|Evidences of an Ancient Civilization—The Indian Race—Tribal Distribution at the Close of the Fifteenth Century—Wyoming Tribes—The Arapaho—Tradition of the Flood—The Cheyenne—The Crow—The Shoshone—Chief Washakie—Other Tribes—Foreign Policy Toward the Indians—The United States Policy—Adoption of the Treaty System—Treaty of Fort Laramie—Boundaries of Tribal Domains—Treaty With The Sioux—The Crow Treaty—Cheyenne and Arapaho Treaty—Treaty of Fort Bridger—Wind River Reservation ... 59|
| Before the white man the Indian; before the Indian, who? The question is more easily asked than answered. Archaeologists have found in Wyoming evidences of the existence of an ancient race, which some writers on the subject think was contemporary with the cliff dwellers of Colorado. Along the Big Horn and Wind rivers, and about the sources of the Yellowstone, have been found steatite vessels, lance and arrow heads, stone knives, celts and other weapons and utensils different from any found in the mounds in other sections of the country. Many of these utensils are of a green marble, marked by veins, or stones of volcanic origin, and no one has been able to determine from whence they came. Similar relics, as well as cotton and a coarse thread, have been found in the Santa Lucia Valley in New Mexico, from which it is inferred that the aborigines of that section and those of Wyoming were closely related. Says Bancroft: "Heaps of bones, tools, ornaments, weapons, burial cairns and mining sliafts are among the proofs of their presence. At what period they disappeared and recent tribes took their place is among the secrets which the past refuses to disclose."|
Since the first investigations of Scjuier and Davis among the mounds of the Mississippi Valley, about 1845 to 1850, a great deal has been written regarding the first inhabitants of the American continent. The early writers on the subject were almost a unit in attributing to the aborigines a great antiquity, and in advocating the theory that they were of a separate race. More recent explorations among the mounds and relics have disclosed the fact that their civilization—■ if such it can be called—resembled in many particulars that of some of the Indian tribes encountered by the first white men who came to what now constitutes the United States. This is especially true of the tribes inhabiting the Lower Mississippi Valley and the country along the coast of the Gulf of Mexico, who the first explorers in that region found using knives and other utensils of obsidian, very similar in appearance to those found in Wyoming and New Mexico. In the early part of the Seventeenth Century, the Natchez and other southern tribes of Indians were accustomed to the erection of burial mounds and cairns. These and kindred facts have been brought to light by the research of the United States Bureau of Ethnology, and the general theory now is that the so-called Mound Builders and other aboriginal peoples were nothing more than the ancestors of the tribes that inhabited the country at the time it was first visited by white men.
|THE INDIAN RACE|
| Probably more pages have been written relating to the Indian tribes of North America than on any other subject pertaining to American history. To the student of history there is a peculiar fascination in the story of these savage tribes—their legends, traditions and customs—that makes the topic always one of surpassing interest, and no history of Wyoming would be complete without some account of the tribes that inhabited the country before the advent of the white man.|
When Christopher Columbus made his first voyage to the New World in 1492, he believed that he had at last reached the goal of his long cherished ambitions, and that the country where he landed was the eastern shore of Asia. Early European explorers in America, entertaining a similar belief, thought the country was India and gave to the race of copper colored people they found here the name of "Indians." Later explorations disclosed the fact that the land discovered by Columbus was really a continent hitherto unknown to the civilized nations of the world. The error in geography was thus corrected, but the name given by the first adventurers to the natives still remains.
| The North American Indians are divided into several groups or families, each of which is distinguished by certain physical and linguistic characteristics, and each group is subdivided into a number of tribes, each of which is ruled over by a chief. At the close of the Fifteenth Century, when the first Europeans began their explorations in America, they found the various leading Indian families distributed over the continent as follows:|
In the far north were the Eskimo, a people that have never played any conspicuous part in history. These Indians still inhabit the country about the Arctic Circle, where some of them have been occasionally employed as guides to polar expeditions, which has been about their only association with the white man.
The Algonquian family, the most numerous and powerful of all the Indian nations, occupied a great triangle, roughly bounded by the Atlantic coast from Labrador to Cape Hatteras and by lines drawn from those two points to the western end of Lake Superior. Within this triangle lived the Delaware, Shawnee, Miami, Pottawatomi, Sac and Fox and other powerful tribes, which yielded slowly to the advance of the superior race. Almost in the very heart of the Algonquian triangle—along the shores of Lake Ontario and the upper reaches of the St. Lawrence River—lived the Iroquoian group, which was composed of the Oneida, Mohawk, Onondaga, Cayuga and Seneca tribes. To the early settlers of New York these tribes were known as the "Five Nations." Some years afterward the Tuscarora tribe was added to the confederacy, which then took the name of the "Six Nations."
