Skip to main content
I •» ■■ »■ W^^^^^^l^tww^w^t^r^r^f^^^
Gc M. U
ALLEN COUNTY PUBLIC LIBRARY
3 1833 01066 7175
SOUTH DAKOTA'S PRAYER
Make me, O God, a loving mother-state,
Whose sturdy sons and comely daughters leal
With selfless pride shall count maternal weal
The chiefest end — the certain way and straight.
Through which to win the chaplets of the great.
Make me, O God, essentially to feel
My children's loyal love, the perfect, real,
Supremest gift bestowed by Gracious Fate
Make mine, O God, in truth a commonwealth.
Wherein each heir shall share and share partake,
And none shall fail and none shall take by stealth ;
My all for them ; and they for Mother's sake
Shall deem it good both gear and life to give.
In love and trust, may Heaven let us live.
A BRIEF HISTORY
SECRETARY OF THE STATE HISTORICAL SOCIETY
OF SOUTH DAKOTA
NEW YORK ■ : • CINCINNATI • : • CHICAGO
AMERICAN BOOK COMPANY
Copyright, 1905, by
Entered at Stationers' Hall, Lokdok
E- P 6
The student who learns the story of his community,
the sacrifices and successes of the pioneers, the worthy
accomplishments of his relatives of an earlier generation,
the history of the soil upon which he Hves, will hardly fail
to develop pride in his locality, and that pride is an almost
certain guaranty of good citizenship. The following
stories of South Dakota are written in the belief that they
will contribute something to the development of an intel-
ligent and patriotic citizenship in our state.
I. The Story told by the Rocks .
II. The Story of the Mounds
III. The Aboriginal Indians
IV. White Explorers
V. Some Land Claims
VI. Le\vis and Clark ....
VII. Lewis and Clark with the Tetons
VIII. The First Bloodshed .
IX. A Notable Boat Race
X. A Patriotic Celebration .
XI. An English Captain from South Dakota
XII. Manuel Lisa, American
XIII. The Ree Conquest
XIV. A Fourth of July Celebration
XV. Some Tales of Travelers .
XVI. A Bad Bargain ....
XVII. The Spirit Lake Massacre
XVIII. A Campaign that Failed .
XIX. Permanent Settlement
XX. The New Territory is Born
XXI. The War of the Outbrea.k
XXII. A Dakota Paul Revere
XXIII. The Red Cloud War .
A BRIEF HISTORY OF SOUTH
THE STORY TOLD BY THE ROCKS
It is very easy to read the story of the rocks in South
Dakota, for here more than anywhere else the several
formations are exposed to view, and we can readily see
what must have happened in that time very long ^go,
before men, or even animals, inhabited the Dakota land.
The rock formations can be seen more or less all over the
state, but their story is clearly shown especially in that
section near the head waters of the White River at the foot
of the Black Hills, known as the Bad Lands.
We learn there that in an ancient time a great ocean
rolled over South Dakota; that some great convulsion
must have occurred deep in the earth which threw up the
Black Hills and other western mountains ; that the ocean
swept over these hills, grinding them up and washing them
down across its floor toward the eastern part of the state,
thus laying down a formation or stratum now compressed
into hard rock which is the lowest of the many forma-
tions studied by the geologist. We learn that again and
again the rocks and hills were raised up, each time to be
10 SOUTH DAKOTA
washed down by the ocean, each washing making a new
stratum, until finally there came a time when the ocean
could not overcome the hills and the latter became high
and solid earth somewhat as we now know them. In this
time the earliest evidences of life appeared, in the form of
snails and other low orders of creatures.
Then the ocean seems to have come back and swept
-iown another stratum of soil from the mountain bases,
and after it had again subsided came a race of monstrous
reptiles, the remains of which are found quite generally
over the state wherever the formation of that period is
exposed. It is quite certain that at this time South
Dakota was in the main a vast steaming swamp, for the
climate was tropical, and out of the swamp grew tropical
For how long the reptiles reigned no one can ever know,
but their period was followed by another, in which great
animals, much larger than anything now in existence,
roamed throughout the land. They have been given hard
names by scientific men who study their remains; as
titanotheres, brontotheres, and eleotheres. The titano-
thercs and brontotheres were evidently of the elephant or
rhinoceros family, and the eleotheres were giant pigs.
While remains of these animals are most common in the
Bad Lands, they are found in many other localities, show-
ing that they roamed generally throughout the state. At
this time we can be very sure, from the signs which are
left, that South Dakota was a great swampy, tropical
plain which sloped gently down from the Black Hills on
the west to the great central river flowing through the
STORY TOLD BY THE ROCKS II
present James River valley, and from this river sloped
up to the top of the coteau at the east line of the state.
By this time several agencies were at work which re-
sulted in a great change in the climate of the region. The
uphfting of the Black Hills and the Rocky Mountains had
cut off the warm breezes from the Pacific Ocean, and in
the far north vast heaps of ice were being piled up by the
almost continual freezing of the frigid climate. These
heaps of ice had become so deep that they could not sup-
port their own weight, and so began to run or spread out
as you may have seen a large lump of dough spread when
turned from the kneading pan to the table. When we ex-
amine a piece of ice, it seems to be so hard and brittle that
it does not seem possible for ice to spread in this way;
nevertheless, scientific men have shown beyond doubt
that ice does spread when placed under a great weight.
The spreading of this ice sent it down from the north-
east until it had run far down into the South Dakota
country. It was so thick and heavy that it completely
dammed up the valley of the great river, so that its waters
became a great lake, lying north of the ice and extending
far back into the Rocky Mountains. The ice pushed
along until its western edge had traveled as far as the line
now occupied by the Missouri River, when it began to
melt away. The waters which were dammed up in the
upper part of the great valley began to seep about the
western edge of the ice, until they ran entirely around it
and reached the old bed of the stream below Yankton.
Thus the ice quite changed the surface of South Dakota.
Before it came the Grand River extended east from its
STORY TOLD liY THE ROCKS 1 3
present course until it reached the great river near where
Aberdeen now is. The Cheyenne ran down to Redfield,
the Teton or Bad River to Huron, and the White to
Mitchell. The great animals, the titanotheres, masto-
dons, and eleotheres, were destroyed by the ice, and when
it had melted away, it left new conditions in climate, soil,
and river courses, not greatly different from what exist
Of the Bad Lands from which much of this story is
learned Professor Charles E. Holmes, a poet whom all
South Dakotans delight to honor, has written the following
verses : —
The Bad Lands
A stillness sleeps on the broken plain.
And the sun beats down, with a fiery rain,
On the crust that covers the sand that is rife
With the bleaching bones of the old world life.
'Tis a sea of sand, and over the waves
Are the wind-blown tops of the Cyclops' caves;
And the mountain-sheep and the antelopes
Graze cautiously over the sun-burnt slopes.
And here in the sport of the wild wind's play
A thousand years are as yesterday,
And a million more in these barren lands
Have run themselves in the shifting sands.
Oh, the struggle and strife and the passion and pain
Since the bones lay bleached on the sandy plain,
And a stillness fell on the shifting sea.
And a silence that tells of eternity !
THE STORY OF THE MOUNDS
When human beings first came to live in the South
Dakota country, is now unknown. Whether or not other
men Uved here before the Indian tribes is not certain.
Those who have studied the subject most carefully
believe there was no one here before the Indians came.
In various localities there are a number of mounds
evidently the work of man, but it is believed that they
were all built by Indians.
All along the Missouri River, at the best points for
defense, and for the control of the passage of the stream,
are mounds that are the remains of fortresses. Their
builders must have labored industriously to construct
them. It is believed they were built by the ancestors
of the Ree Indians, who still occupied the section when
white men first came to it. The most important of these
mounds are in the vicinity of Pierre, where it is known
the Rces had a very large settlement which they aban-
doned a little more than a century ago. Here are the
remains of four very important forts, two on each shore
of the river, completely protecting the approach, from
above and below, to the extensive region between, which
was occupied by the Rees for their homes and gardens.
THE STORY OF THE MOUNDS 1 5
Along the Big Sioux River, especially in the vicinity of
Sioux Falls, and about the lakes on the coteau in Roberts
and Marshall counties, are many mounds which chiefly
were burial places. From them have been taken many
curious stone implements which were used by the In-
dians in hunting and for domestic purposes before white
men brought them implements of iron and steel. Some
of these implements are very similar to those used by the
Chickasaws and other tribes of the southern United States,
and are not at all like the implements of the Ree and
Sioux Indians; and this fact leads scientific men to sup-
pose that those southern tribes may at one time have
occupied the Dakota country.
The Sioux Indians, too, made many small earthworks,
and light stone works, usually on prominent hills and along
the streams, but these are chiefly memorials of some strik-
ing tribal event. Some of the more important ones are
at the hill known as Big Tom, near Big Stone Lake;
at Snake Butte, near Pierre; at Medicine Knoll, near
Blunt; at Turtle Peak, near Wessington Springs; at
Punished Woman's Lake in Codington County ; and near
Armadale Grove, Ashton, and Huron, on the James
River. Almost invariably as a feature of these memo-
rials the image of some bird, animal, or reptile has been
made out of small bowlders to indicate the lodge or cult
q I the per s^^ -whose deeds are commemorated.
Lewis and Clark, the explorers, found at Bon Homme
Island, near Yankton, a very extensive embankment of
earth which they measured carefully and described very
fully, and which for eighty years afterward was supposed
l6 SOUTH DAKOTA
to be proof that the region had been occupied by a pre-
historic people. It is now known, however, that this
embankment was produced by the action of wind and
The South Dakota mounds that were erected by In-
dians are of less importance than similar mounds found
in some other parts of the great Mississippi valley; but
they are of great interest as the oldest works of man in
THE ABORIGINAL INDIANS
The Ree, or Aricara, Indians were possibly the first
human inhabitants of South Dakota. These Indians
Ree Indian Lodge
built permanent villages, of earth lodges, and lived by
agriculture and the chase. Their homes were always near
so. DAK. — 2
I 8 SOUTH DAKOTA
the Missouri River or some other large stream. Their
lodges were built by digging a round hole, like a cellar,
in the earth, over which a roof was made by setting up
forked timbers, which were covered with poles and brush
and then buried in earth. A hole was left in the top of
the lodge for ventilation, light, and the escape of smoke.
These lodges were very comfortable and do not seem to
have been unhealthful. Farming by the Rees was limited
to the raising of corn, beans, pumpkins, squashes, and
tobacco. Each family had its own tract of ground,
fenced off with bushes and rushes, and the only implement
used in the cultivation of the crop was a sort of shovel
made from the shoulder blade of the buffalo. For very
many years, how long is not known, but probably nearly
a century, their chief settlement was in the immediate
vicinity of Pierre, but in 1792, being driven away by the
Sioux, they settled in the northern part of the state near
the mouth of Grand River, where part of the tribe was
When white men first had knowledge of the Dakota
country, the Omaha Indians occupied the Big Sioux valley
and the Missouri valley as far as the mouth of the James
River, while at that time, or very soon thereafter, a settle-
ment of Sisseton Sioux was made at Big Stone Lake,
and the Kiowas occupied the Black Hills. All of these
tribes, unlike the Rees, were nomadic ; that is, they lived
in tents and moved about from place to place as suited
Sometime in the latter part of the seventeenth century
the Sioux Indians who were natives of the timbered coun-
THE ABORIGINAL INDIANS
try about the lakes in northern Minnesota, were forced
away from their homes by the Chippewas, and some of
their bands came out to the prairie. For many years they
remained upon the upper Minnesota River and Big Stone
and Traverse lakes, and, having secured horses, began to
hunt the buffalo far out on the plains of South Dakota.
In the course of time they learned that west of the Mis-
souri River the
snowfall was very
light, and that the
there in the winter
season to feed
upon the rich
grasses of what
are now the fa-
mous South Da-
kota ranges. This
fact made the
Sioux wish to live there, where they could secure plenty
of buffalo meat with little effort both summer and winter.
But the country which they wished to occupy was the
home and hunting ground of the Rees, who stubbornly
fought off the invading Sioux. It was before 1750 that
these prairie or Teton Sioux undertook to conquer the
buffalo ranges west of the Missouri. A war of more than
forty years followed, in which the Sioux were finally suc-
cessful. They could not dislodge the Rees from their
strong forts on the Missouri, but having succeeded in
crossing the river, they w^re able to keep the buffalo so far
away that the Ree hunters could not get them, and thus
they really starved out their enemies, who, as we have
seen, moved to a new home on the Grand River. As
military men would say, the Rees were flanked out of
their position by the Sioux.
In 1775 the enterprising Og-
lala branch of the Teton Sioux
had penetrated as far as the
Black Hills, where they paid
their compliments to the Kiowas
and before the end of the
eighteenth century had driven
them away, and settled in
While the Teton Sioux were
thus making a settlement west
of the Missouri, their relatives
the Yanktons, who like them-
selves had been crowded out
of the Minnesota timber, were
trying to find a home in the
lower country between the
Mississippi and Missouri rivers.
They settled among the Osages, but were driven away.
Then they conquered a small territory in the Otto country
in western Iowa, but finally were driven away from there
with the loss of all their horses and other property. Be-
fore the Teton Sioux went to the Missouri they had driven
the Omahas from the Big Sioux and James rivers to a new
home south of the Missouri, and the Teton Sioux claimed
THE ABORIGINAL INDIANS 21
the Big Sioux and James valleys as conquered territory.
Now, however, while the Tetons' hands were full with their
forty years' war with the Rees, the Omahas were threat-
ening to come back into their old South Dakota homes.
Therefore when the Yanktons, whipped and robbed by
the Ottos, came up the Missouri looking for a place to rest,
they were warmly welcomed by the Tetons, who gladly
gave them a large territory to occupy on the James River,
and fitted them out with arms and horses to enable them
to defend their new home from the threatened invasion
of the Omahas.
So it came about that before the end of the eighteenth
century all of South Dakota, except a very small territory,
not more than four or five townships in extent, near the
mouth of Grand River, which was occupied by the Rees,
had passed into the possession and control of the power-
ful Sioux tribes.
Charles Pierre Le Sueur was one of the most enter-
prising and energetic of the merchant explorers who came
out from Canada and roamed all over the western country
in search of trade in furs, during the seventeenth and
eighteenth centuries. Le Sueur was a fur trader and a
politician as well. He Vv^as a native of Montreal, and was
a cousin of the famous D'lberville and Bienville who
were conspicuous in founding the French settlements in
Louisiana and Alabama. He visited the upper INIissis-
sippi country as early as the year 1683, and from that
time until 1700 spent most of his time upon that stream
It is claimed that when Le Sueur learned that La
Salle had explored the Mississippi River to its mouth,
he promptly saw the opportunity to enrich himself by
collecting furs in the West and sending them to France
and England by way of the Mississippi, thus escaping the
payment of the heavy tax placed on the fur traffic by the
Canadian government. Sending his cousin, D'Iberville,
to the mouth of the Mississippi with a ship, Le Sueur
came west of the Mississippi, collected a large amount
of furs among the Omaha Indians on the Big Sioux
River, and sent them on a flatboat down the Big Sioux
and Missouri to the Mississippi, where D'Iberville took
them aboard his ship and carried them to Europe, selhng
them at great profit. Le Sueur himself returned to the
Mississippi, where he gathered a small quantity of furs,
and taking them back to Canada, dutifully paid the tax
upon them, as a good citizen should do. While there are
reasons for believing that this story is true, it can not be
verified from the records. If true, Le Sueur was the first
white man to visit South Dakota.
In any event, Le Sueur in 1699 came back from France,
to the West, by way of the Mississippi and Minnesota
rivers, and built a fort on the Blue Earth River, a few miles
from the site of Mankato, Minnesota, where for a year
or two he mined for copper and at the same time carried
on a trade with the neighboring Indians. He traded
with the Omahas, who still resided on the Big Sioux
River, and very probably visited them. He returned to
France in 1701 and soon afterward furnished the infor-
mation from which the geographer De I'lsle made a
map of the central portion of North America, including
the eastern portion of South Dakota. It is possible that
Le Sueur obtained his knowledge of South Dakota from
the Indians, but it is most Hkely that he gained it from
personal observation of the ground. The map shows
Big Stone Lake and Lake Traverse, the Big Sioux, James,
and Missouri rivers in their proper relation and very
well drawn. It locates the Omahas (Maha on the map,
p. 24) on the Big Sioux, a village of Iowa Indians (Aiaouez)
on the James, and the Yanktons on the Missouri in west-
cm Iowa, where they were then residing in the Otto
country. There is a road shown on the map, extending
westward from the mouth of the Wisconsin River, by way
of Spirit Lake, Iowa, to Sioux Falls, and marked "track
of the voyagers. " From all of these things it is believed
SIOUX DE UOUES
\^rt demaataane '
eiCuivre > '^ ~
AIAOUEZ 2 ^'^■' ^'y^'JUK
, fVANKTONS 1«^
LES PANIS ^ -L^T^ctata ^^
amiayes ^.^UNCAs'^LESOCTOTATA \V
Chrijlal de roche
YOWAYS , . XmI ^ J
^^' I LL5| N O I S
c9«r\ « ^/M Cukaauias
De L'lsLE's Map, made from Information supplied by Le Sueur
that Le Sueur was the first white man to enter the South
Dakota country, but if he did not come here himself, it is
quite certain that other white men in his employ did do
so, at or before the beginning of the eighteenth century.
SOME LAND CLAIMS
On the strength of the discoveries of Columbus, and
especially of Coronado, who came from Mexico up through
New Mexico and into Kansas in 1 540-1 541, Spain claimed
all of the interior of the American continent, including
the South Dakota country. She did nothing, however,
in the way of exploration or occupancy, to make the
claim good, though for more than a hundred years her
right was undisputed, until the French from Canada
began to trade with the Sioux Indians and claimed for
France all of the territory which they entered.
On September 18, 1712, the king of France granted
the monopoly of trade in all of the territory lying in the
Mississippi valley to Anthony Crozat, a banker of Paris,
for the term of sixteen years. The action of the French
led the Spaniards to take measures to assert their claims,
and they sent men from Santa Fe to drive the French from
the lower Missouri and Mississippi rivers. The Spanish
plan was to excite the Osage Indians to make war on
the Missouri Indians, who were friendly to the French,
but by a mistake the Spaniards went directly to the Mis-
souri camp, where the entire party, with one exception,
were killed. This led the French to build a fort near
the mouth of the Missouri.
28 SOUTH DAKOTA
In 1732 the king of France reasserted his sovereignty
over the Mississippi and Missouri valleys, and governed
the section through a governor general who lived at New
Orleans. There is no record or probability that either
France or Spain took any actual possession of the South
Dakota country until young Verendrye claimed it for
France in March, 1743.
For nearly twenty years after Verendrye claimed the
land France's title seems to have been undisputed, but in
1762 she ceded all of Louisiana, which included South
Dakota, to Spain, in return for certain political favors.
Spain took possession and governed the land west of the
Mississippi for nearly forty years thereafter; then in 1800
she secretly deeded it back to France.
When the American people learned of this secret
cession of the Louisiana country to France, the western
pioneers in Ohio, Indiana, Kentucky, and Tennessee
were greatly concerned and aroused. The great Napoleon
had just made himself the head of the French govern-
ment; his fame as a soldier and conqueror had spread
over the world, and the American frontiersman did not
like to have him for a near neighbor.
Thomas Jefferson was then President of the United
States. The importance of the control of the Mississippi
River was clear to his far-seeing eye. He determined
that we must, at least, have a joint right to its free passage
and must have a site for a commercial city at its mouth,
and he undertook, by sending special representatives to
France, to secure these rights. At the same time he pre-
vailed upon Congress to permit him to undertake the
SOME LAND CLAIMS 29
exploration of the far West with a view to finding a means
of crossing the continent to the Pacific Ocean, and while
his ambassadors were at Paris, bargaining for free rights
on the Mississippi, Jefferson was pushing his plan to send
an exploring party across the American continent. He had
his party organized and his plans well matured when, to
his surprise, and the surprise of all America, the news came
from Paris that the American ministers had bought not
only the desired free rights on the Mississippi, but all of
the great Louisiana territory as well. Thus it came about
that, as a part of Louisiana, South Dakota came into the
possession of the United States, having been first claimed
by Spain, then by France, again by Spain, again passing to
France, and finally falling to the American common-
LEWIS AND CLARK
Jefferson selected to head his party of explorers his
private secretary, Captain Meriwether Lewis, a cousin of
George Washington. Scientific knowledge was not very
far advanced in America at this time, but early in the
spring of 1803, a few days before the bargain with Na-
poleon had been made and months before it had been
thought of in America, Lewis hurried from Washington
to Philadelphia to take a brief course in the natural
sciences and mathematics, hoping to gain enough to enable
him to make scientific observations of the country through
which he was to pass, and to determine the latitude and
longitude of various places.
While Lewis was in Philadelphia, it occurred to him
that it would be wise to organize the expedition in two
parts, and keep two records, so that in case one record
was lost there would be hope of preserving the other.
He told Jefferson about it, and the President thought the
plan a wise one ; so Captain William Clark — a brother
of General George Rogers Clark, the man who in the Revo-
lutionary War had saved Illinois, Indiana, and Ohio to
the United States — was selected to accompany Captain
Lewis, and to enjoy with him equal rank in the command
of the enterprise.
LEWIS AND CLARK
All of the remainder of that year was spent in preparation.
In the summer the two captains set out for St. Louis,
and not until they
reached the Ohio
River did they
learn of the pur-
chase of Louisiana
by the American
secured the serv-
ices of forty-one
persons, all told
— soldiers, guides,
hunters — and en-
camped for the
winter on the east
bank of the Mis-
the mouth of the
The 9th of May,
1804, was set for
the formal transfer
of Louisiana from
Spain to France
and from France
to the United States, and Jefferson desired Lewis and
Clark to remain at St. Louis for that ceremony, which
they did. Therefore, it was not until three o'clock in the
Captain Meriwether Lewis
Statue at the Lewis and Clark Exposition, 1903
32 SOUTH DAKOTA
afternoon of Monday, May 14, that the little band set off
up the Missouri. They had several boats, which they pro-
pelled with oars or sails, or towed with ropes, according to
the condition of the river and the direction of the wind.
They proceeded very slowly, examining the river and the
country, and visiting the Indians, but without any event
affecting the history of South Dakota until they arrived
at the mouth of the Big Sioux River at eight o'clock in
the morning of August 21, 1804. That night they camped
on the Nebraska shore.
Sergeant Charles Floyd having died the evening of
August 20, when at the site of Sioux City, the men were
allowed to select a successor to him, and the choice, which
was made by ballot, fell to Patrick Gass. This occurred
on the 2 2d when the party was encamped at Elkpoint,
and it may reasonably be assumed to be the first popular
election in South Dakota. The next morning Captain
Lewis killed a very large buffalo upon the bottom near
Burbank, from which they salted two barrels of meat.
On the 24th they arrived at the mouth of the Ver-
milion River, and the captains took two men and went up
nine miles to examine Spirit Mound, about which they
had heard strange stories from the Indians, who be-
lieved that it was inhabited by a race of dwarfs, little
people not larger than gophers, who instantly put to
death any one who came near their home. It is need-
less to say that the explorers found nothing mysterious
or alarming about the very ordinary mound upon the
prairie. They did, however, find much that was pleasing
to them. They say in their journal, "We saw none of
LEWIS AND CLARK
these wicked little spirits, nor any place for them, except
some small holes scattered over the top. We were happy
enough to escape
though we re-
mained some time
on the mound to
enjoy the delight-
ful prospect of
the plain, which
spreads itself out
until the eye rests
upon the north-
west hills at a
great distance, and
those of the north-
east still farther
off, enlivened by
large herds of buf-
falo feeding at a
distance. The soil
of these plains is
It is noteworthy
that Spirit Mound
and other points
along the Missouri
in South Dakota then bore the names by which we still
know them. This is one proof that the region was familiar
to the French traders before Lewis and Clark came.
Captain William Clark
Statue at the Lewis and Clark Exposition, 1903
SO. PAK. — 3
34 SOUTH DAKOTA
On August 27 Lewis and Clark came to the mouth of
the James River and met some Yankton Sioux there, who
informed them there was a large camp of the Sioux a
few miles up the James. The captains, therefore, sent
messengers to the Indians inviting them to a convenient
point a few miles up the Missouri. They proceeded up
the stream and made their camp on Green Island, on the
Nebraska shore, near the site of Yankton. There they
remained from Tuesday the 28th until Saturday, Septem-
ber I, enjoying a grand council, powwow, and carousal
with the Yanktons. They set up a tall flag pole over their
camp and raised a beautiful American flag upon it. The
days were occupied with feasting and speech-making,
and the nights with feasting and dancing. The principal
chiefs of the Yankton were Shake Hand, — known to the
French as the Liberator, — White Crane, and Struck by
One day a male child was born in one of the Indian
lodges. Learning of this fact. Captain Lewis sent for the
child and it was brought to him. He wrapped it in the
American flag and made a speech in which he prophesied
that the boy would live to become eminent among his
people and a great friend of the white men. His prophecy
came true, for the boy grew up to be the famous Struck
by the Ree, chief of the Yankton tribe, who was probably
the means of saving the entire settlement at Yankton
from massacre in the War of the Outbreak in 1863. All
his life Struck by the Ree took great pride in his Ameri-
canism, and in the fact that he was first dressed in an
LEWIS AND CLARK 35
On the I St of September the party again embarked
and proceeded up the stream. The next day they stopped
to explore the embankment at Bon Homme Island, which
they believed to be a prehistoric fort, but which has since
been sho^^'Tl to have been but a bank of sand thrown up
by the winds and floods. On the 8th they passed the
Pawnee or Trudeau House which was established in
1797, and there was no other event of note for several
While Lewis and Clark were at the Vermilion River,
their two horses had strayed away, and George Shannon,
the youngest man in the party, had been sent out to hunt
them up. Sixteen days had since elapsed, during part of
which the captains had enjoyed their council and carousal
with the Yanktons, and no word of the toy had come to
them. They admit, in their journal, that they were be-
coming uneasy about him. Shannon had found the horses
and set off up the river. During the first four days he
used all his bullets and then he nearly starved, being
obliged to subsist for twelve days on a few grapes and a
rabbit, which he killed by making use of a hard piece' of
stick for a bullet. One of the horses gave out and was
left behind ; the other he kept as a last resource for food.
Despairing of overtaking the party, he was returning down
the river in hopes of meeting some other boat, and was on
the point of killing his horse when he was so fortunate
as to meet his friends, on the nth of September.
The party now made their way up the stream, meeting
no Indians, until the night of the 21st, when they were
camped on the north side of the Big Bend, having almost
36 SOUTH DAKOTA
completed its circuit. Between one and two o'clock in
the morning they were alarmed by the sergeant on guard,
who cried out that the sand bar upon which the party were
camped was sinking. They sprang to the boats and
pushed over to the opposite shore, but before they had
reached it, the ground upon which their former camp
had been had entirely disappeared under the waters.
The next day they passed the Loisel post on Cedar Island,
which they describe as being sixty or seventy feet square,
built of red cedar, and picketed in with the same mate-
rial; and on the 24th they arrived at the Teton River,
where, as we shall see in the next chapter, they were to
remain several days.
LEWIS AND CLARK \^ITH THE TETONS
All along the way Lewis and Clark took celestial
observations to ascertain the latitude and longitude.
They also kept a record of the temperature, with a mercury
thermometer made for them in St. Louis by a French
physician and scientist named Dr. Sauguin. They fell
in with the doctor when they arrived at St. Louis; and
he gave them much valuable information and assistance
and told them how important it was that they should
have a thermometer. The good captains had not the
slightest idea what a thermometer was, but the little doctor
hurried about to find the materials out of which to make
the instrument. Not in the Mississippi valley could he
find the glass or the quicksilver, till finally he bethought
himself of his wife's French plate-glass mirror, and, in
spite of her protest, he scraped the quicksilver from the
back of it, melted up the mirror, and made from it the stem
of the thermometer, into which he poured the quicksilver
he had scraped from the looking-glass. This was soon
properly graduated, or scaled to degrees of heat and cold,
and, judging by what we now know of the temperatures
of the Missouri valley, was reasonably accurate. From
such circumstances as the foregoing the student will un-
derstand how primitive was the outfit of the explorers.
