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 5.  GALL



EVERY age, every race, has its leaders and heroes.  There were over
sixty distinct tribes of Indians on this continent, each of which
boasted its notable men.  The names and deeds of some of these men
will live in American history, yet in the true sense they are
unknown, because misunderstood.  I should like to present some of
the greatest chiefs of modern times in the light of the native
character and ideals, believing that the American people will
gladly do them tardy justice.

It is matter of history that the Sioux nation, to which I
belong, was originally friendly to the Caucasian peoples which it
met in succession-first, to the south the Spaniards; then the
French, on the Mississippi River and along the Great Lakes; later
the English, and finally the Americans.  This powerful tribe then
roamed over the whole extent of the Mississippi valley, between
that river and the Rockies.  Their usages and government united the
various bands more closely than was the case with many of the
neighboring tribes.

During the early part of the nineteenth century, chiefs such
as Wabashaw, Redwing, and Little Six among the eastern Sioux,
Conquering Bear, Man-Afraid-of-His-Horse, and Hump of the western
bands, were the last of the old type.  After these, we have a
coterie of new leaders, products of the new conditions brought
about by close contact with the conquering race.

This distinction must be borne in mind -- that while the early
chiefs were spokesmen and leaders in the simplest sense, possessing
no real authority, those who headed their tribes during the
transition period were more or less rulers and more or less
politicians.  It is a singular fact that many of the "chiefs", well
known as such to the American public, were not chiefs at all
according to the accepted usages of their tribesmen.  Their
prominence was simply the result of an abnormal situation, in which
representatives of the United States Government made use of them
for a definite purpose.  In a few cases, where a chief met with a
violent death, some ambitious man has taken advantage of the
confusion to thrust himself upon the tribe and, perhaps with
outside help, has succeeded in usurping the leadership.

Red Cloud was born about 1820 near the forks of the Platte
River.  He was one of a family of nine children whose father, an
able and respected warrior, reared his son under the old Spartan
regime.  The young Red Cloud is said to have been a fine horseman,
able to swim across the Missouri and Yellowstone rivers, of high
bearing and unquestionable courage, yet invariably gentle and
courteous in everyday life.  This last trait, together with a
singularly musical and agreeable voice, has always been
characteristic of the man.

When he was about six years old, his father gave him a
spirited colt, and said to him:

"My son, when you are able to sit quietly upon the back of
this colt without saddle or bridle, I shall be glad, for the boy
who can win a wild creature and learn to use it will as a man be
able to win and rule men."

The little fellow, instead of going for advice and help to his
grandfather, as most Indian boys would have done, began quietly to
practice throwing the lariat.  In a little while he was able to
lasso the colt.  He was dragged off his feet at once, but hung on,
and finally managed to picket him near the teepee.  When the big
boys drove the herd of ponies to water, he drove his colt with the
rest.  Presently the pony became used to him and allowed himself to
be handled.  The boy began to ride him bareback; he was thrown many
times, but persisted until he could ride without even a lariat,
sitting with arms folded and guiding the animal by the movements of
his body.  From that time on he told me that he broke all his own
ponies, and before long his father's as well.

The old men, his contemporaries, have often related to me how
Red Cloud was always successful in the hunt because his horses were
so well broken.  At the age of nine, he began to ride his father's
pack pony upon the buffalo hunt.  He was twelve years old, he told
me, when he was first permitted to take part in the chase, and
found to his great mortification that none of his arrows penetrated
more than a few inches.  Excited to recklessness, he whipped his
horse nearer the fleeing buffalo, and before his father knew what
he was about, he had seized one of the protruding arrows and tried
to push it deeper.  The furious animal tossed his massive head
sidewise, and boy and horse were whirled into the air. 
Fortunately, the boy was thrown on the farther side of his pony,
which received the full force of the second attack.  The thundering
hoofs of the stampeded herd soon passed them by, but the wounded
and maddened buffalo refused to move, and some critical moments
passed before Red Cloud's father succeeded in attracting its
attention so that the boy might spring to his feet and run for his

I once asked Red Cloud if he could recall having ever been
afraid, and in reply he told me this story.  He was about sixteen
years old and had already been once or twice upon the warpath, when
one fall his people were hunting in the Big Horn country, where
they might expect trouble at any moment with the hostile Crows or
Shoshones.  Red Cloud had followed a single buffalo bull into the
Bad Lands and was out of sight and hearing of his companions.  When
he had brought down his game, he noted carefully every feature of
his surroundings so that he might at once detect anything unusual,
and tied his horse with a long lariat to the horn of the dead
bison, while skinning and cutting up the meat so as to pack it to
camp.  Every few minutes he paused in his work to scrutinize the
landscape, for he had a feeling that danger was not far off.

Suddenly, almost over his head, as it seemed, he heard a
tremendous war whoop, and glancing sidewise, thought he beheld
the charge of an overwhelming number of warriors.  He tried
desperately to give the usual undaunted war whoop in reply, but
instead a yell of terror burst from his lips, his legs gave way
under him, and he fell in a heap.  When he realized, the next
instant, that the war whoop was merely the sudden loud whinnying of
his own horse, and the charging army a band of fleeing elk, he was
so ashamed of himself that he never forgot the incident, although
up to that time he had never mentioned it.  His subsequent career
would indicate that the lesson was well learned.

The future leader was still a very young man when he joined a
war party against the Utes.  Having pushed eagerly forward on the
trail, he found himself far in advance of his companions as night
came on, and at the same time rain began to fall heavily.  Among
the scattered scrub pines, the lone warrior found a natural cave,
and after a hasty examination, he decided to shelter there for the

Scarcely had he rolled himself in his blanket when he heard a
slight rustling at the entrance, as if some creature were preparing
to share his retreat.  It was pitch dark.  He could see nothing, but
judged that it must be either a man or a grizzly.  There was not
room to draw a bow.  It must be between knife and knife, or between
knife and claws, he said to himself.

The intruder made no search but quietly lay down in the
opposite corner of the cave.  Red Cloud remained perfectly still,
scarcely breathing, his hand upon his knife.  Hour after hour he
lay broad awake, while many thoughts passed through his brain. 
Suddenly, without warning, he sneezed, and instantly a strong man
sprang to a sitting posture opposite.  The first gray of morning
was creeping into their rocky den, and behold! a Ute hunter sat
before him.

Desperate as the situation appeared, it was not without a grim
humor.  Neither could afford to take his eyes from the other's; the
tension was great, till at last a smile wavered over the
expressionless face of the Ute.  Red Cloud answered the smile, and
in that instant a treaty of peace was born between them.

"Put your knife in its sheath.  I shall do so also, and we
will smoke together," signed Red Cloud.  The other assented gladly,
and they ratified thus the truce which assured to each a safe
return to his friends.  Having finished their smoke, they shook
hands and separated.  Neither had given the other any information. 
Red Cloud returned to his party and told his story, adding that he
had divulged nothing and had nothing to report.  Some were inclined
to censure him for not fighting, but he was sustained by a majority
of the warriors, who commended his self-restraint.  In a day or two
they discovered the main camp of the enemy and fought a remarkable
battle, in which Red Cloud especially distinguished himself

The Sioux were now entering upon the most stormy period of
their history.  The old things were fast giving place to new.  The
young men, for the first time engaging in serious and destructive
warfare with the neighboring tribes, armed with the deadly weapons
furnished by the white man, began to realize that they must soon
enter upon a desperate struggle for their ancestral hunting
grounds.  The old men had been innocently cultivating the
friendship of the stranger, saying among themselves, "Surely there
is land enough for all!"

Red Cloud was a modest and little known man of about
twenty-eight years, when General Harney called all the western
bands of Sioux together at Fort Laramie, Wyoming, for the purpose
of securing an agreement and right of way through their territory. 
The Ogallalas held aloof from this proposal, but Bear Bull, an
Ogallala chief, after having been plied with whisky, undertook to
dictate submission to the rest of the clan.  Enraged by failure, he
fired upon a group of his own tribesmen, and Red Cloud's father and
brother fell dead.  According to Indian custom, it fell to him to
avenge the deed.  Calmly, without uttering a word, he faced old
Bear Bull and his son, who attempted to defend his father, and shot
them both.  He did what he believed to be his duty, and the whole
band sustained him.  Indeed, the tragedy gave the young man at once
a certain standing, as one who not only defended his people against
enemies from without, but against injustice and aggression within
the tribe.  From this time on he was a recognized leader.

Man-Afraid-of-His-Horse, then head chief of the Ogallalas,
took council with Red Cloud in all important matters, and the young
warrior rapidly advanced in authority and influence.  In 1854, when
he was barely thirty-five years old, the various bands were again
encamped near Fort Laramie.  A Mormon emigrant train, moving
westward, left a footsore cow behind, and the young men killed her
for food.  The next day, to their astonishment, an officer with
thirty men appeared at the Indian camp and demanded of old
Conquering Bear that they be given up.  The chief in vain protested
that it was all a mistake and offered to make reparation.  It would
seem that either the officer was under the influence of liquor, or
else had a mind to bully the Indians, for he would accept neither
explanation nor payment, but demanded point-blank that the young
men who had killed the cow be delivered up to summary punishment. 
The old chief refused to be intimidated and was shot dead on the
spot.  Not one soldier ever reached the gate of Fort Laramie!  Here
Red Cloud led the young Ogallalas, and so intense was the feeling
that they even killed the half-breed interpreter.

Curiously enough, there was no attempt at retaliation on the
part of the army, and no serious break until 1860, when the Sioux
were involved in troubles with the Cheyennes and Arapahoes.  In
1862, a grave outbreak was precipitated by the eastern Sioux in
Minnesota under Little Crow, in which the western bands took no
part.  Yet this event ushered in a new period for their race.  The
surveyors of the Union Pacific were laying out the proposed road
through the heart of the southern buffalo country, the rendezvous
of Ogallalas, Brules, Arapahoes, Comanches, and Pawnees, who
followed the buffalo as a means of livelihood.  To be sure, most of
these tribes were at war with one another, yet during the summer
months they met often to proclaim a truce and hold joint councils
and festivities, which were now largely turned into discussions of
the common enemy.  It became evident, however, that some of the
smaller and weaker tribes were inclined to welcome the new order of
things, recognizing that it was the policy of the government to put
an end to tribal warfare.

Red Cloud's position was uncompromisingly against submission. 
He made some noted speeches in this line, one of which was repeated
to me by an old man who had heard and remembered it with the
remarkable verbal memory of an Indian.

"Friends," said Red Cloud, "it has been our misfortune to
welcome the white man.  We have been deceived.  He brought with him
some shining things that pleased our eyes; he brought weapons more
effective than our own: above all, he brought the spirit water that
makes one forget for a time old age, weakness, and sorrow.  But I
wish to say to you that if you would possess these things for
yourselves, you must begin anew and put away the wisdom of your
fathers.  You must lay up food, and forget the hungry.  When your
house is built, your storeroom filled, then look around for a
neighbor whom you can take at a disadvantage, and seize all that he
has!  Give away only what you do not want; or rather, do not part
with any of your possessions unless in exchange for another's.

"My countrymen, shall the glittering trinkets of this rich
man, his deceitful drink that overcomes the mind, shall these
things tempt us to give up our homes, our hunting grounds, and the
honorable teaching of our old men?  Shall we permit ourselves to be
driven to and fro -- to be herded like the cattle of the white man?"

His next speech that has been remembered was made in 1866,
just before the attack on Fort Phil Kearny.  The tension of feeling
against the invaders had now reached its height.  There was no
dissenting voice in the council upon the Powder River, when it was
decided to oppose to the uttermost the evident purpose of the
government.  Red Cloud was not altogether ignorant of the numerical
strength and the resourcefulness of the white man, but he was
determined to face any odds rather than submit.

"Hear ye, Dakotas!" he exclaimed.  "When the Great Father at
Washington sent us his chief soldier [General Harney] to ask for a
path through our hunting grounds, a way for his iron road to the
mountains and the western sea, we were told that they wished merely
to pass through our country, not to tarry among us, but to seek for
gold in the far west.  Our old chiefs thought to show their
friendship and good will, when they allowed this dangerous snake in
our midst.  They promised to protect the wayfarers.

"Yet before the ashes of the council fire are cold, the Great
Father is building his forts among us.  You have heard the sound of
the white soldier's ax upon the Little Piney.  His presence here is
an insult and a threat.  It is an insult to the spirits of our
ancestors.  Are we then to give up their sacred graves to be plowed
for corn?  Dakotas, I am for war!"

In less than a week after this speech, the Sioux advanced upon
Fort Phil Kearny, the new sentinel that had just taken her place
upon the farthest frontier, guarding the Oregon Trail.  Every
detail of the attack had been planned with care, though not without
heated discussion, and nearly every well-known Sioux chief had
agreed in striking the blow.  The brilliant young war leader, Crazy
Horse, was appointed to lead the charge.  His lieutenants were
Sword, Hump, and Dull Knife, with Little Chief of the Cheyennes,
while the older men acted as councilors.  Their success was
instantaneous.  In less than half an hour, they had cut down nearly
a hundred men under Captain Fetterman, whom they drew out of the
fort by a ruse and then annihilated.

Instead of sending troops to punish, the government sent a
commission to treat with the Sioux.  The result was the famous
treaty of 1868, which Red Cloud was the last to sign, having
refused to do so until all of the forts within their territory
should be vacated.  All of his demands were acceded to, the new
road abandoned, the garrisons withdrawn, and in the new treaty it
was distinctly stated that the Black Hills and the Big Horn were
Indian country, set apart for their perpetual occupancy, and that
no white man should enter that region without the consent of the

Scarcely was this treaty signed, however, when gold was
discovered in the Black Hills, and the popular cry was: "Remove
the Indians!"  This was easier said than done.  That very territory
had just been solemnly guaranteed to them forever: yet how stem the
irresistible rush for gold?  The government, at first, entered some
small protest, just enough to "save its face" as the saying is; but
there was no serious attempt to prevent the wholesale violation of
the treaty.  It was this state of affairs that led to the last
great speech made by Red Cloud, at a gathering upon the Little
Rosebud River.  It is brief, and touches upon the hopelessness of
their future as a race.  He seems at about this time to have
reached the conclusion that resistance could not last much longer;
in fact, the greater part of the Sioux nation was already under
government control.

"We are told," said he, "that Spotted Tail has consented to be
the Beggars' Chief.  Those Indians who go over to the white man can
be nothing but beggars, for he respects only riches, and how can an
Indian be a rich man?  He cannot without ceasing to be an Indian. 
As for me, I have listened patiently to the promises of the Great
Father, but his memory is short.  I am now done with him.  This is
all I have to say."

The wilder bands separated soon after this council, to follow
the drift of the buffalo, some in the vicinity of the Black Hills
and others in the Big Horn region.  Small war parties came down
from time to time upon stray travelers, who received no mercy at
their hands, or made dashes upon neighboring forts.  Red Cloud
claimed the right to guard and hold by force, if need be, all this
territory which had been conceded to his people by the treaty of
1868.  The land became a very nest of outlawry.  Aside from
organized parties of prospectors, there were bands of white horse
thieves and desperadoes who took advantage of the situation to
plunder immigrants and Indians alike.

An attempt was made by means of military camps to establish
control and force all the Indians upon reservations, and another
commission was sent to negotiate their removal to Indian Territory,
but met with an absolute refusal.  After much guerrilla warfare, an
important military campaign against the Sioux was set on foot in
1876, ending in Custer's signal defeat upon the Little Big Horn.

In this notable battle, Red Cloud did not participate in
person, nor in the earlier one with Crook upon the Little Rosebud,
but he had a son in both fights.  He was now a councilor rather
than a warrior, but his young men were constantly in the field,
while Spotted Tail had definitely surrendered and was in close
touch with representatives of the government.

But the inevitable end was near.  One morning in the fall of
1876 Red Cloud was surrounded by United States troops under the
command of Colonel McKenzie, who disarmed his people and brought
them into Fort Robinson, Nebraska.  Thence they were removed to the
Pine Ridge agency, where he lived for more than thirty years as a
"reservation Indian."  In order to humiliate him further,
government authorities proclaimed the more tractable Spotted Tail
head chief of the Sioux.  Of course, Red Cloud's own people never
recognized any other chief.

In 1880 he appealed to Professor Marsh, of Yale, head of a
scientific expedition to the Bad Lands, charging certain frauds at
the agency and apparently proving his case; at any rate the matter
was considered worthy of official investigation.  In 1890-1891,
during the "Ghost Dance craze" and the difficulties that followed,
he was suspected of collusion with the hostiles, but he did not
join them openly, and nothing could be proved against him.  He was
already an old man, and became almost entirely blind before his
death in 1909 in his ninetieth year.

His private life was exemplary.  He was faithful to one wife
all his days, and was a devoted father to his children.  He was
ambitious for his only son, known as Jack Red Cloud, and much
desired him to be a great warrior.  He started him on the warpath
at the age of fifteen, not then realizing that the days of Indian
warfare were well-nigh at an end.

Among latter-day chiefs, Red Cloud was notable as a quiet man,
simple and direct in speech, courageous in action, an ardent lover
of his country, and possessed in a marked degree of the manly
qualities characteristic of the American Indian in his best days.


Among the Sioux chiefs of the "transition period" only one was
shrewd enough to read coming events in their true light.  It is
said of Spotted Tail that he was rather a slow-moving boy,
preferring in their various games and mimic battles to play the
role of councilor, to plan and assign to the others their parts in
the fray.  This he did so cleverly that he soon became a leader
among his youthful contemporaries; and withal he was apt at mimicry
and impersonation, so that the other boys were accustomed to say of
him, "He has his grandfather's wit and the wisdom of his

Spotted Tail was an orphan, reared by his grandparents, and at
an early age compelled to shift for himself.  Thus he was somewhat
at a disadvantage among the other boys; yet even this fact may have
helped to develop in him courage and ingenuity.  One little
incident of his boy life, occurring at about his tenth year, is
characteristic of the man.  In the midst of a game, two boys became
involved in a dispute which promised to be a serious one, as both
drew knives.  The young Spotted Tail instantly began to cry, "The
Shoshones are upon us!  To arms! to arms!" and the other boys
joined in the war whoop.  This distracted the attention of the
combatants and ended the affair.

Upon the whole, his boyhood is not so well remembered as is
that of most of his leading contemporaries, probably because he had
no parents to bring him frequently before the people, as was the
custom with the wellborn, whose every step in their progress toward
manhood was publicly announced at a feast given in their honor.  It
is known, however, that he began at an early age to carve out a
position for himself.  It is personal qualities alone that tell
among our people, and the youthful Spotted Tail gained at every
turn.  At the age of seventeen, he had become a sure shot and a
clever hunter; but, above all, he had already shown that he
possessed a superior mind.  He had come into contact with white
people at the various trading posts, and according to his own story
had made a careful study of the white man's habits and modes of
thought, especially of his peculiar trait of economy and intense
desire to accumulate property.  He was accustomed to watch closely
and listen attentively whenever any of this strange race had
dealings with his people.  When a council was held, and the other
young men stood at a distance with their robes over their faces so
as to avoid recognition, Spotted Tail always put himself in a
position to hear all that was said on either side, and weighed all
the arguments in his mind.

When he first went upon the warpath, it appears that he was,
if anything, overzealous to establish himself in the eye of his
people; and as a matter of fact, it was especially hard for him to
gain an assured position among the Brules, with whom he lived, both
because he was an orphan, and because his father had been of
another band.  Yet it was not long before he had achieved his
ambition, though in doing so he received several ugly wounds.  It
was in a battle with the Utes that he first notably served his
people and their cause.

The Utes were the attacking party and far outnumbered the
Sioux on this occasion.  Many of their bravest young men had
fallen, and the Brules were face to face with utter annihilation,
when Spotted Tail, with a handful of daring horsemen, dodged around
the enemy's flank and fell upon them from the rear with so much
spirit that they supposed that strong reinforcements had arrived,
and retreated in confusion.  The Sioux pursued on horseback; and it
was in this pursuit that the noted chief Two Strike gained his
historical name.  But the chief honors of the fight belonged to
Spotted Tail.  The old chiefs, Conquering Bear and the rest,
thanked him and at once made him a war chief.

It had been the firm belief of Spotted Tail that it was unwise
to allow the white man so much freedom in our country, long before
the older chiefs saw any harm in it.  After the opening of the
Oregon Trail he, above all the others, was watchful of the conduct
of the Americans as they journeyed toward the setting sun, and more
than once he remarked in council that these white men were not like
the French and the Spanish, with whom our old chiefs had been used
to deal.  He was not fully satisfied with the agreement with
General Harney; but as a young warrior who had only just gained his
position in the council, he could not force his views upon the
older men.

No sooner had the Oregon Trail been secured from the Sioux
than Fort Laramie and other frontier posts were strengthened, and
the soldiers became more insolent and overbearing than ever.  It
was soon discovered that the whites were prepared to violate most
of the articles of their treaty as the Indians understood it.  At
this time, the presence of many Mormon emigrants on their way to
the settlements in Utah and Wyoming added to the perils of the
situation, as they constantly maneuvered for purposes of their own
to bring about a clash between the soldiers and the Indians.  Every
summer there were storm-clouds blowing between these two -- clouds
usually taking their rise in some affair of the travelers along the

In 1854 an event occurred which has already been described and
which snapped the last link of friendship between the races.

By this time Spotted Tail had proved his courage both abroad
and at home.  He had fought a duel with one of the lesser chiefs,
by whom he was attacked.  He killed his opponent with an arrow, but
himself received upon his head a blow from a battle-axe which
brought him senseless to the ground.  He was left for dead, but 
fortunately revived just as the men were preparing his body for

The Brules sustained him in this quarrel, as he had acted in
self-defense; and for a few years he led them in bloody raids
against the whites along the historic trail.  He ambushed many
stagecoaches and emigrant trains, and was responsible for waylaying
the Kincaid coach with twenty thousand dollars.  This relentless
harrying of travelers soon brought General Harney to the Brule
Sioux to demand explanations and reparation.

The old chiefs of the Brules now appealed to Spotted Tail and
his young warriors not to bring any general calamity upon the
tribe.  To the surprise of all, Spotted Tail declared that he would
give himself up.  He said that he had defended the rights of his
people to the best of his ability, that he had avenged the blood of
their chief, Conquering Bear, and that he was not afraid to accept
the consequences.  He therefore voluntarily surrendered to General
Harney, and two of his lieutenants, Red Leaf and Old Woman,
followed his example.