South of tlie Algonquian country, extending from the Mississippi River to the Atlantic coast, was the region inhabited by the Muskhogean family, the leading tribes of which were the Creek, Chickasaw, Cherokee and Choctaw. The Indians of this group were among the most intelligent as well as the most aggressive and warlike of all the North American tribes.
In the great Northwest, about the sources of the Mississippi River and extending westward to the Missouri, lay the domain of the Siouan family, which was composed of a number of tribes closely resembling each other in physical appearance and dialect, and noted for their warlike tendencies and military prowess.
South and west of the Siouan country lived the "Plains Indians," composed of tribes of mixed stock. Their domain extended westward to the foothills of the Rocky Mountains. Among these tribes were the Arapaho and Cheyenne in the northern part and the Apache, Comanche and Kiowa farther to the south. All these tribes were bold and vindictive in disposition and skilful hunters.
West of the Plains Indians dwelt the Shoshonean group, the principal tribes of which were the Shoshone, Bannock and Comanche. This group was one of the smallest on the continent. Farther south, in what are now the states of Arkansas and Louisiana was the Caddoan group, and scattered over other parts of the country were numerous minor tribes which in all probability had separated from some of the great families, but who, at the time they first came in contact with the white men claimed kinship with none. These tribes were generally inferior in numbers, often nomadic in their habits, and consequently are of little importance historically.
In a history of such as this, it is not the design to give an extended account of the Indian race as a whole, but to notice only those tribes whose history is intimately connected with the territory now comprising the State of Wyoming. Foremost among these tribes are the Arapaho, Bannock, Blackfeet, Cheyenne, Crow, Shoshone, and certain minor tribes of the Siouan stock.
| Some ethnologists place the Arapaho among the tribes of the Siouan family, but the United States Bureau of Ethnology classifies them as one of the Algonquian tribes, which separated from the main body of that group long before the first white men came to America. One of their traditions says that many hundred years ago the tribe lived in Western Minnesota, from which region they were driven by the Sioux. In their migrations they became divided into three tribes—the Gros Ventres of the prairie and the Northern and Southern Arapaho. This division took place when the tribe reached the Missouri River, early in the Nineteenth Century. The Gros Ventres then went north and joined the Black-feet, seldom afterward visiting their brethren.|
Dorsey says the word Arapaho means the "tattooed people," and says a tribal tradition claims that these Indians once inhabited all the country between the sources of the Platte River and the Arkansas River. The Northern Arapaho call themselves "A-no-nai," which in their dialect means "the parent of nations," though the Southern Arapaho say that it means only "the men," or "the people." As a matter of fact the origin and meaning of the tribal name are matters of uncertainty. The men of the tribe are brave and intelligent, and both men and women resemble the Sioux Indians, which is no doubt responsible for the belief that the Arapaho are of that stock.
In religion the Arapaho are monotheistic. They believe in a Great Spirit who is good and omnipotent, and an evil spirit which is constantly working for the downfall of humanity. They have a standard of right and wrong and believe that the good and bad deeds done on earth will be rewarded or punished after death. Ghosts and spirits of departed ancestors, especially their great chiefs, form a part of their superstitious belief, and fairy stories or folk lore was common among them when they were first met by the whites. The white buffalo they have always looked upon as a sort of deity.
|TRADITION OF THE FLOOD|
| Sherman Coolidge, an educated Arapaho, some years ago wrote an account of the Arapaho tradition of the flood, from which the following has been adapted: Long ago. before there was any animal life on the earth, the entire surface of the planet was covered with water, except the top of one high mountain. Upon this mountain sat a lone Arapaho, poor, weeping and in great distress. The Great Spirit saw him and felt sorry for him, and in his pity sent three ducks to the poor Indian. The Arapaho ordered the ducks to dive down into the waters and bring up some dirt. The first and second tried, but after remaining under water for a long time each returned without any dirt. Then the third went down and was gone so long that the surface of the water where he disappeared had become still and quiet. The Arapaho believed this duck to be dead when she returned to the surface with some dirt in her bill. As soon as the Arapaho received this bit of earth the waters began to subside.|
In a short time the waters had receded so far that they could not be seen from the top of the highest mountain, but this Arapaho, who was endowed with supernatural wisdom and power, knew that they surrounded the earth, even as they do to this day. The Arapaho, who had been saved by the ducks, then became the sole possessor of the land. He made the rivers and made the trees to grow along them, the buffaloes, elks, deer and other animals, all the birds of the air and the fishes in the waters, and all the trees and bushes and all other things that can be grown by planting seeds in the ground.
