Glyph of David Pendelton Oakerhater
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From Warrior to Saint: The life of David Pendelton Oakerhater

He Goes First
The Story of Episcopal Saint David Pendleton Oakerhater

By K.B. Kueteman

From Syracuse, New York, it had taken three days and nights by rail, and four by wagon travel to reach Darlington, Indian Territory, home of the Cheyenne and Arapaho Agency, on the north fork of the Canadian river, 100 miles from the southern line of Kansas, and 150 miles west from Arkansas. For David Pendleton Oakerhater the travel time was a minor nuisance. Having been forcibly separated from his family, led away in chains years earlier by a government intent on punishing the ringleaders of the Red River Indian War of the 1870's, David Pendleton Oakerhater was finally home. It is most likely he was familiar with each of the fifty or so Cheyenne that had gathered to hear him speak. He had stood before these people on other occasions, but not to speak of following him down a “new road” taught him by the white man. He had stood before these people, and many others of his people, his face painted for war, to ask them to follow him into battle against the enemy of the Cheyenne. And many had done so, without hesitation. Now he stood before them, not as one of the leaders of the mighty Bowstring Warriors, not as a war chief, but as an Episcopal Deacon, a title and distinction they knew nothing about. How strange for him that while these fifty men and women were gathering around him to hear his softly spoken words of Jesus Christ, a few hundred yards away, hundreds of his people were involved in the Sun Dance, one of the most sacred of Cheyenne rituals. As he read from his Episcopal Book of Common Prayer, translating into Cheyenne language words his people had never heard before, he surely must have sensed the irony of the situation. Having been at one time himself a Sun Dancer, he must have wondered if his people would follow him down this new road as they had followed him before.


David Pendleton Oakerhater was Cheyenne-Southern Cheyenne to be exact. His people had moved south of the Platte River sometime during the 1830's to be closer to the buffalo and wild horses said to be roaming freely about the countryside. The exact date of Oakerhater's birth, like many events in his early life, is a mystery. At his gravesite in a small cemetery in Watonga, Oklahoma, a simple headstone placed by the family lists a birth date of 1828. A brass marker on the northwest corner of St. Paul's Episcopal Cathedral in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, lists 1847 as his date of birth. The Census and Allotment Bureau lists his birth date as 1851, and while he was living, Oakerhater did not dispute this date. The Church Pension Fund, which administered his pension for numerous years, lists his birth date as 1848. While alive, Oakerhater did not dispute this date either. In 1898 at his marriage to White Buffalo Woman (Minnie), he listed his age as 47, which would put his date of birth in 1851. In a 1903 interview with anthropologist James Mooney, Oakerhater identified two possible dates of 1845 and 1847.

Oakerhater's father, Sleeping Wolf, and his mother Wah-Nach, raised their son in traditional Cheyenne ways. He was the second of three boys. His older brother by two years was Little Medicine, while his younger brother by fourteen years was Wolf Tongue. Oakerhater's childhood name was “Bear Going Straight,” or Noksowist.1

At the age of fourteen, Noksowist was ready for initiation into actual warfare. Although not expected to actually participate in the fighting, he was expected to absorb as much of the experience as he could. Few warriors ever forgot their first war party and Noksowist was no different. In an interview with James Mooney in 1903, 42 years after the fact, Oakerhater was still able to recall his first war party. It was against the Otoes and Missouries on the Little Blue River in Kansas.

At the time a Cheyenne boy went to war, he also joined one of the tribe's Military Societies. These Societies were all fundamentally alike in their internal organization and activities. The differences were in their paraphernalia, dress, dances and songs.2 These organizations conducted various activities as well as performing various tribal services on a rotating basis. The chiefs selected a Society for these duties, and after one had fulfilled these responsibilities, the chiefs selected another Society to serve. No particular Society was considered to be more important or significant than any of the others. Membership in these organizations was voluntary, usually by invitation. Warriors could change organizations if they chose. However, it was rarely done.

There were originally five such organizations in the Southern Cheyenne tribe. The Fox, Elk, Bull, Dog, and Wolf. Most of the Societies originally bore the name of an animal. However, as time wore on, the names changed to reflect some piece of their regalia.

The Wolf, or Bowstring Society, thought to have been established circa 1815, derived their name from a peculiar lance, shaped like an elongated bow with a lance/spear head at one end. Only the Officers of the Society were allowed to carry these bows, and they were used for emblematic purposes only. The Bowstrings were considered to be one of the more progressive Societies in that they abandoned many of their early rituals featuring animal traits, replacing them with traits focusing on their regalia. It was said that the Bowstrings were the noisiest and the most festive of all the Societies.3 However, during the latter phases of the Cheyenne resistance to the white man, the Bowstring's were a major force in keeping the resistance alive. It was this Society that Noksowist chose to join. 4


The Southern Cheyenne did not maintain official records as to who participated in what battles. While it was not unusual for a tepee to be decorated depicting the success or deeds of a warrior in battle, official records such as those maintained by the white man were not maintained by the Southern Cheyenne. Occasionally, military field reports listed the names of certain warriors known at the time to have participated in battles, but these usually listed but a handful of the participants. Thus, it often comes down to association, hearsay, myth or family recollections passed from generation to generation in determining if a particular individual participated in certain battles. While we do not know each and every battle in which Oakerhater participated, we do know as a result of a 1903 interview with Oakerhater conducted by anthropologist James Mooney, that in 1868 Noksowist deemed himself successful enough of a warrior to have a Dream Shield made for himself by the shield maker Red Bead.5

The “Shield” was perhaps the most important part of the equipment of the Cheyenne warrior. Originally carried in order to deflect an arrow or spear of an enemy, due to the development of the firearm it became more of a “spiritual” piece of protection than a physical protector. Dream Shields were designed by men said to have “dreamed” the design of the Shield, usually while engaged in a “vision.” A Dream Shield was a sacred accessory. While it offered some physical protection, few warriors relied upon it for that purpose. A Dream Shield's protection was spiritual. It had “powers” bestowed upon it by the Shield-Maker. It had certain rituals attached to it that had to be strictly adhered to lest the “powers” turn against the warrior and he would be wounded in battle. Noksowist's Dream Shield required that he must hang it on a tripod outside his tepee, and turn it three times each day to face the sun. At night he had to wrap it and lean it against the tepee door so that anyone entering must pass under the Shield. He was also required to participate in every Sun Dance if he were at home.6

A warrior did not make his own Dream Shield. There were certain individuals known as Shield-Makers. Much like today's “copyright” protection, the designs of Dream Shields were protected and the making of a Dream Shield with a particular design was passed from Shield-Maker to Shield-Maker. Noksowist's Dream Shield was made by Red Bead, who earned the right to use the particular design from Two Buttes, who in turn was granted the right to make the Shield from Low Forehead. The pattern of the Dream Shield was called “Red Shield,” and was very old.7

The actual painting of Shields can involve many individuals and is ritualistic in nature. Hoebel describes a typical Shield painting ceremony:

“They decorate themselves with bird feathers and shut themselves in the Shield-Maker's lodge with him. The process begins with ceremonial smoking and the singing of a sacred song. The Shield owner then paints part of his design, after which the pipe is refilled and everyone smokes around the circle. Four songs are sung, and the painting is resumed. The cycle is repeated again and again, until the painting is finished. At last, the cover is fitted to the Shield, and the feathers and other objects are added. When this has been done, everyone rubs himself all over with white clay in a first step toward removing the supernatural atmosphere so that he may again enter into ordinary affairs. The female relatives of the owner pass in food, and they eat.
The Shield is now put near the door of the lodge where it may be touched by a multitude of men, women, and children, who are called in to get a share of its protective effect. The ceremony is completed with a final purification in which the Shield is placed on top of a sweat lodge, raised a few yards in front of the tipi, and all the participants in the painting take a sweat bath while singing sacred songs.”8

According to Mooney's 1903 interview, the key elements of Noksowist's Red Shield's design (not to be confused with the Red Shields of the Bull Soldiers or Red Shield Society), was a “black spot” in the center of the Shield which represented Medicine Lodge Butte in the Black Hills. (Mooney identifies it as “Oqium.”) The white man via translation called it “Sun Dance or Sun Dancer Butte.”9 This was the supposed site of the first Sun Dance. In the 1903 interview, Noksowist described his “Red Shield:”

“The black spot on the shield, Medicine Lodge Butte, which is located north of Rawhide Butte, on the west side of the Black Hills, was at the center of a red background representing the red clay country of the buffalo range of the Black Hills, where this shield originated. The red ground bears the imprint of many buffalo bull's hooves. Bird feathers attached to the Shield and to the pony's tail include those from two of the man's allies in the Great Race-eagle and hawk.”

The “Great Race” which Noksowist alludes to is an ancient story of the Sutaio Cheyenne, which tells how the “people” came to have dominance over the buffalo. The Cheyenne legend relates that in ancient times the buffalo used to eat the Sutaio Cheyenne as well as all of the other animals. The Great Power thought it would be a good thing to have a race of all living creatures to determine if the buffalo still deserved to continue to eat the Sutaio people, or they the buffalo. The race was to be held at what was then called the Race Track, near what is now called Buffalo Gap. The Sutaio people had the birds on their side, while the buffalo had all the other animals on their side. The favorites to win the race were the coyote and a buffalo cow named Slim Walking Woman. To start the race, a coyote and a big wolf howled at the same time. The people and the animals started running toward the east over a track that had been marked out. In the early part of the race the buffalo was far ahead, but as the race wore on, all of the other animals and people, and finally even the buffalo, tired and stopped to rest. There was a bird however, a Magpie, that had been slowly, but ever so steadily flying along that did not need to rest. The Magpie took the lead in the race. The other animals, after catching their breath, began to try to catch the Magpie who was by now far ahead. As the other animals tried to catch the Magpie, they slowly, one by one, became exhausted. Some began to bleed at the mouth and feet. The ground there is still red with this blood. The Magpie, the slowest of all animals in the race, finally returned to the starting point, winning the race. Losing the race made the buffalo afraid of everything, and from this time on the buffalo always ran from humans.10

Noksowist continues with his description of his Dream Shield:

“Hail dotting the Shield; lightening zigzagging from its circular point...The hair that fringed the Red Shield was fastened to the cover with yellow quills. Hanging from the top of the Red Shield was a panel of smoke buffalo skin, Indian red in color, bearing four rows of eagle feathers, six to a row. The feathers were inserted into the 'hanger' with the red cloth and tipped with red down. A stuffed prairie dog owl (Western Burrowing Owl) was fastened at the top of the hanger and never taken off. A stuffed Kingfisher was tied in the center of the hanger between the third and fourth rows of feathers and not taken off. The outer cover was plain buffalo-cow skin crossed with a belt consisting of a whole, folded otter skin painted yellow and intended only as an ornament. Red Shield owners had no war cry.”

The description of Noksowist's Dream Shield is revealing and significant in that the key elements are linked to the Sun Dance. Significant due to the possibility of these elements playing a role in another mystery surrounding Oakerhater—the derivation of his name. The white man's translation of Okuhhatuh-Sun Dancer, leads us in the direction of assuming that the name relates to the “activity” of participating in the Sun Dance. Many assume that this is where the name originates—the act of dancing in the Sun Dance. There is an opinion that Okuhhatuh participated in Sun Dances as early as the age of eleven, hence his name came from his early participation. However, notes from Mooney's 1903 interview with Oakerhater specify that the “name relates to this shield,” meaning Oakerhater's Dream Shield. Mooney leads us to believe that the “black spot” representing Medicine Lodge Butte, spiritual home of the first Sun Dance, is the source of Oakerhater's name. Just as there are creditable differing sources of information relating to Oakerhater's birth, so too are there creditable differing sources of information as to the source of his name.

As to whether Oakerhater's name was derived from his early participation in the Sun Dance, or whether it is as Mooney's interview notes specify-the “name relates to this shield,” upon completion of his Dream Shield, Noksowist assumed the name of Okuhhatuh. And it was this name and Dream Shield that he fought under until 1874.

In 1874, the explanation is lost to history, Okuhhatuh relinquished his Red Shield and its spiritual powers to his younger brother Wolf Tongue. While we do not know exactly why he gave up his Shield, we do know that it was not all that unusual for an experienced warrior to relinquish his Shield. It could be that with Wolf Tongue beginning his warrior years his brother wanted to bestow the protection of additional “spiritual powers” to his inexperienced brother. It could also be that the rituals and taboos surrounding the Red Shield had become too much of a day-to-day burden, and the seasoned warrior wanted relief from the responsibilities surrounding the Shield. For whatever reason, his younger brother Wolf Tongue now carried the responsibility of the Red Shield.

