The first treaty that ever was made be-
tween the United States and the Cherokee
Indians was conclnded at Hopewell, on the
Kiowee, November 22, 1785.|
There came a division among the Cherokees, and a chief by the name of Diitcher became dissatisfied and decided to go towards the sunset about the year 1808. A number of French traders came up the Tennessee river from New Orleans. They had a large stock of goods and undertook to establish a trading post. They had a quantity of whisky among their stores, and the Indians all got drunk. It is said by the old Indians that Dutcher took advantage of this opportunity to complete his plans, and that he murdered those French- men and took their boats and goods. He loaded the women and children on the boats, with men enough to operate them, while the balance of the warriors, numbering, about 200 men, proceeded overland on ponies, keeping in touch with the boats as they went. They went to the mouth of the Tennessee, and then down to the mouth of the White river. Here the horses were ferried across on the boats, and the band proceeded to the mouth of the Arkansas, up which they went to the place where Dardanelles Ark., now stands, arriving there about the fall of 1809. They remained there until the spring of 1810, when they got in need of salt. Discovering that the water of the Arkansas was salty, they decided to lead an expedition up the river to the fountain of salt which they conceived must exist somewhere up the river. Some- where near the mouth of Grand river they came in contact with the Osages, and after some difficulty they took some of the Osages prisoners.
Dutcher then informed the prisoners that if they would take him to where they obtained their salt he would spare their lives. So they lead him up the river about 60 miles to the salt springs near what is now known as the Cherokee Orphan Asylum. The entire country and those Springs were claimed by the Osages at that time, and the Osages were accustomed to taking pay in ponies from the other tribes that were permitted to secure salt there. But Dutcher wasn't built that way. He didn't believe in giving up ponies for salt or anything else. He believed in getting all he could, and 'in keeping all he could get. So there was trouble over the salt springs, but the Cherokees secured all the salt they wanted, and then went on back to their home.
But every year they had trouble with the Osages in securing their supply of salt. This state of affairs continued until the summer of 1817, when Dutcher decided to take posses- sion of the Salt Springs himself. He picked his army in this way: He built seven fires in a row. When they had burned down to a bed of coals his warriors were ordered to run and turn summersaults through the air over and in those fires. Those that were burnt had to stay at home, and those who were unscathed were permitted to go to war. Out of his whole tribe he had about three hundred warriors, all being good, strong, active men. He proceeded to the Springs over the usual route, arriving there on about the fourth of July of that same year. 1817. He found the Osages already at the Springs, under the command of their chief, Claremore. The Cherokees had guns, and while the}' were outnumber- ed by the Osages, the latter were armed only with bows and arrows. After several days of hard fighting the Osages fell back to a range of timbered hills about twenty miles west, near the site of Pry or Creek. Here they made another stand, only to be again routed. Falling back once more, they went west to the Clare- more mound, from which the prosperous little city of Claremore takes its name. This hill was high, with a little timber on top. . It was surrounded on the east by prairie for several miles.
Dutcher believed the Osages were on Dog Creek at a little Indian village named Black 10 HISTORY OF OKLAHOMA. Dog, about a mile east of where Claremore is now. However, after investigation he was disappointed, as Black Dog camp had been abandoned. After the second day, however^ one of the best known scouts the Cherokees ever produced. Hominy Jack, brought in word that the Osages were camped on a high mound about seven miles to the northward. Dutcher went thither by night, and his men crept up to the top of the hill. The Osages, believing- that they were out of all danger, had no pickets out at all. The Cherokees laid low until the break of day, when, with a single warwhoop, they sprang upon the sleeping Osages. They first emptied their guns, and then completed the work of slaughter with their tomahawks and butcher knives.
"Run for your life," was the cry of the terrified Osages. So down the hill they went, with the Cherokees right at their heels, cutting and slashing and screaming like demons. Tumbling over one another at the foot of the hill, the Osages began to realize their condition. They whirled on the Cherokees, and a hand to hand battle took place. The Osages, being so much bigger than the Cherokees, were about to turn the game on them. But Dutcher, discovering his mistake, drew his men off and ordered them to load and fire their g\ms. The Osages soon got under cover in the timber along the bank of the Verdigri. river, which was about a mile west of the hill- The dead were strewn from the top to the foot of the hill, and as late as 1882 many bones and other relics of the old battle could be found. The chief was killed after whom the mound took its name.
Dutcher took some prisoners and lots of ponies. I once had the privilege of knowing an old lady who was taken prisoner there when she was a girl. She said that her father had her on his back and was running down the hill, when a Cherokee; striking at him with his knife, cut her instead, on the face and arm. Her father then put her down and ran to save his own life. He tried many times to get her back from the Cherokees by offering herds of ponies. She was raised and educated at a mission near Fort Gibson, and married a Cherokee man by the name of Petite, who was a prominent man. She never returned to her tribe until 1883, when she w^as recognized by the scar on her face. She died from old age in 1888, leaving two daughters, and one son, the son being named Wooster Petite, who lives at the present time at Paw- huska, and has served as district judge among the Osages for several years.
The fight at Claremore Mound was the last trouble the Cherokees and Osages ever had. After the fight Dutcher sent a delegation to the principal chief of the Cherokee Nation in the east advising him to exchange the old nation for the new territorv which he had just taken charge of. His suggestion was carried out in the treaty of April 12, 1834, and all the Cherokees began to collect in the new territory. John Ross remained chief for 40 years, and died in Washington City in 1864. His nephew, Hill Ross, was appointed to fill the unexpired term, but was defeated for the office of principal ^chief in the fall of the same year by Lewis Downing, and as W. T. Sherman had been appointed to the command of the whole United States army, he decided to make some changes in Indian affairs. As the original treaty with the Cherokees had been broken, it became necessary to make a new treaty in 1866. A delegation of Cherokees consisting of Houston Benge, Smith Christie and others met the United States authorities at Washington and an agreement was made that all freedmen and slaves that had been owned by the Cherokee people who were then living in the territory should return within six months from the date of the treaty and should have equal rights with the native Cherokees; and also at the same time the Cherokees contracted to sell all the land west of the 96th meridian line at 47½ cents per acre for the purpose of settling friendly Indians and freedmen on. They also sold Cherokee and Labette counties, in Kansas, and a strip four miles wide the length of the Cherokee outlet. This was for years called the neutral strip, and extended along the Kansas state line. The Cherokees also sold the northeast corner of the Indian Territory, beginning at the Missouri line, then running west to the Neosho river, then running down the Neosho to the mouth of Spring river, then down Grand river, which is formed by the Neosho and Spring, to the mouth of Cowskin river, then up Cowskin river to the Missouri line. This body of land was settled by the Senecas, Wyandottes, Ottawas, Miamis and Modocs, while on the Cherokee outlet the government settled the Osages, Otoes, Pawnees and Poncas.
The Cherokees, however, claimed the remainder of the Cherokee Strip, as it was not all taken up by the government in settling friendly Indians. The government assented to the justice of this claim, and in November, 1892, the United States made a treaty for the remainder of the Cherokee Strip for $1.25 an acre, and agreed to put all intruders out of the Cherokee Nation. There were at that time several thousand white people living on the public domain in the Cherokee Nation, contrary to law, claiming to be Cherokees. The Cherokee Strip was opened for settlement on September 16, 1893.*
Things wore along in this way in the Cherokee Nation until the final treaty was made and the rolls closed on the 31st day of October, 1902, and the land office was opened in Vinita January 1st., 1903.
|*Transcriber Note: Most of this paragraph is complete hogwash. The Cherokee Outlet was granted the Cherokee's in "fee simple" by treaty. The Cherokee's had the Outlet leased to Cherokee Strip Live Stock Association. At the time of the sale the Association was offering over $3.00 an acre for the entire Outlet. The government forced the Cherokee's to sell at the lower price.|
CREEKS AND SEMINOLES.
As far back as the Creeks know themselves, they were living in Alabama and there
came trouble among them, and one part of
them went to Florida. These were called
Seminoles. They made a treaty for the country
in which they now live about the same time
the Cherokees moved west. Possibly as late
as 1836 they, by agreement, divided their
territory among themselves, the Seminoles taking
the west part. They made a treaty in 1866,
and sold their surplus land in Oklahoma, as
the' Cherokees had done, at 47½ cents per acre,
to be used to settle friendly Indians upon, as
well as freedmen. On their land the government settled the Cheyennes and Arapahoes,
Sac and Fox, lowas, Pottawatomies, and
A part of this country was not settled by any Indians, and was the original Oklahoma. The Creeks claimed that the title reverted to them, arid, they let it out for grass pasture land to various cattlemen, among others Wagoner, Auho & Burnet, Pitckguel Brothers and the Miller Brothers, who established the famous 101 ranch. In the fall of 1880 Captain Payne led a colony of settlers into that country. The Creek government contended that the land had not been sold to white settlers, but Captain Payne and his "sooners" settled on Deep Fork at the stage line between Welch and the stage station on Deer creek, and began to build houses and to dig wells. The government notified them to get off, but they paid no heed to the warnings. Finally soldiers were sent to enforce the command. They had to tie Captain Payne to get him out of the country.
After this boomers continued to cross the hne continuously, and the soldiers had a busy time putting them out. After the death of Captain Payne Captain Couch took his place, guided by one of the most determined cowboys of the west, Phil Johnson, who had spent many years in the country after cattle and knew it to be a good country. He knew also all the good camping places, and being, as well as Couch, a determined man, they defied the government until finally, in the fall of 1888, President Harrison bought the land from the Creeks for white settlement, and old Oklahoma was opened for settlement on April 22, 1889. The opening of Oklahoma might be called the opening wedge. Too much credit for it cannot be given Captain Payne, Captain Couch and Phil Johnson. There should be a monu- ment of Oklahoma stone built for those three men.
The opening of Oklahoma threw the surrounding tribes of Indians into closer touch with the white men, and introduced them to civilization. The Pottawatomie, Sac and Fox, Iowa and Ponca country was opened for settlement on September 22, 1891. The next reservation to be opened was that of the Cheyennes and Arapahoes, whose country was opened for white settlement on November 19, 1892. The next was the Kickapoo country, opened for settlement on May 23, 1895.
It will be remembered that all these openings up to this time had been "on the run."
The prospective settlers had been lined up outside the new country, and at a given signal they rushed into the new land, to secure what farms or lots they could. The man with the fastest horse and the biggest gun and the most friends would get the best place.
The Creek Indians were the first to make a final treaty with the United States for the closing of their tribal government, and were also the first to open a land office. The allotment of their land was about completed by January 1, 1903.
|CHOCTAWS AND CHICKASAWS.|
There is a tradition that these two tribes
once inhabited the same country where they
now live, and that a great tribe of Indians
from the northwest made war on them so long
and so fiercely that they decided to leave the
country. They started east, guided by a dog
and a magic pole. At night they would plant
the pole in the ground, and in the morning
the way the pole would be leaning would be
the way they would go. They traveled east
until they came to the Mississippi river. The
dog was drowned crossing the river, leaving
them nothing but the pole for a guide. They
then traveled south for some distance along the
Mississippi. They remained in the new country
until they first saw the white man. The
Chickasaws reheld they are only Choctaws,
but the word Chickasaw "means "reheld." They
have never shed the blood of the white man,
and brag of it. They have adopted the white
man's ways and his religion.|
The Choctaws and Chickasaws, like the other tribes, made a treaty in 1866 and parted with those lands of theirs lying in what is ..ow Oklahoma, on which the government settled the Comanches, Kiowas, Apaches. Caddos and Wichitas, whose covmtry was opened for settlement on August 5, 1901. A more sensible method of opening was adopted this time, by drawing, so that each man had an equal chance, and the lucky man won. The lands of the Choctaws and Chickasaws were allotted about the same as the lands of the other five civilized tribes.
This closes the history of the five civilized tribes and. Oklahoma with the exception of the big pasture that will be open on the 3rd day of December, 1906. A Cherokee allotment is $325 worth of land, and the land is graded from 50 cents an acre to $6.50. The Creeks have 160 acres each, and have a surplus that is to be sold to the highest bidder. The Choctaws and Chickasaws have 320 acres each. Every one of them who can write his own name is allowed to sell all his land but his homestead by applying to the Secretary of the Interior through the Indian agent. A great part of Oklahoma was long counted part of Texas, but it was finally decided by the Supreme Court of the United States that not the North Fork of the Red river, but the Red river itself was the dividing line between Oklahoma and Texas as far as the east line of the Panhandle country. Beaver county was a tract of land which none of the tribes claimed, and was for many years called "No Man's Land."
Fort Supply was established in '67, it was the first fort to be established in Oklahoma. It was located on Beaver creek in what is now Woodward county, Oklahoma, which was the first step to be taken to rid that part of the plains of buffalo.
QUANAH PARKER WITH THE TREATY ROLL. CHIEF OF THE COMANCHES.
This chapter on the life of Quanah Parker
will be begun with the following poem taken
in substance from Indianology by Herman
Lehmann. The old chieftain, Parker, was a
great lover of music, and the following poem
fairly illustrates the figure of a dance of which
the noted chief was especially fond:|
Get yo' little sage hens ready,
Trot 'em out upon the floor;
Line up there, you cusses, steady;
Lively now, one couple more.
Shorty, shed that ol' sombrero;
Broncho, douse that cigarette;
Stop your cussin', Casimero;
For the ladies now, all set.
S'lute your ladies, all together;
Ladies opposite, the same;
Hit the lumber with your leather;
Balance all, and swing your dame.
Bunch the heifers in the middle.
Circle, stags, and do-se-do;
Pay attention to the fiddle;
Swing her till the trotters crack.
Gents, all right, a heel and toe;
Swing 'em, kiss 'em, if you kin;
Go to next, and keep a-goin,'
Till yo hit your pards agin.
Gents to center, places round,
And form a basket balance;
All whirl yo gals to where yo found 'em,
Promenade around the hall.
Balance all yo pards and trot 'em
Round the circle double quick;
Grab and kiss 'em while you've got 'em.
Hold it to 'em if they kick.
Ladies, left hand to your sonnies;
Here we go, grand right and left;
Balance all and swing your honies;
Pick 'em up and feel their heft.
Promenade like skeery cattle;
Balance all and swing your sweets;
Shake your hocks and make 'em rattle;
Keno,—promenade to seats.
—Denver Post.*Quanah Parker is Chief of the Comanches, one of the most powerful tribes of the North American Indians. The Comanches are now located on a reservation in Oklahoma Territory near Fort Sill, the tribe being reduced to only a few hundred. They were partially brought into submission in 1783 by the Spaniards under General Auza, but were soon again on the war path, and were ever afterwards known as the fiercest and most cruel in all the western country. They continually harassed the frontier of Texas until they were finally placed on their reservation in the Territory by the United States authorities in 1870.
"Quanah Parker succeeded to the office of Chief in 1867 or 1868 on the death of Chief Teppakenaki. Quanah is a man of much force of character, and has been the actual leader of the tribe for many years. He not only inherited his strong and prominent traits of character from his illustrious sire, old Chief Quanah, but there is also a reinforcement of Anglo-Saxon blood in his veins, coming from the Parker family, which contributes much to the robust strength of his manhood. When entering civilization, as he frequently does on trips to Washington and other eastern cities, he dresses in fashionable costume. When with the tribe, however he dons their primitive garb."——Mrs. M. ——— in Ennis' Review.
Quanah Parker is now about 54 years old (1906). He is the son of Quanah, one of the most renowned chiefs of the Comanches, and Cynthia Ann Parker, the captive white girl who with her brother, John, was captured at Parker's Fort in 1836. The capture and captivity of the Parker children is one of the most pathetic occurrences in Indian annals, and forms a prominent page in Texas history. The Parker family were early emigrants to Texas from Illinois. They settled in what is now Limestone county, near where the town of Groesbeck now stands, and in conjunction with others in that vicinity erected a fort which was designated as Parker's Fort many years after. The settlers in the new country were unmolested. They had commenced farming and stock-raising with considerable success. They had established a neighborhood school, which Cynthia Ann and John Parker had entered. They had organized a Primitive Baptist church, of which Elder John Parker, an uncle of Cynthia Ann, was pastor.
