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♦ Vol. V. 

January-March 1922 

No. 1 


Editorial Notes 1 

Memoirs of Peter Jansen 2 

Letter from George Bird Grinnell ... 3 

Mormons on the Niobrara — Ed A. Fry . . 4-6 

The First Brick in Lincoln — A. Roberts . . 6-9 

A Letter From General Henry A. Atkinson on 

the Nebraska Region .... 9-11 

Early Black Hills Expeditions .... 12 

Early Recollections of Nebraska Granges — 

T. N. Bobbitt 13-14 

Nebraska in 1852 14-15 

Beginnings of Minden 16 




Entered as second class matter February 4, 1918, at the Post Office, 
Lincoln, Nebraska, under Act Augrust 24, 1912, 

Allen County PuDiic Ubfa» 
900 Webster Straet 
PO Box 2270 
Fort Wiyne, IN 4Wl4m 

Founded September 25, 1878 

The Nebraska State Historical Society was founded Sep- 
tember 25, 1878, at a public meeting held in the Commercial 
Hotel at Lincoln. About thirty well known citizens of the 
State were present. Robert W. Furnas was chosen president 
and Professor Samuel Aughey, secretary. Previous to this date, 
on August 26, 1867, the State Historical Society and Library 
Association was incoiporated in order to receive from the State 
the gift of the block of ground, now known as Haymarket 
Square. This original Historical Association held no meet- 
ings. It was superseded by the present State Historical 

Present Governing Board 

Executive Board — Officers and Elected Members 

President, Robert Harvey, Lincoln. 

1st V-President, Hamilton B, Lowry, Lincoln 

2nd V-President, Nathan P. Dodge Jr., Omaha 

Secretary, Addison E. Sheldon, Lincoln 

Treasurer, Philip L. Hall, Lincoln 

Rev. Macheal A. Shine, Plattsmouth 

Don L. Love, Lincoln 

Samuel C. Bassett, Gibbon 

John F. Cordeal, McCook 

Novia Z. Snell, Lincoln 

William E. Hardy, Lincoln 

Ex OflFicio Members 

Samuel R. McKelvie, Governor of Nebraska 

Samuel Avery, Chancellor of University of Nebraska 

George C. Snow, Chadron, President of Nebraska Press Association 

Howard W. Caldwell, Professor of American History, University of 

Andrew M. Morrissey, Chief Justice of Supreme Court of Nebraska 
Clarence A. Davis, Attorney General cf Nebraska 


AND RECORD OF , ,/\n^^\yimmk i^ioneer dj^^s 



Published Quarterly by the Nebraska State Historical Soceity 

Addison E. Sheldon, Editor 

Subscription, $2.00 per year 

All sustaining members of the Nebraska State Historical Society receive 
Nebra,ska History and other publications without further payment. 

Vol. V. January-March 1922 No. 1 

Miss Ruth A. Gallaher writes a ,good account of the Mormon hand- 
cart expeditions in 1856, some of which outfitted at Iowa City, in the Pa- 
limpsest, published by the State Historical Society of Iowa. One of these 
expeditions left Florence, Nebraska, August 18 of that year and passed 
beyond Fort Laramie in September. It was overtaken by snow storms 
and many of its number perished from cold and hunger before the main 
body reached Salt Lake City in November. Most of the members were 
immigrants from Europe. Men, women, and children pushed handcarts 
and walked from the Missouri river to Salt Lake. Miss Galleher says 
that the deaths in 1856 handcart columns led to acrimonious corres- 
pondence between Mormon leaders and discontinuance of handcart par- 
ties. Handcart Mormon expeditions were, however, still walking to Zion 
on the Nebraska City-Fort Kearny trail in the late sixties before the 
completion of the Union Pacific to the Salt Lake. There are persons 
living in Nebraska who remember these handcart and wheelbarrow con- 

Among the interesting souvenirs of early times in Furnas c.unty is 
one received from the dau,ghter of William Sweeney, of Arapahoe. This 
read thus: 

August 25, 1874. The bearer Mr. T. G. Brown is empowered to col- 
lect from William Sweeney the sum of six dollars ($6.00) being money 
due me for use of cattle six days. John W. Gillmore. * * * p^jji 
this bill with four dollars ($4.00) Tuesday, November 24 to T. G. Brown 
at drug store. William Sweeney. 

It would appear that the service of a yoke of cattle was valued by 
the owner at one dollar a day, but he compromised at four dollars for 
six days. This receipt is wi-itten upon a narrow sheet of note paper 
bearing a map in the upper left-hand corner showing Arapahoe as a 
great railroad center with lines of road reaching out in every direction. 



Hon. Peter Jansen was bo}-n March 21, 1852, at the town 
of Berdjansk, on the shore of the sea of Azof in southeastern 
Russia. He came to Nebraska in 1874. He is still among us 
and publishes a volume of 140 pages entitled "Memoirs of Pe- 
ter Jansen." The reader wishes the book were longer. It is 
one of a number of books now being published by the pioneers 
of Nebraska, each one telling the story of the early days in a 
personal, vivid, interesting and truthful way. 

Senator Jansen's sketch of his life has far more than the 
usual interest because it tells the story of the great "Mennon- 
ite migration" which filled vast areas of Nebraska prairies in 
Jefferson, Gage, Clay, Hamilton and York counties in the de- 
cade of 1870-80. It is time, even now, to do honor and give 
credit to those people in the settlement of our State. They 
bi-ought to Nebraska a perfectly disciplined, religious, frugal, 
hard working people. Almost without a single exception they 
made a success of their settlements and of each individual 
home in them. 

How queer and clannish they appeared to the eyes of the 
original American stock. Boyhood recollections of the writer 
emphasize this. The Mennonite houses, built of sod with a 
huge brick stove nearly filling one of the rooms, burning straw 
for fuel and used as a general bedstead for the family on cold 
winter nights. The housing of live stock in a section of the 
family home. The cut of the clothes. And all that. 

The old American stock was inclined to scoff at these 
queer people from Russia, speaking German, sticking close to- 
gether and finding in the old fashioned religion of their de- 
nomination most of their culture as well as consolation. They 
certainly taught Nebraska some good lessons. First of all 
they brought Turkey red winter wheat from southeastern 
Russia. They brought that splendid hedge tree, fruit tree 
and bird shelter — the Russian mulberry. They brought stead- 
iness and devotion and showed how homes could be made upon 
the high prairies of central Nebraska. They brought also a 
deep, even if at times, irrational, belief and practice in peace 
doctrines, for they were Quakers. They had left Prussia a 
hundred years before to avoid military service. They had set- 
tled in southern Russia with solemn guaranty of exemption 
from that service. When the Czar broke the contract and be- 
gan to marshal all his subjects for the great w^ar preparation 
in Europe which followed the Franco-Prussian w^ar of 1870, 
these people left the fruitful farms they had made and came 
to Nebraska. 

Looking back upon their almost fifty years of settlement 
in this state it can be said that they have proven themselves 
one of the most valuable of many valuable elements in our 


population. It is time for those of us having the old American 
stock in our blood to say this now while some of the pioneer 
Mennonites are still among us. It will be said by all, and es- 
pecially by the future Nebraska historians in a century from 

Senator Peter Jansen has not only given the people of his 
time a book of current interest, but has made a document 
which will be valued by the historian of the future as one of 
the most important contributions to the history of pioneer Ne- 


Many thanks for the copy of Dr. Koenig's Study of Tu- 
berculosis Among the Nebraska Winnebago. The conditions 
which she pictures are shocking, but not new. In many tribes 
they have been noticed for years, though not described in de- 
tail as by Dr. Koenig. Her paper is most interesting and it 
is useful to have the matter again brought up now and in such 
form as to reach a new public. 

The Indians are wholly ignorant of sanitation, of the 
communicability of tuberculosis, and of the dangers which fol- 
low the recent changes in mode of life. But perhaps the most 
fatal thing that the Indians have had to face is the absolute 
lack of an interest. In the old times the constant search for 
food, the excitements of the war path, the moving about from 
place to place, kept them interested and busy. These occupa- 
tions have all disappeared ; and where people are in receipt of 
some small income that will just support them, and so have no 
motive whatever for exertion, they are without any active in- 
terest in their lives. 

What the outcome shall be of the difficulties the race is 
meeting, we cannot now tell ; but to view the largely prevent- 
able suffering among many tribes of Indians, is discouraging 
and painful. 

Dr. Koenig has done a useful piece of work in bringing to- 
gether her observations about this particular tribe. I am es- 
pecially glad that she has made inquiry into the use of peyote, 
and has published what she has learned. This testimony ought 
to be of some help in securing legislation by Congress against 
the transportation of this drug, the use of which I have always 
believed is enormously harmful. 

I congratulate Dr. Koenig on her paper, and the Nebras- 
ka Historical Society on its energy in publishing this. 

D. C. Young, rural route 1, Plattsmouth, writes: 

Please send a few extra copies of Nebraska History from July to 
December, 1921. I want to send some of them to a son of Robert Stafford, 
mentioned as an early settler of Rock Bluff. I am acquainted with two 
men here that took part in some of the Indian fighting of the 60's. I 
will try to get some data of them. I will send you the picture of my 
father's log house that was built in 1855, a part of which is still standing. 


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In the October-December (1921) number of the Nebraska History 
Magazine, I note the wish of Hon. George F. Smith, of Waterbury, Dix- 
on County, that a marker might be placed somewhere on tlie Old Mormon 
Trail that passes from Florence to Niobrara. As little seems to be known 
of the Mormons in this state and why they should have selected the 
mouth of the Niobrara for winter quarters on their way to their prom- 
ised land, perhaps I am in as good a position to reveal the facts as 

The first white people, in any considerable number, to stop in the 
old L'Eau qui Court (Rapid river or Niobrara) county were the Mor- 
rnons. The party comprised sixty-five families with one hundred and 
fifty wagons. It was the pioneer train to the land of promise, and it 
was at this point (or rather on the west bank of the Niobrara river op- 
posite the town of Niobrara) that they spent the winter of 1846-7. 

Until 1901 it was believed by the founders of Niobrara, because of 
the_ numerous graves found in that vicinity, that these Mormons had 
perished at the hands of the red men, and their coming and their going 
was shrouded in mysteiy. In June, 1901, Isaad and John Riddle, the 
former from Provo, Utah, the latter from Crete, Nebraska, visited Nio- 
brara for the purpose of locating these landmarks and two mill burrs that 
had been left here by them in their departture. 


It was my good fortune to have an extended interview with these 
Mormons. Isaac, at the time of the Mormon camp here in 1847, was six- 
teen, and his return gave me an opportunity to straighten out history, 
and it is hoped that Captain North will, if he has not already done so, 
locate "Pawnee Station," the first stop. 

Mr. Riddle said that in their start from Kanesville, Iowa, in July, 
1846, they made the first wagon wheel mark up the Platte Valley. 
While in camp at Pawnee Station (presumably near Columbus or Genoa), 
where soldiers were stationed, they contracted with the government to 
harvest a crop of small grain and corn which had been put in by la- 
borers, but who, becoming frightened by the Pawnees, had fled. While 
thus engaged in the close of the harvest a courier from Kanesville ar- 
rived with orders not to proceed farther, as it was feared they could not 
reach their destination before winter set in, and they should seek winter 

It was found that prairie fires had devastated the country west of 
Laramie and thereabouts. A band of Ponca Indians chanced to be vis- 
iting the Pawnees at the time, who, upon inquiry, reported that excel- 
lent winter quarters could be found at the mouth of the Niobrara river, 
and they volunteered to pilot them. Mr. Riddle said that his party had 
with them a small cajinon which much attracted their attention and he 
thought that this was one reason for their solicitation, since the Sioux 
always annoyed the Poncas. 

The Ponca had truly led them into a country of verdure — plenty of 
feed and timber and game. The young men of the party frequently ac- 
companied the Indians in their winter hunts up the Niobrara Valley, 
''going where the pine timber was quite heavy." The timber stretches 
were abundant with wild turkeys and the prairies alive with buffalo. 
''Where your town now stands," (Niobrara), said the aged patriarch, 
"there were Indian camps from the mouth of the Niobrara to Five Mile 
(Bazile) Creek." 

During the winter of 1846-7 Newell Knight, a millwright, chiseled 
from granite boulders found in the neighboring hillsides, two mill-burrs, 
with which they had intended to grind their grain by horse-power. 

Mr. Knight and sixteen others, principally women and children, suc- 
cumbed to pnevimonia. The mission of the Riddles was to locate these 
graves for Jesse Knight, the Utah capitalist, whose father's remains lie 
here, that an appropriate monument might be erected in memory of that 
winter's sojourn. The graves had become extinct, but ashes from fire- 
places in the barracks were found. 

In the spring of 1907 Jesse Knight, two daughters, and elder brother, 
the president of the Mormon University, and J. W. Townsend, of Crete, 
Nebraska, who also accompanied the Riddles in 1901, made final arrange- 
ments for the ground on which the present impressive granite shaft, 
surrounded by an iron fence, faces the public highway, telling its own 
short story thus: 

Erected 1908 


Born Sept. 13, 1800, Died Jan. 11, 1847 

A Member of the Church of Jesus Christ of 

Latter Day Saints. 

Who died during the hardships of our exodus from Nauvoo to Salt 
Lake City. "Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness 
sake, for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven." 

Matt. V ch., 10 vs. 


Others Who Died at Ponca in the Years 1846-7: 
Mr. Cava! 
Mrs. Caval 
Lucy Brunson 
Ann Boyce 
Mrs. Rufus Tack 
Mrs. Spicer Crandall 
Mrs. Newell Drake 
Mrs. Dame 
Gardurout Noble 
Benjamin F. Mayer 

In the spring of 1847 these Mormons were called back to Florence 
by Kanesville church heads, returning by the Bazile Valley and over to 
the Logan Valley. A new start was made the spring following. This 
route was selected, Mr. Riddle explained, because of the heavy rains 
and consequent impassable condition of the Platte Valley. By taking 
the old trail via Watei'bury and the head of the Bazile, they were enabled 
to head the Elkhorn that they might reach Laramie. The main business 
street of Creighton, Nebraska, is on the Old Mormon Trail. 


These burrs were in existence when the first permanent white set- 
tlers came to Niobrara and were used in a small mill on the Red Bird, 
but no trace of them could be found when the Riddles and the Knights 
were here, nor since. It was supposed that the west channel that forms 
Niobrara Island Park had been used for power, and to this day that 
channel is designated as "the Mormon canal," but this was not the case, 
as these authorities advised me when inquiry was made. 


I think the following letter fully fits the title. 

Mr. Roberts' statement that all of the bricks for the first 
university building were made in Nebraska City seems to be 
incorrect. "A Complete History" of Its (Lincoln's) Foundation 

and Growth ," by John H. Ames, printed in June 1870, 

hundred and foi*ty thousand bricks are now on hand, and the 
brick-yard is furnished with one thousand cords of wood and 
two improved brick machines capable of moulding 28,000 
bricks per day, with which brick may be made as fast as need- 
ed in the construction of the building. A sufficient amount of 
sand and lime is also on hand for the completion of the work, 
which is to be commenced on the walls during the present 

week " This statement by Mr. Ames deserves credence. 

Furthermore, under date of June 22, 1870, David Butler, gov- 
ernor ; John Gillespie, auditor ; and Thomas P. Kennard, secre- 
tary of state, as "Commissioners of Public Buildings of the 
State of Nebraska," certify the correctness of the history. 

Thomas Malloy, a stonecutter from Chicago who was em- 
ployed in the construction of the first capitol in Lincoln, in a 
short history of that entei-prise referred incidentally to the 
construction of the university building, as follows: *Tn 1868 
Mr. Robert Silvers got the contract of building the State Uni- 
versity. The first thing he did was to start a brick yard. He 


bought all the wood he could find in the country and had to 
haul it with teams as there was no railroad in the country at 
that time." 

The contract for the erection of the university building 
was dated August 18, 1869. D. J. Silver and Son were the con- 
tracting builders. The son, Robert D., was the actual builder. 
This scandalous agreement with David Butler, on the part of 
the state, was the gist of articles of the impeachment proceed- 
ings against the governor. 

Mr. James Stuart Dales, who has been secretary of the 
board of regents of the university since December 1, 1875, 
says that some bricks, made in Nebraska City, were used for 
facing the walls of the building. 

Dade City, Florida, March 23, 1922. 
Mr. Albert Watkins, 
Lincoln, Nebraska. 
Dear Sir: 

Yours of the 20th instant received. It seems odd to be 
called upon to recite, as if it were ancient history, some facts 
that seem to me very recent. It may be true that I am_ get- 
ting old but where are the scores of younger men who knew 
as well as I or better all about the building of the first or Ad- 
ministration building of the State University. I arrived in 
Lincoln, February 20th, 1870, and on the 22nd there was an 
adjournment of the state legislature and all went out to view 
the site of the penitentiary which had just been located. It 
was a fine warm day and I and two friends were lying on the 
grass southwest of the capitol when we saw a cloud of dust 
and teams coming from the south. It was the legislators and 
citizens coming back from the Penitentiary site. They were in 
open lumber wagons mostly. (There was only one two-seated 
carriage in town at the time, that of Governor Butler ) , and all 
were engaged in a wild race whipping the horses and yelling 
like Comanches. That was my introduction to official Nebras- 
ka. But I am not answering your questions. 

The brick for the University building came from Nebras- 
ka City. Part of them were on the ground when I came and 
the walls of the basement were more than half completed. The 
bricks were laid in that year 1870 and at that time no bricks 
had been made at Lincoln except one or two small kilns burn- 
ed by Luke Lavender. L. K. Holmes began burning brick in 
1879 and that fall or the next spring Moore & Krone began 
burning brick. They had the contract for the High School 
building and burned their own brick. That was in 1872. I do 
not know who hauled the brick for the University or whether 
Nebraska City helped pay for hauling, but presume not. John 
M. Burks, if still alive, should know something about the mat- 


ter but Nebraska City was not enthusiastically friendly to 
Lincoln in 1870. 

It so happened that I had just made a call upon Mr. Silver 
the day his men fell through and two were killed. They were 
putting on the ceiling joists over the chapel and the roof 
trusses were not completed, only the stringers, or tie beams, 
were laid across and held up by shores of 2 x 4 pieces spiked 
together — 30 feet long — and these swayed fearfully as the 
men walked carrying the joists. I called Mr. Silver's atten- 
tion to this saying it was certainly dangerous but he only said, 
"Waite is running that and he knows his business." JBefore 
i-eaching home I heard the crash and looking back saw the dust 
rising and knew what had happened. 

It was during the term of Gov. James that the founda- 
tion of the University building was repaired. Prof. Aughey 
first called my attention to the matter and after looking it 
over I called upon the governor and at my request he went 
with me to look it over. The walls of the chapel wing were 
in the worst condition and we entered this part through a 
window where the sash had been removed and a plank 
from the sill to ground inside furnished easy access. The 
walls were built with rather thin ashlar courses 17 feet high 
on the outside, backed with very poor rubble work inside, and 
not being properly bonded they were parting company. I 
picked up a barrel hoop and passed it through the center of 
a pier from one window to another, and I will never forget 
how frightened the governor was. Shouting Hold! Hold! 'till 
I get out he jumped through that window like a rabbit. At 
call of the governor the regents met and let a contract to John 
McFarland of Nebraska City to put new walls under the chap- 
el wing. Mac was a pretty fine old man, for one who had 
served a term in the pen. for murder, but he liked good whis- 
key and the work was left mostly in my care especially after 
an occurrence that I wish to relate because I have had men 
declare it could not be true. McFarland began work on the 
N. W. corner pier and had completed that and the one next to 
it and was getting ready to take out the next (on the west 
side) when it was time to quit work on Saturday afternoon, 
That evening it rained hard. Prof. Aughey was woiking in 
the laboratory when he heard a noise and on examination 
found that the pier next to the new work had fallen complete- 
ly out. He hastened to the residence of Chancellor Benton on 
H street and together they came to my home on P street and 
we all hurried to the building. On the way, however, I called 
at the St. Charles hotel where Mac and his men all boarded 
and got several of the men to go with me. We had only one 
lantern, and it was still raining. The brick pier three stories 
in height was still hanging, being supported by the brick that 


extended across between the windows, but it was slowly giv- 
ing way, as we could tell by the chunks of plaster that kept 
falling inside, some heavy enough to crush the chapel seats 
where they fell. There was no way to save the pier but by 
getting a "needle" under it supported by heavy blocking both 
inside and outside. To send men inside seemed too great a 
risk and yet if the pier should fall it would probably bring 
down the whole wing if it did not wreck the building for it 
was a wonder to all who saw the condition of the walls that 
they stood at all. I asked the Chancellor what to do, but he 
would not say — nor would Aughey, but as the pier had stood 
thus for an hour I took a chance. Calling for volunteers I 
held the light and stood by to give orders, and there was 
where old King Alcohol helped me. The men sprang to the 
work at the first word and exactly followed my orders. In a 
few minutes the needle was placed and jackscrews tightened. 
The pier was safe. What the result might have been had the 
pier fallen and dragged down as it must the whole chapel wing, 
at a time when Omaha was raising hades to get the Univer- 
sity can only be guessed. But I have always thought if the 
men had not been well fired with corn whiskey, they would 
not have risked going inside that dark basement with the 
bricks crushing and plaster crashing down above them. 
Yours very truly, 



(General Henry Atkinson defeated the Indians at the bat- 
tle of Bad Axe, Wis., in 1832. Fort Atkinson, Nebraska, is nam- 
ed for him. He was born in North Carolina, in 1782, became 
Brigadier General in 1821, and died in 1842. Colonel W. S. 
Hamilton, U. S. A., Lieut. Col. Rifles, resigned in 1817. The let- 
ter is characteristic of the "Old Army" and shows the then 
geographical distribution of Indian tribes, some now extinct.) 

Louisville, Ky., Dec. 21, 1825. 
My Dear Colonel : 

I had the pleasure a short time since, to receive your 
friendly letter of the 2nd, Sept., written at the Bay of St. 

I will not attempt to describe the pleasure and the grat- 
itude I feel impressed with by your kind remembrances and 
more kindly sentiments. 

Let it suffice for me to say that I reciprocate with them 
fully — yes as fully and as freely as you could wish in the heart 
of your old friend and Capt. I have, as you mention, for sev- 
eral years been called from point to point in discharge of var- 
ious duties assigned me on the frontier, at St. Louis and at 


this place, rendering my service more active than has fallen 
to the lot of almost any other officer, and of course more 
agreeable, and I have the consolation to believe that I enjoy 
the confidence of government and the esteem and respect of 
the officers under me — and what is not least, your appro- 
bation — these things I would say only to a friend because they 
would otherwise savor of egotism, which in me God forbid, but 
they are reflections that gratify me when I think upon them, 
and when I converse with friends like you. 

The duties I performed last Summer were both pleasing 
to me and of importance. In May, 1825,(1) Congress authori- 
zed the President to appoint commissioners to hold treaties of 
Trade and friendship with the Indian Tribes "beyond the 
Mississippi" and to employ a Military escort to accompany 
them. $10,000 was appropriated to defray the expenses of 
transportation, and $10,000. for expenses incident to holding 
treaties with and for presents to the Indians. Major O'Fallon 
and myself were appointed to fill the commission, and I was 
directed to select the troops to compose the escort and to de- 
cide upon its strength. The act passed too late in 1825(1) to 
afford time to perform the duties, in that season. I, however, 
provided transportation and provisions and concentrated the 
escort, consisting of 500 men, at Council Bluffs that fall, and 
early in May, of the present year, moved with this force from 
Council Bluffs and proceeded up the Missouri river to a point 
120 miles above the mouth of Yellow Stone River. On our 
ascent of the river we held councils and made treaties with 
twelve Tribes and on our return to the Bluffs, with five other 

Those above the Bluffs were the: 

Poncans, 180 warriors ; Yanktons, 600 warriors ; Yanton- 
ais, 800 warriors ; Tetons, 600 warriors ; Siones, 800 warriors ; 
Ogallalas, 300 warriors ; Hunkpapas, 300 warriors ; Cheyennes, 
600 warriors ; Aricaras, 500 warriors ; Mandans, 250 warriors ; 
Minatarees 250 warriors; and Crows, 800 warriors. 

South of the Bluffs : 

Otoes, 300 warriors; Grand Pawnees, 1,100 warriors; 
Pawnee Loups, 700 warriors ; Pawnee Republics, 300 warriors ; 
and Mahas, 500 warriors. 

These tribes comprise all the Indians from Council Bluffs 
up to the Rocky Mountains that reside on the Missouri or ever 
visit it, except the Blackf eet Indians and the Assiniboins ; the 
first of these reside at the foot of the Mountains on the head 
waters of the Missouri, too distant for us to have reached 
them. We could easily have reached the falls of the Missouri, 
but then they would have yet been 700 miles above us. The 
Assiniboins reside on the head waters of the Milk river, a 
branch of the Missouri. The Blackfeet, who are broken into 


many tribes, are estimated at 5,000 warriors, and the Assini- 
boins at 2,000. 

We performed our trip with great faciUty and ease, ow- 
ing partly to the manner our transports were propelled, that 
is by wheels, and it is remarkable that a body of more than 
550 men should have encountered the dangerous navigation 
of the Missouri, ordinary casualties, etc., with out losing on 
the whole voyage a single soul, or meeting with any accident 
to our transports. 

On my return to St. Louis on the 19th, Oct., after a de- 
tention of two weeks there, I proceeded to this place with a 
view of prosecuting my journey to Washington City. I had 
felt a great desire for some time to visit the place and then 
spend a few months among my friends in North Carolina, but 
on my arrival I was detained in command of this dept., and 
General Scott departed for N. Y., and here I must remain, I 
suppose, till relieved by General Gaines, who is expected out 
in a month or less; and then, for crossing the mountains. I 
don't know what I can say that would interest you about our 
army affairs. 

Bissell has gone to Washington with a full hope of being 
brought to fill the yet vacant Colonelcy in one of the Artillery 
Regiments. It is thought, however, he will fail. General 
Scott and Gaines, are quarreling about their rank, and some 
serious notes have passed between them. How they will set- 
tle the dispute, I am unable to say, as to their rank, if there 
should be a doubt, a board of officers, should be convened to 
settle it. Clinch, (2) our mutual friend, is and always will do 
well. He has a well-poised mind and a good judgment. I am 

afi'aid the habits of C will ruin him, poor fellow I mourn 

over his unhappy propensities. Morgan is doing well, his hab- 
its are good and he has a fine intellect and a noble soul. I feel 
a determination to avail myself of those gifts Heaven has 
provided for us. I am strengthened with a hope of success 

from the circumstances of enjoying the best of constitutions. 

Let us, as you propose, write quarterly to each other, 
without awaiting answers. I beg of you to present me kindly 
to Mrs. Hamilton, and speak of me to your little boys. 
Yours aff'y and sincerely, 


(1) Obviously an error for 1824. 

(2) This was probably Gen. Duncan S. Clinch, for whom 
Fort Clinch, Fla., was named. His daughter (d. 1905), mar- 
ried Major Robert Anderson, of Fort Sumter fame. 

Chris Tatge, died at Norfolk Februai-y 4, 1922, aged ninety-one years, 
11 months. He was bom in Germany and settled in Cedar County in 
1887. He was an enthusiastic horticulturist, the originator of the Tatge 
plum and the Randolph plum, varieties approved by experts in that field. 



Old-timers in the west ai-e the only persons who can now 
appreciate the impenetrable mystery which surrounded the 
name "Black Hills of South Dakota" fifty years agro. The gos- 
sip of early trappers and plainsmen ascribe to that region 
marvels which made it a rival of Yellowstone Park. Old tales 
of Father De Smet relating how gold nuggets had been brought 
by Indians from that wonderful mountain area rising from the 
plains and badlands were current. The determination of the 
Sioux and Chej-'enne tribes to keep white people from explor- 
ing there intensified the mystery. 

The earliest organized attempts to reach the Black Hills 
in order to explore for gold started from Sioux City. 

Charles Collins, editor of the Sioux City Times, and John 
Gordon were two of the earliest promoters of this expedi- 
tion. In 1868 the United States by solemn treaty at Fort Lar- 
amie with the Sioux Indians agreed to keep white men out of 
the region. About 1872 agitation to open the region began at 
Sioux City and continued. There were great profits to any 
city in outfitting expeditions of gold hunters. The business 
men of Sioux City were the first to start the movement for 
invasion of the Black Hills. Early expeditions started from 
Sioux City and followed the general course of the Niobrara 
river. One of these expeditions, known as the Gordon expe- 
dition, was halted near Boiling Springs, in Cherry County, May 
13, 1875. Its outfit was burned and its members taken as 
military prisoners to Fort Randall. 

The interesting history of Nebraska, as well as Iowa, of 
this early Black Hills gold rush, is related by Dr. Erik M. 
Eriksson in the Iowa Journal of History and Politics for July, 
1922. The first expedition from Sioux City assembled three 
miles west of the Missouri river near Covington, Nebraska, 
October 16, 1874. Their wagon tops were inscribed ''O'Neil's 
Colonies" in order to give out the impression that their desti- 
nation was the Elkhorn valley. This expedition fooled the mili- 
tary, reached the Black Hills December 28, 1874, built a stock- 
ade and made the first white settlement in the Black Hills. 
Next April a detachment of United States soMers surrounded 
them and took them as prisoners to Fort Laramie, Wyoming. 

