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Founder of the Bismarck Tribune 






ASTsn. : I 

TILDE.\ 1 

Copyright 1916 by 


Washington, D. C. 

Published 1916 

To THE North Dakota Pioneers 
and their successors, the fathers, mothers 
and children of the North Dakota of today, 
this work is affectionately dedicated, by 

The Author. 
October 31, 1916. 


"I hear the tread of pioneers, 

Of nations yet to be, 
The first low wash of waves where soon 
Shall roll a human sea." 

— John G. IVhitticr. 

More intensely interesting than a fairy tale is the story of the development 
of the great Northwest. It is a story of adventure and of daring in the lives of 
individuals not unmixed with romance, for there were brave, loving hearts, and 
gentle clinging spirits among those hardy pioneers, and many incidents and choice 
bits of legend have been handed down, which I hope may serve to make these 
pages interesting. 

It is a story with traces of blood and tears, illustrating "man's inhumanity to 
man," for there were some among the early traders who had little regard for the 
expenditure of these precious treasures, in their pursuit of "Gold ! gold ! gold ! 
gold !" that is "heavy to get and light to hold," as suggested by Hood — the 

"Price of many a crime untold 


How widely its agencies vary, 
To save, to ruin, to curse, to bless. 

As even its minted coins express, 
Now stamp'd with the image of good Queen Bess, 

And now of a Bloody Mary." 

It is a story of man's love for man, in the \\ork of the early missionaries, who, 
in obedience to the command of the Master, went forth into the wilderness to lift 
up and benefit the "untutored" savage, who only "sees God in clouds, or hears 
Him in the wind," and to bring refuge to his white children, who had blazed 
the way, and who were languishing in des])air. It is a story of heroic deeds^ 
of patriotic devotion to duty, of suffering and bloodshed and of development. 

Whether I am the one to write the story, let others judge. 

"Let us probe the silent places, let us seek what luck betide us ; 
Let us journey to a lonely land I know. 
There's a whisper on the night wind, there's a star agleam to guide us, 
And the Wild is calling, calling — let us go." 

—Robert IV. Service, "The Call of the Wild." 



My family in all of its branches were among the early settlers of New York 
and New England, frontiersmen and participants in all of the early Indian wars. 
My mother's people suffered in the Wyoming massacre. Among the slain in 
that bloody affair were seven from the family of Jonathan Weeks, her paternal 
ancestor, who with fourteen fatherless grand-children returned to Orange County, 
New York, whence he came, abandoning his well developed farm near Wilkes- 
barre, as demanded by the Indians. 

I knew many of the people directly connected with the Minnesota massacre 
of 1862, and the incidents leading up to it, and the campaign following — settlers 
in the region affected, prisoners of the Sioux, traders, soldiers, missionaries, men 
in public life, and many of the Indians. One of the stockades built by the settlers 
for defense, was situated on the first real property I ever owned, and in a log 
house within this stockade, my first child, Hattie, wife of Charles E. V. Draper of 
Mandan, N. D., was born. 

In July, 1S73, I established the Bismarck Tribune, the first newspaper pub- 
lished in North Dakota. There were then but five villages in North Dakota — 
Pembina, Grand Forks, Fargo, Jamestown and Bismarck ; no railroad, excepting 
the Northern Pacific under construction ; no farms, no agriculture, except the 
cultivation of small patches by Indians and half-bloods, or in coimection with the 
military posts or Indian agencies ; no banks, no public schools, no churches. It 
was my fate to be one of five (John W. Fisher, Henry F. Douglas, I. C. Adams, 
Mrs. W. C. Boswell and myself) to organize the Presbyterian Church Society 
at Bismarck, the first church organization in North Dakota, in June, 1873, ^'id ^^ 
the autumn of that year I was instrumental in organizing the Burleigh County 
Pioneers, developed through my direction into the North Dakota State Historical 
Society, of which I was the first president. 

I was at Bismarck when a party of Northern Pacific surveyors started west 
to siirvey the line of the road from that point to the Yellowstone River, in the 
spring of 1873, and saw the smoke of battle and heard the crack of rifles, as the 
engineers were forced to fight, even before they got as far west as the site of 

I saw Gen. George A. Custer as he marched to his last battle — the massacre 
of Custer and 261 men of the Seventh United States Cavalry on the Little Big 
Horn, by the Sioux. Accompanying him was Mark Kellogg, bearing my com- 
mission from the New York Herald, who rode the horse that was provided for 
me — for I had purposed going but could not — and who wore t!ie belt I had worn 
in the Civil war. which was stained with my blood. 

I saw the wounded brought down the Yellowstone and the Missouri, by Grant 
Marsh, on that historic boat, the Far West, and the weeping widows whose hus- 
bands returned not. 

The trail of blood, beginning at the Atlantic, taking a new start at the Gulf, 
extending to the Pacific, and, returning, starting afresh on the banks of the 
]\Iissouri. came to a sudden check on the banks of the Little Big Horn but it was 
not ended, the blood already spilled was not enough. The Seventh United States 
Cavalry, Custer's Regiment, was again baptized in blood at \\ounded Knee, 
and the end was not reached until the tragic death of Sitting Bull in 1891. 

We have the Indians with us yet — in many instances happy and prosperous 
farmers, their children attending the schools and universities, the male adults 


having taken lands in severalty under the Federal Allotment Act, being recognized 
citizens of the United States, and entitled to the elective franchise in the Slate 
of North Dakota. 

If I dwell upon Indian affairs, it is because I have been interested in the 
Indians from childhood. After the battle of Spottsylvania I lay in the field 
hospital beside an Indian soldier, wounded even worse than I. Not a groan 
escaped his lips. I admired the pluck and courage, and the splendid service 
of the Indian soldiers from the states of T^Iichigan and Wisconsin in the Civil 
war. I have seen them in battle. I have known their excellent service as 
Indian police, I have seen them in their happy homes, when roaming free on the 
prairie, and I know their good points. Although I shall picture the horrors 
of Indian wars in a lurid light, I have no sympathy with the idea that "the only 
good Indian is a dead Indian." and I am glad to know that they are no longer 
a "vanishing race," but their numbers are now increasing, and to feel that they 
have a splendid destiny before them. 

I have seen the growth of North Dakota from the beginning, I have per- 
formed my part in its development, but in the words of Kipling's Explorer: 

"Have I named one single river? Have I claimed one single acre? 
Have I kept one single nugget? — (barring samples?) No, not I. 
Because my price was paid me ten times over by my Maker, 
But \'ou wouldn't understand it. You go up and occupy." 

I feel it a duty, as well as a privilege, to contribute these pages to its history. 

Clement Augustus Lounsbeerv. 
Bismarck, N. D., October 31, 1916. 

(The Willi Rose) 


The State Floiver—the Wild Rose, 
Five petals of a pale, pink tint 

Are round its heart of gold. 
And hither, thither, ivithoitt stint, 

It scatters o'er the world. 

A touch of color, faint and fine 

The artist at his best. 
Beneath a careless, szuift ^design, 

Supreme and self-confessed. 

This flower that runs across the hill 

With such unconscious grace. 
That seeks some wilderness to fill 

And make a heavenly place; 
This masterpiece for common folk. 

Lit with the artist's joy, 
Let no unthinking, 'wanton stroke. 

No ruthless hand, destroy. 

■ — Marion Lisle. 

"The forest has spells that enchant me 
The mountain has pozvcr to enthrall. 
Yet the grace of a wayside blossom 
Can stir my heart deeper than all. 

O sentinels! piercing the cloud land, 

Stand forth in stupendous array. 
My brow by your shadow enshrouded, 

is humble before you today. 

But peaks that arc gilded by Heaven 

Defiant you stand in your pride! 

From glories too distant above me, 

I turn to the friend at 7ny side." 

— From the French of Louis Frechette, 

translated by Hon. J. D. Edgar. 





























Ix THE Beginning , 3 

Occupied for Indian Trade 17 

The Buffalo Republic 32 

Foltnding of Pembina 40 

The Louisiana Purchase 53 

"When Wild in Woods the Noble Savage Ran" "]•] 

Graft in Indian Trade 88 

The Northwest Territory — A Chapter Apart 99 

The War of 1812 117 


Early Exploring Expeditions 139 

The Conquest of the Missouri 154 

The Conquest of the Missouri (Continued) 166 

Including the Sioux Massacre of 1862 186 

In the Sioux Country 205 

Dakota Pioneers 220 

The Conquest of the Sioux 237 

The Conquest of the Sioux (Continued) 248 

Dakota Territory 259 


Dakota Organized 271 

Dakota in the Civil and Indian Wars 282 

Politics in Indian Affairs 307 

Transportation Development 325 

Red River Valley Old Settlers' .\ssoci.»ition 351 


Division of the Territory 365 

The North Dakota Constitutional Convention — Ena- 
bling Act 383 

The State 414 

The Codes of North Dakota 437 





XXVIII. The Supreme Court 444 

XXIX. Prohibition 461 

XXX. The Press of N^orth Dakota 474 

XXXI. Naming North Dakota Counties 483 

XXXII. Stories of Early Days 487 

XXXIII. Pioneer Settlers and Settlements 508 

XXXIV. History of Banking in North Dakota 530 

XXXV. History of Methodism in North Dakota 538 

XXXVI. Historical Sketch of the University of North Dakota. . . 549 

XXXVII. North Dakota Volunteers 561 

XXXVIII. The Revolution in North Dakota • 586 





"Swiftly walk over the western wave, Spirit of Night." 

— Shelley. 

In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth, and the earth was without form, 
and void ; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon 
the face of the waters. And God said, Let there be light, and there was light. 

— Holy Scriptures. 

Long before the earth took form, the universe existed. Compared with the 
whole, the earth's proportion is that of a thought snatched from a busy Hfe, 
a leaf from the forest, a grain of sand from the seashore, a chip from the work- 
shop of Eternal Energy. 

Perhaps it existed in impalpable dust, or fragrnents left when other worlds 
or celestial bodies were created, hurled together by Almighty Force, forming a 
burning mass, still burning in the interior, changing but not destroying the 
material of which it was made. Gases from the flames still form, and finding 
vent at some weak spot, the explosion and the earthquake follow, and portions 
shake and tremble, cities are destroyed or buried, and the face of the earth is 

Perhaps a crust formed upon the surface of the burning mass when this old 
earth was young, which, shrinking as it cooled, gave the mountain ranges and 
the depressions which make the beds of the seas and oceans, and out of the vol- 
canoes, belching forth their clouds of smoke and gases, came the "darkness" 
which "was upon the face of the deep," and when the darkness disappeared, and 
life and growth became possible, "the morning stars sang together," for a new 
world was born. 

And that world took its course among the planets, the portion receiving the 
direct rays of the sun becoming tropical, while immense bodies of ice formed at 
the poles. "The testimony of the rocks" indicates that when the ice was broken 
loose, and plowed over the surface of the earth, it was miles in depth. It broke 
down, and ground to gravel and dust, mountain ranges, leaving here and there 



the boulders, forming new valleys and new plains, burying the immense mass of 
vegetation of that earlier period, giving to the world its fields of coal. 

Perhaps, under this enormous accumulation of ice, the earth was changed in 
its axis, possibly by some convulsion of nature. The fact that a large portion of 
North Dakota was, time and time again, beneath the waters, is apparent to any 
observer, and in all of the eastern part of the state, the work of the ice is as 
visible as the stitches of a seamstress upon a completed garment. 

Neither life nor light was possible in the earth's earlier stages, and after the 
creation of all other forms of life, man appeared, and into his organization there 
was carried every element in nature, whether on the earth, in the waters which 
surrounded the earth, or in the atmosphere — whether in the chattering ape or 
creeping thing, in beast or bird, in fish or fowl, in life-supporting or life-destroying 
principle, and to all these life was added, breathed into man, created indeed 
from the dust of the earth by Divine Energy. And what is life? We may fol- 
low matter and find it in its changing form, but when life passes from its earthly 
tenement, who can say whither it goeth ? 

Man ate of the tree of knowledge. That was God-given, and its use brings 
its reward and its punishment, but death is essential to development, and is as 
natural as birth. The seasons come, and the seasons go; winter has its work 
no less than summer; the flowers bloom and fade, and so man is born, matures, 
and falls into decay, and, like the dead worlds which have performed their mis- 
sions, passes into dust to be born again into some new form of life. 

"The stars shine over the earth, 
The stars shine over the sea ; 
The stars look up to the mighty God, 

The stars look down on me. 
The stars have lived a million years, 

A million years and a day; 
But God and I shall love and live 

When the stars have passed away." 

— Rev. Jahez Thomas Sunderland. 

When man appeared upon the, face of the earth the strenuous life began. 
Doubtless from the beginning he "earned his bread by the sweat of his brow" 
and the quiet life of Abel invited the first flow of human blood, which has formed 
a continuous trail that marks the course of human development. Without blood- 
shed there has been no advancement, without bloodshed no redemption ; no great 
reforms have ever gained a masterly headway without bloodshed ; no nation has 
ever been established without its baptism of blood. 

Persecution in the old world led to the peopling of the new, and everj' step 
in the development of the new world is marked by human blood. There was 
war between the French and the English colonists, war between the Dutch and 
their neighbors, and cntelty in most revolting form by those who sailed under, 
the flag of Spain and gained a permanent foothold in the country west of the 
Mississippi River. And from the beginning the whites were at war with the 
reds, driving them from one section, then another, destroying their homes, taking 
from them their wealth of game, and planting within their breasts hatred almost 
undying. Who does not remember the pathetic words of Tah-gah-jute called 

B B il t| J |s\Mi jpM^i*iL 


\ -ri «* j(': ' 

V: H 




H S- V 


Ht NOKRli fETt 

Hcro.v, o. c. 


■'Logan?" He was the son of a white man reared among the Indians, and was 
known as a Mingo chief — a common term for those Iroquois hving beyond the 
proper boundaries of the tribe. He was named for James Logan, colonial secre- 
tary of Pennsylvania, his father's friend. All the members of his family were 
killed in the spring of 1774, while crossing a river in a canoe, and after the 
defeat of the Indians in the bloody war which followed, instead of suing for 
peace with the rest, he sent this message to be delivered to John Murray Dun- 
more, the last royal governor of Virginia. 


"1 appeal to any white man to say if he ever entered Logan's cabin hungry, 
and he gave him no meat; if ever he came cold and naked, and he clothed him 
not. During the last long and bloody war, Logan remained idle in his cabin, an 
advocate of peace. Such was my love for the whites that my countrymen pointed 
as they passed by, and said, 'Logan is the friend of the white man.' I had even 
thought to have lived with you, had it not been for the injuries of one man. 
Colonel Cresap, who last spring, in cold blood, unprovoked, murdered all the 
relatives of Logan, not even sparing my women and children, and he an officer 
in the white man's government ! There runs not a drop of my blood in the veins 
of any living creature. This called on me for revenge. I have sought it. I have 
killed many. I have glutted my vengeance. For my country I rejoice at the 
gleams of peace ; but do not harbor a thought that mine is' the joy of fear. Logan 
never felt fear. He will not turn on his heel to save his life. Who is there to 
mourn for Logan? Not one." 

KING Philip's w.-\r 

"Here still a lofty rock remains, 

On which the curious eye may trace — 
Now wasted half by warring rains, — 
The fancies of a ruder race." 

— Philip Frcncau. 1752-1832. 

In July, 1675, the King Philip's war commenced. The old and friendly 
chiefs, who appreciated the sturdy integrity of the Pilgrims, and their braves 
who knew what war was, had passed away. The young men who followed them 
had become proficient in the use of firearms and were chafing for war, and 
determined to provoke it, but believed they would be defeated unless they avoided 
shedding the first blood. So they wandered about committing depredations of 
every kind, sometimes snatching the prepared food from the tables where they 
appeared as unbidden guests at meal times. They killed the domestic animals 
of the colonists, sharpened their knives on their doorsteps while boasting of 
what they intended to do, and finally on Sunday. July 20, 1675, ^ party of eight 
called at the home of a colonist and demanded the privilege of sharpening their 
hatchets on his grindstone, well knowing that it would not be permitted in view 
of the Pilgrim idea of the Sabbath. They went to another house where the 
people were at church and ransacked the closets, helping themselves to food ; 
they shot the cattle of other colonists and finally demanded liquor of one and 


tried to take it by violence when he in his desperation fired on one of them wno 
was slightly wounded, and their purpose was gained — the whites had drawn the 
first blood, and war was declared and waged in all its fury. 

Of the ninety villages which had been settled by the New England colonists, 
twelve were utterly destroyed during that war, and forty others suffered from 
fire and pillage. The isolated settlements were nearly all destroyed, the Indians 
taking but few captives and these being held for torture or ransom. 

The traditions of many families run back to King Philip's war, some of 
the women and children escaping by being placed in an out-of-door brick oven 
before which wood was piled when the men were called out for the common 
defense. When the men returned they found the family safe, but the buildings 
had been destroyed by fire. In Abbott's "History of King Philip," the author 
graphically tells the story, and concludes with these words : "But the amount of 
misery created can never be told or imagined. The midnight assault, the awful 
conflagration, the slaughter of women and children, the horrors of captivity in 
the wilderness, the impoverishment and mourning of widows and orphans, the 
diabolical torture, piercing the wilderness with shrill shrieks of mortal agony, 
the terror, universal and uninterrupted by day or night — all, all combined in 
composing a scene in the awful tragedy of human life, which the mind of the 
Deity alone can comprehend." 

Plymouth and Bristol counties in Eastern Massachusetts witnessed some of 
the most exciting episodes of the Indian wars, and the conflicts with King Philip 
and his warriors occurred frequently in this locality. Their woods and the 
country lying between the present cities have rung many times with the war 
whoop of savages, and the waters of Mount Hope Bay, and the many lakes, 
rivers, and large ponds, have assisted in the transportation of countless parties 
of attack, and of escape, as well as great councils leading to transactions of far- 
reaching consequence to the country. 

King Philip and about five hundred lodges of his people numbering upwards 
of three thousand, took up their winter quarters in 1675, near South Kingston, 
R. I., on an elevated tract of land surrounded by an almost impenetrable swamp. 
It was fortified by palisades, a ditch and a slashing of some rods in width, and 
here as at Pequot Hill, they had gathered immense quantities of supplies. Decem- 
ber 19, 1675, they were attacked in this position by a force of about one thousand 
colonial troops and their camp and supplies entirely destroyed. More than 
one thousand warriors were slain, and a large number were wounded ; few of 
the women and children escaping, although many of the warriors reached the 
swamp, and continued their warfare until the bitter end in the summer of 1677. 

King Philip, however, was killed August 12, 1676, at Mount Hope, R. I. His 
body was beheaded and quartered and the parts hung up in trees to be devoured 
by vultures ; his wife and children being sold into slavery. This was the fate 
of the captives generally. Those for whom there was no market were parceled 
out among the colonists as ser\'ants. The tribes engaged in this war were the 
Wampanoags, Narragansetts and Nipmucks. 

Similar scenes were enacted in the W'yoming Valley, Luzerne County, Penn- 
sylvania, July 3, 1778, when more than three hundred settlers were slain. 



Before the Revolutionary war, steps were taken to extend the settlement to 
the west, partly from the impulse to expand, to grow, and partly from a desire 
to extend the frontier as a measure of protection. This ambition was the leading, 
moving thought among the great minds of Virginia, and it was sons of Virginia 
who blazed the way into the trackless wilderness, and took possession of Ken- 
tucky, "the dark and bloody ground," where the battles were fought and the 
minds cultured which made apparent the advisability of the purchase of Louisiana, 
and contributed so much to its development. 

As Washington, then a young surveyor and lowly citizen, extended the lines 
of survey, he was watched by the red men, who dogged his footsteps and scalped 
his unfortunate assistants who happened to fall into their hands, and often it 
became necessary to drop the tripod and compass, and take up the rifle and the 
knife. That which occurred in his case was true in the life of almost all of the 
frontier surveyors, and the frontier farmer carried the rifle, as well as the hoe, 
into the field where the work was done. 

When the little band of Virginians passed down the Ohio River on their way 
to the unknown land, muffled oars guided the Indian canoe behind them, and 
stealthily treading feet followed their footprints on the land. When they sent 
their representatives back to Virginia, it was the eloquence, the force and the 
patriotism of Patrick Henry — and the loving sympathy of his wife, Dorothea, 
a gift of God, indeed — which gave to the settlers 500 pounds of powder, 
to Kentucky a name as a county in \'irginia, and the support necessary to the 
life of that colony. 

Startling and fruitful of results were the incidents in the years of warfare 
which followed. We find in them the chain of forts, the campaign of "Mad" 
Anthony Wayne, the battle of Tippecanoe and the war with Mexico. 

The horrors of Indian war were again visited on the frontier settlers in the 
Minnesota massacre of 1862, which brought the trail of blood home to Dakota 
doors, the story of which will be told with considerable detail in this volume, for 
it is important that the youth of this fair land should know something of what 
it has cost to establish liberty, to extend the settlements, and to develop the 
resources of this country, until now there is no frontier. 

"But the Prairie's passed, or passing, with the passing of the years. 
Till there is no West worth knowing, and there are no Pioneers ; 
They have riddled it with railroads, throbbing on and on and on. 
They have ridded it of dangers till the zest of it is gone ; 
And I've saddled up my pony, for I'm dull and lonesome here, 
To go Westward, Westward, Westward, till we find a new Frontier ; 
To get back to God's own wildness and the skies \we used to know — 
But there is no West ; it's conquered — and I don't know where to go I" 

— /. W. Foley, "Sunset On the Prairies." 

CHAPTER I— Continued. 






"When the cool wind blows, from the shining snows 

On the long, bald range's crest, 
I am drunk with song, and the gold days long, 
And the big, bare sweep of the West. 

Life is not fair, but I do not care. 

If only I get my fill, 
Of wind and storm, and the mellow warm 

Of the sun, on the sage-brush hill !" 

— M. E. Hamilton, "The Pagan." 

In 1608, Samuel Champlain established Indian trade in North America as a 
business by the construction of a line of trading posts, with headquarters at 
Quebec. This was the beginning of the fur trade, which, extending along the 
lakes and to the great Northwest, led to the formation of the Hudson's Bay Com- 
pany in 1670 ; to the struggle between the rival trading establishments ; to the 
alignment of the Indians in favor of the French or English, and to the strife 
along the border. 


The English captured Quebec in 1629, but it was restored to France by the 
peace of St. Germain en Laye in 1642. In 1654, Port Royal, now known as 
Annapolis, N. S., was captured by the English, but was restored by treaty. 

Compte de Buade Frontenac was appointed governor general of the French 
possessions in North America in 1672, and under his administration, as early as 
1680, the French had built military posts at Niagara, Michilimackinac (Mack- 
inaw), and in the Illinois country. 

Frontenac inaugurated a vigorous war against the Hudson's Bay Company 
trading posts, and on the English settlements along the frontier. Sir William 
Phips (or Phipps), governor of the Province of Massachusetts Bay (1692-1694), 
in 1690 in an expedition by land and sea from Boston again captured Port Royal, 
but failed in his attempts to capture Quebec. During Queen Anne's war, 1705 
to 1713, Port Royal having been restored to France, was again captured by 
Col. John Nicholson, in 1710. and renamed Ann-apolis in honor of Queen Anne. 

The next year the campaign against Quebec under General John ("Jack") 
Hill, with 2,000 veterans under Colonel Nicholson, supported by a fleet com- 

i ^ 


nianded by Sir Howard Walker, failed through disaster to the fleet from a storm 
on the St. Lawrence River. Queen Anne's war closed in 1713, by the Treaty 
of Utrecht, and was followed by a few years of peace, between the French and 
English, the French gradually extending their dominion to the valley of the 
Mississippi River, forming a chain of forts around the English whose settle- 
ments were menaced at every point beyond the Alleghany Mountains. 


As stated in Francis Parkman's "Half a Century of Conflict," "Niagara held 
the passage from Lake Ontario to Lake Erie, Detroit closed the entrance to 
Lake Huron, and Michilimackinac guarded the point where Lake Huron is joined 
by lakes Michigan and Superior, while the fort called La Baye, at the head of 
Green Bay, stopped the way to the Mississippi by Marquette's old route of the 
Fox River and the Wisconsin. Another route to the Mississippi was controlled 
by a post on the Maurice, to watch the carrying-place between that river and 
the Wabash, and by another on the Wabash where Vincennes now stands. 
La Salle's route by way of the Kankakee and the Illinois was barred by a fort 
on the St. Joseph, and even if, in spite of these obstructions the enemy should 
reach the Mississippi by any of the northern routes, the cannon at Fort Chartres 
would prevent him from descending it." 


The Iroquois, known as the "Five Nations" until joined by the Tuscaroras 
of North Carolina in 1713, were composed of the Mohawks, Oneidas, Onondagas, 
Cayugas and Senecas, the Tuscaroras making the sixth of the allied nations. 


The chief tribes of this family group were the Hurons or Wyandottes, Otta- 
was, Crees, Chippewas, Urees, Miamis, Menominees, Chippisings, Pottawatamies, 
Sacs, Foxes, Kickapoos, the Powhatan tribes in Virginia, the Mohegans, Pequots, 
and other tribes of New England, the several tribes being free to exercise their 
own preference — the Shawnee, Blackfeet and Cheyennes, and various other 
lesser tribes. 

The Algonquin tribes were bounded on the north by the Esqvumaux, on the 
west by the Dakotas or Sioux, on the south by the Cherokees, the Natchez and 
Mobilian tribes. 


The Hurons were a people of strong militancy ; they were first encountered 
on the St. Lawrence River in the vicinity of Quebec. In their association with 
friendly Indians they claimed and were usually conceded the right to light the 
campfire at all general gatherings. 

Their confederacy was known in their language as the Sendat, and finally 
came to be called Wyandots (Wendat). In the treaty of January 21, 1785, they 
are recognized as Wyandots. This treaty was also with the Delawares, Chippe- 
was, and Ottawas. It was by the use of firearms obtained from the Dutch that 
the Iroquois were able to drive the Hurons from the St. Lawrence, when they 


fled to the Michigan peninsula and to Ohio, where they met new foes in the 

The Recollet Fathers estabHshed a mission among the Hurons in 1615; they 
were succeeded in 1626 by the Jesuits who remained with them until 1648-50. 

The French made a treaty of peace with the Iroquois in 1666, which led 
some of the Hurons to return to Quebec, where the Notre Dame de Foye was 
founded in 1667. Some of the Hurons still reside in that vicinity. 


In 1713 Canada was contiguous to the northern frontier of New England 
and New York; all of the territory north of the St. Lawrence River belonged 
to the French ; from the great lakes southward the country w^as claimed by both 
French and English ; the boundary between New England and Canada and New 
England and New York, occupied by the Dutch, had not been determined, and 
was the cause of much trouble. 

The Iroquois occupied nearly all of the valley of the St. Lawrence, the 
basins of lakes Ontario and Erie, the southeastern shores of Lake Huron and 
Georgian Bay, all of the present New York, excepting the lower Hudson Valley, 
all of Central Pennsylvania, the shores of the Chesapeake in Maryland, as far 
as Choptank and Patuxent rivers ; with the Tuscororas added the domain extended 
from the Ottawa River to the Tennessee and from the Kennebec to the Illinois 
and Lake Michigan. 

The Algonquin tribes completely surrounded the Iroquois territory. The 
Hurons of this family were invariably allies of the French, the alliance growing 
out of the fact that at the very beginning of French occupation of North America, 
Samuel Champlain assisted the Hurons in their warfare on the Iroquois, w^ho had 
been their relentless foes since prehistoric times ; their enmity terminating only 
with the destruction of their confederacy. The Iroquois on the other hand were 
generally allies of the English. This alignment continued until the treaty of 
1763, when the French made a treaty with the Iroquois. Thereafter the Indian 
alignment depended upon local considerations. 

On Jacques Cartier's first voyage in 1534, when he explored the Gulf of 
St. Lawrence, he met and traded with the Indians on the present coast of Nova 
Scotia and New Brunswick. On his second voyage the year following, he 
ascended the St. Lawrence as far as Stadacona — which name gave place to that 
of Quebec or Kebec, given by the Algonquins, meaning a contracted waterway — 
unopposed by the Indians who supplied him with fish, muskrats, and other articles 
in exchange for the trifles he had brought with him for barter. 


Iroquois villages discovered by Cartier and Champlain were of great strength. 
In 1538, on the second of October, Cartier reached Hochelaga, at the foot of 
the mountain, (Montreal), where he says "over one thousand villagers gathered 
on the banks to greet them with the fervor of a parent welcoming his child." 

"The bourgade was round in shape and compassed by a stockade of three 
rows of stakes, the middle row perpendicular, the outer row inclined towards 


it. The palisade was two lances high, and at several points adjacent to the 
palisade were elevated platforms reached by ladders, on which were piled rocks 
to be used as defensive weapons. The enclosure was entered by a narrow gate. 
Within were fifty lodges, each fifty paces in length and twelve or thirteen paces 
in width. In the center stood a common lodge." 

Cartier says; "They take no account of the things of this world, being 
ignorant of their existence." 

Chamijlain, in 1615, writing about the Huron country in the (jeorgian Bay 
and Lake Huron region, while resting at the bourgade of Carhagouha, a mission 
of the Recollet Fathers, says that it "was surrounded for defense with a triple 
palisade of wood thirty-five feet high," but when he reached the Iroquois villages 
to the south of Lake Ontario, which resisted his attack and that of his Huron 
allies, he found another palisaded town "much stronger than the villages of the 
Allegomantes (Hurons) and others." 

At one time when Cartier was concerned by the fancied hostile attitude of 
the Indians towards him, he protected his fort by a deep ditch, but no attack was 
attempted. There was a chain of unstockaded Indian villages from Hochelaga 
up the river to Stadacona. 

In 1605, George Weymouth visited Cape Cod, remained some weeks in trade 
and captured and carried away five Indians intended for slaves, an incident that 
led to the first encounter by the Pilgrim Fathers. 


The Tuscaroras were hard pressed in North Carolina, many of them having 
been made captive and sold into slavery. In 1710 they sent a petition to the 
provincial government of Pennsylvania, attested by eight belts of wampum, 
embodying overtures for peace. By the first belt, sent by women of mature age, 
the mothers besought the friendship of the Christian people, the Indians and 
the government of Pennsylvania, in order to be able to carry wood and water 
without risk or danger. By the second belt, the children implored room to sport 
and play without the fear of death or slavery. By the third the young men asked 
for the privilege of leaving their villages without the fear of death or slavery, 
to hunt for meat for their mothers, their children and the aged ones. By the 
fourth, the old men, the elders of the people, asked for the consummation of a 
lasting peace, so that the forests (the paths to other tribes) might be as safe 
for them as their palisaded towns. By the fifth, the entire tribe asked for a firm 
peace. By the sixth, the chiefs asked for the establishment of a lasting peace 
with the government, people and Indians of Pennsylvania, whereby they would 
be relieved from those "fearful apprehensions they have for years felt." By 
the seventh the Tuscaroras begged for "a cessation from murdering and taking 
them" so that thereafter they would not fear "a mouse, or anything that rustles 
the leaves." By the eighth, the tribe, being strangers to the people and govern- 
ment of Pennsylvania, asked for an official path or means of communication. 

Their petition was denied by the Pennsylvania authorities : but the fact that 
it moved the Five Nations to take steps to protect them from further encroach- 
ments of the white settlers who kidnapped and sold their young ])eople into 
slavery liecoming known in the white settlements, grave apprehension was aroused, 


and confirmed by the Tuscarora war of 1711-13, which followed, beginning with 
a massacre in which seventy settlers were killed and many wounded. 

During the progress of this bloody war Col. John Barnwell lured a consider- 
able number of Indians to meet him under a promise of making peace, but broke 
the truce and carried them away to be sold as slaves. May 20-23, I7I3> ^t the 
palisaded towns in Green County, North Carolina, 392 were taken prisoners, 504 
were killed (192 scalped) and many wounded, making the total loss upwards of 
one thousand. 

Some of the Indians made captive during this war were sold as slaves in 
South Carolina and some in the northern colonies. 

In 1705 the Provincial Council of Pennsylvania enacted a law as follows: 

"Whereas the importation of Indian slaves from Carolina, or other places 
hath been observed to give the Indians of this province some umbrage for sus- 
picion and dissatisfaction, such importation (shall) be prohibited after March 
25, 1706." 

June 7, 1712, while the Tuscarora war was being waged, an act was passed 
by the same body forbidding the importation of Indian slaves but providing for 
their sale to the highest bidder should any be imported. 


Among the Iroquois, Hurons and other Indian tribes, the mothers of the 
tribe were allowed to choose the chiefs, subject to confirmation by the male 
members, and their consent was required in the enactment of all important 
measures. They owned the home. The first thought of the women was the 
care of their husbands, and the children ; for them they cut and carried the fire- 
wood ; for them they brought the water, planted, cared for, harvested and stored 
the crops, they tethered the horses, rowed the boats, built the winter cabins, 
pitched the summer tepee, the duty of the husband being to defend against the 
tribal enemies and to supply the meat from the hunting grounds, and to be ready 
for war at all times. 


The Cherokees were a strong independent branch of the Iroquois occupying 
the southwestern part of Virginia, western parts of North and South Carolina, 
the eastern part of Tennessee and the northern parts of Georgia and .Alabama. 

They joined the Carolina settlers and the Catawbas in their warfare against 
the Tuscaroras (1711) but formed a part of the Indian league against the Caro- 
linas in the spring of 1715. This league embraced the tribes occupying the 
country from Cape Fear to the St. Mary's and back to the mountains, and in- 
cluded the Creeks, Yamasees, Appalachians, Catawbas, Cherokees and Congarees, 
in all about six thousand. About one hundred white settlers were slain in the 
outlying settlements before there was any warning of danger. 

Governor Francis Nicholson of South Carolina negotiated a peace with the 
Cherokees in 1721, and in 1730, Sir Alexander Gumming, on behalf of the British 
Government, made a treaty with them with a view to counteracting the efforts 
of the French to unite Canada and Louisiana by a cordon of military posts 


through the Ohio and Mississippi valleys. In 1750, the Clierokees were recon- 
ciled to the Six Nations, the bloody warfare between them closed, and they 
became allies of the British and furnished a contingent for the capture of Fort 
Duquesne ( 1758) under the command of Col. George Washington, who was a 
lieutenant-colonel in the command of Gen. Edward Braddock at the battle near 
the Monongahela River (1755) known as "Braddock's Defeat." In this battle 
General Braddock was killed and every officer in his command excepting Colonel 
Washington was killed or wounded. Four bullets passed through Washing- 
ton's clothing. An Indian chief who participated in the battle informed Wash- 
ington, fifteen years later, that he had fired a dozen or more fair shots at him 
and others made special efforts to kill him, but they could not hit him; that they 
believed that some "Alanitou" guarded his life and that he could not be put to 

In order to supply their needs, the Cherokees on their return to their southern 
homes took by force from the plantations food which had been refused them, 
thereby provoking a quarrel which resulted in the death of several whites. To 
avenge the Indian depredations and to secure the arrest of the guilty parties 
an invasion of the Cherokee country followed in 1759, under Governor William H. 
Littleton of South Carolina, with 1,500 men contributed by Virginia and the 
Carolinas. Dissensions arose in the ranks of the invaders, and as smallpox was 
prevailing among the Cherokees, Littleton accepted twenty-three hostages to 
guarantee their good behavior and the surrender of the guilty. The hostages 
having been placed in Fort St. George at the head of the Savannah River, the 
Indians attempted their rescue after Littleton's departure and in the assault 
one of the guards was wounded, whereupon his companions put all of the hostages 
to death, and an Indian uprising followed, to quell which South Carolina voted 
1,000 men and a bounty of £25 for each Indian scalp. North Carolina made the 
same provision, and authorized holding the captives as slaves. Ma j .-Gen. Jefl^rey 
Amherst, who commanded the British forces in America, furnished 1,200 troops, 
among them the '"Montgomery Highlanders." The expedition left Charleston 
in April, 1760, with instructions from General Amherst to take no prisoners, 
to put to death all who should fall into their hands, and to lay waste the Cherokee 
country. These orders were carried out as to a part of the country, and in 
June, 1761, a stronger force was sent against them under Col. James Grant, 
governor of East Florida, who enlarged the area of blood and destruction. 


"A moment in the British camp, 

A moment and away. 
Back to the pathless forest, 

Before the break of day." 
— William Cullcn Bryant, "The Song of Marion and His Men." 

The Cherokee war of 1761 commenced with the report which prevailed in 
1759, that the Cherokee Indians were murdering the frontier settlers of Carolina, 
quieting down only to break out again two years later, when the 1,200 regulars 
were ordered out on a forced march to their relief. May 14, 1761, they were 
joined at (District) "Ninety-Six" by 1,200 provincials armed with rifles and 


famous for their superior marksmanship, and this army of 2,400 men attempted 
to force their way into the Indian country, through a dark defile in the moun- 
tains, but the attacking party was received by a concentrated fire from the Indians, 
poured upon them from every rock and tree, which forced them back to the pro- 
tection of the main body — following them with hideous yells, and brandishing 
their tomahawks as long as they dared continue the pursuit. 

Then began preparations, aided by other forces of the "Anglo-American"' 
army for waging war in earnest against the Indians, who would naturally fight 
with desperation to defend the only pass into their country and would follow 
up a victory with the crudest slaughter. At sunrise, the British lines having 
formed in small companies, supporting the provincial riflemen, began to move 
forward, soon coming in sight of the enemy, who appeared to be restlessly moving 
backvi'ard and forward. The position of the forces and the action in this battle 
are described by Col. Peter Horry in his "Life of Gen. Francis Marion," a 
life-long friend and comrade in arms of the author, and in this battle first 
lieutenant of a provincial company and leader of the party which explored the 
dangerous pass in the mountains and was repulsed. 

Gen. Francis Marion and his men were brought up in this school of warfare. 
Marion was with Governor Nicholson in his expedition of 1759, and a captain 
with Colonel Grant in 1761. When Lord Charles Comwallis adopted the same 
methods to destroy the patriots in the Revolutionary war that Amherst had 
ordered for Indian warfare, Marion starting with a force of sixteen men, soon 
accumulated an army which drove the British troops out of the Carolinas. They 
had burned the homes of the patriots, destroyed their crops, leaving women and 
children without food or shelter, reducing many from affluence to abject poverty, 
but with unbroken spirit, and yet Marion, whose heart went out to the Indians 
in the bloody wars that had been made upon them, refused to allow his men to 


The Creeks occupied Florida and all that portion of Georgia and Alabama 
extending from the Atlantic to the highlands. They came in contact with the 
early explorers and De Soto wintered among the Appalachees, one of their tribes, 
in 1539-40. The latter became strong friends of the Spanish, who established 
missions among them and they had become christianized, and industrious, and 
disposed to peace when, through attacks from the wild tribes, they became 
involved with the Carolina settlers, and in 1708 Governor James Moore of South 
Carolina led a strong expedition against them, destroying their villages, their 
missions, fields and orange groves. Another expedition the next year completed 
the work of destruction in which the English were aided by other Creek tribes. 

The home of the Apalachees was in the region about Tallahassee. They 
numbered from six thousand to eight thousand people. Governor Moore's expe- 
dition carried away 1,000 as slaves; others fled to friendly tribes, and what 
remained sought refuge with the French at Mobile. 

The Creeks were allies of the English in the wars of the Revolution and 
1812, and allies generally of the Carolina settlers in their warfare against other 
Indian tribes. In 1812, they were visited by Tecumseh and his brother, the 


prophet, and urged to make war on the whites, and occasional local outbreaks 


Early in 1813, becoming alarmed at the threatening attitude of the Indians, 
550 men, women and children — white, Indian, mixed bloods and negro slaves — 
assembled at the plantation of Samuel Minis, near the confluence of the Alabama 
and Tombigbee rivers, and built a palisaded fort where they became overconfident 
of their security, as the spring and early summer had passed without manifesta- 
tions of hostility; but on August 30, 1813, as the dinner bell sounded at noon, 
1,000 savages who had been concealed in a nearby ravine, rushed the fort with 
terrifying yells and effected an entrance before the gates could be closed. 

The well-organized settlers made strong resistance as the battle raged within 
that small inclosure, from noon until 5 P. M., but all fell except twelve who 
cut their way through and escaped, and the negroes who were saved for slaves. 
Not a white woman or child escaped. Four hundred of the inmates lay dead 
when the battle closed, and about an equal number of Creek warriors fell in 
the furious fighting. 

The massacre aroused the whites of the southwest and Maj-Gen. Andrew 
Jackson, seventh President of the United States, who was born in North Carolina, 
and a Revolutionary soldier at the age of fourteen, bred in an atmosphere of 
border warfare, and educated in its bitter school, was sent to punish the Indians. 
The war was soon over, the Indians paying dearly for their bloody work. 


In the spring of 1817 the Creeks, who had then become known as Seminoles, 
again began a war on the whites which through the rough and vigorous cam- 
paigning of General Jackson resulted in the cession of Florida to the United 
States by Spain in 1819. 


This war, commencing in 1835. and lasting until 1842, was begun for the 
purpose of forcibly removing the Indians from lands which they had ceded to 
the United States and their removal to other lands. The cost in money was 
nearly seventy million dollars; 61,000 soldiers were employed and the losses, 
principally from disease, never fully ascertained, were frightful, but it gave the 
United States a trained nucleus for the army of occupation in Mexico, which so 
quickly followed and added lustre to American arms, which the Seminole wars 
failed to bring. 


The early history and conflicts in all the colonies arose from the fur trade, as 
between the New York people and the five nations of Indians in Central New 
York, also between the Dutch and English and the French and English. It led 


the Russians down our western coast and to contest there till the gold discovery 
overcame it. The fur trade was the cause of the Oregon question in later years. 
It was the universal impulse and cause of struggle. 


It is estimated that in 1787 there were ninety millions of buffalo in the present 
area of the United States proper. There were none north of the St. Lawrence 
or northeast of the great lakes, but the abundance continued northward from the 
great plains far into Canada. Indeed the vast herds swarmed from the plains 
nearer the Mississippi westward to the Rocky Mountains; the abundance was 
greatest in our territorial days and to preserve the great hunting grounds from 
the Missouri to the Big Horn region and from the Bear Paw Mountains, down 
to and beyond the Arkansas was the cause of the hostility and frequent Indian 
uprisings, including the Sitting Bull wars. 

The wealth .springing from the fur trade was enormous. The great wealth 
of the times was concentrated from that source. This trade extended clear across 
the continent — to the Pacific and led to the successive discoveries of gold which 
did not lead settlement as the fur trade did. The fur trade founded the 
towns and trading posts. 

We are surprised at the numbers of the buffalo, but the beavers were found 
in every state in the Union, and are yet to a limited extent. No other wild or fur 
bearing animal was so universal. A considerable fur trade is yet carried on in 
the older northwestern and western states. 

In 1890 to 1895, North Dakota trappers had nearly extinguished the beaver 
of that whole area. Desiring to restore them, a wise Legislature enacted a law 
for their preservation, with a heavy penalty attached. The result was satisfac- 
tory. LInited States surveyors in remote regions found thriving colonies of those 
remarkable rodents in 1898. repopulating many choice streams in happy security. 



THE Hudson's bay company — prixce rupert's land — the north-west and 






"For mankind are one in spirit, and an instinct bears along 
Round the earth's electric circle, the swift flash of right or wrong, 
Whether conscious or unconscious, yet Humanity's vast frame, 
Through its ocean-sundered fibres, feels the gush of joy or shame — 
In the gain or loss of one race all the rest have equal claim." 

— James Russell Lowell. 

THE Hudson's bay company — prince rupert's land 

. In 1609 Henry Hudson, a navigator of English birth, sailing under the flag 
of the Dutch West Indies, ascended the stream now known as Hudson River, 
discovered by Giovanni de Verrazano in 1524. The next year he explored Hud- 
son Bay, and perished on the voyage. In 1667, the Duke of York and Prince 
Rupert formed a company in England for the exploration of Hudson Bay with 
a view to trade, and two vessels were dispatched for the purpose ; one of them 
the Nonsuch Ketch, commanded by Capt. Zachariah Gillam of Boston, reach- 
ing Hudson Bay in September of the following year. The winter was spent in 
that region at Fort Charles. They returned to Boston, and thence to London 
in 1669, and proceeded to organize the Hudson's Bay Company, which was char- 
tered by Charles II, May 2, 1670, the king himself, his brother the Duke of York, 
and his nephew Prince Rupert, leading a long list of distinguished stockholders. 
They were granted exclusive privileges on Hudson Bay and along the streams 
flowing into the bay and their tributaries, embracing a vast region which came 
to be known as Rupert's Land, including the Red River coinitry and the streams 
tributary to the Red River, until restricted by the location of the international 
boundary after the Revolutionary war. 

The Hudson's Bay Company had full power to own, occupy, govern, sell 
and convey, and were authorized to maintain armies and levy war, if necessary 
for defense, but for more than one hundred years they had been content to con- 

Vol. 1—2 



fine their attention to the shores of Hudson Bay, and to trade with the Indians 
visiting their factories, as their trading posts on the bay were called. But the 
French traders from Montreal were occupying portions of their country, and 
were pushing on beyond them, while strong opposition had arisen in England, 
which demanded the annulment of their charter, or at least an equal opportunity 
for trade. In 1797, the company extended their trade to North Dakota points 
on the Red River, and to the Missouri River and other places west and north. 
They continued to own, occupy and govern Rupert's Land until 1869, when 
they sold their possessory rights to Great Britain, and in 1870 Rupert's Land 
became an independent province in the Dominion of Canada, known as Manitoba. 
The Hudson's Bay Company, however, continued in business as a commer- 
cial organization, in direct competition with which James J. Hill built and 
operated a fleet of steamboats and flatboats to such advantage that they willingly 
formed a combination with him to control the transportation business of the 
Red River. They still occupy and govern leased territory in the British posses- 
sions. The building by Mr. Hill of his first steamboat was the initial venture 
in the Canadian Northwest of the man who died in St. Paul on May 29, 1916, 
leaving a vast estate, and a reputation unsurpassed in the world of commerce 
and finance. 


In 1783 the rival Alontreal traders consolidated under the name of the "North- 
West Company," and pushed its trade into new and hitherto unexplored regions. 
Sir Alexander Mackenzie leaving on his first expedition on behalf of this com- 
pany in 1789, exploring the Mackenzie River and making other important dis- 
coveries, points on the upper Mississippi having been occupied. 

The Hudson's Bay Company had greater resources and were pushing their 
explorations with much vigor. In 1801 another company was organized, with 
which Sir Alexander Mackenzie became interested on his return from Europe, 
known as the "X. Y. Company," these initials being adopted for marking their 
goods, in order to distinguish them from the "H. B." of the Hudson's Bay Com- 
pany and the "N. W." of the North-West Company. In selecting this title they 
chose the letters of the alphabet immediately following the "W" of the North- 
West Company, to let them know they were right after them, and intended to 
make their opposition merciless. 


In the year 1800 Alexander Henry, a nephew of Alexander Henry mentioned 
in connection with the early fur trade on Lake Superior, but known in history 
as Alexander Henry, Jr., was the leader of an expedition which set out from 
Lake Superior with Turtle River for its objective point. It was Henry's inten- 
tion to establish his headquarters on that stream for use while in charge of the 
Red River District to which he had recently been assigned by the North-West 
Company. His party bore the title of "Henry's Red River Brigade." 

The manuscript journals of Alexander Henry and David Thompson, 1799- 
1814, edited by Dr. Elliot Coues, were published by Francis P. Harper, New 


York, 1897. Doctor Coues was a surgeon in the United States army and the 
medical officer on the boundary survey of 1872-1876, and was famiHar with 
much of the country of which Thompson and Henry wrote. Thomspon, learned 
in mathematics and astronomy, was in charge of the location of the boundary 
line on behalf of the North-West Company of which he was the geographer. 


After a portage of nine miles from Lake Superior to a point on Pigeon River, 
Alexander Henry and his party left for the mouth of the Assiniboine, on the 
Red River, July 19, 1800, where they arrived on the 17th day of August. 

On starting from Lake Superior the men were each given a two-gallon 
keg of liquor, and on the fifth day they reached the height of land where they 
"finished their small kegs and fight many a battle."- — Henry's Journal. 

At the first stop three leading Indians accompanying the expedition were 
each given various articles of merchandise, including a scarlet-faced coat and 
hat, a red, round feather, a white linen shirt, a pair of leggings, a breech clout, 
a flag, a fathom of tobacco, and a nine-gallon keg of mixed liquors — two gallons 
of alcohol to nine gallons of water being the usual mixture. After giving them 
their presents, Henry made a formal address to the Indians, encouraging them 
to be good and follow him to Turtle River, and not to be afraid of the Sioux, 
but just as he was giving them their farewell glass, before their return to their 
tents to enjoy their liquor, some of the women reported that they had heard 
several shots fired in the meadow. A council was immediately held. Henry 
ordered them to leave their liquor with him and put off their drinking until 
the next day, but they had tasted the liquor and must drink, even at the risk of 
their lives. They requested Henry to order his men to mount guard during 
the night. 

Tobacco, beads and wampum, the shell currency of the early fur trade, 
were measured by the fathom. Six feet of the cured and twisted tobacco plants, 
cut in suitable lengths, was called one fathom and had a value equal to one 
beaver skin. Beads in number having a current value of 60 pence were called 
one fathom ; six strings of wampum — one foot in length — whether in bunch, 
bundle or belt, or in the form of loose shells sufficient to make that much 
were called a fathom.* Canoes were also sold by the fathom, according to their 

Having reached the Assiniboine August 17th, on the i8th the party divided, 
and that portion intended for the Red River embarked on the 20th. There were 
four canoes in this party, carrying a total of twenty-one persons. Two horses were 
led along the shore, and Henry claimed that these were the first introduced into 
the Red River Valley by the whites. Such an assemblage of canoes was called 
a "brigade," and the master, standing between the proprietors and the men, was 
called the "bourgeois." 

Each canoe was loaded with twenty-six packages of merchandise, or an equiv- 
alent in baggage, each package weighing 90 pounds. The packages were so 

* See "Exchange, Commerce and Wampum Hand Book, American Indians," "Bureau 
of American Ethnology Bulletin No. 30." 

„.„,ed <o. convenience ,„ .,.»po-uo^ ^:Z Z^ ^^'^^^ <^- 

!r,:a;^l;r':•s^.r::■srI; »,... ».™. .,«,., 

Pierre Bonga, a negro «"»;« "fJ'LalZs' (son,,es mentioned as Colore.) 
Second canoe-E.ghth Micliael Lai. K , s„„,e,i,nes mentioned 

aeric, «i.h «Yr G^: rfC- c-an^*: w.S l,i. wife; JoacMm 
as Lagace or La basser) voyage ' RainviUe m transcnb- 

Z!,rnjJm. Jean Baptiste ^--t ;oy^|- ™^^^^^^^^ .,,e and two 

Third canoe-Thirteenth, Jean Bapti.te Uemerais P j^f. 

children; fourteenth, Jean ^apt^ste Laroc - Sr .o^J^^^ ^.^^^^^ ^^^_ 

teenth, Jean Baptiste Larocque, Jr.. -^^J^S^ll'''' ' „,idnran. 

voyageur, -^ ; seventeenth Fran o.Ro^^^^^^ ^^^^^^^^^ ^^^^_ 

Fourth '^-"^--Ef -"f • J,f'ctarks Bellegarde, voyageur, steerer; twen- 
ductor, wife and child; "•"^^^'="^;;^^,^" ^ ^.^t Nicholas Pouliotte, voyageur, 
tieth, Joseph Hamel, voyageur, midman . twenty nrst, 


T„ero were forty-five Indian canoes. '^^ ^ftelyZlVt^^'^i 
Indians and the.r families, who -'''•"''"'f^^'^^^JZlL. goods on credit 
engagtng in Itnntn.g and -"PP'"?- jf" ZT 
to be paid for from the proceeds "'.*« f"="'„„„„,,. „ „,;„, „„ explorations of 

FlLonth. a noted Indian me,,„o„e n - " °;;.1„, ,J,„, Corheau. 
Ue„t.Z^M.Pih.^wasan,ongteIndans.^a^^^, y ^^^ ^^^^^„^, ^^,„ 

Short Arms, and Buttaio. iney j nttawas 

'•Salteurs" by Mr. Henry, and a -f .-^^f" ^n r^^a ning for the winter 
September 2. 1800. the brigade divided a ^^'^L Z Henry, Demerais. 
near ihere Morris, Manitoba is -^^f^^s^^^ Be^uSiemll Lafrance, 
Bellegarde, Daisville, Rogers, Benoit, the two Larocques 
Barbe ChLrbonneau, McDonald and Bonga. going on to Park River. 


-E.0.1 T^ivpr and its tributaries, and reported to 
The large number of bears on R d ^^^J ^ J^^.k.ble feature. The ter- 

be on the Sheyenne R-", -/ ,°^^- ^^'^ ! .iie was disputed ground, where 
ritory contiguous to Devils Lake and *^ Sheyemiej ^^^ ^^^^^^ ^^^ 

it was dangerous for either t^- Sioux or O^pp^wa o^^^^^ ,^^^^^^^^ ^^ ^^^ 
favoritebreedingplacefo^heba ,*reU.y^^ ^^^^^ ^^^^^ ^^^^^ 

party advanced up *^ ^ ^/n;;;^-, ^.en "made so much noise" that they 
bears They complained that Henry s men 
could not kill bears and other large game. 


From a painting- by Charles Bodmer from "Travels to the Interior of North America in 

1S33-3-4," by Maximilian, Prince of Wied, 1843. 


From a painting by Charles Bodmer from "Travels to the Interior of North America in 

1833-3-4," by Maximilian, Prince of Wied, 1843. 


September 6th the Indians killed four bears and eight deer. While they 
were pitching their temporary camp, a bear came to the river to drink. Henry 
shot him, but he ran off, and was found sitting under a brush heap, grumbling 
and licking his wounds. Another shot killed him. The next day seven bears 
were noticed drinking from the river at the same time. Red deer were whistling 
in every direction, and a wolf came near and was killed. The men killed a stur- 
geon with an axe. 

They arrived at Park River September 8, i8oo, about 2 P. M., and it being 
plain that the Indians would go no farther up the river, it was determined to 
build a post at that point. 


Tiie Sioux were the terror of all the neighboring tribes, and the enemy of 
all. They wandered over the prairies in large bodies and in small, attacking 
when they thought it safe, lying in wait in ravines or timber, to attack women 
or children, as they came for water, berries or roots. They lingered about the 
camps in the hope of securing scalps, when they would return to their home as 
"big Indians," and bask in the sunshine of admiration. 

For these reasons, there was an ever-present feeling of dread of the Sioux, 
not only among the Chippewa, but also among the Mandans, Gros Ventres 
(Hidatsa) and Arikaras, which led to like raids and like outrages by them 
against the Sioux. 

The Cheyennes formerly occupied the Sheyenne River country. They were 
friendly to both the Sioux and Chippewa but the latter distrusted them, and 
about 1740 fell upon them and destroyed their villages, and forced them to 
flee across the Missouri River, when they became allied to the Sioux. There- 
after, for many years, neither Sioux or Chippewa attempted to hunt in the Shey- 
enne or Devils Lake country, unless in sufficient force to defend themselves 
against any attack likely to be made upon them. 

About the year 1780, the Chippewa went to York Factory on Hudson Bay 
for supplies, leaving their old men and women in camp near Lake Winnipeg. 
During their absence, the Sioux attacked their village and killed a great number 
of the old men, women and children. The place where this occurred is now 
known as Xetley Creek. 

Some years prior to 1800, a wintering trader of the name of Reaume, 
attempted to make peace between the Sioux and the Chippewa. The meeting 
was held on the Sheyenne. They at first appeared reconciled to each other, but 
the Sioux took guns and ammunition away from the Chippewa giving them in 
return bows and arrows ; to some bows without arrows, and to some arrows 
without bows, and after the Chippewa dispersed on the plains, followed and 
killed many of them. 

In the fall of 1805, there was a battle on the Crow Wing, between the Sioux 
and Chippewa in which the Sioux were defeated, and on December 29, 1807, 
an engagement took place between 30 lodges of Sioux and the Chippewa on the 
Crow Wing, in which the Sioux lost 20 lodges and a great many horses. On 
this date a battle was fought on Wild Rice River in which the Sioux were 


It required little more than the mention of the name Sioux to create a panic 
among Henry's Indians. At one time two boys were playing Sioux to frighten 
the other children. The Indians became alarmed; the warriors stripped to 
breech-clouts for war, and the women and children were hurried into the fort 
for safety. Henry's men were called to anus, and the appearance of some of 
them is described as ghastly ; their lips contorted, eyes rolling and countenances 
pale as death. Any trifling circumstance was sufficient to inflame their imagina- 
tions, for the moment at least — on one occasion the slamming of a door caused 
a sleepless night. But their fears were not always unfounded. 


The choice of the trading posts was largely determined by the presence of 
beaver dams. Park River, Pembina, Tongue and Turtle rivers, were particu- 
larly dsirable on account of the dams along those streams. The same was true 
of the Sheyenne and Knife rivers, and their tributaries, and other streams empty- 
ing into the Missouri River or its branches. 

The number of beaver dams on Park River influenced Alexander Henry 
in his choice of it as a site for a trading post. There were beaver dams on 
almost every creek. These were necessary to the life of the beaver, which in 
the winter time fed on roots or shrubs to be found under the ice, and on the bark 
of trees which they were able to fell and haul to their lodges for use in con- 
structing and strengthening their dams, the bark being stripped for food as 


About 1805, an epidemic broke out among the beaver. John Tanner in his 
"Narrative" gives the following description of this calamity : 

"Some kind of a distemper was prevailing among these animals, which 
destroyed them in great numbers. I found them dead and dying in the water, 
on the ice and on the land. Sometimes I found one that, having cut a tree half 
down, had died at its roots; sometimes one who had drawn a stick of timber 
half, way to his lodge, was lying dead by his burden. Many of them which I 
opened were red and bloody about the heart. Those in large rivers and running 
water suiifered least. Almost all of those in ponds and stagnant water died." 

September 8th, Henry's party camped at Park River, and Mr. Henry and 
Jean Baptiste Demerais went up the river about two miles, and saw two large 
harts, and killed one on which the fat was four inches thick. 

The farther they went up the river the more numerous the bears and red 
deer became, and on the shore raccoon tracks were plentiful. 


Park River, Mr. Henry states, was so named from the fact that the Assini- 
boine Indians made a park or pound there for buffalo, heading them in from all 
points, as they became alarmed from any cause, and then slaughtering the 
number desired. 


The spot selected for the fort on September 9, 1800, was on the west side of 
Park River, about tliree-quarters of a mile from the mouth. The buildings con- 
sisted of a stockade, dwelling house, storehouse and shop, all made of oak, for 
which 3,114 pieces of timber were used. They were completed on the 20th of 
September, 1800, and a flagstaff 55 feet high was erected on the 28th. The 
British Flag the "First Union Jack," a red flag, with the crosses of St. George 
of England and St. Andrew of Scotland, presumably the first of any kind to 
float in North Dakota, was raised every Sunday. 


The first historic mention of an ensign is the cross raised on a banner as the 
emblem and sign of Christianity. This in the fourth century displaced the 
monogram of Christ used by the earlier Christians, and was finally adopted as 
the insignia of the Church of Rome and used by Pope Urban II during the first 
crusade to indicate the special cause in which his armies were engaged; the 
several nationalities being known by the form and color of the cross, which was 
borne not only on their banners but on helmet, shoulder, breast and back. Thus 
Italy bore the cross of blue ; Spain, red ; France, white ; Germany, black ; Eng- 
land, yellow, and Scotland, the white saltire (diagonal cross) of St. Andrew, and 
the crosses were arbitrarily retained after the crusades as a distinction of nation- 
ality, superseded in the course of time by other devices designed by popular 
choice or royal decree. 

In the third crusade, the banner of Richard I (Cceur de Lion) King of Eng- 
land, was a white Latin cross, and remained the English national ensign until 
appropriated by Simon de Montfort, Earl of Leicester, as a badge of a faction, 
A. D. 1265, and as early as the reign of Edward III in the fourteenth century, 
the red cross of St. George on a white ground was adopted as the national banner 
and the army badge. 

Scotland retained her cross of St. Andrew, a white saltire, on a blue ground, 
from the time of the crusades. The apostle Andrew, a brother of Peter, was the 
first disciple chosen by Christ. He is the patron saint of Scotland, and Russia 
has a Knighthood order of St. Andrew, the highest order in rank of that realm. 
When in 1603, James VI of Scotland was crowned James I of England, and the 
Scots claimed precedence for their cross of St. Andrew over the cross of 
St. George, the king, to preserve the peace, on the 12th of April, 1606, com- 
manded all subjects of Great Britain travelling by sea to bear at the mast head 
the red cross of St. George and the white cross of St. Andrew united according 
to a design made by his heralds. This flag was called the "king's colors." At 
the same time all vessels belonging to South Britain, or England, might wear the 
cross of St. George, and all vessels belonging to North Britain, or Scotland, 
might wear the cross of St. Andrew, as had been their custom. All vessels were 
forbidden to carry any other flag at their peril. 

The "king's colors" was the "First Union Jack," and contained the blazonry 
of the rival ensigns of England and Scotland, united by an earlier process than 
that of quartering, in which the cross and the saltire were blended in a single 
subject. This was effected by surrounding the cross of St. George with a 


narrow border, or fimbriation, of white, to represent its white field upon the 
banner of St. Andrew. 

The voyages of the most celebrated English navigators were made under the 
cross of St. George, but Jamestown, Plymouth, Salem and Boston, were settled 
under the "king's colors;" many English vessels carrying the cross of St. George 
according to royal permission. Under the cross of St. George two fleets, num- 
bering in all twenty-eight ships, and carrying 1,700 passengers, sailed from Eng- 
land, in 1630, and populated eight plantations in Massachusetts Bay Colony, 
under the first charter, in which train bands were formed who bore this cross as 
an ensign. 

During the Civil war in England in 1641, the standard of Charles I was a 
large blood-red streamer, bearing the royal arms quartered, writh a hand pointing 
to a crown above, and a motto, "give Caesar his due." The badge of the royal 
troops was red; that of the Parliamentary troops orange, the Scotch blue. The 
flag in general use during the Commonwealth was blue, with the white canton 
and cross of St. George, and a harp of Ireland in the field. This was also the 
admiral's flag. One of the banners was quartered with those of England, Wales, 
Scotland and Ireland. The first and fourth quarters, white with the red cross 
of St. George for England and Wales ; the second, blue with the white saltire for 
Scotland; the third, a harp with a golden frame and silver strings on a blue 
ground for Ireland. 

After the death of Charles I, the new council of state on the 22d of Feb- 
ruary, 1648, restored the red cross as the flag of the navy. In the British colonies 
the same flag was retained, except in Massachusetts Bay, where all flags had 
been laid aside except upon Castle Island in Boston harbor where the colors 
called the king's arms were displayed. In 1651, Parliament ordered the 
restoration of the old standard of St. George as the colors of England, and they 
were advanced by order of the General Court on all necessary occasions at Castle 

In 1664, two years after the restoration, Charles II sent a fleet of four ships, 
carrying ninety guns, 400 troops and four commissioners, to New England, where 
they obtained 200 recruits, and the aid required, and sailed for New Amsterdam 
bent on conquest, and with further volunteer forces from Connecticut and I-ong 
Island achieved their purpose, changed the name to New York in honor of 
James, the Duke of York, the king's brother — afterward James II — and raised 
the cross of St. George over the Dutch tri-color. The British colonies in 
America were then flying the cross of St. George from Labrador to Florida. 

In Febniary, 1697, six Union flags, the revival of the "king's colors," were 
shipped to New York, in response to an application for flags for "His Majesty's 

After this there were slight variations, such as a crimson flag with the cross 
of St. George and a tree cantoned in the upper staff quarter, and a blue flag 
with the same cross and a globe instead of the tree, until March i, 1707, when 
the flag of the new nation of "Great Britain" in the reign of Queen Anne, was 
ordered by Parliament to be composed of the crosses of St. George and St. 
Andrew, the old "king's colors" — The "Fir.=t Union Jack" — joined on a crimson 
banner, and that the flag of the admiral, who carried a red flag, should be disused, 
and the "First Union Jack" substituted therefor. This was declared to be the 


"ensign armorial of the United Kingdom of Great Britain," and was the national 
flag for nearly a century under which the most brilliant naval battles were fought. 
Under its folds the power of France was driven from the East Indies, and suc- 
cessive conquests of her strongholds in North America led up to the Heights of 
Abraham, where it triumphed at Quebec. 

In the flag which the American colonies raised against Great Britain in 1775, 
were the "king's colors" of the British flag and the stripes, red and white, of 
the flag of the East India Company, and this was used until the adoption of the 
stars and stripes, June 14, 1777. 

On November 25, 1783, when the British sailed out of the harbor on the 
e\acuation of New York, the cross was lost to view as an emblem of national 
authority, with two exceptions, viz., the temporary occupation of the British in 
the War of 1812, and a battle flag of the Southern Confederacy of i86i-'65, 
described in an address by Col. William O. Hart of Louisiana, November 7, 
1913, as designed by Gen. Gustave T. Beauregard; a red square, with the 
St. Andrew cross of blue with thirteen white stars, one in the center, and three 
on each arm of the cross. "This flag," said Mr. Hart, "is frequently made 
oblong, but there is no warrant therefor, and such copies are not correct repre- 
sentations of the original battle flag." When states seceded the emblems of 
their former fealty to the Union remained fixed stars on the national ensign. 

From the first day of January, 1801, the "Second Union Jack," the "Union 
Jack" of today, superseded the flag of King James and Queen Anne. In con- 
sequence of the legislative union, its blazonry must be incorporated with that of 
Ireland to comprehend the three crosses — St. George, St. Andrew and St. 
Patrick — in a single device formed by the combination of a cross and two 
saltires. As before, the blue field of St. Andrew forms the field, then the two 
diagonal crosses, the one white and the other red, are formed into a single com- 
pound saltire of the two tinctures alternating, the white having precedence. A 
narrow edging of white is next added to each red side of this new figure, to 
represent the white field of St. Patrick, as the narrow edging of white about 
the red cross represented the white field of St. George ; and, finally, the red cross 
of St. George fimbriated with white as in the "First Union Jack," is charged 
over all. In this device the broad diagonal white members represent the silver 
saltire of St. Andrew; the red diagonal members, the saltire gules (red) of St. 
Patrick, and the narrow diagonal white lines are added, in order to place the 
saltire gules on a field argent ( silver) . It will, also, be observed that the diagonal 
red and the broad diagonal white members represent the two saltires of St. 
Andrew and St. Patrick in combination, and that the fimbriated red cross in front 
gives prominence to the cross of St. George. 

The Royal Standard was adopted January 4, 1801, on the union of Ireland 
with Great Britain. The quarters were representative of the three countries : 
England, three couchant lions on a red background in the first and fourth quar- 
ters : Scotland, a rampant lion, in the second quarter, taken from the coat-of- 
arms of James VI, and Ireland, a golden harp on a green background in the 
third quarter. 

Since 1864, the white ensign alone remains the naval flag of Great Britain, 
the blue ensign the mark of the Royal Naval Reserve, and the red of the mer- 
chant service. 



At 4 o'clock of the day the choice of site was made at Park River, a herd of 
buffalo came down to drink within a few rods of the camp. At the southward 
there were herds of them as far as the eye could see, and during the night the 
camp was alarmed by a large herd at the river. From all directions came the 
bellowing of the buitalo and the whistling of the deer. The next day a band of 
deer, followed soon after by four bears, crossed the river, and a day later Mr. 
Henry, climbing to the top of a tall oak, saw buffalo and deer on all sides. 

A stage had been constructed at the camp, and the Indians loaded it with 
choice meats and bears' fat. The men were employed cutting up and melting 
bears' fat, which was poured into wooden troughs and sacks, made of deer 

Bears made prodigious ravages in the brush and willows. The plum trees 
were torn to pieces, and every tree that bore fruit shared the same fate. The 
tops of the oaks were also very roughly handled, broken and torn down to get 

Grizzly bears were killed and many raccoons taken during the fall. The 
great abundance of both red and fallow deer is frequently mentioned. The men 
are reported as taking many wolves and some fishers. The female wolves 
enticed the dogs from the fort, and when they came back they were horribly 
chewed up by their wild cousins. The coons had two inches of fat on their 
backs. The hunters came in from Grand Forks with thirty beavers. The stur- 
geon continued to jump day and night and many were taken in nets extended 
across the river — sometimes upwards of loo a day, weighing from 30 to 150 
pounds each. 

September 20, 1800, the day the fort was finished, the Indians having gone 
a few miles above Park River, reported that they had killed forty bears, some 
red deer, moose and a few beavers. The Indian lad at the fort killed two 


At this time intoxicating liquor was being used by the rival traders as a 
leading element to attract trade, and was distributed among the Indians by the 
keg, jug or bottle, to any who might apply — often without price — and some- 
times used to incite the Indians to plunder, and in some instances to murder 
those who interfered by successful competition. The Indians had become 
demoralized and degenerated to an extent almost beyond belief. As one writer 
described the situation : "Indians were warring with Indians, traders with traders, 
clerks with clerks, trappers with trappers, voyageurs with voyageurs." 

While the post was being built at Park River, the Indians were given a keg 
of rum "to encourage them to pav their debts." and supposing the Indian might 
now drink in safety, on September rSth, Mr, Henry began to trade rum, and they 
were soon dnnik, men and women, and some of the children. 

On September 21st, the Indians were sent nine gallons of mixed liquor, and 
the following day paid their debts with pelts caught on their hunt, and received 
more liquor, with the usual result. Henry took the children into the fort, for 


their safety, and about midnight one of the Indians tried to chop his way through 
the gate to get more Hquor. On September 28th, when the tlagstafl was raised at 
the fort, the men were given two gallons of alcohol and some tobacco and Hour 
"for merry-making." 


October 17th, the Indians having killed a grizzly bear, thereby taking the 
life of an uncommon animal, in order to properly render thanks to Manitou and 
appease the spirit of the bear, it was thought necessary to give a feast, and 
liquor was believed to be the most effective agent in gaining the favor of Manitou 
and satisfying the bear's ghost. They secured the liquor and a quarter of a 
yard of red cloth for a sacrifice. 


After all, human passion unrestrained is about the same among all men, 
and impulses are liable to take the same direction. 

October 25, 1800, Henry's hunter reported that the leading Indians wanted 
him to stop hunting so that Henry would be obliged to pay a higher price for 
meat, whereupon the bourgeois ordered that thereafter the Indians should receive 
no liquor excepting in exchange for meat. This created consternation among 
the Indians disposed to make trouble. They attempted to bribe the hunter by 
giving him a drum trimmed with all of the symbols of the Wabbano medicine, 
and a number of different articles of superior value and high consideration 
among the Indians, such as rarely fail to bring satisfactory results when given 
to accomplish some particular object, but they were not sufficient to sway the 
hunter from his loyalty to his employer. 

On the retirement of the Indians, Henry treated his people to a gallon 
of alcohol and a few pounds of sugar, in order that they might make a feast 
after their arduous labor in establishing and building the Park River Post. 

"October 31st, Indians drinking quietly. 

"November 2d. Gave the Indians liquor after their successful hunt. 

"November 4th. Gave the Indians a nine-gallon keg of liquor on their 
promise to pay their debts on their return from the hunt." 

Every opportunity was seized for an occasion to encourage the use of intox- 
icating liquor for the reason that the trader's greatest profit was in its sale, and 
gave him an advantage over the Indians, who, by its use became incapable of 
protecting their interests. January i, 1801, the new year was ushered in by 
several volleys which alarmed a camp of Indians near by. The men came run- 
ning in armed, having ordered the women to hide themselves. But they were 
agreeably received and got a share of "what was going" — some shrub and cakes. 
Every man, woman and child was soon at the fort ; all was bustle and confusion. 
Henry gave his men some high wine (alcohol), flour and sugar; "the Indians 
purchased liquor, and by sunrise every soul of them was raving drunk, even the 
children." On the 19th there was another drinking match among the Indians. 
■ An Indian shot his wife with an arrow through her body and her supposed lover 
through his arm. 



A very successful winter was spent at Park River. Henry took at his station, 
643 beaver skins, 125 black bear, 23 brown bear, 2 grizzly bear, 83 wolf, 102 
red fox, 7 kitt, 178 fisher, 96 otter, 62 marten and 97 mink. 

Michael Langlois, clerk on the Red River Brigade, who remained in charge 
of the party at Morris during the winter of 1800- '01, had also a station at Hair 
Hills (Pembina Mountains) that winter. The returns showed 832 beaver skins, 
52 black bear, 20 brown bear, 4 grizzly bear, 1 1 1 wolf, 82 red fox, 9 kitt, 37 
raccoon, 108 fisher, 60 otter, 26 marten, 68 mink and various other skins, bags 
of pemmican, kegs of grease and bales of meat. 

Andre Lagasse, "a voyageur, conductor," in the Red River Brigade was sent 
from Morris to trade with the Indians in the Pembina Mountains the winter of 
i8oo-'oi. With him went Joseph Dubois, "voyageur, steerer or helmsman," 
and later they were succeeded by Joseph Hamel, "voyageur and midman" in 
the Red River Brigade. 

Nicholas Rubrette and Francois Sint were employees of Henry in 1800 and 


Contracts were made with the Indians by Mr. Henry for the season. For 
an agreement to procure sixty beaver skins they were allowed credit to the 
extent of twenty skins. Thread and other necessarrx' little things were supplied 
gratis. On returning from their hunt, if they paid their debts their credit was 
renewed to the same extent as before. All transactions with the Indians of those 
times were based on beaver skin values. 

Articles given gratis to the Indians who took credit, were one scalper, two 
folders and four flints each to the men, and to the women two awls, two needles, 
one skein of thread, one fire steel, a little vermilion, and a half a fathom of 


Little Crane, a Chippewa member of Henry's Indian Brigade, on September 
12, 1800, while they were building the fort at Park River, was appointed "hunter" 
to receive for the season the value of sixty beaver skins and to be furnished with 
gun and ammunition, and clothing for himself and wife. 


September 24-26, 1800, inclusive, Little Crane hunted with Crooked Legs, 
Crow (Corbeau) and Charlo. The hunter killed a bear and a deer. Crooked 
Legs killed a bear, and they, with Corbeau and Charlo. returned to the post, each 
with a good pack of beaver skins. They found plenty of beavers, and only 
killed what they could carry. 

While celebrating at Park River, Crooked Legs stabbed his young wife, after 
having been beaten by her, wounding her so severely that there was little hope 


for her recovery. In the demonstration against him which resulted, his own son 
joined, all being as it is written, "blind drunk," with Crooked Legs sitting in his 
tent singing, and saying he was not afraid to die. But Mr. Henry opportunely 
interfered, and Crooked Legs was forgiven by every one but his wife. On this 
occasion, it is said that the Indians kept up the carousal until there was a rumor 
that the Sioux were coming, when they ceased drinking. To his credit it is 
recorded, that when Crooked Legs realized that his life was saved, he "sobered 
up," and being a "great doctor," used his skill to cure his wife's wounds, which 
attention seems to have been received by her with slight appreciation, but accept- 
ing her censure with himiility, he urged her to take courage and live. Evidently 
she consented, for in another tit of intoxication, it is alleged, she beat him 
and severely roasted him with a fire brand. 


T!ie career of Charlo as a hunter was very brief, and the first mention of him 
in "Henry's Journal" shows him in a bad light, offering to sell his twelve-year-old 
daughter to Mr. Henry for a dram of liquor, and his propensity for drink was 
again demonstrated on September ir, 1800, when he received liquor in pay for 
four bear skins. His brother Maymiutch, four days later, while hunting with 
Mr. Henry killed the same number of bears. 

Mr. Henry desired to visit CJrand Forks, and other points on the Upper Red 
River, with a view to considering the possibilities of trade, and invited Charlo 
to go with him, but Charlo feared the Sioux. However, on the promise of a keg 
of liquor on his return he risked his life and went to Grand Forks, and by an 
offer equally tempting, namely, "a treat" when he got back to Grand P'orks, he, 
was induced to go on to Goose River, but here he balked. Goose River was the 
limit. He returned to Grand Forks, received his "treat" and after the first drink 
wanted to go at once and invade the Sioux country ; after the second he was 
ready to go alone, and it was necessary to restrain him after the third. He 
would advance to the edge of the darkness surrounding his camp fire, and shak- 
ing his fist call the Siou.x "dogs," and "old women,"' and invite them to come 
on and he would do the rest. He finally fell into the deep sleep of intoxication 
and the Sioux troubled him no more. 

After all Charlo was not worse than bis white cousins of a later ]ieriod. one 
of whom after taking a drink of Moorhead whiskey was sure he could whip any 
man in that city, and after each successive drink extended the area of his 
influence until he became exhausted, when he murmured softly: "I tank I take 
in too much territory." 

Charlo's wife died and he obtained a keg of rum "to help wash the sorrow 
from his heart," and to aid his friends in properly lamenting her departure. A 
few days later his daughter died, and not long after still another daughter, and 
Charlo had two more occasions for over-indulgence which he did not fail to 

Something was always happening to Charlo. He was taken very ill and the 
medicine man was called, but before he arrived Charlo's sister-in-law came and 
sat beside him, screaming and howling, calling on his deceased wife by name and 
frequently sobbing, but was soon the gayest of those in attendance. When the 


doctor came he began beating a drum, singing, dancing, tumbling and tossing and 
blowing on the sick man, until he worked himself into a foam, when, redoubling, 
his exertions, he burst his drum, trampled it in pieces and went away exhausted. 
His patient is described as having been "almost worried to death.'' 

January 15, 1801, Charlo died. His brother, Maymiutch, wanted liquor with 
which to properly show his grief. He said he knew why his brother died, and 
why his wife and two children passed away, all within a few months of each 
other. It was because Charlo went to Mouse River and stole three horses and 
the white men there threw "bad medicine" on him. He knew Henry did not 
do it, but his friends advised him to take revenge on him. He would not do 
that, but he did want some liquor. His brother he said was a bad Indian who 
stole horses, cheated the traders, and never paid his debts, so that even though 
they had caused his death he would not blame them, but his heart was oppressed 
and he wanted a "drink." 


In 1664, Daniel de Greysolon Sieur Duluth established a trading post at Lake 
Nipigon, extending his explorations to the region of Minnesota and Dakota, and 
in 1728, was followed by Sieur Pierre Gaultier de la \"erendrye, who also built 
a trading post that year on Lake Nipigon; in 1731, he built another on the Lake 
of the Woods, and in 1733, still another on Lake Winnipeg. He visited the Red 
River ^'?.lley and extended his explorations to Grand Forks, which appears to 
have been so called by him from the confluence of the Red Lake and Red River. 
In 1736, his son and twenty of his men were killed by the Indians on the Lake 
of the Woods. 

At this period rival factions of Montreal traders were occupying the country, 
between whom bitter warfare was being waged, each trying to incite the 
Indians against his opponents, and against the Hudson's Bay Company, which 
was inimical to both, until the Indians were on the point of uprising. 

In February, 1913, a leaden plate buried by \^erendrye at the present location 
of Fort Pierre, S. D., was discovered by school children, and passed into the 
possession of the state historical society in ]\Iarch, 1916. 


In the year 1780, appeared the great scourge of smallpox at the Mandan 
Villages ; and through the Assiniboines, who attacked the villages during the 
prevalence of the disease, it became epidemic throughout the whole Northwest, 
continuing until 1782, entirely destroying some bands and depleting others to an 
alarming extent. It is claimed that of one band of 400 lodges, but ten persons 
survived, and of the large number of traders who had occupied that country 
but twelve remained. 

In 1783, came the North-West Company, composed of Montreal traders 
consolidated. In 1784, Peter Grant, a young man twenty years of age. entered the 
service of that company, and ten years later, about 1794, established a trading 
post on the ground where now stands St. Vincent. It was on the east side of 
the Red River, at the mouth of the Pembina River, then called "Panbian" River, 


and is mentioned by Alexander Henry as being the first post established by the 
North-West Company on the Red River. Jean Baptiste Cadotte was at Red 
Lake in 1796-7 and had a wintering establishment at the mouth of the Clear- 
water River, in 1798. 

The Red River country prior to 1797, had received visits from traders in the 
winter, and there had been wintering establishments for the purpose of trading, 
but no permanent posts until Pembina was established in 1801. 

John Tanner, called the "^Vhite Captive," author of "Tanner's Narrative," 
was among the Indians in the Red River country in 1797, and found no Indians 
or whites at Pembina, a short time previous to the building of the post there in 
that year by Charles Baptiste Chaboillez, who named his post "Fort Panbian." 

A considerable settlement of Indians followed the building of the post, and 
in March, 1798, David Thompson was entertained by Chaboillez while locating 
the international boundary line in the interest of the North-West Company, 
visiting also, a post known as Roy's House on the Salt River, which like that 
of Chaboillez at Pembina, and Grant at St. ^'incent. had disappeared when Henry 
visited these points in September, 1800. 


The Park River post having been abandoned May 4, 1801, and the Langlois 
party having joined Henry's, the reunited Red River Brigade moved down the 
river to the spot selected originally by Chaboillez, and established the post at 
Pembina. Chief Tabishaw and other Indians arrived on the 8th. Nothing was 
then seen of the Indian settlement that was said to have been near the old Fort 
Panbian, erected by Chaboillez, which had entirely disappeared. 





"Upon the Michigan, three moons ago, 

We launched our pirogues for the bison chase. 
And with the Hurons planted for a space, 

With true and faithful hands, the olive stalk, 
But snakes are in the bosoms of their race. 

And though they held with us a friendly talk. 
The hollow peace tree fell beneath their tomahawk." 

— The Oneida Chief to the Planter — Campbell. 


The herds of buffalo afforded the chief means of subsistence of the Indians 
while the beaver vi'ere the main source of emolument. The flesh of the buffalo 
was dried or put up as pemmican for future use. the sinews furnished them with 
thread, the skins gave material for tepees, raiment, bedding, carpets, canoes, bull- 
boats, baskets, buckets and cases for pemmican and the fat of bears and other 
animals, strings for their bows, ropes for tethering animals, lariats for catching 
the young buffalo, and at the end were used for shroud and coffin. 

For many years the Indians conserved the buffalo and endeavored to prevent 
the slaughter of more than was necessary for their own consumption, I)Ut the 
temptations offered by the traders were too great, and they joined in the work 
of destruction for the means of procuring needed supplies and of gratifying tiicir 
appetite for intoxicating liquors. 


On nearing the Park River in September. 1800, Alexander Henry found 
numerous herds of buffalo, sometimes forming one continuous body as far as 
the eye could reach, passing sometimes within 800 feet of the party. Climbing 
a tall oak at Park River, he noted the same conditions, and that the small timber 
had been entirely destroyed by them, and great piles of wool lay at the foot of 
the trees they had rubbed against. The ground was trampled as it would be 
in a barnyard, and the grass was entirely destroyed where they had come to the 


Courtesy of U. S. Treasurer. John Burke. 

The famous buffalo used on the ten dollar bill. 


river for water. All the way to Pembina Mountains he found buffalo and in 
great numbers about Turtle River, Grand Forks, Goose River and the Sheyenne. 

One morning at Park River they were awakened by the moving herd, which 
tramped continuously past their camp from before daylight until after 9 o'clock 
in the forenoon. When the river broke up in the spring of 1801, large numbers 
were drowned. They floated by the post at Park River for about two days in 
an unbroken stream, and from Pembina to Grand Forks there was scarcely a 
rod of the banks where they had not lodged. An early writer claims that in 
1795 he counted in the streams and on the shore of the Ou' Appelle River, 7,360 
buffalo, drowned by the breaking up of the stream. They were simply in incredi- 
ble numbers and the prairies were black with them. About their camp in Pembina 
in 1802, they had so completely destroyed the grass that Henry lost twenty-eight 
head of horses from starvation, and one day a buffalo actually came within the 
gates of their fort. 

In 1803 Mr. Henry went to the Pembina Mountains and thence across the 
plains to Mouse River and White Earth River, and for upwards of a month 
was not out of sight of buft'alo for a single day. 

In 1804 a prairie fire swept over the country around Pembina and Mr. Henry 
reports that in going to the Pembina Mountains he was not out of sight of blind 
and singed buffalo for a moment. They were wandering about the prairies, 
their eyes so swollen that they could not see. Their hair was singed, and in many 
instances the skin shriveled. In one instance he found a whole herd roasted, 
either dead or dying. 

In 1S05 Lewis and Clark, the explorers, counted fifty-one herds of buft'alo 
from one standpoint on the Missouri River. They found the plains of what is 
now Emmons, Morton, Burleigh, Oliver, Mercer and McLean counties. North 
Dakota, supporting herds quite equal in extent to those described by Mr. Henry 
in the Red River Valley. 

In 1806 Mr. Henry went to the Mandan villages on the ^lissouri River, 
and in the Mouse River country was compelled to barricade his camp at night 
to prevent being run over by the moving herds. 

In the narrative of John Tanner, the White Captive, among the Chippewa, 
it is stated that one night as they lay in their camp near the Red River they could 
hear the noise of a buffalo herd which proved to be some twenty miles distant. 
In his words : 

"A part of the herd was all of the time kept in constant rapid motion by the 
severe fights of the bulls. To the noise produced by the knocking together of 
the hoofs when they raised their feet from the ground, and their incessant tramp- 
ing, was added the loud and furious roar of the bulls, engaged, as they all were, 
in the terrific and appalling conflicts." 

To this clamor was added the barking and howling of the packs of wolves, 
which always followed the herd and preyed upon the calves, arid the weak and 
disabled, or devoured the parts of animals left by the hunters. The Indians killed 
them with bows and arrows and caught the young with nooses of leather. 

William H. Keating, the historian of Maj. Stephen H. Long's expedition, 
spoke of the buffalo as existing in herds of tens of thousands between the Mis- 
sissippi and the Missouri rivers, and vast numbers in the Red River Valley on 
both sides of the river. 

Vol. 1—3 


Gen. William T. Sherman estimated that the buli'alo between the Mis- 
souri River and the Rocky Moinitains at the beginning of the construction of 
the Pacific railroads numbered 9,500,000. 

The bones of the animals were afterwards gathered by settlers and shipped 
out of ihe country by train loads and down the river by ship loads. It was the 
privilege of the writer in 1887 to examine a pile of buflialo bones at Minot, N. D., 
brought in from the adjacent prairies. The pile was measured, and the weight 
of bones belonging to a single animal obtained, and it was found that one pile 
represented over seven thousand buffalo. Like shipments were being made from 
other stations, and it was estimated that the bones which had been and were 
being gathered in North Dakota represented over two million animals. Entire 
trains were loaded at Bismarck in the early days with buft'alo and other hides, 
from the. steamboats that came down the river. 

When the Indian camps were captured at the battle of White Stone Hills, 
in Dickey County, in 1863, the fat ran in streams from the dried buffalo meat 
that was destroyed in the conflagration. 

In one season Charles Larpenteur, an independent trader, obtained 5,000 
buffalo hides at Fort Iluford, and" in 1845 Gen. John C. Fremont reported 
that the output of buffalo hides by the trading companies had averaged 90,000 
annually for several years, but this covered only the number killed from Novem- 
ber to March, when the robes were at their best. 

During the constrtiction of the Kansas Pacific Railroad William F. Cody 
(Buff'alo Bill) contracted to furnish the men engaged on the work twelve buffalo 
daily at $500 per month. One day eleven buffalo escaped a party of army officers 
who were running them, but were all killed by Cody, who fired but twelve shots. 

William Comstock, a famous buff'alo hunter, having disputed Cody's right 
to the title of "Buffalo Bill," a contest was arranged near Sheridan, Wyo., and 
starting with equal opportunities, Cody killed thirty-eight, and Comstock twenty 
before luncheon. In the afternoon two herds were encountered and the contest 
clo.sed with a score of sixty-nine for Cody and forty for Comstock. 

Hunting one day with a party of Pawnees, who were glad to have killed 
twenty-two, Cody begged the privilege of attacking the next herd alone, and 
killed thirty-six, very much to the astonishment of the Indians. 


In 1840 Alexander Ross, a Canadian trader, witnessed a buffalo hunt on the 
Sheyenne River, of which he gives the following account: 

"At 8 o'clock the cavalcade made for the buft'alo, first at a slow trot, then 
at a gallop, and lastly at full speed. Their advance was on a dead level, the 
plains having no hollows, or shelter of any kind, to conceal the approach. When 
within four or five hundred yards, the buffalo began to curve their tails and paw 
the ground, and in a moment more to take flight, and the hunters burst in among 
them and began to fire. 

"Those who have seen a squadron of horse dash into battle may imagine 
the scene. The earth seemed to tremble when the horses started, but when the 
animals fled it was like the shock of an earthquake. The air was darkened, and 
the rapid firing at last became more faint, and the hunters became more distant. 


■'During the day at least two thousand buffalo must have been killed, for 
there were brought into camp 1,375 tongues. The hunters were followed by 
the carts which brought in the carcasses. Much of the meat was useless because 
of the heat of the season, but the tongues were cured, the skins saved, and the 
pemmican prepared." 

For years buffalo hunting had been carried on as a business, under strict 
organization. A priest accompanied the hunt to look after the spiritual welfare 
of the hunters and their families. The women went along to do the drudgery 
of the camp and care for the meat. 

When the herd was reached there was the early morning attack, after due 
preparation, each hunter killing from five to twenty, according to his skill and 
equipment, and each was able to claim his own from the size or form or com- 
bination of bullet and buckshot used by him. 

When the meat was cared for another assault was made on the herd, with 
which they sometimes kept in touch six to eight weeks, the attacks being repeated 
until all of the carts and available ponies were loaded for the return trip. 

In 1849, 1,210 half-breed carts were among the Pembina hunters. When 
they halted at night the carts were formed in a circle, the shafts projecting out- 
\vard. Tents were pitched in one extremity of the inclosure, and the animals 
gathered at the other end. The camp was a complete organization, captains and 
chiefs being elected to command. No person was allowed to act on his own 
responsibility, nor to use even a sinew without accounting for it. No hunter was 
allowed to lag, or lop off, or go before, without permission, each being required 
to take his turn on guard or patrol, and no work was allowed to be done on the 
Sabbath day. A camp crier was appointed, and any offender was proclaimed a 
thief, or whatever the nature of the offense might be. 


Charles Cavileer spent over fifty years of his life in the Red River Valley. 
Mrs. Cavileer, his widow, is a grand-daughter of .\lexander Murray, one of the 
Selkirk settlers, and a survivor of the Seven Oaks massacre; a daughter of Don- 
ald Murray, one of the early merchants of Winnipeg, and on her mother's side, 
a grand-daughter of James Herron, an old-time trader. Speaking of running the 
buffalo, she said : 

"I can see them now as they started on the hunt. I can see them rushing 
into the herd of buffalo, the hunter with his mouth filled with balls, loading and 
firing rapidly. Loose powder was quickly poured into the muzzle of the gun 
and a ball drojiped into place, and the point of the gun lowered and fired, result- 
ing often in explosion, for the reason that the ball had not reached the powder, 
or had been thrown out of place by the quick movement of the gun. Riding 
alongside of the herd, which was on the run with all the desperation possible 
in frightened animals, they were shot down by the thousands in a single day, 
and then the work of pemmican making commenced, on the ground where the 
animals were slain. 


"The meat was cut into long strips from half an inch to an inch in thickness, 
and these were hung on racks to dry, with a slow fire built under them in order 


to smoke them a little. When dried and smoked slightly, they were placed on 
the flesh side of a buffalo hide, and whipped until beaten into shreds, and then 
mixed with hot tallow in large kettles. Poured into sacks while soft, the thick, 
pliable mass became so hard that it often required a heavy blow to break it. It 
could be eaten without further preparation, or could be cooked with vegetables 
and in various ways. If handled properly it could be kept for many years per- 
fectly pure and sweet." 

There was always reason to fear danger from an Indian attack in hunting 
on the plains. In 1S56, the Pembina hunters were attacked by the Yanktons, 
near Devils Lake, and their horses, buffalo meat and supplies were taken from 
them, the Yanktons claiming the parties were hunting in their country without 
their permission and not for their own food, but for commerce, which they would 
not tolerate. 

In i860 Sir Francis Sykes spent the summer hunting in the Devils Lake 
region, and the next svmnner a wealthy Englishman of the name of Handberry 
'Organized a party for the same purpose. He was accompanied by Captain Cal- 
vert, Malcolm Roberts, William Nash and Charles E. Peyton. George W. North- 
rup was interpreter and guide. Their entire outfit was destroyed or carried 
away and the party taken prisoners by the Tetons, but they were released the 
next day through the friendly offices of the Yanktons, it being represented to 
them that Mr. Handberry was a British subject and only passing through their 
country. They were allowed one team by the Indians and escorted beyond the 
danger line, but the other animals and their outfit and supplies were retained. 

Two hunters were found on the James River who told the Indians that they 
came to hunt and trap. The chief said to them, "We hunt, we trap; you go,'' 
and they were given to understand that if found there on the morrow their lives 
would pay the forfeit. 

Flunting on the plains of the United States became very attractive and many 
titled persons felt and obej'ed the impulse so well expressed in the following 
lines : 

"I'll chase the antelope over the plain, 
The tiger's cub I'll bind with a chain. 
And the wild gazelle, with its silvery feet, 
I'll give thee for a playmate sweet." 

■ — Sonci of Ossian E. Dodge, i8so. 


In the summer of 1865 General John M. Corse and staff visited Fort Wads- 
worth on Kettle Lake, afterwards known as Sisseton, North Dakota, and par- 
ticipated in a buffalo hunt arranged by the officers of the post, there being a herd 
of buffalo in the vicinity estimated at 30,000. 

The party numbered about 100, and was led by Gabriel Renville, a mixed- 
blood Sioux, chief of the Indian Scouts, who conducted them to the vicinity 
of the Hawk's Nest, a high peak in the coteaus or hills near this point. Renville 
gave the signal, and he and his party of Indian scouts began whooping and yell- 
ing, and rushed into the herd, followed by the officers and their visitors. One 
lieutenant of the general's staff, who was riding the finest horse of the party, 





became so excited that he dropped one revolver and shot his horse in the back 
of the head with the other. Renville was armed with a Henry rifle — a sixteen 
shooter — and, making every shot good, killed sixteen buffalo. Charles Crawford, 
a noted .Sioux Indian scout, armed in the same manner, killed fifteen, and others 
killed their proportion. 

Samuel J. Brown, one of the party, attacked an unusually large, fine-looking 
bull, which he cut out of the herd and chased until he had exhausted his last 
shot, when the animal turned on him and ran him more than three miles. Twice 
Brown tried to avoid his pursuer or mislead him by dodging around a hill, 
but the animal would slowly ascend it and as soon as he discovered his tormentor, 
would again pursue him. The buffalo was finally killed by the soldiers in the 
immediate vicinity of the camp. 

The visit of General Corse, and the hunt were celebrated in the manner 
usual at frontier posts. In the course of the feasting it was resolved that 
Dakota should be called the Tatanka Republic ; tatanka being the Indian word for 
buffalo. Maj. Robert H. Ross of the Second Minnesota Regiment, was chosen 
president; Maj. Joseph R. Brown of the Minnesota Volunteer Militia, secretary 
of war; Gabriel Renville, "captain-general of the forces operating against the 
woolly buffalo and the wily Sioux," and Capt. Arthur Mills, quartermaster 


In 1867, Capt. Grant Marsh, proceeding up the Missouri River on the steamer 
"Ida Stockdale," with Gen. Alfred H. Terry and staff' aboard, encountered many 
buffalo when they reached the Elkhorn Prairie, about one hundred and twenty- 
five miles above Fort Buford. The story as related by Marsh in J- Mills Hanson's 
book, entitled "The Conquest of the Missouri," is as follows: 

"Though these animals were so numerous throughout Dakota and ^Montana 
that some of them were almost constantly visible from passing steamboats, either 
grazing on the open prairie, or resting or wallowing near the river, it was in 
the country above the Yellowstone River that they appeared in greatest numbers, 
for here they were accustomed to pass on their northern and southern migra- 
tions in the spring and autumn. 

"As the 'Stockdale' approached Elkhorn I'rairie. the buffalo increased rapidly 
in number on either bank ; vast herds, extending away to the horizon line of 
the northern bluff's, were moving slowly toward the river, grazing as they came. 
On arriving at the river's brink they hesitated, and then snorting and bellowing, 
plunged into the swift running current and swam to the opposite shore. When 
the 'Stockdale' reached a point nearly opposite the Elkhorn Grove, excitement 
rose to a high pitch on board, for the buffalo became so thick in the river that 
the boat could not move, and the engine had to be stopped. In front, the channel 
was blocked by their huge, shaggy bodies, and in their struggles they beat against 
the sides of the stern, blowing and pawing. Many became entangled with the 
wheel, which, for a time, could not be revolved without breaking the buckets. 
As they swept towards the precipitous bank of the north shore and plunged 
over into the stream, clouds of dust arose from the crumbling earth, while the 
air trembled with their bellowing and the roar of myriad hoofs. The south 


bank was turned into a liquid mass of mud by the water streaming from their 
sides as they scrambled out, and thundered away across the prairie. * * * 
Several hours elapsed before the "Stockdale" was able to break through the 
migrating herds, and resume her journey, and they were still crossing, when at 
last they passed beyond view." 


In his book entitled "My Friend, the Indian," Maj. James McLaughlin, gives 
an account of what was the last buffalo hunt in North Dakota, resulting in 
killing 5,000 of the noble beasts, now reduced to a few small herds preserved in 
parks by the Government or individuals. ^lajor McLaughlin was then Indian 
Agent at Standing Rock. 

The buffalo had been located 100 miles west, on the head waters of the 
Cannonball River. It was in June, when the buffalo was at his best. The camp 
was made according to tribal customs, and all of the honors were accorded the 
traditional beliefs. Two thousand Indians were seated on the prairie, with dtie 
regard to rank, forming a crescent-shaped body, the horns of the crescent open- 
ing to the west. Running Antelope, the leader of the hunt, was seated in the 
rear of a painted stone, made to represent an altar. Eight young men had been 
selected to go ahead and spy out the buffalo. The chief addressed them relative 
to the importance of their mission, and the necessity of caution, and closed by 
administering to each a solemn oath, during which the men in the semi-circle put 
away their pipes. Running Antelope filled the sacred pipe, which was lighted 
with much ceremony, and offered to the earth in front of him to propitiate the 
spirits which make the ground plentiful, and then to the sky, invoking the bless- 
ing of the Great Spirit. He took a puff, and passed it to the chief of the 
scouts ; the latter placed his hand holding the bowl of the pipe on the altar, and 
then took a puff, each following his example. 

When the ceremony was over every man owning a horse was on his feet, 
gesticulating and congratulating the scouts on their good fortune. Three bushes 
were set in the ground, and if in riding anyone succeeded in knocking down all 
three of the bushes, a great amount of game would be killed. Major McLaughlin 
led the race, and it was his good fortune to knock down all three. The Indians 
were happy. All seemed well. When happy the Indian is exuberant in his joy, 
and his cup of happiness that day promised to be filled to the very brim. Gall, 
Crow King, Rain-in-the-Face, John Grass, Spotted Horn Bull and other noted 
men were there. The march lasted four days. There were about six hundred 
mounted hunters in the party, and many thousand buffalo were quietly grazing 
on the slopes of a hundred elevations as they advanced upon the herd. Some of 
the hunters were amied with bow and arrows, but most of them with repeating 
rifles, and in a few moments the hunt became a slaughter. The Indians killed 
buffalo until they were exhausted, and when the day's work was done over 
two thousand animals had been slain. -Several of the Indians were hurt, one 
dying of heart disease during the excitement of the slaughter. The attack was 
renewed on the herd the next day with even greater success, and when it was 
concluded over five thousand had been slain, and the meat preserved for the 

I'li'tiis by D. F. Barrj-, Siipcrinr. Wis. 

Sioux '\\'anioi- 


Crow King 
John Grass 
Eunning Anttlope 


winter's food supply. Frank Gates and Henry Agard each killed twenty-five 
buftalo, and many others had made enviable records. 

It was contemporaneous with these results that William E. Curtis, the noted 
traveler, accompanied by the author of these pages, visited the Yellowstone River. 
They were entertained at Glendive by Capt. James M. Bell of the Seventh 
U. S. Cavalry, who organized a buffalo hunt for their entertainment. They 
reached the grounds, twenty miles down the river, from Glendive, about noon, 
and encountered a herd of about four thousand, but being there to see and not 
to be a part of the performance, Curtis and Lounsberry were not mounted. 
However, they were allowed to creep up the cut bank of a stream to within easy 
range, when they fired and the stampede commenced. The soldiers then rushed 
in among the herd shooting as they rode alongside of the running animals. 
Seven were killed, that being all that was needed for a camp supply of meat. 

The great herds of buffalo and of the cattle and horses which succeeded 
them have passed and are gone, so far as free range is concerned, and the open 
countrv which once knew them shall know them no more. 










"And he gave it for his opinion, that whoever could make two ears of corn, or two blades 
of grass to grow upon a spot of ground where only one grew before, would deserve better 
of mankind, and do more essential service to his country, than the whole race of politicians 
put together." — Jonathan Swift. 


May 17, 1 801, Alexander Henry selected the spot for building a fort at 
Pembina. The post was completed October i, 1801, and thereafter Henry's 
scattered forces made their headquarters at Pembina. 

The post was named "Fort Panbian," and was later called the "Pembina 
House." It was built on the north side of the Panbian River — afterward changed 
to Pembina — between that and the Red River, 100 paces from each, on land 
afterwards entered by Joseph Rolette, and in 1870, James J. Hill, subsequently 
president of the Great Northern Railroad, purchased of Air. Rolette the identical 
ground on which the establishment stood, embracing five acres, where he built a 
bonded warehouse for trade with the Indians and settlements in Manitoba. W. Kittson, a later trader at Pembina, and identified with transpor- 
tation and other interests of the Red River country and of Minnesota, was a 
relative of Alexander Henry. Henry's post consisted of a storehouse, 100x20 
feet, built of logs. Later a stockade and other buildings, including store rooms, 
shops, warehouses and a stable for fifty horses, were added. 

The Hudson's Bay Company built, the fall of 1801, a post on the east side of 
the Red River, near Peter Grant's old post, and the X. Y. Company built just 
below Henry on the Pembina River. The Hudson's Bay Company built a post, 
also, on the Pembina River at the Grand Passage, which was destroyed by fire 
April I, 1803. 



Norman Kittson's trading post. 



The name of Pembina, aj)])lied to the post and the mountains, previous to 
1 80 1 known as Hair Hills, is claimed by recognized authorities to be derived from 
the Chippewa words ancpemiuan sipi, a red berry known among the whiles as 
the "high bush cranberry." 

The early efforts to create the "Territory of Pembina" were antagonized 
because it was alleged that the word was insignificant, and when in the debates 
in Congress it was pronounced "Pembyny," by a usually well informed congress- 
man, all efforts in that direction ceased. Early in 1882, the Bismarck Tribune, 
then edited by the author of these pages, used "North Dakota" in the date line 
of that paper, and from that time the friends of "North Dakota" were united 
in their efforts to secure "North Dakota" for the name of the proposed new state. 
Dakota had become noted for its great wheat fields, and it was desired, also, to 
retain whatever benefit might accrue from that fact, as the famous farms were in, 
the northern part of the territory. 


John Tanner claims that the cultivation of Indian corn was introduced on the 
Red River by an Ottawa friend of his of the name of She-gaw-kee-sink, and it is 
known that Indian farming was carried on successfully for many years by the 
Arikaras, Mandans and Hidatsa, at the Alandan villages, prior to the advent 
of Alexander Henry. They raised corn, potatoes, squashes, etc., but to Henry 
belongs the credit of the first attempt to raise vegetables and corn in the upper 
Red River Valley. He was the first white farmer in North Dakota. May 17, 
1801, he planted a few potatoes and garden seeds on the site of Peter Grant's 
old fort, and harvested iv; bushels of potatoes October ist. The other vegetables- 
had been consumed by the horses. 

The following year on May 15, 1802, he began to sow his garden, and 
planted a bushel of potatoes, received from Portage La Prairie. 

May 7, 1803, he planted potatoes, turnips, beets, carrots, onions, sowed cab- 
bage and planted cabbage stalks for seed. Three days later he finished planting 
eight kegs of potatoes. The yield October 17th, amounted to 420 bushels of 
potatoes from 7 bushels planted, exclusive of those used, destroyed and stolen 
by the Indians, estimated at 200 bushels : 300 large heads of cabbage, 8 bushels 
of carrots, 16 bushels of onions, 10 bushels of turnips, some beets, parsnips, 
etc. One onion measured 22 inches in circumference at the thick end ; a turnip 
with its leaves weighed 25 pounds, the leaves alone 15 pounds. The weight 
without the leaves was generally 10 to 12 pounds. 

April 28, 1804, he was working in his garden, and September 9th, gathered 
cucumbers and made a nine-gallon keg of pickles. October 22d the crop gathered 
was 1,000 bushels of potatoes — the product of 21 bushels — 40 bushels of turnips, 
25 bushels of carrots, 20 bushels of beets, 20 bushels of parsnips, 10 bushels of 
cucumbers, 2 bushels of melons, 5 bushels of squashes. 10 bushels of Indian corn, 
200 large heads of cabbage, 300 small and savoy cabbage : all of these exclusive- 
of what had been eaten and destroyed. 

