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Full text of "Montana, its story and biography; a history of aboriginal and territorial Montana and three decades of statehood, under the editorial supervision of Tom Stout ..."

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Its Story and Biography 










Copyright, 1921 



As the lives of the States go, Montana has had a short record, but, 
like intense personalities, Montana and her people have condensed much 
achievement into a brief span of activities. The "Land of the Shining 
Mountains" and of Magnificent Distances commenced to be sprinkled 
with a few adventuresome gold seekers during the early years of the 
Civil War, albeit her diverse and wonderful territory lying along the 
great range of northern travel between the Mississippi Valley and the 
Pacific Coast had been traversed by such government agents as Lewis 
and Clark and by faithful enthusiasts of the Catholic Church. The Jesuit 
fathers and the pioneer trappers and fur traders had even planted the 
seeds of industry in the valleys of the Missouri and Yellowstone before 
the California of a previous generation was reproduced with all its excite- 
ment and riot within the confines of what is now the State of Montana. 

The old fur traders and guides of the older days led the seeker of gold 
to Bannack and Virginia cities, to Helena and the Hell Gate regions of 
western Montana. Mining camps and towns, with their crude business 
houses sprung into life, with small cattle ranches and farms; but the 
basis of the first period of progress was. laid in the gold mines. Agricul- 
ture and the raising of live stock were side issues. 

Then came the time of the great ranges for cattle, horses and sheep, 
with the mining of gold, silver and copper as still the powerful agents 
of advancement. At first such interests were removed from adequate 
transportation, and the protecting forces of civil law and order were only 
weakly organized. Uncle Sam attempted to tide over this critical period 
with his military arm. then still weakened by the stress of the Civil war. 
He did what he could, but until the railroads "got into their stride" the 
potential riches of Montana were yet conjectural. To be fair to the great 
commonwealth, the truth is that it is only within forty years that she 
has been given a fair chance with her sisters of the West. At that. 
Nature, in the forms of drought and "bad lands," has been most unkind, 
so that, although ^e territory of Montana is w'thin a few thousand square 
miles of that of California, the home areas which are naturally productive 
are comparatively restricted. But the State and the Nation are working 
together so strongly and persistently that both arid and swamp lands are 
everywhere being reclaimed. The virile spirit of Montana, coupled with 
the engineering and scientific solutions of irrigation, draining and farming 
which are being continuously put into practice, are bound to give the 
state a high and permanent standing. The schools, the newspapers, tl 



commercial organizations, the libraries and the churches are all co-operat- 
ing in the work of both advancing and uplifting those interests which, 
as a whole, make the state what it is. 

The History of Montana which is here presented has endeavored to 
etch this record of struggles and real achievements in such a way that its 
strong lines shall be preserved, and the story not be weighted and ob- 
scured with details. With this end in view, countless authorities, private 
and public, officials of the State and National governments, actors in 
the events treated, historians and scientists, have all been consulted and, 
ofttimes, their very words have been reproduced. In fact, such treat- 
ment of the context has been in line with the well considered policy of 
the editor and his associates. The story of Montana has been told, as 
nearly as possible, through the contributions of those best qualified to 
speak and write. In this connection, the supervising editor cannot but 
express his profound regret that two of his most valuable associates 
should have been cut off by death from rendering to him the full extent 
of their suggestions, advice and co-operation. The venerable, able and 
historic characters, General Charles S. Warren, late of Butte, and ex- 
United States Senator Paris Gibson, the founder of Great Falls, fought 
a good fight for Montana, although they could not live to see this record 
in print which now goes forth with the usual feeling of misgivings as 
to the perfection of anything human. These misgivings are natural, 
despite the fact that no effort has been neglected to make the history 
correct and complete in the essent : aK To the many who have co-operated 
in this task, hearty thanks are offered; and they are so numerous that 
the mention of names would be superfluous and, it might be (by uninten- 
tional omissions) unfair. 







PATHFINDERS OF THE MINING CAMPS ........................ '., 103 

THE FUR TRADE ERA .................... ...... . . . ; ......... . I 

STEPS LEADING TO SETTLED CONDITIONS ........................ 142 

EXPEDITIONS OF A DECADE .............. . . ............. . ..... 163 


FIRST GOLD DISCOVERIES AND WORKINGS ....................... 184 



















MODERN MEANS OF COMMUNICATION .................... ere 

CONSERVATION OF LANDS ..................................... 577 

MILITARY HISTORY OF MONTANA .............................. 642 






















Abbott, A. H., I, 7-2. 

Abbott, P. M., II, 362. 

Abel, William M., II, 179. 

Aber, William M., I, 544. 

Abrahamson, John C, II, 228. 

Absaraka (Home of the Crows), I, 340. 

Ab-sa-ra-ka (Mrs. Carrington), I, 341, 

Absarokee, I, 840. 

Absarokee National Forest, I, 623, 778, 

Acher, John W., Ill, 965. 

Acquisition claim, I, 373. 

Adami, Arthur E., II, 560. 

Adams, Burton S., Ill, 727. 

Adams, Charles W., Ill, 1288. 

Adams, E. M., II, 231. 

Adams, John O., I, 654. 

Adams, Sallie M., Ill, 1062. 

Adams, Stephen J., Ill, 1201. 

Adams, Thomas, I, 188. 

Adams, Walter K., Ill, 1157. 

Adams, William P., II, 36. 

Adden, Herbert J., Ill, 1018. 

"Affairs at Fort Benton" (Bradley), I, 
124, 183, 215. 

Afflerbaugh, I. R., Ill, 872. 

Agawam, I, 843. 

Agricultural College Hall, Bozeman 
(illustration), I, 545. 

Agricultural Experiment Station at 
Bozeman established, I, 478. 

Agricultural Experiment Station 
(Northern), I, 476. 

Agricultural Experiment Stations, I, 
529; (branch), 529. 

Agricultural Extension service, I, 520, 

Agriculture: Indians wonder at sprout- 
ing grain (1840), I, 149. 

Aiken, Will, I, 869. 

Aitken, Walter, II, 407. 

Akins, Jefferson H., II, 142. 

Alder Creek, I, 231. 

Alder Gulch, I, 192; discovery of, 200; 
Edgar's account of discovery, 201-5; 
named, 203 ; Peter Ronan's account of 
discovery, 205; 210; total output of, 
216; 219, 220, 222; commemorate 
monument at, 320; 329, 771. 

Alderson, J. J., I, 851. 

Alderson, William W., II, 359. 

Alexander, James G., IT. 589. 

Alexander, J. Newton, II, 509. 

Alexander (Kalispeh'ms chief), I, 157. 

Alexander, Mary, III, 1247. 

Alexander, Thomas, III, 1246. 

Alfalfa, Second Crop of in Valley 
County (illustration), I, 401. 

Alfield, Ed., I, 223. 

Alger, I, 824. 

Algerian (Shriner) Temple, Helena, I, 

Alice Mine, I, 373, 834. 

Allen, Charles D., II, 300. 

Allen, Clark W., II, 45. 

Allen, C., I, 252. 

Allen, Elbert K, II, 31. 

Allen, J. F., I, 237. 

Allen, Paul, I, 20. 

Allen, Robert T., Sr., II, 306. 

Allen, William R., Ill, 1158. 

Allen, W. R., I, 471. 

Allen & Millard, I, 285. 

Alley, Roy S., Ill, 1205. 

Allin, Charles W., II, 391. 

Allin, William G., II, 605. 

Allison, P., I, 213. 

Allison, William, I, 222, 223. 

Allison, William, Jr., I, 833. 

Alma, I, 768. 

Alta Mine, I, 765. 

Alton, Robert D., II, 423. 

Amalgamated Copper Company, I, 377. 

American Fork, I, 190; (Hangtown), 

American Fur Company, I, 113, 121, 123, 
126, 127, 129, 131, 140, 164. 

"American Fur Trade of the Far West" 
(Chittenden), I, 69. 

American Horse (Indian Chief), I, 358. 

American Horse (Sioux Chief), I, 345. 

American Smelting and Refining Com- 
pany, Helena, I, 381, 763. 

Ames, James J., Ill, 858. 

Amundson, Edon A., Ill, 1077. 

Anaconda: state capital contestant, I, 

441, 712. 

Anaconda Copper Mining Company, I, 
377. 379. 381. 713; saw mill at Bonner, 
781 ; 790, 836. 

Anaconda and Butte Copper and Zinc 
Mines, I, 383. 

Anaconda Hill, I, 836. 

Anaconda Hill and vicinity, Butte (il- 
lustration, I, 830. 

Anaconda lead mines, I, 384. 

Anaconda-Neversweat Mine, I, 375. 

Anaconda Reduction Works, I, 713; (il- 
lustration), 712. 

Anarchism denounced (1019), I, 483. 

Anderson, Andrew T., II, 591. 

Anderson, Anton I., Ill, 1223. 

Anderson, Elmer J., II, 604. 

Anderson, Emory A., Ill, 736. 

Anderson, Glenn, II, 604. 



Anderson, James W., Ill, 893. 

Anderson, John A., Ill, 708. 

Anderson, John G., Ill, 1084. 

Anderson, Marius, III, 850. 

Anderson, Orville L., I, 653. 

Anderson, Peter, III, 732. 

Anderson, Ray, II, 220. 

Anderson, Reece, I, 186, 192, 221. 

Anderson, Robert B., Ill, 709. 

Anderson, William W., I, 316. 

Andretta, Fred C, III, 834. 

Andrews, C. K., I, 868. 

Andrews, J. W., Jr., I, 426. 

Andrieux, Edgar M., II, 476. 

Andrus, Harry E., II, 375. 

Angell, Earle F., II, 616. 

Angevine, Frank H., I, 335, 338. 

Angevine, Fred R., II, 445. 

Angstman, Jess L., II, 1438. 

Annin, James T., II, 299. 

Annin, Joseph B., II, 298. 

Antelope, I, 826. 

Apgar, H. D., Ill, 795. 

Apgar, Jessie, III, 796. 

Appleton, Fletcher W., II, 32. 

Arbor Day, I, 465, 498. 

Are these young Americans being fairly 

treated? (illustration), I, 520. 
Arena, Peter, III, 954. 
Argenta, I, 237. 
Argo, Neil D., II, 73. 
Arick, R. E., I, 415. 
Arkwrtght, Hartford D., Ill, 1257. 
Arlee, I, 792. 
Armington, I, 609. 
Armitage, Thomas C., II, 230. 
Armstead, I, 783. 
Armstrong, Frarcis K., II. 6. 
Armstrong, George, I, 703. 
Armstrong, John, I, 15. 
Armstrong, Ory J., Ill, 999. 
Armstrong, Thomas G., II, 65. 
Arnet, Nick, III, TCKX. 
Arnette, Frank G., Ill, 921. 
Arnett. F. B.. Ill, 854. 
Arnold, George P. T., Jr., II, 285. 
Arnold, Harry E., II, 33. 
Arnold. Ralnh L., II, 453. 
Arnold, William, I, 237. 
Arnott, George, Jr., II, 771. 
Asbridge, Joseph L., I. 868; II, 522. 
Ashley. Tames M., I, 288; his residence 

in Helena (illustration). 313; becomes 

governor, 314; (portrait), 410; 868. 
Ashley. William. I. 108. in. I2<">. 
Ashley-Henry Discoveries of 1823, I, 


Aslakson, Orrar R . IT 620. 
Aslakson, Thomas E.. Ill, 1308. 
Aspling. Charles E.. II, 336. 
AssaroVa range, I, OT, 
Asselstire. George H.. II, 564. 
Assinihoines. J, T, i-6. 
Asteroid rla ; m, I. 371. 
Astor, Tohn Tacr>b, I, 113. 
AtrM^on, To'-n S., I, 2V. 
Atkinson, Alfred, I, cig, 731. 
AtHnson. Targes T ., TTI, 925. 
AttK. Frederick F.. II, 45. 
Audubon, John J., I, 124. 
Augusta, I, 241, 749. 

Auld, James C, II, 617. 

Aune, George D., II, 87. 

Austin, Claud, II, 474- 

Austin, Harry H., II, 117. 

Austin, James W., Sr., Ill, 877. 

Austin, William Charles, II, 474. 

Australian ballot system introduced, I, 

Autobiographical Notes (1791-1816) by 

McDonald, I, 81. 

Axtell, John S., I, 725; III, 1195. 
Ayers, Leonard P., I, 503. 
Ayers, Roy E., II, 422. 
Ayres, D. E., II, 601. 

Baatz, Nick, II, 575. 

Babcock, Albert L., II, 241. 

Babcock, Lewis C., II, 241. 

Babcock, Paul, III, 801. 

Babington, W. J., II, 446. 

Baboon Gulch, I, 222. 

Bach, Thomas C. (portrait), I, 428; 431. 

Bachelors taxed, I, 489. 

Bad Lands : General Sully describes, I, 
293; (illustrations), 295. 

Badger Creek, I, 112. 

Bagg, Charles S., I, 256, 257, 282, 283, 

Bailey, H. V., I, 869. 

Bailey, James, I, 209, 

Bainville, I, 817. 

Bair, Frank B., II, 367. 

Pair, John G., Ill, 746. 

Baird, David E., II, 512. 

Baird, Frank P., II, 583. 

Baker, I, 714. 

Baker, Arthur G., Ill, 1431. 

Baker, David A .. ITT, 1280. 

Baker, Eugene M., I, 309, 345. 

Baker, E. D., Ill, 1198. 

Baker, George A., III. 1319. 

Baker, Paul, III, 1373. 

Baker Battle Fields memorial, I, 323. 

"AVer's Battle" of 1872, I, 309. 

Baldwin, Clement J., II, 15. 

Baldy Mountain, I. 771. 

Pall, Allen M., Ill, 1269. 

Ball, Jennie C, III, 838. 

Ball, May, III, 727. 

Pall, Robert J.. Ill, 8~7. 

Ballantine, I, 856. 

Ballard, William E., Ill, 843. 

Pallou, F. H., TT. ico. 

Bally, W. H., Ill, 086. 

Bancroft, Hubert Howe. I, 159. 

Bannack City: early diggings, I, loo; 
191, 220, 230, 250, 333, 783; of today, 

Bannack Legislature. I. 2^-288. 

Bannack Mining and Milling Company, 
I, 672. 

Pannack Statutes, I, 415. 

Bannack Street of Today (illustration), 
I, 191. 

Banks, L. B.. II. 203. 

Banks and Banking: Helena Brand of 
F^der? 1 Re^rve R^nk onened, I, 
489; Miles City Banks, 707: Lewis- 
town Banks. 720; statues of Montana's 
state, private anH rational banks 
(1920), 870; state banking laws, 871. 



Barclay, J. Arthur, III, 1400. 

Barclay, R. Proctor, II, 390. 

Barker, Bud, I, 213. 

Barker, Samuel, II, 516. 

Barnard, William E., Ill, mo. 

Barnes, Antrim E., II, 98. 

Barnes, Oscar O., Ill, 962. 

Barrell, Joseph, I, 14. 

Barrett, Alexander H., I, 493. 

Barrett, William, I, 328. 

Bartles, Frederick R., II, 452 

Bartley, Paris B., Ill, 682. 

Bartz, George, II, 311. 

Basin mining district, $6,635,000, I, 766. 

Bateman, Howard W., Ill, 747. 

Batens, Francis X., Ill, 1226. 

Battey, R. C., II, 258. 

Battle of Kildeer Mountain (Sioux 
Campaign), I, 292, 293. 

Battle of the Big Hole, I, 643. 

Baume, Tom, I, 255. 

Baxter, Ernest C., JI, 592. 

Beall, William J., II, 76. 

Beall, Mrs. W. J., II, 77. 

Bean, Leo, II, 1302. 

Bear Gulch, I, 213. 

Bearmouth, I, 790. 

Bear 1 aw Mountains, I, 9-1, 94, 229. 
Bear Tooth Mountain in the Coal Region 
(illustration), I, 101. 

Beartooth National Forest, I, 624. 
Beatty, James H., I, 378. 
Beauharnois, Charles de, I, 5. 
Beauty Spots for tourists, I, 634. 
Beaver Hill, I, 848. 

Beaverhead county: placer mines in 
1862-68, I, 213 ; early silver mining in, 
238 ; created, 281 ; number and value 
of cattle (1884), 395; irrigation, 595; 
natural features and industries of, 

Beaverhead National Forest, I, 624. 
Beaverhead River, I, 230. 
Beaverhead Rock, I, 50; (illustration), 


Beckers, Hubert, III, 858. 
Beckwith, James, I, 344. 
Bedford, David J., Ill, 911. 
Beebe, I, 703. 
Beechey, Hill, I, 253. 
Been, I, 848. 
Bees, I, 403. 
Behrendt, Paul, II, 130. 
Beidler. J. X., I, 2*3, 259, 273. 
Beier, F. W., Jr., I, 869. 
Beiseker, Chester J., Ill, 1065. 
Belanski, Fdgar E., Ill, 1133. 
Belgrade, I, 729. 
Belgum, Henry S., Ill, 803. 
Belknap, I, 824. 
Bell, Frances, I, 282. 
Bell, Frederick A., II, 130. 
Bell, George H., Ill, 1127. 
Bell, Henry A., I, 192, 196. 
Bell, John K., Ill, 971. 
Belleflenr, Irene V., II, 631. 
Bellefleur, W. M., II, 631. 
Belt, I, 699. 
Belt range, I, 91. 
Belzer, William, I, 655. 

Bench and Bar: Miners Courts estab- 
lished, I, 218; Sidney Edgerton at 
Miners Court, 279; sketch of Chief 
Justice H. L. Hosmer, 288; opening 
of first District Court, 289; Idaho 
code of practice adopted, 290; com- 
pletion of first term of court, 291 ; 
Judiciary opposes Assembly as to con- 
stitutional capital, 298; Territorial 
practice act, 315, 414-438; bar at close 
of territorial period, 431 ; Justices of 
First Supreme Court retire, 416; be- 
ginning of systematic judicature, 418; 
crude legal and judicial surroundings, 
420; placer mining and water rights, 
421 ; Henry N. Blake ascends Supreme 
Bench, 423; quartz mining litigation, 
424; quartz lode litigation supreme, 
427 ; railroad cases, 429 ; Montana Bar 
Association formed, 433; under state- 
hood, 434-438; U. S. District Judges, 
437; State District Judiciary, 438; 
Heinze overwhelms the courts, 459; 
Fair Trial Law passed, 460; legisla- 
tive elevation of bar, 477; justices of 
the State Supreme Court increased 
from three to five, 485 ; pending codi- 
fication of laws, 489. 

Bender, Frank, II, 42. 

Benetsee Creek, I, 184. 

Bennet, Howard G., Ill, 688. 

Bennett, George C., Ill, 1439. 

Bennett, Jack, III, 809. 

Bennett, Sidney, II, 626. 

Bennett, Walter E., II, 169. 

Benoit, John A., Ill, 1144. 

Benson, Theodore J., II, 237. 

Benton, C. H., I, 438. 

Penton, Thomas A., I, 128. 

Benton City, I, 215. 

Benton group (geological), I, 95. 

Berkin, John, II, 380. 

Berkin, Tborras A., II, II. 

Berkin, William, I, 286; II, to. 

Bernard Pratte & Company, I, ill. 

Berry, Albert C., Ill, 914. 

Berthelote, Joseph T., Ill, 1132. 

Bertrand, Joseph, II, 286. 

Bessette, Hypolite, III, 764. 

Best, Herbert F., II, 344. 

Best, Judson P., II, 345. 

Pest, Oly M.. II, 360. 

Be% John, III. 1008. 

Bibee, S. C, III, 867. 

Bickford, Walter M., II, 12. 

Bickle, J. Hiram, III, 1370. 

B''ddle. Joseph W., I, 363. 

Bielenherg, Howard Z., II, 182. 

Big Bellies (Gros Venires), 1,74. 

Big Pelt Mountains, I, 9.1. 

Big Blackfoot country, I, 754. 

Big Blackfoot River I, 227. 

Big Dry Creek, 1, 32. 

Big Dry River, I, 91. 

Big Fork, I, 724. 

Pig Hole River, I, 230. 

Big Horn, I, 845. 

Big Horn Canyon, I, 672. 

Big Horn country, Government evacu- 
ates, I, 345. 



Big Horn County, created, I, 281 ; 406, 
474 ; irrigation, 595 ; description of, 
672, 673, 674. 

Big Horn Mountains, I, 91. 

Big Horn River, I, 63, 81. 

Big Horn town located, I, 195. 

Big Knife River, I, 29. 

Big Prickly Pear Creek, I, 190. 

Big Sandy, I, 702. 

Big Snowy Mountain, I, 91. 

Big Timber, I, 841. 

Big Timber irrigation project, I, 583. 

Bigelow, Edward, II, 58. 

Bigelow, Wilbur F., II, 200. 

Billings, Frederick, I, 851. 

Billings, incorporated, I, 409; irrigation 
project, I, 581, 582; history of city, 851 ; 
business houses, industries and banks, 
854 ; general evidences of its prosper- 
ity, 859- 

Billings airport, I, 853. 

Billings Chamber of Commerce, I, 857, 

Billings-Cody Way. I, 851. 

Billings Coliseum, I, 853. 

Billings Commercial Club: home of 
(illustration), I, 855; sketch of, 856. 

Billings Polytechnic Institute, I, 552. 

Billings Street Railway Company, I, 851. 

Billings twenty-five years ago (illustra~ 
tion), I; 852. 

Billings and Central Montana Railroad, 
I, 568. 

Billmeyer, Daniel H., II, 71. 

Biography of James Stuart (Granville 
Stuart), I, 221. 

Biological Station, Flathead Lake, I, 
529, 535, 53.6. 

Bird Tail divide, I, 91. 

Birkland, Andrew C., Ill, 1404. 

Birum, Albert A., Ill, 1069. 

Bishop, John F., I, 316. 

Bissel, G. G., I, 217, 218. 

Bitter Root Mountain, I, 227. 

Bitter Root National Forest, I, 624, 811. 

Bitter Root River, I, 90. 

Bitter Root Valley (illustration), I, 
935 (illustration), 143; 144, 223, 225, 
227, 791; historic associations of, 811. 

Biven's Gulch, I, 231. 

Bjorneby, E. G., III. 86r. 

Bjorneby, George, III, 861. 

Black, Robert R., Ill, 951. 

Black Bear (Indian chief), I, 173, 174, 

Black Chief, I, 371. 

Black Href lode, I, 222. 

Black Eagle Power Plant, Great Falls, 
I, 680. 

Black Hills (Cote Noire), I, 34. 

Black Mountain Trail, I, 752. 

Black Rock Zinc Mine, I, 382. 

Black Tailed Deer Creek, I, 230, 231. 

Blackfeet Indians (Piegans), I, 104; 
fur traders attempt to win over, in; 
again reconciled by Culbertson, 126; 
trouble with the, I, 140; attempts to 
convert the, I, 150; still warlike, I, 
154; attack Hamilton-McKay party, 
I, 172, 173, 174, 175, 176; reclamation 
project, I, 587, 589, 

Blackfeet country abandoned by fur 

traders, I, 105. 

Blackfeet Indian Reservation, I, 737. 
Blackfeet National Forest, I, 624, 769. 
Blackfeet Sun Dance (illustrations of), 

I, 736. 

Blackfoot Valley, I, 790. 
Blackwell, George R., Ill, 958. 

Blaere, Joseph, II, 269. 

Blaine County; created, I, 474; irriga- 
tion in, 596 ; description of, 674. 

Blaine County Fair, I, 675. 
Blair, Harry B., II, 196. 

Blair, James F., II, 341. 

Blair, John W., I, 316; III, 1296. 

Blake, A. S., I, 189, 192. 

Blake, Henry N., I, 216, 415, 422; sketch 
of,. 423; 434; defeated for chief jus- 
tice, 449J 459- 

Blake, S. R., I, 219. 

Blakeslee, Glenn B., II, 172. 

Blakeslee, Harry D., II, 172. 

Blanchet, F. N., I, 147. 

Blankenhorn, Charles E., II, 141. 

Blodgttt, Francis E., Ill, 895. 

Blodgett, Louis D., II, 351. 

Blomquist, Walter C, III, 826. 

Blood, Indians, I, 140. 

Bloom, Edward B., II, 189. 

Blose, J. T., Ill, 1034. 

Blue Joint Hay (illustration), I, 846. 

Board of Administration for Farmers' 
Institutes, I, 530. 

Board of Education, Billings, II, 236. 

Board of Examination for Nurses, I, 

Board of Horticulture, I. 883. 

Board of Railroad Commissioners, estab- 
lished, I, 464. 

Boarton, L. W., I, 289. 

Boatman, Robert T., II, 287. 

Bodden, Jacob C., II, 199. 

Boden, Henning R., II, 20. 

Boden, James, III, 1243. 

Bodley, Ralph E., II, 26. 

Boggs, George S., Ill, 1183. 

Bogue, John C., Ill, 1249. 

Bohart, William O., II, 420. 

Bohm, Angevine & Merry, I, 338. 

Bole, James P., II, 379. 

Bole, William S., II, 313. 

Bellinger, John, II, 171, 

Bond, John C, I, 643. 

Bond, N. J., I, 282. 

Bon in, I, 777. 

Bonita, I, 790. 

Ponner, I, 790. 

Bonner, E. L., I, 500, 532. 

Bonneville, B. L. E. : his explorations, 
I, 113-119; and the geysers, 116; last 
years of, 119. 

Boorman, Benjamin J., Ill, 744. 

Booth, Edwin S., Ill, 1428. 

Booth, John C, III, 1448. 

Booth, John H.. III. 1448. 

Borough, John F., II, 534. 

Borreson, Henry E., Ill, 1052. 

Boschert, Frnest A., II, 76. 

Posshard, Elmer, II, 341. 

Boston & Colorado Smelting Company, 
I, 375- 



Boston & Montana Consolidated Com- 
pany, I, 377, 378. 

Boston & Montana mine, I, 375. 

Bostwick, Ephriam, I, 192, 197. 

Botkin, Alexander C., I, 405, 433. 

Boulder, I, 745. 

Bourquin, George M., I, 437, 438, 868. 

Bouyer, Mitch, I, 349, 350. 

Bowden, Malcolm, III, 1176. 

Bowden, Marguerita, I, 760. 

Bowdoin, I, 803. 

Bower, G. C., II, 610. 

Bower Brothers Ranch, II, 610. 

Bowman, Alfred H., Ill, 1326. 

Bowman, Carl, III, 1275. 

Bowman, Charles H., I, 549. 

Bowman, Dan H., Ill, 1344. 

Bowman, Thomas E., Ill, 1148. 

Boyer, Mary L., Ill, 1300. 

Boyes, Henry O., Ill, 1264. 

Boyle, Neil, III, 1265. 

Boynton, C. H., I, 761. 

Box Elder, I, 744. 

Bozeman, J. M., I, 120, 189, 195, 221, 
306; statue of (illustration), 307; 
grave at Bozeman, 323, 555 ; sketch of, 
730, 799, 840. 

Bozeman : first house built in, I, 307 ; 
state capitol contestant, 441 ; 529, 
729, 732. 

Bozeman Roundup, I, 732. 

Brackenridge, Henry W., I, 69, 73. 

Brackett, Ivory, III, 1394. 

Brackett, Oscar, III, 1007. 

Brackett, William S., I, 114, 118, 119, 


Bradbrook, L. G., II, 40. 
Bradbury, John I, 69, 71, 73. 
Bradford, Robert B., II, 233. 
Bradford, W. M., II, 233. 
Bradley, Abram. L., II, 492. 
Bradley, James H. (portrait), I, 214; 
304, 343, 349 ; his account of the Custer 
disaster, 350; death of, 360. 
Bradley, Mrs. James H., I, 216. 
Bradley's, J. H. Journal, I, 104, 121, 
124, 128, 151, 159, 163, 164, 310, 348, 

Bradshaw, William J., Ill, 1390. 
Brady, I, 804. 
Bramble, John K., Ill, 958. 
Brandon, I, 231. 
Brandon, Roswell L., Ill, m8. 
Brantly, Theodore, sketch of, I, 436; 


Brassey, Edward, II, 205. 
Brattin, Carl L., Ill, 1120. 
Bratton,' William, I, 28. 
Brazier, Charles R., Ill, 1059. 
Breeders' Association, I, 403. 
Preen, Maurice J., II, 247. 
Breitenstein, Arthur J., Ill, 829. 
Brenizer, I. 848. 
Brennan, William H., II, 352. 
Prrrnen, W. J., Ill, 822. 
Brewster, George W., Ill, 1376. 
Bridge, John W., Ill, 1172. 
Brirlfpr. Tames, I, 108, 113, 114; famous 
explorer and guide, also portrait 115; 
120, 306, 340, 343, 344, 798, 840. 
Bridger range, I, 91. 

Bndger's Canyon, Valley of the Galla- 

tm (illustration), I, 232. 
Briggs, Ansell, I, 282. 
Brigiit, Haden H., Ill, 1281. 

Brimacombe, John, II, 492 
Brink, H. F., II, 320. 
Briscoe, Jack, II, 198. 
Broadbrooks, Clarence E., Ill, 941 
Broaddus, John, III, 1088. 

Broaddus, Oscar, III, 1087. 

Broaddus, William M., Ill, 1401. 

Broadview, I, 856. 

Broadview school, Terry District (illus- 
tration), I, 859. 

Broadwater, Arthur J., Ill, 818. 

Broadwater, Edward T., Ill, 690. 

Broadwater county; as a copper pro- 
ducer, I, 384; irrigation in, 597; de- 
scription of, 675. 

Broadwater County High School, II, 

Broadwater Hotel, I, 751. 

Brockton, I, 817. 

Brock way, I, 776. 

Brockway, Bert G., II, 230. 

Brockway, Clarence J., Ill, 967. 

Brooke, Ben C., II, 618. 

Brooks, Clark A., Ill, 898. 

Brooks, Joseph, III, 1120. 

Brophy, John A., II, 424. 

Brophy, John W., II, 427. 

Brophy, Patrick J., II, 424. 

Brown, Arthur H., II, 563. 

Brown, Bella, I, 698. 

Brown, C. V., II, 276. 

Brown, Frank D., I, 316, 320, 325. 

Brown, Fred M., II, 407. 

Brown, George, I, 256, 286. 

Brown, G. W., Missouri, I, 247; hanging 
of, 260. 

Brown, Herbert W., III. 718, 

Brown, James H., I, 419; II, 483. 

Brown, Joseph T., I, 643; III, 1193. 

Brown, Leonard A., Ill, 889. 

Brown, Mary G., II, 1194. 

Brown, Perry F., II, 152. 

Brown, William A., Ill, 1205. 

Browne, David G., Ill, 954. 

Brownfield, William, II, 503. 

Browning, I, 739. 

Bruce, James L., II, 511. 

Bruce, John P., I, 415. 

Bryan, Charles L., II, 75. 

Bnchholz, August D. F., Ill, 675. 

Buck, Cyrus W., II, 608. 

Buck, F. W., Ill, 853. 

Buck, Horace R., I, 434; death of 435, 

Buck, Isaac N., I. 282. 

Buck, John F., Ill, 1210. 

Puck. Marion E., II, 105. 

Bucksen, F. W., II, 636. 

Puerpi, George J., Ill, 1340. 

Buffalo, wholesale slaughter of, I, 36; 
a surround, 138; 717. 

BnTalo of the Plains (illustration), I, 

Buffalo robes replacing beaver skins, I, 

Buffalo Trail Highway. I, 740. 

Bull, Carlton B., II, 631. 



Bull mountain coal field, I, 240, 796. 

Bullard, Oilman, I, 868. 

Bullard, J. Oilman, II, 619. 

Bullard, Massena, I, 419. 

Bullfinch, Charles, I, 14. 

Bullwhacker Mining Co., I, 836. 

Bunker, Eugene F., II, 557. 

Bunker, Park J., Ill, 1317. 

Bunney, William H., II, 376. 

Buntin, John A., Ill, 1253. 

Bunton, William, I, 249. 

Burdick, Henry, I, 415. 

Burdick, N. H., I, 760. 

Bureau of Agriculture, Labor and In- 
dustry: to advertise Montana, I, 468; 
abolished, 476. 

Burger, Norris F., II, 73. 

Burke, Daniel J., II, 147. 

Burke, Edward F., Ill, 692. 

Burke, John J., II, 144. 

Burke, Patrick E., Ill, 1075. 

Burks, Fred C., Ill, 1437. 

Burlington route, I, 568. 

Burns, Harry, I, 289. 

Burns, James P., Ill, 834. 

Burns, Lowell C., Ill, 1299. 

Burpee, L. J., I, 78. 

Burn's, N. W., I, 335, 337- 

Burton, W. C, I, 285. 

Busch, Ernest C., II, 88. 

Busche, William C., II, 272. 

Busha, Charles T., II, 51. 

Bussert, Edgar C., Til, 1239, 

Butler, J-ames W., Ill, 1126. 

Butler, John F., Ill, 920. 

Butler, Lewis S., II, 99. 

Butler, Vernon, III, 884. 

Butschy & Clark, I, 254. 

Butte: founding of (Warren), I, 222; 
fails as a gold district, 371 ; state cap- 
ital contestant, 441 ; a world famed 
mining center, 828; first? smelter and 
auartz worked, 829; as a city, 830; 
king of copper, 834 ; copper production 
in district, 835 ; mineral production of 
district (1865-1915), 8?6; its intervals 
of mining inactivity, 837. 

Butte-Alex Scott Mining Co.. I. 836. 

Butte, Anaconda & Pacific Railroad, I, 
376, 568. 

Butte and surroundings (illustration), I, 

Butte-Bullaklava Mining Co., I, 836. 

Butte Daily Post, II, 471. 

Butte-Dnluth Mining Co., I, 876. 

Butte-Milwaukee Copper Company, I, 

Butte Mines Company, II, 1380. 

Butte-New York Copper Company, I, 

Butte pumping plant, I, 832. 

Prtte town site patent, I, 427. 

Butte Window Glass Works, II, 492. 

Butte & Great Falls Mining Co., I, 836. 

Butte & London Mining Co., I, 836. 

Butte & Superior Copper Company, I, 
382, ?8*. 

Butte & Snnerior Mining Co., I, 836. 

Buzzetti, Charles J., II, 54. 

Buzzetti and Emmett, II, 54. 

Byam, Don D., I, 259. 
Byam, Don L., I, 319, 320. 
Bynum, I, 843. 
Byrne, Frank P., II, 362. 
Byrne, Fred M., II, 355. 

Cabinet National Forest, I, 624, 769. 

Cable, John S., II, 314. 

Cain, Elmer L., Ill, 868. 

Calabar, I, 703. 

Calder, W. L. A., II, 17. 

Calderhead, J. H., I, 463. 

Calhoun, Henry J., II, 242. 

Calhoun, William B., II, 318. 

California Gulch, I, 231. 

Callaway, James F., I, 404. 

Callaway, Lew L, I, 459. 

Calloway, James E., I, 419. 

Calvert, George B., Ill, 672. 

Cameahwait (Sacajawea's brother), I, 


Camp Baker, I, 311. 
Camp Cooke, I, 311. 
Camp Robert B. Smith, I, 645. 
Campbell, A. J., I, 453. 
Campbell, Charles W., II, 268. 
Campbell, Frank B., II, 566. 
Campbell, Guy E., Ill, 814. 
Campbell, Hugh B., II, 449. 
Campbell, John L., II, 439. 
Campbell, John S., Ill, 1155. 
Campbell, Mabel L., II, 345. 
Campbell, Ray L., Ill, 1056. 
Campbell, Robert, I, 108, 120, 138. 
Campbell, Samuel K., II, 653. 
Campbell, Thomas F., I, 494. 
Campbell, Will A., Ill, 1177. 
Canton, I, 676. 
Canyon Ferry, I, 749. 
Capitol; corner-stone laid, I, 454; (illus- 
tration), 455; wings commenced, 468; 

grand stairway of (illustration), 473; 

as completed, 477 (illustration), 458. 
Canlice, John, I, 316. 
Carbon county: as a coal producer, I, 

3%: created, 452; irrigation in, 597; 

description of, 676; coal mines and 

first oil well, 677. 
Cardell, Robert C., II, 249. 
Carey, Frank, III. 842. 
Carey, John J., Ill, 759. 
Carey, Matt F., Ill, 1183. 
Carey Land Act: biennial report of 

(1919-1920), I, 581; 590. 
Carey Land Act Board : replaces State 
Arid Land Grant Commission, I, 460; 


Carleton, E. A., I, 500. 
Carlson, Alfred C., II. 259. 
Carlson, Kaare O., Ill, 1018. 
Carlson, O. A., I, 869. 
Carlton, I, 702. 
Carlyle, I, 818. 

Carmony, Fred A., Ill, 1088. 
Carney, John, II, 374. 
Carpenter, A. M. S., I, 403, 494. 
Carpenter, B. Platt, sketch of, I, 409; 

a 12, 4?4, 868. 

Carnenter, Harry C., II. 303. 
fa merger. Mvron S., II, 357. 
Carr, R. E., II, 257. 



Carrington, Henry B., I,! 340, 342; ex- 
pedition turned back by Fetterman 
Massacre, I, 343; 345, 363. 

Carroll, I, 306. 

Carroll, John P., II, 458. 

Carroll, John V., II, 578. 

Carroll, J. T., I, 869. 

Carroll, William E., II, 511. 

Carroll, Matthew, I, 215. 

Carroll & Steele, I, 215. 

Carruth, Edwin C., Ill, 705. 

Carruthers, Emmet E., I, 653. 

Carter, I, 702. 

Carter, Alexander, I, 249. 

Carter, Elizabeth, III, 785. 

Carter, Thomas H., I, 433, 445; sketch 
of, 447, 448; elected U. S. Senator, 
451, 457- 

Carter County : created, I, 482 ; irriga- 
tion in, 599; description of, 679, 680. 

Cartwright, Annie, III, 1203. 

Cartwright, Evert, III, 1203. 

Carver, Jonathan, proposes transconti- 
nental waterway, I, 12. 

Cascade, I, 699. 

Cascade County : created, I, 41 1 ; irriga- 
tion in, 598 ; natural features, 681 ; 
livestock and dairy interests, 682 ; min- 
ing of coal and silver, 683; Great 
Falls, 684-699; origin of name, 686; 
schools of, 687, 699. 

Cascade County school children (illus- 
tration), I, 507. 

Cashmore, Alfred I, II, 555. 

Caspers, H. J., Ill, 844. 

Cassill, Scott K., Ill, 1222. 

Castle Geyser, Yellowstone Park (illus- 
tration), I, 117. 

Castles, William, II, 83. 

Castner, John K., Ill, 724. 

Castner, Mattie, III, 725. 

Casto, William H., Jr., II, 178. 

Cat Creek anticline, I, 3874 

Cat Creek field, i, 877. 

Cat Creek oil field, I, 716. 

Catholic Missions and Missionaries, I, 

Catlin, Edwin B., II, 415. 

Catlin, George, I, 113, 144. 

Catlin, John B., II, 467. 

Cattle drives (i868-'83), I, 393, 394; 
wealth by counties (1884), 394, 395; 
Miles City center of range, 395 ; great 
sales of, 396; progress of industry, 
1885-1919, 3r6. 

Cavanaugh, Miles J., II, 511. 

Cave, Alfred. II, 555. 

Cave, Will, II, 555- 

Caven, J. B., 1.^218. 

Caven, Kate Virginia, I, 220. 

Cayuse Hills, I, 91. 

Centerville, I, 827, 834. 

Central, I, 2"2. 

Chaboillez, Charles J. B., I, 74. 

Chadwick, Walter F., I, 415, 433. 

Chalmers, Horace, I, 252. 

Chalrrers, Robert, I, 252. 

Chamberlain, Arthur E., Ill, 762. 

Chamberlain. D. D., I, 2m. 

Chambers, George T., Ill, 979. 

Champlin, James L., Ill, 773. 

Chancellor of the University, I, 476. 
528, 530. 

Chapman, Charles F., II, 549. 

Chapman, John W., II, 60. 

Chapman, Robert H., I, 91. 

Charbonneau, Toussaint, I, 28, 43 55 
57, 61, 64, 65. 

Chardon, F. A., I, 124, 126; death of, 
127; 140. 

Charlesworth, Arthur, III, 1294. 

Charleswprth, George, III, 1150. 

Charleyoix, I, 4. 

Chauvin, Joseph, II, 102. 

Cheadle, Edwin K., II, 197. 

Cheese factories of Montana, I, 873. 

Cheesman, Henry, II, 78. 

Cheney, William H., II, 655. 

Chessman, William A., II, 591. 

Chester, I, 768. 

Chestnut, Benjamin F., Ill, 819. 

Chicago, Burlington & Quincy System: 
joint purchase by Great Northern and 
Northern Pacific, I, 566. 

Chicago, Milwaukee and St. Paul Rail- 
way, I, 566; electrification of, 567; 
630, 689. 

Chief Joseph, pursuit of, I, 359-369; 
and the Cowan Party (portraits), 361 ; 
his last stand, 362, 463. 

Chief Paul (Salish), I, 157. 

Child Welfare division established, I, 

Chinook, I, 588, 674, 675. 

Chinook winds, I, 76. 

Chittenden, H. M., I, 69. 

Choate, Isaac W., I, 489; II, 617. 

Choisser, Joe E., Ill, 1003. 

Chouteau, I, 843. 

Chouteau, Auguste, I, 700. 

Chouteau, Chas. (portrait), I, 214. 

Chouteau, Pierre, I, in, 113, 120, 700. 

Chouteau brothers, I, 103. 

Chouteau County, I, 241 ; created, 281 ; 
number and value of cattle (1884), 
395; irrigation in, 599; physical fea- 
tures of and general industries, 700; 
transportation facilities of, 701. 

Chowen, H. O., I, 698. 

Chowning, Charles W., Ill, Sir. 

Christensen, Andrew, III, 917. 

Christenson, Harris J., Ill, 1101. 

Christiansen, Charles G., Ill, 1163. 

Christinson, Otto M., Ill, 1045. 

Christler, Leonard J., II, 640. 

Chronicle Publishing Company, II, 379. 

Crysler, Walter B., II, 209. 

Chumasero, William, I, 289, 291, 415, 

Church, Irving W., I, 696; III, 694. 

Church, Ray, III, 760. 

Churches of Missoula, I, 786. 

Churchill, William, II, 48. 

Circle, I, 776. 

Clack, Philip D., Ill, 707. 

Clagett, W. H., I, 4*9- 

Claiborne, William C. C., I, 18. 

Clancy, William, I, 377, 459- 

Clapp, Charles H., I, 535; sketch ot, 
534; 549; III, 991. 

Clark, A. B., I, 706. 

Clark, Charles E., Ill, 1351. 



Clark, George R., I, 27. 

Clark, George W., Ill, 1092. : 

Clark, Helen P., I, 497- 

Clark, John B., Ill, 1292. 

Clark, John D., Ill, 1321. 

Clark, John W., II, 70. 

Clark, Leon B., Ill, 1249. 

Clark, Lewis C., II, 186. 

Clark, William, I, 19; sketch of, 26, 40, 
42; narrow escape of, and the Bird 
Woman, 43; discovers the Three 
Forks, 46, 54, 55, 58; honorable public 
career, 67; his nine days' journey, 60, 
61, 69, 73, 103, 120, 798. 

Clark, William A.: on Montana's Val- 
leys, I, 92, 144, 190, 236, 237, 243, 316, 
321; introduces himself, 326; arrives 
at Bannack, July, 1863, 328; trip to 
Salt Lake Citv (November, 1863), 
332; (portrait), 372, 373, 375, 376, 377, 
406, 409, 439, 440, 445, 447, 449, 45* ; 
U. S. Senatorship again, 454, 457, 469, 
648, 754, 833, 834- 

Clark City (Livingston), I, 799. 

Clark and Ulm, I, 395. 

Clark's (Flathead) River, I, 57, S8, 60. 

Clark's Fork coal field, I, 240. 

Clark's fork of the Columbia, I, 90. 

Clarke, Malcolm, I, 123, 126, 128, 282, 


Clarke, Melvin D., Ill, 1159. 
Clarke, Walter E., Ill, 1316. 
Classens, William, I, 1/17. 
Claxton, John K., II. 487. 
Clay, George W., Ill, 968. 
Clayberg, John B., I, 433, 459, 549, 
Clearwater, I, 790. 
Clemens, William J., Ill, 1171. 
Clendennin, George, I, 304, 305, 306. 
Clendennin, Richard, I, ''04. 
Cleveland, George W., Ill, 1301. 
Cleveland, Jack, I, 251. 
Clifford, John E., II. 372. 
Cline, Frank C., II, 87. 
Clinton, I, 790. 
Clyde Park, I, 80 r. 
Coal, I, 101 ; Montana's output since 

1001, 386. 

Coal and lignites, I, 238. 
Coates, John Q., Ill, 877. 
Cobleigh, William M., II, 91. 
Coburn, John, I, 427. 
Cochran, Joseph, I, 851. 
Code Commission, I, 411, 412. 
Code of Laws (1879), I, 408; (1887), 

411; (1895), 435, 451. 
Codification of the Laws (1871-72), I, 


Codified School Laws adopted, I, 474. 
Codified Statutes, 7th Session 1871-2, I, 

a TO. 

Coffey, George M., Jr., Ill, 749. 
Coffey, George M.. Sr., Ill, 749. 
Coffey, John H., Ill, 774. 
Coggswell, W. R., I, 223. 
Cogswell, Sherman T., Ill, 004. 
Cohagen, Chandler C., II, 215. 
Cole, Burton R., II, 184. 
Cole, F. W., I, 412, 434. 

College of Agriculture and Mechanic 
Arts, I, 529, 544, 731. 

College of Liberal Arts and Science 
formed, I, 535. 

College of Montana, I, 496. 

Collett, Samuel W., II, 389. 

Collier, Albert F., Ill, 1207. 

Collier, Joe, III, 1200. 

Collins, I, 843. 

Collins, Carlos P., Ill, 1117. 

Collins, John, I, 28. 

Collins, John A., Ill, 1056. 

Collins, John B., Ill, 1089. 

Collins, Thomas M., II, 612. 

Collins, Timothy E., I, 316. 

Collins, W. L., II, 401. 

Collins and Company, I, 223. 

Colorado and Montana Smelting Com- 
pany, I, 375. 

Colorado smelter: first successful cop- 
per plant, I, 835. 

Colter, John, I, 28, 68; his remarkable 
adventures, 71, 73. 

Colter's "Hell Hole," I, 69. 

Colton, O. C, I, 732. 

Columbia Falls, I, 725. 

Columbia Fur Company, I, in. 

Columbia Gardens, Butte, I, 833. 

Columbia River, Discovery and ex- 
ploration of, I, 14. 

Columbus, I, 840. 

Colwell, Henry, I, 851. 

Comanche, I, 856. 

Combes, William M., Ill, 820. 

Comer, Cloyde E.. II, 282. 

Comet Mine, I, 765. 

Comly, Harry B., I, 406. 

Commission form of government : 
adopted, I, 469; approved, 477. 

Compulsory education in force (1921), 

Comstock, Henry T. P., I, 322. 

Comstock, Jay M., Ill, 1348. 

Confederate Gulch, I, 212, 754. 

Congdon, John H., II, 357. 

Conger, Everton J., I, 426, 427. 

Conkey, J. C., II. 86. 

Conley, Frank, II, 343. 

Conley, J. V., II. 225. 

Conlon, James, III, 1068. 

Connelly, Frank B., II, q. 

Conner, Jennie M., I, 698. 

Conner, Jesse, III. 751. 

Conner, John T., I, 316. 

Connolly, Thomas, II, 318. 

Conrad, I. 804. 

Conrad, C. D., I. 727. 

Conrad, George H., III. io?o. 

Conrey Placer Mining Company, I, 771. 

Constitutional conventions: first (1866) 
and second (1884), I, 408, 409. 

Continental Divide, passage of the, by 
Lewis snd Clark, I. 52. 

Conway, Daniel R., III. 992. 

Conway, George B., Ill, ITOO. 

Conynpham, Fdward F., II, 447. 

Cook, Byron H.. I, 61 S- 

Cook, Charles W., TI, 6*9. 

Cook, George W., II, 197. 

Cook, James, I, 12. 

Cook, Jerry, I, 289, 415. 



Cooke, P. St. George, I, 342. 

Cooke city, I, 798. 

Cooke City Mining district, I, 375. 

Cooke (Jay) and Company: ruined by 

1873 panic, I, 560. 
Cooney, Frank H., II, 166. 
Cooney, Howard C., Ill, 1174. 
Cooney, Tom, III, 1033. 
Cooper, Charles H., I, 436, 869. 
Cooper, John, I, 249. 
Cooper, Ransom, III, 835. 
Cooper, Thomas E., I, 211. 
Cooper, Walter (illustration of winter 
quarters in 1865), I, 212, 316, 547; 
II, 556. 

Copper mining : Rise of, I, 375 ; produc- 
tion in 1899-1919, 379; sampling ores 
for commercial purposes, 380, 381 ; 
production in Butte district (1891-95), 

Coppo, John B., II, 126. 
Corbally, Thomas F., II, 586. 
Corbett, Hal S., I, 451. 
Corbin, Harvey A., II, 317. 
Corley, Roy M., II, 531. 
Cornwell, Edward A., Ill, 1321. 
Cornwell, Harry, III, 1322. 
Cornwell, John W., Ill, 1279. 
Corrington, Glenwood H., Ill, 684. 
Corrupt Practice Act, I, 470. 
Corvallis, I, 225, 792, 812. 
Corwin, John W., II, 251. 
Coryell, Charles E., IH, 810. 
Cosier, Howard M., Ill, 780. 
Cosner, Harry, III, 1219. 
Cotton, Wendell, III, 1314. 
Cottonwood (Deer Lodge), I, 222. 
Couch, Thomas, II, 498. 
Couch, Thomas, Jr., II, 500. 
Coues, Elliott, I, 39. 
Coughlin, Richard J., Ill, 1080. 
Coulson (Billings), I, 851. 
Council Grove, I, 223. 
Counties: (see separate counties), area 
and population of, 1870-1920, I, 861, 
862; changes in boundaries of, 862, 
863, 864; county seats and assessed 
valuation of, 864, 865 ; dates and facts 
as to creation, 866, 867 ; business es- 
tablishments of, 874, 875. 
County boards of education created, I, 


County Legislation : bonded indebted- 
ness regulated, I, 478 ; regulating for- 
mation of new counties, 479. 
County Organization (Leighton) bill 

passed, I, 474. 
County Poor Farm, I, 547. 
County Superintendents, I, 497. 
County Unit law, I, 519. 
Courtright, Milo, I, 282. 
Cousins, Frank A., II, 213. 
Cover, Thomas, I, 199, 206, 208, 219, 307, 


Covington, C. C. t II, 488. 
Cowan, Arthur J., Ill, 940. 
Cowan, Elmer L., I, 6^2. 
Cowan, George W., Ill, 885. 
Cowan, G. F., I, 360. 
Cowan, John, I, 210. 
Cowan, Thomas, I, 211. 

Cowan, Winfield S., Ill, 896. 

Cowles, Roy J., Ill, 1113. 

Cowman, C. P., Ill, 1075 

Cox, Z. T., Ill, 1108. ' 

Coy, Havelock G., II, 388. 

Coy, Reuben E., II, 125. 

Crab, John, I, 210. 

Crabb, George M., II, 463. 

Craig, I, 749. 

Craig, James, II, 27. 

Craig, James W., Ill, 1281. 

Craig, Oscar J I, 532, 534, 787. 

Craig, Robert A., Ill, 1204. 

Craig, William T., Ill, 1413. 

Craighead, Edwin B., I, 532, 535, 789; 

III, 1255. 

Cralle, Edward A., II, 435. 
Cramer, Ben, III, 856. 
Cramer, Clara, III, 856. 
Crase, Frank A., II, 548. 
Craven, Arthur J., I, 215. 
Craven, G. W., I, 549; II, 547. 
Crawford, (Hank), I, 252. 
Crazy Horse (Indian chief killed), I, 


Creameries of Montana: established 
1889-1919 (see towns and cities), I, 

Creel, George R., II, 191. 
Cremans, J. J., Ill, 870. 
Crippen, Henry C., II, 254. 
Cronk, John C., Ill, 1369. 
Crook, George, I, 347; his Southern In- 
dian campaign, 356, 357, 358. 
Croonquist, Harold S., II, 189. 
Crosby, John S., sketch of, I, 408. 
Crosby, J. Schuyler, I, 868. 
Cross, Sherwood S., Ill, 999. 
Crosson, Abe, III, 697. 
Crouch, Charles D., Ill, 724. 
Crouch, Samuel J., II, 273. 
Crouley, James P., II, 506. 
Crow Agency, I, 673. 
Crow Indian Reservation, first, I, 158; 
public schools thrown open in, 526; 
640, 799. 

Crowley, Annie E., II, 67. 
Crowley, Daniel M., II, 67. 
Crowley, Michael H., Ill, 994. 
Crowley, Timothy E., Ill, 1442. 
Crowley, William E., Ill, 995. 
Crows, I, 69; Larocque's account of 
(1805), 78, 83; breaking camp and 
smoking regulations (1805), 85; a na- 
tion of horsemen (1805), 86; and the 
fur trade, 127, 129; home of, 340. 
Crows-Piegan horse race, I, 170. 
Crum, Paul, III, 1081. 
Crum, William R., Ill, 764. 
Crutcher, Lee W., II, 559. 
Crutchfield, Charles M., II, 599- 
Cruzatte, Peter, I, 28. 
Culbertson, I, 817. 

Culbertson, Alexander, I, 121, 123, 124, 
126, 127, 128; sketch and death of, 
I3 1 ! J3 2 , X 39) J 4 r I S I , T 58; as Indian 
treaty-maker, 159; 164, 185, 186; (por- 
trait), 214; 216. 
Cullen, W. E., I, 419, 422, 431, 434, 758, 

Culver, Boyd, III, 849. 



Gumming, Bruce A., II, 103. 
Cummings, H. L., II, 162. 
Cummings, H. L. & Son, II, 162. 
Cunningham, Arthur, III, 1192. 
Cunningham, Harry R., Ill, 948. 
Curley, only survivor of Curley Disaster, 

I, 351- 

Curley (portrait), I, 352. 

Curran, John, III, 893. 

Currie, Robert C, III, 686. 

Currier, H. L., II, 17 ' 

Curry, Thomas, I, 798, 799- 

Curry, William E., II, 479. 

Curry Mining District, I, 799- 

Curtis, Helena E., II, 31 1- 

Cusick, Helena, III, 853. 

Cusick, W. M., Ill, 852. 

Cusker, Hank J., Ill, 817. 

Custer, I, 856. 

Custer, George A., I, 349, 356. 406. 

Custer, J. W., I, 346. 

Custer Battlefield of Today (illustra- 
tion), I, 672. 

Custer Battlefield Highway, I, 850. 

Custer County : Number and value of 
cattle (1884), I, 395; 406; irrigation 
in, 5995 description of, 702; railroad 
facilities of, 703; schools of, 704; an- 
nual fair, 707. 

Custer County Wool Growers Associa- 
tion, I, 397. 

Custer Disaster, first tidings of, I, 350. 

Custer Memorial Monument (illustra- 
tion), I, 355. 

Custer National Forest, I, 624, 805. 

Custer's River, I, 406. 

Cut Bank, I, 738. 

Cut Bank Creek : glacial fragment at, I, 

Cuthbert, D. H., I, 404. 

Dacotah lode, I, 237. 

Dahl, Oscar A., Ill, 1213. 

Dahlgren, Halver, III, 971. 

Dahlgren, John, III, 970. 

Dailey, John, III, 889. 

Daily, John R., II, 468. 

Dairying in Montana, I, 400, 401, 402. 

Dakota group (geological), I, 95. 

Dale, Owen, I, 363. 

Daley, Freeman A., II, 640. 

Dallin, Frank, II, 572. 

Dalton, Patrick, II, 155. 

Daly, Charles, III, 1372. 

Daly, Marcus, comes to Butte, I, 373, 
375 ; develops Anaconda properties, 
376, 377, 449, 45i, 834. 

Daly (Marcus) Estate, I, 791. 

Daly, William B., II, 446. 

Dance, Walter B., I, 283. 

Dance, W. B., I, 189. 

Daniel, George H., II, 399. 

Daniels, Mabel B., Ill, 881. 

Daniels, Mansfield A., Ill, 881. 

Daniels County : irrigation in, I, 600 ; de- 
scription of, 708, 861. 

Danley, Irving U., II, 353. 

Darby, I, 791, 792, 812. 

Darling, Mrs. D. T., Ill, 1157. 

Daugherty, George M., Ill, 1335. 

Daugherty, John S., I, 376. 

Daughters, Freeman, I, 511. 

Daut, John, III, 918. 

d'Autremont, Arthur L., II, 161. 

Davee, H. A., I, 502. 

Davenport, Arthur J., II, 50. 

Davey, Arthur J., Ill, 794. 

Davey, Catherine A., Ill, 794. 

Davey, John, III, 793. 

Davidson, Andrew, III, 980. 

Davidson, A. M., Ill, 1429. 

Davies, Paul J., Ill, 1398. 

Davies, William E., I, 644. 

Davis, Alexander, I, 282, 289. 

Davis, Andrew J., I, 322, 395, 834. 

Davis, Chester C., I, 869. 

Davis, Hauser and Company, I, 395. 

Davis, Irwin F., Ill, 828. 

Davis, John H., Ill, 1167. 

Davis, John R., II, 250. 

Davis, Nathaniel J., I, 218. 

Davis, Selena R., Ill, 828. 

Davis, Sheldon E., I, 552. 

Davis, William A. (Bozeman), II, 405. 

Davis, W. A., Ill, 798. 

Davis, William B., Ill, 1081. 

Davis-Daly Mining Co., I, 836. 

Davison, Claud E., Ill, 1342. 

Davitt (Michael), mine, I, 378. 

Dawe, Lossie, III, 730. 

Dawes, Hugh R., HI, 1414. 

Dawes, Willard C., II, 317. 

Dawson, Andrew, I, 131, 152; (portrait), 
153, 214. 

Dawson, John E., Ill, 830. 

Dawson county : created, I, 281 ; estab- 
lished, 312; number and value of cattle 
(1884), 395; irrigation in, 600; (Glen- 
dive), description of, 709. 

Day, Edward C., I, 464; II, 530. 

Day, Frank, II, 207. 

Day, George H., II, 207. 

Day, G. W., II, 468. 

Day, Jasper W., II, 283. 

Dayton, I, 725. 

Deacon, William, I, 669. 

Dean, R. H., II, 331. 

Dean, Samuel, III, 824. 

Dearborn, Henry, I, 45. 

Dearborn, Mark D., II, 589. 

Dearborn River, I, 45, 229. 

Deborgia, I, 779. 

Decker, Charles F., Ill, 1260. 

Decker, Frederick S., Jr., II, 477. 

Decker, Fred R., Ill, 1062. 

Dedrick, Warren A., II, 244. 

Dee, Martin, I, 459. 

Deegan, James, III, 1123. 

Deer Lodge (town), I, 161, 222, 807; in 
1869 (illustration), 808; division point 
on Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul 
Railroad, 809. 

Deer Lodge County : placer mines in 
1862-68, I, 213 ; early silver mining in, 
237 ; created, 281 ; number and value 
of cattle (1884), 395, 408; irrigation 
in, 600; description of, 711. 
Deer Lodge lode, I, 222, 371. 
Deer Lodge National Forest, I, 624, 741, 



Deer Lodge Valley, I, 161 ; overland trip 
to (1862), 180; placer and quartz 
mines, 228, 807. 

Deer Lodge Valley Mining Company, I, 

de Graffenreid, Charles, III, 1242. 

DeGroot, Arie W., II, 238. 

De Hart, Jacob L., Ill, 1028. 

Deibel, Randolph, III, 1235. 

DeKalb, H. Leonard, II, 90. 

DeLacy, Walter W., I, 200, 215, 283, 

DeLacy's Lake, I, 200. 

Delaney, John, III, 865. 

Delaware Security Company, I, 377. 

De L'Isle, I, 3. 

Demars, Joseph, III, 757. 

De Mers, Elzeor, III, 888. 

De Mers, Robert J., Ill, 866. 

Dempsey, Robert, I, 222. 

Dempsey's Cottonwood Ranch, I, 249. 

Dennis, I, 848. 

Dennison, James A., Ill, 952. 

De Noielle, R. W., Ill, 751. 

Denton, I, 717. 

Department of Agriculture and Pub- 
licity, I, 468, 476. 

Department of Banking created, I, 479. 

Department of Farm Loans created, I, 

Department of Labor and Industry, I, 

Deputee, George, III, 1035. 

Derrick, Walter J., Ill, 843. 

Desy, Irene, III, 1281. 

De Smet, Peter J., I, 151 ; coming of, 
146, 147, 148, 149, 150; (portrait), 214. 

Devine, John H., Ill, 696. 

Detwiler, George, I, 282. 

De Velder, John Baptist, I, 147. 

Devlin, Lawrence K., I, 869; III, 765. 

De Voss, Peter, I, 150. 

Dewey, James, I, 209. 

DeWitt, William H., I, 431, 435. 

DeWolfe, Stephen, I, 430. 

Dexter, Wheeler O., Ill, 673. 

Diamond City, I, 213, 676. 

Dick, George K., Ill, 922. 

Dickerman, A. E., I, 698. 

Dignan, Thomas, III, 1013. 

Dillon, I, 399; incorporated, I, 409, 669. 

Dillon, Sidney, I, 407, 558. 

Dills, Clinton, I, 851. 

Dimmick, Bert W., II, 526. 

Dimon, John, II, 361. 

Dimsdale, Thomas, I, 243, 254, 256, 266. 

Discovery of gold monument, I, 320, 

Dishno, Silas C, III, 1186. 

Dittes, Ben R., I, 757, 760. 

Dixon, I, 792, 824. 

Dixon, Joseph M., I, 459, 461, 471 ; 
sketch of and inaugural address 
(1921), I, 485; 528, 868, 869; II, 2. 

Dixon, William, I, 433. 

Dixon, W. W., I, 419, 430; elected to 
Congress (1890), I, 447; 448, 449, 548. 

Dixon, Mrs, W. W., I, 540. 

Dobell, J. L., Ill, 1387. 

Docter, John C., II, 122. 

Dodge, S. E., II, 427. 

Dodson, I, 588, 893. 

Dodson, Philip G., II, 316. 

Doggett, Jefferson D., II, 652. 

Doherty, John, III, 660. 

Dolan, Aloysius, III, 830. 

Dolin, John H., Ill, 1146. 

Dolin, Joseph F., Ill, 1133. 

Dominy, William, III, 1357. 

Donahue, Dan J., I, 649. 

Donaldson, Charles M., Ill, 1154. 

Donaldson, George, III, 890. 

Donaldson, Mattie, III, 890. 

Donlan, Edward, I, 469 

Donnell, R. W., I, 222. 

Donnelly, Joseph P., Ill, 1085. 

Donohue, Daniel J., Ill, 1434. 

Donohue, M. J., II, 74. 

Dooley, William D., Ill, 1136. 

Dorniz, I, 841. 

Dorothy, Sidney J., Ill, 891. 

Dorr, Arthur C., Ill, 873. 

Dorsett, Rudolph, I, 250. 

Dorwin, O. G., I, 223. 

Dousman, Charles J., Ill, 1388. 

Douthett, Lorin F., II, 81. 

Dove, Samuel E., II, 149. 

Dow, James C., Ill, 1041. 

Dowe, E. E., Ill, 860. 

Dowlin, W. E., I, 856. 

Downing, Walter O., II, 105. 

Downs and Allen, I, 395. 

Drainage basins, acreage by, I, 616. 

Drainage enterprises, I, 618-621. 

Drake, Ben F., II, 364. 

Drake, C. H., Ill, 672. 

Drake, James H., Ill, 1020. 

Drake, James W., II, 308. 

Draper, Charles H., I, 678; II, 66. 

Draper, Mark I., Ill, 1419. 

Drennan, James W., I, 645. 

Drewyer, George, I, 28, 50, 51, 52, 59, 


"Drowned Men's Rapids," I, 179. 
Drumlummon Mine, I, 765. 
Drummond, I, 741, 790. 
Dryden, James S., I, 426. 
Dry fork of Maria's River, I, 99. 
Dublin, I, 222. 
Duffy, John H., II, 338. 
Duke of Orleans commences western 

explorations, I, 3. 
DuLuth, Sieur Greysolon, I, 3. 
Duncan, A. J., II, 645. 
Duncan, John, III, 831. 
Duncan, Leslie, III, 867. 
Duncan, O. R., II, 74. 
Duncan, Tyson D., Ill, 1014. 
Duniway, Clyde A., I, 532,' 535, 788. 
Dunn, John, II, 262. 
Dunn, John C, II, 184. 
Dupuyer, I, 804. 

Durfee, David M., I, 438; II, 284. 
Durston, John H., II, 471. 
Dutch, Ralph E., Ill, 1600. 
Dutro, David V., Ill, 978. 
Dutton, I, 843. 
Dwyer, John C., Ill, 910. 
Dwyer, W. K., II, 396. 

Eagle Nest Rock, Gardiner Canyon (il- 
lustration), I. 35. 



"Early History of Western Montana" 
(Woody), I, 132; 224. 

Early silver mills in Butte district, I, 

East Butte Copper Mining Company, 
I, 379, 38i, 836. 

East Ophir Town Company, I, 287. 

East Rosebud Lake, I, 840. 

Eastern Central Basin of Montana, I, 

Eastman, George W., II, 10. 

Eastman, T. H., I, 301. 

Eaton, Ashael K., I, 286. 

Eaton, Ernest T., II, 266. 

Eaton, Lewis T., Ill, 1079. 

Eaton, Robert N., Ill, 1141. 

Eberschweiler, Frederick H., Ill, 698. 

Edgar, Henry, I, 199, 201, 205, 206, 208. 

Edgar, Henry F., I, 316. 

Edgehill, I, 848. 

Edgerton, Sidney, coming of, I, 279; in- 
terviews Lincoln, I, 279; leaves Mon- 
tana, 281, 298, 868. 

Edmonds, Herbert D., Ill, 924. 

Education : consolidation of higher insti- 
tutions, I, 475; retirement salary fund 
created, 479; free text books pro- 
vided, 482 ; vocational training intro- 
duced and Junior College courses 
added to high school curriculum, 482; 
first schools and superintendents, 493 ; 
University foundation laid, 496; foun- 
dation of State system laid by en- 
abling act, 498, 499; State Text Book 
Commission established, 500; appor- 
tionment of common school income 
fund (1889-1920), 501; income from 
leased lands, 502; Montana's rank 
among the states, 503; enrollment and 
attendance (1908-1920), 504-509; train- 
ing of Montana teachers, 509; teacher 
shortage, 510; county school admin- 
istration, 511; high school normal 
training departments, 513; salaries of 
high-grade teachers, 514; health of 
school children, 515; vocational work, 
516; school dormitories, 517; rural 
schools in city districts, 518; standard- 
ization and consolidation, 519; state 
school funds, 521 ; finances by coun- 
ties, 524, 525, 526; school laws enacted 
in 1921, 526; Montana's system of 
higher, 528 ; schools of Custer county, 
704; schools of Gallatin county, 729; 
Bozeman schools, 731 ; schools of Lew- 
is and Clark county, 750; Madison 
county schools, 775 ; McCone county 
schools, 777 ; Missoula county schools, 
782; Missoula schools, 787; schools of 
Silver Bow county, 831. 

Edwards, Byrd H., Ill, 950. 

Edwards, Caldwell, I, 459. 

Edwards, David R., Ill, 724. 

Edwards, G. B., I, 503. 

Edwards, John E., Ill, 1315. 

Edwards, Thomas B., II, 180. 

Edwards, Thomas R., I, 415. 

Egan, James S., Ill, 1231. 

Egan, John, II, 511. 

Ege, Ralph R., II, 274. 

Egerton, Sidney, I, 415. 

Eggleston, Charles H., II, 333. 

Eggleston, Willis J., I, 868. 

Eight-hour day for female labor, I, 482. 

Eighteenth amendment : upheld by Uni- 
ted States Supreme Court, I, 490. 

Einsel, Charles S., Ill, 1304. 

Eiselein, Alfred W., Ill, 991. 

Ekalaka, I, 680. 

Eliot, Charles D., II, 570. 

Elk Basin Consolidated Petroleum Com- 
pany, I, 877. 

Elk in Montana forests (illustration), 
I, 481. 

Elkhorn mining district, $15,215,000, I, 

Elkins, William S., Ill, 1252. 

Elling, Henry, I, 316. 

Elling State Bank, I, 772. 

Ellingson, Henry, II, 63. 

Elliott, Edward C, I, 528, 869; III, 1151. 

Elliott, James E., II, 61. 

Elliott, John, II, 470. 

Elliston, I, 809. 

Elm Orlu Zinc and Copper mine, I, 383. 

Elrod, M. J., I, 878. 

Elwell, Charles B., Ill, 692. 

Embrey, Austin M., Ill, 869. 

Emerson, Charles I., II, 23. 

Emerson, Frank, III, 962. 

Emerson, Lydia, III, 962. 

Emigrant, I, 801. 

Emigrant Gulch, I, 213, 233, 798, 799. 

Emigrants attacked by Indians (illus- 
tration), I, 182. 

Emilie (Missouri river steamboat), I, 
178, 179. 

Emmett, Mackzy F., II, 55. 

Enabling Act : provisions of the, I, 442. 

Engebritson, Edward, III, 869. 

Englet, Alfred O., Ill, 1433. 

JEnnis, I, 775. 

Ennis, Katherine S., Ill, 1284. 

Epler, George C., Ill, 1165. 

Epler, John C., Ill, 1391. 

Ereaux, Adolph, III, 984. 

Ereaux, Ezra, III, 982. 

Ereaux, Lazare, III, 936. 

Erickson, Erick A., II, 124. 

Erickson, Ole, III, 929. 

Erickson, S. Arne, II, 279. 

Eschliman, John, III, 1297. 

Esgar, Charles C., II, 316. 

Esselstyn, Elmer E., II, 506. 

Eureka, I, 770. 

Eureka Gold and Silver Mining Com- 
pany, I, 286. 

Evans, John M., I, 459, 471, 480. 

Evans, Lewis O., II, 5. 

Evans, Nathaniel P., Ill, 1161. 

Evans, William C, III, 1286. 

Evarts, T. C., I, 284. 

Everett, T. M., I, 471. 

Ewalt, Hamilton W., Ill, 1289. 

Ewing, R. C., I, 282. 

Expeditions of a decade (1854-64), I, 

Faaborg, Simon C., Ill, 1187. 
Fabian, Anna, II, 127. 
Fabian, Edward. II, 127. 
Fabrick, J. P., II, 309. 



Failures in State (1910-19), I, 87$. 

Fairfield, I, 843. 

Fairview Milling Company, The, III, 

Fairweather, Bill, I, 329. 

Fairweather, William, I, 199, 206, 208. 

Fallen, I, 810. 

Fallen County: irrigation in, I, 600; 
description of, 713. 

Farlin, W. L., I, 371, 373, 829. 

Farm Loans : delinquencies, I, 488 ; con- 
dition of (1920), 581. 

Farmington, I, 843. 

Farnum, Abner R., Ill, 1421. 

Farnum, Archie, I, 721. 

Farr, Eli M., .II, 53. 

Father Ravalli meeting Indians at St. 
Mary's (illustration), I, 155. 

Faulds, James R., II, 510. 

Faulds, William, I, 282. 

Faulds, Winfield S., I, 654. 

Faust, Henry J., II, 131. 

Featherman, H. A., II, 114. 

Federal Farm Loan bonds, I, 482. 

Fefferman, Sam, II, 245. 

Felker, Preston R., II, 566. 

Fellows, E. B., II, 297. 

Felt, Stanley E., Ill, 1283. 

Felton, Robert, III, 711. 

Fenton, Edwin L., II, 90. 

Fernald, Louise M., I, 698. 

Fergus, Andrew, III, 1293. 

Fergus, James, I, 200, 217, 316; and 
wife (illustration), 318; 715; III, 

Fergus county : as an oil producer, I, 
386 ; created, 409 ; irrigation in, 601 ; 
description of, 7155 development of 
oil fields, 716, 717; United States Gov- 
ernment experimental station, 717; 
education and population, 718; water 
powers and public "ways, 719. 

Fergus County Argus, I, 723. 

Fergus County Democrat, I, 723. 

Ferguson, William J., Ill, 1430. 

Ferris, Arnold D., Ill, 688. 

Ferris, Joseph A., Ill, 687. 

Fetterman Massacre (1866), I, 342, 344, 

Field, Charles, III, 1109. 

Field Brothers, I, 59. 

Fields, Joseph, I, 28. 

Fields, Reuben, I, 28, 50. 

Fields Creek, I, 50. 

Fifteen Mile Creek (Rattlesnake Creek), 
I, 192. 

Filcher, Joe D., Ill, 1140. 

Finch, George P., II, 309. 

Finlay, Francois : Montana's first gold 
miner, I, 184, 186. . 

Firehole River, I, 118. 

First bank in Montana, Virginia City 
(illustration), I, 773. 

First beef driven out of Montana, I, 393. 

First Big Horn exploring party, I, 323. 

First brewery in Montana, I, 775. 

First discovery of oil in Montana, I, 387, 


First election, I, 219. 
First gold miner of Montana, I, 184. 
First postoffice in Montana, I, 219. 

First railroad in Montana, I, 407. 

First road law, I, 283. 

First silver mining in Montana, I, 237. 

First steamboat race on the upper Mis- 
souri, I, 178. 

First street railway in the territory, I 

First Texas drive to Montana, I, 393. 

First Montana Infantry: commended by 
Legislative Assembly, I, 454; United 
States Volunteers, I, 644-48, again at 
San Francisco (illustration), I, 647. 

First National Bank, Dillon, I, 670. 

First National Bank at Helena, I, 409. 

First National Bank, Scobey, II, 54. 

First Regiment Infantry, Montana Na- 
tional Guard, I, 644. 

Fish and game law enacted, I, 483. 

Fishbeck, Frank G., Ill, 813. 

Fish Creek, I, 61. 

Fish hatcheries, I, 636. 

Fisher, Daniel R., II, 574. 

Fisher, Harvey D., II, 529. 

Fisher, John W., Ill, 856. 

Fisk, Andrew J., I, 298, 316. 

Fisk, George R., II, 533. 

Fisk, James, I, 298. 

Fisk, James L., I, 183. 

Fiske, E. W., I, 761. 

Fitton, Harry L., II, 136. 

Fitzgerald, Thomas A., II, 441. 

Flanagan, Merritt, II, 467. 

Flaten, Ole, III, 665. 

Flathead county, I, 241 ; created, I, 422 ; 
450 ; irrigation in, 601 ; description of, 
723 ; population, I, 726. 

Flathead county school children (illus- 
tration), I, 517. 

Flathead Indian Reservation, I, 161. 

Flathead Indians, I, 87, 118, 142; friends 
of the whites (1858), I, 167. 

Flathead irrigation project: Assembly 
asks Congress to aid, I, 480. 

Flathead Lake (illustration), I, 160, 227, 


Flathead Lake Bird Reservation, I, 536. 
Flathead National Forest, I, 624, 749. 
Flathead (Indian) reclamation project, 

I, 587, 589. 

Flathead River, I, 90, 226. 
Flathead Valley, I, 792. 
Flather, Mrs. Henry, I, 324. 
Flatt, Neil B., Ill, 1395. 
Flatwillow irrigation project, I, 584. 
Flaxville, I, 708. 
Fleenor, Isaac N., II, 767. 
Fleming, Joseph B., II, 628. 
Fletcher, Gayle M., II, 328. 
Flinchpaugh, I. L., II, 633. 
Flint, George H., Ill, 818. 
Flint Creek Valley, I, 790. . 
Florence-Carlton Consolidated School 

(illustration), I, 505. 
Flower, Harold, III, 796. 
Flowerree, I, 702. 
Flowerree, Daniel A. G., II, 582. 
Flowerree, William K., II, 583. 
Floyd, Charles, I, 21, 28. 
Floyd, Harmon H., Ill, 1188. 
Fluhr, William H., Ill, 1200. 
Fluss, Alonzo, III, 1368. 



Flynn, Jerry, III, 942. 

Foley, John E., II, 577. 

Foley, John J., Ill, 1296. 

Follensby, Edmund C., II, 622. 

Poor, Arlie M., Ill, 873. 

Foote, L. R., I, 549- 

Forbes, Charley, I, 242, 249. 

Forbes, James, I, 394. 

Forbes, Jessee F., II, 173. 

Forbes, Thomas R., Ill, 897. 

Forbis, C. J., II, 448. 

Forbis, H. T., II, 453- 

Ford, Lee M., IJ, 536. 

Ford, Lewis C., II, 334. 

Ford, Robert S., II, 535- 

Ford, Samuel C, III, 1179. 

Ford, Shirley S., II, 607. 

Ford, William L., Ill, 1203. 

Forde, Walter, III, 1266. 

Forest fire : laws, I, 627 ; airplane patrol, 


Forest public lands, I, 621. 
Forest service, I, 623 ; State and Federal 

co-operation, 628. 
Forestry: organization and legislation, 

I, 626. 

Forestry and lumbering, I, 621-30. 
Forestry school established, I, 476. 
Forman, Henry H., II, 190. 
Forsyth, I, 821. 
Forsyth, Harold F., II, 16. 
Forsythe, George, III, 1169. 
Fort Alexander, I, 127, 128, 129, 141. 
Fort Assiniboine, I, 743. 
Fort Beauharnois, I, 4. 
Fort Belknap Indian Reservation, I, 640. 
Fort Benton, I, 128; ruins of old (illus- 
tration), 130; 139; Presbyterian mis- 
sion, 158; (old) (illustration), 214, 
215; (1900), 216; during ante-railroad 
days, 557. 

Fort Benton City, I, 701. 
Fort Brule (Burnt Fort), I, 126, 139. 
Fort Buford, I, 138. 
Fort Cass, I, 113, 127, 141. 
Fort Custer, I, 359. 
Fort Ellis, I, 311. 
Fort F. A. Chardon built, I, 125; burnt, 

126; 140. 
Fort Floyd (Fort Union) founded, I, 


Fort Harrison, I, 751. 
Fort Philip Kearney, I, 307, 342, 343, 

Fort Keogh, I, 359; remount station, 

702; 705, 706. 
Fort LaBarge, I, 179; decline and fall 

of, 181, 183. 
Fort Laramie, futile Indian council at, 

I, 340. 

Fort Lewis, I, 126, 127; becomes Fort 
Benton, 128, 139; missionary work at, 
I, 151- 

Fort Lisa, I, 69. 
Fort Manuel, I, 69. 
Fort McKenzie: built, I, 112, 113, 123; 

burned, 125. 

Fort Owen : established, I, 132 (old) ; 
near Stevensville (illustration), 133; 
167 (1858) ; 177, 227, 324. 

Fort Peck (Indian) reclamation project, 
I, 587; 589, 639, 815. 

Fort Piegan : abandoned, I, 112. 

Fort Reno, I, 307. 

Fort Sarpy, I, 127, 128, 141. 

Fort Shaw, I, 311. 

Fort Sheridan, I, 305, 306. 

Fort C. F. Smith, I, 307, 342. 

Fort Tullock, I, 127. 

Fort Union (Fort Floyd), I, in, 112; 
120, 135; (second), 138; first steam- 
boat arrives at, 138. 

Fort Van Buren, I, 127, 140. 

Fort William, I, 120. 

Fortman, Clemens H., Ill, 1258. 

Foss, Albert J., II, 462. 

Foster, Luther, I, 500. 

Foster, Rodney E., II, 334. 

Fousek, Albert J., II, 588. 

Fowell, Logan V., Ill, 734. 

Fowler, I, 804. 

Fowlie, George, II, 648. 

Fox, Clarence S., Ill, 1126. 

Fox, Dominick, II, 600. 

Fox, Harry, III, 1126. 

Fox, John F., Ill, 719. 

Fox, J. M., I, 270. 

Fox, Magdalena S., II, 600. 

Fox, Maggie, III, 1438. 

Fox, S. B., Ill, 1125. 

Foy, John H., Ill, 854. 

Foy, Nancy J., Ill, 855. 

Franklin, Arad H., II, 77. 

Franklin, Ira D., I, 427. 

Franks, Sumner St. C., Ill, 674. 

Frantz Corporation, I, 388, 877. 

Franzke, Arthur A., Ill, 1362. 

Frazer, I, 846. 

Frazier, Robert, I, 28, 50. 

Frazier, William H., Ill, 974. 

Frazier creek, I, 50. 

Frederick, Ole G., Ill, 1076. 

Frederick, Oliver, III, 1076. 

Freeborn, Harrison J., Ill, 990. 

Freeman, August J., Ill, 1318. 

Freeman, Henry C., I, 833. 

Freeman, J. M., II, 243. 

Frenchtown, I, 225. 

Frenchtown Valley, I, 790, 791. 

Fresno, I, 744. 

Friend, Franklin, I, 339. 

Friend, George, I, 339. 

Fringe (Indian warrior), I, 168, 172. 

Froid, I, 817. 

Frush, Charles W., I, 176. 

Fulkerson, Grover E., Ill, 1188. 

Fuller, August, III, 970. 

Fuller, George E., Ill, 882. 

Fuller, Mary A., Ill, 970. 

Fuller, Samuel, III, 970. 

Fulsher, F. R., II, 569. 

Fulton, William, III, 1306. 

Fur companies : pioneer, I, 103-134. 

Fur trade era, I, 135-142. 

Fur traders: pioneer, I, 103-134; their 

Indian wives, I, 152. 
Fur trading: methods of, I, 137. 

Gabb, W. W., Ill, 794. 
Gabriel, Fred C., Ill, 1228. 
Gaddis, Charles G., II, 597. 



Gaethke, Paul C, II, 478. 

Gagnon, George L., II, 536. 

Gail, William W., II, 164. 

Gaines, Edward E., Ill, 1300. 

Gainor, Harold G., II, 551. 

Galbraith, Thomas J., I, 438. 

Galbraith, William J., I, 426 (portrait), 
428; 430. 

Galen, Albert J. : sketch of, I, 436, 869. 

Gallagher, Jack, I, 242, 249. 

Gallatin City, I, 306, 336. 

Gallatin county, number and value of 
cattle (1884), I, 395; 411; finest rural 
school (Illustration), 508; irrigation 
in, 601 ; description of, 727. 

Gallatin County High School, II, 400. 

Gallatin National Forest, I, 624, 778. 

Gallatin range, I, 91. 

Gallatin river, I, 48, 61, 89, 230. 

Gallatin Valley, Scenes in the (Illus- 
tration), I, 728. 

Gallatin way, I, 730. 

Gallwey, Harry A., II, 542. 

Galpin, William, I, 177. 

Gait, D. A., II, 338. 

Game preserves, I, 483, 637. 

Gannett, I, 92. 

Gannon, John, I, 443, 499. 

Cans, Edward M., Ill, 1231. 

Garden, Olaf, II, 219. 

Gardiner, I, 633, 801. 

Gardner, Mary C., I, 760. 

Garfield county: as an oil producer, I, 
386 ; created, 483 ; irrigation in, 602 ; 
description of, 734; rural flour mill 
(Illustration), 735. 

Garland, Richard W., Ill, 935. 
Garlow, Charles R., I, 868. 
Garniell, I, 717. 
Garrison, I, 790. 
Carver, Frank H., II, 331. 
Gary, John P., II, 408. 
Gary, Martin A., II, 408. 
Gaskill, Daniel M., Ill, 1104. 
Gass, Patrick, I, 20, 28, 46, 50, 143. 
Gass Creek, I, 46. 
Gass Journal, I, 21, 27. 
Gate of the Mountains, I, 747. 
Gates, Albert W., II, 176. 
Gates, Christopher, I, 306. 
Gates of the Rocky Mountains (Illus- 
tration), I, 45; 46. 
Gatiss, Harry, III, 853. 
Gatton, Cyrus J., I, 654. 
Gaucher, Peter, I, 145. 
Gazette Printing Company, II, 161. 
Geary, Michael, III, 1166. 
Geery, Henry T., I, 192. 
Gemmell, James, I, 219. 
General election law passed (1888), I, 


General highway law passed, I, 479. 
"Geological Notes on Northern and Cen- 
tral Montana" (Mortson), I, 94. 
Geology of Montana, I, 93. 
George, A. G. P., I, 415. 
George, W. H., Ill, 800. 
Georgetown Lake, I, 713. 
Geraldine, I, 702. 
Gerer, Oswald M., II, 561. 

German: teaching of, reinstated in Uni- 
versity, I, 538. 
German Gulch, I, 213, 223. 
Gerondale, J. J., II, 190. 
Geyser, I, 699. 

Giant Geyser, Yellowstone Park (Illus- 
tration), I, 117. 

Giant Springs, Great Falls, I, 686. 
Gibbon, John, I, 309, 347 (portrait), 348, 

352, 356, 360. 
Gibbon Battlefield, I, 784 
Gibbs, William B., Ill, 899. 
Gibson, Fred L., II, 68. 
Gibson, George, I, 28. 
Gibson, Henry B., II, 133. 
Gibson, James, II, 472. 
Gibson, Jennie, II, 473. 
Gibson, Paris: elected U. S. Senator, I, 
457 ; coming of, to Great Falls, I, 688 ; 
III, 657- 

Gibson, Theodore, I, 698. 
Gifford, Albert C, III, 1208. 
Gifford, Edgar, II, 539. 
Gildford, I, 744. 
Gilham, George W., Ill, 1196. 
Gilkerson, John O., Ill, 1291. 
Gillette, Clarence F., Ill, 1331. 
Gillette, Frederick B., 1009. 
Gillette, Warren C, I, 316. 
Gillie, John, I, 548. 
Gillis, Malcolm, II, 599. 
Gilman, I, 749. 
Gilmore, Michael, III, 1345. 
Gist, Duke, III, 1170. 
Glacial period of Montana, I, 98, 100. 
Glacier: county created, I, 451; irriga- 
tion in, 602 ; description of, 737, 738. 
Glacier National Park, I, 633, 634; its 

lakes, I, 637. 
Glade Creek, I, 60. 
Glasgow, I, 588, 846. 
Glass, George W., Ill, 692. 
Glendenning, William, III, 739. 
Glendive, sketch of, I, 710. 
Glenn, Lewis D., Ill, 1131. 
Click, J. S., I, 218. 
Gnose, James B., II, 602. 
Goble, Wade, III, 1352. 
Goddard, O. Fletcher, II, 211. 
Godfrey, E. S., I, 356. 
Gohn, George E., Ill, 713. 
Gold Creek, I, 790. 
Gold discoveries and workings (first), I, 


Gold mining: placer, I, 234; relation of 
glaciers to, 235; development of 
quartz, 237. 
Gold, silver and copper deposits (Clark), 

L 236. 

Golden Valley County: irrigation in, I, 
606; description of, 739; population of, 
740, 861. 

Good, Henry, III, 847. 
Good, Thomas, III, 1106. 
Goodale, Charles W., I, 548; H, 514- 
Goodall, Herbert, I, 868. 
Goodfriend, Sig, II, 429. 
Goodman, Edward H., Ill, 997. 
Goodrich, Silas, I, 28. 
Good Roads Day founded, I, 478. 
Good roads movement, I, 488. 



Good roads in Western Montana (Illus- 
tration), I, 573- 

Goodsill, M. Max, I, 761. 

Goodwin, Phillip C., II, 519. 

Gordon, Louis E., II, 151. 

Gordon, William R., Ill, 997. 

Gore, St. George, I, 163, 164. 

Gormley, A. C., I, 461. 

Gosch, Michael J., II, 206. 

Goss, James R., II, 435. 

Gourley, James, I, 287. 

Government fish hatchery, Billings, I, 

Government road through Jefferson Na- 
tional forest (illustration),!, 571. 

Governors of Montana, I, 868. 

Cowrie, Elizabeth, III, 768. 

Cowrie, Peter, III, 768. 

Goza, Samuel D., Ill, 1424. 

Graeter, Augustus F., I, 286; II, 347. 

Grafton, Francis M., II, 53. 

Graham, Richard, III, 734. 

Graham, William, I, 189, 209, 222, 282, 


Grain Grading, Inspection and Ware- 
housing Commission, I, 484. 

Grain inspection laboratory, I, 529. 

Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone (Il- 
lustration), I, 639. 

Granite Creek, I, 192. 

Granite County : I, 241 ; created, 442, 
451 ; irrigation in, 602. 

Grant, Henry I., II, 290. 

Grant, James J., Ill, 783. 

Grant, Jesse W., Ill, 1215. 

Grant, John, I, 181, 391. 

Grant, John F., I, 161, 187, 188. 

Grant, Richard, Sr., I, 187. 

Grant, Richard, I, 225. 

Grant, Robert, I, 222. 

Grantville, I, 222. 

Grasshopper Diggings (Bannack City), 
I, 230. 

Grassi, Urbanus, I, 161. 

Grass Range, I, 717. 

Grass Valley, I, 791. 

Gravelly Range, I, 98. 

Graves, Andrew C., Ill, 1038. 

Graves, William, I, 249. 

Gray, Frank M., II, 403. 

Gray, Henry, II, 629. 

Gray, John, I, 147. 

Gray, Macomb B., II, 252. 

Gray, Robert, I, 14, 15. 

Gray, W. H., I, 145. 

Grayson, John, III, 876. 

Grayson, Richard, III, 802. 

Great Blackfoot Glacier, Glacier Park 
(Illustration), I, 635. 

Great Falls of the Missouri : Lewis finds, 
I, 40 ; described by Captain Lewis, 41 ; 
first white women to see the, 180. 

Great Falls: state capital contestant, I, 
441 ; power development at, 684 ; 686 ; 
history of, 687 ; development of power 
in its area, 688; 689, 690; city of, 690; 
(Illustration) 691; population of, 691; 
business and industries of, 692 ; trans- 
portation facilities, 694; churches, 
charities and fraternities, 696; city 
public schools, 697; Y. M. C. A., 696; 
Y. W. C. A., 697 ; public library, 698. 

Great Falls coal field, I, 241. 

Great Falls Commercial Club, I, 695. 

Great Falls Packing Plant, I, 694. 

Great Falls Reduction Works, I, 684. 

Great Falls water power : development 
of (also illustration), I, 630; 631. 

Great Northern Railway, I, 560; electri- 
fication of, 568, 588, 630. 

Great St. Mary's Lakes, I, 638. 

Great Western Sugar Company Plant, 
Missoula, I, 784. 

Greeley, Horace, I, 303. 

Green, Andrew, III, 1299. 

Green, Charles F., Ill, 1140. 

Green, E. J., II, 637. 

Green, George R., II, 291. 

Green, James, III, 803. 

Green, Jennie M., Ill, 1140. 

Green, Melissa, III, 804. 

Greenan, Philip, II, 643. 

Greenback Mining Company, I, 771. 

Greene, John J., II, 575. 

Greene, W. H. C., Ill, 1206. 

Greenfield, Charles D., I, 387, 468, 869, 

Greening, Charles W., Ill, 1303. 

Greery, H. T., I, 196. 

Gregg, W. A., Ill, 793. 

Greig, Richard, III, 963. 

Grein, Phil, II, 253. 

Griffin, George N., II, 586. 

Griffin, James, III, 879. 

Griffin, Lewis M., Ill, 1103. 

Griffith, Joseph, I, 219. 

Grigg, Elmer R., II, 394. 

Grigg, Thomas A., U, 393. 

Grigsby, Melvin, I, 643. 

Grimes, Henry J., II, 158. 

Grimstad, O. King, II, 200. 

Groene, Merle C., II, 430. 

Groff, H. C, II, 531. 

Groff, Lawrence S., II, 524. 

Grover, George E., II, 612. 

Gruber, Edward P., Ill, 994. 

Gruwell, Hugh C., II, 411. 

Guinn, Charles C., Ill, 1328. 

Guinzy, V. F., II, 321. 

Gunn, Milton S., I, 438; III, 1131. 

Gunther, Joseph J., Ill, 1123. 

Gussenhoven, Joseph, III, 779. 

Gustafson, Richard E., Ill, 1063. 

Guthard, Charles H., II, 201. 

Guthrie, Andrew L., II, 237. 

Guthrie, Lou, I, 758, 760. 

Gutz, Walter T., Ill, 1158. 

Gwinn, Hubert H., II, 450. 

Gwinn, James L., Ill, 1434. 

Hackley, James F., Ill, 1399. 
Hadzor, James H., Ill, 717. 
Hagan, D. J., I, 393. 
Hagelie, Helmer, II, 354. 
Hagen, Sever, III. 1412. 
Hagge, Carl D., II, 153. 
Hahn, George D., Ill, 1036. 
Hain, Volney J., Ill, 719. 
Haley, John R., II, 404. 
Haley, Josephine M., I, 760. 
Half Century of Conflict (Francis Park- 
man), I, 7, 8. 
Halgren, Warner L., II, 104. 



Halgrims, C. O., II, 167. 

Hall, I, 741. 

Hall, Charles H., II, 458. 

Hall, DeLoss T., Ill, 1214. 

Hall, Henry C, III, 1025. 

Hall, Hugh, I, 28. 

Hall, J. H., I, 468. 

Hall & Simpson, I, 217. 

Hall, W. A., II, 278. 

Halloran, Patrick M., II, 304. 

Halter, Charles, II, 121. 

Hamblin, I, 777. 

Hamilton, I, 792, 812. 

Hamilton, Dick, I, 217. 

Hamilton, James M., I, 548; II, 350. 

Hamilton, Kosciusko, III, 977. 

Hamilton, Leslie H., II, 610. 

Hamilton, Robert J., Ill, 1206. 

Hamilton, Robert S., Ill, 1362. 

Hamilton, William T. : Scout "Sign- 
Man" and investigator, I, 164-176. 

Hamilton-McKay party: returns to Wal- 
la Walla, I, 176. 

Hamilton schools, II, 68.. 

Hamlin, Robert M., Ill, 1390. 

Hample, Jbhn E., II, 494. 

Hamrick, C. P., II, 373. 

Hancock, Charles, II, 150. 

Handel, Fred W., II, 464. 

Handley, Robert W., Ill, 759. 

Hangman's Gulch, I, 783. 

Hanley, Daniel, II, 558. 

Hanley, Marcus R., II, 559. 

Hanley, Robert J., II, 216. 

Hanna, William, II, 118. 

Hanover, I, 719. 

Hansen, Al, III, 1338. 

Hanson, Charles M., Ill, 1057. 

Hanson, Philo C., I, 514. 

Harader, John A., II, 64. 

Hardin, I, 673. 

Hardy, Frank E., Ill, 988. 

Hardy, Henry W., Ill, 661. . 

Hardy, Samuel J., Ill, '1143. 

Hargadine, Edward C., II, 598. 

Harkness, James, I, 177. 

Harkness, Margaret, I, 180. 

Harlan, John M., I, 411. 

Harlem, I, 588, 674. 

Harlowton, I, 847. 

Harmon, W. E., I, 502, 504; II, 100. 

Harney, Edward W., I, 459. 

Harper, George, III, 833. 

Harrington, Arthur J., Ill, 1139. 

Harrington, J. V., II, 609. 

Harrington, Nellie, II, 610. 

Harris, B. M., Ill, 1128. 

Harris, William E., II, 56. 

Harris Gulch, I, 231. 

Harrison, I, 775. 

Harrison, J. Scott, I, 869; HI, 664. 

Hart, Harlon L., Ill, 669. 

Hartley, Charles E., II, 59. 

Hartman, C. S., I, 448, 451, 452, 465. 

Hartman, J, L., II, 571. 

Hartzell, Lester J., II, 537. 

Harvat, John H., II, 327. 

Harvey, Alexander, I, 123, 124, 126; 

death of, 127, 152. 
Harvey, Charles L., II, 409. 

Harwood, Benjamin P., I, 657. 

Harwood, Edgar N., I, 4.31, 435. 

Haskell, Henri J., I, 431, 443 

Hastings, Parker W., II, 348. 

Hasty, John H., Ill, 1237. 

Hatch, Joseph A., Ill, 938. 

Hauck, Lawrence, II, 141. 

Hauser, Samuel T., I, 189, 192, 193, 196, 
197, 221, 284, 286; sketch of, 409; 
(portrait), 410; 412; resigns as gov- 
ernor, 411, 868. 

Hauswirth, Simon, I, 725; III, 831. 

Hauxhurst, James, I, 192. 

Haverfield, Orville S., Ill, 1032. 

Haviland, David J., II, 438. 

Havre, I, 743. 

Hawk, Joseph V., Ill, 767. 

Hawkesworth, Arthur L., III, 1173. 

Hawley, Herbert C., II, 632. 

Hawley, Swope, I, 222. 

Hayes, Martin F., I, 120. 

Haywood, Guy T., Ill, 1425. 

Head, Clinton, II, 169. 

Healy, John J., I, 287. 

Hcaly, J. Peter P., Ill, 987. 

Heaney, Arthur P., II, 614. 

Heath, L. W., I, 761. 

Hebb, Frank M., Ill, 1097. 

Heber, George F, III, 1204. 

Hedge & Company, I, 220. 

Hedges, Cornelius, I, 211, 316, 404, 415, 
422; as superintendent of public in- 
struction, 494; (portrait), 495; 497, 
757, 76o. 

Hedges, Daniel J., Ill, 1012. 

Hedges, Harry H., Ill, 1012. 

Hedges, Judd P., Ill, ion. 

Hedges, Oliver G., Ill, 1012. 

Hedges, Willys A., I, 757, 758, 760; II, 

Hedgesville, I, 848. 

Hefferlin, Charles S., II, 236. 

Heidel, A. W., I, 869. 

Heidel, C. S., I, 581. 

Heidel, E. L., II, 3 53- 

Heidelman, John H., II, 406. 
Heikkila, Emil, II, 29. 
Heilbronner, Adolph H., II, 577. 
Heinze, F. Augustus : enters Butte field, 
I 376, 377; suits against the Amalga- 
mated Copper Company, I, 377, 378, 


Heldt, F. George, I, 164. 

Helena (see also Last Chance Gulch) : 
altitude of, I, 92; 209; named by John 
Somerville, 211, >2i2; incorporated, 
312; becomes territorial capital, 315; 
territorial capital contest, 422; capital 
to remain at, 441 ; 751 ; sketch of, 755 ; 

Helena branch of the Federal Reserve 
Bank of Minneapolis, I, 871. 

Helena Catholic Cathedral, I, 755. 

Helena Commercial Club, I, 761, 763. 

Helena district : entered by Lewis and 
Clark, I, 45; its mountains (illustra- 
tions), 97. 

Helena Free Public Library, I, 757. 

Helena in 1870 (illustration), I, 756. 

Helena Library Association, I, 757. 

Helena National Forest, I, 624, 745, 749. 



Helena region, typical mines in the (il- 
lustration), I, 762, 764; mineral pro- 
duction of the, 765, 766. 

Helgeson, Henry C, III, 1288. 

Heller, August, II, 637. 

Hell Gate (Missoula), I, 223. 

Hell Gate canyon, I, 228. 

Hell Gate River, I, go, 227. 

Hell Gate Ronde, I, 177, ,223. 

Helm, Boone, I, 249. 

Helmville, I, 790, 809. 

Helsing, John O., II, 116. 

Henderson, Charles S., II, 539. 

Henderson, William C., Ill, 1366. 

Hendrickson, Otto, III, 804. 

Hennessy, John H., Ill, 862. 

Hennessy, John, III, 1064. 

Henry, Andrew, I, 103; abandons Three 
Forks Trading Post, 104; 108. 

Henry, Frank, I, 438. 

Henry's Fork of Snake River, I, 105. 

Henry's Lake, I, 105. 

Henry's Post in 1870, I, 106. 

Henter, Leo A., II, 145. 

Hepner, H. Sol, II, 621. 

Hepperle, Karl, III, 1355. 

Herd districts created, I, 482. 

Hereford, Robert, I, 185. 

Heron, I, 824. 

Herren, William, I, 255 

Herrick, Una B., II, 349. 

Herring, Presley L., Ill, 1026. 

Hershey, Elmer E., II, 466. 

Hewett, Arthur L., II, 212. 

Hexom, Peter, III, 1021. 

Hickey, Edward, I, 829; III, 1205. 

Hickman, R. O., I, 443. 

Hickox, Willard, II, 82. 

Hier, Albert S., Ill, 902. 

Higgins, Christopher P., I, 223, 282, 784. 

Higgins, Francis G., I, 532. 

Higgins, Frank G., I, 643. 

Higgins, F. G., I, 500. 

Higham, John O., II, 21. 

Higher education, I, 528-552. 

Highland Park School, Lewiston (illus- 
tration), I, 720. 

Highway Law : passed, I, 474, 475. 

Highways : transcontinental, I, 570. 

Highways and bridges : federal aid in 
building, I, 572. 

Highwood, I, 702. 

Highwood Mountains, I, 91. 

Hilburn, Samuel, III, 864. 

Hilger, David, II, 18. 

Hilger, Nicholas, describes Sioux battle 
of Kildeer Mountain, I, 294-97. 

Hill, Charley W., II, 192. 

Hill, Harry D , III, 1224. 

Hill, James J., I, 552; gives history of 
Great Northern Railway, 560-66; re- 
signs presidency of Great Northern 
system, 566; 688. 

Hill County: created, I, 474; irrigation 
in, 602; description of, 742. 

Hill county potatoes (illustration), I, 

Hillman, J. R., I, 725. 

Himsl, Victor S., Ill, 1354. 

Hinchilwood, J. P., Ill, 797. 

Hind, Bert S., II, 38. 

Hingham, I, 744. 

Hinsdale, I, 588. 

Hirst, John D., II, 276. 

Hirst, Tom, II, 27. 

History of Montana (Granville Stuart), 
I, 226. 

"History of Washington, Idaho and 
Montana" (Bancroft), I, 159. 

Hitzfeldt, Fred, III, 1259. 

Hoback, Richard, I, 298. 

Hobbins, James R., II, 615. 

Hobensack, Isaac M., II, 84 

Hobson, Simeon S., II, 567. 

Hodge, Pearl D., II, 410. 

Hodgskiss, William, III, 999. 

Hodgson, Arthur M., Ill, 1037. 

Hodgson, George T., Ill, 864. 

Hodson, Alvin, III,.722. 

Hodson, Dale, II, 455. 

Hoeken, Adrian, I, 150, 161. 

Hoecken, I, 161. 

Hoenck, Richard P., II, 487. 

Hofer, Bert, III, 846. 

Hoff, Norbert C., Ill, 1138. 

Hoffman, Charles W., I, 316. 

Hogan, T. S., I, 453; II, 371. 

Hogeland, Abraham, III, 1203. 

Holladay, Ben, I, 556. 

Holland, James, III, 707. 

Holland, Robert W., II, 594. 

Hollenbeck, Frank K., Ill, 1246. 

Holliday, Dell H., II, 226. 

Hollier, Lewis S., II, 184. 

Holloway, William L., I, 436, 869; II, 

Holmes, Ernest S., II, 455. 

Hoist,' J. H., II, 43. 

Holt, Laurence A., II, 533. 

Holt, Stephen A., Ill, 1273. 

Holter, Anton M., I, 285, 316; II, 517. 

Holter, Norman B., I, 489, 761 ; II, 518. 

Holter Gulch, I, 219. 

Holy Family Mission, I, 162. 

Hood, Samuel L., Ill, 683. 

Hooks, Frank T, III, 661. 

Hootenais, I, 173. 

Hopkins, David R., II, 373. 

Hopkins, Patrick A., II, 588. 

Hori, M. M., Ill, 866. 

Horkan, George, III, 1406. 

Horkan, George A., I, 471 ; III, 1392. 

Horn, J. H., Ill, 860. 

Horntvedt, Ludvig, III, 1075. 

Horse Creek, I, 777. 

Horse market at Miles City (illustra- 
tion), I, 706. 

Horse Plains, I, 177. 

Horse Prairie Creek, I, 230, 231. 

Horse raising: decline in, I, 309. 

Horticulture: in Rattlesnake Valley, I, 
785; in Bitter Root Valley, 791; 878; 
present conditions of, 882 ; close in- 
spection of fruit and orchards in Mon- 
tana, 883, 884; prevalent fruit diseases 
and pests in Montana, 884. 

Hosmer, Hezekiah L., I, 64; 282; 
reaches Virginia City, 288; sketch of, 
288; first charge to grand jury, 289; 
291, 298; leaves Montana, 299, 414. 

Hosmer, James K., I, 27. 



Hot Springs, Sanders County, I, 823, 824. 

Hotchkiss, Arthur N., Ill, 1251. 

Hotchkiss, Samuel A., Ill, 1380. 

Hough, George E., Ill, 1349. 

Houghlan, Samuel A., Ill, 1086. 

House and Bivins, I, 219. 

Houston, Elizabeth L. A., II, 360. 

Hoven, Ole B., Ill, 806. 

Hover, Herbert A., Ill,- 1127. 

Hovey, Verne T., Ill, 659. 

Howard, Doc, I, 252. 

Howard, Harry H., II, 179. 

Howard, O. H., 1, 359. 

Howard, O. O., I, 360, 368. 

Howard, Thomas P., I, 28. 

Howe, Clarence D., II, 363. 

Howe, John G., II, 567. 

Howe, John S., Ill, 1261. 

Howe, J. K., Ill, 872. 

Howell, Ethan A., Ill, 1329. 

Howell, H. S., I, 725. 

Howell, Richard C., II, 495. 

Howey, R. W., I, 496, 497. 

Howland, H. N., II, 295. 

Howland, John M., II, 24. 

Hoyt, Mark D., Ill, 1013. 

Hruza, William, II, 271. 

Hubbard, Paul E., Ill, 1336. 

Huber, Philip H, II, 624. 

Huckins, Charles F., Ill, 930. 

Hudson, Clarence W., II, 344. 

Hudson, John, I, 463. 

Hudson, Samuel E., Ill, 1089. 

Hudson Bay Company, I, 132, 134, 140. 

Huet, Charles, I, 147. 

Huffaker, Wila, I, 282. 

Huffer, Arthur J., II, 239. 

Hughes, Barney, I, 199, 200, 206, 207, 


Hughes, James H., Ill, 1059. 
Hughes, Roy, III, 1054. 
Hughes, Samuel, III, 1059. 
Hughes Brothers, III. 1059. 
Hull, W. T., I, 761. 
Humphreys, G O., I, 222, 223, 833. 
Hunsberger, John, III, 770. 
Hunt, Williams H., I, 431, 434, 435, 
T 437, 438. 
Hunter, A. J., I, 799. 
Hunter, Bill, last of road agents to be 

executed, I, 274, 275. 
Hunter, Joseph C., Ill, 806. 
Hunter, William, I, 249. 
Hunters' Hot Springs, I, 801. 
Hunting and fishing, I, 636 ; in Lewis 

and Clark county, 754; in Missoula 

county, 783. 
Huntley, I, 856. 

Huntley reclamation project, I, 587. 
Huntoon, John C., II, 208. 
Kurd, George E., Ill, 675. 
Kurd, Walter L., II, 290. 
Hurdy-Gurdy House, I, 245. 
Hurley, Charles C., Ill, 943. 
Hurly, John, II, 596. 
Husband, William C, II, 653. 
Huseth, S. O., Ill, 832. 
Hutchinson, Myron W., Ill, 700. 
Hutchinson, William O., II, 324. 
Huxsol, Alfred W., Ill, 778. 
Huyck, Claude C., II, 487. 

Hydro-electric conservation, I, 630-33. 

Hydro-electric plants: of Lewis and 
Clark county, I, 751. 

Hydro-electric water powers (illustra- 
tion), I, 685. 

Hymer, Elbert, II, 62. 

Hysham, I, 845. 

Iceberg Lake (illustration), I, 638. 

Iliff, Thomas C., I, 786. 

Imislund, Herbert P., II, 370. 

Immaculate Conception Church, III, 

Imoda, C., I, 162. 

In the Lumber Country (illustration), 
I, 823. 

Income tax bill passed, I, 489. 

Independence Mining district, I, 223. 

Indian Camping Ground (illustration), 
I, 148. 

Indian Ceremonial, Old-Time (illus- 
tration), I, 819. 

Indian Chiefs and Warriors (illustra- 
tion), I, 56. 

Indian picture of 1742 (Parkman), I, 7. 

Indian reservations, I, 639. 

Indian Sentinel: Flathead number of, 
I, 142. 

Indians : Crows, I, 85 ; 86, 87 ; Flatheads 
(1805), 87; exploiting through whis- 
key, 120, 140; name "Flatheads," 142; 
Blackfeet still warlike, 154; Flathead 
treaty of 1855, 223; Sioux battle of 
Killdeer Mountain, 292; Sioux cam- 
paign (1864), 292-98; Sioux again 
checked (1872), 308-310; Sioux vs. 
Crows, 340; 341, 342; council at Fort 
Laramie (1866), 341 ; government pro- 
nouncement against enemy (1866), 
341; depredations of (1866), 342; 
"agency" plan not a success, 345, 347; 
united campaign against enemy, 347; 
Drawing Rations (illustration), 346; 
Crooks' southern campaign against, 
356; warfare of 1876-77, 357. 

Industrial Accident Board created, I, 

Ingham, Thomas C., II, 34. 

Ingle, Chester R., II, 228. 

Ingomar, I, 821. 

Ingraham, Albert J., Ill, 972. 

Ingraham, Philip A., Ill, 972. 

Ingraham, Sarah C., Ill, 972. 

Ingram, George F., Ill, 1000. 

Initiative and Referendum bill popularly 
approved, I, 470. 

Initiative and Referendum law passed, 
I, 463 ; extended, 464. 

Innes, Walter B., II, 244. 

Irons, Ort, III, 1046. 

Irrigated Orchard near Missoula (illus- 
tration), I, 781. 

Irrigation: under the Cary Act, I, 581; 
state works and projects, 59!-S; coun- 
try surveys, 595-614; acreage by drain- 
age basins, 615; farms irrigated in 
state, 615; works built since 1860, 617; 
irrigated lands as producers, 618; 
projects in Rosebud county, 820. 

Irrigation districts established, I, 464, 



Irvin, George W., II, I, 316. 
Irvine, Caleb E., I, 177, 829, 833. 
Irvine, W. M., Ill, 859. 
Irving, Washington, I, 116, 119. 
Irwin, 0. E., I, 283. 
Isachsen, Albert J., Ill, 928. 
Isch, John, III, 844- 

Ives, George, I, 192, 196, 198, 247, 253; 
trial and execution of, 255. 

Jaccard, Eugene, I, 177. 

Jackson, David E., I, 108, ill. 

Jackson, George C., II, 422. 

Jackson, Harvey F., Ill, 840. 

Jackson, John W., II, 388. 

Jackson, Robert G., Ill, 1363. 

Jacobs, Henry, I, 406, 834. 

Jacobs, John M., I, 188, 195, 306. 

Jacobs, William F., Ill, 1047. 

Jacobs and Bozeman cut-off, I, 195. 

Jacobson, Paul, III, 671. 

James, Edwin E., Ill, 797. 

Jameson, C. C, II, 35. 

Janssen, John W., Ill, 1270. 

Jaquette, Walter P., Ill, 981. 

Jeff Davis' Gulch, I, 329. 
Jefferson, Thomas : checkmating Eng- 
land in the West, I, 13; 15, 19, 48. 

Jefferson county: placer mines in 1862- 
68, I, 213 ; created, 281 ; as a copper 
producer, 384; number and value of 
cattle (1884), 395; irrigation in, 603; 
description of, 744. 

Jefferson County High School, II, 616. 

Jefferson Forest, I, 777. 

Jefferson National Forest, I, 624. 

Jefferson (Beaverhead) River, Lewis 
ascends the, I, 48, 50, 61, 89, 90, 230. 

Jeffries, Garry J., Ill, 820. 

Jenkins, Leonard V., Ill, 1320. 

Jennings, George M., II, 447. 

Jennison, Warren J., Ill, 1170. 

Jensen, Chris, III, 782. 

Jensen, Otto, III, 852. 

Jensen, Peter C., Ill, 1411. 

Jerome, C. W., Ill, 786. 

Jocko River, I, 227. 

Jocko Valley, I, 227, 792. 

Johannes, R. J., II, 164. 

Johns, Albert M., II, 386. 

Johnson, Charles M., II, 562. 

Johnson, E. B., I, 282. 

Johnson, Edwin L., II, 41. 

Johnson, Elmer, II, 529. 

Johnson, Emil M., Ill, 1378. 

Johnson, Francis G., II, 626. 

