By Aubrey L. Steele1
The peace made with the Southern Plains Indians following the Civil War was not kept. A second attempt was made to bring about more settled conditions by holding one of the largest Indian councils of all times at Medicine Lodge Creek in Kansas. Here the Indians agreed to keep the peace, settle upon comparatively small reservations and learn to live like the white man. But soon a band of Cheyenne accompanied by some Arapaho, Kiowa and Comanche raided settlements along the Soloman and Saline rivers in Kansas. The friendly Indians were warned to go to their new reservations immediately. General P. H. Sheridan, newly appointed commander of the Department of the Missouri, conducted a campaign in the winter of 1868-1869 against the disaffected bands. The winter campaign began in November with the annihilation of the Cheyenne under Black Kettle on the Washita River. After this the hostile Indians began to surrender and settle within the confines of their newly assigned homes. By the spring of 1869 the task of bringing them to their reservations had been completed.
After the government took the Indians "by the hair and pulled" them to their reservation, as Satanta put it several years later,2 Colonel W. B. Hazen, who had been sent to care for the friendly Indians at Fort Cobb, considered it his duty to put three new agencies into operation.3 One of these was for the Cheyenne and Arapaho, one for the Wichita, Caddo and affiliated bands,4 and one for the Kiowa, Comanche and Apache, located at Fort Sill.
Several grave problems faced Hazen from the very beginning of his work, but the two most critical ones were: first, the fact that
1Mr. Steele is head of the Department of History in the Pampa, Texas High School. This study is based on a Master of Arts thesis which he presented to the University of Oklahoma last year.
2Lawrie Tatum, Our Red Brothers and the Peace Policy of President Ulysses. S. Grant, (Philadelphia, 1899), 116.
3Report of the Commissioner of Indian Affairs Made to the Secretary of Interior for the Year 1869, 388. Hereafter cited, Report, (date). For a discussion of Hazen's work the writer has found it necessary to depend upon this source almost entirely.
4Under Hazen these Indians were under a separate agency but when Tatum took charge it was made a sub-agency of the Kiowa and Comanche Agency. Tatum recommended that the Wichita and Caddo be given a separate agency due to their superior civilization. This was done in 1872. See, Tatum, op. cit., 58; "Articles of Agreement," in Kiowa—Foreign Relations File in Archives of the Oklahoma Historical Society. Hereafter cited, O. H. S.
several hundred Kiowa and about two-thirds of the Comanche were still not on the reservation; and second, that he could not feed them adequately.5 Most of the money given to him by the army to spend for the Indians' benefit had to be used for food. Hazen had hoped to use this for fencing, breaking and cultivation of land, planting fruit trees, the construction of houses for the chiefs and school buildings, and other permanent improvements.6 "As it is," said Hazen, "I have 1200 acres broken, with contracts for fencing it all; having 300 acres planted in corn; over a hundred patches, from a few rods to ten acres each, started for Indians as gardens, tended by their own hands, and as cleanly kept as the best gardens in Ohio. . ."7
Hazen believed that it was the government's duty to feed the Indian when he was placed on the reservation until he had been taught to provide for his own subsistence.8 The established way of issuing rations, he found, was to give an equal quantity of supplies to each band of Indians, regardless of its size, and the chief in turn was to distribute the supplies among his followers. Hazen altered this and issued the rations according to numbers. One hundred rations consisted of ". . . 150 pounds of beef, 75 pounds of corn meal, 25 pounds of flour, 4 pounds of sugar, 2 pounds of coffee, 1 pound of soap, 1 pound of salt."9 The beef ration was increased to two and a half pounds in the winter when the cattle were poor. These goods were a subsidy Hazen believed, since the buffalo were plentiful and furnished him with adequate food, but the sugar and coffee were greatly prized by the Indians.10
The reservation system had been proclaimed by Hazen since 1866, as the only feasible solution to the Indian problem. He found that one grave necessity, now that this policy was in operation, was the power to punish the government's wards when they left the reservation.11 As for the frequent raids into Texas the military agent said:
Here lies the most unsatisfactory portion of our work. The Comanches claim truly that they never ceded away Texas, which was their original country, and that they therefore have a right to make war there. From its earliest settlement they have raided upon it, killing, capturing and stealing. The Medicine Lodge Treaty makes them promise to stop these raids; but they have not stopped, being known to have gone not less than 40 times since, in which 40 or 50 people have been killed, and as
5Rupert Norval Richardson, The Comanche Barrier to South Plains Settlement, A Century and a Half of Savage Resistance to the Advancing White Frontier, (Glendale, 1933), 329-330.
many women and children captured and thousands of horses stolen; and now several parties are there.12
Hazen requested that examples be made of the chief leaders in these crimes and that the stolen horses be returned since many were able to identify their stock. He was assured that this would be done, but it was thought best afterward by the military commander at Fort Sill to do nothing about the matter. Hazen said, "Until we dictate our own terms these outrages will continue."13 Nothing was done and Hazen having no military authority, saw his warning laughed at. The raids continued.
It was estimated that 916 Comanche were on the reservation and 1,500 were absent, while about 1,000 Kiowa and 281 Apache were within their proper bounds.14 Such were the conditions when the Quakers began their work among the savages.
A new wave of immigration following the Civil War made isolation and removal westward for the Indian impossible and a new policy was imperative. The reservation system was then introduced to meet this situation and the Indians were driven to the homes allotted them, as was shown above, but this was not sufficient. The Commissioner of Indian Affairs in 1866, said in his Annual Report:
An earnest endeavor has been made to awaken or revive the interest of officers and teachers in the work of educating the children of the Indians, as the only means of saving any considerable portion of the race... That the labor of reclaiming the American Indian is more difficult than that relating to any other race, is the universal testimony of those who have devoted themselves most earnestly to it; and the reasons for this state of things do not alone inhere in the nature of the Indians, but arise to a great extent from the character of the whites with whom they are brought into contact upon the frontier, who are too often unprincipaled and reckless, devoid of shame, looking upon an Indian as a fair object of plunder, and disgracing their race and color.15
At this point when there was grave necessity for unselfish cooperation and work among the Indians, it was pointed out by the Commissioner that there had been a sharp decline in the interest and effort on the part of religious and philanthropic organizations. The Commissioner appealed for additional help from these sources.16
The question of whether the Indian should be civilized or exterminated was a much discussed one at this time and served to quicken the interest of several organizations in the problem.17 One of these was the Society of Friends which had manifested an in-
17Senate Executive Document, No. 13, 40 Cong., 1 Sess., 39; Louis Thomas Jones, The Quakers of Iowa, (Iowa City, 1914), 205.
terest in the American Indian ever since 1672 ". . . when George Fog, the founder of Quakerism, began his wanderings. . . Strange as it may seem, something in the untamed nature of the red man has always attracted the Quaker to him; and in turn something in the attitude of the peaceful Quaker has ever made the Indians his trusting friend."18
The work and success of the Friends had not gone unnoticed, for in 1867 the press called attention to the fact that:
The treaties made by Wm. Penn were always respected by both parties, and the peaceful sect of which he was a distinguished member have been traditional friends of the aborigines, and always kindly regarded by them. We have often thought that if the Society of Friends, who so successfully colonized and civilized the Senecas in western New York, and with such judgment and benevolence managed their affairs with the Government, could be induced to take charge of the subject of colonizing the Indian territory, and instructing the Indians, they might prepare them for the inevitable future.19
At the conference of Friends at Baltimore in 1867, it was reported that several important statesmen had expressed the wish that the Friends would be given the care and civilization of the Indians. The conference sent a memorial to Congress in which they offered their services in behalf of the Indians.20 In the same year, the Yearly Meeting of the Friends of Iowa appointed a "Committee on Indian Concerns" and invited other Yearly Meetings to join in their work. This resulted in a committee representing the Quakers of several states.21 This Committee sent a memorial to Congress in January, 1868, asking that " . . . in the appointment of officers and agents, to have charge of their [the Indians] interests, care should be taken to select men of unquestioned integrity and purity of character."22
Due to Congressional distrust of the officials' integrity in charge of Indian affairs, an act creating a Board of Indian Commissioners was passed April 10, 1869. The president was to appoint high minded citizens interested in philanthropy to this Commission, who were to receive no pay. Their duties included participation in the purchasing of goods for the Indians, the right to inspect all phases of Indian administration, and make recommendations for their improvement and civilization.23
19Rayner Wickersham Kelsey, Friends and the Indians 1655-1917, (Philadelphia, 1917), 164-165. (From the Weekly Chronicle, of Washington, D. C., September 14, 1867.)
