Being the Reminiscences of the First Teacher
BY JOSIAH BUTLER1
EDITORIAL FOREWORD. Inasmuch as there are beginning tooccur the centennial anniversaries of some of the more important events of the earlier history of what is now the state of Oklahoma, it is interesting to find still living a man who was not merely a witness but an active participant in some of the thrilling scenes which date back nearly sixty years ago. Josiah Butler, the modest, quiet, retiring young Quaker school teacher, who came from Ohio to organize and conduct the agency
1Josiah Butler was born, October 2, 1844, on a farm near Damascus, Columbiana County, Ohio. His parents, John and Elizabeth Butler, were birthright members of the Society of Friends, of which denomination he has always been a faithful adherent. His entire education was received in the Quaker schools, finishing the same at Bloomingdale Academy, in 1863-4. For two years, in 1864-6, he was engaged in the establishment and superintendence of schools for the freedmen, in Louisiana and Mississippi. September 13, 1866, he married Elizabeth Bond, of Richmond, Indiana, who had been a fellow teacher in the South. Four children—two sons and two daughters—were born to this union, of whom only one survives, Mrs. Emma L. Benton, of Chico, California. After the establishment and organization of a new Comanche-Kiowa Indian agency by Lawrie Tatum, who was one of President Grant’s peace policy Quaker agents, Josiah Butler and his wife were asked to organize the Agency school, on the site of the present U. S. Indian school, between Fort Sill and Lawton, the detailed narrative of which forms the text of the paper to which this biographic note is attached. After leaving the service of the Government Indian school, in 1873, he returned to his old home in Ohio, where he worked and managed his father’s farm for twelve years, his wife being recorded as a minister in the Society of Friends and he as an elder; later, he, too, was recorded as a minister. They then settled at Barclay, Kansas, both he and his wife devoting a large part of their time to religious work. Her earthly life ended while she was conducting an evangelistic meeting in Indiana, February 2, 1901. In Kansas, Josiah Butler served eleven years as a district superintendent and, for four year, (1902-6) as superintendent for the Kansas Yearly Meeting of the Friends’ Church, including all of the work of that denomination in Kansas, Oklahoma (with eleven Indian Missions), and a few points in Texas, Colorado, Nebraska and Missouri, all of which necessitated about 8,000 miles of travel annually. December 8, 1903, he was married to Miss Marie Sanderson, of Lyndon, Kansas. To this union there were born two sons—John Austin, a gifted and inspiring young educator whose earthly career was cut short by death, February 29, 1928, and Ermon Fred, who is an electrician with the Bell Telephone Company. Mrs. Butler is rounding out twenty-five years of service as a teacher, at present holding a position in the public schools at Independence, in Custer County. The family home is at Clinton, where Josiah Butler is respected and venerated by all who know him
school, at the Comanche-Kiowa Indian Agency, near Fort Sill, in May, 1870, eventually returned to Oklahoma to spend the years of life’s evening and to muse over the marvelous changes which have been wrought during the intervening period. While the world calls him a Quaker, he calls himself a Friend, and a friend he has been, indeed, to all who have come into contact with him throughout the course of his long life.
More than a decade ago, Friend Butler furnished the Oklahoma Historical Society with a copy of his reminiscences, of life at the new Indian agency, consisting largely of extracts from the diary or journal in which he had recorded his impressions of the day to day happenings and incidents, experiences and observations while he was employed there, away back in the early ’70s. To the pages of this reminiscent narrative there have been added certain pertinent supplemental notes, more for the purpose of amplification than for illumination. Though it is a plainly told story of a part of the active life of a most unpretentious man, the light of courage, faith, simplicity, devotion and fidelity shines from nearly every passage, from beginning to end. While his part in the history of the state may have been an humble one, it was far from being un-important. The Oklahoma Historical Society is glad to give such a contribution a permanent place in the historical literature of the state.
—J. B. T.
My dear Wife and I (previous to our marriage) having labored among the “Freedmen” to the satisfaction of Friends, were invited by the Executive Committee on Indian Affairs to labor among the Indians at the Comanche and Kiowa Agency.2 Frank was then two and one-half years old and May eleven months.
2The first agency for Comanche and Kiowa Indian tribes, in common with the Plains Apache, Cheyenne and Arapaho tribes, was maintained at Bent’s Fort, on the Arkansas River, in the eastern part of what is now Bent County, Colorado. Thomas J. Fitzpatrick, trapper and trader, was the agent for all of these tribes. After his death, in 1854, William W. Bent was appointed as agent for all of the tribes of the “Upper Arkansas Agency,” as it was called. Agent Bent resigned in 1859 and Albert Gallatin Boone, an experienced trader among the Indians (and a grandson of Daniel Boone, the Kentucky pioneer) was appointed to fill the position. In 1861, Agent Boone was removed from office, professedly because he was a Missourian and, hence, there were doubts as to his loyalty (but more probably because a place had to be made for an office-hungry constituent of some insistent partisan in Congress) and one S. G. Colley was appointed to fill the place. This last change was very unsatisfactory to the Indians of all of the interested tribes and Agent Colley utterly failed to gain or exert any influence among them. During the terms of Agents Boone and Colley, the Upper Arkansas Agency was maintained at Fort Wise, the name of which was changed to Fort Lyon. During the administration of Andrew Johnson, the agency of the Comanches and Kiowas was separated from that of the Cheyenne and Arapaho tribes, Col. Jesse H. Leavenworth, late of the 2d Colorado Volunteer Cavalry, being appointed as agent for the former. Both agencies were located at Fort Larned, Kansas. Colonel Leavenworth failed to win the confidence of his charges. In the latter part of 1868, Col. William B. Hazen, U. S. Army, was assigned to duty as a special Indian agent for the recalcitrant tribes between the Arkansas and Red rivers. In his work, Colonel Hazen was ably assisted by former Agent Albert G. Boone. The agency of the Comanche, Kiowa and Plains Apache tribes was established adjacent to Fort Sill, near the present city of Lawton, and Lawrie Tatum, a member of the Society of Friends, assumed charge as agent, July 1, 1869. The Indians of the Wichita, Caddo and affiliated tribes were also included within the administrative scope of this agency until 1870, when the Wichita Agency was established at Anadarko. In 1879 the Comanche Agency was consolidated with the Wichita Agency, though a subagency has always been maintained at Fort Sill.
At the first proposition my wife thought it impossible, and could not consider it at all, and I so reported to the Committee, who simply answered, “We will wait on you.” My wife thought I was too easy about it and would have me go a second time and not have them lose any time waiting on us. But they again replied, “Oh, we will wait.” I dismissed the subject entirely from my mind, not having any disposition to have my wife go against her will and sense of right. There was nothing passed between us concerning the subject for about one month; but one morning at breakfast she looked up and said, “Si, I’m ready.” “Ready for what?” I asked in reply. “To go among the Indians—and right away. Go and see the Committee as soon as breakfast is over, or may be they will get some one else.” So I went and the arrangement was made.
Our business affairs were fixed up and we left home 5th Month, 5th, 1870, after an affectionate parting, most keenly felt by all of us, yet resting in the belief that it was in the will of the Lord. We went by way of Kansas City to Lawrence, Kansas, where General Superintendent (E. Hoag) was located, who made arrangements for us to go in a covered wagon to Fort Sill, Indian Territory, William Winner and J. C. Shuck going with us. We bought cooking utensils and provisions at Lawrence for most of the way. The construction trains of the Santa Fe Railway were then at Emporia, that being as far as passengers could go by rail.
We left Lawrence at 2 p. m., 5th Month, 11th, and went to Wakarusa, where we camped. There we found three teams going as far as Eldorado, Kansas, so we traveled with them. The first night out we found lodging in a house but, after that, Lizzie, the children and I lodged in the wagon and the men with us slept in a tent we had bought at Lawrence. Wil-
liam Winner was much older than I. He dressed and talked as Philadelphia Friends do until he got out on the “trail,” when he laid aside his “plain garb” and talked like those he was with, except while he was at the agencies which we passed, when he was still a Philadelphia Friend—all to our surprise and disgust. He was set on having a gun. Before leaving home, I had promised the Lord that no person living should ever see anything that would shoot in my hands until I got home, come what would—which vow I kept to the letter, except that I bought an Indian bow and quiver to take home as relics. William Winner bought his gun but I had no interest in it.
At Eldorado we parted company with our kind-hearted, uncouth friends who had been very helpful to us. We went from Eldorado to Wichita alone and, about half way, we found two fresh graves, marked with boards upon which was inscribed, “The fate of horse-thieves.” But it was generally believed that the horse-thieves had waylaid some travelers. God knows.3
Wichita was then a mile or more up the river from its present site and it consisted of a few stockade houses with dirt roofs—not a shingle or a brick in the town. Here, after considerable inquiry, we felt favored in falling in with an old Indian trader, William Matthewson,4 who was going di-
3That the graves by the roadside were those of horse-thieves is not at all improbable. Butler County, Kansas, was infested with lawless characters of that type during the period immediately following the Civil War. In 1870, the decent element among the settlers decided to put an end to that form of terrorism, organized vigilante bands, took the law into their own hands and summarily hung a number of men who were kown to be implicated in a system of organized outlawry—at Douglass, Augusta, Towanda and elsewhere. It was near the last mentioned place that the writer of these reminiscences saw the fresh graves by the trail.
4William Matthewson was born in Broome County, New York, Jan. 1, 1830, of Revolutionary stock. From early childhood, he manifested a strong liking for hunting and trapping. Because of a disagreement with his step-father, he left home at the age of ten and, during the ensuing nine years, lived with woodsmen, during which time he hunted and trapped over much of the western parts of New York and Pennsylvania and Lower Canada. In 1849, he entered the service of the Northwestern Fur Company and engaged in trading with the Indians in Nebraska, Dakota, Montana, Wyoming and the Rocky Mountains. Three years later, he became associated with the renowned Kit Carson for a time. Then, for a brief season, he was in the service of Bent, St. Vrain & Company, at Bent’s Fort, on the upper Arkansas River. In 1853, he established a trading post of his own, at the Great Bend of the Arkansas River, then far from military protection. He continued to trade at this station until 1861. In that year he boxed the ears of the great Kiowa chief, Satanta, and kicked and cuffed several impudent warriors around in such a way that he was ever afterward respected by the Indians of that region and caused them to name him, Sinpah Zilba, meaning, “The long-bearded, dangerous white man.” White settlers, hunting buffalo with indifferent results, were sometimes assisted by him so effectively that he became known far and wide as “Buffalo Bill,” years before William F. Cody achieved distinction in a similar line and thus became known by the same sobriquet. In 1863, he established a new trading post on Cow Creek, at the crossing of the Santa Fe Trail, in the present Rice County, Kansas. His knowledge of Indians and of Indian warfare was of inestimable benefit alike to overland freighters, immigrant trains and frontier settlers. He was reputed to have secured the release of over 100 white captives by the Indians and to have performed many daring feats most of which were never recorded. Along with Jesse Chisholm, the mixed-blood Cherokee trader, and Captain Black Beaver, the well known Delaware Indian leader, he was instrumental in inducing the Comanches and Kiowas to attend the peace councils at Council Grove (held at Council Grove in the summer of 1865), at the mouth of the Little Arkansas (October, 1865), and at Medicine Lodge (in October, 1867). At Medicine Lodge, he met Henry M. Stanley (then a comparatively unknown newspaper correspondent) , who subsequently tried to induce him to join in the great African adventures and explorations which made Stanley famous. In 1868, he settled upon a homestead which is now in the heart of the city of Wichita, Kansas, in which he made his home until his death, in 1916. Of a modest and retiring disposition, he resisted every effort that was made to induce him to have the romantic story of his life reduced to writing. The part that he had played as one of the founders and builders of the city of Wichita, his public spirit and his unvarying kindliness were such as to cause universal mourning in the community when his life was ended.
rect to Fort Sill with four wagons. Just before reaching Wichita we met a herd of 1640 Texan cattle and in my dairy I find this record: “The first I ever saw, and such horns I never saw in my life—from five to eight inches in circumference at the base of the horn and from two to three feet long and the tips from three to four feet apart and turned in almost every conceivable shape.” The same day, in the afternoon, I was out of sight of all houses, fences, trees or bushes for the first time in my life, prairie and sky being all that was visible.
