Copybook of James McLaughlin, U.S.Indian Agent, Devils Lake Agency, Fort Totten, N.D, (Section One of Eight Sections) August 12, 1876 to November 25, 1876, Original Material, First Time Published

This is Section One of Eight Sections…The first 78 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).

 

August 1876

Letter No. 1  Aug. 12, Ordering small lots of supplies

Letter No. 2  Aug. 12, Pleading for permission to buy supplies on open market as Indians are eating crops before they are ready for harvest and are out of clothing for winter.  Also expect many more Indians to wander into the Agency this Fall and Winter.

Letter No. 3  Aug. 12, “Helping Honorable Commissioner (“Hon. Com”) of Indian Affairs understand voucher routine.

Letter No. 4  Aug. 15, Helping Sisters at Catholic School with book order.

Letter No. 5  Aug. 14, Positive feelings of the Indians to the Agency and the Whites and “Great Father” despite Sitting Bull problem.

Letter No. 6  Aug. 15, More about Sister’s books.

Letter No. 7  Aug. 15, Problems with Indians visiting other Agencies.

Letter No. 8  Aug. 21, “My certificate of  Honor.”

September 1876

Letter No. 9  Sep. 2, Supplier paperwork snafu.

Letter No. 10  Aug. 31, Forwarding monthly reports.

Letter No. 12  Sep. 2, Sale of Arms and Ammunition to the Indians.

Letter No. 13  Sep. 4, Hon. Com., “We are out of everything.”

Letter No. 14  Sep. 4 “Scare my Indians away from Jamestown.”

Letter No. 15  Sep. 4, Stolen Ponies.

Letter No. 16  Sep. 5, Indian’s pass to another Agency.

Letter No. 17  Sep. 9, Change in billing for Sister’s books.

Letter No. 18  Sep. 5, Clerical error in Agent’s salary.  Should be $375.00 for 3rd quarter.

Letter No. 19  Sep. 9, Winter Supplies needed.

Letter No. 20  Sep. 15, McLaughlin writes to a powerful friend about the revenge of a former Agent and the actions of Protestants in power in Washington, DC, as they appear intent upon dismantling this Catholic Indian Agency.

Letter No. 21  Sep. 15, An appeal to a powerful friend further delineating the problem at this Catholic Agency.

Letter No. 22  Sep. 18, Appeal to Catholic Bishop regarding conditions at the Agency as result of Major Beckwith’s working against the Indian School, etc.

Letter No. 23  Sep. 15, Hon. Com. may be coming through with supplies.

Letter No. 24  Sep. 18, Agent’s official appeal for consideration for maintaining supplies and employees.

Letter No. 25  Sep. 18, Oops! Forgot to include tinware in estimate.

Letter No. 26  Sep. 18, Indians destitute for flour—forward some immediately.

Letter No. 27  Sep. 18, Helping to settle an estate.

Letter No. 28  Sep. 18, Send supplies right now!  My Indians are destitute.  The Hon. Com. apparently approved some major expenditures.

Letter No. 29  Sep. 19, Acknowledging receipt of $2,000 to purchase some supplies in open market.

Letter No. 30  Sep. 20, Appointing and controlling an Indian Trader since the Fort Sutler is overcharging the Indians about 30 percent over prices charged to whites.

Letter No. 31  Sep. 20, He had gambled and ordered shoes on the come card.

Letter No. 32  Sep. 20, How to receipt for disbursements to Indians.

Letter No. 33  Sep. 21, “Wolf Necklace’s” band has not been here this year.

Letter No. 34  Sep. 23, Routine Paperwork.

Letter No. 35  Sep. 23, Do I have $5,000 more for supplies, or $5,000 less?

Letter No. 36  Sep. 25, Hon. Com. is still playing hardball. No notice received of increase in educational funds, only a dribble of other funds, no word on whether I get my share of treaty funds.

Letter No. 37  Sep. 30, Advertisement for the Newspaper in St. Paul.

Letter No. 38  Sep. 30, Can advertise for $6,500 worth of supplies

Letter No. 39  Sep. 30, Routine report submission

October 1876

Letter No. 40  Oct. 2, You shipped a carload of flour loaded over a kerosene-soaked floor.

Letter No. 41  Oct. 2, Routine paperwork for Rev. Williamson.

Letter No. 42  Oct. 4, Ownership of a gun.

Letter No. 43  Oct. 4. Large herd of buffalo north of Mouse River.

Letter No. 44  Oct. 4, Need to pay for storage at Jamestown.

Letter No. 45  Oct. 5, Routine paperwork.

Letter No. 46  Oct. 6, More Indians are moving here from Standing Rock to get away from wilder Sioux!  I will run out of supplies if no increases.

Letter No. 47  Oct. 7, Third Quarter Reports…but have not received funds for payroll for any employees yet.

Letter No. 48  Oct. 12, Accepting bid for beef cattle.

Letter No. 49  Oct. 16, Four contracts for Hon. Com. for approval.

Letter No. 50  Oct. 17, Indians don’t like bacon.  Also they are very upset that Hon. Com. disallowed suits of clothes in which to visit St.Paul.  Also all of my Indians are almost naked.

November 1876

Letter No. 51  Nov. 1, Looks like Hon. Com. came through with money for Indians to visit St. Paul dressed in something other than rags.

Letter No. 52  Nov. 1, Have finished with St. Paul.

Letter No. 53  Nov. 6, “Washta Najan” wanted to know McLaughlin’s Indian’s feelings about joining the Hostiles next Spring.

Letter No. 54  Nov. 6, Few supplies have gotten through yet.  Prairies running out of grass due to lateness of season and fires.  No meat or tea at the Agency.

Letter No. 55 Nov. 6, Paperwork confusion.

Letter No. 56  Nov. 6, Bearer pass.

Letter No. 57  Nov. 6, Finally paid 3rd quarter salaries.

Letter No. 58  Nov. 11, Receipting for 2,000 sacks flour.

Letter No. 59  Nov. 6, Delayed paperwork.

Letter No. 60  Nov. 8, How we weighed 46 head of beef cattle.

Letter No. 61  Nov. 10, Receipted for flour and cattle but may not be able to get all flour through to Agency from Jamestown this winter.

Letter No. 62  Nov. 7, Catching up on paperwork.

Letter No. 63  Nov. 11, Routine paperwork.

Letter No. 64  Nov. 13, Supplies have not yet reached Jamestown, 82 miles away over cold prairie.  Indians do not understand why “their” Agent has failed them.

Letter No. 65-74  Nov. 14-17, Ten routine letters.

Letter No. 75  Nov. 26, “Running Panther” has not been here.

Letter No. 76  Nov. 25, Issuing supplies to the Sisters and how to accept receipts from them.

Letter No. 77  Nov. 25, Correcting deficiency statement of former Agent.

Letter No. 78  Nov. 25, You sent me a list of purchases made for this Agency, but it is partially missing.  Indians need clothing.

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August 1876

Letter No. 1  Aug. 12, Ordering small lots of supplies

Devils Lake Agency, Dak., August 12th, 1876

Hon. J.G. Smith, Com. Indian Affairs, Washington, D.C.

Sir,

I have the honor to transmit herewith one copy of Certified Vouchers in “Dupl.”, the other copy I send to T. B. Harris, Agent at Jamestown for N.P.R.R.Co. for transportation on Pork, Sugar, and Tea from St. Paul to Jamestown.

The rates charged are regular tariff.  I could not get any reduction on such small lots, but when I go to St. Paul to award contracts &c I am positive that I can get a special rate from the Genl. Freight Agent of the N.P.R.R.Co.

I have the honor to be, Sir, Very Respectfully Your Obt. Servt., James McLaughlin, U.S.Ind.Agt.

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Letter No. 2  Aug. 12, Pleading for permission to buy supplies on open market as Indians are eating crops before they are ready for harvest and are out of clothing for winter.  Also expect many more Indians to wander into the Agency this Fall and Winter.

Hon. J.G. Smith  August 12th, 1876

I have the honor to again respectfully ask for permission to purchase in open markets such articles as are absolutely necessary at this Agency, such as Provisions, Scythes, Sneths &c.

I have issued today the last of the supplies at the Agency, this issue is sufficient for the next ten days, and even then I do not fear any suffering among the Indians, as their Corn and Potatoes, are nearly fit for use.  The corn is just now fit for boiling purposes, and their Potatoes are growing rapidly, though (start page 3) not being far enough advanced to use without much waste and loss, – They are now being eaten with their corn, which with the small fields planted this year, the great waste in having to live entirely upon their Corn and Potatoes at this season when the crops are about half grown, – I fear that the supply for winters use will be exhausted before the season for harvesting arrives, and I am positive of having a larger number of Indians to winter than were ever before on this Reservation.

The haying season has now commenced and it is necessary to have some supplies without delay. – The Indians also need about Four Doz. Scythes and Sneths.  Many of them have never had scythes given them, and those who have had such, they are much worn and ( (start page 4) almost worthless.

I have many applications daily from Indians for assistance in building, haying &c such as Nails, Glass, Axes, Scythes &c, and they are almost destitute of clothing.

The reason for not writing before now was waiting for the passage of the Indian Appropriation bill.

I send this by special courier to Jamestown, if instructions have not already been sent before this is received at your office, I would respectfully ask (that if permission be granted to purchase the supplies mentioned in this communication) that I be instructed by telegraph.

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Letter No. 3  Aug. 12, “Helping Honorable Commissioner (“Hon. Com”) of Indian Affairs understand voucher routine.

Hon. J.G. Smith,  August 12th, 1876

Enclosed find Certified Voucher for Freight Bill.

I have sent one Voucher to Washington accompanied by letter of transmittal requesting an early settlement, so you can forward your voucher at once.

The new laws of April 1st, 1876 governing the Indian Dept. requires that Cer. Vouchers be made in “Duplicate” one copy to be forwarded to Hon. Com. Ind. Affs. the other to the Contractor and it to be forwarded by him to the Indian Office.  Payment only to be made when the office is in receipt of both Vouchers.

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Letter No. 4  Aug. 15, Helping Sisters at Catholic School with book order.

Hon. J.G. Smith,             August 15th, 1876

I have the honor to herewith transmit one copy of “Duplicate Certified Vouchers.”  The other copy sent to Rev. John P. Williamson, Greenwood, Dak. to be by him forwarded to your office for payment, for Sioux School books, purchased of him.

These books were ordered by my predecessor but some of the books ordered were not ready at the time so none were sent.

The sisters in charge of the school needed them very much, which induced me to order this small bill, it being the only place from (start page 6a) which they could be obtained.

