory, their institu- 
tions, their very existence and name as a nation, would wither and 
become extinct. Their doom was sealed when the white man had set 
his foot on their soil." (Preacott, 2.) 

The great revolt of the Pueblo Indians in August, 1680, was one of the 
first determined efforts made by the natives on the northern continent 
to throw oft" the yoke of a foreign oppressor. The Pueblo tribes along 
the Kio Grande and farther to the west, a gentle, peaceful race, had early 
welcomed the coming of the Spaniards, with their soldiers and priests, 
as friends who would protect them against the wild marauding tribes 
about them and teach tlicm the mysteries of a greater " medicine" than 
belonged to their own kachinas. The hope soon faded into bitter dis- 
appointment. The soldiers, while rough and overbearing toward their 
brown-skin allies, were yet unable to protect them from the inroads of 
their enemies. The priests prohibited their dances and simple amuse- 
ments, yet all their ringing of liells and chanting of hymns availed not 
to bring more rain on the crops or to turn aside the vengeful Apache. 
"What have we gained by all this?" said the I'ueblos one to another; 
"not peace and not happiness, for these new rulers will not protect us 
from our eneiiues, and take from us all the enjoyments we once knew." 

The pear was ripe. Pope, a medicineman of the Tewa, had come 
back from a pilgrimage to the far north, where he claimed to have vis- 
ited the magic lagoon of Shipai)u, whence his ]ieople traced their origin 
and to which the souls of their dead returned after leaving this life. 
By these ancestral spirits he had been endowed with occult powers and 
commanded to go back and rouse the Pueblos to concerted effort for 
deliverance from the i'oreign yoke of the strangers. 

Wonderful beings were these spirit messengers. Swift as light and 
impalpable as thought, they passed under the earth from the magic 
lake to the secret subterranean chamber of the oracle and stood before 
him as shapes of fire, and spoke, telling him to prepare the strings of 
yucca knots and send them with the message to all the Pueblos far and 
near, so that in every village the chiefs might untie one knot from the 
string each day, and know when they came to the last knot that then 
was the time to strike. 

660 THE GHOST-DANX'E RELIGION [eth.axn.i4 

I'roui the Pecos, across the Rio Grande to Zuni and the far-distaut 
Hopi mesas, every Pueblo village accepted the yucca string and began 
secret preparation for the rising. The time chosen was the new iiioou 
of August, 1080, but, through a partial discovery of the plot, the explo- 
sion was precipitated on the 10th. So sudden and comjiJete was the 
surprise that many Spaniards in the Pueblo country, i)riests, soldiers, 
and civilians, were killed, and the survivors, after holding out for a 
time under Governor Otermin at Santa Fe, tied to El Paso, and in 
October there remained not a single Spaniard in all New Mexico. 
(Bandelier. 1 a, 1 h.) 

Despite their bitter disaiipointment, tlie soutlieru nations continued 
to cherish the hope of a coming redeemer, who now nssumed the charac- 
ter of a terrible avenger of their wrongs, and the white-skin conqueror 
has had bloody occasion to remember that his silent peon, as he toils 
by blue Chapala or sits amid the ruins of his former grandeur in the 
dark forests of Yucatan, yet waits ever and always the coming of 
the day which shall break 'the power of the alien Spaniard and restore 
to their inheritance the children of Anahuac and JNIayapan. In Peru 
the natives refused to believe that the last of the Incas had perished a 
wanderer in the forests of the eastern Cordilleras. For more than two 
centuries they cherished the tradition that he had only retired to 
another kingdom beyond the mountains, from which he would return 
in his own good time to sweep tlieir haughty ojjpressors from the laud. 
In 1781 the slumbering hope found expression in a terrible insurrection 
under the leadership of the mestizo Condorcanqui, a descendant of the 
ancient royal family, who boldly proclaimed hims-elf tiie long lost 
Tupac Amaru, child of the sun and Inca of Peru. With mad enthu- 
.siasni the Quichna highlanders hailed him as their destined deliverer 
and rightful sovereign, and binding around his forehead the imperial 
fillet of the Incas, he advanced at the head of an immense army to the 
walls I if Cuzco, declaring his y)ur|)ose to blot out the very memory of 
tlie white man and leestablish tlie Indian empire in the City of the 
Sun. Inspired by the hope of vengeance on the conqueror, even boys 
became leaders of their jteople, and it was only after a bloody struggle 
of two years' duration that the Spaniards were able to regain tlie 
mastery and consigned the captive Inca, with all his family, to an 
ignominious and barbarous death. Even then so great was th(^ feeling 
of veneration which he had inspired in the breasts of the Indians that 
"notwithstanding their fear of the Spaniards, and though they were 
surrounded by soldiers of the victorious army, they prostrated them- 
selves at the sight of the last of the children of the sun, as he passed 
along the streets to the place of execution." [Hititiliolflt, 1.) 

In the Xew World, as in the Old, the advent of the deliverer was to be 
heralded by signs and wonders. Thus in Mexico, a mysterious rising 
of the waters of Lake Tezeuco, three comets blazing in the sky, and a 
strange light in the east, prepared the minds of the people for the near 


comiug of the Spauiards. (Prescott, 3.) In this coiiuectiou, also, there 
was usually a belief in a series of previous destructious bj- flood, lire, 
fainiue, or pestilence, followed by a regeneration thronsh the omnipotent 
might of the savior. The doctrine that the world is old and worn out, 
and that the time for its renewal is near at hand, is an essential part 
of the teaching of the Ghost dance. The number of these cycles of 
destruction was variously stated among different tribes, but perhaps 
the most sadly prophetic form of the myth was found among the Win- 
nebago, who forty years ago held that the tenth generation of their 
people was near its close, and that at the end of the thirteenth the red 
race would be destroyed. By prayers and ceremcmies they were then 
endeavoring to i)lacate their angry gods and put farther away the doom 
that now seems rapidly closing in on them. {Schoolcraft, Ind. Tribes, 1.) 

Chapter II 

Hear what the Great Spirit has ordered me to tell you: Put off eutirely the cus- 
toms which you have adopted sime the white people came amoug us. — T)i>' JJelaiiare 

This is our laud, and not yours. — The Confederate Tribes, 17iJ. 

The English advances were slow ami halting-, lor a long jjeriod almost 
iuiperceptible, while the establishment of a few small garrisons and 
isolated trading stations by the French hardly deserved to be called an 
occupancy of the country. As a consequence, the warlike northern 
tribes were slow to realize that an empire was slipping from their grasp, 
and it was not until the two great nations prepared for the final strug- 
gle in the New World that the native proprietors began to read the stars 
aright. Then it was, in 17.52, that the Lenape chiefs sent to the British 
agent the pointed interrogatory: "The English claim all on one side of 
the river, the French claim all on the other — where is the land of the 
Indians?" {Bancroft, 1.) Then, as they saw the French strengthening 
themselves along the lakes, there came a stronger i)rotest from tlie 
council ground of the confederate tribes of the west : " This is our land 
and not yours. Fathers, both you and the English are white; the land 
belongs to neither the one nor the other of you, but the Great Being 
above allotted it to be a dwelling i)lace for us; so, fathers, I desire you 
to withdraw, as I have desired our brothers, the English." A wampum 
belt gave weight to the words. ( Bancroft, 3.) The French commander's 
reply was blunt, but more practiced diplomats assured the red men 
that all belonged to the Indian, and that the great king of the French 
desired only to set up a boundary against the further encroachments 
of the English, who would otherwise sweep the red tribes from the Ohio 
as they had already driven them from the Atlantic. The argument 
was plausible. In every tribe were French missionaries, whose fear- 
less courage and devotion had won the admiration and love of the 
savage; in every village was domiciliated a hardy voyageur, with his 
Indian wife and family of children, in whose veins commingled the 
blood of the two races and whose ears were attuned alike to the wild 
songs of the forest and the rondeaus of Normandy or Provence. It 
was no common tie that bound together the Indians and tlie French, 
and when a governor of Canada and the general of his army stepped 
into the circle of braves to dance the war dance and sing the war song 
with their red allies, thirty-three wild tribes declared on the wampum 
belt, "The French are our brothers and their king is our father. We 


will try bis hatchet upon the lOiijilish " ( Bancroft, V), and through seven 
years of blood and deatii the lily and the totem were borne abreast 
until the flag of France went down forever on the heights of Quebec. 

For sometime after the surrender the unrest of the native tribes was 
soothed into a semblance of quiet by the belief, artfully inculcated by 
their old allies, that the king of France, wearied by bis great exertions, 
had falleu asleep for a little while, but woukl soon awake to take ven- 
geance on the English for the wrongs they had intiicted on his red 
children. Then, as they saw Englisb garrisons occupying the aban- 
doned posts and English traders passing up the lakes even to the 
sacred island of the Great Turtle, tlie despairing warriors said to one 
another, " We have been deceived. English and French alike are 
white men and liars. We must turn from both and seek help from our 
Indian gods." 

In 1762 a prophet appeared among the Delawares, .it Tuscarawas, 
on the Muskingum, who preached a union of all the red tribes and a 
return to the old Indian life, which he declared to be the divine com- 
mand, as revealed to himself in a wonderful vision. From an old French 
manuscript, written by an anonymous eyewitness of tlie scene which he 
describes, we have the details of this vision, as related by Poutiac to his 
savage auditors at the great council of the tribes held near Detroit in 
April, 1703. Parkman gives tlie story on the authority of this manu- 
script, which he refers to as the " Pontiac manuscript," and states that 
it was long preserved in a Canadian family at Detroit, and afterward 
deiiosited with the Historical Society of Michigan. It bears internal 
evidentie of genuineness, and is supposed to have been written by a 
French priest. (Pnrlimnn, 1.) The vision, from the same mannscript, 
is related at length in Schoolcraft's Algic Researches. 

According to tlie prophet's story, being anxious to know the ''Master 
of Life," he determined, without mentioning his desire to anyone, to 
undertake a journey to the spirit world. Ignorant of the way, and not 
knowing any person who, having Ijeen there, could direct him. he per- 
formed a mystic rite in the hope of receiving some light as to the course 
he should pursue. He then fell into a deep sleep, in which he dreamed 
that it was only necessary to begin his journey and that by continuing 
to walk Ibrward he would at last arrive at his destination. 

Early the next morning, taking his gun, ammunition, and kettle, he 
started off, firmly convinced that by pressing onward without discour- 
agement he should accomplish his object. Day after day he proceeded 
without incident, until at sunset of the eighth day, while preparing to 
encamp for the night by the side of a small stream in a little opening 
in the forest, he noticed, running out from the edge of the prairie, three 
wide and well-trodden jiaths. Wondering somewhat that they should 
be there, he finished his temporary lodging and, lighting a lire, began 
to prepare his supper. While thus engaged, be observed with astonish- 
ment that the paths became more distinct as the night grew darker. 


Alarmed at the strange appearance, he was about to abandon his 
encampment and seek another at a safer distance, when he remembered 
his dream and the purpose of his journey. It seemed to him that one 
of these roads must lead to the place of which he was in search, and he 
determined, therefore, to remain wliere he was until morning, and then 
take one of the three and follow it to the end. Accordinglj', the next 
morning, after a hasty meal, he left his encampment, and, burning with 
the ardor of discovery, took the widest path, which he f()llowe<l until 
noon, when he suddenly saw a large lire issuing apparently from the 
earth. His curiosity being aroused, he went toward it, but the fire 
increased to such a degree that he became frightened and turned back. 

He now took the next widest of the three paths, which lie followed 
as before until noon, when a similar fire again drove him back and 
compelled him to take the third road, which ho kept a whole day with- 
out meeting anything unusual, when suddenly he saw a precipitous 
mountain of dazzliug brightness directly in his path. Recovering from 
his wonder, he drew near and examined it, but could see no sign of a 
road to the summit. He was about to give way to disappointment, when, 
looking up, he saw seated a short distance up the mountain a woman 
of bright beauty and clad in snow-white garments, wlio addressed him 
in his own language, telling him that on the sumnut of the mountain 
was the abode of the Master of Life, whom he had journeyed so far 
to meet. •' But to reach it," said she, "you must leave all your cumber- 
some dress and equipments at the foot, then go and wash in tlie river 
which 1 show you, and afterward ascend the mountain." 

He obeyed her instructions, and on asking how he could hope to 
climb the mountain, which was steep and slippery as glass, she replied 
that in order to mount he must use only his left hand and foot. This 
seemed to him almost impossible, but, encouraged by the woman, iie 
began to climb, and at length, after mucli difficulty, reached the top. 
Here the wonum suddenly vanislied, and he found himself alone with- 
out a guide. On looking about, he saw before him a plain, in the midst 
of which were three villages, with well-built houses disposed in orderly 
arrangement. He bent his steps toward tlie principal one, but after 
going a short distance he remembered that he was naked, and was 
about to turn back when a voice told him that as he had washed himself 
in the river he might go on without fear. Thus bidden, he advanced 
without hesitation to the gate of the village, where he was admitted 
and saw approaching a handsome man in white garments, who offered 
to lead him into the presence of the Master of Life. Admiring the 
beauty of everything about him, he was then conducted to the Master 
of Life, who took him by the hand and gave him for a seat a hat 
bordered with gold. Afraid of spoiling the hat, he hesitated to sit 
down until again told to do so, when he obeyed, and the Master of 
Life thus addressed him: 

I am the Master ol' Life. wIioim .you wisli to see aud with wliom you wish tospeak. 
Listen to what I shall tell von for yourself and for all the Indiaus. 


He then foininaiided him to exhort his ])eople to cease from dniukeu- 
iiess, wars, polygamy, and the medicine soug, and continued: 

■The luiul on wliirh you :ire, I have made for you, not I'or others. AVhereforedoyou 
suffer the whites to <lwell iqion your lands? Can you not do without them ? I know 
that those whom you call the children of your Great Father [the King of France] 
supply your wants; but were you not wicked as you are you would not need theni. 
You might live as you did before you knew them. Before those whom you call your 
brothers [the French] had arrived, did not your bow and arrow maintain you? You 
needed neither gun, powder, nor any other object. The flesh of animals was your 
food; their skins your raiment. Hut when I saw you inclined to evil, I removed the 
animals into the depths of the forest that you might depend on your brothers for 
your necessaries, for your clothing. Again become good and do my will and I will 
senil animals for your sustenance. I do not, however, forbid suffering among you your 
Father's children. I love them; they know me; they pray tome. I supply their 
own wants, and give them that which they bring to you. Not so with those who 
are come to trouble your possessions [the English]. Drive them away; wage war 
against themr I love them not; they know me not; they are my enemies; they are 
your brothers' enemies. Send them back to the lauds I have made for them. Let 
them remain there. {Schoolcraft, Alt/. Hex., 1.) 

The Master of Life then gave him a prayer, carved in Indian hiero- 
glyphics upon a wooden stick, which he was told to deliver to his chief 
Du returning to eartli. (Parkman, ~^) His instructor continued: 

Learn it by heart, and teach it to all the Indians and children. It must be repeated 
morning and evening. Do all that I have told thee, and announce it to all the 
Indians as coming from the Master of Life. Let them drink but one draught, or two 
at most, in one day. Let them have but one wife, and discontinue running after 
Other people's wives and daughters. Let them not fight one another. Let them 
not sing the medicine song, for in singing the medicine song they speak to the evil 
spirit. Drive from your lands those dogs in red clothing; they are only an injury to 
you. When you want anything, apply to me, as your brothers do, and I will give to 
both. Do not sell to your brothers that which I have placed on the earth as food. In 
short, become good, and you shall want nothing. When you meet one another, bow 
and give one another the [left] hand of the heart. Above all, I command thee to 
repeat morning and evening the prayer which I have given thee. 

The Indian received the prayer, promising to do as he had been 
commanded and to recommend the same course to others. His former 
conductor then came and, leading him to the foot of the mountain, bid 
him resume his garments and go back to his village. His return 
excited much surprise among his friends, who had supposed bim lost. 
They asked him where he had been, but as he bad been commanded 
to speak to no one until he had seen the chief, he motioned with his 
hand to signify tliat he had come from above. On entering the village 
he went at once to the wigwam of the chief, to whom he delivered the 
lirayer and the message which he had received from the Master of Life. 
{Schoolcraft, Alg. Res., i'.) 

Althougli the story as here given bears plain imjjress of the white 
man's ideas, it is essentially aborigiual. While the discrimination 
expressed by the Master of Life in favor of the French and against 
the English mav have been due to the fact that the author of the 


mauuscript was a Frenchman, it is more, jirobable tliat we have here 
set forth only the well-known preference of the wild tribes. The 
occupancy of a region by the English always meant the speedy expul- 
sion of the natives. The French, on the contrary, lived side by side 
with the red men, joining in their dances and simple amusements, and 
entering with fullest sympathy into their wild life, so that they were 
regarded rather as brethren of an allied tribe than as intruders of au 
alien race. This feeling is well indicated in the prophet's narrative, 
where the Indians, while urged to discard everything that they have 
adopted from the whites, are yet to allow the French to remain among 
them, though exhorted to relentless war on the English. The differ- 
ence received tragic exempliflcMtioii at Michiliinackinac a year later, 
when a handful of French traders looktnl on unarmed and unhurt 
while a crew of maddened savages were butchering, scalping, and 
drinking the blood of British soldiers. The introduction of the trivial 
incident of the hat is characterislically Indian, and the confounding 
of dreams and visions with actual happenings is a frequent residt of 
mental exaltation of common occurrence in the history of religious 
enthusiasts. The Delaware prophet regards the whole experience as 
an actual fact instead of a distempered vision induced by long fasts 
and vigils, and the hieroglyphic prayer — undoubtedly graven by him- 
self while under the ecstasy — is to him a real gift from heaven. The 
whole story is a striking parallel of the miraculous experiences 
recounted by the modern apostles of the Ghost dance. The prayer-stic^k 
also and the heavenly map, later described and illustrated, reappear in 
the account of Kiinakuk, the Kicka])oo prophet, seventy years after- 
ward, showing in a striking manner the continuity of aboriginal ideas 
and methods. 

The celebrated missionary, Heckewelder, who spent fifty years 
among the Delawares, was i)ersonally acquainted with this i)rophet 
and gives a detailed account of his teachings and of his symbolic 
parchments. He says: 

In the year 1762 there was a lamons jiroachei- of the Delaware nation, who i-fsiilej 
at Cayahaga, near Lake Erie, and travelleil about the country, among the Indians, 
endeavouring to persuade them that he had been appointed by the Great Spirit to 
instruct them iu those things that were agreeable to him, and point out to them the 
offences by which they had drawn his displeasure on themselves, and the means by 
which they might recover his favour for the future. He had drawn, as he pretended, 
by tlie direction of the Great Spirit, a kind of map on a piece of deerskin, some- 
what dressed like parchment, which he called " the great Book or Writing.'' This, 
he said, he had been ordered to sliew to the Indians, that they might see the 
situation in which the Mannitto had originally placed them, the misery which tliey 
had brought upon themselves by neglecting their duty, and the only way that was 
now left them to regain what they had lost. This map he held before him while 
preaching, frequently pointing to particular marks and spots U]i<>n it, :inil giving 
explanations as he went along. 

The size of this map was about iifteen inches scjuare, or, perhaps, something m.ore. 
An inside square was formed by lines drawn within it, of abimt eight inches each 
way ; two of these lines, however, were not closed by about half an inch at the c(>ru(M-s. 


Across these iuside lines, others of about iin inch in length were orawn with sundry 
other lines and marks, all which was intended to represent a strong inaccessible 
barrier, to prevent those without from entering the space within, otherwise than at 
the place appointed for that purpose. When the map was held as he directed, the 
corners which were not closed lay at the left-hand side, directly opposite to each 
other, the one being at the southeast by south, and the nearest at the northeast by 
north. In explaining or describing the particular points on this map, with his rmgers 
always pointing to the place lie was describing, he called the space within the inside 
lines "the heavenly regions," or the place destined by the (ireat Spirit for the habita- 
tion of the Indians in future life. The space left open at the southeast corner he 
called the ''avenue," which had been intended for the Indians to enter into this 
heaven, but which was now in the possession of the white people; wherefore the 
Great Spirit had since caused another "avenne" to be made on the opposite side, at 
which, however, it was both difficult and d.angerous for them to enter, there being 
many inijiediments in their way, besides a large ditch leading to a gulf below, over 
which they had to leap ; but the evil spirit kept at this very spot a continual watch 
for Indians, and whoever he laid hold of never could get away from him again, but 
was carried to his regions, where there was nothing but extreme poverty ; where the 
ground was parched up by the heat for want of rain, no fruit came to perfection, 
the game was almost starve<l for want of pasture, and where the evil spirit, at his 
pleasure, transformed men into horses and dogs, to be ridden by him and follow him 
in his hunts and wherever he went. 

The .sjiace on the outside of this interior scjuare was intended to represent the 
country given to the Indians to hunt, tlsh, and dwell in while in this world; the 
east side of it was called the ocean or "great salt-water lake." Then the preacher, 
drawing the attention of his hearers particularly to the southeast avenue, would say 
to them, "Look here! See what we have lost by neglect and disobedience; by 
being remiss in the expression of our gratitude to the Great Spirit for what he has 
bestowed upon us; by neglecting to make to him sufficient sacrilices; by looking 
upon a people of a difl'erent colour from our own, who had come across a great lake, 
as if they were a part of ourselves; by sutl'ering them to sit down by our side, and 
looking at them with indifference, while they were not only taking our country from 
us, but this (pointing to the spot), this, our own avenue, leading into those beautiful 
regions which were destined for us. Such is the sad condition to which we are 
reiluced. What is now to be done, and what remedy is to be applied? I will tell 
you, my friends. Hear what the Great .Spirit has ordered me to tell yon ! You are 
to nuike sacrifices, in the manner that I shall direct; to put off entirely from your- 
selves the customs which you have adopted since the white people cami- among us. 
You are to return to that former happy state, in which we lived in peace and plenty, 
before these strangers came to disturb us; and, above all, you must alistain from 
drinking their deadly btguti, which they liave forced upon us, for the sake of increas- 
ing their gains and diminishing our numbers. Then will the Great S|)irit give 
success to our arms; then he will give us strength to conquer our enemies, to drive 
them from bence, and recover the passage to the heavenly regions which they have 
taken from us." 

Such was in general the substance of his discourses. After having dilated more 
or less on the various topics which I have mentioned, he commonly concluded in 
this manner; "And now, my friends, in order that what I have told you may remain 
firmly impressed on your minds, and to refresh your memories from time to time, I 
advise you to preserve, in every family at least, such a book or writing as this, which 
I will finish off for you, provided yon bring me the price, which is only one buck- 
skin or two doeskins apiece." The ])rice was of course bought <sic), and the book 
purchased. In some of those maps, the figure of a deer or turkey, or both, was 
placed in the heavenly regions, and also in the dreary region of the evil spirit. 'I'lie 
former, however, appeared fat and plump, while the latter seemed to have nothing 
but skin and bones. (Heckcwelder, 1.) 


From the narrative of John ^VlcCullouyh, who had been taken by the 
Indians when a clnld of 8 years, and lived for some years as an adopted 
son in a Delaware family in northeastern Ohio, we gather some addi- 
tional i)articulars concerning this prophet, whose name seems to be lost 
to history. McCullough himself, who was then but a boy, never met 
the prophet, but obtained his information from others who had, espe- 
cially from his Indian brother, who went to Tnsearawas (or Tuscalaways) 
to see and hear the new apostle on his first appearance. 

It was saitl by those who went to see him that he had certaiu hieroglyphics marked 
ou a piece of parchment, denoting the probation that human beings were subjected 
to whilst they were living ou earth, and also denoting something of a future state. 
They informed me that he was almost constantly crying whilst he was exhorting 
them. I saw a copy of his hieroglyjjhics, as numbers of them had got them copied 
and undertook to preach or instruct others. The first or principal doctrine they 
taught them was to purify themselves from sin, wliich they taught they could do by 
the use of emetics and abstinence from carnal knowledge of the different sexes; to 
(|uit the use of firearms, and to live entirely in the original state that they were in 
before the white people found out their country. Nay, they taught that that fire 
was not pure that was made by steel and flint, but that they should make it by 
rubbing two sticks together. ... It was said that their prophet taught them, 
or made them believe, that he had his instructions immediately from Kiesli-she-la- 
)iiilla>iij-ii]>, or a lieing that thought ns into l)eing, and that by following his instruc- 
tions they would, in a few years, be able to drive the white peojde out of their 

I knew a company of them who had secluded themselves for the purpose of purify- 
ing from sin, as they thought they could do. I believe they made no use of firearms. 
They had been out more than two years before I left them. . . . It was .said that 
they made use of no other weapons than their bows an<l arrows. They also taught, 
in shaking hands, to give the left hand in token of friendship, as it denoted that 
they gave the heart along with the hand. ( Pritta, 2. i 

The religious ferment produced by the exhortations of the Delaware 
pro])het spread rapidly from tribe to tribe, until, under the gnidaiice of 
the master mind of the celebrated chief, Pontiac, it took shape in a 
grand confederacy of all the northwestern tribes to oppose the further 
progress of the The coast lands were lost to the Indians. The 
Ohio and the lakes were still theirs, and the Alleghanies marked a nat- 
ural boundary between the two sections. Behind this mountain barrier 
Pontiac determined to make his stand. Though the prospect of a res- 
toration of the French power might enable him to rally a following, he 
himself knew he could expect no aid from the French, for their armies 
had been defeated and their garrisons were alreadj- withdrawn; but, 
relying on the patriotism of his own red warriors, when told that the 
English were on their way to take possession of the abandoned ]>osts, 
he sent back the haughty challenge, "I stand in the path.'' 

To Pontiac nuist be ascribed the highest position among the leaders 
of the Algonipiian race. Born the son of a chief, he became in turn the 
chief of his own people, the Ottawa, whom it is said lie commanded on 
the occasion of Braddock's defeat. For this or other services in behalf 
of the French lie had received marks of distinguished consideration from 


Moiitcaliii himself. ]'>y lea.soii of liis iiatur;il ability, his iuHuence was 
felt aud respected wheiever the name of his tribe was spokeu, while to 
his dignity as chief he added the sacred character of high priest of the 
powerfnl secret order of the :Mi(le. (rarlaiian. 3.) Xow, in the prime 
of manhood, he originated and formulated the policy of a confederation 
of all the tribes, an idea afterward taken up and carried almost to a 
successful accomplishment by the great Tecumtha. As principal chief 
of the lake tribes, he summoned them to the great council near Detroit, 
in April, 17C3, and, as high priest and keeper of the faith, he there 
announced to them the will of the Master of Life, as revealed to the 
Delaware prophet, and called on them to unite for the recovery of 
their ancient territories and the i)reservation of their national life. 
Under the spell of his burning words the chiefs listened as to an oracle, 
aud cried out that he had only to declare his will to be obeyed. 
{rarlman, J.) His project being unanimously approved, runners were 
sent out to secure the cooperation of the more remote nations, and in a 
short time the confederation embraced every important tribe of Algon- 
qnian lineage, together with the Wyandot, Seneca, Winnebago, and 
some of those to the southward. (Parkman, 5.) 

Only the genius of a Pontiac could have molded into a working unit 
such an aggregation of diverse elements of savagery. His executive 
ability is sufficiently proven by his creation of a regular commissary 
department based on promissory notes — hieroglyphics graven on birch- 
bark and signed with the utter, the totem of his tribe; his diplomatic 
bent appeared in his employment of two secretaries to attend to this 
uniquecorrespondence, each of whom he managed to keep in ignorance 
of the business transacted by the other [I'arlman, 0) ; while his military 
capacity was soon to be evinced in the carefully laid plan which enabled 
his warriors to strike simultaneously a crushing blow at every British 
post scattered tiiroughout the 500 miles of wilderness from Pittsburg 
to the straits of Mackinaw. 

The history of this war, so eloquently told by Parkman, reads like 
some old knightly romance. The warning of the Indian girl; the con- 
certed attack on the garrisons; the ball play at Mackinac on the king's 
birthday, and the massacre that followed; the siege of Fort Pitt and 
the heroic defense of Detroit; the bloody battle of Bushy run, where 
the painted savage recoiled before the kilted Highlander, as brave and 
almost as wild; Bouquet's march into the forests of the Ohio, and the 
submission of the vanquished tribes — all these things must be passed 
over here. They have already been told by a master of language. 
But the contest of savagery against civilization has but one ending, aud 
the scene closes with the death of Pontiac, a broken-spirited wanderer, 
cut down at last by a hired assassin of his own race, for whose crime 
the blood of whole tribes was poured out in atonement. (Parkman^ 7.) 

Chap'ikr III 

I told all the redskins that the way they were in was not good, and they 
ought to abandon it. — Tenskwatawa. 

A vory shrewd and influential man, but circunistanres have destroyed liiin. — 

Forty years had passed away and changes had fome to the western 
territory. The cross of Saint (leoi'ge, erected iu the place of tlie lilies 
of France, had been supplanted by the tlag of the young rei)nblic, 
which in one generation had extended its sway from the lakes to the 

Kici, 5tj— TerskwatnwM tlii' Slwi-n-;nic. |inipli''l- '808 iilid 1831. 

gulf and from the Atlantic to the Pocky mountains. By treaties made 
ill 17GS with the Iroquois and Cherokee, the two leading Indian con- 
federacies in the east, the Ohio and the Kanawha had been fixed as the 
boundary between the two races, the Indians renouncing forever their 
claims to the seaboard, the Delaware, and the Sus((uehanna, while they 
were confirmed in their possession of the Alleghany, the Ohio, and the 
great northwest. But the restless borderer would not be limited, and 
encroachments on the native domain were constantly being made, 
resulting in a chronic warfare which kept alive the spirit of resentment. 
The consequence was that in the final struggle of the lievolution the 



The iivst portrait is fukeri IVoiri one givnu in Ldssiug's Aiperii-an Kevolution aud 
War of 1812. ill (1875), page ISlt, au<l thus lie.scribi'd : ''TUe ]>ortrait of the I'rophet 
is from a pencil sketch made by Pierre Le Drii, a yoiiug Freijch trader, at Vincenues, 
iu 1808. He made a sketch of Teeumtha at about the same time, both of which 
I foiiud iu possession of his sou at Quebec iu 1848, aud by whom I was kindly i)er- 
mitted to copy them." The other is a copy of the picture paiuted by Catlin in 1831, 
after the tribe had removed to Kansas. The artist describes him as blind in his 
left (f) eye, and painted him holding his medicine fire in his right hand aud his 
sacred string of beans in the other. 



Indian tribes raiigeil themselves on the British side. Wlieu the war 
ended and a treaty of peace was made between the new government 
and the old, no provision was made for the red allies of the king, and 
they were left to continue the stmsgle single-handed. The Indians 
claimed the Ohio country as theirs by virtue of the most solemn trea- 
ties, but x)ioueers had already occupied western Pennsylvania, western 
Virginia, and Kentucky, and were listening" with eager attention to the 
reports brought back by adventurous hunters fioni the fertile lands of 
the Muskingum and the Scioto. They refused to be bound by the trea- 
ties of a government they had repudiated, and the tribes of the north- 
west were obliged to fight to defend their territories. Under the able 

fRG.SIOEM /^ili- 

FlG. 57 — Greenville treaty meciiil, oljverse iiud reverse. 

leadership of Little Turtle they twice rolled back the tide of white 
invasion, defeating two of the finest armies ever sent into the western 
country, until, worn out by twenty years of unceasing warfare, and 
crushed and broken by the decisive victory of Wayne at the Fallen 
Timbers, their villages in ashes and their cornfields cut down, the 
dispirited chiefs met their conqueror at Greenville in 1795 and signed 
away the rights for which they liad so long contended. 

By this treaty, which marks the beginning of the end with the east- 
ern tribes, the Indians renounced their claims to all territory east of a 
line running in a general way from the mouth of the Cuyahoga on Lake 
Erie to the mouth of the Kentucky on the Ohio, leaving to the whites 
the better portion of Ohio valley, including their favorite hunting 
14 ETH — PT 2 3 


groinul of Kentucky. The Delaware, the Wyandot, ami the Shawano, 
three of the leading tribes, were almost conii)letely shorn of their ancient 
inheritance and driven back as refugees among the IMianii. 

The Canadian boundary bad been established along the lakes; the 
Ohio was lost to the Indians; for them there was left only externnua- 
tion or lemoval to the west. Their bravest warriors were slain. Tlieir 
ablest chieftain, who had led them to victory against St Clair, had 
bowed to the inevitable, and waiS now regarded as one with a white 
man's heart and a traitor to his race. A brooding dissatisfaction set- 
tled down on the tribes. Who shall deliver them from the desolation 
that has come on them '? 

Now arose among the Shawano another prophet to point out to his 
people the "open door" leading to happiness. In November, ISd.j, a 
young man named Laulewasikaw ( Lalawe'thika, a rattleor similar instru- 
ment — (iiUschet), then hardly more than 30 years of age, called around 
him his tribesmen and their allies at their ancient capital of Wapa- 
koneta, within the present limits of Ohio, and there announced himself 
as the bearer of a new revelation from the Master of Life, who had 
taken pity on his red children and wished to save them from the 
threatened destruction. He declared that he had been taken up to the 
spirit world and had been permitted to lift the veil of the past and the 
future — had seen the misery of evil doers and learned the happiness 
that awaited those who followed the precepts of the Indian god. He 
then began an earnest exhortation, denouncing the witchcraft practices 
and medicine juggleries of the tribe, and solemnly warning his hearers 
that none who had part in such things would ever taste of the future 
happiness. The firewater of the whites was poison and accursed; aud 
those who continued its use would after death be tormented with all 
the pains of tire, while flames would continually issue from their mouths. 
This idea may have been derived from some white man's teaching or 
from the Indian practice of torture by fire. The young must cherish 
and respect the aged and infirm. All property must be in common, 
according to the ancient law of their ancestors. Indian women must 
cease to intermarry with ■^^ihite men; the two races were distinct and 
must remain so. The white man's dress, with his tliut-andsteel, must 
be discarded for the old time buckskin and the flrestick. More than 
this, every tool and every custom derived from the whites must be put 
away, and they must return to the methods which the Master of Life 
had taught them. When they should do all this, he promised that they 
would again be taken into the divine favor, and find the happiness 
which their fathers had known before the coming of the whites. Finally, 
in proof of his divine mission, he announced that he had received power 
to cure all diseases and to arrest the hand of death in sickness or on 
the battlefield. {Drake, Tecumneh, 1. To avoid repetition, it maybe 
stated that, except when otherwise noted, the principal facts concern- 
ing Tecumtha and the prophet are taken from Drake's work, the most 

MooNEY] THE prophet's TRANCE 673 

valualile published on the subject. The prophet and his doctrines are 
also spoken of at some length by Tanner, Kendall, Warreu, and Citlin, 
as hereafter quoted, while the history of Tecumtha is a part of the his- 
tory of Ohio valley, to be found in any work treating of that section 
and period ) 

In an account (juoted by Drake, probably from an English writer, it 
is stated that the prophet was noted for his stupidity and intoxication 
until his fiftieth ( ?) year, when one day, while lighting his pipe in his 
cabin, he suddenly fell back apparently lifeless and remained in that 
condition until his friends had assembled for the funeral, when he 
revived from his trance, and after (quieting their alarm, announced that 
he had been to the spirit world and commanded them to call the people 
together that he might tell them what he had seen. When they had 
assembled, he declared that he had been conducted to tiie border of the 
S])irit world by two young men, who had permitted him to look in upon 
its pleasures, but not to enter, and who, after charging Inm with the 
message to his people already noted, had left him, ])romising to visit 
him again at a future time. {Drake, Ab. Races, 1.) 

Although the language of this account is somewhat overdrawn, the 
main statements are probably correct, as it is in complete accordance 
with the Indian system by which all truth lias been revealed in dreams 
and trances from the first dawn of tradition down to Smohalla and the 
messiah of the Ghost dance. 

nis words aroused an intense excitement among his hearers, and the 
impression deepened as the tidings of the new gospel were carried from 
camp to camp. Those who were addicted to drnukenness— the beset- 
ting sill of the Indians since their acquaintance with the whites — were 
so thorDughly alarmed at the jirospect of a fiery punishment in tlie spirit 
world that for a long time intoxication became practically unknown 
among the western tribes. Their zeal led also to the inauguration of a 
crusade against all who were suspected of dealing in witchcraft or 
magic arts; but here the prophet took advantage of this feeling to 
eifectually rid himself of all who opposed his sacred claims. It was 
only necessary for him to denounce such a person as a witch to have 
him pay the forfeit with reputation, if not with life. 

Amoug the first of liis victims were several Delawares — Tatepoooshe (more geuer- 
ally known as Teteboxti), Patterson, his nephew, Coltos, an old woman, and .an aged 
man called Joshua. These were successivelv marked by tlie prophet, and doomed 
to be burnt alive. The tragedy was commenced with the old woman. The Indians 
roasted her slowly over a fire for four days, calling upon her freiiuently to deliver 
up her charm and medicine bag. .lust as she was dying, she exclaimed that her 
grandson, who was then out hunting, had it in his ])Ossession. Messengers were 
sent ill pursuit of him, and when found he was tied and brought into camp. He 
acknowledged that on one occasion he had borrowed the charm of his grandmother, 
by means of which he had tlown through the air over Kentucky, to tlic banks of the 
Mississippi, and back again, between twilight and bedtime; but he insisted that he 
Lad returned the charm to its owner, and, after some consultation, he was set at 
liberty. The following day a council was held over the case of the venerable chief 


Tatepofoslie, be being present. His deatli was decided upon after lull deliberation; 
and, arrayed iu his finest apparel, he ealnily assisted in bnildinij; bis own fnneral 
pile, fully aware that there was no escape from the jud]y;nient that had been passed 
upon him. The respect due to his whitened locks induced his executioners to treat 
him with mercy. He was deliberately tomahiiwked by a youug man, and his body 
was then placed upou the blazing fagots and consumed. The nest day the old 
preacher Joshua met a similar fate. The wife of Tatepocoshe and his nephew 
Billy Patterson were then brought into the council house aud seated side by side. 
The latter had led an irreproachable life, and died like a Christian, singing aud pray- 
ing amid the flames which destroyed his body. While preparations were making 
for the immolation of Tatecoposhe's wife, her brother, a youth of 20 years of age, 
suddenly started up, took her by the hand, and, to the amazement of the council, led 
her out of the house. He soou returneil. aud exclaiming, "The devil has come among 
us (alluding to the prophet), aud we arc killing each other," he reseated himself in 
the midst of the crowd. This bold step checked the wild frenzy of the Indiaus. put 
an end to these cruel scenes, aud for a time greatly impaired tlie impostor's iullueuce 
among the Delawares. {IJrakc, Tecnniseh, :?.) 

The prophet uow clianged his name to Teiiskwatawa, "The Opeu 
Door" (from skira'tc, a door, and thc'inii, to be open; freijueiitly spelled 
Elskwatawa), signiflcaiit of the new mode of life which he had come to 
])oiiit out to his people, and tixed his headquarters at Greenville, Ohio, 
\vhere representatives from the various scattered tribes of the northwest 
gathered about him to learn the new doctrines. Some, especially the 
Kickapoo, entered fervently into his spirit, while others were disi)0sed 
to o])i)ose him. The Miami, who regarded the Shawano as intruders, 
were jealous of his iniluence, and the chiefs of his own tribe were 
somewhat inclined to consider him in the light of a rival. To estab- 
lish his sacred character and to dispel the doubts of the unbelievers, he 
continued to dream dreams and announce wonderful revelations from 
time to time, when an event occurred which effectually silenced opposi- 
tion and stamped him as one iusjiired. 

By some means he had learned that an eclipse of the sun was to 
take place in the summer of 1800. As the time drew near, he called 
about him the scoffers and boldly announced that on a certain daj' he 
would prove to them his supernatural authority by causing the sun to 
become dark. When the day and hour arrived and the earth at mid- 
day was enveloped in the gloom of twilight, Tenskwatawa, standing in 
the midst of the terrified Indians, pointed to the sky aud cried, "Did 
I not speak truth"? See, the sun is dark!" There were no more 
doubters now. All proclaimed him a true prophet and the messenger 
of the Master of Life. His fame spread abroad and apostles began to 
cany his revelations to the remotest tribes. 

We get but fragmentary light in regard to the details of the doctrine 
and ceremonies of this leligious revival, as well as of that which ]U'c- 
ceded it. There were then no railroads, no newspaper correspondents 
to gather each day's proceedings, and no telegraph to the news 
across the continent before nightfall; no reservation system, with its 
attendant army of employees, everyone a spy when an emergencj^ 
arose; and no investigators to go among the tribes and study the 


matter from an ethuologic point of view. Our informatiou is derived 
chiefly from military of&cers, who kuew these things only as vague 
rumors of Indian unrest fomented by British agents; from the state- 
ments of a few illiterate inter[)reters or captives among the savages, 
and from the misty recollections of old men long after the excitement 
had i^assed away. Of the dances which are a part of every important 
Indian ceremony, the songs which they chanted, the peculiar dress or 
adornments which probably distinguished the believers — of all these 
we know nothing; but we may well surmise that the whole elaboriite 
system of Indian mythology and ceremonial was brought into play to 
give weight to the words of the prophet, and enough is known to show 
that in its leading features the movement closely resembled the modern 
Ghost dance. 

It is impossible to know how far the prophet was responsible for the 
final shaping of the doctrine. Like all such movements, it uiiduubtedly 
grew and took more definite form under the hands of the apostles who 
went out from the presence of its originator to jireach to the various 
tribes. A religion which found adherents alike in the everglades of 
Florida and on the plains of the Saskatchewan must necessarily have 
undergone local modifications. From a comparison of the various 
accounts we can arrive at a general statement of the belief. 

The prophet was held to be an incarnation of Manabozho, the great 
"first doer "' of the Algonquian system. His words were believed to be 
the direct utterances of a deity. Manabozho had taught his peoiile 
certain modes of living best suited to their condition and capacity. A 
new race had come upon them, and the Indians had thrown aside their 
primitive purity of life and adopted the innovations of the whites, which 
had now brought them to degradation and misery and threatened them 
with swift and entire destruction. To punish them for their disobe- 
dience and bring them to a sense of their duty, Manabozho had called 
the game from the forests and shut it up under the earth, so that the 
tribes were now on the verge of starvation and obliged to eat the flesh 
of filthy hogs. They had also lost their old love for one another and 
become addicted to the secret practices of the poisoner and the wizard, 
together with the abominable ceremonies of the calumet dance. They 
must now put aside all these things, throw away the weapons and the 
dress of the white man, pluck out their hair as in ancient times, wear 
the eagle feather on their heads, and clothe themselves again with the 
breechcloth and the skins of animals slain with the bows and arrows 
which Manabozho had given them. {Kendall^ 1.) They must have done 
with the white man's flintandsteel, and cook their food over a tire 
made by rubbing together two sticks, and this fire must always be kept 
burning in their lodges, as it was a symbol of the eternal life, and their 
care for it was an evidence of their heed to the divine commands. The 
firewater must forever be put away, together with the medicine bags 
and poisons and the wicked juggleries which had corrupted the ancient 


purity of the Mide rites. Instead of these the prophet gave them new 
songs and new medicines. Their women must cease from any connec- 
tion with white men. They were to love one another and make an end 
of their constant wars, to be kind to their children, to keep but one dog 
in a family, and to abstain from lying and stealing. If they would listen 
to his voice and folIo\F his instructions, the incarnate Manabozho prom- 
ised that at the end of four years (i. e., in 1811) he would bring on two 
days of darkness, during which he would travel invisibly throughout 
the land, and cause the animals which he had created to come forth 
again out of the earth. {Kendall, x.>.) They were also promised that 
their dead friends would be restored to them. 

The ideas as to the catastrophe that was to usher in tlie new era seem 
to have varied according to the interpreter of the belief. Among the 
Ottawa, and perhaps among the lake tribes generally, there was to be 
a period of darkness, as already stated. Among the Cherokee, and 
probably also among the Creek, it was believed that there would be a 
terrible hailstorm, which would overwhelm with destruction both the 
whites and the unbelievers of the red race, while the elect would be 
warned in time to save themselves by fleeing to the high mountain tops. 
The idea of any hostile combination against the white race seems to 
have been no part of the doctrine. In the north, however, there is 
always a plain discrimination against the Americans. TheGreat Father, 
through his prophet, is represented as declaring himself to be the com- 
mon parent alike of Indians, English, French, and Spaniards; while the 
Americans, on the contrary, "are not my children, but the children of 
the evil spirit. They grew from the scum of the great water, when it 
was troubled by an evil spirit and the froth was driven into tlic woods 
by a strong east wind. They are numerous, but I hate them. They 
are unjust; they have taken away your lands, which were not made for 
them." (Kendall, 3.) 

From the venerable James Watford, of the Cherokee nation, the 
author in 1891 obtained some interesting details in regard to the excite- 
ment among the Cherokee. Accoriling to his statement, the doctrine 
first came to them through the Creek about 1812 or 1813. It was prob- 
ably given to the Creek by Tecumtha and his party on their visit to that 
tribe in the fall of 1811, as will be related hereafter. The Creek were 
taught by their prophets that the old Indian life was soon to return, 
when "instead of beef and bacon they would have venison, and instead 
of chickens they would have turkeys." Great sacred dances were 
inaugurated, and the people were exhorted to be ready for what was to 
come. From the south the movement spread to the Cherokee, and one 
of their priests, living in what is now upper Georgia, began to preach 
that on a day near at hand there would be a terrible storm, with a 
mighty wind and hailstones as large as hominy mortars, which would 
destroy from the face of the earth all but the true believers who had 
previously taken refuge on the highest summits of the Great Sfnoky 


mountains. Full of this belief, numbers of the tribe in Alabaniii and 
Georgia abandoned their bees, their orchards, tlieir slaves, and every- 
thing else tliat might have come to them through the white man, and, 
in spite of the entreaties and remonstrances of friends wlio put no 
faith in the prediction, took up their toilsome march for the mountains 
of Carolina. VVaftbrd, who was then about 10 years of age, lived with 
his mother and stepfather ou Valley river, and vividly remembers 
the troops of pilgrims, with their packs on their backs, fleeing from 
the lower country to escape from the wrath to come. ^Mauy of them 
stopped at the house of his stepfather, who, being a white man, was 
somewhat better prepared than his neighbors to entertain travelers, 
and who took the opportunity to endeavor to persuade them to turn 
back, telling them tliat their hopes and fears alike were groundless. 
Some listened to liiiii and returned to their homes, but others went ou 
and climbed the mountain, where they waited until the ai)pointed day 
arrived, only to find themselves disappointed. Slowly and sadly then 
they took up their packs once more and turned their faces homeward, 
dreading the ridicule they were sure to meet there, but yet believing 
in their hearts that the glorious coming was only i)Ostponed for a time. 
This excitement among the Cherokee is noted at some length in the 
Cherokee Advocate of November 16, 1844, published at Tahlequah, 
Cherokee Nation. Among the Creek the excitement, intensified by 
reports of the struggle now going on in the north, and fostered and 
encouraged by the emissaries of Spain and England, grew and spread 
until it culminated in the summer of ISl.'J in the terrible Creek war. 

Enough is known of the ceremonial of this religion to show that it 
must have had an elaborate ritual. We learn from Warren that the 
adherents of the prophet were accustomed to perform certain cere- 
monies in solemn councils, and that, after he had prohibited the corrupt 
secret rites, he introduced instead new medicines and songs, and that 
at the ancient capital of the Ojibwa on Lake Superior the Indians col- 
lected in great numbers and i)erformed these dances and ceremonies 
day and night. {Warren, 1.) They were also instructed to dance 
naked, with their bodies jiainted and with the warclal) in their hands. 
[KcnduU, 4.) The solemn rite of confirmation, known as "shaking 
bands with the prophet," was particularly impressive. From the nar- 
rative of John Tanner, a white man captured when a child from his 
home in Kentucky and brought up among the wild Ojibwa, we get the 
best contemporary account of the advent of the new doctrine in the 
north and its effect on the lake tribes. He says : 

It was while I was living here at Great Wood river that news came of .1 great man 
among the Shawneese, who had been favoured Ijy a revelation of the mind and will 
of the Great Spirit. I was hunting in the jirairie, at a great distauce from my lodge, 
when I saw a stranger approacliing. At first I was apprehensive of an enemy, but 
as he drew nearer, his dress showed him to be an Ojibbeway ; but when he came up, 
there was something very strange and peculiar in his manner. He signified to me 
that I must go home, but gave uo explanation of the cause. He refused to look at 


me or enter into any kind of ccmversation. I thouglit he must lie crazy, l)nt iiever- 
tlieless accompanied him to my lodge. When we had smoked, he remained a long 
time silent, but at last began to tell me he had come with a message from the 
prophet of the Shawueese. "Henceforth," said he, "the lire must never be suffered 
to go out in your lodge. Summer and winter, day and night, in the storm, or when it 
is calm, you must remember that the life in your body and the iire in your lodge are 
the same and of the same date. If you suffer your fire to be extingui.shed, at that 
moment your life will beat its end. You must not suffer a dogtoli\e; you must 
never strike either a man, a woman, a child, or a dog. The prophet himself is com- 
ing to shake han<ls with you; but I have come before, that you may know what is 
the will of the Great Spirit, communicated to us by him, and to inform you that the 
preservation of your life, for a single moment, depends on your entire obedience. 
From this time forward we are neither to be drunk, to steal, to lie, or to go against 
our enemies. While we yield an entire obedience to these commands of the Great 
Spirit, the Sioux, even if they come to our country, will not bo able to see us; we 
shall be protected and made happy." I listened to all he had to say, but told him, 
in answer, that I could not believe we should all die in case our fire went out; in 
many instances, also, it would be difficult to avoid punishing our children ; our dogs 
were useful in aiding us to hunt and take animals, so that I could not believe the 
Great Spirit had any wish to take them from us. lie continued talking to us until 
late at night; then he lay down to sleeii in my lodge. I happened to wake first in 
the morning, and, perceiving the fire had gone out, I called him to get up and see 
how many of us were living and how many dead. He was prepared for the ridicule 
I attempted to throw upon his doctrine, and told me that I had not yet shaken 
hands with the prophet. His visit had been to prepare me for this important event, 
and to make me aware of the obligations and risks I should incur, by entering into 
the engagement implied in taking in my hand the message of the prophet. I did 
not rest entirely easy in my unbelief. The Indians, generally, received the doctrine 
of this man with great humility and fear. Distress and anxiety was visible in every 
countenance. Many killed their dogs, and endeavored to practice obedience to all 
the commands of this new preacher, who still remained among us. But, as was 
nsual with me, in any emergency of this kind, I went to the traders, firmlj' believing 
that if the Deity had any communications to make to men, they would be gi\en, in 
the first instance, to white men. The traders ridiculed and despised the idea of a 
new revelation of the Divine will, and the thought that it should be given to a poor 
Shawnee. Thus was I confirmed in my infidelity. Nevertheless, I did not openly 
avow my unbelief to the Indians, only I refused to kill my dogs, and showed no 
great degree of anxiety to comply with his other requirements. As long as I 
remained among the Indians, I made it my business to conform, as far as appeared 
consistent with my immediate convenience and comfort, with all their customs. 
Many of their ideas I have adopted, but I always found among them opinions which 
I could not hold. The Ojibbeway whom I have mentioned remained some time 
among the Indians in my neighborhood, and gained the attention of the principal 
men so effectually that a time was appointed and a lodge prepared for the solemn 
and public espousing of the doctrines of the prophet. When the people, and I 
among theui, wen- brought into the long lodge, prepared for this solemnity, we saw 
something carefully concealed under a blanket, in figure and dimensions bearing 
some resemblance to the form of a man. This was accompanied by two young men, 
who, it was understood, attended constantly upon it, made its bed at night, as for 
a man, and slept near it. But while we remained no one went near it or raised the 
blanket which was spread over its unknown contents. Four strings of mouldy and 
discoloured beans were all the remaining visible insignia of this important mission. 
After a long harangue, in which the prominent features of the new revelation were 
stated and urged upon the attention of all, the four .strings of beans, which we were 
told were made of the flesh itself of the prophet, were carried with much solenmity 
to each man in the lodge, and he was expected to take hold of each string at the 
top, and draw them gently through his hand. This was called shaking hands with 


the prophet, and was considered as solemnly engaging to obey his injunctions, and 
aceept liis mission as from the Supreme. All the Indians who touched the beans had 
previously killed their dogs; they gave np their medicine bags, and showed a 
disposition to comply with all that sliould be required of them. 

\Ve had now been for some time assembled inconsiderable numbers. Much agita- 
tion and terror had prevailed among us, and now famine began to be felt. The faces 
of men wore an aspect of unusual gloominess; the active became indolent, and the 
spirits of the bravest seemed to be subdued. I started to hunt with my dogs, which 
I had constantly refused to kill or suffer to be killed. By their assistance, I found 
and killed a bear. On returning home, I said to some of the Indians, " Has not the 
Great Spirit given us our dogs to aid us in procuring what is needful for the support 
of our life, and can you believe he wishes now to dejirive us of their services? The 
prophet, we are told, has forbid us to suffer our fire to he extinguished in our lodges, 
and when we travel or hunt, he will not allow us to use a flint and steel, and we are 
told he requires that no nuin should give fire to another. Can it please the Great 
Spirit that we should lie in our hunting camps without fire, or is it more agreeable to 
him that we should make fire by rubbing together two sticks than with a fiint and a 
piece of steel?" But they would not listen to me; and the serious enthusiasm which 
prevailed among them so far affected me that I threw away my flint and steel, laid 
aside my medicine bag, and, in many particulars, complied with the new doctrines; 
but I would not kill my dogs. I soon learned to kindle a fire by rubbing some dry 
cedar, which I was careful to carry always aliout me, but the discontinuance of the 
use of flint .and steel subjected many of the Indians to much inconvenience and 
suffering. The influence of the Shawnee prophet was very sensibly and painfully 
felt by the remotest Ojibbeways of whom I had any knowledge, but it was not the 
common impression among them that his doctrines had any tendency to unite them 
in the accomplishment of any human purpose. For two or three years drunkenness 
was much less frequent than formerly, war was less thought of, and the entire aspect 
of alfairs among them was somewhat changed bj' the influence of one man. But 
gradually the impression was obliterated; medicine bags, flints, and steels were 
resumed; dogs were raised, women and children were beaten as before, and the 
Shawnee prophet was despised. At this day he is looked upon by the Indians as au 
impostor and a bad man. ( Tanner, 1.) 

Taimei's accouut is conflrined by Warren, from the statements of old 
men among the Ojibwa \vho hail taken part in the revival. According 
to their story the ambassadors of the new revelation appeared at the 
different villages, acting strangely and with their faces painted black — 
perhaps to signify their character as messengers from the world of 
shades. They told the people that they must light a fire witli two dry 
sticks in each of their principal settlements, and that this lire must 
always be kept sacred and burning. They predicted the speedy return 
of the old Indian life, and asserted that the prophet would cause the 
dead to rise from the grave. The new belief took sudden and complete 
possession of the minds of the Ojibwa aiul spread "like wildfire" from 
end to end of their widely extended territory, and even to the remote 
northern tribes in alliance with theCreeand Asiniboin. The strongest 
evidence of their implicit obedience to the new revelation was given by 
their attention to the command to throw away their medicine bags, the 
one thing which every In<lian holds most sacred. It is said tliat the 
shores of Lake Superior, in the vicinity of the great village of Shaga- 
waumikong (Bayfield, Wisconsin), were strewn with these medicine 
bags, which had been cast into the water. At this ancient capital of 


the tribe the Ojibwa gathered in numbers, to dance the dances 
and sing the songs of the new ritual, until a message was received 
from the prophet inviting them to come to him at Detroit, where he 
would explain in person the will of the Master of Life. This was in 
1808. The excitement was now at fever heat, and It was determined 
to go in a body to Detroit. It is said that 150 canoe loads of Ojibwa 
actually started on this pilgrimage, and one family even brought with 
them a dead child to be restored to life by the prophet. They had pro- 
ceeded a considexable distance when they were met by an influential 
French trader, who reported, on the M'ord of some who had already 
visited the prophet's camp and returned, that the devotees there were 
on the brink of starvation — which was true, as the great multitude 
had consumed their entire supply of provisions, and had been so occu- 
pied with religious ceremonies that they had neglected to plant their 
corn. It was also asserted that during the prophet's frequent periods 
of absence from the camp, when he would disappear for several days, 
claiming on his return that he had been to the spirit world in converse 
with the Master of Life, that he was really concealed in a hollow log in 
the woods. This is quite probable, and entirely consistent with the 
Indian theory of trances and soul pilgrimages while the body remains 
unconscious in one spot. These reports, however, put such a damper 
on the ardor of the Ojibwa that they returned to their homes and 
gradually ceased to think about the new revelation. As time went on 
a reaction set in, and those wlio had been most active evangelists of the 
doctrine among the tribe became most anxious to efface the remem- 
brance of it. One good, however, resulted to the Ojibwa from the 
throwing away of the poisonous com])OTiiids formerly in common use 
by the lower order of doctors, and secret poisoning became almost 
unknown. ( Warren, 2.) 

When the celebrated traveler Catlin went among the prairie tribes 
some thirty years later, he found that the i)roi)het's emissaries — he says 
the proi)het himself, which is certainly a mistake — had carried the living 
fire, the sacred image, and the mystic strings (see portrait and descrip- 
tion) even to the Blackfeet on the plains of the Saskatchewan, going 
without hindrance among warring tribes where the name of the Sha- 
wano had never been spoken, protected only by the reverence that 
attached to their priestly character. There seems no doubt that by 
this time they had developed the i^lan of a confederacy for driving back 
the whites, and Catlin asserts that thousands of warriors among tliose 
remote tribes had pledged themselves to light under the lead of Tecum- 
tha at the proper time. His account ot the prophet's methods in the 
extreme northwest agrees with what Tanner has reported from the 
Ojibwa country. (Catlin, 1.) But disaster followed him like a shadow. 
Rivals, jealous of his success, came after him to denounce his plans as 
visionary and himself as an impostor. The ambassadors were obliged 
to turnback to save their lives and retrace their way in haste to the far 
distant Wabash, where the fatal battle of Tippecanoe and the death of 
his great brother, Tecumtha, put an end to all his splendid dreams. 

Chapter IV 

These lands are onrs. No one has a right to remove n^, liecanse ■we were the first 
owners. — Teciimtha to WellSj 1807. 

The Great Spirit gave this f;reat island to his red children. He placed the whites 
on the other side of tlie big water. They were not contented with their own, but 
came to take ours from ns. They have driven us from the sea to the lakes — we can 
go no farther. — Tecumlha, ISIO. 

The President may sit still in his town an<l drink his wine, while you aud I will 
have to fight it out. — Teciimtha to Harrisov, ISIO. 

And now we begin to hear of the prophet's brother, Tecunitha, the 
most heroic character in Inilian history. Teciimtha, "The Meteor," was 
the son of a chief and the worthy scion of a warrior race. His tribe, 
the Shawano, inade it tlieir prond boast that they of all tribes had 
opposed the most determined resistance to the encroachments of the 
whites. His father had fallen under the bullets of the Virginians while 
leading his warriors at tlie bloody battle of Point Pleasant, in 1774. 
His eldest and dearest brother had lost his life in an attack on a southern 
frontier post, and another had been killed lighting by his side at 
"Wayne's victory in 1794. What wonder that the young Tecumtha 
declared that his flesh crept at the sight of a white man! 

But his was no mean spirit of personal revenge ; his mind was t()i> 
noble for that. He hated the whites as the destroyers of his race, but 
prisoners and the defenseless knew well that they could rely on his 
honor and humanity and were safe under his protection. When only a 
boy — for his military career began in childhood — he had witnessed the 
burning of a prisoner, and the spectacle was so abhorrent to his feel- 
ings that by an earnest and eloquent harangue he induced the party 
to give up the practice forever. In later years his name was acceirted 
by helpless women and children as a guaranty of protection even in 
the midst of hostile Indians. Of commanding figure, nearly six feet ia 
height and compactly built; of dignified bearing and piercing eye, 
before whose lightning even a British general quailed; with the fiery 
eloquence of a Clay and the clear-cut logic of a Webster; abstemious 
in habit, charitable in thought and action, brave as a lion, but humane 
and generous withal — in a word, an aboriginal American knight — his 
life was given to his people, and he fell at last, like his father and his 
brothers before him, in battle with the desti'oyers of his nation, the 
champion of a cause and a dying race. 

His name has been rendered "The Shooting Star'' and "The Panther 
Crouching, or Lying in Wait." From a reply to a letter of inquiry 




[ETH. ANN. 14 

addressed to Professor A. S. Gatschet, tlie well-known philologist, I 
extract the following, which throws valuable light on the name system 
and mythology of the Shawano, and shows also that the two render- 
ings, apparently so dissimilar, have a common origin : 

Shawano personal names are nearly all clan names, and by their interpretation 
the clan to which the individual or his father or mother belongs may be discovered. 
Thus, when a man is called ''tight fitting" or "good tit," he is of the liahhit clan, 
because the fur tits tlie rabbit very tightly and closely. The name of Tecumtha is 

Fig. 58— Tecumtha. 

One of the tiin'st looking men I ever saw — altoiit 6 feet high, straight, with large, fine featurea, and 
altogether a darinfr, boldTooking fellow. — Captain Floyd, IS 10. 

One of those uncommon o;t.Qiugea -which spring up occasionally to produce revolutions and overturn 
tJhe eatablislied order of thing.s. — Governor Harrison. 

derived from nila ni tka'mthka, " I cross the path or way of somebody, or of an ani- 
mal." This Indicates that the one so named belongs to the clan of the round- foot or 
claw-foot animals, as panther, lion, or even raccoon. Tecumtha and his brother 
belonged to the clan of the manetuwi msiptssi or "miraculous panther" (mst, great, 
big; pishiiri, abbreviated j>essi, cat, both combined meaning the American lion). So 
the translations " panther lying in wait," or "crouching lion," give only the sense 
of the name, and no animal is named in it. But the msi-jiessi, when the epithet 
miraculous (manetuwi) is added to it, means a "celestial tiger," i. e., a meteor or 
Bhooting star. The manetuwi msi-pessi lives in water only and is visible not as an 


This portrait is a cojjy of the one given by Lossing in his American Revolution 
and the War of 1812. iii (1875), page 28o. He quotes a ilescriptiou of Tecuuitha's 
personal appearance by a British officer who saw him iu 1812, and then goes on to 
give the history of the portrait. "Captain .1. B. Glegg, Brock's aid-de-camp, has 
left on record the following description of Tecumtha at that interview : ' Tecumseh's 
appearance was very prepossessing; his figure light and finely proportioned; his 
age I imagined to be about five and thirty [he was about forty] ; in height, 5 feet 
9 or 10 imhes; his lomplesion light copper; countenance oval, with bright hazel 
eyes, bearing clieerfiiluess, energy, and decision. Three small silver crosses or 
coronets were suspeuiled from the lower cartilage of his aquiline nose, and a large 
silver medallion of George the Tliird, whiih 1 believe his ancestor had received 
from Lord lUnchester when governor-general of Canada, was attached to a mixed- 
colored wampum string and hung round his neck. His dress consisted of a plain, 
neat uniform, tanned deerskin jacket, with long trowsers of the same material, the 
seams of both being covered with neatly cut fringe, and he had on his feet leather 
moccasins, much ornamented with work made from the dyed quills of the porcu- 
pine.' The portrait of Tecumtha above given is from a pencil sketch by Pierre Le 
Dm. ... In this I have given only the head by Le Dm. The cap was red, and 
in front was a single eagle's feather, black, with a white tip. The sketch of his 
dress (and the medal above ilescribed), in which he appears as a brigadier-general 
of the British army, is from a rough drawing, which I saw in Montreal in the sum- 
mer of 1858, made at Maiden soon after the surrender of r>etroit. where the Indians 
celebrated that event by a grand feast. It was only on gala occasions that Tecumtha 
was seen in full dress. The sketch did not pretend to give a true likeness of the 
chief, and was valuable only as a delineation of his costume. From the two we are 
enabled to give a pretty faithful picture of the great .Shawnoese warrior and states- 
man as he appeared in his best mood. When iu full dress he wore a cocked hat and 
plume, but would not give up his blue breechcloth, red leggius fringed with buck- 
skin, and buckskin moccasins." 


animal, but as a shootiu;; star, and excoedini; in size other shooting stars. This 
monster ^avo name to a .Shawano chin, and tliis ohm, to whi<h Trcunitha hclonged, 
was classed auionit tho claw-foot animals also. The (i\iick motion of the shooting 
star was correctly likened to that of a tiger or wildcat rnshing npon his prey. 
Shooting stars are supposed to be souls of great men all over America. The home 
of the dead is always in the west, where the celestial bodies set, and since meteors 
travel westward they were supposed to return to their western home. 

Tecnintha, wasj n<iw in tlie prime of manhood, being about 40 years of 
age, and had ah'eady thonglitout his sclienie of uniting all the tribes iu 
one grand confederatiou to resist the further encroachments of the 
whites, ou the principle that the Indians had common interests, and that 
what concerned one tribe concerned all. As the tribes were constantly 
shifting about, following the game in its migrations, he held that no one 
tribe bad any more than -a possessory right to the land while in actual 
occupancy, and that any sale of lands, to be valid, must be sanctioned 
by all the tribes concerned. His chiim was certainly founded in justice, 
but the government refused to admit the principle in theory, although 
repeatedly acting on it in practice, for every important treaty after- 
ward made in Mississippi valley was a joint treaty, as it was found 
impossible to assign the ownership of any considerable section to any one 
particular tribe. The Shawano themselves hunted from the Cumber- 
land to the Sus(|uehanua. As a basal proposition, Tecumtha claimed 
that the Greenville treaty, having been forced on the Indians, was 
invalid; that the only true boundary was the Ohio, as established in 
17(i8, and that all future cessions must have the sanction of all the 
tribes claiming rights in that region. 

By this time there were assembled at Greenville to listen to the teach- 
ings of the prophet hundreds of savages, representing all the widely 
extended tribes of the lake region and the great northwest, all wrought, 
up to the highest pitch of excitement over the prospect of a revival of 
tho old Indian life and the perpetuation of aboriginal sovereignty. 
This was Tecumtha's opportunity, and he was quick to improve it. 
Even those who doubted the spiritual revelations could see that they 
were in danger from the continued advances of the wliites, and were 
easily convinced that safety required that they should unite as one 
people for the preservation of a common boundary. The pilgrims car- 
ried back these ideas to their several tribes, and thus what was at lirst 
a simple religious revival soon became a political agitation. They were 
equally patriotic from the Indian point of view, and under the circum- 
stances one was almost the natural complement of the other. All the 
evidence goes to show that the movement in its inception was purely 
religious and peaceable; but the military spirit of Tecumtha afterward 
gave to it a warlike and even aggressive character, and henceforth the 
apostles of the prophet became also recruiting agents for his brother. 
Tecumtha himself was too sensible to think that the whites would be 
destroyed by any interposition of heaven, or that they could be driven 
out by any combination of the Indians, but he did believe it jjossible 


that the westward advance of the Americans could be stopped at the 
Ohio, leaving' lii.s peojile in undisturbed possession of what lay beyond. 
In this hope he was encouraged by the British ofticials in Canada, 
and it is doubtful if the movement would ever have become formid- 
able if it had not been incited and assisted from across the line. 

In the spring- of 1S07 it was estimated that at Fort Wayne fifteen hun- 
dred Indians had recently passed that post on their way to visit the 
prophet, while councils were constantly being held and runners were 
going from tribe to tribe with pipes and belts of wampum. It was 
plain that some uncommon movement was going on among tliem, and 
it also was evident that the British agents had a liaiid in keeping up 
the excitement. The government became alarmed, and the crisis came 
when an order was sent from the President to Tecumtha at Greenville 
to remove his party beyond the boundary of 1795 (the Greenville treaty). 
Trembling with excitement, Tecumtha rose and addressed his followers 
in a passionate speech, dwelling on the wrongs of the Indians and 
the continued encroachments of the whites. Then, turning to the mes- 
senger, he said, "These lands are ours. No one has a right to remove 
us, because we were the first owners The Great Spirit above has 
appointed this place for us, on which to light our fires, and here we will 
remain. As to boundaries, the Great Spirit above knows no bounda- 
ries nor will his red children acknowledge any." (Dral-e, Tecumsek, 3.) 
From this time it was understood that the Indians were preparing to 
make a final stand for the valley of the Ohio. The prophet continued 
to arouse their enthusiasm by his Inspired utterances, while Tecumtha 
became the general and active organizer of the warriors. At a confer- 
ence with the governor of Ohio in the autumn of 1807 he fearlessly 
denied the validity of the former treaties, and declared his intention to 
resist the further extension of the white settlements on Indian lands. 

The next spring great numbers of Indians came down from tlie lakes 
to visit Tecumthaand his brother, who, finding their followingincreasing 
so rapidly, accei)ted an invitation from the Potawatomi and Kickapoo, 
and removed their headquarters to a more central location on the 
"Wabash. The Delaware and j\Iiami, who claimed precedence in that 
region and who had all along opposed the prophet and Tecumtha, ijro- 
tested against this move, but without effect. The new settlement, 
which was on the western bank of the river, just below tlie mouth of 
the Tippecanoe, was known to the Indians as Kehtipaquononk, "the 
great clearing," and was an old and favorite location with them. It had 
been tlie site of a large Shawano village which had been destroyed by 
the Americans in 1791, and some years later the Potawatomi had rebuilt 
upon the same place, to which they now invited the disciples of the 
new religion. The whites had corrupted the name to Tippecanoe, and 
it now generally became known as the Prophet's town. 

Notliing else of moment occurred during this year, but it was learned 
that Tecumtlia contemplated visiting the southern tribes in the near 


future to t'lilist them also in his confederacy. In ISOO, however, rumors 
of an :ipi)r<)achiMg outbreak began to fill the air, and it was evident 
that the British were instigating the Indians to mischief in anticipa- 
tion of a war between England and the United States. Just at this 
juncture the anger of Tecumtha's party was still further inflamed by 
the negotiation of treaties with four tribes by which additional large 
tracts were ceded in Indiana and Illinois. The Indians now refused to 
buy ammunition from the Americ?«n traders, saying that they could 
obtain all they wanted for nothing in another quarter. In view of the 
signs of increasing hostility, Governor Harrison was authorized to take 
such steps as might be necessary to protect the frontier. Tecumtha had 
now gained over the Wyandot, the most influential tribe of the Ohio 
region, tlie keepers of the great wampum belt of union and the lighters 
of the council flre of the allied tribes. Their example was speedily 
followed by the Miami, whose adhesion made the tribes of the Ohio and 
the lakes practically unanimous. The prophet now declared that he 
would follow in the steps of Pontiac, and called on the remote tribes 
to assist those on the bonier to roll back the tide which would other- 
wise overwhelm them all. In return, the Sauk and Fox sent word that 
they were ready whenever he should say the word. 

In the summer of 1810, according to a previous arrangement, Tecum- 
tha, attended by several hundred warriors, descended the river to Vin- 
cennes to confer with Governor Harrison on the situation. The con- 
ference began on the ir)th of August and lasted three days. Tecum- 
tha reiterated his former claims, sayiug that in uniting the tribes he 
was endeavoring to dam the mighty water that was ready to overflow 
his people. The Americans had driven the Indians from the sea and 
threatened to push them into the lakes; and, although he disclaimed 
any intention of nialving war against the United States, he declared his 
fixed resolution to insist on tlie old boundary and to oppose the further 
intrusion of the whites on the lauds of the Iiulians, and to resist the 
survey of the lands recently ceded. He was followed by chiefs of five 
different tribes, each of whom in turn declared that he would support 
the principles of Tecumtha. Harrison replied that the government 
would never admit that any section belonged to all the Indians iu com- 
mon, and that, having bought the ceded lands from the tribes who were 
first found in possession of them, it would defend its title by arms. To 
this Tecumtha said that he preferred to be on the side of the Americans, 
and that if his terms were conceded he would bring his forces to the 
aid of the United States iu the war which he knew was soon to break out 
with England, but that otherwise lie would be compelled to join the 
British. The governor replied that he would state the case to the Pres- 
ident, but that it was altogether unlikelj^ that he would consent to the 
conditions. Recognizing the inevitable, Tecumtha expressed the hope 
that, as the President was to determine the matter, the Great Spirit 
would put sense into his head to induce him to give up the lands, adding^ 


"It is true, he is so far off lie will not be injured by the ^yal■. lie may 
sit still iu his town and drink his wine, while you and I -will have to 
fight it out.'' The governor then requested that in the event of an 
Indian war Tecumtha would use his influence to prevent the practice 
of cruelties on women and children and defenseless prisoners. To 
this he readily agreed, and the promise was faithfully kept. (Dral;e, 
Tecumneh, 4.) 

The conference had ended with a tacit understanding that war nuist 
come, and both sides began to prejiare for the struggle. Soon after it 
was learned that the prophet had sent belts to the tribes west of the 
Mississippi, inviting them to Join in a war against the United States. 
Outrages on the Indians by settlers intensified the hostile feeling, 
and the Delawares refused to deliver up a murderer until some of the 
whites who had killed their people were fir^t punished. Harrison him- 
self states that the Indians could rarely obtain satisfaction for the most 
unprovoked wrongs. In another letter he says that Tecumtha •' has 
talien for his model the celebrated Poutiac, and I am persuaded he 
will bear a favorable comparison in every respect with that far-famed 

In July, 1811, Tecumtha again visited Harrison at Vincennes. In 
the course of his talk he said that the whites were unnecessarily 
alarmed, as the Indians were only following the example set them by 
the colonies in uniting for the furtherance of common interests. He 
added that he was now on his way to the southern tribes to obtain 
tlieir adhesion also to the league, and that on his return in the spring 
he intended to visit the President to explain his puri)oses fully and to 
clear away all difficulties. In the meantime he expected that a large 
number of Indians would Join his colony on the Wabash during the 
winter, and to avoid any danger of collision between them and the 
whites, he requested that no settlements should be made on the dis- 
puted lands until he should have an opportunity to see the President. 
To this Harrison replied that the President would never give up a 
country which he had bought from its rightful owners, nor would he 
suffer his people to be injured with impunity. This closed the interview, 
and the next day Tecumtha stai'ted with his party for tlie south to 
visit the Creek and Choctaw. About the same time it was learned 
that the British had sent a message to the prophet, telling him that 
the time had now come for him to take up the hatchet, and inviting 
him to send a party to their headquarters at Maiden (now Amherst- 
burg, Ontario) to receive the necessary supplies. In view of these 
things Harrison suggested to the War Department that opportunity 
be taken of Tecumtha's absence in the south to strike a blow against 
his confederacy. Continuing in the same letter, he says of the great 
Indian leader: 

The implicit obedience and respect whicli the followers of Tecmuseh pay to him 
is really astonishiug, and more than any other circumstance besjieaks liim one of 


those iiucomniou geniuses whicli siiring "P occiisionally to produce revolutions and 
overturu the established order of things. If it were not for the vicinity of the 
United States, he Tvould perhaps be the founder of au empire that would rival in 
glory Mexico or Peru. No diflicnlties deter him. For four years he has been in con- 
stant motion. You see him to-day on the Wabash, and in a sbort time hear of him 
on the shores of Lake Erie or Jlichigau or on the banks of the Mississippi, and 
wherever he goes he makes an impression favorable to his purposes. He is now 
upon the last round, to jiut a finishing stroke to his work. I hope, however, before 
his return that that part of the fabric which he considered complete will be demol- 
ished, and even its foundations rooted up. (Drake, Tecumseh, 5.) 

Ou tlii.s trip Tecuintba went as far as Florida and engaged tlie Semi- 
nole f(ir his confederacy. Then, retracing bis steps into Alabama, lie 
came to the ancient Creek town of Tukabaclii, on the Tallapoosa, near 
the present site of Montgomery. What happened here is best told in 
the words of McKeuney and Hall, who derived their information from 
Indians at the same town a few years later: 

He made his way to the lodge of the chief called the Big Warrior. He explained 
his object, delivered his war talk, presented a bundle of sticks, gave a piece of wam- 
pum and a war h.atchct — all which the Big Warrior took — when Tecumthe, reading 
the spirit and intentions of the Big Warrior, looked him in the eye, and, pointing 
his finger toward his face, said: "Your blood is white. You have taken my talk, 
and the sticks, and the wampum, and the hatchet, but you do not mean to fight. 
I know the reason. Y'ou do not believe the Great Spirit has sent me. You shall 
know. I leave Tuckhabatchee directly, and shall go straight to Detroit. When I 
arrive there, I will stamj) on the ground with my foot and shake down every house 
in Tuckhabiitchee." So saying, he turned and left the Big Warrior in utter amaze- 
ment at both his manner and his threat, and pursued his journey. The Indians 
were struck no less with his conduct than was the Big Warrior, and began to dread 
the arrival of the day when the threatened calamity would befall them. They met 
often and talked over this matter, .and counted the days carefully to know the day 
when Tecumth6 would reach Detroit. The morning they had fixed upon as the 
day of his arrival at last camo. A mighty rumbling was heard — the Indians all ran 
out of their houses — the earth began to shiike; when at last, sure enough, every 
house in Tuckhabatchee was shaken down. The exclamation was in every mouth, 
"Tecumthe hiis got to Detroit 1 " Theefl'ect was electric. The message he had deliv- 
ered to the Big Warrior was believed, .and many of the Indians took their rifles and 
prepared for the war. The reader will not be surprised to learn that an earthquake 
had produced all this; but he will be, doubtless, that it should h.appen on the very 
day on which Tecumthi'; arri\ed at Detroit, and in exact fulfillment of his threat. 
It was the famous earthquake of New Madrid on the Mississippi. (McEenney and 
Ball, 1.) 

The fire tlms kindled among the Creek by Teeumtha was fanned 
into a blaze by the British and Spanish traders until the opening of 
the war of 1812 gave the opportunity for the terrible outbreak known 
in history as the Creek war. 

While Teeumtha was absent in the south, affairs were rapidly 
approaching a crisis on the Wabash. The border settlers demanded 
the removal of the prophet's followers, stating in their memorial to the 
President that they were " fully convinced that the formation of this 
combination headed by the Shawano prophet was a British scheme, and 
that the agents of that power were constantly exciting the Indians to 
14 ETII — PT 2 1 



[ETH. AKN. 14 

the cou- 
time the 
the torn- 
it down 
were re- 
his fol- 
practice of 

hostility against the United States.'' Governor Harrison now sent 

messages to the different tribes earnestly warning them of 

sequences of a hostile outbreak, but about the same 

prophet himself announced that he had now taken up 

ahawk against the United States, and would only lay 

with his life, unless the wrongs of the Indians 

dressed. It was known also that he was arousing 

lowers to a feverish pitch of excitement by the daily 

mystic rites. 

Harrison now determined to break up the pro 
Accordingly, at the head of about 900 men, in 
250 regulars, be marched from Yincenues, and 
vember, ISll, encamped within a few miles 
town. The Indians had fortified the place 
and labor. It was sacred to them as the spot 
the new religion had been so long enacted, 
they believed it had been rendered impregna 
the white man. The next day he approached 
met by messengers from the town, who stated 
anxious to avoid hostilities and had already 
by several cliiefs, who had unfortunately 
side of the river and thus had 
eral. A truce was accord 
the next day, when terms 

ranged between the gov 
The army encamped on a <^ 
Indians, an elevated piece 
a marshy prairie, within a 
though Harrison did not 
would make anight attack, yet 
the troops sleep on t)ieir arms 

At 4 o'clock ill the. morning of the 
coriling to his practice, liad risen jire 
the troojis, and 
ou his boots by 
with Gen 
and Majors 
pnrpose of 
troops to 
of the In 
upon the 
The whole 
feet, the camp 
governor mounted 
the point of attack. 
had taken their 
forty seconds from 
■whole of the troops were 

Fig. 59 


phet's camp, 
eluding about 
on the 5th of No- 
of the prophet's 
with great care 
where the rites of 
and by these rites 
ble to the attacks of 
still nearer, and was 
at the prophet was 
sent a pacific message 
go7iedown on the other 
failed to find the gen- 
ingly agreed on until 
of peace were to be <ar- 
einor and the chiefs. 
si)ot pointed out by the 
of ground rising out of 
mile of the town. Al- 
1 iclieve that the Indians 
a.s a precaution he had 
in order of battle. 

7th, Governor Harrison, ac- 
paratory to the calling up 
was engaged, while drawing 
the fire, in conversation 
eral Wells, Colonel Owen, 
Taylor and Hurst. The or- 
had been roused for the 
giving the signal for the 
turn out, when the attack 
dians suddenly commenced 
left flank of the camp, 
army was instantly on its 
fires were extinguished, the 
his horse and proceeded to 
Several of the companies 
places in the line within 
the report of the first gun, and the 
jirepared for action in the course 

-Harri.son (re:it,\ i)ipe. 


of two minutes, a fact as creditable to their owu activity aud bravery as to the skill 
and bravery of their officers. The battle soon became general, autl was maintained 
on lioth sides with signal aud even desperate valor. The Indians advanced aud 
retreated by the aid of a rattling noise, made with deer hoofs, aud jicrsevered in 
their treacherous attack with an apparent determination to cou(|uer or die upon the 
spot. The battle raged with unabated fury and mutual slaughter until daylight, 
when a gallant and successful charge by our troops drove the enemy into the swamp 
and put an end to the conflict. 

Prior to the assault the prophet had given assurances to his followers that in the 
coming contest the Great Spirit would renderthe arms of the Americans unavailing; 
that their Ijullets wouhl fall harmless at the feet of the Indians; that the latter 
should have light in abundance, while the former wonld be involved in thick dark- 
ness. Availing himself of the privilege conferred by his peculiar office, and perhaps 
unwilling in his own person to attest at once the rival powers of a sham prophecy 
and a real American bullet, he jjrndently took a position on an adjacent eminence, 
and when the action began, he entered upon the pei'formance of certain mystic rites, 
at the same time singing a war song. In the course of the engagement he was 
informed that his men were falling. He told them to fight on — it would soon be as 
be hail predicted. Aud then, iu lender and wilder strains, his inspiring battle song 
was heard commingling with the sharp crack of the rifle and the shrill war whoop of 
his llra^■e lint deluded followers. (Drake, Tecumseh, (i.) 

■ Drake estimates the whole number of Iiidiaus engaged in the battle 
at between 800 and 1,000, representing all the principal tribes of 
the region, and puts the killed at probably not less than 50, with 
an unusually large proportion of wounded. Harrison's estimate would 
seem to put the luimbers much higher. The Americans lost CO killed 
or mortally wounded, and 188 in all. {Drake, Tecumseh, 7.) In their 
hurried retreat the Indians left a large number of dead on the iield. 
Believing on the word of the propliet that they would receive super- 
natural aid from above, they had fought with desperate bravery, and 
their defeat completely disheartened them. They at once abandoned 
their town and dispersed, each to his owu tribe. Tecumtha's great 
fabric was indeed demolished, and even its foundations rooted up. 

The night before the engagement the prophet had performed some 
medicine rites by virtue of which he had assured his followers that 
half of the soldiers were already dead and the other half bereft of 
their .senses, so that the Indians would have little to do but rush into 
their camp and linish them with the hatchet. The result infuriated 
the savages. They refused to listen to the excuses which are always 
ready to the tongue of the unsuccessful medicineman, denounced him 
as a liar, and even threatened him with death. Deserted by all but a 
few of his own tribe, warned away from .several villages toward which 
he turned his steps, he found refuge at last among a small band of 
Wyandot; but his influence and his sacred prestige were gone forever, 
and he lived out his remaining days in the gloom of obscurity. 

From the south Tecumtha leturned through Missouri, Iowa, and 
Illinois, everywhere making accessions to his cause, but reached the 
Wabash at last, just a few days after the battle, only to find his fol- 
lowers scattered to the four winds, his brother a refugee, and the great 

690 THE GHOST-DANCE RELIGION [eth. anx. 14 

object of his life— a confederation of all the tribes— bronght to nothing. 
His grief and disappointment were bitter. He reproached his brother 
in nnmeasured terms for disobeying his instructions to preserve peace 
in his absence, and when the prophet attempted to reply, it is said that 
Tecumtha so far forgot his dignity as to seize his brother by the hair 
and give him a violent shaking, threatening to take his life. 

Early in 1812 Tecumtha sent a message to Governor Harrison, inform- 
ing him of his return from the south, and stating that he was now 
ready to make the proposed visit to the President. To this Harrison 
replied, giving his permission, but refusing to allow any party to accom- 
l^any him. This stipulation did not please the great leader, who had 
been accustomed to the attendance of a retinue of warriors wherever 
he went. He declined the terms, and thus terminated his intercourse 
with the governor. In June, 1812, he visited the agent at Fort Wayne, 
and there reiterated the justice of his position in regard to the owner- 
ship of the Indian lands, again disclaimed having had any intention 
of making war against the United States, and reproached Harrison 
for marching against his people in his absence. In return, the agent 
endeavored to persuade him now to join forces with the United States 
in the approaching conflict with England. "Tecumtha listened with 
frigid indifference, made a few general remarks in reply, and then with 
a haughty air left the council house and took his departure for Maiden, 
where he joined the British standard." {Drake, Tecumseh, S.) His 
subsequent career is a part of the history of the war of 1812. 

Formal declaration of war against Great Britain was made by the 
United States on June 18, 1812. Tecumtha was already at Maiden, 
the British headquarters on the Canadian side, and when invited by 
some friendly Indians to attend a council near Detroit in order to make 
arrangements for remaining neutral, he sent back word that he had 
taken sides with the king, and that his bones would bleach on the 
Canadian shore before he would recross the river to join in any council 
of neutrality. A few days later he led his Indians into battle on the 
British side. For his services at Maguaga he was soon afterward 
regularly commissioned a brigadier general in the British army. 

We pass over the numerous events of this war — Maguaga, the 
Raisin, Fort Meigs, Perry's victory — as being outside the scope of our 
narrative, and come to the battle of the Thames, October .5, 1813, the 
last ever fought by Tecumtha. After Perry's decisive victory on 
the lake, Proctor hastily prepared to retreat into the interior, despite 
the earnest protests of Tecumtha, who charged him with cowardice, an 
imputation which the British general did not dare to resent. The 
retreat was begun with Harrison in close pursuit, until the British and 
Indians reached a spot on the north bank of the Thames, in the vicin- 
ity of the present Chatham, Ontario. Here, finding the ground fiivora- 
blefor defense, Tecumtha resolved to retreat no farther, and practically 
compelled Proctor to make a stand. The Indian leader had no hope of 


triumpli in the issue. His suu liad gone down, and be felt himself 
already standing in the shadow of death. He was done with life and 
desired only to close it, as became a warrior, striking a last blow 
against the hereditary enemy of his race. When he had posted his 
men, he called his chiefs about him and calmly said, " Brother warriors, 
we are now about to enter into an engagement from which I shall never 
come out — my body will remain on the field of battle." He then 
unbuckled his sword, and, jdaciiig it in the hands of one of them, said, 
"When my sou becomes a noted warrior and able to wield a sword, 
give this to him." He then laid aside his British military dress and 
took his place in the line, clothed only in the ordinary deerskin hunt- 
ing shirt. {Drake, Tecumseh, 9.) When the battle began, his voice was 
heard encouraging his men until he fell under the cavalry charge 
of the Americans, who had already broken the ranks of the British 
regulars and forced them to surrender. Deprived of their leader and 
deserted by their white allies, the Indians gave up the unequal contest 
and tied from the field. Tecumtha died in his forty-fourth year. 

After the close of the war the prophet returned from Canada by per- 
mission of this government and rejoined his tribe in Ohio, with whom 
he removed to the west in 1827. {Schoolcraft, Ind. Tribes, 3.) Catlin, 
who met and talked with him iu 1832, thus speaks of him : 

This, no doubt, beeu a very shrewd aud influential man, but ciicumstances 
have destroyed him, as they have many other great men before him, and he now 
lives respected, but silent and melancholy, in his tribe. I conversed with him a great 
deal about his brother Tecumseh, of whom he siioke frankly, aud seeminglj' with 
great pleasure; but of himself and his own ureat schemes he would say nothiug. 
He told me that Tecumseh's plans were to embody all the Indian tribes in a grand 
confederacy, from the jirovince of Mexico to the Great Lakes, to unite their forces 
iu an army that would lie able to meet and drive back the white peojile, who were 
continually advancing on the Indian tribes and forcing them from their lands 
toward the Kocky mountains; that Tecumseh was a great general, and that nothing 
but his premature death defeated his grand plan. (Catlin, 2.) 

Chapter V 


My father, the. Great Spirit liolds all the world in his hands. I pray to him that 
we may not lie removed from our lands. . . . Take pity on us and let us remain 
where we are. — Kiinakuk. 

I was singularly struck with the noble efforts of this champion of the mere rem- 
nant of a poisoned race, so strenuously lalioriuj; to rescue the remainder of his 
people from the deadly bane that has been brought amongst them by enlightened 
Christians. — Catlln. 

The scene now shifts to the west of the Mississippi. With the death 
of Tecumtlia the confederacy of the northwestern tribes fell to pieces, 
and on the closin , of the war of 181l! the government inaugurated 
a series of treaties resulting, within twenty years, in the removal of 
almost every tribe beyond the Mississippi and the appropriation of 
their former country by the whites. Among others the Kickapoo, by 
the treaty of Edwardsville in 1819, had ceded the whole of their ancient 
territory in Illinois, comprising nearly one-half the area of the state, iu 
exchange for a much smaller tract on Osage river in Missouri and $3,000 
in goods. (Treaties, ].) The government agreed to furnish two 
boats to take them up the river to their new home, whei'e "the United 
States promise to guarantee to the said tribe the peaceable possession 
of the tract of laud hereby ceded to them, and to restrain and prevent 
all white persons from hunting, settling, or otherwise intruding upon it." 

For some reason, however, the Kickapoo manifested no overwhelming 
desire to remove from their villages :ind cornfields on the broad prai- 
ries of Illinois to the rugged hills of Missouri. This may have been 
due to the innate perversity of the savage, or possibly to the fact that 
the new country guaranteed to them was already occupied by their 
hereditary enemies, the Osage, who outnumbered the Kickapoo three 
to one. To be sure, these aboriginal proprietors had agreed to surrender 
the territory to the United States, but they were still at home to all 
visitors, as the immigrant Cherokee had learned to their cost. Be that 
as it may, several years passed and it began to be suspected that the 
Kickapoo were not anxious to go west and grow up with the country 
Investigation disclosed the fact that, instead of removing to the reser- 
vation on Osage river, one-half of the tribe had gone southward iu a 
body and crossed over to the Spanish side of Eed river (now Texas), 
where they might reasonably hope to be secure from the further advance 
of the Americans. Others were preparing to follow, and the govern- 




merit agents were instrueted to make a strong eifort to efl'ect the imme- 
diate removal of the tribe to Missouri and to prevent the emigration 
of any more to the south. 

It now appeared that they were encouraged to hold their ground by a 
new prophet wh" had sprung up among them, named Kiinakuk. The 

■mnT«r?iTiii — 
Fio. 60— Kanakflk the Kiokapoo prophet. 

name (also spelled Kee-an-ne kuk and Kanacuk), refers to putting the 
foot upon a fallen object, and does not denote " the foremost man," as 
rendered by Catlin. In a letter written to General Clark, in February, 
1827 — a few days after the prophet himself had visited General Clark — 
the agent, Mr Graham, after reporting his failure to induce the tribe to 



[eth. avn. 14 

remove, states that the prophet "liad iki idea of giving up liis lauds," 
and continues : 

This man has acquired an influence over his people through supposed revelations 
from God, which he urges on them with an eloquence, mildness, and firmness of man- 
ner that carries to their credulous ears conviction of his commuuications with God. 

To give a favorable turn to his mind, I apparently gave credence to his statemeuts 
of these revelations, and attempted to put a construction on them for him. He 
listened to me with great attention, and, after I had finished, said I might be right; God would t.alk to him again and he would let me know what he said. In the 
meantime he would use his influence to get his people to move, but that he could not 
himself come over until all had removed; that there were many bad men yet among 
them, whom he hoped to convert to the ways of God, and then all would come over. 
He would preach to his meu and warn them from taking away or injuring the prop- 
erty of the white people, and if any white man struck them — to use his own expres- 
sion^he would bow his head and not complain ; he would stop any attempt to take 
revenge. He seems to have a wonderful influence over those Indians who accom- 
panied him. They neither drank nor painted, were serious, though not gloomy. 
(/Hrf. 0#., i.) 

In tlie same month Kauakiik himself visited General Clark at Saint 
Louis, and in the course of a long talk exidaiued the origin of his divine 
mission and the nature of his doctrine, illustrating the subject by means 

of apeculiar diagram (flgure Gl), and clos- 
ing with an earnest appeal in behalf of his 
people that they should be allowed to re- 
main undisturbed. Although it was said 
by the traders that he had stolen his in- 
spiration from a jNIethodist i)reacher, it is 
plain from an examination of his doctrine 
that he was the direct spiritual successor of 
Tenskwatawa and the Delaware prophet, 
who in their generation had preached to 
the same tribe. Like his predeces.sors, 
also, he condemned the use of "medicine 
bags" and medicine.sougs, which, although 
universal among the tribes, seem to have 
been regarded by the better class of In- 
dians as witchcraft was in former days 
aniong the whites. 

After the usual preliminary expressions 
of mutual friendship and good will, Kiinakfdv stated that all his people 
were united in sentiment, and then proceeded to explain his religious 
views as follows: 

My father, the Great Spirit has placed us all on this earth; he has given to our 
nation a piece of laud. Why do you want to take it away and give us so much 
trouble? We ought to live in peace aud happiness auKmg ourselves and with you. 
We have heard of some trouble about our lan<l. I have come down to see you and 
have all explained. 

FKi. Gl — Kjinaklik's heaven. 

MooxEv] kanakuk's heaven 695 

Jly father, the Great Spirit appeared to me; he saw luy heart was in sorrow about 
onr laiiil ; he told mo not to give up the business, hut go to my Great Father and he 
■wouUl listen to me. My father, when I talked to the Great Spirit, I saw the chiefs 
holding the land fast. He told me the life of our children was short and that the 
earth would sink. 

My father, I will explain to you what the Great Spirit said to me — to do so, I must 
make some marks. The Great Spirit says: My father, we started from this point 
(A, figure 61). We are here now (B). When we get here (C;. the Great Spirit will 
appear to me agaiit. Here ( B) the Great Spirit gave his blessings to the Indi.aus and 
told them to tell his people to throw away their medicine l)ags and not to steal, not to 
tell lies, not to murder, not to quarrel, and to burn their medicine bags. If they 
did not, they could not get on the straight way, but would have to go the crooked path 
of the bad here (D) ; that when we got to this place (the curved line, E), we would not 
be able to cross it unless we were all good. It was lire. That we should go to this 
place (E), where there would he collected all the red chiefs and there would be a 
great preaching. That if we had not thrown away all our bad doings, these two 
l)oints would meet (D and E), and then the Great Spirit would destroy everything 
and the world would be turned over. That if we would be good and throw away all 
our bad doings, we would cross this fire, when we would [come] to water (second 
line), which we would cross. There we would come to a country where there was 
nothing but a prairie ami nothing grew upon it. There the sun would be hid from 
us by four black clouds. When we get here (C), the Great Spirit will explain these 
round marks. 

My father, I have now explained as well as I can, with much ]>aius, our situation. 
1 wish you to tell me the truth and hide nothing from me. I have heard that some 
of your warriors are going to take up the tomahawk. 1 explained to you last fall 
our situation. We are now here (B), where we are in great trouble. I told you of 
all our troubles. I asked you to reflect on our situation and that we would come 
back to see you. 

* '^ ^ * * # # 

My father, you call all tlie redskins your children. When we have children, we 
treat them well. That is the reason I m.ake this long talk to get you to take pity on 
us aud let us remain where we are. 

My father, I wish after my talk is over you would write to my Great Father, the 
president, that we have a desire to remain a little longer where we now are. I have 
explained to you that we have thrown all our badness away and keep the good i>ath. 
I wish onr Great Father could hear that. I will now talk to my Great Father, the 

My Great Father, I don't kuov, if you are the right chief, because I have heard 
some things go wrong. I wish you to reflect on our situation aud let nie know. I 
want to talk to you mildly and in peace, so that we may understand each other. 
When I saw the Great Spirit, he told me to throw all our bad acts away. We did so. 
Some of our chiefs said the l.uid lielouged to us, the Kickapoos ; but this is uot what 
the Great Spirit told me — the lauds belong to him. The Great Spirit told me that 
no people owned the lauds — that all was his, aud uot to forget to tell the white peo- 
ple that when we went into council. When I saw the Great Spirit, he told me, Men- 
tion all this to your Great Father. He will take pity on yiuir situation aud let you 
remain on the lands where you are for some years, when you will be able to get 
through all the bad places (the marks in the figure), and where you will get to a 
clear piece of land where you will all live happy. When I talked to the Great Spirit, 
he told me to make my warriors throw their tomahawks iu the bad place. I did so, 
anil every night and morning I raise my hands to the Great Spirit and pray to him 
to give us success. I expect, my father, that God has put me in a good way — that 
our children shall see their sisters and brothers and our women see their children. 
They will grow up and travel and see their totems. The Great Spirit told me, " Our 
old men had totems. They were good aud had many totems. Now you have scarcely 

696 THE GHOST-DANCE RELIGION [eth. ann. 14 

any. If you follow my advice, you will soou have totems agaiu." Say this to my 
Great Father for me.' 

My father, since I talked with the Great Spirit, our womt-u aud children and our- 
selves, we have not such good clothes, hut we don't mind that. We think of praying 
every day to the Great Spirit to get us safe to the good lands, where all will he 
peace and happiness. 

My father, the Great Spirit holds all the world iu his hands. I pray to him that 
we may not he removed from our land until we can see aitd talk to all our 
totems. . . . 

My father, when I left my women aud children, they told me, "'As you are going 
to see our Great Father, tell him to let us alone and let us eat our victuals with a 
good heart." 

My father, since my talk with the Great Spirit we have nothing cooked until the 
middle of the day. The children get nothing in the morning to eat. We collect 
them all to pray to the Great Spirit to make our hearts pure, and then eat. We 
bring our children up to be good. 

My father, I will tell you all I know. I will put nothing on my back. God told 
me, Whenever you make a talk, tell everythiug true. Keep nothing behind, and 
then you will find everything go right. 

My father, when I talked with the Great Spirit, he did not tell me to sell my lauds, 
because I did not know how much was a dollar's worth, or the game that run on it. 
If he told me so, I would tell you to-day. 

My father, you have heard what I have said. I have represented to you our situ- 
ation, and ask you to take pity on us and let us remain where we are. . . 

My father, I have shown you in the lines I have made the bad places. Our war- 
riors even are afraid of those dark places you see there. That is the reason they 
threw their tomahawks aside and put up their hands to the Great Spirit. 

My father, every lime we eat we raise our hands to the Great Spirit to give us 

My father, we are sitting by each other here to tell tlie truth. If you write any- 
thing wrong, the Great Spirit will know it. If I say anything not true, the Great 
Spirit will hear it. 

My father, you know how to write and can take down what is said for your satis- 
faction. I can not; all I do is through the Great Spirit for the benefit of my women 
and children. 

My father, everythiug belongs to the Great Spirit. If he chooses to make the 
earth shake, or turn it over, all the skins, white and red, can not stop it. I have 
done. I trust to the Great Spirit. {Ind. Off., .?.) 

A few years later, in 1S31, Oatliu visited. Kiiualiuk, wlio was still liviug 
with the remnant of his people in Illinois, and was then regardetl as 
their chief. He still preaclied the same doctrine, which the arti.-it incor- 
rectly suppo.sed was the Christian religion — probably from the fact that 
the meetings were held on Sunday in imitation of the whites — and 
especially was constantly and earnestly exhorting his tribesmen to cease 
from drinking whisky, which threatened to destroy their race. His 
influence had extended into Michigan, and many of the Potawatomi 

'Thetotera is tlie badfie of" a clan or ;;en8 of" a tribe. Tbo nieaninc is tbat liy disease and death 
many of tlieir Rentes bad become entirely extinct, but that by heeding the prophet's advice they would 
agaiu become a numerous people. 


were counted among liis disciples. Catlin, who painted bis portrait 
(of which figure CO is :i repi-oduction), heard liim preach, and expressed 
surprise and admiration at the ease and grace of his manner and his 
evident eloquent command of language. The traveler continues: 

I was singularly struck with tbo noble efforts of this champion of the mere rem- 
nant of a poisoneil race so strenuously laboring to rescue the remainder of his people 
from the deadly bane that has been brought amongst them by enlightened Christians. 
How far the efforts of this zealons man have succeeded in Christianizing, I can not 
tell, but it is quite certain that his exemplary and constant endeavors have com- 
pletely abolished the practice of drinking whisky in his tribe, which alone is a very 
praiseworthy achievement, and the first and Imlispensablo step toward all other 
improvements. I was some time amongst those people, and was exceedingly jileased 
and surprised also to witness their sobriety and their peaceable conduct, not having 
seen an instance of drunkenness, or seen or heard of any use made of spirituous 
liquors whilst I was amongst the tribe. {Catlin, 3.) 

After mentioning, although apparently not crediting the assertion of 
the traders, that the prophet had borrowed his doctrines from a white 
man, Catlin goes on to describe a peculiar prayer-stick which Kiiuakiik 
had given to his followers, and which reminds us at once of the similar 
device of the Delawaie prophet of 1704, and is in line witli the whole 
system of birchbark pictographs among the northern tribes. These 
sticks were of maple, graven with hieroglyjjhic prayers and other 
religious symbols. They were carved by the prophet himself, who dis- 
tributed them to every family in the tribe, deriving quite a revenue 
from their sale, and in this way increasing his influence both as a priest 
and as a man of property. Apparently every man, woman, and child 
in the tribe was at this time in the habit of reciting the prayers from 
these sticks on rising in the morning and before retiring for the night. 
This was done by placing the right index linger first under the upper 
character while repeating a short prayer which it suggested, then under 
the next, and the next, and so on to the bottom, the whole prayer, 
which was sung as a sort of chant, occupying about ten minutes. 