Here- is doubtless the first record of Indian corn grown in the Red River 


Valley. Henry claims that he furnished the Indians at Dead River, Manitoba, 
seed corn and seed potatoes in 1805. 


In 1807 Henry brought a cockerel and two hens from Fort William to 
Pembina. One hen died, and the other began to lay Alarch 29, 1808. May 8th, 
she hatched eleven chickens and seven more were added later in the season; 
giving him a tlock of eighteen chickens, the first domestic fowl raised in North 

At this time there was a manufactory at Pembina, where Red River carts 
were made, and a cooper shop turning out kegs and half barrels. 


March 14, 1801, the first child, not of Indian blood, was born at Pembina, 
to Pierre Bonga and his wife, both negroes. Pierre Bonga had been a slave 
of Capt. Daniel Robertson of Mackinavv, brought home from the West Indies, 
and was in the first canoe of the Red River Brigade of July, 1800. 

An amusing story of riding a buffalo is told of him at Pembina. A bufifalo 
cow had fallen on the ice near the fort, and in her struggle to get up had become 
entangled in a rope, but finally gained her feet, when Pierre and Crow (an 
Indian) got on her back, but without paying any attention to them, she attacked 
the dogs, and was as nimble in jumping and kicking as she was before taking the 
load of nearly four hundred pounds. 

In the fall of 1802, Joseph Duford of the X. Y. Company threatened to kill 
Bonga, and himself received a sound beating. Bonga left numerous descendants, 
one of whom was an interpreter at the Fort Snelling treaty of 1837. 


The first white child was born at Pembina December 29, 1807. Its father 
was John Scart of Grand Forks, and its mother was a native of the Orkney 
Islands, who dressed in men's clothes and for several years had been doing a 
man's work at Pembina. 


Jean Baptiste Demerais, interpreter for Henry's Red River brigade, had 
charge of the garden, horses and fishing, etc., at Fort Pembina the first season, 
and the winter of 1801-2, took at his station near where Morris, Manitoba, now 
stands, 130 skins, 8 wolf, 2 fox, 3 raccoon. 38 fisher, 2 otter and 5 mink. 


Buti'alo, a member of the Henry expedition of 1800, in 1801, was chosen 
hunter for the post at Pembina. As recorded in the annals of the post he was 
one of the most demoralized in his domestic relations, offering, like Charlo, to 


-sell his nine-year-old daughter to Henry for a dram of his '"mixture" at Park 
River. In the spring of 1803, he quarreled with his wife, and struck her with 
a club, cutting a gash in her head six inches long from the effects of which she 
was so long recovering that she was believed to be dead, and a year later he 
repeated the brutality by stabbing his young wife in the arm; all of which 
was attributed to his frenzied condition while in his cups. 


^lich.'iel Langlois of the Red River Brigade, after the trading post was 
established the fall of 1801, on the Pembina River, was sent to the Pembina 
Mountains, then known as Hair Hills, to establish a post at the foot of the 
steep, sandy banks, where the river first issues from the mountains, and the 
X. Y. Company sent four men there to build alongside of his establishment; 
<ilso, aside from the two houses mentioned, there was another trading post in 
the Pembina Mountains, known as the De Lornie House, where Henry called 
on his rounds, visiting his several outlying posts that winter. These trips were 
made with dog sledges and snow shoes. 

The following winter of 1801-02, Michael Langlois took at the Pembina 
Mountains, 200 beaver skins, 24 black bear, 5 brown bear, 160 wolf, 39 fox, 
14 raccoon, 57 fisher, 5 otter and 15 mink. In September, 1802, he was ordered 
by Mr. Henry to Red Lake, but failing to make that point, spent the winter 
at Leech Lake, accompanied by Joseph Duford. The winter of 1803-04, he passed 
at the Pembina Mountains post with Le Sieur Toussaint and turned in 182 beaver 
skins, 51 bear and 148 wolf. Maymiutch, Charlo's brother, an Indian who went 
up the river with the "brigade" while under the influence of liquor, shot at 
Michael Langlois December 21, 1803. The following season, 1804-05, Langlois 
was in charge of the same station with James Caldwell. The returns of catch 
are as follows: 16 beaver skins, 37 bear, 251 wolf. 

Other employees at Fort Pembina in 1801, or about that period, who con- 
ducted the work of the post, were Jean Baptiste Le Due (possibly Larocque), 
Joachim Daisville, Andre La Grosser, Andre Beauchemin, Jean Baptiste 
Larocque. Jr.. Etienne Roy, Francois Sint, Joseph Maceon, Charles Bellegarde, 
Joseph Hamel, Nicholas Pouliotte and |oseph Dubois — all of Henry's Red 
River Brigade. 


John Cameron who had been at Park River the previous season, was sent by 
Mr. Henry September i, 1801. to Grand Forks, to build a post there, and he was 
followed by the X. Y. Company ; wherever the one company went the other was 
sure to follow. Cameron took in at Grand Forks, the season .pf 1801-02, 410 
beaver skins, 22 black bear, 2 brown bear, 30 wolf, 20 fox, 20 raccoon, 23 fisher, 
20 otter and 6 mink. 

September 20, 1802, he was sent from Pembina for the same purpose, to 
Turtle River, and took in ;^;^~ beaver skins, 40 bear and 114 wolf. The winter 
of 1803-04, he passed at Park River with Joseph Ducharme and the post turned 
in 147 beaver skins. 25 bear and 14 wolf. 



AngiiFtine Cadotte was sent September 20, 1802, to the Pembina Mountains, 
to trade with the Crees and Assiniboincs and remained there through the winter, 
taking 30 beaver sl<ins, 47 bear and 364 wolf. April I, 1803, he was sent to 
Grand Forks to rebuild the post there, erecting a building 100x20 feet in extent, 
the same size as the original post at Pembina. The X. Y. and the Hudson's 
Bay Company followed, and that spring the Hudson's Bay Company erected a 
new post on the north side of the Pembina River at Pembina. 


fohn Crebasse with Mr. Henry at Fort Pembina, in the winter of 1801-02, 
took in 629 beaver skins, 18 black l:)ear, 4 brown bear, 58 wolf, 16 fox, 39 raccoon, 
67 fisher, 24 otter, 6 marten, 26 mink. At the same place he passed the follow- 
ing winter, 1802-03, with Mr. Henry, taking 550 beaver skins, 38 bear and 104 

The winter of 1805-06, John Crebasse was in charge at Grand Forks, and 
Mr. Henry at Pembina. Crebasse turned in from the former station 343 beaver 
skins, 24 bear, 310 wolf, 171 fox, 75 raccoon, 59 fisher, 27 otter and other skins. 

Of course there were other products of the chase from all of these points 
each year. 


Joseph Duford, a member of the X. Y. Company, who threatened to kill 
Pierre Bonga, and was the companion of Michael Langlois at Leech Lake 
the winter of 1S02-03, was with H^enry Hesse in charge of the Salt River post 
in 1804-05, and it appears on the returns of Salt River for that winter, that 
they turned in 160 beaver skins, 24 bear and 346 wolf. Duford was killed by a 
visiting Lidian. October 30, 1805, and under this date the following particulars 
are given : 

A visiting Indian and his chief had accepted a quart of rum and were being 
entertained at the fort. In the course of the night they quarreled, made up, 
fought their battles with the Sioux over again, sang war songs, discussed the 
Sioux, boasted of their own exploits, sometimes maneuvering as in actual battle, 
with a pipe stem for a weapon, and finally the chief fell, exhausted and the other 
continued the performance alone, until he worked himself into a frenzy and 
thinking he was really in a battle and the Sioux were upon him, grabbed his gun.' 
called upon his imaginary comrades to follow him and fired — mortally wound- 
ing Joseph Duford. 

The next morning when sober, the Indian was in great distress, insisting 
that he intended no harm, that he knew that he was a bad Indian ; that he had 
killed three of his own children, but he had never hurt a white man before. 

According to the record — "he was forgiven." 


Etienne Charbonneau went up the river with Henry's Red River Brigade 
to Park River, and the winter of 1803-C4 was with Henry at Fort Pembina, where 
they turned in 211 beaver skins, 29 bear and 37 wolf. 


For the winter of 1804-05, the returns of the catch at Fort Pembina were 829 
beaver skins, 36 bear and 102 wolf. 

There were ten grizzly bear skins in the returns of that year from the three 
posts, viz. : Salt River, Pembina Mountains and Pembina post. 


"Oh ! stay not to recount the tale — 

'Twas bloody — and 'tis past, 
The firmest cheek might well grow pale 

To hear it to the last. 
The God of heaven, who prospers us, 

Could bid a nation grow. 
And sliield us from the red man's curse 
Two hundred years ago !" 

— Grenville Mcllcn. 

From the 28th of August, 1801, to the close of the year 1804, the record of 
the life at Fort Pembina is a series of complaints, demands, quarrels and casual- 
ties, the revolting details of which involve the characters of many brave Indians, 
who doubtless merit honorable mention, but who appear at best as "trouble- 
some" and many of them as answerable for a long list of crimes, invariably 
with direct reference to an abnormal state of mind, attributed to over-indulgence 
on one side and criminal adulteration of the means of it on the other. 

The record of Alexander Henry, as made up by himself, during five years 
of the early history of the Red River Valley, is bad enough. Others were work- 
ing on the same lines. In some of their journals the record is far more shameful 
than Henry's, and of his Doctor Coues says : 

"The seamy side of the fur trade Henry shows us with a steady hand that 
we can scarcely follow with unshaken nerves, is simply hell on earth ; people 
with no soul above a beaver skin, fired by King Alcohol in the workshop of 

Ingenious excuses were framed by the Indians for obtaining the stimulant 
which the white traders had encouraged them to use and taught them to prize 
above all things, and in the dealing out to them of the poison, there was often 
a nefarious liberality, let alone their questionable forms of trade, for which there 
can be no condemnation too severe. 

Henry in commenting on the degeneracy of the Indians, said : 

"The Indians totally neglect their ancient ceremonies, and to what can tiiis 
degeneracy be ascribed but to their mtercourse witli us ; particularly as they 
are so unfortunate as to have a continual succession of opposition parties to 
teach them roguer}' and destroy both mind and body with that pernicious article, 
rum! What a different set of people they would be, were there not a drop of 
liquor in the country! If a murder is committed among the Saulteurs (Chippewa), 
it is always in a drinking match. We may truly say that liquor is tlie root of all 
evil in the Northwest. Great bawling and lamentation went on, and I was 
troubled most of the night for liquor to wash away grief." 

The use of intoxicating liquor rouses the passions, among all races of men ; 
it deadens the sensibilities, impairs and frequently destroys the memory. Love 
and virtue cannot long endure where alcohol holds sway ; prosperity cannot abide 


in the home of the man who is addicted to its use, his business will fail, his 
home will be broken, and his parents, his wife and daughters may expect to 
go in sorrow to their graves. There is no evil known to man that can or does 
bring the distress to the human race that follows its unrestrained use. 

Perhaps it has been, and may be used to some advantage in medicine and 
mechanic arts, but there is absolutely no compensation that it has given or can 
give the world, for the ruin it has wrought in its use as a beverage. A noble 
race that peopled the plains and forests of North America have been nearly 
destroyed by its use and the white man's greed for gold, and countless thousands, 
aye, millions of white men have been unfitted for life's duties, not to speak of 
the murders and suicides, and of the miserable wrecks in the hospitals for the 
insane and in the penitentiaries and jails. 

The flagstaff for Fort Pembina, a single oak stick, "seventy-five feet without 
splicing," was erected November 28, 1801, and at the raising the men were given 
"two gallons of high wines, four fathoms of tobacco, and some flour and sugar, 
to make merry." But it was not alone the aborigines who exceeded the bounds 
of sobriety, for it is written, that on New Year's day the men of the X. Y. Com- 
pany and the Hudson's Bay Company came over to Fort Pembina, and the 
manager treated the company assembled to "two gallons of alcohol, five fathoms 
of tobacco and some flour and sugar, the neighbors and everybody else of both 
sexes and all classes losing their senses, and according to the narrator, 'becoming 
more troublesome than double their number of Indians.' " 

Good drinking water was scarce on the hunt and in the midst of the winter 
of 1801-02 (February 28th), Henr\- returned from hunting almost famished, 
and declared that "a draught of water was the sweetest beverage he ever drank." 

Of the Indian when not degenerated by the use of intoxicants it may be said 
there is no selfishness in him. His anger and his appetite in those days were 
uncontrollable, but there is no human love stronger than his for home and kindred, 
and he seldom forgot to recognize "discretion" as "the better part of valor." 
and for that he has been called cowardly. No matter what the Indian's prospect 
for success in battle might be, the moment that he realized that his women and 
children were in danger he would retire. Their protection was his first con- 
sideration. Aside from that his creed was a life for a life, a scalp for a scalp. 
If the Indians traveled a thousand miles, enduring privation and dangers that 
were appalling, it was for scalps to recompense for similar losses. It was not 
the love of blood.shed, or for the wanton destruction of human life. It was for 
revenge, none the less sweet because indulged by the untutored tribesmen. 


In 1805 Hugh McGillis, partner in the North-West Company, had charge of 
the Fond du Lac district, with trading posts at every available point on the south 
side of Lake Superior, across the country to the Mississippi River, up that 
stream to its source, and down on the Red River. The company had extended 
its .sphere of activity even to the very center of the Louisiana purchase ; tbev 
were reaching out to the headwaters of the Missouri River, and pushing their 
way on to the Columbia and to the Arctic seas. 


The headquarters of Mr. AlcGilHs were at Leech Lake, and he, also, had 
an important post at Cass Lake, Minnesota. 

Cuthbert Grant had charge of the post at Sandy Lake, near grounds covered 
now by Aitkin, Minn., and had a number of other posts in the surrounding 

Robert Dickson was an independent Canadian trader, having his main jjost 
on the Mississippi River, near what is now St. Cloud, and another at Cass Lake, 
in charge of George Anderson. 

At all these posts English goods were being sold without the payment of 
duties; most of the posts being fortified, and many of them flying the British 
flag, the "Second Union Jack," which, since 1801 had embraced the cross of 
St. Patrick in addition to those of St. George and St. Andrew. Canadian traders 
assumed the right to make or break Indian chiefs, and were holding their friend- 
ship and confidence by the presentation of medals, and using intoxicating liquors 
to demoralize and debauch them. 

Alexander Henry was much concerned in February, 1806, when he heard 
of Lieut. Zebulon Montgomery Pike's expedition, which was then at Leech 
Lake, understanding that it was proposed to force the traders to pay duties on 
the goods used by them in trade in United States territory. 

The population of the Red River country in 1805 is given by Henry as 
seventy-five white men, forty women, mixed-blood, and sixty children, mixed- 
blood. The women were the wives of the traders and their men, all Indian and 
mixed-bloods, and the children were all mi.xed-bloods, although returned as 

The Indian population was given as 160 men, 190 women and 250 children. 


The family names of nearly every mixed blood family, now or recently 
residing in the Turtle Mountains, may be found among the employees of the 
several fur companies operating on the Red River or in that region. Among 
those mentioned by Alexander Henry in connection with the fur trade in the 
Red River country are the following: 

Francois Allaire, Michel Allaire, Michel Allary, Francois Amiot, Antoine 
Azure, Joseph Azure, Alexis Bercier, Joseph Bercier, Antoine Bercier, Joseph 
Boisseau, Francois Boucher, Louis Brozzeau, Augustin Cadotte, Michel Cadotte, 
Murdoch Cameron Duncan Cameron, Antoine Dubois, Francois Dubois, Nich- 
olas Ducharme, Pierre Ducharme, Pierre Falcon, Michel Fortier, Pierre Fortier 
Jacques Germain. .St. Joseph Germain, Antoine Gingras, Jean Baptiste Godin, 
Louis Gordon, Alphonso Goulet, Jacques Goulet. Jean Baptiste Goulet, Francois 
Hamel, Francois Henry, Francois Houle, Jerome Jerome, Francois Langie, 
Jacques Laviolette, Jean Baptiste Lemay, Louis Lemay, Pierre Lemay, Duncan 
McGillis, Hugh McGillis, Alexander McKay, Alexis McKay, Ambrose Mar- 
tineau, Fly Norbert, Alexis Plante, Joseph Plante, Augustin Poisier, Andrew 
Poitras, Duncan Pollock, Joseph Premeau, John Roy Ross, Augustin Ross, Jean 
Baptiste Ross, Vincent Ross, John Sayers, Angus Shaw, Alex Wilkie. 

January i, 1805, Mr. Henry learned of the consolidation of the North-West 


Company and the X. Y. Company, and gave the following as his views of the exist- 
ing conditions : 

"It certainly was high time for a change on this river. The country being 
almost destitute of beaver and other furs, and the Indians increasing in number 
daily from Red Lake and the Fond du Lac country. The X. Y. had been lavish 
of their property, selling very cheap, and we, to keep the trade in our hands, had 
been obliged to follow their example. Thus by our obstinate proceedings we 
had spoiled the Indians. Every man who had killed a few skins was considered 
a chief and treated accordingly; there was scarcely a common buck to be seen; 
all wore scarlet coats, had large kegs and flasks, and nothing was purchased by 
them but silver works, strouds and blankets. Either every other article was let 
go on debts and never paid for, or given gratis on request. This kind of com- 
merce had ruined and corrupted the natives to such a degree that there was no 
bearing with their insolence. If they misbehaved at our houses and were checked 
for it, our neighbors were ready to approve their scoundrelly behavior, and 
encourage them to mischief, even offering them protection if they were in want 
of it. By this means the most notorious villains were sure of refuge and resource. 
Our servants of every grade were getting extravagant in their demands, indolent, 
disaffected toward their employers and lavish wdth the property committed to 
their charge. I am confident that another year could not have passed without 
bloodshed between ourselves and the Saulteurs." 

In May, following the consolidation of the two fur companies, the Indians 
were encamped about the fort drinking, when one Indian stabbed another to 
death. The murdered man left five children and the scene at his burial was 
heartrending. In the carousals that followed a son of Net-no-kwa, the foster 
mother of John Tanner, the "White Captive," had his face disfigured for life, 
and another Indian who came to his relief met the same fate. 


July 3, 1805, a large body of Sioux fell upon a small camp of Henry's Indians 
on the Tongue River, and killed or carried ofif as prisoners fourteen persons — 
men, women and children. Henry's father-in-law was the first one killed. His 
mother-in-law reached the woods in safety, but finding that one of the younger 
children had been left by the young woman in whose charge it was placed, she 
kissed the older children and went back for that one. She recovered the child, 
but was stricken down by the Sioux. Springing to her feet she drew a knife and 
plunged it into the neck of her antagonist, but others coming up, she was dis- 

All of the bodies of the dead were shot full of arrows. The skull of Henry's 
father-in-law was carried away for a drinking cup, and indignities perpetrated 
on other bodies too horrible to descrilie. 


From the time of the consolidation of the companies there was a change in 
policy — a change in the grade and strength of the liquors sold to the Indians, and 
in the profits, which were greater, and f rnni that time on there were no presents, 

rhotos by D. F. BaJTj'. Superinr. Wis. 

Chief Gaul 
Rain-in- the-Face 

Sitting Bull 
Bull Head 



and no liquor given to induce trade, but an amicable arrangement was made 
between the North-West and Hudson's Bay companies whereby strife, for a 
while, ceased, and the Indians were obliged to pay for whatever they received. 
But this happy condition did not continue to exist, as we shall see later. It was 
bad enough before. 

October 6, 1805, the Hudson's Bay Company built their new post at Pembina, 
and Alexander Henry, in carrying out the new policy, immediately made a divi- 
sion of the Indians, giving the Hudson's Bay Company, Tabishaw and other 
troublesome Indians among their portion, and thereupon refused to make the 
usual distribution of liquors ; being determined that they should not taste a drop 
while they lay around the fort idle, but gave them credit for many necessary 
articles. Some flattered, some threatened, and others caressed him; still others 
declared that they would not hunt, but to no purpose, they were still refused. 
"With no X. Y. to spoil and support them in idleness, we obliged them to pay 
their debts," wrote Mr. Henry, "and not a drop was given them at the fort." 


Mr. Henry was succeeded for a short time at Fort Pembina by Mr. Charles 
McKenzie, and then by Mr. John Wills. John Tanner in his Narrative says, 
relative to his experience with the latter, that Mr. Wills called the Indians 
together, and giving them a ten-gallon keg of rum and some tobacco, told them 
that thereafter he v/ould not credit them to the value of a needle, but would give 
them whatever was necessary for their convenience and comfort in exchange 
for whatever they had to sell. He not only refused them credit, but in many 
instances abused the Indians for asking it. Tanner was ordered away from the 
fort because he asked for the accommodation which had hitherto been extended 
him, and in his distress for the necessaries of life, he went to the Hudson's Bay 
Company's agent, and was given the credit desired. 

When he brotight in his peltries Mr. Wills forcibly took possession of them, 
and threatened to kill him when he demanded them, and did draw a pistol on 
him when he came to recover them and turn them over to the Hudson's Bay 
Company, pursuant to his agreement. 


The winter of 1805-06 the opposition having dropped out, there was no longer 
reason to keep up outlying posts. Henry's return of the catch at Fort Pembina 
that season embraced 776 beaver skins, 74 bear, 533 wolf, 276 fox, 63 raccoon, 
140 fisher, 102 otter, 271 marten and 141 mink. 

One year later the Hudson's Bay Company reestablished its trading house at 
Pembina, in charge of Hugh Heney. who arrived at the post September 12, 1807, 
with two boats from Hudson Bay for the Hudson's Bay Company. Mr. Heney 
extended the usual credits to worthy Indians, notwithstanding the previous under- 
standing with Alexander Henry. The population of the Red River country in 
1807, not in the employ of the fur companies, aside from Indians, numbered 
forty-five, known as "freemen." 

On September 12, 1807, the post at Grand Forks was reestablished by Alex- 

Vol. 1—4 


ander Henry's sending his cousin, William Henry and seven men there from 
Fort Pembina. A week later, on September 19th, Hugh Heney sent a boat and 
a skiff and six men to Grand Forks to establish a Hudson's Bay Company post 
at that point. 


The spring of 1808 opened at Fort Pembina upon scenes brutal and lawless 
in the extreme, but so familiar had these crimes become to Alexander Henry 
that in his journal he briefly alludes to the murder of an Indian by his wife, and 
to a disturbance on that day, when the Indians in camp at the fort used some 
kegs of high wines that had been given them by William Henry, then in charge 
of the fort, and as a parting treat a ten-gallon keg of alcohol, gratis. 

Chief Porcupine's son was murdered, receiving fifteen stabs from a relative, 
and Mr. Henry observes : "Murders among these people are so frequent that 
we pay little attention to them. The only excuse is that they were drunk." 


The fort at Pembina was attacked by a party of 200 Sioux at midnight of 
July 22, 1808. There were then twenty-two men bearing arms, fifty women and 
many children encamped in the vicinity. 

Alexander Henry defended the fort with the men encamped outside, nine 
men inside, and a mortar loaded with one pound of powder and thirty balls, 
which had recently been added to the equipment. 

At the hour of attack the Indians had been drinking heavily, and were gen- 
erally asleep in their tents. Their arms were in the fort and the gates were 
closed, but when roused they clambered over the stockade and secured their 
arms, hurrying the women and children into the fort. 

The piece when in action was aimed in the direction where the Sioux could 
be plainly heard addressing their men. and no such noise as its roar had ever 
been heard on the Red River before. The balls clattered through the tree tops 
and some took effect, for the lamentations of the Sioux for their fallen comrades 
could be distinctly heard. 

For a few moments only the firing continued and the Sioux were next heard 
at some distance, then farther ofif, farther and farther. .About sunrise they could 
be dimly discerned filing away to the southward. 

Their pursuers found the stain of blood where the Sioux were first heard, and 
evidence of a hasty retreat. On the spot where they put on their war bonnets 
and adjusted their accoutrements, making ready for the assault, upwards of one 
hundred old shoes were found ; also some scalps, remnants of leather and bufi'alo 
robes, saddle cloths, pieces of old saddles, paunches and bladders of water for 
their journey — and a lone grave on the prairie where one of their dead had been 
left. The loss at the fort was one dog killed by the Sioux shots. 


The furs sent from the Red River posts in 1808 included 696 beaver skins. 161 
black bear, 956 marten, 196 mink, 168 otter, 118 fisher. 46 raccoon. There were 


From a painting by Cliarles Bodmer from "Travels to tlie Interior of North America in 

1832-3-4," by Maximilian, Prince of Wied. 1843. 


From a painting by Charles Bodmer from "Travels to the Interior of Nortli America in 

1832-3-4," by Maximilian, Prince of Wied, 1843. 


also shipped 3,159 pounds of maple sugar. The provisions consumed at Fort 
Pembina by the party of that year, consisted, among other things, of 147 buffalo 
(63,000 pounds), 6 deer, 4 bears, 775 sturgeon (weighing from 50 to 150 pounds 
each), 1,150 other fish, 140 pounds of pounded meat and 325 bushels of potatoes. 

Alexander Henry was ordered August 3, iSoS, to the Saskatchewan, to take 
charge of that district (where he lived three years) and in a few days bade fare- 
well to the Red River, after sixteen winters among the Chippewa. 

He was drowned in the Columbia River near St. George, May 22, 1814, on 
the way in a small boat from St. ( ieorge to board a vessel called the Isaac Tod, 
which lay at anchor outside the bar at the mouth of the river. 

The post at Pembina, seized by Governor Robert Semple, ]\Iarch 30, 1816, 
was maintained until 1823. Charles Hesse and Alexander Fraser were there 
when it Vias taken over by the Hudson's Bay Company. 


Charles Hesse was a clerk in the employ of the Xorth-West Company at 
Grand Portage in 1779, and is mentioned in connection with Red River matters 
by Henry, October 16, 1801, when he and his young wife arrived at Red Lake. 
On Februarj' 22, 1804, they went to Red Lake for maple sugar. September i8th 
Hesse left Pembina with eight men to reestablish the post at Park River, which 
was accomplished the first of October. At the same time Augustin Cadotte 
reopened trade at Salt River, to oppose the X. Y. Company. 

In one of the battles between the Siou.x and Chippewa Hesse's property was 
destroyed and all his family were killed, except a daughter, who was taken pris- 
oner by the Sioux. Hesse invaded the camp alone in the hope of effecting her 
rescue, and the Sioux had such great admiration for his bravery that they gave 
him an opportunity to redeem her. He succeeded in raising a considerable sum 
for that purpose from his fellow traders, but his daughter refused to go with 
her white father, preferring her dusky Sioux warrior who had treated her kindly. 


There was traffic of considerable importance on the Red River in these 
early days. Some of the ladings by the North-West Company from Pembina 
in 1808, bound for the mouth of the Assiniboine and Mouse rivers, were as 
follows : 

A long boat — Angus McDonald, Charles Larocque. Pierre ]\lartin, Jean Bap- 
tiste Lambert, 282 bags of pemmican, i bag potatoes, 42 kegs of grease, 2 kegs 
of gum, 224 pieces, 2 pair of cart wlieels, i leather tent, I oilcloth tent, i cow 
(buffalo, slaughtered), bark and wattap (for repairing canoe). 

A boat — Joseph Lambert, Pierre Vandle, .\ntoine Lapointe, 2 kegs of gum, 
5 kegs of grease, 107 pieces, i bag potatoes, i pair cart wheels, i leather tent. 
I oilcloth tent, i cow. 

A Lake Winnipeg canoe — Houle (may be Francois) Charbonneau, Fleury, 
Su])rennant, 21 bags pemmican. i keg of potatoes. 3 kegs of grease, 24 pieces, 
1 buffalo. 


A canoe — Andre Beauchemin, Joseph Bourree, 20 packs, W. W. 2, 13 bags 
of pemmican, i bag of potatoes, 3 kegs of grease, 36 pieces, i buffalo. 

A canoe — Angus Brisbois, Jean Baptiste Larocque, Jean Baptiste Demerais, 
20 packs, W. W. 2, 9 taureaux, 3 kegs or grease, 2 bags of potatoes, ;i2 packs 
and McD.'s baggage, 2 bales of meat, i buffalo. 

A canoe — Louis Demerais, Joseph Plante, Cyrile Paradis, Michael Damp- 
house, 10 packs, W. W. 2, 2 kegs of grease, 2 bags of potatoes, 12 pieces and 
Henry's baggage, 2 buffalo and 4 bales of meat. 

L. L. canoe — Charles Bottineau, Jervis (Gervais) Assiniboine, 22 kegs of 
grease, 1 bag of potatoes, 10 bags of potatoes. 32 pieces, i buffalo. 

S. canoe — Antoine Larocque, Bonhomme iNIenteur, 10 kegs of grease, i bag 
potatoes, I cow. 








"Though watery deserts hold apart 

The worlds of east and west, 
Still beats the self-same human heart 
In each proud nation's breast." 

— Oliver Wendell Holmes. 


The Mississippi River was discovered by Fernando de Soto, a native of Spain 
who in 1519, accompanied the governor of Darien (now Panama) to America, 
leaving his service in 1528, to explore the coast of Guatemala and Yucatan in 
search of a passage between the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. After explorations 
and military service under Pizarro in Peru, early in April, 1538, he undertook 
the conquest of Florida, then a vast region under the Emperor Charles V of 
Spain, sailing with a large expedition, and arriving at Tampa Bay, then called 
Espiritu Santo, May 25, 1539. Seeking gold he explored the rivers of Florida, 
contending with Indians and pestilential fever, and marched to the northwest 
and reaching the Mississippi River in the spring of 1541, he marched southwest 
and northwest in his discoveries, and to the White River, his western limit, then 
proceeding south in March and April, 1542, along the Washita to, and follow- 
ing, the banks of the Mississippi, during May or June, he contracted the fever 
and died at the age of forty-six. His body wrapped in a mantle was buried in 
the stream. 

Spaniards have the reputation of being unsuccessful colonizers and de Soto's 
followers were no exception to the rule. A statement in verse by Prof. William 
P. Trent, in 1898, accurately describes the quality of their policy, and its results : 

"Thine hour has come : a stronger race 
Succeeds and thou must fall. 
Thy pride but adding to thy sad disgrace, 
As wormwood unto gall. 


And yet thou hast but reaped what thou hast sown, 

For in thy pride of strength, 
Thou didst the kingdom of the mind disown, 

And so art sunk at length." 

In the seventeenth century, Robert Cavaher Sieur de La Salle, emigrant from 
France to Canada in 1666, and founder of La Chine, in 1669, was leader of an 
exploring expedition to the head of Lake Ontario and subsequently to the Ohio 
River and down that river to the site of the present City of Louisville. 

In the autumn of 1674, he went to France, and as the result obtained a grant 
of Fort Frontenac and the settlement May 13, 1675. In 1678, having estab- 
lished in Canada a center for the fur trade of French and Indian settlers in 
opposition to another organization, he obtained permission from the French 
government to carry on western explorations for five years, to establish po.sts 
and have exclusive control of the trade in buffalo skins, exception being made 
to trade with the Ottawas who disposed of their furs in Montreal. 

In this voyage of discovery, with a company of about thirty men, he sailed 
for La Rochelle, July 14th, and having established a post, and near the mouth 
of the Niagara River, built a boat of 55 tons, called the "Grift'on," in August, 
1679. set out on his expedition, passing through Lakes Erie, St. Clair, Huron 
and Michigan to Green Bay, thence in canoes to the mouth of the St. Joseph's 
River, where he established a trading post called Fort Miami, then ascending 
the St. Toseph's, he crossed to the Kankakee and sailed down until he reached a 
village of the Illinois, with whom he treated and in January, 1680, having partly 
built a post near the present site of Peoria, called Fort Crevecoeur, he retraced 
his steps to Canada from the mouth of the St. Joseph's, striking across Michigan, 
made his way overland to Lake Erie, and then to his post at Niagara. There he 
assembled another party and set out again for Fort Crevecoeur with supplies, 
but finding the fort abandoned he explored the Illinois River to its mouth., and 
returned for recruits and supplies. December 21, 1681, he started with a party 
from Fort Miami, ascended the Chicago River, crossed to the Illinois and 
descended to the Mississippi, and camping with the Indians kept on until the 
river divided, exploring each channel to the Gulf of Mexico, and on April 9, 
1682, erected a cross and a monument bearing the arms of France and the inscrip- 
tion : "Louis the Great, King of France and of Navarre, Reigns This Ninth of 
April, 1682." at the mouth of the Mississippi, and ran up the French flag, 
taking formal possession of the country tlirough which the river flowed. The 
chanting of the Te Deum, the Exaudiat and the Dominc Salvum fac Regem, was 
included in the exercises, which closed with the firing of a salute and cries of 
"\'ive le Roi." 

Possession was proclaimed in the following words as translated for Sparks' 
Life of La Salle: 

"In the name of the most high, mighty, invincil)lc and victorious prince, 
Louis the Great, by the grace of God, King of France and of Navarre, four- 
teenth of that name, this ninth day of April, 1682, I, in virtue of the coiumis- 
sion of His Majesty, which I hold in my hand, and which may be seen by all 
whom it may concern, have taken, and do now take in the name of His Majesty 
and of his successors to the crown, possession of this country of Louisiana, the 
seas, harbors, ports, bays, adjacent straits, and all the nations, people, provinces. 

From ])aiiiting by E. W. Demiiig, illustrating an incident mentioned by Captain Henrj', ISOl. 


From painting by E. W. Deming, illustrating an incident mentioned by Captain Henry, 1801. 


cities, towns, villages, mines, minerals, fisheries, streams and rivers, comprised 
in the extent of said Louisiana, from the mouth of the great river St. Louis 
on the eastern side otherwise called Ohio, Aligin, Sipore or Chukagona, and this 
with the consent of the Chaonanons, Chickachas and other people dwelling 
therem, with whom we have made alliance, as also along the river Colhert, or 
Mississippi and rivers which discharge themselves therein, from its source, 
beyond the country of the Kious or Nadoucessious, and this with their consent, 
and v.'ith the consent of the Motantes, Illinois, Mesiganeas, Natches, Koreas, 
which an: the most considerable nations dwelling therein, with whom also we 
have made alliance, either by ourselves or by others in our behalf, as far as its 
mouth by the sea or Gulf of Mexico, about the twenty-seventh degree of the ele- 
vation of the North Pole and also to the mouth of the River of Palms; upon 
the assurance which we have received from all these nations that we are the 
first Europeans who have descended or ascended the said River Colbert ; hereby 
protesting against all who may in future undertake to invade any or all of these 
countries, people or lands, above described, to the prejudice of the rights of His 
Majesty, acquired by the consent of the nations therem named. Of which, and 
all that can be needed, I hereby take to witness those who hear me and demand 
an act of the notary as required by law." 

Sixain was then in possession of the Floridas and of the country west of 
Louisiana, which territory embraced all of the country lying between the AUe- 
ghanies and the Rocky Mountains, drained by the streams entering the Gulf of 
Mexico, and their tributaries. It embraced West Virginia, part of Pennsyl- 
vania, North Carolina and Georgia on the east, and parts of Montana, Wyoming 
and ('olorado on the west, and all of the present states of Iowa, Missouri, 
Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Kansas, Nebraska and South Dakota and parts 
of North Dakota, New Mexico and Texas. 

On La Salle's way back to Canada, he laid the foundations of Fort St. 
Louis on the Illinois, and in November, 1683, reached Quebec. He then pro- 
ceeded to France and proposed the settlement of the Mississippi region and 
the conquest of the mining country of Mexico then held by Spain, and April 
14, 1684, he was appointed commandant of all the country from Fort St. Louis 
to the mouth of the Mississippi. He then, on August ist, headed an expedition 
of four ships with 280 colonists to go by sea to the Gulf of Mexico, stopping at 
Santo Domingo, but they passed the mouth of the Mississippi, early in January, 
1685, and landed at the entrance of Matagorda Bay, where he built a fort, called 
St. Louis, and made an attempt at settlement, but it was savagely attacked by 
the Indians and Spanish, who claimed the country, and it proved a failure. 
January 7, 1687, he undertook to make his way back to the Illinois, and on March 
19th, was shot and killed in a revolt of his men. 


The line defining the drainage basin of the Mississippi River on the west 
constituted the limits of "Louisiana" as proclaimed by La Salle, and was adopted 
as the "Louisiana Purchase." The River Palms which was the eastern limit of 
Louisiana, flows into Palm Sound, now called Sarasota Bay, its mouth being 
opposite the southern extremity of Palm Island, now called Sarasota Key. 


The first transfer relative to the Territory of Louisiana was a grant of com- 
mercial rights as far north as the Illinois River for a period of ten years by 
Louis XIV to Antoine de Crozat, September 14, 171 2, subsequently transferred 
to the Mississippi Company, and the entire region known under the name of 
Louisiana together with New Orleans and the island on which that city stands 
was ceded to Spain by treaty of November 3, 1762. Then representatives of 
France, Spain, Great Britain and Portugal met at Paris, February 10, 1763, to 
define the boundaries of their respective possessions in North America, and 
France ceded to Great Britain the territory east of the Mississippi and north 
of latitude thirty-one degrees, and the Mississippi became the boundary between 
Louisiana and the British colonies. The Red River and its tributaries including 
parts of North Dakota and Minnesota and the Canadas became the undisputed 
property of Great Britain. On April 21, 1764, Spain ceded to Great Britain 
all of her territory east of the Mississippi River and south of latitude thirty-one 

September 3, 1783, in the settlement of boundaries at the close of the Revo- 
lutionary war, the LInited States received from Great Britain all that part of the 
original Louisiana ceded to the latter by France in 1763, viz., the Territory of 
Louisiana, east of the Mississippi River and north of latitude thirty-one degrees, 
and Great Britain ceded back to Spain the territory south of latitude thirty-one 
degrees and east of the Mississippi River, which the former had received by the 
treaty of 1763, effectually closing the Mississippi to the United States. Then 
came the retrocession by Spain of the colony or Province of Louisiana to France 
in 1800. 

October i, 1800, by the "Treaty of San Ildefonso," Spain retroceded to 
France the colony or Province of Louisiana, with the same extent it had when 
France originally possessed it, south of latitude thirty-one degrees and east of 
the Mississippi River. This was a secret treaty and Spanish officers still held 

April 30, 1803, for the sum of $15,000,000, the Republic of France ceded to 
the United States the Territory of Louisiana with the same extent that it had 
in the hands of Spain, and when France possessed it, and the United States 
accepted the territory between the Mississippi and Perdido rivers. The terms 
were arranged on the part of the L^nited States by James Monroe, who had been 
a major in the Revolutionary war, afterwards secretary of war in ]\Iadison's 
cabinet during the War of 1812, and fifth President of the United States. He 
was sent to France by President Jefferson, of whom George F. Hoar, senator 
from Massachusetts said : "When we recall Jefferson we recall him with the 
Declaration of Independence in one hand and the treaty for the annexation of 
the Louisiana Territory in the other." 

The treaty was signed by Robert R. Livingston. United States minister to 
France from 1801 to 1804, and James Monroe, on the part of the United 
States, and Barbe IMarbois, on the part of France. Livingston had been instructed 
to negotiate for New Orleans and the Mississippi boundary line: the object of 
the United States Government being to remove all cause for irritation between 
this Government and the French, but Napoleon directed ^Marbois to offer to 
transfer the whole of Louisiana. He said: "I renounce Louisiana. It is not 
only New Orleans that I wish to yield, it is all the colony, without reserving any- 


thing." Provided, he could secure 50,000,000 francs. He secured 80,000,000 
francs, 20,000,000 of which were to be apphcable to the extinguishment of 
claims against France, and 60,000,000 were to be paid in cash to France. Napo- 
leon was in need of money, having sacrificed 200,000,000 francs in his expedition 
against Santo Domingo in 1802-03, without result. 

The region comprehended in this purchase included all the country west of 
the Mississippi not occupied by Spain, as far north as British Territory, and com- 
prised the whole or part of the present states of Arkansas, Colorado, Idaho,. 
Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, North 
Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Washington and Wyoming. 

The American flag was first raised in New Orleans, December 20, 1803. By 
act of Congress March 26, 1804, the territory was divided into two govern- 
ments, that of "Orleans," including the present State of Louisiana west of the 
Mississippi, and a portion east of the river, and a section called "Louisiana," 
comprising all the country north and west of that river. April 8, 1812, the 
Territory of Orleans was admitted into the Union under the title of the State 
of Louisiana, and on the 14th of the same month the remainder of the region 
east of the Mississippi now under the jurisdiction of the state was added. 
The name of the remainder of the territory which had been organized as the 
"Territory of Louisiana" with its capital at St. Louis on March 3, 1805, was on 
the 4th of June, 1812, changed to "Missouri." 

On the day of the Louisiana Centennial Celebration, April 12, 1912, the 
courthouse commissioners floated over the new courthouse in New Orleans, a 
magnificent Louisiana flag, consisting of a solid blue field with the coat-of-arms 
of the state, the pelican feeding its young in white in the center, with a ribbon 
beneath, also in white, containing in blue the motto of the state, "Union, Justice 
and Confidence." This flag had been in use previous to 1861, and after 1877, 
but was not legalized as the state flag until July i, 1912. Together with the 
stars and stripes it now waves over the state house whenever the General 
Assembly is in session, and on public buildings throughout the state on all legal 
holidays and whenever otherwise declared by the governor or the General 

The last conflict of arms between Great Britain and the United States, closing 
the War of 1812, was a great battle of which Gen. Andrew Jackson was the 
commanding oiificer, fought at New Orleans, January 8, 1815, now a legal holiday 
in Louisiana. The British were defeated. Accounts of casualties differ. Some 
give the loss to the British as 2,000. killed, wounded and captured, and the 
-Americans as seven killed and si.x wounded ; otherwise reported eight killed and 
fourteen wounded. James Monroe in a despatch at the time said : "History 
records no example of so glorious a victory obtained with so little bloodshed on' 
the part of the victorious." 


In. 1776, John Ledyard of Connecticut, accompanied Captain James Cook on 
his third voyage around the world, in the hope of reaching the Pacific Coast for 
the purpose of exploration. Captain Cook was murdered by the natives of the 
Sandwich (now the Hawaiian) Islands, and his expedition returned to Eng- 


land, but persisting in his efforts to explore the Pacihc Coast, armed with 
passports from the Russian Government, procured through Thomas Jefferson, 
then United States minister to France, Ledyard, in 1786, left St. Petersburg, 
intending to go by land to Kamschatka, cross on one of the Russian vessels to 
Nootka Sound, enter the latitude of the Missouri, and penetrate through to the 
United States: departing on his journey with full assurance of protection while 
passing through Russian territory. Two hundred miles from Kamschatka, he 
went into winter quarters, and while preparing for his journey the next spring, 
he was arrested February 24, 1788, by an officer of the Russian Government, 
and, forbidden to proceed on his explorations, was conveyed by day and night 
in a closed carriage direct to Poland, where he was released and given to under- 
stand that if again found in Russian territory, he would be hanged. Broken in 
health and spirits, he died in Cairo, Egypt, January 17, 1789, at the age of 
thirty-eight. Many extracts from his letters to Jefferson have been published. 

In 1792, Thomas Jefferson, then secretary of state in the cabinet of George 
Washington, President of the L'nited States, proposed to the American Philo- 
sophical Society a subscription to engage some competent person to explore 
Pouisiana, by ascending the Missouri River, crossing the mountains and descend- 
ing to the Pacific Coast, as Lewis and Clark finally did. 

Capt. Meriwether Lewis of the First United States Infantry, then stationed 
at Charlottesville, \'a., on recruiting service solicited his selection for this service. 
Tie was to be accompanied by a single person only, and Andre Michaux, a dis- 
tinguished French botanist, received the apjiointment. They went as far as 
Kentucky, when the French minister recalled Michaux, on the plea that his 
services were required elsewhere by his government in liotanical research. Thus 
a second attempt to explore Louisiana failed. 


In 1801 Thomas Teff'erson was inaugurated President of the United States. 
Spain had ceded Louisiana back to France and Napoleon Bonaparte was pre- 
paring to defend it against the whole world, luit the war clouds of Europe were 
threatening. Spain had denied to the I'nited States rights ])reviously enjoyed in 
Louisiana and there was dissatisfaction with France through her attitude in 
the Floridas. The Mississippi was practically closed to the United States. A 
proposition had been submitted to the United States Congress, to appropriate 
$5,000,000, and send an army of 50.000 men to seize the mouth of the Mississippi 
River. Robert R. Livingston, United States minister to France, was in Paris, 
endeavoring to arrange the matter amicably with the French. He was joined by 
James Monroe, of ^'irginia, commissioned to assist in the work, in whose hands 
the sum of $2,000,000 was placed to secure the cession of New Orleans and the 
Floridas. While these negotiations were pending with no apparent likelihood of 
success. President Jefferson had proposed to Congress that an expedition be 
sent to trace the Missouri River to its source, crossing the highlands, and follow- 
ing the best water communication to the Pacific Ocean. 

Congress had made this appropriation, and Captain Lewis, who was then 
President Jefferson's private secretarv-, had been chosen to carry the plan into 
effect. Suddenly Napoleon's policy changed and he demanded the L^nited 


States take not only New Orleans and the Floridas, but the whole of Louisiana, 
and the price finally agreed upon was 80,000,000 francs (about fifteen million 
dollars) the French commissioners insisting, however, that the compact must be 
signed and sealed without delay. The envoys assumed the responsibility and 
completed the treaty, which was ratified by a vote of twenty-four to seven in the 
L'nited States Senate, October 20, 1803. The purchase price included 20,000,000 
francs for the payment of the debts of the Louisiana Province which the United 
States assumed. The total e.xpense of the purchase up to June 20, 1880. was 
$27,267,621. The population of the ]jrovince at the time of the purchase did not 

With the conclusion of the treaty. Napoleon, who realized that he must 
lose this vast possession, was happy in the thought that it would not fall to 
England, and that he was free to attack that nationality in another direction. 

Greatness had been "thrust upon'' our country. Jefferson was perplexed, 
for he did not believe that the constitution warranted this transaction. The 
0]jposition stormed and ridiculed. The East was bitter in its opposition, but 
those who were pushing their way westward, knew there was no longer danger 
of attack upon our country from the West. The South rejoiced. 


The instructions to Captain Lewis were signed June 20, 1803. It was not 
then known that Louisiana had been ceded to the L^nited States, though sicch 
treaty was signed on the 30th of x^pril, for the information did not reach this 
country until about the first of July. There were no ocean liners in those days, 
no steamships, no cables to transmit news now flashed across an ocean or a con- 
tinent in a moment : therefore Captain Lewis bore the passports of both the 
French and English ministers, the latter for use on the western part of their 

Captain Lewis had been intimate with the Indians; he was familiar with 
their habits and customs, their hopes and fears, and the tender spots in their 
hearts, and Jefferson knew that nothing but the impossible would divert him 
from his purpose. He could confide in his capacity and courage, for he had 
known him from boyhood, and for two years had employed him as his private 
secretary. He caused him to take special instruction on scientific subjects and to 
make other needful preparation for his work. His instructions required him 
to study the soil and climate, the topography, the inhabitants, etc., and urged 
upon him the importance of extending to the Indians the most friendly treat- 

Tuly 5, 1803, Captain Lewis left Washington, proceeding to Pittsburgh, and 
reaching St. Louis in December of the same year, spent the winter in furtlier 
preparation for work, at the mouth of \\'ood River on the east side of the 
Mississippi River, outside of the jurisdiction of the Spanish officers. 

William Clark, a younger brother of Gen. George Rogers Clark, was asso- 
ciated with Captain Lewis. He had been in the regular army, had resigned on 
account of ill health, and had served as a captain of militia His rank on the 
expedition was second lieutenant of artillery until January 31, 1806, when he 
was promoted first lieutenant. He was promised, however, before undertaking 


the expedition the rank of captain of engineers, and was to have equal rank 
and authority with Captain Lewis. He was so recognized by Captain Lewis. 
His ofificial signature was captain of engineers. 

In addition to Captain Lewis and Captain Clark, the party consisted of four- 
teen picked men from the United States army — born and bred among the 
dangers and difficulties incident to frontier life, nine young men from Kentucky, 
two French watermen, an interpreter, a hunter and the colored servant of 
Captain Clark, named "York,'' also, a corporal and six men and nine water- 
men, who were to return when they reached the Mandan nation. 

Their means of transportation was a keel-boat fifty-five feet long drawing 
three feet of water. It carried one large square sail and twenty-two oars, and 
had a deck of ten feet in the bow and stern, affording cabin and forecastle. 
Midships it was fitted with lockers, which might be raised for breastworks in case 
of need. There were, also, two open boats, one of six and the other of seven 

After spending the winter at Wood River, they broke camp May 14, 1804, at 
4 P. M. and made four miles that evening, the next day making ten miles, and 
reached St. Charles the third day. St. Charles then had about four hundred and 
fifty inhabitants, relying principally for stibsistence upon hunting and trade with 
the Indians. 


On the 23rd they found a small American settlement at Goodman Creek, and 
in a few days evidently encountered the "June rise" in the Missouri River, for 
they speak of the cut banks of the river falling so rapidly as to force them to 
change their course instantly to the other side. The sand bars were shifting 
continuously, and the current was so strong, that it was scarcely possible to 
make any headway. Some days by the aid of .the sail, even, it was impossible to 
make more than four miles. 

The current of the river at the time of the June rise is about seven miles an 
hour. The river runs nearly bank full from the melting snows in the mountains, 
and the heavy rains of that season, and wherever the current strikes the shore it 
quickly cuts away the banks, which tumble in ; several rods of the bank often 
disappearing in one day. The water is extremely muddy, but when settled is 
considered perfectly pure and healthful, and is clear above the mouth of the 
Yellowstone River, where that stream joins the ^Missouri. 


Lewis and Clark arrived at the three Arikara villages about three miles 
above the mouth of the Grand River, October 8. 1804. The villages extended 
up the river about four miles, and numbered about two thousand six hundred 
men. The first composed of about sixty lodges, was on an island three miles 
in length, covered with fields of com, beans, potatoes and squashes. The prin- 
cipal chiefs of the first village were Kakawissassa or Lighting Crow, Pocasse 
or Hay and Piaheto or Eagle's Feather. 

The chief of the second village was Lassel and the chief of the third village,. 




Ar-ke-tar-na-shar, who accompanied the expedition to the Mandan villages for 
the purpose of negotiating a peace treaty between the Arikaras and Alandans, 
who were then at war. 

Lewis and Qark met the Indians in council at their respective villages, and 
after stating the object of their visit, urged the importance of maintaining peace 
with the Mandans and Hidatsas, especially in view of the aggressive disposition 
■of the Sioux. In token of their appreciation of the friendly advice given them, 
the Indians stipplied them liberally from their store of corn and beans. They 
also gave them a quantity of large, rich beans, collected by the gophers ("prairie 
mice" as written in their journal), and secured from their burrows by the 
squaws. In return they gave the Indians a steel corn mill and other appropriate 

Several Frenchmen were living at the Arikara villages ; among them Joseph 
Gravelines and Anthony Tabeau, traders, were active in bringing the Indians 
together for a conference on October loth. Another meeting was held on the 
nth at the upper Arikara V^illage, and another on the 12th. On the 14th they 
passed the forty-sixth parallel. 

Gravelines accompanied one of the chiefs to the Mandan villages in connec- 
tion with the proposed peace negotiations, and a peace treaty was finally arranged 
between the Arikaras, Mandans and Hidatsas. now known as the Berthold 
Indians, which has been maintained between these tribes for more than one 
hundred years. 

Sergt. Patrick Cass, who accompanied the expedition, visited a large number 
of Indian lodges, and in his memoirs left a very interesting description of the 
Arikara lodge or dwelling house, as follows : 

"In a circle of a size suited to the dimensions of the intended lodge, they 
set up sixteen forked posts, five or six feet high, and lay poles from one fork 
to another. Against these poles they lean other poles, slanting from the ground 
and extending about four inches above the cross poles; these are to receive the 
ends of the upper poles that support the roof. They next set up four large 
forks fifteen feet high and about ten feet apart, in the middle of the area, 
and poles or beams between these. The roof poles are then laid on, extending 
from the lower poles across the beams, which rest on the middle forks of such 
a length as to leave a hole at the top for a chimney. The whole is then covered 
with willow branches, except the chimney and a hole below to pass through. 
On the willow branches they lay grass and lastly clay. At the hole below they 
build a pen about four feet wide and projecting ten feet from the hut, and hang 
a buffalo skin at the entrance of the hut for a door. This labor, like every other 
kind, is chiefly performed by the squaws." 

The ground on the inside of the lodge was excavated for about a foot and 
a half below the surface, and the earth from the excavation was thrown up 
against the poles, forming an embankment which added to the warmth and 
served as a protection in case of attack. The lodges were large enough to admit 
the horses belonging to the family, separated by a partition from the living 

In approaching the Arikara villages the expedition had passed through a long 
strip of country occupied by the Sioux, who were threatening and defiant in their 
attitude. Captain Lewis in his journal, thus writes of them: 


"Relying on a regular sujiply of merchandise through the channel of the St. 
Peters (Minnesota) River, they viewed with contempt the merchants of the 
Missouri, whom they never fail to plunder when in their power. Persuasion or 
advice with them is viewed as supplication, and only tends to inspire them with 
contempt for those who offer either. The tameness with which the merchants 
of the ]\fissouri have hitherto submitted to their rapacity, has tended not a little 
to inspire them with contempt for the white persons who visit them through 
that channel. A prevalent idea among them, and one that they make the rule 
of their conduct, is that the more illy they treat the traders, the greater quantity 
of merchandise they will bring them, and that they will obtain the articles they 
wish on better terms; they have endeavored to inspire the Ricaras (.\rikaras) 
with similar sentiments, but, happily without considerable ef?ect." 

Yet the Sioux were- in the possession of some good qualities. The late Gen- 
eral Gouverneur K. Warren served among them as an officer of the United States 
army, and knew them well, and in his reports spoke kindly of them. In 1855,. 
he wrote : 

"I have always found the Dakotas exceedingly reasonable beings, with a very 
proper appreciation of' their rights. What they yield to the whites they expect 
to be paid for, and I have never heard a prominent man of their nation express 
any opinion in regard to what was due them in which I did not concur. Many 
of them view the extinction of their race as the inevitable result of the operation 
of present causes, and do so with all the feeling of despair with which we should 
contemplate the extinction of our nationality." 

The Sioux claimed a vast extent of country and within its limits were at 
all times ready to contend for what they regarded their rights. .A.mong the 
characteri.stics of the Sioux was their fondness for intoxicating liquors, and 
they would make almost any sacrifice to obtain it ; but of the Arikaras it was 
said by Lewis and Clark : 

"We were equally gratified at the discovery that the Ricarees made use of 
no spirituous liquors of any kind, the example of the traders who bring it to 
them, so far from tempting, having, in fact, disgusted them. Supposing it was 
as agreeable to them as to other Indians, we had ofifered them whiskey, but they 
refused it with the sensible remark that they were surprised that the father 
should present to them a liquor which would make them fools." 

On another occasion they observed that no man could be their friend who 
tried to lead them into such follies. 

None of the Missouri River Indians were then addicted to the use of intoxi- 
cating liquors, excepting the Sioux, who obtained it from the British traders 
on the Minnesota River, and the Assiniboines who secured it from the P>ritish 
traders on the Assiniboine River. 

The attitude of the Arikaras was friendly, and in speaking of the Sioux who- 
had closed the way to trade to them, forcing them to rely on the Sioux for 
arms and ammunition, their principal chief said the door to their country was 
now open and no man dare close it. 

There were some things, however, they believed to be essential to their 
happiness. They were poor, but they would give anything for red paint. They 
were tender-hearted and very proud. When one of the soldiers of the expedi- 
tion was punished by whijaping, an Indian chief cried aloud in agony. He said 


his people sometimes exacted the penalty of death for misdemeanors, but never 
that of being whipped, not even from children. 


October i8th the party reached Cannonball River, and in their journal great 
herds of Inilifalo, elk, deer and goats (antelope) are noted. From one point they 
counted fifty-two distinct herds of buffalo and three of elk. The great plains 
surrounding the location of the future City of Bismarck were literally covered 
with Ijuffalo, elk. antelope and other game. 

Arriving at Sibley Island on the 20th they made note of the deserted Mandan 
villages in the vicinity of Bismarck and Mandan, and the old fortified village 
about a mile from the site of the present capital of North Dakota. The beau- 
tiful plains and the presence of coal near the locality where Washburn is situated 
were specially attractive features. 

The Mandans informed Lewis and Clark that it was about forty years since 
they left their villages about Bismarck and Mandan, and moved up to the- Knife 


October 27, 1804, they went into camp for the winter at a point a short 
distance below the mouth of Knife River, in latitude 47 degrees, 21 minutes, and 
47 seconds, and the computed distance from the mouth of the Missouri, 1,600 

On the second day after their arrival, an extensive prairie fire raged in the 
vicinity of the Mandan villages, resulting in several serious accidents. One 
woman, caught by the fire with a half-white baby in her arms, dropped the 
child on the prairie, covered it with a green or uncured bufifalo skin, and made 
good her own escape from the flames. The fire passed around the child, leaving 
it uninjured. The Indians accepted this incident as proof that the whites were 
good medicine, and this to a large extent, accounted for their kindly disposition 
toward the expedition. 

October 29th, they had a council with the Indians, and gave appropriate 
presents to the chiefs of each village. To Black Cat the Grand Chief, they gave 
an American flag. * 

The chiefs made or recognized that day by Lewis and Clark, were as follows: 

Of the first or lower Mandan village, situated on the present site of Deapolis, 
then known as Matootonha, first chief, Shahaka or Big White ; second chief, 
Ka-goh-ha-mi or Little Raven ; inferior chiefs were Ohheena or Big Man, a 
Cheyenne captive adopted by the Mandans, and She-ta-har-re-ra or Coal. 

Of the second village, called Roop-tar-hee, the only one situated on the north 
side of the Missouri River, they made Pose-cop-sa-he or Black Cat, the first chief 
of the village and the grand chief of the whole Mandan tribe. His second chief 
was Car-gar-no-mok-she, or Raven Man Chief ; the inferior chiefs were Taw- 
nuh-e-o Bcl-lar-sara and Ar-rat-tana-mock-she, wolf man chief. 

The third village in the immediate vicinity of the present site of Stanton, was 
called Mah-har-ha and of this Ta-tuck-co-pin-re-ha or white bufifalo robe un- 
folded, was the first chief, and Min-nis-sur-ra-ree, or Neighboring Horse, and 


Le-cong-gar-ti-bar, or Old Woman at a Distance, were recognized as inferior 

Half a mile from this village was a Minnetaree village called Me-te-har-tan. 
Of this Omp-se-ha-ra, or Black Moccasin, was first chief, and Oh-harh, or Little 
Fox, second chief. 

The Ahnaways, called Souliers by the French, lived in this village. They 
merged with the Hidatsas about thirty years later, and have since been recognized 
-as a part of that tribe. The Souliers numbered, at this time, about 50 men, the 
Hidatsa .450, and the Mandans 350. 

The fourth village was called Me-te-har-tan. The principal chief was Mar- 
noh-tah, or Big Thief ; he was at war and was killed soon afterwards. 

The chiefs recommended were Mar-se-rus-se, or Tail of the Calumet Bird, 
Ea-pa-ne-pa, or Two-Tailed Calumet Bird, and War-ke-ras-sa, the Red Shield. 

The fifth or Hidatsa village was on the north side of the Knife River, ij4 
miles above its mouth, near Causey. It was the home of Le Borgne, Mau-pah- 
pir-re-cos-sa-too, the dominating influence in the Mandan villages, but he was 
absent at the time of the arrival of Lewis and Clark. The chiefs recommended 
at tlie council for recognition were Sha-hake-ho-pin-nee, or Little Wolf, Medi- 
•cine and Ar-rat-toe-no-mook-ge, Man Wolf Chief, who was at war. He was 
represented by Cal-tar-co-ta, or Cherry on the Bush, by whom the usual chief's 
presents were sent to Le Borgne. 

When David Thompson of the North-West Company visited the Mandan 
villages in 1796 he found in the five villages 318 houses and seven tents. There 
were then two villages on the north side of the Missouri River, united in one 
heiore the visit of Lewis and Clark. This village was about three miles from 
the other Mandan villages on the Knife River. 


Lewis and Clark established at their, camp a post which was known as Fort 
Mandan, consisting of two rows of huts or sheds, forming an angle where they 
joined e?ch other. Each row had four rooms, fourteen feet square and seven 
feet high, with plank ceiling, and the roof slanting so as to form a loft above the 
rooms, the highest part of which was eighteen feet above the ground. The body 
of the huts formed a wall of that height. Opposite the angle the place of the 
wall was supplied by picketing, and in the rear were two rooms for stores and 
provisions. The American flag was raised over Fort Mandan for the first time 
December 25, 1804, and this was probably the first time that the flag floated in 
North Dakota. 


The flag raised by Lewis and Clark over Fort Mandan was the flag adopted 
by the United States Congress January 13, 1794, with fifteen stripes and fifteen 
stars, instead of the original thirteen stripes and thirteen stars provided by the 
act of June 14, 1777. Congress first met in Washington November 17, 1800, 
and Ohio, the seventeenth state, was the first one to be admitted in Washington 
and bears the date April 30. 1802. After that there were no states admitted 

From a painting by Charles Bodmer from "Travels to the Interior of North America in 
1833-3-4," by Maximilian, Prince of Wied, 1843. 


From a painting by Charles Bodmer from "Travels to the Interior of North America in 

1832-3-4," by Maximilian, Prince of Wied, 1843. 


for ten years, or until Louisiana joined the Union, April 8, 1812. But not until 
the act of April 4, 181S, was provision made for adding a star for each state 


"Your Flag and my Flag ! 

To every star and stripe 
The drums beat as hearts beat 

And fifers shrilly pipe ! 
Your Flag and my Flag — 
A blessing in the sky: 
Your hope and my hope — 
It never hid a lie I 

Home land and far land, and half the world around, 
Old Glory hears our glad salute, and ripples to the sound 1" 

—Wilbur D. Nesbit. 

Since the dawn of our republic there have been at least four distinctive flags 
for which their devotees were willing to sacrifice their lives. They were the 
"Pine Tree State," the "Rattlesnake," "Liberty and Union," and the "Stars and 
Stripes" of 1777. 

Flags of various designs had been in use by the soldiers of the American 
colonies in the early days and Revolutionary as well as more recent exploration 
periods, the "Bear Flag." for example, now being jealously guarded by the 
Pacific Coast pioneers. 

The "New England Flag," used during the Colonial and Provincial periods, 
was white, bearing the red cross of St. George, with a pine tree in the corner. 
The pine tree is still borne on one side of the flag of the State of Massachusetts. 
The flag which was carried at the siege of Boston bore the crosses of St. Andrew 
and .St. George in the corner. , 

Two years before the signing of the Declaration of Independence, on October 
21, 1774, the patriots of Taunton, a small town in the State of Massachusetts, 
as a protest against rule, raised over the "Green," in the center of the 
town, a flag inscribed "LTnion and Liberty." It was the first flag of the z\meri- 
can colonies in opposition to the British, and has been immortalized in verse by 
Hezekiah Butterworth under the title of "The Red Flag of Taunton." 


The first stripes used on the American colors were borne by cavalry in 1775. 
The colors presented to the Philadelphia Light Horse Troop, organized 1774, 
were made of bright yellow (for cavalry) silk, forty inches long, thirty-four 
inches broad, and had thirteen blue and silver stripes alternate in the corner or 
canton. Over the crest in the center of the banner, a horse's head, were the 
letters "L. H." (Light Horse). Underneath was a scroll, with the words. "For 
These We Strive," and on the sides an Indian and an angel blowing a trumpet. 
The flag that flew from Washington's headquarters in Cambridge, Mass., first 
run up January i, 1776, was composed of thirteen red and white stripes, with 
the crosses of St. George and St. Andrew emblazoned on the blue space, instead 


of the stars. In February of that year from the fleet on the Delaware River the 
same flag floated. 


At the celebration by Congress of the first anniversary of the signing of the 
Treaty of Alliance, Amity and Commerce, which took place at Paris, February 
6, 1778, whereby France recognized the independence of the United States, this 
being the first treaty made by the United States with any foreign power, thirteen 
toasts were drunk. The eleventh honored the flag in a practical manner : 

"May the American stripes bring Great Britain to reason." 

The flag then had thirteen stripes. 

"My forefathers were America in the making; 
They spoke in her council halls ; 
They died on her battlefields; 
They commanded her ships; 
They cleared her forests. 
Dawns reddened and paled, 

Stanch hearts of mine beat fast at each new star 
In the Nation's flag. 

Keen eyes of mine foresaw her greater glory; 
The sweep of her seas. 
The plenty of her plains, 
> The man-hives in her billion-wired cities. 

Every drop of blood in me holds a heritage of patriotism. 
I am proud of my past. 
I am an American." 

— Elias Liehcrman. 

The United States flag was first seen and saluted in foreign lands February 
14, 1778, flying from the United States ship Ranger as she sailed into the harbor 
of Brest, in command of John Paul Jones, and received from the French 
commander the salute from the guns of his fleet. 

The decline of the royal ensign took place on the 25th of November, 1783, 
when the British troops evacuated New York, the stars and stripes being hoisted 
in the city while the royal ensign was run down. 


June 14, 1777, the United States Congress adopted a resolution that the flag 
of the thirteen independent states should be thirteen stripes alternate red and 
white, and that the union be thirteen stars, white on a blue field, representing a 
new constellation. The thirteen original states in order of settleinent, were : 
Virginia, New York, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Connecticut, Maryland, 
Rhode Island. Delaware, North Carolina, New Jersey, South Carolina, Penn- 
•sylvania and Georgia. 

The original domain of the United States over which the flag held dominion, 
comprised the thirteen states with the additional area acquired by conquest from 
Great Britain ; the whole being bounded on the west by the Mississippi River, 
on the south by the thirty-first parallel of latitude, — the Florida boundary, — • 
on the east by the Atlantic Ocean, and on the north by the British possessions. 
The part of the area called the Northwest Territory, in which New York, Penn- 


sylvania, Massachusetts, Connecticut and Virginia originally held claims, was 
subsequently relinquished to the general government. Its domain is today (1916) 
estimated at three million six hundred and eighty-six thousand seven hundred 
and eighty square miles, including insular dependencies. 

The public announcement of the adoption of the flag and the design, occurred 
on September 3, 1777, and it was first displayed at l^'ort Schuyler in 1777, on 
the site of the present city of Rome, N. Y., where there was a garrison of about 
eight hundred men to whom the new statute regarding the flag was announced 
on the evening of the second day of August, and a flag, composed of cloth 
cut out of wearing apparel, but complete according to the statute, was made, and 
the next day, with due formality, the drummer beating the "assembly," and the 
adjutant reading the resolution, the flag of the republic was raised on the north- 
east bastion of the fort, that being nearest the camp of the enemy. This much 
is absolutely certain regarding the flag's nativity. It cannot be antedated, and it 
had thirteen stars and thirteen stripes, and January 13, 1794, in order to add 
two more states, — Vermont (which produced many strong pioneers for the 
western states, and celebrated her one hundred and twenty-fifth anniversary 
July 12, 1916) 1791, Kentucky, 1792 — the flag was changed by law to take 
etfect May i, 1795, to comprise fifteen stripes alternate red and white; the Union 
being represented by fifteen stars, white in a blue field, and this was the national 
flag during the War of 1812, and the one which was apostrophized by Francis 
Scott Key, the "Star Spangled Banner," while waving over Fort McHenry, Sep- 
tember 14, 1814, adding Tennessee, 1796, Ohio, 1802, and Louisiana, 1812; but 
from quite evident considerations of expediency, in the face of rapidly accumu- 
lating states to be represented, it was found necessary to settle upon the number 
of stripes and stars, and on April 4, 1818, the act was passed and approved by 
President James Monroe, that required after the Fourth of July following, the 
flag of the United States should be thirteen horizontal stripes, alternate red and 
white, and that the union should comprise twenty stars, white on a blue field. 

Also, (Section 2) it was further enacted that on the admission of every 
new state into the Union, one star be added to the union of the flag, and that 
such addition should take efifect on the Fourth of July next succeeding such 

The first flag of this description was hoisted on the flagstaflf of the old house 
of representatives at Washington on April 13, 1818, and up to the present time 
this regulation has been observed upon the admission of each new state to the 
Union, except in respect to the United States revenue flag, the stripes on which 
number sixteen, running vertically, but in 100 years of vicissitude more or less 
aggrandizing, the banner seems to have become in a measure self-adjustable, 
for in 1912, by measurements in the process of preparing the pattern it was 
found that while the proportionate size of the blue field to the rest of the flag 
had not been increased, the proportion of blue in the national emblem had grown 
in a marked degree, while the stars had diminished in size. 


The Coast Guard was created by act of Congress Januarj- 28, 191 5, and takes 
the place of the Revenue Cutter Service, established in 1790, and the Life Saving 


Service which dates back to 1848, and constitutes a part of the miHlary forces 
of the United States. 

The distinctive flag flown from the foremast on all coast guard cutters causes 
many inquiries as to its origin, and the following extracts from the annual 
report of the United States Coast Guard for 1915 will therefore be of interest. 

"Nine years after the establishment of the Revenue Cutter Service, the 
forebear of the existing Coast Guard, Congress, in the act of March 2, 1799, 
provided that : 

" 'The cutters and boats employed in the service of the revenue shall be 
distinguished from other vessels by an ensign and pennant, with such marks 
thereon as shall be prescribed by the President. H any vessel or boat, not 
employed in the service of the revenue, shall, within the jurisdiction of the 
United States, carry or hoist any pennant or ensign prescribed for vessels in such 
service, the master of the vessel so offending shall be liable to a penalty of 

"Under date of August i, 1799, the secretary of the treasury, Oliver Wolcott, 
issued an order announcing that in pursuance of authority from the President 
the distinguishing ensign and pennant should consist of 'sixteen perpendicular 
stripes, alternate red and white, the Union of the ensign to be the arms of the 
United States in dark blue on a white field.' " 

This picturesque flag, with its vertical stripes, now so familiar in American 
waters, was arranged with historical detail, inasmuch as in the union of the flag 
there are thirteen stars, thirteen leaves to the olive branch, thirteen arrows, and 
thirteen bars to the shield, all corresponding to the original number of states 
constituting the Union at the time of the founding of the Republic. The six- 
teen vertical stripes in the body of the flag are symbolical of the number of states 
composing the Union when this flag was offlcially adopted. Originally intended 
to be flown only on revenue cutters and boats connected with the customs service, 
in the passage of time there grew up a practice of flying this distinctive flag from 
certain custom-houses, and finally, by direction of the Secretary of the Treasury, 
in 1874, it was flown from all custom-houses. From then until 1910 it was 
displayed indiscriminately on custom-houses, customs boats, and revenue cutters. 

In order, therefore, that this distinctive ensign, the sign of authority of a 
cutter, should be used for no other purpose as originally contemplated. President 
Taft issued the following E.xecutive Order on June 7, 1910: 

"By virtue of the authority vested in me under the provisions of section 2764 
of the revised statutes, I hereby prescribe that the distinguishing flag now used 
by vessels of the Revenue-Cutter Service be marked by the distinctive emblem 
of that service, in blue and white, placed on a line with the lower edge of 
the union, and over the center of the seventh vertical red stri])e from the mast 
of said flag, the emblem to cover a horizontal space of three stripes. This change 
to be made as soon as practicable." 

"Upon the establishment of the coast guard, which absorbed the duties of 
the Revenue-Cutter Service, the ensign described above became the distinctive 
flag of coast guard cutters, which if flown from any other vessel or boat within 
che jurisdiction of the United States will subject the offender to the penalty of 
the law." 


00 iL 

2. ^ 


THE WINTER OF l804-'05 

The winter of 1804-05, was a cold one. The mercury sometimes dropped 
as low as 47 degrees below zero, and yet there was much of interest occurring 
during that winter. The Indians were frequent visitors, bringing their corn 
and game in exchange for the work of the blacksmith. Arrow points, made from 
iron hoops, and battle axes from a cast-off sheet-iron stove, were of particular 
value to them. While the Indians were jealous of the reputation of their wives 
and daughters, and resented any advances made by their brother Indians, they 
were not averse to attentions from their white visitors, and were solicitous to a 
degree for York, who was preferred to any one of the party. 

The soldiers visited the lodges, sometimes dancing for the amusement of the 
Indians. York generally accompanied them and was the star attraction at all 
times, entertaining them with his stories. He assured them that he was a wild 
man until caught and tamed by Captain Clark, and told them other stories of like 

The Indians made it a rule to ofTer food to the white men on their first 
entrance to their homes, indeed, there was nothing too good to place before them 
and urge upon them, and the union of the whites with the natives, may account 
for the light hair and blue eyes found among the Mandans. 

The women were noted for their industry and for their obedience to their 
husbands' commands. When their husbands desired to make a present to the 
little garrison of meat or corn, they brought it "on the backs of their scjuaws," 
whose services they were ready to lend for any other purpose for a slight con- 
sideration, or as an act of friendship. 

Many little incidents occurred during the winter to endear the whites to 
the Indians of these villages, but nothing more than the fact that when the 
Sioux made a raid and killed some of their hunters. Captain Clark turned out 
nearly his entire force, armed and equipped, and offered to lead the Indians 
against the Sioux. 


The extreme cold did not interfere seriously with the Indian sports, and 
Captain Lewis speaks of the beautiful northern lights, still characteristic of 
North Dakota. He writes : 

"Along the northern sky was a large space occupied by a pale but brilliant 
color, which, rising from the horizon, extended itself to nearly 20 degrees 
above it. After glistening for some time, its colors would be overcast and 
almost obscured, but again would burst out with renewed beauty. The uniform 
color was pale light, but its shapes were various and fantastic. At times the 
sky was lined with light-colored streaks, rising perpendicularly from the horizon 
and gradually expanding into a body of light in which we could trace the floating 
columns, sometimes advancing, sometimes retreating, and shaping into infinite 
forms the space in which they moved." 

Much of the winter was spent in gaining information from the Indians in 
relation to the country, and as to the number, habits, customs and traditions of 
the several tribes. 


Rene Jessaume had resided at the villages about fifteen years. He was 
entirely familiar with the language and habits of the Indians, and was accordingly 
employed as a Alandan interpreter, and immediately took up his residence at the 
camp of the explorers. In the course of the winter Toussaint Charbonneau was 
employed as an Hidatsa interpreter, and he and his good wife Sakakawea, the 
"Bird-Woman," who became the Shoshone interpreter after reaching the plains 
of Montana, also took up their residence at the fort. Joseph Gravelines was the 
Arikara interpreter, and John B. LePage, who was also employed at the Mandan 
villages, the Cheyenne interpreter. 


Hugh McCracken, an independent trader, associated usually with the North- 
West Company, was at the Mandan villages at the time of the arrival of Lewis 
and Clark, for the purpose of trading for bufjalo robes and horses. The 
explorers took advantage of his presence to send special copies of their pass- 
ports to Mr. Charles Chaboillez and asked the friendly offices of the North- West 
Company on their trip to the Pacific Coast. In due time they received a reply, 
with the assurance that the North-West Company would afi^ord them every 
assistance within their power. 

They were, also, visited during the winter by Charles McKenzie and Francois 
A. Larocque of the North-West Company, and later, by Hugh Fleney, of the 
Hudson's Bay Company. Some of these parties visited Fort Mandan several 
tirnes during the winter, and were allowed to trade at the villages without any 

When the river was breaking up in the spring, the Indians fired the prairie, 
and drove the bufl'alo on to the ice and killed many of them on cakes of ice and 
towed them ashore. A large number were drowned, and many of these were 
taken by the Indians and used for meat. 

During the winter a large number of specimens were gathered or prepared 
by the party, and shipped to President Jefferson by the barge which left the 
villages the same day that Lewis and Clark left for the Pacific Coast. 

The river broke up on the 25th of March. 1S05, and April ist, the boats were 
again placed in the water. Captain Lewis notes that the first rain since October 
iSth, fell on that day. They had spent a winter of bright sunshine, and such 
winters often occur now as well as 100 years ago. 

One day they were out on the river bottoms, in February, and killed 3,000 
pounds of game, among the lot thirty-six deer. Deer are still found on the 
river bottoms. Tlie buft'alo are gone, but myriads of ducks and geese still 
come and go. 

At the time of their departure for the Pacific Coast, Corporal Richard Warf- 
ington, whose term had expired, but who was held in the service for the purpose, 
left in the barge for St. Louis, with Joseph Gravelines, pilot, and six soldiers. 
They carried the specimens intended for the president, and were accompanied 
by an Arikara chief, who went to Washington in charge of Mr. Gravelines. The 
chief died in Washington, but Gravelines returned to the tribe in i8ofi. with the 
presents received by the chief, and a message from the President to the tribe. 

On the 7th of April, 1805, the party then consisting of thirty-two persons. 


pulled out of Fort Mandan for the Pacific coast via the headwaters of the 
Missouri. The names of the party were as follows : 


Commissioned officers: Captains, William Clark, Meriwether Lewis. Non- 
commissioned officers : Sergeants, Patrick Gass, John Ordway, Nathaniel B. 
Prior and Corporal Richard Warfington, detailed for Washington; privates, 
William Bratton, John Colter, John Collins, Peter Cruzette, Joseph Fields, 
Reuben Fields, Robert Frazier, George Gibbon, Silas Goodrich, Plugh Hull, 
Thomas P. Howard, Francis Labiche, Baptiste LePage, Hugh McNeill, John 
Potts, George Shannon, John Shields, John B. Thompson, William Werner, 
Joseph Whitehouse, Alexander Willard, Richard Windsor, Peter Wiser, York. 

The interpreters were George Drewyer and Toussaint Charbonneau, a French- 
Canadian voyageur, the latter accompanied by his wife Sakakawea, and a child 
born February ii, 1805, in the camp of the explorers at the Mandan villages. 
Drewyer was a half-blood Indian, and was the hunter of the expedition. He was 
afterward associated with Manuel Lisa in the fur trade as George Drouillard. 
They used six canoes and two pirogues (a boat made out of a long soft wood 
log) for their trip above the Mandan villages. One of the canoes was sunk the 
next day. 


The expedition returned from the Pacific Coast to the Mandan villages, Sep- 
tember 17, 1806. Fort Mandan had been destroyed by an accidental fire, but 
they were most cordially received by the Indians. They gave Le Borgne full 
recognition on his reporting that he had not received the presents sent him by 
Cherry on the Bush, and presented him with a new lot befitting his station. They, 
also, gave him the swivel gun which had been used to salute or "talk," as they 
called it, to all the tribes with whom they had dealings on their trip. This gift 
was received by Le Borgne with great satisfaction, and carried to his headquar- 
ters with much ceremony. 

Independent British traders established a post at the mouth of the James 
River in 1804, after the expedition had passed that point and when Lewis and 
Clark returned in 1806, it was in charge of James Aird, representing Robert , 
Dickson, then operating on the headwaters of the Mississippi and on the IMinne- 
sota rivers. 

Hastening to St. Louis tlie explorers gave by their arrival the first infonna- 
tion relative to them which had been received in the states since they left the 
Mandan villages in April, 1805. 

Charbonneau not wishing to return to the states, remained at the Indian 
villages. Rene Jessaume was employed as an interpreter, and accompanied the 
Mandan Chief Shahaka to Washington with Captains Lewis and Clark. 

It was the middle of February, 1807, before they reached the national capital 
and on March 3, 1807, Captain Lewis was appointed governor of Louisiana 
Territory. He died October 11, 1809, at the age of thirty-four years, while in 
that position. His death was attributed to suicide, but there is reason to believe 


that he was murdered and robbed at the inn where he was stopping on his way to 
Washington in connection with the adjustment of his accounts. The owner of 
the inn where he died was tried for his murder but the evidence was not suf- 
ficient to convict. The body of Governor Lewis, when found, had but 25 cents 
in money on it, and the inn keeper after his acquittal, displayed considerable 
money which he had suddenly acquired. It is not probable that Governor Lewis 
would have taken an official trip without money for the payment of his bills. His 
body was buried within the limits of the State of Tennessee near the spot where 
he was shot, and a monument was erected by the state to commemorate his life 
and work. 

March 12, 1807, Captain Clark was appointed by President Jeif'erson briga- 
dier-general of the militia of the Territory of Louisiana, and agent of the Lhiited 
States for Indian afl:"airs in that department. 

He was reappointed by President James Madison, February 11, 181 1. Louis- 
iana having been admitted as a state April 30, 1812, and the Territory of 
Missouri having been created, he was appointed governor of that territory by 
President Madison, July i, 1813. He was reappointed by President James Mon- 
roe, January 21 1817. On the admission of Missouri as a state, January 24, 
1820, he became a candidate for governor but was defeated by Alexander McNair. 

In May, 1822, President Monroe appointed him U. S. Superintendent of 
Indian Afifairs, and in October, 1824, he was appointed surveyor general of the 
states of Illinois and Missouri. In 1825, he negotiated several treaties with the 
Indians, and had an advisory influence on the treaties made that year with his 
old friends, the Mandans, Gros Ventres (Hidatsas) and the Arikaras by Gen. 
Henry Atkinson and Maj. Benjamin O'Fallon, U. S. Indian agent. General 
Clark died September i, 1838, in his sixty-ninth year. 


"And the pleasant water-courses, 
You could trace them through the valley, 
By the rushes in the spring-time, 
Bj' the alders in the summer. 
By the white fog in the autumn, 
By the black line in the winter, 
And beside them dwelt the singer." 

■ — Henry IV. Longfellow. 

Toussaint Charbonneau's Indian wife sang merrily as a bird, and was known 
as the "Bird-Woman." By birth a Shoshone of Wyoming, and daughter of a 
chief, she was captured at eleven years of age from the Snake Tribe of Shoshones 
by the Missouri River Indians, in one of their battles with her tribe, and had 
been sold to Charbonneau, who lived with the Gros Ventres at the Mandan 
villages. She was reared by the Gnjs \'entres, wearing their costume, and it 
was they who named her "Tsa-ka-ka-wea-sh." which in the Indian language 
means, according to Prof. Orrin Grant Libby, of the North Dakota Historical 
Society, Bird-Woman. As written in Gros Ventres, "Tsa-ka-wa" signifies bird, 
"wea," woman; "sh," the. It was said she was uncommonly comely. 

Before being taken from her native tribe, she had traveled over much of 


Granddaughter of Sakaka- 
wea. Photo liy A. P. Porter of 
Lander, Wyoming, for the 
Early History of North Dakota. 

(Mandan Fair, 1912) 



the country, east and west of the Rocky Mountains, and thus was able to furnish 
vakiable information relative thereto. Because of her belief in, and devotion to 
her husband, she had confidence in the white men who were making their way 
to the land of her birth, and with much earnestness urged that her presence 
in the camp with her child, would be a means of protection to them, and her 
ability to talk with the mountain Indians a real help. 

So far as known, she was the first Indian convert to the Christian religion, 
west of the Missouri River, and the first pioneer mother to cross the Rocky 
Mountains and carry her babe into the Oregon country. While she crooned to 
her chubby brown baby during the long winter, a new light would come to her 
eyes at the thought of her far away home. 

On the way she made and mended the moccasins of the explorers, taught 
them the mountain Indian methods of hunting bear, told them how to make 
carriages for transporting the boats around Great Falls, Mont., showed them 
how to find artichokes stored by the gophers, and warned them against the waters 
they must not drink. She found eggs of the wild fowl and berries, and made 
ointment to cure sores and insect bites, and when her husband no longer knew 
the country, she became the guide. She was the only woman to accompany the 
expedition, and was guide, interpreter and protector. She protected the party 
when they were threatened by hostile Indians, secured for them food and horses, 
saved their journals and valuable papers at the risk of her life, when their boat 
capsized, and was the only one of the party who received no pecuniary reward 
for her services. 

Captain Clark thus describes her characteristics : 

"She was very. observant. She had a good memory, remembering localities 
not seen since her childhood. In trouble she was full of resource, plucky and 
determined. With her helpless infant she rode with the men, guiding us unerr- 
ingly through mountain fastnesses and lonely passes. Intelligent, cheerful, re- 
sourceful, tireless, faithful, she inspired us all." 

Thus it is always with the good woman, encouraging man to dare and to do. 
At his side at birth, in sickness and in death, helping and encouraging in hours 
of distress and peril — "first at the cross and last at the tomb." 

The influence of the Bird-Woman on her tribe gave a wonderful impetus to 
the uplifting of the Shoshones, from the day she greeted her brother, Camehawait, 
a chief at the head of the Snake Indians, who visited the camp of Lewis and 
Clark on the plains of Montana. Sakakawea was the true guide who remained 
with them to the end. 

She had recognized the Indians as they approached, as being of her tribe ; 
among them an Indian woman who had been taken prisoner at the same battle 
in which she had been captured, but escaped. Her brother did not become known 
to her until she began to interpret. Then her joy knew no bounds. Though 
much agitated, the Bird- Woman concluded her work of interpreting the council 
between her brother and Lewis and Clark, and then learned, that of her family 
only two brothers and her sister's child survived ; the others having been killed 
in war or had died from other causes. She then and there adopted her sister's 
orphan child (Bazil) and took him with her to the Pacific Coast. 

Returning with Lewis and Clark to the Mandan villages, she remained in 
that country until after the smallpox scourge of 1837. Subsequently she returned 


to her own tribe, then located in the Wind River country, and there hved until her 
death, the night of April 8-9, 1884, at the Shoshone Mission, Wind River, Wye, 
in the home of her adopted son, Bazil. She was then upwards of one hundred 
years old, blind and deaf. The obsequies were conducted by the Rev. John 
Roberts, D. D., who had known her many years, and who kindly furnished for 
this history the facts here stated in relation to her death. They are corroborated 
by A. D. Lane of Lander, Wyo., who was at her house a few hours after her 
demise, also by Harry Brownson, an old-time resident of Bismarck, afterward 
an employe of the traders' store at Shoshone agency, and others personally known 
to the author, who knew her, and that her name, as known to the Shoshones, 
was "Sacajawea," meaning "to launch or push ofif the boat." 

Her husband, Toussaint Charbonneau, was the interpreter at the time of the 
treaty of Gen. Henry Atkinson with the Mandans and Gros Ventres at the Man- 
dan villages on the Missouri in 1825. He spent the winter with Maximilian at 
Fort Clark, 1833-34, was with him at the battle of Fort Mackenzie, and, in 1838, 
was met by Charles Larpenteur when he went down the river to go east on a 
visit. Several of the Bird- Woman's descendants are now living on the Shoshone 
reservation, and a photograph of her great-granddaughter in Indian costume, 
taken specially for it, forms one of the illustrations of this history. 

Her son, Baptiste, the baby, born in North Dakota, who was carried by his 
mother across the continent and return, was educated by Gen. William Clark 
at St. Louis, where young Baptiste Charbonneau was located as late as 1820. He 
was an interpreter and guide with Capt. Benjamin L. E. Bonneville in 1832-35, 
is mentioned in the journals of Lieut. John Charles Fremont at Fort Bridger 
in 1842, and that vear was with Sir William Drummond Stewart on a buffalo 
hunt in Wyoming. 

Her adopted son, known as "Old Bazil," was prominent in tribal affairs on 
the Shoshone reservation. 

Chief Washakie, of Wyoming, who recently "passed to the other shore" at 
the age of about one hundred years, knew Sacajawea, and held her in tender 

There is a monument to her memory near Fort Washakie, at the Shoshone 
Mission. \\'ind River, Wyo., now United States Indian cemetery, erected 
by the State of Wyoming. 

Her statue in the park at Portland, Ore., erected through the efforts of 
Mrs. Eva Emery Dye and others, at the time of the Portland International Expo- 
sition, a fine production worthy of the object, to perpetuate her memory, is, also, 
in the name of "Sacajawea" the spelling adopted by the Wyoming State Historical 

In February, 1906, a movement was inaugurated by ^Irs. Beulah M. Amidon, 
of Fargo, N. D., to raise funds for a monument to the Bird- Woman to be erected 
at the state capital. The bronze statue at Bismarck, designed by Crunelle, is of 
heroic size, twelve feet in height, representing an Indian woman wrapped in a 
blanket, with a pappoose strapped upon her back. 

The Legislature of North Dakota assumed the expense of the granite pedestal, 
but the statue was paid for by a fund contributed by the Federation of Women's 
Clubs and the school children of the state. 


The Shoshone Indian Bird-Woman 

Who in 1805 guided tlie 

Lewis and Clark Expedition 

from the 

Missouri River to the Yellowstone. 

Erected by the 

Federated Club Women and School Children of 

North Dakota. 

Presented to tlie State, October, 1910 

(Statue at Bismarck) 


On the bronze tablet are the words : 


The Shoshone Indian Bird-Woman 

Who in 1805 guided the 

Lewis and Clark expedition 

from the 

Missouri River to the Yellowstone. 

Erected by the 

Federated Club women and school children of 

North Dakota 

Presented to the state, October, 1910. 

The artist sketched the figure and costume at the Indian reservation at Elbow 
Woods, N. D., and won the approbation of Spotted Weasel and James Holding 
Eagle, who inspected and criticised it in its early stages. 

It stands on the east side of the capitol grounds on a large block of rough 
granite, facing the west, the baby looking over her right shoulder. One foot 
is in advance of the other as if she were walking. The dedication took place 
October 13, 1910, the ceremony of unveiling being performed by Miss Beulah 
Amidon, of Fargo, N. D. The invocation was by Bishop Wehrle of the Bismarck 
diocese of the Roman Catholic Church, and was followed by an address by Miss 
Hattie M. Davis, superintendent of schools of Cass County, who originated the 
idea of having the members of the women's clubs and the children of the state 
raise the money to pay for the statue. The presentation speech was made by 
Mrs. N. C. Young, president of the State Federation of Women's Clubs, Judge 
Burleigh F. Spalding of the Supreme Court accepting on behalf of the state. 
Frank L, McVey, president of the state university, made the principal address. 

It was fitting that this remarkable woman, distinguished alike for intelligence, 
bravery and capability (and her child) should be honored by the women and 
children of North Dakota, and it matters little whether the name meaning "Bird- 
Woman" in Gros Ventre or "The launch of the boat" in Shoshone is accepted ; 
that she was one and the same there can be no doubt. 


Although borne on the rolls of the regular army until February 27, 1807, 
Captain Clark tendered his resignation immediately after his return from the 
Pacific coast, and became interested in the organization of a company which was 
incorporated as the St. Louis Fur Company, and after many vicissitudes finally 
reorganized as the Missouri Fur Company, the members of the original organiza- 
tion being Benjamin Wilkinson, Pierre Choteau, Sr., Manuel Lisa, Auguste Cho- 
teau, Jr., Reuben Lewis, William Clark, Sylvester Labadie, Pierre Menard, 
William Morrison, Andrew Henry and Dennis Fitzhugh. William Clark, then 
known as Gen. William Clark, was agent of the company at St. Louis. 


In 1807, with Pierre Choteau in command of a trading party numbering 
seventy-two men, an attempt was made to return the Mandan Chief Shahaka, 


who had accompanied Lewis and Clark on their return to Washington, together 
with his wife and child, and the wife and child of his interpreter Rene Jessaume. 
Lewis and Clark had agreed on behalf of the United States to guarantee the 
safe return of the party to the Mandan villages. 

The chief was under the escort of Ensign Nathaniel Prior, who had been a 
sergeant with the Lewis and Clark Expedition. 

When they reached the Arikara villages they were attacked by these Indians 
on account of the Mandan chief, but Choteau had anticipated treachery, and was 
prepared for it. After an hour's fighting he was able to withdraw with a loss 
of three killed and seven wounded, one mortally. Three of Prior's party were 
wounded, including the interpreter of the chief. The Indians followed the party, 
and continued the attack from along shore as they proceeded down the river, 
until the Choteau party singled out a chief whom they recognized and shot him, 
when the Indians retired. 

The Indians had met with heavy loss, but to what extent was never known. 
Shahaka having returned in safety to St. Louis, awaited an escort, and the first 
contract made by the reorganized St. Louis Fur Company, thereafter to be known 
as the Missouri Fur Company, was for the return of the Mandan chief to his 
tribe. In the contract the Missouri Fur Company agreed to engage 125 men, 
of whom 40 must be Americans and expert riflemen, for the purpose of escort. 
They were to receive $7,000 for the Indian's safe return. The party consisting 
of 150 men left St. Louis in the spring of 1809, Pierre Choteau in command, 
arriving at the Mandan villages September 24, 1809, the chief laden with presents. 
He had been entertained by President Jefiferson at his country seat of Monticello 
and had been honored and feted from the time he reached St. Louis until his 
return, but his account of his experiences not being believed, he fell into disre- 
pute, and was finally killed by the Sioux in one of the attacks by that tribe on the 
Mandan villages. 

In 1807 Manuel Lisa, the first and most noted upper Missouri River Indian 
trader, passed through the Arikara villages, where he had a trading post, visiting 
them, in detail, with entire safety, immediately preceding the attack of that year 
upon Pierre Choteau's party. 

(The several maps illustrating the early explorations, the Louisiana Purchase, and the 
extension of boundaries of the United States, were prepared for the General Land Office, 
Washington, D. C, and are used by courtesy of that office.) 






"I am as free as nature first made man, 
Ere the base laws of servitude began, 
When wild in woods the noble savage ran." 

— Dryden's Conquest of Granada. 


In 1805 Spain still held dominion over the country west of the Missouri River, 
although she had already ceded her possessions to France, and from France they 
had passed to the United States, which had entered upon the exploration of the 
country. Capts. Meriwether Lewis and William Clark had spent a winter in 
what is now North Dakota, at Fort Mandan. They had traced the Missouri 
to its source, locating the Cannonball, Heart, Knife, White Earth and Yellow- 
stone rivers, and had given the world the first reliable information relative to 
the plains of Dakota, then popularly supposed to be in the heart of the great 
American desert. They reported a land abounding in game of all kinds, peopled 
by a brave and intelligent native population. 

Pembina was already on the maps of the period, together with the Pembina, 
Park, Turtle, Goose, Sheyenne and James rivers. Devils Lake and Lake Traverse. 
The Minnesota River was then known as St. Peter's and at its mouth was located 
Fort St. Anthony. There was no St. Paul and Minneapolis in Minnesota, and in 
California no San Francisco. Chicago in Illinois, and St. Louis, then in Louisiana 
Territory, were frontier villages of little importance. There was no occupation 
of the great West for development, save the lead mines near Dubuque, no wagon 
roads, aside from trails, and no means of communication, excepting by canoe 
and pony. There had been some early exploration by the French and by the 
Spanish, but until the expedition of Lewis and Clark, but little was known of 
this vast country, towards which the center of population of the United States 
is rapidly shifting. 



pike's expedition 

The object of Pike's expedition was to select sites for military posts on the 
Mississippi River; to survey its waters to the source of that stream; to acquaint 
the traders with the change of ownership of the country and investigate their 
alleged unlawful conduct in the sale of goods without the payment of duties 
imposed, and to endeavor to bring about peace between the Sioux and the Chip- 
pewas and enlist their friendship on behalf of the United States. The roster of 
Lieutenant Pike's party was as follows : 

First Lieut. Zebulon M. Pike, First Regiment U. S. Infantry, command- 
ing; Sergt. Henry Kennerman; Corps. Samuel Bradley and William E. Meek; 
Privates John Boley, Peter Branden, John Brown, Jacob Carter, Thomas 
Daugherty, William Gordon, Solomon Huddleston, Jeremiah Jackson, Hugh 
Menaugh, Theodore Miller, John Montgomery, David Owings, Alexander Ray, 
Patrick Smith, John Sparks, Freegift Stoule and David Whelpley, in all one 
officer, one sergeant, two corporals and seventeen men. His interpreters were 
Joseph Renville and Pierre Rosseau. 

They left camp, near St. Louis, August 5, 1805 ; their means of transporta- 
tion being one keel-boat seventy feet long. On their arrival at Prairie du Chien 
September 4th, where they spent several days, they were saluted by the Indians 
with a volley of musketry, and it is claimed that some of the Indians who were 
under the influence of liquor, tried to see how close they could shoot .without 
hitting the boat. Lieutenant Pike informed them of the object of his expedition, 
especially as to the matter of peace with the Chippewas. 

On September 23, 1805, he negotiated a treaty with the Sioux — represented 
by Little Crow (grandfather of Little Crow, leader in the Minnesota massacre 
in 1862), and Way Ago Enogee — for a tract of land nine miles square at the 
mouth of the River St. Croix, also a tract of land extending from below the 
confluence of the Mississippi and St. Peter's rivers up the Mississippi to include 
the Falls of St. Anthony, embracing nine miles on each side of the river, for the 
sum of $2,cx)o. Congress confirmed this treaty April 16, 1808, but there is no 
record that it was proclaimed by the President. It is scarcely necessary to add 
that it embraced the land on which Fort Snelling and the cities of St. Paul and 
Minneapolis now stand. 

When Lieutenant Pike arrived at the headwaters of the Mississippi, he was 
treated with great cordiality and courtesy by the traders and their employees. 
Coming one night to a sugar camp he was given his choice of beaver, swan, 
elk or deer for supper, and though sugar and flour were worth 50 cents per 
pound, and salt $1, there was no stint in the supply. 

Among the traders he met were Joseph Rolette and associates at Prairie du 
Chien, Murdoch Cameron at Lake Pepin, Jean Baptiste Faribault and Joseph 
Renville on the Minnesota, Robert Dickson on the Mississippi and Culhbert 
Grant and Hugh McGillis in the Red Lake country. 

The traders were naturally pro-British and were controlled by British influ- 
ences. Cuthbert Grant was still flying the British flag, but explained to Lieutenant 
Pike that it was owned by an Indian and he was not responsible for it. 

Flatmouth, one of the Red Lake band, and Tahmahah, a Sioux, became great 
friends of Lieutenant Pike. Flatmouth rendered him great service, and Tahma- 


hah adopted him as a brother, and entered the service of the United States as a 
dispatch bearer, and it was his proud boast that he was the only Sioux who was 
an American. 

Joseph Rolette guided the British forces at the time of their capture of Prairie 
du Chien. Tahmahah was a prisoner of war there. When the British evacuated 
the fort they hoisted an American flag and fired the fort. Tahmahah, at the 
risk of his life, saved the flag and was awarded a medal of honor. 

Zachary Taylor, then major Twenty-sixth Infantry, U. S. A., afterwards 
President of the United States, was defeated by the Indians in his efforts to 
punish rhem for the Prairie du Chien affair. He was subsequently stationed at 
Fort Snelling. 


On the way up the Mississippi River Lieutenant Pike found much game. 
There were many herds of deer and antelope and elk were so numerous that 
Chief Thomas killed forty in one day. They occasionally killed a bear, beaver 
were abundant and the buffalo plentiful later in the season. 

At the mouth of the Crow Wing River they found evidence of a recent and 
severe battle between the Sioux and Chippewas, in which the latter were vic- 

October i6, 1S05, Lieutenant Pike went into winter quarters, erecting a 
stockade at the mouth of Swan River, about four miles from the present Village 
of Little Falls, Minn. The structure was thirty-six feet square, with blockhouses 
on the northwest and southeast corners. 

Here Lieutenant Pike left a sergeant and part of his command, and pushed 
on for the headwaters of the Mississippi with the remainder, extending his 
explorations as far as Cass Lake. January 8, 1806, Lieutenant Pike visited the 
trading post of Cuthbert Grant at Sandy Lake, where there was a large stockade 
built in 1796, by the North- West Company. 

Lieutenant Pike found that the Indians of this region had great respect for 
the Americans. They did not consider them like either Frenchmen or English- 
men, but as white Indians, and understood that they were fierce in battle and 
ready at all times to defend their rights. The explorer came upon one party of 
Indians who were insolent and threatening in their attitude until informed that 
they were Americans, when their manner immediately changed, and they extended 
to them every possible courtesy. 

The prices at Grant's post for some of the staple articles were as follows : 
W^ild oats, $1.50 per bushel; flour, 50 cents per pound; salt, $1 per pound; pork, 
80 cents per pound ; sugar, 50 cents per pound ; tea, $4 per pound. 

Lieutenant Pike visited Hugh McGillis, who had a trading post at Leech 
Lake, and the next day Mr. Anderson, at the trading house of Robert Dickson, 
on the west side of the lake. 

Robert Dickson had a trading post near what is now St. Cloud, Minn., with 
branches at several points, including the post on the Missouri River. He cast 
his fortunes with the British during the War of 181 2, but after the war, returned 
to Lake Traverse, N. D., where he was the agent for Lord Selkirk. He had a 
Sioux wife and four sons. 


February 12th Lieutenant Pike went on to Cass Lake, and on the iSth left 
Leech Lake for the stockade. On the 15th the Chippewas were in council with 
Lieutenant Pike on the subject of peace with the Sioux. Wabasha was a leading 
representative of the Sioux, and having agreed with Lieutenant Pike to make 
terms of peace with the Chippewas, sent his pipe by the hand of Lieutenant Pike 
to be used as his representative in the peace negotiations. The British traders 
had given the Indian chiefs medals and British flags and many of the chiefs 
were indebted to them for their offices. Lieutenant Pike was instructed to take 
up these medals and flags wherever it was possible to do so, and substitute the 
American flag and medals, believing that the efl^ect upon the Indians would be 
salutary. They all smoked Wabasha's pipe and most of the chiefs gave up their 
British flags and medals and received American flags and medals in return. 

Lieutenant Pike returned to the stockade March 5th, and on April 7th left 
for St. Anthony Falls, where they arrived April nth. He claimed that his 
boats were the first to pass up the Mississippi above the Falls of St. Anthony. 
Having been promoted brigadier-general he was present at the battle of York, 
in upper Canada, April 2"], 1813, and was killed by an explosion of the maga- 
zine at the fort after its surrender. 


The fort built at the mouth of the Minnesota River was at first called Fort 
St. Anthony, but in 1824, when Col. Winfield Scott visited the post he suggested 
that St. Anthony, the name of a saint of the Prince of Peace, was not a good 
name for the fort ; that the name was foreign to all of our associations, besides 
being geographically incorrect. The name was accordingly changed to Fort 
Snelling and the fort became the nucleus around which the first settlements were 
made in the great Northwest, and from which' they were extended to the Dakotas 
and still westward. 


The Mandans are first mentioned in history by Sieur de la Verendrye, who 
visited them in 1738. In 1750 they were living in nine villages, near the mouth 
of the Heart River. Two of these on the east side of the river, almost extermi- 
nated by disease and by war with the Sioux, consolidated, and moved up to near 
the mouth of Knife River, where they were later joned by the other villages. 
Here they were found by Lewis and Clark. They were then estimated at 1,250, 
and in 1837 their number was placed at 1,600. In that year they were stricken 
with smallpox, but thirty lodges, or about one hundred and twenty-five people, 
only remaining, and forsaking their villages after the scourge, they finally settled 
down at Fort Berthold in 1845. Their number in 1905 was 249. 


July 7, 1806, Alexander Henry left Pembina for the Mandan villages, accom- 
panied by Joseph Ducharme and Toussaint A^audry, interpreter. The roads were 
heavv from recent rains and the horses often sunk to above their knees in mud 


From a painting by Charles Bodmer from "Travels to the Interior of North America in 

1833-3-4," by Maximilian, Prince of Wied, 1843. 


From a painting by Charles Bodmer from "Travels to the Interior of North America in 
1832-3-4," by Maximilian. Prince of Wied, 1843. 


and water. At night the mosquitoes were intolerable, the horses breaking away 
from their fetters on several occasions. July nth they reached old Fort de 
Tremble, on the Assiniboine River, where in 1781 the Crees and Assiniboines 
and other Indians of that region undertook to inaugurate a massacre of the 
whites then in the Indian country. Three men were killed at the fort. The 
Indian loss was fifteen killed, and fifteen more died of wounds. The fort was 
then abandoned. July nth Henry reached a North- West trading post on the 
Mouse River (at Brandon). The Hudson's Bay and X. Y. companies also had 
trading posts there at that time. F. A. Larocque was in charge of the North- 
West Company post. Charles Chaboillez, Jr., Allen McDonald and Hugh 
McCracken were also there, and they accompanied Mr. Henry to the Mandan 

After crossing the Mouse River they kept a lookout for the Sioux. Mr. 
Henry writes : "We must be on our guard against the Sioux, the natural ene- 
mies of all tribes in these parts. They perpetually wander about in search of 
straggling Mandans or Gros Ventres (Hidatsas) and sometimes cross the River 
la Souris in hope of falling in with Assiniboines and Crees, who frequently hunt 
along this river." 

July 19th they reached the Mandan villages. The women were hoeing corn 
some distance from their village with well armed Indians on the lookout for fear 
of the Sioux. 

Mr. Henry speaks of the large quantity of corn, beans, squashes, tobacco 
and sunflowers raised by these Indians, and of their manner of caching 
(secreting) their produce where it would not be likely to be disturbed by their 
enemies in case of an attack. 

Mr. Henry's party met Jean Baptiste Lafrance with a small stock of goods, 
which he brought from the Brandon House for the purpose of trade at the 
Mandan villages. As soon as Black Cat, their Indian host, learned who Mr. 
Henry was, he produced the flag given him by Lewis and Clark, October 29, 
1804, and kept thafflying as long as they remained. 

Mr. Henry relates that he saw the remains of an excellent large corn mill 
which Lewis and Clark had given the Indians. They had broken it and used the 
iron to barb their arrows ; the largest piece, which they could not work into any 
weapon, was used to break marrow bones of the animals killed in hunting. 

