Copybook of James McLaughlin, U.S.Indian Agent, Devils Lake Agency, Fort Totten, N.D, (Section Four of Eight Secions) April 6, 1877 to June 30,1877, Original Material, First Time Published

This is Section Four of Eight Sections…The Fourth Batch (76 Letters)  of 493 Devils Lake Copybook Letters. 

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This copybook encompasses all the official letters written by Indian Agent, James McLaughlin, during this time frame.  It is the closest one can come to a diary of daily life at Devils Lake 1876-1878 (albeit from a white man’s perspective)

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Originals of this Material were Donated to National Archives November 2005, as requested, since it was stated that these letters had been written “on government time,”  hence they did not belong in private hands.

As copies of the letters are posted the index item will be highlighted.  Subject Matter of Letters deemed important will also be highlighted.  All letters in this copybook are included (no matter how routine sounding).

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April 1877

Letter No. 181,  Apr. 6, Want to hire two hands to help Indians breaking new land and getting a large crop in this year.

Letter No. 182, Apr. 5, Submissions of Accounts to Hon. Com.

Letter No. 183, Apr. 2, Submission of Quarterly Accounts

Letter No. 184, Apr. 7, Submittal of Requisitions to Hon. Com.

Letter No. 185, Apr. 4, Bill of Goods from last October

Letter No. 186, Apr. 7, Deposit of checks

Letter No. 187, Apr. 7, Add to my Potato Order

Letter No. 188, Apr. 8, Asking Hon. Com. to expedite payment

Letter No. 189, Apr. 7, What kind of corn do you raise in Berthold?

Letter No. 190, Apr. 7, Indians seeking kin.

Letter No. 191, Apr. 10, 500 Chippewa want to move to this Catholic Agency.

Letter No. 192, Apr. 14, School matters are settled!!!

Letter No. 193, Apr. 14, Helping an employee in distress.

Letter No. 194, Apr. 15, School matters are settled!!!

Letter No. 195, Apr. 14, We need to keep our interpreter.

Letter No. 196, Apr. 14, Sorry, cannot act as Notary.

Letter No. 197, Apr. 14, asking for a free pass to St. Paul.

Letter No. 198, Apr. 15, please help a girl heading for this Agency

Letter No. 199, Apr. 13, Please help a girl heading for this Agency.

Letter No. 200, Apr. 21,  finally finalizing pork B/Ls.

Letter No. 201, Apr. 21, Payment for seeds

Letter No. 202, Apr. 21, Pleading with wife of General Sherman to induce him to allow Sitting Bull to come in to a Catholic Agency and be granted every clemency possible.

Letter No. 203-214, Apr. 21-30, Twelve routine letters.

Letter No. 215, Apr. 30, Recovering from Winter and preparing for Spring planting.

May 1877

Letter No. 216-222, May 5-12, Seven routine letters.

Letter No. 223, May 12, “Sunkanskiya” wants to live here.

Letter No. 224, May 12, “Suneni” can visit your Agency.

Letter No. 225, May 12, check

Letter No. 226, May 11, Maybe this is the last of the pork problem.

Letter No. 227, May 13, Seed corn and potatoes problems.

Letter No. 228, May 14, Telegram…need seed potatoes asap.

Letter No. 229, May 12, Meet me in Fargo regarding seed potatoes

Letter No. 230, May 19, Re transportation from Jamestown.

Letter No. 231, May 19, “Wakanakita” did not steal your horses.

Letter No. 232, May 26, Complications in the bids for stock.

June 1877

Letter No. 233-235, June 1-9, Three routine letters.

Letter No. 236, May 31, Interesting material order.

Letter No. 237, June 16, Shortage on delivery.

Letter No. 238, June 16, Want our Indians to haul from Jamestown.

Letter No. 239, June 18, Indian’s progress this Spring is remarkable.

Letter No. 240, June 18, Finalized stock contract.

Letter No. 241, June 19, Interesting letter from “Grey Nuns.”

Letter No. 242, June 20, Seeking clarification on School & Sister’s subsistence.

Letter No. 243, June 21, Finding a new source for flour.

Letter No. 244, June 21, May I use ‘open market’ for purchases in addition to advertising for bids?

Letter No. 245, June 22, Sending “Standing Dog” back to Standing Rock.

Letter No. 246, June 25, Ordering clothes, etc.

Letter No. 247-249, June 30, Three routine letters.

Letter No. 250, June 30, June Report…Progress…Poor weather…Indians out of flour, eating turnips and pork…two bands of Chippewa appeared and have been forced back to their reservations.

Letter No. 251-257, June 30-July 7, Seven routine letters.

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April 1877

Letter No. 181,  Apr. 6, Want to hire two hands to help Indians breaking new land and getting a large crop in this year.

Hon.J.G.Smith, Commissioner Indians Affairs, Washington, D.C.    April 6th 1877

I have the honor to herewith submit Estimate of Funds for 2nd qr 1877, including an item for miscellaneous articles of $1000 “the amount of Treaty Fund available for this fiscal year as instructed in Office letter of the 2nd ultimo.”