The best route to the Black Hills was from Sidney, cross- 
ing the North Platte about three miles above Bridgeport and 
passing by the Red Cloud agency near the present city of 
Crawford. The history of the Black Hills gold rush is so in- 
terwoven with that of the Nebraska region that no accurate 
account of it can be written which does not include the Ne- 
braska movement. Professor Eriksson has rendered valuable 
service in compiling from newspapers and other sources a 
reliable account of that part of the Black Hills movement. 



By T. N. Bobbitt 

I remember the early state and local Grange well. It was 
born of a necessity. 

The agricultural interests of the nation were depressed. 
It was an effort to better conditions — which it did. 

It was a secret organization. Its founders were of the 
National Department of Agriculture at Washington. 

The Nebraska State Grange was organized at Grand Is- 
land in the summer of 1873. W, B, Porter, master; Wm. Mc- 
Caig, secretary, both of Cass County ; Mr. McThurson of Saun- 
ders County as treasurer (as I remember) . 

In the fall of 1873 the Eagle Grange, Cass County, was 
organized. T. N. Bobbitt was master and Ed Post secretary. 

The purposes were social, educational and financial. Two 
of the offices of each Grange were filled by women of the 
Grange and the female patrons were usually present at all 
meetings and many were th«e times we had a splendid dinner 
and a fine social time. 

In April, 1874, as master of our Grange, I attended the 
first regular Grange meeting at Seward Nebraska. I 
think there were at least 75 delegates present, including sev- 
eral ladies. We had a profitable session of about three days. 

Seward did not have hotel accommodations for all and 
many of us had rooms at private homes. Many long time 
friendships were made at these meetings and I later attended 
a state meeting at Lincoln — there were many there. Gen. 
Van Wyck was there from Otoe county. There were dissen- 
sions there — I will not say more as it was inside the grange. 

Our grange adopted a system of wholesale buying, as did 
other granges by taking money belonging to the grange, buy- 
ing in quantities the things most needed for cash. The mas- 
ter, or some one appointed to purchase and distribute these 
articles, returned the money to the grange treasurer, thus get- 
ting wholesale rates. Purchases were largely made of Lin- 
coln wholesale houses. 

Subsequently I attended a county meeting at South Bend. 
The Granges near there were building a little elevator, holding 
about a carload of grain, using scoops to move the grain. This 
was the first grange elevator on the Burlington. Later a larg- 
er and better one was built at Greenwood. I was a stockholder. 
Later the enterprise failed and it cost me twelve times as 
much to get out as it did to get in. 

It has been said that politics killed the grange, which is 
largely true, but there were other reasons. The grangers un- 
dertook more things than they could carry through. Our 
Greenwood elevator failed. At Plattsmouth, the granges be- 


gan manufacturing- cultivators and failed. At Rock Bluffs 
they shipped grain by steamboats on the Missouri River, but 
lacked vv^arehouses and thereby suffered loss. The grange 
movement was needed and accomplished much good. It lacked 
sufficient capital and in some cases men of ability and integ- 
rity to carry it through. 

Our state grange did much good during the winter of 
1874-5, distributing supplies to needy grangers through Ne- 
braska (after the grasshopper raid, July 26, 1874). W. B. 
Porter as state master was appointed on the state relief com- 
mittee to receive from the granges over the United States the 
money and other supplies sent in and distribute the same. 
There are many granges yet in existence and still doing good 
in the world. 


Many of the most interesting glimpses of early Nebraska 
are found in the diaries and letters of early emigrants cross- 
ing the plains. In recent years there has been a flood of print- 
ed literature from these early lay sources. In the Washington 
Historical Society Quarterly, July, 1922, is an account of cross- 
ing the plains from Prmceton, Illinois, to Salem, Oregon, in 
1852, by Clarence B. Bagley. The party left Princeton April 
20, and reached Salem September 17. 

Some of the statements in this story are new to the editor. 
Among them are theso : 

(1) That the hills across the river from Kanesville, 
(present site of Omaha) in 1852, were called Council Bluffs. 

(2) That a band of Pawnee operated a floating pontoon 
made of rushes across the Elkhorn in 1852. 

The interesting query, why a wagon jolts in driving across 
the sandy bed of a swift river, is this probably due to the cur- 
rent digging out the sand in the bed as the wagon travels? 

The old controversy whether the Oregon Trail was on the 
north side of the Platte or the south, or on both, may be sug- 
gested by the account of large wagon trains going west on 
both sides in 1852. The undeniable truth about this is that the 
first trail across the continent started from Independence, 
Missouri, and kept on the south side of the Platte all the way 
to Fort Laramie. This trail was traveled by increasing num- 
bers every year from 1882 on. It received the name of the 
Oregon Trail before there was any traveled road up the north 
side of the Platte. The north side road began with the Mor- 
mon migration of 1846-47. It started from Florence and kept 
on the north side of the Platte river all the way to Fort Lara- 
mie. After the discovery of gold in California, the north side 
trail was extensively traveled by people from the northern 


states who did not wish to go so far out of their way as re- 
quired in order to start on the old Oregon Trail. This north 
side road was sometiraes called the California Trail. It was 
not generally called the Oregon Trail at any time, since that 
name had already been given to the road on the south of the 
Platte. The following extracts are taken from the Bagley 
diary : 

Our route lay through Oskaloosa and Des Moines in Iowa, and we 
reached the Missouri river on May 22, 1852, at or just below the Old 
Mo)mon town of Kanesville. On the opposite banks of the river were 
hills then termed Council Bluffs, I believe from the fact that it had of- 
ten happened that treaties and '^councils" with the Indians had been 
made there. 

It took us all day to cross, as there were many other wagons to be 
taken over and all of ouvs did not have the right of way at the same 
time. My recollection is that this ferryboat was operated by steam. 

We were now at the westerly limit of civilization. On the east bank 
of the river were a few small trading villages, but on the westerly bank 
the Indian country began. There were thousands of Indians camping on 
the river bottom and on the bluffs where Omaha now stands. We waited 
here over one day, Sunday, May 23, 1852, to ,get all ready for our r;al 
start for Oregon. 

The migration of 1852 was the heaviest of any to Oregon and C;.li- 
fornia. It was then and always has been estimated that it reached fully 
50,000. On all our part of the trip we had no fear of the Indians except 
to protect ourselves from the pilfering of articles about camp and from 
stealing our horses at night. 

Among Father Mercer's papers I found, several years ago, his origi- 
nal list of the night patrol of sentries that went on guard each night 
with the stock, as most of the time they had to be taken quite a distance 
from camp in order that they might have sufficient grass to feed upon. 
This was a serious handicap all along the route and became much worse 
after the migration on the south of the Platte crossed over to the north 
side, somewhere near Fojt Laramie, I believe. 

At Council Bluffs, Thomas Mercer was elected captain of the com- 
pany and directed its movements across the plains. It was a necessary 
custom to select a captain of each party, who directed the movements of 
the train about stopping for the night and starting in the morning; about 
"laying over," on Sunday or any other time it was thought best. Other- 
wise there would have been frequent disputes and disagreements about 
the movements of the company. The trip was on to bring out all the 
good qualitis and the bad ones, "as well, but I do not remember any sei-ious 
disputes along the whole oi the route . 

After resting over one day, we made our real start ''across the 
plains" on the 24th of May, 1852. This proved to ba a comparatively 
early start as thousands came after us. We found better grazing in con- 
sequence and less dust, jn.o small item in an alkaline country. About 
twenty miles out we had to cross a narrow, deep, sluggin,g stream called 
the Elkhorn. Here we hud our only dispute with the Indians. A band of 
Pawnees had constructed of rushes a floating pontoon or bridge that 
would hold a wagon and team. They demanded for each team and wagon 
five dollars. This our people felt was exorbitant and they offered to pay 
one dollar instead, which in turn was refused. Our men got their rifles 
and told the Indians thut it meant a fight unless the lower offer was 
accepted. After a lot of loud talk matters quieted do\\^l and the Indians 
agreed upon the dollar a/id we came on our way. 

All through May and June we drove on up the Platte and its tribu- 
taries. For hundreds of miles the road was so level that but for the 
Platte running eastward jno one could have told we were gradually as:end- 


ing toward the Rocky Mountains. In one stretch of two hundred miles 
we saw but one lone tree, a Balm of Gilead on an island in the river. Our 
fuel was called "buffalo chips/' though I am sure that much of it was 
from the cattle that haci preceded us, instead of buffalo. That year the 
migration was so large dnd close together that the buffalo were fright- 
ened away from our vicinity and we never saw one on the trip. 

For hundreds of miles we saw a constant procession of wagons on 
the south bank as well as on our own north side. We came to recognize 
some of the trains on the further side and, of course, on our own .side. 
Years later I often heard father addressed by someone in Oregon who 
told of meeting our train on the Platte or on the Snake River. Alon,g 
the Platte the most notable feature of natural scenery was "Chimney 
Rock," that was shaped like an immense circular chimney set on a hill. 
It was on the south side of the river, a few miles away from it. Its form- 
ation was of a soft rocl<. or indurated clay that in that arid climate was 
subject to slight erosion. It has been an object of frequent note for one 
hundred years, and in the years since we saw it has shown but little 
chan,ge in shape or height. 

We forded several streams so deep that blocks were put undei- the 
beds of the wagons so tUat the water would not damage articles in them. 
One of the large branches of the Platte, Loup Fork, was the most notable 
of these. It was necessary to drive very rapidly to avoid sinking in the 
quicksands all the way across, yet the wagons rattled and jolted as 
though the bottom was broken rock instead of sand.. It greatly excited 
my curiosity at the time and I never have understood the peculiar form- 
ation that would let a wagon or animal settle in it and scon engulf it 
and yet seem like rock when driven across. We took the precaution to 
have our horses drink all the water they would before driving into the 
stream that they might not try to stop on the way across. All little de- 
tails of every day life had to be carefullythought out to avoid necessary 
delays and difficulties. 


The Minden News of June 1, 1922 has an interesting story of the 
beginnings of Minden. Minden was first an idea, then a suivey, finally 
a county seat. The idea originated in a broom cornfield on the farm of 
Joel Hull in September, 1875. Five men were harvesting broom corn. 
There was not another house within four miles. Eating lunch at noon 
on the grass the five men made up the plan to buy a quarter section of 
land as near the center of Kearney county as possible, survey it into a 
town site, offer it as the future county seat to the voters and if success- 
ful to turn the land over to the county at cost. In accordance with this 
plan Mr. Hull bought the southeast quarter of section seven, town six, 
range four, from the Union Pacific Railroad Company at $3.75 per acre. 
The voters of Kearney County at a special election November 21, 1876, 
voted to locate the county seat on the tract almost unanimously. The 
quarter section was Ihen offered to the county commissioners for the 
price paid the railroad company. The commissioners refused to accept 
it for lack of funds. Mr. Hull then organized the Kearney County Land 
Association which took over the tract and platted it into lots. The orig- 
inal plan of the founders of Minden became a reality. As the county 
seat was located at the center the prolonged and bitter county seat con- 
test which mars the history of so many Nebraska counties was avoided. 
When the Burlington railroad built across the county, Minden Avas a 
natural and convenient point and by construction of the railroad became 
not only the county seat but the chief town of the county which it has 
continued to be. Not many counties or county seats have had as smooth 
sailing and prosperous a voyage in their political and industrial devel- 
opment as Kearney county and Minden. 


Made a State Institution February 27, 1883. 

An act of the Nebraska legislature, recommended by Governor 
James W. Dawes in his inaugural and signed by him, made the State 
Historical Society a State institution in the following: 

Be it Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Nebraska: 

Section 1. That the "Nebraska State Historical Society," an or- 
ganization now in existence — Robt. W. Furnas, President; James M. 
Wool worth and Elmer S. Dundy, Vice-Presidents; Samuel Aughey, 
Secretary, and W. W. Wilson, Treasurer, their associates and successors — 
be, and the same is hereby recognized as a state institution. 

Section 2. That it shall be the duty of the President and Secretary 
of said institution to make annually reports to the governor, as required 
by other state institutions. Said report to embrace the transactions and 
expenditures of the organization, together with all historical addresses, 
which have been or may hereafter be read before the Society or funiished 
it as historical matter, data of the state or adjacent western regions of 

Section 3. That said reports, addresses, and papers shall be pub- 
lished at the expense of the state, and distributed as other similar official 
reports, a reasonable number, to be decided by the state and Society, to 
be furnished said Society for its use and distribution. 

Property and Equipment 

The present State Historical Society owns in fee simple title as 
trustee of the State the half block of land opposite and east of the State 
House with the basement thereon. It occupies for offices and working 
quarters basement rooms in the University Library building at 11th and 
R streets. The basement building at 16th and H is crowded with the 
collections of the Historical Society which it can not exhibit, including 
some 15,000 volumes of Nebraska newspapers and a large part of its 
museum. Its rooms in the University Library building are likewise 
crowded with library and museum material. The annual inventory of 
its property returned to the State Auditor for the year 1920 is as follows: 

Value of Land, V2 block 16th and H $75,000 

Value of Buildings and permanent improvements 35,000 

Value of Furniture and Furnishings 5,000 

Value of Special Equipment, including Apparatus, 

Machinery and Tools 1,000 

Educational Specimens (Art, Museum, or other) 74,800 

Library (Books and Publications) 75,000 

Newspaper Collection 52,395 

Total Resources $318,195 

Much of this property is priceless, being the only articles of their 
kind and impossible to duplicate. 



AND RECORD OF , , . ^. 



Vol. V 

April- June, 1922 

No. 2 


Editorial Notes 

Paul Brothers of St. Paul .... 

Military Posts in the West, Fort McPherson 

Branding in New England .... 

Senator P. W. Hitchcock's Bank Note Report- 
er— 1860 

Chongatonga (Big Horse), Otoe Chief 

Letter from Indian Commissioner Manypenny 
to Arkee-keetah, Otoe Chief 

Early History of Creek Indians 

New Years Carriers in Nebraska ... 

Portrait of W. J. Bryan ; Address by Hardy 

W. Campbell 

The Sioux-Pawnee War ; Danish Colony in Hov/ar 

Logan County — First Things .... 

Editorial Notes 




















i 30 








Entered as second class matter February 4, 1918, at the Post Office, 
Lincoln, Nebraska, under Act August 24, 1912. 



Founded September 25, 1878 

The Nebraska State Historical Society was founded Sep- 
tember 25, 1878, at a public meeting held in the Commercial 
Hotel at Lincoln. About thirty well known citizens of the 
State were present. Robert W. Furnas was chosen president 
and Professor Samuel Aughey, secretary. Previous to this date, 
on August 26, 1867, the State Historical Society and Library 
Association was incorporated in order to receive from the State 
the gift of the block of ground, now known as Haymarket 
Square. This original Historical Association held no meet- 
ings. It was superseded by the present State Historical 

Present Governing Board 

Executive Board — Officers and Elected Members 

President, Robert Plarvey, Lincoln. 

1st V-President, Hamilton B. Lowry, Lincoln 

2nd V-President, Nathan P. Dodge Jr., Omaha 

Secretary, Addison E. Sheldon, Lincoln 

Treasurer, Philip L. Hall, Lincoln 

Rev. Macheal A. Shine, Plattsmouth 

Don L. Love, Lincoln 

Samuel C. Bassett, Gibbon ' 

John F. Cordeal, McCook i 

Novia Z. Snell, Lincoln i 

William E. Hardy, Lincoln 

Ex Officio Members 

Saniuel R. McKelvie, Governor of Nebraska 

Samuel Avery, Chancellor of University of Nebraska 

Geor,ge C. Snow, Chadron, President of Nebraska Press Association 

Howard W. Caldwell, Professor of American History, University of 

Andrew M. Morrissey, Chief Justice of Supreme Court of Nebraska 
Clarence A. Davis, Attorney General of Nebraska 



Published Quarterly by the Nebraska State Historical 


Addison E. Sheldon, Editor 

Subscription, $2.00 per year 

All sustaining members of the Nebraska State Historical 

Nebraska History and other publications without further 

Society receive 



April-June, 1922 



In the September number of the Wisconsin Magazine of 
History, in a history of Platteville, in that state, is the fol- 
lowing paragraph of interest to Nebraska readers : 

One of our oldest living i-esidents at Platteville is Mr. Frank Rowe, 
vi^ho came here in the forties and v^'ho crossed the plains to California 
with an ox team in 1852, leaving Platteville on the last day of March. 
There were five ox teams in the company. Close to the mouth of Shell 
Creek, Nebraska, the company was attacked by Indians, but fortunately 
at that moment another company bound for California came in sight. A 
corral was quickly made of the wagons, and the oxen, horses, and non- 
combatants were put in the center. The battle lasted for a considerable 
time, and finally the Indians withdrew leavin,g nine of their number dead. 

William J. Holladay was buried in North Loup cemetery June 18. 
He was one of the early settlers in that region, conducting a sutler's 
store at Fort Hartsuff, the frontier post guarding the early settlements 
on the Loup rivers. Later he was sheriff of Valley County. 



Sept. 23, 1839 
March 9, 1922 

July 27, 1841 
July 18, 1921 

The Paul Brothers 

of St. Paul 



By Robert Harvey 
President Nebraska Historical Society 

During the past twelve months Nebraska has lost two 
pioneers, identified with Nebraska territory and state for 
nearly sixty years. Howard county has lost two citizens, 
James N. Paul and Nicholas J. Paul, the sponsors for its posi- 
tion on the map of the state, first to give to the world its ad- 
vantages of location, fertile soil and healthful climate; who 
initiated, induced and gave direction to the first tide of a 
peaceable and thrifty emigration into the Loup country, thus 
giving Howard county character, dignity and an enviable 
standing among the counties of the state. Together they se- 
cured the severance of sixteen townships from the north part 
of Hall county and the passage of a bill in the legislature of 
1871 defining the boundaries of Howard county. They pro- 
moted its speedy organization. They showed their faith in 
the country by more than fifty years of continuous residence 
within its boundaries, and by constant, harmonious labor for 
the betterment of its citizenship, educational and financial in- 
terests. They opened to the world's toilers the door of that 
great agricultural region drained by the Loup rivers, compris- 
ing the counties of Howard, Greeley, Sherman, Valley, Gar- 
field and Loup. 

St, Paul, the county seat of Howard County, was named 
by U. S. Senator Phineas W. Hitchcock in their honor. 

James N. Paul, the older brother, was born in Beaver 
County, Pa., September 23, 1839, and soon after the family 
moved to Meigs County, Ohio. He served in Company H, 140th 
Regiment Ohio Infantry, in the Civil war, after which he came 
west and for six or seven years was engaged in government 
surveying. In the winter and spring of 1871, with his brother, 
he was interested in founding a colony in the Loup river coun- 
try in Howard County and took a homestead adjoining St. 
Paul which he still owned at the time of his death. 

At the permanent organization of the county he was elec- 
ted county commissioner for the long term and was the cen- 
tral figure in piloting the organization through its infancy to 
a stable financial basis which had marked influence in the fu- 
ture management of its finances. 

In the fall of 1873 he succeeded Seth P. Mobley as pro- 
prietor and editor of the Howard County Advocate which he 
ably conducted until 1878, when the plant was sold to Robert 
Harvey. He then entered upon the practice of law to which he 
gave all his time and energy and soon became one of the lead- 
ing trial lawyers in central Nebraska. He was a member of 
the senate in the legislature of 1885 and was chairman of the 
judiciary committee. 


In 1901 he became judge of the 11th judicial district 
which place he filled with great ability until the expiration of 
his term in 1917 when he voluntarily retired on account of 
failing health. 

He was positive and firm in his convictions, wise in his 
counsels and honorable in business transactions. 

As pioneer, home builder, lawyer, statesman and jurist he 
made a firm and lasting impression upon the people and the 
institutions of central Nebraska. 

He died at his home in St. Paul March 9th, 1922, at the 
age of 82 years, five months and sixteen days. 

Nicholas Jay Paul, the younger brother of Judge Paul, 
was born in Meigs County, Ohio, July 27, 1841. Receiving an 
academic education at Ewington, Ohio, for a time he taught 
district school. In the fall of 1862, he moved to Leavenworth 
and the following years was engaged in government survey- 
ing in southern Nebraska. He was also a trusted employe of 
the Union Pacific land department. 

He was associated with Judge Paul in founding a colony 
in the Loup country and filed a homestead entry on a quarter 
section of fine land adjacent to St. Paul where he continued to 
live until his death. Mr. Paul was one of the commissioners 
appointed to effect the temporary organization of Ho\¥ard 
county and at the fall election of 1871 was chosen probate 
judge which office he held for four years. In 1876 he was 
elected the first representative to the legislature from the 

In 1879 he was elected county treasurer and reelected in 1881. After 
the expiration of his second term he declined further to be a candidate for 
any office, excepting that of school director which he held for forty-eight 
years, always manifesting a great interest in educational matters. 

In 1884 he purchased the stock of the Howard county bank and soon 
after organized the St. Paul National Bank, and in later years changed to 
the St. Paul State Bank to which he gave his undivided attention for the 
remainder of his life. It was during the dark financial days of the nine- 
ties that the rugged honesty of the man was displayed when in despair of 
being able to weather the storm of national financial depression he said 
he would rather give up all his property and begin over again, than that 
any of his depositors should suffer. His bank was considered one of the 
substantial institutions of central Nebraska. 

He had kept a diary since 1866 in which he briefly recorded his busi- 
ness transactions and those who have been permitted to examine his 
books have been surprised at the great number of money loans during the 
first few years of the colony's early life and the repayment of the same 
amount apparently without interest. During those few years, which in- 
cluded the years of the grasshopper scourge, there was great destitution 
and many families would have suffered great hardships had they not 
known where they could go for aid and sympathy. It falls to the lot of 
few men in private life to be so generally known and to possess so many 
true friends. 

He died of apoplexy at hig desk at the noon hour, July 18, 1921, at 
the age of 79 years, 11 months and 21 days. 



One of the rare volumes upon Western history is circular 
No. 8, issued from the Surgeon-General's office, War Depart- 
ment, May 1, 1875. It is a report on the hygiene of the United 
States army with a description of all military posts and a map. 
It is a volume of 570 pages and is now quite out of print and 
difficult to find. The volume recently secured by the Ne- 
braska State Historical Society was through the kindness of 
General Wm. H. Carter, whose letter is printed elsewhere in 
this magazine. 

The volume contains complete descriptions of all western 
army posts, with an account of the surrounding country, tabu- 
lation of all buildings, an account of the health of soldiers at 
each post and hygienic conditions, diagrams of each fort and 
its buildings and a weather record during the history of the 

The forts and camps in Nebraska described in this vol- 
ume are Camp Hartsuff, in the North Loup valley, located in 
1874; Fort McPherson, in Lincoln county, located in 1866; 
North Platte station, Lincoln county established in August 
1867; Omaha Barracks, Douglas County, established Novem- 
ber 20, 1868; Camp Robinson, Sioux county, established in 
February, 1874 ; Camp Sheridan (Spotted Tail Agency) Sheri- 
dan county, located September 9, 1874 ; Sidney Barracks, Chey- 
enne county, located in 1867. 

In addition to these there is a chapter each upon 
these forts inseparably connected with the history of 
Nebraska: Fort Leavenworth, Kansas; Fort Laramie, Wyo- 
ming; Fort Randall, South Dakota. 

Most interesting detailed information is given of living 
conditions for the population of these forts. This includes 
such details as the number of cubic feet for each person in 
living rooms, the kinds of diseases and number of cases at 
each post, the methods of heating, water and ice supply, bath- 
rooms, garden products, libraries and scientific observations 
upon conditions which could be made only by trained medi- 
cal observers. 

Fort Kearny, the most important military post in Ne- 
braska during the frontier period, was abandoned in 1871 and 
therefore does not appear in this report. Fort McPherson in 
1875 was still a post of importance and the description of the 
buildings and conveniences there are of interest: 

The buildings are arranged about a quadrangle 844 by 
560 feet. Two sides are formed by five barracks, three log 
and two frame; one (log, shingled-roof) 145 by 27 feet, with 
wings of 87 by 20 feet; one (frame, shingle-roof, unoccupied, 
and out of repair) 108 feet by 27 feet, with a wing of 69 by 
20 feet; one (log, shingle-roof, unoccupied) 114 by 27 feet, 


with wing 69 by 20 feet; one (frame, shingle-roof) 147 by 27 
feet, with wing of 69 by 20 feet, and another (log, shingle- 
roof) 132 by 30 feet, with no wing. Each building contains 
eighteen windows, and compartments used as dormitories, or- 
derly-rooms, dining and cooking rooms. The dormitories are 
ceiled. Average air-space per man in two buildings occupied 
at present is 698 cubic feet. Single iron bedsteads are used. 
Ventilation is by windows and roof -ventilators. 

One side is occupied by officers' quarters-frame, lathed 
and plastered, with shingle-roofs — in good repair. Three 
single buildings, 42 by 20 feet ; four double 54 by 20 feet ; one 
commanding officer's, 65 by 24 feet. Two single buildings, 40 
by 20 feet, are on a line with hospital, in the rear of the main 
line of officers' quarters. All have kitchens 24 by 15 feet. 

The fourth side is occupied by the adjutant's office, (new) 
41 by 30 feet; quartermaster's office, (new) 36 by 30 feet; 
the commissary storehouse, (new), 96 by 25 feet; and the 
band quarters, (new) 52 by 22 feet; with wing 90 by 19 feet. 

In the rear of the barracks are the quartermaster's ware- 
house, (log) 132 by 30 feet; the forage building, (log), 130 
by 27 feet, and six laundresses' houses, (five log and one 
in an account of the construction of the building, says, "Three 
frame;) two, 40 by 24 feet; one 30 by 15 feet; one, 40 by 18 
feet, with wing 24 by 15 feet; one 60 by 18 feet; one, 30 by 
15 feet, with wing 12 by 15 feet; aiso,the cavalry stables, log 
with shingle-roofs; four, 200 by 30 feet, and one, 235 by 30 

A new guard-house was erected in 1874. It is built of 
logs, 42 by 18 feet, and 9 feet high from floor to ceiling, and 
contains, besides a guard room, ten single cells, each 6 by 3 
feet, and one double cell, 6 by 6 feet. There is no general 
prison-room. Ventilation is sufficient. 

The post-bakery (log) is 45 by 30 feet, with large oven. 

The hospital is a log building, well chinked and plastered, 
with lathed and plastered ceilings and shingle-roof. It con- 
sists of a main building 69 by 20 feet, and a wing 56 by 20 
feet, forming an "L". 

The two ward-rooms, respectively 20 by 38 feet and 20 
by 20 feet will accommodate twenty-four patients, giving to 
each 466 cubic feet air-space. The dispensary is 20 by 12 feet, 
the steward's room 10 by 20 feet, and the dining room and 
store room are each 20 feet square. The washroom 8V2 by 15 
feet, adjoins the larger ward. The steward's quarters have a 
kitchen 14 by 20 feet, adjoining. The hospital kitchen, 16 by 
20 feet, communicates with the dining room in the wing of 
the building. An addition of a post-mortem room has been 

There is no post library; but two company libraries, one 
containing 362 volumes, the other 26 volumes. 


The bathing facilities are good in company quarters ; the 
river, however is preferable in summer. No post or company 
order for compulsory and systematic bathing has been issued. 


Whereas many questions, and sometimes troublesomi' 
suites grow betwixt men, about horses running together in 
the woods unmarked, It is ordered, That each plantation in 
this jurisdiction shall have a marking iron, or flesh-brand, for 
themselves in particular, to distinguish the horses of on^ 
plantation from another; namely, New-hav-en an iron made 
to set on the impression of an H, as a brand-mark, Milford an 
M, Guilford a G, Stamford an S, Southold an S with an in 
the middle of it, Brainford a T. Which plantation brandmark, 
is to be visibly and as sufficiently as may be, set upon the near 
buttock of each horse, mare, and colt, belonging to that plan- 
tation. Beside which, every owner is to have, and marke his 
horse or horses, with his own particular flesh-brand having 
some letter, or letters of his name, or such distinguishing mark, 
that one man's horses may be known from another's. And 
that in each plantation there be an officer appointed, to record 
each particular man's mark, and to see each particular man's 
horse, mare, and colt, branded, and to take notice, and record 
the age of each of them, as near as he can, with the colour, 
and all observable marks, whether natural or artificial; and 
what artificial marks it had before the branding, whether on 
the ear, or elsewhere, with the year and day of the month when 
branded. And in each plantation, the officer for his care and 
pains, to have six pence of the owner, for each horse, mare, or 
colt, so branded and recorded. And that after the publishing 
hereof, every one who hath any horse or horses, of what age 
or kind soever, doe duly attend this order, at his perill; the 
officer also is to require as satisfying evidence of his right, 
who presents any such horse, etc. as may be had, or to record 
any defect of due evidence, that a way may be open to other 

New Haven Code (pub. 1655.) probably 1643 in use, Trum- 
bull— Blue Laws, p. 227. 

From Phil. R. Landon, "North Acre Seedsman," at Sterling, Nebraska: 

The statement in "Nebraska History" that "no earthwork, mound, 
lodge site or human bones, along this part of the Missouri river has 
been there 1,000 years," is correct ,so far as my examination and obser- 
vation go. In fact, bones and stone work that I have du,g up in Nebraska 
in the past forty years have proved to me that they were not more than 
a century old. One instance was in my digging on North Acre. I came 
upon the bones of an Indian and white man buried together, and among 
the bones was a belt buckle with the letters U. S. A. upon it. If liiere 
were any "pre-historic" men in Nebraska I will have to be shown." 