Thus Spotted Tail played an important part at the very outset
of those events which were soon to overthrow the free life of his
people.  I do not know how far he foresaw what was to follow; but
whether so conceived or not, his surrender was a master stroke,
winning for him not only the admiration of his own people but the
confidence and respect of the military.

Thus suddenly he found himself in prison, a hostage for the
good behavior of his followers.  There were many rumors as to the
punishment reserved for him; but luckily for Spotted Tail, the
promises of General Harney to the Brule chiefs in respect to him
were faithfully kept.  One of his fellow-prisoners committed
suicide, but the other held out bravely for the two-year term of
his imprisonment.  During the second year, it was well understood
that neither of the men sought to escape, and they were given
much freedom.  It was fine schooling for Spotted Tail, that
tireless observer of the ways of the white man!  It is a fact that
his engaging personal qualities won for him kindness and sympathy
at the fort before the time came for his release.

One day some Indian horse thieves of another tribe stampeded
the horses and mules belonging to the garrison.  Spotted Tail asked
permission of the commanding officer to accompany the pursuers. 
That officer, trusting in the honor of a Sioux brave, gave him a
fast horse and a good carbine, and said to him: "I depend upon you
to guide my soldiers so that they may overtake the thieves and
recapture the horses!"

The soldiers recaptured the horses without any loss, but
Spotted Tail still followed the Indians.  When they returned to the
fort without him, everybody agreed that he would never turn up. 
However, next day he did "turn up", with the scalp of one of the

Soon after this he was returned to his own people, who honored
him by making him the successor of the old chief, Conquering Bear,
whose blood he had avenged, for which act he had taken upon himself
the full responsibility.  He had made good use of his two years at
the fort, and completed his studies of civilization to his own
satisfaction.  From this time on he was desirous of reconciling the
Indian and the white man, thoroughly understanding the uselessness
of opposition.  He was accordingly in constant communication with
the military; but the other chiefs did not understand his views and
seem to have been suspicious of his motives.

In 1860-1864 the Southern Cheyennes and Comanches were at war
with the whites, and some of the Brules and Ogallalas, who were
their neighbors and intimates, were suspected of complicity with
the hostiles.  Doubtless a few of their young men may have been
involved; at any rate, Thunder Bear and Two Face, together with a
few others who were roving with the warring tribes, purchased two
captive white women and brought them to Fort Laramie.  It was,
however, reported at the post that these two men had maltreated the
women while under their care.

Of course, the commander demanded of Spotted Tail, then head
chief, that he give up the guilty ones, and accordingly he had the
two men arrested and delivered at the fort.  At this there was an
outcry among his own people; but he argued that if the charges were
true, the men deserved punishment, and if false, they should be
tried and cleared by process of law.  The Indians never quite knew
what evidence was produced at the court-martial, but at all events
the two men were hanged, and as they had many influential
connections, their relatives lost no time in fomenting trouble. 
The Sioux were then camping close by the fort and it was midwinter,
which facts held them in check for a month or two; but as soon as
spring came, they removed their camp across the river and rose in
rebellion.  A pitched battle was fought, in which the soldiers got
the worst of it.  Even the associate chief, Big Mouth, was against
Spotted Tail, who was practically forced against his will and
judgment to take up arms once more.

At this juncture came the sudden and bloody uprising in the
east among the Minnesota Sioux, and Sitting Bull's campaign in the
north had begun in earnest; while to the south the Southern
Cheyennes, Comanches, and Kiowas were all upon the warpath. 
Spotted Tail at about this time seems to have conceived the idea of
uniting all the Rocky Mountain Indians in a great confederacy.  He
once said: "Our cause is as a child's cause, in comparison with the
power of the white man, unless we can stop quarreling among
ourselves and unite our energies for the common good."  But old-
time antagonisms were too strong; and he was probably held back
also by his consciousness of the fact that the Indians called him
"the white man's friend", while the military still had some faith
in him which he did not care to lose.  He was undoubtedly one of
the brainiest and most brilliant Sioux who ever lived; and while he
could not help being to a large extent in sympathy with the feeling
of his race against the invader, yet he alone foresaw the
inevitable outcome, and the problem as it presented itself to him
was simply this: "What is the best policy to pursue in the existing

Here is his speech as it has been given to me, delivered at
the great council on the Powder River, just before the attack on
Fort Phil Kearny.  We can imagine that he threw all his wonderful
tact and personal magnetism into this last effort at conciliation.

"'Hay, hay, hay!  Alas, alas!'  Thus speaks the old man, when
he knows that his former vigor and freedom is gone from him
forever.  So we may exclaim to-day, Alas!  There is a time
appointed to all things.  Think for a moment how many multitudes of
the animal tribes we ourselves have destroyed!  Look upon the snow
that appears to-day -- to-morrow it is water!  Listen to the dirge
of the dry leaves, that were green and vigorous but a few moons
before!  We are a part of this life and it seems that our time is

"Yet note how the decay of one nation invigorates another. 
This strange white man -- consider him, his gifts are manifold! 
His tireless brain, his busy hand do wonders for his race.  Those
things which we despise he holds as treasures; yet he is so great
and so flourishing that there must be some virtue and truth in his
philosophy.  I wish to say to you, my friends: Be not moved alone
by heated arguments and thoughts of revenge!  These are for the
young.  We are young no longer; let us think well, and give counsel
as old men!"

These words were greeted with an ominous silence.  Not even
the customary "How!" of assent followed the speech, and Sitting
Bull immediately got up and replied in the celebrated harangue
which will be introduced under his own name in another chapter. 
The situation was critical for Spotted Tail -- the only man present
to advocate submission to the stronger race whose ultimate
supremacy he recognized as certain.  The decision to attack Fort
Phil Kearny was unanimous without him, and in order to hold his
position among his tribesmen he joined in the charge.  Several
bullets passed through his war bonnet, and he was slightly wounded.

When the commission of 1867-1868 was sent out to negotiate
with the Sioux, Spotted Tail was ready to meet them, and eager to
obtain for his people the very best terms that he could.  He often
puzzled and embarrassed them by his remarkable speeches, the
pointed questions that he put, and his telling allusions to former
negotiations.  Meanwhile Red Cloud would not come into the council
until after several deputations of Indians had been sent to him,
and Sitting Bull did not come at all.

The famous treaty was signed, and from this time on Spotted
Tail never again took up arms against the whites.  On the contrary,
it was mainly attributed to his influence that the hostiles were
subdued much sooner than might have been expected.  He came into
the reservation with his band, urged his young men to enlist as
government scouts, and assisted materially in all negotiations. 
The hostile chiefs no longer influenced his action, and as soon as
they had all been brought under military control, General Crook
named Spotted Tail head chief of the Sioux, thus humiliating Red
Cloud and arousing jealousy and ill-feeling among the Ogallalas. 
In order to avoid trouble, he prudently separated himself from the
other bands, and moved to the new agency on Beaver Creek (Fort
Sheridan, Nebraska), which was called "Spotted Tail Agency."

Just before the daring war leader, Crazy Horse, surrendered to
the military, he went down to the agency and roundly rebuked
Spotted Tail for signing away the freedom of his people.  From the
point of view of the irreconcilables, the diplomatic chief was a
"trimmer" and a traitor; and many of the Sioux have tried to
implicate him in the conspiracy against Crazy Horse which led to
his assassination, but I hold that the facts do not bear out this

The name of Spotted Tail was prominently before the people
during the rest of his life.  An obscure orphan, he had achieved
distinction by his bravery and sagacity; but he copied the white
politician too closely after he entered the reservation.  He became
a good manipulator, and was made conceited and overbearing by the
attentions of the military and of the general public.  Furthermore,
there was an old feud in his immediate band which affected him
closely.  Against him for many years were the followers of Big
Mouth, whom he had killed in a duel; and also a party led by a son
and a nephew of the old chief, Conquering Bear, whom Spotted Tail
had succeeded at his death.  These two men had hoped that one or
the other of them might obtain the succession.

Crow Dog, the nephew of Conquering Bear, more than once
taunted Spotted Tail with the fact that he was chief not by the
will of the tribe, but by the help of the white soldiers, and told
him that he would "keep a bullet for him" in case he ever disgraced
his high position.  Thus retribution lay in wait for him while at
the height of his fame.  Several high-handed actions of his at this
time, including his elopement with another man's wife, increased
his unpopularity with a large element of his own tribe.  On the eve
of the chief's departure for Washington, to negotiate (or so they
suspected) for the sale of more of their land, Crow Dog took up his
gun and fulfilled his threat, regarding himself, and regarded by
his supporters, not as a murderer, but as an executioner.

Such was the end of the man who may justly be called the
Pontiac of the west.  He possessed a remarkable mind and
extraordinary foresight for an untutored savage; and yet he is the
only one of our great men to be remembered with more honor by the
white man, perhaps, than by his own people.


Chief Little Crow was the eldest son of Cetanwakuwa (Charging
Hawk).  It was on account of his father's name, mistranslated Crow,
that he was called by the whites "Little Crow."  His real name was
Taoyateduta, His Red People.

As far back as Minnesota history goes, a band of the Sioux
called Kaposia (Light Weight, because they were said to travel
light) inhabited the Mille Lacs region.  Later they dwelt about St.
Croix Falls, and still later near St. Paul.  In 1840, Cetanwakuwa
was still living in what is now West St. Paul, but he was soon
after killed by the accidental discharge of his gun.

It was during a period of demoralization for the Kaposias that
Little Crow became the leader of his people.  His father, a
well-known chief, had three wives, all from different bands of the
Sioux.  He was the only son of the first wife, a Leaf Dweller. 
There were two sons of the second and two of the third wife, and
the second set of brothers conspired to kill their half-brother in
order to keep the chieftainship in the family.

Two kegs of whisky were bought, and all the men of the tribe
invited to a feast.  It was planned to pick some sort of quarrel
when all were drunk, and in the confusion Little Crow was to be
murdered.  The plot went smoothly until the last instant, when a
young brave saved the intended victim by knocking the gun aside
with his hatchet, so that the shot went wild.  However, it broke
his right arm, which remained crooked all his life.  The friends of
the young chieftain hastily withdrew, avoiding a general fight; and
later the council of the Kaposias condemned the two brothers, both
of whom were executed, leaving him in undisputed possession.

Such was the opening of a stormy career.  Little Crow's mother
had been a chief's daughter, celebrated for her beauty and spirit,
and it is said that she used to plunge him into the lake through a
hole in the ice, rubbing him afterward with snow, to strengthen his
nerves, and that she would remain with him alone in the deep woods
for days at a time, so that he might know that solitude is good,
and not fear to be alone with nature.

"My son," she would say, "if you are to be a leader of men,
you must listen in silence to the mystery, the spirit."

At a very early age she made a feast for her boy and announced
that he would fast two days.  This is what might be called a formal
presentation to the spirit or God.  She greatly desired him to
become a worthy leader according to the ideas of her people.  It
appears that she left her husband when he took a second wife, and
lived with her own band till her death.  She did not marry again.

Little Crow was an intensely ambitious man and without
physical fear.  He was always in perfect training and early
acquired the art of warfare of the Indian type.  It is told of him
that when he was about ten years old, he engaged with other boys in
a sham battle on the shore of a lake near St. Paul.  Both sides
were encamped at a little distance from one another, and the rule
was that the enemy must be surprised, otherwise the attack would be
considered a failure.  One must come within so many paces
undiscovered in order to be counted successful.  Our hero had a
favorite dog which, at his earnest request, was allowed to take
part in the game, and as a scout he entered the enemy camp unseen,
by the help of his dog.

When he was twelve, he saved the life of a companion who had
broken through the ice by tying the end of a pack line to a log,
then at great risk to himself carrying it to the edge of the hole
where his comrade went down.  It is said that he also broke in, but
both boys saved themselves by means of the line.

As a young man, Little Crow was always ready to serve his
people as a messenger to other tribes, a duty involving much danger
and hardship.  He was also known as one of the best hunters in his
band.  Although still young, he had already a war record when he
became chief of the Kaposias, at a time when the Sioux were facing
the greatest and most far-reaching changes that had ever come to

At this juncture in the history of the northwest and its
native inhabitants, the various fur companies had paramount
influence.  They did not hesitate to impress the Indians with the
idea that they were the authorized representatives of the white
races or peoples, and they were quick to realize the desirability
of controlling the natives through their most influential chiefs. 
Little Crow became quite popular with post traders and factors.  He
was an orator as well as a diplomat, and one of the first of his 
nation to indulge in politics and promote unstable schemes to the
detriment of his people.

When the United States Government went into the business of
acquiring territory from the Indians so that the flood of western
settlement might not be checked, commissions were sent out to
negotiate treaties, and in case of failure it often happened that
a delegation of leading men of the tribe were invited to
Washington.  At that period, these visiting chiefs, attired in all
the splendor of their costumes of ceremony, were treated like
ambassadors from foreign countries.

One winter in the late eighteen-fifties, a major general of
the army gave a dinner to the Indian chiefs then in the city, and
on this occasion Little Crow was appointed toastmaster.  There were
present a number of Senators and members of Congress, as well as
judges of the Supreme Court, cabinet officers, and other
distinguished citizens.  When all the guests were seated, the Sioux
arose and addressed them with much dignity as follows:

"Warriors and friends: I am informed that the great white war
chief who of his generosity and comradeship has given us this
feast, has expressed the wish that we may follow to-night the
usages and customs of my people.  In other words, this is a
warriors' feast, a braves' meal.  I call upon the Ojibway chief,
the Hole-in-the-Day, to give the lone wolf's hunger call, after
which we will join him in our usual manner."

The tall and handsome Ojibway now rose and straightened his
superb form to utter one of the clearest and longest wolf howls
that was ever heard in Washington, and at its close came a
tremendous burst of war whoops that fairly rent the air, and no
doubt electrified the officials there present.

On one occasion Little Crow was invited by the commander of
Fort Ridgeley, Minnesota, to call at the fort.  On his way back,
in company with a half-breed named Ross and the interpreter
Mitchell, he was ambushed by a party of Ojibways, and again
wounded in the same arm that had been broken in his attempted
assassination.  His companion Ross was killed, but he managed
to hold the war party at bay until help came and thus saved his

More and more as time passed, this naturally brave and
ambitious man became a prey to the selfish interests of the traders
and politicians.  The immediate causes of the Sioux outbreak of
1862 came in quick succession to inflame to desperate action an
outraged people.  The two bands on the so-called "lower
reservations" in Minnesota were Indians for whom nature had
provided most abundantly in their free existence.  After one
hundred and fifty years of friendly intercourse first with the
French, then the English, and finally the Americans, they found
themselves cut off from every natural resource, on a tract of land
twenty miles by thirty, which to them was virtual imprisonment.  By
treaty stipulation with the government, they were to be fed and
clothed, houses were to be built for them, the men taught
agriculture, and schools provided for the children.  In addition to
this, a trust fund of a million and a half was to be set aside for
them, at five per cent interest, the interest to be paid annually
per capita.  They had signed the treaty under pressure, believing
in these promises on the faith of a great nation.

However, on entering the new life, the resources so rosily
described to them failed to materialize.  Many families faced
starvation every winter, their only support the store of the Indian
trader, who was baiting his trap for their destruction.  Very
gradually they awoke to the facts.  At last it was planned to
secure from them the north half of their reservation for
ninety-eight thousand dollars, but it was not explained to the
Indians that the traders were to receive all the money.  Little
Crow made the greatest mistake of his life when he signed this

Meanwhile, to make matters worse, the cash annuities were not
paid for nearly two years.  Civil War had begun.  When it was
learned that the traders had taken all of the ninety-eight thousand
dollars "on account", there was very bitter feeling.  In fact, the
heads of the leading stores were afraid to go about as usual, and
most of them stayed in St. Paul.  Little Crow was justly held in
part responsible for the deceit, and his life was not safe.

The murder of a white family near Acton, Minnesota, by a party
of Indian duck hunters in August, 1862, precipitated the break. 
Messengers were sent to every village with the news, and at the
villages of Little Crow and Little Six the war council was red-hot. 
It was proposed to take advantage of the fact that north and south
were at war to wipe out the white settlers and to regain their
freedom.  A few men stood out against such a desperate step, but
the conflagration had gone beyond their control.

There were many mixed bloods among these Sioux, and some of
the Indians held that these were accomplices of the white people in
robbing them of their possessions, therefore their lives should not
be spared.  My father, Many Lightnings, who was practically the
leader of the Mankato band (for Mankato, the chief, was a weak
man), fought desperately for the lives of the half-breeds and the
missionaries.  The chiefs had great confidence in my father, yet
they would not commit themselves, since their braves were clamoring
for blood.  Little Crow had been accused of all the misfortunes of
his tribe, and he now hoped by leading them against the whites to
regain his prestige with his people, and a part at least of their
lost domain.

There were moments when the pacifists were in grave peril.  It
was almost daybreak when my father saw that the approaching
calamity could not be prevented.  He and two others said to Little
Crow: "If you want war, you must personally lead your men
to-morrow.  We will not murder women and children, but we will
fight the soldiers when they come."  They then left the council and
hastened to warn my brother-in-law, Faribault, and others who were
in danger.

Little Crow declared he would be seen in the front of every
battle, and it is true that he was foremost in all the succeeding
bloodshed, urging his warriors to spare none.  He ordered his war
leader, Many Hail, to fire the first shot, killing the trader James
Lynd, in the door of his store.

After a year of fighting in which he had met with defeat, the
discredited chief retreated to Fort Garry, now Winnipeg, Manitoba,
where, together with Standing Buffalo, he undertook secret
negotiations with his old friends the Indian traders.  There was
now a price upon his head, but he planned to reach St. Paul
undetected and there surrender himself to his friends, who he hoped
would protect him in return for past favors.  It is true that he
had helped them to secure perhaps the finest country held by any
Indian nation for a mere song.

He left Canada with a few trusted friends, including his
youngest and favorite son.  When within two or three days' journey
of St. Paul, he told the others to return, keeping with him only
his son, Wowinape, who was but fifteen years of age.  He meant to
steal into the city by night and go straight to Governor Ramsey,
who was his personal friend.  He was very hungry and was obliged to
keep to the shelter of the deep woods.  The next morning, as he was
picking and eating wild raspberries, he was seen by a wood-chopper
named Lamson.  The man did not know who he was.  He only knew that
he was an Indian, and that was enough for him, so he lifted his
rifle to his shoulder and fired, then ran at his best pace.  The
brilliant but misguided chief, who had made that part of the
country unsafe for any white man to live in, sank to the ground and
died without a struggle.  The boy took his father's gun and made
some effort to find the assassin, but as he did not even know in
which direction to look for him, he soon gave up the attempt and
went back to his friends.

Meanwhile Lamson reached home breathless and made his report. 
The body of the chief was found and identified, in part by the
twice broken arm, and this arm and his scalp may be seen to-day in
the collection of the Minnesota Historical Society.


There was once a Sioux brave who declared that he would die young,
yet not by his own hand.  Tamahay was of heroic proportions,
herculean in strength, a superb runner; in fact, he had all the
physical qualities of an athlete or a typical Indian.  In his
scanty dress, he was beautiful as an antique statue in living
bronze.  When a mere youth, seventeen years of age, he met with an
accident which determined his career.  It was the loss of an eye,
a fatal injury to the sensitive and high-spirited Indian.  He
announced his purpose in these words:

"The 'Great Mystery' has decreed that I must be disgraced. 
There will be no pleasure for me now, and I shall be ridiculed
even by my enemies.  It will be well for me to enter soon into
Paradise, for I shall be happy in spending my youth there.  But
I will sell my life dearly.  Hereafter my name shall be spoken in
the traditions of our race."  With this speech Tamahay began his

He now sought glory and defied danger with even more than the
ordinary Indian recklessness.  He accepted a personal friend, which
was a custom among the Sioux, where each man chose a companion for
life and death.  The tie was stronger than one of blood
relationship, a friendship sealed by solemn vow and covenant. 
Tamahay's intimate was fortunately almost his equal in physical
powers, and the pair became the terror of neighboring tribes, with
whom the Dakotas were continually at war.  They made frequent raids
upon their enemies and were usually successful, although not
without thrilling experiences and almost miraculous escapes.

Upon one of these occasions the two friends went north into
the country of the Ojibways.  After many days' journey, they
discovered a small village of the foe.  The wicked Tamahay proposed
to his associate that they should arrange their toilets after the
fashion of the Ojibways, and go among them; "and perhaps," he
added, "we will indulge in a little flirtation with their pretty
maids, and when we have had enough of the fun we can take the scalp
of a brave or two and retreat!"  His friend construed his daring
proposition to be a test of courage, which it would not become him,
as a brave, to decline; therefore he assented with a show of

The handsome strangers were well received by the Ojibway
girls, but their perilous amusement was brought to an untimely
close.  A young maiden prematurely discovered their true
characters, and her cry of alarm brought instantly to her side a
jealous youth, who had been watching them from his place of
concealment.  With him Tamahay had a single-handed contest, and
before a general alarm was given he had dispatched the foe and fled
with his scalp.

The unfortunate brave had been a favorite and a leader among
the tribe; therefore the maddened Ojibways were soon in hot
pursuit.  The Sioux braves were fine runners, yet they were finally
driven out upon the peninsula of a lake.  As they became separated
in their retreat, Tamahay shouted, "I'll meet you at the mouth of
the St. Croix River, or in the spirit land!"  Both managed to swim
the lake, and so made good their escape.

The exploits of this man were not all of a warlike nature.  He
was a great traveler and an expert scout, and he had some wonderful
experiences with wild animals.  He was once sent, with his intimate
friend, on a scout for game.  They were on ponies.