When Lewis and Clark arrived at the Teton or Bad
River, near where the village of Fort Pierre is now located,
they found there a delegation of Indians, about fifty or
sixty in number, who represented a large camp some two
or three miles up the Teton River, These Indians were
Minneconjou Tetons, a branch of the Sioux, under the
leadership of Black
Buffalo, a man
quite famous in his
time. Pierre Do-
rion, the guide to
the expedition, had
been left at Yank-
ton for the purpose
of taking a party of
down to Washing-
ton to council with
the President, so the
party was without
an interpreter, ex-
cept a French boat-
man who could
speak very little
Sioux and no Eng-
lish. Communication with the Indians was therefore
difficult and unsatisfactory.
It was not the intention of the captains to stop long
with the Tetons, for they bore a bad reputation, and it is
Jefferson Medal given to a Chief by
Lewis and Clark
From " Wonderland," 1900
LEWIS AND CLARK WITH THE TETONS
evident that the explorers were more or less afraid of them ;
so they held a hasty council, made a speech, smoked a
pipe, and prepared to go on. As had been done at Yank-
ton, each of the chiefs was given a medal, a United States
flag, a laced uniform coat, a cocked hat and feather, and
some small presents were distributed among the other
men. Each of the Indians was given also a quarter of
a glass of whisky, which they seemed to like very much.
But when the party made ready to proceed up the river,
the Indians promptly protested. Three of them seized
the cable which held the boat, and another put his arms
around the mast. Lewis and Clark were told flatly
that they could not go on. The Indians stood about, drew
their arrows from the quivers, and were bending their bows,
when Captain Clark drew his sword and made a signal to
the boat to prepare for action. The httle cannon, called
a swivel gun, which was mounted on the bow of his boat,
was swung about so as to cover the Indians, and twelve
of the men sprang to the assistance of Captain Clark.
This action had the desired effect, for the Indians with-
drew for a council. The party got off with the boats, but
two of the Indians waded in after them and were taken on
board. They went out into the stream and anchored off
Marion's Island, which they named Bad Humored Island,
The next morning the chiefs sent a message to them
expressing sorrow for the occurrence of the previous day
and desiring them to remain over for a feast and council,
which the captains determined to do. Captains Lewis
and Clark were each met at the shore by ten young men.
with a robe highly decorated, and were carried in state, on
these robes, to a large council house, where they were placed
on dressed buffalo skins by the side of the grand chief.
The hall or council room was in the shape of three
quarters of a circle, covered at the top and sides with
A Modern Camp of the Sioux
skins well dressed and sewed together. Under this
shelter sat about seventy men, forming a circle about the
chiefs, before whom were placed a Spanish and a United
States flag. There was left a vacant circle about six feet
in diameter in which the pipe of peace was raised on two
forked sticks about six or eight inches from the ground
and under it the down of the swan was scattered. Near by
was a large lire on which provisions were cooking.
LEWIS AND CLARK WITH THE TETONS 41
There was now a long council of talk, and then a great
feast was served; it consisted largely of dog meat, this
being a favorite dish among the Sioux and used in all
festivals. There was also a preparation of buffalo meat
and potatoes of which the captains partook, but they say
that as yet they could eat only sparingly of the dog.
Thus the day was passed until twilight, when ever}^thing
was cleared away for the dance. A large fire had been
made in the center of the house, giving at once light and
warmth to the ballroom. The orchestra was composed
chiefly of ten men who played on a sort of drum or tam-
bourine formed of skin stretched across a hoop, and made a
jinghng noise with a stick to which the hoofs of deer and
goats were hung. A third musical instrument was a small
skin bag with pebbles in it. Five or six young men also
The women came forward highly decorated, some with
poles in their hands on which were hung the scalps of
their enemies, others with guns, spears, or other trophies
taken in war by their husbands, brothers, or other rela-
tions. Having arranged themselves in two columns,
one on each side of the fire, as soon as the music began
they danced toward each other till they met in the center,
when the rattles were shaken, they all shouted, and then
returned to their places. In the pauses of the dance
some man would come forward and recite in a low gut-
tural tone a little story or incident, either martial or ludi-
crous. This was taken up by the orchestra, who repeated
it in a higher strain, while the women danced to it. The
dances of the men were always separate from those of
the women ; they were conducted in very nearly the same
way, except that the men jumped up and down instead
of shuffling as did the women.
The harmony of the entertainment was disturbed by
one of the musicians, who, thinking he had not received
his due share of the tobacco presented by the captains,
put himself into
a passion, broke
one of the drums,
threw two of them
into the fire, and
then left the band.
But no notice was
taken of the man's
conduct, and the
dance was kept
up till midnight;
then four chiefs
escorted the cap-
tains to their
boats and re-
mained over night
with them on
took close notice of many of the habits, customs, laws,
and fashions of the Sioux, which they set down in their
journal. The following quoted at large from their journal
is of great interest as indicating one of the police customs
of the Sioux in their primitive life : —
Sioux Squaw in Native Dress (Modern)
LEWIS AND CLARK WITH THE TETONS 43
"While on shore to-day we witnessed a quarrel between
two squaws, which appeared to be growing every moment
more boisterous, when a man came forv/ard, at whose
approach every one seemed terrified and ran. He took
the squaws and without any ceremony whipped them
severely. On inquiring into the nature of such summary
justice we learned that this man was an officer well known
to this and many other tribes. His duty is to keep the
peace, and the whole interior police of the village is con-
fided to two or three of these ofhcers, who are named by
the chief and remain in power some days, at least till
the chief appoints a successor. They seem to be a sort
of constable or sentinel, since they are always on the watch
to keep tranquillity during the day and guard the camp
in the night. The short duration of the office is com-
pensated by its authority. His power is supreme, and in
the suppression of any riot or disturbance no resistance
to him is suffered; his person is sacred, and if in the
execution of his duty he strikes even a chief of the second
class, he cannot be punished for this salutary insolence.
In general he accompanies the person of the chief, and
when ordered to any duty, however dangerous, it is a
point of honor rather to die than to refuse obedience.
Thus, when they attempted to stop us yesterday, the chief
ordered one of these men to take possession of the boat;
he immediately put his arms around the mast, and, as we
understood, no force except the command of the chief
would have induced him to release his hold. Like the
other men his body is blackened, but his distinguish-
ing mark is a collection of two or three raven skins
44 SOUTH DAKOTA
fixed to the girdle beliind the back in such a way that the
tails stick out' horizontally from the body. On his head,
too, is a raven skin split into two parts and tied so as to
let the beak project from the forehead."
The next morning when the captains' royal guests
arose, they carefully wrapped up the blanket upon which
they had slept and carried it away with them. There was
nothing irregular about this, and it is the custom of the
Teton Sioux to this day. When an Indian is invited to
a feast, it is his privilege to carry away all the remnants
left upon the table, and if he remains over night, he takes
with him, as a matter of course, the blankets upon which
he has slept.
So pleased were the captains with the entertainment
they had received, that they decided to remain for another
day of it, and traditions of that day of dance and feast
and carousal are still handed down among the descendants
of the Tetons who took part in it. Captain Clark was
accompanied by his personal servant, a colored man
named York, who was a great curiosity to the Indians.
York was intensely black and the Indians were very
greatly astonished when they discovered that they could
not wash the color off. He was a man of wonderful
strength and in this day's entertainment he won the un-
bounded admiration of the Indians by his exhibitions of
However, it was necessary to bring the fete to a close,
and on Friday, the 28th of September, the captains de-
termined to proceed on their journey. But when the time
for starting came, the Indians were as unwilling to have
LEWIS AND CLARK WITH THE TETONS 45
them go as they had been in the first place. A long line
of the warriors sat down upon the cable which held the
boats to the shore, and it was only with threats and coaxing
and bribery that they were finally induced to let the party
proceed. Black Buffalo accompanied them, intending
to go to the Rees with them, but when up in the neigh-
borhood of the Cheyenne River, the boat in which he was
riding struck a log and came very near overturning.
This mishap greatly alarmed the old chief, who demanded
that he be placed upon the shore. His demand was
granted and he returned to his people.
At the mouth of the Cheyenne the party found a trad-
ing post operated by John Valle, a St. Louis trader,
who told them that he had passed the last winter three
hundred leagues up the Cheyenne River near the Black
On October 8 the party reached the Ree villages at
Grand River. There they found several French traders —
Pierre Garreau, who had then resided with the Rees for
fourteen years, Mr. Gravelines, and a Mr. Tabeau.
Several councils were held, and the usual presents given.
Supposing that it would be as agreeable to the Rees as
to the other Indians, the white men offered them whisky,
but they indignantly refused it, saying that "they were
surprised that their Father would present them a liquor
which would make them fools." The explorers remained
with the Rees two days and seem to have had a most
On the 13th, having proceeded up the river, they passed
the mouth of Spring Creek, in what is now Campbell
County, and named it Stone Idol Creek, because they were •
told that a few miles back from the Missouri there were
two stones re-
figures and a third
which looked hke
a dog, and that
these stones were
worshiped by the
Rees. The In-
dians told this leg-
end of these rocks:
' ' A young man was
deeply in love with
a girl whose par-
ents refused their
consent to the mar-
riage. The youth
went out on the
prairie to mourn
over his hard fate.
A sympathy of feel-
ing led the lady to
the same spot, and
the faithful dog
would not cease to
follow his master.
together and having nothing to live on but grapes they
were at last changed into stone, which beginning at their
SACAJAWEA, iNTERrRKTER FOR LEWIS AND
Clark in 1805-06
Statue at the Lewis and Clark Exposition, 1903
LEWIS AND CLARK WITH THE TETONS 47
feet gradually invaded the nobler parts, leaving nothing
unchanged but a bunch of grapes which the woman holds
in her hands to this day. Whenever the Rees pass these
sacred stones, they stop to make some offering of dress
to propitiate the gods."
On that day Lewis and Clark passed out of what is
now South Dakota. They went on that autumn as far
as the Mandan villages above Bismarck on the Mis-
souri, where they built a post and spent the winter. The
next year, 1805, with great hardship, they crossed the
mountains and reached the Pacific Ocean. Remaining
at the mouth of the Columbia until spring, they turned
back and reached the north line of South Dakota on the
2ist day of August, 1806, precisely two years from the
date when they entered South Dakota on the upward
trip. They stopped with the Rees for a short visit, but
hastened by the Teton country without attracting atten-
tion. They had no desire to meet Black Buffalo, fearing
that he would again attempt to detain them. The Yank-
tons were friendly, but they spent httle time with them,
being in great haste to reach civilization again. At Elk-
point they met Mr. James Aird carrying goods to the Yank-
tons, and he supplied them with provisions of which they
were in great need, and gave them the first information
they had had from the outside world for more than two
years. They reached St. Louis early in September,
and their return was a source of great rejoicing to all the
people of the United States.
THE FIRST BLOODSHED
When Lewis and Clark returned down the Missouri,
they induced Big White, a chief of the Mandan tribe,
with his wife and children, to accompany them to Washing-
ton. Rene Jesseaume, a French-
man long known on the frontier,
and his Mandan wife went along
as interpreters. These Indians
were taken to Washington,
where the appearance of
Big White created a great
sensation. He was an ex-
traordinarily large man,
nearly seven feet high, and
as white as an albino.
He was received by Presi-
dent Jefferson and made
much of by Washington
In the spring of 1807 Big White was to return to his
people, and Lewis and Clark had pledged the faith of
the United States government that he should have safe
conduct to his home. Captain Clark came back to St.
A Mandan Chief
THE FIRST BLOODSHED
Louis uith him, and there fitted out an expedition under
the command of Sergeant Nathaniel Pryor, who had been
a prominent member of the exploring party. Pryor had
in his command two noncommissioned officers and eleven
soldiers. Pierre Chouteau, Sr., with a trading party of
thirty-two men, bound for trade on the head waters of
the Missouri, also accompanied the expedition. Earlier
in the season Manuel Lisa, a well-known Spanish trader
of that day, had gone up the river with a party of traders
and their suppHes.
Pryor and his party left St. Louis in ISIay, 1807. Pro-
ceeding prosperously, although slowly, and passing all of
the lower Sioux bands in safety, they reached the lower of
the two Ree villages at Grand River on the morning
of September 9. The Rees tired several guns in the direc-
tion of the boats. Pierre Dorion, who accompanied the
expedition as interpreter, asked what they wanted. The
Indians replied by inviting the party ashore to obtain
a supply of provisions. The kind treatment Lewis and
Clark had received from the Rees the year before threw
the party off their guard, and the boats were ordered to
At the Ree village it was learned that the Rees and
Mandans were at war with each other and that several
of the Teton Sioux bands were joined with the Rees and
were present in the village. A Mandan woman who had
been captive among the Rees for several years came on
board one of the boats and gave the whites some impor-
tant information. She said that Lisa had passed up a few
days before and when he found that the Rees intended
so. DAK. — 4
50 SOUTH DAKOTA
to stop him, he told them that a large party of whites,
with the Mandan chief, would soon arrive; and after
giving them a large part of his goods, including some
guns, he was allowed to go on. The Rees made up their
minds to kill Lisa upon his return, but let him pass for
the present for fear rumors of their acts and intentions
might reach the parties below and cause them to turn
back. She warned the white men that the Rees were
bent on mischief.
Sergeant Pryor at once ordered Big White to barricade
himself in his cabin, and prepared his men for action.
After a good deal of parleying and speechmaking, Pryor
explained the purpose of his journey, and after making
some presents he was allowed to go on to the upper
The two interpreters, Dorion and Jesseaume, went by
land through the villages, and they learned that the Indians
clearly had evil intentions. The Indians ordered the boats
to proceed up a narrow channel near the shore, but the
whites discovered the trap in time and refused to comply.
The Rees now openly declared that they intended to
detain the boats, saying that Lisa had promised them that
Pryor's party would remain and trade with them. They
seized the cable of Chouteau's boat and ordered Pryor
to go on. This Pryor refused to do, but seeing the des-
perate state of affairs, he urged Chouteau to make some
concessions to them. Chouteau offered to leave a trader
and half of the goods with them, but the Indians, feeling
sure that they could capture the whole of the outfit, re-
fused the offer.
THE FIRST BLOODSHED 5 1
The chief of the upper village now came on Pryor's
boat and demanded that Big White go on shore with him.
With great insolence he demanded a surrender of all arms
and ammunition. The chief, to whom a medal had been
given, threw it on the ground, and one of Chouteau's
men was struck down with a gun. Raising a general
war whoop, the Rees fired on the boats and on Chouteau
and a few of his men who were on shore, and then with-
drew to a fringe of willows along the bank, some fifty
yards back. The willows were more of a concealment
than a protection, and Pryor replied with the fire of his
entire force. The contest was maintained for fifteen
minutes, but the number of Indians was so great that
Pryor ordered a retreat.
To retreat was a very hard thing to do, for Chouteau's
barge had stuck fast on a bar and the men were compelled
to wade in the water and drag it for some distance, all the
while under the fire of the Indians. At length the boats
were gotten off and floated down the current, the Indians
following along the bank. It was not until sunset that
the pursuit was abandoned by the Indians, and then only
on account of the serious wounding of Black Buffalo,
the Teton Sioux who had entertained and quarreled with
Lewis and Clark at the site of Fort Pierre three years
This was the first engagement between troops of the
United States and Indians upon Dakota soil. Three of
Chouteau's men were killed, and seven wounded, one
mortally. Three of Pryor's men were wounded, among
them the boy, George Shannon, who was lost for a time
52 SOUTH DAKOTA
while hunting Lewis and Clark's horses in August, 1804.
He was so severely wounded that his right leg had to be
amputated by Dr. Sauguin, the man who made the ther-
mometer, when he returned to St. Louis. Shannon later
studied law and became a successful lawyer of Lexington,
Missouri, and a judge of his district.
The party with Big White returned to St. Louis, and it
was not until 1809 that the government succeeded, at
great expense, in getting him back safely to his people.
A NOTABLE BOAT RACE
The information brought back by Lewis and Clark
regarding the vast extent of the fur-bearing country through
which they had traveled, caused great activity among the
fur merchants of St. Louis, and they immediately organ-
ized for the purpose of trade with the Indian tribes upon
the head waters of the Missouri River and in the Rocky
Mountains. The most prominent of these traders were
Pierre Chouteau and Manuel Lisa, the men of whom we
learned in the story of the return of Big White. They
were prompt in entering the country and claiming prior
rights in its occupancy.
The great king of all the American fur trade was John
Jacob Astor of New York city. When the reports of
Lewis and Clark's successful trip came to Astor, he im-
mediately determined to establish a great fur depot on
the Pacific coast at the mouth of the Columbia River,
and to dispatch two expeditions to that point, one to go
by sea around South America, the other to go overland.
The overland expedition was placed in charge of a famous
fur merchant of that time, Walter Price Hunt of Jersey
Hunt began to recruit his men for the enterprise at
54 SOUTH DAKOTA
Montreal, securing there many of the best-trained fur
men from the Hudson Bay and Northwestern employment.
He went on to Mackinaw, where he secured other trained
wilderness rangers, and thence went to St. Louis, where
he purposed to lay in his supphes and employ additional
men. He reached St. Louis in the autumn of 1810.
There he met with the most violent opposition from the
St. Louis merchants, who were very jealous of Astor.
They refused to sell Hunt any goods and used every
means to prevent men from going upon his errand.
In this opposition no one was more active than the
Spaniard, Manuel Lisa. It was important to Hunt to
secure a guide and interpreter who was thoroughly fa-
miliar with the upper Missouri, and he found such a man
in Pierre Dorion, Jr., son of the old guide to Lewis and
Clark. Dorion was a half Sioux, born at Yankton and
familiar with all of the Indians residing on the Missouri
River. However, he was in the employment of Lisa,
and that made it particularly hard for Hunt to secure his
services. It was the policy of all of the fur merchants to
keep their employes in debt to them, and Dorion was
deeply indebted to Lisa for whisky he had purchased
and consumed. Lisa was not slow to see that Hunt was
tampering with his man, and he coaxed, scolded, and
finally threatened Dorion's arrest for the whisky debt.
This had the desired effect, and Dorion refused to accom-
To keep his men away from the influence of the St.
Louis merchants, Hunt moved his expedition some 400
miles up the Missouri late in the autumn, and there
A NOTABLE BOAT RACE
made a winter camp. Toward spring he returned to St.
Louis to recruit more men, and again entered into nego-
tiations with Dorion, who agreed to accompany him into
the wilderness. . Learning of this, Lisa got out a war-
rant for Dorion's arrest on the whisky debt, but Dorion
escaped into the brush and, after travehng a long and
circuitous route, joined Hunt far up the river. Hunt
went with all haste to his camp, quickly made ready for
the voyage, and finally, on the 27th of April, 181 1, set
off up the river in four boats, one of which was of large
size and mounted two swivels and a howitzer. He was
aware when he left St. Louis that Lisa was about ready to
embark for the head waters of the Missouri, and he had
every reason to believe that Lisa was now in close pursuit.
Hunt's party got along prosperously and reached the
mouth of the Big Sioux River on the 15th of May. On
the 23d they had reached the sharp bend in the IMissouri
between the site of Springfield and Bon Homme Island,
when they were overtaken by a messenger from Lisa, who
informed them that Lisa had passed their winter encamp-
ment nineteen days after they had left, and that he was
then at the Omaha village opposite the mouth of the Big
Sioux ; that he had a large boat manned with twenty oars-
men, and that he had set out to overtake the Astorians at
any cost. The messenger said that the Teton Sioux were
hostile, being excited by the religious craze inspired by
the teaching of the Shawnee Prophet, which had reached
all of the tribes in the Mississippi and Missouri valleys,
and that Lisa wished to join his expedition with the
Astorians for mutual protection while passing through the
56 SOUTH DAKOTA
hostile country. Hunt sent back word to Lisa that he
would await Lisa's arrival at the Ponca village at the
mouth of the Niobrara ; but no sooner had the messen-
ger disappeared downstream, than Hunt redoubled his
energy to pass through the Sioux country in advance of
Lisa, for he feared that Lisa would use his well-known
influence with the Indians to excite hostilities against the
Astorians. Hunt was in a state of terror, and it is hard
to tell which he feared most, Lisa or the Indians he was
pretty certain to meet in the Dakota country.
By the morning of the 31st of May Hunt had arrived
in the neighborhood of the Big Bend, when the whole
party were almost scared out of their wits by the approach
of a large body of Sioux, who came racing down the river
bank as if to intercept their passage. They were under
the lead of our old friend Black Buffalo. They informed
the white men that they were at war with the Rees and
Mandans, and would not permit ammunition and guns
to be taken to their enemies. Hunt explained to them
that he was not looking for trade on the Missouri, but was
going to cross the mountains to the Pacific coast; this sat-
isfied Black Buffalo, who allowed the white men to pass
on. They, however, met several other bands of Sioux in
the next day or two, and were kept in a constant state of
alarm. Just as they rounded the Big Bend they met a
party of Rees, who greeted them most cordially. After
spending a night with the whites, the Rees set off hot foot
for their home on Grand River, to inform their people of
the approach of the boats.
At the very moment when the Rees disappeared up
A NOTABLE BOAT RACE 57
river, Manuel Lisa and his party were seen coming around
the bend. This threw Hunt and his party into a new ter-
ror, but Manuel greeted them civilly and for two days con-
tinued to travel in their company, showing no disposition
to pass them, though they feared that he would go on and
excite the Rees against them.
On the 5th of June both parties were encamped ofi-^fe« p\
site— of- the present citv of^ Pierre. It was a wet, dis-
agreeable day, and they had decided to lie over for rest
until the weather cleared up. From the moment of Lisa's
arrival Pierre Dorion had kept aloof and regarded him
most sullenly. During this day in camp the wily Spaniard
decided to make up with Dorion, and invited him on his
boat. After regaling him with whisky Lisa asked him to
quit the service of Hunt and return to him. This Pierre
refused to do. Finding that Pierre could not be moved
by soft words, Lisa called to his mind the old whisky
debt and threatened to carry him off by force in payment
of it. A violent quarrel occurred between him and Lisa,
and he left the boat in great anger and went directly to
the tent of Mr. Hunt and told him of Lisa's threat.
While Dorion was telling Hunt his story, Lisa entered
the tent, pretending that he had come to borrow a towing
line. High words followed between him and Dorion,
and the half-breed struck him. a hard blow. Lisa imme-
diately rushed to his boat for a weapon ; Dorion snatched
up a pair of pistols belonging to Mr. Hunt and placed
himself in battle array. The loud voices aroused the
camp, and every one pressed up to know the cause.
Lisa reappeared with a knife stuck in his girdle. Dorion's
58 SOUTH DAKOTA
pistols gave him the advantage, and he kept up a most
warHke attitude. A scene of uproar and hubbub ensued,
which defies description; the men of each party sided
with their employer, and every one seemed anxious for
blood except Hunt, who used every effort to prevent a gen-
eral melee. In the midst of the brawl Lisa called Hunt
a bad name and in an instant Hunt's quiet spirit was
inflamed. He wanted to fight Lisa and his whole com-
pany, and challenged the Spaniard to settle the matter
on the spot with pistols. Lisa, nothing loath, went to his
boat to arm himself for the duel.
Two eminent scientists, Bradbury and Brakenridge,
who accompanied the expeditions, now returned from a
search for specimens just in time to interfere and un-
doubtedly to prevent bloodshed. But while they did
prevent a fight, they could not bring the two parties to a
friendly understanding, and all intercourse between them
ceased. They started on, keeping on opposite sides of
the river, each party determined, if the other showed bad
faith by attempting to go ahead to the Ree camp, to resort
to arms to prevent it. Thus they skirted along until they
were close to the Ree towns on Grand River. Lisa then
sent Mr. Brakenridge over to the Astorians to arrange a
joint meeting with the Rees with due ceremony. Hunt,
still suspicious, refused to have anything to do in common
with the Spaniard, but upon the representations of Mr.
Brakenridge finally consented, and it was arranged that
both parties should go to the village at the same time.
Here Hunt decided to leave the river and start across
country to the Pacific by way of the Grand River route.
A NOTABLE BOAT RACE ' 59
To enable him to do this it was necessary to buy a large
number of horses of the Rees. He told his purpose in the
first council held, but the chief Left Hand said it would
be impossible for them to supply so many horses as were
needed. Here Gray Eyes, another chief, interrupted to
say that the matter could be easily arranged, for if they had
not enough horses to supply the requirements of the white
men, they could easily steal more, and putting this honest
expedient into practice they soon had all the horses Hunt
needed. Hunt remained with the Rees until the i8th
of July, when, being fully equipped, he set out for the Pa-
cific. Going up Grand River, he crossed through the
northern part of the Black Hills, being the first to explore
that region, and after great hardship and suffering reached
the mouth of the Columbia. Lisa, having traded out his
wares to the Rees for furs, set out for St. Louis about the
same time that Hunt departed.
A PATRIOTIC CELEBRATION
While the parties of Hunt and Lisa were staying at the
Ree towns, a great patriotic celebration occurred there,
which is described in detail by Washington Irving. No
one of the pretentious towns or cities of to-day could
welcome her sons home from the wars with more pomp
and circumstance, more of feasting and rejoicings, than
did these primitive South Dakotans.
"On the 9th of July, just before daybreak, a great
noise and vociferation was heard in the village. This
being the usual Indian hour of attack and surprise, and
the Sioux being known to be in the neighborhood, the
camp was instantly on the alert. As the day broke
Indians were descried in considerable number on the
bluffs three or four miles down the river. The noise and
agitation in the village continued. The tops of the
lodges were crowded with the inhabitants, all earnestly
looking toward the hills and keeping up a vehement
chattering. Presently an Indian warrior galloped past
the camp [of Mr. Hunt] toward the village, and in a
little while the legions began to pour forth.
"The truth of the matter was now ascertained. The
Indians upon the distant hills were three hundred Arick-
62 SOUTH DAKOTA
ara [Ree] braves returning from a foray. They had
met the war party of Sioux who had been so long hovering
about the neighborhood, had fought them the day be-
fore [that is, July 8, 1811], killed several, and defeated
the rest, with the loss of but two or three of their own
men and about a dozen wounded; and they were now
halting at a distance until their comrades in the village
should come forth to meet them and swell the parade of
their triumphal entry. The warrior who had galloped
past the camp was the leader of the party hastening home
to give tidings of his victory.
"Preparations were now made for this great martial
ceremony. All the finery and equipments of the warriors
were sent forth to them, that they might appear to the
greatest advantage. Those, too, who had remained at
home tasked their wardrobes and toilets to do honor to
"The Arickaras generally go naked, but, like all sav-
ages, they have their gala dress, of which they are not a
little vain. This usually consists of a gray surcoat and
leggings of the dressed skin of the antelope, resembling
chamois leather, and embroidered with porcupine quills
brilliantly dyed. A buffalo robe is thrown over the right
shoulder, and across the left is slung a quiver of arrows.
They wear gay coronets of plumes, particularly those of
the swan; but the leathers of the black eagle are con-
sidered the most worthy, being a sacred bird among the
Indian warriors. He who has killed an enemy in his
own land is entitled to drag at his heels a fox skin attached
to each moccasin, and he who has slain a grizzly bear
A PATRIOTIC CELEBRATION 63
wears a necklace of his claws, the most glorious trophy
that a hunter can exhibit.
"An Indian toilet is an operation of some toil and
trouble ; the warrior often has to paint himself from head
to foot, and is extremely capricious and difficult to please
as to the hideous distribution of streaks and colors. A
great part of the morning, therefore, passed away before
there were any signs of the distant pageant. In the mean-
time a profound stillness reigned over the village. Most
of the inhabitants had gone forth ; others remained in mute
expectation. All sports and occupations were suspended,
excepting that in the lodges the painstaking squaws were
silently busied in preparing the repasts for the warriors.
"It was near noon that a mingled sound of voices and
rude music, faintly heard from the distance, gave notice
that the procession was on the march. The old men, and
such of the squaws as could leave their employments,
hastened forth to meet it. In a little while it emerged from
behind a hill, and had a wild and picturesque appearance
as it came moving over the summit in measured step and
to the cadence of songs and savage instruments ; the war-
like standards and trophies flaunting aloft, and the
feathers and paint and silver ornaments of the warriors
glaring and glittering in the sunshine.
"The pageant had really something chivalrous in its
arrangement. The Arickaras are divided into several
bands, each bearing the name of some animal or bird,
as the buffalo, the bear, the dog, the pheasant. The
present party consisted of four of these bands, one of
which was the dog, the most esteemed in war, being com-
64 SOUTH DAKOTA
posed of voung men under tliirty and noted for their
prowess. It is engaged on the most desperate occasions.