B A ^ K \ O H' I*: 



► >' i 

(I Ijompsmi^s Bank JUtf iV dLommcrcial ^ilfpuvtfr. 

• (untiijim; u(1R\tk hksihiptioxs (ir ui. the 

(Tomiino Ba uk N btes, 

•* *> ■ '^ , 

S« RSCRIBKU.S WH«» n^^ V <> N K V K A )! !>• \ D V- A N (? K 

■ v..\, ^^.- ^ ■ V 






26, bun. Indian, female, children, globe- 
Indian squaw, w Ith bow and arrow*— 2, portrait 
of boy. „ „ 

3s. two females, cows, sheep, factory— 3, 3— 
flying female, cars, canal, &c. 


Knnaas Valley Bonk, Atchison. 

3s, two wild horses running, horses In dla- 
ance-3, female portrait— 3, pigs. 

55,Indian on horse shooting buffaloes— .5,male 
portrait— 5, portrait of girl holding dove. 

iOs, right end, 10, steamboai, river, ftc- 
left end, 10, cars, X on shield. 

20s. emigrants, oxen, horses, wagons, ac — 
20, male portrait— 20, female seated on either 
side of shield. 

50s, steamboat, city in distance— iO, male 
porti-ait- 50, sailor with hand on capstan, bar- 
rels, bales, Slc , vessels in distance. 

100s, spread eagle on shield— 100, male por- 
trart— C, male portrait. 


USED IN 1860 

Phineas W. Hitchcock was United 
States Senator from Nebra.ska from 1871 
to 1877. He was the father of our pres- 
ent Senator Gilbert M. Hitchcock. Sen- 
ator P. W. Hitchcock was one of the 
leading spirits in the pioneer period of 
Nebraska history. He was the author 
and introducer of the Timber Culture Act 
passed by Congress in 1874. His name 
is forever associated with the great en- 
terprises of the empire builders of the 
trans-Missouri region. 

In the Nebraska historical library is 
now a copy of Thompson's Bank Note 
and Commercial Reporter, published in 
1860. A fac-simile of the title page of 
this historical document is printed upon 
the opposite page of this magazine. The 
picture shows the name of P. W. Hitch- 
cock written thereon. A loop at its upper 
left-hand comer shows where it was 
hung to a hook in Mr. Hitchcock's office 
for ready reference. The scattered spots 
across the title page are evidence to the 
historical student of the existence of files 
in the business offices of pioneer Ne- 

Thompson's Reporter was a necessity 
for every business man in the United 
States in the period of state bank note 
circulation. It describes and gives pic- 
tures of all the foreign coins likely to 
circulate in the United States and there 
were many of them. It also ogives fac- 
similes of many of the state bank note 
issues of that period and a description of 
all of them. There were hundreds of 
banks under state charters issuing cur- 
rency under various degrees of regulation. 
Before a merchant dared accept a curren- 
cy bill he needed to look up the stand- 
ing of these banks and examine the notes 
offered for possible counterfeits, of which there were many. So this early 
Nebraska book is of very rare value, made all the more so by bearing the 
signature of the first Senator Hitchcock. 

Upon this page is given a half-tone of the page of Senator Hitch- 
cock's Bank Note Reporter which shows the bank notes in circulation in 
Kansas Territory and Nebraska Territory in 1860. It will be observed 
that only one Kansas Bank, the Kansas Valley Bank, of Atchison, had 
its notes listed in the Bank Note Reporter of 1860. For Nebraska Ter- 
ritory the space is significantly vacant. There were plenty of Nebraska 
wildcat banks issuin,g paper currency in the period between 1855 and 1857. 
Over $400,000 in paper currency was issued by these Nebraska banks. 
These notes are -still found occasionally in the papers of early Nebraska 
pioneers. They are interesting to museum collectors. In the Nebraska 
Historical Society museum are many of these early wildcat notes. But 
the editor of Thompson's Bank Note Reporter in 1860 ruled all these Ne- 
braska bank notes issued out of his publication. This Historical Society 
is indebted to Mr. C. A. Westerfield, 3116 Mason Street, Omaha, for this 
valuable addition to its library. 




P'rom Attorney Edwin R. McNeill, of Pawnee City, Okla.: 

Chongatonga, (now spelled Shunatona by the Indian Office, which is 
not correct) or Bi,g Horse was born about 1838. He was named after 
his grandfather, the head chief of the tribes who made a peace and 
friendship treaty in 1817. When Shunk-co-pe died he left two minor 
sons — Cha-doe-nah-ye, or Standing Buffalo, who afterwards took the 
name of James Arkeketa, Sr., and Chon-ga-tong-a, or Big Horse. Chon- 
,gatonga was a brave and every war party gotten up he was always 
selected as a scout. 

His activities in battles won for him the divine right to wear two 
eagle feathers upon his scalp, which was considered the highest honor 
that could be conferred upon a brave. As a brave he earned for himself 
a name among his people. His brother, who was older than he, was a 
chief and took the name of Arkeketa. 

In those days it was the custom of the various Indian Agents to 
appoint as policemen of the agency the braves of the tribes, so when the 
Otoes settled down, he was appointed as a policeman. When part of 
the tribes under Chiefs Medicine Horse and White Horn left their former 
reservation in Nebraska and moved to the Indian Teri'itory, Chongatonga 
came, because he had favored the proposition of moving to the lands set 
apart for all of the peaceful Indians. 

When the rest of the tribes finally gave their consent, some of the 
chiefs were delegated to come and look over the land and choose their 
home. His brother, James Arkeketa, was on e of those to come and he 
returned with his brother to assist him. 

He was a policeman up to the time of his death and for his efficiency 
and faithfulness to his duties he was appointed a chief of the tribes by 
the Indian Office and approved by the Interior Department on July 6, 
1886. He took sick soon after he became a chief and died in the fall of 

Richard William Shunatona (Chongatonga) was born upon the plains 
of western Nebraska, while the Otoes were on their annual fall hunt for 
buffaloes in 1876. 

From the words of Shunk-co-pe, that the only chance for the red 
man was to go to school and learn to move the head, the hand, the feet, 
the body, and the tongue like the white man, and also from his own ex- 
perience as a policeman, he saw, so he wanted his son to receive some 

He sent him to the boarding school at Otoe and when he finished 
the grades he sent him to Chilocco Indian School, from which school he 
graduated in 1896. 

After graduation he entered the government service as a clerk, but 
resigned on account of the race prejudice in the work. 

He became a chief and was acknowledged as one of the leading men 
of the tribes. He knew the ways because he was raised in the council 

He is the head of the buffalo clan and has represented his tribes as 
a delegate to Washington several times and is now one of the five men 
selected by the Superintendent to act as a Committee to transact all 
tribal business wuth the government. 

He is. married to a Pawnee and they have eight children who are 
being educated in the public schools of Pawnee, Okla. His children do 
not understand their Indian tongue. 

He is of good royal blood from both sides and therefore he is one 
and belon,gs to the aristocratic families of the tribes. 

(Editor's Note) The treaty of peace and friendship between the 
United States and the Otoe tribe signed December 26, 1817 is signed by 
William Clark, Auguste Choteau, Benjamin 0' Fallon. Manuel Lisa, Jo- 
seph LaFIesche (interpreter) and by Chongaton,ga (Big Horse) among 
the Otoe chiefs. 



To Department of the Interior, 

Ar-kee-kee-tah, Office Indian Affairs, 

or March 20, 1854. 

Stay By It. 

Principal Chief of the Confederate Bands of OTTOE 
and MISSOURI Indians 

Having conckided the business which brought you here, 
I deem it my duty on your departure for your home, to ex- 
press to you my approbation of your official conduct while 
here, and to commend the interest you have shown for the 
Ottoe and Missouri people. 

On your return to the Ottoes and Missourias, you will find 
many perplexities and difficulties ; but by constant persever- 
ance and a firm determination to do right at all times and un- 
der all circumstances, you will be sustained in all your efforts 
for the civilization of your people; and it may be allotted to 
you to yet see them in quite an advanced state of intellectual 
improvement, and each family comfortably situated. 

Enjoin on them habits of industry. Teach them to abhor 
idleness and the accompanying vices — such as gambling and 
the like. 

Urge them to cease the use of ardent spirits, for intem- 
perance is their greatest enemy. 

Encourage the young to go to school. And let all fear 
God and keep his commandments. 

A great responsibility rests on you and the other Chiefs 
— and I ardently hope you may all be found equal to any 
emergency that may arise in your country and among your 

I cannot impress too strongly on you the necessity of at 
all times conducting yourself properly. Your example should 
be such as to inspire your people with confidence. Much de- 
pends on this. I confidently hope you will appreciate the deep 
responsibility that rests on you, and set an example of dili- 
gence, temperance, patience and kindness before your people. 

I will often think of you when far, far away, and shall 
be anxious to hear the news from your country, hoping that 
it may always be good. 

Your friend, 


The original of the above interesting historical document is now in 
the museum of the Nebraska State Historical Society. It is presented by 
Richard William Shunatona, representative of this Society to the Otoe 
tribe. Mr. Shunatona is very much interested in the work of this Society 
and especially in preservation of the history and traditions of the Otoe 
tribe. The story of his family on the opposite page of this magazine is 
an interesting contribution to this history. 



John R. Swanton is one or the most painstaking students 
and attractive writers upon American Indians. His latest 
book is bulletin 73 of the Bureau of American Ethnology — 
just issued. The book gives a condensed story of the Creak 
tribe from their first contact with white people. The tribe 
was one of those encountered by the Spanish explorer, Ferdi- 
nand De Soto, in 1539. They then lived in the Georgia region, 
had well-built villages, cultivated fields and were fierce and 
warlike. Ever since that time the Creeks have been among 
the bravest of the southern tribes. General Jackson found 
them such in his Indian campaigns. 

For Nebraska readers Mr. Swanton's last volume has 
chief interest from its account of the Siouan tribes on the At- 
lantic coast. These tribes, related by blood and language to 
the Nebraska Otoe, Omaha, Ponca and Sioux tribes, have al- 
most disappeared. They have been the subject of special stor- 
ies by Mr. Mooney and the facts brought out by him go far to 
confirm the traditions of the Nebraska tribes that their an- 
cestors journeyed a long distance from the east into the Miss- 
issippi valley and thence up the Missouri to their home in this 

A valuable feature of Mr. Swanton's book is a series of 
ten maps showing the location of the various southern Indian 
tribes as described by the early white explorers and their 
gradual migration westward to their present home in Okla- 

J. H. Sweet, editor of the Nebraska City Daily Press, writes the fol- 
lowing very interesting comment on the custom of New Year's Carriers 
address. We hope other editors will give their recollections and present 
practice : 

I was very much interested in your article on "Carriers' Addresses" 
wliich appeared in a recent copy of "Nebraska History." You wonder 
why the custom did not survive. 

The custom does survive in Nebraska City. Our carriers take out 
with them on each New Year's Day an "address' for their patrons. Us- 
ually the boys are rewarded. The "Address," however, is somewhat dif- 
ferent from that which was in vogue in the early sixties and seventies 
and has more utilitarian purpose. It is usually a calendar or something 
of that sort. 

I have tried to stop the custom, but I have found it almost impossible 
to do so. The carriers expect it and the patrons, good naturedly, have 
asked that it be continued. Personally, I have felt that the boys' monthly- 
compensation should be sufficient, but, apparently, my opinion has not 
been affirmed by the higher court. 

I wonder if these addresses are still given out by other newspaper 
carriers — that is, in other portions of the state. 



From Mrs. Josephine Hull, of Los Angeles, California, the 
Historical Society recently received the gift of a fine portrait 
of William J. Bryan, and this letter : 

Yours received and was glad to know you received the 
picture of Wm, J. Bryan all right. In regard to how I came to 
make it was through request of Miss Butterfield, superintend- 
ent of the Art department of the Nebraska building at the 
Trans-Mississippi Exposition at Omaha, who came to my Stu- 
dio and asked me to paint several life size portraits to be ex- 
hibited there, as the Nebraska Artists' donation, I being a resi- 
dent of Nebraska at that time, 1898, and as my husband and 
I were great admirers of William J., we took it with us to Cal- 
ifornia — but since his death, and my son's wife's death, am at 
present here with him. 

The portraits were done in water color and India ink, and 
were of ex-senator Allen of Madison, Nebraska, Governor Hol- 
comb, ex-Governor Dawes of Crete, Nebraska, and ex-Senator 
Alhson of Iowa, which hung in the Goveraor's parlors during 
the Fair, except that of Governor Holcomb which they draped 
in flags and hung it on balcony, over fountain in center of main 
building, opposite entrance, and also selected my five, from 
the many and hung them over the speakers opening day. 
Should there be any other information, would gladly give it. 



At Alliance on February 15 deserves place in the historical record. 
The subject of his address was ''Summer Tillage" and was a condensa- 
tion of twenty-five years experiment and experience west of the Missouri 
River. Mr. Campbell was not the inventor, nor the discoverer, of what 
is called "Dry Farming." He was and is its chief publicity agent and 
promoter. The plan in its essential features was used in California, 
Utah, and other dry regions many years before it was tried by Mr. Camp- 
bell in South Dakota and brought to Nebraska by him in the early nine- 
ties. A propaganda, organized by Mr. Campbell and others, had its 
chief center of distribution in Lincoln, the home of Mr. Campbell for a 
number of years. The vast literature upon dry farming, now filling 
thousands of printed pages, started here. Looking back over thirty 
years it can now be seen what a great movement then began. The high 
plains of western Nebraska, Wyoming and Colorado have become the 
homes of thousands of successful farmers. The scientific methods for 
raising crops on scant rainfall, and their limitations, are now fairly well 
established. Successful crops cannot be grown in the absence of water. 
Hot winds like those of 1894 and little rainfall as in 1910 will reduce dry 
farming yields below the point of profit. But the avera,ge yield in aver- 
age years may be doubled and trebled by the application of present dry 
farming methods. H. W. Campbell, as the largest contributor to the prac- 
tice and the propaganda of this method, deserves high rank in the future 
history of Nebraska. His present residence is at Los Angoles where he 
is in the employ of the Southern Pacific Railroad. A daugnter, JMrs. A. 
E. Yarter, lives at Alliance. 



Mr. S. C. Bassett ,a member of the Historical Society board, and one 
of the most discriminating students of Nebraska history, adds his per- 
sonal recollection to the story of the last battle field of the Sioux- 
Pawnee war in a recent letter: 

In the last Historical Society quarterly I have just been reading 
with much pleasure and interest every item of a historical nature, and 
especially "The Last Nebraska Battlefield of the Sioux-Pawnee War." 

The Pawnee hunting expedition route in 1873, from the reservation 
to the hunting grounds, was up the Platte valley following the public 
highw-ay which ran close beside the Union Pacific railroad. We were liv- 
ing on our homestead claim a mile distant from this highway. James 
Ogiivie, station agent at Gibbon, informed us that hundreds of Pawnee 
Indians were coming up the Platte valley going on an annual buffalo 
hunt on the divide between the Platte and Republican rivers. Train men 
reported that the Indians had camped, the night before, at a point east 
of the present village of Shelton, and our family all went to che high- 
way to see them pass by. It was about the middle of the forenoon when 
Indians first appeared. First were several hundred Indian men, mount- 
ed on ponies. Following were ponies dragging tepee poles on which 
were the camp equipage, these in charge of the women. Bringing up the 
rear were hundreds of loose ponies driven by the Indian boys and girls. 

The procession was more than a mile in length and all our people 
were deeply interested. It was reported the Indians crossed the Platte 
near Plum Creek (now Lexington). The divide west of Ft. Kearny and 
south of the Platte was the last stand of buffalo in Nebraska and very 
many of our people had hunted the buffalo in that region. 

We first learned of the Sioux-Pawnee battle when hundreds of 
Pawnees v/ere hauled in box cars and on top of freight cars, on the 
Union Pacific railroad from Plum Creek to a point near the reservation. 

From P. M. Hannibal — Howard County. 

We came here from Wisconsin in 1871 when there was not a build- 
ing in this county. About 200 Pawnee Indians camped on the Loup 
River within a mile of our Danish Colony that numbered only 20 per- 
sons and the Sioux were not far away and we were not sure but they 
might come any day. They never troubled us but they did threaten our 
friends in Valley County who took claims up there in 1872. The Sioux 
got so close that all the Danes up there left their claims to come doAvii 
here to stay with us a while. But on their way down the North Loup 
they met a lot of soldiers going up with a gan,g of workers to build a 
fort! That settled the Sioux problem for them and for us! Later, Jeppe 
Smith became first postmaster of Ord. The post office was on his claim 
about four miles above where it is now. Peter Morteusen, late state 
treasurer, was the first school district treasurer there. I w^as the first 
teacher here, helphig some other Danes to learn good English. I taught 
the first and second terms of school up there. Andersen, Mortensen and 
Smith were here before they went up there. We had many a good talk 
together — "Li the days when we were pioneers — fifty years ago." We 
got our postoffice here in 1872. Before that our neai*est postoffice was 
Grand Island, with no roads or bridges. We forded the Loup with oxen 
and got over the sloughs and sand hills the best we could. "In God we 
trust," was our motto and God helped us all the way. 



The Gandy Pioneer gives the followinc: as among the first happen- 
ings in the history of white men in Logan county. Although pjssessing 
a fine body of rich, black, table land and splendid water, the Logan 
county region was flanked by sand hills and out of the beaten path of 
land seekers. It was not until the middle eighties, after the construc- 
tion of the Burlington road across Custer county, that homesteaders 
settled in considerable numbers in Logan. This record of the earliest 
settlement deserves wider knowledge and additional detail. It would be 
quite worth while to know something of the life of Thomas Kirby, the 
pioneer hunter and trapper: 

Thomas Kirby, hunter and trapper, in the summer of 1873, built the 
first house in Logan county. It was built on the north bank of the 
Loup River, three-quarters of a mile north of the town of Logan. This 
house was part dug and part made of cedar logs, theie being a big 
grove of these in the canyon near by. 

The canyons surrounding the Clark table were a favorite place for 
black tailed deer and wild horses ran,ged on the table land. 

In the early days beaver were plenty, also a few otter. They d'd 
not bother to trap musk rats as there were plenty of the more valuable 
and larger fur beai'ing animals. 

In 1876 Charlie Ewing, as part of a cattle company organized at Co- 
lumbus, Nebraska, brought in a car load of Texas cattle and built a 
frame house on the north side of the Loup one mile east of Logan, on 
the land now known as the M. Laughler farm. This was the first frame 
house built in Logan County. 

The Camp Fire girls of Sutton celebrated Arbor Day by planting a 
red cedar tree to mark the spot where the iirst white man lived at that 
place. The man was Luther French who homesteaded in 1870 and built 
a dug-out on the south bank of School Creek. A secret room was dug 
with the dugout where his children could hide from Indians when the 
father was away huntin,g. Underground rooms were common in the 
early period of settlement. At the old Fouse ranch on Beaver Creek, a 
station on the Nebraska City-Denver trail, there was a large underground 
stable capable of holding a hundred head of stock. This was constructed 
for defense against Indian attacks, although hostile Indian raids never 
quite reached the ranch. The "underground fort" at the Fouse ranch 
is one of the outstanding remembrances of the editor's childhood. 

V. J. McGonigle of Jackson, Nebraska, is writing a most interesting 
series of letters in the Dakota City Herald upon the early white history 
of that region. Mr. McGoni,gle is a new member of the Historical So- 
ciety and promises important help in preserving historical material in 
that region. 

W. A. Anderson settled near Ord on February 1, 1879. There are 
only a few settlers of that period now living. He is the donor of im- 
portant early implements to our museum. 

A letter from Abraham Lincoln to Judge Reavis of Falls City, father 
of Congressman Frank Reavis, dated November 5, 1855, is one of the 
documents treasured in the Reavis family. An extract from the letter 
reads "Always bear in mind that your own resolution to succeed is more 
important than anything else." 


In the soldiers' plat in the San Diego cemetery, I recently came across 
a grave marked with one of the regulation marble markers, such as are 
furnished by the government for soldiers, and also with a granite mon- 
ument. The marker bears this inscription: 
"George P. Hall 
Co. B., 2nd Neb. Cav." 

The monument bears the following inscription: 

"George P. Hall. 

April 22, 1841— May 12, 1915 

Mary Elizabeth Hall 

His wife 

Dec. 28, 1847. ." 


San Diego, Cal. 

A letter from Hon. F. F. Haase, of Emerson, President of the Farm- 
ers' State Bank and senator from that district in 1917, adds his name to 
the membership list of the State Historical Society. 

The Daughters of the American Revolution in Lincoln have placed a 
complete set of the Massachusetts Soldiers and Sailors in the Historixral 
Library. Mrs. Elsie Mastermann has contributed typewritten copies of 
the Tedrow and Mastermann families for the manuscript files. The li- 
brarian desires to acknowledge receipt of gifts from Mr. Dale P. Stough, 
Mrs. H. R. Fling, Mr. George J. Remsburg, Mr. N. J. Anderson, Mr. T. 
N. Bobbitt, and the Deborah Avery Chapter, D. A. R. 

Mr. George F. Smith of Waterbury, sends a note upon the death of 
Augustus H. Surber who died there June 15, 1922. He enlisted at 16 
years of age in Co. E, Fourth Iowa Infantry, serving three years. He 
settled in Dixon county in 1883 and was the last surviving veteran of 
the Civil War at that place. 

John Louis Dougherty, vice-president of the Commercial Bank at 
Liberty, Missouri, writes us a most interesting letter relating to his fam- 
ily. His father was Lewis B. Dougherty, son of John Dougherty, early 
Indian trader and United States agent to the Nebraska Indians in the 
period 1820-1840. His aunt, Annie Elizabeth Dougherty, was born at 
Fort Atkinson, Aug. 29, 1824 and was therefore one of the first white 
children born in Nebraska. She married Charles F. Ruff of the United 
States Army, in 1842 and had four children, three of whom are still liv- 
ing. She died in Philadelphia, July 11, 1909. The old military records of 
Fort Atkinson do not give reports of the births at that frontier post, 
but the editor of this magazine hopes to establish by other reliable evi- 
dence the birth of the first white child in the present Nebraska region, 
who may be Annie Elizabeth Dougherty. 

Casper Stork, eighty-one, died at Arlington April, 1922. Mr. Stork 
was a member of the Quincy colony, movin,g from the city of that name 
in Illinois to Fontanelle in 1858 and has resided there ever since. 

Charles W. Pear&all, court reporter at Omaha, finished thirty-five 
years service in that profession April 11, 1922. Mr. Pearsall has reported 
some of the most important trials held in Nebraska, including the Yocum 
murder trial in the Dismal river region, the Comstock-Richards land 
fraud cases, Mabray frauds, the Union Pacific mail robbery at Seymour 
and many others. 





Nebraska History and Record of Pioneer Days, published quarterly at 
Lincoln, Nebr., for April, 1922. 

State of Nebraska, County of Lancaster, ss. 

Before me, a Notary Public in and for the State and county afore- 
said, personally appeared A, E. Sheldon, who, having been duly sworn 
according to law, deposes and says that he is the Managing Editor of 
the Nebraska History and Record of Pioneer Days, and that the follow- 
ing is, to the best of his knowledge and belief, a ti-ue statement of the 
ownership, management (and if a daily paper, the circulation), etc., of 
the aforesaid publication for the date shown in the above caption, re- 
quired by the Act of August 24, 1912, embodied in section 443, Postal 
Laws and Regulations, printed on the reverse of this form, to wit: 

1. That the names and addresses of the publisher, editor, manag- 
ing editor, and business managers are; 

Publisher, Nebraska State Historical Society, Lincoln, Nebr. 
Editor, A. E. Sheldon, Lincoln ,Nebr. 
Managing Editor, A. E. Sheldon, Lincoln, Nebr. 
Business Managers, A, E. Sheldon, Lincoln, Nebr. 

2. That the owners are: Nebraska State Historical Society, 

3. That the known bondholders, mortgagees, and other security 
holders owning or holding 1 per cent or more of total amount of bonds, 
mortgages, or other securities are: None. 

4. That the two paragraphs next above, giving the names of the 
owners, stockholders, and security holders, if any, contain not only the 
list of stockholders and security holders as they appear upon the books 
of the company but also, in cases where the stockholder or security hold- 
er appears upon the books of the company as trustee or in any other 
fiduciary relation, the name of the person or corporation for whom such 
trustee is acting, is given; also that the said two paragraphs contain 
statements embracing affiant's full knowledge and belief as to the cix*- 
cumstances and conditions under which stockholders and security holders 
who do not appear upon the books of the company as trustees, hold stock 
and securities in a capacity other than that of a bona fide owner; and 
this affiant has no reason to believe that any other person, association, 
or corporation has any interest direct or indirect in the said stock, bonds, 
or other securities than as so stated by him. 

A. E. SHELDON, Editor. 

Sworn to and subscribed before me this 11th day of April 1922. 
(SEAL) MAX WESTERMANN, Notary Public. 

(My Commission expires Aug. 4, 1927.) 




Vol. V 



July-S«ptember, 1922 

No. 3 


The Nebraska G. A. R 33 

Chalk Bluff or Happy Jack 34 

Freighting — Buffalo Breeding — Pawnee Squaw 35 

Skull Creek, Butler County 36 

Crist Anderson — Josiah Miner — G. F. Smith . 37 

Good Old Man — H. W. Brown — Jacob Adriance 38 

Whitney Village, Dawes County 39-40 

General John M. Thayer 41-46 

Site of Plum Creek Massacre 47-48 

Death of Mrs. John Pilcher 49 


Entered as second class matter February 4, 1918, at the Post Office, 
Lincoln, Nebraska, under Act August 24, 1912. 


Made a State Institution February 27, 1883. 

An act of the Nebraska legislature, recommended by Governor 
James W. Dawes in his inau??ural and signed by him, made the State 
Historical Society a State institution in the following: 

Be it Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Nebraska: 

Section 1. That the "Nebraska State Historical Society," an or- 
ganization now in existence — Robt. W. Furnas, President; James M. 
Woolworth and Elmer S. Dundy, Vice-Presidents; Samuel Aughey, 
Secretary, and W. W. Wilson, Treasurer, their associates and successors — 
be, and the same is hereby recognized as a state institution. 

Section 2. That it shall be the duty of the President and Secretary 
of said institution to make annually repoi-ts to the governor, as required 
by other state institutions. Said report to embrace the transactions and 
expenditures of the organization, together with all historical addresses, 
which have been or may hereafter be read before the Society or furnished 
it as historical m.atter, data of the state or adjacent western regions of 

Sertion 3. That saxl reports, addresses, and papers shall be pub- 
lished at the expense of the state, and distributed as other similar official 
reports, a reasonable number, to be decided by the state and Society, to 
be furnished said Society for its use and distribution. 

Property, and Equipment 

The present State Historical Society owns in fee simple title as 
trustee of the State the half block of land opposite and east of the State 
House with the basement thereon. It occupies for offices and working 
quarters basement rooms in the University Library building at 11th and 
R streets. The basement building at 16th and H is crowded with the 
collection-^ of the Historical Society which it can not exhibit, including 
some 15,000 of Nebraska newspapers and a large part of its 
museum. Its rooms in the University Library building are likewise 
crowded with library and museum material. The annual inventory of 
its property returned to the State Auditor for the year 1920 is a? follows: 

Value of Land, Vs block 16th and H $75,000 

Value of Buildings and perinanent improvement.s 35,000 

Value of Furniture and Furnishings 5,000 

Value of Special Equipment, including Apparatus, 

Machinery and Tools 1,000 

Educational Specimens (Art, Museum, or other) 74,800 

Library (Books and Publications) 75,000 

Newspaper Collection 52,395 

Total Resources $318,195 

Much of this property is priceless, being the only articles of their 
kind and impossible to duplicate. 



. sji k.- A 

•^^^^^^'"' >tF' 

;• '. ''"tiS^Tr^r"'^^^^^' 

Published Quarterly by the Nebraska Historical Society 

Addison E. Sheldon, 


Subscription, $2.00 per year 



members of the Nebraska State His 
History and other publications without 


Society receive 







The Grand Army of the Republic in Nebraska marches on with the 
flag, its ranks greatly diminished. State Adjutant Harmon Bross gives 
the present numbers as 149 posts and 1,731 members. Thirty years ago 
there were 350 posts and nearly 10,000 members. During the year 1922 
156 members passed on. Five posts in the state disbanded during the 
year for lack of membership. Under arrangements made by Adjutant 
Bross the original records of posts now disbanded are taken in charge by 
the State Historical Society and carefully preserved for future histori- 
cal use. A hundred years from now these records will be regarded as 
treasures of the greatest importance, equal in interest and value to those 
of the Revolutionary War. We are yet too near the period of the Civil 
War adequately to estimate the importance to America and to the world 
of its results. One thought gives a clue to this. America has become 
the strongest nation in the world, its influence the most powerful in world 
councils. The influence of America for the peace and good will of the 
nations is the great hope of the world. How different all this if our 
great country had been permanently divided by secession. 

Peter Berlet died at Auburn, January 27, 1923, aged 82. He was 
born in France, settled in Nemaha county in 1866 and had a long, success- 
ful and influential career. He was a member of the Nebraska House of 
Representatives in 1899 and of the senate in 1901. He was one of a 
group of French speaking Nebraskans in Nemaha and Richardson coun- 
ties, where the natives of France and of Germany dwell in peace side by 
side, even in time of World War. 


