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TROOPS FROM FORT RIDGLEY REACH SPRINGFIELD—THEIR SUFFERING—JUDGE FLANDRAU'S ACCOUNT—THE INDIANS START WEST—THE PURSUIT—PURSUIT ABANDONED—INDIANS REACH THE BIG SIOUX—TRAGIC DEATH OF MRS. THATCHER—CROSS THE BIG SIOUX AND MOVE WESTWARD—CAMP VISITED BY TWO AGENCY INDIANS—THEY PURCHASE MRS. MARBLE AND START BACK—INKPADUTAH SELLS MRS. NOBLE AND MISS GARDNER TO A YANKTON—MRS. NOBLE MURDERED BY ROARING CLOUD—THEY REACH JAMES RIVER—THE YANKTON CAMP—ARRIVAL OF THREE INDIANS FROM THE AGENCY—THEY PURCHASE MISS GARDNER—THE RETURN TRIP—ARRIVE AT THE AGENCY—THE WAR CAP—THE JOURNEY TO ST. PAUL.
THE next day after the attack on the settlement and the day before the Indians broke camp at Heron Lake, and while the refugees were slowly making their way through snow and slush into Iowa, the messengers, who had been sent to Fort Ridgley for aid, returned, accompanied by a company of regular troops under the command of Captain Bee and Lieutenant Murray. Could they have arrived thirty hours earlier the Springfield massacre would have been prevented, and possibly the savages brought to justice. But that was not to be. In point of suffering, hardships and privation the trip of this band of regulars from Fort Ridgley was the counterpart of that of Major Williams' volunteers from Fort Dodge, and on their arrival they were well nigh exhausted.
Judge Flandrau, in writing of this expedition, says:
"The people of Springfield sent two young men to my agency with the news of the massacre. They brought with them a statement of the facts as related by Mr. Markham, signed by some persons with whom I was acquainted. They came on foot and arrived at the agency on the eighteenth of March. The snow was very deep and was beginning to thaw, which made the traveling extremely difficult. When these young men arrived they were so badly afflicted with snow blindness that they could scarcely see at all and were completely worn out. I was fully satisfied of the truth of the report that murders had been committed, although the details of course were very meager. I at once held a consultation with Colonel Alexander, commanding the Tenth United States Infantry, five or six companies of which were at Fort Ridgley. The Colonel, with commendable promptness, ordered Captain Barnard E. Bee with his company to proceed at once to the scene of the massacre and do all he could, either in the way of protecting the settlers or punishing the enemy.
"The country between the Minnesota River at Ridgley and Spirit Lake was, at that day, an utter wilderness, without an inhabitant, In fact, none of us knew where Spirit Lake was, except that it lay about due south of the fort at a distance of from one hundred to one hundred and twenty-five miles. We procured two guides of experience among our Sioux half-breeds. * * * These men took a pony and a light train to carry the blankets and provisions, put on their snowshoes and were ready to go anywhere, while the poor troops, with their leather shoes and their backloads, accompanied by a ponderous army wagon on wheels, drawn by six mules, were about as fit for such a march as an elephant is for a ballroom. But it was the best the government had, and they entered upon the arduous duty bravely and cheerfully. * * * We started on March nineteenth, at about one o'clock, P. M., at first intending to go straight across the country, but we soon decided that course to be utterly impossible, as the mules could not draw the wagon through the deep snow. It became apparent that our only hope of reaching the lake was to follow the road down by the way of New Ulm to Mankato, and trust to luck for a road up the Watonwan in the direction of the lake, we having learned that some teams had recently started for that place with some supplies. The first days of the march were appalling. The men were wet nearly up to their waists with the deep and melting snow and utterly weary before they had gone ten miles.