One summer morning in 1836 the gate of the fort had been left open, and several of the men had gone out to their farms to labor. While the little settlement was in this helpless condition three hundred Comanche Indians suddenly dashed into the fort, killing the three or four men who had been left to guard the fort, including Elder John Parker, Benjamin and Silas Parker and Samuel and Robert Frost. All the women and children were made captives. Among the captives were John and Cynthia Ann Parker, aged nine and eleven years respectively. John and Cynthia were kept among the Indians many years. John, upon reaching manhood, became an important personage among the Comanches on account of his bravery and good judgment in battle. In an expedition into Mexico, while attacking a town, the Indians were so closely pressed that defeat seemed imminent. The chief in command was killed, upon which John Parker assumed command and led a charge that turned the fortunes of the day, so that the Comanches achieved a signal victory. On his return to the Comanche country he was at once made a sub-chief, and became conspicuous in the councils of the tribe.
Cynthia Ann was taken as a wife by Quanah, and became the mother of three children, the young Quanah and a brother and sister. In the early part of 1860 Colonel G. S. Ross, since governor of the state, in command of a battalion of Texas Rangers, engaged a large body of hostile Comanches in battle in what is now Knox county, and near where stands the town of Benjamin. Colonel Ross led a charge which routed the superior force of the Indians, killing Quanah. The Indians fled to the brakes of the Wichita river, and in the pursuit one of the Rangers overtook a woman riding a pony and carrying a small child. He presented his revolver to her, when she threw back her robe, held her child in front of her, and exclaimed in broken Spanish, "Americano, Americano." The Ranger took her prisoner, and after returning to the fort she proved to be the long-lost Cynthia Ann Parker. Her uncle, Hon. Isaac Parker, who was then a pioneer legislator, repaired to the fort with a few friends, and through an interpreter engaged her in conversation, when she at once related the heart rending scenes enacted at the fort in 1836. After having endured the hardships of savage life for a quarter of a century she soon passed away under the influence of civilized luxury. Her death occurred in Anderson count}' Texas, in 1865. Her little daughter is said to have been an extremely bright child, and took readily to the ways of civilization. She was placed in school by her white relatives and gave unusual promise of success, but died soon after her mother.
It is said that Quanah still longed for brighter fields and freer hunting. He, after the manner of his father, thought it best to drive the white man from his hunting ground, so he headed a party of picked warriors and started out on the range. He went into Beaver county and tackled a camping party of hunters who were making headquarters in an old adobe made after the fashion of a block house with port-holes. Parker's men rushed up on those hunters a little ways from their encampment, shot, speared, lanced, tomahawked and otherwise put to death several in a running fight. The Indians were too close for the hunters to do effective work with their long ranged guns, and so Quanah's men overtook them near the house and had a hand to hand conflict. Some of the hunters, however, gained entrance into the fort as the door of the cabin swung open. Just as one hunter was entering an arrow pierced his heart, and his soul went to that land from whose bourne no traveler returns. His body blocked the door. The pale faces tried to pull the body in so the door could be closed, and Quanah's men made a desperate attempt to enter over the corpse. The white men were sending volleys of explosive balls at the Indians from the portholes. When one of those balls struck anything, even the finger, it was like an electric shock. To the effect of these balls the hunters owed it that they were able at last to pull in the body and close the door. The Indians attempted to batter it down, and they even seized the portholes and were firing into the adobe hut. The hunters, driven to desperation, opened new holes and kept up the battle, until Quanah's men, seeing they were not gaining anything, scattered and stole away, meeting again away out on the prairie, out of gun-shot range from the fort. They were riding along trying to devise some means for rescuing their dead, who were left on the battlefield. Suddenly and without warning or apparent cause one of the warriors tumbled from his horse dead. He was examined, and it was found that a ball had gone through his skull. The wind was blowing and the buffalo hunter's gun was of such, long range that the report was never heard, but the effect was quite visible. That decided Quanah's men. They left their dead, and thenceforth steered clear of such adversaries. I don't know how many were killed on either side, but there must have been scores. This was called the battle of the adobe wall. To the credit of the frontier women, it may be said that there were seven white women inside of those walls, who ran bullets and reloaded shells while their men emptied them at the portholes. Without the assistance rendered by the women, the whole party probably would have perished.
Quanah had found many hunters of buffalo on this trip. He saw the hunters, the white men, had come to stay, and experience had convinced him that where one was killed, seven came in place of the dead man. He decided therefore that if he did not wish to see the white men as thick as the stars of the sky or the grass of the plains, he and his men had better quit killing them. His father had died in battle, his mother, sister and brothers had been carried away never again to be seen by him. Now he must go on to death like a mad man or must take a more sensible view and let the dead bury their dead and try to secure some benefits for his people.
He decided that it was the height of folly to fight for a hunting ground with no game on it. If the buffalo were not all killed already, he knew that they would soon disappear. Consequently, in the year 1869 he let General McKenzie at Fort Sill know his whereabouts, and also asked concerning terms, of surrender. McKenzie sent one of his scouts to the Comanches, and a Mexican who had been raised by the Comanches, to make a treaty with them. They met away out on the plains and made a treaty. Let iis stop and think of that treaty,—one white man and a Mexican who had been raised by the Comanehes on one side; on the other hundreds of warriors who, with white men's scalps dangling at their belts, had been dancing their war dance until they were tired,, under the leadership of a young man. But this young man, Quanah Parker, must somehow have inspired respect and honor, which these Indians recognized, and which was plain to General McKenzie also. For the general, though a brave man, and had no fear whatever, would not send a lone man into a place where he thought there was great danger, and this man whom he sent was one of his favorite scouts. Though I have tried to get the name of this scout I have so far failed, and know only his Indian name, which means nothing in this case.
So away out there on the plains they made their treaty, Now there were some older chiefs, jealous of Parker, who wanted to secure control, so they slipped across into Texas, and murdered and stole and committed depredations innumerable, among their other crimes being the burning of a government train. The leaders of these unruly Comanehes were White Wolf and Sutaner. They were finally arrested and taken to Texas, where they were sentenced to the penitentiary for life. After having been kept in the penitentiary for three months, however,, they were released and permitted to return to- the reservation, in order that they might tell their people what would become of them if they did not obey the law. After having visited their people White Wolf and Sutaner had to go back to the penitentiary for the balance of their lives. White Wolf escaped by killing himself before it was time to go back, while Sutaner committed suicide in the penitentiary after his return.
Quanah moved his band to the reservation and then went to work, riding night and day, trying to gather up the small bands and persuade them to move on to the reservation. This was a hard task many times, for while they were small bands they had taken a solemn oath to stick together and to fight the white man. Always, however, when Quanah would get to them he would out-talk them and bring them in.
To illustrate his power, I will insert here the experience of a German boy who was captured on the frontier of Texas by the Apaches.
He was named Herman Lehmann, and was only 11 years old when captured. He lived eight years among the Apaches and Comanches. He has since written a book, "Indianology," printed by the Johnson Brothers' Printing company, San Antonio, Texas, in 1899. I have met some of his old friends among the Comanches, and one of them, Ora A. Woodman of Lawton Okla., had a copy of the book. I shall have occasion to speak further of Woodman later.
Lehmann says, in his book: "Ranches and forts were being established everywhere, and we had no show. The soldiers were thick, and game was getting scarce. The soldiers did not want to kill us, so they got Quanah Parker to look for us. We had confidence in Quanah and smoked with him, talked over the situation, and at first refused to go. Finally he out-talked us, and we began to move towards Fort Sill. We had divided, and there were only fifteen of us together where Quanah had found us.
"One night we saw an unusual number of signs of soldiers and became frightened. Quanah advised us to stay, and all at once we were surrounded by soldiers. Quanah raised a white flag and met the soldiers in consultation. They then withdrew and we went on with Quanah without further trouble. We met many soldiers and white people, but Quanah always managed things satisfactorily, and we were allowed to travel on.
"We were very near Fort Sill when the famous fifteen all came together and took again an oath never to give ourselves up or submit to the domineering attitude of the whites. We were just ready to quit this country and seek more freedom elsewhere, but Quanah came around and again out-talked us, so we went on reluctantly. That night our chief. High Shorty, had a bad dream. The next morning he called all his men together, invited Quanah in, and told US his dream. He told Quanah that he was doing wrong by breaking his oath, and that he ought not to do it. He said, 'Quanah, I am not afraid of you, but I dread the white men.'
"Quanah offered him protection and a good time, but still our chief was not convinced. He trusted Quanah and believed he would do his part, but he did not think Quanah could manage the soldiers. High Shorty would not move that day. He said to Quanah, 'You are one of us, but where did we lose our warriors? Did we lose them in battle? No; we weakened and submitted to the whites, and they transported many warriors far away from their wives and loved ones. Shall we give up and be severed from all that is near and dear to us? You know how our comrades have been imprisoned and punished.'
"Quanah said: 'I have ridden on the black horse train and seen white people by the thousands and thousands and thousands, and it would be the height of folly for you and fourteen others to try to whip them. And besides, you know how hard it is to hide from them, for they have dogs that would trail you up. You are too near kin to me for me to let the soldiers hurt you or any of your men, so come on and don't be killed.'
"He came, but against his will. We started on, and Quanah sent scouts to notify the soldiers of our approach. We met white people everywhere, but Quanah could speak a little English, and, being a half-breed, he made it all right. We were within fifteen miles of Fort Sill, and I saw a cloud of dust and heard the soldiers coming. I was riding a black mare, and a pretty swift animal when properly ridden. I turned and rode for life back towards the Wichita mountains. Quanah followed me and ran me for three or four miles before he caught me. The soldiers surrounded my comrades, disarmed them, and carried them to the guard house and imprisoned them. Heavy balls of lead were bound around their ankles, and they were made to wear the ball and chain for many days.
"Quanah took me with him to his camp and I staid with him. The Indians who had been my companions were made to grade the roads all around the post and then made to do farm work, and promised these farms when they learned how to cultivate them.
"What did they care for farms? The poor Indians began to pine away, and some died of broken heart, but still I staid with Quanah and would not work. I hunted a great deal, and kept his horse in fine shape, but I did not like to see my comrades so badly treated. After we had been there about two weeks two Indians had to stand guard to watch some cattle. Some these boys were punished; they had to chop wood. They planned to get away. One of the Indians asked White Horse for a chew of tobacco. He set his gun down and reached in his pocket for the tobacco, and the other Indian knocked him in the head with his ax. The two Indians took his gun and ammunition and ran away. This was early in the morning. About 500 soldiers and I don't know how many dogs were sent to catch these Indians, but they made good their escape, and were never heard of any more.
"One evening Quanah and I had just come from a hunt. I was riding along singing an Indian song. I was sitting sideways. Somebody opened fire on me. It was dark. I fell off and moved forward quickly and low. They shot right where I fell. I raised up and emptied my six-shooter at the cowards. I had a 45 caliber Colt's. In a few seconds I heard somebody groaning. I loaded my pistol, jumped up and ran towards Quanah's camp. I saw a big black stump right in front of me. I was on the war path and afraid of everything. I shot twice at the stump and ran by. I reported to Quanah what had happened and he called up his men and five were missing. We scattered out and soon found them carrying a wounded Indian. They had all kinds of excuses; they said that they had just wanted to scare me. Quanah threatened to report the matter to the soldiers. Some cowardly Apaches had hired these Indians to kill me. They had an Apache horse, and that is what gave them away. We rounded them up and they acknowledged the whole scheme.
"In a few weeks we went out on a buffalo hunt and staid two weeks. I came home sick. I almost died. I had to give the doctor the best horse I had and a number of buffalo robes. I was so weak that I could not raise my head. The doctor boiled a lot of herbs and kept me wrapped in poultices. Besides he gave me some kind of tea and nursed me carefully until I recovered.
"One day just after my convalescence Quanah wanted me to go to town with him. We went into the post and the soldiers surrounded me and called me Charley Ross. I went by that sobriquet for a year. They wanted to keep me. Quanah would talk to the general and then to me. He told me about my mother and folks still alive. I told him no, that the Indians were still my people and I would not go with the whites. We talked a long time, and Quanah persuaded me to stay, and I got pretty mad at Quanah and told him that he was no man at all, to bring me there when he knew those soldiers would try to keep me.
"He said that he did not know it, and besides he often went into Texas to see his people, and always had a pretty good time. I got up and told him that if he was getting tired of me I was of him too, so I would leave him. He and the soldiers carried me down to a creek nearby to talk to an old man and Comanche interpreter by the name of Jones. About the same dialogue ensued with him as I had just had with Quanah. After we had talked for some time, and I still would not consent to go, he said that they would have to take me anyhow. I drew my bow on him, and you ought to have seen him crawling for a table hard by. Quanah stopped me and said that he would see that they did not take me, for he was going back to his tepee with me. I turned and was going to kill Jones anyhow, but he was gone. I never got another chance at Jones, or he would have been a goner.
"I went home with Quanah and we talked a great deal. He persuaded me to give up. I went back to the post and staid one day. They were good to me and offered me sugar, fruits and many nice things, but I wasn't satisfied. So I sent for Quanah, but I was angry at him and would not go home with him. They put me across the creek with my former comrades, and I lay around, hunted, and had a pretty good time. The soldiers furnished us rations and ammunition, but we yearned for freedom. One Indian proposed to me that we steal a girl apiece and run away. I went to my old girl, that had nursed me when her father shot me for courting her, and she consented to go. We were to meet that night. My chum stole another man's wife, two good horses and other necessities and made good his escape. My girl was true to her promise, stole all the goods she could carry, and waited for me until nearly daylight. I started and was nearly to where my girl was when the soldiers, who had been secretly watching me, made a drive for me. I ran off a bluff, fell into the river, came near freezing, and was actually driven back to camp, where so many soldiers watched me that I had no chance for escape.
"For a few weeks hunting and the monotony of camp life was all I knew, but one warm day I was in swimming with two Indian girls and I caught one and hugged her and was trying to kiss her when the other girl came up. They double-teamed on me and ducked me until I was nearly drowned, but I caught them off by themselves one at a time and made them sorry that they ever immersed me, and don't you forget it.
"In a few weeks General McKenzie saw mamma down near Fredericksburg and told her about me. From the description she did not think I was her boy. Adolph Korn, whom I had met once while a Comanche party was visiting his Apache master, had been at home for several years. Fisher had come about three months before, and I was the only white boy left.
"General McKenzie came back and they began to persuade me to come home. Quanah told me how to find the way back to his camp, and promised to take care of my horses while I was gone. He said that he would be a brother to me, and insisted that if I did not have any folks I should come back and live with him. I left all my Indian property with Quanah and in company with five soldiers and a driver I started. We went twenty miles the first day. Four days' traveling brought us to a country where there was game. They would give me a gun and ammunition and say, 'Here, Charley Ross, fresh meat.' I would go out and bring in an antelope.
"The fifth day a soldier and I went hunting and got out of sight of the wagon. We killed several prairie dogs and then sat down on a hill. I kept singing and making Indian songs. He patted me on the head and motioned to go. I got up reluctantly and went with him. I was planning all the time to kill him and run away, but where would I go? That bothered me. for all of our old hunting ground was taken up. The soldier watched me pretty closely, but finally I got the drop on him and made him drop his gun. He didn't much want to do it, but then he saw that I meant business, so down went his gun and up went his hands. I said, 'Home,' and pointed towards the camp. He trotted off that way, but would stop and look at me. I leveled my gun on him again. Before he got to camp he was in full trot. I had to lug both those heavy guns into camp. I had a notion to shoot the soldier, but then I did not know where to go. He preceded me into camp probably five minutes, as I was about a hundred and fifty yards behind him. When I got there the soldiers motioned me to come on into the camp, and then they motioned at the old soldier and laughed. He didn't like it at all. He would cuss and mutter, but they made fun of him all the way.
"They kept my gun cleaned, and always roasted my meat. I would not eat anything cooked in bacon, or even in the same pan, but they petted and humored me, or I would have killed some of them and run away. I would get up and stir around early and play pranks on the soldiers. One morning I grabbed up a blanket and gave the Comanche war whoop, and I want you to know those fellows scattered! The driver made the mules break loose. They came back and laughed at me after they found out what the trouble was: 'Charley Ross no good; too much like Indian.'
"We came on to Fort Griffin, and all these soldiers got on a whiz; stole my money and all went to the lockup. A new outfit brought me on, and I was allowed to kill game and do pretty much as I pleased, but they kept an eye on me all the time. We came on to a big hole of water, and there these soldiers caught big bull frogs and fried them in lard. I quit camp. That was in violation of a sacred treaty we had made years ago with the Caranchuas, and therefore against our religion. I would not eat with those soldiers any more. I cut off meat and roasted it on an iron. Frogs and swine,—both water or mud animals,—too much for me.