The same year that Okuhhatuh accepted the responsibilities of the Red Shield, he also accepted the responsibilities of being an Officer of the Bowstrings. As such an officer, he merited the status of War Chief. The War Chiefs were those who had proven their skills on the warpath, but either due to a young age or perhaps because they had not yet shown a certain level of maturity, they were not Tribal chiefs or Medicine Men. As a War Chief, Okuhhatuh was an officer of the Bowstrings which was a position of authority and responsibility, usually reserved for the bravest of each Military Society. As an officer of the Bowstrings Okuhhatuh carried a full-feathered lance signifying his status within the organization. He also wore a headdress and whistle that “belonged to the lance.” The headdress consisted of a single upright feather with an attachment of yellow porcupine quills, black at both ends. The whistle that “belonged to the lance,” was plain eagle bone without down, on a yellow-quilled buck skin string, and was blown during battle. The feather bow lance consisted of four sets of crow feathers of six each, alternating with five sets of hawk feathers. There were also two hawk tails of the same kind as on the pony's tail. The feathers were attached to a sheath of blue-painted hide crossed in four places by the old folded buffalo hide. A bowstring ran along the underside, hence “Bowstring.”11


By 1872 Okuhhatuh had been a warrior for quite some time. He had battled under the protection of his “Red Shield” for four years. He was making a name for himself. It was time to start a family.

While the breaking of a Cheyenne marriage was not a particularly burdensome thing for a male — he could divorce for whatever reason he felt might keep him from living peaceably with his wife-marriage did have certain expectations. There was the expectation of a period of courtship and the exchange of gifts. When a Cheyenne male felt he had won the favor of the woman he wished to marry, he sent a messenger with gifts, usually horses, to the prospective bride's father. The father had twenty-four hours to make the decision. If the decision was favorable, the bride's father sent her, and with her a number of horses, often more than the prospective son-in-law had originally sent, to the lodge of the young man's father. If the answer was unfavorable, the horses presented as a gift were returned to the young man's father's lodge. Marriage without the consent of the father and the conventional exchanging of gifts was unusual. It was not, however, unusual for a Cheyenne male to have more than one wife at the same time, often marrying sisters. However, it was rare that a man had more than two or three wives at one time.12

It was also not uncommon for a Cheyenne male to be given a wife out of appreciation by the family of a friend killed in battle. A man who befriended a wounded warrior, or who took care of a dead man's body when the death occurred away from home, was often given via marriage a sister or female cousin of the dead man by the family in appreciation for taking care of the fallen warrior.

Okuhhatuh married Nomee (Thunder Woman) in 1872 following traditional Cheyenne customs. While the exact date is not known, we do know that Okuhhatuh also took a second wife, Nanessan (Taking Off Dress) in addition to Nomee. By 1878, Okuhhatuh had divorced Nanessan, and the one daughter born to them had died. Okuhhatuh remained married to Nomee until her death in 1880. Nomee bore Okuhhatuh three daughters, all dying by 1880, and a son, who died in 1881.13


In the spring of 1874, a Comanche medicine-man named Isa-tai, sprang up among the Quahada Comanches. He claimed wonderful and miraculous powers had been given him by the Great Spirit. He convinced the Comanches that now was the time to rise up and fight. He also managed to convince a good many Cheyennes and almost one-half of the Kiowa's to join the Comanches on a raid into Texas to fight the Tonkawa's, avenging an earlier killing of Comanches. However, the raid would not take place as word of the intended attack reached Ft. Griffin and arrangements were made for the Tonkawas to be safely housed at Fort Griffin. Primed for a fight, the Indians were not about to let the removal of the Tonkawas deprive them of a battle. There were more than the Tonkawas deserving of “revenge.” There were the hide hunters.

As if the illegal killing of thousands of buffalo on Indian land by the hide hunters was not enough to incite the Indians, the Indians also had to contend with horse thievery. There was a great deal of stealing of Indian horses by gangs of white men going on at the time, with Dodge City being the headquarters where horses of “questionable ownership” could be sold without questions or proper papers of ownership. In 1873, Little Robe and several other Cheyenne and Arapaho chiefs traveled to Washington, D.C. to complain about violations of the Medicine Lodge Treaty, specifically the killing of the buffalo and the stealing of Indian horses on their land. The Treaty specifically prohibited such activity and the chiefs wanted the Treaty enforced. They received the usual assurances, but the illegal activity continued. In his report, contained in the 1874 Report to the Commissioner of Indian Affairs, U.S. Indian Agent John D. Miles stated,

“As it is now, and as it always has been, the laws, as administered, referred to in the intercourse-law as regulating trade and intercourse with the Indians, amount to simply nothing. In the last three o four years there has been apprehended, on this reservation, 46 persons, not one of whom have received the punishment merited. A few convictions, passed over by a merely nominal fine, has been about the total of our efforts. This state of affairs tends to make horse-thieves, whisky-peddlers, buffalo-hunters, and law breakers generally bold and defiant, as was the case a short time since when I was threatened with mob-law by a prominent paper in Southern Kansas, for having a party of buffalo-hunters removed room the reservation in order to keep the peace between Whites and Indians.
The lack of power to administer the law — to remove improper characters from this reservation, to break up the various bands of dissolute white men, horse and cattle thieves known to be operating in our vicinity — is the prime cause that may be assigned for the serious outbreak among the Cheyennes on this reservation. As elsewhere stated, the Cheyennes and Arapaho's were assured by the President on their recent visit to Washington, that improper white men and buffalo-hunters should be kept from their country at all hazards, and they very naturally expected that some effort would be made to keep that promise; but they have looked in vain, and the Cheyennes, being the most restless of the two tribes, grew tired, and Endeavored to avenge their own wrongs.”

When 43 valuable horses were stolen from Little Robe, a band of young Cheyennes, led by Little Robe's son, Sitting Medicine, attempted to recover the horses but were unsuccessful. The band of young Cheyennes, in turn, decided to right the wrong by stealing some cattle, but were engaged by a party of United States Cavalry who happened to be patrolling the southern Kansas border. Sitting Medicine was badly wounded in the melee, with rumors of his death spreading throughout the region. War parties began to exact revenge on whatever white men happened to cross their paths. If the Government wasn't going to enforce the Treaty, the Indians would. At least, some of the Indians would. Not all of the Cheyennes and Arapahoes chose revenge. Chief Powder Face of the Arapahoes, Chiefs Little Robe, Old Whirlwind, and Whiteshield of the Cheyennes, all moved their camps closer to the agency. Even though the white man's peace was far from desirable, they had had enough of the white man's war.


Undaunted by the unavailability of the Tonkawas to satisfy their thirst for revenge, approximately 700 warriors of a mix of Cheyenne, Comanche, and Kiowa, led by Quanah, chief of the Comanche, were massing to attack a small outpost called Adobe Walls. While the exact number of Cheyennes participating in this “ mix of 700” is unknown, the 1874 Report of the Commissioner of Indian Affairs lists approximately 300 Cheyenne lodges as “ absent without leave and supposed to be hostile.” Okuhhatuh was one of these 700 warriors. 14

Adobe Walls was known by the Indians to be the headquarters of buffalo hunters who were killing what the Indians considered to be “their buffalo” by the thousands. Adobe Walls was nothing to look at, yet to many it was an Oasis in the desert. Located on the north side of the Canadian River in the Texas Panhandle, it was situated on a low knoll surrounded by open ground which sloped towards the tree-lined East Adobe Walls Creek. It was named after a near-by old abandoned supply post, built in the 1840's. There was nothing “adobe” about it, consisting of 4 “wood and sod” structures and a corral. The structures were logs standing on end, placed in a trench, with sod filling the spaces between the logs. The roofs were also made of sod piled on supporting logs. The structures were in a line facing east, running north and south, approximately 700 feet long.15 Crude even in its day, it nonetheless represented the best security from the Indians for miles around, to say nothing of having the only Saloon. As they say in the real estate business, “location is everything,” and Adobe Walls had it. Used by as many as 200 hide hunters, it provided a close-by market for their hides as well as a base from which they could operate.

Isa-tai had the band of 700 warriors primed for battle. Convincing the warriors that the white man's bullets would, “stop in gun — bullets not pierce shirts,” the leader of the war party, Quanah, Chief of the Comanche, didn't need to provide any pep talks. Before the attack, on the south bank of the Canadian, the 700 paused long enough to paint themselves for war. Okuhhatuh described his “battlefield” appearance,

“...painted face Indian red, with black triangles at the four cardinal points and a black circle representing the camp circle. [ I ] applied body paint in stripes of Indian yellow or red. With yellow body stripes, the lightening lines and circles on limbs would be red, with stripes black.”16

Okuhhatuh also prepared his horse for battle as prescribed by the tradition of his Dream Shield,

“...a corresponding yellow for the front body to represent rain clouds, and a crescent at his back and a circle on his legs. From the bridle hung a red cloth pendant and an eagle feather with a yellow quill down the center. [ I ] tied up his tail with red cloth, fastening it in a small hawk tail and the stuffed skin of a swallow.”17

As a member of the Bowstring Soldier Society, Okuhhatuh also carried a full-feathered lance and a head dress and whistle that “belonged to the lance.” The head dress consisted of a single upright eagle feather with an attachment of yellow porcupine quills, black at both ends. He also carried a whistle made out of plain eagle bone without down, on a yellow buck string which he blew during fighting. The feather bow-lance had four sets of crow feathers of six each, alternating with five sets of hawk feathers. There were also two hawk feathers of the same kind as on the horse's tail. The feathers were attached to a sheath of blue-painted hide crossed in four places by the old folded buffalo hide. A bowstring ran along underside, hence “Bowstring.”18

Family members of Okuhhatuh relate that Isa-tai met with Okuhhatuh before the battle and told him that he would not be wounded in the on-coming battle. That as Okuhhatuh charged the structures at Adobe Walls he would be able to see the bullets of the white man coming toward him and he would be able to dodge these bullets.19


On the dawn of June 27, 1874, Billy Ogg, a hide hunter at Adobe Walls, rather than going back to sleep or engaging in whiskey at dawn, decided to go to the nearby creek and bring back some horses in an effort to get ready for the day's activities. Whether Billy Ogg found the Indians or the Indians found Billy Ogg is uncertain. What is certain is that Billy Ogg survived the quarter-mile sprint from the creek to the structures at Adobe Walls, collapsing to the floor in utter exhaustion just as the first shots from the Indians began hitting the saloon's doors. The Battle of Adobe Walls was on!

The first fatalities of the fighting were two white men, Ike and Shorty Shadler. Due to the oppressive heat they had decided to spend the night outside in their wagon. Keeping hidden in their wagon, under covers, they hoped to ride out the attack undiscovered. However the prying of a Comanche named Mihesuah sealed their doom. Killed and scalped, the Indians taunted those inside the Walls by remaining just outside of rifle range and dangling the Shadler brother's scalps.

The initial stages of the attack gave much credence to Isa-tai's medicine. The Indians had surprised the hide-hunters. They had taken two scalps early. They had captured a few wagons full of hides. They had made repeated charges with few casualties. However, they had not been able to penetrate any of the structures. Quanah himself had raced straight for the front door of one of the structures, backed his horse up to the front door and tried kicking the door down. But the door held. He even dismounted and tried to knock the door down with the butt of his rifle, but the door held.

Isa-tai, sitting naked on his horse, both horse and warrior painted yellow for battle, began to see his medicine fade. Recovering from the initial shock of the attack and realizing that the Indians were not going to be able to penetrate the structures, the hide hunters began to realize a certain confidence in survival which began to equate into more accuracy in their shooting. The Indians found that after having killed just about all of the hide hunter's horses and stock, as the battle wore on the only thing being killed were Indians. A meeting was quickly held by the Indian leadership to determine whether it was wise to continue the attack. Quanah, himself wounded, questioned whether Isa-tai's medicine had run its course. When a stray bullet suddenly killed Isa-tai's horse, the matter was pretty well resolved. The Indians made no more attacks on the structures. But they did maintain a sporadic lookout and siege. This ended a day later however when a group of about twenty warriors, observing the activity of the whites from a little over half-a mile away, heard the boom of a rifle. Suddenly one of the warriors was hit by a bullet. The warriors knew that Isa-tai's medicine was no longer good. The battle of Adobe Walls was over. Billy Dixon, who had a reputation as somewhat of an excellent marksman, had fired the shot that had hit the astonished Indian warrior. Dixon's shot was later measured at precisely 1,538 yards, about eight tenths of a mile.

It is hard to know exactly how many times Okuhhatuh charged the structures at Adobe Walls. But if the story related by his family members is true, he was able to see the white man's bullets coming and hence able to dodge them. While Isa-tai's medicine was questionable that day, his premonition/prediction of Okuhhatuh's safety was sound. Okuhhatuh, unscathed throughout the battle, would live to fight another day. Other warriors were not so lucky. A few days after the attack had ended, a party of Cheyennes went back to Adobe Walls hoping to retrieve the bodies of the dead warriors they had not been able to retrieve immediately after the battle. Adobe Walls was abandoned, but the heads of nine dead warriors had been cut off and nailed to a long pole stuck in the ground.20


The Battle of Adobe Walls was in the eyes of the Indians, a defeat. The strong medicine of Isa-tai proved weak. There was no appreciable revenge on the part of the Indian, and there were many dead warriors to account for. The Battle of Adobe Walls was in fact a humiliation for the Indians.