We left Wichita, 5th month 11th, near 11 a. m., crossing the Arkansas River by doubling teams, and we camped on Cowskin Creek that night. Lizzie took care of the children, I cooked, J. C. Shuck drove and cared for our teams and William Winner hunted. Of course there was some helping of each other but that was the general division of the work. It was new and novel to us but we kept fairly well and enjoyed
it, even if we often got very, very tired. We had to watch for wood and water, sometimes carrying it with us and camping where there was neither one. Often we used sunflower stalks for fuel.
5th Month, 12th. “We camped on Bluff Creek,5 for noon, and, just as we were starting, thirty or forty Osages came galloping down the other side of the Creek—the first wild Indians we had seen—with hair flying, faces painted, blankets, leggings, &c., &c. But Matthewson knew them and could talk to them, so we just trusted him, except William Winner, who got his gun, loaded it put it on his shoulder and walked up and down the train—Quite an exhibit for a Philadelphia Friend. After a bit he laid it on the seat of our wagon. I quietly raised the hammer and took the cap off. Presently he returned and, noticing what had been done, asked, ‘Who took the cap off?’ I replied, ‘I did it—I have some rights in this wagon and cannot have a gun in that shape for my little ones to play with.’ He replied, ‘A gun is not of much use without a cap.’ And that was all that was ever said between about the matter.
“The Indians got some tobacco from Matthewson and Winner and passed on peaceably. Matthewson presently rode up to our wagon and kindly said, ’Mrs. Butler, there is no danger at all—don’t be afraid. We’d better watch our teams to-night that’s all.”6
The night of the 22d we camped on the high prairie, about twelve miles south of Skeleton Creek and where we had a wind storm, with rain and hail. My diary says, “Lizzie and I had to hold the wagon, putting all our weight, hanging to the bows; William and Cal held to the tent. It seemed terrific to us and the clouds were terribly grand—near the horizon they were intensely dark and, above, a bright lurid appearance was presented, and the serpentine lightning almost constantly running up and down across the
5The crossing of Bluff Creek on the Chisholm Trail (over which the writer of this narrative was traveling) was just south of Caldwell, Kansas, and quite near the Kansas-Oklahoma boundary line.
6The Osage Indians were still living on their old reservation in the valley of the Neosho, in Southastern Kansas, in 1870. From thence they were wont to make semi-annual trips into the buffalo range west of the Arkansas River in quest of meat and robes. Their hunting grounds included a large part of Southwestern Kansas and Northwestern Oklahoma.
clouds, lighting up the faces of our little ones who lay all unconscious of their surroundings.”
At Skeleton Creek, we found many human bones scattered around and were told that several Indians had died there of cholera and starvation and were left unburied by their people. Afterward I got acquainted with George Washington, a Caddo chief who had been a captain in the Confederate service, and who told me the following story, viz: “When the Civil War broke out, the different tribes all got together and held a council and agreed not to fight each other, but all were to decide which side they would take and all decided except the Tonkawas. They utterly refused, saying, ‘It is a white man’s war and we will have nothing to do with it.’ The others said, ‘We will make you take one side or the other.’ The Tonkawas, still refusing, left the council and camped on Skeleton Creek. Just before daybreak the next morning, the other Indians surrounded this camp and nearly exterminated the tribe, a few escaping to Texas, where they have been employed as Government scouts.7 Mr. Butler, those were Tonkawa bones.”
7It is evident that the Caddo chief, George Washington, was in error in his version of the story of the Tonkawa massacre, or else the writer of this narrative was confused in regard to the matter. The Tonkawa massacre took place in the valley of a small stream known as Tonkawa Creek, a short distance from the present town of Anadarko, on the morning of October 24, 1862. There were about 300 Tonkawas in the camp and, of these, 137, of all ages and both sexes, were killed. The identity of the attacking party has never been fully established but it is believed that they were Indians of various tribes which had adhered to the Union—Delaware, Shawnee and Creek, principally. The naming of Skeleton Creek has been accounted for by several different stories and traditions, the one first mentioned by Mr. Butler probably being the correct one. The Indians of the Wichita, Waco, Towakony and Keechi tribes sought a refuge in Kansas a few months after the outbreak of the Civil War. They pitched their villages or camps on the site of the present city of Wichita (which thus received its name), where they remained until the autumn of 1867, when they set out on their journey to their own country in the valley of the Washita. They were attacked by cholera while they were encamped at the intersection of the Chisholm Trail and the stream which has since been known as Skeleton Creek. With many of their people dead and dying, some fled in a panic and the burial of the dead was a physical impossibility for the few who remained well enough to wait upon the sick. That it was the bones of these Indian victims of the cholera epidemic of 1867 that Mr. Butler’s party saw at the crossing of Skeleton Creek nearly three years later, seems entirely within the bounds probability. Moreover, it would seem likely that he must have received that version of the matter from William Matthewson, who was undoubtedly thoroughly informed in regard to it. An account of the return of the Wichita and associated tribes from the mouth of the Little Arkansas River to the valley of the Washita, and of the misfortunes which attended them during the course of that journey, is contained in an address of the late James R. Mead, of Wichita, delivered as president of the Kansas Historical Society on the occasion of its annual meeting, Dec. 1, 1903, which may be found in the Kansas Historical Society “Collections,” Vol. 8, pp. 171-7.
On the 24th I made this note in my diary: “Passed 21,000 Texan cattle to-day, making between 30,000 and 40,000 that we have passed since leaving Wichita.8 Such numbers cannot be fully comprehended until they are seen. In the afternoon, seeing a bend in the road, I started to walk across while the team went around. It led me through a prairie dog town of many acres. Just as I started, I heard a rattle and, looking down, found myself astride a large rattlesnake. Lizzie screamed but, as its head was safely in a prairie dog hole, I remained perfectly still until it passed clear out of sight. I had previously read that prairie dogs, snakes and owls lived in the same hole, yet questioned it, but do not any longer.9
“Walking on, watching the prairie dogs, I presently saw several hundred head of Texas cattle coming round the curve, with their heads toward me. The herders were making a great demonstration when, presently, Matthewson came running his horse and got between me and them. Apparently he was much excited, saying, ‘Butler, are you ready to die?’ It struck me as funny and I laughingly replied, ‘I was not expecting to die just now—why?’ He said, ‘Haven’t you any sense?’ I said, ‘Not much.’ He then asked, ‘Don’t you know anything about Texas cattle?’ I said, ‘Not a thing.’ He then told me that, if he had not gotten there just when he did, the whole herd would have stampeded and nothing could have saved my being horned and stamped to death, as these cattle allow no person near
8300,000 head of range cattle were driven northward from Texas to the railway shipping points in Kansas—Abilene, Ellsworth and Hays City—over the Chisholm Trail during the season of 1870.
9As a matter of fact the myth of the prairie dog, the rattlesnake and the burrowing owl being domiciled in the same hole or burrow was more apparent than real. The owls never occupy or enter any burrows except such as have been abandoned by the prairie dogs. The rattlesnake never enters a prairie dog burrow except as an intruder, and a very unwelcome one at that.
them afoot. I learned my lesson and was grateful for the rescue.”
On the 25th we camped for the night at a spring gushing out of a rock, so strong that I could not with all my strength push a bucket closer than two feet of it. This was near three miles north of the Cheyenne Agency.10 On the 26th we had our first view of the highest peak of the Wichita Mountains—Mount Scott. Matthewson rode up and said, “Mrs. Butler, how far is it to the mountains?” She answered, “Oh, I don’ know—not very far.” “But how far?” he continued. She said, “Oh, I don’t know, but I could walk it in half an hour.” He laughed as he said, “Well, you’re a better walker than I thought—it’s just forty miles.”
We reached the Comanche and Kiowa Agency about sundown, 5-28-1870, very tired and worn out and Lizzie had a sick headache. We were made very welcome by all the Friends and were comfortably housed for the night. We were seventeen and one-half days from Lawrence, Kansas, to Fort Sill, Indian Territory—a distance (as given by Captain Hayes from Lawrence to Wichita and by William Mattewson from Witchita to Fort Sill) of 459 miles, making an average of twenty-six and one-fifth miles per day. Mattewson and all of his men were very courteous and did all they could for our help and comfort all the way down, for which we are truly grateful, both to them and to the Lord.
On the way, we traveled in the Indian Territory for a distance of 100 miles without seeing a single house that any one lived in—and only one empty log hut. We saw prairie chickens, wild turkeys, wolves, bears, deer, antelope, buffalo and wild cats. We also saw a great variety of flowers, wild plums, sand cherries, & c. Many of the streams have wide beds, full of quicksand and, at times, are very treacherous, the channels continually changing. Matthewson had two rules for his train that he rigidly adhered to—first, never cross a stream with a wagon until it is first crossed on horse-
10This spring was apparently the one which is known as Caddo Spring, near which the Arapaho school was afterward built. It is noted for the purity of its waters, which come from the adjacent sand dune areas. In recent years, it has been more commonly called Concho Spring, the Indian school near by having been rechristened as the Concho School.
back, and, second, never go into camp until the stream is crossed if it is at all fordable.
During the time we were en route from Lawrence to Fort Sill, the Indians of the southwestern part of the Indian Territory were very unsettled, many of them being on the war path. The night before we arrived at Fort Sill, the men were driven from a corn field near Shirley’s Mill, on Cache Creek—one man was still missing. A few days later, several more were scalped on the foot-hills of the Wichita Mountains, so it was very discouraging for our work. This condition continued, off and on, all summer. The agent called all the employes together and told them that there was great danger of life and, while he regretted to do so, he would release all who wished from their contracts. All of the Friends and some others left except the Agent, Lizzie and I, with our children. When I asked Lizzie what we should do, she said, “Si, we prayed over it and believed the Lord wanted us to come down here, and I don’t think ’He would send us down here to turn right around and go back.” I replied, “That suits me and settles it.” We stayed.
During this Indian excitement many stood guard at night—I did not, but trusted God—for which one William Hull, an Englishman, cursed me to my face, saying that I “was not fit to live” and that “any man who would not defend his wife and children ought to be scalped and cut up by the Indians and I would like to stand by and see it done,” much more of the same kind of talk. Later on, when it was settled down so that it was thought safe to cut the wheat (200 acres), the Agent asked me if I was willing to help. I replied, “Yes, anything till we can get a school started,” my contract being for teaching.
There was a deep ravine between the Agency and the wheat field. It could be crossed afoot, but the teams had to go some two and one-half miles around. The second day the men hitched up the team and said, “Butler, you may drive around.” They then all started across the ravine. I did not say a word to this challenge but took the team and started. They kept this up until the third day—four times around each day—when Hull spoke up and said, “Boys, this is enough. Butler isn’t afraid; let’s quit.” And from
that day on I had not a truer friend in the Territory than William Hull. In the wheat fields I was the only one without revolvers, beside which there was a stack of Winchesters at each corner of the field. So much for peace principles carried out—and I am alive yet.
