Post by kingsleybray on Jun 4, 2012 11:26:45 GMT -5
A very valuable source on the Crow is the journal of Jakob Schmidt, a Lutheran missionary, which is published with commentary in Gerhard M. Schmutterer, TOMAHAWK AND CROSS: LUTHERAN MISSIONARIES AMONG THE NORTHERN PLAINS TRIBES, 1858-1866 (Sioux Falls, SD: The Center for Western Studies, Augustana College, 1989).
Schmidt records several Crow names, usually without translation and in a German orthography.
He noted three subdivisions:
(a) Zisbawaikze, under Dagbizehischisch. I think this is the Mountain Crow, and the chief may be Red Bear. (b) Menesbere, under Dagbizaschusch. This is the River Crow, and I think this is the chief Bear's Head, also noted by Denig. (c) Enanabio, under Arazieisa, recently killed by the Blackfeet. These are the Kicked in the Bellies, sub-division of the Mountain Crow, and the chief is Big Robber, whose name is correctly translated Big Shadow.
Post by kingsleybray on Jun 11, 2012 4:58:25 GMT -5
I wonder if the leader named by Schmidt as Ischuretsch could be the famous Mountain Crow leader Iron Bull. He had another name White Temple, rendered Itchuua Chiash. See the following from this link to the Little Bighorn College Library website:
"Itchúua Chíash/White Temple, known also as Iron Bull/Uuwatchiilapish (ca. 1820-1886) An important warrior and second ranking chief to Sits In The Middle Of The Land."
The Schmidt diary for 12th and 14th September 1858 reveals that "Ischuretsch" had been given a peace medal by Upper Platte (Lakota) Agent Thomas Twiss the previous year, but according to Twiss had been a leader in a raid on the Lakota pony herds at the Agency (modern Glenrock, WYO) in August 1858. "Ischuretsch" told Schmidt that the Lakotas had "killed his son, a beautiful youth about whom he is in constant mourning. He cut off his hair, went to the mountains, did not eat nor drink, and wept all the time. He is angry. The stolen horses are just a minor compensation for it. Now the account between the Makota and him is settled. He gave back the peace medal."
I do agree with you on Ischuretsch likely being the same as Itchuua Chiash, White Temple/Iron Bull. It makes a lot of sense that he was named as a prominent Crow by Schmidt, being that he was reportedly "second in rank" to Sits In The Middle Of The Land/Black Foot, who in turn became the principle chief of the Crows after the demise of Big Shadow/Big Robber. (Although in 1873, Iron Bull was figured by the US Government to be the principle chief, and Black Foot second.)
Iron Bull is not definitively linked to either the River, Mountain Crows, or the Kicked In The Bellies, but we can safely rule out River Crows. I believe that he, just as Black Foot, may have joined and became a leader of the Kicked In The Bellies from the early to mid 1850s.
It's great to read additional information of the Crow raid on Twiss' agency in August 1858, I've been looking for more details on this encounter, and had not read Schmidt's diary before. So thank you for pointing this out! After this raid, which was the second one (as far as Twiss' knew) on "his" southern Oglala, Twiss requested a meeting with some of the Crow leaders and demanded that they cease these expeditions and return the stolen horses, which they easily promised to do but never intended to follow up on. Twiss soon concluded he was powerless to prevent them. Twiss does not mention the three leaders he spoke to, but the fact that Iron Bull gave back his peace medal seems to indicate he was one of them. We may speculate Black Foot was one of the others.
On you third post (Red Bear): Yes, Kingsley, it might very well be the very same man earlier identified as Sits on Edge of Fortification! It would fit with who we actually know were prominent men in the 1850's; I, for one, have not seen any other mentions of Sits on Edge of Fortification, and the similarity in names is there as well as the timing. Red Bear rose to the position of Mountain Crow leader in the late 1840's, just as Big Shadow was leading his band of Mountain Crows away from the main band and 'established' the Kicked In The Bellies. At the Horse Creek treaty meetings, no River Crow leaders were present, and it seems Big Shadow had seniority (of sorts) over Red Bear. Red Bear was killed when in his 60's, while fighting a rear guard action in a Lakota/Cheyenne attack.