These books are carefully prepared in English-Dakota by Revs. S. R. Riggs, and John P. Williamson, of the Dakota Missions, making them valuable works for the Sioux Schools.

Trusting that my action in this matter will be approved, and respectfully asking that Mr. Williamson be paid as soon as practicable,

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Letter No. 5  Aug. 14, Positive feelings of the Indians to the Agency and the Whites and “Great Father” despite Sitting Bull problem.

I have the honor to report the following which will show the feeling of the Indians of the Agency.  Their readiness to prove themselves friendly to the Whites, and faithful to the promises made to their Great Father.

On Thursday last a party of four Indians with their families arrived at this Agency from Standing rock.  They reported that on the previous evening when about fifty miles west of this post, that they had seen the advance scouts of a war party (start page 8) of Indians, supposed by them, to be a portion of Sitting Bull’s band, coming to attack the Military Post, and Indian Agency, as they had heard of such threats being made by his Indians, this being a point of easy access, not being expected, and so far from Telegraph lines, they would be able to gain an easy victory, &c. – I was about 10 miles east of the Agency when I received this information.  I did not believe the report, as during the summer season such sensational rumors are continually going the rounds of our Indian Camp, “caused by their mode of life, as from childhood they live in constant fear of a surprise from enemies.”  On this occasion however my informants were so sincere, and honest, in their statements, and seemed so positive, having seen the shields, carried by the Indians, they being in full war costumes, and (start page 9) came unexpected upon those Indians, they disappearing suddenly not knowing that they had been seen.

And as it was among the possibilities that some horse thieves might be prowling around to steal stock, I requested twenty Indians to report at the Agency.  When I arrived at home, I found nearly one hundred of my Indians who had come to offer their services.  The Commanding Officer furnished me arms for twenty of them, which I sent out to scout the country west of the post, whilst the others remained to protect the Agency, and assist in defending the Military Post if Necessary.

The scouting party remained out for twenty four hours, without finding any sign of enemies.  After their return I complimented them upon their promptness and they returned home well pleased, with I told them that I would report this to the Great Father.  This prompt action on the part of the Indians is the more to be appreciated when we take into consideration that they knew the weakness of the Garrison, as on the previous Sunday one of the Infantry Companies stationed here had been ordered away leaving but one company, about thirty five men all told, which with the employee force of the Agency, and the traders employee, constitutes all the white men in this section of the country, for many miles in any directions.

Also the Indian supplies have been so limited the past two months that but little could be done towards satisfying their many wants. – Withall they remain quiet and contented, complaining very (start page 11) little, but wishing for something better son.  They wonder why the Great Father neglects them so long, they of course cannot be made to understand the necessity of the Appropriation Bill.

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Letter No. 6  Aug. 15, More about Sister’s books.

Rev. John F. Williamson, Greenwood, Dak.           August 15th, 1876

Please find enclosed one copy of “Duplicate Certified Voucher” in payment for bill of books of July 25th 1876. You can forward your Voucher to Hon. Com. Ind. Affairs without unnecessary delay. – I have already forwarded the “other copy” as the new law of Indian Office requires.

Thanking you for promptness in forwarding the books and my hoping that your arduous labor among the Sioux may continue to meet with success until every (start page 13) band of Dakotahs can realize the many years of self sacrificing labor of the Dakota Missionaries.

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Letter No. 7  Aug. 15, Problems with Indians visiting other Agencies.

Major John Burke, U.S.Ind.Agent, Standing Rock, DT         August 15th, 1876

Your communication of 29th ultimo owing to some detention of the mail was received but yesterday, and in replying to same I would respectfully state that a party of about 25 lodges (150 souls) from your Agency arrived here during the month of May last, and remained until the middle of July, when they started from here to go on a Buffalo hunt in the neighborhood of Dogs Den, when it was reported that a large number of Buffalo were there roaming.

They stated that they would return in about four (start page 15) weeks time. – They were under the leadership of Taca Sinte, better known as Baka, uneasy, roaming Indian, who is always travelling to and from Fort Peck, Devils Lake, and Standing Rock Agencies

I have learned within a few days, that this party went on towards Fort Peck, which was doubtless on Thursday last.  “Sito Mina Safa” is the leader, they were on their way to Fort Peck, – but north of Dogs Den they saw some Indians supposed by them to be enemies, and they made a forced march this Agency, travelling about 60 miles in one night.  I have order him to return to your Agency, he with some other Indians 30 in all intend to start in a day or two, but my impression is that they will go to Fort Peck. (start page 16)  Wahacankaduta will not return.  He has planted here and intends to make this his future home. – The Cut Head Sioux are locating by themselves at a point that is well timbered and watered on the west side of this Reservation.

Wanata the hereditary Head Chief of the Cut Head Sioux is among the most advanced in civilization here, & many of his people express their intention of coming here to settle with him.

Something should be done to stop the constant visiting between the Indians of Standing Rock and this Agency – as such visits are productive of no good, and when an Indian becomes dissatisfied with our labor system, or other trivial reasons, he at once leaves (start page 17) for Standing Rock or Fort Peck, and the same with the Indians of your Agency.

If Indians going to your Agency from Devils Lake, without permission were not permitted to remain and allow nothing to be given them, & I do the same with Standing Rock Indians, these visits would cease, but until something of that kind is done, we cannot prevent it.

Everything quiet with me but very hard up for supplies.  It is too bad that the Indian Appropriation bill is not yet passed.

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Letter No. 8  Aug. 21, “My certificate of  Honor.”

Hon. J. G. Smith             August 21st, 1876

I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of Office letter marked G.W.S. dated the 9th inst. relative to weight of flour purchased July 20th, 1876 from Wm. A. Van Slyke &c for use of Indians at this Agency.

And I have the honor to herewith transmit “my Certificate on honor” (in duplicate) trusting that it will be found satisfactory.

I would respectfully state that the Inspectors certificate being attached led me to believe that nothing further was required.

I shall endeavor to prevent the occurrence of the like again.

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September 1876

Letter No. 9  Sep. 2, Supplier paperwork snafu.

Hon. J. G. Smith             August 21st, 1876

I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of Office letter marked G.W.S. dated the 9th inst. relative to weight of flour purchased July 20th, 1876 from Wm. A. Van Slyke &c for use of Indians at this Agency.

And I have the honor to herewith transmit “my Certificate on honor” (in duplicate) trusting that it will be found satisfactory.

I would respectfully state that the Inspectors certificate being attached led me to believe that nothing further was required.

I shall endeavor to prevent the occurrence of the like again.

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Letter No. 10  Aug. 31, Forwarding monthly reports.

Hon. J. G. Smith             September 1st, 1876

I have the honor to transmit herewith my Annual Report in “Duplicate,” also one copy of Statistical Report, having filled the blanks embracing all the items as far as I have been able to ascertain.  The crops are not yet gathered but they will not vary much from the estimated amounts.

The statistical blanks were not received by me until the middle of August.  They came addressed to my predecessor.  The Post Master here took the responsibility of opening the package “in (start page 22) my presence” knowing it is be official business.  And the mail leaving but once a week hence the lateness in forwarding my report.

Asking indulgence for this delay.

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Letter No. 11  August 31  Forwarding Monthly Reports

Hon. J. G. Smith             August 31st, 1876

I have the honor to herewith transmit monthly Report of Farmer, Clerk, Blacksmith, Carpenter, School and Sanitary for month ending August 31st 1876

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Letter No.12  September 2 – Sale of Arms and Ammunition to the Indians  

Hon. J.G.Smith   September 2nd, 1876

I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of office letter marked “C” under date of August 22nd 1876, relative to sale of Arms and Ammunition to Indians &c by Indian traders.  I would respectfully ask, as there is no licensed Indian trader here, the Indians trading with the Post Trader, who holds his appointment from the Hon. Secretary of War, will this trader come under my jurisdiction so far as concerns the trading with Indians.  And am I empowered to stop further sales of the articles mentioned to the Indians of this Reservation (start page 25).

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Letter No. 13  Sep. 4, Hon. Com., “We are out of everything.”

Hon. J. G. Smith           September 4th, 1876

I have the honor of addressing you this communication relative to the wants of this Agency and the necessity of immediate action.  I am entirely out of everything, and it is with difficulty that I can keep matters moving.  The Indians are getting very impatient, some few talk of leaving if there is not something received soon.

The season is now getting so far advanced that it will be difficult to get the supplies necessary for winters use through before the winter closes upon us.  After the first of November we cannot calculate upon (start page 27) getting freight through to Jamestown by Rail Road, and after that date it will be impossible to freight with oxen unless they have ground feed, and the cost after that date from Jamestown here “a distance of 82 miles” will be from 1.25 to 1.50 per 100 lbs.  The cold weather being nearly upon us in this northern latitude, and these Indians having received no clothing since last fall and but little then, they are almost naked, and should have Blankets, Clothing &c without delay, not having heard from the office in regard to the supplies since I forwarded my estimate in the beginning of this quarter and fearing lest some irregularity in the mail may have caused the delay, I take the liberty of setting forth the above facts, respectfully submitting the same for the consideration of your office.

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Letter No. 14  Sep. 4 “Scare my Indians away from Jamestown.”

Capt. J. H. Patterson, Com. Fort Seward, Dak.                        September 4th, 1876

You will confer a favor upon me if you will arrest or scare home any of my Indians that you see around Jamestown.  They always leave when we do not know of it, and I am now informed that some intend going to Wadsworth without permission.

Putting a few in the guard house for a short time would have some salutary effect upon them, and would stop this running back and forth.

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Letter No. 15  Sep. 4, Stolen Ponies.

Major C.W.Darlin, U.S.Ind.Agt. Fort Berthold, Dak.      September 4th, 1876

Yours of the 23rd Ultimo received and contents noted in reply I would respectfully state that no stolen ponies have been brought to this reservation this summer, but on or about Aug 9th a party of Indians arrived here from Standing Rock.  they came in by the way of “Dogs Den” and stated that they had met one Indian belonging to Yankton Agency, who had 9 stolen horses with him.  He told the Indians that he stole them from the Rees, also that he had started with 16 head but only got away with 9.  I did not believe the story but it was undoubtedly your horses.  The Indians (start page 30) who told me passed on North towards Fort Peck.  The Indian’s name who had the ponies is “Maska bobdoa” or Geese Scattering, and went on towards Yankton Agency so my informant said.  Hoping you will be able to recover them,

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Letter No. 16  Sep. 5, Indian’s pass to another Agency.