Johnson, Fred A., Ill, 998. 

Johnson, Harry M., II, 52. 

Johnson, Henry H., Ill, 1056. 

Johnson, J. Charles, II, 417. 

Johnson, Mary C., II, 125. 

Johnson, Ole C., Ill, 771. 

Johnson, Pete, III, 715. 

Johnson, Peter E., Ill, 1181. 

Johnson, Richard E., Ill, 1446. 

Johnson, Richard S., Ill, 1363. 

Johnson, Roy H., Ill, 1446. 

Johnson, Thomas S., Ill, 969. 

Johnson, Wilford J., II, 3. 

Johnson, The Abstract Man, III, 1445. 

Johnston, A. P., II, 412. 

Johnston, Charles C., Ill, 1445. 

Johnston, James L., II, 641. 

Johnston, Thomas Jr., Ill, 1396. 

Johnstone, Thomas, III, 1285. 

Jones, Arthur C., II, 491. 

Jones, A. H., I, 771. 

Jones, D. Augustus, III, 686. 

Jones, Edward C., II, 195. 

Jones, L. E., I, 696. 

Jones, Paul, III, 1247. 

Jones, T. C., first probate judge, I, 290. 

Jones, Thomas R., Ill, 1022. 

Jones, Robert N., Ill, 1038. 

Jones, William E., Ill, 689. 

Jones and Immell : killing of, by Black- 
feet, I, 109, no. 

Joplin, I, 768. 

Jordan, I, 735. 

Jordan, Arthur, II, 620. 

Jordan, Erwin E., Ill, 1381. 

Jordan, James H., II, 127. 

Joseph Peak, I, 362. 

Josselyn, Horatio S., Ill, 1334. 

"Journal of Larocque" (Burpee), I, 78, 

Judith Basin, I, 715. 

Judith Basin County: irrigation in, I, 
603; 723; description of, 746; 861. 

Judith Gap, I, 848. 

Julian, I, 708. 

Junod, Orla H., Ill, 1283. 

Juttner, Charles F., II, 152. 

Kaiserman, J. R., II, 281. 
Kalispell, I, 724; sketch of, 726; bird's- 
eye view of (illustration), 727. 
Kampf, Ray L., Ill, 1341. 
Kane, Edward G., Ill, 1167. 
Kanouse, James E., Ill, 679. 
Karnop, Jacob H., II, 654. 
Kassner, O. G., II, 134. 
Kastelitz, John, 'II, 181. 
Kay, John M., Ill, 772. 
Kearns, W. L., II, 275. 
Keene, Eliot W., II, 227. 
Kehoe, Thomas M., II, 306. 
Keith, F. P., I, 786. 
Keith, H. C., I, 727. 
Keith, John M., II, 469. 
Kelch, Albert E., III. 755- 
Kelch, William D., Ill, 741. 
Kelley, Cornelius F., I, 459; HI, 987. 
Kelley, E. L., Ill, 966. 
Kelley, Rufus B., II, 287. 
Kelley, Thomas, III, 1053. 
Kelley, Tom, III, 1180. 
Kelly, Charley, L 250. 
Kelly, Dan M., II, 30. 
Kelly, Harry J., II, 385. 
Kelly, Hugh, II, 457- 
Kelly, Tames E., II, 30. 
Kelly, Peter J., II, 437. 
Kelly, R. A., II, 392. 
Kelly, Robert B., II, 540. 
Kelsey, Arthur R., Ill, 1101. 
Kelsey, Frank T., Ill, 1343. 
Kemmis, Walter D., Ill, 744. 
Kemp, James S., Jr., II. 475. 
Kempton, Berney E., Ill, 1369. 
Kempton, Henry N., Ill, 1298. 
Kendall, I, 717. 



Kendrick, John, I, 14. 

Kenkel, J. E., II, 607. 

Kennedy, John, III, 865. 

Kenney, E. A., I, 443. 

Kennon, R. T., I, 329. 

Kenny, E. A., I, 445. 

Kenyon, Daniel C., Ill, 912. 

Kercheval, F. B., I, 284. 

Kerchival City, I, 304. 

Kerr, John W., II, 485. 

Kerrigan, John H., Ill, 738. 

Kessler, Harry C., I, 644; (portrait), 


Kessler, Nicholas, I, 316, 761. 
Ketcham, Gilbert A., II, 463. 
Ketcham, Harry G., Ill, 729. 
Kill-the-Deer-Butte, I, 292. 
Killorn, George L., II, 330. 
Kimball, Edwin L., Ill, 657. 
Kindschy, Emil O., II, no. 
King, Charles F., Ill, 1298. 
King, Irving G., Ill, 1271. 
King, James I, 757, 760. 
King, Mary F., Ill, 1272. 
King, Wiley, III, 1294. 
King and Gilette, I, 288. 
Kingmont, I, 714. 
Kingsbury, Adkin W., Ill, 825. 
Kinkel, George, I, 547. 
Kinmonth, Charles F., II, 63. 
Kinsella, John B., Ill, 712. 
Kinsella, Lawrence L, III, 713. 
Kinsey, I, 703. 

Kinsman, (Mrs.) E. E., I, 786. 
Kipp, James, I, 112. 
Kirby, Charles N., II, 398. 
Kirkwood, W. F., I, 419. 
Kiskadden, J. H., I, 335. 
Kittson, Norman W., I, 561. 
Klein, George H., Ill, 1250. 
Klein, Henry, I, 552. 
Kleve, S. Lawrence, III, 903. 
Kline, Charles F., Ill, 1105. 
Kline, Henry S., Ill, 690. 
Klinkhammer, Joseph H., Ill, 874. 
Knapp, Daniel, III, 1332. 
Knight, Albert B., I, 549. 
Knight, Arthur C, II, 128. 
Knight, E. W., I, 446. 
Knowles, Hiram, I, 378, 420, 421 ; retires 

from Supreme Bench, 426; sketch of, 

437, 444- 

Knott, E. B., Ill, 863. 
Knudsen, William P., II, 377. 
Kobelin, George J., II, 22. 
Koch, Edwin, III, 1195. 
Koch, Peter, I, 306, 547. 
Kohrs, Conrad, I, 316, 394, 395; III, 1061. 
Kohrs and Bielenberg; I, 395. 
Kommers, Louis H., Ill, 827. 
Kootenai National Forest, I, 624, 769. 
Kootenai mines, I, 225. 
Kootenais (1858), I, 172. 
Kopp, John J., II, 400. 
Kopsland, T., Ill, 1034. 
Kraft, I, 708. 

Kramer, Henry J., Ill, 1339. 
Kranz, Mathias, II, 576. 
Krauss, Andrew G., II, 314. 
Kremer, J. Bruce, II, 419. 
Kremlin, I, 744. 

Kress, Ben, I, 878. 
Kress, William J., II, 356. 
Kroeger, Fred W., Ill, 975. 
Krohne, B. Thorwald, II, 235. 
Krom, S. R., II, 350. 
Kronkright, Orrel H., Ill, 1046. 
Krueger, Karl P., Ill, 1154. 
Kutzner, C. M., II, 242 
Kuykendall, E. H., II, 242 
Kyle, Daniel C., Ill, 992. 
Kyle, Mary A., Ill, 993. 
Kyle, William L., II, 292. 

La Bar, Albert A., II, 130. 
LaBarge, Harkness & Company: Busi- 
ness expedition of, I, 177-183. 
LaBarge, John, I, 177. 
LaBarge, Joseph, I, 177. 
LaBarge, Madam, I, 180. 

LaBarge City (Deer Lodge), I, 222. 

LaBeau, Henri, I, 471. 

Labiche, Francis, I, 28. 

Lacy, Francis M., Ill, 1192. 

Ladd, George B., II, 395. 

Ladd, Jessie S., I, 698. 

Ladd, William P., II, 262. 

Lafrance, J. B., I, 74. 

Lagoni, Peter, II, 603. 

Lagoni, Sylvia, II, 604. 

La Honran, I, i, 3. 

Laird, I, 768. 

Laist, Frederick, II, 337. 

Lake McDonald, I, 637. 

Lake Scenery near Helena (illustration), 
I, 753- 

Lake Yellowstone (illustration), I, 636. 

Lamb, John A., Ill, 852. 

Lamb, Wm. A., I, 869. 

Lambard, Irby, II, 530. 

Lambert, John K., Ill, 1393. 

Lamoureux, Edward, III, 863. 

La Mousse, Charles, I, 148. 

La Mousse, Francis, I, 148. 

La Mousse, Ignace (Big Ignace), I, 144. 

Land of the Shining Mountains, I, I. 

Lands : conservation of, 577-641. 

Lane, Charles H., II, 109. 

Lane, George (Clubfoot George), I, 249. 

Lane, James E., II, 5. 

Lang, Edward H., Ill, 1399. 

Lang, Gregor, III, 1043. 

Lang, Janet, III, 1044. 

Lang, John, II, 606. 

Lang, Margaret S., II, 606. 

Lang, William G., Ill, 1043. 

Langford, Nathaniel P., I, 119, 243; (il- 
lustration), 244, 253, 283. 

Lanius, Charles H., II, 633. 

Lanouette, Louis P., Ill, mi. 

Lanstrum, George W., I, 869; III, 736. 

Lanstrum, O. M., Ill, 735. 

Lantis, Horace G., Ill, 1445. 

Lapage, Baptiste, I, 28. 

Laredo, I, 744. 

Largest gold nugget in the world, I, 752. 

Larocque, Francois A., I, 73, 74; meets 
Rocky Mountain Indians, 75, 80. 

Larpenteur, Charles, I, 127. 

Larrivee, Arthur, III, 792. 

Larson, Anne K., I, 503. 

Larson, Thomas O., Ill, 748. 



Lassus, Don Carlos de Haut de, I, 18, 

Last Chance Gulch, I, 209; named Hel- 
ena, 210, 234, 288, 765. 

Last Fallen County Sod School (illus- 
tration), I, 714. 

Laswell, James Q., Ill, 913. 

Lathom, Ray A., II, 16. 

Lathrop, A. G., I, 494. 

Lathrop, Wm. T., I, 869. 

Lauer, Charles M., II, 497. 

Laurel, I, 856. 

Laussat, Pierre Clement, I, 18. 

Lausted, Emil R., II, 595. 

Laux, Philipp, II, 158. 

Lavelle, James P., II, 31. 

Law School established at Missoula, I, 

Lawrence, A. J., I, 359. 

Lawrence, Robert, I, 282. 

Lawson, William L., II, 19. 

Leach, James R., Ill, 1202. 

Lead, Output of, 1883-1918, I, 383. 

Leard, Samuel E., II, 274. 

Leary, Dennis, I, 222, 372, 833. 

Leary, Grace M., Ill, 1230. 

Lease, Newton T., Ill, 836. 

Leavitt, Erasmus D., I, 282. 

Leclerc, Narcisse, I, 120. 

Ledger, I, 804. 

Ledyard, John, I, 21, 22. 

Lee, Albert, III, 856. 

Lee, Edgar, III, 984. 

Lee, Harold F., Ill, 696. 

Lee, Otis, II, 505. 

Legal holidays for schools, I, 527. 

Leggat, Rod D., I, 316. 

Lehfeldt, Hermann J., Ill, 883. 

Lehmicke, O. E., Ill, 860. 

Leighton bill; passed, I, 475, 535. 

Leinenweber, George P., Ill, 716. 

Lemert, Rae J., Ill, 956. 

Lemire, Joseph A., II, 509. 

Lemon, Allan C, III, 1154. 

Lemon, Robert H., I, 183. 

Lentz, Edward O., Ill, 1395. 

Lentz, Theodore, II, 461. 

Lenz, Frank A., II, 160. 

Leo, Willard A., Ill, 1117. 

Leonard, B. A., II, 433. 

Leonard, Charles R., II, 520. 

Leonard, Nathan R., I, 549. 

Leonard, William M., Ill, 934. 

Le Sage, Frank H., II, 132. 

Leslie, J. B., I, 698. 

Leslie, H. P. 

Leslie, Jere B., I, 411. 

Leslie, Preston H.; sketch and death 
of, I, 411; 868. 

"Letters and Sketches," by Father De 
Smet, I, 146. 

Leverenz, Carl C., Ill, 791. 

Lewellen, F. M., II, 95. 

Lewis, Charles A., II, 397. 

Lewis, Clyde E., Ill, 1416. 

Lewis, E. P., I, 335. 

Lewis, Frank B., II, 13. 

Lewis, John E., Ill, 1002. 

Lewis, Mark E., Ill, 950. 

Lewis, Meriwether, I, 18, 19; Jefferson's 
sketch of, 21-23; Jefferson's first in- 

structions to, 23; 27; his romance, 39; 
42, 46, 47, 50, 51, 54, 555 his home- 
ward trip, 58; 59; severely wounded, 
60; 64; death of, 65. 

Lewis, Reuben, I, 103. 

Lewis, Vernon E., Ill, 769. 

Lewis and Clark county: placer mines 
in 1862-68, I, 213 ; number and value 
of cattle (1884), 395; irrigation in, 
603; general description, 747; via the 
U. S. Census, 750; water powers and 
public ways, 751 ; picturesque excur- 
sions in, 752. 

Lewis and Clark Expedition in Montana 
(illustration), I, 2; 19-67; reach the 
mouth of the Yellowstone, 29; return 
trips eastward, 58. 

Lewis-Clark Journal, I, 28, 29, 69. 

Lewis and Clark, heroic bronze statutes 
of. Great Falls, I, 320, 323, 482. 

Lewis and Clark National Forest, I, 624, 
749, 804. 

Lewis and Clark Rod and Gun Club, 

I, 754- 

Lewis River, I, 57. 
Lewistown, I, 719-23. 
Lewistown Chamber of Commerce, I, 720. 
Lewistown Public Library, I, 721. 
Lewistown of Today (illustration), I, 


Leyson, J. H., I, 548. 
Lhotka, J. F., II, 482. 
Liberty County : irrigation in, I, 604 ; 

description of, 767. 
Liberty Loan Campaigns in World's 

War : Chairman and Chairwomen of, 

I, 663-65. 
Libby, I, 770. 
Liddell, Moses J., I, 431. 
"Life of James Stuart" (Granville 

Stuart), I, 187, 209. 
Lignites (coal), I, 238, 386. 
Lincoln, I, 749, 790. 
Lincoln, Fred T., I, 856. 
Lincoln county: created, I, 451, 469; ir- 
rigation in, 604; description of, 768; 

scene in (illustration), 769. 
Lindeberg, Charles A., Ill, 1090. 
Lindemann, Leo C., Ill, 1079. 
Lindsay, F. S. P., I, 761. 
Lindsay, John, II, 515. 
Linfield, F. W., I, 869. 
Linn, Carl A., Ill, 1278. 
Lisa, Manuel, I, 68, 103, 104; last years 

of, 107. 

Lisa (Manuel) & Company, I, 107. 
Listerud, John, III, 1067. 
Literary sources of information, I, 20. 
Little, Mose, II, 243. 
Little Belt range, I, 91. 
Little Big Horn Battle, casualties at, 

I, 354, 356. 

Little Black Foot River, I, 167. 
Little Creek Mountains, I, 32. 
Little Dog (Piegan chief), I, 167, 168, 

169, 170, 179. 
Little Dry Creek, I, 32. 
Little Face (Crow scout), I, 351, 352. 
Little Missouri irrigation project, I, 584. 
Little Missouri River, I, 29. 
Little Rocky mountains, I, 91, 229. 



Little St. Mary's Lakes, I, 638. 

Littlewolf Mountains, I, 63. 

Live Stock Commission, I, 482. 

Live Stock interests, I, 391-403. 

Livingston: state capital contestant, I, 
441; first house erected in (illustra- 
tion, 800; history of, 799; of the pres- 
ent, 800. 

Livingston, Frank H., Ill, 939. 

Livingston, Robert R., I, 16. 

Livingston, Walter W., II, 395. 

Livingston-Bozeman coal field, I, 240. 

Livingston Marble and Granite Com- 
pany, II, 601. 

Livingston Publishing Company, II, 367. 

Llafet, Joseph E., II, 442. 

Lloyd, Charles F., I, 643. 

Lloyd, Walter E., II, 342. 

Loble, Lester H., Ill, 1198. 

Lockey, Richard, II, 526. 

Lockhart, Charles, II, 363. 

Lodge Grass, I, 673. 

Lofgren, Everett E., II, 216. 

Logan, Arthur C., I, 497. 

Logan, Edgar W., II, 263. 

Logan, Ernest A., II, 238. 

Logan, James E., II, 178. 

Logan, John, II, 289. 

Logan, John T., Ill, 1358. 

Logan, Sidney M., Ill, 1145. 

Logan, William, I, 354, 360. 

Lohmiller, Charles B., Ill, 925. 

Lolo, I, 792. 

Lolo National Forest, I, 624, 811. 

Loma, I, 702. 

Lombard, I, 676. 

Long, G. B., II, 406. 

Long, J. B., I, 696. 

Long, Thomas D., I, 465. 

Long Drive (Cattle), I, 393, 394. 

Longest bridge in the State, I, 824. 

Longley, Thomas W., II, 1410. 

Lorance, Clyde H., II, 67. 

Loranger, Henry E., Ill, 703. 

Lord, Reuben J., II, 61. 

Losekamp, John D., I, 552. 

Lothair, I, 768. 

Lott, John S., I, 286. 

Lott, Mortimer H., I, 286, 316. 

Loucks, John T., Ill, 952. 

Loughran, Michael J., II, 502. 

Louisiana, United States acquires, I, 16. 

Loveland, Russ A., Ill, 1361. 

Lovell, William Y., I, 289, 415. 

Lowe, Henry P., Ill, 787. 

Lowe & Powers, I, 815. 

Lower Yellowstone, reclamation project, 
I, 587; (illustration), 588. 

Lowery, Charles R., Ill, 1055. 

Lowery, Robert W., Ill, 1055. 
,Lowry, Bill, I, 252. 

Lowry, John A., Ill, 1441. 

Lowry, Thomas J., I, 415, 422. 
Lucas, Frederick D., II, 296. 

Lucas lode, I, 220. 

Luce, Sarah S., II, 503. 

Luce, T. L., I, 218. 

Luce, Thompson W., II, 503. 

Lucke, Lou, III, 703. 

Ludtke, P. E., Ill, 1114. 

Lumber Stand of Montana, I, 625. 

Lumbering in Missoula County, I, 781. 
Lump Gulch mining district, $2,500,000, 

I, 766. 

Lund, Hartwig, III, 1248. 
Lundeen, Gustav A., Ill, 785. 
Lundevall, Torjus, II, 355. 
Lyle, Thomas L., Ill, 1159. 
Lyman, Elias F., Ill, 821. 
Lynch, Neptune, III, 1300. 
Lyndes, John C., Ill, 1392. 
Lyon, Clyde M., II, 414. 
Lyon, Frederick A., Ill, 1443. 
Lyon, George D., II, 443. 
Lyons, George R., II, 121. 
Lyons, Haze, I, 249. 
Lyons, John, I, 218. 

Mabie, J. F., I, 471. 
MacCallum, Charles A., II, 308. 
Macdonald, John J., Ill, 1130. 
MacDuffie, William J., Ill, 839. 
Mace, George, III, 1405. 
MacFarlane, William D., Ill, 761. 
Machemer, Frank W., II, 74. 
Mack, Forest M., Ill, 677. 
Mackenzie, Charles, I, 74. 
MacLaren, Gilbert D., II, 528. 
MacMillan, Hugh A., II, 322. 
MacPherson, Harry A., II, 333. 
Macrum, E. A., I, 761. 
Madison, Bill, I, 185. 
Madison, Ed., I, 222. 
Madison, Frank, I, 222, 371. 
Madison, James, I, 48. 
Madison county; placer mines in 1862- 

69, I, 213 ; created, 281 ; number and 

value of cattle (1884), 395; irrigation 

in, 604; description of, 771. 
Madison National Forest, I, 624. 
Madison range, I, 91. 
Madison River, I, 48, 61, 89, 230. 
Madison State Bank, I, 772. 
Madoc, I, 708. 
Madsen, Jacob P., II, 248. 
Magee, George W., II, 478. 
Maggie (Missouri River steamboat), I, 

Maginnis, Martin, I, 316; sketch of, 

404; 445, 447. 

Magraw, Henry S., II, 520. 
Magruder, Lloyd, I, 252. 
Maguire, John C., II, 129. 
Maher, John C, III, 836. 
Mahon, Archibald W., I, 581; III, 953. 
Mail and telegraph lines, first, I, 556. 
Maillet, Herbert A., Ill, 1222. 
Main, Clara, I, 721. 
Mains, Frank, III, 1347. 
Mair, John F., II, 562. 
Major, Adolph A., Ill, 811. 
Malloy, Dan T., II, 471. 
Malone, Francis M., II, 432. 
Maloney, William H., II, 397. 
Malta, I, 588, 803. 
Mammoth Hot Springs, Yellowstone 

Park (illustration), I, 634. 
Man Afraid of His Horses (Sioux 

Chief), I, 341, 343, 344, 345- 
Mandan Villages : Lewis and Clark 

journey to, I, 27. 
Mandans, I, 74. 



Mangan, Louis A., Ill, II35- 
Manganese, properties suffer . when war 

ends, I, 382. 
Manhattan, I, 729. 
Manitou, I, pi. 
Manix, J. Clarence, III, 693. 
Manley, John E., II, 330. 
Manson, I, 804. 
Mantle, Lee: rejected from U. S. Senate, 

I, 449; elected U. S. Senator, 451; 

sketch of, 456. 
Manuel's Fort, I, 69. 
Marbois, Barbe, I, 16. 
Margetts, Leslie R., II, 484. 
Margry, Pierre, I, 4. 
Maria's River, romance of, I, 39; 59. 

229; post at the mouth of, 138. 
Maring, John C, II, 378. 
Marks, Rufus, III, 1094. 
Marks and Brands, I, 391. 
Markuson, Nels K., Ill, 1097. 
Marlow, Thomas A., I, 489. 
Marlowe, Thomas N., II, 418. 
Marques, Oscar, III, 796. 
Marques, Scott, III, 796. 
Marron, Hugh N., Ill, 875. 
Marrs, Charles B., Ill, 1375- 
Marrs, Fred P., II, 593- 
Marsh, Charles H., II, 445- 
Marsh, Cromwell, III, 857. 
Marshall, Charles L., Ill, 815. 
Marshall, C. S., I, 438. 
Marshall, Thomas C., I, 453. 
Marshall, W. R., I, 243. 
Marsland, Steven, I, 249. 
Marston, William J. R., Ill, 1350. 
.Martin, Harry T., Ill, 926. 
Martin, James L., II, 179. 
Martin, Martin, III, 1278. 
Martin, N. L., II, 222. 
Martin, Roscoe G., II, 266. 
Martine, Isaac S., Ill, 671. 
Marvin, Ernest L., II, 49. 
Marysville, I, 749. 
Marysville mining district, $57,140,000, I, 


Mason, Dwight N., II, 456. 
Mason, James, I, 319. 
Masonry : cradle of, in Virginia City, I, 


Masters, Harry S., II, 389. 
Mathewes, Barnard J., Ill, 1032. 
Mathews, Ed, II, 552. 
Mathews, O. C., I, 217. 
Mathews, Thomas J., Ill, 1443. 
Matkin, Judson D., Ill, 808. 
Matlock, S. W., II, 232. 
Matney, J. H., Ill, 685. 
Matson, Howard E., II, 580. 
Matteson, B. R., Ill, 1381. 
Matthews, Charles A., Ill, 835. 
Matthews, John A., II, 642. 
Matthews, Thomas, II, 565. 
Maudru, Joseph, II, 417. 
Maury, Henry L., Ill, 1075. 
Maxey, Robert J., I, 659. 
Maxham, Frank A., Ill, 1420. 
Maximilian, Prince, I, 122. 
Maxson, Lewis L., Ill, 1114. 
May, George, I, 419. 
Mayer, Jacob A., Ill, 700. 

Mayhew, Alexander E., I, 282, 289. 

McAboy, Charles D., II, 489. 

McAdow, Perry W., L, 219, 851. 

McAdow, P. S., I, 189. 

McAdow, William, I, 198. 

McAfee, Harry E., Ill, 1031. 

McAlister, Glenn C., II, 210. 

McArthur, Neil, I, 225. 

McCabe, I, 817. 

McCafferty, Richard, I, 192. 

McCalman, James, II, 185. 

McCarten, Robert E., II, 616. 

McCarthy, Eugene, III, 996. 

McCarthy, P. H., II, 123. 

McClammy, Quincy P., Ill, 1019. 

McClarty, James, II, 429. 

McClelland, Robert P., II, 416. 

McClellan's (Pacific City), I, 213. 

McClurg, J. E., I, 217. 

McCone County : created, I, 483 ; irri- 
gation in, 605 ; description of, 775. 

McConnell, N. W., I, 430, 431. 

McConnell, Odell W., Ill, 659. 

McConochie, Stewart, II, 303. 

McConville, Edward, III, 861. 

McCormick, John E., Ill, 1059. 

McCormick, Paul, I, 316. 

McCormick, W. H., II, 2. 

McCormick, Washington J., I, 282, 286, 
289, 868; II, 579- 

McCormick of Montana, II, 2. 

McCuiston, Joshua P., Ill, 1409. 

McDaniel, Myron, III, 944. 

McDole, Edward I., II, 491. 

McDonald, I, 134. 

McDonald, Angus, I, 176, 184. 

McDonald, Benjamin, III, 1404. 

McDonald, E. H., I, 549. 

McDonald, John D., II, 572. 

McDonnell, J. L., II, 222. 

McDonough, Joseph A., Ill, 685. 

McDonough, Thomas J., Ill, 1426. 

McDowell, Wilkin C., Ill, 1374. 

McDowell, William W., II, 150. 

McEnery & Packard, I, 373. 

McFatridge, Arthur E., Ill, 668. 

McGee, George T., Ill, 1220. 

McGee, L. E., Ill, 848. 

McGehee, Edward, III, 1254. 

McGinley, Hugh S., Ill, 676. 

McGinnis, James, I, 304. 

McGrath, D. J., Ill, 1226. 

McGrath, Leo J., Ill, 1172. 

McGrath, Thomas P., II, 297. 

McGregor, Harry J., II, 639. 

McHatton, John J., I, 433, 438, 540. 

Mclntire, Oliver V., II, 525. 

Mclntosh, John H., II, 115. 

Mclntyre, James, III, 1010. 

McKay, Charles J., Ill, 1243. 

McKay, Joseph R., Ill, 1269. 

McKay (Scout), I, 166, 167, 171; scalps 
three Blackfeet, I, 172, 173. 

McKee, John W., Ill, 1310. 

McKenna, Nina, I, 760. 

McKenzie, Charles, I, 73. 

McKenzie, George F., Ill, 1260. 

McKenzie, Kenneth, I, in; inaugurates 
steamboat navigation to the Yellow- 
stone, 113; end of Montana career and 



death of, 121; 122, 135, 139, 140; last 
years and death of, 141, 152. 

McKenzie, Roderick, I, 73. 

McKenzie, Thomas J., II, 335. 

McKenzie, Thomas W., Ill, 697. 

McKnight, Roy E., II, 545. 

McLain, Mathew, III, 766. 

McLaren, John, III, 886. 

McLaughlin, Angus L., II, 188. 

McLean, Samuel, I, 207, 218, 219, 281, 
282, 286. 

McLeary, James H., I, 427; (portrait), 
428; 430. 

McLemore, Clyde, III, 1365. 

McLeod, Charles H., II, 469. 

McLure, A. K., I, 286. 

McMahon, William J., II, 498. 

McMannamy, William P., Ill, 1006. 

McMath, William L., I, 282, 289, 415. 

McMillan, John A., II, 99. 

McMullen, W. J., II, 104. 

McNair, Benedict P., II, 539. 

McNamara's Landing, I, 790. 

McNamee, James F., Ill, 1060. 

McNaughton, William W., II, 150. 

M'Neal, Hugh, I, 28. 

McPherson, Howard P., II, 37. 

McTaggart, Archie, II, 473. 

McVay, Oscar R., II, 587. 

McVey, William C., Ill, 1102. 

Mead, C. A., I, 761. 

Meade, D. P., II, 117. 

Meader, Charles T., I, 834. 

Meaderville, I, 827, 834, 837. 

Meagher, Thomas F., acting governor, 
I, 280; 298, 299; death of, 300-303; 
408, 416, 417; memorials to (illustra- 
tion), 466. 

Meagher County : placer mines in- 1862- 
68, I, 213; number and value of cattle 
(1884), 395; irrigation in, 605; de- 
scription of, 777. 

Meagher County School, old box-car 
type (illustration), I, 512. 

Medicine Lake, I, 826. 

Medicine River, I, 42, 59, 62. 

Melchert, Bertram P., Ill, 1414. 

Meldrum, Robert, I, 129; sketch of, 130; 
(portrait), 214. 

Melton, J. Thomas, II, 367. 

Melstone, I, 797. 

Mendenhall, Henry S., II, 168. 

Menetry, Joseph, I, 786. 

Mengarini, Gregory, I, 147, 150, 154. 

Menzemer, H. J., Ill, 762. 

Meredith, James E., II, 365. 

Merkle, Arthur W., II, 472. 

Merkle, George W., Ill, 708. 

Merrick, Joseph, III, 1174. 

Merrill, Franklin T., Ill, 706. . 

Merrill, T. G., I, 287. 

Merriman, Nathaniel, I, 282. 

Metcalf, John, II, 635. 

Metcalf, Margaret E., II, 635. 

Methodist missionaries, I, 145. 

Metropolitan Police law, I, 464. 

Mettler, Edgar W., II, 28. 

Mettler, J. M., Ill, 1095. 

Meyer, Carl R., II, 210. 

Meyer, W. F., I, 471. 

Meyerhoff, Emmett F., Ill, 1245. 

Michels,. James J., Ill, 1121. 

Midland Empire Fair Association, I, 

Milburn, George R., I, 436, 438. 

Miles, Arthur W., II, 260. 

Miles, G. M., I, 704, 707. 

Miles, Nelson A., attempted assassina- 
tion of, I, 359 ; 362, 363, 364. 

Miles City : great center of range cattle, 
! 395 ; 399 ; municipal light and water 
systems, 703; public institutions at, 
704; center of horse trade, 705; 
churches and fraternities, 705; stage 
lines and highways, 706. 

Miles City Club, I, 705. 

Miles City Hospital, I, 704. 

Milk River: Lewis and Clark discover, 
If 33; 229. 

Milk River reclamation project, I, 587, 

Milk River Valley, I, 801. 

Mill Creek, I, 231. 

Millar, Joseph H., I, 285. 

Miller, Charles H., Ill, 1238. 

Miller, Curtis M., Ill, 1168. 

Miller, D. J., I, 210. 

Miller, Henry A., Ill, 747. 

Miller, Henry B., Ill, 1402. 

Miller, Joaquin, on placer deposits, I, 
234; 412; on quartz mining litigation, 

Miller, J. K., II, 157. 

Miller, John R., I, 645. 

Miller, J. V., Ill, 1168. 

Miller, John W., II, 416. 

Miller, Leslie F., II, 1146. 

Miller, Lillian G., II, 568. 

Miller, Marshall E., II, 192. 

Miller, Sidney, II, 620. 

Miller, Thomas B., Ill, 763. 

Miller, William D., Ill, 1153. 

Miller, W. H. H., I, 430. 

Milliken, Elizabeth D., Ill, 767. 

Mills, C. C, II, 44. 

Mills, Fred G., Ill, 1163. 

Mills, James H., I, 497. 

Mills, James S., I, 213. 

Mills, William S., Ill, 848. 

Mineral County: as a copper producer, 
I, 384; irrigation in, 606; description 
of, 778. 

Mineral output of Montana, value and 
qualities of (1919), I, 384. 

Mineral Range, I, 90. 

Miners Courts established, I, 218. 

Mining, smelting and ore testing, in Hel- 
ena District, I, 761. 

Minnesota & Montana Improvement 
Company, I, 851. 

Minnick, Robert P., Ill, 972. 

Minnie Healy mine, I, 377, 378. 

Missoula: natural advantages (1858), I, 
166; incorporated, 409; state capital 
contestant, 441 ; (city of the five val- 
leys), sketch of, 784; her parks, I, 


Missoula County: I, 190; created, 225; 
281 ; number and value of cattle 
(1884), 395; irrigation in, 606; of the 
five valleys, 780 ; lumber, drainage and 
water supply, 781 ; evolution of, 782 ; 



development of its valleys, 7QO; 
dairying in, 792. 

Missoula County High School, I, 787; 
II, 463- 

Missoula Creamery, I, 785. 

Missoula Free Public Library, I, 785. 

Missoula Light and Power Company, I, 

Missoula lode, I, 222. 

Missoula Mills, I, 225. 

Missoula National Forest, I, 624, 741, 

Missoula River, I, 90, 226, 227. 

Missoulian Publishing Company, II, 465. 

Missouri Fur Company, I, 103, 104, 108; 
its expedition wiped out, 109; no. 

Missouri River: its true source, the Jef- 
ferson, I, 88; geological origin of, 96; 

Mitchell, Alonzo L., Ill, 1383. 

Mitchell, David D., I, 112, 121; death 
of, 123; 139. 

Mitchell, Robert M., II, 604. 

Mitchell, Harry B., II, 608. 

Mitchell, William, I, 251. 

Mo, Elmer J., II, 163. 

Modern Wolf Point Schools (illustra- 
tion), I, 818. 

Mohn, Mathis, II, 625. 

Mohrherr, John, III, 1115. 

Molleur, L. F., Ill, 716. 

Molt, I, 840. 

Monarch, I, 699. 

Monberg, Morris P., II, 270. 

Mondak, I, 708, 817. 

Monroe, Hugh, I, 638. 

Monroe, James, I, 16. 

Monroe, Joseph E., I, 551 ; II, 339. 

Monroe, Mary, III, 1435. 

Montague, I, 702. 

Montana ("Land of the Shining Moun- 
tains"), I, i; its natural features, 88- 
102; comparative area and low altitude 
as a Rocky Mountain State, 92; its 
valleys (by William A. Clark), 93; its 
geology, 94; post tertiary (glacial) 
period, 96; variety and wealth of its 
geological deposits, 100; its coal and 
precious stones, 101 ; first election in, 
190; bar, 212; its first post office and 
election, 219, 220; its name and great 
basins, 226-234; dawn of law and 
order, I, 278-315; territory organized 
and first Bannack Legislature, 281 ; 
clash between assembly and judiciary, 
298; memorials proposed, 324; last 
epoch of territorial government, 404- 
413 ; Supreme Court reports, 418, 425 ; 
State Constitution of 1889, 439; appor- 
tionment of state senators and repre- 
sentatives (1889), 441; becomes a 
state, 442 ; first state officers, 443 ; sec- 
ond legislative assembly, 448; final 
contest for location of state capital, 
451; finances in 1920-21, 486, 488; her 
system of higher education, 528; mili- 
tary history of, 642-666; merchants: 
increase in snet work (1900-1920), 
Montana Bar Association, I, 433, 435. 

Montana Bridge and Ferry Company, I, 


Montana buffalo still ranging (illustra- 
tion), I, 783. 
Montana Building, Louisiana Exposition 

(illustration), I, 461. 
Montana Central Railway, I, 375. 
Montana City, I, 190, 212; in early days 

(illustration), 287; 288. 
Montana Club, Helena, I, 761. 
Montana coal mine (illustration), I, 240. 
Montana Collegiate Institute, I, 496. 
Montana Deaconess School, I, 553. 
Mountain District, I, 342. 
Montana Fish Hatchery, Anaconda, I, 


Montana Flour Mills Company (illustra- 
tion), I, 693. 
Montana Game and Fish Commission, I, 

Montana Hide and Fur Company, I, 304, 

Montana Horticultural Society, I, 878- 

Montana Infantry, First Regiment, I, 


Montana Irrigation Commission : cre- 
ated, I, 484; report of, for 1920, 586. 
Montana Mercantile Company, II, 555. 
Montana Mining Association, I, 765. 
Montana Ore Purchasing Company, I, 

376, 377, 378. 

Montana Pioneers' Society, I, 483. 
Montana Power Company, I, 630; its 
hydro-electric plants, 632; 689, 719, 
772; plant at Thompson Falls, 8*24. 
Montana Quicksilver Company, I, 287. 
Montana School for Deaf and Blind and 

Backward Children, I, 553. 
Montana State Bureau of Mines and 

'Metallurgy; established, I, 484; 831. 
Montana State College, I, 500, 528. 
Montana State Fair established, I, 460. 
Montana State Humane Society created, 


Montana State Industrial School, I, 479. 
Montana State Normal School, I, 500, 

528, 551. 
Montana State Prison, Deer Lodge, I, 


Montana State Reform School: name 
changed to Montana State Industrial 
School, I, 479. 
Montana State Tuberculosis Sanitarium 

located, I, 470. 
Montana Stock Growers' Association, I, 


Montana Trade Commission, I, 485. 
Montana Union Railroad, I, 375. 
Montana Volunteer Militia, I, 642. 
Montana Wesleyan University, I, 552, 

553; HI, II53- 

Montana Western Railroad, I, 568. 
Montana, Wyoming and Southern Rail- 
road, I, 568. 

Mooney, Daniel F., II, 600. 
Moore, I, 717. 
Moore, Charley, I, 251. 
Moore, Elanson C, I, 415. 
Moore, George F., Ill, 1221. 
Moore, Perry J., Ill, 1220. 



Moorman, Edward H., II, 272. 

Moran, John E., Ill, 834. 

Morck, Fred D., Ill, 1005. 

Morgan, Edward F., Ill, 1141. 

Morgan, Heber G., II, 289. 

Morier, Henry, I, 218. 

Morony, Mary E., I, 322. 

Morrell, Fred, I, 869. 

Morrill Acts of Congress, I, 546. 

Morrill, Almeron D., Ill, 1141. 

Morrill, Robert A., Ill, 720. 

Morris, Claude F., Ill, 1004. 

Morris, Jennie M., Ill, 1029. 

Morrow, Bayard S., II, 402. 

Morrow, Thomas M., Ill, 876. 

Morse, Averill P., II, 281. 

Morse, Elmer J., Ill, 717. 

Morse, Frank M., II, in. 

Morse, George W., I, 316; II, 280. 

Morse, Sherburne, III, 689. 

Morton, C. D., Ill, 858. 

Morton, John O., I, 725. 

Mortson, O. C., I, 94. 

Mosby, I, 735. 

Mosby, O. P. J., Ill, 846. 

Mosby Oil fields, I, 797. 

Moser, Gust, II, 570. 

Mosher, Esek R., II, 344. 

Moss, Preston B., II, 218. 

Mother St. Joseph, III, 872. 

Motor Vehicles registered, I, 575. 

Mouat, Thomas H., Ill, 1382. 

Mount St. Charles College, Helena, I, 

553; 755; HI, 1138. 
Mount Sentinel, Missoula, I, 788. 
Mountain Crows, I, 141. 
Movius, Arthur J., II, 193. 
Movius, Rex M., Ill, 1065. 
Movius, Walter R., II, 229. 
Mowatt, Wilbert, III, 1067. 
Moulton, Benjamin F., II, 181. 
Moyer, H. D., I, 249. 
Moyle, John R., II, .421. 
Mueller, Oscar O., II, 89. 
Muffley, Theo., I, 289. 
Muffly, Thomas, I, 415. 
Mullan, John, I, 158, 159, 321, 324, 555, 

687, 785- 

Mullan Government Road, I, 555. 
Mullan Monuments, I, 320, 321. 
Mullan's military road (1862), I, 180. 
Mulroney, Edward C., II, 468. 
Munger, Frederick R., II, 170. 
Munson, Lyman E., I, 298, 414, 416, 

417, 418. 

Murn, Thomas M., Ill, 1343. 
Murphey, John M., II, 541. 
Murphy, Charles, I, 209, 222, 371. 
Murphy, Charles F., II, 267. 
Murphy, Franklin J., Ill, 1236. 
Murphy, George J., Ill, 1241. 
Murphy, James K., II, 20. 
Murphy, John L., I, 419. 
Murphy, Joseph R., Ill, 945. 
Murphy, Patrick B., Ill, 1078. 
Murphy, William L., I, 320; II, 465. 
Murray, James A., I, 334. 
Murray, Mathieson, III, 932. 
Murray, S. G., I, 459. 
Murtry, James, I, 702. 
Musselshell, I, 797. 

Musselshell county: as a coal producer, 
I, 386; as oil producer, 386; organ- 
ized, 469; county irrigation in, 606; 
settlement of, 794; agriculture and live 
stock raising, 795 ; coal mines and rail- 
roads, 796. 

Musselshell River : Lewis and Clark dis- 
cover, I, 33. 

Mussigbrod, James, I, 406. 

Muzzy, J. E., II, 175. 

Myers, I, 845. 

Myers, Adolphus D., II, 109. 

Myers, George W., Ill, 1422. 

Myers, Guy C., II, 156. 

Myers, Henry L., sketch of, I, 492; 868. 

Myers, Otto K.,' II, 109. 

Nagues, George B., II, 649. 

Napoleon, I, 16. 

Napton, Thomas L., I, 419. 

National Forests, Areas and locations of, 
I, 623 ; funds to support, 624. 

National Guard, nucleus of, I, 642. 

National Park Bank, Livingston, II, 

National Park-to-Park Highway, I, 571. 

Navajo, I, 708. 

Nealy, E. B., I, 289. 

Needles, Arthur S., II, 627. 

Neese, John T., Ill, 681. 

Neihart, I, 699. 

Neill, E. D., I, 4. 

Neill, Henry, II, 204. 

Nell, Henry H., II, 159. 

Nelson, Clarence W., Ill, 1049. 

Nelson, Cornelius S., II, 232. 

Nelson, David, III, 1378. 

Nelson, Franc C., Ill, 694. 

Nelson, H. F., Ill, 668. 

Nelson, John A., Ill, 694. 

Nelson, N. L., Ill, 792. 

Nelson, Soren, II, 486. 

Neubert, John, III, 662. 

Nevada, I, 232. 

Nevin, Charles P., II, 386. 

Nevin, John, III, 1444. 

Nevin, W. H., Ill, 1227. 

Nevins, Joseph H., Ill, 901. 

New Powell County High School (illus- 
tration), I, 502. 

New World mining district, I, 798. 

New York-Montana Testing and Engi- 
neering Company, Helena, I, 763. 

Newcomb, Albert S., Ill, 959. 

Newell, John H., II, 151. 

Newlon, Lewis E., Ill, 897. 

Newman, Louis, III, 828. 

Newstrom, Manning C., Ill, 1289. 

Nez Perces, I, 118. 

Nichols, Alice, I, 497- 

Nichols, Edmund, II, 48. 

Nickwall, I, 777. 

Nihill, I, 848. 

Nims, William P., Ill, 1185. 

Nina, I, 777. 

Ninth Federal Reserve District, I, 663. 

Nissler, Carl C., II, 12. 

Noble, Frank C., II, 332. 

Nohle, Andrew F., Ill, 988. 

Nolan, Cornelius B., Ill, 664. 

Nolan, J. M., Ill, 1030. 



Nordtome, Clifford, III, 841. 

Nordtome, Milford, III, 841. 

Nordtome, Robert, III, 841. 

Norelius, O., I, 285. 

Normile, John, II, 250. 

Norris, I, 771. 

Norris, Edwin L., I, 464, 868; III, 674. 

North, Austin, III, 1137. 

North, J. A., II, 94. 

North, Jo R., II, 145. 

North, William P., Ill, 859. 

North Butte Copper Company, I, 379. 

North Butte Extension Development 
Company, I, 383. 

North Butte Mining Co., I, 836. 

Northern Cheyenne (Tongue River) In- 
dian Reservation, I, 640; 819. 

Northern Idaho & Montana Power 
Company, I, 632. 

Northern Montana Agricultural and 
Manual Training College and Agri- 
cultural Experiment Station estab- 
lished, I, 476. 

Northern Pacific Railroad : surveys 
(1853-54), I, 158; 3755 its mineral 
land in dispute, 429, 430; 559; crippled 
by Jay Cooke failure, 560 ; electrifica- 
tion of, 568; 630, 794; hospital, Glen- 
dive, 710; hospital at Missoula, 786. 

Northwest Fur Company of Canada, I, 


Northwest Tribune Publishing Co., Ste- 
vensville, III, 1381. 

Northwestern basin of Montana, I, 226, 
228, 229. 

Noxon, I, 824. 

Noyes, James M., II, 426. 

Nutt, Richard S..-III, 731. 

Nutting, Lucius A., II, 257. 

Nutting, W. B., II, 50. 

Nye, Samuel M., II, 366. 

Nye, Ward H., II, 236. 

Oakwood, Jacob F., Ill, 842. 

Obergfell, Albert R., Ill, 726. 

O'Boyle, James, III, 976. 

O'Brien, Alfred L., II, 605. 

O'Brien, Edward, II, 46. 

O'Brien, Edward P., Ill, 1347. 

O'Brien, George T., Ill, 1364. 

O'Brien, James D., Ill, 723. 

O'Brien, Joseph P., Ill, 704. 

O'Brien, Michael T., II, 541. 

O'Connell, Margaret F., Ill, 1323. 

O'Connell, Michael J., II, 434. 

O'Connell, W. H., Ill, 1323. 

O'Connor, James F., II, 368. 

O'Connor, Thomas F., II, 549. 

O'Donnell, Charles, II, 3. 

O'Donnell, Charles, II, 312. 

O'Donnell, I. D., II, 383. 

O'Fallon, Benjamin, I, no. 

O'Flynn, Edward F., II, 484. 

Ogden, Earl, II, 638. 

O'Hern, Daniel L., Ill, 1091. 

Oie, Gustav, III, 1073. 

Oil development, I, 386-390; Golden Val- 
ley county, I, 739; in state, 876, 877, 

Oil, gas and coal leases, I, 389. 

Oil shales, I, 388. 

Oka, I, 848. 

O'Keefe, Davis C., I, 321. 

O'Laughlin, William, III, 1336. 

Old Ignace, I, 144; killed by Sioux, 145. 

Old Lewistown School (illustration), 
I, 501. 

Oldest School in Montana, still in use 
(illustration), I, 498. 

O'Leary, Albert P., II, 265. 

Oleson, J. P., I, 285. 

Oliver, A. J., I, 557. 

Oliver (A. J.) and Company, I, 219. 

Oliver, John, III, 1212. 

Oliver, Robert S., II, 602. 

Olsen, June G., Ill, 1184. 

Olson, Andrew J., Ill, 1229. 

Olson, George N., II, 457. 

Olson, Ole N., Ill, 1119. 

O'Neil, C. D., Ill, 851. 

O'Neil, Michael A., Ill, 751. 

O'Neill, Charles E., II, 139. 

O'Neill, Frank D., Ill, 1236. 

O'Neill, John J., II, 513. 

Ophir, I, 335-39; town ruined by Indian 
massacre, 339. 

Ophir Gulch, I, 213. 

Ophir Town Company, I, 335. 

Ordway, John, I, 28, 45, 58, 59. 

Oregon Short Line, I, 405, 558, 559. 

Oregon Steam Navigation Company, I, 

Oiiginal lode (Butte), I, 222. 

O'Rourke, James S., II, 543. 

O'Rourke, John K., II, 443. 

Orr, George, I, 199. 

Orr, Sample, I, 282, 415. 

Orville, I, 708. 

Orvis, John M., II, 441. 

Osborne, John N., II, 324. 

Osburn, Roy, II, 412. 

Osenbrug, Jacob, II, 451. 

Osgood, Lattie 'M., Ill, 1256. 

Oswego, I, 846. 

Osweiler, Peter J., II, 207. 

Otten, Elise R., II, 121. 

Otten, Herman, II, 120. 

Outline of Indian Operations and con- 
ferences (Carrington), I, 341; 358. 

Ovando, I, 790, 809. 

Owen, John, I, 132; last years of, 134; 
I 59, 167, 176, 227, 282. 

Oxford, I, 848. 

PaTblo herd of buffalo, I, 784. 

Page, Billy, I, 252. 

Page, Hugh D., II, 323. 

Page, James M., I, 316. 

Page, John M., I, 316. 

Pagenkopf, Herman C., II, 17. 

Pah-sam-er-ri (Stinkwater), I, 222. 

Paige, Merritt C., I, 426. 

Palmer, Allen B., Ill, 725. 

Palmer, Wealthy E., Ill, 726. 

Pampel, Byron L., II, 195. 

Pappin, Isaac, III, 826. 

Paradise, I, 824. 

Parent, William, III, 960. 

Paris, I, 777. 

Parish, Frank, I, 249. 

Parish of Lewistown, II, 25. 

Park City, I, 840. 



Park County, I, 411; irrigation in, 607; 

description of, 797; mining days in, 

798; created, 799. 
Parker, Hazen M., II, 301. 
Parker, Perry M., II, 410. 
Parker, Samuel, I, 145. 
Parkin, Ernest J., II, 400. 
Parkins, William E., II, 358. 
Parmly Billings Memorial Library, I, 


Parrent, J. M., I, 721. 
Parrot, R. R., I, 372. 
Parrot Lead, I, 372. 
Parrot mines, I, 829. 
Parrott, R. B., I, 289, 415. 
Parsons, John M. Ill, 766. 
Part-time schools, I, 527. 
Patch, Ralph E., Ill, 781. 
Patten, Frank C., I, 758, 760. 
Patten, Truman M., Ill, 1023. 
Patterson, Ernest R., II, 113. 
Patterson, George D., Ill, 740. 
Patterson, John E., II, 464. 
Patterson, Oliver B., Ill, 678. 
Patton, Clyde, III, 775. 
Patton, Ulysses C., Ill, 1267. 
Patton, W. H., I, 256. 
Pattonhill, I, 777. 
Paul, George, III, 833. 
Paul, Goodwin T., Ill, 1415. 
Paul, Spurgeon E., Ill, 1020. 
Pauly, Peter, II, 340. 
Pauwelyn, Cyril, II, 214. 
Pearce, Robert, III, 1029. 
Pearson, Frank M., II, 439. 
Pease, Fellows D., Ill, 1050. 
Pease, Sarah W., Ill, 1052. 
Peays, Clara T., Ill, 948. 
Peays, William H., Ill, 948. 
Peck, Walter H. (Lewistown), II, 92. 
Peck, Walter H., Ill, 1216. 
Peckover, Frederick W., Ill, 1426. 
Peeler, D. R., I, 727. 
Peeso, F. E., Ill, 799. 
Peet, Herbert M., II, 590. 
Peltier, Joseph, III, 816. 
Peltier, Lottie A., Ill, 816. 
Pemberton, Calvin W., Ill, 1319. 
Pemberton,, William Y., I, 256, 259, 282, 

284, 289, 316, 324; sketch of, 435; II, 


Pence, Laverne K., II, 29. 
Pender, Peter A., II, 160. 
Pendroy, I, 843. 
Penson, Thomas, III, 1417- 
Penwell, M. W., II, 294. 
Pepin, Exzelia J., Ill, 750. 
Perham, Arthur, II, 576. 
Perham, George B., Ill, 799. 
Perham, Josiah, I, 559. 
Perier, Garfield B., II, 493- 
Perkins, Grover C., II, 633. 
Perkins, Harry E., II, 101. 
Perkins, James R., Ill, 1116. 
Perm a, I, 792, 824. 
Perrine, Arnold M., Ill, 740. 
Perrine, James W., Ill, 740. 
Perrine, Lillian M., Ill, 740. 
Peterson, Amos T., II, 616. 
Peterson, Axel M., II, 46. 
Peterson, John E., Ill, 699. 

Peterson, Peter M., Ill, 845. 

Peterson, S. L., I, 503. 

Petit, Eloise, I, 698. 

Petrashek, Mina, I, 503. 

Petrie, Donald A., Ill, 993. 

Pfaus, Mrs. A., I, 721. 

Pfouts, Paris S., I, 260, 286. 

Phelan, William P., Ill, 742. 

Philbrick, Freeman, III, 1263. 

Philbrick, Newell G., Ill, 1191. 

Philipsburg, I, 237, 741. 

Phillips, Albert L., II, no. 

Phillips, Samuel, III, 1063. 

Phillips County, irrigation in, I, 607; 
description of, 801. 

Pickens, Joseph E., II, 374. 

Pickett, H. G., I, 761. 

Pickett-Journal, I, 678. 

Picturesque Helena District (illustra- 
tion), I, 748. 

Piedalue, Joseph, II, 312. 

Piegan Sun Dance (illustration), I, 169. 

Piegans, I, 140. 

Pierre group (geological), I, 96. 

Pierre's Hole, I, 116. 

Pierse, Allen, II, 558. 

Pierson, George W., II, 32. 

Pietila, John J., II, 225. 

Pigot, Creswell T., II, 585. 

Pigott, W. T., I, 435, 436. 

Pilot-Butte Mining Co., I, 836. 

Piney Buttes, I, 91. 

Piniele, I, 680. 

Pinney, George M., I, 243. 

Pioneer (village), I, 189. 

Pioneer City, I, 220. 

Pioneer Day, I, 460, 465. 

Pioneer Gulch, I, 189, 220. 

Pioneer Home, I, 319. 

Pioneer lawyers of Montana, I, 415. 

Pizanthia, Joe (The Greaser), I, 249, 

Place of Skulls (Bradley's "Journal"), 
I, 310. 

"Place of the Bitter Root," I, 142. 

Placer mining and water rights, I, 421. 

Placer production in Helena Region, I, 

Plains, I, 824. 

Plassman, Martha E., I, 278. 

Platz, Albert E., II, 167. 

Plentywood, I, 825. 

Plevna, I, 714. 

Plew, William R., II, 431. 

Plume, D. J., Ill, 1141. 

Plummer, F. M., Ill, 1069. 

Plummer, Henry, I, 218, 242, 247, 249, 
251, 252; execution of, 264, 266; 332. 

Plummer, Stinson and Ray, execution of, 
I, 263. 

Plummer-Stinson-Ray Scaffold (illus- 
tration), I, 265. 

Poe, Clinton J., Ill, 1150. 

Point, Nicholas, I, 147, 150, 151, 152, 

Polglase, Lester R., II, 476. 

Pollard, Charles R., I, 427. 

Polleys Lumber Company, I, 781. 

Pollinger, Warren E., Ill, 1287. 

Poison, I, 724. 

Polytechnic Institute, Billings, I, 855. 



Pompey's Pillar ; named by Clark, I, 63 ; 
Larocque describes, 83; reached by 
Stuart expedition, 194; 856. 

Pond, Robert E., II, 479. 

Pondera County: created, I, 483; irriga- 
tion in, 608; description of, 803. 

Pontiac, I, 848. 

Pony, I, 771, 775- 

Poore, James A., II, 513. 

Poorman, W. H., I, 459. 

Pope, Joseph, II, 97. 

Poplar, I, 817. 

Porcupine Creek, I, 31, 32. 

Porter, Frank, III, 1428. 

Porter, George P., I, 869; III, 1403. 

Porter, Henry, I, 829. 

Porter, H. H., I, 222, 833. 

Post, Mark, I, 209. 

Posts and Forts along the Yellowstone, 
I, 127. 

Potomac, I, 790. 

Potter, Anson S., I, 282, 299. 

Potter, John, I, 287; II, 651. 

Potts, Benjamin F., becomes governor, 
death of, I, 314; 404, 408; (portrait), 
410; 868. 

Potts, John, I, 28. 

Poultry raising, I, 402. 

Powder River County : irrigation in, I, 
608; description of, 804. 

Powell, Curtis W., Ill, 1027. 

Powell, John W., I, 190. 

Powell County: irrigation in, I, 608; 
description of, 806. 

Power, I, 843. 

Power, T. C: elected U. S. Senator 
(1889), I, 446. 

Power, Wilber I., II, 138. 

Powers, Edward S., Ill, 1066. 

Powers, T. C., I, 761. 

Powers, William, III, 905. 

Prairie County: irrigation in, I, 608; 
description of, 809; railroads and 
trails in, 810. 

Prairie Elk, I, 777. 

Prairie of the Knobs, I, 59. 

Prairie of the Mass, I, 146. 

Pratte, Chouteau & Company, I, 123. 

Pray, I, 801. 

Pray, Charles L., I, 463. 

Pray, Charles N., I, 465, 471. 

Precious stones of Montana, I, 101. 

Prehistoric Mammals of Montana, I, 100. 

Prentice, George D., Ill, 769. 

Presbyterian missionaries, I, 145. 

Press : See Newspaper Directory of 
Montana, arranged by counties, towns 
and cities, and giving politics, date of 
establishment, and names of editor and 
publisher of each newspaper in the 
state, I, 886-94. 
N. B. First item under Press, 25. 

Prestbye, Christ, II, 628. 

Prestbye, E. C., Ill, 962. 

Prestbye, Martin, II, 628. 

Prestbye, Matilda C., II, 628. 

Preston, John F., II, 436. 

Preuitt, Isom, III, 724. 

Price, Benjamin L., II, 140. 

Price, E. R., II, 265. 

Price, Lewellyn, III, 1337. 

Price, Oliver, I, 732. 

Price, Pleas M., Ill, 1010. 

Prickly Pear Gold and Silver Mining 
Company, I, 287, 288. 

Prickly Pear Valley, near Helena (illus- 
tration), I, 210; 749, (illustration), 


Pridham, Thomas H., II, 470. 

Priess, Fred A., Ill, 1424. 

Prindle, J. E., I, 707. 

Probost, Etienne, I, 108. 

Proctor, Israel O., Ill, 699. 

Proctor, Louisa K., Ill, 699. 

Proctor, Merton D., Ill, 699. 

Prohibition : referendum on, I, 478 ; 
liquor legislation, 483; in force, 489; 
Federal Constitutional amendment 
ratified by States, 490; State law to 
conform to Volstead' Act, 491. 

Prosser, E. W., I, 761. 

Prosser, Fred A., Ill, 917. 

Prosser, John R., Ill, 916. 

Prudhome, Gabriel, I, 148. 

Pryor, I, 61, 63. 

Pryor, John, I, 46. 

Pryor, Nathaniel, I, 28. 

Pryor Creek, I, 46, 63, 81. 

Public Highways : of Fergus county, I, 

Public Lands of Montana, I, 577. 

Public road building: co-operation of 
county, state and nation in, I, 576. 

Public School at Bozeman (illustration), 
I, 731. 

Public Service Commission : created, ab- 
sorbs Board of Railroad Commission- 
ers, I, 472. 

Puehler, Charles, I, 696, 732. 

Pugsley, Robert D., II, 449. 

Pulsifer, H. B., II, 560. 

Pumpkin Creek, I, 82. 

Purcell, Michael F., Ill, 1112. 

Purdy, A. T., II, 581. 

Pyper, William B., Ill, 695. 

Radersburg, I, 676. 

Radersburg mining district, $3,200,000, 
I, 766. 

Rafferty, Daniel, II, 136. 

Ragland, O. T., II, 37. 

Railroads : counties authorized to sub- 
scribe for, I, 315 ; enter Butte copper 
district, 375; Major Martin Maginnis 
as a builder of, 405 ; Utah Northern 
penetrates Montana, 407; regulated 
(1912), 472; 558-68; over the Montana 
mountains (illustration), 564; electri- 
fication of, 567; accommodating Great 
Falls, 686 ; in Lewis and Clark county, 
751 ; work of, in Missoula region, 789; 
first Utah and Northern passenger 
trains to arrive at Butte, 830; lines 
accommodating Butte, 831. 

Rainbow Falls at' Great Falls, I, 630; 
(illustration), i, 689. 

Rainbow Lode, I, 372, 373. 

Rainbow Mining Co., I, 836. 

Rainbow Power Plant, Great Falls, I, 

Rains, Robert H., II, 135. 

Rainy Lake Missoula National Forest 
(illustration), I, 626. 



Ralston, Edward L., Ill, 1175. 

Ramme, Chris, III, 1256. 

Ramme, Louis T., Ill, 1185. 

Ramsay, George L., I, 761. 

Ramsdell, Joe, I, 829. 

Ram's Horn Gulch, I, 231. 

Ramstad, Otto, III, 946. 

Rancher, I, 845. 

Randall, John B., Ill, 776. 

Rankin, Carl, III, 1329. 

Rankin, Jeannette : first Congresswoman 
elected in U. S. ; sketch of, I, 480. 

Rankin, Wellington D., I, 528, 869. 

Rapelje, I, 840. 

Rarus quartz lode, I, 377. 

Rarey, Bert, III, 1279. 

Rasch, Carl, I, 437, 438. 

Rasmussen, James A., Ill, 919. 

Rasmusson, Iden M., Ill, 1000. 

Rathbone, Robert M., Ill, 879. 

Rathert, Fred E., Ill, 930. 

Rattlesnake Creek, I, 167, 230. 

Ravalli, Anthony, I, 154; leaves St. 
Mary's mission, I, 157, 161. 

Ravalli, I, 792. 

Ravalli County : I, 241 ; created, 442, 
451; irrigation in, 608; description of, 
810; young apple orchard (illustra- 
tion), 813; resources of, 811. 

Ray, Julian D., II, 293. 

Ray, Ned, I, 242, 249; execution of, 264, 

Raymond, Winthrop, III, 1282. 

Raynesford, I, 699. 

Red Bluff, I, 771. 

Red Cloud (Sioux Chief), I, 341, 343, 

344, 345- 

Red Lodge, I, 678-679; school (illustra- 
tion), I, 679. 

Red Rock Creek, I, 230, 231. 
Red Trail, 570, 575. 
Redwater, I, 777. 
Redwing, Edward O., Ill, 710. 
Reed, Clinton V., I, 654. 
Reed, Frank S., Ill, 790. 
Reed, Oliver L., Ill, 1407. 
Reed Point, I, 840. 
Reese, H. J., II, 34. 
Reeves, I, 249, 251. 
Reeves, A. I., Ill, 737. 
Reiche, G. L, I, 725. 
Reichel, Frank J., Ill, 1233. 
Reichle, August, II, 522. 
Reid, Edmund W., Ill, 821. 
Reid, Frank, III, 838. 
Reid, James, I, 500, 548. 
Reifenrath, Charles H., Ill, 670. 
Reinbold, Theodore, II, 65. 
Reinoehl, Charles M., I, 503. 
Reisz, George S., I, 654. 
Reiter, W. H., II, 637. 
Remains of Bannack's former mining 

glory (illustration), I, 671. 
Remington, Sumner A., Ill, 824. 
Rennick, P. S., II, 528. 
Reno, William E., Ill, 1379. 
Resner, Andrew K., II, 508. 
Revised Codes of Montana, 1907, I, 464. 
Reynolds, I, 357. 

Reynolds, F. B., I, 436, 696, 869; II, 

Reynolds, J. J., I, 356. 

Reynolds, William P., II, 532. 

Rhea, William F., II, 906. 

Rheem, L. M., I, 761. 

Rhoades, William B., Ill, 765 

Rhodes, William M., Ill, 1221. 

Rice, Alonzo F., II, 454. 

Rice, George C, II, 465. 

Rice, Robert E., Ill, 960. 

Richardon, C. F., II, 581. 

Richards, David D., II, 436. 

Richards, Warrington, II, 448. 

Richardson, Pliney S., Ill, 1234. 

Richardson, William B., II, 291. 

Richie, Arthur C., II, 438. 

Richland County: irrigation in, I, 609; 

description of, 813. 
Richmond, Hunter L., II, 6. 
Rickard, Campbell G., Ill, 1214. 
Rickards, John E., I, 443, 446, 447, 725, 

Riddell, Arthur M., II, 546. 

Riddick, Carl, I, 868. 

Rider, T. T., I, 544. 

Ridley, Charles F., II, 100. 

Riedeman, Charles B., II, 593. 

Rimini, I, 749. 

Rimini mining district, $6,200,000, I, 766. 

Ring, David A., Ill, 937. 

Ringling, John, I, 778. 

Rising, Margaret B., Ill, 825. 

Rising, Martin, III, 825. 

Ritch, John B., II, 127. 

Riverside, I, 777. 

Rixon, Frederick P., II, 285. 

Rixon, William P., II, 220. 

Roach, Jeremiah, I, 406. 

Roach, William, I, 192. 

Road Agents' Band of Montana, I, 247; 

personnel of, 249; 261, kill more than 

one hundred people, 250; last to be 

executed, 274. 

Road Agents Rock (illustration), i, 248. 
Roads and Ferries projected at Ophir, I, 


Robb, Fleming W., II, 253. 
Roberts, A. J., I, 511. 
Roberts, Albert, III, 1241. 
Roberts, Commodore B., Ill, 691. 
Roberts, Milner, I, 687. 
Roberts, Thomas P., I, 88, 687. 
Robertson, R. H., I, 415. 
Robertson, R. W., I, 289. 
Robinson, Grant, I, 723; II, 140. 
Robinson, John C., I, 415. 
Robison, C. W., II, 383. 
Roche, John F., Ill, 1427. 
Rochester, I, 771. 
Rocky Ford coal field, I, 240. 
Rocky Mountains : discovery of by the 

Chevalier de la Verendrye, I, 9; first 

view of, by Captain Lewis, 36; seen by 

Larocque, 77- 
Rock Mountain Fur Company, I, 108, 

Rocky Mountain Wagon Road Company, 

I, 304. 

Rodgers, Henry, I, 206, 209. 
Rodgers, John H., I, 282. 
Rodgers, William B., II, 523. 
Roe, J. A., Ill, 1033. 



Roe, John J., I, 558. 

Roebuck, Sarah E., Ill, 953. 

Roecher, Albert C, II, 56. 

Roehl, Edward R., II, 145- 

Roke, Matthew J., Ill, 1367. 

Rollins, I, 725. 

Romaine, Jem, I, 252. 

Romeyn, Henry, account of Chief 

Joseph's Capture, I, 363-369. 
Romney, Miles, II, 538. 
Ronan, I, 792. 
Ronan, Peter, I, 205; (portrait), 206; 


Rood, Guy L., Ill, 733. 

Rood, William E., Ill, 1054. 

Roosevelt (Theodore) Memorial High- 
way, I, 802. 

Roosevelt County : created, I, 483 ; Cul- 
bertson school (illustration), 527; irri- 
gation in, 611; description of, 815; 
mineral resources, 816; tractor at work 
in (illustration), 816. 

Roosevelt Memorial Highway (Glacier 
Park to St. Paul), I, 570, 575- 

Root, Fred, I, 287. 

Root & Davis, I, 217. 

Roper, Eglantine L., Ill, 764. 

Ropes, L. S., I, 766. 

Roscoe, William P., II, 221. 

Rosebud, I, 821. 

Rosebud County : irrigation in, I, 609 ; 
description of, 817 ; formation of, 819 ; 
natural wealth, 820. 

Rosebud mountain, I, 91. 

Rosebud Valley (illustration), I, 233. 

Rosedale schools, old and new (illus- 
tration), I, 523. 

Rosetta, Henry, II, 191. 

Ross, Alexander, III, 784. 

Ross, Carl B., II, 144. 

Ross, John D., Ill, 736. 

Ross, Robert P., Ill, 1333. 

Rothwell, Charles F., II, 421. 

Rotwitt, Louis, I, 443. 

Roundup : center of coal fields and oil 
fields, I, 795. 

Roundup Public Schools, II, 583. 

Roundup Record, III, 991. 

Roundup of steers and horses, I, 392. 

Rowe, James H., Ill, 993. 

Rowe, J. P., I, 238, 239. 

Rowe, William, III, 680. 

Rowley, John II, 41. 

Roy, I, 717. 

Royal Milling Company, I, 693. 

Ruby range, I, 91. 

Rudyard, I, 744. 

Rue, Alfred W., Ill, 923. 

Rue, Fred W., Ill, 1107. 

Rue, Jasper S., Ill, 1105. 

Rue, Leonard E., Ill, 1064. 

Ruff, Frank, I, 223. 

Rugg, Claude C., Ill, 1418. 

Ruhle, Raymond L., II, 497. 

Runner, F. E., II, 294. 

Ruppel, John F., Ill, 841. 

Ruppel, William, III, 840. 

Russel, Edward C., Ill, 1361. 

Russell, Charles J., Ill, 1338. 

Russell, C. M., I, 320. 

Russell, David H., Ill, 1307. 

Russell, Harry J., II, 205. 
Russell, Lillian K., Ill, 1361. 
Rutherford, H. W., II, 466. 
Rutter, John H., Ill, 1040. 
Ryan, C. R., II, 240. 
Ryan, John D., Ill, 1055. 
Ryan, Michael J., Ill, 658. 
Ryan, Patrick, I, 282. 
Ryan, William C., II, 57. 
Ryerson, Lloyd H., II, 229. 
Ryniker, Walter E., II, 261. 
Ryon, A. M., I, 544, 547, 548. 

Sacajawea (the bird woman), I, 28, 48, 
50; reunited to brother and girlhood 
companion, 55 ; 62, 64 ; last years of, 

Sacajawea memorial, I, 783. 

Sacajawea monument, Armstead, I, 672. 

Sacajawea Park, Missoula, I, 785. 

Saco, I, 588, 803. 

Sacred Heart Mission, I, 154. 

St. Ignatius, I, 792. 

St. Ignatius Mission, I, 151; (new), 
157, 160. 

St. John's Catholic Hospital, Helena, I, 

St. Labre Mission, I, 162. 

St. Louis : center of fur trade, I, 137. 

St. Mary Parish, Helena, III, 1030. 

St. Mary's Mission: founding of, I, 148; 
abandoned, 154. 

St. Mary's River, I, 91 ; St. Paul's Mis- 
sion, I, 162. 

St. Peter's Episcopal Hospital, I, 757. 

St. Peter's Mission, I, 161, 162. 

St. Phillip, I, 848. 

St. Regis, I, 779. 

St. Vincent's Academy, Helena, I, 755. 

St. Xavier Mission, I, 162. 

Salesville, I, 729. 

Salish tribe, I, 142; Christian Sioux 
missionaries to the, 144. 

Saltese, I, 779. 

Samson, Jemima A., Ill, 850. 

Sampling Mills of Montana, I, 380. 

Sampson, Horace, III, 846. 

Samson, J. A., Ill, 850. 

Sand Coulee, I, 241. 

Sand Creek, I, 777. 

Sandell, Tom, II, 364. 

Sanden, Fred S., I, 760; III, 1443. 

Sanders, I, 845. 

Sanders, James U., I, 283, 316. 

Sanders, L. P., II, 957. 

Sanders, Wilbur F., I, 243, 255, 257, 259, 
260, 273; coming of, 278; 281, 282, 
289, 291, 300, on death of General 
Meagher, 301 ; 316, 335, 421, 430, 433, 
434, 435, 444; elected U. S. Senator 
(1889), 446; 452; death of, 462; me- 
morial to, 469; 558, 757, 760; III, 956. 

Sanders County: irrigation in, I, 611; 
description of, 821 ; lumbering and 
agriculture in, 822. 

Sandles, H. P., II, 391. 

Sanner, Sydney, II, 550. 

Sanvik, Ole, III, 787. 

Sappington, Henry H., Ill, 807. 

Sappington, Ruphema J., Ill, 807. 

Sargent, Charles C., Ill, 933. 



Sargent, F. E., I, 548. 
Sarles, Frederick H., II, 496. 
Saunders, John, I, 185, 187. 
Savage, M., II, 144. 
Saw Mills of Montana: established 
1898-1919 (see towns and cities) I, 

Schaefer, Frank M., Ill, mi 
Schaefer, Robert, II, 82. 
Scheetz, George, III, 1324. 
Scheuch, Frederick C., I, 533, 543. 
Scheuch, Frederick G., I, 789. 
Schierts, Peter, II, 623. 
Schlechten, Albert, II, 308. 
Schmidt, Jacob, II, 485. ' 
Schmidt, Margaret, II, 486. 
Schmit, John P., II, 173. 
Schmitz, Fred W., Ill, 678. 
Schmitz, Stephen A., II, 580. 
Schneider, William G., Ill, 972. 
Schoening, Harry A., Ill, 770. 
Schofield, John W., II, 425. 
Schofield, Thomas F., Ill, 1356. 
School moneys apportioned (1921), I, 


School month defined, I, 527. 
School of Forestry, I, 532, 789. 
School of Journalism, I, 532, 789. 
School of Law established, I, 789. 
School of Mines: location and buildings, 

I, 550. 

School of Pharmacy, I, 532; reorgan- 
ized, 789. 

Schoppe, William F., II, 414. 
Schrump, August, II, 585. 
Schuch, J. Harry, II, 174. 
Schwachheim, Aug., Ill, 985. 
Schwingel, Albert E., Ill, 832. 
Science Hall, I, 534. 
Scobey, I, 708. 
Scott, F. P., Ill, 867. 
Scott, James S., II, 625. 
Scott, Percival D., II, 646. 
Scott, Thomas C., Ill, 1414. 
Scott, William J., Ill, 1325. 
Scotty, Canadian trader, I, 175. 
Scovil, John, II, 504. 
Scovil, J. Ralph, II, 35. 
Scovill, C. D., II, 420. 
Sears, Edward, II, 154. 
Sears, Henry F., II, 59. 
Sebree, Howard, I, 66q. 
Second Infantry Regiment, Montana 
National Guard: in the miners' 
trouble, I, 648; in border troubles, 
649; at outbreak of World's war, 650. 
Second Infantry Regiment, United 
States Volunteers, I, 650; overseas at 
last, 651. 

Sederholm, Charles A., Ill, 823. 
Seed House of Montana, II, 2. 
Seel, John, III, 894. 
Selby, Lloyd, I, 327, 329, 332. 
Self, James M., II, 118. 
Selters, J. B., II, 78. 
Selway, Delos D., Ill, 1401. 
Selway, John L., Ill, 1017. 
Servis, Francis G., I, 423. 
Sessions, H. G., I, 249. 
Settergren, G. E., II, 143. 
Sevenich, John M., Ill, 1132. 

Severson, Clarence J., Ill 774. 

Sewell, Walter J., II, 573 

Shadoan, J. A., II, 40. 

Shafer, Gordon O., Ill, 827. 

Shanley, Thomas J. B., II, 112. 

Shannon, George, I, 28. 

Shannon, John C, III, 1199 

Sharp, Ralph A., II, 329. 

Sharpe, L. G., I, 415. 

Shattuck, John E., II, 639. 

Shaw, Leon, II, 161. 

Shawmut, I, 848. 

Shears, George, I, 249. 

Sheehan, James, I, 208. 

Sheep: raising of, I, 397, 399. 

Sheep ranch (illustration), I, 683. 

Sheffield, Edward, I, 415. 

Shenefelt, Monroe P., Ill, 848. 

Shephard, Harvey R., Ill, 1277. 

Shepherd, I, 856. 

Sheridan, I, 771, 775. 

Sheridan, Ruth, II, 106. 

Sheridan county: created, I, 474; irriga- 
tion in, 611; description of, 824. 

Sheridan, Charles L., I, 642, 650, 661, 


Sherman, Charles H., Ill, 949, 
Sherman, Frank L., Ill, 1058. 
Sherman, Nora K., Ill, 819. 
Sherman, Thomas C., Ill, 1439. 
Sherman, W. P., Ill, 819. 
Sherrill, Albert, III, 1216. 
Sherwood, J. W., I, 696. 
Sheuerman, .A. A., II, 162. 
Shiell, Robert G., Ill, 1291. 
Shields, John, I, 28, 51, 52. 
Shipley, Whitfield, II, 181. 
Shipley, William H., II, 571. 
Shippam, John, III, 1001. 
Shippee, Irvin L., Ill, 1134. 
Shirley, I, 703. 
Shoaf, Harriet, III, 871. 
Shober, John H., I, 316; u, 641. 
Shoper, John H., I, 415, 422. 
Shore, Will B., II, 269. 
Shorey, B. G., II, 394. 
Short, George N., II, 502. 
Shorthill, Robert D., II, 72. 
Shoshones (Snake Indians), Lewis in 

touch with, I, 53 ; 57. 
Shreveport (Missouri river steamboat), 

I, 178, 179. 

Sibbits, William, III, 891. 
Sidney, I, 814. 
Siegel, Victor, II, 553. 
Sigafoos, Josiah J., Ill, 1425. 
Silver Bow City, I, 223, 372. 
Silver Bow county: as a copper producer, 

I, 384; number and value of cattle, 
(1884), 395; created, 408; irrigation 

in 611 ; county and city almost co- 
extensive, 827; early history of min- 
ing in, 828; created, 834. 
Silver Bow Creek: mines along, I, 213; 


Silver issue of 1896, I, 452. 
Silver Lake, I, 713. 
Silver mining: first in Montana, I, 237; 

rise of, I, 372-375- 
Silverthorn, John, I, 185, 186. 
Simineo, Joseph S., II, 208. 



Simmons, A. J., I, 311. 

Simmons, Hubert A., II, 69. 

Simmons, Louis, I, 199. 

Simmons, Otto J., II, 188. 

Simms, Samuel, III, 885. 

Simms, Susan, III, 886. 

Simonson, Charles C, II, 277. 

Simpkins, Justin C, III, 1008. 

Simpson, Charles M., Ill, 1360. 

Simpson, Joseph B., Ill, 1232. 

Simpson, T. W., Ill, 1178. 

Sioux, I, 308; checked at "The Palace 
of Skulls," 308-310; 342. 

Sioux National Forest, I, 624. 

Sisson, Edward, II, 565. 

Sisson, Edward O. : sketch of, I, 533; 

Sitting Bull (Sioux Chief), I, 345, 346; 
again troublesome, 347; 357, 358; in 
British America, 359; 362, 366. 

Skelton, William, III, 1295. 

Skillen, William, III, 915. 

Skillman, Charles N., II, 264. 

Skinner, Cyrus, I, 249. 

Skinner, Harry J., II, 495. 

Sklower, Emanuel, III, 961. 

Sklower, Max, III, 961. 

Skyltead, Olaf G., Ill, 752. 

Slade, J. A., I, 269, 270, 271, 272; last 
days of, Beidler's account, 273. 

Slater, Peter, I, 223. 

Slattery, John L., I, 868; III, 1218. 

Slayton, Daniel W., Ill, 1345. 

Sleight, Frederick S., Ill, 909. 

Sligh, James M., II, 300. 

Sloan, Mrs. M. A., I, 721. 

Smart, Forrest V., Ill, 1161. 

Smart, Oscar G., Ill, 1160. 

Small, Nellie B., II, 493. 

Smelters, concentrators and cyanide 
plants of Montana : established 1889- 
1919 (see towns and cities), I, 872, 

Smiley, George E., II, 501. 

Smith, Albert K., II, 369. 

Smith, Andrew J., I, 282, 758, 760. 

Smith, Donald A., I, 561. 

Smith, F. E., I, 721. 

Smith, George H., I, 192, 196. 

Smith, Glen A., II, 452. 

Smith, Green Clay, succeeds Governor 
Edgerton, I, 300; resigns governor- 
ship, 314; 415, 868. 

Smith, J. Gregory, I, 559. 

Smith, Harry M., Ill, 788. 

Smith, Henry E., II, 170. 

Smith, Henry T., Ill, 1266. 

Smith, H. P. A., I, 219. 

Smith, I. C., I, 218. 

Smith, James, II, 198. 

Smith, James C., Ill, 1160. 

Smith, Jedediah S., I, 108, in. 

Smith, Lewis A., II, 516. 

Smith, Napoleon B., Ill, 949. 

Smith, N. B., II, 227. 

Smith, Paul, III, 859. 

Smith, Robert, I, 44. 

Smith, Robert A., I, 454. 

Smith, Robert B., I, 451; sketch of, 
452; 457- 

Smith, Robert E., I, 868. 

Smith, Richard F., II, 1039. 

Smith, Yard, II, 239. 

Smith, Veva, III, 1093. 

Smith, Wallace P., II, 458. 

Smith, Walter S., II, 203. 

Smith, William B., Jr., Ill, 1202. 

Smith, William N., Ill, 666. 

Smith, W. Egbert, I, 496. 

Smith, W. P., II, 12. 

Smith-Highes Act, I, 545. 

Smith's River, I, 44. 

Snake Indians, I, 28, 48, 50. 

Snake (Lewis) River, I, 58. 

Snell, Charles H., I, 758, 760. 

Snell, George E., II, 250. 

Snellbacher, J. W., II, 203. 

Snidow, Thomas A., II, 218. 

Snow Creek Game Preserve, I, 735. 

Snow Mountains, I, 42. 

Snow Storm Mine, I, 375. 

Snowden, J. C., I, 732. 

Snyder, Clayton E., I, 661. 

Snyder, Rudolph, I, 868. 

Snyder, Willard F., Ill, 1099. 

Society of Montana Pioneers, I, 316- 

Soden, Jack E., II, 646. 

Soderlind, Will J., II, 43. 

Soft drinks and cereal beverages manu- 
factured : see towns and cities, I, 874. 

Solberg, Inga, II, 415. 

Solberg, J. S., II, 60. 

Soldiers' Home, Columbia Falls : classes 
of inmates in, I, 484, 725. 

Somers, I; 725. 

Somerville, John, I, 210; names Helena, 

211, 212. 

Sonstelie, Carl J., I, 661. 

Souders, Samuel M., II, 234. 

Southmayd, LeRoy, II, 532. 

South Pass : Bonneville and Bridger go 
through, I, 114. 

Spanish-American War, Montana in the, 
I, 643-48. 

Spanish Creek, Gallatin county (illus- 
tration), I, 106. 

Spanish Fork (Deer Lodge), I, 222. 

Sparks, Franklin F., Ill, 1096. 

Spear, Charles, II, 303. 

Spear, J. M., I, 433. 

Specht, Joseph, I, 147. 

Spectacular mine, I, 379. 

Speer, James W., Ill, 833. 

Speer, Owen D., II, 419. 

Spencer, Almon C., II, 166. 

Spencer, Gideon K., Ill, 947. 

Spencer, John T., II, 378. 

Spion Kop, I, 609. 

Spivey, Henry, I, 257. 

Spogen, Dominic, III, 712. 

Spooner, Armon C., Ill, 1207. 

Spooner, Henry R., Ill, 701. 

Spotted Tail (Indian Sioux Chief), I, 

Spottswood, William C., II, 326. 
Sprague, J. E., I, 725. 
Spratt, James G., I, 289, 415, 422. 
Spread Eagle (Missouri river steam- 
boat), I, 178, 179. 
Spring, L. H., II, 168. 
Sproule, G. B., I, 459. 



Spurling, James E., II, 370. 

Square Butte, I, 702. 

Stafford, W. M., I, 289. 

Stage Coach, early day (illustration), I, 


Stage lines : overland and state, I, 556. 
Stager (George N.) and Company, I, 


Stagg, J. P., II, 398. 
Stahl, John W., Ill, 789. 
Stallion Registration Board, I, 530. 
Stalmann, Otto, I, 376. 
Stanford, I, 723. 

Stanley, David S., I, 309, 345, 346. 
Stanley, Henry H., II, 607. 
Stanley, Reginald, I, 210. 
Stapleton, Arthur A., II, 114. 
Stapleton, George W., I, 219, 336; II, 


Stapleton, Wash, I, 207. 
Stark, Roy A., II, 409. 
State Accident Insurance and Disability 

Fund created, I, 465. 
State Arid Land Grant Commission 

created, I, 452, 453, 454. 
State Athletic Commission created, I, 

State Board for Vocational Education, 

co-operation with federal board, I, 

State Board of Agriculture created, I, 

State Board of Commissioners for the 

Insane created, I, 476. 
State Board of Dairy Commission Ex- 
aminers, I, 530. 
State Board of Education, I, 468, 475; 

first meeting at Bozeman, 544. 
State Board of Educational Examin- 
ers, first, I, 511, 530. 
State Board of Entomology created, I, 

State Board of Hail Insurance created, 

I, 483. 

State Board of Health, I, 477, 484. 
State Board of Land Commissioners 

created, I, 469, 577. 
State Board of Poultry Husbandry, I, 

403, 530. 

State Board of Veterinary Medical Ex- 
aminers established, I, 476. 
State Bureau Mines and Metallurgy, 

paper on ore sampling, I, 371, 529, 


State Capitol Commission, I, 452, 453. 

State Capitol contest, I, 441. 

State Chemist, I, 530. 

State College of Agriculture and Me- 
chanic Arts, I, 532. 

State Constitution of 1889, I, 439. 

State Dairy Commission, I, 476. 

State Department of Agriculture and 
Publicity: report on dairying, I, 401. 

State Entomologist, I, 530. 

State Fire Warden created, I, 464. 

State Fish Hatchery established, I, 482. 

State Grain Inspector, I, 530. 

State Grain Laboratory, I, 476. 

State Highway Commission : created, I, 
475 ; divides state into twelve districts, 
483; biennial report of, 1919-1920, 571; 

functions of, 569, 570, 572; revenues 
and expenditures (1920), 575. 

State Highway funds authorized, I, 484. 

State Highway System, I, 574. 

State Historical Library, I, 324, 760. 

State Industrial School for Boys' I 
703, 704- 

State Insane Asylum : ordered by State 
I, 479- 

State Institutions, I, 869. 

State Lands : State Board of Land Com- 
missioners custodians of, I, 577; re- 
ceipts from all sources (1889-1920), 
578, 579, 58o. 

State Legislative Assemblies: first, I, 
446; second, 448; third, 450; fourth, 
45i; fifth and sixth, 453; seventh, 
457; eighth, 459; ninth, 462; tenth, 
463; eleventh, 465; twelfth, 469; thir- 
teenth, 470 ; fourteenth, 477 ; fifteenth, 
480; sixteenth, 483; seventeenth, 486; 
Special Session of 1921, 491. 

State Live Stock Commission, I, 477. 

State Live Stock Sanitary Board, I, 

State Motor Vehicle Law, I, 475. 

State Normal College, I, 529, 532, 669. 

State Orphans' Home, I, 554, 775. 

State Parole Commissioner, I, 475. 

State Prison: Deer Lodge, I, 453. 

State Reform School: established, I, 
5oo; 553. 

State School for Deaf, Dumb and 
Blind: established, I, 500, 745, 746. 

State School Funds, I, 521. 

State School Lands, I, 498, 499. 

State School of Mines : established, I, 
500, 528, 529, 532, 831. 

State Tax Commission: created, I, 474; 
act repealed, 478. 

State Text Book Commission : estab- 
lished, I, 500. 

State Tuberculosis Sanitarium : ordered 
by State, I, 479. 

State University, Missoula, I, 528, 529, 
532; (illustration), 533; history of, 
534, 535, 536; buildings of, 536; Col- 
lege of Arts and Sciences, 537; de- 
partments of, 537-43 ; Reserve Officers' 
Training Corps, 538; School of Busi- 
ness Administration, 538; School of 
Journalism, 539 ; School of Forestry, 
539; Public School Music, 540; School 
of Law, 540; School of Pharmacy, 
541; Library and Museum, 542; Bu- 
reau of Information, 543; Honor 
Scholarships and Prizes, 543; College 
buildings, 546; 787-789; (illustration), 

State Vocational School for Girls, 
Helena: established, I, 484; 757. 

Staunton, Michael D., II, 584.. 

Steamboat trip from Fort Union to 
Fort Benton (1862), I, 178. 

Steamboats in Western Montana, first, 
I, 556. 

Steele, George, I, 215. 

Steele, Lawrence W., II, 282. 

Steele, William L., I, 316. 

Steer feeding in Beaverhead county 
(illustration), I, 668. 



Steere, E. A., I, 500. 

Stennes, Odin T., Ill, 778. 

Stephan, Walter H., II, 348. 

Stephen, George, I, 561. 

Stephens, John H., II, 124. 

Stephens, W. J., I, 422. 

Stephenson, Andrew P., II, 14. 

Stephenson, Sam, III, 1031. 

Sterling, A. M., II, 508. 

Sterling, Frederick T., II, 349- 

Stevens, Benjamin F., Ill, 9% 

Stevens, Benjamin T., II, 654. 

Stevens, Harry A., II, 247. 

Stevens, Isaac I., I, 158, 159, 687. 

Stevens, Jesse H., Ill, 871. 

Stevens, Lawrence S., II, 137. 

Stevens, Melzer N., Ill, 1230. 

Stevens Government expedition (1853- 

54), I, 158. 

Stevenson, Albert M., Ill, 1024. 
Stevenson, Lon C., Ill, 1086. 
Stevenson Co-operative Creamery, I, 


Stevensville, I, 225, 792, 811, 812. 

Stewart, Charles T., I, 869. 

Stewart, David, III, 721. 

Stewart, John A., Ill, 721. 

Stewart, Katherine L., II, 586. 

Stewart, Lon S., II, 1086. 

Stewart, Samuel S., Ill, 777- 

Stewart, Samuel V., sketch of, I, 472; 
868; III, 878. 

Stickney, Ben, Jr., I, 757. 

Stiefel, Edward A., II, 270. 

Stiehl, Frank J., Ill, 1129. 

Stierle, Charles, III, 753. 

Stiles, John M. S., II, 261. 

Stillinger, C. A., Ill, 1277. 

Stillwater county: created, I, 474; irri- 
gation in, 611; description of, 839. 

Stimpert, Adam, II, 611. 

Stinkwater river, I, 222, 230, 231. 

Stinson, Buck, I, 242, 249; execution of, 
264, 332. . 

Stivers, Daniel Gay, I, 643; II, 594. 

Stockett, I, 699. 

Stocking, Margaret, II, 586. 

Stocking, Winfield S., II, 586. 

Stoddard, Amos, I, 27. 

Stoddard, Fred C, II, 23. 

Stoddard, O. F., I, 452. 

Stodden, William T., II, 418. 

Stoebe, Herman, III, 1262. 

Stoebe, Samuel, III, 1263. 

Stoebe, William, III, 1263. 

Stohr, August C., Ill, 1109. 

Stoller, Jacob, III, 1389. 

Stone, A. L., I, 321 ; II, 346. 

Stone, Elbert H., Ill, 705. 

Stone, Franklin L., II, 38. 

Story, Nelson, Jr., I, 869; II, 85. 

Story, Nelson, Sr., I, 322, 544, 547. 

Story, N., I, 217. 

Stout, Charles O., II, 79. 

Stout, Tom: sketch of, I, 471. 

Strasburger, Herman, II, 546. 

Straszer, Walter C., II, 194. 

Straw, I, 717. 

Strevell, J. W., I, 433. 

Strever, William J., II, 196. 

Strickland, O. F., I, 289. 

Stringham, Harry C., II, 214. 

Stripp, Albert E., II, 154. 

Strobel, Roger L., Ill, 1122. 

Strode, Thomas P., Ill, 1233. 

Strong, William G., I, 840. 

Stroup, Charles E., II, 223. 

Stryker, R. N., II, 321. 

Stryker, William, II, 40. 

Stuart, Granville, I, 5; 161, 186, 187, 199, 

221, 222, 226, 282, 283, 316, 322, 395 ; 

appointed State Historian ; his death, 

Stuart, James, I, 135; (portrait), 136; 

161, 186; commences to study medi- 
cine, 189; igp, 192; saves party from 

Crow Indians, 193; locates Big Horn 

town, 195 ; 197, 199, 209, 221, 226, 282 ; 

death of, 311 ; 312; 798. 
Stuart, Thomas, I, 221. 
Stuart and Anderson, I, 395. 
Stuart Brothers : early years of, and 

coming to Montana, I, 186, 188 ; mine 

in the spring of 1862, 189; 200, 213, 

224, 243. 
Stuart expedition : attacked by Crows, I, 

Stuart's first Yellowstone expedition, I, 

Stuart's second Yellowstone expedition, 

I, 209. 

Stubban, Edward, III, 887. 
Stufft, W. F., Ill, 1304. 
Sturgis, S. D., I, 362. 
Sublette, Milton, I, 108, 120. 
Sublette, William, I, 108, in, 120. 
Sudar, Joseph, II, 390. 
Sugar Beets for the Billings factory 

(illustration), I, 857. 
Sulgrove, Leslie, I, 758, 760. 
Sulier, Alfred J., Ill, 1097. 
Sullivan, Ambrose, III, 698. 
Sullivan, Andrew J., II, 615. 
Sullivan, Fred D., Ill, 758. 
Sullivan, Jeremiah, III, 746. 
Sullivan, Nellie C., II, 440. 
Sully, Alfred, his Sioux campaign of 

1864, I, 292-98. 
Sumatra, I, 821. 
Summer, Milton, I, 851. 
Summer Schools, I, 515. 
Summers, H. L., II, 92. 
Summit Mountain Mining District, I, 


Summit Valley District, I, 222. 
Sun Dance of the Piegans (illustration), 

I, 169. 
Sun River, I, 229; reclamation project, 

587, 589. 

Sun River Valley, I, 749. 
Sunset, I, 790. 
Superior, I, 778. 
Sutherland, Elizabeth, I, 511. 
Sutter, Julian A., II, 95. 
Sutton, Lucian H., II, 147. 
Sutton, Roy E., Ill, 1386. 
Swain, Henry H., I, 528. 
Swan, Lon T., II, 240. 
Swan, William J., Ill, 957. 
Swanberg, Hugo H., II, 440. 
Swandal, Austin, II, 375. 
Swaney, A. W., Ill, 1275. 
Swaney, Mary A., Ill, 1276. 



Swartz, John J., Ill, 1217. 

Swearingen, John R., II, 202. 

Sweat, John A., Ill, 750. 

Sweat, Ruth, III, 750. 

Swee, John P., II, 403. 

Sweeney, Bill, I, 206, 209. 

Sweet, Chester W., Ill, 1433. 

Sweet, S. C, II, 482. 

Sweet, William T., II, 482. 

Sweet, William T., Sr., II, 481. 

Sweet Grass county: created, I, 452; 

irrigation in, 612; description of, 840; 

farming and stock raising, 841. 
Sweetland, Levi H., Ill, 870. 
Sweetman, Luke D., Ill, 907. 
Sweetman, Richard H., Ill, 907. 
Sweitzer, E. C, II, 204. 
Swenson, Christian T., II, 54- 
Swindlehurst, W. J., I, 489. 
Swine raising, I, 400. 
Switzer, J. Bertram, III, 942. 
Switzer, Lew, III, 964. 
Sworder, William, II, 273. 
Sybert, Edward M., II, 245. 
Symes, George G., I, 418, 419, 422. 
Symmes, Weymouth D., II, 209. 

Taber, Charles B., Ill, 1314. 

Taffner, Clarence, III, 1377. 

Talcott, E. H., I, 547- 

Talkington, Henry C., I, 321. 

Tallman, William D., II, 79. 

Tanner, Franklin D., Ill, 1330. 

Tattan, John W., II, 461. 

Taylor, Cecil E., Ill, 973. 

Taylor, Don C., II, 68. 

Taylor, George H., Ill, 1039. 

Taylor, Thomas T., II, 155- 

Taylor, Thompson & Company, I, 219. 

Taylor, William H., II, 578. 

Tbalt, Nicholas, I, 254, 255. 

Teachers' Institutes, I, 497. 

Teachers' Retirement law, I, 511. 

Telyea, Ned A., II, 199. 

Templeman, John L., II, 400. 

Templeton, H. A., I, 696. 

Ten Haf, P. A., I, 732. 

Tennis, Albert L., Ill, 1182. 

Terrace, I, 777. 

Territorial capital fixed, I, 422. 

Territorial Judges (illustration), I, 428. 

Territorial Teachers' Association, I, 497. 

Terry, I, 810. 

Terry, Alfred H., I, 347, 353, 356, 358, 


Terwilliger, Lewis, II, 234. 

Teton county: created, I, 442, 451; irri- 
gation in, 612; description of, 842. 

Teton irrigation project, I, 584- 

Teton ridge, I, 91. 

Teton River, I, 229. 

Thaler, Joseph A., II, 43L 

Theade, August, III, H94- 

Theodore Roosevelt International High- 
way, I, 744- 

Theony, I, 846. 

Thex, Charles H., Ill, 1084. 

Thien, Henry, III, 986. 

Thomas, Alfred L., II, 39- 

Thomas, Arthur, II, 507. 

Thomas, Ernest W., Ill, 1190. 

Thomas, John P., I, 316. 

Thomas, M. T., I, 292. 
Thomas, Owen J., II, 246. 
Thomas, Robert E., Ill, 1176. 
Thomas, Theodore H., II, 120. 
Thompson, Carl N., Ill, 1240. 
Thompson, Frank M., I, 282. 
Thompson, Frederick. W., Ill, 764. 
Thompson, Harry M., II, 1322. 
Thompson, John, III, 790. 
Thompson, John B., I, 28. 
Thompson, Peter, III, 1190. 
Thompson, Rufus B., II, 137. 
Thompson, T. A., Ill, 1141. 
Thompson, William, I, 219. 
Thompson, William ^3., I, 773. 
Thompson Falls, I, 824. 
Thomson, George C., Ill, 837. 
Thorkelson, Jacob, II, 365. 
Thornton, Charles C., II, 342. 
Thoroughman, Robt. P., Ill, 729. 
Thoroughman, Thomas, I, 282, 289, 291, 


Thorson, George, III, 660. 
Three Buttes, I, 229. 
Three Forks, I, 729. 
Three Forks Consolidated School, II, 

Three Forks Mill & Elevator Company, 

III, 1050. 
Three Forks of the Missouri, Clark 

reaches the, I, 46; (illustration), 47; 

Three Forks Portland Cement Company, 

I, 719, 720. 

Three Forks Post abandoned, I, 104. 
Three-thousand-mile Island, I, 52. 
Thurber, Charles D., II, 307. 
Thurmond, J., I, 249. 
Tiegen, I, 717. 

Tilly, George H., death of, I, 644- 
Tilzey, Harold C., II, 139. 
Timber on the State lands : regulation 

of, I, 484- 

Timmons, Jacob C., II, 630. 
Tingley, Robert S., Ill, 667. 
Tinklepaugh, Albert, II, 146. 
Tinsley, Basil, III, 1197. 
Tobacco Plains, I, 172; dispute as to 

ownership, 175. 
Tobacco Root, I, 91. 
Tobinski, John J., I, 786; II, 441. 
Todd, Calvin, III, 1235. 
Tolle, Arthur, II, 490. 
Toole, Edwin W., I, 282. 
Toole, E. W., I, 421. 
Toole, E. Warren, I, 430, 433, 443- 
Toole, Joseph K., I, 378, 409, 4*9, 422, 

431, 441, 443; sketch of, 443; (por- 
trait), 444; 457, 46o, 858. 
Toole county: irrigation in, I, 613; 

description of, 843. 
Tope, Joseph C., Ill, 131 1- 
Torgrimson, Henry A., II, 295. 
Toston, I, 676. 
Totman, James E., II, 534- 
Tourists' Park, Billings, I, 853. 
Tourtlotte, Ira B., II, 597- 
Town Gulch, Butte, I, 223. 
Town of Poison (illustration), I, 724. 
Townsend, I, 676. 
Tracht, Simon J., Ill, 695. 



Tracy, John J., II, 1138. 
Tracy, Mortimer O., Ill, 1357. ' 
Trandum, Einar H., Ill, 1349. 

Transportation : McKenzie inaugurates 
steamboat navigation on the Yellow- 
stone, I, 113; river, by mackinaw boat, 
137; first steamboat arrives at Fort 
Union, 138. 

Travelers' Rest Creek, I, 58, 61. 

"Travels in the Interior of America" 
(Bradbury), I, 69. 

Travis, James, III, 670. 

Travis, Jane, III, 671. 

Travona, I, 371, 373. 

Treasure county: irrigation in, I, 613; 
description of, 844. 

Tregloan, Thomas D., II, 404. 

Trepp, Michael, III, 1359. 

Trevillion, Samuel J., II, 537. 

Trident, I, 729. 

Trinder, Charles R., Ill, 784. 

Trodick, Alfred J., Ill, 702. 

Trott, Charlie T., II, 192. 

Trout Creek, I, 824. 

Trower, J. H., II, 119. 

Troy, I, 770. 

Truax, Charles S., II, 423. 

Truitt, L. W., Ill, 1178. 

Trumper, May, I, 502; biennial report 
for 1920, 503-528; 5ii, 528, 869; II, 

Truscott, John B., II, 157. 

Trusler, Harvey S., Ill, 1268. 

Tubbs, Charles C, III, 900. 

Tucker, Frank F., II, 49. 

Tucker, Roscoe V., Ill, 1042. 

Tullock, A. J.. I, 127, 140, 141. 

Tuohy, William M., II, 516. 

Tuolumne Mining Co., I, 836. 

Turk, John C., I, 415. 

Turk, J. C., I, 289. 

Turnbull, William N., II, 474. 

Turner, Charles F., Ill, 1023. 

Turner, Harry W., II, 542. 

Tutt, G., I, 222. 

Tuttle, Arthur, III, 663. 

Tweedie, J. Andrew, III, 967. 

Twin Bridges, I, 771, 775. 

Twin Buttes Game Preserve, I, 749. 

Twining, W. R., II, 636. 

Two Dot, I, 848. 

Tyler, Clayton H., Ill, 1156. 

Tyler, Reginald G., Ill, 1164. 

Tyner, Frank J., Ill, 930. 

Tyson, Harry B., Ill, 946. 

Ueland, Andrew, III, 902. 

Ueland, Justus L., Ill, 1180. 

Ueland, Rasmus R., Ill, 805. 

Uehlinger, John E., Ill, 854. 

Ulm, William M., Ill, 684. 

Ulmer, I, 703. 

Underground mines at Butte, I, 836. 

Underwood, Drewyer, I, 192, 196, 197. 

Union Central Pacific Railroad, I, 559. 

Union Pacific System, I, 558, 559. 

Unionville mining district, $4,110,000, I, 

United States Assay Office, Helena, I, 


United States Government Fish Hatch- 
ery, Bridger Canyon, I, 732. 

United States Gypsum Company, I, 720. 

United States officials (June, 1921), I, 

United States Reclamation enterprises 
defined, I, 590. 

United States Reclamation Service : 
work of the, I, 585-90. 

United States Senatorial election made 
popular, I, 476. 

United States Senatorship : contest over 
(1889), I, 445-58. 

United States Volunteer Cavalry 
(Rough Riders), I, 643. 

University Hall, I, 534. 

University of Montana: foundation laid, 
I, 496, 500; under supervision of State 
Board of Education, 528; origin and 
scope, 529; results of unified adminis- 
tration, 530; student enrollments, 532; 
consolidation of, 544. 

Upper Geyser Basin, Yellowstone Park, 
I, 118. 

Upper Stillwater Lake, Blackfeet Na- 
tional Forest (illustration), I, 622. 

Upton, John, I, 209. 

Utah & Northern (Union Pacific) Rail- 
road, I, 375, 407; extends into Mon- 
tana, 558. 

Vagg, Harry A., II, 256. 

Valencia, I, 848. 

Valier irrigation project, I, 583. 

Valiton, Ribot J., II, 149. 

Valley county: alfalfa (illustration), I, 
401 ; county created, 443, 451 ; irriga- 
tion in, 613; description of, 845. 

Valley of Sin-Yal-min, I, 157. 

Van, John, III, 1248. 

Vananda, I, 821. 

Vanatta, Frank C., Ill, 822. 

van den Broeck, Victor J., II, 26. 

Vanderbilt, John, I, 192, 209. 

vander Pauwert, John, III, 1384. 

Van Duzen Company, I, 877. 

Van Duzen Oil Company, I, 388. 

Van Etten, Lee M., II, 519. 

Van Laken, Peter J., II, 57. 

Vannett, Alba M., Ill, 1423. 

Van Vorous, Benjamin, III, 1147. 

Varco, C. Earl, III, 1074. 

Vaughan, A. J., I, 163, 167. 

Vaughan, Patrick, I, 306. 

Vaughn, L. H., II, 296. 

Vaughn, Robert, I, 392. 

Veach, F. L, III, 1050. 

Veblen, Thorkel A., II, 433. 

Verendrye, Pierre de La, I, father and 
sons, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8; discovers the Rocky 
Mountains, 9, 10; last years of, I, u. 

Verona Town Company : records, site of 
Virginia City, I, 217. 

Veterans' Welfare Commission, I, 488. 

Vezina, William R., Ill, 1162. 

Viall, John D., Ill; 1408. 

Vickers, Robert, I, 773; III, 714. 

Victor (Salish chief), I, 157. 

Victor, I, 792, 812. 

Vida, I, 777. 

Vigilante Trail, I, 771. 



"Vigilantes in Montana" (Dimsdale), I, 

217, 243, 247, 261, 275. 
Vigilantes of Montana, I, 242-277; or- 
ganization of, 260; last work of, 275, 

276, 277. 

Vilas, J. C, II, 269. 
Villard, Henry, I, 560. 
Vincelette, Azarias G., Ill, 1385. 
Virginia City: founding of (Blake), I, 

216; incorporated, 220; 232, 298; 

fourth and fifth Assemblies at, 312; 

3335 territorial capital contest, 422; 

771; of today, 772-75- 
Virginia City Gas Company, I, 286. 
Virginia City Water Company, I, 285, 


Vivion county organized, I, 469. 
Vocational education, I, 545. 
Vocational work, I, 516. 
Vollum, Alfred T., Ill, 814. 
Volstead, Andrew J., I, 490. 
Volstead Act, I, 490. 
Volunteer Signal Corps, Montana, I, 

643, 644. 

von Dachenhausen, A., II, 545. 
Von Eschen, Frank, II, 228. 

Waber, Julius, III, 1012. 

Wachholz, John, III, 1440. 

Wade, Decius S., I, 404, 412; service as 

chief justice, 419; 421, 427; (portrait), 

428; retires as chief justice, 430; 434. 
Wade, D. S., I, 758, 760. 
Wade, John, I, 581. 
Wagenbreth, Charles J., Ill, 1396. 
Wagnild, Otto, III, 751. 
Wagoner, John (Dutch), I, 249, 263; 

execution of, 268; 334. 
Wait, Mrs. Guy, I, 721. 
Waite, Charles W., Ill, 928. 
Waite, John D., II,. 175. 
Waite, William T., Ill, 1108. 
Wakefield, Lawrence, III, 1435. 
Walker, Annie P., Ill, 1160. 
Walker, Frank C., II, 521. 
Walker, Hugh C., Ill, 786. 
Walker, I. N., II, 561. 
Walker, James G., I, 322. 
Walker, J. W., I, 869. 
Walker, Leonard O., II, 183. 
Walker, Nancy J., Ill, 856. 
Walker, Noble M., II, 107. 
Walker, Samuel C., II, 643. 
Walker, Thomas J., II, 521. 
Walker Brothers, I, 373- 
Walkerville, I, 827, 834, 836. 
Wall, Frank M., II, 595- 
Wall, Nicholas, I, 183, 287, 558. 
Wallace, J. D., II, 476. 
Wallace, Robert B.: death of, I, 454 J 

645; (portrait), 646. 
Waller, Oliver P., Ill, 1166. 
Wallin, Charles C., II, 84. 
Wallinder, Peter, III, 693. 
Walsh, J. A., I, 461, 868. 
Walsh, Patrick J., Ill, 855. 
Walsh, Thomas J., I, 463, 47* ', sketch 

of, 491 ; 760, 868. 
Walters, N. P., II, 5^5- 
Walton, Ernest L., Ill, 965. 
Warner, William, III, 870. 

Wandell, Alexander, III, 756. 

Warfield, I, 770. 

Warner, Alfred C., Ill, 749. 

Warren, Charles S., I, 222, 316, '320, 

834, 835; II, I. 
Warren, Fred R., II, 93. 
Warren, Henry L., I, 419, 422. 
Washoe Copper Company, I, 377. 
Washoe Sampler, I, 380. 
Water of the Cottonwood Groves 

(Stinkwater), I, 222. 
Wate Rights legislation in Montana, I, 


Waters, Harry J., II, 51. 
Watkins, I, 777. 
Watkins, Charles F., Ill, 1048. 
Watkins, Charles L., I, 654. 
Watkins, Cyrus D., I, 192, 196, 197. 
Watson, John P., II, 428. 
Watson, Robert H., II, 108. 
Wear, William E., Ill, 1376. 
Weaver, George H., Ill, 1156. 
Weaver, James A., II, 119. 
Weaver, Samuel C., II, 133. 
Webb, William H., II, 475. 
Webster, C. M., I, 698. 
Webster, Frederick C., II, 461. 
Weed, Walter H., I, 374- 
Weightman, John, III, 795. 
Weil, Charles A., II, 185. ' 
Weinrich, Frank A., Ill, 1139. 
Weinschrott, John, III, 1312. 
Weir, Taylor B., Ill, 739. 
Weitman, Lutie, I, 698. 
Welch, W. W., I, 502. 
Weld, Horace A., II, 148. 
Weldon, I, 777. 
Weldon, James M., II, 7- 
Wellcome, George P., II, 379- 
Welliver, Earl M., II, 568. 
Wellman, William, II, 622. 
Wells, Hugh R., Ill, 1346. 
Wells, Willis C, II, 62. 
Welsh, Thomas W., II, 596. 
Wentworth, Charles L., II, in. 
Wentz, Michael R., Ill, 801. 
Wernham, James L, II, 96. 
Werner, William, I, 28. 
Wesch, Philip, II, 85. 
West, Belle H., III., 1313. 
West, Charles M., Ill, 1313. 
West, Sterling C., Ill, 1371. 
Western Central Basin of Montana, I, 


Western Lumber Company, I, 781. _ 
"Western Missions and Missionaries" 

(De Smet), I, 151. 
Western Montana Fair Association, I, 


Western Montana Park-to-Park High- 
way Route, I, 783- 
Western Newspaper Union, Billings, I, 


Westmore, I, 7*4- 
Weston, Charles J., II, 618. 
Weston, D. H., I, 404- 
Westover, George A., II, 375- 
Westover, Robert L., Ill, 1432. 
Wharton, Jesse R., II, 519. 
Wheat Basin, I, 840. 




Wheat Harvest of Fergus county (illus- 
tration, I, 716. 

Wheatland county: created, I, 482; irri- 
gation in, 614; description of, 846. 

Wheatland County Wheat Farm (illus- 
tration), I, 847. 

Wheaton, Sherwood, I, 761. 

Wheeler, Burton K., II, 7. 

Wheeler, Frank O., II, 614. 

Wheeler, W. F., I, 186. 

Whipps, William C., II, 187. 

Whipps, William O., II, 182. 

Whitcomb, Harry S., Ill, 1048. 

White, Arthur, III, 943. 

White, A. A., Ill, 1274. 

White, Benjamin F., sketch of, I, 412, 
413, 669, 868; II, 315- 

White, John, I, 190, 191, 250. 

White, Walter B., II, 279. 

White Earth River, I, 29, 30. 

White Slave law passed, I, 469. 

White Sulphur Springs, I, 778. 

White Sulphur Springs and Yellowstone 
Park Railroad, I, 568. 

Whitebear Islands, I, 43, 59. 

Whitefish, I, 725. 

Whitehall, I, 746. 

Whitehouse, Joseph, I, 28, 46. 

Whitehpuse Creek, I, 46. 

Whitepine, I, 824. 

Whiteside bill, I, 535. 

Whitetail, I, 708. 

Whitford, O. B., I, 316. 

Whitlach, J. W., I, 757. 

Whitlash, I, 768. 

Whitlatch Mine, I, 765. 

Whitlock, Albert N., II, 444. 

Whitman, Marcus, I, 145. 

Whitney, Janet, III, 1209. 

Whittinghill, J. N., II, 221. 

Whitty, Patrick J., II, 572. 

Whyte, Frederick W. C., II, 425. 

Whyte, Jeffrey P., II, 89. 

Wibaux, I, 848. 

Wibaux, Pierre, I, 703. 

Wibaux county: irrigation in, I, 614; 
description of, 848. 

Wickes-Corbin mining district, $57,915,- 
ooo, I, 766. 

Widdifield, Cecil J., I, 662. 

Wiggins, Frank, II, 310. 

Wilcox, Clyde, III, 763. 

Wilcox, Paul D., II, 450. 

Wilcox, Philip B., Ill, 1124. 

Wild, Levi S., Ill, 1223. 

Wilder, Davis E., II, 500. 

Wiley, A. S., I, 397. 

Wiley, Bert E., II. 621. 

Wiley, H. B., I, 707. 

Wilhelm, Albert C., II, 480. 

Wilhelm, Charles C, II, 255. 

Wilkinson, Herbert T., II, 464. 

Wilkinson, James, I, 18. 

Willard, Alexander, I, 28. 

Willard's Creek, I, 230. 

Williams, I, 804. 

Williams, Captain, I, 273, 274. 