"The second day I jumped off the wagon and shot an antelope. One of the soldiers brought the little animal in, and as he went to get on the wagon while it was in motion his foot slipped, the mules jumped, and he fell and the wagon ran over his leg, breaking it. After this we traveled slowly, camped often, and killed much game. Gradually, however, we neared the home of my childhood. We passed through Fort Mason and learned that our destination was not far. At Loyal Valley the people began to meet us. We drove up to a place and stopped. The captain said, 'Charley Ross, get out and kiss your mother.'
"But I sat still in the wagon. I thought mother was killed and all of my folks. The Indians had told me this, and nearly killed me because mother shot one of them. When mother came out I knew her, although I could not speak, and then there were so many people that I was afraid to try. They did not know me until they had examined my arm and found a scar that was made there while I was quite a boy."
It will be remembered that Texas had refused to make a treaty with the Comanches, but by force had driven them from the land of their inheritance. For this cause many hundreds of white families, men, women and children, had come to a horrible death, while on the other hand many a brave Comanche with his wife and children had gone to the happy hunting ground. Even the old chief, Quanah's father, had died in battle, and his mother, sisters and brothers had been carried off into captivity, never more to enjoy the blessing of Quanah's companionship or to drink of the free air on which an Indian lives. What would have been the outcome if instead of doing evil to the Indian the white man had done good we can only conjecture.
In this instance we see an Indian chief in blanket and leggins persuading a white boy and doing all in his power to return him to his mother's breast, among these same Texas people. Was it because he loved the white people, or because he loved to do right?
I have been among the Indians for more than twenty-five years, and have been married to three Indian women, and I never heard tell of such a case, not even among the most civilized Indians. In all my experience among the Indians, if a chief wanted his people to think well of him he would shoot the white man, certainly extend him no favors. Not so in this case. This man took his people fresh from the war trail, in blankets, and accustomed to living only in tents and tepees, and in a little over a quarter of a century got them to wear citizens' clothing, and persuaded many of them to live in houses and even to farm a little. He is the best-known chief of all the western tribes of Indians. He has two daughters, both of whom have married white men. one of them being Mrs. Emmett Cox. Mr. Cox owns a good barn and lots of cattle, and is interested in banking circles. He lives in Lawton, Okla. The other son-in-law,. J. T. Birdsanger, lives in Dallas, Texas, where he is freight agent for the Texas & Pacific.
Quanah doesn't believe in having his picture taken, and it is only when it is requested by his Washington City friends that he will consent to pose' before the camera. He is a particular friend of President Roosevelt.
|*Transcribers Note: Quanah must have been a square dance enthusiast. This "poem" could very easily be a square dance call.|
CHEYENNE AND ARAPAHO WOMEN DOING BEAD WORK.
RELIGION AND TRADITIONS OF THE CHEYENNES.
There is a tradition among the Cheyennes
that in the beginning they lived upon the
upper Missouri or in some part of Canada,
existing much like animals. What they could
catch they ate raw, so the tradition says, and
as to clothing, the less they had, the better.
They had no love nor respect for one another,
and when a woman gave birth to a child she
would take care of it until it was large enough
to catch what it needed to live on, and then
turn it adrift and care no more for it.|
They were living somewhere in a valley, and they don't know whether it was a cloud burst or a tidal wave or what, but all at once the whole face of the earth became covered with water, and all but a few of the tribe were drowned. Those that were saved were scattered widely, and wandered around without seeing one another for several days. Finally the medicine man found a woman. Now both he and the woman had felt so lonely that when they saw one another they ran and embraced one another, and, clasped in one another's arms, created a human love, so that ever after they lived as man and wife.
And they found the tracks of others of their tribe, and tracked them up, and when they found them they embraced them in their arms. And so they kept on till they had quite a number, and they went to living together in pairs, and loved one another, and ever after they loved their children.
And, after this advancement, they found some young panthers and raised them as pets, and when a panther would catch a deer he would eat what he wanted and leave some for his masters, and he would also leave the hide for them, and they used the hides for making clothes. And when the panther wasn't hungry he would catch small game and carry it to the tribe.
And they had precious stones with which they cut wood. And they cut for themselves clubs, and learned how to throw them. And there was a medicine man who had a medicine club, and when he threw it at anything he could kill it. And there came another tribe from the east that they supposed to be others who had escaped from the flood the same as they had, but they made war on the Cheyennes. But so great was the power of this medicine man and his medicine club that no one could stand before him, and, though the battle lasted several days, the Cheyennes came out victors, and drove the enemy from the land.
There was a certain season of the year when it was very hard to get anything to eat, which must have been in the long winter. And there came a time when they were near starvation. They had hunted, but could find nothing. There was one young man who had gone a long way from the camp, and was standing on a high hill. And he saw something a long ways off that looked white. Going closer, he saw that the whole prairie was covered with skunks. So he went back to camp and got the others and they surrounded the skunks and killed them all. And they took them home and ate them, and they lasted until the bitter season of the year had past.
This same young man was considered a prophet, and was the first man to invent fire. This he did by taking one stick and putting one end on a log. Then he put sand and dry grass around the stick. Then, holding the other end of the stick up, and whirling it between his hands, the sand and the wood set the grass afire.
After the hard year, game was more abundant for a season. Then came a hard time again, when they had hunted but could find nothing, and were about to be forced into cannibalism, and were casting lots by setting two sticks in the ground and rolling a ball between the sticks. Now there came a man and looked on, and he was dressed differently from any man that they had ever seen. He had a fine head-piece on his head, and there was paint on his face, and his clothing was more beautiful than any they had ever seen. But while he stood looking on there came another man dressed in exactly the same way and stood in an opposite direction and looked on.
The camp was by a big spring, and the man that first came said to the other man, "Why are you mocking me? You are dressed just as I am."
But the other man said, "I am not mocking you. A person down in the spring told me to dress this way." "Well," said he, "there was a person down in the spring who told me to dress this way,, too." "Well," said one of the Cheyennes, who had heard what they said, "let's go down and see that person in the spring." So they went and dived into the spring,, and when they came up they found that they were in a big room. And there was an old lady in there who was the grandmother of all of them, and she was glad to see them. Then she built a fire and cooked them both' meat and corn and put it in a big wooden bowl. And when they had finished eating the bowl was just as full as it was before. "Now," said she, when they had eaten, "I heard my people were starving outside, and you must take them something to eat,, but before you go I must teach you how you must do."
Then she picked up a handful of corn and said, "This is corn." It was all colors. "You must go to some rich bottom land and dig up the dirt and plant the corn. And it will grow and you must take care of it, and you will always have something to eat." Then she told them to look to the east, and they looked to the east and saw great fields of corn. Then she told them to look to the north, and the}'^ looked to the north, and the hills and the plains were covered with buffalo. Then she told them to look to the south, and they looked to the south, and they could see great herds of ponies. Then she told them to look to the west, and they looked to the west, and they could see great armies.
Then said she, "Which one of these will you choose?"
And they said, "Give us the buffalo."
And she said she would turn the buffalo over to them. Then she told them that by the paint of their faces and by their head-dress she would know them, and those that would not wear the paint, were ashamed of her and she would not protect them. 80, when they got to where they were starving, she would come back again. From this incident came the ghost dance and the paint.
"Now," said she, "you must go and feed my people." So each one took a handful of corn and a handful of meat and went out. And when they came to the people they called for the big wooden bowls, and they put in one corn, and in the other the meat, and when they put them down the bowls were full. Then came the warriors and ate, and when they had finished there was as much as before they had begun. Then came the old men and women, and they ate, and when they had finished, there was still as much as before they had eaten. Then came the children, and when they had eaten, and had had all they wanted, the food disappeared.
And yet the people were all in doubt, saying, "Must we believe these men?" 80 there came out of the spring a big fine buffalo heifer. She came close up to them, then turned around and disappeared into the spring. Then they said, "Now we believe." So they put paint on their faces, and shouted aloud, and danced all night. And when the morning came the whole face of the earth was covered with buffalo. So they went out and surrounded a herd and caught them with their hands, and with their clubs they killed them. These were the first buffalo they had seen or heard tell of.
And they began raising corn, also, so when the winter had come and the buffalo had gone farther south, they put their corn in a cave and followed the buffalo. And. while they were gone, some of the tribe came and stole all the corn. When they came back, therefore, and found all their corn that they had depended on gone, and nothing left for them to eat, they went south. They found more buffalo, and they went still farther south, until, in Old Mexico somewhere, they found a tribe that had many ponies. But they had nothing with which they could buy ponies, and they could not make war on these other Indians, for they could ride away from them, and they had ropes made of raw-hide.
So the Cheyennes went by night and stole some ponies, and kept on until they had stolen enough for all their warriors. And so they never tried to raise any ponies. They ran them so hard after buffalo that they never could raise any colts, and when they needed new ponies they simply went back and stole them. But the Mexican tribe grew very tired of this stealing, and made war on the Cheyennes, and drove them back to the Black Hills, where, after this, they remained a great deal of their time, until the white man came.
These old Indians are big, stout men, and the best ropers I ever saw. In times of peace they are good, clever, sociable Indians, and would fight a white man in any way he cared to fight, and then shake hands and forget their wars. But there are very few of the old ones living nowadays, and the younger ones that have been raised as prisoners of war are more sullen. They believe that all kinds of meat is good to eat. There is no difference to them. They will eat a dead pony just as quickly as they will a steer that they have butchered. It 52 HISTORY OF OKLAHOMA makes no difference to them what has been the cause of death of a cow or hog or pony they will eat it just as quickly as if they themselves had killed it. They believe that human flesh is forbidden, but that anything else in the shape of meat is good to eat.
They believe that the devil is an evil spirit, and that he uses a person's appetite to destroy him with,—such as tobacco and whisky and coffee and fine clothing,—and indeed anything that a person can exist without is the devil's agent. They say before they knew the white man they knew nothing of such things, and that then they were perfectly happy. They say they had clothes that satisfied them just as well as the clothes they have nowadays. Now, too, they know how to use tobacco and coffee, and as they are out of these articles about half the time they are unable to be happy, for they have come to love these agents of the devil. They believe that sin came into the world first through man's appetite. They believe in obeying literally the command of the Savior when he said, "Take no thought of the morrow; what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink, or wherewithal shall ye be clothed," for they will eat the last bite on the place and then lie down and go to sleep just as contentedly as if they had a store.
You can't make any sort of a trade with an Indian when he is full. You must catch him when he is hungry, and then you can make any kind of a trade with him that you want. When an Indian decides to sell a pony he will call about him his wife and children and all the neighbors, and they will reach a decision as to which one shall be sold. And then that pony and no other will be sold, no matter if no more than a third of what he is worth is realized. And you might just as well talk to the wind as to try to buy a pony which the council has not decided should be sold.
A number of the younger members of the tribe have been educated, and they make good clerks and soldiers, and are able to engage in almost any kind of business, competing on even terms with the younger class of other tribes which have been under government protection and tutelage for a hundred and fifty years. This ought to be sufficient to convince any one that it is all in the waj^ one is raised.
The winter quarters of the Cheyennes are generally along some water course on the edge of the prairie and handy to timber. They put posts in the ground around a square large enough for one of their tents or tepees. A pole is then fastened at the top of the posts and another at the bottom. Next a ditch is dug around the entire enclosure. Then they take big sunflower weeds or small willows, put one end in the ground and fasten a pole on the outside all around, leaving a place for a door. The tepee is then erected inside the enclosure. The accompanying picture shows an Indian village at Colony, Oklahoma.
From one to two dozen families live in a village. The children all play together. In case of trouble between the children the mothers usually settle it between themselves, and if they fail the attention of the band chief who pre- sides over the village is called to the matter and his decision is final.
The women, while in their tepees, generally spend their time doing bead work or making shoes, as shown in the accompanying picture of a group of Cheyenne and Arapajioe women.
The subject of this sketch was born and
raised in Ohio. After he had married he came
west as others have done before him and since,
to find wider fields of action. As I have been
rehably informed, he was a young man of
considerable wealth. About the year 1876 he
stopped at Fort Reno, and accepted a position
as principal of a government school at Darlington. Darlington was located on the north
side of the North Canadian opposite Fort Reno,
and was the agency for the Cheyennes and Arapahoes. He adapted himself quickly to the
ways of the Indians, and was soon wrapped
in their unbounded confidence.|
His school was filled with Cheyenne and Arapahoe children, and he soon gained their confidence, and, through them, the confidence of the older ones. He did this by being kind, patient and truthful. If you want an Indian to think well of you you must always tell him the truth, for if he catches you in a falsehood you can never be a great man in that Indian's eye, no matter how much money you may have or how big a position you may have with the government. He will always after, wards regard you as a very common man. Segar understood this, and never made a promise unless he could fulfil it.
Soon he became a big man among the Indians. He worked always for their good and for the good of the government. The Indians believed that he would always tell them the truth, and to this day they have never had their confidence shaken. He got along very well with the Arapahoe children until about the year 1878, when a bunch of Cheyennes were brought in off the plains. The soldiers were to take about thirty of the worst ones of the warriors to Florida and had them at the government blacksmith shop riveting handcuffs on them. Suddenly one young warrior broke and ran. The soldiers, wanting to stop him, and yet not wishing to hurt him began shooting over his head. The balls went into the camp of the other Cheyennes who were to be left at home, and they, thinking that the soldiers were making an assault on them, became terrified and a panic followed.
They broke for a sand hill where they had already hidden their guns and ammunition. This hill had a lake on two sides, so they had but two sides to guard. They scraped holes in the sand with their fingers, and were completely protected when hidden in them. The soldiers first tried to persuade them to come down, but they refused. Then they tried to force them, and this likewise proved a failure. The main part of the army had to stay in the fort to control the main body of the Cheyennes, who were on the south side of the river. There were two companies that were given the entire task of subduing the insurgents. One of the companies was composed of white soldiers the other of negroes.
They played on the Indians with artillery and Gatling guns for a time, and then gave orders to charge. Up the hill went the white company, but the colored soldiers stood in their tracks, with the exception of one man. The lieutenant of the company was an Irishman. When he had gone half way up the hill he looked around and discovered that there was but one man following him, and that the rest of the company were standing at the foot of the hill. "D———you," said the lieutenant, "don't you know better than to come up here all alone?"
The white company was repulsed with heavy loss, so the soldiers decided to wait until the next day, when reinforcements would arrive. So they guarded the two sides of the hill^ believing that the lake was sufficient to hold the Indians on the other two sides. That night excitement ran high. All kinds of rumors were afloat. It was said that the great band of Cheyennes were about to break away from around the fort and massacre the agency people who were apparently unprotected.
Segar sent for the chief of the Arapahoes,. Left Hand, and laid before him the condition of affairs. After studying the matter, Left Hand assured him that as long as he kept the Arapahoe children inside the school there would be no danger. "The Cheyennes will not make war on the Arapahoes," said Left Hand.
With this asstirance Segar fastened the doors securely and awaited results. When morning had come it was learned that the Cheyennes on the hill had waded the lake, had secured ponies, had gone back after all their people, and, taking them with them, had made good their escape. Some of the escaping Indians rode the ponies, carrying the babies and smaller children, while the women and larger girls, hanging to the mane and tail of the ponies, had managed to keep up with the riders, and all had got away to the plains together.
Just as Segar had secured the confidence of the Arapahoe children, so he did that of the Cheyennes as they were placed in school, and he never betrayed this confidence. It became necessary about this time for the government to establish a mail route from Fort Reno to Fort Elustee, a hundred and fifty miles west. The contract was first let to a white man at Fort Elustee, but though he made several attempts he never did get the mail through on time, as there was no road, and the South Canadian and Washita rivers both had to be crossed. He lost his way so often in the brakes of the South Canadian, winding about helplessly, that he became disgusted and quit.
It was then decided that no white man could carry that mail, and it was apparently hopeless to attempt to persuade the Indians to take the contract. The authorities, however, learning of the confidence that the Indians had in Segar, went to him and proposed to give him the contract, and that he should release as many Indians as were necessary to carry the mail. Segar went to the Indians who were being held as prisoners of war, and asked them if, in case he should get them released, they would carry the mail.