I did also look at the list of names to see if Black Foot was among them, which I would have actually expected, but did not see anything that resembles enough Awé Kúalawaachish (SitMotL), Káamneewiash (Blood Woman, yet another of his names), or Iché Shipíte (Black Foot).
I do hope more names on the list can be identified!
Post by kingsleybray on Jun 11, 2012 8:34:54 GMT -5
Thanks, Carlo, for your input. I hoped to find Sits in the Middle of the Land in the Schmidt list, but could not.
I do recommend the Schmidt diary, printed in full in the book edited by Gerhard Schmutterer.
The Twiss correspondence reveals that about the beginning of November 1856, just when the Upper Platte Agency was being relocated at Rawhide Butte, 25 miles n. of Ft Laramie, Twiss was visited by the Crow head chief (i.e. Big Robber, Big Shadow), and by the Miniconjou head chief (Lone Horn). They requested a change in annuity distribution points - the Crows to Platte Bridge (modern Caspar, WYO), the Miniconjous to the UPA. This is all part of the Miniconjou-Crow truce that held up from 1850 to 1857.
Interesting to see that Iron Bull was part of this Crow-Lakota affinity, until the Lakotas killed his son. I am working on the unravelling of the truces across 1857-59.
Kingsley, my source is the 1858 Annual Report to the CIA, page 95. Not much else is mentioned, he is especially mute on names unfortunately.
(Btw, on page 91 of the same report the death of Big Shadow is mentioned by Upper Missouri Agent Redfield; it's great that the Schmidt diary finally pinpoints the tribe that killed him, as Redfield was somewhat unclear in this.)
Post by kingsleybray on Jun 12, 2012 4:16:00 GMT -5
Carlo, I have the microfilm of Twiss's unprinted correspondence, Office of Indian Affairs, Letters Received from Upper Platte Agency, 1857-1862, NA Microfilm M234, Roll 890. It doesn't have anything more directly on the August 1858 raid. He does mention a few meetings with the Crows. He held a council with a large Crow war-party at Platte Bridge on May 17, 1857, dissuading them from an expedition against the Shoshone. In a letter to the Indian office dated Sept. 15, 1857, he states his intention of visiting the "North Platte Bridge, in October" to meet the Shoshone and Crow tribes in council, and that he has sent runners out to those tribes informing them of his intentions. The ostensible reason was to ensure the Indians did not side with the Mormons in the impending Mormon war. He says he plans making "a few inconsiderable presents". Perhaps these included the peace medals of which one went to Iron Bull/White Temple. He also visited the Crows in early spring 1858. He relocated the Upper Platte Agency from Rawhide Butte to the Deer Creek location in October 1857.
The sources conflict on whether Big Robber was killed by the Blackfeet or by the Lakotas.
The Schmidt diary helps set this Twiss diplomacy in some context. He clearly intended increasing the Indians under his administration, and was in with trader Joseph Bissonnette who obviously wanted to expand his customer base. I think Man Afraid of His Horse and the Oglala chiefs' council wanted to extend the hunting arrangements agreed between the Kicked in the Bellies Crows and the Miniconjous. These truces unravelled across the period late spring 1857 through 1859.
Very interesting, Kingsley, especially putting this in context with Twiss' commercial interests. He did move his agency to Deer Creek suddenly and without consulting his superiors, so he probably knew they may have denied it if requested, if they knew about this commercial link.
On Big Robber/Shadow's death: as far as I know, the only primary sources we have are the ARCIA report and now (at least "now" for me) the Schmidt diary. The ARCIA report is inconclusive, mentioning in general that during this timeframe battles were fought with Sioux, Nez Perces and Flatheads, but does not conclusively list which tribe Big Robber fought when he was killed with 30 other warriors. Other, secondary, sources like Hoxie's 'Parading Through History' state it was the Lakota, but the source is actually always ARCIA 1858.