Then all the other tribes—the Sioux, the Cheyenne, the Shoshone, etc.— cnme to this Arapaho, poor and on foot, and he gave them ponies. He also taught them to make bows and arrows and how to start a fire by rubbing two sticks together. This Arapaho god also had a peace pipe, which he gave to the people and told them to live at peace with each other, but especially with the Arapaho. The Cheyenne was the first of the tribes to come and receive gifts and knowledge of the Arapaho god. Among the gifts they received were ponies, in the use of which they became expert. The Shoshone had no lodges and the Arapaho taught them to construct skin tepees. Then all the tribes loved the Arapaho.
| Like the Arapaho, the Cheyenne Indians belong to the Algonquian family. A tribal tradition says these Indians once inhabited the valley of the Red River of the North, where they were friendly with both the Sioux and Ojibway while those tribes were at war with each other. In time the Ojibway became suspicious that the Cheyenne were aiding the Sioux and drove them westward into what is now North Dakota. From there they were driven by the hostile Sioux to the upper waters of the Platte River. After they became established there all the tribes of the plains acknowledged their superiority in their impetuous valor and as fierce, skilful warriors.|
When Bent's Fort was built on the Upper Arkansas River, in the early part of the Nineteenth Century, a portion of the tribe moved to that section of the country and became known as the "Southern Cheyenne." Those who remained in the Platte Valley extended their domain to the Yellowstone and became known as the "Northern Cheyenne." Since that time they have been recognized as two separate and distinct bands, the Northern Cheyenne becoming affiliated with the Sioux and the Southern with the Kiawa. By treaties with the United States they ceded their lands in Wyoming and were given reservations in Montana and Oklahoma, respectively. In 1910 there were about three thousand on the two reservations. After the separation of the tribe there was very little communication between them, though Brave Bear, a chief of the Southern Cheyenne brought a number of his warriors to assist his northern brethren in the Custer
| The Indian name of this tribe is Ab-sa-ro-ka, meaning "the hawk." They belong to the Siouan group, though they separated from the other Siouan tribes so far back in the past that their oldest traditions have failed to preserve the date. When first encountered by white men they occupied the Upper Yellowstone Valley, where they were allowed to dwell in security by the other tribes, who knew too well their warlike dispostion and skill with arms. Formerly they were frequently at war with the adjacent tribes, particularly the Sioux, until they had firmly established themselves in their domain, but they were generally at peace with the whites, often furnishing scouts to detachments of United States troops against the hostile tribes.|
When the first trappers and agents of the fur companies came into the Crow country, the Indians stole their traps and occasionally ran ofT their horses. Concerning this, the artist Catlin says: "While these people have sometimes been called rascals and thieves, and rogues of the first order, yet they do not consider themselves such, for thieving in their estimation is^ a high crime, and in their eyes a disgraceful act; that while they sometimes capture and run off a trader's horse and make their boasts of it, they consider it a kind of retaliation or summary justice, which they think right and honorable for the unlicensed trespass through their country from one end to the other by the mercenary white men, who destroy the game, catch the beaver and drive other valuable furs off their country without paying them an equivalent, or in fact anything at all for it, and this, too, when they have been warned time and again of the danger they would be in if they longer persisted in such practices."
The same writer pronounces the Crow Indians "the most honest and honorable race of people among whom I have ever lived." Catlin may have found them so in his relations with them, but the early settlers in the vicinity of the Crow country could no doubt tell a different story of depredations committed, live stock stolen, etc.
Among the Crow Indians there were a number of military societies. To be a member of one of these societies was a privilege accorded only to those who had distinguished themselves in warfare. They also had many feasts and cere-moni;,ls, one of which was the planting of the sacred tobacco plant. After the tribe ceded its lands to the United States its members were given a reservation in Southern Montana.
| The Shoshone (or Shoshoni) is the leading tribe of the Shoshonean family. Some authorities say this name was given to the tribe by the Cheyenne, but this is probably a mistake. The name signifies "People of the high land," and no doubt originated in the fact that these Indians inhabited the country along the eastern slope of the Rocky Mountains. They were sometimes called the Rocky Mountain Indians by the first explorers and travelers through the West. They were also called the Snake Indians. Says Haines: "It is uncertain why the term 'Snake' was given to this tribe by the whites, but probably because of their tact in leading pursuits by crawling off in the long grass or diving in the water."|
The first white men to give any account of the Shoshone were Lewis and Clark, who came upon a band of them in Western Montana in 1804, while on their way to the Pacific coast. The explorers called them Snakes, and in the journal of the Lewis and Clark expedition mention is made of Sac-a-ja-we-a (the bird woman), a member of the band, who acted as guide to the expedition to the sources of the Columbia River. From this woman and her husband, Lewis and Clark learned that the tribe inhabited the country now included in Western Wyoming and Montana, Southern Idaho, Northern Utah, Northeastern Nevada and Eastern Oregon. Those living along the eastern slopes of the Rocky Mountains had ponies and hunted the buffalo, but they never ventured very far from their mountain homes for fear of the warlike tribes of the plains.
A Shoshone tradition says that many years ago they dwelt in a country far to the southward, where the rivers were filled with alligators. Consequently, when a Shoshone crosses a strange river he always offers a brief prayer to the alligators that may be in it to spare his life. After leaving that country they came to the Rocky Mountains, where they had lived for nearly fifty years before the first trappers and traders came into their country. During that period they had frequently been compelled to resort to arms to repel invasions by the Sioux, Crow, Cheyenne and Arapaho tribes.