"We will" they answered, "if you will protect us."
"I will protect you,'' said Segar, "and so will the government protect you. as long as you carry the mail right."
So the contract was made. Each Indian was to carry the mail 25 miles, and was to be paid $25 per month. Camps were established about 25 miles apart. An Indian would carry the mail west one day to the next camp, where he would meet the mail coming east and carry it back the next. In this way the mail route was established, and the mail went through on time. The Indians drew their rations, and received their wages as mail carriers in addition.
In 1880 it became necessary to divide the Indians into districts and scatter them out over the country. Washita, Roger Mills and Custer counties were segregated as the western colony, which was named Segar colony, with headquarters on Cache creek, where the government established large schools and the other necessary buildings for the agency. A large farm was put into cultivation, to teach the young Indians how to farm. A small town has since grown up there, called Colony, Oklahoma, which is one of the most beautiful places in the new state.
Segar set about to teach the Indians how to work. The first crop of wheat he raised he threshed under the feet of his horses. For the next crop the government bought a little tread mill as a thresher. One Indian carried the wheat to the machine, while he himself cut the bands and fed the wheat to the machine. One Indian measured up the wheat and helped his wife stack the straw. This was the first farming ever done in Washita county. About nine years of this sort of life was put in by Segar out in the wilds, alone among the Indians, contending with outlaws and renegades from all parts of the country, attending to the government's affairs and looking after the best interests of the Indians.
Finally, on April 22, 1889, the Cheyenne country was allotted and Segar had white neighbors. He has continued ever since in the service of the government, always taking the hardest task for himself. His last position is that of farm agent, which is enough work for two men his duty being to lease the Indians' lands and to see that the lessees comply with all the terms of their contracts. He must also see to it that every able-bodied Indian farms some land, and must prevent the Indians from giving away the wood on their land. In other words, he has to be a father to the whole tribe, and look after their general interests.
To illustrate this more forcibly, I will mention a single case that I happened to witness. I was working for a cattleman at one time in this same country on the Washita river. He wanted to lease all the land in the country for pasture at his own price, and when he could not do so he tore his clothes and pulled his hair, saying that Segar was an old fool; that he could be a rich man if he wanted to, but instead of that he was a poor man and always would be. One day a bunch of my employer's cattle broke out and went into an Indian's corn field, but before they had done much damage some boys happened along and drove them back into the pasture. The Indian found out about it, told me, and I went and fixed the fence. Then, examining the corn, I found that it had not been damaged any. The Indian, however, wanted damages. This my employer refused to pay. The Indian then got some more Indians to go with him to the agent's, fifteen miles away, who detailed Segar to examine the corn. Segar found only ten stalks that had been damaged, and he fixed the damages at two and a half cents. A few days after this the Indian came around, wanting to be friends again.
This is only one case in a thousand. No doubt it is true that Segar could have been a rich man, yet he was worth $10 when he began his great work to every $1 now. If the government would only pay him ten' cents every time he had fed an Indian he would have all the money he needed. I have been informed that he is getting out a book himself, telling about his thirty years' experiences. Those interested in this sort of book will probably find no better history than will be contained in his volume, when it is published. His present address is, John Segar, Colony, Oklahoma.
INDIAN VILLAGE AT SEGAR COLONY
THE HOMESEEKERS' GUIDE.
It is cheaper to lease land than to own
land. It will be remembered that of these
lands those in Kiowa, Comanche, Caddo, Washita,
Roger Mills, Custer, Blaine, Dewey and Day
counties all belonged to the different tribes of
Indians, and the best lands were allotted to
them, 160 acres for each individual. Along the
rivers and creeks, and wherever there was
timber, these allotments were taken. They have
never failed to make good crops of corn. The
upland makes good cotton, wheat and oats.|
There is but a small per cent of this land in cultivation, but it can be leased under five year contracts, the lessee being required to put up the necessary buildings, fence the land, and pay from $50 to $65 per year in two pay- ments, one on the first of January and the other on the first of July. If the place has timber, you can cut enough of it for fence-posts and whatever improvements are needed on the place, and you can also cut what wood you need for household purposes.
This is cheaper than owning land, paying taxes and buying wood. In this part of Oklahoma when an Indian dies his allotment is put up for sale through the Indian agent and Interior Department, and extra fine bottom land will often sell for from $1200 to $2000 for a quarter section. There is room for thousands of families up and down these Oklahoma water courses.
In Oklahoma all contracts made with the Indians are made through the Indian agent of the respective tribes, while in Indian Territory the contracts are made directly with the Indians, for everything, excepting the sale of lands. In this case application must be made to the Indian agent at the Union Agency, Muskogee, and on his approval the application is sent to the Secretary of the Interior, and the person buying the land receives his deed from the Interior Department. This is generally an easy process when the Indian is not a fullblood and when the price paid for the land is about the actual valuation.
Beginning at the Kansas line in the Cherokee country the land varies from $15 to $50 per acre, while down through the Osage and Cherokee line, where are the great oil fields, the land runs even higher. This is on the west side of Grand river down to the Creek line, while on the east side along the line of Arkansas and west of Grand river agricultural land varies from $10 to $20 per acre. This is a timbered country, with flint rock or limestone land, with small prairies scattered about among the hills. The rougher land, which grows good orchards, vegetables and corn, sells for as low as $2.50 per acre. This is a well-watered country, very healthy, thinly settled at the present time, and with considerable game, a few deer and turkeys, lots of foxes and squirrels. There are lots of hickory nuts and huckleberries, while it is the home of the diamond rattlesnake and the ground hog. There are many charming streams filled with fine fish. My advice would be, however, especially to white settlers, to stay away from the river and creek bottoms. Colored people stand the malaria much better than white people.
This is the condition of the country until you get south of the Arkansas river. Along the river the land is very rich, and held at a high valuation. The bottoms are principally adapted to corn, cotton and potatoes, while the uplands grow corn, cotton and strawberries.
The Creek and Seminole nations are alike in that a large proportion of the population is made up of colored people. They live principal- ly along the water courses, while the upland and mountain sections are but thinly settled. The best land ranges from $15 to $50 per acre, and unimproved upland sells at from $5 to $15- This is not much of a wheat country, bing better adapted to corn, cotton and oats. There are good coal fields in the southwest part, in the north there are fields of oil and gas, and in the west there is considerable game.
The Chickasaw country has more good land in proportion to acreage than any other section of the country. The soil is adapted principally to corn and cotton. The land sells from $15 to $50 per acre. Rough land in smaller amounts brings from $3 to $10 per acre.
While the Choctaw country has lots of unimproved land, it is known principally for its great deposits of coal and asphalt. This is the greatest coal field west of the Alleghanies, and I believe will some day be equal to Pennsylvania. Beginning at the northwest corner of the Choctaw country, the settlements are along the South Canadian river, Gaines creek and other water courses. Going south you enter the Sansbois mountains, where you can travel for half a day without seeing a house. In this country there are hickory flats and black jack. This would be a good country to colonize, but I would not advise people to go there unless in sufficient numbers to protect one another, for there is much complaint of thieves.
There are many ridges, rocky canyons, and lots of rough country that is fit only for range, while along the streams there are canes, green grass and Wild onions all winter. Further east are other mountains, much like the Sansbois, only they have more pine and cedar, and appear to be fuller of coal. Then the Poteau and Arkansas river bottoms are reached, full of malaria, though in spite of this fact some white people are living there. They have, indeed, lived there many years, and claim it is a good country, but I would advise anybody going there to be careful about malaria. The land is very rich.
Coming back to the west line of the Choctaw country and going south McAlester is reached. Going east from here to the Arkansas line one scarcely for a moment loses sight of the coal mines that line the way. Some of the coal towns are good-sized, but they are mining towns purely and simply, and are not sujoported by the country round them. Wilburton is among the largest mining towns east of McAlester, and is located on the Choctaw railroad, on the west side of Pushmelean creek. It is situated in a gap on the south side of the Sansbois mountains, north of the Kiamitia mountains. It is a good sized town, but the country, right up to the town limits, is but very thinly settled.
Any of these towns offers a good opening to the man who wants to keep a few cows and sell milk, or to raise poultry or vegetables. The stock can run at large, and the grass costs nothing, and the towns themselves are a good market for anything to eat.
Leaving the Choctaw railroad and going south at any point east of McAlester you will be in the very thinly settled Kiamitia mountain section. Bearing to the southeast, j^ou will strike the head waters of the Kiamitia river, which is in the center of the game country. On Jack Fork of the Kiamitia you will find considerable beaver, black bears, deer, and turkeys in abundance. This is a good country for colonizers, as land is very cheap and the country is thinly settled.
If, however, you are hunting big wolves, turkeys, wildcats and other small game, don't go any farther than the Winding Stair mountains or almost anywhere else in the brakes of the Kiamitia mountains. I went over this country not very long ago, and know what I am talking about. If you go any ways soon and don't find things as I have stated them to be, let me know.
TWO BRAIDS, ORA WOODMAN.
THE LIFE OF ORA A. WOODMAN.
From the best evidence that the government has been able to secure, this man was born somewhere in western Texas before the
civil war. Whether he has any living relatives
or not will probably never be known, and
what his real name is will also remain veiled
in mystery. Whether he had father, mother,
brother, sister, massacred by the red men, no
one knows; or perhaps, he was torn from his
mother's breast, leaving her to lament and
bewail his loss.|
In all probability, however, he was stolen by a warrior named Toey, since the warriors always kept the captives they took on a raid, and Ora's first recollections are of lighting Toey's pipe or doing other small chores for him about the camp. Doubtless, therefore, he was a captive secured in some manner by Toey on some raid.
But from this point Ora shall tell his own story:
As soon as I was large enough I began bringing in wood and water, herding ponies, and so on. As soon as my age permitted, I was placed, with the other warriors, at the pleasant tasks of learning to ride horseback, learning to swim, and jumping on and off a horse while it was on a dead run. I was shown how to defend myself with a shield. This shield was made of the hide of an old bull, sometimes of the thick part of a buffalo hide. A piece cut from the neck or shoulders was thrown over the fire and heated while green, and when it was as hot as it could be without burning it was rubbed on a rough rock until all the meat had been scraped off. Then a smooth, stone was used until the hide became smooth, soft and pliable. A hickory withe is then made into a hoop and the raw hide is strapped on and sewed with thongs of leather. It looks like the head of a Mississippi banjo when it is finished and put away to dry. After it is thoroughly cured it is set up as a target, and if an arrow pierces it or a bullet goes through it, it finds a place among the debris of the camp. If, however, it proves war-proof, a string is placed through each side, so it can be worn on the arm, and it is never far from its warrior-owner thereafter. The hairy side is next the arm and the smooth side faces the enemy. The moon, stars, serpents, turtles and other things are painted on the shield, in such way that it serves as a compass to guide and direct its owner on a rainy day.
I was given one of these shields and placed about fifty yards from four braves, who took bows and blunt arrows and opened fire on me. I knew what I had to do, for I had seen the performance before. I began moving the shield with all the caution I could, while the arrows rattled against it. I managed to ward them off for a while, but they were coming so fast that finally one of them passed just over the shield and took me squarely in the forehead. I saw stars, not those painted ones on my shield, but real fiery, flashy ones. It downed me, and my comrades ceased fire for a while. As soon as I was up again, however, they began at me again, and I simply had to learn my lesson. I was knocked down several times before I became an adept, but I finally learned. All the Indians are trained in this same fashion.
After this they taught me how to ride in horse races. I was tied on the horse in the way in which I was expected to sit,—nearly straight, leaning a little forward, with my knees clamping the horse so as to cut the wind. After they quit tying me on I fell off several times. The horse sometimes would fly the track and have to be run down on the prairie, with me sometimes swinging beneath his belly. When I was tied on in training horses they would run around a lake, but in the gambling races a straight track was used, so neither horse would have the advantage.
When I had learned to ride a horse I was given a shield, made to mount a horse, and then to run between bunches of Indians with bows and blunt arrows, who would fire at me in volleys as I went by. Many times I was knocked from my horse, and I have several scars on my head yet to remind me of this part of my schooling.
I was next taught the Indian religion, which is about as follows: The great spirit collected dust from the four corners of the earth to make man, so that when he died the earth would not refuse him a burial place. He said to man, "Thou hast not been taken from me, hence I cannot receive you into my bosom." When the great spirit created man the earth shook and trembled, and said unto the spirit, "How can I feed the vast multitude of men that will issue from this first created man?" And the spirit replied, "We will divide, the maintenance of man during the day time with all that thou producest, while when the night comes I will send my sleep upon man and he will rest and be fed by me with the peace of slumber and will awake refreshed in the morn- ing."
The spirit took eight parts to form man: the body from the earth; bones from the stones; blood from the dew; the eyes from the depth of clear water; beauty from his own image; the light of the eyes from the sun; thoughts from the water falls; breath from the wind; strength from the storms. The first man was of such gigantic size that his head reached to heaven and his eyes looked from one end of the earth to the other. But manual labor and unwholesome food diminished his size and made him vulnerable. By proper food and the right kind of habits a warrior may become invulnerable,—a medicine man.
When the great spirit created man he told all the inhabitants of the happy hunting ground to go and present themselves before him as one of his creation. All went except one, and he was cast out of the happy hunting grounds and made to range around on earth. This demon took refuge in the tooth of the serpent, the fang of the spider, the legs of the centipede, and other poisonous animals, insects and reptiles.
To an average ear Indian music has neither melody nor rhythm nor harmony, but that is because he who hears does not understand. If he would study Indian music and learn to understand and appreciate it he would find that it does contain as much melody, rhythm and harmony as any music, and any one who studies the Indian religion and philosophy would know that w^e are not pagans nor savages, but that we know about as much of the unknowable as he does, and have seen perhaps even deeper. Perhaps we are from the same ancestors as the Comanches, and they also believe that when the great spirit is made the sun betrays it, and for the sun to set behind a cloud, or to have bad dreams, are sure signs of trouble, and that spider webs thick and low mean rain, and that spider webs high and thin mean dry weather, and that for a bunch of ponies to be unusually restless, throwing their heads, stomping and switching their tails, is a sure sign of an electric storm.
When all these facts have been closely observed, the instruction of the young warrior is complete. Herman Lehmann, the author of Indianology, gives about the same account as this in his experience with the Apaches. As the Apaches and Comanches w^ere together a great deal he and I were boys together and were trained in exactly the same way. In my judgment it has not been many years ago that the Comanches and Apaches were one tribe. My first name was Two Braids. That was the name my master gave me, but time rolled on, and at last Toey died.
I put in most of my time hunting, fishing, and breaking horses for the tribe. Cowhides, horsehides and buffalo-hides were used in making tepees or wigwams. A deer's blades were used for writing paper, after it was well dressed, and was always given in charge of the chief. Our chief was named Council Chief, as he transacted all the business between the white men and the tribe.
When we killed a horse the meat was eaten just as any other meat would have been. Friends, I would like to say that horse meat is very good to eat. You eat lots worse meat every day. Horses' bladders were used for knapsacks for carrying meat. When we killed cattle the meat was packed in this way and the substance would stay with it. Cows' bladders were dressed and used for water sacks. I have seen some so large that they would hold almost a barrel of water. In making long marches we would eat cactus, as it would serve for water many hours. In this way the Indians could travel for hundreds of miles without finding a water hole. When we did find a water hole we would remain there for several days. Water w'as very scarce on the plains of Texas, New Mexico and Indian Territory. The other tribes considered that this country belonged to the Comanches.
Sometimes bands of other tribes would range over our hunting grounds, and then a fight would follow. Sometimes we were victorious, sometimes the enemy. If they outnumbered us we would gather more of our warriors and run them off, and if we could capture them we took all their belongings away from them and divided them among all those of our warriors . who were in the fight. When we returned to camp there would be a big stomp dance. If we lost the battle the squaws would mourn for three or four days. They would cut big gashes on their arms and legs. The old men who had lost sons in the battle would also cut big gashes in their legs, in order that the evil spirit who was working against them might cease his work.
In this life I continued until after the treaty was signed with the western tribes. After the Comanches were shown their land there was no more fighting. The tribe seldom left the reservation without the government's consent. If they did they were punished by the government. After the treaty had been signed and the Indians had given up, an effort was made to restore to the white men all their property in the possession of the Indians. The white men came to Fort Sill and claimed their horses by the brands. The government took charge of the white children, three in number, a girl and three boys, of whom I was one.
