1873


 

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“American Progress”  by George A. Crofutt c1873

Print shows an allegorical female figure of America leading pioneers westward, as they travel on foot, in a stagecoach, Conestoga wagon, and by railroads, where they encounter Native Americans and herds of bison.

"American Progress"

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Chicago Daily Tribune

Chicago, Illinois Feb 16 1873

BISON BUTCHERY

Tremendous Slaughter of Buffaloes in Southern Kansas – Doomed to Speedy Extinction

From that Topeka (Kan.) Commonwealth.

Dodge City, on the A.T. & S.F. road, is a principal point of shipment of buffalo meat and hides in Kansas. In fact, the trade of the town, apart from its traffic with camp supplies, consist in the outfitting of hunters and exchange of their game. The town is scarcely four months old, and has in that time attained considerable notoriety for its liveliness. While the bison lasts, there will be “meat in the house” in the Arkansas valley. The terrible arithmetic of his destruction would indicate that this flush season cannot last long. The railroad reached Dodge on 23d Sept., 1872,  and the following is the record of shipments of hides and meat during that time:

Shipments of hides from September 23, 1872, to December 31, 43,039. Shipment of meat, 71 cars, or 1,436,290 pounds.

Each hide counts a buffalo slain, and 43,000 hides in three months convey an idea of magnificent butchery that forecast the speedy extinction of the prairie denizen. The buffaloes that are killed in summer or in early autumn in wanton cruelty miscalled sport, and for food for the front tier residents, are not taken into this account.

The bulk of this meat has been shipped to Kansas City, though considerable consignments have been made to St. Louis, Chicago and Indianapolis. The raw hides of the buffalo which are sent East are tanned and dressed by a much more rapid, but less perfect and effectual process than that in vogue among the Indians, and are not nearly so valuable. It is necessary to kill them in winter, or the robes have no value whatever. The meat market is not open until the middle of November, when the weather is cold enough for its transportation. The above figures, though indicating an immense slaughter, do not represent the total of the seasons hunt. The horse disease has interfered seriously with the transportation of hides and meats from the hunting grounds to the line of road. The disappearance of the disease has put the trade briskly on its feet again; the weather has moderated, and the returns for the month of January will exceed those of the preceding months by 150 per cent., making a grand total of killing around the station of Fort Dodge and the neighborhood for the last season of 1872-73 over 100,000 buffaloes.

The railroads and remorseless civilization have invaded the home of the buffalo before he had time to get out of their way and seek another solitary range. They will still pursue him westward, till some sentiment- monger will immortalize the last of the species in some bullet scarred bull, standing on the summit of Mount Diablo, gazing sullenly and mournfully out through the Golden Gate over the blue Pacific.

The buffalo is subserving a great purpose in the social economy of the nation, if that is any satisfaction to him. The tide of emigration that has set in to the Arkansas valley has a subsistence in till they can open and improve their farms, and by the time the last buffalo has disappeared from Kansas the frontier will be subdued to civilization, and be self-supporting. The buffalo will in this, or at least the farthest the next generation, take its place in the natural history book along with the dodo, as an interesting animal no living specimen of which can be found in nature.

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Nebraska Advertiser

Brownville, Nebraska Mar 27 1873

PROGRESS OF THE AGE

(5th paragraph)

 

That this picture is not overdrawn is patent to every Nebraska reader. Why there are band in this city, many of them in Nemaha county, and scores of them in the State, who will recall as an event of yesterday when red savages supported as monarchs of Nebraska. Indeed the state is not rid of aborigines to-day, and some of the best buffalo hunting on the continent is still within our limits. But three weeks since we rode in a spring wagon over a portion of Kearny county, the prairies of which were literally covered with the skulls and bones of the bison.

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Morning Oregonian

Portland, Oregon Mar 28 1873 

How the Bison are Slaughtered- From the Denver News January 19th we oly the following. The station of Dodge City on the Atchinson, Topeka and Santa Fe road is the principal point of shipment of the buffalo meat and hides in Kansas. They do very little there besides outfit hunters barter and quarrel over their game, extinguish disputes in dispute are’s at the point of arms and have lively times generally. The arithmetic of the extinction of the bison of the plains is terrible, and if the statistics be right, it would seem that the flush times in meat and hides cannot last long. The railroad reached Dodge on the 23rd of last September, and since that time 13,029 hides have been shipped, and in the same brief season 1,436 290 pounds of buffalo meat. Each hide counts a buffalo slain, and 43,000 hides in three months convey an idea of magnificent butchery that forecast the speedy extinction of the prairie denizens. The buffalo that are killed in summer or early autumn in wanton cruelty, miscalled sport, and for food, by the frontier residents are not taken into this account.