They located a herd of buffaloes, and on their return to the
camp espied a lonely buffalo.  Tamahay suggested that they should
chase it in order to take some fresh meat, as the law of the tribe
allowed in the case of a single animal.  His pony stumbled and
threw him, after they had wounded the bison, and the latter
attacked the dismounted man viciously.  But he, as usual, was on
the alert.  He "took the bull by the horns", as the saying is, and
cleverly straddled him on the neck.  The buffalo had no means of
harming his enemy, but pawed the earth and struggled until his
strength was exhausted, when the Indian used his knife on the
animal's throat.  On account of this feat he received the name

The origin of his name "Tamahay" is related as follows.  When
he was a young man he accompanied the chief Wabashaw to Mackinaw,
Michigan, together with some other warriors.  He was out with his
friend one day, viewing the wonderful sights in the "white man's
country", when they came upon a sow with her numerous pink little
progeny.  He was greatly amused and picked up one of the young
pigs, but as soon as it squealed the mother ran furiously after
them.  He kept the pig and fled with it, still laughing; but his
friend was soon compelled to run up the conveniently inclined trunk
of a fallen tree, while our hero reached the shore of a lake near
by, and plunged into the water.  He swam and dived as long as he
could, but the beast continued to threaten him with her sharp
teeth, till, almost exhausted, he swam again to shore, where his
friend came up and dispatched the vicious animal with a club.  On
account of this watery adventure he was at once called Tamahay,
meaning Pike.  He earned many other names, but preferred this one,
because it was the name borne by a great friend of his, Lieutenant
Pike, the first officer of the United States Army who came to
Minnesota for the purpose of exploring the sources of the
Mississippi River and of making peace with the natives.  Tamahay
assisted this officer in obtaining land from the Sioux upon which
to build Fort Snelling.  He appears in history under the name of
"Tahamie" or the "One-Eyed Sioux."

Always ready to brave danger and unpopularity, Tamahay was the
only Sioux who sided with the United States in her struggle with
Great Britain in 1819.  For having espoused the cause of the
Americans, he was ill-treated by the British officers and free
traders, who for a long time controlled the northwest, even after
peace had been effected between the two nations.  At one time he
was confined in a fort called McKay, where now stands the town of
Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin.  He had just returned from St. Louis,
and was suspected of exciting his people to rebel against British
subjects.  His life was even threatened, but to this Tamahay merely
replied that he was ready to die.  A few months later, this fort
was restored to the United States, and upon leaving it the British
set the buildings on fire, though the United States flag floated
above them.  Some Indians who were present shouted to Tamahay,
"Your friends', the Americans', fort is on fire!"  He responded
with a war whoop, rushed into the blazing fort, and brought out the
flag.  For this brave act he was rewarded with a present of a flag
and medal.  He was never tired of displaying this medal and his
recommendation papers, and even preserved to the end of his life an
old colonial stovepipe hat, which he wore upon state occasions.

The Sioux long referred to the president of the United States
as "Tamahay's father."

The following story is told of him in his later days.  He
attempted one day to cross the first bridge over the Mississippi
River, but was not recognized by the sentinel, who would not allow
him to pass until he paid the toll.  Tamahay, who was a privileged
character, explained as best he could, with gestures and broken
English, that he was always permitted to pass free; but as the
sentinel still refused, and even threatened him with his bayonet,
the old Indian silently seized the musket, threw it down into the
waters of the Mississippi and went home.  Later in the day a
company of soldiers appeared in the Indian village, and escorted
our hero to a sort of court-martial at the fort.  When he was
questioned by the Colonel, he simply replied: "If you were
threatened by any one with a weapon, you would, in self-defense,
either disable the man or get rid of the weapon.  I did the latter,
thinking that you would need the man more than the gun."

Finally the officer said to them, "I see you are both partly
wrong.  Some one must be responsible for the loss of the gun;
therefore, you two will wrestle, and the man who is downed must
dive for the weapon to the bottom of the river."

Scarcely was this speech ended when Tamahay was upon the
soldier, who was surprised both by the order and by the unexpected
readiness of the wily old Indian, so that he was not prepared, and
the Sioux had the vantage hold.  In a moment the bluecoat was down,
amid shouts and peals of laughter from his comrades.  Having thrown
his man, the other turned and went home without a word.

Sad to say, he acquired a great appetite for "minne-wakan", or
"mysterious water", as the Sioux call it, which proved a source of
trouble to him in his old age.  It is told of him that he was
treated one winter's day to a drink of whisky in a trader's store. 
He afterwards went home; but even the severe blizzard which soon
arose did not prevent him from returning in the night to the
friendly trader.  He awoke that worthy from sleep about twelve
o'clock by singing his death dirge upon the roof of the log cabin. 
In another moment he had jumped down the mud chimney, and into the
blazing embers of a fire.  The trader had to pour out to him some
whisky in a tin pail, after which he begged the old man to "be good
and go home."  On the eve of the so-called "Minnesota Massacre" by
the Sioux in 1862, Tamahay, although he was then very old and had
almost lost the use of his remaining eye, made a famous speech at
the meeting of the conspirators.  These are some of his words, as
reported to me by persons who were present.

"What!  What! is this Little Crow?  Is that Little Six?  You,
too, White Dog, are you here?  I cannot see well now, but I can see
with my mind's eye the stream of blood you are about to pour upon
the bosom of this mother of ours" (meaning the earth).  "I stand
before you on three legs, but the third leg has brought me wisdom"
[referring to the staff with which he sup- ported himself].  "I
have traveled much, I have visited among the people whom you think
to defy.  This means the total surrender of our beautiful land, the
land of a thousand lakes and streams.  Methinks you are about to
commit an act like that of the porcupine, who climbs a tree,
balances himself upon a springy bough, and then gnaws off the very
bough upon which he is sitting; hence, when it gives way, he falls
upon the sharp rocks below.  Behold the great Pontiac, whose grave
I saw near St. Louis; he was murdered while an exile from his
country!  Think of the brave Black Hawk!  Methinks his spirit is
still wailing through Wisconsin and Illinois for his lost people! 
I do not say you have no cause to complain, but to resist is
self-destruction.  I am done."

It is supposed that this speech was his last, and it was made,
though vainly, in defense of the Americans whom he had loved.  He
died at Fort Pierre, South Dakota, in 1864.  His people say that he
died a natural death, of old age.  And yet his exploits are not
forgotten.  Thus lived and departed a most active and fearless
Sioux, Tamahay, who desired to die young!


Chief Gall was one of the most aggressive leaders of the Sioux
nation in their last stand for freedom.

The westward pressure of civilization during the past three
centuries has been tremendous.  When our hemisphere was
"discovered", it had been inhabited by the natives for untold ages,
but it was held undiscovered because the original owners did not
chart or advertise it.  Yet some of them at least had developed
ideals of life which included real liberty and equality to all men,
and they did not recognize individual ownership in land or other
property beyond actual necessity.  It was a soul development
leading to essential manhood.  Under this system they brought forth
some striking characters.

Gall was considered by both Indians and whites to be a most
impressive type of physical manhood.  From his picture you can
judge of this for yourself.

Let us follow his trail.  He was no tenderfoot.  He never
asked a soft place for himself.  He always played the game
according to the rules and to a finish.  To be sure, like every
other man, he made some mistakes, but he was an Indian and never
acted the coward.

The earliest stories told of his life and doings indicate the
spirit of the man in that of the boy.

When he was only about three years old, the Blackfoot band of
Sioux were on their usual roving hunt, following the buffalo while
living their natural happy life upon the wonderful wide prairies of
the Dakotas.

It was the way of every Sioux mother to adjust her household
effects on such dogs and pack ponies as she could muster from day
to day, often lending one or two to accommodate some other woman
whose horse or dog had died, or perhaps had been among those
stampeded and carried away by a raiding band of Crow warriors.  On
this particular occasion, the mother of our young Sioux brave,
Matohinshda, or Bear-Shedding-His-Hair (Gall's childhood name),
intrusted her boy to an old Eskimo pack dog, experienced and
reliable, except perhaps when unduly excited or very thirsty.

On the day of removing camp the caravan made its morning march
up the Powder River.  Upon the wide table-land the women were
busily digging teepsinna (an edible sweetish root, much used by
them) as the moving village slowly progressed.  As usual at such
times, the trail was wide.  An old jack rabbit had waited too long
in hiding.  Now, finding himself almost surrounded by the mighty
plains people, he sprang up suddenly, his feathery ears
conspicuously erect, a dangerous challenge to the dogs and the

A whoop went up.  Every dog accepted the challenge.  Forgotten
were the bundles, the kits, even the babies they were drawing or
carrying.  The chase was on, and the screams of the women reechoed
from the opposite cliffs of the Powder, mingled with the yelps of
dogs and the neighing of horses.  The hand of every man was against
the daring warrior, the lone Jack, and the confusion was great.

When the fleeing one cleared the mass of his enemies, he
emerged with a swiftness that commanded respect and gave promise
of a determined chase.  Behind him, his pursuers stretched out in
a thin line, first the speedy, unburdened dogs and then the travois
dogs headed by the old Eskimo with his precious freight.  The
youthful Gall was in a travois, a basket mounted on trailing poles
and harnessed to the sides of the animal.

"Hey! hey! they are gaining on him!" a warrior shouted.  At
this juncture two of the canines had almost nabbed their furry prey
by the back.  But he was too cunning for them.  He dropped
instantly and sent both dogs over his head, rolling and spinning,
then made another flight at right angles to the first.  This gave
the Eskimo a chance to cut the triangle.  He gained fifty yards,
but being heavily handicapped, two unladen dogs passed him.  The
same trick was repeated by the Jack, and this time he saved himself
from instant death by a double loop and was now running directly
toward the crowd, followed by a dozen or more dogs.  He was losing
speed, but likewise his pursuers were dropping off steadily.  Only
the sturdy Eskimo dog held to his even gait, and behind him in the
frail travois leaned forward the little Matohinshda, nude save a
breech clout, his left hand holding fast the convenient tail of his
dog, the right grasping firmly one of the poles of the travois. 
His black eyes were bulging almost out of their sockets; his long
hair flowed out behind like a stream of dark water.

The Jack now ran directly toward the howling spectators, but
his marvelous speed and alertness were on the wane; while on the
other hand his foremost pursuer, who had taken part in hundreds of
similar events, had every confidence in his own endurance.  Each
leap brought him nearer, fiercer and more determined.  The last
effort of the Jack was to lose himself in the crowd, like a fish in
muddy water; but the big dog made the one needed leap with unerring
aim and his teeth flashed as he caught the rabbit in viselike jaws
and held him limp in air, a victor!

The people rushed up to him as he laid the victim down, and
foremost among them was the frantic mother of Matohinshda, or Gall. 
"Michinkshe! michinkshe!" (My son! my son!) she screamed as she
drew near.  The boy seemed to be none the worse for his experience. 
"Mother!" he cried, "my dog is brave: he got the rabbit!"  She
snatched him off the travois, but he struggled out of her arms to
look upon his dog lovingly and admiringly.  Old men and boys
crowded about the hero of the day, the dog, and the thoughtful
grandmother of Matohinshda unharnessed him and poured some water
from a parfleche water bag into a basin.  "Here, my grandson, give
your friend something to drink."

"How, hechetu," pronounced an old warrior no longer in active
service.  "This may be only an accident, an ordinary affair; but
such things sometimes indicate a career.  The boy has had a
wonderful ride.  I prophesy that he will one day hold the attention
of all the people with his doings."

This is the first remembered story of the famous chief, but
other boyish exploits foretold the man he was destined to be.  He
fought many sham battles, some successful and others not; but he
was always a fierce fighter and a good loser.

Once he was engaged in a battle with snowballs.  There were
probably nearly a hundred boys on each side, and the rule was that
every fair hit made the receiver officially dead.  He must not
participate further, but must remain just where he was struck.

Gall's side was fast losing, and the battle was growing hotter
every minute when the youthful warrior worked toward an old water
hole and took up his position there.  His side was soon annihilated
and there were eleven men left to fight him.  He was pressed close
in the wash-out, and as he dodged under cover before a volley of
snowballs, there suddenly emerged in his stead a huge gray wolf. 
His opponents fled in every direction in superstitious terror, for
they thought he had been transformed into the animal.  To their
astonishment he came out on the farther side and ran to the line of
safety, a winner!

It happened that the wolf's den had been partly covered with
snow so that no one had noticed it until the yells of the boys
aroused the inmate, and he beat a hasty retreat.  The boys always
looked upon this incident as an omen.

Gall had an amiable disposition but was quick to resent insult
or injustice.  This sometimes involved him in difficulties, but he
seldom fought without good cause and was popular with his
associates.  One of his characteristics was his ability to
organize, and this was a large factor in his leadership when he
became a man.  He was tried in many ways, and never was known to
hesitate when it was a question of physical courage and endurance. 
He entered the public service early in life, but not until he had
proved himself competent and passed all tests.

When a mere boy, he was once scouting for game in midwinter,
far from camp, and was overtaken by a three days' blizzard.  He was
forced to abandon his horse and lie under the snow for that length
of time.  He afterward said he was not particularly hungry; it was
thirst and stiffness from which he suffered most.  One reason the
Indian so loved his horse or dog was that at such times the animal
would stay by him like a brother.  On this occasion Gall's pony was
not more than a stone's throw away when the storm subsided and the
sun shone.  There was a herd of buffalo in plain sight, and the
young hunter was not long in procuring a meal.

This chief's contemporaries still recall his wrestling match
with the equally powerful Cheyenne boy, Roman Nose, who afterward
became a chief well known to American history.  It was a custom of
the northwestern Indians, when two friendly tribes camped together,
to establish the physical and athletic supremacy of the youth of
the respective camps.

The "Che-hoo-hoo" is a wrestling game in which there may be
any number on a side, but the numbers are equal.  All the boys of
each camp are called together by a leader chosen for the purpose
and draw themselves up in line of battle; then each at a given
signal attacks his opponent.

In this memorable contest, Matohinshda, or Gall, was placed
opposite Roman Nose.  The whole people turned out as spectators of
the struggle, and the battlefield was a plateau between the two
camps, in the midst of picturesque Bad Lands.  There were many
athletic youths present, but these two were really the Apollos of
the two tribes.

In this kind of sport it is not allowed to strike with the
hand, nor catch around the neck, nor kick, nor pull by the hair.  
One may break away and run a few yards to get a fresh start, or
clinch, or catch as catch can.  When a boy is thrown and held to
the ground, he is counted out.  If a boy has met his superior, he
may drop to the ground to escape rough handling, but it is very
seldom one gives up without a full trial of strength.

It seemed almost like a real battle, so great was the
enthusiasm, as the shouts of sympathizers on both sides went up in
a mighty chorus.  At last all were either conquerors or subdued
except Gall and Roman Nose.  The pair seemed equally matched.  Both
were stripped to the breech clout, now tugging like two young
buffalo or elk in mating time, again writhing and twisting like
serpents.  At times they fought like two wild stallions, straining
every muscle of arms, legs, and back in the struggle.  Every now
and then one was lifted off his feet for a moment, but came down
planted like a tree, and after swaying to and fro soon became rigid

All eyes were upon the champions.  Finally, either by trick or
main force, Gall laid the other sprawling upon the ground and held
him fast for a minute, then released him and stood erect, panting,
a master youth.  Shout after shout went up on the Sioux side of the
camp.  The mother of Roman Nose came forward and threw a superbly
worked buffalo robe over Gall, whose mother returned the compliment
by covering the young Cheyenne with a handsome blanket.

Undoubtedly these early contests had their influence upon our
hero's career.  It was his habit to appear most opportunely in a
crisis, and in a striking and dramatic manner to take command of
the situation.  The best known example of this is his entrance on
the scene of confusion when Reno surprised the Sioux on the Little
Big Horn.  Many of the excitable youths, almost unarmed, rushed
madly and blindly to meet the intruder, and the scene might have
unnerved even an experienced warrior.  It was Gall, with not a
garment upon his superb body, who on his black charger dashed ahead
of the boys and faced them.  He stopped them on the dry creek,
while the bullets of Reno's men whistled about their ears.

"Hold hard, men!  Steady, we are not ready yet!  Wait for more
guns, more horses, and the day is yours!"

They obeyed, and in a few minutes the signal to charge was
given, and Reno retreated pell mell before the onset of the Sioux.

Sitting Bull had confidence in his men so long as Gall planned
and directed the attack, whether against United States soldiers or
the warriors of another tribe.  He was a strategist, and able in a
twinkling to note and seize upon an advantage.  He was really the
mainstay of Sitting Bull's effective last stand.  He consistently
upheld his people's right to their buffalo plains and believed that
they should hold the government strictly to its agreements with
them.  When the treaty of 1868 was disregarded, he agreed with
Sitting Bull in defending the last of their once vast domain, and
after the Custer battle entered Canada with his chief.  They hoped
to bring their lost cause before the English government and were
much disappointed when they were asked to return to the United

Gall finally reported at Fort Peck, Montana, in 1881, and
brought half of the Hunkpapa band with him, whereupon he was soon
followed by Sitting Bull himself.  Although they had been promised
by the United States commission who went to Canada to treat with
them that they would not be punished if they returned, no sooner
had Gall come down than a part of his people were attacked, and in
the spring they were all brought to Fort Randall and held as
military prisoners.  From this point they were returned to Standing
Rock agency.

When "Buffalo Bill" successfully launched his first show, he
made every effort to secure both Sitting Bull and Gall for his
leading attractions.  The military was in complete accord with him
in this, for they still had grave suspicions of these two leaders. 
While Sitting Bull reluctantly agreed, Gall haughtily said: "I am
not an animal to be exhibited before the crowd," and retired to his
teepee.  His spirit was much worn, and he lost strength from that
time on.  That superb manhood dwindled, and in a few years he died. 
He was a real hero of a free and natural people, a type that is
never to be seen again.


Crazy Horse was born on the Republican River about 1845.  He was
killed at Fort Robinson, Nebraska, in 1877, so that he lived barely
thirty-three years.

He was an uncommonly handsome man.  While not the equal of
Gall in magnificence and imposing stature, he was physically
perfect, an Apollo in symmetry.  Furthermore he was a true type of
Indian refinement and grace.  He was modest and courteous as Chief
Joseph; the difference is that he was a born warrior, while Joseph
was not.  However, he was a gentle warrior, a true brave, who stood
for the highest ideal of the Sioux.  Notwithstanding all that
biased historians have said of him, it is only fair to judge a man
by the estimate of his own people rather than that of his enemies.

The boyhood of Crazy Horse was passed in the days when the
western Sioux saw a white man but seldom, and then it was usually
a trader or a soldier.  He was carefully brought up according to
the tribal customs.  At that period the Sioux prided themselves on
the training and development of their sons and daughters, and not
a step in that development was overlooked as an excuse to bring the
child before the public by giving a feast in its honor.  At such
times the parents often gave so generously to the needy that they
almost impoverished themselves, thus setting an example to the
child of self-denial for the general good.  His first step alone,
the first word spoken, first game killed, the attainment of manhood
or womanhood, each was the occasion of a feast and dance in his
honor, at which the poor always benefited to the full extent of the
parents' ability.

Big-heartedness, generosity, courage, and self-denial are the
qualifications of a public servant, and the average Indian was keen
to follow this ideal.  As every one knows, these characteristic
traits become a weakness when he enters a life founded upon
commerce and gain.  Under such conditions the life of Crazy Horse
began.  His mother, like other mothers, tender and watchful of her
boy, would never once place an obstacle in the way of his father's
severe physical training.  They laid the spiritual and patriotic
foundations of his education in such a way that he early became
conscious of the demands of public service.

He was perhaps four or five years old when the band was snowed
in one severe winter.  They were very short of food, but his father
was a tireless hunter.  The buffalo, their main dependence, were
not to be found, but he was out in the storm and cold every day and
finally brought in two antelopes.  The little boy got on his pet
pony and rode through the camp, telling the old folks to come to
his mother's teepee for meat.  It turned out that neither his
father nor mother had authorized him to do this.  Before they knew
it, old men and women were lined up before the teepee home, ready
to receive the meat, in answer to his invitation.  As a result, the
mother had to distribute nearly all of it, keeping only enough for
two meals.

On the following day the child asked for food.  His mother
told him that the old folks had taken it all, and added: "Remember,
my son, they went home singing praises in your name, not my name or
your father's.  You must be brave.  You must live up to your

Crazy Horse loved horses, and his father gave him a pony of
his own when he was very young.  He became a fine horseman and
accompanied his father on buffalo hunts, holding the pack horses
while the men chased the buffalo and thus gradually learning the
art.  In those days the Sioux had but few guns, and the hunting was
mostly done with bow and arrows.

Another story told of his boyhood is that when he was about
twelve he went to look for the ponies with his little brother, whom
he loved much, and took a great deal of pains to teach what he had
already learned.  They came to some wild cherry trees full of ripe
fruit, and while they were enjoying it, the brothers were startled
by the growl and sudden rush of a bear.  Young Crazy Horse pushed
his brother up into the nearest tree and himself sprang upon the
back of one of the horses, which was frightened and ran some
distance before he could control him.  As soon as he could,
however, he turned him about and came back, yelling and swinging
his lariat over his head.  The bear at first showed fight but
finally turned and ran.  The old man who told me this story added
that young as he was, he had some power, so that even a grizzly did
not care to tackle him.  I believe it is a fact that a silver-tip
will dare anything except a bell or a lasso line, so that
accidentally the boy had hit upon the very thing which would drive
him off.

It was usual for Sioux boys of his day to wait in the field
after a buffalo hunt until sundown, when the young calves would
come out in the open, hungrily seeking their mothers.  Then these
wild children would enjoy a mimic hunt, and lasso the calves or
drive them into camp.  Crazy Horse was found to be a determined
little fellow, and it was settled one day among the larger boys
that they would "stump" him to ride a good-sized bull calf.  He
rode the calf, and stayed on its back while it ran bawling over the
hills, followed by the other boys on their ponies, until his
strange mount stood trembling and exhausted.

At the age of sixteen he joined a war party against the Gros
Ventres.  He was well in the front of the charge, and at once
established his bravery by following closely one of the foremost
Sioux warriors, by the name of Hump, drawing the enemy's fire and
circling around their advance guard.  Suddenly Hump's horse was
shot from under him, and there was a rush of warriors to kill or
capture him while down.  But amidst a shower of arrows the youth
leaped from his pony, helped his friend into his own saddle, sprang
up behind him, and carried him off in safety, although they were
hotly pursued by the enemy.  Thus he associated himself in his
maiden battle with the wizard of Indian warfare, and Hump, who was
then at the height of his own career, pronounced Crazy Horse the
coming warrior of the Teton Sioux.

At this period of his life, as was customary with the best
young men, he spent much time in prayer and solitude.  Just what
happened in these days of his fasting in the wilderness and upon
the crown of bald buttes, no one will ever know; for these things
may only be known when one has lived through the battles of life to
an honored old age.  He was much sought after by his youthful
associates, but was noticeably reserved and modest; yet in the
moment of danger he at once rose above them all -- a natural
leader!  Crazy Horse was a typical Sioux brave, and from the point
of view of our race an ideal hero, living at the height of the
epical progress of the American Indian and maintaining in his own
character all that was most subtle and ennobling of their spiritual
life, and that has since been lost in the contact with a material

He loved Hump, that peerless warrior, and the two became close
friends, in spite of the difference in age.  Men called them "the
grizzly and his cub."  Again and again the pair saved the day for
the Sioux in a skirmish with some neighboring tribe.  But one day
they undertook a losing battle against the Snakes.  The Sioux were
in full retreat and were fast being overwhelmed by superior
numbers.  The old warrior fell in a last desperate charge; but
Crazy Horse and his younger brother, though dismounted, killed two
of the enemy and thus made good their retreat.

