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Title: The American Indian in the United States - Period: 1850-1914
Author: Moorehead, Warren K.
Language: English
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                            AMERICAN INDIAN
                                 IN THE
                             UNITED STATES

                            PERIOD 1850–1914


                       WARREN K. MOOREHEAD, A.M.,

                          ASSOCIATION FOR THE
                             ADVANCEMENT OF
                             SCIENCE, ETC.


                           A PLEA FOR JUSTICE


                           THE ANDOVER PRESS

                             ANDOVER, MASS.

                             COPYRIGHT 1914

                          WARREN K. MOOREHEAD



  War Chief of all the Sioux.

                           TABLE OF CONTENTS

  Chapter                                                           Page

          INTRODUCTION                                                 9

       I. TWO POINTS OF VIEW                                          17

      II. THE U. S. INDIAN OFFICE IN 1913                             25


      IV. THE OJIBWA OF MINNESOTA                                     45

            JUSTICE                                                   57

      VI. THE WHITE EARTH SCANDAL                                     66



      IX. THE SIOUX AND THE MESSIAH CRAZE                             99

       X. THE DANCE                                                  111

            TROOPS                                                   118


    XIII. THE FIVE CIVILIZED TRIBES                                  133

            ESTATES                                                  148


            RECOMMENDATIONS                                          164


   XVIII. RED CLOUD’S LATER YEARS                                    181

     XIX. SITTING BULL—THE IRRECONCILABLE                            190

      XX. EDUCATION                                                  200

            AND FURTHER COMMENTS ON EDUCATION                        211


   XXIII. THE CAREER OF GERONIMO                                     233

    XXIV. THE NAVAHO                                                 241

     XXV. INDIANS OF THE NORTHWEST                                   253

    XXVI. HEALTH OF THE INDIANS 1880 TO 1912                         265

            ORGANIZATIONS                                            279

  XXVIII. IRRIGATION PROJECTS                                        291

    XXIX. THE BUFFALO                                                299


    XXXI. THE INDIANS OF CALIFORNIA                                  325

            FIELD                                                    341


   XXXIV. FOUR IMPORTANT BOOKS                                       367

    XXXV. OFFICIAL VIEWS OF INDIAN CONDITIONS                        378


            MORALITY                                                 399

 XXXVIII. TWO STORIES. UNWISE PURCHASES                              407

   XXXIX. GENERAL COMMENTS AND SUGGESTIONS                           417

      XL. CONCLUSIONS                                                423

          INDEX                                                      435

                         LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS


 Frontispiece. Red Cloud (Makh-piya-luta). War Chief of all
   the Sioux

 Arthur C. Parker. Iroquois. State Archaeologist of New York          19

 Indian Home, Onondaga Reservation, New York                          21

 Map showing Country, 1879                                       Opp. 24

 Modern Indian Home                                                   30

 Government Sawmill, Ft. Belknap Reservation, Montana                 34

 Map showing Country, 1913                                       Opp. 34

 U. S. Indian School, Chilocco, Oklahoma                              37

 Lewis Tewanima, a Full-blood Hopi Indian                             38

 James Thorpe. Educated at Carlisle                                   39

 Honorable Gabe E. Parker, Choctaw                                    46

 Buildings, Pine Point, White Earth, Minnesota                        48

 Ojibwa, blind from Trachoma, Pine Point, Minnesota                   52

 Indian School Children in Uniform, Pine Point, White Earth,
   Minnesota                                                          55

 James Bassett, Full-blood Ojibwa in Tribal Costume                   58

 Dispossessed Ojibwa at Rear of Agency Buildings                      61

 Group of Thirty Persons constituting Linnen-Moorehead Force,
   White Earth Investigation, 1909                                    64

 Ojibwa Chief, Ke-way-din, Pine Point, White Earth
   Reservation, Minnesota                                             72

 Evicted Indians, Twin Lakes, White Earth Reservation,
   Minnesota, 1909                                                    73

 Rose Ellis. Full-blood Ojibwa                                        78

 Ojibwa Graveyard, White Earth, Minnesota                             92

 Modern Sioux Cabin and Summer Tent, Pine Ridge, 1909                104

 Government School Buildings, 1909                                   106

 Sioux Farming. White Clay Creek, Pine Ridge, 1909                   108

 No Water’s Camp of Ghost Dancers, 1890                              110

 Ghost Dance at No Water’s Camp                                      114

 The “Indian Gate”, Pine Ridge, 1890                                 122

 The Catholic Mission near Wounded Knee Battlefield, Pine
   Ridge                                                             126

 Monument in Memory of the Chief Big Foot Massacre, Sioux            131

 Cherokee Female Seminary at Talequah, Oklahoma                      138

 Chief Plenty Coups                                             Opp. 143

 Cherokee Male Academy near Talequah, Oklahoma                       146

 Shack of a Poor Creek Indian, Oklahoma, 1913                        155

 Old-style Cabin, 1850–1890. Cherokee. Oklahoma                      158

 Chief Keen-Fa-Chy addressing the Council                       Opp. 168

 Red Cloud and Professor Marsh                                       176

 Jack Red Cloud                                                 Opp. 180

 The Hide Hunter’s Work, 40,000 Buffalo Hides, Dodge City,
   Kansas. 1876                                                      182

 The Last Arrow                                                 Opp. 188

 Dr. Charles A. Eastman, Sioux                                       202

 Class in Agriculture, Chilocco Indian School                        208

 Improved Indian Home in the Southwest                               215

 Pima Home, Arizona                                                  222

 The Voice of the Water Spirits                                 Opp. 226

 Indian Buildings of Recent Construction                             228

 Southern Ute, Colorado                                              231

 Geronimo                                                            234

 Pomo Woman Weaving a Twined Basket, California                      239

 Navaho Silversmith and His Outfit                                   244

 Red Goat and His Mother, Navaho, 1902                               246

 Navaho Winter Hogan                                                 250

 Modern Indian House, Oklahoma                                       251

 Exhibit of Grain, Vegetables and Fruits, Bead-work and
   Baskets                                                           256

 Indian Pack Train in the Mountains                                  259

 The Challenge. Nez Perce Warrior                                    262

 Sanitorium School, Fort Lapwai, Idaho                               266

 Aged Woman now nearly blind from Trachoma                           269

 A Tuberculosis Patient                                              272

 National Indian Association Hospital at Indian Wells, Arizona       275

 Indian Cabin, North Dakota                                          276

 Rev. Sherman Coolidge, Arapaho                                      278

 Navaho Woman Weaving a Blanket                                      290

 Navaho Home, New Mexico                                             294

 Rincon Reservation, Mission Indians, California                     297

 U. S. Cavalry attacking Black Kettle’s Village                      302

 The Hide Hunter                                                     306

 Creek Church and Camp-meeting Ground                                309

 Oglala Woman                                                   Opp. 314

 Better Class of Full-blood Indians of Thirty Years Ago              320

 Linguistic Stocks in California                                     328

 Colored Blanket (title on plate)                               Opp. 343

 Leupp Hall, Students’ Dining Room. Chilocco Indian School,
   Oklahoma                                                          362

 Indians Receiving Instruction in Plumbing. Haskell Institute,
   Kansas                                                            364

 Navaho Summer Hogan                                                 365

 A Full-blood Sioux Girl, 1888                                       370

 Seminole Indian Houses and Cyclone Cellar, Oklahoma                 374

 Indians Commercial Department                                       376

 Class in Domestic Arts. Haskell Indian School, Kansas               382

 Mourning the Dead                                                   385

 Conference of Indian Y. M. C. A. Students at Denver, Colorado       386

 Creek Man and Woman cutting Wood, Sylvian, Oklahoma, 1913           393

 Alaskan Indian Children                                             396

 Portrait of Bay-bah-dwun-gay-aush                                   398

 The Last Outpost                                               Opp. 403

 Large Indian House                                                  404

 Carlisle Indian School Buildings                                    406

 Carlisle Indian School Campus                                       412

 Ojibwa Woman Dying of Consumption                                   416

 President Grant’s Medal to Red Cloud                                419

 Miss Kate Barnard of Oklahoma                                       426

 Chief Peo-peo-tolekt. Nez Perce Warrior                             430

 The Fading Sunset                                              Opp. 433


                          ADDITIONAL COMMENTS

With some diffidence I present a history of the American Indian during
the transition period.

Excepting two or three bulletins, and some public addresses, all my
publications have dealt with archaeological subjects, and the Indian of
the past.[1] A study of the Indian of this country, during recent years,
seems to indicate that at no time in his history has he faced a more
critical situation than that which confronts him today.

A helpful understanding of him and his needs is vastly more important
than further scientific study.

In writing this book it has been difficult to select that which should
be published. A wealth of material relating to the complex life of
modern Indians and their affairs was offered. The comparisons between
tribes of today and a century ago present an absorbing field for study.
I have frequently with difficulty checked myself, as it was more easy
and pleasant to speak of the past rather than of modern days.

It is comparatively simple to record existing Indian customs still
surviving in out-of-the-way corners of the United States. But such do
not represent the present cultural state of the Indian as a whole. As my
book aimed at a correct perspective of the Indians today, the inclusion
of such matter and the exclusion of the widespread Indian activities in
other directions, might result in a distorted perspective—certainly the
picture (while more pleasing) would not be true to life. It will be
observed by readers, that while I have generally described the
activities of modern Indians, that the real purpose of the book is to
bring before the American public the acuteness of the Indian problem,
and to suggest certain recommendations.

A perusal of the following chapters will acquaint readers with all the
facts—how that the Indian has been hurried into citizenship. We have
changed his entire life within the space of a few generations and forced
upon him serious problems. In fact, we have brought about so stupendous
a change in his life, that his very existence is threatened. As will be
indicated, much of the old life obtains in spite of all our civilizing
influences. While this is true, the preponderance of evidence indicates
that the greater majority of our Indians have passed into the
transitional state. Whether they shall become upright, self-supporting,
intelligent American citizens, depends upon our attitude rather than
upon them.

Since we have brought about the extinction of tribal and communistic
life among the Indians, absolute responsibility for the future of the
Indian rests with us. In the olden days, under the general tribal life,
the Indians were able to band together and protect themselves. Now that
most of our reservations have been cut up, and the Indians placed upon
individual farms, it is impossible for them to join in any movement for
self-protection. They are now citizens, rather than members of a tribe.
Hence, it is quite easy for unscrupulous white persons to take advantage
of them. While we thought we were acting in the best interests of the
Indian, what we really did, was to destroy natural barriers which
formerly kept out the enemy.

One should not object to, or find fault with an established policy,
unless one offered a constructive policy in the place of that which he
sought to destroy. I have, therefore, pointed out in my Conclusions
what, in my opinion, must be done would we save the Indian.

                     INDIAN ART AND OLD INDUSTRIES

The arts and industries of the Indians (barring a few exceptions) have
been modified by contact with the Whites. As an illustration, the
beadwork of the Ojibwa, Malecite, Penobscot, Iroquois and others is very
different from the art of two centuries ago. Basketry still obtains, but
except on the Pacific coast and in the Southwest, much of the textile
work is influenced by European culture, and I have therefore omitted a
consideration of Indian art in general.

In the chapter on the Navaho there was reference to the extensive
blanket industry of that people. There is no danger of the blanket
industry becoming extinct, although it may deteriorate because certain
well-meaning, but misguided persons desire to superintend the Navaho

The basketry is threatened with extinction. The manufacture of beadwork,
moccasins and Indian garments continues in various sections of the
country, but has become modernized in design and manufacture. With the
scarcity of deer, elk and buffalo, substitutes are now employed. This is
observed in so common an article as moccasins—which are far inferior to
those in use fifty years ago.

When Honorable R. G. Valentine was Commissioner, I made a somewhat
lengthy report on the possibilities of aboriginal art, or manufacture,
as a commercial asset to the Indians. I recommended that the old basket
and blanket weavers, and the few remaining Indians who are skilled in
making bead designs, moccasins, and other articles, be encouraged in
their native arts. I recommended to the Commissioner that he establish a
Bureau of Arts and Industries somewhat different from that one
maintained at the present time. That the older men and women should be
encouraged to make their baskets and blankets as in olden days, and that
these should be marketed through certain agencies and the profits accrue
to the Indians. I took the position that it was useless to attempt to
instruct young Indians in the arts of their parents. That these persons
were properly instructed in the great Indian schools, but that the true
expression of aboriginal art was found among the few, old, self-taught
persons. Art cannot be superintended, and if we continue such a course
we will destroy what remains and have in its place that which is the
opposite of true art. Our attempt to “teach” the Indians music ended in

The Indian Office should encourage the old art-workers to make their
products in their own way with absolutely no supervision upon our part.

                          A PROPHECY VERIFIED

Events have moved rapidly of late, and as the Introduction proofs come
back from my publishers, the press dispatches from Washington announce
the appointment of Honorable Gabe E. Parker as Commissioner to the Five
Civilized Tribes in Oklahoma. Mr. Parker is one of the brightest of our
educated Indians. Miss Barnard has just informed me that her successor
in the Department of Charities and Corrections has been named. With
these changes, Mr. Mott’s remarkable prophecy of last February (_See p.
163_) is with one exception, completely verified.


There are many persons, and a number of governmental Departments, to
whom I am especially indebted. When I began the preparation of this
manuscript nearly a year ago, I explained to officials in the United
States Indian Office, Department of Justice, Smithsonian Institution,
Indian Rights Association, and other organizations that I intended to
prepare a history of the Indian of the transition period. It was made
clear that a history must contain both the good and the bad; that a mere
description of school activities and progress in arts and industries,
would result in confirming the public in the present erroneous, but
widespread opinion, that all our Indians are properly cared for,
protected, and really becoming self-supporting.

Great credit must be given to various officials and private citizens for
their earnest cooperation. The subject was a delicate one for them to
handle. Taking everything into consideration, I have clearly indicated
that the present unsatisfactory condition of our Indians grew up through
a gradual process of evolution. We must not select the administration of
Mr. Morgan, or that of Messrs. Leupp and Valentine, or the present one,
under Mr. Sells, and state—“It was under this regime that the Indian
began to lose his property.” Beginning fifty years ago, the evolution
proceeded regularly, but irresistibly, until it terminated in the
bureaucracy of present times. No particular administration, and no group
of men are to blame.

Honorable Cato Sells, Commissioner of Indian Affairs, and Honorable E.
B. Meritt, Assistant Commissioner, both instructed under-officials to
afford me every possible courtesy in the preparation of this book, and I
am greatly indebted to both of them.

To Mr. Rodman Wanamaker and Dr. Joseph K. Dixon, I express thanks for
the permission to reproduce photogravure plates illustrating the Indian
of fifty years ago. Messrs. Doubleday Page & Co., publishers of Dr.
Dixon’s book, “The Vanishing Race”, were good enough to make the

Mr. George Wharton James and his publishers, A. C. McClurg & Co.,
permitted me to reproduce a fine, colored Navaho blanket and an
illustration of a weaver, from “Indian Blankets and Their Makers”. Mr.
J. Weston Allen of Boston also rendered me valuable assistance. The
Carlisle School, Haskell Institute, and the United States Indian School,
Chilocco, furnished information regarding their work, loaned me several
plates and sent photographs. I have thanked the Superintendents in the
list on this and the next page.

Mr. C. E. Kelsey of California; Mr. Grant Foreman of Oklahoma; Capt. G.
W. Grayson of Oklahoma, and L. V. McWhorter of Washington, have my
special thanks for contributing pages to this book. I also am indebted
to Hon. F. H. Abbott, Secretary of the Board of Indian Commissioners,
for information; Mr. M. K. Sniffen for Alaskan notes, and Miss Kate
Barnard, Mr. M. L. Mott and H. C. Phillips for suggestions.

In addition to the above I am indebted to many other persons, all of
whom contributed more or less information. The list of these follows:

Miss Caroline W. Andrus of Hampton, Va.; Mr. Marshall C. Allaben of New
York City; Mr. Edgar A. Allen of Chilocco, Oklahoma; Mr. Benjamin W.
Arnold of Albany, N. Y.; Hon. Edward E. Ayer of Chicago; Mr. S. L.
Bacon; Mr. A. F. Beard of New York City; Dr. Carl B. Boyd; Major John R.
Brennan of Pine Ridge, So. Dak.; Hon. John B. Brown of Muskogee, Okla.;
Dr. Charles M. Buchanan of Tulalip, Wash.; Rev. Eugene Buechel, S. J.;
Miss Gertrude A. Campbell; Mr. W. S. Campbell; Rev. Aaron B. Clark; Rev.
John W. Clark of New York City; Hon. P. P. Claxton of Washington, D. C.;
Miss Mary C. Collins; Mr. Charles E. Dagenett of Washington, D. C.; Mr.
Ira C. Deaver; Rev. P. Flor Digman, S. J.; Dr. Fred Dillon; Rev. George
D. Doyle; Dr. Charles A. Eastman of Amherst, Mass.; Mr. J. R. Eddy; Mr.
F. E. Farrell; Mr. E. R. Forrest of Washington, Pa.; Hon. A. N. Frost of
Lawrence, Mass.: Mrs. Bella McCallum Gibbons; Mr. H. V. Hailman; Hon. C.
F. Hauke of Washington, D. C.; Rev. Aloysius Hermanutz, O.S.B.; Dr. F.
W. Hodge of Washington, D. C.; Rev. Roman Homar, O.S.B.; Rev. Alexander
Hood; Rev. Ebenezer Hotchkin; Major John R. Howard of White Earth,
Minn.; Mr. Seth K. Humphrey of Boston; Mr. H. Huson of Oklahoma City,
Okla.; Rev. Julius Jette, S. J., of Tanana, Alaska; Hon. Dana H. Kelsey
of Muskogee, Okla.; Rev. William H. Ketcham; Rev. Bruce Kinney, D. D.,
of Topeka, Kan.; Mr. Wm. C. Kohlenberg; Mr. J. T. Lafferty of Winfield,
Kas.; Dr. A. D. Lake; Rev. Simon Lampel, O. S. B.; Hon. Franklin K. Lane
of Washington, D. C.; Hon. E. B. Linnen of Washington, D. C.; Mr. G.
Elmer E. Lindquist of Lawrence, Kas.; Hon. O. H. Lipps of Washington, D.
C.; Rt. Rev. Arthur S. Lloyd, D. D., of New York City; Colonel J. S.
Lockwood of Boston, Mass.; Mr. Charles F. Lummis of Los Angeles; Mr.
Arthur E. McFatridge; Mr. David L. Maxwell; Mr. A. P. Miller; Mr. John
M. Moore of Nashville, Tenn.; Rev. S. L. Morris, D. D., of Atlanta, Ga.;
Rev. George de la Motte, S. J.; Dr. Joseph A. Murphy of Washington, D.
C.; Rev. J. S. Murrow; Mr. A. F. Nicholson; Mr. A. S. Nichelson; Mr. E.
C. O’Brien of Washington, D. C.; Mr. Arthur C. Parker of Albany, N. Y.;
Mr. Henry W. Parker of Boston; Rev. Herman F. Parshall; Dr. Charles
Peabody of Cambridge, Mass.; Mr. H. B. Peairs of Washington, D. C.; Mr.
Charles E. Pierce of Flandreau, So. Dak.; Rev. W. A. Petzoldt; Rev. W.
B. Pinkerton; Mr. J. Harvey Randall; Mr. G. W. Reed; Rev. John Robinson;
Rev. Fridolin Schuster, O. F. M.; Rev. Simon Schwarz; Rev. Paul de
Schweinitz of Bethlehem, Pa.; Mr. W. W. Scott; Mr. John H. Seger of
Clinton, Okla.; Mr. Theodore Sharp; Miss Frances C. Sparhawk of Hyde
Park, Mass.; Mr. Ernest Stecker; Rev. W. E. Stevenson; Rev. Bernard
Strassmaier; Mr. Edward L. Swartzlander; The Editors of the _North
American Review_; Miss Eliza W. Thackara; Mr. Frank A. Thackery of
Sacaton, Ariz.; Mr. Harry H. Treat; Rev. Edward F. Van Waerbergh; Hon.
George Vaux, Jr., of Philadelphia; Rev. Chrystom Vermyst, O. F. M.; Dr.
W. W. Wallace of Farmington, N. M.; Rev. Anselm Weber, O. F. M.; Mr.
William H. Weinland; Mr. M. M. Welch of Atlanta, Ga.; Rev. Charles L.
White, D. D., of New York City; Mr. H. C. Wilson; Mr. John R. Wise of
Lawrence, Kan.; Mr. E. M. Wistar of Philadelphia, Pa.; Rev. C. A. Woody,
D. D.; Hon. J. George Wright of Muskogee, Okla.; Mr. Robert M. Wright of
Dodge City, Kas.


It is difficult, if not almost impossible, to compile a satisfactory
bibliography relating to Indians and Indian affairs between the years
1850 and 1914. Aside from reports emanating from officials and
Departments, the largest body of literature is that dealing with the
ethnology of existing tribes. Under the term ethnology would be included
several divisions of the science. Most of the ethnologic works, reports
and papers fall within no specified dates. Hence, a paper may cover one
or two centuries, or it might be confined to some aboriginal activity in
modern times. To compile a bibliography restricted to governmental
reports, books by individuals, addresses, special articles, etc.,
concerning the administration of Indian affairs, and omitting scientific
books and papers, is unsatisfactory and quite incomplete. I therefore
omitted a general bibliography, although I cite some 150 books, reports
and addresses. To readers who may desire to pursue the subject further,
I would suggest that in addition to the Handbook of American Indians,
there are the publications of the Smithsonian Institution and Bureau of
Ethnology, Washington. A large number of reports have been issued by
these scientific institutions the past forty years, and they cover
practically all activities of many of our Indian tribes. The American
Anthropologist (1888–1914) will be found to contain valuable papers upon
the language, folk-lore, religion, philology and general ethnology of
modern tribes. The Handbook of American Indians contains a bibliography
of more than forty-two pages in length.

Indian songs and music are presented in a large volume in a most
attractive manner by Miss Nathalie Curtis. Basketry and blankets are
described by Professor Mason and Mr. G. W. James. Dr. Charles A.
Eastman’s books of Indian life are excellent—and there are many others.
These in addition to the Smithsonian, Bureau of Ethnology, Handbook, and
Anthropologist cited, will afford readers an abundance of material.


After [Chapters I-XXX] had been printed, Commissioner Sells notified me
that through a typographical error on [page 27], the 600,000 acres of
irrigable lands had become 6,000,000! It would be exceedingly gratifying
could we claim that the Indians had under cultivation 6,000,000 acres,
but as the sum total is but 600,000, I cite the correction.

On [page 25], last paragraph, fourth line, “under the Chiefs of
Divisions”; should be, “in the various Divisions”.

[Page 112], second paragraph from bottom, fifth line: “witnessed many of
these dances”, should be “witnessed many different dances”.

[Page 217]. It was necessary to omit a special chapter devoted to
agriculture for the reason that in various places in the book the
industries of modern Indians were commented on at length. In [Chapter
XXXIII], Farming and Stock Raising, it was thought best to omit the
bibliography. Therefore, the last sentence in the paragraph should read,
“These cover, in a general way, all phases of education.”

[Page 247]. Last paragraph. “John T. Shelton” should be, “William T.

[Page 252], center of page: Parquette, should be Paquette.


Footnote 1:

  A bibliography of these will be found in “The Stone Age in North
  America.” Vol. II, pages 408–410.

                     CHAPTER I. TWO POINTS OF VIEW

The American Indian may be regarded from two wide and divergent points
of view; that of the scientist, and that of the humanitarian. Under the
former should be grouped all study of the Indian, past and present,
falling under the general science of anthropology, and its various
divisions and sub-divisions. This includes the study of the Indian as a
primitive man belonging to the Red Race, and different from all other
races on the face of the earth. This view comprises archaeology,
physical anthropology, ethnology, folklore, religion, etc.

The second, under the general title of humanitarianism, includes all
progress, education, missionary endeavor, and that which may be summed
up under the title Civilization, or as the modernists have it, “Social

After much thought, it occurs to me that we must view the Indian from
these two and quite opposed angles—the scientific, the philanthropic.

The average man or woman is not interested in the Indian from the point
of view of the scientist. This is quite natural. But, persons of
intelligence are interested in the Indian as a strange and peculiar
individual. He appeals to their imagination. The public has had
presented to it during past years, great numbers of books, pamphlets and
articles all dealing with the Indian, and most of them regard him from
what is known as “the popular point of view.” Having read, or glanced
through scores of these, it is my firm conviction that, after all, we
have not properly understood the Indian.

The scientists have made him the subject of technical study, beginning
with the generalities of two centuries ago and continuing down to the
minutest of detail of modern investigations. Through our records of
wars, and our sensational articles, we have been given the impression
that his days were spent in fighting, and his nights in war dances. To
the scientist he has appeared, not as a man, but as a bit of life to be
dissected and preserved; or a specimen duly catalogued, described, and
placed in an exhibition case. To the average man or woman, influenced by
sensational books, and degrading wild-west shows, and that modern
invention, the motion picture, he presents a figure as unreal as it is

The Indian of today, with few exceptions, having lost his aboriginal
characteristics, the faith of his fathers and his whole life changed, is
indeed, a fit subject for the educator, the philanthropist, and the
social reformer.

Would one desire to understand this very peculiar race of red men, one
should begin his study by observing the Indian of today. And his
observation should cover the character, activities and condition of this
Indian of modern times. He should regard him not merely through the
cold, unsympathetic eyes of the scientist, who looks for survival of
savage or primitive customs, but in a larger and broader sense. To begin
with, everyone should realize that the survivors of the American race[2]
are more in need today of protection and help than of scientific study.
From a purely scientific point of view, the Indian has been pretty
thoroughly studied the past fifty years. This statement of mine does not
necessarily imply that there should be no technical study of the
American Indian in these present days. But as between the work of the
scientist and that of the humanitarian the Indian is vastly more in need
of the latter than of the former.

In the belief that our studies of the American Indian have so progressed
that one may now consider the race in its entirety, I have set myself
the rather ambitious task of preparing a number of volumes treating of
the American Indian of the present and past. After much deliberation it
has occurred to me that the Indian of today should be first
considered—hence this volume. At the outset, we find that generally
speaking the Indian throughout the United States although maintaining
much of his original speech, and in places some of his aboriginal
characteristics, yet, as a whole, he is in the transition period.

Our native Americans are, and have been, a remarkable people. Their very
manner of life, their striking and picturesque costumes, their peculiar
color and their diversified languages seem to have challenged the
attention of explorers, travelers, priests and scientists. It is to be
doubted if there is another aboriginal race, on the face of the earth,
concerning which more books, articles and reports have been published.
In Europe, as well as in America, the Indian is celebrated in song and
story, yet since the discovery of America his domination has gradually
diminished, and the period of his greatest activity (since the advent of
the white race) is very short lived compared with that of other tribes
of men. From 1500 to 1700, he may be said to have controlled a
sufficient extent of the United States and Canada, to dominate it. His
power after the year 1700 rapidly diminished, and in 1800 we find that
he did not control any large areas save west of the Mississippi and west
of Lake Superior. Up to the year 1865, he dominated a large portion of
the West, South West and North West. From 1880 down to the present time,
his sun has rapidly declined and he may be said today to have passed out
of the tribal estate, to have ceased to be a factor in national life as
a separate race. He is rapidly becoming merged into our larger body of
citizens, and while some thousands of Indians (perhaps 45,000) live and
think in the past, the great majority of Indians, like the great
majority of foreign immigrants, belong to the body politic.



  Iroquois. State Archaeologist of New York; Secretary Society American

So, we consider the majority in this study of the Indian, rather than
the minority; leaving that fraction to the scientist.

If we are consistent in the statement that we shall begin with the
present and work backward into the past, we must consider in this volume
the activities and the life of the modern Indian, and the modern Indian
being in the transition period presents us very little in the way of
folklore and traditions. A careful study of the recent reports of
ethnological investigators emphasizes this truth. The writers have
invariably sought out the _older_ Indians, for the very good reason that
they knew much concerning the past. The greater number of Indians—the
middle-aged and young, and the thousands of educated Indians—are not
able to furnish material such as scientific investigators seek. A
confirmation of my statement will be found in that excellent memoir,
“Chippewa Music,” by Miss Frances Densmore. This was published by the
Bureau of Ethnology in 1913. In this worthy publication, denoting much
research, Miss Densmore is dependent on the older people for her
information. Even these older persons, as they appear in the photographs
accompanying the book, are dressed in garments such as are worn by white
persons. Many of these Indians (as in the case of other tribes) keep a
few old war bonnets, buckskin coats, moccasins, leggings, embroidered
belts, etc., with which they adorn themselves on state-occasions, but
their natural dress today, is European in character. Not only in Miss
Densmore’s book but in the reports of other investigators in the United
States, where a group of Indians are assembled, one observes more
evidence of European than native American costumes. It is frequently (if
not usually) necessary to ask the Indians to put on their tribal
costumes, and sometimes they are compelled to borrow a garment here and
there among their friends in order to make up properly. There naturally
arises the pertinent question—are not modern Indians so saturated with
civilization that their opinions of tribal customs of past decades
should be accepted with due reserve? This important question should be
considered by some one of our numerous writers on Indian topics.

The two maps presented opposite pages 25 and 35, will bring home to
readers the tremendous shrinkage of Indian lands during the short space
of thirty-five years.

The map, presented by Commissioner Sells in his report for 1913, as
contrasted to the map of 1879, shows that the Indian reservations have
been cut down to at least one-third. The population in the year 1881
will be found in small figures on each area given on the map. It will be
seen by comparing the period of 1879 with 1913, that the Navaho have
greatly increased, and also the tribes now living in Oklahoma (formerly
Indian Territory). Others have either diminished, or show slight



The increases are due to growth of the mixed-blood elements, to white
men marrying Indian women.[3] The allotment plan, the accumulation of
tribal funds, the increase in property values—all these factors induced
many persons to “get on the Indian rolls” and thus swell the numbers;
while the pure-blood Navahos are increasing, I doubt if other tribes
show growth—save in the mixed-blood element referred to above.

Certainly these two maps present us with facts for serious study. They
indicate the rapidity with which the Red Race’s property is being
legislated away. Many reservations have been abolished, and the Indians
allotted land in severalty. If the Indians held such lands as white men
hold their farms, the whole Indian area today would be as large as
formerly, even though reservation lines are abolished. Some do hold
their lands. But most of them sell, lease, or mortgage; the maps, after
all, tell the sad truth, and the erasure of governmental lines usually
means the blotting out of Indian titles.

                           FROM 1850 TO 1913

           Year              Authority

           1850 Report of H. R. Schoolcraft          388,229
           1853 Report of United States Census, 1850 400,764
           1855 Report of Indian Office              314,622
           1857 Report of H. R. Schoolcraft          379,264
           1860 Report of Indian Office              254,300
           1865   do                                 294,574
           1870 Report of United States Census       313,712
           1875   do                                 305,068
           1876   do                                 291,882
           1877   do                                 276,540
           1878   do                                 276,595
           1879   do                                 278,628
           1880   do                                 322,534
           1881   do                                 328,258
           1882 Report of Indian Office              326,039
           1883   do                                 331,972
           1884   do                                 330,776
           1885   do                                 344,064
           1886   do                                 334,735
           1887   do                                 243,299
           1888   do                                 246,036
           1889   do                                 250,483
           1890 Report of United States Census       248,253
           1891 Report of Indian Office              246,834
           1892   do                                 248,340
           1893   do                                 249,366
           1894   do                                 251,907
           1895   do                                 248,340
           1896   do                                 248,354
           1897   do                                 248,813
           1898   do                                 262,965
           1899   do                                 267,905
           1900   do                                 270,544
           1901   do                                 269,388
           1902   do                                 270,238
           1903   do                                 263,233
           1904   do                                 274,206
           1905   do                                 284,079
           1906   do                                 291,581
           1907   do                                 298,472
           1908   do                                 300,412
           1909   do                                 300,545
           1910   do                                 304,950
           1911   do                                 322,715
           1912   do                                 327,425
           1913   do                                 330,639

                              JUNE 30, 1913

 (Figures compiled from reports of Indian School superintendents,
 supplemented by information from 1910 census for localities in which no
 Indian Office representative is located.)

 Grand total                                                     330,639


 Five Civilized Tribes, including freedmen and
   intermarried whites                                           101,216

   By blood                                               75,253

   By Intermarriage                                        2,582

   Freedman                                               23,381

 Exclusive of Five Civilized Tribes                              229,423


 Grand total                                                     330,639

                           TERRITORIES, 1913

                    Alabama                     909
                    Arizona                  41,505
                    Arkansas                    460
                    California               16,513
                    Colorado                    870
                    Connecticut                 152
                    Delaware                      5
                    District of Columbia         68
                    Florida                     600
                    Georgia                      95
                    Idaho                     4,089
                    Illinois                    188
                    Indiana                     279
                    Iowa                        365
                    Kansas                    1,345
                    Kentucky                    231
                    Louisiana                   780
                    Maine                       892
                    Maryland                     55
                    Massachusetts               688
                    Michigan                  7,512
                    Minnesota                11,338
                    Mississippi               1,253
                    Missouri                    313
                    Montana                  11,331
                    Nebraska                  3,890
                    Nevada                    7,756
                    New Hampshire                34
                    New Jersey                  168
                    New York                  6,029
                    New Mexico               21,725
                    North Carolina            7,945
                    North Dakota              8,538
                    Ohio                        127
                    Oklahoma             117,274[4]
                    Oregon                    6,414
                    Rhode Island                284
                    South Carolina           20,555
                    South Dakota             20,555
                    Tennessee                   216
                    Texas                       702
                    Utah                      3,231
                    Vermont                      26
                    Virginia                    539
                    Washington               11,335
                    West Virginia                36
                    Wisconsin                 9,930
                    Wyoming                   1,715

It will be observed that between 1850 and 1887 there is wide difference
of opinion as to the number of Indians. In 1886 there were 334,000
Indians, whereas in ’87 the number is given as 243,000. This must be due
to faulty enumeration, or to estimating rather than counting. The
gradual increase from 1898 to 1913 is for the reason assigned, page 21.

In the table presented by Commissioner Sells it will be observed that
the Indians have made some progress along various industrial directions.
As he has grouped under a total valuation of $22,238,242, all the
horses, cattle, hogs and sheep raised by the Indians, it is difficult to
compare this table with those of 1879–1881. I present tables of those
years prepared long ago by the Board of Indian Commissioners and
published by them February 1st, 1882. It will be seen that the number of
acres under cultivation are about the same thirty-two years ago as at
the present time. In 1881 there were over 2,000,000 head of stock owned
by Indians. The value of sheep would reduce an average of $10 per head,
horses and cattle would raise it. Some horses might be worth as high as
$50, most of them would average $15. Cattle would range from $15 to $25
per head at that time. Mules would be higher, while hogs might be
averaged at $8 per head, and sheep, $2. We might strike an average of
$10 per head, which would amount to $20,000,000. In view of the present
increased value of livestock, the $22,000,000 worth of property and
livestock at the present time cannot amount to more than 2,000,000 head.
(_See [page 29]_)

I think the slight increase noted in the 1912 table is due to the
progress of certain Indian tribes (notably the Navaho) and the increased
money value per head of stock. It does not mean that the Indians own
more “live” property today than they did in 1881.

All of this, it is understood, is no reflection on the Honorable
Commissioner or his able assistants. It merely indicates that the
Indians, as a body, have not progressed to the extent that we would

     │  Acreage   │       CROPS RAISED BY INDIANS
     │   lands    │
     │ cultivated │
     │ by Indians │
     │            │  Hay  │Corn Tons│Wheat Bu.│Oats and
     │            │ Tons  │         │         │ Barley
     │            │       │         │         │   Bu.
 1912│     558,503│158,478│1,525,334│1,343,213│1,001,504
 1904│     365,469│405,629│  949,815│  750,788│1,246,460
 1898│     352,217│215,163│1,339,444│  664,930│  599,665

     │Horses │Cattle │Swine │  Sheep
     │       │       │      │
     │       │       │      │
 1912│         [5]$22,238,242
 1904│295,466│297,611│40,898│  792,620


  Map showing
  in the United States
  West of the 83^{rd}. Meridian
  belonging thereto


Footnote 2:

  We are Americans by adoption. The real American race is the Indian.

Footnote 3:

  Excepting the Navaho.

Footnote 4:

  Includes 23,381 freedmen and 2,582 intermarried whites.

Footnote 5:

  Commissioner Sells gives in his 1912 report only the value of the
  stock owned, whereas in 1904 and 1898 the number is given.

               CHAPTER II—THE U.S. INDIAN OFFICE IN 1913

The Bureau of Indian Affairs was organized in 1824, and was under the
War Department. On March 3, 1849, the Interior Department took over the
management of the Indians. Since 1832, there have been 31 Commissioners
of Indian Affairs. The longest tenure of office was that held by
Honorable Wm. A. Jones.

The present Commissioner is Honorable Cato Sells of Texas, who took
charge June 4, 1913. Mr. Sells has already inaugurated a new and
progressive policy and his work is highly commended by every person
having the welfare of the Indians at heart.[6] A splendid tribute has
been paid him by M. K. Sniffen, Esq., Corresponding Secretary of the
Indian Rights Association. Honorable Edgar B. Meritt, who has served
faithfully for many years, is Assistant Commissioner.

There are in addition to these high officers, Second Assistant
Commissioner, Honorable C. F. Hauke; and Honorable E. B. Linnen, Chief
of the Inspection Service. I have always considered the Inspection
Service the most important of all. It is therefore very satisfactory
that we have as Chief of the Division, a man who has had twenty-five
years’ experience as Inspector and former Secret Service official. And
right here, I wish to state that if the Inspection Service had been
efficient in past years, the horrible scandals in Minnesota, Oklahoma
and elsewhere never would have occurred.

There are Chiefs of Divisions in education, land and finance; Chief
Supervisors of schools, health, industries, irrigation, forestry and
construction. There are ten Supervisors and eight Special Agents serving
in the various Divisions. The roster of officers for this year contains
the names of hundreds of conscientious and competent men and women
scattered throughout the entire West and in Washington, whose sole
purpose is to make of these Indians good American citizens. No one who
has investigated the Indian situation as it presents itself today can do
other than accord to all these persons the full meed of praise. They
labor under great disadvantages. If they are radical, they call down
upon their heads the wrath of those who covet Indian lands; if they are
conservative, the officials of various benevolent organizations accuse
them of aiding and abetting the grafters in their nefarious work. If a
single mistake is made—though unintentional—it is pointed out by some
disgruntled person living in the Indian country. The complications, the
situation, and the opposition which they are called upon to face might
well cause many of their critics to timidly decline to exchange places
with them.

I am entirely sincere in the above statement. Because it has been my
unpleasant duty to point out needed reforms—not to use a stronger term—a
few good people have imagined that I criticised the personnel of the
Indian Service. That would be not only unkind, but also unjust, and in
all that I have published, written or spoken, I have never thought to
criticize any man or woman save those who were engaged in defrauding

As will be presented in the final chapter of this book, the Indian
Office machinery is efficient, and the personnel competent. The only
question—and it is a great question—is whether our manufactured product
is what it should be. Our machines are perfect, but do we run them

The Commissioner of Indian Affairs, Mr. Sells, issued a valuable report
December 8, 1913. It covers the period from July 1, 1912, to June 30,
1913. In order that we may grasp the full significance of the work being
done by the Indian Office, and the magnitude of the problems confronting
us, it is necessary to present some statistics, taken from this report.

There are some 6,000 employees in the Indian Service, and 330,639
Indians. Among the Indians are included a great many mixed bloods and
persons who have married Indian women. This swells the total, as I have
pointed out on Page 21.

The property of these Indians is estimated by the Commissioner to be
worth nearly $900,000,000. As competent observers in the State of
Oklahoma claim the Indians have property there rising $500,000,000 in
value, it is my candid opinion, after considering the Navaho, Crow,
Sioux, Yakima, Apache and all other lands, minerals, timber, etc., in
the United States, that the sum is probably nearer $1,200,000,000. There
is also in the United States Treasury some $48,848,744 in cash.

There has been appropriated since the year 1881, and including the year
1914, this generous sum for the education, allotting, protection of
Indians and the maintenance of the thousands of employees in the Indian
Service, viz:—$263,623,004.01. This enormous sum properly and wisely
expended from the year 1881 to the present time would have solved the
Indian problem in the United States. But two great obstacles stood in
the way—the politician in the East and the grafter in the West. The
Honorable Commissioner cannot state in his report that it is due to
these two influences that our Indian history is, beyond question, the
darkest page in the general American history, but such a statement is
absolutely correct.

Of these 330,000 Indians, 180,000 have received farms, or as the Indian
Office calls them, allotments. 34,000,000 acres have been used for this
purpose and there remain 39,000,000 acres. The Commissioner states that
the timber held by Indians is worth $80,000,000.

Since 1876 the Government has spent $80,000,000 for schools and
education, and there are now 223 Indian day schools on or near Indian
communities; 76 boarding-schools on reservations and 35 non-reservation
schools. There are 65,000 Indian children, and all go to school save
17,500 who are either defectives or unprovided for.

There are 25,000 Indians suffering from tuberculosis; yet there are but
300 beds in all the Indian hospitals. This is a condition that would not
be tolerated outside of an Indian community in the United States, for
twenty-four hours. Thirty-two per cent of the Indian deaths are due to
pulmonary tuberculosis as against 12.02 per cent among the white people
of the United States. 60,000 Indians suffer from trachoma. This eye
disease was introduced by the lower class of European immigrants and it
spread throughout nearly every Indian community.

“I find that the Indians have more than 600,000 acres of irrigable land,
approximately 9,000,000 acres of other agricultural lands, more than
50,000,000 acres grazing lands, and that the Government has expended
approximately $10,000,000 in connection with Indian irrigation projects.

“Many able-bodied Indians who have valuable lands are wholly or
partially without seeds, teams, implements, and other equipment to
utilize properly such lands. This is particularly true in several
reservations where large sums of public or tribal funds have been used
in constructing irrigation systems, and is in part the reason why such
large areas of irrigable and other agricultural lands are not under

“The valuable grazing lands of the Indians offer unusual opportunities
for increasing the meat supply of the country, at the same time
furnishing a profitable employment for the Indians as well as utilizing
their valuable grazing lands. During the last year the Indians
cultivated less than 600,000 acres of their vast area of agricultural

“It shall be my purpose to attempt to procure reimbursable
appropriations so as to advance to the Indians needed agricultural
equipment in order that they may make beneficial use of their resources
and become self-supporting and progressive citizens. These reimbursable
appropriations, if procured and properly used, will result in ultimately
decreasing the gratuity appropriations for Indians.”[7]

Commissioner Sells very wisely emphasizes agricultural work,
stock-raising and cooperation with the United States Department of
Agriculture. He calls attention to the enormous number of lands leased
by the Indians to white men, for agricultural purposes.

One of the most interesting and illuminating sections in the report is,
to my mind, the table number 7: “General data for each Indian
reservation, under what agency or school, tribes occupying or belonging
to it, area not allotted or specially reserved, and authority for its
establishment, to Nov. 3, 1913.”

A study of this table indicates that tracts of these lands have been
sold under various acts of Congress. The statements appear: “Open to
settlement 1,449,268 acres” or, “1,061,500 acres were open to
settlement.” All this indicates that enormous tracts have been sold to
settlers, or disposed of by the Government after the Indians had been
allotted. This policy has been persistently carried on in the State of
Oklahoma, although I have repeatedly urged not only the Commissioner of
Indian Affairs, but also the Commissioner of the Five Civilized Tribes
to conserve some of these lands. I have contended, also, that the
Indians are not properly protected in their property rights, and many of
them are becoming paupers; that large tracts of land should be reserved
by the Government in order that each dispossessed or pauperized Indian
should be entitled to a small home at some future time. The policy of
disposing of enormous tracts of grazing and agricultural land is
extremely short-sighted.

I have been told, when calling attention of Commissioner Wright, or the
Indian Office, to the fact that some of these surplus lands should be
conserved, that under the law, this cannot be done. The land is tribal
property, or by act of Congress on such and such a date the lands were
ordered sold. There is always authority for these sales, and no one can
question it. But the policy continues, and to me appears very
pernicious. Certain Indians on some of our reservations have either
disposed of their holdings, or been swindled out of them. If none of the
surplus lands are retained, there will be nothing available for these
Indians, and they will soon become homeless paupers. We have an
illustration of that in California. There we permitted the Indians to
lose their property, or to be evicted. In recent years we have spent
large sums of money purchasing tracts of irrigated land to provide homes
for the very Indians we permitted to lose their homesteads. Certainly
this is a very short-sighted and unbusiness-like policy.

The progress of the Indian the past year in arts and industries has been
fairly satisfactory. Most of the Superintendents report increased
industry on the part of their wards. The Commissioner presents nearly
200 pages of tabulated statistics covering progress and values. The
Indians have not worked in the same proportion as have white people for
various reasons. I shall set forth these in detail in a subsequent

                         RESULTS OF INDIAN LABOR

                                          │  1879   │  1880   │  1881
 Number of acres broken by Indians        │   24,270│   27,105│   29,558
 Number of acres cultivated               │  157,056│  168,340│  205,367
 Number of bushels of wheat raised        │  328,637│  408,812│  451,479
 Number of bushels of corn raised         │  643,286│  604,103│  517,642
 Number of bushels of oats and barley     │         │         │
   raised                                 │  189,054│  224,899│  343,444
 Number of bushels of vegetables raised   │  390,698│  375,843│  488,792
 Number of tons of hay cut                │   48,333│   75,745│   76,763
 Number of horses owned                   │  199,732│  211,981│  188,402
 Number of cattle owned                   │   68,894│   78,939│   80,684
 Number of swine owned                    │   32,537│   40,381│   43,913
 Number of sheep owned                    │  863,525│  864,216│  977,017
 Number of houses occupied                │   11,634│   12,507│   12,893
 Number of Indian houses built during the │         │         │
   year                                   │    1,211│    1,639│    1,409
 Number of Indian apprentices who have    │         │         │
   been learning trades                   │      185│      358│      436
                                          │         │         │
           FIVE CIVILIZED TRIBES          │         │         │
                                          │         │         │
 Number of acres cultivated               │  273,000│  314,396│  348,000
 Number of bushels of wheat raised        │  565,400│  336,424│  105,000
 Number of bushels of corn raised         │2,015,000│2,346,042│  616,000
 Number of bushels of oats and barley     │         │         │
   raised                                 │  200,000│  124,568│   74,300
 Number of bushels of vegetables raised   │  336,700│  595,000│  305,000
 Number of tons of hay cut                │  176,500│  125,500│  161,500
 Number of bales of cotton raised         │   10,530│   16,800│
 Number of horses owned                   │   45,500│   51,453│   64,600
 Number of mules owned                    │    5,500│    5,138│    6,150
 Number of cattle owned                   │  272,000│  297,040│  370,000
 Number of swine owned                    │  190,000│  400,282│  455,000
 Number of sheep owned                    │   32,400│   34,034│   33,400

At the conclusion of Chapters upon health, education, irrigation, etc.,
I have presented bibliographies. Readers will obtain a good idea of the
progress made along various directions if they will consult some of the
writers’ reports, speeches, etc.

_The Red Man_, published at Carlisle Indian School; the _Chilocco School
Journal_, and papers printed at Haskell, Pine Ridge, and Hampton all
contain many practical articles upon arts and industries and kindred
topics. For these journals the Indian Service officials frequently write
articles, and in them speeches and addresses upon Indian topics by
prominent men are often reproduced.

These journals are creditable publications and do much toward
enlightening the boys and girls as to progress in other schools—thus
acting as an incentive to further effort. It is unfortunate that the
public at large is not familiar with them. Were they generally
circulated, much ignorance of Indian education would disappear.



  Although on the Allegheny reservation, N. Y., this is the common type
    of house occupied by better-class Indians in many States.


Footnote 6:

  Cato Sells—An Appreciation. Pamphlet; Philadelphia, 1914.

Footnote 7:

  Sells’ Report, 1913.


We have seen in the preceding chapter that the Commissioner of Indian
Affairs, his assistants, Supervisors, Inspectors and Special Agents
stand at the head of a very great Bureau; and that under them are
thousands of employees. The diagram on the following page is an outline
plan of the entire Indian Service, beginning with that great body, the
Congress of the United States, and passing through its various
ramifications down to the amalgamation of the educated, competent Indian
into the body of American citizens.

This comprehensive table was published by Honorable F. E. Farrell,
Superintendent of the Cheyenne and Arapaho Agency, in the school
publication _The Carrier Pigeon_, in December, 1912.

We should first realize the tremendous difference between the Indians of
1850 and those of 1914. A comparison of the Indian reservation map of
1879 and the map of 1913 will give readers some idea of the tremendous
changes in Indian life in this country. In the short space of fifty
years, the entire West has been transformed from an Indian country to a
white man’s country. The problem of these Indians is today, not so much
an ethnologic study, as it is a citizenship and humanitarian problem.

Although there are a few scattered bands of Indians on the public domain
(notably Papago and Navaho, and a few other bands) more than nine-tenths
of these people are under direct Federal or State supervision. As I have
remarked elsewhere, a great many of the Navaho and certain other Indians
still keep up tribal customs and continue in the faith of their
ancestors, but for the greater part, the Indians are, and should be,
considered a part of our body politic. Before discussing some of the
larger tribes, and certain phases of Indian history in the broad sense,
we should review the Indian situation as it presents itself generally in
the United States.

Beginning with the far East, we should glance at the thousand or more
native Americans living in Maine and New Brunswick.

Several hundred Penobscot and Passamaquoddy Indians are located at
Oldtown, Maine, and on the St. Croix River above Princeton, Maine. These
are of superior intelligence, and all are self-supporting. There is some
drunkenness, but it is not prevalent, as among some of our western

                       DIAGRAM OF THE INDIAN SERVICE

                         │Congress of the United │
                         │        States         │
                         │Statutes, United States│
                         │     The President     │
                         │ Secretary of Interior │
                         │  Regulations, Indian  │
                         │        Service        │
                         │Commissioner of Indian │
                         │        Affairs        │
                         │ District Supervisors  │
                         │Non-reservation Schools│
                         │ Reservation Agencies  │
                         │ Agent, Superintendent │
 │Inheritance:           │Individual Indian      │Education              │
 │                       │  Money:               │Health                 │
 │  Family history       │  Purchases—Animals’   │Academic and industrial│
 │  Hearings, reports,   │  feed, implements,    │  training             │
 │  findings, etc.       │  buildings            │Recreation             │
 │                       │                       │Religious and moral    │
 │Land Patents:          │Industries:            │  instruction          │
 │  Sales—P.             │Care of farm, stock,   │Employees—social       │
 │  Leasing              │  implements, methods, │  relations            │
 │  Negotiations, bonds, │  seed selection,      │Property               │
 │  rentals, reports,    │  meetings, etc.       │Supplies               │
 │  authorities, etc.    │                       │Outing system          │
 │                       │Health and Sanitation: ├───────────────────────┤
 │Individual Indian      │Care of home, premises,│                       │
 │  Money:               │  Matron, Farmer and   ├───────────────────────┤
 │  Banking, bonds of    │  Physician            │      Day School       │
 │  bank, authorities,   │                       ├───────────────────────┤
 │  disbursements,       │Law and Order:         ├───────────────────────┤
 │  reports, etc.        │Suppression liquor     │     Public School     │
 │  Industrial reports,  │  traffic, dances      ├───────────────────────┤
 │  statistics,          │  peyote feasts,       │     Amalgamation      │
 │  agricultural fairs,  │  customs, care of     ├───────────────────────┤
 │  etc.                 │  minors, etc.         │                       │
 │                       │                       │                       │
 │Finance:               │Forestry:              │                       │
 │  Agency and School    │Sale of timber,        │                       │
 │  funds,               │  permits, fires, etc. │                       │
 │  apportionments,      │                       │                       │
 │  disbursements,       │Irrigation:            │                       │
 │  reports, etc.        │                       │                       │
 │                       │Leasing:               │                       │
 │Purchases:             │Negotiations,          │                       │
 │  Advertisements,      │  improvements,        │                       │
 │  Vouchers, etc.       │  collection rentals,  │                       │
 │                       │  appraisement, etc.   │                       │
 │Property:              │                       │                       │
 │                       │Land:                  │                       │
 │Employees:             │Sales, appraisements,  │                       │
 │  Records, reports     │  allotments           │                       │
 │                       │                       │                       │
 │Tribal Funds,          │Construction:          │                       │
 │  Interest             │  Specifications,      │                       │
 │                       │  superintending       │                       │
 │                       │  construction,        │                       │
 │                       │  repairs, insuring    │                       │

The Indians are under the jurisdiction of the State of Maine. The
Penobscots own all the islands in the Penobscot River between Oldtown
and Millinockett. They are, for the most part, guides, farmers,
carpenters, clerks and lumbermen. Many of them earn excellent wages—from
$2 to $5 per day. I saw no evidences of poverty. The people are
intelligent and of good character. Consumption is not common, and
trachoma cases are rare.

The reason for the splendid condition of the Penobscot and Passamaquoddy
Indians should not be lost upon our officials and Indian Committees in
authority in Congress.

They have been surrounded by a high class of white people, and have been
left alone to develop and progress. While they have been protected by
the State of Maine, no discrimination has been made against them, as in
the case of Indians in Oklahoma, Minnesota, California and elsewhere.
They enjoy the same citizenship as is conferred upon Whites, and it does
not consist of “paper promises,” but is real and effective. Theirs is no
story of dishonesty and disease.

The past summer, while on an archaeological expedition on the St. John
River, I visited three villages occupied by Malecite Indians, in New
Brunswick, Canada. All of them are well situated, one at the mouth of
the Tobique River; another at Edmunston; and a third near Woodstock.
While these Indians are poor, there is no general pauperism, and their
general health is better than among the Indians I have visited in our
United States (exclusive of Maine).

In one respect the plans followed by the Canadian officials are superior
to ours, and evince more ability (or rather stability) in the handling
of the Indians. Instead of allotting these Indians, giving them deeds to
valuable property, permitting them to be swindled by unscrupulous white
persons, and then spending years in profitless litigation, in an attempt
to make grafters return property taken from the Indians, these Canadians
have continued the reservation system under a modified form. The Indians
own their tracts of land, as with us, but do not hold deeds, or trust
patents to same, therefore the lands cannot be sold or mortgaged; thus
the incentive to fraud is removed.

The Indians serve as farmers, guides, carpenters and fishermen. Most of
them are Catholics, and there is a priest located at the Tobique
village. He lives among them and encourages them in various arts.

The census gives a few Indians as residing in our eastern states, but
they are white people in every way, save color.

To discover the next body of Indians exceeding more than three or four
hundred, we must go down South where we find a few bands of Cherokees in
Swain and Jackson Counties, North Carolina; and scattered throughout
Tennessee, Georgia, and Alabama there are 1100 or 1200 residing on what
was originally a part of the habitat of this great nation.



  Lumber cut by Indians.


Some of the Iroquois still reside in western New York, notably in
settlements not far from Buffalo. These Indians, as in the case of the
North Carolina Cherokees, are chiefly mixed-bloods, have adopted our
customs, live in fairly comfortable houses and are in no need of
Government supervision. Among the Iroquois of New York, the percentage
of tuberculosis and other diseases was so low as to be practically nil.
In one of the recent Government reports it is given as but a fraction
over one per cent.

There has recently developed agitation seeking to break up their
reservation. This is most unfortunate, as the tracts are small; the
Indians are doing well and desire to be let alone. They deserve to
remain in peaceful possession of their old-time homes.

All of the remaining Indians east of the Mississippi, and south of the
Great Lakes need not enter into our discussion. Save for a noticeable
Indian color in the case of some individuals, the bulk of them have
ceased to be real Indians. The New York Iroquois, in recent times, have
made creditable progress in arts, and have produced a number of
prominent men and women. A large number of them serve in responsible
positions and so far as they are concerned there is no Indian problem.
We may, therefore, eliminate the eastern half of the United States, with
the exception of Wisconsin, Michigan and Florida.

In Florida we have the descendants of the Seminoles, estimated at 600,
and are an offshoot of the Creeks, or Muskokis. These still cling to
their ancient homes in the Everglades, and have withstood all attempts
to make of them either educated Indians or agency Indians. During Mr.
Leupp’s administration, he proposed to me that I go to Florida and spend
a winter cultivating the friendship of these Indians and see if it were
not possible to persuade them to send their children to school. I was
unable to carry this mission into effect, but I understand that recently
the Government sent a Special Agent there, who has compelled a number of
the children to attend school. The draining of the Everglades is now
well under way, and soon the hunting and fishing-grounds of these people
will be very much restricted. They have always been self-supporting and
they merit consideration, and should have our help. It is to be hoped
that before the ditching of the Everglades is completed, these Indians
will be properly provided for. This is a subject I would commend to the
attention of the Federal authorities.

In Wisconsin we have quite a large number of Indians at the present
time, located on reservations, or clustered about schools. These number
9,930, and Wisconsin ranks ninth in the entire country in point of
Indian population. Wisconsin is the first State, on our inspection tour
from the East to the West, wherein we find a large body of Indians still
in the transition period. They belong to the following bands:—the Ojibwa
(Chippewa), Menominee, Potawatomi, Oneida, Winnebago and a few others.
The Ojibwa are by far the most numerous, amounting to, approximately,
two-thirds of the entire number. Whether all of these five tribes
originally belonged in Wisconsin, is a question which may be deferred to
the ethnologist. We are treating of the State in recent times, as I have
previously remarked in this book. Therefore that great question—the
origin of these Indians and their presence in the State of Wisconsin—is
not our concern. They are here located at the present time, and, in
general, are making fair progress.

Honorable Edward E. Ayer, of the Board of Indian Commissioners, last
year, made an extended investigation of the timber problem confronting
the Menominee Indians. Mr. Ayer has kindly furnished me with an advance
copy of his report in order that I might present a synopsis. Seldom has
an investigation been conducted under more auspicious circumstances. Mr.
Ayer took with him a number of persons, including a practical lumberman
of wide experience. As the Menominee problem is one concerned with
timber, rather than land values, it was very important that the work be
thoroughly done. Mr. Ayer covered the entire reservation in his report.

“The Menominee Indians originally occupied the greater part of the State
of Wisconsin. They ranged from what is now the site of Milwaukee north
along the west shores of Lake Michigan to Menominee, North Michigan, and
west to the Wisconsin River and Black River. Along Green Bay and the Fox
River Valley were their principal settlements, and on the shores of
Green Bay they first met the white man, when Father Marquette, La Salle
and the first French descended the Great Lakes from the Canada
settlement on exploration voyages of early days. On the reservation at
Keshena is now the successor of the first French Mission established by
Marquette at Green Bay.

“A woods Indian, the Menominee was a striking figure, of generally six
feet and over in height, a giant in strength. Few in numbers when
compared with other great tribes, his bravery and fighting qualities
enabled him to hold his own with surrounding tribes, Potawatomies on the
south, Sauk and Fox and Winnebago on southwest, the great Dakota or
Sioux natives to west and Chippewa on the shore of Superior to the
north, and the Hurons to the east of them. Their word once given could
be relied upon. The French, English and American nations, each in turn,
made treaties with them and all were faithfully kept. The Menominee was
a peaceful nation, seldom the aggressor, but mighty in wrath, once
justified in taking the warpath. From early times these Indians have
been the white man’s friend. In our Civil War many soldiers were
recruited from their band, and today here exists the only Indian G. A.
R. Post in America. Their pursuits are farming, lumbering and
manufacture of lumber products. At Neopit is the seat of a large
milling-plant industry, capitalized for one million dollars. It has a
sawmill with an output of forty million feet yearly, a planing-mill of
twenty million capacity and carries a stock on hand of forty million
feet of lumber, also laths, shingles, etc. The town numbers about one
thousand men, women and children, and here may be seen the advanced
Indian living in his modern cottage surrounded with all the home
comforts of modern life and partaking of the same social enjoyments as
his white brother. A modern day school and a mission day school furnish
education to his children, as does town life social instruction to his
home, and the mill industrial education to himself and sons.



  A glimpse in one of the rooms of the Department of Domestic Art.
    Students making Uniforms and other dresses for school use.

“At Keshena is the seat of the Agency, head of administrative affairs,
and two large boarding-schools, Government and mission, with combined
capacity for 300 children. Scattered out from Keshena for a radius of
twelve miles is a scene of agricultural progress, Indian farmers whose
efforts vary from farms of 5 to 80 acres, cleared, fenced and in various
stages of improvement.



  In the 10,000–meter run at the Olympic Games in Stockholm Tewanima won
    second place. He is a full-blood Hopi Indian and is considered
    America’s greatest long-distant runner. Educated at Carlisle.



  World’s Champion All-Round Athlete, Winner of the Pentathlon and the
    Decathlon, Stockholm, 1912. Educated at Carlisle.

“The tribal funds on deposit in the Treasury of the United States are
approximately $2,000,000, gathered from fruits of their own toil and in
the sale of their timber products.

“The tribe numbers about 1700 souls. Statistics show about 575
able-bodied males, aged 18 years and over. Labor figures for the reserve
show of this number an average of 264 adult Indians continuously
employed the year round, earning in wages $91,630.47, not including
subsistence. The greatest value of the Neopit operations is as a school
of industry. Its value educationally, morally and civilly cannot be
measured in dollars and cents.”

Mr. Ayer found that the Government had erected a sawmill at Neopit. This
mill sawed Indian timber exclusively.

Some years ago the mill’s operations were not satisfactory, there being
extravagance in management. Since Mr. Nicholson was appointed, all of
this has been remedied, and after liberal deductions for all expenses,
the mill shows a profit of $443,176.17 to the Menominee Indians (from
July, 1910 to September 30, 1913). He found the mill employed a large
number of Indian men, while other Indians found employment working with
the logging crews in the woods. The mill served a double purpose. Not
only were the Indians employed and earned good wages, but they also
received the benefits of the mill’s earnings.

There is practically no poverty on the reservation, and little sickness.
The houses are clean and well kept.

Mr. Ayer’s exhaustive study of conditions led him to make several
recommendations, one or two of which I append herewith:—

“I recommend that two, four or six of the brightest young Indians on the
Reservation be sent to Wisconsin State College of Agriculture at Madison
to take a full course in forestry and scientific farming, that they may
come back to the reservation equipped to teach the Indians who have
elected to make farms.

“I would also recommend that there be a company or tribal store at
Neopit and a branch one at Keshena and that the goods shall be sold say
on a basis of 12½ or 15 per cent, which would make the stores absolutely
self-sustaining and the Indians would get the necessities of life much
cheaper. These stores should also carry a stock of the ordinary
agricultural tools that might be used and there should also be a bank,
say with forty or fifty thousand dollars capital connected with the
Neopit store, where the employees of the mill could get checks cashed.

“Now, if they want to buy anything extraordinary, an agricultural tool
or any other thing, or cash their check, they have got to go twenty
miles away to Shawano for the purpose, and they are subjected to all the
temptations of the outside towns. I think everything ought to be
supplied to the Indians on the reservation so that they would have as
little necessity of leaving it as possible.”

A complaint had gained circulation to the effect that the mill was
losing money and had been extravagantly managed. There were some grounds
for this five years ago, but not during the past three years. A certain
attorney, wishing to take over the management of tribal affairs, visited
the Indians and, calling their attention to a few logs here and there,
which had not been properly handled, persuaded the Indians to raise a
sum of money to pay his expenses to Washington. Here he made complaints
to the Commissioner and others. His presence on the reservation caused
dissatisfaction. Ayer’s investigation proved that the loss was nothing
compared with the great financial benefits accruing to the Indians,
through the mill’s operation.

I mention this at some length for the reason that Mr. Ayer’s report was
unjustly criticised by one or two persons who lent willing ears to the
self-seeking attorney.

His report covers all questions relating to farming, education, health,
and the sale of timber to better advantage. The mill is a model of
efficiency, conserves the Indians’ timber to the tribe’s best interest,
and similar mills should be conducted on other reservations.

The amount of timber remaining to be cut is variously estimated at from
1,500,000,000 to 2,000,000,000 feet. It will thus be observed that the
Menominee Indians are possessed of a very valuable property. The
authorities should heed Mr. Ayer’s suggestions, coming as they do, from
a practical timber man of many years’ experience.

The greatest tracts of timber (aside from Menominee) are on Chippewa
lands at Bad River and La Pointe. Some are exceedingly valuable. I
addressed the Department and received assurance that the Commissioner
was aware of the dangers of a “second White Earth.” The following
official communication (in part) is evidence that these Indians will be

“Under the treaty of September 30, 1854 (10 Stats. L., 1109), 1063
Indians within the La Pointe or Bad River Reservation, Wisconsin, have
been allotted a total area of 8,387,068 acres. Approximately 45,000
acres of surplus tribal land remain, authority for the allotment of
which exists in the Act of February 11, 1901 (31 Stats. L., 766), as
amended by the Act of March 2, 1907 (34 Stats. L., 1217). Nothing is
said in these acts about the allotment of timber lands and the remaining
tribal lands within this reservation are very valuable for timber
purposes, some of the eighty-acre tracts being estimated to yield
approximately $30,000 for the timber alone. Other tracts containing but
little timber are not desirable and an equitable division of the lands
in allotment cannot be made under existing conditions.

“Two factions exist in the tribe, one in favor of allotting under
existing laws and the other in favor of selling the timber, distributing
the proceeds per capita and thereafter allotting the lands to the
unallotted Indians belonging on this reservation.

“Appended hereto is the part of the Office file relating to this
allotment correspondence, particularly the submission to the Department
of the request for authority to procure agreements from the Indians to
allot the lands under the existing laws with the understanding that the
timber should be cut and sold for the benefit of the tribe at large.”
(File omitted in this book.)

For several years there have been extensive cuttings of pine timber on
the reservations at Bad River, Lac du Flambeau, Lac Courte Oreille, and
Fond du Lac. The total amount cut on each of these reservations was as
follows: Bad River, 57,183,770 feet; Lac du Flambeau, 23,049,110 feet;
Lac Courte Oreille, 4,268,050 feet; Fond du Lac, 13,128,775 feet. All of
this timber was cut on allotments except 12,068,620 feet cut from
unpatented lands of the Lac du Flambeau Reservation, claimed by the
State of Wisconsin as swamp lands, and 56,955 feet cut from tribal lands
of the Bad River Reservation.

A number of circular letters were addressed by me to persons living in
Wisconsin, requesting information as to the condition of the Indians. It
is known that not only is there vocational training in the schools, but
also more or less higher educational training. One of my correspondents,
a missionary, takes the view that there has been too much higher
education of Indian children in his State, and it would be far better to
confine the work to the teaching of trades and give no book instruction
beyond the fundamentals. He thinks that the average Indian when educated
beyond this point, is not willing to take his place as an ordinary
workman. Another gentleman, while expressing satisfaction with much that
has been done, sums up the situation in the particular Indian community
in which he resides as follows: “Too much red tape.”

The progress of these Indians while slow, is satisfactory. They do not
present a sufficiently interesting problem for our study at the present
time. It is safe to predict that within a generation, a full-blood
Indian in Wisconsin will be a rarity. They may continue to live an
indefinite length of time in various communities where they are now
settled, but Government supervision (save possibly on the Menominee
reservation) may be safely withdrawn in the near future.

In Michigan the larger number of Indians are Chippewa (Ojibwa), with a
sprinkling of Ottawa and Potawatomi. Schools care for a majority of
their children, and the adults are, for the most part, quite
self-supporting. They may be dismissed from our pages.

Proceeding westward to the headquarters of the Mississippi, we have the
great Minnesota region which is generally covered in my four chapters
upon White Earth reservation. West of the Mississippi River, there are
very few Indians in that great area of Texas (but 702), and in Iowa,
Missouri, Arkansas and Louisiana; the numbers range from 313 to 780.
These areas may be set aside as containing such a preponderance of white
population as to render those of Indian blood an extreme minority. Of
the mountain states, Colorado contains but 870 Indians, Wyoming 1715,
and the others 4,000 to 11,000. The great Indian populations are,
therefore, confined to nine states. Ten states contain from 800 to
8,000. The remaining twenty-nine contain but a fraction of the entire
Indian body, and they are now more white than Indian.

Texas, in spite of its enormous size, is interesting in that but a
handful of Indians are in evidence. In 1850 the Indian population was
considerable. Nelson Lee’s book of captivity among the Comanches[8]
gives an idea of the extent of the roving bands of Comanches and Apaches
infesting the State in early days. The hostility of the Texas people was
such that through the organization of the famous Texas Rangers those
Indians were either driven out of the State or exterminated. Very little
consideration was shown them, and I can find no evidence of any general
effort being put forward to protect these Indians in their rights or
place them upon reservations or establish schools among them. Our troops
were frequently sent into Texas, and as late as 1875, roving bands of
Indians infested the western part of the State and carried on raids into
old Mexico, or stole stock from Texas ranches. As to the number of
Indians in the State of Texas just prior to the Civil War, there seems
to be no reliable statistics.

The Texas tribes were of the general Caddoan stock, of which the
Comanche appear to have been the largest and strongest branch. These
Indians ranged through the valleys of the Brazos and Colorado and
extended their conquests to the land of the Apache, along the Rio
Grande, to the west. They were essentially buffalo Indians and were not
agriculturalists, but presented the purest nomadic type found in the
southwest. This must not be misunderstood. The Navaho are nomadic to a
certain extent, but their range has been limited. Moreover they possess
flocks and herds. There is no evidence that the Comanche ever
domesticated sheep, goats, and cattle, although they frequently obtained
stock in their raids against the Texans. As they were continually on the
move following the buffalo in its migrations, or planning war parties
against the white people and Mexicans alike, they were pure nomads, as
stated above.

Years ago, during the height of Indian troubles in Texas, a law was
passed expelling red men from that State. Indians entering the State
were subjected to fine, imprisonment or expulsion. The feeling against
the race was very bitter, and Indians in Texas never received just

A few of them were, in later years, taken to Indian Territory, but most
of the Comanches, it is safe to affirm, were killed in action. Although
the Texas rangers were superiorly armed and better mounted, the Apaches
continued their warfare from the earliest times down to about 1870, when
their power was permanently broken. They were very cruel and vindictive.
Nelson Lee’s narrative, to which I have referred, is one of the most
interesting Indian captivities ever brought to my attention. It presents
a vivid picture of the Comanche as they were during the period preceding
our war with Mexico.


The Ojibwa commonly known as Chippewa, constitute one of the great
divisions of the Algonkin stock. We shall have much to say concerning
their ethnology, in a subsequent volume. But following the scope
accepted for this book, we shall treat of the Ojibwa as one of the great
Indian tribes (numerically), at the present time and one much “advanced”
along the white man’s trail.

The year 1850 found the Ojibwa, or Chippewa, Indians located as they are
at the present time, with some exceptions. A few in Wisconsin and on the
shores of Lake Superior; some at Turtle Mountain in North Dakota, but
most of them living in the State of Minnesota at Leech Lake, White
Earth, Red Lake and Cass Lake. The number of these Indians in the year
1851 was about 28,000. In 1884 the entire number is given as 16,000. In
1905, the “Handbook of American Indians” estimates that there are 15,000
in British America and 17,144 in the United States.

Those who wish to trace the migrations, and study the interesting
customs and folklore of these people would do well to consult an
interesting book written by an Ojibwa, Mr. William W. Warren. The
manuscript of this work was prepared between 1850 and 1853. Warren’s
mother was three-fourths Ojibwa and his father a white man. He died of
tuberculosis June 1, 1853, and the Minnesota Historical Society did not
publish his history of the nation until 1885. Clearly, Warren was the
most prominent of later-day Ojibwa; he had served in the Minnesota
Legislature, and he was possessed of a brilliant mind and would
doubtless have made his mark in the world had he lived.

In the early ’50’s and ’60’s a few of the fur companies still did
business in northern Minnesota. It was no uncommon sight to see the “Red
River ox carts” bringing supplies into northern Minnesota, or carrying
loads of furs to the nearest Hudson Bay post, in the Red River valley to
the north. The Ojibwa came in contact with the French-Canadian element
during the activities of the fur trade, and had little in common with,
or met few Americans, until white settlers from the East increased in
numbers in the State of Minnesota.

While this and the succeeding chapter are confined chiefly to White
Earth, a description of Leech Lake and Red Lake reservations should not
be omitted.



  Registrar of the United States Treasury.

The Ojibwa Indians living on Red Lake have not been allotted, but hold
their land in common. The pine timber possessed by them is valued at
several million dollars. Most of the cabins are grouped about the shores
of Red Lake, and the Indians while not well-to-do, are far from
pauperism. It has not been necessary to ration them as in the case of
White Earth, where the Superintendent, Major John R. Howard, last winter
fed 762 Indians. The reasons for this are set forth in succeeding pages.

The Ojibwa at Leech Lake have valuable white pine, but this has been cut
under Government supervision and the dreadful scandals occurring at
White Earth have been avoided. At Leech Lake, Red Lake, and Cass Lake,
the Indians live by working in the lumber camps, agriculture, fishing,
and some serve in other branches of industry. They have, however,
depended entirely too much upon interest payments made by the
Government. Much of the educating, training and support of these Indians
is paid for by the interest accruing to the Indian on a fund of several
million dollars in the United States Treasury and belonging to the
Ojibwa of Minnesota. It has been pointed out by other observers, and
emphasized in addresses at Lake Mohonk and elsewhere, that this fund is
a curse rather than a blessing. The mixed-blood element, controlled by a
few shrewd French-Canadians, wish to secure possession of it; attorneys
are attracted by its presence; the young men and women, in some cases,
will not work since they expect to be supported out of the fund. It
should be divided up per capita among the Indians. The Government should
control, or supervise, the portions belonging to Indians known to be
incompetent or drunkards, and instead of paying them money, give them
groceries and clothing until their portion of the fund is exhausted.
Councils should be called on all reservations, or at central points, on
allotment groups, and the Indians made to understand that with the
payment of this money, responsibility on the part of the United States
ceases,—excepting in the case of incompetents, referred to above.

With the dreadful lesson of White Earth, staring everyone in the face,
it is incomprehensible that Red Lake should be allotted, and the timber
issued to the Indians. Yet there was a determined effort to bring about
such a result, and it was only through opposition of the Indian Office,
and Inspector E. B. Linnen and others that the steal was prevented.

The Indians live in frame and log dwellings. The birch-bark wigwam is
rare—save for summer residence. Ordinary “store clothes” are worn by all
persons. The birch-bark canoe still persists, and there are some
survivals of ancient customs. Such a majority of the people speak
English and live like the lower classes of Caucasians, that the bands
may be considered less Indian than the Sioux, and much less primitive
than the Navaho. The photographs prove this statement.

Let us look backward and compare conditions of the ’80’s and of

Rev. Joseph A. Gilfillan was a missionary in northern Minnesota for
twenty-five years. He became entirely familiar with the Ojibwa language
and spoke it fluently. He is a quiet, modest man. The Indians told me of
numbers of heroic actions on his part during the twenty-five years he
labored in and about White Earth reservation. During the spring of one
year, when the ice on the lake was breaking up, two white men were in a
most perilous situation, and although there were larger and stronger men
standing about, no one would venture out to save the lives of the
unfortunates. Gilfillan went out—although he frequently broke through
the ice—and managed to bring both men ashore.



  Built and formerly occupied by Rev. James Gilfillan as a school. Now
    used as Government School.

On another occasion, he was held up by several armed men, sent out by
the mixed-blood and French-Canadian element, who opposed his missionary
labors. In fact, one of the men presented a gun and threatened to shoot
him if he continued in his determination to preach to the Indians that
Sunday. The above incidents (and more could be related) give an idea of
the character of this worthy man. He has never been engaged in any of
the disputes regarding the deplorable situation among the Minnesota
Ojibwa, and it required considerable urging on my part to persuade him
to testify before the Congressional Investigation Committee of which
Honorable James Graham was Chairman.

Rev. Gilfillan, largely at his own expense, built splendid schoolhouses,
missions and chapels at Pine Point, White Earth and Twin Lakes. His
mission was successful and he had at one time several hundred Indians in
attendance in both school and church, and a corps of efficient workers.
I think it is correct to state that there were more church members on
White Earth reservation during Gilfillan’s administration than at the
present time. Certainly the moral tone was far above that which obtains
today. It is sad to relate that Gilfillan’s missions were discontinued,
and the buildings where he devoted so many years of unselfish labor were
taken over by the United States Government at far less than their actual

Rev. Gilfillan’s statement made to me, and accepted by the Congressional
Committee[9] and published in their report is as follows:—

                                       WASHINGTON, D. C., DEC. 9, 1910

  “Hon. Warren K. Moorehead,
        Andover, Mass.

  “My dear Sir: Your favor of 8th instant has just reached me, and it
  gives me pleasure to answer your inquiries. The first is, ‘While
  there was much suffering when you were missionary at White Earth,
  Pine Point, Twin Lakes, etc., is it not your opinion that there was
  less swindling than at the present time?’

  “In answer I would say that I do not consider there was any
  suffering at all to speak of from June, 1873, when I went there,
  till along toward 1898, when I left. The Indians raised garden
  produce; many had fine fields of wheat. They could gather all the
  wild rice they wanted to; fish were abundant. Some of the men made
  two or three hundred dollars by the muskrat hunt each spring. They
  made a good deal by furs. Some hunters killed as many as forty deer
  in a winter. They made maple sugar. They had all the berries they
  could gather. From all these varied sources they made a good living.
  They had unlimited fuel at their doors. They were rent free. I have
  heard people say, and I believe it, that there was not nearly so
  much poverty or suffering as in a white city, where the poor have
  only one resource—wages. If they had wished to raise a little more
  vegetables, as potatoes, corn, etc., they could have lived on the
  fat of the land. They were in those days happy, peaceful, and
  contented communities. To the above-enumerated sources of income of
  theirs I omitted to mention that there passed through my hands for
  them, given by the Episcopal mission, more than $130,000 in money
  for all imaginable purposes—from spectacles to building churches for
  them and supporting their children in schools. There were several
  thousand dollars’ worth of clothing sent me for them by charitable
  people. There was no crime during the twenty-five years I was there,
  although for many years there was not even Indian police. There was
  no instance of holdup or robbery, not to speak of greater offenses.
  Life and property were absolutely safe—far safer than in any white
  community I know. None of them would ever have thought of molesting
  anyone. They were in those days happy, peaceful, harmless people. As
  to how the present state contrasts with that, you have been out
  there lately and know better than I.

  “As to your second question, whether there was less swindling than
  at the present time, I would say that then there was none at all.
  The Indians had no lands to sell; no property of any kind except
  their little patches of gardens, their little furs, wild rice, etc.
  There was nothing to tempt the cupidity of the white man. As to how
  that contrasts with the present, you have been out there and know
  better than I.

  “But I ought to qualify this by saying that for some years in the
  nineties there was a great deal of swindling from them unwittingly
  perpetrated by the Government, for an account of which I refer you
  to my inclosed printed statement made to Mohonk Conference in 1898,
  which you will find on Page 13 of the inclosed pamphlet. And that
  you may know that the statements made therein are true, I may inform
  you that the then Commissioner of Indian Affairs, Hon. William
  Jones, who went to the ground and personally investigated, endorsed
  upon that statement: ‘I find that the statements herein made by Mr.
  Gilfillan are in the main correct.’ This indorsement does not appear
  on the copy I send you, but is on other copies. To briefly specify
  the heads under which this swindling was done: it was; First, by
  billeting upon them three Chippewa commissioners at $39 a day for
  the three, making with their clerks, etc., $88 a day, the Indians
  said; said commissioners being mostly politicians out of a job, and
  their positions almost sinecures. Secondly, by repeated farcical
  ‘estimating’ of their pine; three several ‘estimations’ (pretended),
  covering a period of perhaps nine years; two of said estimations
  costing $360,000, and then done dishonestly in the interests of
  those who bought the pine, whereas the real worth of the work, done
  honestly, was only $6,000. Thirdly, by cutting green pine, but
  paying for it as ‘dead and down’ pine, so getting for it
  seventy-five cents a thousand instead of five dollars a thousand.
  But most destructive of all was the swindling done by fire; the
  timber being fired to allow of its being cut as ‘dead and down’ and
  paid for at seventy-five cents a thousand instead of five dollars.
  It was a pitiful sight to see those magnificent pine forests, where
  I used to ride for seventy miles on a stretch through great pine
  woods, shapely and tall, the trees reaching up, it seemed, 100 feet,
  that, like the buffalo, could never be replaced, now all blackened
  and scarred, killed and dead. The glory of the State of Minnesota
  was gone when in the nineties her magnificent pine forests that
  covered so large an area of her northern part were fired to get the
  Indians’ pine for seventy-five cents a thousand.

  “Now, as to your next question, whether there was more drinking
  among the Indians then than now. I am glad to say that for many
  years after 1873, when I first knew them, there was, one may say, no
  drinking among the Indians. The mixed-bloods, who were mostly
  French-Canadian mixed bloods, always drank a little, but the Indians
  were remarkably free from it. The White Earth Indians lived
  twenty-two miles from the railroad, the nearest place where they
  could get liquor; they were almost that distance from the nearest
  white men. The Red Lake Indians were one hundred miles from the
  railroad, the Cass Lake one hundred, the Leech Lake seventy miles.
  They were almost as far from any white men, except the Government
  employees and the missionaries. So they were secluded from the white
  man and his vices. But the great reason of their immunity was the
  missions. The influence of the Gospel and the church in their
  secluded position kept them safe. It is no reflection on the White
  Earth Indians to say that in the place from which they had been
  removed in 1868—Crow Wing—they had fallen most dreadfully under the
  dominion of the ‘firewater,’ both men and women. They were in a most
  dreadful state of degradation from that cause. But never was the
  power of the Gospel more signally shown than in their cleansing and
  renovation on the White Earth reservation. I never saw a drunken
  Indian nor even one that I thought had tasted liquor. They had
  become communicants of the church, had their family prayers, their
  weekly prayer meetings from house to house, where they exhorted each
  other to steadfastness in the Christian life. What had such a people
  to do with liquor? Some of them, who at Crow Wing had been in the
  lowest depths, told me that they had not tasted liquor in twenty
  years, others for other periods; and I know they told the truth.
  Among all the chiefs, numbering perhaps twenty, on White Earth
  Reservation, there was just one who drank, and he, I am informed,
  had the liquor supplied to him by a mixed-blood, who, in payment,
  got him to swing the Indians to his schemes.



  “But into this fair garden of temperance Satan drew his shining
  trail and toward the last years of my residence there sadly marred
  it. It was found that much money could be made out of Indians
  drinking, and it soon grew up into a most profitable industry. It
  came about in this way: Congress, as everybody knows, passed a law
  that liquor should not be sold or given to Indians. A set of men
  arose who saw the money there was in that; they arrested Indians who
  had taken a drink, or as witnesses, took them to St. Paul or Duluth,
  fiddled with them a little, and then presented a bill of $400, I
  believe, to the Government for each Indian, which money was paid,
  and they divided it up among them. The Indians had all the whisky
  they wanted while under the care of these deputy marshals, as they
  were called; they kept drunk while with them, and they brought
  plenty of liquor home with them to the reservations when they
  returned. They did not want to stop the Indians drinking; they
  encouraged it; the more drinking the more cases and the more money
  for them. This was found so profitable that it grew to a monstrous
  height. Once they had, it was said, every adult male Indian on the
  White Earth Reservation in St. Paul in whisky cases, a distance of,
  say 240 miles, and for every one of these men they got perhaps $400.
  The most of the deputy marshals who made the arrests were
  French-Canadian mixed-bloods of the lowest character, nearly all of
  whom openly and frankly drank themselves, though in the eyes of the
  law Indians like the Indians they arrested; and a high official of
  the United States Government told the writer that one of those
  half-breeds made $5,000 a year out of it, as much, perhaps, as the
  salaries of the members of the Cabinet of the United States
  Government. How many hundreds of thousands of dollars or how many
  millions they got out of the Government by this swindle under the
  form of law it would be interesting to know. Some of those
  mixed-bloods worked that gold mine for eighteen years. The loss of
  so much money to the Government was pitiful, but not half so pitiful
  as the terrible demoralization of the Indians by the operations of
  those men. Here again the good intentions of the Government in
  passing that law, that liquor must not be given or sold to Indians,
  was turned into death and destruction to them, and became most
  bitter gall in its carrying out by the agents of the Government to
  enrich themselves.

  “So the answer to your question as to whether the Indians drank more
  then or now must be that in the early years after 1873, when there
  was just one honest white deputy marshal named Nichols, they drank
  practically none at all, most of them never tasting it for years;
  but that later, after the swarm of mixed-blood deputy marshals
  arose, there was much drinking under the manipulation of those men,
  restrained, however, by their very great lack of money, for at that
  time none of them had got any.

  “As to your other question, namely, the relative healthfulness of
  the Indians then and now, I would say that there was always much
  tuberculosis among them, owing to their crowding into one-room
  cabins, heated very hot in the winter, without ventilation; and if
  there was one tubercular patient, that one was spitting over
  everything, so that if there was one sick in a family he or she
  almost necessarily communicated the infection to everyone who was
  infectible. They say that formerly, when they lived practically in
  the open air, winter and summer, in their birch-bark wigwams, though
  in a 40–degrees-below-zero temperature in winter, and lived on a
  flesh diet, that consumption was unknown among them; but in the
  transition state, when shut up in the one-room cabin, living on salt
  pork and heavy bread, and in many other unsanitary ways, the ravages
  of consumption have been serious. Whether worse now than in the days
  from 1873 to 1898 I do not know. I only remember a few who had sore
  eyes, which I suppose was trachoma, in those days.

  “Believe me, very respectfully yours,

                                                     “J. A. GILFILLAN”

There has always been a conflict between the full-bloods and
mixed-bloods of Minnesota, and especially at White Earth reservation.
This dates from the migration of a number of mixed-blood Indians
(chiefly French-Canadian) from Canada. They have caused no end of
trouble, and by clever manoeuvering dominated the councils.

The favorite chief of the entire Ojibwa nation was Hole-in-the-Day. He
became war chief in 1846. The Indians talk of him even at the present
day, and the story of Ojibwa, presented towards the end of this book,
will be found of interest in this connection.

The Indians told me, during the investigation of 1909, who were
responsible for the murder of this fine old chief, but they were
unwilling to testify, fearing the vengeance of the French-Canadian
element. The following interesting communication, from one in authority,
clears up the murder of Hole-in-the-Day, and explains the hostility
between the scheming mixed-bloods, and the honest, although ignorant



“During the summer of 1912 Mr. James T. Shearman was detailed by the
Honorable Secretary of the Interior to secure testimony concerning the
eighty-six mixed-blood Indians suspended from the White Earth rolls. At
this hearing certain testimony was given that may be of interest to you,
as it explains the assassination of the then head chief of all the
Chippewas, Hole-in-the-Day, who was killed at Crow Wing by a party of
Leech Lake Indians in 1886. At this hearing an old, blind Indian
testified that Clement Beaulieu, father of Gus Beaulieu, Albert
Fairbanks, uncle of Ben Fairbanks, and certain other mixed-bloods
employed him and other Indians then living at Leech Lake to go to Crow
Wing and kill Chief Hole-in-the-Day, agreeing to pay the Indians $2000
for the deed. They went to Crow Wing and killed him according to
agreement. Later, when the mixed-bloods refused to pay the price agreed
upon, they organized another party and came to White Earth, intending to
kill Beaulieu and certain other mixed-blood families. Upon their arrival
here they were induced by the present Head Chief, Me-zhuck-ke-ge-shig,
who was related to one of the party, to return to Leech Lake. After this
old, blind Indian finished his story, Me-zhuck-ke-ge-shig, now about
ninety years of age, went upon the stand and confirmed the testimony of
the former witness. Mr. Shearman’s report is probably on file in the
Secretary’s office, and I am informed that a brief of the testimony was
made by Mr. E. C. O’Brien of the Department of Justice, and you can
probably obtain a copy of the same.

“Since Mr. Shearman was here on the matter referred to, I have been
furnished additional testimony concerning the killing of
Hole-in-the-Day. It appears that the party left Leech Lake under the
pretext of going hunting, there being nine in the party, and that only
four of them were in the plot to kill Hole-in-the-Day. When they got to
the Crow Wing country May-dway-we-mind said: “Hole-in-the-Day dies
today.” Later, they met him about a mile and a half from the Crow Wing
Agency at a branch of the two roads, where he was killed. After the deed
was done, one of the party named Ay-nah-me-ay-gah-bow asked why he had
been killed. The answer was that they were told to do it and that there
was a reward for killing him, that each one of the party was to get a
thousand dollars and a nice house built for him, and the one who shot
first was to take Hole-in-the-Day’s place as Head Chief. The man who
asked the first question also asked who offered the reward and he was
told that Clement Beaulieu (father of Gus H. Beaulieu), Albert Fairbanks
(uncle of Ben L. Fairbanks), ——[10] with others, were the men.

“Me-zhuck-ke-gwon-abe or Jim Bassett also stated that about four years
after the killing he came with May-dway-we-mind, Num-ay-we-ne-nee,
Way-zow-e-ko-nah-yay, O-didh-quay-ge-shig and Day-dah-tub-aun-gay to
White earth for the money that had been offered as a reward and which
they did not obtain.

“It is a matter of history that Hole-in-the-Day was opposed to the
admission of the mixed-bloods to this reservation and that he was killed
at their instigation, and there has been irrepressible friction between
these Indians ever since.”


Footnote 8:

  Three Years Among the Comanches; Albany, 1859.

Footnote 9:

  Hearings before a subcommittee of the Committee on Expenditures in the
  Interior Department, House of Representatives. House Resolutions, 103,
  March 6, 1912.

Footnote 10:

  Name omitted.


Judge Marsden C. Burch, representing the Attorney General of the United
States (Department of Justice) before the Committee on Expenditures in
the Interior Department, House of Representatives, went into modern
Ojibwa history at great length. The hearings began July 25, 1911, and
continued through March 27, 1912. The testimony lies before me, and it
fills 2,759 pages. It would be well nigh impossible for readers to
consult this enormous bulk of evidence submitted by several hundred
witnesses. He found, as have others, that they moved into Minnesota from
the head of Lake Superior some seventy years ago. About 1868 the White
Earth reservation was established, and the following bands were located
at White Earth, Leech Lake, Red Lake, and Cass Lake in Minnesota: the
Mississippi; the Otter Tails; the Pillagers; and a few Indians still
claiming they belonged to the Lake Superior band and the Fond du Lac
band. The White Earth reservation consisted of thirty-six townships, or
829,440 acres. The population in 1909 was 5,300; about 700 full-bloods
and 4,600 mixed-bloods. Those who have traveled over it will agree with
Judge Burch’s statement.

“I have never seen a more beautiful stretch of territory than that
embraced in the present White Earth reservation. It contained lakes and
streams, prairies and forests, timber enough of white pine originally
there to build all the elegant buildings that might have been needed for
centuries to come, of the most valuable character—timber which now
converted into lumber would be worth in the open market, ranging by
various grades, from $35 to $110 per thousand feet, board measure. It is
hard wood, ample for fuel and all kinds of purposes. There were marshes
and lakes wherein they could fish, and whereon they could hunt and
gather wild rice for their sustenance; and the richest of prairie lands
imaginable, high, rolling, healthy—everything that could be desired for
the last stand of a great race.”

On January 8, 1912, Judge Burch made a longer speech which reviews the
entire political and Departmental history of White Earth.[11] Some
readers may wish to know a little concerning the legal procedures by
which Indians are dispossessed. We will, therefore, take White Earth as
an example, and omit the discussion of similar troubles elsewhere. I
present about a fourth of his address.



In 1869, the Nelson Act was passed. This provided for the collecting of
scattered Ojibwa from ten localities and concentrating them at White
Earth, Red Lake and Leech Lake. Judge Burch enters into a lengthy
discussion of how the Nelson Act was followed by a bill introduced by
Senator Clapp, and that in January, 1904, Representative Steenerson of
Minnesota introduced another bill. Of this the Judge says:—

“Under the terms of this Steenerson Act each Indian who had received an
allotment on the White Earth Reservation or was entitled thereto should
have an additional allotment sufficient to make the original and
additional total 160 acres, provided that if there should not be enough
land for 160 acres each, the additional allotments should contain only
so much land as could be allotted by dividing the total remaining
allotable land by the number of eligible allottees.

“We expect to show that of this White Earth Reservation there was an
area of lake surface aggregating 59,731.24 acres; also that there is
claimed as swamp land going to the State as part of its quota under the
organic law of Congress 26,658.15 acres. The allotments additional under
the Steenerson Act were made by one Simon Michelet, the White Earth
Indian Superintendent, or Agent, at that time. By omitting the two items
of lake land and State swamp land from consideration, he figured that
there was sufficient territory practically to furnish each allottee the
full 160 acres of land, and thus he proceeded to allot to those who
first came to be served the total of 160 acres; of course, including all
the valuable pine upon the reservation.

“We expect to show that those who were thus favored by these complete
additional allotments were largely composed of persons who could be
handled in the matter of purchase of the timber by the representatives
of the lumber companies that had procured the greater portion of the
timber in the four townships. Large numbers of persons eligible to
additional allotments, but who came later, were denied the same because
there was no land left for them, there being 31,516.88 acres lacking. It
will thus be seen that the so-called additional allotment under Michelet
was a fraud upon the rights of from 400 to 500 Indians who were
absolutely left out in the cold. In addition to this, it would seem that
the allotments made included the 59,000 odd acres of lake land, thus
increasing the fraud upon those who were not favored with pine in these
additional allotments. The allotment was, of course, in direct violation
of the Steenerson Act itself. It is a matter of question whether those
who had knowledge of and participated in the benefits arising from these
illegal allotments can not be yet reached by a court of equity and they
compelled to account for their misdeeds.

                  *       *       *       *       *

“No machinery for carrying into effect the Clapp amendment was provided
therein, and thus it remained to be determined who were and who were not
adults of the mixed-blood and freed from restraint as to alienation. The
result was that designing persons rushed in and obtained deeds and
mortgages indiscriminately; that is, from children of the mixed-blood
and adults of the full-blood the same as adults of the mixed-blood. In
all of these they were accustomed to recite the competency of the
Indian, and attached to the deed in each case they usually secured what
purported to be the affidavit of two persons that the allottee was an
adult Indian of the mixed blood, which affidavits were ordinarily passed
with the deed in making mesne conveyances or in recording in the proper
county recording office. In connection with these transactions we shall
be able to demonstrate to the committee that every variety of fraudulent
schemes and devices which would occur naturally to acute minds was
resorted to to defraud the Indians. The taking of these deeds in
violation of law from minors of the mixed-blood and from full-bloods
eventuated in the action of the Government in requiring the Department
of Justice to file about 1,200 bills in equity to remove the clouds from
the titles to lands thus unlawfully obtained.