Henry's party crossed the Missouri in boats, made of willows and buffalo 
skins, called bull-boats. 

Six Arikaras came into the village while Mr. Henry was there to treat for 
peace. Some of their people had accompanied a Sioux war party the fall before 
and killed five Mandans. The Mandans had made a return visit, killing two 
Arikaras and had sent them word that they intended to exterminate the whole 
tribe. These emissaries had accordingly come up to make peace. The Hidatsa 
were called into council, about thirty arriving on horse back at full speed. The 
Arikaras were directed to return at once to their village and tell their chief. 
Red Tail, that if he really desired peace he must come in person and then they 
would settle matters; and if he did not come they would find him as soon as 
their corn was gathered, and show him what the Hidatsa and Mandans could 
do when exasperated by Arikara treachery. 

About 100 Mandans came in with their horses loaded with meat from a 


day's hunt for buffalo. It was the custom of the Mandans to hunt in large bodies 
and to completely surround one herd and kill all of the animals so as not to 
alann the other herds. 

When the hunting party returned they would divide with the neighbors, 
where there was no one to hunt for them, before resting themselves, and some- 
times all was given away and others in turn divided with the generous givers. 


The circular hut where Henry lodged, measured ninety feet from the front 
door to the opposite side. The whole space was first dug out to a depth of about 
iy2 feet below the surface. In the center was a fire place, about five feet square, 
dug out about two feet below the surface. The lower part of the hut was con- 
structed by erecting strong posts about six feet out of the ground, set at equal 
distances from each other. Upon these were laid logs as large as the posts to 
form the circle. On the outside were placed pieces of split wood, seven feet long, 
in a slanting position, one end resting on the ground and the other leaning against 
the cross logs. Upon these beams rested rafters the thickness of a man's leg, 
twelve to fifteen feet long, slanting enough to shed water, and laid so close that 
they touched each other. Four large posts in the center of the lodge supported 
four square beams on which the upper end of the rafters were laid. At the top 
there was an opening about four feet square which served for chimney and win- 
dow. There was no other opening to admit light, and when it rained even this 
opening was closed. The whole roof was well thatched with willows, laid on 
to a thickness of six inches or more, fastened together in a very compact manner 
and well secured to the rafters. Over the whole was spread about a foot of 
earth. Around the wall to the height of three feet or more, earth was laid to 
the thickness of about three feet, for security in case of attack and for warmth 
in winter. 

The door was 5 feet broad and 6 high, made of raw buffalo hides, stretched 
on a frame and suspended from one of the beams which formed the circle. Every 
night the door was barricaded with a long piece of timber supported by two stout 
posts on the inside" of the hut, one on each side of the door. A covered porch, 
7 feet wide and 10 feet long, extended from the door. 

At the left of the entrance was a triangular apartment, fronting the fire, con- 
structed of square timbers, twelve feet high, calked tight to keep out the draft 
from the door. On the right of the door was an open space to hold fire-wood in 
winter. Between the partitions and the fire was about five feet, occupied by the 
master of the hut during the day, seated on a mat of willows. 10 feet long and 4 
feet broad, raised from the floor and covered with skins, forming a sofa or couch. 
Here he sat all day and sometimes through the night, smoking and talking with 
friends. At the left of this apartment were the beds, at the other end of the 
hut was the "medicine" stage, containing everything the Indian valued most. Here 
or on the wall near, he kept his arms and ammunition. Next to this was the 
mortar and pestle for grinding grain. The remainder of the space was vacant. 
This was a typical Mandan hut, seldom occupied by more than one family. 

July 2ist in visiting the upper village they passed extensive fields of corn, 
beans, squashes and sunflowers ; the women and children were employed in hoeing 


•,v.r»*i*n-r-»~!^f^tS-?^ — 


From a painting by Cliarles Bodmer from "Travels to the Interior of North America In 

1833-3-4," by Maximilian, Prince of VVled, 1843. 


From a painting by Charles Bodmer from "Travels to the Interior of North America In 

1833-3-4," by Maximilian, Prince of Wied, 1843. 


and clearing their plantations. On the road there were natives passing and re- 
passing, afoot or on horseback, the whole view presenting the appearance of a 
country- inhabited by civilized people. At the fourth village the inhabitants fol- 
lowed them in crowds and made fun of them. Here they found Charles McKen- 
zie, whom Lewis and Clark met at the Mandan villages, and James Caldwell, 
who had a temporary trading post there in the interest of the North-West 
Company. Le Borgne was the chief of this village. He was absent at the Chey- 
enne villages in connection with a proposed treaty of peace, and Henry and party 
accompanied the representatives of the Mandan village tribes to the place of meet- 
ing — a point west of Sugar Loaf Butte, southwest of Bismarck, on the west side 
of the Missouri. The meeting would have resulted in war had not the women 
and children accompanied the warriors from the Mandan villages, x^s a peace 
treaty it was a failure. 

In preparing for the trip to the treaty grounds, which was to be somewhat in 
the nature of a fair, where every one showed his best products and his best 
clothes, Henry states he was surprised to see what a store of treasures the people 
of the Mandan villages had on hand ; he was confident they had provisions enough 
cached to last them at least twelve months. 

One of the pastimes of the Mandans was running long foot races in order 
to be prepared to take care of themselves if dismounted in battle. The race was 
at least six miles. They made it entirely naked, and, on their return, covered with 
perspiration and dust, they would plunge into the Missouri. They also indulged 
in horse racing, during which they would carry on their warlike maneuvers on 
horseback, feigning their dilTerent attacks upon the enemy, giving their strokes 
of the battle axe and thrusts of the spear. 

Mr. Henr\' speaks of the custom of the Indians to bathe in the river morning 
and evening, without regard to sex, their neighbors or visiting strangers, and other 
customs no longer practiced among the tribes since the advent of religious 


Henry visited the battle ground where about 1790, some 600 lodges of the 
Sioux attacked and attempted to subdue the Hidatsas. They had made peace 
with the Souliers and Mandans and, therefore, pitched their tents between the 
Hidatsas and Knife River, thinking they would be able to cut ofT their water sup- 
ply. Here they remained fifteen days, keeping guard, but the Hidatsas, mounting 
their best horses, would reach the Missouri in spite of the Sioux (tliough several 
were killed), and thus secured an abundance of water. The Sioux compelled 
the Mandans to supply them with food, during the siege which was raised after 
several skirmishes, leaving 300 dead on the field of battle. 

Another account states that the Yanktons and Tetons were fiercely engaged 
with the Hidatsa and the battle was first going in favor of one and then the 
other, when reinforcements of Hidatsa arrived, accompanied by a large party of 
Crows. Observing with what fury the battle was raging at the front, they 
determined to surround the enemy by turning to the left, without being seen, as 
the countr\- permitted this movement and they rode up a deep vallev so far away 
as not to be in sight of the enemy. Keeping on the south side of these rising 


grounds, they went full speed into the valley which led down to the rear of the 
enemy. There they fell in with a great number of women who had accompanied 
their husbands in full expectation of destroying and plundering the Mandan vil- 
lages. j\Iany of these were killed and others taken prisoners. The party then 
appeared on rising ground in the rear of the Sioux and attacked with fury, dealing 
death and destruction on every hand. The Sioux, overpowered by numbers and 
exhausted by fatigue, were obliged to give way, but their retreat was cut oft' and 
they were so hard pressed that they were obliged to throw themselves into the 
Missouri and attempt to swim across. Many were killed in the river and but few 
survived to return to their country. The villages were surrounded by a stockade, 
mainly built of driftwood, at the time of Henry's visit. 

July 28th, Henry left the Mandan villages, accompanied by Mr. Charles Mc- 
Kenzie and James Caldwell. The party consisted of ten men with twentv-tive 
horses. July 30th, they found the plains in many places covered with water. 
August 3d, they passed the Dog Den, and the next day eight of their horses broke 
their tethers, being frightened by a herd of bufTalo. The buffalo were so numerous 
that they had to build a barricade around the camp to prevent being run over. It 
was with the greatest difficulty that they were able to cross the Mouse River, the 
banks- where they reached it being low and miry and the river overflowed. At 
the head of the Turtle Mountains they found several recent camps of the Assini- 
boines. The Mouse River region was said to be infested with horse thieves at this 
time, and that probably accounts for the fact that the lost horses, although hobbled, 
were not recovered. 

The trip was for the purpose of purchasing horses and was a failure, and 
resulted in the North-West Company withdrawing from the Mandan trade. 

THE .\RIK.\R.\S 

In 1770, French traders established relations with the Arikaras (sometimes 
mentioned as Rees, Ricarees or Aricarees) then occupying their villages below the 
Cheyenne River, in what is now South Dakota. There were then ten powerful 
villages, but they were reduced by war and disease to three, when found by 
Lewis and Clark. Their number was then estimated at 600 warriors, or about 
2,100 people. In 1888 they were reduced to 500, and the census of 1905 placed 
their number at 380. 


The Hidatsa or Gros \'entres, of the Missouri, or Minctarees, as they were 
called by Lewis and Clark, were first known to the whites when living in the 
vicinity of Knife River, in North Dakota. They occupied three villages near the 
Knife River, and when visited by Lewis and Clark, numbered 600 warriors, or 
about 2,100 people. They learned agriculture of the Mandans, and when the 
trading post was established at old Fort lierthold, they moved up to that point. 
Reduced by war and disease, the population in 1905 was only 471. 

Since the removal of these allied tribes to Fort Berthold, they have been 
known as the Berthold Indians. 

The census of 1910 shows a slight increase in the number of these Indians 


among wliom are many noble specimens of humanity, who have the commendable 
pride in their ancestry common to all humanity. 


When first visited by the whites, these Indians were living in ideal Indian 
homes. Their circular earth-covered huts were comfortable in summer and shel- 
tered the old and infirm in winter. Of food and the means of clothing there was 
an abundance. They were strong and fleet, and as the sun "arose from his bed 
in the dark" — to adopt an Indian figure of speech — it gave warmth and gladness, 
and when it "dropped below the light.'' they slept, with none excepting the Sioux 
to make them afraid. Their women laughed in their hearts, and the light sparkled 
in the eyes of their children, like the sunshine dancing on the waterfall. The 
Great Spirit made their hearts good, and there was no one to tell them lies, until 
the white man went among them, carrying the blighting curse which has always 
followed, and always will follow the introduction of mto.xicating liquor as a 
beverage among an ignorant people. 

The Mandans, Arikaras and Gros \'entres having spent the summer raising 
their crops of corn and vegetables, prepared secure places for caching their sur- 
plus, lest marauding Sioux might capture the camp during their absence. Only 
the old and infirm, and the young and helpless, were left at the summer home, 
the active force retiring to the Bad Lands for the winter. 

This winter exodus usually occurred in October. The Indians having credit 
with the traders were trusted for the supplies of ammunition or other things nec- 
essary for their winter equipment, while some deposited their war bonnets of 
eagle feathers, or other valuables, as a pledge that they w'ould pay when they 
returned from the chase. Many left valuables consisting of dnmis, rattles, lances, 
not required in the winter camp, in charge of the trader within his fort, feeling 
that they would be safe in case the ever-feared Sioux should make an attack 
upon their village during their absence. 

During the winter absence the summer camp was in terror lest the Sioux attack 
them, and great anxiety prevailed in the winter camp, lest their loved and helpless- 
be attacked while defenseless. 

The independent traders usually made it a point to accompany the Indians 
to their winter camps, and gather the fruits of trade in the field, leaving the 
established traders to glean whatever might be left. 

During the hours of preparation, the women would patiently await their 
turn to sharpen knives and axes on the grindstones furnished by the trader for 
that purpose, while the young men dressed in their finest trappings, and painted 
in the height of Indian fashion, would ride their gaily caparisoned horses pell-mell 
about the camp, or engage in horse racing or games. The old men organized, and 
the "soldiers" took charge, and then the duly appointed haranguer announced the 
orders governing every step in the preparation for the move, commencing with 
"pull down your tepees and get ready to move !" Their lodges were quickly pulled 
down by the women and the poles either tied in bundles 5or convenience or used' 
for the travois. The women did all of the labor ; they saddled the ponies, har- 
nessed the horses and dogs to the travois, packed and loaded the goods, and, 
if necessary to cross the ^Missouri or other stream, paddled the men across in 


"bull-boats"; their horses, fastened by long lariats, made from strips of buffalo 
skins, swimming in the rear. 

The march being taken up, the head of the family took the lead, followed by 
his horses, dogs, women and children, household effects, and camp equipage; the 
very young children and puppies being strapped on the travois. 

No chief was so great that he dared disobey the warriors, or head men of the 
tribe called "soldiers," who were in absolute command. They directed the march, 
selected the stopping places, lingered at the rear to prevent loitering, and none 
could hunt without permission, or separate in any manner from the column. 

The winter camps were in the Bad Lands, formed by erosion, usually 200 or 
300 feet below the general level of the prairie. They were cut by numerous 
gullies and ravines, called breaks, giving small valleys, affording shelter, excellent 
winter grazing, and an abundance of timber for fuel and for erecting their tem- 
porary homes. There was also an abundance of game, consisting of deer, 
mountain sheep, bear, beaver, wolves, and as the winter advanced in severity, buf- 
falo came in for shelter. The grasses matured before frost, and when winter 
came they were in the condition of hay, and the animals quickly learned to paw 
away the snow, and feed as contentedly on the sun-cured grasses thus exposed, 
as the stock in the eastern farmer's barnyard at the hay or straw stack, though 
on food of much better quality. 

It was these features which led Theodore Roosevelt in 1881 to become 
a citizen of North Dakota, establishing a cattle ranch at Chimney Butte, near 
Medora, in the verj' heart of the Bad Lands. 

To guard against storm, or in preparation for surrounding the buffalo, when 
there might be no time or opportunity for grazing, the women stripped bark 
from the young cottonwood trees, or the limbs of the last year's growth, which 
made good food for the Indian ponies. 

The place having been selected for the winter home — which was liable to 
change at any time if conditions did not prove satisfactory — the skin lodges 
were erected, and then the women felled the timber and erected temporary cabins 
covered with poles, rushes, reeds or long grass and earth. The chimneys were 
built of sticks and clay. The buildings stood in a circle opening at the rear into 
an open space, covered in the same manner as the houses, used in common for 
the horses. 


Notwithstanding the manifold duties of the women, they found time to attend 
the meetings of the several societies, or clubs, to which they had become attached. 
Some of these societies, organized much after the plan of the women's clubs of 
the present day, were known as the "White Cow Band," the white buffalo being 
a sacred animal ; one was the "Goose Band," and still others were distinguished 
by names descriptive of some esteemed game, such as the "Black Tailed Deer," 
etc. Indians having several wives, each belonging to different societies, found 
it rather strenuous sometimes, as it was customary for each to entertain with 
feasting and dancing in turn. Some of their defenseless husbands made that 
an excuse for gambling, but when their losses of the necessaries of life became 


unbearable, their wives seldom failed to break up the game, and teach their hus- 
bands a much-needed lesson. 

The men spent most of their time hunting, watching the stock, visiting, 
gambling and telling stories, until the buffalo made their appearance, when all 
was hurry and bustle. 

Thus the seasons would pass, several ''surrounds" of buft'alo happening each 
winter, and in the spring they would return to their permanent camp, where 
the women would prepare the ground and plant and harvest the crop; the men, 
as before, devoting their attention to visiting, gambling, hunting and war. 







"It is the common fate of the indolent, to see their rights become a prey to the active. 
The condition upon which God hath given liberty to man is eternal vigilance; which con- 
dition, if he break, servitude is at once the consequence of his crime and the punishment of 
his guilt." — John Philpot Curran, Speech upon the Right of Election, l7go. 


The use of public office for the purpose of gain to the individual is now called 
"graft," and those who prey upon and mislead the people for their own personal 
advantage, are called "grafters," but it is no new thing in the world. In 1804 
Captain Lewis commented upon this system then in vogue in Louisiana, under 
Spanish rule. The governor had assumed to himself the exclusive right to dis- 
pose of trading privileges aiuong the Indians, selling licenses for personal gain. 
They were offered to the highest bidder, \arj'ing in value according to the extent 
of the country they embraced, the Indian nations occupying that country, and 
the period for which they were granted. They yielded all the income to the 
authorities the trade would bear. The traders at this period supplied the Indians 
with arms, ammunition, intoxicating liquors, and, indeed, anything they wished 
to buy, charging them exorbitant prices, and the governor profited by the excess. 


But graft did not end with Spanish rule, nor with the retirement of the 
British traders. The history of the fur trade, and the development of the West 
is full of instances, and it is well for the people to remember, even yet, that 
"eternal vigilance is the price of liberty." 

Joseph Rolette, an early Pembina trader, was too successful in the estima- 
tion of his rivals, and too popular with the Indians to suit their purposes, and so 
they elected him to the Minnesota Legislature, and by that means got him out 
of the way for a time at least. 


Gen. William H. Ashley, who was one of the most successful of the early 
traders, was disposed of by being sent to Congress, and it was charged that at 
the end of his term he was paid a large salary to stay away from the Indian 

When Indian treaties were made for the alleged benefit of the Indians and 
to promote the interests of trade, the "grafter" was on hand to claim his share 
from both the Indian and the traders. The Minnesota massacre was largely the 
result of his work. 

When the Indian traderships ceased to be attractive, attention was turned to 
the military traderships. It was freely charged at the time of the impeachment 
proceedings against United States Secretary of War William W. Belknap, that 
the Fort Buford, Fort Abraham Lincoln and Fort Rice traderships paid $i,ooo 
per month each for the influence that controlled the appointments. Lesser sums 
were paid by the smaller posts. It was also charged that the Indian traderships 
contributed to a fund that paid a salary of $5,000 per annum to the one whose 
influence secured the appointment of the trader. 

When the Indian lands were opened to settlement the "grafter" very fre- 
quently claimed, for his influence, 50 per cent of the contract price for surveys. 
When the mail routes were established, and the transportation routes opened, 
he was still there, and when counties and cities were organized, he lingered near, 
and he is sometimes found about legislative halls. 


Traders, both Spanish and American, were operating in 1805 in the country 
around St. Louis. British traders had overrun Minnesota and the Dakotas, 
and the Spanish authorities had equipped galleys to patrol the Missouri and 
Mississippi rivers, in order to protect the interests of licensed traders and pre- 
vent the occupation of the country by others. 

The Indians, themselves, had no objection to traders, for the opportunity 
to trade gave them the means to buy the essentials to Indian happiness. They 
were generally friendly to the British traders and unfriendly to the Spanish, and 
would frequently lie in wait to destroy the galleys, or to attack the Spanish traders 
making their way up the rivers. Occasionally they would be incited by one trader 
to make war upon another, and they were quick to recognize the advantage in 
trade held by the British over those of the United States, by reason of the high 
duties the latter were compelled to pay on the leading articles the Indians desired 
to buy. 

There was little, if any, attention paid to the international boundary, and 
goods were being shipped into the United States territory without the payment 
of duty by the British traders. Rival British traders occupied the whole of the 
Canadian boundary ; the British flag was flying over their fortified posts at almost 
every available point for trade, and when the hour of national distress came, they 
led the Indians as their allies in the War of 1812. 

Although the Hudson's Bay Company claimed the Red River Valley and had 
made an attempt to occupy it, the aggressive force was the North-West Company, 
which was occupying every available point for trade. 



Lieutenant Pike left the impression among the Indians and traders that it 
was the intention of the Government to not only interfere with and restrict the 
sale of intoxicating liquors, but to establish Government stores at which goods 
should be sold to the Indians at cost, allowing them a reasonable price for fur 
in exchange for goods, and in accordance with this policy, an attempt to do this 
was made by the Government. The treaty with the Osage in November, 1808, 
by Capt. Meriwether Lewis, then governor of Louisiana, provided that the L^nited 
States should establish permanently a well assorted store to be kept at Fort 
Clark, Mo. (also known as Fort Osage), for the purpose of bartering with 
the Indians on moderate terms for their furs and peltries, such store to be kept 
open at all seasons of the year. This article of the treaty was eliminated by 
amendment, in the treaty of 1822, the United States paying the Indians $2,329.40 
to be relieved from that provision of the treaty. Similar agreements had been 
made for trading facilities with other Indian tribes, from which the Government, 
also, secured release. 

It was believed that it was the true policy of the Government to draw the 
Indians within the plane of civilization, and that to furnish them goods at cost 
and pay them the full value for their peltries, would be an object lesson that would 
lead them in that direction. 

The factories established by the Government were mainly east of the Mis- 
sissippi River. There was only Fort Osage west of the Missouri. 

While undertaking to furnish the Indians with goods at cost, the Govern- 
ment issued licenses to other traders desiring to enter into competition. The 
private trader advanced supplies, and whatever the Indian might require when 
he started on the hunt, generally accompanying him, and securing his furs as 
fast as taken. The Government stores could not give credit, nor could they sell 
intoxicating liquors to the Indians, but the private traders smuggled liquors into 
the country and satisfied their yearning for it. The Government traders were 
required to sell American goods, but the American blankets and other goods 
were not then equal to those imported, and could not be sold to the Indians in 
competition with English goods. The private trader usually spoke the Indian 
language, was personally acquainted with the Indians and had an interest in 
securing trade and in the profits resulting therefrom, but the Government trader 
was a salaried person, had nothing to gain by making sales and nothing to lose 
if he failed. The system was abandoned in 1822, largely through the persistent 
efTorts of United States Senator Thomas H. Benton of Missouri, who led the 
assaults upon it in the interests of the American Fur Company, having its west- 
ern headquarters at St. Louis. 


The American Fur Company was organized under a charter granted by the 
State of New York, approved April 6, 1808. John Jacob Astor was the com- 
pany. Auxiliary companies were organized for special purposes and special 
places, and called by various names, Astor retaining a controlling interest in 







each, and merging the business of each with that of the American Company, for 
whicli he sought the markets of the world. 

The Pacific Fur Company, organized June lo, 1810, was one of these special 
organizations. A part of the company was sent by sea to the mouth of the 
Columbia River on the Pacific coast, and other members went overland, leav- 
ing the Arikara villages on the Missouri River June 12, 181 1, reaching Astoria 
the following January. In 1816 Congress passed an act, excluding foreigners 
from the fur trade in the territory of the United States, excepting in subordinate 
capacities under American management. This was brought about, in part, by 
the activity of the traders during the War of 1812, on behalf of Great Britain, 
but due largely to the influence of Mr. Astor. This gave him the opportunity 
to take up the interests of the North-West Company in the United States, which 
he consolidated with the South-West Company, previously organized, and the 
Pacific Fur Company, and enabled him to recoup his previous losses on the 
Pacific coast. 

The American Fur Company was reorganized in 1817, and a western depart- 
ment established with headquarters at St. Louis. Ramsey Crooks became the 
general agent, assisted by Robert Stuart. Russell Farnham was the chief repre- 
sentative on the Mississippi, and to him is given the credit of being the first to 
carry the trade of the American Fur Company into the Missouri River region. 
Pierre Choteau, and his associates, became interested in the'company in 1829. 

The Missouri Fur Company was reorganized in 1818, its membership then 
consisting of Manuel Lisa, Thomas Hempstead, Joshua Pilcher, Joseph Perkins, 
Andrew Wood, Moses Carson, John B. Immel and Robert Jones. 


For many years Grand Portage was the headquarters of the fur trade on 
the great lakes, but under the treaty of amity and commerce of 1794, between 
the United States and Great Britain, known as the John Jay treaty, it was pro- 
vided that all British forts within the territory of the United States should be 
evacuated within two years. Accordingly Grand Portage was abandoned, Fort 
William — so named for William McGillivray, the Montreal manager of the 
North-West Company — was established, and the headquarters were transferred 
to that post. 

Fort William overlooking the bay on the north side of Lake Superior was 
surrounded by a palisade and in its center stood the headquarters building, with 
its walls hung with costly paintings, and beautifully decorated. There was a 
council chamber and parlor where the members of the company, known as part- 
ners, and their guests were entertained. The dining room, supplied with tables 
for the various employees as well as for the managers, the partners and their 
guests, was 60 by 30 feet in extent. There were private rooms for the partners 
at either end of the dining hall, which was flanked by sleeping rooms, and a 
large kitchen and other conveniences. There were, also, the general store, 
within the stockade, the canteen or liquor store, the warehouses and workshops, 
and the home of the resident partners and employees. Several hundred persons 
were usually camped in the vicinity of the fort, some seeking pleasure and others 
waiting for employment when the busy season should commence. 


The members of the company who spent the winters in the field were called 
the "wintering partners." Others were at Fort William in order to receive and 
forward general goods and furs, and still others, at Montreal, managing the 
general interests of the company, buying and selling supplies and products. 

They practically controlled the trade of the lakes and forests, and the streams 
entering the lakes.' 

Washington Irving wrote of the power of these autocrats : 

"The partners held a lordly sway over the wintry lakes and boundless forests 
of the Canadas, almost equal to the East India Company over the voluptuous 
climes and magnificent realms of the Orient.'' 

And of its decadence: 

"The feudal state of Fort William is at an end ; its council chambers no 
longer echo in the old world ditty ; the lords of the lakes and forests have passed 

The annual meeting of the company was held at Fort William, and on these 
occasions, and on holidays, banquets were given to the visiting partners that were 
almost regal in character. The tables were supplied with every luxury from the 
east and the west — with game from the forests, and choicest of the finny tribes 
from the lakes and streams, and the most costly wines and liquors. As the 
morning hours approached and the festivities reached the carousal stage, restraint 
was relaxed and the doors were thrown open, when the voyageurs, servants and 
attendants were permitted to look on and laugh, if not to participate in the merry 
pranks and songs of the wine-heated partners and their guests. 


The canoe, which was the only means of transportation between the East and 
the West, was made of birch bark, and carried from one and one-half to four 
tons of freight, or an equivalent number of passengers, and swiftly sped over 
the lakes and streams, manned by voyageurs, merrily singing some favorite ditty, 
such as: 

"Row, brother, row ; the stream runs fast. 
The rapids are near and the daylight is past," 

and when the rapids were reached, they would as merrily carry boat and freight 
over the portage, around the rapids, or, from one stream to another, and pass 
on, singing: 

"Faintly as tolls the evening chime, 
Our voices keep tune and our oars keep time." 

Also for the evening the following was a favorite : 

"Sing nightingale, keep singing, 
Thou hast a heart so gay; 
Thou hast a heart so merry, 
While mine is sorrow's prey." 

Several hundred descendants of these people became residents of North 
Dakota. They had passed through all the experiences to be encountered in 

From Abbott's King Philip. 



frontier life, beginning with the happy Hfe of the voyageur, participating in the 
dangers of war, and in the excitement of the chase, setthng down, at last to 
the quiet life of the rancher and farmer. 

Peter Grant, who established the first trading post at the mouth of the Pem- 
bina, heretofore mentioned, was an interesting writer. Of the canoe service he 

"The North- West Company's canoes, manned with five men, carry about three 
thousand pounds. They seldom draw more than eighteen inches of water, and go 
generally at the rate of si.x miles an hour in calm weather. When arriving at a 
portage, the bowman instantly jumps into the water, to prevent the canoe from 
touching the bottom, while the others tie their slings to the packs in the canoe 
and swing them on their backs to carry over the portage. The bowman and 
steerman carry the canoe, a duty from which the middlemen are exempt. The 
whole is conducted with astonishing expedition, a necessary consequence of the 
enthusiasm which always attends their long and perilous voyages. It is pleasant 
to see them, when the weather is calm and serene, paddling in their canoes, sing- 
ing in chorus their simple, melodious strains and keeping exact time with their 
paddles, which effectually beguiles their labors. When they arrive at a rapid, 
the guide or foreman's business is to explore the waters previous to their running 
down with their canoes, and, according to the height of water, they either lighten 
the canoe by taking out part of the cargo and carry it overland, or run down 
the whole load. 


In 1801 Sir Alexander Mackenzie published an account of his explorations, 
which attracted the attention of Thomas Douglas, Earl of Selkirk, who conceived 
the idea of colonizing a consideraljle number of the homeless people of his own 
land where a strong and loyal community might be built up. He endeavored to 
interest the Hudson's Bay Company in a colonization scheme, but failed to secure 
concessions from them; it being their policy to prevent settlement and to retard 
development, and hold the country for the Indian trade entirely. Thereupon he 
proceeded quietly to purchase, through his own resources and the assistance of 
his friends, a controlling interest in the stock of that company, and having accom- 
plished this, on May 30, 181 1, the company sold to him 110,000 square miles of 
the land, embracing all of the Red River within the British possession, and the 
streams tributary thereto, witli other lands. Selkirk was materially assisted in 
accomplishing his purpose by the accounts of the explorations of Lewis and Clark 
published in England and other foreign countries. 


The country purchased by Selkirk, without other consideration than his agree- 
ment to colonize it, covered an area of upwards of seventy million acres, described, 
in detail, as follows ; 

"Beginning at the eastern shore of Lake Winnipeg, at a point on 52° 50' 
north latitude, and thence running due west to Lake Winnipegoosis, otherwise 
called Little Winnipeg; thence in a southerly direction through said lake, so as 


to strike its western shore in latitude 52° ; thence due west to the place where 
parallel 52° intersects the western branch of the Red River; thence due south 
from that point of intersection to the height of land which separates the waters 
running into Hudson Bay from those running into the Missouri and Mississippi 
rivers; thence in an easterly direction along the height of land to the source of 
the River \\'innipeg, meaning by such last named, the principal branch of the 
■ waters which unite in the Lake Saginalis ; thence along the main stream of those 
waters and the middle of the several lakes through which they flow, to the mouth 
of the River Winnipeg, and thence in a northerly direction ihrough the middle 
of Lake Winnipeg to the place of beginning, which territory shall be called 

The grant embraced nearly all of what is now Manitoba, and a small portion 
of North Dakota. Having thus secured the land, Selkirk sought to interest in his 
colonization scheme the Scotch Highlanders, who were at that time being evicted 
from the Sutherland and other estates in Scotland. The Sutherland estate em- 
braced some seven hundred square miles of well populated territory. All tenants 
within a defined district were ordered to vacate within a given time, and when 
that time expired, if any remained, they were forcibly evicted, whether sick or 
well, and their homes given to the flames. It was partly to meet the needs of this 
class of peojile, to find "homes for the homeless," who formed the bulk of his 
colony, that Selkirk undertook the work of colonization. 

Lender these conditions it was not difficult to obtain colonists, and that year 
he dispatched seventy persons to the Red River ^'alley, who arrived the year 
after, followed by fifteen or twenty more the next year, by ninety-three in 1814; 
by 100 in 1815; about two hundred and seventy being Scotch Llighlanders, of 
whom 130 became permanent settlers. 

The first party was in command of Capt. Miles JNIacdonnell, who had seen 
service in the British army, the colonists meeting with opposition and petty an- 
noyances from the start by agents of the North-West Company, who were, also 
opposed to the settlement of the country. Other parties leaving England for 
the colony were interrupted and annoyed by North-West Companv influences ; 
some of its designing members having purchased stock in the Hudson's Bay 
Company, hoping to defeat Selkirk's project. 

The colonists were not only distressed before they left for Rupert's Land, as 
the country came to be known, but there was sickness and trouble at sea, and 
when they arrived at York factory, Hudson Bay, September 24, 181 1, they were 
landed without any previous preparations to receive them, and even the sick were 
without shelter. Their trip to the Red River the next spring, through an unset- 
tled country, though by canoe, was an arduous one. 

After they reached the Red River they were aimoyed in every conceivable 
manner, by persons dressed in Indian garb, threatening them and committing 
petty depredations upon their property, for the purpose of frightening them ; out- 
rages which it was intended should be attributed to the Indians. Finally 140 of 
the colonists were led away by agents of the North-W^est Company, who prom- 
ised them land in Canada, a year's provisions, and other considerations, but the 
more sturdy ones refused to leave. June 25, 1815, these were attacked by the 
Bois Brule, as the half-bloods were called, one of their number killed, several 
wounded, and their homes burned. Those who survived were driven away, but 


were piloted to the Hudson's Bay Company factory, on Lake Winnipeg, by 
friendly Indians. 

The distrust natural to the Indians had gradually been displaced by a liking 
for the colonists, not only because they offered a market for meats the traders 
refused to buy, but for their sturdy integrity. Unlike the majority of their race, 
whose preconceived opinions, as will be noted further on, were not flattering to 
the whites in general, they had found white men who were not liars, and were 
not trying to harm or take advantage of them, and though they ridiculed their 
"tender feet,"' they stood ready to act in their defense, and all eflforts to induce 
them to attack the colonists failed. 

On the arrival of the new settlers in June, 1815, the colonists who had been 
driven away, returned and rebuilt their cabins and harvested their crdps. Because 
no preparations had been made to receive the colonists of that year, and on ac- 
count of the scarcity of provisions, seventy-five of the strongest went to Pembina 
where there was a deserted trading post, which was fitted up for their comfort, 
and a lumiber of new cabins erected. The buli'alo were, also, abundant near 
Pembina, and pemmican could be obtained for food from the Indians. 

The succeeding winter was a severe one, the mercury sometimes falling to 
45 degrees below zero, with deep snows. Their supplies of foocj jdvere very low, 
but with pemmican obtained from the Indians, fish — caught through holes in the 
ice — from the river, and an occasional dog, which they relished under the cir- 
cumstances, they managed to subsist during the winter, and in the spring they 
gathered the seed-balls of the wild rose and acorns, which, cooked with buffalo 
fat, afforded nutritious aliment. 

During the trouble with the settlers in the summer of 181 5, Governor ^^liles 
Macdonnell had been arrested and carried away from the colony by Duncan 
Cameron, the Xorth-West Company governor, acting as an alleged Canadian 
officer, and the artillery belonging to the Hudson's Bay Company post had been 
seized, on the ground that it had been used to break the peace, when used in 
defense of the colony. But among the new arrivals that year was Robert Semple, 
a former officer of the British army, who assumed the duties of governor of the 
colony. He spent a portion of the winter at Pembina, where the Xorth-\\'est 
Company had a trading post, known as the Pembina House. This he seized, and 
arrested the managers — who were afterwards released — and, also, in ]\Iay, 1816, 
attacked and razed a post belonging to the company, known as Fort Gibraltar, 
which was in charge of Cameron, using the material to strengthen the defenses 
at Fort Douglas, the Hudson's Bay Company post, and to rebuild the homes of 
the settlers. 

Fort Gibraltar was erected for the old X. Y. Company, the :Montrea! rival of 
the North-West Company, represented by John Wills. 

The stockade was made of oak logs, split in two, fifteen feet high. There 
were eight buildings, viz., four. 64, 36, 28 and 32 feet in length, respectively, and 
a blacksmith shop, a stable, a kitchen and an ice house. Twenty men were 
engaged a year in its construction. 

Fort Douglas, the site of the settlement of the Selkirk Colony, was one mile 
below the confluence of the Red and Assiniboine rivers. Here was the residence 
of the governor. Selkirk gave it the name Kildonan, in 1817, in honor of the set- 
tlers who came from Kildonan parish in Scotland. 


111 the spring of 1816, the settlers left their quarters at Pembina, known as 
Fort Daer, occupied winters by members of the colony until 1823, and planting 
their crops, looked for favorable returns and for peace, yet fearing the worst, 
for the retaliatory measures adopted by Governor Semple had made bloodshed 
almost certain. 


On June 16, 1816, the settlers were again attacked by the Bois Brule, and 
the governor and twenty-one out of twenty-eight of his officers and men were 
shot and killed at Seven Oaks, whereupon Fort Douglas was surrenderd to the 
representatives of the North-West Company. The attacking party was com- 
manded by Cuthbert Grant, and the attack was planned by Duncan Cameron, 
the chief officer of the North- West Company, especially instructed to destroy the 
colony. Through many kindnesses done the colonists, and through being able to 
speak their languages, he had succeeded in planting the seeds of discord, and in 
leading away the major portion of the colony before the attack of the previous 

It may be doubted that murder was intended. The I\Iontreal traders had been 
the first to explore and open the country to trade, followed by the Hudson's Bay 
Company at every important point. The Hudson's Bay Company's grant to 
Selkirk embraced much of a country which the North-West Company regarded 
their own by right of discovery or original French leases or grants, and by occu- 
pation. Selkirk jiad given them a limited time in which to leave the territory, 
and his agents had captured their Fort Gibraltar and razed it, taking absolute 
command of the river, interrujiting their communication with their frontier posts 
and paralyzing their business ; and he had also captured their post at Pembina. 
He failed to supply his colonists with provisions or means of cultivating the soil, 
but had not neglected to furnish them with arms and ammunition, and a battery 
of artillery, and Governor Macdonnell had thoroughly drilled them, exciting the 
belief that the colony was to be used as a military force to crush the North-\\'est 
Company and utterly destroy their business. This Cameron was expected to 

At Sault Ste. Alarie, on his way to this colony, Selkirk learned of the murder 
of Governor Semple and his party. His expedition consisted of about two hun- 
dred and fifty men; among them 100 men of the DeMeuron and Watteville 
regiment, whom he had hired to go to the colony and defend it, if need be; 150 
canoe men and other employees. He immediately proceeded to Fort William, 
the headquarters of the North-West Company, and, acting as a magistrate, ar- 
rested all of the principal men connected with the company, and sent them to 
Canada for trial. He wintered at Fort William, proceeding to his colony the next 
spring, and upon his arrival in June, restored order and confidence. He gave deeds 
for the lands on which his settlers had made improvements, made treaties with 
the Indians for the extinguishment of their title to the lands he claimed, made 
a treaty of peace with the Sioux, and, though a Protestant, he urged the Catholic 
authorities to establish a mission at Fort Douglas, and for this purpose gave 
twenty-five acres for the church, and a tract of land, 5 miles long by 4 miles 
wide, promising any additional aid he or his friends might be able to render. 



For 150 years the Hudson's Bay Company had owned and occupied Rupert's 
Land. They had generally prospered, and their stock had paid large dividends, 
and yet, in all that land, there was neither church nor chapel, priest nor teacher — 
not a single school had been founded. Uut this condition was to prevail no 

In February, 1816, selection was made by the Bishop of Quebec of the person 
to establish the mission requested by Selkirk, and for which his colonists had 
petitioned. July 16, 1818, Father Joseph Provencher and his companion. Father 
Joseph Severe Dumoulin, arrived at Fort Douglas, and established a mission 
which thereafter was known as St. Boniface. Soon after their arrival grasshop- 
pers visited the Red River country, and completely destroyed the crops of the 
settlers, forcing the new colonists, who arrived that year, also to go to Pembina, 
where there was already a considerable settlement. 

Father Dumoulin went to Pembina the latter part of August, and Septem- 
ber 8, 1818, celebrated mass at Pembina, the first Christian service within the 
limits of what is now North Dakota. 

He founded a school, which was placed in charge of William Edge, and when 
the Vicar General (Provencher) arrived in January, 1819, there were sixty 
pupils in the school, and 300 people in the parish, while at St. Boniface, the foun- 
dation of Winnipeg, there were about fifty. The first teachers in the school at St. 
Boniface were the two Misses Nolan, Pembina girls and daughters of the trader. 
Of the commercial advantages of Pembina, the Vicar General thus wrote to 
the bishop : 

"That post is for the present very important. From there I. with all of the 
colony, receive all of my provisions. I shall continue to build there.'' 

He spoke of his chapel at St. Boniface, 80x35 feet, and his "shop" at Pem- 
bina, 24x18 feet, with a presbytery, 60x30 feet. He was disquieted by the infor- 
mation that Pembina was on the American side of the international boundary line, 
and admitted that his plan had been disarranged by the information, but he 
intended "to continue to build, for Father Dumoulin must spend the winter 

In 1819 and 1820, the grasshoppers again destroyed the crops, leaving the 
colonists entirely dependent upon Pembina for subsistence. Provencher spent 
the winter of 1819-20 at Pembina. Almost every one had left St. Boniface 
for the winter. 

In 1820 Provencher was appointed coadjutor bishop of Quebec with the 
title of Bishop of Juliopolis, and May 12, 1822, was consecrated. He returned 
to St. Boniface in August, 1822, after an absence of two years from the colony, 
to find that the Hudson's Bay Company had insisted upon the withdrawal of the 
priests from Pembina, for the reason that it was on the American side. This was 
determined by observations made by David Thompson for the North- West Com- 
pany in 1798, and confirmed in August, 1823, by Maj. Stephen H. Long, the 
priests having withdrawn the previous January. 

.Some of the settlers after the withdrawal of the priests founded the parish 
of St. Francis Xavier, and others went to Fort Snelling, and various points in 
the United States, the colonists generally returning to St. Boniface, as they had 


been in the habit of doing, each spring. Father Diimoulin was heart-broken over 
the destruction of the interests he had built up at Pembina, and returned to 
Canada, where he died in 1853. 

Hudson's bay company and north-west company amalgamated 

Regarding the amalgamation of the Hudson's Bay and North-West com- 
panies, the following letter was written by Alexander Lean to Peter Fidler, both 
members of the Hudson's Bay Company, at London, !May 21, 1821 : 

"I received your esteemed favor of the 14th August last from Norway House. 
I thank you much for the information it contained. I shall now, in return, give 
vou such intelligence as will, I trust, not only be agreeable to you but to every 
individual in the service. 

"In the first place, all misunderstanding between the honorable company 
and the North-West Company is totally at an end. You are to know that the 
honorable company caused it to be announced in the Gazette and daily papers, 
that a general board of proprietors would be held at their house on Monday, the 
26th March last. It was so held and many of the Hudson's Bay and North-West 
proprietors attended. Tendency of this meeting was to promulgate that a union 
between the two companies had taken place. I cannot enumerate the resolutions 
which unanimously passed on the occasion, let it suffice for me to acquaint you 
that it appears to have been a well-digested plan, which eventually will tend to 
the advantage of both companies. 

"Mr. Garry, a gentleman of the honorable committee, accompanied by Mr. 
Simon McGillivray, has embarked for New York, from thence to Montreal in 
order to proceed to the company settlements, the North-West stations and Red 
River. If you should see Mr. Garry you will find him a gentleman in every 
respect, and deserving respectful attention. The whole concern will be appor- 
tioned into shares to which the North-West agent will be entitled. 

"I was present at the general board (being a proprietor) and after the busi- 
ness was concluded a mutual congratulation passed between the governor, etc., 
and myself, and I sincerely wish every individual, a fellow laborer in the same 
vineyard in which I was till lately, joy on the happy event." 

Peter Fidler was a surveyor and a very well-known officer in the service of 
the Hudson's Bay Company ; John Wills, the Pembina manager of the North- 
West Company, is mentioned in the will of Mr. Fidler, dated Atigust 16, 1821. 







"For one by one, the scattered race 
Hath slowly dropped from time and space. 
All silently they slipped away, 
As shadows pass at close of day. 
So vanish like the morning dew, 
The older clans before the new." 

— Susan H. IVixon, "Indian Toztm." 


The country north of the Ohio Ri\er had come into the possession of the 
United States through the capture of Post \'incents. or Vincennes, by Col. George 
R. Clark, with the co-operation of Patrick Henry, who was the first governor 
of Virginia and held the office by successive re-elections until 1779, and was 
again elected at the close of the Revolutionary war. 

The post, which was of great importance for trade, was located on the east 
bank of the Wabash River, in Indiana, 150 miles above its junction with the 
Ohio River, and was taken from the British, who had acquired the territory in 
1763, and had held it for a period of nineteen years. 

The fort was built by Francois Morganne de la Vincenne, an officer in the 
service of the King of France, in the fall of 1702, on the site of the present 
City of Vincennes. The plot of ground was held until 1839, when it was 
divided and sold in lots. It owed its origin to military necessity for protecting 
French possessions, and was one of a contemplated chain of forts to connect 
Canada with Louisiana. It was built of logs, and when it was torn down in 
1820. the logs were used in the construction of private houses. 

The Indians were friendly and assisted in building the fort, and ainong the 
tribes surrounding the location was the Shawnee. It was one time called "Fort 
Sackville'' by the British, in honor of Sir Thomas Sackville, earl of Dorset, and 
prime minister of Great Britain when that governinent assumed possession of 
the territory, but the change was never acknowledged by the citizens of the 

'' 99229IJ 


town. Colonel Clark changed the name to "Fort Patrick Henry," but it did not 
stand. The founder of the fort was burned at the stake after a battle with the 
Chickasaws, on Easter Sunday, 1736. He refused to join in the retreat, and 
remained with his wounded and dying soldiers in the hands of the Indians. 

The British commander, Henry Hamilton, lieutenant governor and superin- 
tendent, held the fort when besieged by Colonel Clark, and notes of capitulation 
between officers were exchanged February 24, 1779, Great Britain surrendering 
to Virginia for the following reasons : 

"The remoteness from succor, the state and quantity of provisions ; unanimity 
of officers and men in its expediency; the honorable terms allowed, and, lastly 
the confidence in a generous enemy." During the siege one of Clark's men was 
wounded, and in the fort seven men were badly wounded out of a garrison of 
seventy-nine men. 

The most powerful Indian in the country was "Tobacco's Son," who was 
friendly to Clark. 


This was one of the most important periods in its consequences in the history 
of the American Revolution, for the reason that owing to this conquest, and the 
consequent civil and military control of the Northwest, we were able to secure 
in the Treaty of Paris, made by representatives of Great Britain and the United 
States after the close of the war, the concession of the Mississippi River for 
our western boundarj'. 

The land lay between the Alleghanies and the Mississippi, embracing the 
states of Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, Wisconsin and Minnesota. The 
states of Virginia, Maryland, Massachusetts, New York and Connecticut, claimed 
a portion of this country by virtue of their charters from the king, but each, in 
turn, surrendered, New York, Virginia and Maryland not yielding until 1781. 


The definitive treaty of peace between the United States and Great Britain was 
signed at Paris on September 3, 1783, by John Adams, Benjamin Franklin and 
John Jay, on the part of the United States, and David Hartley for Great Britain, 
between Prince George III, by the grace of God, king of Great Britain, France 
and Ireland, defender of the faith, etc., and the United States of America, con- 
sisting of the states of New Hampshire, Massachusetts Bay, Rhode Island and 
Providence Plantations, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, 
Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia, 
acknowledged by his Britannic Majesty to be free, sovereign and independent 

After the conquest by Clark the country around Vincennes became a part 
of the Commonwealth of Virginia. In 1784 Thomas Jeflferson proposed that 
■Congress should divide the domain into ten states, but the proposition failed. 
In 1786 the Northwest Territory treaties were made by the United States with 
the Shawnees. 



In 1787, a bill was passed by Congress entitled "An Ordinance for the Gov- 
ernment of the Territory of the United States Northwest of the River Ohio." 

The ordinance was modeled after the constitution accepted by the people of 
the State of Massachusetts in 1780, and Daniel Webster said of it: "No single 
law of any lawgiver, ancient or modern, has produced effects of more distinct, 
marked, and lasting character, than the Ordinance of 1787." 

It forever prohibited slavery or involuntary servitude, "otherwise than in the 
punishment of crimes whereof the party shall have been duly convicted; pro- 
vided, always, that any person escaping into the same, from whom labor or 
service is lawfully claimed in any one of the original states, such fugitive may 
be lawfully reclaimed, and conveyed to the person claiming his or her labor or 
services as aforesaid." 

It declared that "Religion, morality, and knowledge, being necessary to good 
government and the happiness of mankind, schools and the means of education 
shall forever be encouraged." 

Relative to the treatment of the original owners of the soil it clearly sets 
forth that : "The utmost good faith shall always be observed toward the Indians ; 
their lands and property shall never be taken from them without their consent; 
and in their property rights, and liberty, they shall never be invaded'or disturbed, 
unless in just and lawful wars authorized by Congress; but laws founded in 
justice and humanity shall from time to time be made, for preventing wrongs 
being done to them, and for preserving peace and friendship with them." 

The movement for the organization of this territory had been initiated by 
an organization of the officers and soldiers of the Revolutionary war, to whom 
land scrip had been issued which had little value, and it was hoped that the sale 
of the fertile lands in this region would enable them to use or dispose of their 
holdings. Soldiers, trappers, hunters, and others who had passed beyond the 
Alleghanies, had excited an interest in the country which demanded its develop- 
ment. Further treaties with the Indians were necessary, however, in order to 
develop the country. 


An important movement having been decided upon by the United States 
Government, which Gen. Anthony Wayne was commissioned to lead, he passed 
the spring and .summer of 1793 at Fort Washington (now Cincinnati, Ohio) in 
recruiting and drilling his men, proceeding on October 7th of that year to the 
region now designated as Darke County, where he erected Fort Greenville, passing 
the winter there. 

After repeated failures to negotiate treaties of peace with the Indians, he 
gave them fair warning and then declared war, which ended August 20, 1794, 
in a victory for Wayne. The result was that on June 10, 1795, a council of 
delegates from the Indian nations convened at Greenville and on August 3, 1795, 
the Treaty of Greenville was signed by Ma j. -Gen. Anthony Wayne, commanding 
the armies of the United States, commissioner on behalf of the United States 
for the occasion, and ninety chiefs and delegates of twelve tribes of Indians, viz.. 


the Wyandots, Delawares, Shawanoes, Ottavvas, Oiippewas, Pottawatamies, 
Miamis, Eel River, VVeeas, Kickapoos, Piankashaws and Kaskaskias, yielding to 
the United States their rights to all the territory south and east of the line then 
fixed. The line passed up the Cuyahoga and across the Tuscarawas Portage to 
the forks of the Tuscarawas near Fort Lawrence, and then south of west to 
Loromie's Store, thence west by north to Fort Recovery, and thence southwest- 
wardly to the Ohio River, opposite the mouth of the Kentucky. 

The lands north and west of the point named were conceded to be Indian 
lands excepting 150,000 acres granted to George R. Clark and his warriors, the 
post at Vincennes, and the lands adjacent thereto and the lands at other places 
in possession of the whites and six miles square at Chicago, Fort Wayne, 
Defiance, Sandusky and other points forming a complete chain of forts from the 
mouth of the Illinois and along the great lakes and a considerable tract at Detroit, 
the Indians agreeing to allow the free use of harbors, mouths of rivers and of 
the streams and portages throughout their vast domain and in addition to benefits 
received under former treaties they were to receive $20,000 in goods and presents 
and $9,500 annually forever for the surrender of their advantages. — injuries and 
expenses sustained in the Indian wars by the United States being taken into con- 
sideration. As small as these annuities were they were divided among the sev- 
eral tribes and to each a certain portion. 


Among the characters who left their mark on the early days of the Red 
River was John Tanner, son of a clergyman who emigrated to the Ohio River in 
1789, and with his family had been settled but a few days, when John, then a- 
lad of twelve years, was captured by an Indian from Lake Huron. 

His mother died in his early childhood. His father married again, and feeling 
himself aggrieved he fancied he would prefer living with the Indians. Accord- 
ingly when he was punished for a misdemeanor by being confined to the house, 
he slipped out unnoticed and ran to the woods where there was a favorite walnut 
tree, and being found there was carried away by Manito-o-geezhik to make his 
wife's heart glad, for she mourned a son lost by disease. 

The child was adopted into the family, but Manito-o-geezhik becoming dis- 
satisfied with him tomahawked him, and threw him into the bushes for dead, 
but telling his squaw where she could find him. She, hurrying to the spot, found 
him still alive and nursed him back to health. 

Later, Manito-o-geezhik sold him to Net-no-kwa, a noted woman, who was 
a wise and influential chief of the Ottawas. She gave Manito-o-geezhik two ten 
gallon kegs of whisky, a number of blankets, and other presents, for the boy. 

Manito-o-geezhik had treated him cruelly, telling him he was going back to 
his home to kill his people, and after an absence of three weeks brought him 
his brother's hat which had a bullet hole in it, and told him he had killed the 
whole family. Recognizing his brother's hat. Tanner believed him, but nearly 
thirty years after, he found that the Indian had captured his brother and tied him 
to a tree for the night, and he managed to escape and returned to his home. 

Net-no-kwa was always very good to Tanner, and he learned to love her as 
he would a mother. She dressed him well, allowed him to play with other 
children and gave him enough to eat. 


From a painting by Charles Bodmer from "Travels to the Interior of North America in 

1833-3-4," by Maximilian, Prince of Wied, 1843. 

I in; I'lltST KNtUl'XTER 
From Abbott's King Philip. 


In 1792, Net-no-kwa had moved from her home on Lake Huron to the Red 
River country to hunt beaver, and on her way her husband was killed, and her 
son and son-in-law died, and to drown trouble she resorted to stupefaction by 
liquor, contrary to former temperate habits, and thereafter she had occasional 
periods of intoxication, when she would give nearly all she possessed for liquor 
for herself and companions whom she treated as royally as her means would 

Tanner remained with his foster-mother, and cared for her, until long after 
he became a man. He grew into a mighty hunter, so great that the Indians 
became jealous of him, and one tomahawked him when he was asleep in his tent, 
and another shot him, and, although severely wounded in both cases, he 

Although taken away from his home when so young, and entirely forgetting 
his mother tongue, having been trained in Indians ways of thought and expres- 
sion, he stated that he had always been conscious of his entire dependence upon 
a superior being and invisible power, but that he had felt this conviction much 
more powerfully in time of distress and danger, and knew that the Great Spirit 
saw and heard, when he called on him to pity the distress of himself and family. 

Tanner was noted for his integrity and bravery, and it is related of him 
that he once brought two parcels of fur to the Red River trading post, one of 
which he sold to pay a debt to the North-West Company trader, intending to lise 
the other to settle with the Hudson's Bay Company, but in that he was violently 
opposed by the trader of the former company, who when persuasion failed to 
change his purpose, threatened him with bodily injury, and Tanner still per- 
sisting in having his own way, the trader placed a pistol to his breast, when 
Tanner, undaunted, pointing to his bare bosom, told him to "fire away," declaring 
that though he was a stranger in a strange land, a captive and a slave, he would 
not raise a weapon against any man and then refrain from killing him because 
he was afraid. 

This exhibition of courage gained him the liberty to dispose of his furs to 
suit him.self, and pay his just debt to the rival company. 


Net-no-kwa. accompanied by Tanner, arrived at Pembina the day before 
the advent of Chaboillez in 1797, and found no indications of whites having been 
there before. .. 

Tanner was among the Indians then hunting in that region, trapping along 
all of the streams emptying into the Red River as far north as the Bois dcs Sioux 
where he spent one winter, often killing as many as 100 beaver in a month. He 
took that number one month on the Bois des Sioux, without the aid of a gun, 
and in his hunting he sometimes killed as many as twenty animals with a 
single ball, using it over and over again. 

In Mr. Tanner's "Narrative," he states that about the year 1800, it was no 
uncommon thing for an Indian to give five or six prime beaver skins for a quart 
of Saulteur liquor, — a gill or two of alcohol, the rest water. 

On the Mouse River, in the course of a single day, Net-no-kwa sold 120 


beaver skins, with a large quantity of other furs, for rum, at the price of six 
skins for a quart. 

"Of all of our large load of peltries, the produce of so many days toil, of 
so many long and difficult journeys, one blanket and three kegs of rum only 
remained besides the poor and almost worn out clothing on our backs," was 
Tanner's sorrowful reflection. 

The price they paid per quart was, fairly, the equivalent of $i8, and, as 
Tanner says, "They put a great deal of water in that." 

pe-shau-ba's recollections and death 

Among the Ottawa friends of Net-no-kwa, was an unusually bright and 
good Indian Chief named Pe-shau-ba. He was good to every one, and especially 
to young Tanner. He always gave of his substance to help others, and often 
interfered to stop trouble, and no matter how freely he gave, he always had, if 
not an abundance, enough to supply his own wants and to divide with his 
intimate friends, but he became very ill, and calling Tanner to him, addressed 
to him the following words, as related in Tanner's "Narrative" : 

"I remember before I came to live in this world I was with the Great Spirit 
above, and I looked down and saw men upon the earth. I saw many good and 
desirable things and, among others, a beautiful woman, and as I looked down 
day after day at the woman, He said to me ; 

"'Pe-shau-ba, do you love the woman you are so often looking at?' I told 
Him I did. He then said to me : 'Go down and spend a few winters on earth. 
You cannot stay long, and you must remember to be always kind to my children 
whom you see below.' So I came down, but I have never forgotten what He 
said to me. When my people have fought with their enemies, I have not struck 
my friends in their lodges. I have disregarded the foolishness of young men 
who would have offended me, but have always been ready and willing to lead 
our brave men against the Sioux. I have always gone into battle painted black, 
as I am now, and I now hear the same voice that talked to me before I came 
into this world. It tells me I can remain here no longer. To you, my brother, 
I have been a protector and you will be sorry when I leave you, but be not like a 
woman. You will soon follow in my path." 

He then put on the new clothes Tanner had given him, walked out of the 
lodge, looked at the sun, the sky, the lake and the distant hills, then came in and 
lay down composedly, and in a few moments ceased to breathe. 

"Farewell, sweet lake, farewell, surrounding woods. 

To other groves, through midnight glooms, I stray, 
Beyond the mountains, and beyond the floods. 

Beyond the Huron Bay — 
Prepare the hollow tomb, and place me low, 

My trusty bow and arrows by my side. 
The cheerful bottle and the venison store, 

For long the journey is that I must go 
Without a partner, and without a guide. 

He spoke, and bade the attending mourners weep, 
Then closed his eyes and sunk to endless sleep." 

— Philip Freneau, "The Dying Indian." 



In 1816, Thomas Douglas, fifth Earl of Selkirk, Baron Daer and Shortcleugh, 
while visiting this country became much attached to John Tanner and located 
his family on the banks of the Ohio River. Tanner, when Lord Selkirk found 
him, had grown to manhood, and had married an Indian woman and after being 
recognized by his family through the exertion of Lord Selkirk, brought several 
of his half-blood children into the United States. Returning afterwards for 
his two daughters, he found that their mother, believing he was about to desert 
her, had given one of their daughters to an Indian, who had agreed to murder 
Tanner, and in the attempt shot him, but not with fatal efTect. He was found 
by RIaj. Stephen H. Long, the explorer, and his party, in 1823, on the Rainy 
River, alone and uncared for, having been abandoned by his wife and daughters. 

Dr. Edward James, of the Long Expedition, reduced his life and adventures 
to writing and published them in 1830, under the title of "Tanner's Narrative." 
This production confirms much that was written by Alexander Henry. 


The Indians of America, no less than the white men of Europe, and the brown 
men of Asia, have had many prophets and messiahs, who have taught them spir- 
itual things. 

In November, 1805, there arose a prophet among the Shawnees of Ohio, who 
called himself Tenskwatawa (the "Open Door"). He was twin brother of 
Tecumseh, conspicuous in American historj' immediately before the War of 
1812, by reason of the setting on foot of an Indian confederacy to hold the Ohio 
River as a boundary beyond which white settlement should not be advanced. 

The Shawnee prophet, at the height of his popularity was about thirty years 
of age, and is said to have possessed a magnetic personality of extraordinary 
power, notwithstanding the physical drawback of the loss of one eye. 

His friends claimed that he had gained superior insight and knowledge of 
spiritual things by means of a trance, in which he was believed to be dead, and 
preparations were made for his funeral, but he revived, and announced himself 
the bearer of a new revelation from the Master of Life. 

He warned his followers against the use of intoxicating liquors, depicting 
the horrors of drunkenness in such light, that intoxication became almost un- 
known among the Indians during the period of his influence. He required a return 
to the primitive life, all property to be in common, according to the ancient laws 
of the tribes, and all the white man's tools must be discarded, and his customs 
renounced. He denounced the witchcraft practices and mechanical juggleries, 
reserving to himself the power to cure all diseases, and stay the hand of death 
from disease or wounds by supernatural skill. He forbade intermarriage with 
the whites, and the adoption of their dress and firearms, and admonished the 
young to respect the aged and infirm. They must give up their dogs, and keep 
a fire burning in the lodge. 

His followers carried their virtues to such an extent that they even emulated 
the whites of New England, and burned their witches, roasting one subject four 
days, before death came to her relief. 


His fame extended to the extreme Southwest, where the Indians had looked 
for a messiah under whose influence "the earth should teem with fruit and 
flowers without the pains of culture, when an ear of corn should be as much 
as one man could carry, and the cotton as it grew should of its own accord take 
the rich dyes of human art, and the air should be laden with intoxicating per- 
fumes and the melody of birds." 

Under the vigorous preaching of a former prophet, many in the Southwest 
gave up their flocks and herds, their apiaries and orchards- — for they were becom- 
ing civilized — and returned to the forest to take up the simple life of their 
fathers. The influence of the Shawnee prophet extended to all western and 
southwestern tribes. The Chippewa killed their dogs, ceased, in a measure, to 
fear the Sioux, and tried to lead the life taught by the one they had learned to 
love and look upon as a redeemer. They had mysterious rites of confirmation 
peculiar to their religion. 


Tanner's "Narrative" describes the efifect at the Pembina Post of the Prophet's 
doctrines : 

The next spring (1806) we had assembled at the trading house at Pembina. 
The chiefs built a great lodge, and called the men together to receive information 
concerning the Great Spirit. The messenger of the revelation was Manito-o- 
geezhik, a man of no great fame (not Tanner's foster-father) but well known 
among the Chippewas. Little Clam took it upon himself to explain about the meet- 
ing. He sang and prayed, and proceeded to detail the principal features of the 
revelation brought by ^lanito-o-geezhik : The Indians were to go no more against 
their enemies; they must no longer steal, defraud or lie, they must neither be 
drunk, nor eat their food nor drink their broth when it was hot; and henceforth 
the fire must never be suffered to go out in the lodge, summer or winter, day or 
night, in storm, or when it was calm. They must remember that the life in the 
body and the fire in the lodge are the same, and of the same date. If they suf- 
fered their fires to be extinguished, at that moment their lives would end. They 
must not suflfer a dog to live. The Prophet was himself coming to shake hands 
with them, but Manito-o-geezhik liad come before that they might know what was 
the will of the Great Spirit, communicated to us by him, and to inform them that 
the preservation of their lives depended upon their entire obedience. 

They understood that they were not to kindle a fire with the steel and flint 
of the white man, but with the fire sticks of the olden times, nor were they to use 
the firearms obtained from the whites, but the bows and arrows given to their 

Many of the Indians killed their dogs and threw away their steel and flints, 
and endeavored to do as Manito-o-geezhik had instructed Little Clam to say to 
them. They moved about in fear and humility, and distress and anxiety were 
visible in every countenance. 

Under this inspiration, and the promise that the Sioux should not hurt them, 
they went to the waters of the Upper Red River, where Tanner hunted for 
beaver, and Little Clam relying on the promise, led a party of ten warriors and 
their families towards Devils Lake but the whole band was cut off by the Sioux. 


When found, the body of Little Clam was shot full of arrows and on the camp 
ground were many bodies of women and children. Only one man escaped. 

About this time, a leading chief and forty young men came from Leech Lake 
to Pembina to learn more of the message from the Prophet. The arrival of his 
messenger and the ceremony of shaking hands, is thus described by Tanner: 

"When we arrived, he at first maintained a long and mysterious silence before 
announcing that he was the forerunner of the Great Prophet who would soon 
shake hands with the Chippewa and reveal to them his inspired words, and set 
forth the new manner of living which they were hereafter to adopt. 

"When the Indians had gathered in the lodge, we saw something carefully 
•concealed under a blanket, in figure and dimensions bearing some resemblance 
to a man. This was accompanied by two young men, who it was understood 
attended constantly upon it, made its bed at night, as for a man, and slept near 
it. But when removed no one went near it, or raised the blanket which was 
spread over its unknown contents. 

"Four strings of mouldy and discolored beads were all the visible insignia 
of this important man. 

"After a long harangue, in which the prominent features of the new revela- 
tion were stated and urged upon the attention of all, the four strings of beads, 
which we were told were made of the flesh of the Prophet, were carried with 
much solemnity to each man in the lodge, and he was expected to take hold of 
each string at the top and draw them quietly through his hand. 

"This was called 'shaking hands with the Prophet,' and was considered as 
solemnly engaging to obey his instructions and accept of his mission as from the 

"All the Indians that touched the beads had piously killed their dogs; they 
gave up their medicine bags, and showed a disposition to comply with all that 
should be required of them. But in time these new impressions were obliterated, 
medicine bags, flints and steels, the use of which had been forbidden, were 
brought into use, dogs were reared, women and children beaten as before and the 
Shawnee Prophet was depised." 


During the meeting where they went through the ceremony described, the 
Sioux were lying in wait to attack Fort Pembina, and at its close when the gates 
were opened to turn a horse out to graze, they fired and killed the horse. 

The Chippewa who were feasting and dancing after the ceremony took up 
arms at once, and pursued the Sioux, but without result. 

The attacking party proved to be only Waneton, mentioned in connection 
with Major Long's expedition, and his uncle. The influence of the Prophet re- 
mained for two or three years, during which time there was less drunkenness, 
and less fear of the Sioux. 

Tanner did not kill his dogs, throw away his flint, or keep his fires burning, 
but confesses that he was sometimes uneasy. 


Ex-President Thomas Jefiferson to Ex-President Adams gave his opinion of 
the Prophet in the following terms: 


"The" Wabash Prophet is more rogue than fool, if to be a rogue is not the 
greatest of folhes. He rose to notice while I was in the administration, and 
became, of course, a proper subject for me. The inquiry was made with dili- 
gence. His declared object was the reformation of his red brothers and their 
return to their primitive manner of living. He pretended to be in constant com- 
munication with the Great Spirit. * =^ * I concluded from all this, that he was 
a visionary, enveloped in their antiquities and vainly endeavoring to lead back 
his brethren to the fancied beatitude of the golden age. I thought there was 
little danger in his making many proselytes from the habits and comforts they 
had learned from the whites, to the hardships and privations of savagism, and 
no great harm, if he did. But his followers increased, until the British thought 
him worth corrupting, and found him corruptible. I suppose his views were then 
changed, but his proceedings in consequence of them were after I left the admin- 
istration, and are therefore unknown to me ; nor have I ever been informed what 
were the particular acts on his part which produced an actual commencement of 
hostilities on ours. I have no doubt, however, that the subsequent proceedings 
are but a chapter apart, like that of Henry and Lord Liverpool, in the book of 
the King of England." 

It is admitted that there is no doubt that the Shawnee Prophet really sought 
the good of his people, and believed in the beneficial effects of his doctrines, 
although it is claimed that his inquisition was shocking in its cruelty. 


Through the Treaty of Paris the United States acquired the territory Great 
Britain claimed by right of discovery, and would have held notwithstanding the 
natural rights of those dispossessed. Upon the organization, in 1788 of this addi- 
tion to the Union, named the "Northwest Territory" Gen. Arthur St. Clair was 
appointed the first governor and was made commander-in-chief of the militia 
therein, to order, rule, and govern conformably to the ordinance of the 13th of 
July, 1787, entitled "An ordinance for the government of the territory of the 
United States northwest of the River Ohio.'' The commission took effect the 
1st clay of February, 1788, to continue three years, and he held the post until 
1802. In the beginning of his administration he met the tribes who complained 
that the whites were not willing to regard the Ohio River as a boundary, at Fort 
Harmar (now Alarietta) — erected in 1785-86 on the right bank of the Muskingum 
River at its junction with the Ohio, in honor of Gen. Josiah Harmar — in order 
to make treaties with them; and in his address he reminded them that they had 
been allies of Great Britain in the Revolutionary war, and the loss of the lands 
was one of the consequences of defeat. The first division of the Northwest Ter- 
ritory was into Ohio and Indiana. Ohio was admitted into the Union and Michi- 
gan was created, and the boundaries of Michigan extended to take in a good 
part of North Dakota. 


It was when the religious excitement attending the rise of the Shawnee 
Prophet was at its height, that Tecumseh took advantage of it to incite the Indians 

'''^K^ ^ 




■ /^^^K^B 



' ■ Xj 

^SO^' i 

George Washington 

•John Adams 

Thomas Jefl'erson 

James Madison 

James Monroe Jolm Quincy Adams 



of the West and Southwest to resist the further advance of the whites, drawing 
the hne at the Ohio River, as later, Sitting Bull drew it at the Missouri. 

Messengers were sent to every Indian nation, and representatives of the 
various tribes of the Northwest convened at the headquarters of the Shawnee 
P'rophet at Greenville, Ohio, in order to learn the new doctrine and receive con- 
firmation of the belief in him through his dreams and repeated revelations and 
predictions; among the latter the eclipse of the sun in the summer of i8o6, which 
he claimed as a proof of his own supernatural powers. 

The movement was a revolt against the breaking down of old Indian customs 
and modes of life and the encroachment of the whites on their domain. 


Tecumseh and the Prophet held a tract of land on the Tippecanoe River, one 
of the tributaries of the Wabash River. To this place in the western part of 
what is now Indiana, Tecumseh and the Prophet, with their following, removed 
in the spring of 1808. They laid out a village known as the Prophet's Town, 
and attracted to this center a large number of Northern Indians. 

Gen. William Henry Harrison had served under Major General St. Clair 
.and Gen. Anthony Wayne, and commanded Fort Washington (now Cincinnati) 
in 1795, and was secretary of the territory northwest of Ohio in 1797. In 1801, 
lie was appointed governor of the new territory of Indiana, which comprised the 
present states of Indiana, Illinois, Michigan and Wisconsin, nearly all in the pos- 
session of the Indians, with whom as superintendent of Indian affairs, Harrison 
made treaties. The year of his appointment he went to the French Village of 
Vincennes, and in June, 1808, Tecumseh sent a deputation of Indians to him 
there with a message from the Prophet. This was followed in August, by a visit 
from the Prophet in person who was entertained at \'incennes two weeks ; Gen- 
eral Harrison forming a very favorable opinion of him and his abilities. The 
party carried a supply of provisions on their return to Tippecanoe. 

In June, 18 10, Geneal Harrison sent two agents to Tippecanoe to more fully 
acquaint himself with the designs of. the Prophet, and invited Tecumseh to meet 
him at A^incennes on August 15th, for the purpose of an interchange of friendly 
greetings, but Tecumseh came with an armed force of seventy warriors. They 
met in a grove of trees southwest of the Harrison mansion, in front of the 
porch. General Harrison on the porch. Chief Tecumseh in the grove. The grove 
and porch remained until 1840; the main house and grounds in good preservation 
until 1835. 

Tecumseh, in response to Harrison's assurance of friendly feeling, insisted 
on an exact interpretation of his words in language which implied that Harrison 
lied when he said the Government was friendly to the Indians, for it had cheated 
them and stolen their lands. This tenninated the interview by Harrison's order, 
and Tecumseh and his warriors withdrew. 

In the following autumn. General Harrison was informed by a chief that the 
attitude of the Prophet was hostile, and Gen. William Clark, governor of Mis- 
souri, wrote to General Harrison that belts of wampum had been sent to the 
■tribes west of the Mississippi, with an invitation to unite in a war against the 
United States. 



A year later, on the 26th of September, 181 1, General Harrison in command 
of a military expedition against the Tippecanoe confederacy, left Vincennes, 
with, as it proved, a fallacious hope, that the advance of the forces of the United 
States army would frighten the Indians into abandoning their designs against 
the Government. 

He sent a message to the Prophet's Town, "directing the assembled Indians 
who were at Tippecanoe, to return to their tribes ; that stolen horses should be 
returned and murderers of white people be delivered up." 

The agent of the governor having delivered this message, returned to head- 
quarters, and on the 29th of October the army, numbering about nine hundred 
men, began their march ; on the night of the 5th of November encamping within 
ten miles of "Prophet's Town," and meeting parties of Indians in the vicinity 
of the villages. On the 6th of November two interpreters were directed to com- 
municate with some of the Indians, but they refused to hold communication with 
them except by gestures. The forces of General Harrison encamped for the night 
within a mile and a half of the town, sending forward a flag of truce. 

The Indians at first refused to answer and tried to cut his messenger off from 
the rest of the army, but later sent out three Indians to inquire the reason for 
the advance of the army. 

The messenger they said had gone another route, and they had missed him. 

General Harrison agreed to suspend hostilities until the next day, for pur- 
poses of treaty, and that night his army slept on their arms. 

Tecumseh was absent in the Southwest and had left orders that war was to 
be avoided at all hazards until his return, but early in the evening the Indians 
held a council, and formed a plan, which during the night was changed, it was 
said through the deception of the Shawnee Prophet, who told them that one-half 
of Harrison's army was dead, and the other half crazy, and before daylight the 
entire force of the Prophet's anity was creeping through the grass upon the out- 
posts of General Harrison's camp, and before the men had been roused for 
reveille an hour before daylight, a single shot of a sentinel surprised by an Indian 
creeping upon him. broke the stillness. The wild yell of the Indian fired on was 
followed by the war whoop, and the entire Tippecanoe force was upon them; 
at first overwhelming the guard, who fell back on the camp which was prepared 
for immediate action. 

The Prophet, directly taking his position on a hill in the rear, prophesied suc- 
cess to the Indians who would be safe from all harm, spurring them to action by 
the shriek of his war song, and under this influence they made bold to fight in 
open battle, rushing right upon the bayonets in the hands of their antagonists, 
who with a last fierce charge put the Indians to flight, just as the dawn broke over 
the field of carnage. 

"Day glimmers on the dying and the dead. 

The war-horse masterless is on the earth. 
And the last gasp hath burst his bloody girth ! 
And near, yet quivering with what life remained 
The heel that urged him, and the hand that reined." 

— Byron's Lara. 


The loss of the United States forces in killed at the Battle of Tippecanoe, 
including those who died from their wounds soon after, was fifty, and the total 
loss in killed and wounded i88. The Indians left thirty-eight dead on the field 
of battle, and with those they carried with them their loss must have amounted 
to an equal number. 

On the morning of the 8th of November, iSii, "Prophet's Town'' was de- 
serted, and tlie United States troops moved slowly back to the fort at Vincennes. 
The Prophet's influence was overthrown, and the Universal Indian Confederacy 
was a dream of the past. 

General Harrison was promoted to major general, and fought the Battle of 
the Thames River, October 5, 1813, defeating the allied British and Indians, 
including Tecumseh, in the recovery of American territory. Tecumseh was 
killed. The Thames River flows between Lake Huron and Lake Erie, discharging 
into Lake St. Clair, and the battlefield was near the site of the present City of 
Chatham, Ontario. 

General Harrison died in the executive mansion at Washington, April 4, 1841, 
after an illness of eight days, at the close of a month's administration as Presi- 
dent of the Lhiited States. 


Many Indians who after the defeat at Tippecanoe at first seemed inclined to 
treat, joined the British forces during the War of 1812, but at that period the 
Shawnee Prophet was shorn of his prestige, and faith in his doctrines had dimin- 
ished to almost complete extinction. 

Pensioned by the British government, under whose flag he had fought in that 
war, Tenskwatawa at its close became a resident of Canada, but in 1826, rejoined 
his tribe in Ohio, from thence removing to Missouri, and subsequently with his 
band to Kansas, where he died in 1837 in the month of November — which seemed 
to hold a strange fatality for him — and is buried in an unknown grave. 

To him might Joaquin Miller's counsel well apply: 

"Speak ill of Iiim who will, he died. 
Say this much and be satisfied." 




The chapter apart involving "Henry and Lord Liverpool," which President 
JeiTerson places on a par with the "subsequent proceedings" of the Shawnee 
Prophet episode, left an ineffaceable impression upon the page of the political 
history of the century. 

Capt. John Henry, whose origin is subject of dispute, came from somewhere 
in the British Isles in 1793 to Philadelphia, where he became editorially con- 
nected with the public press. During the unpleasantness with France he served 
in the United States army as a captain of artillery, hence his title, and at its 
close once more took up the profession of journalism. Some of his articles in 
opposition to a republican form of government had a wide circulation, and 
showed a discrimination so keen, and a knowledge of the internal affairs of the 
republic so intimate and apparently so useful for shaping the policy of foreign 
powers that they aroused interest on both sides of the Atlantic, and were called 
to the attention of the chief actors in the stirring events immediately preceding 
the War of 1812. 

Thomas Jefferson of \'irginia, the most prominent figure in the L'nited States 
during his term of service, 1801-1809, was serving his two terms as President 
of the United States. In 1790 the country was divided into two political parties, 
the federalists and the republicans, the cabinet of President Washington being 
composed of warring elements. Thomas Jefferson, secretary of state, represented 
the republicans and was an unyielding advocate of state sovereignty and decen- 
tralization. Alexander Hamilton, secretary of the treasury, charged by Jefferson 
with the desire of creating a monarchy in America, stood at the head of the 
federalists, and established the Bank of the United States against the protest of 
Jefferson, and of Edmund Randolph, the attorney-general. In 1791 Jefferson 
carried on a correspondence with the British minister in relation to alleged 
violations of the treaty of peace with Great Britain. 

The year 1799 brought a chansre in public opinion in favor of the republican 
party, and Jefferson was elected President and was inaugurated March 4, 1801. 
Then followed the Louisiana Purchase, the exploration of the continent to the 
Pacific Ocean, and the re-election of Jefferson for the presidential term com- 
mencing March 4, 1805, the year of the Shawnee Prophet uprising. 

In a message to the Tenth Congress President Jefferson thus refers to our 
relations with the Indians : 

"With our Indian neighbors the public peace has been steadily maintained. 


Andrew Jackson 

ilartin Van Buren 







William H. Harrison 

Jolin Tyler 

James K. Polk Zachary Taylor 



From a conviction that we consider them as a part of ourselves, and cherish 
with sincerity tlieir rights and interests, the attachment of the Indian trihes is 
gaining strength daily, is extending from the nearer to the more remote, and will 
amply requite us for the justice and friendship practiced towards them. Hus- 
bandry and household manufacture are advancing among them, more rapidly 
with the southern than northern tribes, from circumstances of soil and climate ; 
and one of the two great di\isions of the Cherokee Nation has now under 
consideration to solicit the friendship of the United States and to be identified 
with us in laws and government in such progressive manner as we shall think 


In iSo6, approaching the period of the Henry letters, the country became 
powerfully excited by the loss of its profitable foreign trade as a neutral through 
the British "orders in council," and Napoleon Bonaparte's Berlin decree blockad- 
ing European jjorts, and still more by the right asserted by Great Britain of 
searching American vessels, which were boarded and the sailors impressed as 
subjects of the king. "A practice," as proclaimed by Henry Clay, "which can 
obtain countenance from no principle whatever, and to submit to which on our 
part would betray the most abject degradation." 

The ships and commerce of European nations had been destroyed by the 
wars being waged, and the United .States being neutral profited by it, her vessels 
carrying from port to port the products of France and the dependent kingdoms, 
and, also, to those ports the maiuifactures of England. Great Britain and the 
United States held undisputed sway on the ocean, but American ships carrying 
to Europe the products of French colonies were often captured by British cruisers' 
and in May, 1R06, several European ports under French control were Ijy British 
orders in council declared in a state of blockade, though without being invested 
by a British fleet. United States vessels attempting to enter these ports were 
captured and condemned by the British. France and her allies also sufifered from 
these orders, and in November, 1806, Napoleon issued a decree at Berlin declaring 
the British Islands in a state of blockade, authorizing the capture of all neutral 
vessels attempting to enter these ports. Thus the commerce of the United 
States was made to suffer by both nations. 


Great Britain had searched American vessels, and at the time of the war had 
taken from them by force every seaman supposed to be of British birth, to the 
number of more than six thousand men, and compelled them to enter the British 
navy to man their great fleet. The British claimed that the United States 
Government "encouraged individuals to enter her marine, and become traitors 
to their country; false certificates of citizenship," they declared, "and an ear-ring 
in the ear, made an Englishman an American, and the Yorkshire dialect or the 
west country pronunciation would contradict the solemn assertions that they 
were Americans." 

From 1803 to 1811 British cruisers captured goo American vessels, many of 
them laden with valuable cargoes. 

Vol. 1—8 



In June, 1807, occurred the attack on the United States frigate Chesapeake, 
sailing out of Hampton Roads, by the British man-of-war Leopard, in order to 
secure men which were claimed as British, but whom the commander of the 
Chesapeake refused to deliver, as he knew of none such being on board. 

The Leopard replied by firing on the Chesapeake, which was unprepared for 
action, boarded her, impressed four sailors, and then abandoned her. Securing 
the sailors was evidently all the British commander desired, as the Chesapeake 
under her own commander put back, much damaged, into Hampton Roads, and 
the incident was closed. It was this outrage, however, that roused the war 
power of the nation to retaliation, and amidst the wildest excitement President 
Jefferson issued a proclamation interdicting the harbors and waters of the 
United States to armed British vessels, and ordered the ports protected by a 
sufficient force. In consequence of the continued hostility of France and Great 
Britain the law passed by Congress in December, 1807, laying an indefinite 
embargo on the ports of the United States and forbidding American vessels to 
leave those ports, although violently opposed by the federalist party, was an act 
of prudence in order to preser\'e the seamen, ships and merchandise of the 
United States from danger. Taking into account the alternate decrees from the 
British government and from Bonaparte, there were sufficient orders in existence 
to render liable to capture all American vessels afloat, so that in searching the 
pages of history the reason for the embargo is plain, and President Jefferson's 
order, far from being an offense, was a wise measure for defense. 

One of the first acts of Congress under President Madison, in February, 
1809, was the repeal of the embargo, to take effect on the fourth of the ensuing 
March, at the same time prohibiting all intercourse with France and England 
until either nation should revoke her hostile edicts. 

At this period Jefferson retired from office, following the example of President 
Washington, and declining the nomination for a third term. 

Across the Atlantic, Robert Bank Jenkinson, second Earl of Liverpool, was, 
in 1809, secretary for war and the colonies, and held the British premiership 
from 1812 to 1827. 

Robert Stewart Castlereagh, a native of Ireland, was prominent in British 
politics in the years when Henry was writing. It was through his instrumentality 
that the act of union was passed, for which he was execrated by a large number 
of his countrymen. In 1805 he was secretary for war and for the colonies. 
Subsequently in the ministry of foreign affairs, he supported Lord Liverpool, 
who was always opposed to liberal ideas. In 1812 he was a leading member 
of the British House of Commons. .Sir James Craig was governor-general of 
Canada, and through him and his secretary, H. W. Ryland, the secret correspond- 
ence came about. On the igth of June. 181 1, in the midst of the discontent 
among the Indians, he left Canada, and died in Januan,', 1812. 


Within March and April, 1808, Captain Henry wrote six letters, two letters 
from Montreal to H. W. Ryland, secretary of Sir James Craig, with whom he 


had become intimate, and on the loth of April Craig forwarded the tirst four 
to Castlereagh, and it has been claimed that he intimated that Henry was 
ignorant of the use to which his letters were put at this time. On May 5th the 
last two letters followed the first four to Castlereaeh. 

These letters are calendared in Canadian archives. Their contents are made 
up of remarks on the state of public opinion, clippings from the newspapers 
sustaining his opinions, with allusions to the diplomatic mission of George 
Henry Rose, afterwards promoted and knighted, who was sent by the British 
government to Washington on a special commission respecting the affair of the 
Chesapeake and Leopard impressment case, and the close of the negotiations. 
Canadian historians believe it "impossible to draw even a shadow of wrong- 
doing from the proceedings." 


Apparently the object of the secret correspondence which followed was to 
obtain the most trustworthy information for the use of Sir James Craig and 
other representatives of Great Britain in this country concerning the internal 
affairs of the Union, the extent of the disaffection in New England toward the 
National Government caused by the embargo, which they had magnified to pro- 
portions agreeable to their own projects, but of the actual depth to which it 
had penetrated the body politic, they were still in doubt. They desired to know 
what the policy of the United States would be on the inauguration of James 
Madison of Virginia, who was President from 1809 to 1817, the effect of the 
attitude taken by him on the public at large, and especially to gain a knowledge 
of the certain prospect of war between the United States and Great Britain, if 
such was imminent. 

This mission, at the suggestion of Ryland, Captain Henry accepted and 
fulfilled, playing with distinction his mischievous part in precipitating the resort 
to arms by the United States. He was given credentials which authorized him 
to receive any communications which it was desirable should reach the British 
government, the correspondence to be carried on in cipher. Ryland's letter in 
whicJi the proposition was made gave the correspondent reason to expect as 
compensation an advantageous position under the British government. 

Sir James Craig's instructions, "secret and confidential," the authenticity of 
which was afterwards vouched for by Ryland in a letter to the Earl of Liver- 
pool, were dated February 6, 1809. 

Captain Henry wrote fifteen letters between the 13th of February and the 
22d of May. 1809, when he was recalled to Canada. He passed three months 
in New England in that emplovment, reporting continually to Craig by letter, 
stating that according to his judgment the federalists, rather than submit to the 
continuance of the difficulties and duties to which they were subjected, would 
exert their influence to bring about a separation from the general Union, and in 
the event of war would establish a northern confederacy, in which Massachusetts 
would take the lead, and ally itself with Great Britain. War was not probable. 
Unfortunately names which might have added weight to the expression of his 
views were left out. 

Although this correspondence came to an end on the 22d day of May, 1809, 


and Craig did not resign as governor-general of Canada until June, 1811, no 
evidence can be found that he filed any claim for services, but according to a 
letter of Ryland from London to Craig, Captain Henry had applied for the 
vacant office of sheriff of Montreal, but no reference to it was made by Craig 
in his letter of June 4th, written a week before he left Quebec. Captain Heni-y 
was in London in 1810 and 181 1, and it is said applied to Lord Liverpool for a 
position, without result, and after waiting in vain until November, 181 1, he 
offered the entire correspondence to the President of the United States, James 
Madison, for a sum variously estimated at $10,000 and upwards, which was paid. 
President Madison sent the papers in a special message to Congress in March, 
1812, and they were referred to the committee on foreign aff'airs, and became 
the subject of a brief debate in Congress. Henry Clay of Kentucky declared in 
a speech before that body that there was "no doubt that the Indian tribes on the 
Wabash had been incited by the British, and what could be thought of an 
emissary having been sent to stir up civil war?" Publicity was thus given to an 
alleged attack upon the credit of the federal party which was accused of a design 
to destroy the Union, of which these papers were supposed to contain the proof, 
and the sensation produced was made use of to intensify the feeling of enmity 
towards Great Britain, until the true contents were made known, then the inci- 
dent was soon closed, as according to the terms of agreement Captain Henry 
was not to appear before the committee and had sailed in the same month for 
a permanent residence in France. 

On the British side the subject was brought up in the House of Lords, and 
Lord Liverpool's defense of Sir James Craig was the sum and substance of 
parliamentary proceedings. 

In this atmosphere, thick with internal conflict clouding the dawn of the 
republic, wherein immoderate expressions of sectional, individual, state and 
national rights were tempered by the noble ardor of patriotism, and a ray or 
two of the liberty that has since "enlightened the world," Henry sold his 
papers, and Madison made the most of them. 

The battle of Tippecanoe, which Canadian historians deny was fermented 
by British influence on the Northwestern Indians, was claimed in the debates 
of Congress to be the commencement of the War of 1812. 




THE WAR OF l8l2 

The Twelfth Congress of the United States, which met the year 1811, in 
November, declared war against Great Britain on the 18th of the following June. 
A proclamation was issued against a solemn protest by the federalist party, 
appeals being made to the patriotism of the people. Among the members who 
were determined upon war were Henry Clay of Kentucky and John C. Calhoun 
of South Carolina. 

The committee on foreign relations at once proposed an arraignment of 
Great Britain for persevering in the enforcement of the "orders in council," 
refusing to neutralize the right of trading from one hostile port to another such 
port until France should abandon her restrictions on the introduction of British 
goods. France had suspended her decrees, but the grievance of impressment 
was constantly renewed by Great Britain. The committee recommended the 
enrollment of the militia, an increase in the number of regiments, and a call for 
volunteers, and reported resolutions for repairing the navy and for authorizing 
the arming of merchantmen in self-defense. New frigates were voted, and a loan 
of Si 1.000,000. Over one thousand men went out from one small fishing port, 
that of Marblehead, Mass., to help man the frigates in defense of the seas. Re- 
solves were passed in several of the legislatures, pledging the states to stand by 
the national Government. 


In the course of the year 1791, was completed the first census, or enumeration 
of the inhabitants of the United States. They amounted to 3,921,326, of which 
number 695,655 were slaves. 

The revenue, according to the report of the Secretary of the Treasury, 
amounted to $4,771,000, the exports to about nineteen, and the imports to about 
twenty millions. 

A movement for building a navy having been inaugurated by Congress in 1794, 
against great opposition, by the passage of an act for building "four forty-fours 
and two thirty-six's;" in 1798, and the following year, during the administra- 
tion of President John Adams, it assumed proportions of considerable import- 
ance and consisted of "six forty-fours, three thirty-six's, seven thirty-two's, and 



four fifteen to twenty smaller vessels of war." Its rapid construction compelled 
the admiration of the great powers, who, unaware of our resources and natural 
energy, wondered at so sudden a development of naval force. In the words of 
Samuel L. Knapp, the American editor of an English history of the United States 
by John Howard Hinton, published in 1846: 

"It seemed a dream to all the world, that a navy could rise upon the bosom 
of the ocean by the power of an infant nation, in so sudden a manner. The fabled 
pines of Mount Ida, were not formed into ships for the fugitive Trojans more 
rapidly than the oaks of our pasture-grounds and forest were thrown into naval 
batteries for the protection of commerce and our national dignity." 

Under the act of March 3, 1801, all the ships and other vessels belonging 
to the navy of the United States were sold, with the exception of thirteen, and 
those were most of them frigates, yet from this remnant was taken, in the sum- 
mer of that year a squadron of three frigates and a schooner, to which another 
was added early in the year following, to subdue the corsairs in the harbor of 
Tripoli, whose reigning bashaw had declared war against the United States, and 
blockaded American commerce in the Mediterranean, because of the refusal of 
the United States to purchase immunity from capture and slavery by the cor- 
sairs, from the sovereignties of Morocco and Algiers. The first battle settled the 
supremacy of the United States over their foreign foes, "showing," it is recorded, 
"our superiority in naval tactics and gunnery over anything those pirates could 

Peace was made on the 3d of June, 1805, on favorable terms. "And then 
ended," says the historian Knapp, "a war which surprised the nations of Europe. 
They had often smiled to think the United States, a new-born nation, should be so 
presumptuous as to suppose that she could put down these predatory hordes, 
which had exacted tribute from all the commercial world from time immemorial, 
but it was done, and the lookers-on were astonished at the events as they trans- 
pired. The Pope, who had ever been deeply interested in all these pagan wars, 
or rather, all these wars against pagan powers, declared that the infant nation had 
done more in five years in checking the insolence of these infidels than all the 
nations of Europe for ages. The thunders of the Vatican had passed harmlessly 
over these pirates' heads through more than ten successors of St. Peter, until the 
United States had brought these infidels to tenns by the absolute force of naval 
power. The head of the church saw that the people of a free nation had felt the 
degradation of paying tribute, and were determined to do so no longer than they 
could concentrate their energies, and direct them to bear upon the general foe of 
Christendom. The whole was indeed a wonder, that a nation that scarcely had 
risen into the great family of independent powers, should be able to grapple with. 
and in a measure subdue, these barbarians who had been for so long a time the 
scourge of mankind. We had not taken one power alone but all, from the .Atlan- 
tic to the Red Sea. The Doge (of Venice) who had been wedded to the Adriatic, 
.and promised for the dower of his bride the dominion of the seas from the Delta 
■of Egypt to the Straits of Gibraltar, had never in the pride of aristocratic strength 
claimed the honor of humbling the 'insolent Turk' to the extent that the United 
States had done in a few years. The arm of liberty, when properly directed, was 
always deadly to despotism. These exertions gave our flag a rank among the 
nations of Europe in these classical seas in which so great a proportion of all the 

ilillard Fillmore 

Franklin Pierce 

James Buchanan 

Abraham Lincoln Andrew Johnson 



sea-fights in the annals of man had taken place, from the early ages of fable and 
romance to modern times. The corsair, who had been the terror of the world, 
was now found a furious, but not unconquerable foe, and the barbarians, whose 
tremendous fierceness had been the tale of wonder in every age, seemed in our 
mode of warfare less dangerous than the aboriginals we had been contending 
with from the cradle of our nation." 


"Oh, for a son of bright-eyed glory. 

That sweeping o'er the chorded shell, 
Should in sublimest numbers tell 
The patriot hero's deathless story." 

— Ode by Samuel Taylor Coleridge. 

Oxford, June 15, 1814. 

Interminable discussions have arisen respecting every particular of this en- 
gagement, but only well-established facts are included in this sketch. 

When the United States Congress, in the autumn of 181 1, authorized the 
building of new frigates, it became the initial movement in the action which for 
the first time placed an American squadron in opposition to the British in line 
of battle. Likewise, it was the first defeat Great Britain had suffered when all 
her force was either captured or destroyed. British domination was supreme on 
the Great Lakes, and it appeared to be the purpose of that government to assume 
control of the vast territory of the west, and divide its dominion from Canada to 
Mexico with the United States ; the Ohio and Mississippi rivers forming a 
natural boundary. The capture of the far-reaching Territory of Michigan had 
given them the advantage of the command of Lake Erie, and a strategic position 
of which it was the United .States' design to relieve them. Losses had been 
sustained on land, but at sea the men whose rights had been violated had gained 
victories which soothed the wounded pride of the republic, whose navy Great 
Britain arrogantly boasted would soon be "swept from the ocean," for the War 
of 1812 was fought wherever the frontiers of the two countries met. It was 
carried down to the Gulf of Mexico, so as to cut off the United States from the 
west, on the sea coast all along the Atlantic shore from Maine to Mexico, and 
on the coast of the gulf, ending at New Orleans. To lay waste the whole 
American coast, on which they were then waging predatory warfare, from Maine 
to Georgia, was the avowed intention of the British. 

July, 1813, the navy consisted of the war vessels contained in the following 

Names Guns Names Guns 

Constitution 44 Isaac Hull lo 

United States 44 Conquest 8 

President 44 Hamilton 8 

Macedonian 38 Raven 8 

Constellation 36 Scourge 6 

Congress 36 Governor Tompkins 6 

New York 36 Scorpion 6 

Essex 32 Growler 5 

Adams 32 Fair American 4 


Names Guns Names Guns 

Boston 32 Viper 12 

General Pike 32 Lady of the Lake 3 

Madison 28 Pert 3 

John Adams 20 Juha 2 

Louisiana 20 Elizabeth 2 

Alert 18 Ontario i 

Argus 18 Adeline — 

Hornet 18 Asp _ 

Oneida 18 Analostan — 

Trouna Despatch — 

Revenge* 16 Ferret — 

Syren 14 Neptune — 

Nonsuch 14 Perseverance — 

Enterprise 14 Aetna bomb 

Carolina 14 Mary bomb 

Comet* 14 Spitfire bomb 

Duke of Gloucester 12 Vengeance bomb 

President 12 Vesuvius bomb 

Petapsco* 12 

In addition there were a number of revenue cutters and about one hundred 
and seventy-eight gunboats. The vessels in italics had been captured from the 
British since the war began, and those with the asterisk were hired by the United 
States. Of this list the Constitution ("Old Ironsides"), launched at Boston, 
October 21, 1797, is now out of commission and preserved for exhibition as a 
relic in the Boston Navy Yard, and the Constellation, launched at Baltimore, 
Md., September 7. 1797, having been used for years as a training ship at Narra- 
gansett Bay naval station, in the State of Rhode Island, was in June, 19 13, 
ordered to the Brooklyn Navy Yard, another of the countr>''s proud possessions, 
to be equipped for service as an object lesson of illustrious record. 


Lieut. Oliver Hazard Perry, then twenty-seven years of age, and living in 
Washington Square. Newport, R. I., was promoted to the rank of master- 
commandant, and sent by the navy department in the spring of 1813 to Lake 
Erie to command the fleet which had been ordered built there. He arrived at 
the Port of Erie, then known as Presque Isle, on March 27th. This was a 
trading post established by the French in 1749, as one of the chain of forts which 
was to unite the Canadas with Louisiana. It was a small village of a few 
log-houses besides the post, and a tavern, and contained about four hundred and 
fifty inhabitants. 

Perry found at Erie, Capt. David Dobbins, a sailing master in charge of 
naval affairs on Lake Erie, also a shipwright from New York of the name of 
Noah Brown, who was building the fleet. Captain Dobbins had suffered the 
loss of a privately-owned vessel captured by the British. Fie superintended the 
building of si.x vessels for Perry. When the master-commandant arrived t^vo 
brigs, the Niagara and the Lawrence, were in process of construction at the 
mouth of Cascade Creek. Their frames were of oak, the decks of pine, the 
outside planking of oak. They were no feet in length, and had a breadth of 
beam of 29 feet. In the building of these crafts permanency was not consid- 


ered, for they were built of green timber cut in the forest there for the purpose 
of gaining that one battle, and if they lost it the vessels would be good enough to 

On the 9th of August, 1813, Lieut. Jesse D. Elliott arrived at Erie with 100 
men and was assigned to the Niagara, and on the 12th the squadron ran the 
blockade by the British of the Port of Erie, with the object of joining forces 
with Gen. William Henry Harrison. On the 19th General Harrison and staiT, 
with a number of Indian chiefs, arrived for the purpose of arranging a plan of 
action between the land and water forces, and it was decided to move upon the 
enemy as soon as the army was ready. 


J. Fenimore Cooper, the novelist, who had exceptional and superior sources 
of information, and a personal acquaintance with the principal officers engaged 
in the battle, in his book, entitled "The Battle of Lake Erie," published in 1843, 
gives the English official account of the metal of both parties as follows : 


Ship Detroit — 19 guns, 2 long 24's ; i long 18 on pivot; 6 long 12's; 8 long 
9's ; I 24-pound carronade ; I 18-pound carronade. 

Ship Queen Charlotte — 17 guns, i long 12, on pivot: 2 long 9's; 14 24-pound 

Schooner Lady Prevost — 13 guns, i long 9. on pivot; 2 long 6's ; 10 12-pound 

Brig Hunter — 10 guns, 4 long 6's; 2 long 4's ; 2 long 2's; 2 12-pound car- 

Sloop Little Belt — 3 guns, i long 12, on pivot; 2 long 6's. 

Schooner Chippeway, i gun, i long 9. 

Guns 63, metal; total, S51. Average as to guns. i3'2 pounds each gun. 


Brig Lawrence — 20 guns, 2 long 12's; 18 32-pound carronades. 

Brig Niagara — 20 guns, 2 long 12's; 18 32-pound carronades. 

Brig Caledonia — 3 guns, 2 long 24's ; i 32-pound carronade. 

Schooner Ariel — 4 guns, 4 long 12's on pivots. 

Schooner Somers — 2 guns, i long 24 ; i 32-pound carronade. 

Schooner Porcupine — i gun, i long 32. pivot. 

Schooner Tigress — i gun. i long 32. pivot. 

Schooner Scorpion — 2 guns, i long 32, i 24-pound carronade on pivots. 

Sloop Trippe — i gun, i long 24, pivot. 

Guns 54, metal; total, 1,480. Average as to guns, 27^4 pounds each gLin ; or 
about double that of the British. 

"Such," writes Cooper, "is Captain (Robert H.) Barclay's account of the 
force. That he has not diminished his own is probable, as he has certainly not 
exaggerated the American. The Trippe had a long 32, instead of the 24 he has 


given her, while the Scorpion is beheved to have had a long 24 and a 32-pound 
carronade. The remainder of the American metal is thought to be correctly 
given. * * - An officer of great experience, one friendly to Perry, who 
had seen much service in battle, visited the squadron on Lake Erie and Lake 
Chaniplain, before they were separated, and he told me that he thought the 
Lawrence and Niagara, could they have got within effective distance immediately, 
sufficient to have defeated all of Barclay's force united, especially with a stiff 


The commodore of the British fleet was Sir James Lucas Yeo, and of the 
American fleet Isaac Chauncey, but there were no officers of that rank at the 
battle of Lake Erie. There were two commodores on the side of the British, 
Capt. R. H. Barclay and Capt. R. Finnis, opposed to two commanders on the 
American side, Lieut. O. H. Perry and Lieut. J- D. Elliott. 

Alaster-Commandant Oliver H. Perry was in command of the American 
squadron. The other officers were : 

Brig Lawrence (flagship) — Lietit. John J. Yamall. 

Brig Niagara — Master-Commandant Jesse D. Elliott. 

Brig Caledonia — Lieut. Daniel Turner. 

Schooner Ariel — Lieut. John H. Packett. 

Schooner Tigress — Lieut. Augitstus PI. N. Conckling. 

Sloop Trippe — Lieut. Thomas Holdup. 

Schooner Porcupine — ^Midshipman George Senate. 

Schooner Scorpion — Sailing-^NIaster Stephen Champlin, who fired the first 
American shot. 

Schooner Somers — Sailing-Master Thomas C. Almy. 

The Ohio, Capt. Daniel Dobbins, was not in the battle, having been sent to 
Erie for provisions and supplies, and was at Erie during the action. 

Capt. Robert Heriot Barclay, thirty-six years of age, commanding the British 
squadron, had fought with Nelson at Trafalgar, had lost one arm fighting the 
French, and was destined to lose the other in this battle. 


(From the American Point of View) 

The date of the battle is September 10, 1813. Perry, in his report, calls it a 
three hours' engagement. It was a cloudless autumn day with a light breeze 
blowing and a smooth sea. The ships of the British squadron had been freshly 
painted in the harbor of Maiden, and presented a gallant appearance as they 
swung into action, flying the red cross of St. George at the masthead. 

At 11:45 A. M. the squadrons were a mile apart. The Detroit fired a 
24-pounder. the shot passing beyond the Lawrence. At 12:15 Perry made sail 
with the Lawrence, the Ariel and the Scorpion, to get at close quarters and to 
engage the Detroit, the Hunter, the Queen Charlotte and the Lady Prevost. 
There were but seven guns of long range on the American vessels to thirty-one 
on the British vessels. Perry's guns were of heavy calibre, Barclay's were of 
longer range. The roar of the gtms was heard at Erie. 

Ulysses S. Grant 

Rutherfonl B. Hayes 

James A. Garfield 

Chester A. Arthur Grover Cleveland 



The total number of men and boys engaged on the American side, according 
to the roll that drew prize money, was 532 ; of these 432 were on deck, one-fourth 
being regular naval seamen. The official report of the British shows that they 
had 450 men on deck, 150 of whom were picked men from the British navy, and 
240 soldiers from the Forty-first Regiment of the Line and the Newfoundland 

At 2 130 the Lawrence, the Ariel and the Scorpion had been in action two hours 
and forty-five minutes. 

A broadside from the enemy carried away the bowsprit and masts of the 
Lawrence, riddled her hull and silenced her gims. Perry transferred his colors 
to the Niagara, crossing the half-mile of intervening space in a small boat under 
a heavy fire, continued his firing from her decks, and signalling his fleet for close 
action, opened a cross fire upon the British flagship, which example was followed 
by the rest of the American squadron. 

At 2 45 the British squadron's line was broken. According to John Chapman, 
a gunner on the Queen Charlotte, by the carrying away of one of her sails she 
was at the mercy of the wind, and ran foul of the Detroit, becoming entangled 
with her. It is certain that the Niagara ran across the bow and stern of the 
two British ships, raking them fore and aft with her starboard broadside, and 
■continuing her course, poured raking fires into the Lady Prevost and the Hunter 
with her port battery, and the remaining vessels of the American squadron 
followed his lead upon their British opponents for eight minutes. 

At 3 P. M., or fifteen minutes from the time the wind was fair for the attack, 
an officer appeared on the talTrail of the Hunter, waving a white handkerchief 
as a signal of surrender. The Chippeway and the Little Belt crowded on every 
inch of canvas in the endeavor to escape, but were overhauled by the Trippe and 
the Scorpion. 

(From the British Point of View) 

The sources of information for the observations which follow are the letters 
of Lieut. Gen. Sir George Prevost, headquarters at Montreal, from whence 
dispatches containing reports were transmitted to Downing Street, London 
Captain Barclay thus describes the opening of the battle from the time h 
perceived the American fleet in motion in Put-in Bay : 

"The wind, then at southwest and light, giving us the weather-gage, I bore up 
for them, in hopes of bringing them into action among the islands, but that 
intention was soon frustrated by the wind suddenly shifting to the southeast, 
which brought the enemy directly to windward. The line was formed according 
to a given plan, so that each ship might be supported against the superior force 
of the two brigs opposed to them. About 10 the enemy had cleared the islands, 
and immediately bore up, under easy sail, in a line abreast, each brig being also 
supported by the small vessels. At 11:45 I commenced the action by firing a 
few long guns; about 12:15 the American commodore (reference to Perry "), 
also supported by two schooners, one carrying four long 12-pounders, the other 
a long 32 and 24 pounder, came. to close action with the Detroit; the other brig 
of the enemy, apparently destined to engage the Queen Charlotte, supported in 
like manner by two schooners, kept so far to windward as to render the Queen 



Charlotte's 24-pound carronades useless, while she was, with the Lady Prevost, 
exposed to the heavy and destructive fire of the Caledonia and four other schoon- 
ers armed vvith long and heavy guns like those I have already described. * * * 
The action continued with great fury until 2 :3o, when 1 perceived my opponent 
drop astern, and a boat passing from him to the Niagara, which vessel was at 
this time perfectly fresh. The American commander bore up, and supported by 
his small vessels, passed within pistol-shot, and took a raking position on our 
bow; nor could I prevent it, as the unfortunate situation of the Queen Charlotte 
jjrevented us from wearing ; in attempting it we fell on board her. My gallant 
First Lieutenant Garland (J. Garland) was now mortally wounded, and myself 
so severely that I was obliged to quit the deck. * * * Never in any action 
was the loss (of ofificers) more severe; every officer commantling vessels, and 
their seconds, were either killed or wounded so severely as to leave the deck. 
The weather-gage gave the enemy a prodigious advantage, and enabled him to 
choose both his position and distance ; so that his long guns did great execution, 
while the carronades of the Queen Charlotte and Lady Prevost were prevented 
having much effect." 