Unfamiliar with the Staked Plains, the hostile Cheyennes moved back into the area surrounding their Agency. For the whites, this was perhaps the most unprotected area in the region. Camp Supply, which was a small garrison, was essentially the only protection. To the south, Fort Sill was the closest protection. To the north, it was Fort Dodge in Kansas. Fort Bascum in New Mexico was the closest protection to the west. Within this area the Cheyennes, Okuhhatuh among them, made their stand.

Perhaps the most ironic of the various raids committed by the Cheyennes during the uprising occurred on July 3, 1874, when a grain-laden wagon train on the road to Fort Sill via the Darlington Agency was attacked. There were three drivers who were killed and scalped. The Wagon master, Patrick Hennessey, who had been warned hours earlier that his life was in danger if he continued his route, was also captured, chained to the wheel of his wagon, buried under his cargo of oats and corn, and burned alive. While the Cheyennes were noted for their brutality, the burning of Hennessey was actually the work of a band of Osage Indians who happened upon the scene. The irony of the attack was that Hennessey's load of oats and grain had been specially dispatched to the Kiowa-Comanche Agency in response to Indian Agent Haworth's pleas for food for the Indians. The site of Hennessey's death became what is now the town of Hennessey, Oklahoma.

While they were quite successful in striking terror in the eyes of the whites in and around the Darlington vicinity, there was not unanimity among the warriors. Not all of the Indians had initially entered into the fighting. Although numbering less than 300 Indians altogether, Chiefs Little Robe, White Shield, and Old Whirlwind had remained at the Agency. There were those among the hostiles that now wanted to return to the Agency. But the leaders went to great efforts to keep the warriors in tact. The Bowstrings, of which Okuhhatuh was a primary figure, were noted as being among the most aggressive in enforcing that all stayed.

Adding to the thought of giving up the hostilities and returning to the Agency was the reaction of the military to the uprising. It is significant to note that by July 25, 1874, almost one month to the day after the Battle of Adobe Walls, the military under the command of General Sherman had developed and received approval by President Grant of a strategy to deal with these 700 hostiles. The military was determined this uprising would not become a lengthy campaign.

In short, the strategy developed by Sherman, was to protect those Indians who were in their designated Agencies. All other Indians would be considered hostile, hunted down, captured and punished. Provisions were also being made at the time for imprisoning the chiefs and ringleaders of the captured hostiles.The Army listed fourteen battles fought during the next three months. However, while there were instances of battles, it was really the strategy of keeping the Indians on the move, not letting them replenish their already depleted supplies that began to take its toll. The war continued through the winter.

However, in early March, 1875, the last remaining group of hostile Cheyennes surrendered at Darlington. The physical sight of these Cheyennes was described by the Indian Agent as being:

“A more wretched and poverty-stricken community than these people presented after they were placed in the prison camp it would be difficult to imagine. Bereft of lodges and the most ordinary cooking apparatus; with no ponies or other means of transportation for wood or water; half-starved, and very little to eat, and scarcely anything that could be called clothing, they were truly objects of pity; and for the first time the Cheyennes seemed to realize the power of the government, and their own inability to cope successfully therewith.”21

They were still spirited enough however, that they had only surrendered their bows and arrows. They had buried their rifles for another day.


In determining exactly which of the Indians would go to prison, there were two separate selections, one at Fort Sill and the other at the Darlington Agency. Each selection had its distinctions. The selection process at Fort Sill, wherein the Kiowa's and Comanche's were scrutinized, and the military insisted that the selections be done by Tribal leaders themselves. Painful as it was, Striking Eagle reluctantly selected 27 Kiowa's, while Chief Horseback reluctantly selected 9 Commanches. An additional Caddo was also added to the group.

At the Darlington Agency, on April 6 the selection process was handled by Lt. Colonel Thomas H. Neill, Colonel of the Sixth Cavalry, in an entirely different manner which came under protest by Acting Indian Agent J.A. Covington. According to Covington, Lt. Colonel Neill, his sobriety very much in question, had the former hostiles line up, with various individuals identifying those warriors known to have participated in hostile acts against the Government. Taking much longer than anticipated, “night came on before the list was completed, and Lt. Colonel Neill, in order to get his complement of prisoners...ordered eighteen struck off from the right.”22 It was the striking off of the eighteen from the right that brought about Covington's protest, noting that among the eighteen was no proof or verification of participation in hostile acts against the Government. Covington complained that the process was unjust. Promising to deal with correcting the last eighteen selected at a later time, which never came to pass, the selection process was completed. In total, 72 Indians were selected for imprisonment. The list included 33 Cheyenne, of which Okuhhatuh and his older brother were a part; 2 Arapahos; 27 Kiowas; 9 Comanches; and 1 Caddo.

There are accounts relating that Okuhhatuh and his brother were among the “eighteen struck off from the right.” The fact that Okuhhatuh and his brother's crime against the government were listed as “ringleader,” would lend credence to this belief. There were others with specific charges against them such as murder, kidnapping, abuse, etc. The lack of a specific charge would support the notion that the two brothers were selected near the end of the selection process. With time running out, “ringleader” would cover the technicality of a charge against the government.

Descendants of Oakerhater however relate that Okuhhatuh was not among those originally selected to go to prison. They indicate that Okuhhatuh pleaded with the military to accompany his older brother who had been selected. The family members stated it was a matter of honor for Okuhhatuh to accompany his older brother.23 As to whether Okuhhatuh was among the eighteen struck off from the right, or whether he pleaded with the military to be allowed to accompany his brother as a matter of honor, the result was the same. Okuhhatuh was among those assigned to Fort Marion.

On a list of the prisoners assigned to Fort Marion developed after the prisoners had been at the Fort for some time, there were characteristics listed for each prisoner. Okuhhatuh was identified as a Warrior, age 33, 145 pounds, height 6 feet ¼. At the time of incarceration, the military made efforts to interpret from Indian to English names of those going to Fort Marion. Okuhhatuh was renamed “Making Medicine,” which was a loose translation of “Sun Dancer,” or one who “made medicine” at the Sun Dance. Okuhhatuh used this name throughout his imprisonment.


Special Order No.88 instructed First Lieutenant R.H. Pratt, 10th Cavalry, to take charge of and accompany the Indian prisoners from Ft. Leavenworth, Kansas, to Ft. Marion, St. Augustine, Florida. Special Order No. 88 further instructed Lt. Pratt to remain in charge of these Indians until further orders were issued.

Guarded by two troops of the Fourth Cavalry commanded by Major T.J. Wint, the prisoners were transported from the Darlington Agency to Fort Sill. Together with the prisoners from Fort Sill, the prisoners traveled by wagon to Caddo Station, Indian Territory. From Caddo Station the prisoners traveled to Fort Leavenworth, then to Indianapolis, St. Louis, Louisville, Nashville, Atlanta, Macon, ending the long train ride, which was the first such excursion for all but a few, in Jacksonville. From Jacksonville the prisoners were transported by steamboat to Tocoi, Florida. From Tocoi they were transported by railway a scant 20 miles to their final destination, Fort Marion. As could be expected, there were incidents along the way.

However, the first incident of note happened before the prisoners were even on the road. The prisoners were to be shackled or “ironed” before being loaded into the transport wagons. During this process, some of the Indian women there to see the prisoners off, began to taunt the prisoners as they were “ironed.” One warrior, Black Horse, stung by the criticism, pushed his way past the blacksmith doing the “ironing” and attempted to escape. As he made his futile effort to run, one of the military guards shot him down. The Indians on hand to witness the departure of their loved ones initially returned the fire of the military with bows and arrows.

It is important to remember that the Indians had just recently surrendered. There was no “trust factor” developed between them and the military. The Indians were still very suspicious as to how they would be handled by the military. In the back of their minds at least two incidents — Sand Creek and the camp on the Washita — where under the proposed protection of the military they had witnessed their loved ones being slaughtered, still lingered. They had seen eighteen of their warriors sentenced to the Florida prison by an Army Officer whose sobriety was in question

The atmosphere was charged. The sound of a rifle and the sight of an Indian falling to the ground ignited the already short fuse.

As noted earlier, the Indians had surrendered many of their weapons. But they had also buried many of their weapons. Buried them in the sand hills 2 miles north of the Darlington Agency. In his official report to the U.S. Army Headquarters, Lt. Col. Neill described the battle as follows:

“I have the honor to report that at about 1:45 p.m. on the 6th of April, whilst a blacksmith was engaged in riveting iron leglets on Black Horse, one of the hostile Cheyenne Prisoners arrested on the 4th and placed in the guard house, this Indian broke and ran from the guard toward the Cheyenne Camp nearby; he was instantly pursued by Captain Bennett and six men, for the purpose of capturing him without firing, which was impossible. He was shot and we have his body. The women and children were not fired at. Upon this a fire from rifles, and with arrows, was opened from the hostile camps upon Captain Bennett and a detachment of Captain Keyes Company; two men of Captain Keyes' was wounded. The fire was promptly returned and the men, women and children of the hostile Cheyennes left their camps at once. As soon as this was reported to me I sent out Captain Rafferty's Company (“M” 6th Cavalry) Captain Norvell's Company, “M”, and Captain Keye's Company “D”, both of the 10th Cavalry, and then went out myself and assumed command in person about 2:30 p.m. Captain Rafferty upon his arrival found the Cheyenne men, 100-150 in number, had occupied a strong commanding position on an isolated elevated sand hill on the south side of the North Fork Canadian, 700 yards from Captain Bennett's Camp. As Captain Rafferty advanced toward the sand hill he ordered his men not to fire, but the Indians waited until he got within a short distance and dismounted when they opened a sharp volley fire on Co. “M,” 6th Cavalry, and this opened the fight. Upon arriving on the ground I found Captain Rafferty with his company dismounted on the east side of the sand hill, engaged in a sharp musketry fire; Captain Norvell and Keyes were on the southwest side of the sand hill together. I at once ordered a charge to be made mounted. Captain Norvell reported that it was impractical to charge mounted over the ground in front of himself and Captain Keyes. I then brought up a Gatling gun and opened fire at 400 yards very successfully, as it stopped the Indians for a short time from throwing up entrenchments on the sand hills, and was admirably served by Lieutenant Hinkle 5th Infantry. A second charge was ordered on foot but the troops on the west side didn't advance when Captain Rafferty's men advanced. Again I ordered a charge be made as soon as a rapid discharge from the Gatling gun should cease, and the “forward” was sounded from the trumpet and repeated by the companies.
The Indians held their position on the sand hill at dark.
The entrenching tools, ammunition and food were sent out and the troops immediately placed themselves under cover. I ordered another attack to be made at daylight next morning, and brought out Lieutenant Hargon's Company of Infantry, and all the soldiers at the Agency. The Agency was left in charge of a citizen guard of fifty men.
When day broke the Indians had left, and a pursuit was ordered on their trail going west up the North Fork of the Canadian, by the two Companies of the 10th Cavalry as soon as the men and horses could be fed, and ammunition replaced.
We have the dead bodies of six Cheyenne men and one squaw, the latter was unavoidably killed when the prisoner who escaped was shot. I have 19 men wounded, three severely and dangerously, whose life is uncertain, the rest slightly, none dead yet. [The Report lists the names of the injured soldiers.]
Captain Bennett's Company “B” 5th Infantry guarded thirty-two Cheyenne Prisoners, including Grey-Beard, Minimic, Heap-O-Birds and Medicine Water, and he holds them securely still.
Captain Rafferty's men behaved very well and had worked their way up dismounted to within 75 yards of the crest of the sand hill, when night set in; they did all men could do. Captain Bennett's men behaved admirably in all that was required of them.
The firing was continuous from 2:30 p.m. until dark, and occasional shots were fired during the night.
There were not here enough men to completely surround the sand hills. At 5 p.m. I sent a courier to Captain Mauck 4th Cavalry, supposed to have been en route from Sill with Kiowa and Comanche prisoners, and also to Fort Sill for assistance. The horse holders of the Cavalry took away a great many men from the Cavalry whilst fighting was on foot and charging the entrenched position.
At the first charge on foot I sent in the last men I had under Lieutenant Turner with orders to continue mounted and pursue, if the charge was successful. He could not cross a slough, so he instantly dismounted and charged with his men on foot and past Captains Norvells and Keyes' Companies in a very gallant manner, but he could not get into the works.
...The position of the Indians on the sand hills which they were entrenched was evidently selected before hand, as the Indians went there immediately. Their arms were probably cached here, and they must have had a large number judging from the number of my people wounded.
The Arapahoe's and friendly Cheyennes took no part in the fight. I do not anticipate trouble with them.
... The Cheyennes who are out and have not surrendered were about 25 miles west, when the fight occurred, and one of them was in the hostile camps near the Agency before the fight commenced. When the Indians left the sand hills they went west up the North Fork of the Canadian and joined those who had not surrendered when the fight commenced.
I judge the total number of Cheyennes out to be 200 or perhaps 250, they have stolen near 100 head of stock from here, and those who were coming in have probably a thousand ponies.
The party which left here had probably but little ammunition.
Communications north and south are still open.
News of trouble at Fort Sill came, and I was forced to revoke the order for companies ’D' and ’M' Cavalry.
Tonight, April 8th Major Mauck, 4th Cavalry, with 115 men arrived from Fort Sill and I sent Captain Rafferty with his company ‘M’ 6th Cavalry and Companies ‘D’ and ‘M’ 10th Cavalry in pursuit of the Cheyennes, now supposed to be at the Red Hills.”