“Following upon the sudden acquirement of money by persons in some
respects less fitted to handle the same and make proper use of it than
white children of tender years, there came a condition of affairs which
we expect to demonstrate to the committee as most deplorable and
shameful, a stain upon the fair fame of a great and enlightened State.
Saloons ran wide open. Cheap and tawdry articles were sold at
extravagant prices. The Indians were overreached, and the money they had
obtained from selling or mortgaging their lands or timber was coaxed
from them in exchange for objects of little or no value, but of supposed
utility—such as decrepit horses, defective vehicles, unmanageable sewing
machines, and even pianos of little worth. A perfect frenzy of
drunkenness characterized many who took their way to the neighboring
town of Detroit, and encamped in its vicinity, and practically the same
conditions occurred in the hamlets along the Soo Road. The land-shark,
passing under the more dignified title of real-estate agent, was
everywhere in evidence, and the money-loaning shark, posing under the
more dignified business appellation of banker, was engaged in
over-reaching the Indian right and left.

                  *       *       *       *       *

“From the close of 1906 or 1907, when isolated transactions were going
on, the fiercest of the fraud and debauchery had subsided, till the
summer of 1909 a condition like that of the quiet which succeeds a
prolonged intoxication occurred. The Indians had mainly, in one form or
another, parted with their heritage and in most instances, had suffered
severely from the result. Poverty, sickness, a sense of mortification
and loss at the hands of the white men pervaded their minds and
depressed their spirits. The pine again, as in the case of the four
townships, by clean-cut lines of apparent division had shown up in the
ownership and possession as to certain territory (and this the largest
and most valuable part) of the Nichols-Chisolm Lumber Co.—pine reputed
in extent to be of the amount of 150,000,000 feet.



  Rice River, White Earth, Minn., 1909.

“Pine in another clean-cut and well-defined territory, reputed to amount
to about 50,000,000 feet, was found to be in the possession and under
the control of the Park Rapids Lumber Co.; and in still another section,
equally well defined in its boundary line, a reputed 50,000,000 feet was
controlled by the Wild Rice Lumber Co. Likewise the best of the
agricultural lands had fallen into the hands of, or under the control
of, the so-called bankers at the hamlets before mentioned, and certain
men of great wealth and influence resident in the city of Duluth, as
well as in St. Paul and Minneapolis.

                  *       *       *       *       *

“The first result of the treaties of 1889 was the saddling upon the
Chippewas of an allotting commission of three members and a large
retinue of subordinates. The expense of this commission was $88 a day,
and the work that the commission and its subordinates accomplished could
doubtless have easily been done by an allotting clerk at $1,000 a year.
Besides this commission many other white officials were sent to the
reservations, ostensibly to supervise the cutting of the timber and on
many other pretexts, for all of which the Indians had to pay. A corps of
estimators, each drawing $6 a day of the Indians’ money, was appointed
to estimate the pine on the Red Lake Reservation. Fraud having been
discovered in making this estimate, a new corps of estimators, numbering
about twenty-six, was appointed to do the work over again. Each of the
new corps also received $6 per day of the Indians’ money.

“The new corps proved to be grossly incompetent. They were always well
supplied with whiskey and drank heavily. They spent most of their time
in towns fifteen or twenty miles distant from the pine they were sent to
estimate. Some of the interlopers were members of this corps of
examiners, and, though they absented themselves for long periods of
time, they still drew their pay. It has been asserted that the total
cost to the Indians of these two corps of estimators was $350,000 and
that the real value of their work was about $6,000; that in many cases
the pine had been underestimated in the interest of the purchasers. The
second corps of estimators were likewise discharged and a third corps
appointed to go over the work previously done. Like the celebrated case
of Jarndice v. Jarndice, it seems that after all the proceedings were
over, although the pine alone on the reservations, exclusive of that on
the White Earth Reservation, was supposed to be worth from $25,000,000
to $50,000,000, there would be little or nothing left but heirs.
Although an Indian entitled to a share of the immense value of these
lands and forests might be starving to death, he could not procure two
cents from his great wealth to buy a pound of flour.

“While the proceeds from the sale of the pine was thus being squandered,
the Indians were also being defrauded by the loggers and lumbermen who
were purchasing the timber. By the conspiracy at the Crookston sale in
1900, the Indians doubtless lost several thousand dollars, and by the
fraudulent operations under the so-called ‘dead and down’ act, they lost
even a greater sum.

“Another source of complaint on the part of the real Indians of
Minnesota is the payment of annuities to persons whom the Indians
contend are not members of their tribe, and whose names are not properly
upon the tribal rolls, and who consequently had no rights thereto.

“Another grievance of which the real Indians bitterly complain and which
was the immediate cause of the outbreak of the Pillagers in 1898,
resulting in the killing of a major and six soldiers of the United
States Army, and the wounding of many others, was the conduct of certain
mixed-blood deputy marshals, several of whom it is claimed by the
Indians were persons who had improperly been placed upon their tribal
rolls. These deputy marshals originated and developed, as we shall
expect to show, a system of arresting and transporting to St. Paul,
Duluth, and Detroit various members of the tribe, charging them either
with bringing whiskey upon the reservation or with some other like
offense. We expect to show that the purpose of these mixed-blood deputy
marshals was to secure fees for making such arrests and for bringing
other Indians to the said cities as witnesses against the Indians
accused. The practice continued for some years, until finally, as we
expect to show, a member of the Pillager Band was arrested in this
manner and taken to Duluth. He was left at Duluth without money to buy
food or to buy transportation home, and compelled to walk back to the
reservation, a distance of more than 200 miles. When he arrived at the
reservation he was nearly dead from exposure and starvation.

                  *       *       *       *       *

“An instance of the manner in which the Minnesota Indians have been made
the instruments or causes for defrauding the Government through
Congress, in the interests of attorneys, and these same parties who have
been so often suggested, is the Mille Lac Indian case. An appropriation
of $40,000 was secured through an act of Congress ostensibly for the
relief of the Mille Lac Indians as a payment for certain alleged
improvements made by them upon the Mille Lac Reservation. The matter
came up this way:

“In 1854 the Mille Lac Band ceded their reservation to the Government.
In 1862, when Chief Hole-in-the-Day advised a combination with the Sioux
for an uprising against the Government, these Indians refused to
participate on account of their ancient enmity with the Sioux. To reward
them for their loyalty the President promised them they might still
remain on their reservation as long as they did not interfere with the



“Under the Nelson Act, in the treaty of 1889, they ceded this privilege
of occupancy to the Government, but some portions of them refused to
remove to White Earth, claiming that they had never really ceded
anything to the Government. As an inducement for these parties to leave,
Congress was persuaded to appropriate $40,000, or so much thereof as
might be necessary for the purpose, to pay these parties for the
improvements they had made during their occupancy of the reservation.
(32 Stat. L. 268.) Michelet and this same ——[12] went over for the
Government to investigate and appraise the improvements, and found
practically none—nothing but the charred remains of some Indian tipis;
but to eat up, that is, to cover the entire $40,000, these charred
remains were appraised at the original cost of the tipis, and items were
inserted in the list of improvements, such as the profit an Indian would
make gathering wild rice for a year, for gathering wild honey for a like
period, and other like items. Now, the real disposition of the money
seems to have been as follows:

“First, $4,000 was paid to Gus H. Beaulieu for attorney’s fees, $2,500
was paid to D. B. Henderson as attorney’s fees, and $1,500 to D. B.
Henderson for expenses. Four chiefs received $1,000 each. About $17,000
was then prorated among the Indians; $10,020 then remained in the hands
of Gus H. Beaulieu.

“It then became necessary for the Mille Lac Indians to employ another
set of attorneys to sue Beaulieu for the $10,020. After considerable
expensive litigation, Beaulieu deposited $5,600 to the credit of the
Mille Lac Band in the Merchants National Bank of St. Cloud, Minn., and
paid $1,000 to the Indians’ attorneys.

“The traders in the vicinity of the Mille Lac Reservation then commenced
suit for the money so deposited, claiming that the individual members of
the band owed them money for goods. Again a compromise was effected with
the result that a portion of the $5,600 was turned over to Agent
Michelet for distribution. There is now about $208 waiting for the

“We think this is indicative of the way in which Congress has
contributed innocently from the public funds to the support and
enrichment of a few persons of little or no merit, by a species of
pretense of recompensing the Indians who, in the end, have slight
participation in the generous provisions so by Congress made.”


Footnote 11:

  Hearings before the Committee on Expenditures in the Interior
  Department of the House of Representatives, H. R., 103, pp. 244–261.

Footnote 12:

  Name omitted.


Judge Burch’s research led him to conclude that the Indians were in
vastly better shape forty years ago than at the present time. The
reading of Warren’s book, Gilfillan’s testimony, and other evidence
establishes it beyond question that the Indian does not seem to have
suffered to any great extent in either health or morals prior to 1880.
The older men of the tribe, who were keen mentally in spite of great
age, when I visited those Indians in 1909, told me much regarding their
past. I visited them under most auspicious circumstances, being
empowered by the Indian Office to conduct investigations of affairs at
White Earth, and having at my command numerous interpreters and
assistants. The old shaman, Bay-bah-dwun-gay-aush, Me-zhuck-ke-ge-shig,
Ojibwa,[13] Mah-een-gonce, and others with whom I talked a great deal,
laid the blame for their present deplorable condition on the
unscrupulous French-Canadians, mixed-blood element, as well as covetous
white men who sought timber and land. Gilfillan has pointed out in his
letter the increase of drunkenness due to large financial rewards
offered by the Government in pursuing a mistaken policy.

Father Aloysius Hermanutz has been at White Earth since 1878. In his
testimony before the Graham Investigating Committee, he stated that the
full-blood Indians at that time were in good condition. Nearly everyone
owned a team of oxen, a cow, and cultivated fields. Many of them raised
vegetables and there was much weaving of rugs and small carpets. They
had an Agent, Mr. Charles Ruffey, who was kind to them but very strict.
The farmer was a competent man and knew how to make Indians work.

“I met him one day on the road on horseback. He went to that Indian—to
that farm—I met him there and asked him where he was going, and he said:
‘There are two Indians, Father, up beyond that church. They didn’t plow
their field in order to put the seeds in, and the Agent ordered me to
tell them if they don’t plow their fields now (it was in April) that the
team will be taken away from them.’ And of course they were oldtimers.
That was Saturday when I saw them, and on Sunday morning they started to
plow. They were scared and they plowed their fields. At the time the
Indians were in very good condition, and then afterwards it changed and
they went down again.”

The illustrations accompanying these chapters were taken during the
investigation of 1909 and give some idea of conditions obtaining at that
time. So much has been said and written regarding the situation of the
Minnesota Ojibwa, that the Government adopted heroic measures, and
conditions are to a great extent ameliorated, but they are still far
from satisfactory.

Omitting the racial traits of the people the past sixty years, let us
consider their present condition and the causes leading up to it.

The 1889 bill (Congress) was known officially: “For the Relief and
Civilization of the Chippewa Indians.” There is both sarcasm and irony
in that phrase, which only those of us who know what kind of “relief and
civilization” the Chippewas have received since the bill was passed, can

At the time White Earth reservation was created, a treaty was made with
the Ojibwa bands, March 19th, 1867. It was the Government’s intention at
the time this solemn treaty was signed, to encourage progress in
industry, and to permanently locate the Ojibwa upon farms. With so
laudable a purpose in view, one of the provisions of this treaty was as
follows: Any Indian who brought under cultivation ten acres of land, was
entitled to a fee simple patent, or deed, for forty acres additional,
and so on up to 160 acres. This encouraged many Indians to become
industrious and they brought under cultivation many tracts of land. In
1887, under the Dawes Act, the holdings of agricultural land were
limited to eighty acres. After the “Relief and Civilization” act of
1889, Gus Beaulieu, a French-Canadian-Indian politician, and others
became very active in and about White Earth reservation. A Mr. Darwin S.
Hall was appointed Chippewa Commissioner and became interested in Mr.
Beaulieu’s projects.

Whatever the original purpose of this act, it was used by venal white
men to get hold of the Indians’ land. Previously the land had all been
in a reservation and could not be touched. Now it was coming under the
control of individual Indians and might be sold.

The Indians could not be thrown neck-and-heels off their reservation,
although I suppose certain interested persons of northern Minnesota
would have adopted that happy expedient were it possible. Some kind of
legislation must be enacted whereby the wolves could enter the flock, if
not entirely disguised, at least so covered that the shepherd of the
flock might have some difficulty in differentiating between the sheep
and the wolves. So it came about that the “Clapp Amendment” was passed
as a rider to the general Indian appropriation bill. The Clapp amendment
in substance, provided that any mixed-blood Indian could dispose of his
property, but full-bloods and minors could not.

If either Senator Clapp or Congressman Steenerson ever endeavored to put
an end to the abuses resulting from the passage of this legislation
their efforts have failed to accomplish results. I never heard that
anyone in Congress tried to remedy the evils following the passage of
these bills. Two of the missionaries, Rev. Felix Nelles of Pine Point
and Rev. Aloysius Hermanutz of White Earth, wrote to the Indian Office,
protesting that the Indians were being swindled out of their property.
But Father Felix reports to me by letter that so far as he is aware
neither the protest of himself nor his superior, Father Aloysius, had
any effect.

When the Act of 1867, establishing White Earth reservation, and which
Judge Burch has discussed, was put into effect, a great number of
Indians by hard work, notably the chief of the entire five living bands
of Chippewa, a grand old man, whose name is Me-zhuck-ke-ge-shig, took
advantage of this and earned many acres of land. This chief was looked
up to by the Indians, was a good man himself, and many of his friends
followed his example, worked hard and earned forty, eighty or one
hundred and sixty acres. Imagine the surprise of these Indians when, at
the time the pine lumber was allotted, some one in Washington announced
that the Indians who had received farm lands could not participate in
the pine allotting. In other words, the French-Canadians, the
mixed-bloods and such full-bloods as had not worked and were not
industrious, received pine tracts valued from few to many thousands of
dollars, and those who had obeyed the wishes of the Indian Office, had
advanced by hard work along the “road to civilization,” were debarred
from participation. It was precisely as if a college passed its drones
and conditioned its honor-roll men. No wonder these White Earth Indians
do not care to work, and say they “cannot understand Washington.” If
whoever was responsible for such a ruling had sat down and deliberately
tried to figure out the most certain way of injuring the Ojibwa Indians,
he could not have conceived a better plan.

Immediately after I was appointed on the Board of Indian Commissioners,
a correspondent wrote me from Wisconsin that the Ojibwa Indians at White
Earth were in bad condition. The Indian Rights Association had made a
similar complaint. Rev. Charles Wright, Episcopal missionary at Cass
Lake, shortly after the scandals began to develop, on his own
responsibility borrowed money and in spite of the opposition of the
Indian Agent, Simon Michelet, he went to Washington to lay the
grievances of the Indians before the President. He bore letters of
introduction from Governor John A. Johnson and United States Senator
Knute Nelson. The lumber companies, it was supposed, wired the Indian
Commissioner of Wright’s mission. He did not find favor at Washington,
never succeeded in seeing the President, and sorrowing and sick at heart
he was compelled to return to Minnesota.

The Board of Indian Commissioners having no funds, I asked the Indian
Office to appoint me as Special Agent with full powers, and send me to
White Earth. This was done about March 1st. I spent five weeks
investigating conditions in the southern part of the reservation, Pine
Point, and returned to Washington the latter part of April, 1909. The
first of July, Inspector E. B. Linnen and myself were sent to White
Earth with full authority. We employed a total force of thirty-seven
persons and made a complete investigation.

During the first five weeks at White Earth, save for local employees, I
was entirely alone. The investigation soon developed that millions of
dollars’ worth of pine timber and farm lands had been stolen from the
Indians. As soon as it was ascertained that I was working in the
interests of the Indian, the lumber companies and the mixed-blood and
French-Canadians attempted in every possible way to end the
investigation. They first tried bribery, and later intimidation. They
lured away several of my witnesses, and even some of the Government
employees informed me that it was hopeless to fight the great land and
timber interests back of the despoilation of 5,300 Indians. Matters went
from bad to worse. Some idea of the physical strain may be had from the
statement that I lost fifteen pounds weight in five weeks. As the other
Inspectors and Special Agents had not reported on White Earth
conditions, the Indian Office could not, at first, believe my story. At
last, I received a telegram asking me to come to Washington. I had at
that time one hundred and three affidavits representing more than a
million dollars worth of property, and involving county officials,
lumbermen and presidents of national banks. Ill feeling had developed in
the local towns. The nearest railway station, Park Rapids, was distant
eighteen miles. Ogema, on the “Soo Line,” lay forty-five miles to the
north. Knowing that the enemy would attempt to prevent the affidavits
going East, I started Doctor Isaac Stahlberg, Government physician, for
Park Rapids at noon. He arrived there about half-past three o’clock and
volunteered the information that I would probably take the 5 o’clock
train East.

Meanwhile, at 7 o’clock that same morning, in three vehicles, nine of
us, including five armed Indian policemen, started for Ogema to the
north. We reached our destination without incident, and I delivered the
affidavits to Commissioner Valentine in Washington two days later.

Honorable Robert G. Valentine, then Commissioner, took great interest in
the White Earth affair, supported my contentions, and at his suggestion
a very experienced man, Inspector Linnen, returned with me to the scene
of action, as has been stated. We had the hearty cooperation of
Superintendent John R. Howard, who was appointed early in 1908 and
succeeded Simon Michelet. Major Howard has filled one of the most
difficult positions in the entire Indian Service. He has been bitterly
opposed by the mixed-blood element through Beaulieu’s newspaper.
Neighboring towns have organized Boards of Trade, and these have
appealed by committee and through the press to Congress, alleging that
the Interior Department and Department of Justice have interfered with

Howard’s position has been no sinecure, and in addition to his other
troubles, he was given a chief clerk who happened to be a disputatious
person, who had caused trouble in California, and on arrival at White
Earth became friendly with some of those who were opposing him. This
tense situation was not brought to an end until vigorous protests were
lodged by a number of us at Washington.

The beginning of the great scandal at White Earth is interesting as well
as dramatic. What I have to say in succeeding pages is not in the
official language of the report made by Linnen and myself, but is drawn
from departmental sources.

I make this explanation, for I am well aware that what follows will
sound to some readers as a page from Russian, or Turkish, history,
rather than a leaf from the history of one of our own states in our own
great and free country!

The 24th of April, 1905, was set as the date on which the white, Norway
and other valuable pine tracts would be allotted to the Indians of White
Earth. The word was passed throughout the reservation, and the
French-Canadians, who are there in considerable numbers and most of whom
show very slight trace of Indian blood, were the first to appear.
Educated mixed-blood Indians also arrived some days previous. A line was
formed near the United States Government building door some time
Saturday afternoon. The allotting was to begin Monday morning. It is
interesting to note that first in the line was Margaret Lynch, a young
white girl, whose father and mother were white people, and who, the
Indians properly maintained, had no right to an allotment. The girl
received allotment number one, for which her father refused $22,000 cash
the next day.

The Agent at this time was Simon Michelet. He was possessed of a violent
temper, according to the sworn testimony of a policeman employed at the
White Earth Agency for nearly ten years. Michelet was friendly with Gus
H. Beaulieu, the Nichols-Chisolm Lumber Company and others who were
equally interested in obtaining timber from the White Earth Indians. It
was bad form, to say the least, for the United States Agent to use his
office at this time to hold long conferences with the representatives of
the lumber companies.

What was said behind the closed doors no one knows, but what occurred at
the time of the allotting sheds a little light on the situation. The
chief clerk of agent Michelet was one J. T. Van Metre. As he resigned
his position after the timber was allotted and entered the real estate
business, this added another complication to the already confused
affairs at White Earth.

During the allotting of the pine timber there was such confusion, the
line became broken and many people lost their places. My two
investigations on the reservation, covering nearly seventeen weeks, lead
me to believe that the most valuable tracts were selected in advance,
and that the names of those who were to have them were entered on a list
for use at the allotment.

In support of this contention is the affidavit of Robert Henry, sworn to
September 24th, 1909, who came early to White Earth at the time of the
allotment and passed into the agent’s office shortly after the allotting
began. He held in his hand descriptions of forty or fifty different pine
tracts, and yet was told that all had been selected and he could not
have a good pine allotment. Not enough people preceded Henry to have
drawn each of these allotments. The same is true of a woman who had in
her hand fifty descriptions, and she was told that all of these had been
selected. It early in the day became evident that the full-bloods were,
if possible, to be kept from getting any land, for by the Clapp
amendment only the mixed-bloods could sell their land.

Early in the day when the full-blood Indians were clamoring for
recognition and insisting that the French-Canadians and white people be
kept back, John St. Luke, the policeman, testifying under oath,
September 24th, 1909, says: “Agent Simon Michelet came out of his office
in an excited manner, and told me to keep the Indians out and let the
mixed-bloods in. There seemed to be confusion in the line. Michelet
pushed some of these Indians back, swearing at them, and told me to club
them if necessary, to keep them from crowding in.” St. Luke refused to
do this.

At last the full-bloods registered a protest, some of the Indians sent
for their guns, and things took on a serious aspect. Presently by way of
compromise it was agreed that for every mixed-blood that received a pine
allotment a full-blood should also obtain one. This continued until all
of the twenty or more miles of pine timber had been allotted in tracts
of eighty acres each to the Indians.


    MINNESOTA, 1909

The pine timber allotted these Indians ranged all the way from tracts
worth $2,000 or $3,000 to those valued as high as $25,000. Since the
lands were allotted, iron ore has been found in quantities under certain
parts of the reservation. How extensive are these bodies, no man may
know, and the value might be a few millions, or many hundreds of



The effect of the allotment on the Whites near White Earth was
immediate. Mushroom banks sprang up in the surrounding small towns. The
Indians in their affidavits (of which Linnen and myself took 505)
testified that lawyers, banks, county officials, and business men of
prominence in Detroit, Ogema, Mahnomen, and other towns, joined in the
scramble to secure their pine lands and farm tracts.

As few of these men spoke the language, it was necessary to have
interpreters, and the educated Indians were soon divided into two camps,
those who were willing for pay to interpret for the land-sharks and
timber thieves, and those who would not help in defrauding their own

It is sad to note that in a hundred or more instances the Indians were
purposely made drunk and their lands taken away from them while under
the influence of liquor. Many of the Indians do not remember what kind
of papers they signed, whether deeds or mortgages, or whether any papers
were signed at all.

While our investigation was in progress, and we had moved over to Rice
River, Mr. J. Weston Allen visited us for three weeks. He came as a
representative of the Boston Indian Citizenship Committee, and because
of his high standing in the legal profession, rendered valuable
assistance in the investigation.

The key to the whole situation lay in the question of blood. As has been
shown before, the mixed-bloods only could sell their land. The
full-bloods could not. Consequently we assembled the old record-keepers,
medicine men, chiefs, and Indians of prominence who knew their own
people. Some of these were more than eighty-five years of age and none
of them under seventy. When an Indian appeared before us to give his
testimony, we first asked him whether he was a full-blood or a
mixed-blood, and the names of his parents and grandparents. The old
witnesses, probably twelve or fifteen, might not all know the parents or
grandparents of the Indian testifying. But three, four, six, and
sometimes eight of them would know the family history, and would be able
to swear whether the Indian was a full-blood. If he was a mixed-blood,
we told him with regret that we could do nothing for him.

One affidavit of the Indian himself as to his blood relationship and
parents was taken, another signed by the old witnesses to the same
effect. A third affidavit related to the property possessed by the
Indian, with number and description of allotments, and by careful
questioning we ascertained when and where he had disposed of his land.
The fourth affidavit was by the interpreters in which they solemnly
declared that they had correctly interpreted our statements to the
Indian and his answers to us, and that he understood the nature of the
papers that he had signed. The interpreters also made further affidavit
that they had carefully interpreted to the old Indian witnesses the
papers that they signed. In addition to all of the above, we frequently
took affidavits of Indians who were present during the swindling
operations. Thus it will be seen that the evidence was very complete,
positive and exact. So far as I know, no investigating force on a
reservation had ever done more work in the same length of time. We
labored from eight o’clock to twelve, one to six, and frequently from
seven until eleven at night.

The Indians took great interest in the investigation, and as we moved
from one portion of the reservation to another we were accompanied by
large numbers of these poor people. On one occasion over eighty Indians
were present, and we were compelled to turn two large school buildings
into dormitories.

These Indians had lost their property almost without exception. Whether
the term “swindle” is used or not is immaterial. They lost their
property through many and devious ways. The affidavits indicated that in
many instances Indians appeared before the buyers either drunk or
somewhat under the influence of liquor. Not only did the interpreters
give the Indians liquor, but frequently the Indians drank of their own
accord. Of course the bankers, lawyers, county officials and real estate
men knew that the ordinary code of business ethics would not countenance
their dealings with drunken persons. But these land-owners being
Indians, and the sentiment of the thirty-seven individuals and firms who
in the affidavits are shown to be responsible for the conditions at
White Earth being against Indians as land-owners, no discrimination was
made and Indians were permitted to “do business” whether drunk or sober.
Next to drunkenness as a means of separating the Indian from his land,
the deliberate deceit practised by the buyers stands out conspicuously.
Scores of affidavits and statements were taken of Indians who owned two,
three, five, or even seven or eight trust patents. The trust patent was
preliminary paper, but as trust patents would in the process of time
become deeds, the white people did not differentiate and trust patents
were in most cases accepted the same as deeds. In order to be within the
law it was necessary to prove the Indians mixed-bloods. Most of the
Indians were therefore sworn as mixed-bloods. They frequently protested,
stating that they were full-bloods, but were described in the papers as
mixed-bloods just the same. Therefore few of the papers signed by these
Indians were read or interpreted to them, and in the majority of cases,
as the Indian could neither write nor read, he did not know whether he
was signing receipts, mortgages, deeds or releases. The favorite form of
expression used by the interpreter, according to affidavits, was “the
buyer says this is a legal document which you would not understand if
read to you, and all you have to do is to sign your name and receive the
money.” Very few Indians appear to have sworn to the papers they signed.

When an Indian appeared with more than one trust patent he was usually
told that one of these would be purchased or mortgaged and the others
would be held for him and he could sign papers for all of them. Many of
the buyers were accustomed to say to the Indian, “You have no safe in
your cabin, and if these papers burn up you would lose your land. You
had better let me keep them in my safe.” Then the Indian signed and
parted with the papers and we can imagine the result.

Allotments acquired by inheritance are called by the Indians “dead
allotments.” Such estates must be probated. In other communities the fee
is anywhere from a few dollars to fifteen dollars or more, but in
Detroit, Mahnomen, Ogema and Wauban, the usual charge varied from $50 to
as high as $150, according to the credulity of the victim—and there were
other charges. When the Indians reported to us that they had signed over
“dead allotments” to be probated, we frequently discovered that it was
not clear in the Indian’s mind how so much money was necessary in order
to settle these estates, but having surrendered the trust patent, he was
without anything to show for his inheritance. Frequently little or
nothing accrued to the Indian after the benevolent attorney or banker
had been paid for his efforts in directing the Indian’s footsteps along
the broad highway of civilization.

Instances are not wanting where deceased Indians were actually
resurrected long enough to dispose of land which they had neglected to
convey during life, and affidavits are not lacking which recite that
so-and-so was an adult mixed-blood and competent to handle his affairs.
I have in mind one case of a boy resting in his grave at Pine Point.
Certain individuals made affidavit that this boy was alive, and was of
age, and thereby they secured control of his valuable pine allotment.

The affidavits bristled with forgery and perjury.

Men employed in the livery stables of Detroit and elsewhere told me that
as soon as the lands were allotted all the available teams and drivers
were engaged by the buyers, and that night and day for many months these
men scoured the reservation and pursued the Indian men, women and
children until they had secured the best farms and timber tracts
available. There is one man in particular whose history is interesting.
He walked into Detroit a tramp ten years ago and began washing dishes in
a hotel. Just how he got his start is under dispute, one man claiming
that a stranded theatrical company left several trunks of gaudy
paraphernalia in Detroit, which this man traded to some drunken Indians
for a tract of land. Whether this is true or not, he was successful in
Indian land speculation, and at present he is now a leading citizens of
the region. Some of the Indians call him, “the white wolf, with the gold

Where was the United States Indian Bureau, while this disgraceful scene
was being enacted? Where was the Indian Agent, sworn to protect these
people? Where were the Inspectors and Special Agents? How was it that
the testimony of missionaries and others, and their warnings, produced
no effect in Washington? These are questions I have repeatedly asked,
and nobody has ever answered them.


Footnote 13:

  According to Miss Densmore’s spelling: “Odjibwe”; “Maingans”;
  “Meja-kigi-jig”. I have spelled the names as pronounced.


During the height of the pine and land purchases, crowds of Indians at
White Earth were persuaded to visit Detroit and Park Rapids and Ogema.
Contrary to the law, whiskey was frequently sold them. They tell how at
Park Rapids, in the little square in the centre of the village, drunken
Indians were lying on the grass in numbers, and at Ogema a saloon keeper
was passing liquor in a bucket, and handing it out by the dipperful to

After the buyers had used persuasion to get the Indians to give up their
allotments, they resorted to stronger measures in dealing with those who
would not sell. A wife of a policeman at Pine Point, Mrs. John Rock, was
awakened at eleven o’clock in the night by Detroit buyers, who forcibly
entered her cabin, and stayed until two o’clock in the morning until
they obtained one of her tracts of land.

When Indians visited Detroit and partook of liquor they were arrested.
On being brought before the authorities and fined, they were told by the
attorney who was supposed to defend them, or by the kind-hearted land
buyer, that they must sell or deed over a tract of land in order to pay
the fine. Sworn testimony in several cases is to this effect.

When Indians were brought into the offices of the buyers and hesitated
about selling or mortgaging, more persuasive arguments were used. In the
case of Grace Rock, who visited E. G. Holmes’ bank, the testimony now in
the hands of the Government is to the effect that as she did not wish to
sell at the price offered, and started into the hall, one of those
present cried to Interpreter Morrison, “Go and fetch her back, and if
she will not sell, we will throw her into the lake.”

Me-zhuck-ke-gway-abe in affidavit No. 268, July 29, 1909, states that
one Fred Saunders got him to drink and then bought his land. A minor
son, Willy Bassett, was told to sign papers, or he would be put in jail.

In the case of Mrs. Lawrence Roberts, her affidavit recites that she
appeared before banker Anundensen with Interpreter Robert
Morrison—“Anundensen asked if I was a mixed-blood and I said my parents
are full-bloods. He said that is all right. We signed papers.”

I quote this case because it is typical of nearly one hundred others.
The papers which she signed were not explained to this woman and may
well have recited that she was a mixed-blood Indian.



  One of the interpreters serving during the investigation of 1909.
    Carlisle graduate. Full-blood Ojibwa.

A number of Indians have stated that “If you are related to
mixed-bloods, it is all right.” I make particular mention of this
mixed-blood question because, before the Congressional Investigation
Committee Gus Beaulieu claimed that I endeavored to prove all Indians
full-bloods, and that these Indians, having previously sworn before the
land buyers that they were mixed-bloods, should now be indicted for
perjury. We were especially careful in all our evidence, and we
discriminated against those who appeared to be mixed-bloods—if there was
any discrimination at all. Only Indians who were undoubtedly full-bloods
were entered as such.

The fact that many Indians may have previously sworn that they were
mixed-bloods does not prove them to be such. They were made to sign
these papers, the papers were not explained to them, and if there is any
perjury, the white people are responsible, rather than the Indians who
have been duped.

When the business of dealing in Indian lands was at its height, carloads
of wild bronchos from South Dakota, and broken-down horses from St. Paul
were shipped up to the Indian country. The business was apparently
conducted on a large scale, for several hundred Indians testified to
having traded their allotments for a little cash and teams of horses,
buggies, harnesses and sleighs, not to mention old pianos, graphophones
and other useless articles in the struggle of the aborigines for
existence. As the Ojibwa are woods or canoe Indians, and not “Horse
Indians” as are the Sioux, very few of them understood the management of
horses. Even if the horses had been strong and active, it is doubtful if
they would have been of any considerable value to these Indians. Some of
the horses lived but a few weeks. Many of them were so old that their
teeth were worn down. The broncho would run away and smash the old buggy
or sleigh.

Five interpreters, who confessed as to their part in these proceedings
in order to escape prosecution, told how the bankers and real estate men
often stood in their office doors and laughed heartily as the poor
Indians drove away after conducting their business.

One young lady, who is a Carlisle graduate, told me that she and her
sister, believing that the man who paid the Indians money for their land
was cheating, put on Indian costumes, painted up and passed before him.
Each girl was to receive $750. He said, “Do you speak English?” She
replied, “kawin,” which is emphatic “no.” He then proceeded to count
ones and twos aloud until he had reached what would appear to an
ignorant Indian to be $750, but was in reality about $130. This girl
stood aside and her sister then appeared. The man asked the same
question, and she, waiting until he had counted the money, then said in
English, “Don’t you think you had better count that over?” He flushed
and stammered and made good the full amount to each sister. A woman sold
a million feet of pine timber for $10,000 and came home with a thousand
one-dollar bills stuffed in a long stocking.

One of our old Indian witnesses at Pine Point, sold seventy thousand
feet of pine timber valued at nearly a thousand dollars, and all he
received was ten dollars.

In the case of the old woman O-mo-du-yea-quay, she testified she was
visited by interpreter Joe Flammand, who told her that Lawyer Beum would
pay her $500 for her eighty acres. “When I got there, they gave me a
little less than forty dollars and bought me a house alongside the
railroad, containing one bedstead, two chairs, a small table and a
little cook-stove. After that Flammand would come to my house and give
me a dollar or a quarter. After a little while he told me that my money
was all gone.”

One of the saddest stories told me at White Earth will be found in
Official Affidavit 359, that of O-nah-yah-wah-be-tung. This man had
valuable pine timber which, he states, he sold for $7000. The Indian
having received the money, the grafters immediately got busy. One
William Lufkins, a mixed-blood, persuaded him to pay $1800 for a ranch
building. This was moved from some distance on the prairie to Ogema. A
large sum was charged for moving the building. I heard that $400 was
charged for moving it across the railroad tracks, which procedure
occupied less than an hour. After the house was established on a lot
fronting on the main street of Ogema, the Indian was told that he should
go into business as do white people. It was suggested that he start a
feed store. He trusted one or two men to visit St. Paul and buy flour
and feed in order to stock his store. These men squandered a thousand
dollars in dissipation. He sent them three hundred more and they
returned with a small quantity of feed stock. Thus the man’s money
dwindled until he was defrauded out of his entire $7000, and is today a

In the following cases I have stated the facts briefly, without giving
the Indian’s name.

In the testimony on file in case numbered 382, it appears that a certain
attorney and prominent man, had brought before him an Indian woman who
did not wish to sign papers, and the attorney said if she did not do so
he would have her arrested and put in jail. The proprietor of a lodging
house at Detroit, according to this sworn statement, gave these Indians


  State of Minnesota )
  County of Becker   )

  On this 8th day of September, A.D. 1909, before me, E. B.
  Linnen, U. S. Inspector, Dept. of Interior, personally came
  Gah-bay-yah-nah-quod-doke, who being first duly sworn by me
  according to law, deposes and says:

  I am a full blood Indian of the Otter Tail Pillager band of Chippewa
  Indians belonging to and residing upon the White Earth Indian
  reservation in Minnesota; my father’s name was Be-wash and my
  mother’s name was Mah-ge-moze-o-quay; the names of my grandfather
  and grandmother on my father’s side were Con-duh-wah-we-zoo and
  ——————; the names of my grandfather and grandmother on my mother’s
  side were Wah-be-gay-cake and Ah-go-mo; and each of said persons was
  a full blood Indian.

                                                             Her mark.

  Witness to mark.       Gah-bay-yah-nah-quod-doke

  We, the undersigned being first duly sworn according to law, each
  for himself and not one for the other, all depose and say:

  That we are Chippewa Indians belonging to and residing upon the
  White Earth Indian reservation in Minnesota; that we are personally
  acquainted with the above mentioned deponent and know her to be a
  full blood Chippewa Indian; that the names of her parents and
  grandparents are as set forth above, and that each of said persons
  was a full blood Indian.

                        Witness       His mark


                        Witness       His mark


                        Witness       His mark


                        Witness       His mark


                        Witness       His mark


                        Witness       His mark


           Subscribed and sworn to before me this 8th day of

  September, A.D. 1909.

                                   U. S. Inspector, Dept. of Interior.

  Copy of Official Affidavit with thumb-print signatures, used by
  Linnen-Moorehead Investigators


According to affidavit numbered eleven, banker M. J. Kolb at Ogema sent
for one of the Indians and stated that he wished to buy the pine on the
minor son’s allotment. The minor was aged fourteen. The Indian went to
Kolb’s bank and found another man there, who stated that, although the
child was a minor, yet he would buy the timber and stand the risk. Kolb
paid the Indian $100 and ten dollars of this was given to Jim Bunker,
the interpreter. A month later the banker sent for the Indian and
stated, “You better bring your trust patent of your original allotment
to me or you will probably be arrested.” Thus Kolb obtained the Indian’s
original allotment in addition to the minor child’s pine. I might
continue repeating similar instances.

Two important and shocking statements I reproduce here. Government
official numbers, 247 and 92. They are self-explanatory.


  On this 23d day of August, A.D. 1909, before me, W. K. Moorehead,
  Spec. U. S. Indian Agent, personally came Mayn-way-way-be-nace, who
  being first duly sworn by me according to law, on oath deposes and

  Two years ago Mr. Waller of Waubun, Minn., came to my house
  for the trust patent of my original allotment No. 2321 for
  E2NE—Sec. 8, 144–40. This was hardwood timber. He gave me $20
  cash. When he came he made this statement, “I have already
  arranged at the Court House to have you arrested, and have
  come over here to get your trust patent to take care of your
  land for you.” My wife, Ah-be-dah-sah-mo-quay, and my
  children, Antoine and Maggie (Mah-geed) were witnesses. Andrew
  Vanoss came with Mr. Waller as interpreter. Vanoss gave me
  whiskey and also presented me with a pint bottle of whiskey.
  Mr. Waller took the trust patent and handed me $20 in cash. As
  near as I can judge, my giving up the trust patent cancelled
  the obligations incurred in the mortgage referred to in the
  affidavit signed by my wife, Ah-be-dah-sah-mo-quay.

  In the fall of 1908 I went to Mahnomen with the Trust Patent of my
  additional allotment No. 1702 for N2SW—Sec. 36—145–38. This may be
  timber land. I saw L. O. Johnson, of the Prairie Land Company. I
  sold the land to Johnson for $364. He did not ask any questions as
  to my blood relationship. I signed papers, my wife was present.
  Willie Brunette was interpreter. I was drinking at the time.

  Three years ago Fargo and Peake of Ogema, Minn., came to my house
  and asked if I had any dead allotments to sell. I told them I had
  three: Naysh-kah-we-gah-bow, age 36 yrs.; Mah-co-day-we-gwaince, and
  Zo-zed, age about 4 yrs. Fargo and Peake said that they would take
  these three trust patents of the dead allotments to be probated.
  They also stated that when my grandchildren (who were also heirs)
  come of age they would pay the value of these allotments. This
  summer they paid me $130. This is all I have ever received. My wife
  and I signed papers. Willie Lufkin, was interpreter. I paid him one
  dollar ($1.00).

  About the middle of June, 1909, I took the trust patent of my
  deceased grandchild, Simon Smith, to J. T. Van Metre of Mahnomen,
  Minn., to be probated. I have received no money. This was allotment
  No. —— for ——

  The allotment of Naysh-kah-we-gah-bow was No. 2323 for S2SE—Sec.
  2—144–41; of Mah-co-day-we-gwaince was No. —— for ——; of Zo-zed was
  No. 2326 for E2SE—Sec. 5—144–40.

                                                            _His mark_

  Witness to mark
  Georgia Lacy

  Subscribed and sworn to before me this 23d day of August, A.D. 1909.

                                        WARREN K. MOOREHEAD
                                            _Spec. U. S. Indian Agent_


                                           Margaret Coburn, or
                                     Margaret Colburne         Age 45.
                                     Allottee Orig. 2951, Lots 1–2–&9,
                                                Sec. 6, Twp 142, R 42.

  On this 6th day of September, A.D. 1909, before me, W. K. Moorehead,
  Spec. U. S. Indian Agent, personally came Margaret Colburne, who
  being first duly sworn by me according to law, deposes and says:

  That about two years ago, in August, 1907, a man named Ephraim
  Budrow came to my house at Cloquet, Minn., and finding me there
  alone and observing my crippled condition, said, “I am surprised to
  see you in this condition. Why don’t you sell some of your land?” He
  asked me how much land I had. This man seemed to know about my land.
  He asked for the two trust patents of my deceased husband, Joe
  Colburne, No. 2950 for SW|4 of SW|4, Sec. 32 & SE|4 of SE|4, Sec.
  31, T 143—42, for my own trust patent, as above, and for that of my
  child Joseph, No. 2953 for Lots 4 and 12, Sec. 30, Twp 143, R 42.
  Said Budrow walked back and forth in the room in an excited and
  nervous manner, and presently he went out before I could stop him,
  taking the three trust patents with him. Because of my crippled
  condition I could not run after him but managed to crawl to the
  window and called to him to stop. He paid no attention to me.

  My son-in-law came home about noon. His name is Frank Houle. He
  asked me what I was crying about and I told him that said Budrow had
  run off with the three trust patents belonging to my husband
  (dec’d), myself and the boy. My son-in-law started at once for town
  to hunt for Budrow but could not find him. That same evening,
  however, my son-in-law caught hold of this Ephraim Budrow as Budrow
  was boarding the train and told Budrow to give up the trust patents
  he had taken from me. Budrow reached into a pocket and handed out
  some papers to my son-in-law, which my son-in-law thought were the
  three trust patents but which proved to be only the trust patent of
  my child Joseph. Three days after, when we managed to get enough
  money, my son-in-law went to Ephraim Budrow’s house at Fish Lake,
  White Earth reservation and said Budrow promised to give up the
  other two trust patents the next morning, but during the night
  Budrow went away. My son-in-law waited for Budrow two days but
  Budrow failed to turn up.

  About two months ago, when I was in Waubun, I was taken sick and
  needing some money, the lawyers were very insistent that I touch a
  pen, and after I did so I received $400 for myself and $100 for my
  son. They asked me if I was a mixed-blood and I told them no, that I
  was a full-blood. I was not sworn to these papers. There was no
  interpreter and I did not understand the papers.

                                                          Her mark
                                                    MARGARET COLBURNE.

  Witness to mark
      C. E. DENNIS.

  Subscribed and sworn to before me this 6th day of September, A.D.
  1909, at White Earth, Minn.

                                         WARREN K. MOOREHEAD,
                                           _Spec. U. S. Indian Agent_.

It should be clear to all persons that those in authority should have
informed these Indians that a trust patent lost did not mean the loss of
property. By sending a small fee to Washington a duplicate trust patent
would be issued to any Indian who could prove that he had lost his.
Indians were allowed to remain in ignorance of this, and were led to
believe that the trust patent was everything. Therefore, when they lost
a trust patent they supposed they had lost their allotment.

The entire space assigned to this chapter could be devoted to a
discussion of health conditions but it is too heart-rending to take up
in detail. The Chippewa Indians are suffering from tuberculosis,
scrofula, trachoma and other diseases. Thirty-two per cent of the
children in the Government schools on examination by Government
physician, Dr. Edwards, were found to have trachoma; fifty per cent of
the Indians living at Pine Point have tuberculosis. Unless drastic
remedies are adopted the Ojibwa will soon be a thing of the past. The
Indian Office has built a hospital, and has rented of the Episcopal
church a small one, yet these care for but a fraction of the sick.

The Catholic priest, Father Roman Homar, in charge of the Mission at
Rice River, reported to me under date of April 29, 1910, that there was
more suffering than ever before in his territory; that Indians died that
winter, that many of the Indians were compelled to hunt rabbits, not for
pleasure, but from necessity, and that practically all the rabbits on
the reservation were killed. He exhausted his little fund and much of
his own salary in caring for the unfortunate. Early in April he had
utilized all the lumber at his disposal for the making of coffins, and
for the last Indian that he buried, just previous to writing the letter,
he made the coffin out of the church wood-box.

Rev. Father Felix, Catholic Missionary at Pine Point, and Rev. Wilkins
Smith, Episcopal missionary at Twin Lakes, both wrote to me of the great
suffering and poverty, sickness and death, and how their resources were
taxed beyond their ability to meet the same, in order to relieve even
such Indians as were connected with their various missions. The large
orphan school near White Earth village is crowded.

                          _Ojibwa Squaw Dance_


  Sung during the dance at Rice River, August, 1909. Recorded by W. K.

  This is the favorite song of the squaw dance. During five evenings,
    when I listened to the music, and observed the ceremony of the
    dance, this song was rendered more frequently than any of those
    reproduced in Miss Densmore’s book. There are no words. The
    musicians, five to eight in number, sat around a large drum, beating
    time thereon and singing at the top of their voices. The repetition
    of the song continues for nearly an hour. After a short intermission
    the singers change to another air, but soon return to the favorite.

  Gifts or favors are bestowed by dancers on their partners, and
    according to Indian etiquette the full value must be returned when
    one asks a person who has “favored him” to dance. The Indians never
    slight each other or return trinkets for valuables. That “right” is
    reserved to the white participants who once in a while take part.

The Government boarding school is now attended by about 300 pupils and
does excellent work. At the time of our investigation, however, it was
in a most unsatisfactory condition, and immediate reforms had to be

Prior to the Linnen-Moorehead investigation there was entirely too much
swindling of school children. One would imagine that pupils in a
Government school, and under the protection of the American flag, would
be safer than pupils in ordinary institutions not governmental in
character. Yet there are many cases on record where children, little and
big, have lost their allotments while attending school. For this the
Indian Office does not seem so much to blame as the teachers and
superintendents who should have refused admission to persons who came to
transact business with minors. It is gratifying to learn that the
Commissioner has issued strict orders, and now it is impossible for
strangers, land sharks, or others to enter Government boarding schools
and swindle minors out of their property. My only regret is that the
strong, right arm of the Government did not protect these poor people
and their children prior to my arrival at White Earth.

Miss Phillomea Donnell was a pupil in the school at Flandreau, South
Dakota, where many Indian children are assembled each year for
instruction. She lived as do the others, in large dormitories. She
testifies that while she was there, a prominent, educated Indian
appeared and entered the music room without opposition on the part of
any teacher or person in authority, and sent for Miss Donnell. She came
down from her room, and the man produced a folded paper and a fountain
pen. He said that there was a dispute as to how her name was spelled on
the Government roll. There was some discussion about it, and he secured
her signature on each side of this paper in order, as he assured her, to
correct any error in the record. So she signed the paper in both places,
and he gave her a folded piece of paper, or an envelope, and told her it
was a present for her. Indians frequently make each other presents when
visiting, and so she did not look at this paper until she had been in
her room some time, as he told her it was a surprise. When she looked at
the paper she found it was a check for $500. Then, realizing that her
allotment of eighty acres, near the town of Mahnomen, was a valuable
allotment, she concluded that probably he had made her sign a paper the
result of which would be the loss of her land. She immediately sought
the superintendent of that school and he referred the matter to
Inspector Linnen and myself. The Indian had come to the school in an
automobile to hasten matters. There were no witnesses to the signature,
and he had no power of attorney in South Dakota, but only in Minnesota.
Yet in a few days the deed was recorded with the signature of witnesses.

In our capacity as Government officials we reported this outrageous
proceeding to the Department, prepared carefully-drawn affidavits
covering the entire circumstances, and rushed them to Washington to
enable the Commissioner to take immediate action. Up to the last that I
heard from Miss Donnell, she had obtained no relief from the Government,
but has been compelled to pay $57 out of her own funds (which were
limited) to obtain her own land. The buyer would not have given it up
but for the fact that he knew we were ready to proceed against him. I
cite the case of this girl in detail, although there are others which
could be mentioned where frauds were practised on minor children in the
Government schools.

When the Graham Committee hearings were published, the affidavits and
correspondence were made public. The Indian is supposed to have
persuaded Miss Donnell to speak in his favor. One of the Department of
Justice officials told me that the case against him was dropped.

We learned that certain educated Indians made a practice of going to
these Government schools, calling the pupils into the parlor or the
music-room or parade-ground, and transacting business with them.


Many years ago the employees at White Earth Agency made a roll of the
Chippewa Indians. One would suppose that so important a document as a
register of all the Indians would be accurate. But the original roll, as
on file at the White Earth office, in 1909, bristled with inaccuracies.
For instance, the name Mah-geed is the Ojibwa pronunciation of Maggie.
Many of the Indian girls were named Mah-geed by the priests and
missionaries. Those who made the Government roll apparently thought that
Mah-geed was a distinguished Indian name, so they had entered up quite a
number of Mah-geeds. No other name is added.

The Ojibwa name for old woman is Min-de-moi-yen. To the clerks who made
the roll this sounded like the name of an Indian, so they solemnly set
down many such names. “Young girl” is E-quay-zince. There are a large
number of E-quay-zinces in the roll. Yet, mind you, this is the official
roll, to which I objected, and to which the Indian Office employees
replied that if it was so entered on the roll it must be correct! When
Indians are assembled together, if one would call for E-quay-zince or
Mah-geed, it would be precisely as if, in an audience of two or three
hundred white persons, the speaker should ask for a “young girl” named
Mary to come forward, or request that “the lady” come to the platform.

By whom, aside from old Joe Pereault, an illiterate and troublesome
French-Canadian, who was employed for some time in the Agent’s office at
White Earth, this roll was made, I do not know.

As the roll we found in the Agent’s office in 1909 had been there for
years, I have often wondered how the authorities could differentiate
between the various Mah-geeds. If annuity money is to be paid an Indian
woman, E-quay-zince; what E-quay-zince would receive said payment? And
the same is true with reference to Min-de-moi-yen. If on an occasion of
great moment all the women of these names should appear at the agency
simultaneously, how would the employees be able to deal with them? The
spectacle would be amusing, and complicated, to say the least.

Inspector Linnen and myself made an accurate roll of the full-blood
Indians. We did not trouble ourselves concerning the mixed-bloods, who
were citizens, and under the law can dispose of their property. We were
sent to Minnesota to make an investigation as to the full-blood Indians,
and our work was confined to these Indians. If I remember correctly, we
entered five hundred and fifteen names.

The oldest and most reliable men of the tribe were assembled at the
various points where we investigated. These men knew all of the Indians
living in certain parts of the reservation, and their parents. In many
instances, they knew the grandparents and whether they were full-blood
or mixed-blood Indians. Through the assistance of two or three
interpreters, we carefully examined the witnesses in the presence of
those old men. An affidavit was drawn, in accordance with the facts, and
each witness attached his thumb-print thereto. On page 81 I present a
photographic copy of an affidavit taken by Mr. Linnen. It will be
observed by study of this that the testimony was exact in detail, and
the Indian proved to be a full-blood. If this plan were followed on all
the reservations in the United States, accurate lists of Indian
population would result. The list was made on ethnological lines. The
trouble has been, that men who were not acquainted with Indian customs
or descent, and who did not assemble together a sufficient number of the
older Indians, have attempted to make these rolls.

At the conclusion of our work at White Earth, the affidavits, the rolls,
and other papers were given to the Indian Office, and submitted by them
to the Department of Justice. The Department accepted our affidavits and
put them in legal form and began prosecutions, which have extended down
to the present time.

When Hon. Marsden C. Burch had charge of the White Earth cases for the
Attorney General, Mr. E. C. O’Brien served as his assistant. Hon. C. C.
Daniels succeeded Judge Burch, and Mr. O’Brien is associated with him in
the prosecutions. Mr. O’Brien kindly read proofs of my White Earth
chapters and offered suggestions. Mr. O’Brien says:—

“All suits are based on the Linnen-Moorehead roll, except a few
suggested by Mr. Hinton. The Hinton roll includes all Indians on the
reservation, and was prepared to determine who were entitled to fee
simple patents.”[14]

                  *       *       *       *       *

Mr. John H. Hinton was appointed Special Agent and sent to White Earth
to make a new roll of the Ojibwa. I was informed he added many names,
but Mr. O’Brien’s recent letter indicates that this is not correct. The
“interests” responsible for the White Earth scandal, petitioned Congress
a year ago to make a new roll of the Ojibwa. This bill nearly passed. A
Commission of two is now making a roll of allotments, which Mr. O’Brien
assures me are not included in the suits.

All lovers of justice may pray that no new roll be attempted. The
Linnen-Moorehead list is accurate and has stood the test.

Having assembled as our witnesses the most reliable old Indians, we were
able to check up the many errors in the Government roll. Frequently
there would be as many as forty or fifty Ojibwa assembled in the
schoolroom where our hearings were held. When the interpreter called out
such a name as Min-de-moi-yen, or E-quay-zince, or Mah-geed, the other
Indians would shout with laughter, and when they had recovered
sufficiently they would state they did not know what individual Indian
was named as there were a score who might respond to that appellation.

The Ojibwa Indians have had a number of attorneys in the past twenty, or
twenty-five years. None of these men seem to have concerned themselves
with the prevention of the wholesale thefts of land and timber. The
gentleman who acted as attorney at the time of our arrival, became
active toward the end of our investigation, and did what he could to
secure justice for the Indians. But he had done nothing previously along
such lines, and his activities savored of a death-bed repentance. The
Secretary of the Interior did not approve his re-election. The
full-blood Indians were against the employment of the attorney, and the
mixed-blood Indians, headed by Gus Beaulieu, were very insistent that
the attorney be retained. During the three years prior to 1909, the
attorney had received in salary and expenses about $20,000.

A large council was called in July by the Indians to talk over the
attorneyship. Mr. Linnen and myself were spectators, and while we could
have helped the poor, ignorant full-bloods, because of our official
position, we were compelled to sit in silence and see Gus Beaulieu and
John Carl, Rev. Clement Beaulieu and others manipulate the meeting. The
first morning, there were sufficient full-bloods to have outvoted the
Beaulieu element, two to one. But Gus Beaulieu and his brother, Rev.
Clement Beaulieu, consumed the time in speech-making, while Ben
Fairbanks sent mixed-bloods in teams all over the reservation to bring
in those who would vote according to Gus Beaulieu’s desires. At the
afternoon session the full-blood Indians might have carried their point,
but they spent their time answering the arguments of the two Beaulieus
and others, being cleverly heckled into making long speeches.

The next morning, the council adjourned to a larger hall, in the center
of White Earth village. By this time the mixed-blood element
predominated and a very motley crowd was assembled, including a number
of saloon-keepers of Ogema and other towns, and several interpreters who
were mentioned in the affidavits as having acted as go-betweens in land
and timber deals. To shorten my story, the poor full-blood Indians were
outvoted, they were asked to write out ballots (which they did not
understand and most of them could not write) and the attorney was
re-elected. We made a report against the council, and the Secretary of
the Interior sustained our objections.



  Nearly all of these burials are those of consumptives the past few

In addition to the Chippewa attorney, there was also a Chippewa
Commissioner. The Graham Investigating Committee considered him at some

Senator Clapp asked that Darwin H. Hall be appointed Chippewa
Commissioner. The history of this appointment is interesting, but must
not (at present) be related. Previous to that, Hall had been employed at
various intervals until his employment totaled eight years and cost
$31,845. In this connection it is well to remark that the investigation
made by Linnen and myself, including the employment of thirty-seven
persons, and lasting all summer and part of the fall, cost for my part
$3,066.64. Mr. Linnen’s expenses could not have been more than a third
of that sum.

Hall came to White Earth while Linnen and I were investigating, and was
of no value to us. He helped us in no way. He was detailed to move some
200 or 300 Mille Lac Indians about one hundred miles (more or less). I
had offered to move these same Indians in sixty days, but my offer met
with no cordial response. During the twenty months that Hall was in
office he moved fifty Indians, according to my information, and
fifty-one according to the Indian Office report. At that rate, his job
would have lasted nearly seven years! It cost him $167.50 per head to
move an Indian one hundred miles. It would have cost $33,500 to move 200
Indians to White Earth!

I met Hall at the Hiawatha Hotel, White Earth, prior to the arrival of
Mr. Linnen. We stepped out into the street in order not to be overheard
and I told him of the dreadful situation of the Chippewa Indians and how
that he could help us right their wrongs. He informed me that he had no
sympathy with the investigation, and I could see his attitude was

The Secretary of the Bureau of Catholic Missions, Charles S. Lusk, wrote
to the Commissioner of Indian Affairs in August, 1910, calling attention
to the sad condition of these Indians, that the removal of a portion of
them to White Earth had brought them under the influence of one Gus
Beaulieu and other politicians. They were promised houses, lands and
farming implements. In Washington three years ago I met a delegation of
the Ojibwa. Three of the members of this body were personally known to
me, and the Chief Ah-bow-we-ge-shig well known. They told me that the
last thing that Darwin Hall did was to summon the Mille Lacs and
persuade them to move a considerable distance from their homes. He left
them in camp, promising to return shortly and move them to White Earth.
These Indians waited two weeks. They had little food. Mr. Hall did not
move them, and they suffered privations, and at last returned to their
former homes. The story of the Mille Lacs reads as a page from Helen
Hunt Jackson’s “Century of Dishonor,” yet this scandal did not occur in
the old days, but is recent history. Who is responsible?

Almost any other body of men and women in the world would be utterly
discouraged if they had passed through the same experience that fell to
the lot of the Ojibwa Indians of White Earth, Minnesota, during
twenty-five years. I am acquainted with no community in the East where,
in the minds and hearts of the citizens, there would remain even a
particle of respect, or regard, or confidence, in any government, or
culture, or civilization, responsible for such a condition. The sole
saving grace is the natural cheerfulness and optimism of the Ojibwa
people, as a whole. Many of them are discouraged, and most of them will
not farm or work, for the reason that the farming and working in the
past resulted in those who were industrious being disciplined, (see page
68) and those who were indolent being rewarded. No white man or woman
would work under similar circumstances. Yet, contrary to all precedents,
they are cheerful and optimistic. They have a keen sense of humor, they
laugh and joke among themselves. I desire to vary the monotony of this
recital of wrongs and sufferings, by illustrating a few incidents.

The old witnesses and the interpreters, after dinner one noon hour, were
having an animated discussion. A number of us were lolling about on the
ground, smoking, and one of the officials happened at this moment to
stretch and yawn. One of the old Indians immediately laughed and said
something which caused the other Indians to shout with merriment. The
interpreter turned to me and said, “Mah-een-gonce says, that that is the
first white man he has seen to open his mouth and a lie did not hop

When the Indians were assembled in council on one occasion, a long
letter from Washington arrived which was read by the clerk, and
interpreted by John Lufkins, a Carlisle graduate. At the conclusion of a
tedious interpretation requiring an hour, a prominent Indian, whom we
called “Shorty,” but whose correct name was Ah-bow-we-ge-shig, arose and
uttered a few words not requiring more than fifteen or twenty seconds in
utterance. His reply to the long, well-worded, indefinite Washington
letter is worthy of preservation. “That letter is like the food that we
Indians have today, all soup and no meat.”

When some of the preliminary trials were heard at White Earth,
previous to action by the Department of Justice, the old Indian
Bay-bah-dwun-gay-aush, eighty-two years of age, and who was possessed
of remarkable memory, was on the witness stand. This Indian knew the
family history of several hundred persons and was entirely familiar
with all parts of the reservation. The lawyers, however, would ask him
where was located a piece of land described as Township 4, Section 15,
Range 142, and who owned it, instead of asking the Indian, “Who owns
the land at the head of Otter Creek?” or “Who used to live at the head
of Otter Creek?” The attorneys purposely asked the Indian in a way to
confuse him, in order to substantiate their contention that Indian
testimony was not reliable.

Having stood this annoying and unfair grilling for a long time, old
Bay-bah-dwun-gay-aush said something to the interpreter which caused the
other Indians to laugh. His remark was, “Why does the lawyer ask me
where the Indian land is? The white lawyers know better than I, because
they now own most of the lands.” I believe that he added that they had
stolen them, or words to that effect.

Inspector Linnen, Mr. Allen and myself were criticised by those who
sought, unsuccessfully, to discredit our work; for the reason that we
looked on during a squaw dance. One reverend gentleman contended that we
were encouraging “pagan ceremonies”. In fact, he reproached one of the
Government officials rather severely. The Government official denied
having taken part in a pagan dance, whereupon the reverend gentleman
asked him, “Have you seen many pagan dances?” “I can truthfully say,”
replied the official, “that I never observed but one dance which might
truly be called pagan.” The reverend gentleman seemed shocked, but made
bold to inquire: “On what reservation?” “It was on no reservation. The
only real pagan dance I ever witnessed was the inaugural ball in
Washington during Harrison’s administration.”

On another occasion, toward the end of the investigation, we were
visited by a reverend gentleman much concerned as to the welfare of the
Indians, a most worthy person, but who seemed to concern himself with
details, rather than the great important questions and problems of White
Earth. There was a good deal of drinking among the Indians, and the
police made frequent arrests. The day following an arrest, when the
Indians had become sober, they were brought into Major Howard’s office
where a sort of “fatherly court” was held. These hearings might be
roughly compared to police court affairs in other communities. Mr.
Linnen and myself occasionally went in, but usually we were in the
schoolroom taking testimony. Because we did not assume charge of all
those multitudinous details, the worthy gentleman from the East seemed
to think that we were neglecting our duties. He thought we did not seem
appalled by the laxity of morals, etc. Such was not the case, for we had
already made a lengthy report to the Secretary of the Interior and
Commissioner of Indian Affairs on the whiskey curse and on immorality.
However, he spoke to an educated Indian, and rather reprimanded us. The
Indian’s answer was one of the best I have ever heard. He said, “Doctor,
I will give you an Indian illustration. The shed, the stable and the
house are all on fire. Linnen and Moorehead are trying to save the house
first, and the stable next, but the shed is doomed. You want them to
abandon work on the house and begin on the shed.”

Today the Department of Justice has before it something like sixteen
hundred cases involving lands at White Earth. Several times have I
written the Honorable Attorney General for information. While some lands
have been returned, and some reforms instituted, it must be admitted
that there has not been the prompt, efficient “clean-up” for which we
hoped. This has had a bad effect elsewhere on both Whites and Indians.
It is my firm conviction that white people are encouraged to defraud
Indians, for the reason that they are willing to “take a chance.” That
is, they know that the Indian property can be obtained in a short time,
whereas the procedure of recovery will drag through months, (and usually
years) and that the Government stands more than an even chance of being
defeated. It was defeated in the first White Earth cases.

The Indians take the point of view that the grafters are more powerful
than the Great Father at Washington. While this seems entirely
illogical, nevertheless it is entirely true—from the Indians’ point of
view. The Indian loses his property under such conditions as occurred at
White Earth, by the removal of restrictions, in a few days, or a few
weeks, elsewhere in a few months, or not more than a few years. He knows
that this is true and that it occurs all over the United States. The
Government does not spend a few weeks, or a few months in recovering the
property, save in very rare instances. Usually, the Government cases
drag on for years. The Indians write letters to the men who began the
investigation, or the attorneys who tried the cases, and they receive
just such replies as fill the files in my office: “I have the honor to
advise you that the Department is doing all it can to bring the cases to
trial. There was much testimony to be taken before they could be tried
on their merits.[15] Some are now almost ready for trial, and we hope to
submit them before the close of the calendar year;” or, “The Department
is doing all possible;” or, “The delays are due to the activity of the
attorneys on the other side;” or, “It has been found that according to
Act 462, 57th Congress, that these white persons are empowered”, etc.;
or, “The information contained in your communication of the 13th has
been submitted to our legal department,” etc., etc. From the Indian
point of view, there is anything and everything under the sun except the
return of the property or the punishment of the guilty. This is strong
language, but it is absolutely true. So long as we permit Indians to
lose their property without let or hindrance from us, our Indian
citizens will lose their property; and so long as we administer our
justice in such a manner that the burden of the proof seems to rest on
the poor Indian rather than upon the white grafter, just so long will
the bulk of the Indians care neither for industry nor education, neither
for civilization nor Christianity. The Indian must have the same
standing and the same justice in court as the white man. Furthermore,
there must be a swift administration of justice, and some means devised
whereby the tricks of grafters’ lawyers may be overcome.

The Inspection Service, under the supervision of Honorable E. B. Linnen,
is now what it should have been ten years ago. I went into this phase of
the White Earth situation in 1909, very thoroughly. There had been
Special Agents and Inspectors at White Earth time and again.

One who had done real work was Mrs. Elsie E. Newton, one of the most
able and conscientious women in the Indian Service. She had visited the
sick and the suffering, had made recommendations, had done her part
toward remedying intolerable conditions.

How the others could have visited such a place as White Earth and not
reported on actual conditions is incomprehensible, unless we accept Mr.
Valentine’s address at Lake Mohonk, in October, 1909, in which he stated
that too many of his Inspectors were blind and deaf! I talked with one
or two men now out of the Service, who used to be Special Agents, and
they did not even know the names of all the places on the reservation! I
don’t know of one of them who went into the cabins and sat down and
talked to the Indians and heard their troubles. Most of them drove from
the railroad station at Ogema, over to the Agent’s office and talked
with Mr. Michelet, the agent preceding Howard.

I would close this chapter on White Earth with an incident which
occurred at Pine Point during the first investigation, March-April,

The Chief of the Otter Tail Pilligers lives at Pine Point. One of the
most dramatic instances which occurred during the investigation happened
in the latter part of March before the large party, employed during the
summer, had begun their labors. It was cold and we were compelled to
hold our examinations indoors. Just opposite the office was a schoolroom
in which some sixty Indian children were assembled under the charge of
three or four white teachers. The chief had lost a number of children
and other relatives, and thus he and his wife were heirs to about eleven
allotments. These were easily worth $45,000 or $50,000, being mostly
pine timber. With the exception of one or two others, this man had been
robbed of more property than anyone else, and it was pathetic to hear
him state how certain men in whom he trusted, had taken advantage of his
ignorance. When he had finished his long recital of wrongs, I remarked,
“You must have lost entire faith in the white people and in the
Government at Washington.” “Oh, no,” he replied, “I think that
Washington would give me justice if only the men there could hear my
story.” Just as he completed this statement, the school session came to
an end, and we heard through the thin partition the childish voices
singing in unison “My Country, ’Tis of Thee, Sweet Land of Liberty”—and
this was the first time in my life that the words sounded in my ears
like a hollow mockery and a sham.

                      BIBLIOGRAPHY OF WHITE EARTH

  Omitting ethnological reports and Warren’s book (see page 45) those
  who desire to study conditions at White Earth, Leech Lake, Red Lake,
  and Cass Lake, are referred to the reports of the Secretary of the
  Interior, Commissioner of Indian Affairs, and the Board of Indian
  Commissioners the past twenty years. These contain all
  administrative details.

  The legal aspect of the prosecution will be found in pamphlets
  issued by the Department of Justice, and the U. S. Court of Claims.

  White Earth has been the subject of much investigation on the part
  of Committees of the Senate and House of Representatives. The most
  lengthy and exhaustive investigation, covering every phase of the
  subject, is the report of the Committee on Expenditure in the
  Interior Department, Honorable James M. Graham of Illinois,
  Chairman. House Resolution No. 103; July 25, 1911–April, 1912; 2759
  pp. Those who care to follow the subject further, will find in this
  lengthy report an enormous amount of material.

  A synopsis entitled “The Lesson of White Earth” will be found in the
  report of the 30th Conference of Friends of the Indian and Other
  Dependent Peoples held at Lake Mohonk, N. Y., October, 1912.


Footnote 14:

  Letter of Dec. 2nd, 1914. Federal Building, Minneapolis.

Footnote 15:

  Letter of Aug. 29th, 1914.


The Sioux is one of our most famous Indian nations. As the Iroquois
activities two centuries ago placed them in the forerank of American
aborigines, so the Sioux from the days of Lewis and Clark down to the
present have been much in evidence. They are primarily a strong, hearty
race possessed of dominant spirit. Their reservations at Standing Rock,
Rosebud, Pine Ridge, etc., contain most of the 28,000 natives of this
stock. Reference to Major Powell’s linguistic map will acquaint readers
with the enormous extent of territory they once occupied. The
Commissioner’s map of 1913 shows that these people today own a small
fraction of their original holdings.

The general progress of the Sioux, the famous men that they have
produced, I have covered in the chapters treating of Education, Red
Cloud, Sitting Bull, etc.

They were known to the army officers as Horse Indians, and to many
others as Plains Indians. The horse was to the Sioux what the birch bark
canoe was to the Ojibwa or the Penobscot. In early days their habitat
was almost entirely confined to the Great Plains, the foothills of the
Black Hills and the Missouri River. They were in Minnesota at an early
period, but were driven westward and southward by the Ojibwa. The older
Ojibwa claim that the Sioux frequently surprised hunting parties of
these woods Indians, and that whenever the Ojibwa were caught out on the
plain by the Sioux, they were invariably defeated with great loss. The
Ojibwa therefore resorted to the strategy of luring the Sioux into the
woods. Where this was possible, the expert woodcraft of the Ojibwa came
into play and they generally defeated their enemies with heavy

1850 to 1868 found the Sioux supremacy on the Great Plains unquestioned.
With the coming of the railroad, and steamboat navigation on the
Missouri, and the great influx of white traders, their powers declined
as I have indicated in some detail on other pages.

The story of the Brulé, Miniconjou, Oglala, Teton and other divisions,
so far as history is concerned, is pretty much the same. The buffalo was
their chief support, in fact their very life was bound up in this
animal. The wild horse was a later acquisition. In order to understand
them thoroughly, the past fifty years, we should study in detail the
life of Red Cloud, that of Sitting Bull, and in addition the Messiah
craze, as previously mentioned.

The contrast between the Pine Ridge of today and that of 1890 is almost
beyond belief. In 1890, one of the strangest ceremonies imaginable was
in full swing. In 1909, when I visited Pine Ridge, exactly nineteen
years later, I found the Sioux working upon their allotments, farming,
digging irrigation ditches, and doing their best toward “taking the
white man’s road.” On the plains where once clustered the tipis of the
Ghost dancers were the large, modern brick buildings of the Oglala
school, a most successful institution where young men and women are
trained in the arts. Certainly the progress of these Indians is more
than surprising—it is remarkable. And it is chiefly due to the fact that
they have had as their Superintendent or Agent a man who is in sympathy
with them and who has not been replaced through political influence.
Major John R. Brennan has supervised the famous old fighting Oglala
Sioux for more than fifteen years.

The progress of these Indians is, as I have said, creditable, but they
are still poor, there is much suffering, and the increase in stock has
not been as large as desired. Farming operations continue on a large
scale, but the soil is more suited to grazing than farming, although the
Indians do the best they can under the circumstances.

All of the Sioux have so far progressed, that it is unthinkable that any
fanaticism such as the Ghost dance will again overtake them. It is quite
safe to predict that since all of their children have been educated and
nearly all of the Sioux of every reservation have been allotted land in
severalty, they will continue to progress, and if the ravages of
tuberculosis are stayed, a large number of the descendants of the
full-bloods will survive and become useful citizens.

These Indians, after the surrender of Sitting Bull, were not much in the
public eye until occurred the famous Ghost dance, or Messiah craze, and
that being the chief event since the Custer fight we must needs devote
considerable space to it.

On several occasions during the past two centuries, in this country,
Indian shamans, or priests, have prophesied the coming of an Indian
Messiah. We shall at some future time consider this interesting subject
in detail, but within the period embraced in this book, that peculiar
craze which swept throughout the West and the South during the year
1890, and known as the Ghost Dance, is the chief religious event.

Mr. James Mooney of the Bureau of Ethnology, published a very
comprehensive monograph, in 1896, entitled “The Ghost Dance Religion”,
in the Fourteenth Annual Report of the Bureau of Ethnology. I shall draw
the information presented in this chapter partly from Mr. Mooney’s
account, but more especially from my own investigation made in the
winter of 1890 at Pine Ridge reservation, South Dakota, where among the
Oglala Sioux the Messiah craze reached its culmination.

The music of the Oglala dances was taken down at the time by Mr. George
E. Bartlett (Husté) and myself. Our work was not copyrighted, and soon
found its way into various publications, and after being harmonized, our
music was soon in general use. It is no more than fair to say that as I
lay no claim to special skill as an ethnologist, Mr. Mooney, having more
training and experience in such studies, was able to present the songs
and their translations more accurately. I believe, in my original
articles published in the _Illustrated American_ of New York in January
and February, 1891, some of the Sioux word-syllables were not properly
spaced, a number of accent marks omitted, and there were a few minor
errors. But in the main the account as published was correct, although
it was a “popular”, rather than a technical paper.

I did not investigate the Messiah in the West, although the new religion
was inaugurated by him. The Sioux told me a great deal concerning him.
He was known to them as Johnson, whereas Mooney gives as his proper
name, Wovoka. In November, 1891, a year after the trouble at Pine Ridge,
Mr. Mooney set out for Pine Ridge, where he spent considerable time, and
then visited Walker Lake reservation in Nevada, where Wovoka (Johnson)
lived. Here he obtained at first hand the information concerning the
origin of the Messiah religion, and has presented us with a very
valuable and interesting account.

As in the case of all Messiahs or prophets, Wovoka was a dreamer. He
inherited the spirit of prophecy, for his father before him was known as
a prophet. The young man at the time of Mooney’s visit, had never
wandered beyond the valley wherein he resided—a small area, some thirty
miles in length. Wovoka belonged to the Paiute, and his religion may be
summed up in this statement which Mooney records.

“When the sun died, I went up to heaven and saw God and all the people
who had died a long time ago. God told me to come back and tell my
people they must be good and love one another, and not fight, or steal,
or lie. He gave me this dance to give to my people.”

If the missionaries and Government employees had seized upon the
beautiful sentiment uttered in this remarkable paragraph, the new
religion might have been turned to good account. Instead of that, as we
shall see presently, an Agent utterly ignorant of Indians, saw in this
sacred ceremony nothing beyond a “war dance” and he sent for troops—the
very worst possible thing he could have done.

Mooney spent many days conversing with this interesting person, Wovoka,
who told him that he had given to his people this dance about two years
previously. He seems to have talked very freely with Mr. Mooney,
permitting him to take his photograph, and when Mooney left, the prophet
gave him as souvenirs to exhibit to his friends, a blanket of rabbit
skins, sacred paint endowed with miraculous powers and which plays an
important part in the ritual of the Ghost dance religion, and other

In Oklahoma Mooney met with the Cheyennes and Arapahoes and they gave
him a written statement of the doctrine of Wovoka, which he was
permitted to take to Washington to convince the authorities, “that there
was nothing bad or hostile in the new religion.”

Mooney traveled many months West and South and his excellent report is
evidence that he studied every phase of the dance. My work was confined
to Pine Ridge where I studied the dance while it was in progress. There
it appeared in all its purity; there the white people made of it a
“warlike” demonstration; there stupidity and ignorance transformed a
peaceful, religious ceremony into a bloody tragedy—Wounded Knee.

I employed three interpreters: the Weasel (Itonkasan,) George Bartlett
(Husté), and a Frenchman, whose name I do not recall.

Doctor Charles A. Eastman, the Sioux, some years after my account was
published, informed me that it was correct, and he was present before,
during and after the trouble at Pine Ridge, and knew all the actors

Summing up Mr. Mooney’s conclusions in a few words, the Messiah craze of
1890 was a mixture of Christianity and Indian religion.

In a nutshell, the Messiah craze conformed to the sentiments of Jesus
Christ. It was not expressed in His language, but the frequent
repetitions of such sentiments as “you must not fight”, and, “do injury
to no one”; “give up the bad white man’s ways”; “live as brothers as you
did before the Whites came”; “Dance faithfully to the Great Spirit”;
“Father and Mother are talking”; etc., indicate a belief in the better
things of life and of the hereafter. Instead of hostility, peace was
proclaimed; instead of avarice, the communistic life was advocated.

There was only one discontented element, or discordant note, and that
was the stand taken by Sitting Bull and a few other Indians, who seized
upon this craze to further their own personal aims. Major McLaughlin has
commented in full on Sitting Bull’s attitude in his book, pages 183–220.
And while I do not entirely agree with him, it is beyond question that
Sitting Bull sought to gain through the Messiah craze. To a certain
extent he advocated armed resistance, but the dominating desire in his
mind, a careful review of events would indicate, was that Sitting Bull
desired above all things to see the Indians restored to their old-time
domination. Like the others, he prayed for the return of the buffalo,
without which “the good old days” would be impossible. He probably
believed that volcanic action (“wave of mud”, as the Oglala called it)
would sweep across the country, destroy the Whites and leave the red men
happy possessors of the Plains and countless herds of bison, elk and
deer. That was the belief of many of the Indians, and so expressed by
them during the Ghost dance.

The Ghost dance, or Messiah craze, was seized upon by all these Sioux as
a means of salvation out of their troubles. We must remember that these
Indians had lived but a few years on the reservation at Pine Ridge. In
1876, only fourteen years before, they killed Custer and wiped out
several companies of the Seventh Cavalry. They had made some progress,
but they were still ration Indians, and the cutting down of the supply
of beef, etc., hundreds of thousands pounds, before the Indians had
become self-supporting, caused widespread suffering.

It is not necessary to repeat the troubles of the Sioux here. I have
referred to some of the treaties, Indian cause for dissatisfaction, in
other pages of this book. In the spring of 1889, so I was informed at
Pine Ridge, Congress passed an act authorizing the purchase of a large
tract of land from these people. Honorable Charles Foster, ex-Governor
of Ohio, and several other gentlemen were appointed a committee to
negotiate with the Indians. According to the Indians’ version, many
councils were held and a great deal of discussion ensued. Sometimes the
debates were rather strenuous and they all related to purchase of
lands—to the further curtailing of the Sioux reservation—the same old
story. An intelligent educated Indian summed up their cause as follows:—

“The lands secured by the treaty were divided into three classes. All
tracts selected for farming or grazing purposes within a period of three
years from February 15, 1890, were to be sold at $1.25 per acre. Those
purchased during the two years following were valued at seventy-five
cents per acre. The portions remaining unsold after the expiration of
five years could be bought for fifty cents per acre. The money received
from the sale of the land was to be placed in the United States
Treasury, subject to interest, which was to be paid to the Indians at
regular intervals.

“Any Sioux whom his Agent considered qualified for supporting himself
was to be allowed to select for his own use a tract of land, the area of
which was determined by the number of members in his family. Farming
implements and utensils, oxen or horses, seed, etc., and fifty dollars
in cash were also to be given him. Notices to acquaint the Sioux with
this proposition were posted in conspicuous places in the agency
buildings, and every inducement was offered the people to take the land
in severalty. So far, about one hundred at Rosebud, a smaller number at
Standing Rock, and some two hundred at Pine Ridge have made applications
to the Agents for allotments.



“Inquiries were made of many of the leading men on the reservation as to
why more persons did not avail themselves of the Government’s liberal
offer and become self-supporting. The Indians’ answers and their reasons
for not taking up land in severalty convinced all questioners not
already prejudiced that under the present condition of affairs it would
be impossible to interest more than a small percentage of the nation in

Some of the Indians’ statements may be denied in Washington. The Indians
have always maintained that many things are told them by Commissioners
which are never carried into effect. I am quite aware that only the
written recommendations are acted upon. That is, the report of a
Commission may be quite different from the Indians’ ideas or
understandings of the councils and the debates. Politicians will
cultivate the good will of Indians just as they cultivate voters. The
politician frankly admits: “a platform is made to get in on.” The
failure to keep these promises, and the difference between the actual
performance and the words so freely uttered in the presence of the
Indians, caused much dissatisfaction and paved the way for the Messiah

Another serious cause for complaint occurred after the Messiah craze
started. Doctor Royer sent out the Indian police and brought in all the
friendly Indians, in order to differentiate them from the “hostiles.”
That is, he compelled all Indians who were not dancing, and those who
were lukewarm toward the Messiah doctrine, to move to the agency and
live in tents and canvas tipis under his direct supervision. When I
reached Pine Ridge, these tents extended in little groups, here and
there, for two miles. As most of the Indians lived in log cabins, this
foolish order worked great hardship. Many of them lost stock, their
cabins were broken into, and they were compelled to seek support from
the Government. Royer was forced to issue a great quantity of rations.
As the younger children, for the most part, were accustomed to living in
the log houses referred to, this change in winter to life in the open
was responsible for a heavy increase of diphtheria and other diseases.

The Indians bitterly complained and began to say they thought the
Government had deliberately set about destroying the Pine Ridge Sioux.

As a result of the mismanagement, the ignorance, the suffering, and the
presence of the troops, the progress of the Pine Ridge Sioux was delayed
many years, and much of the advancement of the previous ten years was
forever lost. The only redeeming feature at Pine Ridge, in my opinion,
was the appointment of Major John R. Brennan as Agent. He took charge
shortly after the military domination ended and after years of labor
managed to inspire confidence in the Oglalas.

The succeeding pages describe the dance ceremonies as related to me at
Pine Ridge in November and December, 1890. I have left much of the
narrative in the present tense, as written then.

The Indians located in the Dakotas have been in the habit of visiting
the Utes and Arapahoes every summer for the purpose of trading. They
also hunted game en route. While the Sioux are unable to converse with
these tribes, means of communication is possible through the medium of
the sign-language, which was well understood by all Plains Indians. Most
of the older Oglala, Miniconjou, and Brulé are able to use it at


    RIDGE, 1909

Keeps-the-Battle (Kicizapi Tawa) told me a few days ago that it was
during the visit of the Pine Ridge Sioux last July that he first heard
of the coming of the new Messiah. He related the following story:

“Scarcely had my people reached the Ute village when we heard of a white
preacher whom the Utes held in the highest esteem, who told a beautiful
dream or vision of the coming of a great and good red man. This strange
person was to set aright the wrongs of my people; he could restore to us
our game and hunting grounds, was so powerful that every wish or word he
gave utterance to became fulfilled.

“His teaching had a strange effect upon the Utes, and, in obedience to
the commands of this man, they began a Messiah dance.”

Keeps-the-Battle further said that, immediately upon the arrival of the
hunting-party at Pine Ridge, a small dance was held in imitation of the
ones they had seen while among the Utes, but that until the medicine men
began to superintend the ceremonies nothing unusual occurred. The dances
were held every few days until the middle of August. Then, with scarcely
any warning, a wild and general desire took possession of a large part
of the nation to welcome the expected Messiah the moment he set foot
upon earth. Mr. H. G. Galagher was then Agent, and, fearing that the
enthusiasm of the Sioux under his charge might terminate in an outbreak,
he visited White Bird’s camp accompanied by fourteen Indian police. As
he approached the village, twenty warriors sprang out of the brush and,
drawing their Winchesters, called upon him to halt. They would not
permit him to advance, and compelled the party to turn about and retrace
its footsteps to the agency.

The news of this bold action spread like wildfire through the country,
and being heralded and exaggerated by the daily press, caused many an
uneasy and timid settler to prepare to remove to the nearest point upon
the railroad.

The news of the failure of the agent to stop the Messiah dance was
carried by couriers to the Indians at Rosebud and Standing Rock
reservations, and the more susceptible persons became infatuated with
the new craze. Meetings and dances were arranged at points distant from
the agency posts, in order that no employee might interfere. Of course,
both the Sioux and the Whites were much excited. The former were ready
and willing to throw off forever the odious yoke of oppression; the
latter, fearful for the safety of their homes and families.

The white people became frantic from fear, houses were barricaded and
all Indians viewed with suspicion. A sensational press magnified events,
and settlers accused many friendly Indians, who had joined the dance for
no other purpose than worship, of hostile intentions. This accusation,
coupled with the arrival of some four or five times as many troops as
were necessary to subdue the small number of lodgers which later fled
into the borders of the Bad Lands, had the effect of turning the more
timid toward the agency, while the braver middle-aged and young men fled
to the northward.



But to return to the mission of Agent Galagher last summer. It is quite
natural to suppose that the Agent was not a little frightened at his
reception near “White Bird’s” camp, and, as subsequent events would seem
to indicate, he feared to assert his authority and compel the Sioux to
discontinue their dance. He hoped that in time the craze would die out
without interference on his part. But instead of ceasing, the number
participating increased, and really things began to assume a very
threatening aspect. Then came the change of Agents and Dr. D. F. Royer,
of Alpina, South Dakota, succeeded Mr. Galagher. Royer was not the man
for so trying a post, and as both the Agents were political appointees,
trouble was certain to follow. And no sooner did Indians begin to dance
than Royer bombarded Washington with requests for troops. He sent a
letter or telegram every day.

The dancers were not slow to take advantage of Galagher’s or Royer’s
non-interference, and a report gained wide circulation to the effect
that their Agent was afraid to command the police to arrest the
principals in the dance. The medicine men and Indians of the same stamp
as the late Sitting Bull, addressed the young men somewhat after the
following manner:

“Do you not see that the Whites on the reservation are afraid of you?
Why do you pray to great Wakantanka to send the Saviour on earth when
the remedy lies in your own hands? Be men, not children. You have a
perfect right to dance upon your own reservation as much as you please,
and you should exercise the rights, even if you find it necessary to use
your guns. Be brave, and the good and great Wakantanka will aid your
arms. Be cowards, and he will be ashamed of you.”

Now let us consider the Messiah craze as it appeared in its purity.

In nearly all religious beliefs the candidate for admission to the
church or body of worshippers is compelled to pass through certain
ceremonies. In our own day we maintain certain practices which have
nothing whatever to do with one’s salvation, but which have been handed
down both by tradition and historical record, and on this account are
sacredly preserved.

There do not appear to have been any special preparations on the part of
the candidates. The sweat-lodge was in frequent use, and many Indians
purified themselves. The sweat-bath was common among the Sioux in
1889–1890. But during the Messiah craze its use became widespread, and
the dancers thought it prepared them, or purified them, for the dance.
The pipe is also smoked during the sweat. When the young men issue from
their bath the perspiration is fairly streaming from every pore. If it
is not cold weather they plunge into a pool in the creek nearby, but if
it is chilly they wrap blankets about their bodies. None of the Whites
and half-breeds who have witnessed these things ever saw a Sioux rub
himself after issuing from the bath.

The largest camp of the dancers prior to the departure for the North was
located upon Wounded Knee creek. Other camps of considerable extent
existed upon White Clay creek, four miles from the agency headquarters,
upon Porcupine and Medicine Root streams. No Water’s camp became, later,
the general rendezvous.

The shamans took the dance under their charge. One of them seemed to be
“high priest,” or at least controlled the affair. Three or four
assistants served, and had power to stop or start the dance.



  A. Council Lodge. B. No Water’s Tipi
  Sketch by Husté, Pine Ridge.


Footnote 16:

  Written in 1890, at Pine Ridge

                          CHAPTER X. THE DANCE

Several sweat-houses are erected in order to prepare the young men for
the dance. When a good number of young men, say fifty or sixty, have
taken the sweat-bath, and prepared themselves, the high priest and his
assistants come forward. The high priest wears eagle-feathers in his
hair, and a shirt reaching nearly to his knees. The assistants are
dressed in similar manner, but wear no ornaments other than the
eagle-feathers. The dancers wear no ornaments whatsoever, and enter the
circle without their blankets.

That Indians should lay aside all ornaments and finery and dance without
the trappings which they so dearly love proves conclusively that some
powerful religious influence is at work. In their other dances, (the
Omaha, the Old Woman, the Sun) feathers and bangles; weapons, herbs or
painted and plaited grasses; porcupine quills, horses’ tails and bits of
fur-skins; necklaces, bells, silver discs, etc., are worn in great

At Pine Ridge few candidates for “conversion” fasted. After they have
come forth from the sweat-house they are ready to enter the sacred
circle. The high priest runs quickly from the village to the open space
of ground, five or six hundred yards distant, and, stationing himself
near the sacred tree, begins his chant as follows:

“Hear, hear, all you persons!

“Come, hurry up and dance, and when you have finished running in the
circle, tell these people what you have seen in the spirit land.

“I myself have been in the spirit land and have seen many strange and
beautiful things, all of which my eyes tell me are good and true.”

As the speaker proceeds, the men and women crowd to the dance-ground.
They form two or three circles, according to the number of persons who
wish to participate, and, grasping hands with fingers interlocked
(“Indian grip”), the circles begin to move around toward the left.[17]

In the center, at No Water’s camp, stands the sacred tree. It is a
nearly straight sapling thirty or forty feet high, trimmed of branches
to a height of several feet. To the topmost twigs is attached a small
white flag or canvas strip, supposed to be an emblem of purity, together
with some colored strips. The base of the tree is wrapped with rushes
and flags to a thickness of some feet. Between the reeds the dancers
from time to time thrust little gifts or peace-offerings. These
offerings are supposed to allay the anger of the Great Spirit, and are
given in perfectly good faith by the poor natives. They consist of small
pieces of calico, bags of tobacco, or pipes. During the height of
excitement, those worshippers most deeply affected cut small particles
of flesh from their arms, and thrust these, also, between the rushes of
the holy tree.

Henry Hunter (the Weasel, “Itonkasan”) informs me that after the dance
had been running some days, the rushes covering the base of the tree
were literally besmeared with human blood!

As the circle moves toward the left, the priest and his assistants cry
out loudly for the dancers to stop a moment. As they pause he raises his
hands toward the west, and upon all the people acting similarly, begins
the following remarkable prayer:

“Great Spirit, look at us now. Grandfather and Grandmother have come.
All these good people are going to see Wakantanka, but they will be
brought safely back to earth. Everything that is good you will see
there, and you can have these things by going there. All things that you
hear there will be holy and true, and when you return you can tell your
friends how spiritual it is.”

As he prays, the dancers cry aloud with all the fervor of religious
fanatics. They moan and sob, many of them exclaiming: “Great Father, I
want you to have pity upon me.”

One can scarcely imagine the terrible earnestness of these people.
George E. Bartlett, and Mr. Sweeney, one of the agency school-teachers,
the chief herder, Mr. John Darr, and others, have informed me that
during their extended experience at the agency, of many years’ duration,
they have witnessed many different dances. They describe the scene of
the dance, especially at night, as most weird and ghostlike. The fires
are very large, and shed a bright reflection all around; the breasts of
the worshippers heave with emotion; they groan and cry as if they were
suffering great agony, and the priest begs them to ask great Wakantanka
to forgive their sins.

After prayer and weeping, and offerings have been made to the sacred
pole, the dance is started again. The dancers go rather slowly at first,
and as the priests in the center begin to shout and leap about, the
dancers partake of the enthusiasm. Instead of moving with a regular
step, each person jumps backward and forward, up and down, as hard as he
or she can without relinquishing their hold upon their neighbor’s hand.
One by one the dancers fall out of the ranks, some staggering like
drunken men, others wildly rushing here and there almost bereft of
reason. Many fall upon the earth to writhe about as if possessed of
demons, while blinded women throw their clothes over their heads and run
through brush or against trees. The priests are kept busy waving
eagle-feathers in the faces of the most violent worshippers. The feather
is considered sacred, and its use, together with the mesmeric glance and
motion of the priest, soon causes the victim to fall into a trance or
deep sleep. Whether this sleep is real or feigned the writer does not
pretend to say, but sufficiently deep is it that Whites visiting the
dance have been unable to rouse the sleepers by jest or blow.

Unquestionably the priests exercise an influence over the more
susceptible of the dancers akin to hypnotism. One of the young men, who
danced in the ghost circle twenty times, told me that the priest “Looked
very hard at us. Some of the young men and women could not withstand his
snake-like gaze, and did whatever he told them.”

Regarding what is seen by the converts when in the spirit land, I have
secured interviews with three prominent Oglalas touching upon this

Little Wound said:

“When I fell in the trance a great and grand eagle came and carried me
over a great hill, where there was a village where the tipis were all of
buffalo hides, and we made use of the bow and arrow, there being nothing
of white man’s manufacture in the beautiful land. Nor were any Whites
permitted to live there. The broad and fertile lands stretched in every
direction, and were most pleasing to my eyes.

“I was taken into the presence of the great Messiah, and he spoke to me
these words:

“‘My child, I am glad to see you. Do you want to see your children and
relations who are dead?’

“I replied: ‘Yes, I would like to see my relations who have been dead a
long time. The God then called my friends to come up to where I was.
They appeared, riding the finest horses I ever saw, dressed in superb
and most brilliant garments, and seeming very happy. As they approached,
I recognized the playmates of my childhood, and I ran forward to embrace
them while the tears of joy ran down my cheeks.

“We all went together to another village, where there were very large
lodges of buffalo hide, and there held a long talk with the great
Wakantanka. Then he had some squaws prepare us a meal of many herbs,
meat, and wild fruits and ‘wasna’ (pounded beef and choke-cherries).
After we had eaten, the Great Spirit prayed for our people upon the
earth, and then we all took a smoke out of a fine pipe ornamented with
the most beautiful feathers and porcupine quills. Then we left the city
and looked into a great valley where there were thousands of buffalo,
deer and elk feeding.

“After seeing the valley, we returned to the city, the Great Spirit
speaking meanwhile. He told me that the earth was now bad and worn out;
that we needed a new dwelling-place where the rascally Whites could not
disturb us. He further instructed me to return to my people, the Sioux,
and say to them that if they would be constant in the dance and pay no
attention to the Whites he would shortly come to their aid. If the high
priests would make for the dancers medicine-shirts and pray over them no
harm could come to the wearer; that the bullets of any Whites that
desired to stop the Messiah dance would fall to the ground without doing
anyone harm, and the person firing such shots would drop dead. He said
that he had prepared a hole in the ground filled with hot water and fire
for the reception of all white men and non-believers. With these parting
words I was commanded to return to earth.”


  GHOST DANCE AT NO WATER’S CAMP, 1890. Sketch by Husté.

Just after the dancers have been crying and moaning about their sins the
priests strike up the first song, in which all join, singing with
deafening loudness. Some man or woman may be at this moment at the tree,
with his or her arms thrown about the rushes, sobbing as if their heart
would break; or another may be walking and crying, wringing his hands,
or going through some motion to indicate the deepest sorrow for his
transgressions. So the singer cries aloud to his mother to be present
and aid him. The appeal to the father refers, of course, to the Messiah,
and its use in this connection is supposed to give emphasis to the
demand for the mother’s presence and hasten her coming.

                              Ghost Dance


  I na hé ku wó Mi sún ka la ché ya o ma’n i-ye Mi sún ka la ché ya

  o ma’n i-ye I’ na hé ku wo i’ na hé ku wó A’ le hé ye lo a’ le hé ye

  Mother come home. My little brother goes about always crying, my
    little brother goes about always crying. Mother come home; Mother
    come home. This the father says; this the father says.

                              Ghost Dance


  Mi chínk shi nañ pe má yu za ye mi chink shi nañ pe má yu za ye

  A’ le hé ye lo a’ le hé ye lo

  My son, let me grasp your hand. My son, let me grasp your hand. This
    the father says, This the father says.

The second song requires a longer explanation. It expresses in brief the
goodness of the father. Some one of the dancers has come to life from
the trance, and has just related his or her experience in the other
world. The Messiah, or Father, has been very near to the subject, and
the high priest, enlarging upon the importance of this fact, runs about
the interior of the circle handing several pipes around, exclaiming that
these pipes were received direct from the Great Spirit, and that all who
smoke them will live. The people are worked up to such a pitch of
religious frenzy that their minds are now willing to receive any
utterance as truth indisputable, so they pass around the pipes, singing
the song meanwhile. The repetition of the words, “This the Father says,”
indicates that the God inspires all that is done.

