James McLaughlin, Indian Agent, Standing Rock, Copybook, December 1890 (45 Pages) Original Material, First Time Published (Section 1 of 7 Sections)

This copybook encompasses all the official letters written by Indian Agent, James McLaughlin, during this time frame.

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.

Two Letters (No 10a Dec 15 & No 10b Dec 16) from Sister Mary Francis, Teacher at Indian School, are added (as of August 10, 2012) for their importance…she refers to his reply, but no answer from McLaughlin is found in his book.

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The typed summary on the following pages and all the 500 pages of typed letters were offered to the Government but since these papers were not “original” material they had no interest in them. This material was typed over a period of 30 years!

All letters are entered. Click their index item to access them

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  December 1890 Correspondence Index

No. 1, 12/13, Com.Ind.Affairs: Hay for Indian Police Horses

No. 2, 12/13,  Contl Land: Routine

No. 3, 12/13,  Com.Ind.Affairs: Re new Carpenter for Catholic Schools

No. 6, 12/15, Mrs. Van Solen: Troops went last night to arrest Sitting Bull

No. 7, 12/15,  Com.Ind.Affairs: Need medicines ordered last Spring

No. 9, 12/15, Com.Ind.Affairs:  Telegram: Sitting Bull arrested and wounded at Grand River

No. 10, 12/15, Col. Drum: Re checking on abandoned property at Grand River

     No. 10a 12/15 Teacher at Indian School pleads for immediate help from McLaughlin for John Grass, Philip Deloria, Two Packs and   Long Bull & their families. (no answer in McL Book)

     No. 10b 12/16 Teacher at Indian School thanks McLaughlin for his prompt response to her Dec 15 letter and requests further assistance. (no answer in McL Book)

No. 12, 12/16, ‘Pass:’ James Bear Robe can go to Grand River to bring his family into the Agency.

No. 13, 12/16, Com.Ind.Affairs: Routine

No. 14, 12/16, W.H.Kelly: Sitting Bull dead.  His remains are here.

No. 15, 12/17, Bishop Walker:  Sitting Bull death OK with Indians.  Ghost Dance is over.

No. 16, 12/17,  ‘Pass:’ Robert Pine can go to Grand River to bring his family into the Agency.

No. 17, 12/16, Com.Ind.Affairs:  Complete story of the Battle at Grand River.

No. 24, 12/17,  ‘Pass:’  Witko (Fool) can go to Grand River to bring his family into the Agency.

No. 25, 12/17,  ‘Pass:’ Red Thunder can go to Grand River to bring his family into the Agency.

No. 26, 12/17,  Miss Z. Morgan: No vacancy for teachers at our schools.

No. 27, 12/19,  Dr.Waldron:  No medicines in the dispensary at this Agency.

No. 28, 12/18,  NPRR Agent: Routine

No. 29, 12/19,  Com.Ind.Affairs: Bull Head, of Indian Police, died last night.

No. 30, 12/21,  ‘Pass:’  Orloyeca can go to Grand River and Moreau River to bring his family into the Agency.

No. 31, 12/23, Com.Ind.Affairs:  Stores arrived by no stovepipes!

No. 32, 12/22,  General Ruger:   Requesting Congressional Awards for Indian Police.

No. 35,  12/27,  C.O.Cannon Ball:     Routine

No. 36, 12/27,  Com.Ind.Affairs:  Commend ex-Ghost Dancer, Bull Ghost, to John Grass for guidance.

No. 38, 12/27,  L.Haskins:  Routine purchase of soap

No. 39,  12/29,  NPRR Agent: Routine.

No. 40, 12/29,  McKey Clothing:  Offered clothing to children of  Bull Head and Shave Head.

No. 41, 12/29,  Com.Ind.Affairs:   Teacher, in wagon, fell through ice and drowned.

No. 43, 12/30,  Sec.of Interior: Telegram: How McLaughlin interpreted authority granted by Secretary to arrest Sitting Bull.

No. 45, 12/30,  Sec.of Interior:   Mailing copy of 12/30 telegram re authority issue

 

  December 1890

No. 1, 12/13, Com.Ind.Affairs: Hay for Indian Police Horses

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No. 2, 12/13,  Contl Land: Routine

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No. 3, 12/13,  Com.Ind.Affairs: Re new Carpenter for Catholic Schools

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No. 6, 12/15, Mrs. Van Solen: Troops went last night to arrest Sitting Bull

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No. 7, 12/15,  Com.Ind.Affairs: Need medicines ordered last Spring

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No. 9, 12/15, Com.Ind.Affairs:  Telegram: Sitting Bull arrested and wounded at Grand River

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No. 10, 12/15, Col. Drum: Re checking on abandoned property at Grand River

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No. 10a 12/15 Teacher at Indian School pleads for immediate help from McLaughlin for John Grass, Philip Deloria, Two Packs and   Long Bull & their families. (no answer in McL Book)

Sister Mary L. Francis, at the Indian School, writes to James McLaughlin immediately after the death of Sitting Bull

St. Elizabeth School, Dec. 15, 1890, 5 PM

Maj. McLaughlin, Dear Friend:

John Grass, Philip Deloria, Two Packs and Long Bull have come in a body to ask me to address a letter to you in regard to reports thus far come to them from —- rather in relation to the results of having killed Sitting Bull.

All the families in our vicinity have assembled here and are encamped around the school enclosure, The Friends for whom I write, wish me to say, they have no guns with which to defend themselves and would like you to send them fifteen and with an ample supply of cartridges for use in case circumstances demand the same.