Williams, Charles H. (Deer Lodge), II, 

Williams, Charles H. (Lewistown), III, 

Williams, Daniel S., Ill, 1227. 
Williams, Frank E., II, 157. 
Williams, Griffith A., II, 46. 
Williams, Henry, I, 343. 
Williams, Henry F., I, 419. 
Williams, H. J., I, 732. 
Williams, James, I, 260, 286. 
Williams, Joseph J., I, 415. 
Williams, Julius, II, 165. 
Williams, J. W., I, 511. 
, Williams, Robert S., I, 698. 
Williams Creek, I, 230. 
Williamson, Albert E., Ill, 1339. 
Willis, Charles C, II, 80. 
Williston, L. P., I, 298, 414, 416. 
Willow Creek, I, 729. 
Wills, Maude B., Ill, 1397. 
Willson, Fred F., II, 319. 
Willson, L. S., I, 547- 
Wilsall, I, 801. 
Wilson, Charles, II, 72. 
Wilson, Harry L., II, 47. 
Wilson, Henry H., II, 22. 
Wilson, John R., I, 316. 
Wilson, Justice, L., Ill, 1082. 
Wilson, M. L., I, 707. 
Wilson, Robert H., I, 760. 
Wilson, Roy O., II, 94. 
Wiltner, William E., Ill, 710. 
Wines, Josiah L., II, 538. 
Winifred, I, 717. 
Wininger, McClellan, II, 634. 
Winkelmann, William F., Ill, 964. 
Winnecook, I, 848. 
Winnett, I, 717. 
Winsor, Richard, I, 28. 
Winston mining district, $3,560,000, I, 


Winter, Al G., II, 212. 
Winter, Christian F., Ill, 1148. 
Winter, Harold H., II, 212. 
Wiper, Charles, II, 15. 
Wisconsin Gulch, I, 231. 
Wisdom river, I, 60, 61. 
Wise, John S., Ill, 1002. 
Wiser, Peter, I, 28. 
Witherspoon, Thomas C., Ill, 1211. 
Withington, Hal S., Ill, 1244. 
Witt, William, II, 33. 
Wogan, Qle C., II, 376. 
Wolcott, J. Herman, II, 248. 
Wolf Creek, I, 749. 
Wolf mountains, I, 91. 
Wolf Point, I, 817. 
.Wolfskill, Joseph M., II, 177. 
Wolwin, A. B., I, 836. 
Women in the State University, I, 541. 
Women's Self-Governing Association : 

State University, I, 542. 
Wood, Charles L., Ill, 1210. 
Wood, George J., I, 211, 212. 
Wood, J. C., I, 878, 885; III, 1152. 
Wood, J. M., I, 219, 257. 
Woodbridge, J. T., I, 380. 
Woodburn, Burl, III, 1387. 
Woodburn, William W., Ill, 1386. 
Woodbury, Frederick E., Ill, 1071. 
Woodbury, L. S., Ill, 1070. 
Woodbury, M. Cerula, III, 1072. 
Woodman, Martin L., Ill, 1415. 
Woods, George M., I, 758, 760. 



Woods, Louis B., Ill, 1004. 

Woods, Patrick W., Ill, 738. 

Woodworth, Charles, II, 75. 

Woody, Frank H., I, 132, 161, 223, 225, 
316, 426, 431; (portrait), 432. 

Woolfolk, Alex M., I, 415. 

Woolston, Ernest, III, 1318. 

Word, R. Lee, I, 436. 

Word, Samuel, I, 282, 284, 289, 316, 422. 

Worden, I, 856. 

Worden, Frank L., I, 223; (portrait), 
224; 282, 784. 

Worden and Company, I, 223. 

Worden & Company (Missoula), I, 225. 

Work, Lester P., II, 88. 

Working, S. S., II, 325. 

Workman's Compensation act, I, 488. 

World's War: Governor Dixon on, I, 
486 ; Montana in, 650-663 ; total man 
power raised, 651 ; first Montana man 
to fall, 652 ; honor men from Montana, 
653-663 ; Distinguished Service Cross 
men, 654-663 ; Liberty Loan campaigns 
in, 663; Montana's subscription to 
loans and funds, 663-665; Montana's 
allotments and subscriptions, 666. 

Worthington, Lenord L., II, 229. 

Worrell, Stephen, I, 18. 

Wright, I, 848. 

Wright, Al, III, 1441. 

Wright, Clark, I, 496. 

Wright, Edmund, II, 117. 

Wright, Frank A., Ill, 1412. 

Wright, Frank E., II, 299. 

Wright, George, I, 302. 

Wright, George A., II, 223. 

Wright, George F., Ill, 1292. 

Wyeth, I, 121. 

Wyeth, Nathaniel J., I, 120. 

Wylie, W. W., I, 497- 

Wyman, Cyrus K., II, 263. 

Wyola, I, 674. 

Yager, Erastus (Red), I, 247; hanging 

of, 260-63. 
Yankee Flat, I, 328. 

Yates, I, 848. 

Yegen, Christian, II, 327. 

Yegen, Peter, II, 327. ^ 

Yellow Pine Forests in Lincoln county 

(illustration), I, 628. 
Yellowstone county: number and value 

of cattle (1884), I, 395; irrigation in, 

614; description of, 850; irrigated and 

non-irrigated lands of, 857 ; live stock 

raising in, 858; dairy farming in, 859. 
Yellowstone Lake, I, 69. 
Yellowstone National Park, geysers, I, 

118; 633. 

Yellowstone Park memorials, I, 481. 
Yellowstone River : falls and rapids of 

(illustration), I, 70; naming of, 78; 

geological origin of, 96. 
Yellowstone Trail, I, 570, 575, 730, 783, 


Y-G-Bee Line, I, 778. 
York (Negro), I, 28, 44. 
York, James N., I, 192, 196, 198. 
Young, Cleveland M., II, 361. 
Young, George T., Ill, 1439. 
Young, George W., II, 135. 
Young, Ignace, I, 144, 145. 
Young, John F., Ill, 1274. 
Young, William H., Ill, 1353. 
Young, William L., Ill, 927. 
Young, Winfield S., Ill, 776. 
Young, W. E., Ill, 1439. 
Young Men's Christian Association of 

Miles City, I, 704. 
Young Men's Christian Association, 

Bozeman, I, 732. 
Young Women's Christian Association, 

Missoula, I, 786. 

Zachary, Robert, I, 249. 
Zebinatti, Peter: death of, I, 154- 
Zeidler, Leo G., II, 4. 
Zeman, Joseph P., Ill, 1447- 
Ziebarth, Albert W., Ill, 886. 
Zimmerman, Ami, III, 1271. 
Zinc, mining of, I, 382; output IQO&- 
1918, 383. 

History of Montana 



In the days of ancient classic lore when Rome was sending her legions 
into the rocky mountains of Western Europe, the Latin authors spoke 
of the strange and unexplored land as Montana the land of the moun- 
tains. Thus the name became attached to the American Land of the 
Mountains, although her lovers of several generations have chosen to 
think of her in the .translated poetry of the Indian christening bestowed 
upon the Rocky Mountains the Land of the Shining Mountains. Vague 
rumors reached the whites of the New World that such poetic and grand 
christening was based upon the prosaic but enticing fact of reflected 
light from precious minerals and stones. The magnet was one with 
that which drew the Spaniards into the interior of southern United States. 

Besides the lust for precious substance, the French especially were 
possessed with a religious ardor for the conversion of the natives and 
an unquenchable spirit of adventure in the discovery and exploration 
of unknown rivers and lands. America discovered as a continent, the 
second great quest for the adventurers, geographers and royalists of 
France was to trace the grand waterways at which the Indians had per- 
sistently hinted, winding their splendid courses from The Mississippi 
Valley to the coast of the Pacific. 


In 1690-1703, La Hontan, a French baron, adventurer and somewhat 
romancer, explored the country around the headwaters of the Mississippi 
and wrote a purported account of his travels and "adventures." In the 
maps which he published, Long River appeared as a distinguishing 
feature. It was outside of his immediate field of investigation and 
probably drawn from rather vague information which he had obtained 
from the Sioux of the upper Mississippi valley. From the fact that he 
was a proven prevaricator, in many respects, most historians put down 
Long River as a figment of his imagination. Others more charitable, like 

Vol. I 1 1 



the late Joaquin Miller, who wrote a history of Montana in 1894, give 
him this credit : "This is unjust to La Hontan, for there is good reason 
to believe that the information concerning Long river which he obtained 
from the Indians referred to the Missouri, but in passing through the 
many intervening tribes, it became greatly exaggerated. For instance, 
the many lakes on Long River do exist in the vicinity of the headwaters 
of the Missouri such as Flathead lake, Henry's lake, Jackson lake, 
Yellowstone lake, Lake Pahkokee, Great Salt lake, etc., but by the 
time the knowledge of them reached the Indians with whom he came 
in contact, it is very natural they should locate them all on and along the 
upper Missouri, and it may also be that La Hontan could but very im- 
perfectly understand them, and therefore may have made these mis- 
takes himself." 


Among those who severely criticised La Hontan was Father Bobe, a 
learned priest of Versailles, who, nevertheless, held that the Mississippi 
swerved toward the west and south and was constantly urging the 
French government to search for a northern interior route to the 
Pacific. On the I5th of March, 1716, he wrote to De L'Isle, geographer 
of the Academy of Science, at Paris: "They tell me that among the 
Sioux of the Mississippi there are always Frenchmen trading; that the 
course of the Mississippi is from north to west and from west to south; 
that it is known that toward the source there is in the highlands a river 
that leads to the western ocean. * * * For the last two years I tor- 
mented exceedingly the governor-general, M. Raudot, and M. Duche, to 
endeavor to discover this ocean. If I succeed, as I hope, we shall have 
tidings before three years, and I shall have the pleasure and the consola- 
tion of having rendered a good service to geography, to religion and to the 


At this period, France was being ruled by the Duke of Orleans, as 
regent, who decided to launch the great adventure in a practical way by 
establishing three bases of supply for the western explorations. The 
first of these was at the head of Lake Superior near the mouth of the 
Kaministiguia River, where Sieur Greysolon DuLuth had founded a post 
as early as 1678; a second was ordered to be built at Lac des Cristineaux 
(Lake of the Woods) and a third at Lake Winnipeg. The work of 
construction was under the supervision of Lieut. Robertel de la 
None. These posts were not to be a charge on the French government. 
Parkman says, in his "Half Century of Conflict," that "by a device 
common in such cases, those who built and maintained them were to be 
paid by a monopoly of the fur trade in the adjacent countries." Once 
the posts were established, however, it would be incumbent upon the 
government to equip, pay and direct the future explorations.* 

* Historical Magazine, New York, 1859. 



During the first year, little more was accomplished than the building 
of a stockade at the mouth of the Kaministiguia. Then passed three 
years, when the Duke of Orleans sent Charlevoix, the learned Jesuit, to 
Canada to investigate these rumors of a great western waterway to 
a great Western Sea, and in this work he spent a year among the 
Indians and whites of the upper lake region, making full records of 
his travels and conclusions for the benefit of the French archives and 

Pierre Margry, keeper of the French archives in Paris, says of 
Charlevoix's plans, formed as a result of his visit to the country of the 
upper Mississippi : "The Regent, in choosing between the two plans 
that Father Charlevoix presented to him at the close of his journey 
for the attainment of a knowledge of the Western Sea, through an 
unfortunate prudence, rejected the suggestion which, it is true, was the 
most expensive and uncertain, viz., an expedition up the Missouri to its 
source and beyond, and decided to establish a post among the Sioux. 
The post of the Sioux was consequently established in 1727. Father 
Conor, a Jesuit missionary who had gone upon the expedition, we are 
told, was, however, obliged to return without being able to discover 
anything that would satisfy the expectations of the Court about the 
Western Sea." 

The decade of attempts to establish the post at Lake Pepin, named 
Fort Beauharnois (after the governor of Canada), and the mission, 
St. Michael, was surcharged with disaster of flood and Indian assault, and 
in 1737 its commander, Legardeur de Saint-Pierre, abandoned all attempts 
to get in touch with the Sioux and advised his superiors that they should 
be exterminated. 


In the meantime, Pierre Gaulthier de Varenne (known afterward as 
Sieur de La Verendrye), a native of a worthy French Canadian family 
of Three Rivers, who had served as a brave soldier of fortune in the 
War of the Spanish Succession, returned to Canada and become a 
coureur de bois, had his mind full of these tales of Western rivers and a 
Western Sea. Furthermore, the Indians stories were being repeatedly 
enforced by testimony presented by the priests with whom he came 
in contact. 

In his middle age, Verendrye was so well established as a fur trader 
that in 1728 he was in command of the post at Lake Nepigon, Canada, 
whose waters flow into Lake Superior from the north. The most complete 
account of his endeavors to explore the great western interior in search 
of a transcontinental waterway, for which historic event he laid the 
foundation and two of his sons enjoyed the realization, was prepared 
forty-five years ago by Rev. E. D. Neill, historian and president of 
Macalester College, Minneapolis, Minnesota; and to his paper were 


added valuable notes by Granville Stuart, the gold pioneer and long a 
leader in the up-building of the Historical Society of Montana. 

While stationed at Lake Nepigon, Verendrye received from the 
Indians such positive assurances as to a river which flowed toward the 
Sea of the West that he resolved to make an exploration. At Mackinaw, 
while on his way to confer with the government of Canada upon the 
subject, Father de Conor arrived from the post which had been estab- 
lished among the Sioux nearly opposite Maiden Rock, Wisconsin, on 
the shores of Lake Pepin. The latter is an expansion of the Mississippi 
River, about midway between Minnesota and Wisconsin. "After an 
interchange of views," says Dr. Neill's narrative, "the priest promised 
to assist him as far as he could in obtaining a permit and outfit for the 
establishment of a post among the Knisteneaux, or the Assiniboels, 
from which to go farther west. 

"Charles de Beauharnois, then governor of Canada, gave him a 
respectful hearing, and carefully examined the map of the region west 
of the great lakes, which had been drawn by Otchaga, the Indian guide of 
Verendrye. Orders were soon given to fit out an expedition of fifty men. 
It left Montreal in 1731, under the conduct of his sons and nephew, he 
not joining the party until 1733, in consequence of the detention of 
business. After establishing several posts and forts between Rainy 
Lake and Lake Winnipeg, their advance was stopped in the Winnipeg 
region by the exhaustion of supplies. In April, 1735, arrangements were 
made for a second equipment and a fourth son joined the expedition. 

"In June, 1736, while twenty-one of the expedition were camped 
upon an isle in the Lake of the Woods, they were surprised by a band 
of Sioux hostile to the French allies, 'the Knisteneaux, and all killed. 
The island, upon this account, is called in the early maps Massacre Island. 
A few days after, a party of five Canadian voyagers discovered their 
dead bodies and scalped heads. Father Ouneau, the missionary, was 
found upon one knee, an arrow in his head, his breast bare, his left hand 
touching the ground and the right hand raised. 

"Among the slaughtered was also a son of Verendrye, who had a 
tomahawk in his back, and his body was adorned with garters and brace- 
lets of porcupine. The father was at the fort at the Lake of the Woods 
when he received the news of his son's murder, and about the satae time 
heard of the death of his enterprising nephew. * * * On the 3rd of 
October, 1738, they built an advance post, Fort Le Reine, on the River 
Assiniboine, which they called St. Charles, and beyond was a branch 
called St. Pierre. These two rivers received the baptismal name of 
Verendrye, which was Pierre, and Governor Beauharnois (governor of 
Canada), which was Charles. This post (Fort La Reine) became the 
center of trade, and point of departure for explorations either north 
or south." 

At this newly established post, La Verendrye received news from 
the Assiniboines (a friendly offshot of the Sioux) of the existence of 
the strange Mantanes (Mandans), or White Beards, of the Dakota 
family, whose villages were along the Missouri. They received that name 


from the fact that they became gray haired so young. The Assiniboines 
also assured the leader of the expedition, which was more to his mind, 
that the Mandans knew the way to the Western Sea and would furnish 
him guides thither. On the i8th of October, 1738, La Verendrye, with 
three of his sons and a mixed company of Indians and French Canadians, 
to the number of fifty-two, started for the land of the Mandans. The 
succeeding ten days took them, as is believed, to Turtle Mountain, thence 
along the Assiniboine and the Mouse rivers toward their destination, 
gathering friendly and helpful Indian guides on the way. On the 28th 
of October, the first Mandans were seen, and La Verendrye's journal 
contains their first description by white men. At the time of his visit 
during the first days of* December, they occupied six villages on the 
banks of the Missouri, in what is now the northwestern part of North 
Dakota; and La Verendrye called the Missouri "the Great River of the 
Couhatchatte Nation." While thus engaged in friendly intercourse, the 
leader was robbed of all the presents which he had brought with which 
to propitiate the Indians along the route of his western journey, and 
was therefore obliged to retrace his way to Fort La Reine to replace 
his stock of gifts which was, perhaps, the most necessary part of his 
outfit. Leaving two of his men among the Mandans to learn their 
language and collect information which might be of benefit to him, La 
Verendrye retraced his way to Fort La Reine. It was a terrible journey, 
in the dead of a bitter northern winter, and was not completed until 
near the middle of February. 

It was not until September, 1739, that the two men who had been 
living with the Mandans returned to Fort La Reine to report to their 
leader. They brought tidings of strange western tribes who had visited 
the Mandans in the conduct of trade and told of a Great Salt Lake 
and the Great Salt Water. La Verendrye therefore dispatched to the 
Mandan villages as large a company as he could gather under his oldest 
son, Pierre, with instructions to secure guides and push on to the 
Western Ocean. But when La Verendrye, the younger, reached his 
destination, the Indians of the farther west who professed to know of 
the existence of that Western Ocean had departed from the Mandan 
villages and left no trace behind them. In the summer of 1740, he 
therefore did no more than to bring to Fort La Reine another bitter 
disappointment to the elder man, already nearly crushed with bodily and 
mental struggles. 

In the year named, La Verendrye went to Montreal for the third 
time to solicit aid in support of his futile attempts to open up a western 
way. Instead of proffered assistance, he found hungry creditors awaiting 
him. In his journal, published in Margry's collections, he further 
describes the pitiful state of his affairs : "In spite of the derangement of 
my affairs, the envy and jealousy of various persons impelled them to 
write letters to the court insinuating that I thought of nothing but 
making my fortune. If more than forty thousand livres of debt which 
I have on my shoulders are an advantage, then I can flatter myself that 
I am very rich. In all my misfortunes I have the consolation of seeing 


that M. de Beauharnois enters into my views, recognizes the uprightness 
of my intentions, and does me justice in spite of opposition." 

Francis Parkman, in his "Half Century of Conflict," Vol. II, p. 34, 
says: "Beauharnois twice appealed to the court to give La Verendrye 
some little aid, urging that he was at the end of his resources, and that 
a grant of 30,00x3 francs, or 6,000 dollars, would enable him to find a 
way to the Pacific. All help was refused, but La Verendrye was told 
that he might let out his forts to other traders and so raise means to 
pursue the discovery." 


Now broken in health and subdued in spirit, the father turned over 
his dear enterprise to his more vigorous sons, Pierre de La Verendrye 
and the Chevalier, who, with two fellow Frenchmen, again headed for the 
Mandans on the Missouri, in the spring of 1742. They left the Lake of 
the Woods on the 2gth of April and reached the Missouri after about 
three weeks of travel. After impatiently waiting for the coming of 
some western Indians, called Horse Indians by the Mandans, and passing 
the spring and summer in tiresome inaction, the young Frenchmen 
induced two of their red friends to guide them to the camping grounds 
of the Horse tribe. These were found to be deserted. Parkman believes 
the site of this camp to be west of the Little Missouri "and perhaps a 
part of the Powder River Range." The locality would seem, at least, 
to have been in Southeastern Montana. The time was in August, 1742, 
and it was not until nearly a month later, after one of the Mandan 
guides had deserted the party, that the four Frenchmen met a band of 
Indians whom they called Les Beaux Hommes, or Handsome Men 
believed to be the Crows. They were enemies of the Mandans, and 
the remaining guide of that tribe hastily deserted. The expedition 
remained some three weeks with the Handsome Men, and on October 
9th continued its explorations in a southwesterly direction, still looking 
for the Horse Indians. 

When the four reached the village of these evident nomads, they 
were told that the tribe Bows, still to the southwest, would enlighten 
them as to the Western Ocean. As was customary, each tribe referred 
the whites to a more distant tribe. This seemed to have been the settled 
policy of the red man to lure the white farther and farther from his 
own, and by the attrition of hard travel and slaughter attempt to wear 
away his strength and life. 


When, in October, 1742, the Frenchmen at last reached the lodges 
of the long-sought Horse Indians (as stated by Parkman, who adapts 
his narrative from the Chevalier's journal), they found them in the 
extremity of distress and terror. Their camp resounded with howls 
and wailings, and not without cause, for the Snakes or Shoshones a 


formidable people living farther westward had lately destroyed most 
of their tribe. The Snakes were the terror of that country. The 
brothers were told that the year before they had destroyed seventeen 
villages, killing warriors and old women, and carrying off the young 
women and children as slaves. 

Parkman, who, as he observes in a footnote, draws the particulars 
of his description from "repeated observations of similar scenes," draws 
a graphic picture ("Half Century of Conflict/' Vol. II, p. 48) of this 
breaking-up of the camp. "The squaws," he says, "took down the lodges 
and the march began over prairies dreary and brown with the withering 
touch of autumn. The spectacle was such as men still young have seen 
in these western lands, but which no man will see again. The vast plain 
swarmed with the moving multitude. The tribes of the Missouri and 
Yellowstone had by this time abundance of horses, the best of which 
were used for war and hunting, and the others as beasts of burden. 
These last were equipped in a peculiar manner. Several of the long 
poles used to frame the tepees or lodges were secured by one end to 
each side of a rude saddle, while the other end trailed on the ground. 
Crossbars lashed to the poles just behind the horse kept them three or 
four feet apart, and formed a firm support, on which was laid, compactly 
folded the buffalo-skin covering of the lodge. On this again sat a 
mother with her young family, sometimes stowed for safety in a large 
open willow basket, with the occasional addition of some domestic pet 
such as a tame raven, a puppy or even a small bear cub. Other horses 
were laden in the same manner with wooden bowls, stone hammers and 
other utensils, along with stores of dried buffalo-meat packed in cases 
of rawhide whitened and painted. Many of the innumerable dogs 
whose manners and appearance strongly suggested their relatives, the 
wolves, to whom, however, they bore a mortal grudge were equipped 
in a similar manner, with shorter poles and lighter loads. Bands of 
naked boys, noisy and restless, roamed the prairie, practicing their bows 
and arrows on any small animal they might find. Gay young squaws 
adorned on each cheek with a spot of ochre or red clay, and arrayed in 
tunic of fringed buckskin embroidered with porcupine quills were 
mounted on ponies, astride like men ; while lean and tattered hags 
the drudges of the tribe, unkempt and hideous scolded the lagging 
horses, or screeched at the disorderly dogs, with voices not unlike the 
yell of the great horned owl. Most of the warriors were on horseback, 
armed with round, white shields of bull-hide, feathered lances, war- 
clubs, bows and quivers filled with stone headed arrows; while a few of 
the elders, wrapped in robes of buffalo hide, stalked along in groups 
with a stately air, chatting, laughing and exchanging unseemly jokes." 


Finally the Verendryes reached the land of the Bow Indians (Gene 
de 1'Arc) and found them preparing to take the warpath against the 
powerful Snake Indians, who had already nearly exterminated the Horses. 


The Bow Indians, through their chief, were very courteous. They knew 
nothing personally of the Western Sea, although they had heard of 
the Great Water from certain Snake prisoners. Parkman quotes from 
the Chevalier's Journal as follows : "Thus far we had been well received 
in all the villages we had passed; but this was nothing compared with 
the courteous manners of the great chief of the Bow Indians, who, 
unlike the others, was not self-interested in the least, and who took 
excellent care of everything belonging to us." 


Further, according to Parkman's "Half Century of Conflict," the 
courteous and honorable chief of the Bows extended this invitation, so 
vital to the definite course of this narrative and which meant so much 
to the fame of the sons of La Verendrye : "Come with us. We are going 
towards the mountains, where you can see the Great Water that you 
are looking for." 

The Great Water was not to be seen, but the vast shining piles of 
the Rocky Mountains were to be first spread before the eyes of white 
travellers and recorders. 

The camp of the Bows was broke up, its warriors poured across the 
prairie eager to attack their Snake enemies, the Frenchmen riding along 
with the red warriors. Pierre and his younger brother, the Chevalier, were 
near the great chief. When, on the first of January, 1743, they came 
in sight of the vast mountain range, capped and shining with snow," 
a council of the chiefs and warriors was held to determine what course 
to pursue. The decision of the council was that the women and children 
and infirm be left behind in a place of comparative safety, while the 
warriors sallied forth in a body to strike the hated Snakes. 


"Pierre and the Chevalier were invited to accompany the advancing 
army. After deliberation, the elder Pierre determined to remain with 
the camp, to watch over and protect the belongings of the party, and the 
young Chevalier chose to proceed with the warriors, though he prudently 
declined to engage in any possible combat with the foe." 

The war party started on its advance January 21, 1743, and, according 
to the Chevalier, who kept a journal of the expedition, reached the base 
of the mountains (probably the Big Horn Range), twelve days later. 
The young French leader was anxious to ascend some peak of the range 
and look for the Western Sea. But although the Bows conveyed the 
idea that everything must give place to vengeance upon the Snakes when 
some of their scouts returned to the main body of the warriors with the 
information that they had discovered a camp of the enemy, hastily 
abandoned, the Bows were panic-stricken over the possibility that the 
Snakes had circumvented them and wiped out their own camp of women, 
children and infirm. The Indian war party was completely demoralized 


and even the chief abandoned the Chevalier, temporarily, to endeavor 
to rally his men and keep them intact. Finally, they had all gathered 
at the camp, only to find it unmolested. The chief and a few of his 
faithful warriors were the last to return, as they had been searching 
the desolate and storm-driven plain for their guest, the Chevalier, whom 
they feared had perished. At length, the Indian chief appeared in camp, 
exhausted and grief -stricken, but, the Chevalier writes, "his sorrow 
turned to joy, and he could not give us attention and caresses enough." 


The Frenchmen remained with the chief of the Bows during January 
and February, 1743, traveling with the Indians through deep snow-drifts 
in a southeasterly direction. About the first of March, they approached 
the winter grounds of the Little Cherry, or Choke Cherry Indians in 
what is now Western South Dakota. The Verendrye brothers at once 
sent one of their men ahead to gain from that tribe any information 
which might be of benefit to them in their discouraging search for the 
Western Sea by an overland route. The Choke Cherries were kind to 
the courier and through him invited the white men to visit them, but 
conveyed no information along the line of their investigations. 

On the 1 5th of March, having bidden farewell to the friendly chief of 
the Bows and his immediate followers, the Verendryes, according to 
their journal, arrived "among the band of the Little Cherry, who, where 
we found them, were two days' march from their camp on the Missouri." 
It is believed that this locality was about where Cherry Creek empties 
into the Cheyenne, some fifty miles from the Missouri, and about eighty 
miles West of the present capital of South Dakota, Pierre. Still travelling 
East and not far from the banks of the Missouri River, the Frenchmen 
erected a pile of stone, taking the precaution not to reveal to the Indians 
the significance of the leaden plate which accompanied it. According 
to the Chevalier's journal: "On an eminence near the fort (camp), I 
placed a leaden plate engraved with the arms and inscription of the King 
and some stones in shape of a pyramid in honor of the General (Beau- 


On the 2nd of April, Pierre and the Chevalier commenced their 
travels toward the Northwest, which brought them to the Mandan 
villages on the i8th of May. The return of the sons to the Sieur de 
La Verendrye not only lightened the anxiety and depression of the 
father, but appears to have improved his fortunes. The latter was 
made captain of the Order of St. Louis, and the two sons were promoted 
in the royal service. In 1749 the new governor, Monsieur the Marquis 
de la Jonquiere, a hard man and master, had, nevertheless, commissioned 
the Sieur to "look after the posts and explorations in the west," and 
he had already prepared maps and memoranda of his future explorations, 


when death called him from his unrealized ambitions, on December 6th 
of the year named (1749). 

About a year after the death of his father, Chevalier de la Verendrye 
wrote to La Jonquiere appealing for service in the field of western ex- 
plorations on the score of the sacrifices made by his father and brothers 
Instead, the governor appointed one M. de Saint Pierre to head one of 
the expeditions, and, by various misrepresentations to La Jonquiere, the 
La Verendryes were made decidedly "persona non gratis" and rejected 
from all participation in it. 


The condition of the family whose various members had blazed the 
way to the Rocky Mountains is thus described in the Chevalier's petition 
to the governor: "My returns this year amount to half, and in con- 
sequence of a thousand harassments my ruin is accomplished. For 
accounts contracted by father and myself I find I am indebted for more 
than 20,000 francs. I remain without money or patrimony; I am 
simply ensign of second grade, my elder brother has only the same rank 
as myself, and my younger brother is only cadet; and this is the actual 
result of all that my father, my brothers and I have done. That brother 
of mine who was murdered, some years since, by the Indians, victim that 
he was by the Western Sea, was not the most unfortunate one; his blood 
is to us nothing worth, the sweat of our father and ourselves has availed 
us naught; we are compelled to yield that which has cost us so much, 
if M. de St. Pierre does not entertain a better feeling and communicate 
same to M. le Mqs. de la Jonquiere." 

Both expeditions sent out by La Jonquiere were failures. In 1753, 
about the time that the St. Pierre fiasco was reporting to the authorities, 
the Chevalier was made ensign of the first grade and four years later 
became a lieutenant. In November, 1761, after Quebec had fallen to 
the English, the Chevalier with other fellow officers sailed for France 
in the "Auguste." One hundred persons were on board. Not far from 
the North Cape of Isle Royal, on the coast of Cape Breton, at the mouth 
of the St. Lawrence, the ship was wrecked and all perished (including 
the Chevalier), except the captain, a colonial officer and five soldiers. 
Thus died the actual white discoverer of the Rocky Mountains, although 
it is still a matter of conjecture as to how far West he penetrated, or 
the specific location of the leaden plate and the rough stone monument 
erected somewhere in the region of the Cheyenne and Missouri rivers 
to commemorate the exploration and international claim of France to 
some little portion of what afterward was known as Louisiana. 


Verendrye and his sons had been approaching the "Land of the 
Shining Mountains" through the interior of the East, and the next prog- 
ress in tracing the transcontinental waterway was to be from the Pacific- 
Columbia River route of the West. The Spaniards and Portuguese pushed 


up the Pacific coast in early historic times, and left such names on the 
maps as Cape Blanco, Straits of Fuca and Oregon, but in their rush for 
gold and booty found little time to record their voyages in the interest 
of cartography. 

Then came the more reliable northern navigators, Behring, the Dane, 
and Drake, the Englishman, to approach the latitude of Montana on the 
Pacific coast, "but it was left for Captain James Cook, so far as we can 
say positively, to point his ships prow toward the mountains of Montana, 
and break the hush of ice-bound seas as nearly urfder the beetling banks 
of Montana as ocean ships have ever sailed or ever shall sail." In 1778, 
while the Revolution was raging along the fringes of the Atlantic Coast, 
Captain Cook was exploring the Behring region and sailing up the Oregon 
(Columbia) River as far as his ocean craft would take him, and in the 
following year was killed by cannibals on the island (now Hawaii) 
which he had discovered among a group (the old Sandwich islands). 


It is said that Jonathan Carver, of Connecticut, a captain in the war 
waged with England by which France lost Canada, was the first to 
definitely propose the transcontinental journey by way of the Missouri 
and the Oregon (Columbia) rivers. Three years after the peace of 1763, 
he left Boston to visit the sources of the Mississippi and the adjacent 
regions for purposes of trade, exploration and investigation as to the 
country of the far West. He applied himself to the study of the Indian 
languages that he might pursue all these objects, and in this work he spent 
two years and seven months. After his return to Boston, in 1768, he 
published an account of his travels and experiences, and he tells us : 
"From the intelligence I gained from the Nandowessie Indians, whose 
language I perfectly obtained during a residence of five months; and 
also from the accounts I afterwards obtained from the Assinipoils, who 
speak the Chippeway language and inhabit the heads of the river Bourbon 
I say from these nations, together with my own observations, I have 
learned that the four most capital rivers on the continent of North 
America, the St. Lawrence, the river Bourbon (Mississippi) and the 
Oregon, or the River of the West, have their sources in the same 
neighborhood. The waters of the three former are within thirty miles 
of each other, the latter, however, is rather farther west." 

The want of means prevented Carver from prosecuting his design 
with the government, which was to prevail upon its authorities to estab- 
lish a post near the Straits of Anian, after a journey had been effected 
to the Pacific coast. In 1774, he obtained the support and cooperation 
of Richard Whitworth, member of the British Parliament for the town 
of Stafford, of whom the projector of the enterprise says: "He (Mr. 
Whitworth) designed to have pursued nearly the same route that I did; 
and after having built a fort at Lake Pepin to have proceeded up a 
branch of the river Messorie, till, having discovered the source of the 
Oregon, or River of the West, on the other side of the lands that divide 


the waters which run into the Gulf of Mexico from those that fall into 
the Pacific Ocean, he would have sailed down that river to the place where 
it is said to empty itself, near the Straits of Anian. * * * That 
the completion of this scheme," concludes Carver, "which I have had 
the honor of first planning and attempting, will some time or other be 
effected, I have no doubt. Those who are so fortunate in it will reap 
(exclusive of the national advantages that must ensue) emoluments 
beyond their most sanguine expectations. And while their spirits are 
elated by their success, perhaps they may bestow some commendations 
and blessings on the person that first pointed out to them the way. 
These, though but a shadowy recompense for all my toil, I shall receive 
with pleasure." 

So that although Jonathan Carver was wild in his geographical as- 
sertion that the sources of the great Canadian and American river 
systems were only thirty miles apart, he was among the first, if not the 
first, to urge the sending of an expedition from the Mississippi valley to 
the Pacific coast by way of the Missouri and Oregon (Columbia) rivers. 
But the prosecution of such a design by the government was to be 
deferred until the country had secured independent right to the territory 
from the Atlantic coast to the Mississippi valley, as well as that vast 
western domain through which poured the grand waterways to the 


In 1783, the year of the treaty of peace with England, John Ledyard, 
a Connecticut adventurer, an educated man and a British corporal of 
marines under Captain Cook also a deserter from the British army 
before the war closed published an account of the romantic voyages 
of that world navigator. The mercurial author also incorporated not 
a little practical information, quoting Captain Cook's glowing account of 
the quantity of sea otter and the superior quality of their fur, in the 
regions of the northwestern Pacific. And although England had lost 
the war, her agents were already preparing to explore the country between 
the Mississippi valley and the Pacific coast. Thomas Jefferson was then 
governor of Virginia, as he had been during the Revolution, and in the 
year of the Peace he suggested to Gen. George Rogers Clark, the 
elder brother of Capt. William Clark, a way to checkmate this obvious 
intention of English policy. Jefferson's words to Clark were: "I find 
they have subscribed a very large sum of money in England for exploring 
the country from the Mississippi to California. * * * They pretend 
it is only to promote knowledge. I am afraid they have thoughts of colon- 
izing into that quarter. * * * Some of us have been talking here in a 
feeble way of making an attempt to search that country, but I doubt 
whether we have enough of that kind of spirit to raise the money. How 
would you like to lead such a party? * * * tho' I am afraid our 
prospect is not worth asking the question." 

Albeit a master mind was pondering the scheme of a Mississippi- 


Pacific expedition, the time was not yet ripe to bring it to fruition. 
In the year following his proposition to General (not Captain) Clark, 
while serving as minister to France, Jefferson met Ledyard in Paris. 
The restless adventurer was then out of employment, and Jefferson, 
through the influence of the Empress Catherine's representatives in 
Europe, enabled Ledyard to travel through Russia to within two hundred 
miles of Kamschatka, where he was turned back arid dismissed (1788). 
Their design was to reach the Pacific coast of America by way of the 
Russian dominions, and pass up the Oregon Missouri to the Mississippi 
valley. The proposed agent of that journey died in Africa in the follow- 
ing year. 


Ledyard's account of the voyages of Captain Cook, with its suggestions 
to thrifty Yankee merchants, was enthusiastically discussed by Doctor 
Bullfinch, his son Charles, and Joseph Barrell, the last a business man of 
considerable wealth. The result was that two vessels were equipped 
and an expedition fitted out to sail to the Pacific coast. They were 
called the Columbia and the Washington, commanded respectively by 
John Kendrick and Robert Gray. The ships sailed from Boston on 
September 30, 1787, and in January, 1788, while rounding Cape Horn, 
a storm separated them. In August, the Washington reached the north- 
west coast near the forty-sixth degree of latitude, or about the latitude 
of the Three Forks of the upper Missouri River and the Oregon 

At that point Captain Gray believed that he saw the mouth of a 
river, but his vessel grounded, his party were attacked by the Indians, one 
of them killed and another wounded ; so he had no opportunity to verify 
his conclusions. On the I7th of September, 1788, the Washington 
sailed into Nootka Sound, on the west coast of Vancouver Island the 
rendezvous agreed upon in the event of separation, and she was joined 
there a few days later by the Columbia. 

Both ships wintered in the Sound and the Columbia continued there 
during the summer gathering pelts. Captain Gray, on the Washington, 
sailed the waters near by making explorations. He returned to Nootka, 
and he and Captain Kendrick agreed that Kendrick should command 
the Washington, remaining on the coast to pursue his discoveries, while 
Captain Gray, on board the Columbia, should proceed to Canton, China, 
with a cargo of furs representing the entire catch of both ships. This 
plan was carried into effect. Gray reached Canton, disposed of his 
furs, purchased a shipload of tea and returned to Boston in August, 
1790. He had carried the United States flag on its first voyage around 
the world. 

While Captain Gray was on his voyage, Kendrick sailed to the Straits 
of Fuca, traversing their entire length to the Pacific, at latitude 51 degrees. 
He discovered that the neighboring lands formed an island which, how- 
ever, took the name of the British commander, Vancouver, who did not 


make the discovery until the following year. Captain Kendrick was 
killed by an accident, while the "Washington" was exchanging a salute 
with a Spanish ship off the Sandwich islands. 

The "Columbia," under Gray, after discharging her cargo at Boston, 
was refitted by her owners and sent on a second voyage, leaving her 
home port in September, 1790. She reached a point near the entrance 
to the Straits of Fuca on June 5, 1791. After remaining in these waters 
until the following spring, trading and exploring, Captain Gray sailed 
southward in search of the river which he believed he had seen debouch- 
ing into the ocean at about the forty-sixth degree of latitude. On this 
cruise he met the Vancouver expedition, and notwithstanding the dis- 
couraging views of the British commander as to the existence of "any 
safe navigable opening, harbor or place of security for shipping, from 
Cape Mendocinus to Fuca's Strait," the American captain proceeded on 
his way southward. 

On May n, 1792, according to the log-book of the ship, penned by 
Captain Gray himself, he saw "an entrance which had a very good 
appearance of a harbor." Entering, he found a bay which he named 
Bulfinch's harbor, for Doctor Bulfinch, one of the sip's owners. It is now 
known as Gray's harbor. 

The actual discovery of the mouth of the Columbia is thus recorded: 
"May ii (1792), at eight p. m., the entrance of Bulfinch's harbor bore 
north, distance four miles. Sent up the main-top-gallant yard and set 
all sail. At four a. m. saw the entrance of our desired port, bearing 
east-south-east, distance six leagues. * * * At eight a. m., being a 
little windward to the entrance of the harbor, bore away and ran in east- 
north-east between the breakers, having from five to seven fathoms of 
water. When we were over the bar, we found this to be a large river of 
fresh water, up which we steered. Many canoes came alongside. At one 
p. m. came to, with the small bower in ten fathoms black and white sand. 
The entrance between the bars bore west-south-west, distance ten miles; 
the north side of the river a half mile distant from the ship, the south 
side of the same two and a half miles distant; a village on the north 
side of the river, west by north, distant three-quarters of a mile. Vast 
numbers of natives came alongside. People employed in pumping the salt 
water out of water-casks, in order to fill with fresh, while the ship 
floats in. So ends." 


The discovery of the mouth of the Columbia by Captain Gray laid a 
firm international basis for the American claim to the vast extent of 
country watered by it. For a dozen years afterward, until the United 
States acquired the vast extent of country known as Louisiana from 
France, the government, and Jefferson in particular, made no real headway 
in exploring the Missouri and the newly discovered Columbia. Capt. 
John Armstrong, one of those who accepted the mission, got as far as 
St. Louis and turned back because of disquieting stories of hostile Indians 


told to him by French traders, and one of Jefferson's men, a famous 
French botanist, Michaux, who had traveled in many lands of the Old 
World in search of strange plants and trees, had commenced his scientific 
investigations in the New World. The Frenchman started from Phila- 
delphia under the auspices of the American Philosophical Society, and the 
support of Washington's cabinet, of which Jefferson was then secretary of 
state, on the I5th of July, 1794, but when he reached Kentucky got en- 
tangled in the machinations of Citizen Genet against Spain and England in 
their dealings with the United States, and the two fell together. Michaux 
returned to France in 1796. 


In 1800, after having been shuffled back and forth between France 
and Spain, for several years, Louisiana became French territory, and 
Napoleon's threatened occupation of New Orleans menaced the free 
navigation of the Mississippi, as had been the case when it was under 
Spanish ownership. In March, 1803, President Jefferson sent James Mon- 
roe as a special envoy to France that the complications between the two 
countries might be disentangled without a resort to war. Monroe was even 
authorized to guarantee to France her holdings beyond the Mississippi, if 
the United States could be assured an outlet to the Gulf of Mexico for the 
ever-increasing products of the Mississippi valley. 

While Monroe was on his way to France, Napoleon's plans had all 
centered on his ambition to crush England in Europe. No outside cam- 
paigns were to be considered, and a vast expenditure of money was re- 
quired to carry out his consuming desire. Robert R. Livingston was the 
American minister at the French Court, and while he was in no sense 
superseded by Monroe, President Jefferson and his cabinet realized that 
the issues involved were so momentous that they justified the addition of 
Monroe's long experience in diplomatic matters to the abilities of Livings- 
ton. When Monroe arrived Livingston had only asked of France, " a bit 
of marsh and sand off the extreme end of West Florida, and the margin 
of delta land that lies east of the main channel of the Mississippi between 
Lake Pontchartrain and the river's mouth." These modest sites were to 
serve for the founding of a town, or gateway, through which might pass 
the American trade of the Mississippi valley. 

Monroe arrived with the authorization to offer France $2,000,000 
for New Orleans and the Floridas. After discussions and negotiations, 
in which the chief figures were Livingston, Monroe and their friend, 
Barbe Marbois, minister of the public treasury, Tallyrand, the tool of 
Napoleon, threw a bomb into the proceedings by suddenly asking what the 
United States would pay for the entire province of Louisiana. To cut 
many corners of explanation, which are hardly apropos to a clear-cut-his- 
tory of Montana, the brilliant dictator of France offered Louisiana if 
taken quick to Livingston and Monroe for $15,000,000. There were no 
cables by which they could consult their government, and like brave men 


they assumed the heavy responsibility of signing the treaty of session, in 
behalf of the United States, on the 3Oth of April, 1803. 

This all-important treaty was between the United States of America 
and the French Republic, or more personally, as stated in the preamble, 
between the president of the United States of America, and the first 
consul of the French republic, "in the name of the French people." It 
also specified that the treaty was made by "the president of the United 
States, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate of the United 
States ;" consequently Messrs. Livingston and Monroe were assuming con- 
siderable responsibility. 

The treaty traced the title of the very indefinite province through 
the agreements between France and Spain, and stated that "the inhabitants 
of the ceded territory shall be incorporated in the Union of the United 
States, and be admitted as soon as possible, according to the principles 
of the Federal Constitution," etc. Provision was made by the government 
of France to send a commissary to Louisiana to take over that country 
from Spain and transmit it to the agent of the United States. Special 
mention was made of the military posts of New Orleans, all troops, either 
of France or Spain, to embark from occupied territory within three 
months from the ratification of the treaty. The rights of Indians, secured 
by previous treaties, were secured. Equal duties were accorded Spanish, 
French and American ships passing through the port of New Orleans for 
a period of twelve years from the exchange of ratification of the treaty. 
"It is. however, well understood," continues the article dealing with this 
subject, "that the object of the above article is to favor the manufacture, 
commerce, freight and navigation of France and Spain, so far as relates to 
the importations that the French and Spanish shall make into the said 
ports of the United States, without in any sort affecting the regulations 
that the United States may make concerning the exportation of the 
produce and merchandise of the United States, or any right that may have 
to make such regulations." 

Article 8 reads: "In future and forever, after the expiration of the 
twelve years, the ships of France shall be treated upon the footing of 
the most favored nations in the ports above mentioned." 

When news of the daring transactions reached Washington in June, 
1803, there was a storm of dissenting opinions, mostly caused by politi- 
cal heats. The Republicans (Democrats) applauded it and the Federalists 
(Republicans) vigorously opposed it, but it was ratified by Congress in 
October. In November and December, 1803, the transfer from Spain 
to France and from France to the United States was formally made at 
New Orleans, and in the early part of March, 1804, similar ceremonies 
occurred in St. Louis. The American transfer commissioner at St. Louis 
was Capt. Amos Stoddard, an officer of the United States army there 
stationed and accompanied, the greater part of the winter, by Capt. 
Meriwether Lewis, who was then about to start on the history-making 
expedition to the Pacific coast, via the Missouri and Columbia rivers. 
The entire province had been transferred by the Spanish commission- 


ers to Pierre Clement Laussat, the French representative, and by him 
to the American commissioners, William C. C. Claiborne, who had been 
appointed governor of the new province, and Gen. James Wilkinson, 
military commander. The French flag was then hauled down and Laussat 
proceeded to perform the same offices at St. Louis. He ordered De 
Lassus, lieutenant governor of Upper Louisiana, with headquarters in that 
place, to turn his district over to Captain Stoddard. 

On March 9, 1804, the American troops under command of Captain 
Stoddard's adjutant, Lieut. Stephen Worrell, crossed the river and 
escorted Captains Stoddard and Lewis and other prominent Americans 
to the government house. From that mansion De Lassus read a pro- 
clamation releasing all French inhabitants in the district from allegiance 
to their mother country. After this the transfer was formally signed 
by Lassus for France and Stoddard for the United States, and among 
the witnesses who affixed their signatures thereto was Capt. Meri- 
wether Lewis. As had been done in New Orleans, the tri-color of France 
was then lowered, the Stars and Stripes were raised, and artillery salutes 
and martial music proclaimed that all of Louisiana was territory of the 
United States. 


The United States having acquired a good color of title to the Oregon 
country through Captain Gray's discovery of the mouth of the great 
Western River and Jefferson, evidently convinced that Louisiana would 
eventually become an American possession, continued his efforts to obtain 
some definite knowledge of the geography and possibilities of the Trans- 
Mississippi land. Previous failures in no wise dampened his ardor to 
delve into the grand mysteries of that unknown country which loomed 
just beyond the States. Mature men, adventurers and scientists had 
failed him, and he now turned to young, eager, educated, practical and 
brave young men for the consummation of the grand adventure. He 
selected for this purpose, Capt. Meriwether Lewis, his private secretary 
for two years and whom he greatly admired and loved, and Capt. Will- 
iam Clark, a younger brother of Gen. George Rogers Clark and an 
intimate friend of Lewis. When Captain Lewis was present in St. Louis, 
as one of the prominent figures in the official transfer of Louisiana to the 
United States, he was deep in the work, under the authority and instruc- 
tions of President Jefferson, of preparing the expedition for its advance 
up the Missouri to the Rockies and the great beyond. 


More than three months before Louisiana had been sold to the United 
States that is, January 18, 1803 President Jefferson sent a confiden- 
tial communication to Congress asking that $2,500 be appropriated for an 
exploring party to establish friendly relations with the Indians along the 
route and secure the fur-trade to the United States rather than leave 
it in the hands of the English companies. He recommended the estab- 
lishment of government trading posts, by which he hoped to "place 
within their (the Indians') reach those things which will contribute 
more to their domestic comfort than the possession of extensive and 
uncultivated wilds." Jefferson doubtless felt the grandeur of the pro- 
ject, but, with the wisdoip of a statesman who knew he was dealing with 
a practical nation and Congress, placed the material benefits of such 
an expedition and exploration foremost. Elsewhere in his message of 
the date given, he adds : "An intelligent officer, with ten or twelve chosen 
men, fit for the enterprise and willing to undertake it, taken from our 
posts where they may be spared without inconvenience, might explore 
the whole line even to the Western ocean, have conference with the natives 
on the subject of commercial intercourse, get admission among them for 




our traders as others are admitted, agree on convenient deposits for an 
interchange of articles, and return with the information acquired in the 
course of two summers. Their arms and accoutrements, some instru- 
ments of observation and light and cheap presents for tlie Indians would 
be all the apparatus they could carry, and with the expectation of a 
soldier's portion of land on their return would constitute the whole ex- 
pense. Their pay would be going on whether here or there. While other 
civilized nations have encountered great expense to enlarge the boundaries 
of knowledge by undertaking voyages of discovery, and for other lit- 
erary purposes, in various parts and directions, our nation seems to owe 
to the same object, as well as to its own interests, to explore this, the 
only line of easy communication across the continent, and so directly 
traversing our own part of it. The interests of commerce place the 
principal object within the constitutional powers and care of Congress, 
and that it should incidentally advance the geographical knowledge of our 
own continent cannot but be an additional gratification." 

In April, 1803, while negotiations were still pending with France, 
Captain Lewis was collecting his equipment at Lancaster, Harpers Ferry 
and other places ; in May, before news of the treaty had reached America, 
he received his first set of instructions from the President, and on the 
5th of July, after the tidings had been received in Washington, the young 
leader of the historic expedition then in his twenty-eight year bade 
his great patron farewell. 


The most authentic source of information regarding the famous ex- 
pedition was its history prepared, by order of the Government of the 
United States, in 1814, by Paul Allen. In the preface to that edi- 
tion the editor states : "It was the original design of Captain Lewis to 
have been himself the editor of his own travels, and he was on his 
way towards Philadelphia for that purpose when his sudden death frus- 
trated these intentions. After a considerable and unavoidable delay, 
the papers connected with the expedition were deposited with another 
gentleman, who, in order to render the lapse of time as little injurious 
as possible, proceeded immediately to collect and investigate all the 
materials within his reach. 

"Of the incidents of each day during the expedition a minute jour- 
nal was kept by Captain Lewis or Captain Clark, and sometimes by 
both, which was afterward revised and enlarged at the different periods 
of leisure which occurred on the route. These were carefully perused 
in conjunction wtth Captain Clark himself, who was able from his own 
recollection of the journey, as well as from a constant residence in 
Louisiana since his return, to supply a great mass of explanations, and 
much additional information with regard to part of the route which has 
been more recently explored. Besides these, recourse was had to the 
manuscript journals kept by two of the sergeants (Patrick Gass and 


Charles Floyd), one of which, the least minute and valuable,* has already 
been published. That nothing might be wanting to the accuracy of 
these details, a very intelligent and active member of the party, Mr. 
George Shannon, was sent to contribute whatever his memory might 
add to this accumulated fund of information. * * * 

"To give still further interest to the work, the editor addressed 
a letter to Mr. Jefferson, requesting some authentic memoirs of Captain 
Lewis. For the very curious and valuable information contained in his 
answer, the public, as well as the editor himself, owe great obligations 
to the politeness and knowledge of that distinguished gentleman." 


Jefferson's article is not only of deep personal interest as furnishing 
the best biography of Captain Lewis, of limited compass, which has been 
published, but is weighted with valuable historic matter to form a rich 
background to the great expedition itself. After noting the birth of 
Meriwether Lewis, "late Governor of Louisiana," near the town of 
Charlotteville, Virginia, August 18, 1778, the distinguished statesman, 
who writes from Monticello, sketches the distinguished Lewis family 
of Virginia. His great-uncle married a sister of George Washington, and 
several of his relatives were prominent in the Revolutionary war, one of 
whom (his uncle and guardian, Nicholas) fought bravely as commander 
of a regiment sent against the Cherokee Indians. 

Meriwether Lewis lost his father at an early age and this brave, 
honest, courteous and tender uncle and his widowed mother cared for 
the bold, out-of-doors boy, huntsman and student. At thirteen he was 
put to Latin school and after five years of schooling returned to the 
home farm, but his instinct for adventure induced him to volunteer 
as a militiaman in the suppression of the Whiskey Rebellion of West- 
ern Pennsylvania. Soon afterward he was transferred to the regular 
service as a lieutenant in the line and at the age of twenty-three was 
promoted to a captaincy; "and," adds Jefferson, "always attracting the 
first attention where punctuality and fidelity were requisite, he was 
appointed paymaster to his regiment. 


"About this time a circumstance occurred which, leading to the transac- 
tion which is the subject of this book, will justify a recurrence to its 
original idea. While residing in Paris (as minister to France), John 
Ledyard, of Connecticut, arrived there, well known in the United States 

* This low estimate of the value of the Gass Journal, made in 1814, has not 
been sustained by estimates of historians subsequently made. His first edition, 
published in 1807, was for seven years the only source from which any authentic 
knowledge of the enterprise could be obtained, and ever since (with the issue of 
1814) it has been recognized as an important supplement to the work based upon 
the diaries of the great captains. 


for energy of body and mind. He had accompanied Captain Cook on 
his voyage to the Pacific Ocean and distinguished himself on that voy- 
age by his intepidity. Being of a roaming disposition, he was now 
panting for some new enterprise. His immediate object at Paris was 
to engage a mercantile company in the fur trade of the western coast 
of America, in which, however, he failed. I then proposed to him to go 
by land to Kamchatka, cross in some of the Russian vessels to Nootka 
Sound, fall down into the latitude of the Missouri, and penetrate to, 
and through that, to the United States. He eagerly seized the idea, 
and only asked to be assured of the permission of the Russian Govern- 
ment. I interested in obtaining that, M. de Simoulin, minister plenipo- 
tentiary of the empress at Paris, but more especially the Baron de Grimm, 
minister plenipotentiary of Saxe-Gotha, her more special agent and cor- 
respondent there in matters not immediately diplomatic. Her permis- 
sion was obtained, and an assurance of protection while the course of the 
voyage should be through her territories. 

"Ledyard set out from Paris and arrived at St. Petersburgh after the 
empress had left that place to pass the winter, I think, at Moscow. His 
finances not permitting him to make unnecessary stay at St. Petersburgh, 
he left it with a passport from one of the ministers, and at two hundred 
miles from Kamschatka, was obliged to take up his winter quarters. He 
was preparing, in the spring, to resume his journey, when he was arrested 
by an officer of the empress, who by this time had changed her mind 
and forbidden his proceeding. He was put into a closed carriage and con- 
veyed day and night, without even stopping, till they reached Poland, 
where he was set down and left to himself. The fatigue of this journey 
broke down his constitution, and when he returned to Paris, his bodily 
strength was much impaired. His mind, however, remained firm, and he 
after this undertook the journey to Egypt. I received a letter from him, 
full of sanguine hopes, dated at Cairo, the fifteenth of November, 1788, 
the day before he was to set out for the head of the Nile ; on which day, 
however, he ended his career and life and thus failed the first attempt 
to explore the western part of our northern continent." 


"In 1792 I proposed to the American Philosophical Society that we 
should set on foot a subscription to engage some competent person to 
explore that region in the opposite direction; that is, by ascending the 
Missouri, crossing the Stony mountains and descending the nearest river 
to the Pacific. Captain Lewis, being then stationed at Charlottesville 
on the recruiting service, warmly solicitated me to obtain for him the 
execution of that object. I told him it was proposed that the person en- 
gaged should be attended by a single companion only, to avoid exciting 
alarm among the Indians. This did not deter him ; but Mr. Andre Michaux, 
a professed botanist, author of the 'Flora Boreali-Americana,' and of the 
'Histoire des Chesnes d' Amerique,' offering his services, they were ac- 
cepted. He received his instructions, and when he had reached Kentucky 


in the prosecution of his journey he was overtaken by an order from 
the minister of France, then at Philadelphia, to relinquish the expedition, 
and to pursue elsewhere the botanical inquiries on which he was employed 
by that government and thus failed the second attempt for exploring that 


"In 1803, the act for establishing trading houses with the Indian 
tribes being about to expire, some modifications of it were recommended 
to Congress by a confidential message of January i8th, and an exten- 
sion of its views to the Indians on the Missouri. In order to prepare 
the way, the message proposed the sending an exploring party to trace 
the Missouri to its source, to cross the Highlands and follow the best 
water communication which offered itself thence to the Pacific ocean. 
Congress approved the proposition and voted a sum of money for carry- 
ing it into execution. Captain Lewis, who had then been near two years 
with me as private secretary, immediately renewed his solicitations to 
have the direction of the party. I had now had opportunities of know- 
ing him intimately. Of courage undaunted; possessing a firmness and 
perseverance of purpose which nothing but impossibilities could divert 
from its direction ; careful as a father of those committed to his charge, 
yet steady in the maintenance of order and discipline; intimate with the 
Indian character, customs and principles ; habituated to the hunting life ; 
guarded, by exact observation of the vegetables and animals of his own 
country, against losing time in the description of objects already pos- 
sessed ; honest, disinterested, liberal, of sound understanding, and a fidelity 
to truth so scrupulous that whatever he should report would be as cer- 
tain as if seen by ourselves with all these qualifications, as if selected 
and implanted in one body for his express purpose, I could have no 
hesitation in confiding the enterprise to him. To fill up the measure' 
desired, he wanted nothing but a greater familiarity with the technical 
language of the natural sciences, and readiness in the astronomical 
observations necessary for the geography of his route. To acquire these, 
he repaired immediately to Philadelphia and placed himself under the 
tutorage of the distinguished professors of that place, who, with a 
zeal and emulation enkindled by an ardent devotion to science, communi- 
cated to him freely the information requisite for the purposes of the jour- 
ney. While attending, too, at Lancaster, the fabrication of the arms 
with which he chose that his men should be provided, he had the benefit 
of daily communication with Mr. Andrew Ellicot, whose experience in 
astronomical observation and practice of it in the woods, enabled him 
to apprise Captain Lewis of the wants and difficulties he would en- 
counter, and of the substitutes and resources offered by a woodland and 
uninhabited country." 


In April, 1803, a draft of his instructions was sent to Captain 
Lewis, and President Jefferson signed them on the following 2Oth of 


June. These included a list of accouterments, instruments, etc., to be 
taken by the expedition of from ten to twelve men, and assurances of 
safe conduct from the ministers of France, Spain and Great Britain. 
Louisiana had been ceded by Spain to France, and the protection of 
Great Britain entitled Lewis and Clark, with their men, to the friendly 
aid of any British traders whom they might encounter. After stating 
the main object of the mission was to ascertain "the most direct and 
practicable water communication across the continent for the purposes 
of commerce," Jefferson entered more into details: "Beginning at the 
mouth of the Missouri, you will take observations of latitude and lon- 
gitude at all remarkable points on the river, and especially at the 
mouths of rivers, at rapids, at islands and other places, and objects 
distinguished by such natural marks and characters, of a durable kind 
as that they may with certainty be recognized hereafter. The courses 
of the river between these points of obsevation may be supplied by the 
compass, the log-line and by time, corrected by the observations them- 
selves. The variations of the needle, too, in different places should be 

"The interesting points of the portage between the heads of the 
Missouri and of the water offering the' best communication with the 
Pacific ocean, should also be fixed by observation ; and the course of the 
water to the ocean, in the same manner as that of the Missouri." 

The president cautioned the leader of the expedition to take great 
pains in recording his observations ; to make several copies of them, and, 
as a special safeguard against their destruction make one of them "on the 
cuticular membrane of the paper-birch, as less liable to injury from 
damp than common paper." He defined the special objects of research 
among the different Indian tribes, and the examination of the physical 
features of the country was to be conducted with a view of ascertaining 
the existence of vegetable products and animals not known to the "United 
States;" also, mineral productions of any kind, especially "metals, lime 
stone, pit-coal and saltpetre; salines and mineral waters, noting the tem- 
perature of the last," and "volcanic appearances." 

"Although your route will be along the channel of the Missouri," 
the instructions continue, "yet you will endeavor to inform yourself, 
by inquiry, of the character and extent of the country watered by its 
branches, and especially on its southern side. The North river, or Rio 
Bravo, which runs into the Gulf of Mexico, and the Rio Colorado, which 
runs into the Gulf of California, are understood to be the principal 
streams heading opposite to the waters of the Missouri and running 
southwardly. Whether the dividing grounds between the Missouri and 
them are mountains or flat lands, what are their distances from the 
Missouri, the character of the intermediate country and the people in- 
habiting it, are worthy of particular inquiry. The northern waters of 
the Missouri are less to be inquired after, because they have been ascer- 
tained to a considerable degree, and are still in a course of ascertain- 
ment by English traders and travelers; but if you can learn anything 
certain of the most northern source of the Mississippi, and of its position 


relatively to the Lake of the Woods, it will be interesting to us. Some 
account, too, of the path of the Canadian traders from the Mississippi, 
at the mouth of the Ouisconsing, to where it strikes the Missouri, and 
of the soil and rivers in its course, is desirable." 

Kind treatment of the natives was urged, even to the length of 
offering to receive some of their young people and educating them at 
government expense. Kine-pox (vaccine) matter was to be taken, and 
endeavors made to introduce it as a preventive against small-pox, the 
scourge of the red race. As it was impossible to foresee how the ex- 
pedition would be received by the natives, it was instructed to turn 
back, if it met with extended and dangerous opposition. 

"Should you reach the Pacific Ocean," instructs President Jeffer- 
son, "inform yourself of the circumstances which may decide whether 
the furs of those parts may not be collected as advantageously at the 
head of the Missouri (convenient, as is supposed, to the waters of the" 
Colorado and Oregon or Columbia) as at Nootka sound, or any other 
point of that coast ; and that trade be consequently conducted through the 
Missouri and United States more beneficially than by the circumnaviga- 
tion now practiced." 

That last part of the instructions includes advice to return to the 
United States by way of Cape Horn or Cape of Good Hope, if the 
overland trip should be deemed too hazardous; instructions as to meet- 
ing expeditionary expenses and the appointment of a successor to head 
the expedition, in the event of Captain Lewis's death. 

"While these things were going on here," continues Jefferson, "the 
country of Louisiana, lately ceded by Spain to France, had been the sub- 
ject of negotiation at Paris between us and this last power, and had 
actually been transferred to us by treaties executed at Paris on the 
thirtieth of April (1803). This information, received about the first of 
July, increased infinitely the interest we felt in the expedition and 
lessened the apprehension of interruption from other powers. Every- 
thing in this quarter being now prepared, Captain Lewis left Washington 
on the fifth of July, 1803, and proceeded to Pittsburg, where other articles 
had been ordered to be provided for him. The men, too, were to be 
selected from the military stations on the Ohio. Delays of preparation, 
difficulties of navigation down the Ohio and other untoward obstruc- 
tions, retarded his arrival at Cahokia until the season was so far 
advanced as to render it prudent to suspend his entering the Missouri 
before the ice should break up in the succeeding spring. 

"From this time his journal, now published, will give the history 
of his journey to and from the Pacific ocean, until his return to St. 
Louis on the 23rd of September, 1806. Never did a similar event excite 
more joy through the United States. The humblest of its citizens had 
taken a lively interest in the issue of this journey, and looked forward 
with impatience for the information it would furnish. Their anxieties, 
too, for the safety of the corps had been kept in a state of excitement 
by lugubrious rumours, circulated from time to time on uncertain 
authorities, and uncontradiction by letters or other direct information, 


from the time they had left the Mandan towns on their ascent up the 
river in April of the preceding year (1805) until their actual return 
to St. Louis." 


The president requested Captain Lewis to estimate the cost of the 
expedition, which the latter did as follows : 

Mathematical instruments $ 217 

Arms and accoutrements 81 

Camp equipage 255 

Medicine and packing 55 

Means of transportation 43 

Indian presents 696 

Provisions 224 

Materials for making up the various articles into 

portable packs 55 

For the pay of hunters, guides and interpreters 300 

In silver coin, to defray the expenses of the party 
from Nashville to the last white settlement on the 

Missouri 100 

Contingencies 87 

Total $2,500 

These were but preliminary estimates and, as the importance of 
the expedition increased during the period of delay which resulted in 
Louisiana becoming American territory, it is evident that they were not 
adhered to. 


The personnel of the expedition was of prime importance, however, 
Capt. William Clark,* who shared the honors of leadership with Captain 
Lewis, was four years the senior of the latter, and was also a Virginian. 
During his boyhood, the family moved to Louisville, Kentucky, and in 
1796, after serving for eight years in the United States army he re- 
signed his lieutenancy in the service on account of ill health. At one 
time, Meriwether Lewis served under him. In March, 1804, after he had 
been selected as Captain Lewis' assistant, he received a commission as 
second lieutenant of artillery and not as captain of engineers, as he had 
hoped. So that the title of "captain" is generally applied to him ; officially 
he was not entitled to it. He was also Lewis' subordinate, although 

* In three editions of the Lewis and Clark journals, the latter name is spelled 
with an "e"; Washington Irving also gives it that spelling. On the contrary, Cap- 
tain Clark himself omits the "e" in the inscription left by him on Pompey's pillar; 
his brother, the general, always signed himself, Clark, as did his son, Jefferson 
Clark of St. Louis. As the bearer of the name himself, as well as his near relatives, 
invariably omitted the "e", it should be the duty of the historian to follow their 


his official superior made him his practical equal in every way and evi- 
dently they were both harmoniously working for the common cause the 
laudable success of a great American expedition. 

"The selection of the men for the expedition," says a modern ac- 
count of the fine venture, "was a matter of importance secondary only 
to the choice of the chiefs themselves. There were in all that is, 
including Lewis and Clark forty-five souls. Among them were frontier 
soldiers of the regular army, who volunteered to go. They had seen 
service at the posts of the west. There were, besides, nine young Ken- 
tuckians, two French watermen, a hunter, who also served as interpreter, 
and York, the negro valet of Captain Lewis. Of these men, all but 
the last named, were enlisted as privates, their services to endure through 
the active life 'of the expedition. Three of them, namely, Floyd, Pryor 
and Ordway, were promoted by the leaders to the rank of sergeant. 
Besides the party designed for the complete journey of exploration a 
corporal, six soldiers and nine watermen were taken as an escort as 
far as the Mandan villages on the Missouri, to aid in transporting 
stores and also to give their military aid in case of attack by hostile 
savages, those most feared dwelling between the Wood River and the 


It is far beyond the scope of this story to trace the real com- 
mencement of the expedition at Pittsburg, in the summer of 1803, when 
Captain Lewis was there recruiting for members and arranging for 
transportation down the Ohio to the mouth of the Missouri. Dr. James 
K. Hosmer, in his introduction to the "Gass Journal" (edition of 1904) 
goes into many interesting details regarding this phase of the enter- 
prise and the care taken by Captain Lewis in the selection of his men. 
The Falls of the Ohio, Louisville, were at last reached, and at the 
Point of Rock, the home of George Rogers Clark, Lewis met his yoke- 
fellow, William Clark, who added to the company nine young men from 
Kentucky, carefully selected from a throng of volunteers. Among them 
was John Colter, whose adventures were to be the most thrilling of all 
the members of the expedition. Delaying as little as possible, Clark 
taking charge of the boat with its important freight, worked his way 
down stream, then up to St. Louis; while Lewis, following the "Vin- 
cennes trace," proceeded across country to Kaskaskia. Recruits were 
picked from various frontier posts, among others John Ordway and Pat- 
rick Gass, who both contributed materially to the literature of the ex- 

"During the winter of 1803-04," writes Doctor Hosmer, "the company 
was well disciplined and instructed in the camp at Wood River, and on 
the 9th of May took part in a memorable ceremony. Major Amos Stod- 
dard crossing from Cahokia, received from Don Carlos de Haut de Lassus, 
the Spanish governor, the surrender of St. Louis, the last post in the pur- 
chased Louisiana. It was an occasion of solemnity. The flag of Spain 


being lowered, the flag of France took its place for a brief season. 
Then arose the flag of the stars and stripes, its dominion henceforth 
unchallenged. Confronting the Spanish infantry stood, at present, the 
American line, among them the picked soldiers of Lewis and Clark, a 
fine array of manhood. The new land was now completely possessed, 
and the next week the Captains set forth to see what it contained." 

The chief incidents developed by the voyage from St. Louis, up the 
Missouri River, to Fort Mandan near the present site of Bismarck, 
North Dakota a trip of sixteen hundred miles was the death of Ser- 
geant Floyd, at the present site of Sioux City, Iowa, on August 20, 1804 ; 
the desertion of two of the men, and the severe punishment (seventy-five 
lashes with the "ramrod") and discharge of the one recaptured. 


The start from St. Louis was made May 14, 1804, and the Mandan 
villages and the fort were reached on the 2nd of November, of that 
year. There the party were joined by Charbonneau, the French-Cana- 
dian trapper and former employe of the Hudson's Bay Company, and his 
wife, Sacajawea, the Bird Woman, a native of the Shoshone, or Snake 
nation, and whose services as guide and advisor gave her a standing in 
the expedition next to the leaders themselves. Charbonneau, who was 
engaged as interpreter, was quarrelsome and unreliable; his wife, the 
Bird Woman, was brave, faithful, familiar with every detail of her na- 
tive land, through which the expedition was to pass, and absolutely re- 
liable. On February n, 1804, she had been delivered of a son, so that 
when the expedition of thirty-two members left Fort Mandan, on April 7, 
1805, Sacajawea carried with her a baby of fourteen months. 

The Lewis-Clark Journal launches the expedition thus: "Having 
made all our arrangements, we left the fort about five o'clock in the 
afternoon. The party now consisted of thirty-two persons. Besides 
ourselves were Sergeants John Ordway, Nathaniel Pryor and Patrick 
Gass ; the privates were William Bratton, John Colter, John Collins, 
Peter Cruzatte, Robert Frazier, Reuben Fields, Joseph Fields, George 
Gibson, Silas Goodrich, Hugh Hall, Thomas P. Howard, Baptiste Lapage, 
Francis Labiche, Hugh M'Neal, John Potts, John Shields, George Shannon, 
John B. Thompson, William Werner, Alexander Willard, Richard Winsor, 
Joseph Whitehouse, Peter Wiser and Captain Clark's black servant, York. 
The two interpreters were George Drewyer and Toussaint Charbonneau. 
The wife of Charbonneau also accompanied us with her young child, and 
we hope may be useful as an interpreter among the Snake Indians. She 
was herself one of that tribe, but having been taken in war by the Min- 
netarees, by whom she was sold as a slave to Charbonneau, who brought 
her up and afterwards married her. One of the Mandans also embarked 
with us, in order to go to the Snake Indians and obtain a peace with them 
for his countrymen. All this party with the baggage was stowed in six 
small canoes and two large pirogues. We left the fort with fair, 
pleasant weather, though the northwest wind was high, and after making 


about four miles encamped on the north side of the Missouri, nearly 
opposite the first Mandan village. At the same time that we took our 
departure our barge, manned with seven soldiers, two Frenchmen and Mr. 
Gravelines as pilot, sailed for the United States loaded with our pres- 
ents and despatches." 


The party proceeded up the Missouri, past the mouths of the Big 
Knife, Little Missouri, White Earth and other tributaries to the mouth 
of the Yellowstone, through a pleasant land of elk, deer, beaver, and 
Mandans and Assiniboines. The disagreeable features of this part of 
the expedition were evidently the high winds, which caused the men's* 
eyes to be sore, and the cold weather. On April 25th, as the Yellow- 
stone was approached, near the present boundary between North Dakota 
and Montana, the temperature fell so low that the water froze on the 
oars as the men rowed, which, with the high wind, forced a halt. "This 
detention from the wind," notes the Journal, under that date, "and the 
reports from our hunters of the crookedness of the river, induced us 
to believe that we were at no great distance from the Yellowstone River. 
In order, therefore, to prevent delay as much as possible, Captain Lewis 
determined to go on by land in search of that river and make the neces- 
sary observations, so as to be enabled to proceed on immediately after the 
boats should join him; he therefore landed about eleven o'clock on the 
south side, accompanied by four men ; the boats were prevented from 
going until five in the afternoon, when they went on a few miles far- 
ther, and encamped for the night at the distance of fourteen and a 
half miles." 

Captain Clark evidently writes the journal at this point, as he 
says, under date of April 26, 1805 : "We continued our voyage in the 
morning and by twelve o'clock encamped, at eight miles distance, at the 
junction of the Missouri and Yellowstone rivers, where we were soon 
joined by Captain Lewis. 

"On leaving us yesterday, he pursued his route along the foot of 
the hills, which he ascended at the distance of eight miles; from these 
the wide plains watered by the Missouri and the Yellowstone spread 
themselves before the eye, occasionally varied with the wood of the banks, 
enlivened by the irregular windings of the two rivers and animated 
by vast herds of buffalo, deer, elk and antelope. 

"The confluence of the two rivers was concealed by the wood, but 
the Yellowstone itself was only two miles distant to the south. He 
therefore descended the hills and encamped on the bank of the river, 
having killed as he crossed the plain four buffaloes; the deer alone 
are shy and retire to the woods, but the elk, antelope and buffalo suf- 
fered him to approach without alarm and often followed him quietly for 
some distance. This morning he sent a man up the river to examine 
it, while he proceeded down to the juncture. 

"The ground on the lower side of the Yellowstone near its mouth 


is flat and for about a mile seems to be subject to inundation, while 
that at the point of juncture, as well as that on the opposite side of 
the Missouri, is at the usual height of ten or eighteen feet above the 
water and therefore not overflown. There is more timber in the neigh- 
borhood of this place and on the Missouri as far below as the White Earth 
river, than on any other part of the Missouri on this side of the Cheyenne ; 
the timber consists principally of cottonwood, with some small elm, ash 
and box elder. On the sandbars and along the margin of the river grows 
the small-leafed willow ; in the low grounds adjoining are scattered rose- 
bushes three or four feet high, the redberry, serviceberry and redwood. 
The higher plains are either immediately on the river, in which case they 
are generally timbered and have an undergrowth like that of the low- 
grounds, with the addition of the broad-leafed willow, gooseberry, choke 
cherry, purple currant and honeysuckle; or they are between the low 
grounds and the hills, and for the most part without wood or anything 
except large quantities of wild hysop; this plant rises about two feet 
high and, like the willow of the sandbars, is a favorite food of the buffalo, 
elk, deer, grouse, porcupine, hare and rabbit. * * * 

"The man who was sent up the river reported in the evening that he 
had gone about eight miles, that during that distance the river winds 
on both sides of a plain four or five miles wide, that the current was 
gentle and much obstructed by sandbars, that at five miles he had 
met with a large timbered island, three miles beyond which a creek 
falls in on the southeast above a high bluff in which are several strata 
of coal. The country, as far as he could discern, resembled that of 
the Missouri, and in the plain he met several of the bighorn animals 
but they were too shy to be obtained. 

"The bed of the Yellowstone, as we observed it near the mouth, 
is composed of sand and mud, without a stone of any kind. Just above 
the confluence we measured the two rivers, and found the bed of the 
Missouri five hundred and twenty yards wide, the water occupying only 
three hundred and thirty, and the channel deep; while the Yellowstone, 
including its sandbar, occupied eight hundred and fifty-eight yards with 
two hundred and ninety-seven yards of water; the deepest part of the 
channel is twelve feet, but the water is now falling and seems to be 
nearly at summer height. 

"We left the mouth of the Yellowstone (April 27th). From the 
point of juncture a wood occupies the space between the two rivers, 
which at the distance of a mile came within two hundred and fifty yards 
of each other. There a beautiful low plain commences and widening, 
as the rivers recede, extends along each of them for several miles, rising 
about half a mile from the Missouri into a plain twelve feet higher 
than itself. The low plain is a few inches above high water mark, 
and where it joins the higher plain there is a channel of sixty or seventy 
yards in width, through which a part of the Missouri, when at its 
greatest height, passes into the Yellowstone. At two and a half miles 
above the juncture and between the high and low plain, is a small 


lake two hundred yards wide, extending for a mile parallel with the 
Missouri, along the edge of the upper plain. 

"At the lower extremity of this lake, about four hundred yards 
from the Missouri and twice that distance from the Yellowstone, is a 
small lake highly eligible for a trading station; it is in the high plain 
which extends back three miles in width and seven or eight miles in 
length, along the Yellowstone, where it is bordered by an extensive 
body of woodland and along the Missouri with less breadth, till three 
miles above it is circumscribed by the hills within a space of four 
yards in width. A sufficient quantity of limestone for building may 
easily be procured near the junction of the rivers; it does not lie in 
regular stratas, but is in large irregular masses, of a light color and 
apparently of an excellent quality. Game, too, is very abundant and as 
yet quite gentle. Above all, its elevation recommends it as preferable 
to the land at the confluence of the rivers, which their variable channels 
may render very insecure." 

For several days, or until about the ist of May, 1805, wind and 
weather were favorable for sailing, and the Eastern Missouri valley was 
traversed until the Porcupine Creek was reached. This is a northern 
tributary of the Whitewater River, which, with the Milk River, drains 
quite a section of Northern Montana, and joins the Missouri River in 
the southern part of what is now Valley County. All along the route, 
game was very abundant, such as the black tailed deer, elk, buffalo, 
antelope, brown bear and geese. At places, the beaver had committed 
great ravages among the trees, "one of which, nearly three feet in 
diameter, had been gnawed through by them." Captain Lewis had a 
narrow escape from a wounded white bear (a grizzly, evidently, as it. 
is described as yellowish brown in color). In the vicinity of Martha's 
River, east of Porcupine Creek, it was noted that "there are greater 
appearances of coal than we have hitherto seen, the stratas of it being 
in some places six feet thick, and there are stratas of burnt earth, which 
are always on the same level with those of coal." 

Speaking of the antelope, the journal observes: "This fleet and 
quick-sighted animal is generally the victim of its own curiosity: when 
they first see the hunters, they run with great velocity; if he lies down 
on the ground and lifts up his arm, his hat or his foot, the antelope 
returns on a light trot to look at the object and sometimes goes and 
returns two or three times, till they approach within reach of the rifle; 
so, too, they sometimes leave their flock to go and look at the wolves, 
who crouch down, and if the antelope be frightened at first, repeat 
the same manoeuvre, and sometimes relieve each other till they decoy it 
from the party, when they seize it. But generally the wolves take them 
as they are crossing the rivers, for, although swift of foot, they are 
not good swimmers." 

On May 2nd, while nearing Porcupine Creek "one of the hunters, 
in passing an old Indian camp, found several yards of scarlet cloth 
suspended on the bough of a tree, as a sacrifice to the deity by the Assini- 
boines, the custom of making these offerings being common among that 


people, as indeed among all the Indians on the Missouri." On the 
following day, near their encampment, was passed "a curious collection 
of bushes, about thirty feet high and ten or twelve in diameter, tied 
in the form of a fascine (a faggot used in fortifications) and standing 
on end in the middle of the low ground." It, also, was supposed to have 
been left by the Indians as a religious offering. 

Fourteen miles farther up the river the expedition reached the 
mouth of the Porcupine named from the unusual number of the animal 
named found near it. In the journal of the explorers, it may be con- 
founded with Whitewater River, as it is described as "a bold and 
beautiful stream one hundred and twelve yards wide, though the water 
is only forty yards at its entrance. Captain Clark, who ascended it 
several miles and passed it above where it enters the highlands, found it 
continued nearly of the same width and about knee deep, and as far 
as he could distinguish for twenty miles from the hills its course was 
a little to the east of north. There was much timber on the low grounds ; 
he found some limestone, also, on the surface of the earth in the course 
of his walk, and saw a range of low mountains at a distance to the 
west of north (Little Creek Mountains) whose direction was northwest, 
the adjoining country being everywhere level, fertile, open and ex- 
ceedingly beautiful. 

"The water of this river is transparent, and is the only one that 
is so of all those that fall into the Missouri ; before entering a large 
sandbar through which it discharges itself, its low grounds are formed 
of a stiff blue and black clay, and its banks, which are from eight to 
ten feet high and seldom, if ever, overflow, are composed of the same 

"From the quantity of water which this river contains, its direction 
and the nature of the country through which it passes, it is not im- 
probable that its sources may be near the main body of the Saskaskawan 
(Saskatchewan), and as in high water it can be no doubt navigated to a 
considerable distance, it may be rendered the means of intercourse with 
the Athabasky country, from which the northwest company derive so 
many of their valuable furs. 

"A quarter of a mile beyond this river, a creek falls in on the 
south, to which, on account of its distance from the mouth of the 
Missouri, we gave it the name of Two-thousand Mile creek; it is a 
bold stream, thirty yards wide." 

Game, both small and large, was very abundant in this region, where 
members of the party encountered and killed the largest brown bear they 
had yet seen. Although pierced with five rirle balls through his lungs and 
five others in other portions of his body, he swam half way across 
the river to a sandbar and then survived twenty minutes. The animal 
weighed about six hundred pounds and measured over eight and a half 
feet from the nose to the extremity of the hind foot, five feet and ten 
inches around the breast and three feet eleven inches around the neck. 
'On May 6th, the expedition crossed and named Big Dry and Little 
Dry creeks, in the present county of Garfield, which still appear on the 


map under those designations. The origin of the name is given in the 
Lewis-Clark journal, thus: "We passed three streams on the south: 
the first, at the distance of one mile and a half from our camp, was 
about twenty-five yards wide, but although it contained some water in 
standing pools, it discharges none. This we called Little Dry Creek, 
about eight miles beyond which is Big Dry creek, fifty yards wide, without 
any water; the third is six miles further, and has the bed of a large 
river two hundred yards wide, yet without a drop of water; like the 
other two, this stream, which we called Big Dry river, continues its 
width undiminished as far as we can discern." 


Two days afterward, a light breeze from the east carried their boat, 
sixteen miles, to the mouth of a river which came in from the north. 
Captain Clark, on ascending a high point opposite to its entrance, dis- 
covered a level and beautiful country which it watered; that its course 
for twelve or fifteen miles was northwest, when it divided into two 
nearly equal branches, one pursuing a direction nearly north, the other to 
the west of north. Its width at the entrance to the Missouri, in the 
southern part of what is now Valley County, was one hundred and fifty 
yards. A few miles up stream, it was found to be of the same breadth 
deep, gentle and carrying a large volume of water. Its bed was formed 
of a dark, rich loam and blue clay; banks some twelve feet in height; 
the low grounds near it wide and fertile and bearing much cottonwood 
and willow. The river had to be named, and the expeditionary journal 
of May 8, 1805, makes record: "It seems to be navigable for boats and 
canoes, and this circumstance, joined to its course and the quantity of 
water, which indicates that it passes through a large extent of country, 
we are led to presume that it may approach the Saskashawan and afford 
a communication with that river. The water has peculiar whiteness, 
such as might be produced by a table spoon full of milk in a dish of tea, 
and this circumstance induced us to call it Milk River." 


The next river of any consequence reached by the expedition was 
the Muscleshell, or Musselshell. Progress to this point had been ac- 
complished by a twelve-days' journey from the Milk River district. On 
May 20th, the camp was pitched at the upper point of the river's juncture 
with the Missouri, from the south. "This stream," says the record, 
"which we suppose to be that called by the Minnetarees the Muscleshell 
river, empties into the Missouri two thousand two hundred and seventy 
miles above the mouth of the latter river, and in latitude 47 o' 24"6 
north. It is one hundred and ten yards wide and contains more water 
than streams of that size usually do in this country; its current is by 
no means rapid and there is every appearance of its being navigable by 
canoes for a considerable distance; its bed is chiefly formed of coarse 

Vol. 18 


sand and gravel, with an occasional mixture of black mud; the banks 
abrupt and nearly twelve feet high, so that they are secure from being 
overflowed; the water is of a greenish yellow cast and much more trans- 
parent than that of the Missouri, which itself, though clearer than below, 
still retains its whitish hue and a portion of its sediment. Opposite to 
the point of juncture the current of the Missouri is gentle and two 
hundred and twenty-two yards in width, the bed principally of mud 
(the little sand remaining being wholly confined to the points) and still 
too deep to use the setting pole. If this be, as we suppose, the Muscle- 
shell, our Indian information is that it rises in the first chain of the 
Rocky Mountains not far from the sources of the Yellowstone, whence, 
in its course to this place, it waters a high, broken country, well 
timbered, particularly on its borders, and interspersed with handsome 
fertile plains and meadows. * t * * They also reported that the 
country is broken and irregular like that near our camp; that about five 
miles up a handsome river about fifty yards wide, which we named after 
Charbonneau's wife, Sahcajahweah, or Birdwoman's river, discharges 
itself into the Muscleshell on the north or upper side. 

"Another party found at the foot of the southern hills, about four 
miles from the Missouri, a fine bold spring, which in this country is 
so rare that since we left the Mandans we have found only one of a 
similar kind, and that was under the bluffs on the south side of the 
Missouri, at some distance from it and about five miles below the 
Yellowstone; with this exception, all the small fountains, of which we 
have met a number, are impregnated with the salts which are so abundant 
here, and with which the Missouri is itself most probably tainted though 
to us who have been so much accustomed to it, the taste is not per- 

Continuing up the Missouri River, the game became scarcer and the 
country more broken, and the leaders commenced to speculate whether or 
not they were not approaching the outposts of the great Rockies, or 
continental divide, which was the immediate object t of their voyage. 
On May 25th, they record : "The high country through which we have 
passed for some days, and where we now are, we suppose to be a 
continuation of what the French traders called the Cote Noire or Black 
Hills. The country thus denominated consists of high, broken, irregular 
hills and short chains of mountains, sometimes one hundred and twenty 
miles in width, sometimes narrower, but always much higher than the 
country on either side. They commence about the head of the Kansasa, 
where they diverge, the first ridge going westward along the northern 
shore of the Arkansaw; the second approaches the Rocky Mountains 
obliquely in a course a little to the west of northwest, and after passing 
the Platte above its forks and intersecting the Yellowstone near the 
Bigbend, crosses the Missouri at this place, and probably swell the 
country as far as the Saskashawan, though as they are represented much 
smaller here than to the south they may not reach that river." 

What are now known as the Black .Hills are much more circum- 
scribed than the supposititious range noted in the Lewis-Clark journal. 






On the day after noting the broken appearance of the country through 
which they were passing, the first view was obtained of the Rocky 
Mountains. From the description, they were probably some portions 
of the Belt Range of Central Montana. "It was here," says the journal, 
"that, after ascending the highest summits of the hills on the north 
side of the river, Captain Lewis first caught a distant view of the Rocky 
Mountains, the object of all our hopes and the reward of all our 
ambition. On both sides of the river and at no great distance from it, 
the mountains followed its course; above these, at the distance of fifty 
miles from us, an irregular range of mountains spread themselves from 
west to northwest from his position. To the north of these a few elevated 
points, the most remarkable of which bore north 65 west, appeared 
above the horizon, and as the sun shone on the snows of their summits 
he obtained a clear and satisfactory view of those mountains which 
close on the Missouri the passage of the Pacific." 

It is probable that the hills from which Captain Lewis thus obtained 
his first ravishing view of the outskirts of the Rockies were what are 
now known as Little Creek Mountains, as shortly afterward the members 
of the party congratulated themselves "as having escaped from the last 
ridges of the Black Mountains," and discovered and named "Bull creek." 
"To further fix the locality, on the following day they came to a handsome 
river, which discharges itself on the south and which we ascended to 
the distance of a mile and a half. We called it Judith river; it rises 
in the Rocky Mountains, in about the same place with the Muscleshell 
and near the Yellowstone river." 


"On the north," reads the journal of May 29, 1805, "we passed a 
precipice about one hundred and twenty feet high, under which lay 
scattered the fragments of at least one hundred carcasses of buffaloes, 
although the water, which had washed away the lower part of the hill, 
must have carried off many of the. dead. These buffaloes had been 
chased down the precipice in a way very common on the Missouri, and 
by which vast herds are destroyed in a moment. The mode of hunting 
is to select one of the most active and fleet young men, who is disguised 
by a buffalo skin round his body, the skin of the head, with the ears and 
horns, fastened on his own head in such a way as to deceive the 
buffalo ; thus dressed he fixes himself at a convenient distance between a 
herd of buffalo and any of the river precipices, which sometimes extend 
for some miles. His companions, in the meantime, get in the rear and 
side of the herd, and at a given signal show themselves and advance 
toward the buffalo ; they instantly take the alarm and finding the hunters 
beside them, they run toward the disguised Indian or decoy, who leads 
them on at full speed toward the river, when suddenly securing himself 
in some crevice of the cliff which he had previously fixed on, the herd 


is left on the brink of the precipice. It is then in vain for the foremost to 
retreat or even stop. They are pressed on by the hindmost rank, who, 
seeing no danger but from the hunters, goad on those before them 
till the whole are precipitated and the shore is strewn with their dead 

"Sometimes in this perilous seduction, the Indian is himself either 
trodden under foot by the rapid movements of the buffalo, or missing 
his footing in the cliff is urged down the precipice by the falling herd. 
The Indians then select as much meat as they wish, and the rest is 
abandoned to the wolves, and creates a most dreadful stench. The 
wolves who had been feasting on these carcasses were very fat, and so 
gentle that one of them was killed with an esponton. Above this place 


we came to for dinner at the distance of seventeen miles, opposite to a 
bold running river of twenty yards wide, and falling in on the south. 
From the objects we had just passed we called this stream Slaughter 

For several days, the party passed through a region of fantastic 
sandstone cliffs and hills of freestone, and obtained another distant 
view of the Rockies from some of the most considerable eminences. On 
the 2nd of June a string of islands drew their attention, and at night 
of that day they encamped "in a handsome low cotton wood plain on the 
south," where they remained "for the purpose of making some celestial 
observations during the night, and of examining in the morning a large 
river" which flowed into the Missouri opposite their encampment, from 
the north. 

At an early hour of the following day (June 3rd), the expedition 
pitched its camp in the point formed by the junction of Maria's River 
with the Missouri. "It now became an interesting question," continues 


the journal of the perplexed explorers, "which of these two streams 
is what the Minnetarees call Ahmateahza, or the Missouri, which they 
described as approaching very near to the Columbia. On our right 
decision much of the fate of the expedition depends; since if, after 
ascending to the Rocky Mountains or beyond them, we should find that 
the river we were following did not" come near the Columbia, and be 
obliged to return, we should not only lose the traveling season, two 
months of which hard already elapsed, but probably dishearten the men 
so much as to induce them either to abandon the enterprise, or yield 
us a cold obedience instead of the warm and zealous support which they 
have hitherto afforded us. 

"We determined, therefore, to examine well before we decided on 
our future course ; and for this purpose dispatched two canoes with three 
men up. each of the streams, with orders to ascertain the width, depth 
and rapidity of the current, so as to judge of their comparative bodies 
of water. At the same time parties were sent out by land to penetrate 
the country and discover from the rising grounds, if possible, the distant 
bearings of the two rivers; and all were directed to return towards 
evening. While they were gone we ascended together the high grounds 
in the forks of these two rivers, whence we had a very extensive prospect 
of the surrounding country. 

"On every side it was spread into one vast plain covered with verdure, 
in which innumerable herds of buffaloes were roaming, .attended by 
their enemies, the wolves ; some flocks of elks were seen, and the solitary 
antelopes were scattered with their young over the face of the plain. To 
the south was a range of lofty mountains, which we supposed to be a 
continuation of the South Mountain, stretching themselves from southeast 
to northwest (probably the Belt Range), and terminating abruptly about 
southwest from us. These were partially covered with snow; but at 
a great distance behind them was a more lofty ridge completely covered 
with snow, which seemed to follow the same direction as the first, reaching 
from west to the north of northwest (perhaps the Big Belt Mountains), 
where their snowy tops were blended with the horizon. 

"The direction of the rivers could not, however, be long dis- 
tinguished, as they were soon lost in the extent of the plain. On our 
return we continued our examination; the width of the north branch 
is two hundred yards, that of the south is three hundred and seventy-two. 
The north, although narrower and with a gentler current, is deeper than 
the south ; its waters, too, are of the same whitish brown color, thickness 
and turbidness ; they run in the same boiling and rolling manner which 
has uniformly characterized the Missouri ; and its bed is composed of 
some gravel, but principally mud. The south fork is deeper, but its 
waters are perfectly transparent; its current is rapid, but the surface 
smooth and unruffled; and its bed, too, is composed of round and flat 
smooth stones like those of rivers issuing from a mountainous country. 
The air and character of the north fork so much resemble those of the 
Missouri that almost all the party believe that to be the true course to 
be pursued. We, however, although we have given no decided opinion 


are inclined to think otherwise, because, although this branch does give 
the colour and character to the Missouri, yet these very circumstances 
induce an opinion that it rises in and runs through an open plain country, 
since if it came from the mountains it would be clearer, unless, which 
from the position of the country is improbable, it passed through a vast 
extent of low ground after leaving them. We thought it probable that 
it did not even penetrate the Rocky Mountains, but drew its sources 
from the open country towards the lower and middle parts of the 
Saskashawan, in a direction north of this place. 

"What embarrasses us most is, that the Indians, who appeared to be 
well acquainted with the geography of the country, have not mentioned 
this northern river; for 'the river which scolds at all others,' as it is 
termed, must be, according to their account, one of the rivers which we 
have passed; and if this north fork be the Missouri, why have they not 
designated the south branch, which they must also have passed in order 
to reach the great falls which they mention on the Missouri?" 


The foregoing extracts are taken from the journal to show the care 
with which the leaders examined all the evidences and the wisdom of 
their general conclusion that their way to the mountains lay along the 
south rather than the north fork. After examining the streams and 
the neighboring country several days more, Captain Lewis became con- 
vinced that the northern stream pursued a direction too far north for 
their desired route to the Pacific, by way of the Columbia. On the 8th 
of June, 1805, as his party came down the river, all its members, except 
he himself, "were of opinion that this river was the true Missouri; but 
Captain Lewis, being fully persuaded that it was neither the main stream 
nor that which it would be advisable to ascend, gave it the name of 
Maria's River. After travelling all day they reached the camp at five 
o'clock in the afternoon, and found Captain Clark and the party very 
anxious for their safety, as they had staid two days longer than had 
been expected." 

Elsewhere Captain Lewis states : "I determined to give it a name, and 

in honour of Miss Maria W d called it Maria's River. It is true that 

the hue of the waters of this turbulent and troubled stream but illy 
comport with the pure celestial virtues and amiable qualifications of that 
lovely fair one; but on the other hand it is a noble river; one destined 
to become in my opinion an object of contention between the two great 
powers of America and Great Britain, with respect to the adjustment of 
the North-westwardly boundary of the former, and that it will become one 
of the most interesting branches of the Missouri." 

Dr. Elliott Coues, the learned editor of the 1893 edition of the journal, 
adds this enlightening bit of information : "The Ulyssean young captain 
is not successful in concealing the name of 'that lovely fair one'; for 
<W d' spells 'Wood' without any vowels. This lady was Miss Maria 
Wood, a cousin of his, afterward Mrs. M. Clarkson. There were a 


number of intermarriages between the Virginia Meriwethers, Lewises 
and Woods ; but one such, the prospect of which Captain Lewis may have 
cherished in his heart of hearts, was destined never to be." 

Captain Clark's independent explorations up the valley of Maria's 
River had also reconfirmed his belief that the stream mentioned was 
not the one to be pursued. Furthermore, as he states in his contribution 
to the journal, "the Indians had assured us, also, that the water of 
the Missouri was nearly transparent at the falls ; this is the case with the 
southern branch; that the falls lay a little to the south of sunset from 
them ; this, too, is in favor of the southern fork, for it bears considerably 
to the south of this place ; that the falls are below the Rocky Mountains, 
and near the northern termination of one range of those mountains. 
Now, there is a ridge of mountains which appear behind the South 
mountains and terminates to the southwest of us (Little Belt Mountains), 
at a sufficient distance from the unbroken chain of the Rocky Mountains 
to allow spaces for several falls, indeed, we fear, for too many of them." 

The observations and conclusions of Captains Lewis and Clark were 
communicated to the reunited party. But every one of them were of a 
contrary opinion, and much of their belief depended on Crusatte, an 
experienced waterman on the Missouri, who gave it as his decided judg- 
ment that the north fork was the genuine Missouri. The men therefore 
said that although they would cheerfully follow their leaders wherever 
they should direct, they were afraid that the south fork would soon 
terminate in the Rocky Mountains and leave the expedition at a great 
distance from the Columbia. That no radical error might be committed, 
the leaders agreed that one of them should ascend the southern branch 
by land until either the falls or the mountains should be reached, and 
that the main camp should be pitched on the north side of the Missouri 
near the entrance of Maria's River and await the return of the in- 


On June nth, Captain Lewis, with four men, set out on this ex- 
pedition up the south branch. Two days afterward, while traveling 
southwardly through a country of alternate plains and river hills, from 
the latter of which he could obtain views of the Rocky Mountains, 
"fearful of passing the falls before reaching the mountains," the Lewis 
party left the hills and proceeded across the plain. "In this direction," 
continues his narrative, "Captain Lewis had gone about two miles when 
his ears were saluted with the agreeable sound of a fall of water and 
as he advanced a spray, which seemed driven by a high southwest wind, 
arose above the plain like a column of smoke and vanished in an instant. 
Towards this point he directed his steps and the noise, increasing as he 
approached, soon became too tremendous to be mistaken for anything 
but the great falls of the Missouri. Having travelled seven miles after 
first hearing the sound, he reached the falls about twelve o'clock. The 
hills, as he approached, were difficult of access and two hundred feet 


high. Down these he hurried with impatience and seating himself on 
some rocks under the center of the falls, enjoyed the sublime spectacle 
of this stupendous object which since the creation had been lavishing its 
magnificence upon the desert, unknown to civilization." 


Captain Lewis gives some wonderful descriptions of the Great Falls 
and the succession of smaller falls and rapids farther up the river 
and to fully enjoy them, the reader must consult the text of the Journal, 
especially the edition of 1902, edited by Dr. James K. Hosmer. At this 
point in the story, it reads: "The river immediately at its cascade is 
three hundred yards wide and is pressed in by a perpendicular cliff 
on the left, which rises to about one hundred feet and extends up the 
stream for a mile; on the right the bluff is also perpendicular for three 
hundred yards above the falls. For ninety or a hundred yards from the 
left cliff, the water falls in one smooth, even sheet over a precipice of 
at least eighty feet. The remaining part of the river precipitates itself 
with a more rapid current, but being received, as it falls, by the irregu- 
lar and somewhat projecting rocks below, forms a splendid prospect 
of perfectly white foam, two hundred yards in length and eighty in 
perpendicular elevation. This spray is dissipated into a thousand shapes, 
sometimes flying up in columns of fifteen or twenty feet, which are 
then oppressed by larger masses of the white foam, on all which the 
sun impresses the brightest colours of the rainbow. As it rises from 
the fall, it beats with fury against a ledge of rocks which extend across 
the river at one hundred and fifty yards from the precipice * * * 
At the distance of three hundred yards from the same ridge is a second 
abutment of solid perpendicular rock about sixty feet high, projecting 
at right angles from the small plain on the north for one hundred and 
thirty-four yards into the river." 

Captain Lewis encamped for the night under a tree near the falls 
and walked along the river to find a place beyond where the canoes 
might be again launched, but for three miles below found a succession 
of rapids and cascades. On the following morning he sent one of his 
men to Captain Clark with an account of the discovery of the falls and 
resumed his course along the river toward the southwest. Five miles 
above, he found a second fall. Here the river was about four hundred 
yards wide, and for the distance of three hundred throws itself so 
irregularly that the captain called this succession of pitches Crooked Falls. 

"Above this fall," continues the narratice, "the river bends suddenly 
to the northward; while viewing this place Captain Lewis heard a loud 
roar above him and crossing the point of a hill for a hundred yards, 
he saw one of the most beautiful objects in nature: the whole Missouri 
is suddenly stopped by one shelving rock, which, without a single niche, 
and with an edge as straight and regular as if formed by art, stretches 
itself from one side of the river to the other for at least a quarter of 
a mile. Over this it precipitates itself in an even uninterrupted sheet 


to the perpendicular depth of fifty feet, whence dashing against the rocky 
bottom it rushes rapidly down, leaving behind it a spray of the purest 
foam across the river. The scene w y hich it presented was indeed 
singularly beautiful, since, without any of the wild, irregular sublimity 
of the lower falls, it combined all the regular elegances which the fancy 
of a painter would select to form a beautiful waterfall." 

For several miles above, rapids .and cascades, or smaller waterfalls, 
break the course of the river. During the day Lewis ascended a high 
hill, whence he could trace the course of the Missouri to the base of the 
Snow Mountains (Big Belt range) toward the southwest, as well as 
note a large river flowing from the northwest and joining it about four 
miles above his point of observation. After descending the hill and 
wounding a buffalo, while preparing to see him fall and provide meat 
for himself and men, he was attacked by a large brown bear. His rifle 
was unloaded and he only escaped death by fleeing to the river, plunging 
in and facing boldly about. He then continued his course toward the 
western river, found that it "was a handsome stream about two hundred 
yards wide, apparently deep, with a gentle current, its waters clear, and 
its banks, which were formed principally of dark brown and blue clay 
were about the same height as the Missouri, that is, from three to five 
feet. * * * This river is no doubt that which the Indians call 
Medicine River, which they mentioned as emptying into the Missouri 
just above the falls." Before he returned to camp, Captain Lewis was 
all but attacked by three bull buffaloes, and on the following morning, 
when awaking, found a large rattlesnake on the trunk of the tree under 
which he had been sleeping. All of which were taken as the usual risks 
of such an adventure as his. The messenger sent to Captain Clark 
returned with the information that the latter had arrived five miles 
below at a rapid, which he did not think it prudent to ascend, and would 
wait until Captain Lewis and his party rejoined him. 


On June i6th, the two parties were reunited by Captain Lewis joining 
the main body, under Captain Clark, about five miles below the falls. 
Captain Clark spent a number of days in examining the surrounding 
country for some feasible portage around Great Falls and the succession 
of rapids and cascades beyond. Portage Creek, so called, was finally 
selected for that purpose, and to facilitate the transportation of the 
canoes and the goods, rough carriages or wagons were made. "We were 
very fortunate," notes the journal, "in finding, just below Portage Creek. 
a cottonwood tree about twenty-two inches in diameter, and large enough 
to make the carriage wheels; it was perhaps the only one of the same 
size within twenty miles ; and the cottonwood, which we were obliged 
to employ in the other parts of the work, is extremely soft and brittle. 
The mast of the white periogue, which we mean to leave behind, supplied 
us with two axletrees." 

The hunters were sent out to kill buffaloes and other game, in order 


to collect meat to last while the transportation over the portage was being 
made. He carefully examined the route and fixed stakes to mark the 
definite line of the portage, having decided upon a locality about a mile 
beyond the juncture of the Medicine with the Missouri as the best point 
for the farther extremity of the portage. The three islands at that place 
were named Whitebear Islands, from the fact that a number of the 
animals were observed upon them. The portage was made with some 
difficulty, as various parts of the carriage broke under the weight of 
the goods and provisions, but finally the camp was selected in a small 
grove of timber opposite the Whitebear Islands and various scattered 
hunters were there collected before a general forward movement was 
attempted. Captain Lewis was in charge of the camp near the Medicine 
River and Captain Clark, the one at Portage Creek. 


On June 28th, Captain Clark started for the other end of the portage 
with a portion of the baggage, but was overtaken by a cloudburst and 
was obliged to leave the heaviest articles behind. On the following day 
"finding it impossible to reach the end of the portage with their present 
load, in consequence of the state of the road after the rain, he sent back 
nearly all his party to bring on the articles which had been left yesterday. 
Having lost some notes and remarks which he had made on first 
ascending the river, he determined to go up to the Whitebear Island 
along its banks, in order to supply the deficiency. He left one man to 
guard the baggage and went on to the falls, accompanied by his servant, 
York, Charbonneau and his wife with her young child. On his arrival 
there, he observed a very dark cloud rising in the west which threatened 
rain, and looked around for some shelter, but could find no place 
where they would be secure from being blown into the river if the wind 
should prove as violent as it sometimes does in the plains. At length, 
about a quarter of a mile above the falls, he found a deep ravine where 
there were some shelving rocks under which he took refuge. They were 
on the upper side of the ravine near the river, perfectly safe from the 
rain, and therefore laid down their guns, compass and other articles 
which they carried with them. The shower was at first moderate, it 
then increased to a heavy rain, the effects of which they did not feel; 
soon after a torrent of rain and hail descended; the rain seemed to fall 
in a solid mass, and instantly collecting in the ravine came rolling down 
in a dreadful current, carrying the mud and rocks and everything 
that opposed it. Captain Clark fortunately saw it a moment before 
it reached them, and springing up with his gun and shotpouch in his 
left hand, with his right clambered up the steep bluff, pushing on the 
Indian woman with- her child in her arms ; her husband, too had seized 
her hand, and was pulling her up the hill, but he was so terrified at the 
danger that, but for Captain Clark, himself and his wife and child would 
have been lost. 

"So instantaneous was the rise of the water that before Captain 


Clark had reached his gun and begain to ascend the bank the water was 
up to his waist, and he could scarce get up faster than it rose, till it 
reached the height of fifteen feet with a furious current, which, had 
they waited a moment longer, would have swept them into the river just 
above the great falls, down which they must inevitably have been pre- 
cipitated. They reached the plain in safety and found York, who had 
been separated from them just before the storm to hunt some buffalo, 
and was now returning to find his master. They had been obliged to 
escape so rapidly that Captain Clark lost his compass and umbrella, 
Charbonneau left his gun, shotpouch and tomahawk, and the Indian 
woman had just time to grasp her child before the net in which it lay at 
her feet was carried down the current." 


It was not until July 15, 1805, that the expedition was ready to proceed 
up the Missouri. Much time was spent in attempting to complete a 
large boat of skins, which had been prepared for the purpose at Harper's 
Ferry. Its frame was of iron, thirty-six feet long, four feet and a half 
beam and twenty-six inches wide at the bottom. The design was to 
complete its construction with timber, but the native supply of cotton- 
wood, willow and box-alder was found ill adapted for the purpose. 
Neither were the builders able to obtain the necessary tar to properly 
close the seams. As a substitute they formed a composition of pounded 
charcoal, beeswax and buffalo tallow, and sewed the skins together with 
sharp-edged, instead of pointed needle. On the 9th of July, the boat 
was launched, but a heavy wind prevented its departure and on the 
following morning it was found that the composition had separated 
from the skins, leaving the seams exposed, and the boat and the venture 
along this line had to be abandoned. To make a long, trying experience 
short in the telling, the boat was taken to pieces and its various parts 
worked into canoes, and at ten o'clock in the morning of July I5th they 
were loaded with the expeditionary baggage, and the voyage up the 
Missouri was resumed. 


Smith's River, which comes into the Missouri from the south, rising 
in the Little Belt Mountains and flowing through the west-central por- 
tions of Cascade County, was named after Robert Smith, who was then 
secretary of the navy. "At six miles" (from camp), the journal notes, 
"we came to an island opposite to a bend toward the north side, and 
reached, at seven and a half miles, the lower point of a woodland at the 
entrance of a beautiful river, which, in honour of the Secretary of 
the Navy, we called Smith's river. This stream falls into a bend on the 
south side of the Missouri and is eighty yards wide. As far as we could 
discern its course wound through a charming valley towards the 
southeast, in which many herds of buffalo were feeding, till at the distance 
of twenty-five miles, it entered the Rocky Mountains and was lost from 
our view." 


Three days after striking and naming Smith's River, the secretary 
of war^ Henry Dearborn, was honored by the explorers in the naming 
of the "handsome, bold and clear stream" emptying itself from the north 
and coming, as we would now describe it, from vast masses of the Con- 
tinental Divide, through the Montana county of Lewis and Clark. Soon 
after leaving Dearborn's river, the expedition reached a creek which was 
named after Sergeant John Ordway, and on the following day, July 
I9th, were entering the rocky wilds of the present Helena district. ' 


For a dozen miles, or more, the flotilla of canoes had been following 
the numerous bends of the Missouri, through a hot and confined valley, 


with the mountains in the near distance covered with patches of pine, 
cedar and fir and capped with snow, when the ranges on either side 
suddenly approached the river, "forming a most sublime and extraor- 
dinary spectacle. For five and three quarters miles these rocks rise 
perpendicularly from the water's edge to the height of nearly twelve 
hundred feet. They are composed of a black granite near its base, but 
from its lighter colour above, and from the fragments, we suppose the 
upper part to be flint of a yellowish brown and cream colour. Nothing 
can be imagined more tremendous than the frowning darkness of these 
rocks, which project over the river and menace us with destruction. The 
river, of one hundred and fifty yards, in width, seems to have forced its 
channel down this solid mass, but so reluctantly has it given way that 
during the whole distance the water is very deep, even at the edges, and 
for the first three miles there is not a spot, except one of a few 
yards, in which a man could stand between the water and the towering 
perpendicular of the mountain. The convulsion of the passage must 


have been terrible, since at its outlet there are vast columns of rock 
torn from the mountain which are strewed on both sides of the river, 
the trophies, as it were, of the victory. Several fine springs burst out 
from the chasms of the rock, and contribute to increase the water, which 
has now a strong current, but very fortunately we are able to overcome 
it with our oars, since it would be impossible to use either the cord or the 
pole. We were obliged to go on some time after dark, not being able to 
find a spot large enough to encamp on; but at length, about two miles 
above a small island in the middle of the river, we met with a spojt on the 
left side where we procured plenty of lightwood and pitch pine. This 
extraordinary range of rocks we called the Gates of the Rocky Moun- 

A short distance from the Gates, the perpendicular rocks ceased 
and the hills retired from the valley of the Missouri which again broad- 
ened, bounded by parallel chains of mountains. Captain Clark lead a 
party along the valley lands, hunting and investigating as he went. 
Before encamping for the night, the boats stopped and took aboard the 
meat which his men had collected during the day's hunt, and Captain 
Lewis received from his coworker an account of his investigations by 
land. The bed of the river was now diversified by many islands which 
were much frequented by otter and beaver. Pryor, Whitehouse and Gass 
creeks were named after John Pryor, Joseph Whitehouse and Patrick 
Gass, members of the expedition. 


In the meantime, Captain Clark had continued his land travel along 
the Indian road, and on July 25, 1805, "arrived at the three forks of the 
Missouri. Here he found that the plains had been recently burnt on 
the north side, and saw the track of a horse which seemed to have passed 
about four or five days since. After breakfast he examined the rivers, 
and finding that the north branch (the Jefferson) although not larger, 
contained more water than the middle branch, and bore more to the 
westward, he determined to ascend it. He therefore left a note informing 
Captain Lewis of his intention, and then went up that stream on the 
north side for about twenty-five miles. Here Charbonneau was unable 
to proceed any further, and the party therefore encamped, all of them 
much fatigued, their feet blistered and wounded by the prickly pear." 


Captain Lewis and his party were ascending the Missouri, while his 
companion, who had been taken sick in the midst of his explorations, 
was endeavoring to join him. The former reached the three forks on 
the 27th. He says : "A range of high mountains partially covered with 
snow is seen at a considerable distance, running from south to west, 
and nearly all around us are broken ridges of country like that below 
through which those united streams appear to have forced their passage. 



After observing the country (from a high limestone cliff, which he had 
ascended), Captain Lewis descended to breakfast. We then left the 
mouth of the southeast fork, which, in honour of the secretary of the 
treasury we called Gallatin's River, and at the distance of half a mile 
reached the confluence of the southwest and middle branches of the 
Missouri. Here we found the letter from Captain Clark, and as agreed 
with him that the direction of the southwest fork (the Jefferson) gave 
it a decided preference over the others, we ascended that branch of the 
river for a mile, and encamped in a level handsome plain on the left, hav- 
ing advanced only seven miles. Here we resolved to wait the return of 


Captain Clark, and in the meantime make the necessary celestial observa- 
tions, as this seemed an essential point in the geography of the western 
world, and also to recruit men and air the baggage. It was accordingly 
all unloaded and stowed away on shore. 

"Near the three forks we saw many collections of the mud-nests of 
the small martin attached to the smooth faces of the limestone rock, 
where they were sheltered by projections of the rock above it; and in 
the meadows were numbers of the duck or mallard, with their young, 
who are now nearly grown. The hunters returned towards evening 
with six deer, three otter and a muskrat, and had seen great numbers of 
antelopes, and much sign of the beaver and elk. 