The greater portion of this meat has been shipped to Kansas City St. Louis Chicago and other Eastern cities. The above figures though indicating an immense slaughter do not represent the total of the seasons hunt. The grand total for the season of 1872-3 around Dodge, will probably reach 100,000 head.

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Kansas Weekly Commonwealth

Topeka, Kansas Apr 10 1873

We continued our journey and arrived at Dodge City on time, 11a.m. We got a very good dinner at the only hotel in the place. After we had dinner we went around to viewed the stores, saloons dance houses, and then upon the western hill, where lie six men that have “died in their boots,” killed in some affray about the town. As we turned to come back, we looked eastward and saw twelve pounds and “Dog Kelly” chasing a yearling buffalo right up into the town; but before we could reach them, all the dogs and men thereabouts had surrounded the animal, and throwing a rope over its horns made it fast to a post, and for amusement, were rolling beer kegs up to him, “to see him send them kiting out into the street.”

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The Nashville Union

Nashville, Tennessee May 9 1873

CROSS BETWEEN THE ZEBU IN THE EUROPEAN CATTLE

The fact is well known to farmers in the West and Southwest that the American bison or buffalo, will cross with our European cattle, and that the progeny of such cross, unlike the mule, will multiply its numbers indefinitely. Until quite recently it has been asserted and believe that the Indian ox or zebu would not breed with European cattle. But the Royal Prussian Agricultural Department contains a notice of experiments of a cross between the Bos Indicas or zebu in the European cattle. A yearling zebu from the Zoological Gardens of a bluish-white color was paired with four heifers of Holland stock, and produced two heifers and two bull calves, all of which were raised. Though the dams were variously colored, all the cabs had white stars in their foreheads. When of suitable age, they were bred with each other, and with the animals of the species of both parents; and in every case fecundation and healthy offspring followed. The half breeds gave only about one fourth as much milk as the Holland or Dutch cows. A year ago the writer milked on his farm a young cow that was one fourth buffalo, which for her weight gave as much milk as any cow in the herd. But neither the American bison nor the Asiatic zebu has any claim to mix with our vastly superior European stock. We might as well discard the horse and substitute the donkey; discard our best sheep and use the wild sheep of the Rocky Mountains, and discard all of our swine and adopt the peccary of South America. It is proper to have in preserved samples of every species and race of the bos genus; but one might as well raise the poorest seed corn, wheat and cotton, as propagate the meanest farm stock. The hereditary principle in the blood of animals, and in seeds cultivated, has not received proper attention. One should always use the best feed of every kind, and try to make each generation and improvement on the past or its progenitors. A large share of our common farm stock has deteriorated, and should be discarded for better breeding animals. More and better feed should be provided, as well as better sheds and stables. Farmers that improve blooded stock provide first-rate bluegrass, orchard grass, or some other grazing, for their cattle and horses.

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Read Times Pa June 3 1873 Monarch of the Plains

Read Times Pa June 3 1873 Monarch of the Plains

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Reading Times

Reading, Pennsylvania June 3 1873

THE MONARCH OF THE PLAINS AND READING

Considerable excitement was created on Saturday evening by the appearance at the Express office, opposite the Mansion House, of the shaggy head of the “Great North American Bison,” or buffalo. It is hung on an octagonal bulletin board, belonging to the Kansas Pacific Railway, which has its course from Kansas City, Mo., to Denver, in Colorado, through central Kansas and across what has been hitherto known as the “Great Plains.” The fact of being able to see buffalo from the cars, on the trip, has been a great inducement to the host of tourists who are now yearly going over that line to visit the hot and cold mineral springs and other famous Rocky Mountain resorts, and the above railway has adopted the buffalo head as their trademark. This novel mode of advertising is the invention of our old townsman and native of Reading, Mr. Beverly R. Keim, who is now the General Ticket and Passenger Agent of that line, and has achieved a most enviable reputation as a railway officer in the Great West. Mr. Weston, the General Traveling Agent of the Company, is in town, and his advertisements will be found elsewhere in our columns.