So I have always felt Big Robber was not killed by Lakota. This feeling comes from the fact that there are no Lakota winter count sources stating anything about a battle where 30 Crows were killed, an astounding victory which would have certainly come up in the winter counts or oral history. That Schmidt states it was the Blackfeet reaffirms this notion, and for me would be nearest to conclusive. However, most commonly Big Robber is listed as the Crow leader who's heart was ostensibly cut out in 1858 by Washakie of the Shoshone at Crow Heart Butte in western Wyoming. I'm told Crow oral tradition also has him killed in this same battle.
This is indeed a highly interesting timeframe to study. For the last few months I've been sifting through information on Crow-Lakota fights during roughly this timeframe (1855-1860). Kingsley, the fact that you are mentioning "unravelling", does this mean that there wasn't an abrupt end to the truce in 1857 when the Crow woman was killed? I always assumed so, as just a few months later several newspapers reported, based on dispatches from Fort Laramie, that war between the Lakota and Crows had resumed in full by mid-summer. It seems to me it broke down rather instantly?
Post by kingsleybray on Jun 12, 2012 8:45:52 GMT -5
The Schmidt diary is part of the evidence for attempts to patch up the truces through 1858. I think too many people, including white people like Twiss and Bissonette (and other traders), had too big an interest in the truce and the enhanced hunting-trading opportunities for it just to implode. The final nail was the Crow killing of Black Shield's son Big Crow (early 1859) and the Miniconjou-Oglala campaign in reprisal that summer. After that Crow bitterness (consider our Iron Bull example) and Lakota triumphalism was too entrenched to permit further dialogue. The new crisis of the Bozeman Trail war did generate renewed Crow-Lakota diplomacy.
I am very interested in your newspaper sources! Any chance you could quote from them to help fill out the picture.
The Twiss corrspondence (which I hadn't seen in full when I wrote 'Lone Horn's Peace') has an important report dated July 6, 1857, in which he writes " A Report has reached me within the last week, the Crow Tribe has commenced hostilities against the Sioux, and has made a foray with a war party on the Platte 110 miles above this post [at Rawhide Butte], & stolen a large number of horses (57 as stated) belonging to Whites & Indians, & threatened further outrages. . . . It is all a mystery to me - for in May the Crow & Sioux Tribes were friendly & well disposed towards each other, & I can get at no clue for this Sudden Outbreak. One thing is certain & pretty evident, the Sioux are alarmed, & are all running away from the Upper Platte, - Some 200 Lodges of them haave passed down below, since the report first reached me, & are now on the Platte and L'eau qui court [Niobrara r.]."
My guess would be May everything fine, early June Miniconjous move east but before they leave the Crows visit and the woman is killed by White Robe. Mid-June Crow war-party got up and late June advances down to the North Platte in the Deer Cr.-Platte Bridge district, frightening eastward the 200 lodges who were probably Oglalas.
Kingsley, Very nice find re. the Crow expedition in June/July, it certainly seems to have been the result of the Crow woman killing, which I agree seems likely to have happened in early June.
Also, in that same summer we see an Oglala war party against the Crows. I think He Dog may have been among these warriors (see Oglala Sources, p.9) Locating them in the Bighorns, they had a fight with the Crows. It is interesting, though, that I have yet to find any evidence of war parties between end of summer 1857 to summer 1858, aside from some horse stealing and the immediate reaction on it. Could this be evidence that the truce was still somewhat in effect, but now with clear cracks in it?
On the newspapers: there are three, all from Wisconsin, and none of them are big or well known: Aug 13: Janesville Morning Gazette, Aug 19: Monroe Sentinel, Aug 20: Reedsburg Herald
As was usual in those times, they seemed to have copied the same story with some small changes, and it is all together very limited info, but still relevant I believe:
"St. Louis, Aug. 12. Fort Laramie dates to the 22nd ult., are received. [....] War [or: Large war parties] had broken out again between the Crows and the Sioux. Several surveying parties were seen, but nothing was heard of the murders reported last week."
Can this can be the same June/July war party Twiss writes about?
In addition, newly appointed Upper Missouri Indian Agent A.H. Redfield reported seeing, while at Fort Union in August 1857, a large Crow war party returning from an unsuccessful expedition against the Lakota. However, I believe these Crows to be River Crows out against the Hunkpapa/Sihasapa Lakota, who were already out of the truce by then.