21Ibid., 166; Jones, op. cit., 205-206. The Committee included representatives from the states of Iowa, Indiana, Ohio, New York, and other groups such as the New England Yearly Meeting, Friends of Philadelphia and Baltimore.
23James D. Richardson, A Compilation of the Messages and Papers of the Presidents, 1789-1897, (Washington, D. C., 1898), VII, 23-24.
The Friends in January, 1869, sent another memorial to Congress in which they pled for a more Christian-like policy in dealing with the Indians and recalled their long and successful work among the aborigines.24 On January 25, and 26, of the same year, two groups of Friends called upon President-elect, Ulysses S. Grant. In their interviews they stressed the necessity of applying Christian principles and offered their assistance in dealing with the Indians.25 Grant was favorably impressed with their suggestions and on February 15, directed his aide, E. S. Parker, to write the Friends that:
General Grant, the President-elect, desirous of inaugurating some policy to protect the Indians in their just rights and enforce integrity in the administration of their affairs, as well as to improve their general condition, and appreciating fully the friendship and interest which your Society has ever maintained in their behalf, directs me to request that you will send him a list of names, members of your Society, whom your Society will endorse as suitable persons for Indian agents.
Also, to assure you that any attempt which may or can be made by your society for the improvement, education, and Christianization of the Indians under such agencies will receive from him as President, all the encouragement and protection which the laws of the United States will warrant him in giving.26
In Grant's first annual message to Congress, he explained his reasons for allotting to the Quakers the control of a part of the Indians. Among these reasons were: the long and successful work with the natives of this country, their opposition to armed might and their integrity.27
The policy to be administered by the government officials in their treatment of the Indian was summarized by the Commissioner of Indian Affairs, as:
1. that they should be secured their legal rights,
26Kelsey, op. cit., 167-168. General W. T. Sherman said that the Quaker Policy, was a result of the act of July 15, 1870, prohibiting the use of army officers in civil positions, since the Congressmen wished to fill these positions with their political henchmen. He wrote, "I was then told that certain politicians called on President Grant, informing him that this law was chiefly designed to prevent his using army officers for Indian agents . . . . The President then quietly replied: 'Gentlemen, you have defeated my plan of Indian management; but you shall not succeed in your purpose, for I will divide these appointments up among the religious churches, with which you dare not contend.' Sherman said that he then appointed various denominations to nominate agents for the Indians and "The Quakers, being first named, gave name to the policy, and it is called the 'Quaker' policy today." It will be noticed by the reader that the Quaker policy had been in progress for a year before the episode related by Sherman. See, Memoirs of W. T. Sherman, (New York, 1904), II, 436. Hereafter cited, Memoirs.
control of and supervision of military authorities, to be treated as friendly or hostile as circumstances might justify.28
There is nothing new in this policy. The only change of importance in Grant's and previous policies, was the system of selecting superintendents and agents with more control over the Indian from sources outside of the government. The "peace policy," as Grant's policy was sometimes called, aimed at kindly, just, and humane treatment but so did the policies before this.29
The 6,490 Indians of the Northern Superintendency in Nebraska were turned over to the Society of Hicksite Friends while the Central Superintendency embracing the 16,379 Indians of Kansas and the Indian Territory were turned over to the Orthodox Friends.30 The latter group organized the "Associated Executive Committee of Friends on Indian Affairs," to carry on the work that had been assigned to them.31 Enoch Hoag of Iowa was nominated for the superintendency by the Friends and appointed by the President. Under Hoag's supervision there were nine agents. Lawrie Tatum, an Iowa Quaker farmer, was chosen agent for the Kiowa and Comanche.
Tatum said that he knew nothing of his appointment as agent until he read it in the paper and that "I knew little of the duties and responsibilities devolving upon an Indian agent. But after considering the subject as best I could in the fear of God, and wishing to be obedient to Him, it seemed right to accept the appointment."32
The remainder of the Indian superintendencies in the United States were placed under the control of the army until 1870, when a section of the Army Appropriation Act, passed, July 15, provided that any army officer holding a civil position in the government should forfeit his commission in the army.33 Grant then divided the other Indian appointments among the various religious groups.34
Colonel W. B. Hazen met Lawrie Tatum, the new agent to the Kiowa and Comanche, at Junction City, Kansas, and escorted him
29For similar views see, John C. Lawrie, "Our Indian Affairs," Presbyterian Quarterly and Princeton Review, New Series, No. 9, January, 1874, 9; and Frederic L. Paxson, The Last American Frontier, (New York, 1922), 347.
30Report, 1869, 5: Jones, op. cit., 207-208; and Kelsey, op. cit., 168-169. The Five Civilized Tribes were not included in numbers quoted. Hoag had only indirect control over them.
33See footnote, 25. Also, Memoirs, 436-437; and Laurence F. Schmeckebier, The Office of Indian Affairs; Its History, Activities and Organization, (Baltimore, 1927), 54-55.
to the agency located at Fort Sill. On July 1, 1869, care of the agency and its property was officially turned over to Tatum except for the commissary stores which remained under the Military Department until the next year.35 When the Quaker Agent took charge, he estimated his Indian charges to include ". . . about two thousand five hundred Comanches, nineteen hundred Kiowas, five hundred Apaches, and twelve hundred of the Wichita and affiliated bands."36
Tatum was well pleased with the work he found already begun by Hazen but the adobe agency buildings were located in a low and inaccessible place. Consequently, new buildings of stone were constructed on higher ground west of East Cache Creek. The agent then went to Chicago and purchased a steam engine with attachments for a saw-mill, a shingle machine, and a small mill-stone for grinding corn.37
The military agent had planted some corn for the Indians of this reservation and Tatum reported when he took charge that it was making an excellent growth. The sedentary Wichita and affiliated bands were enthused over the agricultural developments on their reservation since they had raised corn and some vegetables from time immemorial. Some of the Comanche, it was reported, took a great deal of interest in agriculture and "permitted" their squaws and two white farmers to plant a few acres of corn for them,38 but the Kiowa took little interest in the fifty-five acres of corn and vegetables planted for them, until after they had returned from a hunting trip when they ate the immature vegetables and corn and permitted their ponies to run loose in the fields. The unripe food made the Indians sick. The ponies destroyed the fields.39 The Kiowa later wished to share that which was raised, and more judiciously guarded by the Comanche.