Without undertaking to pass judgment on the purity of the prophet's 
motives, Catlin strongly asserts that his influence and example were 
good and had efl'ectually turned his people from vice and dissipation to 
temperance and industry, notwithstanding the debasing tendency of 
association with a frontier white population. 

The veteran missionary, Allis, also notes the use of this prayer stick 
as he observed it in 1834 among the Kickapoo, then living near Fort 
Leavenworth, in Kansas. The prophet's followers were accustomed to 
meet for worshij) on Sunday, when Kiinakuk delivered an exhortation 
in their own language, after which they formed in line and marched 
around several times in single file, reciting the chant from their prayer- 
sticks and shaking hands with the bystanders as they passed. As they 
departed they continued to chant until they arrived at the "father's 
house" or heaven, indicated by the figure of a horn at the top of the 
prayer-stick. The worshipers met also on Fridays and made confession 



[ETH. ANN. 14 

of their sins, after wliicli certain persons appointed for the purpose 
gave each penitent several strokes witli a rod of hickory, according to 
the gravity of his offense. (Allis, 1.) 

Tlirough the kindness of Jlr C. II. Bartlett, of Soiath Bend, Indiana, 
the United States National Museum has recently come into possession 

Fig. 62— Onsawkie. 

of one of these prayer-sticks. The stick, of which ])late Lxxxvi gives 
a good idea, is of maple, a little more than 12 inches in length, 2;^ 
inches in its greatest width, and three-eighths of an inch thick. It is 
said to have been painted a bright red on one side and a vivi<l green 
on the other. The paint has now disappeared, liowever, leaving bare 



I : » 



tlie svirface of the wood, i)olished from long use. One side is carved 
■with the symbolic figures already lueutioued, while the other is smooth, 
lu all its details it is a neat specimen of Indian workmanship. Accord- 
ing to the tradition of the Armstrong family, its former owners, the 
small square in the lower left-hand corner represents hell or the final 
abode of the wicked, while the house with the four pine (!) trees, at 
the top. symbolizes the spiritual home of the devout followers of the 
prophet. As is well known, four is the sacred number of many Indian 
tribes. The siguiflcance of several other lines above and below is 
unknown. Along the shaft of the stick from bottom to top are the 
prayer characters, arranged in three groups of five each, one group 
being near the bottom, while the others are along the upper portion of 
the shaft and are separated one from the other by a small circle. The 
characters bear some resemblance to the old black-letter type of a 
missal, while the peculiar arrangement is strongly suggestive of the 
Catholic rosary with its fifteen " mysteries " in three groups of five 
each. It will be remembered that the earliest and most constant mis- 
sionaries among the Kickapoo and other lake tribes were Catholic, and 
we may readily see that their teachings and ceremonies influenced this 
native religion, as was afterwai'd the case with the religions of Smo- 
balla and the Ghost dance. Neither three nor five are commonly known 
as sacred numbers among the Indians, while three is distinctly Chris- 
tian in its symbolism. It is perhaps superfluous to state that the ideas 
of heaven and hell are not aboriginal, but were among the first incor- 
porated from the teachings of the white missionaries. The characters 
resembling letters may be from the alphabetic system of sixteen char- 
acters which it is said the Ojibwa invented for recording their own 
language, and taught to the Kickapoo and Sauk, and which resembled 
somewhat the letters of the Eoman alphabet, from which they appar- 
ently were derived. {HamUfon, 1.) 

This prayer- stick or "bible," as it has been called, was obtained by 
Mr Bartlett from Mr II. V. Armstrong, of Mill Creek, Indiana, who 
stated that it was the only remaining one of a large number which had 
been in possession of the family for many years. The story of the 
manner in which it was originally obtained, as tuld by Mr Armstrong, 
is interesting. ''His father, Reverend James Armstrong, was a Meth- 
odist minister and missionary who had been sent to northern Indiana 
in the early part of this century. In 1830, while living on Shawnee 
prairie, 3 miles from the present site of Attica, Indiana, a large band 
of Kickapoo Indians came to his house to visit the missionary, and 
apparently regarded the interview as of great importance to them- 
selves. They declared that they were from beyond the Mississippi 
river, that they had heard of Mr Armstrong and his missionary labors, 
and that they believed him to be the one for whom their people had 
long been looking. Each Indian held in his hand one of these wooden 
crosses, and as they knelt on the grass in front of the missionary's 

700 THE GHOST-DANCE RELIGION [eth.ann. 14 

house, they went through their devotions in their own tongue, moving 
their fingers over the inscription that ascends the shaft of the cross. 
The missionary understood them to state that this cross was their 
" bible," that they knew that it was not the true bible, but that they 
had been told to use it until one should come who would give them in 
exchange the genuine word of God. Tliereupou the missionary gath- 
ered up their crosses — and there were more than a large basketful of 
them — and gave in exchange to each a copy of the New Testament. 
The Indians received the books with profuse exi)ressions of gratitude 
and apparently viewed them at once as sacred jjossessions. These 
wise men from the west then went away to their far country." 

Kilnakiik died of smallpox in 1852, in Kansas, where his people had 
been removed in spite of his eloquent appeals in their behalf. For 
many years he had been recognized as the chief of his tribe, and as 
such exerted a most beneficial influence over the Kickapoo in restrain- 
ing the introduction and use of li(juor among them. At the same time 
he stanchly upheld the old Indian idea and resisted every advance of 
the missionaries and civilization to the last. He was regarded as pos- 
sessed of supernatural powers, and in his last illness asserted that he 
would arise again three days after death. In expectation of the fulfill- 
ment ot the prophecy, a number of his followers remained watching 
near the corpse until they too contracted the contagion and died like- 
wise. (Gomr., 1.) After his death, the decline of his tribe was rapid 
and without check. In 1804 there remained only 514, about equally 
divided between Kansas and Oklahoma. These few survivors of a 
large tribe still hold in loving reverence the name of their chief and 


Recent personal investigation among the Winnebago failed to de- 
velop any knowledge of a former doctrine of an approaching destruc- 
tion of the world, as mentioned in a statement already quoted (see 
page 601 ). It appeared, however, that at the time indicated, about 1852 
or 1853, while the tribe was still living on Turkey river, Iowa, a prophet 
known as Pa'theske, or Long Nose, announced that he had been 
instructed in a vision to teach his iieople a new dance, which he called 
the friendship dance (chfi"korriki'). Tliis they were to perform at 
intervals for one whole year, at the end of which time, in the spring, 
they must take the warpath against their hereditary enemy, the 
Sioux, and would then reap a rich harvest of scalps. The dance, as 
he taught it to them, he claimed to have seen performed by a baud of. 
spirits in the other world, whither he had been taken after a ceremo- 
nial fast of several days' duration. It differed from their other dances, 
and, although warlike in its ultimate purpose, was not a war dance. 
It was performed by the men alone, circling around a fire within the 
lodge. He also designated a young man named Sara'miniika, or ■' Indis- 
tinct," as the proper one to lead the expedition at the appointed time. 


Tlie friendship dauce went on all through the summer and winter 
until spiino', when the prophet announced that he had received a new 
revelation forbidding the jjroposed expedition. His digusted followers 
at once denounced him as an impostor and abandoned the dance. 
Sara'miniika was soon afterward killed by an accident, which was con- 
sidered by the Indians a direct retribution for his failure to carry out 
his part of the program. The proi)het died a few years later while on 
a visit to Washington with a delegation of his tribe. 

Although the old men consulted on the subject seemed to know 
nothing of any predicted destruction of the world in this connection, 
it is probable that the statement given by Agent Fletcher at the time 
was correct, as such cycle myths are very general among the Indian 
and other primitive tribes. The Arapaho informed tlie author that 
we are now living in the sixth cycle, and that the final catastrophe will 
take Tjlace at the close of the seventh. 


About 1870 another prophet arose among the Paiute in Nevada. As 
most Indian movements are unknown to the whites at their inception, 
the date is variously put from 1809 to 1872. He is said to have been 
the father of the present "messiah," who has unquestionably derived 
many of his ideas from him, aiid lived, as does his son, in Mason val- 
ley, about CO miles south of ^'irginia City, not far from Walker Kiver 
reservation. In talking with his son, he said that his father's name 
was Tii'vibo or " White man,"- and that he was a capita (Spanish, cain- 
tan) or petty chief, but not a prophet or preacher, although he used 
to have visions and was invulnerable. From concurrent testiinonj' of 
Indians and white men, however, there seems to be no doubt that he 
did preach and prophesy and introduce a new religious dance among 
his people, and that the doctrine which he promulgated and the hopes 
which he held out twenty years ago were the foundation on which his 
son has built the structure of the present messiah religion. He was 
visited by Indians from Oregon and Idaho, and his teachings made 
their intluence felt among the Bannock and Shoshoni, as well as 
among all the scattered bands of the Paiute, to whom he continued to 
preach until his death a year or two later. {G. />., 1 and 2; A. G. 0., 1; 
Phister, 1.) 

Captain J. M. Lee, ISTinth infantry, formerly on the staff of General 
Miles, was on duty in that neighborhood at the time and gives the fol- 
lowing account of the prophet and his doctrines in a personal letter to 
the author: 

I was on Indian duty in Nevada in IHG'J, 1870, and 1871. When visiting Walker 
Lake reservation in 1869-70, I became acquainted with several sniierstitioas beliefs 
then prevailing among the Paiute Indians. It was a rough, mountainous region 
roundabout, and mysterious happenings, according to tradition, always occurred 
when the prophet or niedicine-nieu went np into the mountains and there received 
their revelations from the divine spirits. In the earlier jjartof the sixties the whites 


began to come in ami appropriate mucli oftlie Indiau country in Nevada, and in the 
usual course itturned out that tbe medic ue-men or proplicts 'tvere looked to for relief. 
The most influential went up alone into the mountain and there met the Great Spirit. 
He brought back with him no tablets of stone, but he was a messenger of good 
tidings to tbe etfect that within a few moons there was to be a great upheaval or 
earthquake. All the improvements of the whites — all their houses, their goods, 
stores, etc. — would remain, but the whites would ba swallowed up, while the Indians 
would be saved and permitted to enjoy the earth and all the fullness thereof, in- 
cluding anything left by the wicked whites. This revelation was duly proclaimed 
by tbe prophet, and attracted a few believers, but the doubting skeptics were too 
many, and they ridiculed tbe idea that the white men would fall into the holes and 
be swallowed up while the Indians would not. As the prophet could not enforce bis 
belief, he went up into the mountain again and came back with a second revelation, 
which was that when the great disaster came, all, both Indians and whites, would be 
swallowed up or overwhelmed, but that at the end of three days (or a few days) the 
Indians would be resurrected in the flesh, and would live forever to enjoy the earth, 
with plenty of game, tish, and pine nuts, while their enemies, the whites, would 
be destroyed forever. There would thus be a liual and eternal separation between 
Indians and whites. 

This revelation, which seemed more reasonable, was rather popular for awhile, 
but as time wore along faith seemed to weaken and the prophet was without honor 
even in his own country. After much fasting and prayer, be made a third trip to 
the mountain, where he secured a final revelation or message to the people. The 
divine spirit had become so much incensed at the lack of faith in the jirophecies, 
that it was revealed to his chosen one that those Indians who believed in the 
prophecy would be resurrected and be hapjiy, but those who did not believe in it 
would stay in the ground and be damned forever with the whites. 

It was not long after this that the j)rophet died, and the poor miserable Indians 
worried along for nearly two decades, eating grasshoppers, lizards, and fish, and 
trying to be civilized until the appearance of this new prophet Quoit-tsow, who is 
said to be the son, either actual or spiritual, of the first one. 

Additioual details are given in the following interesting extract 
from a letter addressed to the Comniis.sioner of Indian Affairs, tinder 
date of Xovember 19, 1890, by Mr Frank Campbell, who has an inti- 
mate acquaintance with the tribe and was employed in an official 
capacity on the re.servation at the time when Ta\ibo first announced 
the new revelation. It would ai»pear from 'Mv Campbell's statement 
that under the new dispensation both races were to meet on a common 
level, and, as this agrees with what Professor Thompson, referred to later 
on, afterward found among the eastern Paiute, it is probable that the 
original doctrine had been very considerably modified since its first 
promulgation a few years before. 

Eighteen years ago I was resident farmer on Walker Lake Indian reserve, Nevada. 
I had previously been connected with the Indian service at the reserve for ten years, 
was familiar with the Paiute customs, and personally acquainted with all tbe 
Indians in that region. In 1872 an Indian commenced preaching a new religion 
at that reserve that cansed a profound sensation among tbe Paiute. For several 
months I was kept in ignorance of the cause of the excitement — which was remark- 
able, considering the confidence they had always reposed in me. They no doubt 
expected me to ridicule the sayings of the new messiah, as I had always labored 
among them to break down their superstitious beliefs. When finally I was made 


aci]iiainte(l with the true facts of the case, I told them the preachin;;s of WauKh-zee- 
wau^h-ber were sjood and uo harm couUl come from it. Indian emissaries visited 
the reserve from Idalio, Oregon, and otlier places, to investijiJite the new relii^ion. 
I visited the Indian camp while the prophet was in a trance and remained until he 
came to. In accordance with instructions, the Indians gathered around him and 
joined in a sons; that was to guide the spirit hack to the body. Upon reanimatiou 
he gave a long account of his visit in the sjiirit to the (Supreme Ruler, who was then 
on the way with all tlie spirits of the departed dead to again reside upon this earth 
and change it into a paradise. Life was to be eternal, and no distinction was to 
exist between races. 

This morning's press dispatches contain an account of Porcupine's visit to Walker 
.lake . . . that proves to me that the religion started at Walker lake eighteen 
years ago is the same that is now agitating the Indian world. There is nothing iu 
it to cause trouble between whites and Indians unless the new Messiah is misquoted 
and his doctrine misccmstrued. I left Walker Lake reserve in ,Iune, 1873, and at the 
time supposed this craze would die out, but have several times since been reminded 
by Nevada papers and letters that it was gradually spreading. (G. D., 3.) 

The name given by Campbell certainly does not niucli resemble 
Tiivibo, but it is ([uite pos.sible that the fatlier, like the .son, liiid more 
than cue name. It is also possible that '• Wanghzeewanghber" was not 
the prophet described by Captain Lee, but one of his di.sciples who had 
taken up and modified the original doctrine. The name Tiivibo refers 
to the east (tavanaf/irat) or place where the sun (tdhi) rises. By the 
cognate Shoshoni and Comanche the whites are called Taivo. 

From oral information of Professor A. H. Thompson, of the United 
States Geological Survey, I learn some particitlars of the advent of the 
new doctrine among the Paiute of southwestern Utah. "While his 
liarty was engaged in that section in the spring of 1875, a great excite- 
nieiit was caused among the Indians by the report that two mysterious 
beings with white skins (it will be remembered that the father of Wovoka 
was named Tiivibo or "white man") had appeared among the Paiute 
far to the west and announced a speedy resurrection of all the dead 
Indians, the restoration of the game, and the return of the old-time 
primitive life. Under the new order of things, moreover, both races 
alike were to be white. A number of Indians from Utah went over 
into Xevada, where they met others who claimed to have seen these 
mysterious visitors farther in the west. On their return to Utah they 
brought back with them the ceremonial of the new belief, the chief 
part of the ritual being a dance performed at night in a circle, with no 
fire in the center, very much as in the modern Ghost dance. 

It is said that the Mormons, who hold the theory that the Indians are 
the descendants of the supposititious "ten lost tribes," cherish, as a part 
of their f;iith, the tradition that some of the Hebrew emigrants are 
still ice-bound in the frozen north, wheiice they will one day emerge to 
rejoin their brethren in the south. When the news of this Indian revela- 
tion came to their ears, the Mormon priests accepted it as a proi)hecy 
of speedy fulfillment of their own traditions, and Orson Pratt, one of 
the most prominent leaders, preached a sermon, which was extensively 
14 ETH — PT 2 5 


copied and commented on at the time, nrjiing tbe faitliful to ananoe 
tlieir affairs and pnt tlieir houses in order to receive tlie ]oni;-a\vaited 

According to the statement of the agent then in charge at Fort Hall, 
in Idaho, the Mormons at the same time — the early spring of 1875 — 
sent emissaries to the Bannock, urging them to go to Salt Lake City to 
be baptized into the Mormon religion. A large number accepted the 
invitation without the knowledge of the agent, went down to Ftah, and 
were there baptized, and then returned to work as missionaries of tlie 
new fnitli among their tribes. As an additionnl indu<'ement. free rations 
were furnished by the Mormons to iill w1io would come and be baptized, 
and "they were told that by being baptized and going to church the 
old men would all become young, the young men would never be sick, 
that the Lord had a work for them to do, and that they were the chosen 
people of God to establish his kingdom upon tlie earth," etc. It is also 
asserted that they were encouraged to resist the authority of the gov- 
ernment. {Comr., 2.) However much of truth there may be in these 
rei)orts, and we nuist make con.siderable allowance for local prejudice, 
it is sufficiently evident that the Mormons took an active interest iu 
the religious ferment then existing among the neighboring tribes and 
helped to give shape to the doctrine which crystallized some years later 
in the Ghost dance. 


Various other prophets of more or less local celebrity have arisen 
from time to time among the tribes, and the resurrection of the dead 
and the return of the olden things have usually figured inoniiuently 

in their prophecies. In fact, tliis idea 

• has probably been the day-dream of 

• cveiv Indian medicine-man since the 
^ « , whites lirst landed m America. Most 

• , • of these, however, have been unknown 

• • to fame outside of their own narrow 

**"•••• circles, except where chance or dclih- 

• crate purpose has given a warlike mean- 
• « , ing to their teachings and thus made 



them the subjects of official notice. 

Among these may be mentioned the 
Apache medicineman Nakai' dokli'ni, 

Fig. 63 — N:ik;ii'-d(ikrriji'M ilain-e-wlieel. , , , i . j_. /• 

who attracted some attention lor a time 
in southern Arizona in 1881. {l!ourlt\ 1.) In the early part of this 
year he began to advertise his supernatural ])owers, claiming to be 
able to raise the dead and commune with spirits, and predicting 
that the whites would soon be driven from the land. He taught his 
followers a new and peculiar dance, in whicli the performers were 
ranged like the spokes of a wheel, all facing inward, while he, stand- 


wg ill the center, sprinkled tlieiii with tlie sacred hothlentin^ as they 
circled around him. 

In June of 18S1 he announced to his people, tiie White Mountain 
band of Apache on San Carlos reservation, that on condition of receiv- 
ing a sufficient number of horses and blankets for his trouble he would 
bring back from the dead two chiefs who had been killed a few months 
before. The proposition naturally aroused great excitement among the 
Indians. Eager to have once more with them their beloved chiefs, they 
willingly produced the required ponies, and when remonstrated with by 
the agent, replied that they would wait until the specified time for the 
fulflllmoiit of the prediction, when, if the dead chiefs failed to materi- 
alize, they would demand the restoration of tlie property. (Comr., 3.) 

Accordingly Nakai' dokli'ni began his pi'ayers and ceremonies, and 
the dance was kept up regularly at his camp on Cibicu creek until 
August, when it was reported to Colonel I'L A. Carr, commanding at 
Fort Apache, that the medicine-man had announced that the dead 
chiefs refused to return because of the presence of the whites, but that 
when the wliites left, the dead would return, and that the whites would 
be out of the country when the corn was ripe. 

As matters seemed to be getting sericvns, the agent now called on the 
commanding officer to '• arrest or kill him, or both." The officer pre- 
pared to make the arrest Avhen jS^akai'-dokli'ni should come down to the 
post to lead the dance which had been arranged to take place in a 
few days. The pro])het failed to ])ut in an ai)pearance, however, and 
messengers were sent to his camp to ask him to come to the fort the 
next Sunday. To this message he returned an evasive reply, whereon 
Colonel Carr, with 85 white troops and 2.i Apache scouts, started for 
his camp in Cibicu canyon to put him under arrest. They arrived at the 
village on August 3(1. Nakai'-dokli'ni submitted quietly to arrest, but 
as the troops were making camp for the night, their own scouts, joined 
by others of the Indians, opened tire on them. A sharp skirmish 
ensued, in wliich several soldiers were killed or wountled, but the L- 
dians were repulsed with considerable loss, including the pro])het him- 
self, who was killed at the first fire. The result was another in the long 
series of Apache outbreaks. [Comr., 1; Sec. Wiir, 1; A. G. 0., ;?.) 


In 1S8.3 a new religion was introduced among the Pofawatomi and 
Kickapoo, of the Pottawotomie and Great 2^emaha agency in north- 

' Hadii-tin or huddentin, in Navaho tadatin, is a sacred yellow powder from the pollen of the tvxle 
rush, or, amouj; the Navaho. of corn. It enters into every important ceremonial performance of the 
Ajiaclie and Navalio. The latter alwaj-s sprinkle some upon tlie surface of the water before crossing a 
stream. The name of the medicine-man is \\rilten also Naka.v-doklmmi or Xockay Delklinne, and he 
was commonly called Bobhydoklinny hy the w hites. Dr Washington Matthews, the best .authority 
on the closely related dialect of the Xavaho, thinks the name might mean "allotted or freckled Mexi- 
can." Xakai, literally "white alien,'' being the name for Mexican in both dialects. Tlie name would 
Dot necessaril.v indicate that the medicine-raan was of Mexican origin, hut might have been given, in 
accordance with the custom of some tribes, to commemorate the fact tliat he had killed a freckled 


eastern Kansas, by visiting Potawatomi, Winnebago, and Ojibwa from 
Wisconsin. As iisnal, tbe ritnal part consists chiefly of a ceremonial 
dance. In doctrine it teaches tlie same code of morality enjoined 
by the ten commandments, and especially prohibits liquor drinkinji, 
gambling, and horse racing, for which reason the agents generally have 
not seen lit to interfere with it, and in some cases have rather encour- 
aged it as a civilizing influence among that portion of the tribes not 
yet enrolled in Christian denominations. The movement is entirely 
distinct from the Ghost dance, and may perhaps be a revival of the 
system preached by Kiinaki'ik more than fifty years before. In 1891 
the majority of the two tribes, numbering in all 749, were rejiorted as 
adherents of the doctrine. [Comr., .5, 6, 7; also reports from the same 
agency for IssT' and 1S89.) A large number of the Sauk and Fox. Kick- 
apoo, and Potawatomi of Oklahoma are also believers in the religion. 
In 1885 Agent Patrick says on this subject: 

These ludiiius nie chaste, cleanly, aud iudustrious, and would he a valuable 
acquisitiou to the Prairie baud if it vrere not for their intense devotion to a religious 
dance started among the northern Indians some years since. This dance was intro- 
duced to the Prairie baud about two years ago by the Absentee Pottawatomies aud 
■\Viunebagoe8, aud has spread throughout the tribes in the agency. They seem to 
have adopted the religion as a means of expressing their belief in the justice aud 
mercy of the Great Spirit and of their devotion to hiui, and are so earnest in their 
convictions as to its affording them eternal happiness that I have thought it impoli- 
tic so far to interfere with it any further than to advise as few meetings as possible 
and to discountenance it in ray intercourse with the individuals practicing tlie 
religion. It is not an unmixed evil, as under its teaching drunkenness and gambling 
have been reduced 75 per cent, and a departure from virtue on the part of its mem- 
bers meets with the severest condemnation. As some tenets of revealed religion are 
embraced in its doctrines, I do not consider it a backward step for the Indians who 
have not heretofore professed belief in any Christian religion, and believe its worst 
features are summed up in the loss of time it occasions and the fanatical train of 
thought involved in the constant contemplation of the subject. (Comr., G.) 


It is probable that something of the messiah idea entered into the 
promises held out to his followers by Sword-bearer, a Crow medicine- 
man, in Montana in 1887. The official records are silent on this point, 
although it is definitely stated that he asserted his own invulnerability, 
and that his claims in this respect were implicitly believed by his 
people. Cheez-tah-paezh, literally " Wraps his tail'' (also written Chees- 
chapahdisch, Cheschopah, Chese cha-pahdish, and Chese-Topah), was 
without any special prominence in his tribe until the summer of 1887, 
when, in company with several other young men of the Crows, he par- 
ticipated in the sun dance of the Cheyenne, and showed such fortitude 
in enduring the dreadful torture that he was presented by the Cheyenne 
with a medicine saber painted red, in virtue of which he took the title 
of Sword bearer. Tliis naturally brought him into notice at home, aud 
he soon aspired to become a chief and medicineman. Among other 
things, he asserted that no bullet or weapon had power to harm him. 


Wliat other olainis lie made are not known, but liis words produced 
such an impression, it is sai<l, that for a time every full-blood and half- 
blood among the Crows believed in him. 

In a few mouths Ije had become one of the most influential leaders in 
the tribe, when, taking advantage of some dissatisfaction toward the 
agent, he headed a demonstration against the agency on September 30. 
Troops under General Ruger were called on to arrest bim and the others 
concerned, and in attempting to do this, on November 5, 1887, a skir- 
mish eusued in whicli Sword-bearer was killed. His death convinced 
his followers of the falsehood of his pretensions, and the tribe, which 
hitherto had always been loyal to the goverunieut, soon resumed its 
friendly attitude. {Sec. W(tr, :?: A. G. O., 3; additioiutl details fram a 
personal letter hy Colonel Simon Snyder, Fifteenth infantry.) 

The action is graphically described by lioosevelt ou tlie authority of 
one of the officers engaged. When the troops arrived, they found the 
Crow warriors awaiting them ou a hill, mounted on their war ponies 
and in full paint and buckskin. lu this author's words — 

The Crows on the liilltop .showed .a sullen and threatening front, and the troops 
advanced slowly toward them, and then halted for a parley. Meanwhile a mass of 
black thnnder clouds gathering on the horizon threatened one of those cloudbursts 
of extreme severity and suddenness so characteristic of the plains country- While 
still trying to make arrangements for a jiarley, a horseman started out of the Crow 
ranks and gallo])ed headlong down toward the troops. It was the medicine chief 
.Sword-bearer. He was painted and in his battle dress, wearing his war bonnet of 
floating, tr.ailing e.agle feathers, and with the plumes of the same bird braided in the 
mane and tail of his fiery little horse. On he came at a gallop almost up to the 
troops, and then began to circle around them, calling .and singing, and throwing his 
red sword into the air, catching it by the hilt as it fell. Twice he rode comjiletely 
around the troops, who stood in uncertainty, not knowing what to make of his per- 
formance, and expressly forbidden to shoot at him. Then, paying no further heed 
to them, he rode liack toward the Crows. It appears that he had told the latter 
that he would ride twice around the hostile force, and by his incantations would 
call down rain from heaven, which would make the hearts of the white men like 
water, so that they would go back to their homes. Sure enough, while the arrange- 
ments for the jiarley were still going forward, down came the cloudburst, drenching 
the command, and making the ground on the hills in front nearly Impassable: and 
before it dried a courier arrived with orders to the troops to go back to camp. 

This fulfillment of Sword-bearer's prophecy of course raised liis reputation to the 
zenith, and the young men of the tribe prepared for war, while the older chiefs, who 
more fully realized the power of the whites, still hung back. When the troops next 
appeared, they came upon the entire Crow force, the women .and children with their 
tepees being off to one side beyond a little stream, while almost all the warriors of 
the tribe were gathered in front. Sword-bearer started to repeat his former ride, to 
the intense irritation of the soldiers. Luckily, however, this time someof his young 
men could not be restrained. They, too, began to ride near the troops, .and one of 
them was unable to refrain from firing on Captain Edwards's troop, which was 
in the van. This gave the soldiers their chance. They instantly responded with 
a volley, and Edwards's troop charged. The fight lasted only a minute or two, for 
Sword-bearer was struck by a bullet and fell; and as he had boasted himself 
invulnerable and promised that his Avarriors should be invulnerable also if they 
would follow him. the hearts of the latter became as water, and they broke in every 
direction. (Roosevelt, 1.) 

Chapter VI 


I li.ave only one lieart. Althougli yon say, Go to another oonntry, my lifart is not 
that way. I do not want money for my laud. I am liere, and here is where I am 
jl'oing to be. I will not part with lands, and if yon come again I will say tlie same 
thing. I will i\ot part with my lands. — I'malillu chief. 

We have never made any trade. The earth is part of my hody, and I never gave 
«ip the earth. 80 long as the earth keeps me I want to ho let alone. — ToohiiJIiuhote. 

Their only troubles from the attempts of white men to encroacli upon the 
reservations.' I verily believe that were the suow-crowui'd summits of Mount 
Kainier set apart as aii Indian reservation, white men would iunuediately eommeuee 
jumpiug theui, — Siqxrintendent Hoas. 

About tlie time tluit the Painte wen^ pieparing for the millennial 
dawn, ^ve beiiin to hear of a "dreamer jirophef on the Columbia, called 
Smohalla, \vlio was becoming a thorn in of the Indian agents 
in that quarter, and was reported to be organizing among the Indians a 
new religion whicli taught the destn;etion of the whites and resistance 
to the government, and made moral virtues of all the crimes in the 
catalog. One agent, in disregard of grammar if not of veracity, 
gravely reported that "the main object is to allow a i)lurality of 
wives, immunity from punislimeut for lawbreaking, and allowance 
of all the vices — especially drinking and gambling — are chief virtues 
in the believers of this religion." [Comr., S.) 

Tliis was bad enough, but worse was behind it. It appeared that 
Sniohallai and his followers, nund>ering perhaps about 2, 0(H) ln<lians of 
various tribes along the Columbia in eastern Washington and Oregon, 
had never made treaties giving up any of their lands, and consecpiently 
chiinied the right to take salmon in the streams and dig kamas in the 
prairies of their ancestral country undisturbed and unmolested, and 
stoutly objected to going on any of the neighboring reservations at 
Yakima, Umatilla, or Warmspring. There is no doubt that justice 
and common sense Avere on the side of the Indians, for by the reiiorts 
of the agents themselves it is shown that the dwellers on the reserva- 
tions were generally neglected, j)oor, and miserable, and subjected to 
constant encroachments by the whites in spite of treaties and treaty 
lines, while at the same time that agents and superiutendents were 
invoking the aid of the military to compel Smohalla's followers to go 
on a reservation these .same men were moving heaven and earth to 
force the Indians already on a reservation to give np their treaty rights 
and remove to another and less valuable location — to begin lil'e anew 



nuclei- the fostering care of the goyerniuent until such time as the 
white man should want them to move on again. 

These matters are treated at length in the annual reports of the 
Connuissioner of Indian Affairs, with the accompanying reports of 
superintendents and agents iu charge of the reservations concerned, 
from 1870 to 1875. With regard to the Umatilla reservation, to which 
most strenuous efforts Mere made to remove the "renegades," as they 
were called. Agent Boyle reports in 1.S70 ( Co-mr., 0) that the Indians are 
"dispirited . . . in consequence of the oft-repeated theme that their 
farms are to be taken from them and given to the white settlers." He 
continues, "It is hardly to be expected that tJie Indians can retain 
this reservation much longer unless the strong arm of the government 
protects them. Daily 1 am called npon to notify the white settlers 
that they are encroaching upon the Indian lands." He advises their 
removal to a x)ermauent reservation, "knowing as I do that they must 
go sooner or later." Again, "The agency has been established for the 
space of ten years, and I regret exceedingly that I have been most 
completely disappointed with what I see about me." In discussing 
the removal of the Indians to a new reservation, Superintendent 
Meacham says of a considerable portion of them that it "would suit 
them better to be turned loose to look out i'ov themselves." [Comr.. lo.) 

In 1373 Agent Cornoyer reported that the Indians numbered 837, 
by the census of 1870, which he believes was as correct as could then 
be taken, but "this number I think is now too high." He continues: 

Of the appropriation of $4,000 per annum for lieuelicial objects, not one single 
dollar of that fund has been turned over to me since September, 1871 ; and of the 
appropriation for incidental expenses of $40,000 per annum for the Indian service in 
tliis state, only $200 of that appropriation has been turned over to me during the 
same period of two years. ... I woubl also beg leave to call your attention to 
that portion of my last annual report wherein I c;illed the attention of the Dejiart- 
uient to the unfuUilled stipulations of the treaty of ,Iune 9, 1855, with tliese ludians. 
{Comr., 11.) 

Commissioner Brunot, in 1871, stated that the estimated number of 
Indians coming under the provisions of the treaty at the time it was 
made in 185.5 was 3,500, and "by the census taken in 1870 the number 
was l.(5-!2" — a decrease of nearly one-half iu fifteen years. Of these 
only about half were on the reservation, the rest being on Columbia 
river, "never having partaken of the benefits of the treaty." On the 
next page he tells us what some of these benefits are: "Maladminis- 
tration of agents, and the misapplication of funds, the failuie of the 
government to perform the ])romiscs of the treaty, and the fact that 
the Indians have been constantly agitated by assertions that the gov- 
ernment intended their removal, and that their removal was urged for 
several years in succession in the reports of a former agent, thus tak- 
ing away from them all incentives to iaiprove their lands." {Comr., 1:J.) 

In 1871 a commission was sent to Umatilla and other reservations, 
which gave the Indians a chance to si)eak for themselves. The Cayuse 


cbief, described as a Catholic Indian, in dress, personal appearance, 
and bearing superior to the average Ainericau farmer, said: 

This reservation is niiirked out for us. We see it with our eyes and our hearts. 
We .all hold it with our bodies and our souls. Right out here are my father and 
mother, and brothers and sislers and children, all buried. I am guarding their 
graves. My friend, this reservation, this small piece of land, we loolc upon it as 
our mother, as if she were raising ns. You come to ask me for my land. It is like 
as if we who are Indians were to be sent away and get lost. . . . What is the 
reason you white men who live uear the reservation like my laud and want to 
get it? You must not think so. My friends, you must not talk too strong :ibout 
getting my land. I like my land and will not let it go. 

The Wallawalla chief said: 

I have tied all the reservation in my heart and it c;ni not be looseut'd. It is dear 
as our bodies to us. 

The Umatilla chief said: 

Our reil people were brought up here. . . . When my father and mother died, 
I was left here. They gave mo rules and gave me their laud to live upon. They left 
me to take care of them after they were burieil. I was to watch over their graves. 
I do not wish to part with my land. I have felt tired working on my laud, so tired 
that the sweat dropped off me on the groiind. Where is all that Governor Stevens 
or General Palmer said [i. c, that it was to be a, reservation for the Indians forever] f 
I am very fond of this land that is marked out for me. . . . Should I take only 
a small piece of ground and a white man sit down beside me, I fear there would be 
trouble all the time. 

An old mau said: 

I am getting old now, and I want to die where my father and mother and children 
have died. I do not wish to leave this land and go oif to some other land. . . . 
I see where I have sweat and worked in trying to get food. I love my church, my 
mills, my farm, the graves of my parents and children. I do not wish to leave 
my land. That is all my heart, and I show it to you. 

A young chief said: 

I have only one heart, one tongue. Although you say, (io to another country, my 
heart is not that way. I do not wish for any money for my land. I am here, and 
here is where I am going to be. ... I will not part with lands, and if you come 
again I will say the same thing. I will not part with my lands. 

The commissioner who was conducting the negotiations, after enu- 
merating the i)romises made to the Indians in return for the lands which 
they had surrendered under the original treaty of 1855, tells how some 
of these promises have been fulfilled: 

. . . A miserably iuadetiuate supply of worn-out agricultural implements. A 
group of eight or ten dilapidated shanties used for the agency buildings. The 
physician promised has never resided upon the reservation, but lives and practices 
his profession at Pendleton. The hospital promised (fifteen years ago) has not yet 
been erected. 

Of their ever-living grievance Colonel Ross, superintendent of the 
Washington agencies, says: 

Their only troubles arise from the attempts of white men to encroach upon the reser- 
vations. A mania prevails among a certain class of citizens in this direction. I verily 


believe that were the snow -crowueJ suiiiiiiits dl'Monnt Raiuier set apart as an Indian 
reservati"!!. whit* men wonlil immediately commence. jiimjiing tbem. (Comr., 14.) 


We lirst hear offlcially of Siuolialla and Ids peopie from A. B. 
Meacbam, superinteudent of Indian affairs in Oregon, wlio states, iu 
September, 1S70. tliat — 

. . . One serious drawback [to the adoption of the white man's road] is the 
existence among the Indians of Oregon of a peculiar religion called Smokeller or 
Dreamers, the chief doctrine of which is that the red man is again to rule the coun- 
try, and this sometimes leads to rebellion against lawful authority. 

A few pages farther on we learn tiie nature of this rebellion: 

The nest largest baud (not on a reservation) is Smokeller's, at Priest rapids, 
Washington territory. They also refused to obey my order to come in, made to them 
during the month of February last, of which full report was made. I would also 
recommend that they be removed to Umatilla by the military. {Comr., l.j.) 

Three months before this report Congress had passed a bill appoint- 
ing commissioners to negotiate with the tribes of Tmatilla reservation 
"to ascertain upon what terms they would be willing to .sell their lands 
and remove elsewhere," and Meacham himself was the principal member 
of this commission. ( Comr., 15.) 

In 1S72 Smohalla"s followers along the Columbia were reported to 
number 2.000, and his apostles were represented as constantly traveling 
from one reservation to aiiotlier to win over new converts to his teach- 
ings. Eepeated efforts had been made to induce them to go on the 
reservations in eastern Oregon and Washington. Init without success. 
We are told now that — 

They have a new and peculiar religion, by the doctrines of which they are taught 
that a new god is coming to their rescue: that all the Indians who have died hereto- 
fore, and who shall die hereafter, are to be resurrected; that as they will then be 
very numerous and powerful, they will be able to conquer the whites, recover their 
lands, and live as free and unrestrained as their fathers lived iu olden times. Their 
model of a man is an Indian. They aspire to be Indians and nothing else. . . . 
It is thought by those who know them best that they can not be made to go upon 
their reservations without at least being iutiraidated by the presence of a military 
force. (Comr., 17.) 

We hear but little more of Smohalla and his doctrines for several 
years, until attention was again attracted to Indian affairs iu the north, 
west bj'the growing dissatisfaction which culminated in the Xez Perce 
war of 1877. The Xez Perces, especially those who acknowledged the 
leadership of Chief Joseph, were largely under the iutiuence of the 
Dreamer prophets, and there was reason to believe that an uprising 
inaugurated by so prominent a tribe would involve all the smaller tribes 
in sympathy with the general Indian belief. ^A.s soon therefore as it 
became evident that matters were approaching a crisis, a commis.sion, of 
which General O. O. Howard was chief, was appointed to make some 
peaceable arrangement with the so-called '-renegades'' on the upper 
Columbia. The commissioners met Smohalla and his principal men 


at Wiillula, Wasliingtou territory, on April 23, 1S77, and as a result of 
the conncil then held these non-treaty tribes, although insisting as 
strongly as ever on their right to live undisturbed in their own coun- 
try, yet refrained from taking part in the war which broke *>ut a few 
weeks later. 

It is foreign to our purpose to recount the history of the Nez Perc^ 
war of 1877. As is generally the case with Indian wars, it originated 
in the unauthorized intrusion of lawless whites on lands wliich the 
Indians claimed as theirs by virtue of occupancy from time immemorial. 
The Nez Perces, whom all authorities agree in representing as a supe- 
rior tribe of Indians, originally inhabited the valleys of Clearwater and 
Salmon rivers in Idaho, with the countiy extending west of Snake 
river into Washington and Oregon as far as the Blue mountains. They 
are fiist officially noticed in the report of the Indian Commissioner for 
1843, wliere they are described as "Jioble, industrious, sensible," and 
well disposed toward the whites, while " though brave as GiBsar, the 
whites have nothing to dread at their hands in case of their dealing out 
to them what they conceive to be right and equitable." (Coiur., 18.) 
It being deemed advisable to bring them into more direct relations 
with the United States, the agent who made the report called the 
chiefs together in this year and "assured them of the kind intentions of 
our government, and of the sad consequences that would ensue to any 
white man, from this time, who should invade their rights." (Gonir., 19.) 
On the strength of these fair promises a portion of the tribe, in 1855, 
entered into a treaty by which they ceded a large part of their terri- 
tory, and were guaranteed possession of the rest. In 1800, however, 
gold was discovered in the country, and the usual result followed. " In 
dedance of law, and despite the jjrotestations of the Indian a.^eut, a 
townsite was laid off in October, 1801, on the reservation, and Lewis- 
ton, with a population of 1,200, sprung into existence." ( Comr., 30.) A 
new treaty was then made in 18G.'>, by which the intruders were secured 
in ])()Ssession of what they had thus seized, and the Nez Perces were 
restricted within much narrower limits. By this treaty the Wallowa 
valley, in northeastern Oregon, the ancestral home of that ]iart of the 
tribe under the leadership of Cliief Jose])h, was taken from the Indians. 
This portion of the tribe, however, had refused to have part in the 
negotiations, ami "Chief Josej)h and his band, utterly ignoring the 
treaty of 1863, continued to claim the Wallowa valley, where he was 
tacitly permitted to roam without restraint, until the encroacliments 
of white settlers induced the government to take some definite action 
respecting this band of non-treaty Nez Perces." (Comr., 31.) At this 
time the tribe numbered about 2,800, of whom about .500 acknowledged 
Joseph as their chief. 

Collisions between the whites aiid Indians in the valley became more 
frequent, and one of Joseph's band had been killed, when a commission 
was appointed in 1870 to induce the Indians to give uj) the Wallowa 
valley and remove to Lapwai reservation in Idaho. Josepli still refus- 





iug to remove, the matter was turned over to General Howard. On 
May ■'{, 1877, be lield tbe first council with Joseph and his followers at 
Fort Lapwai. Their ceremonial approach, which was probably in accord 
with the ritual teachings of the Dreamer religion, is thus described by 
the general: 

A long rank iif men, followed Ijy women ami cUildren, with faces painted, the red 
paint extending back into the partings of the hair — the men's hair braided and tied 
np -n-ith showy strings — ornamented in dress, in luits, in blankets -with variegated 
colors, in leggings of buckskin and moccasins headed and plain ; women with bright 
shawls or l)lankets, and skirts to the ankle and top moccasins. All were mounted on 
Indian ponies as various in color as the dress of the riders. The-e picturesque people, 
after keeping ns waiting long enough for effect, came in sight from up the valley from 
the direction of their temporary camp just above the eomjiany gardens. They drew 
near to the hollow snuare of the post ami in front of the small company to bo inter- 
viewed. Then they struck np their song. They were not armed except with a few 
tomahawk pipes that could be smoked with the peaceful tobacco or i>enetrate the 
skull boue of an enemy, at the will of the holder. Yet somehow this wild sound 
produced a strange effect. It made one feel glad that there were hut fifty of them, 
and not five hundred. It was shrill and searching ; sad, like a wail, and yet defiant 
in its close. The Indians swept around outside the leui-e and made the entire circuit, 
still keeping up the song as they rode. The buildings broke the refrain into irreg- 
ular bnliblings of sound until the ceremony was completed. (Howard, 1.) 

At this conference Toohulhulsote, the principal Dreamer priest of 
Joseph's band, acted as spokesman for the Indians, and insisted, accord- 
ing to the Smohalla doctrine, that the earth was his mother, that she 
should not be disturbed by Iioe or plow, that men should subsist by 
the spontaneous productions of nature, aud that the sovereignty of the 
earth could not be sold or given away. Continuing, he asserted, " We 
never have icade any trade. Part of the Indians gave up their land. 
I never did. The earth is part of my body, and I never gave up the 
earth. So long as the earth keeps me I want to be left alone." (ien- 
eral Howard finally ordered him under arrest, after which the Indians 
at last agreed to go on a reservation by June 14. (Howard^ 3.) A lew 
days later, councils were held with Smohalla and his people, and with 
Moses, another noted ''renegade'' chief witli a considerable following 
farther up the Columbia. Both chiefs, representing at least ■)()() war- 
riors, disclaimed anj' hostile intentions and agreed to go on reservations. 
Smohalla said, "Your law is my law. I say to you, yes. I will be on 
a reservation by September." [Howard, 3.) Parties under Joseph and 
other leading chiefs then went out to select suitable locations iov reser- 
vations, Joseph aud his band deciding in favor of Lapwai valley. Every- 
thing was moving smoothly toward a speedy and peaceful settlement 
of all difficulties, and the commission had already reported the success- 
ful accomplishment of the work, when a single act of lawless violence 
undid the labor of weeks and precipitated a bloody war. (Vonir., :i;J.) 

One of Joseph's band had been nuirdered by whites some time before, 
but the Indians had remained quiet. ( Comr:, 33.) Now, while the Nez 
Perces were gathering np their stock to remove to the reservation 
selected, a band of white robbers attacked them, ran off the cattle, and 

714 THE GHOST-DANCE RELIGION [eth. ann. 14 

killed one of tlie party iu charge. Joseph could no longer restrain his 
warriors, and on June 13, 1877 — one day before the date that had been 
ai)pointed for going on the reservation — the enraged Nez Perces 
attacked the neighboring settlement on White Bird creek, Idaho, and 
killed 21 persons.' The war was begun. The troops under Howard 
were ordered out. The first fight occurred on .Tune 17 at Hangman's 
creek and resulted iu the loss of 34 soldiers. Then came another on 
July 4 with a loss of 13 more. Theu on July 12 another encounter by 
troops under General Howard himself, iu which 11 soldiers were killed 
and 26 wounded. [Comr., 21.) 

Then began one of the most remarkable exhibitions of generalship in 
the history of our Indian wars, a retreat worthy to be remembered 
with that of the storied ten thousand. With hardly a hundred war- 
riors, and impeded by more than 3.">() helpless women and children — with 
General Howard behind, with Colonel (General) Miles iu front, and 
with Colonel Sturgis and the Crow scouts coming down upon his flank — 
Chief Joseph led his little band up the Clearwater and across the moun- 
tains into Montana, turning at Big Hole pass long enough to beat back 
his pursuers with a loss of 60 men; then on by devious mountain trails 
southeast into Yellowstone park, where he again turned on Howard 
and drove him back with additional loss of men and horses; then out 
of Wyoming and north into Montana again, hoping to find safety on 
Canadian soil, until intercepted in the neighborhood of the Yellowstone 
by Colonel Sturgis in front with fresh troops and a detachment of Crow 
scouts, with whom they sustained two more encounters, this time with 
heavy loss of men and horses to themselves; then again eluding their 
pursuers, this handful of starving and worn-out warriors, now reduced 
to scarcely fifty able men, carrying their wounded and their helpless 
families, crossed the Missouri and entered the Bearpaw mountains. 
But new enemies were on their trail, and at last, when within 50 nules 
of the land of refuge. Miles, with a fresh army, cut off their retreat by a 
decisive blow, capturing more than half their horses, killing a number 
of the band, including Joseph's brother and the noted chief Looking 
Glass, and wounding 40 others. (Gomr., 2:'i.) 

Forced either to surrender or to abandon the helpless wounded, tlie 
women, and children, Joseph chose to surrender to Colonel Miles, ou 
October 5. 1877, after a masterly retreat of more than a thousand miles. 
He claimed that this was '' a conditional surrender, with a distinct 
promise that he should go back to Idaho in the spring." {Comr., 3C>.) 
The statement of General Howard's aid-de-camp is explicit on this 

It was promised .loseph that he Tvouldbe takeu to Tongue river aud kept there till 
spring, and then he returned to Idaho. General Sheridan, ignoring the promises made 

^ The details of the .itt<ick on the cattle guards is given by Helen Hunt .Tackson (Onttiry of Dis- 
honor, page 131). The Indian Commisaiouer, in his othcial rejjort, says: "Oihti lioslilities liy tliese 
Indians began by the murder of 21 white men and woinen on White I'.ird creek, near Mount Idalio, in 
revenge for the murder of one of their tribe." (Comr. Kept., 1877, page 12.) 


ou the Iiattleticld, ostensibly ou account of tlio (lifflculty of getting supplies there 
from Fort Bnforil, ordereil the hostiles to Leavenworth, . . . hut different treat- 
ment was jiromised them when they held ritles in their hands. ( Sniherland, !.) 

Seven j-ears passed before the promise was kept, and in the mean- 
time the band bad been reduced by disease and death in Indian Terri- 
tory from about 450 to about -80. 

This strong testimony to tlie liigli character of Joseph and his people 
and tlie justice of their cause comes from tlie commissioner at the head 
of Indian affairs during and immediately after the outbreak: 

I traveled with him in Kansas and the Indian Territory for nearly a week and found 
him tt) be one of the most uentleuiauly and well-behaved Indians that I ever met. He 
is bright and intelligent, and is ,'iuxions for the welfare of his people. . . . The 
Nez Perces are very much superior to the Osages and Pawnees in the Indian Territory ; 
they are even brighter than the Poncas, and care should be taken to jilace them where 
they will thrive. ... It will be borne in mind that Joseph has never made a 
treaty with the United States, and that he has never surrendered to the government 
the lands he claimed to own in Idaho. ... I had occasion in my last annual 
report to say that ".Toseph and his followers have shown themselves to be brave men 
and skilled soldiers, who, with one exception, have observed the rules of civilized 
warfare, and have not mutihited their dead enemies." These Indians were encroached 
upon by white settlers ou soil they believed to be their own, and when these encroach- 
ments became intolerable they were compelled, in their own estimation, to take up 
arms. {Conir., J7a.) 

In all our sad Indian history there is nothing to exceed in i)athetic 
eloquence the surrender speech of the Xez Perce chief: 

I am tired of fighting. Our chiefs are killed. Looking Glass is dead. Toohul- 
hulsote is dead. The old men are all dead. It is the young men who say yes or no. 
He who led the young men is dead. It is cold aud we have no blankets. The little 
children are freezing to death. My people, some of them, have run ,n way to the hills 
and have no blankets, no food. No one know'S where they are — perhaps freezing to 
death. I want to have time to look for my children aud see how many of them I 
can find. Maybe I shall find them among the dead. Hear me, my chiefs. I am 
tired. My heart is sick aud sad. From where the sun now stands I will fight no 
more forever. {Sec. ll'ai', S.) 

Chapter YII 

My youn^' men shall never work. Men who work can not drrani, and wisdom 
conios to ns in drcani.s. . . . You ask me to ]dow the fjrounil. Shall I take a knife 
and tear my mother's bosom? You ask me to dij:; for stone. Shall I dii; under her 
skin for her boues? You ask me to cut gras.s and make hay and sell it and be rich 
like white men. But how dare I cut ott' my mother's hair? — Smuhnlla. 

We hear little of Smohalla for several years after the Nez Perce war 
until the opening of the Northern Pacific lailroart in 1S83 once more 
brought to a focus the land grievances of the Indians in that section. 
Along Yakima valley the railroad "was located through Indian fields 
and orchards, with little respect for individual rights," while the host 
of prospective settlers who at once swarmed into the countiy showed 
the usual white man's consideration for the native proprietors. Some 
of the Indians, breaking away from their old traditions in oriler to 
obtain permanent homes before everything should be taken up by the 
whites, had gone out and selected homesteads under the law, and 
the agent was now using the Indian police to compel them to return to 
the reservation, "and the singular anomaly was presented of the United 
States Indian agent on the one hand a])i)lying for troops to drive the 
Indians from their homestead settlements to the reservation a hundred 
miles away, and on the other the Indians telegraphing to the military 
authorities to send troops to protect them from the Indian police." 
(MacMurray MS.) In addition to their land troubles the Yakima and 
their confederated tribes, among whom were many iirogressive and even 
prosperous Indians, were restive under constant interference with their 
religious (Smohalla) ceremonies, to which a large proportion adhered. 

In order to learn the nature of the dissatisfaction of the Indians, and 
if possible to remove the cause. General Miles, then commanding the 
military department of the Columbia, sent Major J. W. MacMurray to 
the scene of the disturbance in .lune, 1S84. He sjicnt aboitt a ye:ir in 
the work, visiting the various villages of the upper Columbia, especially 
P nil at Priest rapids, where he met Smohalla, the high priest of the 
Dreamer theology, and his report on the subject is invaluable. 

Smohalla is the chief of the Wa'naiium, a small tribe in Washington, 
numbering probably less than 200 souls, commoidy known rather indefi- 
nitely as "Columbia Piver Indians," and roaming along both banks of 
the Columbia from the Tieighborhood of Priest rapids down to the 
entrance of Snake river. They are of Sliaha))tian stock and closely 
akin to the Yakima and Nez Perc('s, and have never made a treaty with 








the goveniuieut. Among his own people and his diseiples iu the neigh- 
boring' tribes he is known as Shmiiqula, "The Treacher." ' He is also 
fre(iiiently called Yu'ynnipi'tfiaaa, ''The Shouting Mountain,"' fVoin a 
belief among his followers that a part of his revelation came to him 
from a mountain which became instinct with life and spoke into his 
soul while he lay dreaming upon it. Still another name by which he is 
sometimes known is Waip-shwa, or " llock Carrier,'' the reason for which 
does not api)ear. The name which belonged to him iu youth, before 
assuming his priestly function, is now forgotten. For more than forty 
years he has resided at the Wanapum village of P'nii on the west bank 
of the Columbia, at the foot of Priest rapids, in what is now Yakima 
county, Washington. The nameP nil signities "a fish weir,'' this point 
being a great rendezvous for the neighboring tribes during the salmon- 
fishing season. These fre(iucnt gatherings afford abundant opportunity 
for the teaching and dissemination of his peculiar doctrines, as is suffi- 
ciently evident from the fact that, while his own tribe numbers hardly 
two score families, his disciples along the river are counted by thousands. 

Smohalla was born about 1S15 or 1820, and is consequently now 
an old nuui, although still well preserved, and with his few scattering 
locks unchanged in color. At the time of theNez Perc(5 war he was in 
the full vigor of manhood. His appearance in 1884 is thus described by 
Major MacMurray: "In person Smohalla is peculiar. Short, thickset, 
bald-headed and .almost hunch-backed, he is not prepossessing at first 
sight, but he has an almost Websterian head, with a deep brow over 
bright, intelligent eyes. He is a finished orator. His manner is mostly 
of tlie bland, insinuating, persuasive style, but when aroused he is 
full of fire and seems to handle invectives effectively. His audience 
seemed spellbound under his magic manner, and it never lost interest 
to me, though he spoke iu a language comprehended by few white men 
and translated to me at second or third hand." By aiiother writer who 
met him a year later he is described as rather undersized and inclining 
toward obesitj', with " a reserved and cunning but not ill natured coun- 
tenance, and a large, well-shaped head. His manners were more su;ive 
and insinuating than is usual with Indians." He had a comfortable 
appearance, his moccasins and leggins were new, and he rode a good 
pinto pony. {Ruggins, 1.) 

In his youth he had frequenteil the Catholic mission of Atahnam 
among the Yakima, where he became familiar with the forms of that 
service and also acquired a slight knowledge of French. Whether or 
not he was a regular member of the mission school is a disputed point, 
as it is asserted by some that he has never worn the white man's dress 

'Bureau of Etiinology alphabet. Like most Indian names, it appears in a variety of forms. Otlier 
spelliujrs are: Iraoholla (raispriut), Smawhola, Sinohaller. Smohallow, Smobanlee, Smoliollie, Smoke- 
holer, Smokf'Uer. Smusale, Snohollio, Snoolioller, Smiiahalii*'. As the correct proiiuuciation is difficult 
to Enj:lish speakers, I have chosen the popular form. In one official report he is mentioned as " Smo- 
hal-ler. nr Big-talk, or Four Mountains;" in another, probably by misprint, as "Big talk on four 


or had his liair cat. Tlie iiirtuence of the Catholic ceremonial is plainly 
visible in his own ritual performance. In his early manhood he distin- 
gnislied himself as a warrior, and had already come to be regarded as 
a prominent man when he first began to preach liis peculiar theology 
about the year 1S.5(). There can be no (]uestion that the rapid spread of 
his doctrines among the trilies of the Columbia materially facilitated 
their confederation in the Yakima war of 185.'»-56. It is said that he 
aspired to be the leader in this war, and that, to attain this end, he 
invited all the neighboring bands to attend a conncil at his village of 
P nil, l)ut failed to accomplish his object. 

Shortly after the close of tiie war, probably about ISfiO, the incident 
occurred wiiich wrought an entire change in his life, stamping him as 
an oracle and proi)het beyond peradventnre, and giving to his reli- 
gious system the force of authority which it has ever since letained. 
He had already established a reputation as a medicine-man, aud was 
believed to be "making medicine" against the life of Moses, the noted 
chief of a tribe farther up the river, who was greatly in dread of his 
occult powers, and forced a quarrel in order to rid himself forever of 
his rival. A light resulted, and Smohalla was nearly killed. It is said 
that he was left on the ground as dead, but revived sulficiently to crawl 
away and get into a boat on the bank of the Columbia near by. Bleed- 
ing and disabled, he was carried down at the mercy of the current until 
he was finally rescued ironi his ))eriIons jjosition by some white men, 
far below. His recovery was slow. When it was completed, unwilling 
to return in disgrace to his own country and probably still dreading 
the anger of Moses, he determined to become a wanderer. 

Then began one of the most remarkable series of Journeyings ever 
undertaken by an uncivilized Indian. Going down the Columbia to 
Portland and the coast, he turned south, and, stopping on the way at 
various points in Oregon and California, continued beyond San Diego 
into Mexico. Then, turning again, he came back through Arizona, 
Utah, and Nevada to his former home on the Columbia, where he an- 
iHJunced that he had been dead and in the spirit world aud had now 
returned by divine command to guide his people. As he was thought 
to have been killed in the encounter with iSIoses, and as he had disap- 
peared so completely until now, his awe-stricken hearers readily believed 
that they were actually in the presence- of one who had been taken 
bodily into the spirit world, whence he was now sent back as a teacher. 

On the occasion of MacMurray's visit, says that authority, "Snio- 
balla asked me many gei)gra|>liic tpiestions, and I spread out a railroad 
map, marking the situation of Priest rapids, Portland, and Vancouver 
barracks, and he trace(i with a straw down the coast line to below San 
Diego. He asked where San Uernardino was, and paused long o\'er this. 
He recognized the ocean or ' salt chuck,' with many other geographic 
features and localities, but he would neither admit nor deny having 
been at Salt Lake City, although he admitted having been in Utah, 


knew tlie lake aud adjaccut mountain cliains, and said that he had 
seen Mormon priests getting commands direct from heaven. He dwelt 
long over Arizona, and remarked, ' bad-a Inchun.^ " 

Smohalla now declared to his people that the Sa'ghalee Tyee, the 
Great Chief Above, was angry at their apostasy, and commanded them 
througli him to return to tlieir primitive manners, as their present mis- 
erable condition in the presence of the intrusive race was due to their 
having abandoned their own religion and violated the laws of nature 
and the precepts of their ancestors. He tlien explained in detail the 
system to which they must adliere in future if they would conform to 
the expressed will of the higher iiower. It was a system based on the 
primitive aboriginal mythology and usage, with an elaborate ritual 
whicli combined with the genuine Indian features much of what he 
had seen and remembered of Catholic ceremonial aud military parade, 
with perhaps also some additions from Mormon forms. 

His words made a deep impression on his hearers. They had indeed 
abandoned their iirimitive simplicity to a great extent, and were uow 
suffering the penalty in all the misery that had come to them with the 
advent of the white-skin race that threatened to blot them out from 
the earth. The voice of the prophet was accepted as a voice from the 
other world, for they knew that he had been dead aud was now alive. 
What he said must be true and wise, for he had been everywhere and 
knew tribes and countries they liad never lieard of. Even tlie wliite 
men confirmed his words in tliis regard. He could even control tlie suu 
and the moon, for he had said when they would be dark, and they were 

If genius be a form of insanity, as has been claimed, intense religious 
enthusiasm would seem to have a close connection with physical as well 
as mental disease. Like Mohammed and Joan of Arc, and like tlie 
Shaker prophet of Puget sound, Smohalla is subject to cataleptic 
trances, and it is while in this unconscious condition that he is believed 
to receive his revelations. Says MacMurray: 

He falls into trances aud li^s rigid for considerable periods. Unbelievers have 
experimented by sticking needles through his flesh, cutting him with knives, and 
otherwise testing his sensibility to pain, without provoking any responsive action. 
It was asserted that ho was surely dead, because blood did not flow from the wounds. 
These trances always excite great interest aud often alarm, as he threatens to aban- 
don his earthly body altogether because of th(^ disobedience of his people, and on 
each occasion they are in a state of suspense as to whether the Saghalee Tyee will 
send his soul back to earth to rcoccupy his body, or will, on the contrary, abandon 
and leave them without his guidance. It is this going into long trances, out of 
which he comes as from heavy sleep and almost immediately relates his experiences 
in the spirit land, that gave rise to the title of "Dreamers," or believers in dreams, 
commonly given to his followers by the neighboring whites. His actions are similar 
to those of a trance medium, and if self-hypnotization be practicable that would 
seem to explain it. I questioned him as to his trances and hoped to have him explain 
tbem to me, but he avoided the subject and was angered when I pressed him. He 
manifestly believes all he says of what occurs to him in this trance state. As we 

1-t ETH — PT 2 6 

720 THE GHOST-DANCE RELIGION [eth. ann. 14 

have hundreds of thousands of educated white people who believe in siiuilai- falla- 
cies, this is not more unlikely in an Indian subjected to such influence. 

In studying Sinohalla we have to deal with the same curious mixture 
of liouest couvictiou and cuniiiug deeeijtiou that ruus through the 
history of priestcraft in all the ages. Like some other prophets before 
him, he seeks to convey the idea that he is in coutrol of the elements 
and the heavenly bodies, and he has added greatly to his reputation 
by predicting several eclipses. This he was enabled to do by the help 
of an almauao and some little explanation from a party of surveyors. 
In tliis matter, however, he was soon made to realize that a little 
knowledge is a dangerous thing. He could not get another almanac, 
and his astronomic prophecies came to an abrupt termination at the 
end of the lirst year. Concerning this, Major MacMurray says: 

He showed lue an almanac of a preceding j'ear and asked me to readjust it for 
eclipses, as it did not work as it had formerly done. I explained that Washington 
(the Naval Observatory) made new ones every year, and that old ones eonld not be 
fixed up to date. He had probably obtained this one from the station agent at th& 
railroad, now superseded by a new one, who had cut off .Smohalla's supjdy of astro- 
nomical data. My inability to repair the 1882 almanac for use in prognosticating 
in 1884 cost me mucli of his respect as a wise man from the east, {ilacilitrray MS.) 

Smohalla had also a blank book containing mysterious characters, 
some of which resembled letters of the aliihabet, and which he said 
were records of events and prophecies. MacMurray was unable to 
decide whether they were mnemonic or were simply unmeaning marks 
intended to foster among his followers the impression of his superior 
wisdom. It is probable that they were genuine mnemonic symbols 
invented by himself for his own ijurposes, as such systems, devised 
and used by single individuals or families, and unintelligible to others, 
are by no means rare among those who may be called the literary men 
of our aboriginal tribes. 

As their principal troubles arose out of the disputed title to their 
lands. Major MacMurray was asked by the Indians to explain the 
Indian homestead law and how white men divided laud. This was 
carefully done with the aid of a checkerboard, and they were shown 
how the land was mapped out into equal squares arranged on straight 
lines so that every man could find his own. They were then urged by 
the officer to apply for homesteads and settle upon them so as to avoid 
further trouble with the new settlers who were pouring into the country. 
Smohalla replied that he knew all this, but he did not like the new law, 
as it was against nature. He then went on to expound in detail the 
Indian cosmogony. Said he: 

I will tell you about it. Once the world was all water and God lived alone. He 
was lonesome, he had no place to put his foot, so he scratched the sand up from the 
bottom and made the land, and he made the rocks, and he made trees, and he made 
a man ; and the man had wings and could go anywhere. The man was lonesome, and 
God made a woman. They ate fish from the water, and God made the deer and other 
animals, and he sent the man to hunt and told the woman to cook the meat and to 


dress the skius. Many more men aud womeu grew up, aud they lived on the bauka 
of the great rirer whose waters were tiill of salmon. The moiintaius contaiued much 
game and there weie buffalo ou the plains. There were so many people that the 
stronger ones sometimes oppressed the weak and drove them from the best fisheries, 
which they claimed as their own. They fought and nearly all were killed, aud their 
bones are to be seeu in the hills yet. God was very angry at this and he to(di away 
their wings and coniniaiuled that the lands and fisheries should he common to all 
who lived upon them; that they were never to be marked oft' or divided, but that 
the people should enjoy the fruits that God jilanted in the laud, and the animals that 
lived upon it, and the fishes in the water. God said he was the father and the earth 
was the mother of mankind; that nature was the law; that the animals, aud fish, 
and plants obeyed nature, aud that man only was sinful. This is the old law. 

I know all kinds of men. First there were my people (the Indians); God made 
them first. Then he made a Frenchman [referring to the Canadian voyagers of the 
Hudson Bay company], aud then he made a priest [priests accompanied these expe- 
ditions of the Hudson Bay company]. A long time after that came Boston men 
[Americans are thus called in the Chinook jargon, because the first of our nation 
came into the Columbia river in 1796 in a ship from Boston], and then King George 
men [the i:)nglish]. Later came black men, and last God made a Chinaman with a 
tail. He is of no account and has to work all the time like a woman. All these are 
new people. Only the Indians are of the old stock. After awhile, when God is 
ready, he will drive away all the people except those who have obeyed his laws. 

Those who cut up the lands or sign papers for lands will be defrauded of their 
rights aud will he ijunished by God's anger. Jloses was bad. God did not love him. 
He sold his people's houses and the graves of their dead. It is a bad word that 
comes from Washington. It is not a good law that would take my people away from 
me to make them siu against the laws of God. 

You ask me to plow the ground ! .Shall I take a knife and tear my mother's bosom? 
Then when I die she will not take me to her bosom to rest. 

Yo)i ask me to dig for stone! Shall I dig under her skin for her bones? Then 
when I die I can not enter her body to bo born again. 

You ask me to cut grass and make hay and sell it, and be rich like white men ! 
But how dare I cut olf my mother's hair? 

It is a bad law, and my people can not obey it. I want my people to stay with me 
here. All the dead men will come to life again. Their spirits will come to their 
bodies again. We must wait here in the homes of our fathers and be ready to meet 
them in the bosom of our mother. (^MacMurray MS.) 

The idea that the earth is the mother of all created things lies at the 
base, not only of the Sniohalla religion, but of the theology of the 
Indian tribes generally and of primitive races all over the world. This 
explains Tecumtha's reply to Harrison: "The sun is my father and the 
earth is my mother. On her bosom I will rest." In the Indian mind 
the corn, fruits, and edible roots are the gifts which the earth-mother 
gives freely to her children. Lakes and ponds are her eyes, hills are 
her breasts, and streams are the milk flowing from her breasts. Earth- 
quakes and underground noises are signs of her disj)leasure at the 
wrongdoing of her children. Especially are the malarial fevers, which 
often follow extensive disturbance of the surface by excavation or 
otherwise, held to be direct punishments for the crime of lacerating 
her bosom. 

Smohalla's chief supporter and assistant at the ceremonies was 
Kotai'aqan, or Coteea'kuii, as MacMurray spells it, of the Yakima tribe. 

722 THE GHOST-DANCE RELIGION [eth. ann. 14 

The name refers to a brood of youug ducks scatteriug in alarm. He 
was the sou of Kamai'akau, the great war chief of the Yakima. He 
also gave ilacMurray the story of the cosmos, which agrees with that 
obtained from Smohalla, but is more in detail : 

The world was all water, and Saghalee Tyee was above it. He threw iij) out of 
the water at shallow places large quantities of mud, and that made the land. .Some 
w,i.s piled so high that it froze hard, and the rains that fell were made into snow 
and ice. Some of the earth was made hard into rocks, and anyone could see that 
it had not changed — it was only harder. We have no records of the past; but we 
have it from our fathers from far b.ick that Sagh.ilee Tyee threw down many of the 
mountains he had made. It is all as our fathers told us, and we can see that it is 
true when we are hunting for game or berries in the mountains. I did not see it 
done. He made trees to grow, and he made a man out of a ball of mud .and 
instructed him in what he should do. When the man grew lonesome, he made a as his companion, and t.aught her to dress skins, and to gather berries, and 
to m.ake baskets of the bark of roots, which he taught her how to find. 

She was asleep and dreaming of her ignorance of how to please, and she 
prayed to .Saghalee Tyee to help her. He breathed on her and gave her something 
that she could not see, or hear, or smell, or touch, .and it was preserved in ,a little 
basket, .and by it all the arts of design and skilled handiwork were imparted to her 

Notwithstanding all the benefits they enjoyed, there was quarreling among the 
people, and the e.arth-mother was angry. The mountains that overhung the river .at 
the Cascades were thrown down, and dammed the stream and destroyed the forests 
and whole tribes, and buried them under the rocks. (MacMurray MS.) 

In connection with the wonderful little basket, MacMurray states 
that Kotai'aqan presented liini with a very ancient drum-shape basket, 
about 2i inches in diameter, to give to his wife, in order that she might 
likewise be inspired. Concerning the catastrophe indicated in the last 
paragraph, he goes on to say: 

The Cascade range, where it crosses the Columbia river, exhibits enormous cross 
sections of lava, and at its base are petrified trunks of trees, which have been cov- 
ered and hidden from view except where the wash of the mighty stream has exposed 
them. Indians have told me, of their knowleilge, that, buried deep under these 
outpours of basalt, or volcanic tufa, are bones of anim.als of siah, or the hmg ago. 
Traditions of the great landslide at the Cascades are many, but vary little in form. 
According to one account, the mountain tops fell together and formed .a kind of 
arch, under which the water flowed, until the overhanging rocks finally fell into the 
stream and ma<le a dam or gorge. As the rock is columnar basalt, very friable .and 
easily disintegr.ated, that was not impossible, and the landscape suggests some such 
giant avalanche. The submerged trees .are plainly visible near this locality. Ani- remains I have not seen, but these salmou-eating Indians have lived on the 
river's border througii countless .ages, and know every feature in their surroundings 
by constant association for gener.ations, and ally these facts with their 
religious theories. (MacMurray MS.) 

In an article on " The submerged trees of the Columbia river," in 
Science of February 18, 1887, the geologist. Major Clarence E. Dutton, 
also notices the peculiar formation at the Cascades and mentions the 
Indian tradition of a natural bridge over the river at this point. 

MacMurray continues: 

Coteeakuu went on to say that some d.ay Saghalee Tyee would again overturn the 
mountains and so expose these bones, which, having been preserved through so long 

'^-' _/ SJ. , -^ 



a time, would be reoccupied by tbo spirits Avhicli uow dwell iu the mountain tops, 
watihing their descendants on earth anil waiting lor the resurrection to come. The 
voices of these spirits of the dead can be heard at all times in the mountains, and 
often they answer back when spoken to. Mourners who wail for their dead hear 
spirit voices replying, and know they will always remain near them. Xo man knows 
when it will come, and only those who have observed nature's laws and adhered to 
the faith of their ancestors will have their bones so preserved and be certain of an 
earthly teuement for their spirits. He wanted me to confirm this. 

Coteeakun was pacific and gentle. He said all men were as brothers to him and 
h<i hoped all would dwell together. He had been told that white and black and all 
other kinds of men originally dwelt in tents, as the red men always have doue, and 
that God iu former times came to commune with white men. He thought there could 
be only one Saghalee Tyee, in which case white and red men would live on a common 
plane. We came from one source of life aud in time would ''grow from one stem 
again. It would bo like a stick that the whites held by one end and the Indians by 
the other )intil it was broken, and it would be made again into one stick." 

Some of the wilder Indians to the north have more trnculeat ideas as to the final 
cataclysm which is to reoverturn the mountains aud bring back the halcyon days of 
the long past. As the whites and the. others came only within the lifetime of the 
fathers of these Indians, they are not to be included in the benefits of the resur- 
rection, but are to be turned over with all that the white man's civilization has put 
upon the present surface of the land. 

Coteeakun was for progress — limited jirogress, it is true — to the extent of fixed 
homes and agriculture, but he did not want his people to go from their villages or 
to abandon their religious faith. They were nearly all disposed to work for wages 
among the farmers, aud had orchards aud some domestic animals upon whose produce 
they lived, besides the fish from the rivers. Smohalla opposed anything that per- 
tained to civilization, and had neither cattle, sheep, goats, pigs, nor chickens, aud 
not a tree or vegetable was grown anywhere in his viciuage. Kowse (/'eHC«/a»»»a 
cons), kamas {'Camassia esculenta), berries, fish, and the game of the mountains alone 
furnished food to his people, whom ho advised to resist every advance of civilization 
as inipro]ier for a true Indian and in violation of the faith of their ancestors. I 
found, however, that he was willing to advise his peojile to take up lauds and adopt 
the white man's road, if the government would pension him as it had pensioned 
Chief Moses, so that while I thought he believed in his religion as much as other 
sectarians do in theirs, he was tainted by the mercenary desire to live upon his fol- 
lowers unless otherwise provided for by the government. 

From Captaiu E. L. Hiiggins, Second cavalry, who visited Smohalla 
about the same time, we obtain fnrther information concerning the 
prophet's personality and doctrines. When Smohalla was urged to 
follow the example of other Indians who had taken up the white man's 
road, he replied, '-Xo one has any respect for these book Indians. Even 
the white men like me better and treat me better than they do the book 
Indians. My young men shall never work. Men who work can not 
dream, and wisdom comes to us iu dreams." 

When it was argued that the whites worked and yet knew more than 
the Indians, he replied that the white man's wisdom was poor and weak 
aud of no value to Indians, wlio must learn the highest wisdom froui 
dreams aud from participating in the Dreamer ceremonies. Being 
pressed to exjjlain the nature of this higher knowledge, he replied, 
"Each one must learn for himself the highest wisdom. It can not be 
taught. You have the wisdom of your race. Be content."' 

724 THE GHOST-DANCE RELIGION [eth. ann. 14 

Wlien the officer conteuded that even tbe Indians had to work hard 
during' the fishing season to get food for winter, the prophet answered: 

" This work lasts only for a few weeks. Besides it is natural work and 
does them no liarni. But the work of the white man hardens soul and 
body. Nor is it right to tear up and mutilate the earth as white men 

To the officer's assertion that the Indians also dug roots and were 
even then digging kamas in the mountains, lie replied: 

"We simply take the gifts that are freely offered. We no more harm 
the earth than would an infant's fingers harm its mother's breast. But 
the white man tears up large tracts of land, runs deep ditches, cuts 
down forests, and changes the whole face of the earth. You know very 
well tliis is not right. Every honest man," said he, looking at me 
searchingly, " knows in his heart that this is all wrong. But the white 
men are so greedy they do not consider these things." 

lie asserted that the Indians were now so helpless before the white 
men that they must cease to exist unless they had assistance from a 
higher power, but that if they heeded the sacred message they would 
receive strong and sudden help as surely as the spring comes after 
winter. When some doubt was expressed as to his own faith in tliese 
things, he asked pointedly: 

"Do the white teachers believe what they teach?" 

"It is said, Smohalla, that you hate all white men.'' 

"It is not true. But the whites have caused us great suffering. 
Ur Whitman many years ago made a long journey to the' east to get 
a bottle of poison for us. He was gone about a year, and after he came 
back strong and terrible diseases broke out among us. The Indians 
killed Dr Whitman, but it was too late. He had uncorked his bottle 
and all the air was poisoned. Before that there was little sickness 
among us, but since then many of us have died. I have had children 
and grandchildren, but they are all dead. My last grandchild, a young 
woman of 1(5, died last month. If only her infant could have lived" — 
his voice faltered slightly, but with scarcely a pause he continued in 
his former tone, "I labored hard to save them, but my medicine would 
not work as it used to." 

He repelled the idea that the Indians had profited by the coming of 
the whites, and especially denied fliat they had obtained ponies from 
this source. His statement on this point may be of interest to those 
who hold that the horse is indigenous to America: 

"What! The white man gave us ponies? Oh, no; we had ponies long 
before we ever saw white people. The (ireat Spirit gave them to us. 
Our horses were swifter and more enduring, too, in those days, before 
they were mixed with the white man's horses." 

He went on to tell how the Indians had befriended the first explorers 
who came among them and how ungrateful had been their later recom- 
pense, and said: "We are now so few and weak that we can offer no 
resistance, and their preachers have persuaded them to let a few of us 


live, so as to claim credit with the Great Spirit for being geuerons aud 
humane. But they begrudge us what little grass our ponies eat." At 
parting he repeated earnestly, " If they tell you Smohalla hates all 
white people, do not believe it." {Huggins, 2.) 

Our knowledge of the Smohalla ritual is derived from the account 
given by Major MacMurray and from the statements of Yakima and 
Palus informants. The oflQcer's account is that of an intelligent ob- 
server, who noted ceremonies closely, but without fully comprehending 
their meaning. The Indian account is that of initiates and true 
believers, one of them being the regular interpreter of the Smohalla 
services on Yakima reservation. 

The officer had already seen the ceremonial performances at the Indian 
villages at Celilo and Umatilla in Oregon, at Tumwater and Yakima 
gap in Washington, but found its greatest development at the fountain 
head, the home of Smohalla at Priest rapids. His account is so full 
of interest that we give it almost in its entirety. 

While still several miles away, his party discovered the village, 
the houses extending along the bank of the river, with several flags 
attached to long poles fluttering in the wind. The trail from the moun- 
tains was winding aud diflicult, but at last — 

AVe reached the plain and were met by a procession, headed by Smohalla in 
person, all attired in gorgeous array and monnted on their best chargers. We 
Tvended onr way throngh sagebrush and sand dnnes to the village street, not a sonl 
being visible, bnt from the mat-roofed salmon houses there came forth the most 
indescribable chorus of bell ringing, drum beating, aud screeching. I noticed that 
the street was neatly swept and well sprinkled — an unusual thing in any Indian 
village. This, Smohalla said, was in my honor and to show that his people had 
cleanly tastes. Our procession passed on beyond the village to a new canvas tent, 
which had a brush shade to keep off tlie sun and was lined and carpeted with new 
and very pretty matting. Smohalla said this had been prepared especially for me, 
aud was to be my house as long as I should stay with him. To cap the climax, he 
had constructed a bench for me, having sent more than 90 miles for the nails. Fresh 
salmon, caught in a peculiar trap auioug the rocks and broiled on a plank, were 
regularly furnished my party, and with hard tack and coffee of our own supplying 
we got enough to eat and drink. Our own blankets furnished sleeping conveniences. 
The river was within two yards of our tent door and svas an ample lavatory. 

When I awoke the next morning, the sound of drums was again heard, and for 
days it continued. I do not remember that there was any Intermission except for a 
few minutes at a time. Seven bass drums were used for the purpose. I invited 
to be present, and took great interest in the ceremonies, which I shall endeavor to 

There was a small open space to the north of the larger house, which was ,Snio- 
halla's residence iiud the village .assemlily room as well. This space was inclosed 
by a whitewashed fence made of boards which had drifted down the river. In the 
middle was <a flagstaff with a rectangular flag, suggesting a target. In the center 
of the flag was a round red patch. The field was yellow, representing grass, which is 
there of a yellow hue in summer. A green border indicated the boundary of the 
world, the hills being moist and green near their tops. At the top of the flag was 
a small extension of blue color, with a white star in the center. Smohalla explained : 
"This is my flag, and it represents the world. God told me to look after my peo- 
ple — all are my people. There are four ways in the world — north and south and 



[ETU. ANN. 14 

east and west. I have been all those ways. Tliis is the center. I live here. The 
retl spot is my heart — everybody can see it. The yellow grass grows everywhere 
around this place. The green mountains are far away all around the world. There 
is only water beyond, salt water. The blue [referring to the blue cloth strip] is the 
sky, and the star is the north star. That star never changes ; it is always in the same 
place. I keep my heart on that star. I never change." 

There are frequent services, a sort of processional ai-ound the outside of the fence, 
the prophet and a small boy with a bell entering the inclosure, where, after hoisting 
the flag, he delivers a sort of sermon. Captains or class leaders give instructions 
to the people, who are arranged according to stature, the men and women in difler- 
ent classes marching in single lile to the sound of drums. There seems to be a 
regular system of signals, at command of the prophet, by the boy with the bell, 
upon which the people chant loud or low, quick or slow, or rem.Tin silent. These 
outdoor services occurred several times each day. 

iSmohalla invited me to participate in what he considered a grand ceremonial serv- 
ice within the larger house. Tliis house was built with a iramework of stout logs 
placed upright in the ground and roofed over with Ijrush, or \\ith canvas in rainy 

weather. The sides consisted of 
bark and rush matting. It was 
about 75 feet long by 25 feet wide. 
Singing and drumming had been 
going on for some time when I ar- 
rived. The air resounded Avith the 
voices of hundreds of Indians, male 
and female, and the banging of 
drums. Within, the room was dimly 
lighted. Smoke curled from a fire 
on the floor at the farther end and 
per\'aded the atmospliere. The ceil- 
ing was hung with hundreds of sal- 
mon, split and drying in the smoke. 
The scene was a strange one. On 
either side of the room was a row of 
twelve women standing erect with 
arms crossed and hands extended, 
with finger tips at the shoulders. 
They kept time to the drums and 
their voices by balancing on the 
balls of their feet and tapping witli 
their heels on the floor, while they 
chanted with varying pitch and 
time. The excitement and persistent repetitiim wore them out, .and I heard that 
others than Smohalla had seen visions in their trances, but I saw none who would 
admit it or explain anything of it. I fancied tliey feared their own .action, and 
real death might come to them in this simulated death. 

Those on the right hand were dressed in garments of a red color with an attempt 
at uniformity. Those on the left wore costumes of white buckskin, said to be very 
ancient ceremonial costumes, with red .md blue trimmings. All wore large round 
silver plates or such other glittering ornaments as they jtossessed. A canvas covered 
the floor and on it knelt the men and boys in lines of seven. Each seven, as a rule, 
had shirts of the same color. The tallest were in front, the size diminishing regu- 
larly to the rear. Children and ancient hags filled in any sjiare In front on 
a mattress knelt Smohalla, his left hand covering his heart. On his right was the 
boy bell ringer in similar posture. Smohalla wore a white garment which he was 
pleased to call a jiriest's gown, but it was simply a white cloth shirt with a colored 
stripe down the back. 

Fig. 64 — Smohalla's flag (heraldic). 


I and my two assistants were seated on a mattress about 10 feet in front of the 
propliet, whicli fortunately jilaeed us near tlie door and incidentally near fresh air. 
There were two other witnesses, Indians from distant villatt'es, who sat at one side 
with Smohalla's son looking on. 

Smohalla's son was said to he in training as his successor. He was a young man, 
apparently about 23 years old, tall, slender, and active in movement, and couimouly 
kept himself ajiart from the body of the people. He was much darker than his 
father. His dress was brilliant in style and color. He ordinarily wore a short gown 
or surplice, sometimes yellow and at other times sky blue, witli ornate decorations 
of stars or moons applifiiie, cut from bright-colored cloths. The sleeves were extrav- 
agantly trimmed with beads and siher ornaments. He knelt at the right of the 
group as the place of honor. On his left was Coteeakun, the head man of the ludiau 
village at Union gap, on the Yakima reservation. The third man was Coteeakun's 
brother, a most intelligent and progressive Indian. {MacMurray MS.) 

From Charles Ike, au intelligeut half-blood interpreter on Yakima 
reservation, who is also the regular interpreter of the Smohalla ritual 
services at the Yakima village of Pa'kiut, we obtain additional interest- 
ing details concerning the ceremony as there performed, with the under- 
lying religious teachings. 

As at jireseut taught, the religion finds adherents among probably all 
the tribes along the Columbia lh)m near the British border down to the 
Wusliqum tribe at The Dalles, with the exception, perhaps, of the Kli- 
katat, who are nearly all Catholics. The two chief centers are at P'nii 
or Priest rapids, where Smohalla in person regularly preaches to about 
120 hearers, and at Pa'kiut, at Union gap on Yakima reservation, 
where, until his death a short time ago, Tiauii'ni as regularly conducted 
the services for about 300 of his tribe. At each place is a church or 
meetinghouse built as already described. 

The former high priest of the doctrine among the Yakima, and the 
right-hand man of Smohalla himself, was Kotai'aqan, already mentioned, 
the son of the great war chief Kamai'iikan. It is even asserted that he 
was the originator of the system. However this may be, it is certain 
that he had much to do with formulating both the dogmas and the 
ritual. In temper he was more gentle than Smohalla, and more dis- 
posed to meet civilization half-way. On his death, about IS'JO, he was 
succeeded by his stepson. Tianii'ni, or "Many Wounds," who filled the 
office until about October, 1892, when he was murdered near his home 
by two drunken Indians. He was succeeded in the chieftainship by a 
younger sou of Kotai'aqan named Sha'awe (or Shaw-wawa Kootiacan), 
and in his priestly functions by a man known to the whites as Billy 

The regular services take place on Sunday, in the morning, afternoon, 
and evening. Sunday has been held sacred among the Nez Perces and 
neighboring tribes for more than sixty years, as the result of the teach- 
ings of the Hudson Bay officers. The prairie tribes also, having learned 
that Sunday is the great "medicine day" of the whites, now select it 
by preference for their own religious ceremonies of the Ghost dance and 
the mescal. There are also services during the week, besides special 



[ETH. ANN. 14 

periodic observances, such as the "lameut" for the dead, particularly 
the dead chiefs, in early spring; the salmon dance, when the salmon 
begin to run in April, and the berry dance, when the wild berries 
ripen in autumn. The description of the ceremonial of the salmon 

dance will answer for the others, as it ditt'ers chiefly only by tlie addi- 
tion of the feast. 

As already stated, the house has the door at the eastern end, as is 
the common rule in all Indian structures. On the roof, at the eastern 


eufl of the building at Pa'kiut, are the flags, the center one blue, repre- 
senting the sky; anotlier one white, representing the earthly light, and 
the third yellow, representing the heavenly light of the spirit world. 
Blue, white, and yellow are the sacred colors of this system, as also of 
that of the Shakers, to be described later. On entering, the worshipers 
range themselves in two lines along the sides of the building, the men 
and boys standing along the northern wall, the women and girls along 
the southern wall, and all facing toward the center. The first man 
entering takes his place on the north nearest the door; the next one 
stands just beyond him, and so on; while the women and girls, when 
their turn comes, make the whole circuit along the northern side, and 
then, turning at the farther end, take their places in reverse order 
along the southern wall. In the open space between the rows is a floor- 
walker, whose business it is to see that everyone is in the right place. 
All are dressed as nearly as possible in the finest style of the old 
Indian costume, buckskin and shell ornaments, their faces painted yel- 
low, white, or red with Indian paints, and carrying eagle feathers in 
their right hands (plates xc, xci; figure 66). 


„, Men AND Boy-s 


O %sowLiADCR ■> ^FLoof! tfALfre/? ."■, mooofiH-npf/t.. 

X %T/Af\JA/Jf . ^ ;f- > 

/f^T£RP/f£T£R . ^- ■> ^ > 

t^OMC/V AND G/f?i.5 


FlQ. 6»j — Diajjram showing arrangement of worshipers at Sraohalla service. 

At the farther end, facing the door, sits the high priest, while just 
behind him stands his "interpreter," and on his left are seated on the 
ground the three drummers with their large drums in front of them. 
The high priest carries a large bell in his left hand and a smaller one 
in his right. 

Dishes of fresh-cooked salmon and jars of water, , together with a 
plentiful supply of other food, are ranged in front of the devotees. 
After a preliminary ceremony in the nature of a litany, in which the 
principal articles of their theology are recited in the form of question 
and answer by the whole body of worshipers, the high priest gives 
the command, "Take water," when everyone raises a cup of water to 
his lips. Next comes the command, "Now drink," and each one takes 
a sip. At the words, "Now the salmon," each takes up a portion of 
fish, which he puts into his mouth at the next cominand, "Now eat." 
Last comes the command, "Now help yourselves," which is the signal 
for a general attack on the provisions. 

730 THE GHOST-DAKCE RELIGION [eth. axx. u 

When everyone has satisfied his hunger, the remains of the feast are 
cleared away and the "dance" begins. At a signal given by a single 
stroke of the bell in the left hand of the high priest all stand up in 
line on either side of the building. At another stroke of the bell all 
put their right hands on their breasts. Another tap of the bell and 
the right hand is brought out in front of the body. Another, and they 
begin to move their right hands backward and forward like fans in 
front of the breast, and thus continue throughout the dance, keeping 
time also to the singing by balancing alternately upon their toes and 
heels, as already described, without moving from their places. IJitual 
songs are snug throughout the remainder of the service, in time with 
the movements of the dancers and the sounds of the drums, and regu- 
lated by the strokes of the bell. 

Between songs anyone who -wishes to speak steps out into the open 
space. AVith a single tap of the bell the high i3riest then summons 
his "interi)reter," standing behind him, who comes forward and stands 
beside the speaker, a few feet in front and at the right of the high 
priest. The speaker then in a low tone tells his story — usiuilly a 
trance vision of the spirit world — -to the interpreter, who repeats it in 
a loud voice to the comjiany. At the end of tlie recital the higli jiriest 
gives the signal with the bell, when all raise their right hands with a 
loud "Ai!" (Yes!). The high priest himself sometimes discourses also 
to the people through the interiireter; at other times directly. 

Each song is rei^eated until the high jiriest gives the signal with the 
bell to stop. Most of the songs consist — in the native language — of 
seven lines. At the end of the first line the high priest tajis once with 
the bell; at the end of the second line he taps twice, and so on to the 
end of the song, when he rings the bell hard and continuously, and all 
raise their hands with a loud "Ai !" Then the song leader, who stands 
with a feather fan between the high priest and the drummers, starts 
the next song. 

The first song is given by all standing motionless, with the right hand 
on the breast and with eyes cast downward. It may be rendered : 

Verily, verily, Our Brother made the Ijody. 

He gave it ,1 spirit ami the body imivcd. 

Then he coiiuted out the words for iis to siieak. 

Another begins: 

Verily, Our Brother jiut salmon in the water to lie cmr food. 

Another begins: 

O, brothers ! O, sisters ! 

When first the light struck this world, it lighted the world forever. 

Our Brother (Xiinii I'ilip) is the term used in referring to the creating 
spirit, instead of "our father," as we might expect them to say. 

On leaving, at the close of the ceremony, the man nearest the high 
priest ijasses around in front of him and down along in front of the 


line of women, and as he reaches the door he turns around and bows 
to the high priest. Each man in turn thus files around and passes out, 
after which the women — first the one nearest the high priest and then 
the others in regular order — pass out in the same manner. While the 
worshipers are thus going out, the high priest, standing up, rings con- 
tinuously the small bell in his right hand, while with the larger bell in 
his left he gives a single stroke as each one passes through the door. 

Tribes oX the Columbia region 

The following synopsis will give a good general idea of the location 
and numbers of the tribes of the Columbia region from the British line 
down to the Cascades, including all those under the influence of the 
Smohalla religion. Except when derived from such well-known author- 
ities as Lewis and Clark, Stevens, Gibbs, etc, the information given is 
the result of personal investigation and work with Yakima and Piilus 
Indians. The general boundaries of the tribes west of the Cascade 
range, including the adherents of the Shaker religion, are also indicated 
on the accompanying map (plate Lxxxviii), but our information in 
regard to this region is too meager to be definite. 

KUTENAi (Kitunahan stock). — Synonyms : Arcs Plats, Cotoune, Cot- 
tonoi, Coutanie, Flatbow, Kitunaha, Kootenai, Koutaine, Kutueha, 
Skalzi, Tushepaw (Lewis and Clark, 1805), White-tailed Deer People 
(Clark, Indian Sign Language). The Kutenai, properly Kituna'qa, form 
a distinct linguistic stock, and live chiefly on the Canadian side, around 
Kutenai river and lake, but extend across the line into northern Idaho 
and northwestern Montana. Their extension southward dates from 
their treaty of peace with the Flatheads about ninety years ago. In 
company with the Flatheads they were accustomed formerly to come 
down from the mountains in the fall to hunt tlie buffalo on the headwaters 
of the Missouri. Tliey are mentioned by Lewis and Clark in 1805 
under the name of Tushepaw, with bands distinguished as Ootlashoot, 
Micksucksealton ( Oj^iud Holiilpo living in the mountains and on Clark's 
fork within United States territory. According to Gatschet, Tu'shipa 
is a collective term applied by the Shoshoni to the tribes living north 
of them, including the Nez Perces and others, as well as the Kutenai. 
Apart of the Kutenai joined with the Flatheads and Upper Pend 
d'Oreilles in a treaty with the government in 1855 and are now on Flat- 
head (Jocko) reservation in Montana. They are probably all Catholics. 
Others, living in northern Idaho, have never entered into treaty rela- 
tions, and may be followers of Smohalla. The best estimates for the 
last fifty years give those within the United States a population of 
from 40(» to 450. 

Pend d'Okeillb (Salishan stock). — Synonyms: Calispel, Coospellar 
(Lewis and Clark), Kahlispelm, Kalispelines, Kalispelusses, Kellespem, 
Kullas-Palus, Ku'shpulu (a Yakima or Piilus form), Papshpfin-'lema or 
"people of the great fir trees" (Yakima name), Pend d'Oreilles or 


"ear-rings" (French name), Ponderas. The Perid d'Oreilles held the 
country along the river and hike of the same name, in Idalio and Wash- 
ington, immediately southwest of the Kntenai. They arc commonly 
distinguished as Upper, on the lake, and Lower, on both banks of the 
river. They are the Coospellar mentioned by Lewis and Clark in 1805. 
They formerly crossed the mountains annually to hunt buffalo on the 
Missouri. Since IS-l-l they and most of the other Salishan tribes of 
this region have been under the influence of Catholic missionaries. 
The Upijer Pend d'Oreilles joined with tfie Platheads and Kuteuai in 
a treaty with the government in 1855, and are now on Flathead reser- 
vation in Montana. Some of the Lower band joined them there in 1887. 
Others are on the Ca?ur d'Alcne reservation in Idaho, a few are with 
Moses on the Columbia in Washington, and the rest are still in their 
original country, never having entered into treaty stipulations. The 
whole tribe numbers about 1,000 souls. 

CoLViLLE (Salishan stock). — Synonyms: Chaudiere (French name), 
Chuali)ay, Kettle Falls, Quiarlpi or "basket people" (Hale), Schrooyelpi, 
Schwogelpi, Schwoyelpi, SwieliJee, Wheelpoo (Lewis and Clark). They 
originally occupied the country on Colville and Kettle rivers and on 
both sides of the Columbia from Kettle falls down to Spokane river, 
in Washington, and extending north into British territory to about the 
lower Arrow lake. They are mentioned by Lewis and Clark under the 
name of Wheelpoo. Kettle falls on the Columbia, within their terri- 
tory, was the great salmon Ashing resort for all the tribes of this region, 
and here, in 18-16, was established the Catholic mission of Saint Paul. 
As a result of this missionary work, all of these Salishan tribes, except- 
ing the Sanpoil, Nespelim, Mitaui, and a part of the Spokan are now 
Catholics. In 1851, according to Stevens, the original Shwoyelpi were 
nearly extinct and their places had been filled by Indians from neigh- 
boring tribes. Without ever having entered into any treaty with the 
government, they were assigned in 1872 to Colville reservation, Wash- 
ington, which had been set apart for the tribes of that section. They 
were reported to number 616 in 1870, and only 301 in 1892. 

Lake or Senijextbb (Salishau stock). — These owned the country 
on both sides of the Columbia, in Washington, from about Kettle falls 
northward into British Columbia to the vicinity of Arrow lake. They 
are now on Colville reservation in Washington and number about 350, 
with perhaps a few others across the boundary. They may be identical 
with the Lahannas of Lewis and Clark. 

Spokax (Salishau stock). — Synouyms: Lartielo (Lewis and Clark), 
Sarlilso (Gibbs), Sinhumanish, Siiikoman (Kuteuai name), Spokihnish, 
Spokomish, Zingomenes. They are commonly distinguished as Upper 
Spokan or Siiieeguomenah, Middle or Sintootoo, and Lower or Chekis- 
schee ( Winanfi, Comr., 1870). Spokan is the name given them by the 
Coeur d'Alenes; Sinkoman is their Kutenai name, while the Lartielo or 
Sarlilso of Lewis and Clark is simply a bad misprint for Sintootoo, the 


niiine of the middle band. Tliey iire closely connected, linguisticmlly 
and iiulitically, with the Sanpoil and Xespelini. The lower Spokau 
arc now Protestants, the rest are Catholics. They formerly owned the 
whole basin of Spokane river in Washington and extending into Idaho. 
They are now on Spokane reservation in Washington and the Coeur 
d'Alene reservation in Idaho, and number in all about 900 or 1,000. 

CcEi*R d' Alpine (Salishan stock). — Synonyms: Pointed Hearts, 
Q'ma'shpal or "kamas people" (so called by the Yakima), Skeechaway, 
Skectsomish (Lewis and Clark), Skitsanuiq (Piilus name), Skitswish, 
Stietshoi. They occupied the lake and river bearing their name in 
Idaho and the adjacent headwaters of the Spokane. A part of this 
territory they held jointly with the Spokan, whose language they speak. 
In 1892 they numbered 427, on Cteur d'Alene reservation in Idaho. 

Sanpoil (SaUshau stock). — Synonyms: Hai-ai'nima (Takima name), 
Hihighenimmo (Lewis and Clark), Ipoihi (another Yakima name), 
N'pochle (Stevens), Sans Puelles, Sinapoils, Sinipouals, Sinpaivelish, 
Sinpohellechach, Sinpoilschne, Siur Polls. The name by which this 
tribe is commonly known is sometimes written as a French form Sans 
Polls, meaning "without bristles," or "hairless," but it is more prob- 
ably an Indian word. They occupy the country on Sanpoil river in 
Washington, now included within Colville reservation, and are closely 
allied with the Nespelim. These two tribes are the most aboriginal in 
eastern Washington, and adhere strictly to their primitive customs and 
religion. The two tribes are thus described by Winans, the govern- 
ment farmer, in 1870: 

They have never received any presents from the government, although they have 
been frequently asked to do so. They seem suspicious of the whites, are the least 
civilized aud most iudependent of any of the tribes of the territory. They are rich 
in horses aud cattle, possessing all the comforts they know how to enjoy, and it 
appears their ouly fear is that they will be interfered with by the government. 
They are perfectly contented with their coudition, aud would not accept anything 
from the government if offered, except a religious instructor and doctor. 

Some years later they were brought under the reservation system 
and a change came o'er the spirit of their dream. In 1892 we are told 
officially that "the Sanpuell Indians are the worst people that I have 
anything to do with. . . . They are surly, ignorant, and filthy," 
notwithstanding which they still "have the same religious prejudice 
as the Nespelims about receiving aid from the government." Of the 
Nespelimthe same intelligent witness tells us that "they are a peculiar 
class of Indians, having a religion of their own." The religion of the 
two tribes is aboriginal, and is similar to the Smohalla doctrine in prin- 
ciple, although not in ceremonial. In 1892 the Sanpoil were estimated 
at 300. 

Nespblim (Salishan stock). — Synonyms: Inspellum,Sinspeelish. On 
the north bank of the Columbia, in Washington, along Nespelim river 
and down to the junction of the Okinagan, and on the opposite side of 


the Columbia down to about Grande Coulee. They speak the same 
language as the Sanpoils, and in aboriginal habit, religion, and organi- 
zation are closely identified with them. They are within the limits of 
Colville reservation and were reported to number only 62 in 1892. 

Okanagan (Salishan stock). — Synonyms: Oakinacken, Okinakane, 
Okiwahkine. They occupy the whole basin of Okanagan river in Wash- 
ington, extending north into British Columbia, and including Similka- 
meen river. The Okanagan were an important tribe or confederacy 
divided into a number of bands, some of which have also at times been 
considered as belonging to the Spokan, while others are commonly recog- 
nized as distinct tribes. Boss gives them "twelve tribes," as follows: 
Skamoynumach, Kewaughtchenunaugh, Pisscow (Piskwaus), Inconie- 
cane'took,Tsillane (Chelan), Intie'took (Entiatook), Battlelemuleemauch 
or Meatwho (Mitaui), Inspellum (Nespelim),SinpohelIechach (Sanpoil), 
Sinwhoyelppetook (Colville), Samilkanuigh (Similkameen), and Oaki- 
nacken (Okanagan). They are now included within the Colville agency, 
and. are Catholics. They were estimated at 340 in 1870 and reported 
as numbering 405 in 1892. 

Mitaui (Salishan stock). — tSynmiynis: Battlelemuleemauch, Meatwho, 
Meshons, Meteowwee (Lewis and Clark), Methows, Mithouies. They 
formerly lived on the west side of tlie Columbia, including the basins 
of the Methow, Lake Chelan, and Entiatook river. Lewis and Clark 
met some of them in 1805 below the mouth of the Wallawalla. They 
are closely connected with the Piskwaus and Isle de Pierres. They now 
reside in Nespelim valley on Colville reservation, confederated with the 
Isle de Pierres under Chief Moses. The two tribes were reported at 
390 in 1892. A few others live in tlie neighborhood of Kittitas near 
the Yakima tribe. See Pisktcaiis. 