6th month, 13th. I find this note: “Butter 50 cents a pound; eggs 40 cents per dozen; chickens 75 cents each. General Grierson has ordered the Indians on to their reservation and has told them, ‘If you don’t come in I will send my soldiers and bring you in.”’ This angered them exceedingly and, on the night of 6-12-1870, they came in and took sixty or seventy mules from the post quartermaster’s corral, which was under guard—a most insolent, daring and adroit feat. 6th month, 22d, a man named Lukens was shot by the Indians about 200 yards from where we were sleeping. The firing waked us up and, by the time I was dressed, they carried him to our door. He had received a carbine shot through the back and was in a critical condition but he finally recovered. The same morning others, who were farther from us, were killed and scalped. These things continuing, made us consider the propriety of seeking work elsewhere, but we did not feel free to do so and our Committee encouraged us to wait, which we did.
About this time the commissary department of the Agency was transferred from the military department to civilian control. This included some 4,000 head of beef cattle. On the 7th month, 2d the Agent sent me to represent him in receiving part of the cattle, Howard representing the military department and Cox the contractors. The cattle were driven slowly by us on the open prairie. Cox made the count 2,324; Howard, 2,315, and I made it 2,308. We settled on 2,316. We reported at Fort Sill and were sent back again to select average steers. We picked two, one of which weighed 647 lbs. net and the other weighed 724 lbs. Returning, we came by the Comanche camp, getting home late and, as expected, found Lizzie very uneasy.
That morning I had met Howard at the commissary. He dismounted and asked me to hold his reins a moment. Going into the clerk’s office he soon returned with a pair of very fine silver-mounted revolvers, when the following conversation was had: “Butler, dismount and let me buckle
these on you.” “I have no use for them in the world.” “You don’t know what you will need before you get back.” “That’s so, but I know I will not need them.” “Come, get off and let me put them on.” “Howard, it’s no use; you might as well quit first as last.” He carried them back and we mounted and rode off. Not a word more was said about it until we met the man at the herd, when Howard gave me this introduction: “Mr. Broadus, let me introduce you to a bigger fool than you are yourself,” whereupon he rode away without even telling my name. Afterward I learned that Broadus’ principle was not to carry arms at all unless there were enough whites to overpower the Indians.
7th Month, 5th. Mary Ann Tatum, E. and M. Jay, William and M. Ellis, William Winner, J. C. Shuck, Amos Gibson, Lambert Conner, William Park and Charles Cook loaded up and started home, accompanied by a guard of soldiers to a point where they would feel safe. We felt very lonely and somewhat discouraged. Toward evening Israel and Ruth Negus drove in from the Darlington Agency, much to our encouragement. In my diary I made this note: “Israel and Ruth can hardly reconcile the idea of having guards for friends and I cannot at all. It seems very much like putting our trust in ’arms of flesh,’ but hope to have all due charity.”
7th Month, 31st. “The Indians report having six prisoners—one woman and five children—and they are all well. The Texans that are here say that there are seven missing. It is pleasant to believe that the difficulties are likely to be settled without further bloodshed.”
8th Month, 18th. “The Kiowas came in enmasse today and gave up seven captives Texans. All had been made to work and the women had been shamefully abused until they reached camp, where the old squaws protected them.”
8th Month 19th. “The Indians behaved very badly at the beef corral to-day, killing thirty of forty calves, &c., having been angered by the behavior of the soldiers yesterday. All summer long the Indians have been very independent, sometimes insolent and saucy.
“After Colonel Lee left, the Agent, Lizzie and I moved
from the adobe house on the farm up to the south end of the west commissary building. The buildings are about 200 feet long with a corral between them and stand north and south.”
9th Month, 20th. “We went to the Washita Agency to assist J. Richards take a census of the affiliated tribes. J. Richards could not spend all his time at this, so I was there about twelve days, or was away from home that long and was very, very glad to get back to my own family again. I got a very satisfactory census, finding 1,216 in the seven small bands. The Wichitas, Wacoes and Keechis are of about the same grade, being very depraved and licentious; the women expose more of their person than any Indians we have met. They were all very busy, drying pumpkins and squashes, cutting them to narrow strips and pounding them out thin and, when dry, weaving them up like splint bottom chairs. They live in grass houses, fifteen to forty feet in diameter and from ten to twenty-five feet high in the center. They are covered with prairie grass, well thatched and bound with elm bark and look like hay stacks a little way off. Several families live in each house.
“The Agency dairy is run by a Mr. Flood, an Irishman. Texas cows have to be driven in on horseback, caught with a lasso and fastened securely to solid posts in order to milk them. He kept the calves so the cows would come home but, concluding that that cost too much, butchered the calves and in three weeks all the cows were dry, so he had to hunt up and break in a new lot.
“I heard a few days ago that Lone Wolf, the Kiowa chief, carries a bit of stone that looks like iron ore, and says that when he has that he cannot be killed and that some years ago the Great Spirit above had a tussel with him but that his ’medicine’ was too strong for Him. He was in a tent and it was struck by lightning, killing his wife and child and left him senseless for three or four hours but his ‘medicine’ finally got the upper hand and he got well.”
“The Indians, like the whites, had trouble in their married life. Big Bow stole Satanta’s wife. Both of them were leading Kiowa chiefs. After remaining in hiding for about three months, Big Bow decided to go to the Agency, where he arrived about the same time that Satanta did.
Each of the two chiefs, with a band of followers, had come in for rations. Arriving from different directions, they came in sight of each other as they approached the commissary building. Each was heavily armed, their weapons including bows and arrows, revolvers, carbines and knives. Fully expecting that a tragedy would follow, we employes remained in the enclosure to witness the results. Just as the conflict semed imminent, Horseback, a Comanche chief, rode between the combatants and raised his hand, whereupon the uproar and tumult ceased. After conducting a diplomatic interview between the two chiefs, it was agreed that Big Bow should give Satanta five ponies for his wife, after which the former friendship between the two was restored.”
The Agent asked Kicking Bird about the origin of the Indians. He said, “There was a big tree with a hollow in it and only one hole out and a very large man came out, not like common men, so large. He got tired of being alone, so he struck the tree four times and lots of men, women and children, boys and girls, run out and he said, ‘Them’s all Kiowas—Them’s all Kiowas !’ This big man is the father of all of them and he went to the moon one night and we can see him every night; he watches by our camp-fires and some day (don’t know when) he will get tired of watching and kill them all, and white men too, may be so by water, maybe so by fire, I don’t know how.”
11th Month, 28th. “E. Hoag, Dr. Nicholson, Edward Earl, B. Darlington, J. J. Hoag, and our Agent held a council with our Indians to promote peace and induce them to attend a general council of all the Indians of the Indian Territory at Okmulgee, to begin 12-5-1870. It was only partially successful. At the close they made the chiefs some presents. A great day.”
During the summer and autumn I served as a general roustabout—there was hardly anything going on but what I helped at, especially in issuing rations to the Indians. I helped on our school house when it got so we could work at it.
12th Month, 13th. “George Washington, the Caddo
chief,11 in answer to inquiries, told the Agent that ‘Near Red River, below Shreveport, there is a hole in the ground out of which came the first Indians of the tribes of the Osages, Wichitas, Wacoes, Hienies, Towakonies, Caddoes and three other tribes, now extinct. The Caddoes were the last to come out and the Good Spirit, when he made them, gave the Caddo man when he came forth, some corn, watermelon seed, gourd seed and beans. The women were to cultivate these, do the cooking and dress the skins, &c. The men were to do the hunting. The Osages went far to the north and, in the process of time, became bad and went to fighting the Caddoes. On one occasion the Caddoes had gotten several Osage scalps and the Good Spirit was so well pleased with them that He gave them some tobacco seed.
“ ‘After living a long time near the place where we first originated, there was something made its appearance in the village one day, so very different from anything they had ever seen before that it filled our people with awe, imagining that it had been sent from the Great Spirit above. It proved to be a Frenchman on horseback. They had never heard of a white man or a horse before. He told them there were a great many Americans a great way to the east of them, who were coming this way and, after a while, would be thick all around them. This the Caddoes disbelieved, thinking the Americans were too far off to ever reach their country; but they have changed their minds on
11George Washington, who was generally recognized as the head chief of the Caddo tribe, was an Indian of rather remarkable personality. He was gifted with a philosophic frame of mind and was possessed of a keen sense of humor. Many anecdotes of his quaint sayings are related from time to time by traders, army officers and others who knew him. He was always friendly to the white people, as were the people of his tribe generally. He owned and operated a large farm on the Canadian River, in the northern part of the present Caddo Country. He belonged to what was known as the white Bead band of Caddo Indians, which had lived north of Red River, in the present Oklahoma, since before the first white settlements and which was united with the Teas Caddo band when the latter was settled on the Washita, in 1859. The White Bead Caddo band remained in the Washita country during the Civil War, while the people of the Texas band sought refuge in Kansas. During the latter part of that struggle, Washington served as major in command of the Caddo Battalion in the Confederate military service. with the explicit understanding that, under no circumstances were he and his men to be forced into combat with white troops. They were accordingly assigned to scouting service on the southwestern frontier, where there were no white troops.
this as well, as many other things. The Caddoes were once a large and powerful tribe, ranging to the south of here, but are now few in number and are somewhat scattered. They are becoming industrious and desirous to open farms and have schools for their children.’ He also told us that ’the deer had no gall and that the nipples of the otter were on the bottom of their feet.’”
12th Month, 19th. “I got up and cleaned the snow away from the door and also cleaned paths. It had drifted two or three feet deep. There was about one foot of snow fell yesterday afternoon and through the night. It is cold and windy today.
12th Month, 21st. “Mercury twelve degrees below zero.” Christmas, “Eleven below.”
12th Month, 27th. “I bought a Singer sewing machine for $125.00. All of our family have been troubled with malaria, chills and fever, all fall and clear into the winter. My! the quinine we take!”
1st Month, 6th, 1871. “I was hauling material for the school house and helping all I know how. It moves so slow but is nearing completion.
1st Month, 22d. “Frank wore his pants for the first time in his life—quite an epoch to him—three years, three months and thirteen days old.”
1st Month, 28th. “We fixed our room with sacking on the floors and muslin on the rough board walls. I came home late and a pack of wolves came up very near me but turned and went away again.”
1st Month 30th. “The wagons came and we packed up and moved into our school house,12 getting there a little before noon. It has been a busy day and we are not all straightened up yet. Our room is very comfortable and we are very, very glad to be here after so long a time of waiting. Now, if we can only have scholars, how hopeful we shall be!”
2d Month, 18th. “This afternoon, four scholars from
12The school building at the Fort Sill Agency was a large and substantial structure of ruble masonry, one and one-half stories high. In addition to the school rooms, it contained a kitchen, dining room and dormitory.
Asa Havey’s band came in.13 They will not come here (to the school) until the second day—this is a beginning and we are glad. What an anxious hope is created in our hearts! What an earnest desire for judgment, discretion, patience, endurance and love!”
2d Month, 20th. “The First Day of School. We got breakfast, rang the bell for the Indian children as previously arranged, and they came and ate, awkwardly enough. Later, I got the children seated and took their names in Comanche. One experienced a strange feeling to be thus placed before them and not be able to talk to them but I am much favored in having Mrs. Chandler to interpret—She is a Mexican, raised by the Comanches and has married a white man.14 I read a psalm, explaining what it was.
13Asa Havey, a leading chief of the Penateka band of the Comanche tribe, was prominent in the affairs of his people during and after the Civil war period. His name, which signified “The Milky Way,” was spelled in several different ways and it appears in the list of signers of the treaty made with the Government peace commissioners at the mouth of the Little Arkansas (on the site of the present city of Wichita, Kansas), in October, 1865, as Asha-hab-beet. Like most of the members of his band, he was regarded as friendly to the white people.
