A History of the Sioux War, and a Life of Gen. George A. Custer, with a Full Account of his Last Battle/Chapter 20

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In 1875, the Black Hills country had acquired a white population and an importance which rendered its possession and control by the Government desirable and necessary; and an attempt was made to treat with the Indians for its purchase, but without success.

In 1876, Congress expressed its determination to appropriate nothing more for the subsistence of the Sioux Indians unless they made certain concessions, including the surrender of the Black Hills, and entered into some agreement calculated to enable them to become self-supporting. Geo. W. Manypenny, H. C. Bullis, Newton Edmunds, Rt. Rev. H.B. Whipple, A.G. Boone, A.S. Gaylord, J.W. Daniels, and Gen. H.H. Sibley, were appointed commissioners to negotiate for the concessions demanded. The following is an extract from their instructions under which they acted:—

"The President is strongly impressed with the belief that the agreement which shall be best calculated to enable the Indians to become self-supporting is one which shall provide for their removal, at as early a day as possible, to the Indian Territory. For the past three years they have been kept from starvation by large appropriations for their subsistence. These appropriations have been a matter not of obligation but of charity, and the Indians should be made to understand distinctly that they can hope for continued appropriations only by full submission to the authority and wishes of the Government, and upon full evidence of their disposition to undertake, in earnest, measures for their own advancement and support."

The first council was held Sept. 7th, at Red Cloud agency, with chiefs and headmen representing 4,901 Indians then at the agency. Red Cloud and other chiefs met the commissioners with warm welcomes, and said with deep earnestness:—"We are glad to see you; you have come to save us from death." The conditions required by Congress were then submitted to the Indians, with the assurance that the commissioners had no authority to change them in any particular; but that they were authorized to devise a plan to save their people from death and lead them to civilization. The plan decided on was then carefully explained and interpreted, and a copy of the agreement given to the Indians to take to their own council. Other councils were held Sept. 19th and 20th, and after mutual explanations the agreement was signed.

Subsequently, the commissioners visited Spotted Tail agency, Standing Rock agency, Cheyenne River agency, Crow Creek agency, Lower Brule agency, and Santee agency. At all of these agencies the agreement was made plain to the Indians, and after due deliberation and considerable discussion, duly signed. The following are extracts from the report of the commissioners:—

"While the Indians received us as friends, and listened with kind attention to our propositions, we were painfully impressed with their lack of confidence in the pledges of the Government. At times they told their story of wrongs with such impassioned earnestness that our cheeks crimsoned with shame. In their speeches, the recital of the wrongs which their people had suffered at the hands of the whites, the arraignment of the Government for gross acts of injustice and fraud, the description of treaties made only to be broken, the doubts and distrusts of present professions of friendship and good-will, were portrayed in colors so vivid and language so terse, that admiration and surprise would have kept us silent had not shame and humiliation done so. Said a chief to a member of our commission:—'I am glad to see you, you are our friends, but I hear that you have come to move us. Tell your people that since the Great Father promised that we should never be removed we have been moved five times.' He added, with bitter irony, 'I think you had better put the Indians on wheels so you can run them about wherever you wish.'

"The present condition of the Sioux Indians is such as to awaken the deepest sympathy. They were our friends. If many of this powerful tribe have been changed to relentless foes, we must not forget that it is the simple outcome of our own Indian training-school. Generals Sherman, Harney, Terry, and others, use these words:—

'The moment the war of the rebellion was over, thousands of our people turned their attention toward the treasures of Montana. The Indian was forgotten. It did not occur to any man that this poor, despised red man was the original discoverer, and sole occupant for many centuries, of every mountain seamed with quartz and every stream whose yellow sand glittered in the noonday sun. He asked to retain only a secluded spot where the buffalo and elk could live, and that spot he would make his home. The truth is, no place was left for him. If the lands of the white men are taken, civilization justifies him in resisting the invader. Civilization does more than this—it brands him as a coward and a slave if he submits to the wrong. If the savage resists, civilization, with the Ten Commandments in one hand and the sword in the other, demands his immediate extermination. That he goes to war is not astonishing. He is often compelled to do so. Wrongs are borne by him in silence that never fail to drive civilized men to deeds of violence. * * * But it is said that our wars with them have been almost constant. Have we been uniformly unjust? We answer unhesitatingly, 'yes.'"