One of the visions seen by a young woman when under the influence of the
trance, varied somewhat from the others. She told the following story:

“I was carried into the beautiful land as others have been, and there I
saw a small but well-made lodge constructed entirely of rushes and
reeds. These were woven closely together and resembled the fine
basket-work that many of our squaws make during the winter. The tipi was
provided with a stone wall, which was composed of small, flat stones
laid up against the walls to the height of three or four feet. In this
lodge the great Wakantanka dwelt and would issue forth at noon. Promptly
at the time when the sun was above me the lodge trembled violently and
then began its descent toward the earth. It landed near the
dance-ground, and there stepped forth a man clothed in a blanket of
rabbit-hides. This was the Messiah, and he had come to save us.”

The vision of Little Horse is still more remarkable. He said:

“Two holy eagles transported me to the Happy Hunting Grounds. They
showed me the Great Messiah there, and as I looked upon his fair
countenance I wept, for there were nail-prints in his hands and feet
where the cruel Whites had once fastened him to a large cross. There was
a small wound in his side also, but as he kept himself covered with a
beautiful mantle of feathers this wound could only be seen when he
shifted his blanket. He insisted that we continue the dance, and
promised me that no Whites should enter his city nor partake of the good
things he had prepared for the Indians. The earth, he said, was now worn
out and it should be repeopled.

“He had a long beard and long hair, and was the most handsome man I ever
looked upon.”

Before concluding my description of the dance as it appeared during the
first few months of its existence at Pine Ridge, I would like to add
that the dances were held throughout the day usually, but that once in a
while, when a village was especially devout, they were continued all
night. In that event food was prepared in large quantities, so that the
worshippers could partake of refreshments when they desired.

The high priest frequently announces in a loud tone the visions related
to him by the converts. His discourse is often interrupted by loud
grunts of approval on the part of the assembled natives. The personal
experience of the Weasel may be of interest:

“While dancing I saw no visions, but the other Indians told me to not
think of anything in particular, but keep my eyes fastened upon the
priests, and soon I would see all that they saw.

“The first large dance held was on Wounded Knee Creek under the guidance
of Big Road. I attended this one, but did not observe Two Strike in the
audience. We had been dancing irregularly for several weeks when a
runner came into camp greatly excited, one night, and said that the
soldiers had arrived at Pine Ridge and were sent by the Great Father at
Washington. The priests called upon the young men at this juncture not
to become angry but to continue the dance, but have horses ready so that
all could flee were the military to charge the village. So we mounted
our ponies and rode around the hills all night singing our two songs.”

I asked the Weasel: “Did you ever see the medicine-shirt worn?”

“Yes, they wore blessed shirts that night. The priests had said prayers
over these garments, and they were bullet-proof. One girl tried to gash
herself with a butcher-knife on the arm, but the blade was bent and the
edge turned, so powerful was the medicine in the shirt.”


About December 8th Louis Shangraux and some prominent Indians were sent
out by the military to persuade the dancers to come in. December 15th we
heard singing, and running out of our quarters, beheld thirty horsemen
advancing upon the agency. Following them were large numbers of the
“hostiles”. Every man was superbly mounted and well armed. Six-shooters
were hung at their sides, while the gun-cases, neatly beaded and
ornamented, were strapped and hung along the saddles. The warriors drew
up in front of the general’s (Brooke) headquarters, and as the last
notes of the song died away leaped from the animals’ backs. As they
crowded into the commanding officer’s presence, we who stood near had
the honor of shaking hands with these men. The general himself welcomed
them with words of commendation, for he thoroughly appreciated the
efforts of the “friendlies” in the desire to prevent bloodshed.

That night, accompanied by my interpreter Bartlett, I visited the lodge
of Scout Shangraux, and secured the following narrative regarding the
expedition and the intentions of the hostiles.

“One week ago (the 8th) the general called me (Shangraux) into his
office, and told me he was very desirous of bringing in the hostiles
without bloodshed. He said that the mission of Father Jutz had resulted
in great good, that the Government scouts sent out had failed to reach
the campsite of Short Bull and Kicking Bear, and that all information
regarding the strength of the hostiles was entirely unreliable.”

Louis was given the power to select his party, and accordingly chose
some good, true men whom he knew could be depended upon in case of
trouble. No white man went with him, for it was believed the hostiles
would kill anyone not an Indian who should venture near the camp. From
subsequent events this was found to be true.

The camp is located on a plateau, 130 feet above the valley. But one
approach is observed—a narrow path. Louis claimed the Indians had piled
stones, or made breastworks. They possessed much ammunition and food;
two springs afforded plenty of water, and their situation appears to
have been secure. Some little way off, in the valley, was a large
village. “When we entered there were about 262 lodges present. One
hundred and seventeen of these remained and 145 returned with us to the
agency. The squaws and men came forward to greet us, and all seemed very
friendly. They supposed at first that we had come to join them, but when
they learned our true mission they seemed very suspicious, and refused
for some time to have anything to do with us. Just before we began the
council, which lasted the greater part of four days, the high-priest and
his helpers came forward and announced that there would be a
Ghost-dance. They formed a circle about the sacred tree and began their

“Of all the wild dancing I saw on Wounded Knee, this beat the record.
People went into trances by the dozen, and the priests were kept busy
relating the experiences of the fainters. Several remained in trances as
long as twelve hours, and gave evidences of utter exhaustion when the
directors aroused them.

“Short Bull said: ‘I see the Messiah coming from the West. He is riding
in a plain-wagon drawn by two mules and looks very much like a black
man. If he is our Messiah we are greatly fooled. Now I see him again,
and he is an Indian. Ah! wait; I see him the third time, and he is a
white man. He tells me to send my children to school, to make large
farms, and not to fight any more. Do not fight, my children, unless the
soldiers first fire upon you.’

“People were so excited they trembled all over, their eyes rolled, and
the muscles of their faces twitched. They were the most crazy Indians I
ever beheld.”

The dancing continued for nearly thirty hours; then there was an
intermission of several hours, during which a council was held in order
to give audience to the friendlies. Short Bull and Two Strike (his real
name is Nompagahpa, and a literal translation is, “Knocks down Two”),
aided by Crow Dog, championed the cause of the hostiles, while No Neck
and Louis Shangraux spoke on behalf of the friendlies. Louis does not
remember what he said in the first council, but the substance of his
remarks could be put into one sentence:

“The Agent will forgive you if you will return now, give you more
rations, but not permit you to dance.”

Short Bull’s (Tatankaptecelan) reply was so forcible as to remain in
Louis’s memory in the exact words of the speaker, and ran as follows:

“I have risen today to tell you something of importance. You have heard
the words of the brothers from the agency camps, and if you have done as
myself, you have weighed them carefully. If the Great Father would
permit us to continue the dance, would give more rations, and quit
taking away portions of the reservation, I would be in favor of
returning. But even if you (turning to Louis) say that he will, how can
we know whether you are telling the truth? We have been lied to so many
times that we will not believe any words that your Agent sends to us. If
we return he will take away our guns and ponies, put some of us in jail
for stealing cattle and plundering houses. We prefer to stay here and
die, if necessary, to loss of liberty. We are free now and have plenty
of beef, can dance all the time in obedience to the command of the Great
Wakantanka. We tell you to return to your Agent and say to him that the
Dakotas in the Bad Lands are not going to come in.”

No Neck rejoined:

“Think, my people, how foolish is this action! Do come in, and all will
be well; remain out here and you will be killed.”

Short Bull added:

“It is better to die here as brave men, and in obedience to the commands
of the Good Spirit, than to live like cowards at the agency on scanty
rations, disarmed, without horses or guns. No, we will not return. If we
dance, our Good Spirit will protect us, and if all dancers are sincere,
the bullets of the soldiers will fall harmlessly to the ground without
power to hurt. There is no army so powerful that it can contend with
Wakantanka; therefore we are not afraid to remain here.”

The gathering broke up, and nearly every one continued in the
Ghost-dance. For two days the hostiles would not have further words with
the friendly scouts. Friday and Saturday, the 12th and 13th, the last
council was held. The scenes accompanying the closing of this gathering,
Saturday afternoon, were very thrilling, and for a period of two hours
it seemed as if a general battle would ensue between those who desired
to return to the agency and the hostiles.

About noon, Saturday, Two Strike—who had been one of the leaders in the
dance—arose and announced his intention to return to the agency with the
scouts, accompanied by about 145 lodges. Crow Dog (Kangisunka, the
Indian who killed Spotted Tail about ten years ago) also announced his
intention of returning. At this declaration from two such prominent men,
Short Bull sprang to his feet and cried out, angrily:

“At such a time as this we should all stick together like brothers. Do
not leave; remain with us. These men from the agency are not telling us
the truth; they will conduct you back to the agency and they will place
you in jail there. Louis is at the bottom of this affair.”

And, running to the place where the guns were stacked, Short Bull
grasped his gun and, followed by many of his young men, surrounded
Shangraux. Louis’s situation was desperate. He knew these furious men
might kill him at the slightest resistance, so he laughed as
good-naturedly as possible under the circumstances and told them to put
up their guns, as he was their friend instead of their enemy.

“No, do not let the friendlies return,” cried the young men; “kill them,
or compel them to remain with us. They will tell the Agent all they have
seen and the soldiers will know how to enter our camp.”

With clubbed guns many of the desperate youths rushed upon the
friendlies and scouts, others cocked their Winchesters, and for a few
moments it looked as if poor Louis and No Neck, Two Strike and Crow Dog,
would lose their lives. Crow Dog sat upon the ground and drew his
blanket over his head.

The wiser counsel prevailed, however, and after a great hubbub, in which
several young men were knocked down, order was restored. One of the
horses and several of the dogs of the friendlies were shot during the
melee. When the 145 lodges started from the camp another difficulty
arose. It was during this trouble that Crow Dog made his famous, though
brief speech:

“I am going back to White Clay (the location of the agency); you can
kill me if you want to, now, and prevent my starting. The Agent’s words
are true, and it is better to return than to stay here. I am not afraid
to die.”

So, they started for home.

Imagine the surprise of the friendlies when, upon looking back from the
top of a ridge two miles distant, they saw the 117 lodges of hostiles
coming after them. They halted to wait for Short Bull to catch up, and
then the entire outfit moved toward the agency, all happy in the
prospect of peace and forgiveness.

But the hopes of the friendlies were short-lived, for Short Bull became
scared after having proceeded four miles farther, and together with his
band, left the rear of the column and returned to the Bad Lands. Sunday
and Monday morning the Indians moved along the trail, reaching Red
Cloud’s camp, in sight of the agency headquarters just before noon,
Monday. Louis and the scouts had ridden ahead and reached the general’s
presence as narrated in the forepart of this chapter.

These friendlies, added to the large number already in camp near the
agency buildings, led all of us to hope the trouble was over. But during
all the Pine Ridge excitement, up on the Missouri river, at Standing
Rock, Sitting Bull was in evidence, with some 150 followers.

In the midst of the excitement, when Superintendent McLaughlin went to
see Sitting Bull at his camp on Grand River, and argued with him,
contending that the Messiah doctrine was false, Sitting Bull suggested
that both McLaughlin and himself together with attendants should visit
the Messiah in the far West. The truth or falsity of his doctrine would
then be apparent. If McLaughlin had agreed to this sensible proposition,
much evil might have been avoided, but the Major refused to go, and
thereby missed an opportunity of doing the Indians a service and
preventing the subsequent massacre.

In November, the President ordered the Secretary of War to prepare for
action, and Major John R. Brooke (now General) went to Pine Ridge. These
troops (of which we have seen there were a large number) were scattered
about through the Indian country.

The troops until the end of December, were either in camp near Pine
Ridge, or were scouting about in the country pursuing scattered bands of
Indians. In the meantime, Sitting Bull was preparing to leave his
reservation (Standing Rock) and flee into the Bad Lands to join the
Ghost dancers who had fled there from Pine Ridge. Both Mooney and Major
McLaughlin give accounts of what occurred at Sitting Bull’s. As
McLaughlin’s is the lengthier of the two, I shall reproduce that portion
of it relating immediately to the death of Sitting Bull.



  Down a ravine, to the right, the interpreter and myself used to creep
    at night. Thus we reached the “hostiles’ camp” and obtained news.


Footnote 17:

  This Chapter was written at Pine Ridge, December, 1890.


It seems that the Indian police brought Major McLaughlin information as
to the intentions of the famous medicine man. The Major became convinced
that Sitting Bull must be arrested and confined, and he therefore sent a
squad of police under Lieutenant Bull Head. Among the thirty-nine Indian
policemen who made the arrest were four relatives. Aside from the
officer in charge, Bull Head, Red Tomahawk and Shave Head seem to have
been the most prominent.

Sitting Bull’s settlement consisted of a number of houses stretched on
the banks of the Grand River for a distance of four or five miles. The
group surrounding Sitting Bull’s cabin was comprised of half a dozen
log-cabins and a corral.

The police entered upon their mission in the night and arrived at
daylight. “Many of the houses were deserted, the Indians having been
engaged in dancing the greater part of the previous night. The entrance
of the policemen awakened the camp, but they saw no one, as Bull Head
wheeled his men between the Sitting Bull houses and ordered them to
dismount. Ten policemen, headed by Bull Head and Shave Head, entered one
of the houses, eight policemen the other. In the house entered by Bull
Head’s party they found the old medicine man, his two wives, and Crow
Foot his son, a youth of seventeen years.

“The women were very much frightened and began to cry. Sitting Bull sat
up and asked what was the matter.

“‘You are under arrest and must go to the agency,’ said Bull Head.

“‘Very well,’ said Sitting Bull, ‘I will go with you.’ And he told one
of his wives to go to the other house and bring him his best clothes. He
showed no concern at his arrest, but evidently wanted to make a good
impression and dressed himself with some care. He had also asked that
his best horse, a gray one, be saddled, and an Indian policeman had the
animal at the door by the time Sitting Bull was dressed and ready to

“There had been no trouble in the house, and the police, when they
walked out, were surprised at the extent of the demonstration. They came
out of the building in a little knot, Bull Head on one side of Sitting
Bull, Shave Head on the other, and Red Tomahawk directly behind. They
had been twenty minutes or more in Sitting Bull’s house, and it was in
the gray of the morning when they came out. They stepped out into a mass
of greatly excited Ghost dancers, nearly all armed and crowding about
the main body of the police, who had held the way clear at the door. As
Sitting Bull stepped out with his captors he walked directly toward the
horse, with the evident intention of mounting and accompanying the
police. He was some distance from the door when his son, Crow Foot,
seeing that the old man intended to make no resistance, began to revile

“‘You call yourself a brave man and you have declared that you would
never surrender to a blue-coat, and now you give yourself up to Indians
in blue uniforms,’ the young man shouted.

“The taunt hit Sitting Bull hard. He looked into the mass of dark,
excited faces, and commenced to talk volubly and shrilly, and there was
a menacing movement in the crowd.

“The last moment of Sitting Bull’s life showed him in a better light, so
far as physical courage goes, than all the rest of it. He looked about
him and saw his faithful adherents—about 160 crazed Ghost dancers—who
would have gone through fire at his bidding; to submit to arrest meant
the end of his power and his probable imprisonment; he had sure news
from Pine Ridge that he, only, was needed to head the hostiles there in
a war of extermination against the white settlers. He made up his mind
to take his chance, and screamed out an order to his people to attack
the police.

“Instantly Catch-the-Bear and Strikes-the-Kettle, who were in the front
rank of the crowd, fired at point-blank range, Catch-the-Bear mortally
wounding First Lieutenant Bull Head, and Strikes-the-Kettle shooting
First Sergeant Shave Head in the abdomen. Lieutenant Bull Head was a few
yards to the left and front of Sitting Bull when hit, and immediately
wheeling, he shot Sitting Bull through the body, and at the same instant
Second Sergeant Red Tomahawk, who with revolver in hand was rearguard,
shot him in the right cheek, killing him instantly; the lieutenant, the
first sergeant, and Sitting Bull falling together.

“Sitting Bull’s medicine had not saved him, and the shot that killed him
put a stop forever to the domination of the ancient regime among the
Sioux of the Standing Rock reservation.

“The tale of the bloody fight that ensued has been told, and the world
knows how those thirty-nine Indian policemen, with four of their
relatives who volunteered to accompany them,—a total of forty-three in
all—fought off 160 Ghost dancers, eight of whom were killed and five
wounded; how Second Sergeant Red Tomahawk, after the two higher ranking
police officers had been mortally wounded, took command and drove the
Indians to the timber; how Hawk Man No. 1 ran through a hail of bullets
to get the news to the cavalry detachment, and how six faithful friends
of the Whites, policemen of the Standing Rock reservation, laid down
their lives in doing their duty that morning. Two days later, on
December 17, 1890, we buried Shave Head and four other Indian policemen
with military honors in the cemetery at Standing Rock, and, while
Captain Miner’s entire company of the Twenty-Second U. S. Infantry fired
three volleys over the graves of these red heroes, and a great concourse
of the Sioux of the reservation stood in the chill bright sunlight of a
fair winter’s day, mourning aloud for their dead, I quietly left the
enclosure and joined a little burial-party in the military cemetery at
Fort Yates, situated about five hundred yards south of the agency
cemetery. Four military prisoners dug the grave, and in the presence of
A. R. Chapin, Assistant Surgeon, U. S. A., H. M. Deeble, Acting
Assistant Surgeon, U. S. A., Lieutenant P. G. Wood, U. S. A., Post
Quartermaster, now Brigadier General, retired, and myself, the body of
Sitting Bull, wrapped in canvas and placed in a coffin, was lowered into
the grave.”[18]

Naturally the death of Sitting Bull caused great commotion and many
Indians joined the Ghost dancers. In spite of promises to the contrary,
they imagined that all those who had incurred the ill will of the
authorities were to be killed.

About this time Major Brooke sent out American Horse with Two Strike and
others to persuade the rest of the Ghost dancers to come in. There were
a number of skirmishes in which a few persons were killed on each side.



On December 28th, Major Whitside in charge of the Seventh Cavalry came
up with Big Foot’s band. This same Indian, Big Foot, and his people were
traveling toward Pine Ridge agency. According to Mooney’s account,
Whitside demanded unconditional surrender which was at once given. The
Indians and the soldiers went into camp twenty miles northeast of Pine
Ridge agency. All of this was communicated to Major Brooke, who sent
Colonel Forsythe with four companies of the Seventh Cavalry to join
Whitside. This gave Whitside a total of 470 men as against 106 warriors
and a number of women and children, frequently estimated from 200 to
250. The other Ghost dancers under Kicking Bear and Short Bull had been
persuaded by American Horse and Little Wound to come in to the agency
and were encamped at the Catholic mission, five miles out. December 29th
(the next day) the officers ordered the Indians to be disarmed. In the
center of the camp of the Indians a white flag had been erected. Early
in the morning a battery of four Hotchkiss guns had been posted, and
these were trained on the Indian camp. The cavalry was placed in squads
at various angles, almost entirely surrounding the Indians, or at least
on the flank. Chief Big Foot was ill with pneumonia, and the troops had
provided him with a tent warmed by a camp stove. About eight o’clock in
the morning the men were ordered to give up their guns. Following
Mooney’s account further, twenty of them came out with only two guns.
The Indians seemed unwilling to give them up, and some of the soldiers
were ordered to go into the tents and secure them. Mooney says that this
search consumed time and created excitement. My information is to the
effect that the soldiers threw things about in the tents and took guns
away from those who had them; many children were badly frightened and
began to cry, and the Indians were now told by the shaman, Yellow Bird,
that they were to be disarmed and then killed. I was told that the
medicine man threw dust high in the air and it broke like a little cloud
and then the massacre began. Mooney presents the same idea, in a little
different form.

While this searching had continued, a large part of the soldiers had
been ordered up to within ten yards of the Indians, which further added
to their terror and convinced them that Yellow Bird spoke the truth,
that they were all to be shot down.

One or two Indians drew revolvers or rifles and fired upon the soldiers,
who returned the fire, killing almost half the warriors at the first
discharge of their guns. Many sticks were afterwards set up at this
place by the Indians. The survivors sprang to their feet, seized knives,
clubs or the few remaining guns, and fought desperately.

While this was going on, other troops operated the Hotchkiss guns and
sent a storm of shells and bullets among the women and children standing
or running about the tipis. Mooney says “the guns poured in two-pound
explosive shells at the rate of fifty per minute, mowing down everything

“The terrible effect may be judged from the fact that one woman
survivor, Blue Whirlwind, with whom the author conversed, received
fourteen wounds, while each of her two little boys were also wounded by
her side. In a few minutes 200 Indian men, women and children, with
sixty soldiers, were lying dead and wounded on the ground, the tipis had
been torn down by the shells and some of them were burning above the
helpless wounded, and the surviving handful of Indians were flying in
wild panic to the shelter of the ravine, pursued by hundreds of maddened
soldiers and followed up by a raking fire from the Hotchkiss guns, which
had been moved into position to sweep the ravine.

“There can be no question that the pursuit was simply a massacre, where
fleeing women, with infants in their arms, were shot down after
resistance had ceased and when almost every warrior was stretched dead
or dying on the ground. On this point such a careful writer as Herbert
Welsh says: ‘From the fact that so many women and children were killed,
and that their bodies were found far from the scene of action, and as
though they were shot down while flying, it would look as though blind
rage had been at work, in striking contrast to the moderation of the
Indian police at the Sitting Bull fight when they were assailed by
women.’ The testimony of American Horse and other friendlies is strong
in the same direction. Commissioner Morgan in his official report says
that ‘Most of the men, including Big Foot, were killed around his tent,
where he lay sick. The bodies of the women and children were scattered
along a distance of two miles from the scene of the encounter’.”

I agree with Mooney, that a man should not criticize the soldiers of his
own country. As for the shooting of armed warriors, we will all give
assent. As to the murder of women and children, whose only thought was
to escape with their lives, one may not trust himself to write in
moderation. The Indians told me that many of the Seventh Cavalry troops
cried out, “Remember Custer,” as they pursued little boys and girls and
destroyed them. We might as well draw the veil of charity over the
concluding scene—the pursuit and the butchery.

There was one heroic character, Father Kraft, of the Catholic mission,
Pine Ridge. He spoke Sioux fluently and endeavored to stop the fight. He
was stabbed through the lungs, yet with bullets flying about him, he
administered the last rites of the church to the dying until he fell
unconscious. Mooney pays him a deserved tribute. The Indians were so
excited that they did not recognize him, claiming that he had on a
soldier’s overcoat because of the cold. Mooney affirms this is not
correct, but that he wore his priestly robes.

The immediate result of the massacre of Wounded Knee was the stampeding
of all the Indians into the hills. They believed that they were to be

General Miles adopted harsh measures against the Indians and they soon
surrendered all their guns and came in to the agency.

Doctor McGillicuddy, the former Agent at Pine Ridge, who was entirely
familiar with the events, stated to Mooney on January 15, 1891, “Up to
date there has been neither a Sioux outbreak nor war. No citizen in
Nebraska or Dakota has been killed, molested, or can show the scratch of
a pin, and no property has been destroyed off the reservation. Only a
single non-combatant was killed by the Indians, and that was close to
the agency. The entire time occupied by the campaign, from the killing
of Sitting Bull to the surrender at Pine Ridge, was only thirty-two
days. The late hostiles were returned to their homes as speedily as

The Indians quit, but the white people did not. On January 11th, some
white people led by three brothers named Culbertson,[19] pursued an aged
Oglala, who was a very friendly Indian, for many miles. His name was Few
Tails, and he was accompanied by his wife, another Indian named One
Feather, his wife and two children. They had been hunting in the Black
Hills and had a pass from the agency. They were returning in two wagons
loaded with meat. The Culbertson brothers and these other white men
fired on Few Tails, killing that Indian and both ponies attached to that
wagon. His wife jumped out and received two bullets, bringing her down.
Mooney says that the murderers then attacked the other wagon shooting
the wife of One Feather, but as she was not badly hurt, she drove away
as rapidly as possible and the Indian leaped upon one of the spare
ponies and held off the white men for eight or ten miles. They again
came up, and he turned and fought them off while his wife drove ahead
with the wagon.

The senseless panic had seized upon all settlers in the country because
of the Ghost dance and the Wounded Knee fight. This is illustrated by
Mooney’s concluding description of the first part of the fight.

“As they drove they passed near a house, from which several other shots
were fired at the flying mother, when her husband again rode up and kept
off the whole party until the wagon could get ahead. Finally, as the
ponies were tired out, this heroic man abandoned the wagon and put the
two children on one of the spare ponies and his wounded wife and himself
upon another and continued to retreat until the Whites gave up the
pursuit. He finally reached the agency with the wife and children.”

To give readers an adequate conception of what has too frequently
occurred in the West, I desire to state that while One Feather and his
family escaped, wounded, the wife of the other Indian, Few Tails, was
shot twice, and lay helpless on the ground all night. In the morning she
found one of the ponies alive, and mounted it and reached a settler’s
house fifteen miles away.

“Instead of meeting help and sympathy, however, she was driven off by
the two men there with loaded rifles, and leaving her horse in her
fright, she hurried away as well as she could with a bullet in her leg
and another in her breast, passing by the trail of One Feather’s wagon
with the tracks of his pursuers fresh behind it, until she came near a
trader’s store about twenty miles farther south. Afraid to go near it on
account of her last experience, the poor woman circled around it, and
continued, wounded, cold, and starving as she was, to travel by night
and hide by day until she reached the Bad Lands. The rest may be told in
her own words:

“‘After that I traveled every night, resting daytime, until I got here
at the beef corral. Then I was very tired, and was near the military
camp, and early in the morning a soldier came out and he shouted
something back, and in a few minutes fifty men were there, and they got
a blanket and took me to a tent. I had no blanket and my feet were
swelled, and I was about ready to die. After I got to the tent a doctor
came in—a soldier doctor, because he had straps on his shoulders—and
washed me and treated me well.”

“A few of the soldiers camped near the scene of the attack had joined in
the pursuit at the beginning, on the representations of some of the
murderers, but abandoned it as soon as they found their mistake.
According to all the testimony, the killing was a wanton, unprovoked,
and deliberate murder, yet the criminals were acquitted in the local
courts. The apathy displayed by the authorities of Meade county, South
Dakota, in which the murder was committed, called forth some vigorous
protests. Colonel Shatter, in his statement of the case, concludes,
referring to the recent killing of Lieutenant Casey: ‘So long as Indians
are being arrested and held for killing armed men under conditions of
war, it seems to me that the white murderers of a part of a band of
peaceful Indians should not be permitted to escape punishment.’ The
Indians took the same view of the case, and when General Miles demanded
of Young-man-afraid-of-his-horses the surrender of the slayers of Casey
and the herder Miller, the old chief indignantly replied: ‘No; I will
not surrender them, but if you will bring the white men who killed Few
Tails, I will bring the Indians who killed the white soldier and the
herder; and right out here in front of your tipi I will have my young
men shoot the Indians and you have your soldiers shoot the white men,
and we will be done with the whole business.”

“In regard to the heroic conduct of One Feather, the officer then in
charge of the agency says: ‘The determination and genuine courage, as
well as the generalship he manifested in keeping at a distance the six
men who were pursuing him, and the devotion he showed toward his family,
risking his life against great odds, designate him as entitled to a
place on the list of heroes’.”


  “This monument is erected by surviving relatives and other Oglala and
    Cheyenne River Sioux Indians in memory of the Chief Big Foot
    Massacre, Dec. 29, 1890.

  “Col. Forsythe in command of V. S. Troops.

  “Big Foot was a great Chief of the Sioux Indians. He often said ‘I
    will stand in peace till my last day comes.’ He did many good and
    brave deeds for the White man and the Redman.

  “Many innocent women and children who knew no wrong, died here.

  “The erection of this monument is largely due to the financial
    assistance of Joseph Horncloud, whose father was killed here.”

         * * * * *

  This was paid for, and put up by Indians—not white people.

I present as an illustration in this book, the little monument erected
on the Wounded Knee battlefield by the Sioux themselves some years after
the massacre. It was dedicated in the presence of a great concourse of
Indians. The inscription is given in Sioux on one side of the shaft, in
English on the other. The War Department rather objected to it, so I was
told, but it still stands as a monument typifying our treatment of the
Indian in these modern days.

Some of the Sioux are still backward, and there are quite a number who
do not attend the Protestant or Catholic missions. If one will talk with
these so-called “non-progressives,” one may hear them say, “We have not
forgotten Wounded Knee.”

A few brief concluding statements are in order. A perusal of this long
narrative indicates that at the first the dance was a purely religious
ceremony. The Sioux were deadly in earnest, they were sincere. They
danced day and night until they dropped from exhaustion. There was
nothing like it, so far as I can ascertain, in recent times in North
America. They were in a frenzy. Yet there was no thought of war.
Revivals among Protestant denominations in this country (especially in
remote districts) frequently develop religious mania. Many older persons
remember the “Camp Meetings” of the West and South in which people “got
religion.” The interference of police or troops at such a gathering
would bring on a riot among the white Christians participating in the

Negroes of the South have been known to become insensible for hours—to
enter a cataleptic state—and to relate visions on recovering. Hysteria
at religious gatherings in the South is common among negroes.

In view of these facts, a religious mania is not surprising among
Indians, who sought, as we have seen, salvation out of troubles. In fact
the craze was induced by their wretched condition.

There was no danger at any time at Pine Ridge. What we did, not once,
but on many nights, is proof of the assertion. There were a number of
newspaper men in the little log hotel at Pine Ridge, and they sent many
sensational accounts to the Eastern papers. Not one of them ever left
the agency, until the battle of Wounded Knee had occurred, when a few
went out to look over the field. Mr. Bartlett, who spoke Sioux quite
well, and myself, were the only men to my knowledge who left the agency
and visited the camps in the valley, one or two miles distant. The fact
that we were able to do so, is sufficient refutation of the statement
that the Indians desired to fight, or were savages. Both of us would
have been killed were this statement true. We never experienced the
slightest trouble, but on the contrary were afforded every facility. We
often felt guns and revolvers under the blankets on which we reclined in
the tipis. Force caused Wounded Knee. Humanity would have prevented it.


Footnote 18:

  My Friend the Indian, pages, 219–222.

Footnote 19:

  One had served time in the penitentiary.


This is the largest body of Indians in the United States. They reside in
the State of Oklahoma and number, according to the Commissioner’s
report,[20] 101,216. The Five Civilized Tribes are composed of southern
Indians. A consideration of their tribal customs and ethnology will be
presented in the next volume of my history. While the Indians follow
some of their ancient customs, the bulk of them have so far departed
from the faith of their fathers, that it is advisable to consider their
present life and needs, rather than their past.

The report on these Indians for the year ending June 30th, 1913, and
signed by J. George Wright, Commissioner to the Five Civilized Tribes,
Dana H. Kelsey, Superintendent of Union Agency, and John B. Brown,
Supervisor of Education, lies before me. According to this, they are
divided among the tribes as follows:—

                      Cherokees            41,706
                      Choctaws             24,973
                      Creeks               18,700
                      Chickasaws           10,989
                      Seminoles             3,119
                      Mississippi Choctaws  1,639

These Indians are known by ethnologists to belong to the great
Muskhogean stock, and lived in the South, east of the Mississippi. They
constitute a third of our Indian population. As to why they were
removed—that is another story. Suffice it to say that the year 1850
found them in that region known as Indian Territory. Here they located
upon large tracts of tribal land amounting to 19,475,614 acres.

Treaties setting forth that they were to remain in undisturbed
possession of their new homes were duly signed by the United States
Government. Although the treaty of 1866 stipulated that they were
entitled to send a delegate to our Congress, when Congress authorized
the admission of a representative from Indian Territory, and in spite of
the fact that some of the tribes made an effort to bring about this
result, nothing effectual was ever accomplished.

May 2, 1890, the laws of Arkansas were extended to cover Indian
Territory, and March 3, 1901, every Indian of the Territory was declared
to be a citizen of the United States.

March 3, 1893, President Cleveland appointed the famous Dawes
Commission. This undertook to allot to all the Indians of the Five
Civilized Tribes lands in severalty. There were 200,000 claimants and
about 90,000 were allotted.

Although I am tempted to present a mass of statistics and facts proving
that these most advanced Indians were robbed and despoiled, without let
or hindrance, that the treaties made with them were cooly set aside,
statehood promises broken, and finally even the very farms and tracts,
on which they were to live as citizens and enjoy the blessings of
liberty and equality, were taken away, I must confine myself to a
consideration of the subject in its broad aspect.

It is stated by apologists that Indian Territory became an impossible
country in which to live, that crime was rampant, and that the Five
Nations included among their membership thousands of outlaws and
robbers. This is a gross exaggeration. There were some hundreds of
undesirable citizens who made Indian Territory their habitat from just
previous to the Civil War to about the year 1880. Most of these were
white men, although there was a sprinkling of mixed-bloods and that
worst citizen, the individual whose blood is made up of a mixture of
negro, Indian and white. The older Indians, who are more competent to
judge, and many of the white persons who long ago settled in Oklahoma,
maintain that while this class of citizens caused a good deal of
trouble, yet on the whole the Indians were vastly better off between the
years 1855 and 1900 than they are at the present time.[21] There was
some violence, murder, train robbing and attendant evils. As against
this, however, the great body of Indians were self-supporting, there was
no general graft, and very little pauperism.[22] There is evidence of
the correctness of this statement even at the present time. In traveling
through Oklahoma, overland, for 600 miles, I noticed in scores of places
the type of house erected by the Indians forty or fifty years ago either
still standing or in ruins. Their houses were superior, as a rule, to
the present flimsy, cheap structures erected either by the natives
themselves, or by Government or State employees for the Indians. The old
houses were of logs, or heavy boards, the walls being thick. They were
thus cool in summer and warm in winter. Near every house was an orchard.
The tracts owned by the Indians were extensive, and cattle, horses and
hogs had free range. Thus, every Indian family was assured necessary
beasts of burden and meat for winter use. Now that the allotments have
passed into the hands of white persons, or are restricted in size, or
are leased, practically everything is fenced, there are no ranges of
consequence; the old-style house is gone, the trees in the orchards have
decayed and fallen, or are cut down, most of the remaining orchards are
those of white people, although, of course, a few Indian orchards
survive. The houses built for the Indians, or by them, are wretched
affairs, small, the walls thin, and not substantial. They are hot in
summer and cold in winter.

The Indians having settled down in Oklahoma under their various tribal
governments, made great progress.[23] They published papers in their own
language. The Cherokee capital at Talequah contained creditable
buildings—a good administration building and two fine Indian schools,
which may be seen on pages 138 and 146. This school, by the way, built
by the Cherokee Indians with their own money, is now occupied by white
pupils. It was the finest building I observed in all Oklahoma, and it is
a standing repudiation to the statement that the Indians were not
progressing and that they did not afford proper educational facilities
to their own people.

At the end of the Civil War, a number of outlaws belonging to guerilla
bands, both North and South, came into the State. White persons migrated
to the country and occupied it. The Indians complained, and our
authorities at Washington made a few abortive attempts to keep them out,
but, as inevitably, the whites dominated. The Dawes Commission was
formed, and after years of negotiation and coercion, enrollment of the
Indians began. The rolls are now completed and include the totals
mentioned in my statistics upon a previous page.

There were a few Indians who held out against this arbitrary action on
our part, and right here I wish to pay a compliment to a few old men and
women, who were treated with contempt, who were called “Snakes” in the
Creek and “Nighthawks” in the Cherokee nation by the unthinking. Why?
For the reason that they have a simple, a child-like faith in the great
United States Nation. They believe that we will keep our pledged word.
They are not educated and therefore they cannot grasp the essentials of
our civilization as it applies toward Indians; that when we execute a
ninety-nine year lease among ourselves, we keep it; but that a solemn
covenant entered into with the Indians is a very different matter. So
these poor old Snakes and Nighthawks refused to be enrolled and to
receive allotments, trusting in the honesty and integrity of the Great
Father at Washington. One of the most pathetic sights I ever witnessed
in my life, was when old Fixico Harjo and Okoskee Miller, and a few
other fine old men, of the best type of American Indian, called my
attention to our solemn covenant with these people, stating that they
were helpless, that allotments had been forced upon them, that they
expected to see even these little tracts taken away from them, that they
could not understand the speeches of the clever, shrewd, oily,
forked-tongued lawyers and land-buyers who came among them; they asked
not charity but justice. The only thing in this world that was positive,
that was true, that was inevitable, was this fact: that every time they
touched a pen they lost something; that every promise made to them by a
white man was broken; that they had abandoned all hope save one—that
when they are gathered to their fathers, in the great beyond, they hope
to find some place where they may live in peace and contentment, as in
ancient days.

                         THE CRISIS IN OKLAHOMA

Whenever a crisis arises in the affairs of the Nation, there are always
men to meet it, and while the forces of evil have conspired against the
Indian, there have arisen a few champions, and we should not forget the
service such persons have rendered. Some of them have gone down to
honorable defeat induced by hatred, treachery, malice and the love of
gain. Others continue in office, escaping the wiles of the enemy, not
through a miracle, but through the arousing of the public conscience.
Today there are some 2,000,000 people in the State of Oklahoma, and as
in every other State, the great majority of them are upright citizens.
They have not taken a firm stand for the Indian in the past, for the
reason that they did not realize what was going on in the eastern part
of their State. The grafters controlled a tremendous and effective
propaganda. The extent of this is surprising, and I have received scores
of circulars, copies of speeches, etc., as evidence of the determined
action of those who covet the oil, coal, gas, asphalt, farm lands, and
timber tracts of the Five Civilized Tribes. Every person who is
endeavoring to bring about fair play in eastern Oklahoma was charged
with being “perniciously active in politics”, if he lived in the State
of Oklahoma. If he happened to reside in the East, he was either a
“sentimentalist”, unfamiliar with Indian affairs, or guilty of
besmirching the fair name of the State of Oklahoma. The better class of
citizens in the State of Oklahoma became, at last, aroused to the
deplorable conditions obtaining among these Indians and they succeeded
in influencing not only the members of Congress but also the Secretary
of the Interior and Commissioner of Indian Affairs to call a halt.

The lengths to which a few people went in order to despoil the Indians
seems incredible in this day of Christianity and civilization. Some men
made contracts with Indians on a basis of fees of high percentage and
sought to secure control of Indian moneys in the United States Treasury.
Others made contracts with thousands of Indians to represent them in the
sale of vast tribal estates—tens of millions of dollars—on a liberal
commission basis. Others became guardians and administrators of estates;
and there were thousands of these professional guardians. The thing
became a national scandal. Covetousness overwhelmed eastern Oklahoma.
Now and then some man sought to stem the tide. A judge was assaulted in
court by a grafter. He called upon his court officers. They,
sympathizing with the assailant, did not aid his honor, but merely
looked on while the grafter beat the judge into insensibility.

An editor commented upon a certain county judge, before whom guardians
and administrators had appeared, and told some plain truths concerning
the manner in which minors’ estates were being dissipated. The judge
drew a knife and stabbed the editor. In neither of these cases were the
guilty persons punished. What went on throughout the length and breadth
of eastern Oklahoma seems incredible. I refer readers to the various
articles cited in my bibliography at the conclusion of Chapter XVI for

Matters became so serious that Hon. M. L. Mott, attorney for the Creek
Indians, decided to sacrifice his career in that country in order to
obtain justice. He sent the facts concerning the despoilation of
thousands of Creek minors and incompetents to Honorable Charles H.
Burke, Representative from South Dakota. On December 13, 1912, Honorable
Mr. Burke made a speech in the House of Representatives which aroused
the good people of Oklahoma and Congress itself to immediate action.[24]

Rev. J. S. Murrow, in charge of a large and successful mission at Atoka,
Oklahoma, published a pamphlet, at his own expense, of thirty-nine pages
covering the present condition of the Five Civilized Tribes and pleading
that the ministers of the gospel residing in the State, without regard
to denomination, do what they could to secure humane and just treatment
for the Indians.

Miss Kate Barnard, Commissioner of Charities and Corrections for the
State, also entered the righteous cause, exposing conditions among
orphan children, and pointed out how that thousands of paupers would
have to be supported by the National Government, or the State of
Oklahoma, if more restrictions to the alienation of Indian lands were
removed. As a reward for her faithful and humane efforts, Miss Barnard’s
office is virtually abolished, since appropriations are cut off.

Grant Foreman is an attorney living in Muskogee. He has made particular
study of the Indian situation and is entirely familiar with all the
legal aspects, as well as the Indians themselves. Mr. Foreman has
rendered valuable assistance to Mr. Mott, but has never held office in
the State, or been employed in the Indian Service.



  Built with Indian money twenty years ago. Now used as a White Normal

The Department of Justice was represented by A. N. Frost, Esq., and J.
E. Gresham, Esq. Both of these men proceeded against grafters, and both
are out of the Service.

The Federal supervision of the Five Civilized Tribes has rested in
Commissioner J. George Wright and Dana H. Kelsey, Superintendent of the
Union Agency. These men have been years in the Service. They have shown
high integrity, tact and wisdom in handling a most delicate situation.
Under them are employed hundreds of persons—District Agents, teachers,
clerks, farmers, matrons, etc. Because of the rapid expansion of the oil
industry in Oklahoma and the discovery of new fields, many of the Indian
allotments have become very valuable. Naturally, these are coveted by
white men who never seek Indian property unless it is valuable. In this
connection I wish to call attention to what, in Oklahoma, is considered
a great joke on certain white men. Before the discovery of oil, these
men secured, where possible, large tracts of rich agricultural land. The
hilly sections were allotted to the more ignorant Indians, the shrewder
selected the bottom-lands. Through the irony of fate, the richest
oilfields have been discovered in these same hilly or worthless tracts
passed up by the first grafters. So, in spite of all that has been done
to seize Indian lands, many of the incompetent Indians receive large
royalties from the oil wells.[25] As these incompetents are under
Government supervision, bills to remove restrictions have been agitated.
Many of the candidates for Congress ran upon a platform which may be
described as anti-Indian—contrary to all State promises, sacredly made.
I have original handbills, such as are used in Oklahoma elections. Mr.
J. H. Maxey presents his portrait and says:

“The Government Must Pay the Taxes on All Non-Taxable Indian Land”; “The
Affairs of the Five Tribes Must Be Settled.” Mr. Reuben M. Roddie is
even more frank. Over his picture appears in large letters:—“Pay the
Indians Their Money and Remove all Restrictions.” Mr. Roddie was
defeated and the Hon. Wm. M. Murray, long a friend of the Indian, was
returned to Congress.

Mr. Foreman prepared for me a comprehensive statement of conditions in
Oklahoma. It is the best presentation of the subject that I have seen
and I herewith include it, in the following eight pages.

“The lands of the Indians were allotted to them with restrictions
against alienation or encumbrance. The Creek land was restricted to
August 8, 1907; the Choctaw and Chickasaw lands could be sold one-fourth
in one year, one-fourth in three years and the remainder in five years
from date of patent. The Cherokee land could not be sold for five years.
Out of each allotment a homestead was reserved, which under the law
allotting it, could not be sold or taxed for twenty-one years. This was
a condition agreed to by the Government in order to get the Indians to
consent to the allotment of their lands. The Creek, Seminole and
Cherokee homestead was 40 acres and the Choctaw and Chickasaw 160 acres.
Directly after the allotting began, a great clamor went up from the
white people to Congress to remove the restrictions on the sale of a
part of the lands allotted. In response to this demand, on April 21,
1904, an act was passed removing the restrictions against the sale of
the lands except homesteads of the adult members of the Five Civilized
Tribes not of Indian blood, which included mainly freedmen citizens of
the tribes and affected 1,500,000 acres of land.

“In the next month, May, 1904, President Roosevelt commissioned Mr. M.
L. Mott of North Carolina to act as National Attorney for the Creek
Tribe of Indians. This appointment was important to the Indians of the
Five Civilized Tribes, for Mr. Mott took a deep interest in their
condition and became a forceful advocate for them; he was instrumental
in impressing enactments upon the Federal statutes and securing from the
Supreme Court constructions of the statutes that are essential to the
Indians’ welfare and that will secure to them their property rights for
many years beyond the time allotted by local consent.

“Soon after Mr. Mott assumed his duties he observed that a large part of
the land made salable by the Act of April 21, 1904, almost immediately
had passed into the hands of white people and the grossly inadequate
consideration received by the allottees had been wasted. This was food
for serious thought.

“In response to a popular demand Congress had removed the restriction
against sale three years before the land was to become alienable
according to the agreements under which it was allotted. The land and
money had been frittered away. Under the law, all restrictions on the
sale of all lands of full-bloods and mixed-bloods, except homesteads, of
the Creeks, Cherokees, Choctaws, and Chickasaws were to expire by
limitation within three or four years. In the light of the experience
under the Act of April 21, 1904, it was not difficult to foretell what
would happen when these restrictions expired under the impending
statehood regime.

“To avert the calamity threatening the Indians, Mr. Mott bent all of his
energies to securing an amendment of the law, extending the restrictions
against the sale of all Indians’ land. In the face of strong opposition
he failed to secure an extension as to mixed-bloods, but Congress was
prevailed upon to pass a measure extending until 1931 the restrictions
against the sale of all lands of full-blood Indians except under the
supervision of the Secretary of the Interior. This was part of an act of
April 26, 1906, entitled ‘An Act for the final disposition of the
affairs of the Five Civilized Tribes in the Indian Territory, and for
other purposes,’ which was framed to adjust conditions for the
inauguration of the new State of Oklahoma, then practically assured.

“The section of the Act extending restrictions was known as the McCumber
amendment. In urging its passage Senator McCumber read to the Senate an
argument by Mr. Mott in which he made the statement that within thirty
days after the Act of April 21, 1904, became effective, not ten per cent
of the land made salable by that act remained in the hands of the
allottees, and within sixty days not ten per cent of the allottees who
had sold possessed a dollar to show for the heritage so improvidently
disposed of. Senator McCumber and Senator Teller expressed doubt of the
constitutionality of the amendment, but impressed by the necessities of
the situation solved the doubt in favor of the Indians by voting for its
enactment. The wisdom of this measure was vindicated and its
constitutionality was established by the United States Supreme Court on
May 15, 1911, in the Marchie Tiger case, reported in 221 U. S. Supreme
Court Reports, page 738.

“This suit grew out of the fact that after August 8, 1907, conveyances
were taken from full-blood Creek Indians on the theory that the McCumber
amendment could not prevent it, in that Congress had not the power and
had not intended to extend the restrictions to land so purchased. On the
advice of Mr. Mott the Council of the Creek Nation made an appropriation
for the purpose of testing this contention and authorized the employment
of Mr. W. L. Sturdevant of St. Louis, who was retained by Mr. Mott, with
the concurrence of the Interior Department, to aid in establishing in
the courts the binding force of the McCumber amendment.

“The Oklahoma trial court held against the contention of the Indians and
the Supreme Court of Oklahoma said that as the lands involved in the
Tiger case were inherited, Congress did not intend to restrict the sale
of them, and that therefore the constitutionality of the Act was not
drawn in question; but the attorneys were convinced that the local
courts did not see this Indian question in the light with which grave
considerations of public policy and conscience illuminated it before the
nation, and they appealed the case to the United States Supreme Court.
This court reversed the holding of the Oklahoma courts and established
the force and effectiveness of the McCumber amendment, for the
much-needed protection of the 40,000 full-blood Indians of the Five
Civilized Tribes as to all their lands; the court said that it rests
with Congress to say when its guardianship of the Indians shall cease
and that it had not surrendered this right by creating the State of
Oklahoma. This decision established the power of Congress in the future
to impose such additional safeguards for the protection of the Indians
in Oklahoma as their necessities may require. On the strength of the
principle established in this case, the Government in behalf of the
Indians brought suits involving 30,000 causes of action against white
people who had taken deeds from Indians who were restricted under the
McCumber amendment, the most of which are now settled favorably to the

“Oklahoma with 1,500,000 population, became a State on November 16,
1907, upon a pledge contained in her constitution that she would never
question the jurisdiction of the Federal Government over the Indians and
their lands or its power to legislate by law or regulation concerning
their rights or property. Immediately she had a delegation in Congress
and at once began a determined campaign for further repeal of the laws
enacted for the protection of the Indians. The main argument employed
was that the Indians were competent to care for their property and
needed no legislative protection against improvidence; that the State
could be trusted to afford them all the protection they required and
that Federal guardianship and supervision should cease, as an
interference with the personal privileges and rights of citizens of
Oklahoma. And they made much of the fact that among the mixed-bloods
there are a few individuals who are quite shrewd enough to look out for

“This fight was highly successful to the white contenders and resulted
in the enactment of a law on May 27, 1908, executive July 27, 1908,
repealing the restrictions on the sale of a large class of land
including all homesteads of freedmen and of mixed-bloods of less than
half blood, freeing from restrictions all told, over 9,720,000 acres. It
provided also that all homesteads, as well as all other lands from which
restrictions against sale were removed, should become taxable the same
as lands of white people, whether sold by the allottee or not. This late
act violated the terms of the agreements made with the Indians under
which the homesteads of the Creeks and the allotments, or parts thereof,
of the Choctaw and other tribes were exempted from taxation for a given

[Illustration: © _by Rodman Wanamaker 1913_ _Chief Plenty Coups_]

“While this measure was being opposed before the House Committee on
Indian Affairs, in illustrating the disastrous policy toward the Indians
that Congress was entering upon, Mr. Mott referred to the 8th day of
August, 1907, when restrictions automatically expired on all lands in
the Creek Nation, except homesteads, of all allottees of less than full
blood. He stated that by one o’clock of the morning of the 8th day of
August, deeds conveying one-half of the lands of the Creek Nation so
affected were executed and delivered to well-organized land buyers, in
many cases for inadequate considerations, and that these considerations
were frittered away in a few weeks. This statement was not controverted.

“The part of this Act which undertook to subject to taxation the
homesteads and other lands of the Indians was regarded as destructive of
their property rights. The Indians had agreed to the allotment of their
lands upon the condition contained in their treaties that certain
exemptions from taxation should be observed. The Choctaw and Chickasaw
lands were to be exempt while owned by the allottees. It was provided
that in the Creek, Cherokee and Seminole tribes, a homestead of forty
acres should be reserved from each allotment, which should be
non-taxable for twenty-one years. This arrangement was favored by the
Government as a wise policy of equalizing to the Indians the handicap
under which they were about to enter upon a new method of living. It was
seen that the destruction of this safeguard would bring disaster to the
Indians as it would introduce a most insidious agency for divesting the
Indians of their land under the power to sell for delinquent taxes; and
it was realized that withdrawing the exemption was the arbitrary taking
of property without due process of law, which the courts should be asked
to prevent.

“These considerations were presented to the Creek Council by their
attorney soon after the passage of the Act and upon his advice they
again took an advanced position and decided to test the power of
Congress to take away from them the right of tax exemption. A resolution
to that effect was passed by the Creek Council in October, 1908, but it
needed the approval of the President of the United States to make it
effective. And here arose a peculiar situation.

“When Mr. Mott presented the resolution to Mr. Garfield, the Secretary
of the Interior, and the President, they stated that they had approved
and the President had signed the bill removing restrictions and making
the unrestricted homesteads taxable. It was represented to the latter in
reply that the Indians believed they were wronged by the Act, and that
if the President refused to aid them in getting into court to have their
rights measured and determined, the Indians would feel that the
Government was not acting in good faith toward them and was afraid to
have its actions inquired into by the courts. President Roosevelt
admitted the force of their position and approved the resolution.

“Mr. Sturdevant again was retained to present this question to the
courts, together with a similar question arising in the Choctaw Nation,
the question being common to all the tribes. As in the Marchie Tiger
restriction case the Oklahoma trial and Supreme courts held against the
contention of the Indians. They decided that the Indians must pay taxes
on homesteads as well as on all other land from which restrictions
against sale were removed. Mr. Sturdevant, confident of his position,
appealed to the United States Supreme Court and argued the novel
question to an interested bench which handed down an opinion on May 13,
1912, reversing the courts below. It held that the Indians’ exemption
from taxation was a property right that had become vested in exchange
for a valuable consideration, to wit, the consent of each allottee to
take his portion of land and yield any claim to all other tribal
property, and that Congress had no more power to destroy, impair or
withdraw that exemption than it had to take the land itself.

“In the opinion the Supreme Court stated a rule by which the rights of
Indians should always be measured, whether in the courts or in Congress.
It was said that ‘_the construction_ (of statutes) _instead of being
strict, is liberal; doubtful expressions, instead of being resolved in
favor of the United States, are to be resolved in favor of a weak and
defenseless people, who are wards of the nation, and dependent wholly
upon its protection and good faith._’

“Thus was settled a question of far-reaching importance to the Indians
and particularly to those who have not sold their homesteads. Congress
cannot take away from the Indians this right established by the Supreme
Court. But Congress can repeal all the restrictions on the sale of all
Indians’ land and expose them to their own ignorance and improvidence;
if the present tendency continues, this backward movement will be
completely consummated in a few years, and at present there is nothing
in sight to indicate a change of policy.

“In a recent primary campaign in Oklahoma there were sixty candidates
for Congress of both parties, from whom eight members were to be
selected. Nearly all of these aspirants for seats in Congress solicited
support on the promise that if elected they would work for the removal
of all restrictions on the sale of all Indian land of the Five Civilized
Tribes in Oklahoma, and for the ‘emancipation of eastern Oklahoma from
Federal supervision.’ And they were all in earnest for they knew that to
be elected they must favor that policy, and the sentiment that sent the
winners to Congress would exact a strict compliance with that agreement.

“It has been said by members of the Oklahoma delegation in Congress that
the Indian question is a local question with which the rest of the
country has no concern, and that the people of Oklahoma should be
permitted to work out their own policy toward the Indian and solve the
question in their own way.

“To a limited extent only is this true. The Indian question is a
National problem which we assumed when we as a nation appropriated their
land, took them under our protection and arrogated the right to control
their destinies. We made definite promises to them and mutual agreements
with them, in reliance upon which they consented to changes in their
forms of living which the exigencies of our rapidly growing nation
demanded. If in the next six or eight years these 40,000 full-bloods and
more than 60,000 mixed-bloods and freedmen shall have frittered away
their great estate and half of them are paupers, it will not be a State
question merely—it will be a National scandal.

“A prophet need not draw deeply for inspiration to see in 1919 the
Oklahoma delegation rising in Congress and demanding of the
Government:—‘What of your stewardship of these Indians, these children
of nature, whose vast property they entrusted to your protection?
Fifteen years ago they owned in fee simple—by the same title that we own
our homes—an estate which today is worth a thousand million dollars, and
one-half of them are paupers. Look upon your work for just one
generation. Their property was hedged about by every conceivable
legislative protection. Treaty after treaty and statute after statute
were enacted to secure the Indian against his own improvidence and
helplessness by you, the Government, the only power in the world which
could protect or despoil him at will. Then you began only a little while
ago to tear down this protection and to expose him to perils with which
he was inexperienced. You withdrew a little protection here, you tore
down something there, time after time, and by your own deliberate acts
the Indian was invited to pauperize himself until today he is a wanderer
upon the earth. Did your previous one hundred years of experience with
the Indians teach you nothing, that you might avoid rewriting some of
the miserable chapters of history we have been trying to forget?

“‘He who in 1904 was the independent owner of broad acres of hill and
valley, of billowing prairie, timbered mountain side and shady streams,
has not land enough on which to erect a shelter against the storm, nor
money to build it. His land is making thousands of fortunes annually and
supporting millions of thrifty white people who know nothing of the
Indian’s sacrifice and care less.’



  Burned a few years ago. The contrast between this dignified structure,
    and the glaring, modern school buildings has caused much comment.

“It seems clear that further removal of restrictions should be
discouraged. Under the present law any land of the Five Civilized Tribes
other than homesteads may be sold under the watchful eye of the
Secretary of the Interior. There should be no objection to this method.
True, before the Secretary will authorize a sale he investigates the
proposed transaction and he must be satisfied that the Indian wants to
sell, that he understands the deal, that the consideration offered is
adequate and that it is actually paid to the Indian, or to the
Department, for him—in other words, that the Indian is not defrauded.

“To say in the face of the experience of the past eight years that this
supervision of the Indian is an unwarranted, unreasonable interference
with the rights of citizens of a sovereign State, is the shallowest
sophistry. Under the wise policy of the Interior Department the
consideration paid for lands of a restricted Indian is received by the
Department and expended in the construction of improvements on his
homestead and for farm implements, livestock and other necessities of
life. Or the money is turned over to the Indian in small instalments,
the exact course to be pursued in each case being determined by an
investigation of the Indian’s capacity and needs. In this way his money
is not foolishly spent and he is not cheated by unscrupulous white men
who too often take advantage of the Indian’s ignorance and improvidence.
Certainly this cannot be objected to by the good people of Oklahoma who
have no desire to see the Indian plundered.

“The decisions of the Supreme Court have established the right of
Congress to pass all needful laws for the protection of these Indians
and to impose necessary supervision of their affairs, and have hereby
clearly shown that Congress alone is responsible for the fate of these
friendless people. The objective point of assault will be the next
Congress. Will it be able to resist the pressure that will be brought to
tear down the pitiful remnant of protection that remains to these wards
of our country? The attitude of the Supreme Court and the Interior
Department has placed the whole Nation under obligation to them, for
they have saved us as a people from standing pilloried before mankind as
entirely faithless to our fair promises made to a weaker people. If
their illustrious example shall awaken the legislative conscience, the
Indians who are yet restricted need not view with despair the convening
of another Congress. But if the present tendency is not arrested, within
five years these Indians will be stripped of every measure of protection
against their own incompetency. Our wards who less than ten years ago
were in the full enjoyment of all their property rights will have
experienced a swift impoverishment without parallel in our history.”


Footnote 20:

  Report Commissioner Indian Affairs, 1913.

Footnote 21:

  Indians of the Territory legislating wisely. Report Board Indian
  Commissioners to President Grant, 1871.

Footnote 22:

  Report of Indian Commissioners, 1872. Indians progressive and raising
  large crops.

Footnote 23:

  Capt. G. W. Grayson, official interpreter to the Creek Nation—lived
  with these Indians sixty years—confirms statement of former well-being
  and progress.

Footnote 24:

  I have extra copies of Burke’s speech, and shall be glad to mail
  copies to those who desire them.

Footnote 25:

  See Reports Commissioner Wright and Superintendent Kelsey as to value
  of oil properties—1909–1914.


Captain G. W. Grayson of Eufaula, who has served many years as official
interpreter to the Creeks, and who is frequently employed by the
Smithsonian savants in their studies of Indians, read my Oklahoma
manuscript and commented as follows:—

“It is proper to state that in the Creek Nation, excluding negroes, some
degree of protection and supervision should be extended over two-thirds
of the people. Some time since, the inquiry was propounded to Mr. Kelsey
as to why the Government officials found it necessary to withhold from
the allottee the proceeds of the sale of lands in which he is
interested, paying it out in small amounts from time to time to him as
his need required. He promptly replied that the experience of the office
had very decidedly indicated this to be the humane thing to do. That
there were many instances where a full-blood Indian was paid a
considerable sum of royalty money accruing from oil wells on his lands,
who was taken in charge by bad white men as soon as he left the office,
who immediately conducted him to some convenient brothel where drink is
one of the allurements, and rob him of every penny of the money paid to
him. This happens usually during the night following the payment, when
on the morning after the robbery, appears the Indian pleading to be
again paid at least sufficient to pay his railroad fare so he can get
out of town. To this officer of the Government, it appeared very clear
that it was the duty of the Agents of the Department who, in a large
sense, had assumed the guardianship of these Indians, to adopt such
precautions as would prevent a recurrence of like enormities.

“Another method adopted, and in many cases practiced, is that of
allowing the visiting payee only sufficient money to purchase his
immediate necessities while in the city, advising him to call at the
postoffice in his home town, where the rest of his money due him is sent
to him in the form of a check.

“The theory on which such action is based is, that the Indian receiving
his money at his home, where he is free from the influence of
intoxicants and bad white men, he can wisely advise his wife as to what
use to which this money may be appropriated, and in these cool and sober
moments, plan and adopt ways of disbursement that will actually benefit
the family.”

On May 17th, 1912, the Chairman of the Board of Indian Commissioners,
Honorable George Vaux, Jr., visited Oklahoma and spent some time
traveling through the Cherokee, Creek and Seminole countries. He was
accompanied by Dana H. Kelsey, Esq., Superintendent of the Union Indian
Agency, having in charge the Five Civilized Tribes. Mr. Vaux’s findings
were published in the 43rd Annual Report of the Board, 1912.

Desiring to study the Oklahoma situation in its broader aspects, I
visited Oklahoma in March, 1913, in company with J. Weston Allen, Esq.,
who represented the Boston Indian Citizenship Committee and other
organizations. We spent considerable time not only in consultation with
various Government officials and private citizens, but also in driving
over the Creek, Seminole and Cherokee countries.

Mr. Allen remained after I returned East, and drove many miles through
the region inhabited by the Choctaw and Chickasaw Indians, and made a
report to me on the situation as he found it.

Both of us took numerous photographs showing the actual conditions under
which the Indians are living.

I made a report on conditions and submitted recommendations to our
Chairman, Mr. Vaux, and to the Honorable Secretary of the Interior. This
report was criticised in Congress by Honorable Mr. Stephens,
Representative from Texas. Apparently Mr. Stephens did not read the
report. He stated in his speech of July 27th, during discussion of the
Indian appropriation bill:—

“Mr. Moorehead, the Commissioner mentioned by the gentleman from
Illinois (Mr. Graham) a few moments ago, went to Oklahoma last year and
by unjust criticism of Indian officials there stirred up more trouble
for the Indian Bureau than has ever before occurred in the settlement of
the matters of the Five Tribes.”

Mr. Stephens desired to see the Board of Indian Commissioners abolished.
Speaking for myself personally, and not for the Board, I desire to say
that a few years ago it was stated that the Board was not active.
Immediately the Board extended its work and projected a number of
important investigations, which were carried to a successful end. In the
last Congress the Board was criticised for being too active, especially
in Oklahoma. Friends of the Board rallied to its support and the former
appropriation of $4,000 was raised to the present amount of $10,000.

The past two years studies of Indian conditions by members of the Board
have been carried on in Wisconsin, Oklahoma, New Mexico and Arizona.
This winter the Board intends to investigate conditions on the Pacific
Coast, in the Northwest, Oklahoma, Montana and elsewhere.

In reply to Mr. Stephens’ two speeches, I wrote to him and pointed out
wherein he was in error. No answer has been received to these letters.
Careful reading of my report will convince any unprejudiced person of
this fact—that instead of criticising the Indian Office officials in
Oklahoma, I commended them. The only criticisms were those aimed at the
grafters, and in nearly fifty instances I gave names of guardians or
administrators, who had swindled Indians, giving details gleaned from
court records. The report urged the Congressional delegation from
Oklahoma to take a firm stand in behalf of the Indians.

Much injury is done to the cause for which we are all striving by such
speeches as the one cited above. In closing my comments on this
unfortunate matter, I desire to state that friendly relations exist
between myself and all the Government officials, and that without
exception, everyone of them has furnished, or offered, information for
this book.

Miss Kate Barnard last winter began a radical campaign on behalf of the
Oklahoma Indians. I am sorry space does not permit the recital of Miss
Barnard’s dramatic story. It seems that for years she was in charge of
the Department of Charities and Corrections, for the State. She found in
the orphans’ homes and poorhouses, large numbers of small children,
chiefly Indians. Investigation proved that these children were once
possessed of valuable property, out of which guardians had swindled
them. After the robbery became complete, the guardians avoided personal
responsibility by persuading judges to declare the children homeless
paupers; and placed them in State institutions, where they were
supported at public expense. The number of children declared paupers
mounted into the thousands. The thing became a national scandal, and
Miss Barnard soon found herself involved in a fight with the politicians
and grafters who profited by these wholesale swindles. Miss Barnard’s
official reports for the years 1909 to 1913 describe many of these cases
in heart-rending detail. The appropriations for her department were
wholly inadequate to care for more than a fraction of the State wards,
and she was compelled to cooperate with the Federal authorities. This
brought her department in line with Mr. Mott, Mr. Kelsey and others who
were fighting to bring about similar reforms.

Naturally, she aroused powerful opposition in her own State. The cry of
“Eastern sentimentalism” could not be raised against her, she being a
State employee. Her campaign seriously affected oil, land and other
interests. Hence, the Legislature cut off her appropriation, allowing
her salary, but no funds for publication, employment of assistants,
travel or other necessary items, whereupon Miss Barnard visited Chicago
and raised some thousands of dollars with which to wage a campaign of
education. She has organized eleven counties, and although hampered in
every way by the grafters, speaks to large gatherings throughout the
State. At one meeting 8000 persons assembled to hear her.

She delivered a stirring address at the Lake Mohonk Conference October
21st, this year, and through her efforts the Conference introduced a
plank in its platform to the effect that if Oklahoma failed to properly
protect her restricted Indians, the Federal Government should resume
jurisdiction over them.

Miss Kate Barnard is justly called the “Joan of Arc of Oklahoma”.

Of slight figure—even frail—she is possessed of lion’s courage and is a
most direct, forceful and dramatic speaker. I asked her able assistant
and attorney, Mr. Huson, “Where are all these big men of the West, the
fellows of the big and courageous hearts, the men we read so much about?
Why are they not supporting this woman in her heroic fight?”

He replied: “Oh, they have hearts, all right, when it comes to other
matters. But so long as they can make millions out of the Indians, it’s
no use to talk the humanities to them. They all follow David Harum’s
golden rule.”

In a letter dated July 23, 1912, Mr. H. Huson, Assistant Commissioner of
the State Department of Charities and Corrections, which was presented
to Congress by President Taft in his veto of the bill attempting to
validate inherited land titles, it was also said:

“Armed with this authority Miss Barnard has intervened in behalf of
approximately 3,000 orphans, nearly all of these Indian children whose
estates were being exploited or disposed of by incompetent or grafting
guardians. We have had many guardians removed, and we have saved for
these children since this law became operative something like $100,000
in money and prevented the sale or return of something like 115,000
acres of land.”

Yet in spite of her good work she is now compelled to fight for

The Indian Office decided to take a hand in the struggle, and Honorable
Cato Sells, Commissioner of Indian Affairs, visited Oklahoma early this
year, brought together all the probate judges and other officials and
made a plea for cooperation in the prevention of further despoiling of
the Indian. A set of rules, or method of procedure, was adopted, and the
probate judges of Oklahoma have agreed to follow them. Everyone hopes
Mr. Sells’ plan will work to the advantage of the minors and dependents.

Of the thousands of cases where minors and incompetents were swindled
out of property, I present but three or four typical of the larger
number. These are from official records.

One man was guardian in thirty-one cases involving more than fifty
minors. In all but one case this man as guardian had been dealing with
his brothers in the purchase of merchandise for his wards. There is but
one exception, that of a minor eighteen years old who was away at
school. A Government officer on behalf of these minors protested against
such practice and asked to file exceptions and proceed in all of these
cases. I am informed that the judge did nothing.

A guardian had a ward, Sam Bighead, a full-blood Indian boy five years
of age, who owned 560 acres of valuable land, much of which produced
oil. Eighty acres of this land was sold for the sum of $10,000.00 cash.
Although this boy owned 480 acres of land and $10,000.00 cash, he was
placed in the Creek Orphan Asylum where he died May 18, 1910. This boy,
entitled to proper care and treatment, was placed with the children of
paupers. Why the guardian wished to have on hand such a large sum of
cash, all of which was unnecessary for the maintenance of the ward,
since the ward was a public charge, passes comprehension.

When the poor boy died, there was left of this $10,000.00, $2,884.30 in
cash, and a $5,000.00 loan on first mortgage.

Death did not stay the actions of the guardian; he became appointed
administrator. As administrator he accounted for $11,424.30. He reported
that $6,074.96 was the balance on hand of the estate. Of this sum
$5,627.00 was divided into four equal parts for four heirs. However, the
Government special agent Farrar contends that in three of these cases
attorney fees of 25% each were charged. So finally, out of the estate of
$11,424.00, $4,405.85 was placed in the hands of the heirs. How can some
Oklahoma citizens clamor for withdrawal of Government supervision after
reading this story?

A man named Jerry Bunce was guardian of an Indian boy (Choctaw) named
Tonihka. Some of the inherited land of the boy had been sold by the
guardian through the probate court, and there were in the possession of
the guardian funds belonging to his ward amounting to $1100. The
guardian bought a cow and calf for the ward; the boy slipped the calf
away and sold it and with the proceeds bought him some clothes. The
guardian employed an attorney and had the boy arrested charging him with
larceny of the calf. Other attorneys were employed to defend the boy.
The guardian paid the attorneys on both sides of the case $900 of the
boy’s money—one side for prosecuting and the other side for an alleged
defense; when the case came up for trial the attorney defending plead
guilty for the boy, who was convicted without a word of evidence, and
sent to the reform school. Bunce died, and his successor as guardian
told my informant the above facts, and said that when he talked with the
attorneys involved they treated the matter as a great joke.

In 1910 a full-blood Choctaw Indian named Simon Wakaya was found dead
and charred in the ashes of his cabin. An investigation showed that he
had been shot before the cabin was burned. This Indian had dealt in
cattle and owned a small herd of stock in addition to his allotment. Two
or three days after the death, there was filed in the county offices a
bill of sale conveying all of his cattle to a man named Bill ——.[26] At
the same time there was filed for probate in the county court, a will
purporting to have been executed by Wakaya conveying his allotment to
Henry ——.[26] A Government representative satisfied himself that the
will was a forgery and induced a relative to contest the will. After a
preliminary hearing occurred in the county court, the matter was
appealed to the district court and full disclosure of all the facts was

The judge issued a bench warrant, charging them all with murder,
perjury, forgery and arson. These men gave bond at the time and for two
years they have been at liberty and have never been brought to trial.
This last remark merely illustrates the apathy of the white people of
this State in matters involving the welfare of the Indians. It is a fact
demonstrated a hundred times a day in this State that the white
population cares very little about the rights of the Indians and it is
difficult to secure a conviction of white people for many felonies
committed upon Indians. This is most frequently illustrated in the
matter of forgeries in the securing of pretended deeds from unrestricted
Indians. Upon failure to secure a deed the white man is not yet at the
end of his resources, for he can still either forge a deed or get some
Indian or freedman to impersonate the owner of the land and execute a
conveyance, acknowledge it before a notary and have it recorded.

A full-blood Cherokee, now about twenty-six, was allotted valuable land
in the vicinity of Bartlesville. She had no relatives, and at the age of
four years she was taken into the family of a white man, but not
formally adopted. When the allotments were made he was appointed her
guardian. When she became of age he was discharged. During his
guardianship about $4500.00 came into the guardian’s hands as guardian.
Upon a final accounting he filed receipts for over $2,000 as having been
paid to his ward, but which it is claimed he admitted really never was
paid to her.

When this girl became of age a new oil lease was made with her for which
a bonus of $8,000 was paid, which money went into the hands of the
guardian and which it is alleged he likewise admitted he diverted to his
own use. It is also claimed that approximately $2500 royalty has been
received by the guardian for this girl. It is claimed that the guardian
has admitted that he owed this girl approximately $20,000. The ward
lived in the home of her guardian ostensibly as a servant. She is of
weak mind and really an incompetent. In September, 1910, the guardian
secured a divorce from his wife, and afterwards, it is claimed,
continued to live with his ward.

As an illustration of the extremes to which these grafters sometimes
resort, my attention was called to a case of an adult who had died and
left a valuable property. In order to get large allowances from the
estate padded expense accounts were put in for the burial robes,
metallic caskets, etc., although the relatives who attended the burial
stoutly insisted that only a box, and the cheapest clothes were used. In
this instance, the grafters, knowing that an investigation was to be
made, exhumed the body and placed same in a metallic casket, and carried
off and destroyed the pine box in which the burial had originally been

Miss Barnard found a pauper child in an almshouse. Investigation proved
that the guardian disposed of a valuable “oil allotment” for $50,000.
Instead of using a part of this money for the child’s education, he
appropriated it to his own use. A portion of the money was recovered and
the child placed in an educational institution.

Indians about to become of age possessing valuable allotments, were
taken to remote points—Denver, Minneapolis, etc. Henry Purchase was
taken to St. Louis, and detained until he signed a deed to his property.
Marcus Corey was found by Secret Service men in Southampton, England,
and returned after much trouble to his parents. Marcus possessed
property worth $40,000.

Cases are on record where Indians were poisoned, or confined in rooms in
obscure hotels, until they signed away their property. The ignorant were
easy prey to the grafters, as this newspaper clipping of 1913 attests:

  Oklahoma City, June 25.—In an opinion handed down today by Associate
  Justice Jesse Dunn, of the supreme court that body holds that two
  Mississippi Choctaw Indian girls who were so ignorant that they
  would have sold their allotments on which were valuable asphalt
  deposits and which are worth $40,000 for $850 came under the
  statutory terms of mentally incompetent persons and that the county
  court of Marshall County should appoint a guardian for them. The
  girls admitted that they could neither read nor write, did not know
  when their mother died or how many $5 bills it would take to make a

In most States guardian and administrator fees range from as low as 2%
to as high as 5% or 6%. In Oklahoma, the administrators and guardians
charged from 3% to as high as 80% for service and costs in settling up
the affairs of these defenseless people. I present a random page from
Mr. Mott’s long report. This was included by the Honorable Mr. Burke in
his speech.



  Photographed in 1913

In defending such charges, one gentleman claimed that some of these
estates consisted of small tracts, widely scattered. Therefore, the
charges must of necessity be high. This is true of very few cases,
especially since small tracts widely separated were rarely ever sought
after by the grafter guardians, who in some localities were
opprobriously designated as _professional guardians_. The figures speak
for themselves, and should be considered by every thoughtful man and
woman in this country, as they tell a story of robbery unparalleled in
American history.

  No. 626. Amount handled, $2,085, at cost of $1,494.93, or 71.2 per

  Nos. 1411–1412. Amount handled, $65,266.92, at cost of $19,315.23,
  or 29.4 per cent.

  No. 1133. Amount handled, $3,286.94, at cost of $1,721.52, or 52.3
  per cent.

  No. 1556. Amount handled, $41,502.16, at cost of $21,953.60, or 52.8
  per cent.

  The following cases will be found in McIntosh County, Exhibit C:

  No. 32. Amount handled, $1,328.52, at cost of $937.89, or 70.5 per

  No. 310. Amount handled, $600, at cost of $305.50, or 50.9 per cent.

  No. 359. Amount handled, $1,960, at cost of $695.50, or 35.4 per

  No. 428. Amount handled, $17,944.26, at cost of $3,043.07, or 16.9
  per cent.

  No. 669. Amount handled, $1,787.50, at cost of $609.49, or 34 per

  In Exhibit D, for Tulsa County, will be found the following cases:

  No. 7. Amount handled, $14,944.37, at cost of $3,267, or 21.8 per

  No. 110. Amount handled, $2,094.28, at cost of $1,274.75, or 60.8
  per cent.

  No. 273 (a). Amount handled, $9,520.12, at cost of $2,487.67, or
  26.1 per cent.

  No. 273 (c). Amount handled, $29,296.76, at cost of $6,523.15, or
  22.2 per cent.

  No. 1014 (b). Amount handled, $19,534.12, at cost of $3,644.30, or
  18.6 per cent.

  Exhibit E, for Creek County, contains the following cases:

  No. 16. Amount handled, $13,675.37, at cost of $3,099.60, or 22.6
  per cent.

  No. 36. Amount handled, $54,968.10, at cost of $10,650.43, or 19.9
  per cent.

  No. 182. Amount handled, $64,863.42, at cost of $11,810.59, or 18.2
  per cent.

  (The above three cases were under the same guardianship).

  No. 42. Amount handled, $1,740, at cost of $793.75, or 45.7 per

  No. 188. Amount handled, $1,347.78, at cost of $759.37, or 56.3 per

  The cases below will be found in Exhibit F, for Okmulgee County:

  No. 10. Amount handled, $8,688.21, at cost of $2,243.85, or 25.8 per

  No. 280. Amount handled, $2,855, at cost of $1,038.82, or 36.3 per

  No. 152. Amount handled, $1,321.50, at cost of $1,196.50, or 90.5
  per cent.

  No. 136. Amount handled, $2,026.55, at cost of $778.95, or 38.4 per

  No. 540. Amount handled, $2,570, at cost of $1,684.64, or 65.5 per

  In Exhibit G, for Okfuskee County, will be found the following

  No. 271. Amount handled, $3,270, at cost of $911.96, or 27.8 per

  No. 237. Amount handled, $698.60, at cost of $364, or 52.1 per cent.

  No. 179. Amount handled, $3,208.05, at cost of $983.10, or 30.6 per

  No. 98. Amount handled, $1,674.40, at cost of $482.57, or 28.8 per

  I also call attention to the following cases found in Exhibit H, for
  Hughes County:

  No. 223. Amount handled, $2,372.50, at cost of $909.58, or 38.3 per

  No. 305. Amount handled, $4,939, at cost of $1,147, or 23.2 per

  No. 480. Amount handled, $1,950, at cost of $717.95, or 36.8 per

  No. 984. Amount handled, $2,847.79, at cost of $744.44, or 26.2 per

  No. 1039. Amount handled, $806.40, at cost of $407.64, or 50.5 per

  It will thus be seen that these methods and practices apply
  generally throughout the Creek Nation, and while they may exist in a
  greater degree in one county than another, the general situation is
  substantially the same. It is reasonable to presume also that in
  that large number of cases, as above pointed out, to wit, 4,339,
  where no reports of guardians have been made, and where files are
  out, equally bad or even worse conditions prevail.


Footnote 26:

  Names omitted.


We have looked upon the dark side of Oklahoma Affairs, let us look on
the bright side for a moment. From last year’s report of J. George
Wright, Commissioner to the Five Civilized Tribes, it is learned that
there are 32,939 restricted Indians. These are still protected by the
Government, and all own homesteads. Notwithstanding the thousands of
Indians who have been swindled out of their property, or sold same at
ridiculously low prices, a great deal remains—sufficient to provide
every Indian of the tribes with a homestead and enough agricultural land
to maintain himself and family, provided he is protected in his rights;
all hinges upon that word _provided_.

As to the true value of this land, I shall not present the statistics,
but the entire 19,000,000 acres, held by Indians and Whites, because of
the great oilfields, coal and asphalt lands timber and farm lands, must
be worth at least $1,000,000,000. About half of this, or $500,000,000,
it is claimed that the Indians still own, largely because of the
restrictions placed upon their property.

Much of this land is what is known as tribal land, and when sold the
amount is placed to the credit of the tribe. The tribal attorneys, the
Government officials, and practically everyone believes that the lands
should be sold, and the money divided up among the Indians. The reasons
for this, I have briefly presented on page 28, when speaking of Indians
in general. By this method, we will rid the Indians of an
ever-increasing swarm of attorneys and remove all incentive to unwise

Of the number of Indians at work, the value of their crops and labor, no
man may know. Estimates vary, but I suppose that it is no exaggeration
to state that about a third of the males belonging to the Five Civilized
Tribes work—thousands of them regularly. The Government has encouraged
this through the District Agents, or field helpers, whose duty it is to
instruct the Indians in farming, to protect them in their rights and to
exercise a general supervision over them. These field agents stood
between the Indian and the grafter, and there was a determined effort on
the part of a few men to have the entire number dismissed from the
Service. However, Congress continued the appropriation and these worthy
men are assured of another year’s effort on behalf of the Indians.

Some of the illustrations presented in these chapters are from
photographs taken by Mr. Allen and myself in Oklahoma and will give an
idea of the homes of the Indians, and some of the farms they have
brought under cultivation.


  OLD-STYLE CABIN, 1850–1890

  Cherokee, Oklahoma. Photographed, 1913

The unallotted lands have usually been sold at auction and since
November 1, 1910, 1,838,921 acres have been sold for $10,458,945, or an
average of $5.68 per acre. This seems rather low price, but as most of
the lands were not developed and many tracts had grown up to bushes, it
is the best that could be obtained under the circumstances.

Of immense value are the segregated coal and asphalt lands in Choctaw
and Chickasaw nations. These total 455,303 acres. The value has been
variously estimated, and it is impossible to accurately or even
approximately state the amount. Coal tracts, in the eastern part of the
United States, have been known to sell as high as $1,000 an acre. The
price may vary from $50 for tracts wherein the veins are thin, to $500
for heavy vein of the best grades of bituminous coal. It will thus be
seen that at the lowest estimate coal contained in this enormous area is
of exceeding value, and this statement does not take into account the
great asphalt deposit of undoubted value. Up to the present, the
Government has successfully resisted attempts of those who would secure
control of this property. Commissioner Wright, on page 28 of his report,
states that there is in cash deposited to the credit of the Indians, in
banks in the State of Oklahoma, $4,474,189.45. The interest paid on this
sum varies from 4% to 6%.

Some of the coal and asphalt lands have been leased to mining companies
and during the year ending June 30, 1913, 3,103,071 tons of coal and
4,752 tons of asphalt were mined; the royalty on the coal being eight
cents per ton and on crude asphalt ten cents, refined asphalt sixty
cents per ton.

The tribal attorneys, acting for these Five Civilized Tribes, and
occupying high positions of trust and responsibility, have, without
exception, done what they could to further the interests of their

The existence of the Cherokee terminated June 30, 1914, and all tribal
offices were abolished. Whether the Cherokees will prosper remains to be

In addition to the totals presented, it must be recorded that
$2,480,739.35 were distributed to individual Indians. This sum was
received from oil royalties, lease privileges, mining royalties, rents,
bonuses, etc.

Dana H. Kelsey, Superintendent of the Union Agency, and acting in
conjunction with Commissioner Wright last year handled a grand total of
$8,215,989.71. Some idea of the enormous amount of business transacted
by his office may be gleaned from the statement that pieces of mail
matter (over half of which were letters) during the year totaled
364,218. His office investigated about 18,000 leases, land cases,
complaints and probate cases all relating to Indian property. The net
saving to the Indians by this governmental supervision was $667,352.25.

Mr. Kelsey states: “At the advent of statehood there were no ample
facilities to afford proper protection to the minor and incompetent
Indians, the former of which number approximately 60,000.”

Some of the difficulties with which his office has had to contend may be
imagined from the following quotation:—

“Many parties who sought to secure these lands either controlled the
appointment of the guardian or connived with the guardian to purchase
the land at grossly inadequate prices, the difference between the
purchase price and the actual price of the land being the profit
realized by the guardian and the purchaser. In other instances parents
who were appointed guardians of their children sold their children’s
allotments and dissipated the proceeds. This work discloses many
instances where parties desiring to lease minor allotments secured the
appointment of themselves or employees as guardian, and by so
controlling the land sought they were able to profit to a considerable
extent in subleasing lands for, in some instances, many times the amount
paid. Many of these leases provided for the improvement of the land in
lieu of cash rental, while none of the improvements were made. Many
complaints lodged with the field clerks are from the unrestricted
Indians, who, upon attaining their majority, find that their allotments
have been sold and the funds dissipated by the guardian, leaving them

I visited Mr. Kelsey’s office and spent a number of days there watching
the conduct of business. The tremendous activity in the oilfields, and
the thousands of applications for oil leases or purchase of Indian lands
pass, for the most part, through his hands and those of his able
assistants. If it were not for his efforts and those of Commissioner
Wright, and the tribal attorneys (and not to omit Mr. Mott, Mr. Foreman
and Miss Barnard), in other words, if there had not appeared before
those who sought to despoil the Indians this “stone wall defense”, there
would be little to record today beyond the fact that the Five Civilized
Tribes at one time possessed a great deal of property.

Mr. Kelsey served over ten years as Superintendent of the Union Agency
and is thoroughly familiar with conditions in Oklahoma. His
recommendations, therefore, should carry weight. They are found on page
93 of his report.

“1. Continued and more practical care of the health and property of the
older, uneducated, full-blood Indian, and the disposition, under proper
supervision, of his excess land holdings.

“2. The immediate placing of all mature, able-bodied Indians entirely
upon their own resources when shown that they have had sufficient
experience or education to enable them to earn a livelihood.

“3. Systematic and compulsory education of every Indian child, and
conservation of his property in the meantime.”

He emphasizes the education of Indian children for the reason that back
in the hills in Oklahoma there are several thousand children not
officially recognized as members of the tribes, for the reason that they
have been born since the rolls were closed. As no provision is made for
the education of these, he properly claims that these children
constitute one of the great problems in Oklahoma. He also states that
most of the adult Indians have remaining more or less property or money.
I would add to his recommendations that this property and money must be
wisely safeguarded else the Indians will become paupers. Already a few
of them are living on the section lines, along the county roads. And
this number will increase rapidly, unless we make the citizenship real
and effective.

The office held by Mr. Wright now being consolidated with that of Mr.
Kelsey, he acts as Supervisor. I wrote him a long letter concerning the
Oklahoma situation, and a portion of his reply should be included in
this book:—

                  *       *       *       *       *

“So far as the consolidation of the two offices is concerned, I rather
feel that you were unduly anxious over its effect. I have had the
responsibility of the entire work now for nearly two months, and am more
than ever convinced that the time was ripe for it and it was good
administration to have it all under one head, provided that head is the
right sort of a man, and that there will be no ill effects therefrom. It
was bound to come, and had better come while there was somebody here who
knew how to do it than later. I am having such fun getting it working
smoothly that it will soon be only an incident. I am happy to say that
the good work to protect the Indians goes on I think better now than
ever. We are getting excellent results from the new probate attorney
organization, in cooperation with our former field force (which is still
intact), and not only preventing new abuses, but, as time permits,
delving into and correcting many old and rotten ones affecting minors,
and I think the cooperation of the probate courts—especially since the
earnest entrance into the thing by the Commissioner personally—is a
hundred per cent better than it was before, all of which I helped plan,
and with which I feel I have had much to do.

“Muskogee, Oct. 23rd, 1914.”

                  *       *       *       *       *

All of the above is very encouraging, and I hope the consolidation and
the probate attorneys will work together for the result we all desire.

It would not be proper to close the Oklahoma affair without saying a few
words concerning Mr. Mott and Captain Grayson.

Captain George W. Grayson has served as official Creek interpreter for
many years. He understands the history of his tribe, is entirely in
sympathy with their aims, and has done much to aid the various tribal
attorneys in Oklahoma. With a fine Indian, Moty Tiger, Chief of the
Creek Nation, he has frequently visited Washington. I asked Captain
Grayson to read the manuscript of my Oklahoma section prior to
publication, and am indebted to him for valuable suggestions and
information. Captain Grayson as interpreter has been made use of by the
Smithsonian Institution men in their investigations of Creek language,
mythology and family life. There is no more able interpreter in all the
State of Oklahoma.

Mr. M. L. Mott has been referred to in previous pages of this chapter.
In closing, I would call attention to a remarkable scene which occurred
in the office of the Secretary of the Interior in February, 1914. The
Oklahoma delegation in Congress from the state of Oklahoma, had opposed
the reappointment of Mott as attorney for the Creek Indians. As we have
seen in previous pages, Mott put up a heroic fight on behalf of his
clients, thereby incurring the ill will of many persons. Each afternoon
for five days, were arrayed against him all the Congressmen from
Oklahoma. At the conclusion of these lengthy sessions, in which the
opponents were unable to prove anything of consequence against Mr. Mott,
the Secretary of the Interior issued him the following letter:

                     THE SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR


                                                    February 14, 1914.

  My dear Mr. Mott:

  Chief Moty Tiger and myself have agreed upon Judge Allen as your
  successor as Attorney for the Creek Nation.

                  *       *       *       *       *

  I shall always take pleasure in contemplating the manner in which
  you conducted yourself during the inquiry here. That you have been
  honest under difficulties and fearless at all times in doing your
  duty, seems to be admitted even by those to whom you have been most

  I am glad to know that you are going to return to Oklahoma and I
  trust that by mingling freely with those people they will come to
  see you as a man of ideals.

                                       Cordially yours,
                                             (Signed) FRANKLIN K. LANE

  M. L. Mott, Esq.,
      Washington, D. C.

We may search governmental records in vain for a parallel case. Here was
a faithful servant of the public, a loyal friend to the Indians. The
Congressmen appeared against him in force and brought up every
conceivable charge, in order to encompass his fall; striving to preserve
official peace in Oklahoma, the Honorable Secretary was forced to
replace him, yet at the same time wrote a commendatory letter in Mott’s

The night following his honorable defeat, I saw Mott in his room at the
National Hotel. With him were two staunch friends of the Creeks, Chief
Moty Tiger and Captain G. W. Grayson. Mott uttered a remarkable
prophecy: “Moorehead, they are rid of me. The next step will be to force
out the Department of Justice men, Gresham and Frost; then Kelsey and
Wright will have to go; Kate Barnard must stop protecting minor heirs,
or her board will be abolished; also your Indian Commissioners. Having
cut off the real fighters, then they will remove restrictions. A few
years hence—and do not forget this—the Oklahoma Congressmen will ask the
American people to support Indian paupers, claiming that Federal
negligence has brought distress to thousands, and that the State of
Oklahoma must not be called upon to care for these indigents. Most
people who took Indian lands will not be compelled to return them, and
the Federal slate will be wiped clean of the 30,000 land suits now

In eight months, nearly half of Mott’s prophecy has been verified.


Few Indian matters in our honorable Congress have had more publicity
than the so-called McMurray contracts. Several chapters of this book
could be devoted to describing the propositions made by Mr. McMurray and
his associates and the far-reaching effects on the Indians of Oklahoma
were these carried into effect. But I must content myself with calling
attention to the bibliography at the end of this chapter. The testimony
and investigations cover hundreds of pages.

Mr. McMurray made contracts with thousands of Indians on a percentage
basis. P. J. Hurley, Esq., attorney for the Choctaw Indians, opposed the
McMurray contracts before Congressional Committees and in court. Hurley
contended that McMurray would receive at the least possible estimate
$3,500,000 in fees, the undistributed portion of the Choctaw and
Chickasaw estate being $35,000,000 minimum valuation. The struggle for
so large a stake has extended through a number of years. So far Mr.
Hurley, and other friends of the Indians, have succeeded in preventing
McMurray carrying his contracts into effect.

The Choctaw and Chickasaw affairs are both interesting and complicated,
and tell a different story from that of the Creeks. Further reference to
Cherokees and Seminoles may be omitted, as their story is practically
that of the Creeks.

A little more than two-thirds of the entire acreage—a vast domain over
200 miles east and west, and an average of approximately 100 miles north
and south—was allotted and sold for the benefit of these three classes
of Indians, the Choctaws, Chickasaws and Mississippi Choctaws, about
37,600 in number—a little more than one-third of the total Oklahoma

The eastern third of this territory is especially rich in coal and
hardwood timber. What is shown upon the map as the Choctaw Nation
contains the largest coal deposits in what is generally known as the
Mississippi valley, and when allotment of lands began in 1903, this
country was practically covered with a rich growth of pine timber of the
finest quality.

The Chickasaw Nation comprised the greatest agricultural and
stock-raising lands, some of which had been under cultivation for half a
century. By the use of these vast estates, they became well-to-do and
self-supporting. The richness of the country becoming known, Whites and
negroes flocked to Indian Territory with the idea prominent that they
were going to be permitted to homestead the surplus land, as had been
the custom in breaking up Indian reservations. With the opening of the
Cherokee strip, the Cheyenne and Arapaho and the Iowa and Comanche
reservations on the west, comprising all of the western half of
Oklahoma, immigrants flocked to these openings. Some of the best of them
remained as farmers in that great western country. The riff-raff, after
exploiting those western and northern reservations, came back to Indian
Territory to ply their vocations at the various allotting agencies among
the Five Civilized Tribes.

By 1903 all kinds of land, livestock and timber companies were at work;
skillful lawyers schemed to change the laws. More than one Indian,
disgusted with the “Christian” white man, stayed in the Choctaw hills
among the pine forests and refused to come out and perform the duties
necessary under the laws made for him in order that he might receive his
allotment. Each man, woman and child was to receive $1040 worth of land,
appraised at from twenty-five cents to $6.50 per acre; also 320 acres of
average land. He was supposed to look it over, and being satisfied with
it, come to the land office and file his “descriptions” with an
affidavit that he owned such improvements, if any there were, and the
possessary right to the land selected. He could not be induced to come.
It cost money to go 200 miles over into the Chickasaw Nation, or even to
find suitable land in the Choctaw Nation.

Under the allotment act the members of the tribes were given the right
to alienate one-half their lands within five years from date of patents.
The more ignorant classes were more easily influenced, and runners were
employed to go over in the Choctaw Nation and “shell the woods” for
Indians. Sufficient quantities of whiskey, an interpreter, and expense
money were all that was necessary. Indians were brought into the
allotting agencies by the score. He was taken out in a conveyance and
driven a few miles from the agency and shown the best improved farm in
the country, a deal made with him to lease the land for five years in
consideration of the purchase of the possessary right to the land. His
plans were prepared for him. His allotment known as surplus which would
be alienable within five years, was plotted upon improved lands which he
had never seen and the balance of his land known as homestead selected
for him in some out of the way place, generally upon the hills. To this
day most of these full-blood Indians have never seen nor set foot upon
their several allotments.

A case or two illustrating Choctaw and Chickasaw affairs is illuminating
of general conditions. Addie B. Fasler was a minor full-blood Indian
about twelve years of age in 1907, and a certain man was made guardian
for her. Under a new act of Congress an additional judge had been
appointed in the southern district, Judge J. T. Dickenson, and he had
been assigned the northern half of the district by agreement between
himself and the other judge. This application was presented to him for
approval. Judge Dickenson refused to appoint the one requested, but upon
his own motion selected a man by the name of Wright living at Sulphur.
Up to this time such independence on the part of the judiciary was
unusual and war from this time on existed between the old and the new
judge. Wright found his ward in squalor. He found that she owned, by
reason of the death of her family, four allotments besides her own—that
they consisted of something like a thousand acres of improved land, the
larger part in cultivation; that all of this land had been in the
possession of a Mr. Mullen since allotment, and was at that time being
rented out by Mr. Mullen for an average rental of $2.50 per acre per
year. Mr. Wright employed attorneys and began proceedings to recover
these lands for his ward. He was met at the hearing by a subsequently
appointed guardian from the central district who had been appointed at
the instance of Mullen. The hearing was had before the old judge who
promptly held that the domicile of the minor was in the central district
and that the United States Court for the southern district had no
jurisdiction to appoint Mr. Wright guardian. What has become of Addie B.
Fasler or her vast estates? She is one of the many now “unknown” since
her property is gone.

After statehood, the Chocktaw and Chickasaw Nations were cut up into
many counties and probate matters transferred to the County Courts of
the counties which included the court towns. Provisions were made to
transfer probate cases to the county which would have had jurisdiction
had such case been inaugurated after statehood.

Little effort has been made to transfer these cases, because the Indians
themselves are ignorant of the fact that administrators and guardians
have been appointed elsewhere and only in those instances where the
grafter wants to sell or lease the land is any pretense made to have
everything regular. This condition has resulted in the appointment of
guardians in the counties of the residence of the minors to recover
lands and rentals. Much litigation has grown out of these conflicts, and
it is safe to say that in very few instances have the grafters
surrendered to the Indian lands allotted to him.