"During all last night Captain Clark had a high fever and chills, 
accompanied with great pain. He, however, pursued his route eight 
miles to the middle branch, where not finding any fresh Indian tracks, 
he came down it and joined us about three o'clock, very much exhausted 


with fatigue and the violence of his fever. Believing himself bilious 
he took a dose of Rush's pills, which we have always found sovereign 
in such cases, and bathing the lower extremities in warm water. 

"We are now very anxious to see the Snake Indians. After advanc- 
ing for several hundred miles into this wild and mountainous country, 
we may soon expect that the game will abandon us. With no information 
of the route, we may be unable to find a passage across the mountains 
when we reach the head of the river, at least such a one as will lead 
us to the Columbia, and even were we so fortunate as to find a branch 
of that river, the timber which we have hitherto seen in these mountains 
does not promise us any fit to make canoes, so that our chief dependence 
is on meeting some tribe from whom we may procure horses. Our 
consolation is that this southwest branch can scarcely head with any 
other river than the Columbia, and that if any nation of Indians can 
live in the mountains we are able to endure as much as they, and have 
even better means of procuring subsistence." 


The entries in the journal under date of July 28, 1805, are even 
of greater interest historical, geographical and personal and are given 
without further comment: "On examining the two streams, it became 
difficult to decide which was the larger or the real Missouri; they are 
each ninety yards wide, and so perfectly similar in character and ap- 
pearance that they seem to have been formed in the same mould. We 
were therefore induced to discontinue the name of Missouri and gave 
to the southwest branch the name of Jefferson, in honor of the president 
of the United States and the projector of the enterprise, and called the 
middle branch Madison, after James Madison, secretary of state. These 
two, as well as Gallatin River, run with great velocity and throw out 
large bodies of water. Gallatin River is, however, the most rapid of the 
three and, though not quite as deep, yet navigable for a considerable 
distance. Madison River, though much less rapid than the Gallatin, is 
somewhat more rapid than the Jefferson; the beds of all of them are 
formed of smooth pebble and gravel, and the waters are perfectly 
transparent. * * * * 



"Sacajawea, our Indian woman, informs us that we are encamped 
on the precise spot where her countrymen, the Snake Indians, had their 
huts five years ago, when the Minnetarees of Knife River first came in 
sight of them, and from which they hastily retreated three miles up the 
Jefferson and concealed themselves in the woods. The Minnetarees, 
however, pursued and attacked them, killed four men, as many women, 
and a number of boys, and made prisoners of four other boys and all the 
females, of whom Sacajawea was one; she does not, however, show any 
distress at these recollections, nor any joy at being restored to her 





Vol. 14 


country; for she seems to possess the folly or the philosophy of not 
suffering her feelings to extend beyond the anxiety of having plenty 
to eat and a few trinkets to wear." 

Two days afterward, Captain Clark, feeling much better, and 
observations having been made to fix the longitude of this important 
geographical point on the western continent, the men reloaded the canoes 
and the expedition moved up the Jefferson River. The Indian Bird 
Woman was now on home ground and the leaders figuratively placed 
themselves in her hands. For some time, she was the most important 
member of the party. Soon after the start she pointed out to Captain 
Lewis the place where she had been made prisoner. Her fellow country- 
men, being too few to contend with the Minnetarees, had mounted their 
horses and fled as soon as the attack began. The women and children 
dispersed, and Sacajawea, as she was crossing the river at a shoal place, 
was overtaken by her pursuers and captured. 


Captain Lewis, with the Indian woman as guide and Charbonneau 
as interpreter, now assumed the land travel in search of the Snake 
Indians. He found and named Philosophy River. His companions were 
also Sergeant Gass and Drewyer. Frazier and Fields creeks (named after 
Robert Frazier and Reuben Fields) were also placed on the map of the 
present Montana, along this route. Both leaders floundered around, 
either along various streams or over the surrounding country, endeavor- 
ing to find, beyond mistake, the true continuation of the Jefferson, and 
finally decided on the middle branch. Finally, after nine days from the 
commencement of its ascent, or August 8th, Sacajawea recognized a 
curious projection into the river of an elevated plain as the point which 
her people called Beaver Head, from a supposed resemblance to that 
object. She said it was not far from the summer retreat of her country- 
men, which was on a river beyond the mountains and running to the 
west. She was therefore certain that the Shoshonees would be either 
on the Jefferson River, or immediately west of its source, which from 
the size of the stream was judged to be not far distant. 

Captain Lewis, with three of his men, therefore set out to search for 
the Snake Indians, or any other nation which could supply horses with 
which to transport' the baggage of the expedition across the mountains 
opposite the source of the Missouri. Some twenty or twenty-five miles 
from Beaver Head, on the following day (August loth) he had traced 
the Jefferson to a high cliff, which he christened Rattlesnake, from the 
number of that reptile which he saw there. Beyond the stream forked, 
and choosing the road along the one which showed the freshest tracks 
of horses, he fixed a dry willow pole at that point bearing a note to 
Captain Clark, recommending him to await his return at that place. On 
the day mentioned, Captain Lewis and his men had travelled thirty 


miles, and on the following day (August nth) the former "had the 
mortification to find the track which he followed yesterday soon dis- 

While he and his companions (Drewyer and Shields) were searching 
for the lost trail, "Captain Lewis perceived with the greatest delight, 
a man on horseback at the distance of two miles coming down the plain 
toward them. On examining him with the glass, Captain Lewis saw that 
he was of a different nation from any Indians we had hitherto met; 
he was armed with a bow and a quiver of arrows ; mounted on an elegant 
horse without a saddle, and a small string attached to the under jaw 
answered as a bridle. Convinced that he was a Shoshonee, and knowing 
how much of our success depended on the friendly offices of that nation, 
Captain Lewis was full of anxiety to approach without alarming him, 
and endeavor to convince him that he was a white man. He therefore 
proceeded on towards the Indian at his usual pace. When they were 
within a mile of each other, the Indian suddenly stopped Captain Lewis 
immediately followed his example, took his blanket from his knapsack 
and holding it with both hands at two corners threw it above his head 
and unfolded it as he brought it to the ground as if in the act of spreading 
it. This signal, which originates in the practice of spreading a robe or 
a skin, as a seat for guests to whom they wish to show a distinguished 
kindness, is the universal sign of friendship among the Indians on the 
Missouri and the Rocky Mountains. As usual, Captain Lewis re- 
peated this signal three times; still the Indian kept his position, and 
looked with an air of suspicion on Drewyer and Shields who were now 
advancing on each side. Captain Lewis was afraid to make any signal 
for them to halt, lest he should increase the suspicion of the Indian, 
who began to be uneasy, and they were too distant to hear his voice. 
He therefore took from his pack some beads, a looking glass and a few 
trinkets, which he had brought for the purpose and, leaving his gun, 
advanced unarmed towards the Indian. The latter remained in the same 
position till Captain Lewis came within two hundred yards of him, when 
he turned his horse and began to move off slowly. 

"Captain Lewis then called out to him in as loud a voice as he could, 
repeating the words tabba bone f which in the Shoshonee language means 
'white man'; but looking over his shoulder the Indian kept his eyes on 
Drewyer and Shields, who were still advancing, without recollecting the 
impropriety of doing so at such a moment, till Captain Lewis made a 
signal to them to halt; this Drewyer obeyed, but Shields did not observe 
it, and still went forward. Seeing Drewyer halt, the Indian turned his 
horse about as if to wait for Captain Lewis, who now reached within 
150 paces, repeating the words, tabba bone! and holding up the trinkets 
in his hand, at the same time stripping up the sleeve of his shirt to show 
the colour of his skin. The Indian suffered him to advance within 100 
paces, then suddenly turned his horse and, giving him the whip, leaped 
across the creek and disappeared in an instant among the willow bushes ; 
with him vanished all the hopes which the sight of him had inspired of 
a friendly introduction to his countrymen." 


Unfortunately a rain obliterated all traces of the Indian or his 
red companions, Captain . Lewis and his men making every endeavor 
to run them down. While thus engaged, they passed a large island 
which they called Three-thousand-mile Island, "on account of its being 
that distance from the mouth of the Missouri." 


The lost trail and the persistent search for it resulted, on the following 
day (August 12, 1805), in one of the great events of history and 
geography the discovery and passage of the great continental watershed 
of the United States of America. In view of the significance of the 
event, its details, as recorded in the Lewis-Clark journal are of absorbing 
interest. The morning of the day mentioned saw Captain Lewis and 
his two comrades still endeavoring to trace the tracks of the horse 
which they had lost in the mountains, on the previous day. The waters 
of the Jefferson were now shallow and rapid and flowed from a cove in 
the mountains, winding across a low plain which was further inter- 
sected by bayous. 

The story is thus told in the journal: "Captain Lewis now decided 
on making the circuit along the foot of the mountains which formed the 
cove, expecting by that means to find a road across them, and accordingly 
sent Drewyer on one side and Shields on the other. In this way they 
crossed four small rivulets near each other, on which were some bowers 
or conical lodges of willow brush, which seemed to have been made 
recently. From the manner in which the ground in the neighborhood 
was torn up, the Indians appeared to have been gathering roots, but 
Captain Lewis could not discover what particular plant they were search- 
ing for, nor could he find any fresh track, till at the distance of four miles 
from his camp he met a large plain Indian road which came into the 
cove from the northwest, and wound along the foot of the mountains 
to the southwest, approaching obliquely the main stream he had left 
yesterday. Down this road he now went toward the southwest; at the 
distance of five miles it crossed a large run or creek, which is a principal 
branch of the main stream into which it falls, just above the high cliffs 
or gates observed yesterday, and which they now saw before them. Here 
they halted and breakfasted on the last of the deer, keeping a small piece 
of pork in reserve against accident. They then continued through the 
low bottom along the main stream, near the foot of the mountains on 
the right. 

"For the first five miles the valley continues towards the southwest 
from two to three miles in width; then the main stream, which had 
received two small branches from the left in the valley, turns abruptly 
to the west through a narrow bottom between the mountains. The road 
was still plain, and as it led them directly on towards the mountain the 
stream gradually became smaller, till after going two miles it had so 
greatly diminished in width that one of the men in a fit of enthusiasm, 
with one foot on each side of the river, thanked God that he had lived 
to bestride the Missouri ! 


"As they went along, their hopes of soon seeing the waters of th'e 
Columbia arose almost to painful anxiety; when, after four miles from 
the last abrupt turn of the river, they reached a small gap formed by 
the high mountains which recede on each side, leaving room for the 
Indian road. From the foot of one of the lowest of these mountains, 
which rises with a gentle ascent of about half a mile, issues the remotest 
water of the Missouri. They had now reached the hidden sources of 
that river, which had never yet been seen by civilized man; and as 
they quenched their thirst at the chaste and icy fountain as they sat 
down by the brink of that little rivulet, which yielded its distant and 
modest tribute to the parent ocean they felt themselves rewarded for 
all their labours and all their difficulties. 

"They left reluctantly this interesting spot and, pursuing the Indian 
road through the intervals of the hills, arrived at the top of a ridge, 
from which they saw high mountains covered with snow, still to the west 
of them. The ridge on which they stood formed the dividing line 
between the waters of the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. They followed a 
descent much steeper than on the eastern side, and at the distance of three 
quarters of a mile reached a handsome bold creek of cold clear water 
running to the westward. They stopped to taste for the first time the 
waters of the Columbia." 

The expedition had achieved one of its chief objects that is, to 
find the gateway through the Rocky Mountains by which communication 
might be obtained between the headwaters of the Missouri and the 
Columbia, and a virtually continuous waterway be opened from the 
Mississippi Valley to the Pacific Coast. The secondary step in the 
venture was to get into touch with the Shoshonee Indians or other 
interior tribe who could supply information, or guidance, which should 
enable further progress toward the far western destination. 


So Captain Lewis and his two companions resumed the Indian road 
which had led them through the mountains and to the headwaters of 
the Salmon River, or the commencement of the Columbia River Valley. 
They soon met a number of female Shoshones, whom they propitiated 
with trinkets and whose cheeks were painted with bright vermillion by 
the whites as an even more effective peace offering. The Indian women 
conducted Captain Lewis and his men toward the camp of their nation 
down the river, and after going about two miles "met a troop of nearly 
sixty warriors, mounted on excellent horses riding at full speed toward 
them. As they advanced Captain Lewis put down his gun, and went with 
the flag about fifty paces in advance. The chief, who, with two men, 
was riding in front of the main body, spoke to the women, who now 
explained that the party was composed of white men, and showed 
exultingly the presents they had received. The three men immediately 
leaped from their horses, came up to Captain Lewis and embraced him 
with great cordiality, putting their left arm over his right shoulder 


and clasping his back; applying, at the same time, their left cheek to 
his, and frequently vociferating ah hi e! ah hi e! 'I am much pleased, 
I am much rejoiced !' The whole body of warriors now came forward, 
and our men received the caresses, and no small share of the grease and 
paint, of their new friends. After this fraternal embrace of which the 
motive was much more agreeable than the manner, Captain Lewis lighted 
a pipe and offered it to the Indians, who had now seated themselves 
in a circle around the party. But before they would receive this mark 
of friendship they pulled off their moccasins, a custom, as we afterwards 
learned, which indicates the sacred sincerity of their professions when 
they smoke with a stranger, and which imprecates upon themselves the 
misery of going barefoot forever if they are faithless to their words, 
a penalty by no means light to those who rove over the thorny plains 
of their country." 

More presents were distributed this time, among the warriors 
and about four miles distant Captain Lewis and his men were introduced 
to their quarters in the Indian camp, which was on a level meadow on 
the bank of the river. After formally smoking a pipe of peace with the 
chief and his warriors, Captain Lewis explained the purposes of his 
visit and distributed the remainder of the small articles he had brought 
with him. The chief informed him that the stream discharged itself, 
at the distance of half a day's march into another of twice its size coming 
from the southwest. There were a great number of horses feeding 
in every direction around the camp, which encouraged the captain to 
believe that the expeditionary stores and goods could be transported 
across the mountains, if necessary. On his way from the river to his 
lodge, Captain Lewis met an Indian who "invited him into his bower 
and gave him a small morsel of boiled antelope and a piece of fresh 
salmon. This was the first salmon he had seen and perfectly satisfied 
him that he was now on the waters of the Pacific." 


After some persuasion, the chief of the Shoshones, Cameahwait, 
with eight of his warriors, was induced to accompany Captain Lewis 
and his men on the return trip to the forks of the Jefferson, where 
Captain Clark and the remainder of the expedition were to meet them. 
Captain Lewis was obliged to resort to all sorts of stratagems in order 
to allay the suspicions of the Indians that they were being led into 
some kind of a trap, various articles of clothing being exchanged so 
that it would be difficult for an enemy to distinguish a white from a 
red man. 

The i/th of August, 1805, marked the day when final preparations 
were made to enter the second stage of the journey to the Pacific ; 
therefore, the interesting events of that day are quoted at length from 
the official journal, and thereafter the main events of the expedition 
must be condensed. Under date of Saturday, August i/th, the story runs: 
"Captain Lewis rose very early and despatched Drewyer and the Indian 


down the river in quest of the boats. Shields was sent out at the same 
time to hunt, while M'Neal prepared a breakfast out of the remainder 
of the meat. Drewyer had been gone about two hours, and the Indians 
were all anxiously waiting for some news, when an Indian who had 
straggled a short distance down the river returned with a report that 
he had seen the white men, who were only a short distance below, and 
were coming on. The Indians were all transported with joy and the 
chief, in the warmth of his satisfaction renewed his embrace to Captain 
Lewis, who was quite as much delighted as the Indians themselves. 

"The report proved most agreeably true. On setting out at seven 
o'clock, Captain Clark, with Charbonneau and his wife, walked on shore ; 
but they had not gone more than a mile before Captain Clark saw 
Sacajawea, who was with her husband 100 yards ahead, begin to dance 
and show every mark of the most extravagant joy, turning round him and 
pointing to several Indians, whom he now saw advancing on horseback, 
sucking her fingers at the same time to indicate that they were of her 
native tribe. As they advanced, Captain Clark discovered among them 
Drewyer dressed like an Indian, from whom he learned the situation of 
the party. While the boats were performing the circuit he went toward 
the forks with the Indians, who, as they went along, sang aloud with 

the greatest appearance of delight. 

i' : 


"We soon drew near to the camp, and just as we approached it, a 
woman made her way through the crowd towards Sacajawea, and, recog- 
nizing each other, they embraced with the most tender effection. The 
meeting of these two young women had in it something peculiarly touching ( 
not only in the ardent manner in which their feelings were expressed but 
from the real interest of their situation. They had been companions 
in childhood; in the war with the Minnetarees they had both been taken 
prisoners in the same battle, they had shared and softened the rigours 
of their captivity, till one of them had escaped from the Minnetarees, 
with scarce a hope of ever seeing her friend relieved from the hands of 
her enemies. 


"While Sacajawea was renewing among the women the friendships of 
former days, Captain Clark went on and was received by Captain Lewis 
and the chief, who, after the first embraces and salutations were over, 
conducted him to a sort of circular tent or shade of willow. Here he 
was. seated on a white robe, and the chief immediately tied in his hair 
six small shells resembling pearls, an ornament highly valued by these 
people, who procured them in the course of trade from the seacoast. The 
moccasins of the whole party were then taken off, and after much 
ceremony the smoking began. After this, the conference was to be 
opened, and glad of an opportunity of being able to converse more in- 



telligibly, Sacajawea was sent for; she came into the tent, sat down and 
was beginning to interpret, when in the person of Cameahwait she 
recognized her brother; she instantly jumped up, and ran and embraced 
him, throwing over him her blanket and weeping profusely; the chief 
was himself moved, though not in the same degree. After some con- 
versation between them she resumed her seat and attempted to inter- 
pret for us, but her new situation seemed to overpower her, and she 
was frequently interrupted by her tears. After the council was finished, 
the unfortunate woman learnt that all her family were dead except two 
brothers, one of whom was absent, and a son of her eldest sister, a small 
boy, who was immediately adopted by her. 

"The canoes arriving soon after, we formed a camp in a meadow on 
the left side, a little below the forks, took out our baggage, and by 
means of our sails and willow poles formed a canopy for our Indian 
visitors. About four o'clock the chiefs and warriors were collected, 
and after the customary ceremony of taking off the moccasins and smok- 
ing a pipe, we explained to them in a long harangue the purposes of our 
visit, making themselves one conspicuous object of the good wishes of 
our government, on whose strength as well as its friendly disposition 
we expatiated. We told them of their dependence on the will of our gov- 
ernment for all future supplies of whatever was necessary either for 
their comfort or defence ; that as we were soon to discover the best 
route by which merchandise could be conveyed to them, and no trade 
would be begun before our return, it was mutually advantageous that we 
should proceed with as little delay as possible; that we were under 
the necessity of requesting them to furnish us with horses to transport 
our baggage across the mountains, and a guide to show us the route, but 
that they should be amply remunerated for their horses, as well as for 
every other service they should render us. In the meantime our first 
wish was that they should immediately collect as many horses as were 
necessary to transport our baggage to their village, where, at our leisure, 
we could trade with them for as many horses as they could spare." 

It was finally agreed that Captain Clark should set off in the morn- 
ing with eleven men, furnished, besides their arms, with tools for mak- 
ing canoes; that he should take Charbonneau and his wife to the camp 
of the Shoshones, where he was to leave them in order to hasten the 
collection of the horses ; that he was then to lead his men down the 
Columbia, and if he found it navigable and the timber in sufficient quan- 
tity, begin to build canoes. As soon as he had decided as to the pro- 
priety of proceeding down the Columbia or across the mountains, he 
was to send back one of the men with information of it to Captain 
Lewis, who by that time would have brought up the whole party and the 
rest of the baggage as far as the Shoshonee village. 

It is impossible to give the details of the journey of the expedi- 
tion, now divided under the two leaders, now reunited, but always harmo- 
nious ; the discovery and naming of Lewis River by Captain Clark and 
Clark River, by Captain Lewis, and the terrible sufferings of the party, 
which caused all their Shoshone friends to desert them except one old 


man, the final entrance into the Snake ( Lewis) River, the joyful arrival 
at the mouth of the Snake, where it joins the Columbia, and their cheering 
sight of the Pacific Ocean, on November 16, 1805. A winter camp was 
built close to the ocean, on the south bank of the Columbia. 


On March 23, 1806, camp was broken and the loaded flotilla of 
canoes started up the Columbia on the long return trip eastward. If re- 
membered, the toils and hardships of the western trip were ignored. 
On June 3Oth, the party had arrived at what was noted as Travelers' 
Rest Creek, where it empties into Clark's (Flathead) River. There, 
the leaders decided upon a separation, the party under Captain Lewis 
to pursue a northerly route through Montana and that under Captain 
Clark, a southerly. Specifically, as recorded in the journal entry of 
July i, 1806, the plan agreed upon was as follows: "Captain Lewis, with 
nine men, was to pursue the most direct route to the falls of the Mis- 
souri, where three of his party were to be left to prepare carriages for 
transporting baggage and canoes across the portage of eighteen miles 
from Portage Creek to Whitebear Island. With the remaining six 
he was to ascend Maria's River, to explore the country and ascertain 
whether any branch of it reaches as far north as the latitude of fifty 
degrees, after which he was to descend that river to its mouth. 

"The rest of the men were to accompany Captain Clark to the head of 
Jefferson river, which Sergeant Ordway and a party of nine men would 
descend with the canoes and other articles deposited there. Captain 
Clark's party, which would thereby be reduced to ten, would then pro- 
ceed to the Yellowstone at its nearest approach to the three forks of 
the Missouri. There, he was to build canoes and descend that river 
with seven of his party and wait at its mouth till the rest of the 
party should join him. Sergeant Pryor, with two other, was then to 
take the horses by land to the Mandans. From that nation he was to go 
to the British posts on the Assiniboine with a letter to Mr. Henry, to 
procure his endeavors to prevail on some of the Sioux chiefs to accom- 
pany him to the city of Washington." 


All preparations being completed, "the two parties who had been 
long companions now separated, with an anxious hope of soon meeting 
after each had accomplished the purpose of its destination." The plan 
as arranged by Lewis and Clark was carried out in all its essentials. 
Captain Lewis, directed by the Indians, followed the eastern branch of 
Clark's River. They also told him of a river (Cokalahishkit), "the river 
of the road to buffalo," which would guide him to the dividing ground 
between the headwaters of the Columbia and the Missouri along the 
northern route. Pursuing this route, in about three days a rather flat 
country was reached, on the western side of the mountains, which Cap- 


tain Lewis called "Prairie of the Knobs." Along this he traveled for a 
few miles and reached a ridge, passed over the divide, and after thirty 
or forty miles reached the headwaters of Medicine River, which flows 
into the Missouri near the great falls. The captain 'then cut across 
country to Whitebear Island, while his hunters were sent out for 
game. On opening the cache, it was found that a number of bearskins 
there deposited had been destroyed by the river flood as well as valuable 
specimens of plants ; "but the chart of the Missouri River still remained 
unhurt." Preparations were continued for transporting the preserved 
articles, as the carriage wheels were in good order and the iron frame 
of the boat had not materially suffered. On the i6th of July, 1806, 
started with Drewyer and the two Fields, with six horses, to seek the 
sources of Maria's River. He again slept under the Great Falls, which 
he sketched. Two days out, the party reached the river, and traveled 
up its northern side, ascending its northern branch until it entered the 
mountains. On the 22nd, his journal makes the record: "And as we 
have ceased to hope that any branches of Maria's river extend as far 
north as the fiftieth degree of north latitude, we deem it useless to pro- 
ceed farther, and rely chiefly on Milk and White Earth rivers for the 
desired boundary." 

While preparing to return down the river, Captain Lewis and his 
party fell in with a band of thieving Gros Ventres, or Minnetarees, who, 
after smoking a peace pipe and accepting the warmth of the white men's 
camp fire, attempted to steal the rifles of Captain Lewis and the Field 
brothers. One of the Fields, in attempting to regain them, fatally stabbed 
one of the Indian thieves. The Indians afterward attempted to run off 
the horses of the party, and, in the pursuit, one of the ungrateful savages 
was fatally shot by Captain Lewis, who was using his pistol. The white 
leader himself had a narrow escape from death as the wounded Indian 
returned his fire just before expiring. In the melee, the whites captured 
four of the Indians' horses and lost only one of their own. "Besides 
which," continues the captain's account of the affair, "we found in the 
camp four shields, two bows with quivers, and also the flag which we had 
presented to them, but left the medal around the neck of the dead man, in 
order that they might be informed who we were." 

Captain Lewis and his men now made a dash for the mouth of 
Maria's River, fearful not only for their own safety and the valuable 
papers and instruments which he carried, but for Sergeant Gass and 
Willard who had been left at the falls. By good fortune they met, as 
well as Sergeant Ordway's party, which had spent six days in descending 
the river from the mouth of the Madison to White Bear Island, and 
spending another week there at the falls, in collecting the baggage, trans- 
porting it over the portage and starting it down the river in the periogue 
of five canoes. Gass and Willard had set out from the falls at the same 
time with the horses of the main expedition. 

It was more than two weeks, however, before the two leaders re- 
joined their forces below the mouth of the Yellowstone, on the Mis- 
souri. On the 7th of August Captain Lewis made a run of eighty-three 


miles down the Missouri, in order to reach the mouth of the Yellowstone. 
"At four o'clock," it was noted in the journal of that date, "we reached 
the mouth of the Yellowstone, where we found a note from Captain Clark 
informing us of his intention of waiting for us a few miles below. We 
therefore left a memorandum for our two huntsmen, whom we now sup- 
posed must be behind us, and then pursued our course till night came on, 
and not being able to overtake Captain Clark, we encamped." 

Captain Lewis and most of his men were now over what is now the 
North Dakota boundary, and it was not until the I2th of August, 1806, 
at i :oo o'clock in the afternoon, at a point in the Missouri River, be- 
yond the mouth of the White Earth River, in the region of the Burnt 
Hills, that Lewis especially desired to "make the observation of the lati- 
tude of the Burnt Hills, which is chiefly desirable," he notes, "as 
being the most northern parts of the Missouri." As he did not reach 
the locality until twenty minutes after noon it was too late to take 
the meridian altitude, and while waiting over until the following day 
to do so he was severely wounded in the thigh by one of his huntsmen 
who had mistaken his hidden movements on the bank of the river for 
those of elk which had been sighted. The wound was very painful and 
brought on a high fever, but the journey was continued and on the fol- 
lowing day, August I2th, he and his men came up with Captain Clark. 


During the nine days of their separation, the journey of the Cap- 
tain Clark contingent had been of interest, although not so stirring as 
that of Captain Lewis. On taking leave of Lewis, July 3, 1806, with 
fifteen men and fifty horses, Clark had set out through the valley of 
Clark's River, along the western side of which they rode in a south- 
erly direction. "Having made sixteen miles (in the morning of July 
4th), we halted at an early hour for the purpose of doing honor to the 
birthday of our country's independence. The festival was not very splen- 
did, for it consisted of a mush made of cows and a saddle of venison, nor 
had we anything to tempt us to prolong it." , 

On the 6th of July the watershed was reached which separates the 
middle fork of Clark's River from the waters of Wisdom and Lewis 
rivers. Reaching the other side of the mountain, they came to Glade 
Creek. They found "appearances of old buffalo paths, and some old 
heads of buffaloes; and as these animals have wonderful sagacity in the 
choice of their routes, the coincidence of a buffalo with an Indian road 
was the strongest assurance that it was the best. In the afternoon we 
passed along the hillside north of the creek till in the course of six miles 
we entered an extensive level plain. Here the tracks of the Indians 
scattered so much that we could no longer pursue it, but Sacajawea 
recognized the plain immediately. She had traveled it often during her 
childhood, and informed us that it was the great resort of the Shoshones, 
who came for the purpose of gathering quamash and cows, and of taking 
beaver, with which the plain abounded ; and that Glade Creek was a 


branch of Wisdom River, and that on reaching the highest part of the 
plain we should see a gap in the mountain, on the course to our canoes, 
and from that gap a high point of mountain covered with snow. 

"At the distance of a mile we crossed a large creek from the right 
rising, as well as Fish creek, in a snowy mountain over which there is 
a gap. Soon after, on ascending a rising ground, the country spreads 
itself into a beautiful plain extending north and south, about fifteen 
miles wide and thirty in length, and surrounded on all sides by high 
points of mountains covered with snow, among which was the gap pointed 
out by the squaw, bearing S. 56 E." 

On the 7th, Captain Clark's party reached Wisdom River, following 
it to a gap in the mountains, which led him to the west branch of the 
Jefferson River. Down this the men went to the "forks," where they 
had deposited their merchandise in the previous August. The lack of 
tobacco had been their greatest deprivation, "and such was their eager- 
ness to procure it after so long a deprivation that they scarcely took 
their saddles from their horses before they ran to the cave, and were 
delighted at being able to resume this fastidious indulgence." Some of 
the men whose tomahawks were so constructed as to answer the purpose 
of pipes, broke the handles of these instruments, and after cutting them 
into small fragments, chewed them, the wood having by frequent smok- 
ing become strongly impregnated with the taste of that plant. 

The party led by Captain Clark had now traveled from Traveler's 
Rest Creek to the head of Jefferson River, about 160 miles, and the 
journal records: "It is a very excellent, and by cutting a few trees 
might be rendered a good route for wagons, with the exception of about 
four miles over one of the mountains which would require some levelling. 
On July loth, with a white frost covering the ground and ice forming 
the boats were loaded and the men divided into two bands, one to de- 
scend the river with the baggage, while Clark, with the other party, 
proceeded on horseback to the Rochejaume (Yellowstone). After travel- 
ing about fifteen miles down the eastern side of Jefferson river, through 
Service valley and over the Rattlesnake mountain into Beaverhead val- 
ley, Captain Clark discovered that the canoes could advance more rapidly 
than the horses; he therefore left the horses with Sergeant Pryor and 
himself continued by water. Three Thousand Mile Island, Beaver Head, 
Philanthrophy river, Wisdom river, Panther and Field creeks, and 
other features made familiar by the outward voyage of the previous 
year. The entrance of Madison river into the Missouri was reached 
by Clark and the boats about an hour after Sergeant Ordway had arrived 
with the horses, on Sunday, July I3th. The horses were then driven 
across Madison and Gallatin rivers, and the whole party halted to dine and 
unload the canoes below the mouth of the latter. Here the two parties 
again separated, Ordway with nine men setting out in six canoes to de- 
scend the river, while Captain Clark, with the remaining twenty and the 
wife and child of Charbonneau, and fifty horses, started by land for 
the Yellowstone. This was according to programme, but had Clark not 
taken the precaution to take with him the faithful, astute and thoroughly 


posted Bird Woman, the prompt performance of his part of the pre- 
arranged plan is problematical." 

Late in the afternoon of the I3th, the land party set out from the 
forks of the Missouri, but because of the sore feet of the horses were 
obliged to travel slowly and halted for the night, after going only 
four miles, on the bank of Gallatin's River. The plain beyond led to a 
gap in the mountains, twenty miles distant, which the captain would 
have taken, had not the Indian woman recommended one farther to the 
south. Under her guidance, the main channel of the Medicine River 
was reached, and finally, on the I4th, the gap in the mountains was 


reached through the three branches of the Gallatin Pass, as well as the 
great buffalo road described by the invaluable squaw. 


The journal entry of Tuesday, I5th (July, 1806), is of special sig- 
nificance: "After an early breakfast they pursued the buffalo road 
over a low gap in the mountain to the heads of the eastern fork of Gal- 
latin's river near which they had encamped last evening, and at the 
distance of six miles reached the top of the dividing ridge (Bozeman 
pass) which separates the waters of the Missouri and the Yellowstone; 
and on descending the ridge they struck one of the streams of the latter 
river. They followed its course through an open country, with high 
mountains on each side, partially covered with pine and watered by sev- 
eral streams, crowded as usual by beaver dams. Nine miles from the 
top of the ridge they reached the Yellowstone itself, about a mile and a 
half below where it issues from the Rocky mountains. 

"It now appeared that the communication between the two rivers 
was short and easy. From the head of the Missouri at its three forks 
to this place is a distance of forty-eight miles, the greater part of which 
is through a level plain ; indeed, from the forks of the eastern branch 


of Gallatin's river, which is here navigable for small canoes to this part 
of the Yellowstone, the distance is no more than eighteen miles, with 
an excellent road over a high, dry country, with hills of inconsiderable 
height and no difficulty in passing. * * * 

"At the distance of nine miles from the mountain a river discharges 
itself into the Yellowstone from the northwest, under a high rocky 
cliff. It rises from the snowy mountains in that direction; is about 
thirty-five yards wide; has a bold, deep current; 'is skirted by some 
cottonwood and willow trees ; and, like the Yellowstone itself, seems to 
abound in beaver. They gave it the name of Shield's river, after one 
of the party." 

As many of the horses in the Clark party were either lamed by the 
hard travel or stolen by the Indians, two canoes were built, twenty- 
eight feet in length, lashed together, and on the 23rd of July all but three 
of its members continued the trip down the Yellowstone. Sergeant Pryor, 
with two other men, was directed to take the remaining horses to the 
Mandans, and (still according to programme) "if he found that Mr. 
Henry (Indian agent) was on the Assiniboin river, to go thither and de- 
liver him a letter, the object of which was to prevail on the most dis- 
tinguished chiefs of the Sioux to accompany him to Washington." 


Sergeant Pryor was to join Clark where the Big Horn River entered 
the Yellowstone. A wide river coming in from the south was at first 
thought to be the Big Horn; "but afterwards when the Big Horn was 
found the name of Clark's fork was given to this stream." Pryor's 
Creek was also named along the route. Littlewolf Mountains were 
passed on the way, and one of the cliffs which juts into the Yellow- 
stone in that region was named by Captain Clark, Pompey's Pillar. 
Just before reaching the Big Horn River, on the 26th, he shot two of 
the animals from his boat which gave their name to that stream. He 
states that "there are no permanent settlements near it, but the whole 
country which it waters is occasionally visited by roving bands of hunt- 
ers from the Crow tribe, the Paunch, a band of Crows, and the Castahana, 
a small band of Snake Indians." On the morning of July 27, 1806, 
"they again set out very early, and on leaving the Big Horn took a last 
look at the Rocky mountains, which had been constantly in view from 
the first of May." 

Their course down the Yellowstone brought them through a country 
crowded with buffalo, elk and wolves, and on Tuesday, August 3, 1806, 
eight miles below Field's Creek, reached its junction with the Missouri. 
He had traveled down its valley for a distance of more than eight hun- 
dred miles. At the confluence of the two rivers he wrote the note to Cap- 
tain Lewis which the latter found four days afterward. On the 8th, 
Clark was joined by Sergeant Pryor and his two companions but minus 
the horses which had been stolen by the Indians. 



Under date of August 12, 1806, Clark's journal says: "The party 
continued to slowly descend the river. One of the skin canoes was by 
accident pierced with a small hole, and they halted for the purpose of 
mending it with a piece of elk-skin and also to wait for two of the 
party who were behind. Whilst there they were overjoyed at seeing 
Captain Lewis's boats heave in sight about noon. But this feeling was 
changed into alarm on seeing the boats reach the shore without Captain 
Lewis, who they then learned had been wounded the day before, and was 
then lying in the periogue. After giving to hi,s wound all the atten- 
tion in our power we remained here some time, during which we were 
overtaken by our two men, accompanied by Dickson and Hancock, who 
wished to go with us as far as the Mandans. The whole party being now 
happily reunited, we left the two skin canoes, and all embarked together 
about three o'clock in the boats." 


The "happily reunited" expedition arrived at the Mandan Village 
August 14, 1806. Three days afterward Lewis and Clark parted from 
Sacajawea, the faithful Indian "squaw" and guide, and Charbonneau, 
her unreliable, cowardly and unworthy husband, who, however, had been 
of considerable service. The wife, however, had been of far greater 
service, but both preferred to remain with the Indians. Sacajawea is 
thus noted in the journal : "Indeed, she has borne with a patience truly 
admirable the fatigues of a long route, encumbered with the charge 
of an infant, who is even now only nineteen months old. We therefore 
paid Charbonneau his wages, amounting to $500.33, including the price of 
a horse and a lodge purchased of him ; and soon afterward dropped down 
to the village of Big White, attended on shore by all the Indian chiefs 
who went to take leave of him." 


In sketching the leading characters of the most famous land expedi- 
tion recorded in American history, Doctor Hosmer writes : "Though the 
closing weeks of summer the boats drifted rapidly down, and one day in 
September, 1806, saluting the flag they had carried so far with a part- 
ing volley, the Captains and their men stepped ashore at St. Louis. 
Never was success more complete. From first to last all went smoothly, 
not at all because the dangers and difficulties were small, but because 
the skill and courage with which they were confronted were consummate. 
Lewis and Clark were never found wanting, and in all the effort they 
co-operated without a touch of jealousy. From first to last among the 
men there was scarcely a trace of insubordination; each worked to his 
full capacity, yielding to the guidance of the leaders, whose natural 
ascendency they thoroughly recognized. The student of Lewis and Clark 


learns to respect them all the stout sergeants, Pryor, Ordway and 
Patrick Gass, the latter of whom in his quaint diary supplements nobly 
the record of the chiefs; the blacksmith Shields, York the negro slave 
whom the Indians thought great 'medicine', the half-breed Drewyer, 
past-master of woodcraft, the Frenchman, Cruzat, whose fiddle re- 
sounded night after night in the desolate camps while the men danced 
off their pains and fears. 


"But most of all the lone woman, Sacajawea, is an object of inter- 
est. Her figure in the story of Lewis and Clark is very pathetic and 
engaging, and in Indian story few characters appear whose desert was 
greater. A captive and a slave, she followed the trail or worked with 
the men in forcing on the canoes. Her husband, Charbonneau, soon 
proved to be inefficient and cowardly; but as dangers and hardships 
gathered, the heart and head of the squaw showed ever new resources. It 
is doubtful if the expedition could have pushed its way through without 

In after years, Charbonneau's name appears in the record of various 
American explorers as an interpreter, and as one of small character he 
fades away. His noble wife was tenderly cared for by her son, Baptiste, 
and her adopted son, Bazil the orphaned son of her eldest sister, whom 
she adopted in the Shoshone country, while about to return to civilization. 
The latter especially thoughtful of the welfare of his mother, by adoption, 
cared for her in her declining years, and was buried with the medal around 
his neck which Lewis and Clark had presented to Charbonneau. Saca- 
jawea lived to be one hundred years of age, and died and was buried in 
1884, on the Shoshone, or Wind River reservation, in Fremont County, 
Wyoming. Over her grave is a tablet which reads : "Sacajawea, guide to 
Lewis and Clark Expedition, 1805-1807. Identified by Rev. John Roberts, 
who officiated at her burial, April 21, 1884." 


Captains Lewis and Clark started for Washington about .five months 
after they arrived in St. Louis. The sad sequel of the former's brilliant 
and brief public career is thus sketched by his great patron and warm 
friend, Jefferson : "It was the middle of February, 1807, before Captain 
Lewis and his companion, Captain Clark, reached the city of Washing- 
ton, where Congress was then in session. That body granted to the 
two chiefs and their followers the donation of lands which they had 
been encouraged to expect in reward of their toils and dangers. Cap- 
tain Lewis was soon after appointed governor of Louisiana, and Cap- 
tain Clark a general of militia, and agent of the United States for Indian 
affairs in that department. A considerable time intervened before the 
governor's arrival at St. Louis. He found the territory distracted by 
feuds and contentions among the officers of the government and the 

Vol. 15 


people themselves divided by these into factions and parties. He de- 
termined at once to take no sides with either; but to use every endeavor 
to conciliate and harmonize them. The even-handed justice he adminis- 
tered to all soon established a respect for his person and authority ; and 
perseverance and time wore down animosities and reunited the citizens 
again into one family. 

"Governor Lewis had, from early life, been subject to hypochon- 
driac affections. It was a constitutional disposition in all the nearer 
branches of the family of his name, and was more immediately inher- 
ited by him from his father. They had not, however, been so strong as 
to give uneasiness to his family. While he lived with me in Washing- 
ton I observed at times sensible depressions of mind; but knowing their 
constitutional source, I estimated their course by what I had seen in 
the family. During his western expedition, the constant exertion which 
that required of all the faculties of body and mind, suspended these 
distressing affections; but after his establishment in St. Louis in 
sedentary occupations they returned upon him with redoubled vigor and 
began seriously to alarm his friends. He was in a paroxysm of one of 
these when his affairs rendered it necessary for him to go to Washington. 
He proceeded to Chickasaw Bluffs, where he arrived on the i6th of 
September, 1809, with a view of continuing his journey thence by water. 

"Mr. Neely, agent of the United States with the Chickasaw Indians, 
arriving there two days after, found him extremely indisposed, and be- 
traying at times some symptoms of a derangement of mind. The rumors 
of a war with England, and apprehensions that he might lose the papers 
he was bringing on, among which were the vouchers of his public accounts 
and the journals and papers of his western expedition, induced him here 
to change his mind, and to take his course by land through the Chick- 
asaw country. Although he appeared somewhat relieved, Mr. Neely 
kindly determined to accompany and watch over him. Unfortunately, 
at their encampment, after having passed the Tennessee one day's jour- 
ney, they lost two horses, which obliging Mr. Neely to halt for their 
recovery, the governor proceeded, under a promise to wait for him at 
the house of the first white inhabitant on his road. He stopped at the 
house of a Mr. Grinder, who, not being at home, his wife alarmed at 
the symptoms of derangement she discovered, gave him up the house 
and retired to rest herself in an out-house, the governor's and Neely's 
servants lodging in another. About three o'clock in the night he did 
the deed* which plunged his friends into affliction and deprived his 
country of one of her most valued citizens, whose valor and intelli- 
gence would now have been employed in avenging the wrongs of his coun- 
try, and in emulating by land the splendid deeds which have honored 
her arms on the ocean. It lost, too, to the nation the benefit of receiv- 

* The facts accompanying the death of Meriwether Lewis have never been 
consistently stated, and his death by pistol shot at a public house of questionable 
reputation Grinder's Stand, on the Natchez Trace (military road) is still open 
to discussion as to whether it was through suicide or murder. Jefferson, obviously, 
favors the former explanation. A monument of Tennessee marble stands at the 
locality where his death occurred. 


ing from his own hand the narrative now offered them of his suffer- 
ings and successes, in endeavoring to extend for them the boundaries of 
science, and to present to their knowledge that vast and fertile country, 
which their sons are destined to fill with arts, with science, with free- 
dom and happiness." 


After serving for six years as brigadier general of militia and 
Indian agent for the territory of Louisiana, in 1813 General Clark was 
made governor of Missouri. He honored that position until Missouri 
became a state in 1820, and afterward became superintendent of Indian 
affairs, which he held at the time of his death. Clark held other re- 
sponsible public positions and died in St. Louis, generally respected and 
loved, in 1838. There was probably no character better known or loved 
by the Indians in the West than General Clark, who affectionately spoke 
of him as the "Red-Head," and St. Louis was known by his red friends 
as "Red-Head's town." 


Two days after Lewis and Clark had joined each other, with their 
parties, below the mouth of the Yellowstone and started for the Man- 
dan country, on their way to St. Louis, John Colter, a member of the 
expedition, obtained an honorable discharge from the leaders and, again 
answered the call of the wilds. The journal narrates the incident, thus, 
under date of August 14, 1806: "In the evening we were applied to by 
one of our men, Colter, who was desirous of joining the two trappers who 
had accompanied us and who now proposed an expedition up the river 
(Missouri), in which they were to find traps and give him a share of 
the profits. The offer was a very advantageous one, and as he had always 
performed his duty and his services might be dispensed with, we agreed 
that he might go, provided none of the rest would ask or expect a similar 
indulgence. To this they cheerfully answered that they wished Colter 
every success and would not apply for liberty to separate before we 
reached St. Louis. We therefore supplied him, as did his comrades also, 
with powder and lead, and a variety of articles which might be useful 
to him and he left us the next day. 


"The example of this man shows how easily men may be weaned from 
the habits of a civilized life to the ruder but scarcely less fascinating 
manners of the woods. This hunter has been now absent for many years 
from the frontiers, and might naturally be presumed to have some anxiety, 
or some curiosity at least, to return to his friends and his country ; yet 
just at the moment when he is approaching the frontiers he is tempted, 
by a hunting scheme, to give up those delightful prospects and go back 
without the least reluctance to the solitude of the woods." 

Before Colter was to return to American civilization, he was to 
have adventures and wide wanderings among the grandeurs and wonders 
of the Rockies which would thrill even a hardened boy of scout and 
Indian literature. Where he spent the winter of 1806-07 is not recorded, 
but in the spring of the latter year he built a canoe of logs and started 
down the Missouri river for St. Louis. Even now he was not to lead the 
q[uiet life of- a settler; for at the mouth of the Platte, he met a party 
winding up the river from Missouri, under the leadership of the keen and 
fearless Spanish fur trader, Manuel Lisa, and under the immediate guid- 
ance of George Drewyer, Lewis and Clark's old hunter and interpreter 



and one of the mainstays of the expedition. Lisa was headed for the great 
beaver country, through which the expedition had passed; Colter had 
since investigated the trapping grounds at the headwaters of the Missouri 
and was the man most needed to insure success to the commercial venture 
of the Spanish fur trader. 


Colter was therefore again turned back toward the western wilds and 
the re-enforced party proceeded up the Missouri to the mouth of the Yel- 
lowstone, thence up that river to the mouth of the Big Horn. There 
(in the spring or early summer of 1807) Lisa established the post known 
variously as Fort Lisa, Fort Manuel and Manuel's Fort. He then sent 
out Colter alone as a herald to announce to the neighboring Indians the 
fact and object of his coming. The exact route of his wanderings in 1807 
is not known, although Capt. William Clark, whom he met in 1810 and 
who obtained from him a narrative of his travels, marked upon one of 
the maps of the expedition "Colter's route in 1807." From this and other 
reports gathered from others whom Colter met in St. Louis,* it is prob- 
able that he traveled from the mouth of the Big Horn to the forks of the 
Shoshone or Snake River, where he found a great tar spring, which came 
to bear the name of Colter's "Hell Hole." Then journeying, in a north- 
westerly direction, through what is now the Yellowstone National Park, 
he reached Yellowstone Lake, forded the Yellowstone River near Twin 
Falls and followed the Indian trail that led to the Valley of Clark's Fork. 
Thence he returned to the forks of the Shoshone and up the Big Horn 
Valley to Lisa's Fort. 

The difficulties encountered in this journey and so bravely over- 
come by Colter place him in the front rank of the heroic explorers of 
interior America. It is believed that he met the Crows somewhere in 
the Wind River region and, with a small band of them, crossed the great 
Wind River Mountains by way of Union Pass and the Teton Range 
through the pass by that name. The Crows were attacked by a war party 
of Blackfeet and Colter was badly wounded in the leg. The Indians, with 
whom he was traveling and with whom he had fought, turned back in 
alarm and left the white man, wounded as he was, to shift for himself. 
It was now impossible for him to think of treating with the Blackfeet 
at the three forks of the Missouri, as had been the original intention, 
for he had been seen by their warriors in the mountain encounter. He 
therefore started for Lisa's Fort, and. wounded as he was, struck bravely 
down the wooded northern slope of the Teton Mountains and across the 
southern part of the present Yellowstone Park. In the words of Chit- 
tendenrt "It may, with difficulty, be imagined what must have been his 
astonishment when, emerging from the forests upon the shores of that 
surpassingly beautiful mountain lake near the source of the Yellowstone 

*John Bradbury, English botanist, and author of "Travels in the Interior of 
America"; Henry W. Brackenridge, explorer and writer. 

f Captain H. M. Chittenden : "American Fur Trade of the Far West." 


river, he found its shores steaming with innumerable boiling springs and 


Exactly where he met with the most remarkable adventure of his 
stirring carreer is not known. Neither is it known when or where he met 
the Potts, who figures in the story and who incidentally appears as a 
member of the Lewis and Clark party. The main facts, as related to 
Bradbury, after Colter's return to St. Louis, are these : Colter and Potts 
were examining their traps early one morning in a creek which they were 
ascending in a canoe, when they suddenly heard a great noise resembling 
the tramping of animals ; but they could not ascertain the fact, as the high, 
perpendicular banks on each side of the river impeded their view. Colter 
immediately pronounced it to be occasioned by Indians and advised an in- 
stant retreat, but was accused of cowardice by Potts, who insisted the 
noise was occasioned by buffaloes, and they proceeded on. In a few 
minutes afterward, their doubts were removed by the appearance of five 
or six hundred Indians on both sides of the creek, who beckoned them 
to come ashore. As retreat was now impossible, Colter turned the head 
of the canoe to the shore ; and at the moment of its touching an Indian 
seized the rifle belonging to Potts. But Colter, who was a remarkably 
strong man, immediately retook it and handed it to Potts, who remained 
in the canoe and, upon receiving it, pushed off into the river. He 
had scarcely quitted the shore, when an arrow was shot at him and he 
cried out 'Colter, I am wounded !' Colter remonstrated with him on the 
folly of attempting to escape and urged him to come ashore. Instead of 
complying, he instantly leveled his rifle at an Indian and shot him dead 
on the spot. 

This conduct may appear to have been an act of madness, but it was 
doubtless the effect of sudden, but sound enough reasoning; for if 
taken alive, he must have expected to have been tortured to death, ac- 
cording to the Indian custom. And, in this respect, the Indians of 
that region excelled all others in the ingenuity they displayed in tor- 
turing their prisoners. He was instantly pierced with arrows, so numer- 
ous that, to use the language of Colter, "he was made a riddle of." 

They now seized Colter, stripped him entirely naked, and began to 
consult on the manner in which he should be put to death. They were 
first inclined to set him up as a mark to be shot at; but the chief 
interfered and, seizing him by the shoulder, asked him if he could run 
fast. Colter, who had been some time among the Kee Katsa, or Crow In- 
dians, had, in a considerable degree, acquired the Blackfoot language, 
and was also well acquainted with Indian customs. He knew that he had 
now run for his life, with the dreadful odds of five or six hundred against 
him, and these armed Indians. He therefore cunningly replied that he 
was a very bad runner, although, in truth, he was considered by the 
hunters as remarkably swift. 

The chief now commanded the party to remain stationary, and led 
Colter out on the prairie three or four hundred yards, and released him, 


to save himself if he could. At that instant, the war-whoop sounded 
in the ears of poor Colter who, urged with the hope of preserving life, 
ran with a speed at which he himself was surprised. He proceeded to- 
ward Jefferson's Fork, having to traverse a plain six miles in breadth, 
abounding with the prickly pear, on which he every instant was tread- 
ing with his naked feet. He ran nearly half way across the plain before he 
ventured to look over his shoulder, when he perceived that the Indians 
were very much scattered, and that he had gained ground to a considerable 
distance from the main body; but one Indian, who carried a spear, was 
much before all the rest, and not more than a hundred yards from him. 

A faint gleam of hope now cheered the heart of Colter. He derived 
confidence from the belief that escape was within the bounds of pos- 
sibility. But that confidence was nearly fatal to him; for he exerted 
himself to such a degree that the blood gushed from his nostrils and 
soon almost covered the fore part of his body. He had now arrived 
within a mile of the river, when he distinctly heard the appalling sound 
of footsteps behind him, and every instant expected to feel the spear 
of his pursuer. He again turned his head and saw the savage not twenty 
yards from him. 

Determined, if possible, to avoid the expected blow, he suddenly 
stopped, turned around and spread out his arms. The Indian, surprised 
at the suddenness of the action and perhaps at the bloody appearance of 
Colter, also attempted to stop; but, exhausted with running, he fell 
while attempting to throw his spear, which stuck in the ground and 
broke in his hand. Colter instantly snatched up the pointed part, with 
which he pinned him to the earth, and then continued his flight. 

The foremost of the Indians, on arriving at the place, stopped 
until others came up to join them, and then gave a hideous yell. Every 
moment of this time was improved by Colter who, although fainting and 
exhausted, succeeded in gaining the skirting of cottonwood trees on the 
borders of the fork to which he ran and plunged into the river. For- 
tunately for him, a little below this place was an island, against the 
upper point of which a raft of drift timber had lodged. He dived 
under the raft and, after several efforts, got his head above water, 
among the trunks of trees covered over with smaller wood to the depth 
of several feet. Scarcely had he secured himself when the Indians 
arrived on the river, screeching and yelling, as Colter expressed it, "like 
so many devils." 

They were frequently on the raft during the day and were seen 
through the chinks by Colter, who was congratulating himself on his 
escape, until the idea arose that they might set the raft on fire. In 
horrible suspense, he remained until night, when, hearing no more from 
the Indians, he dived under the raft and swam down the river to a con- 
siderable distance, when he landed and traveled all night. Although 
happy in having escaped frorp the Indians, his situation was still dread- 
ful. He was completely naked, under a burning sun ; the soles of his 
feet were filled with the thorns of the prickly pear; he was hungry, and 
had no means of killing game, although he saw abundance around him ; 


and was at a great distance from the nearest settlement. Almost any man 
but an American hunter would have despaired under such circumstances. 
The fortitude of Colter remained unshaken. After seven days of sore 
travel, during which he had no other sustenance than the root known by 
naturalists under the name of 'psoralea esculenta, he at length arrived 
in safety at Lisa's Fort, on the Big Horn branch of the Roche Jaune, 
or Yellowstone River. 

. In May, 1810, Colter returned alone to St. Louis, where, for the 
first time, he met Bradbury, the botanist, and Brackenridge, the exploror, 
and renewed his friendship with Capt. (then General) William Clark, 
who was brigadier general and Indian agent of Louisiana Territory. To 
them he narrated his remarkable adventures, and it is from their pens 
that history is mainly indebted for the narrative. The last view of 
Colter recorded in the annals of those times was his meeting with Brad- 
bury on March 18, 1811, and the final decision of the frontiersman to join 
the naturalist and his party, members of the Astoria Company, in a 
journey up the Missouri River. At last he yielded to the love of a 
newly-wedded wife and remained with civilization, forever divorced from 
the wilderness. 


While the Lewis and Clark explorations were being conducted by the 
Government, in 1805-06, the Northwest Fur Company of Canada was 
sending its agents into the furthermost limits of the great domain covered 
by its operations, and it was but natural that Government and Trade 
should cross lines. Among the prominent agents of the fur company were 
the McKenzies and Francois Antoine Larocque. Charles McKenzie and 
Larocque, clerks, were particularly intimate and made three expeditions 
together, in 1804-06, at least two of which were in charge of the latter. 
It is the second journey which is of most interest to readers of Montana 
history, as it included a visit of about three months to the Crow Indians 
of what is now our state with the exception of the La Verendrye ex- 
plorers, the first whites to leave a record of the habits and peculiarities 
of that tribe. A daily journal, written by Larocque, and which had been 
obtained by Roderick McKenzie, of the Northwest Fur Company, for a' 
projected work never realized, has never been recovered; "but what 
purports to be an exact copy is now in the library of Laval University, 
Montreal, with a number of other manuscripts bequeathed to that institu- 
tion by the late Judge Baby of that city. This 'Journal of a Voyage to the 
Rocky Mountains from my leaving the Assinibois River on the 2d June, 
1805,' as it is entitled, is now (1910) printed for the first time, being, 
so far as can be ascertained at present, a verbatim translation of the 

From the best information obtainable, it would appear that La- 
rocque was a man of intellectual abilities and great courage, well read 
in French and English. He had a brother who became even more prom- 
inent in the fur trade than he himself. The author of the Journal soon 


left the employ of the Northwest Fur Company and located in Montreal, 
where he failed as a merchant. He passed the last years of his life in 
close retirement and arduous study and died, much advanced in years, 
in the Grey Nunnery of St. Hyacinthe. Whatever his ambitions, the 
Journal of his trip to the Rocky Mountains and the Crow Indians is the 
only piece of his work which has survived, and even Lewis and Clark 
anticipated his first view of the great continental divide by some six weeks. 

Larocque was sent by Charles J. B. Chaboillez, a partner of the 
Northwest Company in charge of the Upper Red River (Assiniboine) 
Department, to ascertain whether there were any beaver in the Crow 
country and, if so, to open up a fur trade with the Indians. He had en- 
tered the service of the company in 1801 and for about three years was 
in its employ in the region of the Saskatchewan and Red rivers, Canada. 
In the autumn of 1804, he was stationed at Fort Assiniboine and, with 
Charles Mackenzie, J. B. Lafrance and four voyageurs, took a trip to 
the Mandans of the Missouri. Both his Journal and the first part of 
Charles Mackenzie's "Missouri Indians" cover the journey to the Man- 
dan country. There Mackenzie left the expedition and the recovered 
Larocque Journal (or the well authenticated copy of it) is relied upon to 
convey the graphic details of the trip through Southeastern Montana, 
along the valley of the Yellowstone to the regions of the Big Horn River 
and mountains and the 4and of the Crows. 

Larocque's expedition started from Fort a la Bosse, on the Assini- 
boine, Canada, on June 2, 1805. As he states, he there "prepared for 
going on a voyage of discovery to the Rocky Mountains, and set of (sic) 
on 2nd June with two men having each of us two horses, one of which 
was laden with goods to facilitate an intercourse with the Indians we 
might happen to see on our road. Mr. Charles MacKenzie and Mr. Las- 
sana set out with me to go and pass the summer at the Missouri, and hav- 
ing to pursue (sic) the same road we kept company as far as the 
B. B.* 

Larocque and his men crossed what is now the international bound- 
ary at a branch of the Souris, or Mouse River, in the northwestern part 
of Botineau County, North Dakota, just west of Turtle Mountain. Strik- 
ing toward the southwest, the party crossed the Souris River. On ac- 
count of the high water, the goods were loaded on a raft and the horses 
swam over. On the loth of June, about a week out, they slept in the 
Mandan plain the Coteau du Missouri, or tableland separating the 
waters of the Missouri from those of the Assiniboine. The banks of the 
Missouri were sighted on the following day, and the expedition arrived in 
the Mandan territory on the I2th. 


The Mandans seem to have been disagreeably insistent to sell their 
horses to the white travelers, but Larocque set them right on that point. 
"I told them," he said, "that the purpose of our coming was not to pur- 

* Big Bellies, called by the French Gros Ventres. The name has been applied 
to tribes of both Algonquin and Sioux stock. 


chase horses either from them or the Rocky Mountains, that we came for 
Skins and Robes, and that for that purpose one of us was to pass the 
summer with them and one at the Mandans; that I and two men were 
sent by the white people's Chief to smoke a pipe of peace and amity with 
the Rocky Mountain Indians and to accompany them to their lands to 
examine them and see if there were Beavers as is reported, and to engage 
them to hunt it, that we would not purchase a horse from none, therefore 
that their best plan would be to dress buffalo robes, so as to have ammuni- 
tion to trade with the Rocky Mountain Indians. 

"They pretend to be in fear of the surrounding nations, that is, 
Assineboines, Sioux, Chetenne and Ricaras (Pawnees), so as to have 
an excuse for not trading with their guns with the Rocky Mountain 
Indians and likewise to prevent us. Some of those Rocky Mountain 
Indians have been here already, and are gone back, but more are expected, 
with whom I intend to go." 

On the following day, Larocque was sent for by one of the chiefs 
of the Big Bellies who, says the leader, "asked me what I intended to 
do with the pipe stem I had brought. Upon my telling him that it was for 
the Rocky Mountain Indians he made a long harangue to dissuade 
me from going there, saying that I would be obliged to winter there 
on account of the length of the way, that the Cayennes and the Ricaras 
were enemies and constantly on the road and that it was probable that 
we should be killed by them." Various other alarming stories were told 
to discourage the further progress of the expedition. 



Finally, a considerable band of Rocky Mountain Indians arrived. 
"About one in the afternoon," says the leader, "the Rocky Mountain 
Indians arrived. They encamped at a little distance from the village 
with the warriors to the number of 645; passed through the village on 
horseback with their shields and other warlike implements." When the 
chiefs of the different bands had assembled, two days afterward, 
Larocque made them the following presents: Two large and two small 
axes; eight ivory combs, ten wampum shells, eight fire steels and flint, 
four cassetete (combination of tomahawk and pipe), six masses B. C. 
(Blue Canton), four f. tobacco, eight cock feathers, sixteen large knives, 
twelve small knives, two pounds of vermillion, eight dozen rings, four 
papers, co'd glasses, four dozen awls, one and a half pounds of blue 
beads, two dozen blue beads and 1,000 balls and powder. He induced 
the Crows to smoke a pipe of peace and told them the Chief of the 
White People knew that "they were pitiful and had no arms to defend 
themselves from their enemies, but that they should cease to be pitiful as 
soon as they sliould make themselves brave hunters." He informed the 
Crows that he and two men were going with them to see their lands and 
that if they would behave well and "kill beavers, otters and bears, they 
would have white people on the lands in a few years who would winter 
with them and supply them with all their wants." They then exchanged 


presents and Larocque promised the chief who came to meet him that 
if the Crows encouraged the white people "all their chiefs who would 
behave well would get a Coat." 

Camp was broken on the 29th of June and a fair start was made for 
the Rocky Mountain country of the southwest, along the north bank 
of the Big Knife River, which enters the Missouri from the south. On 
the fourth of July, the expedition had reached the Heart River, also a 
little branch of the Missouri in Western North Dakota, and on the I3th 
had reached the banks of the Little Missouri. Two days later, still 
traveling in a generally southwestern direction, the men encamped on its 
banks about fourteen miles higher up. There the Indians killed "a few 
beaver, of which I got two dressed by my men to show them how to do 
it. We remained the whole day here," continued the Journal. "The 
Indians tried to dance the Bull dance in imitation of the B. Belley's, but 
did it very ill." 

As the party left the Little Missouri and, headed still toward the 
southwest, its route took them over the present line between North 
Dakota and Montana into a land of beaver and buffalo, on the 26th of 
July it reached the Powder River mountains and, on the following day, 
the river itself, as it took its northerly course toward the Yellowstone. 
In that locality herds of elks were found in the woods and beaver dams 
were seen all along the river. "When we arrived here," says Larocque, 
"the plains on the western side of the river were covered with buffaloes 
and the bottoms full of elk and jumping deer (antelope) and bears, 
which last are mostly yellow and very fierce (grizzlies). It is amazing 
how very barren the ground is between this and the lesser Missouri ; 
nothing can hardly be seen but those Corne de Raquettes.* Our horses 
were nearly starved. There is grass in the woods but none in the plains 
which by the by might (sic) with more propriety be called hills, for 
though there is very little wood it is impossible to find a level spot of one 
or two miles in extent except close to the river. The current in that river 
is very strong and the water so muddy as to be hardly drinkable. The 
Indians say it is always so, and that is the reason they call it Powder 
River, from the quantity of drifting fine sand set in motion by the 
coast wind t which blinds people and dirtys the water. There are very 
large sand shoals along the river for several acres breadth and length, 
the bed of the river is likewise sand and its course north east." 

Under date of July 3Oth it is recorded: "Early this morning we set 
out; the body of the people followed the river for about seventeen miles 
S. W. while I with the chief and a few others went hunting. We wounded 
cabrio, buffalo and the large horned animal (mountain sheep, or Big 
Horn), but did not kill any, which made the chief say that some one had 
thrown bad medicine on our guns and that if he could know him he would 
surely die. 

"The country is very hilly about the river, but it does not appear to 
be so much so towards the north. About two miles above the encampment 

* Probably the dogwood (Cornus). 

f Probably refers to the well-known Chinook winds. 


a range of high hills begins on the west side of the river and continues 
north for about twenty miles, when it appears to finish. The Tongu 
River * is close on the other side of it. There is a parting ridge between 
the two rivers. 

"I ascended (sic) some very high hills on the side of which I found 
plenty of shells of the Cornu anionys species t by some called snake shell, 
likewise a kind of shining stone lying bare at the surface of the ground 
having to all appearance been left there by the rain water washing away 
the surrounding earth. They are of different size and form, of a clear 
water colour and reflect with as much force as a looking glass of its size. 
It is certainly those stones have given the name of shining to that 
mountains.^ The hills are high, rugged and barren, mostly rocks with 
beds of loose red gravel on their tops or near it which being washed down 
by the rain water give the hills a reddish appearance. On many hills 
a heap of calomid stone (calumet or pipestone?) among which some- 
times I find pumice stone. 

"When we left the encampment this morning we were stopped by a 
party of their soldiers who would not allow us to proceed, as they intended 
to have a general hunt, for fear that we should rise the buffaloes, but 
upon promises being made by the chief whom I accompanied that he 
would not hunt in the way of the camp, and partly on my account, we 
were suffered to go on. We were, however, under the necessity of gliding 
away unperceived to prevent jealousy." 

Larocque and his expedition continued up the Tongue River, and on 
August 2nd, the leader reports: "Last night some children playing at 
some distance from the Camp on the river were fired at. The Camp 
was alarmed (sic) and watchers were set for the night, but nothing 
appeared. * * * The hills of the river are at a less distance from 
one another than they were here before. The bottoms or points of the 
river are not so large nor so well wooded and the grass entirely eaten up 
by the Buffaloes and Elk. 

"Saturday 3rd (August) We sat out at sun rise and encamped at 
one in the afternoon, having pursued a South Course with fare (fair) 
weather and a south east wind. We followed the River (Tongue) as 
usually; its bends are very short not exceeding two miles and many not 
one. The face of the country indicates our approach to the large Moun- 
tains and to the heads of the River. A few Jumping (deer) or Chev- 
reuils were killed today. It has been very Cold these few nights. 


"Sunday 4th. We did not rise the Camp till late in the evening. 
In the morning we ascended (sic) the hills of the River and saw the 


* The Tongue River. Indian name, Lazeka. 

t Ammonite; a fossil shell related to the nautilus. Popularly known as snake 

>n Says the editor of the Journal: "Larocque's statement is scarcely probable 
It seems more reasonable to suppose that the name which must have first reached 
European ears through Indian report had its origin in the brilliant snow-capped 
peaks of the Rockies. See Thwaites' 'Rocky Mountain Explorations, Chapter II. 


Rocky Mountains not at a very great distance with Spy Glass, its cliffs 
and hollows could be easily observed with the woods interspersed among 
the Rocks." 

L. J. Burpee, editor of the "Journal of Larocque," published (in 
1910) "by authority of the minister of agriculture and under the direction 
of the archivist" of the Canadian Government, has this commenting foot- 
note : "Lewis and Clark anticipated Larocque by a few weeks in their 
first view of the Rocky Mountains, but neither could claim the honor of 
discovery, La Verendrye having achieved that distinction some sixty-two 
years before. Larocque had, as a matter of fact, only reached the Big 
Horn, an offshoot of the main range." 


The generally southwesternly course of the expedition brought it to 
the Montana streams of the Big Horn, the Indians killing many buffalo, 
and quite a number of beaver, although in the supplies of the latter 
Larocque was apparently disappointed. Under date of August nth, 
while encamped at the foot of the Mountains, the Journal notes : "They 
(the Indians) are undetermined in what course to proceed from this 
place. They have sent a party of young men along the Mountains 
Westerly and are to wait here until they return. They often enquire with 
anxious expectation of our departure, when I intend to leave them, and 
today they were more troublesome than usual. What I have seen of their 
lands hitherto has not given me the satisfaction I look for (in) Beavers. 
I told them that I would remain with them 20 or 30 days more. That 
I wished very much to see the River aux Roches Jaunes* and the place 
they usually inhabit, otherwise that I would be unable to return and 
bring them their wants. They saw it was true, but to remove the ob- 
jection of my not knowing their lands a few of them assembled and 
draughted on a dressed skin I believe a very good map of their Country 
and they showed me the place where at different season they were to be 
found. The only reason I think they have in wishing my departure, is 
their haste to get the goods I still have." 

On the I2th of August, after a conference among the Indian leaders 
and guides with the Larocque party, it was decided to proceed west along 
the Tongue River and thence to the region of the Rosebud Mountains, 
which separate the streams of that river from the Little Horn. On the 
way, Larocque traded with the Indians, purchasing a horse, beavers, etc., 
saddle and bridle, for English flannels, powder, balls, etc. His Journal 
makes note that: "The Indians Killed Buffaloes and a few Bears. The 
latter they hunt for pleasure only, as they do not eat the flesh but in case 
of absolute necessity. Perhaps the whole nation is employed about a 
bear, whom they have caused to take refuge in a thicket. There they 
plague him a long while and then Kill him ; he is seldom stripped of his 
skin. * * * The Indians having hunted yesterday (August i6th), 

* Yellowstone River. Riviere aux Roches Jaunes was the original French name, 
probably derived from some native equivalent. 


we did not rise the Camp but remained here all day. There were many 
bears hereabout, who are attracted by the quantity of Choak Cherries and 
other fruit there is here. The Woods along the Rivers are as thickly 
covered with Bears Dung as a Barn floor of that of the cattle. Large 
Cherry trees are broken down by them in Great number. The Indians 
kill one or two almost every day. The Tongue River here is small, being 
only about 20 feet broad with two feet water in the deepest part of 
the rapids. It receives many additional small streams in its way to the 
River Roches Jaunes. * * * 

"Sunday i8th (August). At 7 o'clock we left our encampment and 
proceeded Northward ; at noon we stopped on a branch of the small Horn 
River and the greatest part of the Indians went on to the small Horn 
River to hunt. At half past two in the afternoon we sat off again and 
crossing the River we encamped on its Borders where we found the 
hunting party with their horses loaded with fresh meat. We travelled 
about 15 miles this day and are farther from the mountain than yes- 
terday though still Close to it. 

"Monday ipth. Since we are close to the mountain many women have 
deserted with their lovers to their fine tents that are across the mountain. 
There are no Cattle in the mountain nor on the other side, so that they 
are loth to go that way, while the desertion of their wives strongly call 
them there. Harangues were twice made to rise the Camp, and counter 
orders were given before the tents were thrown down. The reason of 
this is that the wife of the Spotted Crow who regulates our movements 
has deserted. He is for going one way while the Chief of the other bands 
are for following our old course. Horses have been killed and women 
wounded since I am with them on the score of jealousy. Today a Snake 
Indian shot his wife dead but it seems not without reason, for it is said 
it was the third time he found her and the Gallant together. The Small 
Horn River runs east from the Mountain to this place. Here it makes a 
bend N. by East and passing round of the wolf teeth it falls into the 
large Horn river. The bed of the River here is Rocks, a continual rapid, 
the water clear and cold as ice, the ground barren on the banks of the 
river thinly wooded with some kind of wood as heretofore." 

The record indicates that on August 22nd, Larocque was called to 
a council of the Indians, at which Spotted Crow resigned his "employ- 
ment of regulating the marches," and that "another old man took the 
office upon himself," announcing that "he intended to pursue their old 
course to the River aux Roches Jaune." The march was then resumed 
northerly toward the Big Horn River and, eventually the Yellowstone. 


At this point in the narrative, Larocque's "Journal" depicts an in- 
cident illustrative of the horrors of Indian warfare. "This morning" 
(August 24th), it says, "we were allarmed (sic) by the report that three 
Indians had been seen on the first hill of the mountain and that three 
Buffaloes were in motion and that two shots had been heard towards 


the large Horn River. Thirty men saddled their horses and immediately 
went off to see what was the matter while all the other Kept in readiness 
to follow if necessary. In a few hours some came back and told us that 
they had seen 35 on foot walking on the banks of one of the branches 
of the Large Horn River. In less time than the Courier Could well tell 
his news no one remained in the Camp, but a few old men and women, all 
the rest scampered off in pursuit. I went along with them. We did not 
all Set off together nor could we all Keep together as some horses were 
slower than others, but the foremost stopped galloping on a hill and con- 
tinued on with a small trot as people came up. They did the dance (war 
dance) when the Chief arrived. He and his band, or part of it, galloped 
twice before the main body of the people who still continued their trot 
intersecting the line of their course while one of his friends, I suppose 
his aide-de-camp, harangued. They were all dressed in their best Cloths. 
Many of them were followed by their wives who carried their arms, and 
who were to deliver them at the time of Battle. There were likewise 
many children, but who could Keep their saddles. Ahead of us were 
some young men on different hills making signs with their robes which 
way we were to go. As soon as all the chiefs were come up and had 
made their harangue everyone set off the way he liked best and pursued 
according to his best judgment. The Country is very hilly and full of 
large Creeks whose banks are Rocks, so that the pursued had the ad- 
vantage of being able to get into places where it was impossible to go 
with horses & hide themselves. 

"All escaped but two of the foremost who being scouts of the party 
had advanced nearer to us than the others and had -not discovered us. 
They were surrounded after a long race but Killed and scalped in a 
twinkling. When I arrived at the dead bodies they had taken but his 
scalp and the fingers of his right hand with which the outor was off. They 
borrowed my hanger with which they cut off his left hand and returned it 
(the knife) to me bloody as a mark of honour. Men, women and children 
were thronging to see the dead Bodies and taste the Blood. Everyone 
was desirous of stabbing the bodies to show what he would have done 
had he met them alive, and insulted and frotted at them in the worst 
language they could give. In a short time the remains of a human body 
was hardly distinguishable. Every young man had a piece of flesh tied to 
his gun or lance with which he rode off to the Camp singing and ex- 
ultingly showing it to every young woman in his way. Some women 
had whole limbs dangling from their saddles. The sight made me shudder 
with horror at such Cruelties and I returned home in quite different frame 
from that in which I left it. 

"Sunday 25th. The Scalp dance was danced all night and the scalps 
carried in procession through the day." 

En route, the camp was in constant expectation of attack from enemy 
Indians, the young children being often tied to the saddles and the horses 
loaded with valuables during the night and early morning. "The Indians 
hunted and saw Strange Indians," continued Larocque. "There was a 
continual harangue by different Chiefs the whole night which with the 


singing and dancing of the scalp prevented any Sleep being had. We 
pitched the tents on a small creek running into the large Horn River 
distant about 20 miles from our last encampment." 

Farther along, a few miles, one of the famous canons of the Big Horn 
River was described, and the additional information given: "There is a 
fall in this River 30 or 40 miles above this where presides a Manitoin or 
Devil.* These Indians say it is a Man Wolf who lives in the fall and 
rises out of it to devour any person or beast that go too near. They say it 
is impossible to Kill him for he is ball proof. * * * The Mountain 
is here a solid Rock in most places bare and naked ,in other places 
Cloathed with a few Red Pine. The sides of some Coule are as smooth 
and perpendicular as any wall and of an amazing height; and in some 
places there are holes in those perpendicular Rocks resembling much those 
niches in which statues are placed. Others like church doors & vaults, 
the tout ensemble is grand and striking. Beautiful prospects are to be 
had from some parts of those Rocks, but the higher places are inex- 
cessible. The Large Horn River is seen winding through a level plain of 
about 3 miles breadth for a great distance almost to its conflux with the 
River aux Roches Jaunes." 

This stage of the journey brings the time to September ist, and the 
expedition was ascending the Big Horn Valley toward the Yellowstone. 
Traveling in a generally northwesternly direction, it swerved from the 
Big Horn Valley, in what would now be the northern part of the Crow 
Indian Reservation, and at two o'clock, in the afternoon of September 
loth, arrived at the Yellowstone, below what is known as Pryor's 
Fork, Yellowstone County, a few miles northeast of Billings. There the 
expedition camped on a large island, and three days afterward crossed 
to the west side of the river and about nine miles farther up stream 
encamped at a point where the Indians "usually make their fall medicine." 

When the expedition arrived at the Yellowstone, a delegation of Big 
Bellies arrived to see if they could trade horses. They were well re- 
ceived by the other Indians and presents of different articles were made 
to them. They told Larocque that they had traded during the previous 
winter with Mr. McDonald (John), whom they called Crooked Arm, 
because of his deformed arm. When McDonald was eighty-five years 
of age, he wrote a series of interesting Autobiographical Notes (1791- 
1816). Although graphically written, they are not always to be relied 


The arrangements made with his Indian comrades and co-traders and 
his final departure from the Crow country, on Saturday, September 14, 
1805, are thus described in the "Journal of Larocque," the original 
spelling, capitalization, etc., being generally retained : "Having now full 

* Foot Note by the editor of the Journal : "Manitou, or more properly, 
Windego. Scores of waterfalls have been the reputed home of this picturesque 
but rather bloodthirsty spirit. In one form or another, and under varying names, 
the Windego ranged almost from the Atlantic to the Pacific." 


filled the instructions I received from Mr. Chaboillez, which were to 
examine the lands of the Crow Indians and see if there is Beaver as was 
reported, and I to invite them to hunt it, I now prepared to depart. I 
assembled the Chiefs in Council, and after having smoked a fw pipes, 
I informed them that I was setting off, that I was well pleased with them 
and their behavior toward me, and that I would return to them next 
fall. I desired them to kill Beavers and Bears all winter, for that I 
would come and trade with them and bring them their wants. I added 
many reasons to show them that it was their interest to hunt Beavers, 
and then proceeded to settle the manners of Knowing one another next 
fall, and how I am to find them which is as follows: Upon my arrival 
at the Island if I do not find them I am to go to the Mountain called 
Amanchabe Chije & then light 4 fires on 4 successive days, and they will 
Come to us (for it is very high and the fire can be seen at a great dis- 
tance) in number 4 & not more. If more than four come to us we are 
to act upon the offensive, for it will be other Indians. If we light less 
than 3 fires, they will not come to us, but think it is enemies. They told 
me that in winter they were always to be found at a Park by the foot 
of the Mountain a few mile's from this or there abouts. In the spring 
and fall, they are upon this River and in summer upon the Tongue and 
Horses River.*" 

"I have 122 Beavers 4 Bears and two otters which I traded, not so 
much for their value (for they are all summer skins) as to show them 
that I set some value on the Beavers and our property. The presents 
I made them I thought were sufficient to gain their good will, in which 
I think I succeeded. 

"I never gave them anything without finding means to let them know 
it was not for nothing. Had more been given, they would have thought 
that goods were so common among us than to set no value upon them, 
for Indians that have seen few white men will be more thankful for a 
few articles given them than for a great many, as they think that little 
or no value is attached to what is so liberally given. It was therefore I 
purchased their Bears and likewise as a proof that there is Beaver in 
those parts. Besides it saved to distribute the goods I had into the most 
deserving hands, that is the less lazy. 

"We departed about noon. 2 Chiefs accompanied us about 8 miles. 
We stopped and smoked a parting pipe. They embrased (sic) us. We 
shook hands and parted. They followed us about one mile, at a distance 
gradually lessening their steps till we were almost out of sight and Crying 
or pretending to Cry they then turned their backs and went home. At 
parting they promised that none of their young men would follow us. 
They took heaven and earth to witness to attest their sincerity in what 
they told us, and they had opened their ears to my words and would do 
as I desired them. They made me swear by the same that I would re- 
turn; and that I told them no false words (and I certainly had no in- 

* Possibly, Pumpkin Creek, the chief branch of Tongue River. 


tention of breaking my oath nor have I still. If I do not keep them my 
word it certainly is not my fault.)" 


On the next day (Sunday, September 15*), the Larocque party 
crossed to the south side of the Yellowstone, and near what is now 
Shannon's Creek mentions a "Whitish perpendicular Rock on which is 
painted with Red earth a battle between three persons on horseback and 
3 on foot." The editor of Larocque's Journal believes it to be the same 
remarkable rock, visited by Captain Clark in July, 1806, while he was 
descending the Yellowstone on his return from the Pacific Coast. Clark 
describes it as "nearly four hundred paces in circumference, two hundred 
feet high, and accessible only from the northeast, the other sides being a 
perpendicular cliff of a light-coloured gritty rock. The Indians have 
carved the figures of animals and other objects on the sides of the rock, 
and on the top are raised two piles of stones." He named this remarkable 
rock Pompey's Pillar, and it is so marked on his map. 

Two days afterward, the Big Horn River was crossed. The ex- 
pedition passed through some rough, rocky country, as it had no guides on 
the return trip. At times, also, the weather was so cold that ice formed 
on the Yellowstone and other streams. The Tongue River was reached 
in about a week and the Powder a day afterward, about midway between 
the forks and the mouth. By the first week in October, the party arrived 
at the Little Missouri in southeastern Montana, and took substantially the 
same course through western and northwestern Dakota to the region of 
the Assiniboine River, as it had taken in the outward trip. The last week 
was windy and cold. As stated, River la Sourie Fort, on the south side 
of the Assiniboine, at the mouth of the Sourie River, was reached Octo- 
ber 22, 1805, and thus was concluded a journey which made known to 
the world a large portion of southeastern Montana which had not before 
been explored or described. 


Larocque's Journal also contains, as a section separate from the con- 
tinuous narrative, "A Few Observations on the Rocky Mountain Indians 
with Whom I Passed' the Summer, 1805," in which the customs of the 
Crow and Flathead tribes are so particularly described as to constitute 
a real contribution to the aboriginal lore of that day. The author in- 
troduces his dissertation by observing that: "This nation (the Rocky 
Mountain Indians) known among the Sioux by the name of Crow In- 
dians inhabit the eastern part of the Rocky Mountains at the head of the 
River aux Roches Jaunes (which is known by the Kinistinaux and 
Assiniboines by the name of the River a la Biche, from the great number 
of elks with which all the country along it abounds) and its branches 
and close to the head of the Missouri." On account of the ravages of 
small pox for many successive years, which had continued up to about 


1802, the Crows of the Rocky Mountains had been reduced from 2,000 
lodges or tents, to 300 tents, comprising some 2,400 persons. In 1805 
they were "able to raise 600 warriors, like the Sioux and Assiniboines. 
They wander about in leather tents and remain where there are buffaloes 
and elks. After having remained a few days in one place so that game is 
not so plentiful, as it was, they flit to another place where there are 
buffaloes or deers and so on all the year around." 

Continuing to' adapt this account from Larocque, it was stated that 
many of the Indians who did not expose themselves to the sun were 
almost as fair as white people. One of their marked peculiarities was the 
early age at which many of them became gray. They were so well 
supplied with horses that they were able to transport their sick and 
infirm, and the result was a noticeable prevalence of cripples and 
decrepid old men. As the country abounded in buffaloes and deer, the 
Crows found little difficulty in providing for a plurality of wives and 
large families. Unlike the Assiniboines, the Crows were sociable and 
upstanding. As noted in the Journal : "When a Sauteux or Assiniboine 
enter a stranger's tent, they (sic) keep down their head, or muffle it so 
in their robe or blanket that it can hardly be seen. These Indians never 
do it. They are bold and keep up their heads in any place, and say it is 
a sign of having bad designs when one is ashamed to show his face. 
* * * It is not out of bashfulness that the Sautaux hide their face 
when entering a strange tent, but they esteem it polite. When they begin 
to smoke, or after they have smoked a few pipes, they uncover their 
face, but the custume (sic) is in general with the young men than those 
of a certain age." 

Like all other Indian nations, the women did most of the work. The 
men would kill the buffaloes and their wives would follow and skin 
the animals and dress them, while the husbands sat calmly looking on. 
The women even saddled the horses, and their lords, when they retired, 
did not take the trouble to remove shoes or leggings. "In flitting," adds 
Larocque, "the women ride and have no loads to carry on their backs, 
as is common among other nations, though it is certain had they no 
horses they would be in the same predicament as their less fortunate 
neighbors, for though the men are fond of their wives and use them 
well, yet it is not to be supposed that they Ovould take a greater share of 
work than other Indians. The women are indebted solely to their having 
horses for the ease they enjoy more than their neighbours. They are 
very fond of their children, but seldom or never reprimand them." In 
short, the Crows were considered among the Indian aristocrats. They 
squandered their food, it was so plentiful, killing an "amazing" number 
of buffaloes and deer, and taking with them only the choicest cuts. They 
seldom ate bear or beaver flesh; and fish, never. An old chief was 
always chosen to conduct their hunts, and regulate their encampments 
and feasts. The Conductor, as he was called, must consult the other 
chiefs before doing anything of consequence. 



Correcting and adapting the spelling and punctuation to modern re- 
quirements, Larocque's description of "Breaking Camp" under the di- 
rection of the Conductor reads : "His tent is thrown down the first when 
they rise the camp. He goes foremost all the way (except a few young 
men who go far before as scouts) and pitches his tent the first. All the 
others encamp about him. Previous to their flitting, he rides about the 
camp and tells them to throw down their tents ; that they are going to 
such a place and for such and such reason. Some of the soldiers go 
far ahead and others remain far behind to watch and see if there be no 
enemies. When buffaloes are seen on the road and they wish to hunt 
they cause the people to stop and the old man harangues from one end 
to the other. When all are ready the huntsmen set off and the body of 
the people follow slowly." 

It would seem that the young male before marriage seldom hunted, 
but spent most of his time in preening himself like a peacock, and was 
far more vain than the young female. "A young man," says the narrative, 
"rises late in the morning, about midday he begins to dress and has not 
finished until late in the evening. He then mounts his horse, on which 
he has spread red and blue blankets, and, in company with his associates 
he rides about the camp, with the wing of a bustard or hawk before his 
face, in lieu of a fan, to keep him from the burning sun. At night, he 
dismounts, courts the women, or goes to the place of rendezvous, and 
at daylight comes in to sleep." 

The ceremonials and regulations attending the smoking of a pipe of 
tobacco, would hardly be tolerated by the impatient white man. "A pipe 
is never smoked," remarks Larocque, "without the first whiffs being 
offered to the rising midday and setting sun, to the earth, to the heavens, 
and to these the stem is pointed to the respective place they occupy, and 
a whiff is blown to the same quarter. Then a few whiffs are blown to 
diverse spirits which the smoker names and to whom he mutters a few 
words ; and then the pipe goes round, each person smoking four whiffs 
and no more. The pipe must always go to your left hand man, as that 
is the course that the sun takes. * * * 


"They are not superstitious with regard to the pipe, which is the 
object of their most sacred regard. Numberless are the ceremonies at- 
tended on smoking a pipe of tobacco. The regulations common to all 
are these : The pipe and stem must be clean ; a coal must be drawn out 
of the fire to light the pipe with ; care must be taken not to light the pipe 
in the flames or ashes, and none must empty the ashes out of the pipe 
but he that filled or lighted it. There being but little fire, I once lighted 
the pipe in the ashes. My landlord told me a few days after that his 
eyes were sore, and my lighting the pipe in the ashes was the occasion 


"Some will not smoke if the pipe has touched grass ; another if there 
are women in the tent; if there are guns; if shoes are seen when smoking; 
if a part ot wearing apparel be thrown over the pipe ; if some one biows 
in the pipe stem to clean it. Some will not allow the stem before the door. 
Another must empty the ashes on cowdung brought in on purpose. An- 
other, again, will not smoke unless every smoker be naked, and none but 
smokers are allowed to remain in the tent. To one the pipe must be 
given stem foremost, to another the reverse. Another will not take it 
unless you push it as hard as you can; to some it must be given quite 
slowly. In short, every man has his particular way of smoking, from 
which it seems he has vowed never to swerve. * * * Some who are 
ceremonious in their smoking do not smoke but with their intimates and 
those that are well acquainted with their mummery; those that are less 
so take care to sit next to a man that knows in what manner the pipe 
is to be given to them. The women never smoke. Before the smoking 
begins, he that has some peculiarity in his way of smoking tells in what 
manner it is, and everyone attends to." 


Larocque again refers to the Crows as an Indian nation of horses and 
horsemen. They obtained most of their horses from the Flatheads and 
traded them, at double the purchase price, to the Big Bellies and the 
Mandans. "He is reckoned a poor man that has not ten horses in the 
spring before the trade at the Missouri takes place, and many have thirty 
or forty. Everybody rides men, women and children. The females 
ride astride as the men do. A child that is too young to keep his saddle 
is tied to it, and a small whip is tied to his wrist. He whips away, and 
gallops or trots the whole day, if occasion requires. Their saddles are 
so made as to prevent falling either backwards or forward, the hind part 
reaching as high as between the shoulders and the fore part of the breast. 
The women saddles are especially so. Those of the men are not quite 
so high, and many use saddles such as the Canadians make in the N. W. 

Being thus trained from infancy, the Crows were naturally most 
expert horsemen. As warriors on horseback they were unexcelled. De- 
pending upon them as they do, these Indians were very fond and careful 
of their horses. They were not warlike, but courageous and fierce when 
attacked. Their arms were bows and arrows, lances and guns. When 
they went to war they took their medicine bags, which they opened 
before beginning the attack. Shortly afterward, the warriors smoked 
and then went into action. They were pronounced excellent marksmen 
with the bow and arrow, and, although "poor shots" with the gun, on 
account of lack of ammunition, they were becoming expert with daily 
practice of late years. They were getting their guns and ammunition from 
the Mandans and the Big Bellies, in exchange for horses, robes, leggins 
and shirts. They likewise purchased corn, pumpkins and tobacco from 
the Big Bellies, as they did not cultivate the ground. 



After describing in detail the elaborate dress of the men and the 
more simple costume of the women, made of deer, elk, buffalo, wolf and 
skunk skins, ornamented with porcupine quills, bear's claws, beads, 
fringes, etc., variously colored, the author adds that "the boys go naked 
till they are eight or ten years old, not for want of clothes, but to be 
more at their ease; but the girls never. Both sexes are very cleanly, 
washing and bathing every morning in the river, and in winter in the 
snow. They keep their clothes clean and as white as snow, with a kind 
of white earth resembling chalk, with which they daily clean their clothes. 
* * * A woman never sets the kettle on the fire in the morning 
without first washing her hands, and the men do not eat without the 
same precaution. * * * 

"They make very expressive signs with their hands to a person that 
does not understand their language. They often told me long stories 
without hardly opening their lips and I understood very well. They 
represent a Sioux by passing the edge of their hand across their neck, 
a Panis by showing large ears, a Flathead by pressing with both hands on 
each side the head." 



The Journal of Larocque has this to say (the text edited somewhat) 
regarding the Flathead Indians, which then held the western slopes of 
the Rocky Mountains: "The Flatheads inhabit the western side of the 
Rocky Mountains at the heads of the rivers that have a southwesterly 
course and flow into the western ocean. The ridge of mountains that 
parts those waters from the Missouri can be crossed in two days and no 
more mountains are found to the ocean. They come every fall to the 
fort of the Missouri or thereabout to kill buffaloes, of which there are 
none across that range of mountains, dress robes and dry meat with which 
they returned as soon as the winter set in. They have deers of various 
kinds on their lands and beaver with which they make themselves robes, 
but they prefer buffaloes. They have a great many horses which they 
sell for a trifle and give many for nothing." 


The explorations of the Lewis and Clark expedition discovered the 
bold natural features of the "Land of the Shining Mountains," which 
was not to be christened by the sonorous and characteristic name of the 
present until more than half a century had elapsed since those able and 
intrepid young men made history and geography for Jefferson and the 
United States of America. They not only traced the main courses of the 
mighty Missouri to their sources, but found that its great northern trib- 
utary headed in the mountain ranges of the Hudson Bay divide. After 
careful investigation and the wise weighing of natural data such as the 
color, the volume and the current of the Milk River and its tributaries 
they decided, in opposition to the opinion of the old and experienced 
boatmen of their party, that they must follow the southern branches of 
the main stream to the clear waters rushing from the purifying rocks 
and valleys of the mountains before they could hope to reach a position 
on the eastern slopes of the continental divide which should be sub- 
stantially opposite the sources of any streams which would lead to a 
western waterway to the Pacific. The deduction and decision of Lewis 
and Clark saved the expedition from defeat, if not disaster, the Missouri 
was traced to its true southern source, and the real fountain of its might, 
the Jefferson fork of the river, and a few miles over an easy pass in the 
continental divide were found the equally limpid and lively waters of the 
great southern branch of the Columbia. 


The explorers of 1805 had decided from all their available data that 
the Jefferson was the parent stream, and their 'conclusion was verified 
scientifically and accurately nearly seventy years afterward. In 1872, 
Thomas P. Roberts, under the direction of the government, examined the 
upper Missouri from the Three Forks to Fort Benton for the purpose 
of ascertaining its capacity for navigation by light-draught steamers. 
The part of his report which is pertinent is this : "The junction of the 
Gallatin, Madison and Jefferson rivers which streams from the Missouri 
proper is effected in a basin or valley some fifteen or twenty miles in 
diameter, with mountains in full view west, south and east, varying in 
altitude from two thousand to four thousand feet above the sea. Some 
presented a denuded appearance, while others were well timbered, and 
though it was late in July, their highest summits and gorges were still 
streaked with silvery lines of snow. 




"It is difficult to determine from which points of the compass the 
three rivers debouch, though from the top of the bluffs at the exit pas- 
sage of the united rivers, which almost deserves to be called a canyon, 
there is a fine view of their meanderings. The courses of the streams,' 
with their numerous cut-offs and sloughs, are marked by graceful belts 
and lines of cotton wood and black alder, by islands clothed with the 
richest verdure and by groves and jungles of the wild currant, but by 
far the greater portion of this immense park is open and covered with 
varieties of the rich bunch-grass, for which Montana is celebrated. The 
sheen of the sparkling waters seen through openings of timber among 
the islands and channels, with the soft shadowy forms of the silvery 
rimmed mountains in the distance surrounding the landscape, formed in 
the long twilight, a beautiful and enchanting picture. 

"While here we gauged the volume of the rivers, not only to discover 
which of the three was the largest or parent stream, but also to ascer- 
tain how much water there was to deal with at that season of the year, 
for the purpose of navigation. 

"When we began the reconnoissance, the streams were about four feet 
below the high-water mark, and, according to the statement of the old 
ferryman, only eight inches above the lowest water-mark. It is one of 
the most striking characteristics of the Upper Missouri, and the same 
may be said of nearly all the Montana streams, that they never overflow 
their banks to any extent, and that they are more regular and unfailing 
in their discharge than streams of equal annual flowage in the United 
States east of the Mississippi River. This equable flowage is due almost 
entirely to the regularity of the melting of the snow in the highest regions 
of the mountains, from which source their principal supply is drawn. 

"We found that the Jefferson discharged 226,728 cubic feet per 
minute, the Madison, 160,277, and the Gallatin, 125,480. There can, 
therefore, be but little doubt that the Jefferson is the father of the 
Missouri, which fact makes it, by fair inheritance, the grandfather of the 
Mississippi, a distant but noble relative. Adding these figures together, 
we have a total flowage of 512,408 cubic feet per minute for the Upper 
Missouri at the Three Forks. Reducing their quantity to tfye lowest stage 
known, there will remain over 300,000 cubic feet per minute in the 
Missouri at this point, which is three times the volume of the Ohio at 
Pittsburgh when at its lowest stage. 

"The length of this wonderful watercourse, the Missouri, can be 
best appreciated when it is considered that we were here camped two 
hundred and fifty miles below the extreme heads of the Jefferson and 
about the same distance above Fort Benton. Fort Benton is not less 
than 2,900 miles above St. Louis, which city is still 1,200 miles above 
the mouth of the river. The entire length of the river is not less than 
4,600 miles, some geographies to the contrary notwithstanding, they var- 
iously estimating its length to be from 4,000 to 4,300 miles. 

"Returning to the Jefferson a large island at its mouth divides the 
stream and in exploring it a mile above our camp we discovered where 
its waters first mingle with those of the Madison. I note this particular 


junction because I never before saw streams unite in the same manner. 
They run with swift current five or six feet deep and some two hundred 
feet wide directly toward each other, and thence, at a right angle, their 
united volume, agitated with the rude contact, rushes northward. The 
meeting of the currents created great swirls in the water, which nearly 
swamped our boat when we attempted to shoot through. A basin seems 
to have been scoured out in the gravelly bottom by the action of the 
stream, the depth of which we were unable to ascertain with either pole 
or line." 

The Jefferson River, thus admitted to be the father of the Missouri, 
does not rise in the exact locality described by Captain Lewis in the 
journal of the expedition, but farther to the east in the rivulets which 
feed Red Rock Lake, near the extreme southern point of Montana and 
not far west of the National Park. Both the Gallatin and the Madison 
have their fountain heads in the park, outside the bounds of Montana, 
as well as the Yellowstone, the great southern tributary of the Missouri. 
Yellowstone Lake, its source, is believed to have been discovered by 
John Colter, the noted adventurer of the Lewis-Clark expedition. Cap- 
tain Clark explored the Yellowstone within Montana on the return trip 
(1806), while Captain Lewis was investigating Maria's River, the north- 
ern tributary of the Missouri. 

Clark's fork of the Columbia drains most of the western or Pacific 
watershed of the Rocky Mountains in western and northwestern Montana. 
What Captain Lewis named Clark's Fork is now known as the Bitter 
Root River, rises in the triangle formed by the mountain range by that 
name and the Continental Divide, and flows along the eastern bases of 
the Bitter Root Mountains. It empties into the Hellgate River, in the 
vicinity of Missoula, and the two streams thus united take the name of 
Missoula, which, in turn, flows into Lake Pend d'Oreille, Idaho, and 
emerges as Clark's River, or the Clark's Fork of the Columbia, as now 
recorded on the maps. From Montana it passes between the Bitter Root 
and the Cabinet mountains in the northwestern part of the state, through 
the northern corner of Idaho and joins the Columbia at 49 north, on 
the boundary Jbetween the state of Washington and British Columbia. 
Before leaving Montana, however, it receives a large and intricate system 
of waters from the north. The backbone of this combination of rivers 
and lakes is the Flathead River, the north fork of which rises just across 
the international border and bounds Glacier National Park on the west. 
The south fork heads in the great north-and-south Continental Divide 
in Powell and Lewis and Clark counties, flows northwest between that 
vast range and the Flathead Mountains, and unites with the 'north fork 
and a smaller tributary stream near Columbia Falls, Fhthead County, 
and thence enters Flathead Lake. The river emerges from the south- 
western extremity of the lake, is reinforced by the Little Bitter Root, 
the Jocko and other streams and finally reaches Clark's Fork near the 
western boundary line of the state in the Mineral Range of mountains, 
an outlying flank of the Bitter Root Range. 

The more northerly branch of the Columbia, the Kootenai, takes a 


small loop out of Northwestern Montana, rising in British Columbia and 
through its tributaries, the Stillwater and Yaak rivers, draining a small 
portion of that part of the state. To the east of the drainage basin of 
the Clark's Fork and the Kootenai is the St. Mary's River, which is a 
tributary of the Saskatchewan and empties into Hudson Bay! 

It is evident that Western Montana, the birthplace of the vast river 
systems which mold the valleys and basins of the state, holds the key 
to the topography of the country included in its bounds. That region 
contains the fountain heads of the rushing waters and their commercial 
powers. Mountains, valleys and basins comprise the grand natural fea- 
tures of Montana. 


As to its mountains, the following is a fair summary, mainly drawn 
from data furnished by Robert H. Chapman, the geologist and topog- 
rapher: The main Rocky mountain mass is actually made up of two 
principal ranges, generally parallel with axes in a northwesterly and 
southwesterly direction, the easternmost of which is the Lewis range, 
which extends but a short distance across the Canadian boundary. The 
western or Livingston range, persists much farther northward. At a 
point about eleven miles south of Canada it becomes the watershed of the 
Continental divide, which has previously followed the ridge of the 
Livingston range. 

The range is rugged in contour and vast in extent, with many spurs, 
buttresses and lesser ranges. Magnificent pinnacles and peaks, cloaked 
with eternal snow, encrusted with glacial ice, mark its- serrated outline. 
Nevertheless the mountains of Montana, though equally noble in form are 
not so lofty as those of Colorado. Immediately east of the Continental 
divide, at the extreme north, is the Hudson Bay divide, and the Big 
Belt Mountains, which commence in the center of the state and run 
parallel with the main Rocky mountain range. To the east of the Big 
Belt is Bird Tail divide, and to the south the Tobacco Root, the Ruby, 
the Madison, the Gallatin and the Bridger ranges. East of the Big Belt 
range and also in central Montana, are the Teton ridge, the Little Belt 
and Belt ranges, and to the south, in southern Montana, are the Cayuse 
Hills and the Assaroka range. East of the Little Belt range, in East- 
central Montana, are the Big Snowy Mountains, and just northeast of the 
northern extremity of the range lie the Highwood Mountains. Still 
farther to the east, in North-eastern Montana, are other minor ranges or 
groups of high hills dignified with such names as Bear Paw, Little Rocky 
or Little Creek mountains. The easternmost hills of any considerable 
magnitude are Piney Buttes, in the triangle formed by the Missouri and 
its tributary, Big Dry River. In the far southeast, the Big Horn Moun- 
tains protrude into the Crow Indian Reservation from Wyoming, and 
the smaller independent range formed by the Wolf and Rosebud moun- 
tains, a little farther east, is almost wholly within the state boundaries. 

West of the Continental divide, in the northwestern corner of Mon- 


tana, is the Purcell range of the Kootenai system. Farther east, beyond 
the Stillwater River, is the Whitefish range, a southeastern continuance 
of which brings one to the Flathead range. Parallel to the latter and 
west of it, are the majestic Mission Mountains, the northern portions of 
which are massed along the eastern shores of Flathead Lake. The 
Bitter Root Mountains stretch as a majestic barrier to form the western 
bounds of Montana, from 48 degrees, east by south to about 46 30', 
where they meet the Continental divide, extending toward the northeast. 
The Bitter Root Mountains form by far the larger portion of the 
western side of the substantial rectangle formed by the 144,000 square 
miles comprising the area of Montana. It is a grand domain nearly 
three times larger than the state of New York, and only exceeded by 
Texas and California in territorial extent of the commonwealths in the 
Union. California only exceeds it by 12,000 square miles. 


Although virtually' half of Montana is mountainous, and it is 
classified as a Rocky Mountain state, its general elevation is compar- 
atively low. Professor Gannett of the United States Geological Survey 
says: "The average elevation of Montana above sea level is 3,900 feet. 
The average elevation of other states in this section are given as 
follows : Nevada, 5,600 feet ; Wyoming, 6,400 ; Colorado, 7,000 feet. Be- 
low an elevation of 4,000 feet Utah has no square miles, Colorado has 
only 9,000, while Montana has 51,600. Below 3,000 feet in altitude are 
40,000 square miles in Montana." 

"Taking the area of the state (Montana) as a whole," says a United 
States Census Bulletin, "it has been ascertained that 49 per cent, is under 
5,000 feet above sea level; 21 per cent, from 5,000 to 6,000 feet; 14 per 
cent, from 6,000 to 7,000 ; 9 per cent, from 7,000 to 8,000, and 7 per cent, 
over 8,000 feet." 

Helena, at the base of the northwest and southeast Continental divide 
in Montana, has an elevation of 4,110 feet above sea level ; Salt Lake City, 
4,350; Denver, 5,300, and Santa Fe, 6,840 feet. 

The fact of Montana's comparatively low altitude, with mountain 
passes of low and easy access, has had a beneficial effect upon her 
climate and settlement. A very high altitude in a country or state limits 
permanent settlement to the small class of people whose physical tem- 
perament allows them to reside under such condition. The numerous 
low passes in the mountains not only enabled the streams of emigrants 
to pass into Montana's domains from either direction, many of them 
becoming her substantial settlers, but also admits the mild currents from 
the farther west and southwest, warming the valleys and modifying the 
climate generally. 


After noting the Coeur d'Alene, Pointed Heart, or Bitter Root moun- 
tains as "a white line in the zigzag of the mountains' crest in the regions 


of perpetual snow, William A. Clark, in his centennial address, adds, 
apropos of the "valley" feature of Montana: "Farther eastward the 
main range of the Rocky Mountains rising in colossal grandeur, tends 
diagonally to the northwest across the territory, while between these two 
distinct ranges and far eastward from the latter, the country is diversi- 
fied by a system of subordinate, transverse and parallel ranges, enclosing 
the most beautiful valleys. 

"These valleys, varying from one to fifteen miles in width and from 
ten to two hundred miles in length, are level or gently undulating, re- 
sembling prairies covered with grasses and meadows, each drained by 
a main stream running through the center which, at short intervals, re- 
ceives tributaries from the enclosing mountains. These form lateral 


valleys of smaller extent. A line of willow, or alder bushes, with here 
and there a clump of cottonwood trees, marks the course of every 
stream and beautifies the landscape. Lying between the large valleys 
there are, in many places, passes in the mountains, many of them so 
low and easily accessible as to form natural highways for all vehicles. On 
some of these dividing elevations are presented views of surpassing 
beauty and grandeur. Below you behold the picturesque valleys; about 
you, the terraced, or corrugated grassy plains; on either side, the ever- 
green woodlands with their parks and rippling brooklets, stretching down 
from the mountain sides, and above all and beyond the limit of vegetable 
growth, the towering rock-ribbed mountains. There, in communication 
with the clouds, are the great fountains which form the sources of the 
Missouri and the Columbia, in many places gathering their cold and 
crystal waters from the same snow girdled peaks." 


Montana presents a problem and a picture of deep and varied interest 
when viewed from a geological standpoint; when an attempt is made 


to analyze the vast mountain ranges which loom and stretch through her 
central and western portions, and to account for the courses and grand 
vagrancies of her mighty rivers, which attempted to lose themselves in 
the fastnesses of the Rockies, but could not because of the persistency 
and bravery of men; to list her bewildering variety of minerals and 
account for their composition and the strange forms of their deposits, and, 
in general, to unseal the weird, silent lips of Nature and force her to 
explain the methods by which she created a little section of what is 
really but the skin of the earth. 

To account for the mountain ranges of Montana and the precious 
metals cast from their bowels, one must go back to the primary ages of 
the fire rocks (igneous and metamorphic), and to explain the broken 
and irregular strata of the vast rocky beds laid down by the waters of the 
prehistoric oceans and seas, the student must imagine the outbreak of 
immeasurable subterranean forces and the upheaval of the very founda- 
tions of the earth. 

Dr. F. V. Hayden, U. S. Geologist, did much to fix and record the 
geology of Montana, in the '/os, and in 1876 the Historical Society of 
Montana (Vol. I, p. 285) published an instructive and well written paper 
entitled "Geological Notes on Northern and Central Montana," by O. C. 
Mortson, which was of more general value than its title indicated. The 
author traces the eastern boundary line of the great area of igneous rocks 
as follows: Commencing, at the British line, following southwardly 
along the eastern slope of the Rocky Mountains to the Dearborn River, 
following that stream to the Missouri River, crossing which it follows the 
Great Belt Mountains for a short distance and then strikes off to the 
western peaks of the Little Belt Mountains, and from there, along the 
eastern side, to the Judith Gap; it then strikes southwardly along the 
eastern base of the Crazy Mountains across the Yellowstone River and 
by the eastern base of the Snow Mountains. The Judith, Snowy and 
Highwood mountains are surrounded by stratified rocks, though connected 
with the same upheaval as the other mountains. All rocks east of the 
above-mentioned line are pertaining to the cretaceous periods (later than 
the igneous) and in places, tertiary (still later) deposits. 

The upheaval of all the mountains in Central Montana most probably 
took place in the tertiary period, and attained a still higher altitude in 
the post-tertiary ; again being brought to nearly their present level in 
the latter part of this period. The Bearpaw Mountains are ascribed to 
a later period, their upheaval having distorted the strata in their vicinity, 
and later tertiary rocks being found among and in them. The origin of 
these mountains is undoubtedly volcanic, the center of action being the 
western peaks. One peak, which is the highest in that vicinity, is an 
extinct crater, lava, tufa and volcanic sand being plentiful. The Sandy 
creeks rise near this peak, and it is owing to the volcanic sand in their 
beds that they derive their names. The upheaval of these mountains is 
ascribed to the post-tertiary period, probably the same disturbance that 
occurred in the early part of the glacial period. 

All the other ranges of mountains in central and northern Montana 


are thought to have been formed about the same time, both from the 
similar character of the rocks comprising their peaks and foothills and 
from the number of dikes connecting them. These connecting ridges 
are sometimes trap, but generally of granite. The elevated and distorted 
strata which thus protrudes have been variously metamorphized by the 
action of the igneous rocks, while in a state of fusion limestone has been 
turned into marble and laminated clays into slate. A large number of 
these dikes branch from the east side of the Great Belt range, crossing 
diagonally Deep Creek valley and connectiong with the Little Belt range 
and the Highwood Mountains. The dikes mentioned are composed of 
dark granite. Other series connect the different peaks of the district. 
From the igneous, or fire rocks, the geologist passes upward toward 
the earth's surface through the stratified rocks of five distinct periods. 
The lowest stratum examined by Mr. Mortson, which contained fossils, 
was the Jurassic. A belt of the latter rocks was found to stretch from 
the neighborhood of. the Black Hills, in the southeast, across the Yellow- 
stone River, striking the Musselshell near the great bend, and reaching the 
Missouri in the neighborhood of Little Rocky Mountain Creek and 
Carroll, Deer Lodge County. Remains of the larger fossils are found in 
this stratum in such quantities as to form masess of rocks in themselves. 
In a later epoch of the same period, carrying sandstones and layers of 
clay were found fresh water shells and abundant remains of insects, 
fishes and reptiles. 

The rocks of the cretaceous, or chalky period, occupy the largest area 
of any stratified ones in Montana, being found even in the foothills of 
the Rocky Mountains and occupying a large area north of the Missouri 
River. They form a section of the great belt which stretches across the 
continent from Mackenzie's River in the north to the Gulf of Mexico 
in the south. Most of the rocks are of marine formation, although a few 
are the results of fresh water deposits, and their composition is sandstone, 
clay, marl, limestone and colored sands. The latter are exceedingly 
friable, and the green variety has been profitably used as a fertilizer. 

The lower beds of the cretaceous period are known as the Dakota 
group, as they have been most extensively developed in the territory of 
the Dakotas. In Montana, these beds may be found near the headwaters 
of Sun River, in the vicinity of St. Peter and on the flanks of Highwood 
and Little Belt mountains, in the present counties of Cascade and Teton. 
The Dakota series is remarkable for the beds of lignite and numerous 
vegetable remains found in it. The leaves of numerous genera of trees 
are also found, some of which are allied to living species. Near Fort 
Shaw the beds have yielded a fine building sandstone, which, though 
soft when quarried, hardens by exposure to the atmosphere. 

The Benton group of the cretaceous period lies over the Dakota and 
is distinguishable by the character of the fossils found in the strata, being 
of the fresh-water rather than the marine variety. The greatest de- 
velopment of the beds is in the vicinity of Fort Benton ; hence the name, 
given by Meek and Hayden, U. S. geologists. From that place to the 
Great Falls the banks of the Missouri furnish splendid specimens of 


sections of the beds. They are also found on Highwood and Belt Moun- 
tain creeks and Arrow, Teton and Maria's rivers. The thickness of the 
Dakota and Benton groups may be roughly estimated at 1,200 feet. 

The Pierre group, so called from the beds found at old Fort Pierre, 
Dakota, are the first of the later Cretaceous beds. Outcrops of these 
beds are found in the hills south of Square Butte, the reservation of Fort 
Shaw on the Yellowstone, in the bad lands near Pryor's Creek and on 
Milk River near the Three Buttes. On the Yellowstone, they are com- 
posed of dark laminated clays, and are remarkable for the perfect preser- 
vation of the fossils peculiar to the group. Proceeding northward, it 
gradually merges into the Jurassic rocks. 

"The cretaceous and Jurassic rocks in Montana, by their conforma- 
tion and dip of strata, would justify the assertion that during these 
periods a large, shallow inland sea existed in this part of Montana. From 
the nature of the marine fossil shells it might have been from two hun- 
dred to four hundred feet deep, and had connection with the inland sea, 
which then covered such a large portion of the North American con- 
tinent. The Yellowstone and Missouri rivers were not yet in existence, 
as there were not yet any mountains to form the watershed." The rocks 
of the tertiary period are found on the flanks of the Rocky, Belt, Bear- 
paw and Big Snowy mountains and on Milk River near the British line. 
"It was during this period (continuing to quote Mr. Mortson) that 
probably the two great rivers of Montana began their mighty courses. 
This was owing to the elevation at that time of the neighboring ranges 
of mountains (except the Bearpaw), though perhaps their height was 
not equal to that of the present day. The tertiary deposits on their 
summits would ascribe their elevation to be late in the period. 


"To the traces of this period I have turned my principal attention. 
Its (in my opinion) great influence on the deposition of placer gold, the 
great denudations of the surface area, and the large deposits elsewhere, 
render it an exceedingly interesting geological study. * * * The 
glacial or drift period takes its name under the supposition that ice, in 
the form of icebergs and glaciers, scraped ravines and canons on the 
mountain sides, denuded hills and plateaus; in some places making 
valleys and in others filling them up and altering river beds. 

"In the early part of this epoch, Montana must have presented the 
appearance of a series of large fresh-water lakes, whose shores were 
the summits of the present mountain ranges. These mountains had their 
flanks covered by huge glaciers, whose descent by the usual river-like 
flow o glaciers would bring down large quantities of rocks, pebbles and 
mud. Reaching the edge of the lakes, they would, when advanced far 
enough by the superincumbent weight, break off; having been pushed 
by the pressure of the ice behind, it would float off as an iceberg, and 
would elsewhere deposit its hundred of tons of gravel, mud and rocks, 
the same manner as the glaciers of Greenland are at the present day send- 


Vol. 17 


ing their icebergs down the eastern coast of North America. What was 
the probable cause of this sub-arctic climate enveloping the land? 

