Copybook of James McLaughlin, U.S.Indian Agent, Devils Lake Agency, Fort Totten, N.D, (Section Six of Eight Sections) September 1, 1877 to November 27,1877, Original Material, First Time Published

 

This is Section Six of Eight Sections…The sixth batch of 81 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). The letters in this Section Six were typed with my 1911 Underwood in the 1970’s.

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September 1877

Letter No. 315, Sep. 1, Indians’ conduct has been good.  If they cannot have ammunition, then fine cloth is next preference, and they have earned consideration.

Letter No. 316, Sep. 3, Promoting appointment of Indian Trader.

Letter No. 317, Sep. 1, Time to contract for cattle before grass gets scarce on the trail to the Agency.

Letter No. 318, Sep. 4, Permission to go on a Buffalo Hunt.

Letter No. 319, Sep. 4, Running out of flour just before winter.

Letter No. 320, Sep. 4, Burial and Mourning customs.  Very interesting.

Letter No. 321, Mar. 31, Miscellaneous receipts for 1st quarter 1877.

Letter No. 322, June 30, No funds for miscellaneous receipts for 2nd quarter 1877.

Letter No. 323, Sep. 8, Routine letter.

Letter No. 324, Sep. 10, Personal insurance payment.

Letter No. 325, Sep. 12, Sisters’ Certification of corsets for Indian girls.

Letter No. 326, Sep. 12, Agent certifies to Sisters’ certification of corsets for Indian girls and apologizes for the purchase as cannot believe it was in error to do this.

Letter No. 327-330, Sep. 11-24, Four routine letters.

Letter No. 331, Sep. 24, Sealed proposals for supplies.

Letter No. 332, Sep. 24, Going to St.Paul to award cattle and miscellaneous articles contracts.

Letter No. 333, Sep. 24, Get the flour to Jamestown asap.

Letter No. 334-336, Sep. 24, Three letters re flour inspection.

Letter No. 337, Sep. 25, Request permission to purchase misc. supplies.

Letter No. 338-339, Sep. 26-27, Revised forms and their transmittal.

October 1877

Letter No. 340, Oct. 1, September Agency report.  VERY interesting.

Letter No. 341, Sep 30, Indian clothing allotments and how they react.

Letter No. 342-349, Oct. 1-13, Eight routine letters.

Letter No. 350, Oct. 13, Copies of contracts and expressed need to get cattle through before winter.

Letter No. 351, Oct. 6, We need an extra cook for Indians working around the Agency and for single men.

Letter No. 352, Oct. 6, Transmitting itemized expenses for 2 years ago.

Letter No. 353, Oct. 14, Routine letter.

Letter No. 353a, Oct. .., Need two carloads of flour inspected asap as am entirely out at the Agency.

Letter No. 354, Oct. 22, Need approval of 3 contracts.  Cannot move oxen over trail to Agency after mid-November.

Letter No. 355-356, Oct. 22-Nov.3, Two routine letters.

November 1877

Letter No. 357, Nov. 5, October report.  VERY interesting recitation of progress of the Agency and the Indians.

Letter No. 358, Nov. 3, Need wagon ordered months ago.

Letter No. 359, Nov. 7, Used up all flour so nothing for samples.

Letter No. 360 Nov. 10, Routine letter.

Letter No. 361, Nov. 10, Cattle arrived.

Letter No. 362, Nov. 10, Want to buy sewing machine for the Sisters.

Letter No. 363, Nov. 11, Freighting problems

Letter No. 364, Nov. 10, Lost Horses.

Letter No. 365, Nov. 10, On how to obtain a pension for a retired soldier.

Letter No. 366, Nov. 10, Asking ‘Very Rev.’ for help with School.

Letter No. 367, Nov. 12, Ordering a lot of office supplies.

Letter No. 368, Nov. 18, Where are my purchases?  Weather is very bad for oxen to cross the prairie.

Letter No. 369, Nov. 16, Have you shipped any lumber yet?

Letter No. 370, Nov. 17, “Limpy Jack” is selling liquor to the Indians.

Letter No. 371, Nov. 18, Routine letter.

Letter No. 372, Nov. 18, Starting 35 teams tomorrow for my goods arriving at Jamestown.  Hurry.

Letter No. 373, illegible

Letter No. 374, Nov. 19, Generals Sibley and Sanborn support reinstating old annuities of Devils Lake Indians.

Letter No. 375, Nov. 22, Supporting candidacy for Montana Crow Indian Agent.

Letter No. 376, Nov. 24, Forgot to connect contracts with ribbon and wax.  Very sorry!!

Letter No. 377, Nov. 24, I had tied the contracts together with tape.  But had them returned for connecting with ribbon and wax!

Letter No. 378-379, Nov. 24, Two routine letters.

Letter No. 380, Nov. 24, Interesting details on hiring practices, bureaucratic bumbling and participation of Catholic Church in the Agency.

Letter No. 381, Nov. 27, Refused Minneapolis flour.  Accept flour from closer mill which has “not yet got to extracting the best of the flour before delivery to us.”

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September 1877

Letter No. 315, Sep. 1, Indians’ conduct has been good.  If they cannot have ammunition, then fine cloth is next preference, and they have earned consideration.

shields315-letter-315

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Letter No. 316, Sep. 3, Promoting appointment of Indian Trader.

shields316-letter-316a

shields316-letter-316b

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Letter No. 317, Sep. 1, Time to contract for cattle before grass gets scarce on the trail to the Agency.

shields317-letter-317

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Letter No. 318, Sep. 4, Permission to go on a Buffalo Hunt.