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Chicago Daily Tribune
Chicago Illinois June 28, 1873
BISON IN CHICAGO
Where the Wagonloads of Buffalo Hides Come From
Where They Go To, and What is Done with Them
The Commercial Value of Last Year’s Slaughtered Bison

Almost every week in the year heavy loads of buffalo hides may be seen passing through the streets of Chicago, and shipped hence for all points East and for Europe. Few people know whence they come, whither they go, or for what uses they are destined; yet they form a not inconsiderable item of the infant commerce of the great plains of the West.
It is estimated that some 200,000 buffalo were shot last year (up to the end of the year). For some years previously the supply of skins had been small, very little more, in fact, than those of animals slaughtered by Indians and white hunters for subsistence. The price was, therefore, renumerative, ranging from $4-$5 for a cow skin, and $6-$7 for a bull skin. Many reasons contributed to it and increased supply. Hunters found it profitable to kill the animals as a means of livelihood at these prices; the herds, confined by railroads to a comparatively small ranging ground, became easier of access, and the demand was at all times greater than the supply. Hence buffalo hunting became a pursuit of considerable value, and hunters formed parties, or limited companies, and went forth in regular hunting expeditions of much greater magnitude than had ever been conceived before. There’s successes became the theme of the new towns that began to dot and fringe the plains, more hunters joined in the enterprise, and the work of slaughtering buffalo for the sake of their skins became an established business. The readers are familiar with the plaint that came from the plains over the wire/spring of the frightful destruction that had been accomplished, and the demand that was made on Congress to pass a law prohibiting the killing of buffalo, except at stated seasons, and under regulations. The fact that more than 200,000 animals were sacrificed and less than twelve months, for so small a sum of money as their skins produced, created no little excitement and indignation in the cities of the plains, and in the hide markets of this country and Europe it necessarily led to the cheapening of the article; and at present the hide that the hunter could have obtained $5 for a year ago, he would be glad to sell at a $1.50. The markets everywhere are glutted, and it will be some months, at least until the fall, before the stocks on hand are worked off.
Several European Governments, taking advantage of the low price of these skins, our manufacturing then into knapsacks for soldiers. They are largely used in the French and Belgian armies, and Army contractors everywhere are large buyers, for the purpose of making them up into all kinds of regimental material, such as straps, cords, harness is, etc. They are used, in this country, principally for making a cheap sort of boot, and for horse collars; that their introduction in connection with machinery and general workshops is only a matter of time. The tanned skin is said to turn out but inferior leather, in consequence of its porous character; but dealers who profess to know saved that the fault is not with the hide, but with the hunters and tanners. The hunters sometimes killed the buffalo at a season when his hide is almost valueless for manufacturing purposes, and makes no attempt at preparing or even preserving it. All that is done, as a general rule, is to wash and dry the blood wet skin, and in that state it is brought to the nearest railroad station and shipped off by the agents to Chicago and elsewhere. The tanners, as a rule have never experimented on buffalo hides, and they follow the same treatment as for the hides of the farm bull and cow. There is no doubt, whatever that buffalo skin can be used for almost all purposes to which dressed leather is applied, and that improvements can and will be made in their preparation that must lead to their becoming a valuable article of commerce.
Most of the skins shipped to Chicago are consigned to Wolff & Epstein, Kinzie street, and by them forwarded to their customers East and in Europe. They come cheaply from Sargeant, a station on the Kansas Pacific Railroad. The balance of the hides are principally handled at Leavenworth, Kan., and are sent thence by the local dealers to the different markets. The ordinary weight of a dried cowskin is from 18 to 20 pounds, and of a dried bull skin, 40 to 50 pounds. Of course the price varies, but it averages $2.50 for a bull skin and a $1.50 for a cow skin, delivered in Chicago. After cost of shipment and transport, commissioned, and all expenses of handling have been taken out, the hunter may calculate on an average of about a $1 per skin.
From the shelves of the modern library ideas have been gathered respecting the killing of buffalo that are totally at variance with the facts. The hunter, a symmetrical being, generally in loose cut undressed deerskin leggings and tunic, adorned with died quills, and fringed, leaps on his panting steed, and chases the terrified bison many a long mile; and at a convenient distance, with his strong right arm, throws the sinnous lasso, bringing the monster to earth in the midst of its wild career. Commonly he takes unerring aim with his goodly backwoods rifle, and lodges the leaden messenger of death crish in the brain of the lassoed brute. Leaping lightly from his steed, the hunter than advances cautiously, knife in hand, and the bisons heart has scarcely ceased to beat ere the luscious steak is on the glowing coal. And so forth, and so on, until the remaining meat has been hung up on a tree, or buried, to become for at another time, and the animal duly flayed, and its skin set out to dry in the sun. For a guilt edged young gentleman, fond of romance, who had the good luck to find a terrified bounding bison out all alone, with his hooves and horns safely locked up at home, and his teeth in his waistcoat pocket, that library picture will do well enough; but the reality is sometimes a rather grim affair. The bison run in herds from two to four thousand head, and when they are alarmed they scamper off, and when they scamper off, God help the hunter or score of hunters who are luckless enough to stand in their way. They have learned wisdom and tricks since they shot bison for the Eastern markets. They adopt all kinds of stratagems, the most successful of which is that digging of little pits, or hiding in natural holes, where the buffalo are pretty sure to pass. Here they wait many weary hours before the herd takes up such a position that they can be safely scared from the rear with the certainty of advancing in the direction of the hunters. Once scared, they will come Terran on like the wind, and the hunter can pop at them in front out of the pits, whilst those in the rear pop at them behind and on the sides from their saddles. A bison will always jump a hole, but if he turns and means fight, most hunters prefer not to abide the issue. It is a risky business, and only fit for Indians and whites of the most unsettled habits.