"General Stanley in 1870 writes from Dakota, that he is 'ashamed to appear any longer in the presence of the chiefs of the different tribes of the Sioux, who inquire why we do not do as we promised, and in their vigorous language aver that we have lied.' Sitting Bull, who had refused to come under treaty relations with the Government, based his refusal in these words, sent to the commission of which Assistant Secretary Cowen was chairman: 'Whenever you have found a white man who will tell the truth, you may return, and I shall be glad to see you.'"

"It has been claimed that all Indians found outside of their reservation shall be regarded as hostile. Gen. Sheridan, June 29th, 1869, says in an official order, that all Indians outside the well-defined limits of the reservation are under the original and exclusive jurisdiction of the military authority, and as a rule will be considered hostile. This order is the more surprising to us when we remember that the treaty made by General Sherman and others expressly provided that these Indians might hunt upon the unceded territory; and we find that so late as its last session Congress appropriated $200,000 to be used in part for the payment of the seventh of thirty installments 'for Indians roaming.' We repeat that, under this treaty, it is expressly provided that the Indians may hunt in the unceded territory north and west of the Sioux reservation, and until last year they had the right to hunt in Western Nebraska. We believe that our failure to recognize this right has led to many conflicts between the citizens and army of the United States and the Indians."

"In 1874, the late lamented Gen. Custer made an expedition to the Black Hills. It was done against the protest of the Indians and their friends, and in plain, direct violation of the treaty. Gold was discovered, white men flocked to the El Dorado. Notwithstanding the gross violation of the treaty, no open war ensued. If our own people had a sad story of wrongs suffered from the Indians, we must not forget that the Indians, who own no telegraph-lines, who have no press and no reporters, claimed that they, too, had been the victims of lawless violence, and had a country of untold value wrested from them by force.

"The charge is made that the agency Indians are hostile, and that they have furnished ammunition and supplies to the Indians with Sitting Bull. There is water-navigation for 3,000 miles through this territory, and an unguarded border of several hundred miles along the Canadian frontier. So long as the Indians will sell buffalo-robes at a low price and pay two prices for guns, the greed of white men will furnish them. It is gross injustice to the agents and the Interior Department to accuse them of furnishing arms and ammunition for Indians to fight our army and murder our citizens.

"Of the results of this year's war we have no wish to speak. It is a heart-rending record of the slaughter of many of the bravest of our army. It has not only carried desolation and woe to hundreds of our own hearthstones, but has added to the cup of anguish which we have pressed to the lips of the Indian. We fear that when others shall examine it in the light of history, they will repeat the words of the officers who penned the report of 1868:—'The results of the year's campaign satisfied all reasonable men that the war was useless and expensive.'

"We hardly know how to frame in words the feelings of shame and sorrow which fill our hearts as we recall the long record of the broken faith of our Government. It is made more sad, in that the rejoicings of our centennial year are mingled with the wail of sorrow of widows and orphans made by a needless Indian war, and that our Government has expended more money in this war than all the religious bodies of our country have spent in Indian missions since our existence as a nation.

"After long and careful examination we have no hesitation in recommending that it is wise to continue the humane policy inaugurated by President Grant. The great obstacle to its complete success is that no change has been made in the laws for the care of Indians. The Indian is left without the protection of law in person, or property, or life. He has no personal rights. He has no redress for wrongs inflicted by lawless violence. He may see his crops destroyed, his wife or child killed. His only redress is personal revenge. * * * In the Indian's wild state he has a rude government of chiefs and headmen, which is advisory in its character. When located upon reservations under the charge of a United States agent, this government is destroyed, and we give him nothing in its place.

"We are aware that many of our people think that the only solution of the Indian problem is in their extermination. We would remind such persons that there is only One who can exterminate. There are too many graves within our borders over which the grass has hardly grown, for us to forget that God is just. The Indian is a savage, but he is also a man. He is one of the few savage men who clearly recognize the existence of a Great Spirit. He believes in the immortality of the soul. He has a passionate love for his children. He loves his country. He will gladly die for his tribe. Unless we deny all revealed religion, we must admit that he has the right to share in all the benefits of divine revelation. He is capable of civilization. Amid all the obstacles, the wrongs, and evils of our Indian policy, there are no missions which show richer rewards. Thousands of this poor race, who were once as poor and degraded as the wild Sioux, are to-day civilized men, living by the cultivation of the soil, and sharing with us in those blessings which give to men home, country, and freedom. There is no reason why these men may not also be led out of darkness to light."