Charles McKinney is an ignorant, easy-going quarter-blood Chickasaw with
four or five minor children. Their lands were scattered in Poulatre,
Johnson, Marshall and Carter Counties. He was their guardian. He sold
these various allotments through the County Court of —— County and
received something like $7000. The mayor of the city was on his bond. A
certain judge, the mayor and several other politicians decided to buy a
local newspaper which was too independent for the good of the party.
This money was loaned to the mayor, who gave as security a mortgage upon
several tracts of land which he did not own, and used the money in the
purchase of the newspaper plant; the latter became insolvent and was
sold by its creditors, and the guardian squandered the balance of the

The Mississippi Choctaws are Indians of a low order of intelligence.
They were imported into this country in 1902 and 1903 by land companies,
among which was the Choctaw Investment Company, now defunct, and J. E.
Arnold. They were herded in barracks around Ardmore and other places
during 1902, 1903 and 1904; the smallpox broke out among them and they
died like sheep. Before they left Mississippi, contracts were made with
them in which they agreed to prove up on their lands and sell them to
the promoters.

The stockholders of the Chocktaw Investment Company and other
non-residents furnished the money and have stood the loss, but J. E.
Arnold and Senator Owen are now pressing before the Court of Claims
large accounts for allowance. To secure these claims if allowed, J. E.
Arnold has filed a lien upon almost every allotment of a Mississippi
Choctaw in these two nations. Congress has recognized these claims by
permitting them to be litigated.


Except a few persons, everybody agrees that affairs in Oklahoma are in a
bad shape. The Indian Office is doing all that it can through Mr. Sells’
attorneys to bring about desired reforms and protection, but it is
exceedingly slow work. We must adopt Miss Barnard’s plan if we desire to
save the remaining Indian peoples in Oklahoma. That is, briefly, to
arouse the conscience in hundreds of thousands of good citizens in
Oklahoma and persuade them to take a firm stand against further
despoilation of Indians. The grafters, through their newspapers, have
exerted an influence out of all proportion to their strength. They have
dominated in Oklahoma. They have even subsidized. One of the newspapers
which attacked Hon. George Vaux, Jr., and afterwards was very bitter
toward Mr. Mott and myself, received thousands of dollars from an Indian
minor child’s estate. This money was used to boom a political journal.

All who would save the Indian must stimulate the better class of
citizens into action. Attacking grafters, is not bringing into discredit
the good name of a great State. I mention this because the grafters
raise the cry of State persecution. They do not, however, deny the
pauperizing of Indians, or the 30,000 specific cases of fraud. Miss
Barnard well answers critics with the statement that we are merely
attacking forces of evil. The people of Oklahoma themselves can solve
the problem promptly and satisfactorily, if they will assert their
rights. All the protection and publicity, and legal procedures in the
world will not save the Oklahoma Indians, if the better class of
citizens (the great majority) do not take a firm stand for right and
justice. The ministers, Miss Barnard claims, are already beginning to
preach sermons against graft—all of which indicates a trend of healthy
public opinion.

Mr. Foreman, who has worked along the same lines as Department of
Justice officials, Miss Barnard and Mr. Kelsey, and has been associated
with Mr. Mott, takes a rather gloomy view. I present his paragraphs

“In a few short years, Congress has removed the restrictions on the sale
of nearly 70 per cent of the 100,000 Indians of the tribes—on all but
the full-bloods. The inevitable has overtaken these mixed-bloods from
whom Congress released its protecting supervision, and probably not one
in ten of them retains even a considerable part of his original
allotment of land.

“The experiment of turning these mixed-blood Indians loose has been a
lamentable mistake. But at least some good should be extracted from it.
The lesson should be employed to emphasize the need for protection of
the full-blood. The mixed-blood as a land owner is no more. He is gone
and there is practically nothing to be done for his class except in the
protection of his minor children.

“But the full-blood still has his land, for his restrictions have never
been released. There is no obligation to these Indians so commanding as
the duty of seeing to it that they are protected in their property; this
means that the restrictions against the sale of their lands must not be
relaxed except under the supervision of the Interior Department. To
permit them to sell their lands without this protection would expose
them to their own inexperience and improvidence, to the cunning of the
shameless horde of white land grafters.

“It was claimed that at least the mixed-bloods are competent to handle
their property, and developments have shown the fallacy of that claim.
Many of the full-bloods are but little more fortunate. Totally
unprepared they have had thrust upon them individual ownership of their
lands. In 1906 Congress provided that full-blood Indians might sell
lands inherited from deceased relatives. As the rate of mortality is
high among these people, there are many such inheritances and many such
sales have been made. In a great number of instances they have been
swindled out of their inheritances for a pittance.

[Illustration: © _by Rodman Wanamaker, 1913_ _Chief Keen, Koon-Ta-Chy
addressing the Council_]

“Congress unwisely permitted these full-bloods to lease most of their
land for five years without supervision. Thousands of them were induced
by white speculators to lease their land, including their homes and
little cultivated farms which were capable of making them comfortable.
Inexperienced in such transactions, they gave the white man their home
for five years for little or nothing, the consideration depending on the
extent of fraud practiced on them. The speculator in turn sublets the
land to a renter and makes a handsome profit on the transaction. The
Indian was then forced to move on the land of a relative, or into the
hills on unimproved land, with practically nothing to sustain his
family. In many cases only the first year’s rent is paid the Indian and
the lessee refuses to pay more. The Indian in his helplessness knows no
remedy and suffers almost a total loss of the consideration agreed upon.
This situation is particularly distressing in the Choctaw and Chickasaw

“These leases are extended by methods which the mind of the Indian
cannot comprehend, and once out of possession it is practically
impossible for the Indian to get his land back. When the restrictions
are removed from the sale of this class of land, which is looked forward
to by the people holding them, they will make the most of their
advantage over the Indian, by making it practically impossible for the
Indian to get any other buyers than the lessees, who will buy on their
own terms. This mean advantage is evidenced now in another way. The
Indian Department can sell part of the Indian’s allotment for the
Indian’s benefit, but in many cases a sale for an adequate consideration
is defeated by the presence of leases often taken by white speculators
for no other purpose than to prevent anyone else buying the land, or to
demand a heavy tribute for a surrender of the lease.

“The newspapers and the court files of the eastern half of Oklahoma for
several years have been filled with the stories of the Indians’ undoing
which explains the swift impoverishment of the mixed-blood Indian. If
the mixed-bloods could not stand up against this condition, what chance,
would the full-bloods have?

“When the hardy pioneer ventured within the domain of the aboriginal
proprietors of this country he found himself among what are often
described as “hostile” people. It is a strange caprice of fortune that
with the coming of the white man’s civilizing influence, the description
“hostile” should be shifted from the Indian to the white man, and the
submissive red man, remaining upon his own land, should discover himself
surrounded by the perils of hostile white people. Perils less bloody but
more insidious and relentless; the thirst for blood supplanted by the
thirst for the Indian’s property; the Indian’s ambush exchanged for the
white man’s ambush of intrigue and deception; conquest of the stout of
heart and arm routed by the conquest of the pen and deceit and of the
brain befuddled by the devastating alcohol.

“The Indian is groping his way through the dusk of his day upon earth
and soon he will pass from our sight and the sound of his footsteps will
cease. As he proceeds falteringly, this shred of a great race is
comforted by no expressions of good will. The road is rough and the
guideposts are far between and hard to read. The only light that would
reveal his path to him shines distantly but faithfully. From this light,
from the voices and counsels of a few distant friends unselfishly
striving for him, comes the only promise of amelioration.”

Miss Barnard’s assistant, Mr. Huston, at Lake Mohonk, dictated to me the
following two paragraphs as indicative of the essential things for which
the Department of Charities and Corrections is fighting. It must be
understood that the second paragraph from the end is not aimed at the
Indian Office personnel. It is merely a statement of fact, that the new
attorneys labor under disadvantage.

1st. To elect a Legislature pledged to appropriate sufficient funds to
make effective the Department of Charities and Corrections,—the only arm
of Government, Federal or State, which is clothed with legal authority
to intervene in the probate courts of Oklahoma on behalf of Indian minor

2nd. To enact a law embodying adequate probate procedure. The probate
procedure recently agreed to between the probate judges of Oklahoma and
the Commissioner of Indian Affairs is substantially the same procedure
which was prepared by M. L. Mott and put into effect in five out of the
eight counties of the Creek Nation several years previous to the present
administration. Mr. Mott had this procedure embodied in a bill which
passed the lower house of the Oklahoma Legislature two years ago, but
which was defeated through the influence of grafters in the Senate. Mott
knew that the probate procedure, depending for its force and effect
merely upon the personal agreement of county judges elected by a
constituency hostile to the Indians, would be ineffective to protect
Indian minors, unless the same had the force of law, and provided
adequate penalties for violation of same.

Finally, all good citizens in the United States must rally to the
support of those who are making a fight for simple justice and decency
in Oklahoma. If the better element in that State is defeated by a
combination of oil, coal, gas, timber, land, and asphalt interests, the
taxpayers of this country will be called upon to support 100,000
homeless paupers. Nowhere else in the United States are 100,000 citizens
to be dispossessed, and if this calamity is permitted to occur, the
blackest page in all American history shall have been written. A
helpless, a trusting, and a dependent people look to us to keep the
final one of all our promises.


  Lengthy discussion of Indian Affairs. Both branches of Congress.
  _Congressional Record_ for 1914. Jan., 22; Feb., 10, 11, 12, 13, 17,
  16, 17, 19, 20, 26, 28; March, 10, 11, 12, 21, 26, 27, 28, 31; Apr.,
  24, 28, 29; May 4; also Dec., 20, 1913.

  Detailed reviews of satisfactory conditions of Five Civilized
  Tribes; statistics of some; need of protection; legislation
  recommended. Board of Indian Commissioners reports to President and
  Secretary of Interior. 1869–1890

  Letters expressing the favorable cooperation indorsing the work of,
  or urging the retention of District Agents in the Five Civilized
  Tribes. Washington 1912. Printed for the use of the Committee on
  Indian Affairs.

  Choctaw-Chickasaw Tribal Affairs. _Patrick J. Hurley._ Thirty-first
  Annual Report Lake Mohonk Conference, P. 29. 1913.

  Toward “Restricted” and “Unrestricted” Indians of Five Civilized
  Tribes, Should the Law and its Administration be the same?—_William
  H. Murray._ Thirty-first Annual Report Lake Mohonk Conference. P.
  35. 1913.

  Memorial of the Choctaw and Chickasaw Nations, Relative to the
  Rights of the Mississippi Choctaws. Submitted for consideration in
  connection with H. R. 19213. 1913.

  Five Civilized Tribes, Conditions—_George Vaux, Jr._ The Red Man.
  Dec., 1912. P. 135.

  Report of the Commission to the Five Civilized Tribes to the
  Secretary of the Interior. June 30, 1912.

  The Reorganized Schools in the Five Tribes.—_J. P. Brown._
  Twenty-eighth Annual Report Lake Mohonk Conference, 1910. P. 79.

  Report on School Taxation in Indian Territory. House of
  Representatives Doc. No. 34. Fifty-eighth Congress, 3rd Session,
  Dec. 6, 1907.

  Education Among the Five Civilized Tribes.—_J. P. Brown._ Quarterly
  Journal of the Soc. Amer. Indians. Oct.-Dec., 1913. P. 416.

  Veto Message of the President of the United States, without approval
  Senate Bill 7978, entitled “An Act Relating to inherited estates in
  the Five Civilized Tribes in Oklahoma.” Senate Doc. 899, 62nd
  Congress, 2nd Session, August 6, 1912.

  Laws and Regulations, Relating to Indians and their Lands.—_Oscar H.
  Lipps._ 1913.

  Suppressing the Liquor Traffic in Indian Territory and
  Oklahoma.—_William E. Johnson._ Twenty-fifth Report Lake Mohonk
  Conference, 1907. P. 27.

  Indian Appropriation Bill, Hearings before the Committee on Indian
  Affairs, U. S. Senate. Parts 1, 2, 7, and 5. Ending June 30, 1915.

  Hearing before Committee on Indian Affairs of the U. S. Senate.
  Appropriation Bill. Jan. 28 to Feb. 10, 1905.

  Suits in Court of Claims by the Choctaw and Chickasaw Indians. “To
  authorize the Choctaw and Chickasaw Nations to bring suit in the
  Court of Claims and for other Purposes.” Doc. No. 1010, 62nd
  Congress, 3rd Session. 1913.

  The Grace Cox Inheritance Case. Decision of Comm. of Indian Affairs
  which relates to the Determination of Heirs of Deceased Indians.
  Jan. 22. 1914.

  Letter from Dept. of Interior to Chairman of the Committee on Indian
  Affairs, transmitting detailed statement of all expenditures and
  disbursements from various funds on account of the Five Civilized
  Tribes from 1908 to 1911 inclusive. Senate, 62d Congress, 2d
  Session, June 30. 1911.

  The U. S. Government and the Indian Problem.—_Hon James S. Sherman._
  Twenty-seventh Annual Conference Lake Mohonk, 1909. P. 74.

  Status and Needs of the Five Civilized Tribes. Thirty-first Annual
  Report Lake Mohonk Conference, 1913. P. 16.

  The Need of Publicity in Indian Affairs.—_John M. Oskisen._
  Twenty-fourth Annual Report Lake Mohonk Conference, 1906. P. 38.

  Indian Territory Tribes. The Cherokees, Chapter VIII. Pp. 257–297.
  Indian Territory pp. 425–431. Century of Dishonor.—_Helen Hunt
  Jackson._ 1886.

  The Five Civilized Tribes—Why They Employ Attorneys.—_Speech of Hon.
  William H. Murray, Congressional Record_, No. 78, Vol. 51. Feb. 11,

  Oklahoma Red Book, 1909–14. Oklahoma City.

  Fort Sill Indians, Report of Condition of.—_William H. Ketcham_,
  Member Board of Indian Commissioners, Jan. 5, 1914.

  The Shawnee Indians: Their Customs, Traditions, and Folk-lore.—_Rev.
  Jacob Spencer._ Kansas City Historical Society, 1907–1908. P. 382.

  Reports of the Dawes Commission to the Five Civilized Tribes.

  Five Civilized Tribes. Handbook of American Indians. Vol. I. P. 463.

  Seminole. Handbook of American Indians. Vol. II. P. 500.

  Creek. Handbook of American Indians. Vol. I. P. 362.

  Choctaw. Handbook of American Indians. Vol. I. P. 288.

  Chickasaw. Handbook of American Indians. Vol. I. P. 260.

  Cherokee. Handbook of American Indians. Vol. I. P. 245.

  Sank and Fox Agency, Oklahoma. Report of the Department of the
  Interior. 1900. P. 348.

  Indian Territory. Fourth Annual Report of the Board of Indian
  Commissioners. 1872. P. 14.

  Osages. Third Annual Report of the Board of Indian Commissioners.
  1871. P. 5.

  Cherokees, General Condition of the Eastern. Twenty-eighth Annual
  Report of the Board of Indian Commissioners. 1896. P. 13.

  Choctaws and Chickasaws. Fifth Annual Report of the Board of Indian
  Commissioners. 1873. P. 52.

  First to Fifth Annual Reports of the Commissioner of Charities and
  Corrections of the State of Oklahoma. Dec. 10, 1908 to 1913.—_Kate

  McMurray Contracts. Hearings Before the Committee on Indian Affairs.
  U. S. Senate, 63rd Congress. First Session on H. R. 1917. pp.
  338–353, 354–456.

  Our National Problem. The Sad Condition of the Oklahoma
  Indians.—_Warren K. Moorehead._ 1913.

  Kiowa Agency, Anadarko, Oklahoma. General Condition of Agency
  Indians.—Report of Department of the Interior, 1904. P. 293.

  Habits of the Indians. Kiowa Agency, Oklahoma.—Department Interior
  Report, 1900. P. 332.

  Kiowa Agency, General Condition of the Indians of.—Report of the
  Department of the Interior, 1902. P. 287.

  Pawnee Agency, Oklahoma.—Report of the Department of the Interior,
  1904. P. 302.

  Cantonment Training School, Oklahoma.—Report of the Department of
  the Interior, 1904. P. 283.

  Cantonment Training School, Oklahoma.—Report of the Department of
  the Interior, 1903. P. 252.

  Mott Report Relative to Indian Guardianships in the Probate Courts
  of Oklahoma.—_Honorable Charles H. Burke._ House of Representatives,
  Dec. 13, 1912.


He belonged to the Oglala division of Teton Sioux. He was born at the
forks of the Platte River and died at Pine Ridge, South Dakota, 1909.

It is said that he counted coups—that is, he touched the bodies of
enemies—eighty times with his coup-stick.

The band of the Sioux to which he belonged is known as Iteshicha. As no
comprehensive account of his life has ever been published, I intend to
devote this entire chapter to him and his activities. He first comes
into prominence in 1865, when the Government undertook to build a road
from Fort Laramie, Wyoming, to the gold regions of Montana. Red Cloud
captured a detachment of troops and held same prisoners for two weeks
and then released them without injury. Commissioners were sent out from
Washington that fall to treat with him, and he refused to meet with

Of the individuals who exerted an influence upon the various bands of
Sioux something can be learned by a search of the records. Perhaps
Sitting Bull and Red Cloud are more popularly known than others. Every
plainsman worthy of the name has had an encounter at some time during
the past with Red Cloud’s warriors. Army officers stationed on the
frontier in the ’60’s or ’70’s testify to the courage and dash of these
sons of the Plains. The War Department records contain more frequent
mention of Red Cloud than of any other American Indian; and the
pictographic accounts made by the Sioux themselves upon tanned buffalo
hides, many years ago, are filled with evidences of the prowess of this

Makh-ṕiya-lúta, or Red Cloud, has said in his pictographic history
of his life, that he was born in the year 1822.[28] His
parents were not prominent among the tribe. He calls this year
“Star-passed-by-with-a-loud-noise-winter.” The Sioux, in their
winter-counts, designate each year by some particular or striking
occurrence. For instance, in Red Cloud’s winter-counts, or census, one
winter is called “Winter-in-which-many-died-of-smallpox”; another,
“Winter-we-killed-one-hundred-white-men.” There are several of these
winter-counts made by different chiefs in possession of the Government,
which agree as to the naming of each year, and only vary in minor
details. Two of them cover a surprisingly long period of time, from 1800
to 1877. Both have been carefully studied by ethnologists and
interpreters, and accurate translations prove them of special value to
history students.

Of the extreme youth of Red Cloud we know nothing. An old Indian, when
asked at Pine Ridge, shrugged his shoulders and said, “All great men
were once boys.” He was trained as became a young Lakota. All Indian
children learn to ride when extremely young. General Dodge says that,
whether men or boys, the Plains tribes, or, as most officers call them,
“Horse Indians,” produced the finest horsemen in the world. Red Cloud
was not a hereditary chief, but arose to distinction through merit.

Red Cloud was about sixteen when he became a leader among the other
boys, signalizing himself in skirmishes and battles with the Crows,
Pawnees, and other hereditary enemies of the Sioux. The various
winter-counts tell us that many severe engagements occurred between the
Crows and the Sioux, and it is doubtless true that he charged and
yelled, scalped and tortured just as energetically as his companions.

Mr. C. W. Allen, who is well acquainted with Red Cloud, prepared a
manuscript some years ago, before the chief’s memory failed. Because the
chief presents his version of Plains history, the work is unique and
merits publication. Heretofore we have had only the white man’s

Between 1840 and 1849 there were but few attacks against Whites on the
Plains, and most of these occurred to the south, in Texas, or along the
old Santa Fe trail. It was not until and during 1849 that extensive
emigration set in towards California. As the wagon-trains increased, the
hunting of the Indians was seriously interfered with. Expeditions, not
only of United States troops but of adventurers, buffalo hunters, and
miners, penetrated to various parts of the great West. Among these
travelers were men who regarded an Indian no higher than a dog, and
fired upon peaceful parties of hunting Indians without the slightest
provocation. Wagon-trains were often in charge of men from the East who
knew nothing whatever of Indians or their habits, and becoming insanely
frightened at the approach of either friendly or hostile red men, opened
fire without the slightest thought of consequences. It is therefore not
surprising that all the Plains Indians soon assumed a hostile attitude
toward any being with a white skin.

I have talked with many old Indians of Pine Ridge, Red Cloud’s home, and
they have agreed that the destruction of the buffalo was the greatest
calamity ever brought upon their race. They could forgive the Whites for
attacking their villages, and for the disregard of treaty promises, and
overlook the seizure of their lands, but they could not forget that the
Americans made useless and unnecessary slaughter of that grand, majestic
native animal, typical of the “spirit of the Plains.” But few men
appreciate what the buffalo was to the Indian. Thousands of men flocked
west to hunt buffalo solely for their hides. Most of them were
inexperienced and destroyed many animals before they learned how to
properly prepare a robe for sale. The great Platte valley, the Arkansas,
the Niobrara and other Plains rivers, were in a few years lined with
millions of skeletons a pitiful spectacle—wretched relics of a once
noble creature. Complaints were made by the Indians, who depended solely
upon the buffalo for existence, to the Government at Washington, but
without avail. More butchers, attracted by the alluring and exciting
life of the hunter, flocked to the West. They strained every nerve to
make a “record” in destroying these animals. To be a buffalo-hunter
became popular, and a number of persons have since carried through life
names distinguishing them from their fellows because of the exceeding
slaughter which they made. Col. Dodge, who spent from 1819 to 1884 on
the frontier, blames the hunters, miners, and cowboys for the Indian
wars. This class of people regarded the rights of no persons, save
themselves. While our Government was supposed to protect, it did little
save send out Peace Commissions and armies in rotation. The lawless
white men were never controlled. But the day of retribution was at hand.
The Sioux held a great council, which was attended by the dissatisfied
element of other bands, and decided to drive out all the whites found in
their hunting territory. They split up into small bands, attacked
emigrant trains, killed hunters, and at the time of the Civil War were
carrying on a general warfare from the Black Hills to the frontiers of



  The illustration is reproduced from a photograph in the possession of
    Miss Fannie Brown, of Andover. The date is uncertain, but supposed
    to be 1874 or ’75

After the terrible massacre of 1862 in Minnesota[29] the Indians became
bolder, and having received recruits from the bands who had fled from
Minnesota they held up several large wagon-trains, killed or captured
the escorts and appropriated the goods. When the news of this affair
reached Washington, Colonels Carrington and Fetterman were ordered to
subdue the Plains Indians, and were sent to Wyoming, where they
established Fort Phil. Kearny on the Piney fork of the Powder River. Not
only was this movement necessary on the part of the Government because
of the hostility of the Sioux, but it was desired to open a road through
the Powder River country to Virginia City and other mining towns in the
mountains, and also to the coast. Part of the territory was owned by the
Crows, but the Dakotas had usurped most of it as hunting-grounds for
themselves. Several conferences between the authorities and the Indians
were held, but as dissatisfaction among the Indians was manifest, no
settlement could be effected. “We will lose,” said they, “all our best
hunting territory if this route is established.” Red Cloud and other
chiefs (Crazy Horse, American Horse, etc.) saw opportunity for war and
openly urged hostilities. Clouds of warriors flocked to his standard.
During the long and tedious struggle he won great reputation as a
leader. General Dodge said:[30] “Several forts were established, but
they only protected what was inside the palisades. A load of wood for
fuel could not be cut outside without a conflict.”

During these troublous times Fort Laramie was the center of importance,
peace conferences, Indians coming and going, troops and supplies
arriving from the East. When Colonel Carrington and his troops left
Laramie, June, 1866, they were constantly watched by Red Cloud, and a
reliable report states that upon the visit of some Indians at
headquarters the commander was informed of his movements, in detail,
during the entire journey. With the troops was Capt. Frederick H. Brown,
noted for his bravery and contempt of Indians, and after the
establishment of the post he infused in Col. William J. Fetterman some
of his own spirit. Both officers declared that a nervy White could put
to flight a hundred Sioux. When calling one evening, Brown told Colonel
Carrington’s wife that he must have Red Cloud’s scalp before he returned
East, but, instead, Red Cloud took his scalp on the day of the Fetterman
fight, December 21, 1866.

The warriors harassed the garrison of Fort Phil. Kearny constantly,
killing small parties of wood-cutters. It became necessary to send out a
guard of fifty to eighty men with every wood-train. Red Cloud drilled
his warriors daily, seeming to possess a system of signals equally as
good as those in use at the fort. Colonel Carrington, in his description
of the events at the post, says on one occasion Red Cloud’s signals
covered a line of seven miles, and were rapidly and accurately
displayed. Again, on December 6, a number of soldiers were killed. On
the 21st the picket signaled that the wagon-train was surrounded, and
ninety-seven men were sent to its relief. Afterward it was ascertained
that the train was threatened but not attacked; in fact, the teams and
escort came in safely that night. Red Cloud had made a feint to draw
troops some distance from the post that he might engage them
successfully. The world knows the result, and it is not necessary for me
to enter into details here. The entire command under Fetterman and Brown
was killed, including several citizens accompanying it. Col. H. B.
Carrington, in his official report, says: “The officers who fell
believed that no Indian force could overwhelm that number of troops well
held in hand.”

Red Cloud’s name was heard throughout the land, and among his own people
he arose to be supreme chief; hundreds of recruits joined his camp, and
he was given an immense medicine dance and heralded as invincible.

August 2, 1867, Major James Powell was attacked by a large force under
the command of Red Cloud and Spotted Tail. In this fight Red Cloud and
his warriors exhibited, with scarcely an exception, the greatest bravery
ever shown by Indians in the history of the West. Unknown to the
Indians, special wagon-beds, constructed of iron, were mounted on wheels
by the Government blacksmiths. As soon as the attack began, the troops
removed these from the trucks and placed them in a small circle, the men
concealing themselves beneath. The iron was sufficiently heavy to stop
or deflect bullets, and the men were armed with the first repeating
rifles brought on the Plains. They were thus better equipped than their
adversaries. Red Cloud charged no less than eight or ten times,
frequently coming within thirty or forty feet, many of his dead falling
less than twenty or thirty yards from the improvised fortification. The
Indians could not understand how so small a body of men could fire with
such rapidity. Red Cloud said to Spotted Tail, as the two sat their
horses on a little knoll a few hundred yards distant, that he believed
the Americans had “medicine guns,” which never ceased firing. The entire
force of the Sioux and Cheyennes was hurled against the enemy, Red
Cloud’s nephew distinguishing himself by riding among the foremost and
the two chiefs accompanying the charge. One Indian fell near enough to
touch the beds with his coup-stick before he died. But for the
protection, the Whites would have been wiped out of existence, for
nearly every spot on the outer surface of the iron as large as one’s
hand showed a bullet mark. An Indian chief told Colonel Dodge afterwards
that they lost 1137 in the fight. A famous scout said to Major Powell
that at least a thousand were struck, and the most conservative estimate
places the number at three or four hundred. Not only was great bravery
manifested in these charges, but after the battle many of the dead and
wounded were recovered in spite of a heavy fire kept up by the troops.
In the Fetterman fight Red Cloud had been victorious. In the Powell
engagement he was badly defeated.

These two fights, and the series of peace treaties held by the Indian
Peace Commissioners August 13 to September 13, 1867, brought about what
the Sioux desired—the evacuation and destruction of several forts in
favorite hunting territory, the promise of extra annuities and rations,
and paved the way for the great Dakota treaty of 1868.

In 1868–’69 Hon. William Blackmore of London, visited the Plains tribes
and made a lasting friendship with Red Cloud. At that time Red Cloud
scorned the “white man’s road” and refused to have his photograph taken;
but it is noteworthy that he made an exception in favor of Mr.
Blackmore, and in the first portrait of this distinguished red man we
see him standing side by side with the patron of the great South
Kensington (Blackmore) museum. Why did he do this? Because he knew that
the British treated the Indians well, and that for a century Indians in
Canada lived unmolested, whereas just over the American border bloodshed
and robbery were rampant.

After the treaty Red Cloud himself went to war no more, but instead
became distinguished as a councilman and treaty maker. He was, with
Spotted Trail, uncompromising, and insisted upon the fulfillment of
every condition of the later treaties.

Sitting Bull, a shaman, had made “medicine” for most of the battles, and
about the year 1870 came into prominence. To the Indian “medicine” means
much. Upon going into action he places implicit confidence in the
efficacy of his medicine first, in his own courage second. Sitting Bull,
being very crafty, a schemer and a politician, became known as the
“battle-medicine maker” of the Dakotas. Before the Custer fight he made
several dozen medicine sacks, filled them with the “mystery,” and
hastily distributed them among the chief warriors and subchiefs. After
the fight he and his friends claimed the honor of the victory, saying
that it was through his miraculous medicine alone that the Sioux
prevailed over the soldiers. Sitting Bull seldom was a warrior, claimed
little distinction as a fighter, and owes his reputation among the
Whites as the leader of the forces on the Little Big Horn to the
misdirected energy of the newspapers. Red Cloud was friendly with
Sitting Bull, but was seldom associated with him either in councils or
upon the field. The two present marked contrasts. The latter was very
outspoken in his hatred of the Whites, lacked the tact and judgment
displayed by Red Cloud in his later years, and appears decidedly the
inferior man of the two. Sitting Bull’s temper was easily ruffled, and
even as late as 1890 (he was killed December 15, 1890) he persisted in
open censure of Government authorities. To give an idea of his language,
he told General Miles, upon the occasion of their first meeting, that
“God Almighty made me; God Almighty did not make me an agency Indian,
and I’ll fight and die fighting before any white man can make me an
agency Indian.” His prophecy was fulfilled.

So when Red Cloud settled down upon his reservation near Fort Robinson,
Sitting Bull continued to range about the Plains and in the valleys of
the Tongue, Powder, Yellowstone and Big Horn Rivers. Some of the
turbulent element in Red Cloud’s camp joined him, but by far the greater
portion of those who followed Sitting Bull until after the Custer fight
were not Oglalas. In 1874–’75, when Professor Marsh of Yale, passed
through the agency, he noted that there were some 13,000 Indians under
the care of the authorities. He reported that the provisions issued them
were of poor quality and insufficient, and tardily delivered. Lieutenant
Carpenter also complained that the Indians were compelled to eat ponies,
dogs and wolves to avoid starvation. Professor Marsh stated that the
goods purchased by the Government, carefully and honestly delivered and
distributed, would prevent all suffering. Eastern newspapers published
Marsh’s charges, and the “Indian ring” of politicians was defeated.
Marsh was well received by Red Cloud, who accompanied him East. The two
were photographed together, holding the peace-pipe in common. The Sioux
called Professor Marsh the “Big Bone Chief,” because he hunted fossils
in the Bad Lands. And while Bills and Dicks of frontier fame howled
about the “hostile Injuns” and engaged in frequent fights with the
Sioux, Marsh came and went in that wild country safe. The “murderers”
knew he was to be trusted! (_See page 176_)



  Son of the War Chief of all the Sioux. Pine Ridge, 1909. Photographed
    by W. K. Moorehead. The older Indians say Jack looks exactly as did
    his father in the early seventies.


Footnote 27:

  Handbook of American Indians, page 358.

Footnote 28:

  Garrick Mallery, in the Fourth Report of the Bureau of Ethnology, in
  an illustrated article entitled “Pictographs of the North-American
  Indians,” includes the Dakota winter-counts of Lone Dog, an aged
  Indian of the Yanktonai tribe of Dakotas, which covers the winters
  from 1800–’01 to 1876–’77.

Footnote 29:

  From the Minnesota Historical Collections, page 434, volume 9, we
  learn than on Sunday, August 17, 1862, a small party of Sioux,
  belonging to Little Crow’s band, while out ostensibly hunting and
  fishing at Acton, Meeker county, Minnesota, obtained from a white man
  some spirituous liquor, became intoxicated, and murdered a white man
  and part of his family, and this act precipitated the Sioux war.
  Little Crow said that since blood had been spilled the war would have
  to go on, and he summoned warriors from Montana and what is now North
  and South Dakota. The war began August 18 and lasted about twelve
  days. The number of white people killed was about 500. The whole or a
  large part of some fifteen or twenty counties was fearfully desolated,
  and for a time almost entirely depopulated. In one of the engagements
  between the Indians and a company of regular troops, twenty-three
  soldiers were killed and about sixty wounded, and also ninety-two
  horses were killed. Chief Big Eagle makes a statement of the causes
  which led up to the trouble. The Whites were constantly urging the
  Indians to live like the white man. Some were willing, but others were
  not and could not—the Indians were annoyed, and wanted to do as they
  pleased. “Then,” he says, “some of the white men abused the Indian
  women in a certain way and disgraced them, and surely there was no
  excuse for that.”

Footnote 30:

  Our Wild Indians, pp. 83, 84, by Col. H. I. Dodge.


It is no secret that Red Cloud’s ponies were looked upon as legitimate
prey by the Whites living near the reservation. One man told me he had
seen a bunch of cattle driven around the beef corral twice in order to
figure in a double count, and corn and provisions had been passed twice
through a certain building in order that some one might make just 100
per cent off the Indians. During the early ’70’s horse-stealing was
carried on to a surprising extent, and Indian ponies were openly sold in
frontier towns. A deputy United States marshal, who had twenty years’
experience on the reservation of the Sioux, told me that some detectives
and trailers employed by the Government were in league with the thieves
and received two compensations—one from the Government and the other
from their confederates. Stolen stock was seldom recovered. The
warriors, becoming desperate, would steal stock from some ranchman in
retaliation. Another method of getting even was to complain to the
officers at Fort Robinson, who would give the Sioux an escort of troops.
Along the trail of the robbers the combined forces traveled as rapidly
as possible, and, upon reaching any ranch or town where ponies were
assembled in large numbers, the warriors would claim, and apparently
identify as their property, a number of horses. Protests on the part of
the Whites were of no avail, and the triumphant party would return with
some of the stolen stock, and, perhaps, some which had never been on
their pastures. I asked an old Indian about this and he said it seldom
happened, but as they lost thousands of horses which were never
recovered, and as nearly all white men living near the reservation were
there to rob the Indians, and as every white man (whether he had or had
not Sioux ponies on hand) would deny knowledge of the location of stolen
stock, he thought it was fair and just to seize everything in sight!

In spite of suffering, privation and thefts of every description, the
Red Cloud tribe kept their faith. Would that white men had been as
faithful to their treaty promises. They complained to the Great Father
that they had been moved eight times since 1863. Exclaimed Red Cloud:
“How can you expect us to take the white man’s road when you move us
before we have time to plant and grow corn, to clear the ground and
raise cattle?” In 1874 the Red Cloud and Spotted Tail reservations were
in Western Nebraska, the nearest railroad point being Sidney, on the
Union Pacific. Except in spots the land was barren—absolutely worthless.
Red Cloud said that the Whites gave it to his people because they could
not use it themselves. A delegation of Indians went to Washington, were
talked to in the usual patronizing manner, flattered, promised, and
returned to their agency. Some one suggested to the Commissioner of
Indian Affairs to remove the Indians to the Missouri River, where some
good soil assured corn and wheat. Red Cloud and Spotted Tail begged that
they be not sent there, for whisky was brought up the river and sold to
their young men, to the injury of the entire tribe. Being assured that
their supplies had all been sent to the old Ponca reservation, they
consented to go there provided they would be sent to a new reservation
in the spring.



  Drawn from a print owned by R. M. Wright.

I can best describe what ensued by use of Mrs. Helen Hunt Jackson’s
words:[31] “In the spring no orders came for the removal. March passed,
April passed—no orders. The chiefs sent word to their friend, General
Crook, who replied to them with messages sent by swift runner, begging
them not to break away, but to wait a little longer. Finally, in May,
the Commissioner of Indian Affairs went himself to hold a council with
them. When he rose to speak, Chief Spotted Tail sprang up, walked toward
him, waving in his hand the paper containing the promise of the
Government to return them to White Clay creek, and exclaimed: ‘All the
men who come from Washington are liars, and the bald-headed ones are the
worst of all! I don’t want to hear one word from you—you are a
bald-headed old liar! You have but one thing to do here, and that is to
give an order for us to return to White Clay Creek. Here are your
written words, and if you don’t give this order, and everything here is
not on wheels inside of ten days, I’ll order my young men to tear down
and burn everything in this part of the country! I don’t want to hear
anything more from you, and I’ve got nothing more to say to you,’ and he
turned his back on the Commissioner and walked away. Such language would
not have been borne from unarmed and helpless Indians; but when it came
from a chief with 4000 armed warriors at his back, it was another affair
altogether. The order was written. In less than ten days everything was
‘on wheels’ and the whole body of these Sioux on the move to the country
they had indicated, and the Secretary of the Interior says, naively, in
his report: ‘The Indians were found to be quite determined to move
westward, and the promise of the Government in that respect was
faithfully kept’.” It had been decided in council that Spotted Tail
would do the talking, while Red Cloud and his followers held themselves
in readiness for any emergency which might arise.

Crazy Horse as war chief, and Sitting Bull as the most prominent of the
shamans, engage our attention during 1875–’76. A continual warfare was
kept up against the Whites. Gold was discovered in the Black Hills, and
settlers and miners flocked into the new territory, committing en route
depredations against the Sioux. They promptly retaliated, and our
Government sent General Custer to remove the miners from the new
gold-fields, and history records that he successfully scattered the
obnoxious invaders. During his famous march not one shot was fired at
Indians. Red Cloud had kept his treaty promise, but peace was not long
to be maintained. The frontier towns began to fill up with outcasts of
civilization. Breeders of mischief, they instilled into the minds of the
Oglalas love of gain. “You should have more money, more rations,” said
they. “These lands to the north (Black Hills) are full of valuable mines
which are yours. Drive out the miners and we will show you how to
develop the country.” Custer had returned from his expedition and the
miners flocked back to the gulches about Deadwood. Buffalo-hunters were
fast destroying the great north and south herds, and Red Cloud beheld
the encroachments with a heavy heart. The death-knell of his people’s
freedom and prosperity on the Plains was sounded in the noise of the
train, the blast in the mine, and the hum in the town. Civilization was
advancing, savagery must die! He could not go to war himself, he must
look after his people on the reservations; but he sent many of his best
warriors to join Crazy Horse and American Horse. Murders and robberies
followed in rapid succession. Custer was ordered to the Little Big Horn
to destroy the villages of the hostiles.

As to the battle which followed, the Bureau of Ethnology Report,
1888–’89, gives a series of pictographic paintings made by Chief Red
Horse, which are considered the most accurate we possess of the Sioux
side of that unfortunate affair. I can only refer to it briefly. People
digging wild turnips saw a cloud of dust in the distance. Supposing it
to be made by a herd of buffalo, they informed the end of the village
(scattered for three miles along the river) nearest them. Before any
persons were armed a runner came up in great excitement and said,
“Soldiers are coming.” There was no time to hold a council. The chiefs
shouted their orders. At first it seemed as if the whites would take the
whole village, but as warriors hastened up from the main body of the
camp, the flanks as well as the front were attacked, and the troops
forced across the river. Red Horse says there were two men with long
yellow hair. One wore a buckskin coat.

Captain French was the bravest man the Sioux ever fought. Red Horse says
he repeatedly covered the retreat of his men. Finally the soldiers
gained the top of the hill and began to throw up little earthworks, but
were all killed. Red Horse said some of the soldiers became demoralized
and begged the Sioux to take them prisoners but not to kill them.

At Pine Ridge agency I was told that Flat Hip, an Uncapapa Sioux,
claimed to have killed Custer. Flat Hip died of consumption a few years
after the battle. No one knew positively as to Custer’s manner of death,
but two men, dressed alike, were noticed for their bravery. Oglalas at
Pine Ridge said Sitting Bull was not in the fight, but made medicine
while it was in progress. Eastman’s account is probably more correct.

Many Sioux surrendered after the summer of 1876, and were returned to
their respective agencies. Sitting Bull and his most faithful followers
fled to Canada, where he remained some time. General MacKenzie took
nearly all of Red Cloud’s horses shortly after the Custer battle, thus
effectively preventing further hostilities.

September 3, 1877, a soldier ran a bayonet into Crazy Horse while the
latter was confined as a prisoner of war in the guard-house of Fort
Robinson. The murder occasioned much talk among the Sioux, and, but for
the interference of Red Cloud, who counseled peace, would have resulted
in a war of revenge. Crazy Horse was a desperate but withal, a brave

During the latter part of 1876 and 1877, Red Cloud gave General Crook a
party of young men to help him fight the Cheyennes, which was greatly to
his credit, considering his treatment at the hands of the Whites.

After the removal of his people to Pine Ridge agency he was somewhat
dissatisfied because of the poor land given him as a reservation. He
also appealed to Washington for reimbursement for the ponies stolen by
lawless men. There are voluminous reports, Congressional and Interior
Department, filled with speeches of Red Cloud and his people, and all
more or less pathetic. They ask for fulfillment of treaty stipulations,
for money due, and for cattle and goods. At the time of the visit of the
Congressional Committee in 1883 he had 8000 people under him. The flag
from Fort Robinson agency was there, and, by the way, there is an
incident regarding that flag. Their Agent had cut and hauled a long
pole, upon which he proposed to raise a flag. Red Cloud said he wanted
no flag over his reservation, and so his men cut to pieces the
flagstaff, but the Agent saved the colors and sent them to Pine Ridge.

Red Cloud last achieved prominence in the Messiah craze of 1890.[32]
Whether he believed in the coming of an Indian Savior is uncertain, but
I know that he used his influence to preserve peace.

When the news of the Wounded Knee massacre reached Pine Ridge, a few
miles distant, most of the friendlies “stampeded,” tore down their
lodges and fled north. Red Cloud and his daughter and son, in spite of
protests, were compelled to accompany them. Jack Red Cloud, his son,
smuggled him out of camp, and his daughter led him eighteen miles
through a severe blizzard, back to Pine Ridge. I mention this incident
to show the faithfulness of the man.

Red Cloud was nearly blind and aged rapidly after 1890. Eighty-seven
years is a long time for an Indian to live. Continual exposure,
uncertain food supply, and frail habitation, break down the
constitution, and one rarely sees an Indian more than sixty years of
age. During the last years of his life Red Cloud enjoyed the comforts of
a two-story frame-house. It was given him by the Government as a special
mark of honor. During the presence of the troops he kept a little
American flag and a white peace flag constantly floating above it. He
bemoaned the fate of his race, and from his conversation one could
easily discern that he had done his duty, had defended the claims of the
Dakotas in adversity as in prosperity. Over twenty years ago I had
several conversations with him through the interpreter. He dwelt upon
the happy “buffalo days”, and the free life of the Plains sixty years
ago. We stepped outside the house and he told me to look about over the
valley, for his eyes were dim; but he knew its character. I cannot give
the exact words of his speech, but it was somewhat as follows: “You see
this barren waste. We have a little land along the creek which affords
good grazing, but we must use some of it for corn and wheat. There are
other creeks which have bottoms like this, but most of the land is poor
and worthless. Think of it! I, who used to own rich soil in a
well-watered country so extensive that I could not ride through it in a
week on my fastest pony, am put down here! Why, I have to go five miles
for wood for my fire. Washington took our lands and promised to feed and
support us. Now I, who used to control 5000 warriors, must tell
Washington when I am hungry. I must beg for that which I own. If I beg
hard, they put me in the guard-house. We have trouble. Our girls are
getting bad. Coughing sickness every winter (consumption) carries away
our best people. My heart is heavy, I am old, I cannot do much more.
Young man, I wish there was some one to help my poor people when I am

It is a singular anomaly that the character of an Indian should not be
gauged by the same standards employed in measuring the virtues and worth
of a white man. To my mind Red Cloud’s high character places him on an
equality with prominent men of America, irrespective of color.

In considering the Indian, while most persons recognize the
disadvantages under which he has labored, yet I am persuaded that very
few realize the great, almost overwhelming difficulty, which must be
overcome before a truly strong and high character can be developed. With
but few exceptions, nearly every white man who went on the frontier as a
scout, miner, trader, hunter or explorer, exhibited the worst side of
his character when among Indians. It is natural that when a man is in a
new and wild country, far from restraint, untrammeled by laws, unchecked
by society or the refining influence of women, all that is bad in him
comes to the surface. Many men died in defense of a woman or child,
underwent great hardship to succor a comrade in danger, exhibited
personal bravery in the defense of claims, wagon-trains, ranches, etc.,
but, admitting all this in their favor, most of them were destitute of a
regard for the rights of Indians. Such men inspired hatred in their
dealings with the Sioux.

The Indian became acquainted with all that was bad, and saw but little
of the real good of civilization. He heard more oaths than prayers, saw
more saloons than churches or schools. The men whom he met were not
calculated, by their acts, to inspire him with any confidence or respect
for the white race. If the Plains tribes had associated with a better
class of citizens before they had learned the vices of civilization, I
am satisfied that the historian would not be compelled to write so dark
and tragic a narrative; nor would he feel constrained to hold them up as
fit subjects for pity and compassion.

Considering that Red Cloud came in contact with a class of white men
whose presence would not be tolerated in a respectable community; his
high character, his forbearance, his submission to the unjust acts of
his conquerors, places him, in my opinion, among the great men of
America, regardless of color, birth or ancestry. His career exhibits a
degree of mental capacity, a knowledge of human nature and an
acquaintance with the affairs of men which we would not expect in the
mind of a savage. Red Cloud’s bearing towards the Government in the
Leavenworth and Fort Robinson treaties, in having secured his end in
both instances, indicates a knowledge of diplomacy of no mean order.

His people were suddenly confronted with a high civilization which they
could neither understand nor follow. For centuries they had been
schooled in the simple life of the Plains (and it ranked below the
culture of the bronze age of man in Europe), unmolested by any extensive
or exterminating war, content with their lot. To be suddenly brought
face to face with a question, the issue of which was not a matter of
temporary supremacy, but involved the very existence of themselves as a
nation—to have bravely met it, mustered every available young man and
fought their superior forces for a period of nearly thirty years, and
then to have ceased only when resistance was no longer possible—presents
an heroic spectacle. All through this stormy period, Red Cloud figures
as a brave warrior, dignified counselor, and staunch advocate of the
welfare of his people.

After the treaty, he and his immediate followers, or those directly
under his control, observed their part of the agreement, although the
white people gave them every pretext for violation. A weaker man, one of
less character, would have taken his warriors, as Sitting Bull did, and
have fought until there was not a man left.

Red Cloud possessed more human kindness than any of his red
contemporaries. It has been affirmed that after the Fetterman fight, he
assisted the young men in scalping and mutilating the bodies of the
dead. There is no direct evidence as to this. Red Cloud himself says he
never tortured a living person nor mutilated a dead body, and that those
under his control were no more cruel than the Colorado citizens at the
Sand Creek massacre, the soldiers in the battle of Washita, or the
Seventh Cavalry at Wounded Knee. He cites the murder of Crazy Horse and
several subchiefs after they had surrendered and were held as hostages
in one of the forts. He also says that some Whites, many years ago,
visited the camps of the Sioux under the guise of friendship, and
presented the Indians with whiskey which contained strychnine. Nineteen
who partook of it died in terrible agony. He claims that in all his
fights and raids he never perpetrated cruelties like these; that he was
either a staunch friend or a bitter enemy.

In his later years he rather inclined towards the faith of the
Catholics, but when younger he was reported to have said that he
believed in no white man’s God, but held to the Great Spirit,
Wakantanka, and propitiated the evil spirit also; that, if he tried to
do his duty, help his people and was a good man, he should not fear to
meet the Great Spirit in the hereafter. That so far he agreed with the
missionaries of different denominations, but because they were in
discord among themselves as to just how the Great Spirit should be
worshipped, he considered that not one of them was better than another;
that his religion was as good as theirs, and that he would do as his
heart prompted him.

He has always been a little vainglorious, but not more so than other
prominent men. His twenty years’ residence at Pine Ridge exhibited a
quiet and gentle demeanor. He ever lamented the fate of his people, but
there was no bitterness, and his bearing was such as one might expect in
a man who has faced death upon the field of battle.

[Illustration: © _by Rodman Wanamaker 1913_ _The Last Arrow_]

After his removal to Pine Ridge, a petty Agent arrested this great man,
on a trivial charge, and confined him in the guardhouse. Immediately his
warriors armed, and a great number of Indians prepared to attack the

When some of the subchiefs after his release said, “Let us kill our
women and children and fight until we are gone, that is preferable to
starvation here on the reservation,” he is reported to have made a
dignified and manly speech, in which he maintained that the Almighty had
decreed that they should continue on the reservation, virtually as
prisoners of their conquerors, and resistance would only result in
suffering and bloodshed, and could accomplish no good.

An intelligent savage, reared upon the Plains amidst surroundings not
calculated to develop other than the lowest desires, and possessing a
primitive idea of the true type of manhood, he has presented us with a
career which shall endure in American history long after the
frontiersmen shall have been forgotten.


  War Dance

  Sung by a party of Warm Spring Indians (Oregon) about 1889. A few of
    these Indians traveled in the East and gave entertainments. This
    song is repeated many times, rapidly.

I have no Sioux war-dance music, but the above is the most weird Indian
song ever brought to my attention.


Among other prominent Indians, this man presents a stern and dramatic
figure. He has been praised and censured, flattered and abhorred; called
brave by some, cowardly by others. He is an anomaly if we judge him by
Departmental standards. More properly, he typifies the Plains spirit of
1840, and he was out of place in the reservation life of 1880–1890.

He bluntly told white people they lied; he refused to accept substitutes
for solemn treaties; he met falsehoods with trickery of his own. He
lived and died a strong, resentful man—his hand against white
domination, even as white men’s hands were against him.

Sitting Bull (_Tata^nka Yota^nka_, “sitting buffalo bull”) was a noted
medicine man, or shaman, of the Sioux Indians. He belonged to the Tetons
and was of the Hunkpapa division. According to the Handbook of American
Indians,[33] he was born in 1834. He presents one of the most
picturesque characters among all our Indians in any period of American
history. He was called Jumping Badger as a boy and manifested a great
deal of ability in buffalo hunting in his extreme youth.

At the age of fourteen he accompanied his father on the warpath against
the Crows, and counted his first coup on the enemy. His name (after
boyhood) was Four Horn, but when he became a medicine man in 1857, his
name was changed to Sitting Bull.

The Handbook presents a brief sketch, part of which I quote.

“He rapidly acquired influence in his own band, being especially
skillful in the character of peacemaker. He took an active part in the
Plains wars of the ’60’s, and first became widely known to the whites in
1866, when he led a memorable raid against Ft. Buford. Sitting Bull was
on the warpath with his band of followers from various tribes almost
continuously from 1869 to 1876, either raiding the frontier posts or
making war on the Crows or the Shoshoni, especially the former. His
autographic pictorial record in the Army Medical Museum at Washington
refers chiefly to contests with the Crows and to horse-stealing. His
refusal to go upon a reservation in 1876 led General Sheridan to begin
against him and his followers the campaign which resulted in the
surprise and annihilation of Custer’s troops on Little Big Horn River,
Montana, in June. During this battle, in which 2,500 to 3,000 Indian
warriors were engaged, Sitting Bull was in the hills ‘making medicine,’
and his accurate foretelling of the battle enabled him ‘to come out of
the affair with higher honor than he possessed when he went into it’
(McLaughlin). After this fight the hostiles separated into two parties.
Sitting Bull, in command of the western party, was attacked by General
Miles and routed; a large number of his followers surrendered, but the
remainder of the band, including Sitting Bull himself, escaped to
Canada, where they remained until 1881, when he surrendered at Ft.
Buford under promise of amnesty and was confined at Ft. Randall until
1883. Although he had surrendered and gone upon a reservation, Sitting
Bull continued unreconciled. It was through his influence that the Sioux
refused to sell their lands in 1888; and it was at his camp at Standing
Rock agency and at his invitation that Kicking Bear organized the Ghost
dance on the reservation. The demand for his arrest was followed by an
attempt on the part of some of his people to rescue him, during which he
was shot and killed. (_See page 124_). Although a chief by inheritance,
it was rather Sitting Bull’s success as an organizer and his later
reputation as a sacred dreamer that brought him into prominence.
According to McLaughlin, “his accuracy of judgment, knowledge of men, a
student-like disposition to observe natural phenomena, and a deep
insight into affairs among Indians and such white people as he came into
contact with, made his stock in trade, and he made ‘good medicine’. He
stood well among his own people and was respected for his generosity,
quiet disposition, and steadfast adherence to Indian ideals. He had two
wives at the time of his death (one of whom was known as Pretty Plume),
and was the father of nine children. His eldest son was called Louis.”

This in brief is an account of his life, but it fails to give a thorough
conception of the man.

He is referred to in many of the War Department reports, between 1800
and 1890. A Mr. W. F. Johnson wrote a book upon his career entitled,
“The Life of Sitting Bull,” in 1891; Major McLaughlin has devoted a
great deal of space to him, as has Mr. Mooney and others.

Sitting Bull’s favorite declaration which he was wont to inflict on
peace commissions from Washington, is an index to the character of the
man: “God Almighty made me. He never made me an agency Indian.”

Attuned to this strong chord, was his whole life. He was not a pleasant
man, and he incurred the dislike of his Agent, Major McLaughlin, and
many others. I do not agree with Major McLaughlin, that Sitting Bull was
altogether a coward. If he had been such, we would not have found him
associated with the hostile element in the later sixties and all through
the seventies. Neither would he have opposed the authorities at the time
of the Ghost dance. He knew that opposition must bring imprisonment, and
probably execution, and it did.

His boyhood, as was that of Red Cloud and other prominent Indians, was
spent among his own people in the chase, about the village, and
occasionally he accompanied war parties.

I suppose that he was present during the Fetterman massacre in 1869, and
the fact that he is not mentioned by Colonel Carrington and other
officers does not necessarily imply that he was absent. Carrington would
naturally record the names of such Indians as he met, and Sitting Bull
was not a man to seek interviews until he became, against his will, a
reservation Indian.

At the Custer fight he made the medicine. I have not presented an
account of the battle of the Little Big Horn, for the reason that
practically every other writer of modern days has mentioned it at
length, and several have devoted chapters to the subject.[34]

He made the medicine for the fight, and I have understood from the Sioux
at Pine Ridge that Sitting Bull sat on a hill, some distance from the
action, and went through with his incantations in plain view of many of
the warriors. McLaughlin states that Sitting Bull and his family fled
when the shooting began. Be that as it may, the success of the fight was
attributed, in no small part, to the efficacy of Sitting Bull’s
medicine, and he became a great man thereafter.

After the Custer fight the Indians separated into two parties, one soon
surrendering to the military, and the other, under Sitting Bull,
continuing fighting. Various army officers pursued them, and Sitting
Bull continued his flight towards the north, to escape capture. The
pursuit by General Miles occupied some time and the Indians were
continually harassed, and driven here and there, until finally they
found an asylum in Canada. Toward the close of the seventies a
Commission was appointed to visit him, and persuade Sitting Bull and his
followers to return to this country. In view of the dislike on the part
of our authorities toward him, it is incomprehensible that they should
seek his return. He was very abrupt in his treatment of the Commission,
and publicly shook hands with Her Majesty’s representatives and declined
to return to this country.

His later life was much embittered by his confinement at Fort Randall,
contrary to the promise made him.

Sitting Bull possessed a grim humor. He knew more of our ways than he
admitted, and always availed himself of the opportunity to get the
better of white people. McLaughlin tells this story:—

“He was not a nice character, Sitting Bull; he took what looked good to
him, whether it was a woman or property of other sort, and he was not in
any sense typical of his people. I never heard that he had a
love-affair, and the measure of the man was shown when Bishop Marty
tried to induce him to put away one of his wives. He went to see the
Bishop, who was visiting the missions. The Bishop pointed out to him the
evil of his ways, and the bad influence he exerted among the people,
finally asking him if he would not put away one of his wives. Sitting
Bull was crafty.

“‘You think that I should put away one wife and that would be good?’ he

“‘It would, and the woman would be taken care of. You should keep only
your first wife.’

“‘But I cannot put one away; I like them both and would not like to
treat them differently.’

“The Bishop admitted that it might be hard, but one should be put away;
the second wife.

“‘But I could put them both away without injuring either one,’ said
Sitting Bull.

“‘You could do that,’ was the reply of the good man, thinking he was
making some headway.

“‘The black gown is my friend,’ rejoined Sitting Bull, ‘and I will do
this for him; I will put away both my wives, and the black gown will get
me a white wife.’

“The Bishop gave him up as incorrigible, and the old chief retained both
his wives to the end.”[35]

In 1883 a Congressional Commission composed of Honorable H. L. Dawes,
John A. Logan, Angus Cameron, John T. Morgan and George G. Vest, visited
Standing Rock agency to investigate conditions. There had been great
discontent because of the failure of the Government to fulfill the
stipulations set forth in the treaty of 1808 (See pages 103–104.) Most
of the Indians, while mindful of their rights, exhibited no ill will
toward the Government, although they were insistent that the cattle and
goods promised them be forthcoming and were rather against the further
division of the reservation. After the conference had been in session a
day or two, the Chairman said to the interpreter, “Ask Sitting Bull if
he has anything to say to the Committee.”

The Committee, having the services of excellent interpreters, we may
assume that what followed is a literal translation of Sitting Bull’s
words. As they are very interesting, and the mind responsible for the
utterance of these words was the mind of an Indian who lived in the
past, I reproduce the conversation in full.

  SITTING BULL: “Of course I will speak to you if you desire me to do
  so. I suppose it is only such men as you desire to speak who must
  say anything.”

  THE CHAIRMAN: “We supposed the Indians would select men to speak for
  them, but any man who desires to speak, or any man the Indians here
  desire shall talk for them we will be glad to hear if he has
  anything to say.”

  SITTING BULL: “Do you not know who I am, that you speak as you do?”

  THE CHAIRMAN: “I know that you are Sitting Bull, and if you have
  anything to say we will be glad to hear you.”

  SITTING BULL: “Do you recognize me; do you know who I am?”

  THE CHAIRMAN: “I know you are Sitting Bull.”

  SITTING BULL: “You say you know I am Sitting Bull, but do you know
  what position I hold?”

  THE CHAIRMAN: “I do not know any difference between you and the
  other Indians at this agency.”

  SITTING BULL: “I am here by the will of the Great Spirit, and by his
  will I am a chief. My heart is red and sweet, and I know it is
  sweet, because whatever passes near me puts out its tongue to
  me;[36] and yet you men have come here to talk with us, and you say
  you do not know who I am. I want to tell you that if the Great
  Spirit has chosen anyone to be the chief of this country it is

  THE CHAIRMAN: “In whatever capacity you may be here today, if you
  desire to say anything to us we will listen to you; otherwise we
  will dismiss this council.”

  SITTING BULL: “Yes; that is all right. You have conducted yourselves
  like men who have been drinking whiskey, and I came here to give you
  some advice.” (Here Sitting Bull waved his hand, and at once the
  Indians left the room in a body).[37]

A little later, some of the Indians having told Sitting Bull that he had
treated the Committee very harshly and should apologize, he appeared and
made a much longer speech. In this he asked for many things; he pointed
out that the Whites were responsible for the destruction of the
buffalo—the Indians’ means of sustenance. He seemed to be aware that his
speech had caused ill feeling for his opening sentences are:—

“I came in with a glad heart to shake hands with you, my friends, for I
feel that I have displeased you; and I am here to apologize to you for
my bad conduct and to take back what I said. I will take it back because
I consider I have made your hearts bad. I heard that you were coming
here from the Great Father’s house some time before you came, and I have
been sitting here like a prisoner waiting for some one to release me. I
was looking for you everywhere, and I considered that when we talked
with you it was the same as if we were talking with the Great Father;
and I believe that what I pour out from my heart the Great Father will
hear. What I take back is what I said to cause the people to leave the
council, and want to apologize for leaving myself. The people acted like
children, and I am sorry for it. I was very sorry when I found out that
your intentions were good and entirely different from what I supposed
they were. Now I will tell you my mind and I will tell everything
straight. I know the Great Spirit is looking down upon me from above and
will hear what I say, therefore I will do my best to talk straight; and
I am in hopes that some one will listen to my wishes and help me to
carry them out. I have always been a chief, and have been made chief of
all the land. Thirty-two years ago I was present at councils with the
white man, and at the time of the Fort Rice council I was on the prairie
listening to it, and since then a great many questions have been asked
me about it, and I always said wait; and when the Black Hills council
was held, and they asked me to give up that land, I said they must wait.
I remember well all the promises that were made about that land because
I have thought a great deal about them since that time. Of course I know
that the Great Spirit provided me with animals for my food, but I did
not stay out on the prairie because I did not wish to accept the offers
of the Great Father, for I sent in a great many of my people and I told
them that the Great Father was providing for them and keeping his
agreements with them, and I was sending the Indians word all the time I
was out that they must remember their agreements and fulfill them, and
carry them out straight. When the English authorities were looking for
me I heard that the Great Father’s people were looking for me too. I was
not lost. I knew where I was going all the time. Previous to that time,
when a Catholic priest called ‘White Hair’ (meaning Bishop Marty) came
to see me, I told him all these things plainly. I meant to fulfill, and
did fulfill; and when I went over into the British possessions he
followed me, and I told him everything that was in my heart, and sent
him back to tell the Great Father what I told him; and General Terry
sent me word afterwards to come in, because he had big promises to make
me, and I sent him word that I would not throw my country away; that I
considered it all mine still, and I wanted him to wait just four years
for me; that I had gone over there to attend to some business of my own,
and my people were doing just as other people would do. If a man loses
anything and goes back and looks carefully for it he will find it, and
that is what the Indians are doing now when they ask you to give them
the things that were promised them in the past; and I do not consider
that they should be treated like beasts, and that is the reason I have
grown up with the feelings I have. Whatever you wanted of me I have
obeyed, and I have come when you called me. The Great Father sent me
word that whatever he had against me in the past had been forgiven and
thrown aside, and he would have nothing against me in the future, and I
accepted his promises and came in; and he told me not to step aside from
the white man’s path, and I told him I would not, and I am doing my best
to travel in that path. I feel that my country has gotten a bad name,
and I want it to have a good name; it used to have a good name; and I
sit sometimes and wonder who it is that has given it a bad name. You are
the only people now who can give it a good name, and I want you to take
good care of my country and respect it. When we sold the Black Hills we
got a very small price for it, and not what we ought to have received. I
used to think that the size of the payments would remain the same all
the time, but they are growing smaller all the time. I want you to tell
the Great Father everything I have said, and that we want some benefit
from the promises he has made us; and I don’t think I should be
tormented with anything about giving up any part of my land until those
promises are fulfilled—I would rather wait until that time, when I will
be ready to transact any business he may desire. I consider that my
country takes in the Black Hills, and runs from the Powder River to the
Missouri; and that all of this land belongs to me. Our reservation is
not as large as we want it to be, and I suppose the Great Father owes us
money now for land he has taken from us in the past. You white men
advise us to follow your ways, and therefore I talk as I do. When you
have a piece of land, and anything trespasses on it, you catch it and
keep it until you get damages, and I am doing the same thing now; and I
want you to tell all this to the Great Father for me. I am looking into
the future for the benefit of my children, and that is what I mean, when
I say I want my country taken care of for me. My children will grow up
here, and I am looking ahead for their benefit, and for the benefit of
my children’s children, too; and even beyond that again. I sit here and
look around me now, and I see my people starving, and I want the Great
Father to make an increase in the amount of food that is allowed us now,
so that they may be able to live.”[38]

In Sitting Bull’s speech, we have the thoughts and the desires of the
native Indian. It is the speech of a strong man. Omitting much that
followed, I desire to state that General Logan replied in a severe
manner to Sitting Bull.

There is a great deal of good advice in Logan’s speech. It indicates the
domination the authorities wished to exercise over the Indians. On page
82 of the report the following words occur:—“Here the interpreter said
that Two Bears desired to say a few words to the Committee, and
permission was given.” This would indicate that the Committee dominated
and had the right to designate such Indians as should speak, or withhold
permission from those who desired to talk. Most white men’s councils are
foreign to Indian methods of council. Where the white man sought to make
of the council a one-sided affair, friction was quite certain to

However, the Commission did what it could for the Indians and made a
very voluminous report to Congress.

There were numberless peace conferences in the early days, and we do not
lack Congressional committees at the present time, and with such an
Indian as Sitting Bull, most any of them might have had trouble.
McLaughlin himself found Sitting Bull a pretty handful, and much of his
dislike of the Indian is probably entirely justified.

Sitting Bull was never an agency Indian. He lived in the past. He was
tolerant of the white man and his ways because he was compelled to
subsist on the bounty of the white man. His own son, Crow Foot, believed
in his father’s medicine and died with him. Truly, greater proof of
faith could not be produced.

If Sitting Bull had been as cowardly as McLaughlin states, he would
rather have surrendered. Instead, he fought his way to Canada. He would
have spent his days on the reservation, meekly accepting whatever the
authorities wished to dole out to him. But he was the incarnation of the
fighting spirit of the Sioux. I think that a man possessed of the
ability of Sitting Bull, under different environment, would have become
an Indian Bismarck. He was a man of blood and iron, and accustomed to
scenes of bloodshed. He was unscrupulous—so was Bismarck—he tried to
lead his followers into action; although the cause for which he fought
was well-nigh hopeless. He realized that one person cannot single-handed
fight a regiment, yet he often fought when his support was meagre. He
brooded over the past greatness of his people. He saw little good in the
white race. If we are to judge Sitting Bull by our standards, we must
consider him a “bad Indian.” If we are to analyze Sitting Bull as a
Sioux of the old type, a man who desires to have our Government fulfill
its obligations, and having established certain Indians upon a tract of
land the boundaries of which are definitely defined, expects them to
live there and enjoy peace, liberty and happiness, Sitting Bull was
right. Sitting Bull could not fathom the intricacies and the duplicity
of the average white man’s mind. During his stormy career, he had met
more bad than decent white men. He had faith in the medicine of his
fathers, and he lived and died in that faith. He was consistent in his
belief and consistent in his hatred to the end.

He had been dissatisfied with life at Standing Rock, where those who
sought to cultivate the good will of the Superintendent carried stories
of his doings. Doubtless these lost none of their force in the
transmission. He could not dance, visit his relatives or friends at a
distance, because of continual espionage. To a man of strong feelings
this was intolerable and hastened the end. He believed all were against
him. “They have taken our game, our lands, our health, and now they take
our religion.” Well might he have said these words—as did another
prominent Indian.

So he broke his peace-pipe—deliberately. All his followers saw him. He
had kept it since his return from Canada in 1881. But now it was
destroyed. This was equivalent to saying to Washington, “I break with
you.” The word was carried to McLaughlin, and the police redoubled their
watch. The end came speedily and the curtain fell upon the last act of
Sitting Bull’s life.

A parallel between Sitting Bull and Geronimo is easily drawn. They were
not pleasant persons. They rendered an eye for an eye and a tooth for a
tooth, and by so doing they won more than did the leaders of the
California, or the Chippewa bands, whose last days have been pathetic in
the extreme.

The times in which Sitting Bull lived, and the incidents surrounding him
were such as will produce an unscrupulous, crafty, and cruel man. Yet,
with all of that, we must admit that he was a great man and that the
words of his prediction were verified—he never became a reservation

                  *       *       *       *       *

After writing this chapter, the proofs were sent to my friend Dr.
Eastman. His reply is interesting.

                                        AMHERST, MASS., SEPT. 30, 1914

  Dear Mr. Moorehead:

  I have read with interest your chapter on Sitting Bull. You are
  right in believing that he was present at the Fetterman fight. In
  regard to the Custer fight, I have carefully compared many stories
  of Indians who were there, including several of my own relatives.
  Sitting Bull did not run away, neither was he “making medicine” at
  the time. He was on the Reno side of the fight at the first, and
  later, when Custer appeared, was heard in a loud voice urging the
  young men to be steady, etc. Most certainly I agree with you that he
  was no coward, and do not agree with Major McLaughlin in his
  estimate of Sitting Bull’s character. According to all my
  researches, he was no medicine man, but a statesman, one of the most
  far-sighted we have had, and as such I have represented him in my
  study of his career, which has not yet been published. In his early
  days, he won distinction as a warrior. After he came in from Canada,
  his character was ruined by the humiliation to which he was
  subjected, followed by his exhibition all over this country and
  Europe by “Buffalo Bill,” and being lionized and his photographs and
  autographs sold, etc. Then he was brought back to the agency and
  again humiliated, and crushed by the Agent until he was both spoiled
  and embittered. The weakest thing he ever did was to take up the
  Ghost dance craze, which led to his death.

  As to Red Cloud’s warriors, it must be remembered that the number of
  Indians engaged in a fight with U. S. troops is nearly always
  exaggerated in the military reports. They have no means of counting
  the warriors, and their estimates are more than liberal, for obvious
  reasons. At the Custer fight, for example, not more than 1,400
  warriors were probably present.

  You are welcome to use any or all of this letter in your book. I
  wish to say that I like the tone of your work very much and agree
  with most of what you say. I do not desire to idealize Sitting Bull,
  but what he did, and the conditions of the period, and the Indians’
  own estimate of him at the time, will tell their own story. It is
  not the story of an Indian Agent, or an Indian on the reservation
  who is very apt to say things to soothe the savage white man’s ear
  for the favor he may receive.

                                       Yours sincerely,
                                           CHARLES A. EASTMAN


Footnote 31:

  Mrs. Jackson’s “Century of Dishonor,” page 183.

Footnote 32:

  Commissioner of Indian Affairs, Report 1890, page 49; 1891, pages 125,

Footnote 33:

  Handbook, Vol. II. p. 583.

Footnote 34:

  Consult Writings of Doctor Eastman, Doctor Joseph K. Dixon, Major
  James McLaughlin, Mrs. George A. Custer, Colonel Richard I. Dodge,

Footnote 35:

  A My Friend The Indian, p. 65.

Footnote 36:

    That his heart was “good.” He was a firm believer in signs.

Footnote 37:

  The power of the man is here exhibited.

Footnote 38:

  Senate Report, No. 283, 48th Congress, 1st Session, pp. 79, 80, 82.

                         CHAPTER XX. EDUCATION

Shortly after 1850, it became apparent to our authorities that education
of Indians was the most important service that our Government could
render them. Pursuing this policy, schools and appropriations, both
governmental and sectarian (as well as nonsectarian) have increased
until most of the Indians have been, or are, in school. I have referred
on page 25 to the Honorable Commissioner’s report in which there are but
17,500 Indian children listed as out of school.

Naturally, this tremendous activity on the part of all these good
people, has had an effect on the entire Indian body. If there have been
retrogressions, it is not the fault of the educational system. This
should be understood in the beginning.

The subject is so comprehensive that this entire volume could be devoted
to its consideration. But we must needs confine our observations to two

Between 1850 and 1875 the education of Indian children was confined to
various missionary and philanthropic organizations. Indians could avail
themselves of collegiate education in the East, notably at Dartmouth
College, which was founded for the education of Indian youth. But there
seems to have been no systematic, or persistent attempt to educate
Indians until 1879, when Captain R. H. Pratt, U. S. A., began the
education of Indian boys and girls. In September that year, the Carlisle
barracks were transferred by the War Department to the Interior
Department for Indian school purposes. By the end of October, General
Pratt gathered together 136 Indians. The number steadily increased; in
1905 there were about a thousand; and at the present time the school
cares for, during the course of a year, something like 1200 pupils. This
remarkable school had up to 1905 admitted 5,170 Indians. Early in
General Pratt’s administration, an outing system was inaugurated. Most
of the boys and girls were placed in families of prosperous citizens of
Pennsylvania, New York or Massachusetts during the summer months. This
brought them in direct contact with the best elements of the white race
and served a double purpose. It not only taught them industry and proper
methods of living, but brought home to the youth of both sexes the vast
difference between the life of white citizens in Massachusetts,
Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey or elsewhere, and the frontier
element with which so many of the Indians had come in contact. This does
not necessarily imply that all persons living near Indian reservations
were undesirable citizens. It means that entirely too many white persons
by their example did not impress the Indian with any respect for the
white race, and that such individuals set a very low standard. This
feature of Indian (or white) life has had a tremendous effect on the
Indians. Other writers have not emphasized its importance, and its
pernicious effect. Beyond question the fact that the Indians came in
contact with those who were not “substantial citizens,” as we understand
the term, is responsible for many evils, and a general lack of progress,
and a widespread inclination to accept merely the veneer of our

General Pratt’s plans, therefore, were not only sound, but of great
benefit in the uplifting of the race. Other schools have followed the
excellent example set by Carlisle, and it is now pretty generally
recognized that the Indian youth must be made to realize that the
majority of American citizens are not of the type of the Indian trader,
the grafter, the squaw-man, etc.

The illustrations presented throughout this and the succeeding chapter
will give an idea of the various activities followed at Carlisle,
Chilocco, Haskell and other schools.

General Pratt remained in charge of Carlisle for about twenty-five
years, when he was succeeded by Major William A. Mercer, who was
replaced a few years ago by Mr. Moses Friedman. The present
superintendent in charge, Oscar H. Lipps, Esq., has had years of
experience in the Indian Service, and is maintaining the high standard
established by General Pratt and followed through the administrations of
his successors.



  Educated at Dartmouth. Writer and Lecturer.

For some years there was a leaning in this school toward the higher
education of Indians, but that policy was not carried to any extent and
need not be referred to in detail here. It is now recognized that the
schools and colleges of the United States afford abundant opportunity
for any Indian who is sufficiently bright, and has the energy and
determination to win scholastic honors. It is neither necessary nor
advisable that the Government should attempt the higher education of
Indians. Most of the successful Indians today were originally trained in
Government schools, and such as exhibited marked ability, left what
might be termed secondary schools and entered colleges. There occurs to
me at this moment Henry Roe Cloud, a Sioux, who graduated from Yale a
few years ago; Doctor Charles A. Eastman, a distinguished author and
lecturer, Dartmouth; Charles E. Dagenett, Supervisor of Employment,
United States Indian Service, who graduated from Eastman Business
College; Arthur C. Parker, State Archaeologist of New York, Albany, who
studied under Professor Putnam of Harvard; Rev. Sherman Coolidge,
Arapaho, graduate of Hobart College and Seabury Divinity School; Dr.
Carlos Montezuma, Apache, University of Illinois; Howard E. Gainsworth,
Tuscarora, business expert, Princeton; Rev. Frank W. Wright, Revivalist,
Choctaw, graduate of Union College; Doctor Olephant Wright, Choctaw,
Union College; Miss Bee Mayes (Pe-ahm-ees-queet), Ojibwa, educated in
Boston, musician; Louis Shotrige, Chilkoot, Chief of his tribe,
graduated from the University of Pennsylvania; Nicholas Longfeather,
Pueblo, inventor and tree doctor, graduated from Syracuse; Marvin Jack,
Tuscarora, horticulturalist, Cornell; Rev. Philip B. Gordon, Chippewa,
priest, graduate of St. Paul’s; Mrs. Marie L. Baldwin, Chippewa, lawyer,
graduate of Washington College of Law; Dennison Wheelock, Oneida,
lawyer, Dickinson College; Thomas St. Germain, Chippewa, business, Yale;
John M. Oskison, Cherokee, newspaper business, Harvard; William F.
Bourland, Chickasaw, lawyer, graduate of Berkley; Asa F. Hill, Mohawk,
minister, Denison; Francis La Flesche, Omaha, author; Angel
Deceva-Deetz, Winnebago, artist; Zit-kal-a-sa, Sioux, writer; Elmer La
Fouso, California, singer; Tscawina Redfeather, Creek, singer; Jeff. D.
Goulett, Sioux, politician; Gabe E. Parker, Choctaw, Registrar of the
Treasury, Washington; Charles D. Carter, Cherokee, Congressman; F. E.
Parker, Seneca, business expert in New York City.

These all availed themselves of advantages other than those afforded by
the Government schools. There is no reason why many Indians should not
occupy high positions and become distinguished citizens. I include
Honorable Senator Robert L. Owen and one or two people serving in
Congress, although in them the white blood predominates. My list is
confined to those in whom Indian blood is in excess of white, with two
or three exceptions.

The plant at Carlisle has been extended year after year until there are
at present fifty buildings. There are upwards of one hundred
instructors, clerks, and other employees.

Carlisle produced the first newspaper printed by Indian boys. This, _The
Indian Helper_, became in later years _The Red Man_. The Indians are
trained in every conceivable industry necessary to the welfare of Indian
men and women. The following trades are taught in well-equipped
buildings: tailoring, carpentry, blacksmithing, wagon-making, printing,
dairying, stock-raising, general agriculture, gardening, engineering,
irrigation, brick-laying, plumbing, etc. There is also a shoe shop, tin
shop, paint shop, etc.

There is instruction in music, and the Carlisle military band is a
feature of the parades and entertainments. There is a gymnasium, and
outdoor recreation, exercises and athletics have had a beneficial effect
on the student body. The football and baseball teams, as well as the
track squad, have made Carlisle a formidable rival of Harvard, the
University of Pennsylvania, Mercersburg and numerous colleges and
schools. The famous athlete, James Thorpe (_See page 39_), was trained
at Carlisle and at the time of the Olympic games in Stockholm, was
awarded first prize as the ranking athlete in the world. The sturdy
football eleven has on more than one occasion been pitted against the
best football material produced by Harvard, and the West Point eleven,
during the annual fall contests. Apropos of these games an interesting
story was told me by an interpreter in Minnesota. He had played on the
Carlisle eleven many years ago. At that time most of the team was
composed of Ojibwa (Chippewa) with a few Sioux and other Indians,
practically all of whom understood more or less of the Ojibwa language.
The signals were, of course, called out by numbers, but during one of
the plays, the quarterback became confused. The play was misunderstood
and the opponents gained. He became angry, dropped his numerical system
and called out to the other players in Ojibwa what they should do. The
succeeding play was a success and from that until the end of the game,
the quarterback called out his signals in Indian, and the game was won.

In all schools girls are trained in the domestic arts, and this covers
every conceivable duty connected with home-life. Both boys and girls are
thoroughly grounded in primary education which includes the common
branches, and a sufficient training in the handling of moneys and
accounts, the buying and selling of produce, and general mercantile
affairs to enable them to cope with the white people in managing their

What is said of Carlisle is also applicable to the great Chilocco school
in Oklahoma. Chilocco Indian School was established May 17, 1882, and
opened January 15, 1884, with 123 pupils from Kiowa, Comanche and
Wichita, and Cheyenne and Arapaho Agencies.

The school is located at Chilocco, Oklahoma, and was established
primarily for the Poncas and Pawnees and other Indians of Oklahoma,
exclusive of the Five Civilized Tribes. However, the student body has
for years included youth from all parts of the country, and since 1910
restricted numbers of the Five Civilized Tribes have been admitted. W.
J. Hadley was the first superintendent. A dozen other men held this
office, and April, 1911, Edgar A. Allen, Esq., was appointed, and still
remains. The school, under his management, has done excellent work.

The maximum attendance at any one time at this school during the past
year was 561 and the total attendance 692. Since the school was
established in 1884 it is impossible to tell how many students have gone
through it, but it is likely that the number would not be fewer than

In addition to the non-reservation schools conducted by the Government,
there is the school at Hampton, Virginia, where both colored and Indian
youths are trained. The Hampton Normal and Agricultural Institute was
established in 1868 by General C. S. Armstrong. After ten years of
success in training negroes, Indians were included. Since that time
about 1500 boys and girls have been trained at this place. It is stated
that five-sixths of them are industrious and are a credit to the
institution. The academic course covers four years. There are normal
courses, and business, agriculture, and the trades. In connection with
the school there is a stock farm of 600 acres, together with a model
farm, dairy, orchards, poultry yards, gardens, etc. The equipment is
about sixty buildings. The Government pays $167 a year for each of its
120 Indian pupils. There never has been any discrimination against the
Indian on account of his color. This is seen in many of our Eastern
institutions where Indian boys are received on the same footing as
Whites. But there is a feeling against the negro—not a feeling of
hostility, but a general disinclination to associate with him on terms
of equality. That is seen in some of the schools. The negro is received
as a student, but not as a social equal. I have always thought that the
mixing of negroes and Indians at Hampton was unnecessary. Hampton is not
a Government school, but is maintained by private subscription and the
Government pays a certain sum per pupil for Indians who are there
educated. The system has worked satisfactorily, and Hampton has turned
out many excellent and worthy graduates. But it would be better, it
seems to me, if the Indians and the negroes were educated in separate
schools, just as today we do not consider it advisable to educate Whites
and negroes in the same school. At Harvard University, colored students
are admitted, and in the classes and through the general University
life, there is no discrimination made against them, and they are on an
absolute equality with the white students. But in the real life of the
world there is a line drawn between them, and no man or woman can blind
himself or herself to this fact.

The association of Indians and negroes in Oklahoma has not helped the
Indian, and a careful study of the situation there would lead one to
suggest that the policy be discontinued in the best interests of both
the races. The union of the negro and the white is not to the advantage
of either, and it is even more true of negro-Indian marriages, according
to my way of thinking.

It was found that the boarding-school and the non-reservation school did
not entirely supply the needs of the Indians, and so was organized the
day school. Mr. Leupp, who made a great improvement in the
administration of day schools, hit the nail on the head when he stated:—

“To me the most pathetic sight in the world is a score of little red
children of nature corralled in a close room, and required to recite
lessons in concert and go through the conventional daily programme of
one of our graded common schools. The white child, born into a home that
has a permanent building for its axis, passing most of its time within
four solid walls, and breathing from its cradle days the atmosphere of
wholesale discipline, is in a way prepared for the confinement and the
mechanical processes of our system of juvenile instruction. The little
Indian, on the other hand, is descended from a long line of ancestors
who have always lived in the open and have never done anything in mass
routine; and what sort of antecedents are these to fit him for the
bodily restraints and the cut-and-dried mental exercises of his period
of pupilage? Our ways are hard enough for him when he is pretty well
grown; but in his comparative babyhood—usually his condition when first
captured for school purposes—I can conceive of nothing more trying.

“My heart warmed toward an eminent educator who once told me that if he
could have the training of our Indian children he would make his
teachers spend the first two years lying on the ground in the midst of
the little ones, and, making a play of study, convey to them from the
natural objects right at hand certain fundamental principles of all
knowledge. I dare say that this plan, just as stated, would be
impracticable under the auspices of a Government whose purse-strings are
slow to respond to the pull of any innovation. But I should like to see
the younger classes in all the schools hold their exercises in the open
air whenever the weather permits. Indeed, during the last year of my
administration I established a few experimental schoolhouses, in regions
where the climate did not present too serious obstacles, which had no
side-walls except fly-screen nailed to studding, with flaps to let down
on the windward sides in stormy weather.”[39]

The day schools, for the most part, are of simple construction. The
teachers’ quarters are built adjoining, or the teacher occupies the ell
or detached cottage. There is usually attractive land large enough for a
garden. Except in the northern reservations, the day schools are more or
less open-air affairs. In many of them the children are provided with a
luncheon at noon. Among the poorer Indians, the school luncheon
furnished by the Government constitutes the only substantial meal the
Indian children receive. Most observers agree that boys and girls six to
thirteen years of age should not be separated from their homes during
the entire year. The day school surrounds the children during school
hours with a wholesome environment and encourages them to work at home
in the field and garden and promotes real education, culture and

The boarding-schools on reservations were considered by Mr. Leupp to be
an anomaly in the American educational system. He aptly states:—

“They furnish gratuitously not only tuition, but food, clothing,
lodging, and medical supervision during the whole period for which a
pupil is enrolled. In other words, they are simply educational
almshouses. Nay, though ostensibly designed to stimulate a manly spirit
of independence in their beneficiaries, their charitable phase is
obtrusively pushed forward as an attraction, instead of wearing the
brand which makes the almshouse so repugnant to Caucasian sentiment.
Thus is fostered in the Indian an ignoble willingness to accept unearned
privileges; from learning to accept them he gradually comes to demand
them as a right; with the result that in certain parts of the West the
only conception his white neighbors entertain of him is that of a beggar
as aggressive as he is shameless. Was ever a worse wrong perpetrated
upon a weaker by a stronger race?”[40]

The boarding-schools have somewhat changed their character, and they are
certainly reduced in numbers since Mr. Leupp’s administration. His
successor, Honorable Robert G. Valentine, recommended their restriction,
and the present administration has still further curtailed them. The day
schools are far preferable, also are the non-reservation schools.
Indians who are exceptionally bright need not attend reservation
boarding-schools, but will find opportunity to study under better
conditions elsewhere; like Eastman at Dartmouth; Roe Cloud at Yale.

Of Indian education at the present time there is little criticism to be
offered. The tendency seems to be toward agricultural training with a
sufficient grounding in primary and secondary education to enable the
pupils to write intelligent letters, keep accounts and become familiar
with American history, etc. This is all that need be expected of the
Government schools, and advanced learning may be obtained in the

While all this is true, we must record, that in the early years of
Indian education grievous mistakes were made. These have had their
effect on the Indian body at large. Chief among these were the contract
schools established years ago by act of Congress. These were schools
located either on the reservations and known as boarding schools, or at
a distance.



Years ago, when the Government was pushing allotting and educating of
Indians to the exclusion of pretty much everything else, there sprang up
a pernicious system, which I am happy to say has been abolished. Schools
were erected in a number of localities, and agents were sent hither and
thither to gather Indian pupils. The Government allowed quite a sum of
money per head for the support and education of these Indian children. I
have forgotten whether it was $200 or $400 per capita, but it was quite
a sum. One of the reasons tuberculosis and trachoma became so prevalent
was on account of these schools and the crowding of the children into
small quarters. The more children, the larger financial returns to those
conducting the school. Extensive enrollments were regarded with great
favor at Washington and so, the system continued to expand until the
Government officials awakened to its distressing effect.

Honorable O. H. Lipps, supervisor in charge of the United States Indian
School, Carlisle, writes me regarding these contract schools as

“Referring further to the inquiry in your former letter, I might add
that when I took charge of the contract boarding-schools in the Five
Civilized Tribes four years ago, I found in some of those schools
conditions that were almost shocking. For instance, in the school near
Okmulgee, Oklahoma, not only were two and three sleeping in one bed, but
the beds were double-deckers and pupils were packed in almost like
sardines in a can. The same was true in some of the other schools. It is
needless to state, however, that this condition was immediately remedied
so that those schools are now among the best boarding-schools we have in
the service. The contract system was abolished and the superintendents
are now bonded officers and under the direct supervision of the Indian

It is unnecessary to go into details, and we should not blame the
authorities at Washington. The whole matter of education was largely an
experiment; and mistakes must needs be made.

A great deal of the tuberculosis and trachoma is, beyond question, due
to the crowding in these schools. There is absolutely no excuse for such
system and it is surprising that it continued as long as it did. The
fact that children came home from these schools to die, or to become
permanently disabled, had a deterring effect on the Government’s
educational policy. It was quite natural that Indian parents did decline
to send their children to school under such conditions. No white parent
would send his son or daughter to a school if by so doing that child
contracted disease. Yet we were expecting the Indian to cheerfully
accept a scheme of education which we would not countenance among
ourselves for a moment.

I have tried to ascertain the number of children sent away to school who
came home and died. It has been impossible to secure any reliable
statistics. Miss Caroline W. Andrus of the Indian Record Office, Hampton
Normal and Agricultural Institute, under date of September 2d, 1911,
writes me that:—

“The death rate was high among our Indians for the first few years, but
no physical examination was then required before they left their homes,
and a good many died within a few weeks or months after they arrived.
Homesickness probably had a good deal to do with it, but some were
certainly far gone with tuberculosis when they reached here. Any
statistics we might get together would be for so small a number that I
think they would be useless, particularly as we have never used large
dormitories, but have an average of two students in a room, and
therefore no over-crowding.”

In a table of statistics presented in a later chapter will be observed
that under Question IV, “In your opinion has there been a high
percentage of deaths among children suffering from tuberculosis sent
from schools to their homes the past ten years?” we addressed a great
many persons, including teachers, and asked their opinion. Many of these
can give no accurate information, having been recently appointed. Others
think that the death rate has not been very high, whereas others claim
that many Indians returned from school merely to die from consumption or
to become blind from trachoma. It would have surprised all of us, I
think, could statistics be compiled with any degree of accuracy. For
instance, during the long period that Carlisle has been maintained, it
would be illuminating to place before the public in tabulated form how
many of the Indians are living and how many have died. Charles F.
Lummis, Esq., of California, who has devoted a great many years to the
study of Indian problems, is of the opinion that in the early years of
our educational system we made almost as many consumptives as educated
Indians. He has uttered this opinion in several of his articles in past
years. Be that as it may, at present the physicians in charge of the
schools and physicians on the reservations are doing all humanly
possible to end this evil.

But the opposite still obtains in some quarters. We have been properly
ambitious to keep the schools free from disease and we have promptly
sent to their homes children who are not strong or healthy, with the
result that disease was disseminated on the reservations. While this was
good for the school, it was very bad for those who lived at home.


Footnote 39:

  The Indian and his Problem, page 126.

Footnote 40:

  Leupp, page 137.


There is not a white parent of intelligence in America who would send
children to school if in that school there was danger from disease. When
Cornell had a small epidemic of typhoid fever, the institution was
closed; the same is true of Milton Academy when a few pupils were taken
with scarlet fever. Phillips Academy, at Andover, closed its doors some
years ago when less than four per cent of the student body became
affected with measles. Yet in past years these Indian schools have
continued in the even tenor of their way, including among their
membership children suffering from some form of tuberculosis or
trachoma. I observed that with my own eyes in Minnesota in 1909.

You cannot expect the Indian—who is just as human as we are ourselves—to
wax enthusiastic over education when such intolerable conditions obtain.
All the Indian knows is that the child comes home sick, and he having no
facilities for proper treatment, unless the child’s constitution is
unusually strong, the child dies or is disabled.

Right here I wish to pay a tribute to one of the leading Sioux, Chief
White Horse. He said: “I sent my own boy to school first, as an example
to the others. I sent my children to a nearby school until they were old
enough, and then I was one of the first to send them to Hampton,
Virginia, to school. They all came home and died of consumption.”[41]

While we all believe in education, yet I affirm that there is neither a
man nor a woman in all America who would willingly, and gladly, send one
child after another to a school so managed that the children contracted
tuberculosis and died. The average white man and woman would refuse to
send other children to such a school, after the first one had died; and
a system of education productive of consumptives, would be indignantly
denounced in unmeasured terms. President Lincoln wrote a beautiful
letter to Mrs. Bixby, when she gave to her country five sons who were
killed in battle during the Civil War. Mrs. Bixby was a white woman, and
of some education. Lincoln’s letter to her is celebrated in the United
States. Poor old White Horse was an untutored Indian, and yet his faith
in the white man and his ways rose to sublime heights. He deserves a
place among the heroes of peace. In return for his simple trust, we
murdered his sons and daughters.

There has been a wide diversity of opinion among persons as to the
wisdom of our general educational policy for Indians. This is not
confined to those employed by the Interior Department, who serve as
Superintendents and teachers. It is more largely shared by missionaries
and other observers.

Many of the persons who furnished me with data for my table of
statistics also wrote out their views at considerable length. These are
valuable in that they are sincere; they come from men and women who are
in direct contact with the people. We will omit all those who agree with
our present policy. It may be summed up thus: to give the Indians
vocational training; to ground them in the rudiments and to make of them
farmers, mechanics, carpenters, stockmen, lumbermen, weavers, etc.,
rather than to attempt to fit so many of them for higher callings. It is
well to consider the opinions of several persons residing in separate
communities in the great West, and I herewith append their statements,
but omit the names of the writers.

“Allow me to make one more remark. As far as I can see, the fact that
the condition of the Indians is not satisfactory is due largely to the
nature of the education provided for them. I think that the education
given them is too high and far above their condition in life. It seems
to me to be an attempt to make them leap from the bottom to the top rung
of the ladder of civilization without having them touch those that lie
between. They are not yet far enough advanced in civilization and
culture to enable them to follow successfully the higher pursuits of
civilized social life, against which the present educational methods try
to put them. Thus when leaving school, they are unable to compete with
Whites of equal education, while they are unwilling and often
unqualified to take up farming or mechanics.”

Naturally they all will have to work for a living, and the proper and
only occupation that would make them self-supporting will be farming or
other manual labor. But having passed ten or more years at Carlisle,
Hampton, etc., and coming home to the reservation, serious work is no
longer to their liking. Playing and spending money for amusement is
about the only thing they know and care for. If they get a position in
the Indian Service, they get along as long as they are able to hold it.
But the day they are discharged for any reason, they join the army of
grumblers and idlers, and help to raise the howl—the Indians are
cheated, robbed and trodden under foot.

The fact is, as long as they go to school they are coddled and furnished
with everything, as only children of well-to-do parents are in a
position to enjoy. Then when they are finished, so that they have to
stand on their own feet and make their own living, they are not able to
do it. Whatever has been used for their education is worn, then thrown
away. It has been used to spoil and enervate them, has made honest work
hateful to them, has certainly not fitted them for the task of earning
an honest livelihood suited to their condition of life.

“It is my opinion that a thorough eighth-grade common school education
along with a good training in industrial and economic habits would bring
far more satisfactory results. It would be more suited to their present
stage in their advancement towards civilization, they would then more
easily take to farming and other general work, and train them to be
self-supporting. This would fill out the gap, which men have been trying
to bridge over by forcing an intellectual education upon semi-barbaric
Indian children. This is, however, not saying that a higher education
should be denied to those that show inclination, talent and character
for advancement.”

                                       Correspondent, Keshena, Wisconsin

“The white people will not allow the Indian children to go to the
country schools. The Indians in some places have no schools for their
own children, and are left without any opportunity to give their
children the ordinary, elementary education of a grammar school. In two
places under our care here the circumstances are as stated above.

“What the Indians want is a public Government school. If you have any
influence and can rouse the Government to action in this matter, I wish
you would use your influence. You would be doing a good work.

“The Indian children do better when educated near home. The children
want to remain near home; and the parents also like to have them at

                                        Correspondent, Ukiah, California

The next letter is from a full-blood Indian. Some of the sentences are a
trifle ambiguous. I know the man to be one who labors under
disadvantages. He is doing a good work among his more ignorant fellows.

“Any Superintendent will say that, let a discovery of oil be made upon
any child’s land and that boy or girl rises in distinction, develops
relatives, friends, and a fond guardian at an alarming rate. Then one of
the first moves, after this discovery, is to take the child from school.
They can’t bear that the searchlight of learning be turned into the
black corners of their schemes. The situation in Oklahoma is indeed
alarming! I believe there are more lawyers and land men in Eufaula than
in any other little town outside the State, in the United States, and we
know they have acquired and are acquiring, fortunes at the expense of
the benighted Indian and his allotments.

“In time the ‘benighted Indian’ will be spoken of in the past tense. The
rich Indian in this locality is truly an object of pity. The weight of
his fortune, the world of uncertainty, indecision and fear in which he
lives, is pitiable indeed. If the Indian is sagacious at all, it has to
be brought out by the slow process of education and this ‘drawing out’
process is worse than the ‘pouring in’. Eternal vigilance and a world of
patience, all tempered with common sense and good judgment, are the
tools with which to work against this grafting, and schools, schools.
These institutions should be continued indefinitely. As an illustration
to the fact that the Creek tribe is waking to the possibilities these
schools afford—our capacity is 125 and I venture to say we could have
enrolled 300. It was pitiful to turn them away, yet our files were
closed early in August!”