Major C.W.Darling, U.S.Ind.Agt., Fort Berthold, Dak.      September 5th, 1876

The Bearer, Akicatamonni is an Indian soldier belonging to this Reservation.  I send him home with three Ree women belonging to your Agency who were brought here by some young Sioux Indians who visited your Agency last June.  This Indian who is blind in one eye is a good reliable man but the other three young men with him may try to bring some others back with them if not watched.  Please do not let them remain more than one or two days.  You will confer a favor upon me by always ordering any of my Indians home immediately upon arrival at your Agency unless they have proper permits.  Another visit to your Indians is contemplated this fall by these Indians.  I will not allow them but some few may steal away but if you do not receive them it will be a good lesson.  These visits are productive of no good, and only made for the purpose of begging.

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Letter No. 17  Sep. 9, Change in billing for Sister’s books.

Hon. J. G. Smith           September 9th, 1876

I have the honor to respectfully ask that certified voucher No 4 for 3rd qtr 1876, in favor of Jno. P. Williamson, for school books purchased of him, invoice dated July 25th/76, be returned to me for informality,  as Mr. Williamson is an employee of the government, he having charge of the Flandreau Agency, Dak. and it being contrary to the rules, this making it necessary to have the invoice made out in the name of some other member of the mission.

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Letter No. 18  Sep. 5, Clerical error in Agent’s salary.  Should be $375.00 for 3rd quarter.

Hon. J. G. Smith             September 5th, 1876

 

I have the honor to state that in looking over my retained estimate for funds for 3rd quarter 1876, (present quarter) I find an error by mistake of clark as follows for salary of

Agent 3rd qr 1876 $350.00.  It should read for salary of Agent 3rd qtr 1876 $375.00.  I am sorry for having made this mistake and shall endeavor to prevent such carelessness in future.

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Letter No. 19  Sep. 9, Winter Supplies needed.

Hon. J. G. Smith           September 9th, 1876

Com. Indian Affairs,   Washington, D. C., Sir

I have the honor to ask permission to purchase without delay the 35 cooking stoves asked for in my Estimate for Indian supplies dated July 6th 1876.  The cold weather is now nearly upon us and the Indians cannot move into their houses without these stoves.  Also as the season is so far advanced it will be difficult to get the beef cattle through if we wait to advertise, as after Oct 15th cattle cannot be brought through without “ground feed,” which will bring the cost of beef much more than if purchased so as to have them delivered (start page 36) here now at from 3-1/2 to 4 cents per lb. gross weight.  We also need one carload of Pine lumber, very much for winter use, such as flooring  for the new shingled roofed houses, built by the Indians, who have been promised pine floors, and it will be an encouragement to others to build a better class of houses.  Pine lumber is also needed for doors, wagon boxes, cupboards, coffins, etc.  With one car load of pine lumber to work in with the oak lumber sawed at the Agency mill it will enable us to do all kinds of wood work required upon the Reservation.  Apart from the Provisions, Groceries and Clothing, I need window sash, Glass and Putty for Indian houses.  With many other indispensable articles, such as grind stones, stove pipes, tinware, harness leather, black mountain coal, iron, nails &c all of which I would respectfully ask to be authorized to purchase without delay, (start page 37) as to enable me to get all the supplies through before the winter closes in.  this Agency is so isolated, being so far off from the line of winter travel, that the deep snow and the little travel between the Agency and Rail Road during the winter months, makes it almost impossible to get freight through for at least 6 months of the year.

These Indians are very anxious for some “Fine List Cloth” for their womens dresses, with some other useful articles of wearing apparel, which are not usually purchased for Indians.

They do not ask for Beads, Paint, Traps, or any other articles of savage life, but are trying to adopt the habits of the white man.

I had the honor to ask in communication to the Hon. Commissioner, under date of July 6th 1876, for permission to take four of my best Indians to St. Paul with me (start page 38) to witness the purchase of goods and see how the white man lives.  I would again respectfully ask for said permission, as the expense would be but small and the effect good.

All of which I respectfully submit.  Vouchsafing an early reply to this communication.

I have the honor to be, Sir,

Very Respectfully Your Obt. Servt.

James McLaughlin U.S.Ind.Agt.

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Letter No. 20  Sep. 15, McLaughlin writes to a powerful friend about the revenge of a former Agent and the actions of Protestants in power in Washington, DC, as they appear intent upon dismantling this Catholic Indian Agency.

Gen. Chas. Ewing, Washington, D.C.      September 15th, 1876

I have the honor to enclose herewith “copy of letter from Indian Office” which places me in an awkward position and retards everything connected with the Agency.

What has caused this reduction in the amounts allowed for employees of this Agency I cannot imagine, unless late Agent Beckwith who is now in Washington, has been working to injure this Agency, for revenge. – He made threats to parties here before leaving that he would break up the Sisters School, and perhaps the Agency after he got on to Washington. – From the tenor of the (start page 40) enclosed letter, and from some remarks made to employees by Mr. Beckwith, I am sure that some at least of the reductions are made upon his recommendations.

I could easily injure Mr. Beckwith in the settlement of his accounts if I was so inclined, but I hope that all animosity has ceased between us, it has on my part at least.

I forwarded an Estimate for Indian supplies for the fiscal year, also Estimate for funds, and report of Employee’s for the quarter on the 6th of July last.  I supposed all satisfactory, as I heard nothing further until I received the enclosed communication. – It will be seen that instead of being allowed $6,000 I am cut down to $3,420 depriving me of clerk, storekeeper and three laborers (start page 41), one of which is the man who works for the Sisters at the manual labor school.

And I continued the same number of employees in service that my predecessor had with the exception of Mr. J.E.Kennedy, clerk, whom I engaged.  Mr. Beckwith and Mrs. Beckwith with is wife employed as clerk up to the last quarter of his remaining here, and drew rations for her as clerk, up to the time of her departure in June.  So both of my predecessors had clerks at a salary of $50 per month.

The enclosed letter instructs me to reduce my force, and designates the position, and salary of each, My Farmer, Blacksmith, Carpenter, one laborer, and cook, I cannot do without, and I am obliged to pay out the $840 mentioned in letter for laborers for the salaries of employees for the present quarter, apart from those mentioned above, it leaves me but $280 and if the school is included in this amount I do not know what to do.  The Sisters cannot do without a laborer, to do the outside work, haul wood, water &c which has to be brought some distance (start page 42).

I could manage very well with $5,500 if I will not be allowed any more.  That would give the Sisters $840 per year.  (The Mother Superior will be satisfied with that amount) and allow $300 for a laborer for the school.

Although $840 is not a sufficient salary for these Sisters, one being the Agency Physician, and with six lay sisters, as assistants, making ten in all, who do the baking, mending, cooking, washing &c for all the children of the school.

Besides it cannot be expected that the Agent can attend to the store himself alone, where we issue to the Indians as (start page 43) treaty specifies, that all persons receive supplies in payment for labor, everything is weighted out to the heads of families, which is one of the most successful means of civilizing the Indians.

The Sisseton Agcy of Lake Traverse Dak. is included in the same Treaty and appropriations with Devils Lake Agency.  The whole appropriation is $80,000 annually.  The Sisseton Agency has always received 3/5 and the Devils Lake 2/5.  If  I get the $32,000 that this Agency is entitled to of that fund there is no need of this reduction of employee force, as it will injure the Indians much more than savings will benefit them.

From a conversation I had last June with Agent Hamilton of Sisseton (start page 44) Agency, I fear that the Sisseton Agency is going to get more than 3/5 this year, which is unjust.  Agent Beckwith’s annual report for 1875 shows only 800 Indians on the reservation.  Many had left dissatisfied, but all returned as soon as they heard that I was appointed Agent.  There are 1071 Indians at this Agency, and I am positive that I will have 150 more Indians to winter here than ever was here before during any previous winter.

At Sisseton Agency there are over 300 half breeds, who have drawn Sioux half breed scrip, and are now entered on their list as Indians, whilst at this Agency we have but one classed as a half breed, who is enrolled as an Indian.  Besides my Indians state that there are not near the number of Indians at (start page 45) Sisseton Agency that is reported, but as to that I do not know, but as to the half breeds I am certain.

I have not been able to learn from the Indian Office anything in regard to the appropriation.  I claim in justice to these Indians the $32,000. as in previous years, with which I flatter myself I can bring these Indians through the year with less suffering than ever before, as I am well acquainted with their wants, and know where my predecessors have failed.

I would respectfully ask your kind assistance in securing me permission to retain Mr. J.E. Kennedy.  In my first estimate I reported him as clerk with a salary of $720 per annum, but I now report him as Storekeeper and clerk with a salary of but $600. per annum so as to be more likely to have it allowed.  I discharged the storekeeper I had whose salary was $420. per annum, to make (start page 46) this place.  Mr. Kennedy is the brother in law of Mr. Thomas McGraw who was recommended by you, and who came in his stead.  He is a steady and worthy young man, and I will be very grateful if you can get the Hon. Com. to allow this salary.  – I am in hopes that the salary for the Sisters school was not included in this amount named in the enclosed letter. – It would be cruel to break up the school now, after it being so well established, and the children so attached to the Sisters, and learning so rapidly.

I will write to the Department tomorrow, (16th) but I send this by special courier to Jamestown two days in advance of the regular mail, so that you may be able to see the Hon. Commissioner before any action is taken upon my report.  Respectfully asking indulgence for this long letter and your kind intercession (start page 47) in behalf of the Mission and success of the Agency.

P.S. I have been much embarrassed since assuming charge of this Agency, finding nothing here on my arrival, and receiving but $1,000 worth of supplies for nearly 1100 Indians, and employees since that time, and all my communications to the office have received no reply.  These Indians have been sorely tried, and their patience is nearly exhausted.  Nothing but their respect for me has enabled me to keep them along so quiet and orderly, considering their surroundings.  The glowing news of Sitting Bull’s victories (received from Indian sources) with nothing to eat but corn, and potatoes, not an ounce of flesh meat, sugar, tea, coffee, flour, or tobacco, for so long a time their conduct is certainly commendable.  Ant I trust that I will soon be able to relieve their wants as it is difficult to minister to the mind while the body is suffering, and hard to control Indians without supplies.  Whatever you may be able to have conceded, and deem for the best, in regard to the appropriation, and school, we will gratefully accept.  I am with sincere regards yours very respectfully

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Letter No. 21  Sep. 15, An appeal to a powerful friend further delineating the problem at this Catholic Agency.

Genl H H Libby, St Paul Minn             September 15, 1876

Dear General

I take the liberty of enclosing to you “copy of letter” just received from the Indian Office.

