A FAMOUS INDIAN CHIEF.
Sitting Bull, the Great Chief of the Sioux, His Peculiar Character.
ST PAUL, Sept. 18 — Probably when the facts are all known it will be discovered that Sitting Bull had more to do in influencing the Indians against signing the treaty at Standing Rock than any other man. Bull is an Indian of large brain, as the writer ascertained while traveling with him for three months in the east. He is diplomatic in his nature, not a great warrior, but rather a safe counselor, and as such he has great influence with the Indians. He is a thoughtful savage, and his travels in New York, Philadelphia and Brooklyn, in 1884, taught him the ways of the whites to such an extent that he is now well able to cope with them. He is especially good in making a bargain. Indeed, the writer considers him intellectually one of the most powerful Indians on the American continent. That he has had much to do in shaping the opinions of the tribe there can be no doubt.
Sitting Bull’s Indian name is Ta-ton Ka-i-o-ton Ka, and he was born on the banks of Grand river within the boundaries of the great Sioux reservation and about forty five miles southwest from the present Standing Rock agency in Dakota. He is 55 years of age, has a very large head, is cool and thoughtful, very decided in his ways, and yet will listen to argument and will answer with argument. His original name was Wa-Kan-you na gin, or Standing Holy, which name he retained until he was 14 years old, when his father, whose name was Sitting Bull, took him along with him on the warpath into the Crow country (the inveterate enemies of the Sioux), and he, the 14-year-old boy, counted his first victory by killing a Crow Indian. After returning to their home his father “threw away” three ponies, i.e. killed them in honor of his brave son’s achievement, at the same time announcing that he had changed the name of his son from Standing Holy to that of Sitting Bull, bestowing his own name upon him.
In person, Sitting Bull is a solidly built Indian, not quite so tall as an ordinary savage, yet heavier in many respects. His features are strong, and when he walks he turns his toes inward, strikes the ground with a heavy, jarring tread, and moves rapidly like a man of business. His general look is heavy, while that of Little Crow, the leader of the great Indian outbreak in Minnesota in 1861, and Hole-in-the-Day, the great Chippewa chief, were more refined, but none the less true Indians. The Dakotas believe that they must imitate Hay-o-Kah, or the undemonstrative god, who inculcates the idea that it is not dignified, or manly, or great to evince lively emotions of grief or joy, but under all circumstances, even of torture and death itself, the Indian must show a stoical, impassive face, and hence the immovable features of Sitting Bull, or any other Indian who lays claim to power among his tribe. The principal characteristic of this great medicine man — for he is known among his tribe as such — is his stubbornness of character, the same element which made Grant the greatest warrior of modern times. With judicious management Bull could, no doubt, be won over to the whites, but you can’t drive him.
Decatur Republican (Decatur, Illinois) Sep 27, 1888
Image from the Arlington National Cemetery website
FOR THE REPUBLICAN.
THE LAST BATTLE OF THE CENTURY.
Fought June 25th, 1876.
BY KENT LINTON.
Roll on oh! cruel time; close up the year,
That marks the rounding of a century,
Since first our forefathers rejoic’d to hear,
The declaration, that all men are free.
We honor the names of the minute-men,
Who fought in the revolutionary strife,
And fell, at Lexington and Concord then,
To give the nation liberty and life.
But now the last battle-field comes in sight,
And casts its shadow o’er our peaceful land,
Like the death-angel who took his swift flight,
The clouds of war had been thickening fast,
And Sitting Bull with his wild Sioux bands,
Were gath’ring for war, for a fortnight past,
In the Maucaises terres or Bad Lands.
And the came the first bloody fray,
With the Sioux, who swept down like a sea,
How Custer’s and Reno’s command that day,
Had fought as they did at Thermopyke.
How Custer, surrounded on every side,
Like Leonidas still cheered his men,
Who fought ’till swept away by the fierce tide,
That roll’d over them again and again.
Three hundred strong they were before the fight,
Three hundred they follow’d the new-made trail,
Three hundred they fell to the left and to the right,
And not a man returned to tell the tale.
Close up the grave of the heroic dead,
Question not, till the resurrection morn’.
The last patriot’s blood was freely shed,
At the battle of Little Big Horn.
Strengthen the sacred ties of our nation.
Stand shoulder to shoulder in every fight,
Against the foes of civilization.
The enemies of true freedom and Right.
Decatur Republican (Decatur, Illinois) Jul 20, 1876
SITTING BULL has given his version of the Custer massacre. He states that the battle lasted only thirty minutes, and that Custer with a few men and officers had cut through the Indian line when he turned and charged back. The Indians were bewildered by this unlooked-for desperate charge, but closed in on the few men and killed them all. Custer, it is said, shot five Indians, and went down beating another with the butt of his revolver. This account corresponds with others coming from Indian sources.
Decatur Republican (Decatur, Illinois) Jul 12, 1877
Image from the Prints Old & Rare website
THE celebrated prescription formulated by Gen. Dix, “If any man attempt to tear down the American flag, shoot him on spot,” was not attempted at the Red Cloud Agency a few days ago for certain reasons, whereof the particulars are interesting. Dr. Saville, the Government Agent at the Red Cloud Agency, with a sudden and unaccountable gush of patriotism, hoisted the American flag at his agency, — a custom, we are informed, prevailing since the agencies have been established in this country.
The sight of the star-spangled had the same effect upon the Sioux that the traditional scarlet rag has upon the bull, for at noon the braves rushed upon the agency buildings, tore down the American flag, and ornamented their handsome persons with portions of the bunting. Dr. Saville sent to Red Cloud to stop the outrage, but no answer was given, it being rumored that this pleasant gentleman was enjoying his Indian summer vacation.
There was every prospect of a severe fight before the respectable Agent, when he received unexpected aid from Camp Robinson. Between the honeyed words of Sitting Bull, a Sioux renegade, and the sabres of United States cavalry, the Agency buildings were rid of their visitors; but the man who hauled down the American flag lives to boast of his feat in Indian gibberish, in defiance of Gen. Dix.
Decatur Republican (Decatur, Illinois) Nov 5, 1874