The following is a synopsis of the arrangement agreed on by the commissioners and Indians:—

The Sioux surrender all claim to so much of their reservation as lies west of the 103d meridian of longitude, and to so much of it as lies between the North and South Forks of the Cheyenne River east of said meridian; also all claim to any country lying outside of their reservation. Cannon Ball River and its south branch are to be the northern boundary of the reservation. Three wagon or other roads may be maintained across the reservation from the Missouri River to the Black Hills. All subsistence and supplies which may be hereafter provided, are to be delivered on or near the Missouri River. A delegation of chiefs and leading men from each band shall visit the Indian Territory, with a view to selecting therein a permanent home for the Indians. If such delegation shall make a selection satisfactory to the Indians they represent and to the United States, then the Indians are to remove to the selected country within one year, select allotments as soon as possible afterwards, and use their best efforts to cultivate the same. They are in all things to submit themselves to such beneficent plans as the Government may provide for them in the selection of a permanent home where they may live like white men. The United States agree to furnish subsistence to the Sioux until such time as they shall become self-supporting—rations to be issued to heads of families; and in case the Indians are located on lands suitable for cultivation, and educational facilities are afforded by the Government, the issue of rations is to be conditioned on the performance of labor by the Indians and the attendance of their children at school. Assistance in the way of schools and instruction in the agricultural and mechanical arts, as provided by the treaty of 1868, is guaranteed; and the building of comfortable houses on allotments in severalty is provided for. The Sioux are declared amenable to the laws of the United States; and Congress shall secure to them an orderly government and protect individual property, person, and life. The agreement not to be binding on either party till approved by Congress and the President.

With the exception of the Santees, the Indians on the Missouri River objected to visiting the Indian Territory, and were exempted from that part of the agreement by a supplementary clause. A delegation of 90 Indians from the Red Cloud and Spotted Tail agencies visited the Indian Territory in October as provided in the agreement. The following is from the report of Commissioners Boone and Daniels who accompanied the delegation:—

"While travelling through the Territory, Spotted Tail took special pains to inform us that he was not pleased with anything that came within his observation, and his part of the delegation, with but few exceptions, were not disposed to express themselves in any other way. Many of the Red Cloud party were well pleased. Their chief said 'his Great Father asked him to go and find a place where his children could live by cultivating the land. This was the country, and he should go back and tell his people so.' The manual-labor school of 120 scholars at the Cheyenne and Arapahoe agency, was of more interest to them and gave them more pleasure than anything else seen on the journey. They manifested much interest in the progress of civilization among the Sac and Fox, and when passing the Creek country, the delegation was received by these tribes with generous hospitality and a hearty welcome. When we were at Okmulgee, the capital of the Creek Nation, they were invited to the council-house by the Creek chief, where he made a very friendly speech to them. The following is a copy thereof:— "To the Sioux, my brethren:—I am well pleased to see you here in the Mus-koke Nation, brethren of the same race as ourselves. I was told a long time ago of my red brethren, the Sioux, that were living in the far Northwest. I had heard of the name of your tribe and of many of your leading chiefs. I have heard of your great men, great in war, and great in council. I have heard of your trouble on account of the intrusion of the white men on your reservation in search of gold. I have heard that the United States Government had determined to remove you from your present home, and, perhaps it might be, to this Indian Territory, to the west of us. When I heard that you might possibly come to this Territory, which has been 'set apart for the home of the Indians forever,' I was glad. I would like to have all our red brethren settled in this Territory, as we have provided in our treaty. We, the Creeks and Cherokees, have the same kind of title and patent for our lands from the United States, which guarantees this Territory to us for a home, under our own form of government, by people of our own race, as long as 'grass grows and water runs.' And I think, therefore, we shall live forever on our lands. I should like—and I express the wish of our people—that every Indian tribe should come here and settle on these lands, that this Territory may become filled up with Indians, to the exclusion of others who may be inimical to our race and interests. We believe our right to our soil and our government, which is best suited to our peculiar necessities, would be safer if all our race were united together here. This is my earnest wish. Then I think the rising generation could be educated and civilized, and, what is still better, christianized, which, I believe, would be the greatest benefit of all. This would be to our mutual benefit and good. I know I express the minds of our people when I give you this welcome to our life of a higher civilization, which is better than the old life so long led by our race in the past."