"Neither of the officers had ever made a snow camp before and when we had dug out a place for our first camp and were making futile efforts to dry our clothes before turning in for the night, I felt that the trip was hopeless. So much time had elapsed since the murders were committed, and so much more would necessarily be consumed before the troops could possibly reach the lake, that I felt assured that no good could result from going on. I told Captain Bee that if he wanted to return I would furnish him with a written opinion of two of the most experienced voyageurs on the frontier that the march was impossible of accomplishment with the inappropriate outfit with which the troops were furnished. * * * The Captain agreed with me that the chances of accomplishing any good by going on were very small, but he read his orders and in answer to my suggestion, 'My orders are to go to Spirit Lake and do what I can. It is not for me to interpret them but to obey them. I shall go on until it becomes physically impossible to proceed further. Then it will be time to turn back.' And go on he did. We followed the trail up the Watonwan until we found the teams that had made it stuck in a snow drift, and for the remaining forty or fifty miles the troops marched ahead of the mules and broke a road for them, relieving the front rank every fifteen or twenty minutes.
"When the lake was reached the Indians were gone. A careful examination was made of their camp and fires by the guides, who pronounced them three or four days old. Their trail led to the west. A pursuit was made by a portion of the command, partly mounted on mules, and partly on foot, but it was soon abandoned on the declaration of the guides that the Indians were by the signs several days in advance. * * * I learned afterwards by Mrs. Marble, one of the rescued women, that the troops in pursuit came so near that the Indians saw them and made an ambush for them, and had they not turned back the prisoners would have all been murdered. The guides may have been mistaken or they may have deceived the troops. I knew the young men so well that I never have accused them of a betrayal of their trust, but it was probably best as it was in either case, because had the troops overtaken the Indians the women would have certainly been butchered and some of the soldiers killed. The satisfaction of having killed some of the Indians would riot have compensated for this result."
The Indians were absent from their camp at Heron Lake in making their attack on Springfield two days, when they returned laden with plunder. Mrs. Sharp says:
"They had twelve horses heavily laden with dry goods, groceries, powder, lead, bed quilts, wearing apparel, provisions, etc. Among this plunder were several bolts of calico and red flannel. Of these, especially the flannel, they were exceedingly proud, decorating themselves with it in fantastic fashion. Red leggings, red shirts, red blankets and red in every conceivable way was the style there as long as it lasted."
The next morning after their return from the attack on Springfield, they broke camp at Heron Lake and started west with their prisoners and plunder.
The incidents of this weary march through the melting snows and across swollen streams are vividly portrayed by Mrs. Sharp in her thrilling narrative, but are too lengthy to be given here in detail. A few of the main events will be briefly noticed. The Indians must have been very deliberate in their movements from place to place after leaving their Heron Lake camp, or rather after the pursuit was, abandoned. According to Mrs. Sharp's account they were six weeks in making the journey from Heron Lake to the place of crossing the Big Sioux, near the present town of Flandrau. Now, the distance from Heron Lake to Flandrau is not far from one hundred miles, so their progress could not have averaged more than twenty miles a week.
It has already been stated that Captain Bee's company of regulars arrived from Fort Ridgley the day before the Indians broke camp at Heron Lake. Their terrible hardships and sufferings on that trip have already been referred to. They were in no condition to pursue the savages, yet it seemed imperative they should make the attempt. Accordingly after one day's rest at Springfield they started on the trail. Heron Lake is between fifteen and twenty miles west of Springfield. By looking up and comparing dates it will be ascertained that the Indians left their camp at Heron Lake on the morning of the twenty-ninth. The soldiers arrived at Springfield on the evening of the twenty-eighth, resting over the twenty-ninth, and started west after the Indians the morning of the thirtieth. Thus it will be seen that the Indians had one day plus the distance between Springfield and Heron Lake the start of the troops.
These regulars were but little better prepared for such a campaign than were Major Williams' volunteers and were not nearly as much in earnest, about it. They had two half-breed guides, Joe Gaboo and Joseph La Frombone. Gaboo had a full-blooded Indian wife. It was suspected at the time, and subsequent events seen to confirm the suspicion, that these guides were more interested in the escape of the Indians than in their capture or punishment.