In a letter of the officer who took command of the Detroit on Captain Bar- 
clay's being wounded, he describes the deplorable situation of that ship, which 
"was unmanageable, every brace cut away, the mizzen topmast and gaff down, 
all the other masts badly wounded, not a stay left forward, hull shattered very 
much, a number of guns disabled, and the enemy's squadron raking both ships 
ahead and astern, and the squadron not in a situation to support ; in consequence 
of which the Detroit struck; the Queen Charlotte having previously done so." 


The defeated officers were received by Perry on the deck of the Lawrence, 
to which his colors had been returned when the fleet ceased firing. It was at the 
close of this battle, in the first flush of victory, that Perry sent by Midshipman 
Dulany Forrest of the Lawrence the penciled dispatch to General Harrison: 
"We have met the enemy, and they are ours. Two ships, two brigs, one schooner 
and one sloop." and to the secretary of the navy, William Jones of Pennsylvania, 
the following: 

"It has pleased the .Mmighty to give to the arms of the L'nited States a signal 
victory over their enemies on the lake. The British squadron, consisting of two 
ships, two brigs, a schooner and a sloop, have this moment surrendered to the 
forces under my command, after sharp conflict." 

At 9 o'clock the United States fleet rendezvoused at Put-in Bay, north and 
west of what is now the City of Sandusky, Ohio, on the west border of Lake 
Erie, which was one of the best harbors on the lake. The captured sh^ps were 
valued at $225,000, and the victory established the supremacy of the United 
States on the lake, and by co-operation with General Harrison the release of 
Michigan from British occupation. 

" 'Twas a victory — yes ; but it cost us dear ; 
For that company's roll, when called at night, 
Of a hundred men who went into the fight, 
Numbered but twenty that answered 'Here !' " 

— Nathaniel Graham Shcpard, "Roll Call." 


The loss to the United States in the battle of Lake Erie was twenty-seven 
dead, ninety-six wounded ; of which numljer twenty-one were killed and sixty- 
two wounded on board the Lawrence, whose whole complement of able-bodied 
men before the action was about one hundred. 

The total loss to the British was three officers, thirty-eight men killed, nine 
officers, eighty-five men wounded. Among the killed was Capt. Iv. Finnis of the 
Queen Charlotte, who fell soon after the commencement of the action, "and with 
him." reports Captain Barclay — with both arms gone he could not have written — 
■'fell my greatest support." 

The Lawrence carried the wounded of both fleets to Erie. The dead on 
board the vessels of both squadrons, with the exception of five officers, were 
buried at sea. Each form was sewed in a canvas shroud, with a cannonball for 
weight, and at the rising of the moon on a clear September evening, they were 
lowered over the side, describing circles as they sank slowly out of sight in the 
clear water. 

The British, with Tecumseh as ally, were at Maiden with 5,000 men, ready 
to cross the frontier, and September 23d Perry conveyed 1,200 troops up the 
lake and took possession of Maiden. When the army in co-operation with the 
fleet reached that point, they found the fort had been evacuated by the British, 
and Tecumseh's Indians, who had retreated along the Thames River — which 
flows between Lake Huron and Lake Erie, emptying into Lake St. Clair — and 
Harrison followed in pursuit. 

On the 27th Perry reoccupied Detroit in conjunction with the army, and on 
the 2d of October Master-Commandant Elliott ascended the Thames River with 
the Scorpion, the Porcupine and the Tigress. On the 5th the battle of the 
Thames River was fought, with Harrison, who had been promoted to major 
general, in command. The allied British and Indians were defeated, and Tecum- 
seh was killed. The battlefield was near the site of the present City of Chatham, 
Ont. The British loss was nineteen regulars killed and fifty wounded, and 
about six hundred prisoners. The American loss in killed and wounded 
amounted to upwards of fifty. General Harrison died in the Executive Mansion 
at Washington, April 4, 1841, after an illness of eight days, at the close of a 
month's administration as President of the United States. 


American territory having been recovered. Perry's fleet rendezvoused at Erie, 
and the Lawrence, the Niagara, the Ariel, the Caledonia and Scorpion were at 
the conclusion of the war dismantled and laid up in Erie and all subsequently 
condemned and sold. The colors of the British Detroit, Lady Prevost, Hunter, 
Little Belt and Chippeway were sent to the Xaval Institute Building at Annapolis. 

Master-Commandant Perry was jiromoted captain, his commission bearing 
date of the victory, and reaching him on the 2qth of November, 1813. He con- 
tinued in active service until his death of fever in 1819, at the age of thirty-four. 


The United States, in the ^^'ar of 1812, had only twenty ships equipped for 
warfare on the open sea, and of these three were antiquated, while England had 


between six and seven hundred armed vessels, many of them hne-of-battle ships^ 
of which the American navy was entirely destitute. It was Britain's proud 
boast that she not only "swept the surface of the vast Atlantic," but was "mistressr 
of the seas ;" yet when the opportunity came to prove it in this war her great 
ships had not men enough to work them or their guns. Out of fifteen sea com- 
bats with very nearly equal forces the United States was victorious in twelve,, 
and more than five hundred prizes were made by the Americans during the first 
seven months of the war. In the War of 1812, as in the recent war with Spain, 
American gunnery showed its superiority. Sir Howard Douglas, in his "Treatise 
on Gunnery," thus gives his reasons for British failure: "The danger of resting 
satisfied with superiority over a system so defective as that of our former oppo- 
nents has been made sufficiently evident. We became too confident liy being 
feeblv opposed; then slack in warlike exercise, by not being opposed at all; and 
lastly, in many cases inexpert for want of drill practice, and herein consisted 
the great disadvantage under which, without suspecting it, we entered in 1812 
with too great confidence into a war with a marine much more expert than that 
of any of our European enemies." 

It was not for any special regard for the United States that Napoleon parted 
with Louisiana, but after it had passed out of his hands, this was what he realized 
that he had done: "I have given," he said, "to England a maritime rival that 
will sooner or later humble her pride." 

At least the outcome of the war was sufficiently convincing, for as President 
Woodrow Wilson says in his work, entitled "History of the American People" : 
"The war, itself, was no doubt sufficient guarantee that another for a like purpose 
would never be necessary." 

It was Britannia's ambition to "rule the waves," but Columbia became the 
"gem of the ocean." 


Early in the year 1814 the British government had indicated to the United 
States its willingness to end the war, which was costing the empire, it was esti- 
mated, ten million pounds sterling a year, with no perceptible gain. The "orders 
in council" had been repealed five days after war was declared. In the three 
years' conflict, by the assertion of our rights on the high seas, our sailors had 
been freed from impressment, which had lasted more than twenty years, and the 
situation resolved itself into the defining of boundaries and the terms of peace 
greatly to be desired on both sides. 

Among the most salutary results of the war were the recognition by the world 
of the rights of the United States on the ocean and en the American continent, 
and owing to the necessity of doing without foreign importation, the introduction 
into this country of the power loom in order to supply the increasing demand for 
the manufacture of cotton and woolen goods. 

The treaty of peace was signed on Christmas eve, 1814, and two weeks after 
this important event, of which the country was as yet unaware, had taken place 
in Belgium, the War of 1812 was closed by a battle in the South. There the 
British sent Gen. Sir Edward Pakenham, brother-in-law of the Duke of Welling- 
ton, with 12,000 men, veterans for the most part from the battlefield of Spain, 


to take New Orleans, and on the 8th of January, 1815, the American Gen. Andrew 
Jackson received him at an entrenched line, which had been thrown up across 
a strip of land below the city, and repelled him, sending him back with a loss of 
2,500 men. General Pakenham was killed. The American loss was eight killed 
and thirteen wounded. 

"Now fling them out to the breeze, — 

Shamrock, thistle and rose, — 
And the star-spangled banner unfurl with these, 

A message to friends and foes, 

Wherever the sails of peace are seen and 

Wherever the war wind blows." 

— Alfred Austin, "To America." 


The brig Niagara was never sunk, but simply settled in the mud. July 20, 
1820, Commander D. Deacon reported to the navy department from the Erie 
station: "Heretofore the seamen and marines have been quartered on the brig 
Niagara, but she has become so rotten and leaky in her upper works and decks 
that I have been obliged to prepare a large workshop in the navy yard for their 
accommodation. * * * j hj^ve hauled the brig into the basin and moored her 
to the shore. She is so rotten that it will be impossible to caulk her for sinking." 

November 23, 1823, Master-Commandant George Budd reported: "The 
Niagara lies in the little bay, beached ; she lies in about four feet water. She is 
rotten and in a complete state of decay, totally unfit to be repaired. I would 
suggest the propriety of tearing her to pieces." 

This was not done, for in the reports of the secretary of the navy for 1824 
and 1825 both the Niagara and Lawrence are mentioned as much decayed and 
sunk in the mud, and it is recommended that they be broken up or sold. They 
were sold August 6, 1835, at Erie. 

The Lawrence and Niagara both settled in Miser_v Bay, an arm of Presque 
Isle Bay, Erie harbor, the uppermost part of the Lawrence only two or three feet 
lielow the surface of the water. It was so near the surface that pieces were 
sawed off and made into souvenirs. The Niagara was six or seven feet below 
the surface. 

Thirty-five years after the last date given in the Government reports for the 
sale of the Niagara and Lawrence, Leander Dobbins, son of Captain Dobbins, 
is known to have had an ownership in the, Lawrence, which seems to have claimed 
more public interest at that lime as Perry's headquarters during the battle; Perry, 
according to the detailed reports of both combatants, not having been more than 
a half hour on the Niagara, and yet it is to her guns and the change of the wind 
in her sails to southeast that we owe the turn of the tide from defeat to victory. 

In 1876 the Lawrence was raised by Leander Dobbins and Thomas J. Viers 
of Erie, and taken to the Centennial Exposition at Philadelphia, where it was 
housed, put on exhibition and entirely destroyed by fire. 

In the winter of 1912-13, amid snow and ice, the Niagara was lifted from 
Misery Bay. rebuilt and rerigged for exhibition at the celebration of the centen- 
nial of the battle of Lake Erie. It was launched June 7, 1913, and towed across 
the bay about iJ/S miles, where it was moored at the foot of Sassafras Street in 


the City of Erie. An eye-witness says : "The ribs seemed to be in a good state 
of preserv'ation, and were used in the rebuilt vessel. Some of the inside plankmg 
of the original Niagara was also used. Under the deck floor all around the vessel 
the original planks were used, three in width, each about twelve niches wide." 

On the Fourth of July, 1913, the celebration of the centennial of Perry's vic- 
tory, the commemoration of 100 years of peace between the two English-speaking 
nations, and the campaign of Ceu. \\'illiam Henry Harrison, was opened in 
Put-in Bay by the firing of a salute at dawn. The graves of the officers, both 
British and American, who are buried on the island were decorated with flowers, 
and the cornerstone of a monument to be erected there was laid by the Grand 
Lodge of Ohio Masons. Addresses were made by Col. Henry Watterson of the 
Louisville (Ky. ) Courier-Journal and by ex-Senator John J\L Whitehead of 
Wisconsin. Referring to the dying words of another naval hero, for whom the 
Lawrence was named, which Perry nailed to his masthead. Colonel Watterson, 
at the close of his peroration, proposed the following sentiment : "On land and 
sea, in glory and in peril, whenever the republic rides the waves too proudly, or 
is threatened by foes within or without, let us take them as a message from 
heaven and pass them on to our neighbors and teach them to our children, 'Don't 
give up the ship.' " 


"Concluded at Ghent, December 24, 1814; ratification advised by the Senate, 
February 16, 1815; ratified by the President, February 17, 1815; ratifications 
exchanged, February 17, 1815; proclaimed February 18, 1815." 

This treaty was composed of a preamble and eleven articles. Five of these 
articles, relating to boundaries, were left to the decision of commissioners, who 
disagreed, and they were finally determined by the convention of August 9, 1842, 
which concluded the Webster-Ashburton Treaty — Daniel Webster, Secretary of 
State, for the United States, and Alexander, Lord Ashburton, Her Majesty's 
Minister Plenipotentiary to the United States. 

The remaining articles were on the declaration of peace, the cessation of hos- 
tilities, the release of prisoners, cessation of hostilities with Indians, abolition 
of the slave trade, and ratification. 

The preamble sets forth that : 

"His Britannic Majesty and the United States of America, desirous of ter- 
minating the war. which has unhappily subsisted between the two countries, and 
of restoring, upon principles of perfect reciprocity, peace, friendship and good 
understanding between them, have for that purpose, appointed these respective 
plenipotentiaries, that is to say : 

"His Britannic Majesty, on his part, has appointed the Rt. Hon. James Lord 
Gambler, late admiral of the White, now admiral of the Red Squadron of His 
Majesty's fleet: Henry Goulburn, Esq., a member of the Imperial Parliament, 
and under secretary of state, and William Adams. Esq., doctor of civil laws; 
and the President of the United States, by and with the advice and consent of 
the Senate thereof, has appointed John Quincy Adams, James A. Bayard, Henry 
Clav, Jonathan Russell and Albert Gallatin, citizens of the United States, who, 

Benjamin Hanisun 

William McKinley 

Thcoikire Roosevelt 

William H. Taft 

Woodiow Wilson 



after a reciprocal communication of their respective full powers, have agreed 
upon the following articles : 


"There shall be a firm and universal peace between His Britannic Majesty 
and the United States, and between their respective countries, territories, cities, 
towns and people, of every degree, without exception of places or persons. All 
hostilities, both by sea and land, shall cease as soon as this treaty shall have been 
ratified by both parties, as hereinafter mentioned. All territory, places and pos- 
sessions whatsoever, taken by either party from the other during the war, or 
which may be taken after the signing of this treaty, excepting only the islands 
hereinafter mentioned, shall be restored without delay, and without causing 
any destruction or carrying away any of the artillery or other property originally 
captured in the said forts or places, and which shall remain therein upon the 
exchange of the ratifications of this treaty, or any slaves or other private property. 
And all archives, records, deeds and papers, either of a public nature or belonging 
to private persons, which in the course of the war may have fallen into the hands 
of the officers of either party, shall be, as far as may be practicable forthwith 
restored and delivered to the proper authorities and persons to whom they 
respectively belong. Such of the islands in the Bay of P'assamaquoddy as are 
claimed by both parties shall remain in the possession of the party in whose occu- 
pation they may be at the time of the exchange of the ratifications of this treaty, 
until the decision respecting the title to the said islands shall have been made in 
conformity with the fourth article of this treaty. No disposition made by this 
treaty as to such possession of the islands and territories claimed by both parties 
shall in any manner whatever be construed to affect the right of either. 


"Immediately after the ratification of this treaty by both parties, as hereinafter 
mentioned, orders shall be sent to the armies, squadrons, officers, subjects and 
citizens of the two powers to cease from all hostilities. And to prevent all causes 
of complaint which might arise on account of the prizes which may be taken at 
sea after the said ratifications of this treaty, it is reciprocally agreed that all 
vessels and effects which may be taken after the space of twelve days from the 
said ratifications, upon all parts of the coast of North America from the latitude 
of twenty-three degrees north to the latitude of fifty degrees north, and as far 
eastward in the Atlantic Ocean as the thirty-sixth degree of west longitude from 
the meridian of Greenwich, shall be restored on each side ; that the time shall be 
thirty days in all other parts of the Atlantic Ocean north of the equinoctial line 
or equator, and the same time for the British and Irish channels, for the Gulf 
of Mexico and all parts of the West Indies ; forty days for the North seas, for 
the Baltic and for all parts of the Mediterranean; sixty days for the Atlantic 
Ocean south of the equator, as far as the latitude of the Cape of Good Hope; 
ninetv days for every other part of the world south of the equator, and 120 days 
for nil other parts of the world without exception. 

Vol. 1—9 



"All prisoners of war taken on either side, as well by land as by sea, shall be 
restored as soon as practicable after the ratifications of this Treaty, as hereinafter 
mentioned, on their paying the debts which they have contracted during their 
captivity. The two contracting parties respectively engage to discharge in specie 
the advances which may have been made by the other for the sustenance and 
maintenance of such prisoners. 


"The United States of America engage to put an end, immediately after the 
ratifications of the present treaty, to hostilities with all the tribes or nations of 
Indians with whom they may be at war at the time of such ratifications, and forth- 
with to restore to such tribes or nations, respectively, all the possessions, rights 
and privileges which they may have enjoyed or been entitled to in 1811, previous 
to such hostilities; provided always ihat such tribes or nations shall agree to 
desist from all hostilities against the United States of America, their citizens 
and subjects, upon the ratification of the present treaty being notified to such 
tribes or nations, and shall so desist accordingly. And His Britannic Majesty 
engages on his part to put an end, immediately after the ratifications of the 
present treaty, to hostilities with all the tribes or nations of Indians with whom 
he may be at war at the time of such ratifications, and forthwith to restore to 
such tril)es or nations, respectively, all the possessions, rights and privileges 
which they may have enjoyed or been entitled to in 181 1, previous to such hostili- 
ties. Provided always that such tribes or nations shall agree to desist from all 
hostilities against His Britannic Majesty, and his subjects, upon the ratifications 
of the present treaty being notified to such tribes or nations, and shall so desist 

Relative to the African slave trade Article X has the following: 

''Whereas, the traffic in slaves is irreconcilable with the principles of human- 
ity and justice, and whereas, both His Majesty and the United States are desirous 
of continuing their eftorts to promote its entire abolition, it is hereby agreed that 
both the contracting parties shall use their best endeavors to accomplish so 
desirable an object."" 

The question assumed a more practical form in Article VIII of the Webster- 
Ashburton Treaty, which reads as follows : 

"The parties mutually stipulate that each shall prepare, equip and maintain 
in service on the coast of Africa a sufficient and adequate squadron or naval force 
of vessels of suitable numbers and descriptions, to carry in all not less than eighty 
guns, to enforce, separately and respectively, the laws, rights and obligations of 
each of the two countries for the suppression of the slave trade, the said squad- 
rons to be independent of each other, but the two governments stipulating, never- 
theless, to give such orders to the ofiicers commanding their respective forces as 
shall enable them most effectively to act in concert and co-operation upon mutual 
consultation, as exigencies may arise, for the attainment of the true object of 
this article, copies of all such orders to be communicated by each Government to 
the other respectively." 


Articles relating to the stippression of this traffic have been incorporated in 
the treaties with Great Britain of 1862, 1863, 1870 and 18'jO, the last named 
calling a convention at Brussels of all the great powers, "In the name of God 

The Treaty of Ghent closes with the following article: 


"This treaty, when the same shall have been ratified on both sides, without 
alteration by either of the contracting parties, and the ratifications mutually 
exchanged, shall be binding on both jjarties, and the ratifications shall be 
exchanged at Washington, in the space of four months from this day, or sooner 
if practicable. In faith whereof we, the respective plenipotentiaries, have signed 
this treaty, and have thereunto affixed our seals. Done, in triplicate, at Ghent, 
the 24th day of December. 1814.'' 

.Signed : Gambier, Henry Goulburn, William .\dams, John Ouincy Adams. 
J. A. Bayard, H. Clay, Jonathan Russell, Albert Gallatin. 


In concluding, some general facts in relation to slavery may be of interest. 
The first attempt to establish a trading post in the Dakotas ( 1726) was for tlie 
purpose of securing slaves by the purchase of captives from warring tribes or by 
kidnapping for supplying the market in the West Indies, following the precedents 
established in Africa. 

Pierre Bonga, one of Henry's Brigade, which instituted the first permanent 
settlement in Dakota Territory-, was a slave brought from the West Indies. York, 
Captain Clark's slave, was the most attractive feature in the Lewis & Clark 
Expedition. Both left descendents in Xorth Dakota. Other slaves were brought 
into the Dakotas by army officers. John Tanner, the white captive, was a slave 
among the Indians and sold as such from time to time, and there was some traffic 
in _ captives sold as slaves by the Indians. The system of contracts with the 
voyageurs resulted in virtual sla\-ery in many cases through the system of fines 
and advances made by the fur companies. 

The creation of the Territory of Dakota was made possible in 1861 by the 
withdrawal of the representatives from the slave-holding states from Congress. 

Prior to A. D. 1441 slavery, which had existed in some form from the 
beginning of human history, had generally been confined to captives in war. 
Tribes and even nations were subjugated or carried away captive. Such was 
the case with the Israelites, who, in their distress, '"hung their harps on the 
willows and sat down by the rivers of Babylon and wept." The time they were 
carried away into Egypt was recognized as an epoch from which time was 
reckoned. Captives were generally put on public works. The temple at Jeru- 
salem was builded bv captives and their children. Captivity was recognized by 
the prophets as the just reward of iniquity: unfortunates were sometimes sold 
into captivity for crime or debt, but not on account of color. 

In A. D. 1441 two captains of vessels sailing under the flag of Portugal seized 
a number of Moors who were taken to Portugal, but were allowed to ransom 


themselves, and in doing so included in the price paid ten black slaves. In 1445 
four negroes were made captive and taken to Portugal, and in 1448 a factory or 
trading post was established on the small island Arguin, from which several 
hundred black people, taken captive in tribal wars or kidnapped, were obtained 
by their agents and sent to Portugal each year, while slaves secured by other 
traders were taken to Tunis and Sicilv. 

In 1492 the trade of the Portugal company had fallen to 300, but the dis- 
covery of America added a new impetus to the trade in human beings, in which 
Columbus took an active part, the Spanish having engaged in the trade, sending 
large numbers of Indians to Spain and to the West Indies. Preference, however, 
was given to the negro slaves, regarded more valuable than the Indians in a 
ratio of four to one. 

In 1500 Gasper Cortereal, in the service of the King of Portugal, seized fifty 
natives on the coast of Labrador, carried them to Portugal and sold them as 
slaves. Returning the next year for more captives he is supposed to have been 
lost at sea. 

In 1520 Lucas \''asquez de Ayllon, a Spanish explorer, enticed a large num- 
ber of Indians from the coast of South Carolina on board his ships and sailed 
Tiway with them as captives. Two of his vessels were lost at sea and most of 
the remaining captives died. He returned five years later when he met with 
fierce opposition by the natives. His best ship ran aground and most of the 
crew were killed by the Indians. 

Giovanni da Verrazzano, who visited the coast in 1524, kidnapped an Indian 
boy and carried him away to France He tried to capture an eighteen-year-old 
girl, but she made such an outcry they feared to accomplish this purpose, being 
some distance from their vessel. 

In i5<Sg De Soto, lured into the forest in a search for gold and populous 
and wealthy villages, forced his captives to carry supplies on his long marches, 
striking terror into the hearts of the Indians visited by his extreme cruelty. At 
the battle of Mobile, where he suffered so severely, his captives were released 
ty the enemy and joined in a battle which nearly ruined his expedition. 

The first negro slaves were landed in England in 1553, and in 1562 that 
country engaged in the slave trafific. Sir John Hawkins is credited with begin- 
ning the traffic, Queen Elizabeth being a sharer in the profits. Four English 
companies were chartered for the slave trade, Charles IT and James TI being 
members of the fourth company, with the Duke of York and James 11 at the 
liead. Later the Royal African Company received aid from Parliament, their 
companies furnishing slaves to America, and in 1713 the privilege of supplying 
them to the Spanish colonies was secured to the English for thirty years, during 
which period 144.000 were supplied under their contract. 

The French and Dutch were also ensraeed in this trafific. In 1605 George 
Wevmouth made a trip to the Maine coast for the purpose of trade and captured 
and carried to England five Indians whom he gave to his friends as slaves. 

In t6tq a Dutch man-o'-war sold twenty negroes to the colony at James- 
town, but thev were carried on the roll as servants, and probably treated the 
same as the white indentured sen'ants who constituted a considerable portion 
of the colony. The same year the King sent over 100 convicts from English 


prisons, to be sold as servants to the colonists, and this system was pursued for 
many years against the protests of the people of the colony. 

In 1624-5 there were in the colony thirty-three Africans who were listed 
as servants. The first servant for life in this colony, of which there is any 
definite account, was John Punch, a negro. He had run away with two white 
servants. They were all catight. The period of servitude of the whites was 
extended four years as punishment, but John Punch was sentenced to servitude 
for life. Slavery was made hereditary by law in \'irginia in 1662, when it was 
provided that the issue from the mother should follow her condition of servitude. 

Slavery had existed in the English settlements in the Carolinas from the 
beginning of the life of these colonies, and in 1672 Sir John Yeomans, governor 
of South Carolina, brought several negro slaves from the Barbadoes. Slavery 
prevailed in all of the colonies, and all of them made a practice of buying and 
selling captives taken in war with the Indians. Those for whom there was a 
market were sent to the West Indies and the others parceled out among the 
colonists for such use as they were fitted. 

The Carolinas in 1702-1708 sent three expeditions against the Indians warring 
against them and almost the entire population of seven large villages were made 
captive and sold as slaves. It was a common practice to kidnap the children 
of the Tuscaroras and sell them into slavery, and this was the cause of the 
Tuscarora war of 1711-13. 

So common had been the practice of sending Indians to Pennsylvania to be 
sold as slaves that the provincial cotmcil of that colony in 1705 enacted that 
"Whereas the importation of Indian slaves from Carolina or other places hath 
been obser\'ed to give the Indians of this province some umbrage for suspicion 
and dissatisfaction, stich importation be prohibited j\Iarch 25, 1706." 

June 7, 1712, an act was passed bv this council forbidding the importation 
of Indians for slaves, but provided for the sale of those which had been imported 
for that purpose. The prisoners taken by Col. John Farnwell in his campaign 
against the Indians in the Tuscarora war were advertised to be sold in the 
Massachusetts and other colonies, and to take in these captives Pennsylvania 
appears to have adopted this later prohibitory provision. 

The invention of the cotton gin in 170,'^ caused a great increase in the demand 
for slaves in that portion of the South adapted to the growth of cotton. 

Previous to 1776, 300.000 negro slaves had been imported by the colonies. 
At the first census, in 1790. the slaves in the United States were distributed as 
follows : 

New Hampshire 158 

Vermont 17 

Rhode Island Q.'^s 

Connecticut 2.350 

Massachusetts none 

New York 21,324 

New Jersey 1 1423 

Pennsylvania .?7,?7 

Maryland 103,036 

Virginia 293,427 


North Carolina 100,572 

South CaroHna 107,094 

Georgia 29,264 

Kentucky 11 ,830 

Tennessee 3.417 

Total 697.897 

The number increased in 1806 to 893,041, in 1810 to 1,191,364, and in like 
proportion until i860, when the slaves in the United States numbered 3,953.760, 
and the total number of blacks who had been bought or kidnapped and carried' 
away from Africa had reached the enormous figure of 40,000,000, and the 
trade was still being carried on. 

As early as 1776 slavery had become a menace and it was resolved that year 
by the Continental Congress that no more slaves should Ije imported into the 
colonies, but when the Constitution was adopted action was postponed on this 

July 27, 1787, however, Congress passed by a unanimous vote a bill introduced 
by Nathan Dane forbidding involuntary ser\itude in that jiortion of the United 
States constituting the Northwest Territory. 

The treaty of Ghent between the United States and Great Britain (181 5) 
denounced the traffic in slaves as irreconcilable with the principles of humanity 
and justice, and both powers agreed to use their best endeavors to accomplish its 
destruction. In the Webster-Ashburton Treaty (1842) it was stipulated each 
government should prepare, equip and maintain to serve on the coast of Africa 
a sufficient and adequate naval force, carrying in all not less than eighty guns, 
to enforce separately and respectively the laws, rights and obligations of each 
of the two countries, and to act in concert and co-operation in the suppression 
of the slave traffic. Other strenuous treaties followed, but under the existing 
treaties and agreements with France and Spain a certain number of cruisers 
were being maintained on the east and west coasts of Africa, and in the West 
Indies, for the su])pression of the trade which under the laws of these countries 
was then recognized as piracy. France and Spain having become parties to 
this compact each country maintained its separate squadron. 

In January, 1015, Capt. O. S. Willey, who was an officer on one of the 
vessels of the United States patrol, read a paper before Burnside Post, Grand 
Armv of the Republic, Washington, D. C, from which the following facts have 
been gleaned : 

"In 1858 the United States brig of war Dolphin, commanded by Lieut. 
John A. Moffitt, captured off the Island of Cuba the American brig Echo of 
Boston from the west coast of Africa with a large cargo of African slaves. 
The prize was taken to Charleston, but in view of the hostility there to inter- 
ference with the slave trade, was sent to New York, where she was sold and the 
captives returned to Liberia. 

"In December, 1858, the Wanderer landed a cargo of slaves on the coast of 
Georgia, followed by another the next year, and a third attempt was made in 
t86o. but it was reported and believed at the time that she landed her cargo near 


San Antonio, Cuba. She was seized by the United States and condemned 
and sold. 

"Early in the spring of i860 the American bark William of New York was 
captured by the Wyandotte of the United States patrol with 680 slaves on board 
from the west coast of Africa for the trade in the United States. Every vessel 
passing was boarded by the patrol, sometimes as many as forty or fifty vessels 
a day. Among the slavers captured that spring were the American bark Wild- 
fire of New York, having on board 520 slaves, captured by the Mohawk and 
taken to Key West, and the French bark Bogata with 411 slaves. This capture 
was by the Crusader, with which Captain Willey was then serving." 

Under our laws slave-trading was piracy, but the only person convicted and 
executed for this crime was Nathaniel Gordon, who, in November, 1861, was 
convicted and executed in the State of New York. In other cases the officers 
and crews escaped through being used as witnesses in proceedings against the 
vessels which were sold, and in some instances returned to the slave trade, as 
was the case with the Wanderer. 

Captain Willey described the hold of the ordinary slaver, where the cajitives 
were confined during the voyage of several weeks across the seas, as a room 
80 or 90 feet in length, 35 or 40 feet in width, and 6 or 7 feet in height. The 
floor space was largely occupied by water barrels on which planks were laid, 
which formed the slave deck and on which there was room to sit ujiright Init 
not to stand erect. Twenty-five or thirty open barrels were utilized to accom- 
modate the calls of nature and the pangs of sea sickness. The only openings 
were the hatches, eight to ten feet square, which were closed during bad weather 
for several days at a time. Into such cjuarters were cast a thousand or more 
naked men, women and children, the resulting fikh being indescribable and the 
odors overpowering. Many did not have room even on the floor to recline at 
length ; they crouched on the slave deck, pillowing their heads against each other. 

Occasionally as many as could be accommodated with standing room in the 
deck were driven up and the crew dashed a few buckets of water over them. 
No other measure of cleanliness was undertaken. Those put over them were 
sometimes fiendishly brutal, ever ready with a kick or blow, and the females 
were denied the protection accorded to female brutes. 

The William and the Wildfire each sailed from the West Coast with 1,000 
slaves. Of these 2,000 human beings 680 were landed from the William and 
520 from the Wildfire. The remainder died enroute. 

The boarding crew from the Wyandotte weighted and consigned to the deep 
twenty-one bodies from the William, death's harvest of the preceding night. 
The Mohawk crew did likewise with fourteen bodies from the Wildfire. 

The passage across was usually made in from eight to ten weeks, never less, 
more frequently in excess. The horrors of the "middle passage" across the 
western ocean were surely not of such a nature as to improve the physical 
condition of the wretched, docile savages, for notwithstanding their supposed 
savagery, they were docile and reasonably tractable towards their white masters, 
inspired, perhaps, through fear and ignorance. 

The captives cost from $5 to $25 in the first instance and were sold at from 
$150 to $400 after their delivery in the United States. 









"By mutual confidence and mutual aid 
Great deeds are done and great discoveries made." 

— Homer's Iliad. 
"Wliat was only a patli is now made a high road." 

— Martial Epigrams, Book y, 60. 


James Monroe, as President of the United States, was desirous of protect- 
ing the frontier from British aggression, being convinced that the whole western 
country took a great interest in the success of the contemplated establishment of 
a military post at the mouth of the Yellowstone River; that it was looked upon 
as a measure better calculated to preserve the peace of the frontier, secure to us 
the fur trade, and break up the intercourse between the British traders and the 
Indians, than any other which had been taken by the Government, and he ex- 
pressed a willingness to assume great responsibility in hastening its consummation. 

Accordingly. Alaj. Stephen II. Long was selected to conduct the expedition 
to the mouth of the Yellowstone, or to the Mandan villages, as a part of the 
system of measures which had for its object the extension of the fur trade. The 
newspapers of the period took a very rosy view of the great benefits to follow 
in the wake of this expedition, and were confident that it would strike at the 
very root of British influence. An able corps of scientific men were included in 
the party, several of whom accompanied him to the Red River three years later. 
Their instructions followed those given to Lewis and Clark, but the importance 
of selecting a point near the forty-ninth parallel of latitude, where a s])here 
of influence might be established, was strongly impressed upon them. 

Great preparations were made for the expedition, and in all about eight 
hundred men assembled at St. Louis, and other points, but the summer faded, 
and was succeeded by the chilly blasts of autumn, and nothing was accomplished, 



although five steamboats were engaged to take them up the river and an 
expenditure of over two hundred and fifty thousand dollars was made the subject 
of congressional inquiry. 


A Steamboat 75 feet in length, 13 feet beam, drawing 19 inches of water, 
was built for the engineers of this expedition, and named the Western Engineer. 
It was the first steamboat to enter the waters of the Missouri, and the only boat 
of this expedition put into requisition on that river. It reached Council Blufls 
on the west side of the Missouri River, twenty-five miles above Omaha, Neb., 
September 17, 1819, and the engineers went into winter quarters near that point, 
— which became Fort Atkinson, abandoned in 1827, — but Congress failing to 
provide the necessary money to continue the expedition to the Yellowstone, it 
was diverted to the Rocky Mountains. A very large percentage of the soldiers 
at the winter cantonment died of scurvy. 

The Alissouri Gazette of May 26, 1820, contained a description in detail of 
the Western Engineer, which fully justifies the emotional element in Whittier's 
tragic verse : 

"Behind the scared squaw's birch canoe 
The steamer smokes and raves, 

The Gazette said : "The bow of this vessel exhibits the form of a huge serpent, 
black and scaly, rising out of the water from under the boat, his head as high 
as the deck, darting forward, his mouth open, vomiting smoke, and apparently 
carrying the boat on his back. From under the boat at the stern issues a stream 
of foaming water, dashing violently along. All of the machinery is hid. Three 
brass field pieces mounted on wheeled carriages, stand on the deck. The boat is 
ascending the rapid stream at the rate of three miles an hour. Neither wind nor 
human hands are seen to help her, and to the eye of ignorance the illusion is 
complete that a monster of the deep carries her on his back, smoking with 
fatigue, and lashing the waters with violent exertion." 

It was a scene calculated to paralyze with fear the "untutored mind" of the 
savage, although it bore a flag on which a white man clasped the hand of an 
Indian, a typical act of friendly intercourse, backed, however, by bristling guns. 
The Indians might well have called it the "fire boat that walks on the water," 
as they later did the Yellowstone. For the kind of terror it inspired it may 
have been the prototype of the "fighting tanks," "land battleships," or "cater- 
pillar tractors," made by the Holt Manufacturing Company of Peoria, 111., for 
an agricultural implement to meet some of the difficulties of modern farming 
and used in the great European war. As appropriated by the British in Sep- 
tember, 1916, from a revolving turret on the monitor plan, defended by com- 
plete armor, a murderous fire pours forth in a perpetual stream of bullets from, 
as described, "a fire-belching, death-dealing monster," with almost incompre- 
hensible means of locomotion, propelling itself forward by a gasoline engine, 
passing over all manner of obstacles and entanglements, laying its own track as 


it moves along. The London Times refers to them as "unearthly monsters, 
cased in steel, spitting hre, and crawling laboriously, but ceaselessly, over trench, 
barbed wire and shell crater." The Germans, like the Indians, have a supersti- 
tious horror of it. "Will we ever forget," they cry, "our first sight of the thing 
as it came at us out of the morning mist?" 

The Rocky Mountain expedition was important, and tlie report interesting, 
but unfavorable to the development of the country for agricultural purposes, 
and had the effect to retard progress in that direction, and to prevent congres- 
sional action with reference to opening the country to settlement. 


In July, 1823, Maj. Stephen H. Long's expedition to locate the boundary 
between the United States and Canada at its intersection with the Red River of 
the North, and thence eastward to Lake Superior, reached Pembina, and finding 
the exact location, on the 8th of August, marked it with an oak post, raised the 
American flag, and fired the national salute. The entire settlement, consisting of 
about three hundred and fifty inhabitants, was found to be on the American 
side, with the exception of one log cabin, and there was great rejoicing among 
the people, who congratulated themselves that all the bufiialo, also, were on this 
side. The Hudson's Bay Company, the Roman Catholic Fathers, and other 
distinctively British interests, finding that Pembina was in the United States, had 
already moved down the river to Fort Douglas, in order that they might be on 
undisputed British territory. 

Among the reasons for the expedition, was that of investigating the extent 
■of the fur trade in the Red River country, and the various reports originating 
with the conflicting trading interests, the character of the country along the 
northern border, then unsurveyed, and to make inquiry into the character and 
customs of the Indian tribes inhabiting the country. 

In command of the party was Maj. Stephen H. Long, topographical engineer, 
U. S. A., assisted in his researches by James Edward Calhoun, astronomer and 
topographer; Thomas Say, zoologist and antiquary; Samuel Seymour, landscape 
painter and designer; and Prof. William H. Keating, mineralogist, geologist and 
historiographer, and the report prepared l)y the last named was from notes made 
by these several parties. 

Col. Josiah Snelling of the Fifth I'nited States Infantry, furnished a guard, 
consisting of a sergeant, two corporals, and eighteen soldiers, commanded by 
Lieut. St. Clair Denny, until the return of Lieut. Martin Scott, who had been 
•connected with the expedition after it left Prairie du Chien, and who again 
joined it in the Red River \'alley. They traveled overland from Wheeling, 
W. Va. 


After leaving Fort Snelhng, Joseph Renville, who had been one of the inter- 
preters of Lieut. Pike's expedition, was the Sioux interpreter and guide 
•of Major Long's. His mother was a Sioux of a prominent family, and his 
father a French trader. He was a man of unusual ability, speaking both French 


and English fluently, and is credited with having translated much of the New 
Testament from English into French, and from h'rench into his mother tongue 
from hearing it read. He had no education, except the practical kind, which 
he was able to acquire from his surroundings. During the War of 1812, though 
a native of the United States, he joined the Indian allies of the British Govern- 
ment, and held the rank and drew the pay of a captain in the British army. He 
was distinguished as an active and humane officer, and was successful in repress- 
ing the depredations of the Sioux ; preventing them from sharing in the bloody 
and disgraceful acts perpetrated by other Indian allies of the British. After the 
war he retired on half pay, but resigned his commission in order to engage in 
trade on the American side; his old trading post being at the head of the Red 
River, which was made headquarters of the Columbia Eur Company, of which, 
in 1822, he was one of the leading organizers. 

The Columbia Fur Comi)any had a station on Big Stone Lake, in charge at 
the time of the Long expedition, of a trader of the name of Moore. 


As Major Long approached Big Stone Lake, he met a band of Wahpetons, 
who invited his party to their village, where they prepared a feast for him, 
consisting of the choicest cuts of the buffalo, and while partaking of it he 
explained to them the object of his visit, which seemed to interest and please 
them much. As they were about concluding the feast, the major was informed 
that another had been prepared for them, and lest he might oft'end, the second 
invitation was accepted, Init before that was finished, another was ready, at 
which was to be served the choicest food in the power of the Indian to offer — 
a dog had been killed for the occasion ! 

In the evening Major Long returned to the skin lodge of the chief, where 
another feast was spread, and he then received the assurance of that distinguished 
individual, Tatanka Wedhacheta. that he would send messengers to his people 
who were absent hunting, and whom they might encounter, directing them to 
supply his needs. 


Wanaton of the Yanktons, was then regarded as one of the great men of 
the Sioux Nation. When Major Long arrived at Lake Traverse, this renowned 
chief killed three dogs, and gave him and his party a royal feast. A pavilion 
had been formed by connecting several skin lodges, carpeted with tine buffalo 
robes, and the air was filled with the odor of sweet grass which had been 
burned for its perfume. The dinner cotirses consisted of buffalo- meat boiled 
with Indian turnips, the same vegetable, without meat, in buffalo grease, and, 
finally, the much esteemed dog meat, which, after tasting. Major Long declared 
he no longer wondered was regarded as a dainty dish. The feast jirepared for ten 
was said to have been sufficient for one hundred men. 

Wanaton wore moccasins, leggings of scarlet cloth, a blue breech-cloth, a 
shirt of painted muslin, a frock coat of fine blue cloth, with scarlet facings, but- 


toned and secured around his waist by a belt, "a blue cloth hat, and a handsome 
Mackinaw blanket. 

The next day Wanaton paid Major Long a return visit, when he wore the 
full habit of an Indian chief; the most prominent part of his apparel being a 
mantle of buffalo skins of a fine white color, decorated with tips of owl feathers, 
and others of various hues. His necklace had about sixty claws of the grizzly 
bear, and in his hair he wore nine sticks, secured by a strap of red cloth and 
painted vermilion, to represent the number of wounds he had received in battle. 
His face was painted with vermilion, and he carrieil, and fre(|uently br(jught into 
use, a fan of turkey feathers. 

THE UI''.l;.\T.\13LE L.\ND 

The Indians regarded the country between the ISois de Siou.\ and Turtle River 
debatable land, it being claimed by both the Chippewa and Sioux, and neither 
venturing to hunt in the region without being jirepared for war, many sanguinary 
conflicts resulted. 

Major Long had advanced only aljout nine miles into this region when he 
encountered a party of about seventy-five Sioux, who were very threatening 
in their attitude, but he managed to escape them and pushed on to Pembina, 
where he was entertained by a trader of the name of Nolan, who had been 
stationed there several years, and whose daughters taught in the school at 
St. Boniface. 

Nearly all of the male inhabitants were out on a buffalo hunt, and the 
village was almost destitute of provisions, as was also the exploring jiarty, but 
on the return of the htinters the next day there was an abundance. 


The procession consisted of 115 carts, each loaded with about eight hundred 
pounds of buffalo meat. There were 300 persons, including the women, in the 
train, and 200 horses. Twenty hunters rode abreast, firing a salute as they passed 
Major Long's camp. 


The value of the trade of the Ked River region south of the boundary, annu- 
ally, as given to Major Long by a member of the Columbia Fur Company, was 
$64,877, embracing beaver, bear, buffalo, marten, otter, fisher, elk. mink, musk- 
rat, lynx, swan, rabbit, wolverine, buffalo cow skins, wolves, moose, and fox ; 
buffalo being by far the greater item, amounting to 400 packs, of ten skins each, 
$16,000, The value of the beaver was placed at $4,000; of the fisher, $11,250; 
muskrat, $8,000, and lynx, $5,600. In addition to the above aggregate, there were 
1,000 bags of pounded buffalo meat, or jjemmican. 


Prior to 1800, the only means of transportation used on the plains of North 
Dakota was the dog sledge in winter, the Indian travois in summer, and the 


packs by men or animals. The dog sledge was much like the toboggan, flat-bot- 
tomed with a guard or dash-board in front, wide enough to seat one person, and 
long enough so he could recline if desired, as the dogs skipped along over the 
prairie. The driver could jump on or off when the animals were moving at high 
speed. A passenger, wrapped in furs, could sleep in perfect comfort as the sledge 
glided along from seventy-five to ninety miles a day, each sledge drawn by three 
dogs, with a driver to each sledge. There were frequently as high as twenty-five 
sledges in a train. The dogs were held in check by a strong cord attached to the 
leader. The dogs responded to a motion of the whip or hand, to indicate the 
direction, every dog knew his name, and all became attached to their masters, 
especially when treated kindly. They were fed a pound of pemmican a day. 
A trained leader was worth $20, and others from $8 to $10. Their life of use- 
fulness on the train ran from eight to twelve years. A dog sledge would carry 
about four hundred pounds. 

In winter dog sledges were used for both freight and passenger service ; the 
allowance of load per dog on a long journey being 100 pounds. One of the 
traders claimed that he had transported 1,000 pounds by the use of six, and, part 
of the way, eight dogs, from the Mandan villages on the Missouri, to the Red 
River posts. In summer the dogs were frequently used to carry buffalo meat 
from the place where the animals were killed to the points where the women 
were engaged in curing the meat for the trade or for the winter store. 

Two poles were crossed and fastened over the shoulders of the dogs, with a 
piece of hide underneath them to prevent chafing; the other extremities dragging 
•on the ground. It was secured to the animal by strings- around the body, while 
a bar was fastened to the poles at the rear, keeping them a proper distance apart, 
and serving to support the meat. 

The travois for use on the ponies were made in substantially the same way, 
except that the poles about sixteen feet long were fastened to the saddle 
on either side of the animal, the rear end dragging on the ground, and were 
capable of carrying about five hundred pounds. They were also called the traville 
and by some the travees. 


The Red River cart made its appearance in 1801, and is first mentioned in 
history by Alexander Henry, who gives its proportions as about four feet high, 
wheels with only four spokes, placed perpendicularly, without the least leaning 
outward. Made entirely of wood, unpainted and weather-stained, the creaking 
of their wheels could be heard a mile or more. They were drawn by one horse 
•or an ox or cow. 

They were used for the transportation of furs and other supplies long dis- 
tances, the goods for the traders being shipped in by this means, and the pro- 
ceeds of the chase shipped out in the same manner. From the description given 
by Mr. Henry, one may readily imagine the variety to be found in a train of 
from one hundred to five hundred Red River carts when on the summer chase, 
or engaged in transporting freight to and from the settlements. 

These carts, capable of conveying about five pieces (450 pounds) according to 
Mr. Henry, or, say, from 500 to 800 pounds, were each drawn by one horse, ox, 

RED RIVER CART, 1801 TO 1871 


U j 


or cow. Mr. Henry was doubtless thinking of the possibilities of using oxen for 
transportation when he exclaimed: "If we had only one horse in the Northwest, 
we would have less laziness, for men would not be burdened with families, and 
so much given to indolence and insolence." 

He thus describes the first train pulling out in 1802 : 

"The men were up at break of day, and their horses tackled long before sun- 
rise, but they were not in readiness to move before 10 o'clock, when I had the 
curiosity to climb to the top of my house, to examine the movement and order 
of march. Anthony Paget, guide and second in command, led oft with a cart 
drawn by two horses, and loaded with his own private baggage, casse-tetes 
(liquors), bags, and kettles. JMadame Paget follows the cart with a child one 
year old on her back, and very merry. C. Bottineau, with two horses, and a cart 
loaded with ly^ packs, his own baggage, and two young children, with kettles 
and other trash on the cart. ^ladame Bottineau with a young child on her back, 
was scolding and tossing it about. Joseph Dubois goes on foot, with his long 
pipestem and calument in hand. Madame Dubois follows her husband, carrying 
his tobacco pouch. Anthony Thelliere, with a cart and two horses, loaded with 
i^ packs of goods and Dubois' baggage. Anthony LaPoint, with another cart 
and two horses loaded with two pieces (180 pounds) of goods, and baggage 
belonging to Brisbois, Jessaume, and Pouliote, and kettles suspended on each 
side. M. Jessaume goes next to Brisbois with gun, and pipe in his mouth, puff- 
ing great clouds of smoke. M. Pouliote, the greatest smoker in the Northwest, 
has nothing but pipes and pouch. These three fellows having taken the farewell 
dram, lighting fresh pipes, go on, brisk and merry, playing numerous pranks. 
Don Severman, with a young mare, the property of M. Langlois, loaded with 
weeds for smoking, an old Indian bag, Madame's property, some squashes and 
potatoes, a small keg of fresh water and two young whelps. Next come the young 
horses of Livermore, drawing a traville, with his buggy, and a large worsted 
mask, queucate, belonging to Madame Langlois. Next appears Madame Cam- 
eron's young mare, kicking and rearing, and hauling a traville, which was loaded 
with a bag of fiour and some cabbages, and a large bottle of broth. M. Langlois, 
who is master of the band, now comes, leading a horse that draws a traville, 
nicely covered with a new pointed tent, under which are lying his daughter and 
Mrs. Cameron, extended at full length, and very sick. This covering, or canopy, 
has a pretty effect. ]\Iadame Langlois now brings up the rear, follow-ing the 
traville with a slow step and melancholy air, attending to the wants of her daugh- 
ter. The rear guard consisted of a long train of dogs, twenty in number. The 
whole forms a string nearly a mile long." 

Following the travois and the Red River cart came the stage and transporta- 
tion companies. The Hudson's Bay Company contracts, which gave them con- 
trol of much of the Canadian Northwest, were terminated in 1869. and the Mani- 
toba government was organized in 1870. That year the first United States land 
office was opened in North Dakota at Pembina. There w'as then no regular mail 
to Fort Garry, now Winnipeg, and no means of communication, except in private 
interests, between Manitoba and the outside world. Therefore, in the spring of 
1 871, the stage route was extended from Georgetown to Winnipeg, a contract 
having been let to Capt. Russell Blakely, of St. Paul, to carry the mail to Winni- 
peg, the first stage arriving at Winnipeg September 11, 1871. In 1878, the rail- 


road having been extended to Winnipeg, the stage and transportation company 
transferred its line to Bismarcl-;, and opened up a daily line of stages to the Black 
Hills. About the same time a line of daily stages was established from Bismarck 
to Allies City, Mont., and another from Bismarck up the Missouri River to 
Fort Buford and down the river to Fort Yates, and still another from Bismarck 
to Ellendale. A government line of telegraph was also established from Bismarck 
to Fort Yates, and north to Buford and thence to JNliles City and Fort Keogh. 


The aristocracy of the plains consisted of the traders, their clerks, the buft'alo 
hunters, and their families. The traders enjoyed every lu.xury, and always kept 
the finest liquors for entertainment. They were liberal, and honest, in their way. 
The buft'alo hunters were most improvident in dress and living. "In many 
instances," J\lrs. Cavileer states, "their wives wore silk velvet, and the most co.stly 
fabric of other manufacture, even in the buft'alo camp. The style of dress was a 
matter of much concern among the women. The waist w^as close fitting, with 
'mutton-leg' sleeves, the folds of the round, plain skirt falling to within si.x 
inches of the ground. They wore moccasins, mostly beaded or embroidered with 
quills, and leggings. A graceful feature of their costume was a broadcloth 
blanket, thrown carelessly over their shoulders, while a line silk handkerchief was 
so fastened over the head and face as to display most bewitching eyes to the best 
possible advantage. The hair was neatly braided and coiled at the back of the 
head. They had charming manners, with an oriental tinge." These were the 
nut brown women of the plains, the wives and daughters of the traders and their 

The tents or tepees were carpeted with skins, and, at times, with expensive 
brussels rugs, and vi-ere often exceedingly rich in drapery. In the "Bridal of 
Pennacook" John G. Whittier draws a fascinating picture of primitive life in 
the habitations of Indians like their neighbors: 

"Roof of bark, and wall of pine, 
Through whose chinks the sunbeams shine, 
Tracing many a golden line 

On the ample floor within ; 
Where, upon the earth-floor stark 
Lay the gaudy mat of bark, 
With the bear's hide, rough and dark, 

And the red deer's skin. 

"Window tracery, small and slight. 
Woven of the willow white, 
Lent a dimly checkered light ; 

And the night stars glimmered down, 
Where the lodge fire's heavy smoke 
Slowly through an opening broke, 
In the low roof, ribbed with oak, 

Sheathed with hemlock brown." 


In 1849, in accordance with a suggestion of William Medill of Ohio, United 
States commissioner of Indian afifairs. to send an exploring expedition to the Red 


River X'alley, Thomas Ewing, of Ohio, United States secretary of the interior 
in the administration of President Zachary Taylor, of Virginia, approved the 
undertaking, believing that the best way to prevent anticipated and remedy exist- 
ing evils — such as the illegal traffic in liquor carried on by the British traders 
with the Indians — vvoidd be to purchase a moderate portion of the Indian country 
and open it to settlement. Another object was to investigate the danger to the 
settlements reported to be threatening on account of the destruction of their main 
dependence, the buffalo. It was also a part of the project to select a site for a 
military post which afterwards became Fort Abercrombie on the Red River in 
Richland County. 

The expedition, conducted by Brevet Alaj. Samuel Woods, captain Sixth 
United States Infantry, then stationed at Fort Snelling, at the head of navigation 
of the Mississippi River, near St. Paul, Minn., consisted of Second Lieut. Ander- 
son D. Nelson, Sixth United States Infantry quartermaster and commissary, 
having in charge a mountain howitzer. Second Lieut, and Brevet Capt. John 
Pope of the topographical engineers, and Dr. James Sykes, acting assistant 
surgeon, medical officer. Lieut. John William Tudor Gardiner and Second Lieut. 
Thomas F. Castor, with Company D, First Dragoons, numbering forty men, 
were to meet him at Sauk Rapids, and were intended for the garrison of Fort 
Gaines, later known as Fort Ripley, then a military post on the Mississippi 
opposite the mouth of J\Iohoy River ten miles below the Crow Wing River, about 
forty miles above Sauk Rapids. As directed by George W. Crawford, of Georgia, 
then secretary of war. Major Woods was to select a point for the military post 
not exceeding 200 miles west of Fort Gaines. 

They left Fort Snelling Jtine 6th. proceeding to the Turtle River country 
northwest of Grand Forks, theirce north to Pembina at the northern frontier of 
the United States, where they arrived .\ugust ist, and returned to Fort Snelling 
September 18. 1849. 

Jonathan E. Fletcher was Indian agent on the Upper Missouri, having a vast 
extent of country in his charge, and he had reported that some attention must be 
given the Red River country in order to prevent injustice being done to American 
traders by unlawful and injurious interference by British subjects, and to put a 
stop to our Indians being supplied with ardent spirits, and the great destruction 
of game by persons from the British side of the line. 

He called attention to the great and wanton destruction of the buffalo, caus- 
ing discontent among the Indians, leading in one or two instances to murder of 
persons so engaged. The buffalo, it was alleged, was almost the only means of 
subsistence of some sixty thousand Indians in that region and the Upper Missouri, 
and it was apparent that they must soon disappear under the prevailing condi- 
tions, through their destruction by other than Indians. He was confident that it 
would result in sanguinary and exterminating wars among the Indians, or cause 
them to precipitate themselves on the advanced settlements in order to procure 
the means of subsistence. 

He spoke of the considerable military post being maintained by the British 
across the line, then known as Fort Garry, for the protection of its citizens, and 
the preservation of peace and good order which suggested the propriety of a 
military post on the American side of the line. 

Mr. Fletcher dwelt particularly on the evils of the trade in ardent spirits 


among the Indians, introduced by British subjects. The hquor was supplied in 
some instances with a view to breaking down the business and the influence of 
the American traders ; to annoy and discommode them by purchasing with 
whisky all of the surplus provisions the Indians had to sell, but more especially 
to keep the Indians from obtaining furs, well knowing that they would not hunt 
or trap while they could obtain liquor. It was .said that the Hudson's Bay Com- 
panv would not sell liquor to anyone, and it was true that they would not sell to 
the Indians at any price for money, but they did exchange it for anything the 
Indians had to sell in the way of furs or provisions. 

Norman W. Kittson was then a licensed trader at Pembina, and it was his 
estimate that the population of the Red River, on both sides of the boundary, 
was 6,000, that one-third subsisted by hunting buffalo, and that they killed about 
twenty thousand bufifalo annually. 

Mr. Fletcher charged that British subjects were holding councils with the 
Indians on the American side of the line, with a view to prejudicing them against 
our Government and against our system of trading with the Indians. He urged 
the great danger to the frontier citizens from inadequate military protection, 
and the importance of this feature was demonstrated by the Indian outbreak of 
1862. He also urged the advantage the British traders had over the Americans 
by reason of their ability to purchase without paying tarifl:' rates. 

.\ letter from Henry M. Rice, an Indian trader, was also presented, in which 
he charged that the British trader at Rainy River assembled the Indians on the 
American side and made them presents to influence them against trading with 
the Americans and to prevent the Americans from trading in that country, and 
they sent out agents with whisky to buy, with a view to controlling, the wild rice 
crop, thereby depriving the trader and his employes of the means of subsistence. 

The trade was not regarded of value to the British but it was their purpose 
to destroy it, more especially to prevent Americanizing the Indians. They also 
feared to have the Canadian Indians learn the facts regarding the American sys- 
tem of trade among the Indians, and the low price at which they sold their goods. 

Mr. Rice stated that in the summer of 1848 a party of 1,200 carts visited the 
country south of Devils Lake and destroyed buffalo by the thousand for the 
meat, tallow and tongues. Mr. Rice, afterwards an influential United States sen- 
ator from Minnesota, urged the purchase and settlement of the country, and that 
the half-breeds, British subjects by compulsion, not by choice, be encouraged to 
occupy the purchased portion. 

The plan to open the Red River country to settlement, formulated in 1848, 
was enthusiastically received by the half-bloods, but was met in silence by the 
Indians, and was used by the Hudson's Bay Company as a means to prejudice 
the Indians against the Americans. The opening was consummated twenty-five 
years later. 

At Pembina they found Father George Anthony Joseph Belcourt, located 
about a mile down the river from Norman W. Kittson's trading establishment at 
Pembina, where he had been located eighteen years, and had a school for the 
education of the Chippewas and the children of the half-bloods, of whom there 
were a considerable number ; Kittson, as stated, placing the population along the 
international boundary at fi,ooo, and Major Woods reporting 177 families in the 
vicinity of Pembina, 511 males and 515 females. 



g M 

S O 

5" tti 

% O 

o" O 

-. H 




In addition to tlie school building which was two stories in height, there was 
a chapel on the grounds. 

Relative to the half-bloods, Father Belcourt wrote Alajor Woods: 
"The half-breeds are mild, generous, polished in their manners, and ready to 
do a kindness; of great uprightness, not over anxious of becoming rich, content- 
ing themselves with the necessaries of life, of which they are not at all times 
possessed. The greater number are no friends to labor; yet I believe this vice to 
proceed more from want of encouragement, and the small prices they receive for 
their products, than from laziness, and this opinion is grounded upon the fact 
that they are insensible to fatigue and exposure, which they endure with lightness 
of heart when called upon to do so in the course of diverse occupations. They 
have much openness of spirit, and their children manifest good capacity when 
taught ; still we could wish them to possess a little more perseverance. They are 
generally gay and fond of enjoyment ; they affect music, there being but few, 
comparatively speaking, who do not play on the violin. They are a fine physical 
conformation, robust and full of health, and of a swarthy hue. We see but slight 
dissensions in their families, which are for the most part numerous. The men 
commonly marry at the age of seventeen or eighteen and as a general thing are 
of good morals. The half-breeds number over five thousand souls. They first 
established themselves at Pembina, near the mouth of the river of that name in 
1818, when they had with them a resident Canadian priest. They had also erected 
a church, and were engaged in the cultivation of the soil with great success 
when Major Long visited the country, and having ascertained the latitude, 
declared it to be south of the 49th degree. St. Louis being the nearest American 
settlement of any size, and the distance being very great, it was out of the ques- 
tion for the residents of Pembina to hold intercourse with it, except by incurring 
great expense as well as danger. The Hudson's Bay Company profited by the 
inability of the colonists to communicate with the states, to give public notice that 
all inhabitants who were established on the American side of the line should 
descend the Red River and make settlement about the mouth of the Assinaboine 
River, under penalty in case of failure so to do of being refused all supplies from 
their store. At that time even more than at present, powder, balls, and net thread 
for fishing were articles indispensably necessary to their subsistence. In short, 
they were obliged to submit."' 


At the time of Major Woods" expedition the Hudson's Bay Company had a 
building a few feet south and were building extensively about two hundred yards 
north of the international boundary. Norman W. Kittson was represented at 
that time by Joseph Rolette, a son of the one of that name met at Prairie du 
Chien by Lieutenant Pike. 

The Selkirk colonists were then engaged in farming on the Red River, north 
of the boundary, and they reported thirty to forty bushels of wheat, forty to fifty 
bushels of barley, forty to fifty bushels of oats, and 20O' to 300 bushels of pota- 
toes per acre, as the usual yield. 



The mosquitoes were an ever-present annoyanc6. At the site of the proposed 
niihtary post it was said they hterally filled the air and it was impossible to talk 
without inhaling them. "They choked down every expression," wrote Major 
Woods, "that would consign them to the shades. They condemn the displeasure 
and sing cheerily over the torture of their victims." The horses began to fail, 
attributable, principally, to the ever-increasing army of these insects, that did 
not allow the horses to rest by night nor quietly feed upon the grass. "The suf- 
fering of the horses was painful to behold and irremediable. The men would 
industriously strike out with both hands, from morning till night, scarcely able 
to talk without inhaling Some handfuls of them." 

At the site that afterwards became Fort Abercrombie they set up a square 
post and marked on it "163 miles to Sank Rapids, July 14, 1849." ^t Goose 
River they encountered a vast herd of bufl:alo. At Turtle River they found an 
old earthwork, said to have been erected by the Chippewas for defense against 
the Sioux. It covered about an acre. Two or three years before, the old fort 
had again been occupied by a band of Chi])pewas, but they were driven off by the 
Sioti.x and five or si.x were killed. 

The country north of the Sheyenne was the acknowledged land of the Chip- 
pewas, while that south was claimed by the Siou.x. Their claims extended up the 
Sheyenne to Devils Lake, back to the Missouri River. 

The Chippewas at Pembina were then tmorganized. Thr(jugh the suggestion 
of Major Woods they elected Sakikwanel (Green Feather) principal chief, 
Majekkwadjiwan (End of the Current) first second chief, and Kakakanawak- 
kagan, (Long Legs) second chief. The election was later approved by the Indian 
authorities. The tribe had been without a head since it liad separated some 
years before from the mother tribe on the Great Lakes. The new dignitaries 
were properly saluted by the firing of guns and appropriately instructed as to 
their duties and responsibilities. 

While on the plains that season the Chippewa hunters had been attacked by 
the Siotix and several scalps had been taken on each side. Following the return 
of the hunters there was a scalp dance. The scalps were ornamented with rib- 
bons and feathers, and, fastened to the end of a stick, were borne in the dance 
high above the heads of the dancers. Those who bore them had returned from 
the war, heroes indeed, arrivitig in advance of the main body of hunters. They 
always expected trouble with the Sioux and were prepared for it, and were 
organized under a captain, whose orders they implicitly obeyed. 


\\'hile traffic on the Red River began with the work of the voyageurs in the 
Indian trade, even before the advent of Henry's Red River Brigade, and every 
branch of the stream had been reached by their boats, the goods for the wander- 
ing traders being packed on the backs of men to their temporary trading posts, 
it was not until 1858, that the first steamboat was built for operation on the Red 
River of the North, at McCauleyville, ^linn., by Capt. Anson Northrup, for 
whom it was named ; this would carry from fifty to seventy-five tons. The ma- 


chiiiL-ry was brought overland from Si. Paul and the timber was cut on the Red 
River. It was operated one season and then passed into the hands of the 
Hudson's Bay Company and its engine was transferred to a saw mill. 

The Freighter was a 200-ton boat operating on the Minnesota River. An 
attempt was made to transfer this boat from the waters flowing into the Gulf 
of Mexico to the Red River tributary to Hudson Bay. There have been sea- 
sons when this could have been done, but in this case the attempt failed. The 
Freighter grounded in the inlet of Big Stone Lake and became a wreck. Her 
machinery was sold to the Hudson's Bay Company and was used in the Interna- 
tional, built at Georgetown, Minn., in i860. She operated for many years on 
the Red River, exclusively for the Hudson's Bay Company, until competition 
forced her into private traffic. 

In 1871 the Selkirk was built at McCauleyville, by James J. Hill and Capt. 
Alexander Griggs. She was operated for general traffic. In 1872 the two lines 
w^ere consolidated and run under one management. In 1875 the merchants of 
Winnipeg built the Minnesota and Manitoba at Moorhead. One of them sank 
and the other soon passed into the hands of the other company. The Com- 
pany was styled the Red River Transportation Company, and they built the 
Sheyenne and Dakota at Grand Forks, and the Alpha at McCauleyville. The 
Grandin was built at Fargo, together with a line of barges, and used for trans- 
porting grain from the Grandin farms to the Northern Pacific Railroad. Numer- 
ous other barges were built at Moorhead, which were used for transporting goods 
down the river to Winnipeg, where they were broken up and used for lumber. 
The Pluck was built on the Mississippi, and transferred by rail to the Red River 
from Brainerd, by Alsop Brothers. In 1881 they built the Alsop and a line of 
barges, operating boat and barges until 1886. 


The mackinaws or small boats with a crew of five men, would start from the 
trading posts down the river, requiring thirty days to reach St. Louis. The men 
would leave St. Louis in the spring, returning after about sixteen months. They 
were paid $220 for the round trip, up the river one season and back the next 
spring. Carpenters and blacksmiths were paid $300 per annum. The traders 
were paid $500 per annum. 

Gen. John C. Fremont, writing of his trip from St. Louis to Fort Pierre 
in his memoirs, says: "For nearly 2^ months we were struggling against the 
current of the turbid river, which in that season of high water was so swift 
and strong that sometimes the boat would for a moment stand quite still, seem- 
ing to pause to gather strength until the power of the steam asserted itself, and 
she would fight her way into a smooth reach. In places the river was so embar- 
rassed with snags that it was difficult to thread a way through them in the face 
of the swift current and treacherous channel, constantly changing. Under these 
obstacles we usually laid up at night, making fast to the shore at some convenient 
place where the crew could cut a supply of wood for the next day. It was a 
pleasant journey, as little disturbed as on the ocean. Once above the settlements 
on the Lower Missouri, there were no sounds to disturb the stillness but the 
echoes of the high-pressure steam pipe, which traveled far along and around the 


shores, and the incessant crumbling away of the banks and bars, which the river 
was steadily undermining and destroying at one place to build up at another. 
The stillness was an impressive feature, and the constant changes in the character 
of the river shores afforded always new interest as we steamed along. At times 
we traveled by high perpendicular escarpments of light colored rock, a gray and 
yellow marl, made picturesque by shrubbery or trees ; at others the river opened 
out into a broad delta-like expanse, as if it were approaching the sea. At length, 
on the seventieth day, we reached Fort Pierre, the chief port of the American 
Fur Company, on the right bank of the Missouri River about thirteen hundred 
miles above its mouth." 

In the Knife River region the crumbling banks disclosed thick beds of lignite 
coal, used by Lewis atid Clark for blacksmithing purposes : and which has become 
an important item of commerce and is required by law to be used in heating the 
public buildings of North Dakota. It is so abundant that it is practically the 
only fuel used in some parts of North Dakota. Some of the beds are upwards 
of thirty feet in depth. 


In 1712 Antoine de Crozat was granted a monopoly of trade in the Province 
of Louisiana, as noted under "Louisiana Purchase" in Part I, having a trading 
house on the site of Montgomery on the Alabama River, and another at Natchi- 
toches on the Red River. Pierre Le Moyne d'lberville established Fort Rosalie 
on the site of Natchez in 1716. After five years in possession, Crozat resigned 
his patent, and was succeeded, in 1717, by a company organized by John Law, a 
Paris banker, known as the Mississippi Company, whose patent was to last 
twenty-five years, or until 1742. Their activities extended as far north as the 
mouth of the Grand River, in South Dakota. In 1722 an attempt was made by 
M. de Bourgemont to establish a trading post five miles below Grand River, 
known as Fort Orleans, but all the inmates of the post were killed by the Indians 
in 1726 as the result of well founded complaints of ill treatment by the traders, 
and in 1732 the Mississippi Company resigned its patent to the crown of France. 

In 1762 the French governor general of Louisiana granted authority to Pierre 
Ligueste Laclede and his partners, their organization being known as the Louisi- 
ana Fur Company, to establish trading posts on the ]\Iississippi River, and on 
February 15, 1764, Auguste Chouteau, representing that company, selected the 
site of St. Louis, twenty miles below the mouth of the Missouri, for headquarters. 

October 21, 1764, the king of France ordered that portion of Louisiana west 
of the Mississippi to be turned over to the king of Spain ; the cession was accepted 
by the Spanish on November 13th of that year, and August 11, 1768, Spanish 
troops took possession of the Louisiana Fur Company's post at St. Louis, giving 
place in July, 1769, to the Spanish lieutenant governor, Don Pedro Pieruas, who 
assumed civil authority. 

May 26, 1780, a band of Indians led by British regulars from Fort Michili- 
mackinac or Mackinaw — established by French Jesuits on the Michigan side of 
the strait between Lake Huron and Lake Michigan, conquered by the British in 
1760 — surprised the people outside the wall of brush and clay, built the previous 


year around the settlement of St. Louis for defense, killing from fifteen to 
twenty persons, and then attacked the village, but were repulsed. 

Spain held possession of the territory until 1800, when it was retroceded to 
France, as related in Part I, and was ceded to the United States in 1803. On 
June 2, 1 819, the first steamboat reached St. Louis, direct from New Orleans. 
She was named the Harriet. The first steamboat built in St. Louis was not 
launched until twenty-three years after. 

The Mississippi Company was reorganized in 1832, and during their occupa- 
tion trading posts were established in Alabama, Mississippi, and Tennessee, and 
lead mines were discovered in Northern I,ouisiana extending from the 33d degree- 
north latitude to the Canadian territory. 








"Careless seems the great Avenger ; History's pages but record 
One death grapple in the darkness 'twixt old systems and the word ; 
Truth forever on the scaffold, Wrong forever on the throne. 
Yet the scaffold sways the future, and behind the dim unknown 
Standeth God within the shadow, keeping watch above his own." 

— James Russell Lowell. 


There were several po^ts at tiie mouth of the Big Horn, where it joins the 
Yellowstone River in Montana, not far from the Custer Battlefield ; the first 
built in i<So7, b)' Manuel Lisa, the noted Indian trader — as previously mentioned 
— and abandoned the ne.xt year. One, called Fort Benton, was built at this 
point in 1822, and abandoned in 1823. In 1822 Gen. William II. Ashley and 
Andrew Henry built a post at this point, but gave it up after the first winter. 
In 1825, it will be seen, it was visited by the Atkinson Commission and the site 
described. Fort Cass was three miles above the mouth of the Big Horn, built 
by the .American Fur Company in 1832, sometimes known as Tulloch's Fort, and 
abandoned in 1835. 


During the winter of 1822-23, the Missouri Fur Coinpany had maintained a 
force of hunters and trappers on the Yellowstone and its branches. The party 
originally consisting of forty-three men, who wintered at the mouth of the Big 
Horn River, were reduced to thirty by desertion. They had abandoned their 
winter quarters and were returning to their station with their catch of furs, 
when, on May 31st, they were ambushed by the Blackfeet. 

Robert Jones, who joined the Missouri Fur Company in 1818, and Michael 
Immel, the leaders of the party, and five others were killed, and four wounded. 
They lost their entire outfit of horses and equipment, and from $15,000 to $20,000 



worth of furs, some of which were recovered through the good offices of the 
Hudson's Bay Company officials. 


General Ashley, from his trading post at the mouth of the Yellowstone River, 
in 1823 planned an expedition for trading and trapping on that stream and its 
tributaries, intending to extend his operations to the Columbia River. He organ- 
ized a party of ninety men in the spring of that year, which he concentrated at 
the mouth of the Cheyenne River, with the intention of sending forty men across 
the plains with horses, the remainder to go on by boat. On the morning of May 
30th, he reached the Arikara villages, and spent three days there, purchasing 
about fifty horses for his Yellowstone expedition, but on June 2d he was attacked 
by the Indians, and of his men fourteen were killed, eleven wounded, and one 
died of his wounds. Practically all of his horses were killed, and much of his 
property was stolen or destroyed. The Indians numbered about six hundred, and 
the attack was without the slightest provocation or warning. 

General Ashley gave his loss as follows: Killed, John Mathews, John Collins, 
Aaron Stevens, James JMcDaniel, Westley Piper, George Flage, Benjamin F. 
Swecd, James Penn, Jr., John Miller, John S. Gardner, Ellis Ogle, David 
Howard. Wounded, Reece Gibson (died of wounds'), Joseph Mouse, John Law- 
son, Abraham Ricketts, Roljert Tucker, Joseph Thompson, Jacob ^Miller, Daniel 
McClain, Hugh Glass, August Duffer, and Willis, a colored man. * 

This company was succeeded by Smith. Jackson & Sublette, in 1826. They 
had great success, though they met with numerous mishaps. On one of their 
expeditions, nineteen of a party of twenty-two men were killed by the Indians, 
and their property taken, but through the Hudson's Bay Company, in this 
instance also, most of the property was recovered. Later the firm became Fitz- 
patrick, Sublette & Bridger. 


June 18, 1823, Col. Henry Leavenworth left Fort Atkinson (Nebraska, near 
Council Bluffs, Iowa) with Companies A, B, D, E, F, and G, Sixth United States 
Infantry, for the purpose of punishing the Arikaras. He took with him several 
pieces of light artillery, manned by details from his command, and was accom- 
panied by eighty volunteers, armed and equipped by the fur companies, and from 
600 to 800 Sioux, organized by Joshua Pilcher, of the Missouri Fur Company; 
the .Sioux expecting a free hand in the matter of scalps and spoils. 

The roster of officers of this expedition included Col. Henry Leavenworth, 
Maj. Adam R. W'ooley, Brevet Maj. Daniel Ketchum. Captains Bennett Riley 
and William Armstrong, Lieutenants John Bradley, Nicholas John Cruger, 
William X. \\'ickliffe, William Walton Morris, Thomas Noel, and Surgeon John 

The officers of the volunteer command and the .^ioux Indian contingent were 
Gen. William H. .Ashley, Captains Jedediah .Smith and Horace Scott, Lieutenants 
Hiram Allen and David Jackson, Ensigns Charles Cunningham and Edward 
Rose, Surgeon Fleming, Quartermaster Thomas Fitzpatrick, and Serg.-Maj. Wil- 


Ham L. Sublette, of the Ashley party, and of the Missouri Fur Company and 
Indian contingent, Maj. Joshua Pilcher, president of the J^Iissouri Fur Company 
and sub-agent of the Sioux, Captains Henry \'anderburg and Angus McDonald^ 
First Lieut. jMoses B. Carson and Second Lieut. William Gordon. 

The appointment of these officers was contimied by Colonel Leavenworth,, 
in special orders, except that of General Ashley, who was brigadier-general 
in the Missouri Militia. IMlcher was sub-agent of the Sioux, appointed by 
Major O'Fallen. 

The entire command, as organized, including regulars, mountaineers, voya- 
geurs, trappers, and Indians, mustering as variously estimated from 800 to 1,200, 
was styled the "^^lissouri Legion.'' 

The distance from Council Bluii's, Iowa, to the Arikara villages, was said to 
be 655 miles, and the time consumed, including the stop for reorganization, was 
forty-eight days. 

There were two Arikara villages, a short distance apart, overlooking the 
river, and so situated as to fully command the channel, fortified by a stockade 
of timbers 6 to 8 inches thick and 15 feet in height, with earth thrown up on the 
inside to a height of about 18 inches. About three-fourths of the Indians were 
armed with London fusils (flint-lock), procured through British traders; the 
others with bows and arrows, and war axes. The warriors belonging to the 
villages numbered about six hundred. 

The ground covered by these villages was above the mouth of the Grand 
River that flows through the Standing Rock Indian Reservation to join the Mis- 
souri in South Dakota, near the border line between South and North Dakota, 
and, in 181 1, was about three-quarters of a mile from the channel of the Mis- 
souri, on Dead Alan's Creek, which now flows through a timbered bottom, where, 
in 1823, there were sand-bars and the river channel. 

The Sioux auxiliaries awaited the arrival of Colonel Leavenworth at the 
mouth of the Cheyenne River, whence the advance was made. They arrived 
at the Arikara villages August 9th, and the Arikaras coming out to meet the 
Sioux, an engagement took place, in which the whites did not participate, as the 
Sioux were between them and the enemy. 

August loth Capt. Bennett Riley, with a company of riflemen, and Lieut. 
John Bradley, with a company of infantr)', were posted on a hill within 100 paces 
of the upper village, screened from the enemy's fire. Lieut. William Walton 
Alorris, with one 6-pounder and a 5^1-inch brass piece, commenced an attack on 
the lower town. Sergeant Perkins, with one 6-pounder, was assigned to Capt. 
Henry Vanderburg, of the Missouri Fur Company, who was in command of the 
volunteers. Maj. Daniel Ketchum was ordered to the upper village with his 

The fire was continued from early in the morning until 3 o'clock in the after- 
noon. The Sioux lost two killed and thirteen wounded. Some of their number 
were in the meantime harvesting the crop of the Arikaras, assisted in their work, 
later in the day, by the soldiers, for the purpose of obtaining supplies ; General 
Ashley's men having had no food for two days. Colonel Leavenworth lost two 
men wounded during the engagement. The Arikara loss was heavy; Chief Grey 
Eyes being among the killed. 

When the Sioux discovered that they were not to be given a free hand in the 

Steamer Rosebud homeward bound 

Floating palace of the Red River of the North. Built in 1871 


attack upon the Arikaras, they commenced to parley with them and finally dis- 
appeared altogether. The Arikaras were much terrified and hastily made a 
treaty of peace, but failing to surrender the property taken from General Ashley, 
Colonel Leavenworth threatened to attack them again, when they fled. He tried 
to induce them to return and re-occupy their villages, but did not succeed. They 
left the mother of Chief Grey Eyes, old and infirm, in one of the lodges, sup- 
plied with water and food. Colonel Leavenworth placed her in one of the best 
lodges, with an increased supply, and left the village undisturbed, but before he 
was out of sight, the lodges, numljering 141, were all fired and cjuickly destroyed, 
except the one occupied by the Indian woman, whose domicile was not invaded. 
It was charged that the lodges were burned by Lieut. William Gordon and Capt. 
Angus McDonald, employes of the Missouri Fur Company. Gordon was one of 
the survivors of the Blackfeet attack on the Big Horn, and was noted as one of 
the most intrepid of the frontiersmen. In 1824 he had some further bloody 
experiences on the Yellowstone, again spending the winter on the Big Horn, with 
a band of Crows, causing a number of the Blackfeet, in various encounters, to take 
up their abode in the "Happy Hunting Grounds," whence none have as yet 

When in their villages on the Cheyenne and Grand rivers, the Arikaras 
depended upon agriculture, rather than the chase, for food, bartering corn with 
the Cheyenne and other tribes for buiTalo robes, skins and meat, hunting in the 
fall and winter, exhanging the skins obtained by barter and the chase, with the 
traders for cloth and other things required for their ornament and comfort. 

Before the traders came, they made cooking utensils of pottery, mortars of 
stone for grinding their corn, hoes from the shoulder blade of the buft'alo and 
elk, spoons from the horn of the buffalo, wedges for splitting wood from horn, 
brooms from stiff' grass, knives, spear and arrow heads from flint, and were com- 
paratively a well-dressed, well-fed and happy people. 

After the destruction of their villages in 1823, they rejoined their relations 
in Nebraska, sojourning there two years, returning to the Heart River, and to 
Knife River, in 1837, and finally settling at Fort Berthold, in 1862. 


The Missouri Fur Company had furnished about forty men for the exjiedi- 
tion of 1823, to punish the Arikaras, and had operated with the troops in the 
attack upon the villages, but Colonel Leavenworth reported that in making the 
treaty of peace, he met with every possible obstacle which it was in the power 
of that company to throw in his way. He was very indignant because of the 
destruction of the Indian villages, and severely censured the officers of the Mis- 
souri Fur Company for their interference, excepting from blame Capt. Henry 
Vanderburg and Lieut. Moses B. Carson, of that company. These gentlemen, in 
turn, stated that they were extremely mortified at having been selected as the 
oJjject of Colonel Leavenworth's approbation, and claimed that he had left 
impassable barriers to the restoration of peace. ]\Iajor Pilcher's criticism was 
that the treaty of peace had been made before the Indians had been properly 

In reply to these adverse views of Major Pilcher, Gen. Edmund Pendleton 


Gaines, in his report to tlie secretary of war, fully sustained Colonel Leaven- 
worth, claiming it was his right and duty to determine the degree of punishment 
due the enemy, and to dictate terms of capitulation, and insisting that the victory 
most acceptable to the enlightened and victorious nation was that obtained at the 
least expense of blood. The general-in-chief of the army, and the President also, 
sustained Colonel Leavenworth. 

It will be remembered that Lewis and Clark were received by the Arikaras 
with cordial friendship. Their changed attitude was attributed to the influence 
of the Sioux. They were dependent upon the Sioux for arms and ammunition 
and were gradually led astray by tliem, and after the afl'air with Colonel Leaven- 
worth, they became intensely bitter in their hostility. 

Notwithstanding tlie outrage of the Blackfeet, there was no attempt made to 
])unish them, and the Alissouri Fur Company soon afterward retired from the 
Upper Missouri, and was succeeded by the American Fur Company, which had 
posts at the Forks of the .Sheyenne, and three posts in the ^'alley of the James. 
Lisa's Fort, occupied by him, and acquired liy Joshua Pilcher, the head of the 
Missouri Fur Company in 1812, was on the right or south bank of the Missouri, 
about twelve miles from Fort Clark. After the Leavenworth campaign Major 
Pilcher named it Fort Vanderburg in honor of Capt. Henry \'anderburg. 


The following extract from the dispatch of Alajor-General Gaines to the 
United States secretary of war, dated July 28. 1823, discloses the real purpose 
of the Leavenworth expedition : 

"The trade itself, however valuable, is relatively little or nothing when com- 
pared with the decided advantage of that harmonious influence or control, which 
is acquired and preserved, in a degree, if not wholly, by the constant friendly 
intercourse which the trade necessarily afifords, and by which it is principally cher- 
ished and preserved. If we quietly give up this trade, we shall at once throw it. 
and with it the friendship and physical power of near thirty thousand warriors, 
into the arms of England, who has taught us in letters of blood (which we have 
the magnanimity to forgive, but which it would be treason to forget), that this 
trade forms rein and curb by which the turbulent and towering spirit of these 
lords of the forest can alone be governed. I say alone, because I am decidedly 
of the opinion that if there existed no such rivalship in the trade as that of the 
English, with which we have always been obliged to contend, under the disad- 
vantage of restrictions such as have never been imposed upon our rival adver- 
sary, we should, with one-tenth the force and expense to which we have been 
subjected, preserve the relations of peace with the Indians more efifectively than 
they have been at any former period. But, to sufTer outrages such as have been 
perpetrated by the Ricaras and Blackfeet Indians to go unpunished, would be 
to surrender the trade, and with it our strong hold upon the Indians, to England." 


Thomas Forsythe, a St. Louis trader, visited the Upper Missouri country in 
1797. There was then a post known as "Trudeau's" or the Pawnee House, near 


what is now Fort Randall. There were clerks representing British traders at the 
Alandan villages near Knife River and at other points, but no permanent estab- 

Lewis and Clark, in 1804, found traders, mentioned elsewhere more particu- 
larly, at the Arikara villag^es, and after they passed up the Missouri River 
Loisell's post was established thirty-five miles below Fort Pierre in South Dakota, 
and was found in full operation by them on their return from the Pacific coast 
in 1806. 

Ramsey Crooks, afterwards general agent of tl^e American Fur Company, 
and Robert McClellan, were also found in the Missouri River trade at this time, 
and Robert Dickson, then also operating at the headwaters of the Mississippi 
and on the Minnesota River and at \'ermilion, midway between the mouth of the 
James and that of the Vermilion River. There was a post also at the mouth of 
the Big Sioux (now Sioux City) which forms part of the border line between 
South Dakota and Iowa, with headwaters far above Sioux Falls. 

Cedar Post, established and destroyed by fire as early as 1810, was near what 
is now Chamberlain on the ^lissouri in South Dakota, on Cedar Island. Fort 
Atkinson, in Nebraska, was near the Council BlufTs, which are in Iowa, about 
twenty five miles above the modern city of that name, which is across the river 
from Omaha. It was established in 1819 and abandoned in 1827, and was, in its 
day, an important military post. St. Joseph, Mo., in the early history of the 
fur trade was known as Black Snake Hills. J. P. Cabanna's early post was ten 
miles above Omaha. This locality was the theater of activity in the fur trade 
for many years. 

A new post, built by the Missouri Fur Company in 1822, was known as Fort 
Recovery. Charles Bent, Lucien Fontenelle and James Dripps were members of 
this company. Dripps built several posts on the Missouri River. Fontenelle 
went to the mountains and became prominent in the fur trade in that region, 
shipping one season 6,000 pounds of beaver skins down the Yellowstone by macki- 
naws. This fur was largely used in the manufacture of hats, until about 1834, 
when silk came into use in its place. There was a trading post on the Missouri 
known as Fort Lucien, but its exact location cannot now be given. One of the 
early posts, known as Hanley's, was at Fort Randall, and Brasseau's was in the 
same vicinity. 

Fort Clark, mentioned in the Osage treaties of 1808 and 1822, was forty miles 
below the mouth of the Kansas River where it joins the Missouri between 
the states of Kansas and Missouri, and was subsequently known as Fort Osage. 
Fort Lookout, built by the Columbia Fur Company in 1822, was on the west 
bank of the Missouri near what is now Chamberlain, .S. Dak. There was an 
Indian agency at this point for a number of years. This company had posts 
at the mouths of the Niobrara. White, Cherry, James. Sheyenne, Little Sheyenne, 
and Heart rivers. 


In March, 1822, .Andrew Henry and William H. Ashley advertised for and 
obtained 100 young men to go to the source of the Missouri River, on a contract 
of from one to three years. They left St. Louis on the 15th, in two keel boats. 


One of the boats was sunk, and much property lost. Near the mouth of the 
Yellowstone, the Assiniboines ran off about hfty head of horses that were being 
led along the bank, compelling the party to stop at the mouth of the Yellowstone, 
where they established a trading post. Out of this beginning grew the Rocky 
Mountain Fur Company. The membership consisted of William H. Ashley, 
Andrew Henry, Jedediah S. Smith, David E. Jackson, William L. Sublette, 
Robert Campbell, James Bridger, Thomas Fitzpatrick, Samuel Tulloch, James 
P. Beckworth, Etienne Provost, and others. Ashley, who takes various titles in 
history, from captain to general, from his connection with the Missouri Militia, 
was a member of Congress several times from Missouri, and at this time lieu- 
tenant governor of that state. The number of men who lost their lives with the 
Rocky Mountain Fur Company is estimated to be about one hundred. 

April 14, 1822, President James Monroe granted a license to trade on the 
Upper Missouri to Gen. William H. Ashley and j\Iaj. Andrew Henry. These 
appointments caused considerable anxiety on the part of Gen. William Clark, 
in his capacity of United States superintendent of Indian affairs at St. Louis, and 
to his anxious inquiries, John C. Calhoun, of South Carolina, then United States 
secretary of war, expressed the hope that their conduct would be such as not to 
disturb the peace and harmony then existing between the Government and the 
Indians on the Missouri, but rather to strengthen and confirm them. 


Treaties between the United States and the Arikaras, Gros- Ventres, Mandans, 
Sioux, and Poncas were made in 1825, by the authority of the United States 
■Congress, through a commission composed of Gen. Henry Atkinson, United 
States army, and Maj. Benjamin O'Fallon, United States Indian agent in charge 
■of the Sioux on the Missouri River. 

The commission left St. Louis March 25, 1825, arriving at Council Bluff's, on 
the Missouri in Southwest Iowa, on the border of Nebraska, April 19th, and 
remaining at that point until ]May 12th; their equipment consisting of eight keel 
boats, supplied with sails, cordelles, poles and paddles. 

The "cordelle" was a long line by which from twenty to forty men, on shore, 
towed the boat when necessary. It was attached to the top of a high mast which 
served to lift the line above the brush and other obstructions on the bank and 
was the main reliance, especially when the current was strong and the winds 

The boats were named Beaver, Buffalo, Elk, Mink, Muskrat, Otter, Raccoon, 
and White Bear, all familiar names in the fur trade, which governed the pre- 
dominating thought on the frontier at that time. 

There were in the expedition convoying the Indian Commissioners 476 men, 
forty of whom were mounted and kept the boats company by land. Gen. Henry 
Atkinson was in command of the expedition, with Col. Henry Leavenworth sec- 
ond in command. 


The expedition arrived at the Arikara villages July i8th, and a treaty with 
the tribe was concluded, in which they agreed to remain at peace with the whites, 
io surrender to the United States authorities any one trading unlawfully in the 

Type of Missouri River Steamboats, 1876. 


Indian country, and to aid in apprehending horse thieves, with which the country 
was infested. Since then they have been at peace with the whites. 

After this treaty, the Arikaras recognized the right of the Sioux to the country 
south of the Cannonball River, which joins the Missouri south of Mandan and 
Bismarck, and retired to the Knife River region, northwest of that point, which 
they have continued to occupy. 

The expedition arrived at the Mandan villages on the 26th of July, where 
they made treaties of the same import with the Mandans, Gros-Ventres, and 
Crows. Trouble was imminent with the Crows at this point. They had found 
the cannon unguarded, and had succeeded in spiking it with mud, rendering it 
useless for the time being, and had become very insolent and unreasonable in 
their demands; whereupon Major O'Fallon knocked one chief down with his 
pistol, and Interpreter Edward Rose broke his gunstock over the head of another. 
General Atkinson assembled his troops at once, and the affair was over. 

They left the Mandan villages August 6th, and arriving at the mouth of the 
Yellowstone on the 17th, found three sides of General Ashley's fort, established 
in 1822, standing, and relative to the site it was recorded in the journal: 

"The position is the most beautiful spot we have seen on the river; being a 
tongue of land between the two rivers, a perfectly level plain, elevated above high 
water, and extending back to a gentle ascent at a distance of two miles." 

General Ashley, with twenty-four men, came down the Yellowstone while 
they were there, on his way to St. Louis, and went down the river with General 
Atkinson. He had 100 packs of beaver; a "pack" containing about eighty skins, 
dependent upon the size of the skin. A portion of the expedition had been 
120 miles above the mouth of the Yellowstone, in the hope of meeting and 
treating with the Assiniboines, but those Indians were absent on the summer 
hunt. The expedition left the mouth of the Yellowstone August 26th, on their 
return trip, which was accomplished without having had any trouble with 
the Indians. 

General Atkinson reported that he found no interference by the British of 
any sort. He did not favor the establishment of a military post in that region, 
but if that policy should be adopted, he recommended the mouth of the Yellow- 
stone as the proper place for it, and that a dependent post be established near 
Great Falls. 

In all the treaties made with the Indians by General Atkinson and Major 
Benjamin O'Fallon, embracing the Poncas, Sioux, Mandans, Gros-Ventres, and 
Arikaras, it was stipulated that the Indians might be accommodated with such 
articles of merchandise, etc., as their necessities might demand, and the United 
States agreed to admit and license traders, under mild and equitable regulations, 
the Indians agreeing to protect such persons. 

The leading idea of the treaties was trade with the Indians, and the pro- 
tection of the persons engaged in it. There was no thought of benefitting or 
civilizing the Indian. 


Under these treaties the United States, in a measure at least, became re- 
sponsible for the debts of the Indians to the traders, and as a result of the 


treaty of 1837, with the Sioux, $go,ooo was appropriated for the payment of 
such debts. One hundred thousand dollars was provided for the same purpose 
in the treaty with the Sacs and Foxes, and $2oo,(X)0 to the Winnebagos, and, 
in 1851. $495,000 was provided to pay the debts of the Sioux to their traders; 
the distribution of the latter sum becoming the leading element in the Sioux 
massacre of 1862. 

It is the old story over again — the loss of homes to pay for unnecessary and 
unwise expenditure of borrowed money, or goods purchased on credit — for in 
ail cases the money was taken from the purchase price of the Indian lands, 
and was claimed by their creditors. 


Illustrating the credit system which these treaties tended to encourage, an 
imported three-point blanket costing $3.50, was sold to the Indians at $10, to 
be paid for in furs at traders' prices; guns costing $13, were sold for $30; 
gunpowder costing 20 cents a pound, was sold at $1, and all other goods 
required by the Indians at proportionate prices. The Indian dollars were 
in the form of furs ; one buckskin, one or two doe skins, or four rat skins, 
being acceptable for a dollar. Three dollars were allowed for an otter skin, 
and $2 a pound for beaver skins. The price for goods was about one-half lower 
when the Indians returned in the spring with their catch of furs, and could 
exchange furs in hand for goods. 

It was estimated that if the traders were paid the full credit price for 
one-fourth of the goods they sold in that way, they would be amply remunerated 
for all goods sold on credit. 

The usual articles of merchandise taken into the Indian country were three- 
point blankets, red and blue in color, red and blue stroud — a coarse cloth for 
clothing — domestic calicos, rifles, shotguns, gunpowder, flints, lead, hoes, axes, 
tomahawks, knives, looking-glasses, red and green paint, copper, brass and tin 
kettles, beaver and other traps, bridles, saddles, spurs, silver ornaments, beads, 
thread, needles, wampum, horses, etc. 

There was a struggle among all the traders to obtain the beaver skins. 
Thomas Biddle, writing from personal knowledge of the fur trade, to Gen. 
Henry Atkinson, gives the following account of the bickerings between traders : — 

"The Indians, witnessing the eflforts of these people to cheat and injure each 
other, and knowing no more important white men, readily imbibe the idea that 
all white men are bad. The imposing appearance of the army equipment of the 
white men (reference to the Yellowstone Expedition of i8ig), and the novelty 
and convenience of their merchandise, had impressed the Indians with a high 
idea of their power and importance, but the avidity with which beaver skins are 
sought after, the tricks and wrangling made use of, and the degradations sub- 
mitted to in obtaining them, have induced a belief that the whites cannot exist 
without them, and have made a great change in their opinion of our importance, 
our justice, and our power." 


Colonel Robert Wilson, seated: Left to right standing; John Smitli 

"Jack"' Morrow, A. C. Leighton 





The ability of the Indians to find a ready market for their furs^ and other 
products of the chase, and to obtain credit, led them to bitterly oppose the 
encroachment of settlers, and in this they were encouraged by tlie traders,, 
whose interests were identical with the Indians' in this respect. In some 
instances the Indians refused annuities due them from the United States 
Government, and murdered their fellow tribesmen for accepting presents from, 
the United States officials, believing that they had, in some manner, betrayed 
their interests. 

It was under the influence of the traders that they refused to make treaties,, 
and under pressure from them that they consented, when it was possible to. 
realize considerable sums to pay alleged debts, due from the Indians to the 


When the Hudson's Bay and North-West companies consolidated irr r82T,. 
about nine hundred men were thrown out of employment, and a number of 
these sought connection with American companies. The Columbia Fur Company 
was organized by Joseph Renville, a trader found on the Minnesota River by 
Pike's expedition in 1805, from men experienced in the fur trade. Though 
having a small capital, with headquarters at Lake Traverse, on the northeast 
border of South Dakota, where Renville had been engaged in trade previous to 
the War of 1812, they established a line of posts on the JMissouri River in 1822; 
among the number Fort Tecumseh at the mouth of Bad River, in Central South 
Dakota^afterwards changed in location and named Fort Pierre, occupying land- 
across the river from Pierre, the capital of South Dakota. The Premeam 
House was located on the west side of the Missouri near the present Northi 
Dakota state line, Fort Defiance established by discharged employees of tha- 
American Fur Company being known as Harvey, Premeau & Company, was" 
located at the mouth of Medicine Knoll Creek, which is northeast of Pierre six 
miles above the Big Bend of the Missouri. There were, also, Fort Bonis, at the 
mouth of the Cannonball, and Mitchell's Post, near the present site of Bismarck 
on the land afterwards entered as a homestead by J. O. Simmons. They also 
had a post near Mandan, on the Heart River, where there were large Indian 
villages, abandoned as a result of war with the Sioux and disease; the remaining 
Indians removing up to the Knife River where they were followed by the 
traders. Licenses were issued for the Arikara villages and for the Heart River 
as late as 1831. William Laidlaw and Kenneth McKenzie, former employees oF 
the Hudson's Bay Company, were active in the developmerrt of the interests of ' 
the Columbia Fur Company, afterwards becoming permanently established at 
Pierre and Fort Union in connection with the American Fur Company. 

The trading posts were called "forts" because they were almost invariably 
fortified, in order to guard against attack, and to afford shelter to friend'y ■ 
Indians, who might come to the fort to trade, if pursued by their enenr^s. . 
There were usually two bastions or block-houses on diagonal corners, built of 
logs or stone, equipped with both artillery and musketry, so arranged that every. ■ 
front could be raked by the fire from the fort, in case of attack. 


Fort Clark was on the west side of the Jvlissouri River, near Fort Mandan, 
built by Lewis and Clark. Tilton's Fort, built by James Kipp in 1822, stood a 
little above Fort Clark. Its abandonment was forced in 1823, by the hostility 
of the Arikaras, and in 1825 Kipp re-established a post at the mouth of the 
White Earth River, northwest of the Fort Berthold Indian Agency, which was 
sold to the American Fur Company in 1827. 


Teton River post, at the mouth of the Bad River, near Fort Pierre, was 
owned by P. D. Papin, Henry Picotte and Carre Brothers, under the firm name 
of P. D. Papin & Company. The post was built in 1828-29, and sold to the 
American Fur Company in 1833, Picotte thereafter becoming one of the man- 
agers of their vast interests on the Missouri with headquarters at Fort Pierre. 
Sublette & Campbell also had a post in this vicinity established about this time 
and sold, in 1833, to the American Fur Company. 

^In a letter to Lewis Cass, Secretary of War, dated October 24, 1831, Thomas 
Forsythe spoke of the several divisions of the American Fur Company — details 
of whose organization have been previously given — operating above St. Louis. 
The division of Joseph Rolette, of Pembina and Prairie du Chien fame, in- 
cluded all the Indians from the Dubuque mines to a point above Fort St. 
Anthony, now Fort Snelling, and up the St. Peters River (now Minnesota), 
to its source, and also all Indians in the Wisconsin and upper part of Rock 
River region. J. P. Cabanna had the Indians below Council Bluffs, and August 
P. Chouteau had the Indians in the Osage country. Mr. Rolette procured his 
goods at Mackinaw, at the head of Lake Michigan, and shipped them by 
mackinaw boats across Lake Michigan, through Green Bay and the Fox and 
Wisconsin rivers in Central Wisconsin, to Prairie du Chien on the east bank 
of the Mississippi River. From Prairie du Chien they were forwarded up the 
Mississippi by keel-boats and by smaller boats to other points. 

Fort George, twenty-one miles below Fort Pierre, was built by Ebbitt & 
Cutting in 1842, for Fox, Livingston & Company, and like the other establish- 
ments became a part of the American Fur Company's trade monopoly. 


Colter and Fink are samples of the characters who sought the frontier under 
the stimulating influence of the fur trade, or to take advantage of the oppor- 
tunity to get beyond the restraint of law. 


John Colter was a soldier with the Lewis and Clark expedition, and re- 
quested and received his discharge on his return to the Mandan villages, desiring 
to remain in the Indian country. He was the first to explore the headwaters of 
the Yellowstone. 

At one time he traveled over five hundred miles among the Indians, returning 
unharmed, but on another occasion he was robbed of all his clothing and of 

Photo by Sweet. Miiiiieapnlis 




every means of defense and of subsistence and turned out on the prairie, with 
500 yards the start, and told to run ! 

He was followed by several hundred whooping, yelling savages, and outran 
them all, followed to the last by one Indian who stumbled and fell, when Colter 
turned on him and killed him with his own weapon. Thereafter he was on the 
prairie several days before he reached safety. 


Mike Fink, or Alickie Phinck, as he usually wrote his own name, joined 
Ashley's expedition to the Yellowstone, in 1822. 

At Pittsburgh he was barred from the turkey shoots, being an expert shot, 
and at St. Louis he had a court record for paring a negro's heel with a ' shot 
from his rifle, because he thought it would look better after such an operation. 

He had two chums, one named Carpenter and the other Talbot. It was their 
custom to entertain their associates by each in turn shooting a cup of whiskey 
from the other's head. 

Finally they quarreled, and in due time their reconciliation was announced, 
and Fink, as evidence of their renewed confidence in each other, suggested the 
cup of whiskey test. The first shot fell to Fink, and Carpenter took his place 
without flinching, though not without fear, for he knew his man. As Carpenter 
fell, shot through the forehead. Fink remarked: "Carpenter, you've spilled 
the whiskey." He then deliberately blew the smoke out of his rifle barrel, and, 
finally, as he felt compelled to say something, cursed the whiskey, cursed his 
rifle, and cursed himself. 

Later he boasted that he killed Carpenter purposely, and Talbot killed him 
on the spot. Talbot came to his death by drowning. 

The vigilance committees organized in Montana in connection with the de- 
velopment of the mim'ng industries, disposed of a number of the lawless char- 
acters infesting this region, and the early courts at Bismarck convicted many 
and sent them to the penitentiary at Fort Madison, la. 








They are slaves who will not choose 
Hatred, scoffing and abuse, 
Rather than in silence shrink 
' From the truth they needs must think : 

They are slaves who dare not be 
In the right with two or three. 

— James Russell Lozvell. 

Lewis and Clark, the explorers, as shown in Chapter Y, Tart One, found the 
natural inclination of the Indians disposed them to hospitality; their first impulse 
being to offer food with a greeting in words of friendship for the white men. 
They were eager for trade that would enable them to obtain means of defense 
against other tribes, and the articles and implements essential to their comfort 
and development in Indian life; but under the influence of the Indian trade, as it 
was prosecuted, their disposition changed and their attitude generally became 
one of unrelenting hostility. 

For forty years the Upper :\Iissouri region was without law, without the 
influence of schools or churches; given over to an inordinate desire for gain, 
and to the unrestrained passions of men. Not until Dr. Walter A. Burleigh, 
and other Indian agents commenced the culture of grain, and the missionaries 
gained a foothold, was there the slightest advance toward civilization. 


Among the traders who joined Joseph Renville in the organization of the 
Columbia Fur Company, consolidated with the American Fur Company in 1827, 
to whom allusion has been made, were Kenneth McKenzie and William Laidlaw. 
The latter had charge of their business at Fort Tecumseh and vicinity, and the 
Upper Missouri was placed in charge of Kenneth McKenzie. Their organiza- 
tion was a part of the American Fur Company and was known as the Upper 
Missouri Outfit. Daniel Lamont was a member of this organization. Their 



headquarters were at Fort Tecumseh, built in 1822, at the mouth of Bad River, 
moved to higher ground in 1832, and christened Fort Pierre. 

Kenneth McKenzie left St. Paul in the spring of 1828, with fifty men, to 
build a trading post at the mouth of the Yellowstone. The point selected for 
the post was on the north bank of the Missouri River, almost directly on the line 
between the present states of Montana and North Dakota, on the identical spot 
where Mondak, Mont., now stands. Mondak was named "Mon" for Montana 
and "dak'' for Dakota, established as a rival to Buford, and across the line in 
Montana in order to avoid the prohibition laws of North Dakota. The post 
was called Fort Union, as it was intended to bring all the lines of trade to a 
union at that point. The goods for the Upper Missouri Outfit were shipped 
aniuially from New York to St. Louis, and thence on, up the river by boats 
owned by the company, to Fort Pierre, Fort Union, and other Uppei Missouri 
River points. 

Fort Union was 200 feet square ; the stockade built of logs i foot in diameter, 
12 feet in height, set perpendicularly, the lower end two feet in the ground. 
There were two block-house bastions, 12 feet square, pierced with loopholes, on 
diagonal corners of the fort. There was one opening, a gate of two leaves, 
12 feet wide, and in one of the leaves there was a small gate 33^ by 5 feet. As 
described by Edwin T. Denig, for many years bookkeeper at the fort, in a letter 
to John James Audubon, the celebrated ornithologist, who visited it in the 
summer of 1843, and remained two months and four days in the vicinity; — 

"The fort was destroyed by fire, in 1831, and rebuilt that year, the bastions, 
30 feet high, being built of stone surmounted by a pyramid roof. There were 
two stories, and the upper one had a balcony for observation. A banquette 
extended around the inner wall. The entrance was large, and secured by a 
powerful gate, changed to a double gate in 1837, on account of the dangerous 
disposition of the Indians because of the smallpox epidemic. 

"On the opposite side of the square from the entrance was the house of the 
liourgeois, or master, a well-built, commodious two-story structure, with glass 
windows, fireplace, and other modern conveniences. Around the square were 
the barracks of the employees, the storehouses, workshops, stables, a cut stone 
powder-magazine capable of holding 50,000 pounds, and a reception room for the 
Indians. In the center of the court was a tall flag-stafif, around which were the 
leathern tents of half-breeds in the service of the company. Near the flag-staff 
stood one or two cannon trained upon the entrance of the fort. Somewhere 
inside of the inclosure was the famous distillery of 1833-34 (built, as will be 
seen, by McKenzie). All of the buildings were of cottonwood lumber, and 
everything was of unusually elaborate character." 

In connection with the description of the house it was said: — "In the upper 
story are at present located Mr. Audubon and his suite. Here from the pencils 
of Mr. Audubon and ]\Ir. (Isaac) Sprague emanate the splendid paintings and 
drawings of animals and plants which are the admiration of all, and the Indians 
regard them as marvelous and almost to be worshipped." 

Fort Union always had a large force of clerks, artisans, and others employed 
about the place, and was the most extensively equipped of any trading post. It 
was built for trade with the Assiniboines, as well as a distributing point. 

