Post by gregor on Mar 16, 2016 10:03:17 GMT -5
I think it's time to start a thread for the well known Bordeaux family. Members of this French-born family have been witnesses and actors in turbulent times of the Lakotas in general and of the Brulés in particular. I will give it a start.
James Bordeaux (1814 – 1878) – The father
James Bordeaux, the son of one Paul or Pierre Bordeaux, was born near St. Charles, Missouri, on August 22, 1814. He was engaged to carry mail between Fort Union and Fort Pierre. James worked for the American Fur Company at Fort Pierre, where he married an Arikara wife. With this wife he had two children, Lema (later Mrs. Lamoureaux) and Antoine. Later he moved into the Platte river region to Fort William/John/Laramie. His wife, unhappy amongst the Sioux, returned to her people on the Missouri. At Fort Laramie Bordeaux married Huntakalutawin – Marie Bordeaux (1822 - 1884) sister of the Brule Lakota Chief Swift Bear about 1841.
James Bordeaux established several (sub) trading posts, known as "road ranches" along the trail between Fort Laramie and Fort Pierre. About 1846 Bordeaux established his own trading post at Bordeaux Creek near todays Chadron, Nebraska. In 1849 Crows attacked his trading post near Chadron, at Bordeaux Creek, and run off about 80 horses and mules. The ranch was burned down and the Bordeaux family only narrowly escaped. Later the Bordeaux creek post was rebuilt and continued in operation until 1872, when it was sold to Francis Boucher, a son-in-law of Spotted Tail, but was finally abandoned in 1876.
Another trading post was established some miles below Fort Laramie on the Platte. This place on the river was known as Bordeaux Bend, near the site of the famous Grattan massacre. James children with Marie - Louis, John, Susan (Mrs. Charles Tackett and later Mrs. Isaac Bettelyoun), Alexander and William – were all born at Bordeaux Bend. In 1868 the Bordeaux family was present when the Fort Laramie treaty was negotiated.
From 1868 to 1871 James ran a post at the Whetstone Agency near Whetstone Creek on the Missouri and farmed in the vicinity. In summer 1878 James and Marie moved to the new Spotted Tail Agency (later Rosebud Agency). But in fall 1878 James contracted pneumonia. He died on October 11, 1878 and was buried at the agency cemetery.
Louis Bordeaux (1849 – 1917) – The son
Louis Bordeaux was the third child of James Bordeaux (the first with Huntkalutawin?). Louis was born about 1849. He was educated at Hamburg (Fremont County/ Iowa) and in his late teens he supported his father with his trading post at Bordeaux Creek near todays Chadron. Louis married Julia ( neé Dubray, 1859 – 1934); the pair had 5 children: Lulu, Leah, Alfred, Louis Jr. and William.
In October 1874 we hear the first time of Louis Bordeaux interpreting for the U.S. government. At the age of 25 Louis was the official interpreter of the Spotted Tail / Rosebud Agency and regarded as an reliable man. In 1875 Louis accompanied a mixed delegation of Brule and Oglala Lakotas to Washington. On May 13, 1875 he was photographed with his fellow interpreter William Garnett, the trader Julius Meyer, Spotted Tail and his uncle Swift Bear, Red Cloud and Sitting Bull (Oglala) in Omaha, Nebraska. He is also in the photograph of the 1875 delegation in front of the Treasury Building (?) in Washington.
In September 1877 Louis was present, when Crazy Horse was transferred from Camp Sheridan / Spotted Tail Agency to Camp Robinson. He was present when Crazy Horse was stabbed in front of the guardhouse and he interpreted most likely Crazy Horse’s last words before dying.
In June 1889 translated Louis Bordeaux for the government land commission at Rosebud, when he clashed with Hollow Horn Bear. The Brulé Chief Hollow said to the commissioners that he had been selected to speak for the tribal council and that the council would decide what to do with regard to the land cession. This caused Louis Bordeaux to tell Hollow Horn Bear: "Every man is supposed to have his own opinion in regard to this business”.
In later years he established a ranch in Todd County, South Dakota or Georgia (Kilgore / Nebraska) where he was interviewed by Eli S. Ricker with regard to Crazy Horse in August 1907. In 1917 Louis died on his ranch.
William Bordeaux (1885 – 1962) - The Grandson
William was the youngest child of Louis and Julia Bordeaux. Born in 1885 he grew up on his father's ranch on the reservation near Kilgore, Nebraska. Young William was born at a time of radical changes in the life of the Brulé and the Lakotas in general. He was six years old at the time of the Ghost Dance, the killing of Sitting Bull, and the Wounded Knee Massacre in 1890.
William Bordeaux was educated at Haskell Institute, Lawrence Kansas and from 1933 to 1937 he was employed by the State of South Dakota as a special investigator (?).
From his early grade school days to his later years Bordeaux had a passion for Sioux history. In 1929 he self-published his first book on Sioux history: Conquering the Mighty Sioux. A work built on interviews with elders (e.g. his father and others), personal reminiscences and winter counts. William Bordeaux published his work to straighten the historical records through first-person reports and by narratives of native participants.
Before and after Conquering the Mighty Sioux, Bordeaux wrote articles for different publications. In 1926 he wrote an article entitled "The Early Day Squaw Man". In this essay he discussed his grandfather’s life, who acted as intermediary between the government and the Lakotas. A year later (1927) he published a biographical essay on the Brulé chief Hollow Horn Bear, in which he explained how Hollow Horn Bear opposed the sale of the Black Hills. Hollow Horn Bear was a key force in what became later the Black Hills claim. He also wrote a short account of the life of Crazy Horse called “A Warlord of the Mighty Sioux” an another biography about “Sitting Bull, Tanka-ltotaka” to provide a native view on these important Leaders.
Not everything William related in his writings was historically accurate and the work needs to be read and utilized carefully. One of his critics was Mari Sandoz, who wrote to Eleanor Hinman questioning the accuracy of Bordeaux's work.
In the early 1930s Bordeaux had been in an automobile accident that had tossed him from the car and injured him seriously. This accident prevented him from engaging in physical labor and he had to earn his living by writing stories and reports for Associated Press and others. In 1934 he wrote a series of essays for “The Dakotah Traveler” (a South Dakota journal) to promote tourism.
William Bordeaux, whose Lakota name was Pte Ka-Sote-La [Buffalo Killer] died on May 22, 1962 at the age of seventy-eight. His wife Dorine Bordeaux-Smith passed away in 1979.
What else do we know? Any corrections and/or additions?