The bands marched in separate bodies under their several
leaders. The warriors on foot came first, in platoons of
ten or twelve abreast; then the horsemen. Each band
bore as an ensign a spear or bow decorated with beads,
porcupine quills, and painted feathers. Each bore its
trophies of scalps, elevated on poles, their long black
locks streaming in the wind. Each was accompanied
by its rude music and minstrelsy. In this way the pro-
cession extended nearly a quarter of a mile. The warriors
were variously armed, some few with guns, others with
bows and arrows and war clubs ; all had shields of buffalo
hide, a kind of defense generally used by the Indians of
the open prairie, who have not the covert of trees and for-
ests to protect them. They were painted in the most sav-
age style. Some had the stamp of a red hand across
their mouths, a sign that they had drunk the life blood of
"Ws they drew near to the village the old men and the
women began to meet them, and now a scene ensued that
proved the fallacy of the old fable of Indian apathy and
stoicism. Parents and children, husbands and wives,
brothers and sisters, met with the most rapturous ex-
pressions of joy; while wailings and lamentations were
heard from the relatives of the killed and wounded. The
procession, however, continued on with slow and measured
step, in cadence to the solemn chant, and the warriors
maintained their fixed and stern demeanor.
"Between two of the principal chiefs rode a young war-
A PATRIOTIC CELEBRATION 65
rior who had distinguished himself in the battle. He
was severely wounded, so as with difficulty to keep on his
horse, but he preserved a serene and steadfast countenance,
as if perfectly unharmed. His mother had heard of his
condition. She broke through the throng and, rushing up,
threw her arms around him and wept aloud. He kept up
the spirit and demeanor of a warrior to the last, but ex-
pired shortly after he had reached his home.
"The village was now a scene of the utmost festivity
and triumph. The banners and trophies and scalps and
painted shields were elevated on poles near the lodges.
There were war feasts and scalp dances, with warlike songs
and savage music; all the inhabitants were arrayed in
p their festal dresses ; while the old heralds went round from
lodge to lodge, promulgating with loud voices the events
ft of the battle and the exploits of the various warriors.
K "Such was the boisterous revelry of the village,"
P Irving continues ; " but sounds of another kind were heard
on the surrounding hills : piteous wailings of the women
who had retired thither to mourn in darkness and solitude
for those who had fallen in battle. There the poor mother
of the youthful warrior who had returned home in triumph
but to die gave full vent to the anguish of a mother's
heart. How much does this custom among the Indian
women, of repairing to the hilltops in the night and
pouring forth their wailings for the dead, call to mind the
beautiful and affecting passage of Scripture, 'In Rama
was there a voice heard, lamentation and weeping and
great mourning; Rachel weeping for her children, and
would not be comforted because they are not.' "
so. DAK. — 5
66 SOUTH DAKOTA
Those of the readers of this history who recall the great
festival throughout South Dakota upon the return of the
First Regiment from the Philippine war will appreciate
the fact that it was entirely in line with a time-honored
precedent among the people of the South Dakota land.
AN ENGLISH CAPTAIN FROM SOUTH DAKOTA
When the second war with England began in 1812,
British interests in the Northwest were placed under the
general control of Major Robert Dickson, a bluff old Scotch
fur trader, who was married to a Flathead Sioux woman
whose home was on Elm River in what is now Brown
County, South Dakota. It was the British purpose to
enlist the Sioux and other western tribes in their behalf
to make war on the Americans. Dickson's wife was the
sister of Red Thunder, chief of the Flatheads, and this
chief and his seventeen-year-old son, together with twenty-
two Sissetons from South Dakota, at once entered the
British service. In the early spring of 181 3 they went
down, with many other Indians, to Mackinaw, which was
the headquarters of the British in the West, and thence
proceeded against the American post, Fort Meigs, on the
Maumee River in northern Ohio.
The siege of Fort ]Meigs was maintained for some
time, when a party of volunteer Americans from Kentucky
appeared on the ground and the British were compelled
to give up their intentions upon the post. Dickson held
a council with the Indians and proposed that they should
proceed at once against Fort Stephenson, an American
68 SOUTH DAKOTA
post on the Sandusky River. This was agreed to and
they embarked in their canoes down the Maumee, but
when they arrived at the mouth of the river, Itasapa, the
head chief of all of the Sioux Indian expedition, turned
the prow of his canoe up the lake toward Detroit, instead
of turning south toward the Sandusky.
Dickson and other officers hurried to the front and
demanded to know the chief's intentions. Itasapa said
he was going to take his warriors back to the Mississippi,
and nothing that Dickson or the English could do could
persuade him to change his mind. He resolutely kept on
toward Detroit, and the other tribes, seeing the Sioux
deserting, followed their example; only Red Thunder,
his young son, and -sixteen of the Sissetons remained to
support the English in their attempt on Fort Stephenson.
It seemed as if th^se warriors who remained loyal to
the English attempted, at Fort Stephenson, to make up
for the desertion of their countrymen ; they fought with
extraordinary bravery, but no one of them so distinguished
himself as did Dickson's nephew, the Flathead young boy
from South Dakota. He fought like a tiger, and, forget-
ting the Indian cunning and custom of concealing one's
self from the enemy, he charged again and again in the
open, and his relatives at once named him _Waneta,l which
means " the charger." It does not seem that up to this
time he had any name, but his new name he held during
the rest of his long life, -i^t the charge upon Fort Stephen-
son Waneta received nine gunshot wounds, but survived
them all and as long as he lived he wore in his hair
nine small sticks painted red, as tokens of the wounds he \
AN ENGLISH CAPTAIN FROM SOUTH DAKOTA 69
had received. Waneta continued to serve the Enghsh
interests until the close of the war, when he was called
to the English headquarters, which had been transferred
to Drummond Island in Lake Huron, and given a cap-
tain's commission and
a fine uniform. There
is a tradition among the
Sissetons and Flatheads
that he was taken to
England and presented
to the king, but this is
probably not true. At
any rate he came back
to his home in Dakota,
where he remained for
many years entirely
loyal to the British
government. JNIost of
the other Indians had
very promptly turned
over to the American
When in 181 9 the
government began the
military settlement at the head of navigation on the Mis-
sissippi, which resulted in the founding of Fort Snclling,
Waneta, as a good British subject, went down to see what
was going on and protest against the enterprise. He
remained about the post for several weeks, and became
acquainted with the officers and men and all of the cabins
JO SOUTH DAKOTA
and arrangements within and without the post. He then
entered into a conspiracy to surprise the post and destroy
the garrison, but as he was about to carry it into execution,
Colonel Snelling, then in command, got information of it.
SnelHng promptly arrested Waneta, took him into the post,
and put him through a sweating process which thoroughly
naturalized him. Colonel SneUing took his British med-
als and flags away from him, destroyed them before his
eyes, and compelled him to swear allegiance to the Ameri-
can flag. Waneta came out from the fort thoroughly re-
formed in his views, and for the rest of his life was as proud
of his Americanism as he formerly had been of his English
When Major Long, in 1823, was sent out by the govern-
ment to establish the boundary line between the United
States and Canada where the Red River crosses the line,
Waneta met him at Big Stone Lake, where he had pre-
pared a great ovation for the military. He was dressed for
the occasion in a magnificent array of finery in which he
had combined the most striking features of civilized and
savage clothing. In 1825 he signed the trade and inter-
course treaty at Fort Pierre, and a few weeks later, signed
the boundary treaty at Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin. In
1832 Catlin found him at Fort Pierre, where he painted a
fine likeness of him.
Waneta was easilv the most able and the most dis-
tinguished chief of all the Sioux nation of his period. He
was shrewd, crafty, and diplomatic. After the conquest
of the Rees in 1823, Waneta removed his home from
the Elm River, in northern South Dakota, to the mouth
AN ENGLISH CAPTAIN FROM SOUTH DAKOTA 7 1
of the Warreconne River (Beaver Creek) on the Mis-
souri, in southern North Dakota, v^here he set up a pro-
tectorate over the Rees. He compelled them to pay him
tribute in corn and horses and furs, which enabled him
to live in great ease and splendor, and in consideration of
this he protected the Rees from the Sioux tribes. He
died in 1848 and was buried on the east bank of the
Missouri River opposite Fort Rice in North Dakota.
MANUEL LISA, AMERICAN
Captain William Clark, of the Lewis and Clark
expedition, had before 1812 become General Clark,
Indian agent and commander of the militia of the upper
Louisiana territory (later called Missouri territory), which
included South Dakota and all of the American Northwest.
When Manuel Lisa, the wily Spanish trader, returned to
St. Louis from his famous boat race to the Ree towns in
the summer of 18 11, he reported to General Clark that
"the Wampum was carrying by British influence along
the banks of the Missouri, and all the nations of this great
river were excited to join the universal confederacy, then
setting on foot, of which The Prophet was the instrument
and the British traders the soul."
At this time the Sioux Indians of the Mississippi River
were wholly under the influence of the British traders
from Canada, from whom they obtained their goods.
On the other hand, the Sioux Indians of the Missouri
River were under the influence of the French Americans
from St. Louis, with whom they traded. It was the
British policy to secure the assistance of the Dakota Sioux
in the War of 181 2, first for whatever assistance they might
be able to render in the war, but chiefly that through
MANUEL LISA, AMERICAN
the alliance the British might secure the Dakota trade.
Manuel saw this and at once imparted to General Clark
a scheme by which he beheved not only that the Dakota
trade could be held for the Americans, but that the Missis-
sippi Sioux as well could be made of no value to the Eng-
lish. General Clark was pleased with the plan and gave
the execution of it to the Spaniard, who, however bad his
principles may have been as a trader, was always a loyal
Lisa was made the American agent for all of the Indians
on the upper Missouri. He came among them and estab-
lished a strong post somewhere in the vicinity of the Big
Bend. It may have been on American Island at
Chamberlain, and it may have been upon Cedar Island
just above the bend. Here he maintained a large stock
of goods for the Dakota trade, taught the women to raise
vegetables, and supplied them with domestic fowls and
cattle. He made of his post an asylum where the old men
and women and the sick and defective were welcomed
and cared for. Then with Spanish diplomacy he set
about to create an impression in the minds of the Indians
that the Sioux on the Mississippi were their enemies,
and he skillfully fomented trouble between the two
branches of the Sioux nation. Trusted runners were
sent to the Mississippi to hint to the Sioux there that the
Dakota Indians were very much incensed at their conduct
and were likely to send war parties against them at any
time. This kept the Mississippi Sioux at home to protect
their families and camps. Lest the too frequent cry of
woLf should make the Mississippi Sioux careless and get
74 SOUTH DAKOTA
them to thinking there was no danger, he sent a war
party of Omahas against a Httle band of lowas, but was
careful to see that no general war took place.
Lisa kept his Indians busy hunting and trapping and
gave them good trade so that they were generally pros-
perous, while the Mississippi Sioux, between their expe-
ditions to help the English, and their fear of trouble from
the Tetons, neglected their hunting; the British found
it very difficult to bring goods to them for trade, owing to
the war, and they were thus left very poor and in a miser-
able condition. By these methods Lisa held the Sioux
of the Missouri very strongly to the American interests
and was perfectly successful in his plan to make the Mis-
sissippi Sioux not only of no value to the Enghsh, but
actually a burden to them.
When the war was finally over, Manuel perfectly under-
stood conditions among the Indians on both rivers, and
he hurried to St. Louis to propose that a great council
be immediately called in which all of the Sioux should be
invited to participate and that they be thereby drawn to
the American interest, both for citizenship and for trade.
Clark, now governor of Missouri territory, fully agreed
with him, and authorized a council to be held at Portage
des Sioux, at the mouth of the Missouri River. Manuel
went back to the upper Missouri and gathered up forty of
the chiefs and head men of his Dakota Sioux, while
Lieutenant Kennerly went to the Mississippi Sioux and
secured representatives of all of the bands residing there.
The council was called for the fifteenth day of July, 1815,
and was within ninety days of the close of hostilities
MANUEL LISA, AMERICAN 75
between the English and Americans on the Mississippi.
All of the bands joined heartily in a treaty of peace and
friendship with the Americans.
Among the chiefs whom Manuel Lisa took down for
this council was Black Buffalo, who, while waiting for
the council to assemble, died on the night of July 14. He
was a Minneconjou and a man of a great deal of power.
It will be recalled that he was the principal chief with
whom Lewis and Clark counciled, feasted, and quarreled
at the mouth of the Teton (at the site of Fort Pierre), from
September 25 to 28, 1804, when upon the up trip. He
was with his band near Fort Randall when the explorers
returned in 1806, and fearing trouble and delay they did
not stop to hold communion with him. In 1807 he was
in league with the Rees and present in the Ree villages
when the attack was made upon the party of Sergeant
Pryor and Pierre Chouteau, Sr., who were endeavoring
to get Big White to his home, and in the skirmish Black
Buffalo was dangerously wounded, the whites supposing
he was killed. We next find him at the head of a party
of Dakotas whom the Astorians met at the Big Bend in
181 1, protesting against the carrying of arms to the Rees
and Mandans, with whom the Sioux were then at war.
At this time, by reason of his appearance and mild de-
portment, he made a very favorable impression upon
Brakenridge, who was the historian of the expedition.
During the ensuing war with Great Britain, Black Buffalo
was one of the men upon whom Manuel Lisa relied i-n his
efforts to keep the Missouri River Dakotas friendly to
the United States.
-J^ SOUTH DAKOTA
Colonel John Miller, with a detachment of the Third
Infantry, was present at the council, and at the request
of Governor Clark, Black Buffalo was buried with
military honors. Indeed he was given the honors of an
officer of high rank, and the ceremonies evidently made
a deep impression upon the assembled red men, for
Big Elk, chief of the Omahas, who delivered one of the
funeral orations, said : —
"Do not grieve. Misfortunes will happen to the wisest
and best of men. Death will come and always comes out
of season. It is the command of the Great Spirit, and all
nations and people must obey. What is past and can not
be prevented should not be grieved for. Be not displeased
or discouraged that in visiting your father here you have
lost your chief. A misfortune of this kind may never
again befall you, but this would have come to you, perhaps
at your own village. Five times have I visited this land
and never returned with sorrow or pain. Misfortunes do
not flourish particularly in our path. They grow every-
where. Wnat a misfortune for me that I could not have
died to-day, instead of the chief who lies before us. The
trifling loss my nation would have sustained in my death
would have been doubly paid for in the honors of my burial.
They would have wiped off everything like regret. In-
stead of being covered with a cloud of sorrow my warriors
would have felt the sunshine of joy in their hearts. To
me it would have been a most glorious occurrence. Here-
after, when I die at home, instead of a noble grave and a
grand procession, the rofling music and the thunderous
cannon, with a flag waving at my head, I shall be wrapped
MANUEL LISA, AMERICAN 'JJ
in a robe (an old robe, perhaps), and hoisted on a slender
scaffold to the whistling winds, soon to be blown to the
earth, my flesh to be devoured by the wolves and my bones
rattled on the plains by the wild beasts. Chief of the sol-
diers, your labors have not been in vain. Your attention
shall not be forgotten. My nation shall know the respect
that is paid to the dead. When I return, I shall echo the
sound of your guns."
THE REE CONQUEST
The War of 1812 ruined the fur trade for the time being,
and it did not begin to revive until about 181 7. The rec-
ords are strangely silent about Lisa's post in the Dakota
lP"^,6\ 1 i ! -
^"V R.30 E
Lower I^e Village
D ^. PI ERR
Bubletla - "---'"
Post ( 3C;;|*L#:^^_.. ^^-Sf «.\^^„f"9|l j# I
OLD FT. GEORliE
— LOWER BRULE INDIAN RESERVATION
Fur and Military Establishments near Fort Pierre from 1817
country at this time, but in the autumn of 181 7
Joseph La Framboise, a mixed blood, French-Ottavi^a,
established a post at the mouth of the Teton River, w^here
Fort Pierre now stands, and the settlement at that point
has been continuous since, making Fort Pierre the oldest
continuous settlement in the state.
THE REE CONQUEST 79
The revival of the fur trade led to the organization of
several fur companies in St. Louis. Among these was
the Rocky Mountain Fur Company, organized by Gen-
eral WilHam H. Ashley, a very prominent man, heuten-
ant governor of Missouri, and afterward for many years
a member of Congress. Associated with Ashley was Major
Andrew Henry, another man distinguished in his time.
In 1822 Ashley and Henry went to the head waters of the
Missouri and established trade there with the native tribes.
Henry, with a considerable party of men, remained during
the ensuing winter upon the Yellowstone, while Ashley
returned to St. Louis to recruit more men and bring up
additional cargoes of goods in the spring.
Early in the spring of 1823 Ashley set out from St.
Louis to return to the mountains with a party of ooe hun - yv*''*^-^^
(fee^ hunters, trappers, and river men, and a large stock
of merchandise. At the end of May they had arrived
safely at the Ree towns at the mouth of Grand River,
where they stopped to trade and to purchase horses, for
Ashley had determined to send half of his party overland
to the Yellowstone by the Grand River route, which had
been opened by the Astorians in 181 1. The Rees gave
them a hearty welcome, and they traded upon the most
friendly terms for several days. Finally, on the evening
of June I, Ashley had secured all the horses he desired,
and prepared to leave in the morning. Forty men were
to go up Grand River, with the horses, and th?y vere
encamped on the shore just outside of the lower tov/n.
Ashley, with the remainder of the men, slept in the boats
anchored in the stream near by.
8o SOUTH DAKOTA
Just before daylight a violent thunderstorm passed
over, and just as the thunder and lightning was dying
away, the Rees, without warning, made a desperate attack
upon the white men. Ashley rallied his men to the de-
fense as best he could, but the advantage was all with the
Indians. The fight lasted fifteen minutes, and at its close
twelve white men lay dead and eleven others were severely
wounded, at least one of them mortally. Ashley got the
survivors into his boats, cut loose, and allowed them to
drift down river, out of range of the enemy. There he
attempted to reorganize his forces and boldly push by the
towns, and go on upstream, but to his dismay he found
that the courage of his men was gone, and scarcely one
would assist him in the enterprise; they openly declared
that if he insisted upon it, they would all desert and make
their way as best they could down the river. In this
emergency Ashley made terms with them, by which he
agreed to drift down to the mouth of the Cheyenne and
there fortify a camp, until messengers could be sent to the
nearest military post, which was located at Fort Atkinson,
sixteen miles north of Omaha.
The express reached Fort Atkinson on June i8. Colonel
Henry Leavenworth was in command of the post, which
was garrisoned by a portion of the Sixth Infantry. Situ-
ated as he was, without telegraph or other means of com-
municating with his superiors, Leavenworth was forced
to use his best judgment in the matter, and he determined
to lead a detachment of troops up the river at once,
and to punish the Rees severely for their conduct. The
distance was about seven hundred miles bv river. Four
THE REE CONQUEST
days later, on June 22, with two hundred and twenty men
and four keel boats laden with subsistence, ammunition,
and two six-pound cannons, he started on the long journey.
The river was high, the winds unfavorable, and the only
means of propelhng the boats was by towing them with the
cordelle. Under the circumstances they made very good
time. When near Yankton on the 3d of July, one of the
boats struck a sub-
merged log and was
capsized and broken
in two, and Sergeant
Samuel Stackpole and
L, six privates were
drowned. At Fort Re-
cover}^, on American
Island at Chamber-
lain, Joshua Pilcher
Wk joined Leavenworth
with a company of
fc forty men, and at
the Cheyenne, Ashley
joined them with eighty
additional men, mak-
ing a total of three hundred and forty white men, soldiers,
and volunteers all told. Seven hundred and fifty Sioux
Indians — Yankton, Yanktonais, and Tetons — also vol-
unteered to go along, but they proved to be a hindrance
rather than an assistance. They reached the Ree towns
on the 9th of August.
There were two of these villages, separated only by a
so. DAK. — 6 • •
General Henry Leavenworth
narrow ravine, both of which were stockaded. The lower
village contained seventy-one and the upper seventy
houses. The Recs came out to meet the soldiers, but
were soon driven back to the inclosure of the towns,
where they were at once attacked by the military. Pilcher
had a howitzer, which with Leavenworth's cannon made
three large guns for the siege. Two of these guns were
planted before the lower town, and the other one on a hill
Siege of the Ree Towns; Disposition of Leavenworth's Forces
back of the upper town. They kept up an intermittent
fire upon the town for two days, when the Rees came
out and begged for terms.
Assuming that they had been severely punished, Leaven-
worth told them that if they would restore the goods, or
an equivalent in horses and furs for the goods and horses
taken from Ashley, everything would be forgiven. This
they promised to do, and they did bring out a few robes ;
THE REE CONQUEST 83
but in the darkness of the next night the entire nation
abandoned their villages and escaped to the prairie, and
though Leavenworth sent messengers after them with
assurances of kindness and fair treatment, they could not
be prevailed upon to return.
Having exhausted his provisions, Leavenworth was com-
pelled to return to Fort Atkinson. His was the first
general military movement in Dakota, and, while little
was accomplished, it was really a very brave thing for
Leavenworth to venture thus into a hostile country for
the purpose of upholding the dignity of the American
One circumstance connected with this Ree outbreak
should be borne in mind. Immediately after the massacre,
and when it had been determined that Ashley could not
go forward up river but must retire, he felt that it was most
necessary that a messenger should be sent to Major Henry,
who, it will be remembered, remained the previous winter
on the Yellowstone. He called for a volunteer to carry
this message, and the only response was by Jedediah S.
Smith, a boy eighteen years of age. It was a most dan-
gerous undertaking. The entire party were gathered
on the deck of General Ashley's boat, the Yellowstone,
when Smith received his commission. There, among the
dead and dying men, the boy, who was a Methodist,
knelt down and made a most eloquent prayer to Heaven
for guidance and protection. This was the first recorded
act of religious worship in South Dakota. He was suc-
cessful in reaching Henry, and at once returned down the
river to St. Louis and was back at the Ree town in time
84 SOUTH DAKOTA
to command a company of men there in the fight in
August. In sixty-six days he had traveled more than
four thousand miles, having no means of transportation
more rapid than an Indian pony or a canoe. Improbable
as this achievement appears, it is substantiated by the
The Rees never were an independent people after
A FOURTH OF JULY CELEBRATION
Despite the fact that nearly fifty years had passed since
the Declaration of Independence, and ten years since the
last peace treaty with England, nevertheless in 1825 the
matter of trade on the western frontier was still un-
settled, and there was a constant conflict between American
and Enghsh interests there. For many reasons the Indians
preferred the British trade. The chief of these was that
England placed no restriction upon the use of intoxicating
liquors in the Indian country, while it was entirely pro-
hibited by American law and could be carried into the
wilderness by American traders only at great hazard.
The British traders naturally were very reluctant to give
up the rich American field, and they constantly came in
by way of Canada and the Lakes and across from the
Hudson Bay country by way of the Assiniboine to the
Missouri. Colonel Leavenworth was clearly of the opinion
that the Rees had been incited to the massacre of General
Ashley's men by Enghsh influence. This long-continued
friction, and the Ree trouble, led the government to under-
take once for all to keep the Engh.-:nmen out of our terri-
tory, and to secure all of the Indian trade tor our merchants.
To this end, in the summer of 1825, General Atkinson
86 SOUTH DAKOTA
and Dr. Benjamin O'Fallon, of St. Louis, were appointed
special commissioners to visit all of the Indian tribes on
the Missouri River, to secure from them trade and inter-
course treaties w^hich would be solely for the advantage
of the American merchants. The expedition traveled in
a fleet of eight keel boats, which in addition to the usual
oars, sails, and cordelles, were equipped each with a set
of paddle wheels operated by hand power. They were
accompanied by four hundred and seventy-six soldiers,
with Colonel Leavenworth in command. They reached
the Dakota country early in June, and on the i8th held a
great council near Chamberlain with the Yanktons, Yank-
tonais, and some of the Teton bands, and after a grand
military exhibition which greatly impressed the Indians,
secured a treaty precisely in the terms desired by the
government. They went on to Fort Pierre, where they
arrived on the 2d of July, and there met several other
bands of Tetons and waited several days for the Oglalas
and some of the distant bands to come in.
When the 4th of July arrived, the officers determined to
give the Indians the benefit of a genuine Fourth of July
celebration, and this is the first recorded celebration of
the Fourth within South Dakota. Colonel Leaven-
worth was made officer of the day, cannon were fired at
sunrise, there was a flag raising, and General Atkinson
and Dr. O'Fallon delivered orations, which were inter-
preted to the Indians. Lieutenant W. S. Harney, who
thirty years later rendered distinguished service upon
that very soil, read the Declaration of Independence,
which was duly interpreted to the Sioux. At noon the
A FOURTH OF JULY CELEBRATION 8/
Oglalas made a feast of the "flesh of thirteen dogs, boiled
in seven kettles, much done," to which the officers were
invited. The remainder of the day was spent in games,
races, etc., and in the evening there was a fine display of
fireworks. The festivities were continued over the 5th
and 6th; a grand military review took place on the 5th,
which "struck the Indians with great awe, and on the 6th,
after the treaties had been signed, Lieutenant Holmes
threw six shells from the howitzer which exploded hand-
somely and made a deep impression upon the savages."
Among those present who took part in the Fourth of
July celebration and festivities and who signed the treaty
w^as Chief Waneta, the English captain.
When passing the mouth of the Little Cheyenne River,
near the site of the present village of Forest City, the
commissioners visited and examined the now celebrated
footprints inw^/|-ock lfeg«r;
The expedition went on to the Rees and secured a
similar treaty from those people, with an additional
clause in which the Indians expressed deep regret for the
occurrences of 1823. The treaties secured by this expe-
dition had the desired effect. The. British traders were
excluded from the American field and there was no further
friction on this account.
SOME TALES OF TRAVELERS
After the completion of the trade and intercourse
treaties there was a very great increase in the American
fur trade, and it continued to grow and expand until the
Old Fort Pierre
fur-bearing animals and buffalo were practically exter-
minated. The mouth of the Teton River was at the very
center of the great fur country, and it was there, as we have
seen, that the little post of Joseph La Framboise was built
in 1817. Five years later this post was succeeded by
SOME TALES OF TI^VELERS
Fort Tecumseh, and again in 1832 it was rebuilt near by
as "Fort Pierre Chouteau," which was soon thereafter cur-
tailed by common use to "Fort Pierre." Until the year
before the erection of Fort Pierre the up-river trade was all
carried on by means of the slow-going keel boats, but in
1831 the enterprising Pierre Chouteau, Jr., son of the man
who had fought the
Ree Indians in the Big
White expedition, built
a small, flat-bottomed
steamboat, intended ex-
pressly for navigation
on the shallow Mis-
souri, and with it
brought a cargo of
goods to Fort Tecum-
seh. This steamboat
trip entirely revolution-
ized the Missouri River
fur trade, and made
it possible to accom-
^i- 1 „ vu i- Pierre Chouteau, Jr.
plish With great ease, ■^
in a few weeks of time, what formerly had required an
entire season. The next year Chouteau took his steam-
boat, the Yellowstone, clear through to the forks of the
Missouri and there built Fort Union.
This successful navigation of the Missouri, to its head,
was one of the great sensations of that period. There-
after many distinguished travelers visited the Dakota
country. Even on the trip of 1832 Chouteau was accom-
panied by George Catlin, the famous artist, who came to
study the Indian in his primitive condition; and to the
pictures which he painted at Fort Pierre and along the
Missouri we are indebted for the preservation of clear
representations of the life, habits, and fashions of the early
Another famous traveler, who came out the next year,
1833, was Maximilian, Prince of Wied. He, too, was a
student of native con-
ditions; he was much
more careful and accu-
rate than Catlin. He
spent but little time,
however, in South Da-
kota, doing most of
his work in the vicinity
of Fort Union.
In 1839 Dr. Joseph
N. Nicollet, the famous
French scientist, came
up the river to Fort
Pierre, accompanied by
General John C. Fre-
They were in the employ of the government and had been
sent out to map the Dakota country, the first official action
of this kind. They remained at Pierre for several weeks,
preparing for their work, and then set out for the James
River and arrived at Medicine Knoll, near Blunt, on the
evening of July 3. At midnight Fremont went to the top
General John C. Fremont
SOME TALES OF TRAVELERS 9 1
of Medicine Knoll and fired guns and rockets in cele-
bration of the national anniversary. After traveling part
way to the James they stopped to fish at Scatterwood
Lake, finally reaching the river at Armadale Grove, in
Spink County. This grove was a famous camping place
for the Indians and early travelers. Thence they passed
up the James and across to Devils Lake, and thence back
down the coteau to Lakes Traverse and Big Stone, whence
they left the state, going down the Minnesota to St. Paul.