Thus ended what turned out to be the last major battle of the 1874 Indian War. This battle represented the first time a Gatling Gun was used in the Southwest against the Indians. The question of whether the Indians had pre-selected the sand hills site as Lt. Col. Neill had suggested remains a mystery. Whether pre-selected or not, the three sides of the sand hills backed by the North Canadian River, proved a formidable site to penetrate. The nighttime escape of the warriors was accomplished by fording a roaring torrent of water of the North Canadian River, the result of heavy rains after a drought.

Lt. Col. Neill came under a good deal of scrutiny for not only the question of his sobriety at the time of selecting those individuals to be sent to prison at Fort Marion, but also for his failure to account for the rifles used by the Indians during the Red River War of 1874 at the time of their surrender. Within weeks after handling the individuals sent to Fort Marion, Neill was replaced at the Darlington Agency by Captain Wirt Davis, Fourth Cavalry. 24


Fort Marion, originally named Castillo de San Marcos, was constructed between 1672 and 1696, and is the oldest masonry Fort in the United States. Located in the town of St. Augustine, which was established in 1565 by Spain for the purpose of protecting its sea lanes, the Castillo was built entirely of the shell-rock formation called coquina, which is somewhat soft when taken from the ground, but hardens under exposure to the weather. Having successfully withstood several sieges in the first half of the eighteenth century, the Castillo was named Fort Marion after Florida became United States Territory, and served as a United States Army Post. In 1924 it became a National Monument.25

Lieutenant Pratt described the arrival at the Fort as follows:

The arrival of the Indian prisoners was anticipated by the local military authorities, and the ramp from the court to the terreplein [platform behind the parapet] had been boarded up, leaving a door with lock at the lower entrance so that their living was to be in a large pen permitting no outlook except toward the sky. The court was about 100 feet square, with casemates [cells] on all sides. One side was the entrance, facing south and toward town, and the casemates on that side were to be used for storage and kitchen purposes. The only entrance was by way of the drawbridge through a wide hall and two massive pitch-pine doors. When these doors were closed, there was a small door through one of them for individual passage... The casemates had no windows that could be used for looking outside, and the two inside windows in each casemate looking into the court were irongated. A heavy door and bolt to each casemate was arranged for padlocking. There were narrow slot openings to the outside near the top of each casemate ten feet above the floor for ventilation...The only outlook besides the sky the prisoners could have was by going to the terreplein under charge of the guards, which was done several times each day. Otherwise, they were confined to the court below and the casemates in which they slept. Plank floors had been put into several of these to make them more sanitary. The prisoners slept on the floors.26

Pratt, convinced that Indians could be taught the white man's ways if handled with dignity and respect, immediately set about to improve the living conditions. After the initial first weeks, which resulted in considerable sickness and several deaths, Pratt was able, after considerable effort, to bring about some changes in the handling of the prisoners. Their shackles were removed. Army clothing in the form of uniforms was provided. The whole group was allowed to move to the terreplein on the north side where the Indians themselves had built a large one-room shed which improved the breathing conditions. Rough board beds were made with mattresses filled with grass. The efforts of Pratt had an immediate effect upon the prisoners. Their cooperation and positive response to the changes brought about by Pratt created a sense of “trust.” This “trust” level improved to the point where Pratt was able to gain permission (he had to pledge the forfeiture of his army commission if it failed) to allow approximately 50 of the prisoners (mostly comprised of the younger men) to form a company with sergeants and corporals, carry weapons (old guns that would not discharge) and to use the Indians to guard themselves. (For the three years the Indians were prisoners there was not a single mishap under this arrangement.) Pratt was even able to bring about employment for the prisoners. “Sea Beans” found along the shore were collected, polished, and sold to those visiting St. Augustine. Pratt arranged with the principal dealer of these Sea Beans in St. Augustine to have the Indians polish the beans for which they would be paid. Within the first months of incarceration, these “hostiles” had made about $1,600 with which they could purchase personal items.

Richard Henry Pratt was truly a remarkable man for his time. He was born in Rushford, New York, in 1840. Enlisting in the Union Army at the outbreak of the Civil War, by the end of the conflict between the states Pratt had worked his way up from Corporal to Captain. In 1864 he married Annie Laura Mason and the couple would have four children. He enlisted in the regular Army and was made a First Lieutenant and was assigned to the Tenth Cavalry, a Negro regiment with white officers. Assigned to Fort Gibson, Indian Territory, he was placed in charge of the Indian Scouts. During the next eight years his experiences with these Indian Scouts helped form his opinion of the Indian. An opinion that he would boldly act upon. An opinion that would have a significant impact upon the Cheyenne warrior Okuhhatuh, now known as Making Medicine. It is not difficult to imagine the horrors that the Indian prisoners would have endured were it not for this man's faith and trust in them as human beings. Willing to place his military career on the line in their behalf, in his day and time, his actions were daring and often unpopular among his military peers. He not only risked his military career if he failed, to a certain extent his military career was even more at risk if he succeeded.


The implementation of having Indian prisoners guard themselves was the initial step in Pratt bringing to fruition his belief in the Indian as a human being capable of adapting to a new lifestyle—that of the white man. Pratt selected approximately fifty of the younger prisoners to make up the “guard.” He felt it was important that his guard be managed as much as possible from within the prisoner's own ranks. Having observed the prisoners for several weeks, Pratt chose Okuhhatuh, now known as Making Medicine, to be First Sergeant of the Company. It almost goes without saying the faith and trust Pratt must have had for Making Medicine to award him with such an honor and responsibility. This was Pratt's first real experiment with proving the prisoner's worth as human beings. His first example, if it failed, would seriously jeopardize all future efforts. The choice of Making Medicine to be one of the leaders, a role model, was no small honor. Making Medicine's charge as First Sergeant of the Company was to organize the daily drills each morning, oversee an inspection of the men to ensure cleanliness and proper dress, select the daily Orderly to assist Pratt that particular day, and essentially serve as the ranking Officer of the prisoner corps in the absence of Pratt.

The selection of Orderly for the day was quite a competition among the men, as it meant running errands and conducting tours of the Fort as opposed to standing guard. The selection of Orderly for the day was quite a competition among the men, as it meant running errands and conducting tours of the Fort as opposed to standing guard. Pratt relates a story about Making Medicine and his selection of the daily Orderly:

“One morning as the guard was being mounted, I noted that there was considerable delay, and Okahaton [Making Medicine] came to the office and said, “Captain, two just same. Me no understand which cleanest.” So I went out and looked them over, and sure enough I was also perplexed to know whether the Cheyenne or the Kiowa was the cleanest. Their clothing was brushed as clean as possible, their brass buttons were as bright as they could be, and their shoes equally well polished. As I passed front and rear, they stood equally erect in the position of a soldier. The whole body of Indians was out observing and I concluded that there was a contest as to which tribe would secure the Orderly for the day. I kept looking them over, even their ears, to see if they were clean, and their hair to see if it was nicely brushed, and noted that their shirts and stockings were clean. Finally, I saw that the finger nails of one of the candidates were long and unclean, and looking at those of the other who stood beside him found them clean. The first Sergeant was watching carefully. I took hold of a hand of each and held them side by side so he could see the contrast. He at once made the Indian sign with his forefinger extended, raised his hand and brought it down quickly, which meant “I understand.” When the decision was made, there was applause from the Indian audience. Thereafter, the finger nails did not escape Sergeant Oakahaton's attention, and even the older men were found cleaning their nails when getting ready for inspection or to go to town.”27

Another example that illustrates Sergeant Oakerhater's commitment to his rank and responsibility can be found in his handling of disciplinary action. As the trust level with the prisoners increased, privileges were accorded. One such privilege was being allowed to go to the ocean for recreation and recuperation. On one such visit, the Indians were visited by a boating party of young people from St. Augustine. One of the young ladies had struck up a friendship with Big Nose, a young Cheyenne. Upon the conclusion of the visit by the boating party, Big Nose was persuaded to accompany the group back across the bay under the promise that he would be returned at once to the other side of the island from where he could get back to camp. Big Nose made the mistake of not getting permission for the excursion. He was late in getting back to camp and Pratt determined that disciplinary action was in order. Big Nose was assigned the task of carrying a log of wood on his shoulder until midnight. Sergeant Oakerhater was assigned the responsibility of monitoring the disciplinary measure. Early the next morning Pratt awakened and observed that Big Nose was still carrying the log of wood on his shoulder. Sergeant Oakerhater was still monitoring the situation. When Pratt asked why Big Nose was still carrying the log on his shoulder, Sergeant Oakerhater replied that it was a very bad thing the boy had done and that Pratt's punishment was not severe enough, so he had kept him at it all night.28

These two stories reflect not only Making Medicine's eagerness and adeptness at learning his assignment, it also illustrates the extent of pride and commitment to which the “guard” went to become a “unit,” every bit as good or better than their white counterparts. The “guard” became so proficient at their drills and guard duty assignments that within six months Pratt had received permission to replace the army regulars guarding the prisoners with the “guard.” Prior to this replacement, there had been several incidents where the white soldiers assigned guard duty had been found to be either drunk or sleeping while on duty. After Pratt obtained permission for the “guard” to govern themselves, there was not a single instance in the remaining three years where a member of the guard was found to be drunk or sleeping while on duty. Pratt also related the story of when the Commander of the Department of the East, General Winfield Scott Hancock, visited the fort, coming unexpectedly at the drill hour. Unnoticed by anyone, General Hancock proceeded to watch the Indians who were going through movements at double quick time with laudable precision. After watching the Indians drill for some time, General Hancock was eventually recognized. Pratt, who was also observing the drill, approached General Hancock. Impressed with the performance General Hancock inquired of Pratt, “What troops are these, sir?” To which Pratt related these “troops” were the Indian prisoners performing their daily drill.29 General Hancock, mistakenly assuming these men were Army regulars, was most impressed.


While many things had begun to improve the Indian prisoners' environment at Fort Marion, the prisoners were still hundreds of miles from their families and loved ones. In June of 1875, Pratt requested that the prisoners' families be allowed to come to Florida and be with them. In his letter requesting this action, he quoted Kiowa Chief Mamanti:

We are termed by all the white people a very lazy class of men, not willing to do anything for our own support. This is not so. We have been taken away from our women and children, relatives and friends, chained and sent down to this place to remain, we do not know how long. We are willing to show that we are not too lazy to support ourselves. If there is anything ‘Washington’ wishes us to do, tell us what it is and ‘Washington’ will see how willingly we will do it. We do not care what kind of work it is. We want to show ‘Washington’ that we are willing to do anything he wants us to do. We want to learn the ways of the white man, first we want our wives and children and then we will go any place and settle down and learn to support ourselves as the white men do. If you go with us and ‘Washington’ says so, we will go across the big water. We want to learn how to make corn and work the ground so we can make our living, and we want to live in a house just as the white man... There are great many Indians at Fort Sill and in that country who have done more bad work than we have, and why should they be allowed to go free, and be happy with their families and we are sent down here as prisoners to live in these dark cells. That is not right.30

The request reached General Sheridan who considered the request as “mere Indian twaddle.” Sheridan reminded Pratt that his prisoners were “unmitigated murders of men, women, and children without a single particle of provocation.” Manmanti was the Medicine Man who was known to have led a Kiowa war party on an attack of a wagon train in 1871. Nonetheless, Sheridan approved the request, but only for each man's immediate family circle. Overall, the Indian prisoners identified 95 individuals as family members wishing to come to Fort Marion. Making Medicine requested that his wife and child be sent. As Making Medicine still had two wives at this time and the list the military provided did not contain actual names, it can only be conjectured that he was indicating Nomee (Thunder Woman) and their child, a son, which had just been born. In June of 1876, Manimic, a Cheyenne chief imprisoned along with Making Medicine, received an “Indian picture-writing” from his family in Indian Territory. Included in this picture-writing were depictions of Making Medicine's family. The picture-writing depicted both his wives with two of his children going together to mourn at the grave of his dead child. The dead child belongs to Nanessan (Taking Off Dress) his second wife. The picture-writing conveyed to him that both his wives were still alive and that they were getting along with each other, and that Nomee (Thunder Woman) had successfully given birth to the child that she was pregnant with at the time of his imprisonment. At this time, Making Medicine has two children, a daughter by Nanessan and a recently delivered son by Nomee. 31

On July 23, 1875, a Memorandum was issued approving that one wife and children under the age of twelve (12) be taken by the military to Fort Marion. However, the Commissioner of Indian Affairs rejected the request approved by General Sheridan, and on August 13, 1875, a Memorandum revoking the order to allow relatives to go to Fort Marion was issued.32 The Indian prisoners would not have the comfort of their wives and children during their stay at Fort Marion. Chief Mamanti, who had so clearly stated that the Indian prisoners would do anything ‘Washington’ asked of them if they could just be reunited with their families, died a month later.