14The life story of Mrs. Chandler is one of the most romantic that may be found upon the old frontier that fringed the Great Plains. Born in a respectable and well-to-do family in the Republic of Mexico, she was carried away into captivity by a band of raiding Comanche warriors while she was as yet but a small child. She was kindly treated by her captors and was adopted as a foster child in a Comanche family. After living with the Indians for some years, with other Mexican captives, she was ransomed and rescued by the Government and sent back to Mexico. For some reason, no one ever claimed her and, with a boy a year or two older (whom she believed to be her cousin), she was left with a wealthy family by whom she was treated as a peon, or servant. Wearying of such treatment the two children, possibly not more than ten or twelve years old, planned to return to the Comanches. Stealthily hiding out food until a sufficient store had been accumulated, they left the hacienda, or ranch, one night, while a big party was being entertained and, taking a horse, they fared forth on their return to the range of the Comanches, hundreds of miles distant, with naught but the North Star as their guide. When their food gave out, they killed the horse, dried the meat and took the hide along to use in making moccasins. When the last of the dried meat was gone and they were nearly famished, they stumbled into a Comanche camp which, providentially proved to be that of the very band with whom they had formerly lived. And so she was happy to again take up life in the lodge of her Comanche foster mother, with whom she lived until she grew to womanhood, when she married the white trader and ranchman, Joseph Chandler, who was many years her senior. A daughter and three sons were born of this marriage. Although she was a married woman and the mother of several children, she entered the Comanche school at the Fort Sill Agency, when it was first opened by Josiah Butler, to be not only a pupil but also the teacher’s interpreter. After her husband’s death, she married George Conover, to whom three sons were born. Her children and grandchildren all reside in the vicinity of Anadarko, where she died, December 6, 1900, aged about fifty-five years.
I then explained the use of the small bell. I got all in a class before Wilson’s Chart No. 1, spelling cap, cat, dog, ox, hen, &c., the pictures of the same being before them. They articulated better than I had expected. There were two small boys, one small girl, three girls nearly grown and Mrs. Chandler—seven in all. I gave them slates and they made fairly good figures. I kept them at it one hour and then dismissed them until after dinner. I gave them an hour for noon, then an hour on slates and charts, an hour for recess and then another hour, as before. The Comanches are afraid to sleep upstairs, so are going to sleep in the teepes, for the present, at least. So, ended the first day of school—memorable to both scholars and teacher. I feel thankful that we had at last made a beginning, small as it is, and I trust it may increase in size and interest.”
2d Month, 21st. “We had five new scholars today—all Caddoes. I taught four hours as yesterday. The children went to bed at 8 p. m. They stripped off shirt and all. We have straw ticks and bolsters, sheets and three blankets to each—bed—they think it fine.”
2d Month, 22d. “Yesterday I had the boys jumping and all playing ring. Today I had them all playing ball, which they all enjoy. Some of the Indians are trying to get Asa Havey dissatisfied and cause him to take his children out of school, but have failed thus far.”
2d Month 23d. “Lizzie and Thommasy Chandler washed and dressed the Comanches and I dressed the Caddo boys—putting on the boys pants, shirts and suspenders, and on the girls, sack, dress, skirt and chemise—all of my dear Lizzie’s make. Asa Havey’s spy stayed to see them dressed and seemed well pleased. The children are learning nicely—know half of their letters and can spell cat, cap, dog, rat, bat, red, boy, deer, pig and fish and know what they mean.”
Sabbath, 2d Month, 26th. “About ten o’clock I got all the children together and explained to them that God was what they understood as being the ’Great Spirit.’ I then
sang, ‘There is a Happy Land,’ after which I told them (through an interpreter) that the Great Spirit loves us all, white, black and red, and wants us all to do right; that He loves us like a father does a child, wanting us all to do right and feeling very sorry when we do wrong; that, if we quit doing wrong and try hard to do right, He will receive us again, forgiving us, and love us. I also show how God created all things—He made one man and one woman and they had children; their children grew up and had other children and, in this way, the world got full of people, white, black and red. The children were really interested in this simple story. We closed by singing ‘Happy Day.’”
2d Month, 27th. “I was greatly gratified to find that the children had remembered all they learned last week. I began using map and blackboard today. I began to teach geography with the Wichita Mountains and the Washita River—which they see and know.”
3d Month, 17th. “Nine more Caddo children came in for school today. George Washington explained the regulations of the school to them for me, and then told them ‘to be good and try to learn so that they might know something.’”
3d Month, 21st. “It is such a help to us to get bread from the Government bakery. We get thirty rations every other day. After school, I went to the Fort to tell what I knew about Walker, who is in the lock-up for selling whiskey. When George Washington was here I got his consent to have the children’s hair cut. I was to get a good barber and have my hair cut first; then the boys were to have their hair cut, ‘just like mine.’ So the barber came and it created a great deal of merriment, as it so changed their appearance.”
3d Month, 27th. “Lizzie had a hard chill again, which makes us look homeward; still we can see no time for leaving yet. Our Caddoes are real tom-boys. We still read at breakfast for our hired help ourselves and we open school by reading from the Bible.”
3d Month, 28th. “Asa Havey’s wife has died and Podoah left school and scarified herself a good deal, they say, though I have not seen her.”
3d Month, 29th. “‘Asa Havey has sent for all the Comanches; I am anxious as to the final result. This was his first wife and he loved her better than any of the others. They killed four horses and one mule and burned up their things except the suit General Hazen gave him, and would have burned that if it had not been hidden by one of his friends.”
3d Month, 31st. “Asa Havey sent for his lodge, Comanche children and all, saying, ‘when I get over being sad, I will let them come again,’ but we feel that it is doubtful. I am sorry, as they were learning nicely.”
4th Month, 8th. “I was copying some Comanche words which I had penciled down and, this evening, stopped at Chandler’s to learn some more, but I make slow progress, having so little time to devote to it.”
4th Month, 12th. “Two of my boys had a fight to-day—the first there has been since the opening of the school; and one girl refused to come to breakfast. After calling her twice, I turned the key in the lock. Soon she tried to come in, but it was too late—she was on time after that.”
4th Month, 14th. “The boys enjoy playing ‘Andy-over.’ Hid-sick was here for breakfast and stayed a while in the school room. He seemed surprised and pleased. He asked Tommasa (Mrs. Chandler), if I did not put ‘put something on their eyes to make them learn good?’ She told him ‘yes,’ which I regretted, but I knew nothing of it until he was gone.”
4th Month, 15th. “I had a settlement with the Agent, to-day. I received $50.00 per month up to New Years; since then I receive $1,000.00 per year, and Lizzie $25.00 per month.”
4th Month, 22d. “I saw the Indians drawing their annuity goods to-day—they came in on the 19th—and it was a real sight to see each chief with his little band circled around him, all sitting cross-legged on the grass, with all the goods apportioned in a circle and one or two members of the band assisting the chief in distributing the same. The goods consisted of blankets, muslin, calico, strouding, coats, pants, shirts, frying pans, kettles, tin-cups, & c., & c. Some of them seemed pleased but others were not.
“Doctor Tomlinson, wife and daughters and Ella
Woody arrived this evening, very tired. We let them have the room designed for our Indian girls’ bed room until they can get moved into the other stone building. They are to eat at our table while here.”
4th Month, 23d (Sabbath). “In the afternoon, I tried to show the children the necessity of loving each other—that God loves us all, that Jesus loves us all, that we ought to have good hearts and love both God and Jesus—that Jesus is God’s son and has all power. Then, taking the 5th of Galatians, I explained to them in a simple way what God does not like and what He does like. Such is a little outline or sample of what I am trying to instill into the minds of the children in our Sabbath exercises.”
5th Month, 13th. “I have gotten a fish-hook and line for each of the children. I give them out each 7th day morning and take them up at night. All that are here at regular meal time that day eat as on any other day, but any that are not here at the regular hours go without. They think it is fine.
“The tightening of the floors and the cleaning up of the fallen plaster makes much work, dirt and annoyance.”
5th Month, 16th. “Lone Wolf and a lot of Kiowas were in to see the school today.”
5th Month, 17th. “A home letter informs us that our dear father is very sick with erysipelas. How anxious it makes us—nearer homesick than I have been since leaving Ohio.”
5th Month 23d. “Gen. W. T. Sherman arrived at Fort Sill, today. The Indians attacked a train of ten wagons, just south of Red River, killed seven men and took all of the mules. One of the men they chained down and built a fire across his body, burning out his bowels. Whether or not they killed him before starting the fire is not known. General Sherman has ordered that all available troops be sent in pursuit, with orders to attack them if found either south or west of the Wichita Mountains. It is believed that Satanta is leading the raid as he is absent from the reservation.”
5th Month, 27th. “About 11 o’clock, Agent Tatum, Gen. W. T. Sherman, Gen. R. B. Marcy (inspector general of the U. S. Army), and Gen. B. H. Grierson (post com-
mander at Fort Sill) called to see the school. The children behaved nicely and went through with the exercises quite well. General Sherman made a short talk and seemed satisfied. He is a tall, slender man, with a sandy complexion. His hair is beginning to turn gray and he has a rather high forehead, with small, sharp eyes. He dressed in citizen’s clothes and seemed very much like a man.
“After dinner, on going to the commissary, we found quite a commotion, as Satanta (who had returned) had made a big speech in which he claimed the honor of having led the Texas raid, bragging of his success and saying that Big Tree, Eagle Heart, Woman’s Heart and Big Bow were with him. He then went and talked to the Generals in the same way. The Agent and the Generals had a consultation and decided to arrest the offending chiefs and they had Satanta arrested at once. The Agent returned and sent Satank15 and Big Bow up to the Fort. When they were arrested, the Indians fired, the fire being returned by the soldiers. One Indian was killed and two soldiers were slightly wounded. I was about half way between the commissary and the school house when the firing began and, looking toward the Matthewson store, saw two Kiowas riding on the run, hair flying, faces painted, to intercept me. I closed my eyes and had an experience such as I have never had, before or since—everything I had ever said or done seemed to pass before me like a panorama—I could see it— and oh! so swiftly. Then a voice seemed to say, ‘What is thee trusting in for salvation?’The answer of my heart was, ‘Nothing but the blood of Jesus’—everything else so utterly worthless. Then I opened my eyes and the Kiowas were there, one on each side of the wagon. The Lord delivered me from all fear. They had their bows strung and each had two arrows in hand, the one on the
15Satank had long been regarded as one of the leading chiefs of the Kiowa tribe. His name appears as one of the signers of the Comanche-Kiowa-Apache treaty of 1853, which was concluded at Fort Atkinson (in what is now Ford County, Kansas), making “his mark” next under that of To-hau-sen, the head chief and, later, with To-Hau-sen and one other chief, signing the supplemental clause whereby the Senate amendment to that treaty was accepted. His name also appears as a signer on the treaty of 1865 (at the mouth of the Little Arkansas River) and, on the Medicine Lodge Treaty of 1867, he was the first to sign, presumably as head chief in succession to To-hau-sen, who had died the year before.
string being pointed directly at my heart. I tried to talk and shake hands but they did nothing but cover me with their arrows. I rode thus for about one mile and, just as I got to the school house, the cook struck the steel triangle, calling to supper. I said to them as best I could, partly in Indian and partly in English, ‘Tie up and eat supper with me.’ They smiled and alighted, as my driver drove on. (My driver afterward said he never was so glad to ’get shut’ of anyone in his life before.) I motioned them to go in ahead of me, thinking that if there was any shooting done I would see it, but they put their bows and arrows in their quivers as they went and, after a full meal they left in a good humor.”