In May, 1867, the material used in the construction of this famous old trading 


post, was sold to Capt. William Galloway Rankin of the Thirteenth United 
States Infantry, then stationed at Fort Union, and used in the construction of 
Fort Buford. Charles Larpenteur, first mentioned in Part One in connection 
with bufifalo hunting, who had been at Fort Union most of the time since 1833, 
engaged in the Indian trade, was the last trader at Fort Union, and traded that 
year 2,000 buffalo robes, 900 elk hides, 1,800 deer skins, and 1,000 wolf pelts; 
total value, $5,000. After Fort Union was dismantled, he built an adobe building 
at that point, 96 feet long, but finding it necessary to move to Buford, he built 
a log building there 120 feet in length. 


The Fort Buford reservation was extended to 30 miles square, by executive 
order promulgated through Headquarters Department of Dakota, July 16, 1868. 

In 1 87 1, Alvin C. Leighton was appointed post trader at Fort Buford, 
arriving on the steamer Ida Reese, May 5, 1871 ; and May 8th, that year, the 
opposition stores were closed, and May 14th, Charles Larpenteur left on the 
steamer Andrew Ackley. 


Kenneth McKenzie was fond of display, and wore a uniform of blue with 
gold braid. He was known as the "King of the Upper Missouri." At one time 
he ordered from England a coat of mail, but for what purpose never developed. 
His difficulties in tr\'ing to secure liquor, which he deemed absolutely essential 
to his trade, caused him to retire and engage in the liquor business at St. Louis, 
with a capital of $60,000 as his share of the profit from the Upper Missouri trade. 

During a trip to Europe he was represented by J. Archibald Hamilton, and 
was finally succeeded by Alexander Culbertson, in 1835. In 1845, new opposi- 
tion iiaving developed, in the firm of Harvey, Premeau & Company, he returned 
to Fort Union and remained until the following spring. 

His son, Owen McKenzie, born of an Indian wife, developed considerable 
ability, but was dissipated, and was killed by Malcolm Clark on one of the 
company's boats near Fort Union, in 1863. He had been in charge of a trading 
post at the mouth of the White Earth River, an important point for trade, for a 
number of years. Dissatisfied with the action of Clark, who tlien represented 
the American Fur Company, an assault was made and he was killed in self- 


Before the advent of the steamboat the furs had been sent down the river by 
mackinaws to St. Louis, where they were collected, weighed, repacked, and 
shipped by steamboat to New Orleans, and thence to New York. Here they 
were unpacked, made into bales, and shipped to Europe: excepting some of the 
finest, particularly the otter, for which China afforded the best market. 

McKenzie's success had been so great in opening up trade on the Upper Mis- 
souri, that he urged that a steamboat be built for that trade. The American Fur 


Company having adopted his recommendation, the Yellowstone was built at 
Louisville, Kentucky, in 1830, and left St. Louis on its first up-river trip April 
16, 1831, in command of Capt. B. Young, arriving at Fort Tecumseh, June 19th, 
and returning to St. Louis with a full cargo of furs. 

March 26, 1832, this vessel left on her second trip up the Missouri River, 
reaching Fort Tecumseh May 31st, where she remained several days, in the 
meantime the fort's location and name being changed to Fort Pierre, named for 
Pierre Chouteau, who was a passenger on the boat which went on to Fort Union. 
This was the first steamboat to reach the mouth of the Yellowstone River. She 
returned to Fort Pierre June 25th, having made a successful trip, and thereafter 
annual trips were made by American Fur Company steamboats to Fort Union. 

The Indians called the Yellowstone the "fire boat that walks on the water," 
and were so enthusiastic over the trip that they declared they would trade no 
more with the Hudson's Bay Company, which, up to that time, had the major 
portion of the trade of the Blackfeet and Assiniboines. 


The steamer Assiniboine accompanied the steamer Yellowstone on its annual 
trip to Fort Union in 1833, having Prince Maximilian for a passenger. She 
continued her trip some distance above the Yellowstone but was forced into win- 
ter quarters by low water, and during the winter her crew built Fort Assiniboine. 
She was burned at Sibley Island in May, 1835, on her down trip. 


Fort Assiniboine, built by the crew of the steamer Assiniboine in enforced 
winter quarters, was occupied that winter by Daniel Lamont, whose party secured 
in trade from the Indians 170 red foxes, 1,646 prairie foxes, 18 cross foxes, 74 
badgers, 269 muskrats, 89 white wolves, 196 white hares, 5 swan skins, 4,200 
bufifalo robes, 37 dressed bufifalo cow skins, 12 dressed calf skins, 450 salted 
tongues, 3,500 pounds of dried meat. The fort was abandoned in the spring 
of 1835, and was burned by the Indians. Its exact location is not now known, but 
it marked the first advance of steam navigation above the mouth of the Yel- 


For the nearly forty years that Fort Union was maintained as a trading post, 
the arrivals of the annual boat were events which were considered worthy of 
detailed description by Capt. Hiram M. Chittenden in his "History of the Amer- 
ican Fur Trade": "On these occasions," he says, "the dreary routine of the 
trader's life suddenly changed to unwonted activity. The long looked-for annual 
boat was in sight! — the great event of the year — with news from the outside 
world, and all of the business matters that made up the purpose of the journey. 

"The fort manned its guns (for it had several small cannon mounted in the 
bastions), and a hearty salute was fired. The boat vigorously responded. Every- 
body about the fort crowded to the scene, the bourgeois, for whom a respectful 
space was made in the crowd, and the clerks, artisans, storekeepers, groups of 


free trappers, and bands of Indians, forming in all as wild and motley a crowd 
as a boat ever met in port. 

'Immediately upon landing, and even before the interchange of salutations 
was complete, the unloading of the cargo was begun. No time was to be lost in 
the navigation of the Missouri. Should the spring rise go down before the return 
of the boat, she would have to stay up all the year, as happened with the steamer 
Assiniboine in 1834-5. 

"Night and day the roustabouts (deck hands) of the boat and the engagees 
(employees) of the fort, were busy carrying off the goods and carrying on the 
furs. A banquet on the boat, and another with the bourgeois, completed the fes- 
tivities, and almost before the denizens of the fort had taken their eyes from 
the strange visitor, she hauled in her lines, and was speeding back to St. Louis." 

From St. Louis to Fort Union was 1,760 miles. From a record kept by 
Charles Larpenteur from 1841 to 1847 the average speed of the steamboats from 
St. Louis to Fort L'nion was forty- four miles a day for the up trip and 123 miles 
for the down trip; the time for the up trip ranging from eighty days in 1841 to 
forty days in 1847, 'i^d for the down trip from thirty-one days in 1845 to four- 
teen days in 1847. O" the down trip in 1832 the steamer Yellowstone carried 
1,300 packs of robes and beaver. The weight of beaver shipped July 11 that year 
was 10,230 lb., and they expected to take on 120 to 130 packs from Pierre. Lucien 
Fontenelle left Fort Union that year on September 24th with 6,000 lb. of beaver 
from the Yellowstone, shipped in mackinaws as stated in Chapter XI. 


Fort Clark was established in 1830 by James Kipp — previously mentioned as 
having also built Tilton's Fort — under the direction of Kenneth McKenzie, for 
the jMandan trade. It was on the right or south bank of the Missouri River, 
fifty-five miles above the Northern Pacific Railroad bridge at Bismarck, on a bluff, 
in an angle of the river, on the opposite side of the river from Fort Alandan — 
built by Lewis and Clark in 1804 — and was named for Governor William Clark, 
the Captain Clark of the Lewis and Clark expedition. The fort was 132 by 147 
feet, substantially built, and one of the most important posts on the ^Missouri 
River, aside from Fort Union. 

Having been abandoned by the traders, who had moved to Fort Berthokl, it 
was in the possession of the Arikaras in 1862, when, most of the warriors being 
absent on their winter hunt, it was attacked by the Sioux and entirely destroyed. 
The last vestige of the Mandan villages, later known as the "Ree" Village, having 
disappeared, the Arikaras joined the Alandans and Gros-\"entres (Hidatsa) at 
Fort Berthokl. 


In 1 83 1 James Kipp built Fort Piegan for the Black feet trade, at the mouth 
of the Marias River, and when he went down the river with his furs, the next 
spring, it was burned by the Indians. 


Through an interpreter, Jacob Derger, who had become acquainted with the 
Blackfeet when in the employ of the Hudson's Bay Company, Mr. McKenzie suc- 
ceeded in getting the Ulackfeet and Assiniboines to make a treaty of peace. The 
treaty is dated November 29, 183 1, and was made at Fort Union. McKenzie 
represented the Black feet, who had been at war for many years with the Assini- 
boines, and was mentioned in the treaty as Governor McKenzie, ambassador of 
the Blackfeet, Piegans and Bloods, and the Indian parties were designated "Lords 
of the soil extending from the banks of the great waters unto the tops of the 
mountains upon which the heavens rest," and they solemnly covenanted to "make, 
preserve and cherish a firm and lasting peace, that so long as the waters run or the 
grass grows, they may hail each other as brothers, and smoke the calumet of 
friendship and security, and forever live in peace and as brothers in one happy 
family." Tahatka, also known as Gauche, was a party to this treaty. 

As a result of this treaty, in 1831, David D. Mitchell established Fort 
AIcKenzie, si.x miles above the mouth of the Marias River and a few miles only 
from the point which afterwards became Fort Benton, the head of navigation on 
the Missouri River. It was built in the regulation manner, 140 feet square, with 
an exceptionally strong gate, and stood 120 feet back from the river. 

The returns from P'ort McKenzie for the season of 1834-5 were 9,000 buffalo 
robes, 1,020 beaver, 40 otter, 2,800 muskrat, 180 wolves, 200 red foxes, 1,500 
prairie dogs, 19 bears, 390 buffalo tongues brought down to Fort Union by keel 
boats and mackinaws with a force of thirty-five men. 

From the first the fort promised excellent results, and was maintained until 
1843, when, through the wanton murder of three Indians by inmates of the post 
(Chardon and Harvey), its abandonment was forced, and its site is now known 
as Brule Bottom. Harvey murdered the wounded and scalped them, and forced 
the squaws in the fort to execute the scalp dance about their remains. After- 
wards Harvey deliberately murdered one of his co-employees, at Fort Union, and 
flourishing his gun, which was yet smoking, shouted : "I, Alexander Harvey, have 
killed the Spaniard. If there are any friends of his that want to take it up, let 
them come on !" 

Maximilian's visit 

The annual boat which arrived at Fort Union in 1833 brought a distinguished 
visitor in the person of Maximilian, Prince of Wied. There was accompanying 
him an artist of the name of Charles Bodmer. They were visiting at Fort 
McKenzie when a number of Blackfeet, or Piegans, a tribe of the Blackfeet con- 
federacy, were encamped about the post. 


The Piegans had been drinking heavily of intoxicating liquors, and singing 
most of the night, and early in the morning of August 28, 1833, they were attacked 
by the Assiniboines without the slightest warning, and many of them killed before 
they could be aroused from their slumbers. The gate of the post was thrown 
open, and they were hurried into the fort as rapidly as possible, though some 
were killed at the very gates before the defense was fully organized, the women 


having blockaded the gate by crowding into the narrow passage-way with their 
burden of horse and camp equipment of every nature. 

Maximilian thus describes the thrilling scene : "As fast as the Piegans got 
in, they mounted the palisades and opened fire. When it was found that the 
attack was intended for the Blackfeet, and not for the whites, Mitchell ordered 
the men to stop firing. Two of the employees, however, persisted in firing, and 
went outside and killed a nephew of the principal chief. 

"While all of this was passing, the court yard of the fort presented a very 
strange scene. A number of wounded men, w^omen, and children were laid or 
placed against the walls ; others in a deplorable condition were pulled about by 
their relatives amid tears and lamentations. White Buffalo, whom I have men- 
tioned, and who received a wound in the back of his head, was carried in this 
manner, amid singing, howling, and crying. They rattled the scliischikitc (sic) 
in his ears, that the evil spirit might not overcome him, and gave him brandy to 
drink. He, himself, though stupefied, sang without intermission, and would not 
give himself up to the evil spirits. Otsequa-Stomik, an old man of my acquaint- 
ance, was wounded in the knee by a ball which a woman cut out with a pen- 
knife, during which operation he did not betray the least symptom of pain. 
Natan-Otanee, a handsome young man with whom we became acquainted on our 
visit to Kutonaoi, was suffering dreadfully from severe wounds. Several Indians, 
especially young women, were likewise wounded. We endeavored to assist the 
wounded, and Mr. Mitchell distributed balsam, and linen for bandages, but very 
little could be done. Instead of suffering the wounded who were exhausted by 
loss of blood to take some rest, their relatives continuously pulled them about, 
sounded large bells, and rattled their medicines or amulets, among which were 
the bear's paw's which White Bufl'alo wore on his breast. 

"Only a spectator of this extraordinary scene could form any idea of the con- 
fusion and noise, which was increased by the loud report of the musketry, the 
moving backward and forward of the people carrying powder and ball, and the 
turmoil occasioned by about twenty horses shut up in the fort." 

The main body of the Blackfeet was ten miles away, and messengers having 
been sent hurriedly for their help (to quote from Maximilian), "They came 
galloping in. grouped from three to twenty together, their horses covered with 
foam, and they, themselves, in the finest of apparel, with all kinds of ornaments 
and arms, bows and quivers on their backs, guns in their hands, furnished with 
their medicines, with feathers on their heads ; some had splendid crowns of black 
and white eagle feathers, and a large hood of feathers hanging down behind, 
sitting on fine panther skins lined with red ; the upper part of their bodies partly 
naked, with a long strip of wolf skin thrown across their shoulders, and carry- 
ing shields adorned with feathers and pieces of colored cloth. A truly original 

The Assiniboines, who proved to be the best fighters, finally withdrew toward 
the Bear Paw Mountains, only retiring when their ammunition was exhausted. 


Alexander Philip Maximilian, Prince of Wied (Neuwied), was a major-gen- 
eral in the army and a scientific author of distinction in Rhenish Prussia. He 


From a painting by Cliarles Bodmer from "Travels to the Interior of North America in 

1833-3-4," by Maximilian, Prince of Wied, 1843. 


From a painting by Charles Bodmer from "Travels to the Interior of North America in 

1833-3-4," by Maximilian, Prince of Wied, 1843. 


came to North America as a naturalist in 1832, arriving in Boston on the Fourth 
of July, and returned to Europe on a Havre packet from New York on July 16, 
1834. His "Travels in the Interior of North America," in three volumes, trans- 
lated from the German by Hannibal Evans Lloyd, were published in 1843. He 
brought with him a skillful illustrator, Charles Bodmer, a Swiss artist, from 
whose sketches plates were engraved and reproduced in the work. 

From the translated preface of Maximilian to his great work, the following ' 
data are taken: At St. Louis on April 10, 1833, the party joined a fur-trading 
expedition on its annual trip by the steamer Yellowstone to the posts of the Upper 
Missouri, by the advice of Gen. William Clark and Maj. Benjamin O'Fallon. 
On the 22d they were at Fort Leavenworth, and on the 2d cf Alay reached Belle- 
vue, just below the present Omaha. May i8th they had the first sight of buffalo, 
and arrived at Fort Pierre, the company's main post, among the Sioux the last 
of May. 

At Fort Pierre the travelers were transferred from the Yellowstone to the 
Assiniboine, a more recently-built boat and larger, but with a lighter draft. The 
description of this, "the first steamer above the Yellowstone," on a former page, 
embraces the item that the prince was on board. Passing the Arikara villages, 
they steamed into the land of the Mandans and the Minnitaree (Hidatsa), where, 
on June i8th, they landed at the company's post. Fort Clark, remaining there one 
day, and then moving up to the mouth of the Yellowstone River, where Fort 
Union was reached on the 24th of June. Two weeks were passed at Fort Union, 
and then they embarked on a keel-boat, and continued their journey to Fort Mc- 
Kenzie at the mouth of the Marias River among the Blackfeet. During their stay 
there of two months, they were initiated into the mysteries of the fur trade, 
and witnessed the battle between the Blackfeet (Piegans) and Assiniboines, as 
described in notes quoted, and Maximilian observes that the song of the Assini- 
boine warriors resembled that of the Russian soldiers heard in the winter of 

In company with Toussaint Charbonneau, Lewis and Clark's former inter- 
preter, they attended various ceremonies, dances and feasts, sketched many por- 
traits of the chiefs, and studied the manners and customs. The succeeding winter 
was spent at Fort Clark, and on the breaking up of the ice the following spring 
they went down the river, and May i8th were at Fort Leavenworth. Coming 
down in the Assiniboine, there was a fire on the steamer (at Sibley Island, near 
Bismarck), and much of their collection, which was uninsured, was destroyed, 
in view of which contingency the prince advises other travelers to insure their 
collections. They went east, homeward bound, by way of Niagara Falls and 
New York. 

In the author's preface he declares that the works of American writers on 
this subject, with the exception of Cooper and Washington Irving, "cannot be 
taken into account," as in writing for their countrymen they "take it for granted 
that their readers are well acquainted with the country." He has "endeavored 
to supply the deficiency to the best of his ability," but "a faithful and vivid pic- 
ture of these countries and the original inhabitants can never be placed before 
the eye without the aid of a fine portfolio of plates by the hand of a skillful 

The journal of Alexander Culbertson, then a young fur-trade clerk, confirms 


these interesting reminiscences of Prince Maximilian. Culbertson accompanied 
the prince from Fort Union to Fort McKenzie, and says the prince was from 
"Coblentz on the Rhine." Kenneth McKenzie, subsequently, visited him at his, 
palace at Coblentz. He was in this country hunting for experience and oppor- 
tunity to view frontier life, and with his presence at the battle of Fort McKen-. 
zie, and the hardships endured in his camp at Fort Clark the following winter, it 
may be assumed that he got his full measure of experience, which enabled him to. 
write so entertainingly and accurately of the Indians. He also published a book 
entitled "A Systematic View of Plants Collected on a Tour on the Missouri 
River,'' and his library and collections are among the chief treasures of Neuwied. 
He died in 1867, at the age of eighty-five. 


Francois A. Chardon had charge of Fort McKenzie for some years, and his 
colored servant having been killed by the Indians, he planned to attack them when 
they should next come to the post to trade. Accordingly, Alexander Harvey^ 
one of the most desperate men in the fur trade, as has been shown, acting in con- 
cert with Chardon, trained the post cannon on the gate, and was to fire the 
moment the gate was opened, when it was expected the Indians would flee in a 
panic and abandon the rich furs which they had brought for trade. The gate 
was thrown open, Chardon began firing, but Harvey's shot being delayed a 
moment, the Indians scattered and but three were killed and three wounded. 

Chardon scarcely dared go beyond the gates of the fort after that, and the 
post was finally abandoned ; the company feeling obliged to dispense with the 
services of Harvey, who established an opposition company known as Harvey, 
Premeau & Company, in 1845, as stated, with headquarters at Fort Defiance, 
previously mentioned as located six miles above the Big Bend of the Missouri, 
and continued in business several years. 

The uneasiness of the Blackfeet, however, was attributed by Laidlaw of the 
Upper Missouri Outfit, who was then at Fort Union, to "certain retrenchments 
of liquor heretofore given them in their ceremonies, the discontinuance of which 
has become absolutely necessary for the better regulation of that post." 

Sublette's fort willi.\m 

In 1833 McKenzie's success had been so great that furs valued at upwards of 
$500,000 were shipped from the Upper Missouri. This led to competition, and 
that fall William L. Sublette and Robert Campbell, spoken of in relation to a 
division of the American Fur Company, established a new post at the mouth of 
the Yellowstone on almost the identical spot where Fort Buford was later built. 
They put in an immense stock of goods, hired popular clerks and interpreters, 
who had formerly worked for McKenzie, and a fierce rivalry was the result ; 
McKenzie giving his men authority to use any means necessary to hold the trade, 
and to pay any price necessary to obtain it. As high as $12 was paid for beaver 
skins, the usual price being $3, and smuggled liquors were freely used by both 
contestants, with the result that Fort William, as the post was called, was aban- , 
doned the following year. 


Fort William on the Missouri was completed on Christmas day, 1833. It was 
150 feet front, 130 deep. The stockade was of Cottonwood logs 18 feet in length, 
hewn on three sides, set three feet in the ground. The trader's house was a 
double cabin, 18 by 20 feet, with a passage between. The store and warehouse 
were 40 feet in length, 18 feet wide. There were two bastions, a carpenter shop, 
blacksmith shop, ice house, meat house, etc. It was later moved back from the 
river on account of the rise cutting away the bank, called Fort Mortimer, and 
occupied under that name by Fox, Livingston & Company, alluded to in connec- 
tion with Fort George in 1842. 


In accordance with the act of Congress of July 9, 1832, prohibiting the intro- 
duction of liquors into the Indian country, inspectors were placed at Fort Leav- 
enworth to prevent shipments by boat. The boats which went up the river in 
1 83 1, and the early boat in 1832, had been iintrammeled. Sublette and Campbell 
prevailed upon Gen. William Clark to allow them to ship liquors, and a like privi- 
lege was granted to Mr. Chouteau, of the American Fur Company, but his 
shipment of 1.400 gallons of liquor was confiscated at Fort Leavenworth, and 
other shipments were intercepted and confiscated. 

In 1833 Kenneth McKenzie, having failed in an attempt to get a considerable 
amount of liquor by the inspectors, is quoted as saying: "They kicked and 
knocked about everything they could find, and even cut through our bales of 
blankets, which had never been undone since they left England." 


He could scarcely rest tmder his failure to secure intoxicants, which he knew 
the opposition possessed, and against the advice of the officers of the American 
Fur Company, who were certain to be held responsible for his acts, he estab- 
lished a distillery at Fort Union in 1833, arguing that to manufacture liquor in 
the Indian country was not equivalent to introducing it, and, therefore, was not 
a violation of the law. He shipped men to Iowa, and set them at work raising 
corn for his still, and in the meantime secured a supply from the Mandans for 
present needs, and succeeded in making, as he expressed it, "as fine a liquor as 
need be drunk, from the fruits of the country." 

He was a lavish entertainer, and took great pride in his post, and when a 
party of opposition traders visited him, he entertained them in his accustomed 
manner, showing them all of the features of the post, including his distillery, 
dilating on its merits, but when they took leave he refused to sell them liquor, 
and charged them traders' prices for their supplies. This offended them, and 
one of them, Capt. Nathaniel Wyeth, noted for his expedition to the Columbia 
River, made complaint on his arrival at St. Louis, which resulted in the destruc- 
tion of the distillery, and it was with great difficulty that the company retained 
its license. 

To meet this evasion of the law, Congress passed the drastic legislation of 
1834, under which steamboats, or any other means of conveyance, might be con- 
fiscated if found carrying liquors into the Indian country, and prohibiting its 


Illustrating the use of alcohol in the Indian trade, Charles Larpenteur relates 
that he went to an Indian camp when it was so cold that his mules were frozen 
to death in the shelter provided for his team, and the Indians were suiifering for 
the necessaries of life, and yet he secured i8o buffalo robes for five gallons of 
alcohol, on which the whole camp got drunk twice. He obtained thirty more 
robes for "goods," there being no more liquor, and hardly any robes, left in 

As George Bancroft, the historian, says, in speaking of the influence of 
whisky on the Indians: "Whisky as applied to the noble savage is a wonderful 
civilizer. A few years of it reduces him to a subjection more complete than 
arms, and accomplishes in him a humility which religion can never achieve. Some 
things men will do for Christ, for country, for wife and children ; there is nothing 
that an Indian will not do for whisky." 

In the attack by the Indians on Fort McKenzie, the defenders managed to 
get some alcohol to the Indians, and by that means stopped the battle, and on 
another occasion when the Indians became troublesome at Fort Union, they were 
supplied with whisky mixed with laudanum, which put them all to sleep, but for- 
tunately none were killed by the experiment. 


Notwithstanding the strict laws and rigid inspection, Sublette & Campbell 
had been able to secure all the liquor necessary for their trade, and in opening 
their post at Fort William gave a striking example of its use among the Indians. 
Charles Larpenteur, who was in charge of the liquor sales, says : 

"It was not until night that we got ready to trade. It must be remembered 
that liquor was the principal and most profitable article of trade, although it was 
strictly prohibited by law, and all boats on the Missouri were thoroughly searched 
at Fort Leavenworth. Notwithstanding this. Mr. Sublette managed to pass 
through what he wanted. * * '^' The liquor trade started at dark, and soon 
the singing and yel'ing commenced. The Indians were all locked up in the fort, 
for fear that some might go to Fort Union, which was about 2i4 miles distant. 
Imagine the noise! Five hundred Indians with their squaws, all drunk as they 
could be, locked up in that small space! * * * Gauche (the Indian chief) 
had provided himself with a pint cup, which I know he did not let go during the 
whole spree, and every now and then he would rush into the store with his 
cup, and order it filled, and to 'hurry up'. 

"The debauch continued during that entire night and well into the next day, 
Gauche being the leading figure until the end, while Indians in stupor from drink 
lay in every direction. 

"Back in the mountains whisky was sold at $5 a pint, but here at the opening 
the price was $1 per pint. Salt and sugar, and later coffee, were the same price." 


Writing to Gen. Henry Atkinson in 181Q, Thomas Biddle observed: "So 
violent is the attachment of the Indian for it (intoxicating liquor) that he who 
gives most is sure to obtain the furs, while should anyone attempt to trade with- 


out it, he is sure of losing ground with his antagonist. No bargain is ever made 
without it." 

In 1843 the Omega was the American Fur Company's annual boat, carrying 
supplies for the Yellowstone trade. Joseph A. Sire was master, with Joseph 
La Barge at the wheel. John James Audubon, the celebrated ornithologist, was 
a passenger, one of a party of scientists. The boat carried a supply of ardent 
spirits for the use of the party, under permit from the Indian authorities, and 
the usual supply for the Indian trade, in defiance of the laws governing inter- 
course with the Indians. 

Captain Sire had anticipated inspection at Fort Leavenworth, but they escaped 
that post, and at Bellevue there was no inspector, but at Hart's Bottom, a few 
miles above Bellevue, Capt. John II. Burgwin, of the First LTnited States Dra- 
goons, brought the boat to by a shot across the bows, and presented his creden- 
tials as inspector. Mr. Audubon presented his card, and expressed a desire to 
see the commandant of the military camp about four miles distant, and Captain 
Burgwin courteously accompanied him to the camp. While he was thus engaged, 
Captain Sire prepared for inspection. There was a track around the boat, in 
the hold, and cars for moving heavy freight. The liquor covered by the sci- 
entists' permit was freely exposed, and its quality tested, but the traders' supplies 
were loaded on the cars, and with muffled wheels, silently moved from one part 
of the boat to another, while the inspectors were peering into the dimly lighted 
corners, to make sure that nothing was escaping their attention, and the boat 
passed on with a clean bill. The trick, however, was discovered and could not 
be used again. 

The next year, 1844, the Ninirod made the annual trip with the same officers. 
The Indian agent at Bellevue made a most rigorous inspection. Every package 
was broken and every bale pierced by sharp pointed rods. While this was going 
on a consignment of flour in barrels for the trader at Bellevue was being unloaded 
and placed in the warehouse, and that night, while the good man slept, the barrels 
were reloaded, and the boat proceeded up the river without the usual clearance. 
The liquor was packed in the barrels of flour. 

Hiram M. Chittenden, in his "History of the American Fur Trade of the 
Far West," says: "The depths of rascality into which this traffic (in liquor) fell, 
might well stagger belief, were they not substantiated by the most positive evi- 
dence. The liquor was generally imported in the form of alcohol, because of the 
smaller compass for the same amount of poison. It was stored in every con- 
ceivable form of package. In overland journeys it was generally carried in short, 
flat kegs, which would rest conveniently on the sides of pack mules. When car- 
ried by water, it was concealed in tlour barrels, in bales of merchandise or any- 
where it would most likely escape discovery. * * * j,^ retailing the poisonous 
stuff — a pure article never found its way to the Indians — the degree of deception 
could not have been carried further. A baneful and noxious substance to begin 
with, it was retailed with the most systematic fraud, often amounting to sheer 
exchange of nothing for the goods of the Indian. It was the policy of the shrewd 
trader to first get his victim so intoxicated that he could n,o longer drive a good 
bargain. The Indian, becoming more and more greedy for liquor, would yield 
up all he possessed for an additional cup or two. The voracious trader, not sat- 
isfied with selling his liquor at a profit of many thousand per cent, would now 


cheat in quantity. As he filled the cup, which was the standard measure, he 
would push in his big thumb and diminish its capacity by one-third. Sometimes 
he would substitute another cup with bottom thickened by running tallow into 
it until it was one-third full. He would also dilute the liquor until, as the Indian's 
senses became more and more befogged, he would treat him to water, pure and 

Later on, the difficulties of obtaining intoxicating liquor increased to such a 
degree that coffee was used to a great extent to take its place. Pots of coffee 
were kept ready for use, and with sugar, was almost as efficacious in composing 
the Indian's mind and disposing him to liberality in trade as alco'nol, with none 
of its evil effects. 


It will be remembered that Lewis and Clark were surprised to find that the 
Arikaras indignantly refused their offer of intoxicating liquors. 

Charles Larpenteur states that the Crows in 1833 roamed over the prairies in 
considerable bands, and thus describes their attitude toward the liquor question 
as he observed it the next day after a trade, as a visit for that purpose was called : 
"They had just made their trade at the fort, one day's march from where we 
were. The Crows did not drink then, and for many years remained sober. It was 
not until a few years ago, when they were driven out of their country by the 
Sioux, and became a part of the tribes on the Missouri, that they took to drinking 
with the Assiniboines. As they did not drink, their trade was all in substantial 
goods, which kept them always well-dressed and extremely rich in horses ; so it 
was really a beautiful sight to see that tribe move." 

Like other tribes, when the curse of intoxicating liquors became fastened 
upon the Crows, their riches, their homes, and their pride disappeared. 


In later days a visit to the military trading posts would have shown similar 
frauds, equally disreputable, practiced upon LTnited States soldiers, with a view 
to separating them from their money. Soldiers in drunken stupor might be seen 
lying around the trader's store, reminding one of the dead upon a battlefield. 
The proceeds from the pay-table having been squandered, usually within two or 
three days, by a large percentage of the soldiers, an era of temperance and good 
order would prevail until the next pay day. 

In civil life frauds upon those who habitually linger around retail liquor 
stores after pay day are quite as pronounced. They may be held in check, some- 
times, by municipal restraint, but the result is the same. 

From its earliest history the use of intoxicating liquor has proven harmful. 
demoralizing and disgusting, in its general results. There is no need to dwell 
on the suffering of widows and orphans, or even to recall the miserable wrecks 
and tragedies which come to one's notice during the course of an ordinary human 
life. It is enough to know that there is no place in the employ of great industries 
for the man who uses intoxicating liquors. He is not a safe man in any official 
position, and business interests under his management are almost certainly 


doomed to failure. The life insurance companies reject him as a risk ; he is looked 
upon with disfavor in society, and is at a disadvantage in every walk of life that 
is open to him. ^laximilian, in his account of the great smallpo.x scourge, speaks 
of the enervating influence of ardent spirits. 

m6rT.\LITY among the INDIANS — THE SCOURGE OF 1837 

The smallpox scourge of 1837, whicli was variously estimated by the writers 
of that period to have destroyed from 60,000 to 150,000 Indians — the true figures 
from later information being about seventeen thousand — originated from a case 
on the steamer St. Peter, the annual laoat of the American Fur Company, on its 
way up the Missouri to Fort Union in June of that year. Every possible means 
was adopted to keep the Indians away from the boat, but knowing that it was 
loaded with supplies for them, they were certain that these efforts were part of 
a plan to defraud. At Fort Clark, then in charge of Francois A. Chardon, a 
Mandan chief stole a blanket from a watchman on the boat who was dying with 
the disease, and though offered a new blanket and pardon for his offense, the 
infected blanket could not be recovered and the contagion was spread by this 

Jacob Flalsey, an e.xtremely dissipated man, who was in charge of Fort 
Union, and was returning from a temporary absence, was a passenger on the 
boat, and although he had been vaccinated, was sick with the disease on his 
arrival at Fort Union. One of his clerks, Edwin T. Denig, and an Indian also had 
the disease, whereupon it was determined to adopt heroic measures for defense, 
"and have it all over with in time for the fall trade." Accordingly, thirty squaws 
stopping at Fort Union were vaccinated with the real smallpox virus from the 
person of Halsey, and a few days later twenty-seven of them were stricken with 

Entire Indian villages had been exposed while crowding around the boat, 
and Indians from the boat, or who had visited it, went to the Black feet, Assini- 
boine, and other tribes, and when the epidemic was at its height, the Indians came 
in from the chase for the fall trade, crowding about the fort in spite of every 
effort to keep them away. 

The contagion began to spread about the middle of June, and raged as long 
as there were Indians who were not immune to attack. The victims were seized 
with severe pains in the head and back, and death resulted generally in a few 
hours, the disease taking its most malignant form. In the words of an eye- 
witness of the scenes: "In whatever direction we go, we see nothing but melan- 
choly wrecks of human life. The tents are still standing on every hill, but no 
rising smoke announces the presence of human beings, and no sounds but the 
croaking of the raven, and the howding of the wolf, interrupt the fearful silence." 

Henry Boiler, who was eight years engaged in trade on the ]\Iissouri River, 
in his book entitled "Among the Indians," states that in one family all had died 
save one babe, and as there was no one to care for that it was placed alive in the 
arms of its dead mother, and, wrapped with her in her burial robes, laid on the 
scaffold, the Indian method of burying the dead. 

Prince Maximilian is quoted as writing at the time of the scourge : "The 
destroying angel has visited the unfortunate sons of the wilderness with terrors 


never before known, and has converted the extensive hunting-grounds, as well 
as the peaceful settlements of these tribes, into desolate and boundless ceme- 
teries * * * The warlike spirit which but lately animated the several tribes, 
and but a few months ago gave reason to apprehend the breaking out of a raging 
war, is broken. The mighty warriors are now the prey of the greedy wolves, 
and the few survivors, in utter despair, throw themselves upon the whites, who, 
however, can do little for them. The vast preparations for the protection of the 
frontier are superfluous; another hand has undertaken the defense of the white 
inhabitants of the frontier, and the funeral torch that lights the redman to his 
dreary grave, has become the auspicious star of the advancing settler and the 
roving trader of the white race." 

In the translator's preface to Maximilian's "Travels in the Interior of North 
America,"' may be found a letter from the prince, dated New Orleans, June 6, 
1838, in which he bears corroborative testimony to the efforts of the company's 
officers to retard the progress of the plague. He says that the smallpox was com- 
municated to the Indians by a person who was on board the steamboat which ran 
up the previous summer to the mouth of the Yellowstone River, to carry both the 
Government presents and the goods for the barter trade of the fur dealers ; and 
the translator, Hannibal E. Lloyd, adds that it was the American Fur Company's 
steamboat St. Peter which carried the annual outfit and supplied the Missouri 
River forts, and that Larpenteur. in charge of Fort Union, says the vessel arrived 
June 24, 1837 ; that the officers could not prevent intercourse between the Indians 
and the vessel, although they exerted themselves to the utmost. 

The smallpox epidemic was the direct result of the demoralizing influence of 
the use of intoxicating liquors. There was neglect on the boat which was mak- 
ing its way into the heart of the Indian country, and criminal disregard of danger, 
and neglect on the part of the authorities at Fort Union. There was not a delib- 
erate purpose to murder the Indian families vaccinated with the smallpox virus, 
and "have it over," but the result would have been the same had that been the 
case. Alfred Cummings, United States superintendent of Indian affairs, in 
reporting the result of investigations on his trip to the Upper Missouri tribes in 
1855, said of the smallpox scourge of 1837 : "Every Indian camp from the Big 
Bend of the Missouri to the headwaters of the Columbia and Puget Sound was 
a scene of utter despair. To save families from the torture of the loathsome 
disease, fathers slew their children, and in many instances inflicted death upon 
themselves with the same bloody knife. Maddened by their fears, they rushed 
into the waters for relief, and many perished by their own hands, gibbeted on the 
trees which surrounded their lodges." 

With reckless abandon, born of the excessive use of intoxicating liquors and 
of ignorance, the Indians took no precautions against the disease, which was 
allowed to run its course. Some blamed the whites for introducing it and 
threatened vengeance, while others regarded it a judgment of the Great Spirit 
for their warfare upon the whites, who, they then realized, were their true 

The Sioux suffered less than other Indians, for the reason that they scattered, 
and the families isolated themselves as much as possible. The smallpox again 
prevailed among the Indians in 1856, but to a much less alarming extent. 



In 1845 cholera prevailed throughout the West, on the Great Lakes, and on the 
Missouri River steamers, and to some extent at the trading posts, and in Indian 
villages. There were many deaths among the men on the steamboats, but cholera 
cannot abide where cleanliness and fresh air are the rule, and it was quickly 
stamped out. 


A lawless condition, as has been said, prevailed on the Upper Missouri for 
forty years, from its occupation by the American fur traders in 1822 until the 
organization of Dakota Territory in 1861. There was nothing to restrain the 
evil propensities of men. Theoretically, the laws of Louisiana, Missouri, Minne- 
sota, and Nebraska had been successively extended over the country, but there 
was no means of enforcement, and the United States laws governing intercourse 
with the Indians were not obeyed. 

Murders were the frequent results of envy, jealousy, hatred, malice, or the 
excessive use of intoxicating liquors, and generally speaking, no punishment was 
attempted beyond an occasional reprisal. The condition grew from bad to 
worse from year to year and when Fox, Livingston & Company, known as the 
"Union Fur Confederacy," retired, in 1843, ^^'^^Y l^ft fifty or more lawless charac- 
ters in the Indian country. Incidents were numerous of murders from one cause 
or another, causing but a passing comment. 


The Deschamp family consisted of the parents, ten children, and a nephew. 
Francois Deschamp, Sr., was accused of killing Governor Robert Semple, of the 
Selkirk Colony, June 16, 1816, as related in Chapter VH, Part I, after he was 
wounded by Cuthbert Grant ; of robbing and murdering others wounded in that 
affair; of having twice robbed Fort Union, and of being concerned in numerous 
other crimes. His son, Francois, Jr., was the interpreter at Fort Union, and had 
interfered with the family relations of Baptiste Gardepe, another employee of 
the fort, who had demanded satisfaction of the Deschamp family, and they had 
made several attempts to kill him. Finally a conspiracy was formed at Fort Union 
to kill both father and son, and in accordance with the arrangements, Gardepe 
killed the elder Deschamp with a blow from a rifle, completing the murder with 
a knife, while the young man was merely wounded. This was in July, 1833. 
There were then about seventy men at Fort Union, and a number of half-blood 
families at Fort William, where the Deschamps resided, and where some of the 
men from Fort Union lived ; Fort William having been abandoned by the 
opposition company. 

During a carousal following the departure of the annual boat June 28, 1836,. 
Madame Deschamp aroused the vengeance of her sons by the taunt that if they 
were men, they would avenge the death of their father, whereupon they killed 
Jack Rem, whose family hurried to Fort Union, and a party was raised and sup- 
plied with arms by McKenzie, who surrounded the Deschamp house, and finally- 


set it on fire. Before the affair ended they had killed the mother and other 
members of the family, in all eight at this time, and one, a child of ten, died the 
next day from wounds. One of the assaulting party, Joseph Vivier, was killed, 
and one wounded. 



A good-looking young fellow at Fort Union, Augustin Bourbonnais, made 
advances to the Indian wife of Kenneth McKenzie, who directed John Brasseau, 
the undertaker — ready to undertake any job. ranging from the burial of the dead 
to furnishing the victim — to shoot him. 

Bourbonnais, having been forced out of the fort, was lying in wait outside, 
threatening to shoot McKenzie at sight; instead, he, himself, was shot by Bras- 
seau, but not fatally, though laid up nearly a year from his wound. 

Christmas, 1838, the hunter at Fort Union was killed and thrown into the fire 
by two of his co-employees, who were tried by the drum-head court-martial 
which regulated the affairs of the fort, found guilty, and sentenced to be hanged. 
The court, however, being in doubt as to its authority to carry out the sentence, 
it was commuted to thirty-nine lashes, and when John Brasseau showed a dispo- 
sition to put too much vigor into the whipping, the Court would say : "Moderate, 
John, moderate." Two men were caught stealing horses belonging to the fort, 
and there was then no moderation. Brasseau brought the blood at every stroke. 

It was freely charged that McKenzie was directly responsible for the attack 
by the Crows upon the outfit of Thomas Fitzpatrick in 1833. They ran off' 
150 horses, looted the camp of $20,000 worth of furs, equipments and mer- 
chandise ; some of the furs, plainly marked, being sold to McKenzie, who 
refused to give them up unless paid what they had cost him. 

Narcisse Le Clerc was proceeding up the river to engage in trade on his own 
account. A shot across the bows stopped his boat, and the American Fur Com- 
pany took possession of boat and cargo. Le Clerc sued the company in the 
United States Court at St. Louis, secured judgment against the company, and 
McKenzie's outfit was charged $9,200 for their "unreasonable restraint of 

In 1843, W. P. May, a Rocky Mountain trader, came down the Yellowstone 
with his winter catch of furs and proceeded down the Missouri in a boat built 
for the purpose. He was fired on by some of the Fox, Livingston & Co. 
desperadoes and his boat and cargo seized. 

Fort Clark became headquarters for thieves and other criminals of the Upper 
Missouri, who committed depredations upon the Sioux, dressed as Arikaras, 
and upon the latter dressed as Sioux. Nor did they confine their attentions to 
the Indians entirely, but held up and robbed white trappers and others when 
opportunity offered. There has been a story current on the frontier since those 
times that a party of seven miners, proceeding down the river from Montana, 
were waylaid by Indians — or whites garbed as Indians — and robbed of $30,000 at 
a point a short distance below Fort Clark, and that the trader at Fort Clark got 
the gold in the "course of business." 

On the way down the river from the Upper Missouri, returning from his 
investigation in 1855, Alfred Cummings, United States Superintendent of Indian 


Affairs, stopped at Fort Clark and lost seven mules, stolen from his outfit during 
the few hours he was there. 

These are only samples of the numerous outrages of that period by whites 
on the Upper Missouri. 


In view of the outrages by whites against each other there is little room to 
criticize the perpetration of Indian outrages against the whites. Up to 1833 the 
whites at Fort Union hunted at will throughout that region, but later there was 
scarcely a boat or mackinaw, passing down the river, that was not fired on by the 
Indians. They would attack the men at the wood yards and in the hay fields and 
timber camps. Stock was run off within 200 yards of Fort Union, and the 
tribes were constantly at war with each other. 


Among the Assiniboines was a chief of renown named Tahatka, or Gauche, 
described by Father De Smet as "a crafty, cruel, deceitful man, a bad Indian in 
every sense of the word ; his life was full of horrors." Gauche led his tribe for 
forty years, and was one of the parties, as stated, to the McKenzie treaty of peace 
at Fort Union. He was sometimes called "Neenah-yau-henne," the "man-who- 
holds-the-knife," with which it was said he could cut a rock in two, owing to the 
strong "medicine," or supernatural powers, with which he was believed to be 
endowed. By the whites he was sometimes called the "Wild Bonaparte of the 
Prairies." He had no difficulty in raising a large band of warriors whenever 
he elected to go on the war path against other tribes. 

It is related that he raised a large party to attack the Blackfeet, on the occa- 
sion of their return from one of their annual trips to the fort for the purpose 
of trade. An examination of their trail revealed to him that they were rich in 
horses, and well supplied with intoxicating liquor, and he reasoned that the 
follovi'ing night would be given over to carousal, so he selected as the psychologi- 
cal moment for attack the hour of stupor, early in the morning after their 
debauch. His deductions turned out to be correct, and finding them utterly 
unable to defend themselves he captured 300 horses, killed and scalped a large 
number of men, women and children, and followed up the victory by the usual 

One member of his party had remained at Fort Union, and the Blackfeet, 
hearing of his presence at the fort, sent word to him that they were hunting for 
the Assiniboines for the purpose of making peace with them and invited him 
to accompany them, but he was reluctant to go. Finally they sent a horse, fully 
equipped, which was to be his if he would go with them. This his cupidity led 
him to accept, and in the act of mounting he was riddled with bullets within 
200 yards of Fort Union. 


As time passed the Indians on the Upper Missouri became more and more 
troublesome, and more determined to drive the whites from the country, refusing 


their annuities and regarding as traitors those who accepted presents, lest it 
might in some manner involve the loss of their homes. United States officers 
who came to them bearing gifts were no longer looked upon with favor. Bear 
Rib was prevailed upon to receipt for the goods for his tribe, and October 8, 1862, 
Governor William Jayne reported his death. The Indian penalty for treason is 
death. Bear Rib knew this, of course, but his cupidity was stronger than his 
loyalty to the traditions of his tribe, and he paid the forfeit with his life. Civil 
government had been inaugurated in Dakota ; its settlement under the free home- 
stead law of May 20th of that year having commenced, and the Indian outbreak, 
fully described in another chapter, was in progress, but preceding that story 
is much of interest yet to be told. 

Dr. Washington Mathews, who served some years as medical officer at Fort 
Berthold and at Fort Stevenson, wrote, in a personal letter to Dr. Elliott Coues, 
editor of Charles Larpenteur's Journal, as follows: 

"The Hidatsa moved up the Missouri from their old villages on Knife River 
to the blufifs on which Fort Berthold was afterwards built in 1845. The Mandans 
followed soon after, and the Arikaras joined them in 1862. 

"Soon after the Hidatsa moved up, in 1845, the American Fur Company 
began, with the assistance of the Indians, to build a stockaded post which they 
called Fort 'Berthold,' in honor of a certain person of that name (Bartholomew 
Berthold) of St. Louis. This was built on the extreme southern edge of the 
blulif, on land which has since been mostly, if not entirely, cut away by the river. 

'Tn 1859, an opposition trading company erected, close to the Indian village 
(but east of it and farther away from the river than Fort Berthold), some build- 
ings, protected by a stockade and bastions, which they named Fort Atkinson (the 
second of that name). 

"This was the fort at which Boiler (author of 'Among the Indians') had 
his trading post. In 1862 opposition ceased and the American Fur Company 
obtained possession of Fort Atkinson, which they occupied, transferring to it the 
name of Fort Berthold. They abandoned the old stockade, which was afterward 
(December 24, 1862) almost entirely destroyed by a war party of Sioux. 

"This was a memorable Christmas eve in the annals of Fort Berthold. The 
Sioux came very near capturing the post, but the little citizen garrison defended it 
bravely, and at length the Sioux withdrew. * * * xhe first (I think) mili- 
tary occupancy of the fort was in 1864, when Gen. Alfred Sully assigned a com- 
pany of Iowa cavalry to duty there under command of Capt. A. B. Moreland. 

"In the spring of 1865 this company was relieved by one of the First United 
States Volunteer Infantry (ex-Confederate prisoners) under command of Capt. 
R. R. Dimon. In the same year Captain Dimon's company was relieved by one 
of the Fourth United States Volunteer Infantry, commanded by Capt. Adams 
Bassett. In 1862 Fort Berthold received the traders from Fort Clark, leaving 
that fort in the possession of the Arikaras. 

"In the spring of 1866 regular troops came into the country, and a company 
of the Thirteenth Infantry, commanded by Capt. Nathan Ward Osborn (colonel 
Fifteenth Infantry, August 5, 1888, now deceased), succeeded the volunteers. 

"When the troops first moved in the traders were obliged to move out and 


built quarters for themselves outside. After the troops were withdrawn the 
traders returned for a short time and then made way for the Indian agency." 

The United States troops were withdrawn from Fort Berthold when the con- 
struction of Fort Stevenson was begun in 1867. Fort Stevenson was abandoned 
in 1883, and the reservation was sold at private sale to a syndicate from Cincin- 
nati represented by Hon. L. C. Black. 








"And I have seen his brow. 
The forehead of my upright one, and just, 
Trod by the hoof of battle to the dust. 


Ay, my own boy ! thy sire 
Is with the sleepers of the valley cast. 
And the proud glory of my life hath past, 

With his high glance of fire. 
Woe ! that the linden and the vine should bloom 
And a just man be gathered to the tomb! " 

— Nathaniel P. Willis, The Soldier's Widow. 

In 1520, the Spanish carried away large numbers of the inhabitants from 
the islands of the West Indies and the Carolinas, and sold them for slaves : com- 
mitting outrages, outranking in studied and fiendish cruelty anything ever charged 
to American Indians. 

De Soto came with bloodhounds to run down, and handcuffs, shackles and 
chains to bind, American Indians it was his purpose to enslave. It is not too 
much to say that Christian monarchs encouraged exploration in the search of 
new worlds, and to exploit and to hold as vassals or slaves the conquered people. 
From Africa, 40.000,000 people were stolen, kidnapped or purchased from 
warring tribes, before the slave trade was abolished and the tide of public 
sentiment turned in humanity's favor. 

In the Carolinas, Indians made captive in their raids upon the setlements, or 
in the punitive expeditions sent against them because of such raids, were enslaved 
under authority of laws enacted for the protection of the settlements, until the 
Indian and negro slaves outnumbered the inhabitants and became a menace. 

The first outbreak in Virginia and the first encounter in New England were 
based on the terror and dread of the white men from previous outrages com- 
mitted in Florida and on the Labrador Coast. 

In the Virginia uprising, March 22, 1622, the Indians partook of food in 
the morning from the tables of colonists whoin they intended to slaughter at 
noon, and in the first surprise 347 colonists were killed, and in the warfare which 



followed the eighty plantations in \'irginia were rdduced to eight, Jamestown 
and two others escaping through warning given by a Christian Indian, and the 
4,000 settlers were reduced to 2,000, while the Indian tribes engaged were nearly 
destroyed. The colonists were restrained by law from making peace on any 
terms, and each year sent three expeditions against them to prevent them from 
planting crops in the spring, or harvesting should any be raised, and to destroy 
their homes should any be rebuilt. In 1636 a peace was arranged, but not of long 

April 18, 1644, Opechancanough, brother and successor of Powhatan, respon- 
sible for the massacre of 1622, again attacked the \'irginia colonists, killing 300 
in a few hours, when, realizing their own helpless condition, they fled. Opechan- 
canough, made captive, was treacherously shot by his guard, whose family had 
suffered in the uprising, and dying of his wounds the Powhatan confederacy was 
ended, and now no tongue speaks the dialect of the tribe of Powhatan. 

Then came the war of extermination by the Pequots, a powerful tribe of 
4,000 warriors in the Connecticut ^'alley, in 1637, and then the King Philip's 
War of the Plymouth Colony, inaugurated July 20, 1675, and the Swamp tight 
of the following autumn, all of which are treated in detail in other parts of this 
volume. In 1621 the servants of a Dutch director murdered a Raritan war- 
rior on the west shore of the Hudson near Staten Island. August 28, 1641, 
a nephew of the murdered warrior of the Raritans, to avenge the death of his 
uncle twenty years before, killed an old man of the Dutch Colony. In January, 
1642, steps were taken toward punishing the Raritans for the later murder. The 
first demand for the offender was refused, the Indians holding that he did no , 
wrong in avenging the death of his uncle, but they finally agreed to the surrender. 
While these negotiations were pending, a Hackensack Indian was made drunk 
and was beaten and robbed, and to avenge his wrongs killed two of the Dutch 

The Hackensacks had been attacked by the Mohawks and fled to the Dutch 
Colony for protection. Pity was shown them and they were supplied with food 
and finally scattered, some going to the Raritans. Some of the Dutch decided 
that then was the time to avenge the three murders and other alleged outrages, 
and attacked them March i, 1642, under the leadership of an "ex- West India 
convict," killing eighty men, women and children. Babes were snatched from' 
the care of mothers and thrown into the river, and when the mothers jumped 
into the stream to rescue them they were prevented from landing. 

Eleven petty tribes joined the outraged tribes, followed later by eight other 
tribes, and a long and disastrous war resulted. The homes of the colonists were 
burned, their animals slaughtered, the men killed and the women and children 
made captive; in this displaying a larger degree of humanity than the Dutch 
aggressors, who had found profit in selling them fire-arms and teaching their 
use. The attack was made after the tribe had offered to surrender the murderer 
and pay a suitable indemnity. 

In the massacre at Fort William Henry in July, 1757, the English defenders 
had surrendered after a six days' siege, and were marching out unarmed,— 
accompanied by refugees returning to the British lines or their homes under the 
terms of their surrender, — assured of full protection, when about a mile from 
the fort the Indian allies, promised opportunity for plunder as the price of 


co-operation, fell upon them and slaughtered several hundred men, women and 
children before the French were able to restrain them. 

The Wyoming massacre, near Wilkesbarre, Pa., occurred July 3, 1778. The 
attack upon Fort Forty where about 400 old men, women, and children had 
gathered, mainly for refuge, was made by 400 British and Tories and 700 
Indians. About 200 of the defenders were killed, — massacred principally by the 
Indians under every circumstance usually accompanying Indian warfare. Queen 
Esther, a half-blood, to avenge the death of her son, tomahawked fourteen 
wounded. On the 5th the fort surrendered, when the Indians, throwing olT all 
restraint, swept through the Wyoming Valley, burning, torturing and killing. 
The total number killed is conservatively placed at three hundred. 

The Sioux allies in Colonel Leavenworth's expedition against the Arikaras 
(1823) we have seen made the same demand, and they engaged in the opening 
attack with great zeal, but when it became apparent that they would not be 
permitted to destroy and kill a conquered people, "subsequent proceedings inter- 
ested them no more," and they withdrew completely disgusted with the ways of 
"civilized warfare." 


The settlement of Dakota was retarded by the Sioux massacre of 1862. 
While it fell with greatest force on the frontier settlers of Minnesota, it extended 
to Dakota, thirty-two settlers within the limits of North Dakota having been 
killed during the uprising, and many others driven away never to return. Fort 
Abercrombie was besieged and in the campaign which followed several important 
battles were fought on North Dakota soil. The friendly Wahpetons and Sissetons, 
many of whom jeopardized their lives to protect the captives taken by the hostiles, 
camping near them and threatening them with a counter war if harm came to 
them, were granted reservations in Dakota, and their descendents have become 
worthy citizens of the state, engaged in various lines of business. 

The facts have been gathered for this work from many sources ; from the 
report of Thomas J- Galbraith, then agent of the Sioux; from the story of the 
escape of the missionaries by Rev. Stephen R. Riggs, thirty-five of his colony 
having been conducted to safety by friendly Indians ; from the Reminiscences 
of Samuel J. Brown, who with his mother and other members of his family 
were captives in the hands of the Sioux from the beginning until the close of 
the uprising ; from "Recollections of the Sioux Massacre of 1862" by Oscar 
Garrett Wall, who was one of the defenders of Fort Ridgeley and a participant 
in the campaign which followed and in the battles fought on North Dakota 
soil; from officers and soldiers who participated in the campaign; from citizens 
who suffered in body, mind and estate, and from an examination of official 


Under the treaty of 1837, the Sioux ceded all of their lands east of the 
Mississippi, and all of their islands in said river, to the United States. They 
were to receive $300,000 to be invested for their benefit at 5 per cent interest ; 
$110,000 to pay to the relatives and friends of the Sioux having not less than 


Government chief of Sioux tribes, 1868 


one-fourth blood ; $90,000 for the payment of the just debts of the Sioux Indians 
interested in the lands ; an annuity of $10,000 in goods to be distributed among 
them ; and to. continue for twenty years ; $8,250 annually for twenty years for 
the purchase of medicines, agricultural implements and stock, and for the 
support of a physician, farmer and blacksmith ; $10,000 for tools, cattle and 
other useful articles to be purchased as soon as practicable; $5,500 annually 
for twenty years for provisions, and $6,000 in goods to be delivered to the 
chiefs and braves signing the treaty upon their return to St. Louis. 

Fifteen annual payments had been made under this treaty when the treaty of 
1 85 1 was signed. 


Under the treaty of 1851, the Sioux ceded all lands owned by them in Iowa 
and Minnesota, for which they were to receive $3,303,000, of which $2,748,000 
was to be permanently invested for their benefit, the Government paying thereon 
5 per cent interest for a period of fifty years. The interest was to be applied 
annually under the direction of the President of the United States for agricultural 
improvement and civilization, for educational purposes, for the purchase of 
goods and provisions, known as their annuities, and for an annuity in money 
amounting to $7 1 ,000. 

The appropriation for the fulfillment of the treaty of 1851, covered these 
several amounts and the sum of $495,000 to enable them to settle their affairs 
and pay their just debts, and the expense of their removal to other lands, and for 
their subsistence for one year after reaching their new home. The appropriation 
also provided for the sixteenth payment under the treaty of 1837. 


It was the custom of the traders to make advances to the Indians in the way 
of arms and ammunition for their hunting expeditions, for blankets and clothing 
and other necessary articles, to be paid for on their return from the hunt. The 
Indians had been thus accommodated not only by the licensed traders but by 
those trading with them without authority, and there were large sums claimed 
to be due from the Indians including balances running back to the treaty of 
1837. Some were due from deceased Indians and other sums from dishonest 
ones, who had defrauded the traders or attempted to do so. A portion was 
for supplies furnished them as a tribe, for cattle, etc. 

The traders who received the benefits of the Traverse de Sioux treaty were 

Bailey & Dousman $ 15,000 

N. W. Kittson 2,850 

Gabrielle Renville 621 

S. R. Riggs for American Board 800 

P. Prescott 1 .334 

Franklin Steele 3.250 

Henry H. Sibley 66,459 

Joseph R. Brown 6,564 


Joseph Provincelle 10,066 

Joseph Renville, Sr., Estate i7,S40 

J. B. Faribault 22,500 

Alexander Faribault 13,500 

Joseph Laframbois 11 .300 

R. Fresnier 2,300 

Martin McLeod 19,046 

Lewis Roberts 7,490 

William Hartshorne 530 

Francis Labatte 500 

J. H. Lockwood 500 

Henry Jackson . . . ." 350 

Hazen Mores 1,000 

R. i\IcKenzie 3.500 

W. H. Forbes 1,000 

Total $210,000 

The aggregate amount of these claims, as originally presented was $431,735.78- 
The money was paid to Hugh Tyler, as attorney for these parties, for settlement 
in full, as above. 

The claims against the Wa-pa-koo-ta band were as follows : 

Alexander Faribault $ 42,000 

Henry H. Sibley 31,500 

Duncan Campbell 500 

James Wells 1,000 

Augustine Root i ,000 

Alexis Bailey 9,000 

H. L. Dousman 4,000 

Philander Prescott 1,000 

Total $90,000 

The money was paid for these parties to General H. H. Sibley. 
The claims against the Med-a-wa-kan-toan band, as filed under oath with 
Governor Ramsey, were as follows : 

H. H. Sibley $ 37,722.07 

McBoal & Odell 639.93 

Alexis Bailey 20,108.00 

James Wells 15,000.00 

Frs. Labatte 5,000.00 

Philander Prescott 1,182.10 

Alexis Faribault 9,000.00 

J. B. Faribault 13,000.00 

Joseph Buisson 2,000.00 

Franklin Steele 7,000.00 


Henry G. Bailey 483.00 

Estate of O. Faribault 2,000.00 

Joseph J. Frazer 5,000.00 

Augustine Rock 5,000.00 

Joseph Renville estate 2,000.00 

W. G. & G. W. Ewing 3,750.00 


These claims were settled in full acquittance for the sum of $70,000, paid 
Hugh Tyler as attorney for the parties named. 

The claims presented by H. H. Sibley were for and on behalf of the American 
Fur Company. There was also paid to the half blood Indians $65,000. 

Congress provided that no portion of the money appropriated should be paid 
to attorneys, and yet there was paid to Hugh Tyler the sum of $55,250 for 
"discount and percentage.'' Ostensibly the payment was made by the half-bloods 
and traders from the sums awarded them, but there was a feeling among the 
Indians that this money had been wrongfully taken from them, Tyler came 
among them as a special agent of the Interior Department, and disbursing agent 
accompanying the commission which made the treaty, paying the expenses of 
entertaining the Indians on the occasion, giving him the acquaintance necessary to 
enable him to make his claim for the share on account of alleged services 

The Indians were not satisfied with the settlements made under this treaty; 
they could not understand why the tribe should pay individual debts or losses 
incurred in dealing with deceased or dishonest Indians. They generally denied 
that the tribe owed anything and insisted that if there was money due from them 
they should be permitted to settle their own debts, and that they should be paid 
the money their due under the treaty. They felt that they had been deprived 
of their land and were being defrauded of the money they were to receive for it. 

The Indian acknowledgment of full payment for the fulfillment of the treaty, 
so far as it related to these large sums, was signed by twelve chiefs and head 
men of the tribe, some of whom the Indians were not satisfied to regard as 
such, while those who had opposed the settlement of course did not sign. The 
payment was witnessed by Thomas Foster, John C. Kelton, U. S. A., Charles D. 
Fillmore and W. H. Forbes. It was made by Governor Alexander Ramsey, of 
Minnesota, ex-ofificio Superintendent of Indian AiTairs in that territory. The 
U. S. Senate after full investigation by a committee, appointed under its authority, 
accepted Governor Ramsey's accounts and authorized their settlement. The 
evidence on which the Senate acted may be found in Senate document No. 6, 
first session 33d Congress, and Senate document No. 131, same session. 


It has been charged that the treaty payment for 1862, which was the imme- 
diate cause of the outbreak, had been delayed through the manipulation of 
dishonest agents in collusion with others : that an attempt had been made to 
force the Indians to accept currency, then sadly depreciated, and that a delay 


followed while the currency was being reconverted into gold. But this was 
not true. 

The annual appropriation for 1862 was $150,000. While it should have been 
available July ist, it was not made until July 5th, and then a question arose as to 
whether it should be paid in coin or currency. Upon full examination it was 
decided by Salmon P. Chase, U. S. Secretary of the Treasury, that it must be 
paid in coin. It was in the nature of interest on the public debts, and it was the 
policy of the Government to so pay the interest in order to protect its credit; 
the life of the nation depended upon it. The soldiers were being paid in a 
depreciated currency, those who furnished supplies and munitions of war were 
so paid, but the debt to the Indians it was held must be paid in coin. The 
requisition of the Indian Office for the money was made July 25th, and in due 
time the money was sent from the U. S. Mint, and reached Fort Ridgeley on the 
evening of the outbreak. The amount so sent was $71,000, that being the amount 
alloted for annuities. There were also annuity goods in the warehouse on the 
reservation, which it was the intention to distribute at the time of the payment 
of the money annuities. 


The Civil war was in its second year. President Lincoln had called for 
300,000 more volunteers, and among the settlers on the frontier who had enlisted, 
were the Renville Rangers from the immediate vicinity of the Indian agencies. 
The war spirit was at work, animating the red men as well as the whites. It was 
rumored among the Indians that the negroes had taken Washington and that 
all of the white men had gone to war, leaving only old men. women and children, 
and that the Government was using their money for the war, and to take care 
of the negroes. War was an ever present topic of conversation and troubled 
them in their dreams. Little Crow stated that whenever he looked to the south- 
ward he could see the smoke of battle, and hear the war whoop of the white 
soldiers. Nevertheless, the Indians came to receive their annuities in gala attire. 
They engaged in horse racing and in other sports, happy as Indians can be when 
there is no immediate cause of complaint. 

By July 1st, the Indians had arrived in large numbers, which were increasing 
daily. They had come from their hunting grounds and from their homes, and 
were prepared to stay for a few days only. July 2d, a detail of 100 soldiers 
under the command of Lieut. Timothy J. Sheehan of the Fifth Minnesota 
Volunteer Infantry, came to guard against possible trouble during the payment. 
July 14th, there were 779 lodges of Indians, in camp about the agency, suf- 
fering from lack of food. July i8th, they reported that their condition was 
unendurable, and July 21st, the agent arranged to count the Indians preparatory 
to issuing annuity goods. They were not counted however, until July 26th, and 
until August 4th, no efifort had been made to relieve their necessities. That morn- 
ing the Indians warned Lieutenant Sheehan that they were coming to make a 
demonstration ; that they were coming armed, but intended no harm. A few 
moments later several hundred warriors surrounded the camp, yelling like a 
thousand demons and firing their guns wildly. Though ready for war. they 
came for food. The warehouse was broken open and the distribution of food 


Leader of the Indian revolt and war of 


commenced, but, the soldiers training artillery on them, cleared them from the 
warehouse. Then the agent consented to act and issued food, but wholly inade- 
quate in quantity. 


The Indians withdrew in ugly mood and held a council, at which it was 
decided to commence war at once, but Standing Buffalo, a chief of the Sissetons, 
and a few others, protested, and it was finally agreed to wait a little while. On 
the 6th of August, another council convened, and an agreement was reached to 
return to their homes and hunting grounds and await the call of the agent, who 
consented to issue the annuity goods then in the warehouse. The issue was 
commenced that day, and all the Indians having disappeared on the evening of 
the 7th, the soldiers on August nth, returned to their station. 

But the Indian hearts were bad. As they roamed over the country in small 
parties, the events of the past few weeks were under almost constant discussion, 
and the voice of the majority of every party was for war. But the coimcil had 
decided to wait and they waited. Standing Buffalo had warned the whites of 
their first decision for war, though to do so endangered his life, and at the 
same time told his white friends that he had been a member of that council, 
and was bound by its action, as all were who had participated. 


On Sunday August 17, 1862, a band of twenty Indians were hunting near 
Acton, Meeker County, Minnesota. One of the party robbed a hen's nest of 
the eggs on which she was setting. The chief protested and a bitter quarrel 
ensued, and the chief and four of the party withdrew among accusations of 
cowardice, and threats that there should be war regardless of the action of the 
council. Later during the day the i)arty of five heard shooting and feared that 
the war had commenced and they would be forever disgraced because of their 
opposition to it. In this frame of mind they called at the home of Robinson 
Jones, who accused one of them of having borrowed a gun which he had not 
returned. After leaving the Jones place they went to the home of Howard 
Baker, near by, and asked for water; Jones following them, accompanied by 
his wife, and the quarrel was renewed. To Mrs. Baker's inquir>' if he had 
given them liquor, Mr. Jones replied that he had not, that he had "no liquor for 
such red devils." 

The Indians challenged the white men to shoot at the mark. Jones, again 
using offensive language, said he was not afraid to shoot with them. After the 
shooting the whites did not load their guns, but the Indians reloaded, and without 
warning, fired on the whites, killing Mr. Baker, and a Mr. Webster and Mrs. Jones. 
Jones, who was wounded, attempted to escape, but was felled by another shot. 
Mrs. Webster was in a covered wagon and was not molested. ]Mrs. Baker, with 
a child, fled to the cellar and the Indians made no search for her, but they returned 
to the home of Mr. Jones and killed Clara B. Wilson. They took some horses 
from another neighbor and hastened to their camp, which was reached late in 
the evening. 


Reporting what they had done, a council was called, and being confident that 
the whites would demand the surrender of the murderers, immediate war was 
agreed upon. They hastened to the home of Little Crow, who lived in a brick 
house built for him by the Government. They filled his house, flocked in his 
garden and door yard, and with one voice demanded that he lead them. He 
consented, and without waiting for his breakfast, led the way to the Redwood 
Agency, which they had decided to attack that morning. Runners were sent to 
other tribes to warn them that war had commenced and to ask their co-operation. 
As they proceeded on the way to the Agency, the woods and hills reverberated 
with their whoops and yells, and as their war cry went echoing down the valley, 
the warriors were aroused from their slumbers and hastened to join tiieir ranks, 
which increased rapidly in numbers. 

At 7 o'clock Monday morning, August i8th. armed, but scantily clad, they 
squatted on the steps of the several Agency buildings, and the homes of the em- 
ployes. At a signal the awful work began, and in a few moments every white 
person at the Agency was killed, excepting two or three of the Vi'ounded who 
escaped in the confusion. Plunder, rapine, and outrage of every kind were inci- 
dents of the massacre. Young warriors who had never shed human blood, found 
new pleasure in torturing, maltreating and murdering defenseless women and 
children, and boys spent the forenoon shooting into the bodies of the dead and 
otherwise mutilating them. 

The first report of the trouble having reached Fort Ridgeley at lo A. M., 
Capt. John S. Marsh, with forty-six men. hastened to the relief of the Agency, 
leaving but few effective men at the fort. .\s they hurried on they passed the 
smoking ruins of farm houses and the bodies of several murdered settlers. 


.\t the ferrv' in front of the Redwood Agency they found the boat ready for 
them to cross in charge of White Dog, who had been regarded one of the most 
trusty of the friendly Indians. He urged them to cross and meet the Indians 
in council, and see if the trouble could not be arranged. The decapitated form 
of the old ferryman was lying where he fell. The soldiers discovered signs 
of an ambush and at their first show of uneasiness White Dog gave the signal, 
and the Indians springing from the tall grass fired, and twenty-six of the soldiers 
fell at the first volley. The Indians rushed upon the survivors and tried to 
engage them in a hand to hand conflict, but they gained the timber. In an effort 
to cross the stream Captain Marsh was drowned, when the survivors made their 
way back to Fort Ridgeley. Of the wounded two escaped, after suffering almost 
incredible hardships. Lying concealed in the high grass, they could hear the 
pleading and groaning of their wounded comrades, and realize their suffering, 
and when all was still they knew that death had come to their relief. 


The night after the massacre of the defenseless and unsuspecting people at 
Redwood Agency, and the slaughter of Captain Marsh's men, was spent by the 
Indians in dancing. There was excitement everywhere. Those eager to tell 


what they had done, sat impatiently waiting their opportunity to tell their story. 
Amid the pounding of the tom-tom, the singing of war songs, and occasional 
whoops and yells, — as a particularly striking tale was related, — the wild flourishing 
of clubs, knives, and tomahawks, the dance went on. The hideous Cutnose, who 
was one of the thirty-eight executed at JMankato, boasted of having gone to a 
white man who was cutting hay, assisted by three men and his wife, and pre- 
tending to be very friendly, offered his hand, and as the man reached out to 
receive it, he stabbed him. They grappled, and the knife, which had remained 
in the flesh, was crowded farther in, and the man fell dead at his feet. At the 
conclusion of his recital the tom-tom started up its beating, and the fiend was 
greeted with whoops and yells for a prolonged period. And so the dance went 
on, only interrupted by atrocious recitals of this character and worse. 

But for the anticipated pleasure of telling such tales, and of hearing the stories 
of others, the young men would have followed Little Crow's advice and attacked 
Fort Ridgeley on the first day of the outbreak. The thought that there was 
more real pleasure in murdering defenseless women and children than in fighting 
armed men, led them to put off the assault on Fort Ridgeley until after the attack 
on Xew Ulni. Besides, on the first day they could reach and murder in their 
homes the unarmed settlers before they heard of the uprising. 


.'\h-kee-pah, who refused to join in the dance, was accused of being a coward 
and taunted with not having "killed one white man, no, not even a babe," and 
jumping to the heart of the circle of men who were accusing him. and by his 
earnestness commanding their attention, declared that there was "no bravery in 
killing helpless men and women and little children, and only cowards would 
boast of it." He took advantage of the opportunity to tell them what he and 
his tribe would do to them if they harmed one of his relatives, some of whom 
were among the captive mixed-bloods. 


Fort Ridgeley was the only reliance of the settlers. They hurried to it from 
all directions in the hope of gaining protection. On the evening of August 
1 8th there were congregated there 300 refugees, terror-stricken, crouching, 
cringing, crying, praying, some nearly crazed. There were less than thirty 
soldiers to protect them against the many hundred warriors likely to attack the 
fort at any moment. On the 19th the Indians in large force appeared before the 
fort, in such close proximity that some could be recognized by the use of a 
glass, and held a council. It was seen that there was dissension among them, 
and they retired, deferring attack until the next day. That evening reinforce- 
ments arrived. The force defending the fort then consisted of Company B, Fifth 
Minnesota Regiment Infantry, two officers and fifty-seven men, Company C 
of the same regiment, one officer and fifty men; the Renville Rangers, one 
officer and fifty-one men ; twenty-five effective men organized from among the 
refugees, and an ordnance sergeant of the United States Army in command of a 
detail for the howitzers. There was also Dr. Alfred Muller, the post surgeon, the 


post sutler, and Justus Ramsey and Cyrus G. Wykoff, who had arrived Monday 
evening, the iSth, with $71,000 in gold for the purpose of making the Indian 
payment. Lieutenant Timothy J. Sheehan was in command. 


On August 19 an attack was made by a large force of Indians on New Ulm, 
a town of about 1,500 inhabitants, whose defense was conducted by Judge Charles 
E. Flandrau, in command of about three hundred hurriedly organized volunteers, 
imperfectly armed. They fell back at the first assault by the Indians, who 
gained the outskirts of the town, but were repulsed and the buildings in the 
vicinity burned to prevent the Indians from using them for shelter. But 
advancing under cover of the smoke, which a shifting wind blew up Main street, 
they gained the very center of the town, to be again driven out. At niglit they 

After the first day's battle about forty buildings were burned in order to 
prevent their use by the Indians for shelter ; intrenchments were dug, and every 
possible means used for strengthening the defense against the attack which was 
renewed the next morning, the Indians withdrawing about noon. The town, 
however, was abandoned, and the wounded and the women and children were 
sent to Mankato in a train of one hundred and fifty-three wagons, guarded by 
citizens and soldiers. 


The attack on Fort Ridgeley was commenced August 20th at i P. M. The 
Indians charging furiously, whooping and yelling, were met by a deadly fire of 
shrapnel and musketry at close range which quickly drove them from one of 
the buildings, of which they had gained possession. The attack continued till 
night, when they withdrew. During the battle that day the ammunition, which 
was in an exposed condition, was safely removed to one of the stone barracks, 
and at night the fort was strengthened by intrenchments. The men were cheered 
by the results of the first day's battle. There was no fighting the next day, but 
on the 22nd the attack was renewed, and from every direction the Indians were 
seen creeping toward the fort, their heads turbaned with grass or wreathed in 
wild flowers, the better to hide their movements. At a given signal they again 
made a rush upon the fort, capturing the sutler's store and one of the wooden 
barracks. One of the buildings was fired by a cannon shot from the fort and 
the other by the Indians who tried to reach the fort under cover of the smoke. 
Clouds of arrows, with burning punk attached to the tips, were fired upon the 
buildings in an efTort to burn them, but the heavy rain of the night before pre- 
vented that result. 

During the progress of the battle the Renville Rangers, several of whom 
spoke the Sioux language, hearing Little Crow give the order to make a rush 
and club muskets, shouted back to them, "Come on! We are ready for you." 
They met the charge with a withering musketry fire, sustained by the artillery 
loaded with canister, and the Indians were again repulsed. Into a camp shelter- 
ing the Indian women and children, ponies and dogs, which had been pitched ni 



a deep ravine some distance from the fort, twenty-four-pound shells were dropped, 
and bursting, made sad havoc among them. 

The din of battle was terrific. There was the rattle of musketry, the roar of 
cannon, the shriek of shell and the explosion, accompanied by the yells of the 
charging Indians and the shouts of the officers and men. In the midst of the 
battle it was found that the ammunition for the muskets was short, and with 
that exhausted there would be no hope. Powder was obtained by opening the 
ammunition of the artillery. Iron rods were cut into slugs to take the place 
of bullets, and the women took up the work of making cartridges. At night the 
Indians again retired, defeated, but the siege continued five days longer. It was 
raised on the 27th by the arrival of William R. Marshall and Colonel Samuel 
McPhail with one hundred and seventy-five mounted citizen soldiers, and the 
next day General Henry H. Sibley reached Fort Ridgeley with twelve hundred 


August 19th, Air. Russell and three employes engaged in building a hotel at 
Breckenridge, Minn., were killed. Charles Snell, the mail driver, was also 
killed about the same time. Mrs. Scott who lived at Ottertail crossing, was 
shot in the breast, and her son killed. She literally crawled sixteen miles on 
her hands and knees to Breckenridge, which had been abandoned, and took refuge 
in the saw mill, where she was found and while being conveyed to Fort Aber- 
crombie, Dakota, where the citizens had taken refuge, the team was captured 
by the Indians and the driver was killed. The settlers, however, recaptured the 
team and she was sent to the fort without further injury. 

Fort Abercrombie. consisting of three buildings, the barracks, officers' quar- 
ters, and commissary, was garrisoned by Company D, Fifth Minnesota Regiment 
Infantry, commanded by Capt. John H. \'ander Horck. The settlers were 
organized by Capt. T. D. Munn, and about seventy teamsters who had taken 
refuge at the fort were commanded by Captain Smith. The teamsters were 
en route from St. Paul to Red Lake with annuity goods for the Indians, and 
liarrels of pork, corned beef, sugar and other provisions were used for a barricade. 
Three hundred head of stock which were corralled near the fort were a constant 
temptation to the Indians, who set fire to the straw stables. Walter S. Hill, 
volunteered to go to St. Paul for re-enforcements : escorted by thirty-two men 
he passed safely through the Indian lines, but on the return of the escort Edward 
Wright and Mr. Schultz of the party were killed. In a later sortie Mr. Lull 
met his death. 

The attack was made on Fort Abercrombie at 5 A. M. on the 3rd of Sep- 
tember. Captain John H. \"ander Horck, when visiting the picket line that 
morning, having been mistaken for an Indian by one of the guards, was painfully 
wounded. Lieutenant Groetch was therefore in command during the attack, 
which was carried on with desperation until about noon, when the Indians retired. 
.\t the close of this engagement it was found that there were but 350 rounds 
of ammunition left for the muskets, Init there being an abundance of ammuni- 
tion for the artillery, cartridges were manufactured from that and an ample 
supply provided for the next attack, which occurred September 6, at day- 


break. The fighting was hot and furious, but the Indians were again repulsed 
with heavy loss. During the two engagements Company D lost five men, one 
killed and four wounded, and there were several among the citizens and teamsters 
who met with casualties. The Indians hovered about the fort until September 23d, 
when the siege was raised by the arrival of re-enforcements. 


August 31st, a burial party was sent from Fort Ridgeley to bury the dead at 
Redwood Agency and such other bodies as might be found. The condition of 
the dead, exposed to the summer sun for ten days, was horrible. After burying a 
large number, they camped at Birch Coulee on the night of September ist, in an 
extremely unfavorable position, and were surprised by the Indians at daybreak, 
September 2d, the battle lasting all day and until late in the evening. The com- 
mand numbered 150 men, exclusive of seventeen teamsters, commanded by Maj. 
Joseph R. Brown, whose wife and children were then captives in the hands of 
the Sioux, who had put a price upon his head. The troops were Company A, 
Sixth Minnesota, under Capt. Hiram A. Grant, and the Cullen Guards under Capt. 
Joseph Anderson. There were seventeen wagons parked about the camp, which, 
with the exception of the one which contained a wounded refugee, — Mrs. Justina 
Kreiger, who had reached the camp the previous evening, — were turned over for a 
barricade. Ninety horses connected with the camp were shot within fifteen min- 
utes after the battle commenced, and the wagon in which Mrs. Kreiger lay during 
the battle, was literally shot to pieces, the box and running gear being splintered 
into a thousand fragments. Some of the spokes were shot away, the blanket in 
which she was wrapped contained over two hundred bullet holes, and a dose of 
medicine she was attempting to take was shot from her lips, and yet she had 
but five slight wounds. The story of her sufferings, of her family murdered, and 
of her own wounds, will be found near the close of this chapter. 

The camp at the beginning of the attack was completely surrounded by several 
hundred Indians, whose whooping and yelling while firing at close range with 
deadly effect, spread consternation in the ranks of the small army of defenders. 
The war cries of the Indians, the beating of their tom-toms, the groans of the 
wounded, the neighing and struggling of the wounded horses, the storm of bullets, 
the smoke of battle, the roar of cannon and the rattle of musketry, and the 
desperate efforts of the soldiers to throw up entrenchments : — using the one spade 
and three shovels, all the tools they had in camp, supplemented, however, by 
swords and bayonets, pocket knives and tin plates, — were memorable incidents of 
the battle. At the close of the engagement 26 soldiers lay dead, and 45 wounded 
were suffering in fearful anguish for want of attention, and especially for water, 
which there had been no means of procuring. The next morning it was found that 
the ammunition was practically exhausted, and in another hour the whole command 
would have been killed by bullet, bludgeon or tomahawk, but re-enforcements 
were approaching and the Indians fled. 


Notwithstanding the fidelity of the Sissetons and Wahpetons living in the 
vicinity, the buildings of the Yellow Medicine Agency were burned on the 24th 


of August. On the evening of August i8th Chaska, one of the noblest of his race, 
and anotlier Indian, warned the missionaries, Rev. Stephen R. Riggs and Rev. 
Thomas WilHanison and associates, — who were devoting their lives to the Indians, 
working for their good, and residing about six miles away, — of their danger, and 
urged them to flee. Other Indians joined in piloting them to a place of safety 
for the night, and through their aid and guides, their party numbering thirty-five, 
reached a point near Fort Ridgeley August 22d, during the progress of the battle 
at that place. Their trail was discovered, but fortunately was obliterated by the 
severe rainstorm of the previous night. During the night after the battle, one 
of the party succeeded in reaching the fort, but was advised that there was little 
hope for it to hold out against another Indian attack, and that provisions were 
becoming low, and it was decided that it was better for the missionaries to try 
to reach the settlements, which they were successful in doing after four days and 
nights of weary traveling, guided all the way by their faithful Indian friends. 
The Renville family, honored in North Dakota as well as in Minnesota, were 
among the helpers of this party to escape. 

The family of the Indian agent and others from the Yellow Medicine Agency, 
sixty-two in all, were guided to a place of safety by Other-Day and other Indian 
friends, reaching Shakopee August 22d, after intense suffering. Ah-kee-pah 
literally camped with Little Crow, and in the vicinity of his captives, originally 
numbering 26, but finally increased to 270, including the family of Maj. J. R. 
Brown, — threatening him and his hostile band with dire vengeance if injury was 
done to them. Even Little Crow endangered his life by yielding to the demands 
of the friendly Indians in behalf of the captives. 


September 23d, the last of the series of battles during the uprising, was fought. 
A large force, consisting of parts of the Third, Sixth and Seventh Minnesota, and 
the Renville Rangers, supported by artillery, gained a decisive victory over the 
Indians, resulting in the surrender of two hundred and seventy captives, on Sep- 
tember 26th, just forty days from the beginning of the outbreak. Here sixteen 
Indians were buried from those killed in the battle, many of the dead and most 
of the wounded were carried away. 


After the battle of Wood Lake the fighting spirit took its departure from the 
greater portion of the Indians in the hostile camp, and as the soldiers advanced, 
every man, woman and child old enough to walk, displayed flags of truce. White 
rags were fastened to the tepee poles, tied to cart and wagon wheels, attached 
to sticks in all conceivable places, and in the most ludicrous manner. One Indian 
having thrown a white blanket over his horse, tied a bit of white cloth to its tail, 
and wrapped an American flag about his body, sat on his war steed, calmly waiting 
for the troops to pass. 


The wounded in the hands of the Sioux were tortured by every conceivable 
device to make death one of prolonged agony. Wives were compelled to witness 


the torture of their husbands until death ended their suffering, and were then 
carried away captive. Mothers were compelled to witness the murder of their 
little ones, and to hear their screams and shrieks under the pains of torture pre- 
ceding their death. Helpless infants were left to starve by the side of their 
murdered mothers, or to be consumed in the homes that were burned. Little chil- 
dren wandered for days, terrified and ahungered, before they reached a place of 
safety, and women, wounded, bleeding, and nearly crazed, wandered for weeks, 
before they were found and given care. 


Neither tongue nor pen can tell of the sufferings of the refugees, nor faithfully 
report the tales they told, nor picture the terrors encountered by them in their 
flight for safety. At one point they came upon twenty-seven bodies of settlers, 
overtaken in their flight and murdered, and mutilated, some put to outrage 
unspeakable. Two settlers on the way to the Redwood Agency came upon the 
bodies of a woman and two children. They went to the nearest home and to 
the home of several neighbors. The result was the same. There were dead 
bodies at each. At one the father, mother and two children were all murdered. 
They returned hastily to their own settlement and spreading the alarm the settlers 
assembled to determine what to do. 

Starting for Fort Ridgeley, they were met by a band of marauders, the leader 
of which was well known to one of the settlers, who had hunted with him, and 
they were always great friends. The Indian appeared glad to see his friend, 
greeting him cordially and kissing him, claiming that the murders had been 
committed by the Chippewas and promising the protection of the Sioux, prevailed 
upon them to return to their homes. They traveled some distance together, and at 
noon stopping to feed their cattle and lunch, their Indian escort accepted food 
from them, and. after lunch, motioned them to go on. but soon followed and 
robbed them of their valuables. Another party coming up fired upon them, killing 
all but three of the men of the party at the first volley. 

Mrs. Tustina Kreiger, the wounded woman mentioned in connection with the 
battle of Birch Coulee, told her story to the Sioux Commission as follows : 

"Mr. Foss, Mr. Gottleib Zable, and my husband were yet alive. The Indians 
asked the women if they would go along with them, promising to save all that 
would go, and threatening all that refused, with instant death. Some were willing 
to go ; others refused. I told them that I proposed to die with my husband and 
children. My husband urged me to go with them, telling me that they would 
probably kill him and perhaps I could get away in a short time. I still refused, 
preferring to die with him and the children. One of the women who started olT 
with the Indians turned around, halloed to me to come up with them, and taking 
a few steps towards me, was shot dead. At the same time two of the men left 
alive and six of the women, were killed, leaving of all the men only my husband 
alive. Some of the children were also killed at the last fire. A number of the 
children yet remained around the wagon ; these the savages beat with the butts of 
their guns until they supposed they were dead. Some, soon after, rose up from 
the ground, with blood streaming down their faces, when they were again beaten 
and killed. 


"I stood yet in the wagon, refusing to get out and go with the murderers; 
my own husband, meanwhile, begging me to go, as he saw they were about to kill 
him. He stood by the wagon, watching an Indian at his right, ready to shoot, 
while another was quite behind him with a gun aimed at him. I saw them both 
shoot at the same time, lioth shots took effect in the body of my husband, and 
one of the bullets passed through his body and struck my dress below the knee. 
My husband fell between the oxen and seemed not quite dead, when a third ball 
was shot into his head, and another into his shoulder, which probably entered his 

"Now I determined to jump out of the wagon and die beside my husband, but 
as I was standing up to jump, I was shot; seventeen buckshots, as was afterwards 
ascertained, entering my body. I then fell back into the wagon box. I had eight 
children in the wagon-bed and one in a shawl. All of these were either my own 
or else my step-children. What would now become of the children in the wagon 
I did not know, and what the fate of the baby I could only surmise. 

"I was seized by an Indian and very roughly dragged from the wagon, and 
the wagon was drawn over my body and ankles. I suppose the Indians left me 
for a time, how long I do not know, as I was for a time quite insensible. When 
I was shot the sun was still shining, but when I woke up it was dark. My baby, 
as the children afterwards told me, was, when they found him, lying about five 
yards from me, crying. One of my step-children, a girl of thirteen years of 
age, took the baby and ran off. The Indians took two of the children with them. 
These were the two next to the youngest. One of them, a boy four years old, 
taken first by the Indians, had got out of the wagon, or in some way made his 
escape, and came back to the dead body of his father. He took his father by the 
hand, .saying to him, "Papa, papa, don't sleep so long." Two of the Indians came 
back and one of them, getting off his horse, took the child away. The child was 
afterward recovered at Camp Release. The other one I never heard of. Two of 
the boys ran away on the first attack, and reached the woods, some eighty rods 
distant. One climbed a tree : the youngest, age 7, remaining below. This eldest 
boy, 8 years of age. witnessed the massacre of all who were killed at this place. 
He remained in the tree until I was killed, — he supposed. He then came down 
and told his brother what he had seen and that their mother was dead. While 
they were crying over the loss of their parents, August Gest, a son of a neighbor, 
cautioned them to keep still, as the Indians might hear them and come and kill 
them, too." 

Here these children remained in hiding three days, and then spent eight days 
and nights of terror in reaching the fort. Once when they saw a team with a 
family coming toward them, and were about to rush to them in joy, a party of 
Indians concealed from view captured the family and drove off. They could hear 
the screams of the woman until they disappeared in the distance. 

Mrs. Kreiger. recurring to the scene of the massacre of their party, said : 

"My step-daughter, aged 13, as soon as the Indians had left the field, started 
off for the woods. In passing where I lay, supposing me dead, and finding the 
baby near, crying, she hastily took it up, and brought it off the field of death in 
her arms. The other girl, my own child, six years old, arose out of the grass and 
two of the other children that had been beaten over the head and left for dead, 


now recovered, and went off towards the woods and soon rejoined each other 
there. I was still lying on the field. 

"The three other children returned to the place of the massacre, leaving the 
boy in charge of the 6-year-old girl. As they came to the field they found seven 
children and one woman evincing some signs of life. * * * ^11 these were 
covered with blood, and had been beaten with the butts of the guns and hacked by 
the tomahawks, excepting a girl whose head had been severed by a gunshot. The 
woman was Anna Zable. She had received two wounds. — a cut in the shoulder 
and a stab in the side. They were all taken to the house of my husband by these 
three girls. They remained in the house all night doing all they could for each 
other. This was a terrible place, as hospital for invalid children, with no one 
older than thirteen years of age to give directions for the dressing of the wounds, 
nursing of the infant children, and giving food to the hungry, in a house that had 
already been plundered of everything of value." 

Early ne.xt morning Mrs. Zable and the children who had rescued the wounded 
children, went to the scene of the massacre to look after Mrs. Kreiger who was 
supposed to have been killed, but being frightened, they hid in the grass, and 
while there the Indians drove up with the ox team belonging to their party and 
stripped the clothing from the dead. They plundered other houses, and fired the 
building in which the wounded children had been placed, and all of the seven 
little ones were burned. Mrs. Zable and the five children lingered in the vicinity 
three days, and then spent eleven days and nights before reaching Fort Ridgeley. 
When the party went back to the scene of the massacre, they left the baby asleep 
in a house, but they could not return to it and never afterwards heard of it. The 
6-year-old child fell exhausted on the way, but the children cared for it, until 
it gained strength, a little nourishment having been obtained from a melon rind 
found in the road. When they came in sight of Fort Ridgeley, Mrs. Zable, crazed 
with grief and wounds, and exhausted by exposure and want, insisted that the 
fort was a camp of Indians and fled as a party advanced to their rescue. 

Mrs. Kreiger lay where she fell August i8th, until the next night about mid- 
night. At this time two Indians approached to ascertain if life was extinct. "The 
next moment a sharp pointed knife was felt at my throat," said Mrs. Kreiger, 
passing downward, cutting not only the clothing entirely from my body, but 
actually penetrating the flesh." She saw one of these inhuman wretches seize 
Wilhelmina Kitzman, who was her niece, and the child cut and mangled, was 
thrown on the ground to die. The other child of Paul Kitzman was taken along 
with the Indians, crying most piteously. 

After this experience Mrs. Kreiger again became unconscious, but when she 
revived she found her own clothing, which the Indians had thrown away, and 
covering herself as best she could, made her way to Fort Ridgeley, wandering 
about, hiding in the grass and the timber until September ist, when she was 
rescued by the soldiers, and next day lay in the only wagon that was not turned 
bottom upwards for defense at the Battle of F)irch Coulee, as related in that 

The number of citizens killed during the outbreak was 644, 32 of whom 
were in Dakota. The number of soldiers killed at the several battles was 93, making 
a total loss of life of 737. To this list of casualties must be added the many 
wounded. Two hundred and seventy captives were surrendered. 



The property of the two Indian agencies belonged to the Indians and was paid 
for out of their appropriation. The crops growing on the agency farms were 
for their support, and whatever injury came to these was an injury to them. All 
of the dwellings (excepting two Indian homes), stores, mills, shops, and other 
buildings, with their contents, and the tools, implements and utensils upon the 
Yellow Medicine Agency were destroyed or rendered useless. The value was 

At the lower or Redwood Agency, the stores, warehouses, shops and dwellings 
of the employes, with their contents, were destroyed, together with eight houses 
belonging to the Indians and occupied by them, and a new stone warehouse nearing 
completion. The value was $375,000. Adding to this the destruction of fences, 
loss of crops, and of lumber and supplies, the loss to the Indians on the reservation 
alone was not less than $1,000,000. 

The fund of $2,748,000 on which the Government had agreed to pay them five 
per cent per annum, was forfeited, and they lost the interest thereon from that time 
forward. The treaty of 1851 was abrogated by the act of February 16, 1863 (vol. 
12, Federal Statutes at Large, p. 652). They had received under the treaty 
$2,459,350, less the sum paid for depredations. They also lost $300,000 deposited 
to their credit under the treaty of 1837. 

Four hundred and twenty-five Indians were tried by a military commission on 
the charge of murderous participation in the massacre. Three hundred and twenty- 
one were convicted and 303 were sentenced to death. President Lincoln commuted 
the sentence of all but thirty-nine. Thirty-eight of these were hanged at Mankato, 
Minnesota, December 26, 1862. One was pardoned by the President. Two were 
later hanged at Fort Snelling, and still another at Mankato. Among those hanged 
was a negro half-blood. Two others convicted were released after three years' 

Little Crow was killed July 3, 1863, by Chauncey Lampson, near Hutchinson, 
Minnesota. It must be said to the credit of Little Crow that it was through his 
efforts that the captives in his camp escaped massacre. He saved them, even at 
times when his own life was threatened on that account, but it was because he 
feared the vengeance of the Sissetons and Wahpetons who were persistently 
demanding their release or at least that no harm should come to them. 


The loss of propertv and crops destroyed belonging to the settlers was even 

The $71,000 in gold, whicli arrived at Fort Ridgeley on the day the outbreak 
commenced, was paid under act of Congress to the settlers as part payment for 
Indian depredations. The amount so paid included, also, other items appropriated 
for their benefit amounting in the aggregate to $204,883.90. 

The burning of Sioux Falls, the death of Joseph W. Amidon and Edward B. 
Lamoure, an elder brother of Hon. Judson Lamoure, of Pembina, in the attack on 
Sioux Falls are mentioned in another chapter. The garrison at Fort Randall, the 
activity of the settlers and the "preparedness" shown at Yankton, where the 


settlers in that section of Dakota assembled for defense, doubtless prevented an 
outbreak among the Yanktons inhabiting that region. 

These are only striking incidents of Indian warfare, followed by a long list of 
bloody afifairs, in which the Indians gained nothing. Other incidents have been 
mentioned in other chapters. The story of the massacre at Fort Phil Kearney 
and the Custer massacre will be told in subsequent chapters. Today the whole 
world realizes what War is. Now (October, 1916) 14,000,000 soldiers of 
Christian nations are at war. The "beasts" come out of the land, and from under 
the sea — and from the air — all engaged in the destruction of human beings, sparing 
not innocent children, weak women, decrepit old men, or the sick and wounded in 
hospitals. And for what? Anarchists, in their warfare on all forms of govern- 
ment, killed a son of royalty, and the war of August, 1914, began, coming like a 
storm from a clear sky. sweeping over and involving nations in no way responsible 
for its beginning, and making the hymn of H. \\'. Baker — No. 199 of the Episcopal 
Prayer Book — appropriate for every opening day : 

"O God of love, O King of Peace ! 
Make wars throughout the world to cease, 
The wrath of sinful man restrain. 
Give peace, O God ! give peace again." 












At the doorway of his wigwam 
Sat the ancient arrow-maker, 
In the land of the Dakotas, 
Making arrowheads of jasper, 
Arrowheads of chalcedon5% 
At his side, in her beauty, 
Sat the lovely Minnehaha, 
Sat his daughter, Laughing Water. 

— Henry W. Longfellow. 


Beginning with the treaties of 1825 by the Indians on the upper Missouri 
River and the estabhshment of the organized fur trade on that stream and its 
tributaries, events rapidly followed, tending to confirm the Indian fears that 
their hunting grounds would soon be taken from them, and to stir them to fierce 
resistance. The Dakotas were contemplating encroachments on their weaker 
western neighbors, when they beheld a wave of white settlement coming from 
the West as well as from the South and East, crowding toward the very heart 
of the Sioux countrv\ 

In 1832 Fort Pierre had become the head of the fur trade on the upper 
Missouri, and steamboats had begun making regular trips to that point and 

In 1838 Jean Nicholas Nicollet, assisted by Second Lieut. John Charles 
Fremont of the United States Topographical Engineers, appointed for that 
purpose by President Martin ^^an Buren, came to Fort Pierre on the steamer 



Antelope for exploration. Leaving the Missouri River at the mouth of the 
James, or Dakota River, they extended their explorations to the Devils Lake 
region, returning East via St. Paul. 

It was while in ^^'ashington preparing his report that Lieutenant Fremont 
made the acquaintance of his future wife, Jessie Benton, daughter of Senator 
Thomas H. Henton of Missouri, which ripened into affection and resulted in an 
elopement, and an assignment of Fremont for exploration in Iowa, followed by 
pathhnding in the Rocky ^vlountains in 1842-44. Fremont came to be known as 
the Great Pathfinder, and, in 1856, was the first republican candidate for 
President of the United States, and later a distinguished major general in the 
Civil war. It will be noticed that the foundation of his fame and that of his 
love for the beautiful daughter of Senator Benton were laid in the land of the 
Dakotas — the land of the arrow-maker's daughter, Minnehaha. 

Overland immigration to Oregon commenced in 1841. In 1847 Ltah was 
occupied by the Mormons, and for the protection of immigrants and others 
passing over the country, and of the frontier settlements, military posts, as they 
had been projected, were established, followed by the creation of new territories 
and the admission of new states. In February, 1848, gold was discovered in a 
mill-race at Coloma, Cal., by James W. Marshall, a native of New Jersey, who 
had just finished building a sawmill, by Indian labor, for Col. John A. Sutter, 
a Swiss, w'ho resided at a fort near Sacramento. The gold was in the form 
of a long, irregular pumpkin seed and was tested at Monterey. The first few 
months Marshall employed about one hundred Indians from Monterey to wash 
out gold at Webber Creek, six miles from Coloma. There were then only three 
white men in that region, but the discovery of gold turned the tide of immigra- 
tion in that direction. 

Fort Kearney was built in 1848, and the trading post on the north fork of 
the Platte known as Fort Kearney was purchased in 1849 and converted into a 
military post, bearing the name of Fort Laramie. 


As early as 1843 a printing outfit was brought to Lancaster, Grant County, 
Wis., for the first weekly paper of that lead-mining region. It was subse- 
quently owned by James M. Goodhue, a talented and progressive editor, who, 
being ambitious for a larger field, closed his office and removed to St. Paul in 
the autumn of 1848. On the same steamer with him was a young man from the 
same village, named John B. Callis, who helped Goodhue unload his freight 
upon the river bank at the Village of St. Paul. 

Fifty-eight years later, September 6, igo6, Gen. John B. Callis, the noted 
colonel of the Seventh Wisconsin Infantry of the Iron Brigade, rested on his 
crutches in the splendid office of the St. Paul Pioneer-Press during the Grand 
Army encampment for that year, and narrated to reporters how he had brought 
.the first font of type and the first press into the town, with "Jim" Goodhue, 
famous in its development. 

It is not well known how many poor pioneer printers of the Northwest had 
inherited that little machine, to print "final proof" sheets in far-away frontier 
townsites. It met its fate at Sioux Falls and was buried and forgotten among 


the scrap-iron. Later still it became known to Senator Richard F. Pettigrew 
that at the back door of a humble house of his home city was the platen of the 
much-traveled old press, serving in the useful capacity of a door-step. The 
senator bought it and gave it an honorable place among historic relics of the 
Northwest territories in the State Historical Society. 


The first printing press in Dakota was purchased at Cincinnati, Ohio, in 1848, 
and was the gift of Oberlin College students to Rev. Alonzo Barnard, a 
Presbyterian missionary, about to be stationed at St. Joseph, now Walhalla, N. D. 
It was brought up the Mississippi in the summer of 1849, from Cass Lake in 
canoes down the Red Lake and Red River to Pembina, and from there trans- 
ferred to St. Joseph, in a Red River cart, and thence to Fort Garry, now 
Winnipeg, where it was used by Dr. Schultz in printing the Northwester, the 
first newspaper published on the Red River. 


July 2, 1859, Samuel J. Albright established the Dakota Democrat at Sioux 
Falls City, the first newspaper published within the limits of Dakota Territory. 
Mr. Albright had been connected with the Free Press at St. Paul. At the date 
of the issue of the Sioux Falls Democrat there were less than two score of people 
at Sioux Falls City. The publication was suspended in March, i860, during the 
absence of Mr. Albright, until December, i860, when it was revived as the 
Western Independent, and was published occasionally thereafter until March, 
1861, by J. W. Stewart. According to the record given above, Mr. Albright's 
was not the first printing press in Dakota. The Dakota Republican, the first 
permanent newspaper in Dakota, was established by J. Elwood Clark and James 
Bedell September 6, 1861. 


Minnesota Territory was organized in 1849. The plains west of the Missouri 
River were occupied by Indian Tribes claiming them under undefined hereditary 
rights, or by the power of might. The Laramie treaty of 185 1 defined the 
boundaries of their several claims. The Mendota treaties of 185 1 ceded Indian 
lands lying on and extending to the western boundary of Minnesota Territory. 
These treaties were made without the consent of the masses of the tribes and 
were not accepted by them. There were bad hearts and hot blood among the 

Fort Rilev in Kansas and Fort Ridgeley in Minnesota, the main reliance of 
the settlers of Dakota in 1862, as related in Chapter XIII, were built in 1852. 


In June, 1853, two young Indians fired their guns into the air, in the vicinity 
of a frontier military post, contrary to military regulations, lest alarm be created 


among passing immigrants or others having a right to be in the Indian country 
limit. Henry 13. Fkmming, then stationed at Fort Laramie, was sent to the Indian 
village with a detail of soldiers and demanded the surrender of the two young 
men. The Indians failing to comply with his demand, he ordered his men to tire 
on the Indians, killing three and wounding several others, and seized two young 
braves whom he carried away for punishment. Indian depredations followed as 
a natural result. 

August 19, 1854, Lieutenant John L. Grattan of the Sixth United States 
Infantry, who was placed in command of a detail of seventeen men, which he had 
increased by unauthorized volunteers to thirty-one, went to the Indian village 
of Singing Bear, and demanded the surrender of the Indians who had committed 
this alleged depredation. There were upwards of a thousand Indians in the camp 
awaiting the payment of their annuities and preparing for their autumn hunt. 
Singing Bear, who was friendly to the whites, asked for time, which was denied, 
and Lieutenant Grattan ordered his men to fire. Singing Bear fell mortally 
wounded, and though he pleaded with his men not to retaliate, in less than five 
minutes Lieutenant Grattan and his thirty-one men lay dead, sacrificed to the fury 
of the Indians led by Little Thunder, father of Spotted Tail, who succeeded Sing- 
ing Bear in command of the camp. Their vengeance fell like a bolt from heaven — 
not a man from the command of the indiscreet young officer escaped. 

The Indians then formed into small bands, and many immigrants and others 
suffered the loss of life or property as the result of Lieutenant Grattan's rash act. 


Nebraska Territory was organized in 1854. At \'ermilion, S. D., on the 
l)order of Nebraska, Robert Dickson, and subsequently the American Fur Com- 
pany, established trading posts, as related in Chapter XI, and Capt. Henry 
\''anderburg of the Leavenworth Punitive Expedition of 1823, settled there in 
1855. Alexander C. Young, who came to Fort Pierre in 1834, retired from the 
fur trade and settled on a ranch near Vermilion at the same time, and Henry 
Kennedy in 1859. In this year a Norwegian colony located here, among them 
Ole Olson, Henry Severson and Syvert H. Myron, and James McHenry erected 
a store building, the first permanent improvement in the village. George Brown, 
Parker N. Brown, Marcellus Lathrop, Miner Robinson, Ole Bottolfson and about 
a dozen other settlers came that year. Mrs. Lathrop and Mrs. George Brown 
were the first white women to settle in Clay County. Hon. Andrew J. Harlan 
and a number of others came in 1861. 

Notable events in the history of the territory were the first wedding ceremony, 
which took place at Vermilion in i860, when Jacob Deuel — for whom Deuel 
County, South Dakota, was named — and Miss Robinson were married; the first 
Methodist service, i860, conducted by the Rev. S. F. Tngham, who reached 
that village October 13, i860; the Presbyterian Church, built in 1861, claimed 
to have been the first church edifice erected in South Dakota, known as Father 
Martin's Church, Rev. Charles D. Martin, pastor, where was held the first 
religious meeting and where was installed the first church bell aside from the one 
by Father Belcourt at St. Joseph ; the first term of court in Dakota, Judge Lorenzo 
P. WilHston presiding, convened at Vermilion the first Monday in August, 1861. 


Harney's expedition 

Growing out of the Grattan massacre, the Harney expedition was authorized 
March 23, 1855, and sent to punish the Indians. Four companies of the Second 
United States Infantry, then stationed at Cariisle Barracks, Pennsylvania, and 
two stationed at Fort Riley, Kan., were ordered to proceed to Fort Pierre and 
establish a military post at that point. The expedition was to consist of about 
a thousand officers and men, some being then stationed at Forts Laramie and 
Kearney, Neb., and others to be assembled at points designated. 

For the transportation of troops, equipment and supplies the Government 
purchased the steamers William Baird and Grey Cloud and chartered others. 
Supply depots were established at Forts Laramie, Kearney and Pierre. 