At the councils held at the different agencies, the chiefs and principal men made numerous speeches, which conveyed a good idea of Indian views and feelings, and were often able and eloquent. The balance of this chapter will be filled up with extracts from some of these speeches.

Red Cloud Agency.Fast Bear:—My good friends, you have come here to ask me for something, and I have come here to-day to answer. You ask me to give up the mountains that are to the north of us, and I answer yes to that question. I give them up. You are here also to ask me to take a journey to look at a country, and I also answer yes to that question. I consent for my young men to go down there and see that country; but they must look at it in silence, and come back in silence. When they have seen the country I will consider it. If it is good I will consider it so; if bad I will consider that it is bad. Do you understand, my friends, what I last said to you? We do not agree to go there to live before we have seen the country.

Young-Man-Afraid-of-His-Horse:—My father shook hands with the Dakotas peacefully on the Platte River. I have been brought up here from a boy until I got to be a chief. The soldiers have no business in this country at all. I wish to tell you plainly that I have been very much ashamed ever since the soldiers came here. This is my country, and I have remained here with my women and children eating such things as the Great Father has sent us. I am going to ask the Great Father for a great many things, things that will make me rich. I am going to ask for so much that I am afraid the Great Father will not consent to give it to me. I want you to tell the Great Father that I, and all the men like me, and the children, are going to ask him for a great many things, and we expect to have food, and blankets to wear as long as we live.

Black Coal:—This place here is a place of peace, where we and our people have lived together happily, and behaved ourselves, and we do not understand why so many soldiers have come here among us. We have never had any trouble and have behaved ourselves, and wish to have the soldiers sent away as soon as possible, and leave us in peace. The people that live here have both minds and hearts and good sense, but it seems as if the Great Father all at once thought differently, and speaks of us as people that are very bad.

Red Cloud:—The commissioners have both brains and hearts. The Great Father has sent you here to visit me and my people, and I want that you should help us. We see a great many soldiers here in our country. We do not like to see them here. I want you to have pity upon us, and have them all taken away. I understand all the ways of the whites. I know that everything that has been said has been written down, and I should like to have a fair copy of that made and given to me. Little Wound:—I always considered that when the Great Father borrowed the country for the overland road that he made an arrangement with us that was to last fifty years as payment for that privilege, and yesterday another arrangement was mentioned concerning the Black Hills, and the words that I heard from the Great Father and from the commissioners from the Great Council made me cry. The country upon which I am standing is the country upon which I was born, and upon which I heard that it was the wish of the Great Father and of the Great Council that I should be like a man without a country. I shed tears. I wish that the chief men among you that have come here to see me would help me, and would change those things that do not suit me.

Spotted Tail Agency.Spotted Tail:—My friends that have come here to see me; you have brought to us words from the Great Father at Washington, and I have considered them now for seven days, and have made up my mind. This is the fifth time that you have come. At the time of the first treaty that was made on Horse Creek—the one we call the "great treaty"—there was provision made to borrow the overland road of the Indians, and promises made at the time of the treaty, though I was a boy at the time; they told me it was to last fifty years. These promises have not been kept. All the words have proved to be false. The next conference was the one held with Gen. Manydear, when there were no promises made in particular, nor for any amount to be given to us, but we had a conference with him and made friends and shook hands. Then after that there was a treaty made by Gen. Sherman. He told us we should have annuities and goods from that treaty for thirty-five years. He said this, but yet he didn't tell the truth. He told me the country was mine, and that I should select any place I wished for my reservation and live in it. My friends, I will show you well his words to-day. * * * I see that my friends before me are men of age and dignity. I think that each of you have selected somewhere a good piece of land for himself, with the intention of living on it, that he may there raise up his children. My people, that you see here before you, are not different; they also live upon the earth and upon the things that come to them from above.