6th Month, 8th. “Washington, the Caddo chief, is still here and, about time for school, word came for all Indians to go and see the prisoners, as it was expected that they were to be started on their journey to Texas for trial. So I placed the children in Washington’s care and he took them all but four. (I afterwards learned that it had not been intended to send for the school children.) The prisoners were sent under escort of Colonel MacKenzie. Our load of scholars were along in speaking distance. Old Satank had in some way concealed a knife and wanted to kill the Generals, but Big Tree16 would not let him do so—picked him up and put him in a wagon. He was put in a wagon by himself. Big Tree (twenty-two years old) is anxious to live; Santanta17 (fifty years old) is indifferent as
16Big Tree was too young to have gained either note or influence among his people, though his arrest, trial, conviction and imprisonment along with Satanta gave him a measure of prominence that has not seemed to be fully justified by his subsequent career. He lived a peaceable, blameless life from the time of his release from confinement. He still lives (October 1928), and is accounted a good neighbor and a law-abiding citizen by white people who have lived near him during the past quarter of a century. His home is near Mountain View, in Kiowa County.
17Both Satanta and Big Tree were returned to Texas, under military escort, were tried for murder in the state court, at Jacksboro, found guilty and sentenced to be hung. Through the intervention and influence of the Government Indian authorities, the governor of Texas was later induced to commute the sentence to life imprisonment. Still later, in 1873, both were paroled on good behavior, with the understanding that neither was to leave the reservation without permission. The following year, at the outbreak of the war in which a large part of the Comanche, Kiowa and Cheyenne warriors participated, Satanta violated his parole by leaving the reservation, though he did not actually engage in hostilities. He was arrested near Darlington, a few days later, and was returned to the Texas Penitentiary, at Huntsville, where he committed suicide, by leaping head-first from the window of an upper story, in 1878. He was a man of very strong personality, mentally shrewd, possessed of a keen sense of humor, a gifted orator, a consummate demagogue and reputed to be both treacherous and ruthlessly cruel. While not recognized as the head chief of the tribe (which honor was generally accorded the Lone Wolf at that time), his was easily the most dominant influence among the Kiowa people during the last years of his life among them. Accounts of the arrest of Santanta and the other Kiowa chiefs who were implicated in the raid in Texas, in May, 1871, and of the tragic death of Satank may be found in the “Annual Report of the Commissioner of Indian Affairs” for 1871, p. 503; Thomas C. Battey’s “A Quaker among the Indians,” p. 196; “Record of Engagements with Hostile Indians within the Military Division of the Missouri from 1868 to 1882, Lieut. Gen. P. H. Sheridan commanding,” p. 33; “Seventeenth Annual Report of the Bureau of American Ethnology,” p. 328-33; and in Lawrie Tatum’s “Our Red Brothers,” 116-21.
to life and Satank (seventy years old) is determined to die in preference to going to Texas. When the wagons started, Satank began singing his death song. He had told George Washington to tell his people that he would die the first day out and for them to come and get his bones, as they would be laying beside the road.
“Satanta had sent word by Washington for the Kiowas not to do anything until it was known what was to be done with him—not to raid but to bring in the stolen mules and to do right until they could see what was to be done with him. They would not talk with the interpreter and I think it was fortunate that Washington was there. As he brought the children back to the school house, I was the first white man who heard the foregoing.
“When Satank began to sing his death song, Washington dropped back out of reach of the bullets, but in plain sight. The two guards on the seat behind Satank, thinking of no danger, put their carbines in the bottom of the wagon. When about one mile from Fort Sill, Satank sat still, looking up for a few minutes—as Washington expressed it, ‘he spoke to God.’ He then pulled the shackles off his hand, tearing the skin with them, grabbed his knife and stabbed at the guards who, dodging, tumbled out of the wagon and escaped, though one of them was slightly wounded in the thigh. Satank then grabbed a carbine but, as there was some little fixture about it that he did not understand, he did not get to shoot. The soldiers fired on him at once, five or six balls entering his body and causing
immediate death. The Tonkawa scouts begged hard for his scalp, as he had killed some of their people, but they were not allowed to take it. They then begged for a blanket with some of his blood on, which they were allowed to take. Satanta and Big Tree, in the other wagon, remained quiet. Satank’s body was taken back to Fort Sill and buried; the other two Kiowas were taken on. It is believed that Satank has been instrumental in the killing of not lees than twelve persons during the past year.
“The 91st Psalm has been often read of late as people have been killed around us and our lives spared.
“‘Other refuge have I none,
6th Month, 24th. “George Washington has sent word to the Agent that the Kiowas had come to him and told him to take his children out of school as they meant mischief. He told them Satanta’s message and, after they returned, two other Kiowas came to see him and told him to hold on as they would have another council and would let him know their decision in time to take the children out of school.”
7th Month, 3d. “The last day of the first term. George Washington came for the children, so we made this the last day. I think Washington is satisfied with the progress the children have made. There has been four and one-half months of school, though about one-half have not been in school quite four months.
The whole number enrolled--------------24
Average attendance for 2d Month-----12½
“ “ “ 3d “ ------16 7/23
“ “ “ 4th “ -----18 3/5
“ “ “ 5th “ -----18 1/19
“ “ “ 6th “ -----18 16/21
Five are able to read in words of five letters.
“ “ “ “ “ “ “ “ four “
“ “ “ “ “ “ “ “ three “
Three“ “ “ “ “ “ two “
All are able to read off the book all words in their reading lessons. All have learned the use of numbers in counting and adding up small amounts. All have learned
the names of each of the states and territories, with the capital of each. We feel satisfied with their progress and also with their behavior.”
7th Month, 5th. “I took the children again to have their pictures taken but the artist was not able, from the effects of a ‘drunk,’ so will have to give it up.”
7th Month, 6th. “We arose early this morning and, after breakfast, all bid us ‘good by’ and started for their homes. While anxious to see home folks, they were very loath to leave as they had learned to love us and we them.”
After the Caddo children had been in school a few weeks, George Washington came in one evening and the next morning he was in the school room when I got up and there he stayed until bed time, having his meals and drink carried to him and his team cared for by the children. After all was over, ending with ‘singing geography,’ from outline maps, I left the room. Very soon afterward I heard uproarious laughter in the school room. This was repeated the third time, when I slipped out and, looking in the window, found Washington examining his children to see if they could do anything without my being present. While he could talk English quite well, he did not know a thing about the books, charts and maps and so could not use the points at all, and so the children laughed at him. He then got behind the class and made each one in turn use the points and read and spell in English, going over all that I had through the day and giving the meaning in Caddo. He knew they knew no English when they came and, in this way, he proved them as to how much they had learned, and he was satisfied.
Near this same time, Agent Tatum18 visited the Indian school on the Washita (near the present town of Ana-
18Lawrie Tatum, a member of the Society of Friends, who was one of the Quaker Indian agents who were appointed by President U. S. Grant to the several agencies of the tribes in the Central Superintendency (i. e., in Kansas and the western part of the Indian Territory). He was assigned to the agency at Fort Sill, under the jurisdiction of which were the Comanche, Kiowa, Apache, Wichita, Caddo and affiliated tribes. Leaving his home on an Iowa farm, he came to his post of duty, in May, 1869, though he did not assume charge until July 1st. He remained in active charge of that agency until his voluntary retirement, after four years of devoted service. Twenty-five years later, in his old age, he published a volume entitled “Our Red Brothers,” consisting principally of reminiscences of his service as an Indian agent.
darko) where they were using the ‘word method’ pure and simple. After visiting our school he said to me (privately), “‘Josiah I have been to the Washita school and they are learning faster than ours, so I guess thee had better change and use the word method.” I went to my room and brought out several books I had procured before leaving Ohio and said to him, “I have given this matter much thought and have adopted a course that I would like to try out.” And then I told him that if he would let me have to the end of this term he might make his examination and that if my school was not up to theirs I would teach any way he might wish. He said, “That is fair; I will do it.” On toward the last of the term he made an examination and said, “I am satisfied with thy method; go ahead.” I did not teach the letters in rotation but taught them words right from the start and, with the word method I combined a rigid drill in spelling. Early in my second term, Agent Richards19 sent his teacher (Alfred J. Standing) over to visit our school. After spending the day with us, he told me he was having all kinds of trouble in trying to teach his children to spell and wished he could begin over on our plan.
8th Month, 7th. “We got up at three o’clock and started at six for Chandler home, twenty-five miles away, Chandler’s Jamie going with us. We stopped on the Third Beaver to eat and got there about three p. m. We found them nicely fixed in a double-hewed log house, with a porch at each side and a hall between. The place has an outkitchen, smoke house, hen house, well house, corn crib, etc., and also a nice field of corn, a garden and lots of melons. There are wolves, panthers, bears, wild cats, Mexican lions, deer, antelope, turkeys, geese, ducks, etc., around and near Chandler’s.”
8th Month, 12th. “We attended the wedding of J. M. Deen and Ella Woody at Dr. Tomlinson’s, the Friends’ ceremony being used.”
19Johnathan Richards was the agent in charge of the Wichita Agency, which was located on the hill on the opposite side of the Washita Valley from the site of Anadarko. Under his jurisdiction were the Wichita, Waco, Towakony, Caddo, Anadarko, Keechi and other tribal remnants and fragments. He was one of the Quaker agents appointed by President Grant, shortly after the beginning of his administration, in 1869.
8th Month, 26th. “We have had a hard week’s work, replastering our house all over, white-washing, cleaning up, etc.”
8th Month, 31st. “Eleven scholars came back to-day.”
9th Month 4th. “School reopened to-day, with fourteen scholars. White children were admitted on promise of good behavior.”
9th Month, 10th. “I was gratified to find that the children had remembered their texts so well.”
9th Month, 13th. “Nine more Caddoes came in to-day, so we now have twenty Caddoes and four whites.”
9th Month, 23d. “The body of the other herder was found to-day. Both were shot in the back and scalped; one had his ear cut off and the other was robbed of all clothing. Their mules were also taken.”
10th Month, 12th. “This morning, Leeper brought a Comanche woman to go to school. She has no desire to go to school but comes here for a place of refuge, this being the second time she has run off from her husband. He threatens her life and, according to the ‘Comanche rule,’ he has a right to either kill her or cut off her nose.”
10th Month, 13th. “Sina Tomlinson died at 3:40 p. m., to-day. Lizzie and I helped in laying her out—the first service of the kind for either of us. No doubt she was ready for the change, but had greatly desired to see her home folks first.”
The Indian children all used tobacco. The Agent asked me what I was going to do about it. I told him I was going to get them to quit because they wanted to. He wanted to know how, and what I wanted. I told him I wanted plenty of tobacco and I would tell him the rest after I was done. He turned to his clerk and told him to send me all I wanted. The clerk made fun of my project, thinking I was trying the impossible, but he sent me three full boxes of Cavendish plug. Every 7th day morning I cut each plug into three pieces and gave one to each child, telling them it must last one week and that if it was lost or given away they should not come to me as I would give out no more to anyone for one week. Then I took a blackboard and gave them a lecture each time I gave out tobacco,
of which the following is a sample: “How much tobacco would you use in one week if you had all you wanted?” The answers varied, so I took one plug as an average. “What will it cost?” “One dollar.” “In four weeks that would amount to four dollars and in twelve months it would amount to forty-eight dollars.” “Well, how much would a little pig cost?” “One dollar and a half.” “Then forty-eight dollars would buy thirty-three little pigs.” “How much would they weight apiece in one year?” “Two hundred pounds.” “Thirty-three time 200 pounds equals 6,600 pounds.” “What would they be worth per pound?” “Six cents.” “6,600 times six cents would be $396.00; therefore, if you use tobacco a year, what will you have?” They looked at each other and laughed as one boy said, “Smoke.” Then I asked, “Which do you think will pay the best—$396.00 or Smoke? Now I am not going to make you quit but I would like to have you quit because you want to and because it pays to quit.” The next week two boys quit and, on 10th Month, 26th, the Agent was down and my diary says, “Gave two of my boys, who have quit using tobacco, each a knife and a dollar in silver.” I kept this up until every one quit the use of tobacco of their own accord, without any kind of compulsion except Jim Shaw and, after a while, he quit because the other children ridiculed him. So it was a success.