Pratt knew that if the Indian prisoners were to have any chance of surviving in the white man's world, an understanding of the English language and the ability to read and write would be essential. In a letter to a Doctor Agnew, Pratt wrote:

“One of the main obstacles in dealing with Indians is the difficulty of language. If all the Indians on our continent spoke the same language, or even only two or three different languages, good men might give them time and learn to communicate with them and thus give them light. But divided as they are into sixty to seventy different languages with their nomadic habits, the difficulty of good men getting immediately at them is so immense as to discourage almost all effort, and is the reason more has not been done. It has been on my mind from the start that if I could put back among the five tribes represented in my charge, forty to fifty men who could speak our language and could impress them with a knowledge of the Master and get them interested in his service, it would be the best thing that could be done.”33

Pratt had already managed to teach the prisoners a few commands in English used in their drill. They had learned these words easily and Pratt was encouraged that they could learn a whole lot more if given some instruction. He immediately set about to implement rudimentary education classes for the prisoners. In his dealings with some of the residents of St. Augustine, Pratt had made friends and interested some of these friends in helping with the development of the prisoners. Additionally, some of the “Florida Boys,” as they were now identified by the St. Augustine citizens, had become familiar with some of the St. Augustine's via visits to the town and attendance at church on Sunday's. Pratt had put the men “on their honor as men” to have liberty at times in town. On Sunday's they were allowed to choose their own place of worship—Episcopal, Roman Catholic, Presbyterian, or Methodist. Many of the men soon established themselves as regulars in one or another of these congregations. This image as men capable of appropriate behavior did much to dispel the initial impression as “savages” and led to encouraging certain individuals in St. Augustine with talent for teaching to step forward and volunteer their services.

Among the first and most diligent of the volunteer teachers was Miss Sara Mather. Together with Mrs. Pratt, these two ladies started introducing the “Florida Boys” to the English language. Large letters of the alphabet, as well as pictures of animals, ships, buildings, etc. were placed on the walls of casements that had been converted into classrooms. The prisoners began to learn to identify, in English, what some of these pictures represented. As word spread throughout St. Augustine that Pratt was attempting to provide the Florida Boys with an overall education, additional individuals began to volunteer to teach. Two sisters, Mrs. Couper Gibbs and Mrs. King Gibbs, widows of two brothers, both killed in the Civil War, volunteered their services. Mrs. Couper Gibbs taught the prisoners how to use carpenter tools, which astounded the prisoners that a woman could be so skilled at a man's trade. Initially, only the younger prisoners participated. The older men determining they were past the age of learning new “tricks.” However, as the younger men began to experience success, some of the older men showed an interest. Mrs. Pratt and Miss Mather began to instruct the older men separate from the younger men. As time wore on, some of the regular winter visitors to St. Augustine also got involved during their stay, to the point to where four to six women were coming to the Fort five days a week for two hour sessions in the morning. The Bible was the primary source of reading and education, and with assistance of the two interpreters assigned to Fort Marion, Romero and Mr. G.W. Fox, the women shared stories and eventually introduced the written word. By March, 1877, Pratt reported that “upwards of thirty of the younger men can now read in the first reader, and are just in the state of advancement where they can understand and make themselves understood.”

Mrs. D.C. Carruthers from Tarry-town-on-the-Hudson, whom Pratt identified as one of the most successful of the volunteer teachers, described the classes from a teacher's point of view.

“Each teacher tries to adapt herself to the capabilities of her scholars. They talk together, sing together and read from the Bible or New Testament. Then writing, spelling, figures and explanations as far as they can comprehend on the part of the teacher, with suggestions and help when needed from Captain Pratt, take up the two hours of instruction, which are all too short for the purpose. A more orderly, respectful, intelligent set of pupils one could not desire to see. Eager to learn and understand, interested, persevering, obedient and courteous — all this can without exaggeration be said of them by their teachers, to whom they show themselves most grateful, and by whom they are regarded with real interest and affection.”34

The overcoming of the language barrier on the part of the prisoners was no small accomplishment. The instruction was being offered by women. White women. These prisoners were warriors coming directly from a culture where warriors did not receive “lessons” in how to do much of anything from women. A warrior received his instructions from an older warrior—from one man to another. The male bonding experience was significant in the Cheyenne culture. To have to struggle with pronouncing words new to them, which at times made them look and feel foolish, in front of a woman was humiliating. Fortunately the women volunteers were sensitive to the prisoner's plight as was Pratt. Visitors to classroom instruction had to be approved by Pratt and he was careful to guard the dignity of the prisoners as they struggled in their initial efforts to learn the white man's language. Later, as the confidence of the prisoners improved, the prisoners' shyness decreased and they became eager to display their new found language.

Making Medicine took well to the instruction. After a year of school he was calling the roll in English and publishing the details. Sometime prior to March, 1877, he began signing his name in English — Making Medicine. By December, he was exchanging letters with Mrs. Alice Key Pendleton, a tourist who had befriended him and with whom he had developed a friendship in the early months at Ft. Marion. (Making Medicine had given the Pendleton's daughter Jeanie some books of his drawings which led to the friendship, and eventual sponsorship for additional training in New York upon Making Medicine's release from prison.) In early 1878, Pratt reported that while Making Medicine was not as advanced in speaking English as some of the other prisoners, in comprehension he was equal to any.


While archery lessons and handicrafts captured the attention of the citizens of St. Augustine and the tourists from the East, the most popular item produced by the prisoners was their artwork. And Making Medicine's artwork was among the most popular. The artwork created by the Fort Marion prisoners was unique in that it represented a break from the traditional artwork of the Plains Indians.

The artwork that came out of Fort Marion began to differ from the traditional Plains Indian art in that the prisoners began to focus less upon themselves and their feats, and more upon things. The earliest known drawing book from Fort Marion was by Making Medicine.35 His artwork depicting “scenes” such as ceremonies, dances, and the stalking of wild animals was extremely popular among the locals and tourists of St. Augustine. In fact, the popularity of his artwork ultimately led to his close relationship with the Pendleton family of Ohio, who subsequently sponsored his education in the East upon his release from Fort Marion.

Interestingly, very few of the Fort Marion artists continued to produce any artwork after their release from Fort Marion. There is speculation that it was due in large part to the economic climate back on the reservation that simply could not support any type of commercial venture. There is also speculation that the lack of materials and the difficulty in obtaining such materials discouraged further artistic efforts. Whatever the reason, Making Medicine did not create any further known works of art after his release from Fort Marion.


By late March, 1877, Pratt had been led to anticipate the possible early release of the prisoners. Pratt was convinced that many of the younger prisoners could be further educated, and in fact, wanted further education. Having received authority from the Commissioner of Indian Affairs to arrange for the education of any Indian prisoner so interested, Pratt assembled approximately thirty of the younger prisoners and put the question to them — if the opportunity and funding to further your education in the east came about, how many would be willing to undertake the process? Nineteen volunteered. Making Medicine, however, in what must have been a major disappointment to Pratt, was not among the nineteen to step forward.

Making Medicine's reasons for rejecting the additional education were kept to himself. It would certainly be easy to understand his desire to return to his wife and son — a son he had never seen. His older brother, Little Medicine, was also absent from the nineteen volunteers. So, if he went east for additional education, it would be without family. He was in his mid-thirties, ten years older than most of the other volunteers. Perhaps he felt he was too old to learn new ways. Whatever his reasons, he had made the decision that upon release, he would return directly to his home in the Territory.

If we are to believe his words included in the February letter to the Adjutant General, and there is no reason not to believe his words, he had converted to Jesus Christ - “given myself to him.” Possibly because he had made his faith public knowledge, he had come to the attention of Mary Douglas Burnham. Whatever the reason for her interest in him, it was an interest that would shape his future.

Mary Douglas Burnham, born in Quincy, Massachusetts on May 13, 1832, was the oldest of nine children, six of whom lived to adulthood. During her growing-up years, the family lived in Quincy and moved in 1840 to South Boston. Mary Burnham was no stranger to the American Indian. In 1863, at Emmanuel Church in Boston, she founded a society for the support of Episcopal missions to the Indians. This society was later called The Dakota League. In February of 1878, Deaconess Burnham, while visiting her brother Henry and his family in St. Augustine, Florida, made the acquaintance of Pratt, and was introduced to the Indian prisoners at Fort Marion. Learning of Pratt's intentions to bring about the further education of as many of the prisoners as desired such an education, Burnham began in earnest to arrange for some of the prisoners to return with her to the east to study for the ministry.36

Just as Making Medicine's reasons for initially rejecting the offer of further education after release from Fort Marion is a mystery, so is his turnaround and subsequent acceptance. We do know that Mary Burnham discussed the matter with Making Medicine and many attribute her influence directly to his decision to return with her to the East. What exactly swayed Making Medicine to go East instead of returning to his family in the Territory can only be speculated. It would stand to reason that having not seen his family for almost three years would be the most significant reason for wanting to immediately return home and would represent the biggest barrier to him deciding to pursue further education in the East. During his years in prison many significant events had occurred with regard to his family. His remaining daughter from his second marriage to Taking Off Dress (Nannesan) had died. During this time he also divorced Taking Off Dress (Nannesan) via Indian custom. A son had been born to him and Thunder Woman (Nomee) shortly after he had left for prison. We do know that in July, 1878, Mary Burnham inquired of the Cheyenne and Arapaho Agent as to whether he thought Making Medicine's wife could be induced to join Making Medicine in Syracuse.37 The response was evidently encouraging because Burnham immediately set about to raise the necessary funds to bring both Thunder Woman (Nomee) and her child to Syracuse with the intent of instructing her in how to be the proper wife of a Deacon.

Given Burnham's almost immediate efforts to reunite Making Medicine with his family in the East, it could be conjectured that Burnham had removed one of the main barriers to Making Medicine's reluctance to go east. It could also be speculated that Burnham's offer of arranging further training in the ministry, possibly leading to an ordained position with the promise of returning home to his people to “spread the word” significantly appealed to Making Medicine.


There was one small caveat in the Indian Commissioner's approval of allowing the Indian prisoners to seek further education. That caveat was that this education would not be underwritten by the United States Government. Not even transportation to anywhere other than the Indian Territory would be reimbursed. Whatever costs associated with the continuing education of the Indian prisoners would be their burden of responsibility.

Undaunted, Burnham set about to arrange for the funds to cover the costs of educating four of the prisoners that had indicated they wanted to be trained in the ministry. The total number of prisoners volunteering for further educational opportunities had now risen to twenty-four, with seventeen slated to go to the Hampton Institute in Virginia, Mrs. Burnham's four going to Paris Hill, near Utica, New York, and three going to Tarrytown, New York, to live with the Carruthers family (two of which eventually went to the Hampton Institute).

The four prisoners originally slated to go to New York under the care and responsibility of Mrs. Burnham included three warriors, Making Medicine, Zotom, and Toowayite, as well as Ar-char, the ten-year-old daughter of the Comanche Chief, Black Horse. However, at the time of release, the little girl was ill with pneumonia, and remained with her parents, returning to the Indian Territory. In place of Ar-char, arrangements were made for the Cheyenne Okestehi to accompany the other three to New York.

The raising of funds to support four students in New York was no small task. Mrs. Burnham anticipated that it would take approximately $600 per year to adequately support and sustain each student. She determined that the undertaking would take approximately three years. Mrs. Burnham immediately appealed to Episcopalians via The Churchman, the official Episcopalian Newsletter. Dated March 18, 1878, she very concisely described the events surrounding and leading up to the eventual release of the prisoners. She pleaded for outside support,

“The way is clear, and who will help? If these young men of most promise can be transferred to Christian churches and organizations which will support and educate them for a term of years, the way is opened for indefinite good. ...My hope is that warm hearts of both men and women in our diocese of Central New York and elsewhere may be stirred by this simple narrative as to furnish the means by special gifts or to pledge the same conditionally for the future education of three of these young men, who, if committed to our care, may be placed wherever at the East wise counsel shall determine, or possibly at Santee, Yankton, or White Earth, among our devoted missionaries who have already been so blessed in the training of young men for the ministry.”