                                        Correspondent, Eufaula, Oklahoma

“Those educated away from the reservation have too much done for them to
make life a pleasure—they learn and see the easy side of life and the
methods by which it can be obtained easily—but when they return home the
picture is not so alluring, and when they find that they must depend
upon themselves they also realize that they did not learn how to depend
upon themselves, and they as a rule give up and go back to the old
Indian life more or less, and in the majority of cases altogether.

“In my opinion Indian Agents should have full control of their Agencies
and Indians in order to push their people to the front. Indians like men
who can do things, but in so many cases the Agent must go to higher
authority and this delay has a bad effect in most cases. The Agent
should be strictly responsible to the Commissioner for his action—there
should be frequent and searching inspections of his work and if it is
found wanting, he should be removed.”

                                       Correspondent, Anadarko, Oklahoma



One correspondent living in Sapulpa, Oklahoma, writes at length
concerning the immorality in Indian schools ten years ago. Happily, such
things are not possible at the present time. A number of correspondents
have referred to most distressing moral conditions (in past years) in
certain schools. It is incomprehensible that such conditions should have
been permitted to obtain. The effect on the children was exceedingly
bad, as it is impossible to keep such things a secret, especially in
communities where two or three hundred persons are assembled together.
There are statistics available on this unpleasant subject, although I
shall not refer to them. Suffice it to say that because immorality was
not prevented in past years, we cannot expect a high moral tone among
all Indians. Too many of them have profited to their own detriment, by
the bad example set them.

While these are varied and present a diversity of opinion as to detail,
they strike at the greater evil. Far too many of our Indians on
returning from such schools as Carlisle are inclined to look for
clerkships or occupations in towns, and are not willing to perform tasks
requiring hard labor. They moved along the paths of least resistance.
This does not apply to all, but quite a number of them, which gives rise
to the popular conception that educated Indians will not work. There is
also another problem to be considered. The Indian comes home and he
finds that he does not regard the community and people as he did
previous to his education. His case may be compared with the son of a
small farmer in one of the eastern states, who, given advantages of a
higher education, comes home without determining in his own mind what he
shall do and is dissatisfied with his surroundings. Formerly, the farm,
the home life and the neighborhood did not appear to him to bespeak a
small and narrow world. He feels himself out of his environment. He
becomes dissatisfied. Such young white men become failures in life. It
is similar with the Indians. He has seen all that is best in the East,
and his eyes are opened to the poverty and the dull monotony of
reservation, or Indian community life. Unless he is willing to put his
hand to the plow and work for his living, he is pretty apt to fall into
ways of idleness, to draw inheritance money, or annuity, or sell a piece
of land. One of the problems in Indian education is to overcome this. It
is, to a great extent, due to the Indian himself, as one of the most
competent workers in the United States Indian Service has pointed out.
Mrs. Elsie E. Newton in answering my circular at length says:—

“For success in their home environment, the Indian educated at or near
home is better qualified, if the training has been good in itself. If
highly trained away from home, it is more difficult, just as in the case
of Whites, to adapt themselves to home environment, the conservatism of
the old and a difficult economic state, or to struggle against such
conditions where he should.”

In addition to all that has been said on the preceding pages, it must be
remembered that there is yet another reason why some of the educated
Indians do not progress as satisfactorily as we would desire. And this
latter is, perhaps, the most significant of all. With such, it is, it
seems to me, after due deliberation, due to the impression that after
all, our civilization holds little for the Indian. He has lost faith in
us and in our institutions. This statement, let me repeat, applies only
to the educated Indians who have been trained, or have been told year
upon year what to do and how to do it, but still persist in the old
ways. This also has a direct bearing on the greater question, the lack
of progress in the entire Indian body; for education, property, health,
citizenship and all the rest are but a part of this great problem. I
shall further discuss it in a subsequent chapter.

In addition to the long bibliography on Indian education presented in
the Handbook of American Indians, there are quite a number of articles,
speeches and reports mentioned in the following brief bibliography which
students of educational problems among Indians will do well to consult.
These cover, in a general way, all phases of education, although in the
general references, in the chapters on agriculture, irrigation and
industries, there are many references which might apply to general
education. These cover, in a general way, all phases of education.

  The Carlisle Graduate and the Returned Students.—_Siceni J. Nori._
  Twenty-ninth Annual Report of the Lake Mohonk Conference, 1911. P.

  History and Purposes of the Carlisle Indian Industrial
  School.—_Brig.-Gen. P. H. Pratt._ The Hamilton Library Association,

  Carlisle Indian School. Hearings before the joint Commission of the
  63rd Congress of the United States to Investigate Indian Affairs.

  Education Among the Five Civilized Tribes.—_J. P. Brown._ Quarterly
  Journal of the Society of American Indians. Oct.-Dec., 1913. P. 416.

  Educating Indians for Citizenship.—_John Francis, Jr._, Chief of the
  Education Division of the Indian Bureau, The Red Man. June, 1914. P.

  Education of Indians. Handbook of American Indians, p. 414. A
  lengthy account of educational activities, and full bibliography of
  publications dealing with Indian training.

  Indian School, Chilocco, Oklahoma, Some History and Work of
  the.—_Indian School Journal_, June, 1914. pp. 791 and 553.

  Indian Day School. Purpose and Results. Table giving location,
  capacity, enrolment, and average attendance of Government day
  schools during fiscal year ended June 30, 1904.—Report of the
  Department of the Interior, 1904 P. 41.

  Indian Education, Interesting facts concerning.—_Indian School
  Journal_, June, 1914. P. 518.

  Indian Education, Present and Future.—_H. B. Peairs._ The Red Man.
  Feb., 1914. P. 211.

  Indian Education, Some Facts and Figures on.—_Laura C. Kellogg._
  Quarterly Journal Society of American Indians. Jan.-April, 1913. P.

  A Reorganized School in the Five Tribes.—_Gabe E. Parker._
  Twenty-eighth Annual Report of the Lake Mohonk Conference, 1910. P.

  The Reorganized Schools in the Five Tribes.—_J. B. Brown._
  Twenty-eighth Annual Report of the Lake Mohonk Conference, 1910. P.

  Educational Conditions in the Five Civilized Tribes.—_John B.
  Brown_, Supervisor, United States Indian Service. Thirty-first
  Annual Report of the Lake Mohonk Conference, 1913. P. 24.

  Flandreau Indian School, A Little History of the.—_Indian School
  Journal_, April, 1914. P. 356.

  The Fort McDermitt Indian Day School—Illustrated.—_The Indian School
  Journal_, March, 1914. P. 298.

  Haskell Institute, Lawrence, Kansas. Table showing location, date of
  opening, capacity, attendance, etc., of non-reservation schools
  during fiscal year ended June 30, 1904.—Report of the Department of
  the Interior, 1904. P. 39.

  Higher Education for the Indian.—_Joseph M. Burnett._ Quarterly
  Journal of the Society of American Indians. July-September, 1913. P.

  Industrial Education for the Indian.—_Charles Doxon._ Twenty-fourth
  Annual Report of the Lake Mohonk Conference. 1906. P. 37.

  Educational Activities in the Indian Service.—_H. B. Peairs._
  Twenty-ninth Annual Report of the Lake Mohonk Conference, 1911. P.

  Mt. Pleasant Indian School, A Short History of the.—_Indian School
  Journal_, May. 1914. P. 445.

  Moral Education, Vital Interest in.—_Milton Fairchild._ _The Indian
  School Journal_, September, 1913. P. 7.

  Moral Education in Indian Schools.—_Milton Fairchild._ The Red Man.
  December, 1912. P. 157.

  Educating the Morals, Colonel Roosevelt on.—_Indian School Journal_,
  March, 1914. P. 310.

  Indians in Public Schools.—_Peton Carter_, Indian Office. The Red
  Man. June, 1914. P. 427.

  Report of School Taxation in Indian Territory. House of
  Representatives, Doc. No. 34. Fifty-eighth Congress 3d Session, Dec.
  6, 1904.

  A Segregated Indian University Unnecessary.—_M. Friedman, Litt. D._
  The Red Man. January, 1914. P. 182.


Footnote 41:

  The Vanishing Race, page 93.


Arizona, New Mexico and southern California, together with portions of
Nevada and Texas, were inhabited by the Yuman, Piman and Athapascan
stocks. I have devoted an entire chapter to the Navaho, and shall
confine this to the Pima, Papago, Pueblo and Apache.

The past fifty years the population of these Indians has not varied to
any appreciable extent. The enumeration of 1906 indicates that there are
about as many Pimas and Apaches as at the present time, although the
Papago have increased.

These tribes are desert Indians, pure and simple. The Pima and the
Papago present many characteristics in common, and remain long in the
same locality; the chief difference being that they belong to totally
distinct linguistic stocks. The Apaches, however, are far more nomadic
in character, not given to agriculture, and were never known to
construct irrigation ditches to any extent, and beyond raising a few
vegetables and a little corn on restricted tracts, were not given to

The chapter of our dealings with the Apaches is one of the bloodiest,
considering the small number of persons engaged on each side, in
American history. Notwithstanding much said against them, they were not
beyond the pale of civilizing influences. Many of the outbreaks could
have been prevented, but our policy toward these Indians was vacillating
and short-sighted.

Doctor F. W. Hodge of the Smithsonian Institution, long a student of
Indians in the Southwest, presented a sketch of the Apaches in the
Handbook of American Indians.[42] This covers their complete history. I
here insert portions relating to Apache history the past sixty years. It
will be observed that the Apaches were frequently located on
reservations, but because of change in management, or friction, or
incompetency on our part, they were compelled to flee, and such flights
were merely to better their condition.

“No group of tribes has caused greater confusion to writers, from the
fact that the popular names of the tribes are derived from some local or
temporary habitat, owing to their shifting propensities, or were given
by the Spaniards on account of some tribal characteristic; hence, some
of the common names of apparently different Apache tribes or bands are
synonymous, or practically so; again, as employed by some writers, a
name may include much more or much less than when employed by others.
Although most of the Apache have been hostile since they have been known
to history, the most serious modern outbreaks have been attributed to
mismanagement on the part of civil authorities. The most important
recent hostilities were those of the Chiricahua under Cochise, and later
Victorio, who, together with 500 Mimbrenos, Mogollones, and Mescaleros,
were assigned, about 1870, to the Ojo Caliente reserve in W. N. Mex.
Cochise, who had repeatedly refused to be confined within reservation
limits, fled with his band, but returned in 1871, at which time 1,200 to
1,900 Apache were on the reservation. Complaints from neighboring
settlers caused their removal to Tularosa, 60 m. to the N.W., but 1,000
fled to the Mescalero reserve on Pecos r., while Cochise went on another
raid. Efforts of the military agent in 1873 to compel the restoration of
some stolen cattle caused the rest, numbering 700, again to decamp, but
they were soon captured. In compliance with the wishes of the Indians,
they were returned to Ojo Caliente in 1874. Soon afterward Cochise died,
and the Indians began to show such interest in agriculture that by 1875
there were 1,700 Apache at Ojo Caliente, and no depredations were
reported. In the following year the Chiricahua reserve in Arizona was
abolished, and 325 of the Indians were removed to the San Carlos agency;
others joined their kindred at Ojo Caliente, while some either remained
on the mountains of their old reservation or fled across the Mexican
border. This removal of Indians from their ancestral homes was in
pursuance of a policy of concentration, which was tested in the
Chiricahua removal in Arizona. In April, 1877, Geronimo and other
chiefs, with the remnant of the band left on the old reservation, and
evidently the Mexican refugees, began depredations in S. Arizona and N.
Chihuahua, but in May 433 were captured and returned to San Carlos. At
the same time the policy was applied to the Ojo Caliente Apache of New
Mexico, who were making good progress in civilized pursuits; but when
the plan was put in action only 450 of 2,000 Indians were found, the
remainder forming into predatory bands under Victorio. In September 300
Chiricahua mainly of the Ojo Caliente band, escaped from San Carlos, but
surrendered after many engagements. These were returned to Ojo Caliente,
but they soon ran off again. In February, 1878, Victorio surrendered in
the hope that he and his people might remain on their former
reservation, but another attempt was made to force the Indians to go to
San Carlos, with the same result. In June the fugitives again appeared
at the Mescalero agency, and arrangements were at last made for them to
settle there; but, as the local authorities found indictments against
Victorio and others, charging them with murder and robbery, this chief,
with his few immediate followers and some Mescaleros, fled from the
reservation and resumed marauding. A call was made for an increased
force of military, but in the skirmishes in which they were engaged the
Chiricahua met with remarkable success, while 70 settlers were murdered
during a single raid. Victorio was joined before April, 1880, by 350
Mescaleros and Chiricahua refugees from Mexico, and the repeated raids
which followed struck terror to the inhabitants of New Mexico, Arizona,
and Chihuahua. On April 13, 1,000 troops arrived, and their number was
later greatly augmented. Victorio’s band was frequently encountered by
superior forces, and although supported during most of the time by only
250 or 300 fighting men, this warrior usually inflicted severer
punishment than he suffered. In these raids 200 citizens of New Mexico,
and as many more in Mexico, were killed. At one time the band was
virtually surrounded by a force of more than 2,000 cavalry and several
hundred Indian scouts, but Victorio eluded capture and fled across the
Mexican border, where he continued his bloody campaign. Pressed on both
sides of the international boundary, and at times harassed by United
States and Mexican troops combined, Victorio finally suffered severe
losses and his band became divided. In October, 1880, Mexican troops
encountered Victorio’s party, comprising 100 warriors, with 400 women
and children, at Tres Castillos; the Indians were surrounded and
attacked in the evening, the fight continuing throughout the night; in
the morning the ammunition of the Indians became exhausted, but although
rapidly losing strength, the remnant refused to surrender until
Victorio, who had been wounded several times, finally fell dead. This
disaster to the Indians did not quell their hostility. Victorio was
succeeded by Nana, who collected the divided force, received
reinforcements from the Mescaleros and the San Carlos Chiricahua, and
between July, 1881, and April, 1882, continued the raids across the
border until he was again driven back in Chihuahua. While these
hostilities were in progress in New Mexico and Chihuahua, the Chiricahua
of San Carlos were striking terror to the settlements of Arizona. In
1880 Juh and Geronimo with 108 followers were captured and returned to
San Carlos. In 1881 trouble arose among the White Mountain Coyoteros on
Cibicu cr., owing to a medicine-man named Nakaidoklini, who pretended
power to revive the dead. After paying him liberally for his services,
his adherents awaited the resurrection until August, when Nakaidoklini
avowed that his incantations failed because of the presence of Whites.
Since affairs were assuming a serious aspect, the arrest of the prophet
was ordered; he surrendered quietly, but as the troops were making camp
the scouts and other Indians opened fire on them. After a sharp fight
Nakaidoklini was killed and his adherents were repulsed. Skirmishes
continued the next day, but the troops were reinforced, and the Indians
soon surrendered in small bands. * * * *

“In March, 1883, Chato with twenty-six followers made a dash into New
Mexico, murdering a dozen persons. Meanwhile the white settlers on the
upper Gila consumed so much of the water of that stream as to threaten
the Indian crops; then coal was discovered on the reservation, which
brought an influx of miners, and an investigation by the Federal grand
jury of Arizona on Oct. 24, 1882, charged the mismanagement of Indian
affairs on San Carlos res. to local civil authorities.



  Aboriginal house type.

“Gen. G. H. Crook having been reassigned to the command, in 1882 induced
about 1,500 of the hostiles to return to the reservation and subsist by
their own exertions. The others, about three-fourths of the tribe,
refused to settle down to reservation life and repeatedly went on the
warpath; when promptly followed by Crook they would surrender and agree
to peace, but would soon break their promises. To this officer had been
assigned the task of bringing the raiding Apache to terms in cooperating
with the Mexican troops of Sonora and Chihuahua. In May, 1883, Crook
crossed the boundary to the headwaters of the Rio Vaqui with 50 troops
and 163 Apache scouts; on the 13th the camp of Chato and Bonito was
discovered and attacked with some loss to the Indians. Through two
captives employed as emissaries, communication was soon had with the
others, and by May 29, 354 Chiricahua had surrendered. On July 7 the War
Department assumed police control of the San Carlos res., and on Sept. 1
the Apache were placed under the sole charge of Crook, who began to
train them in the ways of civilization, with such success that in 1884
over 4,000 tons of grain, vegetables, and fruits were harvested. In
Feb., 1885, Crook’s powers were curtailed, an act that led to conflict
of authority between the civil and military officers, and before matters
could be adjusted half the Chiricahua left the reservation in May and
fled to their favorite haunts. Troops and Apache scouts were again sent
forward, and many skirmishes took place, but the Indians were wary and
again Arizona and New Mexico were thrown into a state of excitement and
dread by raids across the American border, resulting in the murder of 73
white people and many friendly Apache. In Jan., 1886, the American camp
under Capt. Crawford was attacked through misunderstanding by Mexican
irregular Indian troops, resulting in Crawford’s death. By the following
March the Apache became tired of the war and asked for a parley, which
Crook granted as formerly, but before the time for the actual surrender
of the entire force arrived the wily Geronimo changed his mind and with
his immediate band again fled beyond reach. * * * *

“Being a nomadic people, the Apache practised agriculture only to a
limited extent before their permanent establishment on reservations.
They subsisted chiefly on the products of the chase and on roots
(especially that of the maguey) and berries. Although fish and bear were
found in abundance in their country they were not eaten, being tabooed
as food. They had few arts, but the women attained high skill in making
baskets. Their dwellings were shelters of brush, which were easily
erected by the women and were well adapted to their arid environment and
constant shifting. In physical appearance the Apache vary greatly, but
are rather above the medium height. They are good talkers, are not
readily deceived, and are honest in protecting property placed in their
care, although they formerly obtained their chief support from plunder
seized in their forays.”

Of the other Indians in the southwest there are some 3800 Yuma, 4,000
Pima and nearly 6,000 Papago.

These three bands occupy the lower Colorado basin. At one time they
constructed extensive irrigation ditches and raised large crops. The
history of the Pimas has been set forth at length by Mrs. Jackson and
Mr. Humphrey.

As the country settled up, white settlers appropriated the water from
the Gila, Salt and other streams and these Indians were much reduced.
Many of them became paupers. The larger portion of the Papago left their
ancient homes and located on the public domain, seeking only to be
removed from white persons.

As in the case of all other Indians, the Government has established
schools, and Agents, Superintendents, physicians, and employees may be
found wherever there are a considerable number of Indians congregated

It became known that the very existence of the Pima and the Papago, as
well as the Yuma, was threatened because of the changed conditions, the
influx of Whites, and the haste on our part to make of these Indians
citizens in the full sense of the word. Water is the very life of all
desert Indians. With white people appropriating the bulk of it, very
little was left for the Indians. Hence various irrigation schemes were
set on foot. It would be very interesting to discuss how that we have
improved their condition and made available a large acreage in some
places, yet in others we carelessly sank wells deep into alkali-bearing
ground and thus ruined unnumbered acres; but space forbids discussion of
this subject.

The Board of Indian Commissioners late last year, through its Chairman,
Honorable George Vaux, Jr., commissioned Rev. William H. Ketcham,
Director of Catholic Missions, and Rev. Samuel A. Eliot, President of
the Unitarian Association, and both members of our Board, to visit these
various Indians and recommend what should be done for them. Their
findings were published in pamphlet form, but merit wider circulation. I
herewith append their remarks on the Papago.

“_Land._ Approximately 5,000 Papago Indians are living, as they have
lived since they were first known to history, on the public domain in
Pima and Pinal Counties. They are an industrious and self-supporting
people and maintain the habits of life that have been theirs for many
generations. They know no other home than the desert and are able to
sustain life under conditions which would be difficult, if not
impossible, for white people. These Indians on the public domain are
more or less nomadic, moving from two to four times each year from their
farms in the valleys to the ranges on the foothills. They are scattered
in some fifty or sixty small villages over a vast tract of desert and
mountain country. On their farms, which they break out of the desert
wherever water can be obtained, they raise two crops a year, in summer
raising beans, peas, squashes, melons and corn, and in winter wheat and
a little barley. Each family or village owns some cattle, horses and
mules. Their tribal customs are good and the habits of family life,
while exceedingly primitive, are excellent. The Franciscan Fathers have
for some time maintained missions and a few schools among these nomadic
Papagoes and the Presbyterian Board of Missions has also several chapels
and schools in the chief villages.

“These Papagoes on the public domain have no title whatsoever to the
lands where they have made their homes from time immemorial The desert
nature of their country is such that thus far they have had little
contact with white settlers. The time is, however, fast approaching when
the better parts of the land which they occupy will be desired by white
settlers or prospectors. A railroad project, the Tucson-Ajo Railroad,
has already put a survey through the Santa Rosa Valley for the purpose
of transporting the output of the Ajo Mines in Southern Arizona to
market and opening the country to settlement. If this project is
completed it will mean the coming of Whites into this territory and
inevitably imperil the continued occupation by the Indians of the
irrigable lands. In order to preserve the rights of these people it is
our judgment that a number of Executive Order Reservations drawn upon
lines to be recommended by the Department of the Interior should at once
be made. The reservations should contain the lands adjacent to the
villages which are needed for farming and grazing purposes and
sufficient sources of water supply for irrigation, stock and domestic
use. The village sites and the water sources should be held in common.
The allotments heretofore made to Indians upon the public domain should
then be cancelled where actual residence has not been established. Any
delay will greatly imperil the character and prospects of these
self-sustaining Indians, who have never had any trouble with white men,
and who deserve the sympathy and protection of the Government.

“An almost equally urgent situation exists on the Papago Reservation
itself. The Indian population on the reservation is mostly centered
about the Agency at San Xavier. This is the only part of the reservation
where there is water. The remainder is arid and uninhabitable. These
Indians are also self-supporting and well governed by their own tribal
laws and chiefs. Their farms are productive, wherever water can be
secured, and they have good habits, so long as they remain beyond the
evil influences of the neighboring city. Their continued welfare is
obviously dependent upon the supply of water. The Tucson Farms Company
has acquired practically all the land between the Agency and the City of
Tucson, and is opening this land for cultivation. The Farms Company also
owns the land bordering the reservation on the east and a considerable
tract to the south of the reservation. There is naturally some conflict
as to the water rights between the Farms Company and the Indians. The
welfare of the City of Tucson can evidently be promoted by increasing
the agricultural productiveness of the land held by the Farms Company
and the plans by which the Farms Company hopes to encourage settlement
are well-devised, but it must be borne in mind that the Indians, who
have lived at San Xavier for many generations, have the prior claim upon
the water supply. It is hoped and expected that there is in the Santa
Cruz Valley enough water for both the Indians and the incoming white
settlers, but the utmost vigilance will be necessary to protect the
rights of the Indians to the water which is absolutely essential to
their well-being.

“The trust patents under which most of the Indians near the Agency hold
their allotments will expire in the course of the next two or three
years. The officers of the Farms Company evidently expect at that time
to acquire title to the Indian lands together with any improvements
which the Indians or the Indian Service may have made. It is much to be
feared that the Indians will too readily yield to this temptation to
sell their lands. We earnestly recommend that these trust patents be
extended and the Indians thus protected. It appears that the lines of
the original allotments were badly surveyed, and the present fences or
boundaries of the Indian allotments do not conform to the survey. If,
therefore, an Indian should sell his allotment, he will very probably be
selling the land occupied by the homestead of another Indian. We
recommend, therefore, that new allotments be made to the Papago Indians
living at San Xavier, and that trust patents be dated from the time of
the new allotment. By the adoption of this plan not only the lines of
the allotments will be correctly adjusted, but also the Indians will be
protected in the possession of their lands.

“We understand there is litigation pending between the Government and
the Tucson Farms Company in regard to the title to the Berger Ranch at
San Xavier. The Agency offices and residence have always been located in
the buildings of this ranch and it is obvious that the Government must
own and control the property. The suit should be pressed to settlement
and title established.

[Illustration: © _by Rodman Wanamaker 1913_ _The Voice of the Water

“_Irrigation._ The plans for the irrigating of the Indian land at San
Xavier have been well studied and the report of the Superintendent of
Irrigation is on file at the Indian Bureau (Senate Document No. 973, 62d
Congress, 3rd Session). We recommend the adoption of the plan there
suggested, but only if the trust patents can first be extended. In other
words, it is obviously undesirable for the Government to expend a
considerable sum of money for irrigating Indian lands which in the
course of two years may become the property of the Tucson Farms Company.
It is true that better irrigation will increase the value of the Indian
lands and the Indians will secure more for their property than they
otherwise would, but it is to be feared that this increase in price will
simply accrue to the benefit of the saloon keepers at Tucson and other
persons eager to prey upon the Indians. In order to save these
self-respecting, industrious and peaceful Indians from demoralization
and vagabondage, we earnestly recommend: (1) The extension of the trust
patents under which they now hold their lands, and (2) the prompt
adoption and carrying out of the plans by which they will obtain an
adequate and reliable supply of water.

“_Schools._ The Government maintains only two small day schools for the
Papagoes, whether living on the reservation or upon the public domain. A
few elementary schools are also maintained by the Catholic and
Presbyterian Missions. It is not necessary for the Government to
duplicate these schools. They cannot, however, reach more than a small
proportion of the school population. Without further and more careful
survey of the best centers of population, we do not wish to recommend
the establishment of any considerable number of Government day schools.
They will naturally be established where permanent water supplies can be
developed. We believe, however, that provisions should at once be made
for the opening of day schools at the villages known as Indian Oasis and
Coyote, which are natural centers of population within the proposed new
Executive Order Reservations. We understand that plans have already been
formed for the establishment of the first of these schools.

“_Health._ The health conditions among the Papagoes are not different
from those on other Indian reservations. There is a great deal of
tuberculosis and trachoma, and there are no hospital provisions
whatever. We earnestly recommend the establishment of field hospitals at
San Xavier and at Indian Oasis. These hospitals should be of slight
construction, but they are greatly needed for the welfare of the

“_Liquor._ The Indians living on the Papago Reservation and on the
public domain seem to be well protected because of their remoteness from
white settlements, their own good habits, the vigilance of the Agency
officers, and the influence of the missionaries. The Indians living near
Tucson, Casa Grande or Maricopa are much more exposed to temptation and
are too often demoralized and vicious.

“_Native Industries._ It is highly desirable that the Papagoes should be
encouraged both in the industries by which they have always sustained
themselves and also in the arts which they practice. They are remarkably
successful desert cultivators. They have more to teach Whites about
desert farming than the Whites can teach them. Nevertheless, there are
certain methods of farming which can be brought to their attention by
skilful and tactful Government farmers, and we commend the present
activity of these officers. In particular the Indians can be helped in
the use and conservation of water, and in the securing of water for
domestic purposes apart from its use for stock. The Superintendent of
Irrigation has now at his disposal a small appropriation which he is
using to discover and develop new sources of water supply and in
teaching the Indians to separate their own drinking-water from the water
used for the stock.



  On an allotment near Wewoka, Okla.

“The Papago Indians are at present a primitive, but self-supporting
people. The Government does very little for them. Their livelihood is
now seriously threatened. A failure on the part of the Government to
protect them in their land and water rights, will be most disastrous.
The Indians will become homeless outcasts and a menace to all southern
Arizona. There is abundant evidence to justify the conviction that
neglect of the Papagoes at this time will result in the corruption and
degradation of these worthy Indians, and write another chapter of
disgrace in the history of our dealings with our Indian wards. Now,
before irreparable harm is done, is the time to act. An ounce of
prevention now, will be worth pounds of cure later. To prevent the
threatening abuse, to protect these deserving Indians and to promote
their permanent welfare, it is necessary; 1st, To establish Executive
Order Reservations on that part of the public domain where some 5000
Papagoes have always made their homes, and provide for their efficient
administration. 2nd, To extend the trust patents of the Indians holding
allotments at San Xavier and provide for the adequate irrigation of
their lands. 3rd, To establish schools at Indian Oasis and Coyote, and
hospitals at San Xavier and Indian Oasis.”

The Pueblos present a very interesting spectacle. Living as they do in a
number of stone and adobe villages, carrying on a highly developed
communistic life, practicing ceremonies the like of which does not exist
elsewhere in America, if anywhere in the world—they have been the
subject of numerous ethnological investigations. Mrs. Matilda Stevenson
published a volume through the Bureau of American Ethnology relating to
the ethnology of these strange folk. The late Frank Hamilton Cushing
lived for years in Zuni Pueblo, was adopted, mastered the language,
joined the secret society, and presented us with a great deal of
valuable and technical information. After Cushing’s death, Doctor J.
Walter Fewkes spent years in studying the various Pueblos. Mr. Charles
L. Owen of the Field Museum, Chicago, and other investigators have
approached the subject from various angles. We have, all told, a score
of books relating to the life and beliefs of the Pueblos; their famous
snake dance has been repeatedly described until it would seem that not a
single detail has escaped publication. Others have concerned themselves
with Pueblo arts, the origin of the Pueblo and the relation between the
Pueblo and the Cliff Dweller. Few tribes in America have been more
thoroughly studied, and it is safe to say that the various departments
of the Smithsonian Institution, the past thirty years, have published
5,000 or more pages relating to these people. As the peculiar customs
are handed down from antiquity, we shall study them in detail at some
future time and adhere to our rule of confining this book to the modern
Pueblo. The following report submitted by Messrs. Eliot and Ketcham is
self-explanatory and covers their activities, their needs, and warns us
against the dangers with which they are threatened.

“_Land._ The primary need of all the Pueblos is for a determination of
the boundaries of their grants. The encroachment of squatters on the
Indian lands is constantly increasing and producing friction and
litigation. These trespassers are not always blameworthy because the
limits of the Indian lands are so indistinct. There is urgent need of
surveys and of definite marks or bounds with indestructible monuments.
When these have been established, vigorous action should be taken for
the eviction of trespassers who have not established a legal right to
occupancy. We earnestly recommend an appropriation for the immediate
survey of all the Pueblo grants.

“We recommend an Act of Congress prohibiting any Pueblo Indian from
selling land. Such an Act will prevent endless misunderstandings and
litigation. All the land problems of the Pueblos would be settled by
accepting the proposal of the Indians to place all their lands in trust
with the Department of the Interior. We believe this proposed course of
action to be wise and just.

“The liquor question is at the front in nearly every pueblo. Illegal
selling and bootlegging are very prevalent and as a rule public opinion
among the Indians does not condemn the use of liquor. In spite of the
vigilance of the officers of the Government bad whiskey is demoralizing
many of these Indians. The efforts of the Superintendents and their
policemen for the suppression of this traffic should be heartily
supported by the Indian Office and the superintendents should be
authorized to employ additional policemen.

“The prosecution and punishment of land thieves and liquor sellers put a
very heavy burden upon the attorney for the Indians. We particularly
commend the able, alert and disinterested service of Mr. Francis C.
Wilson, who with very small resources has been remarkably successful in
protecting the Indians and punishing those who would rob or degrade
them. We earnestly recommend that his salary be put at $3,000 and that
at least $1,000 be allowed him for the prosecution of the suits now

“We commend the good sense, vigor and assiduity of Superintendents
Perry, Lonergan, Coggeshall and Mr. Snyder. They understand these
Indians and without pampering or pauperizing them have their real
interests at heart.

“_Irrigation._ Owing to the sandy nature of the soil of the Rio Grande
Valley the seepage from the irrigation canals is excessive. We recommend
that the canals at Isleta and Laguna, where conditions are particularly
bad, be concreted. A reservoir is urgently needed at Taos.

“_Health._ In spite of pernicious inbreeding and unsanitary conditions
the health of the Pueblos is comparatively good. Instruction is needed
in elementary sanitation.



  Modern Indian pictographs in the rear. 1902. Photograph by E. R.

“_Education._ While heartily commending the work and efficiency of the
boarding schools at Albuquerque and Santa Fe, we are clearly of the
opinion that the best education for these Indians can be obtained in the
day schools. Boarding schools are well adapted to nomadic Indians, but
the Pueblos have always lived in permanent villages and the best schools
for them are the day schools in or immediately adjoining the villages.
The new day schools are well planned, but there is urgent need of more
of them. The school accommodations at Isleta are a disgrace to the
Government. They are unsafe and unsanitary and there is not room for
half the children of school age. New school buildings should also be
provided at Acoma, Acomita and Encinal. A farmer is greatly needed to
give agricultural instruction at Isleta and Laguna. The needs of the
boarding schools have been sufficiently set forth in the recommendations
of the superintendents. We especially commend the application for
appropriations to buy additional land at Albuquerque and to build a
dairy barn at Santa Fe.

“We recommend the applications of Superintendents Lonergan and
Coggeshall for additional policemen, and for authority to hire laborers
when needed. It is absurd to have to request a physician to milk the cow
or for a superintendent to personally have to carry the chain for his

“The training of the Pueblo Indians for life in a civilized environment
must be slow. Their inherited habits and customs are exceedingly rigid
and their prejudices are stubborn. The educated or progressive Indians
among them have now a very hard road to travel. They need not only moral
support, but sometimes actual physical protection. The superintendents
should be encouraged tactfully but firmly to break up the personal
despotism which often rules the villages, to protect the right of the
individual to personal liberty, to insist upon the gradual adaptation of
the pueblo life to its new environment. The Pueblos are now in a
transition stage. They cannot pass through it without some bitter
feelings and some hard experiences. They need the consistent,
sympathetic, courageous leadership of their guardians, in whose good
intentions they are beginning to trust.”

In closing the chapter on the desert Indians I desire to suggest that
the older Pueblos be permitted to continue their weaving and
pottery-making in their own way. It is perfectly proper to train the
young in our arts, but the superb native arts of the old Indians should
be encouraged. With the death of these old people, the art will
deteriorate and disappear. I mention this particularly for the reason
that several well-meaning, but misguided persons sent one or two
representatives to Zuni and attempted to instruct the women in the
manufacture of pottery. They even persuaded them to glaze the pottery
and to make tiles. The movement, if continued on a large scale, would
result in ruining an art which is fast disappearing.

The population is about stationary. The ceremonies of the antelope and
snake societies are becoming more and more public. Recent photographs of
them show hundreds of white persons, teams and automobiles, and
admission is now charged, for the dances and attendant ceremonies are
fast becoming commercialized. They have persisted because of the curious
life of these people—a people who live, as it were, in a different
world. With the extension of education, the allotment system, and the
continual effort of Government employees to break down the old and
insert the new, the real life of the Pueblos will soon pass away


Footnote 42:

  Vol. I. pages 63–66.


This fighting man was for many years feared and hated. He was not a
docile person, and his tribe did not tamely submit to kicks and
curses—the treatment meted out to his more gentle red brothers in
California and Arizona. They were despised, trodden under foot, cast
aside; not so with the Apaches and Geronimo. It required more than two
years’ labor on the part of hundreds of our cavalry to catch him, and
when he surrendered there were but seventy-four in his band.

Now that everything regarding the Indian is being made public, I deem it
important that the true history of Geronimo be set forth.

In 1905 this chief published the story of his life. His book is a
remarkable production, and gives the Indian point of view, which is rare

Mr. Barrett, who wrote the story at Geronimo’s dictation, had much
trouble with the War Department. Officers objected to the narrative, and
he was compelled to secure permission from President Roosevelt. Even
then the War Department advised against publication.

The history of the Apaches dates from the time of Coronado, who is
supposed to have penetrated their country in 1541–’43 when he marched
north in search of the fabled “seven cities of Cibola.” There is no
record of the Apaches, or any other Indians for that matter, beginning
hostilities against the Spaniards. After Coronado, the Spaniards and the
Apaches were at war for three centuries. The Spaniards pursued their
usual policy in dealing with these people, and the latter returned an
eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth. Geronimo and his people had
abundant cause for their hatred of the Spaniards. It was a different
story in Arizona and northern Mexico from that of California and central
Mexico. Today the California Indians are paupers, and the gentle Aztecs
have long since perished, but the sturdy Apaches remain and live in more
or less prosperity on their several reservations.



  Photographed at Fort Sill, Oklahoma, about 1905

Geronimo says he was born in Arizona in 1829.[44] On the death of his
father, Mangus-Colorado became chief of the Bedonkoke Apaches, to which
band the subject of this sketch belonged. When a half-grown boy,
Geronimo assumed the care of his mother, and in 1846 he joined the
council of the warriors. Soon after this he married Alope and three
children were born during the next few years. In 1858, when he was
twenty-nine, his band went into Mexico to trade. One afternoon while
Geronimo and the other men were returning from a visit, they were met by
crying women and children who told them that the Mexicans had attacked
the camp—a peaceful camp—and had massacred the men and most of the women
and children. Geronimo lost his aged mother, his wife and his three
small children.

They decided to retreat to Arizona and as the Mexicans were searching
for survivors in order to kill them, the remaining Apaches traveled all
night. The mourning period, according to Indian etiquette, prevented
Geronimo, who had lost more relatives than anyone else, from eating or
speaking. He traveled two days and three nights without food and did not
open his mouth until the third day. I quote from his book:—

“Within a few days we arrived at our own settlement. There were the
decorations that Alope had made—and there were the playthings of our
little ones. I burned them all, even our tipi. I also burned my mother’s
lodge and destroyed all her property.

“I was never again contented in our quiet home. True, I could visit my
father’s grave, but I had vowed vengeance upon the Mexican troopers who
had wronged me, and whenever I came near his grave or saw anything to
remind me of former happy days, my heart would ache for revenge upon

The Apaches collected arms and supplies. Geronimo visited other bands of
his tribe, and in the summer of 1859, a year later, a large force (on
foot) entered Old Mexico. They went light, and without horses, for
strategic reasons. Knowing the country thoroughly—every water-hole,
mountain and valley—they could trail unobserved. On horseback they must
follow certain known trails, whereas on foot the band could scatter,
travel singly and meet at a common rendezvous. It was well-nigh
impossible to follow unmounted Apaches, as all the military reports
admit. They invariably scattered and sought the most inaccessible,
waterless mountain ranges.

Geronimo acted as guide, and near Arispe eight men came out from the
village and were killed by the Apaches. The next day the Mexican troops
attacked. Geronimo says that in one part of the field four Indians,
including himself, were charged by four soldiers and in the final fight,
two of the Indians were killed and the four troopers were slain, two of
them by Geronimo himself.

The art of trailing was developed among the Apaches and Comanches more
than among other Indians on this continent. Possibly a few Delawares
might be excepted. The success of Geronimo’s operations, as well as
those of his able lieutenants, Cochise, Naiche, Mangus-Colorado, was
chiefly due to the fact that the trail was to them an open book. As an
illustration of the skill of the desert Indians in this respect, I would
cite the case of Pedro Espinosa, who, when nine years old was captured
by the Comanche and for years lived with the Comanches and Apaches.
Colonel Dodge says of him that he was a marvel even to the Indians
themselves, and relates this incident:

“I was once sent in pursuit of a party of murdering Comanches, who had
been pursued, scattered, and the trail abandoned by a company of
so-called Texas rangers. On the eighth day after the scattering,
Espinosa took the trail of a single shod horse. When we were fairly into
the rough, rocky Guadalope Mountains, he stopped, dismounted, and picked
up from the foot of a tree the four shoes of the horse ridden by the
Indian. With a grim smile he handed them to me, and informed me that the
Indian intended to hide his trail. For six days we journeyed over the
roughest mountains, turning and twisting in apparently the most
objectless way, not a man in the whole command being able to discover,
sometimes for hours, a single mark by which Espinosa might direct
himself. Sometimes I lost patience, and demanded that he show us what he
was following. ‘Poco tiempo,’ he would blandly answer, and in a longer
or shorter time, show me the clear-cut footprints of the horse in the
soft bank of some mountain stream, or point with his long wiping-stick
to most unmistakable ‘sign’ in the droppings of the horse. Following the
devious windings of this trail for nearly a hundred and fifty miles,
scarcely ever at a loss, and only once or twice dismounting, more
closely to examine the ground, he finally brought me to where the
Indians had reunited.”

On another occasion, the Indians had fired the prairie to hide their
trail. The officer in despair went to camp. Espinosa, after working over
the ground carefully on his hands and knees, blew away the light ashes
until sufficient prints were found to show the direction of the trail.
He was compelled to make several circuits, covering a total of six or
seven miles, and after weary hours spent in this work, the troops were
able to pursue and capture the Indians. Espinosa and the Apaches once
found a trail after dark by feeling of the ground with their fingers.
This remarkable man, at the outbreak of the Civil War, was selected to
carry dispatches from Union men in San Antonio to Colonel Reeve. He was
captured and shot to death. The account presented by Dodge of Espinosa
is very interesting and indicates that this unknown man in Plains
knowledge was far in advance of the white scouts of which we have heard
so much. The Apaches recognized that their only weakness lay in their
trail, and they tried by every means to conceal it.

The next few years Geronimo led several expeditions into Mexico,
sometimes being defeated, on other occasions returning with much plunder
and many scalps. During his career as a fighting man he was wounded
seven times. Once, he was left for dead, on the field.

In 1861 the Mexicans attacked an Apache winter village, killing men,
women and children.

In 1864, while raiding in Mexico, Geronimo’s people captured a mule pack
train. Some of the mules were loaded with mescal—an intoxicating drink
of the Mexicans. The Apaches began drinking this and Geronimo, fearing
the consequences, poured out all of the liquor. On this occasion he
captured a herd of cattle, drove the cattle to Arizona, killed them, and
dried the meat for winter use.

Geronimo emphasizes in his book something unknown to the general public.
Many outlaws, both Americans and Mexicans, stole cattle and committed
robberies during these troublous years and the blame was always placed
on the Apaches. In spite of all that has been said, the latter were not
without their virtues, as the following anecdote attests.

In 1883 two young men from the East, while prospecting in the mountains,
saw an old Apache and a young man, apparently his son. In attempting to
retreat to camp, one of the white men fell and broke his leg. The old
warrior examined the broken limb, removed the shirt of the uninjured
youth, tore it up and carefully bound the broken member. Then the old
warrior, indicating the direction with his finger said:
“Doctor—Lordsburg—three days,” and silently rode away.

Up to 1870 the Apaches had had little trouble with the white people,
although in 1841, according to testimony presented by Mrs. Jackson, they
had abundant grounds for hostility.[45]

It was not until the 30th of April, 1871, that the real trouble began,
The massacre at Camp Grant, in Arizona, of several hundred friendly
Apaches, men, women and children, brought on hostilities.

Beyond question, this and several subsequent raids on the part of white
people, were responsible for the attitude of Geronimo, Victorio and
Cochise. In 1873 and again in 1880 there was hard fighting in Mexico. In
1884 Geronimo was head war chief, and fought his heaviest engagements.
How many men were killed in these actions is not stated.

In the early sixties United States troops invited the Apache chiefs into
a tent under promise, Geronimo states, that they were to be given a
feast. Geronimo says: “When in the tent they were attacked by soldiers.
Our chief, Mangus-Colorado, and several other warriors, by cutting
through the tent, escaped; but most of the warriors were killed or
captured.” Heavy fighting followed. Such Apaches as spoke English
visited the officers and advised them where were located camps they
sought, and while the soldiers hunted for these camps, Geronimo and his
warriors, “watched them from our hiding-places and laughed at their

In 1863 the favorite chief, Mangus-Colorado, was put in the guardhouse.
He had been told by General West that he would be protected if he made
peace. As the old chief entered he said: “This is my end.” During the
night some one threw a stone through the window and struck him in the
breast. He sprang up, and as he did so the guard shot and killed him.

In the seventies the United States troops sent for Victorio and
Geronimo. As soon as they entered the camp they were taken to
headquarters and tried by court-martial. Victorio was released and
Geronimo was put in chains, remaining in shackles four months.

For the next ensuing years there was considerable fighting, the Apaches
being afraid to trust the United States authorities and the frontier
element anxious that the Apaches be exterminated. Our troops
occasionally defeated the Indians but were more often repulsed. General
Crook took away the Apaches’ cattle and horses, and as few of the
Apaches were horse Indians, preferring to fight or hunt on foot, and as
the cattle were an incentive to thrift and industry, this action of
General Crook’s was not a severe blow to the Indians.

The General followed the Apaches into Mexico and held an interview. I
quote Geronimo’s description of what occurred.[46]

“Said the General: ‘Why did you leave the reservation?’

“I said: ‘You told me that I might live in the reservation the same as
white people lived. One year I raised a crop of corn, and gathered and
stored it, and the next year I put in a crop of oats, and when the crop
was almost ready to harvest, you told your soldiers to put me in prison,
and if I resisted to kill me. If I had been let alone I would now have
been in good circumstances, but instead of that you and the Mexicans
were hunting me with soldiers.’

“He said: ‘I never gave any such orders; the troops at Fort Apache, who
spread this report, knew that it was untrue.’

“Then I agreed to go back with him to San Carlos.

“It was hard for me to believe him at that time. Now I know that what he
said was untrue, and I firmly believe that he did issue the orders for
me to be put in prison, or to be killed in case I offered resistance.”



On the return march, the Indians left General Crook’s command and fled.
Geronimo became “a bad Indian” in every sense of the word. He says: “We
were reckless of our lives, because we felt that every man’s hand was
against us. If we returned to the reservation we would be put in prison
and killed: if we stayed in Mexico they would continue to send soldiers
to fight us; so we gave no quarter to anyone and asked no favors.”

The American troops in one action killed seven children, five women and
four men. Again, three Apache children were slain. Later, all Geronimo’s
family was captured.

Naiche, son of the famous fighting chief, Cochise, fought for years with
Geronimo and surrendered when further resistance was useless.

The end came suddenly. Geronimo, driven from one side of the
American-Mexican border to the other, found no rest for his band, and
told Captain Lawton’s scouts that he would surrender to General Miles
under certain conditions. When Geronimo met General Miles, the
interpreter said, “General Miles is your friend.” Even in so critical a
situation his grim humor asserted itself. Geronimo retorted, “I never
saw him, but I have been in need of friends. Why has he not been with

According to the narrative of the Indian chief and other witnesses,
Geronimo was to live with his family and be supported by the Government,
under certain restrictions. “I said to General Miles: ‘All the officers
that have been in charge of Indians have talked that way and it sounds
like a story to me; I hardly believe you.’

“He said: ‘This time it is the truth.’”

Geronimo gave up his arms saying:

“‘I will quit the warpath and live at peace hereafter.’”

“Then General Miles swept a spot of ground clear with his hand and said:

“‘Your past deeds shall be wiped out like this, and you will start a new

It is unfortunate that when the Apaches were taken East, not only the
hostiles but also a few friendlies and some who had helped the troops,
were also deported. They were imprisoned in Florida, and Geronimo made
to labor sawing large logs. One or two of the warriors committed
suicide. After some years the prisoners were removed to Fort Sill.
Geronimo often complained that the Government did not keep the terms of
the Miles surrender. I have never heard that General Miles tried to
right this wrong. If he did, I stand corrected.

Geronimo did not see his family for two years—contrary to the terms of
the surrender.

The foregoing sums up in a brief way the career of Geronimo. Under
similar circumstances any white man of spirit and independence, and who
was not a coward, would become “a bad Indian.” After many appeals by the
Board of Indian Commissioners, the Indian Rights Association and others,
these Apache prisoners were removed to their ancient homes. About
seventy elected to remain near Fort Sill, Okla., and have been given

Practically all of them are doing well—industrious and capable.


Footnote 43:

  Geronimo, the story of his life, Recorded by S. W. Barrett. New York,

Footnote 44:

  1834, according to Mooney, in Handbook of American Indians, page 491.

Footnote 45:

  Century of Dishonor, page 325.

Footnote 46:

  Geronimo, the Story of his life, Recorded by S. M. Barrett, New York,
  1906, page 138.

                        CHAPTER XXIV. THE NAVAHO

The great Shoshonean and Athapascan stocks extended from the Northwest
down into the Southwest. The States of Nevada, Utah, Arizona, New
Mexico, southwestern Colorado, western Texas and southern California
prior to 1860 were known as the “Great American Desert.” The Yuman,
Piman and Athapascan, together with a few lesser stocks, inhabited this
great region. Chief of the desert tribes is the Navaho. Doctor
Washington Matthews has presented considerable literature in the
American Anthropologist and elsewhere on this interesting folk; Oscar H.
Lipps published a history of the Navaho in 1909; George Wharton James,
Esq., refers to them at considerable length in his publications. The
Franciscan Fathers, having a mission at St. Michaels, Arizona, published
in 1910 a complete ethnologic dictionary of the Navaho customs, legends,
and gave large numbers of sentences. This also contained a bibliography
of some length. Doctor George W. Pepper of the University of
Pennsylvania Museum published a very interesting article on “The Making
of a Navaho Blanket” in _Everybody’s Magazine_, January, 1902. A volume
giving details of blanket and wool industry among the Navaho has just
been written by George Wharton James, Esq., entitled “Indian Blankets
and Their Makers”. This volume of 213 large pages contains many colored
plates and is the most comprehensive treatment of the Navaho
blanket-weaving industry ever published.

The Navaho are the only really unspoiled Indians left in America, and I
trust that readers will pardon repetition, when I again urge that they
be let alone to work out their own salvation. That is, while certain
safeguards are necessary, we should realize our incompetency and
ignorance—not to use a stronger term—in handling the natives of
Oklahoma, Minnesota and California, and not repeat our blunders in the
“benevolent assimilation” of these intelligent, industrious, and moral
people. Here is one splendid racial stock that has thus far escaped the
blight of our bureaucracy. The Navaho still stands, frightened, gazing
in at the threshold of our civilization. He sees the greed of the white
settler for his possessions.

There have been a number of reports on the Navaho, in addition to the
ethnological and popular works cited. Any one of these will give readers
a fair conception of conditions among these Indians.

Rev. Anselm Weber of the Franciscan Mission published a pamphlet on July
25, 1914. The Indian Rights Association has also taken up officially
these Indians in its annual reports, the past two or three years.
Honorable F. H. Abbott, Secretary of the Board of Indian Commissioners,
visited the Navaho and made specific recommendations as to allotment and
irrigation plans. In December-January, 1913–14, Rev. Samuel A. Eliot and
Rev. William H. Ketcham, members of the Board of Indian Commissioners,
officially visited the Navaho and made a report to the Secretary of the
Interior. Rev. W. R. Johnson, missionary located at Indian Wells,
Arizona, has repeatedly urged in public addresses at Lake Mohonk and
elsewhere the need of proper protection of this, the finest body of
aboriginal men and women remaining in North America.

It is not necessary to go back to 1850, to state that these Indians were
in a satisfactory condition. They _are_ in a satisfactory condition
today, and are the only band of Indians so situated in this country. The
number of them is said by Father Weber to be about 25,000. Rev. Johnson,
who traveled extensively over the reservation, claims there are 28,000.
Taking into consideration several thousand that live off the reservation
on the public domain, there are at least 30,000 Navaho today. The number
of sheep they possess has been variously estimated from one million to
two million head. The number of blankets the women wove last year, no
man may know, but the value of the blanket industry is upwards of a
million dollars per annum. A few years ago, Commissioner Valentine
stated that the Navaho sold $800,000 worth of blankets. It must be
remembered that many of their blankets are sold north of the San Juan
river and elsewhere off the reservation, and that traveling traders and
buyers continually penetrate beyond the borders of the reserve. The
totals obtained by superintendents, teachers and white employees, is
doubtless far below the actual volume of business.

As everyone knows, the reservation is a part of our famous “painted
desert”. It is exceedingly diversified in character, the landscape
varying from high mesas to deep canons; from towering mountains to
stretches of desert. Fortunately, no mineral deposits aside from coal
have been discovered. On three separate occasions, in the ’60’s, ’70’s
and ’80’s, prospectors, in defiance of law, entered the Navaho
reservation in search of gold, silver or copper. When I was conducting
the cliff-dweller expeditions along the San Juan in 1892 and again in
1897, several of the “oldtimers” informed me that these prospectors were
never heard of afterward. Accompanying the last expedition, there were
several men from north of Durango, Colorado, and their friends
threatened reprisals on the Navaho, alleging that the Indians had killed
these prospectors. However, aside from talk, nothing was done, the men
never returned, and the Indians remained in peaceful possession of their
estate. It was considered, in the ’70’s and ’80’s “bad medicine” for
white men to depart from certain Navaho trails!

The Navaho reservation embraces 11,887,793 acres, of which approximately
719,360 acres belong to the Santa Fe Pacific Railroad Company, and
approximately 55,400 acres to the State of Arizona, leaving 11,113,033
acres. Consequently, if you take the very conservative figure of 25,000
Navahos and 11,113,033 acres belonging to them, you would have 444 acres
to the person. But as four-fifths is high, dry mesa or absolute desert,
the statement often made that each Indian might have 444 acres is
misleading. Each Indian could not have (average) more than twelve or
fifteen acres of pasture land.

The Navaho are the only large body of Indians in the United States who
keep up ancient customs, arts and ceremonies. They not only enjoy a
great variety of games and sports, but they are probably the best and
strongest long-distance runners in America. Mr. Lipps has given a very
entertaining account of their games, etc., in his book, to which I have
referred on a previous page.

They are exceedingly adverse to burying their dead and are quite willing
that white people should perform this service for them. Of all the
remaining Indian tribes, they furnish the best field for investigation
at the present time. Much has been written concerning them, but it will
require additional researches in order to complete a satisfactory study
of their ethnology.

On the death of the head of the family, his property “descends to his
brothers, sisters, uncles and aunts to the exclusion of his wife and
children, a custom which is often very harmful in its effects, since if
the wife should happen not to be possessed of some property in her own
right she and her children are made to suffer penury and want.”[47]

In past years a number of the older men possessed two or three wives.
Polygamy was to be expected, for the Mormons settled north of the San
Juan, (Utah), long before white settlers came from the East. Although
the Navaho probably believed in polygamy long ago, only those who were
well-to-do had more than one wife, and the increase in polygamous
marriages was undoubtedly due to the example set by the Mormons.

The Government has taken steps to wipe out this practice and no more
plural marriages are permitted. Men having more than one wife have been
encouraged to give up their plural wives, and this has been done in some
cases, mainly where there are no children by the marriage.



The Navaho are invariably kind and considerate to each other, and their
family life is of higher plane than among most Indians. The children are
seldom punished, for the good reason that they do not merit punishment.
In the case of very old persons, it is sometimes observed that the
children do not love and protect them as completely as might be

The chief taboo of the Navaho is the fish. Under no circumstances will a
Navaho eat fish. He believes that upon the death of a very evil person,
the spirit enters the body of a fish, hence his utter horror and hatred
of the finny tribe. An Indian student entered Phillips Academy, Andover,
some years ago. He was employed in the dining hall and thus earned his
tuition. He informed me that his most disagreeable duty, and that which
he loathed, was the preparation of fish for the weekly Friday dinner.

When we were in camp at Chaco canon in 1897, the Navaho came to us in
large numbers at meal time. Our larder rapidly diminished. Something
must be done. The cook found that one of the packing boxes had a large
blue codfish stamped on the side. He placed this box out in plain view
and the Indians who had assembled to eat supper with us withdrew to
their own camps.

The Navaho had carried on raids against the Mexicans and the frontier of
Texas for many years. In 1863 a party of men led by the famous scout,
Kit Karson, invaded their territory and killed a large number of
Indians. All of the Navaho that could be captured were taken East to the
Rio Pecos. Here they were kept until 1867 under military guard, when
they were restored to their country and given a large flock of sheep. In
1869 the Government assembled all these Indians and having difficulty to
enumerate them because of their nomadic habits, resorted to a novel
stratagem. The people were crowded in an enormous corral, and counted as
they entered. The Handbook of American Indians states that there were
some fewer than 9,000. I cannot believe that this estimate was accurate,
for it would be impossible for troops to round up all the Navaho.
Doubtless, many fled north of the San Juan, or west to the Colorado, on
the appearance of the troops.

They are very highly religious people and possess thousands of
significant songs and prayers. The Handbook states that some of the
ceremonies continue for nine nights, and that it is necessary for the
shamans to spend years of study in order to become perfectly familiar
with the complicated ritual.

The Indians were much crowded before permitted to settle upon public
lands. To meet this need, Commissioner Leupp in 1908 extended the
reservation. Father Weber covers all the details in his excellent
pamphlet. The white cattlemen and their friends set up a great
uproar, indignation meetings were held, and Congress was importuned
to prevent the Indians from living on the public domain. In fact,
all sorts of pressure was brought to bear to reduce the size of the
reservation—although it was manifestly too small. None of the
Mexicans and Americans, for whom the business men and politicians of
the southwest were so concerned, were living on the tracts they
sought to control. On the contrary they lived in towns or
settlements removed from the Indian country, and simply ranged their
sheep and cattle over these tracts in charge of herders and cowboys.
The Indians, the Navaho, against whom this hue and cry was raised,
actually had their homes upon the tracts, and were dependent upon
them for their living. Many of them lived in the same place for two
or three generations. During all the disputes, no one was shot, and
no violence occurred. Yet all that was possible was done to mislead
Congress, as the following speech attests.



  Photograph by E. R. Forrest.

“I want to say to the Senator (Bristow) that possibly he does not
understand the conditions as they exist in our country. Possibly he is
not aware of the fact that every year, two or three times a year, these
Indians are allowed to go from their immensely rich reserves to
interfere with white men, American citizens, on the public domain,
causing the killing of anywhere from one to a dozen people. This is an
unfortunate condition of affairs. I can say to the Senator that we
people down in our section of the country can deal with these conditions
if we are compelled to; but this sometimes becomes a question of all a
man has—of his property rights, of protection to his family and his
children. Any white man, any American citizen, will then use such force
as is necessary in protecting his family. All that we seek to do is to
restrict the further location of these Indians upon the public domain
until Congress can act again. The committee is being appointed, and I
presume this matter will be investigated. It has been investigated
before, and reports made, and no action taken. But this must cease; it
must stop; and I tell the Senator from Kansas that it will
stop.”—(_Congressional Record_, June 17, 1913, page 2320).

Father Weber’s comment on it is very apropos:—

“I regret that a Senator made this statement. I have been among the
Navaho for sixteen years, and I know of not one single instance where a
white man was killed on account of Navahos leaving the reservation, or
on account of any grazing or land disputes. If every year the killing of
from one to a dozen is occasioned by Navaho leaving their reserve, how
is it that no one knows anything about it?”[48]

In past years I have traveled a good deal over the Navaho reservation.
Recently one of my friends, J. Weston Allen, Esq., of Boston, on behalf
of the Boston Indian Citizenship Committee, of which he is
vice-chairman, made a tour of investigation through the Navaho country,
and the conditions as he found them were incorporated in an able report
to the Secretary of the Interior. Major William T. Shelton, the
Superintendent at Shiprock, who has long lived with these Indians, while
differing in some details from the views of Mr. Sniffen, Rev. Johnson
and Honorable F. H. Abbott, yet agrees with them in the main issue that
the Navaho should not be too much superintended. All he needs is
protection—not charity, suggestion, nor interference with his industry.
Doctor W. W. Wallace, who has been a trader among the Navaho since 1890,
writes me that the Indians have steadily progressed, that they ask no
favors, and all they desire is to be permitted to continue on their
successful way. My own observation leads me to believe that the
reservation should not be reduced; allotments must not be made in any
event until irrigation has disclosed the land values; more schools
should be established, and above all dams should be erected to store
water during the spring floods so that more acres may be brought under
cultivation. There are vast possibilities for irrigation in the Navaho
country, as Mr. Abbott has pointed out. The last investigation by two
members of our Board (Ketcham and Eliot) was important, and I present
two of the seven recommendations they strongly urged.

“_Allotment._ We are thoroughly convinced that the time has not yet come
for the allotment of the Indians on the reservation. The Navaho is
proceeding along the way of civilization as fast as he can safely
travel. He is independent and self-supporting. He is steadily improving
his dwelling, his stock and his method of farming. He is learning
English, sending his children to school, and increasingly following the
advice of the white physicians. He is developing his own water
resources, forming good industrial habits and gradually adopting white
standards of domestic life. Following their own customs, the Indians
divide their common resources with remarkable fairness and live
peaceably with one another and with the Whites. They must be permitted
slowly to come into an understanding of our customs of private land
ownership and inheritance. There is nothing to be gained by hurrying
that process. Allotment on the reservation should not be thought of for
a good many years to come.

“We are impressed with the exceptional opportunity of the Navaho
reservation for the work of field matrons and recommend that an
additional force be provided for. The field matrons should work in close
cooperation with superintendents, teachers and physicians.

“In general we believe that the condition of the Navaho is promising.
The people are virile, industrious and independent. With the exercise of
ordinary good judgment, patience and tact, there need never be any
serious problem in connection with their development.”

Doctor Joseph K. Dixon, representing the Wanamaker Expedition, visited
the “painted desert”. He took some remarkable motion pictures of Navaho
herders driving thousands of sheep down to the waterholes. As I observed
these pictures, portraying the peaceful, industrious life of these red
nomads of the desert, I wished fondly that all men and women unable to
observe Indian life as it is in the Southwest, might see them. They
recalled many interesting days spent among these sturdy folk. The
natives living as do the Navaho, present an object lesson to all
“reformers”, and it is to be devoutly hoped that we will heed the lesson
and “let well enough alone.” To do otherwise will destroy the initiative
of a self-supporting and upright people, and deprive the world of a
primitive stock of exceptional physical stamina and mental ability.

Mr. Allen’s report to the Secretary of the Interior and the Boston
Indian Citizenship Committee cannot be reproduced at length, much to my
regret, but I herewith append certain sections, as it is a splendid
presentation of the Navaho situation and includes valuable
recommendations to meet the needs of these Indians.

“Three obvious difficulties immediately present themselves when any plan
of Navaho settlement is considered—(1) the great inequality of the land
for grazing purposes; (2) the scarcity of water, and the fact that much
of the land is far distant from the nearest water supply; (3) the
existence of summer and winter ranges and the removal of the sheep from
place to place under the changing conditions of different seasons of the

“Of the inequality of the land for grazing purposes, it is sufficient to
say that there are vast areas of rock and sand where an allotment of 160
acres would not support a single sheep. Of the inaccessibility of water,
it may be similarly stated that there are sections of land within the
reservation which are so far from water during the dry season that sheep
would die from exhaustion before they could reach it. Of the necessity
of moving the sheep from one part of the reservation to another, it is
perhaps sufficient to point out that in the winter the sheep must have
the protection of the sheltered valleys and in the summer they are
driven by the heat and the scarcity of water into the mountains.

“A matter of far greater importance in the consideration of any
equitable allotment is the determination of the location and extent of
the land within the limitations of the reservation which can be claimed
by irrigation.”

Mr. Allen points out the difficulties in allotting a nomadic people
permanent homes. He is opposed to any allotment under existing
conditions. It may have to come in time, doubtless prematurely as in the
case of other reservations, but on the Navaho reservation there are
difficulties which have not been encountered in our experience with
other tribes.

Mr. Allen’s report may be summed up as follows:—There should be a
commission appointed composed of engineers and stockmen to thoroughly
investigate the possibilities of the reservation, both through means of
storage dams to conserve the mountain freshets in the springtime, and
also to divert the water from the rivers as is being done along the San
Juan river to the north. This stream carries a large volume of water,
and although there are many white persons living north of the river in
Utah and New Mexico and much water is used, the river is very high from
May 1st to July 1st. It therefore affords great possibilities in the way
of water storage.

He recommends a detailed study of the coalbeds and timber tracts on the
reservation, and the improvement of the Navaho sheep, by the
introduction of better stock.



  Photographed by E. R. Forrest; 1902

While tuberculosis is found in about 10% of the Navaho, trachoma is much
more prevalent, and he records the usual story of afflicted Indian
children, men and women. The hospital facilities are totally inadequate.
There is a hospital at Indian Wells, Arizona, maintained by the National
Indian Association, an Episcopal hospital near Fort Defiance, while
another is maintained by the Presbyterians at Ganado. The only large
hospital with adequate equipment is at the Government school at Fort
Defiance. Doctor Wigglesworth, physician in charge, who has won the
confidence of these Indians by long years of constant labor among them,
does all in his power to alleviate distress, but the field is entirely
too extensive to be covered by one man. Mrs. Mary L. Eldridge, for many
years in charge of a mission near Farmington, N. M., does medical work
among the Indians. There is a small Government hospital at Shiprock.

The medicine men cause the Government officials and missionaries a great
deal of trouble. Mr. Allen presents a number of incidents in his reports
explaining their activities. Many Indians will not take treatment in the
hospitals through fear of the shamans, and in more than one instance a
sick Indian has been removed by his friends from the mission hospital
during the night, and carried off to the village where he might be
treated by the shaman.



  This type is inferior in construction to the houses built in
    pre-statehood days.

Educational facilities are inadequate to care for half the children of
school age. In many of the schools, trachoma has afflicted numbers of
the children. When tuberculosis develops among the school children they
are sent home from the school to die without medical attendance. Mr.
Allen suggests that more physicians, qualified to treat trachoma and
tuberculosis, be appointed to service among the Navaho, and that each
one be assigned a territory fifty miles square, with a field sanitarium
located near the center of the territory. He also suggests that young
Navaho women, selected from the larger boarding schools, be trained as
nurses, since many of these Indians do not take kindly to treatment by
white persons, and it is difficult to secure competent nurses who are
willing to remain long in the small frontier hospitals of the Navaho

At Shiprock, Superintendent Shelton has developed a large school with
extensive farms and industrial buildings. The settlement at Shiprock is
justly considered one of the show places in the Indian Service. Here the
desert is made to blossom as the rose. Mr. Shelton admits few small
children in his school and keeps his scholars until they reach adult
age. He is thus able to make a better showing in his farms and gardens
than do those who receive the children at an earlier age, and return
them to their homes after four or five years of training. Mr. Shelton’s
work at Shiprock could now be carried on by some one else, and his
recognized ability used in a new field to develop another section of the
reservation further west. By creating another Shiprock, he could do more
to raise the standard of living among his people.

Superintendent Paquette at Fort Defiance is extending education work
throughout his reservation, and reaches a larger percentage of children
of school age than are being reached elsewhere in the Navaho country.

In concluding his report, Mr. Allen points out the failure of the
returned student to make good and the reasons for it.

“The problem of the returned student is a serious one among the Navaho.
The boys and girls who have been for years in school come back to their
people without a training for taking care of the flocks, and are outdone
by those who remain at home. They are for this reason more or less
looked down upon, with the result that they have no inclination to
continue the habits of study and cleanliness which they have acquired at
school and which are not appreciated in the home. The effort of the old
men of the tribe is to keep the children who return from school from
seeking any higher place than is enjoyed by other members of the family.
If the young men and the young women of the tribe, who have received an
education and who have acquired an appreciation of what they learned in
school, intermarried, the benefits of their education would be more
permanent, but many of the girls upon their return from school are given
in marriage by their parents to old men of the tribe, and many of the
boys return only to find that they are required to marry old women, or
at best, ‘camp girls’ as they are called—the uneducated girls of the
hogan. The inevitable result is that they go back to the old life.”


Footnote 47:

  “A Little History of the Navahos.” Oscar H. Lipps, page 49.

Footnote 48:

  “The Navaho Indians. A Statement of Facts.” Rev. Anselm Weber, O. F.
  M., page 5.


The Indians of the great Northwest, are today of many diversified and
small bands, chief among which are the Crows, Utes, Nez Perces, Paiutes,
Northern Cheyennes, Blackfeet, and Yakimas, and various Columbia River
bands. Linguistically they are Athapascan, Salishan and Shoshonean
stocks with remnants of other stocks along the Pacific coast.
Practically all of them live on reservations. As in the case of the
other tribes described in this volume, the children have been educated,
allotments have been granted to most of the individuals, irrigation
schemes either projected or carried into effect, timber sold, or
Government sawmills established, and the entire life of the Indians
changed. The narrative, therefore, must be along historical and
philanthropic lines rather than ethnologic. True, up to about 1880 many
of these Indians lived in their original condition, and particularly is
this true of the Paiute and Modoc bands located far from the established
routes of travel. The Indians of the Northwest came in contact with the
trappers and gold-hunters flocking to the new country made familiar by
the Lewis and Clark expedition. As an inevitable result, a number of
wars occurred in which all of the Indians were more or less engaged. The
most noted of these was the Nez Perce war of 1877, in which Chief Joseph
led his Indians on a magnificent retreat through the mountains for
upwards of 1100 miles to nearly the Canadian border. The story of our
broken faith with the Nez Perces is set forth in many documents and by
General Howard himself in his book, “Chief Joseph. His Pursuit and

Following the Nez Perce war, in 1878, the Bannock Indians, a numerous
division of the Shoshonean stock, were so harassed by white people that
they went upon the warpath. A number of settlers and soldiers were
killed, and in September, 1878, the outbreak came to an end after the
military had killed all the women and children in a village of twenty

In 1870 the Modocs in southeastern Oregon had obtained a very unsavory
reputation. This was due to their resenting the encroachments of the
Whites. Many settlers, and also friendly Indians, were killed during
various encounters. The trouble culminated in the famous siege of the
lava beds, on the California frontier between Oregon and California.
Here the Indians located in an almost impregnable stronghold and
withstood the attacks of troops from January to April, 1873. Some Peace
Commissioners, headed by General Camby, were sent to treat with the
Indians and these were treacherously murdered. After hard fighting the
stronghold was taken and five of the leaders captured and hanged. Like
other Northwest tribes (except larger bands) the Modocs have so dwindled
in numbers that they now cease to be a factor in Indian life. The
northern Cheyennes now located on a reservation at Lame Deer, Montana,
have long been known as a fighting people. Two generations ago the
Cheyennes were much in evidence with the Sioux and other tribes in an
attempt to prevent the usurpation of their hunting grounds and grazing
lands on the part of the Whites. One of the Department Inspectors
recently visited their reservation and under date of September 17th,
writes me as follows:

“I am very busy and am finding conditions here about as bad as they were
at White Earth except that these Indians have not been allotted and are
not losing their land, but they are just as poor and are eating dogs,
horseflesh, prairie dogs, porcupines and skunks. Conditions are
disgraceful but will be properly presented, you may be sure.”

The Crow Indians, an offshoot of the Siouan stock, in Montana, are
numerically the strongest of any of the mountain tribes. They possess a
very large reservation, abundant grazing lands, timber and agricultural
possibilities. However, as in the case of the Cheyennes, they have been
backward in spite of all efforts on the part of the Government to
educate them. The problem on their reservation relates chiefly to the
grazing privilege. The Indians were leasing a vast tract of land to
white men for the pasturing of cattle and horses at so much per head.
The Whites took advantage of the Indians’ ignorance and it was necessary
for the Indian Rights Association to conduct a thorough investigation. I
quote from the Association’s report as to former conditions among the
Crows, and the present improvement.

“The Crow Reservation, in Montana, had for years been controlled by a
small ring of men, who boasted of strong political backing, and they
used it for their private gain at the expense of those Indians, through
the connivance of the Agent, who had formerly been employed in a bank of
which the leader of this ring was the principal stockholder. For three
years the Indian Rights Association sought to have a real investigation
made at that point by the Department, but instead of receiving any
encouragement, its efforts were blocked at every turn. Secretary
Garfield had said to us, ‘bring me facts, and I will investigate them,’
but he refused to give us a formal permit to enable us to go on to the
reservation and get those facts. When our Secretary was sent there for
that purpose, a little later, he was promptly arrested and ordered off
the reservation at his earliest convenience.

“When Commissioner Valentine assumed office, however, he promptly
afforded our Secretary every courtesy and facility that were required to
go unmolested over the reservation; and when the result of a month’s
sifting was brought to his attention, he not only ordered an immediate
investigation, but Mr. Sniffen was requested to be present to represent
the Indians—an invitation that was, of course, accepted.

“On the basis of the information gathered by our Secretary, the chief
Supervisor of the Indian Office conducted an investigation during
October and November, 1909, and his treatment of the Crow Indians was in
decided contrast to their experience with a former Inspector two years
previous, when, without provocation, their main witness was brutally
cursed and ordered from the tent. When the Supervisor’s report was
submitted, however, it proved to be one of ‘confession and avoidance.’
He made it plain, certainly in a number of respects, what some of the
conditions were, but he avoided placing the responsibility where it
belonged—upon the then Superintendent. It was clearly proved that this
Superintendent knowingly and wilfully permitted the violation of a
United States statute by the man he regarded as his real superior, who
was NOT an official of the Government, and that provisions of the
grazing permits had not been respected. In spite of this and more,
however, the Supervisor recommended that the Superintendent be ‘assured
of the confidence of the Indian Office in his integrity, business
ability and moral character.’ A few months later (in 1910), the
Superintendent was forced by pressure to resign, notwithstanding the
‘confidence of the Indian Office in his integrity,’ etc. He was
succeeded by an honest and efficient high-grade man, and conditions on
the reservation have greatly improved. It is significant that the
revenue derived from the grazing privileges under the new management
will amount during the fiscal year ending June 30, 1913, to $160,000,
whereas under the former Superintendent it was $33,001.27.”

All of these tribes mentioned in this chapter still possess sufficient
property for their maintenance, and some of them a great deal. The
conditions are not intolerable as elsewhere, and most of the educated
Indians have become self-supporting and are successful farmers,
teachers, lumbermen, etc. Along the Columbia river the salmon industry
affords employment to hundreds of men and women, and the vast extent of
orchards and vineyards presents an opportunity for other hundreds of
Indians to earn money picking fruit and hops, harvesting grains and hay,
picking apples, etc.



  This Exhibit took several prizes at the State Fair, Spokane, Wash.,

One of the richest reservations in point of natural resources is that
inhabited by the Yakima of the same linguistic family as the Nez Perces
(Shahaptian). A gentleman whom I have known for many years, L. V.
McWhorter, Esq., has a ranch adjoining the reservation, and has lived
among these Indians until he has become entirely familiar with the
situation and their needs. The problem in the Northwest, being totally
different from that elsewhere in the United States, I herewith reprint a
number of paragraphs from Mr. McWhorter’s recent pamphlet “The Crime
Against the Yakimas.”

It indicates how that the white people have dispossessed these Indians
and taken advantage of the wonderful agricultural, timber and
water-power resources. There are a number of other places in the United
States where at present similar conditions to that on the Yakima
reservation face the Indians, and this may serve to illustrate other
sections of the country where irrigation schemes on Indian lands are
under consideration.

“The Yakima Indian Reservation, Washington, was created at the Walla
Walla Treaty in 1855, for the Fourteen Confederated Tribes, and covers
approximately 1,000,000 acres of diversified country, including a vast
body of fine desert lands susceptible to irrigation, which last has been
allotted in severalty to the Indians, numbering 3,046 souls. About
42,000 acres of this is under a good system of irrigation, some private
ditches, the canals being paid for by the Indians and by special
appropriations by the Government. Crops are produced on 10,000 acres
additional by sub-irrigation, while perhaps 20,000 acres of the allotted
lands have been purchased by the Whites. This irrigable region, fertile
beyond conception when watered, has long been coveted by the white man.
The first attempt at irrigation on this reservation was in 1859.

“In 1895 the Commercial Club of North Yakima, Wash., petitioned Congress
to sell the surplus lands of the Yakimas, and to open the reservation
for settlement. Two years later Commissioners were sent to negotiate
with the tribe. It was estimated that 200,000 acres of land would
suffice for all allotments, and for the residue the Government offered
$1,400,000, deferred payments to bear four per cent interest. The
Yakimas refused this offer.

                  *       *       *       *       *

“Aside from the Jones Bill, December 21, 1904, which provides for the
opening of the reservation and the sale and settlement of unallotted
tribal lands, the next serious attempt to amputate the Yakimas from
their lands culminated in the notorious Jones Bill, March 6, 1906, which
provides that the irrigable lands of the Reservation be cared for by the
United States Reclamation Service. This bill, with the consent of the
Indian, authorizes the Secretary of the Interior to sell sixty acres of
each eighty-acre allotment; the twenty acres retained by the Indian to
be furnished with a water right, to be paid for from the sale of the
sixty acres. After the payment of such water right, ‘the balance, if
any, shall be deposited in the treasury of the United States, to the
credit of the individual Indian, and may be paid to any of them, if, in
the opinion of the Secretary of the Interior, such payments will tend to
improve the condition and advance the progress of said Indian, but not
otherwise.’ Under this act the Wapato Project to water about 120,000
acres, was launched. The estimated cost for a water right for the
Indian’s twenty acres, including storage, is $30.00 per acre.”

We have no space for a full discussion of the attempt to rob the
Yakimas. Friends rallied to their support—notably the Indian Rights
Association. McWhorter saw the fruits of his toil ripening, and it now
appears that these Indians will be protected in part, if not entirely.

June 8th, 1912, the Indians themselves sent a long petition to Hon. J.
H. Stephens, Chairman of the House Committee on Indian Affairs. The
closing paragraphs are characteristically Indian:—

“On Ahtanum River divide of our reservation where white man have most
land, the Secretary of the Interior gives three-fourths of water to
white man. Now, when red man have most land to water, he gives nearly
all water to white man. This was done and we could not help ourselves.
We want only what is right. God wants the white man and the red man to
live in peace. We try hard to do right and obey the white man’s laws. We
want you to help us.

“Our friend in Congress introduced ‘House joint resolution 250’ for
Attorney General to settle our water rights. This is good, but Secretary
Interior hold up this resolution and try to make Jones bill 6693 law, so
Reclamation will own all water and have us flat. We want you to stop
Jones bill and make law the resolution 250. Then Attorney General will
settle all justly. If this is not done we are bringing suit in United
States court to settle our water rights. We want the white man to be
honest and treat us right. Our words are done.

“Our friend, help us. We want to hear from you.

“Your friends,
  “(Signed)       WE-YAL-LUP WA-YA-CI-KA (his x mark),
                    “_Chief Judge of the Yakima Tribal Courts_,
                                    “_Clan Chief of the Ahtanum_.
  “(Signed)       LOUIS MANN,
                    “_Corresponding Secretary of the [Indian]

The Utes of Utah and Colorado never have been progressive, though some
of them do work. They require special treatment. A Government employee
remedied conditions among them in August, 1912, and wrote me, giving
sensible advice, as follows:—

“What good does it do to send out circulars on sanitary conditions and
dairying, when some of these Indians are in destitute circumstances? The
poor Utes down at Navaho Springs need something to eat and wear, and
some blankets to keep them warm. They sleep on sheepskins on the floors
of their tipis. They get but little rations. They have been compelled to
sell their ponies and buckskin suits, and beadwork, and Navaho blankets,
to get something to eat for themselves and their children. They have no
allotments, do not farm and have no way to make a dollar.



  Photographed by E. R. Forrest, Washington, Pa.

“Here at this reservation I have found that the Indians have been
defrauded in their lands and moneys. They sold their lands under
direction of the Agent, and then the scheme was to get their money away
as soon as possible. It was done through the dishonest Indian trader in
every possible manner. Indians’ checks were drawn, of which the Indian
knew nothing, in favor of some Indian trader for horses, wagons and
other things of which the Indian had no knowledge and which he did not
get. Although the checks are drawn in his name and charged to the
Indian, no credit is given the Indian on the books of the trader. This
is just a sample. One poor Indian who lives at Navaho Springs, had his
allotment of 160 acres sold for $245. This was put on the books to his
credit. Then a check was drawn for a horse and saddle in favor of Mr.
Trader for $165 to pay for same. He never bought same and never had this
horse and saddle. No credit for this check on the Trader’s books. Then
another check was drawn in the sum of $67 against this Indian account,
of which he knows nothing, for a saddle, bridle, and tent. He never
bought or got the bridle, saddle, or tent and knows nothing of the
transaction. He never put his thumb mark to either check. So out of the
little pittance he got for his land, a little more than a dollar an
acre, he has had stolen from him out of that $245, the sum of $232.”

Several correspondents in the Northwest give their opinions on what
should be done, and I submit extracts from their letters.

“The Government, in my judgment, should further strengthen its work in
suppressing the liquor traffic among the Indians. A large appropriation
should be asked for each year, and good, competent men should be
employed to break up the traffic. In my opinion, it is useless to
educate the Indian to grow up and drink himself to death, and if the
United States laws are too little enforced with relation to the liquor
traffic among Indians, it is not because they are not violated, but
because the Government has not yet secured sufficient assistance to see
that the law-violators are punished.”

                                        Correspondent, Pendleton, Oregon

“I have always believed that unallotted Indians who have large grazing
areas on their reservation should be the direct beneficiaries of their
own grazing-lands and have continually urged that a reimbursable
appropriation be made to stock this reservation. It has also occurred to
me that the Indians should be encouraged by the use of large
reimbursable appropriations to stock their allotments with tools and
livestock and I am glad that the above propositions are being actively
pushed as desirable propositions by the present Commissioner of Indian

                                       Correspondent, Lame Deer, Montana

“In my opinion, the reservation was opened seventy-five years too soon.
With the exception of a few half-breeds, they were absolutely unprepared
for the opening of the reservation. Humanly speaking, they are doomed to
utter annihilation. In dealing with them, we forgot that they were
savages, and that, as it took centuries to polish our own ancestors who
were vastly more intelligent than these redmen, at least one century, or
one century and a half, would be required to make these people

                                    Correspondent, St. Ignatius, Montana

“When I took charge, nothing had been done for them by the Government. I
at once issued agricultural implements, wire, seeds, etc., and organized
each band and devoted the first efforts to agriculture on individual
tracts, but worked all together as a community. By this means we raised
a good crop the first year, in one instance going from almost starvation
to plenty in the short space of four months. Since that time not a
single ration has been issued, and aside from supervisory work and
teaching, which is given by myself and employees, all my Indians are
entirely self-supporting. I am unqualifiedly and absolutely opposed to
all ration and annuity distribution as it has been carried on in our
department. I am insisting upon all my Indians caring for and supporting
their old people, and see that it is done. My method of helping Indians
is to work both day and night to inaugurate methods and give
opportunities to enable them to work out their own salvation.

“I have had an unusual opportunity to work out my own ideas, by reason
of beginning in a virgin field. So far I have been remarkably
successful. However, there is a strange characteristic apparent among
all Indians, that they have apparently no sense of gratitude, and take
everything that is done as a matter of course, and do not seem to have
the faculty of contrasting their situation from year to year and
striking a balance, as it were, to note their material progress.

“I have no suggestions as to reforms, except those directed toward the
Indian himself. In this State he is not discriminated against as in
others. Here he has nothing except his labor to tempt the cupidity of
the Whites. In the past he has been given many opportunities for
improvement through the Mormon Church, and he had the chance to become
just as well off as the majority of the Mormon immigrants who came here
into the desert almost with their bare hands. So the fault, if fault it
is, lies entirely with himself. He had the opportunity to observe and
profit by the example of the poor Whites who started on desert ground
under the same environment and made themselves homes; in addition to
this just as soon as the Mormon Church was able, the authorities
‘called’ some of its members, sent them to each band, not as preaching
missionaries, but as farmers, and gave them tools and oxen and
instructed them how to use them. This was done with every band under my
jurisdiction. As these missionaries were sent without any pay, and were
poor, they had their own families to support, and gradually returned to
the settlements, leaving the Indians to carry on their work themselves.
The Indians simply killed the oxen and kept up their nomadic life to a
great extent, simply holding campgrounds on the water courses where
their water rights have been protected by the church until I took all
the responsibilities over.”

                                     Correspondent, Salt Lake City, Utah



  Copyright by L. V. McWhorter, who photographed the Indian, and permits

“The immorality of our Indians, in my opinion is largely (probably
seventy-five per cent) due to the presence of low Whites. Had the
Indians been left alone seventy-five years longer; and had they been
allowed to continue the time-honored custom of punishing crimes with the
whip—they would be today easily and surely seventy-five per cent better
men than they are. Here again we forgot that they were savages,
absolutely impervious to really noble feelings, such as honor, and that
it takes time and careful training to raise them to a higher level.
Today, they are incapable of feeling the shame of a prison or
penitentiary. When they come back from either, they are treated as
heroes. Twenty-five years ago, a whipping solemnly, modestly, and
moderately administered to those who had been guilty of thievery,
adultery, fornication, gambling or drunkenness, was producing marvelous
results. Two years ago, a deputation of Kootenay Indians came to beg me
to write in their name to the Great Father (the President) and ask him
to allow again the use of the whip. They said, ‘Tell the Great Father
that our young men and women only laugh at the white punishments; it is
the whip and the whip alone that kept us straight, and the same
punishment alone will correct the generation.’

“Under the present circumstances I believe that the Government has at
heart the welfare of its wards and is protecting them. There is only one
flaw which I desire to bring to your notice. The real wards of the
Government are the full-blood Indians, and they, more than the
mixed-bloods, are entitled to the care of the Government, for many
reasons, easy to understand; now, in point of fact, mostly all of them,
on this reservation, are helpless. They are, if in good health, unable
to understand their real interest, and to work as they should. In
matters of business they are at the mercy of everyone who chooses to
deceive them. But the number of those who are in health is very limited.
The vast majority are old, crippled, blind or otherwise helpless. And
those, I am sorry to say, are practically left unaided. They need food,
raiment, shelter, they should be supported. As it is, they are
practically thrown on the charity of the white people. Though possessed
of lands, they are unable to draw any profit from them. Some
appropriation is made yearly for those; but it is insufficient to
furnish them with food, raiment and shelter. Means should be provided
for that purpose. They are doomed to disappear, and in justice their
last years should be made comfortable. The Government has been
collecting large sums of money from the white settlers; why not dispose
of some of this money liberally for the impotent full-blood Indians who
are left in destitution, instead of spending it in improving the
irrigation of the reservation, which improvement will never benefit the
full-blood Indians who are disappearing, but will turn to the advantage
of the mixed-bloods who have very little right to the land (some of them
none at all) and who, on account of their superior intelligence got the
very best part of the allotments at the time of the opening of the
reservation. The condition of mostly all the full-bloods is pitiful. If
they have leased their lands, it takes them an age to receive their
money, the local Agent having no authority to disburse it, and the
Indian Bureau being very slow in granting it. It seems to me that
provision should be made in favor of destitute Indians to have them
receive monthly some food, and a small sum of money to provide
themselves with clothes, also to have them provided with decent houses
and with fuel when they cannot get it themselves. No one but those who
live on the spot have any idea of the privations which this class of
full-bloods have to submit to, through no fault of theirs. It seems to
me that this evil could easily be remedied. Some people seem to think
that a monthly sum of money, $20, should be paid to each destitute
Indian, with which he could easily provide for his needs; but knowing
them as I do, I would prefer to see them receive only $10 or even $5
with rations, for if they get more money, they will spend it all in the
first days of the month.”[49]

                                   Correspondent, St. Augustins, Montana


Footnote 49:

  NOTE—A very interesting book, “Life Among the Pai-utes,” was written
  by Sarah Winnemucca in the early ’80’s. This presents an account of
  the Nez Perce, Bannock and other wars from the Indian point of view.


That the Indians of the present time are in a deplorable condition as to
health, no person familiar with Indian affairs will deny. It is
incomprehensible to me that the appropriations for combatting disease
are so meagre, and the appropriations for allotting and education so
lavish. As a western friend of mine, who had observed Indians for more
than thirty years says, “Of what use is education to an Indian with
consumption? An Indian child learns to read and write, contracts
trachoma, is sent home and goes blind. How does education benefit the
blind Indian?”

Doctor Ales Hrdlicka of the Smithsonian Institution recently made an
investigation of health conditions among the Indians. His report is
statistical in character, and will be found in Bulletin 42, Smithsonian
Institution, 1909.

Following this, the Public Health and Marine Hospital Service made a
thorough investigation in 1912–13 of health conditions among the Indians
and published another statistical report, “Contagious and Infectious
Diseases Among the Indians”, Document No. 1038, 62nd Congress, 3d
Session. Investigations were conducted in twenty-five states by
competent corps of medical observers. No trachoma was found in Florida.
Among the New York Indians there was but .2 of one per cent; Wisconsin
6.86 per cent. In the other states the percentages rise rapidly,
reaching 15.5 per cent in Minnesota; 22.38 per cent in New Mexico; 24.9
per cent in Arizona; 68.72 per cent in Oklahoma.

As to tuberculosis, but 1.27 per cent was observed among the New York
Indians. But the investigation set forth in the Public Health report
related mainly to trachoma and there were limitations placed on
tuberculosis research.



  No. 1. Superintendent’s house, employees, mess, and official guest
    room. No. 2. Commissary. No. 3. Laundry and Carpenter shop. No. 4.
    Employees’ dormitory (not completed when picture was taken). No. 5.
    Residence of physician, Nez Perce Agency. No. 6. Engineer’s
    residence. No. 7. Nez Perce Agency. No. 8. School building and
    chapel. No. 9. Girls’ building and dining-room. No. 10. Boys’
    building. No. 11 and 12. Buildings belonging to school district No.
    57. Nez Perce County. No. 13. Top of chimney, barely seen, office of
    the Sanatorium. No. 14 Employees’ quarters, Nez Perce Agency.

Although the Commissioner of Indian Affairs states that there are 25,000
Indians suffering from tuberculosis, the number is probably greatly in
excess of that figure. In Minnesota alone, in 1909, I found the greater
majority of the Indians suffering from tuberculosis, trachoma, or some
form of scrofulous disease. It is not necessary to go into this subject
in any detail. That disease among these poor people is rampant, is
inexcusable. It is heart-rending. It is a blot on our escutcheon, and
should have been removed long ago. Whether the delay in establishing
preventive measures, until trachoma and tuberculosis became widespread,
is due to ignorance, incompetency or carelessness, it is not my purpose
to state. I have high respect for the personnel of the medical branch of
the Service. The fault is not theirs, but solely due to meagre
appropriations, and lack of proper reports from the inspection corps. I
simply desire to cover this unpleasant subject with a blanket statement
of facts that the condition is intolerable, and all of us have been
criminally negligent. We introduced tuberculosis, trachoma, smallpox,
measles, diphtheria and most of the other diseases. If any man or woman
doubts the statement, let him or her read the narratives of travelers
among Indians two centuries ago and compare the condition then, with
that today. There is no earthly excuse why instead of three or four,
there should not be fifteen or twenty doctors on every reservation.
There is no reason why our rich, powerful Government does not
appropriate two or three million dollars a year to put an end to the
miseries we ourselves have introduced.

Persons of prominence have called attention to the spread of disease in
past years. Commissioner Leupp first noted that health conditions were
bad, and increased his medical corps. But his successor, Honorable R. G.
Valentine, made a health campaign the chief thing of his administration.
He went before Congress and plead for increased appropriations. Great
credit is due him for his humane efforts, which are continued by the
present Service head, Mr. Sells.

Before the Government awoke to the need of health protection, a
gentleman in California was a pioneer in the fight against disease. He
has lived to see the fruits of his planting, but for many years his
voice was that of one crying in the wilderness, and few there were who
thought of repentance. I refer to Charles F. Lummis, Esq., an authority
upon the Pueblo and California Indians. Mr. Lummis has written me a long
letter in which he sets forth the difficulties under which he labored,
and how that he was roundly denounced because he opposed the scheme of
taking children accustomed to open-air life, shipping them East,
crowding them into contract schools—thus making of strong, healthy boys
and girls, consumptives. Lummis fought—not education, but this
pernicious and wicked policy. Some of his experiences were interesting.
He speaks of the former school conditions, and I take it that his
strictures do not apply to the past two or three years.

“It is obvious that to take children from the high, dry climate of New
Mexico and the general Southwest, back to the Eastern winters and to
steam-heated halls, can have but one effect. That is no theory. I have
seen the practical workings for more than a quarter of a century; and it
is my sincere conviction that Carlisle and similar schools away from
home have graduated more consumptives and more sons and daughters
forever alienated from their parents and kin, than they have produced of
scholars or other people seriously useful in any walk of life.

“I do know that thirty years ago consumption was almost unknown in most
of the Pueblos in New Mexico. I do know that the first consumptive
Pueblo I ever saw was from Carlisle; and that most of the consumptive
Indians that I have known in my thirty years acquaintance with New
Mexico have come back thus infected from these Eastern Government

“At a meeting of the National Educational Association in this city in
July, 1899, I had a serious clash with a distinguished Indian educator.
An Indian convention was held in conjunction with the N. E. A. I was
busy; but seeing the daily reports finally became so incensed at the
inhuman and stupid proceedings, that on the last day I went to the
Convention and took the floor almost by force, after listening to most
of the afternoon’s proceedings.

“This man had with him two very charming and well-schooled Indians—a
young man and a young woman, who were called up by him to answer some of
my strictures as to the Carlisle methods. And they made eloquent and
loyal defences. The audience (being as unobservant as American audiences
generally are) were very much surprised when in my reply I called
attention to the fact that the two model students that Mr. Educator
brought with him were both consumptives, and I asked him point blank if
they were consumptive when they entered Carlisle.

“Of course I got no answer—and I was lucky in getting out of the hall


Doctor Ales Hrdlicka, in the year 1908, acting for the Indian Office and
the Smithsonian Institution, investigated health conditions with
reference to tuberculosis among five selected tribes of the United
States. On page 7 of the report Doctor Hrdlicka states:—

“The investigations on which this report is based were pursued in five
of the tribes, shown in the above-mentioned data to be most afflicted
with tuberculosis, and in one of the large non-reservation schools. The
tribes in question are the Menominee in northeastern Wisconsin; the
Oglala Sioux in South Dakota; the Quinaielt on the seacoast and along
the river of the same name in northwestern Washington; the Hupa in
northwestern California; and the Mohave, on the Colorado river between
Needles, Cal., and Yuma, Ariz. These tribes were selected not only
because of the prevalence among them of tuberculosis, but also because
they live under widely differing conditions of climate, environment,
civilization, and contact with the Whites. The school visited is the one
at Phoenix, Arizona. The investigation was carried on during the two
months of midsummer when people everywhere are most free from the
various bronchial and pulmonary affections that might complicate a

“On account of the short time available, and the extensive ground to be
covered, the study had to be limited to what was most essential toward
obtaining reliable statistics. In the smaller tribes, as the Hupa and
the Mohave, nearly all the dwellings were visited, and all the members
of the tribe who were not far distant were studied. In the larger
tribes, as the Menominee and the Oglala, the examinations were limited
to one hundred families. Among the Oglala, these one hundred families
included only full-bloods, who in this tribe suffer more from
tuberculosis than do the half-breeds.



“The actual work consisted in visiting the dwellings consecutively and
making a personal examination of each member of every family, healthy or
not healthy. In many families absent members were brought from many
miles away by the Indians themselves for examination. This examination
embraced the lungs, heart, glands of the neck, and skeleton, and was
supplemented by inquiries. * * *

“The investigation was everywhere promoted by the Indians themselves,
who welcomed an inquiry into the disease which is decimating them, the
gravity of which they well appreciate, but against which they feel
utterly helpless.” * * *

He found the Oglala Sioux, of Pine Ridge reservation, numbering 6,663,
very susceptible to tuberculosis; the number of individuals in a
thousand affected with pulmonary tuberculosis being 30.8, bones and
joints 6.8, and glandular 57.7. The highest number of persons suffering
from this disease was found among the Hupa Indians of California, where
the number of individuals per thousand arose to 60.4, pulmonary

“In regard to civilization, the Oglala are in the transition period,
which generally means partial degeneration. They live in small or
fair-sized log houses of one room, each provided with one or two small
windows that are never opened. The houses have earthen floors and sod
roofs. In summer almost every family constructs from poles and boughs,
or from young pine trees, a more or less open shelter in which, while it
is warm, they spend most of their time. Usually, each family has also a
light, easily portable tent, which represents the ancient tipi. These
tents are erected near the house and are occupied by the aged, by some
relative or visitor of the family, or serve to sleep in. When the family
leaves home, such a tent is packed, together with bedding, kitchen
utensils, etc., into the wagon, and is pitched whenever a stop is made
for the night. Indeed, there will be at times one or more villages of
these tents near the agency, or about a house where some particular
feast is being given. In summer these tents are oppressively hot during
the day, though they become cool if the sides are raised. As they are
made of very light fabric, they are cold at night, and afford but poor
protection during a severe rain or hail storm, as the writer personally
experienced. * * *

“As to clothing, the Oglala now dress like the Whites in most respects,
though the majority still persist in wearing moccasins. The women wear
leggings and always a blanket or shawl when going about. A tendency to
wear too much clothing, even on the hottest day, was again noticed and
is very prevalent. This is due partly to ignorance and partly to vanity.
The garments are usually far from clean. The writer learned of several
instances in which the clothing of tuberculous persons was given or sold
to others.