"Later back, we referred to the upheaval of the ranges of mountains 
in the tertiary period. Now, another upheaval probably took place of 
another five thousand feet or therabouts, and it would bring this icy 
change quickly, and transform the smiling semi-tropical verdure of the 1 
tertiary period into stern winter sterility. It was probably at this time 
that the Bearpaw Mountains were thrown up. Now, by these terres- 
trial changes, which were not confined to Montana alone, the flow of the 
rivers would bo stopped ; the lakes would rise silently, but sure ; and the 
intense cold would speedily bring this arctic climate to which I am re- 

"The intense cold would, by its action, rend the rocks in the moun- 
tains, which would then fall in avalanches upon the glaciers, to be by them 
carried elsewhere. The glaciers, by their slow but constant motion, and 
their stupendous weight, would, by erosion, plow for themselves a bed 
through the hardest rock. 


"At the headwaters of Maria's river, especially at the head of Cut 
Bank Creek, a fragment of one of these glaciers still exists, covering 
each side of the range down to a certain height. The existence of this 
glacier is known, and probably others exist in the Rocky range, which will 
be found when the topography of the country is better known. 

"The proof of the other glaciers having existed, lies in the drift 
groovings or scratches which occur in the bed-rock of all the mountain 
gulches that I have seen in this section ; also by the numerous moraines 
and erratic bowlders which are found on the great northern plateau and 
on other several smaller ones. 

"In central Montana, there were two great centers of glacial action 
one was the Rocky mountains and its connecting ranges ; the other was 
the Belt ranges. 

"In the Great Belt range a large glacier commenced on the western 
side, near the head of Trout and Cottonwood creeks, cutting the range 
diagonally, crossing Montana and Confederate gulches and emerging into 
the Missouri valley a little south of the Confederate creek. Its course 
is north-northeast to south-southwest and the present altitude of its old 
bed is probably over five thousand feet. In the vicinity it is known as 
the Gravelly range. This glacier must have existed prior to those that 
cut out Bowlder, Confederate, Montana, White's and other gulches in the 
vicinity, as wherever this ancient glacier has been cut by later ravines 
it has yielded large deposits of gold. Its ancient bed is now filled up 
with debris, which is easily accounted for by the deposits of neighboring 
denudations. In the vicinity it is called an old river-bed, but its declina- 
tion is too great for that, consistent with the gold deposits ; also, the debris 
is identical with the rocks contained between its two extremities. If it had 
been a river, its length ought to have been greater; there ought to have 


been a larger amount of foreign debris and a large water-shed, to account 
for its present breadth. 

"Now, assuming this to have been a glacier, we should find the ice, 
by its motion, scraping and grooving the bed-rock of its course, con- 
tinually widening its bed by its constant pressure and friction, and thereby 
denuding the rocks and quartz lodes that it passed. Naturally, gold would 
be left in the striae of the bed-rock. Its carrying large amounts of debris 
on its surface in the form of moraines, wherever the contour of its bed 
compelled the glacier to change its course, it would naturally deposit 
large amounts of debris, which now form bars. 

"I stated that this glacier existed prior to the formation of the 
neighboring gulches. An intelligent observation of these gulches will 
convince anyone that there must have been similar causes to produce 
these effects. Bowlder, in the vicinity of Confederate, has innumerable 
proofs of glacial drift. There are erratic bowlders there, which could 
have only been brought to their present position by ice. Indian, Beaver 
and Last Chance gulches, on the opposite side of the Missouri,- have simi- 
lar characteristics. I have observed personally, in these localities, the 
striae on bowlders, and the parallel moraines of ancient glaciers. A per- 
fect chart of these localities could be made, by minute observation, as they 
existed in the glacial period. The course of the glacier would be known 
by the direction of the striae on the bed-rock and bowlders; the angle of 
declination would be known by the inclination of the striae on the bowlders 
on the mountain sides ; and the depth would be the height between the bed- 
rock arid the line of bowlders left by the glaciers on the hill sides. 

"The elevated valleys in Upper Deep creek, on the east side of the 
Great Belt range, have over their whole surface the marks of glacial 
action. On the low mountains north of Camp Baker bowlders are on 
the sides, with the striae cut on them as plain as if done by a workman, 
and their surfaces finely polished, showing the friction they have under- 
gone. Along the northern side of the valley large numbers of bowlders 
cover one side of the hills, the bowlders on each hill being on the same 
side. This shows the deposition by icebergs, which, broken off by the 
parent glacier and floating on the inland sea, deposited the detritus in this 
manner. All the mountains in the central and northern part of Montana 
that I have seen show these indubitable signs. 

"The large plateau in the north has large erratic bowlders scattered 
here and there; they are not very common, but their size is exceedingly 
large. The most interesting one I have seen is in a small ravine which 
runs into the Dry fork of Maria's river due north of Fort Shaw. It is 
about nine feet long, six feet high and probably weighs about fifteen tons. 
It is composed of red granite, with a smooth, polished surface, and has 
evidently been brought a long distance, as no rocks of that kind are, to my 
knowledge, closer than about ninety miles. Other bowlders exist, but this 
one will serve as an example of the rest. 

"How long this epoch lasted, there is no telling; but, by the great 
denudation which took place, it must have been of considerable length. 
It was during this epoch that the numerous buttes lying east of the 


Rocky mountains and north of the Belt range were denuded to their 
present shape. Very probably Square and Crown Buttes formed once 
a continuous range of high bluffs ; and the same may be said of those east 
of the Highwoods. At the close of this period, a gradual subsidence 
of level raised the temperature of the climate ; the inland lakes dis- 
appeared; the glaciers melted away and we arrive at what is called the 
Champlain epoch." 


"At the beginning of this epoch, most probably the rush of the re- 
tiring waters cut the terraces which bound so many of our Montana 
streams. The great mammals then appeared, and the huge mastodon cov- 
ered the plateaus and valleys in numbers almost equaling the modern 
buffalo. The American elephant existed in this locality. A portion 
of a tusk pertaining to one was found on Badger creek and is now in 
possession of Mr. Drew, at Fort Shaw. It is possible that the great 
pliocene deposits of Wyoming and Colorado extend northward into Mon- 
tana, as I have been often told of the great bone deposits which exist 
in several parts of these localities. Several deposits of so-called buf- 
falo bones, in the neighborhood of Sun and Maria's rivers and Badger 
creek, I am inclined to ascribe to other animals; and it may be that 
as Colorado and Wyoming have within the two years yielded such palaeon- 
tological treasures, so Montana, by proper search and investigation, will 
yield equally interesting organic remains." 


The wonderful diversity of Montana's geological formations accounts 
for the variety of the precious deposits found within the state's limits. 
The upheaval of the deep-seated fire rocks, with molten formations of 
ore and precious stones; the deposits and immeasurable pressure of 
great inland seas, and the resistless passage of vast glacial fields laden 
with gold scourings and gigantic boulders, all made Montana a rich and 
varied treasury of minerals. 

Along this line, a comparatively recent publication has this to say 
of Montana as a mining state : "Of the many marvels of its mineral 
wealth, perhaps the greatest is the wonderful extent of the deposits. 
After this comes the diversity of metals, which cover a large portion 
of the known catalogue, and lastly comes the fabulous richness of the 
deposits of quartz and placer diggings. The ores of Montana are easily 
worked. The rocks in which auriferous and argentiferous veins occur is 
limestone or granite often granite capped with slate. The presence of 
lead and copper simplifies the reduction of silver. In general the char- 
acter of Montana galena ores does not differ from those of Utah, Colo- 
rado, Nevada and Idaho. There are lead mines in Montana but they 
have not been extensively worked. The lead obtained from the silver ores 
however, is considerable. Copper lodes are abundant and large and are 


found near Butte, at White Sulphur Springs and in the Musselshell coun- 
try. Iron is found in a great number of places. Marble, building stone 
fire clay, zinc and all of the minerals of which men build the substan- 
tial monuments of civilization are grouped together in Montana in a re- 
markable manner. 

"One of the latest developed resources of the state is coal. The 
presence of this product was known from the early days, but before the 
country had been pierced by railroads it could not be profitably mined 
and consequently there was no development of the coal fields. Now coal 
mining is one of the permanent industries of the state. Along the east- 
ern bases of the Rocky Mountains coal is found in almost inexhaustible 
quantities. Park, Cascade, Choteau, Beaver Head and Gallatin counties 
all have mines within their boundaries.* 


"In addition to the precious metals and other products mentioned 
above, there have been found in Montana from time to time a great many 
precious stones and gems. Sapphires were discovered in a number of 
localities by the early placer miners. They were collected in great num- 
bers in the sluice boxes with the gold and black sand. They were found 
on the bars of the Missouri in Lewis and Clark county, at Montana City 
and Jefferson City on the Prickly Pear, and in other localities. These 
gems were sent East and found their way into many cabinets. A few 
were cut and worn by Montana miners. After many years they attracted 
the attention of English experts and capitalists, and a company was 
formed to work these old placers for the sapphires they contained. Some 
of these gems are of the largest size and purest water, and the colors are 
very brilliant. The varieties most common are the oriental emerald, the 
oriental topaz, the oriental amethyst and the oriental ruby. No gem except 
the diamond excels them in hardness and brilliancy. Nearly all vari- 

* And now more than all, Carbon county. 


eties of garnets are also found in the placers and the rocks of the moun- 
tains ; many very fine varieties have been taken from the places in various 
parts of the state. The precious garnet, the topazolite, the melanite, 
pyrenite, and others of yellow, brown,, green and red, have all been found 
in the placers and rocks. Small emeralds of medium quality have been 
discovered in the gravel and rocks of the mountains. Tourmalines have 
also appeared in the sluice boxes of the placer mines, as well as in the 
metamorphic rocks of the Rockies." 


The kings of the fur traders and the traders themselves opened 
Montana for the influx of the miners. Lewis and Clark, and lesser explor- 
ers, revealed the riches of the fur trade to the practical Englishmen, 
Scotchmen, Frenchmen, Spaniards and Americans, and at least served as 
advance agents in the introduction of the business to its original and main 
source of supply, the Indians. Soon after the red and white trappers and 
hunters had perceptibly drained the land of its beaver, otter and bear, and 
were making awful inroads into the buffalo herds, came the day of the 
miners, whose guides were usually men who had become familiar with the 
land of the mountains in the prosecution of their trapping and trading 
enterprises. Although they had laid no such plans for the future, destiny 
made the trappers the pathfinders of the miners, and in this connection 
their leaders who built the posts and the forts and sent them into the 
wilds shall be described, their main enterprises noted. 


The initial venture of that nature in Montana has already been re- 
corded in the account of the expedition taken from St. Louis by Manuel 
Lisa, formerly identified with the Spanish Fur Company who had cut 
adrift from that organization as an independent trader. His fort, built 
in 1807, at the mouth of the Big Horn, represented the first trading post, 
the first commercial venture and the first building of a permanent char- 
acter, to be planted within the bounds of what is now Montana. 


Not long after Lisa's return to St. Louis, in the summer of 1808, 
and after a very successful season in the fur trade, was formed the 
Missouri Fur Company. It was organized with a capital of $40,000, 
headquarters in St. Louis, and its object was to establish a string of 
trading posts along the headwaters of the Missouri. Among its twelve 
members were Capt. William Clark, the agent and head of the organiza- 
tion; Manuel Lisa, in some respects the leading spirit; Reuben Lewis, 
only brother of Capt. Meriwether Lewis ; the Chouteau brothers, Andrew 
Henry and other leaders in the fur trade, who were uncontrolled 'by the 
Hudson Bay and North West companies, of Canada. 

Lewis and Clark had called attention to the locality where the three 



forks of the Missouri converge as a strong trading point the key to 
the Blackfoot fur trade ; and that meant much in those days. The Mis- 
souri Fur Company were of the same opinion, and in 1809 Lisa, with 
Henry and a party of trappers and boatsmen, ascended the Missouri and 
the Yellowstone, and, through Bozeman Pass emerged at the three forks. 
There they established a post as the headquarters of their proposed opera- 
tions to develop a fur trade among the Indians of that region.* At that 
time the Missouri Fur Company had in its employ 250 men partly Ameri- 
can hunters, but mainly Creoles and Canadian voyagers, who in various 
flotillas, conducted by some of the partners, were put in motion, and be- 
fore the close of the year 1809 posts had been established among the 
Sioux, Arickarees and Mandans, and a principal one, whose garrison com- 
prised the larger part of the company's employes, "at the Three Forks 
of the Missouri." 

This post was in the heart of the country then possessed by the 
Piegan Tribe of the Blackfeet Indians whose hostility it was hoped might 
be appeased, both for the sake of their trade and because the hundreds 
of small streams which rise in the adjacent mountains and unite to form 
the Missouri abounded with beaver, which the company's servants were 
to be employed in trapping. But the Blackfeet were in communication 
with the posts of the British traders upon the Saskatchewan, from which 
they obtained arms, ammunition, and all the commodities of civilization 
required in their wild life, so that they were wholly independent of this 
fort. Besides, in consequence of the killing of one of their number by 
Captain Lewis in 1806, they had conceived the most violent hatred of 
the Americans, a feeling carefully fostered by the British 'traders to 
prevent competition, and they had fiercely declared that they would 
rather hang the scalp of an American to their girdle than kill a buffalo 
to keep from starving. Animated by such implacable and vindictive re- 
sentment, they not only failed to become the customers of the fort, but set 
themselves at work to effect the destruction of its garrison. . They lurked 
incessantly in the vicinity of the post, sought to ambuscade the hunters, 
attacked every party over whom they could gain any advantage, and 
almost entirely frustrated the trapping system that had been inaugurated. 
It became dangerous to go any distance from the fort except in large 
parties, and in one case a party of twenty men were assailed by surprise 
and nine killed. Not less than twenty of the garrison lost their lives 
in the various conflicts that took place, and it was estimated that double 
that number of Indians were killed. 

It had been expected that three hundred packs of beaver would be 
secured the first year, and but for the hostility of the Blackfeet the 
expectation would probably have been realized. As it was, there were 
scarcely twenty packs. With this meagre return the greater portion of 
the party descended the river the next spring (1809), while the re- 

* Lieut. Bradley's "Journal," Contributions Montana Historical Society, Vol. II. 


mainder continued to be cooped up in the fort not daring to hunt and 
suffering for want of provisions. At last, finding the situation so irk- 
some and unprofitable and fearing the destruction of his little band, Mr. 
Henry,* the partner who had been left in charge, determined in the 
fall to move over into the country of the more pacific Shoshonees and 
winter upon one of the head branches of the Columbia. Crossing the 
mountains with great difficulty and suffering for winter overtook them 
and game was scarce he found a pleasant location, where timber was 
plentiful, upon the North or Henry's Fork of Snake River, where he 
established himself and built a new fort the first American establish- 
ment (except the wintering house of Lewis and Clark) west of the 
Rocky Mountains. 

Meanwhile no tidings of Henry were received at St. Louis, and the 
company, ignorant of his movements, were apprehensive that he had been 
massacred. At length, no longer able to control their anxiety, early 
in 1811 an expedition was set on foot to go in quest of him. It started 
about the beginning of February, under the command of Mr. Lisa, in a 
swift barge propelled by twenty oars and armed with a swivel mounted 
at the bow, the whole number of persons on board being twenty-six. 
In the meantime his isolation and the poverty of his Snake customers in- 
duced Mr. Henry to recross the mountains and return to the East. Ar- 
riving at the Missouri he built boats, upon which his party embarked; 
and thus it happened that Lisa, sweeping in his light barge easily and 
pleasantly up stream, and Henry with his little fleet dropping down with 
the current, met each other at the Arickaree Village, in the neighborhood 
of the present City of Bismarck, about the middle of June. 

Mr. Henry's stay beyond the mountains had not been unprofitable, 
and he took down with him forty packs of beaver a far better return 
than could reasonably have been anticipated. "To render this account of 
the operations of the company complete I will add," says Lieutenant 
Bradley, "that the hostility of the Blackfeet and the consequent ruin 
of their prospects in this quarter were not the only misfortune that had 
been sustained by the company. The establishments among the Mandans 
and Arickarees had proved unprofitable, and besides the Sioux factory 
was accidentally burned, occasioning an estimated loss of fifteen thou- 
sand dollars almost half the original capital of the company. 


"The term of the association expired in 1811, but notwithstanding the 
unforeseen difficulties and disasters that had beset its first efforts, it 
was found on balancing accounts that the company had its capital of forty 
thousand dollars yet intact, and, in addition, the three establishments 
below the Yellowstone. A reorganization was effected, and though no 
further attempt was made to trade in the Blackfeet country the busi- 
ness of the company elsewhere was extensive and the profits large. 
It enjoyed a deserved prosperity until the business prostration occasioned 

* Henry's Lake and Henry's Fork of Snake River named after him. 



by the War of 1812, when it was forced to suspend operations and finally 

"The fort built by this company at the Three Forks of the Missouri 
is the establishment whose traces still remain near Gallatin City* and 
which is popularly ascribed to Lewis and Clark. In 1870, the outlines of 
the fort were still intact, from which it appears that it was a double stock- 
ade of logs set three feet deep, enclosing an area of about 300 feet 
square, situated upon the tongue of land (at that point half a mile wide) 
between the Jefferson and Madison Rivers, about two miles above their 





confluence, upon the south bank of a channel of the former stream now 
called Jefferson slough. Since then the stream has made such inroads 
upon the land that only a small portion of the fort the south-west angle 
remains. It is probable that every vestige of this old relic will soon dis- 
appear, except the few stumps of stockade logs that have been removed 
by two or three gentlemen of antiquarian tastes. When Henry abandoned 
the fort a blacksmith's anvil was left behind, which remained there for 
thirty or forty years undisturbed, gazed upon only by the Indians who re- 
garded it with superstition and awe. At last it disappeared and it is said 
to have been found and removed by a party of white men." 

* Written in 1876. 



Not long after the Missouri Fur Company had been formed through 
the energy and influence of Manuel Lisa, John Jacob Astor, who, for a 
decade was to be his great rival in the fur trade, formed the Pacific Fur 
Company. It was an offshoot of the North West Company and was for- 
mally organized in June, 1810, all of Mr. Astor's partners, with the ex- 
ception of Wilson Price Hunt, of New Jersey, being ex-members of that 
organization. The great organizer of the Pacific Fur Company sent two 
expeditions West one by sea and one by land. The overland expedition, 
under Hunt, is the only one which concerns this history, and that only in- 
cidentally. Before the articles of agreement forming the Pacific Fur 
Company were signed, the expedition by land was well on its way toward 
the western sea. Lisa had started out from St. Louis to seek Henry and, 
having met him safe and sound, hurried up the Missouri to overtake the 
Hunt party, tidings of whose destination the headwaters of that river 
and the coveted fur country of the Blackfeet had reached him. Hunt's 
party comprised, among others, Donald McKenzie, Pierre Dorion, a half- 
breed interpreter indebted to Lisa, and the scientists, Nuttall and Brad- 
bury. Lisa did not propose that Hunt should occupy "his" fur coun- 
try without a fight, and Hunt was afraid that the able and wily Spaniard 
would set the Sioux against him, the agent of the rival company, in case 
he (Lisa) reached the land of the dreaded Indians first. The race for 
Sioux-land was therefore exciting, and Lisa's river party overtook Hunt's 
land expedition in what is now southern or central South Dakota. From 
this meeting until the Arikaree villages near the junction of the Grand and 
Missouri rivers were reached (near the boundary line of the Dakotas) 
the two rival parties traveled together, each eyeing the other suspiciously. 
In one particular, Lisa outmanoeuvered Hunt. It had been the intention 
of the leader of the Astor company to follow the route of Lewis and 
Clark to the sources of the Missouri, and thence over the divide to the 
Columbia; but Lisa managed that most deterrent rumors of Blackfeet 
ferocities and attacks should be carried to the interlopers. Result : The 
Hunt party swerved toward the Southwest, crossed the southeastern cor- 
ner of Montana into Wyoming, traveled south to the Wind River, across 
country to the Snake and Columbia and down the great western river to 
where Astor's sea party had founded Astoria. This trip of Hunt's blazed 
the famous Oregon Trail. 


The failure and destruction of the posts which the Missouri Fur 
Company attempted to establish from the headwaters of the river to the 
Mandan villages in Dakota, with the disturbances caused by the War of 
1812, caused the final dissolution of the company. Lisa then operated 
the Missouri fur trade under the name of Manuel Lisa & Company for 
about six years, and during that period was a real monopolist. In 1819 he 
reorganized the Missouri Fur Company, with an entirely new personnel 


except he himself. He died in St. Louis, which had been his home since 
youth, in his forty-eighth year. Lisa was born in New Orleans of Span- 
ish parents, and his commanding intrepidity in all his ventures gave him 
the name of the Cortez of the Rocky Mountains. Of his moral character, 
the least said the better for his memory. 


It was fully a decade after the War of 1812 before the fur trade 
showed decided signs of improvement, and, as in the old times, the fur 
companies doing business in Montana again turned their attention to the 
opening up of the trade among the enterprising but fierce Blackfeet, who 
still controlled the fur country at the headwaters of the Missouri. Not 
only was the Missouri Fur Company revived, but Gen. William Ashley, 
an able, forceful Virginian who had long resided in St. Louis, as a mer- 
chant and prominent citizen, organized the Rocky Mountain Fur Com- 
pany. Associated with him were Maj. Andrew Henry, William and Mil- 
ton Sublette, Jedediah S. Smith, David E. Jackson, Robert Campbell, 
Etienne Provost, James Bridger and others, nearly all of whom will 
later appear as leading characters in the progress of this history. 

The first expedition of the Rocky Mountain Fur Company had sev- 
eral experiences not unlike those of the initial venture of the Lisa's Mis- 
souri Fur Company. In both cases the brunt of the disasters fell upon 
Maj. Andrew Henry. The first expedition of Ashley's company started 
from St. Louis on April 15, 1822, for that portentous locality, the Three 
Forks of the Missouri. On the way up the river one of the keel- 
boats sank with $10,000 worth of goods, and above the Mandan vil- 
lages a band of Assiniboines stole the horses of the party. These heavy 
losses forced the expedition to establish the Ashley-Henry Fort near the 
confluence of the Yellowstone and Missouri, where winter quarters were 
fixed. General Ashley then returned to St. Louis, leaving Henry in 
charge of the post. In the spring of 1823, the latter continued his 
journey up the Missouri, but near the Great Falls the Blackfeet attacked 
his party, killed four of them and drove them away as a whole. So Henry 
was again obliged to return, short of his goal. 

In 1823, Ashley fitted out a second expedition and leading it him- 
self started up the Missouri. He intended to purchase horses of the 
Aricarees and dispatch some of his force by land to the Yellowstone. 
These Indians, distinguished for their fickleness, at first seemed friendly, 
but before dawn on June 2nd, attacked Ashley's force. They killed 
twelve of his men and wounded fourteen, the survivors escaping to some 
sheltering timber. In this desperate strait, Ashley accepted the services 
of Jedediah Smith, a mere youth, to carry news of his predicament to 
Henry and requesting immediate re-enforcements. After numerous es- 
capes from capture and death, the boy reached Henry, and Ashley and 
his men were saved. The combined parties moved to the mouth of White 
River, where they built a fort and awaited the coming of troops to pro- 
tect them on their journey. They also established a trading post at the 


mouth of the Big Horn and Yellowstone, near the site of old Fort 
Manuel, and Etienne Provost, with a few men, was ordered from that 
point southward to trap. On this journey, in 1823, he discovered the 
South Pass. 


As remarked by a writer of these times, commenting on the remark- 
able outcome of this unimportant expedition, measured by direct results : 
"The members of the Ashley-Henry party proved to be explorers as well 
as trappers, for not only did Provost discover the South Pass and thus 
open up the trapping districts of the Green river country, but Jim Bridger, 
in his quest of furs, came upon the Great Salt Lake. This is the first 
recorded instance of a white man having beheld that body of water, 
though it had been visited by the Piegans and many other tribes years 
before. Young Jedediah Smith, possessed of the spirit of adventure, 
pushed on to the Pacific, and was the first white man to cross the Sierra 
Nevada mountains." 

As the Rocky Mountain Fur Company seemed at last to have obtained 
momentum and overcome the obstacles of its young life, so the reorgan- 
ized Missouri Fur Company, bereft of the strong sustaining hands of Lisa, 
was overtaken with dire disaster, could not rally and suffered a steady 
decline until its death in 1830. Its hardest blow which brought about 
its eventual demise was the wiping out of the expedition sent out by the 
company in the spring of 1823 to establish "friendly relations" with the 
Blackfeet and secure their trade which centered at the Three Forks. 
Under Messrs. Jones and Immell, it duly arrived at the site of Henry's 
post and remained there until the middle of May. Meeting with no In- 
dians friendly, commercially-inclined, or otherwise, they decided to re- 
turn to the Yellowstone. 

On the i/th of May, while following Jefferson Fork, the Jones- 
Immell party fell in with a band of Blackfeet. One of the Indians 
showed the leaders a note headed "Mountain Park, 1823," and at the bot- 
tom it bore "1820." The paper introduced the holder as a friendly head 
chief of the tribe and the owner of many furs. As it also showed the 
inscription, "God save the King!" it was evidently of British manufac- 
ture. Although the Blackfeet seemed .kindly disposed and favorable to 
the establishment of a post at Great Falls, Jones and Immell feared the 
outcome of such friendly manifestations, and on the following day 
gathered their men and started rapidly for the Yellowstone. Meanwhile 
the Blackfeet, re-enforced to about four hundred, followed closely be- 

On the last of May, 1823, the doomed party of twenty-nine, pass- 
ing into a steep and narrow defile, were ambushed by the Indians and 
furiously attacked. Seven of the party were killed, including the leaders. 

The best account of the sad and unfortunate affair is from Ben- 


jamin O'Fallon, a widely known Indian agent and army officer and a 
nephew of Gen. William Clark. To the latter, as superintendent of Indian 
affairs at St. Louis, Major O'Fallon made the report under date of Fort 
Atkinson, July 3, 1823. The part relating to the slaughter of the Jones- 
Immell party and the capture of the equipment is as follows : "The 
defeat of General Ashley by the A'Ricarees and departure of the troops 
to his relief had scarcely gone to you when an express arrived announcing 
the defeat by the Blackfeet Indians near the Yellowstone river, of the 
Missouri Fur Company's Yellowstone or mountain expedition, com- 
manded by Messrs. Jones and Immell, both of whom, with five of the men, 
are among the slain. All of their property, to the amount of $15,000, 
fell into the hands of the enemy. * * * The express goes on to state 
'that many circumstances (of which I will be apprised in a few days) 
have transpired to induce the belief that the British traders (Hudson's 
Bay Company) are exciting the Indians against us, either to drive us from 
that quarter, or reap, with the Indians, the fruits of our labor.' They 
furnish them with the instruments of hell and a passport to heaven 
the instruments of death and a passport to our bosoms. 

"Immell had great experience of the Indian character, but, poor 
fellow, with a British passport, at last they deceived him, and he fell a 
victim to his own credulity, and his scalp, with those of his murdered 
comrades, is now bleeding on its way to some of the Hudson establish- 
ments. * * * 

"I am at this moment interrupted by the arrival of an express from 
the military expedition, with a letter from Doctor Pilcher, whom you 
know is at the head of the Missouri Fur Company on this river, in which 
he says: 'I have but a moment to write. I met an express from the 
Mandans bringing me the very unpleasant news the flower of my busi- 
ness is gone. My mountaineers have been defeated, and the chiefs of the 
party both slain ; the party were attacked by three or four hundred Black- 
feet Indians in a position on the Yellowstone river where nothing but de- 
feat could be expected. Jones and Immell and five men were killed. The 
former, it is said, fought most desperately. Jones killed two Indians, and 
in drawing a pistol to kill a third he received two spears in his breast. 
Immell was in front ; he killed one Indian and was cut to pieces. I think 
we lose at least $15,000. I will write you more fully between this and the 

"Jones was a gentleman of cleverness. He was for several years a 
resident of St. Louis, where he has numerous friends to deplore his loss. 
Immell has been a long time on this river, first an officer in the United 
States army, since an Indian trader of some distinction; in some respects 
he was an extraordinary man; he was brave, uncommonly large, and of 
great muscular strength ; when timely apprised of his danger, a host 
within himself." 


The brilliant operations of General Ashley and the Rocky Mountain 
Fur Company, both in the fur trade and the field of western explora- 
tions, encouraged its great rival, the American Fur Company, now ab- 


sorbed, with several independent firms, by the personality of John Jacob 
Astor, of New York, to establish a western department in St. Louis. The 
strongest of the independent concerns thus absorbed was the Columbia 
Fur Company, with which Kenneth McKenzie was associated as president 
and vitalizing power. With the consolidation, or absorption, Mr. Mc- 
Kenzie was placed in charge of the active affairs of the American Fur 
Company in the field. As Ashley withdrew from the trade with a fortune, 
McKenzie entered the field as its dominant figure. 

The new manager assumed charge of the interests of the American 
Fur Company at the height of Ashley's great success as the head of the 
Rocky Mountain Fur Company, as within the four years previous to 
1827 or 1828 he had brought into St. Louis over $250,000 worth of 
beaver skins. The most phenomenal year in the history of the company 
was after General Ashley had sold his interest in it to Jedediah Smith, 
David E. Jackson and William L. Sublette. 


The new manager assumed charge of the interests of the American 
Fur Company at the height of the trade amassed by the Rocky Mountain 
Company, as within the four years previous to 1828 it had sent into St. 
Louis more than a quarter of a million dollars' worth of beaver skins. 
In 1826 General Ashley had sold his interest in the Rocky Mountain 
concern to Jedediah Smith, David E. Jackson and William L. Sublette, 
and that year and the following, were phenomenal for catches. The pros- 
pects were so alluring that McKenzie would have made the same mis- 
take which had previously been disastrous to the fur traders rush to the 
headwaters of the Missouri after the cream of the trade without a sub- 
stantial base of supplies and chain of communications behind. Pierre 
Chouteau induced him to be more cautious, his long experience as a fur 
trader and member of the firm of Bernard Pratte & Company, which 
had been likewise absorbed by Mr. Astor's corporation, having taught 
him the fine lesson of "safety first." 


In the summer of 1828, McKenzie and his first constructive party 
started up the Missouri, and in September of that year built Fort Floyd 
above the Mandan villages in the North Dakota of today, as permanent 
headquarters of the American Fur Company. Exactly when Fort Floyd 
received the name of Fort Union (the first) is not known. At all events, 
not long after the headquarters of the company were fixed at that local- 
ity, McKenzie effected his first friendly union with Blackfeet trappers, 
hunters and warriors, and made a real advance in pushing the interests of 
his company. How this was brought about is a story in itself. 


Soon after the establishment of Fort Floyd, or Union (two hundred 
miles farther up the river), a man named Burger, who spoke Piegan, 
the language of the Blackfeet, came to headquarters and McKenzie in- 


duced him to lead a party up the Missouri River, in quest of the elusive 
Indians and the trade which they so nearly controlled. They set out from 
the fort in dog sleds, reached the mouth of Maria's River, which they 
followed to its western head in the mountains, Badger Creek. Up to that 
time and locality no trace of Blackfeet, or any other Indian, had been dis- 
covered, and one night the discouraged men encamped at the source of 
that creek and threw the Stars and Stripes to the Rocky Mountain 
breezes. As the next day dawned, a party of Piegan warriors rode 
toward them, with the design (as was afterward learned) of attacking 
the camp at once. The sight of the streaming flag induced one of the 
old chiefs to plead with the hot-headed warriors to adopt friendly rela- 
tions with the whites, and the result was that, through the spokesmanship 
of Burger, a former employe of the Hudson's Bay Company, the Mc- 
Kenzie men were taken to the Piegans' village and afterward to the 
Indians' winter encampment on Sun River. There the white party 
remained until spring, when Burger returned to old Fort Union with 
100 leading Piegans. The ensuing council ended in a friendly under- 
standing between McKenzie and his Indian visitors, and in the summer of 
1831 McKenzie made a formal treaty of peace with the Blackfeet and the 
Assiniboines, "a document," says a commentator, "more remarkable for 
its rhetoric than its pacific results." 

Old Fort Union was burned sometime in 1831 and its name applied to 
the post built not long afterward at the mouth of the Yellowstone. Dur- 
ing that autumn, McKenzie sent James Kipp, with twenty-five men and 
a boat loaded with stores and Indian trading goods, up the Missouri to 
take advantage of the friendly relations established with the Piegans. 
Kipp then built Fort Piegan on a site between Maria's and Missouri 
rivers, and it is said that within ten days from its completion he had 
received the unprecedented stock of 2,400 beaver skins from the Piegan 
trappers. The Bloods, attached to the British interests, soon after- 
ward attacked Fort Piegan, and although Kipp and his men drove off 
the besiegers, the post was abandoned, in the spring of 1832, and the 
stock of furs taken to Fort Union at the mouth of the Yellowstone. Al- 
though Fort Piegan was abandoned in March, 1832, the leader of the 
party left three of his men behind, with tobacco and ammunition, that 
the friendly Indians might not feel that they had been deserted by the 


During that year, McKenzie sent David D. Mitchell to the Fort 
Piegan country to attempt -a re-establishment of trade relations with the 
Piegans, acknowledged to be the best trappers of the Blackfeet nation. 
But the keel boat of the expedition with its costly cargo of supplies 
and goods was wrecked, two men drowned, and all the articles destined 
for the Indian trade were lost. Upon receipt of the news of the disaster, 
McKenzie sent a second boat laden as the first, and Mitchell continued 
his voyage to the site of Fort Piegan, only to find it charred ruins and 


ashes. But Mitchell was a brave, determined man after McKenzie's own 
heart, and at once built another post and fort a few miles above the 
mouth of Maria's and below the narrow ridge separating the Teton and 
the Missouri Rivers. The structure, appropriately named Fort McKenzie, 
was built of logs, two hundred feet square, and faced Maria's River. 
The American Fur Company was now firmly established in the upper 
Missouri country, with three principal bases of operation Fort Union, 
near the junction of the Yellowstone and the Missouri; Fort McKenzie, 
near the mouth of Maria's River, and Fort Cass, at the confluence of the 
Big Horn and the Yellowstone. 


If Astor represented the financial power of the American Fur Com- 
pany, McKenzie now stood for its practical development in the most pro- 
ductive beaver and fur regions of America. With the swelling of that 
trade to mammoth proportions, the slow and cumbersome transportation 
of the thousands of bales of furs from the trapping regions of the Upper 
Missouri, along the vast stretches of the river system to the ultimate 
market, St. Louis, was a problem which McKenzie first attempted to 
solve through steamboat navigation. After .laboring with his superiors 
who controlled the finances of the company, he persuaded them to try the 
doubtful experiment. Accordingly a boat was constructed for the pur- 
pose in Louisville, Kentucky, and, as the "Yellowstone," made two trips 
up the Missouri in 1831-32. Its last voyage was the momentous one, as 
from March to June, 1832, it continued to breast the Missouri until it 
reached Fort Union, near the mouth of the Yellowstone. That trip, which 
demonstrated the utility of the river steamboat in the prosecution of the 
spreading fur trade, caused comment on both sides of the Atlantic. 
Pierre Chouteau, who was aboard the "Yellowstone" upon both occa- 
sions to personally test the possibilities of steamboat navigation received 
the following from John Jacob Astor, then in France: "Your voy- 
age in the 'Yellowstone' attracted much attention in Europe, and has been 
noted in all the papers here." A personal incident of this memorable 
second trip of the "Yellowstone" was that one of its passengers was 
George Catlin, the celebrated artist, author and student of Indian habits as 
relates to North America. 


While McKenzie was opening steamboat navigation on the Missouri, 
such men as Capt. B. L. E. Bonneville and James Bridger were penetrat- 
ing the masses of the Rocky Mountains and ranging over large stretches 
of virgin country to the coast. They trapped, scouted, hunted and ex- 
plored, and their journeys and expeditions were too extensive in their 
range to classify the principals as Montana characters, albeit they touch 
the territory and the state at many points The captain's greatest travels 
as an explorer of the West beyond the mountains were pursued in the 


early '305 and are thus laid down by the principal himself to the Mon- 
tana Historical Society, writing as an old man, long retired from the 
strenuous activities of life : "One of my parties," he says, "was sent 
through the Crow country and came round by the north and wintered 
with me on Salmon river; another party was sent south and wintered 
on the shores of Salt Lake; another journeyed into the Utes country, 
farther south, until it met the traders and trappers from New Mexico; 
another went down Salmon river to Walla Walla, on the Columbia; 
another to coast around the Salt Lake ; being out of provisions, it turned 
north upon Maria's (Humboldt) river, followed this river down west 
to the eastern base of the California mountains, where it empties itself 
into large flat lakes, thence westward, clambering for twenty-three days 
among the difficult passes of this elevated range, before it reached its 
western Pacific slope ; thence to Monterey on the coast, where it wintered. 
In the spring, the party going south turned the southern point of these 
mountains on its way to the Upper Rocky Mountains ; another party 
going west down the waters of Snake river to the base of the California 
range, turned southeast and on the way home kept the divide, as near 
as practicable, between Maria's River and Snake ; another party going 
north, round the Wind River mountains, followed the Po-po-az-ze-ah, 
the Big Horn, and the Yellowstone down the Missouri. 

"The large clear stream in the valley immediately west of the South 
Pass was. called by the Indians and early trappers the Sis-ke-de-az-ze-ah, 
afterward Green river. I was the first to take wagons through the 
South Pass and first to recognize Green river as the Colorado of the 
West". * * * 


During these eventful years in the life of Captain Bonneville, 1832-34, 
he spent some time among the Nez Perces Indians of the Far West, 
and all but dropped out of the United States Army and civilization. 
When he took his expedition through South Pass, in 1832, perhaps the 
first to accomplish this since the days of the Ashley-Henry explorations 
of the '205, James Bridger was his scout, and thirty years afterward he 
served in the same capacity for a government expedition which was con- 
ducting two Supreme Court judges to their newly appointed posts in Utah. 
The remarkable fact, also, that Jim Bridger, in 1862, led his party over 
the same route pursued by him in 1832 is forcibly stated by William 
S. Brackett, a member of the government party, who afterward became a 
resident of Park County, Montana.* His words : "Looking back nearly 
thirty-five years ago, I can recall the beauty and romance of eventful 
days when I camped with James Bridger on the Sweetwater and with 
him marched across the continent. I can see once more the muddy Platte, 
the dark fantastic erosion of Scott's Bluffs, and I ride again with the 
old scout through the broad expanse of the South Pass of the Rockies. 

"It was to me a most interesting circumstance on our march to Utah 
that we traveled along the trail where Captain Bonneville marched his 


famous expedition to the Rocky mountains in 1832. Our camp fires were 
>ften ht in the same places where his own once burned. Certain it is 
that at Chimney Rock we camped on the very ground where the old hero 
had camped. This information was given by the scout, James Bridger 
who was with us. He had been with Bonneville in 1832-33." 

An account more in detail of this famous expedition is given by Brack- 
ett, who borrows largely from outside sources. Bonneville secured the 
aid in New York of men of wealth interested in the fur trade in the West, 
and was thus able to fit out his expedition, which started for the Rocky 
Mountains from the frontier post of Fort Osage, on the Missouri River 


May i, 1832. He had with him one hundred and ten men, most of whom 
had been in the Indian country, and some of whom were experienced 
hunters and trappers. Up to that time all western expeditions had used 
mules and pack horses for transportation. Bonneville was the first man 
who substituted wagons for the old method, and is said to be the first man 
who ever crossed the backbone, or Great Divide, of the American con- 
tinent with wagons. His train consisted of twenty wagons, some drawn 
by oxen, and some by mules and horses. His usual formation for the 
march was to dispose his wagons in two columns, with a strong advance 
and rear guard of mounted men to protect them in case of attack by In- 
dians. If subsequent travelers and emigrants had crossed the plains in 
this formation there would have been fewer Indian massacres to record. 
Bonneville's customary method of forming camp is interesting. His 


twenty wagons were disposed in a square at the distance of thirty-three 
feet from each other. In every interval a mess outfit was stationed; 
and each mess had its own fire where the men cooked, ate, gossiped and 
slept. The horses were placed at night in the center of the square and 
were always under vigilant guard. 

Washington Irving, in speaking of the start of Bonneville's expedi- 
tion, beautifully says: "It is not easy to do justice to the exulting feel- 
ings of the worthy captain at finding himself at the head of a stout band 
of hunters, trappers and woodmen, fairly launched on the broad prairies 
with his face to the boundless West. The tamest inhabitant of cities, 
the veriest spoiled child of civilization, feels his heart dilate and his 
pulse beat high on finding himself on horseback in the glorious wilderness. 
What, then, must be the excitement of one whose imagination had been 
stimulated by a long residence on the frontier, and to whom the wilder- 
ness was a region of romance-! * * * Their very appearance and 
equipment exhibited a piebald mixture, half civilized and half savage. 
Many of them looked more like Indians than white men in their garbs and 
accouterments, and their, very horses were caparisoned in barbaric style 
with fantastic trappings. Their march was animated and joyous. The 
welkin rang with th'eir shouts and yelps as they started from Fort Osage, 
quite after the manner of savages; and with boisterous jokes and light- 
hearted laughter. As they passed the straggling hamlets and solitary 
cabins that fringed the skirts of the frontier, they would startle their 
inmates by Indian yells and war whoops, or regale them with grotesque 
feats of horsemanship well suited to their half-savage appearance." 

But all this hilarity disappeared as Bonneville's men entered upon the 
real difficulties of their journey beyond the pale of civilization, and the 
wagons were placed in double column with advance and rear guards, 
as already mentioned. 

The first objective point of Bonneville's expedition was Pierre's Hole, 
which lies just west of the Three Tetons, in the heart of the Rocky Moun- 
tains, and southwest of the Yellowstone National Park. It was in this 
beautiful valley called Pierre's Hole that Bonne ville proposed to pass 
some weeks, for it was there the old trappers and hunters had been used 
to assemble for many years, to pas's the winter months. The expedition 
reached Pierre's Hole and rested there for some time, and the life of his 
men in that sheltered valley is well described in Bonneville's journal. 
Pierre's Hole lies just west of Jackson's Hole. This old-time rendezvous 
of the Rocky Mountain trappers is so near to the great geysers of Yel- 
lowstone Park that it seems almost certain that Bonneville or some of his 
men must have visited those wonders when they were resting there. 

General Bonneville himself sets this question at rest in his most in- 
teresting letter published in Volume I of the Contributions to the His- 
torical Society of Montana. He says in that letter, written from Fort 
Smith, Arkansas : "You ask me if I knew of the thermal springs and 
geysers. Not personally, but my men knew about them and called their 
location "The Fire Hole." I recollect the name of Alvarez as a trader. 




I think he came to the mountains as I was leaving them. Half a century 
is a long time to look back, and I do so doubting myself." 

In an old Mormon newspaper "The Wasp," published at Nauvoo, 
Illinois, in 1842, an unknown writer gives an accurate account of the 
geysers of Yellowstone Park, which he visited with one Alvarez in 1833. 
This makes the testimony of Bonneville of great value as tending to prove 
that the geysers of Firehole River (or Upper Geyser Basin) in Yellow- 
stone Park were visited by white men as early as the year 1833. 


Commenting on Captain Bonneville's narrow escape from absorption 
by the Nez Perces, Mr. Brackett writes : "It must have been some great 
fascination for life in those wild mountains that induced Captain Bonne- 
ville to overstay his leave of absence and fail to return to civilization until 
the autumn of 1835. His leave of absence expired in October, 1833. 
His name was stricken from the rolls of the army as dead or lost, in 
1834, and his return was not until the following year, when after a good 
deal of trouble he was reinstated in the army with his former rank. 

"I cannot but think he became so enamored of the joyous and free 
life he and his men were leading among the friendly Nez Perces and 
Flatheads, west of the mountains and on Salmon River, that he forgot 
civilization with its fretful cares and silly conventionalities, and lived 
only in the enjoyment of the present, hurrying back to the crowded 
eastern world only when he awoke as if from a beautiful dream. He was 
one of those rare men who thoroughly understood savage races and could 
control them. All who know anything of the Nez Perces know that they 
are a noble and generous race of Indians, and Bonneville thoroughly ap- 
preciated them as such. * * *" 

There should be no doubt as to the captain's sentiments on that point, 
for he has described them in his own journal, thus: "Though the pros- 
pect of once more tasting the blessings of peaceful society and passing 
days and nights under the calm guardianship of the laws was not without 
its attraction ; yet to those of us whose whole lives had been spent in the 
stirring excitement and perpetual watchfulness of adventures in the 
wilderness, the change was far from promising an increase of that con- 
tentment and inward satisfaction most conducive to happiness. He who, 
like myself, has roved almost from boyhood among the children of the 
forest, and over the unfurrowed plains and rugged heights of the western 
wastes, will not be startled to learn that notwithstanding all the fascina- 
tions of the world on this civilized side of the mountains, I would fain 
make my bow to the splendors and gayeties of the metropolis and plunge 
again amid the hardships and perils of the wilderness." 

"It is not to be inferred for an instant," continues Brackett, "from 
what is here narrated of Bonneville's delightful sojourn among the Nez 
Perces that he lived a life of inglorious ease in the Rocky Mountains. 
On the contrary later he passed through great hardships and incurred 
great dangers in exploring regions west of the Rocky Mountains, about 
which he brought back to civilization the first definite accounts. 


"For example, he visited and explored the Great Salt Lake and gave 
to the world the first definite account of that inland sea. Scientists at 
this day have given the lake and its ancient water lines the name of Lake 
Bonneville, and by his name it ought to be known and called. His 
various parties sent out in different directions to trap and trade with the 
Indians opened up vast fields of enterprise to various American fur com- 
panies ; and he did more than any other man to retrieve for his country 
some of the lost fur trade which centered at Astoria and up to that time 
had been controlled by the Hudson Bay Company. 


"It was at the house of John Jacob Astor, in New York, that Wash- 
ington Irving met Captain Bonneville after the return of the latter from 
the wilderness, and the two remarkable men became fast friends. Bonne- 
ville gave his journals to Irving to be revised and published. Irving gives 
us an .interesting picture of the great explorer as he then appeared: 
'There was something in the whole appearance of the captain,' says he, 
'that prepossessed me in his favor. He was of the middle size, well made 
and well set ; and a military frock of foreign cut, that had seen service, 
gave him a look of compactness. His countenance was frank, open and 
engaging, well browned by the sun, and had something of a French ex- 
pression. He had a pleasant black eye, a high forehead, and while he 
kept his hat on, the look of a man in the jocund prime of his days ; but the 
moment his head was uncovered a bald crown gained him credit for a 
few more years than he was really entitled to. His manner was a ming- 
ling of modesty and frankness. It was difficult to conceive the mild, quiet- 
looking personage before us was the actual hero of the stirring scenes 
he had passed through. He was a man of great bonhommie, with kind- 
liness of spirit and susceptibility for the grand and beautiful'." 


The after career of the good captain and general includes more than 
a quarter of a century's continuous service in the United States army. He 
was reinstated in 1835 and, by successive promotions, became colonel of 
the Third United States Infantry twenty years thereafter. For a time, 
he was stationed at Santa Fe, New Mexico, in command of the district 
which centered there, and during the early years of the Civil war was 
stationed at Jefferson Barracks, Missouri. Colonel Bonneville had been 
retired from active service in 1861 and in 1865 was brevetted brigadier- 
general, United States army, for long and meritorious services. At the 
time of his death in 1878, while engaged in farming at Fort Smith, Ar- 
kansas, he was eighty-three years old. 

A good portrait of him was presented to Mr. Brackett by Hon. 
N. P. Langford, of St. Paul, for whom Captain Bonneville once acted 
as guide, and represents him when he was seventy-eight years old, in the 
fatigue uniform of a brigadier-general of the regular army. 



James Bridger, Captain Bonneville's scout of 1832, all-around western 
pioneer, has a long and close identification with Montana. He passed 
through all the experiences of beaver hunter, pioneer guide, buffalo 
hunter, Indian trader, emigrant trader, founder of the first post and 
refuge on the long Oregon trail (Fort Bridger), blaze of great trails into 
Montana, leader of government expeditions against hostile Indians and, 
with J. M. Bozeman, a kindred spirit, the stamper of his name upon the 
history and geography of Montana. His friend and associate, William S. 
Brackett, from whose sketch of his character extracts have already been 
taken, has written this paragraph: "The testimony of scores of prom- 
inent military commanders and civilians can be produced showing that 
James Bridger was always to be trusted and believed in as a guide, scout, 
trader arid all-around pioneer. His idle tales were told only to idle 
people in idle hours. At heart, he was as truthful as he was skillful and 
brave. He never betrayed any man and was never untrue to any trust, 
public or private. I am always glad to look at his everlasting monument 
in Montana; that grand mountain peak (Bridger range) near the city 
of Bozeman, overlooking the beautiful Gallatin valley and named in honor 
of him." 


In 1832-33 occurred the disgraceful exploitation of the Indians by 
rival fur companies in their struggles for trade, through the medium of 
whiskey. Narcisse Leclerc, formerly with the American Fur Company; 
Pierre Chouteau, still a leading member of the company ; Milton Sub- 
lette and Robert Campbell, supported by General Ashley and Nathaniel 
J. Wyeth, a newly arrived Yankee, were all, more or less, implicated in 
the degredation of the Indians for the purpose of securing their trade. 
Even Gen. William Clark, superintendent of Indian affairs, became in- 
volved, as he had granted to several agents of the fur companies per- 
mission to export whiskey from St. Louis into the Indian country before 
he had been officially notified of the passage of the congressional act 
(July 9, 1832) forbidding the use of alcohol as a medium of trade with 
the Indians. 


In 1833, McKenzie and the American Fur Company were called upon 
to meet what promised to become a serious opposition in the combination 
of Messrs. Sublette, Campbell and Wyeth, who established a post near 
Fort Union which they called Fort William for William Sublette. Their 
venture early met will ill fortune and as their capital was limited they 
were not able to compete with McKenzie, with ample means behind the 
American Fur Company, who paid exhorbitant prices for his furs in order 
to stamp out the trade of his rival. Whiskey, also, flowed more freely 
from Fort Union than from Fort William, notwithstanding attempted 


government prohibition. A combined policy of "freeze-out" in the field 
and absorption by the management at St. Louis finally crushed the oppo- 


Then McKenzie set out upon a policy which proved his undoing. He 
claimed he could no longer do business with the Indians without the aid 
of alcoholic spirit, and brought over to his way of thinking every member 
of the American Fur Company save one. He went east in his endeavor 
to obtain from the government authorities concessions by which he could 
secure the "necessary" stock of liquors. As his errand proved futile, 
he determined to make them on the ground. McKenzie purchased a still, 
took it up the Missouri on the steamers Yellowstone and Assiniboine, 
bought a quantity of corn and was soon turning out an effective brand 
of "juice." In August, 1833, Wyeth and a friend arrived at Fort Union 
and were nicely entertained by McKenzie, before he was aware that they 
came as his commercial opponents. They were so pleased with his spirits 
that, in an impulse of unwise confidence, he showed them the still of 
which even his superiors in the company were ignorant. Contrariwise, 
he bled his guests for some supplies which they were forced to buy, and 
they straightway reported his secret still to the government authorities at 
Leavenworth. The latter ordered him to dispose of his still at once and 
the management of the American Fur Company so severely censured 
him that he left Fort Union in 1834 and soon after went abroad. 

During his active operations as the manager of the American Fur 
Company, Kenneth McKenzie was a power, and his popular title, the 
King of the Missouri, he impressively upheld in his bearing and manner- 
isms. His style of dress, his aloofness, was quite royal. He was married 
to an Indian woman and had by that union a son, Owen. After he left 
the fur trade, he went into the wholesale liquor business in St. Louis, 
where he died (having again married) on April 26, 1861. 


While Mr. McKenzie was bearing his ill-fated still to Fort Union, in 
1833, he had as fellow passengers aboard the Assiniboine, Prince Maxi- 
milian and Alexander Culbertson the former a traveling scientist of 
wealth and eccentric character, and the latter a strong man who was to 
be a leader in the activities of the Upper Missouri country for thirty 
years. Major Culbertson was then an employe of the American Fur 
Company who had been assigned to duty at Fort McKenzie, whither he 
repaired with David D. Mitchell, a clerk of the company, about August 
10, 1833. 


From Lieutenant Bradley's Journal, covering the year 1833, is the 
following account of the enterprising and scientific Prince: "In this 


year an interesting character in the person of Prince Maximilian, from 
Coblentz on the Rhine, made his first appearance in the upper Missouri. 
The Prince was at that time nearly seventy years of age, but well pre- 
served and able to endure considerable fatigue. He was a man of medium 
height, rather slender, sans teeth, passionately fond of his pipe, unos- 
tentatious and speaking very broken English. His favorite dress was 
a white slouch hat, a black velvet coat rather rusty from long service, 
and probably the greasiest pair of trousers that ever encased princely 
legs. The Prince was a bachelor and a man of science, and it was in 
this latter capacity that he had roamed so far from his ancestral home 
on the Rhine. He was accompanied by an artist named Boardman and 
a servant whose name was, as nearly as the author has been able to 
ascertain its spelling Tritripel, both of whom seemed gifted to a high 
degree with the faculty of putting their princely employer into a frequent 
passion, till there is hardly a bluff or a valley on the whole upper Mis- 
souri that has not repeated in an angry tone, and with a strong Teutonic 
accent, the names of Boardman and Tritripel. 

"The Prince had ascended the Missouri from St. Louis to Fort Union 
in the steamer Assiniboine, ranging the shore at every opportunity in 
quest of new objects to add to his collections of small quadrupeds, birds, 
botanical specimens and fossils; keeping his artist as busy as his easy 
nature allowed in making sketches of the scenery on the route. Arrived 
at Fort Union, he requested permission to accompany Mitchell's keel- 
boat to Fort McKenzie (a few miles above the mouth of Maria's River) 
and was allowed to do so. During the voyage he improved the oppor- 
tunities it afforded and made constant additions to his collections. He 
remained at Fort McKenzie about a month, when he was furnished with 
a small mackinac boat, in which, with his party he descended to the 
Mandan village, leaving a hearty invitation to Mitchell and Culbertson to 
visit him in Europe and the promise to send the former the present of 
a double barreled rifle and the latter a fine meerschaum. He remained at 
the Mandan village the following winter, when he had a severe attack 
of the scurvy, but aided by the restorative qualities of wild onions was 
enabled to recover and return home to write an account of his travels, 
which was published in German, with illustrations, and afterwards trans- 
lated into English. 

"McKenzie subsequently visited him in his palace at Coblentz, where 
he lived in a style befitting a prince, and was received with great cor- 
diality and entertained with lavish hospitality. He inquired whether the 
double barreled gun and the meerschaum had reached their destination, 
as he had remembered his promise and forwarded them soon after his 
return to Europe. They had not, and never were received, for it sub- 
sequently appeared that the vessel in which they were shipped was lost, 
so that they are probably now among the ill-gotten hoards of the Atlantic." 

While Prince Maximilian was scouring the Upper Missouri for 
botanic specimens, both white and red trappers were haunting its streams 
and slowly draining them of the beaver kind which formerly swarmed 
through its waters and over its dams. The white men, for gain ; the red 


trappers to satisfy the thirst for whiskey which had been designedly 
planted in their natures. The busy little fur-bearers were no longer 
exempt from these incessant and fierce forays even during the breeding 
season; so that millions of their offspring were exterminated before 


The fur trade was doomed and John Jacob Astor, in 1834, shrewdly 
retired from the American Fur Company. Its western branch thereupon 
passed to Pratte, Chouteau & Company, and among their most trusted 
employes and trappers were Messrs. Mitchell and Culbertson. The 
former left for the States in 1834, but, being offered a partnership in 
the company returned to Fort McKenzie in 1836. He remained at that 
post until spring, and then was sent to Fort Union, where he directed 
the company's affairs until 1839. Returning to St. Louis, he distinguished 
himself in the Mexican War, and President Taylor afterward appointed 
him superintendent of Indian affairs for "the whole region drained by 
the Missouri and its tributaries." Mitchell was a Virginian and died 
at St. Louis in his fifty-sixth year. He was married to an Indian woman, 
by whom he had several children. 


When Mitchell departed from Fort McKenzie, in April, 1834, Maj. 
Alexander Culbertson, then only twenty-five years of age, was left in 
control of the little stronghold with its force of twenty men. In June, 
it was besieged by a strong force of Crows, who, after ten days, had 
reduced the garrison to almost starvation rations, but were decisively 
scattered by one discharge of a little three-pound cannon. At this time, 
Fort McKenzie was the storm center of inter-tribal warfare. Around 
it, the Crows were fighting the Gros Ventres; the Gros Ventres, the 
Crees and the Northern Assiniboines ; and the Crows were also warring 
against the Piegans. 


In the spring of 1839 Major Culbertson visited St. Louis and his 
services had been such that the company received him as a partner. In 
the autumn of that year, he returned accompanied by Malcom Clarke, 
a Hoosier twenty-two years of age, who was to intermarry with the royal 
stock of the Piegans, attain a remarkable influence among them and with 
men and women of his own race, and finally be treacherously murdered 
by those of the adopted race. 

One of the few instances of bloodshed in the history of the American 
Fur Company, connected with any of its agents occurred in May, 1840. 
A quarrel between Alexander Harvey, a lawless character, and Sandoval, 
an employe of good reputation, resulted in the shooting and killing of 
the latter. Respected descendants of the unfortunate man afterwards 


resided on the Blackfeet reservation, although the family spelling of 
the name was changed to Sanderville. 


By the later '305, the beaver fur trade had reached a low ebb, but the 
trade in buffalo skins was well under way. In 1841, Major Culbertson 
took to Fort Union 2,200 packs of buffalo robes and only four packs of 
beaver. He had become so commanding a factor in the affairs of the 
company that, under protest, he was transferred to Fort Laramie, which 
required a man of his energy and ability for the upbuilding of the trade 
which was naturally tributary to it. 


Ifi 1841, not long before he left Fort McKenzie for Fort Laramie, the 
intelligent, accommodating and forceful major was sought by the cel- 
ebrated naturalist, John J. Audubon. With four assistants, the noted 
scholar was engaged in making a collection of quadrupeds and gathering 
various scientific data in the interesting Missouri country. Because of 
his intimate knowledge of the region, Culbertson's cooperation was of 
great service to Audubon. When the latter was ready to return in the 
fall, he was provided with a mackinaw, in which Major Culbertson ac- 
companied him as far as Fort Pierre. Major Culbertson subsequently 
spoke of Mr. Audubon as a man devoted to scientific studies, "but fond 
of occasional indulgence in the stimulating compound of the cup.* 
Notwithstanding his age then about sixty-one he could range the wood 
and prairies all day in the pursuit of objects for his collection, and 
Major Culbertson, although a young and vigorous man, found it dif- 
ficult to tire him." 


Major Culbertson's place at Fort McKenzie was taken by a dis- 
reputable named F. A. Chardon, in turn under control of the murderer, 
Harvey. The result of this unfortunate appointment is thus described 
in Lieutenant Bradley's journal: "In January, 1842, a war party of 
twenty-odd Blackfeet passing by the fort requested admittance, but the 
gates were closed against them. Incensed at the treatment, as they 
moved off they killed a pig belonging to the fort. Harvey counseled 
retaliation for the act, and Chardon himself with half a dozen men set out 
in pursuit of the Indians, who, discovering that they were followed, 
awaited in ambush in the Teton Valley. As the party approached, Reese, 
a negro, who was in advance, crept to the brow of the bluffs to recon- 
noiter, and received a shot in the forehead which was instantly fatal. 
The remainder of the party, intimidated by this event from further 

* Bradley's "Affairs at Fort Benton," Contributions of the Montana Historical 
Society, Vol. Ill, p. 234. 


pursuit, returned with the body of Reese to the fort, Chardon and Harvey 
vowing a bloody revenge. 

"Major Culbertson's policy of good-will toward the Indians had taken 
root so deeply in the popular sentiment at the fort that Chardon and 
Harvey feared to make their murderous designs generally known, and 
therefore admitted only some half dozen to a participation in their plans. 
The cannon commanding the approach of the main gate was secretly 
loaded, being charged with about one hundred and fifty half-ounce lead 
bullets, while, in lieu of the match ordinarily employed and which might 
at the decisive moment attract attention and overthrow their plans, 
Harvey's pistol was to be charged with powder and fired into the vent. 
Circumstances were to determine the remaining dispositions; and thus 
prepared, Chardon and Harvey awaited the arrival of some unsuspecting 
trading party of Blackfeet. Such arrivals were too frequent, thanks to 
the thriving trade to permit of long waiting on the part of the con- 

"A numerous band of Blackfeet and squaws soon arrived at the fort 
with a quantity of robes to trade. The three chiefs were admitted 
without hesitation, while the rest were directed to gather at the gate, 
which they were told would be opened as soon as they were all assembled. 
Without a suspicion of the black treachery meditated against them, a 
laughing crowd of warriors and squaws with their bundles and peltries 
were soon gathered at the gate awaiting admittance. Harvey, from his 
station in the bastion by the side of the cannon, pistol in hand, watched 
through the port-hole the dense crowd assembled below; until, satisfied 
with the number of his contemplated victims, he discharged his pistol 
in the vent. A sudden roar and the storm of bullets is hurled into the 
unsuspecting throng. With a wail of terror, mingled with some notes of 
agony from the wounded, the crowd disperses in flight. Twenty-one 
corpses strew the ground, while some dozen or more are staggering 
away with severe wounds. 

"In an instant the gates are flung open and several of the garrison 
rush forth in pursuit. Several of the wounded are overtaken and dis- 
patched, but fleeing with the wings that terror gives the remainder make 
good their escape. Three of the conspirators had been selected to 
dispatch the three chiefs at the discharge of the cannon, but when its 
thunder startled them, followed by the cries outside, they comprehended 
the villainy that was being perpetrated, scaled the walls and leaped the 
pickets with such celerity that the would-be assassins had no time to 
perform the task allotted to them. Once outside they mounted their 
horses and escaped. 


"All the peltries and many of the horses of the Blackfeet were seized 
by the victors ; but the most damnable part of the whole affair remains 
yet to be told. Removing the scalps of their thirty victims, they made 
the night hideous with the cries and howls of the scalp dances! Can 


any white man read such a story without feeling the hot blush of shame 
that there can be assembled a score of his race, calling themselves 
civilized and yet capable of such atrocity? 

"War having been thus opened, Chardon prepared to abandon the 
post, a post that for ten years had been one of the most profitable main- 
tained by the American Fur Company. A detachment was sent secretly 
to the mouth of the Judith, where on the north bank of the Missouri a 
stockade was hurriedly constructed, the utmost care being taken to avoid 
discovery by the Indians. In six weeks it was completed and named 
after Chardon, Fort F.. A. C. As soon as the river broke up, which was 
early after the completion of the new fort, Chardon and Harvey loaded 
all the effects of their establishment into their boats and dropped down 
the river, leaving Fort McKenzie wrapped in flames. The voyageurs 
were afterward accustomed to speak of the place as Fort Brule, or 
Burnt Fort, and it is by this term still generally designated." 


In order to save the trade of the Blackfoot country from utter ruin 
which these dastardly acts threatened, the American Fur Company in- 
duced Major Culbertson to return from Fort Laramie and rebuild its 
interests if they were not crushed beyond repair. Malcom Clarke ac- 
companied the major, and it was with difficulty that he was restrained 
from inflicting physical punishment upon Harvey who had come from 
Fort F. A. C. to meet the new manager at the site of the burned and 
disgraced post. The vindictive, cold-blooded and fierce murderer fled 
overnight, only to reappear as the enemy of the company which had em- 
ployed him and which he had already foully betrayed. 


Major Culbertson at once abandoned Fort F. A. C. and commenced 
the secret construction of Fort Lewis, at the head of the first rapids 
above the present Fort Benton and about five miles below Pablo's Island. 
Soon after it was completed and occupied, during the first days of the 
year 1843, ne sen ^ an invitation to the chiefs and warriors of the Black- 
foot village on Belly River to confer with him in council at the fort. His 
proffer was unhesitatingly accepted. Culbertson deplored the cruel and 
unauthorized act of Harvey and Chardon, explaining that the criminal 
had been sent out of the country in disgrace, while the Blackfeet, through 
their leaders, that "the ground had been made good again by Major 
Culbertson's return and the Blackfeet must not be the first to stain it 
with blood." Presents were exchanged and the pipe of peace went 
'round. Trade was at once resumed ; so much so that within the coming 
four months 1,100 packs of buffalo robes, with quantities of beaver, fox 
and wolf pelts, were received from the reconciled Indians. 


Major Culbertson took this fine treasure with him to Fort Union, 
in May, 1843, and on his way burned Fort F. A. C. and thus blotted the 


evil name of Chardon from the geography of Montana. His handling 
of the difficult situation had been so wise and masterly that the company 
appointed him agent of the Upper Missouri, at what was then considered 
the munificent salary of $5,000 a year. The disgraced Chardon died 
of scurvy in February, 1845, and Major Culbertson buried him at Fort 
Pierre, now South Dakota, on his way to St. Louis. Harvey, his fellow 
criminal, after vainly endeavoring to involve the American Fur Com- 
pany Pratte, Chotiteau & Company in the illegal sale of whiskey to 
the Indians, and fearing to trade among the outraged Blackfeet, died in 
1853, an outcast of both the white men and the red. 


The backbone of the fur-trade in Montana had developed along 
Maria's River, instead of at the headwaters of the Missouri, as the 
Piegans and Blackfeet of the north had proven more placable than the 
southern tribes of the nation. The valley of the Yellowstone had not 
proven especially productive, and the American Fur Company had not 
considered it necessary to have more than one post at a time along that 
river. In line with that policy, Fort Cass, on the Big Horn, was built 
1832 and abandoned a few years thereafter. Fort Van Buren was 
erected on the Rosebud, in 1838. It was also called Fort Tullock, after 
A. J. Tullock. Charles Larpenteur afterward established Fort Alexander, 
named after Major (Alexander) Culbertson, on the south bank of the 
Yellowstone below the mouth of the Big Horn. It was abandoned in 
1850 and Fort Sarpy its name given in honor of one of the company's 
prominent partners replaced it, on the north bank of the Yellowstone 
below the mouth of the Rosebud. Fort Sarpy was closed in 1855, and 
was the last post of the American Fur Company on the Yellowstone. 
The purpose of maintaining a post on the Yellowstone was to facil- 
itate trade with the Crows, but, from the first, the Indians preferred to 
bring their peltry to Fort Union, where they could obtain better sup- 
plies, more abundant ammunition and more desirable presents. So that 
the final abandonment of the Yellowstone posts had little bearing on the 
development of the fur trade. 


It was the country northwest of the Missouri River which had become 
vital to the trade, and it was a foregone conclusion by the late '405 that 
the main central entrepot must be founded not far from the region of the 
mouth of Maria's River. The site of the Fort Lewis built by Major 
Culbertson in 1843 did not meet the requirements of the trade. The drift 
ice in the Missouri River during the spring and fall made it difficult for 
the Indians to cross with their furs, and they requested that the post 
be moved to a spot nearer the Teton where there was plenty of timber. 
Accordingly, after careful consideration, Major Culbertson selected a 
site for the new Fort Lewis on the north bank of the Missouri, seven 
miles below the present town of Fort Benton. The selection was made 
in the spring of 1846 and the first log fort was completed by fall. 


The following season was one of much prosperity in the fur trade. 
Lieutenant Bradley states : "Not only was the stock of goods completely 
exhausted, but even bedding, wearing apparel, everything that could be 
spared from the fort, was bartered for the incessant flow of peltries." 
The season of 1847 realized more than twenty thousand buffalo robes, 
besides many other furs. In the following year three outposts on Maria's 
and Milk rivers were established to facilitate their collection, Malcom 
Clarke being in charge of one of them on the former stream. About this 
time, the company increased both the duties and the territory of Major 
Culbertson and gave him the privilege of selecting his headquarters at 
any post desired. He evidently selected Fort Lewis, or as it afterward 
became known, Fort Benton, and he was ambitious that the company 
headquarters should do credit to the powerful corporation of which he 
was the active head in such a grand territory. 


Up to this time, all the posts of the American Fur Company upon the 
Missouri and its tributaries had been built entirely of timber, rough or 
hewn, according to the care taken in their construction.* But following 
the style of architecture prevalent in the southern territories, after Fort 
Laramie had passed into the hands of the American Fur Company 
the buildings of that post were reconstructed of adobe at an expense of 
some $10,000. The result was the finest and best built post of the com- 
pany. During his stay at Fort Laramie, Major Culbertson had become 
impressed with the superiority of adobe buildings over those of logs, 
and upon his return to the Missouri resolved ultimately to rebuild his 
central post on the Laramie plan. The first adobe building of Fort Lewis 
was completed and dedicated on Christmas night of 1850, and then and 
there rechristened as Fort Benton, in honor of Thomas A. Benton, the 
distinguished Missouri senator, who, for years, had been the legal ad- 
viser, steadfast friend and, at times, savior of the American Fur Company.' 

The immediate events in the career of Major Culbertson leading to 
the founding of Fort Benton are well arrayed in Lieutenant Bradley's 
journal comprising "Affairs at Fort Benton," as follows: "In March, 
1850, Major Culbertson, with thirty horses, proceeded by steamer from 
St. Louis to St. Joseph, then the highest village on the river, and thence 
by land, accompanied by his brother and three men, to Fort Pierre. Here 
he awaited the arrival of the company's steamboat, El Paso, by which he 
continued to Fort Union. Remaining there until the boats were gone and 
the summer's business dispatched, he ascended the Yellowstone with a 
mackinaw laden with goods and eighteen men, including Meldrum, to 
establish a new post on the river in lieu of Fort Alexander, that year 
abandoned. He left Fort Union about the first of July and about the 
fifteenth of the same month arrived at his destination, a point on the 
north bank of the Yellowstone about five miles below the mouth of the 
Rosebud River. Here the new post was built and called Fort Sarpy. It 

* Bradley's Journal, Montana Historical Society's Collections, Vol. Ill, p. 256. 


was constructed of logs, about one hundred and twenty feet square, with 
two bastions and the interior buildings in the stockade facing a square as 
usual, standing some fifty yards from the river bank. Fort Alexander 
had been abandoned and the new post built mainly to save a part of the 
difficult river transportation. It continued in existence until 1855, when 
it was abandoned and was the last post of the American Fur Company 
on the Yellowstone. The Blackfeet were engaged in constant warlike 
incursions into the Crow territory and, holding as enemies all whom they 
encountered there, a number of the white employes of the Yellowstone 
post had fallen at their hands. It became difficult finally to induce men 
to go to such a dangerous locality, and this was one of the principal 
causes of the withdrawal from the country. * * * 

"The American Fur Company did not lose the trade of the Crows by 
discontinuing posts in this country, for, having no other market for their 
peltries, they then brought them to Fort Union. In those days the Crows 
made about five hundred packs of robes for trade yearly, never equalling 
the Blackfeet, however. They were prudent purchasers, generally re- 
ceiving nothing in return that did not serve them a useful purpose, as 
arms, ammunition, blankets and beads. They would not drink whiskey 
and it was therefore not carried among them. 

"The Crow nation, probably owing to the extreme fascination of their 
women, was the favorite resort of white renegades, and in early times 
they were always to be found among the Crows, when there was not one 
in the surrounding tribes. The Crows seemed pleased with the presence 
of the white men among them and, if they were at all deserving, treated 
them with consideration. The white employes of the Yellowstone post 
always took naturally to the customs of the Crows and after a short 
residence among them were scarcely to be distinguished in their long 
hair, breech clouts and other articles of Indian attire, from the savages 
themselves. It is perhaps to this fact that the frequent deaths at the 
hands of the Blackfeet are partly attributable the inability to distinguish 
between a Crow warrior and a white man. 

"Remaining on the Yellowstone only long enough to see the pickets 
up and one warehouse completed, Major Culbertson left Meldrum with 
his party to complete the fort, returning with one man, both mounted on 
good horses, to Fort Union, arriving about the middle of August and 
thence, after a brief delay to Fort Lewis. The fall was an unusually open 
one, warm weather continuing until late in December, and Major Cul- 
bertson resolved to improve it by the inauguration of his long contem- 
plated plan of rebuilding his post in adobe. The soil of the bottom was 
found excellently adapted to the manufacture of the brick, and the work 
was pushed with vigor ; and day by day the walls of his two-story dwelling 
rose higher and higher, on the site of a former log building taken down 
to make room for it. Toward the last, the nights began to be cold and 
the adobes froze; but as the best that could be done they were laid in 
the walls yet unhardened, where fortunately they dried without any 
cracking or weakening of the walls; and just before Christmas the 
building was completed. On Christmas night it was dedicated by a big 

Vol. 1-9 


ball ; and until a late hour the light-headed voyageurs and their squaw 
wives, sweethearts and friends, danced and whirled to the music of several 
fiddles. In the midst of the festivities, Major Culbertson proposed that 
in consideration of the warm friendship of Thomas H. Benton for the 
partners of the American Fur Company, and his services in saving the 
company from ruin in 1844 by effecting a compromise of the suit brought 
against it, that the post should be renamed in his honor. 

"The proposition was received with acclamation by the joyous as- 
sembly, and thus upon Christmas night, 1850, the post was first called by 
the name it still bears and that will probably ever distinguish the locality 
Fort Benton." 


Robert Meldrum, noted as the companion of Major Culbertson on the 
mission to establish Fort Sarpy, near the junction of the Yellowstone 


and the Rosebud rivers, had been in command of its predecessor, Fort 
Alexander. As he was one of the most remarkable men in the employ 
of the American Fur Company, his biography has been several times 
written, but his personal characteristics have been vividly sketched by 
Lieutenant Bradley, his friend and the historian of Fort Benton. "He 
was born in Scotland about the year 1802," says Bradley, "but moved 
with his parents to Kentucky at an early age. There he learned black- 
smithing, but found his way into Bonneville's service and accompanied 
him into the wilderness in his fur trading expedition in 1832. Upon 
quitting his service, enamored of the savage life he had tasted for three 
years, he remained upon the plains, making his home among the Crow 
Indians. Adopting their dress, glueing long hair to his own to make it 
conform to the savage fashion, having his squaw and lodge and living in 
all respects the life of an Indian, he was quickly enabled by his superior 
intelligence and courage to acquire great influence with his savage asso- 
ciates and soon became regarded as a chief. He was a man of many 


adventures and was accustomed to complain bitterly that Beckwourth, in 
the autobiography published by Harper Brothers, had arrogated to him- 
self many of his own experiences. A representative of this firm en- 
deavored subsequently to win from Meldrum a narrative of his life, 
promising ample reparation for any misappropriation of his experiences 
in Beckwourth's autobiography, but he proudly rejected all overtures, and 
a fascinating record of strange experiences and hair-breadth adventures 
is lost to the world. In person he was of medium height, strongly built, 
weighed usually about one hundred and eighty pounds, had dark sandy 
hair and keen grey eyes, and altogether an attractive countenance. He 
possessed a mild disposition, shunned quarrels and contentions, but no 
one ever ventured to call his courage into question. He subsequently 
entered the service of the American Fur Company, in which he continued 
till his death at Fort Union in 1865. 

"Upon entering the service of the company, he left off the customs 
and habits of Indian life and in his civilized dress was a man to attract 
attention, from his evident superiority to the class of men generally en- 
countered amid such surroundings. And upon engaging him in conver- 
sation, the favorable impression was only deepened. He had never fallen 
into the use of the slang and profanity of the border, but employed good 
language and riveted the attention of his listener by the intelligent play 
of his features and the fascination of his diction. In his later years he 
was troubled with an affection of the kidneys, and was also subject to 
goitre or swelled neck, a disease very prevalent upon the Yellowstone, 
not only among the white men and Indians, but even among the dogs. 
But up to the time of his death, he continued an active man, ready for 
any exposure or hardship. He left no children, but has a married sister 
living in Illinois, for whose benefit he was accustomed to devote a large 
portion of the proceeds of his toil." 

Major Culbertson was succeeded in command of Fort Benton by Maj. 
Andrew Dawson, also a Scotchman, in 1854. He had been a resident of 
the United States for about ten years and had spent most of that period 
at Fort Clark, in the Mandan country of Dakota. He completed Cul- 
bertson's plans of replacing the log buildings of Fort Benton with adobe 
structures, the entire reformation being finished in 1860. In 1864, when 
the fort was sold to Carroll and Steele, he returned to Scotland. 


In the meantime Major Culbertson had continued to operate as a 
partner of the American Fur Company, and to such advantage that in 
1861 he resigned and retired from business, a wealthy man for those 
days, having amassed a fortune of $300,000. Culbertson was of Scotch- 
Irish parentage and a Pennsylvanian, and had entered the service of the 
company in 1829, when he was twenty years of age. He was able, genial, 
popular, of large, handsome physique, and, after the retirement of 
Kenneth McKenzie, was preeminent in the affairs of the American Fur 
Company on the Upper Missouri for more than a quarter of a century. 


Major Culbertson married an Indian woman of the Blackfoot nation, 
by whom he had several children. He remained true to her and pro- 
vided lavishly for her and their family. His death occurred August 27, 
1879, at Orleans, Missouri. 


While Forts Lewis and Benton were developing in the late '403 and 
the early '505, there were two fortified posts west of the Rocky Moun- 
tains which had survived the competition of the American Fur Company. 
One had been established by the Hudson Bay Company, in 1847, J ust west 
of the southern extremity of Mission Range near St. Ignatius Mission 
of the present, and was in charge of Angus McDonald, a leading em- 
ploye of the company. He afterward became a noted character of the 
country and his descendants have done him credit. 


Fort Owen, in the center of the rich and beautiful Bitter Roof 
Valley, was founded in 1850, upon the improvements of old St. Mary's 
Mission. In that year, Maj. John Owen, a sutler in the United States 
Army, while en route with the "Mounted Rifles" for Oregon, decided to 
remain in the northwest. In the summer of that year he traded with the 
wagon trains on their way to the Pacific Coast, and in the autumn ar- 
rived in the Bitter Root Valley which he selected as his future home. 
Finding an opportunity to establish a trading post at the deserted mission 
of St. Mary's, he purchased the property, with buildings, and trans- 
formed it into Fort Owen. ''After Major Owen purchased the property 
since known as Fort Owen," says Frank H. Woody, the Montana pioneer, 
in his contribution to the Montana Historical Society on "The Early 
History of Western Montana," "he made many improvements. He en- 
closed the land and commenced farming rebuilt the grist and saw mills, 
and in after years tore down the old stockade of logs, and built a large 
and substantial fort of adobes, or sun-dried bricks. He opened and kept 
a regular trading establishment, supplying the wants of both whites and 
Indians. The stock of goods and supplies was kept up by making a trip 
each summer to The Dalles in Oregon with pack horses, usually going 
down in the spring to Clark's Fork and the Perfd d'Oreille lake, and 
returning the latter part of the summer by an Indian trail over the 
Coeur d'Alene Mountains. 

"Fort Owen was the nucleus around which the early settlers gathered, 
obtained supplies and sought protection in the hour of danger. It was 
known far and wide for the hospitality that its generous proprietor ex- 
tended to the early settlers and adventurers in this distant and at that 
time almost unknown wilderness." 

The Selish (Flatheads) who inhabited the Bitter Root Valley were 
always friendly to the whites, but the Blackfeet made war upon both 
Flatheads and whites. Fort Owen was threatened more than once, and 


55) ' 









these raids into the valley did not cease until 1855. So that Fort Owen 
was not only a trading and social center, but a place of refuge, and in 
the '503 and '6os its able and genial proprietor was one of the popular 
and widely known characters in Montana. 

Messrs. McDonald and Owen had an especially close connection be- 
tween the later days of the fur and emigrant trade and the opening 
period of the mining era, which is not yet closed; for Finley, the itin- 
erant trader, brought the first gold dust known to have been mined in 
Montana to McDonald, in 1852, and tidings of these pioneer "finds" were 
also brought to Owen. Such discoveries, however, led to nothing prac- 
tical, as the Hudson Bay Company discouraged mining, as threatening to 
detract from the interests of fur gathering and trading, and Major Owen 
did not believe in the genuineness of the "colors" purported to have been 
discovered. A decade was to pass before gold was to be mined from the 
soil of Montana in commercial quantities." 

"Major Owen on his annual visits to Oregon, and from other sources," 
continues Mr. Woody, "had accumulated an excellent library of sev- 
eral hundred volumes, which he kept open for the use of his friends, 
and being one of the most genial and companionable of men, it is not 
surprising that Fort Owen was a favorite resort for the early settlers 
and hardy mountaineers, or that the Major is oft and kindly remem- 
bered by those who have reason to remember his kindness. Times 
have wonderfully changed since the days of which we write. Maj. 
John Owen has left Montana to spend his remaining days amidst the 
scenes of his boyhood and Fort Owen, that contains a history within 
itself, has passed into the hands of strangers and is fast falling into decay 
and in a few more years will be numbered among the things of the past." 


Twenty-five or thirty years of incessant trapping about eradicated 
the beavers from the fur trade of Montana at least, made such terrible 
inroads into the living supply that Astor could see no object in con- 
tinuing with the American Fur Company. Then the beaver gave way 
to the buffalo, and his reign as a fur-supplier extended almost to the time 
of the railroads, the coming of which spelled its extinction also. 

James Stuart, one of the great pioneers of the trade and the western 
country, prepared an article in the early '705 which is a pithy represen- 
tation of the fur trade era. Having then been a western scout, trader 
and miner for twenty years, half of that period as a leading citizen of 
Montana, Stuart, then in the very prime of life, had a wide acquaintance 
with guides, interpreters, traders and Indians themselves, and ample op- 
portunity to collect the facts bearing on the subject so near to him, and 
thoroughly verifying them. The facts, as he states them, and which are 
also verified by other sources of information, are given below. 


Fort Union was the first fort built on the Missouri River, above the 
mouth of the Yellowstone. In the summer of 1829, Kenneth McKenzie, 
a trader from the Upper Mississippi, near where St. Paul, Minnesota, is 
now located, with a party of fifty men, came across to the Upper Missouri 
River looking for a good place to establish a trading-post for the Amer- 
ican Fur Company, (McKenzie was a member of said company.) They 
selected a site a short distance above the mouth of the Yellowstone River, 
on the north bank of the Missouri, and built a stockade, two hundred 
feet square, of logs about twelve inches in diameter and twelve feet 
long, set perpendicularly, putting the lower end two feet in the "ground, 
with two block-house bastions on diagonal corners of the stockade, 
twelve 'feet square and twenty high, pierced with loop-holes. The dwell- 
ing-houses, warehouses, and store were built inside, but not joining the 
stockade, leaving a space of about four feet between the walls of the 
buildings and the stockade. All the buildings were covered with earth, 
as a protection against fire by incendiary Indians. There was only one 
entrance to the stockade a large double-leaved gate, about twelve feet 
from post to post ; with a small gate^- three and a half by five feet, in one 
of the leaves of the main gate, which was the one mostly used, the large 
gate being only opened occasionally when there were no Indians in the 




vicinity of the fort. The houses, warehouses, and store were all built 
about the same height as the stockade. The above description, with the 
exception of the area inclosed by the stockade, will describe nearly all the 
forts built by traders on the Missouri River from St. Louis to the head- 
waters. They are easily built, convenient, and good for defense. 

The fort was built to trade with the Assiniboines, who were a large 
tribe of Indians ranging from White Earth River, on the north side of the 
Missouri to the mouth of the Milk River, and north into the British 


possessions. They were a peaceable, inoffensive people, armed with bows 
and arrows, living in lodges made of buffalo skins, and roving from place 
to place, according to the seasons of the year, occupying certain portions 
of their country in the summer, and during the winter remaining where 
they could be protected from the cold with plenty of wood. For fear 
of trouble with them the traders did not sell them guns; but when an 
Indian proved to be a good hunter and a good friend to the traders by his 
actions and talk, he could occasionally borrow a gun and a few loads of 
ammunition to make a hunt. 

The principal articles of trade were alcohol, blankets, blue and 
scarlet cloth, sheeting (domestics), ticking, tobacco, knives, fire-steels, 


arrow-points, files, brass wire (different sizes), beads, brass tacks, leather 
belts (from four to ten inches wide), silver ornaments for hair, shells, 
axes, hatchets, etc. alcohol being the principal article of trade, until 
after the passing of an act of Congress (June 30, 1834) prohibiting it 
under severe penalties. Prior to that time, there were no restrictions on 
the traffic. But, notwithstanding the traders were often made to suffer 
the penalty of the law, they continued to smuggle large quantities of 
spirits into the Indian country, until within the last few years (i.e., 1873). 


St. Louis was the point from which the traders brought their goods. 
They would start from there with Mackinaw boats, fifty feet long, ten 
feet wide on the bottom and twelve feet on top, and four feet high, loaded 
with about fourteen tons of merchandise to each boat, and a crew of about 
twelve men, as soon as the ice went out of the river, usually about the 
first of March, and would be six months in getting to Fort Union, the 
boat having to be towed the greater part of the way by putting a line 
ashore, and the men walking along the bank pulling the boat. Every 
spring, as soon as the ice went out of the river, boats would start from 
the fort for St. Louis, each boat loaded with three thousand robes, or 
its equivalent in other peltries, with a crew of five men to each boat, 
arriving at St. Louis in about thirty days. All the employes in the 
Indian country lived entirely on meat the outfit of provisions for from 
fifty to seventy-five men being two barrels flour, one sack coffee, one 
barrel sugar, one barrel salt, and a little soda and pepper. After the fort 
was established, and proved to be a permanent trading point, large quan- 
tities of potatoes, beets, onions, turnips, squashes, corn, etc., were raised, 
sufficient for each year's consumption. 

The wages for common laborers were two hundred and twenty dollars 
for the round trip from St. Louis to Ft. Union, and back again to St. 
Louis, taking from fifteen to sixteen months' time to make it. Carpen- 
ters and blacksmiths were paid three hundred dollars per annum. The 
traders (being their own interpreters) were paid five hundred dollars 
per annum. 


The store and warehouse, or two stores, were built on each side of 
the gate, and on the side next to the interior of the fort the two buildings 
were connected by a gate similar to the main gate, the space between 
the buildings and stockade filled in with pickets, making a large, strong 
room, without any roof, or covering overhead. In each store, or stores, 
about five feet from the ground, was a hole eighteen inches square, with 
a strong shutter-fastening inside of the store, opening into the space or 
room between the gates. When the Indians wanted to trade, the inner 
gate was closed ; a man would stand at the outer gate until all the Indians 
that wanted to trade, or as many as the space between the gate would 
contain, had passed in; then he would lock the outer gate, and go 


through the trading hole into the store. The Indians would then pass 
whatever articles each one had to trade through the hole for whatever 
the Indian wanted, to the value in trade of the article received. When 
the party were done trading, they were turned out and another party 
admitted. In that way of trading, the Indians were entirely at the mercy 
of the traders, for they were penned up in a room, and could all be 
killed through loop-holes in the store without any danger to the traders. 
The articles brought by the Indians for trade were buffalo-robes, elk, 
deer, antelope, bear, wolf, beaver, otter, fox, mink, martin, wild-cat, 
skunk, and badger skins. 


The country was literally covered with buffalo, and the Indians 
killed them by making "surrounds." The Indians moved and camped 
with from one to four hundred lodges together averaging about seven 
souls to the lodge; and when they needed meat, the chief gave orders to 
make a "surround," when the whole camp, men, women, and the largest of 
the children, on foot and on horseback, would go under the direction of 
the soldiers, and form a circle around as many buffalo as they wanted to 
kill from 300 to 1,000 buffalo. They would then all start slowly for 
a common point, and as soon as the circle commenced to grow smaller, 
the slaughter would'begin, and in a short time all inside of the circle would 
be killed. The buffalo do not, as a general rule, undertake to break 
through unless the circle is very small, but run round and round the cir- 
cumference next to the Indians until they are all killed. 


Fort Union burned down in 1831, and was rebuilt by McKenzie in the 
same year. The new fort was 250 feet square, with stone foundation, 
with similar buildings, but put up in a more workmanlike manner, inside 
of the stockade. The fort stood until 1868, when it was pulled down 
by order of the commanding officer at Fort Buford (five miles below 

Robert Campbell and Sublette built a trading-post where Fort Buford 
now stands, in 1833. They also, the same year, built a trading-post at 
Frenchman's Point, sixty miles above Union, the next year (1834). 
They sold out to the American Fur Company, who destroyed both posts 
the same year. Campbell went to St. Louis and entered business on 
Main Street. Sublette went to the Green River country in command 
of a party of trappers. 

In 1832, the first steamboat, named the Yellowstone, arrived at Fort 
Union. From that time, every spring, the goods were brought up by 
steamboats, but the robes, peltries, etc., were shipped from the fort every 
spring by mackinaws to St. Louis. 


In the winter of 1830, McKenzie, desirous of establishing a trade 
with the Blackfeet and Ventres, sent a party of four men Berger, Daco- 


teau, Morceau, and one other man in search of the Indians, and to see 
if there was sufficient inducement to establish a trading-post. The party 
started up the Missouri River with dog-sleds, to haul a few presents for 
the Indians bedding, ammunition, moccasins, etc. They followed the 
Missouri to the mouth of Maria's River, thence up the Maria's to the 
mouth of Badger Creek, without seeing an Indian; finding plenty of 
game of all kinds, and plenty of beaver in all the streams running into 
the Missouri. Every night when they camped they hoisted the American 
flag, so that if they were seen by any Indians during the night they would 
know it was a white man's camp; and it was very fortunate for them 
that they had a flag to use in that manner, for the night they camped 
at the mouth of Badger Creek they were discovered by a war-party of 
Blackfeet, who surrounded them during the night, and as they were about 
firing on the camp, they saw the flag and did not fire, but took the 
party prisoners. 

A part of the Indians wanted to kill the whites and take what they 
had, but through the exertions and influence of a chief named "Good- 
woman," they were not molested in person or property, but went in safety 
to the Blackfoot camp on Belly River, and stayed with the camp until 
spring. During the winter they explained their business, and prevailed 
upon about 100 Blackfeet to go with them to Union to see McKenzie. 
They arrived at Union about the ist of April, 1831, and McKenzie got 
their consent to build a trading-post at the mouth of Maria's. The 
Indians stayed about one month, then started home to tell the news to 
their people. 

McKenzie then started Kipp, with seventy-five men and an outfit of 
Indian goods, to build a fort at the mouth of Maria's River, and he had 
the fort completed before the winter of 1831. It was only a temporary 
arrangement to winter in, in order to find out whether it would pay to 
establish a permanent post. Next spring Colonel Mitchell (afterward 
colonel in Doniphan's expedition to Mexico) built some cabins on Brule 
bottom, to live in until a good fort could be built. The houses at the 
mouth of Maria's were burned after the company moved to Brule bottom. 
Alexander Culbertson was sent by McKenzie to relieve Mitchell, and to 
build a picket-stockade fort 200 feet square on the north bank of the 
Missouri River, which he completed during the summer and fall of 1832. 


This fort was occupied ( for eleven years, until Fort Lewis was built 
by Culbertson on the south side of the Missouri River, near Pablois' 
Island, in the summer of 1844. Fort Brule was then abandoned and 

In 1846, Fort Lewis was abandoned, and Fort Benton was built by 
Culbertson, about seven miles below Fort Lewis, and on the north bank of 
the Missouri River. It was 250 feet square, built of adobes laid upon the 
ground without any foundation of stone, and is now standing (1875), 
and occupied as a military post. The dwellings, warehouses, stores, etc., 
were all built of adobes. 



The Piegans, Blackfeet, and Blood Indians, all talking the same 
language, claimed and occupied the country from the Missouri River 
to the Saskatchewan River. Prior to the building of the winter-quarters 
at the mouth of Maria's, they had always traded with the Hudson Bay 
Company at the Prairie Fort or Somerset House, both on the Saskatch- 
ewan. There was a bitter rivalry between the Hudson Bay Company 
and the American Fur Company. The Hudson Bay Company often 
sent men to induce the confederated Blackfeet to go north and trade, and 
the Indians said they were offered large rewards to kill all the traders 
on the Missouri River, and destroy the trading-posts. McKenzie wrote 
to Governor Bird, the head man of the Hudson Bay Company in the 
north, in regard to the matter, and Bird wrote back to McKenzie, saying: 
"When you know the Blackfeet as well as I do, you will know that they 
do not need any inducements to commit depredations." 

At the time the Blackfeet commenced to trade on the Missouri, they 
did not have any robes to trade; they only saved what they wanted for 
their own use. The Hudson Bay Company only wanted furs of different 
kinds. The first season the Americans did not get any robes, but traded 
for a large quantity of beaver, otter, martin, etc. They told the Indians 
they wanted robes, and from that time the Indians made them their prin- 
cipal articles of trade. The company did not trade provisions of any 
kind to the Indians, but when an Indian made a good trade, he would get 
a spoonful of sugar, which he would put in his medicine-bag to use in 
sickness, when all other remedies failed. 

In 1842, F. A. Chardon, who was in charge of Ft. Brule, massacred 
about thirty Blackfeet Indians. The Indians had stolen a few horses 
and some little things out of the fort from time to time, and Chardon 
concluded to punish them for it. He waited until a trading party came 
in, and when they were assembled in front of the gate, he opened the 
gate and fired upon them with a small cannon loaded with trade balls. 
After firing the cannon, the men went out and killed all the wounded with 
knives. The Blackfeet stopped trading, and moved into the British pos- 
sessions, and made war on the post, and were so troublesome that 
Chardon abandoned Brule in the spring, went to the mouth of the Judith 
and built Fort F. A. Chardon on the north bank of the Missouri River, 
a short distance above the mouth of Judith River, which was burnt up 
when Culbertson built Fort Lewis and made peace with the Blackfeet. 


In 1832, McKenzie sent Tullock, with forty men, to build a fort at 
the mouth of the Big Horn River. Tullock built the fort named Van 
Buren, on the south side of the Yellowstone, about three miles below the 
mouth of the Big Horn River. It was 150 feet square, picket stockade, 
with two bastions on diagonal corners. In 1863, I saw the location. The 
pickets showed plainly ; they had been burned to the ground, and several 
of the chimneys were not entirely fallen down. The fort was built to 


trade with the Mountain Crows, an insolent, treacherous tribe of Indians. 
They wanted the location of their trading-post changed nearly every 
year, consequently they had four trading-posts built from 1832 to 1850, 
viz : Fort Cass, built by Tullock, on the Yellowstone, below Van Buren, 
in 1836; Fort Alexander, built by Lawender, still lower down on the 
Yellowstone River, in 1848, and Fort Sarpy, built by Alexander Cul- 
bertson, in 1850, at the mouth of the Rose Bud. Fort Sarpy was aban- 
doned in 1853, and there has not been any trading forts built on the 
Yellowstone since, up to the present time (1875). 


Kenneth McKenzie, after Lewis and Clark, was the pioneer of the 
Upper Missouri. He was a native of the highlands of Scotland. When 
young he came, in the service of the Hudson Bay Company, to Hudson's 
Bay. In 1820, he quit the Hudson Bay Company, and started to explore 
the country from Hudson's Bay to Red River and Lake Winnipeg; thence 
to the Lake Superior country; finally concluded to locate on the Upper 
Mississippi. In 1822, he went to New York, and got an outfit of Indian 
trade goods on credit, and established a trading-post on the Upper 
Mississippi, and remained in that part of the country until 1829, when 
he came to the Missouri and established Fort Union. He was in charge 
of all the northwestern fur trade until 1839, when he resigned Alex- 
ander Culbertson taking his place and went to St. Louis, where he went 
into the wholesale liquor trade, and lived there until he died, in 1856 
or 1857. He was a man of great courage, energy, good judgment, and 
much executive ability. 


From the Bitter Root Valley of Western Montana have issued not a 
few influences which have tended to establish permanent or settled con- 
ditions in the territory and state. Fortunately this sheltered garden- 
valley was the old-time home of the friendly and intelligent Salish tribe 
of Indians, who have always protested against the imposition of the 
name "Flatheads" upon them. Why they should be thus designated, 
neither ethnologists nor historians have ever been able to discover, for 
their heads are as rounded and shapely as those of any red men ; and 
there is no tradition that they have ever resorted to the barbarous custom 
of flattening their heads, which is common to several of the tribes of the 
Pacific Coast. 


The ancient home of the Salish, which they still occupied when Lewis 
and Clark passed through their country, was along the western slopes 
of the main Rocky Mountain range, to the east of the Bitter Root Moun- 
tains. The opposite slope of the Bitter Root range was held by the 
Nez Perces, an equally superior tribe, with whom the Salish are often 
confounded. The latter call their country Spe'tlemen, which means the 
Place of the Bitter Root. The Indians lived principally on game, fish, 
wild roots and berries all very plentiful in their streams and land. 
The principal roots were the bitter variety, which was like chicory in 
shape, color and taste, and the camas, which resembles a small onion and 
tastes like a smoked chestnut.* 

The scourge of the Salish, as well as the Bitter Root Valley and other 
sections of the Land of the Mountains, were the Blackfeet, whose fierce 
and continuous warfare against them is largely responsible for their de- 
crease in numbers, almost to the point of extermination. 


Although the Lewis and Clark expedition came into contact with the 
Flathead in passing through the Bitter Root Valley, it is strange that the 
record of the expedition speaks of them as Hootlashoots, and ignores 

* Flathead number of the Indian Sentinel, October, 1919. 



the tribal name Salish. It is important to mention it, because it has a 
bearing on the first expedition senl by the Flathead to St. Louis Lil 3 i 
for the Blackgowns, or Jesuit missionaries. Patrick Gass, of the Lewis 
and Clark expedition, particularly notes the chastity among the Flathead 
and the absence of polygamy in their marital relations. Travelers and 
>rs of a later period give them the same credit. They were also noted 


as being a remarkably hardy tribe, with a power of endurance that could 
scarcely be credited at the present day. In fact, it was remarked in the 
journal published from the pens of Lewis and Clark that childbirth 
hardly entailed on Salish mothers an hour's delay. Often at the ex- 
piration of that time, an Indian squaw who had disappeared on a journey 
to become a mother would remount her pony with her new offspring and 
resume travel with the rest of the company. 




It was in the Bitter Root Valley of this hardy, cleanly and intel- 
ligent tribe that the Catholic missions had their birth, and introduced 
not. only religion but the white man's industry and settled life in the 
wilds of this Rocky Mountain region. Sometime in the early portion 
of the nineteenth century a band of twenty-four Iroquois left a Catholic 
mission near Sault St. Louis, on the St. Lawrence, Canada, crossed the 
Mississippi Valley, and wandered into the friendly protection of the 
Bitter Root Valley where they decided to settle and spread their newly- 
acquired gospel of peace. The leader of the Iroquois band was Ignace 
La Mousse; Big Ignace, to distinguish his large stature, or Old Ignace, 
to distinguish him from Young Ignace, a son who was also prominent in 
the struggles and misfortunes of a decade to obtain a Catholic mission 
in the Flathead country. 


Ignace, the Big and Old, long labored among the peaceable and re- 
ceptive Salish before they were converted to the necessity of having the 
Blackrobes among them. Four of the converted Indian braves two 
adopted Nez Perces and two native Flathead finally agreed to go to St. 
Louis and bring back the missionaries; to brave unknown mountains, 
plains, deserts and fierce enemies of the human kind, such as the deadly 
Blackfeet and savage Sioux. Starting from the mountains, in the spring 
of 1831, they overcame all difficulties and after a fearful journey of six 
months reached St. Louis in the early part of October. Soon after 
meeting Gen. William Clark, the Indian agent, and explaining to him, in 
some undetermined way, the object of their arduous trip, the four 
messengers, truly "braves," were taken ill. Two of them, Narciss and 
Paul, died after being baptized, and were solemnly interred in the Catholic 
cemetery in St. Louis. General Clark was much pleased to explain the 
object of their long journey to Bishop Rosati, as the famous expedition 
of which he was one of the leaders, a quarter of a century previous, had 
been materially aided by the Nez Perces and Salish tribes. 

The two survivors of the journey from the Bitter Root Valley left 
St. Louis for their home in the spring of 1832. General Clark secured 
passage for them on the steamer "Yellowstone," which was about to 
make her historic trip up the Missouri to Fort Union. As has been 
noted, George Catlin, the author and artist of Indian life, was aboard, 
and induced the two Indians to sit for their portraits, which still hang 
on the walls of the Smithsonian Institution. In a report made to the 
institution more than half a century afterward, Catlin writes of having 
met the two Indians and traveling 2,000 miles with them. He 
adds that he "became much pleased with their manners and dispositions," 
and that when he first heard the report of the object of their mission he 
could scarcely believe it. but upon conversing with General Clark on a 
future occasion was fully convinced of the fact. 


It is not known that either of the two Indians who started on their 
return to the Bitter Root Valley reached their destination, but it is 
certain that no Catholic missionary was sent as a result of the sacrifices 
of the brave four. Their visit to St. Louis had its ultimate effect, how- 
ever, as all disinterested sacrifices do. The Methodist and Presbyterian 
missionaries became interested in the Western Indians, and the Massachu- 
setts Lees traveled into Oregon and laid the foundation of Willamette and 
The Dallas missions and Indian school, while Dr. Samuel Parker and 
Marcus Whitman, of New York, brought Protestantism to the Indians 
of Washington and Idaho, as we know them now. 


But it was Catholicism which most appealed to the Salish of the 
Bitter Root Valley, and in the summer of 1835 Old Ignace, with his two 
young sons, started again on the perilous journey to St. Louis, in 
quest of the priests and missionaries of their faith. After terrible 
sufferings from cold and hunger, they reached St. Louis and returned with 
promises of spiritual assistance. For eighteen months the patient and 
faithful Indians awaited their priests in vain, and in the summer of 1837 
Ignace, the elder, once more led the quest toward St. Louis, his com- 
panions being three Salish and one Nez Perce. Near Fort Laramie they 
joined a little party of whites, among whom was W. H. Gray who had 
come West with Dr. Marcus Whitman. Thence they took up the march 
together, but while passing through the country of the hostile Sioux, at 
Ash Hollow on the South Platte, they encountered a large body of 
enemy warriors. 


The Sioux, who wished only the scalps of the Indians, ordered the 
whites to stand aside before the attack commenced, and Old Ignace, who 
was clad in white man's garments, was told to join them. He bravely 
and loyally refused and in the desperate fight which ensued four against 
three hundred the five emissaries from the Salish, including their heroic 
leader, were left dead upon the field. A Catholic writer justly observes : 
"Thus perished he who justly could be called the apostle of the Flat- 
head and neighboring tribes." 

In 1839, the fourth and successful pilgrimage to St. Louis was ac- 
complished by Young Ignace and Peter Gaucher, both Christian Iroquois, 
who joined a party of the Hudson Bay Company and made the trip in 
canoes. They made the journey in three months, and Bishop Rosati "gave 
them the hope to soon have a priest." "One of them," he continues, 
"wifl carry the good news promptly to the Flathead, the other will spend 
the winter at the mouth of the Bear River and, in the spring, continue 
the journey with the missionary whom we will send them." It was de- 
cided that Pierre (Peter) Gaucher was to bring the news to the Indians, 
and Young Ignace was to accompany the missionary. 

Vol. I 10 



That missionary was the renouned Father Peter J. De Smet, S. J., 
who, on March 27, 1840, set out from St. Louis under the guidance of 
Young Ignace. Going by boat to Westport (now Kansas City), they joined 
the annual expedition of the American Fur Company, and started with a 
party of some thirty people for Green River, which was then the rendez- 
vous for all western travel. The romantic series of events which led to 
the establishment of St. Mary's mission, in the Bitter Root Valley, have 
been mostly gleaned from the "Letters and Sketches," fortunately written 
by Father De Smet and largely preserved through the industry and fore- 
thought of the late Dr. Reuben G. Thwaites, secretary of the Wisconsin 
Historical Society. 


About the time that Father De Smet and Young Ignace left St. Louis, 
Gaucher, who had bravely plunged through the wilds of the western 
wilderness during the awful months of winter, arrived, all but dead with 
cold, starvation and sheer exhaustion, at the Flathead camp on Eight Mile 
Creek, in the Bitter Root Valley. At the joyful reception of his news, 
the chief detailed ten of his warriors to Green River to meet the mis- 
sionary, in advance of the main body of the tribe. The meeting occurred 
on June 30, 1840, the Flathead reception committee having reached 
the rendezvous before the missionary. "The following Sunday, July 5th, 
Father De Smet celebrated Mass before a motley but respectful crowd 
of Indians, white fur traders, trappers and hunters. The altar was 
erected on a little elevation and decorated with boughs and garlands of 
wild flowers. The vault of the temple was God's azure sky and the floor, 
the boundless expanse of the wilderness. The spot became known to In- 
dian and white as The Prairie of the Mass." 

Bidding farewell to his traveling companions the missionary and his 
Indian escort proceeded toward the headwaters of the Snake River, and 
some eight days journey through mountain defiles brought them to the 
main body of the Flathead. The latter were encamped in Pierre Hole 
Valley, on the line that divides Idaho from Wyoming, south of Pleasant 
Valley, and had made the journey of about eight hundred miles from their 
home to meet the Blackrobe. They had been joined by detached bands 
of Nez Perces, Pend d'Oreilles, and Kalispel, and numbered in all about 
i, 600 souls. In their encampment a good lodge or tepee had been erected 
for the missionary. A lively demonstration of joy, in which all, men, 
women and children took part, made Father De Smet most heartily 

With marvelous eagerness the whole tribe set about learning their 
religious duties. "The great chief," writes the missionary, "was the first 
up at dawn of day, and mounted on his horse, he rode through the 
camp to arouse his people crying out to them: 'Courage, my children; 
open your eyes. Address your first thoughts and words to the Great 
Spirit. Tell him that you love him and ask him to have pity on you. 


Courage, for the sun is about to appear. It is time that you go to the river 
to wash yourselves. Be prompt at your Father's lodge at the first sound 
of the little bell. Be quiet when you are there. Open your ears to hear 
and your hearts to hold fast all the. words that he says to you.' " A 
few days afterward the whole camp moved up Henry's Fork on the Snake 
River to Henry's Lake whence the river starts. Father De Smet ascended 
one of the peaks rising from the summit of the main range, and, with a 
pocket knife, engraved on the soft stone the following inscription: 
Santus Ignatius Patronus Montium, die 23 Julii, 1840. 


Father De Smet's missionary labor began with his arrival and con- 
tinued till he parted from these good Indians to return to St. Louis. 
"The few weeks I had the happiness to pass among them," he wrote 
to Very Rev. F. N. Blanchet, "have been the happiest of my life and give 
me firm hope with the grace of God to see soon, in this country so long 
forsaken, the fervor of the first Christians. Since I am among them I 
have given three, four and five instructions daily. They are anxious to 
lose none of my words relating to these instructions, and if I had the 
strength to speak to them, they would listen to me whole days and nights. 
I have baptized about 200 of their children, and I expect in a short time to 
baptize 150 adults." 

"At the rendezvous at Green River, Father De Smet had picked 
up a good Fleming, John Baptist de Velder, an old grenadier of Napoleon, 
who had left his native country at the age of thirty and had passed as a 
beaver hunter the last fourteen years in the wilds of the Rockies. He had 
almost forgotten the Flemish tongue, declares Father De Smet, except 
his prayers and a song that he had learnt on his mother's knee and re- 
peated every day. This good man followed the missionary to the Flat- 
head and accompanied him to St. Louis, where they arrived the last 
day of the year, 1840. 

"On leaving the tribe the missionary told the Indians that he would 
return to them the following spring with other Blackrobes and establish 
a permanent mission among them. His first visit had convinced him that 
the Flathead presented a field of great promise. But, 'on his arrival at St. 
Louis, Father De Smet ascertained to his great sorrow that financial 
straits rendered it impossible to provide the funds for a second and 
larger expedition. The thought that the undertaking would have to be 
given up, that I would not be able to redeem my promise to the good 
Indians, pierced my very heart and filled me with the deepest sorrow,' 
wrote Father De Smet, May I, 1841.' However, Providence came to 
his help, and he was able to set out for the Rocky mountains accompanied 
by two priests, Father Gregory Mengarini, a Roman, and Father Nicholas 
Point, a Vendean, with three lay-Brothers, Joseph Specht, an Alsatian, 
William Classens and Charles Hue"t, Belgians, all of whom were members 
of the Society of Jesus. An Irishman, Fitzgerald by name, and two 
Canadians, were in the party as drivers. John Gray, a noted moun- 
taineer, accompanied them in the capacity of guide and hunter. Besides 


the horses and pack animals, their traveling outfit consisted of three carts 
and one wagon harnessed to a yoke of oxen. These were the first oxen 
and the first means of locomotion on wheels brought into Montana. 

"The Flathead had promised Father De Smet that some of their 
people would meet him at a given spot near the foot of the Wind River 
mountains by the first of the following July. Faithful to their promise 
ten Flathead lodges were on the spot at the stated time. But the mis- 
sionaries could not reach the place till the middle of the month. The 
Indians waited some twelve days, as long as they had anything to eat. 
But, having fallen short of provisions, they had to go to the mountains 
some distance off to hunt for their subsistence. This news reached the 


missionaries near Fort Bridger, and they sent John Gray to notify the 
hunters, who were not slow to answer the call. 

"In this vanguard were the following: Gabriel Prudhome, a half- 
breed member of the tribe, and the interpreter of Father De Smet the 
year before ; the two sons of Old Ignace, Charles and Francis, baptized in 
St. Louis in 1835 ; and young Ignace, the guide and companion of Father 
De Smet in the first trip. Brave Pilchimo, whose brother was one of 
the five slain by the Sioux at Ash Hollow, and old Simon, baptized the 
previous year, and the oldest man of the tribe, were also of the number. 
All these ran ahead of the rest to forestall everybody else In greeting the 
missionaries. Old Simon ran and raced as fast as any, looking, speaking 
and acting as if the vivacity of youth had come back to him ; whilst young 
Ignace traveled four whole days and nights without a bite to eat, that he 
might be among the first to welcome the missionary band. 


"After greeting the missionaries with exuberant joy they conducted 
them in safety to the Bitter Root Valley, where the mission was to be 


located, and where the Indians were to gather, according to their promise, 
before the coming winter. The site selected was near the middle of the 
valley, and the spot was reached by the missionary band September 24, 
the Feast of Our Lady of Mercy, a most auspicious coincidence in the 
mind of the Fathers. The Brothers felled some trees and constructed a 
large cross which was erected on the spot to the chant of the Vexilla 

"Father De Smet named the mission St. Mary's, after Our Lady. 
The beautiful and crystal-like stream flowing close by, the imposing moun- 
tain just opposite and towering to the sky and the whole valley partici- 
pated in the appellation and became St. Mary's River, St. Mary's Peak, 
St. Mary's Valley, and have maintained these sweet names to the pres- 
ent day. The formal inauguration of the mission took place on the first 
Sunday of October/ the feast of the Holy Rosary." 

The news that the Blackrobe had come to the land of the Flathead 
soon spread among the neighboring tribes, and one day in October, as 
noted by Father De Smet, came representatives of twenty-four different 
nations to the missionaries at St. Mary's. In November, at their return 
from their hunting expedition, fully one-third of the Flathead were bap- 
tized. Others were baptized on Christmas day, among whom were 115 
Flathead, thirty Nez Perces with their chief, and one Blackfoot chief 
with his entire family. "That first Christmas," says Father De Smet, 
"was celebrated with all the solemnity that was possible in the wilder- 


The mission completed, Father De Smet traveled to Fort Colville in 
Washington, a distance of more than three hundred miles, to procure 
seeds and roots, and on his way he stopped among the Kalispehlms (Kalis- 
pels) the Pend d'Oreilles and the Couer d'Alenes. He took back to his 
Salish charges at St. Mary's " a few bushels of oats, wheat and potatoes," 
which he and his brethren sowed. "The Indians, like children, watched 
with wonder, the planting, sprouting, ripening and reaping of the crop, 
a thing hitherto unknown to them, though husbandry on a small scale 
had been practiced at an earlier date by some of the eastern tribes." 