We were taken by a troop of soldiers back to Texas and an effort was made to find our parents. The other boy's mother was found near Corpus Christi, but the parents of the girl and myself were never found. We were bound out in Eratha county, she to a man named Heack, I to a man named Bybee. She remained there for some time afterwards, and then went to live with a family named Stevenson, where she remained until she married a telegraph operator, with whom she now lives at Las Cruces, N. M.
The troop of soldiers remained in camp for some time. I did not like the man to whom I was bound out, and I could not understand English very well. The man was always trying to get me to work around the place, so I got homesick to be back with the Comanches. Finally I ran off and went to where the soldiers were camped and told them that I wanted to go back to my people. But two of them took me back to the old man, and when they had returned to their camp he took a stick and, motioning like a medicine man, called upon the name of God and the devil, until I thought he was praying for me and having trouble with the great spirit. I had seen Indians sacrifice their children to the great spirit, and I thought that was what he was going to do with me. As he had no children, I thought he had sacrificed them all. He finally wore himself out trying to make me understand what he wanted me to do, and quit trying for a while. I was very well satisfied that I had been spared for another time.
I meant no harm; I simply wanted to go back to the Comanches, and this I thoroughly intended to do, no matter at what cost. I would dream at night of the Wichita mountains and their clear running streams; of the deer and the rabbits and the horse races and the big Indian camps. And then, when I would wake to find myself on an old bedstead, shut up in a tight house, away down in Texas,—well, this might have suited some people, but it did not suit me. So I watched the soldiers' camp, and early one morning I discovered that they were preparing to move. I knew that they were going back to Fort Sill, so I slipped around them and got on the road ahead of them four or five miles. When they came up to me I went to the wagon, and they said I had to go back. But I. told them I was going to my people. They said I had no people. I told them that the Comanches were my people.
Finally, after some rough words, they agreed to let me go back with them, that is, if I would take care of the horses and do other work around the camp. If ever you saw a fellow tickled, that was I. When they bound me out to the old man the soldiers gave me the name of Ora A. Woodman, and I still go by that name. When we got back to Fort Sill, in the fall of the year, none of the Indians were living about the forts; they were all living back in the mountains, camped around the big spring. I hung around the fort for about a month, waiting for some Indians to come in. One evening I was standing on the west side of the fort, looking across the flat between the fort and the sentinel, out on a high hill, when I saw, about two miles to the west, a cloud of dust rising. I knew it was either a bunch of Indians or a herd of buffalo, so I waited and watched the dust-cloud closely. As they passed through the gap the sun was very low, and I could see by the way the sun shone on them that they were sure enough Indians. So I took after them, following them on foot until night. Then I came upon them, camped on Beaver creek, and I could tell pretty well which tepee belonged to the chief. They were all laughing and talking, and I was so overjoyed that I ran and jumped right in the middle of the chief's tepee. They all jumped up and ran out of the tepee, and there was a big stir among them for a while. But they soon found me and knew me, and they caught me and rubbed and petted me and I was indeed the center of attraction for some time. The whole camp listened to my story and shared in my joy. When they had finished rejoicing over my return two old women took me and scrubbed me and put a buckskin suit and moccasins on me and gave me a bow and some arrows, and I was a heap big Indian again.
One of these two old women was noted for her kind-heartedness. Once two Mexican gamblers, who had come to the camps and won about all that the Comanches had, were accused by the Indians of having played unfairly. So the Comanches caught the Mexicans and took from them all the possessions they had won, and, when they got ready to move camp, hung the Mexincas to a tree. But the tree was small, and the feet of one of the gamblers touched the ground. The old woman, after the crowd had left, slipped back and cut the Mexicans down. One of them revived, but the other was dead. The one made his escape, is alive to this day, and has in just the last few years visited the ol(d woman and thanked her again for saving his life. When the Comanches found out that she had cut the Mexicans down they cut off the end of her nose. She lives on Cache creek, and is known as the Woman-That- Cut-the-Mexican-Down.
The year that General Sherman was visiting all the western forts a small band broke out and burned a wagon train and its contents. He came, past a short time afterwards, saw the remains of the wagons, and reported the affair to the government. Those Indians were hunted down and punished by the law, serving a long sentence. Lone Wolf was the war chief on that occasion. He was sent to the penitentiary, where, two weeks after his incarceration, he hung himself.
I was kept by first one and then another of the Comanches, until finally, like all the other white children in the Comanche tribe when they had nowhere else to go, I wound up at Quanah Parker's. Here I put in the time breaking horses and hunting for game. We had two modes of hunting, one by day, and one by night, with a light. The light was made by taking an old dry cow chip and pouring warm tallow over it until it was thoroughly saturated. Then it was placed on a stick and wrapped well in green bear grass. It was then ready to light. At the tepee one piece would last for several hours, and would make a big light all around. When hunting one person would carry the light and the other the gun. You could see the eyes of any animal that was anywhere in gun-shot by this means, and you could kill wild cattle, deer, antelope and even bear. The peculiar feature is that the light seems to take complete control of the bear. In looking at the light he forgets that he is a bear, or that he ever has been one. and you can go right up to him and shoot him wherever you want to.
The Indians spent the winter in the Wichita mountains on account of the abundance of game. In the spring the game would follow down the streams to where they would raise their young, as wild game of every kind takes to running streams and small creeks during the summer season. So the Indians did likewise, following up the game. During the summer the Indian squaws would cure and dress the hides that had accumulated throughout the winter, making the hides and furs into clothing for the coming winter. The meat that had been killed during the winter season was dried and served the same as bread. When we killed a deer or game of any kind we drank the blood, filled our hides with raw meat, and then dressed the game, tied it on our horses, and pulled out for camp.
I staid with the Indians a great deal, and especially with Quanah Parker, until the year 1889, when old Oklahoma was opened for settlement. I was stationed at Fort Reno, and the boomers were camped in big squads along the border of the promised land. They held a boomers' meeting on April 21. I had been invited to attend the meeting several times but I had told them that I was not very well acquainted with the ways of the white man and didn't care to attend. The leader said, "Scout, there are lots of pretty girls down there."
"That's what I am afraid of," I said. On the third, they sent a party of ladies to see me. They talked and talked, and finally, when I got a chance to say something, I said, "Well, I will go, just to get rid of you."
So we went, a distance of about nine miles. I never had a chance to put in a word edgeways. When we reached the camp we were met by about five hundred people. They threw their hats in the air and yelled and whooped, and the old women shook their aprons and laughed at the girls.
My feelings at this moment no human tongue could tell. I was just about to put spurs to my horse, in order to escape from such a mob, when two of the leaders made their way through the crowd and came up to me, as I was sitting on my horse. I guess I must have been frozen there. One of the men said, "I am Wagon Spoke Jim and that is my friend, Boomer Mike." The men showed the effect of a long camp life. They invited me to dismount, saying that supper would soon be ready. Pretty soon I began to wish that I was back in my own camp. Wagon Spoke Jim mounted the front end of an eight horse trail wagon and, with a wagon hammer, began pounding on the wagon. When there was a fair degree of quiet he said:
"Ladies and gentlemen, this young man is Scout Woodman, or Two Braids, as he is called by the Indians. He knows every cow trail in this part of the country. He was recommended to us by the officers at Fort Reno. It is to our advantage, friends, to gain what information we can concerning the lands to be opened on the 29th."
I was then asked to get up and tell them something about the lands in the new country. This I declined to do. I told them that I could not talk English very well, and that I did not care to talk. About this time dish pans began rattling and dogs began barking, and Wagon Spoke Jim said, "All hands to supper."
It was about 5 o'clock in the evening. I was invited to take supper with them, and I sat down on the ground between Wagon Spoke Jim and Boomer Mike. I could see nothing but my plate, for every time I looked up everybody was looking at me. I sat there, having no appetite. They looked at my buckskin suit and moccasins and asked sorts all of questions. When supper was over and the ground had been cleared Boomer Mike jumped out in the cleared space, cracked his heels together, and shouted, "All hands for the dance."
Then came an old gray-bearded man and took a seat on a wagon-tongue. He bowed his head towards his toes and began working his head and fingers, playing some kind of music. I had never seen such a thing before, nor heard such music. Then Boomer Mike began shouting, and they all whirled around and around in a circle, the men kicking first forwards and then backwards, and the girls sort of pausing and then going ahead again, and laughing all the time. After while they all stopped and Wagon Spoke Jim came up to me and I said to him, "What are all you people doing?"
I was somewhat better acquainted with him by this time than with any of the others, so I asked him, "What is that old man doing?"
He explained that they were dancing, and that the old man was playing the fiddle. That was the Arkansaw Traveler he had just played, he said, and Boomer Mike did the calling.
They danced until midnight, and then the women went to bed in the tents, or rag houses, as they called them, the men went to sleep in their wagons, and I wrapped myself in my saddle blankets and slept on the ground with my saddle for a pillow. Next morning we held another meeting, and for seven ponies I agreed to take them to the big flats known as the nine-mile flats and the 7-C flats, where the entire party afterwards located.
After the country had been opened, and I had filled my contract with these people, I returned to the reservation. I would like to say that I was well-treated in every respect by these people. The following fall and winter I trapped and hunted until spring, when I was called to the headquarters of the United States marshal at Guthrie, Oklahoma. From there I guided Captain A. Tilley and his posse to Sod Town in No-Man's land.
I remained in that line of business sixteen months. Finally, growing tired of it, I quit, and went back to the reservation, where I remained, hunting and trapping, until the spring of 1893. Then Buffalo Bill came to Fort Sill for Indians, cowboys and guides for his big show, which was then in Chicago, for the World's Fair. I entered his employ, and in Chicago saw many sights. When the show season closed the Indians and I returned to the reservation.
In the spring of 1894 I secured a job as deputy United States marshal for Oklahoma. That was the year that the Dalton gang and other outlaws were so active, holding up trains and robbing banks along the border. It was on September 9 that the Dalton gang held up a passenger train for an hour and a quarter. The chief marshal received a telegram from the station, saying that the train had been robbed. I happened to be in the office when the telegram was received. There was no chance to back out. The chief marshal said:
"Scout Two Braids, I am going to send nine of you men up there." So eight more of the best men were called into the office. Said our chief: "I have received a telegram from Red Rock telling me that the Dalton gang has held the train there for an hour and fifteen minutes. Get your guns and horses ready, and I'll have a car to load your horses in. You can start inside of forty minutes."
While we were waiting for the engine to get our car ready, the chief gave us our instructions. He began by asking us what we expected to do when we got there. From our answers you would have been led to believe that our little party could have whipped a hundred men. Finally he said, "Scout Two Braids, what are you going to do?"
"Well, captain," I said, "I know those men, and I had rather hunt them two months than find them in two minutes, for I don't think it would take over a minute and a half to wind up all the business that we have with them."
We loaded our horses and started, but fortune seemed to favor us, for hardly had we gone half a mile when the engine jumped the track. There were nine of us and five of the outlaws. They were the most dreaded gang in the territory.
On October 9, they were killed at Coffeyville, Kansas, a border town. They had just robbed two banks there, and were killed by citizens while trying to escape.
During this time the territory was full of outlaws. Some were caught and some were brought in. Often we got into tighter places than we had ever figured on.
During the following winter we took a trip to the Texas Panhandle. We were expecting serious trouble, but didn't happen to meet it. The Guthrie Capital thus described the result: "A Grand Round-Up. Deputy United States Marshals brought back a bunch of westerners. Deputy United States Marshal Lilley and his outfit, C. W. Russell, Scout Two Braids, Judge Mosley, John Day, brought from the Cheyenne and Arapahoe country yesterday afternoon sixteen prisoners, charged with almost every kind of offense, from petit larceny to highway robbery. They had a rather interesting time taking their men out of the country, as they ranged all the way from a horse thief to a county clerk. When the officers were on their way here with their prisoners they were followed for three days by a mounted gang, but which never came close enough to make an attack.
"On the third day they suddenly approached on the top of a neighboring hill, their guns and revolvers glistening in the sunshine. Two men rode forward and demanded the release of the prisoners. They were told that it would take a fight to get them released, and if the gang thought they had better men than the posse, then they could take the prisoners and turn them loose. So the fight never came off. It was a test of nerve, however. They say that Judge Mosley crawled into a bread box and pulled the lid down after him, when the glistening of the enemy's guns blinded him. Threatening letters had been sent that the officers would be attacked and would not be allowed to take the prisoners out of the country, and trouble was expected at any moment."
Judge Mosley was a government inspector. One trip of this kind satisfied him. As soon as he got back to the railroad he took a train for Washington, D. C, and I have never seen him from that day since. I served my time as a deputy United states marshal until my term was up. Then I returned to the reservation. In the following spring the troops left Fort Sill to go to the Sac and Fox agency. I was detailed to pilot the troops through. We remained at the agency for some time, until the troops were ordered back to Fort Sill. I was not ready to go back with them, for during the time that I was stationed there I met one of the prettiest cowgirls that ever rode the range. She was a white girl, and we were married the following winter, on February 16th.
It was in the following spring that a city election was held at Chandler, Oklahoma. I attended it, for it was the first election I had the chance to see. First one and then another and another was nominated, until finally the mayor of the town said, "Gentleman, I place in nomination O. A. Woodman, better known as Two Braids, for the office of city marshal, to be voted for at the city election on the first day of May, 1895."
Every man that had been nominated had to make his little speech. They told what they would do if they were elected. Finally it came my turn to talk. I said, "Gentlemen, I appreciate all that you have done for me. I am no orator, so I haven't much of a talk to make, but if I am elected marshal of this city I will do my duty as a marshal and carry the law out to the letter."
They stamped the floor and shouted, "He is the man for the place." I was closely followed down the street by the mob until we reached Mayor Reeves' saloon. Here they all turned in. I told the saloon-keeper to give them what they wanted, and said that I would pay the bill. There were three of us in the race, a gentleman by the name of Lawn Polen, on the Independent ticket, and Billy Randolph, on the Democratic ticket. When election day came I was elected by a large majority. After I had taken the office nothing of interest occurred until June 19, when the Cook gang rode into town and robbed the bank. A fight followed. It was almost seven against nothing.. I was standing almost opposite the bank when Jim Frank and Tulsa Jack rode down the middle of the street. Bill Cook and the Kid, as he was called, and Sam McWilliams, entered the bank from the back way. The first that I knew they were in town was when Jim Frank called in a loud voice, "Scout Two Braids you, we've got you this time." At the crack of his gun I must have jumped fourteen feet, and immediately I started on the run for my house, about a block and a half away. My wife met me with my Winchester and two boxes of cartridges, and then she went back to the house, and with our seven months old baby lay flat on the floor until the fight was over.
Tulsa Jack told in jail after his arrest that he took two straight shots at that woman,—my wife. That house seemed to be a target for the gang, for they shot volley after volley into it. They lost three men in that battle, and there was one citizen killed and four wounded. I also received a wound in my side during this engagement. The gang were followed to the Creek nation, where they were captured the following winter.
After the fight things were very peaceable for a frontier town. So, when I had served my term as city marshal, I returned to the reservation. Then I. joined the buffalo show that traveled during the summer in the Northern and Eastern states. I came back to the reservation and hunted and trapped until the year of the St. Louis World's Fair, when I took a bunch of Comanches and cowboys to Colonel F. T. Cummings' Wild West show, stationed at St. Louis. We remained there until the fair was over. We then went back to the reservation, where we remained until April 1, 1906, When I took a bunch of Indians and cowboys to Younger Brothers' Oklahoma Wild West show opening at Dallas, Texas.
On August 12, 1906. Two Braids was living at Lawton, Oklahoma.
THE BATTLE OF THE WASHITA, OR RED MOON.
It will be remembered that the Comanches
were not able to handle the Texas Rangers in
the war known as the treaty war in 1860, and
were forced to retire to the plains north of the
Red river. They started in then to get help
from their red brothers, and made a treaty
with the Apaches and other associated tribes.
A council of war was held in the Wichita
mountains in the fall of the same year.|
It was decided that in the spring of 1861, on the first full moon after the first whipporwill had been heard, all the Western bands should come together in the mountains and that Texas must make a treaty with the Comanches for all the lands of their fathers. But in the spring of 1861 came the news of the great rebellion, and the head men of the Confederacy made liberal treaties with all the Southern tribes. So there was nothing more done until the spring of 1865, when the Southern and Western Indians held a meeting at Poison spring, now in the Chickasaw country.