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Chicago Tribune July 24 1873
BISON IN CHICAGO

Where the Wagon-Loads of Buffalo Hides Come From— Where they Go, and what is Done with them–

The Commercial Value of Last Year’s Slaughtered Bison.

Almost every week in the year heavy loads a buffalo hides may be seen passing through the streets of Chicago, and shipped hence from all points East and for Europe. Few people know whence they come, wither they go, or for what uses they are destined. Yet they form a not considerable item of the infant commerce of the Great Plains of the West.
……It is estimated that some 200,000 buffalo were shot last year (up to the end of the year). For some years previously the supply of skins had been small, very little more, in fact, than those of animals slaughtered by Indians and white hunters for subsistence. The price was therefore remunerative, ranging from $4 to $5 for cow skin, and $6 to $7 for a bull skin. Many reasons contributed to an increase supply. Hunters found it profitable to kill the animals as a means of livelihood at these prices the herds, confined by railroads to a comparatively small ranging ground, became easier of access, and supply. Hence buffalo hunting became a pursuit of considerable value, and hunters from parties, or limited companies, and went forth in regular hunting expeditions of much greater magnitude than had ever been conceived before. Their successes became the theme of the new towns that began to dot and fringe the plains more hunters joined in the enterprise and

THE WORK OF SLAUGHTERING BUFFALO
for the sake of their skins became an established business. The readers are familiar with the plaint that came from the plains over the wire last spring of the frightful destruction that had been accomplished, and the demand that was made on Congress to pass a law prohibiting the killing of buffaloes, except at stated seasons and under regulations. The fact that over two hundred thousand animals were sacrificed and less than twelve months, for so small a sum of money as there skins produced, created no little excitement and indignation in the cities of the plains, and in the hide markets of this country and in Europe it necessarily led to the cheapening of the article: and at present the hide that the Hunter could have obtained for five dollars a year ago he would be glad to sell at a $1.50. The markets everywhere are glutted, and it will be some months, at least until the fall, before the stocks on hand are worked off.

……Several European governments, taking advantage of the low price of these skins, our manufacturing then into knapsacks for soldiers. They are largely used in the French and Belgian armies, and army contractors everywhere are large buyers for the purpose of making them up into all kinds of regimental material, such as straps, cords, harness, & etc. They are used in this country principally for making a cheap sort of boot and horse collars; that their introduction in connection with machinery and general workshops is only a matter of time. The tanned skin is said to turn out in fear your mother in consequence of its porons character, the dealers who profess to know, say that the fault is not with the hide, but with the hunters and tanners. The hunters sometime killed the buffalo at his season when his hide is almost worthless for manufacturing purposes and makes no attempt at preparing or even preserving it.