The missionaries did not restrict their activity to religious instruction, 
but zealously endeavored to inculcate the necessity and advantages of 
work, a pursuit that was utterly foreign to the customs and traditions 
of their converts. After the first lessons in manual labor, brought home 
to the neophytes by building a chapel and the necessary winter quarters 
for the community, they were taught to cut and split rails, to fence in a 
plot of ground for cultivation in the coming spring. However, this kind 
of missionary labor was a great surprise to the Indians, who did not 
have the faintest notion of agriculture. They neither understood nor 
would they believe Brother Claessens, who told them that the soil had 
to be tilled and seeded to produce a rich harvest of grain. The good 
Brother used to chuckle with pleasure when he saw the Indians perched 


for hours on the fence day after day to see whether the grain would 
come up or not. Their incredulity began to weaken and finally gave way 
when they saw the green blades and tender stalks crop out of the soil. 
They took great pleasure in the growing wheat, and their expectancy grew 
even feverish when it began to ripen. Happilly the yield was even larger 
than the Brother had expected, and many of the Indians were privileged 
to share in its abundance. This was the first farming and gardening done 
in Montana. 

Immediately after their arrival, the missionaries set about con- 
structing the buildings of St. Mary's. Unfortunately, a description of the 
mission as first constructed is not available, but in 1846 it consisted 
of twelve houses built of logs, a church, a saw-mill, a grist-mill and 
buildings for farm use. Abundant crops of wheat, potatoes and various 
vegetables were produced ; several head of cattle were raised and the 
establishment had all the horses necessary for its use. These represented 
the first agricultural operations in Montana. The burrs for the mill 
were brought from Belgium, Father De Smet's home-land, to the Oregon 
settlements, and thence to St. Mary's. 

In 1843 the Jesuit College sent out it wo priests to assist Fathers 
Point and Mengarini, while De Smet was dispatched on a mission to 
Europe. These priests were Peter De Voss and Adrian Hoeken, and they 
arrjped in September at St. Mary's with three lay brethren. 


Father De Smet's attempts to convert the Blackfeet were continuous 
and persistent, but, on the whole, unsuccessful as compared with the 
work of himself and his fellow missionaries among the Salish. The 
Blackfoot chief who had been baptized on Christmas day of 1841 added 
his endeavors to those of the Blackrobes, to bring his warlike people over 
to the Gospel of Peace, but in the midst of his difficult labors met an 
accidental death by falling from his horse. Father De Smet met with 
some success in bringing the Flathead and Blackfeet into more friendly 
relations ; that is, certain members of the tribes, with representatives of 
the Nez Perces, Piegans, Bloods and Gros Ventres, joined the Catholic 
Church and worshipped in common. Upon one occasion, in 1846, the 
good Father made note of "a solemn mass, sung in the open plain under 
the canopy of green boughs, to beg for the blessings of God upon this 
wilderness and its wandering tribes and unite them in the bond of peace," 
at which participated about 2,000 members of the tribes mentioned. 
"It is a thing unheard of," concludes the missionary, "that among so. many 
different savage nations, hitherto so inimical to one another, unanimity 
and joy, such as we now witness, should exist it appears as if their 
ancient deadly feuds had been long since buried in oblivion, and this is 
all the more remarkable in an Indian who, it is well known, cherishes 
feelings of revenge for many years. How long will this last?" 

Father De Smet plainly saw that the greatest obstacles to the prog- 
ress of the Catholic missions were personified in the Blackfeet, the 


most savage tribes of the region and the traditionary enemies of the 
Salish tribe. For several years, therefore, before St. Mary's mission 
was abandoned he bent his energies toward the establishment of a per- 
manent mission among the Blackfeet. 


The old mission of St. Ignatius had been founded by Father Point, 
on the banks of the Pend d'Oreille River among the Kalispehlms, in 1844. 
It was placed in charge of Father Point, who acquitted himself so well 
in this and other western missions that he was delegated by Father De 
Smet to especially labor among the Blackfeet. He lived at Fort Lewis, 
where, it would seem, there was work to be done among the whites as well 
as the reds. Lieut. James H. Bradley, in his journal covering the year 
1845 at tne f rt > has the following regarding the influence and discipline 
of Fathers De Smet and Point upon the morals of the whites and In- 
dians : 

"Father Point, whom we have seen was left by Father De Smet at the 
Fort, was furnished quarters and a room for a chapel and school. He 
was a man of great austerity and severe in the practice of his religion. 
He had daily service in his chapel, and the mass upon Sundays, attended 
by all the squaws and most of the white employes of the fort, Major Cul- 
bertson himself setting them the example. The Father was filled 
with zeal for their conversion to the holy faith, sternly reproved every 
exhibition of profanity and rebuked every immorality, and gradually 
made himself feared but respected by every inmate of the fort; over 
the squaws in particular gaining a complete ascendency. Even Major 
Culbertson was not exempt from his denunciation when occasion arose. 
"At one time when some packs of robes were lying on the landing 
under cover, a storm and rain came up on Sunday, and the cover being 
blown from the pile, Major Culbertson set to work with some of his men 
to protect them from the shower. Learning what was going on, Father 
De Smet ran out to expostulate. 'Major Culberston,'* said he, 'I am 
amazed. I thought you were a Christian, a reverencer of religion and an 
observer of the holy Sabbath; but now I find you, not only violating 
God's holy day, but exacting it of your men. How can my teachings 
bear fruit, when you trample them thus ruthlessly in the dust?' Never- 
theless, Major Culbertson continued his labor and the priest continued 
his expostulations, -till the former losing patience, and believing it to be a 
Christian duty to protect his property from destruction told the priest 
abruptly to go to his room and read his bible, when he wouldn't see what 
was going on. 

"At another time, when Major Culbertson's child was sick with 
croup, and all efforts to afford it relief had failed, its Indian mother 
requested to have an old Blood squaw, famous in the tribe for her success- 
ful treatment of the diseases of children, summoned to try her art upon 

* See Father Point's letter, page 253, DeSmet's "Western Missions and Mis- 


the child. Knowing it to be the last hope and willing to satisfy his wife. 
Major Culbertson consented and the squaw doctress came. Heating 
stones and throwing water upon them she began to give the child a 
steam bath, accompanying this treatment with the monotonous song 
always employed on such occasions. Father Point was just sitting down 
to breakfast with Major Culbertson in the room below, when the sounds 
of the old woman's incantations reached his ears. Inquiring the cause 
and being informed, without ceremony he rushed up to the room, seized 
the old woman by the neck, pushed her precipitately down the stairs, 
and then returning to the breakfast table reproached Major Culbertson 
in strong language for thus lending his influence to perpetuate super- 
stitions which he, the priest, was struggling with all the power of religion 
to eradicate. 


"Father Point remained at Fort Lewis until the following May (1846), 
when he returned to St. Louis. His influence a"t the fort had been de- 
cidedly for good ; among the reforms that he accomplished was a change 
of relations between the white employes of the fort and the squaws living 
there. When the former were willing to become the lawful husbands of 
their squaws, he solemnized marriage between them; and when they 
would not consent to do this, he induced the squaws to leave them and re- 
turn to their respective tribes. 

"Major Culbertson states, in connection with this subject of Indian 
wives, that even when marriage in the usual form had not taken place, 
the head of the family felt himself bound to perform faithfully all the 
duties of a husband and a father. He does not believe that there oc- 
curred an instance of an employe of the American Fur Company, who 
taking an Indian wife, failed in the parental obligations. Separated some- 
times for life from civilized society., deprived of the opportunity to get 
wives of their own color, it was natural that they should seek them 
from the women of the people among whom they dwelt. When mar- 
riage after the custom of their own race was practicable, they employed 
its rites, but when this was impossible it satisfied them to observe the 
Indian custom of purchase and public acknowledgement of their intended 
relations. Some of the resident partners of the company and many of the 
clerks, educated and intelligent men, took Indian wives, and carried 
their families with them when removing from the country. 

"McKenzie took his Cree wife and four children to Red river and 
educated the latter in the missionary schools. Culbertson removed with 
his Blood wife and six children to Illinois, educating his children, three 
of his daughters being now well married and residing in the East. Denig 
took his family of an Assiniboine squaw and three children to Red river 
where he still resides. Morgan, with an Assiniboine wife and two chil- 
dren removed to the same place. Mitchell sent his three children by his 
Cree wife to the schools of Red River. .Dawson took his only child 
by a Cree Ventre wife to Scotland, his wife being dead. And Harvey 


provided for his two children by a Piegan woman, somewhere in the 
hese were all prominent men of the fur trade and similar exam- 
ples could be greatly multiplied. The poorer class of the employes the 


artisans and laborers, following their example, did the best the circum- 
stances permitted. In some instances the father died, or was killed, leav- 
ing infant children whose lot in early life was a hard one and whose 
subsequent career was not admirable consequent upon this early orphange, 
just as is the case with thousands of white children who grow up in the 


heart of civilized communities in the shadow of schools and churches. 
But where children were left thus uncared for, the rough frontiersman 
was often ready to assume the position of protector and provider." 


Father De Smet had so pushed and expanded the activities of St. 
Mary's Mission that he had sent Father Point and others to establish the 
Sacred Heart Mission among the Coeur d'Alenes and St. Ignatius among 
Kalispehlms, but was obliged to journey to Europe in order to secure 
other recruits to assist him in his religious work. His trip was most 
successful and he returned with a strong band of priests and sisters to 
develop the missions in the Bitter Root Valley and elsewhere. The most 
noted and helpful and who came to share with Father De Smet himself 
the crown of unselfish Christian labors was Father Anthony Ravalli, also 
a member of the Society of Jesus. He was the direct successor at St. 
Mary's of Father Peter Zebinatti, who died suddenly in September, 1844. 

Father Ravalli was an Italian, and not only learned in literature, 
philosophy, the natural sciences and theology, but thoroughly versed in 
medicine and in mechanics. In the forty years of his service as a mis- 
sionary, he therefore was not only beloved as a religious teacher, but as a 
physical healer and as a real helper in the practical affairs of pioneer 
life. It was he who devised the first crude mill, by which the people, 
white and red alike, obtained nourishing flour and bread. By many other 
ingenious devices did Father Ravalli lighten the toil of those around 
and add to their comforts. Although he traveled from the valley of the 
Missouri to the Pacific Coast as a welcome visitor to the various Catholic 
missions, he was most sacredly enshrined in the hearts of the western 
people of his times as the Apostle of the Salish. 


Father Ravalli was in charge of St. Mary's Mission for about five 
years previous to its abandonment in 1850. Little progress was made in 
placating the Blackfeet. Numerous war parties of the nation continued to 
visit the Bitter Root Valley in their marauding expeditions against the 
Flathead and whites, and seldom failed to make a demonstration against 
the mission. In 1849, upon an occasion when Father Ravalli had with him 
only one lay brother and a few Christian Indians, the mission was attacked 
by a war party of about fifty Blackfeet. During the assault, two bands 
of horses belonging to the mission and Flathead Indians made their ap- 
pearance, and the Blackfoot warriors preferring horses to scalps, with- 
drew from the attack, drove off the horses and left the occupants of the 
mission to meditate on their narrow escape. For the time being, the 
Blackfeet made St. Mary's untenable, and in the fall of 1850 it was de- 
cided to withdraw from St. Mary's, after the mission had been in opera- 
tion for about a decade. Father Gregory Mengarini, who during all this 
period had been a co-worker with Father De Smet, was in charge at the 



time of its temporary closing. Father Mengarini was the author of a 
Salish grammar, published in 1861, and was the most thorough linguist 
of the Flathead tongue among the missionaries. He subsequently went to 
Santa Clara, California, where he died in the late '8os. 

St. Mary's Mission was closed in October, 1850, and Major Owen 
bought its improvements and established the fort which bore his name in 
the following month. The mission had long been not only the center of 
proselytism for the Catholic Church, but a refuge for travelers of what- 
ever faith, or none at all. That fact, with the conviction of its insecurity 
from Blackfeet attacks, seems to have been the t eventual cause of its 
undoing in the fall of 1850. This phase of the situation is thus de- 
scribed by a writer of the period : "In those early days the missions being 
the only habitations within many hundred miles became the refuge and 
abiding place during bitter weather of French-Canadians and mixed- 
breed trappers, who in milder seasons ranged over the mountains and 
plains in pursuit of furs. These half-savage men were undoubtedly a 
picturesque part of the old woodland life and their uncouth figures 
lent animation and color to the quiet monotone of the religious com- 
munities. In the first quarter of the last century we find mention of 
French-Canadians employed by the Missouri Fur Company appearing on 
New Year's Eve clad in bison robes, painted like Indians, dancing La 
Gignolee to the music of tinkling bells fastened to their dress, for gifts 
of meat and drink. The trappers were, in the days of St. Mary's Mission, 
a licentious, roistering band with easy morals, consciences long since 
gone to sleep, who did not hesitate to debauch the Indians, and who 
feared neither man nor devil. They went to St. Mary's, as to other 
shrines, and under the pretext of practicing their religion, lived on the 
missionaries' scanty stores and filled the idle hours with illicit pastimes. 
It is said that they became revengeful because of the coolness of their 
reception by the priests, and malevolently set about to poison the Salish 
against the beloved robes noires." 

Another account gives a more specific instance of the way that un- 
principled whites undermined the good work of St. Mary's. It is to the 
effect that in the winter of 1849-50 eight white emigrants on their way 
to Oregon stopped among the Flathead "and sought like drones to live off 
the scanty subsistence of the Indians. Their ways were neither com- 
mendable nor edifying. They were men of no religion, and resented the re- 
monstrances of the Fathers for the scandal given to the Indians by their 
licentiousness. They deemed themselves insulted by admonition and coun- 
sel, and intepreted the refusal of the missionaries to grant their exorbitant 
demands as an interference with their rights and freedom. Their grum- 
bling soon developed into active hostility, especially against Father Man- 
garini, who was in charge of the mission, and they made use of some 
half-breeds whose conduct was little better than their own to destroy the 
confidence and alienate the hearts of the Indians." 

Whatever the cause, or causes, the Flathead became luke-warm in 
their devotions, many of them refusing to sacrifice the buffalo hunt for 
priestly offices, and the Blackfeet became more and more dangerous. So 


Mary's Mission was dismantled and leased to Major Owen, the trader, 
and the missionaries went forth to other fields of religious labor. At 
Hell Gate, the inferno of the Blackfeet, they parted, Father Ravalli 
starting for the Sacred Heart Mission among the Coeur d'Alenes, and the 
others headed for the Mission of St. Ignatius, on the banks of the Pend 
d'Oreille River. 


The missionaries from St. Mary's abandoned mission were escorted 
to St. Ignatius by Victor, the good and able chief of the Salish Tribe. 
He was also called Mitt'to', the Lodge Pole, and was the successor of 
Chief Paul, or Long Face, who, as the first of the Flathead to be bap- 
tized by Father De Smet, was then eighty years of age. The missionary 
named him Paul, after the great Apostle of the Gentiles. Victor, who 
was the chief and great man of his people, and the unwavering support 
of the whites for nearly fifty years, led the missionaries to the old St. 
Ignatius Mission in the autumn of 1850. There, for four or five years 
it endured, when, location not being considered desirable, preparations 
were made to move it to a site selected by Alexander, chief of the Kali- 
spehlms, in the fruitful, flowery valley of Sin-Yal-min. From the great 
range by that name which formed its eastern boundary "burst a water- 
fall plunging from mighty altitudes into the emerald bowl of the valley, 
and there was the favorite gathering place of the Kalispehlms, Upper 
Kootenais, Pend d'Oreilles and Salish. Many of these Indians had 
already commenced to till little tracts of land, and evinced a desire for a 
settled and domestic life. 


The new St. Ignatius Mission seemed favored from its birth. During 
the year following its establishment in the valley of Sin-Yal-Min, or 
Mission Valley, the Hell Gate's treaty was signed by which Victor, in 
behalf of the Salish, the Pend d'Oreilles and other allied tribes of his 
nation, was to retain possession of the Bitter Root Valley above the 
Lolo Fork, unless after a fair survey by the United States the president 
should deem it best to move the tribe to Jocko, farther north and beyond 
the valley. In either case, with St. Mary's abandoned, the new mission 
of St. Ignatius was favored. Entire families of Salish soon commenced 
to abandon the Bitter Root Valley in order to be near the Blackrobes of 
St. Ignatius. The establishment of schools for both Indian boys and 
girls added to the northern attraction. The girls' school, the pioneer of 
its kind among the Indians of the territory, was first established by four 
Sisters from Montreal. In the boys' school, which followed, were taught 
not only French and English and the primary studies but such handicrafts 
as leather work, especially saddle-making. "Thus, largely through its 
practical industry, St. Ignatius grew into a powerful institution. Build- 
ing after building was added to the group until a beautiful village sprang 


up, half hidden among clumps of trees and generous vines. On the out- 
skirts of this community rows of tiny, low, thatch-roofed log cabins were 
built by the Indians to shelter them when they assembled to celebrate 
such feasts as Christmas, Good Friday and that of St. Ignatius, their 
patron saint." 

While St. Mary's was inactive and St. Ignatius was new, a spasmodic 
effort was made by the Presbyterians, in 1857, to found a mission among 
the Indians, with headquarters at Fort Benton. It is said that the In- 
dians did not take kindly to the new Protestant pastor, because he had 
a wife unlike the Blackrobes who were the only religious teachers with 
whom they had come in contact. 

While the Catholic missionaries were doing pioneer work in the 
introduction of Christianity and settled conditions among the Indians of 
Montana, the government was also endeavoring, with various degrees of 
success, to arrange with the fiercer and more warlike tribes, such as 
the Blackfeet and Crows, for the peaceful sessions of their lands and 
permission to allow the railroad surveys to proceed unmolested. The 
Oregon and the Salt Lake trails had been traced through the Rocky Moun- 
tains and over the plains, enabling the pioneer missionaries and emigrants 
to enter and, of times, to locate in the the Montana country. 


In September, 1851, a part of the Yellowstone Valley was set aside 
as a reservation for the Crow Indians. The boundary line of this 
reservation commenced at the mouth of the Powder River and followed 
that river to its source; thence along the main range of the Black Hill 
and Wind River Mountains to the headwaters of the Yellowstone River, 
thence down the Yellowstone River to the .mouth of Twenty-five Yard 
Creek, or Shields River, and across it to the headwaters of the Mussel- 
shell, thence down the Musselshell, to its mouth, thence to the headwaters 
of Dry Creek and down that creek to its mouth. 


In 1853-54, Col. Isaac I. Stevens, governor of the newly created 
territory of Washington, proved to be a strong and useful agent of the 
United States in the assurance of more settled conditions within the 
domain now known as Montana. He had been placed in charge of the 
Northern Pacific Railroad surveys, an important section of which was to 
pass through that portion of old Louisiana. In February, 1853, Governor 
Stevens had reached St. Louis with the government surveying party from 
St. Paul, and there met Major Culbertson, the commandant at Fort Ben- 
ton. An arrangement was thereupon made by which the latter was to 
accompany the government expedition to Fort Benton. 

Upon Governor Steven's arrival at Fort Union, where his party 
was joined by Lieutenant Mullan and others, the party proceeded to- 
gether toward Fort Benton. At the Big Muddy (present Roosevelt 


County), a war party of Blackfeet came upon them while in camp, whom 
Governor Stevens received kindly, dismissing them with presents. The 
Gros Ventres, too, were encountered at the Milk River and similarly 
treated. At that stream Lieutenant Lander was detached to proceed by 
a more northern route and rejoin the main body at Fort Benton, where 
Governor Stevens soon arrived without incident. Here he was joined 
by Lieutenant Saxton with forty men, who had been sent by sea to Fort 
Vancouver, Oregon, with supplies, which he had conducted thence to 
Fort Owen, where he had left them and continued on to meet the gov- 
ernor. As this party was to return to the East, Governor Stevens pur- 
chased a keel boat from Major Culbertson for their transportation and 
employed them to pilot them down the river to Fort Leaven worth ; while 
the governor himself continued his journey to Puget Sound, having first 
appointed Major Culbertson special Indian agent, and secured fom him a 
promise to pass the ensuing winter in Washington to assist in obtaining 
an appropriation for making a treaty with the Blackfeet and Gros Ventres, 
which the governor had been induced, by his encounter with these tribes, 
to earnestly recommend.* 

Leaving Fort Benton about the ist of October, 1853, with the keel- 
boat bearing Lieutenant Saxton's command, Major Culbertson was so 
fortunate as to get through to Fort Leavenworth (Kansas) without ice. 
Proceeding thence to St. Louis, where he remained two weeks, he con- 
tinued his journey to Washington in accordance with his promise to 
Governor Stevens. There he passed the entire winter lobbying for the pro- 
posed appropriation for the treaty, which he declared to have been the 
most distasteful proceeding of his life. But he was untiring in his efforts; 
not discouraged even when the bill failed in the House on its first pres- 
entation ; and by his industry and straight-forward representations was 
greatly instrumental in securing the final passage of the bill which re- 
sulted in an understanding with the Blackfeet which temporarily modi- 
fied their hostile attitude toward both the Salish and the white settlers. 


In the meantime, John Owen, who had taken over St. Mary's improve- 
ments and established his post and fort, was having the usual experience 
with the Blackfeet ; so harassing and unfortunate had it been that he had 
started with his herds for Oregon, when he fell in with a detachment of 
Governor Stevens' soldiers under Lieutenant Mullan, who were then win- 
tering in the Bitter Root Valley, and decided to turn back and re-establish 
his interests under the protection of the soldiers. The missionaries also 
adopted this policy of co-operation with Uncle Sam's Army, as is noted 
in Hubert Howe Bancroft's "History of Washington, Idaho and Mon- 
tana," as follows : "In 1854, after the Stevens exploring expedition had 
made the country more habitable by treaty talks with the Blackfeet and 
other tribes, Hoeken, who seems nearly as indefatigable as De Smet, 

* Lieutenant Bradley's Journal, Historical Society's Contributions, Vol. Ill, pp. 
269, 270. 



selected a site for a new mission 'not far from Flathead lake and about 
fifty miles from the old Mission of St. Mary's.' Here he erected, 
during the summer, several frame buildings, a chapel, shops and dwell- 
ings, and gathered about him a camp of Kootenais, Flatbows, Pend 
d'Oreilles, Flatheads and Kalispels. Rails and fencing were cut to the num- 
ber of 18,000, a large field put under cultivation and the mission of St. 
Ignatius in the Flathead country became the successor of St. Mary's. 


In the new 'reduction' the Fathers were assisted by the officers of the 
exploring expedition and especially by Lieutenant Mullan, who wintered 
in the Bitter Root valley in 1854-55. In return, the Fathers assisted 
Governor Stevens at the treaty grounds and endeavored to control the 
Coeur d'Alenes and Spokanes in the troubles that immediately followed 
the treaties of 1855. 

"Subsequently the mission in the Bitter Root valley was revived 
(1866), and the Flatheads were taught there until the removal to the 


reservation at Flathead lake, which reserve included St. Ignatius mission, 
where a school was first opened in 1863, by Father Urbanus Grassi. In 
1858 the missionaries at the Flathead mission had 300 more barrels of 
flour than they could consume, which they sold to the posts of the Ameri- 
can Fur Company on the Missouri, and the Indians cultivated fifty farms 
averaging five acres each. In their neighborhood were two sawmills." 

Thus the missionaries, the United States Government and the fur 
traders were co-operating, without any settled plan, to bring about more 
settled conditions in the Land of the Mountains. Fort Benton and the 
settlements founded by the missionaries at St. Mary's and St. Ignatius 
were for years the only real evidences of permanent conditions in the 
region. During the late '505, that part of Montana lying west of the 
Rocky Mountains received a few more settlers, and these scattered evi- 
dences of permanency are noted by Judge Frank H. Woody, who was one 
of the newcomers himself. 

It may be added that the Deer Lodge Valley had also commenced 
to show signs of occupancy by white settlers by the late ? 5os. In 1856, 
John F. Grant built a home at the confluence of the Little Blackfoot 
with the Deer Lodge River, the first building erected in that part of 
the country. Two years later the first houses were built marking the site 
of the present town of Deer Lodge, among the early settlers of which 
were James and Granville Stuart. 


The Blackfeet were still the great menace standing in the way of the 
settlement of the fertile valleys of Western Montana, as well as the 
extension of the Catholic faith among the Indians and the realization of 
its concomitant, the establishment of peaceful relations with the whites. 
The old aim of the church, temporarily abandoned, to establish a perma- 
nent mission among the Blackfeet, was revived in 1858, eleven years after 
Father Point had been recalled to Canada and taken from his labors along 
that line of work. In that year Father Hoecken was chosen for the mis- 
sion. He came West in the spring of 1859, and spent that summer travel- 
ing over the country with a friendly band of the tribe in search of a suit- 
able site for the proposed mission. The first location selected was on the 
Teton River near the modern town of Chouteau. Various priests were 
sent into the Blackfeet country to further the work, but four other at- 
tempts were made before the site of the present St. Peter's Mission was 
fixed upon. Locations on both the Sun and Maria's rivers were aban- 
doned within the following four or five years. 

In 1864, Father Ravalli joined the little missionary band at St. Peter's. 
It was then established just above the mouth of Sun River, where Fort 
Shaw now stands. The winter of 1865 was one of intense cold and raging 
blizzards, and crowds of gold hunters and would-be settlers were strug- 
gling toward the Sun River country and other promising sections of West- 
ern Montana. Father Ravalli arrived at a most opportune period, for 
St. Peter's was thrown open to all sufferers who applied for shelter there 


and the beloved apostle of the Salish, with his medical education and 
training, was able to skillfully care for those suffering in body, as well 
as for those who sought spiritual consolation. 

The appalling winter was followed by a summer of drought and such 
a withering of all the crops usually cultivated at and near the mission 
that Indians and whites alike became discouraged. By common consent 
St. Peter's was then moved to its present location on the east side and at 
the foot of the Bird Tail Divide, in the western part of Cascade County. 
Although the mission was established, it accomplished little in the way 
of converting the Blackfeet to the ways of peace, and was many times 
in danger of its very existence. It was virtually abandoned in 1866 and 
became a dependency of the newly established mission at Helena, Father 
C. Imoda, who had been connected with the work among the Blackfeet 
from the first, being assigned to the duty of visiting St. Peter's at in- 


In 1874, St. Peter's Mission was reopened, and afterward gave birth 
to Holy Family Mission near the Blackfeet reservation of Northwestern 
Montana and St. Paul's Mission, on People's Creek, a tributary of Milk 
River and among the Little Creek or Little Rocky Mountains. St. Paul's 
was a mission founded among the Assiniboines and the Gros Ventres of 
the Plains. 

Missions were established among the Cheyennes and Crows of South- 
eastern Montana in the '8os St. Labre on the Tongue River and St. 
Xavier, with their schools for boys and girls. But the story of their 
establishment and progress takes one through the period covering the 
final struggles of the hostile Indians to retain their foothold upon Mon- 
tana soil and the peaceful times of the past thirty years; and there 
are many epochs, episodes and developments to be depicted in the mean- 

The fur traders and missionaries were all laying the groundwork for 
a stable civilization and a progressive commonwealth, and, both in co- 
operation with them and as independent agents, the national government 
and private individuals explored Montana for convenient gateways 
through its mountain barriers and natural highways of travel between the 
Missouri valleys and transmontane America. 


The early period of the decade prior to the discovery of Montana 
gold in commercial quantities is dominated by the expeditions and explora- 
tions and Indian negotiations conducted by Governor I. I. Stevens, of 
Washington territory. He was also to cut a large figure in the southern 
campaigns jof the Civil War. In the later '505, while the border states along 
the Lower Missouri were in the throes of a sectional War of the Rebel- 
lion, Business, Pleasure and Government were exploring and traveling the 
regions of the Upper Missouri, developing their actual and potential riches 
and endeavoring to make the land habitable for the strong and pro- 
gressive men and women of the white race. 


The first of these expeditions which has cut a swarth in the historic 
field of Montana was that conducted by the English pleasure hunter, 
Sir St. George Gore. In 1854, according to Lieutenant Bradley's Jour- 
nal, this wealthy English bachelor, equipped with a passport from the 
Indian Bureau, ascended the Missouri River from St. Louis for a pro- 
tracted hunt in the wilds of the West. He was accompanied by a party 
of twenty-three men, with a long wagon-train loaded with provisions, 
and had secured the services of the famous Jim Bridger as his guide. It 
was probably the largest and best equipped pleasure outfit that ever 
penetrated the western wilderness. Following up the valleys of the main 
and North Platte rivers, hunting as he went, Sir St. George finally 
crossed the mouth of the Tongue River, where it debouches into the 
Yellowstone. There he built a fort for the protection of his party and 
remained for nine months, trading with the Indians and pursuing his 
hunting projects. 


The destruction of game by his party was so great as to excite indig- 
nation of the Crow Indians and bring forth a remonstrance on their part. 
They were willing, they said, that all that was needed for food should 
be killed, but objected to the wholesale slaughter for mere sport, the 
carcasses being left to rot upon the prairie. From a letter of Col. A. J. 
Vaughan, then Indian agent of the Upper Missouri, to the superintendent 
of Indian affairs at St. Louis, dated July, 1856, it appears that 105 bears 



and some 2,000 buffalo, elk and deer, had already fallen victims to the 
British nimrod. At last the Indians, in retaliation, drove off a consider- 
able part of his horses in one swoop, and subsequently, in the winter of 
1856-57, while he was wintering between Forts Union and Berthold, made 
a clean sweep of the remainder. , 

In the summer of 1856, the English hunter broke up his big camp 
about eight miles above the mouth of Tongue River, and despatching 
his wagons to Fort Union by land, he himself, with a portion of his com- 
mand, descended the Yellowstone in boats prepared from the hides he 
had taken. 


Arriving * at Fort Union, the trading post of the American Fur Com- 
pany still in charge of Major Culbertson, Sir St. George agreed with the 
company for the construction of two mackinaw boats, with which to 
descend the river, the company agreeing to take his stock, wagons, etc., 
at some stipulated price. When the boats were finished, there was a 
misunderstanding as to the terms of the bargain, and he fancied that in 
his remoteness from man the company was seeking to speculate upon 
his necessities. He seems to have been mercurial, wrathful, effervescent 
and reckless and, heedless of the consequences, he refused the terms 
offered by the company. Accordingly, he burned his wagons and all the 
Indian goods and supplies not needed, in front of the fort, guarding 
the flames from the plunder of either whites or Indians. It is ,said, even 
after such drastic action, he was apprehensive that the members of the 
fur company might rescue from the flames the hot irons of his wagons 
and carts. So, having guarded them until night came on, he threw them 
all into the Missouri River. His cattle and horses, t according to the 
Heldt narrative, he sold to the "vagabond hangers-on of the Indians there, 
or gave them away, and, with two flat-boats he had built at the mouth of 
Tongue River, proceeded with his party, now decimated by mutual con- 
sent, to Fort Berthold." In the spring of 1857, Sir St. George left that' 
trading post so near to the western frontier of the United States and 
returned to St. Louis by steamboat. 


William T. Hamilton, a Scotch-Englishman from St. Louis, who had 
long traded with the western Indians, been a gold miner of California 
and afterward a Buckskin Ranger engaged in the protection of the 
miners against the savages of the new country, had later been employed 
by the Government as a scout in such campaigns as the Modoc and the 
Spokane and Yakima wars. After the Indians had been subdued in the 
latter series of engagements, in September, 1858, the Walla Walla coun- 

*F. George Heldt in Contributions to the Historical Society of Montana, Vol. 
I, p. 146. 

tLieutenant Bradley's Journal states that the remainder of his horses were 
stolen by the Indians in the winter of 1856-57. 


try was declared open to settlement, and the region was soon overrun 
with white adventurers from Oregon and Washington. Then a rumor 
was received from the Indians who had been east of the Rocky Moun- 
tains that the tribes were inclined to be hostile, and as the Government 
was becoming tired of continual Indian wars, it was determined to in- 
vestigate that rumor. Mr. Hamilton was selected for the mission. More 
than forty years afterward, after he had fought under General Crook 
in the Sioux war and resided for many years at Fort Benton and the 
Flathead country of Northwest Montana, as a fur trader and a guide 
this William Hamilton, then a grizzly old man of about seventy and 
seven years, first told the story of his tour of investigation in 1858, to 
sound the attitude of the Indians on the eastern side of the Rockies. 

In 1858, Mr. Hamilton was stationed at Walla Walla, of which mili- 
tary post Colonel Wright was in command. "Upon the conclusion of 
the Spokane and Yakima war," runs his narrative, "an orderly informed 
me that I was wanted at the officers' rooms. The meeting was held at 
Captain Dent's quarters. (He was a relative of General Grant's wife.) 
I accordingly reported and found some twenty officers present. It looked 
like a council of war. They directed me to a chair in their midst, and 
I soon learned that they were discussing the possibility or probability of 
another Indian war east of the Rocky mountains, by reason of 
the rumor received as above stated. They asked my opinion of the news 
received. I had been interviewing many Indians who had lately arrived 
from the buffalo country and learned that they were on friendly terms 
with all the tribes through which they sojourned, except the Blood 
Indians, and I had ascertained from them the section of country which 
each tribe inhabited, and the disposition of the same, insofar as they were 
able to give me information on this point. I accordingly imparted unto 
the officers the information I had thus received and my opinion re- 
garding the same. 

"The officers asked me if I had ever been in that country and I replied 
in the negative, but informed them that I had a great desire to visit and 
explore those sections as far as the Missouri River. I was acquainted 
with the country to the south of this river. Lieutenant Sheridan and 
others thought it would be a foolhardy undertaking at the present state 
of affairs. I replied, 'Yes for any person not acquainted with the Indians 
and who could not converse with them'. I was then credited with being 
the most expert sign talker among the Indians. This knowledge came 
almost natural to me, and therefore. I do not give myself any particular 
credit for proficiency in that art. The knowledge of the sign language 
is necessary to mountaineers and scouts. It assists them in extricating 
themselves from many difficult dilemmas. All wild tribes of Indians 
have great respect for a man who meets them boldly and can converse 
with them by signs. It is the reverse with them when they meet a man 
they cannot understand. 

"I informed the officer I apprehended no great difficulty in making 
the trip ; that the greatest danger was in passing through the late subdued 
tribes, but if these chiefs were held prisoners until I returned I did not 


think there would be any great danger; the Indians being well aware 
that I represented the government should the trip be finally determined 
upon. I informed the officers that I should visit the villages of the 
subdued tribes and would want an official envelope with some reading 
matter, and that I would interpret what would be necessary in order to 
set them thinking of something else besides taking my scalp. The officers 
all laughed at this mode of outwitting the Indians, and before the meeting 
broke up shook hands with me, Phil. Sheridan, with others, expressing 
great confidence in my ability to carry out the undertaking. They then 
informed me to hold myself in readiness for a few days and they would 
take the matter under advisement. 


"So about the 2oth of September, 1858, I received an order from 
Colonel Wright to report at headquarters at 2 P. M. I reported promptly 
on time, the reception room being crowded with officers and their wives, 
with most of whom I was acquainted, and was somewhat taken back 
by their presence in the council. With an array of maps and writing 
material spread out upon a large table, I surmised that some move was on 
tap different from what I anticipated, but in a moment was undeceived. 
I then received an appointment as secret Indian detective with pay as 
scout, and was ordered to proceed through the different tribes of Indians 
to the Blackfoot nation east of the Rocky Mountains and report on the 
condition and disposition of the different tribes visited, at the earliest 

Hamilton received an ovation from both the ladies and officers at his 
departure, promising the former "many nice Indian trinkets" and as- 
suring the latter that he might be expected to return about the I5th of 
November. His only companion, McKay, also a scout, carried his bows 
and arrows, as he was an expert in their use. Their horses were said 
to be the fleetest in the country, "thoroughly broken under fire and could 
not be stampeded." They passed through the countries of the Spokanes 
and the Palouse tribe late enemies, using the official envelope, with 
"interpretations," to good advantage, the name of Colonel Wright being 
especially potent. Within a week, they had reached St. Mary's River, 
where they met some Pend d'Oreille Indians, who warned them to beware 
of the Blackfeet, Piegans and Snake Indians. 


A paragraph in Hamilton's journal, at this point in the narrative, 
describes the primitive advantages of the country, at and around the 
modern city of Missoula : "Next morning, by sun, we were packed up and 
asking the chief the proper route to take, he pointed to a canyon some 
fourteen miles distant, stating we should follow up that stream three 
sleeps, then keep to the right of a certain butte, follow up a small stream 
and cross the mountains. The stream they mentioned is now called the 


Little Black Foot. We crossed a rolling prairie, a beautiful country, 
about ii A. M., and arrived at a beautiful creek, now Rattlesnake, where 
we camped. We saw no Indians, but signs in abundance. We laid over 
one day and I explored this section for several miles, and informed 
McKay I would at some time in the future open a trading post at this 
place.* It was manifest by the convergence of the trails that it would 
.be a splendid place for trade on account of its centrality. All these trails 
showed signs of being constantly travelled by different bands of Indians. 


"We were aware of being in the Flathead country and thought we 
could not be over thirty or forty miles from Fort Owen.f I was ac- 
quainted with many of the Flatheads. They were always looked upon 
by all mountaineers as being the bravest of Indians and mountain men's 
friends in every circumstance. Flatheads never missed an opportunity 
to render assistance to the mountaineer; hence the great friendship be- 
tween the two. I had met Maj. John Owen at Walla Walla. He was 
agent for the Flatheads. He invited me to pay him a visit at some time 
and I promised to do so, but on this occasion had not time." 

Hamilton and McKay then followed the trail up Hell Gate River, 
crossed the Big Black Foot, guided and guarded by friendly Flatheads, 
and on the i6th and i/th of October were encamped on the Dearborn 
River and the south fork of the Sun, east of the Continental divide and 
north of the Missouri River. From the latter camp, accompanied by a 
band of Flatheads, Hamilton rode down the river some twenty-five miles 
to visit the Piegan Indian agent, Colonel Vaughn, whom he described as 
"a fine looking old man from the State of Mississippi." Upon applica- 
tion, he gave Hamilton a statement as to the disposition of the Piegans 
toward the whites; what tribes were actually hostile, or inclined to be 
so. The colonel further informed him where Little Dog, the head chief 
of the Piegans was camped, advising Hamilton to see the chief, as he 
might render great assistance; also informing him that "the Piegans 
had very many fine robes." 


The white scouts then followed the base of the mountains, crossed the 
north fork of the Sun River and some ten miles beyond that stream 
found Little Dog's Indians and the proud, fine chief himself. Colonel 
Vaughn had informed Hamilton that Little Dog was considered one of 
the bravest and proudest Indians on the plains, and the two scouts there- 
fore "dressed all up" in expectation of meeting him. "I just got through 
(supper)," says Hamilton, "and was looking north expecting to see 
Indians every moment, when sure enough about one mile distant, we dis- 

*As he did, remaining there for several years. 

tFounded eight years before by Maj. John Owen, former sutler in the United 
States army, upon certain improvement^ of old St. Mary's mission. 



covered twenty-five Indians, splendidly mounted, coming rapidly. They 
saw that we had discovered them and when within one-fourth of a mile 
distant they pulled their guns and fired into the air, which is the sign 
of friends. We returned the salute. At that they came with a whirl- 
wind speed. It was a beautiful sight. When within fifty yards the chief 
gave an order and they halted at a jump, as trappers say. Sure enough, 
it was Little Dog, and he dismounted with a proud step and advanced. 
I met him half way. He scrutinized me from head to foot, then reached 


out his hand with the customary remark 'How.' He was a fine looking 
specimen of an Indian chieftain. Many an artist would have been glad 
to have had the opportunity of taking his picture, just as he stood before 
me. He was over six feet in height, straight as an arrow, with his im- 
plements of war on his person and a magnificent war bonnet upon his 
head. Three years afterward I became the owner of this bonnet." 


Little Dog evidently approved of the completeness of the scouts' 
outfits and was further impressed by the presentation of a handsome 
blanket sent by Colonel Vaughn. Then came the chief's son, Fringe, 


who was to prove of such service. "Little Dog spoke to a splendid look- 
ing Indian about nineteen years of age," says Hamilton, "to come and sit 
down beside him and informed me that this was his eldest son. Well 
the chief might be proud of this son, a young man as handsome as an 
Apollo and as proud as Lucifer. I made him a present of the blanket, 
which was a counterpart of the one his father had just received. No 
sooner had he received the blanket than he jumped up and gave a ringing 
war whoop which made all the horses prick up their ears, and then 
stepping proudly up to me took me by the hand and made sign to me 'you 
are my friend.' I observed his father's eyes sparkle with pleasure. Ever 
after, father and son were as brothers to me and I to them, until their 
death which occurred nine years after." 

Other communications followed, by signs, and Hamilton from the 
time of that conference was known among the Piegans as Sign-Talking 
White Man. The Indians were loaded with provisions and presented 


with plug tobacco, when Little Dog departed with most of his warriors, 
leaving his son and two other Indians to guard the white men's camp 
during the night. Although Hamilton assured McKay that he had every 
confidence in the reliability of Fringe, or Never Tire, each took turns in 
sleeping. The former here writes : "Now fhese two Indians, Little Dog 
and his son affected me as no other Indians ever had. An attachment 
sprung up in my breast for them that I could not understand and account 
for, since I was considered by all of my mountain friends to be very 
bitter and anything but friendly with Indians. I had lost many friends 
by them at different times." 


The next morning the journey was resumed toward Little Dog's 
village, thirteen or fourteen miles away, the later portion of the trip being 
taken with an escort of Piegan warriors whom the chief had sent for that 
purpose. At the village Little Dog himself met them and the following 
two days were passed in feasting, exchanging compliments and news, 
and trading, for buffalo robes, dried tongues and ponies, revolvers, am- 


munition, scarlet cloth, calico, buttons, knives, etc., the scouts sometimes 
using such articles in trade and at other times as presents. The robes of 
the Piegans were of a very superior quality, many of them being gar- 
nished beautifully and "would bring from twenty-five to fifty dollars in 
any market in those days." While the trading was at its height six Crow 
chiefs were received into the lodge, with two of whom Hamilton was 
acquainted. Afterward the scouts and traders, through the assistance of 
the Piegans, secured over forty good robes from the Crows, who had 
returned to Little Dog's village. 


Then the Crows and Piegans, who had been at peace since the pre- 
vious spring, turned to pleasure, one of their favorite forms of sport being 
horse-racing. Whereupon an event occurred in that line, which was 
remembered and discussed long after it occurred ; and McKay's thorough- 
bred was the hero of the occasion. As told by Hamilton, the story was : 
"After feasting and smoking (for about two hours after the trading), it 
was about 2 P. M. when the crier harangued the village to the effect 
that the Crows wanted to run races with the Piegans. In a short time 
there were fully five hundred assembled on the race grounds not over 
half a mile from the village. I took Little Dog to one side, and told him to 
let the Crows win the first two races; that the Crows had one American 
horse they wanted to run about half a mile, and not to race any of their 
horses against this American horse, but for Piegans to bet all they could 
get on McKay's horse, which could almost fly for almost half a mile. 

"Little Dog secretly notified the Piegans of this programme, and the 
Indians were quick to catch on. After three races had been run, all of 
which the Crows got away with, they became wild, having won several 
ponies and many robes. Fringe then led up McKay's horse, which was 
not so tall as the Indian horse. Fringe signed to the Crows he would run 
this horse against their American horse, and the Crows jumped at the 
offer, bringing all the ponies and robes they had won and twice as many 
more to bet on their horse, all of which bets were taken. I told Little 
Dog to inform his people to get all the bets they could and they certainly 

"After leading up fully twenty-five more ponies and piling up the 
robes in abundance, the Crows commenced to look carefully at McKay's 
horse, which they believed belonged to the Piegans, and they could see 
nothing extraordinary about him, but were somewhat taken aback at the 
amount the Piegans were anxious to stake on the race; at all events 
they would only take a few more bets. Little Dog's youngest son was 
called up by Fringe and told to prepare to ride the race, McKay having 
Informed Fringe that any boy could ride the horse. The boy promptly 
complied with the order of his older brothef by stripping naked. A Crow 
boy was also stripped, the track cleared and the horses led out to the 
starting point. An Indian race is started by the signal Go ! The first 
out wins the race, no difference what may happen to either horse or 


rider. Little Dog and the Crow chief were judges. I had seen a great 
many races, but never saw one in which the Indians took such an interest 
as on this occasion. Neither myself nor McKay could tell certainly what 
would be the result of this race, but one thing we were quite sure of: 
The Indian horse had to be a world-beater to beat McKay's at that 

"When the horses reached the starting place I turned round. Every- 
thing was hushed, all the dogs being held by the squaws. I was looking 
at Fringe with a glass and could see him address his younger brother on 
the horse and then, both horses being turned, Fringe let go of McKay's 
horse, which he was holding at the head, and the Crow let go of his horse 
at the same time. When the race was fairly commenced, I could see 
McKay's horse was being held, while the Crow was whipping. They ran 
together neck and neck to within one hundred yards of the coming-out 
place, when the boy on McKay's horse gave him the whip. The horse 
fairly flew from the Crow horse and won the race by about sixty feet. 
An Indian yell went up from five hundred throats. 

"The Crows were the worst non-plussed I ever beheld. They ap- 
peared sullen and silent, having very little to say. In a short time they 
departed for their own village. All the young Piegans had a great time 
dancing and singing that night until a late hour. A great many may say 
and think we played the Crows a mean trick by allowing McKay's horse 
to be used as if he belonged to the Piegans, but not so. We looked upon 
the Piegans as friends and the reverse with the Crows. I firmly believe 
the Crows had stolen the American horse from some white man on the 
emigrant road. I told the Crows as much and they did not deny it. At 
all events our action made the Piegans our firm friends ever afterwards. 

Little Dog's village, where Hamilton and McKay had been so warmly 
received and through the friendship of the chief and his son had done such 
profitable trading, was on Maria's River. They remained three days at 
that place, and at their departure for the Blackfoot camp on the north 
fork of the Milk River, the chief sent Fringe and five other Piegans to 
accompany them thither. Arriving at one of the lodges of a Crow chief, 
Hamilton produced both a mysteriously marked arrow given him by 
Little Dog and the convenient official envelope representing the might and 
dignity of the United States Government. Although outwardly im- 
pressed, they indicated by the expression of their faces and signs made 
behind the backs of the scouts that they had a contempt for the United 
States, as they belonged to Red Jacket's band of Canadian Crows. The 
white men obtained fifty-five garnished robes and two good packhorses 
and saddles, in exchange for their stock the design of the thieving 
Crows being (as Hamilton learned by their signs) to induce them to re- 
main in their village until the Piegans should depart and then rob them 
of their entire outfit. 

On the following morning, when the Crows were told of the intended 


departure of the whites and their Piegan escort, there was nearly a rup- 
ture between the two parties, which was only averted by the boldness 
and coolness of Fringe. When they separated, the Crows refused to 
shake hands with the whites and many left the lodge without smoking 
the pipe of peace. Fringe and his young Piegan warriors also agreed 
to accompany the scouts for a safe distance from the threatening Crows, 
as Hamilton and his friend had already gathered a valuable outfit sev- 
enteen head of stock, besides two mules they had received from Little 
Dog and his son, and fourteen packs of goods. 

The white-red party finally got safely out of the Crow village and 
headed for a Kootenai village on St. Mary's lake, and when well out of 
sight of the enemy Indians, Fringe and his Indian companions turned 
in the direction of their own village; not, however, before they had re- 
ceived from Hamilton three revolvers, with plenty of ammunition and 
other welcome presents. A few hours afterward the scouts and their 
outfit were attacked by three mounted Blackfeet. The men had a narrow 
escape, but their return attack was so decisive that the Indians were 
quickly shot from their horses and scalped by McKay. Not long after- 
ward they reached the Kootenai village, and the bloody Blackfoot scalps 
caused a furor among its warriors. They were tied to the ends of poles 
and paraded through the village, followed by a procession of old and 
young singing their war songs, which they kept up until about midnight. 


Hamilton and McKay soon made friends with the Kootenais, who put 
them down at once as great warriors, thus coolly bringing in Blackfoot 
scalps and carrying such a ponderous outfit of goods and livestock. Like 
the Flatheads, they had remained firm friends of the whites and had 
refused to be drawn into the Spokane war, in the outcome of which they 
showed much interest. The Kootenais inquired if the scouts had any 
powder and lead, and when they were presented with a ten-pound keg 
of powder, as a gift, their joy was such that "McKay remarked he had 
never seen such pleased Indians in his life." That was the first step in 
cementing the friendship of the Indians, as they "were not going to part 
company with the Kootenais this side of Tobacco Plains*, provided we 
ever go there, The chief, after being informed that the ammunition was 
a present, made the sign 'wait until we cross the mountains to our 
people.' " 


The squaws built a strong corral for the livestock and brought in fully 
a thousand pounds of bunch hay before night, the packs were brought in 
and carefully secured, and at the conclusion of the scalp dance and a 

* Tobacco plains, along Kootenai River, in the northern part of the present 
county of Lincoln, far northwestern Montana. 


"very pleasant evening," the night guards took post. They comprised 
Hamilton and McKay and two sons of the old chief, Black Bear. Nothing 
eventful occurred during the first guard, held by Hamilton and the oldest 
of the chief's sons. At about four o'clock Hamilton was awakened by 
gun shots all around the village and he and young Black Bear ran to the 
assistance of McKay and the other Kootenai guard. They reached them 
just in time to see the other brother flash his knife and scalp a Blackfoot 
whom he had thrown to the ground, and McKay also had his foot on 
a six-foot enemy Indian, while he was reloading his shot-gun. Only 
a few Indian ponies had stampeded and the corral built by the squaws 
had kept the livestock secure. After the uproar in the camp had sub- 
sided it was found that five Blackfeet had been made "good Indians, two 
being credited to McKay." One young Blackfoot had been taken pris- 
oner, and brought into the chief's lodge. After breakfast the next day, 
many of the young Indians mounted upon their best ponies were scouring 
the prairies and when they had brought in the few animals which had 
escaped, turned their attention' to the prisoner. They took him outside 
the village, stripped him, cut his hair and gave him fully thirty lashes, 
his yelling being heard all over the village. Afterward he was told to go, 
which he did at a fifteen mile gait, until he passed over the ridge and 
out of sight. A shot was heard and soon after a young Kootenai, a 
brother to the one who had been killed in the recent fight with the Black- 
feet, made his appearance from the direction the Blackfoot had taken. 
He passed by near where Hamilton and McKay were standing, and the 
former asked him by sign "Got Blackfoot?" He smiled, shook his head 
and went on to his lodge. Hamilton afterwards found out that the 
Kootenai had "got" the one that had been captured and released, but that 
he reported his hair was too short for a scalp. 

The Kootenais, with Hamilton and McKay on their mules, broke camp 
October 27th, and, with the squaws keeping the pack animals in order, 
the mixed party moved forward toward the northern home-land of the 
Indians beyond the mountains. They had not gone far before a band of 
two hundred Blackfeet warriors was discovered concealed in a draw, 
and the moving village quickly closed up into a compact circle, Hamilton 
and McKay exchanging their white mules for their war-horses. 


The advance of the two little armies of red warriors is well de- 
scribed by Hamilton: "We then mounted our horses and rejoined the 
advance and found the warriors stripped to the breech clouts. Whenever 
you see that, be assured they are prepared to die in defense of their 
women and children. They were a noble looking body of brown-skinned 
warriors. They had no time for painting, for the Blackfeet had been 
preparing for the attack by stripping themselves in the draw. Many of 
them did not have a stitch upon them, except a belt and war bonnet and 
implements of war. At this time they showed themselves upon a rise 
about four hundred yards distant. They gave forth a thrilling yell and 


then divided into two wings, as if going to surround the Kootenai out- 
fit. It was a very interesting sight to see them coming at whirlwind speed, 
shouting forth yell after yell, and evidently expecting their yelling would 
stampede some of the Kootenai outfit. In this they were disappointed, 
as the Kootenais were up to all such manoeuvres and had placed all the 
squaws and young ones on the outside of the pack animals. The squaws 
were nervy, evidently realizing that everything they held dear was in 
danger; at all events they were rustlers on this occasion in keeping the 
stock from being stampeded. When about one hundred of the Blackfeet, 
who were charging on our side, got within 300 yards of us, they opened 
fire with their Hudson Bay flint lock, muzzle-loading guns, but fortu- 
nately they were of, short range. There was one Blackfoot in advance 
riding on a fine pinto horse and I turned to McKay and said : 'Let us try 
and stop that fellow.' As I have before stated, our ponies were thoroughly 
broken under fire and would scarcely breathe when we took aim. We 
both fired at the Indian at once and both horse and rider went to the 
grass and remained there ; then the Kootenais sent forth their war yell of 

That seemed to give the Blackfoot warriors pause and, being also 
outnumbered, they beat a retreat. Only a few Kootenais followed McKay, 
whom Hamilton had been endeavoring to draw out of danger, as the 
latter was far in advance charging after the fleeing Blackfeet. This was 
not accomplished, although both man and horse were bleeding from 
wounds, until the fiery Scotchman had "lifted some hair" taken some 
Blackfeet scalps. The two whites and their small band of Kootenai 
warriors were quite a distance from the main body of Indian warriors 
before their chief called off his men. 

The result of the battle was about thirty-five enemy scalps, as against 
four killed and twenty wounded of the Kootenais. Their booty com- 
prised a lot of Blackfoot blankets which had been left in the draw and 
about fifty horses, the latter replacing the Kootenai animals which had 
been shot and crippled in the fight. 

As the Blackfeet warriors, in sign language on their retreat, had 
threatened to renew the fight when the party were crossing the moun- 
tains, Chief Black Bear sent ahead for reenforcements, and then camped 
to bury the dead and care for the wounded. The advance then con- 
tinued, in spite of Hamilton's advice to the chief to send scouts ahead, 
the moving village was attacked as it emerged from a mountain pass and 
a timbered stretch. Shots followed rapidly and the Blackfeet both 
mounted and afoot came at the Kootenais with a yell. They also at- 
tempted to stampede the pack animals, and Hamilton, even with the aid 
of his famous horse Hickory, had much difficulty in saving his white mule 
which a Blackfoot was riding off into the timber. A reenforcement of 
Kootenais coming over the mountains threw the Blackfeet into a panic. 
But, to the disgust of the scouts, the retreating Blackfeet were not fol- 
lowed. Hamilton notes the bravery of the young boys in the fight : "One 
of the young boys who was driving our pack animals was killed and two 


others were wounded. Those little boys fought more bravely than many 
of the grown Indians." 

Many were wounded, but few killed in this engagement. Both the 
horses of Hamilton and McKay were badly wounded by arrows and the 
latter was also painfully injured in the same way. The former earned 
as great a name as a "medicine man" as he did for his warlike achieve- 
ments, but, if anything, the plucky and fearless "Me," with his wonderful 
proficiencies as a bowman and his penchant for Indian scalps, seemed to 
have been most admired as a white warrior. So great was Hamilton's 
reputation as a healer, with the advance of the party, that several 
wounded squaws insisted that he attend them, in preference to their own 
medicine men. 

On the 2Qth of October, the summit of the mountains was reached, 
a scouting party of the newly arrived Kootenais now in the advance, as 
well as on the sides and at the rear. At the base of the mountains, an 
encampment was made, while two young men were dispatched with robes 
to the Hudson Bay trading post, on the north" side of Tobacco Plains, to 
trade for powder and lead, the stock of which had become dangerously 
low. The Kootenais expected another attack from the Blackfeet, as it 
is in the Indian Code that to suffer defeat and not retaliate even if the 
aggressor is cowardly and inexcusable. 


Black Bear and his people decided that they would move their village 
to the Catholic mission, southwest side of Tobacco Plains, on the banks 
of the Kootenai River. On the ist of November, accompanied by Young 
Black 'Bear, and provided with three ponies by his Indian friends, Ham- 
ilton set out for the Hudson Bay Company's trading post to get some 
groceries. "The distance to the post," he says, "was about six miles, 
it being situated about one-fourth mile north of the boundary line after- 
wards established, which was disappointing to the Hudson Bay Company, 
as they thought the whole Tobacco Plains was north of the line. I and 
Linklighter, the trader, had a dispute about where the line would be, he 
claiming the whole country as Hudson Bay territory, and I claiming 
the whole of Tobacco Plains for Uncle Sam. Neither of us at that time 
knew what we were talking about, for the line as run divided the Plains 
about equally. The trader, after all, was a good kind of a Scot, but had 
been educated to think Mr. John Bull had a lease upon all of North 


Scotty, as the trader was called, returned to the Kootenai village with 
Hamilton and Young Black Bear, adding to their outfit, on his own ac- 
count, provisions for a feast. He looked over the wounded horses and 
men and expressed his regret that he could not have been present at such 


"a glorious fight." Within the following few days, signs of the enemy 
became more and more numerous, and on November 5th, with Hamilton 
McKay (now recovered from his wounds) and Scotty (riding a tough 
little pony), the scouts decked in warlike attire and horses painted, were 
advancing with a hundred Kootenai warriors, to feel out the enemy 
Blackfeet. About an equal number of their warriors soon appeared, set 
up a war whoop and fired from a safe distance. They were driven into 
a grove from which they had emerged, and the Kootenais circled around 
the timber not knowing how many Blackfeet were hidden there. McKay 
and Scotty were for an immediate charge, but after a council with the 
main body of the Kootenais, Hamilton's plan was adopted of "smoking 
out" the enemy, after which the squaws could put out the fire with wet 
blankets. That plan proved a success and the fleeing Blackfeet were 
pursued, McKay, as usual getting so far ahead of the native advance 
that both he and his horse were wounded. Scotty, also, had an arrow 
stuck through his thigh, and seemed quite proud of his wound. The 
Kootenai lost three men and many were wounded. Not a few Blackfeet 
were killed and some of them mutilated. 


This was the last real adventure of the trip, and the scouts, after 
exchanging a shotgun and ammunition for a mule, saddle and twelve 
-robes (from Black Bear), said good-bye to their Kootenai friends, and 
started for the lower end of Lake Pend d'Oreille, which occupied six 
days. Thence they crossed Spokane River and plains, and to Walla Walla 
had the escort of a band of friendly Nez Perces Indians. They arrived 
at the post at seven o'clock P. M., of November 22, 1858, about a week 
after the date fixed at their departure. 


Another trip, which tended still further to open up Western Mon- 
tana, was that made in the spring of 1858. The government outfit, em- 
bracing about sixty-five head of animals, was in charge of Maj. John 
Owen, who had been appointed agent for the Flathead, Upper and Lower 
Pend d'Oreille, and Kootenai Indians. Accompanying the expedition 
from the Dalles of the Columbia to Fort Owen, Bitter Root Valley, was 
Charles W. Frush, who describes himself as a "kind of brevet second 
lieutenant in command of the mess box." From his pen is enjoyed a 
sketch of the journey in that pioneer day. Also members of the party 
were a colored boy as cook and four Flathead Indian packers. 

The route was along the famous Buffalo Trail, through the Rocky 
Mountains and over the divide until finally it struck Fort Colville, a post 
of the Hudson's Bay Company in charge of Angus McDonald. The de- 
feat of the government troops under Colonel Steptoe, in what was then 
Washington territory (Whitman County of today) had emboldened many 
of the Indians east of the Rockies, and when the party had reached the 


Little Spokane River some thirty tniles south of the foot of the present 
Flathead Lake, "a war party of Spokanes and Kalispels came to camp 
and had a long talk and a smoke among themselves relative to the major; 
whether or not they should keep him or kill him, but after a lengthy 
pow-wow they concluded "to let him go, though they said (so the women 
of our party interpreted to us) that Major Owen had big eyes and big 
hands ; that he said and wrote bad things about them to the Great Father 
at Washington, and it was better that such things should be stopped. 
During the talk they took the major's saddle animal and tied her near 
their camp, but afterwards an Indian brought the mule back and tied her 
at our camp ; and we all drew another long breath and satisfied ourselves 
(by feeling) that the hair was still on our heads, though the major would 
have lost a few silver threads only." 

The route then lay over the divide to the old Kalispel mission, then 
abandoned, which was located some forty miles below Lake Pend d'Oreille, 
on the east bank of the river by that name, now known as Clark's Fork 
of the Columbia ; thence up that stream to where the Flathead and Mis- 
soula rivers join, called Horse Plains, and thence to St. Ignatius Mission, 
whose fathers heartily welcomed Major Owen and his party. After a 
day's rest, the trail took a southerly course to the beautiful Valley of the 
Jocko, thence to the bottom lands in the Hell Gate Ronde, which like 
Horse Plains, offered wonderful grazing and a fine camping spot. "Our 
last day's march," concludes the story, "brought us to the long-looked for 
haven, Fort Owen ; and after a lapse of twenty years I can see those old 
adobe walls and buildings as distinctly as if it were but yesterday. When the 
party reached the fort Mr. Caleb E. Irvine, who had been left in charge, 
and a few attaches of the fort, ran out to welcome us, and general hand- 
shaking and congratulations ensued. 

"The names of the pioneers of this section and where they were lo- 
cated, I will give as near as I can remember. There were camped in 
the immediate vicinity of Fort Owen the following : Fred Burr, Thomas 
Adams, Reece (Rezin) Anderson, Capt. Richard Grant and family, David 
Petty and John Powell ; those living at Fort Owen were Maj. John Owen, 
Thomas Harris and wife, Caleb E. Irvine and family, Henry M. Chase and 
family, John Silverthorne and the writer. Old hunters who had located 
farms and settled in the Bitter Root valley were Mr. Lumphrey, Al. Tal- 
man, a Frenchman called Johnny Crappeaux, and an old Mexican named 
Emanuel, and there was one settler in the Hell Gate ronde named Brooks. 
In the fall of 1858 a couple of Frenchmen from Colville valley whose 
names were Louis Brown and Crooked-Hand Shaw camped in the Jocko 
valley and shortly afterward moved to what is now known as Frenchtown, 
in Missoula county." 


The firm of LaBarge, Harkness & Company was formed in St. Louis, 
in the spring of 1862, for the purpose of trading on the Upper Missouri 
River. The members of the firm were Eugene Jaccard, James Harkness,g 
Captains Joseph and John LaBarge and William Galpin. Two steamboats 

Vol. I 1J 


were purchased the "Shreveport," a small, light-draft boat for the upper 
river, and the "Emilie," a fine, large boat. The LaBarges attended to the 
steamboat interest, while Mr. Harkness went to Washington to obtain the 
necessary permits from the Interior Department. On his return he bought 
a large stock of goods for the Indian and mining trade, a saw and a 
grist mill, and doors, windows, saws, axes, nails, etc., for building a 
store for the sale of the goods. On the 3Oth of April, the "Shreveport" 
started for Fort Benton with seventy-five passengers and all the freight 
she could carry. On the I4th of May, the "Emilie" followed, loaded with 
passengers and freight. Many were attracted by the novelty of the trip, 
others by the reports of gold in Dakota and Washington territories,* and 
others went as employes of the firm. Mr. Harkness preceded the "Emilie" 
several days, going by railroad as far as St. Joseph, from which point he 
kept a journal, which has been published by the Historical Society of 
Montana (Vol. II), and bears many graphic, albeit homely details of 
the trip up the Missouri to the Deer Lodge Valley of Far Western Mon- 
tana, thus penetrating to the richest mineral district of the present. 


Under date of May 18, 1862, Mr. Harkness noted, as the steamboat 
left St. Joseph, 575 miles above St. Louis, that "about one-third of the 
place has been burned arid destroyed by the army." Twelve days up the 
river, Omaha, Sioux City and Yankton had been passed and Fort Pierre 
reached. At Fort Berthold, still further up the river in Dakota, another 
steamer, "Spread Eagle," was met. It left at 10 :3O A. M., June 5th, and 
the "Emilie" half an hour later. A third boat, also going up the Missouri, 
was overtaken in the afternoon of that day. It was the "Key West," 
which evidently was overhauled. Early the next day, Mr. Harkness en- 
tered the region of the "bad lands," and notes: "The 'Spread Eagle' is 
just alongside of us, and we are having a race, (probably) the first ever 
run on the Upper Missouri. She passed us and then we passed her, 
when she ran into us, breaking our guards and doing some other dam- 
age. There was a good deal of ahgry talk." In the afternoon the steam- 
boat was opposite the mouth of White Earth River, in what is now North 
Dakota near the most northern point in the Missouri and was 2,235 miles 
above St. Louis. Aside from the steamboat race, no excitement was re- 
ported except the running down of a number of buffalo who were swim- 
ming across the river. On the morning of the 8th of June, the mouth 
of the Yellowstone was passed and Fort Union was reached in the after- 
noon. From that point on, for some time, Mr. Harkness's diary is given 
over to what we now speak of as Montana. 


"Landed at Fort Union 7 :oo A. M., and fired a salute of four guns," 
notes the diary. "The fort is on a good site, but fast going to decay. 

*Montana, west of the Rocky Mountains was, in 1862, a portion of Washington 
Territory; that east of it was included within the bounds of Dakota. 


The Indians lost about five hundred head of horses in the winter from 
the intense cold and have very poor robes. They do not go out of the 
fort without being well armed through fear of the Sioux." Past Poplar 
and Porcupine rivers, with herds of buffalo and antelopes, and packs of 
wolves continually in sight, the "Emilie" steamed, breaking her tiller 
rope, grounding and otherwise misbehaving, but on the whole pro- 
gressing. Mr. Harkness was sick and Captain LaBarge had the rheu- 
matism, as the weather was cold and wet. On the eleventh, the boat 
reached the mouth of the Milk River, and on the following day passed 
Round Butte, half way between Fort Union and Fort Benton, the latter 
being the immediate objective. Rain had been falling much of the time, 
and the river became so swollen and the current so rapid that in order to 
get up sufficient steam for the "Emilie" to move, tar had to be burned. At 
Dauphan's Rapids, above the mouth of the Judith River, the companion 
boat, the "Shreveport," was passed, and about the same time a gov- 
ernment boat was met going down the Missouri, having aboard a num- 
ber of Lieut. John Mullan's men who had been engaged in building the 
military road from Walla Walla to Fort Benton. 

The "Shreveport," the smaller and less powerful boat, was taken on 
wood just below the rapids (also called "Drowned Men's Rapids"). Note 
from the diary, under date of Sunday, June I5th: "Passed Judith river 
and overtook the 'Shreveport' just below ' Drowned Men's Rapids,' where 
she was wooding. Procured some dry wood and passed the rapids with- 
out much delay. Dropped a line to the 'Shreveport' and helped her over. 
The rain fell in torrents, but the passengers walked over with cheers ; quite 
a number were acquainted with each other on the boats. We had a very 
agreeable time and I found my son and daughter in good health. Laid 
up for the night at 8:30. Invited all the passengers of the 'Shreveport' 
over to listen to a discourse by Rev. J. F. Bartlett." 


Taking the "Shreveport" in tow, the "Emilie" continued the journey, 
past Maria's River and in view of the Little Rockies to the northwest 
and the Judith Mountains to the southeast, "wooding" along the route. 
At Fort Benton, two days afterward, both boats discharged their freight 
"on a prairie devoid of timber." Mr. Harkness therefore found his saw- 
mill useless at that point. He says significantly that "some of the at- 
taches are glad to see us." Little Dog, the chief of the Blackfeet, 
who was at Fort Benton at the time, pledged his friendship, "and sent 
out runners for his people to come in. Had a business meeting of 
all the partners," he adds, "and decided to build our post a mile and a 
half above Fort Benton, naming it Fort LaBarge." It was laid out in a 
few days, 300 by 200 feet, Madam LaBarge driving the first stake. 

On the i8th, "began the erection of a canvas store, and goods are 
selling fast. Very warm, one hundred degrees in the shade." On the 
following morning, the "Emilie" left for St. Louis, and on the day after, 
the "Spread Eagle" arrived, also soon departing for St. Louis. The re- 


mainder of the trip up the Missouri was to be made in the "Shreveport." 
At this period of the venture, the weather seemed to be "freakish." One 
day it was "very warm one hundred and four degrees in the store, but it 
rained and turned so cold that we made a fire in the cabin of the 'Shreve- 
port.' * * * Trade good until stopped by one of the most terrible 
hail storms I ever saw. The ground was covered to the depth of sev- 
eral inches. The roof of the boat was cut so that she leaked in many 


June 3Oth was a day of historic note, as witness this enfry : " A party 
was made up to visit the Great Falls of the Missouri. It consisted of Eu- 
gene Jaccard, Father De Smet, Giles Filley and son Frank, Madam La- 
Barge, Margaret Harkness (daughter of the proprietor), Mrs. Culbertson 
and son Jack, W. G. Harkness, Tom LaBarge and Cadotte, the guide, the 
last three being on horseback, and the others in an ambulance drawn by 
four mules. They started at 4 P. M. and in the afternoon met some 
Blood Indians, relatives of Mrs. Culbertson, who were friendly under the 
influence of Father De Smet and Mrs. C. An antelope was killed and 
cooked for supper and the party camped for the night. They started at 
4 A. M. next morning, and reached the falls about 9 or 10 A. M. Madam 
LaBarge and Margaret Harkness, leaving the ambulance, ran to the point 
from which the first glimpse could be had, and are the first white women 
to have seen the Great Falls of the Missouri. They found the way down 
to the river with difficulty, and looking up saw the falls in all their beauty 
and grandeur." 


Below the Great Falls, the "Shreveport" was discharged of her freight, 
oxen and horses were bought, as well as four small mules, and the steam- 
boat returned to St. Louis, the balance of the trip to Deer Lodge Valley 
and the mining country being made overland. After crossing the Sun 
River, the mountain road was taken toward the South. At the Dear- 
born, "lost best mule owing to flies and wild disposition," and in as- 
cending the Prickly Pear found a bad wash-out in Mullan's military 
road, which the men were endeavoring to repair. It is human nature to 
criticise, and Harkness cannot refrain from commenting on Mullan's 
work: If he had made the road on the hills it might have been per- 
manent. They had twenty yoke of oxen to one wagon and could not take 
it up. They have cut logs all day to place across the gullies, putting on 
cross-pieces to make a road. It is now evening and they are going to 1 
try the new road. I hope there will be no accidents. A miss of six 
inches would have sent them five hundred feet into the creek bottom." 

Harkness found the road filled with trains, bound, like his own, 
to the Montana mining country. He also met disappointed miners return- 
ing to the States; also some, on the way, who had struck "pay dirt." 


His trains left the Government Mullan's Road and took a short-cut to 
Little Blackfoot River, which they crossed for the last time. They 
had now crossed the divide to the western slopes of the Rockies, and 
commenced the descent into Deer Lodge Valley. It was now July 23rd, 
and the diary has this to say: "After a few miles we commenced the 
descent to Deer Lodge Valley. From the top of the hill a fine view of the 
valley, surrounded by snow-capped mountains, is presented. The dif- 
ferent creeks, with their lining of willows, can be traced with a field glass 
almost to their sources in the mountains and houses can be seen. After 
descending the hill, which was fully three miles long, we crossed the 
bottom and the Deer Lodge River, a wide and fine stream at this point. 
Nooned at 1 1 A. M. in the most intense heat, and after dinner went down 
to John Grant's house at the Forks, where N. Wall and the American 
Mining Company are (located). Quite a number of our old acquaintances 
are here, and I think I will remain. 

"I saw several hundred cows and calves belonging to Grant, the 
finest I have ever seen in America. Red clover is growing on the banks, 
proof to me that grain can be raised here. Trout are plentiful and the 
miners catch and dry them, and game birds are numerous. The hills roll 
gently back towards the East, and in the West they rise abruptly, nearly 
to perpetual snow. The Blackfoot and Deer Lodge rivers unite and 
form the Hell Gate River, not far from the houses." 

But Mr. Harkness did not remain. He prospected for gold on Flint 
and Gold creeks and along Hell Gate River, but found the outlook either 
for gold or trade far from his expectations. The weather also was 
alternately fiery hot and intensely cold. Most of the miners who had 
not given up hope, were also preparing to go to Oregon for the winter. 
He, therefore, sold his ambulance, evidently a sort of an elephant on 
his hands, to Mr. Grant, and on August 8, 1862, turned his face and his 
party toward the Missouri, and just a month afterward reached Fort 
Union on the return trip. At Fort LaBarge, Mr. Harkness built a boat 
forty feet long called the "Maggie" (named after his daughter), which 
he launched on the 26th, and started down the river accompanied by one 
of Major Culbertson's boats. As the Sioux were again on the war 
path, the two boats kept together for mutual protection. Two others 
joined them, so that the fleet put out of Fort Union with confidence. 
At Fort Pierre, Dakota, the danger zone was considered negotiated, and 
the remainder of the trip to St. Louis was made without special anxiety 
or incident. Mr. Harkness reached St. Louis (by railroad from Han- 
nibal) October 7, 1862. 

The immediate results of the expedition sent out by LaBarge, Hark- 
ness & Company, or LaBarge, Harkness & Jallard, were not epoch-mak- 
ing, but various unrelated incidents of that period indicated the creation 
of new conditions in the development of Montana. Fort LaBarge, as a 
rival of Fort Benton, proved a failure, although the conditions seemed 
favorable to the growth of any trading post along the middle reaches of 
the Missouri, which might serve as a depot of supplies for the Eastern 
emigrants and others bound for the newly opened gold diggings of 




Southwestern Montana. In the summer of Mr. Harkness' venture, while 
the "Spread Eagle" and "Key West," owned by the American Fur Com- 
pany, and the "Emilie" and "Shreveport," of his own firm, were speeding 
up the Missouri with supplies for Fort Benton, a party one of many 
of 130 men, women and children, with 52 wagons, under the direc- 
tion of Capt. James L. Fisk, was proceeding overland from Minnesota 
for Fort Benton and the gold fields of Bannack City. In September, 1862, 
the great emigrant train reached Fort Benton, and continued west to 
Gold Creek, where it arrived twenty days later and dispersed to the vari- 
ous diggings then known. 

But although the LaBarge concern had proven its enterprise by bring- 
ing into Montana the first steam sawmill put in operation within the pres- 
ent limits of the state, neither in capital nor influence was it able to 
compete with the American Fur Company. Its stock of goods was much 
inferior to that of the older and wealthier company and its freighting 
capacities more limited. The great bulk of trade, therefore, continued 
to go to Fort Benton. 

The years 1863-64 saw the decline and fall of Fort LaBarge, then in 
charge of Robert H. Lemon. Lieutenant Bradley, in his "Affairs at Fort 
Benton," gives the following explanation of the decisive disaster: 

"They had contracted this year (1863) to deliver at Fort Benton cer- 
tain freight for Capt. Nicholas Wall, an old and well known steamboat 
captain, and an influential man in charge at St. Louis. The low stage of 
water compelled the discharge of the freight, with the goods of the com- 
pany as well, above Cow Island, and Lemon was, therefore, compelled 
to seek other transportation for his goods, and the freighting capacities 
of the country being very limited, King and Gillette received twenty- 
five cents a pound for carrying them from Snake Point to Bannack City, a 
distance of about miles. Captain Wall at once instituted proceed- 
ings against the firm and obtained judgment against them. Fort LaBarge 
with all its appurtenances, including the sawmill and a considerable quan- 
tity of peltries was attached and sold at sheriff's sale the following sum- 
mer. The fort was purchased by the American Fur Company, while the 
sawmill was knocked down to a bidder from the mining regions, whither 
it was carried." 

Lieutenant Bradley 's footnotes, or comments, regarding this famous 
pioneer lawsuit, which resulted in the discontinuance of Fort Benton's 
rival, present some interesting facts, as follows: "Picotte was in charge, 
Lemon came up as agent of Labarge. Lemon discharged Picotte on ac- 
count of insufficiency and drunkenness, and put their business in the 
hands of Dawson. Picotte had been instructed to remove the goods in 
a flatboat from Cow Island, but he lay in the house drunk and neglected 
the business. When the business was turned over to Dawson, he, na- 
turally not being bound to the Labarges, moved his own goods first, 
but during the winter hauled all the Labarges and Wall's also. The law- 
suit was on account of this delay. * * * 

"Labarge sued Wall and got damages for seizure of his fort and 
injury to his business. The sawmills and buildings were sold in 1864, 
but the goods and peltries, etc., not until 1866." 


The post and the town of Fort Benton arose as a mart of trade, its 
early prosperity as a fur center being subsequently accelerated and sus- 
tained as a depot of supplies for the mining country, and the emigrants 
en route thereto. The other large municipalities and towns of the pioneer 
period were based directly on the gold discoveries and workings, the 
story of which is a continuous tale of unrest and adventure. 


The first "colors" of the precious metal in Montana were found by 
a peddler of Indian goods and trinkets, of mongrel Scotch and Indian 
blood, whose route stretched from the Rocky Mountains of Western 
Montana to the Pacific Coast. Francois Finlay, or Benetsee, after ex- 
changing his colored clothes, beads, powder, lead, and what-not (perhaps 
whiskey) with the red wanderers of the west, for furs and buffalo robes, 
became so prosperous that he bought a large drove of horses in California 
and brought them to Deer Lodge Valley. How many years passed in 
such occupations, history recordeth not; but it is known that Benetsee 
went to reside in that pleasant place in Montana sometime prior to 1850. 
The stream upon which he located his retreat became known as Benetsee 

The wandering habits of a western peddler, or trader, cannot be ob- 
literated, and the half-breed continued his trips to the Pacific Coast, with 
his Montana ranch as his base of operations. After one of his journeys 
to California, in 1852, he returned to his quiet home in Deer Lodge 
Valley, hot with the gold fever of the far west. Examining, with critical 
eye, the near country, especially the sand bars along his home creek, he 
was impressed with its remarkable resemblance to the gold-bearing soil 
of California. Finlay then obtained a pan and commenced to wash the 
gravel, as he had seen the California miners do, and at length obtained 
about a teaspoonful of yellow grains. This sample he took to Angus 
McDonald, chief factor of the post controlled by the Hudson's Bay Com- 
pany, about twenty miles south of Flathead Lake. Although not a miner, 
the fur trader had such faith in the "find" that he purchased it and then 
sent it to be analyzed by an expert at" one of the company's other posts. 
His judgment was confirmed and he "grub-staked" Finlay to the extent 
of a month's provisions and necessary miner's tools. After Finlay had 
delivered to his backer about two ounces of the gold dust, they both tired 

'. 184 


of the venture and returned to the ways of trade, especially as the Hudson 
Bay Company discouraged mining as likely to interfere with its legitimate 

Finlay's findings resulted in no further explorations for gold in 
Montana fields until 1856. In that year, a party comprising Robert Here- 
ford, late of Helena, John Saunders (Long John), and Bill Madison, on 
their way to Salt Lake from the Bitter Root Valley, where they had spent 
the winter trading with the Indians, prospected a little while passing 
Benetsee Creek and found some gold dust. This they gave to old Captain 
Grant, "who used to show it up to the time of his death in 1862 as the 
first piece of gold found in the country." 


Bradley's journal (Vol. Ill, Montana Historical Society's contribu- 
tions, p. 277) has this to say about a gold find which, at that time, seemed 
quite mysterious: Major Culbertson had arrived at Fort Benton from 
a trip down the Missouri, in October, 1856, and not long afterward a 
mountaineer "appeared at the fort with a quantity of gold dust which he 
desired to exchange for goods. He had been prospecting, he said, in the 
mountains to the southwest, but where there was plenty of gold, but 
seemed averse to describing the exact locality. He demanded $1,000 
worth of goods for the dust, but as nothing was known at the fort of 
the presence of gold in the adjoining country, Major Culbertson had 
doubts of the genuineness, or of its value of gold, and hesitated to accept 
it. A young man named Ray, a relative of Culbertson's and an employe 
at the fort, was sanguine the metal was gold and worth all that was asked 
for it; and by his advice Major Culbertson finally received it as a private 
venture, charging the goods to his own account. The mountaineer took in 
exchange a supply of horses, arms, blankets, tobacco, etc., and went back 
to the mountains. The next season the dust was sent to the mill and 
realized to Major Culbertson the sum of $1,525, it having been proved 
to be nearly pure gold. This was the earliest exchange of gold dust in 
Montana, and no more was brought to Fort Benton till after the mining 
excitement began in 1860.^ It was undoubtedly collected within the limits 
of the territory, and may be safely set down as the first important yield 
from the mines that have since attained a place among the most im- 
portant gold fields of the world." 

As a footnote Lieutenant Bradley adds the following, after giving 
Silverthorn as the name of the mountaineer who brought the gold dust to 
Fort Benton: "He remained in the country for several years, retiring 
alone for long periods to the mountains, and appearing at the forts or 
settlements with plenty of gold to buy all his necessities. He could never 
be induced to tell where he got his gold, but said it was a mine known only 
to himself. According to his statement, it was not a very rich one, paying 
him only four or five dollars a day, but the amount of gold he always had 
seemed to belie his words." 

Later historians of Montana than Lieutenant Bradley have unearthed 
the personality of Silverthorn and claim that he never posed as a gold dis- 


coverer. The matter is thus clarified by W. F. Wheeler, former librarian 
of the Montana Historical Society: "In 1858, John Silverthorn, an em- 
ploye of Major Owen and who had charge of his pack trains, while on his 
way from Fort Owen to Fort Benton, carrying with him fine furs, skins 
and robes, purchased from the Indians which were to be shipped from 
Fort Benton down the Missouri River to the eastern market, happened 
to camp over night at Benesee's or Gold Creek. Silverthorn and Finlay 
were old acquaintances. Finlay wanted tobacco and a few supplies which 
he knew Silverthorn always carried, and, as he had no money, offered 
in exchange for the articles a quantity of yellow dust which he said Mr. 
McDonald had informed him was gold, and which Silverthorn hesitat- 
ingly took in exchange for about ten dollars' worth of such supplies as 
Finlay needed. Arrived at Fort Benton, Silverthorn showed the dust to 
Major Culbertson, then the agent of the American Fur Company, and 
finally sold it to him for twelve dollars in trade. Major Culbertson 
shipped the yellow stuff to St. Louis, describing what he believed it to be, 
whence it came and the sum he had paid for it. At St. Louis it was 
properly assayed and pronounced to be worth fifteen dollars." 


But despite all subsequent encouragement offered by Major Culbert- 
son to his fur employes to be on the look-out for gold, there were no. 
developments for several years outside of Finlay and Benetsee's Creek. 
The discovery of the half-breed and the major's promotion of gold mining 
were barren of results until the two Stuart brothers came along and com- 
menced the practical development of the "colors" found. Coming of a 
good Virginia family, transplanted to Illinois and Iowa, the two sons, 
James and Granville, accompanied their father to California in the sum- 
mer of 1852, and arrived in Sacramento Valley in the fall. The elder 
man returned; the sons and brothers remained. They mined, herded 
stock, Helped defend the pioneer miners against the Indians, prospected 
over a wide range of country, and in tHe summer of 1857 started for 
the States. There were eleven in their party.. On account of the bad 
weather, they suffered greatly, and Granville was taken sick with moun- 
tain fever in the valley of the Humboldt River, and the two brothers, with 
Reece Anderson, remained at the camp of a trader for eight days, while 
the remainder of the party continued the journey. When Granville had 
recovered, after about two weeks, the Mormons had closed all the main 
roads leading to the States, by way of the southern thoroughfare through 
South Pass. As they could not proceed along the regular emigrant road, 
the three men decided to accompany some mountaineers, who traded each 
summer with the emigrants along the overland road, and who usually 
moved north to winter in the Beaverhead and Deer Lodge Valleys. 

The winter of 1857-58 was spent in Beaverhead Valley and on the 
Big Hole River. The Stuart brothers and Anderson had as neighbors 
at the latter camp Jacob Meeks, Robert Dempsey and family, Jackson 
Antoine Leclaire and family, and Oliver and Michael Leclaire; and 


scattered around in a radius of twenty-five miles were the following per- 
sons, who spent the same winter there : Richard Grant, Sr., and family, 
John F. Grant and family, Thomas Pambrun and family, L. R. Maillet, 
John M. Jacobs and family, Robert Hereford, John Morgan, John W. 
Powell, John Saunders, : Ross, Antoine Pourrier, Antoine Courtoi, 
and a Delaware Indian named Jim Simonds, who had a considerable 
quantity of goods for the Indian trade, as did also Hereford and the 
Grants.* Most of the others had small lots of goods and trinkets with 
which to buy horses, furs and dressed skins from the Indians. The price 
of a common horse in those days was two blankets, one shirt, one pair 
of cloth leggings, one small mirror, one knife, one paper of vermilion and 
usually a few other trifles. A dressed deer-skin brought from fifteen 
to twenty balls, with powder to carry them ; an elk, twenty to twenty-five 
balls and powder; an antelope, five to ten; a beaver, twenty to twenty- 
five, and a pair of good moccasins, ten. The Grants and the Hudson 
Bay men generally complained bitterly of the American hunters and ad- 
venturers, claiming that they had more than doubled the price of all those 
articles among the Indians in the last ten years ; "which," says Granville 
Stuart, "was doubtless so." 

"Simonds and Hereford each had considerable whiskey in their outfits, 
but it was only for the whites, as they did not trade it to the Indians, 
who were scattered about, a few families in a place, engaged in hunting 
and trapping. They were mostly Snakes and Bannocks, with a few Flat- 
heads. They did not seem to crave liquor, as most Indians do, but were 
quiet and unobtrusive, and as respectable as Indians ever get to be. But 
the whites and half-breeds drank enough while it lasted (which, for- 
tunately, was not long) for themselves and all the Indians in the country ; 
and their extravagant antics were true copies of the pictures drawn by 
Bonneville of a mountaineer and trapper rendezvous. At times it seemed 
as though blood must be shed; but that Providence that seems to watch 
over the lives of drunken men stood by them, and the end of the liquor 
was reached before anybody was killed." 

While hunting and trading in that region, like other pioneers of that 
period, the Stuarts and their companions were several times obliged to 
eat their horses to keep from starving, as game was unusually scarce. 
They were also under the constant menace of having the animals upon 
which they must rely for transportation stolen by the Blackfeet, whose 
deviltry was then confined to stealing rather than murder. In April, 1858, 
while planning to go to Fort Bridger, from which there was a crying 
demand for beef, James Stuart and his companions returned to Deer 
Lodge, where game was more abundant, to kill and dry enough meat to 
take them to the southern post. Before starting for Fort Bridger, the 
Stuart brothers, and Anderson and Ross, made a little side trip to in- 
vestigate the reported finding of gold by the Red River half-breed, 
Benetsee, in the lower end of Deer Lodge, in 1852, and its subsequent 
discovery, in 1856, by a party on its way to Salt Lake from the Bitter 

* See Granville Stuart's "Life of James Stuart." 


Root Valley. They accordingly left the rest of the mountaineers on the 
4th of April, 1858, and moved over to Deer Lodge and found John M. 
'Jacobs camped at the mouth of what is now Gold Creek (then known as 
Benetsee Creek), with a band of cattle that he had taken from John F. 
Grant on shares ; and here they luxuriated on milk and wild game, after- 
ward joining camp with Thomas Adams, who also had a band of cattle, 
and with whom they prospected on Benetsee Creek and found fair pros- 
pects near the surface. But as they had no tools and were living on meat 
alone, and were much harassed by the Blackfeet, who stole four of their 
horses and made nightly attempts to get the rest, they gave up pros- 
pecting and moved up Flint Creek to a point three miles above where 
the town of Phillipsburg now stands, where they built a corral strong 
enough to bid defiance to the Blackfeet, into which they put all their 
horses every night. 

The Stuarts reached Fort Bridger June 28, 1858; a few weeks after- 
ward were at Camp Floyd, forty miles south of Salt Lake City where 
Johnston army was stationed to keep the Mormons in order, and there 
sold their horses; then went to Green River and began "buying and 
trading in poor oxen with the supply trains," and subsequently doing bus- 
iness with the emigrants, bound for "Pike's Peak or bust." The following 
winter and spring saw them on Henry's Fork of the Green River and in 
Salt River Valley, on Lander's cut-off of the emigrant road, engaged in 
trading with the mountain men and the emigrants. In the fall of 1860, 
they moved north to the mouth of the Pah-Sammeri, or Stinking Water, 
in Beaverhead Valley, intending to winter there ; but the Indians be- 
coming insolent and semi-hostile and beginning to kill their cattle, they 
moved over to Deer Lodge, and located at the mouth of Gold Creek, re- 
solved to develop the gold mines in that vicinity. In the spring (1861), 
they found good prospects in several places. James went to Fort Benton, 
where a steamboat was expected, to buy supplies, leaving his brother alone 
in charge of the ranch, Anderson having gone down the river from 
Benton on a visit to the States. The steamboat burned near the mouth 
of Milk River and consequently James failed to get any supplies, and, 
as misfortunes seldom come single, during his absence four Bannack 
Indians stole a band of horses from the Flatheads at Camas prairie (just 
below what is now Bear Gulch), who pursued and overtook them at 
Moose Creek, on the Big Hole River, and killed two of them and re- 
captured all the horses. They spared the other two, telling them to go 
and tell their people to quit stealing from the Flatheads, who wished to 
be at peace with them. The Flatheads returned home rejoicing; but 
their success was the whites' calamity, for the two they spared followed 
them back to Gold Creek, where, on the night of June 22, 1861, they stole 
all the horses there, except three that Granville kept tied every night at 
the cabin door. They took twenty-three head of half and three-quarters 
breed American mares and colts, none of which were ever recovered. 
It was evident that at first these Indians did not want to steal from 
the whites, for they had passed by the same horses twice before without 


molesting them, but after their misfortune at the hands of the Flatheads, 
they ceased to be respecters of persons. And this is Indian ethics anyhow. 


There being neither tools nor lumber to be had, upon James's return 
they hired two men to whipsaw sluice lumber at ten cents per foot, and 
sent, by Worden & Company's pack train, to Walla Walla for picks and 
shovels, that being the nearest place at which they could be procured, 
but they did not arrive in time to commence mining that season. They 
dug a ditch, however, and completed their arrangements for the following 
spring. Late in the fall, a few others came in and began to prospect, 
among whom were Maj. W. Graham, A. S. Blake, and P. S. McAdow, 
who found good prospects in a dry gulch just below where the village of 
Pioneer now stands, and determined to remain and mine at that place 
in the spring. 

In May, 1862, operations were commenced, but only paid from one 
to three dollars per day by the old pick and shovel process, except one 
claim in Pioneer Gulch, just above the mouth of French Gulch, which 
paid . from six to. twenty dollars per day to the hand. While working in 
the gulch, which only paid from $1.50 to $2 a day, the Stuart company 
kept their horses picketed on a grassy slope, now known as Bratton's bar, 
which in 1866, was accidentally discovered to be rich in gold, and has paid 
enormously ever since; but in '62 nobody ever thought of looking on a 
grassy hillside for gold, although subsequent developments proved that 
there were many rich channels and deposits on the hills in that vicinity, 
while the creeks and gulches were usually too poor to pay for working. 
Such is mining, in which it is better to be lucky than to have the wisdom 
of Solomon. 

On the 24th of June, sixteen men arrived, being the first of quite a 
large number who left Pike's Peak mines (now Colorado Territory) for 
the Salmon River mines, but most of whom finally brought up in Deer 
Lodge and vicinity. Among the first party was J. M. Bozeman, after 
whom the flourishing county-seat of Gallatin County was subsequently 
named, and who was murdered by the Indians on the Yellowstone in 
1867. This party discovered a rich claim in a branch of Gold Creek, 
which has since been known as "Pike's Peak Gulch." 

A considerable number of men also came up the Missouri River on 
steamboats to Fort Benton, bound for the Salmon River mines, but 
many of whom stopped at Gold Creek and remained permanently. The 
first of these reached Gold Creek on the 29th of June, and among them 
were S. T. Hauser and W. B. Dance, both of whom became intimate 
friends of James Stuart, and were associated with him most of his sub- 
sequent life. 


During this summer he sent east and procured a number of medical 
works and instruments and a small stock of drugs and medicines, and 
applied himself assiduously to the study of medicine and surgery. He had 


read medicine under a physician in his youth, and also attended a course 
or two of medical lectures. He continued his studies in this department 
of science during the rest of his life, and, at the time of his death, was 
possessed of a good medical library and the latest improved medical and 
surgical instruments, and was probably one of the best read physicians 
and surgeons in Montana. He never practiced, however, except among 
his friends and associates, many of whom owe their lives to his skill, for 
he was very successful, and rarely failed to cure any case. But he would 
never accept even the slightest compensation from any one, seeming to 
think the pleasure he derived from having cured them reward enough. 


On the I4th of July, 1862, an election was. held at Pioneer Gulch, 
Fort Owen and Hell Gate and James Stuart was elected sheriff of 
Missoula County, Washington Territory, which embraced what is now 
Missoula County and all of Deer Lodge west of the range. This was 
the first election held in the Rocky Mountains, north of Colorado. 


About this time (July, 1862) one Hurlbut discovered the diggings 
on Big Prickly Bear Creek, where the town of Montana City (northern 
part of Jefferson County) afterward sprang up; and a few days after, 
John White, with a party on the way to Pioneer, struck the mines at 
Bannack City, which proved very rich; almost simultaneously Slack and 
party found mines on the head of Big Hole River, and within a week 
John W. Powell and party found the Old Bar mines on North Boulder 
Creek. At this time quite a village, known as American Fork, had grown 
up at Stuart's ranch, at the mouth of Gold Creek, but it soon lost its im- 
portance because of the superior richness of the mines at Bannack City. 
The first discovery in that locality had been made in August, and a little 
city had grown up in a few months. 

In the summer of 1862 the streams of immigration were setting 
strongly toward both the Gold Creek country of Montana and the Salmon 
River fields of Idaho especially the Florence diggings. The Idaho at- 
tractions led to the Bannack City discoveries. William A. Clark tells how 
in his centennial address: "During this summer (1862) a small party 
discovered some mines on Big Hole River of limited extent. A party 
of Coloradians, among them Dr. Levitt, of Bannack, had attempted the 
route to the Florence mines by way of Lemhi Valley, and were forced 
to abandon it by reason of precipitous mountains, and were by favorable 
reports led to the Deer Lodge Valley as a desirable wintering place. This 
point they reached in July, 1862. While there, two horsemen came in 
from Lemhi and reported the existence of favorable indications for gold 
on Grasshopper Creek, near where Bannack now stands. They were 
provided with supplies and urged to return and prospect the gulch and 
report. This they proceeded to do, and returning with the news met the 



impatient party moving on toward the place. Augmented by other pros- 
pectors joining them, they proceeded to the discovery which had been 
made by John White on the i6th of August, 1862, and in honor of the 
discoverer, named White's Bar. Soon afterward other bars were found 
which were extremely rich. The gulch itself was then opened and mining 
began in earnest. In the autumn a train was dispatched to Salt Lake 
City for provisions, the town of Bannack was laid out, and by the first 
of January, 1863, a population of 500 souls had gathered there, and 
among them some of the wildest and most reckless adventurers whose 
names and misdeeds figure conspicuously in the early history of the 


Territory. Thus began the first important mining operations in this 


About the middle of August, 1862, three horse thieves and desperadoes 
arrived at American Fork from the lower country, and were appre- 
hended by their pursuers. One of them, who resisted, was shot to 
death in a saloon where he was gambling; his companion was captured 
there, and the third was taken in Worden & Company's store. One of 
the other two was acquitted, while the third (C. W. Spillman) was hanged 
at twenty-seven minutes past two o'clock, P. M., August 26, 1862. His 
only claim to be noticed in this history is that his was the first execution 
in what is now Montana, and that he was hanged in half an hour from 
the time he was sentenced. The execution caused the town of American 
Fork to be recorded as Hangtown on all the western maps for some 
years after, although it was never known by that name in the locality. 

It was not that undesirable name which induced the Stuart brothers 
to abandon American Fork, at about this time, but as nearly everyone 
had left Gold Creek and gone to booming Bannack City, they decided to 


locate there with the crowd and engage in the butchering business and 
anything else which promised honest profit. They made the move, leaving 
Anderson in charge of the ranch and stock at Gold Creek. As the spring 
of 1863 drew near, James Stuart chaffed under the restraint and decided 
to organize a company for the purpose of exploring and prospecting in 
the valley of the Yellowstone, which had been almost abandoned since 
the extermination of the beaver and the trade founded on its fur. 


The men who were to form the famous Yellowstone expedition of 
1863 started from Bannack City for the Fifteen Mile Creek, or Rattle- 
snake Creek, on the 9th of April, 1863. They went in squads of two and 
three and in the forenoon of the following day fourteen men, who were 
to form the party, organized a company under the following form of 
agreement : "Having determined to explore a portion of the country 
drained by the Yellowstone for the purpose of discovering gold mines 
and securing town sites, and believing the object could be better accom- 
plished by forming ourselves into a regularly organized company, we 
hereby appoint James Stuart captain, agreeing upon our word of honor 
to obey all orders given or issued by him or any subordinate officer ap- 
pointed by him. In case of any member refusing to obey an order or 
orders from said captain, he shall be forcibly expelled from our camp. It 
is further understood and agreed that we all do our equal portions of 
work, the captain being umpire in all cases, sharing equally the benefits 
of said labor both as to the discovery of gold and securing town sites. 
Signed: James Stuart, Cyrus D. Watkins, John Vanderbilt, James N. 
York, Richard McCafferty, James Hauxhurst, Drewyer Underwood, 
Samuel T. Hauser, Henry A. Bell, William Roach, A. Sterne Blake, 
George H. Smith, Henry T. Geery, Ephraim Bostwick. The fifteenth 
man, George Ives, did not sign the agreement, notes Granville (who 
edited the journal of the expedition prepared by James), because he did 
not overtake the party until next day, when it seems to have been for- 
gotten. Six men, who had intended to join the expedition, were en- 
deavoring to collect their horses which had been wintering in Deer 
Lodge, and failed to overtake the main body. They were turned back 
by hostile Crows and the discovery of Alder Gulch and the rise of Vir- 
ginia City resulted. But that is another story. 


On the divide between the Madison and Stinking Water, two of the 
members of the Stuart expedition (Geery and McCafferty) "got a 
splendid prospect on a high bar," and although the news was conveyed 
to the captain the rest of the party were not informed "for fear of 
breaking up the expedition." As it afterward developed, "this prospect 
was on a fork of Alder Gulch, called Granite Creek," and if the rich 
"strike" had not been made by one of the men left behind, it is certain 


that the honor would have fallen to the Stuart party. "As it was, when 
they got back, Alder Gulch was full of miners and all the interest centered 

The Stuart outfit crossed the divide, over the old Buffalo road and 
through the low gap in the mountains described in the Lewis-Clark 
journal, and at that point the captain of the expedition noted: "We are 
following Lewis and Clark's trail. We are about thirty miles from the 
three forks of the Missouri." The general direction of travel was north- 
east to the divide between the Yellowstone and Missouri Rivers and 
thence to Shields River, a northern tributary of the Yellowstone in what 
in now Park County. Here Stuart's journal stops to note: "We are 
supposed to be on Shields River (as they were). Lewis and Clark have 
played us out; if we had left the notes and map of their route at home 
and followed the Indian trail, we would have saved four days' travel in 
coming from Bannack City here." 


The party traveled up the north bank of the Yellowstone, and some- 
where in the present county of Yellowstone fell in with a band of Crow 
Indians, who attempted to frighten the whites and steal their horses and 
every other thing within reach. Stuart's men were, with difficulty, pre- 
vented from attacking the red-skins at once. The party was undoubtedly 
saved through the coolness, strategy and bravery of the leader. At his 
direction, when the chief was caught apart from his thieving, insolent 
warriors, the leader of the Crows was covered with Captain Stuart's rifle, 
and the principal Indian warriors also looked into the rifles and pistols 
of the whites, although the Indians out-numbered the whites two to 
one. In the meantime, the Indians had thrown off their blankets and 
stood naked with their muskets leveled at the whites. It was a contest 
of eye-to-eye will power and, as was the rule, the whites won. Many 
years afterward one of the men, Samuel T. Hauser, thus described the 
dramatic scene : "The suspense and anxiety we endured for a few min- 
utes, while we glared at each other, was fearful. To realize it, one has 
only image himself surrounded by these savage fiends, hundreds of miles 
from relief or reinforcements. They were two to one of us, equally as 
well armed as we were, and several hundred more of them within a few 
miles. But, fortunately, they all looked to their chief, and saw that he 
was lost if a gun was fired. 

"We, too, looked to our captain, and our danger was almost forgotten 
in admiration. His whole features, face and person had changed; he 
seemed and was, taller; his usually calm face was all on fire; his quiet, 
light blue eye was now flashing like an eagle's, and seemingly looking 
directly through the fierce and, for a time, undaunted savage that stood be- 
fore him. For several seconds it was doubtful whether the old warrior 
chief would cower before his white brother, or meet his fate then and 

"Our captain, with his flashing eyes riveted upon him, was fiercely and 

Vol.1 13 


eloquently reproaching him with his bad faith to the pale faces and their 
Great Father, winding up by saying, in a voice of stern determination, 
'Signal your warriors off, or I'll send you to your last hunting ground !' 
For an instant the suspense was beyond description; a death-like silence 
reigned. The dark, fierce, snake-like eyes of the fiends about us were 
enough to unnerve the most of men. To me the delay was awful, and I 
could not decide from the defiant air of their chief whether he was going 
to give the desired signal or die ; but finally a wave of his hand relieved 
our doubts, and his braves all lowered their weapons of death and sul- 
lenly sought their robes and ponies." 

Hauser adds that the second chief, a tall, fine looking young warrior, 
was so enraged both at the old chief's action and the hilarity of the 
former, that "rushing up to me in a white heat, he placed his finger on 
my nose and then on his own, and quickly touching his gun and then mine, 
pointed to one side. All of which was a plain enough challenge to a single- 
handed combat. And while I didn't 'see it,' the other fellows did, shouting 
with laughter and saying 'Go in, Hauser. You can get away with him.' 
But I couldn't 'see it' in that light, and the young brave had to retire 
without satisfaction, which, I regret to say, he got afterward." 


Three or four days after this rather disturbing adventure, the Stuart 
party reached Pompey's Pillar, on the south side of the Yellowstone 
about in the middle of the county by that name. Of course there is a 
town there now. When Stuart was passing along in 1863, ne says, under 
date of May 3rd: "We camped three miles below Pompey's Pillar, on 
which we found the names of Captain Clark and two of his men cut in 
the rock, with the date of July 25, 1806. Fifty-seven years ago! And it 
is probable that this landscape then looked precisely the same as it does 
now. There are also two more names cut here which I never heard of 
before. But I suppose they must have belonged to some of the bands 
of trappers that, under old Jim Bridger, the Sublette and Bonneville, 
made this their hunting ground. The names are Derick and Vancourt, 
and the accompanying date is May 23, 1834. The pillar is a good land- 
mark, but it is all stuff about the spring in the top of it. 

"Buffalo to be seen in every direction, and very tame. We can ride 
within 300 yards of them, unless they smell us ; and if they do, they 
will run if they are a mile away. Small game is also abundant. No 
wonder the Crows like their country ; it is a perfect paradise for a hunter." 


Two days afterward, when the expedition reached the mouth of the 
Big Horn, it had traveled 401 miles, but the captain decided that he had 
been so misled by the Lewis and Clark notes and maps that at least 
seventy-five miles had been needlessly traveled; which left 326 miles 
actual distance between Bannack City to that point, "and there can be a 


good wagon-road made over the route with but very little labor." Captain 
Stuart's journal says that "In the evening, some of the party washed a 
few pans of loose gravel from a bar on the Big Horn, and found from 
ten to fifty very fine colors of gold in every pan. They also tried a gravel 
bank about fifty feet above the river, and got several colors to the pan. 
All the party think we will find good diggings up the river." 

The prospects were so favorable that under the date of the following 
day, May 6, 1863, the record reads : "Early in the morning, five men were 
detailed to cross the Big Horn and survey a town-site and ranches. They 
made a raft and crossed without any difficulty. Four men were sent out 
to prospect, and the rest had to keep camp and guard the horses. 

"The prospectors returned first. They found only a few colors or 
specks of gold. The party that went across the Big Horn located a 
town site of 320 acres and thirteen ranches of 160 acres each, while I 
located two ranches in the ^bottom between the two rivers. The sub- 
joined plat shows the shape of all the locations, as well as the general 
topography of the vicinity. (Historical contributions, Vol. I, p. 182.) 
I also engraved my name, with the date, on a sandstone about three 
quarters of a mile above camp, on the Big Horn. It will stay there for 
ages, and if I perish on this expedition, I have left my mark. In the 
evening four of the party cut their names on a perpendicular sandstone 
rock between the rivers." 

Now traveling up the Big Horn River, the prospectors found "plenty 
of colors to the pan;" also a few signs of Indians. They also met, as 
they thought, three white men going down the river, who fled in a panic 
into some deep ravines leading to the stream, thinking the Stuart party 
was a band of Indians.* The following day (May 12, 1863) the men 
found so many horse tracks and other Indian signs near their camp that 
the captain concluded they "would have to look out for squalls," as there 
was evidently a war party in the neighborhood. The threatening out- 
look also reminded him of this : "It is eleven years today since I left the 
home of my boyhood (in Iowa, with his father and brother, bound for 
California). Who knows how many more it will be before I see it again, 
if ever?" 


The horrors of that very night made him even more doubtful of 
coming through alive. "Last night," he says, in his record of May I3th, 
"Smith and I had the first watch, and about eleven o'clock the horses at 
my end were scared at something, but it was very dark and I could not 
see anything. I thought it might be a wolf prowling around camp. A 
few minutes before eleven o'clock I sat up and lit a match to see what 
time it was, and also to light my pipe, but at once laid down again ; we 
were both lying flat on the ground to see what made the horses so uneasy, 

*It was afterward learned that the three were J. M. Bozeman and John M. 
Jacobs and the latter's little daughter, and that the men were exploring a route 
for a wagon road from the Three Forks of the Missouri to the, North Platte 
River afterward known as the Jacobs and Bozeman Cut-Off. 


and to this we both owe our lives. Just then I heard Smith whisper that 
there was something around his part of the horses, and a few seconds 
later the Crows fired a terrific volley into the camp. 

"I was lying between two of my horses, and both were killed, and 
very nearly fell on me. Four horses were killed and five more wounded, 
while in the tents two men were mortally, two badly and three more 
slightly wounded. Smith shouted, 'Oh, you scoundrels!' and fired both 
barrels of his shot-gun at the flash of theirs, but, so far as we could tell 
next morning, without effect; he most probably fired too high. I could 
not fire, for the horses were in the way. I shouted for someone to tear 
down the tents, to prevent their affording a mark for the murderous 
Indians a second time. York rushed out and tore them down in an 
instant. I then ordered all who were able to take their arms and crawl 
out from the tents a little way, and lie flat on the ground; and thus we 
lay until morning, expecting further attack each instant, and determined 
to sell our lives as dearly as possible. When at last day dawned, we could 
see a few Indians among the rocks and pines on a hill some five or six 
hundred yards away, watching to see the effects of their bloody work. 

"An examination of the wounded presented a dreadful sight. C. D. 
Watkins was shot in the right temple, and the ball came out at the left 
cheek-bone; the poor fellow was still breathing but still insensible. E. 
Bostwick was shot in five places once in the back part of the shoulder, 
shattering the shoulder blade, but the ball did not come out in front ; three 
balls passed through the right thigh all shattering the bone, and one 
ball passed through the left thigh, which did not break the bone; he 
was sensible, but suffering dreadful agony. H. A. Bell was shot twice 
one ball entered at the lowest rib on the left side and lodged just under 
the skin on the right side ; the other ball entered near the kidneys on the 
left side and came out near the thigh joint. D. Underwood was shot 
once, but the ball made six holes ; it first passed through the left arm 
above the elbow just missing the bone, and then passed through both 
breasts which were large and full and just grazing the breast-bone. H. T. 
Geery was shot in the left shoulder blade with an arrow, but not danger- 
ously hurt. George Ives was shot in the hip with a ball a flesh wound. 
S. T. Hauser in the left breast with a ball, which passed through memor- 
andum book" in his shirt pocket and stopped against a rib over his heart, 
the book saving his life. Several others had one or more ball-holes 
through their clothes. 

"We held a council of war ; concluded that it was impossible to return 
through the Crow country now that they were openly hostile; therefore 
determined to strike for the emigrant road on Sweetwater River, throw- 
ing away all our outfit except enough provisions to do us to the road. 
Watkins was still breathing, but happily insensible. Poor Bostwick was 
alive and sensible, but gradually failing, and in great agony. With noble 
generosity he insisted on our leaving him to his fate, as it was impossible 
to move him, and equally impossible for him to recover if we remained 
with him, and which, he said, would only result in all of us falling vic- 
tims of the fiendish savages. He asked us to hand him his trusty re- 


volver, saying he would get even with the red devils when they came into 
camp. We gave it to him, and a few moments later were startled by the 
report of his pistol, and filled with horror when we saw he had blown 
out his brains." 

Hauser gives a more detailed account of the attack than Captain 
Stuart, as he insists that his leader only "briefly notices one of the most 
fearful tragedies that ever occurred in the mountains, and in which his 
nobleness of soul and heroic courage shone more brilliantly than ever 
before." The picture which he gives of the sufferings and suspense of 
that awful night following the Crows' attack is appalling. It seems that 
the savages poured only one volley into the sleeping camp, as they knew 
that the white men would respond by the flashes of their shot-guns. 
Thereafter, in the pitchy darkness, they sent a continuous shower of hiss- 
ing arrows among their white enemies. 

"Instantly (after the attack) seizing our rifles," says Hauser, "we 
(Drew, Underwood and Hauser) crawled out of the tent, but before we 
got out the yelling and firing had ceased. It was pitch dark, dark as 
Egypt, and what followed was even more trying to our nerves than what 
had passed. We could distinctly hear the demon-like whisperings of the 
murderous fiends in the ravine that we knew was not over ten paces from 
us yet so perfectly dark that we could not even see the outlines of the 
bushes that bordered the ravine ; in fact, we could not see our hands be- 
fore us. Add to this, that we did not know how many of our little band 
were left alive. Some we knew were dying, from the moans we heard, 
yet we could not see them or offer a word of consolation, for one audible 
word would have brought a shower of arrows. As it was, they were 
flying in all directions, and it seemed impossible to escape being pierced 
by them. We could hear them whizzing through the air every second, 
and so near that we often felt the wind ; and so close were the Indians 
that we could hear the twang of their bow-strings." 

Before the day dawned, and passing upright through this storm of 
arrows, Stuart calmly walked down to the river to get some water for 
Bell and Bostwick, who were then believed to be the most severely 
wounded. Almost miraculously, he brought it to them unscratched. 
"Morning came at last," continues Hauser's graphic account, "and what 
a sight it revealed ! There was poor Watkins, shot through the temple and 
unconscious, but crawling around on his elbows and knees; Bostwick 
shot all to pieces, but still alive, and five others wounded ; the men scat- 
tered all about the camp-ground, faces downward, with cocked rifles and 
revolvers in hand, eagerly watching the bushes and ravine from which the 
fatal fire had come. Five horses were dead and six or seven others had 
arrows sticking into them. * * * Within a radius of thirty or forty 
feet of where Underwood and I had been lying, I picked up forty-eight 
arrows, and the tents were completely riddled. Probably three hundred 
balls and arrows passed through them." 

Watkins died before the party, after a conference, started to move 
toward the emigrant road on Sweetwater River. Bostwick, who had been 
so terribly wounded, shot himself while helping the badly wounded Bell 


on to one of the few uninjured horses. But a third life was to be lost 
as a result of this unfortunate venture into the Crow country. The 
shattered expedition moved slowly, generally toward the southwest ; the 
cowardly Indians, outnumbering them many-fold and having mounted 
their ponies, paralleled their route, hovering over the unfortunate men 
like so many vultures patiently awaiting their prey. On the day after the 
attack, while unpacking the outfit for supper, Geery, who had only suf- 
fered a slight shoulder wound, accidentally discharged his rifle. The ball 
entered his breast, making a ghastly and mortal wound. Like Bostwick, 
he realized the danger to the survivors of the party if they delayed to 
care for him, and knowing his wound to be fatal, despite the repeated 
protests of his comrades, headed by Stuart, he insisted upon shooting 
himself. He was buried at his earnest request, in his soldier's overcoat. 