The item $30.- “Transportation Fund” will be incurred in purchase of hay at Jamestown for cattle freighting, and for bridge toll, the water being too high in the Sheyenne River to ford during the early spring months, and the flour with some of the pork will have to be gotten through as early as practicable.

The two extra employees are required to assist the Indians in getting in their crops, breaking new land for those who have no fields prepared &c, and as I intend to make every effort to get in a large crop and compel each Indian to care for his field in a proper manner throughout the summer, so that they may be better repaid for their labor, and thus be induced

to increase their fields yearly after one successful crop.  By having this extra help during the ploughing, seeding, and breaking months, would in my opinion be of great benefit to the Indians and return largely for the small outlay.

The fresh beef is necessary for the employees and School during the summer months and can be obtained fresh eight times per month from the Military beef contractor and at contract price $8.95 per 100 lbs net.  Trusting that my Estimate will meet with your approval,

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Letter No. 182, Apr. 5, Submission of accounts to Hon. Com.

Hon.J.G.Smith , Commissioner Indian Affairs, Washington, D.C.   April 5th 1877

I have the honor to herewith transmit my accounts for the quarter ending March 31st 1877 viz

Duplicates of Triplicates of Account – Current

“                   “                Abstract of Disbursements

“                   “                Vouch No 1 to 4    “    “

“                   “                Property Return

“                   “                Abst “B” to “

“                   “                 “      “D”  “  “

“                   “                Voucher No 1 to Abst “D” to Property Return

”                   “                 Report of Employees

And one Return of Medical Supplies.

Hoping that the same will be found conformable with office requirements,

 

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Letter No. 183, Apr. 2, Submission of Quarterly Accounts

Letter No. 184, Apr. 7, Submittal of Requisitions to Hon. Com

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Letter No. 185, Apr. 4, Bill of Goods from Last October

Letter No. 186, Apr. 7, Deposit of checks

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Letter No. 187, Apr. 7, add to my Potato Order

Letter No. 188, Apr. 8, Asking Hon. Com. to expedite payment

Letter No. 189, Apr. 7, What kind of corn do you raise in Berthold?

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Letter No. 190, Apr. 7, Indians seeking kin.

Letter No. 191, Apr. 10, 500 Chippewa want to move to this Catholic Agency.

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Letter No. 192, Apr. 14, School matters are settled!!!

Letter No. 193, Apr. 14, Helping an employee in distress.

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Letter No. 194, Apr. 15, School matters are settled!!!

 

Letter No. 195, Apr. 14, We need to keep our interpreter.

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Letter No. 196, Apr. 14, Sorry, cannot act as Notary.

Letter No. 197, Apr. 14, asking for a free pass to St. Paul.

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Letter No. 198, Apr. 14, Asking for a free pass to St. Paul

Letter No. 199, Apr. 15, Please help a girl heading for this Agency.

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Letter No. 200, Apr, 21, finally finalizing pork B/Ls

Letter No. 201, Apr. 21, Payment for seeds

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Letter No. 202, Apr. 21, Pleading with wife of General Sherman to induce him to allow Sitting Bull to come in to a Catholic Agency and be granted every clemency possible.

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Letter No. 203-214, Apr. 21-30, Twelve routine letters.

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Letter No. 215, Apr. 30, Recovering from Winter and preparing for Spring planting.

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May 1877

Letter No. 216-222, May 5-12, Seven routine letters.

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Letter No. 223, May 12, “Sunkanskiya” wants to live here.

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Letter No. 224, May 12, “Suneni” can visit your Agency.

Letter No. 225, May 12, check

Letter No. 226, May 11, Maybe this is the last of the pork problem.

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Letter No. 227, May 13, Seed corn and potatoes problems.

Letter No. 228, May 14, Telegram…need seed potatoes asap.

Letter No. 229, May 12, Meet me in Fargo regarding seed potatoes

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Letter No. 230, May 19, Re transportation from Jamestown.

Letter No. 231, May 19, “Wakanakita” did not steal your horses.

Letter No. 232, May 26, Complications in the bids for stock.

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June 1877

Letter No. 233-235, June 1-9, Three routine letters.

Letter No. 236, May 31, Interesting material order.

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Letter No. 237, June 16, Shortage on delivery.

Letter No. 238, June 16, Want our Indians to haul from Jamestown.

Letter No. 239, June 18, Indian’s progress this Spring is remarkable.

Letter No. 240, June 18, Finalized stock contract.

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Letter No. 241, June 19, Interesting letter from “Grey Nuns.”

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Letter No. 242, June 20, Seeking clarification on School & Sister’s subsistence.

Letter No. 243, June 21, Finding a new source for flour.

Letter No. 244, June 21, May I use ‘open market’ for purchases in addition to advertising for bids?

Letter No. 245, June 22, Sending “Standing Dog” back to Standing Rock.

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Letter No. 246, June 25, Ordering clothes, etc.

Letter No. 247-249, June 30, Three routine letters.

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Letter No. 250, June 30, June Report…Progress…Poor weather…Indians out of flour, eating turnips and pork…two bands of Chippewa appeared and have been forced back to their reservations.

 

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Letter No. 251-257, June 30-July 7, Seven routine letters.

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