The purchase and occupation of Fort Pierre as a military post in 1855 was 
really the beginning of the occupation of the Dakotas for other than trading 
])urposes, excepting an occasional settler identified with the Indians in some 

For the supply depot at Fort Pierre, Quartermaster General Thomas S. Jessup 
negotiated for the purchase of the trading post at that point, through Honore 
Picotte, representing Pierre Choteau, Jr., & Company, on behalf of the American 
Fur Company, the delivery being made by Maj. Charles E, Galpin on behalf of 
said company. The purchase price was ^45,000. The contract called for delivery 
June I, 1855, and with such delivery Fort Pierre ceased to be a trading post and 
became a military establishment. 

The buildings at Fort Pierre numbered twenty, within a stockade inclosing 
about two acres. They included a store building, a 100 by 24-foot warehouse, 
quarters for the employes, sawmill, shops for the blacksmith, carpenter and 
saddler, stables and powder-house, the latter of concrete and the others of logs. 

July 7, 1855, the Arabia arrived with Company G, Second United States 
Infantry, numbering 100 officers and men. The Grey Cloud followed with 
Company A. eighty-two men, and the William Baird with Company I, fifty-four 
men, under command of Capt. IFenry W. Wessels. Maj. R. Montgomery, the 
regimental commander, and the first commander of the post, arrived the next 
week with Paymaster Maj. .Augustus W. Gaines, Capt. Parmea T. Turnley, 
Assistant Quartermaster Capt. Marcus D. Simpson, Assistant Commissary of 
Subsistence Capt. Thomas C. Madison, assistant surgeon, and Lieutenant Gouv- 
erneur K. Warren of the Topographical Engineers. August 2d, Capt. Nathaniel 
Lyon arrived on the Clara with thirty-seven men of Company C and thirty-five 
of Company B. Capt. William M. Gardner arrived on the Genoa August loth 
with eighty-two officers and men. Captain Lyon, six years later a distinguished 
brigadier-general in the Civil war, was killed at Wilson Creek August 10, i86r, 
and Lieutenant Warren became a major general of distinction in the same war. 

Captains Charles S. Lovell and Alfred Sully, with Companies A and F, 
marched o\erland from Fort Ridgeley, Minn. Captain Sully, in 1861, was colonel 
of the First Minnesota, and afterwards brigadier general in command of the 
-Sully expedition of 1863-64, which fought several battles on Dakota soil. Fort 
Sully was named for him. 

Vol. 1—14 



Being ready for the campaign, the expedition marched into the Sioux country. 
September 3, 1855, Little Thunder, an unusually stalwart and intelligent Indian, 
and his band, were at the mouth of a broad canyon on the north fork of the 
Platte River, engaged in their annual autumn hunt — preparing their winter supply 
of food. Their women and children were with them; grazing for their horses was 
good, and there was plenty of fuel for the care of the meat ; buffalo, deer and 
elk were abundant. It was an ideal hunting ground, and it was evident they 
feared no attack and anticipated none. But Brig.-Gen. William S. Harney, 
according to the purpose for which he was sent into that countrj^ attacked them 
with Companies E and K, Second Dragoons; G, Fourth Artillery; A, E, H, I and 
K, Sixth Infantry and E, Tenth Infantry, without warning. Harney's loss was 
five. The Indian loss was eighty-six killed and seventy wounded, among them 
many women and children. But this was the only battle of the campaign. The 
Indians sued for peace and a treaty of peace followed. 


General Harney's command returned to the several supply points, and General 
Harney to the work of establishing a permanent military post on the Missouri 

Fort Pierre was not a suitable place in his opinion, owing to lack of timber 
and meadow for a permanent military post. Lieutenant Warren surveyed 270 
square miles on the proposed military reservation, finding but acres of 
meadow and timber land. Accordingly another point was selected and the force 
at Fort Pierre was distributed in the main to other points for the winter. 

Captains Lovell and Sully with their companies remained at Fort Pierre. 
Captain Wessels established a winter camp five miles above Fort Pierre, on the 
east side of the river. Captain Gardner, Camp Miller, eighteen miles above on 
the east side ; Captain Cady, Camp Bacon, ten miles above Fort Pierre ; Captain 
Howe, Camp Canfield, between the White and Niobrara rivers. 

Fort Lookout, opposite Chamberlain, had become an important trading post, 
and was ambitious to become the permanent military post. The headquarters 
was at this point under Capt. Nathaniel Lyon. 

After the battle with Harney's command Spotted Tail and two yoimg braves 
from his father's camp came to the fort, in full regalia, and offered their lives 
to save their tribe from further punishment. 

Fort Pierre was abandoned in May, 1857. as a military post, though its occu- 
pation was continued by Captains Sully and Lovell until 1858, when they 
returned overland to Fort Ridgeley. Captains Albemarle Cady and Marshall S. 
Howe were among the officers of that period at Fort Pierre. 

After the sale of Fort Pierre for a military post, a trading post was established 
four miles above Fort Pierre by Joseph La Frambois, known as Fort La Frambois. 
It was here that the Indian chief Bear Rib, as narrated in Chapter XII, was 
murdered May 27, 1862, by men of his tribe, for receiving annuities intended for 
Indians who had refused to receive them, fearing that it involved the sale of 
their land, which many of the Indians were determined not to permit. 



That portion of South Dakota east of the Big Sioux, ceded by the Mendota 
treaty of 1851, left in unorganized territory by the admission of Minnesota in 
-May, 1858, was organized by the last Territorial Legislature of Minnesota as 
Big Sioux and Midway counties, Sioux Falls being the county seat of the former 
and Medary of the latter. Flandrau, or Flandreau, as it came to be officially 
known, was the county seat of Rock County, also created by the Minnesota 

William Wallace Kingsbury, the last territorial delegate in Congress from the 
Territory of Minnesota, continued to draw his pay as a delegate from Minnesota 
until the end of his term, March 3, 1859, and to be entitled to a seat in Congress 
as such. He resided at Endion, Minn. He came from Towanda, Pa., and died 
at Tarpon, Fla., April 17, 1892. 


In Jean X. Xicollet's report of his explorations, published under the title of 
"Nicollet's Travels in the Northwest in 1839," he gave a graphic description of 
Sioux Falls which attracted. the attention to that region of Dr. J. M. Staples of 
Dubuque, Iowa, who organized a company consisting of himself. Mavor Hether- 
ington of that city, Dennis Mahoney (afterwards editor of the Dubuque Herald), 
Austin Adams, George P. Waldron, William Tripp. Wilmot W. Brookings and 
Dr. J. L. Philips known as the Western Townsite Company of Dubuque, Iowa. 

In October, 1856, Ezra Millard, then of Sioux City, Iowa, later of Omaha. 
Xeb., and David !M. Mills, representing this company, went to Sioux Falls for 
the purpose of locating a townsite at that point, but their first sight of the falls 
was interrupted by a party of Sioux Indians, who angrily turned them away and 
ordered them to stay not beyond the rising of the morning sun. The Indians 
appeared to be in possession and in earnest, and so they went ; but Mr. Mills 
returned a few weeks later, built a house, staked a claim, and held his ground 
until the next spring, when he was joined by Jesse T. Jarrett, Barclay Jarrett, 
John McClellan, James Farrell and Halvor Olsen. Jesse Jarrett was in charge of 
the party and located for the Western Townsite Company 320 acres, described 
as the NW '4 Sec. 9 and NE '4 Sec. 16, T. lOi, N., R. 40 W., 5th P.M., naming 
their location Sioux Falls. 

In June. 1857. the Dakota Land Company was organized at St. Paul for the 
purpose of colonizing that portion of the lands ceded in 1851 at Mendota. not 
included in the pending bill for the admission of Minnesota, which would be left 
as unorganized territory if the bill passed. 

Judge Charles E. Flandrau of St. Paul. Jefferson P. Kidder, Alpheus G. Fuller. 
Joseph E. Gay, Samuel J. Albright. Baron Freidenreich, James M. Allen, Franklin 
J. Dewitt. Byron M. .Smith. Colonel William H. Noble and others were associated 
in this enterprise. Colonel Noble had laid out and worked a road across the 
unsurveyed country. The purpose of the company was to acquire desirable lands 
for settlement and townsite purposes and to lay the foundation for a new 

The following members of the company, or its employes, left St. Paul early 


in June, 1857, going by steamboat on the ^klinnesota River to the most available 
point, and thence o\erland to the Big Sioux, viz. ; Franklin ]. Dewitt, Alpheus 
G. Fuller, Samuel A. Medary. Jr.. J. K. Brown, Col. William H. Noble, B. F. 
Brown, James L. FisUe, Artemas Gale, James M. Allen, William Settley, Byron 
M. Smith, A. J. Kilgore and Arnold Merrill. On leaving the Minnesota River 
they divided into three parties. 

Alpheus G. Fuller, Byron M. Smith, Col. William H. Noble, .\rtemas Gale, 
James M. Allen, A. J. Kilgore and James L. Fiske reached Sioux Falls about 
June 20th and found the Dubuque party mentioned abo\e had preceded them. 
They were warmly welcomed, however. 


The St. Paul party organizeil, located 320 acres by land scrip, voted that the 
new territory they came to found should be called Dakota, and that Sioux Falls 
City should be its capital. 

The party headed by Dewitt located at Flandrau, in the unorganized county of 
Rock, and the one headed by Medary located at Medary in Midway County. 
Sioux Falls was to be the initial point for their operations. 

The Sioux Falls contingent left James McBride and James L. Fiske to repre- 
sent them, and the Dubuque party Jesse Jarrett, Barclay Jarrett, John McClellan, 
James Farwell and Halvor Olsen in charge of their interests. 

In July. 1857, the Indians became very threatening and some of the party 
left on that account. 

August 23, 1857, Jesse T. Jarrett, John McClellan. Dr. J. L. Phillips, Wilmot 
\\'. Brookings, David M. Mills, A. J. Kilgore, S. B. Atwood, Smith Kinsey, James 
Callahan and Mr. Godfrey returned, armed and provisioned to hold the ground 
selected. They brought a saw mill and other equipment. Mr. Brookings was 
appointed superintendent. Later James M. Allen, William Little, James W. 
Evans, James I.. Fiske and James McBride arrived and erected several buildings, 
including a store and three dwelling-houses. 

That fall James M. Allen, William Little, James W. Evans, James L. Fiske, 
James McBride. James McCall and C. Merrill of the St. Paul colony arrived. 

In 1858 John Goodwin and wife, Charles S. White and daughter Ella, and 
Amos Duley and wife came. The latter later returned to Lake Shetek, Minn., 
where Mr. Duley was killed, and his wife and daughter made captive in the 
Sioux uprising of 1862. They were ransomed by Maj. Charles E. Galpin, acting 
for Dakota settlers. William Stevens, Samuel Masters, Henry Masters, J. B. 
Greenway, George P. Waldron and Margaret Callahan, who later wedded J. B. 
Barnes, Joseph B. Amidon and family, John Lawrence, Berne C. Fowler, 
J. B. Barnes, John Rouse, James W. Lynch, Jefferson P. Kidder, Samuel F. 
Brown and N. F. Brown were settlers that year, and Alpheus G. Fuller returned 
from Washington, having been unsuccessful in securing recognition by Congress 
as a delegate for the proposed new territory, to which position he had been 
appointed by the county commissioners of Big Sioux County. 

The Alinnesota Legislature had created the counties of Pembina, Rock, Big 
Sioux and Midway, and when admitted as a State, portions of Pembina and 
Rock, and all of the Big Sioux and Midway were left in unorganized territory. 


Delegate to Congress from 1S75 to 1879. 
Judge of the United States District Court, 
first Dakota district from 1865 to 1875 and 
from 1879 to 1883. Died in office. 




This county was organized by Governor Alexander Ramsey of Minnesota, by 
the appointment of \\'illiam Little, James McBride and A. L. Kilgore county 
commissioners, James AI. Allen register of deeds, James X. Evans sheriff, James 
L. Fiske judge of probate, Wilmot W. Brookings district attorney, Dr. J. L. 
Phillips and James AlcCall justices of the peace. The Dakota Legislature of 
1862 changed the name of the county to Minnehaha, and confirmed the acts of 
the officers after the admission of Minnesota. 


Townsites were also located by the Dakota Land Company at Flandrau, Rock 
County (now Flandrau, Moody County), at Medary, Midway County, fifteen 
miles north of Flandrau on the Big Sioux, where the Government trail crossed 
that stream ; at Renshaw, twenty miles north of Medary, and at Eminja, in 
\'ermilion County, and Commerce City at the great bend of the Big Sioux, half 
way between Sioux Falls and the Missouri River. 

There were about a dozen settlers at Medary, but in 1858 they were driven 
out by the Indians. Flandrau was also abandoned, and an attempt was made to 
drive out the settlers at Sioux Falls, which did not succeed until the uprising 
of the Indians in 1862, when Joseph B. Amidon and his son William were killed 
by the Indians and Sioux Falls became depopulated for nearly six years. After 
the settlers left, the Indians burned the village. Wilmot W. Brookings, George 
P. Waldron and family, Berne C. Fowler and wife, James W. Evans, Barclay 
Jarrett, Charles S. White and family, William Stevens, Mrs. Amidon and family 
and John McClellan went to "S'ankton ; Amos Shaw went to Vermilion ; Dr. J. L. 
Phillips and Henry Masters and wife returned to Dubuque, Iowa. There was 
another person there named Foster, who was with the Yankton party, which was 
aided by Lieut. James A. Bacon of Company A, Dakota Cavalry, to make good 
their escape. This company, consisting of forty-one men, was encamped at Sioux 
Falls when the Indians attacked. 

THE TRE.\TY OF 1 858 

.\pril 19, 1858, a treaty was negotiated at Washington by Charles E. Mix, 
commissioner on behalf of the United States, and sixteen Yankton Sioux chiefs — 
three of them represented by Charles F. Picotte. their agent — ceding the lands 
to the United States in Southeastern Dakota described as follows : 

Beginning at the mouth of the Tehan-kas-an-data, or Calumet or Big Sioux 
River; thence up the Missouri River to the mouth of Pa-hoh-wa-kan or East 
Medicine Knoll River ; thence up said river to its head ; thence in a direction to 
the head of the main fork of the Won-dusk-kah-for or Snake River; thence down 
said river to its junction with the Tehan-san-gan or Jacques or James River; 
thence in a direct line to the northern point of Lake Kampeska ; thence along the 
northern shore of said lake and its outlet to the junction of said outlet with 
the said Big Sioux River; thence down the Big Sioux River to its junction with 
the Alissouri River. 


This cession included all islands in the Alissouri River from Sioux City to 
near Fort Pierre. 


Capt. John B. S. Todd, a cousin of Mrs. Mary Todd Lincoln, wife of Abraham 
Lincoln, was on duty at Fort Pierre as captain of Company A, Sixth United States 
Infantry, resigning September i6, 1856, to become sutler (military post trader) 
at Fort Randall, and to become a member of the firm of Frost, Todd & Co., who 
had trading posts at Sioux City, Elk Point and midway between Elk Point and 
Vermilion ; one at the latter place, one on the James River and one at Yankton. 

It was the active influence of this company that brought about the treaty of 

1858, one of the firm being in Washington while the negotiations were pending 
and while the treaty was before the Senate, by which it was ratified March 9, 

1859, being proclaimed March 31. 1859. As licensed traders they had the right 
to occupy Indian territory, and through their employes were able to select and 
occupy the lands desired for townsite purposes, while the Government, under its 
treaties, was in duty bound to prevent others from doing so. 

The election of Abraham Lincoln as President, in i860, naturally increased 
the prestige of Captain Todd, who was appointed by Mr. Lincoln a brigadier- 
general of volunteers September 19, 1861, his appointment expiring by limitation 
July 17, 1862. General Todd was elected delegate to Congress when the territory 
of Dakota was organized, and remained a factor in its politics, business and 
development until his death. January 5, 1872. 


In the spring of 1856 General Harney selected the site for the military post 
at Fort Randall, which was named for Lieut. Col. and Paymaster Daniel 
Randall, then recently deceased, and on its completion became an important 
link in the chain of military posts designed for the protection of the advancing 

The first troops to arrive at Fort Randall to begin its construction were 
eighty-four recruits under command of Lieut. David S. Stanley. He and 
Lieut, and Quartermaster George H. Page built the fort, the buildings from 
Forts Pierre and Lookout having been removed to Fort Randall by Maj. Charles 
E. Galpin, on the steamboat D. H. Morton. Lieut.-Col. Francis Lee commanded 
the first garrison in the spring of 1857. Lieut.-Col. John Munroc of the Fourth 
United States Artillery, was in command of Fort Randall in i86t, then garrisoned 
by four companies. Three companies were sent east, leaving one, in command 
of Capt. John D. Brown, who left without leave at the breaking out of the Civir 
war and became a colonel in the Confederate army. He was succeeded at Fort 
Randall by Lieut. Thomas R. Tannett, who resigned to become a captain in a 
Massachusetts regiment on the side of the Union. In December, 1861, Capt. 
Bradley Mahana of the Fourteenth Iowa was assigned to duty at Fort Randall. 


Fort Abercrombie was authorized by act of Congress, approved March 3, 
1857, to be established at the most eligible site near the head of the Red River 

First delegate to Congress from Dakota 


of the North, in the vicinity of Graham's Point in Minnesota. It was buiU on 
the west side of Red River, by a force under the supervision of Lieut. -Col. John 
J. Abercrombie of the Second United States Infantry, which arrived August 
28, 1858, and spent the winter there. The fort was abandoned in 1859, but 
reoccupied and rebuih in i860 by Maj. Hannibal Day of the Second United 
States Infantry. 

Captain Markham of Company B, Second Minnesota Volunteers, relieved the 
regulars some time in July, 1861, and was succeeded by Capt. Peter Mantor with 
a detachment of Company C of the Second Regiment Minnesota Volunteers, who 
were found there by Company D, Fourth Minnesota Volunteers, under Capt. 
T. E. Inman, mustered into the service October 10, 1861, and immediately 
dispatched to Fort Abercrombie, arriving October 22, 1861. Captain Inman 
remained in command of the fort until the last of March, 1862, when he was 
relieved by Capt. John Vanderhorck, commanding Company D, Fifth Minnesota 

Fort Abercrombie was the nucleus for the first settlement of that region in 
1858-59 and one of the principal points of Indian attack during the uprising of 
1862, as described in Chapter XIII. 


In May, 1858, a party en route to Pike's Peak, from Dodge County, Minne- 
sota, settled at Bon Homme, D. T., concluding to look for gold in the grass 
roots of Dakota rather than in the rocks of distant Pike's Peak. The names 
of the party were John H. Shober, John Remune, Edward and Daniel Gifford, 
Fred Carman, John Mantle, John Tallman, Thomas J. Tate, W. W. Warford, 
George Falkenberg, Lewis E. Jones, Aaron Hammond, wife and child; Reuben 
Wallace and H. D. Stager. Another party from Dodge County, Minnesota, 
arrived November 12, 1859, consisting of C. G. Irish and family,, John Butter- 
field, Jonathan Brown and family, Francis Rounds, Cornelia Rounds and George 
T. Rounds. C. E. Rowley and Laban H. Litchfield arrived December 26, 1859. 
Most of these became permanent settlers. William M. Armour settled in this 
county in 1858, but went on to Pike's Peak in 1859. 

The settlers were, however, ejected by the military authorities in the fall of 
1858, and moved across the river. Their cabins were torn down, and the logs 
thrown into the river or burned. This course was taken with all settlers on land 
covered by the Yankton treaty of 1858, and the settlers were not suffered to 
return until the following spring, when the treaty was ratified and proclaimed. 
John H. Shober was a lawyer, and became prominent in the affairs of the 
territory. George I. Tackett was a settler in 1839. 


Aside from the Pembina Mission, Bon Homme had the first school, and built 
the first schoolhouse in Dakota. The building erected by Shober and other 
settlers was 14 by 15 feet, built of logs, with no floor, and one six-pane, 8 by 10 
window. A monument at Bon Homme commemorates the erection of this school- 
house. Miss Emma Bradford, whose father, Daniel Bradford, and brother Henry 


came in i860, taught this school that summer. The pupils were John, Ira and 
Melissa Brown, Anna Bradford, Anna, Mary and George McDaniels, George 
and Delia Rounds. 


Eli B. Wixson came to Dakota in 1859, and July 22 settled at a place he 
named Elk Point, and built a large log hotel. The name was given by the 
Indians on account of a runway for elk between two points of timber. 

In 1857 William P. Lyman, Samuel Mortimer, Arthur C. Van Meter and 
Samuel Gerou settled on the James River, near Yankton. 


There were also settlements opposite Forts Pierre, Randall and Abercrombie 
and at Brule Creek,, but each was independent of the other with no concerted 

Joseph La Plant settled at Big Sioux Point in 1849. John Brughier came 
to Fort Pierre in 1836. He located near the mouth of the Big Sioux River in 
May, 1849. John C. McBride, Christopher Maloney, Antoine Fleury, Adolph 
Mason, Robear Primeau, Archie Christy, Gustav Christy and James Somers 
were of this settlement prior to the organization of Dakota Territory. Paul 
Paquette settled on the Big Sioux in 1854, and operated a ferry. Austin Cole 
selected lands near the ferry in 1857, and became a settler in 1859. 

Milton M. Rich, Mahlon Gore. E. B. Lamoure and Judson Lamoure settled 
at Brule in i860. Other settlers that year were M. B. Kent, Myron Cuykendall, 
A. B. Stoddard, Amos Dexter, Orin Fletcher, John Reams and Thomas C. 

George Stickney and family came to Elk Point in i860, Mrs. Stickney being 
the first white woman to take up her abode there. John R. Wood and family, 
however, came about the same time ; also William .\dams, Myron Sheldon, 
Hastings Scanimond, David Benjamin, N. J. Wallace. J. A. Wallace and Michael 
Ryan. Among other settlers at that time in the vicinity of Elk Point were Elmer 
Seward, Lester Seward, Thaddeus Andrews, Carl Kingsley, Patrick Comfort, 
Nicholas Comfort, Thomas Olson, John Thompson, J. O. Taylor, Chris Thomp- 
_son, J. E. Hoisington. William H. H. Fate, James Fate, Thomas Fate, Ole 
Bottolfson, Hiram Stratton, E. C. Collins, William Flannery, K. P. Ronne, 
Runyan Compton, M. D. Weston, Alvin Cameron, R. H. Langdon, David Pennell, 
Sherman Clyde, John Donovan, David Walters, David Green, Howard Mosier. 
Solomon B. Stough, Daniel Ballinger. Silas Rider, Hegeick Townsend, Anthony 
Summey, Josiah Bowman, Charles Patton, Preston Hotchkiss, James Phillips, 
Benjamin Briggs, F. W. Smyth, Jacob Kiplinger, Patrick Carey, Daniel Con- 
tiolley, Michael Currey. Wesley McNeil, George Geisler, J. W. Vandevere, 
Timothy Brigan, L. K. Fairchild, Henry Rowe, C. W. Briggs, C. M. Northrup, 
Hiram Gardner, William Baldwin, Frederic Strobel, D. M. Mills. W. W. Adams, 
Joseph Dugraw, M. LI. Hoyt, J. P. Benner, Michael Ryan, Charles LeBreeche, 
Joseph Y'erter, Desire Chaussee and Antonia Rennilards. 




There were a few settlers in Charles Mix County in 1858, engaged in con- 
tracting in connection with Fort Randall. In 1861 the population was about fifty, 
among them F. D. Pease, E. M. Wall, Felicia F'allas, Colin Lament, John Mallert, 
E. Fletcher, G. A. Fisher, Joseph Ellis, Joseph \\ Hamilton, Colin Campbell, 
William Bartlett, Abel Forcess, John Archambault, Paul Harol, Napoleon Jack 
and Cardinelle Grant. Grant, reputed to be the first white settler in Dakota, was 
born in Canada in 1765. Hamilton was a son of Major Thomas Hamilton of the 
United States Army, and had been a sutler at Fort Snelling and Fort Leaven- 
worth, built in 1827, and was known as Major Hamilton. He was credited with 
saving the life of General Kearney and 100 soldiers, who had appeared unarmed 
at a council with the Indians. Discovering a purpose to massacre the whites. 
Major Hamilton seized a fiaming fire-brand, mounted a keg of powder, and told 
the Indians that unless they immediately threw down their arms he would fire 
the powder and destroy all, both whites and Indians. The Indians threw down 
their arms and the council proceeded without further danger. 


This agency was the first settlement west of the Missouri River. Among the 
settlers at the Agency and in the vicinity, 1858 to 1861, were J. Shaw Gregory, 
James Tufts, Robert M. Hagaman, Peter Keegan, Jonathan Lewis, Harry Hargis, 
Joel A. Potter, George Detwiler, Robert Barnum and Charles McCarthy, who 
as sheriff of Burleigh County was drowned by breaking through the ice on the 
Upper Missouri, in 1875. Gregory was a son of Rear Admiral Francis H. 
Gregory, and a man of ability. Gregory County was named for him, and Potter 
County for Joel A. Potter. The Bijou Hills were named for Antoine Bijou, an 
early trader in Charles Mix County, according to some authorities, but old 
settlers in the vicinity declare the hills were named "Bijou" because of a great 
number of crystals of gypsum sparkling in the sun, and visible at a great distance 
on the steep rain-washed surface of the blue clay, which forms the bulk of 
these elevations. Bijou, meaning jewel in French, would naturally suggest itself 
for a name to the French voyagcurs on the river, who could easily gather the 
crystals from the blue clay along the bluffs when boating. 


The settlers at Sioux Falls having proclaimed the unorganized territory, left 
out when Minnesota was admitted, a new territory to be known as Dakota, a 
mass meeting was held at Sioux Falls, September 28, 1858, and it was ordered 
that a meeting should be held on the fourth day of October for the election of 
two members of the Council and five members of the House of Representatives. 

An election was held and the alleged legislature met and elected Samuel 
Masters governor, and passed a memorial to Congress for recognition as a 

A year later another election was ordered, to elect a delegate to Congress and 
the various county officefs and members of the Legislature. 


At this election an alleged \ote of 1,689 was cast for Jefferson P. Kidder, 
and 147 for Alpheus G. Fuller, for delegate to Congress. Congress refused to 
recognize the organization, and it was questioned whether there were that many- 
people in the territory. The Federal census of i860 gave the number as 2,128, of 
whom 1,600 were in the Pembina district, largely mixed-blood Indians, while 
an enrollment under the direction of the Governor of Dakota, in 1861, showed 
a population of 2,376, of vyhom 603 were in the Red River district. The persons 
taking this census were Henry D. Betts, Wilmot W. Brookings, Andrew J. Harlan, 
Obed Foote, George M. Pinney and J. D. Aloore. 

The settlements were known as the Red River district, embracing Pembina, 
St. Joseph and other adjacent settlements, population 603 ; Vermilion and Big 
Sioux districts, with settlements at Brule Creek, 47; Point on the Big Sioux, 
104; Elk Point, 61; Vermilion, 265; Bottom and Clay Creek, 216; Sioux Falls 
district, 60; Yankton district, 287; Bon Homme district, 163; Western district, 
with settlements at Pease and Hamilton, 181 ; Fort Randall, 210; Yankton agency, 
76; and Ponca agency, 129. 

The census in the Pembina district was not accepted as correct, for the 
reason that the greater part of the settlers were out on their annual hunt at the 
time it was taken. 

The census of i860 showed 84 horses, 19 mules, 286 milch cows, 318 oxen, 
338 other cattle, 22 sheep and 287 swine within the limits of Dakota, and the 
following farm products, viz.: 915 bushels of wheat, 700 bushels of rye, 250 
bushels of oats, 280 bushels of peas and beans, 9,489 bushels of potatoes, 1,670 
pounds of butter, 1,112 tons of hay, 20 gallons of maple syrup. 

When Dakota Territory was organized, in 1861, gold was discovered in 
Montana, and that fact added to the push of immigration, and to the alarm of 
the Indians and the need of protection for settlers. Kansas was literally bleeding 
in the strife between the pro-slavery and free-state elements. 


Perhaps no name deserves more consideration in the early history of the 
Dakotas than that of Charles F. Picotte, son of Honore Picotte and the daughter 
of Two Lance, known to the early settlers of the Missouri slope as Mrs. Major 
Galpin, a full-blooded Sioux, her father a brave and influential chief. When eight 
years of age young Picotte was placed in charge of the Rev. Father Peter John 
DeSmet, the Belgian missionary, who sent him to a boarding school at St. Joseph, 
Mo., where he remained fourteen years, acquired a liberal education in French 
and English, and, returning to his tribe at twenty-two, was employed by his 
step-father in trade with the Indians. 


.An examination of the records of the Post Office Department shows the 
following facts relative to the establishment of early Dakota post offices : Pem- 
bina, 1855, Joseph Rolette, postmaster; Sioux Falls City, then in Nebraska Ter- 
ritory, James M. Allen, June 15, 1858; J. L. Phillips (Joseph B. Amidon, 
assistant), June 6, 1861 ; Sioux Falls, James Andrews, June 24, 1867; St. Joseph 


Half-breed Sioux. Pioneer of Dakota 


(now Walhalla), Charles Grant, January 20, 1855; ^ledary (Midway County), 
John W. McBean, January 6, 1857, succeeded by Gustave Kragenbuhl, August 
3, 1857; Greenwood, Alexander H. Redfield, September 29, 1859, succeeded by 
Walter A. Burleigh, June 28, 1861 ; Fort Pierre, Edward G. Atkinson, September 
7, 1855; Niobrara, Bonneville G. Shelley, March 10, 1857; Ponca Agency, J. Shaw 
Gregory, March 14, i86o, succeeded by John B. Hotifman, July 31, 1861 ; Ver- 
milion, Hugh Compton, March 25, 1855, succeeded by Samuel Mulholland, April 
17, i860; Yankton, Downer T. Bramble, April 17, i860; Elk Point, Eli B. Wixon^ 
July 9 i860; Fort Abercrombie, Jesse M. Stone, August 9, i860; Bon Homme, 
Aloses Herrick, October 2, 1861, succeeded by Richard M. Johnson, December 
17, 1862; Fort Randall, John B. S. Todd, January 18, 1857, succeeded by Jesse 
Wherry, September 29, 1861. J. Shaw Gregory became postmaster at Fort Rice, 
established January 8, 1866. 








"Westward the course of empire takes its way 
The four first acts already past. 
A fifth shall close the drama with the day: 
Time's noblest offspring is the last." 

— Right Rcv'd George Berkeley, Bishop of Cloync. 

Thi.s mystical verse from lines "On the Prospect of Planting Arts and Learn- 
ing in America," by Bishop Berkeley (1684-1753), contemporary with the great 
poets Pope and Swift and deservedly as popular, who, in the hope of Christianiz- 
ing the Indians, made a futile attempt at settling and establishing a college in 
Newport, R. I., in 1729. These lines are illustrated in the capitol at 
^^^ashington, the national seat of government, by a large painting that represents 
a party of immigrants among the mountains, making their journey under the 
greatest difficulties. The women and children and old men are in wagons drawn 
by oxen and horses, the men and boys on foot or riding horses and mules. There 
is courage, resolution and bravery shining in every countenance which compels 
admiration for the heroic party from all observers. Sixty years ago this painting 
was true to life ! It was then a realistic portrayal of the popular method of 
going West. 


The ceded land in Dakota left in unorganized territory by the admission of 
Minnesota to the Union, May 11, 1858, extended from the present boundan,' of 
Minnesota to the Missouri River, where it is touched by the Iowa line : up that 
stream to the mouth of the White Earth River and thence north to the inter- 
national boundary, and this tract became attached to Nebraska until the creation 
of Dakota in 1861. 




In February, 1858, the Upper Missouri Land Company was organized for 
the purpose of taking possession of townsites on the Missouri River, by Capt. 
John B. S. Todd and associates, inckiding D. M. Frost, Louis H. Kennedy, 
Edward Atkinson, A. W^ Hubbard, J. K. Cook. Dr. S. P. Yeomans, and Enos 
Stutsman, secretary. 

The treaty with the Yanktons of April ly, 1858, ratified March 9th and pro- 
claimed 2ilarch 31, 1859, as described in Chapter XI\', was made possible by the 
activit)' and influence of this company among the Indians as well as at Wash- 
ington. Members of the committee in charge of the treaty, were Charles F. 
Picotte — of whom special mention has been made — William P. Lyman, Zephyr 
Rencontre and Theophile Brughier. Picotte was granted a section of land by the 
treaty which was chosen at Yankton. Other locations were made by employes 
of Frost. Todd & Co.. in the interest of this townsite company, and the first 
surveys were made in accordance with their suggestions. A like grant was made 
to Rencontre, half a section to Paul Dorain and quarter sections to certain half 


.\ware of the purpose of the Missouri Land Company to gain possession of 
the townsite at Yankton, C. J. Holman, his father, W. P. Holman, Johnson 
Burritt, Gilbert Bowe. Harry Narvea, Stephen Saunders and others, came to 
Yankton in March, 1858, and built the Holman cabin, which was abandoned 
after two attacks by the Indians, upon the advice of the mihtary authority ; no 
treaty ceding the Indian lands having been negotiated at that time. 

This party was supported by Charles F. Booge, John H. Charles, Billis 
Roberts, Benjamin Stafford and others, of Sioux City, Iowa. The Holman 
cabin was the first improvement made at Yankton. Early in April, 1858, George 
D. Fiske and Samuel Mortimer came to Yankton, representing Frost, Todd & 
Company, who as licensed traders, claimed the right to remain on Indian lands. 
C. J. Holman returned in May and built another cabin, and though opposed by 
both Indians and the traders, was suffered to remain. The Fiske settlement is 
recognized as that of the first white person to establish a permanent home in 

The trading post was built in July. 1858. under the supervision of William 
P. Lyman, the Picotte grant was surveyed by George M. Ryall, of Sioux City, 
at that time. 

James ]\I. Stone, running the ferry at the James River crossing, selected land 
adjoining the Picotte tract, which lay next east of the Todd tract, the original 
townsite at Yankton. 

The settlers in Yankton County in June, 1858. were George B. Fiske, Samuel 
Mortimer, William P. Lyman. Samuel Gesou. A. B. Smith, Lytle M. Griffith and 
Frank Dupuis. 

The treaty ceding the Indian lands having been negotiated in April, 18^8, 
Hon. Joseph R. Hanson reached Green Island, Neb., opposite Yankton, in 
August, 1858, and began a period of watchful waiting for the opening of ceded 


land. His party consisted of Horace T. Bailey, John Patterson, Kerwin Wilson, 
Henry and Myron Balcom. The only buildings then at Yankton were the trader's 
store and the Holman cabin. 


Col. Enos Stutsman came to Yankton in 1858, from Sioux City, where he 
was engaged in the practice of law, and became identified with the townsite com- 
pany. He was elected to the first Territorial Legislature, which met at Yankton 
in 1862, and was chairman of the council judiciary committee. At the second 
session of the Territorial Legislature he was president of the Coimcil. and 
again president of the Council in 1864-65. In 1866 he was appointed 
agent for the United States Treasury Department and in July, 1866, visited 
Pembina in that connection. In 1867 he was elected to the House of Repre- 
sentatives in the Territorial Legislature from the Pembina district, and became 
speaker of the House. He was re-elected to the House of Representatives in the 
Legislature of 1868-69, ^"^ elected to the Council for 1872-73. He built a hotel 
at Pembina, and took an active interest in the development of the red River 
Valley. Stutsman County, North Dakota, was named in his honor. He died at 
Pembina, Januan,' 24. 1874. 

It is a matter of record that in October, 1858, Enos Stutsman, secretary of 
the townsite company, came to Yankton with Frank Chapell and J. S. Presho. 
David Fisher, blacksmith, and Lytle M. Grififith, carpenter, came at the same 
time. Francis Dupuis had rafted from Fort Pierre the cedar logs for the traders' 
store and he was also there. 

In the fall and winter of 1858, while the ratification of the treaty with the 
Yanktons was pending, A. H. Rsdfield, special Indian agent, and Maj. Charles 
S. Lovell, United States army, visited all of the settlements on Indian lands in 
South Dakota, and destroyed all on unceded lands, acting under departmental 
instructions : the Indians succeeding in driving ofif some from ceded land, claim- 
ing they had not consented to the treaty of 1851, at Mendota, nor to the later 


Downer T. Bramble came to Yankton in the fall of 1859, from Ponca, Neb., 
and erected a store building, the first frame building at that place, 24 by 80 feet. 
In 1861, his building became the offices for the territorial government. The only 
other buildings at Yankton then were the Indian traders' store and the log house 
built by Charles F. Picotte, and the Ash Hotel; all built of logs. Mr. Bramble 
was a member of the Council in the first Territorial Legislature, and was identi- 
fied for many years with the business interests of Dakota, as the head of the firm 
of Bramble & Miner. 

Henry C. Ash came to Yankton in 1859 and built a large hotel ; Mrs. Ash being 
the first white woman to make her home at Yankton and her daughter Julia 
(Mrs. C. W. Bates), the first white child in the town. 

Pioneer of Yankton County, 1859. Member of first and mie- legislature. Territorial delegate to Congress, 1870. 
Served two terras, retiring March, 1875. 



Moses K. Armstrong reached Yankton October 12, 1859, and took an active 
part in assisting the settlers in the adjustment of their settlement claims to the 
public surveys. He was elected to the House of Representatives in the first 
Territorial Legislature, 1862, re-elected to the second Legislative Assembly, and 
was elected speaker on the resignation of Hon. Andrew J. Harlan. In the fifth 
session of the Territorial Legislature, he served as member of the Council, and 
was elected president of the Council in the sixth Legislative Assembly. From 
1871 to 1875, he was delegate to Congress from Dakota Territory, and at the 
request of Col. Clement A. Lounsberry of the Bismarck Tribune, introduced a 
bill for the division of Dakota, and for a division of the Pembina land district, 
creating the land offices at Fargo and Bisinarck. Similar bills were introduced 
in the Senate at Mr. Lounsberry's request. 


The surveys in the colonies were of tracts in irregular form, excepting in 
Georgia, where in 1733, eleven townships, of 20,000 acres each, were surveyed 
into lots of fifty acres. 

The new surveys gave townships of thirty-six sections, each one mile square, 
containing 640 acres, or quarter sections of 160 acres. 

The system of surveys of public lands in vogue throughout the United States, 
was adopted May 7, 1784, by Congress, upon a report by a committee of which 
Thomas Jefferson was chairman. The origin of the system is not known, beyond 
the facts reported by the committee. 

In the Government Building at the World's Fair of 1893, in Chicago, there 
was exhibited the original standard surveyor's chain, authorized by Act of Con- 
gress, May 18, 1797, for executing surveys of Government lands. The chain 
was made by David Rittenhouse, of Philadelphia, in 1797, and was still in the 
same hardwood box in which it was sent out by the manufacturer. 

The first surveys were made at Sioux City, Iowa, by J. M. Marsh, in August, 
1849; the section lines were run in August, 1853. by Charles Lewis. The 
boundary between Iowa and Dakota was located by these earlier surveys, and 
extended north from the Iowa line to Big Stone Lake in 1859, the survey being 
made by James Snow and Stephen Huston. 

The exterior lines of eighty townships in Dakota were run on the lands in 
the Big Sioux region ceded in 1851, left out of Minnesota by the admission of 
that state in 1858. The subdivisions of some of these sections were made by 
Thomas J. Stone, of Sioux City, in 1859. The surveying party which made the 
survey of 1859, came overland from Dubuque, Iowa. Thomas C. Powers, after- 
wards United States senator from Montana, and identified with the steamboat 
interests on the Missouir River, notably of the "Black P Line," was one of this 
party ; also William Miner, identified for many years with Bramble & Miner at 
Yankton, in general trade. 

The township lines were run at Sioux Falls by W. J. Neely in June, 1859, 
and some of the section lines by John K. Cook in September, 1859. Cortez 
Fessenden and Moses K. Armstrong, in 1864, ran additional township lines, and 
Carl C. P. Meyer the sections lines that year. 


The township lines were run at Flandreau, by \V. J. Neely, in September, 
1859; the section Hnes by Richard F. Pettigrew, in September, 1870. Pettigrew 
was delegate to Congress from Dakota Territory, 1881-83, and afterwards United 
States senator from South Dakota. 

John Ball surveyed the township lines at Yankton, in September, i860, and 
the section lines in October of that year. 

The township lines were run at \'ermilion, by John Pjall. in October, i860, 
and the section lines by him in Xovember of that year. 

At Elk Point the township lines were run by F)all in i860, and the section 
lines by Fessenden in 1861. 

At Springfield, the township lines were run by John Ball in October, i860, 
and the section lines by Cortez Fessenden in August. 1862. 

The township lines at Tyndall were run by Ball in October, i860, and the 
section lines b)- Fessenden, in August, 1862. 

At Canton, the township lines were run by Cortez Fessenden in 1862, and the 
section lines by Fessenden. Mellen and Nye. in 1863. 

At Parker, the township lines were run by Armstrong, in September, 1866, 
and the section lines by George 1'. Waldron. in October, 1867. 

At Pembina, the township lines were run by .Armstrong, in -September. 1867, 
and the section lines by him in October. 1868. 

The township lines at W'ahpeton were run by M. T. Woolley, in September, 
1870, and the section lines by Horace J. Austin, in 1870. 

The township lines were run at Grand Forks by George N. Propper. in Sep- 
tember, 1870. and the section lines by George Mills, in September. 1873. 

The township lines were run at Fargo by R. J. Reeves, in October. 1870. and 
the section lines by J. W. Blanding. in Xovember. 1871. 

At Bismarck, the township lines were run by Charles Scott, in October, 1872, 
and the section lines by George G. Beardsley. in November, 1872. After the 
completion of the railroad as far as Bismarck, the twenty-eight townships along 
the line from Windsor Station to Steele, had their exteriors run by Gen. William 
H. H. Beadle and Charles Scott, in 1873, and the stibdivisions were completed 
by these deputies, viz., General Beadle, five townships: Richard F. Pettigrew, 
fourteen ; Amherst W. Barber, five ; Mark Bailey, four. 


The Homestead Law became effective May 20. 1862, after a forty years' 
battle for its enactment. It became one of the cardinal principles of the republican 
party, brought into power by the election of Abraham Lincoln in i860: success 
in part being due to the secession of the southern states in 1861. 

The surveyed lands of Dakota Territory became open to homestead entry 
on the first day of January, 1863. Land officers had been appointed for the first 
land office in the territory, at Vermilion, and many intending or actual settlers 
were eagerly awaiting the day. On the last night of the old year a group of 
friends were having a social chat at the new office, expecting a rush of business 
on the opening day. One of these was the young printer, Mahlon Gore, from 
Battle Creek, Mich., who, in i860, became a pioneer of the settlement. Be- 
fore they realized the lateness of the hour, the register said, "Here, Gore, didn't 

First settler in North Dakota, 1851 



you say you meant to be the first man to make a homestead entry? The clock just 
struck twelve, it is New Year's Day and the Homestead Law is in force, so now 
is your time if you wish to head the list." Accordingly the entry was immediately 
made, for the S. E. >4, N. E. y^ section 9 and the S. W. >4 of N. W. 34 and 
lots 3 and 5, section 10, township 92 north, range 49 west, fifth principal meridian, 
as the homestead of Alahlon Gore, and became the first land entered in Dakota, 
under the public land laws. This is the story as related to Amherst W. Barber, 
one of the early surveyors of the territory. After forty years of successful 
journalism Air. Gore passed away in 1916, at Orlando, Fla. 

Following Mahlon Gore's entry were those of John Guardipe, John B. Le- 
Plant, Joseph Benoit, Peter Arpan, Clammor Arpan, on January i, 1863; Frank 
X'erzni, William Alathers, Benjamin Gray, January 2d; Johnson Farris and 
Martin \'. Farris, January 3d ; Charles La Breche, Benjamin Guardipe, Charles 
Chaussee, January 5th ; John Brouillard, January 9th ; George Stickney, January . 
13th. June 15, 1868, Joseph Rolette, of Pembina, made the first entry of public 
land in North Dakota, at the \'ermilion office, and the first legal transfer of land 
in North Dakota was made — that described in Part One — of a part of this tract 
to James J. Hill, the great railroad builder, on which he established a bonded 
warehouse for shipments on the Red River in the Fort Garry (now Winnipeg) 
and Indian trade. 

Those who had settled upon public lands prior to the surveys, were allowed 
ninety days preference in which to file their claims to homestead or pre-emption 
entries. The names of only those who made entry during the first few days are 
here given. 


The settlement at Pembina mentioned in detail in previous chapters, had a 
history covering fifty years before any settlement was attempted in South Dakota. 
The surveys, excepting one tier of towns east of the Red River in i860, were not 
commenced in that region until 1867, and the land did not become subject to 
entry until 1868. 

Norman W. Kittson, referred to in Part One, in the Red River country and 
Minnesota, became identified with the Indian trade at Pembina in 1843, '^"d in 
1853 was appointed postmaster at that point. In 1855 he was elected to the 
Council in the Minnesota Legislature. The customs ofiice was established at 
Pembina in 185 1, with Charles Cavaleer agent. Mr. Kittson was succeeded as 
postmaster and custom house officer by Joseph Beaupre, of St. Cloud, Minn., 
a contractor for wood and supplies. Beaupre was succeeded at Pembina by 
James McFetridge, who was a member of the Council of the second session of 
the Territorial Legislature, 1862-63. Joseph Rolette, frequently mentioned in 
Part One, in 1847 led a raid on the British traders across the international 
boundary and burned their buildings. He was elected to the Minnesota Legisla- 
ture in 1853 and 1855. William H. Moorhead settled at Pembina in 1856. Peter 
Hayden, found at Pembina in 1867, by Moses K. Armstrong, surveyor, claimed 
to have resided there since 1821. 




William H. Moorhead was born in Freeport, Armstrong County, Pa., Sep- 
tember 20, 1832; was educated in the public schools of Pittsburgh and Allegheny. 
He left Pittsburgh April i, 1852, arriving at St. Paul, Minn., May ist, where 
he worked at his trade of carpenter for two years. The summer of 1854 and 
the following winter he spent at Sauk Rapids, trading with the Winnebagoes, 
who were subsequently removed to Blue Earth County. Returning to St. Paul, 
he organized a company to lay out townsites in Northern Minnesota and the Red 
River Valley. These were the days of paper townsites, laid out on land secured 
at $1.25 per acre, and sold to the guileless at $2 per lot; — "just the cost of re- 
cording the instruments," in the language of the circulars, which were discussed 
.in the country stores throughout the eastern states, and resulted in hundreds of 
families moving west. There were mill-sites everywhere and waterpowers with- 
out number, but no improvement of a permanent character. The company con- 
sisted of Mort Kellogg, J. K. Hoffman, Joseph Charles, E. R. Hutchinson, 
William J- S. Traill, a Jvlr. Horn, and Moorhead. All were residents of St. Paul. 
Moorhead, Hoffman and Joseph Charles were the committee to lay out the sites. 
Procuring a surveyor they went by skiff up the Mississippi to Crow Wing River, 
and then proceeded up that stream to the mouth of Leaf River, and up that 
stream to Leaf Lake. From that point they made an overland trip to Otter Tail 
Lake, a distance of four miles, and from there to the outlet, and laid out Otter 
Tail City, which became famous in the early history of Minnesota, and was the 
site of the United States land office, afterwards moved to Duluth. From Otter 
Tail they went down that river forty miles, and laid out another town, which 
was called Merriam. They nailed a tin plate to a tree and marking the name of 
the "city" thereon, proceeded to St. Paul, and having purchased provisions, 
cooking utensils, tools, etc., they returned with two loaded teams, and erected 
five log houses at the outlet of Otter Tail Lake. At "Merriam" they erected 
temporary quarters, but it being impossible to get supplies, they cached their 
outfit and never returned for the buried articles. In it was a compass worth 
$80. At Leaf City, after leaving Merriam, they met Joseph A. Wheelock, after- 
wards a noted St. Paul editor, his brother, and others, who were as destitute of 
provisions as themselves. They made their way to St. Paul, where they offered 
their shares at $100 each. They valued their property at $150,000, but as a 
matter of fact they were penniless. Moorhead traded one share to his landlord 
in St. Paul for his winter's board, but in the spring the shares were without value 
and the paper town scheme was ended. 

In the spring of 1857, Mr. Moorhouse met Hon. Joseph Rolette at St. Paul,, 
together with James McFetridge, who were buying goods to take back to Pem- 
bina, and they engaged him to erect their new buildings at the mouth of Pembina 
River. They left St. Paul July 7th, and arrived at the mouth of the Pembina 
River the ist of August. Moorhead completed the buildings and remained 
with Rolette as a clerk, until February, 1858. when he made a trip to St. Paul 
with a dog train, not seeing a house after he left Pembina until he reached the 
Mississippi. He left St. Paul with a loaded train March i8th and arrived at 
Pembina March 30th, the dogs drawing 450 pounds of merchandise. The trip- 

In this building was held the first term of court in Ward Couiity. Thirty-two criminal eaf?es 

were tried in three days 


Established at Burlington. James Johnson, first Postmaster 


was a hard one, as he became snow-bHnd, and it was with great difficulty that 
he found the way back. 

June 8th he left Pembina on a buft'alo-hunting expedition, returning in August 
with htteen carts loaded with furs, hides and pemmican. That fall he went to 
the Lake of the Woods and Lake Rosa, to trade with the Chippewas, obtaining 
much fur, and thence to the Turtle Mountains, where he had good trade with 
Indians and half-bloods. The same was true at Devils Lake and where Minofc 
now stands, where he remained during most of the winter. In the spring of 
1859, lis went to St. Paul with twenty-five cart loads of robes and furs which 
he exchanged for goods, loading his carts in return for Pembina. He made 
several trips of that kind, with unvarying profit, until the spring of 1861, when 
he was compelled to remain in the garret of his house twenty-two days by the 
high water of that spring. The water was then five feet higher than it was during 
the season of high water in 1882, the ''spring rise'' remembered by many of the 
settlers of that time. 

After the water went down, Moorhead moved to Walhalla, where he engaged 
in trade with the Indians. He was scarcely nicely located before the Indian war 
broke out. resulting in the Minnesota massacre of 1862. The Indians were on 
good terms with Moorhead as he was at their treaty, on the plains of Nelson 
County, in Northern Dakota, when the tribes of Sioux, Creeks, Chippewas and 
Assiniboines, who for years had been at enmity, always hanging on each other's 
trail, murdering the women and children of the hostile tribes, met, and buried 
the hatchet, smoked the pipe of p^ace, and thereafter dwelt together in harmony, 
but, as they expected him to sell them ammunition, and not liking their attitude 
because he refused, he moved to Devil's Lake, where he remained during the 
summer and winter of 1862. There were then about one hundred families of 
half-bloods and Indians at the lake. 

In the spring of 1862 Moorhead returned to Pembina Mountains, and about 
the first of May the band of Little Crow, embracing Little Six, Medicine Bottle 
and others, about one thousand strong, pitched their tepees around his place. 
Among them, as a prisoner, was the son of William Myrick, about eight years of 
age, who was ransomed by Frank Gingras for one sack of pemmican. His 
father had been killed by the Indians and robbed of his possessions. The Indians 
left for the plains as usual in June, when Mr. Moorhead made his spring trip to 
St. Paul with his carts, requiring forty days for the trip, and then went to the 
plains on a bulYalo hunt. That fall he married Lizzie Rivier, and made his wed- 
ding tour to Mouse River, leaving November loth with five carts and one travois. 
They got lost in a snow storm, and it took seventeen days to make the trip. 
Moorhead built a house after his arrival at a point iVz miles from where 
Towner is now located. He remained there during the winter, trading with the 
Sioux, and found among the Indians a boy ten years old, who had been so long 
among them that he had forgotten his name and could not talk much English. 
All he could make known was that his parents lived on a hill in Minnesota. The 
lad was never able to learn who his parents were or what was their name. 

The buffalo were very scarce during the spring of 1863, and as a result many 
families suffered with hunger. Many of the inhabitants of the plains had to 
boil their raw hides and harness to keep from starving. Moorhead had 2=;o 
tongues of buffalo, nicely dried, which he had saved for Governor Ramsev of 


Minnesota, Jesse Ramsey, and other friends in St. Paul, but he gave them to the 
starvmg ones. 

April lOth the hunters started for the mountains, leaving Moorhead and 
family with about eight pounds of pemmican, to follow. They rejoiced when 
able to kill a badger on their way, but after traveling about six miles farther, 
they overtook their party. Every pot was boiling with a piece of fat buffalo. 
They had encountered a herd of buffalo and had killed 300. The stale pemmican 
was thrown away and the party remained three days, living on the fat of the 
land. For eighteen days they were not out of the sight of buffalo, while pursuing 
their way to the mountains. 


Hon. Judson LaMoure made the second pre-emption entry in North Dakota, 
December 19, 1870. At the same time William H. Moorhead, Charles Bottineau 
and fourteen others, made entry, and during the next eleven days, eleven more, 
making twenty-eight entries of public lands, and all about Pembina, prior to 
January i, 1871. 

Outside the Selkirk and Pembina settlements, Lewis Lewiston built a home 
where Moorhead is situated, in i860, and raised 100 acres of oats that year. 
Moorhead was then known as Burbank Station, on the stage line extended from 
St. Cloud, Minn., to Fort Abercrombie and thence to Georgetown, in 1859. 
Walter Hanna broke one acre in 1858. Richard Banning raised one acre of 
potatoes in i860. 

Clay County, Alinn., was then known as Breckenridge, and Wilkin as Toombs 
County, and settlements were progressing well in the Red River \'alley until 
interrupted by the Indian war of 1862. 


"Jolly" Joe Rolette was one of the early characters in Dakota whom the City of 
St. Paul, Minn., has embalmed in its history as one of its saviors. 

Rolette was a trader without method and with little idea of the value of money, 
and, if the whole truth were to be told, it would appear that the opposition traders 
sent him to the Legislature in order to take him away from his business, and leave 
the trade open to them without his competition, which was entirely too sharp. His 
career in the Legislature and the fact that the bill removing the capital from 
St. Paul to St. Peter was disposed of by him, while a member of the Legislature, 
excites the inquiry as to how it happened. 

One who was present in those old times, says drinking and carousing was not 
an uncommon thing at the capital ; indeed, a jug of intoxicating liquor was placed 
in the hall of the House of Representatives, and a decanter set on the speaker's 
desk for the use of the members. Interested parties left Rolette — who as a mem- 
ber of the committee had the bill removing the capital to -St. Peter in charge — in 
a room in the Merchants Hotel, and provided sufficient entertainment to keep him 
jolly and forgetful, until the Legislature adjourned. 

The bill was introduced in and passed the Council and had also passed the 
House of Representatives and was in the hands of Rolette, chairman of the Com- 

Who entered the first public land in North Dakota. June 15, 1868 


mittee on Enrolled Bills. A resolution was ofifered, directing Rolette to report the 
bill. A call of the House was moved. Rolette sat in his room at the Merchants 
Hotel, and the members under a call of the House 123 hours without a recess. 
They then adjourned, but on assembling Friday, the president, Hon. John B. 
Brisbin, ruled that the call was still pending, and again on Saturday, with the same 
result. Finally, late the last night of the session the call was dispensed with, and 
the committee reported Rolette still absent, and their inability to report a correct 
copy of the bill in his possession, and they were compelled to adjourn without 
the bill having been signed by the proper officers. 

At that time Pembina was in a legislative district, embracing all of North 
Dakota east of the Missouri River, and much of Northern Minnesota. When the 
first Legislature met in Minnesota, it was in the Minneapolis legislative district, 
and when the first session of the Dakota Legislature, in 1862, met, it was in the 
Sioux Falls legislative district 


Li July. 1858, Edward Griffin, Robert Davis and Walter Hanna, of Redwing, 
Minn., arrived at a point on the Red River seven miles south of what is now Fargo, 
near Fort Abercrombie, and located the Townsite of East Burlington. Fort Aber- 
crombie was built in August of that year, and two companies of soldiers were sta- 
tioned there. Griffin and party spent the winter at a townsite called Lafayette, 
near the mouth of the Sheyenne River, about eleven miles north of Fargo, where 
Charles W. Nash, Henry Brock, Edward Murphy, and Harry Myers were holding 
the townsite for St. Paul parties. Pierre Bottineau had Frank Durant and David 
Auger holding a townsite on the Dakota side called Dakota City. George W. 
Northrup, mentioned in part one as interpreter and guide on a buffalo hunt, was 
holding a nameless city one mile north of Sheyenne, also on the Dakota side. 
George Myers and Harr>- and Richard Banning were holding a townsite at Ban- 
ning's Point, one mile south of the Sheyenne; Northrup had a trapping party with 
him. There were fifteen people then connected with these several townsite claims. 


In the spring of 1859 Randolph M. Probstfield came to the locality, where he 
found Adam Stein and E. R. Hutchinson. George Emerling came with him. 
Emerling went to St. Joseph (now Walhalla) where he built the first flouring mill 
in North Dakota, excepting a small mill built by Father Belcourt at his mission. 
Stein and Hutchinson became permanent settlers at Georgetown, and Probstfield 
seven miles north of Fargo, at Oak Point. 

Probstfield was able to purchase supplies at Lafayette. Enroute to the Red 
River Valley they encountered Anson Northrup with a heavy train of wagons and 
forty-four men, moving the machinery of the steamer North Star from the upper 
Mississippi River to the Red River. Northrup sawed the timber by means of a 
whip saw, and put a steamer on the Red River in 1859, as he had contracted to do. 
He collected his bonus and left the proposition of manning it to be solved by other 

The persons named and James Anderson, living one mile north of Fargo. 


known as "Robinson Crusoe," were practically the only settlers on the Red River 
south of Pembina at this time, March, 1859. 


Georgetown was established in 1859, by James McKay for the Hudson's Bay 
Company; a warehouse, store building, shops, etc., being erected. Robert McKen- 
zie was the first in charge. McKenzie was frozen to death returning from Pem- 
bina with supplies, and was succeeded by James Pruden, who was followed by 
Alexander Murray; Mr. Probstfield taking charge in 1864. At the time of the 
Indian outbreak in 1862, there were thirty men employed at Georgetown. Peter, 
Joseph and Adam Goodman, brothers of Mrs. Probstfield, were in 1861 settlers 
in the Red River Valley. Charles Slayton and family came in 1859, and in 1861 
Zere B. Slayton settled one mile north of Fargo. 

In 1858 Edward Connelly came into the country with a party of twenty, 
employed by the Hudson's Bay Company. In 1859 he broke fifty acres for that 
company at Georgetown. This was the first farm opened in the Red River 

The origin of Dakota farming is given in Chapter IV, Part One. Indian 
fanning and the first white farmer, Alexander Henry, 1801, are there men- 
tioned, but in December, 1870, there was not a bushel of wheat, oats, barley, rye 
or corn produced in North Dakota for export — none whatever, excepting, pos- 
sibly, a few bushels in the settlements about Pembina and the Hudson's Bay 
station at Georgetown. Hon. Judson La^Ioure states that the only land under 
cultivation at that time, aside from a few small patches for gardens, was by 
Charles Bottineau, ten acres ; Charles Grant, five to eight acres ; Antoine Gingras, 
twenty to twenty-five acres ; John Dole, two or three acres ; all at Pembina. 
There were, perhaps, two acres at Abercrombie. Nier Either and Peter Sta- 
moure broke twenty acres each in 1870, which was put under cultivation in 1871, 
but in 1870 all of the land under cultivation in North Dakota for every purpose 
would not exceed one hundred acres. 


Francois Jeanotte was born on the Mouse River in North Dakota in 1806, his 
father a French-Canadian, his mother a Chippewa. His father, Jutras Jean- 
notte, was engaged in trade on the Mouse River at the time of the Lewis and 
Clark expedition. Previously, when on the Qui-Appelle his party was attacked 
by Gros Ventres, his son killed, and his first wife scalped and left for dead, and 
he was badly wounded. Again attacked by an Indian, he wrenched the gun 
from him and killed him. At seven years of age, his twin sister was found still 
alive, scalped, and with fourteen wounds on her body. This was on Beaver 
Creek, a tributary of the Assiniboine. Francois, at twelve years of age (1818), 
went to Pembina with his mother, and stayed two years at the Big Salt and Little 
Salt rivers, where the Hudson's Bay Company had a trading post. In 1820 he 
states a Chippewa war party found a trading post near Minot. 

Basil Clement arrived at Fort Pierre in 1840, at the age of sixteen, and was 
employed by the American Fur Company ; spending that winter at the mouth of 
the Grand River. Bruce Osborn was also a clerk there at that time. Clement 



spent the winter of 1841-42 on the Cheyenne. In 1843 he returned to St. Louis 
on the steamer Prairie Bird with Honore Picotte and Michael McGilHvray, 
coming back Christmas Day. He spent the winter at Camp Trader at Swan 
Lake (South Dakota). The next winter he was on the Wind River (Wyoming) 
with James Bridger, a hunter, trapper and explorer at Fort Union in 1844-45, 
who gave some of the earliest information regarding the discovery of gold in the 
Black Hills. John Robinson, uncle of Jesse and Frank James, of Missouri, was 
with Bridger in 1844. The next winter Clement was on the Cheyenne River 
with Joseph Jewett, trader; the next at the mouth of Thunder Creek on the 
Moreau, the next with Frederic LeBeau, and on the death of LeBeau he had 
charge of his post. In 1848 he went to the Black Hills with Paul Narcelle, trap- 
ping and hunting. The winter of 1849-50 he was again at the Moreau. 

In 1863 he was interpreter for Gen. Alfred Sully on his expedition, later 
interpreter at Fort Randall, and was intimately associated with Dakota history 
for over sixty years. 

Paul Narcelle was a clerk at Fort Pierre, and after his trip to the Black Hills 
with Clement he moved to a ranch at the mouth of the Cheyenne River, in 1887, 
and died in 1889. 

John F. A. Sanford, son-in-law of Pierre Chouteau, Jr., member of the Amer- 
ican Fur Company, was a sub-agent of the Indians at Fort Clark in 1833. 

Charles P. Chouteau was a son of Charles P. Chouteau, Jr., member of the 
American Fur Company, changed to Charles P. Chouteau, Jr., in 1842, and in 
1854 to Charles P. Chouteau Company. His wealth was rated at $18,000,000. 

Louis Archambault was at Fort Clark in 1843, with the American Fur Com- 
pany, and in 1873 a rancher near Fort Rice. 

Louis Aagard came to Fort Pierre in 1844 and was at Fort Clark under 
Joseph des Autel, with the American Fur Company, in 1846-47, an interpreter 
for the Peace Commission at Fort Rice in 1868, and a rancher in 1873 '^^ Aagard 
Bottoms, near Bismarck. 

Chas. C. Patineaud, interpreter at Fort Berthold, was one of the seventeen 
defenders of the post in 1S63, when attacked by Indians. He came to the Mis- 
souri River some years previous to 1855, when he was in charge of a winter trad- 
ing camp on the Little Missouri. 

Simon Bellehumeur, trapper and hunter on Red River in 1804. 

Forrest Hancock, trapper on the Yellowstone in 1804, met by Lewis and Clark 
on their return in 1806. 

William D. Hodgkiss, in charge of Fort Clark 1856-59, came to the Missouri 
River prior to 1840. 

Antoine Garreau was met by Lewis and Clark at the Arikara villages in 1805, 
and by Maximillian at the Mandan villages in 1833. His daughter, Maggie, mar- 
ried Andrew Dawson, who was in charge of the American Fur Company's trade 
at Fort Qark in 1849, and Fort Benton, 1856 to 1870, when he returned to Scot- 
land, leaving a daughter at Fort Berthold. 

Pierre Garreau, son of Antoine Garreau, trader at Fort Clark and Fort 
Berthold, interpreter for the Pierre Chouteau Company, died at Fort Berthold, 

Charles Bottineau, a brother of Pierre Bottineau, who was born in North 
Dakota and died at eighty-seven years of age, in 1895. 


Charles Bottineau was a son of Pierre Bottineau and partner with Charles 
Grant, trader at St. Joseph. 

Charles Grant was a trader at Pembina, in 1850, and partner of Charles 
Bottineau at St. Joseph. 

John B. Bottineau of this family practiced law in Minneapolis many years 
and his daughter, Marie M. Baldwin, is a graduate of Georgetown College and 
in 1916 was employed in the Indian office at Washington. She was born in 
North Dakota and as a child roamed the prairies with her tribe. 

Antoine Gingras was an Indian trader at Pembina in 1850. He engaged 
later in farming and had sixty acres under cultivation when the Pembina Com- 
pany was organized, and was then the largest taxpayer in North Dakota. 

Reuben Lewis, brother of Meriwether Lewis, was a partner of the Missouri 
River Fur Company, 1809; in charge in 181 t of the Manuel Lisa Trading Post 
above the Gros Ventres villages. 

Peter Wilson came up the Missouri River in 1825, and later became the agent 
of the Mandan Indians. 

Francois Renville was employed by Norman W. Kittson at Pembina as mail 
carrier in 1832. 

Jean Pierre Sarpee was a member of the American Fur Company. His 
brother was an independent trader in 1832, at Fort Sarpee above Omaha. 

Peter Beauchamp, 1840, was a trader and Arikara interpreter at Fort 
Berthold for the American Fur Company at the Arikara villages and Fort Clark, 
trapping and hunting. 

Joseph Buckman was a trader and postmaster at Pembina in 1861. He was 
a member of the Dakota Legislature, and died in 1862. 

Joseph Guigon at Fort Berthold, in the employ of the American Fur 

Joseph Gondreau, blacksmith at Fort Pierre, was in the employ of the Amer- 
ican Fur Company at Fort Clark. 

Charles Primeau, who was a clerk for the American Fur Company at Fort 
Union in 1831, had a brother who was killed by Indians at Apple Creek in 1832. 
He established a trading post above Fort Clark, which he sold to Hawley & 
Hubbell. Two years later that firm abandoned Fort Primeau and it was occu- 
pied by the American Fur Company, Gerard having charge of the post from 
1857 to 1859. He was at Fort Berthold December 25, 1863, when that post was 
attacked by Two Bears' band of Sioux, as was also Charles Malnouri, who came 
there in i860. 

In 1869 Gerard became an independent fur trader, and in 1872 a government 
interpreter, and was with Reno's command at the time of the Custer massacre, 
June 25, 1876. Later he was engaged in trade at Mandan. 

David Pease was a partner with Hawley & Hubbell at Fort Berthold, and 
agent at the Crow Indian Agency. A. C. Hawley, of the Hawley & Hubbell 
Company, was deputy United States marshal in Northern Dakota in 1873. 

Charles Primeau was interpreter at Fort Yates and died in 1897. 

Jean B. Wilke was at St. Joseph in 1847. An affray occurred at his place in 
1861 between Sioux and Chippewa Indians, in which several were killed. 

Joseph Fisher was a teacher in the Pembina district of Minnesota Territory 
in 1850. 


Father Andre Lacombe, Roman Catholic clergyman, was in the Pembina dis- 
trict, census of 1850. 

Maj.-Gen. William P. Carlin, a lieutenant in General Harney's Punitive Expe- 
dition of 1855, was for several years identified with North Dakota as commander 
of the military post at Fort Yates. 

Lucien Gerou came from St. Paul to Pembina in 1856, and was in the hotel 
business at Pembina. 

Joseph Montraille, a half-breed mail carrier, was employed by Norman W. 
Kittson at Pembina in 1856. 

John Cameron was a farmer, ten miles south of Pembina, in 1856. 

Antoine Gerard was at Pembina in 1856, employed by the Hudson's Bay 
Company. He kept the stage station and ferry at Acton. 

Joseph Lemae was a custom house officer at Pembina in i860. 

Robert Lemon was a partner, in i860, of Charles Larpenteur, an independent 
trader, to whom allusion is made in Part One, and was succeeded in 1862 by 
La Barge, Harkness & Co. 

Andre Gonzziou, in the employ of the North-West Company. Killed by 
Sioux when buffalo hunting with the Mandans. 


A tribute was paid in Chapter XIV to Charles F. Picotte, son of Honore 
Picotte, and the daughter of Two Lance, and a brief sketch given of his early 
life and superior educational advantages. 

Charles E. Galpin was an employee of the American Fur Company and super- 
intended, as noted in the reference to that period in behalf of that company the 
transfer of Fort Pierre to the military authorities of the Harney Punitive Expe- 
dition of 1855. Later he was engaged in trade at various points on the Missouri, 
in competition with the Pierre Chouteau Company. He was in opposition to 
Hawley & Hubbell — the firm consisting of A. C. Hawley, James B. Hubbell and 
Frank Bates of St. Paul — at Fort Berthold. His title of "major" was acquired 
from the fact that army officers assigned to take charge of Indian agencies were 
usually of the rank of major, and the Indian traders and military post traders 
became majors by courtesy. Major Galpin was distinguished for his courteous 
manners, and for his efficiency as a trader. He married the widow of Honore 
Picotte, who engaged in the Indian trade on her own account after the death of 
her husband, and continued it after the death of Major Galpin on the Cannon 
Ball River. Her daughter. Amy, now (1916) a widow, who married Henry S. 
Parkins, still manages their large interests at the Cannon Ball. 

Hon. Henry S. Parkins was associated with Jack Morrow of Omaha, Col. 
Robert Wilson and Maj. Samuel A. Dickey, post trader at Fort A. Lincoln and 
first postmaster at Bismarck, then known as Edwinton. Parkins was a member 
of the North Dakota State Senate in 1895. 

Major Galpin took an active part with his stepson, Charles F. Picotte, not 
only in securing the assent of the Indians to the Treaty of 1858, but also in the 
ransom of whites made captive during the Sioux uprising. Major Galpin died 
at Grand River in 1870. 

Charles F. Picotte was a devoted son, and his devotion, not only to his 


mother, but to his tribe, was appreciated by the Government. He received a 
section of land, as stated, which he selected at Yankton, and also an annuity of 
$3,000 for ten years from the United States in recognition of his valuable aid 
in negotiating the treaty. Mention has been made of the building erected by 
him associated with Moses K. Armstrong, in Yankton, used for the first terri- 
torial government building in the territory, and he was the sergeant-at-arms of 
the House of Representatives at the first session of the Dakota Legislature. It 
was due largely to his influence and that of Major and Mrs. Galpin, that the 
captives taken by the Sioux in the uprising of 1862, were returned to their homes 
unharmed. He used his fortune in the entertainment of his Indian friends, 
became dependent on his salary as an interpreter, and died at the Greenwood 

Joseph Picotte, nephew of Honore Picotte, was a member of the firm of 
Primeau, Picotte & Boosie, independent traders, supplied by Robert Campbell 
of St. Louis. 

Frederic F. Gerard came from St. Louis to the Missouri with Honore Picotte 
in September, 1848, then nineteen years of age, was employed at Fort Pierre, and 
went to Fort Clark in the spring of 1849. He learned to speak the Arikara 
language and for many years was a reliable Arikara interpreter. In 1855 he 
accompanied Basil Clement on a hunting trip to the headwaters of the Platte 
River, bringing back a winter's supply of buffalo meat. There were five Red 
River carts and seven men on the expedition. They found cholera prevailing 
on the Platte. After his return he went to Fort Berthold with Honore Picotte. 


Iron Heart was a prominent Sioux chief taking part in the battle of New 
Ulm, an incident of the Sioux massacre of 1S62, described in Chapter XIII. 
Francis de Molin, one of the earliest settlers on the Indian Trail and mail route 
from Grand Forks to Fort Totten (on which two years later William N. Roach, 
afterwards United States senator from North Dakota, carried the mail), married 
a daughter of Francis Longie, an old time Indian trader, who was at New Ulm 
at the time of the Sioux massacre of 1862. He had a narrow escape then as he 
had many other times, but in each case was saved by the Indian relatives of his 
wife. At one time he was ordered to leave the country, but his wife's friends 
formed a bodyguard around him and so marched him to safety. An old Indian 
asked him when a prisoner, what he thought about their whipping the whites in 
the war of 1862, and pointing to a rock, he replied that when he could split that 
with his head they could whip the whites. After the war was over the old chief 
told him that what he said then was true: they could not whip the whites any 
more than they could split the rock with their heads. The life of one of Longie's 
men captured by the Indians was spared on condition that he paint himself and 
wear breech clouts, but after the first day he rejected the Indian apparel and 
told them they could kill him if they liked, but he refused to wear that kind of 
clothing. If he must die, he would die like a white man, and the Indians, 
respecting him for his bravery, adopted him after that, and defended him against 
hostile tribes. He appears to have had the benefit of "second sight" and feeling, 
having for warning an involuntary rising of the hair on his scalp to meet the 





attack of the Indians when in the vicinity, ahhough not the stirring of a leaf 
in an unusual manner betrayed their presence. It is recorded of him that while 
trapping for beaver on the Sheyenne River he became seriously alarmed by this 
phenomenon, and when he started to make his exit after a night spent in 
hiding, he found himself completely surrounded by Indians. He was taken 
prisoner — they had killed his horse — and they then held a council as to who 
should kill him, but his wife's relatives again prevailed upon them to give him 
a show, and they consented that he should be allowed to reach a hill near by 
and then get away if he could. Backwards he proceeded towards the hill, with 
his gun ready, expecting treachery, but they did not follow him. Iron Heart 
was in charge of the party. 

Iron Heart was a preacher in 1895 down on the Sisseton agency, but he used 
to tell a story of his "brave" deeds which he thought a great joke. His heart 
was bad, and in order to gain peace of mind it was necessary that somebody 
should be killed. Accordingly he got a party of young men together, and started 
out to war, but he traveled a long way before he found any white settler with 
surroundings of a character to justify demonstrations. At length perceiving a 
woman and a child alone in a tent, they went in and demanded something to eat, 
and having received it, determined to await her husband's return and demand a 
double sacrifice, to which she retorted that he would kill them with "a stick," 
that weapon being plainly visible in his hand, as he came whistling home with a 
deer on his shoulder. ^leantime one of the Indians, while they were holding a 
caucus — with the deer in anticipation — to decide who should have the coveted 
honor of doing the killing, one Indian, never having taken a scalp, being on the 
verge of tears in his anxiety, a treacherous hand pulled a trigger without consent, 
the gun snapped and he was killed by the man "with the stick," who put the 
entire party to rout. It is understood that Iron Heart did not claim that his 
name resulted from this incident. He declares he was never so badly frightened 
before, and that he was sure the man had nothing but a stick. 

The first winter de Molin was on his ranch, which is thirty-five miles from 
Fort Totten on the one side, and 100 miles from Grand Forks on the other; 
these being the nearest settlements, winter set in in November and the snow 
drifted even to the top of his house. Not having heard from him for three 
months, Maj. James McLaughlin, who was Indian agent at Fort Totten, sent an 
Indian out to find him and report. He had lost his first wife and having married 
a part-blood, he became, under the laws of the Indians and the then rulings of 
the department, one of the tribe, and entitled to draw rations from the Indian 
Department. There was a Chippewa half-blood living on the lake five miles from 
de IMolin and they were short of supplies, but managed to live by borrowing 
from one another. The messenger came on snow-shoes and found them, and 
they rigged up a dog sledge and went into Fort Totten with him for supplies. 
The snow was waist deep, and dog and men were completely exhausted when 
they reached an Indian camp near the agency. After resting they went into 
headquarters, leaving their dog and sledge at the Indian camp, but when they 
returned, the next day, with their provisions, they found the Indians had killed 
their dog and had a feast on his remains the night before ; so they had to "pack" 
their provisions thirty-five miles through the deep snow on their return home. 

Senator Roach's mail carriers sometimes had to rely upon the dog sledge to 


get the mail through. On one occasion a son of Colonel Smith, a half-blood and 
a white man were coming through with the mail by dog train, and got lost in a 
blizzard. They had three dogs in their train. They had killed one for food and 
one had frozen to death. They lay in a snow bank two days and nights but 
finally reached de Molin's, staggering from exhaustion, and fell at his door. Their 
lives were saved by the provision he was able to make for them. The Indians 
were very troublesome at times and even his Indian wife feared to remain with 

In 1873, two Indians from Fort Totten killed the de Lorme family, near 
Pembina, and returned to the agency, where Major McLaughlin ordered them 
captured dead or alive. After their arrest one of them got away, and after being 
shot through the legs raised himself and defied them, but the soldiers killed him. 
The other went to Standing Rock, where he raised a war party of 400. They 
killed a stage driver, and it became very threatening for a time. 


Maj. John Garland was identified with the history of Dakota as a captain in 
the Sixth United States Infantry. He was major in the Twenty-third Michigan 
Regiment at the close of the Civil war, 1865, and had charge of the Indian ponies 
surrendered by the Sioux after the Custer massacre in 1876, which were taken 
overland to St. Paul, and sold for the benefit of the Indians. His son, John C 
Carland. has filled the offices of United States district attorney and district judge 
of South Dakota, and later United States circuit judge. 



christianizing the dakotas — american missionary board stations at lake 
calhoun — lac qui parle — traverse des sioux — the initiative of cul- 
ture — translation of the bible into the sioux eagle help's vision 

Simon's conversion — early settlers of spirit lake — after the sioux 





Fling out the banner ! let it float 

Skyward and seaward, high and wide ; 

The sun, that lights its shining folds, 
The cross, on which the Saviour died. 

Fling out the banner ! angels bend 

In an.xious silence o'er the sign ; 
And vainly seek to comprehend 

The wonder of the love divine. 

— Bishop G. IV. Doane. 


In 1834, a Dakota village of about four hundred people existed on Lake 
Calhoun, extending to Lake Harriet, now embraced within the city limits of 
Minneapolis, Minn. Here that year the Rev. Samuel W. Pond and his brother, 
Gideon H. Pond, commenced the spiritual conquest of the Dakotas. In 1835, 
they were joined by the Rev. Jedediah D. Stevens and Dr. Thomas S. William- 
son, also a medical practitioner, and Lake Calhoun became a station of the 
American Missionary Board. They immediately began a systematic study of 
the Sioux language in order to better reach the understanding of the natives, and 
by 1837, they had gathered a vocabulary of five or six hundred words, this. Dr. 
Stephen R. Riggs declared, forming the basis of the Dakota graminar. Two 
houses were built 'of tamarac logs, in one of which a school was established with 
half a dozen pupils, principally mixed-blood girls. In 1836, at the request of 
the Indian trader, Joseph Renville, a three-fourths blood Sioux (first mentioned 
on the Minnesota River in Part One), a congregation of seven members was 
organized, principally of the household of Mr. Renville, who rendered invaluable 
aid in the translation of the Bible into the Dakota language, until then a rude 



spoken dialect. The Bible was translated and hymns composed or translated, 
and reduced to written form in the Dakota tongue. It was the beginning of the 
creation of the literature of a nation. 

In an upper room — lo by 12 feet — of a log house, Doctor Riggs lived and 
worked for five years. Here his first three children were born, and here his 
grammar of the Dakota language was prepared, and the greater part of the New 
Testament translated. 

Mr. Renville had great influence over the Sioux. The members of his own 
family learned to read, and some of the "Soldiers' Lodge" (council of warriors) 
were next to learn. 

In the lower room of the Williamson Building, twenty-five or thirty men 
and women gathered every Sunday, to whom Doctor Williamson preached and 
being a physician he was often able to contribute to their temporal welfare. 
They sang Dakota hymns composed by Mrs. Renville, and Mr. Pond prayed in 
their language. 

Mr. Renville's home at Lac qui Parle was known as Fort Renville, having 
been built for defense as well as trade with the Ojibways (Chippewas). It con- 
sisted of a store building, a reception room with a large fireplace, and a bench 
running almost around the room, on which the men sat or reclined. Mr. Ren- 
ville sat in a chair in the middle of the room, with his feet crossed under him 
like a tailor. Verse by verse the Bible was read, Renville translating into the 
Dakota language, written by Doctor Riggs or Mr. Pond, and again read from 
the Indian language. 

Thus from week to week the work went on until the missionaries became 
entirely competent to make their own translation, which was finally completed 
in 1879. Denville died in March, 1846, at Lac qui Parle. 

In the prosecution of their work they encountered the most bitter opposition, 
which was engendered in savage breasts by ignorance and superstition, and in- 
tensified by the malice, jealousy, avarice and licentiousness of white frontier 

Eagle Help is claimed by Doctor Riggs — from whose book, "Mary and I," 
these facts are principally obtained — to have been the first Sioux to read and 
write the Dakota language, and to have been of great help in the work of trans- 
lating the Bible. Eagle Help was not only a warrior but a prophet. After 
fasting and praying and dancing the circle dance, a vision of the enemies he 
sought to kill would come to him. In his trance or dream, the whole panorama 
• — the river, lake or forest, and the Ojibways in canoes, or on the land, would 
appear before him, and the spirit he saw in his vision would say, "Up, Eagle 
Help, and kill." 

On one occasion having had a vision. Eagle Help got up a war party of a 
score of young warriors, who fasted and feasted, decked themselves in hostile 
array, danced the "No Flight Dance," listened to real war stories by the old men, 
and went ofif to war, first killing two Mission cows. When they returned, after 
many days, without having seen an enemy they blamed the missionaries for 
Eagle Help's false vision. 

lean N. Nicollet and Lieut. John C. Fremont visited the camp soon afterward 
(1839), and induced the Indians to pay for the cows. Eagle Help accounted for 

Fargo pioneer 



Photo at twenty-one years of age, when Bismarck pioneer, lawyer and legislator 

captain in Twentieth Michigan Volunteers 


his failure as a war prophet by the claim that his knowledge of the Christian 
religion had destroyed his powers. 

The treaty of 1837, providing for the education of the Sioux, Doctor Riggs 
held, had proved to be a handicap rather than a help, because the traders induced 
the Indians to oppose the use of the money for that purpose and to insist upon 
its being turned over to them for general purposes; and lest there might be a 
treaty some time that would permit the missionaries to get the money, they 
ordered the Soldiers' Lodge (Council of Warriors) to prevent the children from 
going to school. 

In the work of the missionaries the women were not only taught ordinary 
household duties, but to spin, knit and sew, and the little girls to do patchwork,' 
that is, sew pieces of calico of various colors, cut in squares, together to form a 
quilt or counterpane for a bed. 

"Before the snows had disappeared or the ducks come back" in the spring, 
the annual hunting party would return laden with rich furs and other products 
of the chase, and the traders would then reap their harvest; to be followed by a 
long period of distress among the Indians dependent on hunting for their 

In January, 1838, a hunting party of Sioux divided while in the vicinity of 
the present site of Benson, Minn., leaving three lodges there alone, which were 
visited by Hole-in-the-Day, a Chippewa chief, accompanied by ten warriors. 
The Sioux, although near starvation themselves, treated their guests hospitably, 
killing two dogs and giving them a feast, and in return the Chippewas arose at 
midnight and murdered the entire three families. In 1839, 1,000 Ojibways on a 
peaceful mission, left Fort Snelling, in two parties; one by way of the St. 
Croix River and the other by way of Run River, and on their return to their 
homes both parties were followed by the Sioux in retaliation for the death by 
two young Ojibways of a prominent member of the Lake Calhoun Village to 
avenge the killing of their father by the Sioux. A terrific slaughter ensued and 
as a consequence the Sioux fearing to remain at Lake Calhoun removed to the 
Minnesota River and with them the missionaries who established themselves in 
a station at Lac qui Parle now in Minnesota. 

In 1840, the rate of postage was 25 cents on letters, and although Lac-qui- 
Parle was less than two hundred miles from Fort Snelling, the nearest postoffice, 
it was sometimes from three to five months before mail could be obtained from 
there at Lac-qui-Parle. 

In 1840, when Doctor Riggs visited Fort Pierre, where there were about 
forty lodges of Tetons then encamped, he decided that the time had not yet come 
to carry the work into that region, but in later years it was transferred to 

In 1 84 1, Simon Anawangomane (the Simon Peter of the Sioux) became the 
first Dakota brave to embrace the Christian religion. A considerable number 
of women had become converted, but the braves were not willing to follow their 
lead. It was hard for Simon to give up taking human life, says Doctor Riggs, 
and still harder to give up his surplus wives ; but after three years of wrestling 
with the proposition, he yielded and led the Christian warrior band, becoming 
a bright and shining star to lead their way. He put on the white man's clothing 
and planted a field of corn and potatoes. The braves, knowing his mettle, let 


him alone, but the women and children pointed the finger of scorn at him, which 
he resisted, but the temptation of strong drink mastered him and Simon went 
back for a time to his old Indian dress and ways, but in 1854 returned to the 
church. At first he only ventured to sit on the doorsteps, then he found a seat 
in the furthermost corner, advancing by degrees to his old place, and for more 
than twenty years he took a leading part in christianizing the Sioux ; the last 
ten as a licensed exhorter. He was wounded in the battle at Wood Lake, and his 
son, who was wounded at the same engagement, died of his wounds. 

The mission at Traverse-des-Sioux was established in 1843, tiy Doctor Riggs 
and associates. That year two Sioux on the way to meet the missionaries were 
killed by Ojibways sneaking in the grass, and to avenge their death their friends 
shot the horse belonging to the mission and later two oxen at intervals met a 
similar fate at their hands. 

Traverse-des-Sioux was situated twelve miles above the present City of 
Lesueur, Minn., twenty-five miles from Lac-qui-Parle. St. Paul was then a 
mere collection of grog shops, depending principally on the Indian trade. The 
enterprising Indians from the Minnesota River would go to St. Paul, buy a keg 
of whiskey, have a carousal on part of its contents, fill it up with water, and then 
go to Dakota and trade it for a horse. 

By 1848, the attitude of the Indians toward the missionaries had so changed 
that the Soldiers' Lodge was placed at their service. 

The Dakota Presbytery, organized in 1845, licensed and ordained George 
H. Pond and Robert Hopkins, ministers of the Gospel, and Rev. Moses N. 
Adams, Rev. John F. Alton and Rev. Joshua Potter came to that region for work 
among the Dakotas. Reverend Mr. Hopkins was drowned July 4th of the same 
year. In June, 1849, the Christian work was extended to r>ig Stone Lake. 

In 185 1, the army offices at Fort Snelling had collected a Sioux vocabulary 
of five or six hundred words. The collection of Doctor Riggs had then reached 
3,000, in two years more it had doubled, and in 1856, reached 10,000 words. 
The Dakota Dictionary when published in 1874 contained 16,000 words. 

In 1852, Doctor Williamson erected buildings at the Yellow Medicine 

In 1857, the mission-house at Lac-qui-Parle was burned and the station was 
moved to Hazelwood, six miles from the Yellow Medicine Agency, and there 
rebuilt. The Indians from Lac-qui-Parle followed to the same place. 

At first the Dakota children were educated in the families of the mission- 
aries, but at Hazelwood a boarding school was established, starting with twenty- 


In 1857, when there were about fifty settlers at and near Spirit Lake, Iowa, 
Inkpadoota, who was the leader of a hunting party of Wahpetons, visited that 
locality. Game being scarce and the party in bad humor, they made demands 
on the whites which were not readily complied with, so the Indians helped 
themselves, and were insulting to the women of nearly the whole settlement. 
Four women were carried away captive ; one of whom, Mrs. Marble, was treated 
kindly, having been purchased by friendly Indians and ransomed. One slipped 
from a log on which she was required to cross a stream, and while in the water 


was shot by the Indians. Another, Mrs. Noble, was killed in Inkpadoota's camp, 
and Mrs. Abbie Gardner was returned to her family through the good offices 
of John Other-day and other Indians friendly to the mission. One of the sons 
of Inkpadoota took refuge in the Yellow Medicine Camp and was killed in an 
eiifort made to capture him. The annuities having been stopped until the Indian 
murderers were surrendered, Little Crow with a hundred braves having under- 
taken to punish them, reported that he had found and fought them, killing a 
dozen or more, and the government accepted his statement as true and restored 
the suspended annuities, but little Crow's story was not believed by the friendly 

For twenty-seven years the work of Doctor Riggs and his associates had 
moved steadily forward, when the mission moved from Lac-qui-Parle ^ to 
Traverse-des-Sioux and seventy-five communicants had been gathered into the 
churches. The clouds seemed lifting, the prospects brightening, when there burst 
around them that terrible cyclone of blood on the fatal i8th day of August, 
1862, when the Sioux massacre began, their churches and homes were laid in 
ashes, their members were scattered and the missionaries compelled to flee to 
St. Paul and Minneapolis. Apparently the missionary work among the Dakotas 
was doomed. 

The friendly Indians made a cache in which they buried money and valuable 
books belonging to Doctor Riggs, and the library at Hazelwood. Spirit-Walker, 
Robert Hopkins, Enos, Good Hail and Makes Himself Red, were sent after Mrs. 
Huggins, of the mission, who had been protected in the family of Spirit- 

The seed sown in the hearts of some of the Indians bore fruit, not only at 
the time of the massacre, but in the prison camp, where the work of regeneration 
gained its greatest headway. During their confinement, the prison became a 
school and an interest in the Christian religion was awakened and fostered that 
later largely contributed to the civilization of the Sioux. 


Hundreds of Indians were captured and imprisoned at Mankato and Fort 
Snelling, and, in their confinement, these Indian captives sent for the very mis- 
sionaries they had rejected when free. They listened eagerly to the story of 
redeeming love. A precious work of grace sprung up among them and hundreds 
were converted. Three hundred Indian braves were baptized in a single day 
at Mankato, and organized in the prison a Presbyterian Church, the "Church of 
the Scouts." When they were released and returned to the agencies, in 1866, 
they formed the nuclei of churches and schools and Christian communities. The 
next spring the families of the condemned prisoners were sent to Crow Creek 
Reservation, Dakota. The prisoners not executed were taken to Davenport, 
Iowa, where, at Camp McClellan. they were guarded by soldiers for the next 
three years. Then their irons were removed and later they were allowed to go 
to town and sell bows and arrows and other things of Indian make, or go to the 
country to work. About thirty per cent of the Indians died of disease during 
their confinement; smallpox prevailing among them adding much to the losses. 
Something over one hundred men, women and children were added to the camp, 
although not condemned. 


Thirteen hundred Indians were sent to Crow Creek, Dak., in 1863, 300 of 
these passing away before June 1st and the ravages of disease continued. 

Little Six and Medicine Bottle, who were indicted for complicity in the 
massacre, were captured later, tried, convicted and hanged. 

In 1866 the surviving prisoners, among them members of the "Church of the 
Scouts," were restored to liberty and joined their families on the Niobrarra River. 

Simon Anawangomane and Peter Bigfire were licensed to preach, and Davis 
Renville was ordained a ruling elder. 

During the campaign against the Indians the Wahpetons and Sissetons in 
the employ of the Government, formed camps at Lake Traverse and Buffalo 
Lake, known as the Scouts' Camps. These camps were within what afterwards 
became the Sisseton Reservation in North and South Dakota, and formed a 
bulwark against the roving bands of Sioux who infested the country. 

Fort Wadsworth had but recently been established, and there were a number 
of friendly Sioux employed there. Solomon Toon-kan-shacehaya, Robert Hop- 
kins, Louis Mazawakinyanna and Daniel Renville were licensed to preach in 

1867. Louis went to Fort Wadsworth and commenced religious work there. 
Rev. George D. Crocker was post chaplain at the fort. John B. Renville and 
Dr. Thomas J. Williamson were engaged in religious work in the vicinity and 
at the fort. In 1868, they were joined by Doctor Riggs, John P. Williamson and 
Artemus Ehnamane, a native minister. John B. Renville and Peter Bigfire had 
settled at the head of Big Dry Lake, Dakota, where a camp-meeting was held in 

1868, and about sixty persons added to the native church. Another camp-meeting 
was held at Buffalo Lake. A church was organized at Long Hollow, and Solomon 
was selected to be their religious teacher. In 1869 Doctor Riggs again visited 
Fort Wadsworth. Dr. Jared W. Daniels, the new agent, was then on the ground. 
The annual camp-meeting was held at Dry Wood Lake. Doctor Daniels com- 
menced to build a dormitory and school at that point, and W. K. Morris became 
the teacher. It was then John B. Renville moved to Lac-qui-Parle to the reserva- 
tion. Daniel Renville was also there and Gabriel Renville was at the agency. 
Ascension was then the leading church with J. B. Renville pastor. Daniel Ren- 
ville was chosen pastor at Goodwill. Solomon at Long Hollow, Louis at Fort 
Wadsworth, or Kettle Lake, as then called, and Thomas Good at Buffalo Lake; 
Louis later going to Manyason. In 1871 there were eight native church organ- 
izations in Dakota. 

Amherst W. Barber, who has rendered much valuable assistance in the prep- 
aration of this work, visited the Big Sioux River Indian settlement, in Dakota, 
in connection with his work as a United States surveyor in 1873. There was then 
a white teacher there, a handsome church, and a schoolhouse for the Indian set- 
tlers occupying comfortable log houses and lands allotted to them, and now, in 
1916, they and their children enjoy all the rights of American citizens and are 
accorded the respect due them as such. They were pardoned warriors from 
Little Crow's band. 


The pilgrims at Santee numbered 267, with Rev. Artemus Ehnamane and 
Rev. Titus Ichadorge, pastors. The Flandreau, or River Bend Church, num- 


bered 107 members, Joseph Grow-old-man, pastor, and the Lac-qui- Parle Church 
41 members. The Ascension Church on the reservation had 69 members with 
Rev. John B. Renville, pastor. The Dry Wood Lake Church had 42 members. 
Rev. Daniel Renville, pastor. The Long Hollow Church had 80 members. Rev. 
Solomon Toon-kan-chachaya, pastor. The Kettle Lake or Fort Wadsworth 
Church had 38 members with Rev. Louis Mazawakenyauna, stated supply, and 
a church at Yankton agency had ig members in charge of Rev. John P. Williamson. 


In .May, 1 87 1, a publication known as lapi Oaye, or Word Carrier, was estab- 
lished in editorial charge of Rev. John P. Williamson. The paper was at first 
printed wholly in the Sioux language; after the first year a portion in English. 


The first general conference was held in 1871, on the Big Sioux, where a 
number of Indians had taken homesteads, and these homesteaders in due time 
(twenty-five years) received unrestricted patents to their land and were admitted 
to all the rights carried by United States citizenship. 

The Dakota Mission had been connected with the American Board of Com- 
missioners for Foreign Missions of the Presbyterian Church ; but in 1870, Rev. 
Albert L. Riggs, a Congregationalist minister, went to the Santee Agency and 
established the Santee High School, with Eli Abraham and Albert Frazier assist- 
ants. Doctor Daniels, who had built an Episcopal house of worship at the 
Sisseton Agency, having been appointed on the recommendation of the Rt. Rev. 
Bishop H. B. Whipple, resigned, and Rev. Moses N. Adams was appointed in 
his stead. 

In the month of June, 1872, when the roses on the prairie began to bloom and 
the grass took on its richest green, a conference was held at the Church of Good- 
will, Sisseton Agency, Dr. Thomas S. Williamson, then of St. Peter, Minnesota, 
and Rev. John P. Williamson of Yankton, Rev. Joseph Ward of Yankton, and 
the Pond brothers, and Rev. Albert L. Riggs and Thomas L. Riggs of Santee, 
lieing present ; the visiting clergymen driving from two to three hundred miles 
for the purpose. The gathering of the natives was very large. 

The following spring a treaty was made by Agent Moses N. Adams, William 
H. Forbes and James Smith, Jr., United States commissioners, by which the 
Wahpeton and Sisseton Indians released their claims to Northeastern Dakota, 
on account of the Northern Pacific Railroad, and that year a brick schoolhouse 
was dedicated at the Sisseton Agency. 

In closing an account of the conference at Yankton Agency in 1873, Doctor 
Riggs writes : "And hands received the sacrament which, but for a knowledge 
of this dear sacrifice, might have regarded it their chief glory that their hands 
were stained with human blood," adding "Just as we close, in strange contrast 
with the spirit of the hour, two young Indian braves go by the window. They 
are tricked out with all manner of savage frippery, ribbons stream in the wind, 
strings of discordant sleigh-bells grace their horses' necks and herald their ap- 
pearance. Each carries a drawn sword which flashes in the sunlight, and a 
plentiful use of red ochre and eagle feathers completes the picture." 


In the winter of 1873 a mission was established for the Tetons opposite 
Fort Sully. The Indians threatened to burn the mission house, hostiles crowded 
about the place, and their camps were noisy with singing and dancing, prepar- 
ing for war. 

That year. Agent Moses N. Adams erected a building for a training school 
at the Sisseton Agency, and that winter it was used for training girls under the 
care of J\Ir. and Mrs. Armor. Mr. and Mrs. Morris cared for the boys in other 
quarters. There were sixteen of each. In 1874 a church was erected on the Sisse- 
ton Agency at a cost of $1,800, and the Dakota House at the Santee Agency 
was completed at a cost of $4,200. That year Doctor Riggs visited Fort Berthold. 
Maj. Lawrence B. Sperry was the agent. Rev. Charles L. Hall, married but a 
week previous, was ordained and sent to the Berthold Agency, and for forty 
years has been doing most excellent work for the uplift of that tribe of Indians. 

The conference at the Sisseton Agency in 1876 was welcomed by Agent Maj. 
John G. Hamilton, who has supplied infomiation of incalculable value in the 
preparation of this history. At this meeting a Dakota ]\Iissionary Society was 
organized, and $240 was raised for a mission to be stationed at Standing Rock. 
David Grey Cloud was selected for that work. 

A letter written by Mrs. Stanley, wife of Gen. David S. Stanley, to the New 
York Evangelist, calling attention to conditions bordering on the Missouri River, 
in 1870, served to help. 

At the Conference of 1877, Rev. John Eastman, the youngest of the native 
clergymen, took a leading part. 

The following matter prepared by Rev. R. L. Creswell in 1896, gives addi- 
tional facts in this connection : 

"There are now (1896) amongst them 19 ministers, 21 congregations, 1,280 
communicants, and 862 Sunday school scholars. They expended last year for 
missions, $1,350 and for other expenses, $2,700, in all, over four thousand dol- 
lars for church purposes. There are, also, 10 Congregational churches with 670 
communicants. These two great denominations have many schools filled with 
Dakota pupils. In 1872, at Sisseton, Dakota Territory, they organized the Dakota 
Indian Conference for the purpose of uniting more closely the Dakota churches, 
stimulating the Dakota workers and advancing our Savior's Kingdom. This 
conference meets annually and is the great event of the year for this tribe. 

"In 1875, the Native Missionary Society was organized, 'to send the gospel 
to the heathen Indians.' Under its auspices there are thirty-one Women's Mis- 
sionary societies and several Young People's bands in successful operation. They 
carry on several mission stations and collect and expend annually $1,200. In 
1880 they organized Young Men's societies, 'in order that their young men might 
grow in the love and spirit of God.' In 1885. they affiliated with the General 
Association of the Whites. Their Twenty-fifth Annual Conference was held 
September 13-16, 1895, at Mountain Head, S. D., at the northern end of the 
Coteau of the Prairies. This was the hunter's paradise in the olden time. In 
1823. 4,000 buiifalo skins, besides other valuable furs, were shipped from this 
locality. It is a picturesque spot, well adapted to such a peculiar gathering. 
Two hundred and fifty delegates and 1,000 spectators were present. They 
were gathered from all the thirteen Sioux agencies. The opening exercises con- 
sisted of an address by Rev. John P. Williamson, D. D., on 'Sociology,' and the 


presentation of the 'Fundamental Points of the Gospel Message,' by the Rev. 
A. L. Riggs, D. D. Then with prayer, praise, reading of the Word, and with 
warm words of Christian greeting, the regular work of the conference was 
ushered in. The discussion of such themes as Ts no band of the Dakotas yet 
prepared for citizenship?' 'What are the Indians to do for a living?' "What 
may be, and what may not be done on the Sabbath?' occupied the day sessions 
of Friday and Saturday. The Flandreaus, the Sissetons and Wahpetons were 
thought to be quite well fitted for citizenship. The Indian should work for his 
living like white folks. Only works of absolute necessity and real mercy should 
be done on the Sabbath day. The Y. M. C. A. occupied the evening sessions in 
the interest of the young men. They were addressed by Secretary Copeland, of 
Winnipeg, on 'Study of the Bible,' and by Dr. Charles A. Eastman, of St. Paul, 
on 'Our Bodies.' He is a trained Christian physician of their own race. Rev. 
Charles R. Crawford and Rev. John Eastman, native pastors, discussed these 
important questions, 'What is it to be a Christian and how shall a Christian 
fulfill the duties of his position.' The Dakota Presbytery and the Dakota Asso- 
ciation convened on Saturday and heard reports from all their churches and 
mission stations. Pleasant and profitable missionary gatherings for the women 
and endeavor meetings for the youth were also held. The large auditorium was 
thronged at every session, with hundreds hanging about the doors and windows, 
all intensely interested in and gravely listening to the discussions. Many took 
notes which will be repeated to smaller gatherings, and thus the whole tribe will 
be largely reached and benefited. 

"The speeches were brief, earnest, pointed. The speakers stopped at once 
when through. The Indian has not yet learned to speak against time. The sing- 
ing was sweet and soul-stirring. Hundreds of Indians, spending day after day 
in such discussions, and 200 Indian women singing gospel hymns and engaging 
in prayer and bringing their gifts to send that same glorious gospel to their 
degraded sisters elsewhere, were grand sights to see. 


"The Sabbath dawned most gloriously. The picturesque blufl^s around the 
church were covered with the white tepees of the Christian Dakotas. Prayer and 
praise went up in the early dawn to the Great Spirit, whom they now worship, 
'in spirit and in truth.' At 11 A. M. a vast audience gathered out of doors and 
the crowning services of the whole series began. Hundreds of Dakotas sitting 
in ranks on the grass listening reverently to the gospel from one of their own 
race, singing heartily in their own tongue 'All hail the power of Jesus' name,' 
and receiving joyfully the symbols of our Saviour's love, formed a scene never to 
be forgotten. 

"May the richest blessings of heaven rest upon the work and the workers 
among the Dakotas. Its final and complete triumph is assured." 


The Rev. John P. Williamson, D. D., of Greenwood, S. D., was born in 1835, 
the first white babe bom at Lac-qui-Parle, Minnesota. He has taken his sainted 


father's place, has grown up in the work, speaks both languages fluently, and is 
greatly revered by all the Dakotas, who lovingly call him "John." He is the 
general superintendent of the Presbyterian work among the Dakotas. The Rev. 
A. L. Riggs, D. D., of Santee, Neb., whom the Indians called "Zitkadan Hash- 
tan" or "Good Bird," when a babe at Lac-qui-Parle, with his brother, Rev. 
Thomas L. Riggs, are men of might in the Congregational department of the 
work. They are sons of the Rev. Stephen R. Riggs, who entered the work in 
1837. Rev. John Baptiste Renville of lyakaptapte (Ascension) is the young- 
est son of the famous Joseph Renville. His is the longest pastorate in the 
Dakotas. He is an able and eloqttent minister, a faithful pastor and a genial 
Christian gentleman. He is the owner of a good farm and a comfortable home 
well furnished, and is greatly beloved by both whites and Indians. 

Rev. Artemus Ehnamane (Walking Through) was a famous warrior in his 
youth. He participated in the early bitter contests of his nation with the Chip- 
pewas, danced the scalp dance on the present site of Minneapolis (then a wind 
swept prairie), was converted in the Mankato revivals of '63 and is now pastor 
of a very large native congregation. Rev. John Eastman, a young man of prom- 
ise, is a Presbyterian pastor, and Government agent for the Flandreau Band. He 
claims for his people, "every adult a member of the church and every child of 
school age in school." 


In the early days of the work of the mission among the Dakotas, a new 
prophet arose in the southwest (Tavibo), known as the Nevada prophet. The 
spirit of God, so to speak, was working among the Indians of almost every 
tribe. From far distant Oregon they sent representatives to Nevada, and on 
their return they sent a mission to Gen. William Qark, of the Lewis and Clark 
Expedition, then residing at St. Louis, for his judgment on the Nevada prophet. 
The party spent a winter at St. Louis, where one of them died, the others return- 
ing home the next spring. In answer to their Macedonian call Rev. Fr. Peter 
John DeSmet, born in Belgium in 1801, who came to the United States in 
1821, was sent to the Flatheads. Father DeSmet, mentioned in Chapter XIV as 
having charge of the education of Charles F. Picotte, left Westport, Missouri, 
April 30, 1840, with the annual expedition of the American Fur Company in the 
caravan of Capt. James Dripps on the way to Green River. At the Cheyenne 
village Father DeSmet was hailed as a minister of the Great Spirit, and as the 
chief met him, shaking his hand, he said : "Black Gown, my heart was filled with 
joy when I learned who you were. My lodge never received a visitor for whom 
I feel greater esteem. As soon as I was apprised of your coming I ordered my 
great kettle to be filled, and in your honor I commanded that my three fattest 
dogs should be served." 

Father DeSmet, at a council, stated the object of his visit, and the Indians 
assured him they would provide for the "black gown" (priest) who might be sent 
to them. When he was yet a long distance ofif, the Flatheads sent an escort of 
warriors to protect him. They claimed that in a battle with the Blackfeet, in 
which sixty of their men were engaged five days, they killed fifty Blackfeet with- 
out losing one man ; that the Great Spirit knew they were going to protect his 
messenger and so gave them power over their enemies. 


The trappers and traders had assembled in great numbers at the Green River 
rendezvous, where an altar was built on an elevation and surrounded with boughs 
and flowers, and mass was celebrated, a great number being present. After his 
address the Indians deliberated nearly an hour and then said, "Black Gown, the 
words of thy mouth have found their way to our hearts; they will never be for- 
gotten. Our country is open for thee. Teach us what we have to do to please 
the Great Spirit, and we will do according to your words." 