Tatum prepared about fifteen hundred acres of land for planting the following spring,40 and to encourage agricultural pursuits recommended that one thousand dollars be appropriated each year to provide for not less than twenty-five prizes to be awarded to the Indians making the most progress during the year in agriculture.41
The government was interested in raising grain on the reservations because it would teach the Indian to be self-sufficient, it would be less expensive to raise the food than to buy and transport it
to the Indian, and consequently would decrease the chances of smuggling liquor in to the Indians since fewer people would have an excuse for entering the Indian country.42
Although, he had had no previous experience in the problems of Indian management, the new agent was not without ample advice. The Indian and Military departments, the Friends, individually and collectively, rained letters of adminition and "good" advice upon him. He soon discovered that he was expected to act in the capacity of governor, legislature, judge, sheriff, and accounting officer. Besides these duties he was theoretically responsible for hiring the many agency employees. However, the Executive Committee performed this function.43 Other routine duties included instructing the Indians in agricultural pursuits, advising them on their multitudinous difficulties and the distribution of rations and annuity goods.44 The rations were issued every two weeks to the chiefs, who divided them by having the women of each family sit on the ground in a circle around him. The chief then distributed the goods among them. One or more beeves were issued alive to the chiefs according to the size of their bands. If one family's supplies were exhausted before "issue day," they went to visit another. This procedure was followed until the food of the entire band was gone and then, if they could not fast until the next "issue day," they would kill a mule.45
Sugar and coffee were the most prized of the rations and it was believed that the issuance of these goods would be more effective in keeping the Indian peaceably upon his reservation than ". . . any other measure which the government can adopt." So runs a report to the government. It continues: "There is much reason to believe that the Kiowa and Comanches, in part, will again go to the plains if the measure is not adopted at an early date, and that the sugar and coffee will certainly hold them."46 Agent Tatum requested more rations for his Indians on the grounds that they would leave for the plains if not given sufficient food. His request was granted.47
By the treaty of 1868, the Kiowa, Comanche, and Apache were to receive annuity goods to the value of thirty thousand dollars annually for thirty years from the government. "The goods consisted of blankets, brown muslin, satinet, calico, hosiery, needles,
45Tatum, op. cit., 73. The rations included: beef, bacon, flour, coffee, sugar, soap, tobacco, and soda.
46Report, 1869, 60-61. Felix Brunot, of the Board of Indian Commissioners in reporting on conditions among the Kiowa and Comanche, stressed the importance of adequate rations as a means of maintaining peace.
thread, a few suits of men's clothes, beads, tincups, butcher knives, iron kettles, frying pans, hoes and small axes."48 Tatum, in his first annual report to the Commissioner of Indian Affairs, wrote that it was a mistake to send pants and woolen hose to the Indians as they nearly always cut the upper part of the pants off and saved only the leggings. The socks were generally worn without moccasins and were worn out quickly. The shirts, of good material, said the report, should be longer since they do not wear pants.49
When the annuity goods came in 1869, they were much smaller in quantity than in the previous year, and Tatum wrote:
The Indians during the summer and fall appeared to anticipate that . . . they would be smaller .... on account of their having behaved well during the last year. They repeatedly told me that when they behaved well they got but a small amount of goods and the only way to get a large amount was to go on the war path a while, kill a few white people, steal a good many horses and mules, and then make a treaty and they would get a large amount of presents and a liberal supply of goods for that fall.50
When Tatum inquired of the Indian Bureau the reason for the smaller quantity of goods, it was explained that money for the depredation claims had been taken from the fund for annuity goods.51 Since most of the depredations had been in the previous year, Tatum pointed out that it would be a much wiser policy to withhold a part of the annuity goods immediately following the depredations even before the claims came in and treat them liberally when they behaved themselves. The agent thought this would be better for the government as well as the settlers along the frontier.52
Education was recognized as the surest, perhaps the only, way of transforming the natives of this country into civilized beings.53 Consequently, a part of the new agent's work was to establish schools among his charges. The Wichita and Caddo were willing to send their children to the boarding school provided for them, but the Kiowa and Comanche did not place their children in school for several years.54
Sheridan's winter campaign did not permanently discourage raiding in Texas but the spring and summer months were unusually quiet for the frontier settlers. Agent Tatum believed that the Comanche continued to raid in Texas because they had never been paid for this land which they claimed had been their home for
many years,55 while the natural love for roaming, unmolested upon the plains, was the reason ascribed for the Kiowa raids. These resulted frequently in the taking of horses and mules from the Texans.56
The principal objective of raiding in Texas was to take horses and mules, but sometimes women and children were seized and held for ransom. The agent learned that a trail up the Canadian River to New Mexico was used by the Indians to drive stolen stock from Texas. They were exchanged to Mexican traders for guns, ammunition, and liquor.57
The Quahadi Comanche were largely untouched by Sheridan's campaign, since they inhabited the Staked Plains lying to the southwest of the Kiowa and Comanche reservation. They were openly hostile to the government and sent word to Tatum that they did not intend to come to the agency until the soldiers came out and "whipped" them, and they did not think that possible.58 Their camp served as a rendezvous for all hostile bands of Indians in the southwest but frequently the blame for crimes was laid at their door when it actually belonged to some of the reservation Indians.59
If 1869 was an unusually quiet year, the Indians made up for lost time in 1870. Following a raid on the Wichita agency in which several head of stock were stolen, seventy-three mules were taken from the Quartermaster's corral at Fort Sill by the Quahadi. A series of raids and murders were committed by various bands in the vicinity of the agency following these escapades. One man was shot within two hundred yards of the agency, another was killed at the butcher pen, and several head of stock were driven away. Conditions became so bad in June that Tatum called the agency employees together and told them that although he intended to remain, in the face of such an unsettled state of affairs, those who wished, might leave. Only two teachers, Josiah and Lizzie Butler stayed.60
On July 4, two Kiowa came in to see if they could draw rations and Tatum, after consultation with Colonel Grierson, told them they could if the animals stolen from the fort and agency were returned. A few days later Kiowa runners brought word that Little Heart and few other chiefs with their people had gone to the Quahadi camp and did not intend to come to the agency again.
55Report of the Commissioner of Indian Affairs Made to the Secretary of Interior for the Year 1869, 384. Hereafter cited, Report, (date).
57Lawrie Tatum, Our Red Brothers and the Peace Policy of President Ulysses S. Grant, (Philadelphia, 1899), 50.
The other Kiowa wanted to come "in." Tatum repeated his demand for the return of the stock before promising them rations. They said that Kicking Bird was collecting the horses and mules and would bring them to the agency in a few days. The runners told their agent that he might sleep now, as they would not raid near the agency again. The Indians expected additional supplies if they should remain at peace; but instead, Tatum steadfastly refused to issue rations until the stock was returned, and then only the regular quantity. Instead of coming to the agency immediately, however, the Indians went on the biggest raid of the season.