My friends, this seems to me to be a very hard day, and we have come upon very difficult times. This war did not spring up here in our land; this war was brought upon us by the children of the Great Father who came to take our land from us without price, and who, in our land, do a great many evil things. We have a store-house to hold our provisions the Great Father sends us, but he sends very little provisions to put in our store-house. When our people become displeased with their provisions and have gone north to hunt in order that they might live, the Great Father's children are fighting them. It has been our wish to live in our country peaceably, but the Great Father has filled it with soldiers who think only of our death. It seems to me there is a better way than this. When people come to trouble, it is better for both parties to come together without arms and talk it over and find some peaceful way to settle it. My friends, you have come to me to-day, and mentioned two countries to me. One of them I know of old—the Missouri River. It is not possible for me to go there. When I was there before we had a great deal of trouble. I left also 100 of my people buried there. The other country you have mentioned is one I have never seen since I was born, but I agree to go and look at it. When men have a difficult business to settle it is not possible it should be well settled in one day; it takes at least twelve months to consider it.

Spotted Tail:—(Second Council.) This war has come from robbery—from the stealing of our land. My friends, I wish to tell the Great Father "Let us consider this matter." There are on both sides a great many widows and a great many orphans. Let us consider who is to take care of these. This matter has not been begun with judgment; and I think it is displeasing to the Great Spirit. The Great Father sent you out here to buy our land and we have agreed together to that, but with one understanding:—That it shall be the end, also, of this war. We have always been peaceful friends of the Great Father, and shall remain at peace with him; but all at once a whirlwind has passed over our land, and the ammunition has been locked up so that we cannot get it to hunt game to live upon. Now we shake hands and make peace and wish it to be unlocked so we can buy ammunition. You know this trouble does not please the Great Spirit, and I want you to help me to blot it out.

Baptiste Good:—You have come here with considerations that will make my people live, and my heart is glad. When Gen. Sherman came to make a treaty with my people, I was also glad. That was like the birth of a child. I wish you would tell the Great Father we need implements to work with, and wagons for two horses. I have worn out my fingers working without implements. I have planted corn, and I am happy to say it has grown up and produced fruit. The white minister has come here to teach me, but I don't think it is done properly. I would like to have some female ministers come dressed in black to receive the girls in one house and teach them, and have white male ministers in black hat and coat to teach the boys in another house separately.

Blue Teeth:—Just such men as you came to make the treaty with me. They showed me a road to walk in, and I showed my people and advised them according to their words, and they were glad. But the things they promised me didn't turn out as they promised them. I am the man that heard the promises made. Spotted Tail told you about that yesterday, according to my direction, but I was hiding myself. I want the man pointed out that is going to talk to the Great Father. [Judge Gaylord is pointed out.] You see that pipe: take it, [handing to Judge Gaylord a pipe and tobacco-pouch.] The Great Spirit gave me that pipe. He told me to point it to my mother, the earth, when I prayed. I wish you to take it to the Great Father at Washington, and tell him a man that made a speech here presented it to him, and ask him to be merciful to him and help him to live. Tell him this is my country, and for him to have pity upon me and not move me away from it. I want to live here always.

Standing Rock Agency.John Grass:—Look well at me with both eyes and listen to me with both ears. I have considered the words you have brought me, and I am ready to answer you. The chiefs you see here have all come to the same conclusion. You have brought words to the chiefs here that will bring life to their children; that will make their children live; they answer how [signifying their approval] to that. And now since they have ceded their country to you, they want to tell you of certain things that they shall want in the future.

Running Antelope:—When people shake hands and talk, they talk in earnest. I want you to look on this man Kill Eagle, with his people who are prisoners here. He is one of us and is our kindred. Kindred living with each other love each other, and when they get into trouble they help each other out, and we look on these Indians the same as white. He went out to the hostile camp, held his gun, witnessed a fight, and came back. I want before the sun sets to see these men released. I am an old man, and I ask these things as a favor.