The soldiers pressed on .at a rapid rate, and at about three o'clock in the afternoon they reached the grove where the Indians with their prisoners had camped the preceding night and left that morning. This grove they surrounded, expecting to find the Indians there and intending to close in upon and capture them. In this they were disappointed. The Indians had left about nine hours before. The guides upon examining the campfires and the trails about the camp declared that they were two or three days old, and that the Indians had that much the start. If such was the ease, it was evident that further pursuit would be useless. Accordingly the expedition was abandoned and they turned back to Springfield.
The actual facts were that the Indians kept scouts in the rear to cover their retreat, and these scouts saw the troops when they first made their appearance at their abandoned camp, and kept close watch of all of their movements. The main body of the Indians were hurried forward into a ravine or creek bottom, where they awaited results.
When the Indians were first aware that they were being pursued, the wildest excitement prevailed among them. They had just gone into camp when the troops were first discovered. The tents were immediately taken down, the campfires extinguished and the whole camp moved further down the ravine. A guard was set over the prisoners with orders to kill them in case of an attack. One Indian had climbed a tree, which stood on some high ground, where he could watch and report the movements of the soldiers. It seems that these events were taking place in the Indian camp just at the time that the soldiers were counseling whether they would continue the pursuit or turn back. In all probability the prisoners would all have been murdered there and then had the pursuit not been abandoned just as it was.
The details of this flight and pursuit are given at length by Mrs. Sharp, and form an interesting chapter, at the close of which she says: "Whether the guides were true or false or whether or not the soldiers were justified in turning back it was life to us as captives."
After the Indians became satisfied that further pursuit was not probable, they moved forward with all the haste possible, encumbered as they were with their prisoners and their plunder. Mrs. Sharp further says: "No time was given us to rest, much less to prepare any food, till some time next day, and we did not camp for two days and nights. * * * Thus ended our flight from the United States soldiers, and their attempt to rescue us only made our situation more terrible."
As before stated, the Indians started westward the next morning after their pursuit was abandoned, going by way of the great Pipestone quarry, which is located in Pipestone County, Minnesota. Here they rested a short time and busied themselves in gathering pipestone ,and making pipes, after which they resumed their journey, arriving at the Big Sioux about the last of April or the first of May. Of this event Mrs. Sharp writes as follows:
"After six weeks of incessant marching over the trackless prairie and through the deep snow, across creeks, sloughs, rivers and lakes, we reached the Big Sioux, at or about the point where now stands the town of Flandrau. Most of the journey had been performed in cold and inclement weather, but now spring seemed to have come. The vast amount of snow which covered the ground that memorable winter had nearly gone by reason of the rapid thawing during the last few weeks, causing the river to rise beyond all ordinary bounds and assume majestic proportions."
It was in crossing this stream that Mrs. Thatcher was murdered. Mrs. Sharp's account is too long to be reproduced in full here, but some extracts will be given. Mrs. Thatcher's health was more delicate and she had suffered more than the other prisoners during their long, tedious march, and during a portion of the time she had not been compelled to carry a pack as the other prisoners had. During the last few days she had partially recovered and was therefore compelled to carry her pack as before. It seems that at the point where the party reached the river a bridge of driftwood had formed across the stream over which .a person with clear head and steady step could cross with tolerable safety.
"On such a bridge we were to cross the now swollen waters.'' * As we were about to follow the Indians across one of these uncertain bridges where a single misstep might plunge us into the deep waters, an Indian, not more than sixteen years old * * * who had always manifested a great degree of hatred and contempt for the whites, approached us and taking the pack from Mrs. Thatcher's shoulders and placing it on his own, ordered us forward. This seeming kindness at once aroused our suspicions. * * * When we reached the center of the swollen stream, as we anticipated, this insolent young savage pushed Mrs. Thatcher from the bridge into the ice cold water, but by what seemed supernatural strength, she breasted the dreadful torrent, and making a last struggle for life, reached the shore which had just been left, .and was clinging to the root of a tree at the bank. She was here met by some of the other Indians who were just coming upon the scene. They commenced throwing clubs at her and with long poles shoved her back into the angry stream. As if nerved by dread of such a death she made another desperate effort for life, and doubtless would have gained the shore, but here again she was met by her meciless tormentors and was beaten off as before. She was then carried down by the furious, boiling current of the Sioux, while the Indians on either side of the stream were running along the banks, whooping and yelling, and throwing sticks and stones at her until she reached another bridge. Here she was finally shot by one of the Indians in another division of the band, who was crossing with another division of the captives some distance below."