A Land Mark in the North Loup Valley 

The Seventh Day Baptist people settled at North Loup 
fifty years ago. They were an industrious, God-fearing folk, 
intelligent, inclined to read, rather set in their religious faith 
and willing to debate the subject with any one who was rash 
enough to run the risk. They made a settlement that "stuck." 
The beautiful farms were opened along the valley. The more 
adventurous climbed the hills and made good there. Theirs 
was the common experience of pioneers in Nebraska fifty years 
ago. The grasshopper made his abode with them. The 
Sioux Indians occasionally raided down the Loup. Dry weath- 
er and hot winds encouraged religious zeal by removing the 
temptation of much earthly possessions. 

But the Seventh Day people stayed on, worshipping God 
after their own conscience and hanging out their washing Sun- 
day morning. So they plan to celebrate their fiftieth anniver- 
sary at North Loup next August and expect to have a great 
homecoming of the children and friends from the four quar- 
ters of the world and the seven seas. The Bulletin of the 
Seventh Day Baptist Church at North Loup is an eight page 
periodical which brings this news to the Historical Society li- 
brary. It brings also on its front page a picture of Chalk 
Bluff or Happy Jack, which is a bold hill on the North Loup 
river so chalky white that it may be seen for many miles. It 
tells this tale of the bluff: 

"Happy Jack Swearenger, a trapper and government scout 
lived at one time in a dugout below this bluff, which gave it 
the name of Happy Jack. It is said that as Mr. Rood, pioneer 
Seventh Day Baptist, was hurrying back to camp after his 
initial trip to the top of the bluff, he stumbled over Happy 
Jack who was fast asleep on one of the cat steps on the side of 
the bluff. Immediately he found himself facing Happy Jack's 
gun but as soon as the scout saw the situation Mr. Rood was 
allowed to go unmolested." 

The Bulletin further exhorts with the following invita- 

"Come and tell us of your experience with poverty, home- 
sickness, drouth, grasshoppers, blizzards, prairie fires, hunt- 
ing, fighting, dugouts, leaky sod houses, and don't- forget the 

G. B. Pavey died at Grand Island December 10, 1922 in his 70th 
year. He came to Nebraska in July 1858, and has been a continuous 


Freighting from the Missouri river to the mouatains was a favor- 
its and almost universal means of existence for Nebraska settlers in the 
territorial period. It was the one occupation which brought in money 
to many a log cabin home and enabled the family to stick by their land. 
One by one the old Nebraska freighters pass on. Peace to their mem- 
ory. Many a time the writer of these lines has been given a free ride 
by the bull-whackers of the freighting outfits on the old well-traveled 
trail leading from Nebraska City to Fort Kearny and the mountains. 
They Weie fast-disappearing from the trail then, as the railroads push- 
ed westward taking their job away from them. Often the writer has 
listened to their complaint that the railroads were ruining the Nebras- 
ka country, driving the freighting wagons off tlie trail, taking away the 
market of the early ranchmen and — worst of all — bringing in an alien 
population untrained in the fine art of hospitality and fellowship wliich 
followed the overland trails from the beginning. These musings and 
memories started by noting the death of Jacob M. Epler at Julian, 
Nemaha county, November 26', 1922, in his eighty-fourth year. Mr. Ep- 
ler began freighting with oxen from Nebraska City in 1859 and follow- 
ed the freighting trail for five years, most of the time in the government 
service. He then settled upon a Nebraska farm and made an honorable 
record throughout his successful career. 

Fred Uhlir, of Verdigree, Knox county, startled his community by 
unloading four head of young buffales at that station the last week in 
January. He bought them from a buffalo ranch at Pierre, South Dakota, 
paying $1,000 for the four. A bull and three cows composed the ship- 
ment. It is the intention of Mr. Uhlir to increase the herd and use them 
in crossing upon cattle for the purpose of securing buffalo robes as well as 
beef. The time when buffalo hides sold from the hunter's wagon at a 
dollar a piece and every settler's dugout and sod house had buffalo robes 
on its beds seems like yesterday to the editor of this magazine. From his 
boyhood home every autumn went forth a dozen wagons filled with buf- 
falo hunters bound for the Republican valley — then the great buffalo - 
hunting field. No cornfed beef can ever compare with the rich, delicate 
gramma grass flavor of the wild buffalo. In later years frontier families 
pined for the good old buf falo steak and dried buffalo which had been 
their chief diet during the period of early settlement. Children of that 
time could not be persuaded to eat dried beef after the disappearance of 
the buffalo. Here's a hope that the buffalo will survive in Nebraska, his 
original home of greatest numbers. Buffalo robes now command from 
$100 to $300 apiece and the cross of the buffalo, especially upon the black 
breeds of cattle, is said to produce a robe of extraordinary beauty. 

A monument was recently erected on the John Reiter fanii near In- 
dianola. Upon it is this inscription: 

"Pawnee Squaw, wounded in battle between Sioux and Pawnees Aug- 
ust 5, 1873, at Massacre canyon; left; for dead; was picked up by a hunt- 
er; brought to Indianola and left at the home of L. B. Korn, where she 
died a few days later. Burial made by E. S. Hill, L. B. Korn and G. A. 

The grave of this Pawnee woman has been enclosed \vith a strong 
fence made from gas pipe and the large stone, set in cement, which stands 
as a monument ought to protect the grave through all future years. Mr. 
E. S. Hill, one of those who buried the woman in 1873, is the chief pro- 
motor of this monument. 



The story of Skull Creek in Butler County and days of 
early settlement there is told in graphic tale by an early set- 

Skull Creek is in the northeast corner of Butler County. 
Linwood is the principal nearby town. A great Pawnee vil- 
lage stretched along the bench land of the Platte valley there 
for many years. We have records of visits to this village in 
1833 and at intervals thereafter by government agents, mili- 
tary officers and explorers. 

The bluffs back of the bench land were graveyards of the 
Pawnee nation for many years. The editor of this magazine 
has paid several visits to this ancient cemetery. Everywhere 
the hills are dotted with sunken spots and the rank growth of 
sunflowers marking the graves of these early Nebraska peo- 
ple. Modern white settlers have shown no more respect for 
the dead than the explorers in Egypt have shown for king Tut- 
ank-ahmen. Everywhere the spade of the white man had 
dug into the graves, throwing out bones, beads, fragments of 
weapons, clothing. Many a Pawnee chief will wander empty 
handed across the fields of the happy hunting grounds for lack 
of the weapons his people placed with such loving care by his 

Skull Creek received its name from an abundance of skulls 
washed out by the waters from the bluffs, oi", as one tradi- 
tion tells, left on the battle field in a great fight many years 
before. The writer of this story, whose family settled in But- 
ler county in 1863 says : 

"Once a year the Omahas, Otoes and Pawnees would come 
and spend several days in marching around these graves, sing- 
ing and moaning for the loss of their honored dead. It was 
the delight of the settler to dig into these graves to see what 
might be found. Gun barrels, iron saddle stirrups, and bones 
were found. The finding of these things goes to prove the 
fact that v/hen an Indian warrior is buried, that his horse, 
saddle, and gun, is buried with him as he is supposed to need 
them in the happy hunting ground where he is going. My 
wife can well remember of going up on this bluff when she 
was a girl, and picking up all kinds of beads in great quantities 
found on the ground around these graves. 

"At the foot of this bluff was a field of about thirty acres 
surrounded by a wall of dirt, some eight or ten feet high, made 
by the Indians and used as a fort, or breastwork in time of 
battle. A gi-eat portion of this wall was made from dirt dug 
up near where the wall was built, yet not all, for a lot of it 
was brought from the 'catcher' holes that were dug in great 
numbers all over the field. These holes were very curiously 


made. They were dug round and not larger at the top than 
a wash tub, and dug about that size down for some three or 
four feet, then they were dug out inside just the shape of a 
jug. Some of them were ten or twelve feet across and often 
ten feet deep. Into these holes the Indians would place their 
corn and such things as they had stored up for winter, so that 
when the enemy came upon them, they could be driven off, and 
afterward come back and dig up their stuff. The object of 
digging these holes in such a shape, was to have as small a 
top as possible so that it could be covered in such a manner 
that no one but the owner could find it. And so the dirt from 
these holes was carried by the squaws in their blankets and 
lielped to build the wall around the field." 

(Editor's Note: These holes were "caches," from the 
French word "cacher" — to hide or conceal.) 

Representative Crist Anderson, of Bristow, Boyd county, puts an- 
other big Nebraska storm on the calendar in an article printed in the 
Bristow Enterprise October 18, 1922. He writes: 

VForty-two years ago, October 15 and 16, 1880, a howling blijizard 
and snow storm was raging over these prairies. We then lived in a 
little log house on Turkey Creek in Holt county. Many of the leaves 
\\ere still on the trees as they are now. The storm, as I remember it, 
lasted nearly three days and left over a foot of snow on the level, and 
just a part of the sod corn stalks sticking out. Some of that snow re- 
mained in the draws until the next May, 

' Our log hut was small, no floor, a board and dirt roof, but it was 
warm and we had plenty to eat, plenty of wood and we did not suffer 
as did some that hard, long winter. Some of the people could not get 
supplies and many had to grind corn in their coffee mills. Game of all 
kinds was plentiful." 

Josiah Miner, who settled nine miles southwest of Friend in 1872 
and still lives on his original soldier's homestead, has a splendid grove 
of walnut trees planted by him fifty years ago. Mr. Miner is originator 
of the idea of a walnut log cabin upon the new capitol grounds as a per- 
manent memorial to the soldier homesteaders of Nebraska. A model 
of this log cabin has been presented by Mr. Miner to the Historical So- 
ciety and use<l for illustration of his idea before members of the legis- 

Hon. George F. Smith of Waterbury, Dixon county, writes a warm 
letter of appreciation for volume XX. He says: "I can scarcely give 
expression to my delight and gratification in reading this volume. It 
is a great book and so historically correct that while reading it one can 
almost see the stirring events of that early period being enacted. My 
father was one of the forty-niners. He drove oxen from Galena, Illinois, 
to Sacramento, California, in the summer of forty-nine and was conse- 
quently one of that great company which the book so adequately por- 
trays. How rich indeed is this imperial state of Nebraska in the poss- 
ession of so large a part of the area in which those wonderful deeds were 



One of the most interesting and probably the oldest In- 
dian died on the reservation near Walthill January 12, 1923. 
This was Ta-ou-ka-han, translated into English, Good Old 
Man. Old Indians reckoned their age by the time when as 
they say "the stars fell." This remarkable phenomenon, 
which filled the night with blazing meteors from horizon to 
horizon, occurred in 1833 and impressed itself upon all the In- 
dian tribes. Good Old Man was nine years old at the time ac- 
cording to his story. Besides his Indian name and its transla- 
tion, Good Old Man was named Arthur Ramsey by the white 

Good Old Man was born when the tribe lived on the Elk- 
horn riv'sr near Frem.ont. Later the tribe moved to a vil- 
lage site near the present town of Homer. Still later they 
moved to the Papillion valley, giving up that region by the 
treaty of 1854 and moving to the present location, then called 
Blackbird Hills. 

Good Old Man told the story of the buffalo hunt on Beav- 
er Creek, in what is now Boone county in the summer of 1855, 
when Logan Fontenelle was killed by the Sioux. Good Old 
Man was selected by the Ethnological Bureau at Washington 
as one of the typical Indians for a portrait in the Smithsonian 
museum. Some years ago the editor of this magazine secured 
phonographic records of Good Old Man's favorite songs in the 
Omaha tongue and very excellent photographs while singing 
these songs. 

A land mark of early Lincoln was H. W. Brown, the bookstore man. 
For forty years lie was in the drug: and book business in Lincoln. He 
was one of the old-fashioned book dealers. He loved books. People loved 
to talk with him about books. His book store was a center of book in- 
terest. "With him_ the love of books was greater than the love of money 
and he had no mind for adoption of more modern commercial methods 
which sell books regardless of merit or development of book taste in the 
public. Mr. Brown sold out his book business in Lincoln a number of 
years ago and is now living at the age of 79 near his boyhood home at 
Sidney, Maine. He served as a Union soldier in the Civil War and was 
a prisoner at Andersonville, finally making his escape from the rebel 
prison at Florence, South Carolina, and getting back to the Union lines. 

The story of the pioneer preachers of the gospel in Nebraska is one 
of great interest and social value. One of them, Rev, Jacob Adriance, 
died at Fremont December 18, 1822, at the age of eighty-seven. He set- 
tled at Tekamah in 1857 and began his service as a minister of the M. E. 
church. Since that time he was almost continuously in the missionary 
church service until a few years ago when failing health caused his re- 
tirement. In 1862 he secured a farm in Dodge County on a soldier's land 
warrant issued to his father and signed by Abraham Lincoln. 



A recent issue of the News, published at Whitney, revives 
memories and historical recollections connected with that vil- 
lage. The editor of this magazine first visited Whitney in the 
summer of 1888 and for the next eight years in his work as a 
Dawes County editor was a frequent visitor in that commun- 

The story of Whitney might well be entitled "The Rise 
and Fall and Rise Again of a Frontier Community." The first 
white village in the neighborhood called Dawes City was lo- 
cated on the south side of the White River about a mile from 
the present Whitney. It was planned to be the county seat of 
Dawes County, but Chadron, the railroad division point, out- 
voted all other rivals for that honor. When the Chicago and 
Northwestern Railroad (then called Fremont, Elkhorn and 
Missouri Valley) built west from the White River in 1886 the 
walls of a large Sioux earth lodge were standing on the bank 
of the White River near the right of way. The station was 
christened Earth Lodge. A little later, when settlers came 
in and began to homestead and preempt the White River val- 
ley, there w^as objection to Earth Lodge as a name and the rail- 
road company changed the name to Whitney, in honor of P. 
Whitney, whom many settlers of that time remember as a 
very active gentleman who handled the sale of town lots along 
the line of the railroad. 

The village of Whitney enjoyed a boom in the years 1887- 
89. A continual stream of settlers poured in. Not only the 
White River valley, but the smooth "gumbo" prairie north of 
Whitney was rapidly claimed by the newcomers. Several 
store buildings went up in Whitney. A dozen business houses 
started, stores, shops, a hotel, churches. A mill located there 
and a newspaper started. Providence sent the rain just right 
for the rich gumbo land. Many fields of spring wheat yielded 
thirty and forty bushels to the acre in 1889. It seemed that 
nothing could stop the high tide of prosperity from filling the 
White River valley. 

Then rapidly came the dry years, beginning with 1890. 
The financial panic came along in 1893. Settlers mortgaged 
their claims, and moved to the mountains, back east, down into 
the Ozarks. Whitney began to fade from the face of the earth. 
It was at this period that a famous political epigram was coin- 
ed in Whitney. It was the hard times campaign of 1894 — 
Silas A. Holcomb of Broken Bow running as populist candidate 
for governor against Thomas J. Majors of Peru, republican 
candidate. Joint debates were held between the populists and 
the republicans in the school houses. At a debate in Whitney 
George A. Eckles, Chadron lawyer, spoke first for the repub- 


licans. He painted the blackest picture possible of the condi- 
tion which would follow if Holcomb were elected. Credit 
would be refused the people of Nebraska by eastern merchants 
and money-enders. Loans would be called. Banks and stores 
would break. Farmers would be sold out by the sheriff. At 
the close of forty minutes Mr. Eckles had demonstrated his 
g-reat ability as a prophet of disaster. Before the populist 
speaker assigned to reply to Mr. Eckles would get the floor, 
Von Harris, a farmer living just west of Whitney, rose from a 
back seat and made this speech : "Mr. Chairman, hard times, 
can't hurt Whitney." The effect was electrical. A great roar 
of laughter and stamping of feet filled the room. The ans- 
wer was so complete that subsequent speakers scarcely refer- 
red to the disastrous prophesy. 

Since that time the village of Whitney nearly disappeared 
from the map, ambitious ranchers hauling its houses miles 
across the country to locate on their claims. The mill burned 
down. The editor flew as far as Mexico. Just a little group 
of old-timers gathered at the post oft ice and swapped stories 
about the early boom. Then things happened, one by one. 
The White River, Trunk Butte Creek, East and West Ash, 
Cottonwood and Lone Tree streams were impounded and their 
waters spread out upon strips of land. Alfalfa was planted. 
Winter wheat put in. The potato crop found a place in the 
valley. Dry farming methods came in. Cows vvere milked 
and the cream separator swiftly whirled. Hens and eggs and 
pigs and cows multiplied. 

So Whitney came back. It now has a community club of 
two hundred members. It has a twenty thousand dollar 
school liouse. It has a lumber yard, two general stores, a bank, 
a grain elevator, a hotel, plenty of garages, lots of pep and a 
newspaper. Thus the "Rise and Fall and Rise Again of Whit- 
ney village in Dawes County" makes an epic cycle of Nebraska 
history. And all true. 

Interesting sociology items printed in the Fairbury Journal of 
December 7 recall two events of half a century ago which could not 
happen now. First of these was a lotteiy project for the purpose of 
raising money for a Nebraska State Orphan Asylum. Second was a 
proposition submitted to the voters of Jenkins Mills (then an important 
point in Jefferson county) to vote twelve thousand dollars bonds to aid 
in the establishment of a foundry and machine shop at that place. The 
precinct was to own stock in the enterprise. Only a fevv^ of the old- 
timers, or historical students of economic events, realize how often in 
the early years were these propositions for aid in establishing factories 
by bond issues put across in the western states. The ambition of early 
towns to become manufacturing centers made them an easy mark for 
the promoters of that period. The constitution of 1875 stopped the 



Interesting Correspondence With tlie Secretary of Worcester 

Light Infantry Veteran Association of Massachusetts, 

Where General Thayer began His Career as a 

Soldier in 1842 

Recently the editor has had a most interesting correspon- 
dence with Mr. Herbert L. Adams, secretary of the Worces- 
ter, Massachussetts, Light Infantry Veteran Association. 
From this correspondence it appears that this organization is 
putting into record form the career of its different members 
through the years. One of these members is General John 
M. Thayer. Apparently the people in Massachussetts lacked 
a great deal of having adequate information concerning Gen- 
eral Thayer. They were in possession of a newspaper clipping 
at the time of his death stating that he had been United States 
Senator from Nebraska and subsequently governor. The sec- 
retary wrote asking for more definite information. 

From the correspondence the following extracts are 
taken : 

Worcester, February 9, 1923. 

I am just in receipt of your valued favor of February 7 
and I do not delay in expressing my sincere appreciation of aid 
afforded us. 

General Thayer was indeed a distinguished soldier and 
citizen, one of the most distinguished of the many who served 
during the past 120 years in the ranks of this old military or- 
ganization, and it affords us a great deal of satisfaction to be 
able to publish such a complete and authentic account of his 

I am taking the liberty of herewith enclosing a copy of 
typed matter, this being the initial copy, and subject to re- 
vision, and before publication it will be carefully checked by 
comparison with the publications of your society and official 
military records. 

I note by your memorandum that General Thayer held a 
commission as Brigadier General in 1855 in the Nebraska Mil- 
itia, which seems to confirm the meager information given in 
an Associated Press dispatch at the time of his death, in 1906, 
that, prior to the Civil War, he saw considerable service and 
gained a high reputation as an Indian fighter; and I am 
prompted to ask if you would have the kindness to procure 
from the records of your Adjutant General's Office, data cov- 
ering his service up to the outbreak of the Civil War, i, e., date 
of his entering the state militia, service, and any appointments 
or commissions he may have received prior to his appointment 
as Brigadier General. 


Worcester, Mass., 24th March 1923. 

The additional information you give us concerning the 
career of General Thayer is most welcome and will be incor- 
porated in the sketch for the history, and, thanks to you, it 
will make one of the most interesting sections of the work. 

We who have served in the ranks of the old company, 
which has had a continuous existence for 120 years, take much 
pride in the organization as a body and in the individual rec- 
ords such as that of General Thayer who is one of a large 
number of the old command who have become distinguished in 
military and civic life. Three governors of this state, one of 
Maine, Nebraska and Wyoming; Senators (U. S.) Representa- 
tives in Congress; U. S. Attorney General; Judges of high 
courts ; twenty or more State Senators and representatives ; 
Members of Governor's Council and a dozen or so Mayors of 
our city, to say nothing of the very many who won high rank 
in the various wars in which the country has been involved, 
the last and crowning glory from a military standpoint, in the 
fact that the company was Co. C, of the 104th Infantry, 26th 
Division U. S. A., whose colors were decorated by the French 
Government in France, the only American regiment to be so 

Worcester, Mass., 28th February, 1923. 

This is in somewhat tardy acknowledgement of your very 
kind favor of February 16, with the Volume V, of your publi- 
cations you were so good as to loan us and which I have found, 
aside from that part relating to General Thayer, of very great 

I have now made up a somewhat better sketch of the life 
and career of General Thayer, which I am taking the liberty 
to enclose an extra carbon copy of and which I hope you will 
consider as more adequately doing justice to such a career. 
You are at liberty to destroy or place this matter in your files 
if desired. 

I call your attention to one item in this sketch with which 
you may not agree, that is the lines relating to a (possible) 
connection with the family of Hon. Eli Thayer who became so 
conspicuous in western affairs just about the time that Gener- 
al Thayer was winning renown in the same section of the coun- 

Strange as it may seem, it has been impossible for me to 
confirm my belief that these two men were closely related, al- 
though Eli Thayer hastwo daughters now living in Worces- 
ter who appear to be in ignorance, and so far as I have search- 
er, the published genealogies of the Thayers make no mention. 
It would seem to me however that inasmuch as both John M. 
and Eli Thayer were born in the same town (Bellingham being 
set off from Mendon) and both born within a year of each 


other, they must have come from the same family. I am still 
looking and may have to change my sketch as far as it has 
mention of Eli Thayer. 

T have the good fortune to have in my own home here, a 
gentleman, George C. Hitt, a former resident of Indianapolis, 
connected by relationship with former Congressman Robert C. 
Hitt, of Illinois, who was personally acquainted with General 
Thayer and a number of his associates in civic and military 
life Vv'hen he v/as (Gen'l. Thayer) a resident of your state. He 
also has been interested in reading the book and looking over 
your catalog of publications and has more than once remarked 
about the fine work your society is doing on historical lines 
and I am glad also to compliment you. It has pleased me also 
to find a number of your publications on file here at our public 

We ai-e especially pleased to have so good a likeness of 
General Thayer and this, combined with the sketch, will make 
an interesting chapter in the forthcoming history. 



General John Milton Thayer, one of the most distinguish- 
ed veterans of the Worcester Light Infantry, was born in 
the town of Bellingham, Massaachusetts, January 24, 1920. 
He was the ninth child and son of Lieutenant Elias and Ruth 
(Staples) Thayer, both natives of Mendon, Mass. He gradu- 
ated from Brown University in 1841 ; took up the study of law 
in the office of William Lincoln in Worcester ; was admitted to 
the bar of Worcester County and practiced here until about 
1854. While engaged in his profession, he was for a short 
period editor of the old Worcester Magazine and Historical 
Journal, a publication which gave promise of becoming noted 
but which unfortunately through lack of financial backing, 
had a short existence. 

General Thayer was regarded here as a man of consider- 
able literary and professional ability and one of the most prom- 
ising members of the bar. He was a member of an old and 
distinguished New England family of common ancestry with 
others of the same name who became distinguished in public 
life, one of whom, Hon. Eli Thayer, of Worcester, became 
nationally famous thru his advocacy of the admission of Ore- 
gon into the Union his efforts in making Kansas and its settle- 
ment by "organized emigration" in the "fifties." 

At the age of twenty-two, in the first year after his 
graduation from college, General Thayer became a member of 
the "Infantry," which was then designated as a "A Company 
of Light Infantry," attached to the 8th Regiment, 5th Brigade 
and 3d Division, of the Mass. Militia. He was appointed Third 


Lieutenant, July 23, 1842 and second Lieutenant, April 27, 
1843, then because of the demands of his profession, he retir- 
ed from the militia here. He was married in Worcester, on 
December 17, 1842 to Mary Laura Albee. 

In 1854 General Thayer removed to the new Territory of 
Nebraska and engaged in the practice of law at Omaha, in 
which he continued until the outbreak of the War of the Re- 
belhon in 1861. 

When the Territorial Militia of Nebraska was organiz- 
ed in 1855 and a choice was to be made for a' Brigadier Gener- 
al to command same. Gen. Thayer was selected. As stated by 
a State of Nebraska official, "by reason of his previous military 
training in your organization (Worcester Light Infantry) 
General Thayer was regarded as the best equipped man to be 
appointed Brigadier General" and he was commissioned as 
such, retaining this office until outbreak of the Civil W^ar. 

On June 30, 1861, he was mustered into the service of the 
United States as Colonel of the First Nebraska Infantry, which 
organization subsequently became the First Nebraska Caval- 
ry. This regiment had a good record in the war, participat- 
ing in the battles of Fort Donelson, Shiloh, Vicksburg and 
elsewhere. On November 1, 1862, General Thayer was honor- 
ably discharged as Colonel, by reason of his acceptance on that 
date of an appointment as Brigadier General of Volunteers, re- 
signing his commission at the end of the war and receiving his 
discharge on July 19, 3865. 

From 1867 to 1871, General Thayer was United States 
Senator from Nebraska; in 1875 he was appointed by Presi- 
dent Grant Governor of Wyoming Territory and from 1887 to 
1891 he was Governor of Nebraska. 

His death occurred at Lincoln, Nebraska, March 19, 1906, 
at the age of 86. When the news of his death reached Wor- 
cester by Associated Press dispatches, there were a number 
of old members of the bar and ex-member of the militia living 
who remembel-ed him when a citizen of Worcester. 

General Thayer became a citizen of Nebraska when it 
was a young and somewhat turbulent territory. The country, 
outside of Omaha and a very few other places was very thinly 
settled and there was considerable lawlessness and disregard 
of civilized authority, especially on the part of the Indians, 
of whom there were a gi'eat number in and surrounding the 
territory and with these elements the military forces of the 
territory had more or less trouble. 

The most notable occasion in which General Thayer played 
a leading part was the so-called "Pawnee War of 1859" which 
consisted of a stern chase after the marauding red men by a 
volunteer force under General Thayer. The Indians compris- 


ed practically the entire tribe of "Pawnees" and while this con- 
flict did not result in bloodshed, this was due altogether to the 
coolness, daring and quick-wittedness of the general, who — 
realizing fully the responsibility resting upon him and the 
great risk he was taking, ordered his force of only one hundred 
and ninety-four mounted men, with one small piece of field ar- 
tillery, to charge the Indian who were in camp and numbered 
fourteen hundred armed warriors, constituting the fighting 
force of the tribe that numbered altogether about five thou- 
sand males, females and children. 

The story of this campaign has been told by various par- 
ties but the best and undoubtedly the most truthful account 
has been i-elated by General Thayer himself, who modestly 
attributed his success to the fact that every man of his small 
force was a trained frontiersman, of courage and daring. They 
were thoroughly incensed at the Indians, many of them hav- 
ing suffered by their continual raids and all were anxious to 
retaliate. The very audacity of the charge took the red men 
"off their feet" and caused their complete surrender without 
the loss of a life and could not be considered otherwise than a 
most notable achievement. 

In connection with this campaign, there was a story 
which was not given general publicity until many years after 
the incident occurred. It was told by General Thayer at a 
meeting of the Nebraska State Historical Society, January 10, 
1900, the particulars of which are given in the published re- 
port of the society for that year, furnished through the kind- 
ness of its Superintendent, Addison E. Sheldon. 

It appears that when news of the uprising of the "Paw- 
nees" first reached the Capitol at Omaha, brought in by cour- 
iers from the regions along the Elkhorn river, where the In- 
dians were driving out the settlei's, burning their homes and 
devastating their settlements, the Governor of the territory 
was absent and the duties of governorship fell upon the then 
secretary, Honorable J. Sterling Morton (afterwards Secre- 
tary of Agriculture under President Cleveland.) Because of 
the exigency of the moment, Acting Governor Morton issued 
orders to General Thayer to recruit a force of volunteers im- 
mediately and set out to rescue the settlers and subjugate the 

Acting in strict accord with his orders from the Acting 
Governor, General Thayer started with such force as he was 
able to raise for the seat of the trouble. It appears however, 
that the Governor himself had learned of the affair and the 
start of the expedition and General Thayer had not been out 
more than two days before he was overtaken by the territor- 
ial Governor, who, unfortunately, was very much under the 


influence of liquor and very far from being in a tractable frame 
of mind. He immediately tried to assume command of the 
expedition and issued some orders which threatened to cause 
a revolt and actual disbandment unless something was 
promptly done. General Thayer had no time to consult with 
anyone at headquarters — there were no quick means of com- 
munication — and realizing the temper of his man and the fu- 
tility of trying to reason with his drunken Governor, His Com- 
mander-in-Chief, he immediately placed him under arrest; 
had him placed in an ambulance wagon under guard and kept 
him there until the force had met and overcome the Indians. 

General Thayer felt very sure that because of the fact 
that he was out there in an unbroken wilderness, where no law 
or authority, except that of "might," prevailed, he was justi- 
fied in his course of action. The -force under him was purely 
voluntary — not even enlisted — and he felt that the emergency 
called for prompt and drastic action, such as would command 
the respect of his men — and it did. The Indians were overtak- 
en and thoroughly subdued ; the Governor sobered up and the 
incident of his arrest seems to have been forgotten, so far as 
any "official" action went. 