In regard to this store. I have been to see the Great Father, and the white people are wealthy. Even they have stores one right against the other, touching each other. When a man goes in a store and finds something he wants and cannot obtain it as cheaply as he desires, he goes into another, and so on until he gets what he wants and at the proper price. We want to do so here.

Two Bears:—Hail Great Spirit, and hail my friends who I see here, and hail Great Father! My heart is this day made glad by seeing you here. You prayed to the Great Spirit and that made our hearts glad. I was the chief owner of this country, but the Great Father turned it over to his young men. This was a hard thing for him to do to me; now that he proposes to pay me for it I am very glad. I am of the fifth generation of the Sioux Indians, and the sixth generation is growing up around me. I want the Government to provide for the same number of generations in the future. I am making this trade with the Great Father, and I am not a white man and am not able to live like a white man. They eat but little, but I am not able to get along with a little yet. The Great Spirit fed me, and fed me in large quantities. I eat all day, and eating great quantities has become a habit with me. I am afraid of frightful things; I am afraid of bad things; I am afraid of a battle. I like good things, and straightforward dealings. For two winters I was starving and have eaten a great number of my horses and dogs. In consequence of this starvation many of our people fled from the agency in search of food, and while they were out one of them got into trouble. [referring to Kill Eagle.]

Mad Bear:—I am an Indian, a poor, miserable Indian, but if I should do as has been done by us, the Great Spirit would dislike, and hate me, and for that reason I cannot do these things. Men, civilians, that we have had for agents would steal our food, steal things that were sent to us. It is the fault of the white men that this is done. They select men that belong to the ring. When one agent is removed they select his friend to succeed him, and so the stealing goes on. The matter of their traders alone is enough to drive the Indians hostile. It would drive a white man hostile to be treated as we are treated, and to be charged prices as our traders charge us for goods. If an Indian succeeds in getting a dollar he takes it to the store to trade, and what he receives in return for it amounts to probably half a dime. We want the monopoly of trading stores stopped. The work, the labor, everything is monopolized by white men, who have everything their own way. It is hard to be an Indian chief. Our young men do not listen to us—they will not mind us.

Fool Dog:—The Great Spirit created these men and they expect to raise children after them. Generations are not to stop here, they are still to go on living, and we look to you for help and assistance. I am an Indian, and am looked on by the whites as a foolish man; but it must be because I follow the advice of the white man.

Long Soldier:—The Great Spirit called me forth to be a chief, and this day I say how to you. The Great Father has asked me for a portion of my country and has made me an offer in return for it. I am very glad to get what has been offered to me, and I therefore say how to your proposition. I am a very suspicious man and always suspect people of some evil designs when they talk to me, and therefore remain at home. My father, who has instructed me to be a friend of the whites, is still living, and I want him to share in the benefits that arise from the sale of the Black Hills.

Two Bears:—My friends, to-day we have talked together with smiles on our faces, and we are going to sign this paper with the understanding that everything in it is true, and that we are not deceiving each other. My children are very poor and very ignorant, and they don't know anything about weights and measures, and if you are going to issue my rations by weight I want you to give good measure. In signing this agreement I don't sign it myself; I have a young man who is my hope for the future. Although I touch the pen myself, I touch it for my son, who is to be my successor.

Drag Wood:—I am an old man and my bones are getting sore, and I want my son to sign this agreement with me.

Wolf Necklace:—I never want to leave this country; all my relatives are lying here in the ground, and when I fall to pieces I am going to fall to pieces here.

Cheyenne River Agency.Long Mandan:—I am glad of one thing; the Great Father knows that this is my country, and before he takes it from me he is going to ask my permission. Our people are poor, they have nothing in their lodges, and if you will visit them you would feel disposed to bring many things to them to-day. My friends, when I went to Washington I went into your money-house, and I had some young men with me, but none of them took any money out of that house while I was with them. At the same time, when your Great Father's people come into my country, they go into my money-house and take money out. More than that, they commit depredations on us; and stole fifty head of horses and took them away from me. If the Great Father was not a great man and was not a man that had great power and a good man, I should have been mad; but he is a great man and a good man, and that is the reason that I have not been offended at him. I would much rather have gone to Washington with my people and have signed this treaty there. I do not want to spend a great deal of money for the Great Father, but at the same time I know that the Great Father is wealthy. I want to tap the telegraph that is over the river, and talk to the Great Father in that way, and to have him answer me in the same way. I want him to give me plenty of mowing-machines, and I would like very much to have a good blacksmith. I will show you something to-day that I have done in this country in the way of farming; a large pumpkin that I have sent to be brought here to show you. My friends, you may think that I never raised it when you see it, but I want to show it to you, and have sent for it.