This is the first letter I have received from the office in regard to employees, although I forwarded my estimate for funds and report of employees on the 6th of July, retaining the same men that my predecessor had employed, with the exceptions of the Carpenter and Cook, both of whom resigned before my arrival, and I filled their places with others and hired one more laborer, all of which I promptly reported to the Department, and supposed that my action was approved (start page 49) as nothing further was heard from the office, in fact I have been treated shamefully by the Department, as I have received but three letters, and some few circulars, since my assuming charge of this Agency.  Notwithstanding my urgent appeals every mail (which is once a week), for some aid to enable me to keep these poor Indians from suffering, but with the exception of the letter sent to your care, dated July 3rd I have not received any supplies or assistance and no replys to my communications.

It is only the respect that the Indians have for me that I have been able to keep them along so quiet but they are now very impatient.  Many of them think that they are never to receive anything more at this Agency, it requires all the influence I can bring to bear, to have them remain, some (start page 50) few restless spirits want to try Lake Traverse Agency, others the Missouri River.  But so far I have succeeded in keeping all here.  I have 1071 Indians now on the reservation, and I hope to soon have something to assist me, as without supplies it is hard to control Indians, but the Department has not notified me of any supplies being forwarded or contracts let.

An now they embarrass me by cutting down the amount allowed to be expended for employee’s ($6,000).  With even ($5,500) I could get along moderately well.  As it is now I have but ($280) left (of the $840 mentioned in the office letter) “for all other employees” after paying the salaries of employees for the present quarter.

And I have to discharge Jno. Miller, Laborer, Jas Witsel, do., (start page 51) H. H. Dupuis, Storekeeper, J.E.Kennedy, Clerd & J Dion, laborer at the Sisters School.  It cuts $10 per month of the Carpenter’s salary, $10 per month of the cooks, and leaves me unable to carry on the Agency with any chance of success, nor do anything for the Indians.  And it leaves but $280 for the whole year for pay of the Sisters in charge of manual labor school, one of which is Agency Physician, and 6 lay Sister Assistants.  10 females in all, who do all the making, mending, washing &c for the children of Manuel labor school.

If I could get $850 for the school and have three more men allowed, one of which has to work at the school, and one to fill the place of both Storekeeper and Clerk and one general laborer, I could get along very well.

And these Indians certainly deserve kind treatment as they are well disposed, patient and willing to obey.

I fear that Major Hamilton is going to get more than the usual proportion of the $80,000 of the appropriation.  The division has always been 3/5 to Sisseton Agency and 2/5 to Devils Lake.  the $32,000 with judicious management would enable me to do all that is necessary for these Indians, but as I have not received any information of what amount of the appropriation I am to receive and feel uneasy from a remark made by Major Hamilton to me last summer, that he would get more than usual, and I less, as the numbers at Devils lake Agency were much less in Major Beckwith’s report of 1875 than former years, (start page )

Now that would be unjust basis to calculate from, as many of the Indians had left in disgust, and there were but 800 here at that time, but now we have 1071 that will remain, and there are always some coming and going to and from Wadsworth and the Missouri, there will be 150 more Indians that will winter here this winter than ever before.

I feel very uneasy at present on account of this reduction, and I do not know who can help me and these poor Indians but yourself.

Dear General it is with much hesitation that I come to bother you with this long letter, as you have already done so much for me, that I will never be able to repay the interest in Kindness, but I know your goodness of heart, and your felling towards these Indians, and I thought it my duty to inform you of the fact, trusting that yourself and family are enjoying good health,

P.S. Major Beckwith is now in Washington and I fear that he is partly the instigator of this.  I am preparing a careful letter to the Hon. Com. of Indian Affairs arguing my case the best that I can, asking for an additional allowance for employees, as it would be cruel to break up the school now that it is so well established and the children progressing so rapidly.

I will mail the Com. letter in two days time.  I have an opportunity of sending this to Jamestown.

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Letter No. 22  Sep. 18, Appeal to Catholic Bishop regarding conditions at the Agency as result of Major Beckwith’s working against the Indian School, etc.

Rt. Rev Bishop Scidenbush, St. Cloud, Minn.           September 18th, 1876

My Lord,

I have the honor to enclose herewith “copy of letter from the Indian Office” it shows that there is but $840 allowed for pay of all employees of the Agency (which includes the Sisters) apart from the employees mentioned, and out of that $840 I have to pay the liabilities of salaries of employees for the current quarter which will leave but pay the liabilities of salaries of employees for the current quarter which will leave but $280 for the entire year for the salary of the Rev Sisters in charge of Manual labor school, one of whom is the Agency physician.  This will not give anything to Rev Father Bonnin and the few employees allowed precludes the possibility of getting much by collection.  It is really too bad to embarrass us in (start page 56) this way now, after the school being so well established and the children improving so rapidly.

I fear that the late Agent Mr. Beckwith who is now in Washington is working against the school and Agency in retaliation for his dismissal.  This also leaves the Sisters without a laboring man, which is absolutely necessary to haul wood, water &c and such work as cannot be expected to be performed by the Sisters.  It seems to be a stroke at the school.

I am writing to Genl Ewing, Genl Sibley and the Commissioner of Ind. Affs. putting forth in strongest terms, that I be allowed at least $5500. for the pay of employees of this Agency which includes the school.  The law allows $6000 for pay of employees at Agencies, and this Agency has always expended from $7000 to $9000 per annum for employees and why cripple us now I cannot understand, as our treaty appropriations (start page 57) are the same.

Respectfully asked your Lordships influence at Washington in our behalf.

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 Letter No. 23  Sep. 15, Hon. Com. may be coming through with supplies.

Hon. J. G. Smith, Com. Indian Affairs   September 15th, 1876

I have the honor to acknowledge receipt of telegram dated the 9th last. instructing me to submit immediately estimate for goods absolutely needed amount not to exceed eight-thousand dollars. – I therefore respectfully submit herewith the list of goods needed, trusting it will be found satisfactory.  I also enclose a copy of Estimate for Supplies that I had the honor to forward July 6th, fearing the same may not have been received.

P.S. Telegram was received at Bismark and mailed to me taking 3 days longer than if received at Jamestown.

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Letter No. 24  Sep. 18, Agent’s official appeal for consideration for maintaining supplies and employees.

Hon. J. G. Smith, Com. Indian Affairs   September 18, 1876

I have the honor to herewith transmit revised estimate of Funds, and Descriptive State of Employees, for this present quarter as per instructions in office letter marked “F” under date of 6th last.  In connection herewith I would respectfully state that it will be impossible for an Agent to conduct the affairs of this agency with the prescribed number of employees, especially if we continue to carry out the Articles of the Treaty in issuing to the heads of families, and individual Indians, “and only in payment for labor.”  And now that there are so many different papers (start page 60) in the quarterly accounts, which with the general correspondence requires clerical work for one man two thirds of his time.  A Storekeeper is necessary when there are goods and supplies at the Agency.  In this labor system we pay the Indians for their labor in checks (one of which is herewith enclosed).  This is a circulating medium among them, and enables them to trade as white men do, they coming to the Indian and buying what they need in limited quantities from time to time.  Our general issuing days are every Monday but with these checks they can buy groceries &c at any time between ration days, which stimulates them to continue in their work.  The most industrious receiving the most supplies, and the more work done on their farms the more (start page 61) crops they raise, which encourages the Indian, thereby they slowly but steadily advance in civilization.

This reduction in the number of employees will be ten fold more detrimental to the Indians, and Agency, than the savings of these salaries will compensate for.  We will be unable to run the saw-mill, or put a building over it which it very much needs.  Also setting up a grist-mill that is at the Agency, but which never has been put to use, and would be invaluable in grinding corn for the Indians.

Fearing that the number of Indians reported in the annual reports of the respective Agents of Lake Traverse, and Devils lake Agencies (start page 63) for 1875, may have in some way caused this reduction, by giving to this Agency a smaller proportion of the annual appropriation than usual, I take the liberty to state that an apportionment made this year upon the basis of said annual reports would be an injustice to the Indians of this reservation, as many of the Indians of this Agency were absent at Standing Rock Agency, and other places, at the time the reports were made, they remained away all winter returning early in the spring. .  There are at the Sisseton Agency about 300 half breeds, who are enrolled there as Indians, most of whom have drawn “Lake Pipin, Sioux, Half Breed Scrip,” the issue of 1857.  They nearly all speak English and French, as well as Sioux.  When failing to make a living in idleness among the white they have flocked to the Sisseton (start page 64) Agency and draw supplies the same as full blooded Indians.   We have but one mixed blood who is enrolled and draws supplies as an Indian at this Agency, I have been at this Agency during the past 5 years and I am confident that there will be 400 Indians more here than were last winter, and 150 more than ever wintered here any previous winters.  There are 1071 Indians now on the reservation.  And I would therefore respectfully ask that this Agency be allowed two fifths (2/5) of the annual appropriation as in previous years.  All business of the Agency being under my own special supervision which requires much of my time in outside work among the Indians, such as in settling their Petty quarrels, and jealousies, advising them, &c, which is productive of much good, thus differing (start page 65) from my predecessors who passed nearly all of their time in the office.

It will be impossible to get along without at least one employee who may fill the place of both Storekeeper, and Clerk, it will require his whole time.

Both of my predecessors had clerks at $600 per annum and a Storekeeper besides.  I would therefore respectfully ask to be allowed at least one man to do the work of both.

I am unable to understand whether the salary of the Sisters in charge of “Manuel labor school” (one of whom is the Agency Physician) is included in the $3420 (allowed for employees of agency) or not.  From a conversation I have had with the Mother Superior I find that sooner than have the school fall through the Sisters will make any reasonable (start page 66) sacrifice.  They will be willing to continue the school for $840 per annum (provided that more will not be allowed).  This is a much smaller sum than would have to be paid to a Physician alone, and these Sisters make the clothing, wash, mend, cook, instruct the children, and have the entire care of the school, as well as the sick of the reservation.  It would be a great misfortune to these Indians if this school should be discontinued now that it is so well established.  No difficulty in getting children to attend, all we need is provisions, and more school room to have 100 scholars, and with the necessary help (I think that I can safely say) make this a model Agency.  The Manuel labor school being about 7 miles from the Agency, makes it absolutely necessary to have there a laboring man, to get the wood, and water, which has to be hauled some (start page 67) distance.  And much other work that cannot be expected to be performed by the Sisters or children of school.