While at Fort Pierre Nicollet and Fremont went out
to a Yankton camp not far from the post, where they
were received with great ceremony. A feast was prepared
for them, and having made the customary presents which
ratified the covenants of good will and free passage over
their country, the chiefs escorted the visitors back to the fort.
A few days later one of the chiefs came to Fort Pierre,
bringing with him his pretty daughter handsomely dressed.
Accompanied ,by an interpreter he came to the room where
the scientists were employed with their books and maps,
and formally offered her to Mr. Nicollet as a wife. This
placed the old Frenchman, for a moment, in an embar-
rassing position, but with ready tact he explained to the
chief that he already had a wife and that the Great Father
would not let him have two. "But here," he said, "is
Mr. Fremont, who has no wife at all." This put Fremont
in a worse situation, but he too made a tactful reply. He
said that he was going far away and was not coming back,
and did not like to take the girl away from her people, as
it might bring bad luck to them ; but that he was greatly
pleased with the offer and would be glad to give the girl
92 SOUTH DAKOTA
a suitable present. Accordingly an attractive package
of scarlet and blue cloth, beads of various colors, and a
mirror was made up and given to her, and the two Indians
went away, the girl apparently quite satisfied with her
parcel and the father likewise pleased with other
suitable presents made to him. While the matrimonial
conference was in progress, the girl had looked on well
pleased, leaning composedly against the door post.
The previous year, 1838, Nicollet and Fremont had
visited the eastern part of South Dakota, coming in by
way of Pipestone Quarry, and they mapped the Coteau
region and gave to many of the lakes the names which
they still bear. Lake Preston was named by Frdmont
for Senator Preston; Lake Abert (Albert) for Colonel
Abert, chief of the topographical engineers; and Lake
Poinsett for the then Secretary of War.
In 1840 Rev. Stephen R. Riggs drove across country
from the missionary settlement at Lac qui Parle, Minne-
sota, to Fort Pierre, where he preached a sermon to the
traders and Indians. This was the first sermon preached
within South Dakota.
In 1 85 1 Father Peter John De Smet, a famous Catholic
missionary, made his first visit especially to the Dakota
Indians, though he had previously become interested in
them while passing down the Missouri from a trip among
the Indians of Oregon, and in 1839, also, had come up
the river as far as the mouth of the Vermilion to endeavor
to effect a peace between the ou^.iaw band of Wamdesapa
and the Potawatomies. From 185 1 until his death in
1873 he devoted his attention principally to the spiritual
SOME TALES OF TRAVELERS
and physical needs of these people. No other man has
had so great influence with them, and even in the days of
their greatest hostihty and hatred for the white man, he
was always a welcome visitor to their camps. When the
authorities could get into communication with the hostile
leaders in no other way, the devoted old missionary, alone
and with great hardship and privation, would journey
through the wilderness to carry the messages of the
" Great- Father," as the Indians call all communications
from the President or his representatives, to his dis-
obedient children. Good fortune attended all of his rela-
tions with the Sioux. During his first visit in 1851, Red
Fish, an Oglala, had made an unprovoked war upon the
Crows and had been soundly beaten for his pains, and in
addition had lost his favorite daughter, a captive to his
enemies. Humiliated and defeated, a butt of ridicule to
his own people, he had hurried down to Fort Pierre to
interest the traders in securing the recovery of his daugh-
ter. Learning that " a black gown," the Indian name for
a priest, was in the settlement, he went to the good father
and implored him to invoke his " medicine " for the
recovery of the child. Father De Smet severely rebuked
him for his unnecessary war, and then made a fervid
prayer for the safety and return of the girL Red Fish
returned to his camp comforted, and as he entered his
tepee the lost child bounded into his arms. She had
eluded her captors and followed her father's trail to the
post. The circumstance was by the Indians deemed
miraculous, and they attributed it entirely to the medicine
(prayer) of Father De Smet.
94 SOUTH DAKOTA
About this time (1850) eastern scientific people began
to learn about the Bad Lands, and many men of note
came out to visit and study that interesting region. The
Jill -."S^. ■"■^^^^..
Clay Buttes in the Bad Lands (VVashabaugh County)
great men who have since then visited South Dakota, from
General G. K. Warren to Theodore Roosevelt, are too
numerous to mention.
A BAD BARGAIN
The discovery of gold in California (1847) ^^^ the over
land travel which followed greatly disturbed the Teton
bands of the Sioux along the trail, which followed the
valley of the upper Platte River to the Rocky Mountains ;
for the gold hunters ruthlessly shot down or frightened
far away the game upon which the Indians lived. At
first the Indians protested, and then began to retahate
by shooting the cattle of travelers. As time advanced
they became more bold and frequently shot straggling
horsemen; and once in a while a train was surprised and
men shot down and women and children carried into
captivity. This conduct made the government determine
to establish a strong post on the Missouri River at the
point nearest to the trail in the Dakota country, and with
another post at Fort Laramie (in what is now Wyoming)
it was thought the Indians could be held in subjection.
A preliminary review of the situation led the war depart-
ment to believe that the military post should be located
at Fort Pierre, which was the point on the Missouri nearest
to Laramie. As the fur animals had by 1855 been almost
exterminated in the Dakota country the American Fur
Company, which owned the post at Pierre, was glad to
sell it to the government at a very large price.
While negotiations were going on for the purchase of
the post, the Indians became more unruly than ever, and
it was thought necessary to send a strong force against
them. This force was placed under the command of
General W. S. Harney, the man who thirty years before
read the Declaration of Independence at the Fourth of
July celebration at Fort Pierre. He at once sent a por-
tion of his men by
steamboat to Fort
Pierre, to take posses-
sion of the post and
place it in readiness to
receive his main com-
mand, which he in-
tended to lead there
overland, through the
country of the unruly
Indians, in the autumn.
With twelve hun-
dred men Harney set
out from Fort Leaven-
worth, Kansas, on the
5th of August, and
proceeded by way of Fort Kearney, Nebraska, without
meeting any Indians, until the 2d of September, when he
found a camp of Brule Sioux at Ash Hollow on the Blue
Water, a northern affluent of the Platte in central north-
ern Nebraska. The next morning before light, he divided
his force, sending the cavalry far around to strike the
Indians' camp from the rear, while with his infantry he
General W. s. Harnev
A BAD BARGAIN
approached the camp in front. He reached a point very
near the camp before the Indians discovered his presence.
Ivittle Thunder, the chief, came out and desired to have a
council. Harney, who was not yet sure that his cavalry
was in position, humored him for a time, until information
came that the cavalry was ready. Then he told Little
Thunder that he had come to fight him and that he
should go at once and get ready for war. The chief flew
back to his camp, Harney in hot pursuit with the infantry.
When Harney was within hailing distance of the camp,
he motioned to the Indians to run. They started to do
so, and ran directly upon the cavalry. Then the Indians,
finding themselves trapped, began a fight for their lives,
but they were overwhelmed from the beginning. The
battle of Ash Hollow was a cruel massacre of the B rules,
but they died bravely. An Indian severely wounded,
and supposed to be dead, rose up -and shot a soldier.
A dismounted cavalryman rushed up to finish the Indian
with his saber, but, as he struck, the Indian threw up his
gun and the saber broke off at the hilt. An officer came
to the rescue, and the Indian caught up the broken saber
and almost cut off the leg of the officer's horse. He was
then killed with a revolver shot. This shows the spirit
of the savages' defense. Upon the battlefield were a
number of old caches (holes in which the Indians had
buried food) in which the warriors took refuge and from
which they succeeded in killing thirteen soldiers and
wounding many more. One hundred and thirty-six
Indians were killed and the entire camp, with all their
property, was captured.
so. DAK. 7
Though hailed as a great \dctory and an additional
plume in Harney's crest of fame, the battle of Ash Hollow
was a shameful affair, unworthy of American arms, and
a disgrace to the officer who planned it. It of course
had the effect of making the Indians fear Harney, and
possibly in that way did result in a degree of protection
r , I"
ONE & HALF STORY ROOMS
I oijARTERS I
OLD FORT PIERRE
SCALE 0F(85)FT. TO THE INCH,
THO' NOT WITH GREAT ACCURACY
Plan of Old Fort Pierre, 1855
to the California trail. There was no evidence whatever
that Little Thunder's band had ever done any mischief,
or been guilty of any conduct which warranted their
Harney took his prisoners on to Fort Laramie, and then
turned by the old fur trail at the foot of the Black Hills,
A BAD BARGAIN 99
by way of the White River, to Fort Pierre, which place
he reached on October 19, 1855, where he reunited his
entire force of more than twelve hundred men.
Fort Pierre was in no respect suitable for the accommo-
dation of so large a force ; in fact the government was very
seriously imposed upon by the fur company and had
made a ver}' bad bargain in the purchase of the post.
Harney was compelled to divide his men up into small
companies, and most of them spent the winter in open
cantonments, scattered from the present site of Oahe
down to the Big Sioux River, wherever fuel and pasturage
for the horses were convenient. Probably the first piece
of doggerel rhyme ever composed in South Dakota was
produced and sung as a barrack-room ballad by the
soldier boys in that winter of 1855. It ran thus: —
Oh, we don't mind the marching
Nor the fighting do we fear,
But we'll never forgive old Harney
For bringing us to Pierre.
They say old Shotto ^ built it,
But we know it is not so,
For the man who built this bloody ranch
Is reigning down below.
In March, 1856, Harney assembled all of the bands of
the Teton Sioux and of the Yanktons at Fort Pierre, and
after a protracted council entered into a treaty with them,
by which they agreed to respect the CaHfornia trail, and
lOO SOUTH DAKOTA
protect the travelers who passed over it. This treaty
contained a very wise provision, to the effect that each of
the bands should select one great chief and ten subordi-
nate chiefs, whom the government should recognize as
having full authority in the band. These chiefs were to
select a sufficient number of young men to form a strong
police force to preserve order in the camp. The govern-
ment was to clothe and furnish food for these chiefs and
policemen. In view of the experience of recent years
it is very certain that, had this wise plan been carried out,
the government would have had little more trouble with
the Teton Sioux, but Congress refused to ratify the treaty,
or make provision for the uniforms and subsistence of
the chiefs and police.
At this treaty council. Sitting Bull, then a boy eighteen
years of age, first came to the attention of white men.
He was an overgrown, boorish, low-caste man, who came
in the capacity of horse herder to Chief White Swan.
Captain La Barge relates an amusing circumstance
which occurred at this council. Chloroform was just
coming into use among physicians, and all of its properties
were not then very well understood. Harney, to impress
the Indians, was making some strong boasts of the su-
perior knowledge of the white men. "Why," he said,
"we can kill a man and then bring him back to life. Here,
surgeon," he commanded, "kill this dog and restore it
to life again." The surgeon caught up an Indian dog and
administered to it a strong dose of chloroform. In a few
moments he threw its body to the chiefs, who examined
it and pronounced it "plenty dead." After an interval
A BAD BARGAIN lOI
Harney told the doctor to bring it back to life. The doc-
tor took the dog in hand and apphed all the known re-
storatives, but without success. After an hour of diligent
effort he gave up the task. The Indians laughed boister-
ously. "White man's medicine too strong," they said.
Harney was satisfied that Fort Pierre was too far up
river for the best location of a military post, and he set
out to find a more suitable one. He spent several months
in examining the river and finally decided upon Handys
Point, midway between Sioux City and Fort Pierre, where
he located and built Fort Randall, which was named for
Captain Daniel Randall, former paymaster of the army.
Fort Pierre was abandoned, most of the material being
floated down the river to be used in the construction of
the new fort.
THE SPIRIT LAKE MASSACRE
About 1825 the Wakpekuta band of Santee Sioux,
living about the oxbow of the Minnesota River (in the
vicinity of Mankato), was ruled by two brothers, Tasagi
and Wamdesapa, meaning " the black eagle." Wam-
desapa was a vicious man with an uncontrollable temper,
and in a burst of passion he killed his brother, who was
much beloved by his people. So outraged were the
Wakpekutas at this murder that they arose against
Wamdesapa and compelled him to flee from the band
to save his life. A few renegade Indians accompanied
him. From that time the Wakpekutas disowned him and
refused to have any relations with him whatever. Wam-
desapa wandered out into South Dakota and located
about the lakes near the site of Madison, and hunted
along the Vermilion River. As there were no settlers in
that country he was left to his own devices.
A son was born to Wamdesapa, and was named Inkpa-
duta, meaning " scarlet point " or " red end." Inkpaduta
inherited his father's awful temper and all of his vices.
He was intelligent, shrewd, treacherous, and without
shame. All history does not reveal a more terrible charac-
ter. Wamdesapa died in 1848 and Inkpaduta succeeded
THE SPIRIT LAKE MASSACRE IO3
to the chieftainship of the small band of bad Indians
he had gathered about him. In the ver)' first year of his
chieftainship his cousin, The War Eagle That ]\lay Be
Seen, chief of the Wakpekutas, was hunting in what
is now Murray County, Minnesota, when Inkpaduta
stole into his camp in the night time and killed the young
chief and seventeen of his people. As the white settle-
ments began to extend into western Iowa and western
Minnesota Inkpaduta spent much of his time raiding the
settlements, stealing stock, and annoying the settlers.
By the spring of 1857 a considerable settlement had grown
up about Spirit Lake on the northern border of Iowa. In
March of that year Inkpaduta visited this settlement with
his entire band, consisting of eleven lodges. He fell
upon the settlement and utterly destroyed it, killing forty-
two persons in all. Four women — Mrs. Thatcher,
Mrs. Marble, Mrs. Noble, and a young girl named x\bbie
Gardner — were carried into captivity. The suffering
and abuse to which these victims were subjected can not
be described. During the march into Dakota the very
hea\y snows were melting and the country was flooded.
At Flandreau the party crossed the Big Sioux River upon
a fallen tree. Mrs. Thatcher was pushed from this log into
the river and tortured to death while in the icy flood.
Time and again she was permitted to reach the shore,
and while climbing the slippery bank was clubbed back
into the water, until she was finally exhausted. The
party then went into camp at Lake Herman, near Madison.
Two Christian Indians from the settlement at Lac qui
Parle, Greyfoot and Sounding Heavens, who were hunt-
ing on the Big Sioux, learned that Inkpaduta had white
captives at Lake Herman and went out to attempt their
rescue. They were
able, with the means
at hand, to secure
the purchase of only
one of the women.
Mrs. Marble was
selected and they
took her back to the
Drs. Riggs and Wil- greyfoot
liamson, and the Indian agent Judge Charles E. Flandrau,
at once undertook to secure the rescue of the other cap-
tives. They knew it to
be impossible for white
men to approach Ink-
paduta's camp, so
they asked Indians
to volunteer to go.
Three Christian In-
dians, John Other
Day, Paul Mazakute-
mane, and Iron Hawk,
undertook the mission.
They were well sup-
j)licd with provisions
and goods to trade for
John Other Day the captiveS. They
THE SPIRIT LAKE MASSACRE
followed Greyfoot's trail back to Lake Herman to find
that Inkpaduta had abandoned that camp. They took
his trail and followed him northwest from Lake Herman
to the mouth of Snake River on the west side of the
James River, two miles south of Ashton in Spink County,
where they found the girl Abbie Gardner in a large camp
of several hundred Yanktons. Mrs. Noble had been
brutally murdered two days before, by Roaring Cloud,
a worthy son of Inkpaduta's.
The Christian Indians suc-
ceeded in buying Abbie Gard-
ner and safely conducted her
to her friends. This lady, in
i^^ssg, was still living upon the
old homestead at Spirit Lake,
where her family was massacred.
The government took no
suitable action to punish Ink-
paduta for his horrible outrage.
Though more than forty years had passed since the
Wakpekutas drove away and disowned the Inkpaduta
band, the government determined to hold the band re-
sponsible for Inkpaduta's conduct, and to withhold their
annuities until he had been brought in and punished.
The Indians thought this most unfair, but agreed to do
their best to punish the outlaw. Just at this time Roar-
ing Cloud, the young fiend who had murdered Mrs.
Noble, apoeared at Yellow Medicine Agency, on the
Minnesota River, and he was shot and killed by a posse
under Judge Flandrau, who attempted his arrest. A war
I06 SOUTH DAKOTA
party of Santees was organized, under the command of
the famous chief Little Crow, and they proceeded from
the Minnesota River into South Dakota in pursuit of
Inkpaduta. After trailing him for a long distance, they
finally located the outlaw and his band at Lake Thomp-
son, in what is now Kingsbury County, where a sharp
battle occurred. Two of Inkpaduta's sons and two of
his soldiers were killed, but Inkpaduta escaped. The
Indians, regarding this as a sufficient punishment, returned
to the Minnesota, and no further action was taken by the
A CAMPAIGN THAT FAILED
As related in earlier chapters, the land now occupied by
the state of South Dakota was acquired by the United
States as part of the Louisiana purchase (1803) and was
included in the territory of Missouri, organized in 181 2.
But this land remained the property of Indian tribes, and
was not settled by white men for more than forty years.
The part east of the Missouri River, meanwhile, was made
successively part of Michigan territory (1834), Wisconsin
territory (1836), Iowa territory (1838), and Minnesota
territory (1849). The part west of the Missouri was
included in the original hmits of Nebraska territor}^ (1854).
When it became apparent that the state of Minnesota
was to be admitted to the Union with its western boundary
as at present located, and not upon the Big Sioux River
as had been anticipated, a party of democratic politicians
at St. Paul, believing that a new territory would speedily
be organized out of the portion of Minnesota territory
not within the state boundaries, formed a company for
the purpose of securing control of all of the desirable
town sites and water powers in the proposed new terri-
tory, and for the purpose of securing the location of the
territorial capital, with the expectation of securing the
loS ' SOUTH DAKOTA
offices and the control of the rich territorial contracts,
such as for printing and Indian supplies. It was a far-
reaching scheme in the hands of shrewd and intelligent
men, who stood very high in the confidence of the polit-
ical party then in power. They organized as the Dakota
Land Company, and in the spring of 1857 sent a party
of men, under the lead of Major Franklin De Witt,
into the South Dakota country to claim the town
sites. At Sioux Falls it was expected to establish the
territorial capital, and there a city was to be immediately
built. Governor Medary of Minnesota territory, a very
influential politician, holding his appointment from the
President of the United States and having large influence
at Washington, was the president of the company.
Settlements were made at Sioux Falls, Flandreau,
Medary (on the Big Sioux in the southern part of Brook-
ings County), and Renshaw (on the Big Sioux, near the
site of Estelline in Hamlin County) ; also at the mouth of
the Split Rock River and near the site of Fairview in
Lincoln County. When the settlers of the Dakota Land
Company arrived at Sioux Falls, they found that a party
from Dubuque, known as the Western Town* Company,
had preceded them and taken possession of the water
power at the Falls, but they secured the upper water
power and the two parties worked in harmony. Thus
was made the first settlement in the Big Sioux valley.
Governor Medary, in furtherance of their plans, immedi-
ately organized Big Sioux County and appointed for it a
full set of officers, taking them in about equal numbers
from the St. Paul and Dubuque parties.
A CAMPAIGN THAT FAILED
When Minnesota was admitted as a state in 1858, the
commissioners of Big Sioux County at once appointed
Alpheus G. Fuller as delegate in Congress from Dakota
territory, but Congress refused to recognize him. The
settlers, however, proceeded to organize a territorial
Sioux Falls (Present View)
government. They elected a legislature, which convened
and passed some memorials to Congress and declared the
laws of Minnesota in force until others were provided.
The legislature elected Henry Masters governor, and James
Allen secretary of state.
In the spring of 1858 the Yankton Indians, under the
lead of Smutty Bear, visited the settlement at Medary,
I I o SOUTH DAKOTA
drove the settlers away, and destroyed the improvements
made there. The settlers at Sioux Falls, learning of this,
hastily fortified themselves, making a really strong post
which they called Fort Sod. Mrs. Goodwin, the first
white woman to settle in Dakota, had arrived a few days
before, and she made a flag to float over the fort, out of
all of the old flannel shirts to be found in the settlement.
Most of the movable property was taken inside the fort
and there the settlers were confined for six weeks, until
their provisions were almost exhausted and they were
reduced to the severest straits, when Major De Witt ar-
rived with supplies. Really they were in little danger.
Smutty Bear moved down into the vicinity of Sioux Falls,
and, finding the settlers so thoroughly fortified, went
away to the James River without molesting them or even
opening communication with them. But the settlers did
not know this, and there were too few of them to venture
out to find out what the situation really was.
The next summer the promoters, still hopeful, established
a newspaper called the Dakota Democrat, of which
Samuel J. Albright was the editor, and which they con-
tinued to publish for two or three years. In the very
first issue of this paper is printed a poem by Governor
Henry Masters, entitled "The Sioux River at Sioux
Falls." The first verse reads: —
Thou glidest gently, O thou winding stream,
Mirroring the beauty of thy flowery banks,
Now yielding to our souls elysian dreams.
For which we offer thee our heartfelt thanks.
A CAMPAIGN THAT FAILED III
The high hopes of these people are revealed in the
following extracts from the report of the Dakota Land
Company for 1859. After describing in detail its several
towTi sites, "Renshaw, at the mouth of the upper Percee;
Medary, the county seat of Midway County; Flandreau,
the county seat of Rock County; Sioux Falls City, estab-
Hshed seat of government of Big Sioux County and the
recognized capital of the territory, at the falls of the Big
Sioux, the head of navigation on that river, and terminus
of the transit railroad west ; Eminija, county seat of Ver-
milion County, at the mouth of the Split Rock River and
Pipestone Creek, on the Big Sioux, thirteen miles below the
Falls, and at the more practicable head of navigation for
large steamers ; Commerce City, situated at the great bend
of the Sioux on the Dakota side, halfway between Sioux
Falls City and the Missouri, coal and timber plenty, at
a point to which steamers of any class may ply at any
stage of water," the report goes on to say that their men
"have planted the flag of the Dakota Land Company on
each valuable site from the mouth of the Sioux to old
Fort Lookout on the Missouri, and on the James, Vermil-
ion, and Wanari rivers. There are more than two thou-
sand miles of na\dgable waters bordering and within the
ceded portions of Dakota and this company has already
secured the most desirable centers for trade and com-
merce and governmental organization on all these rivers."
A new election was held in the fall of 1859, and Judge
Jefferson P. Kidder was sent to Congress as territorial
delegate. A new legislature was chosen and Judge W.
W. Brookings was made governor. But a change now
112 SOUTH DAKOTA
came with which these heroic boomers had not reckoned
and which was destined to bring all their plans to naught.
The new Republican party w\is rising into power. Abra-
ham Lincoln had won national fame and in the spring
of 1861 was to become President of the United States.
The influence of the Dakota Land Company in Congress
was gone. Every condition upon which they had so
surely, and with good reason, counted for the success of
their enterprise was changed, and when Dakota terri-
tory was finally organized, the management of its affairs
fell into entirely different hands, the capital was located
at Yankton, the public printing and the Indian contracts
were controlled by Republicans, and all the rosy-tinted
dreams of wealth and power which had inspired the Da-
kota Land Company vanished into thin air. The settle-
ment at Sioux Falls dwindled away and finally, as we
shall learn, w as wholly abandoned.
In April, 1858, the Yankton Sioux Indians, who claimed
all the land between the Big Sioux and Missouri rivers,
as far north as Pierre and Lake Kampeska, made a
treaty with the whites, by which they gave up all their
lands except four hundred thousand acres in what is now
Charles Mix County. This treaty, made by the head men
of the Yanktons, was not very popular with the rank and
file of the tribe. Struck by the Ree, the boy who was
born when Lewis and Clark were at Yankton in 1804,
and whom Captain Lewis clothed in the American
flag, stood firmly for the treaty, but Smutty Bear, an
older man, was strongly opposed to it, and the Yanktons
were divided into two parties who were almost at the
point of civil war over its ratification.
The time came on the loth of July, 1859, when the
government expected the Yanktons to give up their lands
and remove to the reservation. The entire tribe was
assembled at Yankton and were in most earnest delibera-
tion over the treaty. Struck by the Ree, with his party,
favored going at once to the new home, but old Smutty
Bear harangued his people about the graves of their kin-
dred and the hunting grounds of their fathers, and his
so. DAK. — 8 113
views made a deep impression on the tribe. Finally
when Old Strike, as the whites called Struck by the Ree,
was breaking camp to start for the reservation, Smutty
Bear sent his young men on horseback in a wild chase
about the friendly camp, intended to intimidate the men
and frighten the
women and chil-
dren and prevent
them from moving.
At that instant a
up river, bellowed
at the landing, and
with a childlike
showed when any-
thing aroused their
curiosity, the entire
tribe forgot about
their troubles and
raced off to the
landing. It was the
steamboat Wayfarer bringing to them their new agent,
Mr. Rediield, and a cargo of provisions for their supply.
Agent Redfield made a speech in which he told them that
he was going to proceed up the river until he had found a
proper site for the location of their new agency, on the tract
of land they had reserved for their own use, and that as
soon as he arrived there he would make for them a grand
Struck by the Ree
PERMANENT SETTLEMENT II5
feast, to which they were all invitedo The steamer then
set off upstream and the Yankton nation, like a pack
of delighted children, crowded and hustled one another
along the bank, eager to see who would first reach the place
on the reservation where the feast was to be spread.
Whites and Indians alike deemed this a sufficient ratifi-
cation of the treaty, and there never was any more trouble
After the treaty had been signed in 1858, supposing that
it would be ratified very soon, many settlers gathered along
the banks of the Missouri, on the Nebraska side of the
stream, waiting to come over and occupy the rich Dakota
lands as soon as they could legally do so. Month after
month they waited until this tenth day of July, 1859,
when the departure of the Indians for the reservation was
quickly reported among them, and that day hundreds of
them came over, beginning the settlements at Yankton,
Bon Homme, Meckling, and Vermilion.
Some of these settlers had reached the Dakota land by
steamboats upon the Missouri River, but generally they
had come with ox teams and covered wagons which they
called "prairie schooners." As there was plenty of tim-
ber along the rivers, they built their first homes of hewn
logs. Some of the houses whose foundations were laid
on that tenth day of July, 1859, are still standing. Some
breaking was done, but it was too late in the season to
grow any crops that year. The town sites at Bon Homme,
Yankton, and Vermilion were entered upon by adven-
turous men with large dreams of town building, but
in the fertile bottom lands between the James and
Vermilion rivers many farmers settled, who had no
more ambitious plans than to build for themselves and
their families permanent farm homes, and most of them
with their children still occupy the homesteads they took
upon that day, or sleep peacefully in the little church-
yards near by.
In the Valley of the James
So it was that a settlement in opposition to that upon
the Sioux River was planted in the Missouri valley, so
different in every way that there were scarcely any lines
of likeness between them. The one was moved by
dreams of power and wealth, without labor, the other
sought only homes where a livelihood might be secured by
honest toil. It is hardly necessary to say that while the
former sadly failed, the latter, overcoming every obstacle,
became the permanent and prosperous motherland of
the future state.
THE NEW TERRITORY IS BORN
On the second day of March, 1861, Dakota territory
was born. It included the area now occupied by North
Dakota and South Dakota, and extended westward to the
Rocky Mountains. One of the last official acts of James
Buchanan, President of the United States, was to sign
the bill creating it a free territory. And among the first
acts of Abraham Lincoln as President, was to appoint
his old neighbor and family physician, Dr. William Jayne,
of Springfield, Illinois, first governor of Dakota territory.
It rested with the governor to determine what point
in the territory should be temporary capital until such
time as the legislature should select a permanent seat of
government ; therefore there was great rivalry among the
little towns in Dakota territory to secure the favor of
the new governor. In due time Governor Jayne met the
other territorial officers in Chicago, and together they
journeyed out to Dakota. It was reported, by a swift
messenger, that Governor Jayne was driving out from
Sioux City to look over the Dakota towns before he de-
termined upon the temporary seat of government, and the
enterprising town of Vermilion energetically prepared a
great banquet in his honor.
Il8 SOUTH DAKOTA
Presently a carnage containing two well-dressed gentle-
men was seen approaching the village from the east, and
a committee of citizens went out to meet it and welcome
the new governor ; the two men were invited to accompany
the committee forthwith to the banquet hall. There
they partook of a fine dinner, and several hours were spent
The guest of honor thanked the people sincerely for
the courtesy, spoke of his good impressions of the com-
munity, and declared his intention to settle among them.