Red Feather:—The Great Father asked me in regard to the missions and churches and schools, and told me I must take hold of that and assist him. There were two ministers here, and I regarded them as two canes to walk upon and help me up with. There is one thing that the people of the Great Father have that I do not want, and that is whisky. I do not want any whisky on my reservation. Whenever a man drinks whisky he loses his senses, and that is the reason why I object to it.

Duck:—The soldiers that are fighting have killed a great many people on both sides, and have made many widows and orphans on both sides. I am sorry to know that anybody was killed on either side. All the badness and all the trouble that has occurred here formerly, I gather it up in my hand and throw it away; tell the Great Father that. Look at this people; they are poor people; they have a hard time to get what little furs and hides they have; but when we take them to the stores we do not get enough for them. If you are not afraid of me, and do not think I am fooling with you, I would like to have you attend to this hide business, and see that we get $6 apiece for them.

White Bull:—I see, my friends, the soldiers standing here about me. They are people whose business it is to die, but we think better things for them. We have given them the Black Hills; we wish they would go there and dig gold without being afraid of anybody.

Crow Creek Agency.White Ghost:—Around and about the hills on the prairies there are a great many dead people lying, but the Great Father has decided to give us a good price for the hills; therefore it is—because the Great Father is strong—that we are willing to give them up. We live right near a trading-post, and we become poor because we have not money to buy those things we want. I do not wish you to think that I am finding fault or out of temper. I merely say the things I am instructed to say. My people wish to have it understood that they do not wish to have any soldiers sent here or any soldier for an agent. I must tell everything that I am instructed to say; they are all here listening to see whether I say everything, and I must say all that I have been told. We would like to have Mr. Premeau appointed for interpreter. He is a white man, a man that understands the language, and does not drink whisky. My people think that the flour that is sent here for them is sent for them to eat, and they are not pleased that it is fed to the pigs about the agency; and they wish me to mention that we take a hide to the store, quite a large one, and receive an order for three dollars' worth of goods. For this large beef-hide we get one piece of leather the width of three fingers, for a belt; it is not worth more than fifty cents. That does not please us.

Last summer when I went to the council for the Black Hills, I had a pipe with me. I told them, in reference to the Black Hills, that we were bound by giving and receiving the pipe, the same as white people when they make an oath in court and swear upon the Bible, and if the party took the pipe that was offered to him in council and held it in his hand everything went well, and if he did not speak the truth always some evil would spring up in connection with it. Last summer the pipe was given in council, and what do you think of the matter now? Have the promises been kept, or has the violation of them caused war and bloodshed? I have for a long time known the ways of your people in dealing with us and taking away our country, and I know that they have been such as to make us miserable. You have driven away our game and our means of livelihood out of the country, until now we have nothing left that is valuable except the hills that you ask us to give up. When we give these up to the Great Father we know that we give up the last thing that is valuable either to us or the white people; and therefore my people wish me to say that, as long as two Indians are living, we expect them to have the benefit of the price paid for these lands.

My friend, [to the chairman,] I am going to give you a pipe. Perhaps we are deceiving each other in this matter, perhaps we are not going to be truthful, and shall commit a great sin, but I for my part am trying to speak the truth.