Not being certain whether the salaries for the Sisters is included or not I take the liberty of transmitting two different “Estimates of Funds” the one continuing the item for School.  I trust will meet with approval, but it if cannot be allowed, I would respectfully ask that the other at least with J.E. Kennedy as Storekeeper and Clerk be approved.

Anxiously awaiting the decision of the Hon. Commissioner

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Letter No. 25  Sep. 18, Oops! Forgot to include tinware in estimate.

Hon. J. G. Smith, Com. Indian Affairs      September 18th, 1876

I have the honor to state that in making out itemized list of articles under date of 18th inst. accompanying “copy of Estimate for Supplies,” I omitted itemizing the Tinware bulked at $150.00.

The following will be the requisite proportions

6 doz fry pans. 6 doz qt coffee pots.

6 doz tin Wash Basins.  6 doz 6 qt pd pans.

5   “   campkettles in nests of three.

20  “   1/2 pt tin cups.  2 gross 9” tin plates.

1    “   16 qt dishpans.

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Letter No. 26  Sep. 18, Indians destitute for flour—forward some immediately.

TELEGRAM

Castner and Penner         September 18, 1876              St. Paul, Minn.

Forward some contract flour immediately.  Indians entirely destitute.

To what point does your contract specify delivery, Jamestown or Agency.

When will flour be at Jamestown.

Answer.

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 Letter No. 27  Sep. 18, Helping to settle an estate.

Peter Sutherland Esq, Fort Garry, Manitoba             September 18, 1876

Please find enclosed portion of Statement of Major Forbes Agency Accounts, disallowed in the final settlement until such explanations as are asked for are made.

Please execute the enclosed affidavit and also send a copy of the letter from Bishop Whipple to you, the one mentioned in Major Forbes endorsement of John Cramsies claim.  I herewith forward your original voucher, also Mr. Cramsies letter to Major Forbes, along with

your certificate showing that Mr. Cramcie was really employed.  All of which you will please return with a copy of the Bishops letter and the enclosed affidavit properly executed.  Send all to Mrs. Wm. H. Forbes, St. Paul, care (start page 72) of N. W. Kittser.

I am straitening up those differences for her, and will be in St. Paul in about 10 days.

Please attend to it at once and you will do Mrs. Forbes a great kindness.

With kind regards to Mrs. Sutherland and Yourself.

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Letter No. 28  Sep. 18, Send supplies right now!  My Indians are destitute.  The Hon. Com. apparently approved some major expenditures.

P H Kelly and Co., St Paul             September 18, 1876

Please ship me immediately ten (10) bbls Mess Pork, four (4) sks coffee, five (5) bbls sugar, four (4) chests tea, four (4) boxes of good soap, two (2) boxes candles, one (1) bbl Dried Apples, two (2) boxes Saleratus, one (1) box baking powder, two (2) cases Axle Grease (wooden boxes), one (1) case Matches (small boxes), one (1) bbl of Rice, and one hundred (100) lbs of Butter in two or more tubs.

Ship at once and Telegraph me when it will be at Jamestown.  Send Inspectors certificates with Invoice and I will send Certified Vouchers.

A telegram from Indian (start page 74) informs me that Castner and Penner are the flour contractors, have them hurry up one car load at least.  My Indians are entirely destitute.

P.S.

Do not fail to Ship at once, and have Castner & Penner, send some Flour with out fail, I have telegraphed them, but please hurry them up, as we are in great need of these supplies.

Also send one Bbl lard, one Bbl Salt, one box of pepper, & send me twelve bbls of Pork instead of ten, also four (4) caddies of small plug smoking tobacco.

McLaughlin, Agt

Get the best R.R. rates that you can for me & let me know what it is.

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Letter No. 29  Sep. 19, Acknowledging receipt of $2,000 to purchase some supplies in open market.

Hon. J. G. Smith, Com. Indian Affairs   September 19th, 1876

I have the honor to acknowledge receipt of Telegram dated 15th inst. granting permission to purchase supplies in open Market not to exceed Two thousand dollars.  I have order immediately of P H Kelly & Co. St Paul, pork and Groceries which will amount to about $900.  And I have telegraphed to Castner and Penner flour contractors to forward some flour at once.  This was glad news for the Indians.  It has instituted new life into them and relieved me of much anxiety as it was difficult for me to keep them on the reservation.

This pork &c ordered will meet the immediate wants of the Indians now that the supplies for the year will soon be received.

I thought it advisable not to expend the whole of the $2000 at the present time so that if I received permission to go to St Paul I would be enabled to select many articles necessary at this Agency that would be difficult to have by simply ordering.

I would therefore respectfully ask for a list of the Articles asked for in my “Estimate of Supplies” that may be purchased in St Paul with authority to select the same such as the Stoves, Heavy Hardware &c.

N.S.

I have asked for nothing in my “Estimate” but what is absolutely needed at this Agency.  Anxiously awaiting further instructions from Your Office, now that the season is so far advanced.

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Letter No. 30  Sep. 20, Appointing and controlling an Indian Trader since the Fort Sutler is overcharging the Indians about 30 percent over prices charged to whites.

Hon. J. G. Smith, Com. Indian Affairs   September 20th, 1876

I have the honor to acknowledge receipt of circular letter dated Aug 29th 1876 in relation to Indian Traders.

And I respectfully state in reply that the 9th Article of the Treaty Proclaimed May 2nd 1867 with the Sissetons and Wahpatons Sioux of Lake Traverse and Devils Lake prohibits trade in Furs or Peltries upon either Reservations.

Yet the Indians of this Agency are unanimous in their request to have an Indian trader appointed who will be under the surveillance of the Agent so far as to prevent exorbitant prices (start page 78) being charged them.

The post sutler, whose store is about 20 rods from Agents office, has traded with these Indians since the establishment of the Fort from his right as Military Post Trader.  He is the only trader within 82 miles of here.  He carries a full assortment of goods, of a good fair quality, but the Indians pay from 10 to 30 percent more for goods than Soldiers or civilians do.  The sutler prices to the soldiers are regulated by a board of officers, but that does not apply with regard to Indians, usually charging them 20 cts per yard for calico while selling the same to whites at 12 1/2 and 15 cents, and all other goods in proportion.

The Indians often go to Jamestown (a distance of 82 miles) when they get a few furs so as to dis (start page 79) pose of them to better advantage, there being two stores there where they have paid a better price for their furs, and buy goods on an average of 30 per cent cheaper than here.  This is an inducement to take the Indians to Jamestown whenever they get a few furs or a little money, thus exposing them to the danger of getting liquor which they often do when alone without a white man being with them, as there are four liquor Saloons in Jamestown.

Many Indians sell the corn that they so much need themselves to the sutler at a sacrifice, so as to be enabled to buy at an enormous profit to the trader, Beads, Vermilion, Earrings, &c.  This gratifies their Indian tastes and love of trinkets.

An Indian trader here would doubtless make but a precarious (start page 80) living, as the whole amount of furs brought in here will not exceed $4000 annually but that with the trade of the Agency employees and transient trade that he would get, I think that a fair and safe business could be done upon a small capital.

By having a trader who would trade at a reasonable profit and pay fair prices for produce &c would be an incentive to have the Indians raise more crops, so as to have a surplus to dispose of, for what they might want.

I would therefore respectfully recommend that a license to trade on this reservation be granted to some man of good character.

There are many men who would be willing to put in a stock of goods, who believe that a dollar from an Indian is worth as much as a dollar from a white man, and be con- (start page 81) tent with a reasonable profit.

I would respectfully suggest that 25 percent on original cost with Transportation added would be a reasonable profit for a trader here.

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Letter No. 31  Sep. 20, He had gambled and ordered shoes on the come card.

Messrs C. Gotzian & Co.,St. Paul, Minn         September 20, 1876                                             Please make out new Triplicate Invoice of the 6 doz prs shoes purchased of you the 17th of July last.  Date them Sept 25th 1876 and get Mr Carpenteurs Certificate of Inspection in triplicate same date and send to me.  I did not have permission from the Indian Office for the purchase at that time, but as the shoes were much needed I took the chances by sending bills now I will issue certified vouchers at once.

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Letter No. 32  Sep. 20, How to receipt for disbursements to Indians.

Hon. J. G. Smith, Com. Indian Affairs, Washington, D. C.

Sir.  I have the honor to acknowledge receipt of circular letter dated Aug 29th 1876 in relation to Indian Traders.

And I respectfully state in reply that the 9th Article of the Treaty Proclaimed May 2nd 1867 with the Sisseton and Warpatohs Sioux of Lake Traverse and Devils lake prohibits trade in Furs or Peltries upon either Reservations.

I have the honor to submit the following respectfully requesting information in regards to the same.

Will I have to show the supplies, Provisions, Groceries, Clothing &c to Indians “on abstract D to Property return.”

If we issued only to Heads of Bands, or even to the needs of families, the work would be much easier, but on this Agency where we issue, or sell, to each Indian, Man, Woman, Boy or Girl who earns the checks by labor, and comes to the store to trade, thus dividing the articles into so many small, and daily issues (start page 85) that it will be impossible to prepare a descriptive statement of all such issues with the clerical help of this Agency.  I would therefore respectfully ask if such issues constitute the “All Property” mentioned in paragraph “29” of instructions to Superintendents and Agents, as having to be shown on abstract “D” to Property return.

Or will it be sufficient to take “Receipts in bulk” from the Chiefs and Headmen keeping a book account with each individual, showing his or her purchases, with Debits and Credits, entering only Stoves, Wagons, Cattle &c on Abstract “D”.

Or the whole in bulk.  Vouchsafing an early reply to this communication.

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Letter No. 33  Sep. 21, “Wolf Necklace’s” band has not been here this year.

Capt. R.C.Johnston, Act. U.S. Indian Agent, Standing Rock Agency, Dak.   Sept 22nd, 1876

I am in receipt of your communication of the 5th inst, and in reply I would respectfully state that I called upon Wanata, a Cut-head Yanctonai, Sioux, who is head Chief of this Agency, and Wahacankaduta, another Cut-head Yanctonai, both of whom are well acquainted with all the Indians who came, and they inform me that none of the Indians who drew rations with “Wolf Necklace” Band at Standing Rock have been here this summer, except one boy named “Hohakta” about ten (10) years of age, who is with his Grand-mother (start page 88).

There have been at least 200 Indians from Standing Rock, who have passed by this Agency during the summer, going towards the Buffalo country north of Fort Peck, all of whom remained for some days as they passed through, but my Indians state that none of “Wolf Necklace” band, have been with these parties except the boy mentioned.

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Letter No. 34  Sep. 23, Routine Paperwork.