They were superstitious, with a firm belief in ghosts, fairies, little devils, water babies, etc. They also believed in a demon of bad luck, who resembled a short, stocky human being dressed in goatskin clothing, and who carried a quiver filled with invisible arrows. Any person shot with one of these arrows did not die, but was certain to suffer some reverse of fortune or health. If a member of the family fell ill, or a horse went lame, it was considered proof positive that one of the invisible arrows had done its work, and the only relief was removal to another part of the country. To hear a coyote howl at full moon was an omen of good luck, and if a family, removing at such a time to another place to get rid of the evil influence of the invisible arrow should hear the howl of a coyote, the head of the family would give the order to return to the old home, satisfied that the spell was broken.
Kindred tribes of the Shoshonean group are the Comanche, Bannock, Piute, Flathead and a few minor mountain bands bearing different names, but all offshoots from the parent stock. The Bannock Indians at one time inhabited Eastern Oregon and Southern Idaho, though some of this tribe lived with the Shoshone in Western Wyoming, and after the treaty of 1868 occupied for a time a portion of the Wind River reservation. In 1871 they quarreled with the Shoshone and were removed to Fort Hall, Idaho. Four years later the Shoshone agreed to allow the Arapaho to occupy part of the reservation. The arrangement was made, and, although the two tribes had long been enemies, they have since dwelt together in peace.
| Washakie, one of the best known of the \\'yoming Indians, became the head chief of the Shoshone in 1857, being at that time about forty years of age. He was a real friend of the white men and it was through his influence that the southwestern part of the state was ceded to the United States in 1868, when the Wind River reservation was established. In 1876 Washakie, with 213 of his warriors, joined General Crook in the campaign'against hostile tribes. On this campaign General Crook consulted Washakie daily as to the habits of the Indians of whom they were in pursuit, and in nearly every instance the information imparted was found to be correct. His men also performed valuable services as scouts.|
After the campaign. President Grant sent to the old chief a fine horse and saddle, through Doctor Irwin, the Indian agent. When presented with the horse Washakie said nothing. The agent suggested that he ought to send his thanks to General Grant, whereupon the old chief replied: "Do a favor to a white man, he feels it in his head and the tongue speaks. Do a kindness to an Indian, he feels it in his heart; the heart has no tongue."
Washakie ruled his people with an iron hand, though he was always earnest in his efforts to improve their condition. On one occasion the agent complained that one man of the tribe was making trouble by getting drumk and fighting. Washakie called the man before him and admonished him to improve his conduct. A little later the agent again complained of the Indian's drunkenness and disorderly behavior. The old chief said nothing at the time, but the following day assured the agent that the fellow would give him no further trouble. Then the agent learned that the chief had taken the Indian out and shot him. Another time, when he was going to be away for a few days, he left orders with his wife to remove the tepee to another location while he was gone. Upon his return he found the lodge in the same place and inquired why his orders had not been obeyed. His wife said it was because her mother objected. Washakie then asked his mother-in-law why she opposed his wishes. The old squaw promptly informed him that it was because she wanted the tepee to remain where it was. Washakie then killed her and ordered his wife to remove the tepee. This time his order was obeyed.
He was a polygamist, with several wives and numerous children. In this respect he merely followed the custom of the Shoshone chiefs for generations and saw nothing wrong in his having a number of wives, although he was one of the most intelligent of the Shoshone Indians. Washakie died about the beginning of the present century.
| In addition to the tribes above mentioned, the Blackfeet, Arikara, Assiniboine, Gros Ventre, Mandan and certain bands of the Sioux Indians either claimed land within the present limits of Wyoming or hunted therein. These tribes joined with the Cheyenne, Arapaho, etc., in making treaties with the representatives of the United States.|
The Blackfeet were originally allied with the Algonquian family, but left that group and wandered up the Missouri River, where they became affiliated with the Siouan tribes, especially the Teton, Unkpapa and Brule (or Bois Brule) bands, and in time came to be recognized as one of the Siouan tribes. It is said that they received the name of Blackfeet because when they came up the Missouri River their leggings were black from marching over the burned prairie. At one time the Blackfeet were estimated at forty thousand. In 1910 there were 2,100 on the reservation in Montana and 3,000 in the British Possessions.