“In diet the Sioux are chiefly meat eaters, the principal kind of meat
consumed being beef. They cook this fresh, or cut it into strips and dry
it on cords stretched outside their dwellings. Other common articles of
diet are badly made wheat bread and large quantities of coffee. When
they have money they purchase crackers and canned foods. They eat very
irregularly, both as to time and quantity. During feasts and when
visitors are present, they not infrequently use the same wooden spoon or
other utensil, one after another, and eat from the same dish, the bones
and other remnants being freely strewn over the floor.

“In many of the dwellings it was seen that the denizens lack in both
quantity and quality of food on account of their poverty. * * * Numerous
cases were seen where the whole meal consisted of a few crackers and
black coffee. In several instances cattle which had died of disease had
been consumed, both flesh and viscera. According to the resident
physician, Doctor Walker, the Oglala eat not only cattle but even horses
and dogs that die of disease. The people are not emaciated; in fact,
many look well nourished. Yet there is no doubt that many do not
receive, except on rare occasions, all the nourishment they require.
This doubtless induces indolence and disease. It would also strongly
promote the spread of alcoholism, but fortunately there are very few
chances for obtaining liquor on or near the reservation.

“Few of the Oglala men have any steady occupation. They do very little
farming. During the summer they cut some hay in the valleys, which
brings fair prices. Cattle and horses are being distributed by the
Government to the different families, and stock-raising is being
encouraged with some success. * * *

“The people of this tribe are quite shrewd, tractable, and glad to be
instructed, though the instruction given does not always have practical
results. Their most striking peculiarities are the above-mentioned
tendency to a seminomadic life and the disinclination to steady manual
work. They are very ignorant of all matters regarding hygiene. One of
the most reprehensible customs among them is the so-called ‘passing of
the pipe.’ Whenever a number of men have gathered in a house, there is
passed from mouth to mouth a lighted pipe, the mouthpiece of which is
never cleaned. As there is often in such a group an individual in the
earlier stages of consumption, the habit must be regarded as providing a
direct mode of infection with the disease.”[50]

This description of the Oglala Sioux by Doctor Hrdlicka, who is one of
our most expert and competent scientists, might well be applied to other
bands and tribes of Indians in the transition period. As has been
suggested elsewhere, it emphasizes the immediate need of larger
appropriations, the employment of numerous physicians and sanitary
officials, if we would save the full-blood Indians.



Dr. Joseph A. Murphy is medical supervisor of the Indian Service, and a
more competent man cannot be found. I have received a number of reports
covering his activities the past two years. That the Indians are
suffering, is no fault of Dr. Murphy’s, or his assistants. He has
recently established hospitals and increased the medical corps. If the
present ratio of increase in physicians and buildings continues, much
alleviation will result.

Dark as is our picture, recently it has become brighter. The past two
years conditions have greatly improved. There are more adequate
appropriations. But this realization of our responsibilities at a late
day, does not absolve us from past responsibility. We had been
repeatedly told—nay, warned of the consequences, yet we continued our
“same old story, in the same old way,” until the white people living in
Indian communities complained. Now, when Indians complain we pay little
heed, but when the representatives of the white people cry, “menace to
public health”, we heed and we speedily send help to allay the fears of
the good and substantial citizens. The appeal from Macedonia is not
uttered in vain.

We now have hospitals building, and they may take care of a third of the
sick. We also enforce stricter sanitary laws. So we may look forward to
saving some of those who suffer from the “coughing sickness”, and as to
the other scourge, it is so contagious that heroic measures have been
adopted, and the light will not go out forever from Indian children’s

I present two field reports, sent by competent observers who traveled
extensively in Wisconsin and Oklahoma, and both of whom have long
resided among Indians there.

“When I came to the Lake Superior country in 1878, I found the Indians
of Lac Courte Oreille Reservation and of Lac du Flambeau, living almost
entirely in birch-bark wigwams, also in Bad River Reserve, near Ashland,
Wis. In Courte Oreille, I counted about six log houses, mostly inhabited
by French half-breeds. In Bad River Reserve (now Odanah) perhaps about
the same number; in Lac du Flambeau also about six log houses. But as
soon as the Indians got their pine-money and their allotments, they
immediately began to build houses, many of which were large and
commodious. Others were of hewn logs, rather small and low and very
unhealthy on that account, as there was very little ventilation, and in
the winter they would be huddled together, most of them sleeping on the
floor in a blanket, or poor bedclothes. The stove was very hot until
after the fire went out, when, of course, towards morning they would be
shivering with the cold. Cooking, smoking, living, in such a small room
would naturally cause colds, and consumption. This may be justly called
_the Indian’s Disease_, as it is the most common sickness of which they
die; they generally die of consumption, brought on by their total
disregard of the laws of health. Sugar-making early in spring, when they
used to gather the maple-sap in the woods, walking in the wet snow and
cold water, shod with soft moccasins, made of deerskin, and not much
better than common stockings; then went the whole day with wet feet—this
no doubt laid for many, the seeds of future consumption. Then, gathering
cranberries in swamps, wading in the water for hours and hours, was also
highly unhealthy. Their cooking was also very poor. Bread, tea, and pork
their principal food, the bread badly made, hard and heavy. The Indian’s
natural home is the woods, like that of the deer; the white man’s
natural home is the clearing, in open country. Civilization is coming on
the Indian too fast—it effeminates and weakens him. The Indian woman is
naturally industrious, the Indian man is lazy; that’s about the way to
put it.

“The Franciscans in California solved the Indian problem in the best and
most practical way: they first made Christians—and then civilized the

                                           Correspondent, Bayfield, Wis.

“Surrounded by wretched conditions, it is not surprising that the
incidence of tuberculosis, trachoma, and other diseases is large among
these Indians. Although tuberculosis can hardly be considered as
prevalent here as among some of the other reservation tribes, it
nevertheless occurs to an alarming extent. It appears to be more
prevalent in some localities than in others, and, in some sections,
seems to be on the increase. The home conditions of many of these
Indians are such that, if a case of tuberculosis or other infectious
disease occurs in a household, the probability is that the disease will,
in time, go through the entire family.

“During my drive among the Cherokee full-bloods, probably forty families
were visited, many of which either have, or have not, one or more cases
of tuberculosis. In the vicinity of Barber, twenty miles from Talequah,
there occurred three deaths from tuberculosis within three weeks of the
time of my visit. Two of the cases, one a baby in the arms and the other
a woman, the head of the family, were seen by me. The latter case was
particularly pathetic and deserves special mention. The sick woman,
dying of tuberculosis, was found in the one room of the house, which,
though small, illy ventilated, and poorly lighted, was occupied by nine
other people, including six small children. Being wholly ignorant of the
dangerous and infectious nature of the disease, this condition continued
until the death of the patient, which occurred two weeks later. Another
family visited, had lost three members from tuberculosis within the past
few years.

“When the housing conditions encountered here are taken into
consideration, it seems remarkable that tuberculosis does not spread
among the people even more rapidly than it does. This can be partially
explained, however, by the fact that they are sometimes widely
scattered, the houses, in many instances, being several miles apart.



“In another family near the little village of Eucha, a girl fourteen or
fifteen years of age was seen to wipe her trachomatous eyes with the end
of a shawl, worn about her mother’s head. The mother held a young baby
in her arms, and it would seem that a failure to infect the baby’s eyes
with the contaminated shawl would be nothing short of marvelous.

“The civilizing influences that surround these people are far from good.
The class of people that are frequently found as neighbors are a
shiftless, undesirable class. These Whites live amidst unsanitary,
meagre surroundings. It is due to this class of citizens that the use of
cocaine has of recent years assumed alarming proportions. This habit has
become quite common among the full-bloods in some sections, and I heard
of several deaths that were attributed directly to this cause.

“The use of alcoholic liquor is, no doubt, a positive detriment to the
Choctaw Indians, particularly in those districts close to the Arkansas
border. Many crimes have been committed among the Indians that can be
attributed directly to the use of liquor, given to them by unscrupulous
bootleggers from across the border.

“Trachoma appears to be even more universal among the Creeks and
Seminoles than it is among the Indians farther south, and many cases are
observed. Trachoma is, no doubt, a positive menace to the usefulness and
well-being of many of these people, and should be met by a vigorous
campaign for its control.



  Six of the seven inmates had trachoma.

“The native medicine man appears to play a more important part among the
Creeks and Seminoles than among the other Indians of the Five Civilized
Tribes. The full-blood Indians seldom call on the local white physician
for treatment, but depend almost entirely upon their own medicine men,
and the use of patent remedies, purchased at the local country stores.
Several bottles of a patent consumption “cure” were seen in a number of
homes visited.

“After a careful survey of the conditions existing among the full-blood
Indians of the Five Civilized Tribes, it seems highly important that
there should be a well-organized system of medical treatment provided.
Tuberculosis and trachoma, the two most important diseases to be
combatted among Indians generally prevail among these people to an
alarming extent, and both appear to be steadily on the increase. It is
unquestionably true that many of these Indians sicken and die without
any medical aid whatever. Many of them are too poor to employ white
physicians, with the result that the physician is either not called at
all, or only when it is too late to be of any avail.

“Too much emphasis cannot be placed upon the need for hospital
facilities for these Indians. There is, at present, no place available
in which to place the needy sick except in local city hospitals. This
necessarily entails considerable expense on the individual and, in many
instances, there is a prejudice against going away from their homes to
enter a strange hospital. The several sanitariums throughout the Service
are usually already filled beyond their capacity, and it is seldom
possible to secure their admission to the institutions.

“In view of the extremely unsanitary conditions existing in many of the
full-blood homes throughout the Five Civilized Tribes, it would appear
that field matrons would here find a large field for usefulness. The
people with whom she comes in contact are easy of approach and
tractable. They are also readily susceptible to teaching, and would, no
doubt, welcome the assistance that the field matron would be able to

                                          Correspondent, Muskogee, Okla.

  Five Civilized Tribes. Reports of the Commissioners of Indian
  Affairs, 1893–1905.

  Health Conditions Among Indians.—_Edgar B. Meritt._ The Red Man.
  May, 1914. P. 347.

  Tuberculosis, Saving Indians from.—_Frank H. Wright._ Twenty-fifth
  Annual Report Lake Mohonk Conference 1907. P. 38.

  Sanitary Homes for Indians.—_Edgar B. Meritt._ The Red Man. June,
  1912. P. 439.

  Sanitorium Schools: Fort Lapwai, East Farm, Laquna (Tuberculosis
  Sanitorium), Toledo. From Articles pp. 356, 362, 368, 385, The Red
  Man. May, 1914.

  Indian Medical Service, Organizing the.—_J. A. Murphy._
  Twenty-seventh Annual Report Lake Mohonk Conference, 1909. P. 23.

  “White Plague” of Red Man.—_George P. Donehoo, D.D._ The Red Man.
  September, 1912. P. 3.

  The Trachoma Problem.—_W. H. Harrison, M.D._ The Red Man. May, 1914.
  P. 377.

  Tuberculosis Problem, Important Phases of.—_Dr. F. Shoemaker._ The
  Red Man. May, 1914. P. 351.

  Indian Tuberculosis Sanitarium and Yakima Indian
  Reservation.—_Congressional Record_, 63rd Congress. Dec. 20, 1913.



  Missionary at Fort Washakie, Wyoming.


Footnote 50:

  Bureau of American Ethnology, Bulletin 42, Washington, 1909. Pages


Since 1850, the Indian’s belief in the hereafter has undergone a very
marked change. It is extremely difficult to find individuals, among most
of our tribes, who can give us any clear conception of the Indian’s
religious belief. The Navaho preserve much of their original religion,
for the reason that these Indians have been remote from contact with the
Whites. As has been stated in this book, the greater part of the 28,000
Navaho do not speak English and continue in the faith of their fathers.
There are also scattered tribes or bands of other Indians who keep up,
to a greater or less degree, their religious belief, have confidence in
their shamans, and resort to the white men’s ministers and doctors only
under compulsion. But while this is true, the vast bulk of our Indians
today have adopted the God of our Bible, and recognize his opposite, the
evil spirit. If one takes the pains to read a number of the reports of
competent ethnologists who have studied the religious activities of
various tribes recently, one is impressed with the complications
presented. In fact, it is no reflection on these able and competent
workers and observers to state that it is extremely difficult (if not
impossible) to cover the Indian’s religious belief in one blanket
paragraph or statement. Beliefs vary among different tribes, and we must
go far back of the year 1850 would we find primitive American religion,
practiced in its purity. We cannot now affirm that the religious life of
all tribes is the same; that the deities and spirits are alike.

Generally throughout the United States the tradition of the Thunder Bird
obtains, and it typifies the supernatural. In the desert areas, water is
more precious than soil, or any other necessity. It is therefore quite
natural that the Earth Mother and Water Spirit enter very largely into
the religion of that region. Some of the older Sioux, even in recent
times, believed in spirits, or ghosts, and any Sioux man or woman having
heard the calling of the ghosts at night, prepared himself (or herself)
to join his ancestors in the spirit world. Major McLaughlin presents one
or two instances in his book[51] where Indians have actually given up,
taken to their beds and died, firm in the belief that the ghosts were

Doctor Eastman in his remarkable book, “The Soul of the Indian,” defines
that indefinite thing, the belief in the supernatural, in a beautiful
and striking manner.

The whole subject of religion among Indian tribes comprehends mythology,
shamanism, totemism, and the taboo. There is so great variance among the
different linguistic stocks as to belief in the supernatural, religious
rites and incantations, that one must study extensively did one desire
to obtain any clear conception of ancient Indian religion. In fact, the
subject is so beset by uncertainties that we may well omit a
consideration of it from this volume. Pure Indian religion—generally
speaking—does not exist in the transition period of today.

We may defer to scientific workers the conflicting beliefs among Indians
of the present. The labors of the missionaries, both Catholic and
Protestant, have instilled into the minds of the Indians the teaching of
our Scriptures. Missionary labors, having continued for more than two
centuries, (and three centuries in some parts of the country) have had
their effect, and as I stated above, the Indian today believes as do
ourselves. As I pointed out in referring to Miss Densmore’s excellent
study of Ojibwa music (_page 20_) all the investigators invariably seek
out the older Indians and glean from them such fragments as remain of
the Indians’ former faith. We never hear of ethnologists talking to
educated Indians, and recording their opinions.

Among the Navaho, the taboo is more strongly pronounced than, possibly,
among other tribes. The totem and the phratry doubtless had their origin
in certain religious beliefs. But these are not observed today, to any
appreciable extent outside of the Navaho and the scattered bands
referred to. We must consider, in studying the Indian of the transition
period, not the exceptions, but that which predominates. This has been
my aim. Many of the lesser important customs and taboo (bordering upon
the religious side of the Indians’ nature) obtain. As an illustration,
the taboo against the mother-in-law is still in effect in many places.
Also, certain rites are performed when a death occurs. Such are clearly
survivals of more primitive beliefs.

In a general review of the Indians’ religion it must be admitted that
while our missionaries and teachers have converted thousands of Indians
and these are today faithful members of churches and missions, it is
doubtful if the bulk of our 330,000 red brothers has been improved
spiritually by contact with the white people. I have presented
sufficient number of specific instances in this book to prove that where
they meet one missionary, priest or teacher, they come in contact with a
dozen white persons ranking spiritually and morally far below American

Along with the Indian’s religion, he possessed a high sense of honor, or
responsibility, and integrity. Judge Thomas, long a resident of
Oklahoma, informed me of cases wherein Indians under sentence of death,
were permitted by the authorities to visit distant villages for a few
days. There are a number of such instances on record. The Indians
invariably returned and were executed according to law. This occurred
many years ago. If any modern Indian, or white man under sentence of
death, was released by the authorities, it is doubtful if he would
consider himself bound to keep his word.

Because the Indian was cruel to his enemies, it does not necessarily
follow that he was bad. Among every band there were bad and wild young
men who could not be restrained. This has been admitted in the testimony
of Red Cloud, Spotted Tail, and many other prominent Indians. Red Cloud,
from the Indian point of view, considered it no more cruel to kill his
enemies than for us to compel people to work as slaves. He heard we made
women and children labor from daylight to dark. This, as well as our
long hours for mill-hands and laborers, he considered cruelty. He
indicated this in a conversation with me many years ago. One of the
prominent Southwestern Indians, when asked by Colonel Dodge, “Why are
you Indians so cruel?” cited many things of common occurrence among
white people which were considered perfectly proper by them, but which
the Indians would not tolerate. It all depends on one’s point of view.
In condemning Indians for cruelties, we must remember that the
patriarchs of the Old Testament, in the name of religion, destroyed more
innocent persons in a few of their wars than have the Indians in all of
their wars.

I do not agree with the widespread belief that through our general
education of Indians, we have raised their moral and religious tone. We
have improved some thousands, but the greater number of Indians,
observing from the treatment accorded them that we do not practice what
we preach, have less realization of their responsibilities and exhibit
less integrity than formerly. A letter addressed to the average Indian
trader who has done business with Indians more than twenty years, will
bring a reply to the effect that their business obligations were more
faithfully kept in the past than at present.

As to missionary endeavor among the Indians during the past sixty years,
I find that there are upwards of fifty Protestant denominations who
maintain mission stations in various parts of the Indian country. These
include every denomination, but those most prominent are the
Presbyterians, Baptists, Friends, Congregationalists, Methodists,
Episcopalians, Moravians, Lutherans. In addition there are the Home
Missionary Associations (interdenominational) and the National Indian
Association. It is impracticable to present details of their work. The
National Indian Association is one of the strongest of these bodies, and
was organized thirty-five years ago. It has fifty-two stations scattered
throughout the West, and some idea of its good work may be had by the
illustration presented of the Good Samaritan hospital maintained at
Indian Wells, Arizona. (_page 275_).

The educational and humanitarian work of the Association has been the
helping to right political wrongs; gathering of Indian children into
schools; stimulating and preparing capable Indians for wise leadership
among their people; loans of money to Indians to enable them to build
homes or to carry on business. The Association has done a large and
influential educational work, and through its Home Building and Loan
Department has enabled Indians to build homes which have become
civilizing centers of family life. It has also made loans to Indians for
the purchase of implements of labor or for stock needed to begin some
useful and paying industry. By such methods the Association seeks to put
the Indian in a position to earn his own living and to become
self-supporting and self-reliant. It has maintained library, temperance,
hospital, and other departments; trained Indian young women as nurses,
and assisted Indian young men and women to obtain training as physicians
and teachers, some of whom have long been working to help their own
people. The Cambridge (Mass.) branch of this organization is especially
active and has contributed generously. The work of the missions
maintained by the Congregationalists, Episcopalians, Baptists,
Methodists, etc., comprehends general religious education and charitable
work among the Indians.

Rev. Thomas C. Moffett, Chairman of the committee on Indian work of the
“home missions council”, has just published an interesting book
entitled, “The American Indian on the New Trail.” This presents an
excellent review of missionary labors among Indians, including much of a
statistical character. The review is broad, and covers the entire United

The Bureau of Catholic Missions, Washington, has in charge the many
missions maintained by the Catholics. I have visited a number of these
in various parts of the West, along with the Protestant missions, and
find most of them well equipped and doing splendid work.

The California Indian Association has concerned itself more with the
securing of homes for dispossessed Indians. In Chapter XXXI, dealing
with California conditions, the secretary, Mr. C. E. Kelsey, has
commented on the work of the association.

The Indian Rights Association is the most famous of all the benevolent
organizations. Organized in 1882, its work has grown and expanded until
at the present time its activities cover most of the reservations of the
United States. It has frequently been in sharp conflict with the Indian
Office, but at the present time the relations between Commissioner Sells
and his able assistants and this and other organizations, are most
friendly and helpful. The pamphlet, covering the activities of the
organization, the number of steals of land it has prevented, the reforms
instituted, dishonest employees forced out of the Service and all other
recommendations, covers some hundred or more instances and places.

Its corresponding secretary, Mr. Mathew K. Sniffen, returned from Alaska
in September of this year, after having spent three months investigating
the most deplorable condition of the Alaska Indians.

The Indian Industries League of Boston was organized in 1901 and has
done much to encourage arts and industries among certain Indian tribes.
It does not attempt to do missionary work, although it has educated a
number of Indians. In recent years the League has held fairs and
disposed of large quantities of blankets, baskets, bead work, etc., thus
aiding many old Indian women in New Mexico, California, Washington and

I have always been a believer in the work of these organizations, and I
have no criticism, but rather a suggestion to offer. The missionary and
other organizations had a great opportunity for good during the Messiah
craze, and with one accord they let it pass. At the Lake Mohonk
Conference this year, a minister from South Dakota spoke of the evil
effects of the Messiah craze. In Chapters IX-XI I have described it.
There were no evil effects until the troops and Sitting Bull dominated.
Had the missionaries seized upon the religious mania when it began, they
might have turned it to good account. It was, at first, a purely
religious ceremony of high and noble type.

Among the Indians of Oklahoma there is great religious activity. Last
year I met many native preachers, and heard of numerous meetings at
various campgrounds. I was surprised at the extent of these, and the
number of Indians attending such gatherings. The meetings may be a
trifle sentimental, but the intentions of the worshippers are excellent.
Here is presented a great field for missionary labors, and if the good
people would take full advantage of it, a lasting impression and the
furtherance of religious activity would ensue.

The modern missionary spirit among most of the workers in the field has
changed in recent years. There is more medical activity, more endeavor
to stimulate interest in fairs, school exhibitions, etc. Thus the
Indians are brought nearer the real life and spirit of the missions,
than in the older days where on stated intervals they were assembled for
worship. Aside from mere biblical instruction little was done for them.
This was all right and proper, but the Indian needed more.

The most potent influence in shaping public opinion, with reference to
Indian affairs the past thirty years, has been the annual Conference of
Friends of the Indian and Other Dependent Peoples held each year at Lake
Mohonk. This was begun in 1882 by Honorable Albert K. Smiley. Since Mr.
Smiley’s death, the conferences are continued by Honorable Daniel

At these conferences are assembled men and women from the United States,
Europe and Canada interested in Indian affairs, the Philippines, etc.
The conference consists of addresses by persons familiar with Indian
topics, which are followed by general discussion. For two or three years
the conference seemed to its friends to be somewhat dominated by the
Indian Office, but a few years ago it became again a real open
parliament. Conflicting views are often expressed, and both the dark and
the bright sides of our Indian picture are presented. The conference
last year was devoted almost exclusively to a discussion of Oklahoma

An annual report is published and circulated throughout the world. The
meetings have been productive of a great deal of good. Those who attend
are invited as the personal guests of Mr. and Mrs. Smiley and enjoy the
privileges of their magnificent estate in the heart of the Catskills,
while attending the conference.

The Society of American Indians was organized at Ohio State University
in 1911. It came into being in response to a feeling on the part of the
educated Indians of the country that the “Indian problem” could best be
solved through an awakening of the race itself, through its leaders, in
cooperation with white friends.

The organization of the society is due to the efforts of Prof. F. A.
McKenzie of Ohio State University. The founders of the Society were such
men and women as Dr. Charles A. Eastman (Sioux), Dr. Carlos Montezuma
(Apache), Rev. Sherman Coolidge (Arapaho), Laura Cornelius (Oneida),
Henry Standing Bear (Sioux), Charles E. Dagenett (Peoria), Rosa B.
LaFlesche (Chippewa), Arthur C. Parker (Seneca), Thomas L. Sloan
(Omaha), Emma D. Goulette (Potawatomie), Marie L. Baldwin (Chippewa),
Henry Roe-Cloud (Winnebago), and Hiram Chase (Omaha).

The high stand taken by the Society and its elimination of all selfish
motives led to an unqualified endorsement of its objects by the most
earnest friends of the Indian in this country and in Europe.

The Society though only four years old has a membership of about 1500.
Hundreds of the most progressive Indians in the country are members and
almost all trades and professions are represented. More than 500
citizens of the white race, including both men and women, are associate
members of the Society. Most of them have for years demonstrated their
earnest and unselfish interest in the welfare of the Indian and have now
united their interests with the Indian.

The Society is not connected with any other organization. It is governed
entirely by its own membership and has no connection with the Indian
Bureau or the Government. Indians and their friends of every shade of
opinion are members.

The Society of American Indians seeks to bring about better conditions
so that the Indian may develop normally as an American people in
America. The Society has asserted that it believes that the full
response to the duties of life is more important than constant demands
for rights; for with the performance of duties, rights will come as a
matter of course. The Society thus seeks to urge the Indian to avail
himself of every opportunity to learn the ways of “civilized” life, in
order that he may become able to compete and cooperate successfully with
other men. The members believe _Indian progress depends upon awakening
the abilities of every individual Indian to the realization of personal
responsibility, for self, for race and for country, and the duty of
responding to the call to activity_. When the nation remedies the laws
now hindering Indian progress, work, thrift, education and clean morals
will then secure for the Indian all the rights that may be given a man
and a citizen.

The Society is not an organization devoted to complaining. Its aim is to
suggest and bring about better conditions wherein the old evils cannot
exist. The Society does not seek to continually fight over local
matters; it does seek to abolish the cause of the misery and the
disability of the race. It strikes at the root of evil, yet it does not
ignore the individual case of injustice. Nearly one hundred applications
each month come from Indians asking legal information.

The annual platform adopted by the Denver Conference and reaffirmed at
the Wisconsin University Conference in 1914 demands: First, the passage
of the Carter Code Bill, by which a commission will draft a codified
law, recommend new legislation and the abolition of laws no longer
operative; and the establishment of the definite status of every tribe,
band or group of Indians in the United States. The Indian cannot
progress until he knows his legal status and how he may advance from a
lower to a higher civic status; Second, the Society demands the passage
of the amended Stephens Bill, through which the Indians may place their
claims directly in the Court of Claims without specific permission of
Congress in each instance. Indian progress will be retarded as long as
real or fancied claims against the Government are unsettled; Third, the
Society asks that the tribal funds be apportioned to each individual’s
personal account, so that each Indian may know exactly what the nation
holds in trust for him. Individual effort and progress will come with an
awakened interest in personal resources and personal property, as
opposed to bulk holdings; Fourth, better educational advantages and
better sanitary protection are demanded. An ignorant and a sick race
cannot be an efficient, useful race. Wisdom, health and thrift will
bring to the red man the greater rights he craves.

The Society publishes a _Quarterly Journal_ of unique interest. It
contains contributions from the pens of Indians who have the true
welfare of the race at heart, and from friends of the red man who have a
constructive message. All shades of thought are given. The discussion is
open, free and earnest. The editorial board consists of five Indians who
are university graduates. The editor-general is connected officially
with the University of the State of New York. The _Quarterly Journal_ is
a high-grade publication, and is an epoch-making departure in the
history of the race.

There are three general classes of membership, Active, Associate, and
Junior. Active members are persons of Indian blood; Associates are
persons not Indians; Juniors are persons less than twenty-one years of

Each year a national conference is held at some convenient point, and in
connection with some great university. Four successful conferences have
been held. Each has been of great importance to the Indian race and has
assisted materially in bringing the Indian problem to a point where it
is nearer solution.

The old-time, non-English-speaking Indian was reverent towards the
“unknown” or mystery. He did not blaspheme. “Why do the white men ask
the Great Spirit to curse them so often?” This was uttered by a pagan,
White Head, a Cheyenne chief, in the presence of Col. Carrington at Fort
Phil Kearney in 1866.

There were a vast number of good traits in the old Indian and we must
not overlook them. Mr. Wright (_page 314_) has referred to theft. They
stole from other tribes—that was proper—but not from each other.
Frankness was a trait everywhere apparent, and Indians spoke their minds
freely. Deceit was for the enemy—deceit as to trail, purpose, trade and
so forth. Among themselves (in the tribe) there was no such thing as
trickery. Exaggerations were indulged in by story-tellers, of course.
But such deceit as white people practice upon each other was unknown in
the olden days.

All the writers, past and present, agree that the bulk of our Indians
were governed by certain moral codes. There never was a real degenerate
among Indians, until white people came among them. In all our efforts to
uplift the Indian during the present crucial transition period, we
should encourage those good qualities (even though they be tinged with
superstition). We should build upon the natural foundation of Indian
character. If we utterly destroy the past, we cannot save the Indian.

I am no idealist. I am quite aware that there are good Indians and bad
Indians, as there are good white people and bad white people; but I
contend that if there is a general breaking down of the Indian
character—which may or may not be true—it is due to us and not to the

As to his sense of honor, and his morality, Leupp presents the

“Has the Indian a basic sense of moral responsibility sufficiently
robust to be capable of high religious development? Let me tell you a
true story. A number of years ago a group of twenty Indians who had been
in controversy with the authorities in Washington entered into a solemn
pact not to accept certain money which the Government was preparing to
distribute among their tribe in three or four successive payments,
because they believed that that would be a surrender of the principle
for which they had been contending. Later the questions at issue were
cleared up by a judicial decision which left the Indians’ protest not a
leg to stand on. Nineteen of the twenty, including a candidate for the
chiefship who had led the party into their attempt at resistance, bowed
to the inevitable, took the money offered them at the next payment, and
applied for the instalments then in arrears. The twentieth man, whose
English name was Bill, stood out alone in his refusal to touch anything,
but refused to tell why. Soon afterward I visited the reservation on
business, and he sought me privately and opened his heart. He was poor,
and his family were actually in need of some things the money would buy;
so I tried to make him feel more comfortable by assuring him that the
withdrawal of the others from their mutual agreement left him free to do
as he wished.

“‘No,’ he declared; adding, in a phraseology which I shall not try to
imitate, ‘we are all bound by a vow. I swore that I would not take my
share of that money, and I must not. The others may change if they
choose, but they cannot release me from my oath.’

“‘That is honorable, certainly,’ I answered; ‘but if you feel so
strongly about it, why did you come to me for advice?’

“‘There is something you can tell me, and I am afraid to trust the
others. I vowed for myself and not for my family, though they have not
drawn their shares either. Now, can they get their money even if I don’t
touch mine?’

“I said that I could get it for them.

“‘What becomes of my money if I don’t take it?’

“‘It will accumulate in the Treasury, and be paid to your heirs after
your death.’

“‘You have made my heart glad,’ exclaimed Bill, laying his hand
affectionately on my shoulder while his face beamed with satisfaction.
‘That is the way I would have it. I felt right in standing out, but I
did not want my wife and children to suffer if I were wrong.’

“A cynic might find the moral of this story to be that only one Indian
in twenty is high-minded enough to hold his ground against such
temptation. But it would be fairer to temper that judgment with the
inquiry, how the proportions would have arranged themselves in a like
number of any other race?”[52]

Two years ago, when the Board of United States Indian Commissioners met
in Washington, the representatives of practically all the missionary
organizations appeared and a full and frank discussion ensued. It is no
exaggeration to state that all of these persons representing varied
interests (and twenty years ago these very people might have been
considered rivals) left with a resolve to carry on their work with due
regard for the rights of others. It is quite clear that if the Catholics
have a successful mission on Reservation A, and the Presbyterians on
Reservation B, that the good work should continue, and those in charge
of mission A should not seek to establish a post on Reservation B,
unless it is perfectly clear that Mission B is unable to care for more
than a portion of the Indians. That where different denominations are
located on the larger reservations, they should all work in harmony,
looking toward the great purpose for which such worthy organizations

It is true that the Indians in former years did not understand our
religion, and that confusion existed in the minds of the untutored
aborigines in the past for the very reason that representatives of
different sects worked at cross-purposes. This is said in no disrespect
whatsoever, it is merely a statement of facts. Mr. Leupp presents an
illuminating illustration on this subject.

“Indians are always greatly puzzled by the differences between the
sects, and the appearance of hostility so often assumed by one toward
another. It has little effect to assure them that all the sects are but
parts of one religious body, worshipping the same deity. Doctrinal
subtleties are of course beyond the reach of the ordinary Indian’s mind,
but in matters of discipline he discovers what seem to him serious
incongruities. An old chief once expressed to me his deep concern
because a missionary had warned his children that they would be punished
after death if they broke the Sabbath with their accustomed games, yet
he had seen with his own eyes a missionary playing tennis on Sunday.
Another raised in my presence, with a sly suggestion of satire in his
tone, the question of marriage. One missionary, he told us—referring to
a visit from a Mormon apostle several years before—had four wives, and
said it was good in the sight of the white man’s God; the missionary who
preached at the agency school had only one wife, and said that that was
all right, but it would be wicked for him to marry any more; but the
priest who came once in a while to bless the children had no wife at
all, and said that the white man’s God would be displeased with him if
he took even one.”[53]

The powerful missionary organizations, comprising as they do, hundreds
of earnest workers, will accomplish much more for “Indian uplift” if
they devote their energies to “pagan Whites” as well as to the pagan
Indians. The worst people I have met had white, and not red skins. These
men swarm about all Indian communities. Enough evidence against their
character has been brought before the benevolent organizations and
Washington, to convince the most skeptical. Suppose the Indians of a
certain region were found to be swindling each other, importing whiskey,
gambling, stealing and committing all sorts of crimes. Immediately half
a dozen organizations would raise funds and send their best workers to
“lead the pagans from darkness into light.” It has been clearly shown
that the worst elements of our white race are responsible for the
deplorable condition of thousands of Indians. Yet, I fail to observe any
concerted effort to check this evil at its source. No one seems to
realize that the “pagan White” is vastly more in need of reformation
than his red brother. We have tried to save the Indian—meanwhile
permitting whiskey and graft, immorality and greed, to continue
virtually unchecked. We tell him to be upright, yet we surround him by
examples of civilization, the antithesis of that which we preach. No
wonder the Indian loses faith in us and our culture. Some wealthy man or
woman will do the Indian a great and good service by liberally endowing
a score of missions to labor among the “pagan Whites”, living near (or
in) Indian communities.



  From “Indian Blankets and their Makers,” by G. W. James.


Footnote 51:

  My Friend the Indian, pages 80, 242, 245.

Footnote 52:

  The Indian and His Problem, page 303.

Footnote 53:

  Page 296.


The Indians of the Southwest in both ancient and modern times built
dams, dug irrigation canals and watered certain tracts more or less
extensive in area. The subject of agriculture as conducted in arid
regions by the Indians is an exceedingly interesting one and has been
treated briefly by Doctor Hodge in the Handbook of American Indians.
Many of the modern canals in Arizona, New Mexico and California follow
the old ditches dug by the Cliff Dwellers, Pueblos and other tribes.
Excepting the Apaches and Comanches, probably all southwestern Indians
understood and made use of irrigation in the raising of crops.

Some of the military and scientific expeditions to the Southwest in
early times found the Pima, Maricopa, Papago, Pueblo and other Indians
in possession of large, cultivated fields. With the influx of white
settlers in the later ’70’s and early ’80’s, not only was much of this
land appropriated by the Whites, but the water was diverted, thus
causing the Indians great privations. I have referred elsewhere in this
book to the case of the Pimas, and that of the Maricopas, Yumas and
Pueblos, and it has been commented upon in a score of reports. Briefly
summed up, we have well-nigh destroyed (or rather appropriated) the
entire irrigation zone formerly controlled by the Indians. Their fields
and ditches have passed to us.

A movement has been inaugurated to save what little remains. In this
humane work the Indian Rights Association and the Board of Indian
Commissioners, as well as the Indian Office, have all played prominent
parts. When Hon. F. H. Abbott became acting Commissioner he made a study
of this subject, and later, as Secretary of the Board of Indian
Commissioners, he prepared an exhaustive paper entitled, “Briefs on
Indian Irrigation and Indian Forests.” This was presented to the Senate
Committee on Indian Affairs, February 9th, 1914. It covers the entire
irrigation problem, and I insert most of it herewith.

“The proposed amendment relating to Indian irrigation, you will observe,
is sweeping in character. Its main and central purpose is to stop the
gratuitous use of tribal and Government funds in the construction and
maintenance of irrigation projects, to charge the costs thereof against
the lands benefited or against the pro rata shares in the tribal funds,
when distributed, of the individual Indians whose lands are benefited,
and to give the Indians a voice in the expenditure of their own funds
for irrigation purposes and make them share the responsibility of
maintaining and operating the completed projects. If this amendment is
enacted into law nearly $400,000 carried each year in the Indian
appropriation acts as gratuity items will become reimbursable. The facts
relating to existing irrigation law and practice and arguments in
support of the proposed amendment are fully elaborated in the brief
submitted herewith, to which I invite your careful attention.

“The proposed amendment relating to the care, protection, and sale of
Indian timber is also supported by a carefully prepared statement,
herewith submitted. This amendment, if enacted into law, will save the
Government in the neighborhood of $75,000 a year. * * * *

“The difficulties of the complex problems relating to the education and
civilization of the Indians of this country and to the handling of their
vast property resources are increasing in direct ratio with the increase
in the value of that property and the individualization thereof.

“The eyes cannot be closed to the constantly increasing administrative
burdens of the Indian Bureau. This increase can not be explained away on
the ground of alleged bad administration; it is due, in large part, to
the carrying out of laws enacted by Congress for the breaking up of the
vast tribal estates of the Indians and to the establishment of the
policy of individualization in connection therewith. Before the volume
of the business of the Indian Bureau will begin to grow less, it will
become very much greater; and the value of Indian property over which
the Indian Bureau is required by law to exercise supervision, now
estimated at nearly one billion dollars, will undoubtedly be very much
greater before it begins to grow less.

“How is the Government going to meet this growing problem? Will Congress
increase appropriations to meet the increased demands imposed by law and
changing economic conditions upon the Indian Bureau? Is there any other
way out?

“Those who answer by saying, ‘Give the Indians immediate citizenship and
full control of their property and thus keep down the appropriations for
Indian administration,’ offer a correct solution only for that class of
Indians who are sufficiently educated and advanced in civilization to
accept the full responsibility for handling their property. Accepting
this solution for that class of Indians—and it is undoubtedly the
correct solution for this class—it still remains true that the
increasing value of the lands and minerals and forests on Indian
reservations which are still closed to settlement, and of the property
of individual Indians who are still unprepared to protect it, and the
future individual allotment of lands to nearly 50 per cent of the
Indians of the country, will make the administration of Indian Affairs
for some years to come one of increasing difficulty and expense. * * * *

“The reclamation of arid lands on Indian reservations by irrigation, to
provide better homes for Indian families, and to bring to them the
benefits of civilized society through the agricultural development of
their lands, is one of the most beneficent policies the Government has
ever inaugurated in dealing with their affairs. Too much credit can not
be given to Senators and Congressmen and administrative officers of the
Government who have had to do with the enactment of laws and the
securing of appropriations to carry out this policy. The motives of
legislators have been benevolent and patriotic, and the work of the
Government engineers and other officials who have constructed the
projects has been honest and comparatively efficient and economical.
However, a careful examination of Indian irrigation laws and conditions
prevailing in connection with their administration reveals defects which
need remedy. It is no reflection upon the high motives of those
responsible for present law and present conditions that these defects
exist. It was a new legislative and administrative field. Irrigation
laws were not uniform in the several States. Conditions varied on
different Indian reservations. The legislation was necessarily
experimental. Nevertheless, the defects are serious, they should be
faced frankly, and the remedies needed should be applied promptly to
preserve the good in the existing order of things and eliminate the bad
before greater harm results.

“Lack of uniformity in Indian irrigation laws, lack of utilization by
Indians of their irrigated lands, lack of a voice on the part of the
Indians in the expenditure of their funds for the construction and
maintenance of their irrigation projects, and failure to individualize
the reclamation costs by charging them against the lands benefited are
the most serious fundamental defects of the present situation.

“Approximately nine million dollars have been expended for the
irrigation of Indian lands. About seven millions of this amount have
been charged to tribal funds and the balance expended from gratuity
appropriations made by Congress. About 600,000 acres of irrigable Indian
lands have been brought under ditch. Of this area less than 100,000
acres are being irrigated by Indians, while a large part of the area
thus irrigated is not farmed, but is used to produce hay crops. And,
notwithstanding the fact that either tribal or Government funds have
been used to irrigate these lands, on all except three reservations,
when patents in fee are issued to Indian allottees, and in every case
where their lands are sold under the supervision of the Government,
either the individual Indian who sells the land or the purchaser thereof
puts in his pocket the value of the water right for which the tribe or
the Government has paid; and not only are the members of the tribe not
consulted with respect to the expenditure of their money, which
ultimately passes in this manner either to the individual allottee or to
the white purchaser of his land, but the individual whose land is
benefited is given no opportunity to assume any responsibility in
connection therewith or to appreciate the value of the benefit
conferred, while the free-water right thus secured by the individual
Indian offers a constant inducement to him to part with his land.



“Some striking illustrations of the lack of utilization of irrigable
Indian lands may be found on the following reservations: On the Crow
Reservation, where irrigation ditches have been completed for more than
ten years and where the total area under constructed ditches is
estimated at 68,756 acres, only 11,376 acres are irrigated by Indians,
and most of this is irrigated for hay crops; on the Flathead Reservation
the present irrigable area is estimated at 38,000 acres, but only 1,088
acres are irrigated by Indians; on the Fort Belknap Reservation, out of
22,000 acres under ditch, 7,670 acres are irrigated by Indians; on Fort
Hall Reservation Indians irrigate only 3,300 acres out of present
irrigable area of 35,000 acres; on the Wind River Reservation the
Indians are irrigating approximately 5,000 acres out of a total
irrigable area of 35,000 acres, and most of this area is irrigated for
hay crops; on the Uintah Reservation, out of a total irrigable area of
87,880 acres the Indians are irrigating approximately 6,000 acres; on
the Yakima Reservation, where the present irrigable area is 54,000
acres, the Indians are irrigating 5,350 acres; and at Yuma the Indians
are irrigating approximately 200 acres out of an irrigable area of 4,000
acres. In the reservations of the Southwest the showing of utilization
of irrigable lands is very much better.

“The lack of utilization noted in the foregoing paragraph is serious
enough from an industrial standpoint, but it is fraught with peculiar
dangers in the case of the reservations where the water rights are
subject to the operation of State law. On the Fort Hall Reservation
(Idaho) beneficial use must be made of the water for the irrigable lands
prior to the year 1916, in order to prevent the appropriation of the
water by other water users; on the Wind River Reservation in Wyoming
beneficial use must likewise be made before 1916; and on the Uintah
Reservation (Utah) beneficial use must be made before 1919. The total
investment in the construction of irrigation ditches and the purchase of
water rights on these three reservations amounts to approximately
$2,000,000, and in the case of the Wind River and Uintah Reservations
the expenditure has been made from Indian funds.

“Lack of proper utilization can not be charged to the indolence of the
Indian. The present system is doubtless responsible for an undue lack of
interest and indifference on his part. He has not been consulted in
advance of the expenditure; the cost of the construction and the expense
of maintenance on the basis of each acre irrigated have not been
explained and brought home to him; the money being taken out of a tribal
fund which has never become a part of his individual possession, he has
not understood his intimate individual interest in its expenditure, nor
has he realized the value, in dollars and cents, of the benefit.

“In many cases irrigation on Indian reservations has been provided for
in response to a perfectly natural and normal demand of white settlers,
either for the opening to settlement of irrigable lands on Indian
reservations or for obtaining water from streams flowing through Indian
reservations for the irrigation of their lands on the outside. As a
result, the construction of irrigation projects on Indian reservations
has often preceded the proper preparation of the Indians for such
construction and often has preceded the development of transportation
facilities necessary to market the products of the land irrigated, and
in the case of the large reservations in the Northwest irrigation has
been brought to Indians unskilled in the art of irrigation, strangers to
the art of agriculture, trained for generations to the exciting life of
the chase, having no knowledge of any of the pursuits of modern
civilized life except a somewhat general knowledge of the raising of
cattle and horses. Generally, however, this premature development of
irrigation has had sufficient justification in the necessity of such
development to preserve the rights of the Indians to the water.

“One of the chief reasons for the failure of the Indians on the
reservations mentioned to utilize their irrigable lands has been the
failure to provide appropriations necessary to enable them to buy teams
and tools and other equipment, without which the utilization of their
lands is impossible. The main thought apparently has been to build the
ditches, and with rare exceptions no provision has been made to use
tribal funds for any other purpose than that of reimbursing the
Government for the cost of construction of the project. At the same time
the Indian has lacked the credit which is available to the white settler
living under similar conditions necessary to help himself. Through the
policy of reimbursable appropriations established during the last few
years Congress has begun to prepare a remedy for these conditions. But
on a majority of the reservations mentioned above, Indians are still in
a position where they have to sit idly by and witness the expenditure of
their own funds in the construction and maintenance of irrigation
ditches which, under present conditions, they cannot use and in which
expenditures they have no voice—helpless, though they have more than
ample resources in their undeveloped lands to secure money advances
necessary to make productive use thereof.

“Another reason for the lack of adequate utilization of Indian lands may
be found in the failure to adjust the size of the allotment of irrigable
land to the conditions of soil and climate and the industrial habits and
needs of the Indians. While in the Southwest, on the Colorado River and
Yuma Reservations and several others, allotments have been made in
10–acre tracts, and in some cases smaller, suitable to the methods of
intensive agriculture practiced in that section of country, this policy
has been lacking almost universally in the reservations of the
Northwest, where in most cases allotment has been made under the general
allotment act, which did not take into consideration the question of
possible irrigation. The allotment of 80 acres to each man, woman, and
child is found under the irrigation projects on the Yakima, Uintah,
Crow, Wind River, Flathead, and Southern Ute (diminished) Reservations
while on Blackfeet and Fort Peck the size of the allotment is 40 acres,
and on Fort Hall 40 acres to each head of a family and 20 acres to each
other member of the tribe. Take the Uintah and Wind River Reservations,
for example, where beneficial use is required by State law in order to
protect the water rights. The average family of five members would have
400 acres of irrigable land. The average white family in the same
section of the country can not utilize satisfactorily over 80, or at the
most 160, acres of the same land. How can an Indian family unassisted,
and especially without money or credit to buy tools and equipment, be
expected to reclaim 400 acres of land?



  Grandfather blind (trachoma). Both children infected.

“In striking contrast with the lack of agricultural development on
irrigated Indian reservations, under the present system, is the marked
development of agriculture during the last few years on a number of
reservations in the regions of normal rainfall where Indians have had
control of their own funds and the responsibility of expending them in
the improvement and development of their lands, under the guidance of
practical Indian Service farmers.

“The remedies needed will be suggested briefly, as follows:

“1. General legislation that will charge the individual land benefited
with the cost of construction and maintenance, payment to be made out of
the share in the tribal funds of the individual whose land in benefited
or from the proceeds of the sale of the land when it passes from Indian
ownership where the share of the individual in the tribal fund is

“2. The general legislation suggested in the above paragraph should
provide that the tribe whose funds it is proposed to use for the
construction of irrigation projects shall be first consulted.

“3. The proposed general legislation should also provide for charging of
costs of maintenance and operation against the lands under the project
and should give the Indians whose lands are benefited a voice in said
maintenance and operation.

“4. In order not to overburden irrigated Indian lands by the legislation
suggested, especially since the Indians have not heretofore been
consulted, the costs of supervisory engineering and of experimental
construction and cost of investigations and preliminary surveys should
be excluded from the charges made against the lands and paid from
gratuity appropriations.

“5. Reimbursable appropriations from tribal funds should be made
immediately for all Indian reservations where the utilization of
irrigable lands has not kept pace with the construction of irrigation
projects through lack of funds in the hands of individual Indians to
make such utilization possible.

“6. Skilled irrigation farmers should be provided out of gratuity
appropriations to give advice and assistance to Indians having irrigable

                       CHAPTER XXIX. THE BUFFALO

The American bison, commonly called the buffalo, occupied an extended
area of the United States in ancient times. About 1850, the range of the
buffalo extended from the Red River valley, Manitoba, to central Texas;
through western and central Minnesota and as far west as the arid plains
of Colorado, and to near the headwaters of the Missouri River in the
Northwest. As settlers pushed west of the Mississippi, the buffalo
disappeared from eastern Nebraska, Missouri and western Arkansas. The
animal does not appear to have ranged in eastern Arkansas or Louisiana,
preferring the portion of the country known as the Great Plains, and the
entire Missouri River valley. In the later sixties, when the Union
Pacific Railroad was built westward, hundreds of hunters were enabled to
ship East unnumbered thousands of robes and great quantities of meat.
The herds were further restricted, and by 1885, the buffalo almost
entirely disappeared.

Of the numbers of these animals, none of the authorities seem to agree.
Robert M. Wright of Dodge City, Kansas, one of the earliest pioneers,
recently published a book entitled “Dodge City, the Cowboy Capital.” He
gives the estimates prepared by men living at the time, as to the number
of buffalo. I present his remarks at some length as indicative of the
difference of opinion even among those familiar with the Great Plains,
of their numerical extent. It is safe to assume, however, that there
were between 25,000,000 and 50,000,000 buffalo in the West in the year

“I wish here to assert a few facts concerning game, and animal life in
general, in early days, in the vicinity of Fort Dodge and Dodge
City.[54] There were wonderful herds of buffalo, antelope, deer, elk,
and wild horses, big gray wolves and coyotes by the thousand, hundreds
of the latter frequently being seen in bands and often from ten to fifty
gray wolves in a bunch. There were also black and cinnamon bears,
wildcats and mountain lions, though these latter were scarce and seldom
seen so far from the mountains. General Sheridan and Major Inman were
occupying my office at Fort Dodge one night, having just made a trip
from Fort Supply, and called me in to consult as to how many buffaloes
there were between Dodge and Supply. Taking a strip fifty miles east and
fifty miles west, they had first estimated it ten billion. General
Sheridan said, ‘That won’t do.’ They figured it again, and made it one
billion. Finally they reached the conclusion that there must be one
hundred million; but said, they were afraid to give out these figures;
nevertheless they believed them. This vast herd moved slowly toward the
north when spring opened, and moved steadily back again from the north
when the grass began to grow short, and winter was setting in.

“Horace Greeley estimated the number of buffaloes at five million. I
agree with him, only I think there were nearly five times that number.
Mr. Greeley passed through herds of them twice. I lived in the heart of
the buffalo range for nearly fifteen years. I am told that some recent
writer, who has studied the buffalo closely, has placed their number at
ninety million, and I think that he is nearer right than I. Brick Bond,
a resident of Dodge, an old, experienced hunter, a great shot, a man of
considerable intelligence and judgment, and a most reliable man as to
truthfulness, says that he killed 1500 buffaloes in seven days, and his
highest killing was 250 in one day; and he had to be on the lookout for
hostile Indians all the time. He had fifteen “skinners,” and he was only
one of many hunters.

“Charles Rath and I shipped over 200,000 buffalo hides the first winter
the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railroad reached Dodge City, and I
think there were at least as many more shipped from there, besides 200
cars of hind-quarters and two cars of buffalo tongues.”

A Kansas newspaper (_Dodge City Times_, August 18th, 1877) remarks:

“Dickinson County has a buffalo hunter by the name of Mr. Warnock, who
has killed as high as 658 in one winter.—_Edwards County Leader._

“Oh, dear, what a mighty hunter! Ford County has twenty men who each
have killed five times that many in one winter. The best on record,
however, is that of Tom Nickson, who killed 120 at one stand in forty
minutes, and who, from the 15th of September to the 20th of October,
killed 2,173 buffaloes.”

Colonel Richard I. Dodge, who spent thirty years on the Plains,
commenting in 1880 on the value of the buffalo to the Indian, says:

“It is almost impossible for a civilized being to realize the value to
the Plains Indians of the buffalo. It furnished him with home, food,
clothing, bedding, house equipment, almost everything. Without it he is
poor as poverty itself, and on the verge of starvation.

“Some years, as in 1871, the buffalo appeared to move northward in one
immense column, oftentimes from twenty to fifty miles in width, and of
unknown depth from front to rear. Other years the northward journey was
made in several parallel columns, moving at the same rate and with their
numerous flankers covering a width of a hundred or more miles.

“During the three years 1872–73–74, at least five millions of buffaloes
were slaughtered for their hides.

“This slaughter was all in violation of law, and in contravention of
solemn treaties made with the Indians, but it was the duty of no special
person to put a stop to it. The Indian Bureau made a feeble effort to
keep the white hunters out of Indian Territory, but soon gave it up, and
these parties spread all over the country, slaughtering the buffalo
under the very noses of the Indians.

“Ten years ago the Plains Indians had an ample supply of food, and could
support life comfortably without the assistance of the Government. Now
everything is gone, and they are reduced to the condition of paupers,
without food, shelter, clothing, or any of those necessaries of life
which came from the buffalo; and without friends, except the harpies,
who, under the guise of friendship, feed upon them.”

The first trains on the Union Pacific Railway were frequently compelled
to stop for one or two days until these immense herds had crossed the
tracks. The Missouri River has been known to be filled with buffalo
swimming across; a boat descending or ascending the river was compelled
to wait a day or two for the herds to pass. Unnumbered thousands were
drowned at the time of these crossings. Prairie fires must have
destroyed multitudes of these animals.

The American bison was very easily approached and killed, and a careful
reading of the accounts of buffalo-hunts indicates that there was about
as much real sport in the slaughter of these animals as in killing
domesticated cattle. In fact, the long-horned Texas steer such as used
to range the Southwest forty years ago, would probably afford more sport
to men engaged in a “running hunt,” than the buffalo. The latter were
heavy, ponderous animals and save when stampeded, could be shot down
from ambush. An “oldtimer”, long on the Plains, told me that he
frequently killed from fifty to seventy-five buffalo from one stand. He
would secret himself on a little bluff, overlooking a ravine where the
grass was exceptionally good, and from this vantage-point, using a heavy
Sharpes rifle, he shot down one after another. He stated that the bulls
would walk up to a fallen animal, smell of the blood, paw the dirt, and
perhaps bellow a little, but until the animals got scent of him, they
would not move away. Professor William T. Hornaday in the United States
National Museum Reports for 1887 and 1889 has given an extended account
of the buffalo and its destruction. Catlin has presented us, in earlier
years, of a stirring account of a buffalo-hunt. Coming down to later
times, General Custer, Colonel William F. Cody and others have pictured
the excitement of the buffalo-chase. Colonel Cody, in fifteen months,
according to his own admission, slaughtered 4280.[55] He thus obtained
the name “Buffalo Bill.”


    NOVEMBER 27, 1868

  Black Kettle was killed in the fight. Reproduced from Col. Dodge’s
    “Our Wild Indians”

The senseless slaughter of this magnificent creature by thousands of
hunters, frontiersmen, Bills and Dicks, and others between 1850 and
1880, soon brought about the near extinction of the species. A few were
saved by Messrs. Allard and Conrad of Montana, the Canadian Government,
our own Government, Colonel W. A. Jones (Buffalo Jones) and others. The
late Senator Corbin secured a number of animals and shipped them to New
Hampshire where a tract of several thousand acres was set aside as a
park. All of these herds increased, and at the present time in the
United States and Canada there must be nearly, if not quite, 1500 head.
Thus the species is preserved. The Government had great difficulty in
preventing poachers in Yellowstone Park from slaughtering the animals,
and in the early nineties there were very few animals left alive. Public
opinion has been aroused to the necessity of preserving this typically
American animal, and it is now certain that the species will not become

Buffalo Bill, not content with his records of “big killings”, took
numbers of bison East during the ’80’s. Of these, twenty fine specimens
died of pleuro-pneumonia while his show was at Madison Square Garden,
New York City, during the winter of 1886–’87. The last survivors of this
magnificent creature were hauled about the country and exhibited before
gaping crowds. At Newark, Ohio, in the early ’80’s, when a boy I
attended Buffalo Bill’s “Wild West Show”. I shall ever remember my
sensations when witnessing the “grand buffalo hunt”. Three or four poor,
old, scarred bison were driven into the fair-ground enclosure by some
whooping cow-punchers. Buffalo Bill himself dashed up alongside the
lumbering animals and from a Winchester repeater discharged numerous
“blanks” into the already powder-burned sides of the helpless creatures.
The crowd roared with appreciation, and as the cow-punchers pursued, and
rounded up the hapless bison before the grandstand, Buffalo Bill reined
in his steed, and spurring the horse (so he would prance), bowed right
and left.

Professor Hornady’s report, together with other information, indicates
that enough buffalo were carted about the East to have formed a very
respectable herd—had they been permitted to remain in some favored spot
in the buffalo country.

The killing of the buffalo furnished employment for the type of men who
usually flock to any frontier. There was more or less excitement in the
chase, the animals were absolutely defenseless, the hides and meat could
be sold. But for the hostility of the Plains tribes, the buffalo would
long ago have disappeared. But when the Sioux, Pawnee, Cheyenne,
Arapaho, Kiowa, Omaha and others saw that the Whites would destroy their
means of sustenance, they inaugurated a campaign of hostility throughout
the Great Plains and the Upper Missouri country, against the Whites.

Certain communities where a large number of fearless men were assembled
(such as Dodge City, Kansas,) became headquarters for the hunters, but
the ranging of hunting parties throughout the entire West was
restricted. This delayed the destruction of the buffalo. As I have
stated, the coming of the railroad, and the subsequent building of other
railroads, and steamboat navigation upon the Missouri, brought about
curtailment of Indian activities and the ultimate destruction of the
buffalo. I present a drawing from Wright’s book in which are exhibited
upwards of 40,000 buffalo hides stacked up in the corral at Dodge
City.[56] This was in 1876. So many hides were shipped to the eastern
market that the price fell to a dollar. Unnumbered thousands were sold
at $1.25. I entered a furrier’s store in Boston last winter and saw
three buffalo robes offered for sale. The ordinary one was $75, another
one was $100, and an extra fine robe was priced at $150. A few live
buffalo were recently sold and the price was, I have been told, $1,000

The hide-hunters killed the animal for the robe, as the name implies,
and left the carcass to rot. Sometimes men took neither the hides nor
the tongues, but killed for the mere pleasure of slaughtering.

It is not at all difficult for us to reconstruct the “good old buffalo
days” among any of the tribes, from the Comanches of Texas to the Sioux
of Minnesota. Many of the Indian bands followed the buffalo in its
annual migration north or south, killing such of the animals as were
needed for use and permitting the greater number to escape. There is no
authentic account of early Indians slaughtering to satisfy a craving for
blood. Indians sometimes killed enemies for the sheer love of slaughter,
but the buffalo was not an enemy. Having obtained sufficient meat or
hides, they simply quit, for they had not become “civilized”.

Let us imagine some village of the period between 1850 and 1865. There
are numerous accounts of such, and we need read few of them to form an
accurate, though composite picture. The camp is located in some favorite
spot. Young men, out upon a scout, observe the approach of a great herd,
and, lashing their ponies, speed back home with the welcome news. All is
excitement in the village some twenty miles to the east. Immediately the
village crier gallops from one end of the encampment to the other
announcing that a buffalo dance is to be held that night. Everybody
prepares for the festive occasion; the shamans make their medicine; the
buffalo dance paraphernalia is brought out, and until early morning
hours the dance continues.

Great merriment is caused when the better dancers try to outdo each
other. Much feasting follows—for are they not soon to possess an
abundance of meat? An old shaman appears; the dancers pause; he informs
them that his medicine is “good.” No enemies are near; the dreadful
white hunters are not at hand; every lodge will secure at least three
buffalo. Therefore, all must prepare and be ready to begin the hunt at

Shortly after sunrise a large portion of the Indians mounted on their
most reliable “buffalo horses” (which have been trained to skillfully
avoid the rushes of the bulls) pursue the herd. Each man selects a
well-proportioned beast, and with rifle, arrow or lance, he brings him

Now, hunting buffalo with the lance, or bow and arrow, was sport. The
use of a rifle required no skill. With the lance, the hunter must ride
up close, thrust the lance in and swing his pony suddenly to avoid the
charge of any belligerent bull. The steel-pointed arrows must be shot at
close range, and when the beast was “on the jump”, in order that the
arrow penetrate between the ribs to a vital part. Much of the arrow’s
force was lost, if it struck a rib. Hence, great skill on the hunter’s
part was required. He must shoot or thrust at the proper moment. This
was true sport—just the opposite of still hunting, the favorite pastime
of the pot-and-hide hunters; far more exciting than the work of such men
as Buffalo Bill, who killed in order to make “big records”. When Indians
hunted, the women and children and older men followed along in the wake
of the advance party, removed the hides and cut up the meat.

Or, if the herd is a small one, it is surrounded by a large number of
horsemen and forced to a common center. “Milling”, the old frontiersmen
used to call it. Indians ride furiously around the herd, making much
noise, and the animals seeking to escape, crowd toward the center of the
circle. Buffalo were often maimed or crushed as a result of this style
of hunt. It afforded the Indians opportunity to shoot down a large
number of animals before the buffalo ceased “milling” and fled in
various directions.

Again, small herds were run over precipices, or into ravines having
steep sides. Sometimes they were pursued to the banks of the Missouri
River and shot while swimming.

Often from a village small parties of young men would go out on informal
hunts, preceding which there was no special ceremony such as the buffalo
dance. But as a rule, the hunts were more or less ceremonial affairs, or
at least preceded by certain rites. The introduction of the Sharpes
rifle, and later the Winchester, among the Indians, changed this style
of hunt and many of the Indians followed the example of the white men
and hunted individually, or in small groups, rather than tribally.



Miss Alice C. Fletcher is considered an authority upon the Omaha and
related tribes. Of the buffalo she says:—

“Tribal regulations controlled the cutting up of the animal and the
distribution of the parts. The skin and certain parts of the carcass
belonged to the man who had slain the buffalo; the remainder was divided
according to certain fixed rules among the helpers, which afforded an
opportunity for the poor and disabled to procure food. Butchering was
generally done by men on the field, each man’s portion being taken to
his tent and given to the women as their property.

“The buffalo was hunted in the winter by small, independent but
organized parties, not subject to the ceremonial exactions of the tribal
hunt. The pelts secured at this time were for bedding and for garments
of extra weight and warmth. The texture of the buffalo hide did not
admit of fine dressing, hence was used for coarse clothing, moccasins,
tent covers, parfleche cases, and other articles. The hide of the heifer
killed in the fall or early winter made the finest robe.

“The buffalo was supposed to be the instructor of doctors who dealt with
the treatment of wounds, teaching them in dreams where to find healing
plants and the manner of their use. The multifarious benefits derived
from the animal brought the buffalo into close touch with the people. It
figured as a gentile totem, its appearance and movements were referred
to in gentile names, its habits gave designations to the months, and it
became the symbol of the leader and the type of long life and plenty;
ceremonies were held in its honor, myths recounted its creation, and its
folk-tales delighted old and young.”[57]

There were many separate uses to which the entire buffalo carcass was
put. I have grouped them thus:—

                       Ordinary food
                       Dried for winter
                       Mixed (pounded)
                       with other foods


                       Shovels of shoulder-blades
                       Grooved adzes
                       Awls, etc.
                       Skull for ceremonies
                       Hoof-points for rattles



                         OTHER PARTS
                       Bladder (storage)
                       Hair (Stuffings)

It will thus be seen that he meant to many of the Plains tribes their
very existence. The destruction of the buffalo meant the destruction of
all. Indian chiefs were quick to foresee that if indiscriminate
slaughter on the part of white people continued, the power of the Indian
as a race was doomed. That is, of the Plains or “Horse” tribes. Our own
army officers also were aware of this fact, and Custer, Miles, Sherman,
Crook and others have stated in their reports that in order to bring the
Plains Indians into subjection and control them on reservations, it was
necessary to destroy the American bison. All the prominent Sioux,
Cheyenne and other chiefs inspired their followers to continue the war
against the white people, using as an incentive the phrase—“They are
destroying the Indians’ means of livelihood.” Speeches of this character
were always made in councils, or preceding war dances, and never failed
to rouse a militant spirit.

As the Indians became settled on reservations and attempted to provide
themselves with meat, robes, dwellings, etc., as formerly, they
experienced great difficulty on account of the scarcity of the buffalo.
It was very natural, therefore, for them to turn to the authorities at
Washington for support, since the authorities had permitted the
hide-hunters, frontiersmen and numerous persons who flocked to the
frontier at the close of the Civil War, to engage in lawless acts. These
Indians were not agriculturalists, and yet they had always supported
themselves. Their inter-tribal wars, while at some times serious, never
resulted in the total destruction of a large band. In fact, too much has
been made of the wars between the Crows and the Sioux, or the Ojibwa and
the Sioux, or those between other bands. The existence that they led, in
the good old buffalo days, was to them ideal. And from their point of
view we must admit that they speak truly when they so declare. Many an
old Indian has told me he would rather “take chances on a piece of lead”
in olden times, than live as he does today. The effect of this lawless
element on Indian life has been overlooked by other writers. They have
minimized its pernicious effect. We know they were free from disease,
until white men came among them; they desired nothing further than to be
properly fed, clothed and housed. The destruction of the buffalo put an
end to all of this, and the presence of the military further curtailed
their activities. Hence the reservation and ration system sprang up.

But it seems to me, we have all minimized one great truth. Having
destroyed that which was the very life of these Indians, we should have
given them something in its place. The Indian frequently asked for
stock, but it was not until years afterwards that stock in any numbers
was issued to them. The issue of cattle to the Plains Indians was much
curtailed because of reports from Agents and Superintendents, during the
eighties, that the Indians killed much of this stock for food. All the
Plains tribes were meat-eaters and not vegetarians. We could not expect
them to live where there was no meat available, save their own cattle.
Agriculture was (and among the Sioux, still is) in its infancy.



A gentleman living in northern Nebraska, who has been familiar with the
Sioux for forty years, writes me on this point as follows:—

“On the spring round-up of the year that Major Clapp left Pine Ridge,
(thirty years ago) these Indians branded over 16,000 calves; and horses
dotted the hills in herds of from fifty to several hundred head each. At
this time there are a few herds of small proportion, and the calves
produced by the entire four counties that originally comprised the
reservation, is numbered by a paltry few hundred.”

What the Government did was to permit the destruction of the buffalo,
corral the Indians, expect them to change from the chase to agriculture,
or, it utterly destroyed their sustenance and commanded:—“Become as
white men,” all within one or two decades. This was, manifestly,
impossible. The ration system was a necessity, not a mere gratuity, as
so many of the writers have maintained. Without a ration system, these
Indians would have starved to death. If large numbers of cattle had been
issued them, and they had been compelled to save a certain portion of
these for breeding purposes, and thus increased their herds, we should
certainly have avoided a great deal of misery.

Be this as it may, it is quite clear that the extinction of the bison
worked a hardship not only to the Indians, but was a great monetary loss
to our own nation. The frontier element responsible should have been
controlled. Canada has not been cursed with the class of Bills and Dicks
who roamed at will the Great Plains in our own country between 1850 and
1880. Canada had, and has, a great many Indians in her northwestern
possessions. Her white population was, numerically, far weaker than our
own between these periods of time. Such a united band as Red Cloud led
against Fort Fetterman in 1866 could have utterly destroyed all the
white settlers in western Canada were the chiefs so inclined. The very
fact that they never attacked the Canadians, and that immediately south
of the boundary between the two countries, bloodshed was rampant from
1850 to 1880, indicates that the Canadian authorities adopted a much
wiser policy than that followed by our easy-going officials at
Washington. If we possessed a mounted police service such as that long
ago established in the Canadian northwest, roving hunters, and
undesirable citizens responsible for most of the Indian wars, could have
been held in check.

As time passes, and men view dispassionately the events of the Plains,
our historians will record that most of the wars had their origin with
ourselves. The Indians never began them.


Footnote 54:

  Pages 71–6.

Footnote 55:

  U. S. National Museum Report, 1887, page 478.

Footnote 56:

  Page 182.

Footnote 57:

  Handbook of American Indians. Vol. I, page 169.


Robert M. Wright, Esq., of Dodge City, Kansas, located in that State
when a boy, in the early ’50’s. There are few men living at the present
time who have had a more varied and interesting career.

In Mr. Wright’s recent book, “Dodge City The Cowboy Capital”, I was
struck with its frankness. The book presents a true picture of life
among buffalo-hunters, scouts, gamblers, stockmen and others. I wrote to
this aged frontiersman and asked him to give me an absolute, frank
opinion as to the cause of the Indian wars, and his views upon our
Indian policy. In return he sent me a lengthy communication which
illuminates events on the Plains between the years 1855 and 1890.

Mr. Wright is one of the few living men who observed Indians from the
pioneer point of view. Mr. Wright’s observations, which he kindly
furnished me, are the more important in that they are offered by one who
has not held Indians in very high esteem. Mr. Wright saw some of his
warmest friends shot down during Indian raids. His narrative, if
anything, should be rather prejudiced against the Indians. Yet it is not
so, as will be observed by perusal of the following pages.

Before presenting quotations from his manuscript I shall sum up briefly
his general observations. Looking back upon a career of upwards of sixty
years throughout the West (chiefly in Kansas and Nebraska,) Mr. Wright
concludes that the Plains Indian was vastly better off when able to
roam, unhampered by anyone, throughout the country, than at the present
time. He speaks of the great and interesting Kiowa village located some
distance from Dodge City about 1868. Living in central and southern
Kansas, he came in contact, not so much with the Sioux, but with the
Pawnees, who occupied the flat country, and the Horse Indians, which
included the Kiowa, Comanche, Cheyenne, Arapaho and Prairie Apache. As
to the wars among themselves, he thinks that the number of killed, or
damage inflicted upon villages has been exaggerated. Usually, there were
few casualties in these actions. Some writers might not agree with him,
but this is his opinion. Occasionally, one band would surprise a village
and take many captives and scalps. He was impressed in the early days
with the good health of these Indians, their hardiness, and that they
were seldom visited by epidemics. Smallpox broke out along the Missouri
River, and to the east and north, but seldom in southern Kansas and
northern Texas. He declares that there was no tuberculosis or trachoma
when he first went among these people. The general standard of character
and virtue was much higher.

“As has been said, the Indian was by nature a warrior and hunter, and
was trained as such from earliest childhood. It is taken for granted, by
the great mass of civilized peoples, that the uncivilized redskin had no
idea of education. This is an error. For years, I was among the wild
Indians of half a century ago, and I know from personal observation that
they had as thorough a system of education for their children, in their
line, as that boasted by the civilized white race. From the time the
Indian child was able to walk, his or her education began. The first
lesson usually consisted in being strapped upon the back of a docile
pony and taking a little practice in riding. In the second step in
education he was made to become familiar with the bow and arrow, which
were the Indians’ favorite weapons, half a century ago. At the age of
five, perhaps, the father took the boy out upon the hills adjoining the
camp and admonished him to be observant of what he saw. Every ravine and
hill, a buffalo skeleton, a rock or tree, a footprint in the sand or
grass, the displacement of a stick or stone—all these things and many
more a child must study and learn to notice. He must learn to readily
detect the different marks on bows, arrows, and moccasins,
distinguishing as to which tribe they belonged, as every tribe had a
peculiar mark of its own for its manufactured articles. When the father
and child came back to the tipi, after a day of observation, the child
was required to give a description of what he had seen during the long
tramp, the father or teacher questioning him. The child must give an
intelligent and comprehensive account of his observations, or be taken
over the same ground again and again until he could do so and had
acquired a thorough knowledge of the territory covered. As soon as the
child had familiarized himself minutely with one section of the country,
he was taken to another and yet another, until, finally he was
intimately acquainted with all the territory adjacent to the camp. These
same methods were employed in familiarizing the young Indian with more
extended ranges of country until, at last, he thoroughly understood his
surroundings for hundreds of miles.

“But there were many other subjects in that course. For instance, the
young Indian was expected to learn signalling, similar to that of our
signal corps. Indians well versed in signalling could communicate
accurately with each other though many miles apart. This knowledge was
augmented by detailed instruction and drill in matters of war, the
trail, and the chase. Some of the old-time scouts, who were with us, had
been captured in childhood and raised and educated by the Indians. These
were as proficient in Indian tactics as the Indians themselves, and were
very valuable to have along with a command in Indian campaigns as scouts
and guides. They could follow up a trail, tell the number of ponies,
give the number of Indians in the party being trailed, and, in fact, by
their Indian lore, could know the movements of such a party about as
well as those comprising it knew them. The Indian was as fond of his
boys as any white father could be, and took pride in their training.”

Of the buffalo, he claims, as have all writers, that the very existence
of the Plains Indians was threatened when that noble animal was
exterminated. A great enmity sprang up between the Indians and the white

“With this hatred and enmity, the Indian blended a certain fear of the
white hunters, and to the credit of the redskin’s courage it can be said
that the hunters were the only class on earth that he did fear, while
with his fear was mixed also a sort of desperation. The Indian hunted
altogether on horseback, with bow and arrow or lance, which they planted
in the side of the animal by riding up alongside of him. The Indians
claimed they killed only for meat or robes, and, as soon as they had
sufficient, they stopped and went home; whereas, the white hunters never
knew when they had enough, and were continually harassing the buffaloes
from every side, never giving the herds a chance to recover, but keeping
up a continual pop-pop from their big guns. Only under the most
favorable circumstances would the Indians attack the hunters. They were
afraid of the latter’s big guns, cool bravery, and, last but not least,
of their unerring, deadly aim. The passing of the buffalo herds, because
of the white men, was one of the prime causes of Indian hostility.

“But the feeling over the buffalo was only one of the causes of the
Plains wars. To understand other causes, one should consider the Indian
as he was found by the first white men, and compare him with what he was
after his association with the Whites for a term of years. It can
clearly be seen, by such a comparison, that a great change took place,
in that time, in the Indian’s attitude and sentiments toward the Whites,
and this change could not have been due to anything but the influence of
association. The redskin acquired knowledge, also confidence in himself.
Then followed hostile feelings awakened by the mismanagement and
needless cruelty of the Whites. The Indian seemed to learn and adopt
every vice of the Whites but not one of their virtues.

“When I first crossed the Plains in 1859, we met several bands of
Indians. In fact we struck about the first and much the biggest number
at the great bend of the Arkansas River, a little east of where the town
of Great Bend now stands and from there on we met them up to
seventy-five miles west of old Fort Lyon in eastern Colorado. There was
no military fort there then, nor any west of Fort Riley to Fort Garland
in the mountains, and there was no need of any, for the Indians were
supposed to be friendly, which indeed they were. This part of the
country was the chief resort of the Kiowas, Comanches, Cheyennes,
Arapahoes, and Prairie Apaches. Here, on the Arkansas River, near the
present site of Great Bend, is where they all congregated. Up to 1864,
all the Indians mentioned were considered peaceable and were so to a
great extent. When they caught parties of Whites south of the Arkansas
River (which was sacred ground to them, where no trespassers were
allowed) there was trouble. Only traders were allowed in that region,
and they had to be well known and familiar with the Indians to be safe.
If an unknown trader ventured down there, he was stripped of his goods,
whipped severely, often killed, and his wagons burned. But along the
great Santa Fe Trail small parties of Whites, and even single
individuals, went through without being molested, though I have seen
these peaceable Indians, at such times, treated with the utmost contempt
and actual abuse by the white travelers.

“The propensity to beg or steal seemed born in the original Plains
Indian. They made away with any portable article at hand from seemingly
sheer love of theft. And beg! they would beg one blind! They wanted
everything in sight, yet in early days, they made no disturbance if they
were given nothing. It actually seemed as if an Indian could not help
begging or stealing, but, instead of accepting this as a fact and
treating it accordingly with wise leniency, the Whites made use of
needless cruelty. When an Indian picked up something and hid it under
his blanket to carry away, he was black-snaked, or kicked out of camp. I
once saw an Indian climb up on the hind wheel of a big freight wagon and
lift up the wagon sheet. As he was peeping in, with his back bent and
body exposed much as if he were bent over a barrel, a bull-whacker, with
a big ox-whip, stood off ten feet and let him have it on the naked skin.
That Indian dropped as if he were shot, with a gash where the lash
struck as if a sharp knife had cut him. There were many other Indians in
camp, and they all jumped up and halloed and laughed uproariously at the
discomfited one, who crept humbly out of camp. Many indignities like
this were given the Indians without their retaliating, even though there
were often many more Indians than Whites in the party, which
conclusively proves the superior peacefulness of the redskin. This was
as late as 1863. But soon there came a change.



  Pine Ridge, 1909. Photographed by W. K. Moorehead.

“The Indian wars of the Plains were more the result of a combination of
causes, added to those already mentioned. First, our Government
commenced a wishy-washy, desultory course with the Indians, instead of
taking a bold, firm stand with them, and bringing out enough soldiers to
overawe and make them respect the Government by showing them how strong
it was, thus making them understand what to expect if they did not
behave themselves. The Government policy was so weak at the beginning,
that the Indians actually laughed at it and said: ‘The Government is
afraid of us; it dare not punish us’; and this was their real belief. I
heard some Kiowas braggingly say, ‘Why, we can whip the United States,
for it has been fighting Texas for years and cannot whip her. We go and
sweep down upon her settlements, kill, burn, and destroy, drive off
stock, take women and children prisoners, and make the settlers glad to
hide.’ This was at the time of the Civil War, and the Kiowas thought the
Government was fighting only Texas.

“Now then, as I have said, the Government began with the Indians in a
very feeble way and sent a few troops after them, which, of course, the
Indians bested and forced to retreat. Then a large force was sent which
also was beaten, and, after repeated little fights and skirmishes, large
armies were sent out. Usually, however, the Indians got the best of the
troops and were thus emboldened and given new confidence in themselves
and their strength.

“I have been a stockman all my life, and whenever my cattle became
‘breachy’, if the break they made in my fence was poorly mended, it was
broken through again and again. Each time we repaired the fence a little
better than before, but each time, also, the cattle acquired fresh skill
and force in breaking down the fence. At last, it was impossible to fix
the fence in a way that my herds could not break through. If I had made
the fence good and strong when first repairing it, the trouble would
have been settled at once, and the cattle would never have broken it
down the second time. A comparison between my haphazard fence and
breachy cattle, and the Government’s Indian policy of years ago is the
most fitting I can make.”

Wright believes that the military authorities at Washington were rather
responsible for continuation of an unwise policy toward the Indians, and
is somewhat critical as to the plans of campaign. It was a great mistake
to send infantry against Indians, but this was repeatedly done. In the
Fetterman massacre, the troops were infantry. The cavalry horses of the
’60’s and ’70’s were grain-fed, and extra large. Cavalry commands were
accompanied by a wagon-train in which grain and hay were hauled. Hence,
prior to Custer’s later campaigns, the American cavalry made little
progress as against Indians. The latter went very light, carrying a
little dried buffalo meat, guns and ammunition. Each Indian warrior
always possessed an extra horse—his war pony—which was never ridden
except in battle. He rode his ordinary pony, and led the other. In this
way the Indian soldiers had an advantage over the white cavalry. Mr.
Wright says that the Indians feared winter attacks on their camps. They
seldom made war during cold weather. The warriors endeavored to lead the
troops away from their permanent villages.

“General Sully found this out, in 1868, when he supposed he was marching
upon an Indian village from which the families had been removed and
hidden in another direction, while the warriors led Sully on a
wild-goose chase into the Wichita Mountains. It is a wonder his whole
command was not annihilated, and if he had followed the Indians a little
further, not a soldier would have escaped, the trap was so well set. But
Sully realized the danger just in time, turned around, got out of the
mountains almost by a miracle, returning to Fort Dodge for
reinforcements, with the Indians harassing him all the way back. This
ambush and defeat was a source of great mortification to General Sully.
General Custer then took the field with big reinforcements, and
surprised the Indian camp on the Wichita River; but, after the attack,
Custer, too, was forced to beat a hasty retreat to Camp Supply, as he
found himself greatly outnumbered nearly ten to one. He inflicted on the
Indians a severe punishment, taking nearly two hundred women and
children prisoners, which greatly disheartened the Indians for a while.
But this success was in the dead of winter, and might have resulted
differently had it happened in the summer season, with the Indian
fighting according to his views of proper war tactics. (_See picture,
page 302._)

“It was a big mistake of the National Government to appoint civilians
and representatives of different religious denominations as Government
Agents. We should have appointed army officers instead, at a post where
there was also an agency. This was merely a necessity of the times and
conditions, clearly visible to anybody in the least acquainted with the
needs of the situation. Soldiers were always stationed at an agency, the
commander of that post was always subject to the orders of the Agent, a
civilian often wholly unqualified to direct military movements or
frontier exploits, and the ideas of commander and Agent were nearly
always in conflict. The officer bitterly resented being subject to the
Agent’s orders and certainly the former, familiar as he was with the
border and Indian, knew better than the Agent could know, coming as he
did, as a rule, direct from civilized centers. While treating them
kindly and fairly, an army officer would have governed the Indian with a
firm hand, and with none of the little less than criminal weakness
displayed by many of the Agents. Moreover, most of the Agents were not
good men, and not only robbed the Indian but starved him. I personally
knew of graft practised by several Agents by which the Indian suffered
greatly. Let me cite one of many instances of weakness that fell under
my own observation. Mr. Darlington, Agent of the Cheyenne and Arapaho,
was a good old Quaker, but weak and unsophisticated to a marked degree.
I was sutler for the soldiers at this agency, and these Indians had
stolen a lot of horses and mules from me. One issue day, the Indians
rode in, and I saw several of my horses and mules, bearing my brand,
among their stock. Now, the Indians who had possession of my horses
belonged to Stone Calf’s band. Stone Calf was one of the head chiefs of
the Cheyennes, a man of more than ordinary intelligence, and a pretty
truthful Indian. I went to Mr. Darlington, told my story, and asked him
to recover my stock for me. He promised to do so, sent for Stone Calf,
and said to him: ‘This young man is truthful and honest, and he says you
have a lot of his stock (describing the brand). Now, Stone Calf, you are
a good, honest, truthful Indian, and I have always found you square;
give this young man back his stock.’ Stone Calf drew himself up with
superb dignity and fairly breathed disdain at the Agent’s suggestion. ‘I
have no doubt that this stock did belong to the young man,’ he replied,
‘but it belongs to me now. I took it when I was at war, and I never give
back anything I take when I am at war.’ That settled the matter and I
never recovered my stock. An army officer in the Agent’s place would
have said: ‘This stock belongs to Wright; give it up to him at once!’
and he would have been obeyed and nothing more would have come of it.

“Again, had military instead of civilian Agents been appointed, the
wholesale robbery of the Indians already mentioned, and system of graft
in general that went on would have been largely avoided, the Indian
benefited, and trouble averted. Remote as he always was from
surveillance, with large quantities of Government supplies entrusted to
his care for the use of the Indians, the temptation to dishonest
practices for private gain was great to every Agent. Mr. Darlington,
already mentioned as Agent of the Cheyennes, was as honest an old man as
ever lived and, being so, seemed to think everyone else honest too, but
his employees stole from the Indians right and left, and robbed them
right along, under his very eye, and he was not aware of what was going
on. The graft of the agencies was notoriously well-known on the
frontier, and many an Agent became actually rich from the spoils of his
office. The Indians realized the state of affairs and resented it, and
added it as another brand to the fire of their hostility against the
Whites. The big old chief Red Cloud once said: ‘I don’t see why the
Government changes our Agents. When one Agent gets rich at his trade of
looking after us and has about all he wants, he may stop his stealing
and leave us the property which belongs to us, if he keeps his place.
But when one man grows fat at our expense, he is removed and a lean man
sent to take his place, and we must fill his belly till he is fat also,
and give way to another lean one!’”

Mr. Wright calls attention to the fact that the army officer was a
better judge of human nature than the civilian and he further had the
advantage of discipline. Surrounded as he was by numerous associates
aspiring to promotion, he dared not steal Government supplies lest he be
found out, and drummed out of the army. With a civilian it was very

“History gives no more striking example in proof of feeble Governmental
policy with the Plains Indians in combination with the pitiful
incapacity of some of the civilian Agents, than the story of the last
Indian raid through western Kansas and Nebraska in 1878. It seems that
for no better reason than that they wished to have all the Cheyenne
Indians in one band, the Indian officials of the Government gave orders
for the removal of the Northern Cheyennes from their agency in Dakota,
to that of the Southern Cheyennes at Fort Reno, in what is now Oklahoma.
The Northern Cheyennes did not wish to move and protested vigorously,
but in vain. Being unused to the southern climate, it was not long after
their arrival at Fort Reno, before malaria appeared among them, numbers
became sick and many died. Terror-stricken at this almost unknown
experience, they became possessed with the idea that the water they had
to drink in the new country was poisoned, and that all would die if they
remained. Going to the Agent, they begged to be allowed to return to
their northern home, but were refused. Then provisions began to grow
scarce. The Cheyennes applied to the Agent for permission to go on a
buffalo hunt to gain food. Permission was granted, but the buffalo had
been practically exterminated in that locality, and, though they hunted
for days, not a buffalo could be found, and the poor savages were in
worse condition than before. They were forced to kill their few scrawny
ponies for meat to sustain life until they could return to the agency,
and there they killed their dogs and lived upon them for a while. Again
they begged to be permitted to return to the North, and again they were
refused. In pity for their distress, however, the Commander of the fort
gave orders that a small ration should be distributed among them, but it
is almost certain that a large portion of this was confiscated by
unscrupulous assistants, and that very little of it ever reached the
needy Indians. Their condition rendered them fairly desperate. They
resolved to return to Dakota at any cost. ‘We may as well die fighting,’
said Dull Knife, the Cheyenne chief and leader, ‘as to stay here and die
of starvation.’ They began stealing and concealing guns, ammunition, and
what provisions they could spare from their scanty stock. When ready to
start, they stole horses, and, with a few mounted warriors, their
foraging operations were rapidly extended until an abundance of mounts,
arms, and provisions were obtained. Women and children took part in the
exodus, and the march was very leisurely, but notwithstanding this fact,
the troops sent in pursuit were defeated in battle about sixty miles
from Reno, and afterwards proceeded in so careless a fashion, that the
Indians were not again overtaken till they reached Sand Creek, about
forty miles south of Dodge City. Here, however, the troops completely
surrounded the Indian camp and might have recaptured the fugitives with
ease, but the superior cunning and energy of the Indians were here again
strikingly apparent, for they managed to slip away in safety during the
night, the soldiers not discovering the escape until two days after it
occurred. The flight and leisurely pursuit was resumed, but the Indians
had killed very few Whites until they reached White Woman creek in
Western Kansas. Here they were again overtaken by the soldiers and an
engagement fought. If Colonel Lewis, who had joined the pursuing
detachment with reinforcements, had not been killed, it is probable the
Indians would have been defeated and recaptured, but the troops,
deprived of a leader in Lewis’s death, showed the white feather, and
once more allowed the Cheyennes to slip away in safety. From thence
onward, emboldened by success and filled with contempt for the Whites by
the indolence of the troops, the progress of the Indians was marked by
horrible bloodshed and devastation. Their course was practically
unchecked, and they reached the northern agency, at length, thus
attaining the object of their expedition.

“It was the Indian’s nature to be cruel, and many of the conflicts
between him and the Whites of the Plains were caused by the Whites’
retaliatory measures for some atrocity born of Indian cruelty. On the
other hand, as has already been hinted, many Indian cruelties arose from
needless, petty cruelties and indignities, inflicted upon the latter by
the Whites and afterwards avenged. These relations of hostility existed
between the Indians and all classes of Whites on the Plains, excepting,
possibly, the cowboy. He and the Indian had little to do with each
other, therefore they had few encounters.



“It is often asked—since the United States had so much trouble with her
western Indians, why has Canada had no trouble with hers? There are
several good reasons. First, Canada, from the start, had a better method
of dealing with the Indians. She was firm with them, and never deviated
in the least from this course. They were awed by the Canadian police,
and it is a well-known fact that this mounted police really protected
Canada’s frontier. Whiskey peddlers, as well as fugitive criminals, knew
this, and knew how firm and just these police were, and the Indians
entertained the same feeling toward them. Second, the Canadian
Government always strictly kept its word with the Indians and never
broke its agreements with them. It invited and warranted their
confidence. Moreover, the Indians claimed no land over in Canada, as
they did in the United States, and their best reason for keeping peace
with the former when at war with the latter, was that they might have a
refuge at hand, to which to fly in times of need. When they crossed the
Canadian line, they knew they were safe from hostile pursuit. It was a
healthy country, well watered by clear, cold streams; mountainous, where
Indians could easily hide when hard pressed. It had plenty of game to
sustain them, and beautiful, warm valleys, full of nutritious grasses
and plenty of wood, where they could winter comfortably and feel in
safety and at home. In summer it was an equally ideal place to live. It
was also a place where they found a ready market for stolen horses and
sold them to advantage. One may ask why they could not have selected
Texas for like purposes. Well, for just the opposite reasons from those
which led them to select Canada. Texas was much more unhealthy; they had
always been at war with Texas, and besides, it was a glorious country
upon which to forage. There they raided the frontier and not only got
all the stock they wanted, but many other things that were useful to

“One should consider the natural propensities of the American Indian,
and be convinced that he was better off in his original state than at
the present time, with all the so-called advantages civilization has
brought him. This was especially true of the Plains Indian. By nature he
was a nomad, a warrior, a hunter, living in the open air. Under
conditions favoring this nature, he was a healthy, hardy, happy
individual, like any product of natural growth; under the absolute
reversal from this to conditions imposed upon him by civilization, he
became diseased, debilitated, and inferior; as might be expected from
any unnatural growth.”

                      THE PLAINS INDIANS OF TODAY

Desiring to present a contrast between the past and present, in all its
details, I wrote to numbers of missionaries among Indians, selecting
those who had served for a long time. One of the missionaries on a large
reservation where are located thousands of Sioux, answered me at length,
and I present some of his recommendations. He speaks Sioux fluently. I
have taken the liberty of changing a few expressions. His suggestions
are brief, but contain much sound common sense. His letter was written
in 1909, and some of the reforms he advocates have been inaugurated, but
they have not been made general. This worthy missionary presents an
accurate picture of conditions among the larger bands of Plains Indians
(with some exceptions) at the present time. These Indians were entirely
self-supporting forty years ago, and for their present deplorable
condition, we, rather than they, are responsible.

“What strikes one most of all is the great poverty of these people. The
majority suffer very much from hunger, because they do not know how to
make a living. But they could make a good living for themselves, we
believe, if they would but plant a couple of acres, say one acre corn,
one acre potatoes. However, most of them will never do so unless they
are held down to it. It is useless to treat with them as with white
adults. They are nothing but grown-up children, not knowing what they
want, and above all not knowing what is good for them. For this reason
we ought to have more farmers who would see to it that these things are

“The Indian is a great traveller. Sometimes he does so for work, most
generally for pleasure. Of what use is it to go to the railroad and work
there for a few weeks, come back with little, find all his hay devoured
by other people’s stock, his own cattle and horses scattered over the
country, and several head missing?

                  *       *       *       *       *

“They should be supplied with seed in time; plenty but not many kinds,
with the distinct understanding that they must pay for it before the
next issue of money, or else it will be taken out of that. If they learn
how to grow potatoes, corn and pumpkins or turnips, they have enough to
start with. They ought to learn how to grind this corn and make
cornbread. If they raise corn, they could easily keep chickens, pigs,
milk cows, and have butter and eggs and cheese, just what the
consumptive needs. Of course it may be necessary before the crops are
matured to issue rations until the harvest time comes, _i. e._, for a
year or two. After that they ought to have enough provisions to last
them the year around. Indians ought to have facilities for buying pigs
and chickens at ordinary market prices. In fact, they ought to be able
to buy all their groceries at market prices.

                  *       *       *       *       *

“Another hindrance is the habit of visiting. Some go away for months at
a time on a visit. Horses, cattle, and all are left to themselves or the
wolves. When some one is sick, even if only a baby, work is quit,
relatives have to come from miles and miles, etc. Sometimes they will go
off to the Crows, Arapahoes, etc., and get a present of horses. Chances
are that the Crows will be back here next year getting another present.

“A third hindrance is—to my mind—the method of work adopted here. (My
intention is not to criticise but to offer a suggestion.) The Indians
have to leave their homes and work on the roads for $1.25 per day.
Consequently, they cannot look after their places nor take care of
anything else. In the long run it is a loss. One head of stock lost at
home, means one month’s wages gone. Why could the Indians not make their
money at home? Let them do the work that has been suggested, to
cultivate their fields, to plant, etc.; have the District farmers
control them and make payment for work done. Many of the thoughts above
are the sentiments of the better class of Indians, so you may be sure
there will be little opposition on their part to putting these, or
similar plans, into operation.

“A fourth hindrance is the fact that so many go away to Buffalo Bill
shows, etc., leaving wife, children and everything behind. When such an
Indian gets back, some one else is liable to have his wife and
cattle—not mentioning bad habits and shameful diseases he sometimes
brings back.

                  *       *       *       *       *

“But it is the old people that ought to arouse the sympathy of us all.
They lie around in the utmost filth and neglect, eating old scraps, or
swill; starving and freezing in spite of the fact that they draw
rations. If they get help from anyone, it is devoured by the neighbors,
and the poor old people have little benefit from it.

“The children’s lot is a hard one, too. If they live at home, they have
to go through the rain, mud, cold, etc., to get to the day school. In
many cases, the family must camp near the day-school. Then they have to
neglect their own home entirely.

“At present, the prevailing idea seems to be that the best way to do
with the Indian now is to throw him upon his own resources. If the plan
outlined above or something similar were carried out for a few years,
one could do so. To do so at present would mean, I think, a slaughter, a
massacre. Let a death come in his family and he may give away his last
hoof. He may barter away every thing for a jug of whiskey. * * * * He is
no match for the white man, especially when the latter is accompanied by
what the Sioux call “Holy Water,” and therefore it would be nothing but
murder to mix up the Indians with Whites too rapidly on this

“The civilizing of the Indians is a slow process. When some change is
going to be made it ought to be announced long ahead, and then the red
man can prepare for it. Otherwise he is simply carried off his feet,
dazed, doesn’t know where to go, or what to do. It is all right to say,
let those who do not want to work starve, but what about the innocent
family, what about his ‘sponging’ on the others as they call it? One
Indian cannot refuse another anything (especially as they are all
relations) without being ostracized.

“I note what you say about tuberculosis, and must say that the opposite
ought to be true, but it is not, for many reasons, most of which are
mentioned above. Were it not for their careless and dirty habits, their
lack of food and proper care, they ought to be the strongest race on the
face of the earth. By proper treatment many cases could be cured. As it
is they all die. Two physicians cannot tend to everybody on so large a
reservation and with their limited means.