General Thayer was regarded by the people of Nebraska 
as one of the state's most distinguished citizens. His civil 
and military record there covered a period of more than fifty 
years, from 1854 to 1906. He was buried in the beautiful 
Wyuka cemetery, adjoining the city of Lincoln, where a hand- 
some monument marks his grave. 

Everyone familiar with the townsite of the cit3 ol bcottsbluffs 
twenty years ago recalls how it was distinguished above other places in 
the North Platte valley by the beautiful young groves of cottonwood 
planted by the early settlers. At that time these cottonwoods were sap- 
lings, just about tall enough to hide a horse. They gave the townsite an 
attractive appearance which was certainly some contribution to the future 
metropolis of the North Platte valley. Those trees now shade the city and 
the Scottsbluff Star-Herald notes that these cottonwood pioneers are 
now being removed from the business blocks by axe and saw. 

Rev. Thomas L. Sexton died in Lincoln, November 29, 1922, aged 
83. Dr. Sexton came to Seward as a Presbyterian minister in 1882 and 
was for forty years one of the leaders of his denomination in the state, 
a strong, high-minded spirit, a Union soldier in the Civil War. 

A fire at Blair December 1 burned the millinery store of Mrs. T. C. 
Hilton, thereby calling attention to the fact that she had been continuous- 
ly in the millinery business at that place since the spring of 1869. Her 
husband, L. F. Hilton, was editor for many years of the Blair Pilot and 
his name familiar in the early newspaper annals of the state. 



Visited by President Harvey and Secietai y Sheldon of the 

State Historical Society — A Smooth Plat of Unbroken 

Prairie in the Midst of a Cornfield on 

the Oregon Trail About Ten Miles Southeast 

of Lexington 

In October, 1922, President Harvey and Superintendent 
Sheldon visited the site of the Pkim Creek Massacre on the 
south side of the Platte river, about ten miles from Lexington. 
We were guided to the place by County Surveyor Beattie, of 
Dawson County, one of the early pioneers of the region. 

The site is located near the center of an eighty acre corn- 
field and about sixty rods north of the section line highway. 
The land is part of the Dilworth ranch owned by C. J. Dil- 
worth, former attorney general of Nebraska. The murdered 
party of emigrants were buried by the soldiers who arrived 
soon after the massacre. Other persons were subsequently 
buried in the same plot of ground. It is a perfectly level tract 
about one-fourth acre in extent, about a quarter of a mile from 
the banks of Plum Creek. The Oregon Trail wound its way 
across this level bench of prairie, crossing Plum Creek at a 
point about a mile west of the site where the dead are buried. 
The wagon tracks of the old trail are clearly visible even today. 
Several gravestones mark the site of the massacre, some of 
them broken. There are several individual graves and one or 
two large mounds apparently marking the common grave of a 
number of people. 

The owner of the land has carefully refrained from culti- 
vating this little patch of Nebraska sod in the midst of his 
field. It is inaccessible to the public, except by walking 
across the cultivated land. A strip of land for a public drive 
leading in to the burial site should be secured. A worthy 
monument should be erected at the spot. The survey of the 
Burlington railroad extension from Newark up the south side 
of the Platte to North Platte and Bridgeport runs across this 
bench land near the line of the Oregon Trail. The manage- 
ment of the Burlington road could do a noble deed and add to 
the historic interest of this line, when constructed, by bring- 
ing this little consecrated strip with its pioneer graves into its 
right of way and making the monument one of the conspicuous 
historic marks upon its historic highway. 

The nearest to an eye witness account of the Plum Creek 
massacre in existence was written by James Green, of Central 
City, for the annual meeting of the State Historical Society a 
few years ago. Mr, Green is now seventy-eight years old. 
His account of the massacre, which he narrowly escaped with 


his own life, has sufficient interest to warrant printing at this 
time when the extension of the Burlington railroad is appar- 
ently an event of the near future. His story is as follows: 

In the spring of 1860 I went with my parents to Pike's 
Peak, where I passed the time until January, 1862. Then I, 
with my brother, S. S. Green, now of Schuyler, Nebr., started, 
each with an ox team, from Denver to Omaha after freight. 
From January to 'November in the y ear 1862 we made these 
round trips from Denver to Omaha, driving 3,600 miles in 
eleven months with oxmobile. 

In the* s pring of 1863 my brothei- went to Montana. At 
this time I exchanged my cattle for a mule team and made one 
trip with them in the early summer of sixty three. While in 
Omaha I became entangled in the famous Judge Tator trial for 
the murder of his friend, Isaac Neff and I think I was the 
most important witness in the case. Judge Tator was con- 
victed and executed some time in the fall of 1863. It was, I 
believe, the first legal execution in the territory. 

Having become highly taken up with the country around 
Shinn's ferry, about seven miles west of the present city of 
Schuyler, I came back from Denver and squatted on a piece of 
land where the present station of Edholm now stands. On 
May thirteenth following I was married to Miss Elizabeth 
Garrett who lived with her parents twenty miles east of me 
in Saunders county. Not long after this, some time in July, 
I got a hankering for the old Rockies again and we loaded our 
traps in the wagon and started across the Plains, fully expect- 
ing to make our f home some where along the foot of the 
Rocky mountains. At the time we started there were faint 
rumors that the Indians wei-e going to cause trouble and on ar- 
riving at Fort Kearney, 125 miles west, the officers there v/ere 
advising the emigrants to travel in large companies for self- 
protection. But, being perfectly familiar with the country 
and also with the Indians, for they were always in evidence 
along the route, we proceeded on our way and went as far as 
Cottonwood Springs, later Fort McPherson. On our arrival at 
this point the air was full of rumors of depredation further 
west and it was said one man had been killed and his stock 
run off. After due consideration Vv'e concluded the best thing 
to do was to tui'n back and wait a year, when perhaps the In- 
dian troubles would be settled. 

So early in the morning, August 6, we turned our oxen to 
the east and drove to Gillman's ranch, twelve miles east, and 
went into camp one half mile east of the ranch on the bank of 
the i-iver. The river here was full of little tow heads and 
small channels a few inches deep trickling over the sand. After 
we had been in camp perhaps one and one half hours and I was 

(Continued in Vol. V No. 4) 



A Famous Woman of French and Indian Blood Whose Family 

Connects the Present Time With the Earliest 

W^hite Settlement in Nebraska 

Mrs. Harriett Pilcher, widow of John Pilcher, died at 
Walthill December 14, 1922, in her eighty-second year. She 
was born at Philadelphia August 28, 1841, and with her par- 
ents made the long journey by ox team arriving at Omaha on 
December 1, 1855. Her father's name was Arlington, the 
village being named for him. A little later sh-e moved to De- 
catur, where in 1860 she married John Pilcher. Ten children 
v/ere born of this marriage and eighty-seven grandchildren 
and great grandchildren at the time of her death. Eight of 
her grandsons served as soldiers in the World War, one of 
them being wounded in the Argonne. 

John Pilcher Vv^as the son of Major Pilcher, leading Indian 
trader in the Nebraska region a century ago. His trading 
posts along the Missouri river were famous resorts of Indians 
and white men. In 1823 he became president of the Ameri- 
can 1< ur Company at St. Louis and in 1838 he was appointed 
superintendent of Indian affairs for this region. He died in 
1848. The mother of his son John was an Omaha Indian 

The children of early fur traders and Indian women have 
been the great connecting link between the savage customs and 
traditions of the Indian tribes and the civilization of the v/hite 
man. Speaking the languages of both the Indian tribes and 
the white men, and knowing from childhood tlie ways of the 
Indian, they became not only the interpreters between the 
white and red men at their councils but, even more, the inter- 
preters of Indian life to the civilized world. Without their 
aid we should have inevitably lost the large part of the know- 
ledge of Indian customs, folklore and religion which is such a 
valuable storehouse for future literature and perpetual in- 
terpreter of prehistoric times to present day people. 

The Pilcher home, on a beautiful site two miles west of 
Walthill, has for many years been a center of all that was 
l^est in both Indian and frontiei- white society. Six daugh- 
ters in the family made an attractive center for many young 
men. All the daughters married well, Mrs. Pilcher was a 
deeply religious woman, full of sympathy and helpfulness for 
Indian or white people. Her name will always be an honored 
one in Nebi'aska history and in the annals of the Omaha Indian 



iVol. V 



October-Decembei', 1922 

No. 4 


Letter from Editor Edson, Filley Spotlight. . 50 

Rock Bluff — Grange Song Book — Joel Warner 51 

Tom Powers, Cattleman — James E. Newsome, 

U. P. porter 52 

J. P. Dunlap — Pioneer Nurseryman in Butler 

County 53-56 

Legend of Weeping Water 57-59 

Hastings Monument — Agate Springs — North 

Platte Log Cabin 59 


Entered as second class matter February 4, 1918, at the Post Office, 
Lincoln, Nebraska, under Act August 24, 1912. 


Made a State Institution February 27, 1883. 

An act of the Nebraska legislature, recommended by Governor 
James W, Dawes in his inauu:ura! and signed by him, made the State 
Historical Society a State institution in the following: 

Be it Enacted by the Leg-islature of the State of Nebraska: 

Section 1. That the "Nebraska State Historical Society," an or- 
ganization now in existence — Robt. W. Furnas, President; James M. 
Woohvorth and Elmer S. Dundy, Vice-Presidents; Samuel Aughey, 
Secretary, and W. W. Wilson, Tieasurcr, their associates and successors-^ 
be, and the same is hereby recognized as a state institution. 

Section 2. That it shall be the du^y of the President and Secretary 
of said institution to make annual'y re^iorts to the governor, as required 
by other state institution?. Said report to embrace the transactions and 
expenditures of the organization, together with all historical addresses, 
which have been or may hereafter be read before the Society or fuinished 
it as historical matter, data of the state or adjacent western regions of 

Section 3. That said reports, addresses, and paper? shall be pub- 
lished at the expense of the state, and distributed as other similar official 
reports, a reasonab'e number, to be decided by the state and Society, to 
be furnished said Society for its use and distribution. 

Property and Equipment 

The present State Historical Society owns in fee simple title as 
trustee of the State the half block of land opposite and east of the State 
House v/ith the basement thereon. It occupies for offices and working 
quarters basement rooms in the University Library building at 11th and 
R streets. The basement building at 16th and H is crowded with the 
collections of the Historical Society which it can not exhibit, including 
some 15,000 volumes of Nebraska newspapers and a large part of its 
museum. Its rooms in the University Library building are likewise 
crowded with library and museum material. The annual inventory of 
its property returned to the State Auditor for the year 1920 is as follows: 

Value of Land, V2 block 16th and H $75,000 

Value of Buildings and permanent improvements 35,000 

Value of Furnituie and Furr\ishings 5,000 

Value of Special Equipment, including Apparatus, 

Machinery and Tools 1,000 

Educational Specimens (Art, Bluseum, or other) 74,800 

Library (Books and Pviblications) 75,000 

Newspaper Collection 52,895 

Total Resources $318,195 

Much of this property is priceless, being the only articles of their 
kind and impossible to duplicate. 



Published Quarterly by the Nebraska Historical Society 

Addison E. Sheldon, Editor 

Subscription, $2.00 per year 




s of the Nebraska State Historical 
and other publications without furthei 





October-December, 1922 



George T. Edson, editor of the Spotlight at Filley, in sending the 
Historical Society the most complete file of that publication in exist- 
ence takes occasion to add a few< remarks of general interest to the pub- 
lic and of special interest to newspaper publishers in Nebraska. From 
it we quote, 

"The Filley Spotlight was established in November, 1915, but the 
files for the first two years were burned with the printing office in 
March, 1918. The paper was again started August 18, 1918, and the files 
are fairly complete from that date, A few are missing, but none are 
to be supplied from this office. 

"I will entrust them to your care, hoping that in future years some- 
thing may be found in them of interest or value. The editor has been 
careful in the collection of vital statistics and has endeavored to give a 
good deal of information in the obituaries. I have often inquired the 
name of the father of some aged resident, and thus recorded a genera- 
tion of the family which will be unknown in our next generation. The 
earlier copies are poorly printed, owing to the handicaps under which 
the publisher worked after the fire which cleaned out his plant. In the 
interim between November, 1917 and March 1918, I was in Mexico, and 
from March, 1918, until the following August I was figuring on how I 
could resume publication and trying to earn enough money to buy a 
junk plant. 

"Hereafter I shall mail the Historical Society regular numbers of 
the Spotlight, which may be added to the file I am sending you. I am 
a well wisher of the Society and hope to see it housed in commodious 
quarters some day, with ample facilities to care for its collections." 





Set to Music and Dedicated to 

The Order of 

Patrons of Husbandry 

In the United States 

J. A. Wagenseller, Printer, 23 N. 6th St. 
The above lines represent the title page of a gift to the 
Historical Society by D. A. Young of Plattsmouth. This par- 
ticular copy was used by the old Rock Bluff Grange of Cass 
county. The songs sung by the grangers in those years were 
a great influence in that society which did the first work in 
the field of farmers' organization of Nebraska. The tunes in 
many cases are familiar. The words breathe a high type of 
fellowship and motive. Among the hundred songs of this 
book, one stanza may be quoted as a sample of its sentiments : 

The farn;er's the chief of the nation 

The oldest of nobles is he; 
How blest beyond others his station, 

From want and from envy how free; 
His patent was granted in Eden, 

Long ages and ages ago; 
O, the farmer, the farmer forever; 

Three cheers for the plow, spade and hoe! 

The oldest librarian in Nebraska (perhaps in the world) is Rev. 
Joel Warner of Hooper, now in his eighty-fifth year. He is still ac- 
tively and keenly interested in the development of the public library 
there. Mr. Hooper has been a resident of Nebraska for fifty-eight 
years, most of them spent as minister of Presbyterian churches. He 
has been candidate on the Prohibition Party ticket for governor and has 
lived to see a dry nation — once regarded as an impossible dream. In the 
winter of 1865-6 Mr. Hooper taught school at Bellevue and organized 
there the first literary society in the state so far as his information 
goes. His active memory recalls the great prairie fire which swept over 
Elk Hill at Bellevue, afterward the site of Bellevue College. It was 
like a scene from Dante's Inferno. Mr. Warner writes: "In those years 
as soon as the grass was dry in the fall, the gi-eat fires would sweep 
over the prairie and destroy all vegetation, leaving the roots exposed to 
the sun's rays, the winter's frost, and fierce winds. It was no wonder 
that emigrants who passed over the country late in the fall or early in 
the spring pronounced it a desert land, since far as the eye could reach 
nothing was seen but the blackened prairie." 

John N. Anderson of Leland, Illinois, writes that he ownes a quarter 
section of land in Nebraska and desires the publications of the His- 
torical Society. 


Tom Powers, one of the old time cattle men of the North Platte Val- 
ley, was recently telling stories of the old time which are printed in the 
Scottsbluff Star-Herald of November 7, 1922. His stories relate to both 
Nebraska and Wyoming and belong to a period when the state line cut 
little figure for the frontiersmen. Among other stories of Mr. Powers 
were these: 

"We killed buffalo on the Cheyenne river as late as 1888. I saw as 
many as five thousand antelope in one drove in those years. Herman 
Ldppold and myself killed seventeen gray wolves by poisoning them with 
strychnine one night. We put the poison in the carcass of an antelope 
and received $37.50 bounty for each woU scalp, 

' The coldest day I ever saw in Wyoming or western Nebraska was in 
January, 1898. I drove a team from Rawhide to Mitchell, on account of 
a jumping toothache, and the thermometer registered fifty-six below at 
five p. m. 

"Wild geese were in abundance along the Platte river all the time 
and their music could be heard for miles. The Sioux Indians came down 
here frequently and some of the cowboys used to get stuck on the good- 
looking squaws. I never did myself, for they didn't like the Irish very 
well and we didn't get along. They seldom caused us trouble as they were 
afraid of the cowpunchers who were quick to draw their guns, but they 
dealt out misery to the emigrants by/ running off their horses and cattle. 
We had a great many dances in the country. People went more than a 
hundred miles to dance, at a ranch. They did not dance just one night, 
but took pack horses and their beds, stayed three or four nights and had 
a good time. 

"In the spring of the year there were always many cattle in the valley 
that had drifted in during the winter. In the spring of 1887 on the gen- 
eral round-up there were twenty-seven round-up wagons and each wagon 
represented a different outfit and averaged at least fifteen men to the 
wagon. Each man had a string of at least nine horses, so you can imag- 
ine how many saddle horses there would be in one round-up, more horses 
perhaps, than many of the residents of the valley will ever see. The larg- 
est round-up I ever saw was in the spring of '87 on what was known as 
below the sinks of Sheep creek on what is now Pete Vomberg's place, 
about two miles west of Morrill. On the drive it was estimated that 
there were over 40,000 head of cattle. They had to be cut up in 17 bunches 
and it took two days to work the drive. Every outfit of any size for 
over three hundred miles from the north and west had cattle in that round- 

The Union Pacific magazine has an interesting story of James E. 
Newsome, the oldest porter in the employ of the Pullman Company, who 
finished fifty-two yeai^s of actual service for the company on September 
10, 1922._ Mr. Newsome might be regarded as a Nebraska pioneer on 
wheels since he has been running on trains between Chicago and Denver 
for forty-five years. He knew by name nearly all the distinguished men 
of the Trans-Missouri region— General Nelson A. Miles, Col. Wm. F. 
Cody, J. Sterling Morton, James E. Boyd, Edward Rosewater, not to men- 
tion Jesse and Frank James, Wild Bill Hickok and "Canada Bill," the fa- 
mous three-card monte shark who used to fleece passengers on the over- 
land trains by playing the part of a green cattleman who was learning to 
play cards. Besides the history of the hom.esteader, the pioneer business- 
man, the mechanics, who foundeil and built the great empire of the plains 
and prairies, there is to be reckoned the pioneer railroader who kept up 
transportation service with the rest of the world. 



J. P. Dunlap of Dwight Relates His Farm and Orchard Adven- 
tures of the Early Years 

In 1869 I settled on this place in Butler County, Nebraska, 
on the west line of Richardson Township, adjoining the east 
line of Plumcreek township. Not far to the east in Richard- 
son township the table land broke off into hilly land of small 
creeks and small patches of timber along the creeks. In 
Richardson township there were then five settlers. To the 
west, Plumcreek township was a tall, grass covered plain, 
where no white man had ever miade his home. 

What tame crops could be grown here was then only a 
conjecture and people's opinions differed on that, so try was 
the only way to know. I did not have much money, but good 
ability and will to work. Days those times were from dawn 
to dark, so a strife for a home began. 

At the end of the first summer, I had a well, a small log 
house, a shed for stock, guards to protect against wild fires 
that burned off the dead grass of the plains once a year. 
About ten acres of the wild sod was broken out and most of it 
planted to vine crops, such as squash, melons and beans. A 
hole was chopped in the new-turned sod, the seed dropped in 
and the hole tramped shut was all that was needed until har- 
vest, as no weeds grew on sod the first year. Turnips were 
sowed and harrowed well on the new broke sod. They all did 
well. I had never seen such do better than they did. I also 
planted corn, but it did not make a very good crop on such 
new land. Fuel was gathered from creeks. Wild hay was 
plenty everywhere just for the cutting. The winter was a 
little harder than an average Nebraska winter, but we got 
through it passably fair for such a new country. 

In the spring of 1870 I began planting trees. Osage 
orange seed was planted. Plants grew well, those not needed 
for myself were sold to neighbors. People twenty miles away 
were called neighbors in those days. Fence rows of osage 
died in places. Honey locust for fence proved hardy, but when 
barb wire came into use demand for hedge plants ceased. I 
planted a few apple trees, a few currants, peach seeds and 
wild fruits from the creeks. Of the wild fruits the rasp- 
berry and plum were the most worthy. The rest of the plow- 
ed land was put to wheat, corn and potatoes. All made fair 
crops. More sod was broken and as many vines and beans as 
could be used planted on the new sod. More new settlers mov- 


ed in. I would break sod for them when needed. When the 
plow got dull there was a blacksmith shop and store where 
Seward is now and an angling road there. We called it thir- 
teen miles. I would let the team rest and take the shares on 
my back and walk. If I did not have to wait long I would get 
home by noon. If I did have to wait it only made dinnei' that 
much later. Early June when I was at the blacksmith shop 
the seeds were ripe on the wild maple trees on the Blue river. 
I got two sacks and some boys to help me to gather seeds, car- 
i-ied them home and planted them. They grew well. The 
young trees were in good demand. 

In 1872 I went to Missouri and got plants of fruit and 
flowers such as I thought would be most desirable. There was 
a nursery started east of Seward. I got some stock of them. 
I planted wind breaks, mostly of cottonwood, gray willows, elm 
and maple about the house. I got more new sod broke. New 
settlers were still coming, which made a market for surplus 
crops and kept money in circulation. Everybody worked 
with a will, filled with elation and hope of having a home in so 
fertile and healthful a country. 

In 1873 the Midland Pacific, now the Burlington, railroad, 
v/as built to Seward. Two brothers, named Spears, each start- 
ed a nursery. I got stock of each of them. Both died 
within a few years. The first nursery there had quit. There 
vvere hardly enough sales of the nursery stock for a man to 
live on that alone, but so many new farms were being opened 
that the prospects for the business in the near future looked 
good. Mr. Jobes, near Seward, started a nursery. I got stock 
of him. He quit the business a few yeais later. The spring 
of 1874 opened with all good prospects of the past seasons. 
July 31 was a calm, clear, hot day. I was going with a crew 
heading wheat when a dark cloud came. We did not know 
what it was or could be until it hit us. It was grasshoppers 
that darkened the sun, that made the light look like moonlight. 
They were eating all green vegetation, except the wild grass. 
We kept on working, the hoppers going with the heads of grain 
into the stacks. The next day was Saturday. My turn to get 
my wheat headed would not come until the middle of the next 
week. The crew said if I would have my grain cut on Sunday 
(that was the ijcxt diiy) they would help. I told them I would 
rather take chances of some being left. When my regular 
turn did come the hoppers had gone to hunt new pasture. All 
my oats and smooth wheat were entirely ruined. Ten acres of 
barbed wheat that was dead lipe and dry was not harmed. 
It was enough for our bread and seed and some to sell, and to 
this day when I think of it I feel glad that I did not harvest it 
on Sunday. But I hold a kindly feeling to those that kindly 
made the offer. All other crops were gone. 


All leaves were eaten from the trees and plants, except a 
few plants that I covered with dirt. The larger trees leaved 
again and most of them survived the winter, but were in a 
weak condition. European larch never leaved again. William 
Griffin, who was helping me Saturday, told me after he had 
thrashed his wheat that the upper joints of the hoppers legs, 
when broke off, were small enough to go through the riddle 
and too heavy for the fan to blow them out, so they went in 
with the thrashed grain and as near as he could tell by look- 
ing at it it was half grasshoppers' legs. 

The grasshoppers were a burden for a few years, but never 
again were they so bad as in 1874. If the hoppers had only 
eaten our crops and if that had been all it would not have been 
so bad, but they gave the country a bad name. Immigiation 
here ceased. Many settlers sold such property as they could 
not take with them for what they could get and went away. 
Those that remained, with great economy and hard v/ork, man- 
aged to live until prosperity returned. I raised garden truck 
and sold it in the new towns that had been started to help me 
keep up expenses. The grasshopper damage got less each 
year. We raised fair crops each year, but the prices were so 
low for what we had to sell. In 1877 the U. P. railroad was 
built through where Brainard is now and immigration began 

Those that moved away began to return and prosperity 
was again in the country. Some years were better than 
others, but it has been onward and upward all the time. I 
put in more trees and plants each year, trying to keep even 
with the demand. At first the demand was greater for forest 
than for fruit trees and after the tree claim act passed the de- 
mand for forest tree plants was great. We could sell native 
ash and boxelder plants boxed for less than one dollar a thous- 
and as they were taken in such large quantities. Mulberries, 
locust, catalpa, walnut and oak were higher prices. Several 
large nurseries were established in the state to supply the 
demand. This great demand lasted only a few years until the 
tree claimers were all supplied. After that there was only lo- 
cal demand for forest trees. 

In 1887 the Northwestern railroad was built through 
where Dwight is and part of the old homestead was taken in 
the townsite of Dwight. This made it more convenient for all 
kinds of business. The demand for fruit trees and plants, or- 
namental plants, shrubbery and evergreen trees, both for or- 
namental use and windbreaks, has greatly increased. The 
country has gradually settled until all the lands are occupied by 
good homes, sheltered by trees and supplied by fruits from 
their own orchards. In planting trees I wanted to plant 
enough of all kinds that was needed, but if I planted more of 


one kind than I could sell the surplus was a loss and if I did 
not plant enough of any one kind there would be a shortage 
and I would have to buy to fill the deficiency. There were in- 
sects and dry spells in summer and snow drifts and rabbits in 
winter and all plants did not do well alike. So as long as I 
was in the business I was not able to make very good guesses 
as to the proportion and amounts to plant. Our children grew 
up and went to homes of their own, and I got so that I could 
not work very much, so I closed out my nursery business in 

I will give name, age and size in circumference (m feet and 
inches three feet above the ground) of the biggest trees of 
their kind of a few kinds that I have grown on this, the old 
place, on the table land by Dwight. All of the trees had a fair 
amount of space except the bur oak. It was crowded on one 
side. Perhaps it is the best native timber tree to plant on the 
high land here. In the grove all are much smaller of their 
kind and age than those given here. The Minkler apple tree 
is nearly dead. The cottonwood is forked and one fork was 
struck by lightning ten years ago. The Wisconsin weeping 
willow is showing age. All of the others are healthy. The 
native maple grew by a slough. The Burkett pear produced 
twenty-two bushels of pears last year. The other trees stand 
near the house. 

Pear, 6 feet 3 inches, 45 years old. 
Apple, 6 feet 6 inches, 49 years old. 
Pine, 4 feet 3 inches, 49 years old. 
Scotch Pine, 4 feet 10 inches, 29 years old. 
Silver Spruce, Picen Pungen, 3 feet 8 inches, 32 years old. 
Willow, 7 feet, 5 inches, 45 years old. 
Elm, 8 feet, 49 years old. 
Walnut, 5 feet, 8 inches, 35 years old. 
Oak, 5 feet, 2 inches, 35 years old. 
Cottonwood, 13 feet, 6 inches, 52 years old. 
Maple, 13 feet, 4 inches, 49 years old. 
Russian Olive, 4 feet, 2 inches, 30 years old. 
Boxelder, 7 feet, 7 inches, 49 years old. 
Prussian Lilac, 12 feet high, 25 foot spread of branches, 
about 40 years old. 

All these measured in March, 1923. 

James P. Dunlap, 

E. T. Long of St. Edward finished husking a sixty acre field of coi'n 
February 7,1923. He was fifty-nine days in the field doing it, not be- 
cause he was compelled to, but to show what a pioneer settler could do 
in the present day. Mr. Long homesteaded in Boone county in May, 1871, 
and has been there ever since, being the second settler in that county. 



The Story as Put in Literary Form by J. C. Lindberg, a Gradu- 
ate of Doane College, now Teacher at the Aberdeen 
Normal School, South Dakota 

Many requests reach the Historical Society for the legend 
of Weeping Water. There is no established form for this 
legend. It is, in fact, difficult to determine how far the legend 
is a real Indian creation and how far the product of the white 
man's imagination. Prof. 0. C. Dake, -early teacher of liter- 
ature in the Nebraska University, and author of the first vol- 
ume of Nebraska poetry, has a poem upon this legend. His 
l)Ook was printed in 1871. He doubtless gathered the material 
for the story from people at Weeping Water, Cass County, 
some of whom settled there in 1856. 

Professor Lindberg sought information upon this legend 
from the editor of this magazine twenty years ago. Subse- 
quently he wrote the story. A recent published version of his 
story, printed in South Dakota, follows : 

"Nebraska has but few legends to lend spice to the or- 
dinary prosaic routine of her busy life. The following, the 
legend of Weeping Water, is an interesting one, and is well 
worth a hearing, as well as preservation. Doubtless there are 
many people in the state who have perhaps not heard it, and 
some of these perhaps not far from the scene of action. The 
Weeping Water is a beautiful little stream in the southeastern 
part of Nebraska, too large to be called a creek, but scarcely 
large or dignified enough to be called a river. Be that as it 
may, those who live within easy reach, and are able to enjoy its 
scenery wish it none other than it is. 