ALL THAT IS DONE AS A GENERAL RULE
is to wash and dry the blood wet skin, and in that state it is brought to the nearest railroad station and shipped off by the agent to Chicago and elsewhere. The tanners as a rule have never experimented on buffalo hides, and they follow the same treatment as for the farm bull and cow. There is no doubt whatever that buffalo skins can be used for almost all purposes to which dressed leather is applied, and that improvements can and will be made in their preparation that must lead to their becoming a valuable article of commerce.
……Most of the skins shipped to Chicago are consigned to the Wolff & Epstein, Kinzie street., and by them forwarded to their customers East and in Europe. They came chiefly from Sargeant, a station on the Kansas Pacific railroad. The balance of the hides are principally handled at Leavenworth, Kansas, and are sent thence by local dealers to the different markets. The ordinary weight of a dried cowskin is from eighteen to twenty pounds. Of course the price varies, but it averages $2.50 for a bull skin and $1.50 cow skin, delivered in Chicago. After cost of shipment and transport, commissioned and all expenses of handing have been taken out, the hunter may calculate an average of about one dollar per skin.
……From the shelves of the modern library ideas have been gathered respecting the killing of buffalo that are totally at variance with the facts. The hunter, a symmetrical being, generally is loose cut undressed deerskin leggins and tunic, adorned with the died quills, and fringe, leaps on his panting steed and chases the terrified bison many a long mile, and at convenient distance, with his strong right arm, throws the sinuous lasso, midst the monster to the earth in the midst of its wild career. Commonly he takes unerring aim with his goodly backwoods rifle, and lodges

THE LEADEN MESSENGER OF DEATH
in the brain of the lassoed brute. Leaping lightly from his steed, the hunter then advances cautiously, knife in hand, and the bisons heart has scarcely ceased to be ere the luscious steak is on the glowing coal. And so forth, and so on, until the remaining meat has been hung upon a tree, or buried to be come for at another time, and the animal duty flayed, and its skin out to dry in the sun. For giltedge young gentleman fond of romance, who had the good luck to find a terrified bounding bison out all alone, with his hooves and horns safely locked up at home, and his teeth in his waistcoat pocket, that library picture will do well enough: but the reality is sometimes a rather grim affair. The bison run in herds from two to four thousand head, and when they are alarmed they scamper off, and when they scamper off God help the hunter or score of hunters who are luckless enough to stand in their way. They have learned wisdom and tricks since they shot bison for the eastern markets. They adopt all kinds of stratagems, the successful of which is that digging of little pits, or hiding in natural holes, where the buffalo are sure to pass. Here they wait many weary hours before the herd takes up such a position that they can be safely scared from the rear with this certainty of advancing in the direction of the hunters. Once scared, they will come Terran on like the wind, and the hunter can pop at them in front out of the pits, while those in the rear pop at them behind and on the sides from saddles. A bison will always jump a hole, but if he turns and means fight, most hunters prefer not to abide the issue. It is a risky business, and only fit for the Indians and whites of the most unsettled habits.

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Chicago Daily

Chicago, Illinois Aug 9 1873

THE INDIANS

A Band of Pawnees Attacked by Sioux –

The Former Body Defeated,

Losing One Hundred Warriors – Indian Murder IN Texas

Special Dispatch to the Chicago Tribune

 

Omaha, Aug. 8,  — Some Pawnee Indians came to a Union Pacific passenger train at Grand Island to-day, and gave interesting details of their late battles with the Sioux. They say they were attacked by 1,000 Sioux warriors about 150 miles south of Elm Creek. The Pawnee numbered only 150, but made the best fight they could. The Sioux overpowered them, captured 600 buffalo, all their horses, and killed about 100 Pawnees. They say the Sioux warriors caught up Pawnee children by the heels and dashed their heads against the ground. There is an ancient feud between these tribes.