11th Month, 22d. “A party of us, men, women and children, started for Mount Scott. We got to the foot of the mountain at 1:30 p. m. Then I carried Boone Chandler, a boy of two years, on my back about two-thirds of the way up, where the women and children stopped. The Doctor went a little farther and returned, but four of us reached the top. Such piles of rock, deep, dark chasms, rooms, passes, evergreens, grass, springs, pools, &c. all mingled together, I never saw in all my life before. I got a cedar cane from the top and a mesquite cane from the bottom of the mountain. A gala day of tiresome recreation.”
11th Month, 25th. “Lizzie and I went to the commissary after dinner to-day and obtained for our Indian children, out of annuities, twenty-five hats, six coats, sixteen pairs of pants, thirty-six shirts, over 500 yards of calico, over 160 yards of muslin, some thread and a kettle.”
I have been lecturing the children about killing innocent
birds for some time past. It was hard for them both to understand and to quit but, under date of 12th Month, 6th, I find this record: “The boys have given up killing birds, very much to my satisfaction.”
12th Month, 21st. “Just after dark the white girl from near Maxfield’s came sooner than we were looking for her. She had previously obtained permission to come. Her name is Martyna Fields. Her parents had moved from Iowa to Texas before the Civil War. Her father was a shoemaker. When the war broke out, he was compelled to make shoes for the Confederate soldiers. Later they gathered up all of the men from the North and imprisoned them. At first her mother was allowed to visit her father but afterward that was prohibited. Then, one morning, forty-six men were hung to a large oak tree for no other reason than that they were born in the North. At this, her mother took all her children and fled to the Indians for safety and the children had grown up without education. Martyna begged to come to the Indian school. She was a bright girl, learned readily and she was allowed to come as long as there was room without crowding the Indians.”
Christmas, 1871. “The children’s curiosity was greatly aroused when we got a box and tree for Christmas, not having the least idea what it means. The Agent authorized the purchase of useful articles for presents, so we purchased articles as follows: twenty-seven comforts, $54.00; twenty handkerchiefs, $7.00; seven handkerchiefs, $3.50; nineteen pocket combs, $1.60; eight round combs, $8.00; eight thimbles, 40c; twenty-seven pencils, $4.05; twenty-four marbles, 50c; eight pairs of scissors, $6.00; seventeen pocket knives, $8.50; two pocket books, $1.00—total, $94.55.
“Many other small presents were made by individuals. Christmas eve we got the children to bed early and had to keep close guard to keep them upstairs, so great was their curiosity. But we arranged a large tree in the school room, finishing the work about 11 p. m. The next morning the children were all up at dawn and were delighted. At 10 a. m., we called them all in and had some visitors. A short explanation, in simple terms, of what it was all in memory of, followed. Then the presents were distributed, with a few little jokes on the whites for spice. Then there was a four-course
dinner—something the children had never heard of—and when they had the third and fourth plates, they just sat back and grunted. We allowed them to take candy, nuts and oranges away with them. It was a pleasant day and was enjoyed by everyone. The children will never forget ‘Jesus’ Birthday.’”
1st Month, 17th, 1872. “Class No. 1 got Second Readers to-day. A set of Pelton’s Outline Maps was received to-day. My! we are glad to get them!”
1st Month, 18th. “Lizzie showed the children a number of stereoscopic views to-day. We greatly enjoyed their astonished interest and pleasure.”
1st Month, 23d. “We now have thirty-three scholars.”
2d Month, 9th. “The Caddo children are greatly rejoiced at the coming of George Washington, as it has been five months since they have seen any of their people.”
2d Month, 15th. “Moncrief passed away about 12 o’clock, to-day, after a short illness. The mother and seven children feel it keenly.20 Lizzie was there. I helped to lay him out.”
2d Month, 20th. “Last night there was a very high wind and the prairie got afire, away down Cache Creek, and burned rapidly to the east and north of us. It burned about half of the farm (rail) fence. There is something about these prairie fires that is all absorbing to the mind. I never tire of watching their progress, now coming in a solid sheet, now one end of the front line outruns the other, the flames leapuing ten to twenty feet into the air. Presently it reaches a creek and follows its meanderings until a stronger gust of wind causes it to bound across, scorching the low-branched trees as it passes. And all the while, we see horses and cows, wolves, birds, snal as, frogs, and even the stupid mules, instinctively seeking places of safety—but some; alas! too late! So it will be in the ‘last great day,’ with men.”
20Wllliam Moncrief, a native of Alabama, was of mixed white and Choctaw extraction, born about 1830. He came to the Indian Territory in 1851, settling near Sculliville. Some fifteen years later, he settled in the western part of the Chickasaw country. Seemingly, being far out of reach of the tribal schools, he had established a temporary residence at or near the Comanche-Kiowa Indian Agency in order to give some of his younger children an opportunity to attend the new agency school which was as yet but sparsely attended by children of the tribes for which it had been established. His widow survived him for many years, dying but a few years ago. His numerous descendants mostly live within the limits of the old Chickasaw country, some of them being prominent and influential citizens.
2d Month, 25th. “I received a letter from father, to-day—the first since he heard of our decision to remain here another year. While he thinks it is best, it is hard for him to give us up. God only knows the feeling of my heart. All alone in my chamber, I dropped silent tears of mingled sorrow and love and, I trust, of resignation and hope. Lizzie got home from Washita (Anadarko) after an absence of four days. I was glad to have her go, even if we did miss her so much. She had an enjoyable time and it breaks the monotony of life—a real recreation for her.”
3d Month, 23d. “I took all of our children except five on long talked of visit to Medicine Bluff. This bluff is from 100 to 150 feet high, standing at an angle of some seventy degrees. It faces to the north and slopes gently to the south. The Indians have this tradition about that divides it about midway: ‘A long time ago, a medicine chief, who was hunting water, rode up on the south side and, when he saw the clear, sparkling water at the foot of the cliff, he rode right off and it never hurt him at all. When he and his pony got all the water they wanted, he turned to go back to his people and the mountain parted and he rode right up to them. Then the Indians add, ‘If you do not believe it, go and see for yourself.’ We ate dinner in the bed of Medicine Bluff Creek and afterward climbed to the top of the cliff, where all joined in singing in this romantic place, ‘Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing.’ We had a good time and got home at 4 p. m.”
4th Month, 6th. “We finished setting out trees in the school house yard. There were thirty-nine in all—elm, box-elder, redbud, hackberry, walnut and cedar.”
Doctor Tomlinson fixed up quite a lot of medicines for children’s ailments with the thought of my serving as “hospital steward.” So, when a remedy proved sure, I would ask him for the prescription. At first he declined but when I told him that, if he preferred, I would send for him so that he could administer the medicine himself, he changed his mind. This was a real care for me but many of these remedies have proved useful in our home since. He was a splendid doctor.
In our Sunday school, we appointed a committee on library, which proved to be a great success. Wages were good and money came easy and went easy, so the committee secured donations to the amount of $175.40. General Grierson
gave $5.00. We made out a list of books, sending to Philadelphia for them. The Philadelphia Friends liked our selection and authorized us to make another of equal size, which we did. So we had a fine library which was greatly prized by all of our Government employes who did lots of reading. At that time there was nothing else of the kind in all that section.
When old Satank was killed he was buried by the military and so none of his belongings were buried with him, as it was the Indian custom. On 4th Month, 21st, his son was at our house and, displaying his father’s tomahawk, said to me, “Want it?” I said, “How much?” He said, “No sell it—give it away—four dollars,” which amount I gave him. I had often seen Satank carry it and use it and, when at our table, he always held it in his lap. This kind is valued at the price of an Indian pony.
When our Indian boys and girls came to us many of them were very lousy and, in a few cases, the vermin had eaten clear through the skin and my! the nits. But perseverance with mercurial ointment cleaned them out and, later, they enjoyed keeping their heads cleaned and their hair combed.
5th Month, 1st. “The Washingtons are here—seven in all—all relatives of the children, so of course it is a glad time. The Agent and his wife are here; Black Beaver21 is here; Joe Harry22 is here; Interpreter Jones23 is here; old Smith Paul24 is here; two officers visited the geography class. This is the Smith Paul who gives the name to the valley away east of here, having married an Indian and, having taken advantage of their law which permits each head of a family to hold all the land that they have enclosed and actually farmed, he is
21Black Beaver was a very noted and much trusted leader among the people of the southwestern band of the Delaware tribe. A sketch of his life and career may be found in Thoburn’s “History of Oklahoma” (1916) , Vol. II, p. 492.
22Joe Harry, presumably Jack Harry, a Delaware Indian, well known on the southwestern frontier, who had been prominent among the members of the Washita-Red River band of that tribe for nearly if not quite twenty years.
23Horace P. Jones, interpreter, scout and guide attached to the Fort Sill garrison as a civilian employe. A sketch of his life appeared in Chronicles of Oklahoma, Vol. II, pp. 380-91.
24Smith Paul was the founder of Pauls Valley, where he settled shortly after the establishment of Fort Arbuckle, and where he engaged in extensive farming operations, producing corn, hay and other produce which he supplied for the use of that post.
quite rich. So it has been a wearing day as each wanted to see everything and ask many questions.”
5th Month, 8th. “To-day the ‘Post School’ (i.e., from Fort Sill) visited ours. There were twelve of them, from six to fourteen years old. They took dinner with us. Their manners were not nearly so good as those of our Indian children, especially the boys; but they all enjoyed it hugely.”
The Mexican beef contractor—Tirso Aguirre—came to the school house to learn to write; he came of evenings. I fitted him up and pretty soon went to see how he was getting along. I found that he could write a smoother hand than I could. Upon examination, I found that what he needed was to learn to spell and to form sentences in English, so I got him a spelling book, which he carried while herding. He learned rapidly and, after continuing with me until 6th Month, 5th, paid me ten dollars for showing him what he needed and teaching him how to learn.
The larger boys worked on the farm, at the saw-mill and in the carpenter and blacksmith shops on 7th days at fifty cents a day and, before they went home at the end of the term, the Agent got each of the boys who had worked in the carpenter and blacksmith shops a nice small set of tools at government expense. The larger girls helped in the dining room and in the kitchen and also made the beds for the Indian children.
5th Month, 20th. “Thomas Topping and Belle Jackson were married in the school room (which we decorated) by A.D. Tomlinson25—the Friends’ ceremony—twelve of our scholars, among others, signing the marriage certificate.”
5th Month, 27th. “The Doctor lectured for the school this evening, illustrating his talk with his two batteries. The children enjoyed his experiments but got little out of his talk, which was clear above their heads.”
5th Month, 28th. “John D. Miles,26 was here today. His
25A. D. Tomlinson was the Agency physician and, of course, like most of the rest of the Agency staff, he was a Quaker.
26John D. Miles was one of the Quaker agents first appointed by President Grant. He was assigned to the Kickapoo Agency but, after the death of Agent Brinton Darlington, he was transferred to the Cheyenne and Arapaho Agency in 1872, where he served as tribal agent until 1884. He was a pioneer settler in Canadian County in 1889. His last years were spent in Texas and California, in which last mentioned state he died at an advanced age of more than ninety, several years ago.
talk to the children interested them very much, as he is one of the few who know how to talk to Indian children.”
Levi and Dixon had a fight at noon today. Dixon’s head was so badly cut with a sharp stick that it required the Doctor to dress and stitch it. When school called in the afternoon, Levi was missing and, on inquiry, I was told that he was upstairs. On going to him, he said he was sick; I thought it best not to call it in question (though I did in my heart). When school was dismissed, at four o’clock, the children called my attention to Levi, who was about a mile away, headed for home—twenty-five miles distant. I said to them, “Me no send him away—no run after him,” and there I let the matter rest, though very sorry. A few days later, his brother-in-law came to see me and said he was at home, “moping around, no sleep good, no eat good, wants to come back—will you let him?” I replied, “If he will get up before the school and say that he is sorry and ’shake hands’ with Dixon, he may come, but if he does not want to do that I do not want him. He returned 5th Month 30th, made his confession, “shook hands” (made friends) with Dixon and all the school forgave him and he was ever afterward one of my best boys. I never had another run-away.