Hon. S.A.Galpin,  Actg. Com. Indian Affairs,

I have the honor to transmit herewith corrected copies of Statistical reports.  It was an oversight of mine in not answering questions 53, 54 & 55, thinking that they applied only to buildings built during the year.

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Letter No. 35  Sep. 23, Do I have $5,000 more for supplies, or $5,000 less?

Hon. S.A.Galpin, Actg Com. Ind. Affairs,       September 23rd, 1876

I have the honor to acknowledge receipt of your telegram of the 20th inst. instructing me to submit immediately Estimate for Blankets, Clothing, serge goods, &c actually required at this Agency, amount not to exceed $5,000.

In reply I would respectfully state that I am at a loss to understand whether this is in addition to the $8,000 that I had the honor to estimate for on the 15th inst, as per instructions by Telegram of the 9th inst, or is it a reduction of the former amount.

Supposing I had to do for the best with the $8,000 allowed, I proportioned the different articles of clothing, and dry goods, asked for, in such amounts as would do the most good, and give the best satisfaction to the Indians, and asked for nothing but what was absolutely required, and all will not be provided for even with the amount estimated for, especially with Blankets and Mens Clothing, to make a reduction in any of the other articles of clothing, or dry goods asked for in my Estimate, I think it utterly impossible.

I have been promising these Indians that they would be repaid for their long patience, and waiting, by receiving their goods before the cold weather, and that there would be enough to give each person a fair allowance, but with only $5,000 worth many will be left without anything to protect them from the cold of winter.  And I do not know upon what to commence cutting down.

I would therefore respectfully ask, that if it must be cut down, that I receive proportionately five eighths 5/8 of each article asked for in my estimate of the 18th inst.

It would take $12,000 worth of Blankets, clothing &c to provide properly for the Indians of this Agency, for they are really in a very destitute condition as regards clothing.

I am as yet without instructions from your office as to what amount of supplies these Indians may expect, and I take the liberty of urging again upon your kind consideration the necessity of all supplies being sent through without delay as winter is near at hand.

I apologize for so doing by my anxiety for the success of this agency.

In conclusion I would again most respectfully ask that these Indians receive at least the articles that I had the honor to include in my Estimate forwarded on the 15th inst.

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Letter No. 36  Sep. 25, Hon. Com. is still playing hardball. No notice received of increase in educational funds, only a dribble of other funds, no word on whether I get my share of treaty funds.

Genl Charles Ewing, Washington, D. C.           September 25th, 1876

I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your communications of the 15th inst. relative to your securing an Equitable proportion of Educations fund for this Agency, and asking if I had been notified in regard to school.  In reply, I would respectfully state that I have received no notice of the same, from the Indian Office as yet.  I had the honor to forward to you on the 15th a communication in regard to reductions, &c at Agency,   Also one to the Hon. Com. on the 18th inst. with a revised estimate of Funds (for this) 3rd qtr 1876, and a request for the same apportionment (start page 95) of the $8,000 Annual Appropriation as in former years.

On the 18th inst I received permission to purchase in Open Market (not exceeding $2,000 worth of supplies) for immediate use.  It was joyful news to the Indians, as they were greatly in need of the same.

If I receive the $32,000 for my share of the Fulfilling Treaty funds as in former years, with a small share of the School fund, I can provide for this year very well, now that three months have nearly passed.  As soon as I receive notice from the office I will send you a copy.

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Letter No. 37  Sep. 30, Advertisement for the Newspaper in St. Paul.

Editor of Pioneer Press and Tribune  September 30, 1876

St. Paul, Minn.

Gentlemen.

Please insert without delay the enclosed advertisement and publish it daily until the day of award.  I will settle for same when I go to St. Paul.

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Letter No. 38  Sep. 30, Can advertise for $6,500 worth of supplies

Hon. S.A.Galpin,  Act.Com.Indian Affairs, September 30, 1876

I have the honor to acknowledge receipt of Office letter marked – L.B. under date of the 20th inst. granting me authority to advertise for supplies to the extend of $6,500.  And in accordance with said authority I have this day sent to the Pioneer Press and Tribune of St. Paul, Minn. an advertisement – a copy of which is herewith enclosed, and I trust my action will be approved. – Of the $2,000 that I received permission to purchase supplies with in open market, – as per telegram of the 15th inst., there will be about $1,000 unexpended.  I ordered by letter but enough for immediate use, knowing that I could do better with the remained when I would be in St. Paul.   I would therefore respectfully ask if I can purchase with the unexpended balance such other supplies as are necessary (start page 98).  – I will need at least for this fiscal year, 300 sacks of flour, and 2000 pounds of sugar, more than is to be forwarded to me and what I have advertised for, which could be purchased this amount. – I will start for St. Paul on the 8th of October, and will take my Indians with me, as granted, and I would respectfully ask to be advised there, as to what I shall do with this unexpended amount.  And if I can buy my Indians each a suit of clothes throughout, as soon as I reach St. Paul. – And will I have to wait for my contracts, (after awarded) to be approved by your office before I ship any of the supplies.

I would therefore respectfully ask a reply to this communication addressed to me at St. Paul, in care of Genl Sibley.

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Letter No. 39  Sep. 30, Routine report submission

Hon. S.A.Galpin, Actg.Com.Indian Affairs             September 30, 1876

I have the honor to herewith transmit monthly Reports of Farmer, Clerk, Blacksmith and Gunsmith, Carpenter, School and Sanitary for the month ending September 30th 1876.

P.S. I also have the honor to forward Statement of Receipts and Disbursements of this Agency for the 3rd Qr. 1876, herewith enclosed.

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October 1876

Letter No. 40  Oct. 2, You shipped a carload of flour loaded over a kerosene-soaked floor.

Mssrs Castner and Penner, St. Paul, Minn.             October 3, 1876

I have this day received your car load of flour shipped on the 16th ultimo.  The flour is in a very bad condition having been shipped in a car that had previously contained Kerosine Oil, – The lower tier is completely saturated with it, making it unfit for use “even for Indians.”  They will not eat it.  I do not know how far it has penetrated into the whole lot, But I will issue tomorrow and will be able to tell better, if it turns out as I fear it will I will not be able to sign receipts.  I will have to submit the matter to the Indian Office, or else I could be held responsible for the loss.  I will be in St Paul on the 11th inst. and I will (start page 102) take the other car load voucher with me.  I write you this so that you will be more careful in future shipments.

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Letter No. 41  Oct. 2, Routine paperwork for Rev. Williamson.

Rev. John P. Williamson, Greenwood Dak             October 2nd, 1876

In compliance with your request, I recalled and have had returned to me the Voucher for School books purchased of you the 25th of July last.  Please make out “Triplicate” bills in the name of some other member of the Mission, and send to me and I will attend to without delay.  Please date the same July 25th, as my receipts correspond with that date.

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Letter No. 42  Oct. 4, Ownership of a gun.

Major J. G. Hamilton, U.S.Indian Agent, Sisseton Agency Dakota  October 3rd, 1876

During the month of July one of your Indians named “Checkpana” had a gun stolen from him whilst on a visit to the Fort Berthold Agency.  One of my Indians has found the gun and there is a dispute about it.  “Pyangduta” who found the gun says that Checkpana told him to keep it, and “Ticashishni” who was at your Agency when Checkpana returned says that the gun belonged to a white man by the name of Owens who is married to an Indian woman.  He is one of two men who keeps a ranch at some distance from the Agency, he loaned this to Checkpana for that trip and now gives it to Ticashishni.  Please inquire into this and inform me what I will do with the gun (start page 105).

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Letter No. 43  Oct. 4. Large herd of buffalo north of Mouse River.

Major C.M.Darling, U.S.Indian Agent, Fort Berthold Dak           October 4th, 1876

There is a young man, son of “Tea Washtay,” a Chief of this reservation who is at your Agency.  He has been there since those women went home, his father is anxious to have him return home before the cold weather sets in.  Please order him home.

There are a number of Yanctonais Sioux who passed up north late this summer who reported to some Indians here that north of Mouse River there were large quantities of Buffalo.

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Letter No. 44  Oct. 4, Need to pay for storage at Jamestown.

Hon. S.A.Galpin, Actg., Com.Indian Affairs, Washington, D.C.            October 4th, 1876

I have the honor to respectfully ask that Mr. T.B.Harris of Jamestown D.T. be paid a reasonable price for storing and forwarding the supplies of this Agency.  P.W.Kelly of Jamestown was paid as forwarding agent during the year of 1873 at the rate of 5 cents per 100 lbs.  Mr. Harris was paid at the same rate during the years of 1874 and 75.  He is Agent for the N.P.RR Co at Jamestown and allows the Agency stores to remain in the cars or finds storeroom for same until received by Agency teams, there being no freight room at that station other freight is thrown out exposed to the weather when they need to use the cars whilst Agency stores are kept under cover.  I would therefore respectfully ask for information (start page 108) upon this matter as Mr Harris is now attending to the forwarding as in previous years.  Awaiting the action of your office.

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Letter No. 45  Oct. 5, Routine paperwork.

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Letter No. 46  Oct. 6, More Indians are moving here from Standing Rock to get away from wilder Sioux!  I will run out of supplies if no increases.

Hon. S.A.Galpin, Actg., Com.Indian Affairs, Washington, D.C.            October 6th, 1876

I have the honor to respectfully state that eight lodges of Cut Head Yanctonai Sioux under a solder called “Manto Manza” have arrived here from the North two days ago.  And six lodges under “Tahapena” arrived yesterday from Standing Rock Agency, and they state that ten more lodges are on the way from Standing Rock, who will arrive here in a few days.  They come with the intention of remaining this winter, locating here permanently and opening up farms in the Spring.  They give as their reason for coming here that they do not wish to remain among the more wilder Sioux at Standing Rock, and as “Wanata” the hereditary Head Chief of the Cut Head Sioux is located here, they want to make their future home near him.  In a conversation held with these people yesterday “Wahacankaduta” a former Sub-Chief at Standing Rock stated that “Tatakaiyanke” a Chief of the Teton Sioux (start page 111) at Standing Rock Agency who are located on the west side of the river, had made overtures to the Cut Head Yanctonais and Unkpapas, who reside on the east side of the Missouri, offering them 1000 ponies if they would join them (the west side Indians) in rescuing the prisoners held by the Military at Standing Rock.  They refused to take any part in it, and it is from fear of being implicated in the trouble that will follow that so many are now leaving there.