It was observed of him that when he pursued the enemy into
their stronghold, as he was wont to do, he often refrained from
killing, and simply struck them with a switch, showing that he did
not fear their weapons nor care to waste his upon them.  In
attempting this very feat, he lost this only brother of his, who
emulated him closely.  A party of young warriors, led by Crazy
Horse, had dashed upon a frontier post, killed one of the
sentinels, stampeded the horses, and pursued the herder to the very
gate of the stockade, thus drawing upon themselves the fire of the
garrison.  The leader escaped without a scratch, but his young
brother was brought down from his horse and killed.

While he was still under twenty, there was a great winter
buffalo hunt, and he came back with ten buffaloes' tongues which he
sent to the council lodge for the councilors' feast.  He had in one
winter day killed ten buffalo cows with his bow and arrows, and the
unsuccessful hunters or those who had no swift ponies were made
happy by his generosity.  When the hunters returned, these came
chanting songs of thanks.  He knew that his father was an expert
hunter and had a good horse, so he took no meat home, putting in
practice the spirit of his early teaching.

He attained his majority at the crisis of the difficulties
between the United States and the Sioux.  Even before that time,
Crazy Horse had already proved his worth to his people in Indian
warfare.  He had risked his life again and again, and in some
instances it was considered almost a miracle that he had saved
others as well as himself.  He was no orator nor was he the son of
a chief.  His success and influence was purely a matter of
personality.  He had never fought the whites up to this time, and
indeed no "coup" was counted for killing or scalping a white man.

Young Crazy Horse was twenty-one years old when all the Teton
Sioux chiefs (the western or plains dwellers) met in council to
determine upon their future policy toward the invader.  Their
former agreements had been by individual bands, each for itself,
and every one was friendly.  They reasoned that the country was
wide, and that the white traders should be made welcome.  Up to
this time they had anticipated no conflict.  They had permitted the
Oregon Trail, but now to their astonishment forts were built and
garrisoned in their territory.

Most of the chiefs advocated a strong resistance.  There were
a few influential men who desired still to live in peace, and who
were willing to make another treaty.  Among these were White Bull,
Two Kettle, Four Bears, and Swift Bear.  Even Spotted Tail,
afterward the great peace chief, was at this time with the
majority, who decided in the year 1866 to defend their rights and
territory by force.  Attacks were to be made upon the forts within
their country and on every trespasser on the same.

Crazy Horse took no part in the discussion, but he and all the
young warriors were in accord with the decision of the council. 
Although so young, he was already a leader among them.  Other
prominent young braves were Sword (brother of the man of that name
who was long captain of police at Pine Ridge), the younger Hump,
Charging Bear, Spotted Elk, Crow King, No Water, Big Road, He Dog,
the nephew of Red Cloud, and Touch-the-Cloud, intimate friend of
Crazy Horse.

The attack on Fort Phil Kearny was the first fruits of the new
policy, and here Crazy Horse was chosen to lead the attack on the
woodchoppers, designed to draw the soldiers out of the fort, while
an army of six hundred lay in wait for them.  The success of this
stratagem was further enhanced by his masterful handling of his
men.  From this time on a general war was inaugurated; Sitting Bull
looked to him as a principal war leader, and even the Cheyenne
chiefs, allies of the Sioux, practically acknowledged his
leadership.  Yet during the following ten years of defensive war he
was never known to make a speech, though his teepee was the
rendezvous of the young men.  He was depended upon to put into
action the decisions of the council, and was frequently consulted
by the older chiefs.

Like Osceola, he rose suddenly; like Tecumseh he was always
impatient for battle; like Pontiac, he fought on while his allies
were suing for peace, and like Grant, the silent soldier, he was a
man of deeds and not of words.  He won from Custer and Fetterman
and Crook.  He won every battle that he undertook, with the
exception of one or two occasions when he was surprised in the
midst of his women and children, and even then he managed to
extricate himself in safety from a difficult position.

Early in the year 1876, his runners brought word from Sitting
Bull that all the roving bands would converge upon the upper Tongue
River in Montana for summer feasts and conferences.  There was
conflicting news from the reservation.  It was rumored that the
army would fight the Sioux to a finish; again, it was said that
another commission would be sent out to treat with them.

The Indians came together early in June, and formed a series
of encampments stretching out from three to four miles, each band
keeping separate camp.  On June 17, scouts came in and reported the
advance of a large body of troops under General Crook.  The council
sent Crazy Horse with seven hundred men to meet and attack him. 
These were nearly all young men, many of them under twenty, the
flower of the hostile Sioux.  They set out at night so as to steal
a march upon the enemy, but within three or four miles of his camp
they came unexpectedly upon some of his Crow scouts.  There was a
hurried exchange of shots; the Crows fled back to Crook's camp,
pursued by the Sioux.  The soldiers had their warning, and it was
impossible to enter the well-protected camp.  Again and again Crazy
Horse charged with his bravest men, in the attempt to bring the
troops into the open, but he succeeded only in drawing their fire. 
Toward afternoon he withdrew, and returned to camp disappointed. 
His scouts remained to watch Crook's movements, and later brought
word that he had retreated to Goose Creek and seemed to have no
further disposition to disturb the Sioux.  It is well known to us
that it is Crook rather than Reno who is to be blamed for cowardice
in connection with Custer's fate.  The latter had no chance to do
anything, he was lucky to save himself; but if Crook had kept on
his way, as ordered, to meet Terry, with his one thousand regulars
and two hundred Crow and Shoshone scouts, he would inevitably have
intercepted Custer in his advance and saved the day for him, and
war with the Sioux would have ended right there.  Instead of this,
he fell back upon Fort Meade, eating his horses on the way, in a
country swarming with game, for fear of Crazy Horse and his braves!

The Indians now crossed the divide between the Tongue and the
Little Big Horn, where they felt safe from immediate pursuit. 
Here, with all their precautions, they were caught unawares by
General Custer, in the midst of their midday games and festivities,
while many were out upon the daily hunt.

On this twenty-fifth of June, 1876, the great camp was
scattered for three miles or more along the level river bottom,
back of the thin line of cottonwoods -- five circular rows of
teepees, ranging from half a mile to a mile and a half in
circumference.  Here and there stood out a large, white, solitary
teepee; these were the lodges or "clubs" of the young men.  Crazy
Horse was a member of the "Strong Hearts" and the "Tokala" or Fox
lodge.  He was watching a game of ring-toss when the warning came
from the southern end of the camp of the approach of troops.

The Sioux and the Cheyennes were "minute men", and although
taken by surprise, they instantly responded.  Meanwhile, the women
and children were thrown into confusion.  Dogs were howling, ponies
running hither and thither, pursued by their owners, while many of
the old men were singing their lodge songs to encourage the
warriors, or praising the "strong heart" of Crazy Horse.

That leader had quickly saddled his favorite war pony and was
starting with his young men for the south end of the camp, when a
fresh alarm came from the opposite direction, and looking up, he
saw Custer's force upon the top of the bluff directly across the
river.  As quick as a flash, he took in the situation -- the enemy
had planned to attack the camp at both ends at once; and knowing
that Custer could not ford the river at that point, he instantly
led his men northward to the ford to cut him off.  The Cheyennes
followed closely.  Custer must have seen that wonderful dash up the
sage-bush plain, and one wonders whether he realized its meaning. 
In a very few minutes, this wild general of the plains had
outwitted one of the most brilliant leaders of the Civil War and
ended at once his military career and his life.

In this dashing charge, Crazy Horse snatched his most famous
victory out of what seemed frightful peril, for the Sioux could not
know how many were behind Custer.  He was caught in his own trap. 
To the soldiers it must have seemed as if the Indians rose up from
the earth to overwhelm them.  They closed in from three sides and
fought until not a white man was left alive.  Then they went down
to Reno's stand and found him so well intrenched in a deep gully
that it was impossible to dislodge him.  Gall and his men held him
there until the approach of General Terry compelled the Sioux to
break camp and scatter in different directions.

While Sitting Bull was pursued into Canada, Crazy Horse and
the Cheyennes wandered about, comparatively undisturbed, during the
rest of that year, until in the winter the army surprised the
Cheyennes, but did not do them much harm, possibly because they
knew that Crazy Horse was not far off.  His name was held in
wholesome respect.  From time to time, delegations of friendly
Indians were sent to him, to urge him to come in to the
reservation, promising a full hearing and fair treatment.

For some time he held out, but the rapid disappearance of the
buffalo, their only means of support, probably weighed with him
more than any other influence.  In July, 1877, he was finally
prevailed upon to come in to Fort Robinson, Nebraska, with several
thousand Indians, most of them Ogallala and Minneconwoju Sioux, on
the distinct understanding that the government would hear and
adjust their grievances.

At this juncture General Crook proclaimed Spotted Tail, who
had rendered much valuable service to the army, head chief of the
Sioux, which was resented by many.  The attention paid Crazy Horse
was offensive to Spotted Tail and the Indian scouts, who planned a
conspiracy against him.  They reported to General Crook that the
young chief would murder him at the next council, and stampede the
Sioux into another war.  He was urged not to attend the council and
did not, but sent another officer to represent him.  Meanwhile the
friends of Crazy Horse discovered the plot and told him of it.  His
reply was, "Only cowards are murderers."

His wife was critically ill at the time, and he decided to
take her to her parents at Spotted Tail agency, whereupon his
enemies circulated the story that he had fled, and a party of
scouts was sent after him.  They overtook him riding with his wife
and one other but did not undertake to arrest him, and after he had
left the sick woman with her people he went to call on Captain Lea,
the agent for the Brules, accompanied by all the warriors of the
Minneconwoju band.  This volunteer escort made an imposing
appearance on horseback, shouting and singing, and in the words of
Captain Lea himself and the missionary, the Reverend Mr. Cleveland,
the situation was extremely critical.  Indeed, the scouts who had
followed Crazy Horse from Red Cloud agency were advised not to show
themselves, as some of the warriors had urged that they be taken
out and horsewhipped publicly.

Under these circumstances Crazy Horse again showed his
masterful spirit by holding these young men in check.  He said to
them in his quiet way: "It is well to be brave in the field of
battle; it is cowardly to display bravery against one's own
tribesmen.  These scouts have been compelled to do what they did;
they are no better than servants of the white officers.  I came
here on a peaceful errand."

The captain urged him to report at army headquarters to
explain himself and correct false rumors, and on his giving
consent, furnished him with a wagon and escort.  It has been said
that he went back under arrest, but this is untrue.  Indians have
boasted that they had a hand in bringing him in, but their stories
are without foundation.  He went of his own accord, either
suspecting no treachery or determined to defy it.

When he reached the military camp, Little Big Man walked
arm-in-arm with him, and his cousin and friend, Touch-the-Cloud,
was just in advance.  After they passed the sentinel, an officer
approached them and walked on his other side.  He was unarmed but
for the knife which is carried for ordinary uses by women as well
as men.  Unsuspectingly he walked toward the guardhouse, when
Touch-the-Cloud suddenly turned back exclaiming: "Cousin, they will
put you in prison!"

"Another white man's trick!  Let me go!  Let me die fighting!"
cried Crazy Horse.  He stopped and tried to free himself and draw
his knife, but both arms were held fast by Little Big Man and the
officer.  While he struggled thus, a soldier thrust him through
with his bayonet from behind.  The wound was mortal, and he died in
the course of that night, his old father singing the death song
over him and afterward carrying away the body, which they said
must not be further polluted by the touch of a white man.  They hid
it somewhere in the Bad Lands, his resting place to this day.

Thus died one of the ablest and truest American Indians.  His
life was ideal; his record clean.  He was never involved in any of
the numerous massacres on the trail, but was a leader in
practically every open fight.  Such characters as those of Crazy
Horse and Chief Joseph are not easily found among so-called
civilized people.  The reputation of great men is apt to be
shadowed by questionable motives and policies, but here are two
pure patriots, as worthy of honor as any who ever breathed God's
air in the wide spaces of a new world.


IT is not easy to characterize Sitting Bull, of all Sioux chiefs
most generally known to the American people.  There are few to whom
his name is not familiar, and still fewer who have learned to
connect it with anything more than the conventional notion of a
bloodthirsty savage.  The man was an enigma at best.  He was not
impulsive, nor was he phlegmatic.  He was most serious when he
seemed to be jocose.  He was gifted with the power of sarcasm, and
few have used it more artfully than he.

His father was one of the best-known members of the Unkpapa
band of Sioux.  The manner of this man's death was characteristic. 
One day, when the Unkpapas were attacked by a large war party of
Crows, he fell upon the enemy's war leader with his knife.  In a
hand-to-hand combat of this sort, we count the victor as entitled
to a war bonnet of trailing plumes.  It means certain death to one
or both.  In this case, both men dealt a mortal stroke, and Jumping
Buffalo, the father of Sitting Bull, fell from his saddle and died
in a few minutes.  The other died later from the effects of the

Sitting Bull's boyhood must have been a happy one.  It was
long after the day of the dog-travaux, and his father owned many
ponies of variegated colors.  It was said of him in a joking way
that his legs were bowed like the ribs of the ponies that he rode
constantly from childhood.  He had also a common nickname that was
much to the point.  It was "Hunkeshnee", which means "Slow",
referring to his inability to run fast, or more probably to the
fact that he seldom appeared on foot.  In their boyish games he was
wont to take the part of the "old man", but this does not mean that
he was not active and brave.  It is told that after a buffalo hunt
the boys were enjoying a mimic hunt with the calves that had been
left behind.  A large calf turned viciously on Sitting Bull, whose
pony had thrown him, but the alert youth got hold of both ears and
struggled until the calf was pushed back into a buffalo wallow in
a sitting posture.  The boys shouted: "He has subdued the buffalo
calf!  He made it sit down!"  And from this incident was derived
his familiar name of Sitting Bull.

It is a mistake to suppose that Sitting Bull, or any other
Indian warrior, was of a murderous disposition.  It is true that
savage warfare had grown more and more harsh and cruel since the
coming of white traders among them, bringing guns, knives, and
whisky.  Yet it was still regarded largely as a  sort of game,
undertaken in order to develop the manly qualities of their youth. 
It was the degree of risk which brought honor, rather than the
number slain, and a brave must mourn thirty days, with blackened
face and loosened hair, for the enemy whose life he had taken. 
While the spoils of war were allowed, this did not extend to
territorial aggrandizement, nor was there any wish to overthrow
another nation and enslave its people.  It was a point of honor
in the old days to treat a captive with kindness.  The common
impression that the Indian is naturally cruel and revengeful is
entirely opposed to his philosophy and training.  The revengeful
tendency of the Indian was aroused by the white man.  It is not the
natural Indian who is mean and tricky; not Massasoit but King
Philip; not Attackullakulla but Weatherford; not Wabashaw but
Little Crow; not Jumping Buffalo but Sitting Bull!  These men
lifted their hands against the white man, while their fathers held
theirs out to him with gifts.

Remember that there were councils which gave their decisions
in accordance with the highest ideal of human justice before there
were any cities on this continent; before there were bridges to
span the Mississippi; before this network of railroads was dreamed
of!  There were primitive communities upon the very spot where
Chicago or New York City now stands, where men were as children,
innocent of all the crimes now committed there daily and nightly. 
True morality is more easily maintained in connection with the
simple life.  You must accept the truth that you demoralize any
race whom you have subjugated.

From this point of view we shall consider Sitting Bull's
career.  We say he is an untutored man: that is true so far as
learning of a literary type is concerned; but he was not an
untutored man when you view him from the standpoint of his nation. 
To be sure, he did not learn his lessons from books.  This is
second-hand information at best.  All that he learned he verified
for himself and put into daily practice.  In personal appearance he
was rather commonplace and made no immediate impression, but as he
talked he seemed to take hold of his hearers more and more.  He was
bull-headed; quick to grasp a situation, and not readily induced to
change his mind.  He was not suspicious until he was forced to be
so.  All his meaner traits were inevitably developed by the events
of his later career.

Sitting Bull's history has been written many times by
newspaper men and army officers, but I find no account of him which
is entirely correct.  I met him personally in 1884, and since his
death I have gone thoroughly into the details of his life with his
relatives and contemporaries.  It has often been said that he was
a physical coward and not a warrior.  Judge of this for yourselves
from the deed which first gave him fame in his own tribe, when he
was about twenty-eight years old.

In an attack upon a band of Crow Indians, one of the enemy
took his stand, after the rest had fled, in a deep ditch from 
which it seemed impossible to dislodge him.  The situation had
already cost the lives of several warriors, but they could not let
him go to repeat such a boast over the Sioux!

"Follow me!" said Sitting Bull, and charged.  He raced his
horse to the brim of the ditch and struck at the enemy with his
coup-staff, thus compelling him to expose himself to the fire of
the others while shooting his assailant.  But the Crow merely poked
his empty gun into his face and dodged back under cover.  Then
Sitting Bull stopped; he saw that no one had followed him, and he
also perceived that the enemy had no more ammunition left.  He rode
deliberately up to the barrier and threw his loaded gun over it;
then he went back to his party and told them what he thought of

"Now," said he, "I have armed him, for I will not see a brave
man killed unarmed.  I will strike him again with my coup-staff to
count the first feather; who will count the second?"

Again he led the charge, and this time they all followed him. 
Sitting Bull was severely wounded by his own gun in the hands of
the enemy, who was killed by those that came after him.  This is a
record that so far as I know was never made by any other warrior.

The second incident that made him well known was his taking of
a boy captive in battle with the Assiniboines.  He saved this boy's
life and adopted him as his brother.  Hohay, as he was called, was
devoted to Sitting Bull and helped much in later years to spread
his fame.  Sitting Bull was a born diplomat, a ready speaker, and
in middle life he ceased to go upon the warpath, to become the
councilor of his people.  From this time on, this man represented
him in all important battles, and upon every brave deed done was
wont to exclaim aloud:

"I, Sitting Bull's boy, do this in his name!"

He had a nephew, now living, who resembles him strongly, and
who also represented him personally upon the field; and so far as
there is any remnant left of his immediate band, they look upon
this man One Bull as their chief.

When Sitting Bull was a boy, there was no thought of trouble
with the whites.  He was acquainted with many of the early traders,
Picotte, Choteau, Primeau, Larpenteur, and others, and liked them,
as did most of his people in those days.  All the early records
show this friendly attitude of the Sioux, and the great fur
companies for a century and a half depended upon them for the bulk
of their trade.  It was not until the middle of the last century
that they woke up all of a sudden to the danger threatening their
very existence.  Yet at that time many of the old chiefs had been
already depraved by the whisky and other vices of the whites, and
in the vicinity of the forts and trading posts at Sioux City, Saint
Paul, and Cheyenne, there was general demoralization.  The
drunkards and hangers-on were ready to sell almost anything they
had for the favor of the trader.  The better and stronger element
held aloof.  They would not have anything of the white man except
his hatchet, gun, and knife.  They utterly refused to cede their
lands; and as for the rest, they were willing to let him alone as
long as he did not interfere with their life and customs, which was
not long.

It was not, however, the Unkpapa band of Sioux, Sitting Bull's
band, which first took up arms against the whites; and this was not
because they had come less in contact with them, for they dwelt on
the Missouri River, the natural highway of trade.  As early as
1854, the Ogallalas and Brules had trouble with the soldiers near
Fort Laramie; and again in 1857 Inkpaduta massacred several
families of settlers at Spirit Lake, Iowa.  Finally, in 1869, the
Minnesota Sioux, goaded by many wrongs, arose and murdered many of
the settlers, afterward fleeing into the country of the Unkpapas
and appealing to them for help, urging that all Indians should make
common cause against the invader.  This brought Sitting Bull face
to face with a question which was not yet fully matured in his own
mind; but having satisfied himself of the justice of their cause,
he joined forces with the renegades during the summer of 1863, and
from this time on he was an acknowledged leader.

In 1865 and 1866 he met the Canadian half-breed, Louis Riel,
instigator of two rebellions, who had come across the line for
safety; and in fact at this time he harbored a number of outlaws
and fugitives from justice.  His conversations with these,
especially with the French mixed-bloods, who inflamed his
prejudices against the Americans, all had their influence in making
of the wily Sioux a determined enemy to the white man.  While among
his own people he was always affable and genial, he became boastful
and domineering in his dealings with the hated race.  He once
remarked that "if we wish to make any impression upon the pale-face,
it is necessary to put on his mask."

Sitting Bull joined in the attack on Fort Phil Kearny and in
the subsequent hostilities; but he accepted in good faith the
treaty of 1868, and soon after it was signed he visited Washington
with Red Cloud and Spotted Tail, on which occasion the three
distinguished chiefs attracted much attention and were entertained
at dinner by President Grant and other notables.  He considered
that the life of the white man as he saw it was no life for his
people, but hoped by close adherence to the terms of this treaty to
preserve the Big Horn and Black Hills country for a permanent
hunting ground.  When gold was discovered and the irrepressible
gold seekers made their historic dash across the plains into this
forbidden paradise, then his faith in the white man's honor was
gone forever, and he took his final and most persistent stand in
defense of his nation and home.  His bitter and at the same time
well-grounded and philosophical dislike of the conquering race is
well expressed in a speech made before the purely Indian council
before referred to, upon the Powder River.  I will give it in brief
as it has been several times repeated to me by men who were

"Behold, my friends, the spring is come; the earth has gladly
received the embraces of the sun, and we shall soon see the results
of their love!  Every seed is awakened, and all animal life.  It is
through this mysterious power that we too have our being, and we
therefore yield to our neighbors, even to our animal neighbors, the
same right as ourselves to inhabit this vast land.

"Yet hear me, friends! we have now to deal with another
people, small and feeble when our forefathers first met with them,
but now great and overbearing.  Strangely enough, they have a mind
to till the soil, and the love of possessions is a disease in them. 
These people have made many rules that the rich may break, but the
poor may not!  They have a religion in which the poor worship, but
the rich will not!  They even take tithes of the poor and weak to
support the rich and those who rule.  They claim this mother of
ours, the Earth, for their own use, and fence their neighbors away
from her, and deface her with their buildings and their refuse. 
They compel her to produce out of season, and when sterile she is
made to take medicine in order to produce again.  All this is

"This nation is like a spring freshet; it overruns its banks
and destroys all who are in its path.  We cannot dwell side by
side.  Only seven years ago we made a treaty by which we were
assured that the buffalo country should be left to us forever.  Now
they threaten to take that from us also.  My brothers, shall we
submit? or shall we say to them: 'First kill me, before you can
take possession of my fatherland!'"