No Indian tribe of the Northwest was more uncertain in temper and conduct than the Arikara. Some ethnologists place these Indians as an offshoot of the Fox, but they belonged to the Caddoan group. One of their traditions states that they lived in Western Missouri about 1780, where they were driven out by hostile tribes and ascended the Missouri. They were friendly to Lewis and Clark in 1804 and 1806, but were hostile to Ensign Pryor's party in 1807 when escorting the Alandan chief to his home after visiting Washington. They traded with the Missouri Fur Company in 1811; robbed two trading houses of the company near Great Bend in 1820; were friendly to Joshua Pilcher in 1822, and the next year attacked the trading house of the Missouri Fur Company in the Sioux country and were hostile to W. H. Ashley's first expedition up the Missouri, after first making a show of friendship.
|FOREIGN POLICY TOWARD THE INDIANS|
| When Cortez was commissioned captain-general of New Spain in 1529, he was directed to "give special attention to the conversion of the Indians; to see that no Indians be given to the Spaniards as servants; that they pay such tribute to His Majesty as they can easily afford; that there shall be a good correspondence maintained between the Spaniards and the natives, and that no wrong shall be offered the latter either in their goods, families or persons."|
Such were the instructions of the Spanish Government, but notwithstanding this, during the conquest of Mexico and Central America the treatment of the natives was cruel in the extreme, many of them being captured and forced to work in the mines. Don Sebastian Ramirez, bishop and acting governor after Cortez, tried to carry out the humane orders of the commission. Antonio de Herrera says that under his administration "the country was much improved and all things carried on with equity, to the general satisfaction of all good men.
The Spanish authorities never accepted the idea that the Indians owned all the land, but only that part actually occupied, or that might be necessary to supply their wants. All the rest of the land belonged to Spain by right of discovery, and the policy of dealing with the natives was based upon this theory.
The French had no settled policy regarding the title to lands. In the letters patent given by Louis XV to the Western Company in August, 1717, was the following provision:
"Section IV—The said company shall be free, in the said granted lands to negotiate and make alliance with all the nations of the land, except those which are dependent on the other powers of Europe; she may agree with them on such conditions as she may think fit, to settle among them, and trade freely with them, and in case they insult her she may declare war against them, attack them or defend herself by means of arms, and negotiate with them for peace or a truce."
In this section it will be noticed there is nothing said about the acquisition of lands. As a matter of fact the French cared but little for the lands, the principal object being to control the fur trade. The trading post did not require a large tract of land, and outside of the site of the trading house and a small garden, the Indians were left in full possession. Nor did the French become the absolute owners of the small tracts at the trading posts. In case the post was abandoned the site reverted to its Indian owners. Under such a liberal policy it is not surprising that the French traders were almost always on friendly terms with the natives.
The English policy treated the Indian as a barbarian and in making land grants ignored any claim he might make to the soil. The so-called "Great Patent of New England," which was issued to the Plymouth Company and embracing the land from 40° to 48° north latitude, made not the slightest allusion to the Indian title. The settlers bought the land from the tribal chiefs, and in numerous instances failure to quit the Indian title by purchase resulted in disastrous wars. In the charter granted by Charles I to Lord Baltimore, the grantee was given the authority "to collect troops, wage war on the 'barbarians' and other enemies who may make incursions into the settlements, and to pursue them even beyond the limits of their province, and if God shall grant it, to vanquish and captivate them; and the captives to put to death, or, according to their discretion, to save."
All the nations of Europe which acquired territory in America, asserted in themselves and recognized in others the exclusive right of the discoverer to claim and appropriate the lands occupied by the Indians. Parkman says: "Spanish civilization crushed the Indian; English civilization scorned and neglected him; French civilization emhraced and cherished him."
|THE UNITED STATES POLICY|
| The early colonies in this country. adhered to the policy of the country to which they belonged. By the treaty of September 3, 1783, which ended the Revolutionary war, all the rights and powers of Great Britain descended to the United States. The Articles of Confederation, the first organic law adopted by the American Republic, provided that:|
"The United States in Congress assembled shall have the sole and exclusive right and power of regulating the trade and managing all affairs with the Indians not members of any of the/states, provided that the legislative right of any state within its own limits be not infringed or violated."
On March 1, 1793, President Washington approved an act to regulate trade and intercourse with the Indian tribes, in which it was expressly stipulated "That no purchase or grant of lands, or any title or claim thereto, from any Indians, or nation or tribe of Indians, within the bounds of the United States, shall be of any validity, in law or equity, unless the same be made by a treaty or convention entered into pursuant to the constitution."
The penalty for each violation of this act was a fine of $1,000 and imprisonment not exceeding twelve months. With amendments this law remained the basis of all relations with the Indians of the country until the passage of the act of JNIarch 3, 1871. Cyrus Thomas, of the United States Bureau of Ethnology, says: "By the act of March 3, 1871, the legal fiction of recognizing the tribes as independent nations, with which the United States could enter into solemn treaty, was, after it had continued nearly one hundred years, finally done away with. The effect of this act was to bring under the immediate control of the Congress the transactions with the Indians and reduce to simple agreements what had before been accomplished by solemn treaties."