6th Month, 3d. “A man by the name of Frank Lee (originally from New York) was killed and scalped (taking all his hair and one ear) by the Indians, who also stuck a knife in his side, this morning about eight or nine o’clock, within one and a half miles of Fort Sill. How sad! How thankful I am to have been born in a Christian home instead of in a savage’s lodge!”
6th Month, 14th. “This is my father’s sixty-ninth birthday and also the close of school. Each class recited one long lesson. We sung some geography and three hymns. We had visitors all day. In the afternoon there were about forty—Caddoes, Delawares, Choctaws, Cherokees, Mexicans, whites, blacks and mixed. The Agent and his wife, Tiner (a Caddo chief) and the Doctor each made a talk. I gave each scholar a little paper book to write in, a lead pencil, a sack to carry books, &c., home in; also a stamped and addressed envelope to each one so that each might write me a letter. It has been a long term, with much anxiety and hard work, but I am very thankful for a measure of success.”
Having had various kinds of malaria ailments during the past year, we felt that we needed rest and the benefit of a northern climate, so we obtained a leave of absence, cleaned up the school house, white-washing, &c., and, leaving it in the care of Milton Dean, started on the 6th Month, 23d, 1872, for Iowa, where we had pressing invitations to spend the vacation with our relatives. The Indian Territory part of our trip was quite expensive.
We got back to Fort Sill on the 8th Month, 23d, having been gone just two months to a day. We had a most interesting trip, but it was not Indian work, so it has no place here. Sister Lydia was with us while we were in Iowa. We were glad to get back and were quite ready for our work.
9th Month, 3d. “School reopened today with twenty-five scholars.”
9th Month, 9th. “Doctor Parish,27 of Philadelphia, one of the special Indian commissioners, died about five p. m., to-day, of typho-malaria fever. He was dressed but once after his arrival at this Agency. How sad !”
10th Month, 23d. “A sad, sad day! A drunken doctor frightened Lizzie and all felt uneasy. Poor, dear little Henry Washington died of pleuritis, at 6:15 p. m., and we all feel sad. Many of the children wept aloud. His grandmother nursed him all through his sickness. The Agent fixed up a coffin and sent a team to the Canadian River, as Mrs. Washington wanted him buried there. Before starting, we called all the children in and we sat in profound silence, weeping. I made a few remarks, pointing the bereaved to Christ as the Friend and Comforter.”
When his grandfather returned from Washington, D. C., he greatly missed little Henry and he talked a good bit to the Caddoes and they all wept together.”
8th Month, 24th. “The Comanches gave up two little captive boys—one, eight, and the other, thirteen. The oldest
27Prof. Edward Parish and Capt. Henry E. Alvord were appointed as special commissioners to investigate the conditions existing at the Cheyenne-Arapaho, Comanche-Kiowa and Wichita-Caddo Indian agencies. Captain Alvord, who completed the work of the commission after the death of his associate, rendered a full report which was printed in the Annual Report of the Commissioner of Indian Affairs for 1872, pp. 128-48. Professor Parish’s death is also mentioned in Lawrie Tatum’s “Our Red Brothers,” pp. 127-8.
talked English; the youngest had forgotten all—even his own name.”
Agent Tatum obtained twenty-two captives from the Indians, fourteen of whom were placed in our school until he could find out where their relatives were so that he could send them home.
11th Month, 16th. “We now have forty-eight scholars. There was some talk of a disturbance on account of the two colored children, but I believe it has all blown over, though it goes pretty hard with the Moncriefs, who were once slaveholders.”
11th Month, 26th. “Clinton Smith and Adolph Kohn, who had been captives among the Indians, started with a military escort for their homes in Texas. ‘May God bless them,’ is my sincere prayer, for the dear boys have had a rough life so far.”
11th Month, 30th. “I went to the commissary to get annuity goods for the school for the ensuing year, viz. 19 pairs of blankets; 50 flannel shirts; 48 hickory shirts; 42 coats; 48 hats; 470 yards of calico; 33½ yards of strouding; 186 yards of cloth; 4 tinned kettles; 24 bunches of beads; 2 pounds of thread; 534 yards of muslin.”
12th Month, 5th. “Clinton Smith’s father arrived here today and was greatly disappointed in not finding his son, the Agent having sent him across the country with General Augur, while the father had come around by rail and stage. He has one more son with the Indians—poor man, how I felt for him as he sat and wept.”
12th Month, 6th. “I adjourned school at noon today and took most of our children to see the annuity goods distributed to the Kiowas and Apaches. It was really a sight to see so many strangely dressed and yet more strangely painted men, women and children, with their herds of ponies and packs of dogs. When each chief got the share of annuity goods apportioned to his band, he had all put in a pile and then collected his band in a semi-circle around the pile, when all goods were divided. A dozen such groups were to be seen at once. When one got a shirt, he would strip right off and put it on.
“Kicking Bird brought in seventeen mules to replace some that had been stolen by the Kiowas. He is working for the recovery or restoration of stolen stock, while Horse Back,
a leading Comanche chief is inducing the Indians to surrender their captives and both are doing their best. Some years ago, Horse Back was a great raider, but he got the heart trouble so bad that when he got mad enough to fight, he was not able to do anything, so he wisely concluded to work for peace.
“Last night a Mexican woman ran away from the Quahadas (an untractable band of Comanches), coming to the Agent’s house after midnight. She had been with them for two years and was very glad to get away from them. She was fixed up and veiled and started off on the stage, right among the Indians. The next morning the Indian who claimed her as his wife was terribly enraged and had a small band of warriors with drawn arrows riding around the commissary in search of her, but he was told that she had gone on the stage and was fifteen hours away and that he would never see her again, so he could do nothing but be quiet.”28
12th Month. 10th. “This evening Parson Friend arrived, having come as soon as practicable after getting a description of the two captives now here, one of whom proves to be his grandson. When he was captured his mother was shot in the breast with an arrow and fell over bleeding, and the boy thought she was killed, so it took the grandfather several hours to convince him (he had forgotten his own name) that she was yet alive, but at last he succeeded.”
12th Month, 25th. “Christmas—a great day for the children! The presents were mostly useful articles, viz: handkerchiefs, breakfast shawls, marbles, combs, lead-pencils, dolls, toys, and candy, &c. There was a nice dinner and plenty of it—turkey, pork, pies, cake, apples, and candy.”
1st Month, 1st, 1873. “I gave out the picture books which my sister Lydia procured for us and the children prize them highly.”
1st Month, 4th. “Toppish’s father came today and recognized the boy at once but the latter did not recognize his father right away. The name he came to us with was Toppish Smith but it turns out that it is John Valentine Moxie29
28The story of the escape of the young Mexican woman, Martha Day, was printed in Lawrie Tatum’s “Our Red Brothers, pp. 145-6, and that of the restoration of Temple Friend to his grandfather may be found in the same volume, pp. 140-1.
29The story of the rescue of “Toppish,” or John Valentine Moxie, anti of his restoration to his father, is told in Lawrie Tatum’s “Our Red Brother,” pp. 138-9.
Each one of the twenty-two captives has a story but this is enough to give one an idea of the conditions under which they have lived, except the unnameable experiences which I leave for the imagination to fill in.”
1st Month, 6th. “This morning I heard of Chandler’s death, at eight o’clock last night. It is a great shock and loss to his family. From what I have learned of his history, I infer that he was rather reckless in former years but, since we have known him, he has tried to do the best he knew as a true husband and father.30 He has lived a hard, varied, romantic life. He will be missed as far as he is known by both Indians and whites. He was a true friend of our school. Indeed, it was his influence that brought us our first scholars. His environment has been bad but, ‘where little is given, little will be required,’ so we leave him in the hands of a merciful God, trusting all is well.”
His wife was a Mexican woman who had been stolen by
30Joseph Chandler was a white man who had long been associated with the Indians of the Wichita-Caddo and Comanche-Kiowa agencies. He is said to have been a native of Indiana and was born about 1823. He immigrated to Arkansas in his young manhood and later immigrated to the frontier of Texas, where he became a ranchman and, as a contractor, supplied beef to the Government Indian agencies on the Brazos. When the Indian tribes of those reservations were removed to the valley of the Washita, in 1859, he accompanied them and remained in the Indian Territory. He married Tomasa, a Mexican girl, who had been captured by the Comanches in early childhood and had been reared among them. A part of the story of their romantic courtship and marriage is related in Lawrie Tatum’s “Our Red Brothers,” pp. 60-1. After the Tonkawa massacre, October 24, 1892, with Dr. J. J. Sturm, Harry Shirley, Horace Jones and others of the employes of the Confederate Indian agency at Fort Cobb, who had escaped with their lives, Chandler and his wife sought refuge in Texas. From that time until 1869 his family lived at Cross Timbers, Texas, though he spent much of his time in the valley of the Washita, where he was engaged in looking after his cattle. Four years after the end of the Civil War he moved his family to Pauls Valley and, a year or two later, he returned to the Comanche and Kiowa reservation when urged to do so by Agent Tatum. He was an adopted member of the Comanche tribe and it was because of his influence among them that, at Agent Tatum’s suggestion, that he took out a “head-right” or allotment of 320 acres on the Little Washita, about thirty miles northeast of Fort Sill. He had previously had a ranch on Chandler Creek, a tributary of Cache Creek, about ten miles north of Fort Sill. The head-right on the Little Washita was the first allotment ever made under the provisions of the treaty made with the Comanches and Kiowas Medicine Lodge, in 1867, and this tract is still owned by some of his heirs. It was his home on this ranch on the Little Washita which was described in the text of the Butler reminiscences and his grave, marked by a headstone, may be seen there.
the Comanches when she was a mere child and who always called her foster mother “my Indian mother.” She was neat, industrious and always cheerful, a faithful wife and mother. When but a child she was promised for a wife to some old Indian but, when the time drew near, she escaped by marrying Mr. Chandler.
1st Month, 27th. “This has been a terribly snowy day. After school, I allowed some of the boys to go after milk—they begged to go and I reluctantly consented. As they did not return as soon as common, I felt uneasy and so I took one of the larger boys (Aetosh) and went in search of them to the dairy (Flood’s) from whence we soon all started back, facing a driving snow storm. Although we were on a familiar road, we all missed our way and thought for a time we would perish. I led twice; then Aetosh once; then I took the lead again and we got home. I had turned to the left in a short circle—Aetosh to the right in a large circle. My wife had a presentiment that we were lost and she had lights put in every window on that side of the house. The lower lights we could not see at all but the lamp in the upstairs window we could see from the doctor’s house, yet all the time it seemed I was going in the wrong direction, but I persisted in going to the light and that was all that saved me. My wife, at this time, and before anyone could see us, came to the head of the stairs and called out: “They are found! they are found!” and threw herself upon the bed, after having walked the floor anxiously for over an hour. I was in the storm two and one-half hours. I was much fatigued and my ears were frozen.”
1st Month, 28th. “The mercury was twenty-six degrees below zero this morning.”’
2d Month, 6th. “As a wagon was going to a Kiowa village to move T. C. Battey’s camp, I concluded to go with him, so I borrowed the Doctor’s trained Indian pony. We had a number of Kiowas as traveling companions. We arrived at Kicking Bird’s camp at 8:25 p. m., and I was very, very tired. We found all of T. C. Battey’s goods put away in a lodge for safe keeping. Wood had been carried into his tent and the door had been locked by piling brush at the entrance. When we started a fire the tent soon filled with men, women and children, so we were in the very midst of savage sociability.