 

Omaha, Aug. 8,  — A dispatch from Elm Creek, Neb., state said on Tuesday morning, while a party of Pawnee Indians were hunting near the Republican River, on Blackwood Creek, they were surprised and attacked by a large body of Sioux, and a bloody fight ensued, resulting in the defeat of the Pawnees, whose loss was about 100 persons, compromising some of the best men of the tribe, and most of their horses, arms, and game. They were pursued twenty-five or thirty miles, and only escaped when night came on.

 

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Chicago Daily Tribune
August 14, 1873
INDIANS SLAUGHTERING BEEF
Cruel Practices of the Redskins’
From the Omaha Republican

We copy the following from the Sioux City Journal:

“A gentleman from up-river furnishes us an item concerning the way in which the Indians at several of the agencies do their butchering. The Agent furnishes them there ration of beef on the hoof, which they are then allowed to slaughter according to the dictates of their own consciences. From 150 to 200 head are issued at a time, and the Indians drive all but twenty or thirty into an enclosure arranged for the purpose. A couple of hundred of the copper-colored devils then get around the pen, and with rifles and revolvers commence a fusillade to the herd, taking no aim, but just banging away promiscuously, seeming to desire more to maim and torture the poor brutes than to kill them. The revolvers haven’t sufficient force to put one of them to death, and so they are the favorite arm. The wounded bovines soon set up a bellowing which ought to excite pity in any heart, but these red-skins listen to it with a delight that could only be equaled if the agonizing cries were those of paleface victims. In the herd may be seen animals with two or three of their legs broken, but trying to rear and plunge on those uninjured: some of their horns split by a bullet, and others scarred and bleeding in various parts of the body. After the massacre is finished, the Indians jump into the corral, and their is than a strife for securing that tongues and the intestine lines of the animals, which, taken raw, are very choice morsels to the red man’s palate. When there is nothing left but lifeless, tongueless, eviscerated carcasses of the cattle inside the enclosure, attention is then paid to those reserved to furnish the dessert of this carnival of barbarous cruelty. The twenty or thirty steers are then stampeded across the prairie, and they are pursued by the Indians on horseback with lances and revolvers, a la buffalo hunt, their tormentors uttering those hideous noises for the production of which the vocal accoutrement of the full-grown nation’s ward is the only adequate arrangement yet discovered. The cattle are soon exhausted by loss of blood and the frantic pace at which they try to elude their murderers. When one falls, the Indians then try by goadings to urge it to another race: but when they fail and this, they stand over the fallen beast, and by all the devilish tricks they ever learned, torment it in till death comes as a relief. Then all the interest in the animal is that an end, except who shall scalp it of its tongue and entrails. The squaws are then turned out to cut up the carcasses and get them into camp, not a morsel of which is allowed to remain. Among them are sometimes fearful contest for choice portions of the animal, in which a couple of them may frequently be seen hacking at each other with their knives over a piece of tenderloin. When the last one is down the Indians go back to their lodges, their blood-thirstiness whetted to such a keen edge that the only wonder is that they can at all be restrained from massacring the entire post. How any set of men expect to civilize a lot of creatures among whom such practices are tolerated is more than we, with our ideas of human instincts, can comprehend”
……At the Red Cloud Agency, this barbarity is carried even farther that this represented by the Journal, as applying to the upper Missouri agencies. Formally, the Ogallaliah’s slaughtered their cattle in the Laramie bottoms, close to the fort, and the torture was the same as that visited upon the buffalo. Afterwords, the agency was removed about thirty miles from the fort, and the Indians placed under the immediate influence of Peace Agents, Peace Commissioners, and a peace policy; that this abomination and National disgrace continued. Single issues to Red Clouds band have been as high as 250 head of cattle, and these have been turned loose on the planes to be run down and tortured in a manner sufficiently savage and cruel to gratify the most brutal instinct and taste of the wildest Sioux. They are not even confined in a corral, lest they might fall to soon. A three-year-old Texas steer, fitted for the heats, with the war hoop and a red blanket after him, is not to be despised for speed and endurance, and affords fair satisfaction to the heroic red man and immense amusement to the Christian spectators. This mode of slaughtering is highly civilizing in its tendency, because it don’t stimulate the passion for the chase, and it is certainly to be commended on account of economy, because about one fourth of the beef is left on the field. Red Cloud has now removed to White River, about sixty-five miles from Fort Laramie; but the old agency, the stench from these numerous carcasses, was almost insufferable. Messrs. Brunot, Kimball, and Alvord were witnesses at a late slaughtering match at the Ogallalah Agency.
……As a matter of economy, we suggest that a Government butcher be employed, as no white people are half as wasteful as these aristocratic Indians; and, on the question of cruelty to animals, we moved that Bergh be placed on one of the numerous civilizing and Christianizing Boards.