That march of the little party, by way of Sweetwater River (the 
emigrant road), South Pass, and Fort Bridger to Bannack City, taking 
a loop far into Wyoming, up the Big Horn and Wind Rivers, along the 
Wind River Mountains, was the painful progress of a body of wounded 
and determined heroes. On May 22nd, ten days travel from the scene of 
the massacre, with the Big Horn Mountains in sight toward the north- 
east and the Wind River Mountains to the west, Stuart remarks: "Our 
route since the massacre has been through a part of the country too mean 
for Indians to either live or hunt in, and I came through it to keep out 
of the way. We are traveling for safety, not comfort." Notwithstanding, 
sprinkled through the record are "fresh Indian signs," with now and then 
discoveries of "colors" along the rivers. Six or seven days later, the 
weary march had brought the party to Sweetwater River, at the foot of 
Rocky Ridge, then called Pacific City (Wyoming). The sight of "tel- 
egraph poles" and an emigrant train was indeed cheering. When the 
latter was overtaken at "Pacific City," which consisted of a trading house 
only, the Stuart outfit found the emigrants drawn up in a square in front 
of their stock which they were, prepared to defend from what they be- 
lieved to be hostile Indians. With the emigrants were four soldiers from 
South Pass station, who gave Stuart information that they had been 
pursuing some Indians, horse thieves, who had left some flour behind; 
the latter fact proving that Stuart and his men had been followed for four 
hundred miles by the vindictive and dogged Crows who had obtained the 
flour from the ill-fated camp, the members of which had been obliged 
to leave it behind as they had no means of transporting it. 

After spending a couple of days in eating and sleeping at the post, 
the expedition continued the northward journey, along the old emigrant 
or overland road to California and Oregon. They were now continually 
meeting travelers, and, at times, acquaintances, on the way. One of the 
party, York, concluded to go to Salt Lake with a train which had been 
met, and William McAdow was added to the outfit. So, as Stuart says, 
"it is merely an exchange." He adds: "I let York have Red Bear, the 


black horse the old chief gave me, so that if he did not get a situation to 
suit him he would have the horse to ride to Bannack or Deer Lodge." 
When this exchange was made, the party went on to Green River and 
headed for Fort Bridger, which was reached in the afternoon of June 
3, 1863. Then, along Bear and Snake Rivers, far Western Wyoming, 
into Southwestern Montana, and finally, on June 22, 1863, the maimed, 
tired and all but broken-down men of the Stuart expedition, were on the 
road to Bannack City, which passed down through Red Rock Valley and 
Horse Prairie. 

The conclusion of the record, as made by James Stuart, is this : 
"Started at five o'clock (June 22nd), and traveled until half past ten 
A. M., when we halted for dinner above the point of rocks on Horse 
Prairie Creek. Passed a lot of gamblers camped on Red Rock Creek. 
They are en route for Denver, via Salt Lake and Fort Bridger. After 
dinner, packed up and pushed on to Bannack City, which we reached late 
in the evening. Everybody was glad to see us, and we were glad to see 
everybody, although our hair and beards had grown so, and we were so 
dilapidated generally that scarcely anyone knew us at first ; and no won- 
der, for we had ridden sixteen hundred miles, and for the last twelve 
hundred without tents or even a change of clothing." Of the original 
fifteen members of the expedition, three had been buried in the land of 
the Crows as a result of the dreadful massacre of the preceding May, and 
Bell, who had been brought on horseback and partially recovered from 
his wounds, had remained on the Sweetwater to have a ball extracted 
from his side. They had been away from Bannack City two months and 
a half and, despite their deaths and hardships, had accomplished but 
little, although the expedition probably established the fact that the pros- 
pects for gold along the main valley of the Yellowstone were a minus 
quantity. "Colors" had been found, now and then, and that was about all. 


It was the men who had intended to accompany the Stuart party, and 
who did not, that became noted in the history of gold mining in Montana. 
In setting out for his calamitous trip, James Stuart noted in his journal : 
"Louis Simmons and party were to have met us at the mouth of the 
Stinking Water, but we can find no trace of them ; they have failed from 
some cause to us unknown." A footnote to this, Granville Stuart ex- 
plains : "This party consisted of Louis Simmons, William Fairweather, 
George Orr, Thomas Cover, Barney Hughes and Henry Edgar. They 
were detained by not being able to find their horses, which had wintered 
in Deer Lodge. They arrived at the appointed place of rendezvous some 
three or four days after the main party had passed, and taking their trail 
followed on, expecting to soon overtake them; but before they did so 
they were met on the upper Yellowstone by a large party of Crow In- 
dians, who at once proceeded to plunder them, taking nearly all they had, 
and giving them miserable sore-backed ponies in exchange for their 
horses, ordered them to return on pain of death. Situated as they were 


they could only comply, and started on their way back, with many mis- 
givings as to the fate of the main party and curses both loud and deep 
against the Crows. 


And yet this vexatious outrage was the most fortunate thing that 
could have occurred for their own interest and that of the territory, for 
on their way back to Bannack City they went one day's travel up the 
Madison River, above where they had struck it as they went out, and, 
crossing through a low gap to the southwest, "they camped at noon on a 
small creek. While his comrades were cooking a scanty meal, Fair- 
weather, on going out to look after the few broken-down ponies the 
Indians had given in exchange for their good horses, observed a point of 
bare bed rock projecting from the side of the gulch and determined to 
try a pan of dirt. He was astonished by obtaining thirty cents in beautiful 
coarse gold, and in a few more trials he got one dollar and seventy-five 
cents to the pan. This was at the point afterward famous as 'Fair- 
weather's discovery claim' in Alder Gulch. Believing the locality would 
prove rich, they proceeded to stake off claims, and Hughes was sent to 
Bannack for provisions and friends ; and on his arrival there, in spite of 
his efforts to keep the matter a secret, it became known that rich diggings 
had been struck somewhere. A close watch was kept on Hughes, and 
when he started he was followed by some 200 men. About the present 
site of Daley's ranch, on the Stinking Water, Hughes refused to go 
farther until morning and the party encamped ; but during the night he 
appointed a rendezvous for his particular friends whom he escorted into 
the mines in the night. In the morning, the remainder of the party 
followed his trail into camp, and Fairweather district, with Dr. Steele as 
president and James Fergus as recorder, was organized on the 6th of 
Tune, 1863. Further prospecting of the gulch developed an alluvial de- 
posit of gold exceeding in richness and extent the most sanguine hopes of 
the discoverers, and perhaps combining these two qualities in a greater 
degree than any discovery ever made." 


Col. W. W. DeLacy, a Virginia West Pointer, a teacher of languages 
and captain in the United States Navy, a wide traveler, a brave soldier 
in the Mexican war and in the Indian campaigns of the West, and the 
engineer in surveying the famous Mullan Road from Walla Walla to 
Fort Benton in the August following the return of the Stuart expedition 
he led a party of explorers from Virginia City to prospect up the South 
Snake River. The venture which was devoid of exciting or tragic events 
resulted in the discovery of the source of the South Snake River, several 
miles above Jackson's Lake, in the southern part of the present Yellow- 
stone Park. For nearly ten years all the maps of that region gave the 
name of this head of the river as DeLacy's Lake. Colonel DeLacy wrote 


an account of the expedition of 1863, and says: "In 1872, Professor 
Hay den (the government geologist) visited this lake and renamed it 
Shishone Lake, stating that the numerous and outrageous errors in my 
map deprived me of any claim to the perpetuation of my name, and in- 
sinuating that I claimed to have been, but had not been in the region." 
From the fountain-head of the Snake, the colonel and his men passed 
over to the head of the Madison and West Gallatin rivers, discovering 
the Lower Geyser Basin of the Yellowstone Park. The 500 miles of 
travel indicated were made in about fifty-one days. Its leader claims that 
the wrong done to him by Professor Hayden was never rectified, publicly, 
although he sent to that noted scientist his original note-book and map and 
received from him a private explanation that the harsh and unjust crit- 
icism and erasure of his name from the lake which he discovered were 
made by an irresponsible assistant. 

At the time of his trip, Colonel DeLacy was one of the most widely 
known soldiers and engineers in the West, and for nearly thirty years 
afterward was one of the leading figures in connection with the public 
land survey and the surveyor general's office in Montana. 



The most detailed and graphic account of the discovery of Alder 
Gulch was written by Henry Edgar, one of the party who vainly en- 
deavored to overtake Stuart's expedition bound for the Yellowstone. 
They waited for Stuart eight days at the rendezvous agreed upon, and 
from March 23rd to May 2nd cut across the headwaters of the Missouri 
and along the north bank of the Yellowstone to Shields River. Some 
distance beyond that stream and when close on the trail of the main party, 
the dastardly Crows came upon them. That was May 2, 1863, and 
Edgar's journal gives this picture of their coming: "All went well through 
the night, but towards morning the horses became restless and required 
a good deal of looking after. Just as morning came, I took two of them 
where the boys were sleeping and woke them up. I put the saddles on 
and was just going out to Bill (Fairweather) when the hills were alive 
with Indians. They were all around Bill and I got on the horse and 
started for him, but an Indian grabbed him by the head; I pulled my 
revolver, Simmons was alongside of me and told me not to shoot. Well, 
I got off and gave the rope of the other horse to my Indian. Here they 
come with other horses and Bill mounted behind another Indian with hat 
in one hand and rifle in the other, digging his heels in the horse's flanks 
and yelling like the very devil he is. 'How goes it boys ?' he asked, as he 
got off. Simmons was talking to the Indians and told us to keep quiet. 
Quiet ! Everything we had they had got, but our arms ! A young buck 
took hold of Cover's gun and tried to take it from him. Bill stuck his 
revolver in the buck's ear ; he looked in Bill's face and let go of the gun. 
We told Simmons to tell them that they had got everything but our 
guns and that they could not get them without killing us first. We were 
told to keep them. Everything we had was packed and off to the village. 


Such a hubbub when we got there. Our traps were put in a pile and a 
tent put over them. Simmons and the chief held a long powwow. The 
women brought us some breakfast; good of the kind and plenty. Sim- 
mons told us we were prisoners, to keep still and not to be afraid. I went 
through the village and counted the lodges; there were 180 of them." 

"We talked the matter over and agreed to keep together and if it 
has to come to the worst to fight while life lasts. All the young ones are 
around us and the women. What fun! We get plenty to eat. Indians 
are putting up a great big lodge medicine lodge at that. Night; what 
will tomorrow bring forth ? I write this will anyone ever see it ? Quite 
dark, and such a noise dogs and drums !" 

The two chiefs and the medicine man of the village conferred and 
finally informed the men, through Simmons, that they would be killed if 
they continued down the river; that if they turned back, their horses 
would be returned. They decided to retrace their steps, but only a few 
of their horses were returned; their good animals were generally re- 
placed by blind and halt ponies. The Indians did return their saddles, a 
hundred pounds of flour, some coffee and sugar, one plug of tobacco and 
gave them two robes each for their clothes and blankets. The disap- 
pointed and disgusted little party of eight then started to return the way 
they had come. By the rrfiddle of May, they had reached Madison River, 
at the foot of Tobacco Root Mountains, and a few days afterward, camped 
at Big Bald Mountain. Two of the men climbed Old Baldy, as they called 
the peak ; they had discovered good "color" for quartz gold and wanted 
to find where it came from. From the top of the mountain they could see 
the Stinking Water and Beaverhead rivers. Having moved their camp 
around the foot of the mountain, they expected to be on the Stinking 
Water in two days. 


On the 26th of May, they find "fine grassy hills and lots of quartz, 
some antelope in sight; down a long ridge to a creek and camp; had 
dinner, and Rodgers, Sweeney, Barney (Hughes) and Cover go up the 
creek to prospect. It was Bill's and my turn to guard camp and look 
after the horses. We washed and doctored the horse's leg. Bill went 
across to a bar to see or look for a place to stake the horses. When he 
come back to camp he said 'There is a piece of rimrock sticking out of 
the bar over there. Get the tools and we will go and prospect it.' Bill 
got the pick and shovel and I the pan and went over. Bill dug the dirt 
and filled the pan. 'Now go,' he says, 'and wash that pan and see if we 
can get enough to buy some tobacco when we get to town.' I had the pan 
more than half panned down and had seen some gold as I ran the sand 
around, when Bill sang out 'I have found a scad.' I returned for 
answer, 'If you have one, I have a hundred.' He then came down to 
where I was with his scad. It was a nice piece of gold. Well, I panned 
the pan of dirt and it was a good prospect ; weighed it and had two 
dollars and forty cents; weighed Bill's scad and it weighed the same. 


Four dollars and eighty cents ! Pretty good for tobacco money. We went 
and got another pan and Bill panned that and got more than I had ; I got 
the third and panned that best of the three; that is good enough to 
sleep on. 

"We came to camp, dried and weighed our gold ; altogether there was 
twelve dollars and thirty cents. We saw the boys coming to camp and no 
tools with them. 'Have you found anything?' 'We have started a hole 
but didn't get to bedrock.' They began to growl about the horses not 
being taken care of and to give Bill and me fits. When I pulled the pan 
around Sweeney got hold of it and. the next minute sang out 'Salted!' I 
told Sweeney that if he 'would pipe Bill and me down and run us through 
a sluice box he couldn't bet a color,' and 'the horses could go to the devil 
or the Indians.' Well, we talked over the find and roasted venison till 
late; and sought the brush, and spread our robes; and a more joyous lot 
of men never went more contentedly to bed than we. 

"May 27th : Up before the sun ; horses all right ; soon the frying pan 
was on the fire. Sweeney was off with the pan and Barney telling him 
'to take it aisy.' He panned his pan and beat both Bill and me. He had 
five dollars and thirty cents. 'Well, you have got it good, by jove !' were 
his greeting words. When we got filled up with elk, Hughes and Cover 
went up the gulch, Sweeney and Rodgers down, Bill and I to the old 
place. We panned turn about ten pans at a time, all day long, and it was 
good dirt too. 'A grub stake is what we are after' was our watchward all 
day, and it is one hundred and fifty dollars in good dust. 'God is good,' 
as Rodgers said when we left the Indian camp. Sweeney and Rodgers 
found a good prospect and have eighteen dollars of the gold to show 
for it. Barney and Tom brought in four dollars and a half. As we quit, 
Bill says 'there's our supper,' a large band of antelope on the hillside. 

"We had our guns with us. He took up one draw and I the other ; 
it was getting dark, but light enough to shoot ; got to a good place within 
about seventy-five yards and shot; the one I shot at never moved; I 
thought it missed ; I rolled over and loaded up my gun, then the antelope 
was gone. Bill had shot by this time ; I went to where the one I shot at 
was standing, and found some blood, and the antelope dead not ten steps 
away ; Bill got one too ; ate our fill ; off to bed. 


"May 28th : Staked the ground this morning ; claims one hundred 
feet. Sweeney wanted a water a notice written for a water right and 
asked me to write it for him. I. wrote it for him ; then 'What name shall 
we give the creek?' The boys said 'You name it.' So I wrote 'Alder.' 
There was a large fringe of alder growing along the creek, looking nice 
and green and the name was given. We staked twelve claims for our 
friends and named the bars Cover, Fairweather and Rodgers when the dis- 
coveries were made. We agree to say nothing of the discovery when we 
get to Bannack and come back and prospect the gulch thoroughly and get 
the best; It was midday when we left ; we came down the creek past the 


forks and to its mouth, made marks so we could find the same again and 
on down the valley (Ram's Horn Gulch) to a small creek; the same we 
camped on as we went out and made camp for the night ; a more happy lot 
of boys would be hard to find, though covered with seedy clothes. 

"May 2gth : All well. Breakfast such as we have, bread and antelope 
and cold water and good appetites. What better fare could a prince wish ! 
It might be worse and without the good seasoning given by our find. 
Down and over the Stinking Water along a high level bench twelve 
miles or more to the Beaverhead River, then up about six miles and camp. 
We have come about twenty-five miles. 

"May 3Oth: All well. Ate up the last of our meat for breakfast; 
will have supper at Bannack, ham and eggs. Away we go and have no 
cares. Crossed at the mouth of the Rattlesnake and up to the Bannack 
trail, the last stage over the hill and down to the town, the raggedest lot 
that was ever seen, but happy. Friends on every side. Dod Dempsey 
grabbed our horses and cared for them. Frank Ruff got us to his cabin. 
Salt Lake eggs, ham, potatoes, everything. Such a supper! One has to 
be on short commons and then he will know. Too tired and too glad. 

"May 3 1st: Such excitement? Everyone with a long story about 
the 'new find.' After I got my store clothes on, I was sitting in a saloon 
talking with some friends ; there were lots of men that were strangers to 
me ; they were telling that we brought in a horse load of gold and not one 
of the party had told that we had found a color. Such is life in the 'Far 
West.' Well we have been feasted and cared for like princes. 

"June ist: Got what we wanted and were all ready for the return, 
but it is impossible to move without a crowd. Left the horses in Demp- 
sey 's. corral for the night and gave over till morning. 

"June 2nd: Left Bannack this forenoon and came over to Rattle- 
snake. A crowd awaits us ; crowds follow after us ; they carr\p right 
around us, so we can't get away. 

"June 3rd: Move on down to Beaverhead River and the crowd gets 
more and more strong, on foot as well as on horseback. 

"June 4th : Down the river we go over two hundred strong. Bill 
says to me, 'If we had this crowd with us when the medicine man made 
his medicine, wouldn't we have given him Hail Columbia?' 

"We see it is no good to try to get away from the crowd, so we will 
camp where we leave the river. Made a camp near the Beaverhead Rock. 
'Miners' meeting called for this afternoon.' I was chosen to state to the 
crowd what we had found. I did so and told them that we had panned 
out one hundred and eighty-nine dollars altogether, showing them a sam- 
ple of the gold, stating what the prospect was and the extent of the 
gulch so far as we had prospected, what we know it to be; told what 
we had done ; the claims we had staked, and said "If we are allowed to 
have the claims as we have staked them, we will go on, if not, we will 
go no farther.' Some talk and it was put to a vote; the vote was in 
our favor ; only one vote against. At the meeting there was a set of laws 
adopted to govern our claims. A provision of the law passed was that 
the claims of our party should never be jumped nor taken from us and 


they are exempt from one day's work in seven required by law to hold 
claims. Well and good. They wanted to know where the gulch was, 
but as some were on foot and others on horseback with that advantage, 
they were told 'when we get to the creek you will know and not till then.' 
Everybody satisfied. 

"June 5th : Off and away across the long flat between the two rivers 
and camp at the same small creek the third time. We are fearful that 
when the crowd gets in, they may pull up our stakes. So some of the 
boys on the outside of the ring were told of the plan and Barney with 
ten or twelve will get out ahead to make them secure. 

"June 6th: This morning the crowd was told that we would be in 
the gulch today and to prepare for it. When we came to the creek and 
were going up I said to them, 'This is the creek.' Such a stampede ! 

"I never saw anything like it before. I was left alone with our 
packs and took my time, for I know my claim is safe. After I crossed 
the small creek that comes in from the left, as we go up, Colonel Wood 
caught up with me. He asked me if I knew where he could get a claim. 
I told him 'Yes, I'll show you where two bits was got, but only one pan 
was panned.' I showed him the place and he stopped and located a 
claim. Got back to camp at Discovery about 4 o'clock. The creek is all 

"The foregoing are all the notes of the trip from the time the party 
left Bannack, February 4, 1863, to the time the crowd came back with 
them to their discovery of Alder gulch. 

"At a meeting held on the Qth day of June, 1863, Dr. Steele was 
elected judge and Henry Edgar was elected recorder, who refused to 
serve and appointed James Fergus deputy recorder. 

"The loth of June, Barney Hughes took two horses and went to 
LaBarge (Deer Lodge) after George Orr, whom we left when we started 
on the expedition, who was given a full and equal share in the Fair- 
weather and Cover bar discoveries, and his being given this caused 
Sweeney and Rodgers to separate from the rest of the party. 

"The discovery party were as follows : 

"Bill Fairweather, native of New Brunswick, St. John's River. 

"Mike Sweeney, native of Frederickstown, St. John's River. 

"Barney Hughes, native of Ireland. 

"Harry Rodgers, native of St. John's, New Foundland. 

"Tom Cover, native of Ohio. 

"Henry Edgar, native of Scotland. 

"The above is a true narration of the expedition." 

Philipsburg, Montana, April 13, 1897. 



Maj. Peter Ronan, an Iowa and a Montana newspaper man and long 
Indian agent of the Flatheads, arrived at Bannack City in April, 1863, 
during its first boom, and in the following month was one of the mad rush 



to the Alder openings, and has written an interesting account of the 
coming of the Idaho miners to Montana and their historic "find." We 
pass over the steps leading to the point where Barney Hughes, Tom 
Cover, Henry Rodgers, Bill Fairweather, Henry Edgar and Bill Sweeney, 
were turned back toward Bannack City by Indians hostile to the gold 
prospectors, who were endeavoring to overtake the Stuart expedition. 
"On the 22nd of May the wornout prospectors and fugitives from 
Indians went into camp in a flat on the creek, and on that same after- 


noon the party struck thirty-three cents to the pan on the bar which rose 
above the camp, right in the grass roots. This was the first discovery 
of gold on the celebrated Alder Gulch the richest continuous streak of 
gold ever struck on any gulch in the world. 

"Of course there was rejoicing in the camp, and although now in pos- 
session of a mine of glittering wealth our brave and persevering pros- 
pectors could plainly see that another effort must be made or they would 
starve to death on their heaps of gold. 

"After the discovery was made, Henry Edgar, with his trusty rifle, 


which he managed to retain from the Crows, went above the discovery 
on the mountain, and shot an antelope. There was then rejoicing- in the 
camp. After sinking below the surface a few feet at the spot where 
the first pan was prospected, five dollars and ten cents was obtained 
from the one pan of dirt. It was then concluded that the party should 
return to Bannack, procure provisions and tools, and bring in their friends 
to the new Eldorado. 

"Upon arriving at Bannack, the secret of the new discovery was 
divulged and quietly talked over by the discoverers and their friends, and 
a certain day fixed upon to start for the discovery. Meanwhile, tempting 
offers were made secretly to Barney Hughes, and to others of the party 
of prospectors, to quietly slip out with two or three opulent claim owners 
of Bannack, and guide them to the discovery ahead of the stampede. 
But the discoverers were deaf to their importunities and could not be 
tempted with gold to throw off their old mining friends, and determined 
that all should start off together. The start was made and it was found 
that three or four hundred men were following the discoverers on 
horseback and with their tools and provisions for at least a short cam- 

"Upon reaching the point of rocks on the Beaverhead river, Hughes 
and his fellow discoverers, knowing the rapacity of the average gold 
hunter, commenced to think that if their rights were not secured before 
the party reached the gulch, very little respect would be shown them as 
discoverers, and the stampeders would take the lion's share and leave 
the poor and almost unknown prospectors and discoverers out in the 
cold. A halt was called and the prospectors announced to the stampeders 
that unless two hundred feet of ground was guaranteed to each one of 
them, extending across the gulch from rim to rim, they would go no 
farther, and would not divulge the locality of their discovery. 

"Colonel Sam McLean, who was afterwards elected the first dele- 
gate to represent Montana in the Congress of the United States, now gone 
to his rest in his beloved and native state of Pennsylvania, and his mining 
partner, Wash Stapleton the latter an honored citizen of our Territory 
today were among the crowd of stampeders. Those generous minded 
gentlemen saw at once the justice of the demand of the heroic prospectors, 
and a code of laws governing the mining district, was then and there 
drawn up which secured to Hughes and his comrades the ground they 
demanded. After all the preliminaries were arranged, laws and regula- 
tions which were to govern the new mining district were passed upon 
and duly recorded, before any of the crowd, except the prospectors, knew 
even the' direction- in which the new Eldorado lay. The crowd moved on, 
led by Hughes and his party. Upon reaching the spot where the house 
of Pete Daly now stands, on the old Daly ranch, the party went into 
camp for the night. Hughes had several old mining acquaintances 
among the vast crowd which followed his lead, whom he particularly 
desired to locate on good claims, as they had had a continuous run of bad 
luck in other localities and were flat broke, as indeed were nearly all 
of the crowd who followed. I here recall the names of some of the men 


whom Hughes secretly requested to meet him under a certain tree near 
the camp at 1 1 o'clock on the night of that encampment ; they were Paddy 
Sky, Jim McNulty, Andy Brown, Tom Duffy, Jim Patten, and Charley 
Keegan. Hughes here imparted to these friends that outside of the bar 
prospected by him and companions, he knew nothing of the prospects, but 
assured them it was his opinion if they got in ahead of the crowd and 
located near the discoverers they would be likely to get some good ground, 
and volunteered to lead them into the gulch that night on foot while the 
camp was asleep. 

"The proposition was gladly accepted, and the party stole out of the 
camp in the silence of the night, and leaving their horses, food, and 
camping outfit behind made a night march for the diggings, led by 
Hughes. At daylight the discovery was reached and the party staked 
their claims. 

"It is needless here to dwell upon the rage of the stampeders and the 
imprecations which they heaped upon Hughes and his companions when 
the morning broke upon the vast camp, when they found out that the 
party had struck out in the silence of the night. Nor is it necessary 
to dwell upon the fact that nearly all the camp secured good claims, as 
did thousands of others who followed for years afterwards. 

"Among the toil 1 worn followers of that stampede, who staked their 
claims on Alder Gulch, on that early June morning of 1863, was the 
writer, and I may here add that some three days after his stake was 
driven the first wagon that arrived in Alder gulch was owned and driven 
in by James Sheehan. In the wagon was Sheehan's wife and family, 
and one of that family was a little child who is now the wife of the 
narrator, and the first white girl who came to Alder Gulch; and now 
that she is raising a family, desired for their sake the privilege of mem- 
bership in the Pioneer Association. 

"But the six brave prospectors who paved the way to fortune for so 
many of Montana citizens, where are they ?* Tom Cover is a wealthy citi- 
zen of San Bernardino County, California, and one of the original own- 
ers of the beautiful town of Riverside, recently written up and illustrated 
in Harper's Magazine. 

"Henry Edgar makes brick in Missoula a few months in summer 
and spends the remainder of the year and his earnings in trying to dis- 
cover another gulch. 

"Bill Fairweather sleeps in a lonely and unmarked grave. 

"Barney Hughes was the guest of the writer a few days ago, returning 
weary and worn, footsore and disheartened, from a trip to Bull river up 
north and across the British line, where he had been prospecting without 
success. His whole earthly possessions were two horses, a pick, pan and 
shovel, his camping utensils, and provisions enough to last him to reach 
Missoula, were he is now looking for work to earn enough money to 
outfit him for another prospecting trip. 

"Old timers you who have been lifted from the log cabin and the 

* Written in 1900. 


long-handled frying pan to blocks of brick and granite which adorn our 
Montana cities, to Queen Anne cottages, palatial dwellings and happy 
family surroundings give a lift to these worthy prospectors, and when 
they go into the mountains again, in search of diggings, let them go at 
least comfortably provided for. 

"Of the other two comprising the party of Alder Gulch discoverers 
Harry Rodgers and Bill Sweeney I have no knowledge; but, what- 
ever their lot in life, Montana and its early settlers owe each and every 
one of that party a deep debt of gratitude." 


* In the spring of 1864, James organized a second expedition to the 
Yellowstone, with the double purpose of prospecting the country for 
gold and avenging the murder of his comrades the previous year. The 
party consisted of seventy-three men. James was elected captain; W. 
Graham, first lieutenant; John Vanderbilt, second lieutenant; Charles 
Murphy, orderly sergeant; John Upton and James Dewey, sergeants of 
the guard ; and Mark Post and James Bailey, corporals. They crossed the 
divide between the Gallatin and Yellowstone rivers on the 28th and 2Qth 
of March, finding the snow bad, for it was a very late, stormy spring, 
and it snowed upon them nearly all the way down the Yellowstone and 
over to the Stinking River fork of the Big Horn. So severe was the 
weather that they found it well nigh impossible to prospect, because of the 
frozen ground; and the snow was so deep that they could not get back 
among the mountains at all. Their horses grew very poor, and many 
became exhausted and were left behind; and as the devil usually takes 
care of his own, it so happened that the Crows were all over on the 
Musselshell and Missouri rivers, and the party did not find one in the 
Yellowstone valley, where they had all been the year before. Had the ex- 
pedition found them, it was their intention to have taken the village by 
strategy, if practicable, and if not, to have stormed it and killed as many 
as possible a fate they well deserved then and now deserve still more, 
for since that time they have killed many small parties and individuals 
of whites, and stolen thousands of dollars of stock, all of which they lay 
on the Sioux and Blackfeet. 

James' business arrangements not admitting of his remaining out 
longer, he and fourteen others left the main body on Stinking River and 
returned to Virginia about the i8th of May. 


The story of the gold discoveries and developments in Montana runs 
parallel with that of the California record in fact, with the tale of 
every series of gold adventuring in the world; it is ever some newer 
and more distant field which is most alluring. Gold Creek, Bannack City, 

* Life of James Stuart, by Granville Stuart, Vol. I, p. 56, Contributions Mon- 
tana Historical Society. 

Vol. 114 



Virginia City and Helena is the Montana order. John Cowan, John Crab, 
D. J. Miller and Reginald Stanley, camping in a Hell Gate River valley, 
in the spring of 1864, fell in with a party headed by James Coleman, who 
were returning from the Kootenai country with reports of fabulous dig- 
gings in that region. But the Cowan party decided to prospect the Little 
Blackfoot Valley and, failing good prospects, to pass over to the eastern 
slopes of the Rockies. They did so and emerged into the Prickly Pear 
Valley of the Missouri, ranged farther north up the Dearborn to the 
sources of the Teton and Maria's rivers. The farther north they went, 
the less promising became the gold outlook, and finally, almost discour- 
aged, they returned to the Valley of the Prickly Pear, and in July, 1864, 


located Last Chance Gulch. They sank two holes to bed-rock on opposite 
sides of the stream. One of these yielded flat nuggets that weighed about 
half a dollar proof of a rich "strike." By the end of July there were 
many busy miners at Last Chance, some from Bannack City and Alder 
Gulch, and others, like the birds of the fields, mysteriously scenting a 
feast and appearing on the ground. 

How the Last Chance Gulch was given the name Helena is thus 
succinctly told : "The mining camp at Last Chance Gulch was christened 
Helena by John Somerville, one of the early miners in the gulch, and who 
had been chosen chairman of a meeting called for the purpose of organiz- 
ing that mining district and establishing laws and regulations to govern 


it. A letter written by Thomas E. Cooper, who was present on the occa- 
sion, thus refers to it: 'Thomas Cowan, from Georgia, in 1864, had a 
sluice and was mining in Last Chance. On September 24, 1864, the writer 
and a company of prospectors and Captain Wood built a cabin where the 
heart of the city now is. A meeting was called to organize the mining 
district, and John Somerville was chosen chairman and the writer 
of this letter secretary. The question of naming the town came up and 
there being a great diversity of opinion as to the name the town should 
bear, and not being able to agree, the chairman, John Somerville, got up 
and stated as follows : "I belong to the best country in the world ; I live 
in the best state (Minnesota) in that country and in the best county 
(Scott) of that state, and in the best town (Helena) of that county 
and, by the eternal, this town shall bear that name !" ' This name proving 
satisfactory to the majority of the miners present, the name Helena 
was accepted." 

Judge Cornelius Hedges, in his sketch of Lewis and Clark county 
(Montana Historical Society's contributions, Vol. II, p. 109), gives 
October, 30, 1864, as the date of holding the meeting, where, at the sug- 
gestion of Mr. Somerville, Last Chance Gulch was christened Helena. He 
also presents other pertinent facts, as to this mining venture which sprung 
from the soil of desperation and prospered so abundantly. "It was in 
July, 1864," he writes, "that gold was first discovered in this locality 
by a party of Georgians, of which John Cowan, Robert Stanley and Gabe 
Johnson were members. Not satisfied with the prospect, they left and 
tried various localities as far north as Sun river, but, finding nothing 
better, this party returned, and in September began regular mining opera- 
tions on a bar not far from where the Masonic Temple now stands. The 
lateness of the season and the failure of their undertakings up to that 
time led them to christen their diggings Last Chance gulch, while the 
abundance of snakes gave the name to the district of Rattlesnake. 

"Captain George J. Wood, who came into the territory from Illi- 
nois by way of Bridger's cut-off, reaching Alder gulch in July, 1864, 
and not finding a claim in that section to suit him, started north 
to test for himself the reported mines on the Prickly Pear. He 
induced Mr. Mast, who, with his family, was returning to Alder gulch 
from an unsuccessful exploration of Wisconsin gulch, to turn about and 
accompany him. It so happened that a hunting expedition from Prickly 
Pear brought Messrs. Wood and Mast into Last Chance about the time 
that the Georgia party made their first successful clean-up. The sight of 
this was enough to decide them to remove at once to this locality, and next 
after the two cabins erected by John Cowan and Robert Stanley, were 
those of Messrs. Wood and Mast. Notwithstanding the assurance of the 
discovery party that there was no gold in the gulch above them, it was 
found in promising quantities in many localities. By the personal solici- 
tation of Mr. Wood, a portion of the Minnesota train, just then arrived 
and camped in the valley of Ten Mile, were induced to stop and join in 
prospecting the Last Chance mines. During the months of October and 
November following, the extent and richness of the mines became well 



established and their fame began to draw miners from other camps. 
Messrs. Constans and Jurgens, still our fellow citizens (1876), recently 
arrived from Minnesota, and who had first established themselves at 
Montana City, were the first to move their stock and open a store in 
the new mines. 

"It was at a public meeting held in Captain Wood's cabin October 
30, 1864, the minutes of which meeting are still preserved, that the name 
of Helena was selected, on motion and suggestion of Mr. John Somerville, 
for the name of the rising city. If their selection of the name is to be 
respected, why should not also the pronounciation of the name, He-le'-na, 
as they universally called it, and not Hel'-e-na? Three commissioners, 


Messrs. Wood, Bruce and Cutler, were chosen and empowered to lay out 
streets, fix the size of town lots and establish all necessary regulations 
for obtaining and holding the same. Captain Wood was chosen recorder, 
and virtually discharged the duties of all the commissioners in addition. 
The size of lots, as fixed by the commissionrs, was 30 by 60 feet, and a 
foundation would hold a lot for ten days, and, if recorded besides, for 
ten days longer. Disputed titles were to be settled by the commissioners, 
or by arbitration, until civil law was established. Capt. Wood's position 
was a difficult and thankless one, and considering the surrounding diffi- 
culties successfully filled." 


In December, 1864, Confederate Gulch and Montana Bar were dis- 
covered, about six miles from the Missouri River and some thirty-five 
miles from Helena. Wonderful stories are told of the yield of both 


mines, Montana Bar, however, proving the richer of the two. It is said 
that when bed-rock on the bar was reached, the enormous yield of $180 
to the pan in Confederate Gulch was forgotten in astonishment at the 
marvelous yield of over $1,000 to the pan taken from Montana. Dia- 
mond City developed from these two rich openings of the Montana 
gold field. 


Emigrant Gulch, Gallatin County, was also discovered in 1864, and 
before the close of 1867 had yielded about $180,000 in gold. The mines 
along Silver Bow Creek, extending from the present city of Butte to the 
town of Silver Bow, were opened in the fall of 1864, the gulch reaching 
the height of its prosperity in 1866. Captain James S. Mills, explains 
the naming of the creek : "Never prettier name was coined, and it came 
about thus: On the evening of a cloudy day in January, 1864, Bud 
Barker, P. Allison, Joe and Jim Ester, on a prospecting trip reached the 
vicinity of the creek near Butte and a discussion arose as to its name. As 
the argument went on, the clouds rolled from the sun, its bright glance 
fell on the waters sweeping in a graceful curve around the base of the 
mountains, burnishing them to brilliancy as they clasped the vale in a 
bow like silver." 

Deer Lodge County developed such gulches as German, in 1864, and 
Ophir (very rich), Bear (productive, rough and tough) and McClellan's 
(Pacific City), all in 1865. The placer diggings of Jefferson County 
with some unimportant exceptions, were not discovered until late in 
that year and the early part of 1866. 


The years 1862-68 constitute the Bonanza period of Montana's produc- 
tion of gold, and by counties the output was as follows : 

Madison $40,000,000 

Lewis and Clark 19,360,000 

Deer Lodge 13,250,000 

Meagher 6,949,200 

Jefferson 4,500,000 

Beaverhead 2,245,000 

Other sources 6,000,000 

Total $92,304,200 

Even the veteran, Fort Benton, was no more than a fortified trad- 
ing post until the opening and expansion of the gold fields attracted 
immigrants from everywhere, many of whom survived the excitements 
and uncertainties of the early mining days and remained to become 
identified with the silver and the copper industries, and the even more last- 
ing developments of agriculture and livestock. 

In the spring and summer of 1864, when Bannack and Virginia 
City were well under way and Helena was about to be founded, a number 
of small buildings were sprinkled outside the fort as an irregular settle- 
ment. The largest of them was the store built by Matthew Carroll and 
George Steele. It was constructed of sawed logs, prepared at the Fort 
LaBarge sawmill. These gentlemen were at the time clerks in the employ 
of the American Fur Company, but soon after began business for them- 
selves under the firm name of Carroll & Steele. During the same year 
(1864) they bought a large stock of goods and their venture proved per- 
manently successful. The settlement soon began to assume the appear- 
ance of a town, although, as yet, the buildings were located at the fancy 
of the owners, without regard to system. In the spring and summer of 
1865, however, the town was regularly laid out according to the present 
plan by Capt. W. W. DeLacy, the widely known western surveyor, and 
called Benton City. Several new buildings were at once erected, with 
their inclosures, and for the first time defined streets and squares were 
outlined on the prairie bottom. 

*"The name of Benton City took but a slender hold on the popular 
opinion, and deservedly so, for every attempt to pervert a good name 
already in current use should be met with severe reprobation. The name 
of the local postofHce is Fort Benton, the business men use the same name 
in their letter and bill heads, freight from the lower towns is consigned 
to Fort Benton, and by that name the place is almost universally called 
by its inhabitants and others. While the adobe walls of old Fort Benton 
continue to stand, the new name offers some little advantage in distin- 
guishing the town from the fort, but the walls must soon crumble and 
the fort disappear, as has Campbell and LaBarge already, and then the 
name of Benton City will have no advantage whatever, while it will have 
the disadvantage of veiling to its coming inhabitants the glamor of con- 
tiguity attaching to the old sonorous name of Fort Benton." 

At the conclusion of "Affairs at Fort Benton," Vol. Ill, p. 287, 

* Bradley's "Affairs at Fort Benton." 



Arthur J. Craven, a member of the Board of Trustees of the Historical 
Society, in 1900, inserts this note: "Here this section of the journal 
purchased by the Board from Mrs. Bradley in 1881, abruptly terminates, 
an incomplete, succeeding paragraph indicating the intention of the 
lamented author to fully conclude the period of time designated by him in 
the title (1831-69). Upon what portion of his numerous chronicles he 
was engaged when he was summoned with his command to his last cam- 
paign, the one against the Nez Perces in 1877, is unknown. Possibly the 
rich romance clustering around this old fort, which, as shown by a re- 
view of his manuscripts, was evidently a favorite theme, was the last 
which engaged his literary effort, before passing from the quiet con- 
templation of the annals of the frontier to the heroic martyrdom of the 
soldier on the field of battle. 

"Contemporaries and associates of Major Culbertson have fortunately 
transcribed to print memoirs of their experience in the fur trade of the 
Missouri and its tributaries. These serve only to increase the historic 
value of the foregoing contribution, one which shows throughout the in- 
valuable assistance of Major Culbertson, than whom no better authority 
could be found on the events of the Upper Missouri, during the greater 
portion of the period treated by the author. 

"It may be of interest to add that the old fort is now owned (1900) 
by the Hon. T. E. Collins, present state treasurer, and that the surround- 
ing town, thronged with these historic associations, happily retains 'the 
old sonorous name' of Fort Benton, in accordance with the preference 
expressed by the author in his concluding paragraph." 


But it was the mining camp which sprung up in Alder Gulch, which 
became the magic city of the Montana gold fields. The stampede from 
Bannack City, in June, 1863, brought several hundred to the new findings 
and before the close of the following year the population of the place, 
which was housed in every conceivable shelter and camped under the sky 
in bearable weather, had reached ten or twelve thousand people; a bed- 
lam of a city with representatives of every description and clime, all 
madly rushing for gold. The most complete description of the first two 
years of lusty infancy in the life of Virginia City has been penned by 
Judge Henry N. Blake, one of the ablest members of the Montana bench 
and bar, and a public character of broad ability and worth. 

Judge Blake, who settled in Virginia City, during 1866, says that 
the first crowd of stampeders from Bannack comprised over three hun- 
dred men. A public meeting of the original prospectors and discoverers 
was held June 7th in a cottonwood grove upon the banks of the Beaver- 
head River and about ten miles south of the Beaverhead Rock. Resolu- 
tions were passed confirming the right of each discoverer to two claims in 
Alder Gulch, with water privileges. The main body of the swarm arrived 
in Alder Gulch on the 9th and Hughes, who had stealthily left them, 
piloted his friends during the preceding night to the promised land. 


Some, who wished to steal a march on the others but were not familiar 
with the country, wandered up the Stinkwater, Granite and other 
streams and were distanced. On the I2th, the miners adopted the laws 
of the Fairweather district. 

"At this date," says Judge Blake, "there was not a dwelling house 
within the boundaries of Madison county. This was not a municipal 
body and was included with the largest fraction of Montana in Idaho 
territory, which had been organized by an Act of Congress, approved 
March 3, 1863. 

"The throng was increased daily during the month of June by the 
arrival of citizens, who represented every part of the Union and the na- 
tions of both hemispheres. On the i6th the Verona Town Company 
recorded its claim to 320 acres of land on which Virginia City stands. 
The name of Verona was used in a number of legal papers which were 
executed at this time, but this was soon exchanged for Virginia City, 
which first appears upon the county records on the i/th." 

The first name given to the present capital of Montana was in 
honor of Jeff. Davis' wife, but, as stated, it was soon changed to Vir- 
ginia. Dr. (Judge) G. G. Bissel was the first man that wrote it Virginia. 
Being asked to head a legal document Verona, he bluntly said he would 

see them d d first, for that was the name of Jeff. Davis' wife; and, 

accordingly, as he wrote it, so it remained. From this little circumstance, 
it will be seen that politics was anything but forgotten on the banks 
of Alder creek; but miners are sensible men, in the main, and out in the 
mountains a good man makes good friends, even where political opinions 
are widely different. 

"Almost* immediately after the first freat rush from Bannack in 
addition to the tents, brush wakiups and extempore fixings for shelter 
small log cabins were erected. The first of these was the Mechan- 
ical bakery, now (1866) standing near the lower end of Wallace street. 
Morier's saloon went up at about the same time and the first dwelling 
house was built by John Lyons. After this beginning houses rose as if 
by magic. Dick Hamilton, Root & Davis, J. E. McClurg, Hall & Simpson, 
N. Story and O. C. Mathews, were among the first merchants. Dr. 
Steele was first president of the Fairweather district. Dr. G. G. Bissel 
was the first judge of the Miners' Court. The duty of the recorder's 
office was, we believe, performed by James Fergus." 

Continuing Judge Blake's account : "The extent of the pay streak be- 
ing unknown, the object of every person was to secure mining ground in 
the neighborhood of that which had been prospected by the pioneers. It 
was generally believed that the bars were the golden safes of nature 
and many parties neglected and walked over as worthless the richest 
deposits in the creek in their eager search for what they considered the 
valuable claims. Before the bedrock of the creek had been disturbed 
by the pick, the camp was deserted by a number of intelligent miners 
who informed their friends with confidence that there were no paying 

* Professor Dimsdale's "Vigilantes in Montana." 


diggings in the gulch. But within thirty days tests were applied by 
hundreds of industrious hands to every place which was accessible, and 
revealed to the world the auriferous bed of an ancient river, which sur- 
passed in magnitude and the uniform distribution of its golden treasures, 
any placer which has been recorded upon this planet. New districts were 
formed, embracing the creek, bar and hill claims, and designated High- 
land, Pine Grove and Summit, which were above the Fairweather, and 
Nevada and Junction, which were below it. A thousand claims were 
located in the gulch. 

"During the period when every doubt respecting the immense wealth 
of Alder vanished, the people were living in houses not made with hands. 
Some constructed temporary shelters of wakiups of alders and pine 
boughs, or rocks and blankets, others excavated caves or "dug-outs," and 
the palaces were tents and wagons. The mill on which they were de- 
pendent for sawed lumber, was situated on the stream above Bannack 
and about seventy miles from Virginia City. The axe was the most useful 
tool and log cabins occupied every convenient space upon the banks 
of the creek. If a stranger entered the gulch in the prosperous days of 
1863 and 1864, and traveled from Junction to Summit, the brilliant lights, 
illuminating the road and trail, would dazzle his eyes, and cause him to 
imagine he was in a vast city." 


The Legislative Assembly of Idaho did not convene until December, 
1863, this county was not governed during the interim by the statutes of 
any state, and a mining district was an independent republic. A judge 
and sheriff were elected by the residents of the district, and although the 
miners' courts were neither in law nor fact tribunals of record, their deci- 
sions were final and the officers executed the judgment without opposition. 
In Fairweather District Dr. G. G. Bissel was the first judge of the 
Miner's Court, Richard Todd was the first sheriff and Henry Edgar was 
the first recorder. They were elected on June 9th, the day on which the 
mining claims were staked. J. B. Caven was chosen sheriff September 
3, 1863, and resigned within a few weeks and Henry Plummer, then 
sheriff of the Grasshopper District and chief of the road agents, was 


As stated, T. L. Luce erected the first building in Virginia City, 
the "Mechanical Bakery," on the lot above the present store of J. F. Stoer, 
Wallace Street, Frederick Root and Nathaniel J. Davis the first store, 
John Lyons, the first dwelling house, Henry Morier, the first saloon, and 
R. S. Hamilton received the first load of merchandise. Col. Samuel Mc- 
Lean, the first delegate to Congress, drove the first wagon to Alder 
Gulch. The physicians who arrived during the first week of the inva- 
sion were Drs. I. C. Smith and J. S. Click, and the lawyers were repre- 


sented by H. P. A. Smith, G. W. Stapleton and Samuel McLean. After 
making diligent inquiries, I am satisfied that no clergyman preached within 
the county in' 1863. The first cobble-stone store was put up for Taylor, 
Thompson and Company, whose sign can be read today. The first lumber 
from Bannack was sold readily for $250, gold, per thousand feet, more 
than twelve times the present price. The first sawmill in the county was 
set in motion by Thomas W. Cover and Perry W. McAdow in February, 
1864, on Granite Creek, about four miles above Junction. About the 
same time the sawmill of George N. Stager & Company was running on 
Alder Gulch, about one-fourth of a mile below Granite Creek, from which 
the water was conveyed by a ditch. Other mills were built afterwards 
by Holter Bros., on Ramshorn Gulch, House and Bivins of Meadow 
Creek and James Gemmell on Mill Creek. The quarry within this town- 
site, which has furnished porphytic stone for the largest buildings, was 
opened by Joseph Griffith and William Thompson in July, 1864. The 
first warehouse, constructed of this material, is now occupied by Ray- 
mond Bros. The first sluice boxes were set up about June 25th, 1863, 
by the discoverers on Fairweather Bar, S. R. Blake in the Fairweather 
District, and J. M. Wood in the Nevada District. The construction of 
ditches to work the claims consumed time and money, and eight months 
passed away before some of the drains were completed. 


A line of coaches to Salt Lake and Bannack was started, immediately 
after the settlement of Alder, by A. J. Oliver ,& Co. No mail route was 
established by the general government until late in 1864, and letters 
and newspapers were forwarded by the express to the recipients, who paid 
with a grateful heart the charges, usually $i, gold, for each document. 
The first postoffice was located at Virginia City, and George B. Parker 
was the first postmaster. For a number of years Virginia City was the 
distributing postoffice for the territory. 


The first election was held under the proclamation of the Governor in 
Idaho, 1863, for the choice of members of the Legislative Assembly. 
The county was represented by Jack Edwards in the council, and James 
Tufts, who became the speaker, in the house. Mark A. Moore, who re- 
ceived the highest number of votes, was not eligible, and Doctor Smith, 
who stood next upon the tally list, was not allowed to take the vacant 
chair. The first officers of the county were commissioned by the gov- 
ernor of Montana. 


The weather during the first two years was favorable to the busy 
gold diggers, who pursued with slight interruptions their tasks upon the 


surface and underground. The miner, in opening the vaults of Alder 
Gulch, realized the extravagant fancies of a miner's dream, and the pick 
and shovel in his hands were as potent as the lamp and ring in the grasp 
of Aladdin. Every effort was rewarded with gold. In 1864, miles of 
drain ditches penetrated the mineral claims from Old Baldy to Granite, 
and the product exceeded $30,000,000. It is to be regretted that the prec- 
ious metal which has been wrested from Alder Gulch is an unknown 
quantity, which cannot be determined. "After an examination of all the 
facts, I am satisfied that Alder Gulch has increased the gold coin of the 
world $60,000,000," says Judge Blake. Candor requires me to state 
that this estimate is deemed too moderate by many pioneers of the 
county, whose judgment merits grave consideration. More nuggets were 
saved in the Summit than in all the other districts, and the largest was 
found by Hedge & Company, in 1864, upon their claim near the hill on 
which the Lucas lode had been staked. It was worth $715 in coin and 
over $1,700 in currency. 

"The population was multiplied until there were, in 1864, at least 
10,000 and probably 15,000 persons who were nourished by the golden 
current. Kate Virginia Caven, the daughter of J. B. Caven, the first 
child of white parents within the county, was born in this city, February 
20, 1864. At the first election, held October 24, 1864, after the territory 
of Montana had been formed, Madison county cast 5,286 votes, Virginia 
City having 2,310 and Nevada 1,806 of this number." 

Virginia City was incorporated by the Legislature of Idaho Janu- 
ary 30, 1864, and on December 30, 1864, by the Legislative Assembly of 
Montana. Under the last act, officers were -elected in the spring of 1865, 
and this is the only place in Montana which has enjoyed the blessings of 
a municipal government and possessed mayors and aldermen (written in 
1896). During the two years succeeding the important discovery on May 
27, 1863, Alder Gulch was in reality the territory of Montana. The capi- 
tal was removed from Bannack to Virginia City by the law approved 
February 7, 1865, and remained until January, 1875. The conventions of 
the republican and democratic parties assembled here in 1864 and 1865, 
and nominated candidates for Congress and other offices. 

"From these districts went forth the prospectors to every gulch, seek- 
ing for another Alder, and many of the founders of villages in every part 
of Montana. During the last ten years, the decline in the product of gold 
has caused the loss of the people, 'and there are now in Alder gulch hun- 
dreds in lieu of the thousands of 1863 and 1864. The manifold resources 
of Madison county are a permanent foundation, and I am assured that 
the wave of population will recede no further, and in the future must 


Pioneer City was such only in name, standing, as it did, for Pioneer 
Gulch, or Pioneer Creek the Benetsee, or Gold Creek, of an earlier day, 
and the American Fork, the settlement fathered by the Stuarts. Although 


James and Granville Stuart are acknowledged to have been the first 
really successful miners in Montana, they were always ready to give credit 
to others, and the former mentions as a pioneer preceding them one 
Henry Thomas who sank a shaft thirty feet deep, a mile west of where 
"Pioneer City" afterward stood, in the summer of 1860. He worked 
alone with his- little windlass and four sluice boxes, hewed out with an 
axe, earning only about $1.50 per day and soon dropped out of sight. 

*"In the fall of 1860 and spring of 1861 Anderson and the Stuarts 
prospected in the dry gulches putting into Benetsee creek and found what 
they considered good paying mines, but did little toward working them 
that season for two reasons: First, they had very few and imper- 
fect tools and no lumber until they could get it whipsawed ; and second, 
all the party, except the writer, went to Fort Benton for the purpose 
of purchasing supplies from the steamboats expected up the river that 
year. The one boat (the Chippeway) that started up was burned near 
the mouth of Milk River, and the summer was lost in waiting for her. On 
this boat were the Hons. William Graham, of Phillipsburg, and Frank L. 
Worden, of Missoula. Early in the spring of 1862, the Stuarts, Adams, 
Burr and Powell began to mine, having had lumber sawed by hand at 10 
cents a foot, and picks and shovels packed up from Walla Walla, 425 
miles distant, by Worden and Higgin's train of 'cayuse' pack-horses that 
brought their goods to Hell Gate, and on the 8th day of May they set the 
first string of sluices ever used in Montana and began to mine by the old 
pick and shovel process. 

"In '61 the Stuarts had written to their brother Thomas, who was in 
Colorado territory, to come out here, as they thought this a better and 
richer country than that, which opinion, by the way, they have seen no 
reason to change and still adhere to. Thomas showed the letters to 
many friends of his and the result was that quite a number left there in 
the spring of '62 for Deer Lodge. The first of these, a party of twelve, 
arrived at Pioneer about the 2Oth of June, and among them was J. M. 
Bozeman. The party found good prospects in a branch of Benetsee or 
Gold creek as it now began to be called, which branch took the name 
of Pike's Peak gulch from the fact of the discoverers being from Pike's 
Peak, as Colorado was then generally called. Other parties also began to 
straggle in from Pike's Peak and Utah, and about the 29th of June Sam'l 
T. Hauser, Frank Louthan and Alt arrived, being the advance guard of a 
number who came up on the steamer from St. Louis, and who were on 
their way to Florence, in the Salmon River mines, not having heard of 
the discoveries at Gold creek, where, however, many of them stopped and 
are oldest and most respected citizens." 


Although James and Granville Stuart and Rezin Anderson, their part- 
ner, prospected some in the Deer Lodge Valley, in 1857, it was not until 
1862 that the new-found gold fields attracted much attention. A town 

* Granville Stuart's biography of James Stuart. 


sprang up in the vicinity of the mines first called LaBarge City, but two- 
years later named Deer Lodge, followed soon by the rise of Bannack 
City. Deer Lodge was sometimes called Cottonwood and sometimes 
Spanish Fork. The Stuarts and Anderson founded a settlement at the 
mouth of Gold Creek which they called American Fork; Robert Grant 
started Grantville, at the mouth of Little Blackfoot Creek, and Robert 
Dempsey "established" Dublin six miles below Gold Creek. The deser- 
tion of these incipient towns is thus stated by Granville Stuart : "In the 
summer of 1863, Grant moved up to Cottonwood and Grantville became 
deserted ; and after the discovery of Alder gulch the Stuarts and most 
of the residents of American Fork moved to Virginia City; and that 
village, too, lost prestige and finally became extinct. Dempsey and re- 
tainers also raised camp and went to the Pah-sam-er-ri, or Water of 
the Cottonwood Groves, as the Snake Indians called the Stinkwater 
river, and Dublin, too, was left unto itself desolate." 


The discoveries which led to the founding of Old Butte. in the fall 
of 1864, are told by Col. Charles S. Warren, the young Illinois man 
who arrived upon the scene two years after and was long afterward a 
leading figure in the mining enterprises and public affairs of the state. 
In his centennial address, published in Vol. Ill, of the Montana 
Historical Society's contributions, he says: "In May. 1^64, G. O. Humph- 
reys and William Allison came to Butte and camped above where Butte 
City now stands, on what is now known as Baboon Gulch, and pros- 
pected for a month in the vicinity, when they returned to Virginia City 
for provisions. Early in June they returned to Butte to permanently 
reside, and located what is now known as the "Missoula lode." During 
the months of June and July they ran a tunnel upon the same, and 
organized what was known as the "Missoula company." consisting of 
Frank and Ed Madison, Dent, G. Tutt, Col. R. W. Donnell, Swope, 
Hawley, Allison and Humphreys. Soon after, Dennis Leary and H. H. 
Porter, who were fishing on the Big Hole River, followed the wagon 
tracks of Humphreys and Allison into the camp, having been favorably 
impressed by the appearance of the ore from the Missoula lode. Probably 
the first lead staked in what is now known as Summit Valley District 
was the "Black Chief," formerly the old "Deer Lodge" lode, which was 
discovered and staked early in 1864, by Charles Murphy, Maj. William 
Graham and Frank Madison. 

"At the time Humphreys and Allison first came into the valley, there 
were no stakes struck, nor any signs of work having been done in the 
camp, except upon what is now known as the Original lode, where there 
was an old hole sunk to the depth of four or five feet. Near the hole 
were some elk horns used for gads, and handspikes. From all appear- 
ances the work had been performed years before ; by whom this work 
was done, there is no telling, nor will it probably ever be known. In the 
fall of 1864 rich placer discoveries were made in the vicinity of Butte,. 


and in August of the same year the first mining district was formed, with 
William Allison as president, and G. O. Humphreys as recorder. In 
the fall of 1864, the old town of Butte was located, on what is known 
as Town Gulch, adjoining the present town site of Butte. 


"During the month of October, 1864, rich placer discoveries were 
made on Silver Bow Creek, below where the town of Silver Bow now 
stands, by Frank Ruff, Bud. Baker, Peter Slater and others, and people 
began to gather from all parts of the territory. A new district was 
formed jn the lower end of the gulch, known as Summit Mountain Mining 
District, with W. R. Coggswell as recorder, and soon sprang up the 
town of Silver Bow City, which was then made the county seat of Deer 
Lodge County. During the winter of 1864-65 there were probably 150 
men in Silver Bow and vicinity, and many lodes were recorded in the 
two districts. In the spring of 1865, Summit Mountain district was 
divided, and claims No. 75 to 310, above discovery on Silver Bow Creek, 
were organized into what is known as Independence Mining District. In 
the fall of 1864, German Gulch was discovered by Ed. Alfield and others. 
In the spring of 1865, a big stampede took place for this new discovery, 
and on the ist of April, 1865, there were nearly 1,000 men in German 
Gulch and immediate vicinity. During the winter of 1864-65, Collins 
& Company established a store at Silver Bow, and shortly after another 
store was started by O. G. Dorwin." 


In June, 1860, Frank L. Worden and C. P. Higgins, under the firm 
name of Worden & Company, started for Walla Walla with a stock of 
general merchandise for the purpose of trading at the Indian agency, but, 
upon their arrival at Hell's Gate, they determined to locate at that point, 
and accordingly built a small log house and opened business. This was 
the first building erected at that place, and formed the nucleus of a small 
village that was known far and wide as Hell's Gate, and which in later 
years had the reputation of being one of the roughest places in Montana. 
During this year 400 United States troops under the command of Major 
Blake passed over the Mullan road from Fort Benton to Walla Walla 
and Colville. 

The historic Bitter Root Valley was the scene of much activity in 
the late '505, and, as far as town-building is concerned, Missoula was the 
result. In 1855, the Confederated Flathead nation concluded the treaty 
with the Government in the large pine grove on the river, about eight 
miles below the present town of Missoula, and the circumstance gave 
that locality the name of Council Grove. In the following year, a note- 
worthy influx of settlers commenced to come into the so-called Hell's 
Gate Ronde, in the upper part of Bitter Root Valley. Among them was 
Frank H. Woody (Judge), who is therefore well qualified to explain 



the circumstances attending the birth of the town of Missoula. He says 
in his "Early History of Western Montana," (Vol. II, p. 94) : "The 
large round valley lying below and adjacent to the present town of 
Missoula was called by the early Canadian trappers who visited this 
country, Hell's Gate Ronde and the river, Hell's Gate River. The name 


Hell's Gate originated in this wise : In an early day, when the warlike 
Blackfeet overran the whole of Montana, the romantic and picturesque 
pass or canyon where the Hell's 'Gate River cuts through the mountain 
above the town of Missoula, was a regular rendezvous for their war 
parties, and so constantly did they infest this place that it was almost 
certain death for an individual, or even small parties, to enter this pass, 
and so great was the dread and fear entertained by the Indians of the 


western tribes and the Canadian voyageurs that it became a saying with 
them that it was as safe to enter within the gates of hell, as to enter into 
that pass; and it was called by the voyageurs, in their language, Port 
d'enfer, Gate of Hell, or Hell's Gate, and from which the river and sub- 
sequently a village took their names." 

In the fall of 1856 quite a number of settlers located in the upper 
part of Bitter Root Valley, and in December, Neil McArthur, one of the 
most substantial of the new comers erected a trading post in Hell's Gate 
Ronde. A number moved their stock to that locality and a number of 
pieces of ground were broken for grain and garden produce. In the fall 
of 1857, the "first houses were built in the ronde, or valley. Other settlers 
came in, within a few years, including the widely known trader, Capt. 
Richard Grant, so prominently identified with the Hudson Bay Company. 

"In December of that year (1860), the Territorial Assembly created 
the county of Missoula, the polls, at which seventy-four votes were cast, 
being opened at Fort Owen, Jocko Agency and Hell's Gate. In 1863-64, 
Hell's Gate upheld its name as a favorite resort of the road agents and 
horse thieves who infested Montana. 

"The Kootenai mines having been discovered early in the spring of 
1864, hundreds of men flocked to them, passing through the village of 
Hell's Gate and buying generously of its goods and supplies, at 'war 
prices.' " In this connection, Judge Woody, who had been in the Hell's 
Gate country for a number of years, remarks : "Seed wheat sold as high 
as $10.00, and potatoes at. $6.00 per bushel ; yeast powders were cheap 
at $1.50 per box, and coffee at $1.00 per pound, and flour of the 
poorest quality sold readily at $30.00 per hundred pounds, and every- 
thing else in proportion. In the fall of 1864, the ruling price for wheat 
was from $4.00 to $5.00 per bushel. Potatoes from the field sold readily 
at $3.00 per bushel. The currency at this time was principally gold dust. 
These high prices were caused by the immense number of people who 
flocked to the mines of Alder and other gulches on the East Side, and by 
the demand made by the settlers in the Gallatin, Jefferson and Madison 
Valleys for seed grain and potatoes. * * * 

"During the winter of 1864-65, Worden & Company erected a saw- 
mill at the place where Missoula now stands, and in the spring of 1865 
commenced the erection of a grist mill and business house, and in the 
fall of that year moved their store from Hell's Gate to their new build- 
ing. Other buildings were put up by other parties, and thus was the 
town of Missoula established, and was at first called Missoula Mills, but 
eventually the last part of the name was dropped by common consent. 

"The town of Frenchtown was established in 1864, Stevensville the 
same year and Corvallis about 1868. * * * In February, 1866, the 
Board of County Commissioners, upon their own responsibility, moved 
the county seat from Hell's Gate to Missoula, where it was subsequently 
established by the Legislature. In that year the first assessment of 
property was made and the first taxes collected." 

Vol. 115 


By the year 1865, the gold fields of Montana were in full bearing. 
Not a few of the old guides, trappers and prospectors had then become 
prosperous and stable citizens, and leaders in the social fabric which was 
taking shape. Such were the Stuart brothers James, perhaps more an 
energetic man of action that his brother, and Granville, more a careful 
observer and recorder of events. They both knew Montana, physically, 
as few of its residents, and as their personal acquaintance was also very 
wide, they spoke and wrote with authority regarding any of its features 
or affairs. The history of Montana by Granville Stuart, completed in 
1865, presents an interesting and instructive general picture of the distinct 
natural basins into which its territory is divided, with the rivers which 
outline the valleys and the known gold fields and centers of population 
gathered therein. Neither does he fail to note the agricultural features 
of the basins and river valleys of what had but lately been created, the 
territory of Montana; and that fact was probably the excuse, if any were 
needed, for the publication of the history. 


The portions of Granville Stuart's history of what was then the ter- 
ritory of Montana which cover the topic mentioned follow: 

"The name 'Montana' properly belongs to a certain part of Spain, and 
means 'mountainour,' a name that is applicable to the country, for a 
wonder. Still, I think that the Snake Indian name of 'Toyabe-Shockup/ 
or 'The Country of the Mountains,' would have been more appropriate, 
for some parts of Montana have been the home of these Indians from a 
time far anterior to the discovery of America. 

"Montana consists of a series of basins, five in number, of which 
four lie on the east side of the Rocky Mountains and one on the west. 
These basins are generally subdivided into a number of valleys by spurs 
of mountains jutting down from the main chain of the Rocky Moun- 
tains. These spurs are often of great height, frequently exceeding that 
of the main chain, but there are many low passes among them, thus con- 
necting the valleys with each other by low gaps that are passable at all 
times of the year. 


"The basin west of the Rocky Mountains, in the northwestern corner 
of the territory, is drained by the Missoula and Flathead Rivers and their 



branches, the last named being the outlet of the Flathead Lake, a beautiful 
sheet of water about forty miles long by twenty wide, which lies at the 
foot of the Rocky Mountains near the northern end of the basin, and 
not far from the line of British Columbia. 

"This lake is surrounded by some beautiful country, a portion of 
which is valuable in an agricultural point of view. From the lake there 
extends south along the foot of the Rock Mountains to the Pend d'Oreille 
Mission, a distance of over fifty miles, a well-wooded, gently-rolling 
country, clothed with a good growth of grass, a large proportion of it 
being excellent farming land. Then leaving the mission and crossing 
a range of hills to the south you enter the valley of the Jocko, which is 
small, but in beauty and fertility it is unsurpassed. Here is located the 
reserve of the Pend d'Oreille Indians. Then crossing by an easy pass, 
over the lofty spur of mountains running down from the main chain 
between the Jocko and Hellgate Rivers, you enter the lovely valley 
of the Hellgate, which is about twenty-five miles long, with an ayerage 
breadth of about six miles. It is almost all good farming land, with a 
good growth of bunch grass, and it is enough to make a man from the 
prairies of Iowa or Illinois cry to see the good pine timber that is going 
to waste here. 

"Here comes in from the south the river and valley of the 'Bitter- 
Root,' a lovely and fertile region extending south about sixty miles, with 
an average breadth of seven or eight miles. In this valley is situated 
Fort Owen, surrounded by a thriving settlement. This fort is not, nor 
ever was, a government fort. It was established in 1851 or 1852 by the 
untiring energy and perseverance of Mr. John Owen, for the purpose 
of trading with the Indians, and it is at present the best building in 

"The valleys of the Bitter Root and Hell Gate contain many settlers, 
whose number is rapidly increasing. The Missoula River is formed by 
the junction of the Hell Gate and Bitter Root. 

"These valleys are bounded on the west by the Bitter Root Moun- 
tains, which are very lofty, snow lying on many of the peaks during the 
entire year. These mountains cover an extent of country about seventy- 
five miles wide, reaching to the valley of Snake River in Idaho, and 
about 200 miles in length, forming a howling wilderness of yawning 
canons and huge mountains, covered with a heavy growth of pine and 
fir timber, and affording a home to a few elks and a large number of 
grouse, but of no earthly use for anything but the mineral wealth they 
contain, which is very great, as is proven by Florence City, Elk City, Oro 
Fino, and many other places of less note. 

"Leaving the Hellgate valley, and going up the Hellgate River 
which comes from the southeast, we enter Hellgate Canyon which I 
have described elsewhere and in a short distance we reach the mouth of 
'Big Blackfoot River.' Coming in from the east, it runs through a canyon 
for some fifteen miles above its mouth, above which it opens out into a 
large and beautiful valley, well timbered and watered, forming a good 
grazing region, and, most probably, farming also ; but it has been tried. 


Then, going up Hellgate canyon forty miles, we emerge into the rolling 
grassy hills which reach twelve miles to the valley of Flint Creek, a beauti- 
ful place, well calculated for grazing and farming. Thence up the Hellgate 
River, through much good farming land, bordered by rolling, grassy coun- 
try, twenty miles to the lower end of Deer Lodge Valley, passing by 'Gold 
Creek,' where are the first gold mines ever found and worked in what 
is now 'Montana.' 


"But I am digressing from my description of the basins that con- 
stitute Montana. I have described Deer Lodge elsewhere, with the 
exception of the rich placer and quartz mines situated in a kind of sec- 
ondary valley, situated at the head of the main one, and a slight 
description of which will be proper here. They were discovered during 
the summer of 1864; the large number of gold and silver-bearing quartz 
leads first attracted the attention of some prospectors, who began to 
examine the country and found it to be of unexampled richness, there 
having been discovered up to this time (January, 1865) over 150 leads 
of gold and silver bearing quartz within a space of six by ten miles, 
several of the silver leads assaying better than the Comstock lead in 
Nevada Territory, and one in particular, the Original, producing seventy 
per cent, of metal when melted down in a common forge, the proportion 
being $2,800 in silver to the ton of rock, $200 in gold and copper enough 
to pay all expenses of working. A great many of these leads project 
above the surface of the grounds, and can be traced for hundreds of 
yards by the eye while standing in one spot, there is no doubt but this 
vicinity will prove as good, if not better, than the renowned Washoe 
mines. Wood and water are plenty and easy of access, and it is besides 
an excellent grass country. There are also several large leads of ar- 
gentiferous galena, which furnish all the lead that may be wanted, and 
which contain a sufficient quantity of silver to pay a handsome profit 
to the workers. 

"In addition to the quartz leads, which are known to form a network 
over a large extent of country bordering Deer Lodge Valley, there is in- 
terspersed among these leads a large extent of placer or surface diggings, 
some of which were worked during the past fall and yielded largely, 
and which will afford remunerative employment to a large number of 
men for years to come. 

"This ends the description of the northwestern basin, which con- 
tains eight principal valleys, to wit: The valleys of the Flathead Lake, 
of the Mission, of the Jocko, of Hellgate, of the Bitter Root, of Big 
Blackfoot, of Flint Creek and of Deer Lodge, besides many other smaller 
ones of great beauty and fertility. This basin drains toward the north- 
west, and is about 250 miles long by an average of about seventy-five miles 
wide. It is by far the best timbered part of the territory, owing to the 
moist warm winds of the Pacific Ocean, which reach to the Rocky 
Mountains along here, and cause a more luxuriant growth of vegetation 


than farther south, where their moisture is absorbed and rather dried up 
in crossing the arid surface of the 'Great Basin,' which is destitute of 
timber, except in a few places. 

"Sickness is almost unknown in this basin, or indeed in any of the 
others, for I can truly say that no healthier country can be found in 
the world than that comprised within the limits of the Territory of 


"Next is the northeastern basin, lying on the east side of the Rocky 
Mountains, and between them and the low dividing ridge that separates 
the waters of the Saskatchewan, Red River of the North, and the Miss- 
issippi River, fr,om those of the Missouri. The basin extends in fact 
from the Rocky Mountains to the eastern border of the territory, along 
its north end, a distance of nearly 600 miles in length, by about 150 in 
breadth, a small part of its northern edge lying in British possessions. 

"The eastern portion of this vast basin is composed of clay table lands, 
or 'mauvaise terres/ but there is a large amount of good land along the 
streams. There -are' several spurs and bunches of mountains, as the 
Bear's Paw, Little Rocky Mountains, Three Buttes, etc., scattered about 
in it. It drains to the east by the Missouri River, Milk River, Maria's 
River, Teton River, Sun River, and Dearborn, the first three putting 
into the Missouri below Fort Benton, and the last two a short distance 
above the Great Falls. The western portion of this basin is but little 
broken up by mountains, yet only about one-third of its surface is avail- 
able for farming, consisting of a strip from ten to twenty miles in width 
and about 150 long, running along the east foot of the Rock Mountains, 
which afford a good supply of timber. This strip is clothed with bunch- 
grass, but as you leave the mountains and go d"own into the plains, the 
country becomes a succession of clay terraces or table lands, more com- 
monly known as 'bad lands,' which are sterile, with but a scanty growth of 
stunted grass. The streams have worn down through these table lands 
until they now run in canyons several hundred feet below you, meandering 
through the narrow bottoms that border it. These bottoms, though 
narrow, are generally fertile and well supplied with grass. Timber, how- 
ever, is not very plentiful, what there is being principally cottonwood. It is 
possible that a large proportion of these table lands may be rendered 
productive by a well-directed system of irrigation. 

"The want of timber may also be supplied by coal, of which I have 
reason to believe there are large deposits in this basin. 

"There have not been any discoveries that would pay of precious 
minerals in this basin as yet, but there has been a small amount of 
superficial prospecting done. This has established the fact that gold 
exists in unknown quantities in the canyons and streams that put into this 
basin from the Rocky Mountains. I am, however, of the opinion that 
when this region is thoroughly prospected it will be found equally as 
rich as its sister basins. 



"Next comes the western central basin, drained to the east by the 
Jefferson fork of the Missouri and its tributaries, of which the following 
are the principal : Big Hole River, which comes in from the northeast, 
and which, I think, affords more than the Beaverhead River, which has 
generally been considered the main stream, and properly so, because it 
runs through the center of the basin, and drains a much larger extent of 
country than the Big Hole, which has along its course, and in a huge 
semi-circle around its head, some of the loftiest peaks in this part of 
the Rocky Mountains, and on which the snow falls to a great depth, and 
as it melts in the spring and summer, causes the Big Hole, which has 
a much steeper grade than the Beaverhead, to become a rushing torrent 
of formidable dimensions. The Big Hole and the Beaverhead unite 
near the eastern edge of the basin, and form the Jefferson fork of the 
Missouri, which runs through a canyon into the 'eastern central basin,' 
where it makes a junction at the 'Three Forks' with the Madison and 
Gallatin Rivers. 

"Rattlesnake Creek comes in from the northwest, as does Williams' 
Creek a few miles farther west. Horse Prairie Creek, which is the head- 
water of the Beaverhead, comes in from the west. Red Rock Creek comes 
in from the south; Black Tailed Deer Creek from the southeast, and 
Stinking Water River from the southeast. These streams drain this 
basin, which lies much in the shape of a spread fan, being about 150 miles 
wide by 100 long. 

"There have been no mines discovered on the Big Hole, except a small 
patch at its head, of which I have spoken elsewhere. 

"Rattlesnake Creek is crossed in the canyon above its valley by num- 
erous ledges of the richest quartz silver that has yet been discovered in 
Montana, some of them assaying as high as $5,000 to the ton of rock. 

"The round smooth boulders and gravel commonly known as the 
'wash,' that are always found in placer diggings, have evidently been 
caused by the grinding, pulverizing action of glaciers, the country having 
undergone great changes of upheaval and depression since that time ; 
and in gold-bearing localities the action of the elements during countless 
ages had collected the gold that was ground out of the ledges and rocks 
by the action of the glaciers into the ravines, creeks and rivers of the 


"Bannack City stands at the upper end of the canyon on Willard's 
Creek, where it opens out into a small valley. The mines extend down 
the creek seven or eight miles, and have paid big, but are now declining 

"In this canyon are situated many leads of gold-bearing quartz of ex- 
ceeding richness, among which is the famous 'Dacotah' lead which is now 
being worked with great success. There is also the Waddam lead, the 
California lead, and many others that assay quite rich. In fact, few 


places in the world possess greater mineral wealth than the vicinity of 
Bannack City (1865). 

"Passing by Horse Prairie, Red Rock, and Black Tailed Deer Creeks, 
each of which has a valley of considerable extent which is admirably 
adapted for grazing and probably for farming also, but on which no 
mines have as yet been discovered, we come to Stinking Water River, 
which has a valley of considerable size, but only a portion of which was 
fertile and well grassed; but the spur of mountains that run down be- 
tween it and the Madison River, and which are over fifty miles long, 
running due north and south, are very rich. The first stream that comes 
out of these mountains into the valley of the Stinking Water is the 'Wis- 
consin Gulch,' so called because it was first worked by a party from that 
state. This gulch had only been partially prospected, it being deep to the 
bedrock, yet there has been found a considerable extent of placer dig- 
gings in and adjacent to it. A few miles farther up the valley comes out 
Mill Creek, so called because Gammell & Company built a mill on it last 
year. There has been no placer mines discovered on this creek, but along 
the base of the mountains in its vicinity is a large number of rich gold 
and silver-bearing quartz leads, among which are the Rothschilds lode, 
the Eclipse lode, the Antelope, the Mountain Queen, the Gilbraltar, and 
many others that assay rich. 

"This is the only place in this range where silver leads are found. 
Some of them assay from one to two thousand dollars to the ton of rock, 
and they are very easy of access. Here is also a thriving village called 
Brandon, which bids fair to rival Virginia City. 

"A few miles from Mill Creek comes out 'Ram's Horn Gulch,' so 
called from the large number of mountain sheep horns lying along it, 
it having once been a resort for them. This stream, like Mill Creek, 
possesses no placer diggings, but it has not been thoroughly prospected. 
It has, however, many rich leads of gold-bearing quartz, among which is 
the famous 'Monitor,' which is very rich. A little farther up the valley 
comes out 'Biven's Gulch' named after the man who first 'struck it' 
in this creek, which has paid, and is still paying remarkably well, in 'coarse 
gold,' pieces having been taken out of this gulch weighing as high as $320. 
A short distance farther along the base of the mountain, and we come to 
'Harris Gulch,' named after its discoverer, as usual, and which has paid 
well in places, in beautiful coarse gold, but this gulch is what is called 
'spotted,' in mining parlance; that is, the gold is scattered about in ir- 
regular spots. Only a small portion of this gulch has paid well. 

"There is another ravine, called 'California Gulch,' which comes into 
Harris Gulch on the south, before it enters the valley of the Stinking 
Water. This gulch is similar to Harris', except that it is still more 
'spotted,' and has not paid so well. 


"A few miles farther south comes out the famous Alder Creek the 
derivation of which name I have given elsewhere on the banks of 
which, a few miles above the first canyon, where it opens out into a kind 


of basin, are situated the cities of Virginia, Central and Nevada, which 
are fast being merged into one, with a population of about 10,000, and 
rapidly increasing. Alder Creek is incredibly rich, from its head down 
to near where it enters the valley of the Stinking Water, a distance of 
about fifteen miles. Near its head, pieces have been found weighing from 
$50 to as high as $720, the gold getting coarser as the head of the stream 
is approached. 

"In the hills bordering the stream, a large number of gold-bearing 
quartz leads have been discovered. Those in Summit district being of 
almost unexampled richness, while in the mountains at the head of the 
creek, is a coal field of unknown extent, which is now being developed. 
This is the second place in this basin where coal has been discovered, 


and, in a country so sparsely timbered as this, coal fields are of incal- 
culable value. In fact, nature has placed within the limits of Montana 
all the requisites to enable her to become the wealthiest part of the 
United States. Abounding in all the minerals, precious and otherwise, 
with coal and water power unlimited to work them, the future of Mon- 
tana will equal in reality those gorgeous fictions of the Arabian Nights' 

"This basin contains eight valleys of considerable size, to wit : The 
valley of the upper part of the Jefferson and Beaverhead, of Big Hole 
River, of Big Hole Prairie, of Rattlesnake, of Horse Prairie, of Red 
Rock, of Black Tailed Deer, of Stinking Water. This ends the descrip- 
tion of the Western Central basin, which contains in itself all the es- 
sentials necessary for the prosperity of a mighty nation. 


"Next comes the Eastern Central basin, which is drained by the 
Missouri River, below the Three Forks, and above them by the Jefferson 



fork, into which empty the North Boulder Creek, South Boulder Creek 
and Willow Creek, on the first and last of which are some placer diggings 
of limited extent and richness, and many quartz leads that prospect rich. 
This basin is further drained by the Madison and Gallatin forks, which 
form a junction with the Jefferson in a fertile plain of considerable 

"The basin contains a large amount of arable lands, with a climate 
fully as good as Utah. It is about 150 miles long north and south, by 
about eighty east and west. It contains five principle valleys, to wit : The 
valley of the Three Forks, of North Boulder, of the lower part of the 


Jefferson, of the Madison, of the Gallatin. It contains a greater amount 
of farming lands than the basin of the Beaverhead and tributaries. ' 


"Next and last comes the basin of the Yellowstone and its branches. 
It drains toward the east, and is about 400 miles long, by about 150 wide. 
But little is known about the mineral resources of this great valley, the 
hostility of the Crow Indians rendering it very dangerous prospecting 
within its limits. They have already killed several men who were ex- 
ploring the country, and robbed and set on foot many others. 

"The indefatigable miners have, however, succeeded in finding a 
creek at the western edge of the ba,sin, where it approaches nearest the 
valley of the Gallatin, which they have called Emigrant Gulch, because 
it was mostly taken up by the emigrants who arrived by the Bridger 
and Jacobs road. There is a small village on this creek, which prospects 
very well in places, and will probably prove very rich, but it is very hard 
to work, because of the vast quantity of granite boulders scattered along 
its bed and banks. 

"There is every reason to believe, however, that the basin of the 
Yellowstone will prove fully as rich in precious minerals as the others 


and it is known to contain large fields of coal, which are very accessible 
and among which are numbers of petroleum or oil springs. In climate 
and fertility this valley is a medium between the valleys of the mountains 
and the prairies of the Western States. Corn, beans, pumpkins, etc., 
grow finely in it. 

"This basin contains eight principal valleys, as follows : The main 
valley of the Yellowstone, of Shield's River, of the Rosebud, of Clark's 
Fork, of Pryor's Fork, of the Big Horn River, of Tongue River, and 
of Powder River, and, many smaller ones. 

"Thus ends this slight description of 'the country of the mountains,' 
which, it will be seen, contains five large basins, which inclose within their 
limits thirty valleys, each of which is as large as three or four German 
principalities, besides many smaller ones not much larger than Rhode 
Island or Delaware." 


In general terms the modes and results of glacial action in the dep- 
osition of placer gold have been described, but this chapter which is 
intended to convey more definite explanations for the wide distribution 
of the precious dust, cannot do better at this point than to borrow from 
the characteristically expressed observations of the late Joaquin Miller, 
who is said to have mined as well as he wrote. "Placer," he observed, 
"is a Spanish word meaning pleasure and delight. When the uneasy pros- 
pector discovered the shining dust in Last Chance, on which the business 
part of Helena is built, they were certainly both pleased and delighted, and 
very properly called it a 'placer.' The Spaniards called these deposits 
'placers,' where native gold was found in loose sand and gravel, above 
or upon the consolidated strata called 'bed-rock.' They are most com- 
monly found in mountain gulches, in sands washed by rivers, and 
sometimes in the gravels of the drift deposits. All gold, so far as known, 
was originally deposited in veins imbedded in quartz or other minerals, 
and that now found in placers has been worn out of these veins by the 
action of the weather, water and glaciers, and deposited with the decom- 
posed rocks in its present positions in gulches and river beds. 

"During the countless ages since the gold was deposited in the veins 
of the rocks, and these rocks were elevated into mountains, the agents 
above named have worn away vast quantities of the rocks, and those 
containing veins of gold, and carried the materials and the gold down into 
the gulches and out into the valleys, forming the deposits of clay, sand, 
gravel and gold. But the most efficient agents in this work were glaciers 
or streams of ice, such as are now at work in the mountains of Alaska, 
grinding out the precious metals. 

"The evidence is absolutely conclusive that there were vast ages 
when the temperature of the northern hemisphere was much colder than 
now, and when all the gulches and gorges of the Rocky Mountains were 
filled with glaciers or rivers of ice. There is nothing in the nature of 
art so well calculated as glaciers to grind up the rocks and carry the 


sands, gravels, boulders and gold down into the gulches and deposit 
them as we find them in our placers. These facts establish a good 
knowledge of the action of glaciers and the manner in which they grind 
up the rocks and carry down deposits of sands and clays, and boulders 
thus produced will help the miner to understand where he should look 
for the richer portions of the placers thus formed. The knowledge of 
glaciers would explain many puzzling problems about 'bed-rocks,' 'bar/ 
'cross channels' and 'ancient rivers/ 

"On the supposition that the gold was brought down by streams of 
water, it is difficult to explain how so much of it got upon high bars 
and why the most of it was left on the north and east sides of gulches ; 
but these are just the places where glaciers would melt most and leave 
most of their freight. When we remember that a glacier is a river of ice 
running very slowly, that speed is nothing when we have time enough, 
that these rivers of ice have frozen into them the loose rocks along their 
courses, that they were at times hundreds and thousands of feet deep, 
that as they slid along they would break off projecting rocks and grind 
all beneath them to powder, that they would carry along with them every- 
thing ground and unground and deposit them wherever the ice of the 
glacier melted, we have important facts to help in mining. Hence the 
boulders, gravels, sands and gold are found on the bars and benches, and 
in the gulches where they opened out into valleys ; for there the glaciers 
would melt and drop their loads. The ice would melt most on the north 
and east sides of the glaciers, where the sun strikes the warmest on the 
mountain sides opposite; and there they would drop the most gold, as 
we find it in Montana. There are exceptions, easily accounted for by the 
shape of the gulches. 

"Glaciers were the mills of God which ground out the gold of most 
of our placers. They ground slow but they ground on and on through 
countless ages, and our placers are their tailings. We, however, have 
some placers not produced by glaciers. The Nevada Creek placer mines 
are a noted example of placers produced by the ordinary action of weather 
and water. They extend along the base of the mountain for miles, and 
were formed by the decomposition of the granite which forms the slopes 
of the mountain. This granite is full of gold veins and is itself rich in 
gold, and decomposes rapidly; and the materials are washed down by 
rains and snow. The gold is found in all parts of it from grass roots 
to bed-rock. Gold is also found in the sands of streams which have been 
washed away from the places where the glaciers deposited it. There are 
golden sands and gravels thousands of miles away from all veins of gold. 
Such deposits, so far away from the sources of the gold, are very limited 
and never pay for working; for the manner in which they were formed 
precluded the possibility of extensive deposits. The glaciers of Alaska are 
making just such deposits as these in the Northern Pacific Ocean. Gla- 
ciers many miles wide and several hundred feet deep are flowing from the 
mountains in Alaska and bearing to the ocean quantities of boulders, 
gravels and sands some of them containing gold. When these rivers of 
ice with precious loads reach the sea, large masses break off and float away 


as icebergs; and wherever they melt they drop their freight of golden 

"Similar deposits are sometimes found in our wide valleys far 
away from the mountains. These were formed by the glaciers flowing 
out into the valley before they were melted, or were floated out as ice- 
bergs when these valleys were lakes or bays of the ocean. Some of these 
abnormal deposits of gold in gravels so far from their mountain sources 
may have been carried by the great glacier that once covered nearly all 
North America as far south as St. Louis or Cincinnati. 

"Such were the modes in which our placers were formed. Vast bodies 
of moving ice frozen full of masses of rock, were the mills that ground 
the gold out of the quartz and deposited it in the beds and at the mouths 
of these ancient channels. These channels were plowed out by these 
ice-rivers armed with teeth of flint. These teeth have left their marks, 
deep scratches, on the surface of the rocks in our gulches and valleys. 

"With these facts in mind the prospector will find much aid in ex- 
amining the form of the gulch, to determine where the glacier flowing 
through it would pile up its freight of golden sands, where the sun would 
strike it hottest and melt it most, and where it left most of the gravel; 
for these places would be the richest parts of the placer. In gulches bor- 
dered by high mountains, the north and east sides would have the most 
sun ; there the ice-river would spread out and melt and leave more or less 
of its rich freights of golden sands. At the place where the gulch opens 
into the valley, is the place where it would finally melt and leave what was 
left of its precious freight." 


In 1863, while the first mining operations of Bannack and Virginia 
cities were in full swing, a young Pennsylvanian who had been working 
for a time in the Colorado mines one William A. Clark appeared in the 
Montana whirlpool and hurly-burly and remained as one of the great men 
of the country. No one has been longer, or more vitally identified with 
all its mineral interests, and he has studied them from bed-rock up, in all 
their bearings. 

Speaking in 1876 (his centennial address), Mr. Clark says: "The 
pay streak in gulches is usually confined to a strip from ten to fifty feet 
in width and near the solid formation under the alluvium, which is called 
bed-rock, although in some places the gold is intimately diffused through- 
out the alluvium from the surface down. The alluvium varying from 
500 to 100 feet is washed off by hydraulic power. The water is brought 
from its head, which is frequently 200 or 300 feet in height, through 
canvas or rubber hose or iron pipes and forced through a small aperture 
or nozzle, and is projected against the bank with great energy. The 
gravel is washed by the water through a line of sluice boxes, and the 
gold, on account of its great specific gravity sinks and lodges in riffles 
placed in the sluices. The sluices or flumes are usually fifteen to thirty- 
five inches in width, and from one hundred to several thousand feet in 


length. The length of ditches conveying water to the various mines will 
aggregate about 600 miles, and cost about $1,000,000 in their con- 
struction. * * * 

"The history of the development of the quartz mines of Montana is 
almost contemporary with that of the placers. The Dacotah lode, bearing 
gold quartz, was discovered near Bannack and located November 12, 
1862. The decomposed quartz from the surface of the vein was packed 
down from the hill on which it is situated to the creek and the gold panned 
out. This is a process familiar to miners in which the gold, by dexterous 
lateral movements in the pan immersed in water, is caused to sink, while 
the lighter earthly matter is gradually carried away by the water. A 
mill to crush the quartz from this lode was begun by William Arnold in 
the winter of 1862 and finished by J. F. Allen the following spring. 
The motive power was water. The stamp stems, four in number, were 
made of wood, and the shoes and dies were made of old wagon tires cut 
and welded together. This primitive affair was followed, in 1863, by 
the erection of other mills, which had been transported from Colorado 
and the east, and from that time to this, the gold quartz near Bannack 
has given employment to several mills almost uninterruptedly. Gold 
bearing quartz was sought for and found in nearly all the placer dis- 

At the time of Mr. Clark's centennial address (1876), there had 
already been such a decrease in gold production from $18,000,000, in 
1865, to $4,500,000 in 1876 that prospectors were already seeking to 
develop other- mineral deposits. William A. Clark, one of the greatest 
figures produced by Montana in the development of its silver and copper 
wealth, remarked significantly, that although the product of gold "is im- 
portant, yet it is evident that .the greater wealth of the territory lies locked 
up in silver ores. But little attention was directed to these in the early 
years of our history owing to want_of knowledge as to their character 
and the methods of their reduction. Most of the various combinations of 
silver are: argentiferous galena, grey copper, argentite, stiphenite, ruby 
silver, cerargerite, stetefeldite, etc. Of the real silver ores, argentite and 
antimonial sulphite are the most abundant and are usually found in a 
silicious or calcareous gangue (mineral crust) while in many places the 
ores are associated with intractable bases, which render smelting neces- 
sary for their beneficiation. 

"Galena ores carrying silver were found at Argenta (Beaverhead 
County, a few miles northwest of Dillon) in the summer of 1864, which 
caused the first silver excitement in the territory. Since then furnaces 
for smelting were built and operated there at intervals, but never with 
any marked success, and they are, with one exception, now idle. The 
silver mines at Philipsburg, in Deer Lodge County, were discovered in 
1865, and a ten-stamp mill was built the year after by a St. Louis com- 
pany, which is now working the ores used by them. Mr. Clark went on to 
mention various stamp mills, which were then more or less successful, 
and concluded this phase of his address by referring with evident en- 
thusiasm and confidence to the great mineral district in the Helena and 


Butte neighborhoods, then only scratched. "A rich belt of argentiferous 
lodes," he says, "outcrops west and south of Helena, on Ten Mile, Prickly 
Pear and Boulder Creeks. The ores are galena, combined in some in- 
stances with a small percentage of zinc blende and antimony, but they 
readily yield to intelligent treatment in the blast furnace. This same belt 
has another outcrop westward, beyond the Rocky Mountains at Butte, in 
Deer Lodge County, and again still farther at Vipond and Bryant dis- 
tricts in Beaverhead County. At Butte two dry crushing mills have been 
built, one of them at a cost of about $70,000. The ores here receive a 
chloridizing roasting and are treated successfully at a cost of about $25 
per ton, and saving about 85 to 90 per cent, of the assay value of the raw 
ore and producing bullion over 900 fine. Here is to be found the greatest 
network of lodes in the west. They carry gold, silver, copper and lead, 
and all of these combined to some extent, although the predominant 
valuable mineral is either silver or copper. These mines, all within a 
compass of a few miles, are located on a range of low hills near the 
head of Silver Bow Creek and are easily accessible. The country rock 
is granite, the dip south, the strike northeast and southwest, and at right 
angles to the main range of the mountains at whose base they lie. The 
copper ores are for a depth of about 100 feet oxydized, and principally 
carbonates, carrying from ten to fifty per cent, metallis copper. Ex- 
ploration below water level will, it is expected, reveal sulphides. Several 
hundred of these ores are shipped annually to Baltimore for treatment. 

"It is hoped that in the near future capitalists will be induced to erect 
works for the reduction of these ores on the ground. Limestone and 
iron, or manganese, for fluxes and refractory clay, and cheap fuel, are 
abundant and near at hand, and the supply of ore apparently inex- 

These remarks and comments, extracted from Mr. Clark's centennial 
address, are pertinent both as conveying practical information in con- 
nection with the gold, silver and copper deposits of Montana, from a high 
authority, and also as giving a general picture of the status of mining 
operations at the period when gold had declined as a territorial industry 
and silver and copper were arising in their might. 


In 1906 Dr. J. P. Rowe, then professor of physics and geology in the 
University of Montana, issued a booklet on "Montana Coal and Lignite* 
Deposits," which is both scientific and practical in the information which 
it conveys. For example, this illuminating paragraph : "The geology 
of the coal fields of the United States corresponds generally with the 
variety of coal. The anthracite and high grade bituminous coals of the 
Eastern United States belong to the Carboniferous a small amount of 
bituminous coal in Virginia and North Carolina is found in the Triassic. 
The bituminous and lignitic bituminous coals are found mostly in the 
Cretaceous of the Rocky Mountains ; while the lignite, lignitic bituminous, 

* A variety of imperfect, woody coal. 


and bituminous coals are found in the Territory of the Rocky Mountains 
and the west. * * * From the looth meridian west to the H5th 
(which passes through far- Western Montana), the commercial coals 
and lignites belong to the Cretaceous period almost entirely, and is known 
as the Rocky Mountain fields; some new fields with minor areas belong 
to the Tertiary. These Tertiary fields, however, contain nothing but lig- 
nite, and as yet are almost totally undeveloped. The Rocky Mountain 
fields include the states of Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona, Utah, North 
and South Dakota, Montana and Wyoming. * * * 

According to the estimates given by Storrs in the 22nd annual report 
of the United States Geological Survey, Montana has an area of about 
13,000 square miles of anthracite, bituminous and lignite-bituminous 
coals. The lignite areas including the Cretaceous and Tertiary will prob- 
ably aggregate more nearly 50,000 square miles than the area heretofore 
given of 25,000 square miles. The bituminous area of Montana exceeds 
the combined bituminous areas of North Dakota, South Dakota, Wyo- 
ming, Utah and New Mexico ; and is only exceeded in the Rocky Moun- 
tain states by Colorado. Here lignite area is next to that of North, 
Dakota, and exceeds the combined lignitic areas of all the other states 
of the Rocky Mountains. 


"All but three counties, Silverbow, Sanders and Jefferson, have coal 
of lignite deposits, as soon as developed, of commercial value. Few 
states can boast of such a distribution of natural fuel. In the eastern 
part of the state the ranchers, and towns-people as well, burn nothing 
but lignite. Anyone living on the plains and desiring a load of fuel, 
simply drives to his favorite, nearby lignite seam and procures it. This 
is indeed a blessing. No timber to speak of within miles, and oftentimes 
remote from a railroad, the people are permitted to live and develop this 
great country without worry, and but little trouble in securing the much 
needed article in the development of every country, fuel." 

So that although Montana already produces between 3,000,000 and 
4,000,000 tons of bituminous coal, her deposits have scarcely been 
touched. Speaking more in detail, almost the entire eastern half of the 
state is underlain by beds of good lignite, they being a continuation of the 
large lignitic areas in the Dakotas. The beds vary from a few inches to 
more than twenty feet in thickness. Lignite in varying amounts is found 
in the plains region of Eastern Montana from Wibaux and Culbertson on 
the east to Forsyth and Sanford on the west. From the southern part 
of Custer and Rosebud to the northern part of Valley County, hardly a 
township in Custer, Dawson and Valley counties that has not more or 
less lignite. 

Doctor Rowe significantly adds: "The semi-tropical past left a rich 
heritage to the future, and these rich stores will soon be used. The coun- 
try is fast being settled. Large sheep and cattle ranches are giving way to 
tillers of the soil. Formerly one man owned or controlled several sec- 



tions, sometimes townships soon one section will be owned by several 
people. The settling of this portion (eastern) of Montana, when irri- 
gation schemes are oerfected, will be far easier than it was in Nebraska 
and other central states, where nothing but corn, cornstalk weeds and 
hay could be had for fuel." 

The Bull Mountain field of coal, of about fifty-five square miles in 
area and located forty-five miles northeast of Billings in Yellowstone 
County, is the most isolated coal area known in the state. It is little 

The Clark's Fork field, which extends through parts of Meagher, 
Sweetgrass, Yellowstone and Carbon counties and is an extension of 


the Big Horn Basin field of Wyoming, represents one of the largest 
coal deposits in Montana. The chief developments have been in Carbon 
County, and the coal is designated as lignitic-bituminous. Much of the 
output is consumed by the Butte and Anaconda smelters. 

In the south-central part of Carbon County is also the small but pro- 
ductive Rocky Fork field. The coal is semi-bituminous. The field ex- 
tends about six miles north and south and fixe miles eastward from the 
limiting limestones of the westward border. 

In Gallatin and Park counties is a rather extensive field from which 
has been developed some good coal for steam and coking purposes. The. 
chief developments have been made in the Livingston-Bozeman district. 
Considerable interest has centered in the field because of its proximity to 
the Northern Pacific Railroad and consequent assurance of ample trans- 
portation facilities should its output become commercially important. 


Directly south of Bozeman and in Park County, near the. Yellowstone 
National Park, as well as in Madison County, northeast of Virginia City, 
are scattered fields, but the largest deposits in the state outside the east- 
ern Plains portion, is the Great Falls field. Although it covers portions 
of Teton, Lewis and Clark, Cascade and Fergus counties, in central 
and west of the Central Montana, the thickest part of the field is in the 
central part of Cascade County, in and around Sand Coulee, while it be- 
comes thinner both to the east and the west. In that locality naturally 
have occurred the most pronounced developments, the bulk of the output 
going to stimulate the water powers and industries of Great Falls. There 
has been considerable activity, also, at Augusta, Lewis and Clark County. 
Geologically, the Belt or Great Falls field is of special interest as being 
"the only considerable occurrence in the United States of the Canadian 
coal fields." 

Minor fields of coal and lignite are found in Chouteau and Flathead 
counties, the latter deposits in the western third of the state, however, 
being chiefly in the counties of Granite, Missoula and Ravalli. "Most of 
the inter-mountain valleys of Western Montana," reports Doctor Rowe, 
who spent five years in his geological investigations, "were formerly 
Neocene lakes, and in these lake beds are found a fairly good quality of 
lignite. This fuel is mined in many places and the seams range from a few 
inches to several feet in thickness. It is as good as the Lafamie lignites 
of the plains but has never been found in such large areas or as thick. 
However, these deposits are being sought after for local domestic fuel 
and will probably be in good demand within less than a decade. The beds 
in Ravalli County have so far shown the greatest promise." 

Vol. 116 


While the Civil war was raging most violently from the Mississippi 
Valley to the Atlantic Coast and the Federal Government was absorbing 
all its powers in the stupendous task of "putting down the Rebellion," 
little could be accomplished in the way of organizing the western ter- 
ritories of the national domain. It therefore happened that at the seeth- 
ing period of the early gold discoveries in Montana, when adventurers 
and desperate men and women were gathering at Bannack and Virginia 
cities and gold centers of lesser fame ; at a time when the strong arm of 
the law should have been most felt, there was absolutely nothing in the 
form of constituted authority to protect the respectable and peacefully 
inclined citizen in the possession of his property and the exercise of his 
legitimate rights. What made the condition of affairs doubly worse and 
more desperate for the decent citizen was that the weak organization of 
public authority which was, for a time evinced, was in the hands of the 
highwaymen themselves and was only used to protect criminals and hide 
their crimes. 


Henry Plummer, an oily, scheming, cold-blooded desperado of good 
address, who had passed a decade of murders and other crimes in Cal- 
ifornia before he insinuated himself into the wild life of Bannack and 
Virginia cities, induced the irresponsible men of these communities to 
elect him sheriff. Thus Plummer was actually sheriff of both places at 
once. This politic move threw the unfortunate citizens into his hands 
completely, and by means of his robber deputies whose legal functions 
cloaked many a crime he ruled with a rod of iron. The marvelous riches 
of the great Alder Gulch attracted crowds from all the West, and after- 
ward from the East also; among whom were many diseased with crime 
to such an extent that for their cure the only available prescription was 
a stout cord and a good drop. 

Although Plummer had appointed as his deputies', Jack Gallagher, 
Buck Stinson and Ned Ray, the head deputy was a man of another stripe 
entirely named Dillingham, who had accurate knowledge of the names 
of the members of the Road Agent Band, and was also acquainted with 
many of their plans, although he himself was innocent. For revealing 
information which interfered with the road agents' plans, Dillingham 
was killed by Charley Forbes and, of course, acquitted. After the failure 



of justice in the case of the murderers of Dillingham, the state of society, 
bad as it was, rapidly deteriorated, until a man could hardly venture to 
entertain the belief that he was safe for a single day. 


Those were days in Montana which were as decisive of its destiny 
as those of the Civil War were for the entire nation, and fortunately the 
stalwart men who were already on the ground, as well as many who came 
at the height of the gold excitement, were made of metal which success- 
fully resisted all the fires of evil and stamped them out. Among these 
newcomers were such men as William A. Clark and Col. W. F. Sanders. 
The latter was especially prominent in the days when law and order, 
the protection of lives and property, rested in the keeping of that stern 
organization of individuals known as the Vigilantes, which the bands of 
road agents soon learned to dread as the sinner does the eternal hand of 

J. X. Beidler, a sturdy, broad-shouldered, fearless Pennsylvanian, 
who had failed in his Colorado ventures, also arrived in Alder Gulch in 
1863, and perhaps accomplished as much as any one man in the physical 
work of running down the desperadoes of Hell's Hole, and Bannack and 
Virginia cities and bringing them to the hangman's noose. During the 
later days of his intrepid and effective work he was serving as deputy 
United States marshal under George M. Pinney. 

Both Colonel Sanders, who was the leading prosecuting attorney 
against the deviltries of the outlaw gang, and Mr. Beidler, its physical 
Nemesis, have left their recollections and observation of the days in which 
they were such stirring actors, and Montana writers have always gen- 
erously drawn upon their contributions in dealing with this epoch. Na- 
thaniel P. Langford and Prof. Thomas Dimsdale have also written 
about the Vigilantes of Montana about their "days and ways" so that 
the material for the expansion of the subject is profuse and readily avail- 
able. Mr. Langford, as sheriff, who preceded Henry Plummer (the chief 
of the Montana road agents) in that office, ofttimes reported the ex- 
citements of 1863-64 from direct observation, although, on the whole, 
the publication of Professor Dinsdale is considered the more authoritative. 
Reliance is chiefly placed upon it in the preparation of this chapter. 

In 1866 Prof. T. Dimsdale published his "Vigilantes of Montana," 
probably the most reliable account of that period, his intention being, 
as he says in the introduction to the work, "to furnish a correct history 
of an organization administering justice without the sanction of consti- 
tutional law ; and secondly, to prove not only the necessity for their action, 
but the equity of their proceedings." The writer has evidence before him 
that the work is reliable, in a note written on the cover of the copy which 
he is now consulting by ex-Governor W. R. Marshall, of Minnesota. 
It reads thus : "This most wonderful chapter in criminal history is 
strictly true in every particular. I have personally conversed with Lang- 
ford, Hauser, W. F. Sanders and others who had personal knowledge 
of the events." 



In noting the condition of Montana "society" in the days of vigilante 
rule, he writes : "The absence of good female society, in any due propor- 
tion to the numbers of the opposite sex, is likewise an evil of great mag- 


nitude ; for men become rough, stern and cruel, to a surprising degree, 
under such a state of things. 

"In every frequent street, public gambling houses with open doors 
and loud music, are resorted to, in broad daylight, by hundreds it might 
almost be said of all tribes and tongues, furnishing another fruitful 
source of 'difficulties,' which are commonly decided on the spot, by an 
appeal to brute force, the stab of a knife, or the discharge of a revolver. 


Women of easy virtue are to be seen promenading through the camp, 
habited in the gayest and most costly apparel, and receiving fabulous 
sums for their purchased favors. In fact, all the temptations to vice are 
present in full display, with money in abundance to secure the gratifica- 
tion of the desire for novelty and excitement, which is the ruling passion 
of the mountaineer. 


"One 'institution,' offering a shadowy and dangerous substitute for 
more legitimate female association, deserves a more peculiar notice. This 
is the 'Hurdy-Gurdy' house. As soon as the men have left off work, these 
places are opened, and dancing commences. Let the reader picture to 
himself a large room, furnished with a bar at one end where champagne 
at $12 (in gold) per bottle, and 'drinks' at twenty-five to fifty cents, 
are wholesaled (correctly speaking) and divided, at the end of this 
bar, by a railing running from side to side. The outer enclosure is densely 
crowded (and, on particular occasions, the inner one also) with men in 
every variety of garb that can be seen on the continent. Beyond the 
barrier, sit the dancing women, called 'hurdy-gurdies,' sometimes dressed 
in uniform, but, more generally, habited according to the dictates of in- 
dividual caprice, in the finest clothes that money can buy, and which are 
fashioned in the most attractive styles that fancy can suggest. On one 
side is a raised orchestra. The music suddenly strikes up, and the sum- 
mons, 'Take your partners for the next dance/ is promptly answered 
by some of the male spectators, who paying a dollar in gold for a ticket, 
approach the ladies' bench, and in style polite, or otherwise, according 
to antecedants invite one of the ladies to dance. The number being 
complete, the parties take their places, as in any other dancing estab- 
lishment, and pause for the performance of the introductory notes of 
the air. 

"Let us describe a first class dancer 'sure of a partner every time' 
and her companion. There she stands at the head of the set. She is of 
middle height, of rather full and rounded form; her complexion as pure 
as alabaster, a pair of dangerous looking hazel eyes, a slightly Roman 
nose, and a small and prettily formed mouth. Her auburn hair is neatly 
banded and gathered in a tasteful, ornament net, with a roll and gold 
tassels at the side. How sedate she looks during the first figure, never 
smiling till the termination of "promenade, eight/' when she shows her 
little white hands in fixing her handsome brooch in its place, and settling 
her glistening ear-rings. See how nicely her scarlet dress, with its broad 
black band round the skirt, and its black edging, set off her dainty figure. 
No wonder that a wild mountaineer would be willing to pay not one 
dollar, but all that he has in his purse, for a dance and an approving 
smile from so beautiful a woman. 

"Her cavalier stands six feet in his boots, which come to the knee, 
and are garnished with a pair of Spanish spurs, with rowels and bells like 
young water wheels. His buckskin leggings are fringed at the seams, 


and gathered at the waist with a United States belt, from which hangs his 
loaded revolver and his sheath knife. His neck is bare, muscular and 
embrowned by exposure, as is also his bearded face, whose sombre hue 
is relieved by a pair of piercing dark eyes. His long, black hair hangs 
down beneath his wide felt hat, and, in the corner of his mouth, is a 
cigar, which rolls like the lever of an eccentric, as he chews the end in 
his mouth. After an amazingly grave salute, 'all hands round' is shouted 
by the prompter, and off bounds the buckskin hero, rising and falling to 
the rhythm of the dance, with a clumsy agility and a growing enthusiasm, 
testifying his huge delight. His fair partner, with practiced foot and 
easy grace, keeps time to the music like a clock, and rounds to her place 
as smoothly and gracefully as a swan. As the dance progresses, he of the 
buckskins gets excited, and nothing but long practice prevents his partner 
from being swept off her feet, as the conclusion of the miner's delight, 
'set your partners,' or 'gents to the right,' and 'promenade to the bar,' 
which last closes the dance. After a treat, the barkeeper mechanically 
raps his blower as a hint to 'weigh out,' the ladies sit down, and with 
scarcely an interval, a waltz, polka, shottische, mazurka, varsovienne, or 
another quadrille commences. 

"All varieties of costume, physique and demeanor can be noticed 
among the dancers from the gayest colors and 'loudest' styles of dress 
and manner, to the snugly fitted black silk, and plain, white collar, which 
sets off the neat figure of the blue-eyed, modest looking Anglo-Saxon. 
Yonder, beside the tall and tastily clad German brunette, you see the short 
curls, rounded tournure and smiling face of an Irish girl; indeed, repre- 
sentatives of almost every dancing nation of white folks, may be seen 
on the floor of the Hurdy-Gurdy house. The earnings of the dancers 
are very different in amount. That dancer in the low necked dress, with 
the scarlet 'waist,"* a great favorite and a really good dancer, counted 
fifty tickets into her lap before 'the last dance, gentlemen,' followed by, 
'Only this one before the girls go home,' which wound up the performance. 
Twenty-six dollars is a great deal of money to earn in such a fashion ; 
but fifty sets of quadrilles and four waltzes, two of them for the love 
of the thing, is very hard work. 

"As a rule, however, the professional 'hurdles' are Teutons, and, 
though first rate dancers, they are, with some few exceptions, the re- 
verse of good looking. 

"The dance which is most attended, is one in which ladies to whom 
pleasure is dearer than fame, represent the female element, and, as may 
be supposed, the evil only commences at the Dance House. It is not 
uncommon to see one of these sirens with an 'outfit' worth from seven 
to eight hundred dollars, and many of them invest with merchants and 
bankers thousands of dollars in gold, the rewards and presents they 
receive, especially the more highly favored ones, being more in a 
week, than a well educated girl would earn in two years in an Easteru 

"In the Dance House you can see judges, the legislative corps, and 
every one but the minister. He never ventures further than to engage 


in conversation with a friend at the door, and while intently watching the 
performance, lectures on the evil of such places with considerable force; 
but his attention is evidently more fixed upon the dancers than on his 
lecture. Sometimes may be seen gray haired men dancing, their wives 
sitting at home in blissful ignorance of the proceeding. There never 
was a dance house running, for any length of time, in the first days of a 
mining town, in which 'shooting scrapes' do not occur ; equal proportions 
of jealousy, whiskey and revenge being the stimulants thereto. Billiard 
saloons are everywhere visible, with a bar attached, and hundreds of 
thousands of dollars are spent there. As might be anticipated, it is 
impossible to prevent quarrels in these places, at all times, and, in the 
mountains, whatever weapon is handiest foot, fist, knife, revolver, or 
deringer it is instantly used." 


Among the emigrants diverted from the Snake River routes leading to 
the new Salmon River gold diggings of Idaho, in the spring of 1862, was 
a gang from Salt Lake City. It was sidetracked at the Beaver Head 
diggings of Montana, at Bannack City, and included among its members 
Henry Plummer, afterward sheriff and chief of the road agents, Charley 
Reeves, Moore and Skinner, his comrades in every evil thing of the 
West. *These ruffians served as a nucleus, around which the disloyal, 
the desperate and the dishonest gathered, and quickly organizing them- 
selves into a band, with captain, lieutenants, secretary, road agents, and 
outsiders, became the terror of the country. The stampede to the Alder 
Gulch, which occurred early in June, 1863, and the discovery of the 
rich placer diggings there, attracted many more of the dangerous classes, 
who scenting the prey from afar, flew like vultures to the battlefield. 

Between Bannack and Virginia, a correspondence was constantly kept 
up, and the roads throughout the territory were under the surveillance 
of the "outsiders" before mentioned. To such a system were these things 
brought, that horses, men and coaches were marked in some understood 
manner, to designate them as fit objects for plunder, and thus the lyers-in- 
wait had an opportunity of communicating the intelligence to the mem- 
bers of the gang, in time to prevent the escape of the victims. 

The confession of two of their number one of whom, named Erastus 
Yager alias Red, was hung in the Stinking Water Valley, put the Vigilance 
Committee in possession of the names of the prominent men in the gang, 
and eventually secured their death or voluntary banishment. The most 
noted of the road agents, with a few exceptions were hanged by the 
Vigilance Committee, or banished. A list of the places and dates of execu- 
tion of the principal members of the band is here presented. 


George Ives, Nevada City, December 21, 1863; Erastus Yager (Red) 
and G. W. Brown, Stinking Water Valley, January 4, 1864; Henry 

* Professor Dimsdale's "Vigilantes of Montana." 


Plummer, Ned Ray and Buck Stinson, Bannack City, January 10, 1864; 
George Lane (Clubfoot George), Frank Parish, Haze Lyons, Jack Gal- 
lagher and Boone Helm, Virginia City, January 14, 1864; Steven Mars- 
land, Big Hole Ranche, January 16, 1864; William Bunton, Deer Lodge 
Valley, January 19, 1864; Cyrus Skinner, Alexander Carter, and John 
Cooper, Hell Gate, January 25, 1864; George Shears, Frenchtown, Janu- 
ary 24, 1864; Robert Zachary, Hell Gate, January 25, 1864; William 
Graves alias Whiskey Bill, Fort Owen, January 26, 1864; William Hunter, 
Gallatin Valley, February 3, 1864; John Wagoner (Dutch John) and 
Joe Pizanthia, Bannack City, January II, 1864. 