This declaration was greeted with hearty cheers, but at that
moment three or four carriages containing a large party
of well-to-do people drove through the village, stopping
only for a moment, and then driving on toward Yankton.
Some one brought word into the banquet hall that Gov-
ernor Jayne and his party had gone through to Yankton
without giving Vermilion an opportunity to show him
honor. Then the chairman turned to the guest at the
banquet and asked him his name. He said it was G. B.
Bigelow, and he was much surprised to know that he had
been mistaken for the new governor of the territory, sup-
posing that he had met only the usual hearty welcome
which the new towns of the West held out to intending
settlers. Sorely as were the people of Vermilion disap-
pointed, their sense of humor was too great to permit them
to mourn long over the laughable mistake. "Governor"
Bigelow lived with them for many years and in the full-
ness of a ripe old age died among them, respected by every
one; but Yankton became the temporary and the perma-
nent capital of Dakota territory.
THE NEW TERRITORY IS BORN
After setting up his headquarters at Yankton, Governor
Jayne had a census taken, which showed 2402 white
people in Dakota territory; and called an election for the
choice of a delegate to Congress and members of a legis-
lature. Then he returned to his home in Illinois to
remain until the following year. Captain John Blair
Smith Todd, recently resigned from the United States
Army, was elected
delegate to Con-
gress. The Weekly
still survives as the
Press and DakotanA
, was estab-
lished at Yankton
on the 6th of June,
1 86 1, and the Ver-
was established in
July of that year.
called the legisla-
Captain J. B. S. Todd
ture to convene
at Yankton on March 17 (St. Patrick's day), 1862, and
he returned to Dakota in time for that event. There
were nine members of the council and thirteen mem-
bers of the house, and seldom has a more remarkable
body of men been gathered together. This territorial
legislature was at once named "the Pony Congress"
I20 SOUTH DAKOTA
and is so known to this day. The members were mostly
young men, many of them possessing great ability, and
well educated; but they represented, too, the careless,
carefree, happy-go-lucky life of the frontier.
The location of the capital was the matter of most im-
portance. Bon Homme, Yankton, and Vermilion were
all candidates for that honor. The Yankton men, shrewd
politicians that they were, before the organization of the
legislature offered to John H. Shober, of Bon Homme, the
presidency of the council and to George M. Pinney,
of Bon Homme, the speakership of the House, in considera-
tion of which Pinney and Shober were to give up the am-
bitions of Bon Homme to be the capital and were to
support Yankton for that honor, while the territorial
penitentiary was to be located at Bon Homme. Upon
this understanding both houses of the legislature were
organized. James Somers, a noted desperado of the
Dakota frontier, was made sergeant-at-arms of the
When the people of Bon Homme learned of the trade
by which their prospects for the location of the territorial
capital had been defeated, they brought such pressure to
bear upon Speaker Pinney that, when the bill came up
for final passage in the House, having first gone through
the Council all right, Pinney left the speaker's chair and
moved to substitute Bon Homme for Yankton in the bill.
This motion was defeated ; he then moved to substitute
Vermilion for Yankton, and the motion prevailed.
When Pinney was elected speaker, he had agreed in
writing to support Yankton for capital; his perfidy
THE NEW TERRITORY IS BORN 121
filled the Yanktonians with righteous indignation, and
they therefore sought the best means to humihate him.
At the suggestion of some of the citizens, Sergeant-at-arms
Jim Somers agreed, at the following session, when the bill
was to come up for reconsideration, to take the speaker
forcibly from his chair and throw him through the window,
out of the legislative hall. Somebody talked about the
conspiracy, news of the plan came to Pinney's ears', and
he appealed to the governor for protection. Company
A of the Dakota cavalry had recently been organized
and was stationed in town, and the governor promptly
ordered a squad of soldiers to go into the hall and protect
the speaker in the discharge of his duty. Having thus
obstructed the conspirators' plan for revenge, Pinney
sat through the session of the day, but the opposition to
him was so great that he was compelled to resign.
Jim Somers, however, could not be kept out of his fun.
That evening Speaker Pinney stepped into a saloon on
Broadway. Somers and a party of his cronies were stand-
ing at the bar. As Pinney approached the bar Somers
caught him in his arms, carried him across the hall to a
closed window, and threw him out. The speaker carried
the sash with him and ahghted on the ground outside,
wearing the sash about his neck.
A new speaker was elected, the bill was re-amerided
to make Yankton the capital, and was thus passed, Ver-
mihon's ambition being pacified by the location of the
territorial university at that town. Despite the apparent
recklessness of the members of the Pony Congress, that
body passed an extensive code of wise laws, most of which
THE NEW TERRITORY IS BORN 1 23
are still upon the statutes of the states of South Dakota
and North Dakota.
It was the middle of May before the Pony Congress
adjourned, and the closing scenes beggared everything
in the way of coarse fun and horseplay which has char-
acterized the many succeeding sessions. The weather
was fine, and for three days and nights before the end
the members indulged in a continuous open-air carousal.
One of the incidents of those jocund days is thus de-
scribed by Hon. Moses K. Armstrong, who was a member
of the house of representatives: "I happened to cross
the street one morning at the peep of day and there I be-
held, beside a smoldering camp fire, two lusty legislators,
Malony and McBride, holding a kicking cow by the horns,
and a third, John Stanage, pulling his full weight at the
cow's tail. On either side of the heifer sat Councilmen
Bramble and Stutsman, with pails in hand, making sor-
rowful but vain attempts at teasing milk enough from the
quadruped to make their final pitcher of eggnog. Off
on one side sprawled the corpulent Representative Don-
aldson, convulsed with laughter, and in front of the scene
stood the eloquent lawmaker Boyle (afterward justice
of the Supreme Court) with hat, coat, and boots off, mak-
ing a mihtary speech, and imploring the cow to give down
in behalf of her country."
THE WAR OF THE OUTBREAK
South Dakota had little part in the Civil War. Early
in 1862 Company A of the Dakota cavalry was recruited
with the intention of tendering its services to the Presi-
dent for service in the South, but it was deemed wise by
the war department to hold it in Dakota for the protection
of the settlements. Captain Todd, while serving in Con-
gress, was appointed brigadier general by President Lin-
coln, and served with credit in the Missouri campaigns.
The midsummer of the year 1862 came on with a boun-
tiful harvest, and every prospect was most pleasing in
the young settlements along the Missouri and on the Sioux.
New settlers had come to them, new homes were springing
up on every hand, the flocks were thriving, and every one
indulged in rosy dreams of a bright and prosperous
future ; when suddenly out of the clear sky came the news
of the awful outbreak and massacre by the Santee Sioux
on the Minnesota. Instantly the bright prospect was
changed to one of gloom. Almost with the first news of
the outbreak came a straggling band of savages, who found
Judge Joseph B. Amidon and his son in a hayfield at
Sioux Falls and ruthlessly murdered them. Terror-
stricken, the settlers left their homes, their ungathered
THE WAR OF THE OUTBREAK 125
crops, their cattle, swine, and poultry, and in white-faced,
panting panic flew for their lives.
Governor Jayne sent a detachment of soldiers to con-
duct the settlers of Sioux Falls to Yankton, leaving all
of their property unprotected, to be immediately stolen,
wrecked, and burned by the savages; and so ended the
ambitious dreams of the empire builders who had settled
upon the Big Sioux. They wholly abandoned the place
and several years elapsed before there was any further
settlement at Sioux Falls.
The settlers at Bon Homme and Yankton gathered at
the capital, where a strong stockade was built for their
protection ; but the country from the James River to the
Sioux was wholly depopulated. To increase the terror
of the little handful of pioneers who remained, the report
came that the Yanktons. under the lead of the unrulv
chief Mad Bull, had broken away from the influence of
Struck by the Ree and w^ere about to join in the massacre.
Governor Jayne called every able-bodied man in the ter-
ritory to arms, and under the lead of the citizens of
Yankton, commanded by Captain Frank Ziebach, and
Company A of the Dakota Cavalry, which had been
organized the previous spring with Nelson Miner as
captain, a good mihtary organization was effected, and
peace, security, and order were restored. Struck by the
Ree asserted his loyalty and Americanism over his tribe,
held the restless young men to his standard, and protected
the settlements from the hostile tribes from up the river
as well as from the straggling Santees. In a few weeks
confidence was restored and the settlers returned to theii
homes. Except the killing of Judge Amidon and his son
there were no fatalities among the settlers of Dakota,
but the fear of destruction was well founded and the panic
and flight justified.
During the outbreak in Minnesota, a small settlement
of about fifty persons on Shetak Lake, in what is now
Murray County, was attacked and destroyed by a band of
Indians under a chief named White Lodge, who took
captive two women, Mrs. Wright and Mrs. Duly, and
seven children. These captives were carried through
South and North
Dakota to the Mis-
souri River, where
they were dis-
covered the follow-
ing November by
Major Charles E.
Galpin, who was
coming down the
river with a small
party of miners in
a Mackinaw boat.*
When at the mouth
of Beaver Creek
in southern North Dakota, Galpin saw an Indian camp
on the shore, and the warriors were making friendly
motions to him to land. He drew up to the band, when
^ A large but cheap boat intended for only a single trip down the river.
They had long been in use among the fur traders of America, and were
usually fastened together with wooden pins, no metal being used in their
Trail of the Shetak Captives
THE WAR OF THE OUTBREAK 1 27
Galpin's sharp-eyed wife, an Indian woman, discovered
armed Indians skulking in the underbrush, and she gave
the alarm in time. Her husband cut the painter by which
he had tied the boat, with a single blow of the hatchet,
and received a fusillade of bullets from the bank without
damage. While the boat was still within hearing, a white
woman ran down to the river bank and informed the
boatmen that there were a party of white captives in the
Indian camp. Galpin spread this news as he passed down
The first point that Galpin reached, where he could
give information, was Fort Pierre, where there was a
trading store. There he found a party of young Indians,
eleven in number, under the leadership of a mixed-blood
Indian named Martin Charger, grandson of Captain
Meriwether Lewis the explorer, who were known to
their people as the crazy band, or fool soldier band, be-
cause they had taken an oath to help the whites at any
cost to themselves. This band immediately set out on
their ponies to reach the hostile camp up the river, and,
if possible, effect the rescue of the captives. Their names
were Martin Charger, Kills Game and Comes Back, Four
Bear, Mad Bear, Pretty Bear, Sitting Bear, Swift Bird,
One Rib, Strikes Fire, Red Dog, and Charging Dog.
Before starting they had traded their furs to the trader for
sugar and other Indian dehcacies. They crossed the river
at Pierre, going north on the east side. The second day
they found a party of Yanktonais encamped at the mouth
of Swan Creek, and w^re joined in their enterprise by
two Yanktonais, Don't Know How and Fast Walker.
128 SOUTH DAKOTA
They found that White Lodge's hostile camp had been
movefi down the river and was then located in the fine
timber on the east bank of the Missouri, opposite the mouth
of Grand River, in what is now Walworth County, South
Dakota. They pitched their tepees near the hostile camp
and at once entered into negotiations for the rescue of
the captives. White Lodge was not disposed to give
them up, — absolutely refused to do so upon any terms ;
but the boys were persistent, offered to trade their horses
and other property for them, and after much parleying,
bullying, and jockeying, with threats of bringing their
people, the Tetons, and soldiers to destroy White Lodge
and his band, they succeeded in purchasing the captives,
trading for them everything they possessed except two
guns and their tepee.
The weather was severe. It was about the 20th of
November, snow was falling, and the captives were brought
out to them literally naked. White Lodge himself never
consented to the trade, but the majority of his warriors
took the responsibihty in their own hands, against his
will, and the old man threatened to undertake the recovery
of his captives. The boys pitched their little tepee in the
willows on the river bank a mile or two below the hostile
camp, wrapped the captives in their blankets, and them-
selves tramped around the tepee in the storm to keep
from freezing, and to guard their captives from the threat-
ened attack of White Lodge.
The next morning they traded one of their guns to a
Yanktonais, who had joined the party, for his horse, to
which they lashed one end of an arrangement of poles
THE WAR OF THE OUTBREAK 1 29
Cdrn'ing a sort of basket upon which the children could
ride (the other end of the poles dragging on the ground),
and started down the river for the Yanktonais camp.
Mrs. Duly was lame, having been shot in the foot, and
had to ride the horse. Mrs. Wright was strong and able
to w^alk, but had no shoes. IMartin Charger took the
moccasins from his own feet and gave them to her. As
they were making their way slowly down the river, White
Lodge, with a few warriors, came down to carry his
threat into execution.
The rear guard was placed under command of Swift
Bird, and he made the most of a display of the two guns
in the party. Marching as rapidly as they could, parley-
ing and arguing with the old chief, they finally bluffed him
off and got safely away with the captives.
The Yanktonais, for the boys' last remaining gun,
traded them an old cart and harness, fed them, and
gave them a supply of food to last them until Fort
Pierre was reached. The children were packed into the
cart, Mrs. Duly continued to ride the pony, and the re-
mainder of the party walked, dividing into squads who
assisted the pony by pushing the cart along. In this way
in two days they reached Fort Pierre, where with great
difficulty they crossed the freezing river and were kindly
received by their own people and the trader. Charles
E. Primeau, the Indian trader, dressed the captives as
well as he could from his rough stock of goods, and
after a short rest they were taken to Fort Randall by
Louis La Plant and Frederick Dupree, two well-known
so. DAK. — 9
130 SOUTH DAKOTA
Probably there is not in history another circumstance
similar to this, where young, untutored savages, who never
had been under missionary influence, at such sacrifice of
effort and of property, and with real hardship, so exerted
themselves through sentiments of humanity. Martin
Charger and his heroic comrades should always be held
in veneration by the people of South Dakota. They were
true heroes, and their brave and generous deed should
be properly commemorated.
The government at once undertook a strong military
movement against the hostile Santees, who fled from . J
their Minnesota homes into the Dakota countiy. Two
companies of South Dakota men, under the command
respectively of Captains Nelson Miner and William Tripp,
and known as the Dakota Cavalry, joined in the move-
ment, and rendered excellent service until the end of the
War of the Outbreak, in 1865. Most of their service
was rendered in North Dakota, as there were no engage-
ments of any moment within the South Dakota bound-
A DAKOTA PAUL REVERE
There were four bands of the Santee Sioux, two of
whom, known as the Mede\vakantans and the Wakpeku-
tas, were the leaders in the outbreak. The other two
bands, the Wahpetons and the Sissetons, were opposed
to the outbreak and as a rule did all that they could to
protect and assist the whites. When the government sent
the troops against the Santees, most of the able-bodied
Sissetons enlisted in the government service as scouts.
The hostiles who fled into Dakota were constantly organ-
izing raiding parties and sending them down to the Min-
nesota settlements to secure provisions, steal horses, and
occasionallv kill settlers. To prevent this the Sisseton
scouts w^ere divided up into small parties and located in
camps, at frequent intervals, from the neighborhood of
Devils Lake in North Dakota down to the central portion
of South Dakota.
Among these friendlies was a mixed-blood Sisseton
named Samuel J. Brown, who was then a boy about
nineteen years of age, educated, intelligent, and influen-
tial. In the last years of the war he was made chief of
scouts, with headquarters at Fort Sisseton, whence he
looked after the Indian scouting camps above mentioned.
In the month of April, 1866, at sundown one bright evcn-
ing, an Indian runner came to Brown, with information
that moccasin tracks had been found at a crossing of the
James River, near Lamoure, in North Dakota, and that
the indications were that a hostile party had gone down
toward the settle-
Brown wrote a dis-
patch, stating the
facts, to the com-
mandant at Fort
Abercrombie, on the
Red River, which
was to be sent there
the following morn-
ing; then, mounting
his pony, he set out
across the prairie di-
rectly west, to reach a
scouting camp fifty-
Samuel J. Brown r -i j- ^ i.
^ live miles distant, on
the site of the village of Ordway, in Brown County. He
reached this scouting camp at midnight, and was informed
that the moccasin tracks which had caused the alarm were
made by a party of friendly Indians who were going out
to the Missouri River to meet the peace commissioners,
that the peace treaties made the previous fall had been
ratified by the government and the Indians, and that the
war was over.
Fearing that the dispatch which he had written to
be sent to Fort Abercrombie would create unnecessary
A DAKOTA PAUL REVERE I 33
trouble and alarm, Brown at once mounted another pony
and started back to Fort Sisseton, hoping to reach it before
the messenger left for Abercrombie in the morning. When
he had crossed the James River and was galloping rapidly
across the broad, flat bottom, he was overtaken by one of
those severe spring storms which sometimes sweep over
Dakota, a genuine furious, blinding winter blizzard. It
came from the northwest and he beheved he could make his
way before it. In fact, on the bare, unprotected prairie
there was nothing else to do ; so he forced his way along,
doing his best to keep in the direct course to Fort Sisseton.
When daylight came, however, he found that he had
drifted far out of his way, and was down in the vicinity
of the Waubay Lakes, twenty-five miles south of the fort.
He turned his little pony in the face of the storm, which
was increasing in severity, and fought his way to Sisse- ■
ton, where he arrived before nine o'clock in the morning,
— having since sundown the previous evening traveled .^//
a distance of more than one hundred and fiftv miles.
He fell from his pony exhausted and paralyzed, but he
had accomplished his purpose in the line of his duty.
Mr. Brown, in t^o^, was still living, a respe'cted citizen
of the town which bears his name, Brown Valley, Minne-
sota, between Lakes Traverse and Big Stone. He never
recovered from the evil effects of his awful exertion, and
was never able to take a natural step from that day.
Mr. Brown was born in South Dakota, but a few miles
from his present home. His ride merits a place in history
beside those famous ones which have been preserved in
the songs and stories of the people.
THE RED CLOUD WAR
In 1865, about the time that the War of the Outbreak
ended, the government undertook to build a highway
from the CaHfor-
nia trail, in the
vicinity of Fort
by way of the
\^alley to the gold
mines in Mon-
tana and Idaho.
This road was
through the rich-
est buffalo range
left to the Sioux
Cloud was then
fast coming into prominence as the principal chief of the
Oglala Sioux. The construction of the road was intrusted
to Colonel Sawyer, and he began work with a party of
surveyors and an escort of only twenty-five men, from
Company B of the Dakota Cavalry. Red Cloud met
Scene of the Red Cloud War
THE RED CLOUD WAR 1 35
them near the Black Hills and protested against their
entering the buflfalo country. They paid no attention to
his protest and went forward. Red Cloud then gathered
a large body of the Oglalas and Cheyennes and, over-
taking Sawyer's party at the Powder River, surrounded
them and held them in siege for a period of fifteen days.
Red Cloud used no force, his intention being, by a show
of strength, to bluff the roadmakers out of his country.
At the end of two weeks the young Indians were becom-
ing so unruly and threatening that Red Cloud did not
longer dare continue the siege, fearing that his young men
would get beyond his control and massacre the white men.
He therefore withdrew his Indians, and the expedition
moved on to the Tongue River. By this time Red Cloud
had his young men again well in hand, and he again sur-
rounded Sawyer and held him for three days, and then
withdrew. He had failed in his attempt to stop the road
building. Sawyer went on to the Yellowstone and then
returned without molestation, but Red Cloud had resolved
that the road should not be built.
That fall (1865) commissioners undertook to treat
with the Oglalas for the opening of the road, but Red
Cloud would not permit a treaty to be made, — in fact did
not attend the council. A new attempt was made to se-
cure the consent of the Indians to the opening of the road,
and at Fort Laramie on June 30, 1866, Red Cloud ad-
dressed the commissioners in a council held under an
improvised arbor near the fort. Mildly but firmly he told
them that the Oglalas' last hope of subsistence lay in pre-
serving the buffalo pastures of the Powder River country,
136 SOUTH DAKOTA
and that they could not under any consideration consent
to the opening of a highway through that region. While
he was speaking, General Carrington, with a strong force
of soldiers, arrived at the fort.
"Why do these soldiers come?" asked Red Cloud.
"They have come to build forts and open the Montana
road," was the reply.
Red Cloud sprang from the platform, caught up his
rifle and brandished it before the commission, and cried,
"In this and the Great Spirit, I trust for the right." Call-
ing his people to follow him, he left the commission sitting
without an audience.
General Carrington was instructed to go out on the
Montana road, to rebuild and garrison Fort Reno, and
then to go on to the head waters of the Powder River,
where he was to build a strong post. Immediately after
leaving Fort Laramie on this mission Carrington was met
by Red Cloud, who protested against his going into the
country. Of course Carrington was a soldier under
orders, and paid no attention to this protest. Red Cloud
began a campaign of annoyance and attacks upon the
soldiers, which rendered their mission very hazardous
and exceedingly difficult.
Leaving a small garrison at Fort Reno, the main body
went on to the foot of the Big Horn Mountains, where
Fort Phil Kearney was built. There, throughout the
season, while the soldiers were engaged in building Fort
Kearney and supplying it with fuel. Red Cloud kept up
the most tantalizing tactics, and it was soon unsafe for
any white person to be outside of the stockade unless
THE RED CLOUD WAR 1 37
protected by a large detachment of military. General
Carrington reported that "a team could not be sent to
the wood yard nor a load of hay brought in from the
meadows unless it was accompanied by a strong guard.
The first hunters sent out came in themselves hunted,
and though there was an abundance of game in the vicinity
no hunter was brave enough to stalk it." A reign of terror
grew up among the civilians so that none of the teamsters
would leave the stockade for wood or supplies unless
accompanied by many soldiers. Attacks upon the wood
guard were of almost daily occurrence, and the result
was always to the advantage of the Indians.
Red Cloud had by this time assembled an army of not
less than three thousand men, with their famihes, and this
vast concourse of people he fed and clothed while keeping
Fort Phil Kearney almost in a state of siege. Finally, on
the twenty-first day of December, 1866, Red Cloud ap-
peared in force between Fort Phil Kearney and the wood
camp seven miles distant. Captain Fetterman, with a
force of eighty-one men, was sent out to drive him away.
The Indians craftily led Fetterman into an ambush and his
entire force was destroyed. Not one man lived to come
back and tell the story. Throughout the following year
the Indians kept up this mode of warfare and were per-
fectly successful in preventing the opening of the Montana
road. Not a single wagon was ever able to pass over it.
On the ist of August, 1867, another severe battle was
fought between the whites and Indians at the wood camp ;
both parties lost heavily, but the Indians' loss was much
By this time the people of the countr>' had begun to
think that perhaps Red Cloud was fighting for a principle,
and the President was prevailed upon to send out a com-
mission whose duty it was to ascertain the real occasion
of the war, and to negotiate a treaty of peace if it was
thought wise to do so. Generals Sherman, Harney,
Terry, and Auger were members of this commission.
The commission sent
Swift Bear, a friendly
Brule Indian, to Red
Cloud's army on the
Powder River, and in-
vited Red Cloud to
meet the commission-
ers at Fort Laramie.
Red Cloud declined to
come down, but sent
word to the commis-
sioners by the well-
known chief Man
Afraid of His Horses,
that his war against
the whites was to save the valley of the Powder River,
the only hunting ground left to his nation, from white
intrusion. He told the commissioners that whenever the
military garrisons at Fort Phil Kearney, Fort C. F. Smith,
and Fort Reno were withdrawn, the war on his part would
cease. The commissioners sent word to him, asking for
a truce until a council could be held. Red Cloud replied
that he would meet them the next spring or summer.
THE RED CLOUD WAR 139
Early in che spring of 1868 the commissioners returned
to Fort Laramie and met there some leading Indians whom
Red Cloud had sent to them, but he did not himself come
down. On the 29th of April a treaty was signed, which
provided that the troops should be withdrawn from Forts
Phil Kearney, C. F. Smith, and Reno, and that all attempts
to open the Montana road should be abandoned. A
great reservation' was made for the use of the Indians,
extending from the mouth of the Niobrara River west to
the Big Horn Mountains, thence north to the Yellowstone
River, then east by the Cannonball to the Missouri and
down the Missouri to the Niobrara. All of the Sioux
tribes joined in giving up to the government all of the
lands they possessed outside of this great reservation.
The government agreed that no white men or soldiers
should at any time enter this reservation without the con-
sent of the Indians.
It was particularly important that Red Cloud should
sign this treaty, but he failed to come in for the purpose.
Messengers were sent to him, but he sent back word
that he thought he should wait until the forts were aban-
doned, and the roads closed up, before he signed ; and so
matters dragged along month after month. Finally, at
the end of August, upon the advice of the peace commis-
sioners, the government determined to take the chief at
his word, and on the 27th of that month all of the troops
Red Cloud at the time was watching operations from
his buffalo camp on the Powder River, and when a mes-
senger was sent to him to tell him that the troops had been
I40 SOUTH DAKOTA
taken away, he said it was so late in the season that he
thought he would make his winter's meat before he came
down to meet the commissioners. This caused great un-
easiness in mihtary quarters and in the Indian department,
for it was feared that Red Cloud did not intend to keep
faith. However, when he had finished his fall's work,
he appeared at Fort Laramie (November 6) and signed
the treaty, which was duly ratified by the Senate on Feb-
ruary 1 6, 1869, and was proclaimed by President Andrew
Johnson on February 24. Thus the great Red Cloud
War came to an end.
Red Cloud had been entirely successful and obtained
everything he was fighting for. It is the only instance
in the history of the United States in which the govern-
ment has gone to war and afterward made a peace con-
ceding everything demanded by the enemy and exacting
nothing in return. From the date of this peace Red
Cloud faithfully observed its terms and, according to In-
dian standards, lived a good life. At~mefe-4haii eighty-^
years of age, in 1905, he- Avas still living at Pine Ridge
agency, near the Black Hills.
^ ( 9 L f-f t <H^
THE PRICE OF GOLD
During the period from 1862 until 1875 the white
settlements in South Dakota made little progress. Popu-
lation was increasing somewhat, but farmers had diffi-
culty in learning the way of the soil, and got but small
return for their labor.
The prairie soil in a comparatively dry climate requires
different methods of cultivation from the heavy clay soils
of the more humid eastern states. The time of year when it
should be plowed, the quantity and variety of seed to be
sown, and the manner of cultivation of the growing crop
are all different, but the new settlers of those early days
did not quite understand these facts, and for a long time
tried to farm in the same way their fathers had done in
the eastern states. Only after long and painful experi-
ence did they work out methods adapted to our soil and
climate. For instance, they had learned to make high
beds or ridges in the vegetable gardens, on the top of
which the crop was planted, and the cornfields were
worked up in high ridges that the rain water might drain
away. Here experience finally taught them to work their
soil flat, so that all of the water falling may be husbanded
for the benefit of the growing crop.
142 SOUTH DAKOTA
These lirst Dakota pioneers also were plagued with
invasions of grasshoppers which came in great clouds
and ate up their scanty crops. This occurred in five
diflfcrent years: 1863, 1864, 1867, 1874, and 1876.' Since
then the grasshoppers have made no ravages in the Da-
The Indians behaved very well, after the close of the
Red Cloud War, until, in violation of the treaty, the sur-
veyors for the Northern Pacific Railroad began to extend
the survey for that line through the reservation, along the
south bank of the Yellowstone, and the government sent
soldiers to protect the surveyors in their work. The
Uncpapa Sioux were the wildest of the nation and as yet
had come very Httle under reservation or agency in-
fluence, but chiefly roamed back in the buffalo country
on the Powder and Rosebud rivers. They were much
alarmed by the approach of the surveyors, and organized
under Gall and Sitting Bull to resist the encroachments
upon their land. There were several sharp encounters
along the Yellowstone River, with a loss of but few men
on either side.
In 1874 General George A. Custer was sent out from
Fort Abraham Lincoln, on the Missouri River opposite
Bismarck, with a force of twelve hundred soldiers, to
make an examination of the Black Hills region. Custer
did this without encountering any Indians until he
reached the Custer Park in the Black Hills, when he
came upon a small band who were there stripping lodge
poles. These Indians were greatly alarmed at the ap-
proach of Custer'3 a,rny in the heart of their reservation,
THE PRICE OF GOLD 1 43
and they hastened off with the news to their home camps
on the Cheyenne River. The news flew rapidly among
the Indians at the various agencies, and caused much
Custer found gold in the Black Hills, on the 2d day of
August, and he immediately sent the report to army
headquarters, whence it was published to the world, and
men everywhere set out to enter the new eldorado. The
army was instructed to keep all white men out of the
Black Hills until a treaty had been negotiated with the
Indians, and the Sioux were notified that no one would be
allowed to enter their reservation until such a treaty
was made. With this assurance the Indians sensibly
decided to let matters take their course. The military
used every means possible to keep the gold hunters out
of the Hills, but many of them succeeded in entering,
and the reports they sent out only served to increase the
gold fever, and the determination of others to enter.