Finding a sponsor for Making Medicine however, was not as difficult as it was for some of the others. Making Medicine had made friends with the Pendleton family who lived in Cincinnati, Ohio. During the summers they vacationed in St. Augustine and had established a friendship with Making Medicine. Making Medicine had especially pleased the Pendleton's daughter “Jeanie” by giving her some books of his drawings. Mr. Pendleton was a former Congressman from Ohio. Making Medicine had kept in touch with Mrs. Pendleton (daughter of National Anthem author and composer Francis Scott Key) via letters in the off-season. When approached by Mrs. Burnham, the Pendleton's agreed to underwrite Making Medicine's tuition for the full three years.

On April 8, 1878, Pratt received word that the prisoners were to be released. It was almost three years to the day that “Okuhhatuh” had been among one of the “eighteen struck from the right,” shackled, and given the name Making Medicine. It had been a long three years. On April 11, 1878, after many handshakes and tearful good-byes, a distinct and finely sang rendition of ‘The Sweet Bye and Bye’ sent the “Florida Boys” on their way. Some were headed west, back to their families and loved ones in the Indian Territory. Some were headed east, toward an uncertain future. A once fierce group of proud warriors accustomed to being able to freely roam the plains, providing food and shelter for their families, as well as protection from their enemies, they had learned many of the white man's enterprises and endured the punishment of the confining walls of Fort Marion. Irrespective of which direction they were headed, they were no longer the prisoners of Fort Marion. They were the survivors of Fort Marion.


Arriving in Syracuse, New York, the four former prisoners, now students, were housed in a room in the House of the Good Shepherd, where Mrs. Burnham was the House Mother. Mrs. Burnham, in turning over the four students that she had worked so diligently to find funding to cover the intended three years of their impending instruction, said:

“The young Indian men have been boarded one month at the House of the Good Shepherd and have won their way to the hearts of all who have been associated with them. They have been uniformly good-tempered, industrious and obedient, nor have they in a single instance, though the life has been new and strange to them, failed in propriety under all circumstances in which they have been placed... They have become familiar with the prayer book and can find their places in the daily worship of the family, where their voices always join in...in church their reverent demeanor and attention is exemplary. The Bishop has appointed the Rev. J.B. Wicks of Paris Hill as their guardian and instructor, and in a few days we shall take them to their new home.”38

Arriving at St. Paul's Church in Paris Hill, New York, Making Medicine's education began in earnest. Paris Hill was a family community located in Oneida County, settled by colonists in the late eighteenth century. The Rev. J.B. Wicks had been the rector of St. Paul's for about eleven years when he accepted Bishop Huntington's charge of educating the Indians.

John Bartlett Wicks was born on June 9, 1836, in Paris Hill, New York. He had served in the Civil War achieving the rank of Sergeant, mustering out in 1865. Returning to Paris Hill, he served a year in charge of St. Paul's and was ordained a deacon in the fall of 1868. Two years later he was ordained as a priest.

Making Medicine's day began around six a.m. Breakfast around the table was observed with prayer, singing, and discussion being the routine. By nine a.m. class was in session until eleven a.m. After lunch and a small break, classes resumed again from one p.m. until three p.m. Evenings would consist of additional scripture reading, discussion of current events, with occasional visits from friends and church members. While formally charged with the mission of educating Making Medicine, Wicks treated Making Medicine more as a member of the family than a student. The education was ever present, but more as a father educating a son.39

In addition to scripture, Making Medicine's education consisted of penmanship, grammar, mathematics (multiplication tables), and geography (States, Territories, and major Rivers of the United States). Making Medicine was also encouraged to maintain a daily Journal. One evening of every week, Making Medicine and the other three Fort Marion students would go away by themselves for religious conversation and devotion, their prayers consisting much of intercessions.

Wicks stated that the aim of Making Medicine's education was not only to educate him in an academic and spiritual curricula, but to also acquaint him with other white man ways. Making Medicine would frequently go out to various farms and study the mechanics of seasonal farming, including plowing, planting, and harvesting.40 As was the case at Fort Marion, Making Medicine and the other three students were quite creative when it came to adapting to the white man's ways of marketing personal skills and craftsmanship. They found there was quite a market among the various local archery clubs for hand-made bows and arrows, putting their earnings into the bank, creating savings accounts. And, just like at Fort Marion, Making Medicine and his three companions were quite popular and well accepted by the townspeople.

On Sunday, October 6, 1878, a little more than six months after Oakerhater's release from Fort Marion, Making Medicine and the other three Indian students received Christian Baptism. The service was held at Grace Church in Syracuse, New York. Bishop Frederic D. Huntington conducted the services. The young men were baptized in the order of their age, with the oldest going first. At the time of their baptism, they received their Christian names. Making Medicine was the first to be baptized. His Christian name became David (from the Bible) Pendleton (in honor of the Pendleton family that had sponsored his education with Rev. Wicks). Paul Caryl (Zotom) was the second to be baptized, followed by John Wicks (Okestchei) and Henry Pratt (Taawayite). The reported appearance and conduct of the young men was deeply devout. Their answers in the Baptismal Service were clear and strong.

Twenty days later at Paris Hill, New York, the four young men were confirmed.

Upon completion of the confirmation services, it was back to the same routine for David Pendleton. This routine was to continue for several more months until a telegram from Captain Pratt would put David Pendleton on a remarkable and quite unexpected journey. Interest in educating the Indians was beginning to develop a head of steam. The country's conscience to the need to reform the treatment of Indians was beginning to emerge.

In 1878, Pratt had become aware of an industrial school near Old Point Comfort, Virginia, that he felt would provide the opportunity for the further education of some of the Fort Marion Indians. The school, Hampton Normal and Agricultural Institute for Negroes, had been established in 1867 by Samuel C. Armstrong. Armstrong had distinguished himself as a General in the Army. The philosophy at Hampton was two-fold: learning to speak English, and learning to work. Pratt felt Hampton was a perfect fit for the Fort Marion Indians. At the time Making Medicine came under the tutelage of the Rev. J.B. Wicks, seventeen of his fellow Fort Marion comrades were accepted at Hampton. The Fort Marion Indians sent to Hampton were every bit as successful as the four young men sent to Paris Hill, New York. Due to his success, U.S. Senator Pendleton, of Ohio, Making Medicine's namesake, was able to get a bill passed through Congress that provided for the education of Indian youth in the East in a Government school. The Government had property at Carlisle, Pennsylvania, which was deemed to be suited for such a school. The property was transferred to the Department of the Interior and under the leadership of Interior Secretary Schurz and Indian Commissioner Hayt, plans for a school and the process of obtaining a large number of Indian children from the Dakota and Indian Territories to attend this school were finalized. Captain Pratt was selected as the superintendent of the school, with an opening date of October, 1879, adopted.

Not only was Pratt made superintendent of the school, but he was also charged with actually going to the Dakota and Indian Territories to select the prospective students. Pratt suggested that he go to the Dakota Territory while sending someone else to the Indian Territory. Pratt's thinking was who better to go than someone actually from the Indian Territory, having in mind two Fort Marion graduates — David Pendleton (Cheyenne) and Etahdleuh Doanmoe (Kiowa).

And so it came about that David Pendleton was summoned to Syracuse, New York, on September 19, 1879. Three days later he and an entourage started on the 1,500 mile journey for a month of missionary work among their respective tribes in the Indian Territory. Pendleton's stay in the Territory was short. During the approximate one month that he was there, in addition to visiting with his family, renewing old friendships, and introducing the “new way,” he managed to recruit twenty-nine Cheyenne and Arapaho to return with him to the east to be enrolled at Carlisle. Arrangements had already been made for his wife and son to return with him to the east. On October 17, Pendleton, his wife, son, and twenty-nine students bound for Carlisle, together with Etahdleuh and his sixteen Kiowa youth, met Captain Pratt and Miss Mather (their old Florida teacher) at Wichita, Kansas, and began the return journey to the east. David's wife and son were scheduled to stay in Syracuse at the House of the Good Shepherd, while David proceeded on to Paris Hill, New York, to complete his education. While in Syracuse, Nomee (Thunder Woman) would be trained in the “ways of Christian womanhood, while David's son, Pawwahnee, (later receiving the baptismal name of Frederic) would be schooled until he was old enough to go to the government school.41

All seemed well in David Pendleton's world. He had but a year to go before his studies in the East would be completed. His wife had been baptized and was being trained in how to be a good “Christian woman.” His son had been baptized and was being prepared for entry into Carlisle. His Indian marriage to Nomee had received a “Christian blessing,” being confirmed with a wedding ring. What had looked like a hopeless existence but a few years earlier, now held all the potential a person could ask. A faith born in prison was beginning to blossom.

But that faith was severely challenged in July of 1880. Just a little over nine months since being reunited with Nomee, she died in childbirth and was buried beside her baby in the Wick's lot in the cemetery of St. Paul's, Paris Hill.

Having lost his wife, Pendleton's suffering was still not over. On April 19, 1881, after a long illness, his son Frederic Pawwahnee died at the House of the Good Shepherd. He was buried beside his mother at St. Paul's, Paris Hill. What had appeared to be a road so filled with promise a year ago, was now strewn with the deaths of his wife and son. But the spirit that had allowed David Pendleton to overcome his bitterness and hatred of the white man while imprisoned in Fort Marion, also found its way in consoling and guiding him in accepting the deaths of those closest to him. Placing tragedy behind him, he was eager and ready to return to his people and begin spreading the word of Jesus and the “new road.” Bishop Huntington and Rev. Wicks agreed.

On Tuesday morning, June 7, 1881, (Whitsun Week), at Grace Church, Syracuse, New York, David Pendleton Oakerhater and Paul Caryl Zotom, were admitted to the order of deacons. Within a few hours, he was headed to the Indian Territory. There was work to be done.


According to Reverend Wicks, the trip from Syracuse to the Territory was “a very pleasant and uneventful railroad journey.” After a three day train ride from Syracuse to Caldwell, on the southern border of Kansas, the party transferred their effects to a large covered wagon and set out upon a four days' journey across the plains to the Cheyenne Agency. The second day of travel included an unscheduled rendezvous with 40 large wagons driven by Cheyenne Indians, going to Caldwell. The Indian Waggoner's were hauling lumber for the railroad. One of the Waggoner's was a half sister of Nomee. When she saw David she jumped from the wagon and ran to meet him with a loud cry, shedding many tears. The tearful reunion revealed that the coming of the Missionaries was anticipated with much pleasure.42

The end of the four day covered wagon journey brought the Missionaries to Darlington, the Cheyenne and Arapaho Agency, arriving on Tuesday, June 14, 1881. It was a homecoming of sorts for Oakerhater. Darlington was where he had been sentenced to prison by Lt. Col. Neill's command of “strike off eighteen from the right.” He was a different man now.

Eager to return to their people, Paul Zotom, the Kiowa Deacon, and Henry Taawayite, the Comanche Deacon, resumed their journey, realizing their homecoming a few days later. Reverend Wicks stayed at Darlington hoping to start their mission immediately. Which they did. On the same day that Zotom and Taawayite left for the Kiowa and Comanche Agency in Anadarko, Oakerhater performed the first Christian funeral service by a Cheyenne ever known among the Cheyennes. The whole management of the service for the son of Big Horse was given over to him and the funeral was conducted after the forms of the Episcopal Church.43


As irony would have it, at the time of Oakerhater's arrival in the Indian Territory the Cheyenne were in the midst of their Sun Dance celebration. Oakerhater was well aware of the Sun-Dance and its meaning. He understood the significance of the event and its importance to his people. He fully understood what the Missionaries were up against introducing the white man's “new road” at this particular moment in time.