At this meeting it was decided that they should throw all their forces together and insist on a liberal treaty. Colonel Stan Waitey was selected as their chief. Then, however, the news of Lee's surrender was received, which put a stop to this move. This meeting was the largest in point of attendance, and from the number of tribes represented, that history records as having been held by the Indians. If Lee had not surrendered the white people of the Western states would have suffered terrible losses.
In the fall of 1868 the Comanches, Kiowas, Cheyennes and Arapahoes got together and decided to make a last struggle for a liberal treaty. Fort Elliott had been established on the plains of Texas, and Fort Supply had been established on Beaver creek in what is now Woodward county, Oklahoma. But, in spite of the menace of the forts, the Indians began their old tricks, raiding the borders of Texas and the plains.
Possibly there never was a stronger and more daring army of warriors on the plains than these Indians. The United States troops were commanded by Majors Elliott and Custer, who held the same rank. They had to use a great deal of caution. As the winter came on, however, and the buffalo drifted further west, the Indians had to go into winter quarters. On account of the extremely cold weather they moved into the cane brakes of the Washita river, which was frozen over.
On December 20, a heavy snow fell, and the Indians consequently decided to make peace. They selected this place on the Washita river as the proper place for the council of peace and the making of the treaty. This program would doubtless have been agreeable with Majors Custer and Elliott if they had known the intentions of the Indians.
But there was a certain band chief by the name of Black Kettle, who in the beginning had taken no part in the council of war, claiming that he would not shed the blood of the white man. Although he had moved around with the balance of the Indians on their raids, he claimed that he had no part or right in the council of peace, so he moved up the river about five miles to a small bend, in the shape of a horse shoe. There were about three hundred men, women and children in Black Kettle's party, and they made a big, plain track in the snow.
Romeo, one of the noted government scouts, found this trail, and followed it almost to Black Kettle's camp. Then he went and told Custer, who was at that time at Fort Supply, that a small bunch of Indians were camped by themselves. Other scouts brought in word of the other larger Indian camp. Custer and Elliott knew the effect on the Indians of routing them out from their comfortable winter quarters. Therefore they took as many soldiers as could be spared from the fort and slipped out across the South Canadian river.
I had considerable trouble finding any Indian that was in this battle, from whom I could secure an authentic account. Finally I heard of Mrs. Lone Wolf, who lives near the spot where the battle was fought. She appears to be a very intelligent Cheyenne woman, though she could not speak English. I was introduced to her and her husband by an interpreter, and after exchanging presents, which is the custom of the Cheyennes, I told her my business. At first she seemed to be afraid, but after she had been well assured that I meant no harm, she appeared delighted to talk on the subject.
She said: "I was about sixteen years old. We had camped at this place but a few days. When we first went into camp there a white cloth about the size of a blanket had been taken and sewed on a long pole, and Black Kettle gave orders that if anyone saw the soldiers they must raise this pole. That night it was very cold, and my father staid on guard until after midnight. The moon shone all night long.
"When my father lay down another Indian by the name of Double Wolf took his place. It was so cold that Double Wolf came in and lay down. Day had just begun to break when I heard somebody halloing. Double Wolf jumped up and ran outside. Instead of raising the white flag he fired his gun. My father jumped up. Just then several shots were fired. My father and Double Wolf fell dead. Then the shooting stopped for a moment.
"We all ran out of our tepees and tried to run out through the narrow entrance. We saw white men in front of us motioning to us to go back. Then the battle began. I don't know which side began shooting first. I fell on my face in the snow and could hear nothing but guns. At last the shooting stopped, and the next thing that I knew a soldier punched me with his gun and motioned to me to get up. There were several other, women lying close to me. Men, women and children lay dead everywhere. I saw many of the warriors lying dead with their guns in their hands.
"The ponies, after being shot, broke away, and ran about, bleeding, until they dropped. In this way the snow on the whole bend of the river was made red with blood. This is the reason we call it the red moon.
"We crossed the river on the ice, and the women and children were put on horse back. We started north towards Fort Supply. I saw Major Elliott and a number of other men start down the river. I knew Major Elliott, as I had seen him many times before. We had camped on the South Canadian, had made a big fire, and were warming ourselves when a bunch of Tonkawa scouts came in and brought the news that Major Elliott and his entire party had been killed.
"We had a law among ourselves that if we had any prisoners, and any of our people should be killed by the prisoners' friends, we should kill that many prisoners. We thought, therefore, when we heard this news, that a part of our people would be killed in retaliation for the killing of Major Elliott and his men. So our warriors asked how many were to be killed, 60 that they might prepare to die. They sent me to General Custer to find out. I went to the interpreter and told him I wanted to see General Custer. I was taken close to him, and I asked him through the interpreter how many prisoners he was going to kill for Major Elliott. He covered his face with his hands and refused to speak for a minute. One of the soldiers started to drive me and the interpreter away, but Custer raised his head, saw that we were going away, and made the soldier bring us back to him.
"Then he said, 'White people don't kill prisoners.' He told me, further, that as long as we did not try to run away, and as long as we behaved ourselves, none of us would be hurt. So we built a big fire, and the smoke went straight up into the sky, so that the old Indians said that the great spirit was with us and would deliver us back into our tribe. Then we took meat and ate it, the first we had eaten since the night before, though it had been offered us before that day. From that time on we had plenty to eat and good warm blankets to wear, and I am sure if Double Wolf had done what Black Kettle told him to do, there would not have] been a gun fired. Though many of my people deny it, I know that Double Wolf fired the first shot."
The story of the massacre of Major Elliott, as I got it from one who participated in it, is as follows: "We had been aroused early in the morning by the sound of a heavy battle up the river, which we knew was at Black Kettle's camp. The whole camp started up the river. Near the mouth of a creek we were signaled by those in front to lie down. We all hid in the tall grass. In a short time the war whoop was raised, and we saw Black Kettle and two other warriors. We listened to his story. He said that Double Wolf had raised the white flag, but that the soldiers had shot him down. Black Kettle said his whole band had been massacred. He himself had been wounded twice and was covered with blood.
"We started on up the river, when we were again signaled to lie down. In a few minutes we heard the war whoop again. Springing out of the big grass we saw a bunch of soldiers. One, I knew, was Major Elliott. The soldiers undertook to pass back through our lines. They made a gallant attempt to pierce the line, and one of the fiercest battles I ever knew resulted. There were nineteen white men and something over five hundred warriors. More than forty warriors were killed. We rushed in bunches, and in a few minutes all the white men were killed but one. We wanted to take him prisoner and take him back to the camp and put him to death for the general amusement of the whole camp.
"This was the sergeant major. He was a tall, slim man, with keen blue eyes. When his gun was emptied, he grabbed his sword. He seemed to know our intentions, and preferred to die on the field like a soldier. The Indians used their guns like clubs, trying to knock his sword from his hands, or to slip up behind him and knock him down. But like a panther driven to bay he fought, with no thought of surrender, cutting and slashing right and left.
"Indians fell all around him. Our leader was close at hand, shouting, 'Close in on him and take him alive.' Suddenly, rightly judging him to be the leader, the sergeant major sprang at him and pierced him through with the sword. This excited the Indians, and they shot him down.
"Old Indians who had been in many fights all claimed that never had there been such a man."
Even to this day the ground on which the Sergeant Major fell is regarded as holy ground, and the creek was named Sergeant Major creek, after him. When the Indians went back to scalp the dead the chief of the Kiowas, whose name was Big Cow, ran and sat down on Major Elliott's head and would not let him be scalped. Big Cow said that Major Elliott had been a friend to him at one time. The Cheyennes skinned the ponies that had been killed in the battle, making dried meat out of their bodies and clothes out of the hides. This food and clothing enabled them to carry on the war until, in the spring of 1869, they met the government authorities at Fort Douglas, Kansas, where they made a treaty by which they were given the country which they have since in habited.
Many of these same Cheyennes left their reservation and went north, where they took part with Sitting Bull in the massacre of General Custer in 1876.
GERONIMO, CHIEF OF THE APACHES
HISTORY OF THE WICHITA MOUNTAINS.
A visit to Oklahoma would not be complete
without a trip to the Wichita mountains. These
mountains have long been known by miners as
rich in minerals, and they have long looked
forward to the time when they might develop
According to Spanish records Father Gilbert, with one hundred men, led an expedition into the Wichita mountains as early as 1657, and sunk a shaft to the depth of one hundred feet about nine miles northwest of Mount Scott. About the year 1738 another expedition was lead to the mountains, and work was begun towards developing a mine in Devil's canon. The members of the second expedition were mostly Mexican peons. They were attacked by the Kiowas, who massacred all but three of the party, who escaped to Mexico. There they made a map of the mines, which was finally secured by a Mexican miner who returned to the mountains many years later and unearthed the old mines, finding many relics of the former possessors. Whether he found any of the treasure ever discovered by the first party is not known, as he did not return to the mountains from a second visit to Mexico.
The old mine is on the North fork of the Hed river, and is at the extreme northwest corner of the range of mountains. It had long been called the Haunted canon by the Indians, but is now known as Devil's canon.
The next expedition of which there is any record was formed at Jacksboro, Texas, in 1852, and was lead by J. McElroth and McCall.
They stated that they found gold on Otter creek, near where Needman's smelter now stands. While returning to Texas they were attacked by the Indians on Cash creek, and the whole party was massacred, except McCall and McElroth, who made their escape down Cash creek b}' night.
When visiting the Wichita mountains , I began at Roosevelt, near the northwest corner, wdiere I met R. W. Hail, a citizen of the Chickasaw Nation, whose present address is Roosevelt, Oklahoma. He invited me to go out to his camp at the Lone Jack mines. He is an old miner, and gave me great assistance in writing up the history of the mountains. He and A. E. Andrus of Mangum, Oklahoma, a wealthy farmer and in every way a perfect gentleman, together with about a hundred others, organized a mining company on Otter creek in 1900, and Andrus built the first storehouse in Kiowa county. It was begun the night of August 6 and was completed the morning of the next day. By evening Andrus was selling goods there. It was located in the little town of Wildman, the center of the mining district. R. W. Rail . first discovered the Gotebo oil fields in 1889.
Among the highest peaks in the Wichita mountains is Baker's peak, near the center of the range. During General Arbuckle's trip through the mountains one of his scouts became separated from the army and was attacked by Indians, who shot his horse from under him at the foot of this peak. Baker, the scout, managed to make his way to the top of the peak, which can be reached in only one direction, up a narrow defile. The Indians tried in many ways to get at him, but every time a head appeared above the rim rock the scout put a bullet through it with his rifle. They tried to crowd up while his gun was empty, but there were lots of rocks handy, and Baker used these so effectively that they were unable to rush up on him.
Finally they sent up a shower of arrows, but he sheltered himself behind some big rocks and was not touched. At last, therefore, they settled down to starve Baker out. For three days the siege continued. Meanwhile the army had gone on, camping several miles south of the peak. When Baker failed to return the next morning a searching party was sent out, which, however, failed to find the missing man. For three days, however, the search was continued, until, on the evening of the third day, as one of the officers was standing on the top of a high hill, scanning the surrounding country with a field glass, he noticed a puff of smoke from the top of the peak which now bears Baker's name.
Immediately a rescue party was sent to the peak, which found that Baker had been fighting against seventy Indians. For three days he had not had a bite to eat nor a drop to drink. Fort Sill was established on the southeast corner of these mountains in 1869 by General Sheridan, General Custer being the first commanding field officer. When Sheridan was in the country establishing the fort his curiosity was aroused at the character of the rock composing the mountains and at the stories told by the Indian scouts, and he did some prospecting on a high mountain several miles north of the fort. The mountain is still called Mount Sheridan.
There is some game in the mountains and the water is good. From every point of view, the mountains are well worth a visit. It doesn't matter how many mountains you may have seen elsewhere, if you have not seen the Wichita mountains, you still have something to see.
WASH ROBINSON, A NOTED COLORED SCOUT
Wash Robinson was born in Old Mexico,
as nearly as he remembers, about the year
1840. When quite a boy, he was stolen by
the Navaho Indians. When he was nearly
grown, he was sold by them to the Pueblos.
After having been with them for some time, he
left, and went to the Wichita mountains. He
was next taken prisoner at the battle of Big
Frame on the Santa Fe trail, and taken to
He could talk no English at all, but he was proficient in Spanish and in several Indian tongues. He didn't know what his English name was, or even what his right name was in Spanish, so he was named George Washington. After having been kept for some time as a prisoner of war, he gave his parole, and enlisted in the United States army. He was put in a colored company, and soon learned to talk English. As there were already four George Washington in his company, his name was chang- ed to Wash Robinson, by which he is still known.
In 1869 he came to Fort Reno with his company, and participated in most of the raids after Indians, and took part in the efforts to drive the sooners out of Oklahoma. Having been raised by the Indians, he was thoroughly conversant with all their manners and customs, so that he was a very valuable scout.
On one occasion, when engaged in putting Oklahomans out of the country, as Wash Robinson tells the story himself, he met the well known Captain Payne, who had come in from Kansas with about fifty families and had settled on the south side of the Seminole river in old Oklahoma proper. Payne and his men had thrown up breastworks and were prepared for a siege. They said they would die before they would leave the country.
Colonel Grayson was ordered from Fort Reno with two companies of soldiers to put them out. A cowboy working for Campbell, a big cattleman in that country in those days, saw the soldiers coming and warned the sooners,. with whom he had become acquainted.
"All right," said Captain Payne, when the warning had been given him, "let them come." The boomers collected inside their fort and pre- pared for battle. When the soldiers arrived at the breastwork they went into camp. Colonel,. Grayson went over to see Captain Payne, who told the colonel to pitch whenever he got ready. The colonel laughed and said he wasn't quite ready for a fight; that he didn't propose to cause any bloodshed unless it was absolutely necessary. So the soldiers waited there several days, becoming very friendly with Captain Payne and his men. Said the colonel to one of his officers: "There isn't any use hurting these people; it's bad enough to be forced to put them out. I hate to have to do it, but I'm not responsible for my orders, and all I can do is to obey."
One morning, therefore, when the boomers were all away at their different tasks, and there was no one in their camp but Captain Payne and five or six others. Colonel Grayson took Wash Robinson and six or seven other soldiers and dropped in to see the captain. Said the colonel: "Now, captain, you had better give up; I have to put you out."
Then the soldiers and the boomers locked horns, and around and around the tent they wrestled, overturning benches, tables and everything else. When the fight was over, though, the boomers were all hogtied. There were several bloody noses and black eyes, though in the latter respect the soldiers had the advantage, for they were all negroes, and their black eyes did not show.
After Captain Payne and those with him had been tied a signal was given, and the soldiers rushed in, took possession of the camp, and hauled the boomers back across the line into Kansas.
The Indians tell a good story on Wash Robinson, which, though he denies it, is too good to keep. A certain Cheyenne chief took a lot of buffalo pouches, filled them with water and tied them to the ponies of his men. Then the band struck out across the plains. The soldiers, of course, had to follow them. This was not difficult, as the Indians made a broad, plain trail. In order that the soldiers might not overtake them the Indians carefully avoided every water hole. The soldiers had neglected to take any water with them, but, thinking they could do without water as long as the Indians, they kept right on after them. Camp after camp of the Indians was passed, however, and still no water was found. At last the soldiers were away out on the plains, and here the Indians' tracks scattered.
Accordingly, the soldiers also scattered out. None of them but Wash Robinson, however, could follow a trail, and, as their horses were dying of thirst, and as they themselves were faint, they had to shape their course for the South Canadian river. Robinson, however, kept on the trail. It lead into the brakes, and finally to a canon with timber and a good spring, where the Indians were camped, giving their ponies a rest.
He knew that if he turned back he would die of thrist, so he chose to go forward. The Indians took him prisoner and gave him some thing to eat and drink, though if he had been a white man they would have killed him. They knew him however, and did not want to kill him. So, stripping him of all his clothes, and tieing him face down across a log, they gathered about him while the old squaws marched past, each one giving him a good spanking with a stick. After he had been punished in this manner, and after they knew that the soldiers had gone away from the neighborhood, the Indians turned Wash loose, still naked as he was. He had to walk the two hundred miles to the fort.