It was not until the autumn of 1875 that all of the Sioux
people were summoned to meet in council at Red Cloud's
agency to make a treaty for the sale of their lands. Sena-
tor WiUiam B. AlHson, of Iowa, was the chairman of the
commission sent out by the government to make such a
treaty. Under the terms of the treaty of 1868, which had
created the great Sioux reservation, it was provided that
no part of that reservation should be sold or disposed of
unless three fourths of all the adult male Indians inter-
ested in the reservation should sign the treaty of sale or
relinquishment. Feeling certain that it would be impos-
sible to get three fourths of the Indians to sign the treaty
144 SOUTH DAKOTA
of sale, the commissioners decided not to ask the Indians
to sell their lands at all, but to sell the right to mine gold
and other metals in the Black Hills. Senator Allison, in
opening the treaty council, said, "We have now to ask
you if you are willing to give our people the right to mine
in the Black Hills, as long as gold or other valuable
metals are found, for a fair and just sum. When the
gold or other valuable minerals are taken away, the
country will again be yours to dispose of in any manner
you may wish."
After nearly three weeks of counciling and bargaining
and speechmaking the commissioners found it impossible
to make any treaty whatever, upon what were deemed
reasonable terms by the government. The Indians, too,
had scattered until much less than the necessary three
fourths remained at the council. Therefore, the council
was broken up without accomphshing anything.
Immediately thereafter the army withdrew all opposi-
tion to the miners entering the Black Hills, and within a
few months at least fifteen thousand men were hunting
for gold upon the Indian lands. The Indians were
alarmed and indignant. They believed their lands were
to be taken from them without any payment whatever,
and they resolved to organize a grand army and drive
the invaders away. No one may say that theirs was
not a brave and patriotic undertaking. They were to
fight for their homes, their lands, and the graves of their
At once the young men began to slip away from the
agencies and to assemble in great camps, near the Big
THE PRICE OF GOLD I45
Horn Mountains, in the bufifalo country along the Powder,
the Tongue, and the Rosebud. They were led by great
war chiefs, — Crazy Horse, Black Moon, Gall, Inkpa-
duta, the brutal old Wakpekuta who had murdered the
settlers at Spirit Lake, — and they were counseled and
advised by Sitting Bull and other crafty medicine men.
It was their purpose, when their plans had been per-
fected, to descend upon the Black Hills and drive out the
miners. There is much dispute about the number of
warriors gathered in these camps, but there certainly
were not less than twenty-five hundred, and possibly there
were thirty-five hundred.
The government sent word to these Indians to come in
at once to their reservations and settle down as good
Indians should, or they would be regarded as hostile and
must suffer the consequences. A great campaign was
planned against them. General Crook was to lead an
army up from Fort Laramie, General Gibbon was to
bring another column down from Fort Ellis, Montana,
and General Terry was to lead a third diAdsion out from
Fort Abraham Lincoln. The hostiles were to be caught
between the three converging armies and crushed.
Crook was first to come in contact with the Indians.
He met a large body of them, under Crazy Horse, on the
Rosebud on the 17th of June, 1876, and a hard battle
was fought. Crook suffered so seriously that he was
compelled to return to his base of supplies, near old Fort
Phil Kearney, and so his part of the campaign proved a
Terry reached the Yellowstone at the mouth of the
so. DAK. — 10
146 SOUTH DAKOTA
Rosebud on the 21st of June, and then sent General
Custer up the Yellowstone to locate the hostile tribes,
while he himself went on with his steamboat to the mouth
of the Big Horn, to ferry Gibbon's column across. Custer
went up the Rosebud until he found where the trail of
the hostiles led over the divide, westward, into the valley
of the Little Big Horn. There, on the 26th of June, he
came upon the entire hostile camp.
Custer divided his force of about eight hundred men
into three columns: one, under Captain Benteen, was
sent across the valley of the Little Big Horn, south of the
camp, to cut off a retreat in that direction; the second
column, under Major Reno, was to attack the upper or
south end of the camp, where it lay along the west bank
of the Little Big Horn; and the third column, under
Custer himself,, went down the east side of the Little
Big Horn, expecting to attack the north or lower end of
the camp. Reno made the attack, and was quickly re-
pulsed by overwhelming numbers. Though driven back,
he made a junction with Benteen, and the two columns
fortified for defense. Custer went down to the lower
end of the camp and rode into an ambush, where his
entire command of two hundred sixty-three men was
destroyed. Benteen and Reno were besieged in their
camp, and the Indians fought desperately until their
ammunition was exhausted. Then they retreated into the
Big Horn Mountains, broke up into little parties, and
scattered over the Indian country, many of them return-
ing to the agencies.
Terry arrived on the Custer battleground, on the Little
Custer and the Battle ok the Little Big Horn
148 SOUTH DAKOTA
Big Horn, the morning after the Indians left. The
Indians, without ammunition, were unable to follow up
the advantage they had gained, and the government at
once threw a strong force into the field ; but the Indians
kept out of reach, and no engagements of any conse-
quence were fought. The government sent to the vari-
ous agencies and disarmed all of the Indians and took
their horses away from them, leaving them quite helpless.
Gall, Sitting Bull, and the most influential of the hostiles
escaped into Canada.
In the fall (1876) the government sent out a new
commission to treat for the cession of the Black Hills.
Disregarding the provision of the treaty of 1868 which
required the signatures of three fourths of all of the adult
male Indians to any treaty which disposed of any of the
lands, this commission went about from agency to agency
and secured the signatures of only a few of the chiefs at
each place. This treaty sold the Black Hills outright to
the government, in return for which the government
agreed to support the Indians until such time as they had
progressed far enough to enable them to support them-
There has always been a dispute between the Indians
and the white men about the terms in this treaty. Most
of the Indians were present and heard Senator Allison
tell them in 1875 that the whites wished only to buy the
right to mine, and they never were called into council to
hear any other provision discussed. The impression
therefore went out, among the Indians, that the treaty of
1876 gave to the white men only the right to mine in the
THE PRICE OF GOLD I49
Black Hills, and did not sell any land. This is still a
matter of much interest and discussion in the Indian
eamps;- a nd t he Ind tang— iTr-1904 appointed a general
ciHnmittee to go to Washington and insist upon what
they deem their rights.
ON TO THE DIGGINGS
The year 1874 was one of the most distressing which
the American people ever suffered. The great reaction-
ary crash in business affaii», following the great boom
which came after the war, had fallen in September, 1873.
Not only were thousands of great fortunes wiped out, but
everywhere, from the poorest cottage to the grandest
mansion, the pinch of hard times was felt. At no time
have the people been more despairing and hopeless.
On the evening of August 2, 1874, William McKay, an
expert miner with Custer's expedition in the Black Hills,
went down to the bank of French Creek, a few yards
from the camp, and washed out a pan of earth. When
the earth was gone, he held up his pan in the evening sun
and found the rim lined with nearly a hundred little
particles of gold. These he carried in at once to General
Custer, whose head was almost turned at the sight. Cus-
ter, as we have seen, at once sent a dispatch about this
discovery to the army headquarters in St. Paul. It was
received there on the evening of August 11, and the next
morning the papers throughout America announced to
the discouraged people that rich gold mines had been
discovered in the Black Hills.
There was magic in the announcement, and drooping
ON TO THE DIGGINGS I51
spirits everywhere revived. Thousands of despondent
men resolved at once to recover their fortunes in southern
Dakota. The action of the mihtary in preventing the
entry of the miners into the Black Hills cooled the ardor
of many of them, but that very obstacle made the people
believe that the army was guarding a vast storehouse of
wealth, and that fortunes were awaiting them. Some,
hardy enough to pass the barrier, sent out reports of rich
finds, and this increased the determination of very many
to get into the Hills.
To the people of southern Dakota, after the long years
of dreary struggle through Indian troubles, grasshoppers,
and bad crops, the Black Hills gold excitement seemed
a godsend. The settlements along the Missouri were
thronged with determined strangers waiting for an oppor-
tunity to slip into the Hills. Transportation companies
were organized, roadmakers were sent out, and all was
activity and excitement. Almost daily some miner would
creep back from the Hills with exaggerated stories of the
wealth of the diggings. Every one was sure that the
treaty for the opening of the Black Hills would be made
at once, when there would be wealth for everybody.
The route to the Hills, in which the Dakota people
were interested, was advertised everywhere as the Yank-
ton route. It was by railroad to Yankton, thence by
steamboat to Fort Pierre, where stages were taken for
the remaining one hundred and seventy-five miles into
the diggings. The advantages and pleasures of this
route were represented most extravagantly in the adver-
152 SOUTH DAKOTA
Although more than a year passed before military op-
position to entering the Hills was withdrawn, there was
no abatement of popular interest in the gold diggings.
Late in the fall of 1874, a party organized at Sioux City
had slipped into the Hills by way of northern Nebraska,
and had built a stockade on French Creek near the site of
the present city of Custer. They were removed by the
military in the early spring, and the reports they brought
out served to increase the gold excitement throughout
During this period the prospecting for gold was in
the placers along the streams in the vicinity of Custer;
although gold was found generally distributed in that
region, these diggings never proved to be particularly
rich. Late in the fall of 1875 John B. Pearson, of Yank-
ton, made his way over into the Deadwood gulch in
the northern Hills, and discovered rich placer diggings.
The following winter was severe, with very deep snow,
but many thousand miners assembled at Custer and in
that vicinity. Custer city is said to have had eleven
thousand population on the ist of March. As the
snows began to disappear in the spring, word was re-
ceived of Pearson's find in the Deadwood gulch, and there
was a stampede for the northern Hills. In a day Custer
was practically depopulated. It is said that less than a
hundred people remained, where so many thousands
were making their homes but the day before.
During the next summer there were not less than
twenty-five thousand people in the Deadwood gulch.
They were trespassers upon the Indian land. The laws
ON TO THE DIGGINGS
of Dakota territory could not reach them. The United
States government could only regard them as being in
contempt of law. The excitement had brought there
not only thousands of honest men, who hoped to secure
Deadwood Gulch in the Seventies
fortunes in the search for gold, but also many hundreds
of the most desperate gamblers and criminals in America.
The community had to protect itself. The miners met,
organized a government, elected officers, established
courts, and succeeded in maintaining order to a creditable
degree. Of course, in such a community as existed in
Deadwood in 1876, many crimes were committed, but
most of them were promptly punished. INIany of those
pioneer gold diggers are still living among the most suc-
cessful and most respected men of South Dakota. It
Deadwood City in the Seventies
will always be to their great credit that in this period of
excitement they possessed the good sense and the courage
to uphold the dignity of organized society.
While the sturdy miners were thus protecting themselves
from these great dangers from within, an even greater
peril threatened them from without. The Sioux Indians,
ON TO THE DIGGINGS I 55
jealous of these trespassers upon their land, lay in wait
behind every rock, and few white men who straggled
away from the main camps without protection were
spared. This condition, however, ended as soon as the
treaty of 1876 was signed in the fall of that year. By
1877 the laws of South Dakota were executed throughout
the mining country; federal courts were established, and
the region of the Black Hills at once became the quiet,
rich, safe, well-organized part of the country that it has
continued to be.
THE MIRACLE OF THE BOOM
The discovery of gold in the Black Hills had turned
the eyes of the world upon South Dakota, and many who
had come out to find gold had found the boundless
prairies of fertile soil and were led to believe that they
were intended by Providence for the happy homes of
men. Among those who came into Dakota during the
gold excitement was Marvin Hughitt, president of the
Chicago and Northwestern Railroad. The purpose of
his visit was to assist in establishing a line of transporta-
tion into the Black Hills, by way of his railroads to the
Missouri, and thence by steamboat and stage. While on
this errand, he was impressed with the vast possibilities
of the Dakota prairies, if only railroads were built to bring
in supplies and carry out the products. He went home
resolved to try a great experiment in western development.
He believed that the railroad should be the pioneer, lead-
ing the way for the settler, and that if such railroads were
built in the Dakota prairie, settlers would flock in and,
by their industry, provide freight for the railways that
would make the investment profitable.
President Hughitt laid the plan before his directors
and it was approved, and as speedily as possible he under-
THE MIRACLE OF THE BOOM 1 57
took its execution. His plan was also adopted by his
great rival, the Chicago, Milwaukee, and St. Paul Rail-
way, and more than two thousand miles of new railroad
were quickly built out into the unsettled part of Dakota,
furnishing convenient access to every portion of southern
Dakota east of the Missouri River.
Mr. Hughitt's faith was more than justified. Almost
in a day, population spread all over the broad land,
towns were built, farms opened, schools established,
churches erected, and in the briefest possible time the
wilderness was converted into a thriving, prosperous,
productive, well-settled x\merican commonwealth, having
all the conveniences and comforts and institutions of
the older states. This period, from 1877 until 1883, is
known as the great Dakota boom. History has no other
instance to compare with it.
When this period began, Sioux Falls was but a little
village of three or four hundred people, and was the
northernmost point of any consequence within what is
now South Dakota. Within five years Brookings, Madi-
son, Mitchell, Huron, Pierre, Watertown, Redfield,
Aberdeen, Webster, and Milbank had become impor-
tant cities. When the boom began, of course, no one
had anv information as to which were to become the
important cities, and which were to remain simply way
stations and country trading points. Ambitious men,
men of great ability, settled in about equal numbers in
each of these villages, and each set out to make his town
the chief city of the locality. The rivalry between the
various towns, therefore, became very strong, and re-
suited in many incidents that were very funny, and in
disappointments that were pathetic.
Every village was ambitious to become the county seat
of its county, and contests were entered into which even
to this day influence the affairs of many communities.
State Normal School, Madison
Men with learning and ability to grace the United States
Senate have frequently spent the best years of their lives
in a vain attempt to develop a village, intended by nature
and environment simply as a local market for farm
products, into a commercial city, and sometimes they
have succeeded at the expense of a neighboring village
much better situated. In several instances county seat
THE MIRACLE OF THE BOOM 1 59
contests resulted in actual violence, particularly in the
fight between Redfield and Ashton, in Spink County, in
which it was necessary for the governor to send the
territorial militia to preserve peace and protect the county
A MEMORABLE WINTER
The year 1880 brought a greater inflow of new settlers
than had come in any previous year. They were chiefly
homesteaders, who built temporary homes — shacks,
they were called — for the summer, and devoted their
efforts chiefly to breaking up the soil, making hay, and
producing such crops as could be grown upon the sod,
leaving the construction of more substantial and per-
manent buildings until the autumn months ; for the
experience of older settlers had taught that glorious
autumn weather, extending on until nearly the holidays,
might reasonably be expected. But in this year, a year
when of all years it was most unseasonable, a great bliz-
zard came at the middle of October. In a hundred years
of western history such a thing had occurred but once or
twice before, and in those instances the October storms
were less severe than that which came upon the unpro-
tected settlers in 1880. The snow fell to a ver}^ great
depth and was blown by a violent wind until the open
shacks and stables were filled, ravines were drifted full
to the level of the general country, stock was driven away
or smothered in the drifts, and the settlers suffered very
severely. A few lives were lost; very few indeed, con-
A MEMORABLE WINTER
sidering the severity of the weather and the exposed con-
dition of the people.
Every one believed that the snow would melt away and
that we should yet have our glorious late autumn, but
such was not to be; the October blizzard was the be-
How THE Railroads fight the Snow at the Present Day
ginning of a winter the like of which tes not before or
^^^; since been known. The snow did not go off, and early in
November an additional fall came, to which additions
were made from week to week. The railroads, as yet
unprotected by snow fences, were covered with drifts, and
it was \\ith great difficulty that trains were moved at all.
so. DAK. — 1 1
1 62 SOUTH DAKOTA
By New Year's Day operation of the trains was given up
entirely. The stocks of goods in the country were natu-
rally small, and the difficulty of operating the trains in the
fall had in many instances made it impossible to get in
the usual winter supplies.
The supply of fuel in the country was exhausted almost
as soon as the trains stopped running. There was, how-
ever, an abundance of wheat and of hay, and soon the
settlers were reduced to the necessity of grinding wheat
m coffee mills, and baking their bread upon fires made
of twisted hay.
One of the great inconveniences was the lack of any
material out of which to make lights. Kerosene oil was
not to be secured at any price, and the stock of tallow
was very small. Many families were compelled to sit for
months through the long winter without a light of any
kind in their houses except the glow of a hay fire.
To save the limited supplies on hand and particularly
to secure the advantage of warmth without consuming
too much fuel, families would club together and several
of them live in the most comfortable home in the com-
munity. Most of the people were young, vigorous, and
hopeful, and they made the best of the bad circumstances.
Every one exerted himself to be cheerful, and to keep
those about him in a cheerful temper. Many an old
settler will to-day refer to the bad winter of 1880 as one
of the most enjoyable he ever passed. Dancing was a
favorite pastime, and the number of persons who could be
accommodated, for a dancing party, in a little homestead
shack, is a matter of astonishment to those who enjoy
A MEMORABLE WINTER 163
that recreation in the spacious halls of to-day. Morti-
mer Crane Brown, who spent that winter as a pioneer in
Lincoln County, has told us in verse of the joys of a coun-
try dance during the snow blockade : —
When the Snow is on the Prairie
When the snow is on the prairie
An' the drift is in the cut,
An' life gets a trifle dreary
Joggin' in the same old rut,
Nothing like a good old fiddle
Takes the wrinkles out o' things.
There's the chirp o' larks an' robins
In the twitter ov 'er strings.
When the whizzin', roarin' blizzard
Is a shuttin' out the day,
An' the balmy breath of summer
Seems a thousand years away,
You can start the eaves a drippin'
With the tinglin' ov 'er strings,
You kin hear the water bubbhn'
From a dozen dancin' springs.
Rub the bow across the rosin,
Twist the peg an' sound your A,
There'll be bobolinks a clinkin'
When you once begin ter play;
Bees'll waller in the clover,
Blossoms whisper in the sun,
All the world a runnin' over
With the sunshine an' the fun.
l64 SOUTH DAKOTA
Git the gals and boys together.
"Pardners all for a quadrille,"
Cheeks aglow with frosty weather,
Hearts that never felt a chill;
Youth an' music never weary,
Tho' they meet in hall or hut —
When the sun is on the prairie
An' the drift is in the cut.
"Sashy by an' s'lute yer pardners.
Sashy back an' how d'ye do ! "
Everybody's feelin' funny
An' the fiddle feels it too.
Out o' doors the storm may sputter,
But within the skies are bright,
Pansies peekin' out, an' butter-
Cups a bobbin' in the light.
O, the joy of healthful pleasure!
O, the trip of tireless feet !
While the fiddle fills each measure
With its music wild an' sweet;
Glints of sun the shadows vary,
Though from out the world we're shut,
When the snow is on the prairie
An' the drift is in the cut.
During that winter Dakota had an actual snowfall.
on the average, of more than twelve feet ; much snow re-
mained upon the ground until late in April, and then,
under the influence of a warm south wind, was converted
into water in a single day. The broad prairies were simply
A MEMORABLE WINTER 165
a great sea, while the valleys were filled with roaring tor-
rents. Great damage was done to property, particularly
at Sioux Falls and along the Missouri. The troubles on
the Missouri were greatly increased by a gorge of ice which
formed at the mouth of James River, and backed the
water up that stream until the city of Yankton was flooded ;
and then when the gorge finally broke, it carried away
the town of Vermilion, which then was located below the
hill. Fortunately the loss of life was very small, but the
loss of property was terrific, and fell very heavily upon
settlers who had not yet accumulated a reserve fund in
cash to assist them over such an emergency.
Yankton was then a railroad terminus, and at that
point began the commerce by steamboat up the Missouri
River. Fifteen steamboats were on the ways at Yankton
when the flood came. Great cakes of ice went hurtling
against them, crushing holes in their sides, snapping im-
mense hawsers, and tossing them into a common jumble.
Green Island, a beautiful little village under the timber,
across the channel from Yankton, was utterly destroyed,
and since then the main channel of the Missouri has passed
over the spot where the village formerly prospered.
THE FIGHT FOR STATEHOOD
When Dakota territor\' was created in March, 1861,
it comprised the land now occupied not only by the states
of South Dakota and North Dakota, but also by part of
Wyoming and most of Montana. In 1864 Montana was
organized as a territory, and in 1868 Wyoming also was
cut off, leaving only North and South Dakota within the
As early as 1872 the pioneers, looking forward to the
time when all of the territory would be populated, and so-
licitous for the convenience and interests of their children,
began to agitate for the division of Dakota territory upon
the 46th parallel, making two territories of equal size;
and the territorial legislature petitioned Congress to take
action in the matter. No action, however, was taken,
and there was really no great interest in the subject until,
in the autumn of 1879, some speculative gentlemen began
to talk of buying the entire amount of school land in the
territory at a low figure.
The school lands consisted of two sections in every
congressional township, set apart by the United States
government for the creation of a pex'manent public school
fund out of the proceeds of their sale. At that time
THE FIGHT FOR STATEHOOD
scarcely a farm in the territory was worth so much as
ten dollars an acre. The proposition, howeVer, to buy the
school lands at a nominal price came to the attention of
General W. H. H. Beadle, then territorial superintendent
of public instruction, and he promptly inaugurated a
movement to prevent
such action. He de-
clared that the people
should adopt, as an
that not one acre of our
school lands should be
sold for less than the
sum of ten dollars. This
proposition seemed like
a hopeless dream, even
to the most hopeful of
the Dakotans, but
General Beadle stood
strongly for it.
Fearing that a scheme
might be worked
through Congress to
sell the school lands for a small price, General Beadle
believed that safety lay only in the division and admission
of the Dakotas as states, and in placing the ten-dollar
principle in the constitution, and he joined the two plans
into one general movement, for the success of which he
talked and wrote constantly. In this work he was loyally
assisted by Governor Howard, Dr. Joseph Ward, president
General W. H. H. Beadle
1 68 SOUTH DAKOTA
of Yankton College, and Rev. Stewart Sheldon, and, though
the price of land did not increase very rapidly, he had, by
1882, so impressed his views upon the people that it was
generally said that the ten-dollar idea should be made the
The first wide-reaching movement in this direction was
a convention of citizens held at Canton, June 21, 1882,
when an executive committee was appointed to prohiote
the division and statehood idea. This committee carried
the matter to the territorial legislature the next winter
and secured the passage of a bill providing for a con-
stitutional convention for South Dakota, but the bill
was vetoed by Governor Ordway. This veto caused
much indignation among the people of South Dakota
and did very much to arouse the people to the necessity
of prompt action. The executive committee thereupon
called a delegate convention to meet at Huron, June 19,
1883. Every county in South Dakota was there represented
by its strongest men. Its action was most calm and
dignified. A solemn ordinance was passed providing for
a constitutional convention for the south half of Dakota
territory to be held at the city, of Sioux Falls on Sep-
tember 4 of that year.
Pursuant to this ordinance, an election was held for
delegates and they assembled at Sioux Falls in September.
Hon. Bartlett Tripp was elected president of the conven-
tion, which was composed of the ablest men from every
community. An excellent constitution was framed, and
submitted to the people at the November election, and
adopted by an almost unanimous vote. A committee of
THE FIGHT FOR STATEHOOD
the convention, composed of Bartlett Tripp, Hugh J.
Campbell, Gideon C. Moody, and Arthur C. Mellette,
carried this constitution to Congress and asked that it be
accepted, and that South Dakota be admitted to the
Union; but without avail.
The next legislature, by law, provided for a new con-
stitutional convention to be held in Sioux Falk in Septem-
ber, 1885. Meanwhile
General Beadle had
carried on his agitation
for ten -dollar school
land, and the principle
was adopted by the
new constitutional con-
vention. The consti-
tution framed by this
convention was duly
ratified by the people
at the November elec-
tion, and a complete
set of state officers
were elected, together with members of Congress and a
legislature. Arthur C. Mellette was elected governor.
Huron was chosen for the temporaiy capital. The new
(state) legislature met at Huron on December 15 and
elected Gideon C. Moody and Alonso J. Edgerton as
United States senators. Oscar S. Gifford and Theodore
D. Kanouse had been elected members of the lower
house of Congress.
These gentlemen and the governor carried the new con-
I/O SOUTH DAKOTA
stitution to Congress with a prayer for admission. South
Dakota was a' strongly RepubHcan community, while
the national government at this time was dominated by
the Democratic party, and Congress objected to the ad-
mission of a state which was certain to send Republican
United States senators to cut down the narrow majority
of the Democrats in that body. Consequently the prayer
for admission was denied, the officers elected under the
proposed constitution had no power, and the territorial
government continued as beforCo
The Democratic leaders declared for admission of
Dakota territory as a whole, and the federal government
used its mfluence to oppose the division movement in
Dakota; therefore, a considerable party grew up in
Dakota in opposition to division, but at every test the
people pronounced strongly for two states. The popu-
lation o£ Dakota was increasing rapidly, there were nearly
six hundred, thousand white citizens in the territory, and,
under the territorial form of government, they were de-
nied many of the privileges of citizenship. Yet year after
year passed without action for their relief.
The Republican national convention of 1888 made the
division and admission of North and South Dakota a
national issue and it was discussed from every platform
in America. The Republican party prevailed in that
election, and, before the close of the Congress then in
existence, the bill for the division of Dakota territory and
the admission of North and South Dakota was passed on
St. Valentine's Day and approved on Washington's
Birthday, 1889, and that bill provided that no acre of
THE FIGHT FOR STATEHOOD I7I
school land in South Dakota or North Dakota should ever
be sold for less than the sum of ten dollars. A new con-
stitutional convention met at Sioux Falls on July 4 of that
year, with power only to amend and resubmit the consti-
tution of 1885. The constitution was submitted to the
people at an election on the first day of October. They
approved it, and on the second day of November, 1889,
President Harrison issued his proclamation, admitting
South Dakota as a state in the Unionc North Dakota
was admitted as another state by the same proclamation.
Statehood was welcomed by the people with real rejoic-
ing. As a territory the people had no part in the election
of a President, nor in the legislation by Congress, and
all of the conditions of territorial life tended to make
a people dependent rather than self-reliant. The chief
concern of the people of Dakota, however, during the
ten years' fight for statehood, had been for the division of
the territory into two states. In this they were moved by
motives of the highest patriotism. The leaders of that
period beHeved that it would be a crime for them to sit
idly by and permit the great territory to become one state,
with but two members of the United States Senate, thus
entailing to posterity forever a sort of political vassalage
to the small states of the eastern seaboard. Besides this
there was at that period an inherent difference between
the people of South Dakota and those of the North.
South Dakota was chiefly occupied by homesteaders, who
brought with them the conservative notions of small
farmers, about pubhc and private economy, morality, and
education. On the other hand North Dakota was in the
172 SOUTH DAKOTA
beginning chiefly settled by bonanza farmers, captains of
industry, who came with large means, buying great areas
of land and farming upon extensive lines. They and
their camp followers were adventurous men whose
traditions were entirely at variance with those of the
homesteaders of the South, and the result was constant
friction between the two elements. The progress of time,
and new immigration to the western portion of North
Dakota, has materially modified conditions there.
THE MESSIAH WAR
South Dakota became a state of the Union during the
period of reaction from the great Dakota boom. That
boom brought to us not only many adventurers and pro-
moters, but also a large class of honest but inexperienced
persons, — mercantile clerks, factory hands, and me-
chanics, — who were attracted by the free government
lands and who came to make farm homes, but who had
no experience as farmers. Even those who knew how to
farm in the eastern states found that eastern conditions
did not apply to Dakota conditions and Dakota soil. The
successful method of working our soil had to be learned
by sore experience. It is no wonder, then, that thousands
who came with high hopes of building homes and accumu-
lating riches were sorely disappointed. Many of them,
in utter discouragement, gave up their homesteads and
returned to the East, where the impression became deep-
rooted that Dakota was a failure. Following closely upon
this reaction came a period of really bad crop years. A
great drought in 1889 and 1890 made the crops in many
counties a total failure.