The agent learned that two white women had been taken captives in the raid and on August 7, when two or three hundred Kiowa came to get their rations, bringing with them twenty-seven of the seventy-three mules stolen from the Quartermaster and one stolen from the Wichita agency, Colonel Grierson and Tatum held a council with them in an attempt to get the women released. The prospect of a council always pleased the Indian as it increased his feeling of self-importance to argue with the agent. Tatum tried to impress them with the fact that the people of Texas as well as other states were their friends and helped to pay their annuities. Furthermore, the Indian and the white man, he explained, were both children of the Great Spirit and He wanted them to live like brothers. Lone Wolf said that he could not see what they were mad about and all the other chiefs claimed to have opposed the raids but said that they had been carried into them by the current of affairs. At the council White Horse was accused by other Indians of leading the party that stole the mules from the soldiers and he had also been the leader of the band that took the two captives. A payment of two mules and a carbine in advance was demanded for the captives but Tatum told them that they need not come back for rations until they brought the white women with them, and that they would not receive a reward. While in the council some of the Indians laid bows and arrows by their sides; one removed the cartridges from his breech-loading rifle and put them back again to let Tatum see how many he had. Another strung his bow and snapped an arrow in it, while still another took out a butcher knife and a whetstone and began to whet it vigorously. After the council, one Indian came to Tatum " . . . and ran his hand under my [Tatum's] vest over my heart to see if he could feel any scare. But it was beating calmly as usual."61 After this effort of intimidation, Tatum made a rule that the Indians should leave their weapons outside of the agency when they came to see him.
On August 18, the Kiowa came to the agency again, gave up the two captives and demanded rations but the agent having
learned of other captives refused to give them their supplies until they freed all of their prisoners. The Indians then went to work in earnest and soon all of the captives were freed that is, all that the agent knew about. The Indians then demanded a large amount of coffee and sugar and their usual supplies of beef and flour, and since they had quit the warpath, they wanted arms and ammunition, too. They said their liberality deserved liberal rations but Tatum refused to give them any more than the usual amount of supplies and no ammunition. But he offered to give them one hundred dollars for each captive they would bring in. The Indian Bureau approved this. H. P. Jones, the post interpreter, said that he had never seen captives recovered before without the payment of several hundred dollars for them.62 Tatum soon found that the offer to pay the Indians for their captives was a mistake because it encouraged raiding for the purpose of securing captives. His offer was with drawn.
In September, 1870, when the rations were being issued Tatum told the chiefs to control their young men because at the last issuance, they had committed depredations at the beef pen. The chiefs went with the young men but " . . . assisted in killing ten or a dozen beeves and thirty or forty calves more than they were entitled to, and robbed the herders of their provisions and cooking utensils."63 Tatum kept half of their supplies as punishment. The chiefs came to see Tatum about this and Lone Wolf made what he called a "big speech," in which he said that it was very foolish for Tatum " . . . to get mad just as we have got entirely over our mad."64 His women and children were terribly hungry for sugar and coffee and if the agent wanted to, he could keep the flour and beef but if half the sugar and coffee was withheld, they would not accept anything. Lone Wolf then ordered his camp to be broken up and his band left but before Tatum finished issuing rations to the others, they returned and decided to take what the agent would give them.65
To prevent the Indians from going into the commissary and doing their own issuing, as they had done at the beef pen, Tatum requested Colonel Grierson to furnish him with a company of soldiers, who, under a civil officer, would be like any sheriff or police force. Subsequently Tatum had no trouble on issue day.66 But the guard was not permitted to stay very long for a visiting delegation of Friends were horrified to find that a fellow Quaker would use armed force. After this the old conditions returned.
The hostilities of 1870 were without any justification. The tribes had been well treated by the people of Texas and the soldiers, the agent reported, and it was evident that the Indians expected the government to give them a lot of annuity goods and rations to stop raiding.67
The Comanche gave four reasons for remaining on the plains and committing depredations.
. . . 1st. because they got so few annuity goods last fall; 2nd. because so many of them got sick and died here (at the agency) last summer and fall;68 3rd. because they are not allowed to purchase ammunition; 4th. dividing the land into reservations, instead of having all the Indian country in common, and liberty to roam and hunt over it at will.69
Commissioner E. S. Parker believed the hostiles should be severely punished for the crimes they had committed in open violation of their treaty stipulations. He said that the Indian Bureau was powerless to prevent these raids and demanded that they be thus dealt with:
I know of no way to check this marauding spirit, except to place all of them under the control of the military power, until they shall have satisfactorily shown that they are determined in good faith to keep their solemn promises of peace, and to respect the persons and property of all citizens.70
Moreover, he recommended the establishment of a line of forts along the southern boundary of the reservation to protect the frontier settlers.
The conditions were so bad on the Texas frontier, that a memorial signed by more than three hundred and fifty settlers was sent to Congress pleading for protection and asserting " . . . that the country has vastly decreased in population, caused by the rapine of the savages; that hundreds of their citizens have been made destitute and driven from their homes."71 Indians living at Fort Sill were charged with the malefactions and it was asserted, furthermore, that the authorities at Fort Sill treated their requests for help and recovery of property with insults;72 that the authorities by giving the Indians six-shooters and Spencer carbines had afforded them means of committing depredations; that Fort Sill served as a place of refuge for raiders; and that Forts Richardson and Griffin were garrisoned with too few soldiers.73 The petitioners asked permission
68Their illness was due to an unusually wet season producing malaria and other diseases, and because they ate too many green watermelons, cantaloupes, cucumbers, etc. See Ibid., 260-261.
to pursue the Indians onto their reservation, and to compel the authorities to search for guilty parties and punish them if found. They also requested that the sale of horses and mules by wild Indians be prohibited and the purchase of them treated as a crime, and the sale and distribution of arms to Indians be forbidden.74
In this year of pain and bloodshed an incident occurred which is not without its amusing aspect. Satank whom Tatum branded as "the worst Indian on the Reservation," rode a mule that was claimed by a Texan to the agency one day. It being the duty of the agent to settle controversies arising between Indians and whites, the case was appealed to Tatum. He found that the brand on the mule was that of the Texas settler. Satank explained his possession of the mule in this way. He and his son, he said, had gone to Texas to get some horses and mules and some people got mad and shot his son. Later he returned to this place and stole the mule. He now loved the mule as he had his son and therefore thought he should be allowed to keep it. He then proposed that he and the Texan go alone to the prairie and fight and the one who killed the other should get the mule. "But," wrote Tatum, "I got the mule without the fight."75
A council, sponsored by the government, was held early in the winter with the natives of the southwest. The Indians were warned against hostilities, since it would mean an encounter with the military. But as has been shown, the council did nothing toward keeping the peace. In September of the same year, as a result of their almost continual warfare, a resolution was passed by the more civilized Indians in eastern Indian Territory at Okmulgee, calling upon their red brothers of the plains to abide in peace with the United States government. The wild Indians were also invited to attend and participate in the annual all-Indian councils and congresses held in eastern Indian Territory. This resolution had little or no influence in bringing about a more peaceful state of affairs.76
In 1870-71, as was usual during the winter months, the Indians remained quiet on their reservation. About the middle of May, 1871, Agent Tatum wrote to the Executive Committee that he did not anticipate trouble at the agency but he thought the Indians intended to commit depredations in Texas, and added
I believe affairs will continue to get worse until there is a different course pursued with the Indians. I know of no reason why they should not be treated the same as white people for the same offense. It is not right to be feeding and clothing them, and let them raid with impunity in Texas. Will the committee sustain me in having Indians arrested for murder, and turned over to the proper authorities of Texas for trial?77
Tatum had judged his wards correctly. On the afternoon of the day he wrote this letter, he learned what later proved to be the most famous raid in all southwestern history had occurred a few days before and that his Indians had been responsible for it.
