Chronicles of Oklahoma

Skip Navigation

Electronic Publishing Center
Oklahoma Historical Society
Chronicles Homepage
Search all Volumes
Copyright 2001
Purchase an Issue

Table of Contents Index Volume List Search All Volumes Home

Chronicles of Oklahoma
Volume 20, No. 3
September, 1942
NOTES ON INDIAN HISTORY

Edited by James W. Moffitt

Page 278

It is a real pleasure to make acknowledgments to the following: Grant Foreman, Director of Historical Research, Oklahoma Historical Society; Floyd C. Shoemaker, Secretary, State Historical Society of Missouri; Clark Wissler, Director, the American Museum of Natural History; Frederic H. Douglas, Curator of Indian Art, the Denver Art Museum; Angie Debo, Marshall, Oklahoma; Robert Sparks Walker, Chattanooga, Tennessee; Savoie Lottinville, Manager, University of Oklahoma Press; John R. Swanton, Ethnologist, Smithsonian Institution; Kenneth C. Kaufman, Chairman, Department of Modern Languages, University of Oklahoma; Frank G. Speck, Professor of Anthropology, University of Pennsylvania; Berlin B. Chapman, Professor of Oklahoma History, Oklahoma Agricultural and Mechanical College, Stillwater; John E. Briggs, Editor, the State Historical Society of Iowa; L. R. Hafen, Executive Director, the State Historical Society of Colorado; Kirke Mechem, Secretary, Kansas State Historical Society; Arthur J. Larsen, Superintendent, State Historical Society of Minnesota; Henry C. Shetrone, Director, the Archaeological and Historical Society of Ohio; F. W. Hodge, Director, Southwest Museum; Alfred Powers, Editor, Oregon Historical Quarterly; Alice L. Marriott, Specialist in Indian Arts and Crafts, United States Department of the Interior, Indian Arts and Crafts Board, Ft. Sill Indian School; M. L. Wardell, Professor of History, University of Oklahoma; Gaston L. Litton, Assistant Archivist, the National Archives; Arthur C. Parker, Director, Rochester Museum of Arts and Sciences; A. J. Wall, Director, New York Historical Society; Donald A. Cadzow, Executive Secretary, Pennsylvania Historical Commission; Watt Marchman, Executive Secretary, the Florida Historical Society; W. D. McCain, Director, Mississippi Department of Archives and History.

Our readers will be interested in the following articles which throw light on certain phases of Indian history: "Early Marriages among the Kaw Indians," The Kansas Historical Quarterly (May, 1942); "Notable Closing Speech at Historic Council made by Silver Brooch," Wichita (Evening) Eagle (November 7, 1941); Records of the Proceedings at a Council . . . Called with the Indian Chiefs in the Fall of 1864 on the Banks of the Little Arkansas," ibid. (November 10, 1941); "Something about Euchees, Friends of the Wichitas, and Their Persistence," ibid. (January 5, 1942); "Feature of the Treaty with the Cheyennes and Arapahoes Made Here Seventy-Six Years Ago Last Fall," ibid. (January 30, 1942); "Romantical Tales of the Nez Perces," by Grace Butterfield, Oregon Historical Quarterly (June, 1942); "Joseph's Grave," by M. Stubblefield, ibid; "A Comanche Prisoner in 1841," by Colonel Wilson T. Davidson, The South-