                  *       *       *       *       *

“These are a few things that I thought I should mention in order to
fully answer your questions. By doing so, I did not in the least mean to
criticise anyone in the Service, for I know that much has been tried and
done in the past. Still I believe with the other missionaries, that the
Indians can be saved if we try the methods suggested above or similar


No scientist has devoted more time and study to the California Indians
than Dr. A. L. Kroeber. In his description of California tribes and
stocks, published in the Handbook of American Indians, he states that
the California natives are rather shorter than the majority of those in
eastern North America, and in the south, they are unusually dark. The
astonishing characteristic of California Indians is their diversified
languages. There are twenty-one distinct linguistic families. The larger
stocks such as the Athapascan, Shoshonean and Yuman have forced their
way into the State, whereas the great majority are small bands and may
be considered purely Californian.

While pottery was practically unknown, textile arts (particularly
basket-making) were very highly developed. “Houses were often made of
grass, tule, or brush, or of bark, sometimes covered with earth. Only in
the northwest part of the State were small houses of planks in use. In
this region, as well as on the Santa Barbara islands, wooden canoes were
also made, but over the greater part of the State a raft of tules was
the only means of navigation. Agriculture was nowhere practised. Deer
and small game were hunted, and there was considerable fishing; but the
bulk of the food was vegetable. The main reliance was placed on numerous
varieties of acorns, and next to these, on seeds, especially of grasses
and herbs. Roots and berries were less used.[58]

“Both totemism and a true gentile organization were totally lacking in
all parts of the State. The mythology of the Californians was
characterized by unusually well-developed and consistent creation myths,
and by the complete lack not only of migration but of ancestor
traditions. Their ceremonies were numerous and elaborate as compared
with the prevailing simplicity of life, but they lacked almost totally
the rigid ritualism and extensive symbolism that pervade the ceremonies
of most of America. One set of ceremonies was usually connected with a
secret religious society; another, often spectacular, was held in
remembrance of the dead.”

We are concerned in this book with the condition of the California
Indians the past sixty years. Without an exception on the American
continent, there is no area in which the native population has so
suddenly and generally diminished. The confiscation of the mission
properties by the Mexican Government, followed by the great influx of
gold-hunters, adventurers and ranchmen from 1849–1860, are responsible
for the deplorable condition in which these Indians found themselves
about 1880. Prior to the influx of the Forty-niners, the Indians had
been self-supporting (although the action of the Mexican government came
near bringing about their destruction). California people themselves
took little interest in the wretched condition of the aboriginal
inhabitants and it was not until the United States Board of Indian
Commissioners and the Indian Rights Association became active and sent
commissions or individuals to California, that reforms were inaugurated.
Honorable Albert K. Smiley, a citizen of California (and founder of the
Lake Mohonk Conference) was especially active in this humanitarian work.
A Mr. Painter was sent out by the Indian Rights Association in 1885.
Painter made a thorough investigation and laid formal complaint, with
the backing of the Mohonk Conference, before the President of the United
States. The usual delays occurred. The President referred the matter to
the Attorney General, who in turn referred it to the Secretary of the
Interior. The Indian Rights Association now assumed responsibility, and
Mr. Herbert Welsh, Secretary of that organization, sent his check for
$3,300 to be held while the case of the Indians was pending before the

The wrongs of the Indians were made public at Lake Mohonk by various
speakers, and through the country generally by Mrs. H. H. Jackson. The
case of the mission Indians, sustained by these various organizations
and individuals, was heard in the courts and resulted in victory for the
Indians of California.

During the ’90’s the Indians were further evicted and became exceedingly
destitute. Many died of starvation. The Indians seemed utterly unable to
protect themselves and miners and ranchmen alike took every advantage of
them. As an illustration of the situation in California as compared with
that in the Black Hills, South Dakota, I will here relate a story told
me at Deadwood in 1889.

A miner, who had spent some ten years in California, came to the Black
Hills about 1875, when gold was discovered. He wore on his watch-chain,
as a fob, two Indian teeth. In a Deadwood dance hall he informed some
convivial companions, that on one occasion he took a California Indian
by the hair and struck him in the mouth with his six-shooter, knocking
out several teeth. Two of these he had a jeweler drill and wire to his
watch-chain, as souvenirs. An old trapper, who happened to be present,
suggested that the miner procure one or two Sioux teeth, as they might
be different from “Digger teeth”, and would add to his collection. Out
in the foothills in the course of a few days, the miner met a Sioux
Indian, seized him and undertook to treat him as he had the poor
California native. Instead of teeth, as a souvenir he received a
knife-thrust between the ribs and was lucky to escape with his life.

While interest in the California Indians seemed to lag, Charles F.
Lummis, Esq., a citizen of the State, and editor of a prominent western
publication, _The Land of Sunshine_, began a campaign in the early 90’s
on behalf of the various tribes and bands, most of whom had been evicted
from their ancient homes. I present a brief bibliography of Mr. Lummis’
articles at the conclusion of this chapter, as they sum up in a masterly
fashion the wrongs of the Indian, and the efforts of good citizens to
right them. In all my reading, I have seen no stronger, more direct and
interesting appeals than these made by Mr. Lummis in his journal (now
published under the title, _Out West_.)

The National Indian Association through its Northern California Branch
became active; there was formed the California Indian Association of
which C. E. Kelsey, Esq., a prominent California attorney, was elected
Secretary. This organization cooperated with the others and the Board of
Indian Commissioners and should be credited with the salvation of the
remaining few thousand California aborigines from pauperism.

Mr. Kelsey cooperated with Mr. Lummis and really represented the people
of California. At last Congress was forced to act, the Indian Office
instituted reforms (which it should have inaugurated more than twenty
years ago) and satisfactory results were obtained.

Mr. Kelsey at my request kindly prepared for me a summary of the
California Indians and the work of rescue as projected by friends, and
carried to perfection through his intelligent and unselfish labors. He
has also written me a long letter and I take the liberty of appending in
the form of footnotes a number of extracts from his letter, in addition
to the article.


The aboriginal population of California was large, possibly equal to
that of all the rest of the United States. Powers, in his “Indians of
California,” 1877, a work which has been liberally quoted by about
everyone who has since written of the California Indians, estimates the
number at 750,000. Barbour and Wozencraft, who traveled over the State
in 1851 as members of the California Indian Commission, estimated the
native population to be between 200,000 and 300,000. C. Hart Merriam[60]
estimates the numbers at the beginning of the nineteenth century at
260,000. Dr. Kroeber estimates the number at not less than 150,000. The
figures of the Bureau of Indian Affairs for 1913 shows a little less
than 20,000, being slightly larger than the U. S. census for 1910. This
decrease is certainly extraordinary, being nearly 90% of the most
conservative estimate of former population, and nearly all taking place
within the memories of persons now living. The causes are variously
given as war, famine, whiskey, disease, etc., and all doubtless played
their parts in the decrease. Dr. Merriam states the causes as follows:



  From Handbook of American Indians.

“The principal cause of the appallingly great and rapid decrease in the
Indians of California is not the number directly slain by the Whites, or
the number directly killed by whiskey or disease, but a much more subtle
and dreadful thing: it is the gradual but progressive and resistless
confiscation of their lands and homes, in consequence of which they are
forced to seek refuge in remote and barren localities, often far from
water, usually with an impoverished supply of food, and not
infrequently, in places where the winter climate is too severe for their
enfeebled constitutions. Victims of the aggressive selfishness of the
Whites, outcasts in the land of their fathers, outraged in their most
sacred institutions, weakened in body, broken in spirit, and fully
conscious of the hopelessness of their condition, must we wonder that
the wail for the dead is often heard in their camps?”

The Special Investigating Agent, appointed under the Act of March 3,
1905, states it as largely due to the “progressive absorption by the
white race of the Indians’ every means of existence.”[61] During the
famines to which all Indian bands were subject after the American
occupation, the old people and especially the children would die.

After California was fully American, the National Government at
Washington, sent out a Commission of distinguished citizens, as it has
done many times in other parts of the country, to make treaties with the
California Indians. This commission consisted of the Honorable George W.
Barbour, Honorable Redick McKee and Honorable O. M. Wozencraft. They
traveled about with a military escort and made treaties with all Indians
west of the Sierra Nevada, about 90% of all in the State at that time.
Two treaties were made by the whole Commission. They then separated,
each member taking a different part of the State. Four treaties were
made by Redick McKee, four by George W. Barbour and eight by O. M.
Wozencraft. John C. Fremont, E. D. Keyes, George Stoneman, and others
afterward well known, signed as witnesses to some of these eighteen
treaties. The treaties were much alike and were all definite and simple.
In each treaty the Indians accepted the sovereignty of the United
States, agreed to keep the peace with Whites and with other Indians,
ceded to the United States their title to their lands and agreed to
accept reservations, duly laid out by metes and bounds in the treaties.
On its part the United States reserved for Indian use forever the
specified reservations and agreed to pay for the lands ceded by the
Indians, in goods, not cash. When these treaties went to Washington,
they were accompanied by a statement calling attention to the
extraordinary cheapness of the lands acquired and congratulating
themselves and the country upon the fact that the Indians were too
unsophisticated to demand annuities or money. The goods promised
consisted of thousands of beeves, thousands of sacks of flour, thousands
of blankets, suits of clothes, dresses, tools, work animals, cloth,
iron, steel, etc., worth about $1,000,000 at that time. Teachers,
schools, blacksmiths, farmers, etc., were also promised on a large
scale. The reservations promised aggregate more than seven and a half
million acres of land. The eighteen treaties were signed by 422 chiefs
representing 180 tribes, or bands. Some of the reservations were laid
out in the mining districts and there was much opposition to the
treaties among the miners. At that time, 1851–’52, Indian treaties were
submitted to the Senate of the United States for ratification. These
eighteen California treaties were duly brought before the Senate and
were not ratified. Nothing further was heard about them until, fifty-two
years later, they were discovered in the secret archives of the Senate,
the injunction of secrecy removed and the treaties published. The
Government of the United States seems never to have made any attempt to
make any other or further treaties. The Government nevertheless has
taken the land and the reservations, as well, and every other benefit to
be derived from the eighteen treaties, but has not on its part paid the
price agreed or carried out any other engagement then made. It would
seem that if the Government received the benefits of the treaties, it
should pay the price agreed, whether the treaties were ratified or not,
and that the Government should have taken some steps to acquire the
Indian right of occupancy, a right which has not been legally terminated
to this day. The failure of the treaties and the ensuing period of
inaction by the National Government, were disastrous to the Indians of
California. Not a foot of land remained which they could call their own.
There was no source of aboriginal food supply which might not be
appropriated by some white man any day, and most of the country was soon
appropriated for mines or cattle or agriculture. The Indians were forced
into a hand-to-mouth existence, interspersed with periods of famine,
during which the rising generation perished. A great variety of
diseases, previously unknown, were introduced among the Indians, against
which they had no inherited immunity. Diseases which among white people
are considered of little consequence, such as whooping-cough, measles,
etc., are fatal to Indians, especially during periods of scarcity. The
more virulent diseases such as smallpox, tuberculosis, etc., also took
their toll from the Indian camps, and whiskey claimed its thousands of

In any other part of the United States, the failure of the treaties
would doubtless have resulted in a general Indian war. This was not
possible in California. The extraordinary number of Indian dialects
(over 135 are now known), belonging to some twenty diverse and
antagonistic racial stocks, was enough in itself, to have prevented
anything like united action. Within a year or so California was occupied
by from 100,000 to 200,000 active, vigorous, masterful men, armed with
the best weapons of the day. The Indians could not have mustered 30,000
warriors in the mining districts and possibly not in all California, and
they were armed with bows and arrows and clubs.[62] The Indian cause was
hopeless from the start. Nevertheless, there ensued a period of near
war, with occasional clashes between Indians and Whites, which was fully
as disastrous to the Indians as an open campaign would have been. The
encounters are referred to, locally, as “battles”, of which quite a
large number are recorded. The Indians were usually surrounded and shot
down by posses of miners and citizens, in retaliation of some aggression
by the Indians, or some alleged aggression. Some Indian bands are known
to have been “wiped out” because their room was wanted by cattle men or
settlers. No action by the Federal Government for the protection of the
Indians is recorded. In one case the difficulties resulted in actual
border warfare. The Hupa Indians, goaded into action by the influx of
settlers into their valley, went on the warpath, during the sixties.
They were joined by their neighbors, the Yurocs, or Lower Klamaths, and
a sharp frontier war ensued for a couple of years. The Government
finally bought out the squatters, restored the land to the Indians and
gave the Hupas and Yurocs definite reservations. A similar trouble arose
at Round Valley in the eighties, but war was averted by one of those
compromises well known in the West, under which the Indians received
one-quarter of their own land and the settlers received three-quarters.

Reports published from time to time at Washington show that the Indian
Office was not wholly without knowledge of Indian conditions in
California, but little was attempted and less accomplished for Indian
relief. Several reservations were established, or attempted to be
established by Executive order. One was invalidated by the Courts, which
held the land to be within a Mexican land grant. One was raided and
seized by settlers, who had sufficient political influence to hold the
land and secure the cancellation of the Executive order. One was laid
out with fine timber included and another was desired by cattlemen and
sufficient influence was concentrated upon Congress to secure their
“opening to settlement”. Only one small reservation of that period
remains to this day, and this one, Tule River, was diminished in size
more than half, without the knowledge or consent of the Indians. The few
items appearing in the Indian Office reports, or in reports to the Board
of Indian Commissioners, were rather more optimistic than the situation
warranted, for the officers making those reports were at the same time
giving an account of their own stewardship and doubtless mentioned as
many favorable things as they could. The fact that favorable items were
so few is eloquent of the conditions then existing. Dr. C. Hart Merriam
estimates that the California Indians were decreasing at an average rate
of 7,000 per annum[63], and this must have been under conditions
involving an appalling amount of misery and suffering. It was well
understood that the California Indians were “fading away” rapidly, yet
it seems to have occurred to no one to look into the matter and see why
the Indians were decreasing in numbers or what the physical steps were
by which the Indians were being faded. Commissioner Wozencraft, in the
early fifties, published an appeal to the people of California, but it
met with no particular response. The process of ejecting Indians from
the ownership or possession of anything considered of value to any white
man went on without check, and the number of Indians who perished
diminished each year, simply because there were fewer Indians left to
die. It was hardly to be expected that the members of this savage race
could at once readjust themselves to the fierce civilization under which
they had been submerged so suddenly, and only a few Indians were able to
do so. Nor could it be expected, doubtless, that the new white
population, so largely from the Middle West, with 200 years’ traditions
of Indian fighting behind them, should show any particular consideration
for Indians who were unable to fight. The attitude of the great majority
of white citizens was apathetic, rather than hostile, and the more
active minority were allowed their will with the Indians. For years no
local church seems to have made any efforts on behalf of Indians, and
though there were not wanting distinguished instances where individuals
braved local public opinion by standing out for the rights of Indians,
the effect upon the times was small. The attitude of the Californians is
reflected by the provisions of their early codes in regard to Indians.
See Act of the Legislature of California approved April 22, 1850, Ch.
408, section 3650 et seq. of the California Code of that day. Indians
were placed under justices of the peace. Originally an Indian could not
sue or be sued, but this was altered in 1855. Cruel treatment of Indian
minors was punishable by a fine of $10. Any Indian who had fallen into
the clutches of the law upon a finable offense, had his labor sold to
the highest bidder, until his fine was worked out, the purchaser giving
a bond for the fine.[64] Any Indian could upon the complaint of any
citizen, be haled into a justice court, adjudged an “able-bodied Indian
vagrant” and his labor sold to the highest bidder for four months.[65]
These laws were never enforced very oppressively and had become a dead
letter long before they were finally repealed in 1883. Nor were State
laws the only ones of which Indians might complain. After the American
occupation, for some forty years, there was no practical way in which an
Indian could in California acquire title to land from the public domain.
The Indian was not a citizen and could not select land under the
homestead or other land acts. He was not an alien and could not be
naturalized as a citizen. There was no law under which a California
Indian could become a citizen, until the passage of the general
allotment Act in 1887.[66] The Indian homestead Acts of 1875 and 1883
were of little value, as the technical requirements were too onerous, no
one was designated to see that Indians were assisted and few Indians
ever heard of the Acts. Under the general allotment Act and subsequent
to 1891, some 1800 Indian allotments were made in California. This
allotting was done by Special Agents sent from Washington, who were
unfamiliar with local conditions, hence water rights, soil qualities,
timber, etc., were not looked after, and at least two-thirds of these
allotments were of little or no value to the Indian allottees. About
1400 of the 1800 allotments were made in the five northeastern counties
of the State and in these counties the few allotments that were
inhabitable have proved of great value to the Indians. In the remainder
of the State there was little land unappropriated and the allotment laws
brought no relief to the larger number of Indians.[67]

The period of war, near war and oppression lasted rather less than
twenty years and was succeeded by a period of eviction of somewhat
longer duration. At first, when a white man filed on a tract of land and
summarily ejected any Indians he might find living there, the Indians
could move on to some adjoining tract, where the opportunities for
starvation were equally good. But as time went on, land became much
scarcer and fewer land owners were willing to allow Indians to occupy
their ranches even in small part. The evictions continued and as those
recently evicted could find no unoccupied tract to live on, they began
to crowd into other settlements, which had not yet been summoned to
move. The result was that in many parts of the State, the Indians
gradually concentrated in small settlements, locally known as
rancherias, where they lived upon the sufferance of some kindly-disposed
land owner. A change in ownership of the land usually meant eviction for
the Indians. In these rancherias the conditions were unspeakable, both
as to sanitation and morals. The Indians felt they were in their last
ditch and that there was nothing for them to look forward to but
extinction. The Indians were surrounded by civilization, but not of it.
They came in contact chiefly with the vices of civilization and the
vicious white element. Forty years after the American occupation
three-fourths of the California Indians had still to learn what a
missionary might be and nine-tenths of them were still heathen. The
priest and the Levite had passed by on the other side, and the good
Samaritan had been unavoidably detained in Jerusalem.

The first general awakening as to conditions among the Indians of
California came with the publication of Helen Hunt Jackson’s “Century of
Dishonor” and “Ramona”, in the eighties, and by 1890 Congress had passed
an act for the relief of the Indians of Southern California. This was
much needed. The Smiley Commission appointed under this Act increased
the number of small reservations in Southern California from about
seventeen to thirty-four and enlarged most of those formerly in
existence. They were able to give a fixed indefeasible title and these
Indians were thenceforward secure in their homes. The Smiley Commission
was not given funds sufficient to develop water upon the tracts
reserved, a most important matter, for the Indians had been crowded into
the mountains and on to barren tracts, which no white man at that time
wanted. The Southern California Indians had to wait some fifteen to
twenty years longer before an attempt was made to put their lands into
habitable shape, where they could live with some approach to comfort.
The Indians of Northern and Central California, numbering more than
three-fourths of those in the State, received no benefit from the
awakening as to Southern California. Their necessities were fully as
great and they were as fully deserving, but interest in the California
Indians died away largely before anything was accomplished north of
Tehachipi. Two things did follow, first sending some allotting agents to
Northern California, where they did some good, though they largely
failed to live up to their opportunities, and second, a branch of the
National Indian Association was established in Northern California and
mission and school work was begun among the Indians. The policy of this
Association has been to establish a school or a mission and when it is
in good working order to turn it over to some church or society that
will agree to carry on the work. Then the Association establishes
another mission in the same manner. Some twenty missions and schools,
reaching about 12,000 Indians, have been established in California,
directly or indirectly through the efforts of the National Indian
Association or of its Northern California branch. For some eight or ten
years after the founding of the Northern California branch in 1894,
their efforts were largely confined to the establishment of missions and
schools among the Indians and to relieving such cases of distress as
came to their knowledge. There were considerable difficulties. No church
or other organization could afford to take over or begin work unless
there was some fixity of tenure for the Indians. Where the Indians were
subject to eviction at any time, as the majority were, no one could
afford to begin work, for their work might be dissipated any day and the
Indians scattered. Hence, for the first few years the efforts were
confined to those places where Indians held land in some form.

The second awakening began about 1903, when the Northern California
Indian Association, or as it is often called, the California Indian
Association, began its campaign for the relief of the homeless Indians
of California, then supposed to number about 8,000 souls. Every avenue
of assistance proposed seemed to lead back to the land question. Without
some security of tenure it seemed impossible to accomplish any lasting
improvement in Indian conditions, and inasmuch as the landless condition
of the Indians was due to the acts and omissions of the National
Government, the Indian Association appealed to the Congress of the
United States for relief, in so far as land was necessary. The
Association did not ask for reservations, believing that more Indian
reservations in California would be detrimental to all concerned. They
did not ask that the Indians be given farms, or that they should be made
rich; merely that they be given small allotments of land, where they
would be secure. The California Indians have always been
self-sustaining. That is, they have received no aid from the Government
or from anyone else. They have often been below the starvation line and
usually not far above it, but such as their living was, it was their
own. Most of the California Indians have in some measure adjusted
themselves to the industrial life about them and perform whatever labor
they can get. The Indian Association planned not to interfere in any
manner with their independence, or with their industrial position. Above
all things they did not wish the Indians pauperized. Also, the Indian
Association did not wish the Indians concentrated. Where too many
Indians are concentrated in one place, there is not sufficient work and
the Indians themselves have their own reasons for remaining within their
ancestral districts, which we may call superstitious or sentimental. The
old racial antagonism between the antagonistic racial stocks also
renders it inadvisable to concentrate. The Indian Association therefore
proposed that in places where no land for allotment could be secured
from the public domain, small tracts should be purchased, in the
immediate neighborhood of the Indians, where they have friends and

The Indian Association then, 1904, began a vigorous campaign in
California, largely educational, for the purpose of securing from
Congress the land necessary as a basis for further work on behalf of the
California Indians. In this effort nearly all of the societies working
for the benefit of Indians joined. In Southern California matters had
been nearing a crisis, with the Indians there, owing to lack of water on
most reservations, indefinite boundaries, etc., and they were also
asking for relief. The Sequoya League, of which Charles F. Lummis, Esq.,
was the leading spirit, was the most active body in Southern California.
In 1905 Congress directed an investigation of the whole Indian situation
in California, and C. E. Kelsey, General Secretary of the Northern
California Indian Association, was selected to make the investigation.
The report of this investigation was published by the Indian Office
March 21, 1906. Congress soon made an appropriation of $100,000 for the
relief of the California Indians and $50,000 was further appropriated
two years later. Some further sums were also given for fencing,
surveying and other such items. The plan presented by the Indian
Association met favor with the Board of Indian Commissioners and the
Commissioner of Indian Affairs and was adopted almost _in toto_. Mr.
Kelsey was appointed to have charge of purchasing and allotting such
lands as were required and served until the appropriations were
exhausted. The need for water upon the Southern California reservations
was met chiefly from direct appropriations for the Irrigation Service
and a large share of this work is already completed. The vexing boundary
questions in Southern California have all been settled and some
considerable additions made to the reservations from the public domain
and from purchase. In Northern California the work of getting all
Indians on their own small fraction of land is not quite so far along,
but is nearing completion. When, in 1903, the Northern California Indian
Association began its movement to secure land for the landless Indians
of California, the land situation of the California Indians was
estimated about as follows:

  On reservations, So. Calif.                                    3,500
  On reservations, No. Calif.                                    1,700
  On allotments, So. Calif.                                        250
  On allotments, No. Calif.                                      2,800
  On land owned by churches, societies, etc., and by themselves  1,100
  Estimated to be landless                                       8,000

It was estimated that about 2,000 could be given homes from the public
domain. The above estimates proved inadequate in some respects. There
were some 2,000 more Indians in the State than had been estimated and
fewer Indians had land of their own than was supposed. Still as it
proved possible to take care of 4,200 from the public domain and within
the National Forests, the number from whom land must be purchased was
not increased.

Congress has recently appropriated $10,000 more for the purchase of land
for these Indians, but this will not be enough to take care of one-half
of those remaining. When this appropriation shall have been used, nearly
10,000 of the California Indians will have been given homes. The others
should be provided for immediately. It should be understood that all
this has been done without the establishment of reservations or agencies
and with practically no expense for maintenance. In comparison with the
magnitude of the work, the expense has been small and it must be
conceded that the debt which the Government owes the California Indians
is by no means extinguished.

The present land situation (1914) in California is about as follows:

           On reservations, No. Calif.                 1,944
           On reservations, So. Calif.                 3,416
           On allotments, No. Calif. (Old)             2,800
           On allotments, So. Calif. (Old)               250
           On allotments, No. Calif. (New)               400
           On allotments, So. Calif. (New)               238
           On National Forests                         3,000
           On newly purchased lands                    4,800
           Allotments arranged for                       600
           On land owned by Indians                      300
           On land owned by churches, societies, etc.    250
           Not yet taken care of                       1,841

The awakening in regard to the California Indians was by no means
confined to land. The Indian Association has been working upon public
sentiment from the first. After the land purchases were under way, the
Association began efforts to secure schools and school privileges and to
urge religious and other organizations to take up various phases of
Indian work. The Indian Office established some eight day schools and
increased the capacity of others. Also an increased number of field
matrons were appointed. In 1904 it was estimated that only 1000 Indian
children of school age in Northern California were in any kind of a
school, out of 2800. By 1914 it is estimated that less than 1000 were
not in school. The increase in school attendance is largely in the
public schools of the State. Racial prejudice against Indians in
California in the earlier days was intense and the idea of allowing an
Indian child in school was considered preposterous. As the Indians
decreased in numbers all fear of them passed away, and in time a
kindlier feeling arose. For many years this racial prejudice prevented
the greater number of Indians from getting an adequate amount of work.
With increased population and the increased development of California
came an increased demand for labor with a diminished prejudice against
Indians. The industrial position of the Indians has therefore improved.
In some parts of the State the Indians are fairly well employed at fair
pay. In others there is little work for anyone and in these portions of
the State Indians have to go many miles for a little work. They cut
wood, put up hay, cultivate and pick hops, pick grapes and other fruit
and do all kinds of odd jobs. As their employment is still largely
seasonal, it is not wholly satisfactory. One excellent thing about the
more recent revival of interest in the California Indians is that it is
largely in California itself.

In 1907 there were five Protestant missions to the Indians of Northern
California and two or three Roman Catholic missions. By 1914 the
Protestant missions have increased to seventeen, with twenty
missionaries. The Catholic work has also been extended. There are now
missionaries in the field for about 14,000 of the California Indians and
quite a number of local churches have interested themselves in the
Indians in their own neighborhoods. The number of converts probably does
not exceed 4,000.

In California a considerable number of Indians, some 3,600, were found
living within the National Forests, of whom some 600 had allotments made
before the forests were established. Further legislation was necessary
before the 3,000 could be given their own homes. This was accomplished
in 1910. (36 Stat. L. 855)

The California Indian, often termed “Digger”, has been considerably
maligned. Statements are not wanting that the California Indians were of
deficient mentality, little above the brutes and about the lowest of all
human beings. Such statements are entitled to no credence. Kroeber,
Barrett, Goddard, Merriam, Powers, Lummis, and all writers having actual
acquaintance with the California Indians, place them as equal to any of
the other American tribes. Teachers in the California Indian schools say
that the California Indian children are as intelligent and capable as
any Indians they have ever taught. Nearly one thousand Indian children
are in the public schools of California and their scholarship is in no
wise inferior to that of the white children of the same age, though it
must be admitted that few Indian children attend after adolescence. A
few of those in better financial circumstances have graduated from high
schools with honors. Employers of Indian labor, without exception,
pronounce them honest, reliable and capable. They can be trusted to work
alone, which cannot be done with Oriental labor or floating Whites.
Conviction of an Indian for theft is almost unheard of. Statistics
gathered in 1909 showed twenty-eight Indians in the prisons of
California for crimes of violence, mostly committed when under the
influence of liquor, and not one Indian for theft or robbery or crimes
against property. This is remarkable when we consider the straits under
which the Indians are often placed.

Present conditions look favorable for the California Indians. In
Southern California the most harassing troubles have been settled, and
water is being supplied wherever possible. Southern California is
over-schooled. The Government schools have a capacity for about 1200
pupils and there are about 800 Indian children of school age in that
district. In Northern California seven-eighths of the Indians have been
supplied with minute amounts of land. The California white people seem
aroused to the need for other forms of assistance and it seems unlikely
that matters will ever revert to former conditions. The new
appropriation will take care of a part of the Indians still homeless.
More has been accomplished in this “spurt” than all others put together.
This may be attributed to the fact that the external influences lasted
longer. That is, an outsider from the Indian Association was in charge
of the work for some eight years. The last one hundred years tend to
show that the Indian Office has not within itself the power to initiate
any movement for the relief of Indians. The spirit that compels redress
has not resided in the Indian Office. The Indian Office has received at
all times sufficient reports from the field and may be presumed to have
had knowledge of conditions at all times and yet every movement for
relief has come from the outside, from individuals, or more often from
associations who have compelled an unwilling bureau to act, or, often an
unwilling Congress to act. This is doubtless always the case with
bureaucracy. I am inclined to think this results largely from the manner
of organization. As it is, the authority to decide questions lies with
persons who seldom or never see the field and are without personal
knowledge of that they are doing. The men who know the field have no
power and the men who have the power do not know the field.

Bureaucracy has one curious result and I am inclined to think more so in
the Indian Service than in others. The employees seem to lose all power
of initiative and all sense of individuality. They soon learn to resent
any but routine work. This is probably why the reports of conditions in
California and elsewhere have fallen into deaf pigeonholes.

  My Brother’s Keeper.—_Charles F. Lummis_, 1899. Land of Sunshine.
  Vol. XI, pp. 139, 207, 263, 333.

  My Brother’s Keeper.—_Charles F. Lummis_, 1900. Land of Sunshine.
  Vol. XII, pp. 28, 90.

  The Story of Cyrus Hawk.—_C. J. Crandall_, 1900. Land of Sunshine.
  Vol. XII, pp. 352.

  The Pity of It.—_Bertha S. Wilkins_, 1900. Land of Sunshine. Vol.
  XII, pp. 244.

  The Sequoya League.—_Charles F. Lummis_, 1903. Out West. Vol. XVIII,
  pp. 81, 213, 355.

  Turning a New Leaf. The Warner Ranch Indians, Out West, 1903. Vol.
  XVIII, pp. 441; Out West, Part II, Vol. XVIII, pp. 589.

  The Sequoya League.—_Charles F. Lummis_, 1903. Out West. Vol. XVIII,
  pp. 477, 625.

  Bullying the “Quaker Indians.”—_Charles F. Lummis_, 1903. Out West.
  Vol. XVIII, pp. 669.

  The Sequoya League.—_Charles F. Lummis_, 1903. Out West. Vol. XVIII,
  pp. 743.

  Reports of the Board of Indian Commissioners, and Interior
  Department, 1871–1908, for full descriptions of investigations, etc.


Footnote 58:

  Handbook of American Indians, page 191, Vol I.

Footnote 59:

  Eighteenth Annual Report of the Board of Indian Commissioners, 1886,
  page 46.

Footnote 60:

  American Anthropology, page 599, volume VII.

Footnote 61:

  Report of C. E. Kelsey, Special Agent, March 21, 1906.

Footnote 62:

  The Federal census for 1850 showed a population of 92,597 Indians;
  State Census of 1852, 255,122 Indians, 31,266 being “domesticated.”

Footnote 63:

  American Anthropologist, page 603, Vol. VII, No. 4.

Footnote 64:

  Sec. 3662.

Footnote 65:

  Sec. 3668.

Footnote 66:

  Act of Feb. 28, 1887 (24 Statutes at Large, page 388).

Footnote 67:

  In thirteen cases I found the land the Indians were occupying, that
  is, the more valuable little valleys, was outside of the reservation
  as laid out and in six of these cases the land occupied was not only
  unpatented and unprotected, but the land patented to the Indians was
  barren rocks, utterly worthless. In one case the reservation patented
  was six miles away from the land selected for the Indians in an
  entirely different township. In most cases the boundaries were not
  marked at all and the adjoining owners moved the lines over onto the

Footnote 68:

  When Kelsey took charge he found on no reservation was there an
  adequate supply of water for irrigation and on most of them none at
  all. This in a country where irrigation is absolutely life. On no
  reservation was there any attempt made to protect the water supply,
  and land which controlled the water was carefully left out of the
  reservations in most cases. I think the surveyors must have done so
  knowingly. This meant fifteen or twenty years’ slow starvation for the
  Indians, and greatly increased difficulties later when we tried to
  correct things. I presume I have spent one-third of my time during the
  last ten years in fighting for things for the Southern California
  Indians, which ought to have been settled twenty years before.


The past forty years we have had statistics on Indian advancement in the
Secretary of the Interior and Indian Office reports. Until late years,
these were not detailed, but presented in condensed form the opinions of
Agents, Superintendents and employees.

In 1908 the United States Board of Indian Commissioners published a
table containing answers to twenty-six questions. The information is
valuable and was of service to the Government in handling Indian
problems. I do not reproduce the table here for the reason that
excellent though it was, it omits protection of property, and vital
statistics. Under my chapter devoted to health I have discussed, in a
general way, the health of the Indians, but have not presented tables
for the reason that I do not wish this book to become too statistical in

Feeling that none of the statistical and other reports submitted by
Superintendents, Special Agents, Inspectors—or even the Honorable
Commissioner himself—emphasized the phase of the situation which in my
eyes seemed the most important, I have prepared a table of my own.

Two general questions might be asked every man and woman in the Indian
Service, every educated Indian, and every person living in, or near,
Indian communities. These are:

_First._ “Is the Indian citizen treated as the white citizen, or is he
discriminated against?”

_Second._ “Has his moral, physical, financial and general well being
increased or diminished, the past twenty years?”

On these two very pertinent and important questions hang the entire
future of the American Red Race.

After some thought, I decided to obtain opinions from those who knew at
first hand how our wards were progressing. The information I desired
must cover all of the United States, where Indians now live. Naturally,
it was confined to the region west of the Mississippi, with the
exception of tracts in Wisconsin and Michigan.

The excellent table prepared by Commissioner Sells in his report of 1913
is based upon statistics sent in by Superintendents, teachers and
physicians. Of necessity, it could not include statements or opinions of
missionaries and other observers. It presents the views of employees in
the Department.

After deliberation, a series of fourteen questions were prepared and
addressed to upward of 300 men and women representing every reservation,
Indian community, or school. Nearly half of these replied, and on pages
345 to 358 I have presented their comments grouped under these various
questions. I have tried to make the questions sufficiently elastic to
cover every phase of the subject. Specific requests applied to one
section of the country, might be out of place in another. For instance,
a series of questions concerning the Navaho, might not be answered
intelligently if applied to the Ojibwa of Wisconsin.

In studying the table of statistics, one observes that the answers
indicate a wide difference of opinion. This is quite natural. As an
illustration; at Pine Ridge, Major Brennan—a competent Superintendent,
who has been in charge of the fighting Sioux for many years—thinks that
there is less sickness and more progress than formerly; whereas a
prominent missionary takes the opposite view. Another missionary offers
a compromise as between Major Brennan’s view, and the opinion of his
worthy co-laborer. This difference does not reflect on the report of
Major Brennan, but is an honest difference of opinion. Missionaries and
their assistants go about among the Indians of a certain part of the
reservation more than does the Agent, who is engrossed in many official

Not a few of the answers are lengthy, and extremely interesting. Were it
possible, all of them should be reproduced in this chapter.

A number of answers were received promptly, others have come to hand a
few at a time, the past four months. Others are still arriving. It must
be remembered that these people are all earnest workers, whether
employed by the Government or benevolent organizations—hence the delays.
Beyond question, many will reach me too late to be included in the
table. There is also a class of excessively timid persons, who seem to
think that to answer the questions, may involve them in controversy, or
cast reflection on the Interior Department. It is quite surprising that
so many correspondents should take this view.

The differences of opinion in nowise affect the table as a whole. On a
large reservation, the Indians in one section may be rather backward.
For instance, there will be more sickness at Pine Point, White Earth
reservation, than about White Earth agency. Hence, the priest at Pine
Point would report a worse condition among his Indians than the Agent at
White Earth. In the great Indian area of eastern Oklahoma, near the
schools conditions are satisfactory, whereas back in the hills, there is
much suffering and distress. Also in Oklahoma, near the towns will live
Indians who drink and gamble. Therefore, if such facts are taken into
consideration, many of the apparent discrepancies in my table will be
readily understood by readers. Upwards of a hundred of my correspondents
have been very frank, and many of their recommendations and suggestions
are purposely omitted for the reason that to incorporate them would seem
like criticizing the present administration. This is not my purpose, as
has been frequently pointed out in this book. All I desire to do is to
present facts, and include sensible remedies suggested by correspondents
on the ground.


  From “_Indian Blankets and Their Makers_”
  by George Wharton James.
  A. C. McClurg & Co., Publishers.


If we average up the entire table and allow for the progress in the
sections wherein are located schools; where Superintendents, through
efficient farmers and teachers, have brought about advance of Indians,
we will find that in many parts of the country there is a distinct
advance. In other portions of the United States the natives are either
at a standstill, or have retrograded. The best showing is in the Navaho
country, where good work has been done by all the Superintendents and
missionaries, by Rev. Johnson, and by the Agent at Shiprock, Mr. W. T.
Shelton—where now the desert blossoms like the rose. The general policy
as carried out by Major Peter Parquette, Superintendent of the Navaho,
and his able assistants, has been to let them alone and permit them to
work out their own salvation under a slight supervision. As the Navaho
are today the largest body of Indians speaking the same language, and
chiefly full-bloods, in this country, the Navaho statistics are
sufficiently strong in the point of progress to appreciably raise the
entire tone of Indians in the United States. This should be a lesson not
lost on our Congress. While this is true and other communities, such as
Tulalip Agency, Washington, show a marked gain, the general tone of
Indian communities as to advance in the arts, health, etc., is not
satisfactory. The table clearly indicates this. We must take into
account two important factors in studying the reports of my
correspondents. First, the Superintendents, very naturally, wish to
present their wards in as creditable a manner as possible. They do not
exaggerate, for they are all honest and competent observers. But they
rather minimize the sad side of the story. The teachers, missionaries,
priests, and the doctors rather lean toward a pessimistic view of

In our final analysis we find that a majority of the correspondents
realize the difficulties under which the Indians labor, being
discriminated against in their respective communities. That is, that
although we claim citizenship for the Indians, all the facts point to
the conclusion that the citizenship is not effective. While we claim to
care for the health of the Indians, we have an insufficient number of
doctors and hospitals. While we build many irrigation plants, prepare
model farms, etc., we do not provide the Indians with sufficient seed,
stock, implements, wagons, etc., whereby they may become
self-supporting. Most important of all, where we have given the Indians
deeds to their property, the majority of them lose the property. It is
not pertinent in the table of statistics to enter into the question
whether the Indian or the white man is at fault in this respect. The
bald facts are to the effect that Indians lose their property.

The statistics indicate that education is advancing, and allotting of
lands has far advanced. In education alone, the Indians certainly have
advanced to a marked degree. Practically all Indians under fifty (save
those referred to on page 27) have had some schooling.

For various reasons the names of the correspondents are omitted,
although their original communications are preserved in my files. In
various chapters throughout the book, I have incorporated partial or
complete statements from these same correspondents. In the table, the
answers to the questions have been presented in a few words. Many of the
sentences are actual quotations, but others present in condensed form
the opinions of the writers. Many correspondents have devoted an entire
page to answering one question. Frequently, after answering the
questions, the correspondent has written several pages in order to
present his views concerning the Indian problem. Others have selected
such questions as appeared to them to be of primary importance, and have
answered these at considerable length. A majority of the correspondents
realize that the protection of the Indian’s property, the safeguarding
of his health, and the relation between the two races constitute the
essentials of the Indian problem, and that all other considerations are

                          TABLE OF STATISTICS

 Correspondent    │Is there more    │Are children     │Have many
                  │tuberculosis and │discharged from  │children the past
                  │trachoma among   │the schools      │ten years, been
                  │your Indians now │because of       │dismissed from
                  │than ten years   │diseases,        │the schools?
                  │ago?             │properly treated │
                  │                 │at home?         │
                  │                 │                 │
                  │                 │                 │
                  │                 │                 │
                  │                 │                 │
      ALASKA      │                 │                 │
                  │                 │                 │
 No. 1. Nulato    │Tuberculosis not │Not generally,   │Very few, if any.
                  │very much        │but occasionally,│
                  │increased, but   │seldom properly  │
                  │ten times as much│treated at home. │
                  │trachoma.        │                 │
                  │                 │                 │
 No. 2 St.        │No.              │Not one.         │Not one.
 Michaels         │                 │                 │
                  │                 │                 │
 No. 3            │Yes.             │No.              │Yes.
      ARIZONA     │                 │                 │
                  │                 │                 │
 No. 1 Ft.        │Less tuberculosis│No. (No diseases │Few, government
 Defiance         │and trachoma.    │treated properly │regulation.
                  │                 │at home).        │
                  │                 │                 │
 No. 2 Parker     │Records do not   │No.              │Eight, in last
                  │show it.         │                 │three years.
                  │                 │                 │
 No. 3 Phoenix    │Increased, I     │                 │
                  │think.           │                 │
                  │                 │                 │
 No. 4 Sacaton    │No reliable      │Not generally.   │Not able to
                  │statistics.      │                 │state.
                  │                 │                 │
 No. 5 St.        │No.              │No diseases      │Few; tuberculosis
 Michaels         │                 │treated at home. │cases.
                  │                 │                 │
 No. 6 Tucson     │Cannot answer.   │Yes and No.      │Very few.
                  │                 │                 │
                  │                 │                 │
 No. 7            │There is.        │Tuberculosis,    │Many.
                  │                 │discharged.      │
                  │                 │Trachoma, treated│
                  │                 │in schools.      │
    CALIFORNIA    │                 │                 │
                  │                 │                 │
 No. 1 Banning    │No.              │Yes, sent home to│Not many.
                  │                 │die.             │
                  │                 │                 │
 No. 2 Campo      │No.              │No proper        │One case on
                  │                 │treatment at     │account of
                  │                 │home.            │sickness.
                  │                 │                 │
 No. 3 Covelo     │No.              │No. No treatment │Comparatively
                  │                 │at home.         │few.
                  │                 │                 │
                  │                 │                 │
 No. 4 El Cujon   │No.              │No.              │No.
                  │                 │                 │
 No. 5 Greenville │I think not.     │No.              │Probably about
                  │                 │                 │twenty.
                  │                 │                 │
                  │                 │                 │
                  │                 │                 │
 No. 6 Likely     │Yes, much more.  │No.              │No.
                  │                 │                 │
 No. 7 Pala       │There is much    │                 │Percentage very
                  │more than five   │                 │small.
                  │years ago.       │                 │
                  │                 │                 │
 No. 8 Ukiah      │Not to my        │                 │
                  │knowledge.       │                 │
                  │                 │                 │
 No. 9 Yuma Yuma  │No.              │No.              │No.
                  │                 │                 │
 No. 10 N.        │I would say not  │By law, must be  │Not many.
 California       │so prevalent.    │sent home.       │
                  │                 │Necessary in few │
                  │                 │cases.           │
     COLORADO     │                 │                 │
                  │                 │                 │
 No. 1 Navaho     │No data.         │No treatment at  │No data.
 Springs          │                 │home.            │
    NO. DAKOTA    │                 │                 │
                  │                 │                 │
 No. 1 Elbowoods  │We have looked   │No.              │No tuberculosis
                  │into the         │                 │or trachoma cases
                  │condition more,  │                 │admitted.
                  │that is all, I   │                 │
                  │think.           │                 │
                  │                 │                 │
 No. 2 Elbowoods  │Yes, I believe   │                 │None of late.
                  │there is.        │                 │
                  │                 │                 │
                  │                 │                 │
 No. 3 Ft. Yates  │Less frequent    │No.              │Few.
                  │now.             │                 │
                  │                 │                 │
 No. 4 Standing   │Greatly          │Not sent home    │
 Rock             │increased.       │soon enough.     │
                  │                 │                 │
    SO. DAKOTA    │                 │                 │
                  │                 │                 │
 No. 1 Cheyenne   │I think so, at   │I think not.     │Not a great many.
                  │least more of it │                 │
                  │is known.        │                 │
                  │                 │                 │
 No. 2 Crow Creek │I do not think   │No.              │
                  │so.              │                 │
                  │                 │                 │
 No. 3 Flandreau  │More             │                 │
                  │satisfactory.    │                 │
                  │                 │                 │
 No. 4 Greenwood  │About the same.  │No treatment at  │Not many.
                  │                 │home.            │
                  │                 │                 │
                  │                 │                 │
 No. 5 McLaughlin │Yes.             │Only when case is│Yes.
                  │                 │hopeless.        │
                  │                 │                 │
 No. 6 Mission    │Both very bad.   │In some cases.   │
                  │                 │                 │
 No. 7 Oahe       │I think not.     │Not as a rule.   │Yes.
                  │                 │                 │
                  │                 │                 │
 No. 8 Pine Ridge │No.              │Few given proper │Twenty-three from
                  │                 │care.            │non-res’n schools
                  │                 │                 │none from
                  │                 │                 │reservat’n.
                  │                 │                 │
                  │                 │                 │
 No. 9 Pine Ridge │So it seems to   │                 │Few.
                  │me.              │                 │
                  │                 │                 │
 No. 10 Rosebud   │Less.            │Not allowed to   │Few.
                  │                 │attend.          │
                  │                 │                 │
 No. 11 Rosebud   │Not so much.     │Yes.             │None except for
 Ag.              │                 │                 │infectious
                  │                 │                 │diseases.
                  │                 │                 │
 No. 12 Sisseton  │No.              │No.              │Sick children,
                  │                 │                 │because of lack
                  │                 │                 │of room.
                  │                 │                 │
 No. 13 Sisseton  │No.              │Some are.        │Scarcely any.
                  │                 │                 │
                  │                 │                 │
 No. 14 Sisseton  │Probably less    │No.              │Diseased ones not
                  │tuberculosis,    │                 │taken.
                  │more trachoma.   │                 │
                  │                 │                 │
 No. 15 St.       │Tuberculosis     │                 │Not so very many.
 Francis          │same, Trachoma   │                 │
                  │better.          │                 │
       IDAHO      │                 │                 │
                  │                 │                 │
 No. 1 Fort Hall  │Yes.             │No.              │Aver. 31 per
                  │                 │                 │year.
                  │                 │                 │
 No. 2 Ft. Lapwai │I think there is │No.              │Yes, but taken to
                  │more.            │                 │hospital.
                  │                 │                 │
 No. 3 Lapwai     │Less, it has been│Examined before  │Few.
                  │stated.          │admitted.        │
                  │                 │                 │
 No. 4 Slickpoo   │Yes, more        │Yes, for         │Yes.
                  │tuberculosis.    │contagious       │
                  │                 │diseases.        │
       IOWA       │                 │                 │
                  │                 │                 │
 No. 1 Toledo     │Not on the       │They are not.    │No data.
                  │increase.        │                 │
      KANSAS      │                 │                 │
                  │                 │                 │
 No. 1 Baxter     │Yes, among some  │No.              │No.
 Springs          │families.        │                 │
                  │                 │                 │
                  │                 │                 │
 No. 2 Powhattan  │No.              │Not well cared   │Comparatively
                  │                 │for at home.     │few.
     MINNESOTA    │                 │                 │
                  │                 │                 │
 No. 1 Winnebago  │No, not so much. │No.              │None from our
                  │                 │                 │school.
                  │                 │                 │
 No. 2 Beaulieu   │More             │None.            │
                  │tuberculosis,    │                 │
                  │less trachoma.   │                 │
                  │                 │                 │
 No. 3 Cass Lake  │I should judge   │No.              │Not many, they
                  │so.              │                 │are examined
                  │                 │                 │before admitted.
                  │                 │                 │
 No. 4 Cloquet    │Not more than ten│Very few.        │Few.
                  │years ago.       │                 │
      MONTANA     │                 │                 │
                  │                 │                 │
 No. 1 Browning   │No.              │In many cases.   │No data.
                  │                 │                 │
                  │                 │                 │
 No. 2 Crow Ag’cy │No.              │Not a great many.│No.
                  │                 │                 │
                  │                 │                 │
                  │                 │                 │
 No. 3 Poplar     │Tuberculosis     │                 │About ten a year.
                  │same, more       │                 │
                  │trachoma.        │                 │
                  │                 │                 │
 No. 4 Jocko      │No.              │No.              │No
                  │                 │                 │boarding-school.
                  │                 │                 │
 No. 5 Lame Deer  │Yes, more.       │Not properly     │Not many.
                  │                 │treated at home. │
                  │                 │                 │
 No. 6 Lodge Grass│No.              │No.              │Two in ten years.
                  │                 │                 │
                  │                 │                 │
 No. 7 St.        │At least as much.│Tuberculosis     │Twenty-five in
 Ignatius         │                 │cases sent home, │ten years.
                  │                 │trachoma treated │
                  │                 │at home.         │
                  │                 │                 │
 No. 8 Wolf Point │I do not think   │No.              │No.
                  │so.              │                 │
     NEBRASKA     │                 │                 │
                  │                 │                 │
 No. 1 Santee     │Less tuberculosis│Very few.        │No.
                  │but possibly more│                 │
                  │trachoma.        │                 │
                  │                 │                 │
 No. 2 Santee     │I think not. More│                 │Cannot say.
                  │notice is made of│                 │
                  │it.              │                 │
      NEVADA      │                 │                 │
                  │                 │                 │
 No. 1 Nixon      │No.              │No.              │Four.
                  │                 │                 │
                  │                 │                 │
 No. 2 Schurz     │Yes.             │No.              │Twenty to thirty.
                  │                 │                 │
    NEW MEXICO    │                 │                 │
                  │                 │                 │
 No. 1 Albuquerque│Apparently there │No.              │Yes.
                  │is more.         │                 │
                  │                 │                 │
 No. 2 Gallup     │I do not think   │No.              │No record.
                  │so.              │                 │
     OKLAHOMA     │                 │                 │
                  │                 │                 │
 No. 1 Anadarko   │Probably more is │Not as a rule.   │Do not know of
                  │known.           │                 │many.
                  │                 │                 │
 No. 2 Anadarko   │About the same.  │No.              │No, not very
                  │                 │                 │many.
                  │                 │                 │
 No. 3 Anadarko   │On the increase. │Not as a rule.   │Ninety-six not
                  │                 │                 │admitted, 25
                  │                 │                 │dismissed from
                  │                 │                 │1300 this year.
                  │                 │                 │
 No. 4 Atoka      │I think so.      │No.              │Do not know.
                  │                 │                 │
                  │                 │                 │
 No. 5 Bacone     │No data.         │No.              │
                  │                 │                 │
                  │                 │                 │
 No. 6 Carnegie   │Less             │                 │Not many.
                  │tuberculosis,    │                 │
                  │trachoma same.   │                 │
                  │                 │                 │
 No. 7 Checotah   │Yes.             │No.              │A good number.
                  │                 │                 │
                  │                 │                 │
 No. 8 Darlington │Less             │Not here.        │Yes.
                  │tuberculosis,    │                 │
                  │trachoma unknown │                 │
                  │ten years ago.   │                 │
                  │                 │                 │
 No. 9 Durant     │Considerably     │Are not admitted.│
                  │less.            │                 │
                  │                 │                 │
 No. 10 Durant    │No increase.     │No.              │No.
                  │                 │                 │
                  │                 │                 │
                  │                 │                 │
 No. 11 Eufaula   │Not increasing.  │No.              │Six this year.
                  │                 │                 │
 No. 12 Hobart    │No.              │Yes and no.      │No.
                  │                 │                 │
                  │                 │                 │
 No. 13           │There is.        │No.              │I do not know.
 Holdenville      │                 │                 │
                  │                 │                 │
 No. 14 Hugo      │More.            │Discharged for   │Not many.
                  │                 │outdoor exercise.│
                  │                 │                 │
 No. 15 Hugo      │Less             │Very few.        │Do not know.
                  │tuberculosis,    │                 │
                  │trachoma same.   │                 │
                  │                 │                 │
 No. 16 Lawton    │Less             │Cared for in the │Very few.
                  │tuberculosis,    │schools.         │
                  │more trachoma.   │                 │
                  │                 │                 │
 No. 17 Mountain  │Less             │Not treated at   │A good many, I
 View             │tuberculosis,    │home.            │think.
                  │more trachoma.   │                 │
                  │                 │                 │
 No. 18 Muskogee  │More satisfactory│                 │
                  │conditions.      │                 │
                  │                 │                 │
 No. 19 Pawhuska  │Less             │                 │None.
                  │tuberculosis,    │                 │
                  │more trachoma.   │                 │
                  │                 │                 │
 No. 20 Pawhuska  │No, I think not. │In most cases,   │I think not.
                  │                 │no.              │
                  │                 │                 │
 No. 21 Sapulpa   │Tuberculosis     │Not treated at   │Not as many as
                  │more, trachoma   │home.            │should have been.
                  │common 10 years  │                 │
                  │ago.             │                 │
                  │                 │                 │
 No. 22 Shawnee   │We think not.    │One or two cases.│Very few.
                  │                 │                 │
                  │                 │                 │
 No. 23 Watanga   │Less             │Not given proper │Allowed to go
                  │tuberculosis.    │care.            │home if diseased.
                  │                 │                 │
 No. 24 White     │I do not think   │Not as a rule.   │Very small
 Eagle            │so.              │                 │percent.
                  │                 │                 │
 No. 25 Wyandotte │I do not think   │Few.             │Three.
                  │so.              │                 │
                  │                 │                 │
      OREGON      │                 │                 │
                  │                 │                 │
 No. 1 Klamath    │About the same.  │Not given proper │Yes.
                  │                 │treatment.       │
                  │                 │                 │
 No. 2 Pendleton  │More             │Few.             │
                  │tuberculosis.    │                 │
                  │                 │                 │
                  │                 │                 │
 No. 3 Roseburg   │No data.         │                 │
                  │                 │                 │
 No. 4 Warm Spring│More trachoma.   │No.              │No record.
       UTAH       │                 │                 │
                  │                 │                 │
 No. 1 Salt Lake  │No data.         │                 │
 City             │                 │                 │
     NEW YORK     │                 │                 │
                  │                 │                 │
 No. 1 Gowanda    │No.              │No.              │No.
    WASHINGTON    │                 │                 │
                  │                 │                 │
 No. 1 Bellingham │No.              │Yes.             │Five.
                  │                 │                 │
                  │                 │                 │
 No. 2 Bellingham │No.              │Never treated    │A good many.
                  │                 │properly at home.│
                  │                 │                 │
 No. 3 Marysville │                 │                 │
                  │                 │                 │
                  │                 │                 │
                  │                 │                 │
 No. 4 Neah Bay   │More             │Yes.             │Do not know.
                  │tuberculosis,    │                 │
                  │less trachoma.   │                 │
                  │                 │                 │
 No. 5 No. Yakima │Perhaps not.     │Not treated      │Cannot say.
                  │                 │properly at home.│
                  │                 │                 │
 No. 6 Nespelem   │More prevalent, I│Not as a rule.   │Cannot tell.
                  │think.           │                 │
                  │                 │                 │
                  │                 │                 │
 No. 7 St. Mary’s │No.              │Never properly   │Quite a few.
                  │                 │treated at home. │
                  │                 │                 │
                  │                 │                 │
                  │                 │                 │
 No. 8 Takoma     │More             │We discharge only│Twenty from our
                  │tuberculosis,    │when very sick,  │school.
                  │less trachoma.   │and take charge  │
                  │                 │of them.         │
                  │                 │                 │
 No. 9 Tulalip    │No.              │Occasionally.    │Five percent or
                  │                 │                 │less.
                  │                 │                 │
 No. 10 Wheeler   │I think there is │No.              │Taken to
                  │more.            │                 │government
                  │                 │                 │hospital.
     WISCONSIN    │                 │                 │
                  │                 │                 │
 No. 1 Adanah     │No.              │No.              │
                  │                 │                 │
 No. 2 Ashland    │No record of, ten│No, children not │Some.
                  │years ago. Plenty│cared for at     │
                  │now.             │home.            │
                  │                 │                 │
 No. 3 Bayfield   │I think not.     │They get better  │
                  │                 │treatment at the │
                  │                 │schools.         │
                  │                 │                 │
 No. 4 Carter     │There is some    │No school at     │No dismissals.
                  │here.            │Agency.          │
                  │                 │                 │
                  │                 │                 │
                  │                 │                 │
 No. 5 Kesbena    │No.              │Yes.             │Thirty, but some
                  │                 │                 │have been
                  │                 │                 │transferred.
                  │                 │                 │
 No. 6 Kesbena    │No.              │Yes, or not      │No record.
                  │                 │admitted.        │
                  │                 │                 │
                  │                 │                 │
                  │                 │                 │
 No. 7 Tomah      │I think there is │No.              │About fifteen.
                  │more.            │                 │

 Correspondent    │In your opinion, │Are the Indians  │Is the general
                  │has there been a │holding their    │condition of the
                  │high percentage  │allotments, or   │Indians as a body
                  │of deaths among  │are the white    │more satisfactory
                  │the children,    │people procuring │than ten years
                  │suffering from   │the same?        │ago?
                  │tuberculosis,    │                 │
                  │sent from the    │                 │
                  │schools to their │                 │
                  │homes the past   │                 │
                  │ten years?       │                 │
      ALASKA      │                 │                 │
                  │                 │                 │
 No. 1. Nulato    │No.              │Indians ready to │Rather less so.
                  │                 │sell regardless  │
                  │                 │of consequences. │
                  │                 │                 │
                  │                 │                 │
                  │                 │                 │
 No. 2 St.        │                 │No white men     │Much better.
 Michaels         │                 │here.            │
                  │                 │                 │
 No. 3            │Uncertain.       │None here.       │No.
      ARIZONA     │                 │                 │
                  │                 │                 │
 No. 1 Ft.        │Yes.             │Holding their    │Yes, much better.
 Defiance         │                 │allotments.      │
                  │                 │                 │
                  │                 │                 │
 No. 2 Parker     │Yes.             │Keeping their    │Decidedly so.
                  │                 │allotments.      │
                  │                 │                 │
 No. 3 Phoenix    │                 │                 │
                  │                 │                 │
                  │                 │                 │
 No. 4 Sacaton    │Do not know.     │No allotments    │Need water to
                  │                 │made.            │improve.
                  │                 │                 │
 No. 5 St.        │Yes.             │Holding          │Yes.
 Michaels         │                 │allotments.      │
                  │                 │                 │
 No. 6 Tucson     │Cannot answer.   │Holding their    │Cannot answer.
                  │                 │allotments.      │
                  │                 │                 │
 No. 7            │Yes.             │Allotments held  │It is.
                  │                 │by the           │
                  │                 │Government.      │
                  │                 │                 │
    CALIFORNIA    │                 │                 │
                  │                 │                 │
 No. 1 Banning    │There has not.   │No allotments.   │Decidedly better.
                  │                 │                 │
                  │                 │                 │
 No. 2 Campo      │No children sent │No allotments.   │Fifty per cent
                  │home.            │                 │better.
                  │                 │                 │
                  │                 │                 │
 No. 3 Covelo     │Only healthy     │No allotment held│More farming,
                  │children         │by white men.    │morals very
                  │enrolled.        │                 │little improved.
                  │                 │                 │
 No. 4 El Cujon   │No.              │No allotments.   │Yes.
                  │                 │                 │
 No. 5 Greenville │Yes.             │Few allotments   │Yes.
                  │                 │sold to best     │
                  │                 │interest of      │
                  │                 │Indian.          │
                  │                 │                 │
 No. 6 Likely     │No.              │Holding them.    │No, much worse.
                  │                 │                 │
 No. 7 Pala       │All sent home    │Holding them by  │Much better.
                  │have died        │law.             │
                  │(seven).         │                 │
                  │                 │                 │
 No. 8 Ukiah      │                 │                 │
                  │                 │                 │
                  │                 │                 │
 No. 9 Yuma Yuma  │No.              │Holding them.    │No.
                  │                 │                 │
 No. 10 N.        │No.              │Just received    │Yes, decidedly.
 California       │                 │allotments.      │
                  │                 │                 │
                  │                 │                 │
     COLORADO     │                 │                 │
                  │                 │                 │
 No. 1 Navaho     │Yes.             │No allotments.   │Yes.
 Springs          │                 │                 │
    NO. DAKOTA    │                 │                 │
                  │                 │                 │
 No. 1 Elbowoods  │Yes.             │Holding most of  │Yes.
                  │                 │them.            │
                  │                 │                 │
                  │                 │                 │
                  │                 │                 │
                  │                 │                 │
 No. 2 Elbowoods  │Yes, from        │Indian holds     │Yes.
                  │non-reservation  │land.            │
                  │schools.         │                 │
                  │                 │                 │
 No. 3 Ft. Yates  │About 2%.        │Holding them.    │No.
                  │                 │                 │
                  │                 │                 │
 No. 4 Standing   │                 │Holding them.    │
 Rock             │                 │                 │
                  │                 │                 │
    SO. DAKOTA    │                 │                 │
                  │                 │                 │
 No. 1 Cheyenne   │No.              │Some are, others │No.
                  │                 │want to sell.    │
                  │                 │                 │
                  │                 │                 │
 No. 2 Crow Creek │Percentage high. │Cannot dispose of│No.
                  │                 │lands.           │
                  │                 │                 │
 No. 3 Flandreau  │                 │                 │
                  │                 │                 │
                  │                 │                 │
 No. 4 Greenwood  │No.              │Two-thirds of    │In some respects
                  │                 │land now in hands│yes.
                  │                 │of white people. │
                  │                 │                 │
 No. 5 McLaughlin │Very high.       │Very few sales.  │Not much.
                  │                 │                 │
                  │                 │                 │
 No. 6 Mission    │High.            │Some sell.       │Yes and No.
                  │                 │                 │
 No. 7 Oahe       │Yes.             │Holding          │Yes.
                  │                 │allotments.      │
                  │                 │                 │
 No. 8 Pine Ridge │One hundred      │In most cases.   │Much better.
                  │percent from     │                 │
                  │enteric tuber’s, │                 │
                  │none from other  │                 │
                  │tuber.           │                 │
                  │                 │                 │
 No. 9 Pine Ridge │Per cent. not so │Holding          │Poorer.
                  │high.            │allotments.      │
                  │                 │                 │
 No. 10 Rosebud   │                 │Very slow sale.  │Better.
                  │                 │                 │
                  │                 │                 │
 No. 11 Rosebud   │No.              │Holding own, but │Yes.
 Ag.              │                 │selling heirship │
                  │                 │lands.           │
                  │                 │                 │
 No. 12 Sisseton  │Not a high       │Indians want to  │Some improvement.
                  │percent.         │sell.            │
                  │                 │                 │
                  │                 │                 │
 No. 13 Sisseton  │Two percent.     │Forty percent    │Yes, great
                  │                 │holding own.     │improvement.
                  │                 │                 │
 No. 14 Sisseton  │Yes.             │Whites, as soon  │No.
                  │                 │as they can.     │
                  │                 │                 │
                  │                 │                 │
 No. 15 St.       │No data.         │Not allowed to   │Yes, in some
 Francis          │                 │sell.            │respects.
                  │                 │                 │
       IDAHO      │                 │                 │
                  │                 │                 │
 No. 1 Fort Hall  │Almost 100%.     │None sold yet.   │I think so.
                  │                 │                 │
                  │                 │                 │
 No. 2 Ft. Lapwai │Do not know.     │Whites are buying│Yes.
                  │                 │heirship lands.  │
                  │                 │                 │
 No. 3 Lapwai     │Many deaths.     │Largest percent  │Better.
                  │                 │held by Indians. │
                  │                 │                 │
 No. 4 Slickpoo   │Yes.             │Whites buying    │I think not.
                  │                 │from half-breeds.│
                  │                 │                 │
       IOWA       │                 │                 │
                  │                 │                 │
 No. 1 Toledo     │No.              │Unallotted.      │Yes.
                  │                 │                 │
      KANSAS      │                 │                 │
                  │                 │                 │
 No. 1 Baxter     │No.              │Yes, until       │Yes.
 Springs          │                 │restriction is   │
                  │                 │removed.         │
                  │                 │                 │
 No. 2 Powhattan  │Yes.             │Majority are.    │Yes, except for
                  │                 │                 │morals.
     MINNESOTA    │                 │                 │
                  │                 │                 │
 No. 1 Winnebago  │Not from our     │White people rent│No.
                  │school.          │or buy fast.     │
                  │                 │                 │
 No. 2 Beaulieu   │                 │Only 15% will    │No.
                  │                 │hold allotments  │
                  │                 │in 6 years.      │
                  │                 │                 │
 No. 3 Cass Lake  │Percentage high. │Whites get all   │No.
                  │                 │they can.        │
                  │                 │                 │
                  │                 │                 │
 No. 4 Cloquet    │Thirty percent.  │Holding their    │No.
                  │                 │allotments.      │
      MONTANA     │                 │                 │
                  │                 │                 │
 No. 1 Browning   │High percent.    │No allotments    │Yes.
                  │                 │made.            │
                  │                 │                 │
 No. 2 Crow Ag’cy │High percent.    │Sell patents in  │Yes, decidedly.
                  │                 │fee and heirship │
                  │                 │lands.           │
                  │                 │                 │
 No. 3 Poplar     │Percentage is    │Indians just     │Far better.
                  │above the        │received them.   │
                  │average.         │                 │
                  │                 │                 │
 No. 4 Jocko      │No.              │Full-bloods are, │Yes.
                  │                 │the others sell. │
                  │                 │                 │
 No. 5 Lame Deer  │High percent.    │No allotments.   │Yes.
                  │                 │                 │
                  │                 │                 │
 No. 6 Lodge Grass│No, the reverse  │Prefer to sell   │Yes, decidedly.
                  │is true.         │when they can.   │
                  │                 │                 │
 No. 7 St.        │Very high        │Holding them.    │No.
 Ignatius         │percent.         │                 │
                  │                 │                 │
                  │                 │                 │
                  │                 │                 │
 No. 8 Wolf Point │No.              │Holding          │Yes, much.
                  │                 │allotments.      │
     NEBRASKA     │                 │                 │
                  │                 │                 │
 No. 1 Santee     │Very high        │Holding them     │Yes.
                  │percent.         │fairly well.     │
                  │                 │                 │
                  │                 │                 │
 No. 2 Santee     │Cannot say.      │Many pass into   │Yes.
                  │                 │white hands.     │
                  │                 │                 │
      NEVADA      │                 │                 │
                  │                 │                 │
 No. 1 Nixon      │No.              │No allotments    │Yes, very much.
                  │                 │made.            │
                  │                 │                 │
 No. 2 Schurz     │Yes.             │Holding          │Yes.
                  │                 │allotments.      │
    NEW MEXICO    │                 │                 │
                  │                 │                 │
 No. 1 Albuquerque│Yes.             │Holding          │Yes, slowly.
                  │                 │allotments.      │
                  │                 │                 │
 No. 2 Gallup     │No.              │Holding          │Yes.
                  │                 │allotments.      │
     OKLAHOMA     │                 │                 │
                  │                 │                 │
 No. 1 Anadarko   │Yes.             │Some Indians     │Yes.
                  │                 │sell.            │
                  │                 │                 │
 No. 2 Anadarko   │Yes.             │Those who can,   │Yes.
                  │                 │sell.            │
                  │                 │                 │
 No. 3 Anadarko   │No.              │Dispose of them  │Yes.
                  │                 │whenever they    │
                  │                 │can.             │
                  │                 │                 │
                  │                 │                 │
 No. 4 Atoka      │Yes.             │Whites getting   │No.
                  │                 │many.            │
                  │                 │                 │
 No. 5 Bacone     │Yes.             │Whites getting   │
                  │                 │many.            │
                  │                 │                 │
 No. 6 Carnegie   │Yes.             │Whites getting   │No.
                  │                 │many.            │
                  │                 │                 │
                  │                 │                 │
 No. 7 Checotah   │Yes.             │All unrestricted │No.
                  │                 │are sold.        │
                  │                 │                 │
 No. 8 Darlington │Very high, but   │Both are true.   │Yes.
                  │reducing.        │                 │
                  │                 │                 │
                  │                 │                 │
                  │                 │                 │
 No. 9 Durant     │                 │Selling as fast  │Yes.
                  │                 │as they can.     │
                  │                 │                 │
 No. 10 Durant    │Nearly all die.  │Whites getting   │Indian says, no.
                  │                 │them.            │I say, yes and
                  │                 │                 │no.
                  │                 │                 │
 No. 11 Eufaula   │Not high.        │Whites try to.   │Yes.
                  │                 │                 │
 No. 12 Hobart    │                 │Holding          │Yes.
                  │                 │allotments.      │
                  │                 │                 │
 No. 13           │                 │They sell all    │Yes.
 Holdenville      │                 │they can.        │
                  │                 │                 │
 No. 14 Hugo      │                 │Holding          │Indian not
                  │                 │allotments.      │satisfied.
                  │                 │                 │
 No. 15 Hugo      │High percentage. │Few Indians hold │Yes.
                  │                 │all their        │
                  │                 │allotments.      │
                  │                 │                 │
 No. 16 Lawton    │High percentage. │Very few sell    │Yes.
                  │                 │their lands.     │
                  │                 │                 │
                  │                 │                 │
 No. 17 Mountain  │No.              │Holding them.    │Yes.
 View             │                 │                 │
                  │                 │                 │
                  │                 │                 │
 No. 18 Muskogee  │                 │                 │Yes.
                  │                 │                 │
                  │                 │                 │
 No. 19 Pawhuska  │No.              │Whites buying all│No. Decidedly.
                  │                 │they can.        │
                  │                 │                 │
                  │                 │                 │
 No. 20 Pawhuska  │Nearly all have  │Very few sales   │Yes.
                  │died.            │made.            │
                  │                 │                 │
 No. 21 Sapulpa   │Yes.             │Whites hold large│Yes.
                  │                 │per cent.        │
                  │                 │                 │
                  │                 │                 │
                  │                 │                 │
 No. 22 Shawnee   │Three fatal      │Holding          │Marked
                  │cases.           │allotments.      │improvement.
                  │                 │                 │
 No. 23 Watanga   │                 │Little demand for│Better.
                  │                 │land.            │
                  │                 │                 │
 No. 24 White     │Very low.        │Nearly all       │Better.
 Eagle            │                 │holding lands.   │
                  │                 │                 │
 No. 25 Wyandotte │One has died,    │Whites hold a    │Better.
                  │there has not    │little less than │
                  │been.            │one-half.        │
      OREGON      │                 │                 │
                  │                 │                 │
 No. 1 Klamath    │Yes.             │Sales just       │Yes.
                  │                 │beginning.       │
                  │                 │                 │
 No. 2 Pendleton  │                 │Full-bloods hold,│
                  │                 │mixed-bloods     │
                  │                 │sell.            │
                  │                 │                 │
 No. 3 Roseburg   │                 │                 │Yes.
                  │                 │                 │
 No. 4 Warm Spring│Yes.             │Holding them.    │Yes.
       UTAH       │                 │                 │
                  │                 │                 │
 No. 1 Salt Lake  │                 │                 │
 City             │                 │                 │
     NEW YORK     │                 │                 │
                  │                 │                 │
 No. 1 Gowanda    │No.              │Holding them.    │Yes.
    WASHINGTON    │                 │                 │
                  │                 │                 │
 No. 1 Bellingham │All die.         │Indians hold     │Yes.
                  │                 │lands.           │
                  │                 │                 │
 No. 2 Bellingham │                 │Whites getting   │Yes.
                  │                 │lands.           │
                  │                 │                 │
 No. 3 Marysville │                 │                 │Naturally better
                  │                 │                 │on account of
                  │                 │                 │selling land.
                  │                 │                 │
 No. 4 Neah Bay   │No.              │Sold lands off   │Yes.
                  │                 │reservation only.│
                  │                 │                 │
                  │                 │                 │
 No. 5 No. Yakima │                 │Whites swindle   │Yes, but losing
                  │                 │lands.           │lands.
                  │                 │                 │
 No. 6 Nespelem   │No.              │Not over 10% have│Yes.
                  │                 │passed into white│
                  │                 │hands.           │
                  │                 │                 │
 No. 7 St. Mary’s │Some have.       │Just now.        │Worse on account
                  │                 │                 │of whiskey which
                  │                 │                 │they get all the
                  │                 │                 │time.
                  │                 │                 │
 No. 8 Takoma     │Seven died.      │Only few hold    │Yes.
                  │                 │lands after      │
                  │                 │reservation is   │
                  │                 │opened.          │
                  │                 │                 │
 No. 9 Tulalip    │Yes.             │Whites           │Generally, yes.
                  │                 │encroaching.     │
                  │                 │                 │
 No. 10 Wheeler   │Do not know.     │White people     │Yes.
                  │                 │buying heirship  │
                  │                 │lands.           │
     WISCONSIN    │                 │                 │
                  │                 │                 │
 No. 1 Adanah     │No.              │Cannot sell.     │Yes.
                  │                 │                 │
 No. 2 Ashland    │Yes.             │Indians holding  │Hardly.
                  │                 │them.            │
                  │                 │                 │
                  │                 │                 │
 No. 3 Bayfield   │                 │Whites not       │Yes.
                  │                 │getting much.    │
                  │                 │                 │
                  │                 │                 │
 No. 4 Carter     │Cannot answer.   │Indians hold no  │Conditions
                  │                 │allotments.      │improved since
                  │                 │                 │Agency was
                  │                 │                 │established.
                  │                 │                 │
 No. 5 Kesbena    │No.              │Yes, whites buy  │No.
                  │                 │when they can.   │
                  │                 │                 │
                  │                 │                 │
 No. 6 Kesbena    │No.              │Large number at  │Very much so.
                  │                 │Stockridge have. │
                  │                 │Menominees not   │
                  │                 │allotted.        │
                  │                 │                 │
 No. 7 Tomah      │No.              │Indians holding  │More
                  │                 │them.            │satisfactory.

 Correspondent│Is immorality,│Which of the   │Are the     │Do the
              │in your       │two classes are│white people│Indians who
              │opinion, due  │in the better  │crowding    │are trained
              │to the        │condition, the │your Indians│near their
              │presence of   │mixed-blood or │and taking  │homes do
              │low whites, or│full-blood     │advantage of│better than
              │because of the│Indian?        │them?       │Indians who
              │Indian        │               │            │are educated
              │himself?      │               │            │at a
              │              │               │            │distance and
              │              │               │            │return?
    ALASKA    │              │               │            │
              │              │               │            │
 No. 1 Nolato │Both, former  │Not much       │Yes, to some│There is no
              │about five    │difference.    │extent, but │difference.
              │times as much │               │Indian      │
              │as latter.    │               │retaliates. │
              │              │               │            │
 No. 2 St.    │Low whites.   │               │            │Better,
 Michaels     │              │               │            │(Yes).
              │              │               │            │
 No. 3        │Low whites.   │Both in poor   │Not much.   │
              │              │shape.         │            │
    ARIZONA   │              │               │            │
              │              │               │            │
 No. 1 Ft.    │Indian        │Mixed-bloods.  │A little off│Yes.
 Defiance     │himself.      │               │the         │
              │              │               │reservation.│
              │              │               │            │
 No. 2 Parker │Due to old    │Few            │They are    │Yes.
              │customs.      │mixed-bloods   │not.        │
              │              │same condition.│            │
              │              │               │            │
 No. 3 Phoenix│              │               │            │
              │              │               │            │
 No. 4 Sacaton│Cases due to  │Few            │Yes, in     │Yes.
              │Indian.       │mixed-bloods,  │regard to   │
              │              │these not      │water.      │
              │              │impr’v’d.      │            │
              │              │               │            │
 No. 5 St.    │Due to Indian,│Mixed-bloods,  │Yes, off the│Yes.
 Michaels     │because of    │only a few,    │reservation.│
              │customs.      │however.       │            │
              │              │               │            │
 No. 6 Tucson │To Indians.   │Very few       │Among the   │I think so.
              │              │mixed-bloods.  │Papagos but │
              │              │               │not the     │
              │              │               │Pimas.      │
              │              │               │            │
 No. 7        │Low whites.   │No mixed       │Yes, if     │Most
              │              │bloods.        │possible.   │assuredly.
  CALIFORNIA  │              │               │            │
              │              │               │            │
 No. 1 Banning│Little        │Mixed-bloods.  │No.         │About same.
              │immorality.   │               │            │
              │              │               │            │
 No. 2 Campo  │Indian        │Few            │No.         │About same.
              │himself.      │mixed-bloods,  │            │
              │              │these are      │            │
              │              │better.        │            │
              │              │               │            │
 No. 3 Covelo │Both.         │Mixed-bloods.  │Not         │Yes.
              │              │               │crowding,   │
              │              │               │but taking  │
              │              │               │advantage of│
              │              │               │necessities.│
              │              │               │            │
 No. 4 El     │Very few      │               │No.         │Few of them.
 Cujon        │cases.        │               │            │
              │              │               │            │
 No. 5        │To both.      │The            │To no great │No.
 Greenville   │              │mixed-bloods.  │extent.     │
              │              │               │            │
 No. 6 Likely │Low whites.   │Full-bloods.   │No.         │Yes.
              │              │               │            │
 No. 7 Pala   │Little        │Very few       │No.         │Yes, much
              │immorality.   │full-bloods    │            │better.
              │              │here.          │            │
              │              │               │            │
 No. 8 Ukiah  │              │               │            │Yes.
              │              │               │            │
 No. 9 Yuma,  │Indian        │Very few       │No.         │Same.
 Yuma         │himself.      │mixed-bloods   │            │
              │              │here.          │            │
              │              │               │            │
 No. 10 N.    │Low whites.   │Full-bloods.   │No.         │
 California   │              │               │            │
              │              │               │            │
              │              │               │            │
   COLORADO   │              │               │            │
              │              │               │            │
 No. 1 Navaho │No whites     │No mixed-bloods│No.         │Yes.
 Springs      │here.         │here.          │            │
              │              │               │            │
              │              │               │            │
  NO. DAKOTA  │              │               │            │
              │              │               │            │
 No. 1        │Indian        │No difference. │No not much.│No
 Elbowoods    │himself.      │               │            │difference
              │              │               │            │noted.
              │              │               │            │
 No. 2        │Indian        │Full bloods.   │No.         │Yes.
 Elbowoods    │himself.      │               │            │
              │              │               │            │
 No. 3 Ft.    │Low whites and│Mixed-bloods   │No.         │Home
 Yates        │mixed-bloods. │financially.   │            │training
              │              │               │            │seems best.
              │              │               │            │
 No. 4        │To Government,│Full-bloods.   │Yes.        │Yes.
 Standing Rock│because Indian│               │            │
              │cannot marry  │               │            │
              │until         │               │            │
              │eighteen.     │               │            │
  SO. DAKOTA  │              │               │            │
              │              │               │            │
 No. 1        │Both.         │Mixed-bloods.  │Yes.        │Yes.
 Cheyenne     │              │               │            │
              │              │               │            │
 No. 2 Crow   │Indian nature │Mixed-bloods.  │No.         │Little
 Creek        │(himself).    │               │            │difference.
              │              │               │            │
 No. 3        │              │Mixed-bloods a │No.         │
 Flandreau    │              │little.        │            │
              │              │               │            │
 No. 4        │Both.         │Mixed-bloods.  │Yes.        │Yes.
 Greenwood    │              │               │            │
              │              │               │            │
 No. 5        │Both.         │Mixed,         │Only a large│Yes.
 McLaughlin   │              │materially,    │cattle      │
              │              │otherwise      │company.    │
              │              │full-blood.    │            │
              │              │               │            │
 No. 6 Mission│Low whites.   │Same.          │Often.      │Yes.
              │              │               │            │
 No. 7 Oahe   │Low whites.   │Not much       │Not to any  │Yes.
              │              │difference.    │extent.     │
              │              │               │            │
 No. 8 Pine   │Indian        │Mixed-blood.   │No.         │Yes.
 Ridge        │(Mixed-blood).│               │            │
 No. 9 Pine   │Low whites.   │Mixed-blood.   │No.         │Yes.
 Ridge        │              │               │            │
              │              │               │            │
              │              │               │            │
              │              │               │            │
 No. 10       │Both.         │Both in some   │No.         │Yes.
 Rosebud      │              │respects.      │            │
              │              │               │            │
 No. 11       │Indian        │Mixed-blood.   │Not much.   │Yes.
 Rosebud Ag.  │himself.      │               │            │
              │              │               │            │
 No. 12       │Indian        │Hard to say,   │Yes, when   │Cannot tell.
 Sisseton     │himself.      │full-blood in  │they can.   │
              │              │health.        │            │
              │              │               │            │
 No. 13       │Low whites.   │Little         │Some try to.│Yes.
 Sisseton     │              │difference.    │            │
              │              │               │            │
 No. 13       │Indian mostly.│Little         │When they   │Little
 Sisseton     │              │difference.    │can.        │difference.
              │              │               │            │full-bloods
              │              │               │            │decreasing.
              │              │               │            │
 No. 15 St.   │              │Mixed-blood.   │Some.       │Yes.
 Francis      │              │               │            │
     IDAHO    │              │               │            │
              │              │               │            │
 No. 1 Ft.    │Indian on sex,│Not much       │No but would│Yes.
 Hall         │Low whites on │difference.    │like to.    │
              │liquor.       │               │            │
              │              │               │            │
 No. 2 Ft.    │Low whites.   │Full-bloods.   │Yes.        │Yes.
 Lapwai       │              │               │            │
              │              │               │            │
 No. 3 Lapwai │Indian        │Mixed-bloods.  │Not         │Yes.
              │customs.      │               │generally.  │
              │              │               │            │
 No. 4        │Both.         │Mixed-bloods   │Yes, as much│Much better.
 Slickpoo     │              │little better. │as they can.│
              │              │               │            │
     IOWA     │              │               │            │
              │              │               │            │
 No. 1 Toledo │They keep     │No noticeable  │Whites      │
              │aloof from    │difference.    │encourage   │
              │whites.       │               │them, but   │
              │Indians       │               │few prey on │
              │themselves.   │               │them. No.   │
    KANSAS    │              │               │            │
              │              │               │            │
 No. 1 Baxter │Indian        │Mixed-bloods.  │When they   │Yes.
 Springs      │himself.      │               │get a       │
              │              │               │chance.     │
              │              │               │            │
 No. 2        │Indian        │Mixed-bloods,  │Yes.        │No.
 Powhattan    │himself.      │except morally.│            │
              │              │               │            │
              │              │               │            │
   MINNESOTA  │              │               │            │
              │              │               │            │
 No. 1        │Low whites.   │Not much       │Yes, to a   │Yes.
 Winnebago    │              │difference.    │great       │
              │              │               │extent.     │
              │              │               │            │
 No. 2        │Low whites.   │               │            │Yes.
 Beaulieu     │              │               │            │
              │              │               │            │
 No. 3 Cass   │White man 90%.│Full-blood.    │Yes.        │Yes.
 Lake         │              │               │            │
              │              │               │            │
              │              │               │            │
              │              │               │            │
 No. 4 Cloquet│Low whites.   │Mixed-blood    │No.         │Yes.
              │              │financially;   │            │
              │              │full-blood     │            │
              │              │morally.       │            │
              │              │               │            │
    MONTANA   │              │               │            │
              │              │               │            │
 No. 1        │Low whites.   │Mixed-blood as │No whites   │Cannot say.
 Browning     │              │a rule.        │here.       │
              │              │               │            │
              │              │               │            │
 No. 2 Crow   │Indian nature.│Full-blood, but│No.         │No
 Ag.          │              │little         │            │difference.
              │              │difference.    │            │
              │              │               │            │
 No. 3 Poplar │Early low     │Mixed-blood.   │Few whites  │Yes.
              │whites.       │               │here.       │
              │              │               │            │
              │              │               │            │
 No. 4 Jocko  │Indian        │Mixed-blood.   │Some trying │Yes.
              │himself.      │               │to.         │
              │              │               │            │
 No. 5 Lame   │What little   │Both the same. │No.         │Same.
 Deer         │there is, is  │               │            │
              │due to Indian.│               │            │
              │              │               │            │
 No. 6 Lodge  │Low whites    │               │No.         │No.
 Grass        │helped.       │               │            │
              │              │               │            │
 No. 7 St.    │Low whites.   │Mixed-bloods   │Trying to.  │Yes.
 Ignatius     │              │materially,    │            │
              │              │full-bloods    │            │
              │              │morally.       │            │
              │              │               │            │
              │              │               │            │
 No. 8 Wolf   │Both.         │Full-bloods.   │No.         │Yes.
 Point        │              │               │            │
   NEBRASKA   │              │               │            │
              │              │               │            │
 No. 1 Santee │Indian        │Mixed-bloods.  │No, not to  │Yes.
              │himself.      │               │any extent. │
              │              │               │            │
 No. 2 Santee │Both.         │Full-bloods    │Yes, when   │Yes.
              │              │generally.     │they can.   │
    NEVADA    │              │               │            │
              │              │               │            │
 No. 1 Nixon  │No whites     │Full-bloods.   │No.         │Yes.
              │here.         │               │            │
              │              │               │            │
 No. 2 Schurz │Both.         │Full-bloods.   │Not on the  │Yes.
              │              │               │reservation.│
  NEW MEXICO  │              │               │            │
              │              │               │            │
 No. 1        │Indian        │Mixed-bloods.  │A certain   │No.
 Albuquerque  │himself.      │               │class does. │
              │              │               │            │
 No. 2 Gallup │Indian        │No             │No.         │No.
              │himself.      │mixed-bloods.  │            │
   OKLAHOMA   │              │               │            │
              │              │               │            │
 No. 1        │Both.         │Same.          │Some whites │Same.
 Anadarko     │              │               │are.        │
              │              │               │            │
 No. 2        │Largely to low│Same.          │Yes, when   │Yes, as a
 Anadarko     │whites.       │               │they can.   │rule.
              │              │               │            │
 No. 3        │Indian        │Full-bloods.   │No.         │Yes.
 Anadarko     │himself.      │               │            │
              │              │               │            │
 No. 4 Atoka  │To low whites.│Mixed-bloods.  │Yes.        │No.
              │              │               │            │
              │              │               │            │
 No. 5 Bacone │Both, mostly  │               │Very much.  │Yes.
              │to whites.    │               │            │
              │              │               │            │
 No. 6        │Low whites.   │Mixed-bloods.  │Yes.        │Yes.
 Carnegie     │              │               │            │
              │              │               │            │
 No. 7        │Low whites.   │Mixed-bloods.  │Yes.        │No
 Checotah     │              │               │            │difference.
              │              │               │            │
 No. 8        │Low whites.   │Full-bloods,   │No.         │Cannot say.
 Darlington   │              │exceptions     │            │
              │              │favor mixed.   │            │
              │              │               │            │
 No. 9 Durant │Both.         │Mixed-bloods.  │Many try to.│No.
              │              │               │            │
              │              │               │            │
              │              │               │            │
              │              │               │            │
 No. 10 Durant│Low whites.   │Mixed-bloods.  │Yes.        │No
              │              │               │            │difference.
              │              │               │            │
 No. 11       │Early low     │Mixed-bloods.  │Yes.        │
 Eufaula      │whites, now   │               │            │
              │Indian.       │               │            │
              │              │               │            │
 No. 12 Hobart│Both.         │               │When they   │Yes.
              │              │               │can.        │
              │              │               │            │
              │              │               │            │
 No. 13       │Low whites.   │Mixed-bloods.  │Yes.        │I don’t
 Holdenville  │              │               │            │know.
              │              │               │            │
 No. 14 Hugo  │Both.         │Mixed-bloods.  │When they   │Same.
              │              │               │can.        │
              │              │               │            │
              │              │               │            │
 No. 15 Hugo  │Low whites.   │Mixed-bloods.  │Yes.        │Yes.
              │              │               │            │
              │              │               │            │
 No. 16 Lawton│Low whites.   │Little         │A certain   │Yes.
              │              │difference.    │class do.   │
              │              │               │            │
              │              │               │            │
 No. 17       │Both.         │No difference. │Many do.    │No
 Mountain View│              │               │            │difference.
              │              │               │            │
              │              │               │            │
 No. 18       │Indian        │Mixed-bloods.  │Yes.        │No.
 Muskogee     │himself.      │               │            │
              │              │               │            │
              │              │               │            │
 No. 19       │Low whites.   │Full-bloods.   │Yes.        │Yes.
 Pawhuska     │              │               │            │
              │              │               │            │
              │              │               │            │
              │              │               │            │
 No. 20       │Low whites and│Mixed-bloods.  │Yes.        │Yes.
 Pawhuska     │colored       │               │            │
              │people.       │               │            │
              │              │               │            │
 No. 21       │Both.         │Full-bloods.   │Yes.        │Not if those
 Sapulpa      │              │               │            │trained away
              │              │               │            │are well
              │              │               │            │advanced.
              │              │               │            │
 No. 22       │Both.         │Mixed-bloods.  │Some try to.│Young
 Shawnee      │              │               │            │children do.
              │              │               │            │
              │              │               │            │
 No. 23       │Early whites. │Same.          │Some try to.│No
 Watanga      │              │               │            │difference.
              │              │               │            │
              │              │               │            │
              │              │               │            │
 No. 24 White │Both.         │Same.          │They cannot.│Yes.
 Eagle        │              │               │            │
              │              │               │            │
 No. 25       │Low whites.   │Same.          │All they    │No
 Wyandotte    │              │               │can.        │difference.
    OREGON    │              │               │            │
              │              │               │            │
 No. 1 Klamath│Indian        │Mixed-blood.   │No.         │I think so.
              │himself.      │               │            │
              │              │               │            │
 No. 2        │              │               │            │
 Pendleton    │              │               │            │
              │              │               │            │
              │              │               │            │
              │              │               │            │
 No. 3        │Both.         │Mixed-blood.   │Yes.        │Yes.
 Roseburg     │              │               │            │
              │              │               │            │
 No. 4 Warm   │Indian (no    │Same.          │Some do.    │No.
 Sp.          │whites here.) │               │            │
     UTAH     │              │               │            │
              │              │               │            │
 No. 1 Salt   │              │               │            │
 Lake City.   │              │               │            │
  WASHINGTON  │              │               │            │
              │              │               │            │
 No. 1        │No low whites │Same.          │They cannot.│Yes.
 Bellingham   │here.         │               │            │
              │              │               │            │
 No. 2        │Low whites.   │Same.          │No, except  │I think so.
 Bellingham   │              │               │gamblers.   │
              │              │               │            │
 No. 3        │              │Materially the │Few.        │
 Marysville   │              │mixed-bloods.  │            │
              │              │Morally the    │            │
              │              │full-bloods.   │            │
              │              │               │            │
 No. 4 Neah   │Indian nature.│All            │No, they    │In my
 Bay          │              │mixed-blood.   │assist them.│opinion, no.
              │              │               │            │
              │              │               │            │
              │              │               │            │
 No. 5 No.    │Low whites and│Mixed-blood.   │Yes, in     │Do not know.
 Yakima       │colored       │               │every way   │
              │people.       │               │possible.   │
              │              │               │            │
 No. 6        │Low whites.   │Mixed-blood.   │Yes, in     │Yes, as a
 Nespelem     │              │               │places.     │rule.
              │              │               │            │
              │              │               │            │
              │              │               │            │
 No. 7 St.    │Whiskey.      │About the same.│No.         │I think so.
 Mary’s       │              │               │            │
              │              │               │            │
 No. 8 Tacoma │              │Mixed,         │As soon as  │Little
              │              │temporally;    │they can.   │difference.
              │              │full-blood     │            │
              │              │otherwise.     │            │
              │              │               │            │
 No. 9 Tulalip│Both.         │Mixed-blood.   │When they   │Yes.
              │              │               │can.        │
              │              │               │            │
 No. 10       │Low whites.   │Full-blood.    │Yes.        │Yes.
 Wheeler      │              │               │            │
   WISCONSIN  │              │               │            │
              │              │               │            │
 No. 1 Adanah │Low whites.   │All            │No.         │Yes.
              │              │mixed-bloods.  │            │
              │              │               │            │
 No. 2 Ashland│Both.         │Mixed-bloods.  │No.         │Yes.
              │              │               │            │
 No. 3        │Low whites    │Full-bloods,   │Treated as  │About same.
 Bayfield     │mostly.       │morally. Mixed │whites.     │
              │              │financially and│            │
              │              │intellectually.│            │
              │              │               │            │
 No. 4 Carter │Very little   │Only           │To a small  │None have
              │immorality.   │full-bloods.   │degree.     │gone away.
              │              │               │            │
 No. 5 Kesbena│Both.         │Mixed-bloods.  │No whites   │Yes.
              │              │               │here.       │
              │              │               │            │
 No. 6 Kesbena│Both.         │Full-bloods.   │Traders,    │Same.
              │              │               │outside, do.│
              │              │               │            │
 No. 7 Tomah  │Only to whites│What few       │Not here.   │Yes,
              │when they sell│mixed-breeds we│            │perhaps.
              │liquor.       │have are       │            │
              │              │better.        │            │
   NEW YORK   │              │               │            │
              │              │               │            │
 No. 1 Gowanda│Indian        │No full-bloods.│Only hotels │No.
              │himself.      │               │and saloons.│

 Correspondent│Is the      │Are white men   │Is the
              │population  │marrying Indian │Government
              │increasing  │women in order  │properly
              │or          │to secure       │protecting the
              │decreasing? │property?       │Indians?
              │            │                │
              │            │                │
              │            │                │
              │            │                │
              │            │                │
              │            │                │
    ALASKA    │            │                │
              │            │                │
 No. 1 Nolato │Slightly    │No.             │Bureau of
              │decreasing. │                │Education,
              │            │                │yes; laws very
              │            │                │bad.
              │            │                │
 No. 2 St.    │Slightly    │                │
 Michaels     │increasing. │                │
              │            │                │
 No. 3        │Decreasing. │                │Not enough
              │            │                │protecting.
    ARIZONA   │            │                │
              │            │                │
 No. 1 Ft.    │Slightly    │No.             │No.
 Defiance     │increasing. │                │
              │            │                │
              │            │                │
 No. 2 Parker │Decreasing  │No.             │It is.
              │among the   │                │
              │full-bloods.│                │
              │            │                │
 No. 3 Phoenix│            │                │
              │            │                │
 No. 4 Sacaton│Slight      │No.             │Yes, but
              │increase, I │                │hampered by
              │think.      │                │law and
              │            │                │politics.
              │            │                │
 No. 5 St.    │Slightly    │No.             │No.
 Michaels     │increasing. │                │
              │            │                │
              │            │                │
 No. 6 Tucson │Increasing. │No.             │Not as regards
              │            │                │land and
              │            │                │water.
              │            │                │
              │            │                │
 No. 7        │Increasing. │Law forbids     │No.
              │            │inter-marriages.│
  CALIFORNIA  │            │                │
              │            │                │
 No. 1 Banning│Just holding│No.             │Yes.
              │its own.    │                │
              │            │                │
 No. 2 Campo  │Slowly      │No.             │Yes.
              │decreasing. │                │
              │            │                │
              │            │                │
              │            │                │
 No. 3 Covelo │About same. │Only reprobates.│Yes.
              │            │                │
              │            │                │
              │            │                │
              │            │                │
              │            │                │
 No. 4 El     │Increasing. │No.             │Yes.
 Cujon        │            │                │
              │            │                │
 No. 5        │Holding its │No.             │Yes.
 Greenville   │own.        │                │
              │            │                │
 No. 6 Likely │Decreasing. │No.             │No.
              │            │                │
 No. 7 Pala   │Very slight │No.             │Yes, all it
              │increase.   │                │can.
              │            │                │
              │            │                │
 No. 8 Ukiah  │            │                │No.
              │            │                │
 No. 9 Yuma,  │Same.       │No.             │Yes.
 Yuma         │            │                │
              │            │                │
              │            │                │
 No. 10 N.    │Seems to be │No.             │Government has
 California   │on the      │                │done very
              │increase    │                │little.
              │now.        │                │
   COLORADO   │            │                │
              │            │                │
 No. 1 Navaho │Increasing  │No.             │Yes.
 Springs      │three       │                │
              │percent per │                │
              │year.       │                │
  NO. DAKOTA  │            │                │
              │            │                │
 No. 1        │Slightly    │No.             │More energy
 Elbowoods    │increasing. │                │needed.
              │            │                │
              │            │                │
 No. 2        │Decreasing. │Law forbids it. │Yes.
 Elbowoods    │            │                │
              │            │                │
 No. 3 Ft.    │Increasing. │Very seldom.    │Intentions
 Yates        │            │                │good,
              │            │                │officials bad.
              │            │                │
 No. 4        │Increasing. │No.             │No.
 Standing Rock│            │                │
              │            │                │
              │            │                │
              │            │                │
  SO. DAKOTA  │            │                │
              │            │                │
 No. 1        │Holding its │Yes.            │
 Cheyenne     │own.        │                │
              │            │                │
 No. 2 Crow   │Vacillating.│No.             │Yes.
 Creek        │            │                │
              │            │                │
 No. 3        │            │No.             │What is
 Flandreau    │            │                │necessary.
              │            │                │
 No. 4        │Increasing. │No.             │Yes.
 Greenwood    │            │                │
              │            │                │
 No. 5        │Slight      │Very few.       │No, in many
 McLaughlin   │increase.   │                │respects.
              │            │                │
              │            │                │
              │            │                │
 No. 6 Mission│            │Not often.      │Failure.
              │            │                │
 No. 7 Oahe   │Increasing. │Not to any      │Yes.
              │            │extent.         │
              │            │                │
 No. 8 Pine   │Increasing. │Some.           │Yes .
 Ridge        │            │                │
 No. 9 Pine   │Mixed-bloods│Some.           │
 Ridge        │increasing, │                │
              │full-bloods │                │
              │decreasing. │                │
              │            │                │
 No. 10       │Increasing  │Some.           │In some ways.
 Rosebud      │1%.         │                │
              │            │                │
 No. 11       │4500 to     │                │Yes.
 Rosebud Ag.  │5490.       │                │
              │            │                │
 No. 12       │Increasing  │Few.            │Indians say
 Sisseton     │slowly.     │                │no.
              │            │                │
              │            │                │
 No. 13       │Increasing. │Some cases.     │Indians are
 Sisseton     │            │                │citizens.
              │            │                │
 No. 13       │Mixed-bloods│Not now, few.   │To some
 Sisseton     │increasing, │                │extent.
              │cases.      │                │
              │            │                │
              │            │                │
 No. 15 St.   │Slight      │                │Dealt honestly
 Francis      │increase.   │                │with them.
     IDAHO    │            │                │
              │            │                │
 No. 1 Ft.    │Decreasing. │Not many.       │Yes.
 Hall         │            │                │
              │            │                │
              │            │                │
 No. 2 Ft.    │Don’t know. │Rarely.         │Yes and No.
 Lapwai       │            │                │
              │            │                │
 No. 3 Lapwai │Increase    │No.             │Yes, here.
              │slightly.   │                │
              │            │                │
 No. 4        │Decreasing. │A few.          │Not as regards
 Slickpoo     │            │                │morality and
              │            │                │religion.
     IOWA     │            │                │
              │            │                │
 No. 1 Toledo │Increasing  │No.             │
              │slowly.     │                │
              │            │                │
              │            │                │
              │            │                │
    KANSAS    │            │                │
              │            │                │
 No. 1 Baxter │Decreasing. │No.             │Yes.
 Springs      │            │                │
              │            │                │
              │            │                │
 No. 2        │Increasing  │No. (Some       │Yes, could be
 Powhattan    │some.       │Indians marry   │improved.
              │            │low white       │
              │            │women.)         │
   MINNESOTA  │            │                │
              │            │                │
 No. 1        │Stationary. │Not much now.   │Indians
 Winnebago    │            │                │dissatisfied.
              │            │                │
              │            │                │
 No. 2        │            │75% increase.   │
 Beaulieu     │            │                │
              │            │                │
 No. 3 Cass   │Full-blood  │                │Government
 Lake         │decreasing, │                │ineffective.
              │Mixed-blood │                │
              │increasing. │                │
              │            │                │
 No. 4 Cloquet│Full-blood  │Yes, but not    │Yes.
              │decreasing, │many.           │
              │mixed-bloods│                │
              │on the      │                │
              │increase.   │                │
    MONTANA   │            │                │
              │            │                │
 No. 1        │Increasing  │Few.            │Yes.
 Browning     │for two     │                │
              │years.      │                │
              │            │                │
 No. 2 Crow   │Slowly      │Two, but do not │Yes, all
 Ag.          │decreasing. │know the        │possible.
              │            │incentive.      │
              │            │                │
 No. 3 Poplar │Increasing, │Few cases.      │Yes.
              │Indian      │                │
              │blood.      │                │
              │            │                │
 No. 4 Jocko  │Increasing  │Not to any      │Yes, all it
              │slightly.   │extent.         │can.
              │            │                │
 No. 5 Lame   │Standstill. │Three marriages │Yes.
 Deer         │            │to whites in    │
              │            │eight years.    │
              │            │                │
 No. 6 Lodge  │Slight      │Very few whites │Yes, but
 Grass        │increase.   │marry Indians.  │system wrong.
              │            │                │
 No. 7 St.    │Full-bloods │Yes.            │To some
 Ignatius     │decreasing, │                │extent.
              │but the     │                │
              │population  │                │
              │increasing. │                │
              │            │                │
 No. 8 Wolf   │Increasing. │No.             │Trying to.
 Point        │            │                │
   NEBRASKA   │            │                │
              │            │                │
 No. 1 Santee │Standstill. │No.             │Yes.
              │            │                │
              │            │                │
 No. 2 Santee │Increasing. │No.             │Not in some
              │            │                │cases.
    NEVADA    │            │                │
              │            │                │
 No. 1 Nixon  │Increasing. │No.             │Yes.
              │            │                │
              │            │                │
 No. 2 Schurz │Decreasing. │No.             │Yes, on
              │            │                │reservation.
  NEW MEXICO  │            │                │
              │            │                │
 No. 1        │Increasing. │No.             │Yes.
 Albuquerque  │            │                │
              │            │                │
 No. 2 Gallup │Standstill. │No.             │Yes.
              │            │                │
   OKLAHOMA   │            │                │
              │            │                │
 No. 1        │Increasing. │In a few cases. │Yes and No.
 Anadarko     │            │                │
              │            │                │
 No. 2        │Increasing  │Not to any      │
 Anadarko     │slightly.   │extent.         │
              │            │                │
 No. 3        │Increasing. │A few.          │Everything it
 Anadarko     │            │                │can do.
              │            │                │
 No. 4 Atoka  │Full-bloods │Not much now.   │No.
              │decreasing. │                │
              │            │                │
 No. 5 Bacone │            │Yes.            │Partially so.
              │            │                │
              │            │                │
 No. 6        │Increasing. │Some, few.      │No.
 Carnegie     │            │                │
              │            │                │
 No. 7        │Full-bloods │Not now.        │Trying to.
 Checotah     │decreasing. │                │
              │            │                │
 No. 8        │Increasing  │Not here.       │Not doing all
 Darlington   │slightly.   │                │it can, or
              │            │                │should.
              │            │                │
 No. 9 Durant │Full-bloods │Not as much now.│Doing a great
              │decreasing, │                │deal.
              │mixed       │                │
              │increasing. │                │
              │            │                │
 No. 10 Durant│Decreasing. │Yes, low whites │Do not think
              │            │are.            │so.
              │            │                │
 No. 11       │Full bloods │Yes.            │It is now.
 Eufaula      │decreasing. │                │
              │            │                │
              │            │                │
 No. 12 Hobart│Increasing. │                │As far as
              │            │                │Indian will
              │            │                │let it.
              │            │                │
 No. 13       │Decreasing. │Not now.        │No.
 Holdenville  │            │                │
              │            │                │
 No. 14 Hugo  │Decreasing. │Yes.            │Government
              │            │                │does not
              │            │                │understand.
              │            │                │
 No. 15 Hugo  │Decreasing. │Not as much now.│Yes, but it
              │            │                │makes
              │            │                │mistakes.
 No. 16 Lawton│Increasing  │A few have.     │Yes.
              │15% in ten  │                │
              │years.      │                │
              │            │                │
 No. 17       │Increase.   │No.             │As well as
 Mountain View│            │                │Indian lets
              │            │                │it.
              │            │                │
 No. 18       │            │Not as a rule.  │Making a
 Muskogee     │            │                │conscientious
              │            │                │effort.
              │            │                │
 No. 19       │Full-bloods │Nearly every    │All it can.
 Pawhuska     │decreasing, │time.           │
              │population  │                │
              │increasing. │                │
              │            │                │
 No. 20       │Increasing. │Yes.            │As far as
 Pawhuska     │            │                │possible.
              │            │                │
              │            │                │
 No. 21       │            │Yes.            │
 Sapulpa      │            │                │
              │            │                │
              │            │                │
              │            │                │
 No. 22       │Increasing. │                │Doing
 Shawnee      │            │                │efficient
              │            │                │work.
              │            │                │
 No. 23       │Mixed-bloods│Two cases in 15 │All it can.
 Watanga      │increased.  │years.          │
              │Full-bloods,│                │
              │standstill. │                │
              │            │                │
 No. 24 White │Increase.   │No.             │Yes, but needs
 Eagle        │            │                │changes.
              │            │                │
 No. 25       │Slight      │Not markedly    │All it can.
 Wyandotte    │increase.   │true.           │
    OREGON    │            │                │
              │            │                │
 No. 1 Klamath│Standstill. │Not yet.        │I think so.
              │            │                │
              │            │                │
 No. 2        │Full-blood  │No.             │Yes.
 Pendleton    │decreasing, │                │
              │mixed-blood │                │
              │increasing. │                │
              │            │                │
 No. 3        │            │Yes.            │Yes.
 Roseburg     │            │                │
              │            │                │
 No. 4 Warm   │Decreasing. │No.             │Yes.
 Sp.          │            │                │
     UTAH     │            │                │
              │            │                │
 No. 1 Salt   │            │                │
 Lake City.   │            │                │
  WASHINGTON  │            │                │
              │            │                │
 No. 1        │Increasing. │None.           │Yes, could be
 Bellingham   │            │                │improved.
              │            │                │
 No. 2        │Standstill. │They try.       │Yes, but need
 Bellingham   │            │                │police.
              │            │                │
 No. 3        │Slowly      │Very few.       │Yes, at least
 Marysville   │decreasing. │                │theoretically.
              │            │                │
              │            │                │
              │            │                │
 No. 4 Neah   │Some tribes │No.             │Yes.
 Bay          │increase,   │                │
              │others      │                │
              │decrease.   │                │
              │            │                │
 No. 5 No.    │Holding own.│Yes.            │No.
 Yakima       │            │                │
              │            │                │
              │            │                │
 No. 6        │Mixed-bloods│Not very much.  │Doing very
 Nespelem     │increasing. │                │well.
              │Full-bloods │                │
              │decreasing. │                │
              │            │                │
 No. 7 St.    │About the   │They try.       │Yes. Lack of
 Mary’s       │same.       │                │police is bad.
              │            │                │
 No. 8 Tacoma │Increasing. │Hardly ever.    │Only on the
              │            │                │reservation.
              │            │                │
              │            │                │
              │            │                │
 No. 9 Tulalip│Increasing  │Not to any      │Not sure it
              │slightly.   │extent.         │has.
              │            │                │
 No. 10       │            │Rare.           │Yes and no.
 Wheeler      │            │                │
   WISCONSIN  │            │                │
              │            │                │
 No. 1 Adanah │Standing    │Now and then.   │Too much red
              │still.      │                │tape.
              │            │                │
 No. 2 Ashland│Decreasing. │No.             │Yes.
              │            │                │
 No. 3        │Full-bloods │Occasionally.   │Yes.
 Bayfield     │decreasing. │                │
              │Population  │                │
              │increasing. │                │
              │            │                │
 No. 4 Carter │Increasing. │No              │Done a great
              │            │inter-marriages.│deal.
              │            │                │
 No. 5 Kesbena│Small       │No.             │
              │increase.   │                │
              │            │                │
 No. 6 Kesbena│Increasing. │Not yet.        │Here it is.
              │            │                │
              │            │                │
 No. 7 Tomah  │Increased a │Indians have no │Yes. Mistakes
              │little.     │property.       │are made.
              │            │                │
              │            │                │
   NEW YORK   │            │                │
              │            │                │
 No. 1 Gowanda│            │No.             │Not in some
              │            │                │cases.