The first treaties made by the United .States with the Indian tribes were merely treaties of peace and friendship. On .August 3, 1795, a great council was held at Greenville, Ohio, at which time the Miami, Pottawatomi and associated tribes ceded to the United States certain lands in Indiana and Ohio for military posts and roads. This was the first cession of lands made to the United States by Indians after the adoption of the Federal Constitution. A little later the Delaware Indians ceded a portion of their domain for settlement by the white people. From that time treaty after treaty followed, each extending the white man's territory farther to the westward until aliout the middle of the last century, when his progress reached the present State of Wyoming.
|TREATY OF FORT LARAMIE|
| For about twenty-five years after the opening of the Oregon Trail, it was used freely by the fur traders. The Indian tribes living within reach of the trail found it easier to meet the traders at some point along its course than to go to the trading posts on the Missouri River to dispose of their furs. The discovery of gold in California in 1849 brought a different class of white men into the Indian country. The gold seekers brought no goods to trade and had no desire for furs. Almost every day brought a train of ox teams on the way to the new gold fields. The emigrants killed the buffaloes indiscriminately, and what they did not kill they scared away, leaving the Indians without their customary means of subsistence. This naturally drove the savages to adopt a policy of retaliation. It was not long 'until hunters and outriders were killed, stock stampeded and emigrant trains attacked.|
On October 13, 1849, Col. D. D. Mitchell, superintendent of Indian affairs, wrote to the department advising a grand council at Fort Laramie, which should be attended by a military force sufficient to awe the Indians into making a treaty of peace, and at the same time fix the boundaries of each tribe. The council assembled about the first of September, 1851, and remained in session for twenty-three days. Ten thousand Sioux, Cheyenne, Arapaho, Assiniboine, Crow, Arikara and other Indians gathered at the Fort. The wagon train of supplies sent by the Government was delayed and the vast assemblage was actually in need of provisions. On the 17th Colonel Mitchell succeeded in concluding a treaty, thus giving the Indians an opportunity to go out and hunt buffalo for food, but very few of them left the council. On the 20th the provision train arrived, when the whites and Indians joined in a grand feast. By the terms of the treaty the United States agreed to pay the several tribes the sum of $50,000 annually for ten years for the right of way for the trail through their lands, and each tribe accepted certain boundaries, beyond which they were not to stray without the consent of the Government.
The bounds of the Sioux nation were set forth in the treaty as follows: "Commencing at the mouth of the White Earth River, on the Missouri River; thence in a southwesterly direction to the forks of the Platte River; thence up the north fork of the Platte River to a point known as Red Bute, or where the road leaves the river; thence along the range of mountains known as the Black Hills to the headwaters of the Heart River; thence down the Heart River to its mouth; thence down the Missouri River to the place of beginning."
This tract included only a part of what was afterward recognized as Sioux territory. The domain included in the above described boundaries lay chiefly in South Dakota and Nebraska, but some years later the Sioux became joint claimants with the Northern Arapaho and Cheyenne to that portion of Wyoming lying north of the Platte and east of the Powder River and Rattlesnake Mountains.
The Arikara, Gros Ventre and Mandan tribes were assigned a tract with the following boundaries: "Commencing at the mouth of the Heart River; thence up the Missouri River to the mouth of the Yellowstone River; thence up the Yellowstone to the mouth of the Powder River; thence in a southeasterly direction to the headwaters of the Little Missouri River; thence along the Black Hills to the head of the Heart Ri\er; and thence down the Heart River to the place of beginning."
Only a small portion of this territory (between the Little Powder and Little Missouri rivers) lies in Wyoming. These tribes afterward claimed to own a large tract of country on the north side of the Missouri River, which was ceded to the United States by the treaty of July 27, 1866. but the treaty was never ratified. Relations between them and the Government remained unsettled until the executive order of April 12, 1870, when a reservation was assigned them on land recognized by the treaty of Fort Laramie, the remainder of said territory becoming the property of the United States.
The Assiniboine country, as fixed by the treaty, is all within the present State of Montana, the boundaries being described as follows: "Commencing at the mouth of the Yellowstone River; thence up the Missouri River to the mouth of the Musselshell River; thence from the mouth of the Musselshell River in a southeasterly direction to the headwaters of Big Dry Creek; thence down that creek to where it empties into the Yellowstone River, nearly opposite the mouth of the Powder River; and thence down the Yellowstone River to the place of beginning."
The blackfoot country boundaries began "at the mouth of the Musselshell River; thence up the Missouri River to its source: thence along the main range of the Rocky Mountains in a southerly direction to the headwaters of the northern source of the Yellowstone River; thence down the Yellowstone River to the mouth of Twenty-five Yard Creek; thence across to the headwaters of the Musselshell River; and thence down the Musselshell River to the place of beginning.
This tract is all in Montana except a small triangular piece of land in Yellowstone National Park, extending southeastward into Lincoln County, Wyoming. By the treaty of October 17. 1855, which was concluded on the Upper Missouri, near the mouth of the Judith River, the Blackfoot domain was made a common hunting ground for that tribe, the Flathead and the Nez Perce Indians.