Running Bear:—I look upon you as you sit before me, and I see that there are no boys among you; that you are all men of age, and I am glad to see it. I am very old, very near the time when I shall lie down in the earth. Therefore if you have really come to help us we are very happy. I will speak now about myself. I am an orphan. Before my father died he told me that my country was very valuable. You say you are going to give me rations by weight; I do not know anything about that; I think it will take me at least twelve years to understand it. It is only yesterday that the people of my generation were laid in the ground, and I am the only one left. My father, who is now dead, went to the Great Father's house and talked with him there. The people have now given you the Black Hills, and we for our part would like to go to our Great Father's house and hear how much money he proposes to give us in return. Again, the whisky that the white people have and carry about with them is very bad. We hear that our people who are living up to the north of us drink a great deal of whisky. We do not like it at all. My friends, I am going to ask you for something that I want. I do not think it possible that you have come out here to ask me for something without paying me for it. I do not consider myself very rich. You white people come out here with a great many pockets in your clothes. Probably the person who sent you told you what to do with the things in your pockets. I would like to have you take up a collection. Each of you put your hands in your pockets and take out ten cents and give it to me to buy something at the store. You are not particularly modest in asking for the things you want, and I see no reason why I should not ask for the things that I want. Do you think I do right in asking you?

You are a chief, [to the chairman.] I, also, am a chief. I have lived here now 13 years. I do not remember even a bad word that I have said; perhaps the Great Father does. In every country there are men who are skillful in talking in council. I am such a man myself. I also have been instructed. This medal that you see, was put about my neck by a Catholic priest, and yet, notwithstanding I am so honored, you talk to me about issuing rations by weight. I am astonished at you. You are advanced in years; I am also advanced in years.

White Bear:—I wonder if you know that I planted a field out here. I raised pumpkins as large as this chair and corn taller than I am, and after I had done that my father took my field away to plant oats in. I wonder if you know that. Tell the Great Father that there is only one store here, and all the young men are shedding tears about it. If they had mowing-machines, such as they could ride upon, to ride around their country and cut hay, they would be able to earn something; but the agent considers that the country belongs to him personally, and cuts all the hay. My friends, I would like to have our agent, before the sun goes down, climb up into the second story of the warehouse and take down all the teepee cloths and blankets that he has there, and divide them among the people.

Dog Back:—I am not anybody in particular. Although I am not very strong and a man of no special importance, I took a claim, and planted, and considered that I was watching my own hay and grass. I am the man that has been trying to live in the way that I have been told, but this summer a great many white men have come there and cut my wood, and killed the fowls and animals I have raised, and disturbed me in many ways. I do not wish to make any disturbance about it, but I have been trying to do as the Great Father advised us, and it seems to me that these people who come and do such things to me are lawless people. I have nobody to help me, but you come here to-day from the Great Father, and I have told you these things in the hope that you will help me.

Santee Agency.Hakewaste:—I am an Indian and was born naked. I now wear the same kind of clothes as the white man. Old Wabashaw told me that the President wanted us to work, and for that reason I have dressed in this way, but what you have been explaining to me I know nothing about. I have only been six years a chief in this land. You can see how we are situated here; that we have done part of what the President told us to do; you see little patches of corn, &c. As old man Wabashaw is buried here we would all like to live here. We will all do what you ask of us in the treaty. We own nothing, and have nothing to depend upon. When the President makes up his mind to do a thing he generally does it, but we do not want to go to that territory to the south.

Wamamsa:—The Lord above rules everything, and he has given us a nice mild day for our council. We have prayed for land and churches, and as we now have three churches I think the Lord has taken good care of us and has answered our prayers. Look at these young men. You have not seen any Indians during your travels dressed in that way. We are not getting along very well—not as well as we should. Twice now we have had Quakers for agents, and we are going down hill all the time; getting into the ground.

Husasa:—I have been blind for four years, but I can hear what is said. When any one comes from Washington to see us we ought to be thankful to him. When we lived at Redwood we made the treaty, and it was mentioned that we were to draw annuities and money for fifty years, and for that reason we put ourselves in the wrong place and suffer for it to-day. There are only three chiefs left now, and all we have to do is to throw ourselves into the arms of the Great Father. We are all pretty badly off. When people used to come here from Washington, Wabashaw was here to speak, but now he is lying in the ground and we are all the time looking that way at him. A great many of us have no wagons or oxen or anything to work with. I have nothing but an old wagon that is not fit for use, and am as poor as if I had not sold any land to the President. The Indians' minds are not very long and we forget a thing in a very short time. You have told us what to do. We have got it all in our ears and ought to be proud of it.

The President said that he would take good care of us, and now here I am blind and have not got a wagon fit to use. Although I am blind, if I had a wagon the women or some of the boys could bring me water when I am thirsty.