But it is with the origin of the stream and not its beauty, 
that we are concerned, and here it is that the legend becomes 
of interest. Many years, perhaps centuries ago, two Indian 
tribes roamed the plains of what is now eastern Nebraska. 
They were very hostile toward each other, for each claimed 
this particular territory as its ancestral hunting ground. As 
years passed on this hostile feeling became more and more 
strained. These were not the days of arbitration, viompulsory 
or otherwise, and it soon became evident that the only m.eans 
of settlement lay through an appeal to the god of war. It al- 
so chanced that upon the same night each tribe planned to sur- 
prise and overawe the other, with the result that at earlv dawn 
each found itself face to face with its dreaded enemy. The bat- 
tle was fierce. Upon the result hung the fate of the whole 
tribe, and of all that is dear to the heart of an Indian. Each 
warrior burned with the desire for revenge. All day the bat- 


tie lasted with varying successes and defeats on both sides. 
Now one of the tribes seemed to be the complete master of the 
field, when suddenly from an ambush would rally forth a 
swarm of men and overawe the victors with a shower of ar- 
rows. No point of the compass pointed out safety of escape. 
Every tree, every bush, every bank hurled forth its deadly 
weapons. The result was the total annihilation of one of the 
tribes and only a handful of the other was left to tell the 

As the days passed on and no tidings came to those of 
the vanquished tribe who were left in the camp, they became 
uneasy. They knew only too well the meaning of no news. 
A council was held and it was decided to go en masse to bury 
their dead. It was indeed a sad sight that greeted them when 
they arrived upon the scene. There were tears, many tears. 
After they had buried their dead another council was held at 
which it was decided that each year upon the anniversary of 
the battle the whole tribe should journey to the scene of the 
slaughter and there lament their dead heroes. This custom 
was dutifully kept up until the white man appeared upon the 
scene and pushed the Indians farther west. But meanwhile a 
great many tears had been poured out, so many, indeed that 
a little stream was formed and made its way down the valley. 
The bed of the stream is very uneven and broken by many 
little falls and because of this (as well as from the origin of 
the stream) there is a constant murmuring and complaining 
and so it was christened the Weeping Water. It was in these 
complaints that the water heard the following voice : 

Though all nature around us is smiling 
There's a note of despair in the song. 
Come tell me, no longer beguiling, 
Come tell me the tale of thy wrong. 
Then a murmur as soft as the breeze. 
Yet wierd as the sighing of waves — 
"I'm grieving the death of my kinsmen, 
I'm grieving the death of my braves." 

There's joy in the bobolink's singing 
There is music in every nook ; 
But deep in my heart keeps ringing, 
The longing lament of the brook. 
'Tis the wail of an Indian maiden, 
Like the moaning of far distant waves ; 
"Return me, i-eturn me my lover. 
Return me, return me my braves." 


Now the Sim in its glory is setting, 
And the shadows of evening unfold, 
No breeze the tree-tops are fretting 
And the cloud-land is purple and gold; 
Still the soul-rending wail of the mourner, 
An echo from countless graves; 
"Revenge me, revenge me, my kinsmen; 
Revenge me, revenge me, my braves." 

(Editor's Note : Upon the early French maps of the Ne- 
braska region appears the stream of the legend with the name 
"L'eau qui Pleure" — whose English equivalent is "water 
which weeps.") 

A letter from D. A. Young, Plattsmouth, one of the early time 
pioneers of Cass county, tells the story of the Rock Bluff precinct elec- 
tion in 1866. The story is familiar to all old-timers and is one of the 
fifty stories in the book, "History and Stories of Nebraska." In brief 
it is the story of the election board which went to dinnei- at noon taking 
the ballot box with them. The precinct voted 2 to 1 Democratic. The 
Republican canvassing board at Plattsmouth threw out the vote of the 
precinct, thereby changing the result of the election for legislature. In 
consequence two republicans were sent to the United States senate in- 
stead of two democrats. Throwing out Rock Bluff precinct however 
did not change the result of the vote upon statehood nor was it in any 
way responsible for President Andrew Johnson's veto. 

The G. A. R. memorial shaft on the court house square at Hastings, 
now under construction, is to be thirty-five feet high, surmounted by a 
Union soldier in private's uniform standing at attention. Its foundation 
is an eight foot cube of solid cement in which is imbedded a copper box 
nine by eleven by five inches containing historical records. The monu- 
ment is to be of the finest grade of Barre granite and will cost $9,975. 

Harold Cook of Agate*, Springs ranch in Sioux county, was a Lincoln 
visitor (luiing the holidays. The Agate Springs ranch has become a 
center of interest in every museum of the United States. Wonderful 
discoveries of prehistoric animals continue at that place. Last year over 
five thousand visitors were received, although the ranch is from twenty 
to fifty miles from the railroads of that region. A museum building to 
hold the remarkable collections now at the ranch and others yet to be dis- 
covered is contemplated. 

The North Platte Women's Club has done a fine patriotic piece of 
work by securing for permanent preservation a cedar log cabin now stand- 
ing in the south part of that city and one of the first buildings erected in 
North Platte. The cabin will be moved to a convenient spot near the 
court house, fitted up as a museum and memorial building in coopera- 
tion with the Daughters of the American Revolution. A good photo- 
graph of this cabin taken by the writer a few years ago is in the His- 
torical photograph collections. 



Richard Shunatona, Keeper of Peace Pipe and Chief of the 
Buffalo Clan, Furnishes Important Information 
Upon the Present Chiefs, Customs and Tradi- 
tions of the Tribe 

Otoe Names for Months and Seasons 

From Richard Shunatona, member of the Nebraska State 
'Historical Society and representative of the society to the 
Otoe tribe in Oklahoma, we have received most interesting- and 
valuable unpublished material relating to that tribe which fol- 
lows : 

1. The names and addresses of the living chiefs of the 
Otoe and Missouria Indians are: — 

Name Address Remarks 

Hoke S. Dent, Red Rock, Okla., descendant of Shumonecahthee, 1817 
R. Shunatona, Pawnee, Oklahoma, descendant of Chongatonga, 1817 
Sam Black Red Rock, Okla., descendant of Woronesane, 1825 

S. B. Lincoln, Red Rock, Oklahoma, descendant of Walonithau, 1833 
Wm. Fawfaw, Red Rock, Oklahoma, appointed chief by Interior Dept. 
Felix Robedioux, Red Rock, Oklahoma, descendant of Medicine Horse, 1854 
Wm. Green, Red Rock, Oklahoma, descendant of Lanuwahhah, 1825 

Sam' Ellis, Red Rock Oklahoma, descendant of Hahchegesuga, 1830 

Moses Harragarra, Red Rock, Oklahoma, descendant of Big Soldier, 1854 
John Pipestem, Red Rock, Oklahoma, descendant of Mawthratine, 1854 
Robert McGlaslin, Red Rock, Oklahoma, descendant of Mawthratine, 1854 
Iowa Coonskin, Red Rock, Oklahoma, descendant of Bahtheecuja, 1825 
David Pettit, Red Rock, Oklahoma 

2. The names of the old and distinguished Indians are : — 
Charles Watson, retired chief and historian of the tribe. Far- 
rar Robedioux, a Civil War Veteran and the oldest member liv- 

2. The names of the old and distinguished Indians are : — 

James Arkeketa, Sr., or Standing Buffalo, died July 24, 
1912. His distinguished deed was in recovering some stolen 
cavalry horses for the government. He was the last priest 
of the tribe and head of the Buffalo Clan. 

Richard Whitehorse, died 1922, was a friend of the gov- 
ernment and friendly to everybody. 

Josiah Headman, died , was the head of the 

Bear Clan. 

Albert Green, died Jan. 17, 1921, was a teacher and orator. 
He was really the principal chief when he died. 

Henry Jones, died Sept. 22, 1918. He succeeded his uncle, 
Whitehorso, <r.s one of the chiefs. He was loved by his tribe. 

In conclusion, permit me to add the following : — 

The Otoe and Missouria Tribes were known by the French 
explorers as early as 1673, under the name of Otantata, or 
Wah-doe dah-dah. 


In olden times there were only seven chiefs of the tribes. 
Each chief was a keeper of a Peace pipe which was their sym- 
bol or insignia. To become a chief of the tribes was no easy 
matter, for it required something more than a member of the 
family to be one. In order to be initiated into the secret order 
of the Chief's lodge one must be a student of the) great school- 
room of Nature, for really a chief must be able to teach the 
tribes. They derived the figure seven from the Pleiades, and 
each chief puts his trust in these heavenly stars, because each 
one represented one of the Pleiades. 

As God gave Moses by word of mouth, on Mount Sinai, the 
laws which he delivered unto his people, who repeated it until 
fixed in their minds, so it is with the Indians. The Great 
Spirit taught them in their own primitive way and since then 
their laws have been handed down to each generation. 

The Otoe and Missouria Tribes are divided into bands or 
clans, with chiefs, symbols, badges, etc. The influence of 
names and families is strictly kept up and their qualities and 
relative distinction preserved in heraldric family arms. 

The Otoe and Missouria Tribes have two ruling fami- 
lies, viz: — Ah-lu-qwa, or Buffalo Clan and the Tu-nah-be, or 
Bear Clan. Each clan is the ruler as their respective moon ar- 

When the moon begins to warm mother earth and when 
the grass and the leaves begin to have a coat of green, or dur- 
ing the last quarter of Ma-gan-na, (plow month) or the month 
of Api'il, the Ah-lu-qwa is the ruler of the tribes and is to be 

When the moon begins to cool mother earth and when the 
leaves turn brown and begin to drop back to earth, or during 
the last quarter of Tah-ke-lu-rscha, (mating of deers) or the 
month of October, the Tu-nah-be becomes the ruler of the 
tribes. When the change is made certain rites and rituals 
are performed. 

When the "Guardian of all red childrien" placed the Otoe 
and Missouria Tribes here upon the earth, they were given re- 
ligious customs, t\'hich were observed in the old days gone by. 
Every new moon brought some rituals and Avhen they prepare 
to give mother earth the seed for their crop, certain rites were 
had and the same is true when they gather the harvest and 
when their fall hunt is about to begin. They remembered 
their Maker daily and always called upon Him for guidance and 

Believing that this will be of some interest and regretting 
very much that the true history, given by an Indian who is a 
student of the old Indian teachings, will be forgotten forever, 
I now close. 


(Month Counting) 


Was-se-gay, Me-tah-way, 

People, My own. 
Wah-doe-dah, hay-dah, Nu-dar-chee, 

Otoes and Missoiirias. 
WAH-COHN-DAH, E-chee-chee-a, A-wa-tah-way-nay, 

Great Spirit children his own. 

WAH-COHN-DAH, Ah-blah-a-ah-dah-nay, 

Great Spirit everywhere they see 

WAH-COHN-DAH, Me-kay, way-glo-he-nay, 

Great Spirit, faithful worshippers." 

The Otoe and Missouria tribes have songs for their 
Great Spirit because He is everywhere. Their songs are 
breathed-in songs and these songs are treasured down through 
the ages from generation to generation. 

Each new moon meant purification and sacrifice from 
every family in the tribes. The priest of the tribes takes 
their offerings and takes them to the altar which is built for 
that purpose only, and the possessor offers them as a sin offer- 
ing to the Great Spirit. The priest, looking to the heaven, of- 
fers a prayer and sings to the Great Spirit, who is watching 
his children everywhere. An elegy is sung to the new moon. 

The different seasons of the year brought some form of 
worship. The most important event is spring and in fact 
their new year begins with the spring. Spring was a day of 
much thinking because the Great Spirit made everything to 
live over again. It meant that they, as a tribe or nation, must 
bury their past and live over again and try to remember their 
Maker more each day by their prayers. Their feasts for new- 
resolutions are had at the very beginning of spring. 

Winter was also a big event because it brought to their 
minds of the death of things and to the human race. Winter 
reminded them of death. The snow covering the whole earth 
reminded them of the purity of their Great Spirit, and they al- 
ways tried to live a pure life. 

Their count of the days begins with each new moon, and 
every important event or act is reckoned as the new moon, 
when moon was larger than new moon or, when moon was full, 
when moon was smaller than full moon, which meant new 
moon, 1st quarter, full moon and last quarter. 

Such is the counting months of the year of the Otoe and 

Richard Shunatona, Author. 



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(Continued from Vol. V, No. 3) 

sitting on the wagon tongue thinking of hooking up, all of a 
sudden, without any apparent noise, nine of the biggest, black- 
est war painted Indians I ever saw suddenly appeared f I'om out 
of the river all riding good horses. They at once began to par- 
ley. Some of them could talk English pretty good, wanting 
to trade ponies for squaws. As my wife sat on the wagon in 
plain sight of them they raised their bids from one to four 
ponies for her. 

All at once the whole party struck out for the bluffs on 
the full run, which for the moment was a puzzle to me. The 
mystery was soon solved, for on looking down the road I saw 
a company of cavalry, that were being sent from Ft. Kearny to 
Cottonwood Springs, within a mile of us. These cavalry were 
to establish an outpost near where the trouble was expected. 
I don't think we would have been disturbed by these Indians 
at that time except in a badgering way and my reason for this 
belief will be given later. 

From this camp we drove on for another half day. We 
camped this time at what was called the Deserted Ranch, a 
place on a dry gulch where someone had started a ranch and 
gave it up before completion. Soon after going into camp 
here a mule train, consisting of ten four mule teams, drove 
from the east and went into camp on the north side of the 
road about one hundred yards from us. This was August 7, 
1864. This train belonged to Frank Morton, of Sidney, Iowa. 
I will speak further of it later. 

Early in the morning of August 8, we broke camp and 
made what was called a breakfast drive, a very common thing 
in those days. We drove to the twenty-one mile point and 
went into camp, about ten o'clock for our breakfast. We had 
been there but a short time v/hen the stage coach passed us 
on double quick time going east and the driver shouted that we 
had better get out of that as there Mere ten or twelve dead 
men lying in the road a little way above there. 

Yet with all this I could hardly believe that there was 
anything unusual so I hitched up our team and drove four 
miles to the seventeen mile point, seventeen miles from Kear- 
ny. While there in camp, about ten o'clock, a company of cav- 
alry came up from the fort on double quick. The captain halt- 
ed and asked where I camped last night and when I told him at 
the old soddy he asked if I saw any Indians. I told him I did 
not. "Well," he said, "it's strange, for just where you say 
you camped last night it is reported that ten or twelve people 
were killed and one woman taken prisoner and their mules 
run off and wagons bui^ned." 

And now comes the strange part of my story showing that 
if such a thing as providence interfering or assisting anyone 
it certainly showed its full hand in our case from the time we 
turned around at Cottonwood Springs until we passed on and 
escaped that massacre knovrn as the Plum Cre-ek massacre. 
For "it is a fact that the people killed in that raid were the 
same people who camped so near r.s the night before and the 
fact that we made an early drive that morning was the only 
reason that we escaped. Again, v/hen I tell you that Mrs. 
Morton, who was accompanying her husband on this trip, was 
an old schoolmate and chum of my wife and the further fact 
that tliey failed to recognize each other, in our respective 
camps, must be another act credited to Providence. The peo- 
ple slain in this outfit consisted of Frank Morton owner of the 
outfit, of Sidney, Iowa, and ten vvhite men drivers, and a col- 
cred cook. Mrs, Morton wa^: taken prisoner and I believe re- 
niained v/ith these Indians for about five months v/hen she 
was rescued through some friendly Indians, taken t? Denver 
and final] V reached hei- friends again. 

Another and most remarkable escape occurred at this 
time. About four miles east of our camp was a new ranch 
owned by a German called Dutch Smith. On our drive that 
morning as vve passed the Smith place he was seated in a bug- 
gv at the door and his wife was pleading v/ith him to go along. 
They were going to Fort Kearny, but he seemed to be quite 
anxious for her to rem.ain home. However, she prevailed, for 
v/ithin one half hour they passed us on the road to Fort Kear- 
ny. The Indians who committed the murders at the 
Morton Camp followed down the road as far as Smith's place, 
killed his hired nian, ran off his stock and burned his build- 
ings. Whether these different escapes all just happened or 
Vv'hetiier the hand of Providence was guiding us are things that 
to me are not comprehensible. 

In referring back to the episode at's ranch with 
the nine Indians I liave come to the conclv^sion that they would 
not have harmed us at that time. I consider the Plum Creek 
massacre a premeditated attack, as there were depredations 
coramitted all along the Overland Trail for a distance of tv/o 
hundred miles and thus the little squad who visited us would 
not dare to start the scrap until the agreed time arrived. 

On our arrival back at the old home and starting point we 
concluded that Nebraska was good enough for us and we have 
rounr^'icd out a full one h?lf century within her confines. We 
have two sons, thi]'teen grandchildren, and five great-grand- 
children, all born in Nebraska and all living in the state today, 
v/ith out a death in the family for forty-six years. 

It is marvelous to stop for a moment to consider what has 
taken place in this great America of ours in one half century. 
Every mile of railroad west of Minneapolis, Ft. Des Moines and 
St. Joseph has been constructed since I settled in Nebraska 
Territory, Fort Des Moines, Iowa, being the nearest to a rail- 
road at the tinie of my settling in Butler county. 

Spanish Expedition Number 




[ Published Quarterly by the Nebraska State Historical Society 

Addison E. Sheldon, Editor 

Subscription, $2.00 per year 



members of the Nebraska State Historical 
Nebraska History and other publications 
without furthr payment. 




January-March, 1923 




The Battle at the Forks of the Loup and the Platte 
August 11, 1720.~Extermmation of the Spanish Army 
by Otoe Tribe of Indians.~A New Chapter in Nebraska 

Translation from French and Spanish Sources by Ad- 
dison E. Sheldon 

Letter from Rev. M. A. Shine upon New Documents 

First Visit of Nebraska Indians to Paris in 1725 

Charlevoix Letters on the Massacre of the Spanish 

With Ten Full Page Illustrations on the Text 

Entered as second class matter February 4, 1918, at the Post Office, 
Lincoln, Nebraska, under Act August 24, 1912. 



Founded September 25, 1878 

The Nebraska State Historical Society was founded Sep- 
tember 25, 1878, at a public meeting held in the Commercial 
Hotel in Lincoln. About thirty well known citizens of the 
State were present. Robert W. Furnas was chosen president 
and Professor Samuel Aughey, secretary. Previousto this date, 
on August 26, 1867, the State Historical Society and Library 
Association was incorporated in order to receive from the State 
the gift of the block of ground, now known as Hay market 
Square. This original Historical Association held no meetings. 
It was superseded by the present State Historical Society. 

Present Governing Board 

Executive Board — Officers and Elected Members 

President, Hamilton B. Lowry, Lincoln 

1st V-President, W. E. Hardy, Lincoln 

2nd V-President, Rev. M. A. Shine, Plattsmouth 

Secretary, Addison E. Sheldon, Lincoln 

Treasurer, Don L. Love, Lincoln 

James F. Hanson, Fremont 

Samuel C. Bassett, Gibbon 

John F. Cordeal, McCook 

Novia Z. Snell, Lincoln 

Robert Harvey, Lincoln 

Ex Officio Members 

Charles W. Bryan, Governor of Nebraska 

Samuel Avery, Chancellor of University of Nebraska 

J. P. O'Furey, Hartington, President of Nebraska Press Association 

Andrew M. Morrissey, Chief Justice of Supreme Court of Nebraska 

New Chapter in Nebraska History 

Documents from Paris Give Account of Massacre by the 

Otoe Triljc of Spanish Militari/ Expedition 

on August 11, 1720 

Declare That the Fight Took Place on Nehra>ska Soil at 

the Junction of the Platte and 

Loup Rivers 

Unpublished Diary of Spanish Officer Found on the Field 

of Battle Gives Account of the March 

from Santa Fe. 

[A battle between a Spanish army and the Otoe tribe of 
Nebraska, fought 203 years ago at the junction of the Loup 
and the Platte rivers (adjoining the present city of Colum- 
bus.) The complete defeat and destruction of the Spanish 
force. Booty from the battlefield carried by Indians to the 
French settlements in Illinois and even as far away as the 
Straits of Mackinac in Michigan. 

The above paragraph summarizes startling Nebraska 
news contained in a recent issue of the Journal de la Societe 
des Americanistes, published at Paris by a group of French 
scholars for the promotion of knowledge of America and cor- 
dial relations with its people. 

The story of a Spanish expedition and its defeat is not 
new. Accounts hitherto published lacked definite information. 
They seemed, in some respects, like the wonderful legend of 
^enalosa, or the wild tales of Baron la Hontan. or Mathieu 
Sagean. all of them locating in the Nebraska region great na- 
tions of semi-civilized Indians with high walled cities, great 
wealth of gold and silver, fleets, armies and other products of 
the imagination. These early accounts of the Spanish Cara- 
van were interpreted generally as embellishments of Spanish 
raids on the Osage country southeast of Kansas City. 

Now comes the learned French editor at Paris furnish- 
ing us with unpublished documents — in particular a copy of 
a Spanish military note book kept by an officer with the ex- 
pedition describing the march and the events preceding the 
battle. Based on these new sources — and critical comparison 
with the former accounts — the French editor hands us his 




*4I AllCT 1720 . 

Ellri,,l d„ J«„rnjil d, U S«cUU d„ 

I Ml. p. ?.»-»». 


Title page of Original French publication translated for tli 
publication of Nebraska State Historical Society. 


opinion all the way from Paris that the Massacre of the Span- 
ish took place at the junction of the Loup with the Platte, in 
Platte county, Nebraska. He furnishes us with a map show- 
ing the location of Indian tribes in this region at the date of 
1720 and indicating the site of the battle ground. There is 
yet room for more critical study of the text of these docu- 
ments with the map of the Kansas-Nebraska region by Ne- 
braska scholars qualified by exact knowledge of the country. 
But, even so, the new material and the opinion of the Paris 
editor give this discovery in Nebraska history an importance 
comparable only with the publication, forty years ago, of the 
Coronado expedition.] 






Warned by the Padouka (Comanche) that French trap- 
pers were about to ascend the Missouri to search for mines 
and to try to gain possession of New Mexico, the Spanish or- 
ganized, in the spring of 1720, an important expedition to ex- 
plore the region of the Missouri and to drive from those quar- 
ters any French who might already have established them- 
selves there. But the Spaniards did not know how to concil- 
iate the Indians and their column, in spite of its strong arma- 
ment, was completely exterminated by the Otopata, other- 
wise called Oto, about 100 kilometers from the Missouri. 
Early Accounts of Massacre 

Father Charlevoix', Dumont de Montigny== and Le Page 
du Pi'atz' have each left us an account of the massacre of the 


1. Hk^ovy of New France. Edition of 1744, v. Ill, p. 246-2.")]. 

2. Historical Memoirs of Louisiana, 1753, v. II, p. 284-285. 

3. History of Louisiana, 1756; v. II, p. 246-251. 

by Addison E. Sheldon on pages 29-31. 



expedition. The 20th letter of Father Charlevoix contains in- 
teresting details, especially since they were gathered from 
Indians coming directly to Canada-, for all the other versions 
which we know came from the savage nations which frequent- 
ed only our posts in the Illinois. The account of Le Page du 
Pratz, very much more developed and possibly inspired by 
that of Dumont, seems at times a little too fantastic and 
makes the error of taking the Missouri for the Otoptata and 
above all of confounding the Osage with the Pani. As to Du- 
mont de Montigny he has quite certainly very much exagger- 
ated the force of the Spanish Expedition by making it "1,500 
persons, — men. women, and children.-" From 200 to 250 
Europeans, accompanied by several hundreds of Indian car- 
riers, probably started from Santa Fe. But, as three-fourths 
of the members of the expedition returned to New Mexico for 
various reasons, the column after crossing the river of the 
Kanza included scarcely more than 200 persons, of whom 60 
were Spaniards. 

New Documents Found. 

Three unpublished documents, preserved in the archives 
of the Hydrographic Service of the Marine and of the Minister 
of War, enable us to correct or to complete the accounts of the 
three first historians of Louisiana, and to establish, for the 
first time, that the expedition of the Spaniards was extermin- 
ated on August 11 or i2. 1720 by the Otoptata Indians (Oto)% 
acting in concert with the Pani-Maha (Loup or Skidi) and 
perhaps some Missouri, upon the banks of the river Platte 
(Nebraska) and very probably near its junction with the Loup 
river (Loup Fork). 

In 1720 France and Spain were at war. We had just 
seized the port of Pensacola and driven — for the moment — 
the Spaniards from their post of Adayes^ It would seem en- 
tirely natural to see the governor of New Mexico seeking to 
take an easy revenge against our posts, very poorly defended, 

4. This letter is dated at Michillimakinac, July 21, 1721. But 
Charlevoix wrote out the greater part of his letters, or at least revised 
them entirely, after his return to France. 

5. Bossu, who in recopying, alM^ays exaggerates, speaks of more 
than 1,500 guns! New Voyages to West Indies, \. I, p. 175. 

6. The names written in italic are those adopted by the Handbook 
of American Indians, published by the Bureau of American Ethnology. 

7. Founded to watcl) our e.^t-iblishment of Natchtotochez, located 
on Red river. 


in the Illinois. However, when one knows the fundamental 
policy of the Spaniards, all of whose efforts tended to main- 
tain a large zone of mystery between Louisiana and New^ Mex- 
ico, this reason alone seems quite insufficient. 

John Law's Mississippi Bubble. 

The 60-odd unhappy Spaniards massacred by tbe Otop- 
tata, were, in truth, the obscure and unfortunate victims of 
the system of John Law and the fantastic schemes of the 
Company of the Indies. The great number of mining tools 
which this expedition carried, the colonists with their live- 
stock which it conducted, show that the Spaniards did not 
limit themselves to the plan of keeping the French at a dis- 
tance from New Mexico, but above all, cherished the hope of 
seizing the fabled mines of the Missouri, so well advertised on 
the Rue-Quinquempoix. 

Certainly in the springtime of 1720 the Mississippi Craze 
had already greatly diminished. At Paris they sang: 

The mines, — we will rummage in 'em 
For no doubt we'll find something in 'em 
— If Nature ever put it in 'em. 

And very few people in Europe still believed in boulders of 
emerald and mountains of silver in Louisiana. But the news 
of this recent skepticism had not yet had time to reach Santa 
Fe in New Mexico. 

Oto Tribe — Various Names. 

Most of the early authors who concern themselves with 
Upper Louisiana speak of the Otoptata and nearly all the 18th 
century maps of America indicate their habitat^ with consid- 
eerable accuracy. But the name of these Indians^ is written 
in many forms and one encounters indifferently Ototacta, 
Octotact, Onatotchite, Otontata, Huatoctoto, Othouez, etc. 
In 1724 Venyard De Bourmont, later the author of the Rela- 
tion of his Journey-' called them Hoto and Otho, and it is this 
name of Oto which the Americans have preserved for the last 
survivors of this nation which is perpetuated even to our own 

8. We might cite: . Franquelin, Le Page du Pratz, d'Anville, 
Vaugondys, Bowen, etc. 

,9. The Ha^ndbook of American Indians notes more than seventy 
of them, and that list is yet to be completed! 

10. Mavgry, v. VI, p. 396 and 402. 

11. Tlie census of 1906 still numbers 390 of them. 

* See notes by Addison K. Sheldon on pages 29-31. 


According to Father Charlevoix "The Octotatas are people 
related to the Aiouez (now lowas) from whom it is even said 
they are descended." This information agrees with the class- 
ification of the Handbook of American Indians, in which the 
Iowa, the Oto and the Missouri are grouped with the great 
Siouan family. An unfinished Spanish manuscript, a compil- 
ation of undated and unsigned documents, makes the Oto de- 
scendants of the Missouri. This collection indicates that at 
the beginning of the 19th century the Oto numbered 500 
souls, of whom 120 were warriors; that they often intermar- 
I'ied with the Kansas, and protected in disdainful manner the 
Missouri, reduced then to only 80 warriors. At this period 
the Oto were allies of the Pani, properly called Grand Pani 
(Pawnees Chaui), of the Sawl^ee (Sawk) and the Zorro (Ren- 
ards or Foxes). They were at war with the Maha (Omaha), 
Poncare (Ponca), Sioux, Great and Little Osage, and also with 
the Caneci (Lipan or Apache) and the Lobo (Skidi). 

The Platte and Nemaha Rivers. 

It is believed that the original Oto, then living in the 
present state of Iowa, first dwelt near the mouth of the Great 
Nemaha i-iver'% before they fixed their home on the right 
bank of the liver of the Pani whicli the Mallet brothers chris- 
tened on June 2, 1739, with the name of Plate. This name so 
w^ell characterizes this river that it remains to our day, with 
the spelling Platte.-^' The Otoe never removed far from this re- 
gion and, though driven many times toward the south during 
the course of the 19th century, they still occupied in 1882," a 
I'eserve located in the central part of the present state of Ne- 

12. This river falls into the Missouii a little north of the south- 
east corner of the State of Nebraska. 

13. The Indians rail this river Nebraska, the educated Spani-,h 
translate the name Plate in Someio, the others ijito Plata which n.ea.cs 
silver! And the Americans themselves, at times have given it tliut 
of Swallow — (perhaps Shallow?) 

14. The Oto wei-e at that date removed to Indian Territory. 
* See notes by Addison K. Sheldon on. pages 29-;i1. 


Chon-moni-case or Shau-mone-kusse, (called by the white fui'- 
traders letan ) is the most noted chief of the Otoe tribe in the early 
American period. He was one of those prominent at the great council 
of the Otoe tribe with Major Long Oct. 3, 1819, at their camp about six 
miles above Florence, near Fort Lisa. He was then a young man alid 
this portrait as made at that period. Later he became a head chief. 
He was killed April 28, 1837, in a fight with young Otoes who had run 
away with one of his wives. Moses Merrill, first missionary to the 
Otoe, saw the fight and wrote the story of it in his diary. The great 
Otoe village where letan ruled was three miles southeast of the present 
village of Yutan. There are many remains of this village still visible. 
They were photographed by the editor of this magazine in 1912. Yutan 
was named in honor of this Otoe chief. 


Nebraska Indians Journey to Paris. 