In the eighties Wash resigned from the army, married an Arapahoe squaw, and has raised a family that is an honor to him. He has two grandsons who are nice, quiet young men. The oldest one, named George, has skin as black as his father's, but his hair is as straight as any fullblood Indian's. When it comes to throwing a rope, playing ball or running foot races, there is no one in the tribe that can beat him.
Robinson owns a good farm on the Washita river at the mouth of Boggy creek, and also conducts a livery stable at Colony, Oklahoma. He is the only man of his color who is allowed to live in Washita county, which, with a population of Texans, Russians and Germans, goes Democratic at each election. No colored people are allowed in the county, and, though I have been there several times, if there is a Republican there I have yet to find him. Some of the agency employes are Republicans, of course, but outside of these officials they are mighty scarce.
JAMES L. PUCKETT'S STORY.
The author of this book was born in Clay
county, Indiana, on the 18th day of March,
1863, and was raised in Indiana and Illinois. I
came west in the fall of 1881, and entered the
Indian Territory at Cherokee City. Cherokee
City was a small health resort on the Arkansas
line in the Cherokee country, eight miles north
of Siloam Springs. I began work for a cattleman by the name of Sam McFail. This was
my first introduction to the Indians and to the
United States marshals.|
I hadn't been at work for this man but two days when he and his family were called to Maysville, Ark., by the death of his mother. He took his whole family with him and left me alone. His was the only white family living in that part of the country. I had all kinds of wild ideas about the Indians, and the first night I staid alone I was lonesome, and imagined everything that a boy in my circumstances would be likely to imagine. The next morning I was feeding cattle when a man rode up and wanted to know if Sam had any cattle to sell. I told him I didn't know; that I was a stranger there.
In the evening two men came and asked me the same questions. While they were talking they both got down off their horses and pre tended to be fixing their saddle-blankets. Before I suspected anything wrong they both had their six-shooters leveled on me and told me I was a prisoner. One of them was a United States marshal by the name of Andrews.
I asked them what was the matter, and why they wanted me, and they both looked as mean as they could and said they wanted me for murder. They said I had killed my brother-in-law up in Missouri, and that they were going to take me back. I tried to explain, but they would listen to nothing I said, so I thought they were outlaws and wanted to steal some cattle or do some other kind of meanness. One of them locked a trace chain about my leg and then asked me if I wanted to get any of my clothes. I thought then of some letters I had that I had received from home, and believed that if they were really marshals that these letters would be worth something to me now, so I got the letters and showed them to those fellows. They looked at them and read them and after questioning me closely turned me loose, and I felt better.
Afterwards I became well acquainted with these men, and Andrews was for a long time my best friend. They had been on the track of a man who had killed his brother-in-law, and as I was a newcomer in the country they had just arrested me on suspicion.
From that time on I got along very well until about the middle of April in '82, when I hired to a man by the name of Carr and started from Benton county, Arkansas, to Wyoming territory with a bunch of cattle. There were in the party sixteen of us, including the fore- man, and we had about 800 cattle. Except the foreman, we were all green hands. We came out through Vinita,. crossed the Osage line above Bartlesville, passed through the Osage country, crossed the Arkansas river, and passed out through the strip. We had had but little trouble up to this time, but we had gone very slowly and the cattle had begun to mend up, and got so they would stampede at night. Nearly every night there would come a big storm, and we would have to work all night.
In those days what a cowboy got to eat was very common,—a piece of tough old bread, baked in a skillet, a few pieces of what we called "sow bosom," a little grease or gravy, and coffee strong enough to bear up an iron weight,—that was considered good enough for anybody to eat, and if we got that more than twice a day we considered ourselves lucky.
There was a bunch of outlaws living on Salt Fork. They would slip in at night and steal out a bunch of cattle, then they would come around next day and want you to give them a dollar a head to bring them back. A cattleman by the name of Mills had told us about them, and we were therefore as careful as we could be, but one night they slipped in and stole out about a hundred head. Early in the morning the boss took ten of the men and started out to hunt them down. They came soon upon the cabin and dugout. There was a pasture with a cliff on one side and a creek bank on the other. I was not with the party; I had been left at the camp with some of the others to take care of the balance of the cattle. Some trees had been cut down on each side of the bottom to make a sort of brush fence, and inside this pasture the cattle were found. The foreman undertook to ride through the gap, when two men came out and forbade him from doing so, claiming that it was their field. They told him if he wanted his cattle he must give them a dollar a head and they would bring them in. After there had been some words Carr turned and went around the hollow with his men and then over the bluff to where they could see the cattle. Then they went down another hollow, through the brush fence, and took possession of the cattle. Thereupon the thieves came upon them and there was a shooting scrape, in which two of the boys were wounded. One of them, named Weaver, afterwards died from the effects of his wound in the fall of 1905.
I am satisfied that I met one of these same thieves at the land office in Tahlequah, Ind. Ter. He was a half breed Cherokee, and had just returned from the penitentiary. I did not let him know anything about this scrape, but I listened to his talk until I was satisfied that he was one of the very same men.
This man Carr got a cattleman by the name of Miller and some more cowboys and went back and burned up the cabin and destroyed everything that could be found, and then stuck up notices on the trees warning the thieves what they might expect next time.
We then started on west, carrying the wounded boys in the wagon. One of them soon got well, but the other one was placed on the stage and sent up into Kansas, where he could be sent back home. I afterwards heard, however, that he died before he reached home.
I soon got enough of this kind of living. I told the foreman that he could get another hand in my place, and he picked up a couple of Mexicans. So when we came to the trail leading south from Caldwell, Kan., to Fort Reno, and met a bunch of freighters, I went to Fort Reno, where I staid a short time.
There I fell in love with a Cheyenne girl. Her father wanted two ponies for her, so I tried to get her to run off with me, but this she refused to do. Then I fell in with an outfit that had a bunch of ponies going to Missouri. This was about the toughest outfit that I ever struck. It was about the first of August that I landed back in Vinita. We had about three hundred head of ponies when we left Fort Reno and about four hundred when we reached Vinita. There were but six of us in all, and two or three would stay with the herd while the others would be out "rustling" as they called it. I was afraid to stay with these fellows, and was also afraid to quit them until we got to Vinita, where I demanded my pay and gave up my job.
I then staid around Vinita a few days until I fell in with some white people from Texas who claimed to be Indians looking for a chance to make a place. I told them of the hills that I had seen southwest of Vinita, and we located nine miles southwest of the town on the 6th day of August, 1882, on what was afterwards known as the Billings cow ranch.
I didn't stay long with this man, however, but went to work at the U bar 2 ranch, which was on White Oak between Billings' and Vinita. It was owned by Dave Allen, a white man, who was at that time married to a Cherokee woman. Allen himself lived in Vinita, but he had a brother-in-law^ who was exactly my age, and one of the best-looking Cherokee boys I ever saw. At that time he and I used to stay on the ranch together. His name was Cude Gilhs, and his present address is Catoosa, Ind. Ter. We used to have a pretty good time batching together. We would get along very well in the day time, but in the night when there would come up big storms we would both be nearly scared to death, and, putting a big quilt over our heads, would run out to the creek bank and stay there until the storm would blow over, both getting wringing wet before we went back into the house. There were many cyclones in those days, but the country was thinly settled,. and there was never much damage done.
We hunted more for watermelons than we did for cattle. There was no place to go for amusement, except about five miles northwest,, where, on the edge of the Shawnee hills, there was a stomp ground where the Shawnee and Delaware Indians used to go at that season of the year and camp and dance for weeks at a time. We would go there once in a while and see four or five hundred of the old "stick-shines" as we called them, dressed in full paint and feathers and stomping around and acting- the fool. But we became acquainted with some of the young folks until we would enjoy ourselves very much.
Sometimes we would have to gather cattle and get them in shape to ship. Then we would have to work very hard for a few days.
Afterwards, though, we would have a good time again. Allen would come out on Sundays and tell us good stories and would sing and pick an old banjo that we had about the place. I never thought then that he would ever be the cowboy preacher of the Indian Territory. He had been raised in Memphis, Tenn., by wealthy parents, but, like many other wealthy families- of the south, the Allen family had been broken up by the Civil war. Allen was an inspector in the Confederate army in the department of Texas and Indian Territory during the rebellion. This threw him in contact with the Indians and cowboys. He had a good education and could adapt himself to every condition. He had a peculiar way about him of being able to compel the respect of even the toughest men by simply using kind words.
Vinita at that time was a very small place, with probably five or six hundred inhabitants. The population was composed of cowboys and gamblers from everywhere, and of Shawnee, Delaware and Cherokee Indians. There was not a brick building in town. There were probably half a dozen stores, two blacksmith shops, several gambling houses, and a Methodist church.
Winter came, and, growing tired of the cold, windy prairies,. I decided to go back to the Spavinaw hills. About the middle of November I settled up, and, catching a wagon in Vinita that had come in from Arkansas with apples, I soon found myself back among the flint hills. I put up with a man that everybody called "Uncle Jeff" Beck. He was a good old man and had quite a fortune. He had lived for 47 years in one door-yard. His place was on the road from Maysville to Tahlequah, and just outside of his door-yard was a grave-yard where some thirty odd men lay who had died with their boots on. They were buried there as many as eight at a time.
"Uncle Jeff" had a son about the same age as I, and we used to take in all the dances and other gatherings. One night we went to a dance at the house of a white man who had married an Indian woman. I was soon talking with the 'owner of the house, trying to get his idea of civilization. He said there was no harm in a good dance, and that he always had a good one. Noticing that the lamp was sitting on a high shelf I mentioned the fact. He said he alwa^'s set it up high that way so that if any of the boys happened to want to take a shot at it none of the ladies would be hurt. I had not been there long when Henry came, called me to one side, and said he wanted me to chip in a quarter to buy a white mule. On inquiry I found that a white mule was colloquial for a pint of white whisky, and that the whisky-peddler was called a mule man. They all wore big six-shooters, which they called their killing-machines. There are but two tunes that the fiddlers ever play in the country; one of them is Indian Glory, or Black Jack Grove, The words to it are as follows:
"I am goin' to see the widder,The words to the other are:
And black my boots and git 'er;
I can git 'er, yah, ho!
I have killed another nigger,
I first took sight, then pulled the trigger.
Yah, ho, done come a nigger."
"Saddle old Spike, I tell you,These are the only two tunes that were recognized as being up-to-date in the country. The fiddler would generally sit in the corner on a wooden stool with his face turned to the wall, while a girl or a boy would usually sit on a back log and with two small sticks or knitting needles play second by beating on the strings just above the left hand of the fiddler. This made good enough music for a king.
Spike, he be a race horse,
Saddle old Spike and give me my gun,
The marshals is a-coming, and I've got to run,
I tell you."
On the occasion of which I am telling, it wasn't long till Henry wanted another quarter for another white mule. I told him that we might get in trouble; that we had better not drink so much. Just then a bunch of long-haired Indians got around me, stuck their killing-machines up in my face, showed me that they were loaded plumb to the muzzle, and told me not to be a bit scared; that they would stay with me no matter what happened. After this experience I cheerfully gave up another quarter. I then tried to slip off, but every time I got out-doors they gathered around me and told me how they loved me, how they would fight for me,—and then how much they wanted another quarter. Then they would all take another drink.
At first we had good order, but towards the last they danced with their hats on, turned their belts around so that their six-shooters were in front, tucked their pants inside their boots, and those who had taken off their spurs put them back on. Our fiddler was a long-haired Indian called Apple Jack. Occasionally one of the boys would call Apple Jack out of the house and give him a drink, and then the fiddle would take on new life, and then, with heels popping, spurs jingling and skirts crackling, they would loose themselves to the fancy of the mad music of Apple Jack.
All at once there came in a long, lean Arkansaw-looking fellow,— the mule man. He had sold all his white mules, and after searching all about until he was satisfied there were no marshals there he came in the house and began to take part in the dance. He asked Pennison to call one set in Arkansaw style, and asked me to take part with him. I selected a little Cherokee girl, Rosie Wolf. He said that when he said to swing your partners, to swing them by the waist. Then it was swing your partners, change partners and swing, and then swing your partners. In the change I ran against a big fat old Indian girl, threw my arm around her waist and tried to swing her, but she was too heavy for me. Then I took both hands and managed to swing her around, then crippled back to my partner. Just then he howled, "We are all done now. You can all go home and kill old Towser if he goes bow-wow." Bang, went the guns, and out went the lights, Indians yelling, guns popping. I almost ruined my shins running over the wood-pile, but I got to my horse and went down that hill with the bridle-rein in one hand and my hat in the other, and didn't draw a good breath until I got home. Henry didn't come in until almost daylight. He said they had a good time after I left. An Indian by the name of Little Father was killed and two or three others had their heads pretty badly beaten up.
This was about the roughest dance I went to, but the old man always claimed that there was no harm in a good dance. I was very glad to see the red buds in bloom once more, and to know that the grass was getting green again, as I had rather be on the range in front of a herd of stampeded cattle and hear the roar of their feet and see the lightning playing on their horns, and know that if my pony fell with me I would be run over, than to be at one of those dances in which there is no harm.
About the middle of April I put in appearance in Vinita, where I met Dave Allen, my old boss. He was glad to see me, and said that I had come just in time. He was going to start in a few days to meet a big herd of cattle coming up from Texas, which he expected to meet in the Seminole country. So we made ready and were off in a few days. The first night we stopped near Claremore, on the Verdigris river. One of the boys had lived in this neighborhood before, and he told me of a widow woman down on the river who had two grown daughters, so we slipped off after supper and went down there. At that time the Creeks were having a little civil war. Spy Eachey and Schoatey were at war over the chieftaincy. Spy Eachy had all the Indians, while Schoatey had all the negroes and mixed bloods, and they were having some pretty hot times. The only talk you heard anywhere was about this Creek war.
A sixteenth Creek negro named Dick Glass was a terror to the country. He had just made a raid through that country, and came very near stirring up a war between the Cherokees and Creeks. It was reported that he had been seen in that neighborhood with a bunch of Creek negroes, and when we got to the widow woman's house where the girls were, the first thing they told us was a big, scary story about Dick Glass. But we had our killing machines with us, and we assured the girls that they were not in the least danger as long as we were there. We told them that we did not ask for any better luck than to kill a bunch of Creek niggers. We believed it, too, and the girls looked as if they also believed it. So, after we had talked until we grew tired, and after the old lady had told us it was bed-time, my partner and I lay down to sleep on the porch. It was a hewed log house with a porch facing east. The moon was just rising. We piled up some benches and a box or two on the edge of the porch and then lay down to sleep. These folks had a pet deer that had a habit of going into the woods with the wild deer and staying for a week at a time, and then, when he came in, he generally had a fight with the dogs. They had about half a dozen dogs that staid around in the yard.
All of a sudden we were wakened from sleep by the noise of the dogs barking, and there they were, coming right for the porch. And down went our pile of boxes and benches, and something jumped right over them and ran into the house, and every dog doing his best in the way of howling. We jumped up, and I thought the whole place was full of Creek niggers. So around the house we went, pell-mell. The smoke house door was standing open, and my partner bolted into it, while I ran around behind. I thought I could hear horses running, and was afraid to go any farther, but I soon discovered that the sound I had heard was my heart, not horses' hoofs.
I was just in the act of throwing up my hands and howling for mercy when the good woman came and called us and said it was nothing, only Billy, the pet deer, that had come in. We went back, but we didn't go to sleep. We left next morning before it was daylight, and we never went back there again.
We got back to where Allen and his men were and started on our way. We were soon in the Creek nation, and crossed the Arkansas river at Wealaka Mission. From there we headed towards Wewoka, never seeing any sign of a war party until we had gone 75 miles. Then, across a little river, we began to meet bunches of armed men. Everybody we met warned us to be on the lookout. We boys were scared and wanted to stop, but Allen always told us some story of how he had out-maneuvered big parties of wild Indians, and so reassured us. Sometimes he would tell such a fearful tale that the hair would stand up on our heads.
One day we came to a little country store, and were told that a hard battle had been fought just ahead of us. But Allen was in a hurry to get on and meet his cattle, so we kept on. We had gone but a short distance when we met a party of Indians. They rode up close, then stopped, and one of their men rode forward. Allen went to meet him.
"Who are you?" asked the Indian, in a friendly manner.
"Cowboys," was the answer.
"Where are you from?"
"From the Cherokee country," replied Allen.
"What are you doing here?" asked the Indian.