Reviewing these events in the light of present conditions and surroundings, the strange thing about the whole matter is that any one of those four captives bore up for a single week under the extreme suffering and hardships to which they were exposed. Just think of it! Wet to the waist every day from walking through the snow and slush, indifferently clothed, nearly starved, often going two days without anything to eat, compelled to carry a pack, which would test the endurance of a strong man. All this they had now endured for over six weeks.
American history furnishes no parallel to their suffering and endurance; language fails to describe them; the intellect fails to grasp them,—and the end is not yet. True, spring had come, and the condition of the unfortunate captives was somewhat alleviated. But they still had a long, tedious road to travel, and many dangers and vicissitudes through which to pass.
After crossing the Big Sioux they continued their march westward into Dakota. In their wanderings they frequently met roving bands of Sioux with whom they always seemed to be on good terms. It has been claimed by the Indians and their apologists that Inkpadutah's band were not annuity Indians, but that they were regarded as outlaws, and were not fellowshipped by the agency Indians. This certainly could not have been true to any great extent. Mrs. Sharp saw nothing of the kind while she was with them. On the contrary, she says, "Whenever we met any of the other bands our captors would go over the story of their achievements by word and gesture and the display of booty, giving a vivid description of the affair, reproducing in fullest detail even the groans and sighs of the victims. To all this the other Sioux listened not only without any signs of disapprobation, but with every indication of enjoyment and high appreciation."
On the sixth of May, when the Indians were camped at a small lake some thirty miles west of the Big Sioux, their camp was visited by two young Indians from the Yellow Medicine Agency, who, upon seeing the prisoners, took a fancy to them, and after a considerable bantering bought Mrs. Marble, trading guns, blankets, ammunition and such things as they had with them. After completing the trade they started immediately on their return, and after several days weary journeying arrived at the Yellow Medicine Agency. Through the instrumentality of missionaries, Messrs. Riggs and Williamson and Major Flandrau, the Indian Agent, a sum of money amounting to $1,000 was raised and paid to the Indians for her ransom.
It is the generally accepted belief that both of the prisoners, Mrs. Marble and Miss Gardner, were rescued by friendly Indians sent out from the agency for that purpose. But such, it seems, was not the case so far as Mrs. Marble was concerned. The facts connected with her release will be better understood from the following extract from Major Flandrau's report, accompanied by a statement written out for the two Indians by Mr. Riggs. Judge Flandrau says:
"I was engaged in devising plans for the rescue of the captives and the punishment of the Indians in connection with Colonel Alexander of the Tenth Infantry, but had found it very difficult to settle upon any course which would not endanger the safety of the prisoners. We knew that any hostile demonstration would be sure to result in the destruction of the women, and were without means to fit out an expedition for their ransom. While we were deliberating on the best course to pursue, aft accident opened the way to success. A party of my Indians were hunting on the Big Sioux River, and having learned that Inkpadutah's band was at Lake Chauptayatonka, about thirty miles west of the river, and also knowing of the fact that they held some white women prisoners, two young men (brothers) visited the camp and after much talk they succeeded in purchasing Mrs. Marble. They paid for her all they possessed and brought her into the agency and delivered her into the hands of the missionaries stationed at that point. She was at once turned over to me with a written statement from the two Indians who had brought her, which was prepared for them, at their request by Mr. Riggs, who spoke their language fluently. I will allow them to tell their own story. It was as follows: Hon. C. E. Flandrau: Father. In our spring hunt, when encamped at the north end of Big Wood on the Sioux River, we learned from some Indians who came to us, that we were not far' from Red End's camp. Of our own accord, and contrary to the advice of all about us, we concluded to visit them, thinking that possibly we might be able to obtain one or more of the white women held by them as prisoners. We found them encamped at Chauptayatonka Lake, about thirty miles west of our own camp. We were met at some distance from their lodges by four men armed with revolvers, who demanded of us our business. After satisfying them that we were not spies and had no evil intentions in regard to them we were taken into Inkpadutah's Lodge. The night was spent in reciting their massacre, etc. It was not until the next morning that we ventured to ask for one of the women. Much time was spent in talking and it was not until the middle of the afternoon did we obtain their consent to our proposition. We paid for her all we had. We brought her to our mother's tent, clothed her as we were able, and fed her bountifully on the best we had—duck and corn. We brought her to Lac qui Parle, and now, father, after having her with us fifteen days, we place her in your hands. It was perilous business, for which we think we should be liberally rewarded. We claim for our services $500 each. * * * This communication was signed by the Indians and witnessed by the missionary, Mr. Riggs."