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Chicago Daily

Aug 21 1873

INDIAN WARFARE

The Battle Between the Sioux and the Pawnees

(extract)

At daylight on the morning of Aug. 5 the Pawnees, numbering about 400, including squaws and children, broke their camp on the Republican, near Frenchman’s Fork, twenty-five miles west of Red Willow, and started on the trail due north in the direction of a herd of buffaloes which the scouts had seen the day previous. After traveling about three miles we were surprised by seeing buffaloes running directly towards the line of march. This unusual circumstance was disregarded by the Pawnees, and immediately the best hunters started in eager pursuit, and the plane for miles around was black with Pawnees and buffaloes. No sooner, however, had the hunters been scattered to convenient distances from the trail than the Sioux, who had been driving the buffalo of ahead of them for this very purpose, came galloping along the divide, lying upon the necks of their ponies, with blankets drawn over their heads to resemble buffaloes.

In a moment the ruse was discovered, and the whole line broke out with the cry of ”Chararat! Chararat!“ (Sioux), and the war hoop’s of the men. Squaws, children, and pack courses were hurried into the nearest ravine, and the warriors, seizing their best horses, gallop towards the approaching enemy, chanting their wild death song.

On came the Sioux throwing their blankets, yelling, and shooting, and soon the fight began in true Indian fashion, each party in turn dashing for word, firing and retreating. But soon the greatly superior numbers of the Sioux began to be felt, and the Pawnees, gradually hemmed in all sides, were forced over the bluff’s into the ravine among their squaws and children. “We can’t fight them.” shouted the Chief – “too many; throw off the packs, but the squaws on the horses, and run.” Overboard when the 700 dried buffaloes, which the government had allowed them to hunt for their starving families on the reserve — starving, because the government has allowed the Sioux for two successive seasons to hunt on the Pawnee hunting grounds. Meat, tents, blankets, everything thrown aside, there began a general rout all rushing in confusion down the ravine to the river, and the Sioux firing upon them from its abrupt sides with terrible effect. So densely packed where the Pawnee that hardly a shot was wasted, warriors, squaws and horses falling in struggling, groaning heaps; mothers dropping their children, and those behind rushing madly over them, while the Sioux pressed close behind and scalped living and dead. Three miles to the Republican — and all this way the Pawnees ran and were slaughtered in this horrible manner by the best of the Government arms. Bows and arrows are excellent for buffalo hunting; but for Sioux fighting I should even prefer a Spencer rifle, despicably poor as they are. But the Pawnees had not even these in any abundance, and although they fought bravely, were able to make scarce any resistance. About 100 Pawnees were killed or captured, mostly squaws. Seventy-five horses were taken or shot. Your correspondent was surrounded and captured by Sioux, having mistaken them for Pawnees. But the Chief, fearing to kill a white man, pointed me a way to the river.

My note. The Pawnee who survived, leaving the scene, came upon white soldiers, who offered to go back to the battle field and take care of any who might be alive. The description of what happened on that field,  is too horrific for me to go on. What happened to those men , women and children……absolutely gruesome.

 

 