As Sitting Bull spoke, so he felt, and he had the courage to
stand by his words.  Crazy Horse led his forces in the field; as
for him, he applied his energies to state affairs, and by his
strong and aggressive personality contributed much to holding the
hostiles together.

It may be said without fear of contradiction that Sitting Bull
never killed any women or children.  He was a fair fighter, and
while not prominent in battle after his young manhood, he was the
brains of the Sioux resistance.  He has been called a "medicine
man" and a "dreamer."  Strictly speaking, he was neither of these,
and the white historians are prone to confuse the two.  A medicine
man is a doctor or healer; a dreamer is an active war prophet who
leads his war party according to his dream or prophecy.  What is
called by whites "making medicine" in war time is again a wrong
conception.  Every warrior carries a bag of sacred or lucky charms,
supposed to protect the wearer alone, but it has nothing to do with
the success or safety of the party as a whole.  No one can make any
"medicine" to affect the result of a battle, although it has been
said that Sitting Bull did this at the battle of the Little Big

When Custer and Reno attacked the camp at both ends, the chief
was caught napping.  The village was in danger of surprise, and the
women and children must be placed in safety.  Like other men of his
age, Sitting Bull got his family together for flight, and then
joined the warriors on the Reno side of the attack.  Thus he was
not in the famous charge against Custer; nevertheless, his voice
was heard exhorting the warriors throughout that day.

During the autumn of 1876, after the fall of Custer, Sitting
Bull was hunted all through the Yellowstone region by the military. 
The following characteristic letter, doubtless written at his
dictation by a half-breed interpreter, was sent to Colonel Otis
immediately after a daring attack upon his wagon train.

"I want to know what you are doing, traveling on this road. 
You scare all the buffalo away.  I want to hunt in this place.  I
want you to turn back from here.  If you don't, I will fight you
again.  I want you to leave what you have got here and turn back
from here.

    I am your friend

   Sitting Bull.
I mean all the rations you have got and some powder.  Wish you
would write me as soon as you can."

Otis, however, kept on and joined Colonel Miles, who followed
Sitting Bull with about four hundred soldiers.  He overtook him at
last on Cedar Creek, near the Yellowstone, and the two met midway
between the lines for a parley.  The army report says: "Sitting
Bull wanted peace in his own way."  The truth was that he wanted
nothing more than had been guaranteed to them by the treaty of 1868
-- the exclusive possession of their last hunting ground.  This the
government was not now prepared to grant, as it had been decided to
place all the Indians under military control upon the various

Since it was impossible to reconcile two such conflicting
demands, the hostiles were driven about from pillar to post for
several more years, and finally took refuge across the line in
Canada, where Sitting Bull had placed his last hope of justice and
freedom for his race.  Here he was joined from time to time by
parties of malcontents from the reservation, driven largely by
starvation and ill-treatment to seek another home.  Here, too, they
were followed by United States commissioners, headed by General
Terry, who endeavored to persuade him to return, promising
abundance of food and fair treatment, despite the fact that the
exiles were well aware of the miserable condition of the "good
Indians" upon the reservations.  He first refused to meet them at
all, and only did so when advised to that effect by Major Walsh of
the Canadian mounted police.  This was his characteristic remark:
"If you have one honest man in Washington, send him here and I will
talk to him."

Sitting Bull was not moved by fair words; but when he found
that if they had liberty on that side, they had little else, that
the Canadian government would give them protection but no food;
that the buffalo had been all but exterminated and his starving
people were already beginning to desert him, he was compelled at
last, in 1881, to report at Fort Buford, North Dakota, with his
band of hungry, homeless, and discouraged refugees.  It was, after
all, to hunger and not to the strong arm of the military that he
surrendered in the end.

In spite of the invitation that had been extended to him in
the name of the "Great Father" at Washington, he was immediately
thrown into a military prison, and afterward handed over to Colonel
Cody ("Buffalo Bill") as an advertisement for his "Wild West Show." 
After traveling about for several years with the famous showman,
thus increasing his knowledge of the weaknesses as well as the
strength of the white man, the deposed and humiliated chief settled
down quietly with his people upon the Standing Rock agency in North
Dakota, where his immediate band occupied the Grand River district
and set to raising cattle and horses.  They made good progress;
much better, in fact, than that of the "coffee-coolers" or "loafer"
Indians, received the missionaries kindly and were soon a
church-going people.

When the Commissions of 1888 and 1889 came to treat with the
Sioux for a further cession of land and a reduction of their
reservations, nearly all were opposed to consent on any terms. 
Nevertheless, by hook or by crook, enough signatures were finally
obtained to carry the measure through, although it is said that
many were those of women and the so-called "squaw-men", who had no
rights in the land.  At the same time, rations were cut down, and
there was general hardship and dissatisfaction.  Crazy Horse was
long since dead; Spotted Tail had fallen at the hands of one of his
own tribe; Red Cloud had become a feeble old man, and the
disaffected among the Sioux began once more to look to Sitting Bull
for leadership.

At this crisis a strange thing happened.  A half-breed Indian
in Nevada promulgated the news that the Messiah had appeared to him
upon a peak in the Rockies, dressed in rabbit skins, and bringing
a message to the red race.  The message was to the effect that
since his first coming had been in vain, since the white people had
doubted and reviled him, had nailed him to the cross, and trampled
upon his doctrines, he had come again in pity to save the Indian. 
He declared that he would cause the earth to shake and to overthrow
the cities of the whites and destroy them, that the buffalo would
return, and the land belong to the red race forever!  These events
were to come to pass within two years; and meanwhile they were to
prepare for his coming by the ceremonies and dances which he

This curious story spread like wildfire and met with eager
acceptance among the suffering and discontented people.  The
teachings of Christian missionaries had prepared them to believe in
a Messiah, and the prescribed ceremonial was much more in accord
with their traditions than the conventional worship of the
churches.  Chiefs of many tribes sent delegations to the Indian
prophet; Short Bull, Kicking Bear, and others went from among the
Sioux, and on their return all inaugurated the dances at once. 
There was an attempt at first to keep the matter secret, but it
soon became generally known and seriously disconcerted the Indian
agents and others, who were quick to suspect a hostile conspiracy
under all this religious enthusiasm.  As a matter of fact, there
was no thought of an uprising; the dancing was innocent enough, and
pathetic enough their despairing hope in a pitiful Saviour who
should overwhelm their oppressors and bring back their golden age.

When the Indians refused to give up the "Ghost Dance" at the
bidding of the authorities, the growing suspicion and alarm focused
upon Sitting Bull, who in spirit had never been any too submissive,
and it was determined to order his arrest.  At the special request
of Major McLaughlin, agent at Standing Rock, forty of his Indian
police were sent out to Sitting Bull's home on Grand River to
secure his person (followed at some little distance by a body of
United States troops for reinforcement, in case of trouble).  These
police are enlisted from among the tribesmen at each agency, and
have proved uniformly brave and faithful.  They entered the cabin
at daybreak, aroused the chief from a sound slumber, helped him to
dress, and led him unresisting from the house; but when he came out
in the gray dawn of that December morning in 1890, to find his
cabin surrounded by armed men and himself led away to he knew not
what fate, he cried out loudly:

"They have taken me: what say you to it?"

Men poured out of the neighboring houses, and in a few minutes
the police were themselves surrounded with an excited and rapidly
increasing throng.  They harangued the crowd in vain; Sitting
Bull's blood was up, and he again appealed to his men.  His adopted
brother, the Assiniboine captive whose life he had saved so many
years before, was the first to fire.  His shot killed Lieutenant
Bull Head, who held Sitting Bull by the arm.  Then there was a
short but sharp conflict, in which Sitting Bull and six of his
defenders and six of the Indian police were slain, with many more
wounded.  The chief's young son, Crow Foot, and his devoted
"brother" died with him.  When all was over, and the terrified
people had fled precipitately across the river, the soldiers
appeared upon the brow of the long hill and fired their Hotchkiss
guns into the deserted camp.

Thus ended the life of a natural strategist of no mean courage
and ability.  The great chief was buried without honors outside the
cemetery at the post, and for some years the grave was marked by a
mere board at its head.  Recently some women have built a cairn of
rocks there in token of respect and remembrance.


The noted Sioux warrior, Rain-in-the-Face, whose name once carried
terror to every part of the frontier, died at his home on the
Standing Rock reserve in North Dakota on September 14, 1905.  About
two months before his death I went to see him for the last time,
where he lay upon the bed of sickness from which he never rose
again, and drew from him his life-history.

It had been my experience that you cannot induce an Indian to
tell a story, or even his own name, by asking him directly.

"Friend," I said, "even if a man is on a hot trail, he stops
for a smoke!  In the good old days, before the charge there was a
smoke.  At home, by the fireside, when the old men were asked to
tell their brave deeds, again the pipe was passed.  So come, let us
smoke now to the memory of the old days!"

He took of my tobacco and filled his long pipe, and we smoked. 
Then I told an old mirthful story to get him in the humor of
relating his own history.

The old man lay upon an iron bedstead, covered by a red
blanket, in a corner of the little log cabin.  He was all alone
that day; only an old dog lay silent and watchful at his master's

Finally he looked up and said with a pleasant smile:

"True, friend; it is the old custom to retrace one's trail
before leaving it forever!  I know that I am at the door of the
spirit home.

"I was born near the forks of the Cheyenne River, about
seventy years ago.  My father was not a chief; my grandfather was
not a chief, but a good hunter and a feast-maker.  On my mother's
side I had some noted ancestors, but they left me no chieftainship. 
I had to work for my reputation.

"When I was a boy, I loved to fight," he continued.  "In all
our boyish games I had the name of being hard to handle, and I took
much pride in the fact.

"I was about ten years old when we encountered a band of
Cheyennes.  They were on friendly terms with us, but we boys
always indulged in sham fights on such occasions, and this time I
got in an honest fight with a Cheyenne boy older than I. I got the
best of the boy, but he hit me hard in the face several times, and
my face was all spattered with blood and streaked where the paint
had been washed away.  The Sioux boys whooped and yelled:

"'His enemy is down, and his face is spattered as if with
rain!  Rain-in-the-Face!  His name shall be Rain-in-the-Face!'

"Afterwards, when I was a young man, we went on a warpath
against the Gros Ventres.  We stole some of their horses, but were
overtaken and had to abandon the horses and fight for our lives. 
I had wished my face to represent the sun when partly covered with
darkness, so I painted it half black, half red.  We fought all day
in the rain, and my face was partly washed and streaked with red
and black: so again I was christened Rain-in-the-Face.  We
considered it an honorable name.

"I had been on many warpaths, but was not especially
successful until about the time the Sioux began to fight with the
white man.  One of the most daring attacks that we ever made was at
Fort Totten, North Dakota, in the summer of 1866.

"Hohay, the Assiniboine captive of Sitting Bull, was the
leader in this raid.  Wapaypay, the Fearless Bear, who was
afterward hanged at Yankton, was the bravest man among us.  He
dared Hohay to make the charge.  Hohay accepted the challenge, and
in turn dared the other to ride with him through the agency and
right under the walls of the fort, which was well garrisoned and

"Wapaypay and I in those days called each other
'brother-friend.' It was a life-and-death vow.  What one does the
other must do; and that meant that I must be in the forefront of
the charge, and if he is killed, I must fight until I die also!

"I prepared for death.  I painted as usual like an eclipse of
the sun, half black and half red."

His eyes gleamed and his face lighted up remarkably as he
talked, pushing his black hair back from his forehead with a
nervous gesture.

"Now the signal for the charge was given!  I started even with
Wapaypay, but his horse was faster than mine, so he left me a
little behind as we neared the fort.  This was bad for me, for by
that time the soldiers had somewhat recovered from the surprise
and were aiming better.

"Their big gun talked very loud, but my Wapaypay was leading
on, leaning forward on his fleet pony like a flying squirrel on a
smooth log!  He held his rawhide shield on the right side, a little
to the front, and so did I. Our warwhoop was like the coyotes
singing in the evening, when they smell blood!

"The soldiers' guns talked fast, but few were hurt.  Their big
gun was like a toothless old dog, who only makes himself hotter the
more noise he makes," he remarked with some humor.

"How much harm we did I do not know, but we made things lively
for a time; and the white men acted as people do when a swarm of
angry bees get into camp.  We made a successful retreat, but some
of the reservation Indians followed us yelling, until Hohay told
them that he did not wish to fight with the captives of the white
man, for there would be no honor in that.  There was blood running
down my leg, and I found that both my horse and I were slightly

"Some two years later we attacked a fort west of the Black
Hills [Fort Phil Kearny, Wyoming].  It was there we killed one
hundred soldiers."  [The military reports say eighty men, under the
command of Captain Fetterman -- not one left alive to tell the
tale!]  "Nearly every band of the Sioux nation was represented in
that fight -- Red Cloud, Spotted Tail, Crazy Horse, Sitting Bull,
Big Foot, and all our great chiefs were there.  Of course such men
as I were then comparatively unknown.  However, there were many
noted young warriors, among them Sword, the younger
Young-Man-Afraid, American Horse [afterward chief], Crow King, and

"This was the plan decided upon after many councils.  The main
war party lay in ambush, and a few of the bravest young men were
appointed to attack the woodchoppers who were cutting logs to
complete the building of the fort.  We were told not to kill these
men, but to chase them into the fort and retreat slowly, defying
the white men; and if the soldiers should follow, we were to lead
them into the ambush.  They took our bait exactly as we had hoped!
It was a matter of a very few minutes, for every soldier lay dead
in a shorter time than it takes to annihilate a small herd of

"This attack was hastened because most of the Sioux on the
Missouri River and eastward had begun to talk of suing for peace. 
But even this did not stop the peace movement.  The very next year
a treaty was signed at Fort Rice, Dakota Territory, by nearly all
the Sioux chiefs, in which it was agreed on the part of the Great
Father in Washington that all the country north of the Republican
River in Nebraska, including the Black Hills and the Big Horn
Mountains, was to be always Sioux country, and no white man should
intrude upon it without our permission.  Even with this agreement
Sitting Bull and Crazy Horse were not satisfied, and they would not

"Up to this time I had fought in some important battles, but
had achieved no great deed.  I was ambitious to make a name for
myself.  I joined war parties against the Crows, Mandans, Gros
Ventres, and Pawnees, and gained some little distinction.

"It was when the white men found the yellow metal in our
country, and came in great numbers, driving away our game, that
we took up arms against them for the last time.  I must say here
that the chiefs who were loudest for war were among the first to
submit and accept reservation life.  Spotted Tail was a great
warrior, yet he was one of the first to yield, because he was
promised by the Chief Soldiers that they would make him chief of
all the Sioux.  Ugh! he would have stayed with Sitting Bull to the
last had it not been for his ambition.

"About this time we young warriors began to watch the trails
of the white men into the Black Hills, and when we saw a wagon
coming we would hide at the crossing and kill them all without much
trouble.  We did this to discourage the whites from coming into our
country without our permission.  It was the duty of our Great
Father at Washington, by the agreement of 1868, to keep his white
children away.

"During the troublesome time after this treaty, which no one
seemed to respect, either white or Indian [but the whites broke it
first], I was like many other young men -- much on the warpath, but
with little honor.  I had not yet become noted for any great deed. 
Finally, Wapaypay and I waylaid and killed a white soldier on his
way from the fort to his home in the east.

"There were a few Indians who were liars, and never on the
warpath, playing 'good Indian' with the Indian agents and the war
chiefs at the forts.  Some of this faithless set betrayed me, and
told more than I ever did.  I was seized and taken to the fort near
Bismarck, North Dakota [Fort Abraham Lincoln], by a brother [Tom
Custer] of the Long-Haired War Chief, and imprisoned there.  These
same lying Indians, who were selling their services as scouts to
the white man, told me that I was to be shot to death, or else
hanged upon a tree.  I answered that I was not afraid to die.

"However, there was an old soldier who used to bring my food
and stand guard over me -- he was a white man, it is true, but he
had an Indian heart!  He came to me one day and unfastened the iron
chain and ball with which they had locked my leg, saying by signs
and what little Sioux he could muster:

"'Go, friend! take the chain and ball with you.  I shall
shoot, but the voice of the gun will lie.'

"When he had made me understand, you may guess that I ran my
best!  I was almost over the bank when he fired his piece at me
several times, but I had already gained cover and was safe.  I have
never told this before, and would not, lest it should do him an
injury, but he was an old man then, and I am sure he must be dead
long since.  That old soldier taught me that some of the white
people have hearts," he added, quite seriously.

"I went back to Standing Rock in the night, and I had to hide
for several days in the woods, where food was brought to me by my
relatives.  The Indian police were ordered to retake me, and they
pretended to hunt for me, but really they did not, for if they had
found me I would have died with one or two of them, and they knew
it!  In a few days I departed with several others, and we rejoined
the hostile camp on the Powder River and made some trouble for the
men who were building the great iron track north of us [Northern

"In the spring the hostile Sioux got together again upon the
Tongue River.  It was one of the greatest camps of the Sioux that
I ever saw.  There were some Northern Cheyennes with us, under Two
Moon, and a few Santee Sioux, renegades from Canada, under
Inkpaduta, who had killed white people in Iowa long before.  We had
decided to fight the white soldiers until no warrior should be

At this point Rain-in-the-Face took up his tobacco pouch and
began again to fill his pipe.

"Of course the younger warriors were delighted with the
prospect of a great fight!  Our scouts had discovered piles of oats
for horses and other supplies near the Missouri River.  They had
been brought by the white man's fire-boats.  Presently they
reported a great army about a day's travel to the south, with
Shoshone and Crow scouts.

"There was excitement among the people, and a great council
was held.  Many spoke.  I was asked the condition of those Indians
who had gone upon the reservation, and I told them truly that they
were nothing more than prisoners.  It was decided to go out and
meet Three Stars [General Crook] at a safe distance from our camp.

"We met him on the Little Rosebud.  I believe that if we had
waited and allowed him to make the attack, he would have fared no
better than Custer.  He was too strongly fortified where he was,
and I think, too, that he was saved partly by his Indian allies,
for the scouts discovered us first and fought us first, thus giving
him time to make his preparations.  I think he was more wise than
brave!  After we had left that neighborhood he might have pushed on
and connected with the Long-Haired Chief.  That would have saved
Custer and perhaps won the day.

"When we crossed from Tongue River to the Little Big Horn, on
account of the scarcity of game, we did not anticipate any more
trouble.  Our runners had discovered that Crook had retraced his
trail to Goose Creek, and we did not suppose that the white men
would care to follow us farther into the rough country.

"Suddenly the Long-Haired Chief appeared with his men!  It was
a surprise."

"What part of the camp were you in when the soldiers attacked
the lower end?" I asked.

"I had been invited to a feast at one of the young men's
lodges [a sort of club].  There was a certain warrior who was
making preparations to go against the Crows, and I had decided to
go also," he said.

"While I was eating my meat we heard the war cry!  We all
rushed out, and saw a warrior riding at top speed from the lower
camp, giving the warning as he came.  Then we heard the reports of
the soldiers' guns, which sounded differently from the guns fired
by our people in battle.

"I ran to my teepee and seized my gun, a bow, and a quiver
full of arrows.  I already had my stone war club, for you know we
usually carry those by way of ornament.  Just as I was about to set
out to meet Reno, a body of soldiers appeared nearly opposite us,
at the edge of a long line of cliffs across the river.

"All of us who were mounted and ready immediately started down
the stream toward the ford.  There were Ogallalas, Minneconjous,
Cheyennes, and some Unkpapas, and those around me seemed to be
nearly all very young men.

"'Behold, there is among us a young woman!' I shouted.  'Let
no young man hide behind her garment!'  I knew that would make
those young men brave.

"The woman was Tashenamani, or Moving Robe, whose brother had
just been killed in the fight with Three Stars.  Holding her
brother's war staff over her head, and leaning forward upon her
charger, she looked as pretty as a bird.  Always when there is a
woman in the charge, it causes the warriors to vie with one another
in displaying their valor," he added.

"The foremost warriors had almost surrounded the white men,
and more were continually crossing the stream.  The soldiers had
dismounted, and were firing into the camp from the top of the

"My friend, was Sitting Bull in this fight?" I inquired.

"I did not see him there, but I learned afterward that he was
among those who met Reno, and that was three or four of the white
man's miles from Custer's position.  Later he joined the attack
upon Custer, but was not among the foremost.

"When the troops were surrounded on two sides, with the river
on the third, the order came to charge!  There were many very young
men, some of whom had only a war staff or a stone war club in hand,
who plunged into the column, knocking the men over and stampeding
their horses.

"The soldiers had mounted and started back, but when the onset
came they dismounted again and separated into several divisions,
facing different ways.  They fired as fast as they could load their
guns, while we used chiefly arrows and war clubs.  There seemed to
be two distinct movements among the Indians.  One body moved
continually in a circle, while the other rode directly into and
through the troops.

"Presently some of the soldiers remounted and fled along the
ridge toward Reno's position; but they were followed by our
warriors, like hundreds of blackbirds after a hawk.  A larger body
remained together at the upper end of a little ravine, and fought
bravely until they were cut to pieces.  I had always thought that
white men were cowards, but I had a great respect for them after
this day.

"It is generally said that a young man with nothing but a war
staff in his hand broke through the column and knocked down the
leader very early in the fight.  We supposed him to be the leader,
because he stood up in full view, swinging his big knife [sword]
over his head, and talking loud.  Some one unknown afterwards shot
the chief, and he was probably killed also; for if not, he would
have told of the deed, and called others to witness it.  So it is
that no one knows who killed the Long-Haired Chief [General

"After the first rush was over, coups were counted as usual on
the bodies of the slain.  You know four coups [or blows] can be
counted on the body of an enemy, and whoever counts the first one
[touches it for the first time] is entitled to the 'first feather.'

"There was an Indian here called Appearing Elk, who died a
short time ago.  He was slightly wounded in the charge.  He had
some of the weapons of the Long-Haired Chief, and the Indians used
to say jokingly after we came upon the reservation that Appearing
Elk must have killed the Chief, because he had his sword!  However,
the scramble for plunder did not begin until all were dead.  I do
not think he killed Custer, and if he had, the time to claim the
honor was immediately after the fight.