Judge Smith and J. Thurmond, the counsel of the road agents, were 
banished. Thurmond brought an action, at Salt Lake, against Mr. Fox, 
charging him with aiding in procuring his banishment. After some pecu- 
liar developments of justice in Utah, he judiciously withdrew all pro- 
ceedings, and gave a receipt in full for all past and future claims on the 
Vigilance Committee, in which instance he exhibited a wise discretion. 

The Bannack branch of the Vigilantes also sent out of the country, 
H. G. Sessions, convicted of circulating bogus dust, and one H. D. Moyer, 
who furnished a room at midnight for them to work in, together with 
material for their labor. A man named Kustar was also banished for 
recklessly shooting through the windows of the hotel opposite his place 
of abode. 

Moore and Reeves were banished, as will afterwards appear, by a 
miners' jury, at Bannack, in the winter of 1863, but came back in the 
spring. They fled the country when the Vigilantes commenced opera- 
tions, and are thought to have fled to Mexico. 

Charley Forbes was a member of the gang; but being wounded in a 
scuffle, or a robbery, a doctor was found and taken to where he lay. Find- 
ing that he was incurable, it is believed that Moore and Reeves shot him, 
to prevent his divulging what he knew of the band; but this is uncer- 
tain. Some say he was killed by Moore and Reeves, in Red Rock 


The headquarters of the marauders was Rattlesnake Ranch. Plummer 
often visited it, and the robbers used to camp with their comrades, in 
little wakiups above and below it, watching, and ready for fight, flight or 
plunder. Two rods in front of this building was a sign post, at which they 
used to practice with their revolvers. They were capital shots. Plummer 
was the quickest hand with his revolver of any man in the mountains. 
He could draw the pistol and discharge the five loads in three seconds. 
The post was riddled with holes, and was looked upon as quite a curiosity, 
until it was cut down, in the summer of 1863. 

Another favorite resort of the gang was Dempsey's Cottonwoocf 
Ranch. The owner knew the character of the robbers, but had no con- 


nection with them; and, in those days, a man's life would not have been 
worth fifteen minutes' purchase, if the possessor had been foolish enough 
even to hint at his knowledge of their doings. Daley's, at Ramshorn 
Gulch, and ranches or wakiups on the Madison, the Jefferson, Wisconsin 
Creek, and Mill Creek, were also constantly occupied by members of the 


By discoveries of the bodies of the victims, the confessions of the 
murderers before execution, and reliable information sent to the com- 
mittee, it was found that 102 people had been certainly killed by those 
miscreants in various places, and it was believed, on the best informa- 
tion, that scores of unfortunates had been murdered and buried, whose 
remains were never discovered, nor their fate definitely ascertained. All 
that was known, was that they started, with greater or less sums of 
money, for various places, and were never heard of again. 


This town originated from the "Grasshopper Diggings," which were 
first discovered in the month of July, by John White and a small party 
of prospectors, on the Grasshopper Creek, a tributary of the Beaverhead. 
The discoverer, together with Rudolph Dorsett, was murdered by Charley 
Kelly, in the month of December, 1863, near the Milk Ranch, on the road 
from Virginia City to Helena. Wash Stapleton and his party came in a 
short time after, and were soon joined by others, among whom were 
W. B. Dance, S. T. Hauser, James Morley, Drury Underwood, F. M. 
Thomson, N. P. Langford, James Fergus, John Potter, Judge Hoyt and 
Doctor Hoyt, Chas. St. Clair, David Thompson, Buz Caven, Messrs. 
Burchett, Morelle, Harby, J. M. Castner, Pat Bray and brother, Sturges, 
Colonel McLean, R. C. Knox, and other well known citizens of Mon- 
tana. The name, "Bannack," was given to the settlement, from the Ban- 
nack Indians, the lords of the soil. It was the first "mining camp" of any 
importance, discovered on the eastern slope of the mountains, and as 
the stories of its wonderful richness went abroad, hundreds of scattered 
prospectors flocked in, and before the following spring, the inhabitants 
numbered upwards of a thousand. 

It is probable that there never was a mining town of the same size 
that contained more desperadoes and lawless characters, than did Ban- 
nack, during the winter of 1862-63. While a majority of the citizens 
were of the sterling stock, which has ever furnished the true American 
pioneers, there were great numbers of the most desperate class of roughs 
and road agents, who had been roving through the mountains, exiles 
from their former haunts in the mining settlements, from which they 
had fled to avoid the penalties incurred by the commission of many 
a fearful crime. These men no sooner heard of the rich mines of 
Bannack, than they at once made for the new settlement, where, among 


strangers, ignorant of therr crimes, they would be secure from punish- 
ment, at least until their true character should become known. 

Sometime in March, 1863, it is really immaterial exactly when 
Henry Plummer shot Jack Cleveland to death in Goodrich's Bannack City 
saloon. Cleveland, who was a desperado who had come from farther 
West, had struck town with the avowed purpose of supplanting Plum- 
mer, in any way within his power, as head of the Montana outlaws. 
The immigrant was shot to pieces by the outlaw whom he had intended 
to kill or run out of the country. Moore and Reeves, of Plummer's 
band, were both implicated in the brawl which ended in murder. 

"In March, 1863, Reeves, a prominent clerk of St. Nicholas, bought 
a Sheep-eater squaw; but she refused to live with him, alleging that she 
was ill treated, and went back to her tribe who were encamped on the rise 
of the hill south of Yankee Flat, about fifty yards to the rear of the 
street. Reeves went after her, and sought to force her to come back 
with him, but on his attempting to use violence an old chief interfered. 
The two grappled. Reeves with a sudden effort broke from him, strik- 
ing him a blow with his pistol and, in the scuffle, one barrel was harm- 
lessly discharged. 

"The next morning, Moore and Reeves, in a state of intoxication, 
entered Goodrich's saloon, laying down two double-barrelled shotguns 
and four revolvers, on the counter, considerably to the discomfiture of the 
barkeeper, who, we believe, would have sold his position very cheap, 
for cash, at that precise moment, and it is just possible that he might 
have accepted a good offer 'on time.' They declared, while drinking, that if 
the cowardly white folks on Yankee Flat, were afraid of the Indians, they 
were not, and that they would soon 'set the ball a rolling.' Taking their 
weapons, they went off to the back of the houses, opposite the camp, and 
levelling their pieces, they fired into the tepee, wounding one Indian. They 
returned to the saloon and got three drinks more, boasting of what they 
had done, and accompanied by William Mitchell, of Minnesota, and two 
others, they went back, determined to complete their murderous work. 
The three above named then deliberately poured a volley into the tepee, 
with fatal effect. Mitchell, whose gun was loaded with an ounce ball 
and a charge of buckshot, killed a Frenchman named Brissette, who had 
run up to ascertain the cause of the first firing the ball striking him in 
the forehead, and the buckshot wounding him in ten different places. 
The Indian chief, a lame Indian boy, and a pappoose, were also killed; 
but the number of the parties who were wounded has never been ascer- 
tained. John Burnes escaped with a broken thumb, and a man named 
Woods was shot in the groin, of which wound he has not yet entirely re- 
covered. This unfortunate pair, like Brissette, had come to see the cause 
of the shooting, and of the yells of the savages. 

"The indignation of the citizens being aroused by this atrocious and 
unprovoked massacre, a mass meeting was held the following morning 
to take some action in the premises. Charley Moore and Reeves hear- 
ing of it, started early in the morning, on foot, towards Rattlesnake, 
Henry Plummer preceding them on horseback. Sentries were then 


posted all around the town, to prevent egress, volunteers were called for, 
to pursue the criminals, and Messrs. Lear, Higgins, O. J. Rockwell and 
Davenport at once followed on their track, coming up with them where 
they had hidden, in a thicket of brush, near the creek. The daylight was 
beginning to fade, and the cold was intense when a -reinforcement arrived, 
on which the fugitives came out, delivered themselves up, and were con- 
ducted back to Bannack. 

"Plummer was tried and 'honorably' acquitted, on account of Cleve- 
land's threats. Mitchell was banished, but he hid around the town for 
awhile, and never went away. 

Reeves and Moore were also acquitted although eventually banished 
from the territory. The pretext of the prisoners that the Indians had 
killed some whites, friends of theirs, in '49, while going to California, 
was accepted by the majority of the jurors as some sort of justification; 
but the truth is they (the jurors) were afraid of their lives and, it must 
be confessed, not without reason. 

"To the delivery of this unfortunate verdict may be attributed the 
ascendency of the roughs. They thought the people were afraid of them. 
Had the question been left to old Californians or experienced miners, 
Plummer, Reeves and Moore would have been hanged, and much blood- 
shed and suffering would have been thereby prevented. No organization 
of the Road Agents would have been possible. * * * 

"(Hank) Crawford who had been appointed sheriff at the trial of 
Moore and Reeves tendered his resignation on two or three different oc- 
casions ; but was induced to continue in office by the strongest repre- 
sentation of his friends. They promised to stand by him in the execution 
of his duty, and to remunerate him for his loss of time and money. The 
arms taken from Plummer, Reeves and Mitchell were sold by Crawford 
to defray expenses." 


Plummer took as few chances as possible to endanger his neck. As 
an illustration, he and his band held a council in Alder Gulch, in the sum- 
mer of 1863, for the purpose of killing and robbing Lloyd Magruder, a 
prosperous and popular merchant of Lewiston, Idaho, as well as a can- 
didate for Congress. He had recently closed out a large stock of goods 
in Virginia for $14,000 and was about to return to his home town with 
four companions, all of whom were marked as victims. Plummer selected 
five of his men to dispose of the Magruder party, but one of the road 
agents decided to withdraw from the enterprise on the plea that he was 
"on the rob, but not on the kill." Besides Magruder, the party consisted 
of C. Allen, Horace and Robert Chalmers, and a Mr. Phillips, from the 
neighborhood of Marysville, and the road agents numbered Jem Romaine, 
Doc Howard, Billy Page and Bill Lowry. 

Charley Allen, it seems, had strong misgivings about the character 
of the ruffians, and told Magruder that the men would not harm him 
(Allen), as they were under obligations to him; but they would, likely 


enough try to rob Magruder. His caution was ineffectual, and Mr. McK 
Dennee, we believe, fixed up for the trip the gold belonging to Ma- 

It is a melancholy fact that information of the intention of the mur- 
derers had reached the ears of more than one citizen ; but such was the 
terror of the road agents that they dared not tell any of the party. 

Having reached the mountain beyond Clearwater River, on their home- 
ward journey, the stock was let out to graze on the slope, and Magruder, 
in company with Bill Lowry, went up to watch it. Seizing his oppor- 
tunity, the ruffian murdered Magruder, and his confederates assassinated 
the four remaining in camp, while asleep. Romaine said to Phillips; when 
shooting him down, "You , I told you not to come." The villains 
having possessed themselves of the treasure, rolled up the bodies, baggage 
and arms, and threw them over a precipice. They then went on to Lewis- 
ton, avoiding Elk City on their route, where the first intimation of foul 
play was given by the sight of Magruder's mule, saddle, leggings, etc., 
in the possession of the robbers. Hill Beechey,* the deputy marshal at 
Lewiston, and owner of the Luna House, noticed the cantinas filled with 
gold, and suspected something wrong, when they left by the coach for 
San Francisco. A man named Goodrich recognized Page, when he came 
to ranch the animals with him. 

The murderers were closely muffled and tried to avoid notice, but 
Beechey followed them right through to California, and there arrested 
them on the charge of murdering and robbing Magruder and his party. 
He found that they had changed their names at many places. Every 
possible obstacle was interposed that the forms of law allowed; but the 
gallant man fought through it all, and brought them back, on requisition 
of the governor of Idaho, to Lewiston. Page turned state's evidence, 
and the men, who were closely guarded by Beechey all the time,, in his own 
house, were convicted after a fair trial and hanged. 

Romaine, who had been a barber, and afterwards a barkeeper, was a 
desperate villain. At the gallows, he said that there was a note in his 
pocket, which he did not wish to "be read until he was dead. On opening 
it, it was found to contain a most beastly and insolent defiance of the 
citizens of Lewiston. Before he was swung off, he bade them "Launch 
their old boat," for it was "only a mud-scow, anyway." 

A reconnoisance of the ground, in spring, discovered a few bones, 
some buttons from Magruder's coat, some firearms, etc. The coyotes had 
been too busy to leave much. 


The execution of the notorious George Ives, who "lacked the calcula- 
tion of Plummer, but wielded a great influence with his kind, and, in 
the midst of danger, was a cool and dashing desperado the just taking- 

* Hill Beechey told N. P. Langford, the sheriff and author, of praying to the 
Lord to help him catch these murderers. "If the Lord would help him he would 
never ask another favor of him!" 


off of this murderer and robber was the first decisive check suffered by 
the outlaws of Montana. He came of a highly respectable Wisconsin fam- 
ily, but when quite young was swallowed in the maelstrom of wild western 
life, and was about twenty-seven years of age when he appeared at Vir- 
ginia City, or, as it was called for short, Virginia. His complexion and 
hair were light, his eyes blue, was without whiskers, height nearly six feet, 
and he wore a soldier's overcoat and a light felt hat. The carriage of 
this renowned desperado was sprightly and his coolness was imperturb- 
able. Long practice in confronting danger had made him absolutely fear- 
less. He would face death with an indifference that had become con- 
stitutional, and the spirit of reckless bravado with which he was animated 
made him the terror of the citizens. He would levy blackmail under the 
guise of a loan and as a matter of sport, and to show the training of his 
horse, he would back the animal, into the windows of a store, and then 
ride off laughing. 

"In looking at Ives," says Professor Dimsdale, "a man would, at first 
sight, be favorably impressed ; but a closer examination by anyone skilled 
in physiognomy, would detect in the lines of the mouth and in the strange, 
fierce and sinister gleam of the eye, the quick spirit which made him not 
only the terror of the community, but the dread of the band of ruffians 
with whom he associated. * * *" 


"Perhaps the most daring and cold-blooded of all his crimes was 
the murder which he committed near the Cold Spring Ranch. A man had 
been whipped for larceny near Nevada, and to escape the sting of the lash 
he offered to give information about the Road Agents. Ives heard of it 
and meeting him purposely between Virginia and Dempsey's, he deliber- 
taely fired at him with his double-barreled gun. The gun was so badly 
loaded and the man's coat so thickly padded that the buckshot did not take 
effect, upon which he coolly drew his revolver and, talking to him all 
the time, shot him dead. This deed was perpetrated in broad daylighr on 
a highway a very Bloomington road of the community and yet there, in 
plain view of Daley's and Cold Spring Ranch, with two or three other 
teams in sight, he assassinated his victim in a cool and businesslike 
manner, and when the murdered man had fallen from his horse he took 
the animal by the bridle and led it off among the hills. 

"Ives then went to George Hilderman and told him he should like to 
stay at his wakiup for a few days, as he had killed a man near Cold 
Spring ranch and there might be some stir and excitement about it. 
In about half an hour after, some travelers arrived at the scene of 
murder. The body was still warm, but lifeless, and some of the neighbors 
from the surrounding ranches dug a lonely gravis in the beautiful valley." 

Cold-blooded though that murder was, the one for which he was exe- 
cuted was that of another man, an honest, inoffensive German. Nicholas 
Tbalt had sold a span of mules to his employers, Butschy & Clark, who 
paid him the money. Taking the gold with him, he went to Dempsey's 


ranch to bring up the animals. Not returning for some time, they con- 
cluded that he had run away with the mules, and were greatly grieved 
that a person they had trusted so implicitly should deceive them. They 
were, however, mistaken. Faithful to his trust, he had gone for the mules, 
and met his death at the hands of George Ives, who shot him, robbed 
him of his money and stole his mules. 

Nicholas Tbalt was brought into Nevada on a wagon, after being 
missed for ten days. William Herren came to Virginia and informed 
Tom Baume, who at once went down to where the body lay. The head 
had been pierced by a ball, which had entered just over the left eye. 
The marks of a small lariat were on the dead man's wrist and neck. He 
had been dragged through the brush, while living, after being shot, and 
when found lay on his face, his right arm bent across his chest and his left 
grasping the willows above him. 

When captured by a posse of twenty-five citizens, raised principally 
at Virginia City and Nevada, Ives protested his innocence of the das- 
tardly crime, but evidence had been collected against him on the way, 
through one Long John who had the mules of the murdered man. On the 
way to Nevada, where Ives's trial was to be held, the defendant nearly 
escaped by inducing his captors to have a race with his horse, which was 
remarkably speedy. With Ives were arrested Long John (John Franck) 
and George Hilderman, who had discovered the body of the murdered man 
and kept the fact secret for several days. 


The forenoon of December 19, 1863, saw the swelling tide of miners, 
merchants and artizans wending their way to Nevada and the scene of 
the trial and all the morning was spent in private examinations of the 
prisoners, and private consultations as to the best method of procedure. 
Friends of the accused were found in all classes of society; many of 
them were assiduously at work to create a sentiment in his favor, while 
a large multitude were there, suspicious that the right man had been 
caught ; and resolved, if such should prove to be the case, that no loop- 
hole of escape should be found for him, in any technical form of the 

Although on the eve of "Forefathers' Day," there was in the atmo- 
sphere the mildness and the serenity of October. There was no snow, 
and but little ice along the edges of sluggish streams ; but the sun, bright 
and genial, warmed the clear air, and even thawed out the congealed mud 
in the middle of the streets. Little boys were at play in the streets, and 
1,500 men stood in them, impatient for action, but waiting without mur- 
mur, in order that everything might be done decently and in order. 

Messrs. Smith, Richie, Thurmond and Colonel Wood were Ives's law- 
yers, with whom was associated Mr. Alex. Davis, then a comparative 
stranger in Montana. 

Col. W. F. Sanders, at that time residing at Bannack City, but tem- 
porarily sojourning at Virginia, was sent for to conduct the prosecution, 


and Hon. Charles S. Bagg was appointed his colleague, at the request 
of Judge Wilson, Mr. Bagg being a miner, and then, little known. 

In settling upon the mode of trial, much difference of opinion was 
developed; but the miners finally determined that it should be held in 
presence of the whole body of citizens, and reserved to themselves the 
ultimate decision of all questions; but lest something should escape their 
attention, and injustice thereby be done to the public, or to the prisoner, a 
delegation composed of twelve men from each district (Nevada and Junc- 
tion) was appointed to hear the proof, and to act as an advisory jury. 
W. H. Patton, of Nevada, and W. Y. Pemberton, of Virginia, were ap- 
pointed amanuenses. An attempt to get on the jury twelve men from Vir- 
ginia was defeated, and late in the afternoon, the trial began and con- 
tinued till nightfall. The three prisoners were chained with lightest logging 
chain that could be found this was wound round their legs, and the 
links were secured with padlocks. 

In introducing testimony for the people, on the morning of the 2ist, 
the miners informed all concerned that the trial must close at three P. M. 
The announcement was received with great satisfaction. 

It is unnecessary to describe the trial, or to recapitulate the evidence. 
Suffice it to say that two alibis, based on the testimony of George Brown, 
guide for Colonel Marshall in the Indian Campaign 1862, and honest 
Whiskey Joe, failed altogether. Among the lawyers, there was, doubt- 
less, the usual amount of brow-beating and technical insolence, inter- 
mingled with display of eloquence and learning; but not the rhetoric of 
Blair, the learning of Coke, the metaphysics of Alexander, the wit of 
Jerrold, or the ardor of Oberlin, could dull the perceptions of those hardy 
mountaineers, or mislead them from the stern and righteous purpose of all 
this labor, which was to secure immunity to the persons and property of 
the community, and to guarantee a like protection to those who should 
cast their lot in Montana in time to come. 

The evidence was not confined to the charge of murder ; but showed, 
also, that Ives had been acting in the character of a robber, as well as 
that of a murderer; and it may well be doubted whether he would have 
been convicted at all if developments damaging to the reputations and 
dangerous to the existence of some of his friends had not been made dur- 
ing the trial, on which they absented themselves mysteriously, and have 
never been seen since. There was an instinctive and unerring conviction 
that the worst man in the community was on trial ; but it was hard work, 
after all the proof and all this feeling, to convict him. 

"The crowd which gathered around that fire in front of the court, is 
vividly before our eyes," reads Dimsdale's narrative. "We see the wagon 
containing the judge, and an advocate pleading with all his earnestness 
and eloquence for the dauntless robber, on whose unmoved features no 
shade of despondency can be traced by the fitful glare of the blazing wood, 
which lights up, at the same time, the stern and impassive features of 
the guard, who, in every kind of habiliments, stand in various attitudes, 
in a circle surrounding the scene of justice. The attentive faces and com- 
pressed lips of the jurors show their sense of the vast responsibility that 


rests upon them, and of their firm resolve to do their duty. Ever and 
anon a brighter flash than ordinary reveals the expectant crowd of miners, 
thoughtfully and steadily gazing on the scene, and listening intently to 
the trial. Beyond this close phalanx, fretting and shifting around its 
outer edge, sways with quick and uncertain motion, the wavering line 
of desperadoes and sympathizers with the criminal; their haggard, wild 
and alarmed countenances showing too plainly that they tremble at the 
issue which is, when decided, to drive them in exile from Montana, or to 
proclaim them as associate criminals, whose fate could neither be delayed 
nor dubious. A sight like this will ne'er be seen again in Montana. It 
was the crisis of the fate of the territory. 

"Nor was the position of prosecutor, guard, juror, or judge, one that 
any but a brave and law-abiding citizen would chose, or even accept. 
Marked for slaughter by desperadoes, these men staked their lives for 
the welfare of society. A mortal strife between Colonel Sanders and one 
of the opposing lawyers was only prevented by the prompt action of wise 
men, who corraled the combatants on their way to fight. The hero of 
that hour of trial was avowedly W. F. Sanders. Not a desperado present 
but would have felt honored by becoming his murderer, and yet, fear- 
less as a lion, he stood there confronting and defying the malice of his 
armed adversaries. The citizens of Montana, many of them his bitter 
political opponents, recollect his actions with gratitude and kindly feeling. 
Charles S. Bagg is also remembered as having been at his post when 
the storm blew loudest. 

"The argument of the case having terminated, the issue was, in the 
first place, left to the decision of the twenty-four who had been selected 
for that purpose, and they thereupon retired to consult. 

"Judge Byam, who shouldered the responsibility of the whole pro- 
ceeding, will never be forgotten by those in whose behalf he courted 
certain, deadly peril, and probable death. 

"The jury were absent, deliberating on their verdict, but little less 
than an hour, and on their return, twenty-three made a report that Ives 
was proven guilty; but one member Henry Spivey declined to give in 
any find, for unknown reasons. 

"The crisis of the affair had now arrived. A motion was made 'That 
the report of the committee be received, and it discharged from further 
consideration of that case/ which Mr. Thurmond opposed ; but upon ex- 
planation, deferred pressing his objections until the motion should be 
made to adopt the report, and to accept the verdict of the committee as 
the judgment of the people there assembled; and thus the first formal 
motion passed without opposition. 

"Before this, some of the crowd were clamorous for an adjournment, 
and now Ives' friends renewed the attempt ; but it met with signal failure. 

"Another motion: 'That the assembly adopt as their verdict the 
report of the committee,' was made, and called forth the irrepressible 
and indefatigable Thurmond and Col. J. M. Wood; but it carried, there 
being probably not more than one hundred votes against it. 

"Here it was supposed by many that the proceedings would end for 


the present, and that the court would adjourn until the morrow, as it was 
already dark. Col. Sanders, however, mounted the wagon, and having 
recited that Ives had been declared a murderer and a robber by the 
people there assembled, moved, 'That George Ives be forthwith hung 
by the neck until he is dead' a bold and businesslike movement which 
excited feeble opposition, was carried before the defendant seemed to 
realize the situation ; but a friend or two and some old acquaintances hav- 
ing gained admission to the circle within which Ives was guarded, to bid 
him farewell, awakened him to a sense of the condition in which he was 
placed, and culprit and counsel sought to defer the execution. Some of 
his ardent counsel shed tears, of which lachrymose effusions it is well to 
say no more than that they were copious. The vision of a long and scaly 
creature, inhabiting the Nile, rises before us in connection with this 
aqueous sympathy for an assassin. Quite a number of his old chums 
were, as Petroleum V. Nasby says: 'Weeping profoosly.' Then came 
moving efforts to have the matter postponed until the coming morning, 
Ives giving assurances, upon his honor, that no attempt at rescue or escape 
would be made ; but already, Davis and Hereford were seeking a favor- 
able spot for the execution. 

"An unfinished house, having only the side-walls up, was chosen as the 
best place, near at hand, for carrying into effect the sentence of death. 
The preparations, though entirely sufficient, were both simple and brief. 
The butt of a forty-foot pole was planted inside the house, at the foot 
of one of the walls, and the stick leaned over a cross beam. Near the 
point, was tied the fatal cord, with the open noose dangling fearfully 
at its lower end. A large goods box was the platform. The night had 
closed in, with a bright, full moon, and around that altar of vengeance, 
the stern and resolute faces of the guard were visible, under all circum- 
stances of light and shade conceivable. Unmistakable determination was 
expressed in every line of their bronzed and weather-beaten countenances. 

"George Ives was led to the scaffold in fifty-eight minutes from the 
time that his doom was fixed. A perfect babble of voices saluted the move- 
ment. Every roof was covered, and cries of 'Hang him!' 'Don't hang 
him !' 'Banish him !' 'I'll shoot !' 'Let's hang Long John !' were heard all 
around. The revolvers could be seen flashing in the moonlight. The 
guard stood like a rock. They had heard the muttered threats of a rescue 
from the crowd, and with grim firmness the characteristic of the miners 
when they mean 'business' they stood ready to beat them back. Woe to 
the mob that should surge against that living bulwark. They would have 
fallen as grass before the scythe. 

"As the prisoner stepped on the fatal platform, the noise ceased, and 
the stillness became painful. The rope was adjusted, and the usual re- 
quest was made as to whether he had anything to say. With a firm voice 
he replied, 'I am innocent of this crime; Aleck Carter killed the Dutch- 

"The strong emphasis on the word 'this' convinced all around, that 
he meant his words to convey the impression that he was guilty of other 


crimes. Up to this moment he had always accused Long John of the 

"Ives expressed a wish to see Long John, and the crowd of sympathiz- 
ers yelled in approbation; but the request was denied, for an attempt at 
a rescue was expected. 

"All being ready, the word was given to the guard, 'Men do your duty.' 
The click of the locks rang sharply and the pieces flashed in the moonlight, 
as they came to the 'Aim' the box flew from under the murderer's feet, 
with a crash, and George Ives swung in the night breeze, facing the pale 
moon that lighted up the scene of retributive justice. 

"As the vengeful click ! click ! of the locks sounded their note of deadly 
warning to the intended rescuers, the crowd stampeded in wild affright, 
rolling over one another in heaps, shrieking and howling with terror. 

"When the drop fell, the judge, who was standing close beside Ives, 
called out, 'His neck is broken ; he is dead.' This announcement, and the 
certainty of its truth for the prisoner never moved a limb convinced 
the few resolute desperadoes who knew not fear, that the case was hope- 
less, and they retired with grinding teeth, and with muttered curses issuing 
from their lips." 


The trial in detail is described by Col. W. F. Sanders, who states 
that Ives was tried by twenty-four miners as jurors and Hon. Don 
D. Byam as presiding judge. Before the proceedings commenced about a 
thousand armed miners had gathered from the gulches for several miles 
around Nevada and Virginia to see ^fair play." Two sheriffs were also 
on hand. The courtroom was on the east side of the main street in 
Nevada, "where a big Schuttler wagon had been drawn up in front of a 
two-story building, some seats arranged for the court, counsel and prison- 
ers in the same, and a fire had been built on the ground near the wagon 
from cord wood which some unlucky woodman had the misfortune to 
have placed there. William Y. Pemberton, Esq., then a genial young 
lawyer living at Virginia City, was appointed amanuensis, and a table was 
provided for him near the fire. A semi-circle of benches from an ad- 
jacent hurdy-gurdy house had been placed around the fire for the accomo- 
dation of the twenty-four jurors and behind that semi-circle a place was 
reserved for a cordon of guards, who, with their shotguns or rifles, as the 
case might be, marched hour by hour. Although Ives was charged with 
a number of crimes and testimony introduced to sustain the charges, the 
verdict of guilty voted by twenty-three of the twenty-four jurors was 
founded on the murder of Tbalt. He was defended by able counsel. 
When the verdict was announced, Colonel Sanders, as chief prosecutor, 
made a motion that it be made the verdict of the miners' meeting there 
assembled, and supplemented it by another that Ives be hung both of 
which were put by Judge Byam and carried with a rush. 

Ives endeavored to secure delay for the purpose of writing to his 
mother and sisters, but X. Beidler, who was in the background watch- 


ing, shouted, "Sanders, ask him how long a time he gave the Dutchman!" 
He was allowed to write a letter then and there, but not on the following 
day, as he requested. He was interrupted by his friends, who were 
allowed to bid him good-bye, some of them weeping bitterly ; for although 
he was a scoundrel and a murderer he had the faculty of binding closely 
to him men of his type. 

Toward the last of his account of the trial and execution, Colonel 
Sanders says : "It has been generally stated that Ives pulled off his 
boots, saying that he had sworn that he would not die with his boots on. 
I do not remember this and only think it probable because it was told 
shortly thereafter, and I cannot say that I ever contradicted it, which I 
think I should have done had it not been true. However, I have not 
written the details of this prosecution, nor have I attempted to speak of 
it in detail; now, for the first time, putting down with pen the events 
as I remember them, without consultation with any other authorities 
whatever. In fact, the written authorities of Langford and Dinsdale are 
hearsay, neither one of these gentlemen having been present, but their 
information was gathered from actors in this stirring tragedy and I con- 
sider them reliable." 


About the time of the execution of Ives and shortly following the 
murder of Lloyd Magruder and his four companions, the citizens of Ban- 
nack, Virginia City and its twin settlement, Nevada, decided that some or- 
ganization must be effected to promptly punish the reckless criminals who 
were carrying the communities with such a high hand. From the best evi- 
dence at hand, the movement was started by five men in Virginia City, 
four in Bannack and one in Nevada. A vigilance committee was formed 
with Paris S. Pfouts as president, Wilbur F. Sanders, official prosecu- 
tor, and Capt. James Williams, executive officer. Then, in total darkness, 
standing in a circle with hands uplifted, Colonel Sanders adminis- 
tered the following oath: "We, the undersigned, uniting ourselves to- 
gether for the laudable purpose of arresting thieves and murderers and 
recovering stolen property, do pledge ourselves on our sacred honors, each 
to all others, and solemnly swear that we will reveal no secrets, violate no 
laws of right, and never desert each other or our standard of justice, so 
help us God." One of the by-laws read : "The only punishment that shall 
be inflicted by this committee is death." The vigilantes did not strictly 
conform to this by-law, as it was thought advisable to banish some of 
the minor criminals whose offenses did not warrant death, but whose 
permanent absence was obviously conducive to the well-being of Mon- 


On the 23rd of December, 1863, twenty-four members of the Vigil- 
ance Committee, which had just been organized, started from Bannack 
City to run down the criminals of the region. Each man carried gen- 


erally a pair of revolvers, a rifle or shotgun, blankets and some rope. 
The cavalcade, mounted both on horse and mule back, went by way of 
Stinking Water, on to the Big Hole and over the divide in the main range. 
The weather was very cold and there was much snow upon the ground. 
Fires could not be lighted when wanted at night, for fear of attracting 
attention. The men leaving their horses under a guard lay down in their 
blankets on the snow "the wisest of them, in it." On Deer Lodge Creek 
they commenced to come in contact with the desperadoes. Red (Erastus 
Yager), the letter carrier of the band, was finally captured as well as 
Brown, the secretary. 

*The culprits were informed that they should be taken to Virginia, and 
were given in charge to a trustworthy and gallant man, with a detachment 
of seven, selected from the whole troop. This escort reached Lorraine's 
in two hours. The rest of the men arrived at sundown. The prisoners 
were given up, and the leader of the little party, who had not slept for 
four or five nights, lay down to snatch a brief, but welcome repose. About 
10 P. M., he was awakened, and the significant, "We want you," an- 
nounced "business." 

The tone and manner of the summons at once dispelled even his 
profound and sorely needed slumber. He rose without further parley and 
went from the parlor to the bar-room where Red and Brown were lying 
in a corner, asleep. Red got up at the sound of his footsteps, and said, 
"You have treated me like gentlemen, and I know I am going to die 
I am going to be hanged." "Indeed," said his quondom custodian, "that's 
pretty rough." In spite of a sense of duty, he felt what he said deeply. 
"It is pretty rough," continued Yager, "but I merited this, years ago. 
What I want to say is that I know all about the gang, and there are men 
in it that deserve this more than I do ; but I should die happy if I could 
see them hanged, or know that it wouTd be done. I don't say this to get 
off. I don't want to get off." He was told that it would be better if he 
should give all the information in his possession, if only for the sake of 
his kind. Times had been very hard, and "you know, Red," said the 
vigilante, "that men have been shot down in broad daylight not for 
money, or even for hatred, but for luck, and it must be put a stop to." 

To this he assented, and the captain being called, all that had passed 
was stated to him. He said that the prisoner had better begin at once, 
and his words should be taken down. Red began by informing them that 
Plummer was chief of the band ; Bill Bunton second in command and 
stool pigeon; Sam Bunton, roadster, (sent away for being a drunkard) ; 
Cyrus Skinner, roadster, fence and spy. At Virginia City, George Ives, 
Steven Marshland, Dutch John (Wagner), Aleck Carter, Whiskey Bill 
(Graves), were roadsters ; George Shears was a roadster and horse-thief ; 
Johnny Cooper and Buck Stinson were also roadsters; Ned Ray was 
council-room keeper at Bannack City; Mexican Frank and Bob Zachary 
were also roadsters; Frank Parish was roadster and horse-thief; Boon 
Helm and Club-Foot George were roadsters ; Haze Lyons and Bill Hunter 

* Dimsdale's "Vigilantes of Montana." 


were roadsters and telegraph men; George Lowry, Billy Page, Doc 
Howard, Jem Romaine, Billy Terwilliger and Gad Moore were roadsters. 
The password was "Innocent." They wore a necktie fastened with a 
"sailor's knot," and shaved down to moustache and chin whiskers. He 
admitted that he was one of the gang; but denied as they invariably 
did that he was a murderer. He also stated that Brown his fellow 
captive acted in the capacity before mentioned. 

He spoke of Bill Bunton with a fierce animosity quite unlike his 
usual suave and courteous manner. To him, he said, he owed his pres- 
ent miserable position. He it was that first seduced him to commit crime, 
at Lewiston. He gave the particulars of the robberies of the coaches and 
of many other crimes, naming perpetrators. As these details have been 
already supplied or will appear in the course of the narrative, they are 
omitted, in order to avoid a useless repetition. 

After serious reflection, it had been decided that the two culprits 
should be executed forthwith, and the dread preparations were imme- 
diately made for carrying out the resolution. 

The trial of George Ives had demonstrated most unquestionably that 
no amount of certified guilt was sufficient to enlist popular sympathy ex- 
clusively on the side of justice, or to render the just man other than a 
mark for vengeance. The majority of men sympathize, in spite of the 
voice of reason, with the murderers instead of the victims; a course of 
conduct which appears to us inexplicable, though we know it to be com- 
mon. Every fibre of our frame vibrates with anger and disgust when we 
meet a ruffian, a murderer or a marauder. Mawkish sentimentalism we 
abhor. The thought of murdered victims, dishonored females, plundered 
wayfarers, burning houses, and the rest of the sad evidences of villainy, 
completely excludes mercy from our view. Honor, truth and the sacrifice 
of self to consideration of justice and the good of mankind these claim, 
we had almost said our adoration; but for the low, brutal, cruel, lazy, 
ignorant, insolent, sensual and blasphemous miscreants that infest the 
frontiers, we entertain but one sentiment aversion deep, strong, and 
unchangeable. For such cases, the rope is the only prescription that 
avails as a remedy. But tnough such feelings must be excited in the minds 
of good citizens, when brought face to face with such monsters as Stin- 
son, Helm, Gallagher, lyes, Skinner, or Graves, the calm courage and 
penitent conduct of Erastus Yager have the opposite effect, and loss of 
the goodly vessel thus wrecked forever, must inspire sorrow, though it 
may not and ought not to disarm justice. 

Brief were the preparations needed. A lantern and some stools were 
brought from the house, and the party, crossing the creek behind Lor- 
raine's ranch, made for the trees that still bear the marks of the axe 
which trimmed off the superfluous branches. On the road to the gallows, 
Red was cool, calm and collected. Brown* sobbed and cried for mercy, 
and prayed God to take care of his wife and family in Minnesota. He 

* Brown was a scout and guide for Colonel Marshall in an expedition into 
Dakota in pursuit of Indians in October, 1862. He had been a trader among the 
Indians on the Missouri River. He was called "Missouri Brown." 


was married to a squaw. Red, overhearing him, said, sadly but firmly, 
"Brown, if you had thought of this three years ago, you would not be 
here now, or give these boys this trouble." 

After arriving at the fatal trees, they were pinioned and stepped 
on to the stools, which had been placed one on the other to form a drop. 
Brown and the man who was adjusting the- rope, tottered and fell into 
the snow; but recovering himself quickly, the vigilanter said quietly, 
"Brown we must do better than that." 

Brown's last words were, "God Almighty save my soul." 

The frail platform flew from under him, and his life passed away 
almost with the twang of the rope. 

Red saw his comrade drop; but no sign of trepidation was visible. 
His voice was as calm and quiet as if he had been conversing with old 
friends. He said he knew that he should be followed and hanged when 
he met the party on the Divide. He wished that they would chain him 
and carry him along to where the rest were, that he might see them 
punished. Just before he was launched into eternity, he asked to shake 
hands with them all, which having done, he begged of the man who had 
escorted him to Lorraine's, that he would follow and punish the rest. 
The answer was given in these words, "Red, we will do it, if there's any 
such thing in the book." The pledge was kept. 

His last words were, "Good-bye, boys; God bless you. You are on 
a good undertaking." The frail footing on which he stood gave way, 
and this dauntless and yet guilty criminal died without a struggle. It was 
pitiful to see one whom nature intended for a hero, dying and that 
justly like a dog. 

A label was pinioned to his back bearing the legend : 

"Red! Road Agent and Messenger." 

The inscription on the paper fastened on to Brown's clothes was: 

"Brown! Corresponding Secretary." 

The fatal trees still smile as they don the green livery of spring, or 
wave joyfully in the summer breeze ; but when the chill blast of winter 
moans over the snow-clad prairie, the wind sighing, and creaking through 
the swaying boughs seems, to the excited listener, to be still laden with the 
sighs and sounds of that fatal night. 

The bodies were left suspended, and remained so for some days before 
they were buried. The ministers of justice expected a battle on their 
arrival at Nevada ; but they found the Vigilantes organized in full force, 
and each man, as he uncocked his gun and dismounted, heaved a deep 
sigh of relief. The crisis was past. 


When Dutch John Wagner was brought back to Bannack City, after 
his attempted escape to Utah, the Vigilantes of Virginia sent a communi- 
cation to his captors, containing an order for the execution of Henry 
Plummer, Buck Stinson and Ned Ray the first as captain, and the 
others as members of the road agent band. That action was followed 


by the formal organization of the Bannack Vigilantes, and Dutch John 
was taken by his captors to an empty cabin of Yankee Flat, where he 
was held, pending the more important affair in connection with the fate 
of Messrs. Plummer, Stinson and Ray. 

About dusk of the following day, the three horses of the afore- 
mentioned outlaws were brought into Bannack by the Vigilantes, and not 
long afterward the principals were captured. The three details marched 
their men to a given point, en route to the gallows. Here a halt was 
made. The leader of the Vigilantes and some others, who wished to 
save all unnecessary hard feeling, were sitting in a cabin, designing not 
to speak to Plummer, with whom they were so well acquainted. A halt 
was made, however, and, at the door, appeared Plummer. The light was 
extinguished ; when the party moved on, but soon halted. The crisis had 
come. Seeing that the circumstances were such as admitted of neither 
vacillation nor delay, the citizen leader, summoning his friends, went up 
to the party and gave the military command, "Company! forward 
march !" This was at once obeyed. A rope taken from a noted function- 
ary's bed had been mislaid and could not be found. A nigger boy was 
sent off for some of that highly necessary, but unpleasant remedy for 
crime, and the bearer made such good time that some hundreds of feet 
of hempen neck-tie were on the ground before the arrival of the party 
at the gallows. On the road, Plummer heard the voice and recognized 
the person of the leader. He came to him and begged for his life ; but 
was told, "It is useless for you to beg for your life ; that affair is settled 
and cannot be altered. You are to be hanged. You cannot feel harder 
about it than I do ! but I cannot help it, if I would." Ned Ray, clothed 
with curses as with a garment, actually tried fighting, but found that he 
was in the wrong company for such demonstrations ; and Buck Stinson 
made the air ring with the blasphemous and filthy expletives which he 
used in addressing his captors. Plummer exhausted every argument 
and plea that his imagination could suggest, in order to induce his cap- 
tors to spare his life. He begged to be chained down in the meanest 
cabin; offered to leave the country forever; wanted a jury trial; im- 
plored time to settle his affairs ; asked to see his sister-in-law, and, falling 
on his knees, with tears and sighs declared to God that he was too wicked 
to die. He confessed his numerous murders and crimes, and seemed 
almost frantic at the prospect of death. 

The first rope being thrown over the crossbeam, and the noose being 
rove, the order was given to "Bring up Ned Ray." This desperado was 
run up with curses on his lips. Being loosely pinioned, he got his fingers 
between the rope and his neck, and thus prolonged his misery. 

Buck Stinson saw his comrade robber swinging in the death agony, 
and blubbered out, "There goes poor Ed Ray." Scant mercy had he 
shown to his numerous victims. By a sudden twist of his head at the 
moment of his elevation the knot slipped under his chin, and he was 
some minutes dying. 

The order to "Bring up Plummer" was then passed and repeated; but 
no one stirred. The leader went over to this perfect gentleman, as his 



friends called him, and was met by a request to "Give a man time to 
pray." Well knowing that Plummer. relied for a rescue upon other than 
Divine aid,, he said briefly and decidedly, "Certainly ; but let him say his 
prayers up here." Finding all efforts to avoid death were useless, Plum- 
mer rose and said no more prayers. Standing under the gallows which 
he had erected for the execution of Horan, this second Haman slipped 
off his neck-tie and threw it over his shoulder to a young friend who 
had boarded at his house, and who believed him innocent of crime, saying 
as he tossed it to him, "Here is something to remember me by." In the 
extremity of his grief, the young man threw himself weeping and wailing 
upon the ground. Plummer requested that the men would give him a 
good drop, which was done, as far as circumstances permitted, by hoisting 
him up as high as possible, in their arms, and letting him fall suddenly. 
He died quickly and without much struggle. 

It was necessary to seize Ned Ray's hand and by a violent effort to 
draw his fingers from between the noose and his neck before he died. 
Probably he was the last to expire, of the guilty trio. 

The news of a man's being hanged flies faster than any other in- 
telligence, in a Western country, and several had gathered round the 
gallows on that fatal Sabbath evening many of them friends of the 
road agents. The spectators were allowed to come up to a certain point, 
and were then halted by the guard, who refused permission either to 
depart or to approach nearer than the "dead line," on pain of their being 
instantly shot. 

The weather was intensely cold; but the party stood for a long time 
round the bodies of the suspended malefactors, determined that rescue 
should be impossible. Loud groans and cries, uttered in the vicinity, at- 
tracted their attention, and a small quad started in the direction from 
which the sound proceeded. The detachment soon met Madam Hall, a 
noted courtezan the mistress of Ned Ray who was "making night 
hideous" with her doleful wailings. Being at once stopped, she began 
inquiring for her paramour, and was thus informed of his fate: "Well 
if you must know, he is hung." A volcanic eruption of oaths and abuse 
was her reply to this information ; but tfie men were on "short time," and 
escorted her toward her dwelling without superfluous display of courtesy. 
Having arrived at the brow of a short descent, at the foot of which stood 
her cabin, stern necessity compelled a rapid and final progress in that 

Soon after, the party formed and returned to town, leaving the 
corpses stiffening in the icy blast. The bodies were eventually cut down 
by the friends of the road agents and buried. The "Reign of Terror," 
in Bannack, was over. 


Commenting on this triple execution, Professor Dimsdale says : "Men 
breathed freely; for Plummer and Stinson especially were dreaded by 
almost every one. The latter was of the type of that brutal desperado 


whose formula of introduction to a Western bar-room is so well known in 
the mountains : 'Whoop ! I'm from Pike County, Missouri. I'm ten feet 
high. My abode is where lewd women and licentious men mingle. My 
parlor is in the Rocky Mountains. I smell like a wolf. I drink water out 

of a brook like a horse. Look out you ! I'm going to turn loose!' 

A fit mate for such a God-forsaken outlaw was Stinson and he, with the 
oily and snake-like demon, Plummer, the wily, red-handed and politely 
merciless chief, and the murderer and robber, Ray, were no more. The 
Vigilantes organized rapidly. Public opinion sustained them." 

On the Monday morning following the hanging of these wholesale 
criminals, the Vigilantes determined to arrest Joe Pizanthia, the Greaser, 
to see precisely how his record stood in Montana. Outside of it, it 
was known that he was a desperado, a murderer and a robber; but any- 
thing outside of the territory was not the business of the Vigilantes. Two 
of the party sent to arrest him were shot from his cabin, one of them 
fatally. The other, though wounded, shot the desperado, whose cabin 
was finally bombarded with a mountain howitzer directed by some mil- 
itary members of the assaulting party, now beside themselves with fury 
and unsatisfied vengeance. After the house had been partially wrecked, 
the wounded Greaser was dragged forth, again riddled with bullets, the 
body hoisted and fastened to a pole and made the target for a hundred 
shots. As if this were not enough, the crowd which had now become a 
mob set the cabin afire and threw the corpse into the fierce blaze where it 
was burned to ashes. And in the following morning, some women of 
ill-fame panned out the ashes to see whether the desperado had any gold 
in his purse. "We are glad to say," comments the professor, "that they 
were not rewarded for their labors by striking any auriferous deposit." 

The evening after the death of Pizanthia, the newly organized com- 
mittee met, and, after some preliminary discussion, a vote was taken as 
to the fate of Dutch John. The result was that his execution was unan- 
imously adjudged, as the only penalty meeting the merits of the case. He 
had been a murderer and a highway robber, for years. 

One of the number present at the meeting was deputed to convey 
the intelligence to Wagner; and, accordingly, he went down to his place 
of confinement and read to him his sentence of death, informing him that 
he would be hanged in an hour from that time. Wagner was much 
shocked by the news. He raised himself to his feet and walked with 
agitated and tremulous steps across the floor, once or twice. He begged 
hard for life, praying them to cut off his arms and legs, and then to let 
him go. He said, "You know I could do nothing then." He was in- 
formed that his request could not be complied with, and that he must 
prepare to die. 

Finding death to be inevitable, Wagner summoned his fortitude to his 
aid and showed no more signs of weakness. It was a matter of regret that 
he could not be saved for his courage, and (outside of his villainous 
trade) his good behavior won upon his captors and judges to an extent 
that they were unwilling to admit, even to themselves. Amiability and 
bravery could not be taken as excuses for murder and robbery, and so 


Dutch John had to meet a felon's death and the judgment to come, with 
but short space for repentance. He said that he wished to send a letter 
to his mother, in New York, and inquired whether there was not a Dutch- 
man in the house, who could write in his native language. A man being 
procured qualified as desired, he communicated his wishes to him and his 
amanuensis wrote as directed. Wagner's fingers were rolled up in rags 
and he could not handle the pen without inconvenience and pain. He had 
not recovered from the frost-bites which had moved the pity of X. 
Beidler when he met John before his capture, below Red Rock. The 
epistle being finished, it was read aloud by the scribe ; but it did not 
please Wagner. He pointed out several inaccuracies in the method of 
carrying out his instructions, both as regarded the manner and the matter 
of the communication; and at last, unrolling the rags from his fingers, 
he sat down and wrote the missive himself. He told his mother that he 
was condemned to die, and had but a few minutes to live; that when 
coming over from the other side to deal in horses, he had been met by 
bad men, who had forced him to adopt the line of life that had placed him 
in his present miserable position; that the crime for which he was sen- 
tenced to die was assisting in robbing a wagon, in which affair he had been 
wounded and taken prisoner, and that his companion had 1)een killed. 
(This latter assertion he probably believed.) He admitted the justice of 
his sentence. 

The letter, being concluded, was handed to the Vigilantes for trans- 
mission to his mother. He then quietly replaced the bandages on his 
wounded fingers. The style of the composition showedThat he was 
neither terrified nor even disturbed at the thought of the fast approaching 
and disgraceful end of his guilty life. The statements were positively 
untrue, in many particulars, and he seemed to write only as a matter of 
routine duty; though we may hope that his affection for his" mother was, 
at least, genuine. 

Dutch John was marched from the place of his confinement to an 
unfinished building, where the bodies of Stinson and Plummer were laid 
out the one on the floor and the other on a work bench. Ray's corpse 
had been handed over to his mistress, at her special request. The doomed 
man gazed without shrinking on the remains of the malefactors, and 
asked leave to pray. This was, of course, granted, and he knelt down. 
His lips moved rapidly; but he uttered no word audibly. On rising to 
his feet, he continued apparently to pray, looking round, however, upon 
the assembled Vigilantes all the time. A rope being thrown over a 
cross-beam, a barrel was placed ready for him to stand upon. While 
the final preparations were made, the prisoner asked how long it would 
take him to die, as he had never seen a man hanged. He was told that 
it would be only a short time. The noose was adjusted ; a rope was tied 
round the head of the barrel and the party took hold. At the word, "All 
ready," the barrel was instantly jerked from beneath his feet, and he 
swung in the death agony. His struggles were very powerful, for a 
short time ; so iron a frame could not quit hold on life as easily as a less 


muscular organization. After hanging till frozen stiff, the body was cut 
down and buried decently. 


The execution of Capt. J. A. Slade is in a class by itself ; naturally, 
an able, likable man, when sober, but a reckless rough and outlaw 
when drunk. If ever there was a man of "two natures," under such con- 
ditions, that unfortunate man was Slade. He came of a respectable 
Illinois family and was for several years a law-abiding resident of Clinton 
County. Subsequently he was a division manager on the Overland Stage 
line and murdered and mutilated one of the station agents on the Platte 
River, but under most aggravating circumstances. Far from committing 
any bloody crime since coming to Virginia City, in the spring of 1863, he 
had upheld the vigilantes, when sober; when drunk, he flouted all ev- 
idences of law and order, and rode rough-shod over everything and 
everybody. From the fact that his influence was so strong with the na- 
turally lawless element, such manifestations formed a menace to the 
entire region; and it was imperative that an example be made of him. 
There has always been more or less of a dispute as to whether his hanging 
was not beyond his deserts, as based upon his record in Montana. Mark 
Twain, in his "Roughing It," and Professor Dimsdale, J. X. Beidler and 
others have pictured Captain Slade in the foregoing lines, and have graph- 
ically described the events leading to his execution, as well as his last 
moments on earth. 

After the execution of the five men, on the I4th of January*, the 
vigilantes considered that their work was nearly ended. They had freed 
the country from highwaymen and murderers to a great extent, and they 
determined that, in the absence of the regular civil authority, they would 
establish a People's Court, where all offenders should be tried by judge 
and jury. This was the nearest approach to social order that the cir- 
cumstances permitted, and, though strict legal authority was wanting, 
yet the people were firmly determined to maintain its efficiency, and to 
enforce its decrees. It may here be mentioned that the overt act which 
was the last round on the fatal ladder leading to the scaffold on which 
Slade perished, was the tearing in pieces and stamping upon a writ of this 
court, followed by the arrest of the judge, Alexander Davis, by authority 
of a presented Derringer, and with his own hands. 

On returning from Milk River, where he had been unsuccessfully 
engaged as a freighter, he became more and more addicted to drinking; 
until at last, it was a common feat for him and his friends to "take the 
town." He and a couple of his dependants might often be seen on one 
horse, galloping through the streets, shouting and yelling, firing revol- 
vers, etc. On many occasions he would ride his horse into stores ; break 
up bars ; toss the scales out of doors, and use most insulting language to 

* George Lane (Club Foot George), Frank Parish, Haze Lyons, Jack Galla- 
gher and Boone Helm. The last named was perhaps the most hardened of the 
five. Lyons had confessed to the murder of Dillingham, one of Plummer's 
deputy sheriffs. 


parties present. Just previous to the day of his arrest, he had given a 
fearful beating to one of his followers; but such was his influence over 
them that the man wept bitterly at the gallows, and begged for his life 
with all his power. It had become quite common, when Slade was on a 
spree, for the shop-keepers and citizens to close the stores and put out 
all the lights ; being fearful of some outrage at his hands. One store in 
Nevada he never ventured to enter that of the Lott brothers as they 
had taken care to let him know that any attempt of the kind would be 
followed by his sudden death, and, though he often rode down there, 

threatening to break in and raise , yet he never attempted to carry 

his threat into execution. For his wanton destruction of goods and fur- 
niture, he was always ready to pay, when sober if he had money ; but there 
were not a few who regarded payment as small satisfaction for the out- 
rage, and these men were his personal enemies. 

From time to time, Slade received warnings from men that he well 
knew would not deceive him, of the certain end of his conduct. There 
was not a moment, for weeks previous to his arrest, in which the public 
did not 'expect to hear of some bloody outrage. The dread of his very 
name, and the presence of the armed band of hangers-on, who followed 
him alone prevented a resistance, which must certainly have ended in the 
instant murder or mutilation of the opposing party. 

Slade was frequently arrested by order of the court whose organiza- 
tion we have described, and had treated it with respect by paying one or 
two fines, and promising to pay the rest when he had money ; but in the 
transaction that occurred at this crisis, he forgot even this caution, and 
goaded by passions and the hatred of restraint, he sprang into the em- 
brace of death. 

Slade had been drunk and "cutting up" all night. He and his com- 
panions had made the town a perfect hell. In the morning, J. M. Fox, 
the sheriff, met him, arrested him, took him into court, and commenced 
reading a warrant that he had for his arrest, by way of arraignment. 
He became uncontrollably furious, and seizing the writ, he tore it up, 
threw it on the ground and stamped upon it. The clicking of the locks 
of his companions' revolvers was instantly heard and a crisis was ex- 
pected. The sheriff did not attempt his capture; but being at least as 
prudent as he was valiant, he succumbed, leaving Slade the master of the 
situation and the conqueror and ruler of the courts, law and law-makers. 
This was a declaration of war, and was so accepted. The Vigilance Com- 
mittee now felt that the question of social order and the preponderance 
of the law-abiding citizens had then and there to be decided. They knew 
the character of Slade, and they were well aware that they must submit 
to his rule without murmur, or else that he must be dealt with in such 
fashion as would prevent his being able to wreck his vengeance on the 
Committee, who could never have hoped to live in the territory secure 
from outrage or death, and who could never leave it without encountering 
his friends, whom his victory would have emboldened and stimulated to 
a pitch that would have rendered them reckless of consequences. The 
day previous, he had ridden into Dorris's store, and on being requested to 


leave, he drew his revolver and threatened to kill the gentleman who 
spoke to him. Another saloon 'he had led his horse into, and buying a 
bottle of wine, he tried to make the animal drink it. This was not con- 
sidered an uncommon performance, as he had often entered saloons, 
and commenced firing at the lamps, causing a wild stampede. 

A leading member of the committee met Slade, and informed him in 
the quiet earnest manner of one who feels the importance of what he is 
saying: "Slade, get your horse at once, and go home, or there will be 
to pay." Slade started and took a long look with his dark and pierc- 
ing eyes, at the gentleman. "What do you mean?" said he. "You have 
no right to ask me what I mean," was the quiet reply. "Get your horse 
at once, and remember what I tell you." After a short pause he promised 
to do so, and actually got into the saddle; but, being still intoxicated, he 
began calling aloud to one after another of his friends, and, at last seemed 
to have forgotten the warning he had received and became again up- 
roarious, shouting the name of a well-known prostitute in company with 
two men whom he considered head of the Committee, as a sort of 
challenge ; perhaps, however, as a simple act of bravado. It seems prob- 
able that the intimation of personal danger he had received had not been 
forgotten entirely; though fatally for him, he took a foolish way of 
showing his remembrance of it. He sought out Alexander Davis, the 
judge of the court, and drawing a cocked Derringer, he presented it at 
his head, and told him that he should hold him as a hostage for his own 
safety. As the judge stood perfectly quiet, and offered no resistance to 
his captor, no further outrage followed on this score. Previous to this, 
on account of the critical state of affairs, the committee had met, and at 
last resolved to arrest him. His execution had not been agreed upon, and, 
at that time, would have been negatived, most assuredly. A messenger 
rode down to Nevada to inf6rm the leading men of what was on hand, 
as it was desirable to show that there was a feeling of unanimity on the 
subject, all along the gulch. 

The miners turned out almost en masse, leaving their work and form- 
ing in solid column, about 600 strong, armed to the teeth, they marched 
up to Virginia. The leader of the body well knew the temper of his 
men/on the subject. He spurred on ahead of them, and hastily calling a 
meeting of the Executive, he told" them plainly that the miners meant 
"business," and that if they came up, they would not stand in the street 
to be shot down by Slade's friends; but that they would take him and 
hang him. The meeting was small, as the Virginia men were loath to 
act at all. 

The committee were most unwilling to proceed to extremities. All 
the duty they had ever performed seemed as nothing to the task before 
them ; but they had to decide, and that quickly. It was finally agreed that 
if the whole body of the miners were of the opinion that he should be 
hanged, that the committee left it in their hands to deal with him. Off, 
at hot speed, rode the leader of the Nevada men to join his command. 

Slade had found out what was intended, and the news sobered him 


instantly. He went into P. S. Pfouts's store, where Davis was, and apol- 
ogized for his conduct, saying that we would take it all back. 

The head of the column now wheeled into Wallace Street and 
marched up at quick time. Halting in front of the store, the executive 
officer of the committee stepped forward and arrested Slade, who was at 
once informed of his doom, and inquiry was made as to whether he had 
any business to settle. Several parties spoke to him on the subject ; but 
to all such inquiries he turned a deaf ear, being entirely absorbed in the 
terrifying reflections on his own awful position. He never ceased his 
entreaties for life, and to see his dear wife. The unfortunate lady re- 
ferred to, between whom she and Slade there existed a warm affection, 
was at this time living at their ranch on the Madison. She was possessed 
of considerable personal attractions; tall, well-formed, of graceful car- 
riage, pleasing manners, and was, withal, an accomplished horsewoman. 

A messenger from Slade rode at full speed to inform her of her hus- 
band's arrest. In an instant she was in the saddle, and with all the 
.energy that love and despair could lend to an ardent temperament and 
a strong physique, she urged her fleet charger over the twelve miles of 
rough and rocky ground that intervened between her and the object of 
her passionate devotion. 

Meanwhile a party of volunteers had made the necessary preparations 
for the execution, in the valley traversed by the branch. Beneath the site 
of Pfouts's and Russell's stone building there was a corral, the gateposts 
of which were strong and high. Across the top was laid a beam, to which 
the rope was fastened, and a drygoods box served for the platform. To 
this place Slade was marched, surrounded by a guard, composing the best 
armed and most numerous force that has ever appeared in Montana 
Territory. The doomed man had so exhausted himself by tears, prayers 
and lamentations, that he had scarcely strength left to stand under the 
fatal beam. He repeatedly exclaimed : "My God ! My God ! Must I die ? 
Oh, my dear wife !" 

On the return of the fatigue party, they encountered some friends of 
Slade, stanch and reliable citizens and members of the committee, but who 
were personally attached to the condemned. On hearing of his sentence, 
one of them, a stout-hearted man, pulled out his handkerchief and walked 
away, weeping like a child. Slade still begged to see his wife, most 
piteously, and it seemed hard to deny his request; but the bloody con- 
sequences that were sure to follow the inevitable attempt at a rescue, 
that her presence and entreaties would have certainly incited, forbade 
the granting of his request. Several gentlemen were sent for to see him, 
in his last moments, one of whom (Judge Davis) made a short address 
to the people; but in such low tones as to be inaudible, save to a few 
in his immediate vicinity. One of his friends, after exhausting his 
powers of entreaty, threw off his coat and declared that the prisoner could 
not be hanged until he himself was killed. A hundred guns were in- 
stantly leveled at him ; whereupon he turned and fled ; but, being brought 
back, he was compelled to resume his coat, and to give a promise of future 
peaceable demeanor. 


Scarcely a leading man in Virginia could be found, though numbers 
of the citizens joined the ranks of the guard when the arrest was made. 
All lamented the stern necessity which dictated the execution. 

Everything being ready, the command was given, "Men, do your 
duty," and the box being instantly slipped from beneath his feet, he died 
almost instantaneously. 

The body was cut down and carried to the Virginia Hotel, where, 
in a darkened room, it was scarcely laid out, when the unfortunate and 
bereaved companion of the deceased arrived, at headlong speed, to find 
that all was over, and that she was a widow. Her grief and heart-piercing 
cries were terrible evidences of the depth of her attachment for her lost 
husband, and a considerable period elapsed before she could regain 
the command of her excited feelings. 


While stirring up Virginia City in his last drunken spree, Slade had 
come across Beidler (X, he was called for short), who had done all in his 
power, both individually and through friends, to induce the whiskey- 
crazed man to "go home and behave himself." Kiscadden, a friend, who 
afterward married Slade's widow, was among the most earnest in making 
these requests. They had no effect, and while Slade was grossly in- 
sulting, a local storekeeper, at the latter's place of business, "over two 
hundred honest, determined miners (says Beidler), headed by Captain 
Williams (the executive of the Vigilance Committee), were just turning 
the corner. They came up to Pfouts's store and Captain Williams stepped 
up and arrested Slade while he was holding up Pfouts, Fox and Davis 
with a Derringer in each hand. Captain Williams was backed up by 
two hundred miners, each of whom could have shaken two or three dollars 
worth of pay dust out of the rims of their hats and who had rifles and 
revolvers in abundance. 

"Slade looked around and said 'My God!' He was informed that 
he had one hour to live and if he had any business to attend to, he had 
better do it. I was well aware of the approach of the committee, and was 
informed long before that the boys' rifles and revolvers were being 
cleaned and loaded fresh, which meant business, and I had begged Slade 
to go home, but I knew when he got off his horse and I made the remark 
to Kiscadden (asking him to coax Slade homeward) that it was his 
last ride. If Sfade had gone off when he was told, the committee would 
not have hung him at that time. 

"Slade was taken into the back room of the store to settle up his 
business and begged all the time most piteously for his life. A party was 
sent to arrange a place for the execution. They went down the gulch 
and found an empty beef scaffold, made the noose and fixed everything 
for the hanging. * * * While Slade was standing on the boxes 
under the scaffold, with the rope around his neck, he asked for Col. W. 
F. Sanders, and the boys around were afraid to do too much shouting, 
and I said 'Pass the word along for Sanders,' which was done, but he 

Vol. 118 


could not be found, and Slade then asked for Alex Davis, who came up 
and talked with the doomed man. Slade asked Davis to plead to the 
crowd for his life and Davis said, 'Mr. Slade, I can only repeat your 
words. I have no influence but would gladly do so, if I had.' The two 
hundred miners were getting impatient and shouted 'Time's up!' 

"These men were running mines on their own account and wanted 
to get back and clean up and attend to their business, as they did not 
come on any child's play. A noble German by the name of Brigham ad- 
justed the rope around Slade's neck and afterward left the territory, 
being afraid of the Slade men. Dutch Charley selected the place for the 
execution. Captain Williams, when he heard how impatient the miners 
were getting, said : 'Men do your duty,' and Slade died !" 

Justice, as backed by a preponderance of honest public sentiment, was 
master of the situation. 

The most notorious and dangerous of the road agents had met their 
deserts through the Vigilantes and the miner's courts, but the champions 
of law and order were not satisfied and would have nothing but a 
thorough clean-up of infesting criminals. On the evening of January 
13, 1864, tlie executive committee of the Vigilantes determined on hanging 
six of the worst men still alive. The morning of January I5th came, 
and the detachment of Vigilantes marched in from Nevada, Junction, 
Summit, Pine Grove, Highland and Fairweather, and halted in a body 
in Main Street of Bannack. Parties were immediately detailed for the 
capture of the road agents, and all succeeded in their mission except the 
one which went after Bill Hunter, who temporarily escaped. The other 
five were "rounded up" the same day and executed in front of the 
Virginia Hotel. It will serve no purpose to enter into details as to the 
different attitudes assumed by the criminals at their arrest and execution. 
Some were cool, some profane, some furious, some rebellious and some re- 
signed almost to the point of repentance. But the men paid the just 
penalty for their many crimes and the days of outlawry were doomed 
in Montana. 

The operations of the Vigilantes were, at this time, especially, planned 
with a judgment, and executed with a vigor that has never been surpassed 
by any body, deliberative or executive. On the I5th of January, 1864, a 
party of twenty-one men left Nevada under the command of a citizen 
whose name and actions remind us of lightning. He was prompt, brave, 
irresistible (so widely did he lay his plans) and struck when least ex- 
pected. Bill Hunter had temporarily escaped and was in hiding, but he 
was rooted out of his nest about twenty miles above the mouth of the 
Gallatin River, and started with his escort toward Virginia City. The 
captors proceeded on their way in that direction for about two miles and 
halted at the foot of a tree which seemed as if it had been fashioned 
by nature for a gallows. A horizontal limb at a convenient height was 
there for the rope, and on the trunk was a spur like a belaying pin, on 
which to fasten the end. Scraping away about a foot of snow they 
camped, lit a fire and prepared their breakfast. An onlooker would never 
have conjectured for a moment, that anything of a serious nature was 


likely to occur, and even Hunter seemed to have forgotten his fears, 
laughing and chatting gaily with the rest. 

After breakfast, a consultation was held as to what should be done with 
the road agent, and after hearing what was offered by the members of 
the scouting party, individually, the leader put the matter to vote. It 
was decided by the majority that the prisoner should not go to Virginia ; 
but that he should be executed then and there. The man who had given 
Hunter to understand that he would be taken to Virginia, voted for the 
carrying out of this part of the programme; but he was overruled. 

The earnest manner of the Vigilantes, and his own sense of guilt, 
overpowered Hunter; he turned deadly pale, and faintingly asked for 
water. He knew, without being told that there was no hope for him. 
A brief history of his crimes was related to him by one of the men, and 
the necessity of the enforcement of the penalty was pointed out to him. 
All was too true for denial. He merely requested that his friends should 
know nothing of the manner of his death, and stated that he had no 
property; b"f he hoped they would give him a decent burial. He was 
told that every reasonable request would be granted ; but that the ground 
was to hard for them to attempt his interment without proper imple- 
ments. They promised that his friends should be made acquainted with 
his execution, and that they would see to that. Soon after, he shook hands 
with each of the company, and said that he did not blame them for what 
they were about to do. 

His arms were pinioned at the elbows; the fatal noose was placed 
round his neck, and the end of the rope being thrown over the limb, 
the men took hold and with a quick, strong pull, ran him up off his feet. 
He died almost without a struggle ; but, strange to say, he reached as if 
for his pistol, and went through the pantomime of cocking and discharg- 
ing his revolver six times. This is no effort of fancy. Every one present 
saw it, and was equally convinced of the fact. It was a singular instance 
of "the ruling passion, strong in death." 

The place of the execution was a lone tree, in full view of the 
travelers on the trail, about twenty miles above the mouth of the Gallatin. 
The corpse of the malefactor was left hanging from the limb, and the 
little knot of horsemen was soon but a speck in the distance. 

Bill Hunter was the last of the old road agent band that met death at 
the hands of the Committee. He was executed on the 3rd of February, 
1864. There was now no openly organized force of robbers in the ter- 
ritory, and the future acts of the Committee were confined to taking 
measures for the maintenance of the public tranquility and the punishment 
of those guilty of murder, robbery and other high crimes and mis- 
demeanors against the welfare of the inhabitants of Montana. 


*On looking back at the dreadful state of society which necessitated 
the organization of the Vigilantes, and on reading these pages, many will 

* Professor Dimsdale in "Vigilantes of Montana." 


learn for the first time the deep debt of gratitude which they owe to that 
just and equitable body of self-denying and gallant men. It was a dread- 
ful and disgusting duty that devolved upon them; but it was a duty, and 
they did it. Far less worthy actions have been rewarded by the thanks 
of Congress, and medals glitter on many a bosom, whose owner won 
them, lying flat behind a hillock, out of range of the enemy's fire. The 
Vigilantes, for the sake of their country encountered popular dislike, 
the envenomed hatred of the bad, and the cold toleration of some of the 
unwise good. Their lives they held in their hands. "All's well that ends 
well." Montana is saved, and they saved it, earning the blessings of 
future generations, whether they receive them or not. * * * 

Very little action was necessary on the part of the Vigilance Com- 
mittee, to prevent any combination of the enemies of law and order 
from exerting a prejudicial influence on the peace and good order of the 
capital; in fact, the organization gradually ceased to exercise its func- 
tions, and, though in existence, its name, more than its active exertions, 
sufficed to preserve tranquility. When Chief Justice Hosmer arrived 
in the territory, and organized the Territorial County Courts, he thought 
it his duty to refer to the Vigilantes, in his charge to the Grand Jury, 
and invited them to sustain the authorities as citizens. The old guardians 
of the peace of the territory were greatly rejoiced at being released from 
their onerous and responsible duties, and most cheerfully and heartily 
complied with the request of the Judiciary. 

For some months no action of any kind was taken by them ; but, in 
the summer of 1865, news reached them of the burning and sacking of 
Idaho City, and they were reliably informed that an attempt would be 
made to burn Virginia, also, by desperadoes from the West. That this 
was true was soon demonstrated by ocular proof ; for two attempts were 
made though happily discovered and rendered abortive, to set fire to the 
city. In both cases, the parties employed laid combustibles in such a 
manner that, but for the vigilance and promptitude of some old Vig- 
ilantes, a most destructive conflagration must have occurred in the most 
crowded part of the town. In one case the heap of chips and whittled 
wood a foot in diameter had burnt so far only as to leave a ring of the 
outer ends of the pile visible. In the other attempt a collection of old 
rags were placed against the wall of an out-building attached to the Wis- 
consin House, situated within the angle formed by the junction of Idaho 
and Jackson Streets. Had this latter attempt succeeded, it is impossible 
to conjecture the amount of damage that must have been inflicted upon 
the town, for frame buildings fifty feet high were in close proximity, and 
had they once caught fire, the flames might have destroyed at least half of 
the business houses on Wallace, Idaho and Jackson Streets. 

At this time, too, it was a matter of every-day remark that Virginia 
was full of lawless characters, and many of them thinking that the 
Vigilantes were officially defunct, did not hesitate to threaten the lives 
of prominent citizens, always including in their accusations, that they 
were strangling. This state of things could not be permitted to last ; and, 
as the authorities admitted that they were unable to meet the emergency, 


the Vigilantes reorganized at once, with the consent and approbation of 
almost every good and order-loving citizen in the territory. 

The effect of this movement was marvellous ; the roughs disappeared 
rapidly from the town; but a most fearful tragedy, enacted in Portneuf 
Canyon, Idaho, on the I3th of July, roused the citizens almost to frenzy. 
The overland coach from Virginia to Salt Lake City, was driven into an 
ambuscade by Frank Williams, and though the passengers were pre- 
pared for road agents, and fired simultaneously with their assailants, who 
were under cover and stationary, yet four of them, viz: A. S. Parker, 
A. J. McCausland, David Dinan and W. L. Mers, were shot dead; L. F. 
Carpenter was slightly hurt in three places and Charles Parks was ap- 
parently mortally wounded. The driver was untouched, and James 
Brown, a passenger, jumped into the bushes and got off, unhurt. Car- 
penter avoided death by feigning to be in the last extremity, when a 
villain came to shoot him a second time. The gang of murderers, of 
whom eight were present at the attack, secured a booty of $65,000 in 
gold, and escaped undetected. 

A party of Vigilantes started in pursuit, but effected nothing at the. 
time; and it was not till after several months patient work of a special 
detective from Montana, that guilt was brought home to the driver, who 
was executed by the Denver committee, on Cherry Creek. 

The last offenders who were executed by the Vigilance committee of 
Virginia City, where two horse thieves and confessed road agents, named, 
according to their own account, John Morgan and John Jackson, alias 
Jones. They were, however, of the "alias" tribe. The former was 
caught in the act of appropriating a horse in one of the city corrals. He 
was an old offender, and on his back were the marks of the whipping 
he received in Colorado for committing an unnatural crime. He was 
a low, vicious ruffian. His comrade was a much more intelligent man, 
and acknowledged the justice of his sentence without any hesitation. 
Morgan gave the names and signs of the gang they belonged to, of which 
Rattlesnake Dick was the leader. Their lifeless bodies were found hang- 
ing from a hay-frame, leaning over the corral fence at the slaughter 
house, on the branch, about half a mile from the city. The printed man- 
ifesto of the Vigilantes was affixed to Morgan's clothes with the warning 
words written across it, "Road Agents, beware !" 


The era of outlawry, miners' courts and vigilantes, with the summary 
execution and exile of dangerous criminals, was closely followed by the 
establishment of constitutional government and legal processes, with their 
slower, more cumbersome, approved operations. During the worst of 
the conflict between law and order, what is now Montana west of the 
Rocky Mountains was under the jurisdiction of Idaho (organized as 
a territory in March, 1863) and that portion east of the mountains was 
a part of Dakota. So that the nearest constituted courts for the few 
settlers in the Montana region were held at Salem, the capital of Oregon, 
and at Yankton, Dakota's territorial seat of justice. 

To attend the first session of the territorial Legislature of Idaho held 
at Lewiston in the winter of i863-'64, members were compelled to travel 
hundreds of miles, over unknown ranges and through trackless fields of 
snow. The pioneers of what is now Southwestern Montana, who had 
bravely fought and fairly subdued the criminal element in their midst, 
demanded that legalized justice be brought within more convenient dis- 
tance of them, and fortunately found an effective personal instrument 
within their reach. 


Sidney Edgerton, an able lawyer and republican congressman from 
Ohio, at the conclusion of his two terms in the national house of rep- 
resentatives had been appointed chief justice of the new territory of 
Idaho by President Lincoln. In June, 1863, he had left Akron, Ohio, 
for Idaho, accompanied by his family and his nephew, Wilbur F. San- 
ders, who also took his family. They went to St. Joseph, Missouri, where 
they outfitted, and thence by ox-teams to Bannack, then on the eastern 
borders of Idaho Territory, arriving September 17, 1863. Mr. Sanders 
was soon engaged in the prosecution of the road agents, and established 
his reputation as a fearless and versatile lawyer, earning the gratitude 
of all supporters of law and order in the community. Mr. Edgerton was 
destined for other work, which at once brought him into unusual prom- 
inence. " 

The story of this portion of Sidney Edgerton's career is told so well 
by his daughter, Martha Edgerton Plassman, that it is reproduced in her 
words: "Shortly after arriving at Bannack, my father strolled up Main 
Street to see the town. Coming to a Building where miners' court was 



in progress, he went in. The judge, seeing that he was a stranger, in- 
vited my father to sit beside him. The trial of the case proceeded, but 
not for long, when it was interrupted by the suggestion of some one 
present that it was time liquid refreshments should be served. The judge 
and everyone present approving the suggestion, an old darkey was dis- 
patched to a neighboring saloon for the whisky. On his return, the 
court took a recess and a drink, several of them in fact. When the liquor 
was exhausted and the court and those in attendance upon it sufficiently 
stimulated, the trial went on, only to meet with a similar interruption 
in the course of half an hour or so. This was the initiation of the new 
Chief Justice into western methods of legal procedure. 

"At a meeting of the citizens of Virginia City and Bannack, some 
months later, Judge Edgerton was selected to go to Washington to 
secure the division of the territory. About this time occurred the hang- 
ing of Henry Plummer and other road agents. These events postponed 
my father's journey to Washington until the middle of January, 1864. 
It was a winter of great severity, and while he and those who went with 
him knew they were not likely to be attacked by highwaymen between 
Bannack and Salt Lake City, the intense cold was an enemy not to be 


"The party traveled with pack horses to Salt Lake, crossing the rivers 
on the ice and exposed to all the hardships of that bitter season. From 
Salt Lake they went by stage to the railroad. What added to the dangers 
of the journey was that most of the men took with them large quantities 
of gold. Ingots were quilted into the lining of my father's overcoat 
and he carried in his valise immense nuggets wherewith to dazzle the 
eyes of congressmen and to impress upon their minds by means of an 
object lesson some adequate idea of the great mineral wealth of this 
section of the country. Arriving safely in Washington, the gold was 
exhibited, congressmen interviewed, and at length the desired end was 
accomplished. Idaho was divided, and the Territory of Montana created. 
There was some discussion over the proposed western boundary line 
but the combined efforts of Governor Wallace of Idaho and Judge Edger- 
ton saved to Montana all of her rich territory lying west of the summit of 
the Rockies. 

"My father was one of the numerous applicants for the governor- 
ship of the new territory. Whether his ultimate appointment to the 
position was the result of his last visit to Mr. Lincoln will never be 
known, but this is his account of the visit he made and the story he 


" 'When the division bill passed, I went to the White House to make 
my farewell visit, as I had already been in Washington some time and 
I was anxious to get home. On my way there, a gentleman told me 


that a senator had filed a protest against my appointment as governor. 
On meeting Mr. Lincoln, I asked if this was true. He said it was. 
I then inquired if any charges had been made against me. He said 
none, but that I had called the gentleman a liar. I insisted that it was 
the truth and if he (Mr. Lincoln) chose to appoint some of the other 
applicants, it would be satisfactory.' 

" 'As for me, I should return home and mine, as Dosheimer kept 
tavern.' "Dosheimer !" exclaimed Mr. Lincoln ; "I knew Dosheimer. 
What was the story ?" The story was this : 'Dosheimer attended a con- 
vention at Utica hoping to obtain the nomination as canal commissioner. 
He was defeated, and rising from his seat, said : "Shentlemen, I goes 
back to Puffalo and keeps tavern like hell !" I left Mr. Lincoln laughing 
heartily at the story. It was the last time I saw him. I did not know 
of my appointment until I reached Salt Lake.' 


"It was not an easy position which the new governor was called upon 
to fill. He was chief executive in a portion of the country where, up to 
the hanging of George Ives, every man had been a law to himself. He 
represented the United States Government in a territory many of whose 
citizens had renounced allegiance to the Union. Any signs of wavering 
on the part of the governor, any concessions to those who were disloyal 
to the United States would have been looked upon as marks of cowardice, 
and he would have gained the contempt of the very men who were loud- 
est in denouncing him for upholding the law of the land. 

"Threats had been made that any one would be shot who dared to 
raise the star spangled banner. My father heard of this, and out flew the 
old flag from the staff above the house which sheltered his wife and 
children. The threats proved to be mere bravado ; but drunken horsemen 
galloping by at night often fired random shots at the red, white and 
blue target while hurrahing lustily for Jeff Davis. 

"A more serious trouble arose in the first legislature when John 
Rogers, formerly of the Confederate army, sought to gain admission 
to that body without taking the required oath. This caused a deadlock 
which was only broken when a new oath had been framed which could 
fit so delicate a case, and Mr. Rogers was admitted. 


"The following spring President Lincoln was assassinated, and during 
the political upheaval which followed Andrew Johnson's accession to the 
presidency, it became necessary for Governor Edgerton to go east in 
the interest of Montana. General Thomas Francis Meagher had arrived 
to assume the duties of the secretary of the territory; but one of the 
most important duties was to disburse money and there was no money 
to disburse my father and a few others having supplied the requisite 
funds to keep the wheels of government in motion up to that time. In 
order to obtain money for the territory, and also wishing to place his 


older children in school, my father once again set across the plains taking 
his family with him. He left Bannack in the middle of September, 1865. 
The return journey, made with mule teams and from Salt Lake City, 
followed the old Bridger and South Platte trail to Nebraska City. As the 
floating ice in the Missouri made it impossible to run the ferry, the river 
at that place was crossed in a skiff at the imminent peril of being 
swamped, and the journey continued by stage through Iowa and Mis- 
souri to Savannah in the latter state, which was then the terminal point 
of the railroad." 

Governor Edgerton thus severed his permanent connection with the 
affairs of Montana. He twice revisited the state, the last time in 1891, 
but his home continued in Akron, Ohio, for fifty-five years, or until his 
death July 19, 1900. Almost to the last he practiced his profession and 
was ever alive to the best things of the world. 


The bill organizing the territory of Montana passed both houses of 
Congress on May 24, 1864, and two days later was signed by President 
Lincoln and the commonwealth admitted into the Union. Its boundaries 
were fixed by the organic act, the president commissioned Judge Edger- 
ton governor June 22, 1864, and on the following I2th of December 
Governor Edgerton convened the first session of the Territorial Legisla- 
ture, on January 16, 1864, were created the counties of Missoula, Deer 
Lodge, Dawson, Beaverhead, Madison, Jefferson, Chouteau and Big Horn. 
The organic act creating the Territory of Montana, empowered the gov^ 
ernor to lay off necessary districts for members of the Council and House 
of Representatives and to provide for an election of such members. On 
September 22, 1864, Governor Edgerton therefore called the first elec- 
tion in Montana to be held on the 24th of October. In establishing the 
districts, Governor Edgerton recognized the counties established by the 
first Idaho Legislature, insofar as they had any population to be repre- 
sented in the Montana Assembly, viz., Missoula, Deer Lodge, Beaver 
Head, Madison, Jefferson and Chouteau. In the counties of Dawson and 
Big Horn, there were so few qualified persons entitled to representation 
that they were not recognized as distinct election districts by Governor 
Edgerton, and were deemed part of Madison County for political pur- 


The election was duly held, which resulted in the choice of what has 
become known as the Bannack Legislature. A delegate to Congress was 
also chosen. The republicans, or unionists, nominated Wilbur F. San- 
ders, and the democrats, Samuel McLean. Partisanship over the issues of 
the war were as intense in Montana as in the older territories and states, 
although the new commonwealth was far removed from the immediate 
theater of hostilities. The voters came from both North and South and 
the campaign was waged with much rancor on both sides. Governor 


Edgerton coming from an Ohio hotbed of radical republicanism, was 
the leader of the Montana unionists in every sense of the word, and 
his young nephew, the Congressional candidate, was a brisk running 
mate in that regard. Whatever the cause of the result, the democrats 
won and Colonial Sanders was defeated. There is some question as 
to the respective votes, although both sides agree upon the total of 
6,864. The democrats themselves attributed their success to the dom- 
inant* method of the campaign pursued by the republicans in charging 
their opponents with disloyalty. 

The first session of the Legislative Assembly of the territory con- 
vened at Bannack on December 12, 1864, and adjourned February 9, 1865. 
The presiding officers of both sides were republicans, Robert Lawrence 
being chosen president of the Council and George Detwiler, speaker of 
the House. 

The membership of the two houses, with the localities represented 
was as follows: 

Members of the Council: Frank M. Thompson and Erasmus D. 
Leavitt, Beaverhead County; Frank L. Worden, Chouteau, Deer Lodge 
and Missoula counties; Nathaniel Merriman, Jefferson County; Charles 
S. Bagg, Robert Lawrence and Anson S. Potter, Madison County. 

Members of the House : William Faulds and Andrew J. Smith, Bea- 
verhead County ; James Stuart, Deer Lodge County ; Isaac N. Buck, Milo 
Courtright and George Detwiler, Jefferson County; John H. Rodgers, 
Patrick Ryan, Wila Huffaker, Alexander E. Mayhew, Francis Bell and 
Washington J. McCormick, Madison County; E. B. Johnson, Missoula 

At this time among the leaders of the democratic party were Sample 
Orr; Edwin W. Toole, a brilliant lawyer and brother of Joseph K. Toole, 
the first governor of the state; William Y. Pemberton, afterward chief 
justice of the State Supreme Court, altogether a distinguished member 
of the bench and bar, and librarian of the State Historical Society; 
Thomas Thoroughman, R. C. Ewing, Alexander Davis, Samuel Word, 
N. J. Bond, W. L. McMath, Samuel McLean and Ansell Briggs. 

The laws passed at this first session were voluminous and important. 
Not a few of them related to the judiciary. The act providing for the 
organization of the territory vested the judicial power in a supreme court, 
district courts, probate courts and in justices of the peace, and 
divided the territory into three judicial districts. Pursuant to the au- 
thority given, this session enacted a law establishing these courts and pre- 
scribing the jurisdiction thereof. A Criminal Practice Act was passed, pro- 
viding for the indictment and trial of offenders, defining offenses punish- 
able thereunder and the penalties to be imposed. A Probate Act relating 
to the estates of deceased persons, minors and incompetents, and an act 
relating to executors and administrators and to guardians and wards were 
passed. One of the most important laws enacted by this assembly was 
that incorporating the Historical Society of Montana, the incorporators of 
which were H. L. Hosmer, C. P. Higgins, John Owen, James Stuart, 
W. F. Sanders, Malcolm Clarke, F. M. Thompson, William Graham, Gran- 


ville Stuart, W. W. DeLacy, C. E. Irwin and C. S. Bagg. The seat of 
government was, by an act approved February 7, 1865, located at the city 
of Virginia, pursuant to the authority granted the legislative assembly 
by the act of congress providing for the organization of the territory. 

Besides general laws of the nature outlined, measures were adopted 
to meet the special conditions of the people and the times. An act was 
passed to prevent the counterfeiting of gold dust, as a spurious imita- 
tion was in circulation. During the session, not less than nine special 
acts were passed providing for marital separation, but no general divorce 
law was enacted until near the adjournment of the assembly. Acts were 
passed to reimburse those who had captured road agents when the miners' 
courts were in authority. Without general legislation enabling indus- 
trial and commercial enterprises to be incorporated, almost one hundred 
private charters were granted to mining companies, ditch companies, town 
site enterprises, and bridge, ferry and wagon road projects. This char- 
acter of legislation called forth denunciation from the Congress of the 
United States, which, in 1867 passed an act providing that the legisla- 
tive assemblies of the territories should not grant private charters or 
special privileges, but they might, by general incorporation acts, per- 
mit persons to associate themselves together as bodies corporate for min- 
ing, manufacturing and other industrial pursuits. Such a general incor- 
porating act was passed by the third Legislative Assembly of the territory, 
and at subsequent sessions most of the special privilege acts passed at 
the first session were repealed. 

In the light of events of a later period, this special legislation 
enacted at the first session of the territorial assembly was of such an 
interesting character as to warrant more detailed comment. The most 
complete and satisfactory account of the doings of the Bannack Assembly 
was contributed to the Anaconda Standard, of February 23, 1919, by 
James U. Sanders, of Helena, secretary of the Society of Montana Pio- 
neers, and one of the sons of Wilbur F. Sanders, the pioneer. After 
noting the conscientious and industrious character of that legislature and 
that, in addition to passing civil and criminal practice acts, it enacted 
nearly one hundred special or private laws, Mr. Sanders continues : "These 
charters were given to nearly 500 men, but a careful perusal of the names 
discloses only eight survivors today. The full list includes men in Lon- 
don, England, and many Eastern cities, including New York, St. Louis, 
Philadelphia and Albion, N. Y. 

"I will recall only a few companies in which the survivors mentioned 
were interested with about ninety associates." 


"The first law approved by Governor Edgerton on December 27, 1864, 
was an act to incorporate the Missouri River & Rocky Mountain Wagon 
Road and Telegraph Company. This was granted to Judge Pemberton 
and fourteen associates, among whom are some familiar names, such as 
Judge Walter B. Dance, a miners' judge of those days ; N. P. Langford, 


elected to the Idaho legislature the year before and superintendent of the 
Yellowstone National Park on its creation in 1872 and which from its 
initials Mr. Langford used to say was named after him : S. T. Hauser, 
afterward governor of the territory; T. C. Evarts, whose 'Thirty-seven 
Days of Peril,' being an account of experiences while lost from the Wash- 
burne party in 1870, was read the world over; Razin Anderson, a member 
of the Stuart party which discovered gold at Gold Creek ; Samuel Word 
and F. B. Kercheval of St. Joseph, Missouri, who endeavored to found 
Kercheval City at the mouth of the Judith River in 1866 and which was 
made the county seat of Musselshell County on its creation by one of 
the bogus legislatures of that year. Today the judge is the only survivor 
of this list and an effort to pump Pern on the achievements of this com- 
pany only disclosed the fact that his recollection of the enterprise is a 
little vague, but he admitted that he probably wrote the law for a block 
of the capital stock, stated to be $800,000, and that also some of the in- 
corporators had a preliminary survey of the proposed road made." 

It was to start from Virginia City and run to the head of naviga- 
tion on the Yellowstone River and thence to the mouth of that river 
or some other point on the Missouri River. They were to have the 
privilege of establishing toll gates and collecting toll not oftener than a 
gate to each forty miles of the road. They also had the privilege 
of erecting tool gates at bridges and ferries, but not on streams fordable 
at all seasons of the year. The charter also gave the privilege of erecting 
an electro telegraph line along said road and also by way of Bannack to 
the southern boundary of the territory toward Salt Lake City. The com- 
pany was authorized to issue bonds for the raising of funds for con- 
struction and to pay interest at not more than 15 per cent. 


Judge Pemberton and Mr. Evarts promoted another enterprise under 
a charter to the Bozeman City & Milk River Wagon Road Company, 
with a capital stock of $200,000, for the purpose of locating and main- 
taining a toll wagon road from Bozeman to the mouth of the Musselshell 
River, and thence to the mouth of the Milk River. Some mean in- 
dividual reading this charter might note that nothing is said as to con- 
structing a road, although a survey is provided for and exclusive privi- 
leges given with ten miles of its line, and also within the same distance 
of all bridges and ferries established on streams crossed, said toll gates 
not to exceed one for every forty miles of road. Authority to estab- 
lish town-sites at the termini of said route and also at the crossing of 
the Musselshell River and at other points, with authority to pre-empt 
320 acres at each of said points and lay off into lots, blocks and streets 
and hold or dispose of the same, is given. 

Had the judge laid out this road on an air line, like the road 
from St. Petersburg to Moscow, and should he go over it today, he 
would traverse the counties of Park, Sweet Grass, Meagher, Musselshell, 
Fergus, the new county of Garfield, possibly Phillips, and, if we were 


more familiar with the geography of Montana while the present session 
of the legislature is in session, we might add Dawson, and before they 
adjourn we might add others. When laid out this road traversed only 
Gallatin, Chouteau and Big Horn counties. With these enterprises the 
judge satisfied himself for the time being in the mad rush for worldly 
wealth, at the same time securing, and ever since maintaining, a warm 
place in the regard and affections of the people of Montana. 


On January 27, 1865, a charter to the Virginia City & Summit City 
Wagon Road Company was approved by Governor Edgerton. This 
charter was granted to Joseph H. Millar, now of Omaha, and president 
of the Omaha National Bank, and B. F. Allen of Des Moines, and in- 
terested in a bank in Virginia City with Mr. Millard under the name of 
Allen & Millard, and while the metropolis of Alder Gulch was still in the 
territory of Idaho ; also W. C. Burton of Des Moines and John S. Atchi- 
son, many years later a banking associate of Governor Hauser in Helena, 
and others. 

A recent inquiry of Senator Millard discloses the facts of the en- 
terprise. Mr. Burton conceived the idea of the road up Alder and 
secured the backing of Allen and Millard shortly after the discovery 
of gold in May, 1863. This occurred just a little above the foot of 
Wallace Street as pointed out by Mr. Edgar, one of the discoverers, at 
the meeting of the Pioneer Society twenty years ago. Mr. Burton built 
the road in 1863, but the miners washing the bed of the gulch that fall and 
next summer were continually washing it out and interfering with it as a 
highway and the rights secured under the charter did not much improve 
their authority. The road was eight miles in length from Virginia City 
to Summit and they were authorized to establish a toll gate at the town 
of Highland and one near Virginia City and crossing and recrossing 
Alder Creek and bridging the same where necessary. The capital of the 
company was to be $27,000, which perhaps is the amount of money spent 
in building and maintaining the road. With the liberal charges allowed, $3 
for a wagon drawn by a span of horses or yoke of oxen or a carriage 
drawn by one animal, etc., the road never paid or reimbursed the build- 


Also on January 27th a charter was granted to A. M. Holter, still 
living in Helena, and associates under the name of the Virginia City 
Water Company, with a capital stock of $25,000, with authority to in- 
crease it to $100,000. The company had authority to convey the waters 
rising or flowing from all springs in Daylight Gulch and distribute it 
through hydrants and through the streets of the city. Mr. Holter made 
a success of this enterprise, which was conceived the summer before and 
work commenced by his associates, O. Norelius and J. P. Oleson. 

Another charter was granted for the purpose of supplying Virginia 


City with gas to the Virginia City Gas Company, with a capital stock of 
$10,000, with the authority to increase it to $200,000. All of the incor- 
porators of this company are dead, but among the names we note those 
of Governor S. T. Hauser and W. J. McCormick, a member of the Ban- 
nack legislature and father of the representative from Missoula County. 

A charter was granted to Mortimer H. Lott, still residing at Twin 
Bridges, and his associates, among whom we note Paris S. Pfouts, for- 
merly president of the vigilance committee, and James Williams, a 
captain in that organization, and one of the executive officers. The 
company was known as the Montana Bridge and Ferry Company, with 
authority to construct bridges or ferries, one on the Big Hole River near 
Twin Bridges and one on the Jefferson River near Pat Carney's Ranch 
at Waterloo. At the Big Hole crossing the toll charge for a vehicle 
and two animals was $4 and at the Jefferson crossing the charge was $5. 

On February 2d Mr. Lott and his brother, John S. Lott, were author- 
ized to use the water of Wisconsin Gulch for irrigating and milling pur- 
poses with right-of-way to the Beaverhead River. 


Gus Graeter of Dillon, the bride-groom of 85 years, and his asso- 
ciates were given a charter as the Deer Lodge Valley Mining Company, 
with a capital of $200,000. The office of the company was established at 
Silver Bow City, and the company was authorized to establish a branch 
office in New York City if deemed proper. 

Books were to be opened for subscriptions to the capital stock on 
twenty days' notice published in a newspaper, if there was one published 
in the territory, otherwise by posting notices at three public places in 
Silver Bow City. 

Mr. Graeter and his associates were also given a charter as the 
Beaverhead Ditch Company, with authority to construct a ditch and divert 
the waters of Rattlesnake Creek and supply water for mining, milling 
and other purposes, evidently in the vicinity of Argenta, west of Dillon. 

William Berkin of Meagher County, now over 90 years of age, and 
hale and hearty, with associates, was given a charter as the Eureka Gold 
and Silver Mining Company with a capital stock of $50,000 which might 
be increased to $1,000,000, with offices at the town of Montana, an embryo 
city at the Point of Rocks on Rattlesnake Creek, and also in the City 
of New York. Among the other incorporators are to be noted Samuel 
McLean, delegate in congress ; George Brown, member of the state senate 
from Beaverhead County at the third and fourth sessions, and Ashael 
K. Eaton, who was later interested with Col. A. K. McLure in mining 
enterprises in Madison County. 


Mr. Berkin was also interested in two other companies created by 
this legislature, one the Boulder Town Company, located at the north 
side of the crossing of the Boulder River about two miles from the pres- 


ent town. Capt. Nick Wall of St. Louis, and a member of the firm of 
J. J. Roe & Co., and also an active member of the Virginia Vigilantes, 
and John J. Healy of Northern Montana and later of Alaska were asso- 
ciated in this enterprise. The other, the Kalida Gold and Silver Mining 
Company, was granted the usual mining rights and among the other in- 
corporators are to be noted the names of Matthew Carroll, George Steell 
and Gad E. Upson, the successful candidate in 1865 against Colonel Mc- 
Lean for delegate to congress. 

James Gourley of Gallatin County and a pioneer of 1862, and asso- 
ciates, were given a charter as the Prickly Pear Gold and Silver Mining 
Company, with a capitalization limited to $1,000,000. T. G. Merrill, later 


of Jefferson County, was one of the incorporators of this company. Both 
Messrs. Gourley and Merrill were members of the first republican terri- 
torial convention the summer before. 

Fred Root of Grant, Montana, is the surviving incorporator of two 
companies, one of the East Ophir Town Company, with townsite privi- 
leges at the mouth of the Maria's River. Many familiar names were 
associated with him in this enterprise as Ed. House, Alf Nichols, Buzz 
Cavin, Caleb Irvine, John A. Creighton, Jesse Armitage, W. W. De Lacy, 
A. J. Oliver, Robert Hereford and others. 

The other company in which Mr. Root was interested was the Mon- 
tana Quicksilver Company, and associated with him was John Potter, the 
first postmaster at Helena. 


Another company in which Mr. Gourley was an incorporator was 
one changing the name of Montana City and incorporating the town of 


Prickly Pear. The town was situated eight miles southeast of Helena 
and was a lively mining camp in 1862 as the result of rich gold discoveries 
which paid for several years. Many of the early maps in the geographies 
of the time gave Montana City without indicating the present capital 
of Montana, Last Chance Gulch being discovered two years later. The 
Great Northern Railroad on the line from Helena to Butte runs through 
the main street of the "city," but the traveler would never know that it 
was once a lively mining camp, the only building standing today being an 
apparently abandoned section house formerly used by the railroad com- 
pany. A close observation would disclose signs of extensive mining 
operations and perhaps indications of former habitations. 

In the summer of 1862 King & Gilette, freighting a stock of goods 
from Fort Benton which had been shipped up the river and consigned to 
Bannack, offered some for sale from their wagons, and before they knew 
it had closed out their stock. 

These are a few of the hundred companies organized by the First 
(Bannack) Legislative Assembly of Montana Territory during the session 
that winter, linked to the present by surviving incorporators. 


The variety and nature of the legislation enacted at the first session 
are illuminating illustrations of the trend of public thought and in- 
dividual endeavor; they illustrate what the people of territorial Montana 
were thinking about and doing. In the meantime, the judicial ma- 
chinery was generally getting into motion. On June 30, 1864, President 
Lincoln had commissioned Hezekiah L. Hosmer as chief justice of the new 
territory of Montana. Like Governor Edgerton, he was a New Yorker 
who moved to Ohio and was educated and trained to the law in that state. 
In the Buck Eye State, he also indulged in newspaper work and author- 
ship. He was either a whig or republican. In 1861, he went to Washing- 
ton hoping to secure the position of librarian to Congress. Although 
unsuccessful in that mission, he became secretary of the House Committee 
on Territories, of which Hon. James M. Ashley, then member from the 
Toledo District, was chairman. In that capacity, on February n, 1863, 
Mr. Ashley (afterward governor of Montana) reported the bill for the 
organization of Montana as a territory. He had already proposed a bill 
for the creation of what was eventually called Idaho, under the name 
of Montana, and, although disappointed in his first effort at this christen- 
ing, had the satisfaction of seeing his favorite name applied to the ter- 
ritory of which he became governor. 


As stated, at the organization of the territory of Montana, President 
Lincoln appointed Mr. Hosmer its chief justice, and the judge reached 
Virginia City, after the vigilantes and the miners' courts had partially 
pacified the country, in October, 1864. From a sketch of Judge Hosmer, 
approved by his son, J. H. Hosmer, and published among the contribu- 


tions of the State Historical Society (Vol. Ill), is taken the follow- 
ing narrative, descriptive of political, legal and judicial conditions then 
existing: The territory, then three months old, had no law but the 
Organic Act of Congress creating it. Such United States laws as were 
general in their operation and remembered by those who had read them, 
for the books were not there, and the precedents of the common and civil 
law likewise confided to the repositories of retentive memories, except 
in a few noted instances, where the expectant practitioner had brought 
a few text books with him, were the only guides. But it didn't take a 
set of reports to make a library in those days, and a lawyer didn't look 
for a case to hit the facts so much as he sought something to sustain 
the reason and spirit of his contention. 

No legislature had met and the Organic Act, hardly more than a right 
to exist, made no provisions for the rule of procedure when courts should 
be organized. There was no civil or criminal code, nor any practice act 
or statute that authoritatively applied to the territory, which was then in 
the Territory. 

Municipal buildings had not been erected. But after canvassing the 
matter for a time it was determined to open court in the dining room 
of the Planters House, then at the corner of Idaho and Jackson streets 
in Virginia City, which Mr. Shoot, the proprietor, proffered for the occa- 
sion. And it was discovered immediately that while it might answer as 
a courtroom, it seriously inconvenienced the guests of the hotel, as their 
dinner and supper depended upon the adjournment of the court. 

The time for the opening of the District Court of the First Judicial 
District, having both federal and territorial nisi prius jurisdiction, arrived, 
it being the first Monday of December, 1864. The Planters House 
dining room was early cleared of breakfast dishes, a bench was improvised 
by putting a number of tables close together and then placing another 
table on -top of them, behind which the judge sat. Another table was 
arranged for Mr. A. M. Forbet, the clerk, another was for the lawyers, 
while the usual dining room chair of the day, a stool made of four pieces 
of wood inserted in a piece of board was placed around for lawyers and 

The lawyers who assembled on that first day of meeting were mostly 
young men, and came from all parts of the United States. Many have 
since become prominent in the history of the Territory. There were E. B. 
Neally, United States district attorney ; W. F. Sanders, Jerry Cook, Alex 
Davis, Tom Thbroughman, James G. Spratt, Sam Word, W. M. Stafford, 
R. B. Parrott, L. W. Boarton, W. Y. Pemberton, W. L. McMath, W. Y. 
Lovell, W. J. McCqrmick, Harry Burns, William Chumasero (district 
attorney), J. C. Turk, O. F. Strickland, Theo. Muffley, R. W. Robertson, 
Alex E. Mayhew and Charles Baggs. 

Upon the opening of the court a grand jury was impaneled, to 
which Judge Hosmer gave a charge prepared upon the then existing 
state of society. He, among other matters, reviewed the history of the 
two preceding years, the establishment of order by the aid of the vigilance 
committee, approved its action as a necessity, but counseled as the courts 

Vol. 119 


were established that summary proceedings should give way to the law. 
The charge was met with approval, by the bar, and by requests it was 

Upon the first adjournment for the day, a citizen who had listened 
to the charge remarked to the judge: "We are glad the Government has 
sent you here. We have some civil matters to attend to, but you had better 
let us take charge of the criminal affairs." 

Immediately Judge Hosmer was met with questions, novel, important, 
without precedent and debated with great skill and ability on both 

The first important question submitted was what rule should govern 
in regard to litigated rights and practice? As a sort of successor to the 
Miners' Court, T. C. Jones had been appointed by the governor as a 
Probate Judge. In that court a number of cases were commenced which 
were transferred to the District Court when that court was organized 
by Judge Hosmer. Discussion was requested by the judge. For several 
evenings the dining room of the Planters House heard echoes from the 
time of the Decemviri down to and including the last statutes of the 
Territory of Idaho. While the civil law was the Louisiana rule, yet under 
it there were no vested rights in the new territory, and the later states 
and territories carved out of the original territory, to which the Mon- 
tana Territory had from time to time belonged, had adopted the common 
law. The common law, therefore, as the abstract rule, was approved 
and consented to. 

The question of practice then became important. Montana, as then 
inhabited, had been a part of Idaho. The Idaho Legislature had the 
preceding winter passed statutes including a practice act. Only one copy 
had reached Montana. It was decided that as Montana had been a part 
of Idaho when the statute was passed, and as no provision had been made 
by the government, and that it was necessary before legislation could be had 
to have a course of practice adopted for a guide, that the Idaho statutes 
so far as they could be made applicable to Montana, should be the law 
until legislature met and remedied the difficulty. The rule then approved 
for the Territorial District Court was the Idaho statute so far as it could 
be made applicable, and where it was deficient, the common law. 

This seemed to work well until in the course of time prior appropria- 
tion of water in connection with placer mining claims, and prior right 
of discovery of quartz lodes occasioned an adoption of the California rule, 
and the California reports later became the leading authority in the 

Another question presented about this time was as to the construc- 
tion of contracts. United States Treasury Notes were at the time accepted 
in payment at fifty cents on the dollar in gold dust at least ; the merchant 
after blowing out black sand and manipulating the scale weights as he 
saw fit, usually got more. The question presented was whether the 
creditor could demand payment in gold dust, or if payment was made 
in greenbacks, should they be accepted at a figure different from the rated 
value in the Virginia trade their value in the markets of the world. 


The decision held that in the absence of a specific contract, treasury notes 
were a legal tender, but if specific, payment should be made in gold 

Another difficulty early presented, and which if not liberally construed 
had a tendency to destroy the validity of every written contract in the 
territory, was as to the necessity of internal revenue stamps upon written 
contracts. Until the organization of the territory and the arrival of the 
collector of internal revenue, there were no stamps in the territory. Dur- 
ing all the time contracts involving large amounts of money had been 
made, which some of the parties now sought to avoid as a violation of the 
United States laws. Judge Hosmer held that as it had been impossible 
to procure stamps and it was not the policy of the law to invalidate con- 
tracts made in good faith, that such a liberal construction should be 
given to the law as to authorize the stamping of the contracts when the 
stamps were obtainable, with like effect as if stamped when made. 

Questions of like character attributable to the unsettled condition of 
the country and undefined condition of the laws were frequently arising 
during the period prior to the going into effect of the laws enacted at 
Bannack during the winter of 1864-65. 

. The Planters House dining room was not long utilized as a courtroom. 
A change was made to the Union League Room. The floor was covered 
with sawdust and made a very fair courtroom. But while the building 
fronted on Wallace Street, there was no entrance from the street, and 
in order to get to the courtroom it was necessary to go along a path on 
a side hill at the back of the building for 200 feet or more, then ascend 
a stairway which went up on the outside at the back of the house. Other 
places were from time to time selected as courtrooms. During the four 
years of Judge Hosmer's term of office nearly a dozen different places 
were so used. 

One of the first cases to be tried was old John Thorburn, for killing 
D. D. Chamberlain at Central City. A great deal of interest was taken in 
the case, which resulted in an acquittal. William Chumasero appeared 
as district attorney, and Messrs. Sanders and Thoroughman appeared for 
the defense. It was on the trial of this case that a party who had been 
prominent as a vigilante was, on being called as a juror, asked if he had 
conscientious opinions against the death penalty, and replied: "In all 
cases where it is not done by a vigilance committee." And that this was 
the sentiment of many is shown by the fact during the early years of 
the territory there was no conviction of a capital offense in the courts, 
but malefactors were occasionally found hanging in between three-sticks 
or on a dry tree with the word "Vigilantes" pinned on their backs. When 
Sam Perry, in 1870, was convicted of murder, with sentence at five years 
in prison, he was hardly more than under sentence before he dug under the 
logs of the jail and was never caught afterwards. 

The court begun in December, 1864, was continuously in session for 
over six months. During that time cases involving many new and novel 
points were tried. With few exceptions the litigation was such as would 
challenge close and technical study. Judge Hosmer received expressions 


of the highest commendation from the bar on the completion of the first 

It was while this term was in progress that the news of the assassina- 
tion of President Lincoln reached Virginia City, ten days after it occurred. 
The Olinghouse stone building was being erected at the time, and the pile 
of rocks somewhere near twenty feet high was used for speaking pur- 
poses, and here those who had recently borne arms for the South with 
those who had done like service for the North uttered their eulogies for 
the martyred President. 


These movements of the Assembly, Bench and Bar, tending to estab- 
lish law and order in the territory of Montana, found a salutary com- 
plement, in the campaign waged by the War Department, through Gen. 
Alfred Sully* against the dreaded Sioux of the Eastern country. They 
were the great deterrent to settlement in Central and Eastern Montana. 
The large, well equipped and conducted expedition led by General Sully 
and sent against the hostile Sioux Indians in July and August, 1864, 
resulted in a most effective campaign against the savage enemies, who 
were supposed to be located in the Big Horn and Yellowstone valleys of 
Eastern Montana. As it happened they were found in force in the Bad 
Lands Region of the Little Missouri, which were explored during the 
several days of fierce fighting experienced by the United States troops. 
These comprised 4,000 cavalry, 800 mounted infantry, twelve pieces of 
artillery, 300 Government teams and 300 beef steers, with fifteen steam- 
boats to carry the supplies of the expedition along the courses of the 
Missouri and Yellowstone. The troops were mostly drawn from Iowa and 
Minnesota, although there was one regiment of Wisconsin infantry. The 
general route of the expedition was from Fort Ridgely, Minnesota, west- 
ward, to the Bad Lands of the Missouri. 

In the Eastern border of that desolate region, at the head of Big 
Knife River, in July, a large Sioux Village was attacked at a place 
called Kill-the-Deer-Butte, the resulting engagement being known in 
Indian warfare as the Battle of Killdeer Mountain. Col. M. T. Thomas, 
of the Second Minnesota Brigade, who was in active command of the 
column, as General Sully was ill during much of the march, describes the 
battle : "They had congregated this great force to clear out the white sol- 
diers and appeared to believe that they could do it. We were about three 
miles from the camp when they were first discovered by the scouts. There 
was no excitement apparent on either side, and both deliberately pre- 
pared for battle with equal confidence. The line was formed by dismount- 
ing three men out of four, leaving the fourth man in charge of the horses 
who followed the line in close columns. The dismounted men were 
formed in line as skirmishers, about four paces apart, with a reserve 
cavalry to cover the flanks, and the artillery within supporting distance 

* Served as superintendent of Indian affairs for Montana, in 1869-70, the gov- 
ernors of the territory having held that position up to the time of his incumbency. 


of the line of battle. It was a formidable looking force and when the 
'Forward' was sounded there was a determined look on the faces of the 
men which indicated that they now had a chance to get satisfaction from 
the redskins. 


"The Indians gathered on their horses, stripped for battle, and be- 
gan to leisurely ride out towards us; first a few fine looking fellows 
rode up nearly within gun-shot to reconnoiter, and then little bands would 
lea've the camp and advance, but without any demonstration other than 
waving their arms in the air or cantering across the plain. At last they 
came within our reach, and a few rifle shots precipitated the conflict, but 
not until we had passed half the distance to their camp. At the first 
shot everything was changed. The bands concentrated and, uttering 
their war cries, they dashed toward our lines. Riding at full speed, they 
would fire their guns and wheel and disappear to load, and come again, 
in front and flanks and rear. It was a continuous succession of charges 
that were always repelled by the steady volleys of our men. We kept 
steadily advancing, their camp our objective point. Their confidence 
was such that they did not make an effort to save it until we were 
within half a mile; then, for the first time, we set the artillery to work 
and threw shells from eight guns with terrifying effect. 

"It was a magnificent sight 1,600 lodges filled with women and chil- 
dren, dogs, horses and all the paraphernalia of their homes, and they 
attempting to save them, with the shells bursting about them, carrying 
destruction in their path. The lodges came down, but too late. The 
warriors shot their guns, and arrows hissed through the air, but onward 
went the blue-coated line and the camp was taken. The fighting was kept 
up in a desultory way until the sun went down, but the Indians were 
whipped and, what was worse, had lost their camp and all supplies, and 
were fleeing, almost naked, into the mountains. 

"The white soldiers camped upon the ground. General Sully ordered 
Major Camp to follow the Indians through the deep-wooded ravines and 
drive them off the high hills beyond the camp, which they accomplished, 
with some loss to the Indians. From these hills a fine view of the 
Indians and their families could be had as they swarmed away through 
the ravines of the Bad Lands, mostly beyond reach. * * * 

"Sully had 2,200 men (in the engagement) and he estimated the num- 
ber of Indians at from 5,000 to 6,000, and that their loss was 100 to 150 
killed. Half the next day was spent in destroying the camp and killing 
the dogs that were left behind. The one supremely sad thing about a 
battle is burying the dead, and in this case, although there were but few, 
it was sad indeed. In the middle of the night the graves were prepared, 
and, without a light or the sound of a drum or bugle, their bodies were 
placed in the earth and carefully covered up, levelling the surface so 
that the grave would not be noticed, and when the command marched over 
them they would be hidden from the sight of the Indians, who would 
mutilate and destroy them. * * * 



"In the afternoon of the 5th of August, we were marching leisurely 
along, the Knife Mountains just visible in the north and the Black 
Hills equally distant in the southward. In front there was no indication 
of anything but an almost level plain, but suddenly the head of the column 
halted and, riding to the front, I found the general and the advance 
guard gazing down at the Bad Lands. As I halted beside the general he 
said, 'This is hell with the fires put out.' The description was brief, 
but to the point. Dante must have received his inspiration from such a 
scene. For forty miles to the west, and as far as the eye could see to 
the north and south, the body of the earth was rent and torn, leaving 
gorges, buttes and yawning chasms, and everything showing the color of