Isle de Pierre (Salishan stock). — Synonyms: Columbias, Linkinse, 
Sinkiuse. They originally occupied the country in Washington from 
the Columbia eastward to the Grande Coulee, extending from about the 
mouth of the Grande CouK-e down nearly to Crab creek. Isle de 
Pierre is the French name of Rock island in the Columbia at the mouth 
of the Wenatchee. For a long time, under their noted chief IMoses, 
they refused to recognize the authority of the government or to go on 
a reservation. Now, however, they are settled in ^STespelim valley, on 
Colville reservation. They wei-e reported to number 390 in 1892 and are 
described as "true, genuine Indians in every sense of the word." 
Their chief, Moses, the enemy and rival of Sinohalla, was thus described 
in 1870: "Moses, the head chief, has been a great warrior. He was 
foremost in the fights of 1858 with Colonels Steptoe and Wright, and 
was severely wounded a number of times, but not dying, the Indians 
believe he has a charmed life. He is medium sized, about 45 years old, 
noble looking, straight as an arrow, and never breaks his word. He 
has more influence than any other chief east of the Cascade mountains 
in the territory. He comes nearer being such a chief as we read of 


than any I have ever met. He is kindly disposed toward the whites 
and invites them to come and settle in his country.'' ( Wiiiaiis.) Lin- 
guistically they are probably nearest related to the Piskwaus. 

Wa'napOm (Shahaptian stock). — Synonyms: Columbia River Indians, 
Sokulks. This is tlie tribe of which Smohalla is the chief and high 
priest. They are a small baud, numbering probably less than 200 souls, 
and closely connected linguistically and politically with the Yakima, 
Piilns, and Nez Perces. Wanapuni is the name by which they are 
known to these cognate tribes, and signifies "river people;" from irand 
or icald, "river" (iiarticulariy Columbia river), and pilm or pam, "people 
or tribal country ." Together with the other non-treaty tribes of this 
region they are known to the whites under the indefinite name of 
"Columbia Eiver Indians." They are identical with the Sokulk met 
by Lewis and Clark at the mouth of Snake river and described as 
living farther up on the Columbia. The name Sokulk seems to be 
entirely unknown among the Yakima and Piilus of today. The Wa'- 
napuui range along both banks of the Columbia, in Washington, from 
above Crab creek down to the mouth of Snake river. Their village, 
where Smohalla resides, is on the west bank of the Columbia, at the 
foot of Priest rapids, in the Yakima country. It is called P nil, signi- 
fying "a fish weir," and is a great rendezvous for the neighboring 
tribes during the salmon fishing season. Having never made a treaty 
or gone on a reservation, they are not officially recognized by the gov- 

Pa'LU8 (Shahaptian stock). — Synonyms : Palouse, Pelloatpallah Cho- 
jmnnish (Lewis and Clark), Peloose, Polonches, Sewatpalla. The 
Piilus owned the whole basin of Palouse river in Washington and 
Idaho, and extended also along the north bank of Snake river to its 
junction with the Columbia. They were, and are, closely connected 
with the Wanapum and the Xez Perces. Piilus, the name by which 
the tribe is commonly known, is properly the name of Standing Rock, 
at the junction of Palouse and Snake rivers. They can not explain 
the meaning. They have four villages: Almotu, on the north bank of 
Snake river in Washington, about 30 miles above the mouth of Palouse 
river; Pains, on the north bank of Snake river just below the 
junction of the Palouse; Ta'sawiks, on the north bank of Snake river 
about 15 miles above its mouth; and Kasi'spii or Cosispa (meaning 
"at the point," from kasi's, a point, nud j)(i, the locative), at Ainsworth 
in the junction of the Snake and Columbia. This last village has a 
slight difference in dialect and is sometimes regarded as belonging to 
the Wanapum. Although the Pii'lus are mentioned as parties to the 
Yakima treaty of 1855, they have never as a tribe recognized any 
treaty limitations or come upon a reservation. They are aboriginal in 
their ideas and among the most devoted adherents of the Smohalia 
doctrine. They were estimated at 500 in 1854, but, not being officially 
recognized, it is impossible to give their present number. 
14 F.TH — PT 2 ^7 


PiSKWAUs or Wina'tshipum (Salisliau stock). — Synoiiymn: Piscaoiis, 
Piscous, Pisquose. The name by whicli this tribe is commonly known 
is proi)erly the name of a fisbiug place on Wenatcliee river, and is 
probably Salislian, but may be from the Yakima ^j/sZo, signifying "a 
bend in the river." The Yakima call the river Winatshi, signifying a 
"river issuing from a cafion," and the tribe Winiitshipum. The Pisk 
waus ijropcr, ou Weuatcbee river, with their connected bands or tribes 
living iu the same neighborhood, west of the Columbia in Kittitas 
and Okanogan counties, Washington, are a southern extension of the 
Mitaui and speak the same language. Under the name of Piskwaus, 
Stevens includes "the Indians on the Columbia between the Priests' and 
Eoss rajjids, on the Pisquose or Winatshapam river; the Enteatkeon, 
Chelaun lake, and the Mithaw ou Barrier river. The name of Pisquouse, 
however, properly refers to a single locality on the river known to the 
Yakamas as Winatshapam. The Pisquouse themselves, as has before 
been remarked, are so much intermarried with the Y^akamas that they 
have almost lost their nationality. These bauds were formerly all 
united under one principal chief, Stalkoosum, who is said to have been 
a man of great note among them. He was killed a few years since in 
a fight with the Blackfeet, since which there lias been no head of the 
tribe." {Sfereus, Go}n)\Reiit.,lS54.) The Piskwaus and smal'cr con- 
nected tribes took part in the Yakima treaty of 1855, but do not live 
on the reservation. Most of them live on the Wenatchee and the north 
branch of Yakima river in Kittitas county. They are all Catholics. 
There is no official statement of their number. Smaller tribes or bands 
connected with the Piskwaus proper and speaking the same language 

1. K 'tItas, Ktiitas- le'ma, Ketetas (Stevens), Pshwa'napum (Y'a- 
kima name), Shanwappoms (Lewis and Clark). K 'tatas signifies "a 
shoal," 'IS'ma being a tribal suffix, and Pshwana-pum in the Y'akima 
language signifies "shoal people," the name referring to a shoal in 
Yakima river at Ellensburg. 

2. Ska'utIl, or Skaddal (of Lewis and Clark). About Boston creek 
and Kahchass lake, at the head of Y^akima river. 

3. Wsni'NiTU, or Shallattoos (of Lewis and Clark). The word 
means "huckleberry" in Yakima, and is applied to a site on Y'akima 
river just above Ellensburg. 

4. Skwa'nana, or Squannaroos (of Lewis and Clark). A Yakima 
word meaning "whirlpool," and applied to a point on Yakima river 
about opposite the entrance of Selah creek, the village being on the 
west bank of the river. This band may possibly speak the language 
of the Atauftm, a Sbahaptian tribe, whose territory adjoins them. 

5. Qamil-'lEma or Kahmiltpah. The name Is Y'akima, and signifies 
"people of Qami'lh." Qaml'lh, or "Watching for Fish," was a chief who 
formerly lived with his band about Saddle mountain, on the east side 
of the Columbia, above Priest rapids. They are called Kahmiltpah in 


tbc Yakima treaty of 18.5."). They now live with the other tribes hist 
named in Kittitas county. 

0. Si'apkat or Seapcat. They reside now in Kittitas county, but 
probably lived originally at a place of the same name on the east bank 
of the Columbia, about Bishop rock and Milk creek, below Wensltehee 
river. They are called Seapcat in the Yakima treaty of 185."). The 
word is of the Piskwaus language. 

Ya'kima (Shahaptian stock). — Synonyms: Outsahnim (Lewis and 
Clark), Eyackimah, Pa'kint-'lc'ma, Stobshaddat (by Puget sound 
tribes, Tolmie), Waptai'lmim, Yackamans, Yookoomans. The Yakima 
are the most important tribe of the Shahaptian stock, excluding the 
'Nez Percys. They occupied the country of Natchess and middle 
Y'akima rivers, in the present Yakima county, Washington, and are now 
on a reservation within the same county. Stevens says the name 
signifies "black bear" in the Wallawalla language, but Yakima inform- 
ants state that it is a nickname signifying "coward" or "runaway," 
and say that the proper name of the tribe is Waptai'lmim, people of 
the "narrow river," or Pa' kiut-'lcma, "people of the gap," both names 
referring to the narrows in Yakima river at Union gap, near Yakima 
bridge. Their old village was on the west side of the river, just below 
the gap. They are the Cutsahnim of Lewis and Clark. This name 
may possibly come from the same root as Ku'tsano't, " Lying Alongside," 
the name of an old Yakima chief who died about 1880. In 1854, accord- 
ing to Stevens, they were "divided into two principal bauds, each made 
up of a number of villages and very closely connected, the one own- 
ing the country on the Jfatchess and lower Yakima, the other on the 
Wenass and its main branch above the forks." These latter, however, 
were chiefly of the Piskwaus connection. They had then several chiefs, 
of whom Kamaiakan was the most important. Like all the other 
Columbia tril)es east of the Cascade range, they formerly crossed the 
Eocky mountains annually to hunt the buffalo on the waters of the 
Missouri. In 1855 the government made a treaty with the Y'akima, 
Piskwaus, Ptilus, and other tribes by which they were to cede a ter- 
ritory on both sides of the Columbia, extending generally from the 
Cascade range eastward to Palouse and Snake rivers, and southward 
from above Chelan lake to the Columbia, excepting a small portion 
between the Columbia and the lower Yakima. At the same time the 
Yakima reservation was established and an arrangement was made by 
which all the tribes and bands concerned were to be confederated under 
the title of the "Yakama Nation," with Kamaiakan as head chief. 
Shortly afterward the Yakima war broke out, and the treaty remained 
unratified until 1859. As already stated, the Piilus and several other 
tribes have never recognized it or come on the reservation, and their 
objection to such removal has become a religious principle of the Smo- 
halla doctrine. In the original treaty of 1855 fourteen tribes are named 
as particiijating, as follows: Yakama (Yakima), Palouse (Pa'lus), Pis- 


quouse (Pi'skwaus), Weuatshapain (auotlier name for Piskwaus), Kli- 
katat (Klukatiit), Kliuquit (not identified), Kowwassayee (K'kasawi), 
Liaywas (not identified), Skinpah (Skinpii), Wisli-liam (Wusliquni), 
Sliyik.s (not identified), Ocbecbotes (Uclii'cliol), Kaliniiltpali ((^)aniille- 
uia), and Seapcat (Si'apkat). Among tliese were represented at least 
six languages and three linguistic stocks. The majority of these In- 
dians west of the Columbia, including the Yakima pvoi)er and others on 
the reservation, are Catholics, with also a number of adlierents of the 
Shaker and Smohalla doctrines. Those on the reservation numbered 
1,200 in 1892, with an estimated 1,500 outside the boundaries. Beside 
the principal band of Yakima, the Waptailmim already mentioned, 
there are also the Se'tas-'lcma, or "people of the rye prairie," on 
Setass creek, a western tributary of the Yakima in the eastern part of 
the reservation, and the Pisko, or people of the "river bend," in a vil- 
lage also on the south side of the Y'akiraa, between Topinish and Setass 
creeks. (See PishquHpah.) Their dialects are said to differ slightly 
from that of the Waptailmim. 

A'TANUM-LKMA (Shahaptiau stock) or "people ( Uma) of Atauum 
creek." — A small tribe on Atahnam creek, in Yakima county, Washing- 
ton, on the northern boundary of the reservation. They are said to 
speak a language distinct from Yakima or Klukatat, but cognate. 
They have no official recognition now or in the treaty of 1855. The 
name A'tanum is Y'akinia, and refers to a stream "ascended " (by salmon). 

KllI'katat (Shahaptiau stock). — Synonyms: Clickahnt, Clickitat, 
Klikatat, Qwu'lh-hwai-pum, Weyehhoo, Whulwhypum. The name by 
which this tribe is commonly known is from the Wasko language and 
signifies " beyond ( tlie mountain)" — that is, east of the Cascade range — 
with reference to the Chinookan tribes on the lower Columbia. The 
same name was also at times extended to the Y'akima. They call 
themselves Qwfdh-hwai-pum, "prairie people;" from qinUh-hirai, "prai- 
rie," and piim, " people," referring particularly to their occupancy of 
Camass prairie. They formerly occupied the southern slopes of Mount 
Adams and Mount Helens, with the country of Klikatat and Lewis 
i-ivers, in the present Klickitat and Skamania counties, Washington. 
East of them were the Y'akima and west were the Salishan and Chi- 
nookan tribes. At one time they lived farther east, but were driven 
west by the Cayuse. {Stevenc.) About sixty years ago they crossed 
the Columbia and overran the Willamet country, and even penetrated 
as far south as the Umpqua, but afterward withdrew again to their 
pro]ier country. Although but a small tribe, they were aggressive and 
enterprising and were the trade medium between the tribes west of the 
mountains and those east. They joined in the Yakima treaty of 1855 
and are now chiefly on Yakima reservation, but a few are still on White 
Salmon river, in Klickitat county. Their number is unknown. The 
Taitinapam and Topinish speak the same language and may be con- 
sidered as branches of this tribe. 


QA'i'NisH-'i-fiMA or TopiNiSH (Sliahaptian stock). — A small tribe 
on Topiuisli river in Yakima county, WasUiiigton, within the present 
limits of the reservation. They speak the Klukatat language. The 
name signifies "people ( Uma) of the trail coming from the foot of the 

TaitinapAm (Shahaptian stock). — Synonyni: Tai-kie-a-pain (mis- 
print). A small tribe speaking the Klukatiit language, formerly liv- 
ing on the western slopes of the Cascade mountains, between the hesids 
of Lewis and Cowlitz rivers, in Skamania county, Washington, being 
the westernmost tribe of Shahaptian stock. If any are left, they are 
probably incorporated with the Kliikatiit on Yakima reservation. 
They never had official recognition. 

Chamna'pi^m (Shahaptian stock). — Si/nonyms: Chimnahpum, Chim- 
napoos, Cuimnapum. A tribe which occupied the bend of the Columbia 
below Yakima river, together with the country on the lower Yakima, 
chiefly in the present Yakima county, Washington. They are the 
Chimnahpum of Lewis and Clark, and speak a dialect of the language 
of the Pa'lus and Wanapum, with which tribes the few survivors are 
incorporated. A few are also still living on the west side of the 
Columbia, opposite Pasco. The name is of their own language and 
means "people (pum) of Cbamnii'," their old village about opposite 

PiSHQUiTPAH (Shahaptian stock). — This name occurs only in the 
narrative of Lewis and Clark as that of a tribe in 1805, "residing at 
the Muscleshell rapid and on the north side of the Columbia to the com- 
mencement of the high country, wintering on the borders of the Tap- 
teal." The Tapteal (iiroperly Waptail or Wajitailmim) is Yakima river. 
This would locate them in eastern Klickitat and Y'akima counties, 
Washington. They are probably identical with the Pisko band of the 
Y"akim.a. In the name Pishquitpah the final pah is the Yakima or 
Pa'lus locative^*//, "at." 

K'ka'sawi or KowwASSAYEE (Shahaptian stock). — A small tribe 
speaking the Tenino language and formerly occupying a village of the 
same name, K ka'sawi, on the north bank of the Columbia, in Klickitat 
county,Washington, about opposite the mouth of the Umatilla. The full 
name is K'ka'sawi- le'ma, "people (Irma) of the arrow-making jjlace," 
the local form being from l:'ht'so, "arrow," They took part in the 
Yakima treaty of 1855 under the name of Kowwassayee, and are now 
on Yakima reservation. 

HAHAU'piiM or Wahowpum (Shahaptian stock). — A small tribe 
speaking the Tenino language and occupying a village, Hrdia'u, on 
the north bank of the Columl)ia, about the mouth of Olive creek, 
in Klickitat county, Washingt(jn. The word means "willow people," 
from haha'u, a species of willow, and pum, "people." They are the 
Wahowpum of Lewis and Clark. They have never had oflBcial 


ITcHi'CHOL or OcHEOHOTES (Sluiliaptiaii stock). — A small tribe 
speaking the Teiiiiio language, living now, or formerly, on the north 
bank of the Columbia in Klickitat county, Washington. They are meii- 
tioued as Ochechotes in the Yakima treaty of 1855, and may now be 
incorporated with otLer tribes on Yakima reservation. The name, from 
the Teniuo language, signifies the "hind dorsal fin'' (of a salmon), and 
is the name of a rock on the north side of the Columbia, opposite the 
upper end of the island, at the mouth of the Des Chutes. See 

Ski'npa (Shahajjtian stock). — Synonyms : Sawpaw (?), Skien, Skin, 
Skinpah. A small tribe sjteaking the Teniuo language and formerly 
having a village ou the north bank of the Columbia in Klickitat county, 
Washington, at the falls opposite Celilo. They took part in the Yakima 
treaty of 1855 under the name of Skinpah, and are now incorporated 
with the other tribes ou Y'akima reseivation. The name is Teniuo, and 
means "cradle place," or "at the cradle," from (ik)n, "cradle," and jj«) 
the locative, and refers to a prominent rock at the site of their former 
village having some resemblance to an Indian cradle. See Tapdniinh. 

TAPANA'SHor Eneeshuk (Shahaptian stock). — A small tribe speak- 
ing the Teniuo language, having a village ou the north bank of the 
Oolumbia in Klickitat county, Washington, about opposite the month 
of Des Chutes river and a little above Celilo. The name is identical 
with the Eneeshur of Lewis and Clark, these explorers in 1805 having 
also included under this name tbe various bands speaking the Teniuo 
language ou both sides of tlie Columbia about the mouth of the Des 
Chutes. The Tapaniish have no official recognition. See Tenino. 

Tlaqujit or WOshqum (Chinookan stock). — Syno)iy)m: Echebool, 
Echeloot, Eloot, Helwit, Niculuita, Ouichram, Tchilouit, Tilhulhwit, 
Wisham, Wishham, Wishram, Wisswham. The Tlaqluit, with the 
Wasko, are the easternmost tribes of Chiuookau stock on the Colum- 
bia, ha\ ing immediately above them the Shahaptian tribes, speaking 
the Teniuo language. The Tlaqlirit territory lies along the north bank 
of the Columbia in Klickitat county, Washington, from Tenino, about C 
miles above The Dalles, down to the neighborhood of White Salniou 
river. They call themselves Tlaqluit (Echeloot of Lewis and Clark), 
and are called Wfishqfima-pum, or "Wfishquni people," by the tribes 
speaking the Tenino language, Wiishqum being the name of their 
chief village near South Side at The Dalles, the great fishing and trad- 
ing resort for the tribes of this section. The name appears also as 
Wishram. Both Tlaqluit and Wfishqi'im refer to a species of louse or 
dea abounding in that ueighborhood. They took part in the Yakima 
treaty of 1855 under the name of Wi.shham, but most of them have 
probably never gone on the reservation. See Wasko. 

There is a tradition in the tribe that long before the coming of the 
whites to the Columbia a band of Tlaqluit left their people ou account 
of a petty quarrel as to whether a goose made a certain noise with its 


bill or witli its wings, and went up the Columbia and the Spokane, and 
are supposed to be now about the headwaters of the latter stream and 
still retaining their language, although under a different tribal name. 

CiiiLiT'KTKWA or OHiLLfCKiTTEi^UAWS (Chinookau stock). — A tribe 
formerly extending along the north bank of the Columbia in Klickitat 
and Skamania counties, Washington, from about White Salmon river 
down to some distance below the Cascades. They are called Chilluck- 
ittecjuaws in 1805 by Lewis and Clark, who speak also of a separate 
band of the same tribe under the name of Sinackshop, a name which 
can not now be identified. The tribe now numbers less than 100. 
Until recently the remnant lived about the mouth of White Salmon 
river, but removed about thirteen years ago to the Cascades. Their 
language is nearly the same as that of the Wasko. They have never 
had official recognition. 

KwiKWtT'LiT or Docf River (Chinookan stock). — Syiwnyms: Cas- 
cade Indians, Kigaltwalla, Upper Chinook, Wahclellah, Watlala. A 
small tribe formerly living at the Cascades and about Dog river, 
a small stream coming into the Columbia about halfway between the 
Cascades and The Dalles, in Wasco county, Oregon. They are iden- 
tical, in part at least, with the Wahclellahs of Lewis and Clark (men- 
tioned as a part of the "Shahala nation'"), and are the ''Ki-gal-twalla 
band of the Wascoes" avul the "Dog Eiver band of the Wascoes" of 
the Wasco treaty of 1855. The "Dog Eiver or Cascade Indians" were 
reported to number 80 sonls in 1851. In the next year they, with other 
tribes, entered into the Wasco treaty, by which they agreed to remove 
to Warmspring reservation, where some of them now are, while the 
others are still about the Cascades. Their language is nearly the same 
as that of the Wasko. 

Wasko (Chinookan stock). — Synonyms: Dalles Indians, Wascopum. 
A tribe formerly claiming the country about The Dalles, on the south 
bank of the Columbia, in Wasco county, Oregon. They, with the 
Tlaqluit on the opposite bank, are the easternmost extension of the 
Chinookan stock, and speak the same language. The name is said to 
be a Tenino word, meaning "grass," or "grass i^eople." It has some- 
times been made to include several cognate bands about The Dalles 
and Cascades, on both sides of the Columbia. Under the name of 
"The Dalles band of the Wascoes," they entered into the Wasco treaty 
of 1855, and are now on Warmspring reservation in Oregon. They 
numbered 2C0 in 1892. 

Waiam (Shahaptian stock). — Synonyms: (Lower) Des Chutes, Wai- 
iim-'lema, Wayyampa, Wyani. A tribe speaking the Tenino language 
and formei'ly living about the mouth of Des Chutes river, in the pres- 
ent Wasco and Sherman counties, Oregon. Their chief village was on 
the Columbia where Celilo now is, and was called Waiiira, whence 
their name of Waiiim-'lema or "people of Waiiim." They joined in 


the Wasco treaty of 1855 under the uanie of "Wyam or Lower De 
Chutes band of Walla- Wallas,'' and are now on Warnispring reserva- 
tion in Oregon. Their number is not separately reported. 

Tai'-aq (Shahaptian stock). — Synonyms: Taigli, Ta-ih, Tairtla, 
Tyich. A tribe speaking the Tenino language and formerly occupying 
the country about Tygh and White rivers, in Wasco county, Oregon. 
The name Tai'-aq refers to the stream and denotes "muddy, white 
water." They took jiart in the Wasco treaty of 1855 under the name of 
"Ta-ih or Upper De Chutes band of Walla- Wallas,'" and arc now on 
Warmspring reservation, Oregon. Their number is not reported. 

Ti'lqvni (Shahaptian stock). — A trilic formerly claiming the country 
between Tygh valley and Warmspring river, west of Dcs Chutes river, 
in the present Wasco county, Oregon. They are now on Warmspring 
reservation, in the same neighborhood. They have never been oflQcially 
mentioned under their Indian name, and may be considered the Warm- 
spring proi>er, although this name is local rather thnn tribal. They 
speak the Tenino language. See Tenino. 

Tknino or Mf:Li'- LKMA (Shahaptian stock). — The most important 
Shahaptian tribe of western Oregon. They formerly occupied middle 
Des Chutes river, and conquered the ])resent Warmsi)ring reservation 
from the Paiuto or Snake tribes, but never occui)ied it until j)ut there 
by the Wasco treaty of 1855. Since then they have been known indis- 
criminately as Tenino or Warmspring Indians, although this latter 
designation is commonly used to include other cognate tribes on the 
same reservation. For this reason it is impossible to give their number 
definitely. The Tenino language, in various dialects, is spoken, except- 
ing by the Lohim, by all the tribes formerly living on both banks of the 
Columbia and on its tributaries from the country of the Wasko about 
The Dalles up to about the mouth of the Umatilla. 

Most of this region, ou the south or Oregon side of the Columbia, 
was formerly held by Shoshonean tribes of Paiute connection, which 
have been dispossessed by the Shahaptian tribes and driven farther 
back to the south. The only Shoshonean tribe which maintained its 
place on the Columbia was the Lohim, on Willow creek. The Tenino 
themselves conquered the present Warmspring reservation from the 
Snakes. The expulsion was in full ijrogress when Lewis and Clark 
went down the Columbia in 1805, but had been practically completed 
when the first treaties were made with these tribes fifty years later. 
Lewis and Clark state that "on that (the south) side of the river none 
of the tribes have any permanent habitations, and on inquiry we were 
confirmed in our belief that it was from the fear of being attacked by the 
Snake Indians, with whom they are constantly at war. This nation 
they represent as being very numerous and residing in a great number 
of villages on the Towahnahiook (Wanwaui or Des Chutes), where they 
live principally on salmon, . . . the first villages of the Snake 
Lidians being twelve days' journey on a course about southeast of this 


place." In the appendix, after meutiouing various bands of Snakes on 
Snake and Willamette rivers, they speak of the main body as "resid- 
iii.ii- in the fall and winter on the ^Multnomah (Willamet) river, south- 
ward of the Southwest mountains, and in spring and summer near the 
heads of the Towahnahiook (Des Chutes), Lepage (John Day), Yau- 
nialolam (Umatilla), and Wollawollah rivers, and especially at the falls 
of the Towahnahiook, for the purpose of fishing." In the Wasco 
treaty of 1855 the Shahaptian tribes were recognized as owners of the 
whole country southward to the forty-fourth parallel, from the Cascade 
range east to the Blue mountains. See Tapdiuish. 

TOkspu'sh or John Day Indians (Shahaptian stock). — Synonyms: 
Dock-spus, John Day Rivers, Tuksjifish-'lf'ma. A tribe speaking the 
Tenino language and formerly living along the lower part of John Day 
river, Oregon, having their principal village at the falls about 4 miles 
above the mouth. They are now on Warmsj)ring reservation, and num- 
bered 59 in 1S92, with perhaps others off the reservation. Tiikspfish is 
the name of John Day river in the Tenino language. 

LoHiM or Willow Creek Indians (Shoshonean stock). — A tribe 
living on Willow creek, in Gilliam and Morrow counties, Oregon. They 
are of Shoshonean connection, being the only Indians of this stock, who 
have been able to maintain their position on the Columbia against the 
inroads of the Shahaptian tribes. They have never made a treaty with 
the government, and are generally si)oken of as renegades belonging to 
the Umatilla reservation. In 1870 tliey were reported to number 114, 
but are not mentioned in the recent official reports. 

Cayuse or Waile'tpu (Waiilatpuan stock). — Synonyms: Cailloux, 
Kayuse, Shiwanish, Skyuse, Wailetma, Yeletpo Chopunnish (of Lewis 
and Clark). The Cayuse are a warlike tribe of distinct stock for- 
merly occupying the mountain country on the heads of Wallawalla, 
Umatilla, and Grande Eonde rivers in Oregon and Washington, includ- 
ing the present Umatilla reservation. Further investigation may yet 
establish a linguistic connection with the Shahaptian tribes. Tlie 
Molala, formerly on Molalla creek, west of the Cascades, are a sepa- 
rated band, of whose western migration the Cayuse and their neighbors 
still have a tradition. The Cayuse formerly bore a high reputation for 
intelligence and bravery, but on account of their fighting propensities, 
which led them to make constant war on the Snakes and other tribes to 
the west, they were never very numerous. In 1838 a Presbyterian mis- 
sion, called Waiilatpu, had been established among the Cayuse, by Dr 
Whitman, where now is the town of Whitman, in Wallawalla county, 
Washington. In 1847 the smallpox, before unknown among them, car- 
ried ott' a large part of the tribe. The Cayuse, believing that the mis- 
sionaries were the cause of it, attacked the mission on November 29, 
1847, killed Dr Whitman and thirteen others, and destroyed the mission. 
As a matter of fact, there seems little question that the infection was 
brought into the country in supplies intended for the use of the mission 


or of emigiants temporarily stopping there. In 1854, according to Ste- 
vens, "the tribe, though still dreaded by their neighbors on account of 
their courage and warlike spirit, is but a small one, numbering, accord- 
ing to the census of 1851, only 12»). Of these, individuals of the pure 
blood are few, the majority being intermixed with the Nez Percys and 
the Wallah-Wallahs, particularly with the former, to such a degree that 
their own language has fallen into disuse.'' A few years ago only a few 
individuals, then living on Umatilla reservation, retained their old lan- 
guage. In 1855 they joined in the treaty by which Umatilla reservation 
in Oregon was set apart, and most of those remaining are now there, 
while a few others are with the Nez Perces at Lapwai. Joseph, the 
noted Nez Perce chief, is himself the son of a Cayuse father. In 1892 
the Cayuse on Umatilla reservation were rep<irted to number 391, but it 
is evident that most of these are mixed bloods of other tribes, particu- 
larly the Umatilla. The name Cayuse is from the Nez Perce laiiguage. 
They call themselves Waileti>u. They are known to the Yakima as 
Wi'alct-pfim or Wai'letma, and to the Teiiino as Shiwanish, or " strangers 
from up the river," a name extended also to the Nez Perccs. 

Umatilla (Shahaptian stock). — Synonym : Utilla. A tribe for- 
merly occupying the lower portion of the river of the same name, with 
the adjacent bank of the Columbia, in Oregon. They speak a distinct 
language of the Shahaptian stock. By the treaty of 1855 they agreed 
to go on Umatilla leservation in Oregon, v/here in 1892 they were 
reported to number 21(!. A large proportion of those now called Cay- 
use on the same reservation are Umatilla mixed-bloods. 

Wallawalla (Shahaptian stock). — Sipwnyms: Oualla-Oualla, Wal- 
awaltz, Wollawollah, Wollaw-Wollah. A tribe formerly occupying the 
country about the lower portion of the river of the same name and 
along the east bank of the Columbia from Snake river down nearly to 
the Umatilla, in Washington and Oregon. They take their name Irom 
the river, the word being said to refer to " rushing water." Their lan- 
guage is said to resemble closely that of the Nez Perci's. P>y the treaty 
of 1855 they agreed to go on Umatilla reservation, Oregon, where, in 
1892, they were reported to number 474. 

A small band of the same tribe, known to the Yakima as Walu'la-i^iim, 
formerly lived on the west bank of the Columbia opposite the present 
Wallula. Their dialect is said to have been more akin to the Pa'lus 

SAHAPTiNor Nez Perces (Shahaptian stock).— Synonymn: Chohop- 
tins, Chopunnish (Lewis and Clark), Coi)unnish, Laaptiu (misprint), 
A'dal-k'ato'igo, "people with hair cut across the forehead" (Kiowa 
name), Shi'wanish (Tenino name, applied also to the Cayuse), Wa'pa- 
metant (Yakima name for the language). The Nez Perces are said to 
call themselves Sahaptin, and were named Nez Perces, or "i)ierced 
noses," by the French from their former custom of wearing nose jjend- 
ants. They are the most important tribe of the Shahaptian stock, and 


foinierly occu])ic(l a largo tenitoiy in eastern Wa.sliington and Oregon 
and central Idaho, bounded on the east by tlie main divide of tlie 
Bitterroot mountains, and including lower Grande Eonde and Salmon 
rivers, with a large part of the Hnake and all of the Clearwater. The 
Wallowa valley, the dis])nted title to which led to the Nez Perce war, 
lies on a branch of the Grande Itonde, in Oregon. They had the 
Salishan tribes to the northeast, the Shoshonean tribes to the south, 
and the Cayuse, Wallawalla, and riilus, with all of whom they are 
much intermarried, on the west and northwest. Almost all authorities 
give them a high character for bravery, intelligence, and honorable 
conduct traits which were strikingly displayed in the Nez Perce war. 
Lewis and Clark traversed tlieir country in 1S0.5, and speak of them 
and some connected tribes under the uameof Chopunnish, distinguished 
as follows: Chopunnish nation (about the present Lapwai reservation), 
Pelloatpallah band (the Piilus), Kimooenim band (on Snake river, 
between the Salmon and the Clearwater), Yeletpo band (the Cayuse), 
Willewah band (in Wallowa valley, afterward Joseph's band), Soyeu- 
nom band (on the nortli side of the npjjcr Clearwater, in Idaho; these 
were really a i)art of the Piilus — the proper form is Tiitqu'nma, whence 
Thatuna hills, referring to "a fawn" in the Piilus language, and was 
the name applied to their kamas ground about Camass creek), Chopun- 
nish of Lewis river (on Snake river, below the Clearwater). In response 
to a request from the Nez Perces, who sent a delegation all the way to 
Saint Louis for that purpose in 1832, tlie first Protestant mission was 
established among tliem at Lapwai, Idaho, in 1837. Soon afterward 
they entered into relations with the government, and made their first 
treaty with the United States in 1855. By this treaty they ceded the 
greater portion of their territory, and were confirmed in the possession 
of a reservation including Wallowa valley. On the discovery of gold in 
the country, however, the miners rushed in, and in consequence a new 
treaty was made iu 1803, by which they gave up all but the present 
Lapwai reservation in Idaho. Joseph, who occupied Wallowa valley 
with his band, refused to recognize this treaty or remove to Lapwai. 
This refusal finally led to the Nez Perc6 war in 1877, as already related. 
The main body of the tribe took no part in the war. After the surren- 
der of Joseph his band was removed to Indian Territory, where the 
mortality among them was so great that in 1884 they were returned to 
the uorthwest. For several reasons, however, it was deemed unadvis- 
able to settle them in the neighborhood of their old home, and a place 
was finally found for them in 1887 on Colville reservation in northern 
Washington. In 1892 there were 1,828 on Lapwai reservation and 138 
on Colville reservation, a total population of 1,966. 

Chapter YIII 


My breath was out and I died. All at once I save a great shining light. Angels 
told rae to look back. I did, and saw my own body lying dead. It had no soul. My 
soul left my body and went up to the judguieut place of God. . . . My soul was 
told tliat I must coiue back and live on earth. When I came back, I told my friends, 
" There is .a (iod. My good friends be Christians. If you all try hard and help me, 
we shall be better men on earth." — John Slocum. 

In 1881 there originated among the tribes of Puget sound in Wash- 
ington a new religion, which, although apparently not founded on any 
doctrinal jirophecy, yet deserves special attention for the iirominent 
part which hypnotism holds in its ceremonial. Indeed, there is good 
reason to believe that the Paiute messiah himself, and through him 

Flu. 67 — Jobu Slocum and Louis Yowaluoh. 

all the apostles of the Ghost dance, have obtained their knowledge of 
hypnotic secrets from the ''Shakers" of Puget sound. 

The founder of the religion is Squsacht-un, known to the whites as 
John Slocum. He is now (1S96) about 58 years of age. His chief high 
priest is Louis Yowaluch, or Ai yiil as he is called by the Yakima. Both 
are of the Squaxin tri])e. In 1881 (Eells makes it 1882) he "died" or fell 
into a trance one morning about daylight and remained in that condi- 


tiou until the middle of the afternoon, when he awoke and announced 
that he had been to heaven, but had been met at the entrance by 
aiiji'els. who forbade him to enter on account of his wickedness, and gave 
him his choice either to go to hell or return to earth and teach his 
people what they must do to get to heaven. Accordingly, he came back 
to earth ami began his divinely appointed mission, introducing into the 
new doctrine and ritual a great deal of what he had learned from the 
white missionaries. From the nervous twitchings which so peculiarly 
distinguished them, his followers soon became known as " Shakers." 
Although strongly o^jposed by the agent, who arrested and imprisoned 
the leadei'S and visited various minor penalties on their followers, the 
Shaker religion grew and flourished until it now has a regular organi- 
zation with several houses of worship, and has received the official 
indorsement of the Presbyterian church. 

The following account of the system, in response to a letter of inquiry, 
was obtained from the missionary, Reverend Myron Eells, brother of 
the agent: 

A curious phase of religion spranji up iu the fall of 1882 among some of the Indians 
on the southern part of Puget sountl. It has prevailed uiaiuly among the Squ.axon, 
Nisqually, Skokomish, and Chehalis Indiiins, and has been called by its opponents 
the "Shake religion,'' and its followers liave been called "Shakers" on account of 
a Large amount of nervous shaking whicli is a part of the form of its observance. It 
is evidently based upon about the same principles of the min<l as the jerks and shout- 
ing at camp meetings among the whites of the soutlicrn and western states fifty 
years ago, when they were more ignorant iind less acquainted with real religion than 
they are now. When superstition, ignor.ance, dreams, imagination, and religion are 
all mingled together, either among whites, Indians, or people of any other race, they 
produce a strange compound. It has proven so in this case. 

In the fall of 1882 an Indian named John Slocum, who was living on .Skookum bay, 
in Mason county, apparently died. Some years previous he had lived on the Skoko- 
mish reservation, where ho had .attended a Protestant chnrclj, and had le.arned some- 
thing of the white man's religion, God, .Tesus Christ, and the morals iuculcated. He 
had also learned something in his early life of the Catholic religion and its forms 
and ceremonies. Many Indians were present when lie was sick and apparently 
died. They said his neck was broken, and that he remained dead for about six hours, 
when he returned to life, jumped up, and ran off a short distance, and soon began 
to converse with the people. Whether or not it was a case of suspended anima- 
tion is a (lucsticin. A white man, a near neighbor of his, who saw him before his 
apparent death, while he thus lay. and after his resuscitation, said he believed the 
Indian was "jdaying possum." But the Indians believed that he really died and 
rose again. 

The Indian stated that lie died and attempted to go to heaven, but could uot enter 
it because he was so wicked. He was there told, however, the way of life, and that 
he must return to this earth and teach his people the way, and induce them to become 
Christians. He gained a small band of followers, a church was built for him, and 
he steadily preached to the people. 

Aft'airs went on this way until the next August. Then, after consultation with 
other Indians who favored liim, especially on the Skokomish reservation, it was 
decided to hold a big meeting. The Indians of the surrounding region were called 
to go. They were told that they would be lost if they did not; that four women 
would be turned into angels ; that persons would die and be raised to life again, and 
that other wonderful things would lie done. 


Many went, about lialf of those on the Skokomish reservation being among the 
number, and they did hold a big meeting. Women did go around trying to fly 
like angels; four persons are said to have died, and, with the power which was 
said to have been given them from above, others were said to have brought them 
back to life again. This was a mixture of trying to perform miracles, as in Bible 
times, to prove the divinity of their religion, and some of the ceremonies of their old 
black toiiiiihiions. This was a secret society of their savage days, in which persons 
went into a hypnotic conditicm, in which they became very rigid, and out of which 
they came m the course of time. The followers of this new religion dreamed dreams, 
saw visions, went through some disgusting ceremonies a la mode the black iomahnoits, 
and were taken with a kind of shaking. With their arms at full length, their hands 
and arms would shake so fast that a common person not under the excitement could 
hardly shake half as fast. Gazing into the heavens, their heads would also shake 
very, sometimes for a few minutes and sometimes for hours, or half the night. 
They would also brush each other with their hands, as they said, to brush ott' their 
sins, for they said they were much worse than white people, the latter being bad 
only in their hearts, while the Indians were so bad that the badness came to the 
surface of their bodies and the ends of their linger nails, so that it could be picked 
oft". Tliey sometimes brushed each other lightly, and sometimes so roughly that the 
person brushed was made black for a week, or even sick. 

In connection with this they held church services, prayed to God, bi-lieved in Christ 
as a savior, said much about his death, and used the cross, their services being a 
combination of Protestant and Catholic services, though at first they almost totally 
1 ejected the Bilde, for they said they had direct revelations from Christ, and were 
more fortunate than the whites, who had an old, antiquated book. 

After having kept up this meeting for about a week, they disbanded and went to 
their homes, but did not stop their shaking or services. They sometimes held meet- 
ings from oelock in the evening until about midnight, lighting candles and putting 
them on their heads for a long time. They l>ecame very peculiar about making the 
sign of the cross many times a day, when they began to eat as they asked a blessing, 
and when they finished their meal and returned thanks; when they shook hands 
with anyone — and they shook hands very often — when they went to church and 
prayer meeting on Thursday evening, and at many other times, far more often than 
the Catholics do. 

On the .Skokomish reservation their indiscretions cau.sed the death of a mother and 
her child, and an additional loss of time and jiroperty to the amount of $600 or $800 
in a few weeks. It also became a serious question whether the constant shakiug of 
their heads would not make some of them crazy, and from symptoms and indications 
it was the opinion of the agency physician, J. T. Martin, that it would do so. 
Accordingly, on the reservation the authority of the agent was brought to bear, and 
to a great extent the shaking was stopped, though they were encouraged to keep on 
in the practice of some good haliits which they had begun, of ceasing gambling, 
intemperance, their old style incantations over the sick, and the like. Some at 
first said they could not stop shaking, but that at tlieir jjrayer meetings and church 
services on the S.abVjath their hands and heads would continue to shake in spite of 
themselves; but after a short time, when the excitement had died away, they found 
that they could stop. 

But about Skookum bay, Mud bay, and .S(iuaxoii the shiiking continued, and it 
spread to the Xisqually and Chchalis Indians. It seemed to be as catching, to use the 
expression of the Indians, as the measles. Many who at first ridiculed it and fought 
against it, and invoked the aid of the agent to stop it, were drawn into it after a 
little, and then they became its strong iipholders. This was especially true of the 
medicine-men, or Indian doctors, and those who had the strongest faith in them. 
The Shakers declared that all the old Indian religion, and especially the cure of the 
sick by the medicine-men, was from the devil, and they would have nothing to do 
with it, those who at first originated and propagated it having been among the 


more iiitclligeut and progressive of the uueflucated Indians. Very few of those 
who had learned to reiul and had heen in Sabbath school for a considerable length 
of time were drawn into it. It was the class between the most educated and the 
most superstitious who at first upheld it. They seemed to know too much to con- 
tinue in the old style religious ceremonies, but nut to know enough and to be too 
superstitious to fully believe the Bible. Consequently, the medicine-men were at 
first bitterly opjiosed to it. About this time, however, an order came from the 
Indian department to stop all medicine-men from practicing their incantations over 
the sick. As a respectable number of the Indians had declared against the old style 
of curing the sick, it seemed to be a good time to enforce this order, as there was 
sufiicieut popular opinion in connection with the authority of the agent to enforce 
it. This was done, and th<'U the raedicine-meu almost entirely joined the Shakers, 
as their style was more nearly in accordance with the old stylo than with the religion 
of the Bible. 

As it spread, one Indian went so far as to declare himself to be Christ again come to 
earth, and rode through the streets of Olympia at the head of several scores of his 
followers with his hands outstretched as Christ was when he was crucified. But he 
was so ridiculed by other Indians and by the whites that he gave up this idea and 
simply declared himself to be a ]irophet who bad received revelations from heaven. 

For several years there has l)ecu very little of the shaking or this mode of worship 
among the Indians on the reservation, excepting secretly when persons were sick. 
Still, their native superstition and their intercourse with those oti' tlie reservation, 
who sometimes hold a special gathering and meeting when their followers grow 
cold and careless, has kept the belief in it as a religion firm in their hearts, so that 
lately, since they have become citizens, and are hence more free from the authority 
of the agent, the practice of it has become more common, especially when persons 
are sick. 

In fact, while it is a religion for use at all times, yet it is practiced especially over 
the sick, and in this way takes the place of the medicine-men and their methods. 
Unlike the system of the medicine-men, it has no single performer. Though often 
they select for leader one who can pray the best, yet in his absence another may 
take the lead. Like the old .system, it has much noise. Especially do they use bells, 
which are rung over the person where the sickness is supposed to be. The otbers 
present use their influence to help in curing the sick one, and so imitate tbe attend- 
ants on an Indian doctor, getting down upon their knees ou the floor and holding 
up their hands, witb a candle in each hand, sometimes for an hour. They believe 
that by so holding up their hands the man who is ringing the bell will get the sick- 
ness out more easily than he otherwise would. They use candles both when they 
attempt to cure the sick .ind in their general service, eschewing lamps for fear of 
being easily tempted, as they helieve coal-oil lights to be from Satan. 

In another poiut also this resembles very closely their old religion. For a long 
time before a person is taken sick they foretell that his spirit is gone to heaven and 
profess to be able to bring it back and restore it to him, so that he will not die as 
soon as he otherwise would. This was also a part of the old tomahnous belief. 

They have also prophesied very much. Several times when a person has died they 
have told me that someone had foretold this event, but they have never told me this 
until after the event happened, except in one case. They have prophesied much in 
regard to the end of the world and the day of judgment. Generally, the time set 
has been on a Fourtb of July, and many have been frightened as the time drew 
near, but, alas, in every instance the prophecy failed. Like Christians, they believe 
in a Supreme Being, in prayer, the sabbath, in heaven and hell, in man as a sinner, 
and Christ as a savior, and the .system led its followers to stop drinking, gambling, 
betting, horse racing, the use of tobacco, and the old-style incantations over the 
sick. Of late years, however, some of them have fallen from grace. 

It has been a somewhat strange freak of human nature, a combination of morals 
and immorals, of Protestantism, Catholicism, and old Indian practices, of dreams 


and visions — a study in mental philosophy, showing what the mind may do under 
certain circumstances. Yet it is all easily accounted for. These Indians have 
mingled with the whites for a long time, nearly ever since most of them were 
small. All classes of whites have made sport of their religion — the infidel, the 
profane man, the immoral one, the moral one, and the Christian — and they have 
been told that God and the l$lhle were against it, consequently they lost faith in it. 
But the Indian must have some religion. He can not do without one. They were 
not ready to accejit the Bible in all its purity. They wanted more excitement. 
Like the Dakota Indians more recently, they saw that Christ was the great center 
of the most powerful religion of the most powerful, intelligent, successful, and 
wisest nations witli whom they came in contact. Consequently they formulated a 
system for themselves that would fill all their required conditions, and when a few 
leaders had originated it, a large Hhare of the rest were ripe to accept it, but having 
had more Christian teaching than the wild Dakotas, it took a somewhat difterent 
form, with no thought of war and with more of real Christianity. 

James Wickersbaiii, es(iuire, of Tacoina, Wasliingtoii, tlie well-known 
historian of that region, i.s the regular attorney for these people as a 
religious organization, and is consequently in a position to speak with 
authority concerning them. In reply to a letter of inquiry, he states 
that the Shakers believe in an actual localized heaven and hell, and 
reverence the Bible, but regard John Slocum's revelations as of more 
authority. " They practice the strictest morality, sobriety, and honesty. 
Their 500 or 600 members are models, and it is beyond question that they 
do not drink whisky, gamble, or race, and are more free from vice than 
any other church. Tliey practice a mixture of ('atholic, Presbyterian, 
and old Indian ceremonies, and allow only Indians in the church. They 
have five churches, built by themselves, and the sect is growing quite 
rapidly."' From all this it would appear that the Shaker religion is a 
distinct advance as compared with the old Indian system. 

Under date of December 5, 1892, Mr Wickersham wrote again on 
this subject, as follows : 

I read your letter to my Indian friends, and they beg me to write you and explain 
that they are not Ghost dancers, and have no sympathy with that ceremony or any 
other founded on the Dreamer religion. That they believe in heaven as do the 
orthodox Christians; also in Christ, and God, the Father of all; that they believe 
in future rewards and punishments, but not in the Bible particularly. They do 
believe in it as a history, but they do not value it as a book of revelation. They 
do not need it, for John Slocuni personally came back from a conference with the 
angels at the gates of heaven, and has imparted to them the actual facts and the 
angelic words of the means of salvation. 

■ This testimony is even better thau the words of Christ contained in the Bible, ibr 
■John Slocum comes 1800 years nearer; he is an Indian, and jiersouaUy appears to 
them and in Indian language reports the fects. These people believe Slocum as 
firmly as the martyr at the stake believed in that for which he otfered up his life; 
but it is the Christian religion which they believe, and not the Ghost dance or 
Dreamer religion. 

In short, they h.ave a mixture of Catholic, Protestant, and Indian ceremonies, with 
a thorough belief in John Slocum's personal visit to heaven, and his return with a 
mission to save the Indians and so guide them that they, too, shall reach the realms 
of bliss. Personally, I think they are honest, but mistaken; but the belief cer- 
tainly has beneficial effect, and has reduced drinking and crime to a minimum 
among the members of the "Shaker" or "Tschaddam" church. 


lu conclusion, permit me to say that the general assembly of the Presbyterian 
church in this state has several times examined into tlie religion and character of 
the Shaker or Slocum church, and has highly indorsed its i)eopIe and their character 
and actions. Yowaluch is their head now, and the strongest man mentally among 

Some months later Mr Wickersham forwarded a circumstantial and 
carefully written statement of the history and present condition of the 
movement. In accordance with his request, we publish it as written, 
omitting only some paragraphs which do not bear directly on the gen- 
eral subject. It may be considered as an official statement of the 
Shaker by their legally constituted representative. As migjit 
have been expected, he takes direct issue with those who have opposed 
the new religion. The reader will note the recurrence of the Indian 
sacred number, four, in Slocum's speech, as also the fact that his first 
trance was the culmination of a serious illness. 

Tschaddaiii or Shal-er religion 

"On Christmas day, 1854, a treaty was signed at the mouth of She- 
nahnam or Medicine creek, on the south side of Puget sound, Washing- 
ton, between Isaac I. Stevens, governor and ex officio superintendent of 
Indian affairs for the United States, and the chief and headmen of the 
Nisqually, Puyallup, and other small tribes of Indians residing around 
the south shores of Puget sound. 

"One of these small tribes was the Squaxin, situated on the south- 
western branch or arm of Puget sound, now known as Little Skookum 
bay, in Mason county, Washington, near Olympia. The remaining 
members of this tribe yet live on the old home places, having purchased 
small tracts of their old hunting grounds from the first settlers; and 
they now make a living by fi.shiug and gathering oysters as in days of old. 
Of the fishy tribe of Squaxin was born John Slocum, as be is known to 
the ' Boston man,' but to his native friends he is known as Squ-sachtun. 

"John Slocum, Squ-sacht-un,is now (1893) about 51 years of age, about 
5 feet 8 inches high, and weighs about ICO pounds; rather stoop shoul- 
dered, with a scattering beard, a shock of long black hair, a flat head 
(fashionably flat, and produced by pressure while a baby), bright eyes, 
but in all rather a common expression of countenance. He is modest 
and rather retiring, but has tmquestioned confidence in himself and 
his mission. He is married, and up to the time of his translation was 
looked on as a common Indian, with a slight inclination to fire-water 
and pony racing, as well as a known fondness for Indian gambling. 

"In the month of October, 1881, Slocum was unaccountably drawn to 
think of his evil courses. While in the woods he knelt and ijrayed 
to God, and began seriously to think of the error of his ways and of 
the evil days that had fallen on his few remaining native friends. 
Whisky, gambling, idleness, and general vice had almost exterminated 
his people. His eyes were opened to the folly of these facts, and he 
14 ETH — PT 2 8 


prayed. He, however, became sick; and as his sickness increased, 
these ideas became brighter in his mind and his duty more clear. He 
grew worse, and one day he died. He was pronounced dead by all 
present, and was laid out for burial. His brother went to Olympia 
for a coffin, and a grave was prepared. He died at 4 oclock in the 
morning, and late in the afternoon he again resumed life and recovered 

"His recovery was rapid, and immediately he told those present that 
during his term of death his soul had been to heaven, where it had 
been met by the angels, who, after a pi-oper inquiry as to his name, etc., 
told him that he had been bad on earth, and reminded him very forcibly 
of his shortcomings while there, and finally wound up Ijy informing 
him that he could not enter heaven, but that he could either go to hell 
or could go back to the earth and preach to the Indians and tell them 
the way to heaven. He accepted this latter proposition, and the result 
Wiis that his soul again returned to earth, reentered its old body, and 
has from that day to this animated Slocum with the spirit of a crusader 
against gambling, whisky drinking, and other 'Boston' vices. 

"About a year ago I was employed by these people as their attorney, 
and at their request attended the meetings in Mason county, and had a 
long conference with them. As a practical person would, Slocum 
undertook to demonstrate to me his honesty and the divine character 
of their religion, and at a large meeting composed only of Indians, 
members of his church, he made to me a long public .statement of facts, 
and explained, through an intepreter, the character of their religion 
and of their belief. I wrote down at the time a synopsis of what was 
said to me, and now quote it at some length as being the exact words 
of Slocum, and as the best explanation of their religion. 

"Standing before all his people, in the most solemn and impressive 
manner, in their church, he said in substance: 

'•The witnesses have spoken the truth. I was sick about two weeks, and had five 
Indian doctors. I grew very weak and poor. Dr .Jim was there. He could not 
cure me. They wanted to save me, but my soul would die two or three hours at a 
time. At night my breath was out, and I died. All at once I saw a shiuing light — 
great light —trying my soul. I looked and saw ray body had no .soul — looked at my 
own body — it was dead. 

"I came through the first time and told my friends, ' Wheu I die, don't cry,' and 
then I died again. Before this I shook hands and told my friends I was going to 
die. Angels told me to look back and see my body. I did, and saw it lying down. 
When I saw it, it was pretty poor. My soul left body and went up to judgment 
place of God. I do not know .about body after 4 oclock. 

"I have seen a great light in my soul from that good land; I have understand all 
Christ wants us to do. Before I came alive I saw I was sinner. Angel in heaven 
said to me, 'You must go back and turn alive again on earth.' I learned that I 
must be good Christian man on earth, or will be punished. My soul was told that 
I must come back and live four days on earth. When I ciime back, I told my friends, 
'There is a God — there is a Christian people. My good friends, be Christian.' 

"When I came .alive, I tell my friends, 'Good thiug in heaven. God is kind to 
us. If you all try hard and help me we will be better men on earth.' And now we 
all feel that it is so. 


"A good Christian man prayed with me four days. After four days, a voice said 
to me, 'You shall live on earth four weeks.' My soul was told that they must 
build a church for me iu four weeks. I had lumber for a house, and my friends built 
church. Had it all done in four weeks but 6 feet of roof, and spread a mat over 
that. Soon as the church was finished the people came and filled the house and 
began to worship God. I felt strong — bigger than today — all these men know 
this. My friends worked hard, and I am here because they finished the house in 
four weeks. My soul Avas told to remain on earth four weeks more. All my friends 
came, and every Saturday we worshiped God. In four weeks more my soul was 
told that I should live on earth four years if I did right aud preached for God. All 
felt thankful, and people joined the church — about fifty people. I was promised 
more time if we worshiped God. 

"A bad man can't reach heaven. I believe in God. I saw how bad I used to be. 
God sends us light to see. They know in heaven what we think. When people are 
sick, we pray to God to cure us. We pray that he take the evil away aud leave the 
good. If man don't bo Christian, he will suff'er and see what is bad. When we 
remember Jesus Christ's name, we always felt happy in our hearts. This is good 
road for us to travel if we hold on. If we do, God's angels are near to our souls. 
Power from this to help us. When we pray, it helps us lots in our hearts. We don't 
do good sometimes, because our hearts are not right. When our body and heart feel 
warm, we do good and sing good songs. As Christ said, he sends power to every 
believing soul on earth. 

"While one man can try to start religion here on earth, it don't do much good; 
they won't believe him much. That's why we join to worship. Now we are pre- 
paring ourselves for judgment. For it is said, it don't make any difference if he 
prays good and does good. God gives him help aud words to speak. Makes no dif- 
ference if ' Boston ' or Indian, if God helps we know it. These things are what we 
learned. We learn good while we pray — voice says, Do good. 

" It is ten years, now, since we began, aud we have good things. We all love these 
things aud will follow them all time. We learn to help ourselves when sick. When 
our friend is sick, we kneel and ask for help to cure him. We learn something once 
in a while to cure him. Then we do as we know to help him aud cure him. If we 
don't learn to help him, wo generally lose him. 

"This is a pretty accurate synopsis of tbe speech delivered to me by 
Slocum, aud translated by another Indian, who si)()ke pretty good Eng- 
lish. But that a more thorough knowledge may be given of their reli- 
gious belief, I give also a brief synopsis of another speech made at the 
same meeting by Louis Yowaluch, a full-blood Indian, who is the legal 
Lead of this church. It is about as follows: 

"Well, my friend, we was about the poorest tribe on earth. AVe was only tribe 
now full blood and nothing else. We would not believe anything. Minister came 
here, liut we laugh at him. We loved bad habits — stealing — and John Slocum died. 
He was not a religious man — knew nothing of God — all of us same. We heard there 
was a God from Slocum — we could see it. Same time we heard God, we believe it. I 
was of lot. I was drunk.ard — was half starving — spent every cent for whisky. 
I gambled, raced horses, bet shirt, money, blankets — did not know any better. 

".Tohn Slocum brought good to us; his words civilized us. We could see. We 
all felt blind those times. We lost by drowning — our friends drink whisky and 
the canoes turn over — we died out iu the b.ay. Today who stopped us from these 
things f 

"John Slocum came alive, aud I remember God and felt frightened. We never 
heard such a thing as a man dying and bring word that there was a God. I became 
sick for three weeks, four weeks. I hear a voice saying to soul, 'Tomorrow they 
will be coming to fix you up.' Had just heard about John Slocum, aud knew it was 
Ijunishment for my bad habits. My heart was black — it was a bad thing. 


"Now I have quit swearing — my heart is upside down — it is changed. After I 
heard the voice I heard another say: 'There it is now — some one to fix you «p. 
Have you prepared your heart? If you don't believe in Christ, you will go into a 
big fire and burn forever.' I saw a man's hand coming to my heart. That day I 
got up — was well — talked to my friends, advising them. I will remain a follower 
of Christ as long as I live. 

"Long ago we knew nothing at all. When Sloeura came back from God, we 
found out there was a God. From that time we have prayed for anything we want. 
We follow (iod's way. God teaches us if we do bad we will go to hell. That's why 
we pray and avoid bad habits. If we don't ask grace, bad things come when wo 
eating. When we drink water, we think about God before drinking. If we don't 
think of him, may be we get sick from water. If traveling, may be we die if we 
don't think of God. We are afraid to do wrong against God. Long time ago we 
worked on Sundays, but no more now. Our brother Christ has given us six days to 
■work. On Sunday pray to God. God put people here to grow — puts our soul in 
our body. That's why we pray so much. If we quit, like a man quit his job, he 
gets no pay. We would go to fire in hell. We have no power to put out hell fire. 

"Louis Yowaluch is the stroug man of tlie Shaker church. He is 6 
feet tall, rawboned, muscular, and rather slow. While he may once 
have been, as he says, a drunkard, he is now a Christian man. His 
conservativeness makes hiin a tine leader for the organization, while all 
the Indians respect him for his humanity and charity, for his honesty 
and uprightness, for his fearlessness and love of right. He fully and 
freely places John Slocuin at the head of the church, as the man who 
ascended to heaven and brought back a personal knowledge of the 
road, but at the same time he takes the lead in laying out work, build- 
ing churches, and sending out preachers to new tribes. 

''A new feature of this religion is found in Sam Yowaluch, the 
brother of Louis. He is younger than Louis, and has more of the 
native superstition in his character. He has by common consent been 
Ijlaced at the head of the faith-cure branch of the church. The follow- 
ing synopsis of his 'talk' will be an explanation of his position: 

"Among the Shakers, .)ohn Slocum is first. Louis is next. I take power and 
cure people when they are sick. Long time ago I knew nothing — just like an ani- 
mal. No doctoring, no medicine — no good. I was a drunkard, was .a thief, and a 
robber. When I joined this religion, I was told to be good. When .lohn Slocum was 
preaching, I heard that if I prayed I would have power and be a medicine-man, and 
could cure the sick. From time John Slocum preached I tried to be a good Chris- 
tian man. I prayed and was sick— my soul was sick. I prayed to God and he pays 
me for that. There is lots of difterence between this power and old Indian doctor- 
ing. This is not old power. I can cure people now. I have cured some white men 
and women, but they are ashamed to tell it. I cure without money. One big, rich 
man, Henry Walker, was sick — had great pains in his ear and leg. Doctor at Olym- 
pia failed to cure him, and he came to John Slocum and me. We worked for him, 
prayed, and he lay down and slept and was cured. He offered us twenty dollars — 
but no, we refused it. God will pay us when we die. This is our religion. When 
we die; we get our pay from God. 

"No, we do not believe the Bible. We believe in God, and in Jesus Christ as the 
Son of God, and we believe in a hell. In these m.atters we believe the same as the 
Presbyterians. We think fully of God today. A good Christian man is a good 
medicine-man. A good Christian man in the dark sees a light toward God. God 
makes a fog — good Christian man goes straight through it to the end, like good 


medicine. I believe tbis religion. It helps poor people. Bad man can't see good — 
bad man can't get to heaven — can't find his way. We were sent to jail for this 
religion, but we will never give xip. We all believe that John Slocum died and went 
to heaven, and was sent back to preach to the jieople. AVe all talk about that and 
believe it. 

''The Shakers use caudles, bells, ciuciflxes. Catholic pictures, etc, in 
their church aud other ceremonies. As Mr Ellis says, they use para- 
phernalia of the Catholic, Presbyterian, and even some of the Indian 
religion. They cross themselves as the Catholics do; they say grace 
before and after meals; they stand and pray aud chant in unison; they 
set candles around the dead as the Catholics do, and believe in the cure 
of the sick by faith and prayer. In times of excitement many of them 
twitch and shake, but in no instance do they conduct themselves in so 
nervous a manner as I have seen orthodox Christians do at old Sandy 
Branch camp-meeting in Illinois. They believe that by praying with 
a man or woman and rubbing the person they could induce them to 
join their church, and could rub away their sins; but they have no rite, 
no ceremony, no belief, no policy, no form of religion that is not in use 
by some one or other of our orthodox people. 

"Their religion, in brief, is a belief in God as the father and ruler of 
all, and in Jesus Christ as the Son of God and the Savior of mankind. 
They know there is a heaven, for John Slocum was there, and believe 
in a hell of tire for the punishment of sinners, because the angels in 
Leaven told John Slocum about it. They do not care for the Bible. It 
is of no use to them, for they have a distinct revelation direct from 
heaven. This is the only practical difference between them and the 
orthodox believers, and this they do not care for." 

Two of their songs, as recorded by Mr Wickershani, are as follows: 

Stalih giriich Kivf Sliuck, or Song of Heaven 

Alkwe klfi sutlh akwe schelch huchuni akwe shuck; 

"When "vve get warning from heaven ; 
Gwalch clah tlowcli kwe lehass ; 

Then the angels "wil eome ; 
Gwalch clah gwii tii iiddo kwO kii-kii tedted ; 

Then the wonderful bells will ring; 
Gwalch clah ass kwa-buch kwO k:i-k;i tsille; 

Then our souls will be ready ; 
Gwalch elali owhuh tu shuck; 

Then they will go u\t to liea\en ; 
Gwalch clah talib tobuch ah sho-shO-quille; 

Then we will sing wit Ii Jesus; 
Gwalch clah joil tobuch ah sho-sho-quille. 

Then we i^ ill be happy with Jesus. 

Qu(l-d(i-tsits Stdlii, or Preacher's !<ong 

Chelch lu ta la bench; 

Then we shall .sing; 
Chelch la ta la beuoh ; 

Then we shall sing; 
Chelch la t.l la beuoh ; 

Then we shall sing; 
Al kwe shuck iilliil. 

Uji in heaven's house. 


Chelch Ifi juilla; 

Then we'll bo happy; 
Chelch la jTiilla; 

Then we'll bo lia]ipy ; 
Chelch la joilla, 

Then we'll bo happy, 
Al k'we shuck iilliil. 

Up in heaven's house. 

Chelch la jfiiUa; 

Then we'll be happy ; 
Chelch la jfiilla; 

Then we'll be happy; 
Chelch la joilla, 

Then we'll be hap])y, 
Yuchque shO-shO-cniille. 

Up with Jesus. 

Mr Wickersliam then gives an account of the persecutions to 'which 
the rising sect was for a long time subjected, chiefly at the hauds of agent 
Ed'wiu Eells and his brotlier, Reverend Myron Eells, already quoted at 
length, ■who was at that time the missionary on the Skoliomish reser- 
vation. As Mr Wickersliam's statements in this regard are mainlyin the 
form of extended quotations from Ten Years' Missionary Work at Sko- 
komish, written by the Reverend Mr Eells himself, they may be regarded 
as conclusive. It is apparent that a jiart at least of this persecution, 
which took the shape of banishment, chains, and imprisonment, and 
even the forcible seizure of a dead body from the bereaved relatives, 
was due to the fact that the Shakers, who considered themselves a 
genuine branch of the Christian church, were disposed to lean toward 
Catholicity rather than toward the denominational form upheld by the 
agent and his brother. 

However, religious persecution failed as utterly in its purpose in this 
case as it has and must in all others. Quoting from Mr Eells. "The 
chiefs did not care if they were deposed, were about to resign, and did 
not wish to have anything more to do with the 'Boston' religion or the 
agent. Billy Clams was ready, if need be, to suffer as Christ did. He 
was willing to be a martyr." 

Mr Wickersham continues : 

" While Billy Clams and some of his people publicly abandoned the 
forms of Shaker religion rather than be banished, yet John Slocum and 
his people refused to so surrender, and the agent sent out his police 
and arrested John Slocum, Louis Yowaluch, and two or three more of 
these people — good, true men — and, loading their limbs with chains, 
confined them for several weeks in the dirty little single room of a jail 
at the Puyallup agency, near Tacoma. Their onlyoftense was worship 
of a dift'erent form fi'oiu that adopted by the agent and his brother. 
They bad broken no law, created no disorder, and yet they suifered 
ignominious incarceration in a vile dungeon, loaded with (chains, at the 
pleasure of the agent. The Shakers believed in God, in Jesus Christ, 
in heaven and hell, in temperance, sobiiety, and a virtuous life. They 


abandoned the old Indian religion and all its vices and forms, includ- 
ing the power of the doctors or medicine-men. These medicinemen 
had a great hold on the Indian mind, and they joined the minister and 
the agent in their fight on the Shakers, becanse the Shakers fought 
them; so that there was seen the unique spectacle of the savage sham- 
anism of the American Indian and the supposed orthodox religion of 
civilization hand in hand fighting the followers of Jesus Christ. 

"Imprisonment, banishment, threats, chains, and the general ill will 
of the agent and all his employees were visited on these Shakers who 
continued to practice their foi'ms of worship, and yet they did continue 
it. In spite of the fact that they occupied a place only half-way 
between slaves and freemen, and were under the orders of the agent 
and subject to be harassed and annoyed all the time by him, yet tliey 
continued nobly and fearlessly to practice their religion and to worship 
God and Jesus Christ as they saw fit. To do it, however, they were 
forced to stay away from the reservations, where the greater number of 
employees were located, and their churches were built on Mud bay and 
Oyster bay, far away from the reservations. 

"But a brighter day came for these people, a day when they could 
stand uj) and defy every form or force of persecution. In 1880 Con- 
gi-ess passed the Indian land severalty bill, an act providing for divid- 
ing lands in severalty to Indians, and providing that those who took 
lands and adopted the habits of civilized life should be American citi- 
zens, with all the rights, privileges, and immunities of any other citizen. 
In 1892 I was appointed by Judge Hanford to defend a prisoner in 
the United States district court at Taconia. The prisoner was accused 
of selling liquor to a Pnyallup Indian, but it appeared on cross-exami- 
nation that this Indian owned land in severalty, voted, paid taxes, and 
exercised other rights of citizenship. The question was then raised by 
me on motion to dismiss, that these land-holding, tax-paying Indians 
were citizens of the United States, free and independent. The United 
States prosecuting attorney appeared to contest the claim, but after 
an extended argument Judge Ilanford held with me, and the prisoner 
was discharged. 

"The effect of this decision was far-reaching. It meant that all 
land-holding Indians were no longer wai'ds of the government, but free 
citizens and not under the control of the Indian agent. The Shaker 
people, hearing this, sent a deputation to see me, and I held a long con- 
sultation with them, assuring tliem that they were as free as the agent, 
and could establish their own chnreh, own and build houses of worship, 
and do both in religious and worldly matters as other citizens of the 
United States could. This was glorious news to them. It meant free- 
dom, it meant the cessation of persecution and annoyance by the 
agency employees, and they were jubilant. 

"Accordingly they met on June 6, 1892, at Mud bay, at Louis Yowa- 
luch's house, and organized their church on a regular business basis. 



[KTH. ANN. 14 

The followiug officers were elected : Hearlmau, Louis Yowaluch ; elders, 
John Slocum, Louis Yowalucb, John Smith, James Walker, Charles 
Walker, John W. Simmons, and William James. At this meeting the 
following persons were also appointed ministers of tliis church, and 
licenses were issued to them, to wit: Loiiis Towaluch, John Slocum, 
James Tobin, John Powers, and Richard Jackson. Provision was made 
to establish a church at the Puyallup reservation, where the power of 
the agent had hitherto kept them out, and William James, a Puyallup 
landowner, gave land for a church. After much talk about sending out 
ministers, etc, the meeting adjourned, after a two days' session, and 

Fig. 68— Shaker church at Mud bay. 

tne Shaker church, after eleven j'ears' fighting against persecutions, 
was an established fact, free and independent, with its own officers, 
ministers, and church property. 

"The spectacle of an Indian church with Indian officers, preachers, 
and ineml)ers, and of houses built by the Indians for church purposes, 
was too much for the average citizen of Puget sound, and tlie Shfikers 
were continually disturbed, not only by the whites, but by the Indians 
who could not and did not appreciate the change to citizensliip, so that 
I was constantly applied to for protection by tlie ministers and members 
of the Shaker church. A 'paper' has a great effect on the average 
Indian, and I issued on application several papers addressed in general 
terms to those who might be disposed to interfere with them, which had 
a quieting effect and caused evil-disposed persons to respect the Indians 


and their religion, or at least to let them alone. Thej* now feel quite 
confident of their position, and are acting quite like the average citizen. 
Even the persons who persecuted them for eleven years now felt obliged 
to retire from the conflict, and a day of peace is reached at last. 

"The Shaker church now reaches over nearly the whole of western 
Washington. The story of Slocuni's death and visit to heaven, and 
his return to preach to the Indians, is accepted by them as a direct 
revelation of the will of God. They say that they do not need to read 
the Bible, for do they not have better and more recent testimony of the 
existence of heaven and of the way to that celestial home than is con- 
tained in the Bible? Here is John Slocum, alive, and has he not been 
to heaven? Then, why read the Bible to learn the road, when John 
can so easily tell them all about it? The Bible says there are many 
roads; the Catholics have one, the Presbyterians another, and the Cou- 
gregationalists a third; but John Slocum gives them a short, straight 
road — and they choose that. 

"The Shaker church now has a building for cluircli purposes at Mud 
bay, at Oyster bay, at Cowlitz, Chehalis, and Puyallup. They have 
about a dozen ministers regularly licensed, and about 500 members. 
Most of the Indians at Skokomish belong, while the Squaxins, Chehalis, 
Nisqually, Cowlitz, and Columbia liiver Indians, and in fact the 
majority of the Indians of western Washington, either belong or are 
in sympathy with its teachings, so that it is now the strongest church 
among them. They are sending out runners to the Yakimas east of the 
Cascade mountains, and expect before long to make an efibrt to convert 
that tribe. 

"The Indian is inclined to be weak, and to adopt the vices of the 
white man, but not his virtues. However, this is not true of the 
Shakers. They do not drink intoxicants of any kind, and make a 
special effort at all times to banish liquor. This is the strong element 
in their faith, and the one for which they light hardest. They feel 
upon their honor in the matter, and contrast the members of their 
church at every place with those belongingto theother denominations — 
and it is too true that an Indian does not seem at all to be restrained 
from drink by belonging to the other churches as he does in the Shaker 
church. In the others he feels no personal interest. The honor of 
neither himself imr his people is involved, and if he disgraces himself 
it reflects, in his opinion, rather on the white man's church. Not so 
with the Shakers. No white man belongs to their church, and it is 
their boast that no white preacher can keep his Indian membei's from 
drink as they can — and it is true. After their opposition to liquor, 
next comes gambling. From these two vices flow nearly all troubles 
to the Indian, and the Shakers are certainly successful in extinguishing 
their spread among the Indians. They make special war on drunken- 
ness, gambling, and horse racing, and preach honesty, sobriety, tem- 
perance, and right living. 


"The Presbyterian cliiirch occupies a queer position with regard to 
these people. The Revereud M. G. Mann has been the missionary to 
the Indians of Puget sound for many years, and has succeeded in mak- 
ing a very favorable impression upon tlieni. He has been specially 
attentive to the Shakers, and, to his credit be it said, has never tried to 
coerce them, and has only dealt with them kindly. So far has this 
gone that Louis YowalucU was long ago taken into the Presbj'terian 
church, and is now an accredited elder therein. Louis does not know, 
seemingly, how to escape from his dual position, or rather does not seem 
to think that he needs to escape. It all seems to be for the best inter- 
est of his peoi>le, so he continues to occupy the position of elder in the 
Presbyterian church and headman of the Shaker church. 

"At a recent meeting of the Presbyterian ministers the iiosition of 
these Shaker people was fully discussed, and the strongest language 
was used in saying only good about them, and every effort seems to be 
made by the Presbyterians to claim the Shakers in a body as members 
of the Presbyterian church. If this account were not already too long, 
the reports of the church on the subject would be (pioteil, but the fact 
speaks volumes for the character of the Shakers and their teaching. 

"In coQclusion: I have known the Shaker jjcople now intimately, as 
their attorney, for more than a year, and out of the many drunken 
Indians I have seen in that time not one was a Shaker. Not one of 
their people has been arrested for crime in that time. They are good 
citizens, and are far more temperate and peaceable than those Indians 
belonging to the other churches. I feel that their church is a grand 
success in that it prevents idleness and vice, diunkenness and disorder, 
and tends to produce quiet, peaceable citizens, and good Christian 
people. I think the Presbyterians make a mistake in trying to bring 
the Shakers into their fold — they ought rather to protect them and give 
them every assistance in their autonomy. It adds the greatest incen- 
tive to their labors, and makes them feel as if they were of some 
account. It lets them labor for themselves, instead of feeling, as always 
heretofore, that some one else — they hardly knew who — was responsible. 
Their forms of Christianity are not very unorthodox — their Christianity 
is quite orthodox, not exactly because they take Slocum's revelation 
instead of the Bible, but the result is the same — a Christian. 

"James Wickersham. 

"Tacoma, Washixgtox, June 33, 1893." 

From competent Iiulian informants of eastern "Washington — Charles 
Ike, half-blood Yakima interpreter, and Chief Wolf Necklace of the 
Pii'lus, we gather additional particulars, from which it would appear 
that there are more things in the Shaker system than are dreamed of 
in the philosophy of the Presbyterian general assembly. 

According to their statements, Yowaluch, or Ai-yiil, as he is known 
east of the Cascades, was noted as a gambler before he received his 
revelation. His followers are called Shapupu'lima, or "blowers," by 


the Yakima, from the fact that on meeting a stranger, instead of at 
once shaking hands with him in the usual manner, they first wave the 
hand gently in front of his face like a fan, and blow on him, in order 
to ''blow away the badness"' from liim. They tirst appeared among the 
Yakima and other ea-stern tribes about six years ago, and are gradu- 
ally gaining adherents, although as yet they have no regular time 
or i)lace of assembly. They are much addicted to making the sign of 
the cross — the cross, it is hardly necessary to state, being as much 
an Indian as a Christian symbol— and are held in great repute as 
doctors, their treatment consisting cliiedy of liypnotic performances 
over the patient, resulting in the spasmodic shaking already described. 
In doctoring a patient the "blowers" usually gather around him in 
a circle to the number of about twelve, dressed in a very attractive 
ceremonial costume, aud each wearing on his head a sort of crown of 
woven cedar bark, in which are fixed two lighted candles, while in his 
right hand he carries a small cloth, and in the left another lighted 
candle. By fastening screens of colored cloth over the candles the light 
is made to appear yellow, white, or blue. The caudle upon the fore- 
head is yellow, symbolic of the celestial glory ; that at the back of the 
head is white, typical of the terrestrial light, while the third is blue, 
the color of the sky. 

Frequently also they carry in their hands or wear on their heads gar- 
lands of roses and other flowers of various colors, yellow, white, and 
blue being the favorite, which they say represent the colors of objects 
in the celestial world. While the leader is going through his hypnotic 
performance over the patient the others are waving the cloths and 
swinging in circles the candles held in their hands. In all this it is 
easy to see the influence of the Catholic ritual, with its censers, tapers, 
and flowers, with which these tribes have been more or less familiar 
for the last fifty years. 

A single instance will suffice to show the methods of the blower doc- 
tors. The story is told from the Indian point of view, as related by the 
half blood interpreter, who believed it all. About six years ago two 
of these doctors from the north, while visiting near Woodland on the 
Columbia, were called to the assistance of a woman who was seriously 
ill, and had received no benefit from the treatment of the native doctors. 
They came and almost immediately on seeing the patient announced to 
the relatives that the sickness had been put into her by the evil magic 
of a neighboring medicine-man, whom they then summoned into their 
presence. When the messenger arrived for him, the medicineman 
refused to go, saying that the doctors were liars and that he had not 
made the woman ill. By their clairaudient power — or possibly by a 
shrewd anticipation of probabilities — the doctors in the other house 
knew of his refusal and sent another messenger to tell him that conceal- 
ment or denial would not avail him, and that if he refused to come they 
would proceed to blow the sickness into his own body. Without further 


argument lie accompanied the messengers to the sick woman's house. 
As he entered, the chief doctor stepped up to him and looking intently 
into his face, said, "I can see your heart within your body, and it is 
black with evil things. Ton are not fit to live. You are making this 
woman sick, but we shall take out the badness from her body." With 
the cloths and lighted candles the two doctors then approached the sick 
woman and commanded her to arise, which she did, although she had 
been supposed to be too weak to stand. Waving the cloths in front of 
her with a gentle fanning motion, and blowing ui)on her at the same 
time, they proceeded to drive the disease out of her body, beginning 
at the feet and working upward until, as they approached the liead the 
jtrincipal doctor changed the movement to a rapid fanning and corre- 
sponding blowing, while the assistant stood ready with his cloth to 
seize the disease when it should be driven out. All this time the medi- 
cine-man standing a few feet away was shaking and quivering like one 
in a fit, and the trembling became more violent and spasmodic as the 
doctors increased tlie speed of their motions. Finally the leader brought 
his hands together over the woman's head, where, just as the disease 
attempted to escape, it was seized and imprisoned in the cloth held by 
his assistant. Then, going up to the medicine-man, with a few rapid 
passes they fanned the disease into his body and he fell down dead. 
The woman recovered, and with her sister has recently come up to the 
Yakima country as an apostle of the new religion, preaching the doc- 
trines and performing the wonders which she has been taught by the 
IJis(iually doctors. 

This is the Indian story as told by the half-blood, who did not claim 
to have been an eye-witness, but spoke of it as a matter of common 
knowledge and beyond question. It is doubtless substantially correct. 
The hypnotic action described is the same which the author has 
repeatedly seen employed in the Ghost dance, resulting successively 
in involuntary trembling, violent spasmodic action, rigidity, and final 
deathlike uncon.sciousness. The Ghost dancers regard the process not 
only as a means of bringing them into trance communication with their 
departed friends, but also as a preventive and cure of disease, just as 
we have our faith healers and magnetic doctors. With the Indian's 
implicit faith in the supernatural ability of the doctor, it is easy to sup- 
pose that the mental effect on the woman, who was told and believed 
that she was to be cured, would aid recovery if recovery was possible. 
It is unlikely that death resulted to the medicineman. It is more prob- 
able that under the hypnotic spell of the doctors he fell unconscious 
and apparently lifeless and remained so perhaps for a considerable time, 
as frequently happens with sensitive subjects in the Ghost dance. The 
fact that the same jn'ocess should i)roduce exactly opposite eft'ects in 
the two subjects is easily explainable. The object of the hypnotic per- 
formance was simply to bring the mind of the subject undei' the control 
of the operator. This accomplished, the mental, and ultimately the 


physical, eflect on either subject was Avhatever tlie operatoi- 'svished 
it to be. After bringing both uuder nieutal control in the manner 
described, lie suggested recovery to the woman and sickness or death 
to the medicine-man, and the result followed. 

Until the advent of these women from beyond the mountains such 
hypnotic performances seem to have been unknown among the Yakima 
and other eastern tribes of the Columbia region, the trance condition 
in the Smohalla devotees being apparently due entirely to the effect of 
the rhythmic dances and songs acting on excited imaginations, without 
the aid of blowing or manual passes. 

Hyijnotism and so-called magnetism, however, appear to have been 
employed by the medicine-men of the Chinook tribes of the lower 
Columbia from ancient times. Especially wonderful in this connection 
are the stories told of one of these men residing at Wushqum or 
Wisham, near The Dalles. 

About the time the two blower doctors appeared at Woodland, other 
a]iostles of the same doctrine, or it may have been the same two men, 
went up Willamet river into central Oregon, teaching the same system 
and performing the same wonders among the tribes of that region. 
And here comes in a remarkable coincidence, if it be no more. It is 
said among the northern Indians that on this journey these apostles 
met, somewhere in the south, a young man to whom they taught their 
mysteries, in which he became such an apt jiupil that he soon out- 
stripped his teachers, and is now working even greater wonders among 
his own people. This young man can be no other than Wovoka, the 
messiah of the Ghost dance, living among the Paiute in western ]!^e- 
vada. The only question is whether the story told among the Colum- 
bia tribes is a myth based on vague rumors of the southern messiah 
and his hypnotic performances, so similar to that of the blower doc- 
tors, or whether Wovoka actually derived his knowledge of such things 
from these northern apostles. The latter supposition is entirely within 
the bounds of possibility. The time corresponds with the date of his 
original revelations, as stated by himself to the writer. He is a young 
man, and, although he has never been far from home, the tribe to 
which he belongs roams in scattered bands over the whole country to 
the Willamet and the watershed of the Columbia, so that communica- 
tion with the north is by no means difficult. He himself stated that 
Indians from Warmspring reservation, in northern Oregon, have 
attended his dances near Walker lake. 

Chapter IX 

Wheu the sun died, I ^yent up to heaven and saw God and all the people who had 
died a Ions time ago. God told me to eome back and tell my jieople they mast lie 
good and love one another, and not light, or steal, or lie. He gave nie this dance to 
give to my people. — J\'ovok<i. 

When Tavibo, the prophet of Mason valley, died, about 1S70, he left 
a son named Wovoka, "The Cutter," about 1-1 years of age. The 
prophetic claims and teachings of the father, the reverence with which 

Fig. (i9— Wov..k,i. 

he was regarded by the people, and the mj^sterious ceremonies which 
were doubtless of frequent performance in the little tule wikiup at 
home must have made early and deep impression on the mind of the 
boy, who seems to have been by nature of a solitary and contemplative 
disposition, one of those born to see visions and hear still voices. 

The ijhysical environment was favorable to the development of such 
a character. His native valley, from which he has never wandered, 


is a naiTOW strip of level sajie prairie some 3(i miles in length, walled 
in by the giaut sierras, their sides torn and gashed by volcanic con- 
vulsions and dark with gloomy forests of pine, their towering summits 
white with everlasting snows, and roofed over by a cloudless sky whose 
blue infinitude the mind instinctively seeks to jjenetrate to far-off 
worlds beyond. Away to the south the view is closed in by the sacred 
mountain of the Paiute, where their Father gave them the first fire 
and taught them their few simple arts before leaving for his home in 
the upper regions of the Sun-land. Like the valley of liasselas, it 
seems set apart from the great world to be the home of a dreamer. 

The greater portion of Nevada is an arid desert of rugged mountains 
and alkali plains, the little available land being confined to narrow 
mountain valleys and the borders of a few large lakes. These tracts 
are occupied by scattered ranchmen engaged in stock raising, and as 
the white population is sparse, Indian labor is hirgely utilized, the 
Paiute being very good workers. The causes which in other i)arts of 
the country have conspired to sweep the Indian from the path of the 
white man seem inoperative here, where the aboriginal pro])rietors are 
regarded rather as peons under the protection of the dominant race, 
and are allowed to set up their small camps of tule lodges in convenient 
out-of-the-way places, where they spend the autumn and winter in hunt- 
ing, fishing, and gathering seeds and pinon nuts, working at fair wages 
on ranches through spring and summer. In this way young Wovoka 
became attached to the family of a ranchman in Mason valley, named 
David Wilson, who took an interest in him and bestowed on him the 
name of Jack Wilson, by which he is commonly known among the 
whites. From his association with this family he gained some knowl- 
edge of English, together with a confused idea of the white man's 
theology. On growing up lie married, and still continued to work for 
]\Ir Wilson, earning a reputation for industry and reliability, but attract- 
ing no special notice until nearly 30 years of age, when he announced 
the revelation that has made him famous among the tribes of the west. 

Following are the various forms of his name which I have noticed : 
Wo'voka, or Wii'voka, which I have provisionally rendered "Cutter," 
derived from a vexb signifying "to cut;" Wevokar, W^opokahte, 
Kwohitsauq, Cowejo, Koit-tsow, Kvit-Tsow, Quoitze Ow, Jack Wilson, 
Jackson Wilson, Jack Winson, John Johnson. He has also been con- 
founded with Bannock Jim, a Mormon Bannock of Fort Hall reserva- 
tion, Idalio, and with Johnson Sides, a Paiute living near Reno, Nevada, 
and bitterly opposed to Wovoka. His father's name, Tiivibo, has been 
given also as Waughzeewaughber. It is not quite certain that the 
Paiute prophet of 1870 was the father of Wovoka. This is stated to 
have been the case by one of Captain Lee's informants {A. G. 0., 4) 
and by Lieutenant Phister {Phister, 3). Wovoka himself says that his 
father did not preach, but was a " dreamer " with supernatural powers. 
Certain it is that a similar doctrine was taught by an Indian living in 


tbe same valley iu Wovoka's boyhood. Possibly the discrepancy might 
be explained by an iiinvillingness on the part of the messiah to share 
his si)iritnal honors. 

In proportion as Wovoka and his doctrines have become subjects of 
widespread curiosity, so have they become subjects of ignorant misrep- 
resentation and deliberate falsification. Different writers have made 
him a Paiute, a half-blood, and a Mormon white man. Numberless 
stories have been told of the origin and character of his mission and 
the day predicted for its fimil accomplishment. Tlie most mischievous 
and persistent of these stories has been that which represents him as 
preaching a bloody campaign against the whites, whereas his doctrine 
is 07ie of peace, and he himself is a mild tempered member of a weak 
and unwarlike tribe. His own good name has been tilclied from him 
and he has been made to appear under a dozen different cognomens, 
including that of his bitterest enemy, Johnson Sides. He has been 
denounced as an impostor, ridiculed as a lunatic, and laughed at as a 
])retende(I Christ, while by the Indians he is revered as a direct 
messenger from the Other World, and among many of the remote tribes 
he is believed to be omniscient, to speak all languages, and to be invis- 
ible to a white man. We shall give his own story as told by himself, 
with such additional information as seems to come from authentic 

i^otwithstanding all that had been said and written by newspaper 
correspondents about the messiah, not one of them had undertaken to 
find the man himself and to learu from Ids own lips what he really 
taught. It is almost equally certain that none of them had even seen 
a Ghost dance at close (piarters — certainly none of them understood 
its meaning. The messiah was regarded almost as a myth, something 
intangible, to be talked about but not to be seen. The first reliable 
information as to his personality was communicated by the scout, 
Arthur ( 'hapman, who, under instructions from the War Department, 
visited the Paiute country in December, 1890, and spent four days at 
Walker lake and Mason valley, and in tlie course of an interview with 
Wovoka obtained from liim a detailed statement similar in all essen- 
tials to that which I obtained later on. (Sec. War, o'.) 

After having spent seven months in the iield, investigating tlie new 
religion among the prairie tribes, particularly the Arapaho, aiul after 
having examined all the documents bearing on the subject in the files 
of the Indian Office and War Department, the author left Washington 
in November, 1891, to find and talk with the messiah and to gather 
additional material concerning the Ghost dance. Before starling, I 
had written to the agent in charge of the reservation to which he was 
attached for information in regard to the messiah (Jack Wilson) and 
the dance, and learned in reply, with some surprise, that the agent liad 
never seen him. The surprise grew into wonder when I was further 
informed that there were "neither Ghost songs, dances, nor ceremo- 


iiials"' among the Paiute.^ This was discoiiragiug, but not entirely 
convincing', and I set ont once more for the west. After a few days 
with the Omaha and Winnebago in Nebraska, and a longer stay with 
the Sioux at Pine Eidge, where traces of the recent conflict were still 
fresh on every hand, I crossed over the mountains and finally arrived 
at Walker Lake reservation in Nevada. 

On inquiry I learned that the messiah lived, not on the reservation, 
but in Mason valley, about 40 miles to the northwest. His uncle, 
Charley Sheep, lived near the agency, however, so I sought him out 
and made his acquaintance. He spoke tolerable — or rather intolera- 
ble — English, so that we were able to get along together without an 
interpreter, a fact which brought us into closer sympathy, as an inter- 
preter is generally at best only a necessary evil. As usual, he was very 
suspicious at first, and in(]uired minutely as to my purpose. I explained 
to him that I was sent out by the government to the various tribes to 
study their customs and learn their stories and songs; that I had 
obtained a good deal from other tribes and now wanted to learn some 
songs and stories of the Paiute, in order to write them down so that the 

1 The letter is given as a sample uf theiiiformatiiju possessed by some agents in regard to the Indians 
in their charge: 

" United States Indian Service, 
^^ Pyramid Lake, Xeimda Agency, October V2, ISOl. 
"James Mooney, Esq., 

'^Bureau of Ethnology, 
" My Dear Sir: Tour letter of September 24 in regard to Jack Wilson, the ■ Messiah,' at hand and 
duly niitod. In reply \^"ill say that his Indian name is Ko-wee-jow ('Big belly'). I do not know as 
it will bo possible to get a photo of him. I never saw him or a ])hoto of him. He works among the 
whites about 4U miles from my Walker Lake reserve, and never comes near the agency when I visit it. 
lly headquarters are at Pyramid lake, about 70 miles north of Wnlker. I am pursuing the cour.^e 
with him of nonattention or a silent ignoring. He seems to think, so I hear, that I will arrest lilm 
should h(^ eome within my reach. I wouhi give him no such notoriety. He, like all other pniphits, 
Iia.-i but little honor in his own country. He has been visited by delegations from various and many 
Indian tribes, which I think should be discouraged all that is possible. Don't know what the ' Smo- 
hoUer' religion, you speak of, is. He speaks English well, but is not educated. He got his doctrine 
in part from contact, living in and with a religious family. There are neither ghost songs, dances, nor 
ceremonials among them about my agencies. Would not be allowed. I think they died out with 
'Sitting Bull.' This is the extent of the iuforniatiou I can give j'ou. 
' ' Very respectfully, yours, 

C. C. Warner, United .States Indian Agent-'' 

Here is an agent who has under his special charge and within a few miles of his agency Iho man 
who has created the greatest religious ferment known to the Indians of this generation, a movement 
which had been engrossing the attention of the newspaper and magazine press for a year, yet he has 
never seen him; and while the Indian GiBce, from which he gets his commission, in a praiseworthy 
effort to get at an understanding of the matter, is sending circular letters broadcast to the western 
agencies, calling for all procurable information in regard to the messiah and his doctrines, he "pur- 
sues the course of nonattention." He has never heard of the Smohalla religion of the adjacent nortli- 
ern tribes, although the subject is repeatedly mentioned in the volumes of the Indian Commissioner's 
rejiort from 1870 to 1879, which were, or should have been, on a shelf in the ofltice in which the letter 
w:iH written. He asserts that there are no ghost songs, dances, or ceremonies among his Indians, 
although these things were going on constantly and had been for at least three years, and only a short 
time before a large delegation from beyond the mountains had attended a Ghost dance near Walker lake 
which lasted four days and nights. Chapman in 1800, and the author in 1891, saw the cleared grounds 
with the willow frames where these dances were being held regularly at short intervals. I found the 
ghost songs familiar to all the Indians with whom I talked, and bad no special trouble to tiud the 
messiah and obtain his picture. The peaceful character of the movement ia sufficiently shown by 
the fact that while the eastern papers are teeming with rumors of uprising and massacre, and troops 
are being hurried to thw front, the agent at the central point of the disturbance .seems to be unaware 
that there is anything special going on around him and can "silently ignore" the whole matter. 

14 ETH — PT 2 


white ])euple coulfl read them. Jii a casual way I then oifered to sliow 
him the pictures of some of my ludiaii friends across the mountains, 
and brought out the photos of several Arapalio and Cheyenne who I 
knew had recently come as delegates to the messiah. This convinced 
him that I was all right, and he became communicative. The result 
was that we spent about a week together in the wikiups (lodges of tule 
rushes), surrounded always by a crowd of interested Paiute, discussing 
theold stories and games, singing Paiute songs, and sampling the seed 
mush and roasted pinon nuts. On one of these occasions, at night, a 
medicine-man was performing his incantations over a sick child on one 
side of the lire while we were talking on the other. When the ice was 
well thawed, I cautiously approached the subject of the ghost songs 
and dance, and, as confidence was now established, I found no diffi- 
culty in obtaining a number of tlie songs, with a description of the 
ceremonial. I then told Charley that, as I had taken part in the dance, 
I was anxious to see the messiali and get from him some medicine-paint 
to bring back to his friends among the eastern tribes. He readily 
agreed to go with me and use his efforts with his nephew to obtain 
what was wanted. ~ 

It is 20 miles northward by railroad from Walker Eiver agency to 
Wabuska, and 12 miles more in a southwesterly direction from there 
to the Mason valley settlement. There we met a young white man 
named Dyer, who was well acquainted with Jack Wilson, and who also 
spoke the Paiute language, and learned from him that the messiah was 
about 12 miles farther up the valley, near a place called Pine Grove. 
Enlisting his services, with a team and driver, making four in all, we 
started up toward the mountain. It was New Year's day of 1892, and 
there was deep snow on the ground, a very unusual thing in this part 
of the country, and due in this instance, as Charley assured us, to the 
direct agency of Jack Wilson. It is hard to imagine anything more 
monotonously unattractive than a sage prairie under ordinary circum- 
stances unless it be the same prairie when covered by a heavy fall of 
snow, under which the smaller clumps of sagebrush look like prairie-dog 
mounds, while the larger ones can hardly be distinguished at a short 
distance from wikiups. However, the mountains were bright in front of 
us, the sky was blue overhead, and the road was good under foot. 

Soon after leaving the settlement we ijassed the dance ground with 
the brush shelters still standing. We met but few Indians on the 
way. After several miles we noticed a man at some distance from the 
road with a gun across his shoulder. Dyer looked a moment and then 
exclaimed, " I believe that's Jack now!" The Indian thought so, too 
and pulling up our horses he shouted some words in the Paiute 
language. The man replied, and sure enough it was the messiah, 
hunting jack rabbits. At his uncle's call he soon came over. 

As he approached I saw that he was a young man, a dark full-blood, 
compactly built, and taller than the Paiute generally, being nearly 6 


feet in heiglit. He was well dressed iu white luau's clothes, with the 
broad brimmed white felt hat coiiuuou iu the west, secured on his head 
by means of a beaded ribbon under the chin. This, with a blanket or a 
robe of rabbit skins', is now the ordinary Taiute dress. He wore a good 
pair of boots. His hair was cut oft' square on a line below the base of 
the ears, after the manner of his tribe. His countenance was open and 
expressive of firmness and decision, but with no marked intellectuality. 
The features were broad and heavy, very dift'erent from the thin, clear- 
cat features of the prairie tribes. 

As he came up he took my hand with a strong, hearty grasp, and 
inquired what was wanted. His uncle explained matters, adding that 
I was well acquainted with some of his Indian friends who had visited 
him a short time before, and was going back to the same people. After 
some deliberation he said that the whites had lied about him and he 
did not like to talk to them; some of the Indians had disobeyed his 
instructions and trouble had come of it, but as I was sent by Washing- 
ton and was a friend of his friends, he would talk with me. He was 
hunting now, but if we would come to his camp that night he would 
tell us about his mission. 

With another handshake he left us, and we drove on to the nearest 
ranch, arriving about dark. After supper we got ready and started 
across country through the sagebrush for the Paiute camp, some miles 
away, guided by our Indian. It was already night, with nothing to be 
seen but the clumps of snow-covered sagebrush stretching away iu 
every direction, and after traveling an hour or more without reach- 
ing the camp, our guide had to confess that he had lost the trail. 
It was two years since he had been there, his sight was failing, and, 
with the snow and the darkness, he was utterly at a loss to know his 

To be lost on a sage plain on a freezing night in January is not a 
pleasant experience. There was no road, and no house but the one we 
had left some miles behind, and it would be almost impossible to find 
our way back to that through the darkness. Excepting for a lantern 
there was no light but what came from the glare of the snow and a few 
stars iu the frosty sky overhead. To add to our difficulty, the snow was 
cut in every direction by cattle trails, which seemed to be Indian trails, 
and kept us doubling and circling to no purpose, while in the uncertain 
gloom every large clump of sagebrush took on the ajipearance of a 
wikiup, only to disappoint us on a nearer approach. With it all, the 
night was bitterly cold and we were half frozen. After vainlj^ following 
a dozen false trails and shimting repeatedly in hope of hearing an 
answering cry, we hit on the expedient of leaving the Indian with 
the wagon, he being the oldest man of the partj', while the rest of us 
each took a different direction from the central i^oint, following the 
cattle tracks in the snow and calling to each other at short intervals, 
in order that we might not become lost from one another. After going 


far enough to know that none of us had yet struck the rigiit trail, the 
wagon was moved up a short distance and the same performance was 
repeated. At last a shout from our driver brought us all together. 
He declared that he had heard sounds in front, and after listening a 
few minutes in painful suspense we saw a shower of sjiarks go up into 
the darkness and knew that we had struck the camp. Going back to 
the wagon, we got in and drove straight across to the spot, where we 
found three or four little wikiups, in one of which Ave were told the 
messiah was awaiting our arrival. 

On entering through the low doorway we found ourselves in a circular 
lodge made of bundles of tnle rushes laid over a framework of poles, 
after the fashion of the thatched roofs of Europe, and very similar to 
the grass lodges of the Wichita. The lodge was only about 10 feet in 
diameter and about 8 feet in height, with sloping sides, and was almost 
entirely open above, like a cone with the top cut off, as in this part of 
the country rain or snow is of rare occurrence. As already remarked, 
the deep snow at the time was something unusual. In the center, built 
directly on the ground, was a blazing fire of sagebrush, upon which 
fresh stalks were thrown from time to time, sending up a shower of 
si)arks into the open air. It was by this means that we had been guided 
to the camp. Sitting or lying around the tire were half a dozen Paiute, 
including the messiah and his family, consisting of his young wife, a 
boy about 4 years of age, of whom he seemed very fond, and an infant. 
It was plain that he was a kind husband and father, which was in 
keeping with his reputation among the whites for industry and relia- 
bility. The only articles in the nature of furniture were a few grass 
woven bowls and baskets of various sizes and i)atterns. There were 
no Indian beds or seats of the kind found in every prairie tipi, no raw- 
hide boxes, no toilet pouches, not even a hole dug in the ground for 
the fire. Altliough all wore white men's dress, there were no i)ots, pans, 
or other articles of civilized manufacture, now used by even the most 
primitive prairie tribes, for, strangely enough, although these Paiute 
are practically farm laborers and tenants of the whites all around tliem, 
and earn good wages, they seem to covet nothing of the white man's, 
but spend their money for dress, small trinkets, and ammunition for 
hunting, and continue to subsist on seeds, pinon nuts, and small game, 
lying down at night on the dusty ground in their cramped wikiups, 
destitute of even the most ordinary conveniences in use among other 
tribes. It is a curious instance of a people accepting the inevitable 
while yet resisting innovation. 

Wovoka received us cordially and then inquired more particularly 
as to my purpose in seeking an interview. His uncle entered into a 
detailed explanation, which stretched out to a preposterous length, 
owing to a peculiar conversational method of the Paiute. Each state- 
ment by the older man was repeated at its close, word for word and 
sentence by sentence, by the other, with the same monotonous inflec- 


tion. Tliis done, tlie tirst speaker signitied by a gritut of approval 
that it liad beeu correctly repeated, aud then proceeded with the next 
stateiueut, which was duly repeated in like manner. The first time 
1 had heard two old men conversing together in this fashion on the 
reservation I had supposed they were reciting some sort of Indian 
litany, and it re(iuired several such experiences and some degree of 
patience to become used to it. 

At last he signified that he understood and was satisfied, aud then 
in answer to my questions gave an account of himself and his doc- 
trine, a great part of the interpretation being by Dyer, with whom 
he seemed to be on intimate terms. He said he was about 35 years 
of age, fixing the date from a noted battle^ between the Paiute and 
the whites near Pyramid lake, in 1860, at which time be said he was 
about the size of his little boy, who appeared to be of about 4 years. 
His father, Tiivibo, " White Man, " was not a i)reacher, but was a caj)- 
ita (from the Spanish capitan) or petty chief, and was a dreamer and 
invulnerable. His own proper name from boyhood was Wovoka or 
Wiivoka, "The Cutter,'" but a few years ago he had assumed the name 
of his paternal grandfather, Kwohitsauq, or '• Big Eumbling Belly.'' 
After the death of his father he had been taken into the family of a 
white farmer, David Wilson, wlio had given him the name of Jack 
Wilson, by which he is commonly known among the whites. He thus 
has three distinct names, Wovoka, Kwohitsauq, and Jack Wilson. He 
stated positively that he was a full-blood, a statement borne out by his 
appearance. The impression that he is a half-blood may have arisen 
from the fact that his father's name was " White Man " and that he has 
a white man's name. His followers, both in his own and in all other 
tribes, commonly refer to him as " our father." He has never been 
away from Mason valley and speaks ouly his own Paiute language, 
with some little knowledge of English. lie is not acquainted with 
the sign language, which is hardly kngwn west of the mountains. 