About 1714 the grand chief of the Otoptata descended 
the Mississippi to meet Bienville, and died at Biloxi. Ten 
years later another chief of this nation accompanied M. De 
Bourmont to Paris, The nations on the Missouri had designed 
to send to France ten delegates, — one Otoptata, four Osage 
and five Missouri, one of whom was a young woman. But the 
Council of the Colony, for reasons of economy, held back five 
and permitted to go only the young Missouri woman, one 
Otoptata and one Osage, one Missouri, one Illinois and Chi- 
cagou, ambassador of the Metchigamias. 

The (Indian) envoys arrived at Paris on September 20, 
1725, and were received by the duke of Bourbon, the duchess 
of Orleans and the directors of the Company of the Indies. 
They were then presented to the king by Rev. Father de 
Beaubois (S. J.) who delivered to Louis XV a necklace of 
friendship sent by Mamantonense, chief of the Metchigamias, 
Kaokias and Tamarois'% with a speech'« given by Chicagou". 
This orator had, a few days before, wished the duchess of 
Orleans "to be fruitful in great warriors like the ancestors of 
your husband and yourself." 

These Indians from Louisiana were, for sometime, all the 
rage at Paris. They received beautiful blue suits with gold 
lace. At the Bois de Bolougne, before the court, they hunted 
deer "in their own style, that is by chasing" and they gave 
war dances at the opera and the Italian theatre. If we may 
believe Bossu one of these Indian envoys recalled thirty years 
afterward the perfumes so extravagantly used by Paris ladies 
and declared that "they smelled like alligators." 
Nebraska Orator at Paris. 

One of the three representatives of the Otoptatas, Osages 
and Missouris, we do not know which, died on the journey, and 
one of his companions pronounced an oration for the deceased 
in the name of all the Indians of the Missouri. Here are two 
charming passages from the translation made in prose and 
verse of his address before the king: 

"Twelve whole moons have passed since we left our land 
(that is, Nebraska, Missouri and Iowa,) November, 1724 to ap- 
pear here. One of our chiefs is dead on the way, the others 
gave up, or remained on the seashore, (that is, in New Or- 
is. The Michijjamea, Cahokia and TamaSroa were Indian tribes 
closely related to the Illinois. 

16. Chicagou was still living in 1762. See Bossu, New Voyages to 
West Indies, 1768, v. I, p. 157. 

17. See Dumont, Hi.storical Memoirs of Louisiana v. II, p. 76. 
* See notes l)y Addison E. Sheldon on pages 29-31. 


leans.) We are ashamed to see our plain speech. We bring with 
us furs and the work of our squaws. You will not think them 
of much worth, since you have in abundance, things so much 
more beautiful, but everything was lost in the first ship which 

w^as to bring us across^* we cannot wonder enough at the 

beautiful things which we see every day. We are very happy 
in the treatment given us since we arrived in this land ; we had 
not been so before we arrived here'^ The tribes represent to 
you : 

1. Not to abandon them and they ask the French as much 
to keep friendship as to provide for their needs. 

2. That they have never had any one to teach them to 
pray save only a white collar^" who came to them a little time 
ago, whom they are happy to have and beseech you to send 

3. They beg you to send us back entrusted with your 
message and they will look on all upon this side (the great 
water) in order that they may see you again. 

4. That the French having made known to us all, that you 
think in all this country, and that the stores which are here 
are from you. We are in your hands give to our bodies. (Sic) . 

Verses in Honor. 

So much eloquence drove an anonymous versemaker to 
put in rhyme the prose of the Indians of the Missouri. => 

Great Chief, Master of Life, Spirit Grand, 
We have come to behold thee in the bosom of thy land! 
And, given heart to cross the seas and their distress, 
' We arrive, without regret, from our dark wilderness. 
From thy soul there flashes upon our grosser soal 
A light we would gladly take for our control, 
Thy subjects, soldieirs, court, with astonishment we own. 
Thy lordly power, the glory of thy person and thy throne, 
Thy cities, and thy gardens, thy mansions and thy sports. 

Our nations brave all offer thee with willing hearts 
Their services in battle with their strong arms and darts. 
Send to our hunting grounds, under thy sway, 
Thy Frenchmen, thy goods, thy white collars to play. 

18. La Bretonnie, 

19. Always economizing, the Council of Louisiana had allowed the 
Indians, during their voyage only Sailors' rations, without wine or fresh 
meat, food to which the savages were not accustomed. Happily for 
them Bourmont bought food for them with his own money. 

20. A father of the Mission Etrangeres. (Foreign Missions.) 

21. Library of the Arsenal. Manuscript No. 3724, pages 77-81. 


"Missouri Princess". 

As for the "Missouri Princess" — she was baptiled at 
(the church) of Notre Dame of Paris, then married to Ser- 
geant Dubois, one of the companions of Bourmont during his 
journey of 1724 to the Padowkas. Dubois scarcely reaped 
the reward of his promotion to be commissioned officer and 
his appointment as King's inteipreter for the nation of the 
Ilhnois — which he received on the occasion of his marriage, 
for he perished at the massacre of the garrison, of the fort 
of Orleans of the Missouri, If one may believe Dumont 
Madame Dubois caused the assassination of her husband, but 
that statement seems to us hardly probable. In any event 
she married again a little later a captain of militia of Illinois 
named Marin. Bossu saw at Paris in 1751 two children of 
the "Princess. "~~ 
Ancient Home of Otoe Tribe. 

At the time which concerns us the Oto lived on the south 
bank of the river Platte, most of the time, it seems, near the 
point where the course of that river turns shaiply in the 
southern direction. It is difficult to locate the point with 
greater certainty, first, because the Indians lived in a number 
of villages^' and during the 18th century drew, little by little, 
closer to the Missouri river, and second, because the explor- 
ers who give the number of leagues (figures varying) which 
separate the Oto from the Missouri, have failed for the most 
part to inform us whether they reckoned the distances by the 
direct trail across country or by following the great bend of 
the river.=* 

The Pani— Maha. 

The exact location of the Pani-Maha seems a little more 
difficult. These Indians, who certainly played a very import- 
ant role in the massacre of the Spaniards, lived in 1720 north 
of the river Platte, along the different branches of the river 
which was generally given the name "River of the Pani- 
Maha," but later received the name of Loup which it still 
be ars.' -'- 

22. New Voyages in North America, 1777, p. 227. 

23. "The Ottoes" says the Spanish manuscript aiready cited, "Do 
not claim the exclusive possession of any territory, and do not fix any 
boundaries to their own lands. They are hospitable, cultivate the soil 
in the same way as the Kansa and Osage. They hunt on the salt 
marshes of the lake of Nimnehaw." 

24. In 1794 Truteau reckoned twelve leagues, by water, and Clark, 
ten years later, only eight. But neither one had ever gone up the river 
Platte, rarely navigable. 

25. Bienville expressly asserted it. The Missouri also declared 
they took part in the Massacre. (Margry, v. VI, p. 450). 

* See notos by Addison E. Sheldon on pages 29-31. 




Was a noted Pawnee chief in the early period of the 19th century. 
He was one of the chiefs chosen to visit Washing-ton some time prior to 
1825 and confer with the president. His portrait was painted at that 
time. On his return he became one of the strong advocates of friendly 
relations with the white men in the councils of the Pawnee nation. He 
had seen the great cities filled with white people, their g'reat guns, 
ships and factories and he never tired of relating the sights of this \'isit. 
In 1826 a war party of Osage raided the Pawnee villages. Pes-ke-le- 
cha-co killed an Osage. He rushed forward to lay his hand on the dead 
warrior — one of the highest honors in wai-. In the struggle to prevent 
this Pes-ke-le-cha-co was slain. His deeds were long related around 
the camp fires of the Pawnee nation. 


The Pani-Maha were evidently part of the great nation 
of Pani (Pawnee) but seem to have formed a branch some- 
what distinct from the other tribes, of whom the nearest was 
the Grand Pani sometimes called simply Pani — and the Pani- 
Piqiie, often formerly called White Pani. These latter were 
more fi-iendly to the Spaniards than to the French. Nothing 
forbids conceding (with the Handbook of American Indians) 
that the Pani-Maha were the direct ancestors of the Pani- 
Loup, Loup or Skidi='^ who lived in thje same region sixty years 
later. The independence of the Pani-Maha, in opposition to 
the other Pani, and the complex formation of their name 
might well arise from a fusion, common enough with Indians, 
— between one tribe of Pani and a group of Maha^ — which 
nation for so long a time wandered along the Missouri and 
one tribe of which was located at the beginning of the 18th 
century near the Oto. 

The Loup", in any event, had without doubt forgotten 
their double (surmised) parentage, for they were later often 
at war with the white Pani and the Maha. 

Spanish Officer's Note Book. 

Let us now proceed to the history of the Spanish Expedi- 
tion. And here, at the start, are the last leaves of the note 
book of the journey by a Spanish officer. These are the only 
records, unfortunately, which the Indians brought to M. de 
Boisbriant, commandant of the province of Illinois: 

Translation of a leaf from a journal in Spanish, found at the 
defeat of a detachment of that nation by the Otoptata.^^ 

(On the margin — "Also written Ouatotchata"). 

"The trails which we find lead us to a place where we be- 
lieve we shall get information of a band which, by all appear- 
ances, is not very far distant from some village. We resolve 
to camp in order to see what there is for us to do. 

26. Many derivations have been proposed for this name, but all 
come from a root which means "wolf." 

27. These Mahas, now called Omaha, belonged to the Siouan group 
as did the Kanza and the Osage, but in spite of the relation, they hardly 
understand the speech of nations living north of the river Platte.' 

28. At the beginning of the 19th century their number was upward of 
1,000 of whom 260 were warriors. 

29. War Department. MSS. No. 2592, folio 100. Also Colonies 
Cahier Book C13, Chapter IV, folios 235-235. The translations are dif- 


The lieutenant general having assembled all the officers 
on duty and on leave, and the natives, told them that a sav- 
age had reported to him that he had found some branches 
and leaves of fresh sand cherries which seemed to be the 
fragments of a meal of some band which had passed very re- 
cently. He then gav-e an estimate of the distance we had 
traveled, which in our reckoning was about 300 leagues. He 
then took counsel whether we should wait for orders from 
the Viceroy of New Spain, who had sent the detachment to 
discover from the savage nations if any French had establish- 
ed themselves in the region, or whether, since we had thus 
far found no proof of such establishment, we should con- 
tinue our search with the Panane^" nation (the only one which 
could give light on the question) and how we should commun- 
icate with them. 

Names of Spanish Officers. 

The military council was composed of Captain Thomas 
Aulguin, Aide-de-camp Joseph Domingue, Ensign Bernard 
Cazille; Captains Manuel Theverio de Albas, Alonzo Reald, 
Pierre Lucan; Corporals Joseph Gregoire, Manuel Thenonorio 
de Alba, Laurent Rodrigue; Captain Christophe de la Serne- 
and Captain Jean Arhive; these two last named are natives. 

All were of opinion that we ought to find the Panane in 
order to leam from them the truth or to know whether the 
Apaches had deceived us — that for this purpose the detach- 
ment should cross the river and thereafter proceed in thelBest 
^^'ay to carry out the plan proposed. 

Crossing Gr^eat River Full of Islands. 

Upon this resolve the lieutenant general ordered certain 
savages to locate the ford of the river so that the detachment 
might cross to the other shore. In the afternoon we began 
to carry over the baggage on travois upon the backs of the 
savages. It was not possible to get it across otherwise. The 
great number of islands in the river makes navigation by 
boats absolutely impracticable. Since one day did not suffice 
to transport everything our camp was divided that night by 
the river. Besides we did not wish to expose our natives by 
crossing at night, because it was so cold. 

30. It is the name which the Spanish gave the Pani. 

31. These proper names are spelled in different ways. Sometimes 
one finds Cerise. 

* See notes by Addison E. Sheldon on pages 29-31. 


Wednesday 7 of August. 

At the break of day we crossed over the remainder of 
our baggage and people to the other side of the river of 
Jesus-Maria. This was not without much trouble, but af last 
we found ourselves together at noon. 

Thursdaj^ 8, 

We leave the river Jesus-Maria following the trail of the 
Panane. The native Captain Serne boasted that he kno\vs the 
trail well. He lost" his way, however, and came back to camp. 
He was sent out again and with him Captain Joseph Nar- 
vanno, four corporals and two soldiers. A servant of Captain 
Serne, Panane by nation, said that he remembered, although 
he had left it when very young, that the village of his tribe 
was located on the bank of a river far to the north. Our sol- 
diers were ordered to find out the truth of his statement. 
They were ordered at the same time when they were near 
the village to let the savage talk alone with his people, to tell 
them they had nothing to fear, that we were Spaniards, their 
friends. And in case they found no one in the village to go 
such distance as would enable them to return to camp the 
same day or ensuing night. 

Another Large Stream Crossed. 

Since we left the river Jesus-Maria we have taken care 
to follow th'8 trail which we found before us and which we 
believe was made by the Panane. We found, at a league from 
the river a large creek which it was necessary to cross and 
we thought from the water which was very warm that it was 
a branch of the river whose course was from west to east. 
We then marched over a plain, following always the trail of 
those who had gone before us. W^e saw a number of trees a 
league away and we met one of our savages who was of Cap- 
tain Narrans detachment and w^ho had orders to wait for us 
to tell us to follow the creek and that he would follow the trail 
of those gone ahead since they found no one in the villages. 
The camp arrived at the bank of the creek and, as it was im- 
possible to cross with our arms, we were obliged to keep along 
its bank and follow the same route as that taken by Captain 
Narrans. We had already travelled three leagues to reach 
the creek; we marched thiee more to arrive at a plain. Fin- 
ally we halted in order that those following might not lose 
the way. At the same time two savages arrived from Cap- 
tain Narrans to tell the lieutenant general that he should not 
worry if the captain did not return to camp that ensuing 
night, that he was following the trail of the Panane who, ac- 




cording to all indications, were not far off, and that the main 
command might march since he counted on rejoining them 
v-ery soon. 

Friday 9. 

The camp being ready to march we saw, at more than a 
league's distance, some one approaching at a gallop. We were 
in advance and we found that it was one of our people who 
had been at the discovery. They told us that, eight leagues 
distant, on the other side of the creek we were following, 
thy found the Panane in a bottom, singing and dancing ac- 
cording to custom of the savages. They seemed to be in great 
numbers. They had not judged it wise to approach nearer 
to them for fear of frightening them away during the night. 

Upon this news order was at once given to cross to the 
other side of the creek. It was carried out with so much good 
fortune that everything went over without getting wet, al- 
though the mules were up to their girths in the w^ater. We 
marched three leagues along the creek and found it conven- 
ient to halt at five leagues distant from the tribe, according 
to the report of those who brought in the news. 

Council with Panane or Pawnee Nation. 

As soon as we were in camp the lieutenant general sent 
the savage of Captain Serne to visit and talk with those of 
his nation, assuring them of our friendship and good will, and 
that we were taking this means of letting them know our 
good faith. Although the lieutenant general wished to send 
two soldiers with the savage to see that he was not insulted 
by those of his nation, the native told him that he had nothing 
to fear and that it was better to go alone, that if the' soldiers 
accompanied him they might believe that there was deception 
and bad faith in what he proposed to them. This was agreed 
to and the savage started at 11 a. m. to see his nation. May 
God and the Holy Virgin, his mother, give him success. The 
general named the creek Saint Lawrence. The river Jesus- 
Maria makes a junction with this creek at the place where we 
are, in such manner that if we had not already crossed it 
would be impossible to do so. 

At 6 p. m. we saw Francois Sistaca, which is the name 
of the savage of Don Christophe de la Serne, coming on the 
gallop. He related to the lieutenant general and all the others 
that he had been to see the band seen dancing the night be- 
fore and, not finding it, he had followed the creek and had 
seen them crossing to the other side where they had a village 
and many people. He stopped atj:he bank of the creek, dis- 

* See notes by Addison E. Sheldon on pages 29-31. 




mounted, and called to the people crossing the river, making 
the signs of friendship and peace used by savages. As soon 
as he was seen many savages came to him and, among others, 
four at the head of them with tomahawks in hand, without 
bows or arrows, making cries, and seeing them approach 
within a stone's throw, he was afraid, made a sign with his 
cap as though he were calling people back of him and mount- 
ing his horse he galloped eight leagues to camp without stop- 

Saturday 10th of the month. 

Feast day of the glorious Martyr, Saint Lawrence (died 
Aug. 10, A. D. 258). The camp marched along the river, fol- 
lowing the band (of savages) and having discovered on the 
other side of the creek a village with a number of -houses and 
people passing from one side to the other by a ford, making 
calls easily heard because only the creek was between us, we 
made the signs of peace and friendship spoken of before. 
Twenty-five or thirty savages came to the edge of the creek 
to talk with us. We heard easily what they said. The sav- 
age of Don Christophe la Serne, who recognized the language 
of his nation, told the lieutenant general that they asked for 
peace and that he should come into their village. 

They made signs looking at the sun^*- which meant that 
the Spaniards need wait only one day for their visit. At once 
the savage of Don Christophe La Seme resolved to cross over 
to the other side in spite of the fear he had the day before. 
The camp halted opposite the village and the savage took olf 
his clothing in order to swim across, with consent of his mas- 
ter. The lieutenant general told him to tell his nation that 
he would come and visit them with no design of doing them 
the least injury, as they could easily see since he had just dis- 
covered them without any strategems, as he might have done 
when he learned they were singing and dancing not more than 
two leagues distant. Thus they might confer with us in en- 
tire safety for peace and the friendly union which should ex- 
ist between brothers and subjects of the same king. The 
lieutenant general gave tobacco for the savage to carry to 
them, which is the usual custom at these meetings. 

32. A party of Pani-Maha on a hunting expedition had evidently 
retreated before the Spaniards in oi*der to draw them to the country 
of the Otoptata. But the Pani-Maha had a species of religion based 
on the worship of a certain number of stars and their cliief villager 
were always arranged in a certain relation to each other. On thi.*^ ac- 
count, no doubt, these signs which the Spaniards interpreted in their 
own way. 



Shar-i-tav-ish was a principal chief of tlie Grand Pawnee tribe. 
He was son of another chief of the same name mentioned as Char-ac- 
tar-ish by Lieutenant Pike who met him at the Grand Pawnee village 
on the Republican river in 1806. The subject of this portrait succeeded 
his elder brother, Ta-re-ca-wa-ho as head chief. The latter was invited 
to visit the president at Washington, but refused because he thought 
the Pawnee the greatest people on earth and would not condescend to 
go in person. He sent Shar-i-tar-ish in his stead. Shar-i-tar-ish was 
then a young man, six feet tall, well proportioned and of fine appear- 
ance. His portrait was made at Washington. Soon after his return 
he became head chief and died a little later, aged thirty. He was suc- 
ceeded by Ish-ca-te-pi sometimes spelled Is-ka-tap-pi and called "The 
Wicked Chief." 


End of Military Note Book. 

The last leaves of the record of this journal \vere evident- 
ly lost like those of the beginning. However, as we Know 
that the massacre of the Spaniards took place the day after 
their meeting with the Optoptata and their allies, there is 
every ground for supposing that the manuscript ended at the 
date of August 10, 1720 and that its author was killed the 
next day. 

News of the Massacre Carried to the Trench. 

At any rate the news of the disaster to the expedition 
was known in all its details at Kaskaskia about tlje beginning 
of November. The first rumors of it probably arrived a 
month earlier, for it seems the same event referred to in the 
following letter. However, since the Spaniards were not al- 
ways in a body, the letter may refer to an isolated detach- 

Slavery and Human Sacrifice in Nebraska Region. 

"All the nations of the Missouri" wrote Boisbriant on 
October 5, 1720'-', "have made peace with the Pani-Maha, but 
they utterly refuse to consider with the Padoka. The Otop- 
tata and the Canzes have been at war with the latter (Pad- 
oka). They have taken 250 slaves. As in the village where 
they have taken these there were many Spaniards, twenty of 
these are among the slain. This news has been brought to 
Sieur Boisbriant by four Frenchman whom he had given 
permission to go and buy horses from the Panyouessa^^ 
(Wichita). Before the arrival of these Frencl\ that nation 
had also defeated a village of Padoka. It had led away 100 
slaves whom it had burned without mercy from day to day. 
Our French ransomed four or five from the flames, but their 
generosity was ill rewarded. The wretches ran away a little 
later and carried with them, the clothing of their liberators." 
and further on "A Spaniard escaped from the defeat re- 
corded above. He is with the Canzes (Kansas). We have 
written a Frenchman who is on the Missouri, to ransom the 
Spaniard and bring him this fall to Sieur Boisbriant. He 
hopes to draw from the Spaniard information of the com- 
merce which the Spanish carry on with the savages and to 
learn from him if there are mines in that tuegion." 

33. Letter dated at Kaskakias. 

34. According to the Handbook of American Indians the Paniouessa 
were the Wichita. It is necessary to concede that these Indians lived 
at that time not far from the river of the Kanza. 

* See notes by Addison E. Sheldon on pages 29-31. 



Chon-ca-pe, sometimes written Shunk-co-pe, was also called "Big 
Kanzas." He lived in the first half of the 19th century. He was a 
signer of the treaty of 1825 made at Council Bluffs, between the United 
States and the Otoe tribe. Soon after he was called to Washington to 
meet the president. At this visit this portrait was made. The grizzly 
bear necklace is a trophy of a victory over one of those fierce animals. 


On November 22, 1720, Boisbriant gave more precise in- 

"The Spaniards to the number of 250, accompanied by 
the Padoka" nation, came to make an establishment on the 
Missouri. On the way they defeated five"= nations. The com- 
mandant beheved, after one splendid victory, he M-as strong- 
enough to withstand anything. He sent part of his force to 
conduct the slaves taken in the villages he had destroyed and 
advanced within 15 leagues of the Otoptata. His plan, was 
to extirpate that nation. He had with him then 60 Spaniards 
and 150 Padokas. 

Oto Deceive the Spaniards. 

The Otoptata, warned by the Pani-Maha of the Spanish 
approach, marched to meet him. They called themselves 
Pani-Maha, which was rendered easier since they spoke the 
language of the Pani-Maha as though their native language. 
The Spanish commander, deceived, asked if there were any 
French on the Missouri river and assured them that he would 
give them a great quantity of goods if they would deliver 
French into his hands. They replied that there were French 
with the Otoptata and that they would make it easy for him 
to capture them. They passed the night together, but in 
very different ways. The Otoptata danced, the Padoka fled 
from fear, while the Spaniards, abandoned by their allies 
kept on their guard. The Spaniards feared nothing, since 
they trusted in such a great number of the pretended Pani- 

35. The Padouka (Comanche) are allies to the great Shoshonea.i 
family whose diverse branches, located at first in the north, successively 
occupied a wide territory which stretched from Va.icouver Island as 
far as Texas. In 1720 the Padouka dwelt near the headwaters of the 
Kansas. It was there that Bourgmont in 1724 came to visit them in 
order to break their alliance with the Spaniards. But these Indians, 
essentially nomads, living in tents, always at war with their neighbors, 
later emigrated south and crossed the Red river. By virtue of infor- 
mation we may point out that this author of the Spanish manuscript 
already cited, who very well knew the Indians of Texas, was astonished 
because, in spite of his extensive researches he 'was not able to under- 
stand what had become of the great nation of the Padouka which 
numbered 2,000 warriors — and, in consequence, supposed that these In- 
dians dispersed and formed the following nations: Wetepahatoe (one 
of the tribes of the Kiowa), Kiawa, Kanenawish, Kalteka, Dotame, etc. 

36. Two of these tiibes, according to Father Charlevoix made part 
of the Otoptata nation, but this statement seems doubtful. 



Oto Destroy the Spanish Army. 

On the next day the savages proposed an Iroquois dance. 
The Spaniards agreed and unloaded their mules m order to 
rest. About two o'clock in the afternoon the Otoptata asked 
lor the lances of the Spaniards for their dancers to use in the 
dance and they were granted them." The chief of the sav- 
ages during the dance formed his warriors in groups about 
the Spaniards who were always under arms. When he saw 
everything arranged as he wished he fired a pistol upon the 
Spanish. At the signal all his men attacked with such im- 
petuosity that all the Spaniards were killed in less than an 
instant. Only four of them were quick enough to mount their 
horses and drive their mules ahead of them. But some young 
warriors seized their quivers, shot and killed two of them. 
The two sole survivors of the sixty Spaniards pushed on to- 
ward Mexico, which they could reach with difficulty depriv- 
eu as they were of all provisions. 

The chaplain of the detachment was made prisoner. The 
Otoptata chief was bringing him to Sieur Boisbriant, but the 
chief was compelled to turn back on receiving news that the 
Renards (Fox) had come to attack his village. A man nained 
Chevallier was ordered to go in search of the chaplain. ' 
Spaniards Plan to Colonize Nebraska Country. 

This undertaking of the Spanish shows the necessity of 
establishing a post on the Missouri. They brought with them 
a large number of oxen, cows and sheep which proves their 
purpose to make a permanent settlement. 
Booty from the Battlefield. 

According to Charlevoix there were two chaplains. "All 
that was told me" said he "related to the chaplain who was 
slain and from whom was taken a book of prayers which I 
have not seen. It was apparently his breviary. I purchased 
his pistol, his shoes were worthless, and the savage would not 
part with the ointment because when taken it was a sovereign 
remedy for all kinds of ills. I was curious to know how he 
used it and he replied that it was enough to swallow a little 
at a time and whatever illness one had he was instantly cur- 
ed. He assured m>e that he had not yet tried it and I coun- 
selled him not to do so. We find the savages here very coarse. 
There is much need of spirituality or at least that their minds 
should be as open as those who have had more intercourse 


37. According- to Dumont the Spaniards, after having made a treaty 
with the Indians, had given them arms to attack the French. He adds 
what seems correct (after correcting the names) that the Oto and their 
allies, taken for Pani by the Spaniards, learned from the mouth of the 
latter (the Spaniards) that they had come to destroy them (the Oto). 
* See notis by Addison E. Sheldon on pages 29-31. 


The spoils of. the Spaniards were spattered everywhere. 
The letter of Charlevoix is dated at Michillimakinac. The 
following one was written to the Illinois by the engineer 
Lallemand who explored the mines of the Maramek river re- 

' 'The Spaniards of New Mexico"^'* Says he "came three or 
four months ago with the design to establish themselves on 
the Missouri. They had with them a number of mules loaded 
with all kinds of tools to work the mines. They drove with 
mem a number of cows and sheep. In this array they arriv- 
ed at a nation called Octotata, two hundred leagues from 

"They took only 40 days to reach the Octotata. It is pre- 
sumed that they did not move rapidly on account of the bag- 
gage and the animals which they brought with them,"^» 
Distance from Santa Fe to Nebraska Country. 

"It is believed that it is not more than 120 leagues^" from 
New Mexico to the Octotata. These savages say there is a 
fort built of stone four days journey from where they are." 

"On their way they killed and destroyed many savage 
nations. They flattered themselves they Would finish the 
others. The affair turned our differently." 
Account of Charlevoix. 

"The Octotata who were on the hunt learned all the 
cruelties which the Spanish had inflicted on their neighbors. 
They dissimulated and came to the number of 60 to smoke 
the pipe of peace with their new hosts, the Spaniards, who 
suspected nothing. The savages all of a sudden gave a great 
cry which was the signal to strike them down, they did this 
so well only one remained. The mules took fright and fled on 
the run with their loads. The prisoner whom the savages had 
c^3tured was a monk of San Juan de Dios. He escaped a little 
later. The savages were foolish enough to let him have a 
horse in order to show them how to ride one." His shrewd- 
ness had been too smart for them and he fled with all speed. 
Since then it is learned that other Spaniards had returned to 
the attack and that they had met the same fate as the first, 
excepting one whom thei savages would send here at once. M. 

38. This letter is dated April 5, 1721. 

39. This note is found on the margin of the document. 

40. This figure is, manifestly, incorrect. The figure of 300 leagues, 
as given by the Spaniards, approaches very much nearer to the tinith, 

41. Charlevoix says that the Chaplain who escaped from the 
"Missouristes" was a remarkable horseman and the Indians who, ac- 
cording to Dumont, did not know how to manage a horse, greatly ad- 
mired his skill. Before fleeing the "Jacobin" had nad the foresight 
to prepare a package of food. 

' Sees notes by Addison E. Slieldon on pages 29-31. 


de Boisbriant has shown me several documenfs written in 
Spanish, among others one which is marked Esquadras with 
the names of those who apparently were on guard for that 
day. The other papers are songs or hymns and prayers to 
the Virgin. There are some leaves of the breviary oi^ the 
Spanish monk and some rosaries with their crosses, evident 
proof that the savages have not made up a tale. From this 
it must appear that there are rich mines on the Missouri 
since the Spaniards wish to penetrate there whether desired 
or not." 
Hope of Mines in Missouri River Region. 

Poor Lallement who, in spite of his efforts, never suc- 
ceeded in discovering in the region of the river Maramek any- 
thing but very poor mines difficult to work, had not yet lost 
his illusions. It was for him a deadly irony, the news of the 
death of the Spanish prospectors, duped like himself by the 
chimerical prospectus of the Company of the Indies, coming 
just at this time to beguile him. 

In Le Page du Pratz there is a long account, very pictur- 
esque but fantastic, of the arrival at Kaskaskia of Indians 
bearing the spoils of the Spaniards. His account would make 
one think a whole convent had been massacred, so much one 
glimpses of defiling of chasubLas, of stoles, of surplices, of 
crosses and candlesticks. 