It had been decided that the first service would be held on the coming Sunday, a few days away, near a building that had been erected as a government school-house in which the Cheyenne children had been attending school. The Cheyenne had requested that their children be allowed to attend school separate from the Arapaho. In granting their wish, the Darlington authorities had erected a separate facility for the education of the Cheyenne about three miles away from the Darlington Agency near Caddo Springs (present day Concho) The Darlington authorities had arranged for the Missionaries to use a room in the school-house as a center for their work. Wanting to make sure that the Cheyenne were aware of the coming Sunday service, Oakerhater had been asked to circulate among his people and organize a meeting in which the Cheyenne would be advised of and invited to the coming Sunday service. Wicks described this initial meeting as follows:

“When I reached the place at the appointed hour I found some fifty young men and a few older ones assembled, with quite a number of women. These young men were the very ones whom David had led in war seven years ago, and were dressed in the gay attire appropriate to the great feast. Right below us a few hundred yards away, the medicine dance was going on, hundreds thronging every side of the great lodge, a striking contrast to our quiet Christian talk. David seated his people in a circle and led me to the center of it to open the talk. I told David to say first to them that we would look to God for His blessing. They all bowed their heads reverently in the prayer as though trained to it for years. David acted as interpreter, I began by telling them why I had come to them, who had sent me, and what we wished to do for them. Then one of the Chiefs, Sand Hill, stepped forward and thanked me, expressing the desire to be taught the good way; another Chief, Mad Wolf, followed in the same strain. David then addressed them briefly, and our first council closed. I invited them to service at the school-house on a Sunday morning and they promised to come.”44

Oakerhater's brief message to his people was delivered in Cheyenne. Oakerhater told them:

“Men, you all know me. You remember me when I led you out to war I went first and what I told you was true. Now I have been away to the East and I have learned about another captain, the Lord Jesus Christ, and He is my leader. He goes first, and all He tells me is true. I come back to my people to tell you to go with me now in this new road, a war that makes all for peace, and where we never have only victory.”45

Wicks describes the first Sunday service to the Cheyenne as follows:

“The first Sunday was full and important. Besides the school children assembled at a regular Sunday-school hour, were fifty of sixty of the camp-Indians, and among them several prominent Chiefs. When the appointed hour for arrived, David and I went into the room, and it was worth a journey to the Indian Territory to see the effect of our coming as expressed on the faces of the people. They appeared hardly able to believe their own eyes. After the singing of a hymn, and a brief service I addressed the assembly, David interpreting. Afterward David himself addressed them, and it moved us all to tears to see him standing there and speaking so earnestly to his people. His words had a marked effect. He is bearing himself nobly. I could not ask for better than he is doing. He has already won the respect of all at the Agency, and soon they will love him.”46


Approximately ten days after his arrival at Darlington, Wicks left for Anadarko to visit the Kiowa-Comanche Agency at Anadarko to check on the progress of Deacons Zotom and Taawayite. In his absence Oakerhater continued what would become his traditional schedule—conducting Sunday service and daily visits among the sick of his tribe. The Cheyenne Transporter reported that:

“David Pendleton holds services among the camp Indians every Sabbath. Being himself an Indian his work is more effective than that of any white man could be. He spends much of his time in camp caring for the sick and doing what he can for their comfort. This is practical Christianity, which will result in credit to the church that sent him, and lasting benefit to the Indians. Treated in this way the Indian may some time be able to comprehend theoretic religion.”47

Another edition of the Cheyenne Transporter further described the Missionaries' activities,

“With the help of David Pendleton and Walter Matches, two Cheyenne Indians, he [Wicks] finds out where the sick are and at once goes to the lodge, taking with him something for the bodily comfort of the sufferer, as well as much of good advice. He has induced a number of the more superstitious to seek the aid of the Agency physician and give up their own ’medicine.' Rev. Wicks goes each evening to some lodge and spends half an hour talking to the family, either on subjects related to religion or their temporal welfare, as many seem best to him under the circumstances. He informs us that he is already able to see some good results from such visits.”48

With Wicks having to split his time between Darlington and Anadarko, there were times when Oakerhater was responsible for the Darlington activities for months at a time. Wicks came to rely heavily upon David's independence and ability to sustain the operations during his absence.


On October 25, 1882, what many at Darlington thought to be the social event of the year took place. Reverend J.B. Wicks, in an Episcopal ceremony, united in holy matrimony Mr. David Pendleton and Miss Susie Anna Bent. Susie, whose Indian name was Nahepo (Smoking Woman), was fifteen years old. The Cheyenne Transporter reported that a large number of interested friends from the Agency and Post were present as well as a number of Cheyenne friends. Eleven days after her marriage, Susie was confirmed in the Episcopal Church by the visiting Right Reverend Henry Pierce, Missionary Bishop of Arkansas and Indian Territory.49


Wicks was spending more and more of his time with the Kiowa, Comanche, and Wichita Indians of the lower Agency. Finally, on July 1, 1883, Wicks accepted the position of Superintendent of the Kiowa School. He would be relocating to Anadarko.50

But Wicks was not a healthy man. He suffered from bouts of Malaria. On November 10, 1884, Wicks returned to the Diocese of Massachusetts.51

No replacement for Wicks was forthcoming. Reverend John S. Seibold came to Fort Reno in December, 1886, as an Army Chaplain, but by 1889 he had moved to Fort Gibson. Additionally, the Board of Missions reduced the appropriations for the Indian field. In his Annual Report of 1886, Bishop Pierce stated:

“I feel convinced that the Board has resolved to abandon this field... Of course I cannot put a white Priest to superintend the two Indian Deacons, and without such superintendence they will accomplish little... let not the Church hold me responsible. The responsibility rests with the Board, and with the Board alone, if nothing is done toward planting the Church broadly and firmly in the Indian Territory.”52

In 1889, the Reverend Ralph T. Jefferson occupied the position Wicks vacated, but only briefly, resigning in September, 1890.

As if the reduced support of the Episcopal Church was not enough of a burden to bear, Susie Pendleton died on January 9, 1890, at the age of 23. Very little is known about Susie other than she bore two children by David who died while small.53


The Episcopal General Convention created the Missionary District of Oklahoma and Indian Territory and Francis Key Brooke was sent in 1893 as its first bishop. Bishop Brooke immediately recognized that for the work among the Indians to regain any kind of momentum, additional clergy would be necessary. In June, 1894, Brooke was able to bring to El Reno Rev. David A. Sanford.

David Augustus Sanford was born in Ashippun, Wisconsin in 1850. He graduated from the University of Wisconsin in 1875 and from the Philadelphia Divinity School in 1878. The following year he was made a priest. In 1881, he married Mary E. Elliott. Prior to settling in Indian Territory, Sanford tended to wander, serving in several parishes without establishing any real sense of commitment. 54

In January, 1897, work was begun on Mission buildings near Bridgeport, an Indian issue station about 25 miles west of El Reno. Two buildings were erected, a house and a chapel. At that time there were no other religious activities in that area, with a large number of Cheyennes and Arapahoes settled along the South Canadian river for a distance of about fifty miles. In June, 1897, Bishop Brooke determined that the Indian effort could better be served by transferring Sanford to Bridgeport. Oakerhater accompanied Sanford.55

By 1898, David was living at the Whirlwind School, approximately 20 miles northwest of Bridgeport, close to the town of Fay. But he wasn't living alone. On July 12, 1898, at the Chapel in Bridgeport, Rev. David A. Sanford united in marriage the Rev. David Pendleton Oakerhater to Minnie White-Buffalo. (Marriage records list the name David Pendleton Oakerhater) 56 Minnie was 20 years younger than Oakerhater and had a child by her previous marriage to Brave Bear named Bear Raising Mischief. David and Minnie lived in a frame house, three bedrooms upstairs, a kitchen, dining room, assembly room and office on the first floor.


The work at both Bridgeport and the Whirlwind Mission was slow. While Baptisms were occurring, confirmations were not as plentiful. Oakerhater also had health problems. His eyes were giving him a great deal of trouble and he sought out assistance from “white doctors” in Kingfisher, Oklahoma. They prescribed “good eye-water” which helped relieve David's suffering.

In addition to the health problems and the required patient work, there was controversy. The Indians were coming to grips with allotted lands. Under this arrangement the Indians were scattered about, isolating them from each other. The Government was concerned that the Indians were not working their land, rather leasing their allotted lands to white farmers. Additionally, the Indians did not like the idea of having to send their children to boarding schools for nine months out of the year. Especially when the potential for illness among the boarding school children was so high. The solution for the Indians was to camp nearby the schools rather than on their allotted lands. The children stayed with the parents in the camps. And while the health improved for the Indian children under this arrangement, the Government was concerned that it violated the intent of the allotted land concept of having the Indians tend their allotted lands.

An additional controversy erupted between the farmers in the community and Rev. Sanford. According to a Petition filed by several of the farmers in the area with the Secretary of the Interior:

“From our experience with him we believe him to be a detriment to the Indian and to our community, arrogant and selfish; a meddler and a disseminator of trouble... Prior to the coming of Mr. Sanford to this place, our relations with the Indian, direct as well as through the Indian Officials, have been on the whole of a friendly and peaceable nature, where now, he seems to be teaching them to look upon all white people with suspicion and distrust. He advises the Indian to disregard the orders and instructions of the Superintendent and the Indian Office, with relation to the education of their children and the management of their allotted lands. In instances which can be cited, he has here, assumed authority, in defiance of the rules and regulations governing the leasing of Allotted land, made contracts between Indians and white men who knew no better, for the use of the Allotted land, which when placed before the proper authorities, and declared illegal, has worked a hardship for the white man and has given the Indian something for no benefit derived, or value received, and in addition has taught the Indian a lesson in dishonest transaction.”57

Sanford was advising the Indians to bargain for better prices when leasing their allotted lands to the farmers in the area. Sanford further angered the farmers in the area by his trying to convince the Indians not to lease their land at all, but to work it themselves.

Bishop Brooke supported Sanford as did several of the residents in the area as evidenced by a letter of support, signed by several area residents, sent to Indian Agent Charles Shell:

“We, the undersigned, being aware of the attempt to remove Rev. D.A.Sanford and family, missionaries at the Whirlwind Mission, and knowing of the good work that they are doing among the Indians, do hereby enter an earnest protest against such an attempt. We believe from our own personal observation, from personal visits at the Indian mission, and from evidence satisfactory to us that the work of Rev. D. A. Sanford, his wife and daughter, is of great benefit to the Indians and that the best interests of the Indian demands that they should be retained in their present work. We ask you to use your utmost efforts to that end.”58

However, in February, 1906, Indian Commissioner F.E. Leupp demanded that Bishop Brooke discharge Sanford from his position. Brooke was able to delay Sanford's discharge until July, 1907, but was unable to convince Government Officials of the benefits of keeping Sanford at the Mission.

There is no record of Oakerhater's involvement in the Sanford affair. There is no record of any discontent on the part of the residents in the area or the Indians themselves regarding Oakerhater's work or personal conduct. Oakerhater was never linked with the issues surrounding Sanford's discharge.


The Rev. James J. H. Reedy succeeded Sanford. As non-resident priest-in-charge, Reedy visited the mission once a month to hold communion services, but the general religious work was handled by Oakerhater. Bishop Brooke realized that Oakerhater needed help and made arrangements for a teacher through the National Council.59

In late December of 1907, Harriet Bedell departed from her native New York by train headed for Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Met at the train station by Bishop Brooke, they proceeded by train to Watonga. Provided a brief orientation of the Indian Territory, which was now the newest state in the Union and known as Oklahoma, upon arriving at Watonga, Brooke arranged for Ms. Bedell to be driven by wagon to the Whirlwind Mission. Brooke would not be able to accompany her to the Mission as he had business back in Guthrie.