"Many lies have been told of me.  Some say that I killed the
Chief, and others that I cut out the heart of his brother [Tom
Custer], because he had caused me to be imprisoned.  Why, in that
fight the excitement was so great that we scarcely recognized our
nearest friends!  Everything was done like lightning.  After the
battle we young men were chasing horses all over the prairie, while
the old men and women plundered the bodies; and if any mutilating
was done, it was by the old men.

"I have lived peaceably ever since we came upon the
reservation.  No one can say that Rain-in-the-Face has broken the
rules of the Great Father.  I fought for my people and my country. 
When we were conquered I remained silent, as a warrior should. 
Rain-in-the-Face was killed when he put down his weapons before the
Great Father.  His spirit was gone then; only his poor body lived
on, but now it is almost ready to lie down for the last time.  Ho,
hechetu!  [It is well.]"


It is a pity that so many interesting names of well-known Indians
have been mistranslated, so that their meaning becomes very vague
if it is not wholly lost.  In some cases an opposite meaning is
conveyed.  For instance there is the name, "Young-Man-Afraid-of-
His-Horses."  It does not mean that the owner of the name is afraid
of his own horse -- far from it!  Tashunkekokipapi signifies "The
young men [of the enemy] fear his horses."  Whenever that man
attacks, the enemy knows there will be a determined charge.

The name Tashunkewitko, or Crazy Horse, is a poetic simile. 
This leader was likened to an untrained or untouched horse, wild,
ignorant of domestic uses, splendid in action, and unconscious of

The name of Two Strike is a deed name.  In a battle with the
Utes this man knocked two enemies from the back of a war horse.  
The true rendering of the name Nomkahpa would be, "He knocked off

I was well acquainted with Two Strike and spent many pleasant
hours with him, both at Washington, D. C., and in his home on the
Rosebud reservation.  What I have written is not all taken from his
own mouth, because he was modest in talking about himself, but I
had him vouch for the truth of the stories.  He said that he was
born near the Republican River about 1832.  His earliest
recollection was of an attack by the Shoshones upon their camp on
the Little Piney.  The first white men he ever met were traders who
visited his people when he was very young.  The incident was still
vividly with him, because, he said, "They made my father crazy,"
[drunk].  This made a deep impression upon him, he told me, so that
from that day he was always afraid of the white man's "mysterious

Two Strike was not a large man, but he was very supple and
alert in motion, as agile as an antelope.  His face was mobile and
intelligent.  Although he had the usual somber visage of an Indian,
his expression brightened up wonderfully when he talked.  In some
ways wily and shrewd in intellect, he was not deceitful nor mean. 
He had a high sense of duty and honor.  Patriotism was his ideal
and goal of life.

As a young man he was modest and even shy, although both his
father and grandfather were well-known chiefs.  I could find few
noteworthy incidents in his early life, save that he was an expert
rider of wild horses.  At one time I was pressing him to give me
some interesting incident of his boyhood.  He replied to the effect
that there was plenty of excitement but "not much in it."  There
was a delegation of Sioux chiefs visiting Washington, and we were
spending an evening together in their hotel.  Hollow Horn Bear
spoke up and said:

"Why don't you tell him how you and a buffalo cow together
held your poor father up and froze him almost to death?"

Everybody laughed, and another man remarked: "I think he had
better tell the medicine man (meaning myself) how he lost the power
of speech when he first tried to court a girl."  Two Strike,
although he was then close to eighty years of age, was visibly
embarrassed by their chaff.

"Anyway, I stuck to the trail.  I kept on till I got what I
wanted," he muttered.  And then came the story.

The old chief, his father, was very fond of the buffalo hunt;
and being accomplished in horsemanship and a fine shot, although
not very powerfully built, young Two Strike was already following
hard in his footsteps.  Like every proud father, his was giving him
every incentive to perfect his skill, and one day challenged his
sixteen-year-old son to the feat of "one arrow to kill" at the very
next chase.

It was midwinter.  A large herd of buffalo was reported by the
game scout.  The hunters gathered at daybreak prepared for the
charge.  The old chief had his tried charger equipped with a soft,
pillow-like Indian saddle and a lariat.  His old sinew-backed
hickory bow was examined and strung, and a fine straight arrow with
a steel head carefully selected for the test.  He adjusted a keen
butcher knife over his leather belt, which held a warm buffalo robe
securely about his body.  He wore neither shirt nor coat, although
a piercing wind was blowing from the northwest.  The youthful Two
Strike had his favorite bow and his swift pony, which was perhaps
dearer to him than his closest boy comrade.

Now the hunters crouched upon their horses' necks like an army
in line of battle, while behind them waited the boys and old men
with pack ponies to carry the meat.  "Hukahey!" shouted the leader
as a warning.  "Yekiya wo!" (Go) and in an instant all the ponies
leaped forward against the cutting wind, as if it were the start in
a horse race.  Every rider leaned forward, tightly wrapped in his
robe, watching the flying herd for an opening in the mass of
buffalo, a chance to cut out some of the fattest cows.  This was
the object of the race.

The chief had a fair start; his horse was well trained and
needed no urging nor guidance.  Without the slightest pull on the
lariat he dashed into the thickest of the herd.  The youth's pony
had been prancing and rearing impatiently; he started a little
behind, yet being swift passed many.  His rider had one clear
glimpse of his father ahead of him, then the snow arose in blinding
clouds on the trail of the bison.  The whoops of the hunters, the
lowing of the cows, and the menacing glances of the bulls as they
plunged along, or now and then stood at bay, were enough to unnerve
a boy less well tried.  He was unable to select his victim.  He had
been carried deeply into the midst of the herd and found himself
helpless to make the one sure shot, therefore he held his one arrow
in his mouth and merely strove to separate them so as to get his

At last the herd parted, and he cut out two fat cows, and was
maneuvering for position when a rider appeared out of the snow
cloud on their other side.  This aroused him to make haste lest his
rival secure both cows; he saw his chance, and in a twinkling his
arrow sped clear through one of the animals so that she fell

In this instant he observed that the man who had joined him
was his own father, who had met with the same difficulties as
himself.  When the young man had shot his only arrow, the old chief
with a whoop went after the cow that was left, but as he gained her
broadside, his horse stepped in a badger hole and fell, throwing
him headlong.  The maddened buffalo, as sometimes happens in such
cases, turned upon the pony and gored him to death.  His rider lay
motionless, while Two Strike rushed forward to draw her attention,
but she merely tossed her head at him, while persistently standing
guard over the dead horse and the all but frozen Indian.

Alas for the game of "one arrow to kill!"  The boy must think
fast, for his father's robe had slipped off, and he was playing
dead, lying almost naked in the bitter air upon the trampled snow. 
His bluff would not serve, so he flew back to pull out his solitary
arrow from the body of the dead cow.  Quickly wheeling again, he
sent it into her side and she fell.  The one arrow to kill had
become one arrow to kill two buffalo!  At the council lodge that
evening Two Strike was the hero.

The following story is equally characteristic of him, and in
explanation it should be said that in the good old days among the
Sioux, a young man is not supposed to associate with girls until he
is ready to take a wife.  It was a rule with our young men,
especially the honorable and well-born, to gain some reputation in
the hunt and in war, -- the more difficult the feats achieved the
better, -- before even speaking to a young woman.  Many a life was
risked in the effort to establish a reputation along these lines. 
Courtship was no secret, but rather a social event, often
celebrated by the proud parents with feasts and presents to the
poor, and this etiquette was sometimes felt by a shy or sensitive
youth as an insurmountable obstacle to the fulfilment of his

Two Strike was the son and grandson of a chief, but he could
not claim any credit for the deeds of his forbears.  He had not
only to guard their good name but achieve one for himself.  This he
had set out to do, and he did well.  He was now of marriageable age
with a war record, and admitted to the council, yet he did not seem
to trouble himself at all about a wife.  His was strictly a
bachelor career.  Meanwhile, as is apt to be the case, his parents
had thought much about a possible daughter-in-law, and had even
collected ponies, fine robes, and other acceptable goods to be
given away in honor of the event, whenever it should take place.  
Now and then they would drop a sly hint, but with no perceptible

They did not and could not know of the inward struggle that
racked his mind at this period of his life.  The shy and modest
young man was dying for a wife, yet could not bear even to think of
speaking to a young woman!  The fearless hunter of buffaloes,
mountain lions, and grizzlies, the youth who had won his eagle
feathers in a battle with the Utes, could not bring himself to take
this tremendous step.

At last his father appealed to him directly.  "My son," he
declared, "it is your duty to take unto yourself a wife, in order
that the honors won by your ancestors and by yourself may be handed
down in the direct line.  There are several eligible young women in
our band whose parents have intimated a wish to have you for their

Two Strike made no reply, but he was greatly disturbed.  He
had no wish to have the old folks select his bride, for if the
truth were told, his choice was already made.  He had simply lacked
the courage to go a-courting!

The next morning, after making an unusually careful toilet, he
took his best horse and rode to a point overlooking the path by
which the girls went for water.  Here the young men were wont to
take their stand, and, if fortunate, intercept the girl of their
heart for a brief but fateful interview.  Two Strike had determined
to speak straight to the point, and as soon as he saw the pretty
maid he came forward boldly and placed himself in her way.  A long
moment passed.  She glanced up at him shyly but not without
encouragement.  His teeth fairly chattered with fright, and he
could not say a word.  She looked again, noted his strange looks,
and believed him suddenly taken ill.  He appeared to be suffering. 
At last he feebly made signs for her to go on and leave him alone. 
The maiden was sympathetic, but as she did not know what else to do
she obeyed his request.

The poor youth was so ashamed of his cowardice that he
afterward admitted his first thought was to take his own life.  He
believed he had disgraced himself forever in the eyes of the only
girl he had ever loved.  However, he determined to conquer his
weakness and win her, which he did.  The story came out many years
after and was told with much enjoyment by the old men.

Two Strike was better known by his own people than by the
whites, for he was individually a terror in battle rather than a
leader.  He achieved his honorable name in a skirmish with the Utes
in Colorado.  The Sioux regarded these people as their bravest
enemies, and the outcome of the fight was for some time uncertain. 
First the Sioux were forced to retreat and then their opponents,
and at the latter point the horse of a certain Ute was shot under
him.  A friend came to his rescue and took him up behind him.  Our
hero overtook them in flight, raised his war club, and knocked both
men off with one blow.

He was a very old man when he died, only two or three years
ago, on the Rosebud reservation.


One of the wittiest and shrewdest of the Sioux chiefs was American
Horse, who succeeded to the name and position of an uncle, killed
in the battle of Slim Buttes in 1876.  The younger American Horse
was born a little before the encroachments of the whites upon the
Sioux country became serious and their methods aggressive, and his
early manhood brought him into that most trying and critical period
of our history.  He had been tutored by his uncle, since his own
father was killed in battle while he was still very young.  The
American Horse band was closely attached to a trading post, and its
members in consequence were inclined to be friendly with the
whites, a policy closely adhered to by their leader.

When he was born, his old grandfather said: "Put him out in
the sun!  Let him ask his great-grandfather, the Sun, for the warm
blood of a warrior!"  And he had warm blood.  He was a genial man,
liking notoriety and excitement.  He always seized an opportunity
to leap into the center of the arena.

In early life he was a clownish sort of boy among the boys --
an expert mimic and impersonator.  This talent made him popular and
in his way a leader.  He was a natural actor, and early showed
marked ability as a speaker.

American Horse was about ten years old when he was attacked by
three Crow warriors, while driving a herd of ponies to water.  Here
he displayed native cunning and initiative.  It seemed he had
scarcely a chance to escape, for the enemy was near.  He yelled
frantically at the ponies to start them toward home, while he
dropped off into a thicket of willows and hid there.  A part of the
herd was caught in sight of the camp and there was a counter chase,
but the Crows got away with the ponies.  Of course his mother was
frantic, believing her boy had been killed or captured; but after
the excitement was over, he appeared in camp unhurt.  When
questioned about his escape, he remarked: "I knew they would not
take the time to hunt for small game when there was so much bigger
close by."

When he was quite a big boy, he joined in a buffalo hunt, and
on the way back with the rest of the hunters his mule became
unmanageable.  American Horse had insisted on riding him in
addition to a heavy load of meat and skins, and the animal
evidently resented this, for he suddenly began to run and kick,
scattering fresh meat along the road, to the merriment of the
crowd.  But the boy turned actor, and made it appear that it was at
his wish the mule had given this diverting performance.  He clung
to the back of his plunging and braying mount like a circus rider,
singing a Brave Heart song, and finally brought up amid the
laughter and cheers of his companions.  Far from admitting defeat,
he boasted of his horsemanship and declared that his "brother" the
donkey would put any enemy to flight, and that they should be
called upon to lead a charge.

It was several years later that he went to sleep early one
night and slept soundly, having been scouting for two nights
previous.  It happened that there was a raid by the Crows, and when
he awoke in the midst of the yelling and confusion, he sprang up
and attempted to join in the fighting.  Everybody knew his voice in
all the din, so when he fired his gun and announced a coup, as was
the custom, others rushed to the spot, to find that he had shot a
hobbled pony belonging to their own camp.  The laugh was on him,
and he never recovered from his chagrin at this mistake.  In fact,
although he was undoubtedly fearless and tried hard to distinguish
himself in warfare, he did not succeed.

It is told of him that he once went with a war party of young
men to the Wind River country against the Shoshones.  At last they
discovered a large camp, but there were only a dozen or so of the
Sioux, therefore they hid themselves and watched for their
opportunity to attack an isolated party of hunters.  While waiting
thus, they ran short of food.  One day a small party of Shoshones
was seen near at hand, and in the midst of the excitement and
preparations for the attack, young American Horse caught sight of
a fat black-tail deer close by.  Unable to resist the temptation,
he pulled an arrow from his quiver and sent it through the deer's
heart, then with several of his half-starved companions sprang upon
the yet quivering body of the animal to cut out the liver, which
was sometimes eaten raw.  One of the men was knocked down, it is
said, by the last kick of the dying buck, but having swallowed a
few mouthfuls the warriors rushed upon and routed their enemies. 
It is still told of American Horse how he killed game and feasted
between the ambush and the attack.

At another time he was drying his sacred war bonnet and other
gear over a small fire.  These articles were held in great
veneration by the Indians and handled accordingly.  Suddenly the
fire blazed up, and our hero so far forgot himself as to begin
energetically beating out the flames with the war bonnet, breaking
off one of the sacred buffalo horns in the act.  One could almost
fill a book with his mishaps and exploits.  I will give one of them
in his own words as well as I can remember them.

"We were as promising a party of young warriors as our tribe
ever sent against any of its ancestral enemies.  It was midsummer,
and after going two days' journey from home we began to send two
scouts ahead daily while the main body kept a half day behind.  The
scouts set out every evening and traveled all night.  One night the
great war pipe was held out to me and to Young-Man-Afraid-of-
His-Horses.  At daybreak, having met no one, we hid our horses and
climbed to the top of the nearest butte to take an observation.  It
was a very hot day.  We lay flat on our blankets, facing the west
where the cliff fell off in a sheer descent, and with our backs
toward the more gradual slope dotted with scrub pines and cedars. 
We stuck some tall grass on our heads and proceeded to study the
landscape spread before us for any sign of man.

"The sweeping valleys were dotted with herds, both large and
small, of buffalo and elk, and now and then we caught a glimpse of
a coyote slinking into the gulches, returning from night hunting to
sleep.  While intently watching some moving body at a distance, we
could not yet tell whether of men or animals, I heard a faint noise
behind me and slowly turned my head.  Behold! a grizzly bear
sneaking up on all fours and almost ready to spring!

"'Run!' I yelled into the ear of my companion, and we both
leaped to our feet in a second.  'Separate! separate!' he shouted,
and as we did so, the bear chose me for his meat.  I ran downhill
as fast as I could, but he was gaining.  'Dodge around a tree!'
screamed Young-Man-Afraid.  I took a deep breath and made a last
spurt, desperately circling the first tree I came to.  As the
ground was steep just there, I turned a somersault one way and the
bear the other.  I picked myself up in time to climb the tree, and
was fairly out of reach when he gathered himself together and came
at me more furiously than ever, holding in one paw the shreds of my
breechcloth, for in the fall he had just scratched my back and cut
my belt in two, and carried off my only garment for a trophy!

"My friend was well up another tree and laughing heartily at
my predicament, and when the bear saw that he could not get at
either of us he reluctantly departed, after I had politely
addressed him and promised to make an offering to his spirit on my
safe return.  I don't think I ever had a narrower escape," he

During the troublous times from 1865 to 1877, American Horse
advocated yielding to the government at any cost, being no doubt
convinced of the uselessness of resistance.  He was not a
recognized leader until 1876, when he took the name and place of
his uncle.  Up to this time he bore the nickname of Manishnee (Can
not walk, or Played out.)

When the greater part of the Ogallalas, to which band he
belonged, came into the reservation, he at once allied himself with
the peace element at the Red Cloud agency, near Fort Robinson,
Nebraska, and took no small part in keeping the young braves quiet. 
Since the older and better-known chiefs, with the exception of
Spotted Tail, were believed to be hostile at heart, the military
made much use of him.  Many of his young men enlisted as scouts by
his advice, and even he himself entered the service.

In the early part of the year 1876, there was a rumor that
certain bands were in danger of breaking away.  Their leader was
one Sioux Jim, so nicknamed by the soldiers.  American Horse went
to him as peacemaker, but was told he was a woman and no brave.  He
returned to his own camp and told his men that Sioux Jim meant
mischief, and in order to prevent another calamity to the tribe, he
must be chastised.  He again approached the warlike Jim with
several warriors at his back.  The recalcitrant came out, gun in
hand, but the wily chief was too quick for him.  He shot and
wounded the rebel, whereupon one of his men came forward and killed

This quelled the people for the time being and up to the
killing of Crazy Horse.  In the crisis precipitated by this event,
American Horse was again influential and energetic in the cause of
the government.  From this time on he became an active participant
in the affairs of the Teton Sioux.  He was noted for his eloquence,
which was nearly always conciliatory, yet he could say very sharp
things of the duplicity of the whites.  He had much ease of manner
and was a master of repartee.  I recall his saying that if you have
got to wear golden slippers to enter the white man's heaven no
Indian will ever get there, as the whites have got the Black Hills
and with them all the gold.

It was during the last struggle of his people, at the time of
the Messiah craze in 1890-1891 that he demonstrated as never before
the real greatness of the man.  While many of his friends were
carried away by the new thought, he held aloof from it and
cautioned his band to do the same.  When it developed into an
extensive upheaval among the nations he took his positive stand
against it.

Presently all Indians who did not dance the Ghost Dance were
ordered to come into camp at Pine Ridge agency.  American Horse was
the first to bring in his people.  I was there at the time and
talked with him daily.  When Little was arrested, it had been
agreed among the disaffected to have him resist, which meant that
he would be roughly handled.  This was to be their excuse to attack
the Indian police, which would probably lead to a general massacre
or outbreak.  I know that this desperate move was opposed from the
beginning by American Horse, and it was believed that his life was

On the day of the "Big Issue", when thousands of Indians were
gathered at the agency, this man Little, who had been in hiding,
walked boldly among them.  Of course the police would arrest him at
sight, and he was led toward the guardhouse.  He struggled with
them, but was overpowered.  A crowd of warriors rushed to his
rescue, and there was confusion and a general shout of "Hurry up
with them!  Kill them all!"  I saw American Horse walk out of the
agent's office and calmly face the excited mob.

"What are you going to do?" he asked.  "Stop, men, stop and
think before you act!  Will you murder your children, your women,
yes, destroy your nation to-day?"  He stood before them like a
statue and the men who held the two policemen helpless paused for
an instant.  He went on: "You  are brave to-day because you
outnumber the white men, but what will you do to-morrow?  There are
railroads on all sides of you.  The soldiers will pour in from
every direction by thousands and surround you.  You have little
food or ammunition.  It will be the end of your people.  Stop, I
say, stop now!"

Jack Red Cloud, son of the old chief rushed up to him and
thrust a revolver almost in his face.  "It is you and men like
you," he shouted, "who have reduced our race to slavery and
starvation!"  American Horse did not flinch but deliberately
reentered the office, followed by Jack still flourishing the
pistol.  But his timely appearance and eloquence had saved the day. 
Others of the police force had time to reach the spot, and with a
large crowd of friendly Indians had taken command of the situation.

When I went into the office I found him alone but apparently
quite calm.  "Where are the agent and the clerks?" I asked.  "They
fled by the back door," he replied, smiling.  "I think they are in
the cellar.  These fools outside had almost caught us asleep, but
I think it is over now."

American Horse was one of the earliest advocates of education
for the Indian, and his son Samuel and nephew Robert were among the
first students at Carlisle.  I think one or two of his daughters
were the handsomest Indian girls of full blood that I ever saw. 
His record as a councilor of his people and his policy in the new
situation that confronted them was manly and consistent.


The life of Dull Knife, the Cheyenne, is a true hero tale.  Simple,
child-like yet manful, and devoid of selfish aims, or love of gain,
he is a pattern for heroes of any race.

Dull Knife was a chief of the old school.  Among all the
Indians of the plains, nothing counts save proven worth.  A man's
caliber is measured by his courage, unselfishness and intelligence. 
Many writers confuse history with fiction, but in Indian history
their women and old men and even children witness the main events,
and not being absorbed in daily papers and magazines, these events
are rehearsed over and over with few variations.  Though orally
preserved, their accounts are therefore accurate.  But they have
seldom been willing to give reliable information to strangers,
especially when asked and paid for.

Racial prejudice naturally enters into the account of a man's
life by enemy writers, while one is likely to favor his own race. 
I am conscious that many readers may think that I have idealized
the Indian.  Therefore I will confess now that we have too many
weak and unprincipled men among us.  When I speak of the Indian
hero, I do not forget the mongrel in spirit, false to the ideals of
his people.  Our trustfulness has been our weakness, and when the
vices of civilization were added to our own, we fell heavily.

It is said that Dull Knife as a boy was resourceful and
self-reliant.  He was only nine years old when his family was
separated from the rest of the tribe while on a buffalo hunt.  His
father was away and his mother busy, and he was playing with his
little sister on the banks of a stream, when a large herd of
buffalo swept down upon them on a stampede for water.  His mother
climbed a tree, but the little boy led his sister into an old
beaver house whose entrance was above water, and here they remained
in shelter until the buffalo passed and they were found by their
distracted parents.