When about 20 years of age, ho married, and continued to work for 
Mr Wilson. He had given the dance to his people about four years 
before, but had received his great revelation about two years previously. 
On this occasion "the sun died'' (was eclipsed) and he fell asleep in the 
daytime and was taken up to the other world. Here he saw God, with 
all the i^eople who had died long ago engaged in their oldtime sports 
and occupations, all happy and forever young. It was a jdeasant land 
aud full of game. After showing him all, God told him he must go 

' This battle, probably the moat important conHict that ever occurred between the Paiute and the 

whites, was fnuglit in April, 1860, near the present agency at Pyramid lake and about 8 miles from 
Wadswurth. Xevada. Some miners having seized and forciblj- detained a couple of Indian women, 
their liusl>andM raised a party and rescued them, without, however, inflicting any punishment on the 
guilty ones. This was considered an "Indian outrage " and a strong body of miners collected aud 
marched toward Pyramid lalie to wipe out the Indian camp. The Paiute, ,irmed almost entirely with 
bows and arrows, surprised tliem in a narrow i>ass at the spot indicated, with the result that the 
whites were defeated and tied in disorder, leaving nearly fifty dead on the field. The whole atiair in 
its causes and results was most discreditable to the whites. 


back aud tell his people they must be good and love one another, have 
no quarreling, and live in peace with the whites; that they must work, 
and not lie or steal ; that they must put away all the old practices 
that savoi'ed of war; that if they faithfully obeyed his instructions they 
would at last be reunited with their friends in tins other world, where 
there would be no more death or sickness or old age. He was then 
given the dance which he was commanded to bring back to his people. 
By x^erforming this dance at intervals, for five cousecutive days each 
time, they would secure this hai^piness to themselves and hasten the 
event. Finally God gave him control over the elements so that he 
could make it rain or snow or be dry at will, and apjiointed him his 
deputy to take charge of affairs in the west, while "Governor Harrison" 
would attend to matters in the east, and he, God, would look after the 
world above. He then returned to earth and began to preach as he 
was directed, convincing the people by exercising the wonderful powers 
that had been given him. 

In 1S90 .Toseiihus, a I'aiute informant, thus described to the scout 
Chapman the occasion of Wovoka's first inspiration: "About three 
years ago Jack "Wilson took his family and went into the luountains 
to cut wood for Mr Dave Wilson. One day while at work he heard a 
great noise which appeared to be above him on the mountain. He laid 
down his ax and started to go in the direction of the noise, when befell 
down dead, and God came and took him to heaven." Afterward on 
one or two other occasions " God came and took him to heaven again." 
Wovoka also told Chapman that he had then been preaching to the 
Indians about three years. In our conversation he said nothing about 
a mysterious noise, and stated that it was about two years since he had 
visited heaven and received his great revelation, but that it was about 
four years since he had first taught the dance to his peojile. The fact 
that he has different revelations from time to time would account for 
the discrepancy of statement. 

He disclaimed all responsibility for the ghost shirt which formed so 
important a part of the dance costume among the Sioux ; said that there 
were no trances in the dance as performed among his people — a state- 
ment confirmed by eye-witnesses among the neigliboring ranchmen — 
and earnestly repudiated any idea of hostility toward the whites, assert- 
ing that his religion was one of universal peace. When questioned 
directly, he said he believed it was better for the Indians to follow the 
white man's road and to adopt the habits of civilization. If appear- 
ances are in evidence he is sincere in this, for he was dressed in a good 
suit of white man's clothing, aiul works regularly on a ranch, although 
living in a wikiup. While he repudiated almost everything for which 
he had been held responsible in the east, he asserted positively that 
he had been to the spirit world and had been given a revelation 
and message from God himself, with full control over the elements. 
From his uncle 1 learned that Wovoka has five songs for making it 

MooKEY] wovoka's vision 773 

rain, the tirst of wliich brings on a mist or cloud, the second a. snowfall, 
the third a shower, and the fourth a hard rain or storm, while when he 
sings the fifth song the weather again becomes clear. 

I knew that he was holding something in reserve, as no Indian would 
unbosom himself on religious nnitters to a white man with whom he had 
not had a long and intimate ac(iuaintance. Especially was this true in 
view of the warlike turn affairs had taken across the mountains. Con- 
sequently I accepted his statements with several grains of salt, but on 
the whole he seemed to be honest iu his belief and his supernatural 
claims, although, like others of the priestly function, he occasionally 
resorts to cheap trickery to keep up the impression as to his miraculous 
powers. Prom some of the reports he is evidently an expert sleight-of- 
hand performer. He makes no claim to be Christ, the Son of God, as 
has been so often asserted in print. He does claim to be a prophet who 
has received a divine revelation. I could not help feeling that he was 
sincere in his repudiation of a number of the wonderful things attrilj- 
iited to him, for the reason that he insisted so strongly on other things 
fully as trying to the faith of a white inan. He made no argument and 
advanced no proofs, but said simply that he had been with Cod, as 
though the statement no more admitted of controversy than the ]tropo- 
sition that 2 and 3 are 4. From Mr J. (). Gregory, formerly employed 
at the agency, and well acquainted with the prophet, I learned that 
Wovoka had once requested him to draw up and forwai'd to the i'rosi- 
dent a statement of his supernatural claims, with a proposition that if 
he could receive a small regular stipend he would take up his residence 
on the reservation and agree to keep Nevada people informed of all 
the latest news from heaven and to furnish rain whenever wanted. The 
letter was never forwarded. 

From a neighboring ranchman, who knew Wovoka well and some- 
times employed him in the working season, I obtained a statement 
which seems to explain the whole matter. It appears that a short time 
before the projihet began to preach he was stricken down by a severe 
fever, during which illness the ranchman frequently visited and minis- 
tered to him. While he was still sick there occurred an eclipse of the 
sun, a iihenomenon which always excites great alarm among primitive 
peoples. In their system the sun is a living being, of great power and 
beneficence, and the temporary darkness is caused by an attack on 
him by some supernatural monster which endeavors to devour him, and 
will succeed, and thus plunge the world into eternal night unless driven 
off by incantations and loud noises. On this occasion the Paiute were 
frantic with excitement and the air was filled with the noise of shouts 
and wailings and the firing of guns, for the purpose of frightening oft" 
the monster that threatened the life of their god. It was now, as 
Wovoka stated, "when the sun died," that he went to sleep in the day- 
time and was taken up to heaven. This means simply that the excite- 
ment and alarm produced by the eclipse, acting on a mind and body 


already enfeebled by sickness, resulted in delirium, in wliicli he imag- 
ined biniself to enter the portals of tin' spirit world. Constant dwelling 
on the subject in thought by day and in dreams by night would effect 
and perpetuate the exalted mental condition in which visions of the 
imagination would have all the seeming reality of actual occurrences. 
To those acqiiainted with the spiritual nature of Indians and their 
implicit faith in dreams all this is perfectly intelligible. His frequent 
trances would indicate also that, like so many other religious ecstatics, 
he is subject to cataleptic attacks. 

I have not been able to settle satisfactorily the date of this eclipse. 
Fiom inquiry at the Nautical Almanac office I learn that solar eclipses 
visible in Nevada and the adjacent territory from 1SS4 to 1890 occurred 
as follows: 1884, October 18, partial; 1885, March IC, partial; 1886, 
March 5, partial ; 1887, none; 1888, ncme; 1889, January 1, total or par- 
tial; 1890, none. The total eclipse of January 1, 1889, agrees best with 
his statement to me on New Year's night, 1891-', that it was about two 
years since he had gone up to heaven when the sun died. It must be 
noted that Indians generally count years by winters instead of by series 
of twelve calendar months, a difference which sometimes makes au 
apparent discrepancy of nearly a year. 

In subsequent conversations he added a few minor details in regard 
to his vision and his doctrine. He asked many questions in regard to 
tlie eastern tribes whose delegates had visited him, and was i)leased 
to learn that the delegates from several of these tribes were my friends. 
He spoke particularly of the large delegation — about twelve in number — 
fi'om the Cheyenne and Arapaho, who had visited him the preceding 
summer and taken part in the dance with his people. Nearly all the 
members of this party were personally known to me, and the leader, 
Black Coyote, whose picture I had with me and showed to him, had 
be<'n my principal instructor in the Ghost dance among the ^Vrapaho. 
While this fact put me on a more confidential footing with Wovoka, it 
also proved of great assistance in my further investigation on my return 
to the prairie tribes, as, when they were satisfied fiom mj^ statements 
and the specimens which I had brought back that I had indeed seen 
and talked with the niessiah, they were convinced that I was earnestly 
desirous of understanding their religion aright, and from that time 
spoke freely and without reserve. 

I had my camera and was anxious to get Wovoka's picture. When 
the subject was mentioned, he replied that his picture had never been 
made; that a white man had offered him five dollars for permission to 
take his photograph, but that he had refused. However, as I had 
been sent from Washington especially to learn and tell the whites all 
about him and his doctrine, and as he was satisfied from my acquaint- 
ance with his friends in the other tribes that I must be a good man, he 
would allow me to take his ijicture. As usual in dealing with Indians, 
he wanted to make the most of his bargain, and demanded two dollais 

MooxKY] wovoka's legerdemain 775 

;iiid a lialf fir tlie privilege of taking liis picture and a like sum for 
each one of his family. I was prei)are(l for this, however, aud refused 
to pay any such chai-ges, but agreed to give him my regular price per 
day for his services as informant and to send him a copy of the i)icture 
wheu finished. After some demur he consented and got ready for the 
operation by knotting a handkerchief about his neck, fastening an eagle 
feather at his right elbow, and taking a wide brim sombrero upon his 
knee. I afterward learned that the feather and sombrero were impor- 
tant parts of his spiritual stock in trade. After taking his picture I 
obtained from him, as souvenirs to bring back and show to my Indian 
friends in Indian Territory, a blanket of rabbit skins, some pinon nuts, 
some tail feathers of the magpie, highly prized by the Paiute for orna- 
mentation, and some of the sacred red paint, endowed with most 
miraculous powers, which plays so impcn-tant a jjart in the ritual of 
the Ghost-dance religion. Then, with mutual expressions of good will, 
we parted, his uncle going back to the reservation, while T took the 
train for Indian Territory. 

As soon as the news of my arrival went abroad among the Cheyenne 
and Arapaho on my return, my friends of both tribes came in, eager to 
hear all the details of my visit to the messiah aud to get my own im- 
pressions of the man. In comparing notes with some of the recent 
delegates I discovered something of Wovoka's hypnotic methods, and 
incidentally learned how much of miracle depends on the mental recep- 
tivity of the observer. 

The Cheyenne and Arapaho, although for generations as.sociated in 
the most intimate manner, are of very different characters. In religions 
matters it may be said briefly that the Arapaho are devotees and 
prophets, continually seeing signs and wonders, while the Cheyenne 
are more skeptical. In talking with Tall Bull, one of the Cheyenne 
delegates and then captain of the Indian police, he said that before 
leaving they had asked AVovoka to give them some proof of his super- 
natural powers. Accordingly he had ranged them in front of him, 
seated on the ground, he sitting facing them, with his sombrero between 
and his eagle feathers in his hand. Then with a quick movement he 
had put his hand into the empty hat and drawn out from it "something 
black." Tall Bull would not admit that anything more had happened, 
and did not seem to be very profoundly impressed by the occurrence, 
saying that he thought there were medicine-men of equal capacity 
aniong the Cheyenne. In talking soon afterward with Black Coyote, 
one of the Arapaho delegates and also a police officer, the same incident 
came up, but with a very different se([uel. Black Coyote told how they 
had seated themselves on the ground in front of Wovoka, as described 
by Tall Bull, and went on to tell how the messiah had waved his 
feathers over his hat, and then, when he withdrew his hand. Black 
Coyote looked into the hat and there ''saw the whole world."' The 
explanation is simide. Tall Bull, who has since been stricken with 


paralysis, was a jovial, liglit-bearted fellow, fond of Joking and playing 
tricks on liis associates, but witbal a man of good hard sense and dis- 
posed to be doubtful in regard to all medicine-iueu outside of bis own 
tribe. Black Coyote, on the contrary, is a man of contemplative dispo- 
sition, much given to speculation on the unseen world. His body and 
arms are covered with the scars of wounds which be has inflicted on 
himself in obedience to commands received in dreams. When the first 
news of the new religion came to the southern tribes, he had made a 
long journey, at his own expense, to his kindred in Wyoming, to learn 
the doctrine and the songs, and since his return had been drilling his 
people day and night in both. Xow, on his visit to the fountain head of 
inspiration, he was prepared for great things, and when the messiab 
performed his hypnotic passes with the eagle feather, as I have so often 
witnessed in the Ghost dance, Black Coyote saw the whole spirit world 
where Tall Bull saw only an empty hat. From my knowledge of the 
men, I believe both were houest in their statements. 

As a result of the confidence established between the Indians and 
myself in consequence of my visit to the messiab, one of the Cheyenne 
delegates named Black Sharp Nose, a prominent man in bis tribe, soon 
after voluntarily brought down to me the written statement of the doc- 
trine obtained from the messiab himself, and requested me to take it 
back and show it to Wnshington, to convince the wiiite people that 
there was nothing bad or hostile in the new religion. The i)aper bad 
been written by a j^oung Arapaho of the same delegation who bad 
learned some English at the Carlisle Indian school, and it had been 
taken down on the spot from the dictation of the messiab as bis mes- 
sage to be carried to the prairie tribes. On the reverse page of the 
paper the daughter of Black Sharp Nose, a young woman who had also 
some school education, had written out the same thing in somewhat 
better English from her father's dictation on his return. No white man 
had any part, directly or indirectly, in its production, nor was it orig- 
inally intended to be seen by white men. In fact, in one i)art the mes- 
siab himself expressly warns the delegates to tell no white man. 

Chapter X 

You must uot tiglit. Do no harm to auyoue. l>o right always. — U'uroka. 

The great underlying' principle of the Ghost dance doctrine is that 
the time will come when the whole Indian race, living and dead, will be 
renuited npon a regenerated earth, to live a life of aboriginal happiness, 
forever free from death, disease, and misery. On this foundation each 
tribe has built a structure from its own mythology, and each apostle 
and believer has filled in the details according to his own mental 
capacity or ideas of happiness, with such additions as come to him 
from the trance. Some changes, also, have xiudoubtedly resulted from 
the transmission of the doctrine through the imperfect medium of the 
sign language. The differences of interpretation are precisely such as 
we find in Christianity, with its hundreds of sects and innumerable 
shades of individual opinion. The white race, being alien and secondary 
and hardly real, has no part in this scheme of aboriginal regeneration, 
and will be left behind with the other things of earth that have served 
their temporary purpose, or else will cease entirely to exist. 

All this is to be brought about by an overruling spiritual i)Ower 
that needs no assistance from human creatures; and though certain 
medicine-men were disposed to anticipate the Indian millennium by 
preaching resistance to the further encroachments of the whites, such 
teachings form no part of the true doctrine, and it was only where 
chronic dissatisfaction was aggravated by recent grievances, as among 
the Sioux, that the movement assumed a hostile expression. On the 
contrary, all believers were exhorted to make tliemselves worthy of the 
predicted happiness by discarding all things warlike and practicing 
honesty, peace, and good will, not only among themselves, but also 
toward the whites, so long as they were together. Some apostles have 
even tliought that all distinctions are to be obliterated, and tliat 
the whites are to participate with the Indians in the coming felicity; 
but it seems unquestionable that this is equally contrary to the doctrine 
as originally preached. 

Different dates have been assigned at various times for the fulfill- 
ment of the prophecy. Whatever the year, it has generally been held, 
for very natural reasons, that the regeneration of the earth and the 
renewal of all life would occur in the early spring. In some cases July, 
and iiarticularly the 4th of July, was the expected time. This, it may 
be noted, was about the season when the great aniuial ceremony of the 


sun dance formerly took place among the prairie tribes. The messiah 
himself has set several dates from time to time, as one jjrediction after 
another failed to materialize, and in his message to the Cheyeiine and 
Arapaho, in August, ISOl, he leaves the whole matter an open question. 
The date uuiversally recognized among all the tribes immediately prior 
to the Sioux outbreak was the spring of 1891. As springtime came 
and passed, and summer grew and waned, and autumn faded again into 
winter without the realization of their hopes and longings, the doctrine 
gradually assumed its present form — that some time in the unknown 
future the Indian will be united with his friends who have gone before, 
to be forever supremely happy, and that this happiness may be antici- 
pated in dreams, if not actually hastened iu reality, by earnest and 
frequent attendance on the sacred dance. 

On returning to the Cheyenne and Arapaho in Oklahoma, after my 
visit to Wovoka in January, 1S02, I was at once sought by my friends 
of both tribes, anxious to hear the report of my journey and see the 
sacred things that I had brought back from the messiah. The Arapaho 
especially, who are of more spiritual nature than any of the other tribes, 
showed a deep interest and followed intently every detail of the nar- 
rative. As soon as the news of my return was spread abroad, men and 
women, in groups and singly, would come to me, and after grasping my 
hand would repeat a long and earnest prayer, sometimes aloud, some- 
times with the lips silently moving, and frequently with tears rolling 
down the cheeks, and the whole body trembling violently from stress of 
emotion. Often betbre the prayer was ended the condition of the devo- 
tee bordered on the hysterical, very little less than in the Ghost dance 
itself. The substance of the prayer was usually an appeal to the 
messiah to hasten the coming of the promised happiness, with a peti- 
tion that, as the speaker himself was unable to make the long journey, 
he might, by grasping the hand of one who had seen and talked with 
the messiah face to face, be enabled in his trance visions to catch a 
glimpse of the coming glory. During all this performance the bystand- 
ers awaiting their turn kept reverent silence. In a short time it 
became very embarrassing, but until the story had been told over and 
over again there was no way of escape without wounding their feelings. 
The same thing afterward happened among the northern Arapaho in 
Wyoming, one chief even holding out his hands toward me with short 
exclamations of M! liu! hu! as is sometimes done by the devotees 
about a priest in the Ghost dance, in the hoi)e, as he himself explained, 
that he might thus be enabled to go into a trance then and there. The 
hope, however, was not realized. 

After this preliminary ordeal my visitors would ask to see the things 
which I had brought back from the messiah — the rabbit-skin robes, 
the pinon nuts, the gaming sticks, the sacred magpie feathers, and, 
above all, the sacred red paint. This is a bright-red ocher, about the 
color of brick dust, which the Paiute procure from the neighborhood 


of their sacred eiuiiieiice, Mount (Iraiit. It is oiduikI, ;iiul by tlie help 
of water is made iuto elliptical cakes about G iuches iu length. It is 
the principal paint used by the Paiute iu the Ghost dance, and small 
portions of it are given by the messiah to all the delegates and are 
carried back by tliem to their respective tribes, where it is mixed with 
larger quantities of their own red paint and used in decorating the 
faces of the ])articipants in the dance, the painting being solemnly 
performed for each dancer by the medicineman himself. It is believed 
to ward off sickness, to contribute to long life, and to assist the mental 
vision in the trance. On the battlefield of Wounded Knee I have seen 
this paint smeared on the posts of the inclosure about the trench iu 
wliicli are buried the Indians killed in the fight. I found it very hard 
to refuse tlie numerous requests for some of the i)aint, but as I had 
only one cake myself I could not afford to be too liberal. My friends 
were very anxious to touch it, however, but when I found that every 
man tried to rub off as much of it as possible on the palms of his 
hands, afterward smearing this dust on the faces of himself and his 
family, I was obliged in self-defense to put it entirely away. 

The pinon nuts, although not esteemed so sacred, were also the sub- 
ject of reverent curiosity. One evening, by invitation from Left Hand, 
the principal chief of the Arapaho, I went over to his tipi to talk with 
him about the messiah and his country, and brought with me a ([uau- 
tity of the nuts for distribution. On entering I found the chief and a 
number of the principal men ranged on one side of the fire, while his 
wife and several other women, witli his young grandchildren, com- 
pleted the circle on the other. Each of the adults in turn took my 
hand with a prayer, as before described, varying in lengtli and earnest- 
ness according to the devotion of the speaker. This ceremony con- 
sumed a consideral)le time. I then produced the pinon nuts and gave 
them to Left Hand, telling him how they were used as food by the 
Paiute. He handed a portion to his wife, and before I knew what was 
coming the two arose in their places and stretching out their hands 
toward the northwest, the country of the messiah, made a long and 
earnest prayer aloud that HesAnanin, "Our Father," would bless them- 
selves and their children through the sacred food, and hasten the time 
of his coming. The others, men and women, listened with bowed heads, 
breaking iu from time to time with similar appeals to "the Father." 
The scene was deeply affecting. It was another of those impressive 
exhibitions of natural religion which it has been my fortune to witness 
among the Indians, and which throw light on a side of their character 
of which the ordinary white observer never dreams. After the prayer 
the nuts were carefully divided among those present, clown to the 
youngest infant, that all might taste of what to them was the veritable 
bread of life. 

As I had always shown a synii)athy for their ideas and feelings, and 
had now accomplished a long journey to the messiah himself at the cost 


of considerable difficulty and bardsbip, the Indians were at last fully 
satfiSfied that I was really desirous of learning the truth concerning 
their new religion. A few days after my visit to Left Hand, several of 
the delegates who had been sent out in the preceding August came 
down to see me, headed by Black Short Nose, a Cheyenne. After pre- 
liminary greetings, he stated that the Cheyenne and Arapaho were 
now convinced that I would tell the truth about their religion, and as 
they loved their religion and were anxious to have the whites know 
that it was all good and contained nothing bad or hostile they would 
now give me the message which the messiah himself had given to them, 
that I might take it back to show to Washington. He then took from 
a beaded pouch and gave to me a letter, which proved to be the mes- 
sage or statement of the doctrine delivered by Wovoka to the Cheyenne 
and Arapaho delegates, of whom Black Short Nose was one, on the 
occasion of their last visit to Nevada, in August, 1891, and written 
down on the spot, in broken English, by one of the Arapaho delegates, 
Casper Edson, a young man who had acquired some English educa- 
tion by several years' attendance at the government Indian school at 
Carlisle, Pennsylvania. On the reverse page of the paper was a dupli- 
cate in somewhat better English, written out by a daughter of Black 
Short Nose, a school girl, as dictated by her father on bis return. These 
letters contained the message to be delivered to the two tribes, and as is 
expressly stated in the text were not intended to be seen by a white 
man. The daughter of Black Short Nose had attempted to erase this 
clause befoi-e her father brought the letter down to me, but the lines 
were still plainly visible. It is the genuine oflBcial statement of the 
Ghost-dance doctrine as given by the messiah himself to his disciples. 
It is reproduced here in dnplicate and verbatim, just as received, with 
a translation for the benefit of those not accustomed to Carlisle English. 
In accordance with the request of the Indians, I brought the original 
to Washington, where it was read by the Indian Commissioner, Honor- 
able T. J. Morgan, after which I had two copies made, giving one to 
the commissioner and retaining the other myself, returning the original 
to its owner. Black Short Nose. 

The Alessiah Letter (Arapaho rersion) 

What you get home you make dance, and will give >'»" the same, when yon dance 
four days and '" "'si'* one day, dance day time, five days and then fift, will wash five 
for every body. He likes you '''"'' you give him good many things, he heart been 
satting feel good. After you get home, will give good cloud, and give you chance to 
make you feel good, and he give you good 8|iirit. and he give you "' a good paint. 

You folks want you to come in three [months] here, any tribs from there. There 
will '■^ good bit snow this year. Sometimes r.ain's, in fall, this year some r.ain, never 
give you any thing like that, grandfather said when he die never "° cry. no 
hurt anybody, no fight, good behave .always, it will give you satisfaction, this 
young man, he is a good Father and mother, dont tell no white man. Jueses was 
on ground, he just like cloud. Every body is alive again, I dont know when they 
will [be] here, may be this fall or in sjiring. 

MoosKT] THE Messiah's letter 781 

Every body never get sick, be young again, — (if young fellow no sick any more,) 
work for white men never trouble with him until you leave, when it shake the earth 
dont be afraid no harm any body. 

You make dance for six ""''' night, and put you foot [food?] in dance to eat for 
every body and wash in the water, that is all to tell, I am in to you. and you will 
received a good words from him some time, Dont tell lie. 

The Messiah Letter (Cheyenne rersion) 

When you get home you have to make dance. You must dance four nights aud ono 
day time. You will take bath in the morning before you go to yours homes, for 
every body, and give you all the same as this. .Jackson AVilson likes you all, he 
is glad to get good many things. His heart satting fully of gladness, after you get 
home, I will give you a good cloud aud give you chance to make you feel good. I 
give you a good .spirit, and give you all good paint, I want you people to come here 
again, want them in three months any tribs of you from there. There will be a good 
deal snow this year. Some time rains, in fall this year some rain, never give you 
any thing like that, grandfather, said, when they were die never cry, no hurt any 
body, do any harm for it, not to, fight. Be a good behave always. It will give a sat- 
isfaction in your life. This young man is a good father and mother. Do not tell 
the white people about this, Juses is on the ground, ho just like cloud. Every body 
is a live again. I don't know when he will be here, may be will be this fall or in 
spring. When it happen it may be this. There will be no sickness and return to 
young again. Do not refuse to work for white man or do not make any trouble 
with them uutil you leave them. When the earth shakes do not be afraid it will 
not hurt you. I want you to m.ike dance for six weeks. Eat and wash good clean 
yourselves [The rest of the letter had been erased]. 

The Messiah Leller { free Rendering) 

When you get home you must make a dance to continue five days. Dance four 
successive nights, and the last night keep up the dance until the morning of the fifth 
day, when all must bathe in the river and then disperse to their homes. You must all 
do in the same way. 

I, Jack Wilson, love you all, anil my heart is full of gladness for the gifts you 
have brought me. When you get home I shall give you a good cloud [rain?] which 
will make you feel good. I give you a good spirit and give you all good paint. I 
want you to come again in three months, some from each tribe there [the Indian 
Territory] . 

There will be a good deal of snow this year and some rain. In the fall there will 
be such a rain as I have never given you before. 

Grandfather [a universal title of reverence among Indians and here meaning the 
messiah] says, when your friends die you must not cry. You must not hurt anybody 
or do harm to anyone. Yon must not fight. Do right always. It will give you sat- 
isfaction in life. This young man has a good father and mother. [Possibly this 
refers to Casper Edson, the young Arapaho who wrote down this message of Wovoka 
for the delegation]. 

Do not tell the white people about this. .lesus is now upon the earth. He appears 
like a cloud. The dead are all alive again. I do not know when they will be here; 
maybe this fall or in the spring. When the time comes there will be no more sick- 
ness and everyone will lie young ag.ain. 

Do not refuse to work for the whites and do not make any trouble with them until 
you leave thi'm. When the earth shakes [at the coming of the new world] do not 
be afraid. It will not hurt yon. 

I want you to dance every six weeks. Make a feast at the dance and have food 
that everybody may eat. Then bathe in the water. That is all. You will receive 
good words again from me some time. Do not tell lies. 


Ev-ery organized religion liiis a system of ethics, a system of myth- 
ology, and a system of ritual observance. In this message from the 
high priest of the Ghost dance we have a synopsis of all three. With 
regard to the ritual part, ceremonial puritication and bathing have 
formed a part in some form or other of every great religion from the 
beginning of history, while the religious dance dates back far be.yoiid 
the day when the daughter of Saul "looked tlirough a window and saw 
King David leaping and dancing before tlie Lord." The feasting 
enjoined is a part of every Indian ceremonial gathering, religious, 
political, or social. The dance is to continue four successive nights, in 
accord with the regular Indian system, in which /owr is the sacred num- 
ber, as three is in Christianity. In obedience to this message the south- 
ern prairie tribes, after the return of the delegation in August, 1891, 
ceased to hold frequent one-night dances at irregular intervals as 
formerly without the ceremonial bathing, and ado])ted instead a system 
of four-night dances at regular periods of six weeks, followed by cere- 
monial bathing on the morning of the fifth day. 

The mythology of the doctrine is only briefly indicated, but the prin- 
cipal articles are given. The dead are all arisen and the spirit hosts 
are advancing and have already arrived at thebonndaries of this earth, 
led forward by the regenerator in shape of cloud-like indistinctness. 
The spirit captain of the dead is always represented under this shadowy 
semblance. Tiie great change will be ushered in by a trembling of the 
earth, at which the faithful are exhorted to feel no alarm. The hope 
held out is the same that has inspired the Christian for nineteen cen- 
turies — a happy immortality in iierpctual youth. As to fixing a date, 
the niessiah is as cautious as his predecessor in prophecy, who declares 
that " no man knoweth the time, not even the angels of God." His 
weather predictions also ai-e about as definite as the inspired utterances 
of the Delphian oracle. 

The moral code inculcated is as pure aiul comprehensive in its sim- 
plicity as anything found in religious systems from the days of Gau- 
tama Buddha to the time of Jesus Christ. " Do no harm to any one. 
Do rif/ht ahcai/n.^' Could anything be more simple, and yet more exact 
and exacting? It inculcates honesty — "J>" not tell lies.'' It i)r caches 
good will — " Do no huriii to any one.''' It forbids the extravagant mourn- 
ing customs formerly common among the tribes — " When your friends 
die, yon must not ery," which is interpreted by the prairie tribes as for- 
bidding the killing of horses, the burning of tipis and destruction of 
property, the cutting off of the hair and the gashing of the body with 
knives, all of which were formerly the sickening rule at every death 
until forbidden by the new doctrine. As an Arapaho said to me wheu 
his little boy died, "I shall not shoot any ponies, and my wife will not 
gash her arms. We used to do this when our friends died, because we 
thought we would never see them again, and it made us feel bad. But 
now we know we shall all be united again." If the Kiowa had held to 


the Gliost-dauce doctrine instead of abaiulouiug it as they had done, 
they would have been spared the loss of thousands of dollars in horses, 
tipis, wagons, and other property destroyed, with much of the mental 
suli'ering and all of the physical laceration that resulted in conse- 
quence of the recent fatal epidemic iu the tribe, when for weeks and 
months the sound of wailing went up night and morning, and in every 
camp men and women could be seen daily, with dress disordered and 
hair cut close to the scalj), with blood hardened in clots upon the skin, 
or streaming from mutilated Angers and fresh gashes on face, and arms, 
and legs. It preaches peace with the whites and obedience to author- 
ity until the day of deliverance shall come. Above all, it forbids war — 
" I'oft must not fifjlit.'''' It is hardly possible for us to realize the tre- 
mendous and radical change which this doctrine works in the whole 
spirit of savage life. The career of every Indian has been the war- 
path. His proudest title has been that of warrior. His conversation 
by day and his dreams by night have been of bloody deeds upon the 
enemies of his tribe. Tlis highest boast was in the number of his scalp 
trophies, and his chief delight at home was in the war dance and the 
scalp dance. The thirst for blood and massacre seemed inborn in every 
man, woman, and child of every tribe. Now comes a prophet as a 
messenger from God to forbid not only war, but all that savors of 
war — the war dance, the scalp dance, and even the bloody torture of 
the sun dance — and his teaching is accepted and his words obeyed by 
fonr-lifths of all the warlike predatory tribes of the mountains and the 
great plains. Only those who have known the deadly hatred that once 
animated Ute, Cheyenne, and Pawnee, one toward another, and are 
able to contrast it with their present spirit of mutual brotherly love, 
can know what the Ghost-dance religion has accomplished in bringing 
the savage into civilization. It is such a revolution as comes but once 
in the life of a race. 

The beliefs held among the various tribes in regard to the final 
catastrophe are as fairly probable as some held on the same subject by 
more orthodox authorities. As to the dance itself, with its scenes of 
intense excitement, spasmodic action, and physical exhaustion eveu to 
unconsciousness, such manifestations have always accompanied reli- 
gious uj^heavals among primitive peoples, and are not entirely unknown 
among ourselves. In a country which produces magnetic healers, 
shakers, trance mediums, and the like, all these things may very easily 
be paralleled without going far from home. 

In conclusion, we may say of the prophet and his doctrine what has 
been said of one of his apostles by a careful and competent investi- 
gator: "He has given these people a better religion than they ever 
had before, taught them precepts which, if faithfully carried out, will 
bring them into better accord with their white neighbors, and has 
prepared the way for their final Christianization." [G. D., 4, and A. 
G. 0., 5.) 

14 ETH — PT 2 10 

784 THE GHOST-DANCE RELIGION [etu. ann.ii 

We may now consider details of tlie doctrine as held by difi'ereut 
tribes, beginning with, the Paiute, among whom it originated. The 
best account of the Paiute belief is contained in a report to the War 
Department by Captain J. M. Lee, who was sent out in the autumn of 
1S90 to iuvestigate the temper and fighting strength of the Paiute and 
other Indians in the vicinity of Fort Bidwell in northeastern California. 
We give the statement obtained by him from Captain Dick, a Paiiite, 
as delivered one day in a conversational way and apparently without 
reserve, after nearly all the Indians had left the room : 

Long time, twenty years ago, Indian medicine-man in Mason's valley at Walker 
lake talk same way, same as you bear now. In one year, maybe, after he begin talk 
he die. Three years ago another medicine-man begin same talk. Ileaji talk all 
time. Indians hear all about it everywhere. Indians come from long way otf to 
hear him. They come from the east; they make signs. Two years ago me go to 
Winnemucca and Pyramid lake, me see Indian Sam, a head man, and Johnson Sides. 
Sam he tell me he just been to see Indian medicine-man to hear him talk. Sam say 
medicine-man talk this way : 

"All Indians must dance, everywhere, keep on dancing. Pretty soon in next 
spring Big Man [Great Spirit] come. He bring back all game of every kind. The 
game be thick everywhere. All dead Indians come back and live again. They all 
be strong just like young men, be j-oung again. Old blind Indian see again and get 
young and have fine time. AVben Old Man [God] couies this way, then all the Indians 
go to mountains, high up away from whites. Whites can't hurt Indians then. Then 
while Indians way up high, big flood comes like water and all white people die, get 
drowned. After that -water go way and then nobody but Indians everywhere and 
game all kinds thick. Then medicine-man tell Indians to send word to all Indians 
to keep up dancing and the good time will come. Indians avIio don't dance, who 
don't believe in this word, will grow little, just about a foot high, and stay that 
way. Some of them will be turned into wood and be burned in fire." That's the 
way Sam tell me the medicine-man talk. {A. G. 0., 6.) 

Lieutenant N. P. Phister, who gathered a part of the material 
embodied in Captain Lee's report, confirms this general statement and 
gives a few additional particulars. The flood is to consist of mingled 
mud and water, and when the faithful go up into the mountains, the 
skeptics will be left behind and will be turned to stone. The prophet 
claims to receive these revelations directly from God and the spirits of 
the dead Indians during his trances. He asserts also that he is invul- 
nerable, and that if soldiers should attempt to kill him they would fall 
down as if they had no bones and die, while he would still live, even 
though cut into little pieces. (Phister, .9.) 

One of the first and most prominent of those who brought the doc- 
trine to the prairie tribes was Porcupine, a Cheyenne, who crossed the 
mountains with several companions in the fall of 1889, visited Wovoka, 
and attended the dance near Walker lake, Nevada. In his report of 
his experiences, made some months later to a military ofBcer, he states 
that Wovoka claimed to be Christ himself, who had come back again, 
many centuries after his first rejection, in pity to teach his children. 
He quotes the prophet as saying: 

I found my children were bad, so I went back to heaven and left them. I told 
them that in so many hundred years I would come back to see my children. At the 


end of this time I was sent back to try to teaoli them. My father told me the 
earth was getting old ami worn out and the people getting had, and that I was to 
renew everything as it used to he and make it hetter. 

He also told us that all our dead were to be resurrected ; that they were all to 
come hack to earth, and that, as the earth was too small for them and us, he would 
do away with heaven and make the earth itself large enough to contain us all; that 
we must tell all the people wo met about these things. He spoke to us about light- 
ing, and said that was had and we must keep from it; that the earth was to be all 
good hereafter, and we must all be friends with one another. He said that in the 
fall of the year the youth of all good people would he renewed, so that nobody 
would be more than forty years old, and that if they behaved themselves well after 
this the youth of everyone would be renewed in the spring. He said if we were all 
good he would send people among ns who could heal all our wounds and sickness 
by mere toiich and that we would live forever. He told us not to quarrel or tight 
or strike each other, or shoot one another; that the whites and Indians were to be 
all one people. He said if any man disobeyed what he ordered his tribe would be 
wiped from the face of the earth ; that we must believe everything he said, and 
we must not doubt him or say he lied; that if we did, he would know it; that he 
would know our thoughts and actions in no matter what part of the world we 
might be. (G. I)., 5.) 

Here we liave the st.itement that both races are to live together as 
one. We have also the doctriue of healing by touch. Whether or 
not this is au essential part of the system is questionable, but it is cer- 
tain that the faithful believe that great physical good comes to them, 
to their children, and to the sick from the imposition of hands by the 
priests of the dance, apart from the ability thus conferred to see the 
things of the spiritual world. 

Another idea here presented, namely, that the earth becomes old and 
decrepit, and requires that its youth be renewed at the end of certain 
great cycles, is common to a number of tribes, and has an important 
place in the oldest religions of the world. As an Arapaho who spoke 
English expressed it, " This earth too old, grass too old, trees too old, 
our lives too old. Then all be new again." Captain IT. L. Scott also 
found among the southern plains tribes the same belief that the rivers, 
the mountains, and the eartli itself are worn out and must be renewed, 
together with an indefinite idea that both races alike must die at the 
same time, to be resurrected in new but separate worlds. 

The Washo, Pit Eiver, Bannock, and other tribes adjoining the 
Paiute on the north and west hold the doctrine substantially as taught 
by the messiah himself. We have but little light in regard to the 
belief as held by the Walaj)ai, Cohonino, Mohave, and Navaho to the 
southward, beyond the general fact that the resurrection and return of 
the dead formed the principal tenet. As these tribes received their 
knowledge of the new religion directly from Paiute apostles, it is (juite 
probable that they made but few changes in or additions to the original 

A witness of the dance among the Walapai in 1891 obtained from the 
leaders of the ceremony about the same statement of doctrine already 
mentioned as held by the Paiute, from whom also the Walapai had 
adopted many of the songs and ceremonial words used in connection 


witli tlie dance. They were then expecting the Indian redeemer to 
appear on earth some time within three or four years. They were par- 
ticularly anxious to have it understood that their intentions were not 
hostile toward the whites and that they desired to live in peace with 
them until the redeemer came, but that then they would be unable to 
prevent their destruction even if they wished. (J. F. L., 3.) 

The manner of the final change and the destruction of the whites 
has been variously interpreted as the doctrine was carried from its 
original center. East of the mountains it is commonly held that a deep 
sleep will come on the believers, during which the great catastrophe 
will be accomplished, and the faithful will awake to immortality on a 
new earth. The Shoshoni of Wyoming say this sleep will continue 
four days and nights, and that on the morning of the fifth day all will 
open their eyes in a new world where both races will dwell together 
forever. The Cheyenne, Arapaho, Kiowa, and others, of Oklahoma, 
say that the new earth, with all the resurrected dead from the begin- 
ning, and with the buft'alo, the elk, and other game upon it, will come 
from the west and slide over the surface of the present earth, as the 
right hand might slide over the left. As it approaches, the Indians will 
be carried upward and alight on it by the aid of the sacred dance 
feathers which they wear in their hair and which will act as wings 
to bear them up. They will then become unconscious for four days, 
and on waking out of their trance will find themselves with their 
former friends in the midst of all the oldtime surroundings. By Sitting 
Bull, the Arapaho apostle, it is thought that this new earth as it 
advances wiU be preceded by a wall of fire which will drive the whites 
across the water to their original and proper country, while the Indians 
will be enabled by means of the sacred feathers to surmount the flames 
and reach the promised land. When the expulsion of the whites has 
been accomplished, the fire will be extinguished by a rain continuing 
twelve days. By a few it is believed that a hurricane with thunder 
and lightning will come to destroy the whites alone. This last idea is 
said to be held also by the Walapai of Arizona, who extend its provisions 
to include the unbelieving Indians as well. {G. D., G.) The doctrine 
held by the Caddo, W^ichita, and Delaware, of Oklahoma, is practically 
the same as is held by the Arapaho and Cheyenne from whom they 
obtained it. AH these tribes believe that the destruction or removal 
of the whites is to be accomplished entirely by supernatural means, and 
they severely blame the Sioux for having provoked a physical conflict 
by their impatience instead of waiting for their God to deliver them in 
his own good time. 

Among all the tribes which have accepted the new faith it is held 
that frequent devout attendance on the dance conduces to ward off 
disease and restore the sick to health, this applying not only to the 
actual participants, but also to their children and friends. The idea of 
obtaining temporal blessings as the reward of a faithful 2)erformance 


of religious duties is too uatural and universal to requii-e comment. 
The purification by the sweat-batli, which forms an important prelimi- 
nary to the dance among the Sioux, wliile devotional in its purpose, is 
probably also sanitary in its effect. 

Among the powerful and warlike Sioux of the Dakotas, already rest- 
less under both old and recent grievances, and more lately brought to 
the edge of starvation by a reduction of rations, the doctrine speedily 
assumed a hostile meaning and developed some peculiar features, for 
which reason it deserves particular notice as concerns this tribe. The 
earliest rumors of the new messiah came to the Sioux from the more 
western tribes in the winter of 1888-89, but the first definite account 
was brought by a delegation which crossed the mountains to visit the 
messiah in the fall of 1889, returning in the spring of 1890. On the 
report of these delegates the dance was at once inaugurated and spread 
so rapidly that in a few months the new religion had been accepted by 
the majority of the tribe. 

Perhaps the best statement of the Sioux version is given by the vet- 
eran agent, James McLaughlin, of Standing Eock agency. In an official 
letter of October 17, 1890, he writes that the Sioux, under the influence of 
Sitting Bull, were greatly excited over the near approach of a predicted 
Indian millennium or "return of the ghosts," when the white man would 
be annihilated and the Indian again supreme, and which the medicine- 
men had promised was to occur as soon as the grass was green in the 
spring. They were told that the Great Spirit had sent upon them the 
dominant race to punish them for their sins, and that their sins were 
now expiated and the time of deliverance was at hand. Their deci- 
mated ranks were to be reinforced by all the Indians who had ever died, 
and these spirits were already on their way to reinhabit the earth, which 
had originally belonged to the Indians, and were driving before them, 
as they advanced, immense herds of buffalo and fine ponies. The Great 
Spirit, who had so long deserted his red children, was now once more 
with them and against the whites, and the white man's gunpowder 
would no longer have power to drive a bullet through the skin of an 
Indian. The whites themselves would soon be overwhelmed and smoth- 
ered under a deep landslide, held down by sod and timber, and the few 
who might escape would become small fishes ip the rivers. In order to 
bring about this happy result, the Indians must believe and organize 
the Ghost dance. 

The agent continues : 

It would seem impossible that any person, no matter how ignorant, could be 
brought to believe such absurd nonsense, but as a matter of fact a great many Indians 
of this agency actually believe it, an<l since this new doctriue has been ingrafted 
here from the more southern Sioux agencies the infection has been wonderful, and so 
pernicious that it now includes some of the Indians who were formerly numbered 
with the progressive and more intelligent, and many of our very best Indians appear 
dazed and undecided when talking of it, their inherent superstition having been 
thoroughly aroused. {G.D.,7.) 


The following extract is from a translation of a letter dated March 
30, 1891, written in Sioux by an Indian at Pine Eidge to a friend at 
Rosebud agency: 

And uow I will tell another thing. Lately there is a man died and come to life 
again, and he eay he has heeu to Indian nation ol' ghosts, and tells us dead Indian 
nation all coming home. The Indian ghost tell him come after his war bonnet. 
The Indian (not ghost Indian) gave him his war honnet and he died again. (G. D., 8.) 

The Sioux, like other tribes, believed that at the moment of the 
catastrophe the earth would tremble. According to one version the 
landslide was to be accompanied by a flood of water, which would flow 
into the mouths of the whites and cause them to choke with mud. 
Storms and whirlwinds were also to assist in their destruction. The 
Indians were to surmount the avalanche, probably in the manner 
described in speaking of the southern tribes, and on reaching the sur- 
face of the new earth would behold boundless prairies covered with 
long grass and filled with great herds of buffalo and other game. 
When the time was near at hand, they must assemble at certain places 
of rendezvous and prepare for the final abandonment of all earthly 
things by stripping off their clothing. In accordance with the general 
idea of a return to aboriginal habits, the believers, as far as possible, 
discarded white man's dress and utensils. Those who could in-ocure 
buckskin — which is now very scarce in the Sioux country — resumed 
buckskin dress, while the dancers put on " ghost shirts" made of cloth, 
but cut and ornamented in Indian fashion. No metal of any kind was 
allowed in the dance, no knives, and not even the earrings or belts of 
imitation silver which form such an important part of prairie Indian 
costume. ' This was at variance with the custom among the Cheyenne 
and other southern tribes, where the women always wear in the dance 
their finest belts studded with large disks of German silver. The 
beads used so freely on moccasins and leggings seem to have been 
regarded as a substitute for the oldtime wampum and porcupine quill 
work, and were therefore not included in the prohibition. No weapon 
of any kind was allowed to be carried in the Ghost dance by any tribe, 
north or south, a fact which effectually disposes of the assertion that 
this was another variety of war dance. At certain of the Sioux 
dances, however, sacred. arrows and a sacred bow, with other things, 
were tied on the tree in the center of the circle. 

Valuable light in regard to the Sioux version of the doctrine is 
obtained from the sermon delivered at Red Leaf camp, on Pine Ridge 
reservation, October 31, 1890, by Short Bull, one of those who had been 
selected to visit the inessiah, and who afterward became one of the 
prime leaders in the dance : 

My friends and relations: I will soon start this thing in running order. I have 
told you that this wouhl come to pass in two seasons, but since the whites are inter- 
fering so much, I will advance the time from what my father aliove told me to do, 
80 the time will he shorter. Therefore you must not be afraid of anything. Some 
of my relations have no ears, so I will have them blown away. 


Tlie origiiKils of tliesc jjliiist Hliirts, now in the Xatioual Museum, were talien, by 
scouts present durint;- tlie light, I'roiii the bodies of Indians liilled at Wounded Knee, 
and were obtained by the author, at Pine Ridge, from Philip Wells and Louis 
Menard, mixed-blood interpreters, tlie former having also been present as inter- 
preter for the Indian scouts during the tight. They are made of coarse white cloth, 
sewn with sinew. One of the shirts is jiartially burned, having probably been 
taken out of one of the tipis overturned and set on tiro during the action. Two 
other ghost shirts, said to be from the same battletield, are also in the National 

MouNEi] SHORT bull's SERMON 789 

Now, there will be a tree sprout up, aud there all the members of our religion and 
the tribe must gather together. That will be the place where we will see our dead 
relations. But before this time we must dance the balance of this moon, at the end 
of which time the earth will shiver very hard. Whenever this thing occurs, I will 
start the wind to blow. Wc are the ones who will then see our fathers, mothers, and 
everybody. We, the tribe of Indians, are the ones who are living a sacred life. God, 
our father himself, has told and commanded aud shown me to do these things. 

Our father in heaven has placed a mark at each point of the four winds. First, a 
clay pipe, which lies at the setting of the sun and represents the Sioux tribe. 
Second, there is a holy arrow lying at the north, which represents the Cheyenne 
tribe. Third, at the rising of the sun there lies hail, representing the Arapaho 
tribe. Fourth, there lies a pipe and nice feather at the south, which represents the 
Crow tribe. My father has shown me these things, therefore we must continue this 
dance. If the soldiers surround you four dceji, three of you, on whom I have put 
holy shirts, will sing a song, which I have taught you, around them, when some of 
them will drop dead. Then the rest will start to run, but their horses will sink into 
the earth. The riders will jump from their horses, but they will sink into the earth 
also. Then you can do as you desire with them. Now, you must know this, that all 
the soldiers and that race will be dead. There will be only five thousand of them 
left living on the earth. My friends and relations, this is straight and true. 

Now, we must gather at Pass creek where the tree is sprouting. There we will go 
among our dead relations. You must not take any earthly things with you. Then 
the men must take off all their clothing and the women must do the same. No one 
shall be ashamed of exi)osing their persons. My father above has told us to do this, 
aud wo must do as he says. You must not be afraid of anything. The guns are the 
only things we are afraid of, but they belong to our father in heaven. He will see 
that they do no harm. Whatever white men may tell you, do not listen to them, my 
relations. This is all. I will now raise my hand up to my father and close what he 
has said to you through me. (Short Bull; War, 4.) 

The pipe here referred to is the most sacred thing in Sioux mythology 
aud will be more fully described in treating of the Sioux songs. The 
sacred object of the Cheyenne is the '' medicine arrow," now in the 
keeping of the band living near Cantonment, Oklahoma. The Crow 
and Arapaho references are not so clear. The Arapaho are called by 
the Sioux the " I31ue Cloud " people, a name which may possibly have 
some connection with hail. The sprouting tree at which all the believers 
must gather refers to the tree or pole which the Sioux planted in the 
center of the dance circle. The cardinal directions here as.signed to the 
other tribes may refer to their former locations with regard to the 
Sioux. The Cheyenne and Arapaho, who now live far west and south 
of the Sioux, originally lived north and east of them, about Red river 
and the Saskatchewan. 

The most noted thing connected with the Ghost dance among the 
Sioux is the "ghost shirt'' which was worn by all adherents of the 
doctrine — men, women, and children alike. It is described by Captain 
Sword in his account of the Ghost dance, given in the appendix to this 
chapter, and will be noticed at length hereafter in treating of the cere- 
mony of the dance. Ditring the dance it was worn as an outside 
garment, but was said to be worn at other times under the ordinary 
dress. Although the shape, fringing, and feather adornment were 
practically the same in every case, considerable variation existed in 


regard to the painting, the designs on some being very simple, M-liile 
the others were fairly covered with representations of sun, moon, stars, 
the sacred things of their mythology, and tlie visions of the trance. The 
feathers attached to the garment were always those of the eagle, and 
the thread used in the sewing was always the old-time sinew. In some 
cases the fringe or other portions were painted with the sacred red 
paint of the messiah. The sliirt was firmly believed to be impenetrable 
to bullets or weapons of any sort. When one of the women shot in the 
Wounded Knee massacre was approached as she lay in the church and 
told that she must let them remove her ghost shirt in order the better 
to get at her wound, she replied: "Yes; take it oft'. They told me a 
bullet would not go through. ]!!fo\v I don't want it any more." 

The protective idea in connection with the ghost shirt does not seem 
to be aboriginal. The Indian warrior habitually went into battle naked 
above the waist. His protecting '"medicine" was a feather, a tiny bag 
of some sacred powder, the claw of an animal, the head of a bird, or 
some other small object which could be readily twisted into his hair or 
hidden between the covers of his shield without attracting attention. 
Its virtue depended entirely on the ceremony of the consecration and 
not on size or texture. The war paint had the same magic power of 
protection. To cover the body in battle was not in accordance with 
Indian usage, which demanded that the warrior should be as free and 
unincumbered in movement as possible. The so-called "war shirt" was 
worn chiefly in ceremonial dress parades and only rarely on the war- 

Dreams are but incoherent combinations of waking ideas, and there 
is a Lint of recollection even in the wildest visions of sleep. The ghost 
shirt may easily have been an inspiration from a trance, while the 
trance vision itself was the result of ideas derived from previous obser- 
vation or report. The author is strongly inclined to the opinion that 
the idea of an invulnerable sacred garment is not original with the 
Indians, but, like several other important points pertaining to the 
Ghost-dance doctrine, is a practical adaptation bj' them of ideas derived 
from contact with some sectarian body among the whites. It may have 
been suggested by the "endowment robe" of the Mormons, a seamless 
garment of white muslin adorned with symbolic figures, which is worn 
by their initiates as the most sacred badge of their faith, and by many 
of the believers is supposed to render the wearer invulnerable. The 
Mormons have always manifested a particular interest in the Indians, 
whom they regard as the Lamanites of their sacred writings, and hence 
have made special efforts for their evangelization, with the result that 
a considerable number of the neighboring tribes of Ute, Paiute, Ban- 
nock, and Shoshoni have been received into the Mormon church and 
invested with the endowment robe. (See the appendix to this chapter: 
"The Mormons and the Indians;" also "Tell It All," by Mrs T. B. H. 
Stenhouse.) The Shoshoni and northern Arapaho occupy the same 


reservation in AVyomiuy, and anything which eoucerns one tribe is 
more or less talked of by the other. As the Sioux, Cheyenne, and other 
eastern tribes make frequent visits to the Arapaho, and as these Arap- 
aho have been tlie great apostles of the Ghost dance, it is easy to see 
how an idea borrowed by the Shoshoui from the Mormons could find its 
way through the Arapaho first to the Sioux and Cheyenne and after- 
ward to more remote tribes. Wovoka himself expressly disclaimed 
any responsibility for the ghost shirt, and whites and Indians alike 
agreed that it formed no part of the dance costume in Mason valley. 
When I first went among the Cheyenne and neighboring tribes of Okla- 
homa in January, 1891, the ghost shirt had not yet reached them. Soon 
afterward the first one was brought down from the Sioux country by 
a Cheyenne named White Bufl'alo, who had been a Carlisle student, 
but the Arapaho and Cheyenne, after debating the matter, refused to 
allow it to be worn in the dance, on the ground that the doctrine of the 
Ghost dance was one of peace, whereas the Sioux had made the ghost 
shirt an auxiliary of war. In consequence of this decision such shirts 
have never been worn by the dancers among the southern tribes. 
Instead they wear in the dance their finest shirts and dresses of buck- 
skin, covered with painted and beaded figures from the Ghost-dance 
mythology and the visions of the trance. 

The Ghost dance is variously named among the different tribes. In 
its original home among thePaiute it is called Kaniffilkwa, "dance in a 
circle" {niilca, dance), to distinguish it from the other dances of the 
tribe, which have only the ordinary up-and-down step without the 
circular movement. The Shoshoni call it Tlim'ruyiin or Tamanu'rayara, 
which may be rendered " everybody dragging," in allusion to the man- 
ner in which the dancers move around the circle holding hands, as 
children do in their ring games. They insist that it is a revival of a 
similar dance which existed among tliem fifty years ago. The Comanche 
call it A'p-anfliu'ra, "the Father's dance," or sometimes the dance 
" with joined hands." The Kiowa call it MAnposo'tl (juan, " dance with 
clasped hands," and the frenzy, guan a'dalka-i, "dance craziness." 
The Caddo know it as A'a kcikVmbaici'ut, " the prayer of all to the 
Father," or as the Nanisana ka au'-shan, " niiuisaua dance," from niin- 
isana, " my children," which forms the burden of so many of the ghost 
songs in the language of the Arajjaho, from whom they obtained the 
dance. By the Sioux, Arapaho, and most other prairie tribes it is 
called the "spirit" or "ghost" dance (Sioux, Wana'ffhi tca'chi2>i; Arap- 
aho, Thiga'naicat), from the fact that everything connected with it 
relates to the coming of the spirits of the dead from the spirit world, 
and by this name it has become known among the whites. 



While the Indiau excitement was at its height iu 1892, a curious 
pamphlet was published auonymously at Salt Lake City in connection 
with a proposed series of lectures, from which we make some extracts 
for the light they give on the Mormon attitude toward the Indians. 
The pamphlet is headed, " The Mormons have stepped down and out 
of Celestial Government — the American Indians have stepped up and 
into Celestial Government." It begins by stating that the Messiah 
came to His people at the time appointed of the Father — March, 
1890 — notwithstanding the assertion in the Deseret Evening Xews, 
made January, 1892: '1890 has passed, and no Messiah has come.'" 
It goes on to say : 

"1891 has passed, and uo pruning of the vineyard." The vineyard of the Lord 
is the house of Israel. — Isa. 5:7. In the part of the viueyard the American Indians, 
descendants of the righteous branch of .Toseph, who were led to the Western Conti- 
nent or hemisphere — Zion — we find the vine, the stone-power of the Latter Days. 
Ps. 80. 

The celestial prophet, seer, and revelator, Joseph Smith, jr., prophesied on the 2d 
of April, 1843, that the Messiah would reveal himself to man in mortality in 1890. 
Doctrine and Covenants, 130, 15, 17, which reads: "I was once praying very ear- 
nestly to know the time of the coming of the Son of Man, when I heard a voice speak 
the following ; ' .Joseph, my son, if thou livest until thou art eighty-five years old, 
thou shalt see the face of the Sou of Man.' " 

7f ^ » # * * # 

Five years later (than 1882) the sign that was to usher in the work of the Father 
was given to the American Indians, while March, 1890, witnesses the orgauization of 
a church under the restored order, where twelve disciples were chosen and ordained, 
whose first allegiance is given iiTevocably to the Lord God, whereas that of the 
Celestial Church is given to the government fostering it. 

# # *f * * » 77 

The following seven signs were to precede the fullness of the Gentiles upon the 
land of America; Zion, the time, place, aud parties given' with each. [The first, 
second, and third " signs" are omitted here.] 

4. When the Bible and Book of Mormon become one in the h.ands of the Messiah. 
Ezk. 37 : 19 ; III Nephi, 21 : 1-7. In 1887, sixty years after the plates were delivered 
to Joseph Smith, jr., the Book of Jlormon in Spanish was delivered to the American 
Indians, with the promise to those who are identified with the Gentiles that if they 
will not harden their heiirts, but will repent and know the true points of my doctrine 
they shall be numbered with my covenant people, the Branch of Joseph. Doctrine 
and Covenant, 19:59-62; 20:8-17; III Nephi, 21:1-7. 

5. The coming of the Messiah. Three years later, March, 1890, the people of God, 
who were notified by the three Nephites, met at Wiilkers lake, Esmeralda county, 
Nevada, where a dispensation of the Celestial kingdom of God — the gospel in the 
covenant of consecration, .a perfect oneness in all things, temporal and S]iiritual — 
was given unto them. Twelve disciples were ordained, not by angeis or men, but 
by the Messiah, in the presence of hundreds, representing scores of tribes or nations, 
who saw his face, heard aud understood his voice as on the day of pentecost. Acts 
2, also fulfilling sec. 90 : 9, 10, 11 of Doctrine and Covenant. Ezk. 20 : 33-37. 


6. The Fuluess of the Gentiles. In 1492, the Lord God let His vineyard to the 
nations of the Gentiles, to punish His people the Branch of .Joseph for 400 years 
(Gen. 15 : 13), bringing the fulness of the Gentiles the end of their rule over the Amer- 
ican Indians. October, 1892, Rom. II : 25-26; Gen. 50: 25; New Trans. Matt. 21 : 33^1. 

7. The Pruning of the Vineyard. The husbandmen upon this land began the last 
pruning of the vineyard in 1891. Prominent among which stands our government 
in fulKUing Matt. 21 : 33-41, saying, let us kill the heirs and hold the inheritance, 
as shown in the massacre of Wounded Knee; the butchery of Sitting Bull; the 
imprisonment of Short Bull and others; the breaking up of reservations, and the 
attempts to destroy the treaty stipulations above mentioned by forcing the mark of 
the Beast, citizenship and statehood, upon the American Indians, which will ulti- 
mately terminate in a war of extermination. Isa. 10: 24-27; Dan. 2:34; Isa. 14:21. 

According to the astronomical, prophetic, and historical evidence found in the 
Bible, Book of Mormon, and Doctrine and Covenants forthe redemption of Zion and 
the restoration of Israel, there are seven celestial keys of powers to be used which 
can not be handled by apostles, prophets, or angels. They can only be handled by 
the Messiah and his Father. 

s ^ ^ » * » » 

2. The key of power that restores the heirs, the American Indians, to their own 
lands consecrating to them the wealth of the Gentiles. 

3. The key of power that turns away ungodliness from Jacob (the American 
Indians) enabling them to build the temple on the spot pointed out by the finger of 
God (Independence, Jackson County, Missouri), on which the true sign of Israel 
is to rest, the glory of the living God of the Hebrews, the cloud by day and the pil- 
lar of fire by night by the close of this generation, 1896. 

* 7f # '* it * * 

On and after July 10, 1892, free lectures illustrated by figures, will be given weekly, 
on Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday, from 6.30 to 8.30 p. m. (weather permitting), at 
the book stand in the Nineteenth Ward, opposite Margett's Brewery, No. 312 North 
Second West. 

First. On the coming of the Messiah to the Hebrews, at the sacrifice of Esau, near 
the close of the 400-year bondage of Jacob in the morning of the Abrahamic Cove- 
nant, B. C. 1491. 

Second. On the coming of the Messiah to the Jews, at the Meridian sacrifice of 
Jacob at the close of the last 1921 years of the covenant, the year one A. D. 

Third. On the coming of the Messiah to the American Indians, the remnants, at 
the evening sacrifice of Esau, near the expiration of the evening bondage of Jacob 
of 400 years, 1892, in the last 430 years of the covenant. 

porcupine's account of the MESSIAH 

The following statement was made to Major Carroll, in command of 
Camp Crook, at Tongue Eiver agency, Montana, June 15, 1800, and 
transmitted through the War Department to the Indian Office : 

In November last [1889] I left the reservation with two other Cheyennes. I went 
through [Fort] AVashakie and took the X^nion Pacific railroad at Rawlins. We got 
on early in the morning about breakfast, rode all day on the railroad, and about 
dark reached a fort [Bridger?]. I stayed there two days, anil then took a passenger 
train, and the next morning got to Fort Hall. I found some lodges of Snakes and 
Bannocks there. I saw the agent here, and ho told uie I could stay at the agency, 
but the chief of the Bannocks who was there took me to his camp near by. The 
Bannocks told me they were glad to see a Cheyenne and that we ought to make a 
treaty with the Bannocks. 

The chief told me he had been to Washington and had seen the President, and 
that we ought all to be friends with the whites and live at peace with them and 

794 THE GHOST-DANCE RELIGION [eth. ann. 14 

■with each other. We talked these matters over for ten days. The agent then sent 
for nie and some of the Bannocks and Shoshones, and asked me where I was };oing. 
I johl him I was just traveling to meet other Indians and see other countries; that 
my people were at peace with the whites, and I thought I could travel anywhere I 
wished. He asked me why I did not Lave a pass. I said because my agent would 
not give me one. He said he was glad to see me anyhow, and that the whites ami 
Indians were all friends. Then he asked me where I wanted a pass to. I told him 

1 wanted to go further and some Bannocks and 8hoshones wanted to go along. He 
gave passes — five of them— to the chiefs of the three parties. AVe took the railroad 
to a little town near by, and then took a narrow-gauge road. AVe went on this, riding 
all night at a very fast rate of speed, and came to a town on a big lake [Ogdeu or 
Salt Lake City]. AVg stayed there one day, taking the cars at night, rode all night, 
and the next morning about i) oclock saw a settlement of Indians. We traveled 
south, going on a narrow-gauge road. We got oft' at this Indian town. The Indians 
here were difl'erent from any Indians I ever saw. The women and men were dressed 
in white people's clothes, the women having their hair banged. These Indians had 
their faces painted white with black spots. AVe stayed with these people all day. 
We took the same road at night and kept on. We traveled all night, and about day- 
light we saw a lot of houses, and they told us there were a lot more Indians there; 
so we got oft', and there is where we saw Indians living in huts of grass [tnle ?]. We 
stopped here and got something to eat. There were whites living near by. We got 
on the cars again at night, and during the night we got oft" among some Indians, 
who were fish-eaters [Paiute]. AVe stayed among the Fish-eaters till morning, and 
then got into a wagon with the son of the chief of the Fish-eaters, and we arrived 
about noon at an agency on a big river. There was also a big lake near the agency. 

The agent asked us where we were from and said we were a long ways from liome, 
and that he would write to our agent and let him know we were all right. From 
this agency we went back to the station, and they told us there were some more 
Indians to the south. One of the chiefs of the Fish-eaters then furnished us with 
four wagons. AA'e traveled all day, and then came to another railroad. AA'e left 
our wagons here and took the railroad, the Fish-eaters telling us there were some 
more Indians along the railroad who wanted to see us. AA'e took this railroad about 

2 oclock and about sun down got to another agency, where there were more Fish- 
eaters. [From diagrams drawn and explanations given of them in addition to the 
foregoing, there seems to be no doubt that the lakes visited are Pyramid and Walker 
lakes, western Nevada, and the agencies those of the same name.] 

They told us they had heard from the Shoshone agency that the people in this 
country were all bad people, but that they were good people there. All the Indians 
from the Bannock agency down to where I finally stopped danced this dance [refer- 
ring to the late religious dances at the Cheyenne agency], the whites often dancing it 
themselves. [It will be recollected that he traveled constantly through the Mormon 
country.] I knew nothing about this dance before going. I hapjieued to run across 
it, that is all. I will tell you about it. [Here all the Indian auditors removed 
their hats in token that the talk to follow was to be on a religious subject.] I want 
you all to listen to this, so that there will be no mistake. There is no harm in what 
I am to say to anyone. I heard this where I met my friends in Nevada. It is a 
wonder you people never heard this before. In the dance we had there [Nevada] the 
whites and Indians danced together. I met there a great many kinds of jieople, but 
they all seemed to know all about this religion. The people there seemed all to be 
good. I never saw any drinking or fightiug or bad conduct among them. They 
treated me well on the cars, without pay. They gave me food without charge, and I 
found that this was a habit among them toward their neighbors. I thought it strange 
that the people there should have been so good, so dift'erent from those here. 

AA'hat I am going to say is the truth. The two men sitting near me were with me, 
and will bear witness that I speak the truth. I and my people have been living in 
ignorance until I went and found out the truth. All the whites and Indians are 
brothers, I was told there. I never knew this before. 

aooNEV] porcupine's VISIT TO WOVOKA 795 

The Fish-eaters uear Pj-ramid lake told mo that Christ had appeared ou earth 
again. They said Christ knew he was coininjj ; that eleven of his children were also 
comiuK from a far land. It appeared that Christ had sent for me to fjo there, and 
that was why uucon.sciously I took my journey. It had heen foreordained. Christ 
had summoned myself and others fmm all heathen trihes, from two to three or four 
from each of fifteen or sixteen different tribes. There were more different languages 
tlian I ever heard before and I did not understand any of them. They told me when 
I got there that my great father was there also, but did not know who he was. 
The people assembled called a council, and the chief's sou went to see the Great 
Father [messiah], who sent word to us to remain fourteen days in that camp and 
that he would come to see us. He sent mo a small package of something white to 
oat that I did not know the name of. There were a great many people in the coun- 
cil, and this white food was divided among them. The food was a big white nut. 
Thou I went to the agency at AA'alkor lake and they told us Christ would be there 
in two days. At the end of two days, on the third morning, hundreds of people 
gathered at this place. They cleared olf a place near the agency in the form of a 
circus ring and we all gathered there. This space was perfectly cleared of grass, 
etc. We waited there till late in the evening anxious to see Christ. Just before 
sundown I saw a great many people, mostly Indians, coming dressed in white men's 
clothes. The Christ was with them. They all formed in this ring around it. They 
put up sheets all around the circle, as they had no tents. Just after dark some of 
the Indians told me that the Christ [Father] was arrived. I looked around to find 
him, and finally saw him sitting ou one side of the ring. They all started toward 
him to see him. They made a big fire to throw light on him. I never looked around, 
but went forward, and when I saw him I bent my head. 1 had always thought the 
Great Father was a white man, hnt this man looked like an Indian. He sat there 
a long time and nobody went up to speak to him. He sat with his head bowed all 
the time. After awhile he rose and said he was very glad to see his children. "I 
have sent for you and am glad to see you. I am going to talk to you after awhile 
about your relatives who are dead and gone. My children, I want you to listen to 
all I have to say to you. I will teach you, too, how to dance a dance, and I want 
you to dance it. Get ready for your dance and then, when the dance is over, I will 
talk to you." He was dressed in a white coat with stripes. The rest of his dress 
was a white man's except that he had on a pair of moccasins. Then he commenced 
our dance, everybody joining in, the Christ singing while we danced. "We danced 
till late in the night, when he told ns we had danced enough. 

The next morning, after breakfast was over, we went into the circle and spread 
canvas over it on the ground, the Christ standing in the midst of us. He told us he 
was going away that day, but would be hack that next morning and talk to us. 

In the night when I first saw him I thought he was an Indian, but the next day 
when I could see better he looked different. He was not so dark as an Indian, uor 
so light as a white man. He had no beard or whiskers, but very heavy eyebrows. 
Ho was a good-looking man. We were crowded up very close. Wo had been told 
that nobody was to talk, and even if we whispered the Christ would know it. I 
had heard that Christ had been crucified, and I looked to see, and I saw a scar on his 
wrist and one on his face, and he seemed to be the man. I could not soe his feet. 
Ho would talk to us all day. 

That evening we all assembled again to see him depart. When we were assembled, 
lie began to sing, and ho commenced to tremble all over, violently for a while, and 
then sat down. We danced all that night, the Christ lying down beside us apparently 

The next morning when we went to eat breakfast, the Christ was with us. After 
breakfast four heralds went around and called out that the Christ was back with us 
and wanted to talk with us. The circle was prepared again. The people assembled, 
and Christ came among us and sat down. He said he wanted to talk to ns again and 
for us to listen. He said: "I am the man who made everything you see around you. 
I am not lying to you, my children. I made this earth and everything on it. I have 


been to beaven and seen your dead friends and have seen my own father and mother. 
In the beginning, after God made the earth, they sent me back to teach the people, 
and when I came back on earth the people were afraid of me and treated me badly. 
This is what they did to me [showing his scars]. I did not try to defend myself. I 
found my children were bad, so went back to heaven and left them. I told them 
that in so many hundred years I would come back to see my children. At the end 
of this time I was sent back to try to teach them. My father told me the earth was 
getting old and worn out, and the people getting bad, and that I was to renew 
everything as it used to be, and make it better." 

He told us also that all our dead were to bo resurrected; that they were all to come 
back to earth, and that as the earth was too small for them and us, he would do 
away with heaven, and make the earth itself large enough to contain us all ; that we 
must tell all the people we meet about these things. He si)oke to us about fighting, 
and said that was bad, and we must keep from it; that the earth was to be all good 
hereafter, and wo must all be friends with one another. He said that in the fall of 
the year the youth of all the good j)eo])le would lie renewed, so that nol)ody would 
be more than 40 years old, aud that if they behaved themselves well after this the 
youth of everyone would lie renewed iu the spring. He said if we were all good he 
would send people among us who could heal all our wounds aud sickness by mere 
touch, and that we would live forever. He told us not to ([uarrel, or fight, nor strike 
each other, nor shoot one another; that the whites and Indians were to be all one 
people. He said if any man disobeyed what he ordered, his tribe would be wiped 
from the face of the earth; that we must believe everything he said, and that we 
must not douVit him, or say he lied ; that if we did, he would know it ; that he would 
know our thoughts and actions, in no matter what part of the world we might be. 

When I heard this from the Christ, and came back home to tell it to my people, I 
thought they would listen. Where I went to there were lots of white people, but 
I never had one of them say an unkind word to me. I thought all of your people 
knew all of this I have told you of, but it seems you do not. 

Ever since the Christ I speak of talked to me I have thought what he said was 
good. I see nothing bad in it. When I got back, I knew my people were bad, 
and had heard nothing of all this, so I got them together and told them of it and 
■warned them to listen to it for their own good. I talked to them for four nights 
and five days. I told them just what I have told you here today. I told them 
what I said ■were the words of God Almighty, who was looking down on them. I 
wish some of you had been up in our camp here to have heard my words to the 
Cheyennes. The only bad thing that there has been in it at all was this: I had 
just told my people that the Christ would visit the sins of any Indian upon the 
whole tribe, when the recent trouble [killing of Ferguson] occurred. If anyone 
of you think I am not telling the truth, you can go and see this man I speak of for 
yourselves, I will go with you, and I would like one or two of my people who 
doubt me to go with me. 

The Christ talked to us all iu our respective tongues. You can see this man in 
your sleep any time you want after you have seen him and shaken hands with him 
once. Through him you can go to heaven and meet your friends. .Since my return 
I have seen him often in my sleep. About the time the soldiers went up the Rosebud 
I was lying in my lodge asleep, when this man ajipeared aud told me that the 
Indians had gotten into trouble, and I was frightened. The next night he appeared 
to me and told me that everything would come out all right. 


The following was written originally iu tlie Teton Dakota dialect by 
George Sword, an Ogalala Sioux Indian, formerly captain of tlie Indian 
police at Pine Kidge agency and now judge of the Indian court. It 


•was trauslated by an ludiau for Miss Emma G. Sickels and is published 
by ber courtesy. The copy of the original Sioux manuscript is in the 
archives of the Bureau of Ethnology : 

In the story of ghost dancing, the Ogalala heard that the Sou of God was truly on 
earth in the west from their country. This was in the year 1889. The first peoijle 
knew about the niessiah to be on earth were the Shoshoni and Arapaho. So in 1889 
Good Thunder with four or five others visited the place where Son of God said to be. 
These people went there without permission. They said the messiah was there at 
the x>lace, but he was there to help the Indians and not the whites; so this made the 
Indians happy to find out this. Good Thunder, Cloud Horse, Yellow Knife, and 
Short Bull visited the place again in 1890 and saw the messiah. Their story of visit 
to the messiah is as follows : 

'' From the country where the Arapaho and Shoshoni we start in the direction of 
northwest in train for five nights and arrived at the foot of the Rocky mountains. 
Here we saw him and also several tribes of Indians. The people said that the mes- 
siah will come at a place in the woods where the place was prepare for him. When 
we went to the place a smoke descended from heaven to the jilace where he was to 
come. When the smoke disappeared, there was a man of about forty, which was the 
Son of God. The man said: 

" 'My grandchildren ! I am glad you have come far away to see your relatives. 
This are your people who have come back from your country.' When he said he 
want us to go with him, we looked and we saw a land created across the ocean on 
which all the nations of Indians were coming home, but, as the messiah looked at 
the land which was created aud reached across the ocean, again disappeared, saying 
that it was not time for that to take place. The messiah then gave to Good Thun- 
der some paints — Indian paint and a white paint — a green grass [sagebrush twigs?] ; 
and said, ' Jly grandchildren, when you get home, go to farming and send all your 
chililreu to school. And on way home if you kill any buft'alo cut the head, the tail, 
and the four feit and le.ave them, and that butfalo will come to live again. When the 
soldiers of the white people chief want to arrest me, I shall stretch out my arms, 
which will knock them to nothingness, or, if not that, the earth will open and swal- 
low them in. My father commanded me to visit the Indians on a purpose. I have 
came to the white jteople first, but they not good. They killed me, aud you can see 
the marks of my wounds on my feet, my hands, and on my back. My father has 
given you life — your old life — and you have come to see your friends, but you will 
not take me home with you at this time. I want you to tell when you get home 
your people to follow my examples. Any one Indian does not obey me and tries to 
be on white's side will be covered over by a new land that is to come over this old 
one. You will, all the people, use the paints and grass I give you. In the spring 
when the green grass comes, your people who have gone before you will come back, 
and you shall see your friends then, for you have come to my call.'" 

The people from every tipi send for us to visit them. They are people who died 
many years ago. Chasing Hawk, who died not long ago, was there, and we went to 
his tipi. He was living with his wife, who was killed in war long ago. They live 
in a buffalo skin tipi — a very large one — and he wanted all his friends to go there to 
live. A son of Good Thunder who died in war long ago was one who also took us 
to his tipi so his father saw him. When coming we come to a herd of buffaloes. We 
killed one and took everything except the four feet, head, and tail, and when we 
came a little ways from it there was the buffaloes come to life again and went off. 
This was one of the messiah's word came to truth. The messiah said, " I will short 
your journey when you feel tired of the long ways, if you call upon me." This 
we did when we were tired. The night came upon us, wo stopped at a place, and 
we called upon the messiah to help us, because we were tired of long journey. We 
went to sleep and in the morning we found ourselves at a great distance from where 
we .stopped. 


The people came back here and they got the people loyal to the government, and 
those not favor of the whites held a council. The agent's soldiers were sent after 
them and brought Good Thunder and two others to the agency and they were con- 
tined to the prison. They were asked Tiy the agent and Captain Sword whether they 
saw the Son of God and whether tiiey hold councils over their return from visit, but 
Good Thunder refused to say "yes." They were confined in the prison for two days, 
and upon their promising not to hold councils about their visit they were released. 
They went back to the people and told them al)0ut their trouble with the agent. 
Then they disperse without a council. 

In the following spring the people at Pine Ridge agency began to gather at the 
White Clay creek for councils. Just at this time Kicking Bear, from Cheyenne River 
agency, went on a visit to the Arapaho and said that the Arapaho there have ghost 
dancing. He said that people partaking in dance would get crazy and die, then the 
niessiah is seen and all the ghosts. When they die they see strange things, they see 
their relatives who died long before. Tbcv saw these things when they died in 
ghost dance and came to life again. The i)erson dancing becomes dizzy and finally 
drop dead, and the first thing they saw is an eagle comes to them and carried them 
to where the messiab is with his ghosts. The man said this: 

The persons in the ghost dancing are all joined hands. A man stands and then a 
woman, so in that way forming a very large circle. They dance around in the circle 
in a continuous time until some of tliim become so tired and overtired that they 
became crazy and finally drop as though dead, with foams in mouth all wet by 
perspiration. All the men and women made holy shirts and dresses they wear in 
dance. The persons dropped in dance would all lie in great dust the dancing make. 
They paint the white muslins they made holy shirts and dresses out of with blue 
across the back, and alongside of this is a line of yellow paint. They also paint in 
the front part of the shirts and dresses. A picture of an eagle is made on the back 
of all the shirts and dresses. On the shoulders and ou the sleeves they tied eagle 
feathers. They said that the bullets will not go through these shirts and dresses, so 
they all have these dresses for war. Their enemies weapon will not go through 
these dresses. The ghost dancers all have to wear eagle feather on head. With this 
feather any man would be made crazy if fan with this feather. In the ghost dance no 
person is allow to wear anything made of any metal, except the giius made of metal 
is carry by some of the dancers. When they come from ghosts or after recovery from 
craziness, they brought meat from the ghosts or from the supposed messiah. They 
also brought water, fire, and wind with which to kill all the whites or Indians who 
will help the chief of the whites. They made sweat house and made holes in the 
middle of the sweat house where they say the water will come out of these holes. 
Before they begin to dance they all raise their hands toward the northwest and 
cry in supplication to the niessiah and then begin the dance with the song, "Ale 
mistinkala ceija omani-ye," etc. 

selwtn's interview with KITWAPI 

On November 21, 1890, it was reported to Agent E. W. Foster, in 
charge of Yankton agency, Soutli Dakota, that an Indian named 
Knwapi, from Rosebud agency, was on the reservation teacliing the 
doctrine and ceremony of the Gliost dance. He at once had the man 
arrested by a force in charge of William T. Selwyn, a full-blood Yask- 
ton Sioux, who had received a fair education under the patronage 
of a gentleman in Philadelphia, and who had for several years been 
employed in various capacities at different Sioux agencies.' Selwyn 
had recently come from Pine Ridge, where he had learned and reported 
to Agent Gallagher something of the religious excitement among the 

MooNEY] selwyn's report 799 

•western Sioux, and bad. afterward repeated this information to the 
agent at Yankton. While Knwuiii was in his custody Selwyn (jues- 
tioned him at length foncerning the new doctrine, and forwarded the 
following report (G. D., Document 3(i8(il — 1890) of the interview to 
Agent Foster: 

Yankton- Agkncy, Soith Dakota, 

November S2, 1S90. 
Colonel E. W. FoSTKR, 

I'lillcd Stah'S Indian Agent, Yankton Aye-ncij, South Dakota. 
' Ukak Sir: It has been reported here ii few days ayo that there was an Indian 
visitor up at White Swan from Kosebud Uf^eucy who has been tolling or teachinj? 
the doctrines of the new niessiali, and has made some agitation amonj; the ])eople 
lip there. Accordinii- to the request of Captain Conrad, United States Army, of 
Fort Randall, South Dalvota, and by your order of the 21st instant, I went up to 
White Swan and have arrested the wanted man ( Kuwapi, or One they chased after). 
On my way to the agency with tlie prisoner I have made little interview with him 
on the subject of the new messiah. The following are the facts which he corrobo- 
rated concerning the new messiah, his laws and doctrines to the Indians of this 

Q. Do you believe in the new messiah f — A. I somewhat believe it. 

Q. What made yon believe itf — A. Because I ate some of the buft'alo meat that he 
(the new messiah) sent to the Rosebud Indians through Short Bull. 

Q. Did Short Bull say that he saw the living herd of roaming buflfaloes while he 
was with the sou of the Great Sjiiritf — A. Short Bull told the Indians at Rosebud 
that the bufl'alo and other wild game will be restored to the Indians at the same 
time when the general resurrection in favor of the Indians takes place. 

Q. Y'ou said a "general resurrection in favor of the Indians takes place;" when or 
how soon will this be? — A. Tlie father sends word to ns that he will have all these 
caused to be so in the spring, when the grass is knee high. 

Q. You said "father;" who is this father.' — A. It is the new messiah. He has 
ordered his children (Indians) to call him "father." 

Q. Y'ou said the father is not going to send the buft'alo until the resurrection takes 
place. Would he be able to send a few bnft'aloes over this way for a sort of a sample, 
so as to have his children (Indians) to have a taste of the meatf — A. The father 
wishes to do things all at once, even in destroying the white race. 

Q, Y'ou said something about the destroying of the white race. Do you mean to 
say that all mankind excejit the Indians will be killed? — A. Y'es. 

Q. How, and who is going to kill the while people? — A. The father is going to 
cause a big cyclone or whirlwind, by whiih he will have all the white people to perish. 

Q. If it should be a cyclone or whirlwind, what are we goiug to do to protect our- 
selves? — A. The father will make sonu? kind of jirovisions by which we will be saved. 

Q. Y'ou said something about the coming destruction on the white people by your 
father. Supposing your father is sick, tired out, forget, or some other accidental 
cause by which he should not bo able to accomplish his purpose, what would be 
the case about the destroying of the white people? — A. There is no doubt about 
these things, as the miracle performer or the father is going to do just as what he 
said he would do. 

Q. What other object could you come to by which you are led to believe that there 
is such a new messiah on earth at present? — A. The ghost dancers are fainted 
whenever the dance goes on. 

Q. Do you believe that they are really fainted? — A. Yes. 

Q. What makes you believe the dancers have really fainted? — A. Because 
when they wake or come liack to their senses they sometimes bring back some news 
from the unknown world, and some little trinkets, such as buffalo tail, buft'alo 
meat, etc. 

14 ETII — PT 2 11 


Q. What did the fainted ones see when they get fainted f — A. They visited the 
happy hnnting ground, the camps, multitudes of people, and a great many strange 

Q. AVhat did the ghost or the strange people tell the fainted one or ones? — 
A. When the fainted one goes to the camp, he is weUomed by the relatives of the 
visitor (the fainted one), and he is also invited to several feasts. 

Q. Were the people at Kosebud agency anxiously waiting or expecting to see all 
of their dead relatives who have died several years ago? — A. Yes. 

Q. We will have a great many older folks when all the dead peoi)le come back 
would we not? — A. The visitors all say that there is not a single old man nor woman 
in the other world — all changed to young. 

Q. Are we going to die when tlie dead ones come back? — A. No; we will be just 
the same as we are today. 

Q. Did the visitor say that there is any white men in the other world? — A. No; 
no white people. 

Q. If there is no white jieople in tlie other world, where did they get their provi- 
sions and clothing? — A. In the other world, the messenger tells us that they have 
depended altogether for their food on the flesh of buffalo and other wild game; 
also, they were all clad in skins of wild animals. 

Q. Did the Rosebud agency Indians believe the new messiah, or the son of the 
Great Spirit? — A. Yes. 

Q. How do they show that they have a believe in the new messiah? — A. They 
show themselves by praying to the father by looking up to heaven, and call him 
''father," just the same as you would in a church. 

Q, Have you ever been in a church? — A. No. 

Q. Do you faithfully believe in the new messiah? — A. I did not in the first place, 
liut as I became more acquainted with the doctrines of the new messiah that I 
really believe in him. 

Q. How many people at Rosebud, in your opinion, believe this new messiah? — A. 
Nearly every one. 

Q. Did you not the Eo.sebud people prepare to attack the white peoi)le this sum- 
mer? While I was at Pine Ridge agency this summer the Oglalla Sioux Indians say 
they will resist against tlie government if the latter should try to put a stop to 
the messiah question. Did your folks at Kosebud say the same thing? — A. Yes. 

Q. Are they still preparing aud thinking to attack the white people should the 
government send our soldiers with orders to jiut a stojj to yonr new business of the 
messiah? — A. I do not know, but I think that the Wo.jaji band at Rosebud agency 
will do some harm at any time. 

Q. You do not mean to say that the Rosebud Indians will try and cause an out- 
break ? — A. That seems to be the case. 

Q. You .said somethiug about the "son of the Great Spirit," or "the father." 
What do yon mean by the son of the Great Spirit? — A. This father, .as he is called, 
said himself that he is the son of the Great S]iirit. 

Q. Have you tallied to or with any Indian at White Swan about the new messiah, 
his laws and doctrines, or have you referred this to anyone while there? — A. I have 
told a few of them. I did not voluntarily express my wish for them to know aud 
follow the doctrines of the new messiah. • 

Q. Yes, but you have explained the matter to the Indians, did you not? — A. Yes, 
I have. 

Q. Do the Yankton Indians at White Swan believe in your teaching of the new 
messiah? — A. I did not intend to teach them, but as I have been questioned on 
the subject, that I have said something about it. 

Q. Did any of them believe in you? — A. Some have already believed it, and some 
of them did not believe it. 

Q. Those that have believed in you uuist be better men than the others, are they 
not? — A. I do not know. 

MooxEv] selwyn's report 801 

Q. Do yon intend to introduce tlie doctrines of the new inessiali from Rosebud to 
this asjency as a missionary of the gosjjel? — A. No, I did not. 

Q. What brings you here, theu? — A. I have some relatives here that I wanted to 
see, and this was the reason why I came here. 

Q. Wlicre does this new messiali (juestion originate? I mean from the first start of 
it. — A. This has originated in White mountains. 

Q. Where is this White mountainf — A. Close to the big Roeliv mountains, near 
the country that belong to tlie Mexicans. 

Q. Do you think that there will be a trouble in the west bj' next spring? — A. Yes. 

Q. What makes you think so? — A. Because that is what I have heard people 
talk of. 

This is all that I have questioned Kuwapi on the subject of the new messiah. 
Respectfully, your obedient servant, 

William T. Sklwyn. 

Chapter XI 


The first Ghost dance on Walker Lake reservation tools; place in Jan- 
uary, 1889, about a mile above the railroad bridge near the agency. 
Wovoka's preaching had already been attracting general attention 
among his own ])eople for some months. It is said that six Apache 
atteuded this first dance, bnt the statement is improbable, as this would 
imply that they had made a journey of GOO miles through a desert 
country to see a man as yet unknown outside of his own tribe. From 
this time, however, his fame went abroad, and another large dance in 
the same vicinity soon after was attended by a number of Ute irom 
Utah. The Ute are neighbors of the Paiute on the east, as the Ban- 
nock are on the north, and these tribes were naturally the first to hear 
of the new prophet and to send delegates to attend the dance. The 
doctrine spread almost simultaneously to all the scattered bands of 
Paiute in Nevada, Oregon, and adjacent sections. 

In its essential features the Ghost dauce among the Paiute as con- 
ducted by the messiah himself was ]iractically the same as among the 
nmjority of the i)rairie tribes, as will later be described. The Sioux, 
Kiowa, and perhaps some other tribes, however, danced around a tree 
or pole set up in the center of the ring, differing in this respect from 
the Paiute, as well as from the Cheyenne, Arapaho, Caddo, and others. 
No fire was allowed within tlie ring by any of the prairie tribes among 
whom the subject was investigated, but among the Paiute it seems that 
fires were built either within the circle or close to it. When I visited 
the messiah in January, 18915, deep snow was on the ground, which 
had caused the temporary suspension of dancing, so that I had no 
opportunity of seeing the performance there for myself. I saw, how- 
ever, the place cleared for the dance ground — the same spot where the 
large delegation from Oklahoma had attended the dance the preced- 
ing summer — at the upper end of Mason valley. A large circular 
space had been cleared of sagebrush and leveled over, and around 
the circumference were the remains of the low round structures of wil- 
low branches which had sheltered those in attendance. At one side, 
within the circle, was a larger structure of branches, where the messiah 
gave audience to the delegates from distant tribes, and, according to 
their statements, showed them the glories of the spirit world through 
the medium of hypnotic trances. The Paiute always dance five nights, 
or perhai^s more properly four nights and the morning of the fifth day, 


as enjoined by the messiah on the visiting delegates, ending the per- 
formance with a general shaking and waving of blankets, as among 
the i)rairie tribes, after which all go down and bathe in the nearest 
stream. The shaking of the blankets dispels all evil influences and 
drives sickness and disease away from the dancers. There is no pre- 
vious consecration of the ground, as among the Arapaho, and no 
pieliminary sweat bath, as among the Sioux. The sweat bath seems 
to be unknown to the Taiute, who are preeminently a dirty people, and 
1 saw no trace of sweat-house frames at any of their camps. Nakash, 
the Arapaho who visited the messiah in 1889 and first brought the 
dance to the eastern tribes, confirmed the statements of the Paiute 
and ranchmen that there were no trances in the Paiute Ghost dance. 

P>esides the dance ground in Mason valley, where the messiah himself 
generally presided, there were several others on Walker River reser- 
vation, although, if we are to believe the agent, no Ghost dances were 
ever held un either reservation. 

The following extract from Porcupine's account of his visit to the 
messiah in the fall of 1889 (see page 793) gives some idea of the Paiute 
Ghost dance and throws light on the cataleptic peculiarities of the 
messiah : 

I went to the ageucy at Walker lake, and they tohi us Chriat would be there in two 
days. At the end of two days, on the third uioruing, hundreds of people gathered 
at this place. They cle.ared otf a place near the agency in the form of a circus riug 
and we all gathered there. This space was perfectly cleared of grass, etc. We 
waited there till late in the evening, anxious to see Christ. Just before sundown I 
saw .a great many people, mostly Indians, coming dresse<l in white men's clothes. 
The Christ was with them. They all formed in this ring in a circle around him. 
They put up sheets all around the circle, as they had no tents. Just .after dark some 
of the Indians told me that the Christ (father) was arrived. I looked around to find 
him, and finally saw him sitting on one side of the ring. They all started toward 
him to see him. They ma<le a big fire to throw light on him. I never looked around, 
but went forward, and when I saw him I bent my head. . . . He sat there a 
long time and nobody went up to speak to him. He sat with his head bowed all 
the time. After awhile he rose and said he was very glad to see his children. 
"I have sent for you and am glad to see you. I am going to talk to you after awhile 
about your relatives who are dead and gone. My children, I want you to listen to 
all I have to say to you. I will teach you, too, how to d.ance a dance, and I want 
you to dance it. Get ready for your dance, and then when the dance is over I will 
talk to you." He dressed in a white coat with stripes. The rest of his dress 
was a white man's, except that he had on a pair of moccasins. Then he commenced 
our dance, everybody joining in, the Christ singing while we danced. We danced 
till late in the night; then he told us we had danced enough. 

The nest morning .after bri'akfast was over, we went into the circle and spread 
cauvas over it on the ground, the Christ standing in the midst of us. He told 
us he was going away that day, but would be back the next morning and talk to 
us. . , , He had no beard or whiskers, but very heavy eyebrows. He was a 
good-looking man. We were crowded uj) very close. We had been told that nobody 
was to talk, and that even if we whispered tlie Christ would know it, , , . He 
would talk to us all d.ay. 

That evening we all assembled again to see him depart. AVhen we were .assem- 
bled he began to sing, and he commenced to tremble all over violently for a while 


and then sat down. We danced all that night, the Christ lying down beside lis 
apparently dead. 

The next morning when we went to eat breakfast, the Christ was with ns. After 
breakfast four heralds went around and called out that the Christ was back with 
us and Ava.nted to talk with us. The circle was prepared again. The people 
assembled, and Christ came among us and sat down. {G. TJ., 9.) 

We come now to the other tribes bordering on the Paiute. First 
iu order are the Waslio, a small baud dwelling- on the slopes of the 
sierras in the neighborhood of Carson, Nevada, and speaking a peculiar 
language of unknown aflflnity. They are completely ttnder the domi- 
nation of the Paiute. They had no separate dance, but joined in with 
the nearest camps of Paiute and sang the same songs. Occujiying 
practically the same territory as the Paiute, they were among the first 
to receive the new doctrine. 

Farther to the south, in California, about Bridgeport and JMono lake 
and extending across to the westward slope of the sierras, are several 
small Slioshonean bands closely akin to the Paiute aiid known locally 
as the "Diggers." The Paiute state that bands of these Indians fre- 
quently came up and participated in the dance on the reservation. 
They undoubtedly had their own dances at home also. 

According to the statement of the agent in charge of the Mission 
Indians in southern California in 1891, the doctrine reached them also, 
and the medicine men of Potrero began to prophesy the destruction of 
the whites and the return of Indian supremacy. Few believed their 
f)redictions, however, until rumors brought the news of the overflow 
of Colorado river and the birth of "Salton sea" in the summer of 1S91. 
Never doubting that the great change was near at hand, the frightened 
Indians tied to the mountains to await developments, but after having 
gone hungry for several days the millennial dawn seemed still as far 
away as ever, and they returned to their homes with disappointment 
in their hearts. Although the agent mentions specifically only the 
Indians of Potrero, there can be no doubt that the inhabitants of the 
other Mission rancherias iu the vicinity were also affected, and we 
are thus enabled to fix the boundary of the messiah excitement in this 
direction at the Pacific ocean. (Comr., 27.) 

In nortliern California the new doctrine was taken up late iu 1800 by 
the Pit River Indians, a group of tribes constituting a distinct linguistic 
stock and scattered throughout the whole basin of Pit river, from Goose 
lake to the Sacramento, which may have formed the boundary of the 
Ghost-dance movement in this direction. (A. G. 0., 7.) As a number of 
these Indians are living also on Round A'alley reservation in California, 
it is possible that the doctrine may have reached there also. Having 
obtained the dance ritual directly from the Paiute, their neighbors on the 
east, the ceremony and belief were probably the same with both tribes. 

So far as can be learned from the reports of agents, and from the 
statement of Wovoka himself, the dance was never taken up by the 
Indians of Hoopa Valley reservation in California; of Klamath, Siletz, 



Grande Eonde, or Umatilla reservation's in Oregon ; by any of the tribes 
ill Washington; by those of Lapwai or Cceur d'Aleue reservations in 
Idaho; or ou Jocko reservation in ^Montana. Wovoka stated that be 
had been visited by delegates from AVarmspring agency, in Oregon, 
who <ilso had taken part in the dance, but these may have been some of 
the raiute living on that reservation. The small band of Paiute living 
with tlie Klamath probably also attended the dance at some time.' 

A single jSTez Perce visited the messiah, but the visit had no effect 
on his tribe at home. In a general way it may be stated that the 
doctrine of the Ghost dance was never taken up by any tribes of the 
Salishan or Shahaptian stocks, occupying practically the whole of the 
great Columbia basin. This is probably due to the fact that the more 
important of these tribes have been for a long time under the influence 
of Catholic or other Christian missionaries, while most of the others 
are adherents of the Smohalla or the Shaker doctrine. 

Of the tribes southward from the Paiute, according to the best 
information obtainable, the Ghost dance never reached the Tuma, 
Pima, Papago, Maricopa, or any of the Apache bands in Arizona or 
2>rew Mexico, neither did it affect any of the Pueblo tribes except the 
Taos, who performed the dance merely as a pastime. As before stated, 
it is said that six Apache attended the first large dance at Walker 
lake in 1889. This seems improbable, but if true it i^roduced no effect 
on any part of the tribe at large. Later on the Jicarilla Ai)aclie, in 
northern New Mexico, may have heard of it through the southern Ute, 
but, so far as is known officially, neither of these tribes ever engaged in 
the dance. The agent of the Jicarilla states that the tribe knew nothing 
of the doctrine until informed of it by himself. {G. I>., 10.) It seems 
never to have been taken up by the Mescalero Apache in southern New 
Mexico, although they are in the habit of making frequent visits to the 
Kiowa, Comanche, Apache, and other Ghost-dancing tribes of Okla- 
homa. The agent of the Mohave states offlcially that these Indians 
knew nothing about it, but this must be a mistake, as there is constant 
communication between the Jlohave and the southern Paiute, and, ac- 
cording to Wovoka's statement, Mohave delegates attended the dance 
in 18'JO, while the 700 Walapai and Chemehuevi associated with the 
Mohave are known to have l)een devoted adherents of the doctrine. 

The dance was taken up nearly simultaneously by the Bannock, 
Shoshoni, Gosiute, and Ute in the eaily part of 1889. All these tribes 
arc neighbors (on the east) of the Paiute and closely cognate to them, 
the Bannock particularly having only a slight dialectal difference of 
language, so that communication between them is an easy matter. The 

' noop.1 Valley, Siletz. and Grando Koudp reservations are occupied by tbe remnants of a number of 
small tribes. Klamath reservation is occupied by tbe Klamatb, Modoc, and Paiute. On Umatilla 
reservation are tbe Cayusc. TTmatilla. and Wallawalla. The Xez Perce are at Lapwai to Ibe uumljer 
of over 1,800. On tbe Cieur d'Alene reservation are tbe Cceur d' Alenes, Kutenai, Pend d'Oreilles, and 
part of tbe Spokan. On Jocko reservation in Montana are tbe Flatbeads, Kutenai, and a part of the 
Pend d'Oreilles. Warmspring reservation in Oregon is occu]iied by tbe Warmspring, Wasco, Tenino, 
Paiute, and John Day Indians. 


Bannock are chiefly on Fort Hall and Lemlii reservations in Idaho. 
The Shoshoui are on the Western Shoshone (Uiick Valley) reservation 
in Nevada, on Fort Hall and Lemhi reservations in Idaho, and on "Wind 
Iiiver reservation in Wyoming. The Ute are on T'intah and Uncom- 
])ahgre reservations in Utah, and on the Southern Ute reservation in 
Colorado. There are also a considerable number of Bannock and Sho- 
shoui not on reservations. The Ute of Utah sent delegates to the 
niessiah soon after the first Ghost dance in January, ISS'J, but it is 
doubtful if the southern Ute in Colorado were engaged in the dance. 
Although aware of the doctrine, they ridiculed the idea of the dead 
returning to earth. {G. I>., 11.) 

In regard to the dance among the Shoshoni and Paiute on the West- 
ern Shoshoni reservation, in Nevada and Idaho, their agent writes, 
under date of November 8, 1890 : 

The Iiuliaus of tbis reservatiim and vifinity have just coucliuleil their second 
luediciue daiict', the jirevious one havini; taken place in August last. They are look- 
ing for the coming of the Indian Christ, the resurrection of the dead Indians, and 
the consequent supremacy of the Indian race. Fully one thousand people took part 
in the dance. While the best of order prevailed, the excitement was very great as 
morning approached. When the dancers were worn out mentally and physically, 
the medicine-men would shout that they could see the faces of departed friends and 
relatives moving about the circle. No pen can paint the picture of wild excitement 
that ensued. All shouted in a chorus, Christ has conie, and then danced and sung 
until they fell in a confused aud exhausted m;iss on tlie ground. . . . I apprehend 
no trouble beyond the loss of time and the g 'nenil ilemoriilizing eft'ect of these large 
gatherings of people. .Several of the leading men have gone to Walker lake to con- 
fer with a man who calls himself Christ. Others have gone to Fort Hall to meet 
Indians from Montana and Dakota, to get the news from that section. In fact, the 
astonishing part of the business is the fact that all the Indians in the country seeni 
to possess practically the same ideas and expect about the same result, (d. D., 12.) 

On December 6 he writes that another Ghost dance liad then been in 
progress for six days, and that the Indians had announced their inten- 
tion to dance one week in each month until the grass grew, at which 
time the meilicine men had told them the niessiah would come, bring- 
ing with him all their dead friends. (G. D., 13.) This dance, however, 
was attended by a much smaller number of Indians, and skeptics bad 
already arisen among them to scoff at the new believers. The leaven 
was working, and only a little shrewd diplomacy was needed to turn 
the religious scale, as is shown by an extract from a third letter, dated 
January 10, 1801, from which it would seem that Agent Plumb is a man 
of practical common sense, as likewise that Esau wa.s not the only one 
who would sell his birthright for a mess of pottage: 

Christmas day was the day set for commencing anotlier dance. On learning this, I 
told the Indians that it was my intention to give tliem all .a big feast and have a 
general holiday on Christmas, but that I would not give tliem anything if they 
intended to dauce. I told them they could play all of their usual games, in fact, 
have a good time, but tliat dancing was forbidden. I showed them bow continued 
dancing at various Sioux agencies liad ended in soldiers being sent to stop them. I 
stated the case as clearly as I couhl; the Indians del)ated it two days, and then 


reported that while they hoped their dead I'rieuds would come hack, and believed 
that dancing would help to liring them, yet they were friends of the government, 
and frieuds of the whites, and my friends, ami would not hold any more resurrection 
dances without my consent. Up to this date they have kept their word. I have no 
hope of breaking up their dances altogether, hut I have strong hopes of controlling 
ihem. (G. IK, 14.) 

Tlie Bannock and Shoshoni of Fort Hall reservation in Idaho have 
served as the chief medium of the doctrine between the tribes west 
of the mountains and those of the plains. Situated almost on the sum- 
mit of the great divide, they are witliin easy reach of the Paiute to tiie 
west, among whom the dance originated, and whose langitage the Ban- 
nock speak, while at no great distance to the east, on Wind Eiver 
reservation in Wyoming, the remaining Shoshoni are confederated with 
the Arapaho, who have beeti from the first the great apostles of the 
doctrine among the prairie tribes. There is constant visiting back and 
forth between the tribes of these two reservations, while the four rail- 
roads coming in at Fort flail, together with the fact of its close prox- 
imity to the main line of the Union Pacific, tend still more to make it a 
focus and halting point for Indian travel. Almost every delegation 
from the tribes east of the mountains stopped at this agency to obtain 
the latest news from the messiah and to procure interpreters from 
among the Bannock to accompany them to Nevada. In a letter of 
November 26, 1890, to the Indian Commissioner, the agent in charge 
states that during the in-eceding spring and summer his Indians had 
been visited by representatives from about a dozen different reserva- 
tions. In regard to the dance and the doctrine at Fort Hall, he also says 
that the extermination and resurrection business was not a new thing 
with his tribes by any means, but had been quite a craze with them 
every few years for the last twenty years or more, only varying a little 
according to the whim of particular medicinemen. (G. D., 15.) This 
may have referred to the doctrine already mentioned as having been 
taught by Tiivibo. 