With these accresions to our present numbers it will be impossible to carry them through this winter with the Appropriation and Supplies of this Agency, especially as those coming now have nothing to subsist upon, depending entirely upon what they will receive from the Agency Stores.  And as this Treaty provides that all able bodied male Indians shall labor for what they receive, and as none of these Indians now arriving have ever done any work, It will take some time to overcome their prejudices against manuel labor.  And now that winter is nearly upon us what will be done with those already here and others who are coming.  I would respectfully (start page 112) ask that they either be ordered back to Standing Rock immediately and prevent others from coming, or to make some provisions to subsist them at this Agency through the coming winter, as with proper management and kind treatment, many of these Cut Head Yanctonais may now be reclaimed from their nomadic mode of life.  But they require encouragement in this their first move towards civilization.  And I would also respectfully ask if I can issue from the supplies that will be here to such Indians without their laboring for it, until I can induce them to do as the others are doing who have learned the benefits derived from the labor system.

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Letter No. 47  Oct. 7, Third Quarter Reports…but have not received funds for payroll for any employees yet.

Hon. S.A.Galpin, Actg., Com.Indian Affairs, Washington, D.C.            October 7th, 1876

I have the honor to transmit my returns for the quarter ending September 30th 1876.  Viz, Duplicates of Triplicate, Abstract of Disbursements, Property Returns, Abstract A to Property Returns, Abstract D to Property Returns, Voucher to Abstract D to Property Returns, One Report of Employees, One Return of Medical Property.  Having received no funds for the pay of employees or other current expenses, and having disbursed no funds, I have not transmitted any Account Current for this Quarter.  I enclose my Report of Employees in the order Nominated, and estimated for, in revised Estimate of Funds (start page 114) marked “No 1” for 3rd qtr 1876, which I had the honor to submit for the action of your office starting for St Paul tomorrow to award contracts &c I deemed it necessary to forward my quarterly returns before leaving.  I would therefore respectfully ask if after I receive funds can I pay the employees for the 3rd Qr, and carry it into my next quarters papers.  I gave due bills to the men discharged and they had them cashed at the Post Traders.

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Letter No. 48  Oct. 12, Accepting bid for beef cattle.

Mr. Fred P. Elliott, Minneapolis, Minn.           October 12th, 1876

Your bid for furnishing 25000 pounds of beef cattle at Devils Lake Agency is awarded to you upon your bid of $6.98 per 100 lbs “nett.”  You will please inform me at once if you are prepared to enter into contract for the delivery of the same giving two good responsible sureties.

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Letter No. 49  Oct. 16, Four contracts for Hon. Com. for approval.

Note in pencil by McLaughlin:

The date of this letter must be Oct. 16th 1876 as I let the contracts on Oct 12th which was Thursday and I wrote this letter on the following Monday evening

Hon. J.G.Smith, Commissioner of Indian Affairs,, Washington, D.C. October 1876

: I have the honor to submit for your approval the enclosed four contracts entered into with the following named parties viz:- P.H.Kelly & Co., Strong Hackett & Chapin, A.B.Harwood and Nathaniel G. Gracelan respectively.  Authority granted in office letter marked “F.P.B. received in letter of September 20th 1876 for publishing and advertisement inviting proposals for the ________.

The awards as made are from samples and upon a close examination of the stores and hardware.  There were lower bid on stoves than that of the firm to which I awarded the contract; but the lower bids were for a very inferior stove to the “Elwana Oven” (those accepted). The “Elriand Oven” is preferable to the “Box” stove being more durable, throwing more heat and are besides the choice of the Indians.

The prices on all articles on the enclosed contracts are exceedingly low taking into consideration the quality of the goods.

The price for the beef cattle, at this season of the year, is very reasonable.  The beef contractor is anxious to get his cattle started at once as he has no time to lose in getting them through to the Agency before the snow falls.  I therefore respectfully ask that I be instructed by telegraph, here at Saint Paul to have him start his cattle at once, and also that I be informed at the same time how the supplies are to be shipped from here, whether on bills of lading and at contract rates with the Northern Pacific Rail Road Company or otherwise.

I have seen the agent of N.P.R.R.Company and he is unable to give me the desired information.  I neglected to include oats in my advertisement for proposals, an article which is very much used for horse teams.  I therefore respectfully ask permission to purchase 300 bushels of oats to be delivered at Jamestown or Agency.  My limit was $6,500.00 but taking the 500 sacks of flour out, and the price of other articles being less than estimated by me I have not much exceeded the sum of $4,500.00 as shown by the accompanying contracts.

I will remain in St. Paul until I receive instructions in regard to the enclosed contracts and most earnestly request that an early reply may be sent me as the N.P.R.R. will not contract to carry any freight after the 1st of November and it will be very difficult (start page 120) to get the supplies through from Jamestown to the Agency with ox teams after the above mentioned date.

P.S. I herewith enclose duplicate copies of contracts and bonds, with oath of disinterestedness with each set; also abstract of my proposals with schedule attached, and original proposals all of which are respectfully submitted.

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Letter No. 50  Oct. 17, Indians don’t like bacon.  Also they are very upset that Hon. Com. disallowed suits of clothes in which to visit St.Paul.  Also all of my Indians are almost naked.

Hon. S.A.Galpin, Actg., Commissioner of Indian Affairs, Washington, D.C.

I have the honor to acknowledge receipt of office letter marked “F” under date of October 5th, 1876 in which it is stated that Devils Lake Agency is to receive 140 barrels of Pork and 30,000 pounds of Bacon, and in reply would respectfully state that such a large supply of Bacon and Pork will not be required at this Agency.  The 150 barrels of Pork would be sufficient to supply the Indians until June 30th 1877; I therefore respectfully ask that as the Indians do not like Bacon consequently it is not profitable to feed them with it, that the 140 barrels of Pork and but 2000 pounds of Bacon be forwarded, and that the value of the difference – 20,000 pounds of Bacon – be expended in the purchase of clothing, sugar and flour.

As there will be 1800 sacks of flour (at least) needed and 2000 sack are actually necessary , I trust that the latter amount be sent, and also that the sugar and clothing be increased from some of the unexpended balances, as with only $_,000 worth of clothing it is impossible for me to provide all the Indians with anything like a sufficiency.  They are almost naked, having received but very little clothing during the summer and fall of 1875, and none whatever during the last twelve months.

I thought best to come to St. Paul alone, leaving the Indians, who were to accompany me, to follow one week later; thus making the expense less, giving one time to attend to the letting of the contracts and enabling me to better to show them round the mills and factories.  I also did not wish to have them in Saint Paul, until I could get each a new suit of clothes, as they were too poorly clothed to appear in the streets.

It was only the day before I started from the Agency that I concluded to leave them, to come after me.  As soon as I received instructions disallowing the suits of clothes for these Indians, I telegraphed for them not to start until they would receive further orders.  This disappointment will be felt by those Indians, they having cut off their hair, and abandoned their “Medicine Dance” for the purpose of coming to see Saint Paul.  They will doubtless suspect my sincerity with regard to the whole matter of bringing them, and it will be detrimental to my future plans in trying to abolish the Medicine Dance, through them.  Shall I return to the Agency or await further instructions?

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November 1876

Letter No. 51  Nov. 1, Looks like Hon. Com. came through with money for Indians to visit St. Paul dressed in something other than rags.

Saint Paul Minnesota Nov 1st 1876

Hon. J.O.Smith, Com.Indian Affairs, Washington, D.C.

Sir

I have the honor to herewith inclose one copy each of duplicate certified vouchers issued to Northern Pacific Rail Road Co. for transportation, and _________ Allow for Hotel bill for my self & four Indians, namely, Teowashta, Wanata, Cantamanza and Shipto.  Not having much more of “incidental fund” than what was required for incidental expenses enroute, I issued these vouchers trusting that the same will be paid as soon as practicable.

I have the honor to be, Sir,

Very respectfully

Your obedient servant James McLaughlin U.S.Ind.Agent.

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Letter No. 52  Nov. 1, Have finished with St. Paul.

Saint Paul Minnesota, Nov 1st 1876

Hon. J.O.Smith, Com.Indian Affairs, Washington, D.C.             ,

I have the honor to respectfully ask for fifty (50) blank certificated vouchers to be forwarded to me at Devils Lake Agency, as I am entirely out of the same, I would also respectfully state, that having got through with my business in Saint Paul, I leave for the Agency today.

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Letter No. 53  Nov. 6, “Washta Najan” wanted to know McLaughlin’s Indian’s feelings about joining the Hostiles next Spring.

Major J.G.Hamilton, U.S.Indian Agent, Sisseton Agency Dak., Nov 6th, 1876

I send by “Washta Najan” that double barreled shot gun belonging to “Checkpana” and he will deliver it to you.

He being on horseback I am unable to send you those “Horns” but on the first opportunity available I will send them to you.

You would do well to look after this man as he held a midnight council with my Indians last night in which he expressed himself that a number of your Indians had a desire and in fact the intention of going north in the spring to join the (start page 128) hostiles and he wanted to know the feeling of my Indians in the matter.  So it would be well to investigate this matter very quietly and see what it is composed of.  In the meantime I will look after it up here and should I learn any thing that would be detrimental to either Agency I will notify you immediately.

I reached home last night and find everything all right.

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Letter No. 54  Nov. 6, Few supplies have gotten through yet.  Prairies running out of grass due to lateness of season and fires.  No meat or tea at the Agency.

Hon S.A. Galpin, Act Com. Indian Affairs, Washington, D.C.       Nov 6th, 1876

I have the honor to respectfully state that I arrived home from St. Paul last evening after an absence of four weeks from the Agency awarding contracts, purchasing and forwarding supplies &c.

The flour (2000 sacks) has arrived at Jamestown (1000 sacks of which have been hauled to Agency by the Indian teams.  The lateness of the season makes it very difficult to get the supplies through.  The weather being cold.  No supplies have arrived at Jamestown yet except the Tobacco, Flour and Coffee and what articles that were purchased by me in St. Paul.  There has been none of the (start page 130) contract pork received yet, and I have not found  one pound of port or meat the Agency and neither tea, sugar, rice nor clothing been received, nor can I hear of any in transit between St. Paul and Jamestown, except 85 bbls of Pork that is held at St Paul which is consigned to the Northern Pacific R.R.Co. marked James McLaughlin Ind. Agt, Jamestown, Sisseton Agency, Via Herman.  This is held for correction by Indian Office as the N.P.R.R. does not pass near Herman, and the marking is evidently a mistake of the Contractor forwarding the same, I am very desirous of having all the pork through at once if possible, as any day now may bring on a snow storm that will make it impossible to freight with ox teams from Jamestown to the Agency.  It is difficult freighting even now, the grass on the Prairies being all dead and in most places burnt off.  We have to carry hay for the round trip, and I have been obliged to purchase 2 1/2 tons of ground feed for the cattle freighting. (Start page 131)

I hope to get all the supplies through before Dec 1st if they arrive at Jamestown, and the weather does not turn too severe.