General W. T. Sherman, commander-in-chief of the United States army, had heard so many reports of depredations on the Texas frontier that he decided to visit the affected area and see the actual conditions for himself. Traveling with a small escort in the company of Inspector General R. B. Marcy, he heard numerous stories of raids, but saw no evidences of Indians until he reached the border and he had about come to the conclusion that the reports of war and plunder were grossly exaggerated. As he rode, on May 18, toward Fort Richardson, located near Jacksboro, Texas, he met Henry Warren's outfit composed of ten wagons drawn by about sixty mules. The wagons were loaded with corn and destined for Fort Griffin, a cavalry post. Sherman continued on his route and reached Fort Richardson about sunset. Here the General received additional testimony from delegations of settlers about the dreadful conditions.78
Sherman, late that night, visited Thomas Brazeal who had been admitted to the post hospital for treatment of a gunshot wound in the foot. He told Sherman that in the afternoon as Henry Warren's wagon train had reached Salt Creek (shortly after Sherman passed by), it had been attacked suddenly by a band of more than a hundred Indians. Seven of the teamsters, including the wagon master, had been killed and Brazeal with four others had escaped to a woods where they concealed themselves until night and then made their way to the fort. This was additional proof for Sherman that the stories he had been hearing were not figments of the imagination. Colonel R. S. MacKenzie, was sent with twenty days rations to pursue the Indians with instructions to report to Sherman at Fort Sill.79 The following letter written by the army surgeon who examined the dead men at the scene of the massacre needs no additional comment:
I have the honor to report in compliance with your instructions, I examined, on May 19, 1871, the bodies of five citizens, killed on Salt Creek by Indians on the previous day. All of the bodies were riddled with bullets, covered with gashes and the skulls crushed evidently by means of an axe found bloody on the place. . . One of the bodies were even more mutilated than the others, it having been found fastened with a chain to the pole of a wagon lying over a fire with the face towards the ground, the tongue being cut out. Owing to charred condition of
78Carl Coke Rister, The Southwestern Frontier, 1865-1881, (Cleveland, 1928), 127; W. S. Nye, Carbine and Lance, the Story of Fort Sill, (Norman, 1937), 159-160; and Clarence Wharton, Satanta, The Grey Chief of the Kiowas and His People; (Dallas, 1935), 165-166.
the soft parts it was impossible to determine whether this man was burned before or after his death.80
The next day Sherman started for Fort Sill, and on May 23, he reported the massacre to Tatum and asked his aid in finding the guilty Indians. Tatum told him that he thought he could find out in a few days who the marauders were.
Four days later when the Indians came for their rations, the agent called the chiefs into his office and told them about the tragedy in Texas and asked if they knew any thing about it. Satanta said:
Yes, I led in that raid. I have repeatedly asked for arms and ammunition, which have not been furnished. I have made many other requests which have not been granted. You do not listen to my talk.
The white people are preparing to build a railroad through our country, which will not be permitted. Some years ago they took us by the hair and pulled us here close to Texas where we have to fight them. More recently I was arrested by the soldiers and kept in confinement several days. But that is played out now. There is never to be any more Kiowa Indians arrested. I want you to remember that. On account of these grievances, a short time ago I took about a hundred of my warriors to Texas, who I wished to teach how to fight. I also took the chief Satank, Eagle Heart, Big Bow, Big Tree and Fast Bear. We found a mule train, which we captured and killed seven of the men. Three of our men got killed, but we are willing to call it even. It is all over now, and it is not necessary to say much more about it. We don't expect to raid in Texas. If any other Indian claims the honor of leading that party he will be lying to you. I led it myself.81
Satank, Eagle Heart and Big Tree were present and agreed that Satanta's story was true.
Tatum believed it would be a crime to allow this vicious act to go unpunished and went to the post to tell Grierson and General Sherman of Satanta's speech, and to ask the arrest of Satanta, Big Tree, Eagle Heart, and Big Bow. Shortly after this Satanta appeared at Grierson's quarters. He had heard that a representative of Washington was there " . . . and he probably wished to measure up with him, and see how they compared."82 After boastfully telling his story of the raid, he received the first intimation that all was not well. Sherman ordered that he, Satank, and Big Tree, who were also present, be arrested and sent to Texas for trial. He also told them that forty-one mules had to be returned to replace those taken in the raid. This put a different light on the whole matter and immediately Satanta began to "back up" on his story. Now,
80J. N. Patzki to R. S. MacKenzie, June 17, 1871, in W. T. Sherman Papers, Library of Congress, Washington, D. C., Copies in Phillips Collection, University of Oklahoma. Hereafter cited, Sherman Papers.
81Tatum, op. cit., 117; Lawrie Tatum to Jonathan Richards, May 30, 1871, in "Kiowa-Satanta and Big Tree Trial," Archives, Oklahoma Historical Society. Hereafter cited as O. H. S.
he said, he had merely gone along and had had nothing to do with the killing of the teamsters.
When the Indians gave indication that they would resist the arrest of their chiefs, Sherman, by a pre-arranged signal, caused the whole post to bristle with armed soldiers where a moment before there had been only a few men lazily loitering around. A brief skirmish involving Stumbling Bear, Lone Wolf, Kicking Bird and Colonel Grierson insued, but with the soldiers' guns pointing at the Indians from every direction, they soon subsided. Satanta, Satank, and Big Tree were held as prisoners, and the rest of the Indians were dismissed.83
MacKenzie who had been sent to follow the trail of the Indians from the scene of the massacre, reported at Fort Sill on June 4, that he had been unsuccessful in his attempt to follow the Indian trail as a recent rain had obliterated the tracks of the ponies. He was surprised to learn that those guilty of the crime were already prisoners in the post guardhouse awaiting his arrival to be taken back to Texas for trial.
On June 8, MacKenzie left Fort Sill with the prisoners. Satank being refractory was placed in a separate wagon from Satanta and Big Tree. The three prisoners were handcuffed. Satanta sent word to the Kiowa to return the mules stolen and not to go on any more raids in Texas or around Fort Sill.84 A Caddo boy rode by the wagons as the soldiers and prisoners left. Satank said to him: "I wish to send a message by you to my people. Tell my people that I am dead. I died the first day out from Fort Sill. My bones will be lying on the side of the road."85 When the column was about a mile from the fort, Satank began to sing his death song:
O sun you remain forever, but we Ko-eet-senko86
His song completed, he turned his back to the guards, pulled the handcuffs from his wrist, horribly mutilating them, drew a butcher knife that he had successfully concealed in spite of the fact that he had been searched twice, and then attacked the guards who jumped
83Ibid., 117-118; Rister, op. cit., 130-132; Lawrie Tatum to Jonathan Richards, May 30, 1871, "Kiowa—Satanta and Big Tree Trial," O. H. S.; Report, 1871, 163, 502-503; Ranald S. MacKenzie to Assistant Adjutant General, June 16, 1871, 6, in Sherman Papers. See Nye, op. cit., 174-184, for a good detailed account of the Salt Creek Massacre; and C. C. Rister, "The Significance of the Jacksboro Indian Affair of 1871," The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, XXIX, (January, 1926), 181200.