Early in 1889 a Bannock from Fort Hall visited the Shoshoni and 
Arapaho of Wind River reservation in Wyoming and brought them 
the first knowledge of the new religion. He had just returned from a 
visit to the Paiute country, where he said he had met messengers who 
had told him that the dead i)eople were coming back, and who had 
commanded him to go and tell all the tribes. "And so," said the 
Shoshoni, "he came here and told us all about it." Accordingly, in 
the summer of that year a delegation of five Shoshoni, headed by 
Tiibinshi, with Nakasli ("Sage"), an Arapaho, visited the messiah 
of Mason valley, traveling most of the way by railioad and occupying 
several days in the journey. They attended a Ghost dance, which, 
according to their accounts, was a very large one, and after dancing 
all night were told by the messiah that they would meet all their dead 
in two years from that time at the turning of the leaves, i. e., in the 
autumn of 1891. They were urged to dance fiieqiiently, "because the 


dance moves the dead." One of the Shoshoni delegates understood 
the lianiiock and Paiute language and interpreted for the rest. The 
information was probably conveyed by tiie Shoshoni to the Arapaho 
through the medium of the sign language. 

In accord with the report of the delegates, on their return home the 
Shoshoni and Arapaho at once began to dance. A year later, in the 
fall of 1890, a dense smoke from forest fires in the mountains drifted 
down and obscured the air in the lower country to such an extent that 
horses weie lost in the haze. This was regarded by the Indians as an 
indication of the approach of the great change, and the dance was 
continued with increased lervor, but at last the atmosphere began to 
clear and the phenomenon ended as it had begun — in smoke. The 
dance was kei)t up. however, without abatement for anotlier ycur, until 
the predicted time had come and gone, when the Shoshoni — who seem 
to share the skeptical nature of their southern kinsmen, the Comanche — 
concluded that they had been deceived, and abandoned the dance. 
The Arapaho, who have greater faith in the unseen things of the spirit 
world, kept it up, and were still dancing when I visited them in the 
summer of 1892. A part of the Arapaho, headed by their chief. Black 
Coal, and encouraged by the Catholic missionaries, had steadily opposed 
the dance from the first. After considerable discussion of the matter it 
was decided, on Black Coal's proposition, to send another delegation 
to the messiali, under tlie guidance of Yellow Eagle, a graduate of a 
government Indian school, to learn as to tlie truth or falsity of the 
new doctrine. They returned early in 1891 ;uid reported against the 
movement. Their report confirmed the doubters in their skepticism, 
but produced little effect on the rest of the tribe. 

When I visited Wind River reservation in Wyoming in June, 1892, 
the agent in charge informed me that there was no Ghost dancing on 
his reservation; that he had explained how foolish it was and had 
strictly forbidden it, and that in consequence the Indians had aban- 
doned it. However, he expressed interest in my investigation, and as 
the Arapaho, with whom I had most to do, were then camped in a body a 
few miles up in the mountains cutting wood, he very kindly I'urnislied 
a conveyance and camping outfit, with two of the agency employees — 
a clerk and an interpreter — to take me out. It appeared afterward 
that the escort had received instructions of their own before starting. 
Having reached the camp and set up our tent, the Arapalio soon 
came around to get acquainted, over a pipe and a cup of cofl'ee; but, in 
answer to (questions put by one of my conqjanious, a white man, who 
assumed the burden of the conversation, it seemed that the Indians 
had lost all interest in the dance. In fact, some of them were so 
ignorant on the subject that they wanted to know what it meant. 

After trying in vain to convince me that it was useless to waste time 
further with the Indians, the clerk started back again after supper, 
satisfied that tliat part of the country was safe so far as the Ghost 


daiico was concerned. By this time it -n-as dark, and the Indians 
invited the interpreter and myself to come over to a tipi abont half a 
mile away, where wo conld meet all the old men. We started, and had 
gone but a short distance when we heard from a neiyhborins' hill the 
familiar measured cadence of the ghost songs. On turning with a 
questioning look to my interpreter — who was himself a half-blood — he 
quietly said : "Yes; they are dancing the Ghost dance. That's some- 
thing I have never reported, and I never will. It is their religion and 
they have a right to it." Not wishing to be an accomplice in crime, I 
did not go over to the dance; but it is needless to state that the old 
men in the tipi that night, and for several successive nights thereafter, 
knew all about the songs and ceremonies of the new religion. As 
already stated, the Shoshoni had really lost faith and abandoned the 

Among the Shoshoni the dance was performed around a small cedar 
tree, planted in the ground for that puriiose. Unlike the Sioux, they 
hung nothing on this tree. The men did not clasp each other's hands, 
but held on to their blankets instead; but a woman staiuling between 
two men took hold of their hands. There was no preliminary medicine 
ceremony. The dance took place usually in the morning, and at its 
close the performers shook their blankets in the air, as among the 
Paiute and other tribes, before dispersing. However novel may have 
been the doctrine, the Shoshoni claim that the Ghost dance itself as 
performed by them was a revival of an old dance which they had had 
fully fifty years before. 

The selection of the cedar in this connection is in agreement with the 
general Indian idea, which has always ascribed a mystic sacredness to 
that tree, from its never-dying green, which renders it so conspicuous 
a feature of the desert landscape; from the aromatic fragrance of its 
twigs, which are burned as incense in sacred ceremonies; from the 
durability and flue texture of its wood, which makes it peculiarly 
a]>])ropriate for tipi poles and lance shafts; and from the dark-red color 
of its heart, which seems as though dyed in blood. In Cherokee myth 
the cedar was originally a x^ole, to the toj) of which they fastened the 
fresh scalps of their enemies, and the wood was thus stained by the 
blood that trickled slowly down along it to the ground. The Kiowa 
also selected a cedar for the center of their Ghost-dance circle. 

We go back now to the southern tribes west of the mountains. 
Some time in the winter of 1889-90 Paiute runners brought to the 
powerful tribe of the Xavalio, living in northern jSTew Mexico and Ari- 
zona, the news of the near advent of the messiah and the resurrection 
of the dead. They preached and prophesied for a considerable time, 
but the Xavaho were skeptical, laughed at the prophets, and ])aid but 
little attention to the prophesies. (Matthrirs, 1.) According to the 
official report for 1892, these Indians, numbering somewhat over lfi,U()t) 
souls, have, in round numbers, 9,000 cattle, 119,000 horses, and 1,000.000 



[ETH. ANN, 14 

sheep and goats; aud, as suggested by T)r Matthews, the authority on 
that tribe, it maybe that, being rich in herds and wealth of silver, tliey 
felt no speeial need of a redeemer. While with the Navaho in the win- 
ter of 1892-93 I made inquiry in various parts of their wide-extended 
territory, but could not leain that the Ghost dance had ever been 

Pig. 7n — Navalin Indians. 

performed among them, and it was evident that in their case the doc- 
trinal seed had fallen on barren ground. 

Before visiting the tiibe, I had written for information to Mr A. M. 
Stephen, of Keams Canon, Arizona, since deceased, who had studied 
the Navaho and Hopi for years and spoke the Navaho language 
fluently. 1 quote from him on the subject. It may be noted that 


Keams Cnfion is al)oat 125 miles noitliwest of Fort Wi]i<;ate, the point 
from wbieh I)r Matthews writes, and nearer by that much to the 
Paiute, Cohoniuo, aiul Walapai, all of whom have .accepted the new reli- 
gion. Mr Stephen states that some time in February or March, ISOO, 
he lirst heard rumors among the Navaho that "the oUl men long dead" 
had returned to some foreign tribes in the north or east, the vague 
far away. The intelligence was brought to the Xavaho either by the 
Ute or Paiute, or both. The rumor grew and the idea became com- 
monly current among the Navaho that the mythic heroes were to return 
and that under their direction they were to expel American and Mexi- 
can and restrict the Zuui and llopi close to their villages, and, in fact, 
to reestablish their old domain from San Francisco mountains to Santa 
Fe. {Strphen, 1.) On :N^ovember 22, 1891, he further writes: 

While out this last time I campetl over night with some Navajo friends, and over 
a pipi' brought up the niessiah topic. This family beloafj's to the Bitter-Water gens, 
and this is the gist of what 1 got from them: A Pah-ute came to a family of tlieir 
gens living near Navajo mountain and told them that Na'-L'eh-tkla-i was to return 
from the under world and bring back all the Tinneh (Navajo) he had killed. 
Xa'-kch-tlcla-t (i. e., "foreigner with white foot sole") in the long ago had a puma 
and a bear. These were his pets. He would call puma from the east and bear from 
the west, and just before dawn they met in the center. Thus they met four times. 
On the fourth meeting jpuma reached liack with his forepaw and plucked his mane, 
tossing the hair aloft, and for every hair a Tinneh died. This fatal sorcery con- 
tinued for a long time, and great numbers were killed. Now, the Pah-ute said, this 
sorcerer was to return, and would call his pets, and they would come east and west, 
and following their trail wouhl be all the people whose death they had caused. 
These Navajo said they had heard of other Pah-ute prophecies a year or more ago, 
all to the eftect that long deail peojde were to return alive from the under world. 
These resurrected ones were also to bring back the departed game, and the Tinneh 
would again dominate the region. But, said my informant, (Ja^1aifl( i/e/fi, '• it is 
worthless talk." {Stephen, 2.) 

In connection with hypnotism as seen in the Ghost dance, Dr 
Matthews states that in one curious Navaho ceremony he has several 
times seen the i)atient hypnotized or pretend to be hypnotized by a cliar- 
acter dressed in evergreens. The occurrence of the hypnotic trance is 
regarded as a sign that the ceremony has been effective. If the trance 
does not occur, some other ceremony must be tried. (Matthews, 2.) 

West of the Navaho in northeastern Arizoiui live the Bopi, or Moki, 
a Pueblo tribe occupying several villages on the tops of nearly inac- 
cessible mesas. In July, 1891, four of these Indians, while on a visit 
to the Cohoniuo, living farther to the west, first heard of the new doc- 
trine and witnessed a Ghost dance, as will be described hereafter. They 
brought back the news to their ])eople, but it made no impression on 
them and the matter was soon forgotten. {Stephen, S.) In this connec- 
tion 'Slv Stephen .states, in response to a letter of inquiry, that although 
he does not recollect any Hopi myth concerning rejuvenation of the 
world and reunion with the resurrected dead on this earth, yet the 
doctrine of a reutiion with the revivified dead in the under world is a 
commonly accepted belief of the Hopi. They have also a curious myth 



I ETH. AN'N. 14 

of a fair-hair god and a fair-skin people wlio came up from tbe under 
world witli the Hopi, and who then left them with a promise to return. 
This suggests the idea of a messiah, but Mr Stephen has not yet been 
able to get the myth in its entirety. He does not think it derived from 

71 — ^"iMta ill the llupi Jivltblo uf Wal 

any corrupt source, however, through Spanish or other missionaries, as 
the allusions are all of archaic tendency. (Stephen, 4.) 

The Cohonino or Havasujiai are a small tribe occupying the canyon 
of Cataract creek, an affluent of the Colorado, in northern Arizona, 


about 120 miles west of tbe Hopi, with whom they have a considerable 
trade in buckskins and mes(juite bread. Tliey probably obtained tlie 
doctrine and the dance directly from the Paiute to the uortliward. 
Our only knowledge of the Cohonino dance is derived through Hopi 
informants, and as the two tribes speak laiiguages radically different 
the ideas conveyed were neither complete nor definite, but it is evident 
that the general doctrine was the same, although the dance differed in 
some respects from that of the other tribes. 
We quote again from Stephen's letter of November 22, 1891 : 

During a quiet interval, in one of the kivas I found the Hopi who brought the 
tidings of the resurrection to his people. His name is Piitci and his story is very 
meager and confused. He went on a customary trading visit to the Cojonino in 
their home at Cat;irai't creek, and I could not determine just when. The chief of 
the t'ojoniuo is named Xavajo, aud when Piiti i got there, XavMJo had but lately 
returned from a visit to the westward. He had been with the Walapai, the Jlohave, 
and perhaps still farther west, and had been gone nearly three months. He told his 
people a vague mystic story that he had heard during his travels, to tlio effect that 
the long-time dead people of the Antelope, Deer, and IJabbit [Antelope, Deer, etc, 
are probably Cohonino geutes — .1. M.] were to come back aud live in their former 
haunts; that they had reached to a place where were the people of the Puma, the 
Wolf, and tlie Bear; that this meeting delayed the coming, but eventually all these 
people would appear, and in the sequence here related. Piitci was accompanied by 
three other Hopi, aud they said they did not very well understand this strange 
story. While they were stopping in Cataract canon a one-night dance was held by 
the Cojonino, at which these Hopi were preseut. During the night a long pole, 
having the tail of an eagle fastened to the end, was brought out and securely planted 
in the ground, and the dancers were told by their shamans that anyone who could 
climb tliis pole and put his mouth on the tail would see his dead mother (maternal 
ancestor). One man succeeded in climbing it aud laid his mouth on the feathers, 
and then fell to the bottom in a state of collapse. They deemed him dead, but 
before dawn he recovered and then said that he had seen his dead mother and several 
other dead ancestors, who told him they were all on their way back. The Hopi on 
their return home related these marvels, but apparently it made little impression, 
aud it was only with difficulty I could gather the above meager details. 

Through the kindness of Mr Thomas V. Keam. trader for the Hopi 
and Xavaho, we get a revision of Piitci's story. Putci states that in 
July, 1891, he with three other Hopi went on a visit to the Cohonino 
to trade for buckskins. When they arrived in the vicinity of the Coho- 
nino camp, they were met by one of the tribe, who informed the visitors 
that all the Indians were engaged in a Ai^ery important ceremony, and 
that before they could enter the camp they must wash their bodies and 
paint them with white claj'. Accordingly, when this had been done, 
they were escorted to the camp and introduced to the principal chief 
and headmen, all of whom they found engaged in washing their heads, 
decorating themselves, and preparing for the ceremony, which took 
lilace on a clear space near the camp late in the afternoon. Here a very 
tall straight pole had been securely fastened upright in the ground. 
At the top were tied two eagle-tail feathers. A circle was formed 
around this pole by the Indians, and, after dancing around it until 
almost dark, one of the men climbed the pole to the top, aud remained 


tliere until exliausted, when lie would slide to tlie ground, flinging 
insensible to tlie pole. After remaining in this state for some time, the 
medicine-meu resuscitated liiin. On recovery he stood up and told them 
he had been into another world, where he saw all the old men who had 
died long ago, and among them his own people. They told him they 
would all come back in time and bring the deer, the antelope, and all 
other good things they had when they dwelt on this earth. This cere- 
mony lasted four days, including the cleansing and (lecorating of the 
dancers and the (^limbing of the pole, with an account of what had 
been seen by the Indian during the time he was in an apparently life- 
less state. Each day the ceremony was attended by the whole tribe. 
(Keam, 1.) Kesascitation by the medicinemen, as here mentioned, is 
something unknown among the prairie tribes, where the unconscious 
subject is allowed to lie undisturbed on the grouud until the senses 
return in the natural way. 

Beyond the Oohonino, and extending for about 2(K) miles along Colo- 
rado river on the Arizona side, are the associated tribes of Mohave, 
Walapai, and Cheniehnevi, numbering in all about 2,800 souls, of 
whom only about one-thinl are on a reservation. Tlie Chemehuevi, 
being a branch of the Paiute and in constant communication with 
them, undoubtedly had the dance and the doctrine. The Mohave also 
have much to do with the Paiute, the two tribes interchanging visits 
and mutually borrowing songs and games. They sent delegates to 
the messiah and in all probability took up the Ghost dance, in opite of 
the agent's statement to the contrary. As only GOO of more than 2,000 
Mohave are reported as being on the reservation, the agent may have 
a good reason for not keei)ing- fully informed in regard to them. 

Concerning the Walapai we have positive information. lu Septem- 
ber, 1800, the commanding officer at Fort Whipple was informed that a 
Paiute from southern Utah was among the Walapai, inciting them to 
dance for the purpose of causing hurricanes and storms to destroy the 
whites and such Indians as would not i)articii)ate in the dances. It 
was stated also that these dances had then been going on for several 
months and were partici[)ated in by a large portion of the tribe, and 
that each dance lasted four or five nights in succession. On investi- 
gation it api)eared that this Paiute was one of a party who had come 
down and inaugurated the Ghost dance among the Walapai the preced- 
ing year. (G. D., 17.) 

We find an account of the Walapai Ghost dance in a local paper a 
year hiter. The article states that all the songs were in the language of 
the Paiute, from whom the doctrine had originally come. The Wala- 
pai version of the doctrine has been already noted. The dance itself, 
and the step, as here described, are essentially the same as among other 
tribes. Each dance lasted five nights, and on the last night was kept 
up until daylight. Just before daylight on the morning of the last night 
the medicine men ascended a small butte, where they met and talked 


with the expected god, and on coming down again delivered his mes- 
sage to the people. The dance was hehl at ineguhir intervals, accord- 
ing to the instructions received on the butte by the medicinemen. 

The dance place was a circular piece of ground a hundred feet in 
diameter, inclosed by a fence of poles and bushes, and surrounded by 
high mountain walls of granite, which reflected the light from half a 
dozen fires blazing within the circle. The dancers, to the number of 
200, clad in white robes with fancy trimmings, their faces aud hair 
painted white in various decorative designs, moved slowly around in a 
circle, keeping time with a wild chant, while i!00 more stood or crouched 
around the fires, awaiting their turn to participate. The dancers faced 
toward the center, each holding the hands of the ones next to him aud 
joining in the chant in unison. The dust issued in clouds from beneath 
their feet, and with the dust and exertion together the performers were 
soon exhausted aud dropped out, when others took their places. After 
each circuit they rested a few minutes and then started round again. 
At each circuit a different chant was sung, aud thus the dance con- 
tinued until midnight, when, with a loud clapping of hands, it ended, and 
the people separated and went to their homes. Throughout the per- 
formance two or three chiefs or medicine-men were constantly going 
about on the outside of the circle to preserve order and reprimand any 
merriment, one of them explaining to the visitors that, as this was a 
religious ceremony, due solemnity must be observed. {F. L. -/., ^.) 

14 ETH, PT 2 12 

Chapter XII 



111 1889 the Ogalala licaril that tlu' son of God bad come upon earth in the west. 
They said the Messiah was there, Imt he had come to help the Indians and not the 
whites, and it made the Indians happy to hear this. — Geurrje Sword. 

They signed away a valuable ])ortiou of their reservation, and it is now occupied 
by white^people, for which they have received nothing. They understood that 
ample provision would be made for their support; instead, their supplies have been 
reduce<l and much of the time they have been living on half and two-thirds rations. 
Their crops, as well as the crops of white peoide. for two years have been almost a 
total failure. The disaffection is widespread, especially among the Sioux, while the 
Cheyennes have been on the verge of starvation and were forced to commit depreda- 
tion's to sustain life. These facts are beyond (|uestion, and the evidence is positive 
and sustained by thousands of witnesses. — General Miles. 

Among the tribes east of the moimtains and nortli of Oklahoma, it 
appears from offlcial documents in the Indian Ofiftce and from other 
obtainable information that the Ghost dance and the doctrine, if known 
at all, were never accei)ted by the Blackfeet of Montana; the Ojibwa 
of Turtle mountain and Devils lake in North Dakota, or by the rest 
of the tribe farther to the east in Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Michigan; 
the Omaha, Winnebago, and Pouka in Nebraska; the small band of 
Sauk and Fox in Iowa; the still smaller band of Sauk and Fox, the 
Potawatomi, Kickapoo, Iowa, and Ojibwa in northeastern Kansas; 
or by the Sioux of Devils lake in North Dakota, Lake Traverse (Sis- 
seton agency) and Flandreau in South Dakota, and San tee agency in 
Nebraska. All or most of these Sioux belong to the San tee or eastern 
division of the tribe, and have long been under civilizing influences. 
According to offlcial statements the dance was not takien up by any of 
the Sioux of Crow Creek or Yankton agencies in South Dakota, but 
they were certainly more or less affected by it, as they knew all about 
it and are in constant communication with the wilder bands of Sioux 
which were concerned in the outbreak. I was informed by the Omaha 
and Winnebago in 1891 that they had been told of the new niessiah by 
visiting Sioux from Pine Ridge agency in April, 1890, and later on by 
other Sioux from Yankton agency, but had put no faith in the story, 
and had never organized a Ghost dance. According to the agent in 
charge, the Crow of Montana were not affected. This, if true, is 
remarkable, in view of the fact that the Crow are a large tribe and 
comparatively primitive, and have living near them the wildest of the 
Ghost-dancing tribes, the northern Cheyenne especially ■■ occupying 
practically the same reservation. It is possible that their experience 
in the Sword-bearer affair in 1887, already mentioned, had a tendency 


to weaken tlieir faith in later prophets. Dr George Bird Griiniell, a 
coiupeteut authority, states, in reply to a personal letter, that nothing 
was known about the dance by the Black feet of Montana or by the 
Blackfeet, Sarsi, or l^lains Gree on the Canadian side of the boundary 

Within the same s'eueral region, east of the Kocky mountains and 
north of Oklahonui, the doctrine and the dance were accepted by the 
Asiuiboiu (Fort Belknap and Fort Peck agencies), Grosventres (Arap- 
aho subtribe. Fort Belknap agency), northern Cheyenne of Montana; 
the Arikara, Grosventres (Minitari), and Maudan of Fort Berthold 
agency, Xorth Dakota; the Shoshoni and northern Arapaho on Wind 
Eiver reservation in Wyoming, as already mentioned; andby thegreat 
body of the Sioux, at Fort Peck agency (Yanktonais), Montana, and at 
Standing Rock, Cheyenne Eiver, Lower Brule, Pine Eidge, and Eose- 
bud agencies in Korth Dakota and South Dakota. The whole number 
of Sioux coucerned was about 2(),0t)0, of whom 1(3,000 belonged to tlie 
Teton division, among the wildest and most warlike of all the western 
tribes. A few Cheyenne are also associated with the Sioux at Pine 

The northern Arapaho and the Shoshoni of Wyoming were the 
medium by which the doctrine of the new messiah was originally com- 
municated to all these tribes. In the spring of 1889, Nakash, "Sage," 
the Arapaho chief already mentioned, crossed the mountains to inves- 
tigate the reijorts of the new religion, and brought back a full confir 
mation of all that had been told them from the west. A visiting 
Grosventre, then among the Arapaho, heard the story and brought 
back the wonderful news to the Grosventres and Asiuiboiu of Fort 
Belknap, but although his account was received by some with unques- 
tioning faith, the excitement had in it nothing of a dangerous character. 

In a short time the news spread to the Cheyenne in Montana and the 
Sioux of the Dakotas, and in the fall of 1889 delegates from these two 
tribes arrived at Fort Washakie to learn more about the messiah in 
the west. The principal Cheyenne delegate was Porcupine, while 
Short Bull and Kicking Bear were the leaders of the Sioux party. 
After hearing the statements of the Arapaho and Shoshoni, it was 
decided that some of the Cheyenne should return and report to their 
tribe, while Porcupine and one or two others, with the Sioux delegates, 
several Shoshoni, and the Arapaho, Sitting Bull, and Friday, should go 
to Nevada, interview the messiah himself, and learn the whole truth 
of the matter. Accordingly, about November, 1889, Porcupine and his 
companions left Fort Washakie in Wyoming for Fort Hall reservation 
in Idaho, where they met the Shoshoni and Bannock and were well 
received and entertained by them. The tribes at this place were firm 
believers in the new doctrine, and Porcupine states that from there 
on to the end of the journey all the Indians they met were dancing 


the Ghost dance. After stop])iug a few days at Fort Hall, they we;it 
oil again, accompanied by several Bannock and Shoshoni, and going 
rapidly by railroad soon fonnd themselves in the conntry of the Paiute, 
and after stopping at one or two camps arrived at the agency at Pyra- 
mid lake, llere the Painte furnished tliem conveyances and guides to 
the other agency farther south at Walker river. Porcupine is our 
principal authority for the events of the trip, and although he claims 
that he undertook this journej' of a thousand miles without any definite 
purpose or destination in view, it is evident enough from his own 
narrative that he left Wyoming witli the fixed intention of verifying 
the rumors of a messiah. He has much to say of tlie kiuduess of the 
whites they met west of the mountains, who, it will be remembered, 
were largely Mormons, who have always manifested a special interest 
in the Indians. He also states that many of the whites took part with 
the Indians in the dance. 

They were now in the messiah's country. "The Fisheaters, near Pyr- 
amid lake, told me that Christ had appeared on earth again. They 
said Christ knew he was coming; that eleven of his children were also 
coming from a far land. It appeared thatClirist had sent for me to go 
there, and that was why, unconsciously, I took my journey. It had 
been foreordained. Christ had summoned myself and others from all 
heathen tribes. Tlicre were more diflerent languages tlian I had ever 
heard before, and I did not understand any of them." The delegation of 
which Porcupine was a member was probably the one mentioned by the 
agent in charge at Pyramid lake as having arrived in the spring of 1800, 
and consisting of thirty-four Indians of different tribes. {G. J)., 19.) 

In a few days preparations were made for a great dance near Walker 
lake, with all the delegates from the various tribes and hundreds of 
Indians in attendance. They danced two nights or longer, the messiah 
himself — Wovoka^coming down from his home in Mason valley to 
lead the ceremony. After the dance Wovoka went into a trance, and 
on awaking announced to those assembled that ho had been to the 
other world and had seen the spirits of their dead friends and of his 
own father and mother, and had been sent back to teach the people. 
According to Porcupine he claimed to be the returned Christ and bore 
on his body the scars of the crucifixion. He told tliem that the dead 
were to be resurrected, and that as the earth was old and worn out it 
would be renewed as it used to be and made better; that when this 
happened the youth of eveiyoue would be renewed with each return of 
spring, and that they would live forever; that there would be universal 
peace, and that any tribe that refused his message would be destroyed 
from the face of the earth. 

It was early in the spring of 1890 when Porcupine and his Cheyenne 
companions returned to their tribe at Tongue Eiver agency in Montana 
with the news of the appearance of the messiah. A council was called 
and Porcupine made a full report of the journey and delivered the 


divine message, talkiug five days in succession. The report aroused 
the wildest excitemeut among the Cheyenne, and after several long 
debates on the subject the Ghost dance was inaugurated at the various 
camps in accordance with the instructions from beyond the monntaius. 
In June the matter came to the attention of the military officer on the 
reservation, who summoned Porcupine before him and obtaiued from 
him a full account of the journey and the doctrine. (See page 793.) 
Porcupine insisted strongly on the sacred character of the messiah and 
his message, aud challenged any doubters to return with him to Nevada 
and investigate for themselves. He claimed also that the messiah 
could speak all languages. As a matter of fact, Wovoka speaks only 
his native Paiute and a little English, but due allowance must be made 
for the mental exaltation of the narrator. 

Grinnell states that the failure of certain things to happen according 
to the predictions of the messiah, in September, 1890, caused a tem- 
porary loss of faith on the part of the Cheyenne, but that shortly after- 
ward some visiting Shoshoni and Arapaho from Wyoming reported 
that in their journey as they came over they had met a party of Indians 
who had been dead thirty or forty years, but had been resurrected by 
the messiah, and were now going about as if they had never died. It 
is useless to speculate on the mental condition of men who could seri- 
ously report or believe such things; but, however that may be, the 
result was that the Cheyenne returned to the dance with redoubled 
fervor. [J. F. L., 5.) 

The Sioux first heard of the messiah in 1SS9. According to the 
statement of Captain George Sword, of that tribe, the information 
came to the Ogalala (Sioux of Pine Eidgei in that year, through the 
Shoshoni and Arapaho. Later in the same year a delegation consist- 
ing of Good Thunder and several others started out to the west to 
find the messiah aud to iuvestigate the truth of the rumor. On their 
return they announced that the messiah had indeed come to help the 
Indians, but not the whites. Their report aroused a fervor of joyful 
excitement among the Indians aud a second delegation was sent out in 
1890, consisting of Good Thunder, Cloud Horse, Yellow Knife, and 
Short Bull. They confirmed the report of the first delegation, and on 
this assurance the Ghost dance was inaugurated among the Sioux at 
Pine Eidge in the spring of 1890. 

The matter is stated differently and more correctly by William 
Selwyn, an educated Sioux, at that time employed as postmaster at 
Pine Eidge. He says there was some talk on the subject by Indians 
from western tribes who visited the agency in the flill of 1888 ( ?), but 
that it did not excite much attention until 1889, when uumerous letters 
concerning the new messiah were received by the Indians at Pine 
Ridge from tribes in Utah, Wyoming, 3Iontana, Dakota, and Oklahoma. 
As Selwyn was postmaster, the Indians who could not read usually 
brought their letters to him to read for them, so that he was thus in 


positiou to get accurate knowledge of the extent and nature of the 
exciteuieut. It may be remarked here that, under present conditions, 
when the various tribes are isolated upon widely separated reservations, 
the Ghost dance could never have become so widespread, and would 
j)robably have died out within a year of its inception, had it not been 
for the efficient aid it received from the returned pupils of various 
eastern government schools, who conducted the sacred correspondence 
for their friends at the different agencies, acted as interpreters for the 
delegates to the messiah, and in various ways assumed the leadershij) 
and conduct of tlie dance. 

In the fall of 1889, at a council held at Tine Ridge by Eed Cloud, 
Young Man Afraid, Little Wound, American Horse, and other Sioux 
chiefs, a delegation was appointed to visit the western agencies to learn 
more about the new messiah. The delegates chosen were (iood Thun- 
der, Flat Iron, Yellow Breast, and Broken Arm, from Pine llidge; 
Short Bull and another from Rosebud, and Kicking Bear ft-om Olieyenu i 
River agency. They started on their journey to the west, and soon began 
to write Irom Wyoming, Utah, and beyond the mountains, confirming 
all that had been said of the advent of a redeemer. They were gone 
all winter, and their return in the spring of 1890 aroused an intense 
excitement among tiie Sioux, who had been anxiously awaiting their 
report. All the delegates agreed that there was a man near the base 
of the Sierras who said that he was the son of God, who had once been 
killed by the whites, and who bore on his body the scars of the crucifix- 
ion. He had now returned to punish the whites for their wickedness, 
especially for their injustice toward the Indians. With the coming of 
the next spring (1891) he would wipe the whites from the face of the 
earth, and would then resurrect all the dead Indians, bring back the 
buffalo and other game, and restore the supremacy of the aboriginal 
race. He had before come to the whites, but they had rejected him. 
He was now the God of the Indians, and they must pray to him and call 
him "father," and prepare for his awful coming. Selwyn's account of 
this delegation, which was accompanied by representatives of several 
other tribes, including Porcupine the Cheyenne, and Sitting Bull the 
Arapaho, agrees with the statements of the Arapaho as given in chapter 
XIV. Three of the Sioux delegates found their way to Umatilla reser- 
vation in Oregon and remained there several days discussing the new 
doctrine. {Gomr.,30 — Thirchester, 539.) 

The delegates made their report at Pine Ridge in April, 1890. A 
council was at once called to discuss the matter, but Selwyn informed 
the agent. Colonel Gallagher, who had Good Thunder and two others 
arrested and imprisoned. They were held in confinement two days, 
but refused to talk when questioned. The intended council was not 
held, but soon afterward Kicking Bear returned from a visit to the 
northern Arapaho in Wyoming with the news that those Indians 
were already dancing, and could see and talk with their dead relatives 


in the trance. The oxpitement which the agent had thought to smother 
by the arrest of the leaders broke out again with added strength. 
Red Cloud himself, the great chief of the Ogalala, declared his adhe- 
sion to the new doctrine and said his people must do as the messiah 
had conunauded. Another council was called on AVhite Clay creek, a 
few miles from IMne Ridge agency, and the Ghost dance was formally 
inaugurated among the Sioux, the recent delegates acting as priests 
and leaders of the ceremony. 

As the result of all he could learn, Selwyn, in November, 1890, warned 
the agent in charge of Yankton agency that the Indians intended a 
general outbreak in the spring. Six mouths earlier, and before Porcu- 
pine's statement had been made to the ofiflcer at Camp Crook, a letter 
dated IMay 29, 1890, had been addressed to the Interior Department 
from a citizen of Pierre, South Dakota, stating that the Sioux, or a 
portion of them, were secretly planning for an outbreak in the near 
future. This was the tirst intimation of trouble ahead. {G. 1>., 20.) 

Wonderful things were said of the messiah by the returned delegates. 
It was claimed that he could make animals talk and distant objects 
appear close at hand, and that he came down from heaven in a cloud. 
He conjured up before their eyes a vision of the spirit world, so that 
when they looked they beheld an ocean, and beyond it a land upon 
which they saw " all the nations of Indians coming home," but as they 
looked the vision faded away, the messiah saying that the time had not 
yet come. Curiously enough, although he came to restore the old life, 
he advised his hearers to go to work and to send their children to school. 
Should the soldiers attenijit to harm him, he said he need only stretch 
out his arms and his enemies would bec(»me jjowerless, or the ground 
would open and swallow them. On their way home if they should kill 
a buffalo — the messiah had evidently not read Allen's monograph — 
they must cut off its head and tail and feet and leave them on the 
ground and the buffalo would come to life again. They must tell their 
people to follow his instructions. Unbelievers and renegade Indians 
would be buried under the new earth which was to come upon the old. 
They must use the sacred red and white paint and the sacred grass 
(possibly sagebrush) which he gave them, and in the spring, when the 
green grass came, their i>eople who were gone before would return, and 
they would see their friends again. 

Now comes the most remarkable part, quoting from the statement 
given to Captain Sword : 

The people from every tipi send for us to A'isit theui ; they are people who died 
many years ago. Chasing Hawk, who died not long ago, was there and we went to 
his tipi. He was living with his wife, who was killed in war long ago. They live 
in a buffalo skin tipi — a very large one — and he wanted all his friends to go there 
to live. A son of Good Thunder, who died in war long ago, was one who also took us 
to his tipi, so his father saw him. When coming we come to a herd of buffaloes. We 
killed one and took everything except the four feet, head, and tail, and when we came 
a little wavs from it there was the buffaloes come to life again and went of}'. This 

822 THE GHOST-DANCE RELIGION [eth. ann.14 

was oue of the messiah's Tvord came to truth. The messiah said, "I will shoit your 
journey when you feel tired of the long ways, if you call upon uie." This we did 
when we were tired. The night came upon us, we stopped at a place and we called 
upon the messiah to help us because we were tired of long journey. AVe went 
to sleep and in the morning we found ourselves at a great distance from where 
we stopped. 

It is iisele.s.s to assert that these men, who had been .selected by the 
chiefs of their tribe to investigate and report upon the truth or falsity 
of the messiah rumors, were all liars, and that all the Cheyenne, Arap- 
aho, and other delegates who rejjorted equally wonderful things were 
liars likewise. They were simply laboring under some strange psycho- 
logic influence as yet unexplained. The story of the revivified buffalo 
became so widely current as to form the subject of a Kiowa ghost song. 

Having mentioned some characteristics of the Ghost dance west of 
the Rockies, we shall notice here some of the peculiar features of the 
dance as it existed among the Sioux. The ceremony will be described 
in detail later on. 

Before going into the dance the men, or at least the leaders, fasted for 
twenty-four hours, and then at sunrise entered the sweat-house for the 
religious rite of pui'ification preliminary to painting themselves for the 
dance. The sweat-house is a small circular framework of willow 
branches driven into the ground and beut over and brought together 
at the top in such a way that when covered with blankets or buffalo 
robes the structure forms a diminutive round top tipijust high enough 
to enable several persons to sit or to stand in a stooping posture inside. 
The doorway faces the east, as is the rule in Indian structures, and 
at the distance of a few feet in front of the doorway is a small mound of 
earth, on which is placed a buffalo skull, with the head turned as 
if looking into the lodge. The earth of which the mound is formed is 
taken from a hole dug in the center of the lodge. Near the sweat- 
house, on the outside, there is frecjuently a tall sacrifice pole, from the 
top of which are hung strips of bright-colored cloth, packages of 
tobacco, or other offerings to the deity invoked by the devotee on any 
particidar occasion. 

The sweat bath is in frequent, both as a religious rite of purifica- 
tion and as a hygienic treatment. Like everything else in Indian life, 
even the sanitary application is attended with much detail of religious 
ceremony. Fresh bundles of the fragrant wild sage are strewn upon 
the ground inside of the sweat-house, and a fire is kindled outside a .short 
distance away. In this fire stones are heated by the medicine-men, 
and when all is ready the patient or devotee, stripped to the breech- 
cloth, enters the sweat-house. The stones are then handed iu to him 
by the priests by means of two forked sticks, cut especially for the pur- 
pose, and with two other forked sticks he puts the stones into the hole 
already mentioned as having been dug in the center of the lodge. 
Water is then passed in to him, which he pours over the hot stones 
until the whole interior is filled with steam; the blankets are pulled 


tight to dose every opening, and he sits in this aboriginal Tnrkisli bath 
until his naked body is drip])ing with perspiration. Dnring this time 
the doctors outside are (h)ing tlieir part in the way of praying to the 
gods and keeping up the sapi)ly of hot stones and water until iu their 
estimation he has been sufficiently purified, physically or morally, when 
he emerges and resumes his clothing, sometimes first checking the 
perspiration and inducing a reaction by a plunge into the neighboring 
stream. The sweat bath iu one form or aTiother was common to almost 
every tribe iu theFnited States, but as an accomi>auiment to the Ghost 
dance it seems to have been used only by the Sioux, It may have beeu 
used in this connection among the Shoshoui or northern Cheyenne, but 
was not among any of the tribes of the southern plains. The Ghost- 
dance sweat-house of the Sioux was frecjuently made sufficiently large 
to accommodate a considerable number of persons standing inside at 
the same time. 

After the sweating ceremony the dancer was painted by the medicine- 
men who acted as leaders, of whom Sitting liull was accounted the 
greatest among the Sioux. The design and color varied with the indi- 
vidual, being frequently determined by a i^revious trance vision of 
the subject, but circles, crescents, aiul crosses, representing respectively 
the sun, the moon, and the morning star, were always favorite tigures 
upon forehead, face, and cheeks. As this was not a naked dance, the 
rest of the body was not usually painted. After the painting the 
dancer was robed in the sacred ghost shirt already described. This 
also was painted with symbolic figures, among which were usually 
represented sun, moon, or stars, the eagle, magpie, crow, or sage-hen, 
all sacred to the Ghost dance among the Sioux. In connection with the 
painting the face and body were rubbed with the sweet-smelling vernal 
grass [Hierochloe), used for this purpose by many of the prairie tribes, 
and sometimes also burned as incense in their sacred ceremonies or 
carried as a perfume in small pouches attached to the clothing. 

The painting occupied most of the morning, so that it was about noon 
before the particiijants formed the circle for the dance. Among the 
Sioux, unlike the southern and western tribes generally, a small tree 
was planted in the center of the circle, with an American flag or colored 
streamers floating from the top. Around the base of this tree sat the 
priests. At a great dance at Xo Water's camp on White river near Pine 
Ridge, shortly before the arrival of the troops, a young woman stand- 
ing within the circle gave the signal for the performance by shooting 
into the air toward the cardinal ])oiuts four sacred arrows, made after 
the old primitive fashion with bone heads, and dipped in the blood of a 
steer before being brought to the dance. These were then gathered up 
and tied to the branches of the tree, together with the bow, a gaming 
wheel and sticks, and a peculiar staff or wand with horns. (See plates 
XC, xci.) Another young woman, or the same one, remained standing 
near the tree throughout the dance, holding a sacred redstone i^ipe 

824 THE GHOST-DANCE RELIGION [etil ann.14 

stretched out toward tlie west, tlic direction from wiiicli tlie iiu'ssiali was 
to appear. 

At tlie beginuing the performers, men and women, sat (m the ground 
in a large circle around the tree. A plaintive chant was then sung, 
after which a vessel of some sacred food was passed around the circle 
until everyone had partaken, when, at a signal by the priests, the 
dancers rose to their feet, joined hands, and began to chant tlie opening 
song and move slowly around the circle from right to left. The rest of 
the performance, with its frenzies, trances, and recitals of visions, was 
the same as with the southern tribes, as will be described in detail 
hereafter. Like these tribes also, the Sioux usually selected Sunday, 
the great medicine day of the white man, for the ceremony. 

We come now to the Sioux outbreak of 1890, but before going into 
the history of this short but costly war it is appropriate to state briefly 
the causes of the outbreak. In the documentary appendix to this chap- 
ter these causes are fully set forth by competent authorities — civilian, 
military, missionary, and Indian. They may be summarized as (1) unrest 
of the conservative element under the decay of the old lil'e, (2) repeated 
neglect of promises made by the government, and (3) hunger. 

The Sioux are the lai-gest and strongest tribe within the United 
States. In spite of wars, removals, and diminished food supply since 
the advent of the w'hite man, they still number nearly 20,00(1. In addi- 
tion to these there are about 600 more residing in Canada. They for- 
merly held the headwaters of the Mississippi, extending eastward almost 
to Lake Superior, but were dri\en into the prairie about two centuries 
ago by their enemies, the Ojibwa, after the latter had obtained firearms 
from the French. On coming out on the buft'alo plains they became 
possessed of the horse, by means of M'hich reinforcement to their own 
overpowering numbers the Sioux were soon enabled to assume the 
offensive, and in a short time had made themselves the undisputed 
masters of an immense territory extending, in a general way, from 
Minnesota to the Eocky mountains and from the Yellowstone to the 
Platte. A few small tribes were able to maintain their position within 
these limits, but only by keepilig close to their strongly built permanent 
villages on the Missouri. Millions of buffalo to furnish unlimited lood 
supply, thousands of horses, and hundreds of miles of free range made 
the Sioux, up to the year 1868, the richest and most prosperous, the 
proudest, and withal, perhaps, the wildest of all the tribes of the jilains. 

In that year, in pursuance of a policy inaugurated for bringing all 
the plains tribes under the direct control of the government, a treaty 
was negotiated with the Sioux living west of the Missouri by which 
they renounced their claims to a great part of their territory and had 
" set apart for their absolute and undisturbed use and occupation" — 
so the treaty states — -a reservation which embraced all of the present 
state of South Dakota west of Missouri river. At the same time agents 
were appointed and agencies established for them ; annuities and rations, 


COWS, physicians, farmers, teachers, and other good things were prom- 
ised them, and they agreed to allow railroad routes to be surveyed and 
built and military jiosts to be established in their territory and neigh- 
borhood. At one stroke they were reduced from a free nation to depend- 
ent wards of the government. It was stijmlated also that they should 
be allowed to hunt within their old range, outside the limits of the 
reservation, so long as the buffalo abounded — a proviso which, to the 
Indians, must have meant forever. 

The reservation thus established was an immense one, and would 
have been ample for all the Sioux while being gradually educated 
toward civilization, could the buftalo have remained and the white mau 
kej)t away. But the times were changing. The building of the rail- 
roads brought into the plains swarms of hunters and emigrants, who 
began to exterminate the buffalo at such a rate that in a few years the 
Sioux, with all the other hunting" tribes of the i)laius, realized that their 
food supply was rapidly going. Then gold was discovered in the Black 
hills, within the reservation, and at once thousands of miners and 
other thousaiuls of lawless desperadoes rushed into the country in defi- 
ance of the protests of the Indians and the ijledges of the government, 
and the Sioux saw their last remaining hunting ground taken from 
them. The result was the Custer war and massacre, and a new agree- 
ment in 1870 by which the Sioux were shorn of one third of tlieir guar- 
anteed reservation, including the Black hills, and this led to deep and 
widespread dissatisfaction throughout the tribe. The conservatives 
brooded over the past and planned opposition to further changes 
which they felt themselves rtnable to meet. The progressives felt that 
the white man's promises meant nothing. 

On this point Commissioner Morgan says, in his statement of the 
causes of the outbreak : 

Prior to tlie agreeiueut of 1876 buffalo and deer were the main support of tlie 
Sioux. Food, tents, bedding were the direct outcome of liunting, and with furs aud 
pelts as articles of barter or exchange it was easy for the Sioux to procure whatever 
constituted for them the necessaries, the comforts, or even the luxuries of life. 
Withiu eight yi'ars from the agreement of 1S7G the buft'alo had gone and tlie Sioux 
had left to them alkali laud and governmeut rations. It is bard to overestimate the 
magnitude of the calamity, as they viewed it, wliieh happened to these i)eop'.e by the 
sudden disappearance of the buftalo and the large diminutiou in the numbers of deer 
and other wild animals, .'^uddenly, almost without warning, they were exjiected at 
once and without previous training to settle down to the pursuits of agriculture in a 
land largely unlitted for such use. The freedom of the chase was to l>e exchanged for 
the idleness of theoanip. The boundless range was to be aijandoned for the circum- 
scribed reservation, and abundance of plenty to be supjilanted by limited aud decreas- 
ing government subsistence and supplies. Under these circumstances it is not in 
human nature not to be discontented and restless, even turbulent and violent. 
(Comr., ;!$.) 

It took our own Aryan ancestors untold centuries to develop from 
savagery into civilization. Was it reasonable to expect that the Sioux 
could do the same in fourteen years? 

826 THE GHOST-DANCE RELIGION [eth. anx.14 

The white population in the Bhick hills had rapidly increased, and 
it had become desirable to open coninuiiiication between eastern 
and western Dakota. To accomplish this, it was proposed to cut out 
the heart of the Sioux reservation, and in 1882, only six years after the 
Black hills had been seized, the Sioux were called on to surrender 
more territory. A commission was sent out to treat with them, but the 
price offered — only about 8 cents per acre — was so absurdly small, and 
the methods used so palpably unjust, that friends of the Indians inter- 
posed and succeeded in defeating the measure in Congress. Another 
agreement was prepared, but experience had made the Indians sus- 
picious, and it was not until a third eommis.siou went out, under the 
ciiairmanship of General Crook, known to the Indians as a brave 
soldier and an honorable man, that the Sioux consented to treat. 
(Welsh, 1.) The result, after much eflort on the part of the commis- 
sion and determined opposition by the conservatives, was another 
agreement, in 1889, by which the Sioux surrendered one-half (about 
11,000,000 acres) of their remaining territory, and the great reservation 
was cut up into five smaller ones, the northern and southern reserva- 
tions being separated by a strip (!0 miles wide. 

Then came a swift accunuilation of miseries. Dakota is an arid 
country with thin soil and short seasons. Although well adapted to 
grazing it is not suited to agriculture, as is sufficiently proven by the 
fact that the white settlers in that and the adjoining state of Nebraska 
have several times been obliged to call for state or federal assistance 
on account of failure of crops. To wild Indians hardly in from the 
warpath the problem was much moie serious. As General Miles 
points out in his official report, thousands of white settlers after years 
of successive failures had given up the struggle and left the country, 
but the Indians, confined to reservations, were unable to emigrate, and 
were also as a rule unable to find employment, as the whites might, by 
which they could earn a subsistence. The buftalo was gone. They 
must depend on their cattle, their crops, and the government rations 
issued in return for the lands they had surrendered. If these failed, 
they must starve. The highest olHcial authorities concur in the state- 
ment that all of these did fail, and that the Indians were driven to 
outbreak by starvation. (See appendix to this chapter.) 

In 1888 their cattle had been diminished by disease. In 1880 their 
crops were a failure, owing largely to the fact that the Indians had been 
called into the agency in the middle of the farming season and kept 
there to treat with the commission, going back afterward to find their 
fields trampled and torn up by stock during their absence. Then fol- 
lowed epidemics of measles, grippe, and whooping cough, in rapid 
succession and with terribly fatal results. Anyone who understands 
the Indian character needs not the testimony of witnesses to know the 
mental effect thus produced. SuUenness and gloom, amounting almost 
to despair, settled down on the Sioux, especially among the wilder 


portion. "The i)eoi)le said their children ^yere all dying ironi the face 
of the earth, and they luiulit as well l)e killed at once." Then came 
another entire failure of crops in 1890, and an unexpected reduction of 
rations, and the Indians were brought face to face with starvation. 
They had been exi)ressly and repeatedly told by the commission that 
their rations would not be affected by their signing the treaty, but 
immediately on the consummation of the agreement Congress cut down 
their beef rations by 2,000,000 pounds at Rosebud, 1,000,000 at Pine 
Eidge, and in less proportion at other agencies. p]arnest protest 
against this reduction was made by the commission which had negoti- 
ated the treaty, by Commissioner Morgan, and by General Miles, but 
still Congress failed to remedy the matter until the Sioux had actually 
been driven to rebellion. As Conimissioner Morgan states, " It was 
not until January, 1891, aficv the troubles, that an appropriation of 
S100,000 was made by Congress for additional beef for the Sioux." 
The protest of the commission, a full year before the outbreak, as 
quoted by Commissioner Morgan (see page 829), is strong and positive 
on this point. 

Commissioner Morgan, while claiming that the Sioux had before been 
receiving more rations than they were justly entitled to according to 
their census number, and denying that the reduction was such as 
to cause even extreme suffering, yet states that the reduction was 
especially unwise at this juncture, as it was in direct violation of the 
promises made to the Indians, and would be used as an argument by 
those opposed to the treaty to show that the government cared noth- 
ing for the Indians after it had obtained their lands. It is quite pos- 
sible that the former number of rations was greater than the actual 
number of persons, as It is always a diflflcult matter to count roving 
Indians, and the difficulties were greater when the old census was made. 
The census is taken at long intervals and the tendency is nearly always 
toward a decrease. Furthermore, it has usually been the policy with 
ageuts to hold their Indians quiet by keeping them as well fed as pos- 
sible. On the other hand, it must be reniembered that the issue is based 
on the weight of the cattle as delivered at the agency in the fall, and 
that months of exposure to a Dakota winter will reduce this weight by 
several hundred jjouiuls to the animal. The official investigation by 
Captain Hurst at Cheyenne River agency shows conclusively that the 
essential food items of meat. Hour, and coffee were far below the amount 
stipulated by the treaty. (See page 8.'^7.) 

In regard to the eft'ect of this food deticiency Bishop Hare says: 
"The people were often hungry and, the physicians in many cases said, 
died, when taken sick, not so much from disease as for want of food." 
General Miles says : "The fact that they had not received sufficient food 
is admitted by the agents and the officers of the government who have 
liad opportunities of knowing," and in another place he states that in 
spite of crop failures and other difficulties, after the sale of the reser- 


vatioii "instead of an iuciease, oi- even a reasonable supply for their 
support, they have been compelled to live on half and two-thirds rations 
and received nothing for the surrender of their lands." The testimony 
from every agency is all to tlie same effect- 
There were other causes of dissatisfaction, some local and others gen- 
eral and chronic, which need not be detailed here. Some of these are 
treated in the documents appended to this chapter. Prominent among 
them were the failure of Congress to make payment of the money due 
the Sioux for the lands recently ceded, or to have the new lines sur- 
veyed promptly so that the Indians might know what was still theirs 
and select their allotments accordingly ; failure to reimburse the friendly 
Indians for horses contiscated fourteen years before; the tardy arrival 
of annuities, consisting largely of winter clothing, which according to 
the treaty were due by the 1st of August, but which seldom arrived until 
the middle of winter; the sweeping and frequent changes of agency 
employees from the agent down, preventing anything like a systematic 
working out of any consistent policy, and almost always operating 
against the good of the service, esi)ecially at Pine Ridge, where so brave 
and efUcient a man as McGillycuddy was followed by such a one as 
Royer — and, finally, the Ghost dance. 

The Ghost dance itself, in the form which it assumed among the Sioux, 
was only a symptom and expression of the real causes of dissatisfac- 
tion, and with such a man as McGillycuddy or McLaughlin in charge 
at Pine IJidge there would have been no outbreak, in spite of broken 
promises and starvation, and the Indians could have been controlled 
until Congress had afforded relief. That it was not the cause of the 
outbreak is sufBcieutly proved by the fact that there was no serious 
trouble, excepting on the occasion of the attemijt to arrest Sitting 
Bull, on any other of the Sioux reservations, and none at all among 
any of the other Ghost-dancing tribes from the Missouri to the Sierras, 
although the doctrine and the dance were held by nearly every tribe 
within tliat area and are still held by the more important. Among the 
Paiute, where the doctrine originated and the messiah has his home, 
there was never the slightest trouble. It is significant that Commis- 
sioner Morgan in his official statement of the causes of the outbreak 
jjlaces the "messiah craze" eleventh in a list of twelve, the twelfth 
being the alarm created by the appearance of troops. The Sioux out- 
break of 1890 was due entirely to local grievances, recent or long stand- 
ing. The remedy and preventive for similar trouble in the future 
is sufficiently indicated in the appended statements of comijeteut 




[From the lieport of the Vommisslom'r of Indian Ap'airiffor 1S91, Vol. I, 1S'2-1S5.] 

Ill stating the events which led to this outbreak among the Sioux, the endeavor too 
often has been merely to find some opportunity for locating blame. The causes are com- 
plex, and luauY are obscure and remote. Among them may be named the following: 

First. A feeling of unrest and apprehension in the mind of the Indians has natu- 
rally grown out of the rapid advance in civilization and the great changes which 
this advance has necessitated in their habits and mode of life. 

Second. Prior to the agreement of 1876 buttalo and deer were the main support of 
the Siou.x. Food, tents, bedding were the direct outcome of hunthig, and, with 
furs and pelts as articles of barter or exchange, it was easy for the 8ioux to iirocure 
whatever constituted for them the necessaries, the comforts, or even the luxuries of 
life. Within eight years from the agreement of ISTl! the buffalo had gone, and the 
Sioux had left to them alkali laud and govcrnmeut rations. It is hard to overesti- 
mate the magnitude of the calamity, as they viewed it, which happened to these 
people by the sudden disappearance of the buffalo and the large diminution in the 
numbers of deer and other wild animals. Suddenly, almost without warning, they 
were expected at once and without previous training to settle down to the pursuits 
of agriculture iu a land largely unfitted for such use. The freedom of the chase 
was to be exchanged for the idleness of the camp. The boundless range was to be 
abandoned for the circumscribed reservatiou, and abundance of plenty to be sup- 
planted by limited and decreasing government subsistence and supplies. Under 
these circumstances it is not in human nature not to be discontented and restless, 
even turbulent and violent. 

Third. During a long series of years, treaties, agreements, cessions of laud and 
privileges, and removals of bands and agencies have kept many of the Sioux, par- 
ticularly those at Pine Ridge and Rosebud, iu au unsettled conditiou, especially as 
some of the jironiises made them were fulfilled tardily or not at all. (A brief his- 
tory of negotiations with the Sioux was given iu my letter of December 24, 18!I0, to 
the Department, which will be found in the appendix, page 182.) 

Fourth. The very large reduction of tlie great Sioux resei'vation, brought about 
by the Sioux commission through the consent of the large uiajority of the adult 
males, was bitterly opposed by a large, intiuential minority. For various reasons, 
they regarded the cession as unwise, and did all in their power to prevent its con- 
summation, and afterwards were constant in their expressions of dissatisfaction 
and iu their endeavors to awaken a like feeling in the minds of those who signed 
the agreement. 

Fifth. There was diminution aud partial failure of the crops for 1889, by reason 
of their neglect by the Indians, who were congregated iu large numbers at the 
council with the Sioux commission, and a further diminution of ordinary crops by 
the drought of 18(10. Also, in 1888, the disease of black leg appeared among the 
cattle of the Indians. 

Sixth. At this time, by delayed and reduced ap])ropriation8, the Sioux rations 
were temporarily cut down. Rations were not diminished to such an extent as to 
bring the Indians to starvation or even extreme suffering, as has been often reported ; 
but short rations came just after the Sioux commission bad negotiated the agreement 
for the cession of lands, aud. as a condition of securing the signatures of the majority, 
had assured the Indians that their rations would be continued unchanged. To this 
matter the Sioux commission called special attention in their report dated Decem- 
ber 24, 1889, as follows : 

"During our conference at the different agencies we were repeatedly asked whether 
the acceptance or rejection of the act of Congress would influence the action of the 



government with reference to their rations, and in every instance the Indians were 
assured that subsistence was furnished in accordance with former treaties, and that 
signing Avon id not afl'ect their rations, and that they would continue to receive them 
as provided in former treaties. AVithout our assurances to this effect it would have 
been impossible to have secured tlieir consent to the cession of their lands. Since 
our visit to the agencies it appears that large reductions have been made in the 
amounts of beef furnished for issues, amounting at Rosebud to 2,000,000 pounds and 
at Pine Ridge to 1,000,000 pounds, and lesser amounts at the other agencies. This 
action of the Department, following immediately after the successful issue of our 
negotiations, can not fail to have an injurious effect. It will be impossible to con- 
vince the Indians that the reduction is not due to the fact that the government, 
having obtained their land, has less concern in looking after their material interests 
than before. It will be looked upon as a breach of faith and especially as a viola- 
tion of the express statements of the commissioners. Already this action is being 
used by the Indians opposed to the bill, notably at Pine Ridge, as an argument in 
support of the wisdom of their op])iisition.'' 

In forwarding this report to Congress the Department called special attention to 
the above-quoted statements of the commission and said: "The commission further 
- remarks that as to the quality of the rations furnished there seems to be no just cause 
for complaint, but that it was particularly to be avoided that there should be any 
diminution of the rations promised under the former treaties at this time, as the 
Indians would attribute it to their assent to the bill. Such diminution certainly 
should not be allowed, as the government is bound in good faith to carry into effect 
the former treaties where not directly and positively aft'ected by the act, and if under 
the provisions of the treaty itself the ration is atany time reduced, the commissioners 
recommend that the Indians should be notified before spring opens, so that crops 
may be cultivated. It is desirable that the recent reduction made should he restored, 
as it is now impossible to convince the Indians that it was uot due to the fact that 
the government, having obtained their lands, had less concern in looking after their 
material interests.'' 

Notwithstanding this plea of the commission and of the Department, the appro- 
priation made for the subsistence and civilization of the Sioux for 1890 was only 
$9.j0,000, or $.">0,000 less than the amount estimated and appropriated for 1888 and 
1889, and the appropriation not having been made until August 19, rations had to be 
temjiorarily purchased and issued in limited quantities pending arrival of new sup- 
plies to be secured from that appropriation. It was not until January, 1891, .after 
the troubles, that an appropriation of $100,000 was made by Congress for additional 
beef for the Sioux. 

Seventh. Other promises made l)y the Sioux commission and the agreement were 
not promptly fulfilled; among them were increase of appropriations for education, 
for which this office had asked an appropriation of $1,50,000; the payment of $200,000 
in compensation for ponies taken from the Sioux in 1876 and 1877 ; and the reimliurse- 
ment of the Crow Creek Indians for a reduction made in their per capita allowance 
of land, as compared with the amonut allowed other Sioux, which called for an 
ajipropriation of $187,039. The fulfillment of all these promises except the last 
named was contained in the act of .January 19, 1891. 

Eighth. In 1889 ami 1890 epidemics of la grippe, measles, and whooping cough, 
followed by many deaths, added to the gloom and misfortune which seemed to sur- 
round the Indians. 

Ninth. The wording of the agreement changed the boundary line between the 
Rosebud and Pine Ridge diminished reservations and necessitated a removal of a 
portion of the Rosebud Indians from the lands which, by the agreement, were 
included in the Pine Ridge reservation to lands offered them in lieu thereof upon the 
diminished Rosebud reserve. This, although involving no yreat hardship to any 
considerable numlier, added to the discontent. 


Tenth. Some of the Indians were greatly opposed to the census which Congress 
ordered should be taken. The census at Rosebud, as reported by Si>ecial Agent 
Lea and confirmed by a special census taken by Agent Wright, revealed the some- 
what startling fact that rations had been issued to Indians very largely in excess 
of the number actually present, and this diminution of numbers as shown liy the 
census necessitated a diminution of the rations, which was based, of course, upon the 

Eleventh. The Messiah craze, which fostered the belief that " ghost shirts " would 
he invulnerable to bullets, and that the supremacy of the Indian race was assured, 
added to discontent the fervor of fanaticism and brought those who accepted the 
new faith into the attitude of sullen defiance, hut defensive rather than aggressive. 

Twelfth. The sudden appearance of military upon their reservation gave rise to 
the wildest rumors among the Indians of danger and disaster, which were eagerly 
circulated by disaflected Indians and corroborated by exaggerated accounts in the 
newspapers, and these and other iutlueuces connected with and inseparable from mili- 
tary movements frightened many Indians away from their agencies into the bad lauds 
and largely intensified whatever spirit of opposition to the government existed 


[Letter of Dr T. T. McGlllycvddy, formerly a<j«nt at Pine Ridge, writtenin reply to inquiry from General 
L. TT. Colby, commandijij Nebraska state troops during the outbreak, and dated January },i, 1S02. 
From article on " T/ie Siovx Indian War of 1S90-01." by General L. W. Colby, in Transactions and 
Ueports of the Xebraska State Iliatorical Society, JIT, 1S9-3, 2>aries 17('-1S0.] 

Sir: In answer to your inquirj' of a recent date, I would state that in my opinion 
to no one cause can he attributed the recent so-called outbreak on the part of the 
Sioux, but rather to a combination of causes gradually cumulative in their eflect and 
dating back through many years — in fact to the inanguratiou of our practically 
demonstrated faulty Indian policy. 

There can be no question hut that many of the treaties, agreements, or solemn 
promises made by our government with these Indians have been broken. Many of 
them have been kept by us technically, but as far as the Indian is concerned have 
been misunderstood by him through a lack of proper explan.ation at time of signing, 
and hence considered by him as broken. 

It must also be remembered that in all of the treaties made by the government 
with the Indians, a large portion of them have not agreed to or signed the same. 
Noticealdy was this so in the agreement secured by us witli them the sunnner liefore 
last, by which we secured one-half of the remainder of the Sioux reserve, amount- 
ing to about 16,000 square miles. This agreement barely carried with the Sioux 
nation as a whole, but did not carry at Pine Ridge or Rosebud, where the strong 
majority were against it ; and it must be noted that wherever there was the strongest 
opposition manifested to the recent treaty, there, during the present trouble, have 
been found the elements opposed to the government. 

The Sioux nati(ui, which at one time, with the confederated bands of C'heyenues 
and Arapahos, contndled a region of country bounded on the north by the Yellow- 
stone, on the south by the Arkansas, and reaching from the Missouri river to the 
Rocky mountains, has seen this large domain, under the various treaties, dwindle 
down to their now limited reserve of less than 16,000 square miles, and with the laud 
has disappeared the buffalo and other game. The memory of this, chargeable by 
them to the white man, necessarily irritates them. 

There is back of all this the natural race antagonism which our dealings with the 
aborigine in connection with the inevitable onward march of civilization has in no 
degree lessened. It has been our experience, and the experience of other nations, 
that defeat in war is soon, not sooner or later, forgotten by the coming generatiim, 
and as a result we have a tendency to a constant recurrence of outbreak on the part 
14 ETII— PT 2 13 


of the weaker race. It is uiiw sixteen years since our last war with the Sioux in 
1876 — a time when our present Sioux warriors were mostly children, and therefore 
have no memory of having felt the power of the government. It is but natural 
that these young warriors, lacking in experience, should require but little incentive 
to induce them to test the bravery of the white man on the war path, where the 
traditions of his people teach hifn is the only path to glory and a chosen seat in the 
"hap])y hunting grounds.'' For these reasons ever}- precaution should lie adopted 
by the government to guard against trouble with its disastrous results. Have such 
precautions been adopted* Investigation of the present trouble docs not so indicate. 

.Sitting Bull and other irreconcilable relics of the campaign of 1876 were allowed 
to remain among their people and foment discord. The staple article of food at Pine 
Ridge and some of the other agencies had iieen cut down lielow the subsisting point, 
noticeably the beef at Pine Ridge, which from an annual treaty allowance of 6,250,000 
pounds gross was cut down to 4,000,000 pounds. The contract on that beef was vio- 
lated, insomuch as that contract called for northern ranch beef, for which was sub- 
stituted through beef from Texas, with an unparalleled resulting shrinkage in winter, 
80 that the Indians did not actually receive half ration of this food in winter — the 
very time the largest allowance of food is required. By the fortunes of political 
war, weak agents were placed in charge of some of the agencies at the very time that 
trouble was known to be brewing. Noticeably was this so at Pine Ridge, where a 
notoriously weak and untit man was placed in charge. His flight, abandonment of 
his agency, and his call for troops have, with the horrible results of the same, become 
facts in history. 

Now, .as for facts in connection with Pine Ridge, which agency has unfortunately 
become the theater of the present " war," was there necessity' for troops? ily past 
experience with those Indians does not so indicate. For seven long year.s, from 1879 
to 1886, 1, as agent, managed this agency without the presence of a soldier on the res- 
ervation, and none nearer than 60 miles, and in those times the Indians were naturally 
much wilder than they are to-day. To be sure, during the seven years we occasion- 
iilly had exciting times, when the only thing lacking to cause an outbreak was the 
calling for troops by the agent and the presence of the s.ame. As a m.atter of fact, 
however, no matter how much disturbed atl'airs were, no matter how imminent an 
outbreak, the progressive chiefs, with their following, came to the front enough in the 
nuyority, with the fifty Indian policemen, to at once crush out all attempts at rebel- 
lion against the authority of the iigent and the government. 

Why was this? Because in those times we believed in placing confidence in the 
Indians; in establishing, as far as possible, a home-rule government on the reserva- 
tion. We established local courts, presided over by the Indians, with Indian juries; 
in fact, we believed in having the Indians assist in working out their own salvation. 
We courted and secured the friendship and support of the progressive and orderly 
element, as against the mob element. Whether tlae system thus inaugurated was 
jiracticable, was successful, eorapaxison with recent events will decide. 

When my Democratic successor took charge in 1886, he deemed it nece.ssary to 
make general changes in the sy.stem at Pine Ridge, i. e., a Republican system. All 
white men, half-breeds, or Indians who had sustained the agent under the former 
administration were classed as Republicans and had to go. The progressive chiefs, 
such as Young Man Afraid, Little Wound, and White Bird, were ignored, and the 
backing of the element of order and progress was alienated from the agent and the 
government, and in the xilace of this strong backing that had maintained order for 
seven years was substituted Red Cloud and other nonprogressive chiefs, sustainers 
of the ancient tribal system. 

If my successor had been other than an amateur, or had had any knowledge or 
experience in the inside Indian politics of an Indian tribe, he would have known 
that if the element he was endeavoring to relegate to the rear had not been the bal- 
ance of i)ower, I could not for seven years have held out againt the mob element 
which he now sought to put in jiower. In other words, he unwittingly threw the 


balance of power at I'iue Ridj;e agaiust the goveruiiient, as he later on discDvereil to 
his cost. When still later he endeavored to maintain order and suppress tlio ghost 
dance, the attempt resulted in a most dismal failure. 

The Democratic agent was succeeded in October last hy the recently rcmove<l 
Republican agent, a gentleman totally ignorant of Indians and their peculiarities; 
a gentleman with not a qualilicatiou in his make-up calculated to fit hiui for the 
position of agent at one of the largest an<l most dilticult agencies in the service to 
nuiuage; aman selected solely as a reward for political services. He might possibly 
have been an average success as an Indian agent at a small, well-regulated agency. 
He endeavored to strengthen up matters, 1)ut the chiefs and leaders who could have 
assisted him in so doing had been alienated by the former agent. They virtually said 
among themselves, ■• We, after incurring the enmity of the bad element among our 
people by sustaining the government, have been ignored and ill-treated by that 
gorernment, hence this is not our affair." Being ignorant of the situation, he had 
no one to depend on. In his first clash with the mob element he discovered that the 
Pine Ridge police, formerly the finest iu the service, were lacking iu discipline and 
courage, and, not being well supplied with those necessary qualities himself, he took 
the bluff of a mob for a declaration of war, abandoned his agency, returned with 
troops — and you see the result. 

As for the ghost dance, too much attention has been paid to it. It was only the 
symptom or surface indication of deep-rooted, long-existing difficulty; as well treat 
the eruption of smallpox as the disease and ignore the constitutional disease. 

As regards disarndng the Sioux, however desirable it may appear, I consider it 
neither advisable nor practicable. I fear that it will result as the theoretical en- 
forcement of prohibition in Kansas, Iowa, and Dakota; you will succeed in disarm- 
ing the friendly Indians, becanse you can, and you will not so succeed with the mob 
element, because you can not. If I were again to he an agent and had my 
choice, I would take charge of 10,(K)0 armed Sioux in preference to a like number of 
disarmed ones; and, furthermore, agree to handle that number, or the whole Sioux' 
nation, without a white soldier. 

Respectfully, etc, V. T. McGillycuddv. 

P. S. — I neglected to state that up to date there has been neither a Sioux outbreak 
nor war. No citizen in Nebra.ska or Dakota has been killed, molested, or can show 
the scratch of a pin, and no property has been destroyed off the reservation. 


[Frovi, the Heport of the Secretary of TTar for ISOt, Vol. I, pp, iAi, 134, and 149. He enumerates specific 
causes of complaint at each of thepi-inclpril Sioux agencies, all of whicJ cauws may be sinmnarized as 
hunger and unfulfilled promises.^ 

Cause of Indian disxatisfacfioii. — The causes led to the serious disturbance of 
the peace in the northwest last .autumn and winter were so remarkable tbat an 
exjilanation of them is necessary in order to comprehend the seriousness of the situ- 
ation. The Indians assuming the most threatening attitude of hostility were the 
Cheyennes and Sioux. Their condition may be stated as follows: For several years 
following their subjugation in 1877, 1878, and 1879 the most dangerous element of 
the Cheyennes and the Sioux were under military control. Many of them wi're dis- 
armed and dismounted; their war ponies were sold and the proceeds returned to 
them in domestic stock, farming utensils, wagons, etc. Many of the Cheyennes, 
under the charge of military officers, were located on laud in accordance with the 
laws of Congress, but after they were turned over to civil agents and the vast herds 
of buffalo and large game had been destroyed their supplies were insufficient, and 
they were forced to kill cattle belonging to white people to sustain life. 

The fact that they had not received siiiHcient food is admitted by the agents and 
the officers of the government who have had opportunities of knowing. The majority 
of the Sioux were under the charge of civil agents, frequently changed and often 


inexiierienced. Many of the tribes became rearmecl and remounted. They claimed 
that the government had not fulfilled its treaties and had failed to make large enough 
appropriations for their support ; that they had suft'ered for want of food, and the 
evidence of this is beyond question andsafficieut to satisfy any unprejudiced intelli- 
gent mind. The statements of officers, inspectors, both of the military and the 
Interior departments, of agents, of missionaries, and civilians familiar with their con- 
dition, leave no room for reasonable doubt that this was one of the principal causes. 
While statements may be made as to the araouut of money that has been expended 
by the government to feed the different tribes, the manner of distributing those 
appropriations will furnish one reason for the deficit. 

The unfortunate failure of the crops in the plains country during the yeans of 1889 
and 1890 added to the distress ami sutt'oring of the Indians, and it was possible for 
them to raise but very little from the ground for self-support; in fact, white settlers 
have been most unfortunate, and their losses have been serious and universal 
throughout a large section of that country. They have struggled on from year to 
year; occasionally they would raise good crops, which they were compelled to sell at 
low prices, while in the season of drought their labor was almost entirely lost. 
So serious have been their misfortunes tliat thousands have left that countrj' within 
the last few years, passing over the mountains to the Pacific slope or returning to 
the east of the Missouri or the Mississippi. 

The Indians, however, could not migrate from one part of the United States to 
another; neither could they obtain employment as readily as white people, either 
upon or beyond the Indian reservatious. They must remain in comparative idleness 
and accept the results of the drought — an insufficient supply of food. This created a 
feeling of discontent even among the loyal and well disposed and .added to the feeling 
of hostility of the element opposed to every process of civilization. 

Reports forwarded liy Brigadier-General Ruger, commanding Department of 
Dakota, contained the following: 

The eommandiug officer at Fort Yates, North Dakota, under date of December 7, 
1890, at the time the Messiah delusion was approaching a climax, says, in reference 
to the disafl'ectiou of the Sioux Indians at .Standing Rock agency, that it is due to 
the following causes: 

(1) Failure of the government to establish an equitable southern boundary of the 
Standing Rock agency reservation. 

(2) Failure of the government to expend a just proportion of the money received 
from the Chicago, Milwaukee and St. Paul railroad company, for right of way privi- 
leges, for the benefit of the Indians of said agency. Official notice was received 
October 18, 1881, by the Indian agent at the Standing Rock agency, that the said 
railroad company had paid the government under its agreement with the Sioux 
Indians, lor right of way privileges, the sum of .$13,911. What additional ])aymeuts, 
if any, have been made by the said railroad company, and what ]>aynients have been 
made by the Dakota Central railroad company, the records of the agency do not 
show. In 1883, and again in 1885, the agent, upon complaints made by the Indians, 
wrote to the Commissioner of Indian Affairs, making certain reeonmiendations as 
regards the expenditure of the money received from the said railroad company, 
but was in each instance informed that until Congress took action with respect 
to the funds referred to nothing could be done. No portion of the money had been 
expended up to that time (December, 1890) for the benefit of tho Indians of 
tlie agency, and frequent complaints had been made to the agent by the Indians 
because they had received no benefits from their concessions to the said railroad 

(3) Failure of the government to issue the certificates of title to allotmeuts, as 
required by article 6 of the treaty of 1868. 

(4) Failure of the government to provide the full allowance of seeds and agricul- 
tural implements to Indians engaged in farming, as required in article 8, treaty of 


(5) Failure of the goverument to issue to such lucUaus the lull Dumber of cows 
and oxen provided in article 10. treaty of 187ti. 

(7) Failure of the government to issue to the Indians the full ration stipulated in 
article 5, treaty of 1876. (For the tiscal year Ijegiuning .luly 1, 1890, the following 
shortages in the rations were found to exist: 485,275 pounds of beef [gross], 761,212 
pouuds of corn, 11,937 pounds of coffee, 281,712 pounds of flour, 26,234 pounds of 
sugar, and 39,852 pouuds of beans. Although the obligations of the goverument 
extend no further than furnishing so much of the ration prescribed in article 5 as 
may be necessary for the support of the Indians, it would seem that, owing to the 
almost total failure of croiJS upon the Standing Rock reservation for the past four 
years, and the absence of game, the necessity for the issue of the full ration to the 
Indians here was never greater than at the present time — December, 1890.) 

(8) Failure of the government to issue to the Indians the full amount of annuity 
supplies to which they were entitled under the provisions of article 10, treaty of 

(9) Failure of the government to have the clothing and other annuity supjilies 
ready for issue on the lirst day of August of each year. Such supplies have not been 
ready for issue to the Indians, as a rule, until the winter season is well advanced. 
(After careful examination at this agency, the commanding officer is convinced that 
not more than two-thirds of the supplies provided in article 10 have been issued 
there, and the government has never complied with that provision of article 10 
which requires the supplies enumerated in paragraphs 2, 3, and 4 of said article to 
bo delivered on or before the first day of August of each year. Such supplies for 
the present fiscal year, beginning .July 1, 1890, had not yet reached (December, 1890) 
the nearest railway station, about 60 miles distant, from which point they must, at 
this season of the year, be freiglited to this agency iu wagons. It is now certain 
that the winter will be well advanced before the Indians at this agency receive their 
annual allowance of clothing and other annuity supplies.) 

(10) Failure of the government to appropriate money for the payment of the 
Indians for the ponies taken from them, by the authority of the government, in 

In conclusion, the commanding officer says: " It, however, appears from the fore- 
going, that the government has failed to fulfill its obligations, and in order to render 
the Indians law-abiding, peaceful, contented, and prosperous it is strongly recom- 
mended tliat the treaties be promptly and fully carried out, and that the promises 
made by the commission iu 1889 be faithfully kept." 

[The reports from Pine Kidgf\ liosebud, Cheyenne 2iiver, and Vankton agencies are of similar tenor. 
Followinf/ are two telegrams sent from the field by General Miles at the beginning of the trouble.] 

Kapid City, South 1)akot.\, December 19, 1890. 
Senator Dawes, 

Washington, District of Colnnibia : 

You may be assured of the following facfs that can not be gainsaid: 

First. The forcing process of attempting to make Large bodies of Indians self-sus- 
taining when the government was cutting down their rations and their crops almost 
a failure, is one cause of the difhoulty. 

Second. While the Indians were urged and almost forced to sign a treaty presented 
to them by the commission authorized by Congress, in which they gave up a valua- 
ble portion of their reservation which is now occupied by white people, the govern- 
ment has failed to fulfill its part of the compact, and of an increase or even 
a reasonable supply for their support, they have been compelled to live on half and 
two-thirds rations, and received nothing for the surrender of their lands, neither has 
the government given any positive assurance that they intend to do any dift'erently 
with them iu the future. 

Congress has been iu session several weeks and could, if it were disposed, in a few 
hours confirm the treafies that its commissioners have made with these Indians and 


appropriate the necessary funds for its fullillmeiit, and thereby give an earnest of 
their good faith or intention to fultill their part of the compact. Such action, in my 
judgment, is essential to restore confidence with the Indians and give peace and pro- 
tection to the settlements. If this be done, and the President authorized to place 
the turbulent and dangerous tribes of Indians under the control of the military, 
Congress need not enter into details, but can safely trust the military authorities to 
subjugate and govern, and in the near future make self-sustaining, any or all of the 
Indian tribes of this country. 

Kai'ii> City, South Dakota, Dei-eniber 19, 1S90. 
General John M. Schofielu, 

Commanding the Army, Washington, District of Columbia: 
Replying to your long telegram, one point is of vital importance — the difficult 
Indian problem can not be solved permauently at this end of the line. It requires 
the fultilhnent by Congress of the treaty oljligations which the Indians were entreated 
and coerced into signing. They signed away a valuable jiortiou of their reservation, 
and it is now occupied by white peo])le, for which they have received nothing. They 
understood that ample provision wimld be made for their support; instead, their 
supplies have been reduced, and much of the time they have been living on half and 
two-thirds rations. Their crojis, as well as the crops of the white jieople, for two 
years have been almost a total failure. The disaffection is widespread, especially 
among the Sioux, while the Cheyenues have been on the verge of starvation and were 
forced to commit depredations to sustain life. These facts are beyond question, and 
the evidence is jiositive and sustained by thousands of witnesses. Serious difficulty 
has been gathering for years. Congress has been in session several weeks and conld 
in a single hour confirm the treaties and appropriate the necessary funds for their 
fulfillment, which their commissioners and the highest officials of the government 
have guaranteed to these people, and unless the officers of the army can give some 
positive assurance that the government intends to act iii good faith with these peo- 
ple, the loyal element will bo dimiui.shed and the hostile element increased. If the 
government will give some positive assurance that it will fulfill its of the 
understanding with these 20,000 Sioux Indians, they can safely trust (he military 
authorities to subjugate, control, and govern these turbulent jieople, and I hope that 
you will ask the Secretary of War and the Chief Executive to bring this matter 
directly to the attention of Congress. 


(J., a. O. Doc. IJ300-1S91.) 
FdKT liENNETT, SoUTH DAKOTA, Januari/ 9. 1S91. 

Assistant Adjutant-General, 

Department of Dakota, Saint Paul, Minnesota. 

Sir: In compliance with instructions of the department commander — copy 
attached marked A — I have the honor to submit the following report as the result 
of my investigations into the matters referred to therein. 

I have been at this post continuously since August 6, 1887, and inspector of luilian 
sujjplies at the Cheyenue River Indian agency, located here, during that jieriod, and 
am at the present time. 

The Indians of this agency have a standing list of grievances which they present 
at every opportunity, and talk about in council when they assemble at every monthly 
ration issue. The Indians most persistent in recounting and proclaiming their 
grievances are those least willing to help in bettering their condition, and who are 
oiiposed to any change or improvement of their old habits and customs, and oppose 
all progress. Of this class I cite Big Foot's band of irreconcilables — who have now 
ceased to complain — and those in accord with them. Except in the matter of short 
rations, the story of their wrongs needs no attention. It commences with a recital 
of the wrong done them by the white race sharing the earth with them. 


The other class, cnuiprising a large maiority of Inilians of the reservation, h:ive 
accepted the situation forced upon thcni, and liave been for years bravely straggling 
in the effort to reconcile themselves to the ways of civilization and moral progress, 
with a gratifying degree of success. It is this class whose complaints and griev- 
ances demand considerate atteutiou. They eomplaiu in true Indian style that they 
only have kept faith in all treaties made with them, and that somehow the treaties 
when they appeared in print were not in many respects the treaties which they signed. 

They i'omi>lain principally — 

(1) That the boundaries of the reservation in the treaty of 1877 are not what they 
agreed to and thought they were signing on the paper, and they especially empha- 
size the point that the line of the western boundary should be a straight line at the 
Black Hills, instead of as it appears on the maps. 

(2) That they have never received full recompense fur the jionies taken from them 
in 187(3. 

(3) That the game has been destroyed and driven out of the country by the white 

(4) That their children are taken from them to eastern schools and kept for years, 
instead of being educated among them. 

(5) That when these eastern graduates return to them with civilized habits, edu- 
cation, and trades, there is no provision made on the reservation for their employ- 
ment and improvement to the benefit of themselves and their people. 

(G) That the agents and employees sent out to them have not all been "good men" 
and considerate of tlieir (the Indians') interests and welfare. 

(7) That the issue of their annuity goods is delayed so late in the winter as to 
cause them much suS'ering. 

(8) That they are expected to plow the laud and grain when the climate will 
not permit them to reap a crop. They think cattle should be issued to them for 
breeding purposes instead of farming implements for useless labor. 

(9) That the rations issued to them are insutificient iu quantity and frequeutly 
(beef and Hour) very poor in quality. 

Complaints 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, and 9 are all well founded and justified by the facts in 
each case, No. 9 especially so, and this through uo fault or negligence of the agent. 
The agent makes his annual estimate for sustenance in kind for the number of people 
borne on his rolls, based on the stipulated ration iu treaty of 1877. This estimate is 
modified or cut down in the Indian Commissioner's office to meet the requirements 
of a limited or reduced Congressional apiiropriation, and wheu it returns to the 
agent's hands ajqiroved, he finds that he has just so many pounds of beef and Hour, 
etc, placed to his credit for the year, without regard to whether they constitute the 
full number of treaty rations or not. There is no allowance given him for loss by 
shrinkage, Avastage, or other unavoidable loss, and with the very best ett'orts and 
care in the distribution throughout the year of this usually reduced allowance there 
can not be issued to each Indian his treaty ration nor enough to properly sustain 
life. As a general thing the Indians of this reservation have been compelled to pur- 
chase food according to their means, between ration issues. Those having no means 
of i)urchase have suffered. 

The half pound of Hour called for by the treaty ration could not be issued iu full, 
and the half jiound of corn required has never been issued nor anything in lieu of it. 
In the item of beef but 1 pound was issued instead of the pound and a half called for 
in the treaty, and during the early spring months, wheu the cattle on the range are 
tliiu and poor, the pound of beef issued to the ludiau is but a fraction of the pound 
issued to him on the agent's returns, and, under the system of purchase in practice 
until the present fiscal year, must necessarily be so. The agent's purchase of the 
beef supply on the hoof for the year, uuder contract, is closed iu the month of No- 
vember, from which time he has to herd them the balance of the year as best he can. 
He is responsible for the weight they show on the scales when fat and in prime con- 
dition, so that a steer weighing 1,200 pounds iu the fall must represent 1,200 pounds 


in Aiiril, whilo in fact it may lie but skin, borus, aud bones, and weigh scarcely 600 
pounds, while he has doue his best to care for them during the severity of a Dakota 
winter. The Indians do not understand why they should be made to suffer all this 
shrinkage aud loss, and it is a useless aud humiliating attempt to explain. The 
agent is not to blame. The department of Indian affairs can do ouly the best it can 
with a limited aud tardy appropriation. The remedy in the matter of food supply 
seems to be: A sufficient aud earlier appropriation of funds. All contracts for the 
beef supply should call for delivery wheu required by the agent. The agent should 
be allowed a percentage of wastage to cover unavoidable loss in issue by shrinkage 
and wastage. The government should bear this loss and not the Indians. 

Complaint 1 : Xo remarks. 

Complaint 2: Is before Congress. 

Complaint 4: Should be reuiedicd by adeciuate home schools. 

Complaint 5: Suggests its proper remedy. 

Complaint 6: No remarks. 

Complaint 7: Can be remedied only by earlier appropriations. 

Complaints: This reservation is not agricultural laud. The climate makes it a 
grazing country. The Indians now can raise cattle successfully and '-are for them 
in winter. All attempts at general farming must result in failure ou account of 
climatic conditions. 

In connection with complaint 9, I respectfully invite attention to tabular state- 
ment accompanying this report, marked B, showing rations as issued up to Decern 
ber 6 in present fiscal year and amount re(inired to make the issues according to 
article 5, treaty of February 27, 1877, and special attention to columns ti aud 7 therein. 

Appended to this report, marked C, is an extract copy of treaties of 1877 and 1868. 

In submitting this report, I desire to commend the administration of the aH'airs of 
this agency, as it has appeared uuder my daily observation since August, 1887. So 
far as this reservation is concerned, the present unrest among the Indians is not 
attributable to any just cause of complaint against the former or present agent or 
employees; nor is it due entirely or largely to failure on the part of the government 
to fulfill treaty obligations. 

Very respectfullv, your obedient servant, 

.1. H. HuusT, 
Captain, Twelfth Infantrij, Commanding Post. 

Treaty of 1877 

Article 3. The said Indians also .agree tfi-at they will hereafter receive all annuities provided by the 
said treaty of 1868, and all subsistence and supplies which may be provided for them uuder the present 
or any future act of Cougress, at such points and places ou the said reservation and in the vicinity of 
the Missouri river as the President of the United States shall designate. 

ARTICLE 5. In consideration of the foregoing cession of territory and rights, and upon full compli- 
ance with each aud every obligation assumed by the said Indians, the United States agree to provide 
all necessary aid to assist the said Indians in the work of civilization; to furnish to them schools and 
instruction in mechanical aud agricultural arts, as provided for by the treaty of 1868. Also to pro- 
vide the said Indians with sultsistence consisting of a ration foi- each individual of a pound and a 
half of beef {or in lieu thereof, one-half pound of bacon), one-half pound of Hour, and one-half pound 
of corn : aud for everv one hundred rations, four pounds of cofl'ee, eiglit pounds of sugar, and three 
pounds of beans, or in lieu of said articles the equivalent thereof, in the discretion of the Commis- 
sioner of Indian Aliairs. Such rations, or so much thereof as may be necess.ary, shall be continued 
until the Indians are able to support themselves. Rations sh.all in all eases be issued to the head 
of each separate family ; and whenever schools shall have been provided by the government for 
said Indians, no rations shall bo issued for children between the ages of si-x and fourteen years (tlie 
sick and infirm e-voepted), iinless such children shall regularly attend school. Whenever the said 
Indians shall be located upon lands which are suitable for cultivation, rations shall be issued only to 
the persons and families of those persons who labor (the aged, sick, and infirm excepted) : and as an 
incentive to industrious habits the Commissioner of Indian Aifairs may provide that persons be fur- 
nished in paymeiitfor their laliorsueh othernecessary articles as are requisite forcivilized life. . . . 

Article 8. The provisions of the said treaty of 1868, except as herein ujodified, shall continue in 
full force. . . . 



Treaty of 1868 

Article 8. When the head of a family or lodge shall have selected lands in good faith and received 
a certificate therefor and commenced farming in jjood faith, he is to receive not to exceed one hundred 
dollars for the tirat year in seeds jiiiil iisrirultnial implements, and for a period of three years more 
not to exceed twenty-livo dollars in seeds and implements. 

Article 10. In lien of nil snma of money or other annuities provided to be paid to the Indians 
herein named under any treaty or treaties heretofore made, the United States agrees to deliver at the 
agency house on the resei vation herein named on {or before) the lirst day of August of each year for 
thirtj" years, the following articles, to wit; 

For each male person over fourteen years of age, a suit of good, substantial woolen clothing, con- 
sisting of coat, pantaloons, tlannel shirt, hat, and a pair of home-made socks. 

For each female over twelve years of age, a flannel skirt or the goods necessary to make it, a pair 
of woolen hose, twelve yards of calico, and twelve yards of ctitton ilomrstics. 

For the hoys and girls under the ages named, such tlannel antl collou goods as may he needed to 
make each a suit aforesaid, with a pair of hose for each. And in addition to the clothing herein 
nanu'd, the sum of ten dollars for each person entitled to the beneticial etlects of this treaty, shall be 
annually appropriated for a period of thirty years, while such persons roam and hunt, and twenty 
dollars for each person who engages in farming, to be used by the Secretary of the Interior in the 
purchase of such articles as from time to time the condition and necessities of the Indians may indi- 
cate to be proper. And if within thirty years at any time it shall appear that the amount of money 
needed for clothing, un<ler this article, can be approjiriated to better uses for the Indians named 
herein. Congress may. by law. changn the apiiropriation to other jnirposes, lint in no event shall the 
amount of the appropriation be withdrawn or discontinued for tlie period named. 

Article 10 further stipulates that each lodge or family who shall comuu-nce farming shall receive 
within sixty days thereafter one good American cow and one good well-broken pair of Americanoxen. 

Extract from tabular statement, showing articles of subsistence received or to be receioed, rations as 
igsiied up to date, and amount required to make the issues according to Articles of treaty of February 
27, 1S77, in fiscal year 2891 — At Cheyenne Jtiver agency, Fort Bennett, South Dakota. 

Name of articles. 



Baking powder 

Betrf, gross 






Mess pork 

Hard bread (in lieu of bacon) 
Corn (in lieu of flour) 

Quantitv al- 
lowed to 100 
rations up 
to date. 

a 10(1 







Quantitv per 

100 rations 
as alio wed 
, per treaty 


h 100 



a Net. b Net, or 150 without bai^on. 

Rations as fixed by treaty of 1S77: 1^ pounds beef or i pound bacon; h pound flour and* pound 
corn: -i pounds eoftVe. 8 pounds sugar, and H pounds heana to every 100 rat'ons; "or, in lieu of said 
articles, the equivalent thereof, in the discretion of the Commissioner of Indian Affairs." 


[Delivered in council at Pine Ridge agency to Agent Royer. and forwarded to the Indian Office, November 
27, 1890. G. D. Doc. 37002—1890.] 

American Horse, Fast Thunder, Spotted Horse, Pretty Back, and Good Lance 
present, with American Horse as spokesman : 

"I think the late Sioux coiumissioners (General Crook, Major Warner, and Gov- 
ernor Foster) had 8omethin<^ to do with starting this trouble. I was speaker for the 
whole tribe. In a j^eueral council I sigueil the bill (the late Sioux bill) and 5S0 signed 
with me. The other members of my band drew out and it divided us, and ever since 


these two parties have been divided. The nonprogressive started tlie ghost dance to 
draw from us. We were made many promises, but have never heard from them since. 
The Great Father says if we do what he directs it will be to our benefit ; but instead 
of this they are every year cutting down our rations, and we do not get enough to 
keep us from suffering. Geueral Crook talked nice to us ; and after we signed the 
bill they took our laud and cut down our allowance of food. The commission made 
us believe that we would get full sacks if we signed the bill, but instead of that our 
sacks are empty. We lost considerable property by being here with the commission- 
ers last year, and have never got anything for it. Our chickens were all stolen, our 
cattle some of them were killed, our crops were entirely lost by us being absent 
here with the Sioux commission, and we have never been benefited oue bit by the 
bill; and, in fact, we are worse ofi' than we were before we signed the bill. We 
are told if we do as white men we will Tie better oft', but we are getting worse ofi' 
every year. 

"The commissioners promised the Indians living on Black Pipe and Pass creeks 
that if they signed the bill they could remain where they were and draw their 
rations at this agency, showing them on the map the line, and our people want them 
here, but they have been ordered to move back to Rosebud agency. This is one of 
the broken promises. The commission promised to survey the boundary line, .aud 
appropriate .$1,000 for the purpose, but it has not been doue. When we were at 
Washington, the President, the Secretary of the Interior, aud the Commissioner all 
promised us that we would get the million pounds of beef that were taken from us, 
and I heard the bill appropriating the money passed Congress, but we never got the 
beef. The Corami.ssioner refused to give it to us. American Horse, Fast Thunder, 
and Spotted Horse were all promised a spring wagon each, but they h.ave never 
heard anything of it. This is another broken promise." 

In forwarding the report of the council, the agent says: "After American Horse 
was through talking, I asked the other men present if his statement voiced their 
sentiments and they all answered. Yes.'' 


[Biehop W. M. Hare is the veteran Episcopal niisftionary bishop amoiifj the Sioux. The following 
extracts are from a communicatifm by him to Secretary Noble, dated January 7, ISOI. G. D. Doc. 
1440— :S91.] 

The evidence compels the conclusion that, among the Pine Ridge Indians at least, 
hitnijer /(«.s been an important element in the causes of dhconlent and inauhordiitation. 
In the farming season of 1880 [.Inly] the Indians were all called into the agency aud 
kept there for a month by the Sioux commission. During their alisenco their cattle 
broke into their fields aud trod down, or ate up, their crops. The Indians reaped 
practically nothing. In the year 1890, drought, the worst known for many years, 
afflicted the western part of South Dakota, auil the ludiau crops were a total failure. 
There is ample evidence that, duriug this period, the rations issued lasted, even 
when carefully used, for only two-thirds the time for which they were intended. To 
add to their distress, this period, 1889 and 1890, was marked by extraordinary mis- 
fortune. The measles prevailed with great virulence in 1889, the grip])e iu 1890. 
Whooping cough also attacked the children. The sick died from want. In this 
statement Inspector Gardiner, Dr McGillycuddy, late agent, Miss Elaine Goodale, who 
has been in the camps a good deal, the missionary force, and many others whose 
testimony is of the highest value because of their character and their knowledge of 
the situation, all agree. 

The time seemed now to have come to take a further step aud divide the Great 
Sioux reservation up into separate reserves for each important tribe, and to open the 
surplus land to settlement. The needs of the white populatiou, witli their business 
and railroads, and the welfare of tlie ludiaus, seemed .alike to demand this. Coui- 
missioucrs were therefore sent out to treat with the people for the accomplishment 


of this eud, and an agreement, Avhich, after ninch debate, had won general a]iproval 
was committed to them for jiresentation to the Indians. The objections of the 
Indians to the bill, however, were many and they were ardently pressed. Some pre- 
ferred their old life, the more earnestly becanse schools and churches were sappinj; 
and undermining it. Some wished delay. All complained that many of the engage- 
ments solemnly made with them iu former years when they had surrendered valued 
rights had been broken, and here they were right. They suspected that present 
promises of pay for their lands would jirove only old ones in a new phape (when 
milch cows were promised, cows having been promised in previous agreements, the 
Indians exclaimed, "There's that same old cow"), and demanded that no further 
surrender should be expected until former promises had been fulfilled. They were 
assured that a new era had dawned, and that all past promises wonld be kept. So 
we all thought. The benefits of the jiroposed agreement were set before them, and 
verbal promises, over and above the stipulations of the bill, were made, that special 
requests of the Indians would be met. The Indians have no competent representa- 
tive body. The commissioners had to treat at each agency with a crowd, a crowd 
composed of full-bloods, half-breeds, and squaw men, a crowd among whom all sorts 
of sinister influences and brute force were at work. Commissioners with sncli a 
Ijusiness in hand have tlie devil to light, and can fight him, so it often seems, only 
with fire, and many friends of the Indians think that in this case the commission, 
convinced that the acceptance of the bill was essential, carried persuasion to the 
verge of intimidation. I do not blame them if they sometimes did. The wit and 
patience of an angel would fail often in such a task. 

But the requisite number, three- fourths of the Indians, signed the bill, and expecta- 
tion of rich and prompt rewards ran high. The Indians understand little of the 
complex forms and delays of our government. Six months passed, and nothing 
came. Three months more, and nothing came A bill was drawn up in the Senate 
under General Crook's eye and passed, providing for the fulfillment of the promises 
of the commission, but it was pigeon-holed in the House. But in the midst of the 
winter's pinching cold the Indians learned that the transaction had been declared 
co^lplete and half of their land proclaimed as thrown open to the whites. Surveys 
were not promptly made; perhaps they could not be. and no one knew what land 
was theirs and what was not. The very earth seemed sliding from beneath their 
feet. Other misfortunes seemed to be crowding on them. On some reserves their 
rations were being reduced, and lasted, even when carefully husbanded, but one- 
half the period for which they were issued. (The amount of beef bought for the 
Indians is not a fair criterion of the amount he receives. A steer will lose 200 pounds 
or more of its flesh during the course of the winter.) In the summer of 1889 all the 
people on the Pine Ridge reserve, men, women, and children, were called in from 
their farms to the agency to treat with the conmiissioners and were kept there a 
whole month, and, on returning to their homes, found that their cattle had broken 
into their fields and trampled down or eaten up all their crops. This was true in a 
degree elsewhere. In 1800 the crops, which promised splendidly early iu .July, failed 
entirely later, because of a severe drought. The people were often hungry, and, the 
physicians in many cases said, died when taken sick, not so much from disease as for 
want of food. (This is doubtless true of all the poor — the poor in our cities and the 
poor settlers in the west.) 

Xo doubt the people could have saved themselves from sutfering if industry, 
economy, and thrift had abounded; but these are just the virtues which a people 
merging from barbarism lack. The measles prevailed iu 1889 and were exceedingly 
fatal. Next year the grippe swept over the people with .appalling results. Whoop- 
ing cough followed among the children. SuUenuess and gloom began to gather, 
especially among the heathen and wilder Indians. A witness of high character told 
me that a marked discontent amounting almost to despair prevailed in many quarters. 
The people said their children were all dying from diseases brought by the whites, 
their race was perishing from the face of the earth, and they might as well be killed 


at once. Old chiefs antt medicine men were losing tbeir power. Withal new ways 
were prevailing more and more which did not suit the older people. The old ways 
which they loved were passing away. In a word, all things were against them, and 
to add to the calamity, many Indians, especially the wilder element, had uothing to 
do but to brood over their misfortunes. While in this unhappy state, the story of a 
messiah coming, with its ghost dance and strange hallucinations, spread among the 
heathen ])art of the people. . . . 

But these things we do want. A profound conviction in the uiiud not only of a 
few, but of the people, that the Indian jirolileni is worth attending to. Next, that 
the officials i)laced in charge of the difficult Indian problem should be protected 
from the importunity of hungry jioliticians, and that the employees in the Indian 
country, agents, teachers, farmers, carpenters, should not be changed with every 
shuffling of the political cards. The abuse here has been shameful. Next, that 
Congress, especially the House of Eepresentatives, shall consider itself bound in 
honor to make provision for the fulfillment of promises made to the Indians by 
commissioners duly appointed and sent to the Indians by another branch of the gov- 
ernment. The evils which have arisen from a violation of this comity have been most 
serious. Next, testimony regarding Indian aft'airs should not be swallowed 
until careful in(|uiry has been made as to the disinterestedness of the witness. An 
honest man out here burns with indignation when he reails in the papers that so and 
so, represented as being fully informed on the whole question, affirms that Indians 
have no grievances and ought to receive no quarter, when he knows that the lots 
which the witness owns in a town near the Indian country would no longer bo a 
drug in the market if Indians could be gotten out of the way. Next, let it be 
remembered that the crisis has lifted evils in the Indian country vip to the light, and 
left the good things in the .shade. But the good things are real and have shown 
their vigor under trial. There is lo reason for losing faith or courage. Let all kind 
and honest men unite with the higher otticials of the goverunient, all of whom, I 
believe, meau well, in a spirit of forbearance toward each other, of willingness to 
learu, and of mutual helpfulness, to accomplish the results which they all desire. 

Chapter XIII 



AVe were made many promises, but have never heard from them since. — Ameriran 

Congress lias been in session several ■weeks and conld, if it were disposed, in a few 
hours coutirin the treaty that its commissioners have made with these Indians, and 
appropriate the necess.irv funds for their fuliillmeut, and thereby give an earnest of 
good I'aith or intention to fulfill their part of the comyiact. Such actioa in my 
judgment is essential to restore confidence with the Indians and give peace and 
protection to the settlements. — General Miles. 

Approximate cost of outbreak in one month: Forty-nine whites and others ou the 
government side, and three hundred Indians, killed; $1,200,000 expense to govern- 
ment and individuals. 

Short Bull aud the other Sioux delegates who had gone to see the 
inessiah in the fall of 1880 returned in March, 1800. Short Bull, ou 
Kosebud reservation, at once began to preach to his people the doc- 
trine aiul advent of the messiah, but desisted on being warned to stop 
by Agent Wright. (Comr., 2!K) The strange hope had taken hold of 
the Indians however, and the infection rapidly, although quietly, spread 
among all the wilder portion of the tribe. The first warning of trouble 
ahead came in the shape of a letter addressed to Secretary Noble by 
Charles L. Hyde, a citizen of Pierre, South Dakota, under date of 
May 20, 1890, in which he stated that he had trustworthy information 
that the Sioux, or a part of them, were secretly planning an outbreak in 
the near future. His informant ajipears to have been a young half-blood 
from Pine Itidge, who was at that time attending school in Pierre, and 
was in correspondence with his Indian relatives at home. [G. Z)., 20.) 
The letter was referred to the Commissioner of Indian Affairs, who 
forwarded a copy of it to the agents of the several western Sioux 
reservations, with a request for further information. They promptly 
aud unanimously replied that there was no ground for apprehension, 
that the Indians were ]ieaceably disposed, and that there was no undue 
excitement beyond that occasioned by tlie rumors of a messiah in the 
west. This excitement they thought would continue to increase as 
the predicted time drew near, and would die a natural death when the 
prophecy failed of its fulfillment. 