On several occasions Father DeSmet visited the Dakota Indians, and the 
same cordial greeting was given him by all the tribes, regardless of their relations 
to each other. Their souls went out to him as the visible representative of the 
Great Spirit who had the power to quiet their troubled minds when in contact 
with them. 

The story of the Shawnee prophet, an earlier Indian character, is told in a 
previous chapter in Part One and further information as to the christianizing of 
the Dakotas is related in connection with the Sioux massacre, after which the 
conquest of the Sioux was carried to Dakota soil. 

JVlany of the missionary establishments that have spread and multiplied 
among the Sioux are the direct outgrowth of the labors of the pioneers, both men 
and women, herein mentioned. Alfred L. Riggs, the founder of the Santee 
Mission Training School at Santee, Nebraska, passed away on April 15, 1916, 
after forty-six years of successful work in the footsteps of his father, the noted 

From that inspiring hymn, "Onward, Christian Soldiers," written by S. Bar- 
ing-Gould (1865), the following lines are selected: 

Like a mighty army- 
Moves the Church of God ; 

Brothers, we are treading 
Where the saints have trod; 

We are not divided, 
AH one Body we, 

One in hope and doctrine, 
One in charity. 

Onward, Christian soldiers. 
Marching as to war, 

With the cross of Jesus 
Going on before ! 







"Thy spirit, Independence, let me share: 
Lord of the lion heart and eagle eye, 
Thy steps I follow with my bosom bare 

Nor heed the storm that howls along the sky." 

— Tobias Smollett (1721-1771), Ode to Independence. 

Hope Springs eternal in the human breast. The Indians of America, no less 
than the white men of Europe, and the brown men of Asia, have had many- 
prophets and messiahs, who have taught them in spiritual things. 

Among the Indian teachers, one of the most noted was the prophet of the 
Delawares, who claimed to have visions in which he received instructions from 
the Master of Life, who taught a return to the simple life of the red man as the 
only avenue to Indian happiness. His followers were required to give up all 
they had acquired from the white men and return to the fire sticks and bows and 
arrows of their fathers, when it would be possible for them to organize and drive 
away the white men who were encroaching upon them. 

The story of the Shawnee prophet has already been given in these pages. 

Born during this period of excitement another Indian prophet appeared in 
Nevada, Tavibo, said to have been the father of the Indian messiah of 1890. He 
taught the resurrection of the dead and restoration of the game and the disap- 
pearance of the whites, leaving their effects and improvements to be enjoyed by 
the Indians. 

To bring about these results it was taught that there must be obedience to the 
ten commandments, and in addition they must cease using intoxicating liquors 
and refrain from gambling and horse racing. The propaganda was carried on 
secretly, and it was accompanied by a dance, which was the forerunner of the 
ghost dance. Since 1871 there have been other messiahs, all teaching substan- 
tially the same thing, their highest hopes being centered on the return of the game, 
and the disappearance of the whites, when the Indian should again enter on the 
life enjoyed by their fathers. 

When Tavibo died, in 1870, he left a son, Wovoka, then fourteen years of age, 
who had been reared in the land of his father, Mason Valley, Nevada, and who 



dreamed his dreams, and as he says when the sun died, meaning an ecHpse, he 
went up into heaven and saw God and all of the people who died long ago, and 
returning from his sleep he told his people what he had seen and heard, and his 
fame went out to all Indian lands, and the tribes sent their wise men to see and 
know of him. Dakota sent its representatives and the delegates declared that each 
one, though of different tribes and language, heard Wovoka in his own tongue.. 
And Wovoka told them that they must not hurt anyone or do any harm to any- 
one ; that they must not tight and must always do right for it would give them 
much satisfaction ; that they must not tell any lies or refuse to work for the whites 
or make any trouble for them; that when their friends die they must not cry. 
He charged them that they must not tell the white people but that the son of God 
had returned to the earth ; that the dead were alive and there would be no more 
sickness, and everyone would be young again ; this might be in the fall or in the 
spring, he could not tell, but they must dance every six weeks, every night for 
four nights and the fifth night till morning. Then they must bathe in the river 
and go home, and when they danced they must make a feast and have food that 
everyone might eat. And he gave them some new food and some sacred paint, 
and promised that he would come to them sometime. 

And thus equipped the wise men of the tribes returned to their people to teach 
the return of the ghosts and inaugurate the ghost dance. For the ghosts were 
coming and they were driving before them vast herds of antelope and buffalo and 
other game. 

One of the Indians who was present at the Mason Valley conference with 
Wovoka said of the meeting : 

"Heap talk all the time. Indians hear all about it everywhere, Indians come 
from long way ofT to hear him. They come from east; they make signs. All 
Indians must dance, everywhere keep on dancing. Pretty soon Big Man come. 
He bring back all game, of every kind, the game being thick everywhere. All dead 
Indians come back and live again. They all be strong, just like young Indians 
and have fine time. When Old Man come this way then all Indians go to the 
moutains, high up away from the whites. Whites can't hurt Indians then. Then 
while Indians go way up high big flood come and all white people get drowned. 
After that water go away, then nobody but Indians everywhere, all kinds of game 
thick. Indians who don't dance, who do not believe this word, will grow little, 
just about a foot high and stay that way. Some will be turned into wood and 
will be burned in fire." 

The returning delegates brought this new religion to the Dakota Indians in the 
winter of 1889 and 1890. Sitting Bull was its chief exponent at Standing Rock. 
Kicking Bull and Big Foot were at the Sheyenne Agency and Short Bull was 
the demonstrator at the Rosebud. Short Bull had visited Wovoka; he had 
touched the hand of the Messiah ; had received from him the holy bread and the 
sacred paint and had listened to his words ; he had received messages through 
him from his friends in spirit-land and had been told of their homes and their 
employments, and of the vast herds of buffalo and other game and had been 
assured that the day was soon coming when there would no longer be any whites 
to make them afraid. He told the Indians that they were living the sacred life; 
that the soldiers' guns were the only thing of which they were afraid, but these 
belonged to their father in heaven, and they should no longer fear the soldiers. 


He said: "If the soldiers surround you four deep, three of you on whom I have 
placed the holy shirt, shall sing a song which I have taught you, passing around 
them, when someone will fall dead. The others will start to run, but their horses 
will sink. The riders will jump from their horses and they will sink also. Then 
you can do to them as you desire. Now you must know this that all of the race 
will be dead, there will be only 5,000 living on earth." He urged that they should 
dance and be prepared for the time when these things should come. 

And thus they were prepared for the events of 1890. The agent at Pine 
Ridge was frantic with fear. He telegraphed every day for troops. In August, 
1890, 2,000 Indians met for the dance near Pine Ridge Agency and refused to 
give it up when ordered by the agent to stop. They leveled their guns, threaten- 
ing armed resistance to any interference. At the mere rumor of coming soldiers 
they fled to the Bad Lands, where they were joined by malcontents from other 
agencies. Short Bull at the Rosebud and Big Foot at the Sheyenne, also persisted 
in the dance. 

Octbber 9, 1890, a party of Indians under Kicking Bear left the Sheyenne 
Agency to visit Sitting Bull. He had invited them to visit him at his camp on 
the Grand River to inaugurate the ghost dance there. The dance had begun 
at Sheyenne River in September. 

Sitting Bull's heart was bad. He had broken the pipe of peace which had 
hung on his cabin wall since his surrender in 1881, declaring that he wanted to 
fight, and that he wanted to die. He had ceased to visit the agency. As a young 
man he refused to live at the agencies. He had spent the summers on the plains 
and the winters in the Bad Lands, or mountains, or in the timber on the Mouse 
River. Though a medicine man rather than a warrior, he had great influence with 
the Indians, drawing them to him and wielding them and the malcontents of 
almost every tribe against the whites. 

Agent James McLaughlin, of the Standing Rock Agency, visited Silting Bull's 
camp to induce him to return to the agency but he failed and the dance went on. 
Col. William F. Cody (Bufl^alo Bill) was employed by the Indian ofiice at Wash- 
ington to go to his camp, in the hope that he could influence him, but without 
avail. Major McLaughlin, who had succeeded much better than the other agents 
in controlling the Indians under his charge, advised against Sitting Bill's arrest 
at that time, lest it should lead to an outbreak, but his arrest had been determined 
upon by the Indian office. It was known that he intended to join the malcontents 
at the Pine Ridge Agency and that he had been invited to come there for "God 
was about to appear." He had asked permission to go but had prepared to go 
without permission. So on September 14, 1890, it was determined to make the 
arrest without further delay. There were some forty Indian police available and 
two companies of military, by forced marching from Fort Yates, were placed in 
supporting distance. 

Sitting Bull's arrest was made withovit resistance, but the police were imme- 
diately surrounded by one hundred and fifty or more of his friends on whom 
Tie called to rescue him. Whereupon they rushed upon the police and engaged in 
a hand-to-hand battle. One of Sitting Bull's followers shot Lieut. Bull Head, 
the officer in command of the Indian police, in the side. Bull Head turned and 
shot Sitting Bull, who was also shot at the same time by Sergt. Red Tomahawk. 
Sergt. Shave Head was also shot. Catch the Bear, of Sitting Bull's party, who 




fired the first shot, was killed by Alone Man, one of the Indian police. There 
were eight of Sitting Bull's party killed, including his seventeen-year-old son. 
The Indian pohce lost six killed or mortally wounded. Most of Sitting Bull's 
followers joined the Indians in the Bad Lands. 

Two weeks later, under the humane and fearless work of the military officers, 
most of the Indians who fled to the Band Lands on the approach of the military 
had been induced to return to their agencies. 

Big Foot's band and a few of Sitting Bull's Indians only remained in the 
field. Big Foot had agreed to surrender. He was ill with pneumonia, and the 
army physician had made him comfortable in his tepee. The pipe of peace hung 
on the center pole of his lodge. A white flag floated from the middle of his camp 
in token of his surrender. The women and children stood about the doors of 
the tepees, watching the soldiers in their camp, without thought of harm. The 
camps of the soldiers entirely surrounded the Indian camp. The military officers 
had demanded the surrender of the Indians' guns, in order to remove the tempta- 
tion of another uprising, and had promised food and clothing, and transporta- 
tion for their return to their respective agencies. A group of soldiers stood near 
the tepee of Big Foot. The Indians had been requested to come out of their tepees 
and deliver their arms. About twenty worthless pieces had been surrendered, 
while fully two hundred were known to be in their possession. A party of soldiers 
were searching the tepees for more arms. There was a growing feeling of anger 
among the Indians. Yellow Bird was circling about the camp, incessantly blow- 
ing a whistle made from an eagle bone, and urging the Indians to resist, possibly 
reminding them of the promise to Short Bull that someone should fall dead and 
the soldiers would be in their power. Presently he ceased blowing the eagle 
bone and threw a handful of dust into the air. At that moment Black Fox, a 
young Indian from the Sheyenne Agency, fired on the soldiers, who instantly 
responded with a volley at such close range that their guns almost touched the 
Indians, many of whom fell dead or wounded. Their survivors sprang to their 
assistance and a hand-to-hand struggle followed. Nearly all the Indians had 
knives, some warclubs, and many had guns hid under their blankets, prepared for 
just such an event. While the hand-to-hand struggle was going on about the 
tepee of Big Foot, the artillery opened on the Indian camp. There was the white 
puff of smoke, the roar of cannon, the shriek of shot and shell, the rattle of 
musketry, and the screams of women and children, as they fled to the prairie 
for safety, followed by volleys of musketry, and the dash of cavalry, cutting them 
down regardless of age or sex. 

In but a few moments 200 Indians and sixty soldiers lay dead or wounded 
upon the battlefield. Big Foot lay dead in his tepee. The men were mostly killed 
about his skin covered tent, the women and children were nearly all killed in 
flight, their bodies being scattered over the prairies for a distance of two miles 
or more. After the battle a gentle snow fell, spreading a mantle of white over 
the bloody scene. Many of the Indians wounded were frozen or perished in the 
blizzard which followed. Two babes were found alive among the dead on the 
third day after the battle and were reared and educated by white officers. 

The Indian dead were buried in a single trench. The Indians built a fence 
around the grave, smearing the posts with sacred paint from the hand of the 
Messiah. Among the soldier dead were Capt. George D. Wallace and thirty-one 


of the gallant Seventh Cavalry. Lieut. Ernest A. Garlington and Lieut. Harry 
L. Hawthorne were among the wounded. 

The first troops arrived at Pine Ridge November 19, 1890. Gen. Nelson A. 
Miles was in command of the campaign. Some three thousand troops were sta- 
tioned at various points in the Lidian country. Upon the first approach of the troops 
most of the Indians fled to the Bad Lands, carrying away part of the agency herd 
of cattle, and destroying their own homes and the homes of those who were not in 
sympathy with them. Under the pacific work of General Miles and his officers, 
most of the Indians had been induced to return to their respective agencies, and 
in a few hours more, at most, it was expected the ghost dance uprising would be 
over without a single depredation upon the whites. 

After the battle of Wounded Knee 4,000 Indians immediately took the war- 
path. The agency was attacked and serious loss was likely to result both to the 
whites and to the Indians, but wiser counsels prevailed and on January 12, 1891, 
the hostiles surrendered to General Miles and the ghost dance war was over. The 
Indians gave up their arms and returned to their agencies. Kicking Bear and 
Short Bull voluntarily surrendered and were sent to Camp Sheridan, until all fear 
of trouble was over. 

There was nothing in the teachings of Wovoka that necessarily led to war. 
"Do right always and do no harm to any one" was the golden rule laid down by 
him, and it is quite equal to that of Jesus, "Do unto others as you would be done 
by," or the older rule of the Chinese teacher, "Do not unto others that which 
you would not have them do unto you." The Indians were doing no harm in 
their dances. True, they were expecting much and hoping for it soon, but when 
the spring time passed and the summer faded and the chilly blasts of autumn 
were again upon them and the ghosts and the game came not, their good sense 
would have returned and the excitement would have died out as the fires lighted 
under the inspiration of a former Messiah flickered and died. 

Had the advice of Major McLaughlin and General Miles been accepted, or 
had the matter been left entirely in their hands, there would have been no blood- 
shed. It was the frantic appeals of the agent at Pine Ridge that brought the 
military. Their coming resulted in a stampede of the Indians to the Bad Lands. 
The foolish conduct of Yellow Bird and Black Fox brought on the wholly unpre- 
meditated battle of Wounded Knee. They struck the match that kindled the 
flame of battle. 

But the surrender of January 12, 1891, came very near not being the end. 
The Indians were quiet in their homes near the agency. Their ponies, except a 
few held in camp for emergency, were grazing on the bufifalo grass covered plains 
near by. There was activity in the military camp. The Indian sentinels signaled 
their chief and the Indian camp was in turmoil. There was instant preparation 
for battle and for flight. Boots and saddles and the assembly sounded in the 
military camp and cavalry and infantry moved into place for the march. General 
Miles had sent a messenger to the Indians to assure them, but still they were 
afraid, and the rumor flew that all of the women and children were to be mas- 
sacred, as those were who were at Wounded Knee. A single shot from foolish 
Indian or careless soldier there would have added another bloody page. But 
there was none. The troops took up their line of march and the Indian country 
was again without soldiers to make the red men afraid. 


In the hearts of the Indian the principles taught by Wovoka hve. The hope 
that the dead and the game may return, no longer exists, at least they are not 
expected in the spring, nor when the prairie chicken begins to fly, nor when the 
berries are ripe in autumn. The pipe of peace hangs on the cabin wall, and 
emblazoned on their hearts is the motto: "Do not fight. Do right always and do 
no harm to anyone." Hungry sometimes. But they are learning that the Great 
Spirit will listen to the music of the plow and the hoe and supply their wants, 
and they know that the sunshine and grass never fail, and that the cattle can take 
the place of the bufifalo. 


The hardships of frontier days were many. There was the constant dread 
of Indian attack, and the knowledge that the apparently friendly Indian was 
bound by the regulations of his tribe ; that the soldier's lodge, or warriors in 
council, governed. There was no certain protection unless backed by force and 
a will to direct it. 

There was lack of food for weeks and months at a time and lack of proper 
clothing. There was danger from wild animals and from storms. In the Red 
River Valley after the grasshopper raid of 1818 the country was left barren of 
seed, and Selkirk sent an expedition overland to Prairie du Chien to obtain a sup- 
ply at an expense of some six thousand dollars. The expedition left Prairie du 
Chien April 15, 1820, with three Mackinaws loaded with 200 bushels of wheat, 
100 bushels of oats and 30 bushels of peas. They passed up the Mississippi 
River to the Minnesota, up the Minnesota to Big Stone Lake, and then by means 
of rollers under their boats made a portage of i J/2 miles into Lake Traverse, then 
into the Bois de Sioux and thence into the Red River, arriving at Pembina June 
3d. all of the way from Prairie du Chien by water excepting ij^ miles. Only 
that difference between the waters emptying into the Gulf of Mexico and those 
wending their way to Hudson Bay. There were five weeks in 1852 when there 
was uninterrupted canoe communication between the Red River and the Minne- 
sota, and boats actually made the trip from Pembina to St. Paul. 

As to the conditions that year at Pembina we have the testimony of Cliarles 
Cavileer, the collector at Pembina. There were no herds of lowing kine and no 
fields of waving grain. There was the trader's store at Pembina, the United 
States Customs Office and some seven buildings pertaining to the trading post. 
There were several half-breed families in the vicinity. 

Cavileer and a companion were in the cock loft of the custom house where 
they were confined during the flood, excepting as they got out in boats. Cavileer 
said : "In this loft with one companion I spent over five weeks surrounded by 
water over five feet deep, extending from the River O'Maris to the Minnesota 
Ridge. There was thirty miles of open sea. One night it blew a furious gale. 
The waves rolled over the roof and every moment we expected 'the frail build- 
ing to go over, but we were saved by being in the lee of the Kittson buildings. 
There were seven of these arranged in an L shape made of heavy oak logs. Some- 
times we went visiting, returning in our canoes the visits of the fair maidens to 
our bachelor quarters, and sometimes we went hunting ducks and geese by rowing 
around among the timber, and had much success in hunting duck eggs among the 


driftwood. Notwithstanding the flood, we Hterally feasted on the fat of the 
land." Cavileer insisted that he never had so much fun in his Hfe as he had 
during those five weeks. Conditions had changed some, however, prior to the 
latest flood of 1897, when canoeing was not so pleasant a pastime in the streets 
of some of the Red River Valley cities. There were floods also in 1828, 1861, 
1873 and 1882. Surveys have recently been made with a view to Government 
action toward relieving the valley from the disastrous eft'ects of these floods,, 
which are not as severe, however, as they were in the early days. 

And there were blizzards, too, in those days. General Fremont speaks of one 
that came up during his explorations. The word blizzard was not used until 
after the war in connection with these storms. They were known as nor-westers. 
Rosecrans used to say "fire low, boys, give them a blizzard in the shins," when 
resisting the charge of the enemy. A shower of shot and shell might be more 
terrific to meet than a storm driving particles of ice at forty to sixty miles an 
hour, as the blizzard does, but the blizzard is bad enough. 

Fortunately these storms were not frequent and are in a great measure dis- 
appearing before the development of the country, even though callow youths 
and tenderfeet are inclined to give the name to every winter storm. There was 
a blizzard which prevailed for three days in February, 1866. In December, 1867, 
there was another. Hon. Donald Stevenson had forty-five wagons drawn by oxen 
loaded with supplies for Fort Ransom. They had left St. Cloud and had reached 
their destination and were on their return trip. Stevenson followed them by 
stage. He was approaching Fort Abercrombie, or rather nearing the dinner sta- 
tion east of Abercrombie, when the storm came upon them. A fine mist came 
creeping over the prairie. They knew too well what was coming. Before they 
could button down the flaps on the stage the storm was upon them in all its fury. 
It was striking the driver and team fairly in the face, blinding them. It was 
with the utmost difficulty that the team could be kept facing the storm. Every 
few moments one from the stage would be obliged to get out and help remove 
the icicles which were closing the eyes of the driver. A building could not have 
been distinguished five feet ahead of the team or on either side of it. The beaten 
road was hard and by instinct the horses sprang back to that when their feet 
touched the soft snow. Finally the team stopped and refused to go any further. 
They were at the door of the dinner station. It was the third day before Mr. 
Stevenson was able to reach his train. Twenty-one of his oxen had perished. 
Several of the wagons were literally buried and five of them were left until 
spring. Several of the men had been fifty hours in the storm without food. On 
the way to the train Stevenson found two men from a Fort Ransom dog train 
carrying the mail, sitting against a tree, where they had taken refuge, frozen to 
death. A third was found unconscious in the snow. He was taken to the station 
and his life was saved, but not his fingers and toes. When Stevenson undertook 
to relieve the dogs on their sledge one of them in his frenzy sprang at his throat. 
There was another fearful blizzard in 1873. For three days there was no com- 
munication between St. Paul and Minneapolis. Not a soul passed between the 
two places. There were no telephones then and the telegraph wires were down 
and the wagon roads and railways were blockaded. Scores of people returning 
from market perished in the western part of Minnesota, some within ten rods 
of their homes, which they were unable to locate. 



In the Selkirk Colony in 1818, "in waves of silver drifting on to harvest" 
apparently, rolled the grain. But one bright day the sun was suddenly darkened, 
a cloud resting over the land, but it soon settled down and proved to be caused 
by myriads of grasshoppers. They completely destroyed every green thing. The 
trees were stripped of their leaves and the branches of the green bark. The 
fields were as barren of vegetation as though swept by flame. Along the water's 
edge by the river the grasshoppers lay in rows, where swept by the waves, 
from four to nine inches in depth. The stench from them was sickening. The 
next year they again appeared in increased numbers, having been hatched on the 
ground. Seventeen years prior to this time they had appeared in even greater 
numbers, as recorded by Captain Henry, then interested in trading at Pembina. 

They visited the Missouri Slope in 1858 and 1873. In the Red River Valley 
in 1873 they drifted on the railroad track and were crushed on the rails to such 
an extent that it was necessary to sand the track before the trains could move. 


The mosquitoes were almost unbearable in the timber and the valleys. Maj. 
Samuel Woods speaks of them, and of the terrific thunder storms and the condi- 
tion of the prairies, in his report of his expedition to the Red River Valley. 

His expedition left Fort Snelling June 6th, and arrived at Pembina August i, 
1849. They left Pembina on their return trip August 26th, and reached Fort 
Snelling September 18, 1849. They were fifty-seven days going up and twenty- 
three returning. It rained much of the time on the way up, and on their 
arrival at Pembina there was a raise of twenty feet and the river was out of its 
banks. The teams mired on the open prairie, and though they waited nearly four 
weeks at Pembina they were obliged to give up on account of the roads a con- 
templated trip to the Pembina Mountains. Even the thickly matted turf of the 
prairie would not support the weight of the wagons. 

On the rainy days they had the most terrific thunder storms, when the rain 
would fall in torrents and the heavens were in a flare of light and "thunder broke 
over us appallingly," wrote Major Woods. They were driven from the timber 
by the mosquitoes, and being on the high, open prairie, "the thunder broke over us 
in such smashing explosions that for two hours our position was torturing beyond 
description. Many left their tents and stood out regardless of the pelting rain, 
nor was this an idle or unreasonable apprehension, for only a few days before 
we had the thunder bolt amongst us in its dire eft'ects, and we knew our camp 
was the most probable object if there was another stray one at leisure." Only 
a few days before the camp had been struck by lightning and Lieutenant Nelson 
had been seriously injured. 

In the fall of 1914 Dr. Joseph E. Dixon headed an expedition to carry the 
United States flag and the greetings of the President to the Indian nations. The 
expedition was organized by Rodman Wanamaker, and was accompanied by 
Indian Inspector James McLaughlin and Edward W. Deming, the noted artist. 
The speeches of President Wilson and Secretary Lane were carried by phono- 
graph and were as follows : 


President Woodrow Wilson: "The Great White Father now calls you his 
'brothers,' not his 'children.' Because you have shown in your education and in 
your settled ways of life stanch, manly, worthy qualities of sound character, the 
nation is about to give you distinguished recognition through the erection of a 
monument in honor of the Indian people in the harbor of New York. The erection 
of that monument will usher in that day which Thomas Jefferson said he would 
rejoice to see, 'when the red men become truly one people with us, enjoying all 
the rights and privileges we do, and living in peace and plenty.' I rejoice to 
foresee that day." 

Secretary Lane of the Interior Department: "I have been chosen by the Big 
Chief in the White House to sit up and watch, to keep the wolves as far away 
from you as I can. You know that I stand here as the voice and with the hand 
of the great man in the White House. He loves to do justice above all things. 
He will do justice to you." 

Rodman Wanamaker, founder of the expedition: "These sacred ceremo- 
nies, begun at Fort Wadsworth, and now completed on your own Indian 
ground, will strengthen in your hearts the feeling of allegiance and loyalty to 
your country, to be eternally sealed as a covenant in the national Indian memo- 
rial, to stand forever as the pledge of a new life and peace everlasting." 

Doctor Dixon spoke in person : "The flag is more than a piece of colored 
bunting. The red stripe in its folds is symbolized by the red blood in your 
veins and mine, by the red glow in the sunset, by the red in your ceremonial 

"The white stripe finds a symbol in the white cloud that floats in the sky, in 
the white snow that drifts across the plains, in the purest thought that goes 
from your heart to the Great Mystery. 

"The field of blue with the white stars you may see every clear night as you 
look into the great dome above your heads. 

"It is the only flag in the world that takes the heaven and earth and man to 
symbolize. This makes out of it an eternal flag, and we ought to be eternally 
loyal to it. 

"I therefore dedicate the American flag to justice, mercy and fair play to 
the North American Indian." 

The idea of interesting the Indian in citizenship and loyalty to the flag was 
the prime object of the expedition. Many of the wards of the government had 
had no understanding previously of what the flag meant, and a large number had 
seldom seen it except when raised on their reservation. 

In order to give the red men a deeper interest in the emblem and its signifi- 
cance, two flags were carried each time a tribe was visited. One of these flags 
was the one raised at the Fort Wadsworth services. The other was presented 
for the use of the tribe. The ceremonies attending this presentation were 
always made impressive, following as nearly as possible those held in New York. 

What this flag came to mean to the Indian, after its significance had been 
explained to him, might be gathered from the fact that the Taos Pueblos in New 
Mexico voted that the flag should be preserved with two canes which were given 
to the tribe by Abraham Lincoln and which are handed down from generation to 

Doctor Dixon explained to those he visited that the white man wished to be 


more friendly to the red man; that he wanted to treat him more as a brother 
and otter to him greater opportunities. 

Then the allegiance signed by representatives of the thirty-two tribes and 
attested by President Taft was presented for their signatures. The chiefs and 
old men of the tribes were always called on to take part in the various features 
of the rites. The signatures were both by pen and by thumb print. 

Following is the allegiance : "We, the undersigned representatives of vari- 
ous Indian tribes of the United States, through our presence and the part we 
have taken in the inauguration of this memorial to our people, renew our 
allegiance to the glorious flag of the United States, and offer our hearts to our 
country's service. We greatly appreciate the honor and privilege extended by 
our white brothers, who have recognized us by inviting us to participate in the 
ceremonies on this historical occasion. 

"The Indian is fast losing his identity in the face of the great waves of 
Caucasian civilization which are extending to the four winds of this country, 
and we want fuller knowledge in order that we may take our places in the 
civilization which surrounds us. 

"Though a conquered race, with our right hands extended in brotherly love 
and our left hands holding the pipe of peace, we hereby bury all past ill feelings, 
and proclaim abroad to all the nations of the world our firm allegiance to this 
nation and to the Stars and Stripes, and declare that henceforth and forever in 
all walks of life and every field of endeavor we shall be as brothers, striving 
hand in hand, and will return to our people and tell them the story of this 
memorial and urge upon them their continued allegiance to our common 

The original signers of this document were : Plenty Coos, W'hite Man Runs 
Him, Medicine Crown, Two Moons, Red Hawk, Edward Swan, Shouklerblade, 
Red Cloud, Big Mane, Drags Wolf, Little Wolf, Richard Wallace, Frank 
.Schively, Louis Baker, Black Wolf, Wooden Leg, Milton Whiteman, Willis 
Rowland, John P. Young, Reuben Estes, Henry Leeds, Reginald Oshkosh, Rob- 
ert Summer Yellowtail, Many Chiefs, Chapman Schanandoah, Angus P. McDon- 
ald, Tennyson Berry, Mitchell Waukean, Peter Deanoine, Deanoine, Delos K. 
Lonewolf and Joseph Packineau. 

It is estimated that the Indian memorial which Mr. Wanamaker has started 
in New York Harbor will cost approximately one million dollars. The top will 
be a large statue of an Indian. The base will be a museum in which will be an 
art gallery replete with pictures of North American aborigines. Also animals 
of the chase, weapons and various sorts of articles used by the Indians will be 
placed there. 

It is planned to make this the most complete museum of Indian life in 
existence. Authentic books on this race will be one of the features which it will 
embrace, as well as a history, which will be preserved there in such a manner 
that if any great calamity ever befell this country these records would be left 
intact so that anyone coming after might find them and thus learn the history of 
these early Americans. 

Mr. Wanamaker first became interested in the North American Indian 
through Doctor Dixon. He explained to Doctor Dixon that he wished to do 
sometliing for his country. The latter replied that he might well take up the 


case of the Indian. Doctor Dixon became interested in tlie red man seventeen 
years ago while out West on a reservation. He saw that the ideas he had gath- 
ered from books concerning the Indian were not true to life. This was the 
start of a study of them. 

Doctor Dixon is high in his praise of Mr. Wanamaker, saying he "is more 
than a philanthropist. He is a patriot in every sense of the word. He wants to 
convert the heroism of yesterday into the inspiration of today." 

The Iroquois Indians adopted Doctor Dixon into their tribe, naming him 
"Flying Sunshine," from the speed with which he traveled and the messages of 
good cheer which he brought to them. 

The expedition gathered many Indian rehcs, many drawings and paintings 
of Indian life and by phonograph many Indian songs and speeches. 







Bills were introduced in the Thirty-fifth Congress by Senator Graham A. 
Fitch of Indiana, and Alexander H. Stevens of Georgia, for the creation of 
Dakota Territory, but failed to receive consideration beyond reference to the 
proper committees. 

The Thirty-sixth Congress convened December 5, 1859. A short time before 
its meeting, Capt. John B. S. Todd and Gen. Daniel M. Frost, who had been in 
Washington in the interest of Dakota Territorial Organization, made urgent 
appeals to the people of Dakota to hold meetings and formulate petitions for the 
organization of the territory. 

Meetings were accordingly held at Yankton and Vermilion, November 8, 1859. 
Downer T. Bramble was president and Moses K. Armstrong secretary of the 
Yankton meeting. Gen. Daniel M. Frost of St. Louis, was present and urged a 
Strong memorial to Congress. Capt. John B. S. Todd, Obed Foote and Thomas 
S. Frick were members of the committee on resolutions, George D. Fiske, James 
M. Stone and Capt. John B. S. Todd were appointed a committee to draft a 
memorial. Joseph R. Hanson, John Stanage, Henry Arend, Horace T. Bailey, 
Enos Stutsman, J. S. Presho, George Pike, Jr., Frank Chapell, Charles F. Picotte, 
Felix Le Blanc and Lytle M. Griffith were present. 

The memorial formulated and adopted at this meeting was also adopted by 
the meeting at Vermilion, — at the house of James McHenry — of which J. D. 
Denton was chairman and James McHenry secretary. Doctors Caulkins and 
Whitmers and Samuel IMortimer were appointed a committee on resolutions. The 
meeting adopted the Yankton Memorial, which was signed by 428 citizens of 
Dakota, and was presented to Congress by Capt. John B. S. Todd at its meeting 
in December. 

A bill was introduced in Congress early in December, 1859, by Senator Henry 
M. Rice, of Minnesota, but when brought up for consideration the slavery ques- 
tion being involved, the bill was tabled, and no further action was taken at that 
session. Congress adjourned June 20, i860. 



A second convention was held at Yankton, January 15, 1861, in response to 
the urgent appeals of Captain Todd, who was then in Washington and another 
memorial was forwarded bearing 478 signatures, comprising practically all of 
the citizens of Dakota. 

A bill was pending in the House providing for the admission of a delegate to 
Congress under the Sioux Falls organization and for the creation of the office 
of surveyor-general. This bill was bitterly antagonized by Galusha A. Grow, 
who claimed that organization was no more entitled to respect than a vigilance 
committee ; at the same time stating that he was in favor of the organization of 
a territorial form of government for Dakota and that in due time a bill would be 
reported for that purpose. 

February 15, 1861, Senator James S. Green reported from the Senate Com- 
mittee on Territories, Senate Bill 562, for the creation of the Territory of Dakota; 
also the bill for the creation of the Territory of Nevada. The bill was made a 
special order for the next day. On February 26th, it was called up by Senator 
Green and passed without objection. March 1st, Mr. Grow called up the bill 
in the House, moved the previous question, which was seconded and the bill 
passed without debate and without opposition. The bill was approved by Presi- 
dent James Buchanan on March 2, 1861. Its companion bill, Nevada, was passed 
and approved at the same time. The Arizona and Colorado bills were passed 
at the same session, the four, largely through the masterly management of Galusha 
A. Grow, the father of the Homestead Law. 

The agitation for the Homestead Law commenced in 1846. In the Thirty- 
sixth Congress it was introduced in the Senate by Senator Andrew Johnson of 
Tennessee, Senate Bill No. i, and carried to a successful issue by Mr. Johnson 
in the Senate and Mr. Grow in the House, January 20, i860, but was vetoed by 
President Buchanan, January 22, i860, on the theory that Congress had no 
right to give away public property. The bill was reintroduced at the second 
.session of the Thirty-sixth Congress, passed in the Thirty-seventh Congress and 
approved May 20, 1862, by President Abraham Lincoln. 

Captain Todd has been mentioned frequently in ])rcvious chapters. It will 
be remembered that he resigned his commission in the United States army to 
become identified with D. M. Frost & Co., or Frost, Todd & Company, as it 
was for a time called, in the fur trade. 

(ien. Daniel Marsh Frost, a general in the Missouri State Militia and in the 
Confederate army. 1861-5, was a native of New York, appointed to the mili- 
tary academy in 1840 and commissioned a lieutenant in the United States army, 
resigning in 1853 to engage in trade. He was the head of the firm bearing his 
name, with headquarters at St. Louis, where he died, October 29, 1900. 

Next to General Frost and captain, afterwards general, John B. S. Todd, 
Dakota is indebted to Senator James S. Green and Galusha A. Grow for its 
■organization as a territory. 

Senator James .S. Green was born in \'irginia, moved to Alabama and then 
to Missouri, where he commenced the practice of law at Canton in that state. 
He was a presidential elector on the Polk and Dallas ticket in 1844 and elected 
to the Thirtieth and Thirty-first Congresses; was charge d'affairs to Colombia 
in 1853 and appointed minister to Colombia, but did not present his credentials. 
He was elected to the United States Senate for the term commencing March 4, 
1855, ^"d served to March 3, 1861. He died at St. Louis, January 19, 1870. 

Thirtv-tliree feet in thickness 



Galusha A. Grow, a representative from Pennsylvania, was a native of Con- 
necticut, admitted to practice law in 1847, elected to the Thirty-second, Thirty- 
third and Thirty-fourth congresses as a free soil democrat and to the Thirty- 
tifth. Thirty-sixth and Thirty-seventh congresses as a republican. He was 
speaker of the House in 1857, and in the Thirty-seventh Congress. He was 
re-elected to the Fifty-third. Fifty-fourth, Fifty-fifth, Fifty-sixth and Fifty- 
seventh congresses, declining a renomination. He died March 31, 1907, at 
.Scranton, Fa. The Homestead Law was the crowning achievement of his 
]>olitical life. 

Rev. John P. Williamson, mentioned in connection with the Sioux, states 
that the word Dakota, in the Sioux language means friends or allies, the Dakota 
nation being a nation of friends; that Minnesota might be translated hazy water, 
not muddy water as held by some, nor many waters, as translated by others ; 
that the Sioux name for the Missouri River was Minne-sho-she, meaning muddy 
water, and from the mouth of the ^'ellowstone to its confluence with the Missis- 
sippi, it justifies that name. 

Dakota Territory, as created, extended from the Red River of the north and 
the western boundary of Minnesota, to the eastern boundary of Washington and 
Oregon. It included all of Montana and most of Idaho, embracing 350,000 
square miles, containing, according to the census of i860, a white po]Hilation 
(including mixed bloods) of 2,376, of whom 1,606 were in Pembina County. 

March 3, 1863, the Territory of Idaho was created, extending from the 
twenty-seventh degree of longitude west from Washington, to the eastern boun- 
dary of Washington a*nd Oregon, and May 26, 1864, Montana was created from 
Idaho Territory, and at the same time the Black Hills region and the greater 
part of Wyoming, including the Wind River and Bighorn country, was attached 
to Dakota Territory. Wyoming Territory was created July 25, 1868, and a part 
of Dakota was later attached to Nebraska, leaving a territory of approximately 
149,000 square miles. 

In Minnesota territorial days. Blue Earth County embraced nearly all of 
South Dakota. Pembina County was directly north of Blue Earth County, tak- 
ing in all of the present North Dakota, part of South Dakota, extending east to 
Rainy Lake and Lake Winnipegoosis, taking in about one-third of Minnesota 

In 1856 Pembina County was the Seventh Legislative District in Minnesota 
Territory and was represented by Joseph Rolette in the Council and R. Carlisle 
I'urdick in the Flouse of Representatives. 

Blue Earth County was in the Tenth Legislative District and was repre- 
sented in the Council by Charles E. Flandrau and Parsons K. Johnson, and by 
Aurelius F. de la \^ergue and George A. McLeod in the House of Representa- 
tives. In 1857 P. P. Humphrey was elected to the Council, Joseph R. Brown, 
Francis R. Baasen and O. A. Thomas to the House of Representatives. In the 
Seventh District Joseph Rolette was returned to the Council ; Charles Grant and 
John B. Wilkie were elected to the House of Representatives. 

In the Minnesota Constitutional Convention, the Seventh District was rep- 
resented by James McFetridge, J. P. Wilson, J. Jerome, Xavier Cautell, Joseph 
Rolette and Louis Wasseur. The Tenth District was represented by Joseph R. 


Brown, Charles E. Flandrau, Francis Baasen, William B. McMahon and J. H. 

The Organic Act of Dakota is as follows : 


Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United 
States of Ameriea in Congress assembled, That all that part of the territory 
of the United States included within the following limits, namely : commencing 
at a point in the main channel of the Red River of the North, where the 
forty-ninth degree of north latitude crosses the same ; thence up the main 
channel of the same, and along the boundary of the State of Minnesota, to Big 
Stone Lake ; thence along the boundary line of the said State of Minnesota to 
the Iowa line ; thence along the boundary line of the State of Iowa to the 
point of intersection between the Big Sioux and Missouri Rivers ; thence up 
the Missouri River, and along the boundary line of the Territory of Nebraska, 
to the mouth of the Niobrara or Running Water River; thence following up 
the same, in the middle of the main channel thereof, to the mouth of the 
Keha Paha or Turtle Hill River ; thence up said river to the forty-third parallel 
of north latitude; thence due west to the present boundary of the Territory of 
Washington ; thence along the boundary line of Washington Territory, to the 
forty-ninth degree of north latitude ; thence east, along said forty-ninth degree 
of north latitude, to the place of beginning, be, and the s'ame is hereby, organ- 
ized into a temporary government, by the name of the Territory of Dakota : 
Provided, That nothing in this act contauied shall be construed to impair the 
rights of person or property now pertaining to the Indians in said Territory, 
so long as such rights shall remain unextinguished by treaty between the United 
States and such Indians, or to include any territory which, by treaty with any 
Indian tribe, is not, without the consent of said tribe, to be included within the 
territorial limits or jurisdiction of any State or Territory: but all such territory 
shall be excepted out of the boundaries and constitute no part of the Territory 
of Dakota, until said tribe shall signify their assent to the President of the 
United States to be included within the said Territory, or to affect the authority 
of the Government of the United States to make any regulations respecting 
such Indians, their lands, jjroperty, or other rights, by treaty, law, or otherwise, 
which it would have been competent for the Government to make if this act 
had never passed: Provided, furtlier. That nothing in this act contained shall 
he construed to inhibit the Government of the United States from dividing 
said Territory into two or more Territories, in such manner and at such times 
as Congress shall deem convenient and proper, or from attaching any portion 
thereof to any other Territory or State. 

Sec 2. And be it further enacted. That the executive power and authority 
in and over said Territory of Dakota, shall be vested in a governor, who shall 
hold his office for four years, and until his successor shall be appointed and 
qualified, unless sooner removed by the President of the United States. The 
governor shall reside within said Territory, shall be commander-in-chief of 
the militia thereof, shall perform the duties and receive the emoluments of 


superintendent of Indian affairs, and shall approve all laws passed by the 
legislative assembly before they shall take effect; he may grant pardons for 
offences against the laws of said Territory, and reprieves for offences against 
the laws of the United States until the decision of the President can be made 
known thereon; he shall commission all offices who shall be appointed to office 
under the laws of said Territory, and shall take care that the laws be faithfully 

Sec. 3. And be it further enacted, That there shall be a secretary of said 
Territory, who shall reside therein, and hold his office for four years, unless 
sooner removed by the President of the United States; he shall record and 
preserve all the laws and proceedings of the legislative assembly hereinafter 
constituted, and all the acts and proceedings of the governor, in his executive 
department; he shall transmit one copy of the laws, and one copy of the execu- 
tive proceedings, on or before the first day of December in each year, to the 
President of the United States, and, at the same time, two copies of the laws 
to the Speaker of the House of Representatives and the President of the Senate, 
for the use of Congress; and in case of the death, removal, or resignation, or 
other necessary absence of the governor from the Territory, the secretary shall 
have, and he is hereby authorized and required, to execute and perform all the 
powers and duties of the governor during such vacancy or necessary absence, 
or until another governor shall be duly appointed to fill such vacancy. 

Sec. 4. And be it further enacted. That the legislative power and authority 
of said Territory shall be vested in the governor and a legislative assembly. 
The legislative assembly shall consist of a council and house of representatives. 
The council shall consist of nine members, which may be increased to thirteen, 
having the qualifications of voters as hereinafter prescribed, whose term of 
service shall continue two years. The house of representatives shall consist 
of thirteen members, which may be increased to twenty-six, possessing the 
same qualifications as prescribed for members of the council, and whose term 
of service shall continue one year. An apportionment shall be made, as nearly 
equal as practicable, among the several counties or districts for the election of 
the council and house of representatives, giving to each section of the Territory 
representation in the ratio of its population, (Indians excepted) as nearly as 
may be; and the members of the council and of the house of representatives 
shall reside in, and be inhabitants of, the district for which they may be elected, 
respectively. Previous to the first election, the governor shall cause a census 
or enumeration of the inhabitants of the several counties and districts of the 
Territory to be taken ; and the first election shall be held at such time and places, 
and be conducted in such manner, as the governor shall appoint and direct; 
and he shall, at the same time, declare the number of the members of the 
council and house of representatives to which each of the counties or districts 
shall be entitled under this act. The number of persons authorized to be elected, 
having the highest number of votes in each of said council districts, for members 
of the council, shall be declared by the governor to be duly elected to the 
council; and the person or persons authorized to be elected having the greatest 
number of votes for the house of representatives, equal to the number to which 
each county or district shall be entitled, shall be declared by the governor to be 
elected members of the house of representatives : Provided, That in case of a 


tie between two or more persons voted for, the governor shall order a new 
election, to supply the vacancy made by such tie. And the persons thus elected 
to the legislative assembly shall meet at such place and on such day as the 
governor shall appoint; but thereafter, the time, place, and manner of holding 
and conducting all elections by the people, and the apportioning the represen- 
tation in the several counties or districts to the council and house of repre- 
sentatives, according to the population, shall be prescribed by law, as well as 
the day of the commencement of the regular sessions of the legislative assembly: 
Provided, That no one session shall exceed the term of forty days, except the 
first, which may be extended to sixty days, but no longer. 

Sec. 5. And be it further enacted. That every free white male inhabitant 
of the United States above the age of twenty-one years, who shall have been 
a resident of said Territory at the time of the passage of this act, shall be 
entitled to vote at the first election, and shall be eligible to any office within 
the said Territory ; but the qualifications of voters and of holding office at all 
subsequent elections shall be such as shall be prescribed by the legislative 
assembly: Provided, That the right of suffrage and of holding office shall be 
exercised only by citizens of the United States and those who shall have 
declared on oath their intention to become such, and shall have taken an oath 
to support the Constitution of the United States. 

Sec. 6. And be it further enacted. That the legislative power of the Terri- 
tory shall extend to all rightful subjects of legislation consistent with the 
Constitution of the United States and the provisions of this act; but no law 
shall be passed interfering with the primary disposal of the soil ; no tax shall 
be imposed upon the property of the United States ; nor shall the lands or other 
property of non-residents be taxed higher than the lands or other property of 
residents; nor shall any law be passed impairing the rights of private property; 
nor shall any discrimination be made in taxing different kinds of property; 
but all property subject to taxation shall be in proportion to the value of the 
property taxed. 

Sec. 7. .-hid be it fnrtlier enacted. That all township, district, and county 
officers, not herein otherwise provided for, shall be ajipointed or elected, as the 
case may be, in such manner as shall be provided by the governor and legislative 
assembly of the Territory. The governor shall nominate and, by and with the 
advice and consent of the legislative council, appoint all officers not herein 
otherwise provided for; and, in the first instance, the governor alone may 
appoint all said officers, who shall hold their offices until the end of the first 
session of the legislative assembly, and shall lay oft' the necessary districts for 
members of the council and house of representatives, and all other officers. 

Sec. 8. And be it fnrtlier enacted. That no member of the legislative 
assembly shall hold or be appointed to any office which shall have been created, 
or the salary or emoluments of which shall have been increased while he was 
a member, during the term for which, he was elected, and for one year after 
the expiration of such term ; and no person holding a commission or ap])oint- 
ment under the United States, except postmasters, shall be a member of the 
legislative assembly, or shall hold any office under the government of said 

Sec. 9. And be it further enacted. That the judicial power of said Territory 


shall be vested in a supreme court, district courts, probate courts, and in justices 
of the peace. The supreme court shall consist of a chief justice and two asso- 
ciate justices, any two of whom shall constitute a cjuorum, and who shall hold 
a term at the seat of government of said Territory annually, and they shall hold 
their offices during the period of four years. The said Territory shall be 
divided into three judicial districts, and a district court shall be held in each 
of said districts by one of the justices of the supreme court, at such time and 
place as may be prescribed by law ; and the said judges shall, after their appoint- 
ments, respectively, reside in the districts which shall be assigned them. The 
jurisdiction of the several courts herein provided for, both appellate and origi- 
nal, and that of the probate courts and of the justices of the peace, shall be as 
limited by law: Provided. That justices of the peace shall not have jurisdiction 
of any matter in controversy when the title or boundaries of land may be in 
dispute, or where the debt or sum claimed shall exceed one hundred dollars; 
and the said suijreme and district courts, respectively, shall possess chancery 
as well as common-law jurisdiction, and authority for redress of all wrongs 
committed against the Constitution or laws of the United States, or of the 
Territory, aflfecting persons or property. Each district court, or the judge 
thereof, shall appoint its clerk, who shall also be the register in chancery, and 
shall keep his office at the place where the court may be held. Writs of error, 
bills of exception, and appeals, shall be allowed in all cases from the final 
decisions of said district courts to the supreme court, under such regulations 
as may be prescribed by law ; but in no case removed to the supreme court shall 
trial by jury be allowed in said court. The supreme court, or the justices 
thereof, shall appoint its own clerk, and every clerk shall hold his office at the 
pleasure of the court for which he shall have been appointed. Writs of error 
and appeals from the final decisions of said supreme court shall be allowed, 
and may be taken to the Supreme Court of the United States, in the same 
manner and under the same regulations as from the circuit courts of the United 
States, where the value of the property, or the amount in controversy, to be 
ascertained by the oath or affirmation of either party, or other competent witness, 
shall exceed one thousand dollars ; and each of the said district courts shall 
have and exercise the same jurisdiction, in all cases arising under the Consti- 
tution and laws of the United States as is vested in the circuit and district courts 
of the United States; and the said supreme and district courts of the said 
Territory, and the respective judges thereof, shall and may grant writs of 
habeas corpus in all cases in which the same are grantable by the judges of the 
United States in the District of Columbia ; and the first six days of every term 
of said courts, or so much thereof as shall be necessary, shall be appropriated 
to the trial of causes arising under the said Constitution and laws ; and writs of 
error and appeals in all such cases shall be made to the supreme court of said 
Territory the same as in other cases. The said clerk shall receive, in all such 
cases, the same fees which the clerks of the district courts of Nebraska Territory 
now receive for similar services. 

Sec. io. And be it further enacted, That there shall be appointed an 
attorney for said Territory, who shall continue in office for four years, unless 
sooner removed by the President, and who shall receive the same fees and 
salary as the attorney of the United States for the present Territory of Ne- 


braska. There shall also be a marshal for the Territory appointed, who shall 
hold his office for four years, unless sooner removed by the President, and who 
shall execute all processes issuing from the said courts when exercising their 
jurisdiction as circuit and district courts of the United States; he shall perform 
the duties, be subject to the same regulations and penalties, and be entitled to 
the same fees as the marshal of the district court of the United States for the 
present Territory of Nebraska, and shall, in addition, be paid two hundred 
dollars annually as a compensation for extra services. 

Sec. II. And be it further enacted. That the governor, secretary, chief 
justice and associate justices, attorney, and marshal, shall be nominated and, by 
and with the advice and consent of the Senate, appointed by the President of 
the United States. The governor and secretary to be appointed as aforesaid 
shall, before they act as such, respectively take an oath or affirmation before 
the district judge, or some justice of the peace in the limits of said Territory 
duly authorized to administer oaths and affirmations by the laws now in force 
therein, or before the chief justice or some associate justice of the Supreme 
Court of the United States, to support the Constitution of the United States 
and faithfully to discharge the duties of their respective offices; which said 
oaths, when so taken, shall be certified by the person by whom the same shall 
have been taken ; and such certificates shall be received and recorded by the 
secretary among the executive proceedings ; and the chief justice and associate 
justices, and all other civil officers in said Territory, before they act as such, 
shall take a like oath or affirmation before the said governor or secretary, or 
some judge or justice of the peace of the Territory who may be duly commis- 
sioned and qualified, which said oath or affirmation shall be certified and trans- 
mitted by the person taking the same to the secretary, to be by him recorded 
as aforesaid ; and afterwards the like oath or affirmation shall be taken, certified, 
and recorded in such man[n]er and form as may be prescribed by law. The 
governor shall receive an annual salary of $1,500.00 as governor, and $1,000.00 
?-s superintendent of Indian aflfairs ; the chief justice and associate justices shall 
each receive an annual salary of $1,800.00; the secretary shall receive an 
annual salary of $1,800.00. The said salaries shall be paid quarter-yearly at 
the Treasury of the United States. The members of the legislative assembly 
shall be entitled to receive $3.00 each per day during their attendance at the 
session thereof, and $3.00 for every twenty miles' travel in going to and return- 
ing from the said sessions, estimated according to the nearest usually traveled 
route. There shall be appropriated annually the sum of $1,000.00, to be ex- 
pended by the governor, to defray the contingent expenses of the Territory. 
There shall also be appropriated annually a sufficient sum, to be expended by 
the secretary of the Territory, and upon an estimate to be made by the Secretary 
of the Treasury of the United States, to defray the expenses of the legislative 
assembly, the printing of the laws, and other incidental expenses ; and the secre- 
tary of the Territory shall annually account to the Secretary of the Treasury 
of the United States for the manner in which the aforesaid sum shall have been 

Sec. 12. And be it further enacted, That the legislative assembly of the 
Territory of Dakota shall hold its first session at such time and place in said 
Territory as the governor thereof shall appoint and direct; and at said first 


session, or as soon thereafter as they shall deem expedient, the governor and 
legislative assembly shall proceed to locate and establish the seat of government 
for said Territory at such place as they may deem eligible; which place, how- 
ever, shall thereafter be subject to be changed by the said governor and legis- 
lative assembly. 

Sec. 13. And be it further enacted, That a delegate to the House of Rep- 
resentatives of the United States, to serve during each Congress of the United 
States, may be elected by the voters qualified to elect members of the legislative 
assembly, who shall be entitled to the same rights and privileges as are exercised 
and enjoyed by the delegates from the several other Territories of the United 
States to the said House of Representatives. The first election shall be held 
at such time and places, and be conducted in such manner, as the governor shall 
appoint and direct ; and at all subsequent elections, the times, places, and manner 
of holding elections shall be prescribed by law. The person having the greatest 
number of votes shall be declared by the governor to be duly elected, and a 
certificate thereof shall be given accordingly. 

Sec. 14. And be it further enaeted, That when the land in said Territory 
shall be surveyed, under the direction of the government of the United States, 
preparatory to bringing the same into market, sections numbered si.xteen and 
thirty-si.x in each township in said Territory shall be, and the same are hereby, 
reserved for the purpose of being applied to schools in the States hereafter 
to be erected out of the same. 

Sec. 15. And be it further enacted, That temporarily, and until otherwise 
provided by law, the governor of said Territory may define the judicial districts 
of said Territory and assign the judges who may be appointed for said Territory 
to the several districts, and also appoint the times and places for holding courts 
in the several counties or subdivisions in each of said judicial districts by 
proclamation to be issued by him ; but the legislative assembly, at their first or 
any subsequent session, may organize, alter, or modify such judicial districts, 
and assign the judges, and alter the times and places of holding the courts, as to 
them shall seem proper and convenient. 

Sec. 16. And be it further enacted, That the Constitution and all laws of 
the United States which are not locally inapplicable shall have the same force 
and effect within the said Territory of Dakota as elsewhere within the United 

Sec. 17. And be it further enacted. That the President of the United States, 
by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, shall be, and he is hereby, 
authorized to appoint a surveyor-general for Dakota, who shall locate his office 
at such place as the Secretary of the Interior shall from time to time direct, 
and whose duties, powers, obligations, responsibilities, compensation, and allow- 
ances for clerk hire, office rent, fuel, and incidental expenses shall be the same 
as thoSe of the surveyor-general of Nebraska and Kansas, under the direction 
of the Secretary of the Interior, and such instructions as he may from time to 
time deem it advisable to give him. 

Sec. 18. And be it further enacted. That so much of the public lands of the 
United States in the Territory of Dakota, west of its eastern boundary and east 
and north of the Niobrara, or Rtmning Water River, be formed into a land 
district, to be called the Yancton district, at such time as the President may 


direct, the land office for which shall be located at such point as the President 
may direct, and shall be removed from time to time to other points within said 
district whenever, in his opinion, it may be expedient. 

Sec. 19. And be it further enacted, That the President be. and he is hereby, 
authorized to appoint, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, a regis- 
ter and receiver for said district, who shall respectively be required to reside at 
the site of said office, and who shall have the same powers, perform the same 
duties, and be entitled to the same compensation, as are or may be prescribed by 
law in relation to other land-offices of the United States. 

Sec. 20. Aiid be it further enacted. That the river in said Territory here- 
tofore known as the "River aux Jacques," or "James River," shall hereafter be 
called the Dakota River. 

Sec. 21. And be it further enacted. That, until Congress shall otherwise 
direct, that portion of the Territories of Utah and Washington between the 
forty-first and forty-third degrees of north latitude, and east of the thirty-third 
meridian of longitude west from Washington, shall be, and is hereby, incorpo- 
rated into and made a part of the Territory of Nebraska. 

Approved, March 2, 1861. 

Attest: Wm. H. Seward, Secretary of State. 

Tames Buchanan. 







In April, 1861, President Abraham Lincoln appointed the following officers 
for the Territory of Dakota : Governor, David Jayne of Springfield, 111. ; 
secretary, John Hutchinson of Minnesota; chief justice, Philemon Bliss of Ohio; 
associate justices, Lorenzo Parsons Williston of Pennsylvania and Joseph L. 
Williams of Tennessee; district attorney, William E. Gleason of Maryland; 
United States marshal, William E. Shaffer of Missouri ; surveyor-general, 
George D. Hill of ^Michigan. Hon. Newton Edmonds of Ypsilanti, Mich., 
who was appointed chief clerk in the surveyor-general's office, arrived in June, 
1861, and gave the required notice that under the direction of the commissioner 
of the general land office, the surveyor-general's office was directed to receive 
preemption declaratory statements of settlers until the opening of the local land 
offices, and that such statements would be received as soon as the townships were 

The governor and United States marshal also arrived in June. The first 
official act of the governor was to appoint persons to take a census ; those so 
appointed were Henry D. Bette, Wilmot W. Brookings, Andrew J. Harlan, 
Obed Foote. George M. Pinney and John D. ]\Iorse, who were designated census 

Brookings was assigned to the Sioux Falls District, Harlan to the Brule 
Creek settlements, Foote to the Missouri River settlements, embracing Yankton, 
Pinney to the Missouri River settlements, embracing Choteau Creek, j\Iorse to 
the Niobrara region, and Bette to the Red River. 

The population, as returned by these agents, was 2,376, of which the number 
of whites in the Red River District was 51 males and 28 females, 264 mixed- 
blood males and 260 mixed-blood females, a total of 603 ; but as heretofore 
stated, this census as to the Red River country was not accepted as correct, as 
the greater portion of the people were then absent on their annual buffalo hunt. 
The United States census of the previous year showed a population for this 
region of 1,606, and the census of 1850, 1,135 (correct number, 1,116). The 
number returned by Maj. Samuel Woods in 1849 for the Pembina region 



showed 177 families, 511 males and 515 females, white and half-blood families, a 
total of 1,026. They had boo carts, 300 oxen, 300 work horses, 150 horses for 
the chase, 1,500 horned cattle, a few hogs and no sheep (31st Congress, ist 
Session, H. Docs. 42 and 51 ). The census agents of i86i gave the distribution 
of the population of the several districts as follows : Red River, 603 ; Urule 
Creek, 47; Point on the Big Sioux, 104; Elk Point, 61 ; Vermilion, 265; Bottom 
and Clay Creek, 210; Sioux Falls, 60; Yankton," 287 ; Bon Homme, 163; Pease 
and Hamilton settlements, 181; Fort Randall, 210; Yankton Agency, 76; Ponca 
Agency and vicinity, 12Q — total, 2,376. In South Dakota there were 25 mixed- 
bloods on the Big Sioux, 5 at Elk Point, 7 at \'ermilion, 9 at Yankton, 128 at the 
Pease and Plamilton settlements, 47 at Yankton Agency, and 34 at the Ponca 
Agency, a total of 255 ; added to the 60^ reported at Pembina, gave a mixed- 
blood pojudation of 858 out of the total of 2,376. To this should be added at 
least 1,000 more, mostly mixed-bloods, not reported in the Pembina District. 


July 2y, 1861, the governor issued his proclamation dividing the territory 
-into Council and Representative districts and apportioning the members to the 
several districts. 

First Council District — That portion of Dakota lying between the Big Sioux 
and Missouri rivers, bounded on the west by the range line between ranges 50 
and 51, and that portion lying west of the Red River, including the settlements 
at Pembina and St. Joseph, two councilmen. 

Second District — All that portion bounded by the \'ermilion River on the 
west and on the east by the range line dividing ranges 50 and 51, two councilmen. 

Third District — All that portion bounded by the V'ermilion River on the east 
and on the west by the range line dividing ranges 53 and 54, one councilman. 

Fourth District — All that portion bounded on the east by the range line 
dividing ranges 53 and 54, and on the west by the range line dividing ranges 
^/ and 58, two councilmen. 

Fifth District — All that portion bounded on the east by the range line dividing 
ranges 57 and 58 and on the west by Choteau Creek, one councilman. 

Sixth District — All that portion bounded on the east by Choteau Creek and 
on the west by a line west of and including the Hamilton and Pease settlements 
and all that portion of Dakota Territory situated between the Missouri River and 
the Niobrara River, one councilman. 

The territory was divided into eight representative districts. To the first, 
two representatives; to the second, one; to the third (the Pembina country), 
one; to the fourth, two; to the fifth, two; to the si.xth. two; to the seventh, two; 
to the eighth, one. 


An election was ordered for September 16, 1861, for the election of members 
of the Legislature and a delegate to Congress ; and election precincts were estab- 
lished as follows : 

First Representative District — At the house of Thomas ]\taloney; judges of 


Governor of Dakota Territory from September, 1866, to 
May, 1869 


election, James Summers, William Mathews and Thomas Maloney; and at the 
hotel of Eli Wixon at Elk Point, judges, Sherman Clyde, William Frisbie and 
K. P. Romme. 

Second District — At the house of William Amida ; judges, George P. Wal- 
dron, Berne C. Fowler and John Keltz. 

Third District — At the house of Charles LeMay, Pembina; judges, James 
McFetridge, Hugh Donaldson and Charles LeMay. Also at the house of Bap- 
tiste Shorette (Charrette) at St. Joseph; judges, Baptiste Shorette, Charles Bot- 
tineau, Antoine Zangran. 

Fourth District — At the house of James McHenry ; judges, A. J. Harlan, 
Ole Anderson and A. Eckles. 

Fifth District — At the house of Bligh E. Wood ; judges, Ole Oleson, Bligh E. 
Wood and Ole Bottolfson. 

Sixth District (Yankton) — At the house of Frost, Todd & Co.'; judges, 
Moses K. Armstrong, Frank Chapell and J. S. Presho. 

Seventh District — .\t Herrick's Hotel, Bon Homme; judges. Daniel Gifford, 
George M. Pinney and George Falkenberg. 

Fighth District — At the house of F. O. Pease ; judges, J. V. Hamilton, Ben- 
jamin Estes and Joseph Ellis. And also at Gregory's store; judges, Charles 
Young, James Tuffts and Thomas Imall. 

Any free white male inhabitant of the United States, residing in the territory 
March 2, 1861, when the organic act was passed, and in the precinct at the date 
of this proclamation (July 29, 1861 ), who was a citizen of the United States or 
had declared his intentions to become such, was entitled to vote upon subscribing 
to an oath of allegiance. 


July 30, 1861, the governor issued a proclamation establishing judicial dis- 
tricts as follows : All that portion of Dakota Territory bounded by the east line 
of the territory and on the west by the range line dividing ranges 53 and 54, was 
constituted the First Judicial District. All that portion of the territory bounded 
on the east by the range line between ranges 53 and 54 ( dividing Yankton and 
Day counties) and on the west by the line dividing ranges 57 and 58 (dividing 
Yankton and Bon Homme counties) constituted the Second Judicial District. 
All that portion west of the line dividing ranges 57 and 58 constituted the Third 
Judicial District. 

Judge Williston was assigned to the First Judicial District, and the place of 
holding court fixed at Vermilion. Judge Bliss was assigned to the Second Dis- 
trict and the place of holding court fixed at Yankton. Judge W'illiams was 
assigned to the Third District, and the place of holding court fixed at Bon 

The first term of the court was to be held in the First District on the first 
Monday in August, 1861, and thereafter on the first Mondays in May and Sep- 
tember of each year. 

In the Second and Third districts on the third Monday in August and tliere- 
after annually on the first Mondays of May and September. 

It will be noticed that no provision was made for courts in the Red River 


settlements, and when a land office was established it was opened at Vermilion, 
and the first filings on North Dakota lands were made at that office. 


Governor Jayne was a townsman and friend of President Lincoln. He 
served with credit two years. At the election in 1862 he was awarded a cer- 
tificate of election as delegate to the Thirty-eighth Congress, and served from 
March 4, 1863, to June 17, 1864, when he was succeeded by John B. S. Todd, 
who had contested his election, when he returned to Springfield, 111. Todd was 
elected delegate at the first election, as a non-partisan, although known to be a 

The judges were all men learned in the law, and of excellent character. 
Judge Bliss resigned in 1864 and went to St. Joseph, Mo., and engaged in the 
practice of law. Judge Williston was transferred to Montana in 1863 and was 
succeeded by Ara Bartlett of Illinois. Judge Williams returned to Tennessee 
on the expiration of his term. 

The Town of Williston, N. D., was named in honor of Judge Williston. who 
was greatly admired by Mr. James J. Hill, the great railroad builder. 

John Hutchinson came from Kansas, although credited to Minnesota, where 
he had previously resided. He was appointed on the recommendation of Secre- 
tary of State William H. Seward. He brought his family to Yankton and 
became a bona fide citizen of Dakota. Hutchinson County, S. D., was named 
in his honor. He served four years as secretary of the territory and was reap- 
pointed but resigned to accept the consulship to Leghorn, Italy. After his return 
he engaged in the practice of law at Chicago. 

Surveyor-General Hill is credited with the first practical and persistent efforts 
to induce immigration to Dakota Territory, and with having secured the settle- 
ment of the first considerable Dakota colony, known as the New York Colony. 
He served four years and returned to Ann Arbor, Mich. 

United States Attorney-General Gleason served four years and was then 
appointed associate justice in place of Judge Williams, and later consul to Bor- 
deaux, France, returning to Baltimore on his retirement from that position. 
United States Marshal Shaffer served about a year and resigned, desiring to 
enter the military service, being an ardent Union man. lie returned to Mis- 

Gleason and Shaffer were bachelors ; only Hutchinson brought his family to 
the territory. The governor and chief justice brought their wives as far as Sioux 
City, where they remained, owing to lack of suitable accommodations at Yank- 
ton, the temporary seat of government. Some of the officers joined the Todd 
faction and opposed the early developed aspirations of the governor to succeed 
General Todd in Congress. 

The Sioux Falls element had taken the lead in the movement for territorial 
organization, overlooking the importance of an organic act. They elected a dele- 
gate to Congress and sought his recognition. They were defeated by the Yank- 
ton movement and the strong influence brought to bear by the masters of politics 
from Missouri. Todd controlled the situation from the very beginning. The 
misfortune of 1862. through Indian hostilities, ended for a time the early aspira- 
tions of Sioux Falls to become the capital. 



The first political convention was held at \'ermilion, June i, 1861. George M. 
Pinney was chairman and A. W. Puett, secretary. 

The resolutions declared allegiance to the Union, the Constitution antl the 
laws, and pledged cordial support to the governor and secretary, favored the 
passage of the Homestead Law and the policies of the administration, and 
denounced monopolies of every nature, especially in connection with the public 
lands. The convention nominated A. J. Picll for delegate to Congress. 

It was claimed that all present except Pinney were from Vermilion and that 
he was not a voter under the organic act, having come from Minnesota in May 
after the creation of the territory in March. 

Mr. Charles P. Booge, trader at the Yankton Agency, was nominated for 
delegate to Congress at Bon Homme early in September. 

Capt. John B. S. Todd was a candidate for delegate regardless of party, 
desiring to keep away from partisan issues, believing that if elected he could 
accomplish most without antagonizing either party. The location of the capital 
at Yankton was known to be in line with his personal interests. 

Mass conventions were held, generally of a non-partisan character, for the 
nomination of members of the Legislature. 

The Yankton convention was called for August 24th, by John Stanage, James 
M. Stone, Downer T. Bramble, William Miner, William Thompson, Frank 
Chapell, Fnos Stutsman, D. Fisher, Moses K. Armstrong and J. D. Morse. Dr. 
Justus Townsend was president and J. D. Morse, secretary. Moses K. Arm- 
strong and John Stanage were nominated by acclamation for representatives and 
Enos Stutsman and Downer T. Bramble for the council. Moses K. Armstrong, 
James M. Stone, J. R. Hanson and James M. Allen were appointed a committee 
on resolutions. 

The resolutions endorsed the war policy of the administration in all of its 
endeavors to put down the rebellion and preserve the Constitution and the Union 
of States; they expressed appreciation of the act of Congress in granting Dakota 
self-government, and pledged support of the officers of the territory in their 
efforts to preserve peace ; they urged economy of time and money in the Legis- 
lature, prompt action and an early adjournment, and instructed the nominees to 
that end. They also favored a James River ferry charter and the election of 
Todd to Congress. All of the nominees being democrats, there was some dis- 
satisfaction. Stone and Hanson published a protest against the use of their 
names on the Resolution Committee without their knowledge or consent, and 
pledged their utmost exertions for the defeat of the ticket. An opposition ticket 
was put in the field with J. B. Greenway and William Thompson for the council 
and James M. Stone and Otis B. Wheeler for representatives, but the regulars 
were duly elected. 


The result of the election for delegate to Congress was as follows: Total 
vote cast, 585; John B. S. Todd, 397; A. J. Bell, 78; Charles P. Booge, icx); 
C. Booge, I. Mr. Todd having received the highest number of votes, was elected 
for the term ending March 3, 1863, taking his seat December i, 1861. 


The vote cast in the Pembina precinct was 15 and in the St. Joseph precinct 
171, all for Todd for delegate to Congress. 

Those elected to the council were : First District — Wilmot W. Brookings, 
Sioux Falls, and Austin Cole, Sioux Point (James McFetridge, Pembina, 
received 173 votes and Brookings got but 84, and tiled notice of contest; not 
received, however, until after Brookings was sworn in). Second District — 
Henry D. Bette and John VV. Boyle of \'ermilion. Third District — Jacob Deuel, 
west of Vermilion River. Fourth District — Enos Stutsman and Downer T. 
P)ramble, \'ankton. Fifth District — John H. Shober, Bon Homme. Sixth Dis- 
trict — J. Shaw Gregory, Mix'ville or Fort Randall. 

House of Representatives : First District — John C. McBride, Elk Point, and 
Christopher Maloney of Sioux Point. Second District — George P. Waldroii of 
Sioux Falls. Third District — Hugh Donaldson, Pembina. Fourth District — 
Lynian Burgess and A. W. Puett of East Vermilion. Fifth District — Bligh E. 
Wood and Jacob A. Jacobson, West Vermilion. Sixth District — Moses K. Arm- 
strong, Yankton, and John Stanage, James River crossing. .Seventh District — 
George M. Pinney and Reuben Wallace, Bon Homme. Eighth District — John L. 
Tiernon, Fort Randall. 

The failure to recognize the vote cast for McFetridge left the settlements in 
the northern part of the territory without representation in the council, although 
actually having nearly one-half of the population in the whole territory. 


The first legislative assembly convened in Yankton, March 17th and con- 
tinued until May 15, 1862. At the temporary organization of the council, Enos 
Stutsman was elected president, but on the permanent organization John H. 
Shober was elected in his stead. The members were sworn in by Judge Bliss. 
Prayer was offered by Rev. S. W. Ingham, Methodist clergyman of Vermilion, 
who was elected chaplain. James Tufts of Mixville was elected secretary; 
William R. Goodfellow, of Elk Point, messenger, and Charles F. Picotte, Yank- 
ton, sergeant-at-arms. 

The members of the House of Representatives were sworn in by Judge Bliss, 
prayer was offered by Rev. D. D'. Metcalf of Bon Homme. George M. Pinney 
of Bon Homme was elected speaker; Joseph R. Hanson, chief clerk; James Allen 
of Sioux Falls, assistant clerk ; Daniel Gifford, Bon Homme, enrolling clerk ; 
lames Summers, Sioux Falls, sergeant-at-arms ; Ole Anderson, East Vermilion, 
fireman ; A. B. Smith, Tower Butte, messenger, and Rev. D. D. Metcalf, Bon 
Homme, chaplain. 

George W. Lamson, private secretary, read the message of the governor at 
the meeting on the second day. 

THE governor's MESS.\GE 

The governor called attention to the vast area of the territory as then organ- 
ized, extending from the 97th to the iT3th degrees of longitude, embracing an 
area greater in extent than all of New England combined with Xew York, Penn- 
sylvania, Ohio, Illinois and Missouri, including the vast basins and mountain 


Sixth governor of Dakota Territory, 1878 to 1880. Died 
in oflRce, 1880 


ranges, and waters flowing southward into the Gulf of Mexico and northward 
into Hudson Bay. He spoke of its excellence of soil and climate, of its 
capacity for raising numerous herds of cattle and the production of wheat and 
other agricultural products, and prophesied that the great wheat-growing belts 
of this continent would be developed in the valleys of the Red River and Sas- 
katchewan, and that before a generation passed more than a million people would 
be found residing in the Missouri Valley alone; that the Pacific Railroad would 
be completed, connecting the two oceans with iron bands, and the trade of India 
and Japan would be found passing through Dakota on its way to the Atlantic, 
and that towns and cities would spring up along the great highways of traffic. 
He spoke of the mineral wealth to be developed in the Black Hills and Wind 
River region, and of the vast resources of coal. He urged the importance of 
schools and of military preparedness for protection from a savage foe. He 
denounced slavery, which had caused trouble in other territories, in most vigor- 
ous terms, and urged laws forever prohibiting involuntary servitude excepting 
for crime; and that they declare by legislative enactment that labor shall be 
honored, respected and rewarded, leaving no room for a privileged class spum- 
ing labor and the laborer — a class exalted above common sympathies and cares, 
sacred against vulgar necessities and scorning occupation. 

He warned against bank men and bank charters and the evils of a pernicious 
paper currency. He urged a stringent election law, and suggested memorials to 
Congress for military roads, a geological survey and in favor of a Pacific Rail- 
road and a Homestead Law. 

He reviewed the progress of the Civil war and congratulated the territory 
on its ready response to the call for volunteers to garrison Fort Randall, thus 
relieving the regular army for duty in the field. 


The contest of McFetridge for a seat in the council received no attention, on 
the theory that the Pembina region belonged to the Chippewa Indians ; there- 
fore, the Legislature memorialized Congress for a treaty to extinguish the Indian 
title, and passed a bill giving that region one councilman and two representatives 
in the next Legislature. 


Yankton and \'ermilion were contestants for the capital location, with Sioux 
Falls a dark horse in the race. The contest lasted twenty days with varying 
shades and was finally settled in favor of Yankton; Vermilion got the univer- 
sity and Bon Homme the penitentiary as a result of the manipulations ; and 
George M. Pinney, who was the uncertain element in the battle, resigned his 
position as speaker and was succeeded by John L. Tiernon. As an incident of 
the contest Lieutenant Plughoff of the Dakota Cavalry, in command of twenty 
men, appeared in the hall of the House of Representatives and took a position 
by the side of the speaker. A committee of investigation was appointed and a 
demand for an explanation filed with the governor, who replied in writing that 
such action was taken at the verbal and written request of the speaker of the 


Flouse of Representatives, claiming that from threats and representations 
received from reliable sources he feared the business of the House would be 
interrupted by violence and he called upon the governor for a force to protect 
the House in the lawful pursuit of its duties. The indignation of the House 
resulted in the speaker's resignation and John L. Tiernon was elected in his 

The session of the Legislature passed civil, criminal, judicial and probate 
codes and other wholesome laws and defined the boundaries of Clay, Cole (now 
Union). Bon Homme, Charles Alix, Brughier (now Buffalo), Jayne, Hutchin- 
son, Lincoln. Minnehaha. Brookings. Todd and Gregory counties, in the southern 
part of the territory, and Stevens, Cheyenne and Kittson counties in the northern 

The Old Settlers' Association was chartered during this session of the Legis- 
lature, with J. B. S. Todd, J. S. Gregory. James Tufts, W. W. Brookings, E. 
Stutsman, J. H. Shober, Reuben Wallace, D. Gifford, E. Gifford, X. McDonald, 
C. F. Picotte. John Stanage, J. B. Amidon, G. P. Waldron, B. M. Smith, A. C. 
Van Meter, J. Deuel, J. R. Hanson, A. G. Fuller, D. T. Bramble, M. K. Arm- 
strong, J. M. Allen. Austin Cole. F. Carman. J. \Mierry, IT. C. Ash. John L. 
Tiernon, J. M. Stone, W. P. Lyman, W. H. Granger, C. W. Cooper, R. M. 
Johnson, Norman VV. Kittson, L. M. Griffith, F. J. DeW'itt, J. C. McBride, Chris- 
topher Maloney, H. S. Donaldson, James McFetridge, William Mathews, M. 
Ryan, John McClellan, J. B. LaPlant. A. Mason. Peter Arpin, John Brouillard, 
W. W. lienedict. Ole Bottolfson, Ole Anderson, C. Lawson, A. B. Smith, George 
Brown, Moses Herrick. J. McCase, John Lefevre. Felix Leblanc, George Bour- 
ret, H. Bradley, Joseph Chattelion and A. W^ Puett. charter members. 


Josiah Trask having been appointed public printer by the secretary of the 
territory, John Hutchinson. George W. Kingsbury arrived at Yankton on March 
17, 1862, to assist in the legislative printing, expecting to remain during the 
legislative session only, but from that day to this (October, 1916) has remained, 
during fifty-four years, becoming identified with every feature of "Dakota His- 
tory." In 1915 he contributed two volumes of "Dakota History," published by The 
S. J. Clarke Publishing Company, Chicago, which will prove of value as long as 
time shall last. He came from Lawrence, Kans., by stage from St. Joseph, Mo. 
The Dakotian at Yankton was the first newspaper established after the passage 
of the organic act. and was published by the Dakota Printing Company. Frank 
M. Ziebach and William Freney. members of the company, had been engaged 
in the publication of the Sioux City Register. During the session of the first 
Legislature a mock legislature was opened, with Frank M. Ziebach governor, 
and this afforded the leading and most attractive means of entertainment during 
the legislative session. The Press was later established, and in time consoli- 
dated with the Dakotian under the management of George W. Kingsbury. 
Ziebach later established the Scotland Citizen, one of the ablest papers in the 

The first Legislature did its whole duty and deserves the highest praise. 
Even at that early date the wives, sisters and daughters of the pioneers had 


taken their place among the elements working for present and future good. 
The following tribute to the western wife, published in the National Maga- 
zine for February, 1905, deserves a place in these pages : 

By Will Chamberlain 
Jefferson, South Dakota 

She walked behind the lagging mules 

That drew the breaker thro' the soil; 
Hers were the early-rising rules, 

Hers were the eves of wifely toil. 

The smitten prairie blossom'd fair. 

The sod home faded from the scene; 
Firm gables met the whisp'ring air, 

Deep porches lent repose serene. 

But with'ring brow and snowy tress 

Bespeak the early days of strife ; 
And there's the deeper-wrought impress — 

The untold pathos of the wife. 

O western motlier ! in thy praise 

No artist paints nor poet sings, 
But from thy rosary of days 

God's angels shape immortal wings ! 


The following information relative to Indian agencies was furnished for this 
history by the Indian office : 

Section 2 of the Act of June 30, 1834, entitled "An Act to provide for the 
organization of the Department of Indian Aiifairs (4 Stat. L., 235)" provided 
"and be it further enacted, That there shall be a superintendency of Indian 
Affairs for all the Indian country not within the bounds of any state or territory 
west of the Mississippi River, the superintendent of which shall reside at St. 
Louis, * * *" This superintendency seems to be known, in the reports, as 
the "Central Superintendency," at that time under the Department of War. 

The Act of March 3, 1847 (9 Stat. L., 203), authorizes the secretary of war 
to establish each superintendency, agency and sub-agency either by tribes or 
geographical boundaries. 

Section 5 of the Act of March 3, 1849 (9 Stat. L., 395), transferred the office 
of the commissioner of Indian Affairs from the jurisdiction of the secretary 
of war to that of the secretary of the interior. 

The Yankton Sioux Reservation, located in the extreme southern part of 
Dakota Territory, consisting of 400,000 acres, 2.000 Indians, was created by 
treaty of 1858 (11 Stat. L., 743). 

The Ponca Reservation, consisting of 576,000 acres, 735 Indians, was created 
by the "Ponca Treaty" of March 12, 1858 (12 Stat. L., 997). 

The Fort Berthold Reservation, consisting of 8,640,000 acres, having super- 
vision over the Arikara, Gros Ventre and Mandan tribes, was established by 
unratified agreements of September 17. 1851, and July 27, 1866, and executive 
order of April 12, 1870. 

The Lake Traverse (Sisseton) Reservation, composed of 1,241,600 acres, 


1,496 Sisseton and Wahpeton bands of Sioux Indians was established by treaty 
of February 19, 1867 (15 Stat. L., 505). 

The Devil's Lake Reservation, composed of 345,600 acres, 720 Sisseton, 
Wahpeton and Cuthead bands of Sioux Indians, was established by treaty of 
February 19, 1867 (idem). 

The General Sioux Reservation, comprising the following agencies, in all 
25,000,000 acres, in charge of Brule, Ogallah, Miniconjou, Lower Yanctonai, 
Oncpapa, Blackfeet, Cuthead, Two Kettle, Sans Arc and Santee bands of Sioux 
Indians was established by treaty of April 29, 1868 (15 Stat. L., 635) 

Grand River Agency, 6,000 Indians. 

Cheyenne River Agency, 5,000 Indians. 

Whetstone Agency, 5,000 Indians. 

Red Cloud Agency, Wyoming (temporarily on North Platte River when 
report of 1872 was made), 7,000 Indians. 

Crow Creek (Upper Missouri) Agency, 3,000 Indians. 

The Act of March 2, 1861 (12 Stat. L., 239-240), organized the Territory of 
Dakota and prescribed the duties of the office of the governor, and, among other 
things, said : 

"* * * he shall perform the duties and receive the emoluments of super- 
intendent of Indian Affairs * * *" 

Section 6 of the Appropriation Act of July 15, 1870 (16 Stat. L., 360-361), 
provided : 

"And be it further enacted. That the President be, and he is hereby authorized, 
to discontinue any one or more of the Indian superintendencies, and to require 
the Indian agents of such superintendencies to report directly to the commis- 
sioner of Indian Affairs." 

Presumably under this authority the Dakota superintendency was discontinued 
in 1870 and the agencies named above appear thereafter as "Independent 

The same authority gives the names of Indian agents and traders in Dakota 
Territory in 1872 as follows: 


Sisseton Agency, M. N. Adams. 
Devil's Lake "Agency, W. H. Forbes. 
Grand River Agency, J. C. O'Connor. 
Cheyenne River Agency, T. M. Kones. 
Whetstone Agency, D. R. Risley. 
Upper Missouri Agency, H. F. Livingston. 
Fort Berthold Agency, J. E. Tappan. 
Yankton Agency, T. G. Gassman. 
Ponca Agency, H. E. Gregory. 


E. H. Durfee and C. K. Peck, Fort Berthold Agency. 
E. H. Durfee and C. K. Peck, Grand River Agency. 


Eighth governor of Dakota Territory, 



E. H. Durfee and C. K. Peck, Cheyenne Agency. 

Thomas G. Cowgill, Mouth of White River. 

Frankhn J. DeWitt, Fort Thompson Agency (Crow Creek), at or near the 
site of old Fort Lookout, and at or near the mouth of White Earth River, 

George W. Howe, Ponca Agency. 

Downer T. Bramble and William Miner, Yankton Sioux Agency, opposite 
Fort Randall, known as White Swan. 

James Fitzsimmons and Andrew J. Miller, Republican County, Dakota. 

Downer T. Bramble and William Miner, Yankton Agency. 

Joseph Bissonette, Sr., Whetstone Agency. 

George W. Howe, Ponca Agency. 

Francis D. Yates, Whetstone Agency. 

Thomas G. Cowgill, Cheyenne Agency. 

Fort Thompson was named for Clark W. Thompson, of La Crosse, Wis.,, 
builder of the Southern Minnesota Railroad from La Crosse to Wells, and Man- 
kato, Minn., and superintendent of Indian Afifairs on the Upper Missouri in 











The governor of Dakota having heen authorized to raise two companies of 
cavalry for patrol and garrison duty, recruiting stations were established at 
Yankton, \'erniilion and Bon Homme. J. Kendrick Fowler was appointed 
recruiting officer at Yankton, Nelson Miner at \'ermilion and James M. Allen at 
Bon Homme ; and Company A was mustered into the United States service in 
April, 1862, with Nelson Miner, captain; J. Kendrick Fowler, first lieutenant; 
and Frederick Ploghoff, second lieutenant. The non-commissioned officers were 
A. M. English, first sergeant ; Patrick Conway, E. K. Wilson, F. P. Hobler, 
William Neunian, Ben F. Estes, J. B. Watson and Horace J. Austin, sergeants ; 
George Falkenberg, David Benjamin, Joseph Ellis, William Young, C. H. Stager, 

C. H. Brurud, Amos Shaw and Adolph Mauxsch corporals ; A. Hanson and 
E. Wilkins, buglers ; A. Jones, farrier, and Timothy Pringle, blacksmith. 

Privates : M. ^Vnderson, J. Allen, R. Alderson, C. Andrews, B. Bellows, W. 
VV. Benedict, Robert Burkhart, John Betz, John Bradley, John Bell, N. Cusick, 

D. Campbell, N. EUingson, J. Floeder, N. Felling, J. Gray, J. Ilaggin, J. Johnson, 
C. Lewison, J. Ludwig, J. D. Morse, T. A. McLeese, A. Munson, P. Omeg, C. 
Olson, L. E. Phelps, H. M. Pierce, George Pike, J. Solberger, J. Tallman, T. J. 
Tate, B. H. Wood, J. Wells. H. Woodrufif, J. Cramer, George Hoosick, H. Snow, 
A. Gibson, Michael Fisher, J. H. McBee, John Claude, John Collins, S. Delaney, 
Thomas Frick, J. O. Ford, B. F. Gray, E. Harrington, Ben Hart, J. Kinney, 
Charles Long, Merrill G. Lothrop, J. Markell, John McClellan, M. J. Mind, O. 
N. Orland, O. Olsen, J. O. Phelps, James E. Peters, R. A. Ranney, P. Sherman, 
J. Trumbo. A. J. Drake, T. H. Weegs, Charles Wambold, Charles Wright and 
W. H. Bellows." 



Lieutenant Ploghoff resigned and James Bacon was commissioned second 
lieutenant in his stead. Lieutenant Fowler also resigned. The company, after 
receiving their equipment, was stationed for a short time at P^ort Randall under 
Lieut. Col. John Pattee of the Seventh Iowa. 

In July Lieutenant Ploghoff reached Yankton with twenty-five men. Captain 
Miner was at Vermilion with a part of the company; a portion under Lieutenant 
Bacon was stationed at Sioux Falls. Sergeant English was at Yankton with 
another detachment. This organization proved of great importance in the 
Indian war which commenced in August, 1862, as related in a previous chapter, 
when Sioux Falls was burned, several persons killed, and practically the whole 
territory abandoned excepting Yankton. Pembina, Fort Randall, Fort Aber- 
crombie and the upper Missouri trading posts. 

August 30, 1862, the governor called out the militia of the territory, and 
Charles P. Booge was appointed adjutant-general and Robert M. Hagaman, aid- 

General Booge appointed Moses K. Armstrong aid-de-camp; Downer T. 
Bramble, brigade quartermaster; Joseph R. Hanson, judge advocate, and Rev. 
]\Ielancthon Hoyt, brigade chaplain. 

At a meeting at Yankton August 30, 1862, to organize a company of militia, 
with Enos Stutsman president and George W. Kingsbury secretary, sixty men 
were immediately enrolled and twenty others soon added from the homestead 
settlers. Those enrolled were Enos Stutsman, Downer T. Bramble, William 
Bordeno, W. N. Collamer, David Fisher, James M. Allen, Newton Edmunds, 
Moses K. Armstrong, H. T. Bailey, Joseph R. Hanson, John E. Allen, George 
W. Kingsbury, J. C. Trask, Obed Foote, George Brown, Parker V. Brown, 
William P. Lyman, Charles F. Rossteuscher, Charles F. Picotte, Thomas C. 
Powers (afterwards U. S. senator, Montana), Augustus Fligh, William High, 
Lytle M. Griffith, James Falkenberg, Nicholas Felling, Antoine Robeart, A. S. 
Chase, Samuel Grant, John Lawrence, William H. Werdebaugh, John Rouse, 
Saumel Jerome, George N. Propper, George W. Lamson, William Miner, John 
McGuire, Washington Reed, James M. Stone, Joseph S. Presho, Charles Noland, 
John Smart. William Thompson, Bligh E. Wood, James F. Witherspoon, C. S. 
White, A. B. Smith, Charles Wallace, O, B. Wheeler, F. M. Ziebach, D. W. 
Reynolds, Henry Bradley, Samuel Mortimer, John Bradley, Jacob Arend, J. M. 
Reed, T. J. Reed, Charles Nolan, P. H. Risling, Berne C. Fowler, J. W. Evans, 
James Fawcett, Henry Arend, Dr. A. Van Osdel, Rudolph Von Ins, John 
Stanage, Gouzaque Bourret. Hans Shager, John Lefevre, William Stevens, 
George Granger, Charles Philbrick, Inge Englebertson, L. Olson, Henry Strunk, 
Lewis Peterson, John Johnson, Peter Johnson, G. P. Greenway, Ole Peterson, 
John Keltz. Barre (Jlson, Charles McKinney, Christopher Arend, Pierre Dupuis, 
George Mathiesen. Richard Mathiesen, Peter Nugent, William \'an Osdel, 
Samuel Van Osdel, J. N. Hoyt. 

At the meeting for organization next day F. M. Ziebach was elected captain ; 
David Fisher, first lieutenant, and John Lawrence, second lieutenant ; B. F. 
Barge, first sergeant ; Antoine Robeart, Samuel Mortimer and F. Wadsworth, 
sergeants ; George W. Kingsbury, A. S. Chase, Obed Foote. H. T. Bailey, 
Downer T. Bramble. J. C. Trask, John Rouse and Newton Edmunds, corporals. 

A stockade inclosing 400 feet square, embracing the Ash Hotel and several 


other buildings, was built, and here the women and children were generally pro- 
vided with beds and the men were camped. The entire population of Yankton 
County, excepting the settlement at Gayville, which fled to Nebraska, found 
refuge here, and were joined by those at Bon Homme and other near-by places. 
Some from Vermilion and Elk Point found safety at Sioux City. 

Strike-the-Ree, chief of the Yanktons, who was friendly, advised the settlers 
to flee, as he felt certain that he could not hold his young warriors who were dis- 
posed to join Little Crow's bands, who were on the war path; but the advice of 
the chief was rejected, after a meeting participated in by married men only, who. 
decided by one majority to stay and fight if necessarj'. After this decision they 
all engaged in hurried preparations for defense. 

The stockade was to have been built of sod, with a ditch in front; but by 
the time it was completed on the north side, attacks were made by the Indians, 
at the ferry and several other places, one of the skirmishes lasting nearly an 
hour, when it was completed with logs, posts, or any other available material. A 
cannon was planted at the gate and the militia and Company A were active in 

There was preparedness everywhere, and as the advices from Little Crow's 
operations were encouraging, the Yankton Indians resumed their peaceful atti- 
tude; yet on September 6th, there were several sharp skirmishes and every 
settler who had not already sought safety in the stockade did so or joined with 
the organization for defense. 

The uprising lasted forty days ; after that was over some of the settlers 
returned to their homes; some never returned. Sioux Falls was practically 
abandoned for six years. 

A militia company was also organized in the Brule Creek settlement with 
Mahlon Gore captain ; a stockade was also built and a detachment of Company 
A stationed there during the fall. A number of settlers lived in the stockade 
for some time, including the Methodist circuit preacher, Rev. J- L. Paine. 
Stockades were built by returning settlers at Vermilion and Elk Point. Many 
settlers sent their families to their former homes. 

The massacre at Sioux Falls occurred September ist. The Norwegian fam- 
ilies at Gayville went to St. Helena, Neb., and organized, with Ole Sampson, 

Sergt. A. M. English was particularly active in escorting the settlers to Yank- 
ton and other places of safety. .September 6th he joined the Yankton party, with 
his command, adding materially to the military strength. Captain Ziebach had 
taken great precautions and was already well prepared, as were all, and in pre- 
paredness they found safety: but the main feature of that day of anxiety and 
real danger was the arrival of Capt. Nelson Miner with forty men of Company 
A. The Yankton Indians recognized it and dissuaded the hostiles who were in 
force a short distance away from any further attack. This incident was the 
turning point, and to the brave defenders of Yankton the credit was due. Strike- 
the-Ree no longer urged the retirement of the white settlers. 

Dr. Walter A. Burleigh raised a company of loo Indian braves for the com- 
mon defense at the Yankton Agency, where he had but recently arrived with 
his family. This also had great influence on the young Yankton braves and kept 
them from breaking away from the restraint of their chief and joining in the 


Oiief of the Yankton Sioux tribe 



work of destruction commenced by Little Crow, who was even then becoming 
discouraged by the resistance of the Sissetons, and the rumors of preparation 
that reached him from every direction. The resistance met at Fort Ridgeley and 
New Ulm was unexpected, and he realized that the time spent in dancing and 
rejoicing over the first day's terrible work could never be regained. 

October 7th, Governor Jayne ordered the enlistment of four military com- 
panies, trusting to future legislation, or orders from the war department, to pro- 
vide for their pay and equipment. Commissions had previously been issued to 
officers for recruiting Company B, which was immediately organized, with Wil- 
liam Tripp, captain ; T. Elwood Clarke, first lieutenant ; the latter subsequently 
built Fort Hutchinson at the James River crossing, which became an important 
element in the defense of Yankton. It was built of logs with quarters for 100 

Among other officers commissioned under the call of (Jctober 7th were Capt. 
A. J. Bell, Lieut. M. H. Somers, Capt. A. G. Fuller, Lieut. John R. Wood and 
Lieut. W. W. Adams. 

Those enlisted were subsequently mustered into the United States service and 
paid from date of enlistment. Captain Fuller and Lieutenant Fisher erected a 
block-house on the Ash Hotel lots but it never reached full completion, Minne- 
sota, Nebraska and Iowa troops coming to Yankton and other parts of Dakota 
in such force that it became unnecessary. 


December 31, 1862, two women and si.x children, who had been captives 
among the Indians since August 22d, taken in the Minnesota massacre, reached 
Yankton. The persons were Mrs. Julia Wright, Mrs Laura Duley ; Mrs. Wright 
was accompanied by her daughter, aged five years, and Mrs. Duley by her daugh- 
ter, aged nine years ; a niece of Mr. Duley, aged five years, and Rosana and Ella 
Creland, aged nine and seven years, daughters of Thomas Creland, and Lille 
Everett, daughter of William Everett. Mr. J. M. Duley, formerly of Sioux 
Falls, who moved to Lake Shetak, Minn., was killed by Little Crow's bands and 
these women and children made captive. Mrs. Wright was the wife of John A. 
Wright. The women had been forced to walk from the place where captured to 
the Missouri River and the children much of the way. They were first taken in 
the direction of Devils Lake, and then to the Missouri River near Standing 
Rock, where they were released through the influence of Major Galpin and his 
good wife, the mother of Charles F. Picotte. The major sent twenty horses and 
a supply of provisions for this purpose, a horse and provisions being given for 
each captive. Another story of the rescue of this party is that Four-Bears of 
the Two-Kettle band of Sioux followed the Indians for a long distance and 
finally secured their release for eight horses, and that it was he who turned them 
over to Maj. John Pattee, who sent them to Yankton. Pattee was in command 
of an expedition in search of captives. A large number of captives had been 
recovered at Cani]i Release after the battle at Wood Lake, mentioned in Chap- 
ter XIII. 



After the massacre of 1862, Little Crow and such warriors as cared to share 
his fortunes or feared to remain, went to Canada or sought refuge on the plains 
of, Dakota. Little Crow subsequently returned and was killed. 

Gen. Henry H. Sibley, moving from Fort Ridgeley, Minn., in 1863, was sent 
to pursue the hostiles and further punish them for their depredations. Gen. 
Alfred Sully was ordered to move up the Missouri River in co-operation with 
him. Sibley's force numbered 4,000 men, consisting of the Sixth, Seventh and 
Tenth Minnesota Infantry, Third Minnesota Battery and a regiment of mounted 
rangers, enlisted for the purpose. 

The expedition crossed the Red River at Fort Abercrombie, and followed 
the Sheyenne through what is now Cass, Barnes and Ransom counties on the 
way toward Devils Lake. The worst drought ever recorded in the history of 
Dakota prevailed at that time. Springs, lakes and streams usually affording an 
abundance of water, were dry. The earth was parched and the atmosphere 
almost like the blast from a furnace. Two hundred and fifty wagons carried 
his supplies. 


Proceeding southwesterly from Devils Lake, General Sibley encountered the 
Indians at Big Mound July 24, 1863, and twelve miles farther west at Dead 
Buffalo Lake, about thirty iniles east of the Missouri River. The Indians pro- 
fessing a desire for peace, sought a council with the troops and during the 
conference Surgeon Josiah S. Weiser, of the mounted rangers, approached the 
council, and was immediately killed by one of the Indians, supposing him to be 
the commanding officer. General Sibley had previously been warned of the 
purpose of such a conference, the Indians intending to massacre the officers and 
then attack and destroy the troops. The conference was had without his knowl- 
edge. The Indians were in great numbers and General Sibley's command was 
divided, 1,400 infantry and 500 cavalry being with him some distance in advance. 
Immediately following the death of Doctor Weiser, Col. Samuel McPhail at- 
tacked the Indians with two companies of his regiment supported by Lieut. CoL 
William R. Marshall, Maj. George Bradley and Capt. Alonzo J. Edgerton 
and artillery commanded by Lieut. John C. Whipple, and also by the com- 
mand of Col. William Crook and Col. John T. Averill, and the battle of 
Big Mound was on. Col. Robert McLaren remained in command of the 
camp. The Indians occupying the hills and ravines were dislodged and put 
to rout, leaving large quantities of supplies and camp equipage, which Colonel 
McLaren was detailed to destroy. General Sibley joining the command, they 
pursued the Indians to Dead Buffalo Lake, where a still stronger force was 
encountered on the 26th, when another sharp engagement was had with con- 
siderable loss to the Indians, and they again f^ed toward the Missouri. Here 
the command remained a day, recovering from the severe marching and fighting 
in the Big Mound battle, and for the purpose of destroying the large amount of 
property hidden in the reeds and about the lake, and thrown away by the 
Indians in their flight. 


The number of Indians here engaged appeared to have been largely increased, 
and as the soldiers followed their trail toward the Missouri River they found 
and destroyed much property. 


On July 28th General Sibley again engaged the Indians at Stony Lake, their 
force having been largely increased by parties returning from the hunt. 

General Sibley speaks of the force he met here as being a greater number 
of Indians than ever encountered in any previous conflict on the American Con- 
tinent. So great were their numbers that they formed two-thirds of a circle 
around his lines five or six miles in extent, seeking some weak point for attack, 
rushing back and forth endeavoring to keep out of range of the unerring frontier 
riflemen who emptied many saddles, and wary of the artillery which had pre- 
viousy wrought much havoc with spherical case shell. The firing was rapid and 
incessant on both sides. Artillery and long-range rifles were a new element of 
warfare to them, and becoming discouraged they again fled with the troops in 
hot pursuit. 

At Big Mound the number engaged was estimated at 1,500 to 2,000; at 
BufTalo Lake at 2,000, and of the 10,000 on the war path 2,000 to 2,500 were 
estimated by General Sibley to be then in his immediate front. 

General Sibley pursued them on the 29th and that night camped on the banks 
of Apple Creek, a few mounted Indians being then in sight. On the 30th Colonel 
]McPhail was sent forward with the mounted rangers and artillery to harass and 
if possible interrupt their flight across the Missouri River, Sibley following with 
the remainder of the column. The Indian women and children crossed the 
Missouri River the preceding night ; and when Sibley arrived at the mouth of 
Apple Creek the hills west of the Missouri were swarming with Indians. The 
Indians in their flight had cached much property in the hills of Apple Creek 
and the Missouri, but had left much in the willows and timber. 

General Sibley made his camp opposite what was then known as Burned Boat 
Island, from the incident of the Assinaboine being destroyed by fire on its way 
down the river with Maximilian's party in the spring of 1834, but now called 
Sibley Island. It was later granted to the City of Bismarck for park purposes 
by an act of Congress, but finally restored to the public domain. Here General 
Sibley remained two days, sending up rockets at night and firing cannon occa- 
sionally by day, hoping to get into communication with General Sully, ordered to 
meet him at this point. 


On his approach to the Missouri River, Colonel Crook was directed to clear 
the woods on the flat north of Apple Creek of Indians, which was done. Lieu- 
tenant Beaver, a young English gentleman acting as aid-de-camp on General 
Sibley's stafif, was sent with an order to Colonel Crook. Taking the wrong trail, 
he was pierced by Indian arrows at a point about five miles below Bismarck. 
A private of the Sixth Minnesota, Nicholas Miller, who had taken the same 
trail, was also shot to death by arrows. On the next day Colonel Crook's com- 


mand destroyed a large amount of propert}- which the Indians had left on the 
east side of the river in their flight, including 150 wagons and carts. 


Immediately after General Sibley left the Missouri on August 3d, the Indians 
returned and secured a large amount of property cached by them which Colonel 
Crook did not find ; and while engaged in this work a mackinaw appeared com- 
ing down the Missouri River, having on board twenty-one persons, including 
several women and children. The Indians attacked them, killing all and sinking 
the boat. The occupants of the boat, however, killed ninety-one Indians and 
wounded many others before their ammunition failed. This is the story told 
General Sully a few weeks later by an Indian captive and confirmed from other 
sources. General Sully found the wrecked boat on arriving at the Missouri with 
his expedition. 


The Indian losses in these several battles were very large, the troops counting 
many abandoned on the field, but there is no definite information as to the 
number. In the Battle of Big Mound it is certain the losses were very heavy, 
as the fighting was frequently at short range, but in the other engagements the 
Indians had become more wary. 

General Sibley's losses were three men killed and four wounded in battle and 
one John Murphy killed by lightning, besides Dr. Josiah S. Weiser (treacherously 
killed at the peace conference preceding the battle of Big Mound), Lieutenant 
Beaver and Nicholas Miller at Apple Creek, and Lieutenant Ambrose Freeman of 
Company D, Minnesota Mounted Rangers, who was hunting a short distance 
from Sibley's command the first day of Sibley's engagement with the Indians, 
when he was pierced by Indian arrows and buried on the field with appropriate 
honors. His body and that of Doctor Weiser were later recovered through the 
efiforts of Hon. Joel Weiser, of \'alley City, a brother of Doctor Weiser. 

The body of Lieutenant Beaver was recovered and buried with Masonic 
honors in a grave resembling a rifle pit. a lodge being opened for that purpose, 
of which Capt. J. C. Braden was master. Ten years later Captain Braden, then 
grand master of the Minnesota Jurisdiction, and Grand Secretary A. T. C. Pierson, 
came to Bismardv to constitute the Masonic Lodge, and told the story of Lieu- 
tenant Beaver's death and burial. They went to the place next day and exhumed 
the body and removed it to St. Paul, where it was buried and the grave cared 
for at the expense of General Sibley. 

Lieut. Fred J. Holt Beaver was an ordained clergyman of the English Church. 
He spent two years in New York and came to General Sibley with letters from 
John Jacob Astor and Hamilton Fish, and accompanied General Sibley as a 
volunteer aid-de-camp. On Memorial Day, May 30th each year, his grave is 
appropriately decorated by the soldiers of the Grand Army of the Republic. 

Private Nicholas Miller was killed near where Lieutenant Beaver was shot. 
Private John Murphy was killed by lightning, and Private John Piatt was mor- 
tally wounded by an Indian whom he had previously wounded. Private Joe 
Campbell killed the Indian. 


• A son of Little Crow was found on the prairie exhausted, and taken prisoner 
by General Sibley on his return to Fort Ridgeley, followed by Indian scouts until 
he crossed the James River going east. 

Among the officers who took a prominent part in this campaign were Capt. 
Alonzo J. Edgerton, afterward chief justice of Dakota Territory; Capt. Eugene 
M. Wilson and Col. John T. Averill, afterward members of Congress from 
Minnesota; Col. James H. Baker, commissioner of pensions; Col. William R. 
Marshall, governor of Minnesota, and Col. Samuel P. Jennison, secretary of 
state; Capt. Oscar Taylor, John Jones, Jonathan Chase, Peter B. Davy, later 
a North Dakota farmer, and Capt. Abraham L. Van Osdel, prominent in Dakota 
history. Charles Bottineau accompanied Sibley as a guide. 


In connection with General Sibley's expedition another was sent from Sioux 
City, under the command of Gen. Alfred H. Sully. It consisted of the Sixth Iowa 
Cavalry, under command of Col. David S. Wilson; the Second Nebraska Cav- 
alry, Col. Robert W. Furnas ; one company of the Seventh Iowa Cavalry under 
Captain Willard ; three companies of the Forty-fifth Iowa Infantry and an 
eight-gun battery. The expedition was accompanied by seventy-five army wagons 
and seventy-five civil employes. They left Yankton June 26, 1863. They went 
• by steamboat to Swan Lake, leaving that point August 21, reaching Long Lake 
on the 28th, where a lame Indian was found who told General Sully of Sibley's 
battle and that the Indians lost fifty-eight killed; that soon after Sibley left 
Apple Creek, the Indians attacked a mackinaw boat, mentioned elsewhere. On 
the 29th General Sully sent two companies of the Sixth Iowa, under the com- 
mand of Capt. D. W. C. Cram, to the mouth of Apple Creek, where they found 
General Sibley's fortified camp, and reported that they saw the mackinaw boat 
mentioned by the lame Indian. 

September 3d they found the remains of many buffalo recently killed and 
numerous Indian trails all leading toward their favorite resort. That day scouts 
located four hundred to six hundred lodges of Indians in a ravine, the warriors 
numbering at least one thousand two hundred. 