In the treaty the boundaries of the Crow country were described as "Commencing at the mouth of the Powder River, on the Yellowstone; thence up the Powder River to its source; thence along the main range of the Black Hills and the Wind River Mountains to the headwaters of the Yellowstone River; thence down the Yellowstone River to the mouth of Twenty-five Yard Creek; thence to the headwaters of the Musselshell River; thence down the Musselshell River to its mouth; thence to the headwaters of Big Dry Creek; and thence to its mouth."
More than half of this tract is situated within the limits of the present State of Wyoming. It concludes all that part of the state lying between the Powder and Yellowstone rivers and extending southward to the Wind River and Rattlesnake Mountains. The counties of Bighorn, Washakie, Park and Hot Springs, and the greater part of Sheridan, Johnson and Natrona, the northern part of Fremont and the eastern part of Yellowstone National Park are all situated in what was once Crow territory. A portion of the tract was ceded to the United States by the treaty of Fort Laramie (May 7, 1868), and a reservation for the tribe was established in Montana.
The boundaries of the territory assigned to the Southern Arapaho and Cheyenne were established and described as follows: "Commencing at the Red Butte, or the place where the road leaves the north fork of the Platte River; thence up the said north fork of the Platte River to its source; thence along the main range of the Rocky Mountains to the headwaters of the Arkansas River; thence down the Arkansas River to the crossing of the Santa Fe Trail; thence in a northwesterly direction to the forks of the Platte River; and thence up the Platte River to the place of beginning."
All that part of Wyoming situated south and east of the North Platte River, Southwestern Nebraska, a strip about forty miles wide across the western part of Kansas to the Arkansas River, and about one-third of the present State of Colorado were included in the domain of the Arapaho and Cheyenne. In Wyoming the counties of Albany and Laramie, all that portion of Carbon east of the Platte River, the southeast corner of Natrona, the southwest corner of Converse, the southern half of Goshen and nearly all of Platte have been erected out of this territory, which was ceded to the United States by the treaty of Fort Wise, Kansas, which was concluded on February i8, 1861.
The Northern Arapaho and Cheyenne were allotted the country between the Platte and Powder rivers, in what is now Northeastern Wyoming. Their domain included the present counties of Crook, Campbell, Weston, Niobrara, the northern half of Goshen, the northeast comer of Platte, nearly all of Converse, and a narrow strip along the eastern border of Sheridan and Johnson—that part of those counties east of the Powder River. A portion of Natrona County was also embraced in the domain of the Cheyenne and Arapaho. Some time after the treaty of Fort Laramie, the Sioux were permitted by the Cheyenne and Arapaho to hunt in their country, and that tribe united with the other two in the cession of the region to the United States by agreement on September 26, 1876.
Gen. William S. Harney called Colonel Mitchell's agreement with the Indians a "bread and molasses" treaty, as it promised a great deal to the Indians and received practically nothing in return. The tribes failed to keep within their respective jurisdictions, nor did they refrain from making attacks upon emigrant trains and stealing their horses and cattle. Hence it was not long until other treaties became necessary, especially as a few white people had already settled in the West soon after the close of the Civil war and others were looking with longing eyes at the broad prairies of that section, where they were anxious to obtain homes.
|TREATY WITH THE SIOUX|
| During the Civil war the Sioux Indians gave the United States authorities considerable trouble by their uprising in Minnesota, and after the war was over they showed signs of dissatisfaction and at times threatened to break into open hostilities. In the spring of 1868 Gen. W. T. Sherman, Gen. William S. Hamey, Gen. Alfred H. Terry, Gen. C. C. Augur, John B. Sanborn, Samuel F. Tappan, Nathaniel G. Taylor and J. B. Henderson were appointed commissioners to hold a council and negotiate a treaty that would insure peace on the part of the tribe.|
The council was held at Fort Laramie and on April 29. 1868, the treaty was concluded, ceding to the United States all the Sioux lands within the present limits of South Dakota that had been allotted to them by the treaty of September 17, 1851, and a reservation was set apart for the tribe in South Dakota. The country north of the Platte and east of the summit of the Big Horn Mountains was considered to be unceded and was retained by the Indians as part of their hunting grounds. The treaty was signed by the chiefs Red Cloud, Medicine Eagle, Black Tiger, Man Afraid of his Horses, and a number of minor chiefs.