On the train ride from Oklahoma City to Watonga, Harriet learned that her primary duty would be secular teaching. However, she would also be expected to teach Sunday school and help with the general work of religious education. Although she had not been made a deaconess and was basically a mission teacher, she would be called upon to perform many of the duties of a deaconess.60

Oakerhater and Harriett immediately became friends, with David being of enormous help in assisting Harriet in her acclimation to Whirlwind Mission. David explained:

“The Cheyennes and their brothers, the Arapahoes, have in living memory been at battle with the white man. Now all is different. The Indians have had this land allotted by the government, and they have been paid for the rest. But the time will come when they are no longer protected by the government. They will have to compete with the white man. The young people must learn the new ways because they can never go back to the old. The old is no more. Only the white man can teach white ways. The Indian does not know them and often does not like them. So the teacher is important here at Whirlwind. For the children first. For the old people—this is slower. They remember other days.”61

A typical day at Whirlwind started with school beginning at nine with five minutes of prayer. Next the children would perform the tasks of school and mission housekeeping: gathering wood, sweeping, dusting, caring for the horses and the barn. This was followed by a study period until noon. There was a brief prayer before the children were sent home for lunch. The afternoon session began with a half hour of religious instruction-the Church catechism on Monday, the Bible drill on Tuesday, Bible stories on Wednesday, and the Prayer Book on Thursday. The remainder of the day until four o'clock was spent on secular lessons. After four o'clock the sick were visited. On Tuesday, a sewing class was held and on Wednesday, beadwork at the Guild Hall was conducted. Thursday was wash-up day when the older children bathed and the younger ones changed their clothes, taking the soiled garments home to be laundered. After supper, there was an evening prayer and a short service held by David. Then until nine, there was a “reading room” held in the school.62

In 1908, the Rev. James J. H. Reedy became ill, requiring hospitalization and his retirement. Although he only visited Whirlwind a few times during the year, his leaving was somewhat demoralizing. Even more demoralizing was the continued “revolving-door” pattern regarding clergy assigned to Whirlwind. In 1910, Rev. Sherman Coolidge took charge of Whirlwind Mission. In 1911, Kenneth Rice, a candidate for Holy Orders joined the staff at Whirlwind. In 1912, Coolidge left Whirlwind to go to Minnesota. Rice left a few months later to take over a white parish. After Rice left Whirlwind, Rev. Leonida J.H. Wooden became priest-in-charge. By the end of 1913 Wooden had left Whirlwind.63

Although the work at Whirlwind Mission was steady and successful, the practice of Indian children not attending the boarding schools, instead living with their parents in tepees on school land rather than on their own allotted land, was still an issue. As if the problems of recruiting staff and the concern of the government regarding the Indians camping on school grounds instead of working their allotted lands was not enough of a burden for Whirlwind, 1915 would bring another blow to Whirlwind. A special physician assigned by the Indian Bureau to the Cheyenne and Arapaho Agency from April 20 to June 30, 1915, made an adverse report on trachoma at Whirlwind:

“Out of the 25 pupils in attendance, 85% were afflicted with trachoma. Many were active cases...and should not have been in school but under active treatment...During the fall, purulent conjunctivitis became epidemic in the school and every pupil was afflicted. Occasional treatments of boric and argyrol solutions were given the worst cases. The school should be closed and the pupils placed in a boarding school where the pupils could be properly cared for. No physician is employed by the mission. As this is conducted on the day school plan, many Indians camp here in idleness during the winter away from discipline and out of intimate reach of physician and field matron, neglecting their homes under the excuse of putting their children in this school.”64

Further confirmation of the situation was provided by Dr. Thomas Lane, an El Reno physician specializing in eye care, who found that seven of the Indian school children had acute trachoma. Eleven others were found to have sub-acute trachoma.65

On September 18, 1915, Superintendent W. W. Scott of Concho recommended to Bishop Brooke that Whirlwind be discontinued. In September of 1916, Harriet Bedell was reassigned to Alaska. Oakerhater continued on at Whirlwind assisted by C.E. Beach, who came to the mission in 1914 as a layman but was now an ordained deacon. Although still in operation, Whirlwind Mission was in its last stages of operation. In a letter to Mr. Beach in August of 1916, Superintendent Scott wrote:

“There will now be no excuse for the maintenance of a camp there [Whirlwind] and we will do everything we can to see that it is abandoned. We will not hereafter pay any money to any one living in the camp there and that will necessitate its abandonment.”66


Bishop Brooke, in his final annual address shortly before his death in 1918, wrote.

“Our Indian Mission at Whirlwind for two years has been in serious difficulties... The camp has been broken up, the Indians scattered, and this with, I grieve to say, some serious mistakes of conduct and management on the part of our workers, and the entire inability of the Board of Missions to find, in these trying times, anyone to take up the hard and perplexing work that needs to be done there, has made me decide, acting on the advice of the Board, to give up that work. ...Our aged Indian Deacon, David Oakerhater, now past three-score years and ten, must be pensioned and cared for, and will be, and he will not be forgotten by his Bishop and his brethren.”67

Oakerhater was pensioned in August, 1918. After a brief residence in Clinton, Oklahoma, he moved to Watonga and remained there until his death.

There were efforts from time to time to resurrect the Whirlwind School but nothing ever materialized. Although in retirement, Oakerhater's home in Watonga essentially became the center of Indian work activities in western Oklahoma. Throughout the next ten years there were numerous visits to Watonga by various Bishops (Thurston, Seaman, and Casady) where baptisms and confirmations were performed in Oakerhater's house.

David Pendleton Oakerhater died August 31, 1931, and was buried in a small Indian cemetery in Watonga. The Cheyenne custom of burying a man with the things he especially valued was observed. Over Oakerhater's heart they placed his Bible that bore on the cover in gold letters his Fort Marion name, Making Medicine.


“I keep that work God given to me to do and for that reason though I am an Indian and you of a different people yet your faith is my faith and in all the earth there are many different races of yet to all alike God has given his one Spirit and one life and one faith and one Savior You have grown up knowing all this and for this reason though I am far from you If God my father shall bless me and help me and keep me show me to do what is right.”
          —David Pendleton Oakerhater
            June 6, 1885


Epilogue

On September 6, 1981, the 100th Anniversary of the Ordination of David Pendleton Oakerhater was celebrated with the placing of a stone marking his grave in a small cemetery in Watonga, Oklahoma.68

On September 1, 1983, on a hill less than a mile from the original Whirlwind School a Holy Eucharist was celebrated by the Right Rev. Gerald N. McAllister, the Episcopal Bishop of Oklahoma. The occasion was the dedication of a four-foot tapering granite marker honoring David Pendleton Oakerhater and early day Cheyenne Episcopalians.69

In 1985 in the closing hour of the 68th Episcopal General Convention, the culmination of efforts led by the Oklahoma Committee on Indian Work, spearheaded by Lois Clark, resulted in both houses voting to include David Pendleton Oakerhater among the notables of the Episcopal Church. From that moment forward David Pendleton Oakerhater would forever be known as Saint David Pendleton Oakerhater.70

On September 1, 1986, the first Oakerhater Feast Day was celebrated at the National Cathedral in Washington D.C. Members of the Oakerhater family were present for the celebration as were delegations of American Indians from Oklahoma and elsewhere.

On September 6, 2003, in Watonga, Oklahoma, the culmination of efforts spearheaded by the Rev. Jim Knowles, Indian missionary for the Oklahoma Diocese, resulted in a Holy Eucharist celebrated by the Right Rev. Robert Moody, Episcopal Bishop of Oklahoma. The occasion was the dedication of ten acres of land which would ensure a permanent home for the Whirlwind Mission of the Holy Family. This land also serves as the permanent home for the Annual Oakerhater Honor Dance. The Honor Dance is sponsored by the Oklahoma Committee on Indian Work and is conducted each year around the time of Oakerhater's ordination as a Deacon.

References Cited

1Petersen, Karen Daniels, Unpublished Manuscript, pg. 11, Oklahoma Episcopal Diocese Archives, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.

2Hoebel, E. Adamson, The Cheyennes: Indians of the Great Plains, Holt, Rinehart and Winston, New York, 1960, pg. 33-34.

3Petersen, Karen Daniels, Cheyenne Soldier Societies, Plains Anthropologist, Volume 9, Number 25, pgs. 146-147.

4Mooney, James, MSS, Cat. No.2531, Field Notebooks, V, pg.54, National Anthropological Archives, Washington D.C.

5Mooney, James, ibid, pg. 54.

6Mooney, James, ibid, pg. 54

7Mooney, James, ibid, pg. 54

8Hoebel, E.Adamson, The Cheyenne Indians, ibid, pg. 188

9Mooney, James, ibid, pg.54

10Ginnell, George Bird, By Cheyenne Campfires, “The Race,” New Haven and London: Yale University Press, pgs. 252-254

11Mooney, James, ibid pg 54

12Grinnell, George Bird, The Cheyenne Indians, ibid, pg. 137-138.

13Cheyenne & Arapaho Heirship Hearing materials, Book #2, pg. 212. Oklahoma Historical Society Archives, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.

14Interview with Theodora Whiteshirt and Elizabeth Whiteshield (Okuhhatuh Granddaughters), June 24, 2000, Concho, Oklahoma.

15Shirley, Glenn, Guardian of the Law, Eakibon Press, Austin, Texas, 1998, pg. 65.

16Mooney, James, Oakerhater Interview, ibid.

17Mooney, James, Oakerhater Interview, ibid.

18Mooney, James, Oakerhater Interview, ibid.

19Whiteshirt/Whiteshield Interview, June 24, 2000, ibid.

20Hyde, George, The Life of George Bent—Written From His Letters, University of Oklahoma Press, Norman, 1967, pg. 360.

21Mooney, James, The Cheyenne Indians, ibid, pg. 374

22 Haley, James L. The Buffalo War, ibid. pgs. 213-215.

23 Whiteshirt/Whiteshield Interview, June 24, 2000, ibid.

24 Mooney, James, Calendar of the Kiowa Indians, pg. 139.

25 Pratt, Richard, Battlefield and Classroom, ibid, pg. 117.

26 Pratt, Richard, Battlefield and Classroom, ibid, pg. 117 & 118.

27 Pratt, Richard, Battlefield and Classroom, ibid, pg. 187.

28 Pratt, Richard, Battlefield and Classroom, ibid, pg. 125.

29 Pratt, Richard, Battlefield and Classroom, ibid, pg. 120.

30 Pratt, Richard, Battlefield and Classroom, ibid, pg. 122; Viola, Herman J, Warrior Artists, National Geographic Society, 1998, pg. 11.

31 Pratt, Richard, Battlefield and Classroom, ibid, pg. 183.

32 Sheridan, Phillip H, Correspondence, Headquarters Division of the Missouri, “Special Files.”

33 Pratt letter to Dr. Agnew, February 23, 1876, St. Augustine Historical Society.

34 Petersen, Unpublished Manuscript, ibid, Chapter 2, pg. 22: Carruthers, Christians At Work XI, pg. 554, 678.

35 Viola, Herman, ibid, pg. 16.

36 Boyd, Sandra Hughes, “Mary Douglass Burnham-19th Century Episcopal Women's Ministry Exemplified.”

37 Correspondence, Burnham to Miles, July 13, 1878, Oklahoma Historical Society Archives, C & A prisoners.

38 Burnham, Mary D. Report of the Women's Auxiliary, Journal—Annual convention of the Protestant Church, Diocese of Central New York, 1878, pg. 65.

39 Wicks, J.B., Spirit of Missions, Vol. 44, 1879, pg.224.

40 Wicks, J.B., Spirit of Missions, Vol. 44, 1879, pg.224.

41 Burnham, Mary, Journal of the Annual Convention of the Protestant Episcopal Church In the Diocese of Central New York, 12th, 1880, Pg.77.

42 Burnham, Mary, Notes Of Our Indian Territory Mission, Spirit of Missions, October, 1881.

43 The Cheyenne Transporter, Indian Territory, June 25, 1881.

44 Burnham, Mary, Notes On Our Indian Territory Mission, Spirit of Missions, October, 1881, pg. 412.

45 Clark, Lois, God's Warrior, Episcopal Diocese of Oklahoma, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, 1985.

46 Burnham, Mary, Notes On Our Indian Territory Mission, ibid, pg. 412.

47 Cheyenne Transporter, Indian Territory, September 24, 1881.

48 Cheyenne Transporter, Indian Territory, August 25, 1881.

49 Cheyenne Transporter, Indian Territory, November 25, 1882.

50 Cheyenne Transporter, Indian Territory, July 12, 1883.

51 Petersen, Manuscript ibid, pg. 199.

52 Pierce, H.N., Annual Report to the Domestic & Foreign Ministry Society of the Protestant Episcopal Church, 1886, pg. 66.

53 Petersen, Manuscript, ibid, pg. 214.

54 Petersen, Manuscript, ibid. pg. 220.

55 Handwritten History of Whirlwind Mission, Archives of the Oklahoma Episcopal Diocese, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, pg. 15.

56 Handwritten History of Whirlwind Mission, ibid, pg 237.

57 Petition filed with the Secretary of Interior, Washington D.C., C & A Agency Schools Files, Oklahoma Historical Society, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.

58 Correspondence to Charles E. Shell, July, 1907, C & A Agency Files, Oklahoma Historical Society, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.

59 Anderson, Owanah, 400 years: Anglican/Episcopal Mission among American Indians, Forward Movement Publications, Cincinnati, Ohio, pg 161

60 Anderson, Owanah, ibid, pg. 29.

61 Anderson, Owanah, ibid. pg. 37

62 Anderson, Owanah, ibid. pg. 62-63

63 Petersen, Manuscript, ibid, pg. 275.

64 Petersen, Manuscript, ibid, pg. 287: William E. Van Cleave to Commissioner, June 30, 1915, C & A Files, Oklahoma Historical Society, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.

65 Petersen, Manuscript, ibid, pg. 288; Correspondence from Lane, C & A Files, Okla. Historical Society, Okla. City, Okla.

66 Petersen, Manuscript, ibid. pg. 294; Correspondence from Scott to Beach, Aug. 31, 1916, C & A Files, Oklahoma Historical Society, Oklahoma city, Oklahoma.

67 Petersen, Manuscript, ibid, pg. 297; F.K. Brooke, Annual Address of the Bishop, 1917.

68 Clark, Lois, David Pendleton Oakerhater—God's Warrior, Episcopal Diocese of Oklahoma, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, 1985.

69 Clark, Lois, God's Warrior, ibid.

70 Anderson, Owanah, 400 Years, ibid. pg. 165.

©   Copyright, K. B. Kueteman, 2006

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