The four Indians that I took to St Paul were delighted with what they saw there, and I trust that their visit will be productive of some good.

I purchased the 140 soldier coats of James Lees of Jamestown, upon my return at a cost of $2.00 each.

I herewith enclose monthly school, Sanitary, Farmer, Carpenter, Blacksmith, Clerk & Storekeeper reports for the month ending October 31st 1876.

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Letter No. 55 Nov. 6, Paperwork confusion.

Hon. S.A.Galpin, Acting Commissioner Indian Affairs, Washington, D.C.  Nov. 6th, 1876

I have the honor to acknowledge receipt of Office Letter marked “F” under date of Oct 17th 1876  to Certified Vouchers in favor of P.H.Kelly & Co. for $798.00, being received at your office without having the Certificate of Inspection enclosed.

In reply I would respectfully state that as I am furnished with but one copy of Certificate of Inspection of each inspection, the other copy being forwarded by the Inspector, I attached the Duplicate sent me to the voucher given P.H.Kelly & Co. to be by them forwarded.

I would therefore respectfully ask if I should attach the Certificate of inspection to the voucher forwarded by myself instead of to the Duplicate given to the party to whom the Vouchers are issued and which is forwarded by them.

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Letter No. 56  Nov. 6, Bearer pass.

Devils Lake Agency Dak,                           Nov 9th 1876

The bearer “Tea Washta” is a chief of this Reservation and is permitted to visit your Agency for the purpose of bringing home his son who is sick there.

Any person meeting him will treat him civilly.

And obli’d fr your Respt

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Letter No. 57  Nov. 6, Finally paid 3rd quarter salaries.

November 6 1876

First National

Bank of St Paul, Minn.        1602 82/100

1602 82/100

James McLaughlin

 

The funds being received Oct 13th 1876, whilst in St Paul I paid the salaries of Employees for 3rd Qr 1876 and returning home but yesterday hence my delay in reporting balance.

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Letter No. 58  Nov. 11, Receipting for 2,000 sacks flour.

Messrs Castner & Penner,, St Paul, Minn.,             November 11th 1876

Enclosed please find receipt for 1600 sacks of flour weighing one Hundred and Sixty Thousand pounds, making total received 2000 sacks, in all weighing Two Hundred Thousand, One Hundred pounds.  I return Certificates of Inspection to you with original receipt, and forward shipping bills and one of copy of each invoice with my Duplicate to Washington.  You will have no delays in getting a settlement as I have forwarded mine by this same mail. I cannot send you Vouchers yet for feed will do so as soon as I get permission.

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Letter No. 59  Nov. 6, Delayed paperwork.

Rev John P Williamson, Greenwood D.T.          Nov 6th 1876

Enclosed please find Certified voucher for Books purchased last July.  Am sorry for the long delay in settlement of same.  And as soon as you get some Dakota Dictionaries please inform me.

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Letter No. 60  Nov. 8, How we weighed 46 head of beef cattle.

Smith, Cobb & Co, Minneapolis, Minn       Nov 8th 1876

Enclosed please find Certified Voucher for beef purchased.  You will forward the enclosed voucher to Hon. J.G. Smith Com. Indian Affairs Wash D.C. for payment

The weight of these Forty Six (46) head of beef of cattle was ascertained by weighing them on the hay scale belonging to the Military Post here in presence of L.C.Hunt, Liut Col 20th Res. Infantry Commanding Post.

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Letter No. 61  Nov. 10, Receipted for flour and cattle but may not be able to get all flour through to Agency from Jamestown this winter.

Hon.S.A.Galpin, Actg Com. Indian Affairs, Washington, D.C.      Nov 10th 1876

I have the honor to herewith enclose Receipts for 1600 sacks of flour received from Castner and Penner, under their contract of Aug 31/76.  This completes their contract for flour, making 2000 sacks, 200,100 pounds of flour received.  I have receipted for all the flour, as it is all received at Jamestown, and I have got but 1000 sks through to the Agency, and I may not be able to get more than 500 more through this winter, but will have to store the rest until next spring.  I also enclose Certified Vouchers in favor of Alfred L. Riggs and Smith, Cobb & Co.  Also statement of Public Funds, and receipt for beef cattle, received from N.G.Garcelon under his contract dated Oct. 14th 1876.  I have the honor to be sir Very Resp your obt Svt

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Letter No. 62  Nov. 7, Catching up on paperwork.

Hon.J.G.Smith, Com.Indian Affairs, Washington D.C.             Nov 7th 1876

I have the honor to herewith enclose “for the returns office” a complete copy of all papers connected with my advertisements for proposals for Indian supplies dated Sep 30th 1876 and my contracts dated Oct 14, 1876.  Having been very busy whilst in St Paul and arriving home on the 5th inst I have been unable to forward these copies until now.  Trusting that this delay will not be considered negligency on my part.

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Letter No. 63  Nov. 11 Routine paperwork.

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Letter No. 64  Nov. 13, Supplies have not yet reached Jamestown, 82 miles away over cold prairie.  Indians do not understand why “their” Agent has failed them.

Genl Charles Ewing, Cath. Com.Indian Missions, Washington, D.C.  Nov 13th 1876

I have the honor to herewith enclose copy of a letter received from the Indian Office.  I would have sent it to your office at once, but being absent on business in St. Paul for four weeks will account for the delay.  The agency supplies are very late in being received at the Agency this year.  The Pork, Sugar, Tea, Rice, Beans, and Clothing have not yet reached Jamestown, and from that point it is 82 miles of treeless prairie to this Agency over which we have to haul all of the Agency supplies with Indian Ox teams, and with but little clothing to protect the Indian teamsters from the cold.  It requires courage on their part to undertake the trip through the snow.

It is too bad that everything connected with the Indians has been so much behind this year, they (the Indians) cannot understand the causes and think that the Agent is to blame, that if an Agent does his duty he can get any favor from the Great Father for his Indians.  It has caused me much anxiety and vexation for the number of promises that I have made to the Indians and could not fulfill during the last four months.  But I am in hopes that in a few weeks that everything will get quietly settled down.  I know that with clothing and supplies all will be satisfied.

These Indians are entitled to kind treatment for their conduct and I trust that with another year we will be able to report a large number reclaimed from their Medicine Dances and other superstitions, as well as from their Nomadic mode of life.

In conclusion I would respectfully state that the Hon Commissioner of Indian Affairs and Acting Commissioner, have extended every courtesy to me that was in their power.  With sincere regards

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Letter No. 65-74  Nov. 14-17, Ten routine letters.

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Letter No. 75  Nov. 26, “Running Panther” has not been here.

Capt. R.E.Johnson, Act.Ind.Agent, Standing Rock, D.T.       Nov 26th 1876

I am in receipt of yours of 17th ultimo in reference to an Indian named “Running Panther” who stated that he had been at this Agency visiting “Washcankaduta, Red Shield” and “Tacandupa, His Pipe” in an interview with the above Indians, they state that Running Panther has not been here nor have they seen him this summer.

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Letter No. 76  Nov. 25, Issuing supplies to the Sisters and how to accept receipts from them.

Hon.J.G.Smith, Com. Indian Affairs, Washington, D.C.             November 25th 1876

I have the honor to respectfully ask in what way will I issue to the Sisters and Pupils of Manuel Labor School, wether shall I take receipts in Bulk from the Chiefs and Head men as my Predecessors have done for all supplies of provisions, clothing &c issued to the school, or take receipts from the Sister Superioress in Charge.  The strictest economy being used by the sisters with every thing placed under their charges, I would respectfully recommend that the receipts be taken in bulk as in previous years.  Vouchsafing an early reply to this communication,

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Letter No. 77  Nov. 25, Correcting deficiency statement of former Agent.

Hon. E.B.French, Second Auditor Treasury, Washington, D.C.  November 25/76

I am in receipt of deficiency statement in the cash account of the late Wm. H. Forbes U.S.Ind.Agt.  The same has been forwarded to me some time ago by Mrs. Wm. Forbes.

I would have had all off some time ago but writing for a man’s affidavit who I cannot reach at present, he being in Canada.  I will correct and make necessary explanations at my earliest convenience as I am cognizant of Agent Forbes business.

I have the honor to be, very respectfully your obt Servt,

James McLaughlin

Ex overseer at Devils Lake Agency.

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Letter No. 78  Nov. 25, You sent me a list of purchases made for this Agency, but it is partially missing.  Indians need clothing.

Hon.J.G.Smith, Com. Indian Affairs, Washington, D.C.   November 25th 1876

Sir, I have the honor to acknowledge receipt this morning of office letter dated 8th inst accompanying invoices of purchases made for this Agency.  And I would respectfully state that the same was received in very bad condition, one end being entirely torn off and ______. And I fear some of the invoices have been lost, as there are none for blankets or Grey List Clark among the same.  The following is a list of the invoices received.

Sep 29th/76 S & M Davidson $Co                    51.30

“   29th  “ Bennett, Schench & Earle               420.75

Oct 5 Alex Dougan & Co                                   25.80

“   7 A.L.Hitchcock & Co                                 40.25

“   9 Ezra Wheeler & Co                                   596.80

“   9 Dunham, Burkley & Co                           174.63

“  13th/76 Pitkin & Thomas                          160.65

“  13    “ H.B.Claflin & Co                                903.79

“  14    “ Newburger & Hockstadters            318.00

“  17    “ P.Lorrilard & Co                                861.85

“  18    “ Clark Bros & Co                                  95.76

“  18    “ Stuart & Brother                               117.86

“  18    “ Wannamaker & Brown               454.00

“  20    “ Waumburg, Kraus, Lauer &         167.80

“  23   “ Willimantic Linen Co                   29.36

“  26    “ A.L.Hitchcock & Co                  114.55

“  26    “ W.H.Crossman & ___              46.80

There is no invoice for Gloves and Mitts and only for a small amount of clothing.  Also no invoice for sugar, of which I have received today 28 Bbls, also 74 Bbls of Contract Pork.  I hope to receive clothing soon, as these poor Indians are suffering for want of something to protect them from the present severe cold.  Transportation is very difficult on account of the snow.

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End Section No. 1 of Devils Lake Copybook

 

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