Some two hundred Indians surrounded and captured General Sully's guide, 
Frank La Frambois. They were Indians who had fought in the Minnesota 
massacre, and in the battles with General Sibley, and in the attack on the mack- 
inaw ; and they told La Frambois that they did not see why the soldiers should 
come out to fight them unless they were tired of living and wanted to die. La 
Frambois escaping, ran his horse ten miles to give his commander the informa- 
tion he had gained as to the identity, strength and purpose of the Indians, 
consisting of Santees, Cutheads, Yanktonais, Uncapapas and Blackfeet. General 
Sully immediately galloped a force to the attack under Col. Robert W. Furnas, 
and the result was the 


The battlefield is in Dickey County, North Dakota, about fifteen miles west 
of Monango. Congress granted the State of North Dakota a section of land 


for park purposes, on which the beautiful monument shown in ilhistration here- 
with is situated. 

The battle occurred September 3, 1863, the forces engaged being the Second 
Nebraska Cavalry, commanded by Col. Robert W. Furnas, from whom these 
facts were obtained through Capt. James A. Emmons ; the Sixth Iowa Cavalry, 
commanded by Col. D. S. Wilson ; and one company of the Seventh Iowa Cavalry, 
commanded by Captain Willard, in 'all about one thousand two hundred men. 
The aids to General Sully were Capt. J. H. Pell, Captain King and Lieutenant 
Levering of the First Minnesota. The number of Indians was estimated 
at one thousand two hundred warriors, the whole number not less than 
three thousand. Maj. E. A. House in command of 300 men of the Sixth 
Iowa had located the Indians, and his scout had reported to General Sully, 
who hurried Colonel Furnas to his assistance. The latter encountered them in 
the evening, and attacked at once from the direction opposite the approaching 
troops under Colonel Wilson; while Maj. Edward P. Tenbroeck, with two com- 
panies of the Sixth Iowa, charged through the center of the camp. General 
Sully, in personal command of one company of the Seventh Iowa and the bat- 
tery, hurried to the fight. The battle became a hand to hand affair and on 
the arrival of Colonel W'ilson the Indians fled, leaving their dead and wounded 
on the field. The dead numbered about two hundred and the wounded about 
the same. One hundred and fifty-eight were captured, including Big Head and 
thirty warriors, who surrendered to General Sully. General Sully's loss was 
25 killed and 38 wounded. Lieut. Thomas J. Leavitt, Sixth Iowa, was 
mortally wounded. The Sixth Iowa lost 11 killed and 21 wounded; the Second 
Nebraska 6 killed and 13 wounded. 

After the battle the troops pursued the Indians in every direction and killed 
and wounded many. General Sully caused fires to be built, while buglers 
sounded the rally to bring back the pursuing forces; scouting parties the next 
day found the dead and wounded in all directions, and ponies and dogs attached 
to travois loaded with buffalo meat and other supplies, ttirned loose on the 
prairies by the Indians. General Sully estimated that they burned from forty 
thousand to fifty thousand pounds of dried buffalo meat, as one item of -the 
destruction that followed the battle. They also destroyed 300 deserted lodges and 
other property of great value to the Indians. It was their winter supply of meat 
and represented more than one thousand slaughtered buffalo. Capt. R. B. l\Iason, 
wagon master, said the fat ran in streams from the burning mass of meat. 
They found in the camp or on the dead, loot from the Minnesota massacre, and 
from General Sibley's supply trains, and from those murdered in the mackinaw 
at .Apple Creek. The expedition returned overland to Fort Pierre and down 
the river to Yankton. 

sully's expedition of 1864 

General Sully had been selected to command an expedition in 1864 to further 
continue the punishment of the Indians who had been engaged in the Minnesota 
massacre of 1862, begun by General Sibley that year and continued by him and 
General Sully in 1863. The Indians were concentrated west of the Missouri 
River, harassing the frontier settlers by raids in Dakota, Minnesota and Ne- 












braska, and attacking the transportation on the Missouri River, and the im- 
migrant parties passing over territory they regarded as their own. They 
embraced remnants of Little Crow's bands, Uncapapas, Yanktonnais, Blackfeet, 
Minneconjous and parts of other tribes. 

General Sully's headquarters were at Sioux City. He had selected Com- 
panies A and B, Dakota Cavalry, as his body guard, assigning other troops 
concentrated at Yankton, for the protection of the Dakota settlements. The ren- 
dezvous of his command was at old Fort Sully near Fort Pierre. It consisted of 
the two companies of Dakota Cavalry, Pope's Battery, the Sixth Iowa Cavalry, 
Brackett's Battalion of Minnesota Cavalry, three companies of the Seventh 
Iowa Cavalry and one company of Nebraska Cavalry. They were joined by the 
Minnesota contingent under the command of Colonel Thomas, at Swan Lake; 
this contingent consisting of the Eighth Minnesota Mounted Infantry, six com- 
panies of the Second Minnesota Cavalry and the Third Minnesota Battery. 

The expedition left Fort Sully June 24th, and reached the Missouri River 
July 3d, and established Fort Rice, on the west bank, a few miles above the 
mouth of the Cannon Ball River. This fort was built by Col. Daniel J. Dill 
with four companies of the Thirtieth Wisconsin which came by steamer, aided 
by two companies of cavalry detailed for the purpose, and it became the supply 
point for General Sully's expedition and for many succeeding expeditions. 

On the way they encountered some Indians at the mouth of the Little Shey- 
enne River, when Captain Fielding of the topographical engineers was shot 
from ambush and mortally wounded, and one of the soldiers with him was 
shot. The three Indians responsible were pursued by Capt. Nelson Miner, of 
the Dakota Cavalry, and literally riddled with bullets and their heads brought 
into camp. 

General Sully had had twenty years' experience in the Seminole, Mexican 
and border wars, and several of his officers had participated in the campaign the 
previous year. 

July i8th he left Fort Rice, reaching Heart River in the vicinity of Dickin- 
son, when he corralled and left an immigrant train which he had relieved from 
the Indians' attack, and some of his heavier supplies, guarded by a part of his 
force, and proceeded to the Knife River where his scouts reported a large force 
of Indians whom he attacked. 


At Killdeer Mountain on the 28th General Sully encountered a force esti- 
mated by him at 1,600 lodges, representing 5,000 to 6,000 warriors. The Indians 
were expecting him and were ready for the fray. They were so well posted 
and so great was their confidence that they did not take down their lodges, but 
commenced their tactics of circling around his command, each time drawing 
nearer, until they had come within 200 yards. Then fire was opened on them 
and many saddles emptied, when they drew off to a greater distance pursued 
toward their camp by the cavalry. Now thoroughly alarmed, they were trying to 
save their women and children. The troops opened on them with artillery. 

The attack was made with eleven companies of the Sixth Iowa Cavalry, three 
companies of the Seventh Iowa, two companies of Dakota Cavalry, four com- 


panics of Brackett's Minnesota Battalion, Jones's Battery, Pope's Battery, ten 
companies of the Eighth Minnesota Mounted Infantry, six companies of the 
Second Minnesota Cavalry, two sections of the Third Minnesota Battery and 
seventy scouts, the whole force numbering 2,200. 

The attack was made in front, the Indians attempting to flank Sully on the 
left and then on the right and rear, the battle line extending in a circle of about 
three miles. They attempted counter attacks, but were repulsed at every point. 
Major Brackett made a furious attack, which they countered, in which many 
Indians were killed, their attack being repelled by the aid of Jones's battery. 
They made a heavy attack in the rear by a newly-arrived force, which was 
also dispersed by the same guns. 

Sully closed upon their main camp and put them to flight, the artillery driving 
them out of their strong position in the ravines and on the hills, the cavalry 
pursuing. The battle lasted all day, but by sunset there were no Indians in sight 
and the troops slept on the battlefield. 

Colonel McLaren was detailed next day to destroy the large amount of prop- 
erty the Indians had left in their flight, gathering into heaps and burning at least 
forty tons of dried bufifalo meat packed in buffalo skins, great quantities of dried 
berries, tanned buffalo, elk and antelope hides, household utensils, consisting of 
brass and copper kettles, mess pans, etc., saddles and travois and lodge poles, 
which were gathered in heaps and burned. The woods were fired in order to 
make the destruction complete. 

The loss of the Indians was very large, many dead being left on the field. 
Sully's loss was five killed and ten wounded. 

Capt. Nelson Miner, of the Dakota Cavalry, relates that being hard pressed 
at one point, he dismounted and in the fight forgot all about his horse, but when 
the battle was over his horse was by his side, having followed him wherever 
he went. 


From an article in The Record for June, 1896, by Capt. J. W. Bumham, 
who was a sergeant in the Sixth Minnesota and present at the Battle of Big 
Mound, July 24, 1863, the following extract is made. Captain Buniham writes 
from notes written at the time. 

'■July 24, 1863, our regiment went into camp on the shore of an alkaline lake 
to the right, while the Indians occupied the hills and valleys to the left. The 
general had every soldier to his place, but the scouts (half-breeds or friendly 
Indians) went out and parleyed with the Indians. Doctor Weiser, surgeon of the 
mounted rangers, joined one of these parties and commenced talking to the 
Indians in their own language, and giving them, out of his own pockets, tobacco 
and hard bread, when he was suddenly shot and killed, three of them firing 
at once and all standing close to him. Directly after this firing was heard to 
the rear, not explained till the next day, when it was learned that Lieutenant 
Treeman of the rangers, G. A. Brackett, the beef contractor, now as then a 
well-known citizen of Minneapolis, and two Indians scouts were hunting ante- 
lope. The Indians cut them oft' from the command and when the vollev that 
killed Weiser was heard they fired and mortally wounded Freeman. The party 


then hid in the tall rushes on the shore of a little lake till night came, when 
the scouts started for camp. Soon after Freeman died. When Brackett tried 
to reach camp he became lost and after a long tramp reached the track, but so 
far back that he kept on to Camp Atchison, which he reached in four days, 
nearly dead from hunger and fatigue, having had nothing to eat except raw 

"The first movement against the Indians was by the battery, which threw 
shells among them, killing several. When they fell back they were charged by 
the rangers, followed by a large force of infantry. The rangers followed 
them for sixteen miles, killing many and losing some men themselves. In a 
charge made over a rocky ridge in plain sight of camp, the lightning struck, 
killing one man and horse and knocking down two more. Until their return 
they supposed a shell from the battery had fallen short and struck among them. 

"This battle of Big Mound was a striking scene. The lonely lake, the rocky 
hills, the naked, yelling Indians, soon discomfited and flying, the battery of four 
guns all doing their best, the charging cavalry with sabers drawn, the infantry 
following, while over all was the darkened sky, the heavy rolling thunder and 
the incessant lightning with but little rain. It was a view to be remembered 
by a looker-on, as I was that day. 

"July 26. Reveille at 2:30; marched at 4 a. m. Went fourteen miles, find- 
ing Indian property all the way and scattering Indians in sight. They made 
a stand on the shore of a small lake, where lay the body of a buiTalo so long 
dead that we did not need sight to be aware of its presence. We called the fight 
here the Battle of Dead Bufifalo Lake. 

"They made a stand and the artillery and cavalry drove them several miles, 
the infantr)' mostly going into camp. Some two hours later, when all seemed 
peaceful and serene around camp, though we could hear the boom of the cannon 
in the distance, a large force of Indians made a dash to cut off a party of 
foragers out cutting the coarse grass and reeds on the shore of the lake. This 
was all we had to feed our mules, as the immense herds of buffalo had eaten 
all the good grass. 

"This attack was repulsed by a company of rangers who, more by accident 
than design, seemed to be on the right spot at the right time. Some fifteen 
Indians were killed here and in the main battle. The men cutting grass and 
the teamsters were terribly frightened. Supposing themselves out of danger 
most of them were unarmed. This was a mistake they did not again make. 

"About this battle ground lay hundreds of dead buffalo more or less stripped 
of hides and meat, for we had come upon the Indians while in the best of their 
hunt. There were still so many Indians near that we could not allow our ani- 
mals to graze except on one end of a rope with a man at the other end, and the 
best grazing was very poor. All the forage obtainable was of the kind that 
grew upon the lake shore. 

"July 27. We made a long march of twenty-three miles, passing over 
battle ground of previous days, finding large quantities of Indian property, like 
axes, hoes and trinkets, besides tons of meat and hides, tent poles and tents. A 
captured squaw reports large reinforcements to the Indians. We camped at 


night on the stony shore of a sweet water lake near which we fought them 
next day and called the Battle of Stony Lake. 

"July 28. Reveille at 3 ; started at 5 A. M. The Tenth in the advance. 
When the command was in motion, and our regiment about half a mile out, pass- 
ing over a ridge, a great force of mounted Indians dashed upon us. At once 
Whipple, of the battery, with two guns opened on them with shells, and our 
regiment was deployed right and left from the head of the column, the men 
about far enough apart to touch fingers when their arms were extended. The 
Indians were in great force, variously estimated from one thousand five hun- 
dred to three thousand, and all mounted. They came close up to the line and 
nearly every man, as he put on his bayonet without waiting for orders, thought 
they were going over us. I thought so at any rate, but they recoiled. We 
got one or two shots apiece at them, when they went around us and attacked the 
flanks, where another regiment repulsed them. They fell back and attacked 
the rear, where another regiment and Captain Jones and two guns of the bat- 
tery again beat them ofl:. They then returned to the front. As we lay in the 
grass in the still morning air we could hear the sonorous voices of their leaders 
urging another charge. But they came not. After waiting two hours for them 
we marched on all day, keeping the order of formation to resist another attack. 
We found one Indian asleep and captured him and his pony. He was dressed 
in fighting costume of a Dacotah v\'arrior: a breech cloth and a pair of moccasins, 
with a buffalo robe along for a bed. He said he was a Teton and belonged 
west of the Missouri. He was released with an admonition. 

"It is said we killed eleven Indians in this fight, but we saw no bodies. We 
killed more in the previous battles. Unlike them we lost no man this day, 
nothing but one horse, and he was so weak that the Indian who got him was 
overtaken and killed before night. We camped this night on Apple Creek. 

"July 29. Reveille at 1 130 ; marched at 3 A. M. We spent about three 
hours crossing the creek. The wagons were pulled through by men with ropes. 
We went about three miles, when the Missouri Valley was before us, just 
below the site of Bismarck, the river about eight miles ofif. The general expected 
the Indians would be unable to cross, but we could see them in crowds on the 
opposite bltififs. He had sent ahead the cavalry and the guns and we soon saw 
the latter rapidly firing. We hurried on, fatigued as we were, under a broiling 
sun, thinking a battle was going on, and found the cavalry had been repulsed 
from the thick grave by Indians shooting arrows and the artillery was shelling 
them out. They saw very few Indians except those across the river on the 
blulTs. They were flashing their mirrors in the bright sunlight in answer to 
the reflections doubtless visible from the glittering barrels of our Springfield 

"We were marched within about a mile of the timber and two miles from 
the river, where we lay for three hours, when we were ordered into camp on 
a bench near the creek and about two miles from its mouth, where we arrived 
about 5 P. M., completely exhausted with hunger, thirst, fatigue and lack of 
sleep, having marched about twelve miles that day. 

"Meanwhile the Sixth Regiment skirmished the woods, but saw few Indians. 
When they approached the river they found hundreds of carts and wagons, 
and tons of stufif that the Indians were unable to take across the river. On 


the bank they were hailed from the opposite shore : 'We do not want to fight 
the whites !" and were answered by a scout who talked with them for some 
time, but when the men approached the river to fill their canteens hundreds 
of shots were fired at them from the tall grass opposite, but the shots mostly 
fell short and did no injury. Today Lieutenant Beever, General Sibley's vol- 
unteer aid, was lost in some way. He was sent by the general with an order 
to Colonel Crooks, commanding the skirmishers in the woods. He delivered his 
order but did not return. A private of the Sixth is also missing. Our mules 
and horses are entirely exhausted and men nearly as far gone. Many of them 
are dropping out of the ranks to be picked up by the ambulances. During 
the last few days a very common sight was to see a mounted man fall behind. 
He would get off and lead the horse and very often he was still unable to keep 
up. A shot would then, finish the horse, the saddle and bridle would go to the 
nearest wagon and the soldier go on afoot. At this camp we had grass and 
water, but, as before, our animals would not be safe beyond the end of a rope. 

"July 30. The long roll beat twice in the night. Indians all around and 
shots are continually being exchanged. We could hold no grotmd beyond the 
reach of our gtms. Rockets were sent up and guns fired both night and day 
to signalize Lieutenant Beever. With all our care the Indians ran oft" a few 

"A detachment of 700 men were sent out to skirmish through the woods 
again and find the missing men if possible. The cannon went with them, and 
while writing this in camp I hear the guns speaking out occasionally. 

"We heard bad reports during the day from the river bank, and the general 
sent down reinforcements, but about 10 P. M. the troops all came in, having 
suffered no loss. They killed a few Indians and found the bodies of the missing 
men. Lieutenant Beever carried three revolvers and had evidently made a 
vigorous fight, and had been shot with three arrows. His horse had been 
killed with a bullet. Like most of the army he wore his hair short, and the 
Indians had cut around his head endeavoring to scalp him, but were unable to 
pull it off, so they scalped the long whiskers from one of his cheeks. The 
soldier, having longer hair, was scalped in the usual manner. During the night 
under a strong wind the Indians set the grass on fire, but a line of men with 
wet blankets met it and soon put it out. 

"August I. Had a bad time of it last night. Indians prowled around 
camp all night. Single ones were fired upon many times by the gtiard. About 
midnight a large force crawled up on the burnt ground and fired a heavy volley 
into the camp, shooting through many tents and killing a mule and stampeding 
the herd of beef cattle, which broke away, but fortunately were stopped and 
driven back. No men were shot, though the firing was kept up on both sides 
most of the night. In the reduced state of men and horses, especially the latter, 
all we could do at this time was to repel attack. We had already marched 
farther than our supply of provisions would warrant, and this day we marched 
twenty miles towards home. We had no sooner left the camp than the Indians 
took possession, and only a small force followed us. Our camp tonight has 
plenty of good grass and water." 



The curator of the North Dakota Historical Society in 191 5 visited the Kill- 
deer Mountain Battlefield in Dunn County and the result was published in the 
Fargo Forum as follows : 

"Bismarck, N. Dak., August 15. — For work accomplished and results obtained 
the trip of H. C. Fish of the State Historical Society and S. S. Campbell of 
Sentinel Butte was one of the most successful this year. They were both pleased 
and gratified by the hearty co-operation they received from so many in Dickin- 
son and in Manning and at Killdeers. 

"The trip was unique, for after forty-six years Mr. Campbell expected to 
point out the place of the battle between Sully and the Sioux which occurred 
July 28, 1864. He had not visited the old scenes since, and the whole light was 
in his mind as he saw it then. But what helped to keep the scene so vivid was the 
constant reading of his old diary which he kept in 1864 during the whole of the 
Sully campaign. Many of the old troopers for years after the trying march 
wrote to Mr. Campbell and wanted to know when and where different events 
occurred. And, too, some of the old soldiers wanting a pension applied to Mr. 
Campbell to give the exact place where they were hurt. The small diary with 
its well fingered pages has kept the old days well in mind. 

"Tuesday morning of last week the two gentlemen left for Manning on the 
stage and they were met at the county seat by Superintendent Melby, who was 
very much interested in getting a correct idea of the old days, and taken to the 
Killdeers. It was very fortunate that Mr. Melby took the party direct to the 
home of John Ross, who lives adjoining the Diamond C Ranch in the east. The 
father of Mrs. Ross was in the same campaign and Mr. Ross knew the family of 
Mr. Campbell in the old days of Minnesota. All the courtesies that could be 
desired were extended to Mr. Fish and Mr. Campbell in their search for the old 

"On Wednesday morning Mr. Ross took the party up over the hill to the 
Diamond C Ranch buildings and Mr. Campbell at once recognized the lay of the 
land, and when they went out to the south of the spring and the house he said, 
'This looks just like the old Indian camp. If it is, there is a dry coulee just over 
there to the south.' The dry coulee was found. 

"On this broad open space south of the old spring 1,600 Indian tepees were 
arranged. Mr. Campbell said that they camped the first night after the battle 
just west of the Indian camp. The thickest of the battle occurred on the ranch 
of John Ross, where the Indians made the last stand before their camp was taken. 
The camp of the second night was at the spring on the old Craig Ranch, some 
eight miles east of the battle grounds. 

"The course of events taken from Mr. Campbell's diary is interesting. They 
started from Sioux City Tuesday, May 31, 1864, and gradually made their way 
up the Missouri to Fort Rice and then across country to the Indian stamping 
grounds. On July 25 the whole army of Sully corralled their extra horses and 
teams some place fifteen or twenty miles south of Dickinson. 

"There were also fifty teams of the emigrants bound for Idaho who were 
going along under the protection of the army. This enormous corral has not been 
located and it is the wish of the society to have some of the old troopers help us 


find the place. After the corral was established the troopers took nine days' 
rations for a rapid march into the Indian country. On July 26th the army 
marched one mile and grazed their horses till 2 o'clock. Then scouts came in and 
reported that they had a skirmish with the Indians. Mr. Campbell's battalion 
was put on double quick for nineteen miles. July 27th the army marched twenty 
miles and grazed their horses and then marched ten miles and camped on Knife 
Creek. At this place there were many petrified stumps and trees. The day of the 
battle, July 28th, the army marched twelve miles before light and grazed their 
horses and took breakfast. After breakfast they went four miles and met the 
main body of the Indians. 


"The anny formed a line of battle and for nine miles there was a running 
fight. This started at 9 o'clock in the morning and all day long the right bat- 
talion fought the Indians hand to hand. ]\Iany of the Indians had only war clubs 
and bows and arrows and very primitive guns, but from behind every rock and 
group of trees the arrows showered upon the troopers. At one time a very large 
force of the Indians came in from the rear and attempted to capture the batter}"- 
of twelve cannon. They made their way with all the fiendish glee they could 
muster, but they did not reckon on the gunners. They waited until the Indians 
got within 200 yards of the batter\' and then let two charges go. This made an 
awful swath in their ranks, and the Indians turned like a pack of frightened 
sheep before the onslaught of wolves and fled, followed by a terrific saber charge 
by the troopers. This stand was the turning point in the battle. From this time 
on the soldiers had the Indians on the run for the hills and the saber was 
exchanged for the revolver. They soon had the Indians over the hills among 
the brakes. That night under the silent skies the dead were buried on the camp- 
ing grounds, and horses were picketed over the grave to destroy all signs of the 


"The next morning, on Friday, July 29th, the soldiers tried to follow the 
Indians, but they could not do it with success because of the brake back of the 
hills. The army turned back and in the dr>' coulee south of the Indian camp tons 
of meat, both jerked and pemmican, 1,600 tents, poles, clothing, blankets were 

"That afternoon the army marched eight miles east to the spring at the old 
Craig Ranch. Just as the dusk was creeping over the army 600 Indians drove 
fiercely through the camp and tried to stampede the horses. The two outer 
guards were killed, but other than this not a shot was fired or a person hurt. It 
created a great deal of excitement for a time, but the night brought on nothing of 
importance. This night was vivid in the memory of Mr. Campbell. He well 
remembers looking towards the battle grounds many times and seeing the constant 
light of the torches the long night for the dead and wounded or for some things 
which were hidden in the flight. 

"During the next two days the army made their way back sixty-seven miles to 


the corrals. In the battle at the Killdeers, or, as the Indians call it, 'Ta-ha-kouty,' 
or the 'place where they kill the deer,' some 2,200 soldiers were actively engaged 
against 5,000 or 6,000 Indians. Sully reported some 150 of the Indians killed 
and 5 soldiers killed. 

"From this battle ground up to Yellowstone and back to Fort Rice the Indians 
kept at their heels and the army had to be on their guard constantly." 


Returning to his camp on the Heart River in order to reach a pass through 
the Bad Lands, known to one of his Yankton Indian guides. General Sully on 
August 5th camped at what is now Medora, "where the hills look at each other." 
In order to pass through the Bad Lands, it became necessary to cut into the hill 
sides at many points. The Indians attacked the camp from the hills that evening, 
and at one point cut off some of the horses, which, however, were recaptured; 
and next day, on several occasions, they attacked the working parties. The 
immigrant train, having women and children moved by oxen, impeded the march 
and lengthened the column to three or four miles, making it necessary to double 
up the line for protection, and yet at many points in the Bad Lands they could 
only pass in single file. The danger to the immigrants added to the difficulties 
of the situation, and to the anxieties of the general. On the 6th every butte 
(hill) was covered with Indians, some of the hills were 300 feet in height, 
others sharp-pointed, almost touched, as well as looked at each other ; some were 
low, others mere banks of clay or scoria, as good as those built for defense; 
others resembled chimneys or other ruins of a burned city, for they had been 
formed by burning coal mines and the erosion which followed. It was necessary 
to climb up steep hillsides, plunge down into deep gulHes, pass through wooded 
ravines, crawl along narrow gorges, sometimes in the beds of dry streams, and 
without water that hot day in August until late in the afternoon, when they 
reached a small lake and springs, where the Indians had concentrated in an 
€fifort to keep them from water. There was fighting almost every step of the 
way, but the Indians, wary from the battle of July 28th, had little heart for 
close-range fighting. At the lake and springs the encounter was sharp, but the 
Indians again fled, having lost very heavily in the ten-mile battle in these Bad 
Lands of the Little Missouri. 

As Sully movetl forward the next morning he encountered about one thousand 
Indians. The skirmishes were frequent, but when they reached the open country 
they saw a cloud of dust made by fleeing Indians about six miles away ; and 
that was the last seen of them for several days. 

General Sully estimated the Indian losses in the battle of the Little Missouri 
at not less than one hundred killed ; some of the officers of his command esti- 
mated the number as high as three hundred. 

General Sully continued on to the Yellowstone, where he arrived August 
I2th, meeting the steamers "Chippewa Falls" and "Alone" with supplies. The 
steamer "Island City," loaded with supplies, struck a snag and was sunk near 
Fort Union. The boats had gone up the Yellowstone as far as Brazzeau's post, 
where Sully crossed over by fording, intending to go northeast in the hope of 
again striking the Indians. The country at the Little Missouri was covered by 


■myriads of grasshoppers, which had entirely destroyed the grass ; and on reaching 
the Missouri and Yellowstone he found the waters rapidly falling; so he changed 
his plans and returned down the Yellowstone to Fort Union, where he arrived 
on August i8th, and selected the site for a military post, resulting later in the 
■establishment of Fort Buford. Sully then continued down the Missouri River 
to Fort Rice; first establishing Fort Stevenson, where he left a company of 
the Sixth Iowa Cavalry under Captain Mooreland, and another at Fort Berthold 
for the protection of the Gros- Ventres, Arikaras and Mandans, who had been 
friendly to the whites during the prevailing Indian troubles. He also left one 
•company at Fort Sully; some of the command returned to Yankton and Sioux 
City, and some marched overland to Fort Wadsworth, which had been built that 
summer under General Sibley's jurisdiction for the protection of the friendly 
Sissetons, who had done such excellent service during and following the Min- 
nesota massacre. The garrison at Fort Wadsworth July 31, 1864, when visited 
by Captain Fisk's expedition, was in command of Maj. John Clowney. It con- 
sisted of three companies of the 30th Wisconsin, viz: Company B, Captain 
Burton ; Company E, Captain Devling ; Company K, Captain Klaats, and Com- 
pany M, Second Minnesota Cavalry, Captain Hanley ; Third Section Third Min- 
nesota Battery, Battery Capt. H. W. Western. Capt. J. E. McKusick was 
quartermaster of the post. Maj. Mark Downie and Thomas Priestly were then 
there. George A, Brackett, with a train of 150 wagons, was camped near the 

fisk's expedition 

When General Sully reached Fort Rice he was advised that a party of 
immigrants known as the Fisk Montana and Idaho Expedition, consisting of 
88 wagons and 200 men, women and children, escorted by 47 soldiers, detailed for 
the purpose at Fort Rice, which left that point for Montana and Idaho August 
23d, had been attacked by Indians near the Bad Lands and twelve of the party 
killed and several wounded ; that they were fortified and had sent in an officer 
and thirteen men who had left the camp after the third day's battle to procure 

General Sully immediately sent a force to their relief under Colonel Dill, 
consisting of 300 of the Thirtieth Wisconsin, 200 of the Eighth Minnesota and 
100 of the Seventh Iowa. They left Fort Rice September i8th and returned 
with the immigrant train September 30th. Colonel Dill lost one man on the 
trip, his fate not being known. 


Captain Fisk's party left Fort Rice August 23, 1864. The battle of Red Buttes, 
as the attack on Capt. James L. Fisk's expedition was called, occurred September 
2, 1864. 

When 160 miles west of Fort Rice and 22 miles east of the Bad Lands near 
Dickinson, one of the wagons met with an accident. Two men and one wagon 
were left to assist the man with the overturned wagon ; also a guard of nine 
soldiers. Another man of the immigrant party had returned to the dinner 


camp to recover a lost revolver. Of this party eight were killed and four 
afterward died of wounds. One escaped through being sent to warn the train, 
which corralled, and a party was sent to their defense. The fight continued 
until sunset. One of the defenders, Jefferson Dilts, being more reckless than 
the rest, and who was mortally wounded, was credited with having killed eleven 
Indians, and many others were known to have been killed. 

The immigrants lost in this affair one wagon loaded with liquors and cigars, 
and one containing among other things 4,000 cartridges for carbines and several 
carbines and muskets, and they also "lost" a box of poisoned hard bread. The 
corral was formed in low ground and six of the dead that were recovered were 
buried that night by lantern light. 

A terrific thunderstorm occurred that night and water next morning was 
from one to three feet deep in their camp. As they moved next morning they 
were surrounded by drunken Indians, some smoking cigars, some of the Indians 
being reckless in their intoxicated condition. The train moved about two miles 
and again corralled. 

Moving oiU the next morning, they were surrounded by a much stronger and 
more desperate force which attacked on both sides of the train. Reaching suit- 
able ground, the train corralled and fortified, building breastworks of sod about 
six feet in height and large enough to inclose the entire train, and made ready 
for a siege which continued sixteen days before relief came. The next day they 
were again surrounded by a force of from three to five hundred Indians, but 
the mountain howitzer in the fort kept them at a respectful distance and no 
further casualties occurred. 

That night Lieutenant Smith with thirteen men returned to Fort Rice for 
reinforcements which were, it will be seen, promptly sent by General Sully. 

The men of Fisk's party who were killed were Louis Nudick, who went back 
for his revolver; Walter Grimes and Walter Fewer, teamsters; and the wounded, 
Jefi^erson Dilts and Albert Libby. Six soldiers were also killed and four 
wounded. The fort was called Fort Dilts, in honor of Jeft'erson Dilts, the 
wounded scout who died of his wounds and was buried under its walls. A spring 
was found near the fort, which furnished an abundance of water. 


The Indians had a white woman captive in their camp, Mrs. Fanny Kelly, of 
Geneva, Kan., captured near Fort Laramie, July 12, 1864. On the next day the 
Indians formed on the adjacent hills and sent three unarmed warriors forward 
with a flag of truce. A party went out to meet them, when they planted the 
flag on a stick and retired. Attached to the stick was a letter reading: 

"Makatunke says he will not fight wagons, but they have been fighting two 
days. They had many killed by the goods they brought into camp. They tell 
me what to write. I do not understand them. I was taken by them July 12th. 
They say for the soldiers to give forty head of cattle. Hehutahunca says he 
fights not. But they have been fighting. Be kind to them, and trj' to free me 
for mercy's sake. Mrs. Kelly." 

"Buy me if you can and you will be satisfied. They have killed many whites. 
Help me if you can. Uncapapa (they put words in and I have to obey) they say 


for the wagons they are fighting, for them to go on. But I fear for the result 
of this battle. The Lord have mercy on you. Do not move." 

Other correspondence followed. Mrs. Kelly again wrote: 

"I am truly a white woman and now in sight of your camp, but they will not 
let me go. They say they will not fight, but don't trust them. They say How 
d'ye do. They say that they want you to give them sugar, coffee, flour, gun- 
powder, but give them nothing till you see me for yourself, but induce them, 
taking me first. 

"They want four wagons and they will stop fighting. They want forty cattle 
to eat. I have to write what they tell me. They want you to come here. You 
know better than that. His name Chatvaneo and the other's name Porcupine. 
Read to yourself. Some of them can talk English. They say this is their 
ground. They say go home and come back no more. The Fort Laramie soldiers 
have been after me but they (the Indians) run so, and they say they want knives 
and axes and arrow iron to shoot buffalo. Tell them to wait and go to town 
and they can get them. I would give anything for liberty. Induce them to show 
me before you give anything. They are very anxious for you to move now. 
Do not I implore you for your life's sake. Fanny Kelly." 

"Aly residence formerly Geneva, Kansas." 

For the ransom of Mrs. Kelly, Captain Fisk offered three good American 
horses, some flour, sugar and coffee, or a load of supplies, but the Indians did 
not give her up. Mrs. Kelly was ransomed later by a priest on the Canadian 

Capt. James L. Fisk enlisted as a private in the Third Minnesota Battery 
September 20, 1861, and was promoted captain and A. Q. M., volunteers, May 
29, 1862. He resigned June 12, 1865. He conducted successful expeditions to 
Montana and Idaho in 1862 and 1863, and a fourth expedition without military 
protection, to Alontana in 1866. This expedition reached the Missouri River at 
Fort Berthold via Forts Abercrombie and Wadsworth, July 20, 1866; Fort 
Union, August 2d; and Helena, Mont., September 29th, via Fort Benton, with- 
out accident or exciting incident, while other trains on the line through Nebraska 
had fighting all the way. One train was reported to have lost seventy men near 
the Yellowstone and the whole route was said to be strewn with fresh-made 

A few days before the arrival of Captain Fisk's 1866 train at Fort Union, about 
2,000 Indians came to a point on the opposite side of the river to trade. When 
the traders went to meet them the Sioux fired on them, wounding two, taking 
a portion of the goods. The condition of the Indian mind at this time is well 
illustrated in the incidents leading up to the massacre of Colonel Fetterman's 
command near Fort Phil Kearney. 


The massacre of Brevet Lieutenant Colonel Fetterman and his command 
near Fort Phil Kearney, December 21, 1866, was an incident in the life of 
Dakota Territory and a natural sequence of the attempt to drive the Indians out 
of the country, the possession of which had been guaranteed to them by both 
law and treaty. 


In the spring of 1866, Gen. John Pope, commanding the District of Mis- 
souri, which inchided Minnesota, Dakota, Kansas and Nebraska, created the 
Mountain District and assigned Col. Henry B. Carrington to its command. 
General Pope's orders contemplated the erection of new military posts, one near 
Fort Reno, one on the Big Horn and a third on the head waters of the Yellow- 

Fort Reno, fomierly known as Fort Conner, was to be moved farther west 
on the Virginia City trail. Colonel Carrington's headquarters had previously 
been at Fort Kearney, Nebraska Territory. April 13, 1866, the preliminary 
order was issued for the proposed new movement. His command consisted of a 
battalion of the Eighteenth U. S. Infantry, then stationed at Fort Kearney, 220 
men. May 19, 1866, 1,000 recruits having arrived for his regiment, he marched 
two days later, reaching Fort Reno, on the Powder River, June 28th. The 
country about Fort Reno being unsuitable for a permanent post, the first of the 
new posts was erected at Piney Forks. It was built between two streams, Piney 
Creeks, which came from deep gorges in the Big Horn Mountains about five 
miles apart. It was built on a plateau about 600 by 900 feet in extent, a portion 
touching the Little Piney. Here a stockade was built of pine logs from the 
abundant supply in the immediate vicinity. A hill half a mile distant commanded 
a view of the Tongue River Valley and the road for eleven miles, was utilized 
for a signal station. There was excellent water, cold, pure and clear; good 
grazing, good meadows and an abundance of timber and coal, in the vicinity. 
It was in the very heart of the Indian hunting grounds, with an abundance of 
buiifalo, elk, deer, bear and other game in the surrounding country, which was 
occupied by Indians of several tribes, including Crows, Shoshones, Cheyennes, 
Arrapahoes and Sioux, who had hunted here in undisturbed possession of the 

The Crows and Shoshones were friendly to the whites and one band of 
Cheyennes professed to be friendly. The Cheyennes were well armed and sup- 
plied with powder recently obtained through the Laramie treaty. 

Under General Pope's orders immigrants were not allowed to go through the 
country unless well organized and in large parties, and they were forbidden to 
trade with the Indians, or under any circumstances to furnish them with 

The post had a garrison of two companies when first built. As early as July 
31st, Colonel Carrington reported evidences of hostility and that it was apparent 
the Indians intended to harass the whole line of transportation from the Mis- 
souri River to the Montana mines. Much live stock had been stolen from 
settlers and from small parties and from the Government or traders' herds. 
Colonel Carrington reported that he was convinced he would be compelled to 
whip the Indians and that they had given him every provocation. Wagon trains 
passing through the country were worn out by being obliged to camp on high 
hills, away from water, so persistent were the Indians in their attacks. 

The day before Colonel Carrington arrived at Fort Reno, forty-three Indians 
drove away two head of stock near the fort at midday, and on June 30th the 
herd of stock belonging to A. C. Leighton, the post sutler, were run off. July 
14th, Colonel Carrington was informed by the friendly Cheyennes, representing 
176 lodges, that the Sioux would allow his command to remain in the country 


if they returned to Powder River (Fort Reno) ; that Red Cloud's forces num- 
bered 500 and he was in control of the Indians in the vicinity, and that the 
Sioux claimed that the treaty for a road through that country did not mean two 
roads; that they did not agree to this and would not allow but one. They 
objected particularly to a road north of the Big Horn and accused Colonel Car- 
rington of coming into the country to take their hunting grounds from them. 
July 17th the Indians attacked the train of Brevet Major Haymond, which had 
arrived at Piney Forks two days before, and drove away 174 head of stock. 
Haymond pursued but was forced to return with the loss of two men killed and 
three wounded by arrows. lie found in Penn Valley the bodies of Pierre Gas- 
seaux (French Pete), his partner, Henry Arrison, and four others, one being 
Joseph Donalson, a civilian Government teamster. Gasseaux's Sioux widow 
said the Sioux came to their place and found Black Horse, of the Cheyennes, 
and other Indians trading; that they whipped Black Horse, who had delivered 
to them a message from Colonel Carrington, counting "coos," almost the equiva- 
lent in Indian "honor" to taking their scalps, on his party. Gasseaux was on his 
way to report to Colonel Carrington when killed, as Black Horse told him he 
would be. This was the beginning of new hostilities which were based on the 
report by Black Horse that the troops intended to remain in the Big Horn region. 

The project of building a fort on the Yellowstone was abandoned. The post 
on the Big Horn was to be called Fort C. F. Smith. Carrington's new post was 
already named Fort Phil Kearney. 

July 2ist, Lieut. Napoleon H. Daniels, in charge of a wagon train, and 
one corporal was killed. July 23d Kirkendall's train was attacked but the 
Indians fled on the approach of the troops under command of Brevet Lieu- 
tenant Colonel Kinney. The body of Terrance Callary of Company G, i8th 
Infantry, who had been hunting buffalo was found; he had been killed before 
the presence of the Indians was discovered. In a skirmish at Reno Creek, one 
soldier and one teamster were killed, and after the work of building the fort 
commenced, scarcely a day or night passed without depredations of some sort 
by the Sioux. 

August 1 2th the Indians ran off horses and cattle belonging to citizens en- 
camped at B'ort Reno ; on pursuit by the troops some of the cattle were recaptured. 
August 14th Joseph Postlewaite and Stockney Williams were killed, four miles 
from Fort Reno. August 17th the Indians drove off seven horses and seventeen 
mules from Fort Reno. August 29th Colonel Carrington reported that the 
post on the Big Horn (Fort C. F. Smith) had been successfully established; 
that this was timely — as on the day previous to the arrival of the troops the 
Indians had robbed a citizen's train of 100 mules ; that the Indians had molested 
trains as far west as the Wind River, in one case only one man out of twelve 
■escaped unhurt ; that the total number killed up to that time was thirty-three 
whites and thirty-seven Indians. In the case where the eleven whites were killed, 
the Indians had been entertained by Mr. Dillon, the head of the party when sud- 
denly the Indians commenced shooting their entertainers. 

The Indians were reported divided, the young men favoring war, the old men 
counseling peace. Dissatisfaction with the Laramie treaty was their principal 
cause of complaint, coupjed with the fear of losing their hunting grounds, then 
occupied by Colonel Carrington's command. 


In November a mail party of twenty soldiers and seventeen miners was 
attacked by 300 Indians ; the miners lost four horses. Lieutenant Bradley re- 
turning from Fort Benton was attacked and his chief guide, Brennan, killed. 
James Bridger, sent to interview friendly Crows, who were camped in the 
vicinity, reported that it took half a day's ride to go through the camps of the 
hostile Sioux ; that he was so informed by the Crows who had been importvmed 
by Red Cloud and others to join in the war against the whites. Almost every 
band of the Sioux were represented and some of the Gros-Ventres from the 
Missouri River; they said they would not touch Fort Reno but intended to 
destroy the two new posts ; that they would have two big fights at Pine Woods 
(Fort Phil Kearney) and Big Horn (Fort C. F. Smith). 

A fight was also had at Fort Phil Sheridan in which eight Indians were killed, 
three subsequently died of wounds and many others were wounded. A citizen's 
party near the fort, who were playing cards by their camp fire, were fired upon 
by the Indians and three wounded. September the 8th the Indians attacked a 
citizens" train near Fort Phil Kearney, driving off twenty mules ; October loth 
twenty Indians attacked ten herders near the fort, driving ofif thirty-three horses 
and seventy-eight mules. October 13th the Indians attacked a haying party, killed 
one man and ran off 209 cattle, burned the hay and destroyed the mowing ma- 
chine. The same day they stampeded the Government herd and wounded two 
herders. September 14th Private Alonzo Gilchrist and on the i6th Private Peter 
Johnson were killed. September 17th the Indians drove off forty-eight head of 
cattle which were retaken on pursuit. September 20th they attacked a citizens' 
party near the fort. One Indian was killed and one wounded. September 23d 
they drove off twenty-four head of cattle owned by a contractor. In a sharp 
skirmish the cattle were recovered. The hay party was again attacked and on 
their return to the fort they found the bodies of Mr. Gruell and two teamsters 
who had been to Fort Smith with supplies. They met twenty soldiers and seven- 
teen miners who had been corralled by the Indians and fought two days before 
relieved. Depredations were committed about Fort Reno on the i/th, 21st and 
23d of September. Several head of government stock were run off and Casper 
H. Walsh killed during these operations. In an attack on a citizens' train W. R. 
Petty and A. B. Overholt were wounded. September 27th Private Patrick Smith 
was scalped alive and mortally wounded, but crawled half a mile to the block 
house where he died the next day. An attempt was made to cut off the picket 
near the forts by the Indians who killed Smith, and other supporting parties, 
but they were driven off by shell fire. Bailey's party of miners arrived that day. 
They had lost two men killed and scalped by the Indians. September 17th 
Ridgeway Glover, a citizen artist, who left the fort without permission, was 
found two miles away dead, naked, scalped and mutilated. 

Septemlier 25th the Indians took ninety-four head of stock from Contractor 
Chandler's herd. A short fight occurred in which five Indians and a white man 
known as Bob North, their leader, was killed ; sixteen Indians were wounded. 
During the month one citizen was killed near Fort Smith. October 4th Colonel 
Carrington reported the loss of one soldier, scalped on the wood train. October 
13th two were killed and one wounded of the wood party. Indian activities 
were reported late in November with occasional loss of stock. 

December 6th Indians attacked the wood train. Lieut. Horatio S. Bingham 


and Sergt. C. R. Bowers were killed. Bowers killed three Indians before he 
fell. The Indians showed their respect for his bravery by leaving him unscalped. 
Five other soldiers were wounded. The Indian loss was estimated at ten killed 
and many wounded. 

Thereafter Indians appeared about the fort almost every day until the 19th, 
when a train was reported corralled on the hill and attacked by a large force. 
December 21st the wood train was again reported corralled about a mile and a 
half from the fort. A force of eighty-one officers and men and two citizens, 
James S. Wheatley and Isaac Fisher, were sent to their relief, under the command 
of Brevet Lt. Col. William Judd Fetterman and Lieut. George W. Grummond, 
accompanied, without orders, by Capt. Frederick H. Brown. They were attacked 
near the train when they rashly followed the Indians in flight nearly five miles. 
Here they were surrounded and all were killed. The bodies of Colonel Fetter- 
man and Captain Brown were found near four rocks where the last stand had been 
made, each with a revolver shot in the left temple, and it was believed they had 
shot each other. The bodies of Wheatley and Fisher were found naked with 
105 arrow shots in one and many in the other. The Henry rifle shells and the 
pools of blood about them told the story of the execution done by them. Pools of 
blood indicated the point where sixty-five Indians fell in the desperate conflict. 
Three of these were near Lieutenant Grummond. All of the bodies were shock- 
ingly mutilated ; hands, feet, ears and noses were cut off, muscles of the arms 
and legs severed, eyes and teeth dug out and shocking indignities to other parts 
of the bodies perpetrated. 

The dead were : Officers, Capt. and Brevet Lieut. Col. William J. Fetterman, 
Capt. Frederick H. Brown, and Lieut. George W. Grummond. 

Company A, second battalion, i8th Infantry: First Sergt. Augustus Long; 
First Sergt. Hugh Murphy, Corpl. Robert Lennon, Corpl. William Date ; Pri- 
vates Frederick Ackerman, William Betzler, Thomas Burke, Henry Buchanan, 
Maxim Diring, George E. R. Goodall, F'rancis S. Gordon, Michael Harten, Mar- 
tin Kelly, Patrick Shannon, Charles M. Taylor, Joseph D. Thomas, David 
Thorey, John Thimpson, Albert H. Walters, John M. Weaver and John 

Company C, Second Battalion, 18th Infantry: Sergt. Francis Raymond, 
Sergt. Patrick Rooney, Corpl. Gustave Bauer, Corpl. Patrick Gallagher; Privates 
Henry E. Aarons, Michael O. Garra, Jacob Rosenburg, Frank P. Sullivan, and 
Patrick Smith. 

Company E, Second Battalion, i8th Infantry: Sergt. William Morgan, Corpl. 
John Ouinn, Privates George W. Burrell, John Maher, George H. Waterbury, 
and Timothy Cullinane. 

Company H, Second Battalion, i8th Infantry: First Sergt. Alex Smith, 
First Sergt. Ephraim C. Bissell, Corporal Michael Sharkey, Corporal George 
Phillips, Corpl. Frank Karston, Privates George Davis, Thomas H. Madden, 
Perry F. Dolan, Asa H. Griffin, Herman Keil, James Kean, Michael Kinney, and 
Delos Reed. 

Company C, Second U. S. Cavalry : Sergt. James Baker, Corpl. James Kelly, 
Corpl. Thomas H. Kerrigan, Bugler Adolf Metzger, Artificer John McCarty, 
Privates Thomas Amberson, Thomas Broghn, Nathan Foreman, Andrew M. 
Fitzgerald, Daniel Green, Charles Gamford, John Gitter, Ferdinand Houser, 


William M. Bugbee, William L. Comeg, Charles Cuddy, Patrick Clancey, Har- 
vy S. Deming, U. B. Doran, Robert Daniel, Frank Jones, James P. McGuire, 
John McColly, Franklin Payne, James Ryan, George W. Nugent, and Oliver 

All of the bodies were recovered and fittingly buried in the Post Cemetery. 

These facts are mainly gathered from the report of Col. Henry B. Carrington, 
and his evidence before the congressional investigating committee, found in 
Senate Document No. 33, 50th Congress, First Session. 


The Fort Phil Kearney massacre led to the adjustment of existing difficulties 
with the Indians and to the Treaty of April 29, 1868, and the establishment of 
the Great Sioux Reservation. It was a treaty by Warrior Chiefs on the one side 
and illustrious soldiers, viz: Lieut. Gen. William T. Sherman, Brevet Maj. Gen. 
William S. Harney, Brevet Maj. Gen. Alfred H. Terry, Brevet Maj. Gen. 
Christopher C. Augur, Brevet Maj. Gen. John B. Sanborn, and several distin- 
guished citizens. 

Section i declared : "From this day forward all war between the parties 
to this agreement shall forever cease. The Government of the United States de- 
sires peace and its honor is hereby pledged to keep it. The Indians desire peace 
and they now pledge their honor to maintain it." 

The United States agreed by this solemn treaty, ratified and proclaimed, 
that no person excepting certain designated persons, officers, agents and employees 
of the Government authorized so to do in order to discharge duties enjoined by 
law, should ever be permitted to pass over, settle upon or reside in the territory 
set aside for this reservation, the United States relinquishing to the Indians all 
claim to the land within such reservation. And if there was not enough to give 
each Indian 160 acres of arable land it was agreed they should have more. 

The United States agreed to erect agency buildings, a saw mill and grist 
mill. Each head of a family was allowed to select 320 acres of land and each 
other person over eighteen years of age was allowed to select 80 acres of land 
and each male person over 18 years of age, after residing upon his selection for 
three years and making certain improvements was to receive a patent for 160 
acres. Assistance in farming was provided for and provision made for school 
houses and schools. Clothing was promised for 30 years for men, women and 
children. Food was also promised for four years after settling upon the land, to- 
gether with oxen and utensils for use in operating their farms. 

The Indians agreed to allow the construction of the Pacific Railroad and 
any railroad not passing over their reservation, and that they would not attack or 
molest any one or carry off white women or children from their homes nor kill 
and scalp white men. 

And yet hostilities continued and eight years later the Custer massacre 
occurred, growing out of resistence by the Indians to the demands for opening 
of the Black Hills and the extension of the Northern Pacific Railroad. But the 
hostilities were at first mere depredations by lawless individual characters. 









The story of the Custer massacre, June 25, 1876, is a part of the history of 
Dakota not only because of its effect in opening the western parts of the territory 
to settlement, the early construction of the Northern Pacific Railroad, and the 
forced amendment of the Sioux treaty creating the Great Sioux Reservation, 
but because of those slain, every one of whom had friends or acquaintances at 
Bismarck. Some had wives and children there, others near and dear ones. All 
had friends, and friendship seemed closer then, when Bismarck was a frontier 
city. The people at Bismarck, Jamestown, Valley City, Fargo, Moorhead and 
even Brainerd were neighbors, but the nearest and dearest friends of Bismarck 
and Bismarck people were at the military posts. The families of the officers and 
men at Fort A. Lincoln were part of the social life of Bismarck. Forts Rice, 
Stevenson and Buford were also always taken into consideration and were con- 
sidered their next best friends and next nearest neighbors. 

The Sixth United States Infantry had its headquarters at Fort Buford, the 
Seventeenth at Fort Rice. Both had companies at Bismarck or Fort A. Lincoln. 
Mrs. Gen. W. B. Hazen, later Mrs. Admiral Dewey, then a bride passed through 
Bismarck in the spring to join her husband at Fort Buford. She landed at Bis- 
marck during the raging snow storm early in May, 1873, and passed up the 
river by ambulance to Fort Buford. 

Only construction trains were then run between Fargo and the end of the 
track, some forty miles east of Bismarck, and there was no regular communica- 
tion between there and Bismarck. The mails were carried by the quartermaster 
department, Bismarck receiving its supply from Fort A. Lincoln. Samuel 
A. Dickey was the postmaster at Bismarck and Mrs. Linda W. Slaughter, his 
assistant, had charge of the office. She was later appointed postmaster, resign- 
ing in February, 1876, when Col. Clement A. Lounsberry succeeded her and 
remained the postmaster until he resigned in 1885, the ofiice having grown in 
the meantime from fourth to second class. Dickey was post trader at Fort A. 
Lincoln. Col. Robert Wilson was in charge of the trader's store. 



In the spring of 1873, Gen. George A. Custer arrived at Fort Rice with the 
Seventh U. S. Cavalry, and participated in the expedition of that year to the Yel- 
lowstone. The cavalry barracks at Fort A. Lincoln were built that year and occu- 
pied on the return of the expedition, as regimental headquarters, a portion of 
the regiment being located at Fort Rice, and two troops at Fort Totten on 
Devils Lake. 

In 1874 General Custer conducted an expedition to the Black Hills and set- 
tled the question as to the existence of gold in that region. Professor Winchell, 
of the Minnesota University, accompanied the expedition, together with other 
specially invited scientists. Gen. Frederick D. Grant, then a lieutenant in the 
army, went as the special representative of President Grant. William E. Curtis, 
the famous newspaper correspondent, represented the Chicago Inter-Ocean, Na- 
than H. Knappen, the Bismarck Tribune. H. N. Ross, then of Bismarck, was 
selected as the head of a mining party, equipped for prospecting. It was under- 
stood that the scientific portion of the expedition was organized to disprove the 
stories of the existence of rich gold fields in the Black Hills. A solemn treaty had 
been entered into with the Sioux Indians reserving almost an empire, lying west of 
the Missouri River and embracing the Black Hills, for the exclusive use of the 
allied tribes, as related in the preceding chapter. 

Custer's expedition to the Black Hills was permitted by General Sheridan 
but it was stipulated that the expedition should not return within sixty days. 
It left Fort Abraham Lincoln July 2d, and returned August 31st. It is quite 
certain that the organization of the mining party was not authorized. It was the 
good fortune of the Bismarck Tribune to have its correspondent assigned to the 
mining party with instructions to report the facts. The scientific party found no 
gold. The representatives of the other great newspapers saw none. The per- 
sonal representative of President Grant was oblivious to its presence, but the 
miners found it and the representative of the Bismarck Tribune saw it and 
gave to the world the first information concerning the fact, and the Tribune had 
the first assay made of Black Hills ore. General Custer sent Scout Charles 
Reynolds to Camp Robinson, Nebraska, with official dispatches in which he in- 
formed General Sheridan of the discovery of gold, and this scout carried the 
dispatch to the Bismarck Tribune, and by the Tribune was given to the Associated 
Press before it became public from any other source. 

As the result of these discoveries the Black Hills were invaded from every 
direction. The Government issued drastic orders and many trains loaded with 
mining outfits or supplies were destroyed by the military and many arrests were 
made, while other parties were destroyed by the Indians, for the Indians were 
enraged beyond endurance by this new act of bad faith. The miners were rapid- 
ly concentrating in the hills ; among the Indians the young men inclined to war 
were concentrating in the Little Big Horn country. They were well armed 
and the immense herds of bufifalo then in existence gave them abundant supplies, 
which they were unable to obtain at the agencies, notwithstanding the treaty 
obligations of the Government. 

The treaty of 1868, which provided for the Great Sioux reservation, also 
provided that certain supplies should be delivered to the Indians annually at 
their several agencies, along the Missouri River. At the Standing Rock agency 
there was an alleged enrollment of some 7,000 Indians. There was actually less 


than half of that number. The winter of 1873-4 set in early and a large portion of 
their supplies were not delivered until the next spring, on account of the early 
closing of the Missouri River. And when delivered it is charged that they were 
stolen by the boat load; that a small portion of each cargo was delivered, but 
the whole receipted for, while the bulk went on up the river where it was dis- 
posed of to the traders or others. And it was charged that much of their regular 
supplies were disposed of in the same manner. 

It was apparent to any observer that, notwithstanding the liberal provisions 
made by the Government for the Indians, the Indians were suffering from hunger, 
and their attitude became constantly more threatening. There were other ugly 
rumors, which unfortunately proved to be true, that the traders were paying 
enormous tribute to persons connected with those in official position, and that the 
quota apportioned to each of the traders at Forts Buford, Lincoln and Rice, to be 
paid monthly, was $1,000, with lesser sums for the smaller posts. 

General Custer was a man of action and of high ideals, and believed in a 
square deal. These rumors, backed with absolute proof, reached him. He also 
believed that smuggling of arms and liquor was carried on to a great extent and 
that by this means also money was provided to pay the tribute exacted of the 
traders. The wife of the then Secretary of War was the beneficiary on the 
part of the military traderships, while one related to the President was sharing 
the profit from the Indian traderships. 

General Custer was instrumental in having Ralph Meeker sent out by a 
New York newspaper to report on this matter. He reported to General Custer. 
His mission was known to the writer of these pages, then editor of the Bismarck 
Tribune, and to James A. Emmons at Bismarck, who had previously flaunted 
the main facts in the face of the Secretary of War by means of a printed circular, 
when General Belknap was on an official visit to Fort A. Lincoln. Meeker gained 
employment through General Custer at the Berthold Indian Agency, and thereby 
gained opportunity for interviews with a number of the Sioux whom he met 
there and at Fort A. Lincoln and Standing Rock. Custer was not backward in 
supplying Meeker the facts that had come to his attention, and the publication of 
the story resulted in the impeachment of Secretary Belknap, who resigned 
rather than have the facts, of which he was not wholly conscious, become a matter 
of record. 

The expose occurred in February, 1876. General Custer had been in Wash- 
ington arranging for the expedition and was on his way home when the matter 
became known. Congress immediately appointed an investigating committee. 

It was the custom then to close the Northern Pacific Railroad from Fargo 
to Bismarck for the winter. The Black Hills travel caused an attempt to open 
the road early that spring and on March 5th, a train left Fargo for Bismarck but 
was snow boiind three weeks at Crystal Springs. Among the passengers on this 
train were General Custer and wife and several officers of the Seventh Cavalry, 
a large number of recruits. Mayor McLean of Bismarck and Colonel Lounsberry 
who were returning from Washington, where they were on the floor of the 
House of Representatives and exhibited specimens of gold from the Black Hills. 
They were granted an audience by President Grant and Secretary Belknap, 
General Grant remarking, "that settles the question as to whether there is gold 
in the Black Hills." 


William Budge, and a large party of miners from Grand Forks, were also on 
the train. General Custer and family left the train by team and on his arrival 
at Fort A. Lincoln he was summoned by telegraph to give testimony before a 
committee of Congress appointed to investigate the charges against Secretary 
Belknap. Some of his testimony gave oiifense to the administration and the 
plans for the Yellowstone expedition were changed, and Gen. Alfred H. Terry 
was assigned to the command of the expedition which left Fort A. Lincoln 
May 17, 1876. 

Custer was in command of his own regiment. Some of the companies were 
commanded by officers related to him by blood or other ties or intimate personal 

Colonel Lounsberry, who represented the New York Herald and the Asso- 
ciated Press through its St. Paul office, was the only correspondent who had se- 
cured authority to accompany the expedition, but sickness in his family at the 
last moment prevented his going and he chose Mark H. Kellogg to represent him 
on the expedition. On reaching the Rosebud, Custer's knowledge of the country 
became invaluable and he was ordered to take his regiment and locate the Indians. 
At an assembly of the officers June 22d, at dusk. General Custer stated that he had 
investigated as to the number of the hostiles through the Indian Bureau and other 
sources and he was satisfied that they would not find more than 1,000 to 1,500 

General Gibbons's command had already reported to General Terry and had 
started up the left bank of the Yellowstone as Custer made camp at the, mouth 
of the Rosebud on the right bank. 

General Custer's instructions from General Terry directed him to take trails 
and follow till he should ascertain definitely the direction in which they would 
lead, then report; if he found it leading to the Little Big Horn to still proceed 
south perhaps as far as the head waters of the Tongue River, the object bemg 
to locate the Indians and determine as accurately as possible all facts necessary 
to a successful prosecution of the campaign against them. General Terry avoided 
giving positive orders and left action to General Custer's discretion when so near 
the enemy. 

The information which had been forwarded by General Sheridan that the 
Indian agencies had been deserted by large numbers of Indians had not reached 
General Terry before the battle of the Little Big Horn. In locating the enemy 
Major Reno withthree troops was assigned to the advance and ordered to attack, 
and advised that the whole command would support him. This was before reach- 
ing the ford and before General Custer divined the situation as it later appeared. 
He gave these orders on first reaching the open valley, on seeing the Indian 
villages, expecting no doubt to follow Reno, considering the possible flight of the 
Indians south toward the mountains or northward into the Bad Lands, expecting 
only a running fight and that they would not m.ake a stand at their villages, expos- 
ing their women and children to direct attack. Such a conclusion would be in 
•accord with all previous experience in Indian warfare. 

Custer's immediate command when the massacre occurred consisted of five 
■companies, the others being appropriately assigned to other parts. Reno was 
■put to flight. Custer attacked with the five remaining companies. 

The history of the battle has been written in the light of investigation and 

The place was then called Edminton 


research by Gen. E. S. Godfrey in the Century Magazine of January, 1892, 
and also by others after a thorough investigation of the subject. 

The matter which follows must be considered in the light of a narrative and 
as an evidence of enterprise in gathering and publishing matter supposed to be 
facts, but in the confusion and excitement of the occasion, inaccuracy may have 
occurred in some particulars, though not in the list of casualties. 

Mark Kellogg's last dispatch to the Bismarck Tribune read: "We leave the 
Rosebud tomorrow and by the time this reaches you we will have met and fought 
the red devils, with what result remains to be seen. I go with Custer and will be 
at the death.'' 

He had written of the events of the expedition, of the preparation for the 
morrow, and of the incidents of personal interest, up to the very moment of 
marching, and, as was his custom, had his dispatches ready for the first depart- 
ing courier. He was personally known to many of the Indians and known to 
be their friend, and to be "the man who makes the paper talk." His body was 
found not mutilated in the slightest degree. His notes were gathered up and 
brought to Mr. Lounsberry without a missing page. Lieutenant Bradley, 
Seventh Infantry, was the first to reach "the field of carnage." 

Maj. James S. Brisbin of Gibbon's command filled a pass book with incidents 
as he saw them on the battlefield, the position and condition of the dead. There 
were no wounded in Custer's party. All were slain save the Crow scout Curley, 
who put on a Sioux blanket and managed to escape but completely dazed. Bris- 
bin's contribution was brought by Dr. H. R. Porter, with the request that it be 
given to the New York Herald. It was but a small part of the story as given to 
the Herald, and to the world through that great newspaper. Other papers had 
brief bulletins : The Herald had it all ; their telegraph tolls amounting to some 
$3,000 for that single story sent by one newspaper correspondent. But every 
officer and every man was ready and anxious to assist in making the story 
complete. When General Terry reached Bismarck he filed his official dispatches 
and at the same time aroused Colonel Lounsberry, whom he caused to be fur- 
nished with an official list of the dead and wounded and with all possible facts. 
His staff officers were equally courteous. Dr. Porter, Fred Girard and a score 
of others contributed to the story begun by Kellogg in his brief dispatch from 
the Rosebud. John M. Carnahan was the manager of the Bismarck telegraph 
office. S. B. Rogers was his able assistant. Here is absolutely the first accoimt 
published July 6, 1876, as it came hot from the field of battle and dropped from 
the lips of those who saw the dead and participated in the affair with Reno or 
in other incidents of the expedition. And Grant ]\Iarsh, whose boat fairly skipped 
on the surface of the waters of the Missouri, coming down at the rate of twenty 
miles an hour, also contributed his mite to the story as published in the New 
York Herald, delayed in part one day in transmission from St. Paul. 

The battle was June 25th. The Far West arrived at Bismarck at 11 P. M., 
Julv 5th. Before her arrival there was uneasiness at Fort A. Lincoln. The 
expected courier did not come. There was reticence and strange actions on the 
part of the Indians in the vicinity. It was felt that they had heard some news 
or that they were contemplating an uprising, but no whisper of the great disaster 
was heard. Bismarck shared the anxiety of those at Fort A. Lincoln. Longing 
eyes were cast to the west in the hope that the expected courier might appear. 


From Salt Lake there came a rumor that a battle had been fought, but there 
were absolutely no details. When or where no one pretended to know. General 
Sheridan was most emphatic in his denunciation of the story. The first news 
that gave any information came from Bismarck, and the first publication, aside 
from a bulletin sent out by the Tribune which appeared in the New York Herald 
of July 6th, was in the Bismarck Tribune of that date. 

There were no Mergenthalers then. Composition was by the slow hand 
process and there were but two printers in town. They took the pages as they 
fell hot from the hand of one who was at the same time furnishing a 50,000 
word press report, who had only time to give them facts, and here is the account 
as it was then published, and it is indeed worthy of a place as it was then written, 
in the history of Dakota. 


General Custer and 261 Men the Victims. 

No Officer or Man Left to Tell the Tale. 

Three Days Desperate Fighting by Major Reno and the Remainder of the 


Full Details of the Battle. 

List of Killed and Wounded. 

The Bismarck Tribune's Special Correspondent Slain. 

Squaws Mutilate and Rob the Dead. 

Victims Captured Alive Tortured in a Most Fiendish Manner. 

What Will Cons^ress Do About It? 

Shall This Be the Beginning of the End? 

"We leave the Rosebud tomorrow and by the time this reaches you we will 

Met and Fought 
the red devils with what result remains to be seen. I go with Custer and will be 
at the death." 

How true! On the morning of the 22d (it was at noon) General Custer took 
up the line of march for the trail of the Indians reported by Reno on the Rosebud. 
General Terry, apprehending danger, urged Custer to take additional men but 
Custer, having full confidence in his men and in their ability to cope with the 
Indians in whatever force he might meet them, declined the proffered assistance 
and marched with his regiment alone. He was instructed to strike the trail of 
the Indians, to follow it until he discovered their position, and report by courier 


to General Terry (see note), who would reach the mouth of the Little Horn by 
the evening of the 26th, when he would act in concert with Custer in the final 
wiping out. At 4 o'clock in the afternoon of the 24th, Custer's scouts reported 
the location of a village recently deserted, whereupon Custer went into camp, 
marching again at 11 P. M., continuing the march until daylight, when he again 
went into camp for coffee. Custer was then fifteen miles from the village located 
on the Little Horn, one of the branches of the Big Horn, twenty miles above its 
mouth, which could be seen from the top of the divide, and after lunch General 
Custer pushed on. The Indians by this time had discovered his approach and soon 
were seen mounting in great haste, riding here and there, it was presumed in full 
retreat. This idea was strengthened by finding a freshly abandoned Indian 
camp with a deserted tepee, in which one of their dead had been left, about six 
miles from where the battle took place. Custer with his usual vigor pushed on, 
making seventy-eight miles without sleep, and attacked the village near its foot 
with Companies C, E, F, I and L of the Seventh Cavalry, Reno having in the 
meantime attacked it at its head with three companies of cavalry which, being 
surrounded, after a desperate hand to hand conflict in which many were killed 
and wounded, cut their way to a blufif about three hundred feet high, where they 
were reinforced by four companies of cavalry under Colonel Benteen. In gain- 
ing this position Colonel Reno had to recross the Little Horn, and at the ford the 
hottest fight occurred. It was here that Lieutenants Mcintosh, Hodgson and 
Doctor DeWolf fell ; where Charley Reynolds fell in a hand-to-hand conflict with 
a dozen or more Sioux, emptying several chambers of his revolver, each time 
bringing down a redskin before he was brought down — shot through the heart. 
It was here Bloody Knife surrendered his spirit to the one who gave it, fighting 
the natural and hereditary foes of his tribe, as well as the foes of the whites. 

The ford was crossed and the summit of the bluffs, having, Colonel Smith 
says, the steepest sides that he ever saw ascended by a horse or mule, reached, 
though the ascent was made under a galling fire. 

The Sioux dashed up beside the soldiers, in some instances knocking them 
from their horses and killing them at their pleasure. This was the case with 
Lieutenant Mcintosh, who was unarmed except for a saber. He was pulled from 
his horse, tortured and finally murdered at the pleasure of the red devils. It was 
here that Fred Girard was separated from the command and lay all night with 
the screeching fiends dealing death and destruction to his comrades within a few 
feet of him and — but time will not permit us to relate the story — through some 
means succeeded in saving his fine black stallion in which he took so much pride. 

The ford was crossed and the summit of the bluffs, having. Colonel Smith 
says, the steepest sides that he ever saw ascended by a horse or mule, reached, 
though the ascent was made under a galling fire. 

The companies engaged in this aiifair were those of Captains Boylan, French 
and Mcintosh. Colonel Reno had gone ahead with these companies in obedience 
to the order of General Custer, fighting most gallantly, driving back repeatedly 
the Indians who charged in their front, but the fire from the blufif was so galling, 
it forced the movement heretofore alluded to. Signals were given and soon 
Benteen with the four companies in reserve came up in time to save Reno from 
the fate with which Custer about this time met. The Indians charged the hill time 
and time again, but were each time repulsed with heavy slaughter by its gallant 


defenders. Soon however, they reached bluffs higher than those occupied by 
Reno, and opened a destructive fire from points beyond the reach of cavalry 
carbines. Nothing being heard from Custer, Colonel Weir was ordered to push 
his command along the bank of the river in the direction he was supposed to 
be, but he was soon driven back, retiring with difficulty. About this time the 
Indians received strong reinforcements, and literally swarmed the hillsides and 
on the plains, coming so near at times that stones were thrown into the ranks of 
Colonel Reno's command by those unarmed or out of ammunition. Charge after 
charge came in quick succession, the fight being sometimes almost hand-to-hand. 
But they finally drew off, taking to the hills and ravines. Colonel Benteen charged 
a large party in a ravine, driving them from it in confusion. They evidently 
trusted in their numbers and did not look for so bold a movement. They were 
within range of the corral and wounded several packers, J. C. Wagoner among 
the number, wounded in the head, while many horses and mules were killed. 
Near lo o'clock the fight closed, and the men worked all night strengthening 
their breastworks, using knives, tin cups and plates in place of spades and picks, 
taking up the fight again in the morning. In ihe afternoon of the second day the 
desire for water became almost intolerable. The wounded were begging piteously 
for it. The tongues of the men were swollen and their lips parched, and from lack 
of rest they were almost exhausted. So a bold attempt was made for water. 
Men volunteered to go with canteens and camp kettles, though to go was almost 
certain death. The attempt succeeded, though in making it one man was killed 
and several wounded. The men were relieved and that night the animals were 
watered. The fight closed at dark, opening again the next morning, and contin- 
uing until the afternoon of the 27th. Meantime the men became more and more 
exhausted and all wondered what had become of Custer. A panic all at once was 
created among the Indians and they stampeded from the hills and from the valley, 
and the village was soon deserted, except for the dead. Reno and his brave band 
felt that succor was nigh. 

General Terry came in sight and strong men wept upon each other's necks 
but no word was had from Custer. Hand shaking and congratulations were 
scarcely over when Lieutenant Bradley reported that he had found Custer dead 
with 190 cavalrymen. Imagine the effect. Words cannot picture the feeling 
of these, his comrades and soldiers. General Terry sought the spot and found 
it to be true. Of those brave men that followed Custer, all perished. No one 
lives to tell the story of the battle. Those deployed as skirmishers lay as they 
fell, shot down from every side, having been entirely surrounded in an open 

The men in the companies fell in platoons, and, like those on the skirmish 
line, lay as they fell, with their officers behind them in their proper positions. 
General Custer, who was shot through the head and body, seemed to have been 
among the last to fall, and around and near him iay the bodies of Colonel Tom and 
Boston, his brothers. Colonel Calhoun, his brother-in-law, and his nephew, young 
Reed, who insisted on accompanying the expedition for pleasure. Colonel Cook and 
the members of the non-commissioned staff all dead — all stripped of their cloth- 
ing and many of them with bodies horribly mutilated. The squaws seemed to 
have passed over the field and crushed the skulls of the wounded and dying with 
stones and clubs. The heads of some were severed from the body, the privates 


of some were cut off, while others bore traces of torture, arrows having been 
shot into their private parts while yet living, or other means of torture adopted. 

The officers who fell were as follows : Gen. G. A. Custer, Cols. Geo. Yates, 
Miles Keogh, James Calhoun, W. W. Cook, Captains Mcintosh, A. E. Smith, 
Lieutenants Riley, Critenden, Sturgis, Harrington, Hodgson and Porter, Assistant 
Surgeon DeWolf. The only citizens killed were Boston Custer, Mr. Reed, 
Charles Reynolds, Isaiah, the interpreter from Fort Rice, and Mark Kellogg, the 
latter the Tribune Correspondent. The body of Kellogg alone remained unstrip- 
ped of its clothing, and was not mutilated. Perhaps as they had learned to respect ' 
the Great Chief, Custer, and for that reason did not mutilate his remains they 
had in like manner learned to respect this humble shover of the lead pencil and to 
that fact may be attributed this result. The wounded were sent to the rear 
some fourteen miles on horse litters, striking the Far West sixty odd miles up 
the Big Horn, which point they left on Monday, July 3, at noon, reaching Bis- 
marck, 900 miles distant, at 11 P. M., Wednesday, July 5. 

The burial of the dead was sad work, but they were all decently interred. 
Many could not be recognized ; among the latter class were some of the officers. 
This work being done the command worked its way back to the base, where 
General Terry (his command) awaits supplies and approval of his plans for the 
future campaign. 

The men are worn out with marching and fighting, and are almost wholly 
destitute of clothing. 

The Indians numbered at least 1,800 lodges in their permanent camp, while 
those who fought Crook seemed to have joined them, making their effective 
fighting force nearly four thousand. These were led by chiefs carrying flags 
of various colors, nine of whom were found in a burial tent on the field of 
battle. Many other dead were found on the field, and near it ten squaws 
at one point in a ravine — evidently the work of Ree or Crow scouts. 

The Indian dead were great in number, as they were constantly assaulting 
an inferior force. The camp had the appearance of being abandoned in haste. 
The most gorgeous ornaments were found on the bodies of the dead chiefs and 
hundreds of finely dressed and painted robes and skins were thrown about the 
camp. The Indians were certainly severely punished. 

We said none of those who went into battle with Custer are living — one Crow 
scout hid himself in the field and witnessed and survived the fight. His story is 
plausible and is accepted, but we have no room for it now. The names of the 
wounded are as follows : 

Priv. Davis Corey, Company I, Seventh Cavalry, right hip ; Patrick McDon- 
nall, D, left leg; Sergt. John Paul, H, back; Privts. Michael C. Madden, K, right 
leg; Wm. George, H, left side, died July 3, at 4 A.M. ; First Sergt. Wm. Heyn, 
A, left knee; Priv. John McVay, C, hips; Patrick Corcoran, K, right shoulder; 
Max Wilke, K, left foot; Alfred Whitaker, C, right elbow; Peter Thompson, 
C, right hand ; Jacob Deal, A, face ; J. H. Meyer, M, back ; Roman Rutler, 
M, right shoulder; Daniel Newell, M, left thigh; Jas. Muller, H, right thigh; 
Elijah T. Stroude, A, right leg; Sergt. Patrick Carey, M, right hip; Priv. Jas. E. 
Bennett, C, body, died July 5, at 3 o'clock; Francis Reeves, A, left side and body; 
James Wilbur, M, left leg; Jasper Marshall, L, left foot; Sergt. Jas. T. Riley, 
E, back and left leg; Priv. John J. Phillips, H, face and both hands; Samuel 


Severn, H, both thighs; Frank Brunn, ]\I, face and left thigh; Corp. Alex B. 
Bishop, H, right arm; Priv. Jas. Foster, A, right arm; W. E. Harris, M, left 
breast; Chas. H. Bishop, H, right arm; Fred Homsted, A, left wrist; Sergt. 
Chas. White, M, right arm; Priv. Thos. P. Varnerx, M, right ear; Chas. Camp- 
bell, C, right shoulder; John Cooper, H, right elbow; John McGuire, C, right 
arm; Henry Black, H, right hand; Daniel McWilliams, H, right leg. 

An Indian scout, name unknown, left off at Berthold; Sergt. M. Riley, Com- 
pany I, Seventh Infantry, left off at Buford, consumption ; Priv. David Ackison, 
Company E, Seventh cavalry, left off July 4th at Buford, constipation. 

The total number of killed was 261 ; wounded 52. Thirty-eight of the 
wounded were brought down on the Far West; three of them died en route. 
The remainder were cared for at the field hospital. 

De Rudio had a narrow escape and his escape is attributed to the noise of 
beavers, jumping into the river during the engagement. De Rudio followed 
them, got out of sight and after hiding for twelve hours or more finally reached 
the command in safety. 

The body of Lieutenant Hodgson did not fall into the hands of the Indians ; 
that of Lieutenant Mcintosh did, and was badly mutilated. Mcintosh, though 
a halfbreed, was a gentleman of culture and esteemed by all who knew him. 
He leaves a family at Lincoln, as do General Custer, Colonels Calhoun and 
Yates, Captain Smith and Lieutenant Porter. The -unhappy ]\Irs. Calhoun loses 
a husband, three brothers and a nephew. Lieutenant Harrington also had a fam- 
ily, but no trace of his remains was found. We are indebted to Colonel Smith 
for the following full list of the dead : to Doctor Porter for the list of wounded, 
which is also full. 



Brevet Maj. Gen. George A. Custer; Lieut.-Col. W. W. Cook; Assistant 
Surgeon, — . Lord ; Acting Asst. Surgeon, J. M. De Wolf. 


Surgeon Maj. W. W. Sharrow ; Chief Trumpeter Henry Voss. 


Corporals Henry Dallans, G. K. King; Privates J. E. Armstrong, Jas. Drinaw, 
Wm. Moody, R. Rowline, Jas. McDonald, John Sullivan, Thos. P. Switzer. 


Second Lieut. Benj. Hodgson, Privates Richard Doran and Geo. Mask. 


Brevet Lieut.-Col. T. W. Custer; Second Lieut. H. H. Harrington (the body 
of Lieutenant Harrington was not found but it is reasonably certain that he was 


killed) ; First Sergt. Edwin Baba, Sergts. Finley and Finkle, Corps. French, 
Foley and Ryan; Privates Allen, Criddle, King, Bucknell, Eisman, Engle, Bright- 
field, Fanand, Griffin, Hamlet, Hattisoll, Kingsoutz, Lewis, Mayer, Mayer, Phil- 
lips, Russell, Rix, Ranter, Short, Shea, Shade, Stuart, St. John, Thadius, Van 
Allen, Warren, Windham, Wright. 


Farrier Charley Vincent, Privates Patrick Golden and Edward Hanson. 


Brevet Capt. A. E. Smith, Second Lieut. E. Sturgis (the body of Lieutenant 
Sturgis was not found, but it is reasonably certain he was killed) ; First Sergt. 
F. Hohmeyer, Sergts. Egnen and James ; Corp. Hagan, Privates Snow and 


First Lieut. Jas. Calhoun, Privates Miller, Tweed, Veller, Cashan, Keifer, 
Andrews, Crisfield, Hamington, Haugge, Kavaugh, Lobering, Mahoney, Schmidt, 
Lunan, Semenson, Riebold, O'Connell, J. J. Crittenden (Twentieth Infantry), 
First Sergts. Butler and Warren, Corps. Harrison, Gilbert and Seiller; Trptr. 
Walsh, Privates Adams, Assdely, Burke, Cheever, McGue, McCarthy, Dugan, 
Maxwell, Scott, Babcock, Perkins, Tarbox, Dye, Tessler, Galvin, Graham, 
Hamilton, Rodgers. 


First Sergt. D. Winney, Sergt. Hughes, Corp. J. J. Callahan, Trptr. Julius 
Helmer, Private Eli U. T. Clair. 


Col. M. W. Keogh, Lieut. J. E. Porter (the body of Lieutenant Porter was 
not found, but it is reasonably certain he was killed) ; First Sergts. F. E. Varden 
and J. Burtand ; Corps. John Wild, G. C. Morris and S. T. Staples ; Trptrs. 
J. M. Gycker and J. Patton; Blacksmith H. A. Bailey; Privates J. E. Broadhurst, 
J. Barry, J. Connors, T. P. Downing, Mason, Blorm. Meyer; Trptrs. McElroy 
and Mooney; Privates Baker, Boyle, Bauth, Conner, Daring, Davis, Farrell, 
Hiley, Huber, Hime, Henderson, Henderson, Leddison, O'Conner, Rood, Reese, 
Smith 1st, Smith 2d, Smith 3d, Stella, Stafford, Schoole, Smallwood, Tarr, 
Vaugant, Walker, Bragew, Knight. 


Capt. G. W. Yates; Second Lieut. W. Van Rieley; First Sergt. Kenney ; 
Sergts. Nursey, Vickory and Wilkinson; Corps. Coleman, Freeman and Briody; 
Farrier Brandon; Blacksmith Manning; Privates Atchison, Brown ist. Brown 


2d, Bruce, Brady, Burnham, Gather, Carney, Dohman, Donnelly, Gardiner, Ham- 
mon, Kline, Krianth, Luman, Losse, James Milton, Madson, Monroe, Ruddew,. 
Omeling, Siefous, Sanders, Wanew, Way, Lerock, Kidey, E. C. Driscoll, D. G. 
Gillette, G. H. Gross, E. P. Holcomb, M. E. Horn, Adam Hitismer, P. idlley, 
Fred Lehman, Henry Lehman, E. P. Lloyd, A. Mclchargey, J. Mitchell, J. 
Noshaug, J. O'Bryan, J. Parker, E. J- Fitter, Geo. Post. Jas. Quinn, Wm. Reed, 
J. W. Rossberg, D. L. Lymons, J. E. Troy, Gharles Van Bramer and W: B. 


First Lieut. Daniel McLitosh ; Sergts. Edward Botzer and M. Gonsidine ;. 
Capts. James Martin and Otto Hageman ; Farrier Benjamin Wells ; Trptr. 
Henry Dose; Saddler Grawford Selby; Privates Benjamin F. Rodgers, Andrew 
J. Moore, John J. McGinniss, Edward Stanley, Henry Seafferman and John 
Papp ; Gorp. George Lee ; Privates Julian D. Jones and Thomas E. Meador. 


Sergt. Miles F. O'Hara; Gorps. Henry M. Scollier and Fred Stringer; 
Privates Henry Gordon, H. Klotzbursher, G. Lawrence, W. D. Meyer, G. E. 
Smith, D. Somers, J. Tanner, H. Tenley and H. G. Voyt. 


Boston Guster, Arthur Reed, Mark Kellogg, Gharles Reynolds, Frank G. 


Bloody Knife, Bobtailed Bull and Stab. 

Total number of commissioned officers killed 14 

Acting assistant surgeon I 

Enlisted men 237 

Givilians 5 

Indian scouts 3 

Note. — An officer of Ouster's regiment penciled on the margin of this account 
the following: 

"Our march on June 24th was twenty-eight miles; leaving barracks at 11 
P. M., we marched eight miles ; halted at 2 A. M., 25th ; again marched at 
8 A. M. till 10:30 A. M. Then about noon took up our march for the attack. 
Up to this time we had marched about forty-eight miles." 

DOCTOR porter's STORY 

On his return from the Custer battlefield in charge of the wounded Dr. Henry 
R. Porter, one of the surviving heroes of that expedition, though now called to 


his long home, gave a most interesting account of the battle of the Little Big 
Horn, so far as it related to Reno's command, and of the trip down the river 
with the wounded. The story written for the St. Paul Pioneer Press at the time 
by John A. Rea, the following extracts are made, speaking of Reno's command : 
■'Captain Mcintosh fell, and Charley Reynolds, the scout that Custer loved. 
Porter was beside a dying soldier. His orderly and supplies were gone, and the 
command was off several hundred yards. He was alone. The bullets were 
pruning the trees, and terrific yells were sounding the alarm of universal death. 
Porter left his lost patient and led his horse to the embankment that protected the 
woods. He was startled by Indians dashing by him within ten feet. They were 
rushing along the foot of the little bluff. Their aim was so direct in the line 
of Reno's flying battalion that Porter's presence was unnoticed. He was un- 
armed and his powerful black horse reared and plunged as if he were mad. 
Porter saw the fate that was in the immediate future if that horse escaped before 
he was on his back. He held on with superhuman strength. He could hold 
him but that was all. To gain the saddle seemed a forlorn hope. Leap after 
leap with the horse quicker than he. It was a brief ordeal, but in the face of 
death it was a terrible one. One supreme effort and half in the saddle the dusky 
charger bore away his master like the wind. He gained the full seat, and lying 
close upon his savior's neck, was running a gauntlet where the chances of death 
were a thousand to one. The Indians were quick to see the lone rider, and a 
storm of leaden hail fell around him. He had no control of his horse. It was 
only a half mile dash, but it was a wild one. The horse was frenzied. He 
reached the river in a minute and rushed up the bank where Reno had gone and 
was then recovering himself. The horse and rider were safe. It was destiny. 

"Porter's associate was killed and he was alone. The afternoon of the 25th, 
all night, throughout the 26th, the night of that date and the 27th, Porter worked 
as few men are ever called upon to work. He had no idea that he would get out 
alive, and believed every man around him was doomed. Still he was the same 
ccol and skillful surgeon that he is today. He had a duty to perform that 
seldom falls to a man of twenty-six, and yet he performed it nobly. He was 
surrounded by the dead, dying and wounded. Men were crying for water, for 
help, for relief, for life. For twenty-four hours there was no water. The sun 
was blazing hot, the dead horses were sickening, the air heavy with a hundred 
smells, the bullets thick, the men falling and the bluffs for miles black with 
jubilant savages. 


"The steamer Far West was moored at the mouth of the Little Big Horn. 
She was the supply boat of the expedition and had made her way up the Big 
Horn farther than any other boat. She had performed one exploit unprecedented 
in western river navigation in reaching the mouth of the Little Big Horn, and 
was ready to perform another feat unequaled in steamboating in the West. The 
wounded were carried on board of the steamer and Doctor Porter was detailed 
to go down with them. Terry's adjutant, general. Col. Ed Smith, was sent along 


with the official dispatches, and a hundred other messages. He had a traveling 
bag full of telegrams for the Bismarck office. Capt. Grant Marsh of Yankton 
was in command of the Far West. He put everything in the completest order 
and took on a large amount of fuel. He received orders to reach Bismarck as 
soon as possible. He understood his instructions literally and never did a river 
man obey more conscientiously. On the evening of July 3d the steamer weighed 
anchor. In a few minutes the Far West, so fittingly named, was under full 
head of steam. It was a strange land and an unknown river. What a cargo on 
that steamer. What news for the country. What a story to carry to the Gov- 
ernment, to Fort Lincoln, to the widows. 

"It was running from a field of havoc to a station of mourners. The Far 
West never received the credit due her. Neither has the gallant Marsh. Nor 
the pilots David Campbell and John Johnson. Marsh, too, acted as pilot. It 
required all of their endurance and skill. They proved the men of emergency. 
The engineer, whose name is unknown to me, did his duty. Every one of the 
crew is entitled to the same acknowledgment. They felt no sacrifice was too great 
upon that journey, and in behalf of the wounded heroes. 

"A very moderate imagination can picture the scene on that floating hospital. 

There were wounds of every character and men more dead than alive. The 

suffering was not terminated by the removal from the field to the boiler deck. 

It continued and ended in death in more than one instance before Fort Lincoln 

was hailed. Here again the son of N. Y. Mills, of the Empire state, was tested. 

Porter watched for the fifty-four hours. He stood the test. 


"The bold captain was taking chances, but he scarcely thought of them. He 
was under flying orders. Lives were at stake. His engineer was instructed to 
keep up steam at the highest pitch. Once the steam gauge marked a pressure 
that turned his cool head and made every nerve in his powerful frame quiver. 
The crisis passed and the Far West escaped a fate more terrible than Custer's. 
Once a stop was made and a shallow grave explained the reason. Down the 
swift Yellowstone, like shooting the Racine rapids, every mile a repetition of the 
former! From the Yellowstone into the broad Missouri, and then there was 
clear sailing. There was a deeper channel and more confidence. A few minutes 
was lost at Buford. Everybody at the fort was beside himself. The boat was 
crowded with inquirers, and their inquiries were not half answered when the 
steamer was away. At Berthold a wounded scout was put off, and at Fort 
Stevenson a brief stop to tell in a word what had happened. There was no dif- 
ference in the speed from Stevenson to Bismarck. The same desperate gait was 
kept up to the end. They were approaching home with something of that feeling 
which always moves the human heart. At 11 o'clock on the night of July 
5th they reached Bismarck and Fort Abraham Lincoln. 

"Doctor Porter and Colonel Smith hurried from the landing up town, calling 
up the editor of the Tribune and the telegraph operator. The latter. J. M. 
Carnahan, took his seat at the key and scarce raised himself from his chair for 
twenty-two hours. He, too, was plucky, and what he sent went vibrating around 
the world in history." 

And the news was carried to the stricken families at Fort Lincoln. Imagine 
their grief, if you can; their sobs, their flood of tears. The grief that knew no 


consolation. The fearful depression that had hung over the fort for the past two 
days had its explanation then. It was almost stifling. Men and women moved 
an.xiously, nervously straining their eyes for the expected messenger, listening 
as footsteps fell. There was whispering and excitement among the Indian police. 
There were rumors of a great battle. Those who saw the Indians and witnessed 
their movements knew that something unusual must have happened. But what? 
Who would not have given worlds to know just why all this excitement among 
the Indians. Fleet-footed warriors, mounted on still fleeter animals, aided per- 
haps by signals, had brought the news to them even before the arrival of the Far 
West, but no white man knew. That it brought joy to them was reason enough 
for depression among the whites. 

A few more battles, a few more skirmishes, a treaty or two, and the Sioux 
warriors gave up the unequal contest. The superiority of the white man will 
never be acknowledged by the Indian, but he bows to the powers which have 
subdued him. 


At the very beginning of the life of the United States, it not only became its 
policy, but a necessity, to treat with the Indians. They contributed in no small 
degree to the success of the Revolution. The first formal treaty was with the 
Delawares, September 17, 1778, when all offenses or acts of hostility by one or 
either of the contracting parties were mutually forgiven and buried in the depths 
of oblivion, never more to be had in remembrance, and each agreed to assist the 
other if either should be engaged in war, the Delawares agreeing to furnish 
warriors for the then prevailing struggle. 

October 22, 1784, the United States gave peace to the Senecas, Mohawks, 
Onondagas and Cayugas, receiving them under its protection, requiring hostages, 
however, for the safe return of white and black prisoners held by the Indians. 
In 1785 treaties were made with the Wyandottes and Cherokces, and in 1786 
with the Choctaw, Chickasaw and Shawnee Indians; with the Creeks in 1790; 
with the five nations in 1792 ; with the Oneidas in 1794; with the seven nations in 
Canada in 1796; with the Sauk and Foxes in 1804, and with the Osage November 
10, 1808, the latter being the first of direct interest to the Dakotas. 

The next treaty bearing upon the Dakotas was with the Chippewas also in 
1808. It was made by Governor Hull, of Michigan Territory, on the part of 
the United States, and with the Chippewas, and other tribes northwest of the 
Ohio River, extending to the Great Lakes, the home of the Chippewas. 

William Clark. July 18, 1815, made a treaty of peace and friendship with the 
Tetons, in which it was agreed that every act of hostility should be mutually 
forgiven and forgot, and perpetual peace and friendship was pledged ; the Tetons 
acknowledging the sovereignty of the United States. The next day a similar 
treaty was made with the "Sioux of the Lakes," and with the Yank-ton Sioux. 
Other treaties followed with the Osage and other tribes involved in the war of 
1812, William Clark. Ninian Edwards and Auguste Chouteau usually representing 
the United States. Many previous treaties, broken before or during the war, 
were replaced by others, and apparently a new era was entered. Other treaties 
followed, which have been mentioned in earlier chapters. 


October lo, 1865, Governor Edmunds, of Dakota, concluded a treaty at Fort 
Sully with the Minneconjous, with a view of protecting the settlements in 
Dakota. Edward B. Taylor, Maj. Gen. S. R. Curtis, H. H. Sibley, Henry W. 
Reed and Orrin Gurnse acted with Governor Edmunds. This treaty provided 
for an overland route through the great Sioux reservation for which the Indians 
were to receive $10,000 annually for twenty years. The same parties negotiated 
a treaty at the same time with the Lower Brule bank, the Sansarc, Hunkpapa, 
Yanktonais and other Sioux bands for the same purpose. February 19, 1867, 
the Waiipetons and Sissetons ceded the right to construct wagon roads, telegraph 
lines, etc. 

After the treaty of 1868, made with General Sherman and associates, that of 
1876 made by George W. Manypenny, Rt. Rev. Henry B. Whipple, Jared W. 
Daniels, Albert G. Boone, Henry W. Bullis, Newton Edmunds and Augustine S. 
Gaylord was next in importance. It was the good fortune of the writer of 
these pages to have been present at this treaty, to have heard the bitter com- 
plaints of the Indians and their pleas for justice, and to have witnessed their utter 
hopelessness, excepting as they had faith in Bishop Whipple and Newton Ed- 
munds, their tried and true friends. Here was an attempt in good faith to benefit 
the Indians. 

September 20, 1872, Moses N. Adams, William H. Forbes and James Smith, 
Jr., negotiated with Gabrielle Renville, head chief of the Sissetons, and others, 
for all of their lands in Dakota excepting certain restricted reservations at Lake 
Traverse and Devils Lake. This was amended May 2, 1873, and under that 
amended treaty all question was removed as to the title to certain lands in the 
Red River Valley, and the lands about Fargo became free public lands. 

In October, 1882, Hon. Newton Edmunds, Judge Peter C. Shannon and 
James H. Teller, negotiated a treaty with the Sioux at their various agencies in 
which they agreed to divide up their reservation and looking to the allotment of 
land in severalty. They were also to be provided with a farmer to instruct them, 
and with schools and other advantages. ^ 

By the act of March 2, 1889, there were further changes made in the Sioux 
reservation, opening a small portion of the reservation in North Dakota, and 
confirming by law other portions. Allotments were provided for and citizenship, 
when they should take lands in severalty, and Indians were given preference for 
employment on reservation. 

The Turtle Mountain reservation was created by executive order of December 
21, 1882. Two years later it was limited by executive order to the two townships 
now occupied by them. July 13, 1892, a commission was provided for by act of 
Congress to treat with the Turtle Mountain band for their removal, and the 
extinguishment of the Indian title to lands claimed by them. The commission 
created under this act is known as the McCumber commission, and resulted in 
the payment of a large sum for their alleged rights to other lands. The two 
townships reserved for them by executive order, was wholly allotted to them, and 
other members of the tribe were provided for on other public lands, some of 
them settling in Montana, and others in the Missouri River region in North 

In 1886, J. V. Wright, Jared W. Daniels and Charles F. Larabee, negotiated 
a treaty with the Berthold Indians, who relinquished a considerable portion of 


their reservation, and defining that remaining, providing for the allotment of 
lands, for rewards for industry, etc. This agreement was confirmed by act of 
Congress, March 3, 1891 (20 Stat. 1032). 

Wise and wholesome laws have been enacted for the government of the 
Indians, for protection of their persons and property; for the education of their 
children; and in every possible way to uplift them. Lands claimed by them are 
protected from the encroachments of the whites, if they have any improvements 
on them of any value whatever, and the Government will incur any necessary 
expense in defending them. They are wards of the Nation. The act of Febru- 
ary 8, 1887, provides for their becoming citizens when they shall have selected 
land in severalty, throwing around them all of the guards pertaining to citizen- 
ship, and giving them all of its rights, while protecting their homes from aliena- 
tion for a period of twenty-five years. 

From the adoption of the Articles of Confederation it became the fixed policy 
of the United States to protect the Indians in their rights to the land occupied or 
claimed by them. By clause IX of the articles it was agreed that the United 
States, in Congress assembled, should have the sole and exclusive right and power 
of regulating the trade, and managing all affairs with the Indians, not members 
of any of the states, provided that the legislative rights of the state within its 
own limits be not infringed or violated. 

By the proclamation of September 22, 1783, all persons were prohibited from 
making settlement on lands inhabited or claimed by the Indians, without the 
limits or jurisdiction of any particular state, and from receiving any gift or 
cession of such lands or claims, without the express authority and direction of the 
United States. The Constitution of the United States provided for the regula- 
tion of commerce with the Indians and for their care through its general 

The Indians were dealt with by treaty until the act of March 3, 187 1, which 
provided that no Indian nation or tribe within the territory of the United States 
shall be acknowledged or recognized as an independent nation, tribe or power, 
with whom the United States may contract by treaty, thus changing the policy 
which had prevailed since the treaty with the Delawares September 17, 1778. 

The only excepion to this rule was in the treatment of the Sioux after the 
Indian outbreak of 1862. The treaty with them was held to be void, their 
annuities were refused, but they were later provided for through the Great Sioux 
and other reservations. The United States claimed their lands by right of 

Some twelve hundred to fifteen hundred of the Wahpeton and Sisseton Sioux, 
who aided the whites during the outbreak, jeopardizing their lives to protect the 
whites, and to obtain possession of the white women and children made captives 
by the hostile bands, and another group of one thousand to twelve hundred, who 
fled to the plains, fearing the indiscriminate vengeance of the whites, were 
granted the fairest and best portion of North Dakota by the treaty of February 
19, 1867, the land so granted extending from Goose Creek to Watertown, S. D., 
conflicting, however, with the Chippewa cession extending to the Sheyenne. 
There were included in this grant the specific reservations of Lake Traverse and 
Devils Lake. By recent legislation that portion of the reservation not occupied 
by Indians has been opened to settlement, the settlers paying their appraised 


value, the money so paid being set aside by the Government for the benefit of 
the Indians. 

In the early cessions of lands by the Indians, covering the fertile regions of 
Iowa, South Dakota and Minnesota, lo cents an acre was regarded a fair price to 
pay for the lands, but under the treaty of 1876, the Sioux were allowed $1.25, 75 
and 50 cents per acre, depending upon the time of entry ; the Wahpeton and Sis- 
seton Indians were allowed $2.50 per acre for the Lake Traverse reservation and 
the Devils Lake Indians as high as $4.50 per acre for their lands. The Fort 
Berthold Indians were allowed $1.50 per acre for that part of their reservation 
surrendered, and have reason to expect a much larger sum for the portion they 
are now asked to give up. The Yankton Sioux received $3.75 per acre for their 
reservation. Some of the Fort Berthold lands have sold at $6 per acre. 

The following recapitulation may be found of interest : The lands in North 
Dakota along the Red River were ceded by the Red Lake and Pembina bands 
of Chippewa Indians on October 2. 1863 (13 Stat., 667), and on September 20, 
1872 (Rev. Stat., 1050), the Wahpeton and Sisseton Sioux ceded the remainder 
of the Red River Valley, and the country extending west to the lames River and 
Devils Lake. 

By executive order of July 13, 1880, the country north of the Heart and 
south and west of the Missouri to a point about twelve miles west of Dickinson 
was restored to the public domain. A further portion of the Fort Berthold 
reservation was opened to settlement March 3. 1891 (26 Stat., 1032). The Lake 
Traverse reservation was opened to settlement March 3. 1891 (26 Stat., 1038) ; 
the Devils Lake reservation was restored by the President's proclamation of June 
2, 1904, under the act of April 27, 1904. The Standing Rock reservation was 
opened to settlement under the President's proclamation of August 19, 1909. 
The Great Sioux reservation, not included in special reservations, was disposed 
of under the act of March 2, 1889 (25 Stat., 888). 

The Fort Rice military reservation was turned over to the Interior Depart- 
•ment by the War Department on July 22. 1884 ; the Fort Abraham Lincoln reser- 
vation was turned over to the Interior Department March 19, 1896; the Fort 
Stevenson reservation was turned over to the Interior Department February 12, 
1895, and the lands were sold at public sale October 2, 1901, under the act of 
July 5, 1884. The Fort Buford reservation was turned over to the Interior De- 
partment October 25, 1895, and disposed of under the act of May 19, 1900 (31 
Stat., 180). The" Fort Pembina military reservation was turned over to the 
Interior Department November 27, 1895, and sold at public sale April 2, 1902. 
under the act of July 5, 1884, some of the lands bringing as high as $20 per acre. 
Fort Abererombie reservation was opened to settlement by act of Congress July 
75, 1882, and Fort Seward reservation by act of Congress June 10, 1880. 







March 3, 1853, Jefferson Davis, then secretary of war, and later president 
of the southern confederacy, procured the passage of a resolution by Congress 
authorizing him, as secretary of war, to make such explorations as he deemed 
advisable to ascertain the most practicable route for a railroad from the Missis- 
sippi River to the Pacific Ocean. Under this resolution three expeditions were 
organized, one to survey a southern, one a central, and the other a northern 
route. The eastern end of the northern route was placed in charge of Maj. 
Isaac I. Stevens, and the western in charge of Lieut. George B. McClellan, after- 
wards a distinguished Union officer during the War of the Rebellion, and in 1864 
the democratic candidate for President of the United States. At the time of 
his appointment Mr. Stevens was chairman of the national democratic committee 
and prejudiced against the northern route. 

A southern route to the Pacific had long been a favorite scheme of the leading 
men of the south with a \'iew to strengthening the predominating influence of 
that section in the National Go\ernment against possible northern development. 

Edwin F. Johnson, a distinguished engineer, who, as early as 1S36, had pro- 
jected the Erie Railroad from New York to the lakes, and who had been con- 
nected with the construction of the Erie Canal, had accumulated much data from 
army officers, traders and trappers in relation to the northern route. In 1852 
he was chief engineer of the Chicago, St. Paul & Fond du Lac Railroad, now 
the Northwestern, and Thomas H. Canfield of Burlington, Vt., was engaged on 
the work of building that line as a contractor. Mr. Johnson had previously inter- 
ested Mr. Canfield in a proposed Northern Pacific scheme. There was then no 
railroad entering Chicago from the East. The supplies for the construction of 
this new northwestern road were shipped by lake from Buffalo to Chicago. 

In 1852 Mr. Johnson prepared an exhaustive treatise on the subject of a rail- 
road connecting the Mississippi with the Pacific Ocean, which he later published 
at the expense of Mr. Canfield and his partner. An extended map accompanied 
this publication and the advantages of a northern route over the central and 
southern route were clearly presented. Hon. Robert J. Walker, then secretary 



of the treasury of the United States, was a director of the Chicago, St. Paul & 
Fond du Lac Railroad, with which Johnson and Canfield were connected. Mr. 
Walker had seen the manuscript of the Johnson pamphlet and had so impressed 
Mr. Davis, associated with him in the cabinet, in relation to it, that Mr. Davis 
went to New York to secure information concerning it. He procured the manu- 
script and after reading it returned to New York and endeavored to convince 
Mr. Johnson that he was in error in giving preference to the northern route. 
Failing in this, he procured the passage of a resolution by Congress authorizing 
the survey of the three routes. The appointment of Stevens and McClellan to 
make the survey of the northern route was intended by him to settle the question 
in favor of the southern route. 

McClellan justified his expectation; Stevens did not. Stevens secured from 
President Pierce the appointment as governor of Washington and devoted the 
remainder of his life to presenting to the public the importance of the con- 
struction of the Northern Pacific Railroad, enlightening them as to the wonderful 
resources of the regions to be traversed by it. 

The panic of 1857 intervened, and in 1861 the War of the Rebellion. Result- 
ing from the war, the construction of the Union Pacific Railroad became a neces- 
sity, and the interests of the northern route were overshadowed by the greater 
public interests then demanding attention. The Union Pacific Railroad Company 
was incorporated by act of Congress July i, 1862. Lands were granted, and 
also a subsidy in bonds, in order to promote th^ construction of the road at the 
earliest possible date. July 2, 1864, the Northern Pacific Railroad Company was 
incorporated by act of Congress. It was granted lands to the extent of forty 
sections to the mile in the territories and twenty in the states, but a money 
subsidy was denied. July 2-, 1866, the Atlantic & Pacific Railroad Company 
was incorporated by a similar act of Congress and to it a like grant was made. 
A similar grant was made to the Southern Pacific, incorporated under the laws 
of California, and that company was authorized to connect with the Atlantic & 
Pacific and to extend its line to San Francisco. 

When the war broke out, in 1861, the control of the railroads by the Govern- 
ment became a military necessity. Thomas A. Scott of the Pennsylvania Rail- 
road, afterwards the leading promoter of the Southern Pacific Railroad, became 
assistant secretary of war, and had particular charge of the movement of the 
armies by rail. He placed Thomas H. Canfield of \'ermont in charge of the 
railroads about W'ashington, and to his management was in a large measure due 
the successful prosecution of the war. Canfield was one of the incorporators of 
the Union Pacific Railroad, but from the beginning had been a consistent and 
persistent advocate of the northern route and became one of its incorporators. 
Among the incorporators were M. K. Armstrong, J. B. S. Todd and J. Shaw 
Gregory of Dakota, and Cyrus Aldrich, H. M. Rice, John McKusic, H. C. Waite 
and Stephen ^liller of Minnesota. 

Josiah Perham of Maine had been the leading character in securing the 
charter for the construction of the Northern Pacific Railroad. Congress having 
denied a subsidy in money to aid in the construction, the charter was likely to fail, 
when the active services of Mr. Canfield were enlisted, and through his efforts a 
syndicate was formed consisting of J. Gregory Smith of St. Albans, Vt., presi- 
dent of the Vermont Central Railroad ; Richard D. Rice of Augusta, Maine, 

Great Northern immigration agent. 


president of the Maine Central Railroad; Thomas H. Canfield of BurUngton, 
Vt.; W. B. Ogden of Chicago, 111., president of the Chicago & Northwestern 
Railroad; Robert H. Berdell of New York, president of the Erie Railroad; Dan- 
forth N. Barney of New York, president of the Wells, Fargo & Co. Express 
Company; Ashel H. Barney of New York, president of the United States 
Express Company; Benjamin P. Cheney of Boston, president of the United 
States & Canada Express Company; Wm. G. Fargo of Buffalo, N. Y., vice 
president of the New York Central Railroad and president of the American 
Express Company; George W. Cass of Pittsburgh, Pa., president of the Pitts- 
burgh, Fort Wayne & Chicago Railroad Company; J. Edgar Thompson of Phila- 
delphia, Pa., president of the Pennsylvania Railroad Company, an