|THE CROW TREATY|
|On May 7, 1868, Generals Sherman, Harney, Terry and Augur concluded a treaty with the chiefs and head men of the Crow tribe at Fort Laramie, by which these Indians ceded the greater part of their lands in Wyoming, allotted to them by the treaty of September 17, 1851, and accepted a reservation in :Montana, lying between the northern boundary line of Wyoming and the Yellowstone River. The remainder of the Crow territory in Wyoming was ceded to the United States by the agreement of June 12, 1880.|
|CHEYENNE AND ARAPAHO TREATY|
|Three days after the above treaty with the Crow Indians was concluded, the same commissioners met the chiefs of the Northern Cheyenne and Northern Arapaho and concluded a treaty by which those tribes relinquished all claims to their lands in Wyoming and agreed to accept a home either with the Southern Arapaho and Cheyenne, on their reservation in Colorado, or on the Big Sioux reservation in Dakota. They were established on the latter. In 1875 the Arapaho, with the consent of the Shoshone, were given a home on the Wind River reservation. That portion of Wyoming included in the cession made by this treaty, embraces the district between the Platte and Powder rivers, extending southwest to the Rattlesnake Mountains. After the Cheyenne and Arapaho were quartered on the Sioux reservation they learned that the territory had been reserved by that tribe as hunting ground in the treaty of April 29, 1868. Some of the Cheyenne and Arapaho then tried to renew their claims, and the tract was finally ceded to the United States by all the tribes through the agreement of September 26, 1876.|
|TREATY OF FORT BRIDGER|
| After negotiating the treaties with the Crow, Cheyenne and Arapaho at Fort Laramie in May, 1868, Generals Sherman, Terry, Augur and Harney went to Fort Bridger and called a council of the Shoshone and Bannock chiefs. On July 3, 1868, the chiefs of the eastern bands of those tribes entered into a treaty, in which they agreed to relinquish all claims to their lands in Wyoming and accept a reservation bounded as follows: "Commencing at the mouth of Owl Creek and running due south to the crest of the divide between the Sweetwater and Popo-Agie rivers; thence in a westerly direction along the crest of said divide and the summit of the Wind River Mountains to a point due south of the mouth of the north fork of the Wind River; thence due north to the mouth of said north fork and up its channel to a point twenty miles above its mouth; thence in a straight line to the headwaters of Owl Creek, and along the middle channel of Owl Creek to the place of beginning."|
The reservation thus established is known as the "Wind River Reservation." The territory ceded included all that part of Wyoming west of the North Platte River and south of the Wind River Mountains, extending northward to the old Blackfoot boundary in Yellowstone National Park. This cession now embraces the counties of Uinta and Sweetwater, all of Lincoln except a little of the northeast corner, that part of Carbon west of the North Platte River, the southern part of Fremont and a Httle of the southwest corner of Natrona.
The treaty was ratified on February i6, 1869, and on the loth of the following December, Governor Campbell approved a memorial adopted by the first Territorial Legislature of Wyoming, setting forth that "the reservation had been occupied by citizens of the United States for mining and agricultural purposes ; that the mining community known as Hamilton City or 'Miners' Delight,' and numerous other gold producing creeks and gulches are within the limits of said reservation; that while the occupants were bona fide settlers for a year before the conclusion of the treaty their interests had not been consulted in establishing the reservation; that the Shoshone and Bannock Indians cannot live in peace there, owing to the proximity of their hereditary enemies, the Sioux; that no game can be found on or in the immediate vicinity of the reservation," etc. The memorial asked Congress to abrogate that provision of the treaty and establish a reservation elsewhere, to the end that the lands might be reopened for preemption and settlement.
Congress declined to grant the request and the Indians remained in possession of the reservation. On March 3, 1871, President Grant approved the act which did away with the custom of making treaties with the Indians, and on September 26, 1872, an agreement was made with the Shoshone by which they ceded to the United States that part of their reservation "south of a line beginning at a point on the eastern boundary of the reservation due east of the mouth of the Little Popo-Agie at its junction with the Popo-Agie and running from said point west to the mouth of the Little Popo-Agie; thence up the Popo-Agie to the north fork and up the north fork to the mouth of the canyon; thence west to the western boundary of the reservation."
The Bannock Indians had no part in this agreement, having previously quarreled with the Shoshone and been removed to the Fort Hall reservation in Idaho. Subsequent agreements have reduced the Wind River reservation to the territory bounded by the \Mnd River on the north; the lines established by the agreement of September 26, 1872, on the south, and the original western boundary between those two lines on the west. On May 21. 1887, President Cleveland set apart a tract of 1,405 acres "more or less" at the forks of the Little Wind River, in the Wind River reservation, as a military reserve for Fort Washakie.
The treaty of Fort Bridger was the last important treaty made with the Indians of Wyoming. Several agreements were made after that time to perfect the title of the whites to the land ceded, but possession came with the treaty of July 3, 1868. During the half century since that treaty was concluded a dififerent Wyoming has come upon the map of the nation. Railroads have taken the places of Indian trails; the school house has supplanted the council wigwam of the savage; the howl of the wolf and the war-whoop are no longer heard, but in their stead have come the herds of the husbandman and the hum of peaceful industry. And all these changes have been made within the memory of persons yet living. To tell the story of this development is the province of the subsequent chapters of this history.