Judge Flandrau adds : "By the action of these Indians we not only got one of the captives but we learned for the first time definitely the whereabouts of the marauders and the assurance that the other women were still alive as these Indians had seen them in Red End's camp."
It will be seen from the foregoing extracts that the release of Mrs. Marble was not the result of any preconcerted plan worked out by the government officers, but was styled by Judge Flandrau himself a "lucky accident."
About four weeks after the release of Mrs. Marble, while Inkpadutah's band were roaming over the prairies, they fell in with a small party of Yanktons. Their leader, after some bantering, purchased both of the prisoners from Inkpadutah. His object was simply to make money by selling them to the whites, but he didn't seem to be in any particular hurry to realize on his investment. Instead of starting at once for the settlements, as the purchasers of Mrs. Marble had done, he continued to journey with Inkpadutah's party in their, aimless wanderings. One evening, a few days after the purchase, Roaring Cloud, a son of Inkpadutah, came to the tent of the Yankton and in a fit of rage dragged Mrs. Noble from the tent and regardless of the protests of her Yankton owner, seized a club and murdered her on the spot. Of this event Mrs. Sharp writes as follows:
"The next morning the warriors gathered around the already mangled corpse and amused themselves by making it a target to shoot at. To this show of barbarism I was brought out and compelled to stand a silent witness. Faint and sick at heart, I at length turned away from the dreadful sight without their orders to do so, and started off on the day's march expecting they would riddle me with their bullets, but why should I escape more than others? But for some unaccountable reason I was spared. After going a short distance I looked back and they were still around her, using their knives cutting off her hair and mutilating her body. * * * At last the bloody camp was deserted and the mangled body left lying on the ground unburied. Her hair, in two heavy braids, just as she had arranged it, was tied to the end of a stick, perhaps three feet long, and during the day as I wearily and sadly toiled on, one of the young Indians walked by my side and repeatedly slashed me in the face with it, thus .adding insult to injury.
"If Mrs. Noble could only have escaped the vengeance of Roaring Cloud a few days longer she doubtless would have been set at liberty and restored to civilized society and the companionship of her sister and brothers. * * * Could she only have known the efforts being made for her rescue and how near they already were to success, she would have had courage to endure insults a little longer and hope to bid her look forward. At the very moment when she was dragged from her tent and brutally murdered, rescuers under the direction of the United States Commissioner fully prepared for her ransom were pressing forward with all the dispatch possible."