from the wagon, leaving their guns. Satank seized one of the rifles and attempted to load it but being unfamiliar with its mechanism several bullets struck him before he could use it. The old chief fell mortally wounded and died in about twenty minutes.88
The Society of Friends was very anxious about the whole problem of the arrest of the chiefs since it was considered as a wedge which might open the way to a revision of the government's Indian policy and take the management out of their hands. But they were also much concerned about the punishment to be meted out to the chiefs as can be seen in a typical paragraph from one of their letters sent to Tat-am at this time. ". . . I believe that if by any means their punishment should be imprisonment for life it would be more consonant with Christianity, and vastly more effective in deterring their people from a repetition of crimes."89
The two chiefs were taken to Jacksboro for trial after Satank's death. "Never was there an incident having to do with frontier history quite so spectacular and colorful as that pertaining to the arrest and trial of these notorious raiders."90 The chiefs were tried before Judge Charles Soward of the Thirteenth Judicial District and prosecuted by District Attorney S. W. T. Lanham. Thomas Ball and J. A. Woolfork of Weatherford, Texas, defended the chiefs. The trial began July 5, and was speedily closed.91
The district attorney probably voiced the sentiments of the frontier settlers when he said:
Satanta, the veteran consul chief of the Kiowas—the orator, diplomat, the counselor of his tribe—the pulse of his race:—Big Tree, the young war chief, who leads in the thickest of the fight, and follows no one in the chase the mighty warrior athlete, with the speed of the deer and the eye of the eagle, are before this bar, in the charge of the law! So they would be described by Indian admirers, who live in more secure and favored lands, remote from the frontier-where 'distance lends, enchantment' to the imagination-where the story of Pocahontas and the speech of Logan, the Mingo, are read, and the dread sound of the warwhoop is not heard. We who see them today, disrobed of all their fancied graces, exposed in the light of reality, behold them through far different lenses! We recognize in Satanta the arch fiend of treachery and blood the cunning Catiline—the promoter of strife the breaker of treaties signed by his own hands—the inciter of his fellows to rapine and murder—the artful dealer in bravado while in the pow-wow, and the most abject coward in the field, as well as the most canting and double-tongued hypocrite when detected and overcome! In Big Tree we perceive the tiger-demon, who has tasted blood and loves it as his food—who stops at no crime, how black so ever—who is swift at every species of ferocity, and pities not at any sight of agony or death—he can scalp, burn, torture,
88Ibid., 121; Rister, op. cit., 132-133; and R. S. MacKenzie to Assistant Adjutant General, June 16, 1871, Sherman Papers, 6.
mangle, and deface his victims with all the superlatives of cruelty, and have no feeling of sympathy or remorse. They are both hideous and loathsome in appearance; and we look in vain to see in them anything to be admired, or even endure.92
Satanta, "Orator of the Plains," was given an opportunity to speak and defend himself. The handcuffs restrained his oratorical gestures as he spoke.
I cannot speak with these things upon my wrists; you make me a squaw... I look around me and see your braves, squaws, and papooses, and I have said in my heart that if I ever get back to my people I will never wage war upon you again. I have always been, a friend of the white man. My tribe has taunted me and called me a squaw because I have been the friend of the Tehannas. I am suffering now for the crimes of bad Indians—of Satank, Lone Wolf, and Kicking Bird, and Fast Pear, and Eagle Heart—and if you will let me go, I will kill the three latter with my own hands. If you will let me go, I will withdraw my warriors from Tehanna. I will wash out the stain of blood and make it a white land, and there shall be peace and the Tehannas may plow and drive their oxen to the river. But if you kill me, it will be a spark on the Prairie—make big fire—burn heap.93
But the jury, after brief deliberation, brought in a verdict finding the chiefs guilty of murder and condemning them to death.
The principal witnesses at the trial were Colonel MacKenzie and Lawrie Tatum; and it was largely through their testimony that the Indians were convicted.94 Tatum did not believe in capital punishment and used his influence along with many others who had similar views, to get their sentences commuted to life imprisonment. Trial Judge Soward was persuaded that it would be more beneficial to the Texas frontier for the chiefs to be alive and in prison. Only then could the reservation Indians be expected to refrain from raiding. If they were hanged there would be no such check and it would only embitter the Kiowa still more.95
Not all of the Friends were in sympathy with their fellow member, Lawrie Tatum, as may be discerned by a letter sent to him in August concerning the attitude of the Executive Committee in regard to his part in the arrest and conviction of Satanta and Big Tree. A part of it reads: "There was evidently some concern on the part of several of the Committee lest thou complicate thyself with military matters to such an extent as to compromise our religious principles . . ."96
The Quakers no doubt would have been alarmed to a greater extent if they had been given the opportunity of reading Colonel
MacKenzie's report on the conditions that he found on the reservation while he was there following the Jacksboro Massacre. He wrote:
To obtain a permanent peace and to give Mr. Tatum who I regard as an excellent man an opportunity to elevate these people, the Kiowas and Comanches should be dismounted and disarmed, and made to raise corn, etc.
The Kiowa and Comanches are entirely beyond any control, and have been for a long time. Mr. Tatum understands the matter, appears to be straight forward, resolute and capable. He is anxious that the Kiowa and Comanches now out of his control be brought under it. This can only be accomplished by the army. The matter is now within a very small compass, either these Indians must be punished, or they must be allowed to murder, and rob at their own discretion.97
Tatum was so disgusted with the Indians that he urged MacKenzie to return to the reservation after delivering the prisoners, and render the hostile bands such a severe blow that they would have no alternative but to remain at peace. However, they decided to wait and see how the people behaved after their chiefs had been dealt with.98
The Kiowa brought in the forty-one mules demanded of them by the military to make up for those taken in the raid.99 Raiding ceased except for a few individual forays. The Kiowa and Arizona Apache had planned to carry on extensive raids but the arrest of the chiefs stopped them.100 Agent Tatum wrote to the Executive Committee that Colonel Grierson, Interpreter Jones and others who had had long experience with the Indians, said they had never seen the Indians so completely subdued before. "I see much in the Kiowas and all of the other Indians," wrote Tatum, "to confirm me that it was right to have them arrested, and I see nothing to make me feel doubtful about it. It has probably saved the lives of many Texas citizens."101
The Indian agent wrote that the Indians had no use for guns except for raiding since they preferred to use their bows and arrows for hunting and therefore the government should exert a special effort to prevent the sale of munition to them. The continual raids had, in his opinion, forfeited the treaty rights of the Indians. No more treaties should be made with them since they were really wards of the government and their true relationship should be recognized.102
Again during the winter months of 1871-1872, the Indians were quiet. All of them except the Quahadi came in for rations during the year, but as soon as spring came the Kiowa with some Apache and Comanche began to raid in Texas with a fury seemingly unprecedented.103 Not less than forty white people were killed during the summer of 1872, several hundred head of live stock were stolen and three children were taken captives.104
On April 20, 1872, the Howard Wells Massacre occurred in which sixteen people were killed. Although troops succeeded in following the Indians, they held a secure position which enabled them to repulse the soldiers until nightfall, after which, they slipped away.105 All of the forays during the spring and summer months of 1872 were made to compel the government to free their chieftains.