All the agents are positive in the opinion that at this time, about the 
middle of June, 1800, the Indians had no hostile intentions. McLaugh- 
lin, the veteran agent of Standing Eock, who probably knew the Sioux 
better than any other white man having ofiBcial relations with them, 
states that among his people there was nothing in word or action to jus- 





[eth. axn. 14 

tify such a suspicion, and that he did not believe such an imprudent 
step was seriously contemplated by any of the tribe, and concludes by 
saying that he has every confidence in the good intentions of the Sioux 
as a people, that they would not be the aggressors ii\ any hostile act, and 
that if justice were oidy done them no uneasiness need be entertained. 
He complains, however, of the evil influence exercised by Sitting Bull 
and a few other malcontents attached to his agency and advises their 
removal from among the Indians. Wright, at Rosebud, also advised 
the removal of Crow Dog and sonic other mischief-makers. These 
men had led the opposition to the late treaty and to every advance 

Fig. 72— a Sioux wiirriur — Weaaul Bear. 

of civilization, by which they felt their former influence undermined, 
and between them and the progressive party there was uncomjjromis- 
ing hostility. (G. J)., ;.'l.) Although the trouble did come six months 
later, it is sufittciently evident that at this time there was no outbreak 
intended. Certain it is that the Sioux as a tribe — L'5,0()0 strong — did 
not engage in the outbreak, and in view of all the circumstances it 
will hardly be clainied that they were deliberate aggressors. 

The first nuitterings of dissatisfaction came from Pine Itidge. This 
is the largest of the Sioux agencies, having 6,000 of the wildest and 
most warlike of the tribe, largely under tlie influence of tlie (celebrated 


chief Red Cloud, the twin spirit of Sittiug Bull in wily disposition and 
hatred of the white man. It is the most remote from the white settle- 
ments along ]\rissouri river, and joins Rosebud reservation, with 4,000 ' 
more Sioux of about the same condition and temper, thus making a com- 
pact body of 10,0()(» of the most warlike Indians of the plains. Above 
all other reservations in the United States this was the very one where 
there was most urgent and obvious necessity for efBcient and vigorous 
administration and for prompt and honest fulfillment of pledges. 

From 187!) to lS8(i this agency was in charge of Dr V. T. McGilly- 
cuddy, a man of unflinching courage, determined will, and splendid 
executive ability. Taking charge of these Indians when they had 
come in fresh from the warpath, he managed them, as he himself says, 
for seven years without the presence of a soldier on the reservation, 
and with none nearer than 60 miles. Relying on the Indians them- 
selves, he introduced the principle of home rule by organizing a force 
of 50 Indian police, drilled in regular cavalry and infantry tactics. 
With these he was able to thwart all the mischievous schemes of Red 
Cloud, maintain authority, and start the Indians well on the road to 

Then came a political change of administration, with a resulting train 
of changes all through the service. Out of 58 Indian agents more than 
50 were removed and new men appointed. Some of these appoint- 
ments were for the better, but the general result was bad, owing mainly 
to the inexperience of the new officials. In the meantime commission- 
ers were negotiating with the Sioux for a further cession of lands, which 
was finally effected in spite of the opposition of a large part of the 
tribe, especially of those under the influence of Red Cloud and Sitting 
Bull at Pine Ridge and Standing Rock. Then rations were reduced 
and the Indians began to suffer and, consequently, to be i-estless, their 
unrest being intensified but not caused by the rumors of a messiah 
soon to appear to restore the former conditions. According to the 
official statement <if General Brooke, the beef issue at Pine Ridge was 
reduced from 8,125,000 pounds in 1880 to 4,000.00(» pounds in 1889, a 
reduction of more than one-half in three years. ( War, 5.) In April, 
1890, Gallagher, the agent then in charge, informed the Department 
that the monthly beef issue was only 205,000 pounds, whereas the treaty 
called for 470,400. He was informed that it was better to issue half 
rations all the time than to issue three-fourths or full rations for two 
months and none for the rest of the year. From other sources also the 
warning now came to the Department that the Sioux of Pine Ridge 
were becoming restless from hunger. (G. D,,23.) Repeated represen- 
tations failed to bring more beef, and at last in the summer of 1890 the 
Indians at Pine Ridge made the first actual demonstration by I'efusing 
to accept the deficient issue .and making threats against the agent. 
They were finally persuaded to take the beef, but Agent Gallagher, 
finding that the dissatisfaction was growing and apparently without 



[eth. anx. 14 

remedy, resigned, and liis successor took charge iu the begiiiiiiug of 

October, 1890. 

By this time the (Hiost dance was in full progress among the western 
Sioux and was rapidly spreading throughout the tribe. The principal 

l'IG.7:i— Ki-d (lull,! 

dance ground on Pine Eidge reservation was at No Water's camp on 
White Clay creek, about 20 miles from the agency. At a great Ghost 
dance held here about the middle of June the ghost shirts were worn 
probably for the tirst time. (Comr.,::!i).) In August about i',000 Indians 


Lad assembled for a dance at tlie same rendezvous, when Ajjent Gal- 
lagher sent out several poliee with orders to the dancers to quit and go 
home. They refused to do so, and the agent himself went out with 
more i>olice to enforce the order. 0\\ repeating his demand a number 
of the wairiors leveled their gnus toward him and the police, and told 
him that they were ready to defend their religion with their lives. 
Under the circumstances tlie agent, although known to be a brave man, 
deemed it best to withdraw and tlie dance went on. (Comr., SI; G. 
D., 33.) 

On Eosebud reservation, which adjoins PineBidge on the east and is 
occupieil by the turbulent and warlike Bruh'S, the warning given to 
Short lUiIl had such an effect that there was no open manifestation 
until September, when the Ghost dance was inaugurated at the various 
camps under the leadership of Short Bull the medicine-man, Crow 
Dog, and Two Strike. Agent Wright, then in charge, went ont to the 
Indians and told them the dance must be stopijed, which was accord- 
ingly done. He expressly states that no violence was contemplated 
by the Indians, and that no arms were carried in the dance, but that 
he forbade it on account of its physical and mental effect on the par- 
ticipants and its tendency to draw them from their homes. In some 
way a rumor got among the Indians at this time that troops had 
arrived on the reservation to attack them, and in an incredibly short 
time every Indian had left the neighborhood of the agency and was 
making preparations to meet the enemy. It was with some difficulty 
that Agent Wright was able to convince them that the report was false 
and persuade them to return to their homes. Soon afterward circum- 
stances obliged him to be temporarily absent, leaving affairs in the 
meantime in charge of a special agent. The Indians took advantage of 
his absence to renew the Ghost dance and soon defied control. The 
agent states, however, that no Indians left the agency until the arrival 
of the troops, when the leaders immediately departed for Pine Ridge, 
together with 1,800 of their followers. {G. />., i'4; Comr., 33.) 

On October 9 Kicking Bear of Cheyenne River agency, the chief high 
priest of the Ghost dance among the Sioux, went to Standing Rock by 
invitation of Sitting Bull and inaugurated the dance on that reserva- 
tion at Sitting Bull's camp on Grand river. The dance had begun on 
Cheyenne river about the middle of September, chiefly at the camps of 
Hump and Big Foot. On learning of Kicking Bear's arrival. Agent 
McLaughlin sent a force of police, including two ofticers, to arrest him 
and pnt bim oft' the reservation, but they returned without execntiug 
the order, both ofdcers being in a dazed condition and fearing the power 
of Kicking Bear's " medicine." Sitting Bull, however, had promised 
that his visitors would go back to their own reservation, which thej' did 
a day or two later, but he declared his intention to continue the dance, 
as they had received a direct message from the spirit world through 
Kicking Bear that they must do so to live. He promised that he would 
14 BTH — PT 2 14 


suspend tlie dauce until lie could come and talk the matter over with 
tlie agent, but thi.s lie failed to keep. Con.sidering Sitting 
Bull the leader and instigator of the excitement on the reserva- 
tion, McLaughlin again advised liis removal, and that of several other 
mischief makers, and their confinement in some military prison at a 
distance. (0.1)., 35.) 

The two centers of excitement were now at Standing Eock reserva- 
tion, wliere Sitting Bull was the open and declared leader, and at Pine 
Eidge, where Red Cloud was a Arm Leliever in the new doctrine, 
although perhaps not an instigator of direct opposition to authority. 
At Rosebud the movement had been smothered for the time by the 
prompt action of Agent Wright, as already described. At the lirst- 
named reservation McLaughlin met the emergency with bravery and 
ability reinforced by twenty years of experience in dealing with Indians, 
and, while recommending the removal of Sitting Bull, expressed confi- 
dence ill his own ability to allay the excitement and suppress the dance. 
At Pine Ridge, however, where the crisis demanded a man of most 
positive character — somebody of the Mcrrillycuddy stamp — Gallagher 
had resigned and had been succeeded in October by I). F. Royer, a i)er- 
son described as " destitute of any of those qualities by which he could 
justly lay claim to the position— experience, force of character, cour- 
age, and sound Judgment." ( Welsh, 3.) This appears in every letter 
and telegram sent out by him during his short incumbency, and is 
sufiBciently evidenced in the name by which the Sioux soon came to 
know him, Lakota Kokipa-Koshkala, " Young-man-afraid-of-Indians." 
Before he had been in charge a week, he had so far lost control of his 
Indians as to allow a half dozen of them to release and carry off a pris- 
oner named Little, whom the police had arrested and brought to the 
agency. On October 12 he rei)orted that more than half of his 0,000 
Indians were dancing, and that they were entirely beyond the control 
of the police, and suggested that it would be necessary to call out the 
military. [G. 1)., 36.) 

About the same time Agent Palmer at Cheyenne River reported to 
the Department that Big Foot's band (afterward engaged at Wounded 
Knee) was very much excited over the coming of the mcssiah, and 
could not be kept by the police from dancing. In reply, both agents 
were instructed to use every prudent measure to stop the dauce and 
were told that military assistance would be furnished if immediate 
need should arise. (L. B., 1.) Instructions were also sent to agents in 
Nevada to warn the leaders of the dance in that quarter to desist. A 
few days later the agent at Cheyenne River had a talk with the dancers, 
and so far convinced them of the falsity of their hopes that he was 
able to rejiort that the excitement was dying out, but recommended 
the removal of Humj), as a leader of the disaffection. [G. 1>.,37.) 

By the advice of the Department, Royer had consulted General Miles, 
at that time passing on his way to the west, as to the necessity for 


troops, anil, after heariiiR- a fall stateiiieut, the general expressed the 
opinion that the excitement would die out of itself. The next day the 
general had a talk with the Indians, who informed him that they 
intended to continue the dance. He gave them .some good advice and 
lold them that they must stoj). Had the matter rested here until the 
words of the commanding officer could have been deliberated in their 
mind.s — for the mental process of an Indian can not well be luiri'ied — 
all Mught have been well. Unfortunately, however, the agent, now 
thoroughly frightened, wrote a long letter to the Department on Octo- 
ber 30, stating that the only remedy for the matter was the use of 
military, and that about 0(H» or 700 troops would be necessary. On 
November 11 he telegraphed for permission to come to Washington to 
"explain," and was refused. Then came other telegraphic requests, 
at the rate of one every day, for the same permission, all of which 
were refused, with ])ointed intimation that the interests of the serv- 
ice required that the agent should remain at his post of duty. Finally 
the matter was reported by the Indian Office to the War Department, 
and on November 15 Eoyer was instructed to report the condition of 
affairs to the commander of the nearest military post, Fort Robinson, 
Nebraska. On the same day he had telegraphed that the Indians were 
wild and crazy and that at least a thousand soldiers were needed. The 
agent at Ivosebud also now reported that his Indians were beyond con- 
trol by the police. Special agents were sent to both agencies and con- 
firmed the reports as to the alarming condition of affairs. The agent 
at Crow Creek and Lower Brule agency reported at the same time that 
his Indians were under good control and that the police were sufficient 
for all purposes. {G. I>., 9,s; L. B., 3.) 

On the last day of October, Short Bull, one of those who had been 
to see the messiah, made an address to a large gathering of Indians 
near Pine Ridge, in which he said that as the whites were interfering 
so much in the religious affairs of the Indians he would advance the 
time for the great change and make it nearer, even within the next 
month. He urged them all to gather in one place and prepare for the 
coming messiah, and told them they must dance even though troops 
should surround them, as the guns of the soldiers would be rendered 
harmless and the white race itself would soon be annihilated. (See his 
speech, page 7.s,s.) 

Soon afterward, McLaughlin personally visited Sitting Bull at his 
camp on Grand river and attemi)ted to reason with the Indians on 
the absurdity of their belief. In reply. Sitting Bull proposed that 
they should both go with competent attendants to the country of the 
messiah and see and question him for themselves, and rest the truth 
or falsity of the new doctrine on the result. The proposition was 
not accepted. ( G. !>., :29.) There can be no question that the leaders of 
the Ghost dance among the Sioux were fully as much deceived as their 


As the local agents had declared the situation beyond their control, 
the War Department was at last called on and responded. On Xovem- 
ber 13 the President had directed the Secretary of War to assume a 
military responsibility to prevent an outbreak [G.D.,30), and on 
iTovember 17 troops, under command of General John E. Brooke, 
were ordered to the front. Tlie general plan of the campaign was 
under the direction of General Nelson A. Miles, in command of the 
military department of the Missouri. On November 19 the first troops 
arrived at Pine Ridge from Fort Eobinson, Nebraska, and were speed- 
ily reinforced by others. Within a few days there were at Pine llidge 
agency, under immediate command of General Brooke, eight troops of 
the Seventh cavalry, under Colonel Forsyth; a battalion of the Ninth 
cavalry (colored), under Major Henry; a battalion of the Fifth artil- 
lery, under Captain Capron, and a company of the Eighth infantry 
and eight companies of the Second infantry, under Colonel Wheaton. 
At Kosebud were two troops of the Ninth cavalry, with portions of 
the Eighth and Twenty-first infanti-y, under Lieutenant-Colonel Poland. 
Between Rosebud and Pine Ridge were stationed seven companies of 
the First infantry, under Colonel Shafter. West and north of Pine 
Ridge were stationed portions of the First, Second, and Ninth cavalry, 
under command of Colonel Tilford and Lieutenant-Colonel Sanford. 
Farther west, at Buftalo Gap, on the railroad, were stationed three 
troops from the Fifth and Eiglith cavalry, under Captain Wells. Far- 
ther north on the railroad, at Rapid City, was Colonel Carr with six 
troops of the Sixth cavalry. Along the south fork of Cheyenne river 
Lieutenant-Colonel Ofdey took position with seven companies of the 
Seventeenth infantry, and east of him was stationed Lieutenant-Col- 
onel Sumner with three troops of the Eighth cavalry, two companies 
of the Third infantry, and Lieutenant Robinson's company of Crow 
Indian scouts. Small garrisons were also stationed at Forts ^Nleade, 
Bennett, and Sully. Most of the force was placed in position between 
the Indians now gathering in the Bad Lands, under Short Bull and 
Kicking Bear, and the scattered settlements nearest them. Seven 
companies of the Seventh infantry, under Colonel Merriam, were also 
placed along Cheyenne river to restrain the Indians of Cheyenne River 
and Standing Rock reservations. In a sliort time there were nearly 
3,000 troops in the field in the Sioux Country. General Miles estab- 
lished his headquarters at Rapid City, South Dakota, close to the cen- 
ter of disturbance. ( War^ G.) On December 1 the Secretary of the 
Interior directed that the agents be instructed to obey and cooperate 
with the military officers in all matters looking to the suppression of 
an outbreak. (G.D.,31.) 

rr]M)n the first appearance of the trooi)s a large number of Indians 
of Ro.sebud and Pine Ridge, led by Short Bull, Kicking Bear, and 
others, left their homes and fled to the rough broken country known as 
the Bad Lands, northwest of White river in South Dakota, <>n the edge 



M A P 




Kidui Koporl ofUic SKCUKTAliV OF WAR Inl 18l)l.\i)ll, 

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FORT VatesM"^'"*"''"'^''"'""'^^"''-^ 







of Pine rtidjie reservation and about .jO miles northwest of the ajjency. 
In their flight they destroyed the houses and other property of the 
friendly Indians in their path and compelled many to go with them. 
They succeeded also in capturing- a large portion of the agency beef 
herd. Others rapidly joined them until soon a formidable body of 

3,000 Indians had gathered in the Bad Lands, where, protected by the 
natural fastnesses and difficulties of the country, their future intentions 
became a matter of anxious concern to the settlers and the authorities. 
From the concurrent testimony of all the witnesses, including Indian 
Commissioner Morgan and the Indians themselves, this flight to the; 


Bad Lands was not properly a bostile movement, but was a sta'npede 
caused by panic at the appearance of the troops. In liis official report 
Commissioner Morgan says : 

AVhen the troops reached Rosebud, about 1,800 Indians— men, women, and children — 
stampeded toward Pine Ridge and the 15ad Lands, destroying their own property 
hel'ore leaving and that of others en route. 

After tbe death of Sitting Bull be says: 

Groups of Indians from the different reservations had commenced concentrating 
in the Bad Lands, upon or in the vicinity of the Pine Ridge reservation. Killing of 
cattle and destruction of other property by these Indians, almost entirely within 
the limits of Pine Ridge and Rosebud reservations, occurred, but no signal fires were 
built, no warlike demonstrations were made, no violence was done to any white 
settlers, nor was there any cohesion or organization among the Indians themselves. 
Many of them were friendly Indians who had never participated in the ghost dance, 
but had lied thither from fear of soldiers, in consequence of the Sitting Bull .affair 
or through the overpersuasion of friends. The military gradually began to close 
iu around them and they offered no resistance, and a speedy and (juiet cai)itulation 
of all was confidently expected. {Comr., 33.) 

The Sioux nation numbers over 25,000, with between 6,000 and 7,000 
warriors. Hardly more than 700 warriors were concerned altogether, 
including those of Big Foot's band and those who fled to the Bad 
Lands. None of the Christian Indians took any part iu the disturbance. 

While it is certain that the movement toward the Bad Lauds with 
the subsequent events were the result of panic at the api^earance of the 
troops, it is equally true that the troops were sent only on the request 
of the civilian authorities. On this point General Miles says: "Not 
until the civil agents had lost contiol of the Lidiaus and declared them- 
selves powerless to preserve peace, and the Indians were in armed 
hostility and defiance of the civil authorities, was a single soldier 
moved from his garrison to suppress the general revolt." {War,?.) 
Throughout the whole trouble McGillycuddy at Standing Bock con- 
sistently declared his ability to control bis Indians without tbe pres- 
ence of troops. 

In accord with instructions from the Indian Office, the se\eral agents 
in charge among the Sioux had forwarded lists of disturbers whom it 
would be advisable to arrest and remove from among the Indians, using 
the military for the purpose if necessary, The agents at the other res- 
ervations sent iu all together tbe names of about fifteen subjects for 
removal, while Royer, at Pine liidge, forwarded as a " conservative 
estimate" the names of sixty-four. Short Bull and Kicking Bear being 
in the Bad Lands, and Bed Cloud being now an old man and too politic 
to make much open demonstration, the head and front of the olfenders 
was Sitting Bull, the irreconcilable; but McLaughlin, within whose 
jurisdiction he was, in a letter of November 22, advised that the arrest 
be not attempted ttntil later in the season, as at the date of writing the 
weather was warm and pleasant — iu other words, favorable to the 
Indians in case they should make opposition. (G. J)., S3.) The worst 




element had withdrawn to the Bad Lauds, where they were making uo 
hostile demoustratious, but were apparently badly frightened and 
awaiting developments to know whether to come in and surrender or 
to continue to retreat. The dance had generally been discontinued on 
the reservations, excepting at Sitting Bull's camp on Grand river and 

Flu. 75— Kicking! ]li-ar. 

Big Foot's camp on Cheyenne river. The presence of troops had 
stopped the dances near the agencies, and the Secretary of the Interior, 
in order to allay the dissatisfaction, had ordered that the full rations 
due under the treaty should be issued at all the Sioux agencies, which 
at the same time were placed under the control of the military. {G. 


D., 3S; L. B., 3.) Such were the conditions ou the opening of Decem- 
ber, 1890. Everything seemed to be quieting down, and it was now 
deemed a ftivorable time to forestall future disturbance by removing 
the ringleaders. 

Agent McLaughlin at Standing Eock had notified the Department 
some weeks before that it would be necessary to remove Sitting Bull 
and several others at no distant day to put an end to their harmful 
infiueuce among the Sioux, but stated also that the matter should not 
be precipitated, and that when the proper time came he could accom- 
plish the undertaking with his Indian police without the aid of troops. 
As soon as the War Department assumed control of the Sioux agen- 
cies, it was determined to make an attempt to secure Sitting Bull by 
military power. Accordingly, orders were given to the noted scout, 
William F. Cody, better known as Buffalo Bill, who was well acquainted 
with Sitting Bull and was believed to have influence with him, to pro- 
ceed to Standing Eock agency to induce him to come in, with authority 
to make such terms as might seem necessary, and, if unsuccessful, to 
arrest him and remove him from his camp to the nearest post. Fort 
Yates. Cody arrived at Fort Yates on November i!8, and was about 
to undertake the arrest, when his orders were countermanded at the 
urgent remonstrance of Agent McLaughlin, who represented that such 
a step at that particular time was unwise, as military interference was 
liable to provoke a conflict, in which the Indians would have the advan- 
tage, as the warm weather was in their favor. He insisted that there 
was no immediate danger from the dancing, and that at the i)roj)er 
time — when the weather grew colder — he could take care of Sitting 
Bull and the other distm-bers whose removal he advised with the aid 
of the Indian police, whom, in all his years of service, he had always 
found equal to the emergency. The attempt was accordingly post- 
poned. In the meantime Sitting Bull had i)romised to come into the 
agency to talk over the situation with the agent, but failed to keep his 
engagement. A close watch was kept over his movements and the 
agent was instructed to make no arrests except by authority from the 
military or the Secretary of the Interior. {G. />., 34.) 

There is no question that Sitting Bull was plotting mischief. His 
previous record was one of irreconcilable hostility to the government, 
and in every disturbance on the reservation his cami) had been 
the center of ferment. It was at his camp and on his invitation that 
Kicking Bear had organized the first Ghost dance ou the reservation, 
and the dance had been kept ui> by Sitting Bull ever since in spite of 
the reijeated remonstrance of the agent. At the same time the turbulent 
followers of tlie medicineman took every opportunity to insult and 
annoy the i^eaceable and progressive Indians who refused to join them 
until these latter were forced to make complaint to the agent. In 
October, while the dance was being organized at his camp, Sitting 
Bull had deliberately broken the "pipe of peace" which he had kept 



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in lii.s house since liis surrender iu 1881, and when askea why he had 
broken it, replied that he wanted to die and wanted to fight. From 
tliat time he discontinued his regular visits to the agency. It became 
known that he contemplated leaving the reservation to visit the other 
leaders of dissatisfaction at the southern Sioux agencies, and to frus- 
trate such an attempt the agent had gradually increased the number of 
police in the neighborhood of his camp, and had arranged for speedy 
information and prompt action in case of any sudden move on his i)art. 

Foreseeing from the active movements of the military that the arrest 
of Sitting Bull wiis liable to be ordered at any moment, and fearing 
that such action might come at an inopijortuue time, and thus result in 
trouble, McLaughlin made arrangements to have him and several other 
disturbers nrrested by the Indian police on the night of December G, 
the weather and other things being then, in his opinion, most favorable 
for the attempt. On telegraphing to the Indian department, however, 
for authority, he was directed to make no arrests excepting upon order 
from the military authorities or the Secretary of the Interior. In reply 
to a telegram from General Ruger, McLaughlin stated that there was 
no immediate need of haste, and that postponement was prefei-able, as 
the winter weather was cooling the ardor of the dancers. 

On December 12 the military order came for the arrest of Sitting 
Bull. Colonel Drum, in command at Fort Yates, was directed to make 
it his personal duty to secure him and to call on the agent for assist- 
ance and cooperation in the matter. On consultation between the 
commandant and tlie agent, who were in full accord, it was decided to 
make the arrest on the 20th, when most of the Indians would be down 
at the agency for rations, and there would consequently be less danger 
of a conrtict at the camp. On the 14:th, however, late Sunday afternoon, 
'a courier came from Grand river with a message from Mr Carignan, 
the teacher of the Indian school, stating, on information given by the 
police, that an invitation had just come from Pine Ridge to Sitting Hull 
asking him to go there, as God was about to appear. Sitting Bull was 
determined to go, and sent a leqnest to the agent for permission, but 
in the meantime had completed his preparations to go anyhow in case 
permission was refused. With this intention it was further stated that 
he had his horses already selected for a long and hard ride, and the 
police urgently asked to be allowed to arrest him at once, as it would 
be a difficult matter to overtake him after he had once started. 

It was necessary to act immediately, and arrangements were made 
between Colonel Drum and Agent McLaughlin to attempt the arrest at 
daylight the next morning, December 15. The arrest was to be made 
by the Indian police, assisted, if necessary, by a detachment of troops, 
who were to follow within supporting distance. There were already 
twenty-eight police under command of Lieutenant Bull Head in the 
immediate vicinity of Sitting Bull's camp on Grand river, about 40 



[ETH. ANN. 14 

miles southwest of the agency and Fort Yates, and couriers were at 
once dispatclied to these and to others in that direction to concentrate 
at Sitting- Bull's house, ready to make the arrest in the morning. It 
was then sundown, but with loyal promptness the police mounted their 
ponies and by riding all night from one station to another assembled a 
force of 43 trained and determined Indian police, including four volun- 
teers, at the rendezvous ou Grand river before daylight. In perform- 
ing this courier service Sergeant Eed Tomahawk covered the distance 
of 40 miles between the agency and the camp, over an unfamiliar road, 

in four hours and a quarter; and another, Llawk Man, made ItiO miles, 
by a roundabout way, in twenty-two hours. In the meantime two 
troops of the Eighth cavalry, numbering 100 men, under command of 
Captain E. G. Fechet, and having with them a Hotchkiss gun, left Fort 
Yates at midnight, guided by Louis Primeau, and by a rapid night 
march arrived within supporting distance near Sitting liull's camp just 
before daybreak. It was afterward learned that Sitting Bull, in antici- 
pation of such action, had had a strong guard about his house for his 
protection for several nights previous, but on this particular night the 


Indians had been dancing until nearly morning, and the house was con- 
sequently left unguarded. 

At daybreak on Monday niorniug, December 15, 1890, the police and 
volunteers, 43 in number, under command of Lieutenant Bull ITead, 
a cool and reliable man, surrounded Sitting* Bull's house. He had 
two log cabins, a few rods apart, and to make sure of their man, eight 
of the iiolice entered one house and ten went into the other, while the 
rest i-emaiued on guard outside. They found him asleep on the floor 
in the larger house. He was aroused and told that he was a prisoner 
and must go to the agency. He made no objection, but said "All right ; 
I will dress and go with you." He then sent one of his wives to the 
other house for some clothes lie desired to wear, and asked to have his 
favorite horse saddled for him to ride, which was done by one of the 
police. On looking about the room two rifles and several knives were 
found and taken by the police. While dressing, he apparently changed 
his mind and began abusing the ijolice for disturbing him, to which 
they made no reply While this was going on inside, his followers, to 
the number of perhaps 150, were congregating about the house outside 
and by the time he was dressed an excited crowd of Indians had the 
police entirely surrounded and were pressing them to the wall. On 
being brought out, Bitting Bull became greatly excited and refused to 
go, and called ou his followers to rescue him. Lieutenant Bull Head 
and Sergeant Shave Head were standing on each side of him, with 
Second Sergeant Eed Tomahawk guarding behind, while the rest of 
the police were trying to clear the way in front, when one of Sitting 
Bull's followers, Catchthe-Bear, tired and shot Lieutenant Bull Head 
in the side. Bull Head at once turned and sent a bullet into the body 
of Sitting Bull, who was also shot through the head at the same moment 
by Bed Tomahawk. Sergeant Shave Head was shot by another of 
the crowd, and fell to the ground with Bull Head and Sitting Bull. 
Catchthe-Bear, who fired the first shot, was immediately shot and 
killed by Alone Man, one of the police, and it became a desperate hand- 
to-hand fight of less than 43 men against more than a hundred. The 
trained police soon drove their assailants into the timber near by, and 
then returned and carried their dead and wounded into the house and 
held it for about two hours, until the arrival of the troops under Cap- 
tain Fechet, about half past seven. The troops had been notified of 
the i)erilous situation of the police by Hawk Man, who had volunteered 
to carry the information from Sitting Bull's camp. He succeeded in 
getting away, assisted by Red Tomahawk, although so closely pursued 
that several bullets passed through his clothing. In spite of the efforts 
of the hostiles, the police also held possession of the corral, which Sit- 
ting Bull had filled with horses in anticipation of his flight. When the 
cavalry came in sight over a hill, about 1,500 yards distant from the 
camp, the police atthecorralraiseda white flag to show where they were, 
but the troops, mistaking them for hostiles, fired two shells at them from 



[ETH. ANN. 14 

the Hotcbkiss, when Sergeant Red Tomahawk, who liart taken com- 
mand after the wounding of his superior olHcers, paraded Ids men in 
line and then rode out alone with a white Hag to meet the troops. On 
the approach of the soldiers Sitting Bull's warriors fled up Grand river 
a short distance and then turned soutli across the prairie toward Cherry 
creek and Cheyenne river. Not wishing to create such a panic among 
them as to drive them into the hostile camp in the Bad Lands, Captain 
Fechet pursued them only a short distance and then left them to be 
handled hy the other detachments in that direction. Their wives and 
families, their property and their dead, were left behind in the flight. 

Fig. 77 — Sitting Bull tht^ Siuux. lucdiciue mau. 

As soon as possible Captain Fechc't also sent word to them by some 
Indian women to return to their homes and they would not be molested. 
To further reassure them, the troops at once began their march back to 
the post. As a result of this sensible policy, very few of the Sitting 
Bull bund joined the hostiles. They had made no resistance to the 
troops, but fled immediately on their appearance. 

The fight lasted only a few minutes, but with terribly fatal result. 
Six x^olicemen were killed or mortally wounded, including the ofticers 
Bull Head and Shave Head, and one other less seriously wounded. 
The hostiles lost eight killed, including Sitting Bull and his son Crow 



Foot, 17 years of age, with several wounded. During the fight the 
women attacked the police with knives and clubs, but notwithstanding 
the excitement tlie i>olice simply disarmed them and put them in one 
of the houses under guard. 


















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The warmest praise is given the Indian police for their conduct on 
this occasion by those who are most comjietent to judge. Some who 
thus faced death in obedience to orders had near relatives among those 
opposed to them. Agent McLaughlin in one official letter says that he 


cau not too strongly commend tLeir splendid oourage and ability in 
tbe action, and in another letter says: "The details of the battle show 
that the Indian jiolice behaved nobly and exhibited the best of judg- 
ment and bravei-y, and a recognition by the government for their serv- 
ices on this occasion is richly deserved. ... I respectfully urge 
that the Interior Department cooperate with the War Department in 
obtaining Congressional action which will secure to these brave sur- 
vivors and to the families of the dead a full and generous reward." 
Colonel Drum, under whose orders the arrest was made, after stating 
that Sitting Bull was not hurt until he began struggling to escape and 
until one of the police had been shot, adds: " It is also remarkable that 
no squaws or children were hurt. The police appear to have constantly 
warned the other Indians to keep away, until they were forced to fight 
in self-defense. It is hardly possible to praise their conduct too highly." 
Notwithstanding the recommendation of the Commissioner of Indian 
Affairs, Congress has taken no action in recognition of their services 
on this occasion. 

Before the action orders had been sent to the police to have with 
them a wagon, in order to convey Sitting Bull quickly away from the 
camp, so as to avoid trouble, but in the excitement of preparation 
this was overlooked. The police returned to the agency late in the 
afternoon, bringing with them their dead and wounded, together with 
two ])ri.soners and the body of Sitting Bull, which was turned over to 
the military authorities at Fort Yates. The four dead policemen were 
buried at the agency next day with military honors. Bull Head and 
Shave Head died in the hospital soon afterward, with the consolation 
of having their friends around tlieni in their last moments. The agent 
states that the large majority of the Indians were loyal to the govern- 
ment, and expressed satisfaction at what they considered the termina- 
tion of the disturbance. Couriers were again sent after the fleeing 
Indians by McLaughlin, warning them to return to the agency, where 
they would be safe, or sutler the consequences if found outside the res- 
ervation. Within a few days nearly 250 had come in and surrendered, 
leaving only about one-third still out. Most of these soon afterward 
surrendered with Hump on Clierry creek, while the remainder, about 
50, joined Big Foot or went on to Pine Eidge. {G. D., 3G; War, 8.) 

Thus died Tata'nka I'yota'nke, Sitting Bull, the great medicine-man of 
the Sioux, on the morning of December 15, 1890, aged about 50 years. 
He belonged to the Uncpapa division of the Teton Sioux. Although a 
priest rather than a chief, he had gained a reputation in his early years 
by organizing and leading war ])arties, and became prominent by his 
participation in the battle of Little Bighorn, in Montana, on June 25, 
1S7C, by which Custer's command was wiped out of existence. Being 
imrsued by General Terry, Sitting Bull and his band made their escape 
northward into Canada, where they remained until 1881, when he 
surrendered, through the mediation of the Canadian authorities, on a 


promise of pardon. To obtain subsisteuee while in Canada, his people 
had been obliged to sell almost all thej' possessed, including their fire- 
arms, so that they returned to their old homes in an impoverished 
condition. After confinement as a prisoner of war until 1883, Sitting 
Bull took up his residence on Grand river, where he remained until he 
met his death. Here he continued to be the leader of the opposition to 
civilization and the white man, and liis camp became the rallying point 
for the dissatisfied conservative element that clung to the old order 
of things, and felt that innovation meant destruction to their race. For 
seven years he had steadily opposed the treaty by which the great 
Sioux reservation was at last broken up in 1889. After the treaty had 
been signed by the requisite number to make it a law, he was asked by 
a white man what the Indians thought about it. With a burst of pas- 
si(jnate indignation he replied, "Indians! There are no Indians left 
now but me." However misguided he may have been in thus continu- 
ing a losing fight against the inevitable, it is possible that from the 
Indian jioint of view he may have been their patriot as he was their 
high iiriest. He has heen mercilessly denounced as a bad man and a 
liar; but there can be no doubt that he was honest in his hatred of the 
whites, and his breaking of the peace pipe, saying that he " wanted to 
fight and wanted to die," showed that he was no coward. But he rep- 
resented the past. His influence was incompatible with progress, and 
his death marks an era in the civilization of the Sioux. In the language 
of General Miles, " His tragic fate was but the ending of a tragic life. 
Since the days of PoTitiac, Tecumseh, and Bed Jacket no Indian has 
had the power of drawing to him so large a following of his race and 
molding and wielding it against the authority of the United States, 
or of inspiring it with greater animosity against the white race and 
civilization." (iroc, 9.) 

On December IS the Indians who had already fled to the Bad Lands 
attacked a small party of men on Spring creek of Cheyenne river. 
Ma-jor Tupper with 100 men of Carr's division was sent to their rescue, 
and a skirmish ensued with the Indians, who were concealed in the 
bushes along the creek. The government wagons, while crossing the 
creek, were also attacked by the hostiles, who were finally driven oft 
by reinforcements of cavalry under Captain Wells. On the same date 
over a thousand Indians returned to Pine Ridge. News was received 
that there were still about 1,500 fugitives camped on Cheyenne river in 
the neighborhood of Spring creek. (Colby, 1.) 

The most dangerous leader of dissatisfaction in the north after the 
death of Sitting Bull was considered to be Hump, on Cheyenne River 
reservation. The agent in charge had long before recommended his 
removal, but it was thought that it would now be next to imjiossible to 
arrest him. Hump with his band of about 4:00 persons, and Big Foot 
with nearly as many, had their camps about the junction of Cherry 
creek and Cheyenne river. For several weeks they had been dancing 


almost constantly, and were very sullen and apparently very hostile. 
After serious consideration of the matter, the task of securing Hump 
was assigned to Captain E. P. Ewers of the Fifth infantry, who had 
had charge of this chief and his band for seven years and had their 
full coiiMence and respect. He was then on duty in Texas, but was 
ordered forward and reported soon after at Fort Bennett on the border 
of the reservation. So dangerous was Hump considered to be that the 
civil agents did not think it possible even for the officer to communicate 
with him. However, Captain Ewers, without troops and attended only 
by Lieutenant Hale, at once left the fort and rode out CO miles to Hump's 
camp. " Hump at the time was 20 miles away and a runner was sent 
for him. Immediately upon hearing that Captain Ewers was in the 
vicinity he came to him and was told that the division commander 
desired him to take his peojile away from the hostiles and bring them 
to the nearest military post. He replied that if General Miles sent for 
him, he would do whatever he desired. He immediately brought his 
people into Fort Bennett and complied with all the orders and instruc- 
tions given him, and subse(iuently rendered valuable service for peace. 
Thus an element regarded as among the most dangerous was removed." 
After coming into the fort. Hump enlisted as a scout under Captaiu 
Ewers, and soon afterward, in connection with the same Lieutenant 
Hale, proved his loyalty by bringing about the surrender of the Sitting 
Bull fugitives. Subsequently Captain Ewers further distinguished him- 
self by conducting the northern Cheyenne — who were considered as 
particularly dangerous, but who regarded Caj^tain Ewers with abso- 
lute att'ection — from Pine Ridge to Tongue river, Montana, a distance 
of 300 miles, and in the most rigorous of the winter season, without an 
escort of troops and without the loss of a single life or the commission 
by an Indian of a single unlawful act. ( War, 10.) 

The Sitting Bull fugitives who had not come in at once had fled south- 
ward toward their friends and near relatives of Cheyenne River reser- 
vation, and were camped on Cherry creek a few miles above its junction 
with Cheyenne river at Cheyenne City. As their presence there could 
serve only to increase the unrest among the other Indians in that 
vicinity, and as there was great danger that they might attemiit to join 
those already in the Bad Lands, Captain Hurst, of the Twelfth infantry, 
commanding at Fort Bennett, directed Lieutenant H. E. Hale on Decem- 
ber 18 to go out and bring them in. On arriving at Cheyenne City the 
officer found it deserted, all the citizens excepting one man having fled 
in alarm a short time before on the report of a half-blood that the Sit- 
ting Bull Indians were coming and had sworn to kill the first white 
man they met. Having succeeded in frightening the whole population, 
the half-blood himself, Narcisse Narcelle, left at once for the fort. 

After some difficulty in finding anyone to assist him. Hale sent a 
lioliceman to bring back Xarcelle and sent out another Indian to learu 
the situation and condition of the Indian camp. His only interpreter 


for the purpose was Mr Angell, the single white man who had remained, 
and who had learned some of the Sioux language during his residence 
among them. While thus waiting, a report came that the Iiidians had 
raided a ranch about 10 miles up the creek. Kot hearing from his 
scouts, the lieutenant determined to go alone and find tlie camp, and 
was just about to start, when Hump, the late dangerous hostile, but now 
an enlisted scout, rode in with the news that the Sitting Bull Indians 
were apiiroaching only a short distance away, and armed. Although 
from the reports there was every reason to believe that they had just 
destroyed a ranch and were now coming to attack the town, the officer, 
with rare bravery, kei3t his determination to go out and meet them, 
even without an interpreter, in the hope of preventing their hostile pur- 
pose. Humi) volunteered to go with him. The two rode out together 
and soon came up with the Indians, who received them in a friendly man- 
ner. There were 4G waiTiors in the party, besides women and children, 
wagons and j)onies. Says the officer : " I appreciated the importance of 
the situation, but was absolutely powerless to communicate with the 
Indians. I immediately formed the opinion that they could be easily 
persuaded to come iuto the agency if I could but talk with them. 
While I was trying by signs to make them understand what I wanted, 
Henry Angell rode into the circle and took his place at my side. This 
generous man had not liked the idea of my going among these Indians, 
and from a true spirit of chivalry had ridden over to 'see it out.'" 
Verily, while such men as Ewers, Hale, and Angell live, the day of 
chivalry is not gone by. 

With Angell's assistance as interpreter, the officer told the Indians 
that if they would stay where they were for one day, he would go back 
to the agency and return within that time with the chief (Captain 
J. H. Hurst) and an interpreter and no soldiers. They replied that 
they would not move, and, having directed Angell to kill a beef for 
them, as they were worn-out and well-nigh starving, and leaving Hump 
with them to reassure them, the lieutenant rode back to Fort Bennett, 
40 miles away, uotilied Captain Hurst, and returned with him, Sergeant 
Grallagher, and two Indian scouts as interpreters, the next day. Know- 
ing the importance of haste, they started out on this winter ride of 40 
miles without blankets or rations. 

On arriving Captain Hurst told them briefly what he had come for, 
and then, being exhausted from the rapid ride, and knowing that an 
Indian must not be hurried, he ordered some beef and a plentiful sup- 
ply of tobacco for them, and said that after he and they had eaten and 
rested they could talk the matter over. In the evening the principal 
men met him and told him over a pipe that they had left Standing 
Rock agency forever; that their great chief and friend Sitting Bull 
had been killed there without cause; that they had come down to talk 
with their friends on Cherry creek about it, but had found them gone, 
14 ETH— PT 2 15 


and were consequently undecided as to what they should do. The 
captain replied that ho had come as a friend ; that if they would sur- 
render their arms and go back with him to Fort Bennett, they would 
be provided for and would not be harmed; that he could make no 
promises as to their future disposition ; that if they chose to join Big 
Foot's camp, only a few miles up the river, the result would be their 
certain destruction. After deliberating among themselves until mid- 
night, they came in a body, delivered a number of guns, and said they 
would go back to the fort. Accordingly they broke camp next morn- 
ing aud arrived at Fort Beuiiett on December 24. The entire body 
numbered 221, including 55 belonging on Cherry creek. These last 
were allowed to join their own people camped near the post. The 
Sitting Bull Indians, with some others from Standing Rock, number- 
ing 227 in all, were held at Fort Sully, a few miles below Fort Bennett, 
until the close of the trouble. Thirty-eight others of the Sitting Bull 
band had joined Big Foot and afterward fled with him. ( War, 11.) 

After the death of Sitting Bull and the enlistment of Hump in the 
government service, the only prominent leader outside of the Bad 
Lauds who was considered as possibly dangerous was Sitanka or Big 
Foot, whose village was at the mouth of Deep creek, a few miles below 
the forks of Cheyenne river. The duty of watching him was assigned to 
Lieutenant-Colonel E. V. Sumner of the Eighth cavalry, who had his 
camp just above the forks. Here he was visited by Big Foot and 
his head men, who assured the ofdcer that they were peaceable and 
intended to remain quietly at home. Friendly relations continued until 
the middle of December, when Big Foot came to bid good bye, telling 
Sumner that his people were all going to the agency to get their annui- 
ties. A day or two later the order came to arrest Big Foot and send 
him as a prisoner to Fort Meade. Believing that the chief was acting 
in good faith to control his warriors, who might easily go beyond con- 
trol were he taken from them, Colonel Sumner informed General Miles 
that the Indians were already on their way to the agency; that if Big 
Foot should return he (Sumner) would try to get him, and that other- 
wise he could be arrested at the agencj', if necessary. Soon after, 
however, the report came that Big Foot had stopped at Hump's camp 
on the way to the agency, to meet the fugitives coming south from 
Sitting Bull's camp. 

On receipt of this information, Sumner at once marched down the 
river with the intention of stopping Big Foot. When about half way 
to Hump's camp. Big Foot himself came up to meet him, saying that he 
was friendly, and that he and his men would obey any orders that the 
officer might give. He stated that he had with him 100 of his own 
Indians and 38 from Standing Rock (Sitting Bull's band). When 
asked why he had received these last, knowing that they were refugees 
from their reservation, he replied that they were his brothers and rela- 
tions ; that they had come to his people hungry, footsore, and almost 

MooNEY) BIG foot's band 865 

naked; and that be bad taken tbem in and fed them, and tbat no one 
witb a beart could do any less. 

Sumner tben directed one of bis oflicers, Captain Hennisee, to go to 
the Indian cami) witb Big Foot and bring in all the Indians. Tbat 
officer started ami returned the next day, December 21, witb 333 
Indians. This large number was a matter of surprise in view of Big 
Foot's statement shortly before, but it is possible that in speakiug of 
bis party be intended to refer only to the warriors. They went into 
camp as directed, turned out their ponies to graze, and were fed, and on 
the next morning all started quietly back witb the troops. As they bad 
all along appeared perfectly friendly and compliant witb every order, 
no attempt was made to disarm tbem. On arriving near their own vil- 
lage, however, it became apparent tbat Big Foot could not control their 
desire to go to their homes. The chief came frankly to Sumner and 
said that be himself would go wherever wanted, but tbat there would 
be trouble to force the women and children, who were cold and hungry, 
away from their village. He protested also that they were now at 
home, where they bad been ordered by the government to stay, and 
that none of them bad done anything to justify their removal. As it 
was evident that they would not go peaceably, Colonel Sumner de- 
termined to bring bis whole force on the next day to compel them. In 
the meantime he sent a white man named Dunn, who bad a friendly 
acquaintance with Big Foot, to tell him that the Indians must obey the 
order to remove. Dunn delivered the message and returned, being 
followed later by the interpreter, witb the statement that the Indians 
bad consented to go to the agency, and would start the next morning, 
December 23. That evening, however, scouts came in with the word 
tbat the Indians bad left their village and were going southward. It 
was at first thought tbat they intended turning off on another trail to 
the agency, but instead of doing so they kept on in the direction of 
Pine Eidge and the refugees in the Bad Lands, taking witb tbem only 
their ponies and tipi poles. 

The cause of this precipitate flight after the jiromise given by Big 
Foot is somewhat uncertain. The statement of the interpreter, Felix 
Benoit, would make it appear tbat the Indians were frightened by 
Dunn, who told them tbat the soldiers were coming in the morning to 
carry them oft' and to shoot them if they refused to go. While this 
doubtless bad the eflect of alarming them, the real cause of their flight 
was probably the fact that just at this critical juncture Colonel Merriam 
was ordered to move with his command up Cheyenne river to join 
forces with Sumner in compelling their surrender. Such is the opinion 
of General Euger, who states officially tbat "Big Foot and adherents 
who bad joined bim, probably becoming alarmed on the movement of 
Colonel Merriam's command from Fort Bennett and a rumor that 
Colonel Sumner would capture tbem, eluded Colonel Sumner's com- 
mand and started for the Pine Eidge reservation." This agrees with 


the statement of several of the survivors that they had been frightened 
from their homes by the news of Merriam's approach. Sumner, in his 
report, calls attention to the fact that they committed no depredations 
in their flight, although they passed several ranches and at one time 
even went through a pasture filled with horses and cattle without 
attempting to appropriate them. He also expresses the opinion that 
Big Foot was compelled unwillingly to go with his people. The whole 
number of fugitives was at least 340, including a few from the bands 
of Sitting Bull and Hump. Immediately on learning of their flight 
Colonel Sumner notified General Carr, commanding in the direction of 
the Bad Lands. ( War, 12.) 

The situation at this crisis is thus summed up by Indian Commis- 
sioner Morgan : 

Groups of Indians from the dift'erent reservations had commeuced concentrating 
in the Bad Lands upon or in the vicinity of the Pine Ridge reservation. Killing of 
cattle and destruction of other property by these Indians, almost entirely within the 
limits of Pine Ridge and Rosebud reservations, occurred, but no signal fires were 
built, no warlike demonstrations were made, no violence was done to any white 
settler, nor was there cohesion or organization among the Indians themselves. Many 
of them were friendly Indians, who had never participated in the ghost dance, but 
had fled thither from fear of soldiers, in consequence of the Sitting Bull .affair or 
through the overpersuasion of friends. The military gradually began to close in 
around them and they oft'ered no resistance, and a speedy and quiet capitulation of 
all was confidently expected. (Comr., 34.) 

Nearly 3,000 troops were now in the field in the Sioux country. This 
force was fully sufficient to have engaged the Indians with success, but 
as such action must inevitably have resulted in wholesale killing on 
both sides, with the prospect of precipitating a raiding warfare unless 
the hostiles were completely annihilated, it was thought best to bring 
about a surrender by peaceful means. 

The refugees in the Bad Lands who had fled from Pine Eidge and 
Eosebud had been surroirnded on the west and north by a strong 
cordon of troops, operating under General Brooke, which had the eftect 
of gradually forcing them back toward the agency. At the same time 
that officer made every effort to expedite the process by creating dis- 
sensions in the Indian camp, and trying in various ways to induce 
them to come in by small parties at a time. To this end the Indians 
were promised that if they complied with the orders of the military 
their rights and interests would bo protected, so far as it was within 
the power of the military department to accomplish that result. 
Although they had about lost confidence in the government, these 
assurances had a good effect, which was emphasized by the news of 
the death of Sitting Bull, the arrest of Big Foot, and return of Hump to 
his agency, and the steady pressure of the troops from behind ; and on 
December 27, 1890, the entire force broke camp and left their strong- 
hold in the Bad Lands and began moving in toward the agency at 
Pine Eidge. The several detachments of troops followed behind, 


within supporting distance of one anotlier, and so closely that tlie fires 
were still burning in the Indian camps when the soldiers moved in to 
occupy the same ground. ( War, 13.) 

As early as December G a conference had been brought about at Pine 
Eidge, through the efforts of Father Jutz, the priest of the Catholic 
mission, between General Brooke and the leading chiefs of both friend- 
lies and "hostiles." Although no definite conclusi(ni was reached, the 
meeting was a friendly one, ending with a feast and an Indian dance. 
The immediate effect was a division in the hostile camji, culminating iu 
a quarrel between the two factious, with the result that Two Strike and 
his party left the rest and moved in toward the agency, while Short Bull 
and Kicking Bear retreated farther into the Bad Lands. On learning 
of this condition of affairs. General Brooke sent out American Horse 
and Big Eoad with a large party of warriors to meet Two Strike and go 
back with him to ])ersuade the others, if possible, to come in. At the 
same time the troops were moved up to intercept the flight of the hos- 
tiles. {Golhii,2; G. I)., 37.) 

On Christmas day the Cheyenne scouts, camped on Battle creek 
north of the I5ad Lands, were attacked by a party of hostiles led by 
Kicking Bear in person. . The fight was kept up until after dark, several 
being killed or wounded on both sides, but the hostiles were finally 
driven off. (Colby, 3.) 

But the tragedy was near at hand. Orders had been given to inter- 
cept Big Foofs party in its flight from Cheyenne river toward the 
Bad Lands. This was accomplished on December 28, 1890, by Major 
Whitside of the Seventh cavalry, who came up with him a short dis- 
tance west of the Bad Lauds. Not having succeeded in communicat- 
ing with the refugees who had fled there and who were already on their 
way to the agency, Big Foot had made no stop, but continued on also 
toward Pine Eidge. On sighting the troops he raised a white flag, 
advanced into the open country, and asked for a parley. This was 
refused by Major Whitside, who demanded an unconditional surrender, 
which was at once given, and the Indians moved on with the troops to 
Wounded Knee creek, about 20 miles northeast of Pine Eidge agency, 
where they camped as directed by Major Whitside. In order to make 
assurance complete, General Brooke sent Colonel Forsyth to join Major 
Whitside with four additional troops of the Seventh cavalry, which, 
with the scouts under Lieutenant Taylor, made up a force of eight 
troops of cavalry, one company of scouts, and four pieces of light artil- 
lery (ITotchkiss guns), with a total force of 470 men, as against a total 
of 100 warriors then i^rescnt in Big Foot's band. A scouting party of 
Big Foot's band was out looking for the camp under Kicking Bear and 
Short Bull, but as these chiefs, with their followers, were already on 
their way to the agency, the scouting party was returning to rejoin Big 
Foot when the fight occurred the next morning. It was the intention 
of General Miles to send Big Foot and his followers back to their own 


reservation, or to remove tliem altogether from tlie country until the 
excitement had subsided. (War, 14.) 

At this time there were no Indians in the Bad Lands. Two Strike 
and Orow Dog had come in about a week before and were now camped 
close to the agency. Kicking Bear and Short Bull, with their follow- 
ers, had yielded to the friendly persuasions of American Horse, Little 
Wound, Standing Bear, and others who had gone out to them in the 
interests of peace, and both parties were now coming in together and 
had arrived at the Catholic mission, 5 miles from the agency, when the 
battle occurred. 

On the morning of December 29, 1890, preparations were made to 
disarm the Indians preparatory to taking them to the agency and 
thence to the railroad. In obedience to instructions the Indians had 
pitched their tipis on the open plain a short distance west of the creek 
and surrounded on all sides by the soldiers. In the center of the camp 
the Indians had hoisted a white flag as a sign of peace and a guarantee 
of safety. Behind them was a dry ravine running into the creek, and 
on a slight rise in the front was posted the battery of four Hotchkiss 
machine guns, trained directly on the Indiiin camp. In front, behind, 
and on both flanks of the camp were posted the various troops of cav- 
alry, a portion of two troops, together with the Indian scouts, being 
dismounted and drawn up in front of the Indians at the distance of 
only a few yards from them. Big Foot himself was ill of pneumonia in 
his tipi, and Colonel Forsyth, who had taken command as senior oflicer, 
had provided a tent warmed with a camp stove for his reception. 

Shortly after 8 oclock in the morning the warriors were ordered to 
come out from the tipis and deliver their arms. They came forward 
and seated themselves on the ground in front of the troops. They 
were then ordered to go by themselves into their tipis and bring out 
and surrender their guns. The first twenty went and returned in a 
short time with only two guns. It seemed evident that they were 
unwilling to give them up, and after consultation of the ofiicers part of 
the soldiers were ordered up to within ten yards of the group of war- 
riors, while another detachment of troops was ordered to search the 
tipis. After a tliorough hunt these last returned with about forty 
rifles, most of which, however, were old and of little ^ialue. The 
search had consumed considerable time and created a good deal of 
excitement among the women and children, as the soldiers found it 
necessary in the process to overturn the beds and other furniture of the 
tipis and in some instances drove out the inmates. All this had its 
eflect on their husbands and brothers, already wrouglit up to a high 
nervous tension and not knowing what might come next. While the 
soldiers had been looking for the guns Yellow Bird, a medicine-man, 
had been walking about among the warriors, blowing on an cagle-boue 
whistle, and urging them to resistance, telling them that the soldiers 
would become weak and powerless, and that the bullets would be 



Compiled I'min msip l)y Lieutenant T. Q. Donaldson, Seveutli United States cavalry, kindly loaned by 
l->r J. D. Glenuau, United States Army. 

A and I. 8eveuty-aix meu from A and I troops formiiif? dismounted line of sentinels. 

B. Troop B dismounted and in line. 

C. Troop C mounted and in line (sorrel troop). 

D. Troop D mounted and in line (black troop). 

E. Troop E mounted and in line (bay troop). 
G. Troop (i mounted and in line (gray troop). 
K. Troop K dismounted and in line. 

S. Indian scouts. 

1. Tent from whicLi a bo.stile warrior shot tw.i soldiers. 

2. Tent occupied by Big Foot and bis wife and in front of which the former was 


3. Tents put up for the use of Big Foot's band. 

4. Council ring in or near which were General Forsyth, Major Whitside, Captain 

Varnum, Caiitain Hoft", Captain Wallace, Doctor Glenuau, Lieutenant Robinson, 
Lieutenant Nicholson, Lieutenant McCormick, and the reporters. 

5. Officers' tents, first battalion. 

6. Enlisted mens' tents, first battalion. 

7. Bivouac of second battalion on night of December 28, 1890. 

8. Four Hotchkiss guns and detachment of First artillery, under Captain Caprou, 

First artillery, and Lieutenant Hawthorne, Second artillery. 

9. Indian village. 

10. Indian ponies. 

11. Dismounted line of sentinels. 

12. Captains llslcy and Moylau. 

13. Lieutenants (iarlingtcui and Waterman. 

14. Captain Godfrey and Lieutenant Tompkins. 

15. Captain Jackson and Lieutenant Donablson. 

16. Lieutenant Taylor, Ninth cavalry, commanding Indian scouts (S). 

17. Captain Edgerly and Lieutenant Brewer. 

18. Captain Nowlan and Lieutenant Gresham. 

19. Indian houses. 

20. Lieutenants Sickel and Rice. 

Just beyond the limit of the map, towanl the west, the ravine forma :t bend, in 
which a number of hostiles took refuge, and from which Lieutenant Hawthorne was 
shot. Captain Wallace was found near the center i>f the council 'ring. Big Foot 
was killed two or three yards in front of his tent. Father Craft was near the center 
of the ring when stabbed. The Indians broke to the west through 1! and K troops. 
While in the council ring all the warriors had on blankets, with their arms, princi- 
pally Winchester rilles, concealed under them. Most of the warriors, including the 
medicine-man, were painted and wore ghost shirts. 


nnaviiiliiig the sacred '' giiost shirts," which nearly every oue 
of the Indians wore. As he spoke in the Sioux language, the officers 
did not at once realize the dangerous drift of his talk, and the climax 
came too quickly for them to interfere. It is said one of the searchers 
now attempted to raise the blanket of a warrior. Suddenly Yellow 
Bird stooped down and threw a handful of dust into the air, when, as 
if this were the signal, a young Indian, said to have been Black Fox 
from Cheyenne river, drew a rifle IVom under his blanket and fired at 
the soldiers, who instantly replied with a volley directly into the crowd 
of warriors and so near that their guns were almost touching. From 
the number of sticks set up by the Indians to mark where the dead 
fell, as seen by the author a year later, this one volley must have killed 
nearlyhalf the warriors (plate xcix). The survivorsspraug to their feet, 
throwing their blankets from their shoulders as they rose, and for a few 
minutes there was a terrible hand to hand struggle, where every man's 
thought was to kill. Altliuugh many of the warriors had no guns, nearly 
all had revolvers and knives in their belts under their blankets, together 
with some of the murderous warclubs still carried by the Sioux. The 
very lack of guns made the fight more bloody, as it brought the com- 
batants to closer quarters. 

At the first volley the Hotchkiss guns trained on the camp opened 
fire and sent a storm of shells and bullets among the women and chil- 
dren, who had gathered in front of the tipis to watch the unusual spec- 
tacle of military display. The guns poured in 2-pound explosive shells 
at the rate of nearly fifty per minute, mowing down everything alive. 
The terrible effect may be judged from the fact that one woman sur- 
vivor. Blue Whirlwind, with whom the aiithor conversed, received four- 
teen wounds, while each of her two little boys was also wounded by 
her side. In a few minutes 200 Indian men, women, and children, with 
60 soldiers, were lying dead and wounded on the ground, the tipis had 
been torn down by the shells and some of them were burning above 
the helpless wounded, and the surviving handful of Indians were fly- 
ing in wild panic to the shelter of the ravine, pursued by hundreds of 
maddened soldiers and followed up by a raking fire from the Hotchkiss 
guns, which had been moved into position to sweep the ravine. 

There can be no question that the pursuit was simply a massacre, 
where fleeing women, with infants in their arms, were shot down after 
resistance had ceased and when almost every warrior was stretched 
dead or dying on the ground. On this point such a careful writer as 
Herbert Welsh says: "From the fact that so many women and chil- 
dren were killed, and that their bodies were found far from the scene 
of action, and as though they were sliot down while flying, it would 
look as though blind rage had been at work, in striking contrast to the 
moderation of the Indian police at the Sitting Bull fight when they 
were assailed by women." ( Welsh, 3.) The testimony of American 
Horse and other friendlies is strong in the same direction. (See page 


839.) Commissioner Morgan in his official rejiort says that "Most of 
the men, including Big Foot, were killed around his tent, where he lay 
sick. The bodies of the women and children were scattered along a 
distance of two miles from the scene of the encounter." {Comr., 33.) 

This is no reflection on the humanity of the officer in charge. On 
the contrary, Colonel Forsj'th had taken measures to guard against 
such an occurrence by separating the women and children, as already 
stated, and had also endeavored to make the sick chief, Big Foot, as 
comfortable as possible, even to the extent of sending his own surgeon, 
Dr Gleunau, to wait on him on the night of the surrender. Strict 
orders had also been issued to the troops that women and children were 
not to be hurt. The butchery was the work of infuriated soldiers whose 
comrades had just been shot down without cause or warning. In jus- 
tice to a brave regiment it must be said that a number of the men were 
new recruits fresh from eastern recruiting stations, who had never 
before been under tire, were not yet imbued with military discipline, 
and were probably unable in the confusion to distinguish between men 
and women by their dress. 

After examining all the official papers bearing on the subject in the 
flies of the "War Department and the Indian Office, together with the 
official reports of the Commissioner of Indian Affairs and of the Secre- 
tary of War and the several officers engaged; after gathering all that 
might be obtained from unofficial printed sources and from conversation 
with survivors and participants in the engagement on both sides, and 
after going over the battle-ground in company with the interpreter of 
the scouts engaged, the author arrives at the conclusion that when the 
sun rose on Wounded Knee on the fatal morning of December 29, 1890, 
no trouble was anticipated or premeditated by either Indians or troops; 
that the Indians in good faith desii-ed to surrender and be at peace, 
and that the officers in tlie same good fixith had made preparations to 
receive their surrender and escort them (juietly to the reservation ; that 
in spite of the j)aciflc intent of Big Foot and his band, the medicine- 
man, Yellow Bird, at the critical moment urged the warriors to resist- 
ance and gave the signal for the attack; tliat the first shot was fired by 
an Indian, and that the Indians were responsible for the engagement; 
that the answering volley and attack by the troops was right and justi- 
fiable, but that the wholesale slaughter of women and children was 
unnecessary and inexcusable. 

Authorities differ as to the number of Indians present and killed at 
Wounded Knee. General Euger states that the band numbered about 
3-tO, including about 100 warriors, but Major Whitside, to whom they 
surrendered, reiiorted them officially as numbering 120 men and 250 
women and children, a total of 370. ( Wa7; 15; G. D., 38.) This agrees 
almost exactly with the statement made to the author by Mr Asay, a 
trader who was xjresent at the surrender. General Miles says that there 
were present 106 warriors, a few others being absent at the time in 


search of the party under Kifking Bear and 8hort Bull. ( War, 10.) 
Amoug those who .surrendered were about 70 refugees froui the bands 
of Sitting Bull and Hump. (G.D.,39.) No exact account of the dead 
coTild be made immediately after the flght, on account of a second attack 
by another party of Indians coming up from the agency. Some of the 
dead and wounded left on the field were undoubtedly carried off by 
their friends before the burial party came out three days later, and of 
those brought iu alive a number afterward died of wounds and expos- 
ure, but received no notice in the official reports. The Adjutant- 
General, in response to a letter of inquiry, states that 128 Indians were 
killed and 33 wounded. Commissioner Morgan, in his official report, 
makes the number killed 140. (Comr., 36.) Both these estimates are 
evidently too low. General Miles, in his final rejiort, states that about 
200 men, women, and children were killed. ( War, 17.) General Colby, 
who commanded the Nebraska state troops, says that about 100 men 
and over 120 women and children were found dead on the field, a total 
of about 220. (Colby, 4.) Agent Eoyer telegraphed immediately after 
the fight that about 300 Indians had been killed, and General Miles, 
telegraphing on the same day, says, "I think very few Indians have 
escaped."' (G. ]>., JO.) Fifty-one Indians were brought iu the same 
day by the troops, and a few others were found still alive by the burial 
party three days later. A number of these afterward died. No con- 
siderable number got away, being unable to reach their ponies after 
the fight began. General Miles states that 98 warriors were killed on 
the field. ( Wni-, IS.) The whole number killed on the field, or who 
later died from wounds and esi>osure, was i^robably very nearly 300. 

According to an official statement from the Adjutant-General, 31 
soldiers were killed in the battle. About as many more were wounded, 
one or two of whom afterward died. All of the killed, excepting 
Hospital Steward Pollock and an Indian scout named High Backbone, 
belonged to the Seventh cavalry, as did probably also nearly all of the 
wounded. The only commissioned officer killed was Captain Wallace. 
He received four bullet wounds in his body and finally sank under a 
hatchet stroke upon the head. Lieutenant E. A. Garlington, of the 
Seventh cavalry, and Lieutenant H. L. Hawthorne, of the Second artil- 
lery, were wounded. ( War, 1!).) The last-named officer owed his life 
to his watch, which deflected the bullet that otherwise would have 
passed through his body. 

Below is given a complete list of officers and enlisted men who were 
killed, or died of wounds or exposure, iu connection with the Sioux 
campaign. The statement is contained in an official letter of reply 
from the Adjutant-General's office dated May 26, 1894. Unless other- 
wise noted all were of the Seventh cavalry and were killed on Decem- 
ber 29, the date of the battle of Wounded Knee. In addition to these, 
two others, Henry Miller, a herder, and George Wilhauer, of the 
Nebraska militia, were killed in the same connection. With the 6 


Indian police killed in arresting Sitting Bull, this makes a total of 49 
deaths on the government side, including 7 Indians and a negro: 

Adams, William. Kelley, James E. 

Bone, Albert S. (corporal, died of Kellner, August. 

■wounds). Koru, Gustav (blacksmith). 

Casey, Edward W. (first lieutenant Logan, James. 

Twenty-second infantry, January 7). McClintock, William F. 

Cofley, Dora S. (first sergeant). McCue, John M. 

Cook, Ralph L. Mann, James I), (first lieutenant, died of 
Corwine, Richard W. (sergeant major). wounds, January 15). 

Costello, John. Meil, John W. (killed in railroad acci- 
Cummings, Pierce. dent, January 26). 

De Vreede, Jan. Mezo, William S. 

Dyer, Arthur C. (sergeant). Murphy, Joseph. 

Elliott, George (died of wounds, Janu- Nettles, Robert H. (sergeant). 

ary 13). Newell, Charles H. (corporal, died of 
Francischetti, Dominic (December 30). wounds). 

Forrest, Harry R. (corporal). Pollock, Oscar (hospital steward). 

Frey, Henry. Regan, Michael. 

Grauberg, Herman (died of wounds, De- Reinecky, Frank T. 

cember 30). Schartel, Thomas (First artillery, killed 
Haywood, Charles (Ninth cavalry, col- in railroad accident, January 26). 

ored, December 30). Scliweukey, Philip. 

High Backbone (Indian scout). 8toue, Harry B. (died of wounds, Janu- 
Hodges, William T. (sergeant). ary 12). 

Howard,Henry(sergeant,died of wounds, Twohig, Daniel. 

January 23). Wallace, George B. (captain). 

Johnson, George P. Zehnder, Beruhard (died of wounds). 

The heroic missionary priest, Father Craft, who had given a large 
part of his life to work among the Sioux, by whom he was loved and 
respected, had endeavored at the beginning of the trouble to persuade 
the stampeded Indians to come into the agency, but without success, 
the Indians claiming that no single treaty ever made with them had 
been fulfilled in all its stipulations. Many of the soldiers being of his 
own faith, he accompanied the detachment which received the surren- 
der of Big Foot, to render such good offices as might be possible to 
either party. In the desperate encounter he was stabbed through the 
lungs, but yet, with bullets flying about him and hatchets and warclubs 
circling through the air, he went about his work, administering the 
last religious consolation to the dying until he fell unconscious from 
loss of blood. He was brought back to the agency along with the 
other wounded, and although his life was despaired of for some time, 
he finally recovered. In talking about Wounded Knee with one of the 
friendly warriors who had gone into the Bad Lands to urge the hostiles 
to come in, he spoke with warm admiration of Father Craft, and I 
asked why it was, then, that the Indians had tried to kill him. He 
replied, " They did not know him. Father Jutz [the priest at the 
Drexel Catholic mission, jireviously mentioned] always wears his black 
robe, but Father Craft on that day wore a soldier's cap and overcoat. 
If he had worn his black robe, no Indian would have hurt him." On 


iiiquiiins' afterward I learned tliat this was not correct, as Father 
Craft did have on his priestly robes. From the Indian statement, how- 
ever, and the well-known afl'ection in which he was held by the Sioux, 
it is probable that the Indian who stabbed him was too much excited 
at the moment to recognize him. 

The news of the battle was brought to the agency by Lieutenant 
Guy Preston, of the Ninth cavalry, who, in company with a soldier and 
an Indian scout, made the ride of IG or IS miles in a little over an hour, 
one horse falling dead of exhaustion on the way. There Avere then at 
the agency, under command of General Brooke, about 300 men of the 
Second infantry and 50 Indian police. 

The liring at Wounded Knee was plainly heard by the thousands of 
Indians camped about the agency at Pine Kidge, who had come in 
from the Bad Lands to surrender. They were at once thrown into 
great excitement, undoubtedly believing that there was a deliberate 
purpose on foot to disarm and massacre them all, and when the fugi- 
tives — women and children, most of them — began to come in, telling 
the story of the terrible slaughter of their friends and showing their 
bleeding wounds in evidence, the camji was divided between panic and 
desperation. A number of warriors mounted in haste and made all 
speed to the battle-ground, only about two hours distant, where they 
met the troops, who were now scattered about, hunting down the fugi- 
tives who might have escaped the first killing, and picking up the 
dead and wounded. The soldiers were driven in toward the center, 
where they threw up entrenchments, by means of which they were 
finally able to repel the attacking party. With the assistance of a 
body of Indian scouts and police, they then gathered up the dead and 
wounded soldiers, with some of the wounded Indians and a few other 
l)risoners to the number of 51, and came into the agency. In the mean- 
time the hostiles under Two Strike had opened fire on the agency from 
the neighboring hills and endeavored to approach, by way of a deep 
ravine, near enough to set tire to the buildings. General Brooke, desir- 
ing to avoid a general engagement, ordered out the Indian police — a 
splendidly drilled body of 50 brave men — who gallantly took their 
stand in the center of the agency indosure, in full view of the hostiles, 
some of whom were their own relatives, and kept them off, returning 
the fire of besiegers with such good effect as to kill two and wound 
several others. The attacking party, as well as those who rode out to 
help their kinsmen at Wounded Knee, were not the Pine Eidge Indians 
(( )gulala) but the Brule from Rosebud under the lead of Two Strike, 
Kicking Bear, and Short Bull. On the approach of the detachment 
returning from Wounded Knee almost the entire body that had come 
in to surrender broke away and fell back to a position on White Clay 
creek, where the next day found a camp of 4,000 Indians, and including 
more than a thousand warriors now thoroughly hostile. On the even- 
ing of the battle General Miles telegraphed to military headquarters, 


"Last uight everytbiug looked favorable for getting all the Indians 
under control; since report from Forsyth it looks more serious than at 
any other time." {G. J)., 41.) It seemed that all the careful work of 
the last month had been undone. 

At the first indication of coming trouble in November all the out- 
lying schools and mission stations on Pine Kidge reservation had been 
abandoned, and teachers, farmers, and missionaries had tied to the 
agency to seek the protection of the troops, all but the members of the 
Drexel Catholic mission, 5 miles northwest from the agency. Ilere the 
two or three priests and five Franciscan sisters remained quietly at 
their post, with a hundred little children around them, safe in the assur- 
ance of the "hostiles" that they would not be molested. While the 
fighting was going on at Wounded Knee and hundreds of furious war- 
riors were firing into the agency, where the handful of whites were 
shivering in spite of the presence of troops and jwlice, these gentle 
women and the kindly old German priest were looking after the chil- 
dren, feeding the frightened fugitive women, and tenderly caring for 
the wounded Indians who were being brought in fnjm Wounded Knee 
and the agency. Throughout all these weeks of terror they went calmly 
about the duties to which they had consecrated their lives, and kept 
their little flock together and their school in operation, without the 
presence of a single soldier, completely cut off from the troops and the 
agency and surrounded by thousands of wild Indians. 

Some time afterward, in talking with the Indians about tlie events 
of the campaign, the warrior who had siioken with such admiration of 
Father Craft referred with the same affectionate enthusiasm to Father 
Jutz, and said that when the infuriated Indians attacked the agency on 
hearing of the slaughter at Wounded Knee they had sent word to the 
mission that no one there need be afraid. "We told him to stay where 
he was and no Indian would disturb him," said the warrior. He told 
how the j)riest and the sisters had fed the starving refugees and bound 
up the wounds of the survivors who escai^ed the slaughter, and then 
after a pause he said: "He is a brave man; braver than any Indian." 
Curious to know why this man had not joined the hostiles, among whom 
were several of his near relatives, I asked him the question. His reply 
was simple: "I had a little boy at the Drexel mission. He died and 
Father Jutz put a white stone over him. That is why I did not join 
the hostiles." 

While visiting Pine Kidge in 1891 I went out to see the Drexel school 
and found Father John Jutz, a simple, kindly old German from the 
Tyrol, with one or two other German lay brothers and five Franciscan 
sisters, Americans. Altlumgh but a recent establishment, the school 
was in flourishing condition, bearing in everything the evidences of 
orderly industry. Like a true German of the Alps, Father Jutz had 
already devised a way to make jelly from the wild plums and excellent 
wine from the chokecherry. "While talking, the recess hour arrived and 


a bevy of small children came trooping in, pushing over one another in 
the eftbrt to get hold of a finger of the good father, or at least to hold 
on to his robe while he led them into another room where one of the 
sisters gave to each a ginger cake, hot from the oven. The room was 
filled with the shouts and laughter of the children and the father 
explained, ''Children get hungry, and we always have some cakes for 
the little ones at recess. I let the boys be noisy in the playroom as 
long as they don't fight. It is good for them." Looking at the happy, 
noisy crowd around the black-gowned missionary and sister, it was easy 
to see how they had felt safe in the affection of the Indians through all 
the days and nights when others were trembling behind breastworks 
and files of soldiers. Referring to what the Indians had told me, I 
asked Father Jutz if it was true that the hostiles had sent word to 
them not to be afraid. He replied, "Yes; they had sent word that no 
one in the mission need be alarmed," and then, with a gentle smile, 
he added, "But it was never our intention to leave." It was plain 
enough that beneath the quiet exterior there burned the old missionary 
fire of Jogues and Marijuette. 

The conflict at Wounded Knee bore speedy fruit. On the same day, 
as has been said, a part of the Indians nnder Two Strike attacked the 
agency and the Avhole body of nearly 4,000 who had come iu to sur- 
render started back again to intrench themselves in preparation for 
renewed hostilities. On the morning of December 30, the next day 
alter the fight, the wagon ti'ain of the Ninth cavalry (colored) was 
attacked within 2 miles of the agency while coming in with supplies. 
One soldier was killed, but the Indians were repulsed with the loss of 
several of their number. 

On the same day news came to the agency that the hostiles had 
attacked the Catholic mission 5 miles out, and Colonel Forsyth with 
eight troops of the Seventh cavalry and one piece of artillery was 
ordered by Genei-al Brooke to go out and drive them off. It proved 
that the hostiles had set fire to several houses between the mission and 
the agency, but the mission had not been disturbed. As the trooi:is 
apin-oached the hostiles fell back, but Forsyth failed to occupy the 
commanding hills and was consequently surrounded by the Indians, 
who endeavored to draw him into a canyon and pressed him so closely 
that he was obliged to send back three times for reinforcements. 
Major Henry had just arrived at the agency with a detachment of the 
Ninth cavalry, and on hearing the noise of the firing started at once to 
the relief of Forsyth with four ti'oops of cavalry and a Hotchkiss gun. 
On arriving on the ground he occupied the hills and thus succeeded 
in driving off the hostiles without further casualty, and rescued the 
Seventh from its dangerous position. In tliis skirmish, known as the 
"mission fight," the Seventh lost one otHcer, Lieutenant Mann, and a 
private, Dominic Francischetti, killed, and seven wounded. ( TFar, 20; 
G. J)., J2.) 


Tlie conduct of tlie colored troops of the Niutli calvary on this occa- 
sion deserves the highest commendation. At the time of the battle at 
Wounded Knee, the day before, they were in the Bad Lands, about 80 
or 90 miles out from Pine liidge, when the order was sent for them to 
come in to aid in repelling the attack on the agency. By riding all 
night they arrived at the agency at daylight, together with two Hotch- 
kiss guns, iu charge of Lieutenant John Hayden of the First artillery. 
Hardly had they dismounted when word arrived that their wagon train, 
coming on behind, was attacked, and they were obliged to go out again 
to its relief, as already described. On coming in again they lay down 
to rest after their long night ride, when they were once more called 
out to go to the aid of the Seventh at the mission. Jumping into the 
saddle they rode at full speed to the mission, 5 miles out, repelled 
the hostiles and saved the command, and returned to the agency, after 
having ridden over 100 miles and fought two engagements within thirty 
hours. Lieutenant Hayden, with his Hotchkiss, who had come in with 
them from the Bad Lands, took part also with them in the mission fight. 

On the same evening Standing Soldier, an Iiulian scout, arrived at 
the agency with a party of 6.5 Indians, including 18 men. These were 
a part of Big Foot's or Short Bull's following, who had lost their way 
during the flight from Cheyenne river and were hunting for the rest of 
the band when captured by the scouts. They were not aware of the 
death of Big Foot and the extermination of his band, but after having 
been disarmed and put under guard they were informed of it, but only 
in a mild way, in order not to provoke undue excitement. ( G. J)., 43.) 

Immediately after the battle of Wounded Knee, in consequence of the 
panic among the frontier settlers of Nebraska, the Nebraska state troops 
were called out under command of General L. W. Colby. They were 
stationed at the most exposed points between the settlements and the 
reservation and remained in the field until the surrender of the hostiles 
two weeks later. The only casualty among them was the deatli of 
private George Wilhauer, who was accidentally shot by a picket. 
{Colby, 5.) 

On New Year's day of 1891, three days after the battle, a detachment 
of troops was sent out to Wounded Knee to gather uj) and bury the 
Indian dead and to bring iu the wounded who might be still alive on 
the field. In the meantime there had been a heavy snowstorm, culmi- 
nating in a blizzard. The bodies of the slaughtered men, women, and 
children were found lying about under the snow, frozen stiff and covered 
with blood (plate xcviii). Almost all the dead warriors were found 
lying near where the fight began, about Big Foot's tipi, but the bodies of 
the women and children were found scattered along for 2 miles from the 
scene of the encounter, showing that they had been killed while trying 
to escape. {Gomr., 37; Colby, 6.) A number of women and children 
were found still alive, but all badly wounded or frozen, or both, and 
most of them died after being brought in. Four babies were found 




alive under the suow, wrapped in shawls and lying beside their dead 
mothers, whose last thought had been of them. They were all badly 
frozen and oiilv one lived. The tenacity of life so characteristic of wild 


Fio. 79— Survivors of Wmmded Kiipc— Blue Whirlwind and children (1891). 

people as well as of wild beasts was strikingly illustrated in the 
of these wounded and helpless Indian women and children who thus 
lived three days through a Dakota blizzard, without food, shelter, or 
attention to their wounds. It is a commentary on our boasted Christian 



lElH. ANN. 14 

civilization tliat although there were two or three salaried missionaries 
at the agency not one went out to say a prayer over the poor mangled 
bodies of these victims of war. The Catholic priests had reasons for not 
being present, as one of them, Father Craft, was lying in the hospital 
w'ith a dangerous wound received on the battlefield wldle bravely admin- 
istering to the dying wants of the soldiers in the heat of the encounter, 
and the other, Father Jutz, an old man of 70 years, was at the mission 
school 5 miles away, still attending to his little Hock of 100 children 

Fig. 80— Survivors of Wounded Knee— Marguerite Zitkala-noni (1891). 

as before the trouble began, and unaware of what was transpiring at 
the agency. 

A long trench was dug and into it were thrown all the bodies, piled 
one u]ion another like so much cordwood. until the pit was full, when 
the earth was heaped over them and the funeral was complete (plate C). 
Many of the bodies were stripped by the whites, who went out iu order 
to get the " ghost shirts," and the frozen bodies were thrown into the 
trench stiff and naked. They were only dead Indians. As one of the 
burial party said, " It was a thing to melt the heart of a man, if it was 


-ar :■ 

>Jh i M y I ' if '^ 

•> r. 




^'^.-.^^M^m^r^:^^ -■.,-: . t.^; 



of stone, to see those little chiklieii, with tlieii- bodies shot to pieces, 
thrown naked into tlie ]iit." The dead soldiers had already been 
brought in and buried decently at the agency. When the writer visited 
the spot the following winter, the Indians had put up a wire fence 
around the trench and smeared the posts with sacred red medicine 
paijit (plate ci). 

A baby girl of only three or four months was found under the snow, 
carel'ully wrapped uj) in a sliawl, beside her dead mother, whose body 
was pierced by two bullets. On her head was a little cap of buckskin, 

Fig. 81— Survivors of Wounded Knee— Tennio Sword (1891). 

upon which the American flag was embroidered in bright beadwork. 
She had lived through all the exposure, being only slightly frozen, and 
soon recovered after being brought in to the agency. Her mother being 
killed, and, in all probability, her father also, she was adopted by Gen- 
eral Colby, commanding the Nebraska state troops. The Indian women 
in camp gave her the poetic name of Zitkala-noni, " Lost Bird," and by 
the family of her adoption she was baptized under tlie name of Mar- 
guerite (figure SO). 8he is now (1S9G) living in the general's family at 
Washington, a chubby little girl G years of age, as happy with her dolls 
audplaytliings as a little girl of that age ought to be. 
li ETU — PT 2 16 



[ETH. ANTJ. 14 

Another little girl about 5 years of age was picked up on the battle- 
field and brought in by tlie Indian police on the afternoon of the fight. 
She was adopted by George Sword, captain of the Indian police, and is 
now living with him under the name of Jennie Sword, a remarkably 
pretty little girl, gentle and engaging in her manners (figure 81). 

A little boy of four years, the sou of Yellow IMrd, the medicineman, 
was playing on bis pony in front of a tipi when the firing began. As 



-Survivors of Wouuded 1- 

he described it some time ago in lisping English: "My father ran and 
fell down and the blood came out of liis moutli [lie was shot through 
the head], and then a soldier put his gun up to my white pony's nose and 
shot him, and then I ran and a policeman got me." As his father was 
thus killed and his mother was already dead, he was adopted by Mrs 
Lucy Arnold, who had been a teacher among the Sioux and knew his 


family hefore the trouble began. She had already given him his name, 
Herbert Zitkalazi, the. last word being the Sioux form of his father's 
name, "Yellow l>ird." She brought him back with her to Washington, 
where he soon learned English and became a general favorite of all 
who knew him for his affectionate disposition and unusual intelligence, 
with genuine boyish enthusiasm in all he undertook. His picture here 
given (figure 82) is from a i)hotograph made in Lafayette jiark, Wash- 
ington, in 1892. His adopted mother having resumed her school work 
among his tribe, he is now back with her, attending school under her 
supervision at Standing Rock, where, as in Washington, he seems to 
be a natural leader among those of his own age. When we think of 
these children and consider that only by the merest accident they 
escaped the death that overtook a hundred other children at Wounded 
Knee, who may all have had in themselves the same possibilities of 
affection, education, and happy usefulness, we can understand the 
sickening meaning of such affairs as the Chivington massacre in Colo- 
rado and the Custer fight on the Washita, where the newspaper reports 
merely that " the enemy was surprised and the Indian camp destroyed." 

The Indian scouts at Wounded Knee, like the Indian police at Grand 
river and Pine Eidge, were brave and loyal, as has been the almost 
universal rule with Indians when enlisted in the government service, 
even when called on, as were these, to serve against their own tribe and 
relatives. The prairie Indian is a born soldier, with all the soldier's 
pride of loyalty to duty, and may be trusted implicitly after he has once 
consented to enter the service. The scouts at Wounded Knee were 
Sioux, with riiilip Wells as interpreter. Other Sioux scouts were 
ranging the country between the agency and the hostile camp in the 
Bad Lands, and acted as mediators in the peace negotiations which led 
to the final surrender. Fifty Cheyenne and about as many Crow scouts 
were also employed in the same section of country. Throughout the 
entire campaign the Indian scouts and police were faithful and i-eceived 
the warmest commendation of their officers. 

On New Year's day, 1891, Henry Miller, a herder, was killed by 
Indians a few miles from the agency. This was the only noncombatant 
killed by the Indians during the entire campaign, and during the same 
period there was no depredation committed by them outside of the 
reservation. On the next day the agent reported that the school build- 
ings and Episcopal church on White Clay creek had been burned by 
hostiles, who were then camped to the number of about 3,000 on Grass 
creek, 15 miles northeast of the agency. They had captured the gov- 
ernment beef herd and were depending on it for food. Eed Cloud, 
Little Wound, and their people were with them and were reported as 
anxious to return, but prevented by the hostile leaders. Two Strike, 
Short Bull, and Kicking Bear, who threatened to kill the first one who 
made a move to come in. {G. D., 44.) A few days later a number of 


882 " THE GHOST-DANCE RELIGION [eth.ann.u 

Eecl Cloud's men came in ami surrendereil and reported that the old 
chief was practically a prisoner and wanted the soldiers to come and 
rescue him from the hostiles, who were tiyinj;' to force liim into the war. 
They reported further that there was much suffering from cold and hun- 
ger in the Indian camp, and that all the Ogalala (Eed Cloud's people 
of Pine ilidgei were intending to come in at once in a body. 

On the 3d of January General Miles took up his headquarters at Pine 
Eidge and directed General Brooke to assume immediate command of 
the troops surrounding the hostile camp. Brooke's men swung out to 
form the western and northern part of a circle about the hostiles, cut- 
ting them off from the Bad Lands, while the troops under General Carr 
closed in on the east and northeast in such a way that the Indians were 
hemmed in and unable to make a move in any direction excepting 
toward the agency. 

On January 3 a party of Lostiles attacked a detachment of the Sixth 
cavalry under Captain Kerr on Grass creek, a few miles north of the 
agency, but were quickly repulsed with the loss of four of their number, 
the troops having been reinforced by other detachments in the vicinity. 
In this engagement the Indian scouts again distinguished themselves. 
( War, :JL) The effect of this repulse was to check the westward move- 
ment of the hostiles and hold them in their position along White Clay 
creek until their passion had somewhat abated. 

On January 5 there was another encounter on Wounded Knee creek. 
A small detachment which had been sent out to meet a supply train 
coming into the agency fouiul the wagons drawn up in a square to 
resist an attack made by a band of about 50 Indians. The soldiers 
joined forces with the teamsters, and by firing from behind the protection 
of the wagons succeeded in driving off the Indians and killing a num- 
ber of their horses. The hostiles were reinforced, however, and a hard 
skirmish was kept up for several hours until more troops arrived from 
the agency about dark, having been sent in answer to a courier who 
managed to elude the attacking party. The troops charged on a gallop 
and the Indians retreated, having lost several killed and wounded, 
besides a number of their horses. (Colbi/, 7.) 

Amid all these warlike alarms the gentle uuise Calliope hovered over 
the field and inspired W. II. Prather, a colored jirivate of troop I of the 
Ninth cavalry, to the production of the ballad given below, one of the 
few good specimens of American ballad poetry, and worthy of equal 
place with " Captain Lovewell's Fight," " Old Quebec," or anything that 
originated in the late rebellion. It became a favorite among the troops 
iu camp and with the scattered frontiersmen of Dakota and Nebraska, 
being sung to a simple air with vigor and expression and a i)articularly 
rousing chorus, and is probably by this time a classic of the barracks. 
It is here reproduced verbatim from the printed slip published for dis- 
tribution among the soldiers during the cam^iaign. 


TiiK Indiax Ghost Da.n"<k axi> Wau 

Tbo Red Skins left their Aijency, tlie Soldiers left their Post, 
All on the streugtli of an Indian tale abont Messiah's ghost 
Got nj) by savage chieftains to lead their tribes astray; 
Bnt Uucle Sam wouldn't have it so, for he ain't built that way. 
They swore that this Messiah came to them in visions sleep, 
And promised to restore their game and liutl'alos a heap, 
So they must start a liig ghost dance, then all would join their band, 
And may be so we lead the way into the great Bad Land. 
Chorus : 

They claimed the shirt Messiah gave, no bullet could go through. 
But when the Soldiers tired at them they saw this was uot true. 
The Medicine man supplied them with their great Messiah's grace. 
And he, too, pulled his freight and swore the 7th hard to face. 

About their tents the Soldiers stood, awaiting one and all, 
That they might hear the trumpet clear when sounding General call 
Or Boots and Saddles in a rush, that each and every man 
Might mount in haste, ride soon and fast to stop this devilish band 
But Generals great like Miles and Brooke don't do things up that way, 
For they know an Indian like a book, and let him have his sway 
Until they think hira far enough and then to John they'll say, 
" You had better stop your fooling or we'll bring our guns to play." 
Chorus. — They claimed the shirt, etc. 

The 0th marched out with splendid cheer the Bad Lands to explo'e — 
With Col. Henry at their head they never fear the foe; 
So on they rode from Xmas eve 'till dawn of Xmas day ; 
The Red Skins heard the 9th was near and lied in great dismay; 
The 7th is of courage bold lioth otlicers and men. 
But bad luck seems to follow them and twice has took them in; 
They came in contact with Big Foot's warriors in their fierce might 
This chief made sure he had a chance of vantage in the fight. 
ChoriiH. — They claimed the shirt, etc. 

A fight took place, 'twas hand to baud, unwarned by trumpet call. 
While the Sioux were dropping man by man — the 7th killed them all. 
And to that regiment be said " Ye noble braves, well done, 
Although you lost some gallant men a glorious fight you've won." 
The 8th was there, the sixth rode miles to swell that great command 
Aud waited orders night and day to round up .Short Bull's band. 
The Infantry marched up in mass the Cavalry's support, 
Aud while the latter rounded up, the former held the fort. 
Cftoni.i.— They claimed the shirt, etc. 

E battery of the 1st stood by and did their duty well. 
For every time the Hotchkiss barked they say a hostile fell. 
Some Indian soldiers chipped in too and helped to quell the fray, 
And now the campaign's ended and the soldiers marched away. 
So all have done their share, you see, whether it was thick or thin. 
And all helped break the ghost dance up and drive the hostiles in. 
The settlers in that region now can breathe with better grace; 
They only ask and pray to God to make .John hold his base. 
Chorus. — They claimed the shirt, etc. 

(W. H. Prather, I, 9th Cavalry). 



[From the Report of the Commissioner of Indian Affairs for 1S91, volume 1, pages 179-lSl. Extracts 
from verbatim stenographic report of council held by delegations of Sioux with Commis^oner of Indian 
Affairs^ at Washington, February 11, ISOl.] 

Turning Hawk, Pine Ridge (Mr Cook, interpreter). Mr Commissioner, my pur- 
pose to-day is to tell jon wliat I know of the condition of affairs at the agency where 
I live. A certain falsehood came to onr agency from the west which had the effect 
of a fire upon the Indians, and when this certain fire came npou our people those 
who had farsightedness and could see into the matter made up their minds to stand 
up against it and light it. The reason we took this hostile attitude to this lire was 
because we believed that you yourself would not be in favor of this particular mis- 
chief-making thing; but just as we expected, the people in authority did not like 
this thing and we were quietly told that we must give up or have nothing to do with 
this certain movement. Though this is the advice from our good friends in the east, 
there were, of course, many silly young men who were longing to become identified 
with the movement, although they knew that there was nothing absolutely bad. 
nor did they know there was anything absolutely good, in connection with the 

In the course of time we heard that the soldiers were moving toward the scene of 
trouble. After awhile some of the soldiers finally reached our place and we heard 
that a number of them also reached our friends at Rosebud. Of course, when a 
large body of soldiers is moving toward a certain direction they insjiire a more or 
less amount of awe, and it is natural that the women and children who see this large 
moving mass are made afraid of it and bo put in a condition to make them run away. 
At first we thought that Pine Ridge and Rosebud were the only two agencies where 
soldiers were sent, but finally wc heard that the other agencies fared likewise. We 
heard and saw that about half our friends at Rosebud agency, from fear at seeing 
the soldiers, began the move of running away from their agency toward ours (Pine 
Ridge), and when they liad gotten inside of our reservation they there learned that 
right ahead of them at our agency was another large crowd of soldiers, and while 
the soldiers were there, there was constantly a great deal of false rumor flying back 
and forth. The special rumor I have in mind is the threat that the soldiers had 
come there to disarm the Indians entirely and to take away all their horses from 
them. That was the oft-rejieated story. 

So constantly repeated was this story that our friends from Rosebud, instead of 
going to Pine Ridge, the place of their destination, veered off and went to some 
other direction toward the "Bad Lands.'' We did not know definitely how many, 
but understood there were .300 lodges of them, about 1,700 peojile. Eagle Pipe, 
Turning Bear, High Hawk, Short Bull, Lance, No Flesh, Pine Bird, Crow Dog, Two 
Strike, and White Horse were the leaders. 

Well, the people after veering off in this way, many of them who believe in peace 
and order at our agency, were very anxious that some influence should be brought 
upon these people. In addition to our love of peace we remembered that many of 
these people were related to us by blood. So we sent out peace commissioners to the 
people who were thus running away from their agency. 

I understood at the time that they were simply going away from fear because of 
so many soldiers. So constant was the word of these good men from Pine Ridge 
agency that finally they succeeded iu getting away half of the party from Rosebud, 
from the place where they took refuge, and finally were brought to the agency at 
Pine Ridge. Young-Man-Afraid-of-his-Horses, Little Wound, Fast Thunder, Louis 
Shangreau, .John Grass, Jack Red Cloud, and myself were some of these peace- 

The remnant of the party from Rosebud not taken to the agency finally reached 
the wilds of the Bad Lands. Seeing that we had succeeded so well, once more we 
sent to the same party in the Bad Lands and succeeded in bringing these very Indians 


out of the depths of the liatl Lands and were being hronijht toward the agency. 
When we were about a day's journey from our agency we heard that a certain party 
of Indians ( Big Foot's band) from the Cheyenne Kiver agency was coming toward 
Pine Ridge in flight. 

CArXAlN Sword. Those who actually went oft' of the Cheyenne River agency 
probably number 30.3, and there were a few from the Standing Rock reserve with 
them, but as to their number I do not know. There were a number of Ogalallas, 
old men and several school boys, coming back with that very same party, and one of 
the very seriously wounded boys was a member of the Ogalalla boarding school at 
Pine Ridge agency. He was not on the warpath, but was simply returning home to 
his agency and to his school after a summer visit to relatives on the Cheyenne river. 

TuRNixi; Hawk. When we heard that these people were coming toward our 
agency we also heard this. These people were coming toward Pine Ridge agency, 
and when they were almost on the agency they were met by the soldiers and sur- 
rounded and finally taken to the Wounded Knee creek, and there at a given time 
their guns were demanded. When they had delivered them up, the men were sepa- 
rated from their families, from their tipis, and taken to a certain spot. When the 
guns were thus taken and the men thus separated, there was a crazy man, a young 
man of very bad influence and in fact a nobody, among that bunch of Indians fired 
his gun, and of course the firing of a gun must have been the breaking of a military 
rule of some sort, because immediately the soldiers returned fire and indiscriminate 
killing followed. 

Spotted House. This man shot an officer in the army; the first shot killed this 
ofiBcer. I was a voluntary scout at that encounter and I saw exactly what was done, 
and that was what I noticed ; that the first shot killed an officer. As soon as this 
shot was fired the Indians immediately began drawing their knives, and they were 
exhorted from all sides to desist, but this was not obeyed. Consequently the firing 
began immediately on the part of the soldiers. 

TlRXlNG Hawk. All the men who were in a bunch were killed right there, and 
those who escaped that first fire got into the ravine, and as they went along up the 
ravine for a long distance they were pursued on both sides by the soldiers and shot 
down, as the dead bodies showed afterwards. The women were standing oft' at a 
different place from where the men were stationed, and when the firing began, those 
of the men who escaped the first onslaught went in one direction uj) the ravine, and 
then the women, who were bunched together at another place, went entirely in a 
difli'erent direction through an open field, and the women fared the same fate as the 
men who went up the deep ravine. 

American Horse. The men were separated, as has already been said, from the 
women, and they were surrounded by the soldiers. Then came next the village of 
the Indians and that was entirely surrounded by the soldiers also. When the firing 
began, of course the ])eop]e who were standing immediately around the young man 
who fired the first shot were killed right together, and then they turned their guns, 
Hotchkiss guns, etc., upon the women who were in the lodges standing there under 
a flag of truce, and of course as soon as they were fired upon they fled, the men flee- 
ing in one direction and the women running in two dift'erent directions. So that 
there were three general directions in which they took flight. 

There was a women with an infant in her arms who was killed as she almost 
touched the flag of truce, and the women and children of course were strewn all 
along the circular village until they were dispatched. Right near the flag of truce 
a mother was shot down with her infant; the child not knowing that its mother 
was dead was still nursing, and that esiiecially was a very sad sight. The women 
as they were fleeing with their babes were killed together, shot right through, and 
the women who were very heavy with child were also killed. All the Indians fled 
in these three directions, and after most all of them had been killed a cry was made 
that all those who were not killed or wounded should come forth and they would 
be safe. Little boys who were not wounded came out of their places of refuge, and 


as soon as they came in sight a number of soldiers surrouniled them and butchered 
them tbere. 

Of course we all feel very sad about this affair. I stood very loyal to the govern- 
ment all through those troublesome days, and believing so much in the government 
and being so loyal to it, my disappointment was very strong, and I have come to 
Washington with a very great blame on my heart. Of course it would have been 
all right if only the men were killed : we would feel almost grateful for it. But the 
fact of the killing of the women, and more especially the killing of the young boys 
and girls who arc to go to make up the future strength of the Indian jieople, is the 
saddest part of the whole affair and we feel it very sorely. 

I was not thereat the time liefore the burial of the bodies, but I did go there with 
some of the police and the Indian doctor and a great many of the people, men from 
the a"-encv, and we went through the battlefield and saw where the bodies were 
from the track of the blood. 

Turning Hawk. I had just reached the point where I said that the women were 
killed. We heard, besides the killing of the men, of the oushiught also made upon 
the women and children, and they were treated as roughly and indiscriminately as 
the men and boys were. 

Of course this affair brought a great deal of distress upon all the people, but 
especially upon the minds of those who stood loyal to the government and who did 
all that they were able to do in the matter of bringing about peace. They espe- 
cially have suffered much distress and are very much hurt at heart. These peace- 
makers continued on in their good work, but there were a great many fickle young 
men who were ready to be moved by the change in the events there, and conse- 
quently, in spite of the great fire that was brought upon all, they were ready to 
assume any hostile attitude. These young men got themselves in readiness and 
went in the direction of the scene of Uattleso they might be of service there. They 
got there and finally exchanged shots with the soldiers. This party of young men 
was made up from Rosebud, Ogalalla (Pino Ridge), and members of any other 
agencies that happened to be there at the time. While this was going on in the 
neighborhood of Wounded Knee— the Indians and soldiers exchanging shots — the 
agency, otir home, was also fired into by the Indians. Matters went on in this strain 
until the evening came on, and then the Indians went off down by White Clay creek. 
When the agency was fired upon by the Indians from the hillside, of course the shots 
were returned by the Indian police who were guarding the agency buildings. 

Although lighting .seemed to have been in the air, yet those who believed in peace 
Were still constant at their work. Young-JIan-Afraid-of-his-Horses, who had been 
on .a visit to some other agency in the north or northwest, returned, and immediately 
went out to the people living about White Clay creek, on the border of the Bad 
Lands, and brought his people out. He succeeded iu obtaining the consent of the 
people to come out of their place of refuge and return to the agemy. Thu.s the 
remaining portion of the Indians who started from Rosebud were brought back into 
the agency. Mr Commissioner, during the days of the great whirlwind out there, 
those good men tried to hold up a counteracting power, and that was "Peace." We 
have now come to realize that peace has prevailed and won the day. While we were 
engaged in bringing about peace our property was left behind, of course, and most 
of us have lost everything, even down to the matter of guns with which to kill ducks, 
rabbits, etc, shotguns, and guns of that order. When Young-Man-Afraid brought 
the people in and their gnus were asked for, both men who were called hostile and 
men who stood loyal to the government delivered up their guns. 

Chapter XIV 



In tlie meantime overtures of peace liail been maae oy General Miles 
to tbe hostiles, most of whose leaders be knew personally, having 
received their surrender on the Yellowstone ten years before, at the 
close of the Custer war. On the urgent representations of himself 
and others Congress had also appropriated the necessary funds for car- 
rying out the terms of the late treaty, by the disregard of which most 
of the trouble had been caused, so that the commander was now able 
to assure the Indians that their rights and necessities would receive 
attention. They were urged to come in and surrender, with a guaranty 
that the general himself would represent their case with the govern- 
ment. At the same time they were informed that retreat was cut oif 
and that further resistance would be unavailing. As an additional 
step toward regaining their confidence, the civilian agents were removed 
from the several disturbed agencies, which were then put in charge of 
military officers well known and respected by the Indians. Cheyenne 
Eiver agency was assigned to Captain J. H. Hurst, and Kosebud agency 
to Captain J. M. Lee, while Royer, at Pine Ridge, was superseded on 
January 8 by Captain F. E. Pierce. The last named officer was after- 
ward relieved by Captain Charles G. Penney, who is now in charge. 
{W(tr,;?2; Comr.,3S; G. D., 45.) 