Just at this time, also, a great religious excitement
overwhelmed the Teton Sioux Indians, causing great
THE MESSIAH WAR 1 75
uneasiness and even terror to the pioneers upon the
frontier. The Indians meant no harm and it is prob-
able that the excitement would have soon died away had
they been left to themselves; but the military, fearing
that the excitement would result in outbreak and hos-
tihties, undertook to suppress the religious fervor, and
this movement resulted in what is known as the Messiah
This religious movement among the Indians originated
with a Paiute Indian named Wovoka, who lived near
Pyramid Lake, Nevada. He spoke English fairly well
and had some education. He claimed to have had a vision
on January i, 1889, in which he was taken up to heaven.
He found it a pleasant land and full of game. He was
instructed to go back to earth and preach goodness and
peace and industry to his people, who, if they followed his
instructions, would be reunited with their friends in the
other world, where there would be no mOre death or sick-
ness or old age. He was then instructed in the dance
which he was commanded to bring back to his people,
and which was one of the strong articles of the new faith.
Wovoka had simply mingled the pagan superstitions, in
which he had been reared, with the Christian religion
which he had been taught.
Wovoka's teachings spread rapidly among the Indians
of North America, and as they spread they were given new
significance. Wovoka was an Indian Messiah, who had
come to restore the dead to hfe, bring back the buffalo
and other game to the prairie, drive away the whites, and
cause the Indians to live a life of ideal happiness. In a few
1/6 SOUTH DAKOTA
months the Sioux at Pine Ridge agency had learned of
this wonderful Messiah, and so interested were they that
a great council was held to discuss the matter, in which
all the leading men, including Red Cloud, took part.
They decided to send a delegation to Pyramid Lake to
consult the Messiah and be instructed by him. Three
men were sent for this purpose, the leader of whom was
Short Bull. They went out in the winter of 1889, return-
ing in the sprin,g of 1890. They brought with them a let-
ter from Wovoka, which said : —
"When you get home, you must make a dance to con-
tinue five days. Dance four 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, Wovoka,
love you with all my heart and am full of gladness for the
gifts which you have brought me. When you get home, I
shall give you a good cloud which will make you feel good.
I give you a good spirit and give you all good things. I
want you to come again in three months ; some from each
tribe. 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. When your friends die, you must
not cry ; you must not hurt anybody or do harm to any one.
You must not fight. Do right always. It will give you
satisfaction in life. Do not tell the white people about
this. Jesus is now upon 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 sickness and every
THE MESSIAH WAR 1 77
one will be young again. Do not refuse to work for the
whites and do not make any trouble with them, until
you leave them. When the earth shakes at the coming
of the new world, do not be afraid ; it will not hurt you.
I want you to dance every six weeks. Make a feast at
the dance and have food that every one may eat, then
bathe in the water. That is all. You will receive good
words from me sometime. Do not tell lies. "
Short Bull announced that he had been made the special
representative of the Messiah among the Dakotas; that
the Messiah himself would appear among them in two
seasons; that is, about the autumn of 1891. He at once
began to instruct the Indians in the dance, and was fertile
in inventing new ceremonies. One of these was the use
of the sweat house, in which the Indians were treated for
purification. The excitement rapidly increased among
the Sioux, and in a short time the majority of them gave
up almost all their time to the dance and other religious
ceremonies. It was several months, however, before
the matter seriously attracted the attention of the white
authorities. While the dancing w^as chiefly confined to
Pine Ridge, there was some dancing at Rosebud and in
Big Foot's and Hump's camps on the Cheyenne River,
and in Sitting Bull's camp on Grand River,
During the autumn of 1890 the dancing began to attract
the attention of the agents and other white authorities, and
mistaken stories of its meaning were interpreted to them.
The agents thought it wise to break up the dancing, and to
do this placed some of the leaders, including Short Bull,
under arrest. These leaders were released in a short time,
so. DAK. — 12
■M^ap of tb.e
COrXTRY EJIBUACED IN THE CAMPAIGN
From Report of the
SECRETARY OV WAR
for 1801. VoUI
IS 24 32 Ulln
£ Ist Position of Troops
t?4th •• •• >.
;n; 1st Position of hostile IndUni
>^ 3rd •> ., .,
i 4th •
THE MESSIAH WAR 1 79
but the interference of the whites caused great discontent
among the Indians. Short Bull, too, was ambitious and
made much of his relations with the Messiah, and finally,
shortly after his release from arrest, he boldly announced
himself as the Messiah, and declared that while it had
been his original purpose to make his advent and the
resurrection of the dead two years hence, owing to the
interference of the whites he proposed to bring it on
immediately. The Indians, at Pine Ridge especially,
followed him bhndly, and, upon his declaration that the
resurrection was to come on immediately, they renewed
their religious rites with increased fervor.
To avoid interference from the ofiicers, the ghost dancers,
as they were called, assembled in a large camp in the
fastnesses of the Bad Lands. The agent at Pine Ridge
became greatly alarmed, for many of the Indians about the
agency had become very insolent and defied his author-
ity. He asked that soldiers be sent to his assistance.
The government therefore sent detachments of soldiers
to Pine Ridge and Rosebud, and set up a cordon of mili-
tary camps along the railroad between the reservation and
the Black Hills, and from the vicinity of Buffalo Gap down
the Cheyenne River to Fort Sully.
The government officials were exceedingly suspicious
of the conduct of Sitting Bull, who always had been of a
mean disposition, and defiant of the government's author-
ity. When information came that his people were dan-
cing, it was the judgment of the ofiicers that he should
be arrested and removed from the reservation. Major
McLaughlin, for many years agent of Sitting Bull, be-
lieved that he could control the Indians on his reservation
without resorting to harsh measures, but toward the end
of December, when he learned that Sitti*ng Bull was
preparing to leave the reservation without authority, he
too believed that the time had come when the old medi-
cine man should be arrested. Order is preserved upon
the Indian reservations through a system of Indian police,
and Major McLaughlin had detailed a large number of
his policemen to watch Sitting Bull and report upon his
conduct. To these policemen was given the task of
arresting Sitting Bull and bringing him into the agency.
In this they were to be assisted by Captain Fetchet and a
company of soldiers from Fort Yates. The arrest was
to be made at daybreak on Monday morning, December 15.
Sitting Bull's home was on Grand River, in northern
South Dakota, where he lived in two substantial log
cabins, a few rods apart. Forty-three policemen, under
command of Lieutenant Bull Head, who was a very cool
and reliable man, surrounded Sitting Bull's house. Ten
THE MESSIAH WAR
men went into the larger house, where they found Sitting
Bull asleep on the floor. He was awakened and told that
he was a prisoner and must go to the agency. He said,
"All right, I will dress and go with you." He sent his
wives out to the other house to fetch some clothing and
to saddle his favorite horse. \Vhile dressing, he began
abusing the police for disturbing him in his rest.
While this was going on, about one hundred and fifty
1^2 SOUTH DAKOTA
of Sitting Bull's followers gathered about the house, en-
tirely surrounding the police and crowding them up against
the wall. When the police brought Sitting Bull out of
the house, where he could see the friends that had rallied
to his assistance, he became greatly excited and refused
to go on, and called on his friends to rescue him. Lieu-
tenant Bull Head and Lieutenant Shave Head were stand-
ing on either side of him, with Sergeant Red Tomahawk
guarding behind, while the rest of the police were trying
to clear the way in front.
Catch the Bear, a friend of Sitting Bull's, fired and shot
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 Red
Tomahawk. Shave Head was shot by another of the
crowd and Catch the Bear was killed by A Lone Man,
one of the police. Instantly there was a desperate hand-
to-hand fight of less than forty-three men against more
than a hundred.
The fight lasted only a few minutes. Six policemen
were killed, including the officers Bull Head and Shave
Head. The hostiles lost eight killed, including Sitting Bull
and his son Crow Foot, seventeen years of age. The
trained police soon drove their assailants into the timber
near by, and then returned and carried their dead and
wounded into the house, which they held for more than
two hours, until the arrival of Captain Fetchet, with
his troops, at seven o'clock. On the approach of the
soldiers, Sitting Bull's warriors fled up Grand River a
short distance, and then turned south across the prairie
THE MESSIAH WAR
toward Cherry Creek and Cheyenne River. Major
McLaughlin says: "The details of the battle show that the
Indian police behaved nobly, and exhibited the best of
knowledge and bravery. It is hardly possible to praise
their conduct too highly."
Thus ended the life of Sitting Bull, the man who was
most feared by the whites, and who probably had most
influence in keeping the Indians in
a state of hostility. One other man,
however, was also giving the govern-
ment much anxiety. This was Hump,
chief of the Minneconjou Sioux, a
grandson of Black Buffalo, whom
Lewis and Clark met at Fort Pierre.
He lived near the mouth of Cherry
Creek. The fear of Hump, however,
was quite groundless, for upon being
requested to do so, he at once came
into Fort Sully and enlisted as a scout
in the government service.
There was a band of Hump's
people, under Big Foot, who were
dancing on the Cheyenne, and the government deter-
mined to put this band under arrest. When the troops
approached to arrest Big Foot and his people, the In-
dians were greatly alarmed, and though they agreed to
accompany the soldiers to the fort, they escaped in the
night time, and set off to join the dancers in the Bad
Lands. Soldiers were at once sent in pursuit, and on
the evening of December 28 Big Foot's band was over-
1 84 SOUTH DAKOTA
taken on Wounded Knee Creek, about sixteen miles from
Pine Ridge agency, where they were encamped, await-
ing the return of scouts they had sent out to locate the
camp of the ghost dancers. Big Foot himself was lying
in his tepee, sick with pneumonia. Colonel Forsyth was in
command of the soldiers, and he had with him four' hun-
dred and seventy men against one hundred and six war-
riors present in Big Foot's band. The night was passed
comfortably, and the next morning the Indians were to be
taken in to Pine Ridge agency.
Before starting it was deemed wise to disarm them,
though they were miserably armed with old rifles of very
little value. When this action was undertaken, the Indians
became very much excited. Yellow Bird, a medicine
man, harangued the Indians and urged them to resist,
telling them that the soldiers had become weak and
powerless and that the bullets would not injure Indians
dressed as they were in the ghost shirts. As Yellow Bird
spoke in the Sioux language the officers did not at once
realize the dangerous drift of his talk.
One of the searchers began to examine the blankets of
the Indians to see if they had arms concealed under them,
whereupon Black Fox drew a rifle from under his blanket
and fired at the soldiers, who instantly replied with a volley
directly into the crowd of warriors, so close that their guns
were almost touching. Nearly half of the warriors were
killed with this first volley. The survivors sprang 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, in which every man fought to kill.
THE MESSIAH WAR 1 85
Back where they commanded the Indian camp, a battery
of Hotchkiss guns had been planted, and at the first volley
these guns opened fire and sent a storm of shells and
bullets among the women and children who had gathered
in front of the tepees. The guns poured in two-pound
explosive shells at the rate of nearly fifty a minute, mowing
down everything alive. In a few minutes two hundred
Indian men and women and children, with sixty soldiers,
were lying dead and wounded on the ground. The tepees
had been torn down by the shells and some of them were
burning above the helpless wounded, and the surviving
handful of Indians were flying in wild panic, pursued by
hundreds of maddened soldiers. The pursuit was simply
a massacre, in which 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. The bodies of the women and
children were scattered along a distance of two or three
miles from the scene of the encounter. The butcher)'
was the work of new and untrained recruits, who were
infuriated by the shooting down of their comrades without
Thus was fought the engagement known as the battle of
Wounded Knee. The next day the Indians attacked some
soldiers midway between Wounded Knee and the agency,
but were repulsed.
These engagements comprised all the actual fighting of
the war. Within a day or two. General Miles came out
and took charge of affairs, and, establishing communication
with the Indian leaders, soon brought about an under-
1 86 SOUTH DAKOTA
standing which ended the trouble. It is known now
that no hostilities were intended by the Indians in the
first instance, nor would there have been any had the
Indians not been goaded on by the bad conduct of
THE WAR WITH SPAIN AND IN THE PHILIPPINES
When the war with Spain began in the spring of 1898,
South Dakota promptly responded with much more than
her quota of men. Under the President's call for troops
South Dakota's quota was nine hundred and twenty-five
men, but she furnished in all twelve hundred and fifty,
having a larger percentage of volunteers to population
than any other state. A regiment of the National Guard
had been in existence here since the territorial days, re-
ceiving more or less state aid, and in anticipation of a
declaration of war, after the destruction of the battleship
Maine, in Havana Harbor, this regiment was recruited to
its full allowance of men, one thousand and eight in all.
The regiment was ordered to mobilize at Sioux Falls,
on April 30, and there the men were subjected to the
most rigid examination by the medical officers, who re-
jected every person who was not in all respects fit. Lieu-
tenant Alfred Frost, an officer of the regular army who had
for a long time been upon detail as military instructor
at the State Agricultural College at Brookings, was ap-
pointed colonel; Lee Stover of Watertown, lieutenant-
colonel; Charles A. Howard of Aberdeen, and William
F. Allison of Brookings, majors; Dr. R. C. Warne of
Mitchell, chief surgeon; Jonas Lien of Sioux Falls,
adjutant; and Rev. Charles M. Daley, chaplain.
While the regiment was recruiting, fitting, and training,
news of the great naval victory in Manila Bay was
received, and it was soon determined by the federal
authorities to send the South Dakotans to the Philip-
pines ; but Manila was
captured and the war
with Spain was over
before the arrival of
the South Dakotans'
Colonel Frost proved
himself an able and
firm disciplinarian ; and
he landed his men at
Manila, on the 25th of
August, in good health,
thoroughly trained sol-
diers. Upon general
inspection of all the
troops in the island. Major- General Otis selected the
South Dakotans as best fitted to take the field, and at the
first crisis, on September 10, they were placed under march-
ing orders and so held until the crisis' had passed. As a
mark of special distinction the regiment was selected to
furnish guards for Generals Otis, McArthur, and Hale.
The first shot fired by an American soldier in the hos-
tilities which ensued was fired by Private Smith of Com-
pany E on the night of January 10, 1899, three days after
Lieutenant Colonel Lee Stover
WAR WITH SPAIN AND IN THE PHILIPPINES 1 89
Aguinaldo issued his manifesto declaring himself com-
mandant of the Philippines and asserting that General
Otis was a usurper. On that night Smith was on sen-
tinel duty near Block House No. 4 when he was approached
by two Filipino soldiers. Just as they were passing one
of them made a vi-
cious slash at him
with a bolo. Smith
dodged so as to es-
cape the full weight
of the blow, but re-
ceived a bad wound
in the face. In-
stantly he brought
his rifle into position
and shot the nearest
Filipino dead, and
with another shot
For the next three
weeks the situation
was strained and
nerve-trying. The South Dakotans were on outpost
duty and under orders to sleep in their clothes. Finally
on February 4 came the clash of open war. The battle
began almost in front of the South Dakota outpost, and
our men were instantly under fire and continued in the
hottest of the fight for eighteen hours, during which Pri-
vates McCrackcn of Company H and Lowes and Green
Colonel A. S. Frost
I go SOUTH DAKOTA
of Company I were killed and five others wounded.
During the battle the South Dakotans showed perfect
discipline and courage, and their work was most effective.
From that time forward, until the end of the campaign,
the South Dakotans were constantly upon the firing line,
sleeping in their clothes and patiently enduring all the
discomforts of forced marches through the swamps and
jungles of a tropical climate, where the heat was oppres-
., sive, the rain almost incessant, and the food frequently
4 \ insufficient and of inferior equality ; but in all things
they met the full expectations of their superiors and they
received the warm commendation of the government.
The regiment took active part in the affairs at La Loma
church on February 6, at Malolos on March 25, and at
Palo and Meyaeamyan on March 26.
At Meyaeemyan, John Hoi man, then a corporal of Com-
pany C, was promoted to a lieutenancy for exceptional
bravery in action. As the regiment approached the bridge
spanning the Mey^is««yan it was discovered that the enemy
had intrenched on the opposite shore, having first set the
nearest end of the bridge afire. From their intrenchments
the enemy commanded the bridge and were pouring a
heavy musket fire across the river in the direction of the
regiment. The fire at the further end had not made great
progress, but the bridge was endangered unless the fire
was at once extinguished. With the hostile bullets sing-
ing about his ears, Holman dashed across the bridge and
extinguished the blaze, and then, undaunted, stood upon
the approach and opened fire upon the intrenched enemy
but a few yards away.
WAR WITH SPAIN AND IN THE PHILIPPINES 191
The next day, March 27, the South Dakotans bore the
brunt of the battle at Marilao, one of the hardest-fought
and bloodiest engagements of the war. All of the regiment
was engaged and fought with valor. Nine men were
killed, including Adjutant Lien and Lieutenants Adams
and Morrison. Twenty-five others were wounded, one
of them — Sergeant Preacher — mortally.
That day at Marilao another South Dakotan won fame
for a most valorous deed : Captain Clayton Van Houten.
The bridge across the river had been almost destroyed,
so that only the steel stringers remained. The enemy
was as usual intrenched across the stream. The South
Dakotans plunged into the river and with their guns held
high above the water struggled across it. A squad of
Nebraska soldiers came up with a mountain howitzer,
which Colonel Frost desired to plant upon the further
bank of the stream; so he sent Sergeant Major Beck
to order the Nebraskans to bring it across. They hesi-
tated to obey, as the only means of reaching the further
shore was by the stringers of the broken bridge, and it
seemed an impossible feat to carry the gun over so narrow
a footing. Captain Van Houten appeared upon the ground
at that moment, and, taking in the situation at a glance,
he caught the heavy gun from its carriage, swung it to
his shoulder, and directing the Nebraskans to follow with
the carriage, he carried the howitzer across the river,
unaided, on the single span of steel. From the strain of
that exertion he never recovered, but died at his home in
Worthing three years later.
The regiment continued in the campaign, being among
192 SOUTH DAKOTA
the first to enter Malolos and thence marching on to San
Fernando, constantly harassed by the enemy and suffering
much from sickness and the excessive heat. When
they returned to Manila on June lo, General McArthur
said, "The record of the South Dakota regiment in the
Philippines has no equal in military history, so far as I
On August 12, 1899, the regiment embarked at Manila
for home. It arrived in San Francisco in September,
whither a large number of our prominent citizens had
gone to welcome the boys back to the states. The regi-
ment was mustered out at San Francisco. The citizens
of South Dakota had provided transportation for the return
of the men to their homes. They came by the northern
route, and President McKinley met them at Aberdeen on
the morning of October 14. That was a day of universal
rejoicing in South Dakota. All along the way from Aber-
deen to Yankton celebrations were prepared, and the
President so timed his journey as to be present at several
of them. The fete terminated at Yankton that evening,
where an immense multitude had assembled from all
over the state, and President McKinley there made one
of his memorable addresses, in which he highly extolled
the record which the regiment had made in the Philip-
The total loss of the regiment during the war was:
twenty-three killed in action; one drowned; thirty-two
deaths from disease; sixty wounded.
In addition to this First Regiment South Dakota fur-
nished five troops of cavalry, officially known as the Third
WAR WITH SPAIN AND IN THE PHILIPPINES 193
Regiment, United States Volunteer Cavalry, but promptly
designated " Grigsby's Cowboys." They were under com-
mand of Colonel Melvin Grigsby of Sioux Falls. Robert
W. Stewart of Pierre was major; Otto I.. Sues of Sioux
Ralph Parliman of
Sioux Falls, quar-
termaster ; Rev.
of Pierre, chap-
lain. The regi-
ment was ordered
en route to Cuba,
but the war closed
before its services
of Watertown was
appointed a briga-
dier general of
volunteers by the
President, but did not get into active service by reason
of the early close of the war.
In addition to these, many patriotic citizens of South
Dakota, faihng to find a place in the regular organiza-
tions of the state, enlisted and rendered honorable service
in other state organizations, both in Cuba and the Phihp-
Colonel Melvin Grigsby
so. DAK. — 13
THE UNEASY CAPITAL
The first settlement, except for the fur trade, made
within what is now South Dakota, at Sioux Falls in 1857,
was established with the express purpose of making it
the capital of Dakota territory. For four years, in fact,
Sioux Falls was nominally the capital, though of course
it was only by common consent and without any law in
support of it.
When the territory was finally organized, in 1861,
Governor Jayne established the temporary capital at
Yankton and made his office there, and his choice was
ratified by the first legislature, as we have learned in the
story of the attempt to unseat Speaker Pinney. This
location was very unsatisfactory to many of the people,
particularly to those residing west of Yankton on the
Missouri River; and in 1867 General Todd, who repre-
sented Dakota in Congress for two terms, led in a hard
fight in the legislature for the removal of the capital to
Bon Homme. He succeeded in getting this bill through
the house of representatives, but it was defeated in the
council. In the session of 1880 an unavailing fight was
made to remove the capital to Huron.
By this time a large population had come into central
THE UNEASY CAPITAL 1 95
and northern Dakota, and capital removal was much dis-
cussed. The legislature of 1882 provided that the gov-
ernor should appoint a capital commission, to consist
of nine persons, who were to go out and locate the terri-
torial capital at a point in the territory where they could
do so upon the best terms. They were to secure not less
than one hundred and sixty acres of land and a suffi-
cient amount of money to build a creditable capitol.
Many towns in both northern and southern Dakota com-
peted in this contest, but northern Dakota won the prize
and the capital was located at Bismarck. Yankton, of
course, gave up the capital reluctantly and made a hard
fight for its retention. Southern Dakota was much more
populous than northern Dakota, and had the larger
delegation in the legislature; and the leaders were deter-
mined to remove the territorial capital back into southern
Dakota at the next session. Pierre, Huron, and Mitchell
were leading candidates for the honor, and in each session
of the legislature of the territory, except the last one, the
matter was vigorously fought, but without success, be-
cause the southern Dakota men could not all agree upon
The question of the location of a temporary capital
for the state of South Dakota was submitted to the people
with the constitution of 1885 ; Huron and Pierre, Alex-
andria and Chamberlain, were competing candidates.
Huron was successful, and the session of the provisional
legislature, which elected Colonel Moody and Judge
Edgerton United States senators, was convened there in
December of 1885.
ig6 SOUTH DAKOTA
The enabling act required that among other things the
question of the location of the temporary seat of govern-
ment should be again submitted to the people. This
brought on a hard-fought contest in the summer of 1889,
in which Pierre, Huron, Watertown, Sioux Falls, Mitchell,
and Chamberlain were contestants. This time Pierre was
successful, winning the temporary capital by a large
The permanent seat of government was, under the con-
stitution, to be determined at the election of 1890. At
this election only Pierre and Huron were candidates.
A campaign of intense interest was fought, in which
Pierre succeeded by a very large majority.
Nevertheless, there continued a feeling that the capital
should be located elsewhere, and ambitious towns clam-
ored for a resubmission of the question. In legislature
after legislature the question came up on a proposition
to amend the constitution so as to make Huron the capi-
tal, but the promoters were unable to get the proposition
submitted. Finally, in the legislature of 1901, a com-
bination of all of the ambitious candidates and their
friends was made, and it was agreed that a caucus should
determine which town should be the candidate. Mitchell
won in this caucus, and the attempt to secure the sub-
mission of the constitutional amendment brought about
a remarkable legislative filibuster, but again the propo-
sition failed. At the session of 1903 the caucus plan was
again tried, Mitchell again securing the caucus nomination ;
and the resolutions submitting the constitutional amend-
ment prevailed by a very large majority in both houses.
THE UNEASY CAPITAL
During the next two years a ver}^ picturesque campaign
was fought. In the campaigns of 1889 and 1890 large
sums of money had been expended, more or less corruptly,
in influencing votes, and the effect upon the morals of
the state was very bad. Both Pierre and Mitchell, in
the campaign of 1904, undertook to avoid the corrupt
Carnegie Library, Mitchell
use of money. The Northwestern Railroad Company
was interested in the retention of the capital at Pierre;
the Chicago, Milwaukee, and St. Paul Railway Company
was equally interested in the removal of the capital to
Mitchell. The campaign, therefore, became a fight be-
tween the two railway systems.
Early in the season each railway began to carr>' to the
city in which it was interested 'persons selected from the
198 SOUTH DAKOTA
several communities, who were presumed to have in-
fluence with the voters, giving them free rides for the pur-
pose of getting them interested in that city as the capital.
These influential persons let it be known in their home
communities that they had -been thus favored, and their
neighbors promptly applied for like favors, which could
scarcely be refused. So it came about that long before
the close of the campaign the railroad companies felt
compelled to carry to these two cities every person who
appHed for the privilege. At least one hundred thousand
persons were carried into each town. In the last weeks
of the campaign many special trains daily, loaded with
good-natured men, women, and children, were carried into
Mitchell and Pierre. It was a great, continuous picnic,
in which all of the people participated, and probably
has not had an equal in American history.
The election resulted in the retention of the capital at
Pierre, by about eighteen thousand majority. The legisla-
ture of 1905 made provision for an appropriate capitol
building at Pierre, and it is probable that the people of
South Dakota are through with campaigns for the re-
moval of the capital.
During the old fur-trading days the burgeois, or man-
aging officer of the American Fur Company, who resided
at Fort Pierre, was the self-constituted chief executive ofh-
cer of the Dakota country. By common consent he had the
powers not only of a governor, but of a magistrate as well,
and he tried men for petty offenses, committed them to the
guardhouse for punishment, or imposed other punish-
ments upon them, and in the case of high crimes sent
them in chains to St. Louis for trial. WiUiam Laidlaw
was the man who, for the most part, exercised this func-
tion for a long period of years.
When the Louisiana purchase was made, in 1803,
jurisdiction over the northwest country was, for a time,
conferred upon Indiana, and General William Henry
Harrison was the governor. After Louisiana territory was
organized, Captain Meriwether Lewis was for a time its
governor, and after Louisiana territory became Missouri
territory Captain William Clark held the same office.
But of course these men had little governing to do in
the Dakota country. This is true also of the governors,
respectively, of Michigan, Wisconsin, Iowa, and Minne-
sota, whose territorial limits included the east half of
South Dakota at one time or another.
When the settlers organized at Sioux Falls in 1858,
200 SOUTH DAKOTi^
immediately after the admission of Minnesota, Henry
Masters, a lawyer, native of Maine, was made governor.
He held the office until his death one year later, on the
fifth day of September, 1859. No record is left of his
executive acts. Samuel J. Albright was elected as Mas-
ters's successor. Albright was a newspaper man and pro-
moter; he was speaker of the House of Representatives
and preferred that position to the governorship, and so
declined to qualify as governor, and the legislature elected
Judge W. W. Brookings to fill the vacancy. Both Masters
and Brookings were governors only by common consent,
as Congress had not yet organized the territory ; but Judge
Brookings continued as the nominal governor of Dakota
until the appointment of Governor William Jayne, by
President Lincoln, in April, 1861.
Governor Brookings was a lawyer and a man of large
ability. He came to Dakota with the Dubuque colony
in the summer of 1857, and was soon made the general
manager of the companies' interests. He was a man of
great energy, and being misinformed that the Yankton
Indians had- relinquished their lands to the government,
he started in the winter of 1858, from Sioux Falls, to claim
the town site at Yankton. When he started, the weather
was warm, the snow had melted, the streams were
swollen, and he soon became thoroughly wet. Before
night, however, a terribly cold storm set in. He found
himself freezing, and the nearest point for help was back
at the settlement at Sioux Falls. He turned back with
all haste, but before he reached the Falls he was very
badly frozen, and it soon became evident that the only
202 SOUTH DAKOTA
hope for his life lay in amputating his limbs. Among the
settlers was a young physician, Dr. James L. Phillips,
recently graduated, but he possessed no surgical instru-
ments. He amputated the legs of Mr. Brookings with
a common handsaw and butcher knife, and successfully
nursed him back to health ; and Brookings lived to become
one of the most useful citizens of the territory. The first
railroad in Dakota territory (1872), from the settlement
at Yankton to Sioux City, was promoted and built by
Judge Brookings. He was for four years a justice of the
Dakota Supreme Court (1869-1873). His death occurred
at Boston, in June, 1905.
Dr. William Jayne, the first legally appointed territorial
governor (1861), was at that time a young physician at
Springfield. He had attracted the attention of President
Lincoln and was employed in his family. Jayne was am-
bitious to get into politics, and Lincoln sent him out as
governor of Dakota. His official conduct appears to have
been wise and honest, but at the second election he de-
termined to become a candidate for delegate to Congress,
and made the campaign upon the Republican ticket
against General J. B. S. Todd, the non-partisan candi-
date. Jayne secured the certificate of election, but the
conduct of his campaign was a territorial scandal, which
must always reflect upon his good name. Todd contested
Jayne's election and secured the seat. Jayne never
came back to Dakota, but returned to Springfield.