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Middlebury Register

Middlebury, Vermont Sept 2 1873 

BUFFALO HUNTING, — From the shelves of the modern library, says the Chicago Tribune, ideas have been gathered respecting the killing of Buffalo that are totally at variance with the facts. The hunter, a symmetrical being, generally in loose-cut undressed deerskin leggings and tunic, adorned with dried quills, and fringed, leaps on his panting steed, and chases the bison many a long mile; and, at a convenient distance, with his strong right arm, throws the sinuous lasso, bringing the monster to earth in the midst of its wild career. Commonly he takes unerring aim with his godly backwoods rifle, and lodges the leaden messenger of death straight in the brain of the lassoed brute. Leaping lightly from his steed, the hunter than advances cautiously, knife in hand, and the bisons heart has scarcely ceased to beat ere the luscious steak is on the glowing coal. And so forth and so on, until the remaining meat has been hung up on a tree or buried, to become for at another time, and the animal duly flayed and its skin set out to dry in the sun. For a gilt-edged young gentleman fond of romance, who had the good luck to find a terrified bounding bison out all alone, with his hooves and horns safely locked up at home, and his teeth in his waistcoat pocket, the library picture will do well enough; but the reality is sometimes a grim affair. The bison run in herds of from two to four thousand head, and when they are alarmed, scamper off, and when they scamper off, God help the hunter or score of hunters who are luckless enough to stand in their way. 100 hunters would be swept off the earth into Adams as certainly as though they were to oppose with their bodies a locomotive engine. The bold hunters do not chase the bison and that way. They have learned wisdom and tricks since they shot bison for the Eastern markets. They adopt all kinds of stratagem, the most successful of which is that digging of little pits, or hiding in natural holes where the buffalo is sure to pass. Here they wait many weary hours before the herd takes up such a position that they can be safely scared from the rear, with the certainty of advancing in direction of the hunters. Once scared, they will come Terran on like the wind, and the hunter can pop at them in front from out of the pits, while those in the rear pop at them behind and on the sides from their saddles. A bison will always jump a hole, but if he turns and shows fight, most hunters prefer not to abide the issue. It is a risky business, and only fit for Indians and whites of the most unsettled habits.

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Atchinson Daily Champion Ks Oct 2 1873 TanneryAtchinson Daily Champion Ks Oct 2 1873 Tannery

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Chicago Daily Tribune

Chicago Illinois Oct 3 1873

Cheyenne Depredations in the Arkansas Valley

Denver, Col., Oct. 2 – There is intense excitement among settlers and stock-men in the Arkansas Valley south of Pueblo, on account of depredations committed by a moving bands of Cheyenne Indians, who have already wantonly killed several hundred head of cattle. The Indians say the white men killed the buffalo last winter, and let them rot on the plains, and now they are going to kill all of the cattle of the whites. Thus far no murderers are reported, but the Indians have visited a number of houses, carrying away blankets and anything else they desired, and destroying other property. Many families have sought safety in Pueblo. The schools have been dismissed, the scouts are going over the country collecting men, arms and ammunition, and the Indians will be severely punished if they can be overtaken.

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The Chicago Daily

Oct 6 1873

Exert from:

 Town of Bismarck, Some Amusing Characters

Last year, buffalo, antelope, coyotes, and other animals were to be seen along the line between Fargo in Bismarck; but, this year, railroad-men tell me they had seen but few of either species. The only signs of animated life between stations is that of the little brown prairie-owl and the grasshopper. Not even a Norway rat. But, at the stations, thousands of black-birds filled the air, or light for a moment on the cars and station-buildings. In this barren region over the black-birds get lonesome, and seek contact with the human family.

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Sterling Standard Sterling Ill Bis Buffalo Hunt Nov 13 1873

Sterling Standard Sterling Ill Bis Buffalo Hunt Nov 13 1873

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Chicago Daily Tribune

Chicago, Illinois Dec 19 1873

FELL DEAD IN HIS TRACKS

From the Kansas City Times

A party of buffalo hunters, who arrived yesterday from the “range” in the vicinity of Fort Dodge, furnish the following details of a very singular incident which transpired last week near the line of the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railroad:

A young tourist who had been sent by his physician to recruit his health and strength upon the plains, but who’s real name could not be ascertained by our reporter, started out from Fort Dodge on Saturday last, in company with several friends, to kill buffalo. They went out several miles from the fort, and were soon in the midst of myriads of fat, black bisons, when this sport opened out quite lively. The young invalid became quite invigorated by the sport and the cool, fresh breezes which blew quite unlike the general summer zephyrs over the out-brown plains. He rode up alongside a fine, fat cow, and after a sharp, and short chase, halted, and, by a dexterous and successful broadside shot, brought the animal to the earth. That was his last shot upon earth. He was seen to stand a moment alongside his bleeding game, and then he staggered and fell, and died beside the bleeding monster. The excitement had been too much for him; he died of heart disease.

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