The friendly overtures made by General Miles, with evidences that 
the government desired to remedy their grievances, and that longer 
resistance was hopeless, had their effect on the hostiles. Little Wound, 
Young inan-afraid-of-his-horses (more properly, " Youngmanof-whose- 
horsesthey-are-afraid). Big Road, and other friendly chiefs, also used 
their persuasions with such good effect that by January 12 the whole 
body of nearly 4,000 Indians had moved in to within sight of the 
agency and expressed tlieir desire for peace. The troops closed in 
around them, and on the 16th of January, 1891, the hostiles surren- 
dered, and the outbreak was at an end. They complied with every 
order and direction given by the commander, and gave up nearly 200 
rifles, which, with other arms already surrendered, made a total of 
between (300 and 700 guns, more than had ever before been surrendered 
by the Sioux at one time. As a further guaranty of good faith, the 
commander demanded the surrender of Kicking Bear and Short Bull, 
the principal leaders, with about twenty other prominent warriors, as 



hostages. The demand was readily complied with, and the men desig- 
nated came forward voluntarily and gave themselves up as sureties for 
the good conduct of their people. They were sent to Fort Sheridan, 
Illinois, near Chicago, where they were kept until there was no further 
apprehension, and were theu returned to their homes. ( War, 23; Colby, 
8.) After the surrender the late hostiles pitched their camp, numlier- 
ing in all 742 tipis, in the bottoia along White Clay creek. Just west of 
the agency, where General Allies had supplies of beef, coffee, and sugar 
issued to them from the commissary department, and that night they 
enjoyed the first full meal they had known in several weeks. 

Thus ended the so called Sioux outbreak of 1800-91. It might be 
better designated, however, as a Sioux panic and stampede, for, to 
quote the expressive letter of McGillycuddy, writing under date of 
January 15, 1891, "Up to date there has been neither a Sioux out- 
break or war. No citizen in Nebraska or Dakota has been killed, 
molested, or can show the scratch of a pin, and no property has been 
destroyed off the reservation." ( Colby, 0.) Only a single noncombatant 
was killed by the Indians, and that was close to the agency. The 
entire time occupied by the campaign, from the killing of Sitting Bull 
to the surrender at Pine Ridge, was only thirty-two. days. The late 
hostiles were returned to their homes as speedily as ])Ossible. The 
Brule of Rosebud, regarded as the most turbulent of the hostiles, were 
taken back to the agency by Captain Lee, for whom they had respect, 
founded on an acqtiaintance of several years' standing, without escort 
and during the most intense cold of winter, but without any trouble or 
dissatisfaction whatever. The military were returned to their usual 
stations, and within a few weeks after the surrender affairs at the vari- 
ous agencies were moving again in the usual channel. 

An unfortunate event occurred just before the surrender in the killing 
of Lieutenant E. W. Casey of the Twenty-second infantry by Plenty 
Horses, a young Brul6, on January 7. Lieutenant Casey was in com- 
mand of a troop of Cheyenne scouts, and was stationed at the mouth 
of White Clay creek, charged with the special duty of watching the 
hostile camp, which was located 8 miles farther up the creek at No 
Water's place. On the day before his death several of the hostiles had 
visited him and held a friendly conference. The next morning, in com- 
pany with two scouts, he went out avowedly for the purpose of observ- 
ing the hostile camp more closely. He rode up to within a short distance 
of the camp, meeting and talking with several of the Indians on the 
way, and had stopped to talk with a half-blood relative of Red Cloud, 
when Plenty Horses, a short distance away, deliberately shot him 
through the head, and he fell from his horse dead. His body was not 
disturbed by the Indians, but was brought in by some of the Cheyenne 
scouts soon after. Plenty Horses was arraigned before a United States 
court, but was acquitted on the ground that as the Sioux were then at 
war and the oflBcer was practically a spy ujjon the Indian camp, the act 



was not muraer iii the legal sense of tiie word. Lieutenant Casey had 
been for a year in charge of the Cheyenne scouts and had taken great 
interest in their welfare and proficiency, and his death was greatly 
deplored by the Indians as the insane act of a boy overcome by the 
excitement of the times. {War, 34 ; Comr., S!i; Colby, 10; G. I)., 16.) 
On January 11 an unprovoked murder was committed on a small 
party of peaceable Indians on Belle Fourche, or North fork of Cheyenne 
river, by which the Indians who had come in to surrender were once 
more thrown into such alarm that for a time it seemed as if serious 
trouble might result. A party of Ogalala from Pine Ridge, consisting 
of Few Tails, a kindly, peaceable old man, with his wife, an old woman, 
and One Feather, with his wife and two children— one a girl about 13 
years of ago and the other an infant — had been hunting in the Black 
Hills under a pass from the agency. They had had a successful hunt, and 
were returning with their two wagons well loaded with meat, when they 
camped for the night at the mouth of Alkali creek. During the even- 
ing they were visited by some soldiers stopping at a ranch a few miles 
distant, who examined their pass and pronounced it all right. In the 
morning, after breakfast, the Indians started on again toward the agency, 
but had gone only a few hundred yards when they were fired upon by 
a party of white men concealed near the road. The leaders of the 
whites were three brothers named Culbertson, one of whom had but 
recently returned from the penitentiary. One of the murderers had 
visited the Indians in their camp the night before, and even that very 
morning. At the first fire Few Tails was killed, together with both 
ponies attached to the wagon. His wife jumped out and received two 
bullets, which brought her to the ground. The murderers rode past her, 
however, to get at the other Indian, who was coming up behind in the 
other wagon with his wife and two children. As soon as he saw his 
companion killed. One Feather turned his wagon in the other direction, 
and, telling his wife, who had also been shot, to drive on as fast as she 
could to save the children, he jumped upon one of the spare ponies and 
held off the murderers until his family had had time to make some dis- 
tance, lie then turned and joined his family and drove on for some 8 or 
10 miles until the pursuers came up again, when he again turned and 
fought them oft', while his wife went ahead with the wagon and the 
children. The wounded woman bravely drove on, while the two little 
children lay down in the wagon with their heads covered up in the 
blankets. As they drove they passed near a house, from which several 
other shots were fired at the fiying mother, when her husband again 
rode up and kept oft' the whole party until the wagon could get ahead. 
Finally, as the ponies were tired out, this heroic man abandoned the 
wagon and put the two children on one of the spare ponies and his 
wounded wife and himself upon another and continued to retreat until 
the whites gave up the pursuit. He finally reached the agency with the 
wife and children. 


The wife of Few Tails, after falling wounded by two bullets beside tlie 
wagon in which was her dead husband, lay helpless and probably uncon- 
scious upon the ground through all the long winter night until morning, 
when she revived, and finding one of the horses still alive, mounted it 
and managed by night to reach a settler's house about 15 miles away. 
Instead of meeting help and sympathy, however, she was driven off by 
the two men there with loaded rifles, and leaving her horse in her fright, 
she hurried away as well as she could with a bullet in lier leg and 
another in her breast, passing by the ti'ail of One Feather's wagon with 
tlie tracks of his pursuers fresh behind it, until she came near a trader's 
store about 20 miles farther south. Afraid to go near it on account of 
her last experience, the poor woman circled around it, and continued, 
wounded, cold, and starving as she was, to travel by night and hide 
l)y day until she reached the Bad Lands. The rest may be told in her 
own words: 

After that I traveled every nijilit, resting il.aytiiue, until I got here at the beef cor- 
ral. Theu I was very tired, and was near the military camp, and early in the morn- 
ing a soldier came out and he shouted something back, and in a few minutes fifty 
men were there, and they got a blanket and took me to a tent. I had no blanket 
and my feet were swelled, and I was about ready to die. After I got to the tent a 
doctor came in — a soldier doctor, because he had straps on his slioulders — and 
washed me and treated me well. 

A few of the soldiers camped near the scene of the attack had joined 
in the pursuit at the beginning, on the representations of some of the 
murderers, but abandoned it as soon as they found their mistake. 
According to all the testimony, the killing was a wanton, unprovoked, 
and deliberate murder, yet the criminals were acquitted in the local 
courts. The apathy displayed by the authorities of Meade county, 
South Dakota, in which the murder was committed, called forth some 
vigorous protests. Colonel Shaffer, in his statement of the case, con- 
cludes, referring to the recent killing of Lieutenant Casey : " So long as 
Indians are being arrested and held for killing armed men under condi- 
tions of war, it seems to me that the white murderers of a part of a 
band of peaceful Indians should not be permitted to escai^e punish- 
ment." The Indians took the same view of the case, and when General 
Miles demanded of Young nian-afraid-ofhis-horses the surrender of 
the slayers of Casey and the herder Miller, the old chief indignantly 
replied: "No; I will not surrender them, but if you will bring the white 
men who killed Few Tails, I will bring the Indians who killed the white 
soldier and the herder; and right out here in front of your tipi I will 
have my young men shoot the Indians and you have j-our soldiers shoot 
the white meri, and then we will be done with the whole business." 

In regard to the heroic conduct of One Feather, the ofticer then in 
charge of the agency says: "The determination and genuine courage, 
as well as the generalship he manifested in keeping at a distance the 
six men who were pursuing him, and the devotion he showed toward 
bis family, risking his life against great odds, designate him as entitled 
to a place on the list of heroes." ( War, 35; Comr., 4.0; G. !>., 47.) 


Oil tli(^ rcconimeiiflation of Geueral ^liles, a large delegation of the 
priiiciiial leaders of both friendly and hostile i)arties among the Sioux 
was allowed to visit Washington in February, ISltl, to i)ieseut their 
grievances and suggest remedies for dissatisfaction in the future. 
Among the principal speakers were: From Pine Kidge, American 
Horse, Captain George Sword, Big lioad, and He Dog; from Eosebud, 
White Bird and Turning Hawk ; from Cheyenne River, Little No Heart 
and Straight Head; from Standing Rock, John Grass and Mad Bear. 
The interpreters were Reverend C S. Cook, David Zephier, Louis 
Primean, Louis Richard, Clarence Three Stars, and Louis Shangreau. 
Their visit was eminently satisfactory and resulted in the inauguration 
of a more efficient administrati(;n of Sioux affairs for the future. Steps 
were taken to reimburse those whose ])onies had been confiscated at the 
time of the Custer war in 1870, and additional appropriations were 
made for rations, so that before the end of the year the Indians were 
receiving half as much more as before the outbreak. (War, 2G.) On 
returning to their homes the Indians of the various Sioux agencies 
went to work in good faith putting in their crops and caring for their 
stock, and in a short time all further apprehension was at an end. 

The discussion of Indian affairs in connection with the outbreak led 
to the passage by Congress of a bill which enacted that all future 
vacancies in the office of Indian agent should be filled by military 
officers selected by the Indian office and detailed for the purpose from 
the army. At the same time a plan was originated to enlist Indians as 
a component part of the regular army. Small parties from various 
tribes had long been attached to various posts and commands in an 
irregular capacity as scouts. These bodies of scouts were now reduced 
in number or disbanded altogether, and in their stead were organized 
Indian troops or companies to be regularly attached to the different 
cavalry or infantry regiments. In the spring of 1891 ofBcers were sent 
ont to various western reservations, and succeeded in thus recruiting a 
number of regular troops from among the most warlike of the tribes, 
a considerable part of these coming from the late hostile Sioux. 

Although the campaign lasted only about a month the destruction 
of life was great, for an Indian war, and the money loss to the govern- 
ment and to individuals was something enormous. Three officers and 
28 privates were killed or mortally wounded during the campaign, and 
4 officers and 38 privates were less seriously wounded, several of these 
dying later on. ( War, 37,) The Indian loss can not be stated exactly. 
In the arrest of Sitting Bull there were killed or mortally wounded 8 
of Sitting Bull's party and 6 police, a total of 14. Those killed in the 
Wounded Knee tight, or who afterward died of wounds or exposure, 
nnmbered, according to the best estimates, at least 250. Those after- 
ward killed in the various small skirmishes, including the Few Tails 
affair, may have numbered 20 or 30. In all, the campaign cost the 
lives of 49 whites and others on the government side and about 300 or 
more Indians. 


The direct or incidental expenses of the campaign were as follows: 
Expenses of the Dei)aitmeiit of Justice for defending Plenty Horses and 
prosecuting the murderers of Few Tails, unknown ; appropriation by 
Congress to reimburse Nebraska national guard for expense of service 
during the campaign, $43,000; paid out under act of Congress to reim- 
burse friendly Indians and other legal residents on the reservations for 
property destroyed by hostiles, $97,646.85 {Gomr., 41); extra expense 
of Commissary department of the army, $37,764.69; extra expense of 
the Medical department of the army, $1,164, besides extra supplies pur- 
chased by individuals; extra expenses of Ordnance department of the 
army, for ammunition, not accounted for; total extra expense of Quar- 
termaster's department of the army, $915,078.81, including $120,634.17 
for transportation of troops over bonded railroads. (A. G. 0.,8.) The 
total expense, imblic or private, was probably but little short of 
$1,200,000, or nearly $40,000 per day, a significant commentary on the 
bad policy of breaking faith with Indians. 

According to the report of the agency farmer sent out after the 
trouble to learn the extent of property of the friendly Indians destroyed 
by the hostiles on Pine Ridge agency, there were burned 53 Indian 
dwellings, 1 church, 2 schoolhouses, and a bridge, all on White Clay 
creek, while nearly every remaining house along the creek had the win- 
dows broken out. A great deal of farming machinery and nearly all 
of the hay were burned, while stoves were broken to pieces and stock 
killed. A few of the friendly Indians had been so overcome by the 
excitement that they had burned their own houses and run their 
machinery down high hills into the river, where it was found frozen 
in the ice several months later. {G. !>., J8.) 

In view of the fact that only one noncombatant was killed and no 
depredations were committed off the reservation, the panic among the 
frontier settlers of both Dakotas, Nebraska, and Iowa was something 
ludicrous. The inhabitants worked themselves into such a high panic 
that ranches and even whole villages were temporarily abandoned and 
the people flocked into the railroad cities with vivid stories of murder, 
scalping, and desolation that had no foundation whatever in fact. A 
reliable authority who was on the ground shortly after the scare had 
subsided gives this characteristic instance among others: 

In another city, a place of 3,000 inhabitants, 75 miles from any Indians and 150 
miles from any hostiles, word came about 2 o'clock Sunday morning for the militia 
to be in readiness. The company promptly assembled, were instructed and drilled. 
In an evening church service one of the pastors broke out in prayer : " O Lord, pre- 
pare us for what awaits us. We have just been listening to the sweet sounds of 
praise, but ere the morning sun wo may hear the war whoop of the red man." The 
effect on children and nervous persons niiiy be imagined. The legislature was in 
session and the impression ui)OU that body was such as to lead it to make an appro- 
priation for the benefit of the state militi.a .at the expense of one to the state agricul- 
tural fair. (Comr.,4C'.) 

The crisis produced the usual crop of patriots, all ready to serve their 
country — usually for a consideration. Among these was a lady of Utica, 


New York, claiming to be of the renowned Iroquois blood, and styling 
herself the "Doctor Princess Viroqna,'' who, with her sister " Wyninia," 
wrote to the Indian Office for a commission to go out to try the effect of 
moral suasion on the belligerent Sioux, representing that by virtue of 
her descent from a long line of aboriginal princes she would be wel- 
comed with enthusiasm and accomplish hei' mission of peace. ( G. D., 19.) 
As a matter of fact, neither of the names Viroqua or Wynima could 
be pronounced by a genuine Iroquois knowing only his own tongue, and 
the second one, Wynima, is borrowed from Meacham's sensational his- 
tory of the Modoc war in California. 

The proprietor of a "wild west" show in New York, signing himself 
Texas Ben, wrote also volunteering bis services and submitting as 
credentials his museum letter-head, stating that he had served with 
Quantrell, and had the written indorsement of Cole Y'ounger. An old 
veteran of the Iowa sohliers' home wrote to Secretary Noble, with a 
redundance of capitals and much bad spelling, offering his help against 
the hostiles, saying that he had been "KAZeD" among them and could 
"ToLK The TUN" and was ready to "Do eueThin FoK mY CuntRY." 
(G. I>., 50.) 

A band of x>atriots in JNIinnesota, whose early education appears to 
have been somewhat neglected, wrote to the Secretary of the Interior 
offering to organize a company of 50 men to put down the outbreak, 
provided the government would look after a few items which they 
enumerated: "The government to Furnish ns with Two good Horses 
Each a good Winchester liitle, Two good Cotes Eevolvers and give us 
$300.00 Bounty and say a Salary of Fifty Per Month, Each and our 
own judgment and we will settcl this Indian question For Ever, and 
Rations and Ammnniti<m. We Should Have in addition to this say 
Five dollars a Head." {G. B., 51.) 

A man named Albert Hopkins appeared at Pine Ridge in December, 
1890, wearing a blanket and claiming to be the Indian messiah, and 
announced his intention of going alone into the Bad Lands to the 
Indians, who were expecting his arrival, with the " Pansy Banner of 
Peace." His claims were ridiculed by Red Cloud and others, and he 
was promptly arrested and put off the reservation. However, he was 
not dead, but only sleeping, and on March, 1893, having come to Wash- 
ington, he addressed an urgent letter to Secretary Noble requesting 
official authority to visit the Sioux reservations and to preach to the 
Indians, stating that " with the liel]) of the Pansy and its motto and 
manifest teaching, 'Union, Culture, and Peace,' and the star-pansy 
banner, of which I inclose an illustration, I hope to establish the per- 
manent peace of the border." He signs himself "Albert C. Hopkins, 
Pres. Pro. tem. The Pansy Society of America." 

The letter was referred to the Indian Office, which refused permission. 
This brought a reply from Hoijkins, who this time signs himself "The 
Indian Messiah," in which he states that as the Indians were expecting 
the messiah in the spring, " in accordance witb the prophecy of Sitting 


Bull," it was necessarj that lie sliould go to them at once, so that they 
might " accept the teaching of the pansy and its motto, which now 
they only partially or very doubtfnlly accept/' 

deceiving no answer, he wrote again about the end of ]March, both 
to the Secretarj' and to the Indian Commissioner, stating that messiahs, 
being human, were subject to human limitations, of which fact the 
Indians were well aware, but warning these officials that if these limi- 
tations were set by the government it would be held responsible for 
Lis nonappearance to the Indians, as he had iiromised, "before the 
native pansies blossom on the i)rairies." He ends by stating that he 
would leave on Easter Sunday for the Sioux country, but as nothing was 
heard of him later, it is presumed that he succumbed to the limitations, 
{G. D., 52.) 

The first direct knowledge of the messiah and the Ghost dance came 
to the northern Arapaho in Wyoming, through Xakasli, "Sage," who, 
with several Shoshoni, visited the messiah iu the early spring of 1889, 
and on his return brought back to his people the first songs of the 
dance, these being probably some of the original Paiute songs of the 
messiah himself. The Ghost dance was at once inaugurated among 
the Shoshoni and northern Arapaho. In the summer of the same year 
the first rumors of the new redeemer reached the southern Arapaho 
and Cheyenne iu Oklahoma, through the medium of letters written by 
returned pupils of eastern government schools. 

Fresh reports of wonderful things beyond the mountains were con- 
stantly coming to the northern prairie tribes, and the excitement grew 
until the close of the year 1889, when a large delegation, including 
Sioux, northern Cheyenne, and northern Arapaho, crossed the moun- 
tains to the Paiute country to see and talk with the messiah. Among 
the Sioux delegates were Shoit Bull, Pire Thunder, and Kicking Bear, 
as already stated. Among tlie Cheyenne were Porcupine and several 
others, including one woman. The Arapaho representatives were Sit- 
ting Bull (Hilnii'chii-thi'iVk) and Friday. The delegates from the differ- 
ent tribes met at Wind River reservation, in Wyoming, which they left 
about Christmas, and after stopping a shoit time among the Bannock 
and Shoshoni at Fort Hall, went on to Walker lake, in Nevada. They 
were gone some time and returned to Wyoming in March of 1890, the 
Sioux and Cheyenne continuing on to their homes farther east. Accord- 
ing to the statement of ISTakash they had a five days' conference with the 
messiah, who at one time went into a trance, but his visitors did not. 

Before their return the southern Arapaho, in Oklahoma, had sent up 
Wa'tiin-ga'a, "Black Coyote," an officer of the Indian police, and 
Washee, a scout at Fort Keno, to their relatives iu Wyoming to learn 
definitely as to the truth or falsity of the rumors. Washee went on to 
Fort Hall, where his faith failed him, and he came back with the report 
that the messiah was only a half-blood. This was not correct, but 
Washee himself afterward acknowledged that he had based his report 










on hearsay. Black Coyote remaiiu>d until the other delegates returned 
from the Paiute country with the annouucemeut that all that had been 
said of the messiah and the advent of a new earth was true. He listened 
eao-erly to all they had to tell, took ])art with the rest in the dance, 
learned the songs, and returned in April, 1890, and inaugurated the 
first Ghost dance in the south among the Arapaho. 

The Cheyenne, being skeptical by nature, were unwilling to trust 
entirely to the report of Black Coyote and so sent up two delegates of 
their own, Little Chief and Bark, to investigate the story in the north. 
Somewhat later White Shield, another Cheyenne, went up alone on the 
same errand. Their report being favorable, the Chey >nne also took up 
the Ghost dance in the summer of 1890. They never went into it with 
the same fervor, however, and although they had their separate dance 
with songs in their own language, they more commonly danced together 
with the Arapaho and sang with them the Arapaho songs. For several 
years the old Indian dances had been nearly obsolete with these tribes, 
but as the new religion meant a revival of the Indian idea they soon 
became common again, with the exception of the war dance and others 
of that kind which were strictly prohibited by the messiah. 

From this time the Ghost dance grew in fervor and frequency among 
the Arapaho and Cheyenne. In almost every camp the dance would be 
held two or three times a week, beginning about sunset and often con- 
tinuing until daylight. The excitement reached fever heat in September, 
1890, when Sitting Bull came down from the northern Arapaho to 
instruct the southern tribes in the doctrine and ceremony. 

At a great Ghost dance held on South Canadian river, about 2 miles 
below the agency at Darlington, Oklahoma, it was estimated that 3,000 
Indians were present, including nearly all of the Arapaho and 
Cheyenne, with a number of Caddo, "Wichita, Kiowa, and others. The 
first trances of the Ghost dance among the southern tribes occurred 
at this time through the medium of Sitting Bull. One informant states 
that a leader named Howling Bull had produced trances at a dance on 
the Washita some time before, but the statement lacks confirmation. 

As Sitting Bull was the great apostle of the Ghost dance among the 
southern tribes, being regarded almost in the same light as the mes- 
siah himself, he merits special notice. He is now about 42 years of 
age and at the beginning of his apostleship in 1890 was but 36. He is 
a full-blood Arapaho, although rather light in comiilexion and color of 
eyes, and speaks only his native language, but converses with ease in 
the universal sign language of the plains. It was chiefly by means of 
this sign language that he instructed his disciples among the Caddo, 
Wichita, and Kiowa. He is about 5 feet S inches tall, dignified but 
plain in his bearing, and with a particularly winning smile. His power 
over those with whom he comes in contact is evident from the report of 
Lieutenant (now Captain) Scott, who had been ordered by the War 
Department to investigate the Ghost dance, and who for weeks had 
14 ETH — PT 2 17 



[ETH. AXN. 14 

been denouncing liim as a liumliug, but wlio, ou finally meeting bini for 
the first time, declares tliat the oiiinion formed before seeing him 
began to change in his favor almost immediately. (G. D., 53.) In con- 
versation with the author Sitting lUiU stated that he was originally a 
southern Arapaho, but went up to live with the northern branch of the 
tribe, in Wyoming, about 1876. When a boy in the south he was 
known as Bitiiye, "Captor," but on reaching manhood his name was 
changed, in conformity with a common Indian custom, toHiiuii'chii-thi'flk, 
"Sitting Bull." On returning to the south, after having visited the 
messiah, he found his brother known under the same name, and to 
avoid confusion the brotlier then adopted the name of Scabby Bull, 
by which he is now known. It should be mentioned that an Indian 

Fig. 83 — Sitting Bull tlie Arapalio apostle. 

"brother" may be only a cousin, as no distinction is made in tlie Indian 
system. On removing to the south he fixed his abode near Cantonment, 
Oklahoma, wliere he now resides. 

With regard to the reverence in which he was held by his disciples 
at this time, and of his own sincerity, Captain Scott says: 

It was very difficult to get an opportunity to talk with him quietly on account of 
the persistent mnnner in which he was followed about. All sorts of people wanted 
to touch him, men and women Avould conic in, rub their hands on him. and cry, which 
demonstration he received with a patient fortitude that was rather ludicrous at 
times. While he by no means told ns everything he knew, it was easy to believe 
that he was not the rank impostor that I had before considered him. He makes no 
demands for presents while at these camps. This trip entailed a ride of 200 miles in 


the Tvinter season, at the request of the Wichitas, for which I imderstand they paid 
him $50 before starting, but everything that was given him while at this camp 
was a voluntary gift, prompted entirely by the good wishes of the giver. He took 
but little property away when he left, and I saw but one horse that I thought he 
had not brought down with him. 

Upon being asked concerning his religion, he said that all I heard must not 
bo attributed to him, as some of it was false; thiit he does not believe that he saw 
the veritable "Jesus" alive in the north, but he did see a man there whom "Jesus" 
had helped or inspired. This jierson told him that if he persevered in the dauce it 
would cause sickness and death to disappear. He avoided some of the questions 
about the coming of the bufl'alo, etc, and under the circumstances it was not possi- 
ble to draw him out further, and the subject of religion was then dropped, with the 
intention of taking it np at a more favorable time, but this time never came. A 
great mauy of the doings seen at these dances are the afterthoughts of all kinds of 
people. I have seen some of them arise and have watched their growth. These are 
not the teachings of Sitting Bull, although he refrains from interfering with them 
through policy. He took no part in the humbuggery going on, but danced and 
sang like the humblest individual there. These things, taken in connection with 
Apiatan's letter, would make it seem that Sitting Bull has been a dupe himself 
partly, and there is a possibility that he is largely sincere in his teachings. There is 
this to be said in his favor, that he has given these people a better religion than they 
ever had before, taught thera precepts which if faithfully carried out will bring 
them into better accord with their white neighbors, and has prepared the way for 
their final Christianization. For this he is entitled to no little credit. (G. 1>., 54.) 

He made uo claim to be a regular medieiue-man, and so far as known 
never went into a trance Limself. Since the failure of his predictions, 
especially with regard to the recovery of the ceded reservation, he has 
fallen from his high estate. Truth compels us also to state that, in spite 
of his apostolic character, he is about as uncertain in his movements as 
the average Indian. 

After Sitting Bull, the principal leader of the Ghost dauce among the 
southern Arapaho is Wa'tiin-ga'a or Black Coyote, from whom the 
town of Watonga, in Canadian county, derives its name. Black Coyote 
is a man of considerable importance both in his tribe and in his own esti- 
mation, and aspires to be a leader in anything that concerns his people. 
With a natural predisposition to religious things, it is the dream of his 
life to be a great priest and medicine-man. At the same time he keeps 
a sharp lookout for his temporal affairs, and has managed to accu- 
mulate considerable property in wagons and livestock, including three 
wives. Although still a young man, being but little more than 40 years 
of age, he has had his share of the world's honors, being uot only a 
leader in the Ghost dance and other Indian ceremonies, tribal delegate 
to Washington, and captain of the Indian police, but also, in his new 
character of an American citizen, deputy sheriff of Canadian county. 
He is a good-natured fellow, and vain of his possessions and titles, but 
at the same time thoroughly loyal and reliable in the discharge of his 
duties, and always ready to execute his orders at whatever per.sonal 
risk. His i>riestly ambition led him to make the journey to the north, 
in which he brought back the first songs of the Ghost dance, and thus 
became a leader, and a year later he headed a delegation from Okla- 


lioma to the messiah of Walker lake. He has repeatedly asked me to 
get for him a permanent license from the government to enable him to 
visit the various reservations at will as a general evangel of Indian 
medicine and ceremony. Black Coyote in full uniform, with official 
badge, a Harrison meilal, and an immense police overcoat, which he pro- 
cured iu Washington, and riding with his three wives in his own double- 
seated coach, is a spectacle magnificent and impressive. Black Coyote 
in breechcloth, paint, and feathers, leading the Ghost dance, or sitting 
flat on the ground and beating the earth with his hand in excess 
of religious fervor, is equally imjiressive. It was this combination of 
vanity of leadership and sense of duty as a government officer that 
made him my first and most willing informant on the Ghost dance, 
and enabled me through him to do so much with the Arapaho. 

Iu his portrait (plate cv) a number of scars will be noticed on his 
chest and arms. The full number of these scars is seventy, iirranged 
in various patterns of lines, circles, crosses, etc, with a long figure of 
the sacred pipe on one arm. According to his own statement they were 
made in obedience to a dream as a sacrifice to save the lives of his 
children. Several of his children had died in rapid succession, and in 
accordance with Indian custom he undertook a fast of four days as an 
expiation to the overruling spirit. During this time, while lying on his 
bed, he heard a voice, somewhat resembling the cry of an owl or the 
subdued bark of a dog. The voice told him tliatif he wished to save 
his other children he must cut out seventy i)ieces of skin aud offer them 
to the sun. He at once cut out seven i^ieces, held them out to the sun 
a7id prayed, and then buried them. But the sun was not satisfied, and 
soon after he was warned in a vision that the full number of seventy 
must be sacrificed if he would save his children. He then did as 
directed, cutting out the pieces of skin iu the various ijatterns indicated, 
offering each in turn to the sun with a prayer for the health of his 
family, and then burying them. Since then there has been no death 
in his family. In cutting out the larger pieces, some of which were 
several inches long and nearly half an inch wide, the skin was first 
lifted up with an awl aud then sliced away with a knife. This had to 
be done by an assistant, and Black Coyote was particular to sliow me 
by signs, sitting very erect and bracing himself firmly, that he had not 
flinched during the process. 

As has been stated, the first trances in the southern Ghost dance 
occurred at the great dance held near the Cheyenne and Arapaho 
agency under the auspices of Sitting Bull iu September, 1890. On 
this occasion Cheyenne and Arapaho, Caddo, Wichita, Kiowa, and 
Apache to the number of perhaps 3,000 assembled, and remained together 
for about two weeks, dancing every night until daylight. This was the 
largest Ghost dance ever held in the south. After dances had been held 
for two or three nights Sitting Bull announced that at the next one he 
would perform a great wonder in the sight of all the people, after 




wliifli they would be able to make songs for themselves. He said no 
more, but dismissed them to their tipis, wondering what this miracle 
could be. Ou the next night he appeared wearing a wide-brim hat 
with a single eagle feather, the same hat iu which he is generally seen. 
Nearly all of the two tribes of Cheyenne and Arapaho were present, 
and probably 600 or 800 were in the dance circle at one time. Nothing- 
unusual occurred for several hours until the dancers had gradually 
worked themselves up to a high state of excitement, when Sitting Bull 
stepped into the circle, and going up close in front of a young Arapaho 
woman, he began to make hypnotic passes before her face with the 
eagle feather. In a few seconds she became rigid and then fell to the 
ground unconscious. Sitting Bull then turned his attentiou to another 
and another, and the same thing happened to each in turn until nearly 
a hundred were stretched out on the ground at once. As usual in the 
trances some lay thus for a long time, and others recovered sooner, but 
none were disturbed, as Sitting Bull told the dancers that these were 
now beholding happy visions of the spirit world. When next they 
came together those who had been iu the trance related their experiences 
in the other world, how they had met and talked with their departed 
friends and joined in their oldtime amusements. Many of them 
embodied their visions in songs, which were sung that night and after- 
ward in the dance, and from that time the Ghost dance was naturalized 
iu the south and developed rapidly along new lines. Each succeeding 
dance resulted in other visions and new songs, and from time to time 
other hypnotists arose, until almost every camp had its own. 

About this time a commission arrived to treat with the Cheyenne 
and Arapaho for the sale of their reservation. The Indians were 
much divided in opinion, the great majority opposing any sale what- 
soever, even of their claim in the Cherokee strip, which they believed 
was all that the agreement was intended to cover. While the debate 
was iu progress Left Iland, chief of the Arapaho, went to Sitting 
Bull and asked his opinion ou the matter. Sitting Bull advised him 
to sell for what they could get, as they had need of the money, and 
in a short time the messiah would come and restore the laud to them. 
On tliis advice Left Hand signed the agreement, iu the face of threats 
from those opposed to it, and his example was followed by nearly all of 
his tribe. This incident shows how thoroughly Sitting Bull and the 
other Arapaho believed iu the new doctrine. In view of the misery 
that has come on these tribes from the sale of their reservation, it is 
sad to think that they could have so deceived themselves by false 
hopes of divine interposition. A large party of the Cheyenne refused 
to have anything to do with the sale or to countenance the transacti(m 
by accepting their share of the purchase money, even after the whites 
had taken possession of the lands. 

The troubles in the Sioux country now began to attract public atten- 
tion, and there was suggestion of military interference. The news- 


paper liar has reached an abnormal development in Oklahoma, and 
dispatches from Guthrie, El Reno, and Oklahoma City were filled 
witli vivid accounts of war dances, scalping parties, and imminent out- 
breaks, mingled with frantic appeals for troops. A_ specimen disi)atch 
stated that a thousand Kickapoo were dancing, whereas in fact the 
whole tribe numbers only 325, very few of whom were in any way con 
cerned with the Ghost dance. Indian Commissioner Morgan was at this 
time (November, 1890) on a tour of inspection among the western tribes 
of Oklahoma, and satisfied himself that all such sensational reports 
were false, and that there was no danger to be apprehended from the 
dance. (6r. 7)., 55.) At the same time the War Department commis- 
sioned Lieutenant (now Captain) H. L. Scott, of the Seventh cavalry, 
then and now stationed at Fort Sill, Oklahoma, to investigate the mean- 
ing of the excitement and the possibility of an outbreak. Captain 
Scott was eminently fitted for the work by his intimate acquaintance 
with the Indians and his perfect knowledge of the sign language. In 
the course of December, 1890, and January and February, 1891, he vis- 
ited the various camps of the western tribes of the territory, attended 
a number of dances, and talked with the leaders. His reports on the 
Ghost dance are most valuable, and confirmed the War Department iu 
its previous opinion that no danger was to be api)rehended, and that 
the true policy was one of noninterference. 

The dance constantly gathered strength among the Arapaho and 
Cheyenne, in spite of the failure of the first prediction, and spread 
rapidly to the neighboi'ing tribes. Sitting Bull himself being the high 
priest and chief propagandist. The adverse report brought back by 
A'piataii, the Kiowa, in the spring of 1891 had no effect outside of his 
own tribe. In the early jjart of that year the Arapaho and Cheyenne 
sent a delegation, including one woman, to visit the messiahin Nevada 
and bring back the latest news from heaven. Thej' were gone a consid- 
erable time and returned with some of the sacred medicine paint given 
them by Wovoka, after having taken part with the Paiute in a Ghost 
dance under his leadership at the regular dance ground near ]Mason 
valley. Tall Bull, captain of the Cheyenne police, was one of this party, 
and Arnold Woolworth, a Carlisle student, acted as interpreter. 

In August, 1891, another delegation went out, consisting of Black 
Coyote, Little Eaven, Red Wolf, Grant Left Hand, and Casper Edson 
(Arapaho), and Black Sharp Nose and Standing Bull (Cheyenne). 
Grant Left Hand and Casper Edson, Carlisle students, acted as inter- 
preters, wrote down the words of tiie messiah, and delivered his message 
to their people on their return. Tliis message, as written down at the 
time by Casper Edson, is given in the preceding chapter on the doctrine 
of the Ghost dance. In accord with the messiah's instructions the two 
tribes now changed their manner of dancing from frequent small dances 
at each camp at irregular intervals to larger dances participated in by 
several camps together at regular intervals of six weeks, each dance 


continuing: for five consecutive days. The Caddo and Wichita also 
adopted the new rule in agreement with instructions brought back by 
a delegation sent out about the same time. The change was opposed 
by Sitting Bull and some others, but the delegates, having the authority 
of the messiah for the innovation, succeeded in carrying their point, 
and thereafter assumed a leadership on equal terms with Sitting Bull, 
who from that time lost much of his interest in the dance. Tliey were 
gone about two weeks, and brouglit back with them a quantity of the 
sacred paint and a large number of magpie feathers, the kind commonly 
worn by the Paiute in the Ghost dance. This started a demand for 
magpie feathers, and the shrewd traders soon turned the fact to their 
own advantage by importing selected crow feathers, whicli they sold to 
the unsuspecting Indians for the genuine article at the rate of two 
feathers for a iiuarter. While in the land of the Paiute the delegates 
took part in the Ghost dance at Mason valley, and were thrown into a 
trance by Wovoka, as related in chapter ix. 

The Ghost dance practically superseded all other dances among the 
(3heyenne and Arapaho, and constantly developed new features, nota- 
bly the auxiliary "crow dance," which was organized by Grant Left 
Hand. This was claimed as a dance seen in a trance vision of the spirit 
world, but is really only a modification of the "Omaha dance," common 
to the northern prairie tribes. The opening of the reservation and 
the influx of the whites served to intensify the religious fervor of the 
Indians, who were now more than ever made to feel their dependent 
and helpless condition. It was impossible, however, that the intense 
mental strain could endure forever, and after the failure of the predic- 
tions on the appointed dates the wild excitement gradually cooled and 
crystallized into a fixed but tranquil expectation of ultimate happiness 
under the old conditions in another world. 

In October, 1S02, another delegation, consisting of Sitting Bull and 
his wife, with Washee and two other Arapaho, and Edward Guerrier, a 
half-blood Cheyenne, visited the messiah. They brought back a very 
discouraging report, which was in substance that the messiah was 
tired of so many visitors and wanted them to go home and tell their 
tribes to stop dancing. Although the Indians generally refused to 
accept the message as genuine, the effect was naturally depressing. 
A year later, in October, lS!t3, Black Coyote and several others dictated 
through me a letter to Wovoka, asking him to send them some of the 
sacred paint or anything else that, would make them think of him, 
with " some good words to help us and our children," and requesting 
to know whether he had been truthfully reported by the delegates of 
the i)receding year. To one who knows these people their simple 
religious faith is too touching to be a subject of amusement. 

The messiah doctrine never gained many converts among the Coman- 
che, excepting those of the Peniite'ka division and a few others living 


on the Little Washita aucl other streams on the northern boundary of 
the reservation, adjoining the tribes most interested in the Ghost dance. 
These Comanche held a few Ghost dances and made a few songs, but the 
body of the tribe would have nothing to do with it. This lack of interest 
was due partly to the general skej)tical temperament of the Comanche, 
evinced in their carelessness in regard to ceremonial forms, and partly 
to their tribal pride, which forbade their following after the strange gods 
of another people, as they considered their own mescal rite sufficient to 
all their needs. Quanah Parker, their head chief, a shrewd half-blood, 
opposed the new doctrine and prevented its spread among his tribe. 

The Ghost dance was brought to the Pawnee, Pouca, Oto, Missouri, 
Kansa, Iowa, Osage, and other tribes in central Oklahoma by delegates 
from the Arapaho and Cheyenne in the west. The doctrine made slow 
jjrogress for some time, but by February, 1892, the majority of the 
Pawnee were dancing in confident expectation of the speedy coming of 
the messiah and the buffalo. Of all these tribes the Pawnee took most 
interest in the new doctrine, becoming as much devoted to the Ghost 
dance as the Arapaho themselves. The leader among the Pawnee was 
Frank "White, and among the Oto was Buffalo Black. The agent in 
charge took stringent measures against the dance, and had the Oto 
prophet arrested and confined in the Wichita jail, threatening at the 
same time to cut off sujiplies from the tribe. As the confederated Oto 
and Missouri number only 362 iu all, they were easily brought into sub- 
jection, and the dance was abandoned. The same method was pursued 
with the Pawnee prophet and his people, but as they ai-e stronger in 
number than the Oto, they were proportionately harder to deal with, 
but the final result was the same. (Comr., 43.) The Osage gave but 
little heed to the story, perhaps from the fact that, as they are the 
wealthiest tribe in the country, they feel no such urgent need of a 
redeemer as their less fortunate brethren. The Sauk, Fox, Kickapoo, 
and Potawatomi engaged in the dance only to a limited extent, for the 
reason that a number of the natives of these tribes, particularly the 
Potawatomi, are under Catholic influences, while most of the others 
adhere to the doctrine of Ktinakfdv, the Potawatomi j)rophet mentioned 
iu chapter V. 

The Ghost dance doctrine was communicated directly to the Caddo, 
Wichita, Kichai, Delaware, and Kiowa by the Arapaho and Cheyenne, 
their neighbors on the north. We shall speak now of the tribes first 
mentioned, leaving the Kiowa until the last. The Caddo, Wichita, 
Kichai, and several remnants of cognate tribes, with a small band of 
the Delaware, numbering in all about a thousand Indians, occupy a 
reservation between the Washita and the South Canadian in Avestern 
Oklahoma, having the Arapaho and Cheyenne on the north and west, 
the Kiowa on the south, and the whites of Oklahoma and the Chick- 
asaw nation on the east. The Caddo are the leading tribe, numbering 


more than half of the whole body. They were the first of these to take 
up the dance, and have manifested the greatest interest in it from the 
time it was introduced among them. 

A number of Caddo first attended the great Ghost dance held by the 
Cheyenne and Arapaho on the South Canadian in the fall of IS'JO on 
the occasion when Sitting Bull came down from the north and inaugu- 
rated the trances. On returning to their homes they started the Ghost 
dance, which they kept xip, singing the Ai'apaho songs as they had heard 
them on the Canadian, until Sitting Bull came down about December, 

1890, to give them further instruction in the doctrine and to " give the 
feather" to the seven persons selected to lead the ceremony. From tliis 
time the Caddo had songs and trances of their own, the chief priest 
and hypnotist of the dance being Xishku'ntu, "Moon Head," or John 
Wilson. The Caddo and the Delaware usually danced together on 
Boggy creek. The Wichita and the Kichai, who took the doctrine 
from the Caddo, usually danced together on Sugar creek about 15 miles 
from the agency at Anadarko, but manifested less interest in the 
matter until Sitting Bull came down about the beginning of February, 

1891, and "gave the feather" to the leaders. From this time all these 
tribes went into the dance heart and soul, on some occasions dancing 
for days and nights together from the middle of the afternoon until the 
sun was well up in the morning. The usual custom was to continue 
until about midnight. Cold weather had no deterrent effect, and they 
kept up the dance in the snow, the trance subjects sometimes lying 
unconscious in the snow for half an hour at a time. At this time it was 
confidently expected that the great change would occur in the spring, 
and as the time drew near the excitement became most intense. The 
return of the Kiowa delegate, A'piatan, in the middle of February, 1891, 
with a report adverse to the messiah, produced no eflect on the Caddo 
and their confederates, who refused to put any faith in his statements, 
claiming that he had not seen the real messiah or else had been bribed 
by the whites to make a false report. 

About the time that Black Coyote and the others went out to see the 
messiah in the fiill of 1891 the Caddo and their confederates sent out a 
delegation for the same purjiose. The delegates were Billy Wilson and 
Squirrel (Caddo), I^ashtowi and Lawrie Tatum (Wichita), and Jack 
Harry (Delaware). Tatum was a schoolboy and acted as interpreter 
for the party. Like the Arapaho they came back impressed with rev- 
erence for the messiah, and at once changed the time and method of the 
dancing, in accordance with his instructions, to periodical dances at 
intervals of six weeks, continuing for five consecutive days, the dance 
on the last night being kept up until daylight, when all the participants 
went down to bathe in the stream and then dispersed to their homes. 
They were dancing in this fashion when last visited in the fall of 1893. 

The principal leader of the Ghost dance among the Caddo is Nish- 
ku'ntu, "Moon Head," known to the whites as John Wilson. Although 
considered a Caddo, and speaking only that language, he is very much 


of a mixture, being half Delaware, oue-fourtli Caddo, and one-fourth 
French. One of his grandfathers was a Frenchman. As the Caddo 
lived originally in Louisiana, there is a considerable mixture of French 
blood among them, which manifests itself in his case in a fairly heavy 
beard. He is about 50 years of age, rather tall and well built, and 
wears his hair at full length flowing loosely over his shoulders. With 
a good head and strong, intelligent features, he jiresents the appear- 
ance of a natural leader. He is also prominent in the mescal rite, 
which has recently come to his tribe from the Kiowa and Comanche. 
He was one of the first Caddo to go into a trance, the occasion being 
the great Ghost dance held by the Arapaho and Cheyenne near 
Darlington agency, at which Sitting Bull presided, in the fall of 1890. 
On his return to consciousness he had wonderful things to tell of his 
experiences in the spirit world, composed a new song, and from that 
time became the high priest of the Caddo dance. Since then his 
trances have been frequent, both in and out of ^he Ghost dance, and 
in addition to his leadership in this connection he assumes the occult 
powers and authority of a great medicine-man, all the powers claimed 
by him being freely conceded by his people. 

When Captain Scott was investigating the Ghost dance among the 
Caddo and other tribes of that section, at the period of greatest excite- 
ment, in the winter of 1890-91, he met Wilson, of whom he has this 
to say: 

John AVilsou, a Caildo man ot much i)rominence, was especially afl'ected, perform- 
ing a series of gyrations that were most remarkable. At all hours of the day and 
night his cry could be heard all over camp, and when found he would be dancing in 
the ring, possibly upon one foot, with his eyes closed and the forefinger of his right 
hand pointed upward, or iu some other ridiculous posture. Upon being aslved bis 
reasons for assuming these attitudes he replied that he could not help it; that; it 
came over him just like cramps. 

Somewhat later Captain Scott says : 

John Wilson had progressed finely, and was now a full-fledged doctor, a healer of 
diseases, and a finder of stolen property through supernatural means. One day, 
while we were iu his tent, a Wichita woman entered, led by the spirit. It was 
explained to us that she did not even know who lived there, but some force she 
could not account for brought her. Having stated her case to .John, he went off 
into a fit of the jerks, ia which his spirit went up and saw "his father" [i.e., God], 
who directed him how to cure this woman. When he came to, he explained the cure 
to her, and sent her away rejoicing. Soon afterwards a Keechei man came in, who 
was blind of one eye, and who desired to have the vision restored. John again 
consulted his father, who informed him that nothing could be done for that eye 
because tliat man held aloof from the dance. 

While the author was visiting the Caddo on Sugar creek in the fall 
of 1893, John Wilson came down from his own camp to explain his part 
in the Ghost dance. He wore a wide-brim hat, with his hair flowing 
down to his shoulders, and on his breast, suspended from a cord about 
his necij, was a curious amulet consisting of the polished end of a 
buffalo horn, surrounded by a circlet of downy red feathers, within 
another circle of badger and owl claws. He explained that this was the 


source of his propbetic and clairvoyant insjjiration. The bnffalo horn 
■was "God's heart," the red feathers contained his own heart, and the 
circle of claws represented the world. When he prajed for help, his 
heart coniinnned with "God's heart," and he learned what he wished to 
know. He had much to say also of the moon. Sometimes in his trances 
he went to the moon and the moon taught him secrets. It must be 
remembered that sun, moon, stars, and almost every other thing in 
nature are considered by the Indians as endowed with life and s])irit. 
He claimed an intimate acquaintance with the other world and asserted 
positively that he could tell me "just what heaven is like." Another 
man who accompanied him had a yellow sun with green rays painted on 
his forehead, with an elaborate rayed crescent in green, red, and yellow 
on his chin, and wore a necklace from which depended a crucifix and a 
brass clock-wheel, the latter, as he stated, representing the sun. 

On entering the room where I sat awaiting him, Nishkfi'ntn ap- 
Ijroached and performed mystic glasses in front of my face with his 
hands, after the manner of the hypnotist priests in the Ghost dance, 
blowing upon me the while, as he afterward explained to blow evil 
things away from me before beginning to talk on religious subjects. 
He was good enough to state also that he had prayed for light before 
coming, and had found that my heart was good. Laying one hand on 
my head, and grasping my own hand with the other, he prayed silently 
for some time with bowed head, and then lifting his hand from my 
head, he passed it over my face, down my shoulder and arm to the 
hand, which he grasi:)ed and pressed slightly, and then released the 
fingers with a graceful iipward sweep, as in the minuet. The first 
part of this — the laying of the hands upon the head, afterward draw- 
ing them down along the face and chest or arms — is the regular 
Indian form of blessing, reverential gratitude, or prayerful entreaty, 
and is of frequent occurrence in connection with the Ghost dance, 
when the believers ask help of the priests or beg the prayers of the 
older people. The next day about twenty or more Caddo came by on 
their way to the agency, all dressed and painted for a dance that was 
to be held that night. They stopped awhile to see us, and on entering 
the room where we were the whole company, men, women, and children, 
went through the same ceremony, with each one of the inmates in 
turn, beginning with Wilson and myself, and ending with the members 
of the family. The ceremony occupied a considerable time, and was 
at once beautiful and impressive. !Not a word was said by either 
party during the while, excepting as someone in excess of devotion 
would utter prayerful exclamations aloud like the undertone of a 
litany. Every face wore a look of reverent solemnity, from the old 
men and women down to little children of and 8 years. Several of 
them, the women especially, trembled while praying, as under the 
excitement of the Ghost dance. The religious greeting being over, 
the women of the family, with those of the party, went out to prepare 
the dinner, while the rest remained to listeu to the doctrinal discussion. 


The Kiowa were predisposed to accept tlie doctrine of the Ghost 
dauce. No tribe had made more desperate resistance to the encroach- 
ments of the whites npon their hunting grounds, and even after the 
failure of the last effort of the confederated tribes in 1874-75, the 
Kiowa were slow to' accept the verdict of defeat. The result of this 
unsuccessful struggle was to put an end to the boundless freedom of 
the prairie, where they had roamed unquestioned from Dakota almost 
to central Mexico, and henceforth the tribes were confined within the 
narrow limits of reservations. Within five years the great southern 
butt'alo hei'd was extinct and the Indians found themselves at once 
prisoners and paupers. The change was so swift and terrible in its 
effects that they could not believe it real and final. It seemed to them 
like a dreatn of sorrow, a supernatural cloud of darkness to jiunish 
their derelictions, but which could be lifted from them by prayer and 
sacrifice. Their old men told of years when the buffalo was scarce or 
had gone a long way off', but never since the beginning of the world of 
a time when there was no buffalo. The buffalo still lived beyond their 
horizon or in caves under the earth, and with its return would come 
back prosperity and freedom. Before we wonder at their faith we 
must remember that the disappearance of these millions of buffalo in 
the space of a few years has no jjarallel in the annals of natural history. 

In 1881 a young Kiowa named Da'tekaii, "Keeps-his-name-always," 
began to "make medicine" to bring back the buffalo. He set uj) a 
sacred tipi, in front of which he erected a pole with a buffalo skin at the 
top, and made for himself a priestly robe of red color, trimmed with 
rows of eagle feathers. Then standing in front of his tipi he called the 
l)eoi)]c around him and told them that he had been commanded and 
empowered in a dream to bring back the buffalo, and if they observed 
strictly the prayers and ceremonies which he enjoined the great herds 
would once more cover the prairie. His hearers believed his words, 
promised strict obedience, and gave freely of their blankets and other 
l^roperty to reward his efforts in their behalf Da'tekaii retired to his 
sacred tipi, where, in his feiithered robe of oftice, he continued to 
prophesy and make bnfialo medicine for a year, when he died without 
seeing the realization of his hopes. The excitement caused by his pre- 
dictions came to the notice of the agent then in charge, who mentions 
it in his aTinual report, without understanding the cause. On a Kiowa 
calendar obtained by the author the event is recorded in a pictograph 
which represents the medicine-man in his tipi, with his scarlet robe 
over his shoulders and a buffalo beneath his feet (figure 84). 

About six years later, in 1887, another prophet, named Pa'-iTigya, 
"In the Middle," revived the prophecy, claiming to be heir to all the 
supernatural powers of his late jiredecessor. He amplified the doctrine 
by asserting, logically enough, that as the whites were responsible 
for the disappeannice of the buffalo, the whites themselves would be 
destroyed by the gods when the time was at hand for the return of 




the buffalo. He preacbed also bis own invulnerability and claimed 
the power to kill with a look those who might ofl'end him, as far as 
his glance could reach. He fixed his headiju.irters on Elk creek, near 
the western limit of the reservation, where he inaugurated a regular 
series of ritual observances, under the management of ten chosen 
assistants. Finally he announced that the time was at hand when the 
whites would be removed and the buffalo would return. He ordered 
all the tribe to assemble on Elk creek, wliere after four days he would 
bring down tire from heaven which would destroy the agency, the 
schools, and the white race, with the Indian unbelievers all together. 
The faithful need not fear pursuit by the troops, for the soldiers who 
might follow w o u 1 d 
wither before his glance 
and their bullets would 
have no eftect on the 
Indians. On the same 
Kiowa calendar this 
prediction is recorded in 
another ijictograph in- 
tended to represent hy- 
ing bullets. The whole 
Kiowa tribe caught the 
infection of his words. 
Every camp was aban- 
doned, parents took 
their children from the 
schools, and all fled to 
the rendezvous on Elk 
creek. Here they waited 
patiently for their de- 
liverance till the pre- 
dicted day came and 
passed without event, 
when they returned 

with sadness to their camps and their government rations of white 
man's beef. Pa'-ingya still lives, but tlie halo of prophecy no longer 
surrounds him. To account for the disappointment he claimed that his 
people had violated some of the ordinances and thereby postponed the 
destined happiness. In this way their minds were kept dwelling on 
the subject, and when at last the rumor of a niessiah came from the 
north he hailed it as the fulfillment of the prediction. 

Early in the summer of l.SOO the news of the advent of the messiah 
reached the Kiowa, and in June of that year they sent a delegation of 
about twenty men under the leadership of Pa'tadal, "Poor Buffalo," to 
Cheyenne and Arapaho agency at Darlington to learn more about the 
matter. They brought back a favorable report and also a quantity of 

Fig. 84 — Two Kiowa prophecies (from a Xiowa calendar). 



[ETII. ANN. 14 

the sacred red. paint procured originally from the coiuitry of the inessiah. 
Soou after there was a great gathering of the Kiowa and Apache at the 
agency at Aiiadarko to receive a payment of "grass money" due from 
the cattlemen for the lease of pasturage on the reservation. On this 
occasion the (ibost dance was formally inaugurated among the Kiowa, 
Poor Buft'alo assuming direction of the ceremony, and painting the 
l)riucipal i^articipants withthesacred red i)aint with his own hands. The 

dance was carried back 
to their various camps and 
became a part of the tribal 

About this time a Sioux 
chief. High Wolf, came 
down from the north to 
visit the Uheyeiine, Arap- 
aho, Kiowa, aud other 
tribes in that section. lie 
remained some time among 
them, and on his return to 
the north invited a young 
Kiowa named A'piatan, 
''Wooden Lance," whose 
grandmother had been a 
Sioux captive, to come up 
and visit his relatives at 
I'ineliidge. The invitation 
was accepted by A'liiatau, 
partly for the pleasure of 
seeing a new tribe and 
meeting his mother's kin- 
dred, but chiefly for the 
puri)Ose of investigating 
for himself and for the 
Kiowa the truth of the 
messiah story. Apiatan, 
who speaks but little Eng- 
lish, and who was then about 30 years of age, had i-ecently lost a child 
to whom he had beeii very much attached. He brooded over his loss 
until the new doctrine came with its promise of a reunion with departed 
JViends and its possibility of seeing and talking with them in visions of 
the trance. Moved by parental affection, which is the ruling passion 
with an Indian, he determined on this long journey in search of the 
messiah, wlio was vaguely reported to be somewhere in the north, to 
learn from his own lips the wonderful story, and to see if it were possi- 
ble to talk again with his child. He discussed the matter with the 
chiefs, who decided to send him as a delegate to tind the messiah and 

Fig. 85— Poor Buffalo. 



Bf'ANK ', THE KUiW/-, [.'h'tAMER 



learn the truth or falsity of the reports, iii order that the Kiowa might 
be guided ])y the result on his return. X sufticient sum of money was 
raised for his expenses, and he left for the north in September, 1890. 
Almost the whole tribe had assembled at the agency to witness his 
departure, and each in turn of the principal men performed over him 
a ceremony of blessing, sueli as has already been described. His going 
and return are both recorded on the calendar previously mentioned. 

In October, 1890, shortly after A'piataQ's departure, Sitting Bull, the 
Arapaho prophet of the (xliost dance, came down from his tribe and 
gave new impetus to the excitement among the Kiowa. This event also 
is recorded on the same Kiowa calendar in a well-drawn picture repre- 
senting a buffalo standing beside the figure of a man ( figure 80). It is 
also indicated less definitely on another calendar ol)ta.ined from the tribe. 
Sitting Bull confirnieil, as by personal knowledge, all that had been told 

of the messiah, 

and predicted 
that the new 
earth would ar- 
rive in the follow- 
ing spring, 1891. 
The Kiowa as- 
sembled on the 
Washita, at the 
mouth of Kainy 
Mountain creek, 
and here, at the 
largest (Ihost 
dance ever held 
by the tribe, Sit- 

FlG. 8lj — Sitliuj; liuU coiuus dowu (fruiu .a Kiowa calendar). 

ting Bull conse- 
crated seven men 

and women as leaders of the daiK'C and teachers of the doctrine by giv- 
ing to each one a sacred featlier to be worn in the dance as the badge of 
priesthood. Until the Ghost dance came to the prairie tribes their 
women had never before been raised to such dignity as to be allowed 
to wear feathers in their hair. After "giving the feather" to the 
leaders thus chosen, they were taught the songs and ritual of the 
dance. At first the songs were all in the Arapaho language, but after 
the trances, which now began to be frequent, the Kiowa composed 
songs of their own. 

Among the dreamers and itrophets who now came to the front was one 
who merits more than a passing notice. His original name was Bi'aiik'i, 
" Eater," but on account of his frequent visits to the spirit world he is 
now known as Asa'tito'la, which may be freely rendered "The Messen- 
ger." For a long time he had been in the habit of going alone upon the 
mountain, there to fast and pray until visions came to him, when he would 


return and give to bis people the message of inspiration. Frequently 
these vigils were undertaken at the request of friends of sick people 
to obtain spiritual knowledge of the proper remedies to be applied, or 
at the request of surviving relatives who wished to hear from their 
departed friends in the other world. He is now about 55 years of age, 
quiet and dignified in manner, with a thoughtful cast of countenance 
which accords well with his character as a priest and seer. His intel- 
lectual bent is further shown by the fact that he has invented a system 
of ideographic writing which is nearly as distinct from the ordinary 
Indian pictograph system as it is from our own alphabet. It is based 
on the sign language of the plains tribes, the primary effort being to 
convey tlie idea by a pictured representation of the gesture sign ; bat, 
as in the evolution of the alphabet, a part is frequently put for the 
whole, and numerous arbitrary or auxiliary characters are added, until 
the result is a well developed germ of an alphabetic system. He has 
taught the system to his sons, and by this means was able to keep up a 
correspondence with them while they were attending Carlisle school. 
It is unintelligible to the rest of the tribe. I have specimens of this 
curious graphic method, obtained from the father and his sons, which 
maybe treated at length at some future time. In the picture of Asa'ti- 
to'la (plate cvi), he holds in one hand a .paper on which is depicted 
one of his visions, while in the other is the pointer with which he 
explains its meaning. 

Plate cvri herewith represents this vision. On this occasion, after 
reaching the spirit world he found himself on a vast prairie covered 
with herds of buffalo and ponies, represented respectively in the 
picture by short black and green lines at the top. He went on through 
the buffalo, the way being indicated by the dotted green lines, until he 
came to a large Kiowa camp, in which, according to their old custom, 
nearly every tipi had its distinctive style of painting or ornamentation 
to show to what family it belonged, all these families being still repre- 
sented in the tribe. He went on to the point indicated by the first 
heavy blue mark, where he met four young women, whom he knew as 
having died years before, returning on horseback with their saddle- 
pouches filled with wild plums. After some couversatiou he asked 
them about two brothers, his relatives, who had died some time ago. 
He went in the direction pointed out by the young women and soon 
met the two young men coming into camx) with a load of fresh buffalo 
meat hung at their saddles. Their names were Emanki'na, "Can't- 
holdit," a policeman, and E'pea, " Afraid-ofhim," who had died 
while held as a prisoner of war in Florida about fifteen years before. 
It will be noted that they are represented in the picture as armed only 
with bows and arrows, in agreement with the Ghost-dance doctrine of 
a return to aboriginal things. After proceeding some distance he 
retraced his steps aud met two curious beings, represented in the 
picture by green figures with crosses instead of heads. These told him 





MooNEv] a'piatan's pilgrimage 911 

to go ou, aud on doing so he came to an immeuse circle of Kiowa danc- 
ing the Ghost dauce around a cedar tree, indicated by the bhick circle 
with a green figure resembling a tree in the center. He stood for a 
while near the tree, shown by another blue mark, when he saw a woman, 
whom he knew, leave the dance. He hurried after her until she readied 
her own tipi and went into it — shown by the blue mark beside tlie red 
tipi with red flags on the ends of the tipi poles — wlien he turned around 
and came back. She belonged to the family of the great chief Set- 
t'ainti, " White Bear," as indicated by the red tipi with red flags, no 
other warrior in the tribe having such a tipi. On iiKpiiring for his 
own relatives he was directed to tlie other side of the camp, where he 
met a man — represented by the heavy black inark^ — who told him his 
own people were inside of the next tipi. On entering he found the 
whole family, consisting of his father, two brothers, two sisters, and 
several children, feasting on fresh buffalo beef from a kettle hung 
over the fire. They welcomed him and offered him some of the meat, 
which for some reason he was afraid to taste. To convince him that it 
was good tliey held it up for him to smell, when he awoke and found 
himself lying alone upon the mountain. 

A'ljiatan went on first to Pine liidge, where he was well received by 
the Sioux, who had much to say of the new messiah in the west. He 
was urged to stop and join them in the Ghost dance, but refused and 
hurried on to Fort Washakie, where he met the northern Arapaho and 
the Shoshoni, whom he called the "northern Comanches." Here the new 
prophecy was the one topic of conversation, and after stopping only 
long enough to learn the proper route to tlie Paiute country, he went 
ou over the Union Pacific railroad to Nevada. On arriving at tlie 
agency at Pyramid lake the Paiute furnished him a wagon and an 
Indian guide across the country to the home of Wovoka in the upper 
end of Mason valley. The next day he was admitted to his i^resence. 
The result was a complete disappointment. A single interview con- 
vinced him of the utter falsity of the pretensions of the messiah and the 
deceptive character of the hopes held out to the believers. 

Saddened and disgusted, A'piatail made no stay, but started at once 
on his return home. On his way back he stojiped at Bannock agency 
at Fort Hall, Idaho, and from there sent a letter to his people, stating 
briefly that he had seen the messiah and that the messiah was a fraud. 
This was tlie first intimation the Kiowa had received from an Indian 
source that their liopes were not well grounded. The author was pres- 
ent when the letter was received at Anadarko and read to the assem- 
bled Indians by A'piatan's sister, an educated woman named Laura 
Dunmoi, formerly of Carlisle school. The result was a division of 
0]iinion. Some of the Indians, feeling that the ground had been taken 
from under them, at once gave up all hope and accepted the inevitable 
of despair. Others were disposed to doubt the genuineness of the let- 
ter, as it had come through the medium of a white man, and decided 
14 ETH PT 2 16 



[ETIl. AXN. 14 

to withhold their decision until they could hear directly from the dele- 
gate himself. A'piatau returned in the middle of February, 1S91. The 
agent sent notice to tlie \arious camps on the reservation for the Indiniis 

J' n;. 87 — A'i>i;itau. 

to assemble at the agency to hear his report, and also sent a request to 
Cheyenne and Arapaho agency to have Sitting Kull com« down at the 
same time so that the Indians might hear both sides of tlie story. 

MoosEv] a'piatan's return 913 

The eomicil was licld at the agency at Anadarko, Oklahoma, on Feb- 
ruary 19, 1891, the author being among those present on the ocfasiou.. 
It was a great g-athering, representing every tribe on the reservation,, 
there being also in attendance a number of Arapaho who had accom- 
panied Sitting Bull from the other agency. Everything said was inter- 
jireted in turn into English, Kiowa, Comanche, Caddo, Wichita, and 
Arapaho. This was a slow process, and necessitated frequent repetition, 
so that the talk occupied all day. A'piataPi first made his report, which 
was interpreted into the various languages. Questions were asked by 
the agent, Mr Adams, and by leading Indians, and after the full details 
had been obtained in this manner Sitting Bull, the Arapaho, was called 
on to make his statement. The scene was dramatic in the highest 
degree. Although in a certain sense Sitting Bull himself was on trial^ 
it meant more than that to the assembled tribe. Their power, pros- 
]ierity, and happiness had gone down, their very race was withering 
away before the white man. The messiah doctrine promised a restora- 
tion of the old conditions through su])ernatural assistance. If this 
hojie was without foiindatioii, the Indian had no future and his day 
was forever past. 

After some preliminaries A'piatan arose and told his story. He had 
gone on as related until he arrived at the home of Wovoka in Mason 
valley. Here he was told that the messiali could not be seen until the 
next day. On being liually admitted to his iiresence lie found hiui lying 
down, his face covered with a blanket, and singing to himself. When 
he had finished the song the messiah uncovered his face and asked 
A'piatan, through an interpreter, what he wanted. As A'piatan had 
approached with great reverence under the full belief that the messiah 
was omniscient, able to read his secret thoughts and to speak all lan- 
guages, this (juestion was a great surprise to him, and his faith at once 
began to waver. However, he told who he was and why he had come, 
and then asked that he be permitted to see some of his dead relatives, 
particularly his little child. Wovoka replied that this was impossible, 
and that there were no spirits there to be seen. With their mixture of 
Christian and aboriginal ideas many of the Indians had claimed that 
this messiah was the veritable Christ and bore upon his hands and feet 
the scars of the crnciflxion. Xot seeing these scars, A'piatan expressed 
some doubt as to whether Wovoka was really the messiah he had come 
so far to see, to which Wovoka replied that he need go no farther for 
there was no other messiah, and went on to say that he had preached to 
Sitting r>ull and the others and had given them a new dance, but that 
some of them, especially the Sioux, had twisted things and made 
trouble, and now A'piatan had better go home and tell his people to quit 
the whole business. Discouraged and sick at heart A'piatan went out 
from his presence, convinced that there was no longer a god in Israel. 

After the story had been told and interpreted to each of the tribes, 
Sitting Bull was called on for his statement. He told how he had 
visited the messiah a year before and what the messiah had said to 


Lira. The two versions were widely different, and tbere can be little 
question that Wovoka made claims and prophecies, supported by 
hypnotic pertonnances, from which he afterward receded when he 
found that the excitement had gone beyond his control and resulted 
in an Indian outbreak. Sitting Bull insisted on the truth of his 
own representations, and when accused by A'piatan of deceiving the 
Indians in order to obtain their property he replied that he had never 
asked them for the ponies whicli they had given him, and that if they 
did not believe what he had told them they could come and take their 
ponies again. A'piataii replied that that was not the Kiowa road; 
what had once been given was not taken back. Sitting Bull spoke in 
a low musical voice, and the sott Arapaho syllables contrasted pleas- 
antly with the choking sounds of the Kiowa and the boisterous loud- 
ness of the Wichita. I could not help a feeling of pity for him when at 
the close of the council he drew his blanket around him and went out 
from the gathering to cross the river to the Caddo camp, attended 
only by his faithful Arapahos. For his services in reporting against 
the dance A'piatan received a medal from President Harrison. 

This was for some time the end of the Ghost dance among the Kiowa, 
for while some few of the tribes were disposed to doubt the honesty or 
correctness of the report, the majority accepted it as iinal, and from 
that time the dance became a mere amusement for children. The other 
tribes, however — the Caddo, Wichita, and their allies — refused to accept 
the report, claiming that A'piatan bad been hired by white men to lie 
to the Indians, and that he had never really seen the messiah, as he 
claimed. Even the Apache, although in close tribal connection with 
the Kiowa, continued to hold to the doctrine and the dance. 

Note. — Since the above was written and while awaiting publication 
there has been a revival of the Ghost dance among the Kiowa, brought 
about chiefly tJirougli the efforts of Bi'iink i, Pa'tadal, and others of its 
former priests. After several times dispersing the dancers and threat- 
ening them with severe penalties if they persisted, the agent was finally 
obliged to give permission, on the earnest request of a delegation of 
chiefs and head men of the tribe, with the result that in September, 
1S!)4, the Kiowa publicly revived the ceremony in a great dance on the 
Washita, which lasted four days and was attended by several thousand 
■Indians from all the surrounding tribes. 







The original of this pictiiii' was drawn in ii>loied inkH on hnikskin by Yellow 
Nose, a lite captive anion^ the Cheyenne, in 1891. It was obtained from him by the 
author and is now deposited in the National Musenm at Washiugtcm. Besides being 
a particularly line specimen of Indian pictography, it gives an excellent idea of the 
ghost dance as it was at that time among the Cheyenne and Arapaho. The dancers 
are in full costume, with paint and feathers. The women of the two tribes are 
plainly distinguished by the arrangennnt of their hair, the Cheyenne women having 
the hair braided at the side, while the Arapaho women wear it hanging loosely. Two 
of the women carry children on their backs. One of the men carries the bu'ijali wheel, 
another a shinny stick, and a woman hoUls ont the sacred crow, while several wave 
handkerchiefs which aid in producing the hypnotic ett'ect. In the center arc several 
persons with arms outstretched and rigid, while at one side is seen the medicine- 
man hypnotizing a subject who stretches out toward him a blue handkerchief. The 
spotted object on the ground behind the medicine-man is a shawl which has fallen 
from the shoulders of the woman standing near. 

Chapter XY 

111 chapter xi we have spoken of the Ghost dance as it existed among 
the I'aiute, Slioslioui, Wahipai, and Cohoiiino^ west of tlie mountains. 
We shall now give a more detailed account of the ceremony and con- 
nected ritual among the prairie tribes. 


According to Dr Grinuell the Ghost dance among the northeru 
Cheyenne had several features not found in the south. Four fires 
were built outside of the dance circle and about 20 yards back from it, 
toward each of the cardinal points. These fires were built of long 
poles set up on end, so as to form a rude cone, much as the poles of a 
tijii are erected. The fires were lighted at the bottom, and thus made 
high bonfires, wliicU were kept up as long as the dance continued. 
(J. F. />., o.) 


Perhaps the most important feature in connection with the dance 
among the Sioux was the ''ghost shirt," already noticed and to be 
described luore fully hereafter. On account of the scarcity of l)uck- 
skin, these shirts were almost always made of white cloth cut and 
figured in the Indian fashion. The Sioux wore no metal of any kind 
in the dance, differing in ttiis respect from the southern tribes, who 
wore ou such occasions all their finery of German silver ornaments. 
The Sioux also began the dance sometimes in the morning, as well as 
in the afternoon or evening. Another important feature not found 
among the southern tribes, excepting the Kiowa, was the tree planted 
in the center of the circle and decorated with feathers, stuffed animals, 
and strips of cloth. 

At a Ghost dance at Xo Water's camp, near Pine Ridge, as described 
by J. F. Asay, formerly a trader at the agency, the dancers first stood 
in line facing the sun, while the leader, standing facing them, made a 
prayer and waved over their heads the "ghost stick,'' a staff about 6 
feet h)ng, trimmed with red cloth and feathers of the same color. After 
thus waving the stick over them, he faced the sun and made another 
prayer, after which the line closed up to form a circle around the tree 
and the dance began. During the prayer a woman standing near the 
tree held out a pipe toward the sun, while another beside her held out 
several (four?) arrows from which the points had been removed. On 



auother occasion, at a Ghost dauce at the same camp, four arrows, 
headed with bone iu the olden fashion, were shot up into the air from 
tlie center of the circle and afterward gathered up and hung- upon the 
tree, together with the bow, a gaming wheel and sticks, and a staff of 
peculiar shape (ghost stick!). See plate cxi. The ceremonies of fast- 
ing, painting, and the sweat-bath in connection with the Ghost dance 
among the Sioux have been already described. 

The best account of the dance itself and of the ghost shirt is given 
by Mrs Z. A. Parker, at that time a teacher on the Pine Eidge reserva- 
tion, writing of a Ghost dance observed by her ou White Clay creek, 
on June 20, 1890. We quote at length from her description: 

We drove to this spot aliout 10.30 oclock ou a deligUtful Oetolier ilay. We fame 
upon tents scattered liere and there in low, sheltered places long liefore reaching the 
dance ground. Presently we saw over three hundred tents placed iu a circle, with a 
large pine tree m the center, which was covered with strips of cloth of various 
colors, eagle feathers, sturt'ed hirds, claws, and horns — all ofl'eriugs to the Great 
Spirit. The ceremonies had just liegun. In the center, around the tree, were 
gathered their medicine-men ; also those who had been so fortunate as to have had 
visions and in them had seen and talked with friends who had died. A company of 
fifteen had started a chant and were marching abreast, others coming in behind as 
they marched. After marching around the circle of tents they turned to the center, 
■where many had gathered and were seated on the ground. 

I thiuk they wore the ghost shirt or ghost dress for the first time that day. I 
noticed that these were all new and were woru liy about seventy men and forty 
women. The wife of a man called Returu-from-scout had seen in a vision that her 
friends all wore a similar rolie, and on reviving from her trance she called the women 
together and they made a great number of the sacred garments. They were of white 
cotton cloth. The women's dress was cut like their ordinary dress, a loose rolie with 
wide, flowing sleeves, jiainted Idne in the neck, in the shape of a three-coruered 
handkerchief, with moon, stars, birds, etc, iuterspersed with real feather.s, painted 
on the waist and sleeves. While dancing they wound their shawls about their 
waists, letting them fall to within 3 inches of the ground, the fringe at the bottom. 
In the hair, near the crown, a feather was tied. I noticed an absence of any manner 
of liead ornaments, and, as I knew their vanity and fondness for them, wondered 
why it was. Upon making inquiries I found they discarded everything they could 
which was made by white men. 

The ghost shirt for the men was made of the same material — shirts and leggings 
painted in red. Some of the leggings were painted in stripes running up and down, 
others running arouud. The shirt was p;iinted blue around the neck, and the whole 
garment was fantastically sprinkled with figures of birds, bows and arrows, sun, 
moon, aud stars, and everything they saw in nature. Down the outside of the 
.sleeve were rows of feathers tied by the quill cuds and left to fly in the breeze, and 
also a row around the neck and up aud down the outside of the leggings. I noticed 
that a number had stuffed birds, S(]uirrel heads, etc, tied iu their long hair. The 
faces of all were painted red witli a black half-mixm on the forehead or on one 

As the crowd gathered about the tree the high priest, or master of ceremonies, 
began his address, giving them directions as to the chant and other matters. After 
he had spoken for about fifteen minutes they arose .and formed in a circle. As nearly 
as I could count, there were between three and four hunilred persons. One stood 
directly behind another, each with his hands ou his neighbor's shoulders. After 
walking about a few times, chanting, " Father, I come," they stoi)ped marching, but 





remained in the oircle, and set uj) the most fearful, heart-piercinf; wails I over 
heard — crying, moaning, groaning, and shrieking out their grief, and naming over 
their departed friends aud relatives, at the sanu' time taking up handfuls of dust at 
their feet, washing their hands in it, aud throwing it over their heads. Finally, they 
raised their eyes to heaven, their liauds clasped high above their heads, and stood 
straight aud perfectly still, invoking the power of the Great Spirit to allow theui to 
see and talk with their people who had died. This ceremouy lasted al>()ut fifteen 
minutes, when they all sat down where they were aud listened to another address, 
which I did not understand, hut which I afterwnr<ls learned were words of eucour- 
ageuieut and assurauce of the coming messiah. 

Wlieu they aruse again, they enlarged the circle by facing toward the center, tak- 
ing hold of hauds, and moving around iu the nuxnner of school children in their play 
of " needle's eye." Aud now the most intense exeitenient began. They would go as 
fast as they could, their hands moving from side to side, their bodies swaying, their 
arms, with hands gripped tightly iu their neighbors', swinging back and i'orth with 
all their might. If one, more weak and frail, came near falling, he would be jerked 
up and into position until tired nature gave way. The ground had been worked and 
woru by many feet, until the fine. Hour-like dust lay light and loose to the depth of 
two or three inches. The wind, which had increased, would sometimes take it up, 
enveliipiug the dancers and hiding them from view. In the ring were men, women, 
and children: the strong and the robust, the weak consumptive, aud those near to 
death's door. They believed those who were sick would be cured by joining iu the 
dance aud losing consciousness. From the beginning they chanted, to a monotonous 

tunc, the words — 

Father, I come; 

Mother, I come; 

Brother, I come; 

Father, give ns bade our arrows. 

All of which they would repeat over and over again until first one and then 
another would break from the ring aud stagger away anil fall down. One woman 
fell a few feet from me. She came toward ns. her hair tlying over her face, which 
was purple, looking as if the blood would burst through; her hands and arms mov- 
ing wildly; every breath a pant aud a groau; and she fell on her back, and went 
down like a log. I stopped up to her as she lay there motionless, but with every 
muscle twitching and (juiveriug. She seemed to be perfectly unconscious. Some 
of the men and a few of the women would run, stepping high and pawing the air 
in a frightful manner. Some told me afterwards that they had a sensation as if tlie 
ground were rising toward them and would strike them iu the face. Others would 
drop where they stood. One woman fell directly into the ring, and her husband 
stepi)ed out aud stood over her to prevent them from trampling upon her. No one 
ever disturbed those who fell or took any notice of them except to keej) the crowd 
away . 

They kept up dancing until fully 100 persons were lying unconscious. Then they 
stopped and seated themselves in a circle, aud as each one recovered from his trance 
he was brought to the center of the ring to relate his experience. Each told his 
story to the medicine-man aud he shouted it to the crowd. Not one iu ten claimed 
that he saw anything. I asked one Indian — a tall, strong fellow, straight iis an 
arrow — what his experience was. He said he saw an eagle coming toward him. It 
flew round and round, drawing nearer and nearer until he put out his hand to take 
it, when it was gone. I asked him what he thought of it. " Big lie,"' he replied. 
I found by talking to them that not one in twenty believed it. After resting for a 
time they would go through the same performance, perhaps three times .a day. 
They jiracticed fasting, and every moruiug those who joined iu the dance were 
obliged to immerse themselves in the crook. (Comr., J4.) 




As with church choirs, the leaders, botli men and women, frequently 
assembled privately in a tipi to rehearse the new or old songs for the 
next dance. During- the first winter spent among the Arapaho I had 
frequent opportunity of being present at these rehearsals, as for a long 
time the snow was too deep to permit dancing outside. After having 
obtained their confidence the Arai^aho police invited me to come up to 
their camp at night to hear them practice the sougs in anticipation of 
better weather for dancing. Thenceforth rehearsals were held in Black 
Coyote's tipi almost every night until the snow melted, each session 
usually lasting about three hours. 

On these occasions from eight to twelve persons were present, .sitting 
in a circle on the low beds around the fire in the (tenter. Black Coyote 
acted as master of ceremonies and opened proceedings by tilling and 
lighting the redstone pipe, offering the first whifi' to the sun, then 
reversing the stem in ottering to the earth, next presenting the pipe to 
the fire, and then to each of the four cardinal points. He then took a 
few putts himself, after which he jiassed the pipe to his next neighbor, 
who went through the same preliminaries before smoking, and thus the 
pipe went round the circle, each one taking only a few putts before 
passing it on. The pipe was then put back into its pouch, and Black 
Coyote, standing with his face toward the northwest, the messiali's 
country, with eyes closed and arms outstretched, made a fervent prayer 
for help and prosperity to his tribe, closing with an earnest petition 
to the messiah to hasten his coming. The others listened in silence 
with bowed heads. The prayer ended, they consulted as to tlie song 
to be sung first, which Black Coyote then started in a clear musical 
bass, the others joining. P'rom time to time explanations were made 
where the meaning of the song was not clear. They invited me to (;all 
for whatever songs I wished to hear, and these songs were repeated 
over and over again to give me an opportunity to write them down, but 
they waived extended discussion until another time. Usually the men 
alone were the singers, but sometimes Black Coyote's wives or other 
women who were present joined in tlie songs. It was noticeable that 
even in these rehearsals tiie women easily fell under the excitement of 
the dance. Finally, about 10 oclock, all rose together and sang the 
closing song, N'i'ninitubi'na Huhu, ''The Crow has given the signal," and 
the rehearsal was at an end. On one occasion, before I had obtained 
this song, 1 called for it iu order that I might write it down, but they 
explained that we must wait awhile, as it was the closing song, and if 
they sung it then they must quit for the night. 


On several occasions the dance ground was consecrated before the 
jierformance, one of the leaders going all about the place, sprinkling 
some kind of sacred powder over the groiuul and praying the while. 



a. Staff; b, c, Bow and bone-head arrows ; r/, Gaming wheel and sticks 


Fre(iiieutly iu thedauce one or more of the leaders while sitting within 
the circle would beat upon the earth with liis extended palm, then lay 
his hand uixiu iiis head, afterward blow into his hand, and then repeat 
the operation, praying: all the time. Sometimes the hyjinotist would 
beat the ground in the same way and then lay his hand on the head of 
the subject (plate cxv). No satisfactory explanation of this ceremony 
was obtained beyond the general idea that the earth, like the sun, the 
fire, and the water, is sacred. 


The ceremony of "giving the feather" has been already noticed. 
This was an official ordination of the priests in the dance, conferred 
on them by the apostle who first brought the ceremony to the tribe. 
Among the Arapaho, Caddo, Kiowa, and adjoining tribes in the south 
the feather was conferred by Sitting Bull himself. The feather was 
thus given to seven leaders, or sometimes to fourteen, that is, seven 
men and seven women, the number seven being sacred with most tribes 
and more particularly iu the (rhost dance. The feather, which was worn 
upon the head of the dancers, was either that of the crow, the sacred 
bird of the Ghost dance, or of the eagle, sacred in all Indian religions. 
If from the crow, two feathers were used, being attached at a slight 
angle to a small stick which was thrust into the hair. (See Arapaho 
song 8.) The feathers were previously consecrated by the priest with 
prayer and ceremony. The chosen ones usuallj- reciprocated with pres- 
ents of poines, blankets, or other property. After having thus received 
the feather the tribe began to make songs of its own, having previously 
used those taught them by the a])ostle from his own language. 

Besides the seven leaders who wear the sacred crow feathers as 
emblems of their leadership, nearly all the dancers wear feathers vari- 
ously painted and ornamented, and the preparation of these is a matter 
of much concern. The dancer who desires instruction on this point 
usually takes with him six friends, so as to make up the sacred number 
of seven, and goes with them to one who has been in a trance and has 
thus learned the exact method in vogue in the spirit world. At their 
request this man prepares for each one a feather, according to what he 
has seen in some trance vision, for which they return thanks, usually 
with a small present. The feathers are painted in several colors, each 
larger feather usually being tipped with a small down feather painted 
in a dirterent color. On certain occasions a special day is set apart for 
publicly painting and preparing the feathers for all the dancers, the 
work being done by the appointed leaders of the ceremony. 


The painting of the dancers is done with the same ceremonial exact- 
ness of detail, each design being an inspiration from a trance vision. 
Usually the dancer adopts the particular slyle of painting which, while 


ill the trance, lie has seen worn by some departed relative. If he has 
not yet been in a trance, the design is suggested by a vision of one who 
does the painting. In making the request the dancer lays his hands 
upon the head of the leader and says, "My father, I have come to be 
painted, so that I may see my friends; have pity on me and paint me,'' 
the sacred paint being held to sharpen the spiritual vision as well as to 
be conducive to physical health. The painting consists of elaborate 
designs in red, yellow, green, and blue u])on the face, with a red or 
yellow line along the parting of the hair. Suns, crescents, stars, crosses, 
and birds (crows) are the designs in most common use. 


The dance commonly begins about the middle of the afternoon or 
later, alter sundown. When it begins in the afternoon, there is always 
an intermission of an hour or two for sniijier. The announcement is 
made by the criers, old men who assume this oitice apparently by tacit 
understanding, who go about the camp shouting in a loud voice to the 
people to prepare for the dance. The jirelimiuary painting and <lressing 
is usually a work of about two hours. When all is ready, tlie leaders 
walk out to the dance place, and facing inward, join hands so as to form 
a small circle. Then, without moving from their places they sing the 
opening song, according to previous agreement, in a soft undertone. 
Having sung it through ouce they raise their voices to their full 
strength and repeat it, this time slowly circling around in the dance. 
The step is different from that of most other Indian dances, but very 
simple, the dancers moving from right to left, following the course of 
the sun, advancing the left foot and following it ■sT^ith the right, hardly 
lifting the feet from the ground. For this reason it is called by 
the Shoshoni the "dragging dance." All the songs are adapted to 
the simple measure of the dance step. As the song rises and swells the 
people come singly and in groups from the several tipis, and one after 
another joins the circle until any number from fifty to five hundred 
men, women, and children are in the dance. When the circle is small, 
each song is repeated through a number of circuits. If large, it is 
repeated only through one circuit, measured by the return of tlie lead- 
ers to the starting point. Each song is started in tlie same manner, 
first in an undertone while the singers stand still in their places, and 
then with full voice as they begin to circle around. At intervals 
between the songs, more especially after the trances have begun, the 
dancers unclasp hands and sit down to smoke or talk for a few minutes. 
At such times tlie leaders sometimes deliver short addresses or ser- 
mons, or relate the recent trance experience of the dancer. In holding- 
each other's hands the dancers usually intertwine the fingers instead 
of grasping the hand as with us. Only an Induiii could keep the 
blanket in place as they do under such circumstances. Old people 
hobbling along with sticks, and little children hardly ])ast the toddling 
period sometimes form a jtart of the circle, the more vigorous dancers 


accoinmodatins' the movement to their weakness. Frequently a woman 
will be seen to join the circle with au infant upon her back and dance 
with the others, but should she show the least sign of approaching 
excitement watchful friends lead her away that no harm may come to 
the child. Dogs are driven off from the neighborhood of the circle lest 
they should run against auy of those who have fallen into a trance and 
thus awaken them. The dancers themselves are careful not to disturb 
the trance subjects while their souls are in the spirit world. Full 
Indian dress is worn, with buckskin, paint, and feathers, but among 
the Sioux the women discarded the belts ornamented with disks of 
German silver, because the metal had come from the white man. 
Among the southern tribes, on the contrary, hats were sometimes worn 
in the dance, although this was not considered in strict accoi'dance with 
the doctrine. 

Jfo drum, rattle, or other musical instrument is used in the dance, 
excepting sometimes by an individual dancer in imitation of a trance 
vision. In this respect particularly the Ghost dance differs from every 
other Indian dance. !N"either are any fires built within the circle, so 
far as known, with any tribe excepting the Walajjai. The northern 
Cheyenne, however, built four tires in a peculiar fashion outside of the 
circle, as already described. With most tribes the dance was performed 
around a tree or pole planted in the center and variously decorated. 
In the southern plains, however, only the Kiowa seem ever to have 
followed this method, they sometimes dancing around a cedar tree. On 
breaking the circle at the end of the dance the performers shook their 
blankets or shawls in the air, with the idea of driving away all evil 
influences. On later instructions from the messiah all then went 
down to bathe in the stream, the men in one place and the women in 
another, before going to their tipis. The idea of washing away evil 
things, si)iritual as well as earthly, by bathing in running water is too 
natural and universal to need comment. 

The peculiar ceremonies of prayer and invocation, with the laying on 
of hands and the stroking of the face and body, have several times 
been described and need only be mentioned here. As trance visions 
became frequent the subjects strove to imitate what they had seen 
in the spirit world, especially where they had taken part with their 
departed friends in some of the old-time games. In this way gaming 
wheels, shinny sticks, hummers, and other toys or implements would be 
made and carried in future dances, accompanied with appropriate 
songs, until the dance sometimes took on the appearance of an exhibi- 
tion of Indian curios on a small scale. 


Within the last few years the southern Arapaho and Chejeune have 
developed an auxiliary dance called the "crow dance," which is per- 
formed in the afternoon as a jireliminary to tlie regular Ghost dance at 
night. As it is no part of the original Ghost dance and is confined to 


tlieso two tribes, it deserves no extended notice in this connection. 
Although chiinied by its inventors as a direct inspiration from the 
other world, where they saw it performed by '-crows," or spirits of 
departed friends, it is really only a modification of the picturesque 
Omaha dance of tlie prairie tribes, with the addition of religious fea- 
tures borrowed from the new doctrine. The men participating are 
stripped to the breechcloth, with their whole bodies painted as in the 
Omaha dance, and wear elaborate pendants of varicolored feathers 
hanging down behind from the waist. An immense drum is an impor- 
tant feature. Men and women take iiart, and the songs refer to the 
general subject of the crow and the messiah, but are set to a variety of 
dance steps and evolutions ])erformed by the dancers. As the leaders, 
who are (ihietiy young men, are constantly studying new features, the 
crow dance has become one of the most attractive ceremonies among 
the prairie tribes. Hypnotism and trances form an essential feature of 
this as of the Ghost dance ])roper. (See jdate cxix.) 


The most imi)ortant feature of the tUiost dauce, and the secret of 
the trances, is hypnotism. It has been hastily assumed that hypnotic 
knowledge and ability belong only to an overripe civilization, such as 
that of India and ancient Egypt, or to the most modern jjcriod of scien- 
tific iTivestigation. The fact is, however, that jiractical knowledge, if 
not understanding, of such things belongs to jieople who live near to 
nature, and many of the stories told by reliable travelers of the strange 
performances of savage sliamans can be explained only on this theory. 
Numerous references iu the works of the early Jesuit missionaries, of 
the Puritan writers of New England and of English explorers farther 
to the south, would indicate tiiat hypnotic ability no less than sleight- 
of-hand dexterity formed part of the medicine man's e(juipment from 
the Saint Lawrence to the Gulf. Enough has been said in the chapters 
on Snioholla and the Shakers to show that hypnotism exists among the 
tribes of the Columbia, and the author has had frequent opportunity 
to observe and study it in the Ghost dance on the plains. It can not 
be said that the Indian priests understand the i)lienomenon, for they 
ascribe it to a supernatural cause, but they know how to produce the 
effect, as I have witnessed hundreds of times. In treating of the 
subject in connection with the Ghost dance the author must be under- 
stood as speaking from the point of view of an observer and not as a 
psychologic expert. 

Immediately on coming among the Arapaho and Cheyenne in 18'JU, 
I heard numerous stories of wonderful things that occurred in the Ghost 
dance — how people died, went to heaven and came back again, and how 
they talked with dead friends and brought back messages from the other 
world. Quite a number who had thus "died" were mentioned and their 
adventures in the spirit land were related with great partiiudarity of 


detail, but as most of the testimony came from white men, none of whom 
had seen the dance for themselves, T preserved the scientific attitude of 
skepticism. So far as could be ascertained, none of the intelligent peo- 
ple of the agency had thought the subject sufficiently wortliy of serious 
consideration to learn ^Yhether the re]iorts were true or false. On talk- 
ing with the Indians I found them unanimous in their statements as to 
the visions, until I began to think there might be something in it. 

The first clew to the explanation came from the statement of his 
own experience in the trance, given by Paul Boynton, a particularly 
bright Carlisle student, who acted as my interpreter. His brother had 
died some time before, and as Paul was anxious to see and talk with 
him, which the new doctrine taught was possible, he attended the next 
Ghost dance, and i)utting his hands upon the head of Sitting Bull, accord- 
ing to the regular formula, asked him to help him see his dead brother. 
Paul is of an inquiring dispo.sition, and, besides his natural longing to 
meet his brother again, was actuateil, as he himself said, by a desire to 
try "e^ery Indian trick." He then told how Sitting Bull had hj'pno- 
tized him with the eagle feather and the motion of his hands, until he 
fell unconscious and did really see his brother, but awoke just as he was 
about to speak to him, probably because one of the dancers had acci- 
dentally brushed against him as he lay ou the ground. He embodied 
his experience in a song which was afterward sung in the dance. From 
his account it seemed almost certain that the secret was hypnotism. 
The explanation might have occurred tome sooner but for the fact that 
my previous Indian informants, after the manner of some other wit- 
nesses, had told only about their trance visions, forgetting to state how 
the visions were brought about. 

This was in winter and the ground was covered deeply with snow, 
which stopped the dancing for several weeks. In the meantime I 
improved the opportunity by visiting the tipis every night to learn the 
songs and talk about the new religion. When the snow melted, the 
dances were renewed, and as by this time I had gained the confidence 
of the Indians I was invited to be present and thereafter on numerous 
occasions was able to watch the whole process by which the trances 
were produced. From the outside hardly anything can be seen of what 
goes ou within the circle, but being a part of the circle myself I was 
able to see all that occurred inside, and by fixing attention on one 
subject at a time I was able to note all the stages of the phenomenon 
from the time the subject first attracted the notice of the medicine-man, 
through the staggering, the rigidity, the unconsciousness, and back 
again to wakefulness. On two occasions my partner in the dance, eat-h 
time a woman, came under the infiueuce and I was thus enabled to note 
the very first nervous tremor of her hand and mark it as it increased 
in violence until she broke away and staggered toward the medicine- 
maTi within the circle. 

Young women are usually the first to be affected, then older women, 
and lastly men. Sometimes, however, a man proves as sensitive as the 


average woman. lu particular 1 have seen one young Arapaho Ix'conie 
rigid in the trance niglit ai'ter night. He was a Carlisle student, speak- 
ing good English and employed as clerk in a store. He afterward 
took part in the sun dance, dancing three days and nights without 
food, drink, or sleep. He is of a quiet, religious disposition, and if of 
white parentage would jjerhaps have become a minister, but being an 
Indian, the same tendency leads him into the Ghost dance and the suu 
dance. The fact that he could endure the terrible ordeal of the sun 
dance would go to show tliat his ])liysical organization is not frail, as is 
frequently the case with hypnotic or trance subjects. So f;u" as per- 
sonal observation goes, the hypnotic subjects are usually as strong and 
healthy as the average of their tribe. It seems to be a question more 
of temperament than of bodily condition or physicjue. After having 
observed the Ghost dance among the southern tribes at intervals during 
a period of about four years, it is apparent that the hypnotic tendency 
is growing, although the original religious excitement is dying out- 
The trances are now more numerous among the same number of dancers. 
Some begin to tremble and stagger almost at the beginning of the dance, 
without any eflbrt on the part of the medicine-man, while formerly 
it was usually late in the night before the trances began, although the 
medicine-men were constantly at work to produce such result. In 
many if not in most cases the medicine-men themselves have been in 
trances produced in the same fashion, and must thus be consideied sen- 
sitives as well as those hypnotized by them. 

Not every leader in the Ghost dance is able to bring about the hyp- 
notic sleep, but anyone may try wlio feels so inspired. Excepting 
the seven cliosen ones who start the songs there is no priesthood in tlie 
dance, the authority of such men as Sitting Bull and Black Coyote 
being due to the voluntary recognition of their superior ability or 
interest in the matter. Any man or woman who has been in a trance, 
and has thus derived inspiration from the other world, is at liberty to 
go within the circle and endeavor to bring others to the trance. Even 
when the result is utisatisfactory there is no interference with the per- 
former, it being held that he is but the passive instrument of a. higher 
j)0wer and therefore in no way responsible. A marked instance of this 
is the case of Cedar Tree, an Arapaho i)oliceman, who toolc much inter- 
est in the dance, attending nearly every performance in his neighbor- 
hood, consecrating the ground and working within the circle to hypnotize 
the dancers. He was in an advanced stage of consumption, nervous 
and excitable to an extreme degree, and perhaps it was for this reason 
that those wlio came under his iiitluence in the trance constantly com- 
plained that he led them on the "devil's road" instead (jf the ''straight 
road;" that he made them see monstrous and horrible shapes, but never 
the friends whom they wished to see. On this account they all dreaded 
to see him at work within the circle, but no one commanded him to 
desist as it was held that he was contiolled by a stronger power and 
was to be pitied rather than blamed for his ill success. A similar idea 


exists ill Europe in counectioii with persons reputed to i^ossess the evil 
eye. Cedar Tree himself deplored the result of his efforts and expressed 
the hope that by earnest prayer he might finally be able to overcome the 
evil influence. 

We shall now describe the hypnotic process as used by the operators, 
with the various stages of the trance. The hypnotist, usually a man, 
stands within- the ring, holding in his' hand an eagle feather or a scarf 
or handkerchief, white, black, or of any other color. Sometimes he 
holds the feather in one hand and the scarf in the other. As the 
dancers ch-cle around singing the songs in time with the dance step 
the excitement iiu'reases until the more sensitive ones are visibly 
affected. In order to hasten the result certain songs are sung to 
quicker time, notably the Arapaho song beginning Xu'naniVnaatmii'na 
Hu'hu. We shall assume that the subject is a woman. The first indi- 
cation that she is becoming affected is a slight muscular tremor, dis- 
tinctly felt by her two partners who hold her hands on either side. The 
medicine-man is on the watch, and as soon as he notices the woman's 
condition he comes over and stands inunediately in front of her, look- 
ing intently into her face and whirling the feather or the handkerchief, 
or both, rapidly in front of her eyes, moving slowly around with the 
dancers at the same time, but constantly facing the woman. All this 
time he keeps up a series of sharj) exclamations, Hu! Hu! Hn! like 
the rapid breathing of an exhausted runner. From time to time he 
changes the motion of the feather or handkerchief from a whirling to 
a rapid up and down movement in front of her eyes. For a while the 
woman continues to move around with the circle of dancers, singing 
the song with the others, but usually before the circuit is completed 
she loses control of herself entirely, and, breaking away from the part- 
ners who have hold of her hands on either side, she staggers into the 
ring, while the circle at once closes up again behind her. She is 
now standing before the medicine-man, who gives his whole attention 
to her, whirling the feather swiftly iu front of her eyes, waving his 
hands before her face as though fanning her, and drawing his hand 
slowly from the level of her eyes away to one side or upward into the 
air, while her gaze follows it with a fixed stare. All the time he keeps 
up the Hu! Hu! Hu! while the song and the dance go on around them 
without a pause. For a few minutes she continues to repeat the words 
of the song and keep time with the step, but in a staggering, drunken 
fashion. Then the words become unintelligible sounds, and her move- 
ments violently spasmodic, until at last she becomes rigid, with her 
eyes shut or fixed and staring, and stands thus uttering low pitiful 
moans (plate cxvii). If this is in the daytime, the operator tries to stand 
with his back to the sun, so that tlie full sunlight shines in the woman's 
foce (plate cxvi). The subject may retain this fixed, immovable posture 
for an indefinite time, but at last falls heavily to the ground, uncou- 
scious and motionless (plate cxviii). The dance and the song never 


stop, but as soon as tbe woman falls the inedicine-mau gives his atteu- 
tion to another subject among' the dancers. The first one may lie 
unconscious for ten or twenty minutes or sometimes for hours, but no 
one goes near to disturb her, as her soul is now communing with the 
spirit world. At last consciousness gradually returns. A violent tremor 
seizes her body as in the beginning of the fit. A low moan conies from 
her lips, and she sits up and looks about her like one awaking from 
sleep. Her whole form trembles violently, but at last she rises to her 
feet and staggers away from the dancers, who open the circle to let 
her pass. All the phenomena of recovery, except rigidity, occur in 
direct reverse of those which precede unconsciousness. 

Sometimes before falling the hypnotized subject runs wildly around 
the circle or out over the prairie, or goes through various crazy evolu- 
tions like those of a lunatic. On one occasion^-but only once — I have 
seen the medicine-man point his finger almost in the face of (he hypno- 
tized subject, and then withdrawing his finger describe with it a large 
circle about the tipis. The subject followed the direction indicated, 
sometimes l)eing hidden from view by the crowd, and finally returned, 
with his eyes still fixed and staring, to the id;ice where the medicine- 
man was standing. There is frequently a good deal of humbug mixed 
with these performances, some evidently pretending to T)e hypnotized 
ill order to ;ittract notice or to bring about such a condition from Ibrce 
of imitation, but the greater jxirtion is unquestionably geiniiiie and 
beyond the control of the subjects. In many instances the hypnotized 
person spins around tor minutes at a time like a dervish, or whirls the 
arms with apparently impossible speed, or assumes and retains until 
the flual fall most uncomfortable positions which it would be impossible 
to keep for any length of time under normal conditions. Frequently a 
number of persons are within the ring at once, in all tlie various ftages 
of liyi)notism. The proportion of women thus affected is about three 
times that of men. 


It is impossible to give more tlian a-n approximate statement as to 
the area of the Ghost dance and the messiah doctrine and the number 
of Indians involved. According to the latest official report, there are 
about 14tJ,000 Indians west of Missouri river, exclusive of the five 
civilized nations in Indian Territory. Probably all these tribes heard of 
the new doctrine, but only a part took any active interest in it. Gener- 
ally speaking, it was never taken up by the great tribe of the Navaho, 
by any of the Pueblos except the Taos, or by any of the numerous tribes 
of the Columbia region. The thirty or thirty-five tribes more or less 
concerned with the dance liave an aggregate population of al)0ut 00,000 
souls. A number of these were practically unanimous in their accept- 
ance of the new doctrine, notably the Paiute, Shoshoni, Arapaho, Chey- 
enne, Caddo, and Pawnee, while of others, as the Comanche, only a 



small minority ever engaged in it. Only about oneualf of the 26,000 
Sioux took an active part in it. It may safely be said, however, that 
the doctrine and ceremony of the Ghost dance found more adherents 
among our tribes than any similar Indian religious movement within 
the historic period, with the single possible exception of the crusade 
inaugurated by Tenskwatawa, the Shawano prophet, in 1805. (See 
plate Lxxxv.) 