Rut what is for us more interesting Du Pratz adds: 
Spanish Maps of Nebraska Region. 

"The Indians brought with them the map which .had so 
ill-guided the Spaniards. After having examined it, it seems 
to me better, for the west of our colony which is toward them, 
than for the region which concerns us. According to this 
map it appears that the Red River and the Arkansas must 
bend more than I have said and that the source of the Mis- 
souri is more to the west than shown by our geographers — 
since the Spaniards sh^juld know that region better than the 
French who have given notes upon it." 
Where Did Massacre Take Place? 

Let us now see whether the documents which precede, in 
spite of theii- apparent lack of certainty, may not, in reality, 
be sufficiently exact to determine with satisfactory approx- 
imation, the place where the massacre of the Spaniards oc- 
Not in Osage Country. 

Let us observe, at the start, that the expedition did not 
go to the Osage,'- as Le Page du Pratz believed, but to the 
Pani, most of whose tribes then dwelt to the north of or along 

• See notes by Addison B. Sheldon on pages 29-31. 


the middle course of the river Platte. The Spanish officers 
seemed much better informed than that author thinks and 
would therefore seek to avoid contact with the Osage who 
had always shown themselves faithful allies of the French. 
On the other hand the Spanish, who held only distant friend- 
ly relations (except with the Apache and Padoka) could 
hardly yet have knowledge of the peace, quite recent, between 
the Pani-Maha and our allies the Missouri, the Oto and the 
The Platte or Kansas River? 

The geographic hints contained in the last leaves of the 
note book of the route furnish only rather vague information 
and the author seems a little lost among the divers branches 
which join the river "Jesus-Maria." However, since it must 
relate to some affluent of the Kanzas — or of the river Platte 
— the description seems precise enough to show that the 
river, not navigable and full of islands, which the Spaniards 
in search of the Parv, crossed on the 7th and 8th of August, 
1720, (after having traveled 300 leagues) could be none other 
than the river Platte, whose name indicates'^ that it is as 
broad as it is shallow. 

So far as the Creek of "Saint Lawrence", a veritable 
river, since the mules could hardly cross it in the month of 
August, in studying the map of this region, and in compar- 
ing the place then inhabited by the Oto, with the various dis- 
tances indicated which otherwise show remarkable agree- 
ment, one may, we believe, identify it most surely with the 
Loup Fork and the name of this river comes from the sur- 
name of the tribe of Loup Indians, which our trappers gave 
at another time to the later Pani-Maha along its banks. 
Paris Editor Believes it was at Junction of Loup and Platte. 

The Spanish expedition was, then, exterminated on Au- 
gust 11, 1720, by the Oto and Pani-Maha at a point below, 
but very near, the junction of the Loup Fork and the river 
Platte. This place is in fact, located in a straight line about 
25 leagues from the Missouri. And the disaster according 
to Boisbriant, occurred about 15 leagues west of the Otoptata 
who dwelt about 8 hours in an air line, from Missouri. 

When once the gold mines had vanished it does not seem 
that the Spaniards renewed their efforts, although this dis- 
patch from Bienville on April 25, 1722, reports: 

"I learned a little while ago, from the savages of the 
Missouri, that the Spaniards of New Mexico calculated to re- 
turn and demand satisfaction from those who defeated them, 
and to make at the same time, a settlement upon the river of 
the Kanzes (Kansas) which flows into Missouri." 


Revenge on the French. 

And one might also ask whether it was not at the insti- 
gation of the Spaniards that the Indians massacred, about 
1725-26, under mysterious circumstances the garrison of Fort 
d'Orleans," then reduced on account of economy, to 8 men. 
It was then, we have ah-eady stated, commanded by Dubois, 
the first husband of the "Princess of the Missouri." 

42. A tribe of this nation lived at this period a little below the 
junction of the Missouri and the Kanzas but most of the Osage lived 
in the valley of the river which still bears their name. 

43. "It is only navigable for very small hunting canoes," Journal 
of Truteau (American Historical Review, January 1914.) Perrin du 
Lac says' that one can navigate it only in the springtime. 

44. This fort whose site is not exactly known was located on the 
Missouri a few leagues above its junction with Grand river. 


Page 3 

1. Under the title, "The Spanish Caravan", Sheldon's "History and 
Stories of Nebraska", first edition published in 1913, gave a summa)-y 
of what was then known upon this subject anrl a critical review of con- 
jectures upon it. The new information contained in this article clears 
up many of the conjectures and gives us an historical basis for the real 
story. 1 

2. The discovery of new documents upon Louisiana and the Missouri 
river region in the last 20 years has been full of interesting encourage- 
ment. These documents were generally sent from New Orleans to 
France or to Spain during the 18th century. They were filed away in 
pigeon holes from which they are now being rescued by the diligent 
scholarship of Europe and America. 

3. The books mentioned by the French editor in his notes 1, 2, 3, are 
the chief bases of our knowledge of the French Province of Louisiana 
as it was 150 years ago. The Missouri country (including Nebraska) 
was even then known in its general features from reports of French 

4. Pierre Francois Xavier de Charlevoix, born 29 October, 1682, died 
1 February, 1761. Twice visited Canada. Wrote "History of New 
France" and "Journal and Letters" of his travels. 

' Page 6 

5. Pierre Margry, born 8 December, 1818, at Paris. Died 27 March, 
1894, at Paris. He was author of many important books on early his- 
tory of America — most valuable of them six volumes on French and 
Spanish explorations entitled "Memoires et Documents pour servir a 
I'histoire des oi-igines francaises des pays d'outremer." Volume six of 
this series contains the most important documents relating to the Mis- 
souri river region including the present Nebraska. (See a fine article 
on Margry's life work in the Louisiana Histoi'ical Quarterly for April, 


6. John Law, born in 1671, died 1729, was a shrewd Scotch economist 
and proiroter. His most famous financial promotion was the Company 
of the Indies. This company sold shares to the French public based 
upon the expectation of great profit from the region known as the Pro- 
vince of Louisiana, including the present Nebraska. The company had 
the support of the French government and a practical monopoly of the 
French foreign trade. The immediate expectation of profit was from 
the development of mines in the Missouri river region. These mines 
were reported as having vast quantities of all kinds of metals. The 
shares in the Indies Company rose to a premium of 4,000%. A perfect 
craze to make fortunes out of the undeveloped resources in the Mississ- 
ippi Valley seized the French public. It was impossible for these ex- 
pectations to be realized at once, and, after a period of three years of 
the wildest speculation, the company went up in smoke and its share- 
holders were ruined. This is called "The Mississippi Bubble." It was 
accompanied with a large issue of paper money through the Royal Bank 
controlled by John Law. 

7. The Rue Quinquempoix was the location of the stock-exchange at 
Paris in 1720. It corresponded in the popular language with the 
Am.erJcan phrase "Wall Street." 

8. The oi'iginal French is more musical and sarcastic than the best 

Les Mines, Ton y fouillera 
Car, sans doute on en trouvera 
Si la Nature en a mis! 

9. The Otoe occupied in general, southeastern Nebraska a century 
ago. The salt basin at Lincoln was near the dividing line between 
territory claimed by the Pawnee and claimed by the Otoe. Both tribes 
gathered salt at the basin. In, 1868-70 bands of Otoe and bands of 
Pawnee camped frequently on the liomestead in Seward county, where 
the editor of this magazine lived as a boy. 

Page 7 

10. Morse's Geography of the World (copy dated 1805 in the Histori- 
cal Society library) has the legend "R. Plate or Shallow R.", upon the 
chief stream, on the map in the Nebraska region. The French editor 
(or his printer) has simply misspelled the word in suggesting that the 
river is ever called "Swallow." In the Otoe language Ne-brath-ka 
means Water Shallow. 

Page 9 

11. This chief of the Metchigamias is the original from which the 
name of the m.odern city of Chicago is derived. 

Page 11 ; 

12. "Salt Marshes of the Lake of Nimnehaw" is the earliest reference 
I have found in literature to the Nemaha river. It suggests that the 
early explorers had the idea that the salt basin at Lincoln was connected 
with the streams we now call Nemaha. 

13. (By section lines the site of the great Otoe village near Yutan is 
25 miles west and about eleven north of the mouth of the Platte. This 
village was the capital city of the Otoe tribe for 100 years or more. 
Its remains today cover 640 acres of land. * i 


Page 14 

14. "Fresh Sanil Cherries." In the original French "des feuilles 
d'Oloues ( ? ) fraiches." The Paris editor inserts the question mark 
into the Spanish text, evide'iitly not understanding what kind of wild 
fruit is meant. Any one familiar with the Platte Valley in the month 
of August knows that sand cherries are the most abundant fniit to be 
found and most likely to be the one eaten by this bana of Indians. 

15. "The great number of islands in the river" certainly fits the Platte 
better than any other stream between Santa Fe and the Missouri river. 

Page 17 

16. The junction of the river Jesus-Maria with the creek named St. 
Lawrence by the Spanish comma;hder "in such a manner that if we had 
not already crossed it w^ould be impossible to do so," suggests one of 
three difficulties, great depth of water, very swift current or difficult 
banks. Either of the first two would fit the junction of the Loup and 
the Platte today. 

Page 21 

17. Early records of the plains Indians clearly show a system of 
slavery or servitude for captives. Human sacrifice is known to have 
existed among the Pawnee in Nebraska, with many citations on that 

Page 25 

18. "An Iroquois dance." IThe Iroquois tribe set the style in dancing 
for all other Indian tribes in North America. More than thirty differ- 
ent Iroquois dances are described by competent writers on the subject. 
Each dance had a distinct style and signification. 

Page 26 

•19. The distance from Santa Fe" to the junction of the Loup ajid the 
Platte, as measured in air line across the map today is 619 miles. The 
distance by railroad, via Denver from Columbus, Nebraska to Santa Fe 
is 965 miles. The league unit of measurement is about 3 miles. The 
French kilometre is about 3-5th of a mile. 

Page 27 

20. Mines in the Missouri region. All the early explorers got the 
idea of very rich mines in the region now occupied by the states of Mis- 
souri, Kansas, Nebraska and Iowa. There ai-e in fact rich mines in 
that region, but not the kind either the Spanish or French could utilize 
at that time. A number of early references to "Spanish Mines," on 
the Weeping Water refer beyond doubt to the excavations on the Pol- 
lard farm at Nehawka, studied twenty years ago by Curator Blackman 
and others of the Nebraska State Historical Society. About forty 
acres of limestone hill is tunnelled and dug in a most extraordinary 
manner, probably by Indians searching for flint. Early fur-traders 
saw this hill and carried report down the Missouri of Spanish mines on 
the Weeping Water. There w-ei'e expert advertising geniuses in 1720 
as well as in 1923. 




Plattsmoutb, Nebr., July 5, 1923. 
Dear Mr. Sheldon: 

Being somewhat pressed for time, it has been impossible for me to 
give as much attention to Baron de Villiers Article, as I wouUl wish. 

However, having read the original French article, and your excel- 
lent and substantial translation of the same, I most certainly agree with 
you, that this article on the Villasur Expedition of 1720, is of great 
historical importance to Nebraska. i 

The thi-ee new documents, namely, the Leaf from the Spanish jour- 
nal of the expedition; the letter of Governor Boisbriant, dated Novem- 
ber 22, 1720; and the Mining Engineer Lallemand's letter of April 5, 
]721, give us some new and contemporaneous evidence of the expedition. 

Hitherto, the reports have been very conflicting and confusing, and 
the scene of the massacre has been variously located. 

While I was inclined to follow the opinions of Prof. John B. Dunbar, 
and William Dunn, m favor of the North Platte location, after reading 
that Spanish Leaf, I am now convinced that the Bar^n de Villier's lo- 
cation conforms more closely to the Leaf's description, than does the 
North Platte, and consequently the scene of the massacre would be 
somewhere in the vicinity of the present Linwood, Nebr. 

Various dates are given for the occurrence, and we know that 
Felipe de Tamaris, one of the soldiers that escaped the massacre, 
brouglit the news of the Spanish defeat to Santa Fe, on September 6, 
1720. There were a few other survivors. 

The Chaplain, who was slain, was Father Juan Minguez, a Fran- 
ciscan, who was stationed in Santa Fe in 1705; at Zuni, in 1706 and 
later at Nambe, Santa Cruz, and Santa Clara Missions in New Mexico. 

The route of the expedition, was generally northeast, from Santa 
Fe to Jicarilla, (now in Conejos County, Colorado,) then to Cuai'telejo, 
in Scott County, Kansas, and from there to the Jesus-Maria, or Platte 
ri\'er, a little southwest of the mouth of Prairie Creek. 

It now appears that it was the Loup river that was named St. 
liawrence in honor of that famous martyr, whose feast day falls on 
August tenth. Undoubtedly some Spanish documents will be found, 
that will ihrow more light on the event. 






IN 1725 

. The following account of the first visit of Indians from 
the Nebraska region to the King of France, and Royal court 
at Paris is furnished by Rev. M. A. Shine, of Platfsmouth. 
The original article appeared in the London Postman, Jan- 
uary 27, 1726. It was copied into the United States Catholic 
Historical Magazine for April, 1890, where it was found by 
Father Shine. It confirms the account translated from the 
Journal des Americanistes in many respects and adds to our 
knowledge of the relation of the Indians of the Missouri val- 
ley to France two centuries ago: 

IN PARIS, IN 1725. 

Since our last, came in the mail due from Holland with a 
farther Account from Paris of the four Savages of Missis- 
sippi : 

■ On the 28th of November, the four Chiefs, and the Sav- 
age Maid were again presented to the Company, (of the 
Indies) when the Chief of the Illinois, as a Christian, and an 
ancient Ally of the French, presented his Speech to the Comp- 
troller General, and the three other Chiefs also presented 
theirs in the name of their Three Nations, which were read 
by the Company's Secretary. 

The speech of the Illinois to the India Company, was as 
follows : 

"The Black Gown'-= tells me that you are some of the 
most eminent Men of the French Nation, whom the King has 
made Chiefs of Mississippi. I am ashamed to be so little in 
comparison with you. Tho' I am Chief of my Village, and 
esteemed in my own Country, I am nothing ; but I love Prayer 
and the French. Therefore, you ought to love me and and to 
love my Nation, which has always been allied to the French. 

"The French are with us. We have yielded them the 
country which we possess in Cassakias. We are very well 
pleased with them, but we don't like to see them come and 
mingle themselves with us, and to take up their Habitations 
in the midst of our Village and our Deserts. 'Tis my Opinion 
that you who are great Chiefs, should leave us Masters of the 
country where we have placed our Fire. 

^Indians commonly called a priest a "black gown." 


"I am come hither to see the Kin^ in the Name of my 
Nation and my young People. When shall I see him? All 
the fine Things I see are nothing if I do not see the King, our 
true Father and yours, and if I do not hear His Word to re- 
port them to my young people. 

"1 was dead some Days ago, but now I am reviv'd, be- 
cause great Care has been taken of me. I thank you for it, 
and hoRe that you will continue it. In short, because you are 
our Chiefs, speak kindly to me that my young People may be 
pleas'd when I see them again, and that they may perceive 
that you are well disposed towards us. This is what I had to 
say to you, who am vour Son, and a Friend of the French." 


The following Speech was made to. the India Company by 
the Chiefs of the Indian Nations call'd Missoury, Osages, and 

" 'Tis now Twelve entire Moons since we set out from 
our lands to this Country. One of our Chiefs dy'd by the way, 
the others were left on the Sea Shore. 

"We were given to understand that the King and Com- 
pany demanded some of each of our Nations. We are here 
now before you, but still ignorant of what you want with us. 

"We aie ashamed to sec that we have nothing worth 
your acceptance. We brought with us some Skins and the 
Workmanship of our Wives, which you that have abundance 
of fine things of more importance M'ould not have valued, but 
all was lost in the first Ship that was to have carry'd us. 

"We can't sufficiently admire the fine things which we 
see every day, Things which we shall never forget, and which 
will re Joyce all to whom we relate them. 

"We are very well pleas'd with the Treatment we have 
met with since we came to this Country, but were uneasy till 
we arrived. 

"Our Seniors each for his Nation, have enjoyn'd and 
charged us to lay their Demands before you. 

1. "They desire you not to abandon them, and hope the 
French will not only furnish their necessities, but maintain 
their union. 

2. "They complain that they never had any Body among 
them to instruct them to pray, but one White Band** lately 
come thither, with whom they are well pleased. 

3. "They desire you to send us back furnish'd with your 
Promise. They are all looking this way to see us again. 


4. "The French have told us that you consider well in all 
this Country, and that the Magazines there are yours. We 
are in your power. Consider how to dispose of your Bodies. 

After the reading these Speeches, the Comptroller Gen- 
eral ordered his Answer to be read to all of them, which was 
composed with that Spirit proper for conversing with that 
People, and the better to be understood by means of their In- 
terpreters. He gave a Copy of it to each of their Chiefs. 

Then he caused the presents of the Company to be de- 
livered to them, consisting of a Habit compleatly French, be^ 
ing a blue Coat with Silver Buttons and Buttonholes, scarlet 
Waste coats, embvoider'd with Silver, red Breeches and Hose, 
Silver Lac'd Hats, some with red and others with blue 
Feathers, six ruffled Shirts, six Necks, etc. A Savage Habit, 
consisting of a Cloth Wrapper, five Quarters wide, with Silver 
Lace two Inches above the List, which is left there, because 
the Savages reckon it an Ornament, a Braguet, which is a 
quarter of an Ell of scarlet Cloth adorned with silver Lace 
above the Selvage. This they make use of to cover their Nu- 
dities. And a pair of Mitase, which are Cloth Stockings half 
blue and half red, which comes up to the Thigh, and are ty'd 
with Ribbonds to their Sashes. 

The Dress presented to the Savage Girl, was a Damask 
Gown of Flame Colour, with Gold Flowers, an under Petticoat 
of the/same, a Panier, two pair of Boddice, six Lac'd Shifts, 
and Ribbonds of Gold and Silver, and a pair of Silk Stockings. 


Hear Illinois, Missoury, Osages and Otoptata: 

"I am very glad that you have heard the Speech of the 
Company, I see you here with Pleasure. The Company will 
always think of you, and can never forget your saying. 

"They know, Illinois, that you are a Man of Prayer. 
They conjecture that you Missoury, you Osages, you Optata 
will hear the Words of the Missionaries that shall be sent 
unto you. 

You have seen how many People the great Onontio 
(King) commands. You cannot but know how his Riches and 
Magnificence by his Palaces and Gardens where you have 


"This great Onontio is he whom we all obey. He is our 
Father and the Governor of Louisiana is his Interpreter. He 
has kindled the Fire of his Council at New Orleans. 'Tis 
from thence all our Thoughts ought to proceed. Hearken not 
to any other Words but such as shall be deliver'd to you from 
the place. They will be the Words of the Great Onontio. If 
you hear them, the Roads will be free, and you will have very 
good Hunting. 

"The Company, who loves you, and takes you into their 
very Bosom, gives you Tobacco to make your hearts merry, 
to disperse any clouds that might overcast your Minds, and 
to keep you in good Humor till you depart. They also give 
you Cloaths for you to wear here, and others, after the Fash- 
ion of your own Nation, They made the like provision for 
the good Woman that is come with you." 

On the 22d of November these Savages set out for Foun- 
tainbleau. On the 24th, they were carried about to all the 
Princes and Princesses and other Lords and Ladies of the 
Court, who were fond to see Savages whom to their Surprise 
they found to have as much Spirit and ,good Sense as other 
Men. At night, the Comptroller General carried them to the 
Duke of Bourbon, to whom the Illinois made the following 
Speech : 


"I know that your Ancestors were mighty Men and great 
Warriours, who often dy'd their Helmets with the Blood of the 
Enemies of the French, At this Day you are without your 
Helmets because there are no Enemies; but you have given 
to the French their true Mother, who is above all the great 
women in the World, This is more than beating an enemy. 
I know also that the Father of the French loves you, and that 
he commits his Children to your care, and that he hears your 
Words. Learn therefore of him to be always truly the Father 
of the French and ours ; cause him to think of us, and to love 
me and my Nation, May you also love us as much as I ad- 
mire you, and may you be of Opinion that you can never love 
us too much." 

The Duke of Bourbon answer'd the Illinois, That he was 
much obliged for the advantageous Idea he had of him, and 
that he could not return a better Answer to his Compliment 
that by assuring him that he looked upon as a Chief and a 
great Warriour, and by promising to take Care that he re- 
turns away contented, and more attached than ever to the 
French nation. 


His Serene Highness afterwards received the compl- 
ments of Missoury, Osages and Otoptata, and when he had 
return'd a civil answer to each, promised to present them next 
Day to the King as he came from hunting, which he accord- 
ingly did, and introduced them all dress'd in their Savage 
Habits into the King's Cabinet, when Father Beaubois pre- 
sented his Majesty the Illinois and a letter from the Grand 
Chief, and made the following speech: 


"This Savage, who has the honor to appear before your 
Majesty, is no ordinary Man. Yet tho' the Chief of his vil- 
lage, and one of the most considerable of his Nation, he has 
nothing of that Pomp and Grandeur which surround Princes, 
and which render them so venerable to the people who are 
under 'em, these being things unknowji in America. But 
what your Majesty will no doubt value him for is, that this 
Indian, born as one may say in another World, and brought 
up in the middle of Forests, could conceive so high an Idea 
of your Grandeur, as so earnestly to desire to see it nearer, 
and to come and pay you Homage. An unhappy Shipwreck, 
which chang'd the minds of those who accompanied him, did 
not intimidate him, and since he has been in France, the sight 
of what has been the Astonishment of all Foreigners, has 
still made him the more eager of seeing the Monarch of so 
potent an Empire. The most considerable Chief of all the Ill- 
inois nation has a thousand times enjoy'd the happiness of 
this, as himself ingenuously owns to your Majesty, and has, 
as one may say, a thousand times regretted that he is so 
necessary to the French nation in his own country. Vouch- 
safe, Sire, kindly to receive the Letter which he presumes to 
send to your Majesty, and be pleased to return a favorable 

"For my Part, Sire, I think myself very happy, that I 
have this Day the Honour of approaching your Throne, there 
to be Witness of the Wonders which France admires in your 
Sacred Person. Permit me. Sire, to beg your Majesty's Roy- 
al Protection for the Missions of Louisiana, that vast Pro- 
"ince^ where there cannot be too many for the welfare of your 
Colony, and to procure to the many Savage nations that in- 
habit it, the Knowledge of the True God. Lewis le Grand of 
Glorious Memory, always made it his delight to protect those 
whom Providence honours with so holy a Ministry, and there- 
by to demonstrate that Zeal he had fo)- the Propagation of 
the Faith. Being Heir, Sire, of his Heroick Virtues, as you 
are of his rich Diadem, do you show the same Zeal, which 

38 np:braska history 

cannot but be infinitely glorious to you. We have a Rigtit it 
seems to expect it from your Piety, which appeared so emi- 
nently in the Choice you have made of the most virtuous 
Princess of the world, to place her by you on the most August 
Throne in the Universe. 

Extracts from Charlevoix Letters. 

(From a letter dated at Michillimackinac, April 5, 1721) 

Volume II, Pages 63-65 

Next day, the chiefs of the two nations paid me a visit; 
and one of the Otchagras showed me a Catalonian pistol, a 
pair of Spanish shoes, and 1 do not know what drug, which 
appeared to me to be a sort of ointment. All this they had 
received from one of the Aiouez, and the following is the oc- 
casion, by means of which these things fell into the hands 
of this person. 

About two years ago, some Spaniards, who had come as 
they say, from New Mexico, with design to penetrate as far 
as the country of the Illinois, and to drive the French out of 
it, whom they saw with extreme regret approach so near the 
Missouri, descended this river and attacked two villages of 
the Octotatas, a people in alliance with the Aiouez, from 
whom it is pretended they draw their origin. As these In- 
dians had no fire-arms, and being besides surprised, the Span- 
iards easily succeeded in their enterprize, and made a great 
slaughter of them. A third village of the same nation, and 
at no great distance from the two others, making no doubt 
that the conquerors would pay them a visit, laid an ambush- 
cade for them, into which the Spaniards blindly stumbled. 
Others say, that the Indians having learned that the Span- 
iards had almost all of them got drunk, and were sleeping in 
great security, fell upon them in the night; and it is certain 
they cut the throats of almost every one of them. 

There were two chaplains in this party, one of whom 
was killed in the beginning of the afi:"air, and the other saved 
himself amongst the Missourites who kept him prisoner, and 
from whom he made his escape in a very dexterous manner. 
He happened to have a very fine horse, and the Missourites 
delighting in beholding him perform feats of horsemanship, 
he took the advantage of their curiosity, in order to get out 
of their hands. One day as he was scampering about in their 
presence, he withdrew insensibly to a distance, when clapping 
spurs to his horse, he instantly disappeared. As they made 
no other prisoner but him, it is not yet exactly known neither 
from what pai't of New Mexico these Spaniards came, nor 


with what desig-n ; for what I first told you of the affair, was 
founded upon the reports of the Indians only, who perhaps 
had a mind to make their court to us by giving- it to be under- 
stood, that they had done us a very material piece of service 
))y this defeat. 

All they brought me was the spoils of the chaplain who 
had been killed, and they found likewise a prayer-book, which 
I have not seen: this was probably his breviary, I bought 
the pistol; the shoes were good for nothing; and the Indian 
would by no means part with the ointment, having taken it 
into his head, that it was a sovereign remedy against all sorts 
of evils. I was curious to know how he intended to make 
use of it ; he answered that it was sufficient to swallow a little 
Oi it, and let the disease be what it would the cure was im- 
mediate; he did not say however that he had as yet made 
trial of it, and I advised him against it. The Indians begin 
here to be very ignorant, and are very far from being so sen- 
sible or at least so communicative, as those who have more 
commerce with us. 

Volume II Page 218 

On the tenth about nine in the morning, after sailing five 
leagues on the Mississippi, we arrived at the mouth of the 
Missouri, which lies north-west and south-south-east, H-ere 
is the finest confluence of two rivers that, I believe, is to be 
met with in the whole world, each of them being: about half 
a league in breadtii ; but the Missouri is by far the' most rapid 
of the two, and seems to enter the Mississippi like a conquer- 
or, carrying its white waters unmixed across its channel quite 
to the opposite side; this colour it afterwards communicates 
to the Mississippi, which henceforth it never loses, but hurls 
with precipitation to the sea itself. 



Shau-han-napo-tinia was a noted chief of the loway tribe. His 
name means "Man who Killed Three Sioux". He was also called 
Moano-honga or Great Walker. His boy chum was killed at the age 
of 19 by the Sioux. Shau-hau-napo-tinia rushed into a Sioux village of 
400 lodges killed one warrior and two squaws. He returned with their 
scalps. He went to Washington in 1837 when this portrait was made. 

OF AUGUST 24, 1912, 

Of Nebraska Hist. & Record of Pioneer Days publiLhed Quarterly at 
Lincoln, Nebraska for April 1, 1923. 

State of Nebraska ) 

County of Lancaster \ ^^' 

Before me, a Notary Public in and for the State and county afore- 
said, personally appearedA. E. Sheldon, who, having been duly sworn 
according to law, deposes and says that he is the Editor and Business 
Manager of the Nebr. Hist. & Record of Pioneer Days and that the fol- 
lowing is, to the best of his knowledge and belief, a true statement of 
the ownership, management (and if a daily paper, the circulation), etc., 
of the aforesaid publication for the date shown in the above caption, re- 
quired by the Act of August 24, 1912, embodied in section 443, Postal 
Laws and Regulations, printed on the reverse of this form, to wit: 

1. That the names and addresses of the publisher, editor, managing 
editor, and business managers are: 

Name of — Post office address — 

Publisher Nebraska State Historical Society Lincoln, Nebraska 

Editor A. E. Sheldon Lincoln, Nebraska 

Managing Editor A. E. Sheldon Lincoln, Nebraska 

Business Managers A. E. Sheldon Lincoln, Nebraska 

2. That the owner is: (If the publication is owned bj an individual his 
name and address, or if ovraed by more than one individual the name and 
address of each, should be given below; if the publication is owned by a 
corporation the name of the corporation and the namef> and addresses of 
the stockholders owning or holding one per cent or more of the total 
amount of stock should be given.) 

Nebraska State Historical Society 

3. That tho known bondholders, mortgagees, and other security holders 
owning or holding 1 per cent or more of total amount of bonds, mort- 
gages, or other securities are: (If there are none, so state.) 


4. That the two paragraphs next above, giving the names of the own- 
ers, stockholders, and security holders, if any, contain not only the list 
of stockholders and security holders as they appear upon the books of 
the company but also, in cases where the stockholder or security holder 
appears upon the books of the company as trustee or in any other fidu- 
ciary relation, the name of the person or corporation for whom such 
trustee is acting, is given; also that the said two paragraphs contain 
statements embracing affiants's fidl knowledge and belief as to the cir- 
cumstances and conditions under which stockholders and security holders 
who do not appear upon the books of the company as trustees hold stock 
and securities in a capacity other than that of a bona fide owner; and 
this affiant has no reason to believe that any other person, association, 
or corporation has any interest direct or indirect in the said stock, bonds, 
or other securities than as so stated by him. 

Sworn to and subscribed before me this 2rd day of August, 1923. 

Max Westennann, Notary Public. 
(My commission expires August 4, 1927.) 



DEC 94