Dr. Jayne was succeeded by Newton Edmunds (1863),
a citizen of Yankton. Governor Edmunds was one of
the wisest and most practical executives Dakota has had.
THE GOVERNORS 203
His administration occurred during the trying time of
the War of the Outbreak, and he believed that negotia-
tion and not gunpowder was demanded to settle the
disturbance. He was strongly opposed by the military
department, and not until he carried his views directly
to President Lincoln, in the spring of 1865, was he able
to get a respectful hearing. President Lincoln at once
agreed to the views advanced by Governor Edmunds,
and assisted in putting them forward. The result was
the end of the war within a few months. When Governor
Edmunds came into office, it was the practice to grant
divorces by act of the legislature. He vetoed all divorce
bills and put a stop to the scandalous practice. He had
the utmost faith in Dakota, even in its darkest days, and
did much to assist and encourage the settlers in building
up homes, and establishing themselves in farming and
Andrew J. Faulk, a Pennsylvanian, followed Governor
Edmunds (1866), and held the office during the adminis-
tration of President Andrew Johnson. He was a gentle-
man of culture and great affability. There was little to
demand a particular executive policy during his adminis-
tration, but his conduct was marked by wisdom and
John A. Burbank, of Indiana, followed Governor
Faulk (1869). He did not secure the general confidence
and cooperation of the people. His administration cov-
ered a troublous period during which General McCook,
secretary of the territory, was killed, and very strong
factional feeling prevailed throughout the territory.
John L. Pennington, of Alabama, was next appointed
governor (1874). He was bluff, strong, and practical,
and made a good executive. He died in igoo at his
William A. Howard, of Michigan, was the next gov-
ernor (1878). Howard was a very efficient, far-sighted,
and capable man. He was advanced in years and hoped
to make his administration of Dakota affairs the crowning
act in a long and useful life. He impressed himself for
good on most of the affairs and enterprises of the territory,
but at the beginning of 1880 he died and George A.
Hand, secretary, became acting governor for a period
of six months, until the appointment of Nehemiah G.
Ordway of New Hampshire, who served for four years,
with small satisfaction to the people.
President Arthur selected Gilbert A. Pierce, of Illinois,
to succeed Ordway (1884). Pierce was a veteran of the
Civil War and a newspaper man, having been connected
editorially with the Inter-Ocean from its foundation in
1872. He was a popular and conscientious governor,
who did much in the interest of safe and conservative
management during the period of the great Dakota
boom. He was afterward United States senator from
North Dakota, and was appointed by President Harrison
United States Minister to Spain. He died in Chicago in
Governor Pierce resigned as governor of Dakota ter-
ritory in January, 1887, and was followed by Governor
Louis K. Church, under appointment from President
Cleveland. Church was the only Democrat who was
206 SOUTH DAKOTA
governor of Dakota territory. He was appointed from
New York, where he had been a member of the legisla-
ture while President Cleveland was governor of that
state, and where, in cooperation with Theodore Roose-
velt, he had rendered much assistance in bringing about
the legislative reforms of Cleveland's administration in
New York. His position in Dakota was a trying one.
The territory and the legislature were overwhelmingly
Republican, and the Democratic party, too, was divided
into two strong factions. Under these circumstances
Governor Church's administration fell in troublous times.
He was not tactful in getting along with his opponents,
but his honesty and good intentions were never questioned.
He died in Alaska in 1899.
Arthur C. Mellette, of Watertown, South Dakota, was
the last governor of Dakota territory, having been ap-
pointed to that position by President Harrison at the very
beginning of his administration (1889). Mellette was a
man of large ability and strict integrity. His administra-
tion as governor of Dakota territory was very brief, as
the territory was divided and both states admitted within
a few months, and little devolved upon him but the exer-
cise of great care in the separation of the affairs of North
and South Dakota. He was elected the first governor
of South Dakota, and his administration covered the first
three years of the life of the young state. He was a stickler
for economy in public affairs, believed in small salaries
for public officials, and demanded the most rigid honesty
in all of his appointees. The period of his administration
was marked by the great drought of 1889- 1890, which
2o8 SOUTH DAKOTA
brought so much hardship to the new settlers, and by the
Messiah Indian War. In the establishment of the prece-
dents which were to guide his successors in office, as
well as in the general administration, he was wise and
prudent. He died at Pittsburg, Kansas, in 1896, and his
ashes repose in the cemetery at Watertown.
Charles H. Sheldon was the second state governor
(1893). Mr. Sheldon was a farmer, residing at Pierpont
in Day County. He was a public speaker of great ability
and of very pleasing address. He was reelected in 1894
and died soon after the close of his second term.
Andrew E. Lee followed Governor Sheldon (1897).
He was the only Populist to occupy the position. Gov-
ernor Lee was a trained business man of strict integrity,
and he tried to carry his business methods into the ad-
ministration. He was governor during the Spanish War
and rendered the state excellent service in providing for
the ecjuipment of the state's quota before it was mustered
into the federal service.
Charles N. Herreid was elected governor in 1900. His
administration fell in the pleasant years of great national
prosperity in which South Dakota led. The state has
known no better period, and the tact and wisdom of Gov-
ernor Herreid contributed to that end.
Samuel H. El rod succeeded Governor Herreid in 1905.
He filled the office wisely -aod- nuTptflbl]', and .was fol-
lowed in 1907 by Coe I. Crawford, during whose term
many progressive laws were passed for the regulation of
corporations and the prevention of corrupt practices in
politics. — ^
SOUTH DAKOTA GOVERNORS
so. DAK. — 14 209
At the end of his term he
short in his accounts, and
upon the advice of a firm
of Chicago attorneys, he
carried away the remain-
der of the state money,
aggregating ^367,000, in
the belief that the state
would compromise with
him. Finding after sev-
eral months that a com-
promise could not be
effected, he surrendered
and served a term in the
Robert S. Vessey suc-
ceeded Governor Craw-
ford in 1909, and Craw-
ford was elected United
Each of the governors
of South Dakota has
been supported by an
efficient corps of state
officers, all of whom
have made creditable
official records, except
William W. Taylor, state
treasurer in 1891-1895.
found himself about $150,000
THE UNITED STATES SENATORS
The prov-isional legislature which met in Huron, tem-
porary capital, under the constitution of 1885, elected
Gideon C. Moody and Alonso J. Edgerton United States
senators. They went to Washington and made applica-
tion for admission to seats in the Senate. They were
courteously given the privileges of the floor, but were not
permitted to qualify. Upon the admission of the state, in
^ ''- J.S9D, Edgerton was made judge of the United States
' district court for the South Dakota district, and Moody
and Richard F. Pettigrew were elected to the United
In the choice of terms Judge Moody drew the short
term, which expired the succeeding year. He therefore
had little time to develop a senatorial policy. During
his term the revision of the tariff, on the lines of the historic
McKinley Bill, was the principal measure under consid-
eration, and he supported the administration policy.
Coming from a mining region, he favored the largest
use of silver, and was active in support of the well-
known Sherman Silver Act. Owing to the wave of popu-
lism which struck South Dakota in 1890, he was not
reelected. /-fy cLi^^ u^ , /Cf 01^
Senator Pettigrew served for twelve years, and, in addi-
tion to securing a large amount of federal legislation and
institutions for South Dakota, was distinguished in the
Senate for his advocacy of the free coinage of silver and
for his opposition to the annexation of the Hawaiian
The legislature of
1 891 elected Rev. James
H. Kyle, of Aberdeen,
senator to succeed
Judge Moody ; Mr.
Kyle was a man of
fine educational attain-
ments, but untrained
in politics. He sup-
ported the general poli-
cies of the Democratic
party in Congress, but
was most distinguished
for his work upon the
committee upon edu-
cation, and as chair-
man of the Joint Industrial Commission. He was re-
elected in 1897 by a fusion of Populist and Republican
votes and thereafter supported the general Republican
policies. He was intensely interested in industrial-
economic questions and was devoting much attention to
the work of the Industrial Commission when his death
occurred, July i, 1901.
The legislature of 1901 elected Robert J. Gamble, of
UNITED STATES SENATORS
Yankton, to succeed Senator Pettigrew. Mr. Gamble
is a lawyer of distinguished ability and had previously
served two terms in Congress. In the Senate, where he
has ably supported the national policies of his party, he
has devoted his attention chiefly to the promotion of
legislation of immediate interest to his constituents. '
Upon the death or
Senator Kyle, Governor
Herreid appointed Al-
fred B. Kittredge, of
Sioux Falls, to fill the
unexpired term, and
the next legislature
elected Mr. Kittredge
for a succeeding long
term. Mr. Kittredge
became a member of
the committee on in-
teroceanic canals, and
at once became deeply
interested in the matter
of the construction of
a canal connecting the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. He
became convinced that the Isthmus route was more feas-
ible than the Nicaragua, then the more popular one.
The adoption of the former involved many abstruse legal
propositions relating to the rights of the French company
owning the Isthmus route, as well as the treaty rights
of the parties with the Colombian government. Into the
study of these questions he threw himself with great vigor,
214 SOUTH DAKOTA
and soon became the leading authority on all questions
relating to the Isthmian canal in the Senate. While-tbi&
has been his most distinguished service, he has neglected
nothing that pertained to the interests of the South Dakota
people. ^ -^r-c-.^ 'TK^ V /f//
A SOUTH DAKOTA CHRONOLOGY
1683. Le Sueur probably visited Sioux Falls to buy turs which he
shipped by flatboat to the mouth of Mississippi.
1700. Le Sueur's traders from Fort L'Huillier (Mankato, Minne-
sota) traded on Big Sioux River at Flandreau and Sioux
1743. Vdrendrye visited western part of South Dakota and claimed
soil for French king. Planted lead plate inscribed with
arms of France, probably near Pierre.
1745. De Lusigan visited Big Stone Lake to call in unlicensed
1750.' Teton Sioux at about this date, having driven Omahas from
Big Sioux and James river valleys, reached Missouri River
and engaged Rees in forty years' war.
1775. Oglala Tetons discover Black Hills and soon afterward drive
Kiowas from that region.
1780. Yankton and Yanktonais Sioux, about this date, having been
driven from western Iowa by Ottos, came up and settled in
James River valley.
1785. Pierre Dorion, afterward guide to Lewis and Clark, married
a Yankton woman and settled in trade at mouth of James
1790. Pierre Garreau settled with Rees at mouth of Grand River.
1792. Sioux finally conquer Rees and drive them from their strong
position in neighborhood of Pierre. The Rees retreat up
river and settle with relatives at mouth of Grand River.
1796. Loisel, or L'Oiselle, builds post on Cedar Island, between
Pierre and Big Bend. First recorded post in South
1797. Trudeau builds "Pawnee House" on east side of the Mis-
/ 2 >; souri, opposite Fort Randall, in Charles Mix County.
1804. Lewis and Clark explore Missouri valley through South
Dakota, eii ropte to Pacific.
2l6 SOUTH DAKOTA
1805. Pierre Dorion conducts party of Sioux chiefs to St. Louis.
1806. Lewis and Clark return from Pacific, passing tlirough South
1807. Manuel Lisa undertakes trade with Indians at head of Mis-
souri. Sergeant Nathaniel Pryor attempts to conduct Big
White, a Mandan' chief who visited Washington with Lewis
and Clark, to his home and is attacked and driven back by
Rees, assisted by Minneconjou Teton Sioux under Black
Buffalo. Four whites killed, nine wounded.
1808. St. Louis Missouri Fur Company organized for trade on
Upper Missouri. Established post in Loisel house on
1809. Manuel Lisa, for St. Louis Missouri Fur Company, safely con-
ducts Big White to his home in North Dakota. Finds
1 810. Loisel post burned with large stock of furs.
181 1. Astorian party go up Missouri to Grand River, where they
buy horses of Rees and go thence up Grand River toward
Pacific. First recorded exploration of northern Black Hills
Manuel Lisa finds Sioux excited over " Prophet craze " and
believes it due to hostile English influence. Reports con-
dition to General Clark, Indian agent.
1812. Red Thunder, Flathead Yanktonais chief from Elm River,
Brown County, with son, Waneta, and twenty-two Sisse-
tons, enlist to serve English in war against Americans.
1813. Manuel Lisa made subagent for Missouri River Sioux and
keeps them friendly to American interests.
181 5. Teton Sioux sign treaty of friendship at Portage des
Sioux. Black Buffalo dies there July 14, Given military
1 81 6. Pawnee House burns.
1817. Fur trade revives. Joseph La Framboise builds Fort Teton
at site of Fort Pierre. First continuous settlement.
1822. La Framboise builds trading post at Great Bend of Big Sioux
Fort Tecumseh built at site of Fort Pierre, by Columbia Fur
Fort Recovery built upon American Island at Chamberlain,
by Missouri Fur Company. (It is possible this post was
built ten years earlier to compensate loss ot Loisel post,
and was headquarters of Manuel Lisa during War of
1823. General Ashley, lieutenant governor of Missouri, en route to
Yellowstone, with cargo of goods and one hundred men,
attacked by Rees at Grand River and thirteen men killed
and ten severely wounded.
Colonel Henry Leavenworth, with 220 men, marches from
Fort Atkinson, near Omaha, to punish Rees for attack on
Atkinson. At Yankton, July 3, Sergeant Samuel Stack-
pole and six men drowned by overturning of boat.
Leavenworth is joined by Joshua Pilcher, manager of
Missouri Fur Company, with forty volunteers at Fort
Recovery. General Ashley and eighty men join party at
Cheyenne River. Seven hundred and fifty Sioux Indians
volunteer for the campaign. August 9 Ree towns reached
and besieged. Rees punished and beg for terms. First
general military movement in Dakota.
1825. General Henry Atkinson and Dr. Benjamin O'Fallon sent up
Missouri with an escort of 476 men to make treaties for
trade and intercourse with Indian tribes. Very successful.
Destroy English influence with Indians. First Fourth of
July celebration in Dakota.
Wamdesapa, a Wakpekuta chief, kills his brother Tasagi
and is driven from his tribe. Settles on Vermilion River
in South Dakota.
1828. American Fur Company absorbs Columbia Fur Company
and becomes dominant in Dakota trade.
1831. Pierre Chouteau, Jr., navigates first steamboat, the Yellow-
stone, on upper Missouri, reaching Fort Tecumseh. Revo-
lutionizes fiir trade methods.
1832. Fort Pierre built to succeed Fort Tecumseh.
George Catlin, famous painter of Indian pictvires, visits Fort
Pierre and paints many likenesses.
Frederick Le Beau, a trader, kills Fran9ois Querrel, an em-
ployee, at mouth of Cherry Creek, on Cheyenne River.
Le Beau arrested by order of William Laidlaw, burgeois
of Fort Pierre, and sent to St. Louis in chains.
1837. Great smallpox epidemic on Missouri River. All tribes suffer
severely. Mandans practically destroyed.
2l8 SOUTH DAKOTA
1838. Dr. Joseph N. Nicollet, accompanied by John C, Fremont,
visits the coteau region of eastern South Dakota, mapping
and naming the lakes.
1839. Nicollet and Fremont again visit South Dakota, coming up
the river to Fort Pierre, thence passing over to James
River, and finally to the Minnesota.
Father Pierre John De Smet visits the renegade band of
Wakpekuta Sioux under Wamdesapa, to try to effect a
peace between them and the Potawatomies of central
1840. Dr. Stephen R. Riggs, celebrated missionary from Minnesota
River, visits Fort Pierre and preaches first sermon in
1842. Audubon, the naturalist, visited the section upon a profes-
sional trip and observed and noted most of the birds and
Father Alexander Ravoux visits Fort Pierre and baptizes
many Indians and half bloods.
1845. Father Ravoux visits Fort Vermilion.
1847. Mrs. Joseph La Barge comes to Fort Pierre, with her husband,
Captain La Barge of the steamboat Martha. First white
woman to visit South Dakota. The Martha attacked by
Yankton Indians at Crow Creek.
1849. Inkpaduta, son of the renegade Wamdesapa, massacres his
cousin Wamundiyakapi and seventeen other Wakpekutas.
1 85 1. Father De Smet visits the Teton Sioux.
Santee Sioux relinquish title to all land east of Big Sioux
River by treaty of Traverse des Sioux.
1855. Government buys Fort Pierre. General W. S. Harney, after
battle of Ash Hollow, in Nebraska, brings army of twelve
hundred men to Pierre. Lieutenant G. K. Warren, after-
ward famous in Civil War, examines and makes topo-
graphical survey of much of South Dakota.
1857. Settlement begun at Sioux Falls. Flandreau, and Medary.
" The Noble Road " built across the state from Lake Benton
to Crow Creek.
Fort Randall completed and occupied.
Jnkpaduta, the renegade, massacres forty-two settlers at
Spirit Lake, Iowa, and retreats into South Dakota with
three whit^ >vpmen captives.
1858. Yankton Indians make treaty relinquishing title to lands
between Big Sioux and Missouri.
Mrs. Goodwin, first white woman settler, arrives at Sioux
Settlement at Medary destroyed by Smutty Bear, Yankton
Settlers at Sioux Falls build and fortify Fort Sod.
Provisional government organized. Legislature elected and
convened. Alpheus G. Fuller sent as delegate to Con-
gress. Henry Masters, governor.
1859. Yankton treaty ratified. July 10 Indians surrender lands.
Yankton, Vermilion, and Bon Homme founded.
Dakota Democrat newspaper established by Samuel J. Al-
bright. Governor Masters dies. New legislature elected
at Sioux Falls. Jefferson P. Kidder elected delegate to
Congress. Wilmot W. Brookings provisional governor.
i860. First church society organized at Vermilion by Presby-
First school opened at Vermilion.
First schoolhouse built at Bon Homme.
1861. Dakota Territory erected by Congress March 2. Dr. William
Jayne appointed governor. Establishes temporary capital
at Yankton. Calls election for legislature and delegate
to Congress John B. S. Todd elected delegate.
1862. First territorial legislature, '"the Pony Congress,"' meets
Company A, Dakota cavalry, organized at Yankton.
Great Indian Outbreak in Minnesota, August 18. Tlie
Amidons massacred at Sioux Falls. Settlers flee in wild
panic. Stockade at Yankton. All men called to arms.
1863. Governor Jayne goes to Congress. Newton Edmunds ap-
Company B, Dakota cavalry, organized at Elkpoint.
1865. War of Outbreak ended by treaty at Fort Pierre. Montana
road ordered built.
1866. Red Cloud war begins.
Andrew J. Faulk succeeds Newton Edmunds.
Great affliction of grasshoppers. Crops eaten up.
1868. Red Cloud war ends. Great Sioux reservation created by
220 * SOUTH DAKOTA
1869. Faulk succeeded by John A. Burbank. "Wild and woolly
period." Great factional Moody-Brookings fight begins.
1872. First railroad in South Dakota; Dakota Southern built from
Sioux City to Yankton.
1873. Northwestern railway built to Lake Kampeska.
Gen. Edwin S. McCook, secretary of Dakota Territory, shot
and killed by Peter P. Wintermute, result of factional
1874. Burbank succeeded by John L. Pennington.
Gold discovered in Black Hills.
Second invasion of grasshojipers.
1875. Black Hills treaty commission fails. Rush of miners to
1876. Gold discovered in Deadvvood Gulch. Stampede from Custer.
Miners establish law and order.
Great Sioux war. Battles of Rosebud and Little Big Horn.
Custer's army destroyed.
Black Hills relinquished by Indians. All agency Sioux dis-
mounted and disarmed.
1877. Great Dakota boom begins.
1878. William A. Howard succeeds Pennington.
1879. Great boom waxes strong. Railroad buildmg begins.
1880. Northwestern railway builds to Pierre ; the Milwaukee reaches
Great October blizzard.
Governor Howard dies and is succeeded by Nehemiah G.
1 88 1. Awful floods on Big Sioux and Missouri.
Spotted Tail, noted Brule Sioux, killed by jealous warrior.
Yankton College established by Dr. Joseph Ward.
1882. Capital removed from Yankton to Bismarck.
State University established.
1883. Division and admission movement earnestly prosecuted to
save school lands. First Sioux Falls constitutional con-
Presbyterian University opened at Pierre. Removed to
Huron as Huron College, 1899.
Sioux Falls College founded.
Agricultural College founded at Brookings.
Madison Normal School founded.
1884. Ordway succeeded by Gilbert A. Pierce.
Redfield College founded.
All Saints School for Young Ladies founded at Sioux Falls.
Augustana College established at Canton.
1885. Second Sioux Falls constitutional convention. Stale officers
and United States senators elected. Huron temporary
Spearfish Normal organized.
Dakota VVesleyan University established at Mitchell.
1887. Pierce succeeded by Louis K. Church.
School of Mines founded at Rapid Citv.
1889. Enabling act of Congress provides for division and admis-
sion of South Dakota and North Dakota.
Arthur C. Mellette succeeds Church.
Third Sioux Falls constitutional convention.
Division and admission at last, November 2.
Lutheran Normal School founded at Sioux Falls.
1890. Opening of portion of Great Sioux reservation between White
and Cheyenne rivers.
Messiah war.. Sitting Bull killed. Battle of Wounded Knee.
Second year of alarming drouth. Many settlers destitute.
1891. Good conditions restored.
1895. Walter W. Taylor, state treasurer, defiiults for I367.000. and
absconds. Returned and is convicted.
Period of great depression and hard times.
Springfield Normal organized.
1896. The tide turns. Beginning of long period of prosperity.
1898. Spanish War. First South Dakota Infantry sent to Philip-
pines. Distinguished service there.
1899. First South Dakota Infantry returns from Philippines crowned
with glory. President McKinley welcomes the regiment
1901. Northern Normal and Industrial School opened at Aberdeen.
1904. Opening of portion of Rosebud land brings unprecedented
rush of homesteaders. One hundred and six thou.sand
persons apply for right to enter lands.
Mitchell contests with Pierre for state capital. Pierre for
third time successful.
STATE CENSUS OF 1905
Summary of facts revealed by the Second State Census of South
Dakota, 1905 : —
Total population ......
Number of males, white .....
Number of females, white
Total foreign born ......
Percentage of foreign born, 19.7.
Total born in South Dakota ....
Total born in South Dakota having native parents
Total born in South Dakota having foreign parents
Total born in other states ....
Total born in other states having native parents
Total born in other states having foreign parents
Total having native parents
Total having foreign parents
Total of school age .
Total of military age
Total literate 10 years and over
Total illiterate 10 years and over
Percentage of illiteracy, 1.2.
Total males over 10 engaged in useful employment
Total females over 10 engaged in useful employment
Total males unemployed . . . .
Total females unemployed ....
Aird, James, 47.
Albright, Samuel J., no, 200.
Allison, W. B., 143.
Amidon, J. B., killed, 124.
Animals, prehistoric, 10.
Armadale Grove, 91.
Armstrong, Moses K., 123.
Ash Hollow, battle, 97.
Ashley, Gen. W. H., 79.
Astor, John J., 53.
Astoria expedition, 53.
Atkinson, Gen. Henry, 85
Bad Lands, 9, 12, 13.
Beadle, W. H. H., 167.
Benteen, Major, 146.
Big Elk, 76.
Bigelow, " Gov.," 118.
Big White, Mandan chief, 48.
Black Buffalo, 38, 47, 56, 75, 183.
Black Hills treaties, 143, 148. '
Black Moon, 145.
Boat race, 55.
Boom days, 156.
Brackenridge, scientist, 58.
Bradley, John, 58.
British trade, 85.
Brookings, W. W., in, 200.
Brown, M. C, poet, 163.
Brown. Samuel J., 131, 132.
Burbank, John A., 203, 205.
California trail, 95.
Campbell, Hugh J., 169.
Capital location, 120, 169, 195.
Catlin, George, 70, 90.
Charger, Martin, 127.
Chouteau, Pierre, Sr., 49, 53.
Chouteau, Pierre, Jr., 89.
Church, Gov., 204, 207.
Clark, Capt. William, 30, 33.
Crazy Band, 127,
Crazy Horse, 145.
Custer, G. A., 14a, 146.
Dakota cavalry, 125, 130, 134..
Daley, Rev. C. M., 188.'
Deadwood gulch, 152.
De Smet, 92.
De Witt, Franklin, 108.
Dickson, Robert, 67.
Dorion, Pierre, 26, 38, 49, 50, 54.
Edgerton, Alonso J., 169, 211.
Edmunds, Newton, 201, 202.
Elrod, Samuel H., 208, 209
Faulk, Andrew J., 202, 203.
First bloodshed, 51.
First regiment, 187.
First rhyme, 99.
Flandrau, Charles E., 104.
Floyd, Sergt. Charles, 32.
Fourth of July Celebration, 86.
Fremont, John C, 90.
French claims, 25, 27,
Frost, Alfred B., 187.
Galpin, Charles E., 126.
Gamble, Robert J., 212.
Gardner, Abbie (Sharp), 103.
Garreau, Pierre, 26, 45.
Gifford, Oscar S., 169.
Gold discovered in Black Hills, 143,
Goodwin, Mrs., no.
Gray Eyes, Ree chief, 59.
Grigsby's Cowboys, 193.
Harney, W. S., 86, 96.
Herreid, Gov., 208, 209.
Holman, John, 190.
Holmes, Charles E., 13.
Howard, William A., 107, 204, 205.
Hughitt, Marvin, 156.
Hunt, Walter P., 53.
Iiikpaduta, 102, 106, 145.
Jayne, William, 117, 201, 202.
Kidder, Jefferson P., 11 1.
Kittredge, Alfred B., 213.
Kyle, James H., 212.
La Barge, Joseph, 100.
La Framboise, Joseph, 78, 88.
Laidlaw, William, 199.
Lake Thompson, battle, 106.
La Plant, Louis, 129. '
Leavenworth, Col. Henry, 81.
Lee', Andrew E., 208, 209.
Lefthand, Ree chief, 59.
Le Sueur, Charles Pierre, 22, 23.
Lewis and Clark, 15, 30, 32, 34, 36, 48,
53, 113, 183.
Lien, Jonas, 188.
Lisa, Manuel, 49, 50, 53, 72.
Little Big Horn, battle, 146.
Little Cherry, 25.
Little Crow, 105, 106.
Loisel Post, 26, 36.
Louisiana Purchase, 28,
McKay, William, 140.
Massacre by Rees, 80.
Massacre, Fetterman, 138.
Masters, Henry, 109, 200.
Medicine Rock, 87.
Mellette, Arthur C, 169, 206, 207
Messiah war, 173.
Miner, Capt. Nelson, 125.
Moody, Gideon C, 169, 211.
Newspapers established, no, 119.
Nicollet, Joseph N., 90.
O'Fallon, Dr. Benjamin, 81.
Other Day, John, 104.
Pearson, John B., 152.
Pennington, John L., 204, 205
Pettigrew, R. F., 211.
Philippine war, 188.
Pierce, G. A., 204, 207.
Pilcher. Joshua, 81.
Pinney, George M., 120.
Primeau, Charles E.
Pry or, Sergeant, 49.
Railway extensions, 157.
Red Cloud war, 135.
Ree Indians, 17, 45, 49, 61, 8p..
Reno, Major, 146.
Riggs, Dr. S. R., 92, 104
' Sacajawea, 46.
Sauguin, Dr., 37, 52.
Shannon, George, 51, 35.
Sheafe, Mark W., 193.
Sheldon, Charles H., 208, 209.
Shetak captives, 126.
Shober, John H., 120.
Short Bull, 176.
Sitting Bull, 100, 145, 181
Smith, Jedediah S., 83.
Smutty Bear, 109, 113.
Snow blockades, 160.
Somers, James, 120,
Spanish war, 187.
Spirit Lake massacre, 102.
Stackpole, Samuel, 81.
Stover, Col. Lee, 187.
Struck by the Ree, 34, 113, I2i5,
Taylor, William W., 210.
Todd, J. B. S.,119, 202.
Tripp, Bartlett, 169.
Trudeau's Post, 26.
Valle, John, 45.
Van Houten, Clayton C, 191
Vermilion, 117, 165.
Wamdesapa, 92, 102.
Waneta, 68, 69, 87.
War of 1812, 67.
War of the Outbreak, 124.
Ward, Dr. Joseph, 167.
Warne, Dr. R. C, 188.
Warren, Gen. G. K., 94
White Lodge, 126.
Wounded Knee, battle, 185.
Yankton stockade, 125.
Yankton treaty, 113.
Ziebach. Frank M., 125.