We were not invited to supper as T. C. Battey31 had expected, so literally had to steal our supper in our own tent, as we had not provisions for all. We made down our bed while the tent was still full and, when I laid down, Feather Head, Crane, Ze´-bile and three other men surrounded me, calling me ‘Americano pappoose’ and soon picked up the edges of the robe on which I lay, around the edges of which were small holes which had been made in pegging and stretching the skin preparatory to drying and tanning it. Putting sticks through these holes, they soon had me fastened up from feet to chin and then they laughed heartily at the ‘Americano pappoose.’ After continuing this for a time, being tired, I did go to sleep, feeling entirely safe, though surrounded by persons who had taken many a white man’s scalp.”
2d Month, 7th. “We arose early and went into Kicking Bird’s lodge.32 After being there awhile, he invited us all to go with him to Trotting Wolf’s lodge, where we had our breakfast, served in primitive style. Over the fire hung a kettle of meat on a tripod. When done, it was taken off and dipped out with a buffalo horn spoon on to very thick pieces of buffalo skin which had been tanned expressly for the purpose. Then the few dishes were brought in and washed in the meat liquor and more meat put into the same liquor to cook. The place for the fire was dug out in shape like a saucer and the grass around it had been removed. Upon the level surface of the ground, pine boards were placed, edge to edge, to serve as a table, around which we sat, Turk fashion. The soda bread and coffee were excellent. The meat (buffalo) was rather tough for want of cooking and it also lacked salt and pepper, but I ate a hearty meal. Fifteen people ate in the lodge. Trotting Wolf served as ‘wit,’ keeping all of us laughing with his talk and actions.
31Thomas Chester Battey, like Josiah Butler, was a member of the Society of Friends. He was employed as a teacher in the school at the Wichita Agency in 1871-2 and subsequently, from December, 1872, to July, 1874, as the teacher of a field school with Kicking Bird’s band of Kiowas. A sketch of his life may be found in Thoburn’s “History of Oklahoma,” Vol. II, pp. 455-6.
32Kicking Bird was one of the leading chiefs of the Kiowa tribe. While a zealous warrior in his earlier years, he became a man of peace and refused to go off the reservation on the war path, in 1874. His sudden death in the prime of life, in 1875, was attributed to poisoning at the hands of a vengeful fellow tribesman.
“When we had finished eating, a bowl of water and a piece of new calico was passed around for washing, first to us whites, who took a drink and wiped on the calico, but when the Indians got it they filled their mouths full of water, then spurting it out in their hands as needed, as they washed their hands and faces, using the calico as a towl. The dishes were again washed in the meat liquor and put away and we are now at liberty to go.
“After breakfast, owing to the ponies being scattered, the camp could not be moved at once, but, with Trotting Wolf as a guide, we loaded up and in due time started for the new camp grounds, some fifteen miles away. We crossed some terribly barren sand hills, from the summit of which we had a good, though distant view of Rainy Mountain. We arrived at the site of the new camp and got the tent up about dark. Several lodges came in about sundown. We cooked our own supper and retired about nine o’clock.”
2d Month, 8th. “This morning, while getting breakfast, White Horse and some others came in and charged us with being Texans (’Te-hah´-ny’). They had their bows and arrows and were all painted up—red, yellow and black—and went right into the room curtained off for a bed, throwing themselves upon it. I was writing on a box and the man who drove the team was cooking at the time. They spoke to a Mexican who was lying on the floor, a large man who arose quickly and seated himself on the box with me, almost tilting me off as he asked ‘You Te-hah´-ny ?’ repeating it several times.33 The man with me was frightened and told him in English where each of us was from and what we were doing and repeated it when the Mexican told him to ‘shut up.’ While this was going on, I was mustering all the Indian I could think of and then, arising and standing before him, was able to make him understand what I said. Just then a small Mexican, who had once eaten dinner with me at the
33It was difficult if not impossible to convince the Comanche and Kiowa Indians that the people of Texas were Americans. Their name for the Texans—“Te-hah-na”—was derived from the Spanish-Mexican. Prior to the Mexican War and the annexation of Texas, the people of these tribes were generally at peace with the Americans and always at war with the people of Texas. Even as late as the early seventies, the Comanches and Kiowas claimed the right to raid in Texas regardless of their treaties with the Federal Government and professed to regard the people of that state as distinct from the “Americanos.”
school house just a short time before, came in, so I stood before him and told him he knew who I was and where I lived and what I was doing and I asked him to tell these people and to tell them to come out and eat with me. He sat in silence what seemed to me a long time, but finally he told them and they seemed satisfied and left. Afterward, I found out the cause of this trouble, viz: On the way out, just out of curiosity, and being on horse-back I had ridden around several herds of mules and ponies to look at them; later, seeing me writing, they thought I was a Texan taking down brands in order to recover stock. And they really intended to do me up, having invited Battey to a remote part of the camp while this was going on. I consider it as one of God’s providences that this little Mexican, who knew me, came in just at the decisive moment and whose testimony let me out. In a few days, White Horse and nine others came to the school where they took dinner with us.”
I had often read that a trained Indian pony would follow game the same as a dog, so I had determined to test it if opportunity afforded. On my way home from the Kiowa camp, I ran on to a mountain wolf, close by the roadside and, quick as thought, I gave the pony the rein and slapped her with my hand and, at once, she was on the dead run, clear to the mountains—over a mile. And she surely tracked the wolf, keeping within gunshot all the way—if I had had anything to shoot with and had been skilled in shooting from a horse on the run—but that little “if” spoiled it all save only the test I was making.
2d Month, 21st. “I visited the grass houses and the Wichita School, near the Washita River. These houses were round and, in the distance, looked like hay stacks. They are made of poles, sheeted over with green elm bark and then thatches with grass in such a way as to turn the rain very completely. They vary in size from ten to forty feet in diameter, several families living in the larger ones.”
2d Month, 22d. “I dined at 2 p. m., at the home of George Washington, the Caddo chief, on the Canadian River. He is well fixed, lives in a log house and has some forty acres under good fence, with plenty of teams and stock. He also keeps a small stock of goods on sale. Two little incidents in this man’s experience in learning to farm are as follows:
“(1) When he decided to enclose a piece of land he took his young men to the timber, where they cut wagon loads of poles, which were hauled to the place. These were of all lengths so that when he went to lay them up he soon found that they had to be all of the same length, and they had to be cut over—but he learned.
“(2) When he had raised a good crop of corn he did not know how to use it. So he went to the home of a white neighbor for dinner but found no corn on the table. Another day he went to the same place to supper, with the same result, and then, breakfast, the same. So he went a fourth morning to stay all day if need be, but, about ten o’clock, he followed the man to the hog pen, where he heard him call the hogs and saw him give them several bushels of ear corn. His lesson was learned. He fitted up four wagons and went to Arkansas, where he bought four loads of pigs and brought them home and his money making began.”
“2d Month, 23d. “I visited Agent B. Darlington’s grave,34 at the Cheyenne and Arapaho Agency. He died at his post and was buried, at his own request, in the Indian cemetery. While living, he once ordered the arrest of a bootlegger but all seemed to be afraid, so he stepped back to the stable and ordered his horse. When he started to leave he was asked where he was going. ‘Going to arrest the bootlegger,’ was his reply. Then there were plenty who were ready to go but when they got to the place the work was already done. He had the man coming out of North Fork (of the Canadian), where he was breaking the ice, trying to hide his liquors under the ice, but, it persisted in floating.
34Brinton Darlington was one of the first Quaker agents appointed by President Grant for the Indian Service, being assigned to the Cheyenne and Arapaho Agency, in 1869, then located temporarily at Camp Supply. In 1870, he was directed to locate the site for a permanent agency at or near the intersection of the North Canadian River by the 98th Meridian, which he did. The buildings were erected there under his personal supervision and the agency was transferred to that point a few months later. He died at the Agency, May 1, 1872, aged sixty-eight years. Although he lived with the Cheyenne and Arapaho people less than three years, he won their respect and affection to a very remarkable degree. His remains were buried in an unmarked grave (as was the Quaker custom) in the Indian burial ground, where it was surrounded by the graves of the people of the two tribes to the wholehearted and unselfish service of which his last years were devoted. The name of the Agency was subsequently changed to Darlington, in commemoration of that service.
“While at B. Darlington’s grave, an old Indian woman came to a grave near by, where a son of hers was buried a year ago, and set up a terrible wailing, shedding tears and cutting her legs with a bit of glass in a heart-sickening way, until the blood ran down forming a pool at her feet. How thankful I am that my early training and surroundings were different from hers.
2d Month, 26th. “Of the twenty-five captives secured by Agent Tatum, fourteen were Americans and eleven were Mexicans. Fifteen captives were secured from the Comanches and ten from the Kiowas. Twenty were males and five were females. Fourteen have been in our school.”
3d Month. 3d. “School opened with twenty-five scholars.”
3d Month, 7th. “We have thirty-six scholars now.”
3d Month, 13th. “By invitation of the Agent, I went to witness the beef issue to the Kiowas, Comanches and Apaches. 144 head of cattle were issued in lots of from one to eight each, being turned loose upon the prairie, where the Indians gave chase and drove them from forty rods to four miles. The animals were mostly killed with revolvers, shooting from their ponies. The few who used rifles dismounted before firing. A few used bows and arrows. They were not as good shots as I had expected, having to shoot from five to eight times for each animal, shooting them in the legs, sides or elsewhere very carelessly. They were soon scattered over the creek bottom in squads of from five to fifteen, dressing their beef. Latterly they get from $1.00 to $2.00 for a hide, so they skin them very carefully, but they chop up the meat in any and every way. Most of them took everything but the head, simply shaking out the entrails. When very hungry, they take all, as they did today, but, when they have plenty of buffalo meat, they waste the beef shockingly, scarcely taking half of the meat.”
3d Month, 14th. “This afternoon, T. C. Battey, G. H. Conover, Kicking Bird, Prairie Wolf Bear, Mountain Wolf, Dangerous Eagle and To´-pin visited the school, looking over the house, and took supper with us. The purpose of the visit was to let them see for themselves the purposes and good results of a school.”
6th Month, 10th. “This has been a day of rejoicing. The Comanche prisoners arrived from Texas about two
o’clock in the afternoon. Some of the Indians wept for very joy. There were just 100 of them—five ran away the night before starting on the journey, thinking that they were about to be taken farther away instead of back home.”
6th Month, 11th. “The prisoners all remained together until after the council this afternoon. I saw several meetings of husbands and wives and of parents and children; some cried, some laughed and some mourned over departed loved ones. At the council a lot of promises were made on both sides, in good faith, perhaps, and yet, judging from past history it is very much like tossing up a cent to know which side will break its promises first. Captain McClermont was only allowed twenty-one men as escort guards and, at Jacksboro, Texas, some 3,000 men had assembled to make trouble and possibly massacre the whole band. The captain went among them and got their leaders all drunk and sent the train clear around ’double quick,’ and so evaded trouble. He came over 300 miles in seventeen days, encountered bad roads and high waters but did not lose a single prisoner. He is a man of conceit, energy and ability.”34
6th Month, 27th. “School closed today, all starting home after dinner. The children all wept in parting from Lizzie and me as if we had been their parents. The progress of our school has been good and even Gen. W. T. Sherman gave a good short report of it to the Government after having visited it. We soon packed up our belongings and reached our old home at Damascus, Ohio, after an absence of just three years and three months to a day. We are thankful for the many providences of God that kept us safe and well through many dangers, known and unknown.”
35Thomas C. Battey’s “A Quaker among the Indians,” pp. 161-5; Lawrie Tatum’s “Our Red Brothers,” pp. 167-8; “Annual Report of the Commissioner of Indian Affairs,” for 1873, p. 219.