The patience of the Indian Commissioner was just about at an end, as is clearly seen in his report for the year 1872. The hostilities:
. . . of the past year were pursuant to their deliberate decision, and it is safe to state that at least one-half of the terrible scenes of blood, fire, and pillage which they have caused have never yet been reported to the Department. . . nothing less than military authority, with perhaps some punishment by troops, will bring them into such subjection as to again render the services of a civil agent of benefit to them.106
Thomas C. Battey, a Quaker school teacher among the Kiowa, believed that "a firm hand" as well as "a kind heart" was necessary in dealing with the Indians.107 The Kiowa were not unanimous on the raids if we can believe Battey. Kicking Bird, one of Battey's staunch Indian supporters, was one of the most influential of the Kiowa chieftains. His friendship for the whites, at one time caused him to lose the confidence of his people. They believed this friendship was due to cowardice. However, after he led a party into Texas, in an engagement against the soldiers, he proved himself courageous and came out with the renewed con-
107Battey, op. cit., 123. Since it was impossible to persuade the Kiowa and Comanche to send their children to the agency school at Fort Sill, Tatum was anxious to send a teacher to the Indian camps. Thomas C. Battey, a Quaker teacher in the Caddo school at the Wichita agency, believed that ". . . he distinctly heard the question audibly addressed to him by the Lord, 'What if thou should have to go and sojourn in the Kiowa camps.' On the same day Kicking Bird came to Battey and asked him to come to their camps and teach their children. Battey finally went to the Kiowa, lived with them and attempted to teach their children but his school was not very successful and the hostilities of 1874-1875 finally caused him to discontinue his efforts. Yet he succeeded in gaining the confidence of some members of the tribe. His experiences are interestingly told in his book. Ibid.,64.
fidence of his people. He then returned to his reservation and continued his efforts to promote peace between his people and the whites. While he was the leader of the peace faction, Lone Wolf was encouraging outrages against the settlers.108
The raids of 1872, were brought to an abrupt conclusion by the fall campaign of Colonel MacKenzie who surprised a camp of Quahadi on the Staked Plains. They fled without fighting, thus failing to make good their boast that they would gloriously defeat the soldiers once the opportunity presented itself. The entire camp was destroyed, along with their winter's food supply. In addition to this blow, a still more severe one was dealt the Indians by taking as captives more than one hundred women and children left unprotected in the camp by the fleeing warriors. These were taken to Texas and held at Fort Concho until the next year.
This severe defeat had a very pronounced influence on the Comanche. They were compelled by hunger to come to the agency for rations and gave the government a means of coercion in recovering white captives and of curbing temporarily the hostile activities of one of the most troublesome war bands on the southern plains.109
At the general council held by the civilized Indians in 1872, it was decided to send a delegation to the nomads of the Plains to hold council and persuade them to establish friendly relations with the United States government.110 The council was held in July at Fort Cobb. Two captives were brought in to Tatum and Kicking Bird said that they had made "a law" forbidding their young men to go to Texas on raids. The Yamparika were induced to restore thirty-two head of stock stolen from the Chickasaw, and friendly relations between those two tribes were restored. Some government stock was recovered and a promise of permanent peace was made by the Plains Indians—if Satanta and Big Tree were returned.111
The government sent Captain Henry Alvord and Professor Edward Parrish to the Indians to persuade them to send delegates to Washington,112and to determine the best method of dealing
112Originally Dr. Joseph Parrish was appointed with Alvord but being unable to attend, his brother, Edward Parrish, was sent in his place. Professor Parrish died of typhoid fever September 8, at Fort Sill, and Alvord had to bear all the responsibility of the work. George W. Schofield to Lawrie Tatum, September 8, 1872, "Kiowa—Foreign Relations," O. H. S.; and Tatum, op. cit., 128.
with the hostile element of the tribes.113 For several years, it had been a government policy to induce the wild tribes to send representative chiefs and warriors to visit the capitol with the hope that they would become better acquainted with the strength of the whites. The Indians believed that they outnumbered the whites. This erroneous conception was due to the fact that they had rarely seen more than a few hundred whites at one time. This was evidenced by the fact that a Comanche in bidding farewell to his friends as he departed for Washington told them that he would count all of the whites lie saw and then report if he thought the combined forces of the Indians could drive the whites from the country.114 Every Indian who visited Washington, it was asserted, was convinced that to attack the whites was a hopeless task and counseled their people to keep peace and make the best terms possible.115
Alvord held the first council on Leeper's Creek, September 5. Only a few Kiowa were present and none of the hostile bands of the Comanche. Most of the Indians at the council agreed to send delegates to Washington. A Comanche chief (Tea-chatzkinna.) told Alvord that all of the tribes present were guilty of raiding except the Arapahoe, Caddo, and Delaware.116
On September 19, Alvord held a council with the principal Kiowa chiefs including Lone Wolf, Woman's Heart, Red Otter, Little Mountain, Son-of-the-Sun, Stumbling Bear, Sleeping Wolf and Fast Bear. The chiefs were opposed to sending delegates to Washington. Finally Alvord promised to permit them to see Satanta and Big Tree if they would go.117 Some of the Kiowa delegates were so frightened by a rumored approach of troops from Texas that they did not go, but Lone Wolf, the most important chief, and three others from his tribe were among those who made the trip.118 Alvord repeated the same old promise and threat that the Indians heard in nearly every council; namely, stay on the reservation and have peace, leave the reservation and have war.119
Alvord commended Tatum for doing such a good piece of work under adverse circumstances.120 He recommended that the
113Ibid., 127-128; Henry E. Alvord to Lawrie Tatum, August 10, 1872, "Kiowa—Foreign Relations," O. H. S.; and Report, 1872, 128-129.
114Fourth Annual Report of the Board of Indian Commissioners to the President of the United States, 124.
117Alvord had been authorized to promise the release of the chiefs but he was not in favor of giving their freedom and did not mention such a possibility in council.
Kiowa be rounded up and all the horses and mules found in their possession which were unquestionably not theirs, be taken from them; that the tribe be forced to surrender their three most prominent men who had engaged in atrocities during the last year for trial in a United States court; that no annuity goods be given them for the present year; that a force of troops large enough to enforce these provisions be ready to move against them immediately if they did not submit. Alvord believed that under these conditions the Indians would quickly meet the demands.121
As for the Comanche, he believed that they could not be dealt with as a tribe because two-thirds of their number had remained beyond the western limits of the reservation on the Staked Plains, and had never recognized the treaties made with the other Comanche. In council they told the commissioner that they did not want to fight but they regarded living as they did as their natural way and did not want to change. He recommended that the government compel them " . . . to give up captives and stolen stock, forfeit annuities, and move, even for hunting, only by special permission."122 It was also recommended that since the other third of the Comanches were not totally blameless, that they be compelled to give up one half of their annuities and live nearer the agency that they might be more easily supervised.123
As for the Apache, Alvord believed that they had acted in conjunction with the Kiowa and should forfeit one half of their annuities and be separated from the other Indians because he believed they would remain peaceful if not incited by others, more hostlle.124
The delegation sent to Washington, as a result of Alvord's efforts, included fifty chiefs from the Kiowa, Comanche, Apache, Arapahoe and other tribes.125 It was the largest delegation to visit Washington up to this time.126 Enroute they were permitted to see and visit with Satanta and Big Tree at St. Louis as had been promised.127 After a few days the delegates went on to Washington where the Kiowa were promised that if they behaved well, their chiefs would be given their freedom.
Probably the worst aspect of the Indian raids from the standpoint of the white people was that related to the captive prob-
126James Mooney, "Calendar History of the Kiowa Indians," in Seventeenth Annual Report of the Bureau of American Ethnology of the Secretary of the Smithsonian Institute, 1895-1896. Part I, 192.
lem. It was an experience especially dreadful for the women. The Indians had a two fold object in taking captives: first, to secure servants and slaves; and second, to obtain ransom money.128 One of the most beneficial results of the work done by Lawrie Tatum as Indian agent, was securing the freedom of many white captives held by the Kiowa and Comanche.