Among most of these tribes the movement is already extinct, having 
died a natural death, excepting in the case of the Sioux. The Sho- 
shoni and some others lost faith in it after the failure of the first pre- 
dictions. The Sioux probably discontinued the dance before the final 
surrender, as the battle of Wounded Knee and the subsequent events 
convinced even the most fanatic believers that their expectations of 
invulnerability and supernatural assistance were deceptive. Tlie Pai- 
ute were yet dancing a year ago, and as their dream has received no 
such rude awakening as among the Sioux, they are probably still 
patiently awaiting the great deliverance, in spite of repeated postpone- 
ments, although the frenzied earnestness of the early i)eriod has long 
ago abated. The Kiowa, who discarded the doctrine on the adverse 
report of A'piatafi, have recently taken up the dance again and are 
now dancing as religiously as ever under the leadership of the old men, 
although the progressive element in the tribe is strongly opposed to it. 
Among the other tribes in Oklahoma — especially the Arapaho, Chey- 
enne, Caddo, Wichita, Pawnee, and Oto — the Ghost dance has become 
a part of the tribal life and is still performed at frequent intervals, 
although the feverish expectation of a few years ago has now settled 
down into something closely approaching the Christian hope of a 
reunion with departed friends in a happier world at some time in the 
unknown future. 

As for the great messiah himself, when last heard from Wovoka was 
on exhibition as an attraction at the Midwinter fair in San Francisco. 
By this time he has doubtless retired into his original obscurity. 
14 ETH — PT 2 19 

Chapter XVI 


I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall 
prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your j'oungmen shall see visions. — Joel. 

How is it then, hrethreu? When ye come together every one of vou hath a doc- 
trine, hath a revelation. — / Corinthians. 


The remote iu time or distance is always strange. The familiar 
present is always natural ;md a matter of course. Beyond the narrow 
range of our liorizou imagination creates a new world, but as we advance 
in any direction, or as we go back over forgotten patbs, we find ever 
a continuity and a succession. Tbe human race is one iu thought and 
action. The systems of our highest modern civilizations have their coun- 
terparts among all the nations, and their chain of parallels stretches 
backward link by link until we find their origin and interpretation in 
the customs and rites of our own barbarian ancestors, or of our still 
existing aborigiiial tribes. There is nothing new under the sun. 

The Indian messiah religion is the inspiration of a dream. Its ritual 
is the dance, the ecstasy, and the trance. Its priests are hypnotics and 
cataleptics. All these have formed a x)art of every great religious devel- 
opment of which we have knowledge from the beginning of history. 

In the ancestors of the Hebrews, as described in the Old Testament, 
we have a pastoral people, living in tents, acquainted with metal work- 
ing, but without letters, agriculture, or permanent habitations. They 
had reached about the plane of our own Navaho, but were below that 
of the Pueblo. Their mythologic and religious system was closely 
parallel. Their chiefs were priests who assumed to govern by inspira- 
tion from God, communicated through frequent dreams and waking 
visions. Each of the patriarchs is the familiar confidant of God and 
his angels, going up to heaven in dreams and receiving direct instruc- 
tions in waking visits, and regulating his family and his tribe, and 
ordering their religious ritual, in accord with these instructions. Jacob, 
alone in the desert, sleeps and dreams, and sees a ladder reaching to 
heaven, with angels going up and down upon it, and God himself, who 
tells him of the future greatness of the Jewish nation. So Wovoka, 
asleep on the mountain, goes up to the Indian heaven and is told by 
the Indian god of the coming restoration of his race. Abraham is 
"tempted'' by God and commanded to sacrifice his son, and proceeds 
to carry out the supernatural injunction. So Black Coyote dreams and 
is commanded to sacrifice himself for the sake of his children. 


Comiug down to a later period we flud the Chaldean Job declariug 
that God speaketh -'in a dream, in a vision of the night, when deep 
sleej) falleth upon men; then he openeth the ears of men and sealeth 
their instruction." The whole of the prophecies are given as direct 
communications from the other world, with the greatest particularity of 
detail, as, for instance, in the beginning of the book of Ezekiel, where 
he says that " it came to pass in the thirtieth year, in the fourth month, 
in the fifth day of the month, as I was among the captives by the river 
of Chebar, that the heavens were opened and I saw visions of God." 

In the New Testament, representing the results of six centuries of 
development beyond the time of the prophets and in intimate contact 
with more advanced civilizations, we still liave the dream as the con- 
trolling influence in religion. In the very beginning of the new dis- 
pensation we are told that, while Joseph slept, the angel of the Lord 
appeared to him in a dream, and as a result "Joseph being raised from 
sleep did as the angel of the Lord had bidden him.'' The most impor- 
tant events in the history of the infant redeemer are regulated, not in 
accordance with the ordinary manner of probabilities, but by dreams. 

The four gospels are full of inspirational dreams and trances, such 
as the vision of Cornelius, and that of Peter, when he went up alone 
upon the housetop to pray and ''fell into a trance and saw heaven 
opened," and again when "a vision appeared to Paul in the night," of 
a man who begged him to come over into Macedonia, so that "immedi- 
ately we endeavored to go into Macedonia, assuredly gathering that 
the Lord had called us." In another place Paul — the same Paul who 
had that wonderful vision on the road to Damascus — declares that he 
knew a man who was caught up into paradise and heard unspeakable 
words. In Paul we have the tyi)ical religious evangel, a young enthu- 
siast, a man of sensibility and refinement above his fellows, so carried 
away by devotion to his ideal that he attaches himself to the most 
uncompromising sect among his own people, and when it seems to be 
assailed by an alien force, not content simply to hold his own belief, he 
seeks and obtains official authority to root out the heresy. As he goes 
on this errand, "breathing out threatenings and slaughter," the mental 
strain overcomes him. He falls down in the road, hears voices, and 
sees a strange light. His companions raise him up and lead him by 
the hand into the city, where for several days he remains sightless with- 
out food or drink. From this time he is a changed man. Without any 
previous knowledge or investigation of the new faith he believes himself 
called by heaven to embrace it, and the same irrepressible enthusiasm 
which had made him its bitterest persecutor leads him now to defend 
it against all the world and even to cross the sea into a far country in 
obedience to a dream to sjiread the doctrine. In many respects he 
reminds us forcibly of such later evangelists as Fox and Wesley. 

The cloudy indistinctness which Wovoka and his followers ascribe to 
the Father as he appears to them in their trance visions has nnmerous 
parallels in both Testaments. At Sinai the Lord declares to ^Moses, " I 


come unto thee iu a thick cloud,'' and thereafter whenever Moses went 
up the mountain or entered into the tabernacle to receive revelations 
" the Lord descended upon it in a cloudy pillar." Job also tells ns that 
"thick clouds are a covering to him," and Isaiah says that he '• rideth 
upon a swift cloud," which reminds us of the ( rhost song of the Arapaho 
repi-esenting the Indian redeemer as coming upon the whirlwind. Moses 
goes up into a mountain to receive inspiration like Wovoka of the Painte 
and Ki'JiiTk'i of the Kiowa. As Wovoka claims to bring rain or snow at 
will, so Elijah declares that " there sliall not be dew nor rain these years, 
but according to my word," while of the Jewish Messiah himself his 
wondering disciples say that even the winds and the sea obey him. 

Fasting and solitary contemplation in lonely places were as i)Owerful 
auxiliaries to the trance condition in Bible days as now among the 
tribes of the plains. When Daniel had his great vision by the river 
Hiddekel, he tells us that he had been mourning for three full weeks, 
during which time he •' ate no pleasant bread, neither came flesh nor 
wine in my month, neither did I anoint myself at all.'' When the vision 
comes, all the strength and breath leave his body and he falls down, 
and " then was I in a deep sleep on my face, and my face toward the 
ground." Six hundred years later, Christ is '-led by the si>irit into the 
wilderness, being forty days tempted by the devil, and in those days he 
did eat nothing.'' Another instance occurs at his baptism, when, as he 
was coming out of the water, he saw the heavens opened and the spirit 
like a dove, and heard a voice, and immediately was driven by the 
spirit into the wilderness. In the transfiguration on the mountain, 
when "his face did shine as the sun," and in the agony of Gethsemane, 
with its mental anguish and bloody sweat, we see the same phenomena 
that appear in the lives of religious enthusiasts from Mohammed and 
Joan of Arc down to George Fox and the prophets of the Ghost dance. 

Dancing, which forms so important a part of primitive rituals, had a 
place among the forms of the ancient Hebrew and of their neighbors, 
although there are but few direct references to it in the Bible. The 
best example occurs in the account of the transfer of the ark to Zion, 
where there were processions and sacrifices, and King David himself 
"danced before the Lord with all his might." 


Six hundred years after the birth of Christianity another great reli- 
gion, which numbers its adherents by the hundred million, had its ori- 
gin iu the same region and among a kindred Semitic race. Its prophet 
and high priest was the cataleptic Mohammed, who was born about 
the year 570 and died in 642. In infancy and all through life he was 
afflicted with epileptic attacks and fainting fits, during which he would 
lose all appearance of life without always losing inner consciousness. 
It was while in this condition that he received the visions and revela- 
tions on which he built his religious system. Frequently at such 
times it was necessary to wrap him up to preserve life iu his body, and 


at otlier times he was restured by being dreuched witli cold water. At 
one time for a jyeriod of two years lie was in such a mental condition — 
subject to hallucinations — that lie doubted his own sanity, believing 
himself to be possessed by evil spirits, and contemplated suicide. "It 
is disputed whether Mohammed was epileptic, cataleptic, hysteric, or 
what not. Sprenger seems to think that the answer to this medical 
question is the key to the whole problem of Islam." {'■'•MohammciUm- 
ism,'" iu Encyclopedia Britannica.) To how many other systems might 
such an answer be the key? 

We are told that ordinarily his body had but little natural warmth, 
but that whenever the angel appeared to him, as the Mohammedan 
biographers express it, the perspiration burst out on his forehead, his 
eyes became red, he trembled violently, and would bellow like a youug 
camel — all the accompaniments of the most violent epileptic fit. Usu- 
ally the fit ended iu a swoon. There is no (juestion that he was sincere 
iu his claim of divine inspiration. His last hours were serene and 
peaceful, and there is no evidence of the slightest misgiving on his part 
as to the reality of his mission as a prophet sent from God. Some of 
hia inspiration came in dreams, and he was accustomed to say that a 
prophet's dream is a revelation. At times the revelation came to him 
without any iiainful or strange accompaniment. 

The fit during which he received the revelation of his religious mis- 
sion is thus described, as it came to him after a long period of despond- 
ency and mental hallucinations: "In this morbid state of feehng he is 
said to have heard a voice, and on raising his head, beheld Gabriel, 
who assured him he was the prophet of God. Frightened, he returned 
home, and called for covering. He had a fit, and they poured cold 
water on him, and when he came to himself he heard these words: 
'Oil, thou covered one, arise, and preach, and magnify thy Lord;' 
and henceforth, we are told, he received revelations without intermis- 
sion. Before this supposed revelation he had been medicallj- treated on 
account of the evil eye, and when the Koran first descended to him he 
fell into fainting fits, when, after violent shudderings, his eyes closed, 
and his mouth foamed.'" (Gardner, Faiths of the World.) 

Solitude also had much to do with his visions, as a great i>art of his 
early life was spent in the lonely occupation of a shepherd among the 
Arabian mountains. Like other prophets he asserted that the various 
angels had offered him control over the stars, the sun, the mountains, 
and the sea. Further, it is claimed most positively by all his followers 
that his great ascent into the seven heavens was made bodily and in full 
wakefulness, and not merely iu spirit while asleep, and this assertion 
they supported by "the declarations of God and his i)rophet, tlie imams 
of the truth, the verses of tlie Koran, and thousands of traditions," as 
earnestly as religious enthusiasts the world o^er have ever backed up 
the impossible. 

The kinship of the late Semitic idea to the old is well exemplified iu 
Mohammed's account of this vision, in which he is conducted to Mount 


Sinai, where lie is directed to aliglit and pray, because there God had 
spoken to Moses, after which he is conducted to Bethlehem, where 
again he is directed to alight and pray, because there Jesus was born, 
alter which again he is brought into the presence of Abraham, Moses, 
Enoch, John the Baptist, and Jesus, by all of whom he was hailed as a 
woi tliy brother and prophet. The direct descent becomes plainer still 
when we learn how Jrohammed, on his return from talking with God in 
the seventh heaven, again meets Jloses, who persuades him that the 
religious exercises prescribed by God for tlie faithful are too onerous, 
and goes back with him to plead witli the Lord for a reduction of the 
daily prayers from fifty to five as Abraham pleaded for Sodom. 

The spirit world of our Indians is a place where death and old age 
are unknown, and where every one is happy in the simple happiness 
which he knew on earth — hunting, feasting, and playing the old-time 
games with former friends, but without war, for there all is peace. The 
ideal happiness is material, perhaps, but it is such happiness as the 
world might long for, with nothing in it gross or beyond reasonable 
probability. The Semitic ideal, from which our own is derived, is very 
different. We get one conception in the book of Eevelation and 
another six hundred years later in the vision of Mohammed, which is 
puerile to the last degree. Among its wonders are an houri,who comes 
out of a (juince, and whose body is composed of camphor, amber, and 
musk. Then there is a cock which stands with his feet on the lowest 
eartli, while his head reaches the empyrean and his wings outstretched 
the limits of space, whose business is every morning to praise the Lord 
and set all the cocks on earth to crowing after him. There is an angel 
who bathes daily in a river, after which he flaps his wings, and from 
every drop that falls from them there is created an angel Avith 20,000 
faces and 40,000 tongues, each of which speaks a distinct language, 
unintelligible to the rest. But the masterpiece is the tree tooha, whose 
fruit is the food of the inhabitants of paradise. Every branch produces 
a hundred thousand different-colored fruits, while from its roots run 
rivers of water, milk, wine, and honey. As if this were not enough, 
the tree produces also ready-made clothing. " On the tree were baskets 
filled with garments of the brocade and satin of paradise. A million 
of baskets are allotted to each believer, each basket containing a hun- 
dred thousand garments, all of different class and fashion''— and so on 
ad nauseam. {^lerricVs Mohammed.) When we reilect that this is 
accepted by more than 150,000,000 (-ivilized Orientals, from whom we 
have derived much of our own culture, we may, perhaps, be more tol- 
erantly disposed toward the American Indian belief. 


The most remarkable, the most heroic and pathetic instance of reli- 
gious hallucination in Europe is that of Joan of Arc, known as the Maid 
of Orleans, born in 1411! and burned at the stake in 1431, and recently 

5100NEV] JOAN OF ARC 933 

beatified as the i)atron saint of France. I^aturally of a eonteniplative 
disposition, she was accustomed from earliest childhood to long fasts 
and solitary communings, in which she brooded over tlie miserable 
condition of her country, then overrun by English armies. When 13 
years of age, slie had a vision in which a voice spolie to her from out 
of a great light, telling her that God had chosen her to restore France. 
She immediately fell on her knees and made a vow of virginity and 
entire devotion to the cause, and from that day to the time of her cruel 
death she believed herself inspired and guided by supernatural voices 
to lead her countrymen against the invader. A simple peasant girl, 
she sought out the royal court and boldly announced to the king her 
divine mission. Her manner made such an Impression that she was 
assigned a command, and putting on a soldier's dress and carrying a 
sword which she claimed had come to her through miraculous means, 
she led the armies of France, performing superhuman feats of courage 
and endurance and winning victory after victory for three years until 
she was finally captured. After a long and harassing mockery of a 
trial, in which the whole machinery of the law and the church was 
brought into action for the destruction of one poor girl barely 19 years 
of age, she was finally condemned and burned at Eouen, ostensibly 
as a witch and a heretic, but really as the most dangerous enemy of 
English tyranny in France. 

She was forever hearing these spirit voices, which she called " her 
voices" or " her counsel." They spoke to her with articulate words in 
the ripple of the village fountain, in the vesper bells, in the rustling of 
the leaves, and in the sighing of the wind. Sometimes it was the war- 
like archangel Michael, but oftener it was the gentle Saint Katheriue, 
who appeared to her as a beautiful woman wearing a crown. Her 
visions must be ascribed to the effect of the troubled times in which 
she lived, acting on an enthusiastic, unquestioning religious temper- 
ament. She is described as physically robust and intellectually keen, 
aside from her hallucination, as was proven in her trial, and there is 
no evidence that she was subject to epilepsy or other abnormal condi- 
tions such as belonged to Mohammed and most others of the same 
class. Her long and freciuent fasts unijuestionably aided the result. 
She claimed no supernatural powers outside of her peculiar mission, and 
in every public undertaking relied entirely on the guidance of her voices. 

Toward the end these voices were accompanied by other hallucina- 
tions, together with presentiments of her coming death. On one 
occasion, while assaulting a garrison, her men fled, leaving her stand- 
ing on the moat with oidy four or five soldiers. Seeing her danger, a 
French ofticer galloped up to rescue her and impatiently asked her why 
she stood there alone. Lifting her helmet from her face she looked at 
Mm with astonishment and replied that she was not alone — that she 
had 50,000 men with her — and then, despite his entreaties, she turned to 
her phantom army and shouted out her commands to bring logs to 
bridge the moat. It was in April, while standing alone on the ram- 


parts of Melun, that the voices first told her that she would be taken 
before midsummer. From that time the warning was constantly 
repeated, and although she told no one and still exposed herself fear- 
lessly, she no longer assumed the responsibility of command. Two 
months later she was in the hands of her enemies. 

Throughout the trial every efl'ort was made by her enemies to shake 
her statement as to the voices, or, failing in that, to prove them from 
the devil, but to the last she steadfastly maintained that the voices 
were with her and came from heaven. According to her own state- 
ment these voices were three — one remained always with her, another 
visited her at short intervals, while both deliberated with the third. 
On one occasion, when hard x^ressed by her enemies, she answered sol- 
emnly, " I believe firmly, as firmly as I believe the Christian faith and 
that God has redeemed us froni the pains of hell, that the voice comes 
from God and by his command." And again she asserted, '• I have 
seen Saint Michael and the two saints so well that I know they are 
saints of paradise. I have seen them with my bodily eyes, and I 
believe they are saints as firmly as I believe that God exists." 

When questioned as to her original insijiration, she stated that the 
voice had first come to her when she was about 13 years of age. "The 
first time I heard it I was very much afraid. It was in my father's 
garden at noon in the summer. I had fasted the day before. The voice 
came from the right hand by the church, and there was a great light 
with it. When I came into France, I heard it frequently. I believe 
it was sent me from God. After I heard it three times, I knew it was 
the voice of an angel. I understand perfectly what it says. It bade me 
be good and go to church often, and it told me I must go into France. 
Two or three times a week it said I nnist go into France, until I could 
no longer rest where I was. It told me I should raise the siege of 
Orleans, and that liobert de Baudricourt would give me people to con- 
duct me. Twice he repulsed me. but the third time he received me and 
sped me on my way." 

The examiners were very curious to know by what sign she had recog- 
nized the king when she had first seen him in the midst of his courtiers. 
To this question she said she must first consult with Saint Katherine 
before replying, and afterward continued: "The sign was a crown. 
The first time I saw the king he had the sign, and it signified that he 
should hold the kingdom of France. I neither touched it nor kissed it. 
The angel came by the command of God and entered by the door of the 
room. I came with the angel up the steps to the king's room and the 
angel came before the king and bowed and inclined himself before the 
king, and said: 'My lord, here is your sign; take it.' He departed by 
the way he had come. There were a number of other angels with him, 
and Saint Katherine and Saint Margaret. In the little chapel he left 
me. I was neither glad nor afraid, but I was very sorrowful, and I wish 
he had taken away my soul with him." 


To another question she replied emphatically: "If I were atjudg- 
meiit, if I saw the fire kindled and the fagots ablaze and the execu- 
tioner ready to stir the tire, and if I were in the Are, I would say no 
more, and to the death I would maintain what I have said in the trial." 

The end came at last in the market place of Eoueu, when this young 
girl, whose name for years had been a terror to the whole English army, 
was dragged in her wliite shroud and bound to the stake, and saw the 
wood heaped up around her and the cruel Are lighted under her feet. 
"Brother INfartin, standing almost in the draft of the tlames, heard her 
sob with a last sublime effort of faith, bearing her witness to God whom 
she trusted : ' My voices have not deceived me ! ' And then came death," 
(Parr, Jeanne cTArc.) 


In ISTJ: an epidemic of maniacal religious dancing broke out on the 
lower Rhine and spread rapidly over Germany, the Netherlands, and 
into France. The victims of the mania claimed to dance in honor of 
Saint John. Men and women went about dancing hand in hand, in 
pairs, or in a circle, on the streets, in the churches, at their homes, or 
wherever they might be, hour after hour without rest until they fell 
into convulsions. While dancing they sang doggerel verses in honor of 
Saint John and rrttered unintelligible cries. Of course they saw visions. 
At last whole companies of these crazy fanatics, men, women, and 
children, went dancing through the countrj', along the public roads, 
and into the cities, until the clergy felt compelled to interfere, and cured 
the dancers by exorcising the evil spirits that moved them. In the 
fifteenth century the epidemic broke out again. The dancers were now 
formed into divisions by the clergy and sent to the church of Saint 
Vitus at Eotestein, where prayers were said for them, and they were 
led in procession around the altar and dismissed cured. Hence the 
name of Saint Vitus' dance given to one variety of abnormal muscular 
tremor. (Schaff, Religious Encyclopedm.) 


About the same time another strange religious extravagance spread 
over western Europe. Under the name of Flagellants, thousands of 
enthusiasts banded together with crosses, banners, hymns, and all the 
paraphernalia of religion, and went about in procession, publicly 
scourging one another as an atonement for their sins and the sins of 
mankind in general. They received their tirst impetus from the ]>reach- 
ing of Saint Anthony of Padua in the thirteenth century. About the 
year 1260 the movement broke out nearly, simultaneously in Italy, 
France, Germany, Austria, and Poland, and afterward spread into 
Denmark and England. It was at its height in the fourteenth century. 
In Germany in 1201 the devotees, preceded by banner and crosses, 
marched with faces Aeiled and bodies bared above the waist, and 
scourged themselves twice a day for thirty-three successive days in 


memory of tlie thirty-three years of Christ's life. The strokes of the 
whii> were timed to tlie music of hyiiius. Men and. women together 
took part iii the scourging. The mania finally wore itself out, but 
reappeai'ed in loiO with more systematic organization. According to 
Schaff, "When they came to towns, the bands marched in regular mili- 
tary order and singing hymns. At the time of flagellatiou they selected 
a square or churchyard or field. Taking off their shoes and stockings 
and forming a circle, they girded themselves with aprons and laid down 
flat on the ground. . . . The leader then stepped over each one, 
touched them with the whip, and bade them rise. As each was touched 
they followed after the leader and imitated him. Once all on their feet 
the flagellation began. The brethren weut two by two ai'ound the 
whole circle, striking their backs till the blood trickled down from the 
wounds. The whip consisted of three thongs, each with four iron 
teeth. During the flagellatiou a hymn was sung. After all had gone 
around the circle the whole body again fell on the ground, beating upon 
their breasts. On arising they flagellated themselves a second time. 
While the brethren were putting ou their clothes a collection was taken 
up among the audience. The scene was concluded by the leading of a 
letter from Christ, which an angel had brought to earth and which com- 
mended the pilgrimages of the Flagellants. The fraternities never 
tarried longer than a single day in a town. They gained great po]»u- 
larity, and it was considered an honor to entertain them." {Scliaff, 
Reli(jions Encyclopedia.) The society still exists among the Latin 
races, although under the ban of the church. As late as 1820 a pro- 
cession of Flagellants passed through the streets of Lisbon. Under 
the nameof Penitentes they have several organizations in the Mexican 
towns of our southwest, where they periodically appear in processions, 
inflicting horrible self-torture on themselves, even to the extent of 
binding one of their number upon a cross, which is then set up in the 
ground, while the blood streams down the body of the victim from the 
wounds made by a crown of cactus thorns and from innumerable gashes 
caused by the thorny whips. Such things among people called civil- 
ized enables lis to understand the feeling which leads the Indian to 
otter himself a willing sacrifice in the sun dance and other propitiatory 


The middle of the seventeenth century was a time of great religious 
and political upheaval in England. Hatreds were intense and persecu- 
tions cruel and bitter, until men's minds gave way under the strain. 
"The air was thick with reports of prophecies and miracles, and there 
were men of all parties who lived on the border land between sanity 
and insauity." This was due chiefly to the long-continued mental ten- 
sion which bore ou the whole population during this troublous period, 
and in iiarticular cases to wholesale confiscations, by which families 
were ruined, and to confinement in wretched prisons, suffering from 


insuifieient food aud l)iut;il treatment. Individuals even in the estab- 
lished cluircli began to assert superinxtural powci', Miiile numerous new 
sects sjirang up, witli proi)liecy, miracle working, liypnotisni, and con- 
vulsive ecstasy as parts of their doctrin.e or ritual. Chief among these 
were the Eanters, the Quakers, and the Fifth-iMonarchy Jleii. The first 
and last have disappeared with the conditions which produced them; 
but the Quakers, being based on a jirinciple, have outlasted persecution, 
and, discarding the extravagances which belonged to the early period, 
are now on a permanent foundation under the name of the " Society of 
Friends." One of the Ranter prophets, in 1650, claiuied to be the rein- 
carnation of Melchizedek, and even declared his divinity. He asserted 
that certain persons then living were Cain, Judas, Jeremiah, etc, wliom 
he had raised from the dead, and the strangest part of it was that the 
persons concerned stoutly afdrmed the truth of his assertion. Others 
of them claimed to work miracles and to produce lights and apparitions 
in the dark. In Barclay's oiiinion all the evidence ''supports the view 
that these persons were mad, and had a singular x^ower of producing a 
kind of sympathetic madness or temporary aberration of intellect in 

We are better acquainted with the Quakers (Friends), although it is 
not generally known that they were originally addicted to similar prac- 
tices. Such, however, is the fact, as is shown by the name itself. 
Their founder, George Fox, claimed aud believed that he had the gift 
of prophecy and clairvoyance, and of healing by a. mere word, and his 
biographer, Januey, of the same deno'mination, apparently sees no 
reason to doubt that such was the case. As might have been expected, 
he was also a believer in dreams. 

We are told that on one occasion, on coming into the town of Lich- 
field, "a very remarkable exercise attended his mind, and going through 
the streets without his shoes he cried, ' Woe to the bloody city of Lich- 
field.' His feelings were deeply affected, for there seemed to be a 
channel of blood running down the streetiS, aud the market place 
appeared like a pool of blood.'' On inquiry he learned that a large 
number of Christians had been put to death there during the reign of 
the Emperor Diocletian thirteen centuries before. ''He therefore 
attributed the exercise which came upon him to the sense that was 
given him of the blood of the martyrs." 

We are also told that he "received an evidence" of the great fire of 
London iu IGCG, before the event, and Janney narrates at length a 
"still more remarkable vision" of the same iire by another Friend, 
"whose prophecy is well attested."' According to the account, this 
man rode into the city, as though having come in haste, and went np 
and down the streets for two days, prophesying that the city would be 
destroyed by fire. To others of his own denouunation he declared that 
he had had a vision of the event some time before, but had delayed 
to declare it as commanded, until he felt the fire in his own bosom. 


When tbe Are did occur as lie bad predicted, lie stood before the flames 
with arms outstretched, as if to stay their advauce, until forcibly 
brought away by his friends. 

In mental and physical teniperaiiient Fox seems to have closely 
resembled Mohammed and the Indian prophets of the (Hiost dance. 
We are told that he had much mental suffering and was often 
under great temptation. "He fasted much, and walked abroad in 
solitary places. Taking his Bible, he sat in hollow trees or secluded 
spots, and often at night he walked alone in silent meditation." At 
onetime "he fell into such a condition that he looked like a corpse, 
and many who came to see him supposed him to be really dead. In 
this trance he continued fovrrteen days, after which his sorrow began 
to abate, and with brokenness of heart and tears of joy he acknowl- 
edged the infinite love of God." [Janney, George Fox.) 

The sect obtained the name of Quakers from the violent tremblings 
which overcame the worshipers in the early days, and which they 
regarded as manifestations of divine power on them. So violent were 
these convulsions that, as their own historian tells us, on one occa- 
sion the house itself seemed to be shaken. According to another au- 
thority, men and women sometimes fell down and lay ui>on the ground 
struggling as if for life. Their ministers, however, seem not to have 
encouraged such exhibitions, but strove to relieve the lit by putting 
the patient to bed and administering soothing medicines. (" Qnalcers,'" 
Encyclopedia Britannica.) 

The Fifth- Monarchy Men were a small band of religionists who arose 
about the same time, proclaiming that the "Fifth Monarchy" prophe- 
sied by Daniel was at hand, when Christ would come down from heaven 
and reign visibly upon earth for a thousand years. In 1G57 they formed 
a i>lot to kill Cromwell, and in KiGl they broke out in insurrection at 
night, parading the streets with a banner on which was depicted a lion, 
proclaiming that Christ had come and declaring that they were invul- 
nerable and invincible, as "King Jesus" was their invisible leader. 
Troops were called out against them, but the Fifth-Monarchy Men, 
expecting supernatural assistance, refused to submit, and fought until 
they were nearly all shot down. The leaders were afterward tried and 
executed. [Janney''x George Fox and ScJiKjff'^s licliyious Envyclopedia.) 


Forty years later, about the end of the seventeenth century, another 
sect of convulsionists, being driven out of France, "found an asylum in 
Protestant countries [and] carried with them the disease, both of mind 
and body, which their long sufferings had produced." They spread 
into Germany and Holland, and in 1706 reached England, where they 
became known as "French prophets." Their meetings were character- 
ized by such extravagance of convulsion and trance performance that 
they became the wonder of the ignorant and the scandal of the more 


intelligent classes, notwithstanding wliielithe infection spread far and 
wide. We are told that they " were wrought npon in a very extraordi- 
nary manner, not oidy in their minds, hut also in their physical systems. 
They had visions and trances and were subject to violent agitations of 
body. Men and women, ami even little children, were so exercised 
that spectators were struck witli great wonder and astonishment. 
Their powerful admonitions and prophetic warnings were heard and 
received with reverence and awe." 

At one time Charles Wesley had occasion to stop for the night with 
a gentleman who belonged to the sect. Wesley was unaware of tlie 
fact until, as they were about to go to bed, his new friend suddenly fell 
into a. violent fit and began to gobble like a turkey. Wesley was 
frightened and began exorcising him, so that ho soon recovered from 
the fit, when they went to bed, although the evangelist confesses that 
he himself did not sleep very soundly with Satan so near him. 

Some time afterward Wesley with several companions visited a 
prophetess of the sect, as he says, to try whether the spirits came 
from (lod. She was a young woman of agreeable speech and manner. 
"Pi-esently she leaned back in her chair and had strong workings in her 
breast and uttered deep sighs. Her head and her hands and by turns 
every part of her body were affected with convulsive motions. This 
continued about ten minutes. Then she began to speak with a clear, 
strong voice, but so interrupted with the workings, sighings, and con- 
tortions of her body that she seldom brought fortli half a sentence 
together. What she said was chiefly in spiritual words, and all as in 
the person of God, as if it were the language of immediate inspiration." 
(Southey^s Wesley, I, and IJvaiis'' Slial-erx.) 


About 1740 a similar extravagant sect, known as the Jumpers, arose 
in Wales. According to the description given by Wesley, their exer- 
cises were a very exact parallel of the Ghost dance. " After the preach- 
ing was over anyone who pleased gave out a verse of a hymn, and this 
they sung over and over again, with all their might and main, thirty or 
forty times, till someoftliem worked themselves into a sort of drunken- 
ness or madness; they were then violently agitated, and leaped up and 
down in all manner of postures frequently for hours together." A cou- 
temporary writer states that he had seen perhaps ten thousand at a 
single meeting of the Jumpers shouting out in the midst of the sermon 
and ready to leap for joy. {Southey^s Wesley, ii.) 


About the same time the Methodists originated in England under 
Wesley and Whitefleld, and their assemblies were characterized by all 
the hysteric and convulsive extravagance which they brought with 
them to this country, and which is not even yet extinct in the south. 


The most remarkable of these exhibitions took jilace under the preaching 
of Wesley, following him, as we are told, wherever he went. Whitefield, 
although more forcible and sensational in his preaching, did not at first 
produce the same eii'ect on his hearers, and considered such manifesta- 
tions as but doubtful signs of the i)resence of the Lord and by no means 
to be encouraged. On jireaching, however, to a congregation in which 
Wesley had already produced such convulsions, and where, conse- 
quently, there was a predisposition in this direction, several persons 
were thus seized and sank down upon the floor, and we are told by the 
biographer " this was a great triumph to Wesley." 

Wesley himself describes several instances. At one time, he states, 
a physician suspecting fraud attended a meeting during which a woman 
was thrown into a fit, crying aloud and weeping violently, until great 
drops of sweat i-an down her face and her whole body shook. The doc- 
tor stood close by, noting every sj^mptom, and not knowing what to 
think, being convinced that it was not fraud or any natural disorder. 
''But when both her soul and body were healed in a moment he acknowl- 
edged the iinger of God." On another occasion, Wesley tells us, " While 
I was earnestly inviting all men to enter into the Holiest by this new 
and living way, many of those that heard began to call upon God with 
strong cries and tears. Some sank down, and there remained no 
strengtli in them. Others exceedingly trembled and quaked. S(m)e 
were torn with a kind of convulsive motion in every part of tlieir 
bodies, and that so violently that often four or five persons could not 
hold one of tliem. I have seen many hysterical and epileptic fits, but 
none of them were like these in many respects. I immediately prayed 
that God would not suffer those who were weak to be offended; but one 
woman was greatly, being sure that they might help it if they would, 
no one should persuade her to the contrary; and she was got three or 
four yards, when she also dropped down in as violent an agony as the 

At another time, "while he was speaking one of his hearers drojjped 
down, and in the course of half an hour seven others, in violent agonies. 
The pains as of hell, he says, came about them; but notwithstanding 
his own reasoning neither he nor his auditors called in question the 
divine origin of these emotions, and they went away rejoicing and 
praising God. . . . Sometimes he scarcely began to speak before 
some of his believers, overwrought with expectation, fell into the 
crisis, for so it may be called in this case, as properly as in animal 
magnetism. Sometimes his voice could scarcely be heard amid the 
groans and cries of these suffering and raving enthusiasts. It was not 
long before men, women, and children began to act the demoniac as 
well as the convert. Wesley had seen many hysterical fits and many 
fits of epilepsy, but none that were like these, and he confirmed the 
patients in their belief that they were torn of Satan. One or two 
indeed perplexed him a little, for tln^y were tormented in such an unac- 
countable manner that they seemed to be lunatic, he says, as well as 


sore vexed. Bat suspicions of this kiud made little impression upon 
bis intoxicated understanding; tlie fanaticism wliich lie bad excited in 
otbers was now reacting upon himself. How should it have been other- 
wise? A Quaker, who was present at one meeting and inveighed 
against what he called the dissimulation of these creatures, caught 
the contagious emotion himself, and even while be was biting his lips 
and knitting bis brows, dropped down as if be had been struck by light- 
ning." {Soiitlu'i/''s Wcsh'i/.) 


About the year 1750 there originated ni England another peculiar 
body of sectarians calling themselves the "United Society of Believers in 
Christ's Becond Appearing," but commonly known, for obvious reasons, 
as Shakers. Their chief prophetess and founder was "Mother " Ann Lee, 
whom they claim as the actual reincarnation of Christ. They claim also 
the inspiration of prophecy, the gift of healing, and sometimes even 
the gift of tongues, and believe in the reality of constant intercourse 
with the spirit world througb visions. In consequence of persecution 
in England, on account of their public dancing, shouting, and shaking, 
they removed to this country about 1780 and settled at New Lebanon, 
New York, where the society still keeps up its organization. 

The best idea of the Shakers is given in a small volume by Evans, 
who was himself a member of the sect. Speaking of the convulsive 
manifestations among them, he says: "Sometimes, after sitting awhile 
in silent meditation, they were seized with a mighty trembling, under 
which they would often express the indignation of God against all sin. 
At other times they were exercised with singing, shouting, and leaping 
for joy at the near prosi>ect of salvation. They were often exercised 
with great agitation of body and limbs, shaking, running, and walking 
the floor, with a variety of other operations and signs, swiftly passing 
and repassing each other like clouds agitated with a mighty wind. 
These exercises, so strange in the eyes of the beholders, brought upon 
them the appellation of Shakers, which has been their most common 
name of distinction ever since." With i-egard to their dancing, he 
says: "It is pretty generally known that the Shakers serve God by 
singing and dancing; but why they practice this mode of worship is 
not so generally understood. . . . When sin is fully removed, by 
confessing and forsaking it, the cause of heaviness, gloom, and sorrow 
is gone, and joy and rejoicing, and thanksgiving and praise are then 
the spontaneous effects of a true spirit of devotion. And whatever 
manner the spirit may dictate, or wliatever the form into which the 
spirit may lead, it is acceptable to Him from whom the spirit proceeds." 
On one particular occasion, "previous to our coming we called a meet- 
ing and there was [sic] so many gifts (such as prophecies, revelations, 
visions, and dreams) in confirmation of a former revelation for us to 
come that some could hardly wait for others to tell their gifts. We had 
a joyful meeting and danced till morning." 


Of Anu Lee, their founder, lie asserts that she saw Jesus Thrist in 
open vision and received direct revelations from this source. On a 
certain occasion she herself declared to her followers: " The room over 
your head is full of angels of God. I see them, and you could see them 
if you were redeemed. I look in at the windows of heaven and see what 
there is in the invisible world. I see the angels of God, and hear them 
sing. I see the glories of God. I see Ezekiel Goodrich flying from one 
heaven to another!" And, turning to the company present, she said, 
"Go in and Join his resurrection." She then began to sing, and they 
praised the Lord in the dance. On another occasion she said : " The 
apostles, in their day, saw as through a glass darkly, but we see face 
to face, and see things as they are, and converse with spirits and see 
their states. The gospel is preached to souls who have left the body. 
I see thousands of the dead rising and coming to judgment, now at this 
Ijresent time."' At another time she declared that she had seen a cer- 
tain young woman in the spirit world, '' praising God in the dance;" 
and of a man deceased, " He has appeared to me again, and has arisen 
from the dead and come into the first heaven and is traveling on to the 
second and third heaven." 

Their dance is performed regularly at their religious gatherings at 
the New Lebanon settlement. The two sexes are arranged in ranks 
opposite and facing each other, in which position they listen to a sermon 
by one of the elders, after which a hymn is sung. They then form a 
circle around a party of singers, to whose singing they keep time in 
the dance. At times the excitement and fervor of spirit become intense, 
and their bodily evolutions as rapid as those of the dervishes, although 
still preserving the order of the dance. {Evans^ Shalcers and encyclo- 
pedia articles on Shalcers.) 


About the year 1800 an epidemic of religious frenzy, known as the 
Kentucky IJevival, broke out in Kentucky and Tennessee, chiefly among 
the Methodists and Baptists, with accompaniments that far surpassed 
the wildest excesses of the Ghost dance. Fanatic preachers taught 
their deluded followers that the spiritual advent of the kingdom was 
near at haud, when Christ would reign on earth and there would be an 
end of all sin. The date generally fixed for the consummation was the 
summer of 1805, and the excitement continued and grew in violence for 
several years until the time came and passed without extraordinary 
event, when the frenzy gradually subsided, leaving the ignorant believ- 
ers in a state of utter collapse. The performances at the meetings of 
these enthusiasts were of the most exaggerated camp-meeting order, 
such as may still be witnessed in many parts of the south, especially 
among the colored people. Evans, the Shaker historian, who is strong 
in the gift of faith, tells us that ''the subjects of this work were greatly 
exercised in dreams, visions, revelations, and the spirit of prophecy. 
In these gifts of the spirit they saw and testified that the great day of 


God \viis at hand, that Christ was about to set up liis kiiigdoui on earth, 
and that this \fry work would terininate in the full manifestation of 
the latter day of glory." 

From another authority, endowed i)erhaps with less of fervor but 
with more of comiuon sense, we get a description of these ''exercises" 
which has a familiar ring that seems to bring it very near home. "The 
people remained on the ground day and night, listening to the most 
exciting sermons, and engaging in a mode of worship which consisted 
in alternate crying, laughing, singing, and shouting, accompanied with 
gesticulations of a most extraordinary character. Often there would 
be an unusual outcry; some bursting forth into loud ejaculations of 
thatdvsgiving; others exliorting their careless friends to 'turn to the 
Lord;' some struck with terror, and hastening to escape; others trem- 
bling, weeping, aud swooning away, till every appearance of life was 
gone, and the extreniitics of the body assumed the coldness of a corpse. 
At one meeting not less than a thousand persons fell to the ground, 
apparently without sense or motion. It was common to see them shed 
tearS plentifully about an hoar before they fell. They were then seized 
with a general tremor, and sometimes they uttered one or two piercing 
shrieks in the moment of falling. This latter phenomenon was common 
to both sexes, to all ages, and to all sorts of characters." {Caswall, 
The rrophet of ihc Niuctcmth Gentury, quoted by Remy.) 

After a time these crazy performances in the sacred name of religion 
became so much a matter of course that they were regularly classified in 
categories as the rolls, the jerks, the barks, etc. '' The rolling exercise 
was affected T)y doubling themselves up, then rolling from one side to 
the other like a hoop, or in extending the body horizontally and rolling 
over and over in the filth like so many swine. The jerk consisted in 
violent spasms and twistings of every jiart of the body. Sometimes 
the head was twisted round so that the head was turned to the back, 
aud the countenance so much distorted that not one of its features was 
to be recognized. When attacked by the jerks, they sometimes hopped 
like frogs, and the face and limbs underwent the most hideous contor- 
tions. The bark consisted in throwing themselves on all fours, growl- 
ing, showing their teeth, and barking like dogs. Sometimes a number 
of people crouching down in front of the minister continue to bark as 
long as he preached. These last were supposed to be more especially 
endowed with the gifts of prophecy, dreams, rhapsodies, and visions of 
angels."' {Rcmy, Journey to Great Salt Lake Gity,I.) 

Twenty j'ears later the jerking epidemic again broke out in Tennessee, 
and is described in a letter by the famous visionary and revivalist, 
Lorenzo Dow, who was then preaching in the same region. His desci'ip- 
tion agrees with that given the author by old men who lived at this time 
in eastern Tennessee. We (piote from Dow's letter : "There commenced 
a trembling among the wicked. One and a second fell from their seats. 
I think for eleven hours there was no cessation of the loud cries. Of 
14: ETH — PT '2 20 


tbe people, some who were standing and sitting fell lilie men sliot on 
the held of battle, and I felt it like a tremor to run through my soul 
and veins so that it took away my limb power, so that I fell to the floor, 
and by faith saw a greater blessing than I had hitherto experienced." 
At another place he says: "After taking a cup of tea, I began to speak 
to a vast audience, and I observed about thirty to have the Jerks, 
though they strove to keep as still as they could. These emotions 
were involuntary and irresistible, as any unprejudiced mind might 
see.'' At Marysville " many appeared to feel the word, but about fifty 
felt the jerks. On Sunday, at Knoxville, the governor being present, 
about one hundred and fifty had the jerking exercise, among them a 
circuit preacher, Johnson, who had opposed them a little while before. 
Camp meeting commenced at Liberty. Here I saw the jerks, and some 
danced. The people are taken with jerking irresistibly, and if they 
strive to resist it it worries them more than hard work. Tlieir eyes, 
when dancing, seem to be fixed upward as if upon an invisible object, 
and they are lost to all below. 1 passed by a meeting house whei'e I 
observed the undergrowth had been cut down for a camp meeting,- and 
from fifty to a hundred saplings left breast high, which appeared to me 
so Slovenish that I could not but ask my guide the cause, who observed 
they were topped so high and left for the x)eoi)le to jerk by. This so 
excited my attention that 1 went over the ground to view it, and found 
where the people had laid hold of them and jerked so powerfully that 
they kicked up the earth as a horse stamping flies. Persecutors are 
more subject to the jerks than others, and they have cursed and swore 
and damned it wllih^ jerking." Then he says: "I have seen Presby- 
terians, Methodists, Quakers, Baptists, Church of England, and Inde- 
pendents exercised with the jerks — gentlemen and ladies, black and 
white, rich and poor — without exception. Those naturalists who wish 
to get it to philosophize npou it and the most godly are excepted from 
the jerks. The wicked are more afraid of it than of the smallpox or 
yellow fever." 

It is worthy of note that, according to his account, investigators who 
wished to study the phenomenon were unable to come under tlie influ- 
ence, even though they so desired. 


About 1831 William Miller, a licensed minister, began to preach the 
advent of Christ and the destruction of the world, fixing the date for 
the year 1843, Like most others of his kind who have achieved noto- 
riety, he based his prediction on the prophecies of the Bible, which 
he figured out with mathematical exactness. He began preaching in 
New York and New England, but afterward traveled southward, deliv- 
ering, it is said, over three thousand lectures in support of his theory. 
His predictions led to the formation of a new sect commonly known as 


Adventists, who are said at one time to have numbered over fifty thou- 
sand. Carried awuy by blind enthusiasm they made their preparations 
for the end of all things, which they confidently expected in the summer 
of 1S43. As the time drew near the believers made all ])i'eparati()ns 
for their final departure from the world, many of them selling their 
property, and arraying themselves in white ''ascension robes," which 
were actually put on sale by tlie storekeepers for the occasion. But 
the day and the year went by without the fulfillment of the proj)hecy. 
Miller claimed to have discovered an error in his calculations and fixed 
one or two other dates later on, but as these also jjroved false, his 
followers lost faith and the delusion died out. The Adventists still 
number fifteen or twenty thousand, the largest body being in southern 
Michigan, but although they hold the doctrine of the near advent of 
the final end, and endeavor to be at all times ready, they no longer 
undertake to fix the date. 

It nuiy be noted here that the idea of a millennium, when the Mes- 
siah shall come in person upon the earth and reign with the just for a 
thousand years, was so firmly held by many of the early Christians 
that it may almost be said to have formed a part of the doctrinal tradi- 
tion of tlie church. The belief was an inheritance from the Jews, many 
of whose sacred writers taught that time was to endure through seven 
great '-years'' of a thousand years each, the seventh and last being the 
Sabbatical year or millennium, when their Messiah would appear and 
make their kingdom the mistress of the world. Tor this materialistic 
view of the millennium the Christian fathers substituted a belief in the 
spiritual triumph of religion, when the armies of antichrist would be 
annihilated, but the expectation of the return of Christ to rule in 
])ersou over his church before the last days was an essential jjart of the 
doctrine, founded on numerous prophecies of both the Old and the New 


It would require a volume to treat of the various religious abnor- 
malisms, based on hypnotism, trances, and the messiah idea, which 
have sprung up and flourished in different parts of our own country 
even within the last twenty years. JSTaturally these delusions thrived 
best among the ignorant classes, but there were some notable excep- 
tions, particularly in the case of the Beekmanites or "Church of the 
IJedeemed." About 1875 Mrs Dora Beekman, the wife of a Congrega- 
tional minister in Rockford, Illinois, began preaching that she was the 
immortal reincarnation of Jesus Christ. Absurd as this claim may 
appear, she found those who believed her, and as her converts increased 
in numbers they established their headquarters, which they called 
"heaven," near Eockford, built a church, and went zeahmsly to work 
to gather proselytes. Beekman refused to believe the new doctrine, 


but being unable to convince liis wife of lier folly lie was finally driven 
to insanity. lu the meantime the female Christ found an able disciple 
in the Reverend George Schweinfurth, a young Methodist minister of 
considerable cultivation and ability, who was installed as bishop and 
apostle of the new sect. Mrs Beekmaii dying soon after, in spite of 
Ler claim to immortality, Schweinfurth at once stepped into her place, 
declaring that the Christly essence had passed from her into himself. 
His claim was accepted, and when last heard from, about three years 
ago, he was worshiped by hundreds of followers drawn from the most 
prominent denominations of the vicinity as the risen Christ, the lord 
of heaven and the immortal maker and ruler of the earth. {J, F. L., 6, 
and current newspapers.) 


In 1888 a named Patterson, in Soddy, a small town in eastern 
Tennessee, began preaching that a wonderful thing was about to hap- 
pen, and after the matter had been talked about sufSciently for his 
purpose, he announced that Christ had come in the person of A. J. 
Brown, who had served as Patterson's assistant. Later on Brown dis- 
appeared, and it was announced that he had gone up into the mountain 
to fast for forty days and nights in order to be fittingly i>repared for 
his mission. At the end of this period, on a Sunday morning in June, 
his followers went out toward the hills, where he suddenly appeared 
before them, clothed in white, with his hands uplifted. A great shout 
went up, and the people rushed toward him, falling upon their knees 
and kissing his feet. Many who were ill declared themselves healed by 
his touch. So great was the fanaticism of these people that one girl 
declared she was ready to die to prove her faith, and the nonbelievers 
became so fearful that human life would be sacrificed tliat they sent 
for the sheriff at Chattanooga, and it required all his power to compel 
Patterson and Brown to leave the neighborhood that (piiet might be 
restored. {J.F.L., a.) 


In 1889 and 1800 a remarkable messianic excitement developed 
among the negroes along Savannah river in Ceorgia and South Caro- 
lina, where one man after another itroclaimed himself as Christ, prom- 
ised miracles, drew crowds of excited men and women from their work, 
and created a general alarm among the white population of the whole 
section. The most prominent of these Christs was a mulatto named 
Bell, who went about preaching his divinity and exhorting all who 
would be saved to give up everything and follow him. Hundreds of 
negroes abandoned the cotton fields, the sawmills, and the turi^entine 
woods to follow him, obeying his every word and ready to fall down and 
worship him. They assumed the name of "Wilderness Worshipers," 


and set up in tue woods a "temple" consisting of a series of circular 
seats around an oak. Tlie excitement became so demoralizing and 
dangerous that Bell was finally arrested. His frenzied disciples would 
have resisted the officers, but he commanded them to be patient, declar- 
ing that he could not be harmed and that an angel would come and 
open his prison doors by night. As no specific charge could be formu- 
lated against him, he was released after a short time, and continued 
his preaching to greater crowds than before. At last he announced 
that the world would come to an end on August 1<>, 1S90; that all 
the negroes would then turn white and all white men black, and that 
all who wished to ascend on the last day must purchase wings from 
•him, {J. F. L., 6.) He was finally adjudged insane and sent to the 
asylum. Successors arose in his place, however, and kept up the 
excitement for a year afterward in spite of the efforts of the authori- 
ties to put a stop to it. One of these claimed to be King Solomon, 
while another asserted that he was jSTebuchadnezzar, and emphasized 
his claim by eating grass on all fours. In addition to the " temple" in 
the woods they set up an "ark,'' and were told by the leaders that any 
persecutors who should sacrilegiously attempt to touch it would fall 
down dead. Jfotwithstanding this warning, the officers destroyed both 
ark and temple in their efforts to end the delusion. At last a woman 
was killed by the enthusiasts, aiul a series of wholesale arrests fol- 
lowed. King Solomon, Nebuchadnezzar, and others who were clearly 
insane were sent to join Bell in the asylum, aud the others were released 
from custody after the excitement had waned. 


Within the last five years various local revivalists have attracted 
attention in different sections of Indiana, Illinois, and Missouri, by 
their extravagances, among which prophecies, visions, trances, and 
frenzied bodily exercises were all in-ominent. Particularly at the 
meetings of the "Heavenly Recruits" in central Indiana, and at 
other gatherings under the direction of Mrs Woodworth, cataleptic 
trances were of nightly occurrence. The physical and mental demor- 
alization at last became so great that the meetings were suppressed 
by the authorities. 

From the beginning of history the dance and kindred physical ex- 
ercises have formed a part of the religious ritual of various oriental 
sects, while hypnotic powers and practices have been claimed for their 
priests. This is especially true of the Mohammedan sect or order of 
the Dervishes, of which some account is given in the appendix to this 



[Frrmi I'.rown's I^i-rvisllisj 

Hyi'Niitism. — It is through the jierforuianee of the Zikr, hy khalvet (pious retire- 
ment for purposes of deep devotion), hy the Teve.jjnh (or turning the face or mind 
devoutly toward God iu prayer), hy the Murakeheh (or fearful contenii)lation of 
God), the Tesarruf (or self-ahandonment to pious reflection and inspiration), and the 
Tesavvuf (or mystical spiritualism), that the fervent Dervish reaches peculiar spirit- 
ual powers called Kuvreh i rouhee batinee (a mystical, internal, siiiritual power). The 
life or biography of every eminent sheikh or peer details innumerable evidences of 
this jiowcr exercised in a strange and peculiar manner. This exercise is called the 
Kuvveh Iradat, or the " Power of the Will,'' and, as a theory, may he traced histori- 
cally to the Divine Power — the soul of man being connected with the Divine Spirit — 
from which it emanates, and with which, through the means before mentioned, it 
commences. Some sheikhs are more celebrated than others for their peculiar and 
strange powers, ami it is to their superiority that their reputation and reverence in 
the Mussulman world in general, and among Dervi.shes iu particular, is to be attrib- 
uted. With the supposition that the details given of them by their biographers, 
disciples, or successors are not invented, or even exaggerated, their powers are cer- 
tainly very remarkable. Whilst among them an implicit belief in them is iirmly 
sustained, sultans and princes have evidently doubted them, and, being alarmed 
with the influence the possessors acquired and sustained among the- public generally, 
they have often shown a direful exercise of their own arbitrary will and power, 
which resulted iu the untimely end of the unfortunate sheikh. Many, on the other 
hand, have survived the fre(iuent exercise of their "spiritual powers," and either 
because they acquired a power and influence over the minds of their temporal ruler.s, 
or whether they used them for their own private purposes, so .as to c<raciliate the 
more religious or fanatic, they succeeded in reaching advanced ages and a peaceful 
end of their remarkable careers. Wheu the ruler of the country has not cared to 
order the execution of the sheikh who declared himself possessed of these spiritunl 
powers, he has simply exiled him from his capital or his territory, and permitted 
him freely to exercise his powers and renown in some less ol)jectionaI)le localit.v. 
These powers can only be ac(|uired through the long instruction of a superior spirit- 
ual director, or Murshid, or As-hab i Yekeen, for whom the discijiles ever retain a 
most grateful remembrance and attachment. 

Among the practices of these powers is the faculty of foreseeing coming events; 
of predicting their occurrence; of preserving individuals from the harm and evil 
which would otherwise certainly result for them; of assuring to one person success 
over the machinations of another, so that he may freel.v attack him and prevail over 
him; of restoring harmon.v of sentiment between those who would be 
relentless enemies; of knowing wheu others devised harm against themselves, and 
through certain spells of jtreserving themselves and causing h,arm to befall the evil 
minded, and eveu of causing the death of .anyone against whom they wish to pro- 
ceed. All this is done as well from a distance as when near. 

In other parts of the world, and among other people, these attainments would 
have been attributed to sorcery and witchcraft; in modern times the.y would be 
ascribed to spiritism, or magnetic influences, either of the spirit or of the body; 
but to the instructed Dervish they all derive their origin in the spirit of the holy 
sheikh — the special gift of the great .Spirit of God, which commences with the sjiirit 
of man, from which it directly emanated. The condition or disposition necessary 
for these effects is called the Hal (state or frame), and is much the same as that 
required by the magnetized, and the object of his operation. The powers of the 
body are enfeebled by fasting and mental fatigue in prayer, and the imaginaticm 
kept in a fervid st.ate, fully impressed with the conviction that such powers are 
really possessed by the sheikh, and that he can readily exercise them over the 


•n-illiuj; mind and body of the disciple. How the sheikli cau produce such strange 
results on a distant and unconscious person is left to the admiration and imagination 
of the faithful disciple, as an incentive to exertions in the same true path as that of 
his sheikh. 

To e.xercise the power of the will, it is necessary to contract the thoughts suddenly 
upon the object designeil to be utfected so perfectly as to leave no room for the mind 
to dwell, possibly, upon any other. The mind must not ilonbt for an instant of the 
success of this ell'ort, nor the possibility of failure; it must, in fact, be completely 
absorbed by the one sole idea of performing the determination strongly taken and 
firmly relied upon. The persons must, from time to time, jiractice this; and as they 
proceed, they will be able to see how much propinciulty exists between themselves 
and the Hazret i Asm:l (God?) and how much they are capable of exercising this 

As an example, the author of the Reshihat narrates the following: 

In my youth, I was ever with <»iir Lord MoliinA Sa'eert ed Deen K^shgharoeat Hereed. It happened 
that we, one day, walked out together .aud fell in with an assembly of the inhabitants of the place 
who weri' I'ngaged in wrustling. To try our ])ower3 we agreed to aid witli our ' ' powers of the will" 
one of the wrestlers, so that the othtr should be ovej-rome by liini. and after doing so, to change our 
design in favor of the discomfited individual. So we stopped and, turning toward the parties, gave 
the full influence of our united wills to one, and immediately he was able to subdue his opponent. 
As the person we chose, each in turn, conquered the other, whichever we willed to prevail became the 
most powerful of the two. the power <if <Hir own wills was thus clearly manifested. 

On .another occasion two other persons possessed of these same powers fell in with 
an .assembly of people at a phace occupied by prize fighters. "To prevent any of 
the crowd from passing between and separating us we joined our hands together. 
Two persons were engaged fighting; one was a jiowerful man, while the other was 
a spare and weak person. The former readily overcame the latter; and seeing this 
I proposed to my companion to aid the weak one by the power of our wills. So he 
bade me aid him in the project, while he concentrated his powers upon the weaker 
person. Immediately a wonderful occurrence took jilace; the thin, spare man seized 
his giant-like opponent and threw him on the ground with surprising force. The 
crowd cried out with astonishment as he turned him over on his back iind held him 
down with .apparent ease. No one present except ourselves knew the cause. .Seeing 
that my companion was much att'ected by the effort which he made, I bade him 
remark how perfectly successful we had been, and adding that there was no longer 
any necessity for our remaining there, we walked away." (Pages 129-132.) 

Many individuals who have seriously wronged anil oppressed his friends received 
punishments through the powers of the sheikh. Several instances are related wherein 
some such even fell sick and died, or were only restored to health by open declara- 
tions of repentance and imploring his prayerful intercession with (iod. His spirit 
seems to have accompanied those in whose welfare he took an active interest, and 
enabled them to commune with him, though far distant from him. His jiower of 
hearing them was well known to his friends, and several instances are cited to prove 
the fact. His power of atfecting the health of those who injured him or his friends 
was greatly increased while he was excited by auger, and on such occasions his 
whole frame would he convulsed and his beard move about .as if moved by elec- 
tricity. On learning details of cruelty done to innocent individuals, the sheikh 
would be strangely atfected, so much so that no one dared to address him until the 
paroxysm was passed ; and on such occasions he never failed to commune spiritually 
with the sovereign or prince in such a mysterious manner as to inspire him to deal 
justly with the guilty person and secure his merited punishment. 

Through his "mystical powers" m.any persons were impressed with the unright- 
eousness of their course, and, having repented of the same, became good and pious and 
firm believers in his spiritual influences. These powers were always connected with 
his prayers, and it was during these that he w,as enabled to assure the parties inter- 
ested of their salutary results and the acceptation of their desires. It scarcely needs 


to be added, that these prayers were in conformanpe with Islamism, aud were offered 
up to Allali, whom he adored, and to whose supreme will he attributes his powers. 
He constantly performed the Zikr Jehree, or " audibly called God's name," and the 
frequent repetition of this practice fitted him for such holy purposes. Sometimes 
he would art'ect the mind of the individual upon whom he exercised his powers in 
such a manner as to throw him into a species of trance, after which he could remem- 
ber nothing that he had previously known, aud continued in this state until the 
sheikh chose to restore him to the enjoyment of his ordinary faculties. Notwith- 
standing all of these eminent powers, this great sheikh is reputed to have spent the 
latter days of his life at Herat in extreme indigence, much slighted and neglected 
by those who had so admired him while in the vigor of his career. All fear of his 
mystical influences seems to have disappeared, and it is narrated that these greatly 
declined with his ordinary strength of mind and body. (Pages 137-139.) 

t, M ^ * * # -h 

Dervish danck. — The exercises which are followed in these halls are of various 
kinds, according to the rules of each institution ; but in nearly all they com- 
mence by the recital, by the sheikh, of the seven mysterious words of which we 
have spoken. He next chants various passages of the Koran, and at each pause, the 
Dervishes, placed in a circle round the hall, res])Oiid in chorus by the word "Allah ! " 
or " Hoo ! " In some of the societies they sit on their heels, the elbows close to those 
of each other, and all making simultaneously light movements of the head and the 
body. In others, the movement consists in balancing themselves slowly, from the 
right to the left, and from the left to the right, or inclining the body methodically 
forward and aft. There are other societies in which these motions commence seated, 
in measured cadences, with a staid countenance, the eyes closed or fixed upon the 
ground, and are continued on foot. These singular exercises are concentrated under 
the name of Murakebeh (exaltation of the Divine glory), and also tinder that of the 
Tevheed (celebration of the Divine unity), from which comes the name Tevheed 
Khaueh, given to the whole of the halls devoted to these religious exercises. 

In some of these institittions — such as the Kadirees, the Rufii'ees, the Khalwettees, 
the Bairamees, the Gul.shenees, and the Ushakees — the exercises are made each hold- 
ing the other by the hand, jmtting forward always the right foot and increasing at 
every step the strength of the movement of the body. This is called the Devr, 
which may be translated the " dance" or "rotation." The duration of these dances 
is arbitrary — each one is free to leave when he pleases. Everyone, however, makes 
it a point to remain as long as possible. The strongest and most robust of the num- 
ber, aud the most enthusiastic, strive to persevere longer than the others; they 
uncover their heads, take off their turbans, form a second circle within the other, 
entwine their arms within those of their brethren, lean their shoulders against each 
other, gradually raise the voice, atid withotit ceasing repeat "Va Allah !" or " Yil 
Hoo!" increasing each time the movement of the body, and not stopping until their 
entire strength is exhausted. 

Those of the order of the Rnfa'ees excel in these exercises. They are, moreover, 
the only ones who use fire in their devotions. Their practices embrace nearly all 
those of the otherorders; they are ordinarily divided into five different scenes, which 
last more than three hours, and which are jireceded, accompanied, and followed by 
certain ceremonies to this order. The first commences with praises which 
all the Dervishes offer to their sheikhs, seated before the altar. Four of the more 
ancient come forward the first, and approach their superior, embrace each other as 
if to give the kiss of peace, and next place themselves two to his right and two to 
his left. The remainder of the Dervishes, in a body, press forward in a procession, 
all having tlieir arms crossed and their heads inclined. Each one, at first, salutes 
by a profound bow the tablet on which the name of his founder is inscribed. After- 
wards, putting his two hands over his face and his beard, he kneels lielbre the sheikh, 
kisses his hand respectfully, and then they all go on with a grave step to take their 
places on the sheepskins, which are spread in a half circle around the interior of the 
hall. So soon as a circle is formed, the Dervishes together chant the Tekbeer and 


the F;itiUa. Immediately afterwards the sheikh pronoiiuees the words " Li'i ilaha ill' 
Allah!" and rei)eats them incessantly; to which the Dervishes repeat "Allah!" bal- 
ancing themselves from side to side, and putting their hands over their faces, ou 
their breasts and their abdomens, and ou their knees. 

The second scene is opened by the Hamdee Mohanimcdee, a hymn in honour of the 
prophet, chanted by one of the elders placed on the right of the sheikh. During this 
chant the Dervishes continue to re|ieat the word "Allah!" moving, however, their 
bodies forward and aft. A quarter of an hour later they all rise up, approach each 
other, and press their elbows against each other, balancing from right to left aud 
afterwards in a reverse motion, the right foot always firm, .and the left in a period- 
ical movement, the reverse of that of the body, all observing great precision of meas- 
ure and cadence. In the midst of this exercise they cry out the words " Ya Allah!'' 
followed by that of "Ya Hoo!" Some of the performers sigh, others sob, some shed 
tears, others perspire great drops, and all have their eyes closed, their faces pale, and 
the eyes languishing. 

A pause of some minutes is followed by a third scene. It is performed in the mid- 
dle of an Ilahec, chanted by the two elders on the right of the sheikh. The Ilahees, as 
has already been said, are spiritual eantiques, composed almost exclusively in Per. 
sian by sheikhs deceased in the odor of sanctity. The Dervishes then hasten their 
movements, and, to prevent any relaxation, one of the first among them puts himself 
in their center, and excites them by his example. If in the assembly there be any 
strange Dervishes, which often happens, they give them, through iioliteness, this 
place of honor; and all fill it successively, the one after the other, shaking them- 
selves as aforesaid. The only exception made is in favor of the Mevevees; these 
never perform any other dance than that peculiar to their own order, which consists 
in turning round on each heel in succession. 

After a new pause commences the fourth scene. Now all the Dervishes take off 
their turbans, form a circle, bear their arms and shoulders against each other, and 
thus make the circuit of the hall at a measured pace, striking their feet at intervals 
against the floor, and all springing up at once. This dance continues during the 
Ilahees chanted alternately by the two elders to the left of the sheikh. In the midst 
of this chant the cries of "Ya Allah! " are increased doubly, as also those of "Ya 
Hoo!" with frightful bowlings, shrieked by the Dervishes together in the dance. 
At the moment that they would seem to stop from sheer exhaustion the sheikh makes 
a point of exerting them to new eftbrts by walking through their midst, making also 
himself most violent movements. He is next replaced by the two elders, who double 
the quickness of the step and the .agitation of the body; they even straighten them- 
selves up from time to time, and excite the euvy or emulation of the others in their 
astonishing ett'orts to continue the dance until their strength is entirely exhausted. 

The fourth scene leads to the last, which is the most frightful of all, the wholly 
prostr.ated ctmdition of the actors becoming converted Into a species of ecstasy which 
they call Halet. It is in the midst of this abandonment of self, or rather of religious 
delirium, that they make use of red-hot irons. Several cutlasses and other instru- 
ments of .sharp-pointed iron are suspended in the niches of the hall, and upon a part 
of the wall to the right of the sheikh. Near the close of the fourth scene two Der- 
vishes take down eight or nine of these instruments, heat them red hot, and present 
them to the sheikh. He, after reciting some prayers over them, and invoking the 
founder of the order, Ahmed er Kufa'ee, breathes over them, and raising them 
slightly to the mouth, gives them to the Dervishes, who ask for them with the great- 
est eagerness. Then it is that these fanatics, transported by frenzy, seize upon these 
irons, gloat upon them tenderly, lick them, bite them, hold them between their teeth, 
and end by cooling them in their mouths. Those who are unable to procure any 
seize upon the cutlasses h.anging on the wall with fury, and stick them into their 
sides, arms, aud legs. 

Thanks to the fury of their frenzy, and to the amazing boldness which they deem 
a merit in the eyes of the Divinity, all stoically bear up against the pain which they 


experience with apparent gaiety. If, however, some of them fall under their sufl'er- 
ings, they throw themselves into the arms of their confrires, hut without ii complaint 
or the least sign of pain. Some minutes after this, the sheikli walks round the hall, 
visits each one of the performers in turn, breathes upon their wounds, rubs them 
with saliva, recites prayers over them, and promises them speedy cures. It is said 
that twenty-four hours afterward nothing is to be seen of their wounds. (Pages 

4* # # . « * J' # 

There was no regularity in their dancing, hnt each seemed to he performing the 
antics of a madman ; now moving his body np and down; the next moment turning 
round, then using odd gesticulations with his arms, next jumping, and sometimes 
screaming; in short, if a stranger observing them was not told that this was the 
involuntary effect of enthusiastic excitement, he would certainly think that these 
Durweeshes were merely striving to excel one another in playing the buffoon. 
(Page 260.) 

Thk fit. — After this preface, the performers began the Zikr. Sitting in the man- 
ner above described, they chanted, in slow measure, La ildha ilia 'lldh (there is no 
deity but God), to the following air: Ld i-ld haiUa-Udh. La i-ld-ha-illa-l-ld-h. La 
i-ld ha xUa-l-ldh, Bowing the head twice on each repetition of " Ld ildha ilia 'lldh." 
Thus they continued about a quarter of an hour, and then, for about the same space 
of time, they repeated the same words to the same air, but in a quicker measure, 
and with correspondingly quicker motion. 

They next rose, and, standing in the same order in which they had lieen sitting, 
repeated the same words to another air. During this stage of tlieir performance 
they were joined by a tall, well-dressed, bhick slave, whose appearance induced me 
to inquire who he was. I was informed that he was a eunuch, belonging to the 
basha. The Zikkeers, still standing, next repeated the same words in a very deep 
and hoarse tone, laying the principal emphasis upon the word "Lii," and the first 
syllable of the last word, Allah, and uttering, apparently with a considerable effort. 
The sound much resembled that which is produced by beating the rim of a tambour- 
ine. Each Zikkeer turned his head alternately to the right and left at each repeti- 
tion of "iff ildha ilia 'llah." The eunuch above mentioned, during this part of the 
Zikr, became what is termed m('i6oo.5, or "possessed.". Throwing his arms about, and 
looking up with a very wild expression of countenance, he exclaimed, in a very high 
tone and with great vehemence and rapidity, Allah ! Allah ! Allah ! Allah! Allah! la! 
la ! la ! la ! la ! la .' la ! la ! la ! la ! la ! la ! Idh ! Td 'ammee ! Yd 'animee ! Yd 'ammee ! Ash- 
mdivee! YdAfihmdwec! Yd Ashmdwee ! {Yd'ammee signifies O, my uncle!) His voice 
gradually became faint, and when he had uttered those wonls, though ho was held 
by a Durweesh who was next him, he fell on the ground, foaming at the mouth, his 
eyes closed, his limbs convulsed, and his lingers clenched over his thumbs. It was 
an epileptic fit. No one could see it and believe it to be the effect of feigned 
emotions; it was undoubtedly the result of a high state of religious excitement. 
Nobody seemed surprised at it, for occurrences of this kind at Zikrs are not uncom- 
mon. All the performers now appeared much excited, repeating their ejaculations 
with greater rapidity, violently turning their heads, and sinking the whole body at 
the same time, some of them jumping. The eunuch became melhuos again several 
times, anil I generally remarked that his fits happened after one of the Moonshids 
had sung a line or two, and exerted himself more than usually to excite his hearers. 
The singing was, indeed, to my taste, very pleasing. Toward the close of the Zikr 
a private soldier, who had joined through the whole performance, also seemed 
several times to be melhoos, growling in a horrible manner and violently shaking 
his head from side to side. The contrast jiresented Ijy the vehement and distressing 
exertions of the performers at the close of the Zikr, and their calm gravity and 
solemnity of manner at the commencement, was particularly striking. Money was 
collected during the performance for the Moonshid. The Zikkeers receive no pay. 
(Pages 252-255.) 



The. Ghost-dance songs are of the utmost importance in connection 
with the study of the messiah religion, as we find embodied in them 
much of the doctrine itself, witii more of tlie special tribal mythologies, 
together witli such innumerable references to old-time customs, cere- 
monies, and modes of life long since obsolete as make up a regular 
symposium of aboriginal thought and practice. There is no limit to the 
number of these songs, as every trance at every dance produces a new 
one, the trance subject after regaining consciousness embodying his 
experience in the spirit world in the form of a song, which is sung at 
the next dance and succeeding performances until superseded by other 
songs originating in the same way. Thus, a single dance may easily 
result in twenty or thirty new songs. While songs are thus born and 
die, certain ones which appeal especially to the Indian heart, on account 
of their mythology, ])athos, or peculiar sweetness, live and are per- 
petuated. There are also witli each tribe certain songs which are a 
regular part of the ceremonial, as the opening song and the closing- 
song, which are repeated at every dance. Of these the closing song is 
the most important and permanent. In some cases certain songs con- 
stitute a regular series, detailing the experiences of the same person 
in successive trance visions. First in importance, for number, rich- 
ness of reference, beauty of sentiment, and rhythm of language, are 
the songs of the Arapaho. 



Ahyii'to — Kiowa uaiiie; meaning iiuknown; tlie Kiowa call tlie wild plum by the 
same name. 

Alio s-anyotslano — Kichai name. 

ArWpuho — popular name; derivation uncertain; but, perh.apa, as Dunbar suggests, 
from the Pawnee word tirapihu or larapiliu, "he buys or trades," in allusion to 
the Arapaho having formerly been the trading medium between the Pawnee, 
Osage, and others on the north, and the Kiowa, Comanche, and others to the 
southwest (Grinnell letter). 

Ardpakata — Crow name, from word Arapaho. 

Beiidie — Kiowa Apache name. 

Deisela'yaa — Caddo name, "dog eaters." 

Uitiinuro'tv — Cheyenne name, " cloud men." 

Inuiia-iiia — proper tribal name, "our people," or " peojile of our kind." 

Kaninahoic or Kanind'viiih — Ojibwii name; meaning unknown. 



Komse'ka-K'iiiahjinp — former Kiowa name; "men of the worn-out leggings ; " from 
komse', "smoky, soiled, worn out;" laii, "leggings;" Vinahtjup, "men." 

Maqpi'ato — Sioux name, " blue cloud," i. e., clear sky; reason unknown. 

Kid' rharV s-lcuriUitcn' >t-liusl<i — Wichita name. 

Sani'ti'ka — Pawnee name, from the Comanche name. 

Sdrifika — Comanche anil Shoshoui name, "dog eaters," in allusion to their si)ecial 
liking for dog flesh. 

Saretika — Wichita name, from the Comanche name. 


Southern Arapaho, "ruh noses;" northern Arapaho, ''mother people;" Gros Ventres 
of the Prairie, "telly people." 


The Arapaho, with their subtribe, the Gros Ventres, are one of the 
westernmoist tribes of the wide-extending Algonquian stock. Accord- 
ing to their oldest traditions they formerly lived in northeastern Minne- 
sota and moved westward in company with the Cheyenne, who at that 
time lived on the Cheyenne fork of Red river. From the earliest period 
the two tribes have always been clo.sely confederated, .so that they 
have no recollection of a time when they were not allies. In the west- 
ward migration the Cheyenne took a more southerly direction toward 
the country of tlie Black hills, while the Arapaho continued more nearly 
westward up the Missouri. The Arapaho proper probably ascen ded on the 
southern side of the river, while the Gros Ventres went up the northern 
bank and finally drifted off toward the Blackfeet, with whom they have 
ever since been closely associated, although they have on several occa- 
sions made long visits, extending sometimes over several years, to their 
southern relatives, by whom they are still regarded as a part of the 
"Inuua-ina." The others continued on to the great divide between 
the waters of the Missouri and those of the Columbia, then turning south- 
ward along the mountains, separated liually into two main divisions, 
the northern Arapaho continuing to occupy the head streams of the 
Missouri and the Yellowstone, in Montana and Wyoming, while 
the southern Arapaho made their camps on the head of the Platte, the 
Arkansas, and the Canadian, in Colorado and the adjacent states, fre- 
quently joining the Comanche and Kiowa in their raids far down into 
Mexico. From their earliest recollection, until put on reservations, 
they have been at war with the Shoshoni, Ute, Pawnee, and Navaho, but 
have generally been friendly with their other neighbors. The soutliern 
Arapahoand Cheyenne have usually acted in concert with the Comanche, 
Kiowa, and Kiowa Apache. 

They recognize among themselves live original divisions, each having 
a different dialect. They are here given in the order of their importance : 

1. Na'kasiiif'na, Ba'achincna or Norihern Arapaho. Xakasinena, 
"sagebrush men," is the original name of this poi-tiou of the tribe and 
the divisional name used by themselves. The name Baachinena, by 
which they are commonly known to the rest of the tribe, is more 


iiioderu and may meau '-red willow (i. e., kiuikiiiik) men," or possibly 
"blood-ijudding men," the latter meaning said to have been an allusion 
to a kind of sausage formerly made by this band. They are commonly 
known as northern Arapaho, to distinguish them from the other large 
division living now in Oklahoma. The Kiowa distinguished them as 
Tiigyii'ko, "sagebrush jieople,'' a translation of their proper name, 
Baachinena. Although not the largest division, the Baachinena claim 
to be the "mother people" of the Arapaho, and have in their keeping 
the grand medicine of the tribe, the seicha or sacred pipe. 

2. X<i'(rMM«t«, " southern men," or Southern A rajxi ho, called Naica- 
thi'ncha, " southerners," by the northern Arapaho. This latter is said 
to be the archaic form. The southern Arapaho, living now in Okla- 
homa, constitute by far the larger division, although subordinate in the 
tribal sociology to the northern Arapaho. In addition to their every- 
day dialect, they are said to have an archaic dialect, some words of 
which approximate closely to Cheyenne. 

3. Aii'it inena, Hitu'ncna, or GrosVentres of the Prairie. The first name, 
said to mean "white clay people" (from aiiti, "white clay"), is that by 
which they call themselves. Hitungna or Hitunenina, "begging men," 
"beggars," or, more exactly, "spongers," is the name by which they are 
called by the other Arapaho, on account, as these latter claim, of their 
propen-sity for filling their stomachs at the expense of someone else. 
The same idea is intended to be conveyed by the tribal sign, which 
signifies "belly people," not "big bellies" (Gros Ventres), as rendered 
by the French Canadian tra])pers. The Kiowa call them Bot-k'in'ago, 
"belly men." By the Shoshoni, also, they are known as Sa'pani, "bel- 
lies," while the Blackfeet call them Atsina, "gut people." The Ojibwa 
call them Bahwetegow-eninnewug, "fall people," according to Tanner, 
whence they have sometimes been called Fall Indians or Eapid Indians, 
from their former residence about the rapids of the Saskatchewan. To 
the Sioux they are kno^yn as Sku'tani. Lewis and Clark improperly 
call them "Minnetareesof Fort de Prairie." The Hidatsa or.Minitari 
are sometimes known as Gros Ventres of the Missouri. 

4. Ba'saicuiie'na, "wood lodge men," or, according to another author- 
ity, " big lodge i)eople."' These were formerly a distinct tribe and at war 
with the other Arapaho. They are represented as having been a very 
foolish people in the old times, and many absurd stories are told of 
them, in agreement with the general Indian practice of belittling con- 
quered or subordinate tribes. They have been incorporated with the 
northern Arapaho for at least a hundred and fifty years, according to 
the statements of the oldest men of that band. Their dialect is said 
to have differed very considerably from the other Arapaho dialects. 
There are still about one hundred of this lineage among the northern 
Arapaho, and perhaps a few others w-ith the two other main divisions. 
Weasel Bear, the present keeper of the sacred pipe, is of the Biisaw- 


5. lln' tiahaicunfnn or AiiniVhaira (meaning;' unknown). Tbese, like 
tlio Biisawuni'-na, lived with the northern Araj)ali(j, but are now practi- 
cally extinct. 

There seems to be no possible trace of a clan or gentile system among 
the Araiiaho, and the same remark holds good of the Cheyenne, Kiowa, 
and Comanche. It was once assumed that all Indian tribes had the 
clan system, but later research shows that it is lacking over wide areas 
in the western territory. It is very doubtful if it exists at all among 
the prairie tribes generally. Mr Ben Clark, who has known and studied 
the Cheyenne for half a lifetime, states positively that they have no 
clans, as the term is usually understood. This agrees with the result 
of iiersonal investigations and the testimony of George Bent, a Chey- 
enne half blood, and tlie best living authority on all that relates to his 
tribe. With the eastern tribes, however, and those who have removed 
from the east or the timbered country, as the Caddo, the gentile sys- 
tem is so much a part of their daily life that it is one of the first things 
to attract tlie attention of the observer. 

In regard to the tribal camping circle, common to most of the prai- 
rie tribes, the Arapalio state that on account of their living in three 
main divisions they have had no common camping circle within their 
recollection, but that each of these three divisions constituted a single 
circle when encamped in one place. 

Among the northern Arapaho, on the occasion of every grand gath- 
ering, the sacred pipe occupied a si)ecial large tipi in the center of the 
circle, and the taking down of this tipi by the medicine keeper was the 
signal tt) the rest of the camp to prepare to move. On the occasion of 
a visit of several hundred Cheyenne and Arapaho to the Kiowa and 
Comanche at Auadarko, in the summer of 1892, each of the visiting 
tribes camped in a separate circle adjacent to the other. The opening 
of the circle, like the door of each tipi, always faces the east. 

Under the name of Kaueuavisli the Arapaho proper are mentioned 
by Lewis and Clark in 1805, as living southwest of the Black hills. 
As a tribe they have not been at war with the whites since 1808, and 
took no i)art in the outbreak of the ( 'heyenne, Kiowa, and Comanche 
in 1874:. At present they are in three main divisions. First come 
the Gros Ventres, numbering 718 in 1892, associated with the Asini- 
boin on Fort Belkiiap reservation in Montana. There are pi'obably 
others of this band with the Blackfeet on the British side of the line. 
Next come the northern Arapaho, numbering 829, associated with the 
Shoshoni ou Wind Kiver reservation in Wyoming. They were placed 
on this reservation in 187C, after having made peace with the Shoshoni, 
their hereditary enemy, in 1869. Tliey are divided into three bands, the 
"Forks of the River Men" under Black Coal, the head chief of the whole 
division; the "Bad Pii)es" under Short Nose, and the "Greasy Faces" 
under Spotted Horse. Tlie third division, the southern Arapaho, 
associated with the Cheyenne in Oklahoma, constitute the main body 



of the tribe and imiiibered 1,(101 in 18!t2. Tliey have five "bands: 
1, Wa'quithi, ''bad faces," the principal l)an<l and the one to which the 
liead chief, Left Hand, belongs; 2, Acja'tliine'na, "pleasant men;" 
3, Gawune'naor (ia/wunrhana (Kawinalian, ''black people" — Hai/den), 
"Blackfeet," so called because said to be of part Blackfoot blood, the 
same name being applied to the Blackfoot tribe ; 4, Ha'cjihana, " wolves," 
because they had a wolf (not coyote) for medicine; 5, S;isa'bii-ithi, 
''looking up," or according to another authority, "looking around, i. e., 
watchers or lookouts." Under the treaty of Medicine Lodge in 1867, 
they and the southern Cheyenne were placed on the reservation which 
they sold iu 1890 to take allotments and become citizens. Their present 

Flu. 8ti— Arapabu tipi aud wimlbroak. 

chief is Left Hand (Xawat), who succeeded the celebrated Little Itaven 
(Hosa) a few years ago. The whole number of the Arapalio and Gros 
Ventres, including a few in eastern schools, is about 2,700. 

Until very recently the Arai)aho have been a typical ])rairie tribe, 
living in skin tipis and following the buft'alo in its migrations, yet they 
I'etaiu a tradition of a time when they Avere agricultural. They are 
of a friendly, accommodating disj)osition, religious and contemplative, 
without the truculent, pugnacious character that belongs to their con- 
federates, the Cheyenne, although they have always proven themselves 
brave warriors. They are also less mercenary and more tractable than 
the prairie Indians generally, and having now recognized the inevitable 
of civilization have gone to work in good faith to make the best of it. 



(EIH. ANN. 14 

Their religious nature lias led them to take a more .active interest in 
the Ghost dauce, which, together with the rhythmic character of their 
language, has made the Arapaho songs the favorite among all the tribes 
of Oklahoma. The chief study of the fJhost dance was made among the 
Arapaho, whom the author visited six times for this ])urpose. < >ne visit 
was made to those in Wyoming, the rest of the time being spent with 
the S(mtherii branch of the tribe. 

1. OPKNINi; SoNIi — Eykiie ! na nisa'na 


- #*—»- 



Eye-be'! A - na'-ni-Ba' - na, 

E-ye-lie' ! A ■ nji'-ni-sa' na, 

Hi' - nil cha'-saq 

— F«- — H — I — I — f-i — I h-i — I — ^ — I — r" — ~M T— ^ — — I — r — I i~l — ' — ^ — ' — ^^ 

a-ti-cha' ni-iia He'- e ■ ,^e'! Hi'-na cliii'-saq ii-ti-cha' ui'ua He'-e - ye' ! Ka'-llB.-ni na'- 


thii'-tu-liii'-na He'-e-\e'! Na'-ha-ni na'-ni-tliji'-tu-hu'-iia Hr'-eye'! ]ii'-ta-a'-wu' 

—I J — I — ^ — I — ^ 

-H l+a-i — !-#-* — ^- 



da' - na - a' - bii-na'-waHe'-e - ye'! Bi'-ta - a'-wu' da' - na - a' - bit - na'-wa He'-e - ye'! 

Eyehe' ! nii'nisa'na, 
Eyehe' ! nii'uisa/na, 
Hi'nii chii'sa' iiticha'nl'na He'eye' ! 
Hi'nii chii'sfi' iiticha'nl'na He'eye' ! 
Na'hani nii'uilhii'tuhu'na He'eye'! 
Na'hani nii'nithii'tuhu'na He'eye'! 
Bi'taa'wu' da'naa'biina'wa He'eye' ! 
Bi'taa'wu' da'naa'biiua'wa He'eye' ! 


O, my children ! O, my children ! 
Here is another of your pipes — Be' eye' ! 
Here is another of your pipes — He'eye' I 
Look ! thus I shouted — He'eye'! 
Look ! thus I shouted — He'eye'! 
When I moved the earth — He'eye'! 
When I moved the eartli — He'eye'! 

This opening song of the Arapaho Ghost dance originated among the 
northern Arapaho in ^Vyoniing and was brought down to the southern 
branch of the tribe by the first apostles of the new religion. By 
"another pipe" is jjrobably meant the newer revelation of the messiah, 
the pipe being an important feature of all sacred ceremonies, and all 


their previous religious tradition having centered about the seicha or 
flat pipe, to be described hereafter. Tlie pipe, however, was not com- 
monly carried in the dance, as was the case among the Sioux. In this 
soug, as in many others of the (ihost dance, the father or messiah, 
Hesuna'nin. is supposed to be addressing "my children," nlinisa'na. 
The tune is particularly suft and pleasing, and the song remains a 
standard favorite. The second reference is to the new earth which is 
supposed to be already moving rapidly forward to slide over and take 
the place of this old and worn-out creation. 

2. Se'icha )iki ta'wuni'na 

Se'icha' hei'ta'wuni'ua — E'yahe'eye, 

Se'icha liei'ta'wuni'iia — E'yalie'eye. 

He'suna'nini — Yahe'eye', 

He'suna'nini — Yahe'eye'. 

tJtnitha'wuchii'wahrmiiniua — E'yahe'eye', 

tytnitha'wuchii'wahrinaiiiiia — E'yahe'eye'- 

He'suna'nini — E'yahe'eye, 

He'sana'iiini — E'yahe'eye. 


The sacrefl pipe tells me — K'ljahe'eije ! 

The sacred jiipe tells nie — E'ljahe'eye ! 

Our father — Yahe'eye' ! 

Our father — Yahe'ei/f .' 

We shall surely he put again (with our friends) — E'ljalie'eye! 

We shall surely he put again (with our friends) — E' yahe' eye ! 

Our father — E' yahe'eye! 

Our father — E'yahe'eye! 

The seicha or flat pipe is the sacred tribal medicine of the Arapaho. 
According to the myth it was given to their ancestors at the beginning 
of the world after the Turtle had brought the earth up from under the 
water. It was delivered to them by the Duck, which was discovered 
swimming about on the top of the water after the emergence of the land. 
At the same time they were given an ear of corn, from which comes all 
the corn of the world. The Arapaho lost the art of agriculture when 
they came out upon the buffalo i)lains, but the sacred pipe the Turtle 
long since changed to stone, and the first ear of corn, also transformed 
to stone, they have cherished to this day as their great medicine. The 
pipe, turtle, and ear of corn are preserved among the northern Arai)aho 
in Wyoming, who claim to be the "mother people" of the tribe. They 
are handed down in the keeping of a ]>articu]ar family from generation 
to generation, the present i)riestly guardian being Se'hiwiiq, "Weasel 
Bear" (from sea, weasel, and «'%, bear; the name has also been ren- 
dered "(Iray Bear," from sc, gray, and "''!'/, bear), of the Biisawune'na 

The three sacred things are preserved carefully wrapped m deerskins, 
and are exposed only on rare occasions, always within the sacred tipi 
1-t ETH — px 2 21 


aud ill tlie presence of but a snuill miiuber of witnesses, wlio take this 
opportunity to smoke tbe sacred pipe and pray for the things which 
they most desire. The pipe itself is of stone, and is described as appar- 
ently made in double, one part being laid over the other like tlie bark 
of a tree, the outer part of both l)()wl and stem being of the regular red 
pipestoue, while the inner i)art of both is of white stone. The stem is 
only about 10 inches long, while the bowl is large and heavy, with the 
characteristic projection for resting the end upon the ground. Both 
bowl aud stem are rounded, but with a flange of perhaps an inch iu 
width along each side of the stem aud up along the bowl. From this 
comes its name of sf'icha, or "flat pipe." When exposed on such occa- 
sions, the devotees sit around the Are in a circle, when the bundle is 
opened upon the ground so that all may see the sacred objects. The 
medicine keeper then lights the pipe and after taking one or two whitts 
passes it to the one next him, who takes a single whift' and passes it 
ou to the next, it thus goes sunwise (?) around the circle. In taking 
the 8ei(;ha the devotees do not grasp the stem, as when smoking on 
other occasions, but receive it upon the outstretched palm of the right 
hand, smoke, and pass it on around the circle. The flanges along the 
side of the pipe allow it to rest flat upon the hand. After all have 
smoked, the priest recites the genesis myth of the origin of the land, 
and the manner in which the pipe and the corn were given to their 
ancestors. The corresponding myth of the Cheyenne occupies "four 
smokes" (i. e., four consecutive nights) in the delivery, but I am unable 
to state whether or not this is the case with the Arapaho. So sacred 
is this tradition held that no one but the priest of the pipe dares to 
recite it, for fear of divine punishment should the slightest error be 
made in the narration. At the close of the recital the devotees send up 
their prayers for the blessings of which they stand most in need, after 
which the priest again carefully wraps up the sacred objects in the skins. 
Before leaving the lodge the worshipers cover the bundle with their 
ofleiiugs of blankets or other valuables, which are taken by the medi- 
cine keeper as his fee. 

When encamped in the tribal circle, the sacred pipe aud its keeper 
occupied a large tipi, reserved especially for this purpose, which was 
set up within the circle and near its western line, directly opposite the 
doorway on the east. In the center of the cinde, between the doorway 
and the sacred tipi, was erected the sweat-house of the Chi'nachi- 
chinf'na or old men of the highest degree of the warrior order. The 
taking down of the sacred tipi by the attendants of the pipe keeper 
was the signal for moving camp, and no other tipi was allowed to 
be taken down before it. When on the march, the i)ipe keeper pro- 
ceeded on foot — never ou horse — carrying the sacred bundle upon his 
back and attended by a retinue of guards. As a matter of course, 
the sacred pipe was not carried by war parties or on other expedi- 
tions requiring celerity of movement. Of hite years the rules have 


SO fill' velaxecl that its present }>iiardian sometimes rides on horseback 
while carrying the pipe, but even then he carries the bundle upon 
his own back instead of upon the saddle. He never rides in a wagon 
with it. Since the tribe is permanently divided under the modern 
reservation system, individuals or small parties of the southern Arapaho 
frequently make the long journey by railroad and stage to the reser- 
vation in Wyoming in order to see and pray over the scicha, as it is 
impossible, on account of tlie ceremonial regulations, for the keeper to 
bring it down to them in the south. 

So far as known, only one white man, Mr J. Roberts, formerly super- 
intendent of the Arapaho school in NX'yoming, has ever seen the sacred 
pipe, which was shown to him on one occasion by Weasel Bear as a- 
special mark of gratitude in return for some kindness. After having- 
spent several months among the soutliern Arapaho, from whom I 
learned the songs of the i)ipe with much as to its sacred history, I 
visited the messiah in Nevada and then went to the northern Arapaho 
in Wyoming, with great hope of seeing the scicha and hearing the tradi- 
tion in foil. On the strength of my intimate acfpiaintance with their 
relatives in the south and with their great messiah in the west, the 
chiefs and head-men were favorable to my purpose and encouraged me 
to hope, but on going out to the camp in the mountains, where nearly 
the whole tribe was then assembled cutting wood, my hopes were dashed 
to the ground the first night by hearing the old priest, Weasel Bear, 
making the ])ublic announcement in a loud voice throughout the camp 
that a white man was among them to learn about their sacred things, 
but that these belonged to the religion of the Indian and a white man 
had no business to ask about them. The chief and those who had 
been delegates to the messiah came in soon after to the tipi where 1 
was stopping, to express their deep regret, but they were unable to 
change the resolution of Wea.sel Bear, and none of themselves would 
venture to repeat the tra<lition. 

3. ATK'uiJ; TiAWU nanu' 

Ate'be tiawu'nami', nii'nisa'iin, 
Atc'bii tiawu'naiiu', niiuisaiia, 
Nrathu'a , Ni'athu'a', 
Ni'biim' ga'awa'ti'na, 
Niiiinu' ga'awa'ti'na. 


Mv cliihireii, when at first I liUed tins wliites, 
My children, wlien at first I liked the whites, 
I gave them fruits, 
I gave tlieiii fruits. 

This song referring to the whites was composed by Nawat or Left 
Hand, chief of the southern Arapaho, and can hardly be considered 
dangerous or treasonable in character. According to his statement, in 


Lis trance vi.'iion of the other worhl the father showed hiiu exteusive 
orchards, telliug him that in the begiimiug all these things had been 
given to the whites, but that hereafter they would be given to his chil- 
dren, the Indians. Xia'tha, plural Xia'thiid, the Arapaho name for the 
whites,, signifies literally, expert, skillful, or wise. 

4. A'ba'ni'hi' 








My ]>artuer, my partner, 
Let us go out gambling, 
Let us go out gambling, 
At chi'vhUa'iii', at chi'chita'iiv. 

CM'cJtita'ne is a favorite game of contest with the boys, in which the 
player, while holding in his hands a bow and an arrow ready to shoot, 
keeps in the hand which grasi)s the string a small wisp of grass bound 
with sinew. He lets this drop and tries to shoot it with the arrow be- 
fore it touches the ground. The wisp is about the size of a man's finger. 

The song came from the north, and was suggested by a trance vision 
in which the dreamer saw his former boy friends ])laying this game in 
the spirit world. 



A'cbishiiii'(|abi na. 


My fatber, my father. 

While be was" taking me around, 

AVhile be was taking me .around. 

He turned iuto a moose, 

He turned iuto a mooae. 

This song relates the trance experience of Waqui'si or "Ugly Face 
Woman." In his vision of the spirit world he went into a large Arapaho 
camp, where he met his dead father, who took him around to the vari- 
ous tipis to meet others of his departed friends. While they were thus 
going about, a change came o'er the spirit of his dream, as so often 

Bureau of ethnology 





happens in tliis fevered mental condition, and instead of his father 
he found a moose standing by his side. Such transformations are 
frequently uoted in the (Jhost-dance songs. 

6. E'YEHE! Wd'NAYl'UHU' 

E'yehe' ! Wii'nayu'uhu' — 
E'yehe' I 'Wi'i'nnyn'uliii' — 


E'lji'he' ! tlieyareiiew — 
E'yehe'. ' they are new — 
The hed coverings, 
The lied foveriugs. 

The composer of this song is a woman who, iu her trance, was taken 
to a large camp Nvhere all the tipis were of clean new buflalo skins, 
and the beds and interior furniture were all iu the same conditiou. 

Fig. 89 — Bed of the prairie tribes. 

The l)ed of the prairie tribes is composed of slen<ler willow rods, 
peeled, straightened with the teeth, laid side by side and fastened 
together into a sort of mat by means of buckskin or rawhide strings 
l^assed through holes at the ends of the rods. The bed is stretched upon 
a ])latform raised aljout a foot above the ground, and one end of the 
mat is raised up in hammock fashion by means of a tripod and buck- 
skin hanger. The rods laid across the platform, forming the bed proper, 
are usually about 3^ or i feet long (the width of the bed), while those 
forming the upright part suspended from the tripod are shorter as they 



[ETll. ANN. 14 

approach the top, where they are only about half that leugth. The 
bed is bordered with buckskin biuding fringed and beaded, and the 
exposed rods are painted in bright colors. The 
hanging portion is distinct from the part resting 
upon the platform, and in some cases there is a 
hanger at each end of the bed. Over the plat- 
form jiortionare spread the buckskins and blankets, 
which form a couch by day and a bed by night. A 
pillow of buckskin, stuffed with buffalo hair and 
elaborately ornamented with beads or porcupine 
quills, is sonietinu's added. The bed is placed close 
up under the tipi. In the largest tipis there are 
usually three beds, one being opposite the doorway 
and the others on each side, the fire being built in a 
hole scooped out in the 
ground in the center 
of the lodge. They are 
used as seats during 
w^akinghours, while the 
ground, with a rawhide 
spread upon it, consti- 
tutes the only table at 
meal time (plate cxxi; 
figure 89). In going 
to bed there is no un- 
dressing, each person 
as he becomes sleepy simply 
stretching out and drawing 
a blanket over himself, head 
and all, while the other occu- 
pants of the tipi continue their 
talking, singing, or other busi- 
ness until they too lie down 
to pleasant dreams. 

7. Hi'SAHi'iii 

Hi'siihi'hi, Hi'siibi hi, 
Ha'ua ta'wunii ga'awa'ha, 
Ha uii ta'wi'inii ga'awa'ha. 

My partner ! My partner ! 

riG. 90— Shinny stick 
and ball. 

Strike tlic hall liard- 
Strilie the ball bard. 
I vvaut to \Y\n, 
I want to win. 

Tin. 91— Wakuna or 

This song refers to the woman's game of gu'ga'haica't or " shinny," 
played with curved sticks and a ball like a baseball, called gaawd'ha, 



iiuidc of (buft'iilo) bail- and covered with Luckskiu (figure 90). Two 
stalies are set up as goals at eitlier end of the ground, and tlie object 
of eacli party is to drive tlie ball through the goals of the other. Each 
inning is a game. The song was composed by a woman, who met her 
former girl comrade in the spirit world and played this game with her 
against an opposing party. 


Nii'uisa'na, Nii'nisii iia, 
A'-nani'ni'bi'na'si waku'na, 
A'-uani'Di'bi'iia'si waku'na. 
Nii'nisa'na, Nii'nisa'ua. 


My ohiltlreii. my children. 
The wiml makes the head-feathers slug — 
The wind iiiakos tlie head-leathur.s sing. 
My rhildren. my children. 

By the ipakuno. or head-feathers (figure 01) is meant the two crow 
feathers mounted on a short stick and worn on the head by the leaders 
of the dance, as already described. 

) — 4- — g- *^ * * 

!1. He' 1 Nank'th ]ii shicja wa 





4—i - 


He'! Na-ne'th bi'-shi - qa'- wa, He' ! Na-iie'tU bi'-slii-(i:i' 


iii ■ aa' ■ !ia. 

nil' - 111 ■ s;l' • ua, 

He'! niine'th bi'shi<ia'wa, 
He'! niine'th bi'shicia'wa, 
Xii'nisii'na, nii'nisa'ua., 


He! When I met him apiiroaching 
He! When I met him approaching 
My children, my children — 
I then saw the multitude plainly, 
I then saw the multitude plainly. 

This .song was brought from the north to the southern Arapaho by 
Sitting Bull. It refers to the trance vision of a dancer, who saw the 


messiah advancing at tbe head of all the spirit army. It is an old 
favorite, and is sung with vigor and animation. 

10. Hana'na'wi;nanu ni'tawu'na'na' 

Nit'nis.a'iia, nii'nisa'iia, 
Hiina'na/wunanu ni'tawu'na'na', 
Hiina'nii'wunanu ni'tawu'na'na', 
Di'cliin nianita'wa'thi, 
Di'chin nianit.a'wa tbi. 
Nithi'na hesflna'nin, 
Nithi'na hesi'ma'ntn. 


My children, my cliililren, 

I take pity on those wlio have been taught, 

I take pity on those who have lieen taught, 

Because they push on hard. 

Because they push on hard. 

Says our father. 

Says our father. 

This is a message from the messiah to persevere in the dance. In 
the expressive idiom of the prairie tribes, as also in the sign language, 
the term for persevering signifies to "jmsh hard." 

11. A-ni'qu wa'wana'niua'tia' 

A-ni'qu wa' wanii'nibii'tia' — Hi'n i'ni' ! 

A-ni'qu wa'wauii'nibii'tia' — Hi'ni'ni'! 



Hi'ui ni'nitii'sa nibii/tia — Hi'ni'ni'! 

Hi'ni ni'nitu'sanibit'tia — Hi'ni'ni' ! 


Father, now I am singing it — ni'ni'ni! 
Father, now I am singing it — Hi'ni'ni! 
That loudest song of all. 
That loudest song of all — 
That resounding song — Hi'ni'ni! 
That resounding song — Hi'ni'ni! 

This is another of the old favorites. The rolling effect of the vocalic 
Arapaho syllables renders it particularly sonorous when sung by a full 
chorus. Ni'qa or a-ni'qu, " father," is a term of reverential affection, 
about equivalent to "our father" in the Lord's j)rayer. The ordinary 
word is hesuna'nin, from nis-u'-na, "my father." 

12. Ha'yana'-usi'ya' 

Ha'yana'-usi'ya' ! 
Ha'yana'-usi'ya' ! 
Bi'ga ta'cha'wagu'na, 
Bi'ga ta'cha'wagu'na. 



How bright is the moonlight ! 

How liright is the moonlight! 

Tonight as I ride with my loa<l of liiift'alo beef, 

Tonight as I ride with my load of buffalo beef. 

The author of this song, on meetiDg his friends in the spirit world, 
found them preparing to go on a great buttalo hunt, the prairies of 
the new earth being covered with the countless thousands of buft'alo 
that have been swept from the plains since the advent of the white 
man. They returned to camp at night, under the full moonlight, with 
their ponies loaded down with fresh beef. There is something pecu- 
liarly touching in this dream of the old life — this Indian heaven where — 

" In infa<low9 wet with iiioisteniDg dews, 

III garments for the chase arrayed. 
The hunter still the deer pursues — 

The hunter aud the deer a shade." 

13. Ha'ti ni'bat — E'he'