Dull Knife was quite a youth when his tribe was caught one
winter in a region devoid of game, and threatened with starvation. 
The situation was made worse by heavy storms, but he secured help
and led a relief party a hundred and fifty miles, carrying bales of
dried buffalo meat on pack horses.

Another exploit that made him dear to his people occurred in
battle, when his brother-in-law was severely wounded and left lying
where no one on either side dared to approach him.  As soon as Dull
Knife heard of it he got on a fresh horse, and made so daring a
charge that others joined him; thus under cover of their fire he
rescued his brother-in-law, and in so doing was wounded twice.

The Sioux knew him as a man of high type, perhaps not so
brilliant as Roman Nose and Two Moon, but surpassing both in
honesty and simplicity, as well as in his war record.  (Two Moon,
in fact, was never a leader of his people, and became distinguished
only in wars with the whites during the period of revolt.)  A story
is told of an ancestor of the same name that illustrates well the
spirit of the age.

It was the custom in those days for the older men to walk
ahead of the moving caravan and decide upon all halts and camping 
places.  One day the councilors came to a grove of wild cherries
covered with ripe fruit, and they stopped at once.  Suddenly a
grizzly charged from the thicket.  The men yelped and hooted, but
the bear was not to be bluffed.  He knocked down the first warrior
who dared to face him and dragged his victim into the bushes.

The whole caravan was in the wildest excitement.  Several of
the swiftest-footed warriors charged the bear, to bring him out
into the open, while the women and dogs made all the noise they
could.  The bear accepted the challenge, and as he did so, the man
whom they had supposed dead came running from the opposite end of
the thicket.  The Indians were delighted, and especially so when in
the midst of their cheers, the man stopped running for his life and
began to sing a Brave Heart song as he approached the grove with
his butcher knife in his hand.  He would dare his enemy again!

The grizzly met him with a tremendous rush, and they went down
together.  Instantly the bear began to utter cries of distress, and
at the same time the knife flashed, and he rolled over dead.  The
warrior was too quick for the animal; he first bit his sensitive
nose to distract his attention, and then used the knife to stab him
to the heart.  He fought many battles with knives thereafter and
claimed that the spirit of the bear gave him success.  On one
occasion, however, the enemy had a strong buffalo-hide shield which
the Cheyenne bear fighter could not pierce through, and he was
wounded; nevertheless he managed to dispatch his foe.  It was from
this incident that he received the name of Dull Knife, which was
handed down to his descendant.

As is well known, the Northern Cheyennes uncompromisingly
supported the Sioux in their desperate defense of the Black Hills
and Big Horn country.  Why not?  It was their last buffalo region
-- their subsistence.  It was what our wheat fields are to a
civilized nation.

About the year 1875, a propaganda was started for confining
all the Indians upon reservations, where they would be practically
interned or imprisoned, regardless of their possessions and rights. 
The men who were the strongest advocates of the scheme generally
wanted the Indians' property -- the one main cause back of all
Indian wars.  From the warlike Apaches to the peaceful Nez Perces,
all the tribes of the plains were hunted from place to place; then
the government resorted to peace negotiations, but always with an
army at hand to coerce.  Once disarmed and helpless, they were to
be taken under military guard to the Indian Territory.

A few resisted, and declared they would fight to the death
rather than go.  Among these were the Sioux, but nearly all the
smaller tribes were deported against their wishes.  Of course those
Indians who came from a mountainous and cold country suffered
severely.  The moist heat and malaria decimated the exiles.  Chief
Joseph of the Nez Perces and Chief Standing Bear of the Poncas
appealed to the people of the United States, and finally succeeded
in having their bands or the remnant of them returned to their own
part of the country.  Dull Knife was not successful in his plea,
and the story of his flight is one of poignant interest.

He was regarded by the authorities as a dangerous man, and
with his depleted band was taken to the Indian Territory without
his consent in 1876.  When he realized that his people were dying
like sheep, he was deeply moved.  He called them together.  Every
man and woman declared that they would rather die in their own
country than stay there longer, and they resolved to flee to their
northern homes.

Here again was displayed the genius of these people.  From the
Indian Territory to Dakota is no short dash for freedom.  They knew
what they were facing.  Their line of flight lay through a settled
country and they would be closely pursued by the army.  No sooner
had they started than the telegraph wires sang one song: "The
panther of the Cheyennes is at large.  Not a child or a woman in
Kansas or Nebraska is safe."  Yet they evaded all the pursuing and
intercepting troops and reached their native soil.  The strain was
terrible, the hardship great, and Dull Knife, like Joseph, was
remarkable for his self-restraint in sparing those who came within
his power on the way.

But fate was against him, for there were those looking for
blood money who betrayed him when he thought he was among friends. 
His people were tired out and famished when they were surrounded
and taken to Fort Robinson.  There the men were put in prison, and
their wives guarded in camp.  They were allowed to visit their men
on certain days.  Many of them had lost everything; there were but
a few who had even one child left.  They were heartbroken.

These despairing women appealed to their husbands to die
fighting: their liberty was gone, their homes broken up, and only
slavery and gradual extinction in sight.  At last Dull Knife
listened.  He said: "I have lived my life.  I am ready."  The
others agreed.  "If our women are willing to die with us, who is
there to say no?  If we are to do the deeds of men, it rests with
you women to bring us our weapons.

As they had been allowed to carry moccasins and other things
to the men, so they contrived to take in some guns and knives under
this disguise.  The plan was to kill the sentinels and run to the
nearest natural trench, there to make their last stand.  The women
and children were to join them.  This arrangement was carried out. 
Not every brave had a gun, but all had agreed to die together. 
They fought till their small store of ammunition was exhausted,
then exposed their broad chests for a target, and the mothers even
held up their little ones to be shot.  Thus died the fighting
Cheyennes and their dauntless leader.


This Cheyenne war chief was a contemporary of Dull Knife.  He was
not so strong a character as the other, and was inclined to be
pompous and boastful; but with all this he was a true type of
native American in spirit and bravery.

While Dull Knife was noted in warfare among Indians, Roman
Nose made his record against the whites, in defense of territory
embracing the Republican and Arickaree rivers.  He was killed on
the latter river in 1868, in the celebrated battle with General

Save Chief Gall and Washakie in the prime of their manhood,
this chief had no peer in bodily perfection and masterful
personality.  No Greek or Roman gymnast was ever a finer model of
physical beauty and power.  He thrilled his men to frenzied action
when he came upon the field.  It was said of him that he sacrificed
more youths by his personal influence in battle than any other
leader, being very reckless himself in grand-stand charges.  He was
killed needlessly in this manner.

Roman Nose always rode an uncommonly fine, spirited horse, and
with his war bonnet and other paraphernalia gave a wonderful
exhibition.  The Indians used to say that the soldiers must gaze at
him rather than aim at him, as they so seldom hit him even when
running the gantlet before a firing line.

He did a remarkable thing once when on a one-arrow-to-kill
buffalo hunt with his brother-in-law.  His companion had selected
his animal and drew so powerfully on his sinew bowstring that it
broke.  Roman Nose had killed his own cow and was whipping up close
to the other when the misfortune occurred.  Both horses were going
at full speed and the arrow jerked up in the air.  Roman Nose
caught it and shot the cow for him.

Another curious story told of him is to the effect that he had
an intimate Sioux friend who was courting a Cheyenne girl, but
without success.  As the wooing of both Sioux and Cheyennes was
pretty much all effected in the night time, Roman Nose told his
friend to let him do the courting for him.  He arranged with the
young woman to elope the next night and to spend the honeymoon
among his Sioux friends.  He then told his friend what to do. The
Sioux followed instructions and carried off the Cheyenne maid, and
not until morning did she discover her mistake.  It is said she
never admitted it, and that the two lived happily together to a
good old age, so perhaps there was no mistake after all.

Perhaps no other chief attacked more emigrants going west on
the Oregon Trail between 1860 and 1868.  He once made an attack on
a large party of Mormons, and in this instance the Mormons had time
to form a corral with their wagons and shelter their women,
children, and horses.  The men stood outside and met the Indians
with well-aimed volleys, but they circled the wagons with whirlwind
speed, and whenever a white man fell, it was the signal for Roman
Nose to charge and count the "coup."  The hat of one of the dead
men was off, and although he had heavy hair and beard, the top of
his head was bald from the forehead up.  As custom required such a
deed to be announced on the spot, the chief yelled at the top of
his voice:

"Your Roman Nose has counted the first coup on the
longest-faced white man who was ever killed!"

When the Northern Cheyennes under this daring leader attacked
a body of scouting troops under the brilliant officer General
Forsythe, Roman Nose thought that he had a comparatively easy task. 
The first onset failed, and the command entrenched itself on a
little island.  The wily chief thought he could stampede them and
urged on his braves with the declaration that the first to reach
the island should be entitled to wear a trailing war bonnet. 
Nevertheless he was disappointed, and his men received such a warm
reception that none succeeded in reaching it. In order to inspire
them to desperate deeds he had led them in person, and with him
that meant victory or death.  According to the army accounts, it
was a thrilling moment, and might well have proved disastrous to
the Forsythe command, whose leader was wounded and helpless.  The
danger was acute until Roman Nose fell, and even then his
lieutenants were bent upon crossing at any cost, but some of the
older chiefs prevailed upon them to withdraw.

Thus the brilliant war chief of the Cheyennes came to his
death.  If he had lived until 1876, Sitting Bull would have had
another bold ally.


The Nez Perce tribe of Indians, like other tribes too large to be
united under one chief, was composed of several bands, each
distinct in sovereignty.  It was a loose confederacy.  Joseph and
his people occupied the Imnaha or Grande Ronde valley in Oregon,
which was considered perhaps the finest land in that part of the

When the last treaty was entered into by some of the bands of
the Nez Perce, Joseph's band was at Lapwai, Idaho, and had nothing
to do with the agreement.  The elder chief in dying had counseled
his son, then not more than twenty-two or twenty-three years of
age, never to part with their home, assuring him that he had signed
no papers.  These peaceful non-treaty Indians did not even know
what land had been ceded until the agent read them the government
order to leave.  Of course they refused.  You and I would have done
the same.

When the agent failed to move them, he and the would-be
settlers called upon the army to force them to be good, namely,
without a murmur to leave their pleasant inheritance in the hands
of a crowd of greedy grafters.  General O. O. Howard, the Christian
soldier, was sent to do the work.

He had a long council with Joseph and his leading men, telling
them they must obey the order or be driven out by force.  We may be
sure that he presented this hard alternative reluctantly.  Joseph
was a mere youth without experience in war or public affairs.  He
had been well brought up in obedience to parental wisdom and with
his brother Ollicut had attended Missionary Spaulding's school
where they had listened to the story of Christ and his religion of
brotherhood.  He now replied in his simple way that neither he nor
his father had ever made any treaty disposing of their country,
that no other band of the Nez Perces was authorized to speak for
them, and it would seem a mighty injustice and unkindness to
dispossess a friendly band.

General Howard told them in effect that they had no rights, no
voice in the matter: they had only to obey.  Although some of the
lesser chiefs counseled revolt then and there, Joseph maintained
his self-control, seeking to calm his people, and still groping for
a peaceful settlement of their difficulties.  He finally asked for
thirty days' time in which to find and dispose of their stock, and
this was granted.

Joseph steadfastly held his immediate followers to their
promise, but the land-grabbers were impatient, and did everything
in their power to bring about an immediate crisis so as to hasten
the eviction of the Indians.  Depredations were committed, and
finally the Indians, or some of them, retaliated, which was just
what their enemies had been looking for.  There might be a score of
white men murdered among themselves on the frontier and no outsider
would ever hear about it, but if one were injured by an Indian --
"Down with the bloodthirsty savages!" was the cry.

Joseph told me himself that during all of those thirty days a
tremendous pressure was brought upon him by his own people to
resist the government order.  "The worst of it was," said he, "that
everything they said was true; besides" -- he paused for a moment
-- "it seemed very soon for me to forget my father's dying words,
'Do not give up our home!'"  Knowing as I do just what this would
mean to an Indian, I felt for him deeply.

Among the opposition leaders were Too-hul-hul-sote, White
Bird, and Looking Glass, all of them strong men and respected by
the Indians; while on the other side were men built up by
emissaries of the government for their own purposes and advertised
as "great friendly chiefs."  As a rule such men are unworthy, and
this is so well known to the Indians that it makes them distrustful
of the government's sincerity at the start.  Moreover, while
Indians unqualifiedly say what they mean, the whites have a hundred
ways of saying what they do not mean.

The center of the storm was this simple young man, who so far
as I can learn had never been upon the warpath, and he stood firm
for peace and obedience.  As for his father's sacred dying charge,
he told himself that he would not sign any papers, he would not go
of his free will but from compulsion, and this was his excuse.

However, the whites were unduly impatient to clear the coveted
valley, and by their insolence they aggravated to the danger point
an already strained situation.  The murder of an Indian was the
climax and this happened in the absence of the young chief.  He
returned to find the leaders determined to die fighting.  The
nature of the country was in their favor and at least they could
give the army a chase, but how long they could hold out they did
not know.  Even Joseph's younger brother Ollicut was won over. 
There was nothing for him to do but fight; and then and there began
the peaceful Joseph's career as a general of unsurpassed strategy
in conducting one of the most masterly retreats in history.

This is not my judgment, but the unbiased opinion of men whose
knowledge and experience fit them to render it.  Bear in mind that
these people were not scalp hunters like the Sioux, Cheyennes, and
Utes, but peaceful hunters and fishermen.  The first council of war
was a strange business to Joseph.  He had only this to say to his

"I have tried to save you from suffering and sorrow. 
Resistance means all of that.  We are few.  They are many.  You can
see all we have at a glance.  They have food and ammunition in
abundance.  We must suffer great hardship and loss."  After this
speech, he quietly began his plans for the defense.

The main plan of campaign was to engineer a successful retreat
into Montana and there form a junction with the hostile Sioux and
Cheyennes under Sitting Bull.  There was a relay scouting system,
one set of scouts leaving the main body at evening and the second
a little before daybreak, passing the first set on some commanding
hill top.  There were also decoy scouts set to trap Indian scouts
of the army.  I notice that General Howard charges his Crow scouts
with being unfaithful.

Their greatest difficulty was in meeting an unencumbered army,
while carrying their women, children, and old men, with supplies
and such household effects as were absolutely necessary.  Joseph
formed an auxiliary corps that was to effect a retreat at each
engagement, upon a definite plan and in definite order, while the
unencumbered women were made into an ambulance corps to take care
of the wounded.

It was decided that the main rear guard should meet General
Howard's command in White Bird Canyon, and every detail was planned
in advance, yet left flexible according to Indian custom, giving
each leader freedom to act according to circumstances.  Perhaps no
better ambush was ever planned than the one Chief Joseph set for
the shrewd and experienced General Howard.  He expected to be hotly
pursued, but he calculated that the pursuing force would consist of
not more than two hundred and fifty soldiers.  He prepared false
trails to mislead them into thinking that he was about to cross or
had crossed the Salmon River, which he had no thought of doing at
that time.  Some of the tents were pitched in plain sight, while
the women and children were hidden on the inaccessible ridges, and
the men concealed in the canyon ready to fire upon the soldiers
with deadly effect with scarcely any danger to themselves.  They
could even roll rocks upon them.

In a very few minutes the troops had learned a lesson.  The
soldiers showed some fight, but a large body of frontiersmen who
accompanied them were soon in disorder.  The warriors chased them
nearly ten miles, securing rifles and much ammunition, and killing
and wounding many.

The Nez Perces next crossed the river, made a detour and
recrossed it at another point, then took their way eastward.  All
this was by way of delaying pursuit.  Joseph told me that he
estimated it would take six or seven days to get a sufficient force
in the field to take up their trail, and the correctness of his
reasoning is apparent from the facts as detailed in General
Howard's book.  He tells us that he waited six days for the arrival
of men from various forts in his department, then followed Joseph
with six hundred soldiers, beside a large number of citizen
volunteers and his Indian scouts.  As it was evident they had a
long chase over trackless wilderness in prospect, he discarded his
supply wagons and took pack mules instead.  But by this time the
Indians had a good start.

Meanwhile General Howard had sent a dispatch to Colonel
Gibbons, with orders to head Joseph off, which he undertook to do
at the Montana end of the Lolo Trail.  The wily commander had no
knowledge of this move, but he was not to be surprised.  He was too
brainy for his pursuers, whom he constantly outwitted, and only
gave battle when he was ready.  There at the Big Hole Pass he met
Colonel Gibbons' fresh troops and pressed them close.  He sent a
party under his brother Ollicut to harass Gibbons' rear and rout
the pack mules, thus throwing him on the defensive and causing him
to send for help, while Joseph continued his masterly retreat
toward the Yellowstone Park, then a wilderness.  However, this was
but little advantage to him, since he must necessarily leave a
broad trail, and the army was augmenting its columns day by day
with celebrated scouts, both white and Indian.  The two commands
came together, and although General Howard says their horses were
by this time worn out, and by inference the men as well, they
persisted on the trail of a party encumbered by women and children,
the old, sick, and wounded.

It was decided to send a detachment of cavalry under Bacon, to
Tash Pass, the gateway of the National Park, which Joseph would
have to pass, with orders to detain him there until the rest could
come up with them.  Here is what General Howard says of the affair. 
"Bacon got into position soon enough but he did not have the heart
to fight the Indians on account of their number."  Meanwhile
another incident had occurred.  Right under the eyes of the chosen
scouts and vigilant sentinels, Joseph's warriors fired upon the
army camp at night and ran off their mules.  He went straight on
toward the park, where Lieutenant Bacon let him get by and pass
through the narrow gateway without firing a shot.

Here again it was demonstrated that General Howard could not
depend upon the volunteers, many of whom had joined him in the
chase, and were going to show the soldiers how to fight Indians. 
In this night attack at Camas Meadow, they were demoralized, and
while crossing the river next day many lost their guns in the
water, whereupon all packed up and went home, leaving the army to
be guided by the Indian scouts.

However, this succession of defeats did not discourage General
Howard, who kept on with as many of his men as were able to carry
a gun, meanwhile sending dispatches to all the frontier posts with
orders to intercept Joseph if possible.  Sturgis tried to stop him
as the Indians entered the Park, but they did not meet until he was
about to come out, when there was another fight, with Joseph again
victorious.  General Howard came upon the battle field soon
afterward and saw that the Indians were off again, and from here he
sent fresh messages to General Miles, asking for reinforcements.

Joseph had now turned northeastward toward the Upper Missouri. 
He told me that when he got into that part of the country he knew
he was very near the Canadian line and could not be far from
Sitting Bull, with whom he desired to form an alliance.  He also
believed that he had cleared all the forts.  Therefore he went more
slowly and tried to give his people some rest.  Some of their best
men had been killed or wounded in battle, and the wounded were a
great burden to him; nevertheless they were carried and tended
patiently all during this wonderful flight.  Not one was ever left

It is the general belief that Indians are cruel and
revengeful, and surely these people had reason to hate the race who
had driven them from their homes if any people ever had.  Yet it is
a fact that when Joseph met visitors and travelers in the Park,
some of whom were women, he allowed them to pass unharmed, and in
at least one instance let them have horses.  He told me that he
gave strict orders to his men not to kill any women or children. 
He wished to meet his adversaries according to their own standards
of warfare, but he afterward learned that in spite of professions
of humanity, white soldiers have not seldom been known to kill
women and children indiscriminately.

Another remarkable thing about this noted retreat is that
Joseph's people stood behind him to a man, and even the women and
little boys did each his part.  The latter were used as scouts in
the immediate vicinity of the camp.

The Bittersweet valley, which they had now entered, was full
of game, and the Indians hunted for food, while resting their
worn-out ponies.  One morning they had a council to which Joseph
rode over bareback, as they had camped in two divisions a little
apart.  His fifteen-year-old daughter went with him.  They
discussed sending runners to Sitting Bull to ascertain his exact
whereabouts and whether it would be agreeable to him to join forces
with the Nez Perces.  In the midst of the council, a force of
United States cavalry charged down the hill between the two camps. 
This once Joseph was surprised.  He had seen no trace of the
soldiers and had somewhat relaxed his vigilance.

He told his little daughter to stay where she was, and himself
cut right through the cavalry and rode up to his own teepee, where
his wife met him at the door with his rifle, crying: "Here is your
gun, husband!"  The warriors quickly gathered and pressed the
soldiers so hard that they had to withdraw.  Meanwhile one set of
the people fled while Joseph's own band entrenched themselves in a
very favorable position from which they could not easily be

General Miles had received and acted on General Howard's
message, and he now sent one of his officers with some Indian
scouts into Joseph's camp to negotiate with the chief.  Meantime
Howard and Sturgis came up with the encampment, and Howard had with
him two friendly Nez Perce scouts who were directed to talk to
Joseph in his own language.  He decided that there was nothing to
do but surrender.

He had believed that his escape was all but secure: then at
the last moment he was surprised and caught at a disadvantage.  His
army was shattered; he had lost most of the leaders in these
various fights; his people, including children, women, and the
wounded, had traveled thirteen hundred miles in about fifty days,
and he himself a young man who had never before taken any important
responsibility!  Even now he was not actually conquered.  He was
well entrenched; his people were willing to die fighting; but the
army of the United States offered peace and he agreed, as he said,
out of pity for his suffering people.  Some of his warriors still
refused to surrender and slipped out of the camp at night and
through the lines.  Joseph had, as he told me, between three and
four hundred fighting men in the beginning, which means over one
thousand persons, and of these several hundred surrendered with

His own story of the conditions he made was prepared by
himself with my help in 1897, when he came to Washington to present
his grievances.  I sat up with him nearly all of one night; and I
may add here that we took the document to General Miles who was
then stationed in Washington, before presenting it to the
Department.  The General said that every word of it was true.

In the first place, his people were to be kept at Fort Keogh,
Montana, over the winter and then returned to their reservation. 
Instead they were taken to Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, and placed
between a lagoon and the Missouri River, where the sanitary
conditions made havoc with them.  Those who did not die were then
taken to the Indian Territory, where the health situation was even
worse.  Joseph appealed to the government again and again, and at
last by the help of Bishops Whipple and Hare he was moved to the
Colville reservation in Washington.  Here the land was very poor,
unlike their own fertile valley.  General Miles said to the chief
that he had recommended and urged that their agreement be kept, but
the politicians and the people who occupied the Indians' land
declared they were afraid if he returned he would break out again
and murder innocent white settlers!  What irony!