Letter No. 319, Sep. 4, Running out of flour just before winter.

shields318-letters-318-319

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Letter No. 320, Sep. 4, Burial and Mourning customs.  Very interesting.

shields320-letter-320a

shields320-letter-320b

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Letter No. 321, Mar. 31, Miscellaneous receipts for 1st quarter 1877.

Letter No. 322, June 30, No funds for miscellaneous receipts for 2nd quarter 1877.

shields321-letters-321-322

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Letter No. 323, Sep. 8, Routine letter.

Letter No. 324, Sep. 10, Personal insurance payment.

Letter No. 325, Sep. 12, Sisters’ Certification of corsets for Indian girls.

shields323-letters-332-325

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Letter No. 326, Sep. 12, Agent certifies to Sisters’ certification of corsets for Indian girls and apologizes for the purchase as cannot believe it was in error to do this.

shields326-letter-326

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Letter No. 327-330, Sep. 11-24, Four routine letters.

shields327-letters-327-328

shields327-letters-329-330

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Letter No. 331, Sep. 24, Sealed proposals for supplies.

shields331-letter-331

shields331-letter-331b

 

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Letter No. 332, Sep. 24, Going to St.Paul to award cattle and miscellaneous articles contracts.

shields332-letter-332
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Letter No. 333, Sep. 24, Get the flour to Jamestown asap.

Letter No. 334-336, Sep. 24, Three letters re flour inspection.

shields333-letters-333-335

shields336-letter-336

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Letter No. 337, Sep. 25, Request permission to purchase misc. supplies.

shields337-letter-337

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Letter No. 338-339, Sep. 26-27, Revised forms and their transmittal.

shields338-letter-338a

shields338-letter-338b-339

 

October 1877

Letter No. 340, Oct. 1, September Agency report.  VERY interesting.

shields340

Letter No. 341, Sep 30, Indian clothing allotments and how they react.

shields341-letter-341

Letter No. 342-349, Oct. 1-13, Eight routine letters.

shields-341-342

shields-344-345

shields-346-347-348

shields349

 

 

Letter No. 350, Oct. 13, Copies of contracts and expressed need to get cattle through before winter.

 

shields350

 

Letter No. 351, Oct. 6, We need an extra cook for Indians working around the Agency and for single men.

 

devil351

Letter No. 352, Oct. 6, Transmitting itemized expenses for 2 years ago.

devil352

Letter No. 353, Oct. 14, Routine letter.

devil353

Letter No. 353a, Oct. .., Need two carloads of flour inspected asap as am entirely out at the Agency

.devil353a

 

 

Letter No. 354, Oct. 22, Need approval of 3 contracts.  Cannot move oxen over trail to Agency after mid-November.

 

devil354

Letter No. 355-356, Oct. 22-Nov.3, Two routine letters.

devil355-356

November 1877

 

Letter No. 357, Nov. 5, October report.  VERY interesting recitation of progress of the Agency and the Indians.

 

devil357a

 

devil357b

Letter No. 358, Nov. 3, Need wagon ordered months ago.

devil358

Letter No. 359, Nov. 7, Used up all flour so nothing for samples.

devil359

Letter No. 360 Nov. 10, Routine letter.

devil360

Letter No. 361, Nov. 10, Cattle arrived.

devil361a

devil361b

Letter No. 362, Nov. 10, Want to buy sewing machine for the Sisters.

devil362

Letter No. 363, Nov. 11, Freighting problems

devil363

Letter No. 364, Nov. 10, Lost Horses.

devil364

Letter No. 365, Nov. 10, On how to obtain a pension for a retired soldier.

devil365

Letter No. 366, Nov. 10, Asking ‘Very Rev.’ for help with School.

devil366

Letter No. 367, Nov. 12, Ordering a lot of office supplies.

devil367

Letter No. 368, Nov. 18, Where are my purchases?  Weather is very bad for oxen to cross the prairie.

devil368

Letter No. 369, Nov. 16, Have you shipped any lumber yet?

devil369

Letter No. 370, Nov. 17, “Limpy Jack” is selling liquor to the Indians.

devil370

Letter No. 371, Nov. 18, Routine letter.

devil371

Letter No. 372, Nov. 18, Starting 35 teams tomorrow for my goods arriving at Jamestown.  Hurry.

devil372a

devil372b

Letter No. 373, illegible

Letter No. 374, Nov. 19, Generals Sibley and Sanborn support reinstating old annuities of Devils Lake Indians.

devil373-374a

Letter No. 375, Nov. 22, Supporting candidacy for Montana Crow Indian Agent.

devil375

Letter No. 376, Nov. 24, Forgot to connect contracts with ribbon and wax.  Very sorry!!

devil376

Letter No. 377, Nov. 24, I had tied the contracts together with tape.  But had them returned for connecting with ribbon and wax!

devil377

Letter No. 378-379, Nov. 24, Two routine letters.

devil378-379

Letter No. 380, Nov. 24, Interesting details on hiring practices, bureaucratic bumbling and participation of Catholic Church in the Agency.

devil380a

devil381b

Letter No. 381, Nov. 27, Refused Minneapolis flour.  Accept flour from closer mill which has “not yet got to extracting the best of the flour before delivery to us.”

devil381a

devil381b

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