Page 279

western Historical Quarterly (April, 1942); "Chickasaw and Earlier Indian Cultures of Northeast Mississippi," by Jesse D. Jennings, Journal of Mississippi History (July, 1941); "Research Projects on Florida Subjects," by Watt Marchman, The Florida Historical Quarterly (April, 1942); "Indian and French of the Inland Empire," by W. Freeman Galpin, Americana (1941, no. 4); "Arkansas and Its Early Inhabitants," by Norman W. Caldwell, Arkansas Historical Quarterly (March, 1942); "The Northwest Indians and the British Preceding the War of 1812," by Cecil K. Byrd, Indiana Magazine of History (March, 1942); "Missionary Endeavors of the Presbyterian Church among the Blackfeet Indians in the 1850's," Compiled by Guy S. Klett, Journal of the Department of History of the Presbyterian Church in the U. S. A. (December, 1941); "Survey of a Hopewell-Like Site Near St. Louis," by Lenord W. Blake, Missouri Archaeologist (March, 1942); Petroglyphs and Pictographs in Missouri," by Eugene H. Diesing and Frank Magre, ibid.; "Archaeological Field Work at the University of Missouri," by John Mack, ibid.; "Sacajawea," by Louise Hartley, National Historical Magazine (April, 1942); "Peter John DeSmet, 1840," by W. L. Davis, Pacific Northwest Quarterly (April, 1942); "Illinois Indians on the Lower Mississippi," by Stanley Faye, Journal of the Illinois State Historical Society (March, 1942); "Tribal Names, Part 3," by Frederic H. Douglas, Denver Art Museum Leaflet 101 (December, 1941); "Colonel Benjamin Hawkins—North Carolinian Benefactor of the Southern Indians," Parts I and II, M. B. Pound, The North Carolina Historical Review (January and April, 1942); "Indian Terms for the Cradle and the Cradle Board," by Victor F. Lotrich, The Colorado Magazine (May, 1941).

The Changing Indian, edited by Oliver La Farge, is the twenty-third book in the University of Oklahoma Press series on the Civilization of the American Indian. Other volumes in this series are as follows: Forgotten Frontiers, edited and annotated by Alfred Barnaby Thomas; Indian Removal, by Grant Foreman; Wah'Kon-Tah, by John Joseph Mathews; Advancing the Frontier, by Grant Foreman; Early Days Among the Cheyenne and Arapahoe Indians, by John H. Seger, edited by Stanley Vestal; The Rise and Fall of the Choctaw Republic, by Angie Debo; New Sources of Indian History, by Stanley Vestal; The Five Civilized Tribes, by Grant Foreman; After Coronado, edited by Alfred Barnaby Thomas; Naskapi, by Frank G. Speck; Pratt: The Red Man's Moses, by Elaine Goodale Eastman; Cherokee Messenger, by Althea Bass; Civilization, as told to Florence Drake by Thomas Wildcat Alford; Indians and Pioneers, by Grant Foreman; Red Cloud's Folk, by George E. Hyde; Sequoyah, by Grant Foreman; A Political History of the Cherokee Nation, by Morris L. Wardell; McGillivray of the Creeks, by John Walton Caughey; Cherokee Cavaliers, by Edward Everett Dale and Gaston Litton; Elias Boudinot, Cherokee and His America, by Ralph Henry

Page 280

Gabriel; The Cheyenne Way, by K. N. Llewellyn and E. Adamson Hoebel; The Road to Disappearance, by Angie Debo.

"Some Traits of the Dakota Language" are discussed by Franz Boas of Columbia University in a recent volume on Race, Language and Culture (New York, 1940). "A few features of the language of the Dakota Indians which seem to have a wider linguistic interest" are selected for elaboration by the author. In a chapter dealing with "Romance Folk-lore among American Indians," Professor Boas declares that a "variety of French material has become part of Indian lore."

Carrie A. Lyford is the author of an interesting study of the Quill and Beadwork of the Western Sioux, which has been published by the education division of the United States Office of Indian Affairs as number I of an Indian Handcrafts series (1940. 116 p.). Among the subjects considered are the types of articles decorated by the Sioux, such as clothing and tipis; methods used in preparing and dressing skins; the techniques, materials, and stitches used in quill and in bead work; and the "development of Sioux designs." A list of "museums in which choice collections of Indian arts and crafts can be found" is included. Numerous illustrations and diagrams add to the value of the booklet.