"We are going to Wewoka to meet a bunch of cattle."
Then the Indian motioned to the balance of his men and they all came up. They told us that they were Spy Eachy's men. and that Schoatey's men were on ahead of us. They sent one man with us until we had passed the line. We saw lots of Indians, but we never did get to see the main body. After we had gone to the outside lines this man that was with us turned back, and we asked him how far it was to where we could stay all night. He told us that there was a cow ranch not far ahead, but never a cow ranch did we see.
Finally we came to a creek, and as we were afraid to travel on the road in the dark we went off the road and traveled down the creek a ways. We listened a long time, and could hear nothing save the soft breeze that stirred the tops of the trees. We rode cautiously for a short distance further, then stopped, and decided to make the best of it for the night. For a while we sat quietly, holding the horses while they ate. Then we decided to make a little fire down in the creek bottom, having in a measure forgotten the danger we were in. We had tied some of our horses out, and hobbled the others, had unpacked our camp outfit and we preparing to get a bite of something to eat.
Dave had a little bunch of wood in his hands and I had just started a fire. I saw Dave drop the wood and whirl around, jumping behind a big tree. I started to run. The other boys were out with the horses. Just then a small body of men dashed up on horseback. We were all hidden. They could see no one, for I had scattered the fire. Then one man said, in a loud voice,
"Throw up your hands!"
"Don't shoot then," said Dave.
"Who are you and where are you going?" asked the man, riding up to the bank and trying to see Dave.
"We are cowboys, going to Wewoka," answered Dave.
"Well, this is no place for you tonight. Come and go with me," commanded the unknown man.
"Who are you?" asked Allen.
"Is that you, Charley?" asked Dave, eagerly.
"Yes, this is Charley Mcintosh. What's your name?"
"Dave Allen," he said, as he stepped out from behind the tree.
"Well, come and go with me," said the lieutenant. So Allen called us all in and we had a big laugh and got our horses together. Allen and Mcintosh were old friends. We found that we had camped in about a quarter of a mile of Schoatey's line. We had followed down the creek almost to the big road from Okmulgee to Wewoka, and had camped within a hundred yards of it without knowing it. The soldiers took us to Schoatey's headquarters. After Mcintosh had explained who we were the chief asked, in a rough voice.
"Well, what do you want here?"
"The first thing we want is our suppers," answered Dave.
"Well" said Schoatey, "you must stay around my camp and don't go away from my tent tonight. Have as little to say as you can to these people, and I will see you again in the morning."
He and his officers slept in a tent apart, while we slept in a cook tent. There was little attention paid to us until the next morning, when I saw more negroes at one time that I have ever seen before or since. Some had shot-guns, some had muskets, and some had Winchesters.
They sent men to guard us until we had passed their lines. The guards told us many things about the battle that had been fought. A few days before our visit, they said, one bunch of their men had Spy Eachy cut off from his army, and had shot his horse from under him. They had shot at him over a hundred times, never hitting him. A few of his men saw his perilous condition, dashed back and picked him up. They said Spy Eachy had a needle gun, and every time it smoked a man fell.
We rode across the battle field and saw some dead horses, but the men had all been buried. We went on our way without further trouble, and met the cattle about ten miles south of Wewoka. We turned back, going over much the same ground we had just traveled. The soldiers, however, had got in with the Creeks and stopped the war. The government counted the votes and Schoatey was declared chief. Spy Eachy was not elected chief for several years afterwards, though he finally gained the coveted honor.
We went along without further trouble. Sometimes the cattle would stampede at night and then we would have a little excitement for a while. We soon shaped our course more to the north. We came to the Arkansas river close to Tulsa. The river was swimming-deep, and where it wasn't swimming there was quicksand. We camped all night on the west side. Early in the morning we started the cattle across. It was a very foolish thing for a cattleman to do, as the sun was shining full in the faces of the cattle, glistening on the water until it blinded their eyes. The cattle began bellowing, and floated down stream. We swam in on our horses and tried to turn them, but the cattle began going round and round. We swam around with them, and tried to drag them out one at a time, but when we would get one out and turn it loose it would plunge back into the river again. They were climbing on top of one another and bellowing until our ears were almost split with the noise.
It looked as if they would all drown. Our horses had given out, and it looked like foolishness to try to do anything more. Just below the place where we had tried to ford the river made a short bend, and just below it a sand- bar ran out. The cattle were washed upon the bar, and we finally got them started out. This bar was all that saved the cattle; if it had not been there the whole herd would have been lost.
From Tulsa we came up along the Frisco railroad, that had just been extended to Sapulpa from Vinita the year before. The towns of Tulsa and Claremore and Chelsea were just being started. We reached Vinita about the last of June.
That fall another bunch of cattle, 800 head, were brought up. These had the X brand on them and belonged to old man Wills. They were all put in with the cattle belonging to the Kimberly Cattle company, and directly after they arrived Grayson Wills, the old man's son, came up. This was the first time I ever saw him. He was a great big stout fellow, full of fun, who added new life to the camp.
Everything went along peaceably until late in the fall, when I took a notion to get married. On the 8th day of December, 1883, I was married to Mrs. Area A. Parks, a widow woman with two small girls. She was a half breed Cherokee, had a good farm, and had been educated in the female seminary in Tahlequah. I gave up my job as cowboy, and as game was abundant in the hills that winter I put in my time hunting and getting used to married life.
Shortly after we had been married my wife took a notion that she wanted to see her brother a half-breed Cherokee with gray eyes and sandy hair who tried his best to be a fullblood. He even tried to wear his hair long, but there was too much of the Irish in him, and the hair would not stay straight, but would curl up over his hat, so that when he was wearing a hat all you could see of it was the top. His hair was as long as a man's arm when it was wet and straightened out, but when it was dry it curled up, making his head look as big as a half bushel. His wife was an Osage woman,, weighing about 200 pounds. She was a very pleasant woman,—when she was asleep or in good humor. This, however, didn't happen very often.
My wife told me the best she could about them before we started on our visit. She said she didn't like his wife, but that he was the only brother she had, and she couldn't help wanting to go to see him now and then. His name was John and his wife's was Ellen. John believed in witches. Among the Indians he was regarded as a witch-killer. He believed that every now and then the devil would come and take up his abode in his wife. He never found fault with her, but went to work to cast the devil out. When his efforts were unsuccessful he would go up into the hills where an old Indian lived that never failed.
When we reached John's house Ellen was having one of those spells. She had taken a butcher knife and run John off the place. John, having done all he could to get back on the place, and having met with failure, had gone for help. This time the old witch-killer told him to go home and get on his old sorrel horse that he had ridden in the Civil war,—an old horse about thirty years old that he had ridden when he went courting Ellen. He had kept the horse for old times' sake. The performance was about as follows: They lived in a house on the south side of a branch and the stables and barn were on the north side. The house was a small log cabin with a rail fence in front about knee high. Behind the house on the south and north sides was a small garden, where the cockle-burrs were as high as a man's head when riding horseback. John slipped up, got the old horse and saddled him. Everybody carried a six-shooter in those days, and John was no exception. He put spurs to the old horse, and before any of us knew it he was coming at full speed. He jumped the fence, jerked out his six-shooter, bang, bang, and around the house he went into the cockle-burr patch. When he had reached the middle of it the old horse fell down. Ellen thought he had got drunk or had gone crazy, and before she discovered what was the matter her long black hair became full of cockle-burrs, and John's hair was well-filled too. Ellen fell over and began crying, and John ran to claim her for his own sweet angel. About that time, however, she got hold of a club and made for John, and John couldn't get away, so they clinched, and down they went in a pile. Area and I ran to separate them. We carried Ellen into the house and talked to her, and promised to pull the cockle-burrs out of her hair next morning. The next day was Christmas, and while they were getting breakfast there was a quart can full of sorghum molasses sitting on the table. John was sitting on the wood box: holding the baby, when all at once Ellen grabbed up the molasses can and upset it on his head,, at the same time giving him a shampoo. In the scuffle they overturned the stove. Area and I interfered again and made peace, but Ellen went out of doors and cussed until it clouded up and began to snow. Area and I got afraid that the creek would rise and prevent us from reaching home, so we started at once.
The last time I saw John was in Tahlequah more than twenty years afterwards. I think he had some of those same cockle-burrs in his hair.
This was one of the worst winters I ever saw. The cattle all came near dying, so near that next spring out of about sixteen hundred head of cattle Allen rounded up only about two hundred and fifty, which he sold to Grayson Wills, and with which the latter started a ranch near White Oak switch, where he now lives, and where he has made a fortune.
Allen moved to Vinita and in the following summer was converted to God and became a Presbyterian preacher, continuing in the ministry the rest of his valuable life. He was the means of turning many souls to God. He was among the best preachers in the Indian Territory and was probably the widest-known. He was always found where he could do the most good, and was loved by all who knew him.
Among his last noted sermons was the memorial sermon for Caroline Houston. The story goes that Sam Houston, the hero of Texas, came to Fort Smith, Ark., in an early day and became acquainted with the family of John Rogers, who was a slave-holder, and owned a big farm in the Arkansas river bottom just above Fort Smith. Houston fell in love, so the story goes, with Caroline Rogers' daughter, who was a college graduate. They were married, but she lived only a short time. After her death he erected a monument over her grave and then, in a few days, disappeared. He was next heard of in Texas.
In 1904 the government took up Caroline Houston's remains, and the body was reinterred in the United States cemetery at Fort Gibson, Ind. Ter. None of the preachers knew to which church she had belonged, or indeed whether she had ever been baptized. All were slow to volunteer to conduct, the services, so Allen was called upon and asked to conduct the service. He consented at once. When the appointed day came, there was a large crowd in attendance at the grave, where the service was held. All the other preachers were there, waiting to see how Allen would come out. When the time had come he stepped forward, and, after a few- introductory remarks, said:
"Gentlemen and ladies, brothers and sisters, before us we have the remains of Caroline Houston, who was once the daughter of John Rogers. From this family have descended some of our most noted statesmen and faithful Christians. We know nothing personally about this woman, but that she must have been raised by one of the best familes of Cherokee people, and if she commanded the love and respect of the great Sam Houston she must have been a very beautiful woman, as only the beautiful attract the attention of great men.
"Then, if she commanded that love and respect, she must have been a good woman, as only a good woman maintains the love and respect of a great man. Then, as she was raised by the noble John Rogers, we believe that the right principles were instilled into her mind at the right time. Then why should we hesitate to ask God to bless her, who gave his Son to redeem the world?"
From this point he went on and preached one of the best funeral services ever preached in that part of the country, and when he had finished all the preachers who had remained to hear him came up and gave him their hands.
Allen was married in Fort Gibson to Miss Mary Price, a Cherokee woman, in 1870, and he died there in 1905. May peace be to his weary ashes
I generally had a good garden, and used to sell vegetables to the adjoining ranches. One day I took over a sackful of onions and Irish potatoes to a neighbor. He said he wouldn't buy onions or Irish potatoes either unless they were carried in separate sacks. I asked him why, and he said the onions would get in the potatoes' eyes. After that I was more careful.
Both men on one of these ranches had their families in Vinita, and one summer they hired a rather silly woman named Martha to do their cooking. Martha had a little girl named Louisa. Martha wanted to get married. One of the partners, a cranky old man, was a widower, but he had a nice family in town. Bud and I, therefore, told Martha that if she would clean up Louisa and keep the place clean she could win the' old cow-man's heart. After that we had no trouble with dirt.
There was an old white woman in the neighborhood who lived with a negro and claimed to be a fortune teller. She came down often and told Martha's fortune. She always told Martha that she was going to be married, and so every time she left she carried away coffee, flour, meat and other eatables. Bud and I soon found this out. We didn't want to tell our employers, but we felt it was our duty to stop the traffic. We knew poor Martha wanted to get married badly enough to the cow man, but we knew it was impossible.
We had no love for the old woman, but we didn't want to hurt her, for she was a woman. However, something had to be done. We had tackled all kinds of propositions and we never had failed, and we didn't propose to fail at this. One Sunday, therefore, we went over to the ranch, early, as usual, and found the fortune teller there. We staid around and she staid around. She staid until after dinner time, and we soon decided that we would have no dinner unless something was done. We considered this an insult, for we hardly ever missed a good dinner on Sunday at this place. So we went out back behind the barn, where we found an old setting hen that had set too long to hatch, we thought. We decided it was a bad wind that blew no good. If those eggs wouldn't hatch they might be put to a better use. The old fortune teller had an old bay horse that she worked to a one-horse cart. When she started out through the hills even the birds in the trees would forget to warble their songs and would peep out in wide-eyed wonder at this creaking vehicle. We took out the eggs and raised up the quilt that she had doubled up for a cushion for the seat. We deposited the eggs carefully in the center of the seat, and then as carefully replaced the quilt. Then we went back and hid, waiting for the old lady to leave.
After they were satisfied that there was no one around,—Bud and I had pretended to go home,—they performed the fortune-telling act. Then they came out to the cart with a little coffee, sugar, flour and meat, put it in the cart, and unhitched the old bay horse. Then the fortune teller got in and took her seat. Im mediately she got up again, and looked all around as if she thought the cart was breaking. Then she sat down again, hit the old horse and started to leave. Soon she stopped the horse and got up again, finally discovering what was the matter. Immediately she began cussing, and kept it up until the atmosphere had turned blue for two miles around. Bud and I, there fore, began to fear that it would rain and hurried home. The old woman was never seen about the ranch again.
At about that time I was summoned to sit on a jury at the Dog Creek court house. We were trying a negro for stealing a horse. The district attorney had introduced testimony showing clearly that the negro had stolen the horse. Then came the time for the defendant's testimony. His lawyer arose and claimed that the negro was a citizen of the United States and not an Indian, and that the court therefore had no jurisdiction over him. The old judge got up, pounded the bench with both fists, and swore by the eternal he had jurisdiction over one side of the case and, likewise by the eternal, he was going to jurisdict the other side also. "Come on with your witnesses, gentlemen," he said.
But that was just the trouble; the defense had no witnesses. The case was submitted to the jury, and the jury without leaving the room found the negro guilty of stealing a horse. The judge rose to his feet and asked the negro if he had anything to say.
"I have nothing to say," replied the culprit, "only to ask that you have mercy on me."
"I will have mercy on your soul/' said the judge, "but not much on your hide. It is the judgment of this court that the sheriff of this district will cause fifty lashes to be struck on the bare back of this prisoner with good hickory witches. This is the smallest penalty provided by law for horse-stealing."
There was some rustling about in the room, and then the prisoner's lawyer got up and made application for a new trial. He claimed that he had been taken by surprise and had not had time to prepare his case. Just then he heard somebody scream, and looking out into the yard saw the negro strung up and the sheriff applying the hickory withes.
The lawyer sat down. "Go ahead," said the judge; "let us hear what you have to say about it." Before anything could be done, however, the negro's punishment had been completed.
I will not burden you further with my experiences, but will give you the experiences of several others, which will be more interesting to you. I made mention of these facts merely in order to show you how we spent the early days in Indian Territory and Oklahoma.
Before closing I wish to say that in 1889 1 was overtaken by misfortune, losing my wife. I" again married in 1890, my second wife also being a Cherokee. She died in 1891. On the 10th day of May, 1893, I was again married, this time to Miss Peachy Ellen Fagon, another Cherokee woman, who is still living. She has been in bad health for several years, and we have put in most of the time traveling about over Indian Territory and Oklahoma, in the hope that she might regain her health. Probably by this time I know more people and more of the country than any other one man in the twin territories. Believing that this knowledge will be worth something to people seeking homes in the new country, I have decided to put my memories into a book.
When I speak of any part of this country it is not hearsay; it is what I actually know from my own experience. I own a good farm twelve miles southwest of Vinita, with over 300 acres in it, and we invite you all to stop and see us.
JAMES L. PUCKETT,
Vinita, Ind. Ter.
|Cheyenne and Arapaho Women||43|
|Chapter||I.||Some Early Cherokee History||7|
|"||II.||Creeks and Seminoles||14|
|"||IV.||Religion and Traditions of the Cheyennes||45|
|"||VI.||The Homeseekers' Guide||65|
|"||VII.||The Life of Ora A. Woodman||73|
|"||VIII.||The Battle of The Washita or Red Moon.||96|
|"||IX.||History of The Wichita Mountain||107|
|"||XI.||James L. Puckett's Story||118|
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