The great Chief Joseph died broken-spirited and
broken-hearted.  He did not hate the whites, for there was nothing
small about him, and when he laid down his weapons he would not
fight on with his mind.  But he was profoundly disappointed in the
claims of a Christian civilization.  I call him great because he
was simple and honest.  Without education or special training he
demonstrated his ability to lead and to fight when justice
demanded.  He outgeneraled the best and most experienced commanders
in the army of the United States, although their troops were well
provisioned, well armed, and above all unencumbered.  He was great
finally, because he never boasted of his remarkable feat.  I am
proud of him, because he was a true American.


If any people ever fought for liberty and justice, it was the
Cheyennes.  If any ever demonstrated their physical and moral
courage beyond cavil, it was this race of purely American heroes,
among whom Little Wolf was a leader.

I knew the chief personally very well.  As a young doctor, I
was sent to the Pine Ridge agency in 1890, as government physician
to the Sioux and the Northern Cheyennes.  While I heard from his
own lips of that gallant dash of his people from their southern
exile to their northern home, I prefer that Americans should read
of it in Doctor George Bird Grinnell's book, "The Fighting
Cheyennes."  No account could be clearer or simpler; and then too,
the author cannot be charged with a bias in favor of his own race.

At the time that I knew him, Little Wolf was a handsome man,
with the native dignity and gentleness, musical voice, and pleasant
address of so many brave leaders of his people.  One day when he
was dining with us at our home on the reservation, I asked him, as
I had a habit of doing, for some reminiscences of his early life. 
He was rather reluctant to speak, but a friend who was present
contributed the following:

"Perhaps I can tell you why it is that he has been a lucky man
all his life.  When quite a small boy, the tribe was one winter in
want of food, and his good mother had saved a small piece of
buffalo meat, which she solemnly brought forth and placed before
him with the remark: 'My son must be patient, for when he grows up
he will know even harder times than this.'

"He had eaten nothing all day and was pretty hungry, but
before he could lay hands on the meat a starving dog snatched it
and bolted from the teepee.  The mother ran after the dog and
brought him back for punishment.  She tied him to a post and was
about to whip him when the boy interfered.  'Don't hurt him,
mother!' he cried; 'he took the meat because he was hungrier than
I am!'"

I was told of another kind act of his under trying
circumstances.  While still a youth, he was caught out with a party
of buffalo hunters in a blinding blizzard.  They were compelled to
lie down side by side in the snowdrifts, and it was a day and a
night before they could get out.  The weather turned very cold, and
when the men arose they were in danger of freezing.  Little Wolf
pressed his fine buffalo robe upon an old man who was shaking with
a chill and himself took the other's thin blanket.

As a full-grown young man, he was attracted by a maiden of his
tribe, and according to the custom then in vogue the pair
disappeared.  When they returned to the camp as man and wife,
behold! there was great excitement over the affair.  It seemed that
a certain chief had given many presents and paid unmistakable court
to the maid with the intention of marrying her, and her parents had
accepted the presents, which meant consent so far as they were
concerned.  But the girl herself had not given consent.

The resentment of the disappointed suitor was great.  It was
reported in the village that he had openly declared that the young
man who defied and insulted him must expect to be punished.  As
soon as Little Wolf heard of the threats, he told his father and
friends that he had done only what it is every man's privilege to

"Tell the chief," said he, "to come out with any weapon he
pleases, and I will meet him within the circle of lodges.  He shall
either do this or eat his words.  The woman is not his.  Her people
accepted his gifts against her wishes.  Her heart is mine."

The chief apologized, and thus avoided the inevitable duel,
which would have been a fight to the death.

The early life of Little Wolf offered many examples of the
dashing bravery characteristic of the Cheyennes, and inspired the
younger men to win laurels for themselves.  He was still a young
man, perhaps thirty-five, when the most trying crisis in the
history of his people came upon them.  As I know and as Doctor
Grinnell's book amply corroborates, he was the general who largely
guided and defended them in that tragic flight from the Indian
Territory to their northern home.  I will not discuss the justice
of their cause: I prefer to quote Doctor Grinnell, lest it appear
that I am in any way exaggerating the facts.

"They had come," he writes, "from the high, dry country of
Montana and North Dakota to the hot and humid Indian Territory. 
They had come from a country where buffalo and other game were
still plentiful to a land where the game had been exterminated. 
Immediately on their arrival they were attacked by fever and ague,
a disease wholly new to them.  Food was scanty, and they began to
starve.  The agent testified before a committee of the Senate that
he never received supplies to subsist the Indians for more than
nine months in each year.  These people were meat-eaters, but the
beef furnished them by the government inspectors was no more than
skin and bone.  The agent in describing their sufferings said:
'They have lived and that is about all.'

"The Indians endured this for about a year, and then their
patience gave out.  They left the agency to which they had been
sent and started north.  Though troops were camped close to them,
they attempted no concealment of their purpose.  Instead, they
openly announced that they intended to return to their own country.

We have heard much in past years of the march of the Nez
Perces under Chief Joseph, but little is remembered of the Dull
Knife outbreak and the march to the north led by Little Wolf.  The
story of the journey has not been told, but in the traditions of
the old army this campaign was notable, and old men who were
stationed on the plains forty years ago are apt to tell you, if you
ask them, that there never was such another journey since the
Greeks marched to the sea. . . .

"The fugitives pressed constantly northward undaunted, while
orders were flying over the wires, and special trains were carrying
men and horses to cut them off at all probable points on the
different railway lines they must cross.  Of the three hundred
Indians, sixty or seventy were fighting men -- the rest old men,
women, and children.  An army officer once told me that thirteen
thousand troops were hurrying over the country to capture or kill
these few poor people who had left the fever-stricken South, and in
the face of every obstacle were steadily marching northward.

"The War Department set all its resources in operation against
them, yet they kept on.  If troops attacked them, they stopped and
fought until they had driven off the soldiers, and then started
north again.  Sometimes they did not even stop, but marched along,
fighting as they marched.  For the most part they tried -- and with
success -- to avoid conflicts, and had but four real hard fights,
in which they lost half a dozen men killed and about as many

It must not be overlooked that the appeal to justice had first
been tried before taking this desperate step.  Little Wolf had gone
to the agent about the middle of the summer and said to him: "This
is not a good country for us, and we wish to return to our home in
the mountains where we were always well.  If you have not the power
to give permission, let some of us go to Washington and tell them
there how it is, or do you write to Washington and get permission
for us to go back."

"Stay one more year," replied the agent, "and then we will see
what we can do for you.  "No," said Little Wolf.  "Before another
year there will be none left to travel north.  We must go now."

Soon after this it was found that three of the Indians had
disappeared and the chief was ordered to surrender ten men as
hostages for their return.  He refused.  "Three men," said he, "who
are traveling over wild country can hide so that they cannot be
found.  You would never get back these three, and you would keep my
men prisoners always."

The agent then threatened if the ten men were not given up to
withhold their rations and starve the entire tribe into submission. 
He forgot that he was addressing a Cheyenne.  These people had not
understood that they were prisoners when they agreed to friendly
relations with the government and came upon the reservation. 
Little Wolf stood up and shook hands with all present before making
his final deliberate address.

"Listen, my friends, I am a friend of the white people and
have been so for a long time.  I do not want to see blood spilt
about this agency.  I am going north to my own country.  If you are
going to send your soldiers after me, I wish you would let us get
a little distance away.  Then if you want to fight, I will fight
you, and we can make the ground bloody at that place."

The Cheyenne was not bluffing.  He said just what he meant,
and I presume the agent took the hint, for although the military
were there they did not undertake to prevent the Indians'
departure.  Next morning the teepees were pulled down early and
quickly.  Toward evening of the second day, the scouts signaled the
approach of troops.  Little Wolf called his men together and
advised them under no circumstances to fire until fired upon.  An
Arapahoe scout was sent to them with a message.  "If you surrender
now, you will get your rations and be well treated."  After what
they had endured, it was impossible not to hear such a promise with
contempt.  Said Little Wolf: "We are going back to our own country. 
We do not want to fight."  He was riding still nearer when the
soldiers fired, and at a signal the Cheyennes made a charge.  They
succeeded in holding off the troops for two days, with only five
men wounded and none killed, and when the military retreated the
Indians continued northward carrying their wounded.

This sort of thing was repeated again and again.  Meanwhile
Little Wolf held his men under perfect control.  There were
practically no depredations.  They secured some boxes of ammunition
left behind by retreating troops, and at one point the young men
were eager to follow and destroy an entire command who were
apparently at their mercy, but their leader withheld them.  They
had now reached the buffalo country, and he always kept his main
object in sight.  He was extraordinarily calm.  Doctor Grinnell was
told by one of his men years afterward: "Little Wolf did not seem
like a human being.  He seemed like a bear."  It is true that a man
of his type in a crisis becomes spiritually transformed and moves
as one in a dream.

At the Running Water the band divided, Dull Knife going toward
Red Cloud agency.  He was near Fort Robinson when he surrendered
and met his sad fate.  Little Wolf remained all winter in the Sand
Hills, where there was plenty of game and no white men.  Later he
went to Montana and then to Pine Ridge, where he and his people
remained in peace until they were removed to Lame Deer, Montana,
and there he spent the remainder of his days.  There is a clear sky
beyond the clouds of racial prejudice, and in that final Court of
Honor a noble soul like that of Little Wolf has a place.


[I wish to thank Reverend C. H. Beaulieu of Le Soeur,
Minnesota, for much of the material used in this chapter.]

In the beginning of the nineteenth century, the Indian nations of
the Northwest first experienced the pressure of civilization.  At
this period there were among them some brilliant leaders unknown to
history, for the curious reason that they cordially received and
welcomed the newcomers rather than opposed them.  The only
difficulties were those arising among the European nations
themselves, and often involving the native tribes.  Thus new
environments brought new motives, and our temptations were
increased manyfold with the new weapons, new goods, and above all
the subtly destructive "spirit water."

Gradually it became known that the new race had a definite
purpose, and that purpose was to chart and possess the whole
country, regardless of the rights of its earlier inhabitants. Still
the old chiefs cautioned their people to be patient, for, said
they, the land is vast, both races can live on it, each in their
own way.  Let us therefore befriend them and trust to their
friendship.  While they reasoned thus, the temptations of graft and
self-aggrandizement overtook some of the leaders.

Hole-in-the-Day (or Bug-o-nay-ki-shig) was born in the opening
days of this era.  The word "ki-shig" means either "day" or "sky",
and the name is perhaps more correctly translated Hole-in-the-Sky. 
This gifted man inherited his name and much of his ability from his
father, who was a war chief among the Ojibways, a Napoleon of the
common people, and who carried on a relentless warfare against the
Sioux.  And yet, as was our custom at the time, peaceful meetings
were held every summer, at which representatives of the two tribes
would recount to one another all the events that had come to pass
during the preceding year.

Hole-in-the-Day the younger was a handsome man, tall and
symmetrically formed, with much grace of manner and natural
refinement.  He was an astute student of diplomacy.  The Ojibways
allowed polygamy, and whether or not he approved the principle, he
made political use of it by marrying the daughter of a chief in
nearly every band.  Through these alliances he held a controlling
influence over the whole Ojibway nation.  Reverend Claude H.
Beaulieu says of him:

"Hole-in-the-Day was a man of distinguished appearance and
native courtliness of manner.  His voice was musical and magnetic,
and with these qualities he had a subtle brain, a logical mind, and
quite a remarkable gift of oratory.  In speech he was not
impassioned, but clear and convincing, and held fast the attention
of his hearers."

It is of interest to note that his everyday name among his
tribesmen was "The Boy."  What a boy he must have been!  I wonder
if the name had the same significance as with the Sioux, who
applied it to any man who performs a difficult duty with alertness,
dash, and natural courage.  "The Man" applies to one who adds to
these qualities wisdom and maturity of judgment.

The Sioux tell many stories of both the elder and the younger
Hole-in-the-Day.  Once when The Boy was still under ten years of
age, he was fishing on Gull Lake in a leaky birch-bark canoe. 
Presently there came such a burst of frantic warwhoops that his
father was startled.  He could not think of anything but an attack
by the dreaded Sioux.  Seizing his weapons, he ran to the rescue of
his son, only to find that the little fellow had caught a fish so
large that it was pulling his canoe all over the lake.  "Ugh,"
exclaimed the father, "if a mere fish scares you so badly, I fear
you will never make a warrior!

It is told of him that when he was very small, the father once
brought home two bear cubs and gave them to him for pets.  The Boy
was feeding and getting acquainted with them outside his mother's
birch-bark teepee, when suddenly he was heard to yell for help. 
The two little bears had treed The Boy and were waltzing around the
tree.  His mother scared them off, but again the father laughed at
him for thinking that he could climb trees better than a bear.

The elder Hole-in-the-Day was a daring warrior and once
attacked and scalped a Sioux who was carrying his pelts to the
trading post, in full sight of his friends.  Of course he was
instantly pursued, and he leaped into a canoe which was lying near
by and crossed to an island in the Mississippi River near Fort
Snelling.  When almost surrounded by Sioux warriors, he left the
canoe and swam along the shore with only his nose above water, but
as they were about to head him off he landed and hid behind the
falling sheet of water known as Minnehaha Falls, thus saving his

It often happens that one who offers his life freely will
after all die a natural death.  The elder Hole-in-the-Day so died
when The Boy was still a youth.  Like Philip of Massachusetts,
Chief Joseph the younger, and the brilliant Osceola, the mantle
fell gracefully upon his shoulders, and he wore it during a short
but eventful term of chieftainship.  It was his to see the end of
the original democracy on this continent.  The clouds were fast
thickening on the eastern horizon.  The day of individualism and
equity between man and man must yield to the terrific forces of
civilization, the mass play of materialism, the cupidity of
commerce with its twin brother politics.  Under such conditions the
younger Hole-in-the-Day undertook to guide his tribesmen.  At first
they were inclined to doubt the wisdom of so young a leader, but he
soon proved a ready student of his people's traditions, and yet,
like Spotted Tail and Little Crow, he adopted too willingly the
white man's politics.  He maintained the territory won from the
Sioux by his predecessors.  He negotiated treaties with the ability
of a born diplomat, with one exception, and that exception cost him
his life.

Like other able Indians who foresaw the inevitable downfall of
their race, he favored a gradual change of customs leading to
complete adoption of the white man's ways.  In order to accustom
the people to a new standard, he held that the chiefs must have
authority and must be given compensation for their services.  This
was a serious departure from the old rule but was tacitly accepted,
and in every treaty he made there was provision for himself in the
way of a land grant or a cash payment.  He early departed from the
old idea of joint ownership with the Lake Superior Ojibways,
because he foresaw that it would cause no end of trouble for the
Mississippi River branch of which he was then the recognized head. 
But there were difficulties to come with the Leech Lake and Red
Lake bands, who held aloof from his policy, and the question of
boundaries began to arise.

In the first treaty negotiated with the government by young
Hole-in-the-Day in 1855, a "surplus" was provided for the chiefs
aside from the regular per capita payment, and this surplus was to
be distributed in proportion to the number of Indians under each. 
Hole-in-the-Day had by far the largest enrollment, therefore he got
the lion's share of this fund.  Furthermore he received another sum
set apart for the use of the "head chief", and these things did not
look right to the tribe.  In the very next treaty he provided
himself with an annuity of one thousand dollars for twenty years,
beside a section of land near the village of Crow Wing, and the
government was induced to build him a good house upon this land. 
In his home he had many white servants and henchmen and really
lived like a lord.  He dressed well in native style with a touch
of civilized elegance, wearing coat and leggings of fine
broadcloth, linen shirt with collar, and, topping all, a handsome
black or blue blanket.  His moccasins were of the finest deerskin
and beautifully worked.  His long beautiful hair added much to his
personal appearance.  He was fond of entertaining and being
entertained and was a favorite both among army officers and
civilians.  He was especially popular with the ladies, and this
fact will appear later in the story.

At about this time, the United States government took it upon
itself to put an end to warfare between the Sioux and Ojibways.  A
peace meeting was arranged at Fort Snelling, with the United States
as mediator.  When the representatives of the two nations met at
this grand council, Hole-in-the-Day came as the head chief of his
people, and with the other chiefs appeared in considerable pomp and
dignity.  The wives of the government officials were eager for
admission to this unusual gathering, but when they arrived there
was hardly any space left except next to the Sioux chiefs, and the
white ladies soon crowded this space to overflowing.  One of the
Sioux remarked: "I thought this was to be a council of chiefs and
braves, but I see many women among us."  Thereupon the Ojibway
arose and spoke in his courtliest manner.  "The Ojibway chiefs will
feel highly honored," said he, "if the ladies will consent to sit
on our side."

Another sign of his alertness to gain favor among the whites
was seen in the fact that he took part in the territorial
campaigns, a most unusual thing for an Indian of that day.  Being
a man of means and influence, he was listened to with respect by
the scattered white settlers in his vicinity.  He would make a
political speech through an interpreter, but would occasionally
break loose in his broken English, and wind up with an invitation
to drink in the following words: "Chentimen, you Pemicans
(Republicans), come out and drink!"

From 1855 to 1864 Hole-in-the-Day was a well-known figure in
Minnesota, and scarcely less so in Washington, for he visited the
capital quite often on tribal affairs.  As I have said before, he
was an unusually handsome man, and was not unresponsive to flattery
and the attentions of women.  At the time of this incident he was
perhaps thirty-five years old, but looked younger.  He had called
upon the President and was on his way back to his hotel, when he
happened to pass the Treasury building just as the clerks were
leaving for the day.  He was immediately surrounded by an
inquisitive throng.  Among them was a handsome young woman who
asked through the interpreter if the chief would consent to an
interview about his people, to aid her in a paper she had promised
to prepare.

Hole-in-the-Day replied: "If the beautiful lady is willing to
risk calling on the chief at his hotel, her request will be
granted."  The lady went, and the result was so sudden and strong
an attachment that both forgot all racial biases and differences of
language and custom.  She followed him as far as Minneapolis, and
there the chief advised her to remain, for he feared the jealousy
of some of his many wives.  She died there, soon after giving birth
to a son, who was brought up by a family named Woodbury; and some
fifteen years ago I met the young man in Washington and was taken
by him to call upon certain of his mother's relatives.

The ascendancy of Hole-in-the-Day was not gained entirely
through the consent of his people, but largely by government favor,
therefore there was strong suppressed resentment among his
associate chiefs, and the Red Lake and Leech Lake bands in fact
never acknowledged him as their head, while they suspected him of
making treaties which involved some of their land.  He was in
personal danger from this source, and his life was twice attempted,
but, though wounded, in each case he recovered.  His popularity
with Indian agents and officers lasted till the Republicans came
into power in the sixties and there was a new deal.  The chief no
longer received the favors and tips to which he was accustomed; in
fact he was in want of luxuries, and worse still, his pride was
hurt by neglect.  The new party had promised Christian treatment to
the Indians, but it appeared that they were greater grafters than
their predecessors, and unlike them kept everything for themselves,
allowing no perquisites to any Indian chief.

In his indignation at this treatment, Hole-in-the-Day began
exposing the frauds on his people, and so at a late day was
converted to their defense.  Perhaps he had not fully understood
the nature of graft until he was in a position to view it from the
outside.  After all, he was excusable in seeking to maintain the
dignity of his office, but he had departed from one of the
fundamental rules of the race, namely: "Let no material gain be the
motive or reward of public duty."  He had wounded the ideals of his
people beyond forgiveness, and he suffered the penalty; yet his
courage was not diminished by the mistakes of his past.  Like the
Sioux chief Little Crow, he was called "the betrayer of his
people", and like him he made a desperate effort to regain lost
prestige, and turned savagely against the original betrayers of his
confidence, the agents and Indian traders.

When the Sioux finally broke out in 1862, the first thought of
the local politicians was to humiliate Hole-in-the-Day by arresting
him and proclaiming some other "head chief" in his stead.  In so
doing they almost forced the Ojibways to fight under his
leadership.  The chief had no thought of alliance with the Sioux,
and was wholly unaware of the proposed action of the military on
pretense of such a conspiracy on his part.  He was on his way to
the agency in his own carriage when a runner warned him of his
danger.  He thereupon jumped down and instructed the driver to
proceed.  His coachman was arrested by a file of soldiers, who when
they discovered their mistake went to his residence in search of
him, but meanwhile he had sent runners in every direction to notify
his warriors, and had moved his family across the Mississippi. 
When the military reached the river bank he was still in sight, and
the lieutenant called upon him to surrender.  When he refused, the
soldiers were ordered to fire upon him, but he replied with his own
rifle, and with a whoop disappeared among the pine groves.

It was remarkable how the whole tribe now rallied to the call
of Hole-in-the-Day.  He allowed no depredations to the young men
under his leadership, but camped openly near the agency and awaited
an explanation.  Presently Judge Cooper of St. Paul, a personal
friend of the chief, appeared, and later on the Assistant Secretary
of the Interior, accompanied by Mr. Nicolay, private secretary of
President Lincoln.  Apparently that great humanitarian President
saw the whole injustice of the proceeding against a loyal nation,
and the difficulty was at an end.

Through the treaties of 1864, 1867, and 1868 was accomplished
the final destiny of the Mississippi River Ojibways. 
Hole-in-the-Day was against their removal to what is now White
Earth reservation, but he was defeated in this and realized that
the new turn of events meant the downfall of his race.  He declared
that he would never go on the new reservation, and he kept his
word.  He remained on one of his land grants near Crow Wing.  As
the other chiefs assumed more power, the old feeling of suspicion
and hatred became stronger, especially among the Pillager and Red
Lake bands.  One day he was waylaid and shot by a party of these
disaffected Indians.  He uttered a whoop and fell dead from his

Thus died one of the most brilliant chiefs of the Northwest,
who never defended his birthright by force of arms, although almost
compelled to do so.  He succeeded in diplomacy so long as he was
the recognized head of his people.  Since we have not passed over
his weaknesses, he should be given credit for much insight in
causing the article prohibiting the introduction of liquor into the
Indian country to be inserted into the treaty of 1858.  I think it
was in 1910 that this forgotten provision was discovered and again
enforced over a large expanse of territory occupied by whites, it
being found that the provision had never been repealed.

Although he left many children, none seem to have made their
mark, yet it may be that in one of his descendants that undaunted
spirit will rise again.

End of Project Gutenberg Etext of Indian Heroes & Great Chieftains