An important collection of "Drawings by George Catlin," which the New York Historical Society acquired from the artist in 1870, is described by M. Maxson Holloway in the society's Quarterly Bulletin for January. Although the collection consists of "220 original pencil and ink drawings of North American Indians," the writer has failed to find it "recorded in any published book or bibliography on Catlin." A special exhibit of Catlin's work was placed on display by the society in December and January. In addition to items from its own collection, twenty-one paintings owned by the America Museum of Natural History were displayed.1

The Trail of Death — Letters of Benjamin Marie Petit, edited by Irving McKee, has recently been issued by the Indiana Historical Society as No. 1 of volume XIV of its Publications. Father Petit describes the removal of the Potawatomi Indians from Indiana to Kansas in 1838. The original papers and letters of Father Petit are preserved in the library of Notre Dame University.2

Having taken much interest in Oregon history since 1931, doing much historical research work, in which I have written thousands of letters throughout the United States, and read many armloads of books, and exhausted many libraries of colleges and universities, newspapers and magazines — during this historical research work I located the true original grave of old Chief Joseph. This was some





Page 281

two or three miles from where J. H. Horner, Secretary of the Wallowa County Historical Society, and historian thereof, claimed to have found the grave, as he stated to me in his own words in his letters to me . . . during the year 1931:

I found the grave of old Chief Joseph on the point near Lostine between the Lostine River and the main Wallowa rivers, on 40 acres of land owned by Americous McAlexander. I removed old Chief Joseph's remains therefrom and reburied them at the foot of Wallowa Lake . . .

My said Joseph's grave was below the said forks of the said rivers and above the town of Wallowa, on the opposite side of Wallowa River from Wallowa town, and two or three hundred yards north of northeast of where the old A. C. Smith mountain road was located at this point just before this first wagon road into Wallowa crossed the Wallowa River below the said forks thereof. My said Joseph's grave was on a little hill there, on land owned by Jim Masterson, the nearest that I can come at it. My eyewitnesses . . . are three pioneer lawyers — A. C. Smith, great friend of young Chief Joseph and his Nez Perces; John S. Hodgin, former law partner with A. C. Smith at Enterprise; and J. D. Slater, pioneer lawyer of La Grande, to whom Mr. Smith showed my said grave of old Chief Joseph in April 1875. All three of these pioneer lawyers and personal friends have departed this life, but I have their written signed letters today as touching my said location of old Chief Joseph's grave.3

Mr. and Mrs. M. R. Harrington have added to the Charles Avery Amsden Memorial Collection of the Southwest Museum, Los Angeles, a number of unusual Indian baskets, mainly from Eastern tribes whose products are rarely seen in Western museums. Among them are specimens from the Abenaki, the Alibamu, the Kickapoo, the now extinct Matinecock of Long Island, the Missisauga or Eastern Ojibwa, the Potawatomi, and the Seneca; and, rarest of all, two baskets from the Yara Indians of eastern Cuba. From Western tribes there is a Makah basket in the unusual lattice-twine weave, and a Modoc specimen purchased from the tribesmen in Oklahoma who for years were compelled to live as exiles, far from their original home in the lava-bed region of northern California. Outside of basketry the Harrington gift includes a painting on skin of the Chiricahua Apache "devil dance" made by no less a person than Chief Naiche, right-hand man of the famous Geronimo, and some unusually fine carved gourd bowls from Indians of Central America. Especially the gift of Mrs. Harrington is a series of silver brooches made and used by the Seneca Iroquois Indians of New York State long before the Navaho ever dreamed of making silver ornaments. Up to the end of the 19th century the gala dress of Seneca women was often



Page 282

decorated with hundreds of these dainty brooches in varying patterns, many of them made by native silversmiths, others manufactured especially for the Indian trade by whites and purchased by the Seneca.4

The following editorial appearing in The Daily Oklahoman on August 12, 1942, will be of interest to our readers:

How many of us Oklahomans realize that the Indian wars of our own prairies were the kindergarten in which many a Civil war veteran learned the rudiments of his trade? Not until Carbine and Lance had come from the competent pen of Colonel Nye did we realize the important part the Indian wars played in training the men of the old army for the strenuous tasks they soon would be performing on the battlefields of the Confederacy.5 The battle of Rush Springs between federal cavalry and the Comanches was fought on Oct. 1, 1858, and in that minor battle of the border at least five officers served who afterwards became generals in the Confederate army. The cavalry, men who fought at Rush Springs were commanded by Major Van Dorn, who less than four years later was in command of 20,000 southern troops in Arkansas. It was Van Dorn who delayed the capture of Vicksburg the greater part of a year by destroying Grant's supply depot at Holly Springs. Two of Van Dorn's subordinate officers at Rush Springs were Kirby Smith and Fitzhugh Lee both of whom became major generals in the southern armies. Incidentally, Lee carried in his body to the day of his death an arrow head he received in fighting the Comanches. One of Van Dorn's captains at Rush Springs was N. G. Evans. Less than three years later it was Evans who commanded the Confederate brigade that held the left flank of the army until sufficient reinforcements to save the army could be brought up from Manassas. And it was Evans who commanded the southern forces at Ball's Bluff. Assisting Van Dorn at Rush Springs was a company of Tonkawa Indian scouts commanded by "Sul" Ross of Texas. Ross was desperately wounded in the Rush Springs fighting and barely escaped being scalped by a Comanche warrior. But he survived both the Comanche and Civil wars and acquitted himself well as Governor of Texas. His last public service was rendered as President of the Texas A. and M. college at College Station. With few exceptions the officers who served in those early Indian wars afterwards entered the armies of the Confederacy. But with almost no exceptions the officers who




George Hunt

Page 283

fought the Indians in the years following Appomattox were veterans of the union armies such as Sherman, Sheridan, Custer and Grierson.

The late Professor J. H. Caldwell was for 30 years a student and teacher of Oklahoma history. Last year he located at Fayetteville, Arkansas the Alfred M. Wilson papers, a collection of great value to the history of Oklahoma. The Cherokee Commission was the most important commission in the History of the lands of Oklahoma Territory.6 The only member to serve throughout the life of the commission was Alfred M. Wilson of Arkansas, appointed March 30, 1889. The papers are in the possession of Allan Wilson, 516 West Maple Street, Fayetteville, Arkansas. The collection of papers has not been separated or classified.

Robert Sparks Walker, Chattanooga, Tennessee, writes under date of April 29, 1942, as follows:

May I ask if you know whatever became of Miss Oleta Littleheart, Sulphur, Oklahoma? In 1909, she wrote a book, The Lure of the Indian Country, published by A. Abbott, Sulphur, Oklahoma, and sent me a copy for review when I was editor of the Southern Fruit Grower.7

George Hunt, Indian historian and one of the outstanding leaders of the Kiowas, died April 16, 1942 at his home near Mountain View, Oklahoma. He was born somewhere in the Wichita Mountains near Lawton, sixty-three years ago, in the days before his tribe had permanent homes. He grew up at a time when life was changing rapidly for the Indians and early recognized the value of preserving the old traditions and legends of his people. Embracing Christianity early in life he was a pioneer among mission interpreters of Christian preaching to the Indians. For a number of years he had lectured in the eastern states on Baptist Indian missions. Some time ago he spent a month in Ohio and spoke to audiences in twenty-two cities in the interest of the United Missionary Budget of the Northern Baptist Convention. A deacon of the Kiowa Baptist Church of Rainy Mountain, Oklahoma, wherever he went he took occasion to thank Northern Baptists for sending missionaries to the Kiowa Indians. His tribute to the missionaries who brought the Gospel to the tribes in western Oklahoma is given here in part:





Page 284

To take the gospel to the untamed tribes of Indians in the Southwest was not an easy task. They came and lived among us, ate what we ate, lived in tepees as we lived and in time the wild Indian began to realize that these missionaries had a true religion and brotherly love and we began to find happiness in Christianity.
Those early missionaries came to a difficult country, with a mountain range to climb often in blinding blizzards and unsufferable cold or blistering heat. They did not live in vain.8

He was also an interpreter for the Fort Sill Army Post. When the Kiowa reservation was surveyed he served as a "chain man" on the first surveying crew. Besides various compilations of his own in the field of Indian history, he collaborated with Col. W. S. Nye in writing Carbine and Lance.9





Return to top


Electronic Publishing Center | OSU Home | Search this Site