In the summer of 1871, White Horse and six other Kiowa raided in Texas. They attacked the Lee family, killed Lee and his wife; and took as captives, Susan, sixteen years of age, Milley F. nine, and John who was six. The two Lee girls were finally delivered to Agent Richards.129 The Kiowa contended that they should be given a reward for their return but Tatum told them that they would not receive a dollar; and furthermore, " . . . they could have no more rations until the boy was brought in. These girls were the first captives ever recovered from the Kiowas without paying from $100 to $1,500 for each one."130
Horseback, a friendly Comanche chief, secured the freedom of Clinton Smith and John Valentine Maxie and turned them over to Agent Tatum on October 24, 1872. Clinton Smith had been a captive for about a year and a half. He had been herding sheep with his brother near San Antonio when a band of Arizona Apache captured him. Shortly after this Clinton was sold to the Quahadi Comanche. At the time he was turned over to Tatum, he was about thirteen years of age. Clinton told Tatum that there were other white captives in the Indian camp.131
John Valentine Maxie was about nine years of age at the time he was rescued. He had been with the Comanche so long that he had forgotten his name and could not speak the English language. He could only remember the scene and circumstances of his capture. He said that his father was killed at a woodpile, his mother with her small baby were killed, and that he and his sister had been taken away. His sister was killed the first night, as she could not walk fast enough to keep up with the band of Indians.
Tatum advertised the recovery of these captives. John's father came for him upon reading his description in the newspaper. Maxie had been away on the day that the Indians attacked his home, about three years before. It was John's grandfather who had been killed. His mother had recovered from the wound she received but her baby was killed by the same bullet that wounded
130Ibid., 127. See also, Battey, op. cit., 149-151; and Report, 1872, 247, for accounts concerning the capture and release of the Lee children. John Lee was released September 30, 1872.
her. As soon as John saw his father he remembered his name and several incidents in his life before his capture.132
On November 14, Horseback brought two more captives to Tatum. They were in a very pitiful condition.133 Adolph Kohn who was about eleven years of age, said that he had been captured by three Arizona Apache some three years before near San Antonio while he was tending his father's sheep. He was traded to the Quahadi. He had been forced to herd the ponies and mules and do hard work for his captors.134
Temple Friend, the other boy, was about thirteen years of age. He could not remember his name but he did remember the place of his capture. His grandfather, L. S. Friend, a Methodist minister, came to the agency on hearing of the recovery of these boys and identified him. He recalled his name and past events as soon as he talked with his grandfather.135
Four of the Comanche women, captured by Colonel MacKenzie were liberated after these boys were given their freedom. When one of these women reported that they were well treated and given excellent food, with little work to do, Tatum seized the opportunity to compare the treatment accorded the Indian captives as compared with that received by the white captives. How much this object lesson impressed the Indians is not known but the Comanche chief, Horseback, agreed that it was true.136
Tatum learned that some Mexicans were among the Quahadi but he could not get definite information about them. When he demanded their freedom, the Indians told him they would restore any captives he knew of who wanted to leave the Indian camp. Tatum did not know of them specifically and prayed earnestly that he might find a way to deliver them and the Lord ". . . answered my prayer, . . . " wrote Tatum, "by putting the thought into the heart of Martha Day, a Mexican captive, to leave the Indians and come to the agency.137 She ran away one rainy night while tending the pony herd. The Indians attempted to recover her from the agent, but she was successfully hidden until a stage came along enabling her to leave the Indian country.138 Acting on information given him by the Mexican woman, Tatum effected the release of six captives.
Two of these told of a Mexican man in the Indian camp. The Indians pretended that the Mexican had threatened to kill anyone who tried to bring him to the agent. Tatum, however, ordered that they jump on him while he was asleep, if necessary, tie him and bring him to the agency. The agent added to his demand, "Tonight, when you lie down to sleep, I want you to turn one ear towards Texas and see if you can hear your women and children crying. They will continue to cry then until that man is brought here."139 The Indians said that Tatum was a hard man.
Shortly after this the Quahadi brought the Mexican in but it had not been necessary to tie him. He was dressed in a beautiful warrior's costume and accompanied by two chiefs and fifteen warriors. Tatum believed that he had been intimidated and when the Mexican was asked, in Comanche, if he wished to return to his family or live with the Indians he replied that he preferred to stay with the Comanche. Tatum was not satisfied with the answer and sent for an interpreter who could speak Mexican. The question was put to him again in his own language and after he had been assured that the Indians would not harm him, he eagerly expressed the desire to leave his captors. When he answered Tatum's qustion affirmatively in the Comanche language, the Indians were very disappointed and stripped him of his ornaments before leaving him with the agent.140
Two Mexicans, a man and his wife, had been held captive nearly all of their lives. They had escaped to John Chandler's141 home where they lived for sometime but finally the Comanche heard of their hiding place and recaptured them. When Tatum learned of their plight, he demanded their freedom. The man was brought in but due to his wife's illness she remained in camp, he preferred to return to her. The agent made the Indians promise to give them their freedom whenever the captives desired it. The man was guarded constantly after he returned to keep him from letting the agent know that he and his wife wished to be freed. They finally escaped one night and after travelling on foot six nights, hiding during the day, they reached the agency and were sent to a place of safety.142
During the last eight months of Tatum's administration he recovered seven white captives and twelve Mexican. Before this
141John (or Joseph) Chandler lived on a little farm near Fort Sill and raised vegetables which he sold at the fort and to the Indians.
he had succeeded in liberating five white children and two women.143
As has already been mentioned, Captain Henry Alvord had been authorized to promise the freedom of Satanta and Big Tree to the Indians of the reservation if they would promise to remain peaceful for the next six months. Alvord pointed out that the next six months would include the winter season when it was impossible for the Indian to raid, as the grass was not sufficient to feed his ponies. For this reason it was not a suitable period of time to test their promises.144 Besides this, Alvord pointed out the Kiowa had entered into the raids of the summer of 1872 for the sole purpose of compelling the government to release their chiefs. To agree to their freedom at this time would be understood by the Indians as a sign of weakness and submission.145
However, in spite of Alvord's good advice, while the delegation of chiefs was visiting in Washington, the Commissioner of Indian Affairs promised them that Satanta and Big Tree would be released on June 1, 1873, if the tribe remained peaceful.146 The chiefs had been convicted under the laws of the State of Texas and the Commissioner did not have the right to make such a promise. This brought a storm of protest from the frontier, but, wrote the Commissioner " . . . the pledge of the Government having been given to the Kiowas and the Kiowas having reason to expect its fulfillment . . . an appeal was made to the courtesy of the governor of Texas to relieve the Government from its embarrassment by the release of the prisoners . . . . "147
Lawrie Tatum believed that the Indians had made some improvement but he believed, too, that the measures taken against them such as the arrest of the chiefs, the capture and holding of the Comanche women and children, and the threat to punish the Indian when he left the reservation were largely responsible for this improvement. To him it seemed that " . . . the effect on the Kiowas of the promise of the release of Satanta, a daring and treacherous chief, was like a dark and rolling cloud in the Western horizon, and when he should be restored to his people in freedom, it might burst like a tornado upon innocent and unsuspecting parties."148
The agent's fellow Quakers did not share his views and he offered his resignation to be effective March 31, 1873. Tatum wrote:
. . . that with kindness and fair dealing the Indians would not be brought into subjection and cease their almost continuous depredations in Texas during the spring and summer.
Had the kind and honorable treatment that they were receiving by almost every person, except horse thieves and illicit traders, caused a manifest decrease in their depredations, the Government could have afforded to bear with them; but when they were evidently growing worse, then firm restraint was the kindness that I thought they needed.149
Thomas C. Battey, although not in accord with Tatum's views as to the release of the Chiefs, praised him for his work. Many of the Indians had grown to respect Tatum,150 and even the military was sorry to see him leave, as was shown by a letter from General Augur which in part reads; " . . . I fully understand that the place has no attraction for you, I can also see that the public service is to be the loser by any change however worthy may be your successor."151