Mrs. Marble's .arrival at the settlement was the first intimation that had been received of the fate of any of the captives and created great excitement. A deep interest had been manifested in the fate of the prisoners from the first and now that it was definitely known that two of them were still living and in captivity there was a general demand that ample measures be immediately taken for their rescue. Major Flandrau immediately set to work to fit out an expedition for that purpose. He had no government funds at his command, but he and his friends used their own private credit in securing an outfit. Volunteers were not wanting, and three trusty scouts were soon selected. In regard to further operations, he says:
"The question of outfit then presented itself and I ran my credit with the traders for the following articles at the prices stated:
Wagon ................................................ $110.00
4 Horses ............................................... 600.00
12 3 Point Blankets (4 blue, 8 white) ...... 56.00
32 Yards of Squaw Cloth ........................ 44.00
37 1/2 Yards Calico ................................. 5.37
20 Lbs. Tobacco ..................................... 10 00
1 Sack of Shot ......................................... 4.00
15 Lbs. Powder ....................................... 25.00
Corn ....................................................... 4.00
Flour ..................................................... 10.00
Coffee ................................................................. 1.50
Sugar ..................................................... 1.50
"With this outfit, and instructions to give as much of it as was necessary for the women, my expedition started on the twenty-third day of May from Yellow Medicine. I at once left for Fort Ridgley to consult Colonel Alexander as to the plan of operation for an attack upon the camp of Inkpadutah the instant we could get word as to the safety of the white women. The Colonel entered into the spirit of the matter with zeal. He had four or five companies at the fort and proposed to put them into the field, so as to approach Skunk Lake, where Inkpadutah had his camp, from several different directions and insure his destruction. If an event which was wholly unforeseen had not occurred, the well laid plan of Colonel Alexander would undoubtedly have succeeded. But unfortunately for the cause of justice, about the time we began to expect information from my expedition, which was to be the signal for moving on the enemy, an order arrived at the fort commanding the Colonel with all his, available force to start immediately and join the expedition against the Mormons, which was then moving to 'Utah, under the command of General Sidney Johnston. So peremptory was the command that the steamboat that brought the order carried off the entire garrison of the fort and put an end to all hopes of our being able to punish the enemy."
So it will be seen that the blame for not adopting more energetic measures to secure, capture and punish the Indians cannot be laid upon the commandant at Fort Ridgley, nor the agent at Yellow Medicine. Whatever induced the War Department to leave the northwestern frontier in this defenseless condition at a time of such imminent danger by withdrawing .all the troops for a wild goose chase through Utah after the Mormons is something that cannot be satisfactorily explained. The fort was regarrisoned the latter part of July.
A few days after the murder of Mrs. Noble the Indians with their remaining captive reached the James River, where now is situated the town of Old Ashton in Spink County, South Dakota. Here, on the opposite side of the river, was a powerful Yankton camp of nearly two hundred lodges. These Yanktons had evidently never been in contact with civilization. They were .armed with bows and arrows and clubs. Their tents and clothing were manufactured entirely from buffalo hides, and there was absolutely nothing in their appearance to indicate that they had ever had any intercourse with the whites. To them the "white squaw" was a source of much wonderment and they never tired of commenting on and examining her "flaxen hair, blue eyes and light complexion."
They had been in this camp but a few days, and the novelty and excitement of Inkpadutah's coming with a white captive had not yet subsided, when on the thirtieth of May three Indians dressed in white men's clothes came into camp. These Indians were the ones that had been sent out from the agency for the express purpose of securing the release of the remaining prisoners. The death of Mrs. Noble having occurred in the meantime, Miss Gardner was the only one left. Some three or four days were spent in parleying and bantering, when an arrangement was finally reached and the captive was turned over to her new purchasers.
Mrs. Sharp says the price paid for her ransom was two horses, twelve blankets, two kegs of powder, twenty pounds of tobacco, thirty-two yards of squaw cloth, thirty-seven and a half yards of calico, and ribbon and other small articles with which these Indians had been provided by Major Flandrau. As soon as possible after the completion of the transfer the rescuing party crossed the James River and prepared to start at once on their return trip east. They had brought a team of horses and a wagon with them, which they had concealed among the brush and willows on the east side of the river, pending negotiations. In all probability had the Yanktons known they were there they would have insisted on their being added to the purchase price. The party consisted of the three agency Indians sent out by Major Flandrau and two Yanktons from the James River.