There are some good Indians in the vicinity of the Sitting Bull Camp who may come to our camp.  Will it be advisable to let them stay with us?  If some of the evil disposed whose reputation we know to some extent should come also, are they to be driven off or be allowed to remain with us?

These friends present speak, they tell me, for the people here.  They say they hear the military is chasing the offending party in this direction and fear the Indians in this vicinity may not be known to them as peaceful ones.

Should the trouble continue to the time for receiving their rations—-could the usual supply offood be sent to them?  They fear it may not be wise to leave their families lest danger may come during their absence.

Gall is also present, having entered later, and thinks as the others have expressed themselves.

AB notes: the rest of this letter is missing.  This is written in long hand by the teacher, Mary L. Francis

No. 10b 12/16 Teacher at Indian School thanks McLaughlin for his prompt response to her Dec 15 letter and requests further assistance. (no answer in McL Book)

Sister Mary L. Francis, at the Indian School, writes to James McLaughlin immediately after the death of Sitting Bull and in response to his 2:15 AM reply to her letter of Dec. 15, 5:00 PM

St. Elizabeth School, Dec. 16, 1890, 12 M

Maj. McLaughlin, Dear Friend:

Yours of 2:15 AM has been received and its contents interpreted to the people.  John Grass, Gall and Hawk Shield are grateful for the guns, etc. sent but feel they are not sufficient in time of danger should it come.  I have tried to impress upon them the fact that you have done all you possible could in complying to their request.  That you fully appreciate every circumstance and are careful—on the alert to meet it cautiously and wisely for their interest and good.

I regret very much intruding upon your very valuable time but am pressed to it and you will, I am sure, Understand if I make a request that you cannot grant because it is not in your power.  The four guns have been received, Gall and Hawk Shield both ask for a rifle with 50 cartridges for themselves.

Seven beef cattle, the usual number, will be required at this point for the issue.  In regard to the ration issue, they say they cannot yet decide until they hear from you again.

I am told that John Grass and Gall are remaining here chiefly on our — the school’s (garbled word) and we ladies are not willing they endanger their lives for our sakes.  They are important leaders among their people and their lives very dear to themselves as to their friends.  I have thanked them for their kind and touching consideration and entreated them to leave us, assuring them we fully appreciated the circumstance of their being marked men, as it were, should any of Sitting Bull’s followers come this way.

Considering this, do you advise our crossing to the Agency?  We do not wish to break up the school, neither desire it wise to be rash in remaining here should the people continue to feel as anxious as at the present moment. We do not wish to be a burden to anyone but must have some place of shelter.  The Bishop advises our crossing the river when the people asked for their children, which they have not done as yet.

We thank you very much for taking the time to give us so full and correct an account of the contest—-am so sorry that so many precious lives had to be sacrificed and trust that peace will soon reign among the disturbing element.

In case you advise our leaving the premises, shall we leave persons to look after the buildings?  Rev. Philip Deloria and Hawk Shield offer their services but two or three more are considered necessary.

I send this communication with ration papers signed by Joseph Thundercloud who will await your reply.

Very sincerely yours, Mary L. Francis

Later…3 PM… Red Thunder is here and we intend to drive hi off.  If he comes again or others like him what shall we do?

No. 12, 12/16, ‘Pass:’ James Bear Robe can go to Grand River to bring his family into the Agency.

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No. 13, 12/16, Com.Ind.Affairs: Routine

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No. 14, 12/16, W.H.Kelly: Sitting Bull dead.  His remains are here.

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No. 15, 12/17, Bishop Walker:  Sitting Bull death OK with Indians.  Ghost Dance is over.

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No. 16, 12/17,  ‘Pass:’ Robert Pine can go to Grand River to bring his family into the Agency.

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No. 17, 12/16, Com.Ind.Affairs:  Complete story of the Battle at Grand River.

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McLaughlin’s Original Letters

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Letter from School Teacher, Carignan, warning of Sitting Bull’s departure

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McLaughlin’s orders to Indian Police

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No. 24, 12/17,  ‘Pass:’  Witko (Fool) can go to Grand River to bring his family into the Agency.

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No. 25, 12/17,  ‘Pass:’ Red Thunder can go to Grand River to bring his family into the Agency.

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No. 26, 12/17,  Miss Z. Morgan: No vacancy for teachers at our schools.

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No. 27, 12/19,  Dr.Waldron:  No medicines in the dispensary at this Agency.

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No. 28, 12/18,  NPRR Agent: Routine

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No. 29, 12/19,  Com.Ind.Affairs: Bull Head, of Indian Police, died last night.

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No. 30, 12/21,  ‘Pass:’  Orloyeca can go to Grand River and Moreau River to bring his family into the Agency.

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No. 31, 12/23, Com.Ind.Affairs:  Stores arrived by no stovepipes!

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No. 32, 12/22,  General Ruger:   Requesting Congressional Awards for Indian Police.

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No. 35,  12/27,  C.O.Cannon Ball:     Routine

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No. 36, 12/27,  Com.Ind.Affairs:  Commend ex-Ghost Dancer, Bull Ghost, to John Grass for guidance.

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No. 38, 12/27,  L.Haskins:  Routine purchase of soap

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No. 39,  12/29,  NPRR Agent: Routine.

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No. 40, 12/29,  McKey Clothing:  Offered clothing to children of  Bull Head and Shave Head.

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No. 41, 12/29,  Com.Ind.Affairs:   Teacher, in wagon, fell through ice and drowned.

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No. 43, 12/30,  Sec.of Interior: Telegram: How McLaughlin interpreted authority granted by Secretary to arrest Sitting Bull.

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No. 45, 12/30,  Sec.of Interior:   Mailing copy of 12/30 telegram re authority issue

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