Commissioner Sells has made the “gospel of work” the chief aim of his
administration. That is, he has emphasized and encouraged farming and
stock-raising. Before quoting from the Commissioner’s reports and
circulars on this subject, it should not be taken amiss if the statement
is made that during the administrations of Commissioners Morgan and
Jones, this important feature of Indian education was not sufficiently
emphasized. Many of the central, northern and mountain Indians took
naturally to stock-raising. With the care of the horse, they were
familiar. It was but a step from horse-raising to cattle-raising, as has
been illustrated in the case of the Sioux (page 309). Truly, a number of
tribes possessed more cattle a generation ago than at the present time.

From information received, I take it that under the administrations of
Messrs. Leupp and Valentine, a serious effort was made to encourage
farming and stock-raising, on a larger scale. While this new movement
may have been inaugurated by either Mr. Leupp or Mr. Valentine, when Mr.
Abbott became acting Commissioner, he encouraged and expanded efforts in
this direction. Orders were issued to Superintendents, giving greater
discretion in supervising individual Indian moneys; the leasing policy
was simplified and self-supporting Indians permitted to lease their
surplus lands and to a greater extent handle their own funds; a higher
standard with larger salary was established for the Indian Service
farmer, who was expected to do house to house work among the Indians
under his supervision, giving practical advice and securing definite
results in the way of increased production from Indian land; active
cooperation between the Bureaus of Plant and Animal Industry of the
Department of Agriculture was promoted; the Civil Service Commission
provided tests for farmers intended to secure men with more experience
and practical equipment, and the United States was divided into four
Civil Service districts in order that eligible farmers might be secured
for that part of the Indian country where their farming experience had
been obtained. The possibilities of the working out of this policy in
all its phases was demonstrated particularly on the Winnebago
reservation in Nebraska, where in three years while Albert H. Kneale was
Superintendent, this tribe of Indians was practically transformed into
one of the most sober and industrious groups of Indians to be found on
any allotted Indian reservation in the United States. From 3000 acres of
Indian-farmed land, in the first year, under the new program, which gave
the Superintendent freedom to act without discouraging delays in
Washington, there were 12,000 acres farmed by Indians at the end of
three years, and so many of the Indians had moved to their allotments
that the Dutch Reformed Church had to build a new church and locate an
additional missionary out in the heart of the reservation in order to
reach its Indian adherents.

With the advent of Mr. Sells, as has been stated, the Department
realized that if the Indian is to be saved, much more should be done
than the mere issuance of instructions to Superintendents. Assistant
Commissioner, Edgar B. Meritt has, the past few years, been very active
in advocating reimbursable appropriations for Indians in order that they
might purchase live stock and farming implements to improve their large
areas of agricultural lands.

Mr. Sells’ official instructions, under date of September 2, 1914, to
all Superintendents are as follows:—

“I am not satisfied that we are making the greatest use of our school
farms. They usually consist of large tracts of fertile land capable of
raising every crop that the climate in which the school is located will
permit. In some cases these farms are well irrigated.

“In every case the schools have been or can be furnished with all the
equipment necessary to till their farms to the fullest extent, and they
can be furnished with stock with which to make a substantial showing in

“The agricultural training of the boy pupils in our schools furnishes
ample opportunity for intensive farming. If this training is to be of
real value and be effective in accomplishing its purpose, the farming
operations should be financially successful and at the same time
conducted in accordance with modern methods.

“I am convinced that there is a large field for improvement in the
handling of these farms, and I want every field officer who has charge
of such a farm to see that its management is of such a nature as will
insure its development to the highest degree of productiveness,
practical usefulness and object lesson.

“The constantly increasing demands on the various appropriations for the
Indian Service make it necessary not only to exercise the most careful
economy consistent with the end sought, but at the same time to see that
every resource in connection with Indian education and industry is
developed to the highest obtainable degree.

“See that employees in charge of your farms are men capable of rendering
proper and efficient service, carefully determine the suitable crops for
the particular soil of the tillable land of your farm, giving the best
attention to the raising and use of these crops.

“Our farms should grow corn, oats, wheat, and raise alfalfa, clover,
timothy, etc. You should raise all the potatoes and other vegetables
consumed. We should not be satisfied with raising feed for the school
livestock, but we should raise everything the farm, garden and orchard
will produce.

“I want you to raise livestock to the fullest of your capacity; raise
colts from the school mares; let your calves grow into beef for your
school. Grow a good herd of hogs to follow the cattle that you feed and
use the waste from the table at the school. Make your dairy amply large
and of such kind that there will be plenty of milk, cream and butter.
Feed the skim-milk to the hogs and grow your pork meat. Where
practicable cure your own bacon and ham, make your own sausage and dry
and corn your own beef.”

There is more, but this will indicate the earnest effort of the
Commissioner to improve conditions.

In recent years, Indian fairs have become very popular, and are held on
most reservations, or at schools. The old “Wild West” feature has been
eliminated. At Red Lake, Minn., September 19th, 1914, the Ojibwa fair
was attended by 2000 persons. The published account in the _New York
World_ stated:—

“Exhibits of grain grown by the Indians included specimens of oats,
barley and wheat that would average twenty-five bushels to the acre, and
yellow dent corn fully matured.

“What was perhaps next in importance was the stock display, which
included blooded animals, the registered Holstein and Durham cattle
being most numerous. The judging of the stock was done by Supt. C. G.
Selvig, of the Crookston School.

“There was also a fine display of vegetables and fruit, all of which
were raised by the Indians. The exhibits included cantaloupes and
sugar-sweet watermelons. There were also crab apples and displays of
other apples and fruits.

“The women and girls had exhibits of bread, pies, cakes, jellies,
preserves, pickles, and other dainties. But probably the most artistic
and beautiful display ever seen at a county fair was found in the
display of beaded work. These exhibits not only were done neatly, but
the beaded designs and colorings were gorgeous. The exhibit included
among other things head dress, sacques, moccasins, dresses, belts, hat
bands, banners, buckskin leggings, and jackets. All were new, having
been made by the Chippewas the past year for display at the fair.



  Domestic Science, Bakery, Domestic Art, etc., Chilocco Indian School,

“There was no disorder nor intoxication.”

Commissioner Sells seized upon the fair proposition as a means of
extending industry. A portion of his sensible address to Superintendents

“You should now be arranging for your Indian fair, and I desire to
impress upon you my idea of the purpose and possibilities of these

“I want these fairs so conducted as to open to the Indians the vision of
the industrial achievements to which they should aspire. I want them to
be an inspiration in arousing in the Indian a clear appreciation of the
great opportunity before him for real industrial advancement.

“The ownership of land always has been and always must be the principal
basis of man’s wealth. A wise development of the vast natural resources
of the Indian reservations has tremendous possibilities. The Indian’s
rich agricultural lands, his vast areas of grass land, his great forests
and his practically untouched mineral resources should be so utilized as
to become a powerful instrument for his civilization.

“I hold it to be an economic and social crime, in this age and under
modern conditions, to permit thousands of acres of fertile lands
belonging to the Indians and capable of great industrial development to
lie in unproductive idleness.

“With keen appreciation of these conditions Congress in the current
appropriation bill has made available for the Indians over $600,000 as a
reimbursable fund, and $250,000 additional for general and specific
industrial use, all for the purchase of stock and farm equipment, as
well as about $800,000 of the funds of the Confederated Bands of Utes
for the civilization and support of those Indians.

“I feel that a serious obligation rests upon me and upon every employee
of the Indian Service to see that no effort is spared to make the most
of the great opportunity which the Indian’s property and the action of
Congress now presents to the Indian. It is my duty to require that every
supervising officer, every Superintendent, every farmer, every stockman,
and in fact every employee of the Indian Service meets this obligation
in full measure.

“The political conditions of the world will make the next few years a
period of great prosperity for the American farmer. Let us see that the
Indian with his broad acres is in truth an American farmer and that he
properly participates in this unusual opportunity.

“I desire that our Indian fairs this year be made the opening of an
intelligent and determined campaign for the industrial advancement of
the Indian. Let this year’s fair mark the start of the Indian along the
road, the purpose of which is self-support and independence—hereafter
let your fair each year be a milestone fixing the stages of the Indian’s
progress toward that goal.

“It is the primary duty of all Superintendents to understand the Indians
under their charge, to study the resources of the reservation for which
they are responsible, its climate, the character of its land, the type
of cattle owned by the Indians, their horses, their sheep and their
other stock.

                  *       *       *       *       *



“Former widespread negligence and mismanagement in the cultivation of
the soil, the breeding of stock, and the handling of grazing land is no
excuse for the continuance of such conditions, and they will not be
permitted to exist on an Indian reservation during my administration.

“Be continually at the fair yourself with your farmers and all of your
industrial employees.

“Let the exhibits emphasize in an impressive manner the difference
between inferior and high-grade agricultural products, and let them
demonstrate in no uncertain way that greater profit results from raising
the best and the most of everything produced on the farm or ranch.
Encourage the Indian to take the progressive view. This should not be
difficult where he has before him a clear object lesson such as is
emphasized by placing his horses, cattle and sheep, his corn, oats,
wheat, alfalfa and forage on exhibition in legitimate rivalry with those
of his neighbor at the Indian fair.



  From G. W. James’ “Indian Blankets and their Makers”

“The improvement of stock should be aggressively advocated and impressed
upon the mind of every Indian farmer and stock-raiser. He should be
brought to understand that the thousands of well-bred bulls, stallions
and rams were purchased during the last few months to do away with the
evils of lack of sufficient and well-bred male stock and the inbreeding
almost universal in the past. He should understand that in order to
secure the best results the male stock must not only be improved but
that the old and worse than useless male animals which have heretofore
been so destructive to the Indian’s success as a stock-raiser must be
disposed of.”

                  *       *       *       *       *

The Carlisle school farms this summer were quite prosperous, as were
farms at all the educational centers. _The Carlisle Arrow_ of September
4th, says:—

                             THE FIRST FARM

  “The forty-eight cows and the six head of young cattle are in fine
  condition, as are also 70 hogs, averaging 125 pounds; 30 shoats,
  averaging 30 pounds; 22 small pigs, and 12 brood sows.

  “The average amount of milk produced during the summer months was
  eighty gallons a day, and butter, eighty pounds a week.

  “There is material for hundreds of tons of ensilage.”

                  *       *       *       *       *

                            THE SECOND FARM

  “The wheat and oats were unusually good and the yield was abundant.
  There are thirty acres of fine potatoes. The large flocks of turkeys
  and chickens are thriving. The number of eggs gathered have kept the
  hospital well supplied throughout the summer.”

                  *       *       *       *       *

  “The school garden crop exceeds, in quantity of production, any on
  record. The farms also have yielded abundantly, making this a
  record-breaking year for Carlisle in the fruition of agricultural

                  *       *       *       *       *

The Indian fairs, now so popular on many reservations, will play no
small part in solving the Indian problem. It does not matter which one
of the Commissioners inaugurated this most excellent incentive to work
and progress. Whoever was responsible for it, hit upon a most happy
expedient. Manifestly, the Indians should be encouraged to continue
these fairs and to engage in honest competition. Everyone will heartily
approve of the scheme to abandon, or curtail, the “Wild West” feature—of
which we have had entirely too much the past thirty years.

A few years ago, Indian farms, formerly under cultivation, had grown up
to bushes in Minnesota and Oklahoma. If the plans of the Indian Office,
as outlined above, are carried to a successful termination, most of
these tracts will again come under cultivation. The Indian will feel
encouraged to labor, especially so since the fruits of his toil will
accrue to him rather than to the white man. The reimbursable
appropriations and the encouragement of industry are two of the most
hopeful signs of Indian progress.


As I write this page there lie before me four important Indian books,
and I would that every reader possessed them in his library, for the
very good reason that all of them treat of the Indian of today. Two of
them are strictly historical, and the other two sufficiently accurate to
be included in that category.

These books are: Helen Hunt Jackson’s “Century of Dishonor,” published
in 1886; Seth K. Humphrey’s “The Indian Dispossessed,” published in
1906; Honorable Francis E. Leupp’s “The Indian and His Problem,”
published in 1910; and Honorable James McLaughlin’s “My Friend the
Indian,” 1910.

The authors of these books are all familiar with the Indian problem and
Indian conditions, but approach the subject from somewhat different
points of view.

Honorable F. E. Leupp was for years Commissioner of Indian Affairs.
Major McLaughlin has served in the Indian Service forty-two years, and
was on the frontier among the Sioux prior to that time. Helen Hunt
Jackson was a noble woman who became interested, first in the Mission
Indians of California, and afterwards in all Indians of the United
States. She wrote her “Century of Dishonor” and lived to see its
influence spread throughout the English-speaking world. A number of
editions were published. S. K. Humphrey, Esq., a Bostonian, who has long
been a staunch friend of Indians, presents in his book the legal point
of view of the breaking of treaties and agreements, and the despoilation
of the following tribes:—Mission Indians, Poncas, Nez Perces, Umatillas,
etc. Each of these authors treats of the modern Indian, and I desire to
call attention in my plea for him, to the testimony of these competent
witnesses—“Lest we forget.”

Major McLaughlin has been United States Indian Inspector during more
years than any other man in the inspection corps. He visited all the
reservations in the United States, and he understands the Indian.

Beginning with the early days on the Plains, he relates his personal
experiences, and gives sound advice in the handling of Indian affairs.
From all I can gather from reading accounts of, or talking with
frontiersmen, who fought against Indians; officers of our troops in
Indian wars; former Indian Agents; and after study of Government and
Missionary reports, I think McLaughlin is correct when he says
concerning the Indians of forty years ago—

“And they were a very different body of men, physically, from the
Indians of today. They wore an air of sturdy independence. They were
equipped according to their natural requirements. Their minds were
generally attuned to magnificent ideas of time and distance. They
abhorred the limitations that the white man accepts as affecting his
dwelling-place. They were foes to be reckoned with, or they might be
converted into friends worth the having. It is a matter of profound
regret that the Indian of that day could not have been advanced to his
present knowledge of, and capacity for, civilized pursuits without being
subjected to the debasing and degenerating physical and moral conditions
that were inseparable from the process of transmutation.”

Major McLaughlin is perfectly correct in his chapter “Give the Red Man
His Portion” when he states that the enormous sums of money, tribal and
individual, now held by the United States should be divided among them.
Otherwise, the swarm of shyster lawyers, feasting on Indian claims, will
continue to increase. Congress should act immediately and provide for
the division of this money, even though some of the Indians squander it.
So long as fully $48,848,744 remains in the United States Treasury, just
so long will we have this continual fight with “claim attorneys”, and
the Indians will not work pending the distribution of this great wealth.
The Scriptural quotation which was somewhat changed by one of the
speakers at the Lake Mohonk Conference last year, expresses this view
most admirably—“Where the Indian money lies, there will the grafters be
gathered together.”

At the time of this writing Major McLaughlin is still a valued employee
of the United States Indian Service. Undoubtedly he could have written a
great deal stronger than he did. Reading between the lines of his book,
I take it that the Major now realizes that the chief reason for the
almost utter failure of our Indian policy is because of lack of proper
protection of Indian property rights and health, and further, that the
citizenship we handed the Indian, and of which our orators in Congress
and in benevolent organizations had so much to say, has proved a hollow
mockery and a sham.

I am not aware that Mr. Humphrey lays claim to legal training, but his
book presents in a masterly fashion, exactly what has been done to the
Indians who have accepted the pledged word of our civilized country. It
is not a sentimental book, but a carefully prepared narrative drawn from
official documents, and should have had an effect on our Congress and
Interior Department long ago.

In the first chapter of “The Indian and His Problem”, Mr. Leupp pays the
Indian a merited tribute and sets forth his independence, his many
virtues and his character. He emphasizes a trait of the oldtime Indian
not generally understood—his honesty.

“Old, experienced traders among the Indians have repeatedly informed me
that they had lost less money on long-standing Indian accounts,
aggregating large sums, than in their comparatively small dealings with
the white people in their neighborhoods. One successful trader among the
Sioux who, in the early nineties, lent some $30,000 to the Indians near
him in anticipation of a payment they were soon to receive, said
afterward: ‘I did not lose more than $150 on the whole transaction, and
that I lost from a half-breed who did not live on the reservation.’ The
same testimony is borne on all sides, and the universal comment is that,
until they were taught how to cheat in a trade, very few of them ever
thought of doing so. I have seen Indians at a Government pay-table,
after receiving their annuities, walk up to the Agent or some employee
with so many dollars held out in their palms, to repay a loan which the
creditor had forgotten all about. These instances, I ought to add, were
observed among Indians of a pretty backward class, who were acting
simply in obedience to their natural impulses.”

Mr. Leupp states frankly in his preface:—

“The Indian problem has now reached a stage where its solution is almost
wholly a matter of administration.”

Because he served in various Indian capacities for almost twenty-five
years with organizations as well as Commissioner of Indian Affairs, and
as in that latter office it was his duty and privilege to regard the
subject in its broad aspect, an extended review of his book is entirely

Under Chapter II, “What Happened to the Indian,” he discusses what we
all know, the end of the “buffalo days”, and the beginning of the ration
system. He maintains that this encouraged idleness. Along with the
ration and reservations systems sprang up the educational plan for the
benefit of Indians. At first there were few government schools, and many
denominational. The Government increased its appropriations to support
these sectarian schools until in 1870 it was $100,000, and later the
amounts were much larger. This brought about an unfortunate and
unnecessary dispute between the denominations, the Protestant and the
Catholic. Hard feelings were engendered, and instead of working together
in amity to Christianize and educate the Indians, all these worthy
people were engaged in a dispute as to who should receive the most money
from the United States Treasury! We may imagine the feelings and
opinions of the brighter Indians as they viewed this unchristian and
uncharitable dispute. The Government had to withdraw support from all
denominational schools and as a result many closed their doors while
others struggled along. Comparing the Government school system and the
denominational, Leupp says:—



“In dimensions, in scholastic scope, and in material equipment, the
Government school system as it stands today is an enormous advance on
the old mission school system; but in real accomplishment as
proportioned to outlay it does not begin to equal the latter, and in
vital energy it must always be lacking. The reason for these differences
is not far to seek. At the base of everything lies the fact that, except
in magnificence, no governmental enterprise can compare with the same
thing in private hands. The Government’s methods are ponderous, as must
always be the movements of so gigantic a machine. Its expenditures are
from money belonging to the public, and therefore demand a more
elaborate arrangement of checks and balances and final accounting than
expenditures made from the funds of voluntary contributors. In spite of
the now universal application of civil service rules, the whole business
is under political control in the sense that the appropriations and the
laws governing their use must be obtained from Congress, and that the
school system is only a branch of one of the executive departments. This
circumstance, while not necessitating the intrusion of partisan
considerations into the settlement of any vexed question, does militate
against the highest efficiency, because it requires that a great deal of
ground shall be traversed two, three or a dozen times on the way to a
clearly visible conclusion, involves harassing delays and temporary
discouragements, calls for tedious consultations over petty details
which one mind could dispose of more satisfactorily, and keeps the
administrative staff always in a state of preparation to repel
gratuitous interference.”

Of the four books, the one that appeals to me most of all is that
written by Helen Hunt Jackson. Bishop Whipple, long a friend of the
Indian, wrote the preface to the edition of 1880. Page 7 is worthy of

“All this while Canada has had no Indian wars. Our Government has
expended for the Indians a hundred dollars to their one. They recognize,
as we do, that the Indian has a possessory right to the soil. They
purchase this right, as we do, by treaty; but their treaties are made
with _the Indian subjects_ of Her Majesty. They set apart a _permanent_
reservation for them; they seldom remove Indians; they select Agents of
high character, who receive their appointments for life; they make fewer
promises, but they fulfil them; they give the Indians Christian
missions, which have the hearty support of Christian people, and all
their efforts are toward self-help and civilization. An incident will
illustrate the two systems. The officer of the United States Army who
was sent to receive Alaska from the Russian Government stopped in
British Columbia. Governor Douglas had heard that an Indian had been
murdered by another Indian. He visited the Indian tribe; he explained to
them that the murdered man was a subject of Her Majesty; he demanded the
culprit. The murderer was surrendered, was tried, was found guilty, and
was hanged. On reaching Alaska the officer happened to enter the Greek
church, and saw on the altar a beautiful copy of the Gospels in a costly
binding studded with jewels. He called upon the Greek bishop, and said,
‘Your Grace, I called to say you had better remove that copy of the
Gospels from the church, for it may be stolen.’ The bishop replied, ‘Why
should I remove it? It was the gift of the mother of the Emperor, and
has lain on the altar seventy years.’ The officer blushed, and said,
‘There is no law in the Indian country, and I was afraid it might be
stolen.’ The bishop said, ‘The book is in God’s house, and it is His
book, and I shall not take it away.’ The book remained. The country
became ours, and the next day the Gospel was stolen.”

Mrs. Jackson takes up in detail the despoiling of the Indians even more
thoroughly than Mr. Humphrey. She treats of the Delawares, Cheyennes,
Nez Perces, Sioux, Poncas, Winnebagoes, Cherokees, California Indians,
etc. She devotes a gruesome chapter to the massacre of Indians by white
people. She devotes an appendix of 171 pages (small type), to a
narration of outrages perpetrated by white people on Indians, broken
treaties, and outrageous treatment of Indians by Whites. The appendix
includes a spirited correspondence with Secretary of the Interior, Hon.
Carl Schurz. There are also several letters to the _Rocky Mountain
News_, a Denver paper, edited by Mr. W. N. Byers. The letters were
written in 1880. Schurz was Secretary, it should be remembered, when the
famous Ponca case occurred. A tribe of Indians had been forcibly taken
from their homes. Through friends in Boston and Philadelphia, who had
their case brought before the courts and were sustained in their
contentions, these Poncas were returned to their reservation. As to the
Byers correspondence, the citizens of Denver had attacked and killed a
large number of Indian men, women and children located in a village on
Sand Creek, some distance from the mining camps. Mrs. Jackson clearly
has the better of both arguments.

It is unfortunate that the present condition of some of the Indian bands
does not arouse the same interest as did the case of the Poncas. The
Chippewas of Minnesota suffered far greater wrongs than fell to the lot
of the Poncas, and yet there has been no outburst of righteous
indignation because of what happened to them.

In 1871, near Camp Grant, Arizona Territory, there were a number of
Apaches encamped under the jurisdiction of the United States authorities
and these Indians did not wish to join Geronimo and others in their
raids in the Southwest and Old Mexico. By the 11th of March, 1871, there
were over 300 Indians assembled near the camp. They had brought in, in a
short time, more than 300,000 pounds of hay which the officer in command
purchased. In view of the hostility of Geronimo and his band, that the
Apaches should desire peace, and be willing to work, seemed
incomprehensible in the Southwest. The frontier element—always hostile
to Indians—resented their presence. The Indians continued to come in and
presently there were 510 in the camp.

The 30th of April, these Indians were attacked by a large force of white
men from Tucson, Arizona. The gentleman who furnished Mrs. Jackson with
the information was C. B. Brierley, Acting Assistant Surgeon, United
States Army. Mrs. Jackson presents Surgeon Brierley’s report in detail.
We need not present particulars, save to say that a large number of the
Indians were surprised and killed while in camp and that the white
people of Tucson, not satisfied with killing the men, mutilated the dead
bodies of women and children.

A Mr. J. H. Lyman of Northampton, Mass., was a pioneer in Arizona in
1810 and 1841. He made a report to the Board of Indian Commissioners in
1871 which explains the hostility in later years of the Apaches toward
the white people, as to how one Johnson agreed with the Governor of
Senora to procure Indian scalps at an ounce of gold each. Johnson killed
large numbers of women and children—and a few warriors. Mrs. Jackson
reprints most of his report.

Mrs. Jackson’s book, as I have previously stated, created a profound
impression in this country and in England. None of the hundreds of facts
and incidents contained in her “Century of Dishonor” were ever
successfully denied. Many of the recommendations offered by her are
sound and could be applied with profit at the present time, although
thirty years have elapsed since she laid down her pen.

Mr. Humphrey may be said to have carried her work down to present times
(1906), although there is much to our discredit since he wrote.

As to the irrigation problems, he says:—

“Whether he were the defenseless beginner of the Northwest, or the
skilful agriculturalist of the Southwest desert with ancient systems of
irrigation, the Indian was never regarded as a man. The forceful settler
dispossessed the irrigating Indian with even less than usual formality
because his highly-cultivated lands were the more valuable,—either by
driving him into the desert and pre-empting his land, or by diverting
his water, thus making his land a desert. Typical of these Indians were
the four thousand Pimas of Arizona. They had practised agriculture by
irrigation along the Gila River for more than three centuries. In the
language of the early records, ‘they are farmers and live wholly by
tilling the soil, and in the earlier days of the American history of the
territory they were the chief support of both the civil and military
elements of this section of the country.’



“In 1886 the Whites began to divert the waters of the Gila River. A suit
in the federal court was talked of to maintain the clear rights of the
Indians, but never pressed. No district attorney who would prosecute
such a case against voting white men could expect to live politically.
Within seven years the Pimas were reduced from independence to the
humiliation of calling for rations, while the white settlers used the
Indians water undisturbed.

“‘Enough has been written about the need of water for the starving
Indians to fill a volume,’ wrote the discouraged Agent, after ten years.
‘It has been urgently presented to your honorable office time and again,
and yet the need of water is just as great and the supply no greater.’
So the years went on. In 1900 came the cry from the desert, ‘This water,
their one resource, their very life, has been taken from them, and they
are, perforce, lapsing into indolence, misery, and vice.’ Thirty
thousand dollars was appropriated for more rations.

“Finally, after eighteen years, the suit to recover the Indians’ rights
received its final quietus. The district attorney reported in 1904:
‘There is no doubt but that the case could be taken up and prosecuted to
a favorable ending, but ... _it would be impossible for the court to
enforce its decree_, and the expense of prosecuting such suit would cost
between twenty and thirty thousand dollars.’

“This Government long ago lost the right to say that it _could not_
enforce a federal law against less than a thousand of its agricultural
citizens. Its officials _would not_ disturb the political balance of

As to the opposing forces—the uplift, and its antithesis—he writes:—

“But there is another side to this picture. During all these years of
trouble, the Indian was faithfully attended by a great Unselfishness,
always striving to re-establish him, to educate and enlighten him. The
Government met with no opposition in administering this portion of its
trust, and the workers were granted its most generous and intelligent
support; for the high ideals of the people have always been the
Government’s inspiration, even though it be often led to action by a
selfish few.

“It is not within the scope of this book to recount the great good that
has come to the Indian through this branch of the Indian Service, save
to make full acknowledgment here of its greatness. It has done much more
than attend the Indian’s education. Many a tribe, and many individual
Indians have had saved to them tracts of _good land_, upon which they
have worked their way toward civilization. Indeed, had it not been for
the constant presence of these among the Indians who labored for their
good, little good land would have been left to any Indians.

“These are the two great influences which have shaped the Indian’s
destiny; one, steadily hewing away the foundation—his land; the other,
faithfully moulding the superstructure—his education; both generously
supported by a vote-seeking Congress.

“Where the first has failed, the Indian is coming into full citizenship
through agriculture, education, and Christian teaching. Where both have
succeeded in their opposing efforts, we find the Indian figuratively,
and often literally, on the rocks; educated, saved, and
forlorn,—amiable, but aimless, in his arrested development. He has
missed the fundamental lesson of mankind.”

Mr. Humphrey’s conclusions may here be reproduced in part.

“When we hear of dark injustice among the natives of Africa, or in
Russia’s Siberian wastes, we turn in horror from the oppressed to vent
indignation upon the oppressor. But when the tale of our own Poor Lot is
told, we lift our eyes to Heaven—not being so well able to see ourselves
as to see others—and murmur, reverently, ‘’Tis the Survival of the
Fittest!’ Those who think lightly are wont to exclaim impatiently, that
the Indian’s story is a closed book. It is—nearly so; but the book of
history is never closed except by those who think lightly. * * * * *



“Bishop Whipple of Minnesota, who gave the best part of his life to the
Indian cause, declared, after recounting the acts of broken faith which
led up to the great Sioux massacre of 1863, ‘I submit to every man the
question whether the time has not come for a nation to hear the cry of
wrong, if not for the sake of the heathen, for the sake of the memory of
our friends whose bones are bleaching on our prairies.’ This bookful of
wrongs, and volumes more, have been perpetrated since. * * * *

“Col. Richard I. Dodge, after thirty-three years on the Plains as Indian
fighter, displays in his ‘A Living Issue,’ this same confiding hope: ‘It
is too much to expect any one of these (politicians) to risk the loss of
votes and thus jeopardize his future career for a miserable savage.
Politicians will do nothing unless forced to it by the great, brave,
honest, human heart of the American people. To that I appeal! To the
press; to the pulpit; to every voter in the land; to every lover of
mankind. For the honor of our common country; for the sake of suffering
humanity; force your representative to meet this issue’.” * * * * *

“Thirty years ago a Commissioner of Indian Affairs delivered himself of
a fervent opinion which should become classic. The miserable story of
the California Indians had dragged itself through twenty-five years;
every measure of relief had been blocked in Congress by the interested
few—the Vociferous Few in the Indian country. ‘This class of Indians,’
concludes the Commissioner, ‘seems forcibly to illustrate the truth that
no man has a place or a fair chance to exist under the Government of the
United States who has not a part in it.’ A more illuminating commentary
on the Indian’s unhappy status in the land of the Free can hardly be
written in one sentence. The Indian’s story does not argue that the
Indian should have been at any time given the protection of the
franchise; but it _does_ argue that in a loose-jointed republic where
national legislation is at the beck and call of every little coterie of
irresponsible voters, the Indian has been subjected to more devilish
variations of human caprice than if he were at the mercy of an openly
oppressive, but more consistent and centralized style of government.
There is no despotism more whimsically cruel than that of men unused to
power, who suddenly find themselves in absolute control of a people
whose one vital interest—an advantageous foothold on _good land_—is in
continual conflict with their own chief desire—the possession of that
same good land.”

I have reprinted from these books for a definite purpose. All four
authors had practical experience with Indian affairs; all knew their
subjects—not one was visionary. Our historians and public officials have
denied none of the statements contained in these books. Since the abuses
continue, and we have forgotten the lessons of the past, it now remains
for us to change our Indian policy—to do so absolutely. We have been
repeatedly warned, we cannot escape our responsibility.


Commissioner Sells very kindly instructed a number of his Supervisors
and Superintendents to reply to my fourteen questions covering the
present condition of our Indians. The questions need not be repeated as
they are given in the table, Chapter XXXII.

These replies present the administration point of view, and I herewith
append such of the answers as are already not repetitions. Those that do
not convey special information are omitted.

Honorable H. B. Peairs, Supervisor of Schools, Washington, D.C.,

VI. “From extended observations during the past five years, I am
confident that there has been very marked progress and that the general
condition of the Indians is very much better than it was ten years ago.
I had the opportunity of doing one full year’s work in the field in
1897, during which time I traveled in all sections of the country and
visited more than one-half of the reservations and schools. The past
four years have given me an opportunity to visit practically all of the
reservations and schools, and I unhesitatingly say that there is a
marked improvement.”

VIII. “The mixed-blood. They are an English-speaking people, more
intelligent and more capable in every way, considering the average
mixed-blood. Their homes are far superior and they are more ambitious to
improve conditions. The fact that they are unwilling to remain as they
are in many instances results in their being somewhat troublesome, but
this only emphasizes a desire for better conditions.”

XIII. “I believe the Government is making a conscientious effort to
protect the Indian in all of his interests, both property and human.
Undoubtedly there are instances where, through bad legislation, weak
administration, or both, great injustice has been done. There is great
difference of opinion as to what is best to do in many instances for the
Indians. What might be considered by some to be an injustice, might be
considered by others as being the best possible thing for the Indian.
For instance, some oppose very positively the taxation of Indian lands
of any class. Personally, I believe that all productive inherited Indian
lands should be taxed in order that funds might become available for the
support of local institutions, such as public schools, and for the
proper maintenance of public roads, bridges, etc. On the other hand,
there are those who believe that there should be greater freedom in the
matter of issuing patents in fee for allotted lands and to the allottee.
Personally, I believe that the original allottee should not be permitted
to dispose of his allotment and thus be without a permanent home. In
instances it might be well to permit the allottee to sell a portion of
his allotment, the receipts therefrom to be used in improving the
remaining portion.

“I give these illustrations simply to show that differences of opinion
with reference to what is best for the Indian and what is not best, may
give color to the answer to the seventh question.”

Honorable John B. Brown, Supervisor of Education, Muskogee, Oklahoma,

VII. “The morality of the Indians in the Five Civilized Tribes is
believed to be as good as the average of their community, which is
reasonably high, except possibly in some full-blood communities where
living conditions are not conducive to the best moral status.”

X. “The opinion on this subject is divided. I have made careful inquiry
at every Agency visited, both within and adjoining the Five Civilized
Tribes. I believe that more depends upon the home conditions and
efficiency of Government employees on the reservation than any other one
point except the individual peculiarities of the young Indian in
question. Given the same quality of manhood in the Indian under
consideration, and the same efficiency on the part of officials in
charge of the reservation, I have not been able to detect any marked
change in favor of either the reservation or non-reservation system of

VIII. “My judgment is that under the more recent practices of our
Department, the Indians are being as fully protected as it is
practicable to do; that is, that every reasonable effort is honestly
being put forth for such protection.”

Honorable O. H. Lipps (at the time Mr. Lipps wrote he was in charge of
Coeur D’Alene, Flathead and other Indians in the northwest.) Briefly
summed up, his opinion is to the effect that the full-bloods are in the
best condition; that white people are taking advantage of the Flatheads,
but not of other Indians in his region. Few white men marry full-blood
Indian women, but white men marry mixed-bloods for their property.

XIII. “I believe the Indian Department is doing all in its power to
protect the Indians’ property; more could be done to protect his

Mrs. Elsie E. Newton is one of the Supervisors in charge of health of
the Indians. She has served for many years in the Indian Office, and is
one of the most competent employees. I quote at considerable length from
her letter.

VI. “I cannot answer this with precision as my knowledge of the Indian
country, except in one or two localities, is less than ten years old.

“It can be said, however, that even in five years there has been a great
change in the environment of the Indian, with few exceptions. The Whites
have settled pretty well in and around him and have diffused ideas which
in time he is bound to adopt in more or less degree. I speak of matters
of dress, food, shelter, etc. The superficial aspect of his life is
changing. In like manner, his attitude toward law, morals, etc., are
being modified. It appears that he is going through that period of
transition, forgetting the old code of life, or at least not regarding
it, and yet not dominated by the new. This transition period is always
one of distinct loss both in moral force, and achievement. From this
point of view, he is not as well off today as he was ten years ago, but
until he has passed through the critical period, it is unfair to make
comparison by years merely.”

VII. “Immorality is a relative term. Certain Indian tribes had moral
codes under which they lived and lived acceptably, or morally. Those
codes differed and the difference in them marks the diversity of the
general condition of those tribes today. Thus we find the Crows
deteriorating while the Northern Cheyennes, living practically next
door, are still good stock. The sexual morality of the former is low
compared to that of the latter.

“Few Indians practice monogamy after the Anglo-Saxon ideal—one partner
only, and one partner for life. Divorces are common and frequent; even
so, one finds few prostitutes among the best tribes, and promiscuity is
not common. Even in the lower tribes where promiscuity is common, the
prostitute is not. Such tribes have still the remnants of phallicism in
their ceremonies.

“The state of morals is not due so much to the presence of low Whites,
generally speaking, as it is to the fact mentioned above, that the
tribal authority has become loosened, their own social restraints have
disappeared, and there is no definite code, or its enforcement
succeeding. The Federal law has never covered the ground on reservations
where it retained jurisdiction and where the Indians are citizen
allottees, the State does not exert itself to exercise control; local
judicial machinery is reluctant to punish infractions of the law, partly
because the community concerns itself very little with offences of the
kind among Indians themselves, and partly because of the expense
involved in prosecutions, in which Indians bear no share by taxation.

“As regards that morality which is designated honesty, I hardly believe
that the word of an Indian today is as good, man for man, as in the
previous generation. Traders would be more competent to give testimony
on this point, because in their business they have learned whom to trust
and whom to suspect.

IX. “The white man is more likely than not to take advantage of an
Indian where his own advantage is concerned. This is due as much to the
innate pushing quality of the Whites, as the corresponding retiring
quality of the Indian. It is frequently a racial rather than a moral
matter. It is often a matter of mere competition between Whites. For
instance, I once had a conversation with a bank official in an Indian
country, where banks were discounting Indian notes at an impossible
usurious rate. The man was highly respected in the community, well
regarded for honesty, a church worker, and in my own opinion a good,
typical American. We discussed the matter reasonably, and he concluded
by saying, ‘I suppose this sort of thing seems unpardonable to you,’ and
when I acquiesced, he continued, ‘We look at it about this way,—if we do
not get the Indian’s money, some one else will.’ The Indian makes no
resistance to such treatment, partly through inability, partly through

XIII. “In general, it is; in some instances it is too paternalistic; in
others, it is sometimes crowded to an issue contrary to distinctly good
Indian policy by interests which bear upon general public policy. In
other words, the Indian interest must frequently be sacrificed for
general and broader interest.

“I might say that the Government is protecting the Indian, and
protecting him well, but the public is not. If the public would be more
just, the Government might exert less paternalism, with great advantage
to the individual Indian.

“It should be added that often the Indian stands in the attitude of
finding Government protection irksome, just as a child often feels
toward parental authority. As one Government official aptly said, ‘It is
hard to protect the Indian when he doesn’t want to be protected’.”

Honorable Horace G. Wilson, Supervisor of Indians, Rosebud, Oregon,
replies to the questions rather briefly. He believes that the general
condition of the Indians is better than ten years ago; that the Indian
is naturally immoral, but his wickedness increases through contact with
low Whites; that the mixed-bloods are in the best condition; white
people are taking advantage of the Indians; Indians should be educated
near at home; white men are marrying Indian women to secure property.
Finally, that the Government is protecting the Indians.

Honorable Charles F. Peirce, Superintendent of the Flandreau school,
South Dakota, says he has in charge a large number of pupils each year.
He considers the condition more satisfactory than ten years ago; that
the moral condition of Flandreau Indians compares favorably with that of
white people in the surrounding community under same conditions; that
there is little drunkenness; that the observance of marriage relations
is as good as among white people; that most of the Indians are
full-bloods; that the mixed-bloods are more industrious.



“The Flandreau Indians have been citizens of the State of South Dakota,
voting and otherwise taking part in municipal affairs for twenty years,
and while the Government is nominally holding jurisdiction over them,
they need but very little protection, and that is being exercised by the
Government as necessity demands.”

Honorable Frank A. Thackery is Superintendent of the Pima Indian School,
Sacaton, Arizona. As to the prevalence of trachoma and tuberculosis ten
years ago as compared with the present, he cannot give much information.
He admits that there is a high percentage of deaths from tuberculosis,
and recommends inexpensive hospital camps.

VI. “Speaking for the Pimas alone, the matter of their water rights is
the principal factor to be considered in connection with their
advancement in the past ten years, as upon their right to the water of
the Gila River rests their sole opportunity for industrial independence.
The Pimas are victims of circumstances beyond their control in so far as
the irrigation problem is concerned and the Indian Office is now taking
very active steps to protect the rights of these Indians wherever the
encroaching whites have jeopardized them.

VII. “The Pima Indians have a high standard of morality for a primitive
people, but I believe such deviations as occur are due to the Indian’s
own nature, which is, after all, human nature, and as liable to err as
his white brother, whose example we will all agree leaves much to be
desired if set up as the standard to which other races should aspire.”

IX. “Yes, in so far as appropriating river water to which the Pimas have
a prior right.

X. “Again speaking of the Pimas only, I believe the peculiar climatic
conditions here make it desirable that the boys and girls shall receive
their training in this locality. It is safe to say that 95% of the boys
will be farmers, and such training as they receive along agricultural
lines should correlate with their home conditions and this it is not
likely to do if obtained in a locality where climatic conditions vary
greatly from southern Arizona.

XIII. “I believe the administration is taking every possible step to
safeguard the interests of the Indians within the limits allowed by the
laws governing and the funds at its disposal, hampered as it is by the
political intriguers who now, as always, seek to control the management
of Indian Affairs for their personal benefit and gain. Your true
reformer is first, and always an extremist; to him a thing is either
black or white, good or evil, a crime or a virtue. He knows no gradation
of color, no perception of proportions, no knowledge of values. To him
the world is made up of entirely unrelated antitheses, and all acts of
which he does not himself approve are evil. It is easy for such a person
to contend that the Indians have been imposed upon by those entrusted
with the management of their affairs and to find evidence to support
their contentions. But the broad-minded investigator will recognize the
peculiar racial problems with which those interested in the Indians’
advancement have had to deal, will give due consideration to the
enormity of the task set them, will weigh carefully the intricacy of the
machinery with which the workers have been forced to labor and will
hesitate to judge adversely where superficial observation would appear
to warrant such a judgment justifiable.”

I regret that I could not produce these lengthy communications in full.
But the quotations will give an idea of the Departmental point of view,
and that the dangers are fully appreciated, and every effort made to
overcome them.

                       PAST COMMISSIONERS’ VIEWS

Honorable T. J. Morgan, appointed Indian Commissioner in June, 1889,
might be said to have crystalized the policy having as its chief aim,
the allotting, and the educating of Indians. He was followed by
Honorable D. M. Browning, who served for four years. Honorable W. A.
Jones, appointed in May, 1897, served until December, 1904, when Mr.
Leupp succeeded to the office. We may dismiss the careers of the
Commissioners preceding Mr. Leupp, with a blanket statement that they
did not foresee that a policy emphasizing allotting and educating, and
minimizing protection, would bring about disastrous results. Mr. Leupp’s
administration felt the full force of the evil effects of policies
inaugurated by his predecessors. We have already discussed Mr. Leupp’s
views, and further comment is unnecessary.

Coming down to Mr. Valentine’s appointment, June, 1909, we find that Mr.
Valentine recognized in the full sense the dangers confronting the
Indian and strove to combat them. At the Lake Mohonk Conference,
October, 1909, he delivered a splendid address entitled, “What the
Public Should Know About the Indian Bureau.” In this he admits that his
inspection service has been weak and that much of the trouble is due to
incomplete, or faulty reports. I have commended elsewhere in this book
Mr. Valentine’s health propaganda—for it is largely due to his efforts
that Congress became aroused to the necessity of increased

The acting Commissioner, Honorable F. H. Abbott, who served from
September, 1912, to Mr. Sells’ appointment in June, 1913, carried out
the policies inaugurated by his former chief. Abbott opposed wholesale
allotments hastily made, as in the past. He took a firm stand against
the allotment schemes proposed for the Navaho Indians at the present

Mr. Sells’ policy has been referred to at length on previous pages of
this book. He was fortunate in his selection of Honorable E. B. Meritt
as Assistant Commissioner, who entered the Bureau in 1910 as chief law
officer. It was due to Mr. Meritt’s efforts that the application of a
railroad for the granting of a right of way for the construction of a
line through the San Carlos Indian Reservation, Arizona, was prevented.
His work on behalf of the Yakima Indians, in protecting their water
rights, was especially effective. He has delivered a number of addresses
at Lake Mohonk, setting forth the aims of the Department under the
present administration, and cooperates with the Indian Rights
Association in its excellent work.

The inspection service is now under a new chief, Honorable E. B. Linnen.
As a practical field-man of wide experience, he has selected a corps of
competent men. Investigations are now carried on in a thorough manner,
and incompetent persons removed, and not simply transferred, as in
former times.



  Photographed by Rev. Julius Jette, S. J., in a cabin at Nulato,
    Alaska, April, 1913




Of the many correspondents who aided in the preparation of the table of
statistics, there were large numbers who made most excellent
recommendations. I have selected some thirty of these and herewith
present them in order that they may be preserved. The writers are all
persons of experience in Indian affairs. It will be observed that in
many details, they do not agree, and yet they suggest, for the most
part, sensible reforms. Practically every one of the entire
correspondents had no criticisms to offer of the intentions of the
Government, or Indian Office officials. A few criticized local officials
with whom they came in contact. The following recommendations are not
offered in controversial spirit, nor as a reflection on our able men at
Washington. They are presented as the result of years of experience on
the part of unselfish men and women, whose only aim is to see the Indian
saved out of his troubles; simple justice meted out to him, and that he
should take his place in American life as a real citizen.

  “I never did in my private opinion approve of the allotment plan and
  never will. I am in favor of the old Roman style of civilizing; give
  the race or nation, for themselves, a large enough tract of land,
  facility for commercial opportunity, let them wrestle with their
  fate, pay a small tribute to the crown; if fit they will survive.

  “Time will show the merits and demerits of the allotment system. The
  condition of the reservations was much better before this plan was
  inaugurated. Those who have tried to civilize any race or nation
  within twenty-four hours, figuratively speaking, have invariably
  failed. All history will support this statement.”

                                        Correspondent, Beaulieu, Minn.

  “I believe the Government made a serious mistake in allowing the
  Indians to sell their land. They could be much helped by the leasing
  of their lands, but when the lands are gone there is no further

                                  Correspondent, Greenwood, So. Dakota

  “They have better homes than they had ten years ago, have better
  clothing and more to eat. They have advanced too in farming. But
  their lands are going, dead claims are sold often before the Indian
  owner is buried. Their lands rent better now, bringing more money to
  them than they did ten years ago.

  “I think our Government is doing all it can do for the Indians’
  interest. And I think it has been for several years trying harder
  and harder each year to do its full duty by these people. The
  restrictions on their lands, their perfect system of schools, their
  vigilance to keep whiskey from them, their eagerness to protect
  them; all these things go to show that the heart of the Government
  has a soft spot for the Indian and it will be a sad day for the
  Indian when the Government turns him loose.”

                                         Correspondent, Hugo, Oklahoma

  “The Government should do more to secure justice for citizen Indians
  in the local courts. Conditions are very bad.”

                                       Correspondent, Santee, Nebraska

  “Too much red tape.”

                                      Correspondent, Odanah, Wisconsin

  “If the U. S. Government laws, protecting the Indians, could be only
  enforced, the Indians would be well protected.”

                                        Correspondent, Beaulieu, Minn.

  “The best protection to the Indians would be the giving to each man
  the portion of goods and lands that belong to him as an individual,
  or to his family, and then for a very brief period exercise an elder
  brotherly control of his affairs, rather by way of suggestion. This
  is my opinion as to the Indians in this region at the present time.”

                                     Correspondent, Rosebud, S. Dakota

  “When I came here, over eighteen years ago, many lived on their
  farms, miles away from town, wore citizens’ clothes, talked English,
  were industrious in a way. When they were allotted, they were
  allowed to have Indian villages and in consequence they left their
  farms, flocked together, returned to the blanket, Osage language,
  old customs, etc. In northeastern Oklahoma, where they were
  allotted, they were forced to live on their allotments and became

  “In conclusion, I would say turn the Indians loose entirely, place
  them on a par with the Whites, as soon as possible, and that should
  be very soon.”

                                        Correspondent, Pawhuska, Okla.

  “The Government is doing something in the way of intellectual and
  industrial training of the young, but fails to stir up an ambition
  to carry these things into life; the Government has established a
  hospital for the sick, and has several physicians who are paid for
  caring for the sick; yet disease and death are on the increase; the
  Government recognizes the Indians as wards, and says that no liquor
  shall be sold to them, yet will sell a license to a man that he may
  open a saloon on a reservation. The saloons may not sell liquor to
  Indians, yet drunken Indians are as common as dandelions on a lawn.
  I need not say more. The Government is too big; it is ineffective.
  The whole problem should be put into the hands of a Commission made
  up of men with hearts that are something more than pumping-stations,
  and who are experts in this matter. I say this without any criticism
  of individuals but of the system as a whole. We must get the Indian
  problem out of politics; we must give the Commission power to act
  within certain limits.

  “Had we had men of heart and of vision, what might not have been
  done for the Indians on the White Earth Reservation? A study of the
  Indian would have revealed him as a social creature; of choice he
  lived in a settlement surrounded by his friends. This would have
  suggested the gathering of Indians into villages rather than
  scattering them upon allotments of land without any knowledge of, or
  taste for farming. In these villages might have been built houses on
  one-acre tracts for 150 families, and there might have been provided
  a school, hospital, store, etc. The school would be a day-school,
  and the children left in the homes of their parents. Two field
  matrons could visit every home at least once each week, and from
  time to time gather the women for instructions in care of the home,
  care of children, etc. The physician could easily look after the

                                   Correspondent, Cass Lake, Minnesota

  “In the town of Yerington, Nevada, having a white population of 682
  (last census), there are at least fifteen places where liquor is
  sold. Yerington is situated in Mason’s valley about twenty-five
  miles from the reservation, and is surrounded by a farming section
  and in the outlying hills are many mining prospectors and a few
  mines in operation. Occasionally a stranded prospector drifts into
  the town, and readily learns that the easiest way to get another
  ‘grubstake’ is to bootleg whiskey to Indians, and so there is
  considerable of this work done. Also, in the town of Yerington are
  many places where ‘yen-chee’ is sold, and a good per cent. of these
  Indians are opium users.

  “Since the Agent took charge of the agency in June he has made some
  regulations restricting the Indians from leaving their land
  (allotments) at any and all seasons, by requiring each Indian to get
  a pass from the office before leaving the reservation, and this
  regulation has cut down the revenue of some of these towns, so much
  so that an attorney of low caliber and an ex-judge made and
  circulated a petition among both Indians and Whites, requesting an
  investigation of the Agent’s disciplining the Indians be made, which
  was supplemented by a request that he be removed. Their charges were
  heard by an officer at Yerington and the testimony submitted in a
  way that was more amusing than many theatrical comedies; one of the
  witnesses even turned to the attorney and asked what it was he told
  him to say! The smell of whiskey on the attorney and some of the
  witnesses was very noticeable.

  “The so-called Medicine Men are, I think, the greatest hindrance
  among the tribal evils that the Paiute Indians have to conquer; when
  they are ‘doctoring’ a sick person and are convinced that the
  patient is going to die, they accuse some progressive Indian of
  being a ‘witch’ and claim the sickness is due to a spell cast over
  them by the ‘witch’.

  “I think it would be better if the Indian children were not forced
  to go to school at such a very early age (five to six years). The
  change from a free life at home to a strict routine school life is
  hard, especially at such a tender age. I do not doubt that in a
  number of cases it weakens the constitution and makes them far more
  susceptible to tuberculosis.

  “I also am convinced it would be far more to the benefit of the
  Indians if a great percentage of the money which is yearly spent in
  large non-reservation schools, would be used on the reservation in
  order to develop more water and to improve more land, so that every
  Indian could get enough agricultural land, so as to make it possible
  for him to make a living on his farm. A part of said money could
  even be spent to assist him in fencing his land, procuring farm
  implements and the like. With such a start and well-meaning
  officers, who, when necessary, even would strictly insist that all
  cultivate their lands properly, most of the Indians would, within a
  few years, become self-supporting and also support their children.
  These children, as they grow up, in turn should be made to assist
  their parents in their home duties.

  “Reservation day-schools, as a rule, should suffice also for the
  Indian children. In these they could surely receive such an
  education as is necessary for an honest and happy living. Most of
  the white children in country districts have no better opportunity.”

                                       Correspondent, Phoenix, Arizona

  (_Formerly lived at Yerington, Nev._)

  “Competent Indians should be given control of their business;
  full-bloods or near full-bloods educated by the retention of coal
  royalties, or schools maintained by direct Congressional action.
  Oklahoma needs schools for Indians more than it needs Federal
  buildings or battleships.”

                                     Correspondent, Muskogee, Oklahoma

  “The general tendency of the Government to take away the safeguards
  over the Indians’ property and person, while of course in line with
  the generally agreed plan for ultimate citizenship is proving very
  destructive at the present stage of advancement. It is the general
  rule that Indians given patents in fee sell their holdings and waste
  the proceeds either in riotous living or foolish investments or
  manipulations of their affairs. Such procedure cripples the coming
  generation more than the present one.

  “The Government is further at a disadvantage in having to educate a
  politician about every three years to take charge of the Indian
  Bureau. An experienced field man should always be in this position.

  “The attempt to put Indians in public schools while finally
  desirable and necessary is at present a failure in most places and
  should be pushed with the greatest care, meantime supporting Indian
  schools until such time as the Indian is in shape to attend public
  schools of a type better than we have now.

  “The theory of administration is sound if it were followed up by
  experienced men, who were content to follow a policy already
  promulgated instead of hunting for new ideas to be called their

                                 Correspondent, Sisseton. South Dakota

  “Continually giving things gratis does not make them appreciate what
  is being done for them, but rather makes them inert and destroys all
  ambition. It looks rather strange to see yearly thousands of dollars
  spent in educating these poor children of the desert in distant and
  magnificent schools. Thousands of well-to-do white parents could not
  even think of giving their children such a change.

  “Sooner or later the taxpayers of the United States will object to
  having their hard-earned money thus spent. And, if by that time the
  Indians have not learned to help themselves, depend on themselves,
  and make a living for themselves, and support their children, then
  their future will be hopeless.”

                                       Correspondent, Phoenix, Arizona

  “The building of homes would suggest the necessity for material
  which the forests would furnish in abundance. Study of the men would
  suggest the necessity of regular employment as a proper discipline
  leading to civilization. Mills should have been established and the
  men set to work turning the forests into lumber as fast as it was
  needed for lumber, and a sufficient over-plus to pay the men for
  their work, and all other expense of operation.

  “The warming of the homes and other buildings would suggest the
  necessity of fuel; the barbaric improvidence of the Indian would be
  overcome by setting a time when every able-bodied man must go to the
  woods and gather a year’s supply of fuel for his home, as well as
  for all the public institutions.

  “The need of clothing, blankets, etc., and the peculiar abilities of
  the Indian women as evidenced in their beadwork, rush mats, and
  grass baskets, together with the wide acres of grazing lands, would
  suggest the raising of sheep and the establishment of mills for the
  manufacture of woolens.

  “The need of foods would suggest the establishment of one or more
  large farms, where, under proper supervision, men would learn to
  till the soil, care for stock, handle machinery, etc.

  “The Indian does not need charity, but he must be trained to use the
  powers he possesses. I would do away with all annuities and
  substitute work and wages therefor. I would not make personal
  allotments of land except to Indians who had learned to farm, and
  then only on the homestead plan requiring them to live on the land
  and make certain improvements before they secured title. Except for
  supervisors and experts, I would have all the work on the
  reservation done by Indians, nor would I permit a white man to hold
  title to an acre of land.”

                                   Correspondent, Cass Lake, Minnesota

  “There is for instance the question of honesty and justice. Fifteen
  years ago the majority of the Osages were honest, truthful, just,
  paid their debts. The U. S. Government told them: you can deal with
  licensed traders and must pay them; dealers that are not licensed
  you must not pay. They trade with both kinds for convenience sake
  and otherwise; after a while when money is short, they refuse to pay
  the unlicensed dealer, and become dishonest and unjust.

  “Of the Osages, nineteen years ago, all the full-bloods were poor,
  and very glad to get a piece of beef when sick. The first year after
  allotment they let the renter bring them their share of the grain,
  but the second year they went after their share themselves and
  improved their opportunity so that some Osages loaned money to
  others not only this year but ten years ago. The money is the
  greatest misfortune to the Osages and I say often it is a curse to
  them. They have a large trust fund in Washington and an apparently
  unlimited supply of oil and gas and also other minerals.”

                                     Correspondent, Pawhuska, Oklahoma



  “In some ways the Indians are improving but not so surely and
  rapidly as ten years ago. The encouraging of the old native dances
  which is simply heathen worship; the enacting of war scenes to
  please the Whites, is fast putting him back of what he was ten years
  ago. The full-blood Indians are the most law-abiding in most cases.
  The white people always take advantage of the Indian. The Government
  is not properly protecting the Indian. Largely the local politicians
  run reservation affairs.”

                              Correspondent, Standing Rock, No. Dakota

  “I think more could be done here in the way of nursing. There is no
  trained nurse among these Indians, no field matron. The people are
  ignorant in the matter of knowing how to care for young children,
  and in matters of cleanliness and ventilation.”

                                  Correspondent, Greenwood, So. Dakota

  “Government farmers who _farm_, and a doctor—I will not say more
  capable—but one who takes an interest in his work and his people,
  and who at least visits the sick, are among the needs of these

                                       Correspondent, Pala, California

  “The Indian courts are incompetent and unjust. The boarding-schools
  should be nonsectarian. There should be more day-schools to promote
  the home life. If the Indians are wards, they should be protected in
  the courts. For instance, two years ago a young girl whose father
  had just left her a nice property, was sued for breach of promise by
  a mixed-blood. Ignorant, she did not appear in court. She was not
  defended by the Indian Agent. Many of her fine horses were sold at
  low prices and the mixed-blood received $1,000. This case was
  reviewed by the Department of Justice in Washington but never
  righted. They recognized evidences of fraud, but the time limit had
  elapsed. There should be a good lawyer as legal clerk at each
  agency. There should be much smaller districts, and more and better
  farmers in charge of them, who would by example encourage the
  Indians to farm their land, milk cows and raise stock.
  Notwithstanding the large issues of stock, the Indians have few more
  cattle and horses than twenty-seven years ago when I first came out
  here. With a railway station within ten miles of nearly every Indian
  on this reservation, very little is raised to ship out, either stock
  or grain.”

                                 Correspondent, McLaughlin, So. Dakota

  “The Indians, largely, are holding their lands. Immorality is due to
  several causes; first and greatest I blame the Government for
  insisting upon Indians obtaining licenses to marry. Many of them are
  a hundred miles from the agency. The old custom of early marriages
  was best for them. But now unless they are past eighteen years of
  age they cannot get a license. Any authorized minister should be
  allowed to marry them without a license. The boys and girls are kept
  in school too long. If forced at all to be sent to school after they
  are sixteen, it should be optional with the students and parents.”

                Correspondent, Standing Rock Reservation, North Dakota

  “A commission of ten or twelve men announce that they will be here
  on a certain date to make payments to certain Indians. These Indians
  are notified to come. They travel, some of them, 100 miles. On
  arriving there they find, perhaps, that they have come too soon or
  too late. This means a wait of several days at heavy expense. I have
  known instances where the amount drawn was less than the expenses.
  We have wondered why the Indian could not receive his payment just
  as the old soldier gets his pension, but it is claimed that he would
  not get the check—so many would be on the watch for it.

  “When it is announced that the payment party is to be at a certain
  place, this proclaims to every grafter in the land that he had
  better be there. He is there.

  “I have known the whiskey Indians use to contain poison. The
  full-blood Indian leaves the payment party with little money. This
  may be a rather broad statement, but I think I can prove it. The
  country is full of people, supposedly the Indian’s friends. If I
  wanted to find one this afternoon, I would at once go to the
  grafter’s office, and there be sure to locate him.”

                                       Correspondent, Durant, Oklahoma

  “Within this jurisdiction the Indians have leased the railroad
  sections of five townships to retain control of a portion of the
  range they need, but the Whites have leased many more townships and
  some of them are trying to keep the Indians out of the townships
  leased, or to confine them to their allotments. Such conditions are
  unbearable; allotments are valuable mainly as a foothold to control
  the surrounding range. One hundred and sixty acres in that part of
  the country will support no more than about ten sheep. Recently a
  man from Chama leased all the Santa Fe railroad lands in San Juan
  country, excepting a half-township which a Navaho had leased, and
  brought in about 30,000 head of sheep.

  “Why should a dozen stockmen and politicians have control of the
  range to the detriment and ultimate destruction of the 2,200 Navahos
  in that part of the country?

  “Again: Why should a dozen sheepmen be permitted to supplant a
  hundred or thousand Navahos supported through the sheep industry?

  “Those who are educated at a distance and return—and they all return
  sooner or later—are dissatisfied. With a few exceptions they are
  adverse to taking up stock-raising and farming _in earnest_; they
  clamor for positions in Indian trading stores and for Government
  positions, which are too few to ‘go around.’ If the main school of
  the tribe, the one at Fort Defiance, were well equipped as a trade
  school, much good would accrue to the tribe; in fact, I consider
  this a prime necessity for the advancement of the tribe.”

                                  Correspondent, St. Michaels, Arizona



  Two have trachoma, four are normal. Photographed, 1914

  “Years ago the Indian chief and headmen kept strict order among the
  people, punished the guilty by fines or imprisonment, kept all
  Indian doctors from the place and fined them as much as fifty
  dollars if caught on the reservation. After a while the Government
  abolished the ruling of the chief and headmen by appointing paid
  Indian judges. If the guilty were fined they hardly ever paid their
  fines, if put in jail they managed by some way or other to escape,
  and many years ago the jail was destroyed by fire and no attempt has
  ever been made by the Agent to rebuild it. For the last year or two
  the judges have been dismissed so that now there seems to be no more
  law or authority on the reservation.

  “In conclusion, in this my 80th year of age, I hope never to see the
  day when the Indian reservation will be thrown open to white
  settlers. Such a step would be a sure extermination of the Indians,
  who would soon be tricked out of their little holdings by bad Whites
  and sent to die on the beach of Puget Sound. The Indian race is
  doomed to disappear. Let us at least allow them to die a natural
  death and give them a decent funeral.”

                                 Correspondent, Bellingham, Washington

  “The Indians’ land is without water and worthless. Whites have taken
  all the water. The law is such the Indians can not hunt. Many of
  them suffer for food.”

                                     Correspondent, Likely, California

  “The Government should stop paying the Chippewa money, now and then.
  Give them all that belongs to them—allotments, houses, and no money.
  The more they get, the less they exert themselves. They are lazier
  today than twenty years ago.”

                                     Correspondent, Cloquet, Minnesota

  “With respect to the full-blood Indian here, it is to be said to his
  great credit that he has no desire to receive a patent in fee to his
  land, and the full-bloods are holding on to their original
  allotments, and inherited land, with a spirit which is truly
  commendable. Little land is offered for sale belonging to the
  full-blood, and there is a well-fixed determination among the
  full-bloods to hold on to their land. As the land here is so
  valuable and as they know they can receive a good figure if the land
  is sold, and knowing too of the great pressure brought to bear upon
  an Indian by white men who desire to purchase their land, I say
  again that the Indian full-blood here is to be congratulated upon
  his determination that he will not sell the land which the
  Government has allotted to him and his family.”

                                      Correspondent, Pendleton, Oregon



  Photographed in 1914

  This old blind medicine man was possessed of a remarkable memory and
    knew the family history of some hundreds of Ojibwa. He was the chief
    witness for the Government in establishing blood relationship (_See
    pages 95 and 399_)

                          PROMINENCE. MORALITY

There was much of the old Indian life, beyond the Mississippi, in the
years preceding 1880, that was picturesque if not beautiful. Contrary to
popular belief, the Indians were not continually at war. Certain
organizations of young men among some bands did make warfare their chief
aim of life until reaching middle age. But the average Indian at home
was just as different from the Indian on the warpath, as are our troops
in action, the opposite of the same men as citizens. Entirely too much
emphasis has been placed upon the Indian as a warrior.

The communistic life was in vogue in many places west of the Mississippi
between 1850 and 1878. The communistic sentiment, evinced in nearly
every village and clan-group, was so different from our life today, that
I find myself compelled to illustrate it through the following incident.

The old blind medicine man of the Otter-tail Pillagers,
Bay-bah-dwun-gay-aush, was found by me helpless, living in a wretched
shack on the edge of a swamp at Pine Point, Minnesota. He had been
swindled out of his property. Commissioner Valentine, on my
recommendation, kindly issued orders that old Bay-bah-dwun-gay-aush and
his friend, the aged May-cud-day-wub, be rationed every Wednesday as
long as they lived. Out of gratitude, the old man gave me the original
birch-bark roll of the Mid-di-we-win, or Grand Medicine Society. He was
the roll-keeper. In 1909, when received, the roll was 102 years old. It
contains five degrees, which have been translated, but the old shaman
requested that publication be deferred until his death. I desire to
present in abridged form the fourth, or the Beaver degree, illustrating
that phase of Indian character to which I have referred. In a general
way, the sentiment is expressed as follows:—

  The beavers live together in harmony. They occupy one village. They
  do not take advantage of each other as do white people. They share
  everything in common. They strike the water at night, and thus
  signal to each other when danger is near. Their storehouses of food
  are open to all. They help each other, build the dams together, care
  for the young and support the old. Thus we Ojibwa should live as do
  the beavers and as did our grandfathers, who learned this from the
  beaver clan.

The contrast between this beautiful sentiment and that obtaining in most
Indian communities today is very marked. With the passing away of the
communistic life, and the adoption of the more selfish point of view of
the white man, Indian character was not greatly improved.

The begging dance, quite common two or three generations ago, survives
here and there in spite of efforts of the Government and the
missionaries to extinguish it. This same begging, or gift dance, has
been persistently misunderstood. Originally, a Sioux, Pawnee, Cheyenne,
or other Indian, who assembled his friends together and distributed in
addition to food, even his blankets and ponies, became a famous man. He
had done a good thing. His act was prompted by generosity, and a love of
his fellowman. The Agent and missionary, however, told him that one
should not give gifts, but on the contrary he must accumulate and hoard.
All of this was very confusing to the Indians of the transition period.
The older Indians (_page 324_) cannot refuse their friends food, and
such as still continue in the faith of their fathers feed those less
fortunate than themselves, although by so doing they deprive themselves
of food.

The absolute change from these communistic ideas, from the general
brotherhood of the red man, to the more practical (if not sordid) views
of the white man, had a curious effect on many of the Indians. The
sharper Indians soon observed that among the white people there were
rich and poor. The missionary, unselfishly laboring to uplift the
aborigines, was very poor in this world’s goods. Yet he was
self-sustaining and endeavored to persuade the Indians to become so.
Both the Government teacher and the missionary impressed upon the
aborigine ideas of thrift. Soon after allotments were issued, and the
Indians received same, appeared other white men—bankers, real estate men
and merchants. All of these secured Indian land or timber, and thus
became well-to-do or rich. A certain class of half-educated Indians
shrewdly observing that although the missionary pleaded, and the Agent
and lawyer of the Great Father talked and blustered much, one hard, cold
fact stood out indisputably: the missionary waxed poor, the Indian
poorer, but the man in the frontier town waxed rich. It was
incomprehensible to the old Indian, who clung to communistic ideals, but
perfectly clear to the educated Indian. The latter realized that certain
white men did not practice what the good missionary preached. To such,
the word _theft_ sounded very much the same as _thrift_. So the
Indian—in many cases—drifted into evil ways, and like the white man of
the frontier town, he scorned the old communistic life of his father,
and to his ear there appeared practically no difference between the two
words I have mentioned: thrift and theft.

                          INDIAN MEN AND WOMEN

Of those representing the olden days, there were a large number who
achieved more or less prominence. I am very sorry that space forbids a
consideration of their careers in this book. I present a partial list of
their names, and if readers will consult the _Handbook of American
Indians_, short biographical sketches of most of these will be found.
The negro has produced far fewer great men than the Indian, yet the
negro has always vastly outnumbered the former. During forty years there
has been practically no discrimination against the black man save in the
South. His educational advantages in the North have been many, and his
opportunities multitudinous. Slavery retarded him in a sense, yet
slavery taught him enforced industry—which the Indian has never had. We
would therefore, expect a larger proportion of prominent negro men and

Omitting those previously mentioned in this book, we have: American
Horse, Oglala Sioux; Big Mouth, Brulé Sioux; Black Beaver, Delaware;
Black Kettle, Cheyenne; Bloody Knife, Arikara; Chas. Curtis, Kaw; Chas.
D. Carter, Chickasaw; George Copway, Chippewa; Francisco, Yuma; Gall,
Sioux; John Grass, Sioux; Hollow-horn Bear, Brulé Sioux; Peter Jones,
Missisauga; Kanakuk, Kickapoo; Kamaiakan, Yakima; Keokuk, Sauk; Kicking
Bird, Kiowa; Kintpuash (Capt. Jack), Modoc; Leschi, Nisqualli; Little
Crow, Sioux; Little Raven, Arapaho; Little Thunder, Brulé Sioux; Little
Wound, Sioux; Lone Wolf, Kiowa; Mahtoiowa (Whirling Bear), Brulé Sioux;
Many Horses, Piegan; Joel B. Mayes, Cherokee; Nagonub, Chippewa;
Nakaidoklini, Apache; Namequa, Sauk; Nana, Apache; Napeshneeduta, Sioux;
Nawah, Apache; Albert Negahnquet, Potawatomie; Ojibwa, Ojibwa;
Oronhyatekha, Mohawk; John Otherday, Sioux; Ouray, Ute; Eli Samuel
Parker, Seneca; Quana Parker, Comanche; Peter Perkins Pitchlynn,
Choctaw; Pizhiki (Buffalo), Chippewa; Simon Pokagon, Potawatomi;
Pleasant Porter, Creek; Alexander Lawrence Posey, Creek; John W.
Quinney, Stockbridge; Rain-in-the-Face, Sioux; Red Horn, Piegan; Red
Iron Band, Sioux; Gabriel Renville, Sioux; Roman Nose, Cheyenne; John
Ross, Cherokee; Sassaba, Chippewa; Satanta, Kiowa; Scarface Charlie,
Modoc; Schonchin, Modoc; John Sunday, Chippewa; Souligny, Menominee;
Standing Bear, Ponca; Tamaha, Sioux; Tendoy, Bannock; Solimon Two-stars,
Sioux; Wabanaquot (White Cloud), Chippewa; James D. Wafford, Cherokee;
Wamditanka (Great War Eagle), Sioux; Wapasha, Sioux; Washakie, Shoshoni;
Eleazar Williams, Iroquois; Winema (Woman Chief), Modoc; Wopohwats,
Cheyenne; Allen Wright, Choctaw; Yellow Thunder, Winnebago.

Doctor Charles A. Eastman—than whom there is no more competent judge of
the Plains Indians of 1850–1890—has informed me that next to Red Cloud
and Sitting Bull, he considers Spotted Tail and Crazy Horse (Sioux) two
of the greatest Indians of modern times.

In addition to the Indians, both educated and not, whose names have been
presented in this Indian History, there occur two who were particularly
prominent in helping their own people.

Bright Eyes (Susette La Flesche) was born in Nebraska about 1850. She
was educated at a mission school on the Omaha reservation, and later at
a private school in Elizabeth, N. J. In 1877–78 the Ponca were forcibly
removed to Indian Territory from their home on Niobrara reservation,
South Dakota. In order to bring Indian removals before the public,
Standing Bear, accompanied by Susette La Flesche and her brother,
visited the principal cities of the United States, where her appeals for
humanity toward her race aroused the interest of thousands. As a result,
a request was urged on the Government that there be no more removals of
tribes, and this request has been respected, when practicable. She was
very active with her pen until her death in 1902. She was considered one
of the brightest Indian women of modern times.

Sarah Winnemucca, a Paiute, was born in Nevada in 1844. She became
interpreter to Government officials, and served General O. O. Howard as
scout in the Bannock War of 1877, when no Indian man would penetrate the
country occupied by the hostiles. She lectured in the East in the
eighties, and wrote a book on the Paiute’s wrongs. She died in 1891,
after a remarkable career.

A score of others might be included as worthy of a place in an Indian

Mr. Leupp in his book stated that people were continually asking him
this question: “Will the Indians produce a Booker T. Washington?”

It is quite possible for the Indians to produce a national character.
There is a splendid work to be done by such a person. For more than a
century we have labored in educating Indians, yet we have not produced a
single great man or woman. Do not misunderstand me. I mean a truly great
Indian, one of the stamp of Tecumseh, Chief Joseph, Red Cloud,
Sacagawea, or Sequoya. The latter was trained and educated fifty years
before we devoted any attention to Indian progress, and his alphabet,
his attainments, and his reputation are due to his own efforts rather
than to us. What woman have we of the fame of Sacagawea, the poor
Shoshoni, who guided Lewis and Clark to the Pacific ocean? Not one.
Excepting Clara Barton, the noble Civil War nurse, and a few other
American women, we have no person, even among white women, who underwent
such dangers and privations, or stood forth more clearly as a brave and
heroic character than this same Sacagawea. We have produced a great many
noble Indians, men and women, prominent, but not to be considered truly

[Illustration: © _by Rodman Wanamaker 1918_ _The Last Outpost_]

One may not misrepresent, if one claims that the Indian great men and
women are of the past. There will not arise a Booker Washington, unless
some strong, able Indian champions the cause of his people in the large
sense. There are a number of young, bright Indians, chief among whom is
Mr. Henry Roe-Cloud, and one or two others. But most of the educated
Indians are concerned with other than Indian matters. None of them may
be said to have entered the public arena as a dominant figure. If an
educated Indian should give up his entire time to working for his
people, as Doctor Grenfell works for the fishermen of Labrador, he would
become famous. It has always been a surprise to me that the educated
Indians have not seen this opportunity and availed themselves of it.
Hundreds of the educated Indians are teachers, ministers, or Government
employees. All of them are, as everybody knows, upright and able. But
there is a vast difference between a position held by these excellent
gentlemen, and a position that might be held by one of their own in
standing as a true sponsor for the Red Race in America, and in an
intelligent and forceful manner presenting the needs and aims of his
race. Such a man should present an uncompromising front against graft
and incompetency. A mediocre man could not attain to this position, but
given the opportunity, there is no reason under the sun why some
educated Indian should not go down into history as a truly great man.

It is quite incomprehensible that so many of our educated Indians are
timid. All of them realize the dreadful situation of many of their
brothers in the West. A few have referred, in a more or less guarded
fashion, to the wrongs of Indians. Dr. Eastman is especially frank upon
this subject—as is Dr. Montezuma. Admitting so much, it remains to be
said that not one has come before the American public as a stern, able,
uncompromising fighter for the rights of his race.

The Indians need a national character. The moment that an Indian of
exceptional ability, presence and strength appears on the platform, and
through the press, becomes the champion of his race, the American people
will rally to his support. But if such an Indian is chiefly concerned in
furthering the interests of some society, or missionary organization, or
of a single tribe of Indians; and if he presents mere denunciations and
does not suggest proper remedies, he will achieve no great success.

The Society of American Indians is doing a good work, but in my humble
opinion, it might accomplish far greater results if in addition to its
advocacy of new laws, the division of Indian money, etc., its powerful
organization began a fight through the medium of some selected champion,
for the full protection of Indian rights and an effective, and not a
paper citizenship.



                            INDIAN MORALITY

On page 380, Mrs. Elsie E. Newton stated that morality was a relative
term, or depended on one’s point of view. This is entirely true. The
oldtime Indians were not immoral, although some of them were unmoral.
Immorality came with the white man. There was an abundance of cruelty
among Indians, and I have alluded to it elsewhere. Many Indians would
not do things which we consider proper, or at least do not forbid in our
moral code. As against this, some Indian customs are considered by us to
be immoral. Drinking, while practiced in Mexico and among Apaches, and
in some Southwest tribes, was practically unknown throughout the rest of
the United States prior to the landing of our respected ancestors on the
shores of Virginia, New York, and Massachusetts. The black drink of the
Creeks was ceremonial, and not indulged in as an intoxicant. I have
referred elsewhere to plural marriages. These do not seem to have been
considered by the Indians any more immoral than they were by the
patriarchs of the Old Testament. Indians usually supported their wives,
even after separation. The modern method of easy divorce, followed by
the usual suit for alimony, is reserved to polite white society. I once
heard a worthy gentleman lamenting plural marriages among the Navaho. An
educated Indian happened to be present, and he mentioned the names of
two prominent white persons (to be found in _Who’s Who in America_).
Both occupy high positions, and one has had six wives and the other five
husbands. The educated Indian ventured to remark to the worthy
“uplifter” that a careful search of the Navaho reservation would fail to
produce (even among the so-called pagans) two polygamists equal to these
representatives of the white man’s civilization!

I have never seen a really immoral dance among Indians. I have heard
many addresses at various public gatherings in which the immorality of
the Indians during these dances was denounced. Although witnessing
thirty or forty dances on different reservations, all the performers I
observed were properly dressed. Even in the Sioux Omaha dance, the men
wore quite as much as do college students during a track meet. In the
squaw dance, in which both sexes take part, the partners do not even
hold each other. Yet, a minister once denounced me for taking part in so
innocent a pastime. The very next evening the white employees on that
reservation gave a dance, all of us attended, and I had the pleasure of
dancing with the reverend gentleman’s daughter. He saw nothing wrong in
the waltz or two-step in which partners hold each other—and there is no
harm in such dances. Yet he objected to the squaw dance in which the
participants scarcely look at their partners. I mention this merely to
indicate how inconsistent many people are with reference to Indian
dances. I am informed that some of the educated Indians now take part in
the maxixe and the fox-trot. If the reverend gentleman, to whom I have
referred, was scandalized in observing a squaw-dance, what must be his
feelings when he observes educated young men and women lapsing into the
paganism of Paris and New York!

The Government’s taboo of the begging dance, and the curtailment of the
ordinary Indian dances, leave no amusements in which the older Indians
may participate. Consequently, they are quite likely to gamble and
engage in far more harmful pastimes. Ordinary dances should be
permitted, and the gift dance regulated.




Some one should write a book devoted to stories of Indian heroism, the
fulfilment of promises and kindred subjects. There is much material of
this character available on many of our reservations. I do not mean
folk-lore, or traditions, but stories of actual happenings, most of
which are quite unknown to the average white citizen.

During the White Earth investigation in Minnesota, I frequently joined a
group of Indians and through interpreters, Mr. John Lufkins, or Mrs.
Rose Ellis, persuaded the old men and women to relate some of their
experiences. The first story, that of Ojibwa, was told by a man bearing
the same name as the tribe. He was a famous warrior, noted for his
bravery in action against the Sioux. His friend, No-de-na-qua-um (the
Temperance Chief), also a famous warrior, had been shot through the
right lung, and proudly exhibited to us the scars in his chest and back.

The story of Ojibwa is presented as taken down at the time, without
explanations or additions, being a literal translation.

                             OJIBWA’S STORY

“When I was young, long ago, there were three Sioux who went into a home
and assaulted a white woman, near Fort Snelling. The white woman
screamed, and her husband ran up, took one of the three guns left
outside the door by the Indians, shot one of the Indians, and the other
two killed the white man. During this summer the soldiers tried to get
the two Sioux who did this and could not find them.

“About a year afterwards, while at war, I killed a Sioux myself, and
about the middle of the winter when we were camping at Little Rock Lake
we heard that the soldiers were coming. The soldiers came and sent for
Hole-in-the-Day, who was head chief. After he had been with them a
little while the soldiers sent for me. I went over and found them eating
dinner. As soon as I was there, they told me to eat, which I did. The
Captain sat near me. The Captain said, ‘Did you kill the Sioux?’ and I
replied, ‘I am the man.’ Then he asked me how I killed him, and I said I
used my gun.

“He said, ‘What did you put in your gun?’ I told him, ‘I put in powder
and bullet. Then I shot him and scalped him.’

“Then the Captain said, ‘I am sent to come after you.’ I said, ‘I will
go along with you.’ He said, ‘Have you made up your mind fully to go
along with me?’ I again said, ‘Yes.’

“Hole-in-the-Day then stood up and said, ‘You cannot take him until I
give my consent. I will bring him myself after the ice goes out.’

“The Captain said, ‘You are a chief and you can bring him down when
convenient.’ The Captain shook hands with me and said to
Hole-in-the-Day, ‘Bring your son down to the fort in the spring.’
Hole-in-the-Day told our hunters not to go out but to go to Fort
Snelling, and about forty of us went down there in canoes. When we got
near there, we sent a letter by the interpreter saying we would arrive
about noon the next day. When we arrived at the landing a soldier tried
to shove our canoes back. Hole-in-the-Day jumped out and kept the
soldier from hurting us and sent word to the General that we were there.
Then some officers came down and Hole-in-the-Day tore all my clothes
off, leaving me naked. Hole-in-the-Day made himself naked and painted
himself red. We walked up the hill together, the Ojibwa back of us. We
were led to the flagpole. The General came out and shook hands with us.
Hole-in-the-Day said to the General, ‘I am here. I am Hole-in-the-Day. I
promised you I would be here at this time and bring my son. I am giving
my son to you. If you want to hang him, hang him; if you wish to punish
him, do so; if you care to place him in the guardhouse, put him there. I
give him to you.’

“I did not speak.

“‘Just a minute, Hole-in-the-Day,’ said the General. ‘I’ll wait until
the Sioux arrive and you tell me then the same words in their presence.’
Then the Sioux came. The General was in the center and 400 Sioux back of
him, with head men scattered in front. Then the General said,
‘Hole-in-the-Day, speak.’ And my chief repeated the same words he had
said before. Then the General spoke to the Sioux: ‘Hole-in-the-Day is
head chief here today and he has given me his son to punish as I see fit
and I shall do so accordingly.’

“After the General said this, the Sioux head man said, ‘Turn this man
over to us and we will punish him as we see fit.’ The General said, ‘No;
he was given me to be punished.’

“Then the soldiers came up and put handcuffs on me while all the Indians
looked on. The soldiers took me to the guardhouse and put me inside.
They let me look through a small window and see what was going on.

“The Sioux would speak and then Hole-in-the-Day would answer, and they
kept at it all day long. About evening I saw the soldiers with two Sioux
on whom they had fastened balls and chains, and they led them to the
guardhouse. The guards unlocked my door and brought me down to where the
two Sioux were. We were put in the same room and guarded there. Then the
guard took me back upstairs. Then I saw the Sioux march out of the fort
and the Ojibwa stayed.

“After the Sioux were out of sight my guard came, unlocked my door, took
off the handcuffs and hung them on the wall and brought me out. He took
me to the General and when I got there the General was laughing and held
out his arm and shook hands with me.

“The General patted me on the shoulder and said, ‘Thank you, thank you.
You have helped me capture the men I wanted.’ He said, ‘If ever you get
in trouble my authority will protect you.’ He wrote a paper and sent me
to a store nearby where I was clothed Then I returned to the General,
who ha