Mrs. Sharp's description of her rescue and the return trip are intensely interesting and at times highly dramatic. A few extracts are all that can be given. She says:
"Almost the first move was to cross the James River. I was put into a frail little boat made of buffalo skin stripped of hair and dressed so as to be impervious to water. The boat was not more than five feet long by four wide and incapable of carrying more than one person. When I found I was the only occupant I concluded that the story of the Indian who told me I was to be drowned was after all a true one. * * * I was, however, happily disappointed to see my new purchasers divest themselves of their fine clothes and swim across, holding the end of a cable made of buffalo hide which had previously been fastened to the boat. With this they drew the boat with me in it to the eastern shore. Thus, though I knew it not, I was being drawn towards home and friends, and the river was put between me and my cruel foes. * * * Hiding the team and wagon was not only a piece of sharp practice but a wise stroke of policy, and showed diplomacy. * * *
"The names of the persons composing this rescue party should be put on record and held in remembrance not alone for this mission but for other humane deeds done by them. They were Mazaintemani * * * now familiarly known among the whites as John Other Day, Hotonhowashta or Beautiful Voice, and Chetanmaza or Iron Hawk."
These three Indians were prominent members of the church at the mission station at Yellow Medicine. Other Day was a prominent figure during the Sioux War five years later. Many were the times that he risked his own life in warning the settlers of impending trouble. His services will be referred to again. Chetanmaza or Iron Hawk visited Mrs. Sharp at her home during the summer of 1895, and was present at the dedication of the monument. Of the return trip Mrs. Sharp says:
"The Yankton chief having been placated and I safely towed across the river the team was brought out. The Yanktons filled the wagon with dried buffalo meat and buffalo robes. I was installed driver and the five Indians (three Yellow Medicine and two Yanktons) leading the way in single file we took up our march. * * * After seven days of incessant traveling we came into a region thickly peopled with Indians."
Two days later they arrived at the home of a half-breed who could speak English. This was the first she knew of her whereabouts or what was to become of her. She here learned that these Indians had been sent out from the agency on purpose to secure her release "and that the long journey with its perils and sacrifices had been made for me." She further says:
"I also learned from this half-breed that Mrs. Marble had been there about a month before and had gone on to St. Paul * * * After a day and a half spent at the half-breed's trading post in which time I had tried to make myself as presentable as possible, we proceeded to the Yellow Medicine Agency and then to the mission station of Dr. Thomas Williamson." * * *
A scare almost amounting to a panic occurred at the agency about the time of the arrival of Miss Gardner, but in no way connected with her. The trouble was over the delay in paying the Indians their annuities and came near being serious, but the money for the annuities came just in time to save further trouble. Further on Mrs. Sharp says:
"While this dun cloud of war hung over our heads, one of the Yanktons who had accompanied us as an escort from the James River brought out a beautiful Indian war cap that had been carefully packed away in the wagon without my knowledge. I was seated on a stool in the center of the room and with great display of Indian eloquence it was presented to me and placed upon my head in the name of the great chief Matowaken. The instructions of the chief were that I should be crowned with it on our first arrival at the abode of the whites and that it should be exhibited when we came into the presence of the Great Father, meaning the Governor of Minnesota. * * * In the presentation speech it was stated that it was given as a token of respect for the fortitude and bravery I had manifested and it was because of this that Inkpadutah's Indians did not kill me. It was also stated that as long as I retained the cap I would be under the protection of all of the Dacotahs."
From the agency the party passed down the river to Fort Ridgley and thence across the country to Traverse, which was at the time the head of navigation on the Minnesota River, where they embarked on a steamer to St. Paul.
Several pages of Mrs. Sharp's book are devoted to an account of the journey to St. Paul, the audience with the governor, the address to Mazaintemani upon surrendering the captive, the Governor's reply, and the address of Major Flandrau, making it one of the most interesting and attractive chapters in the whole volume. The amount paid the Indians was $1,200 or $400 each in addition to the .amount paid the Yanktons at the time of her purchase. The leader of the rescuing party always remained the firm friend of the whites and during the terrible days following the massacre of 1862 exerted himself in every possible way to prevent the outrages and protect the settlers.
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