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United States. Office of Indian Affairs / Annual report of the Commissioner of Indian Affairs, for the year 1856
([1856])

[Central superintendency],   pp. 65-131 PDF (28.8 MB)


Page 75

BLACKT ET AGENCY.                      76 
and the Two Elk. Their history, as related by the eldest of the prin- 
dipal chiefs, Bear's Shirt, is briefly as follows: They formerly came 
from far north, travelled over a large body of ice, which broke up soon 
after they reached land, thus preventing their return ; they then jour- 
neyed in a southwesterly direction until they reached the Arrapahoes ; 
found they could understand the Arrapahoes without much diffi- 
culty, and concluded to remain with them; but after stopping one year 
a part of the tribe became disatisfied with the country and again com- 
menced wandering. They travelled easterly from the Arrapahoes, 
touched upon the Sioux country, met the Sioux, fought a battle, and 
were driven toward the north, in which direction they travelled until 
they fell in with the Piegans, who were, at that time, at war with the 
Bloods. They joined the former, assisted them in the war, and have 
occupied the country between the Milk and Missouri rivers since that 
time. They differ in many respects from the other three tribes. The 
women are noted for their entire want of chastity, and the males of 
the tribes do not hesitate to make it a source of profit whenever an 
opportunity occurs.  This tribe has been heretofore considered the 
most troublesome, and in the spring of 1855 openly declared it to be 
their intention to annoy the whites as much as possible, by pillaging 
wherever they should meet them, and in a few cases did so; but since 
the treaty of last fall their intercourse with the whites has been 
friendly, and they have in every particular observed the stipulations 
of that treaty upon their part, express a strong desire to be instructed
in agricultural pursuits, and to live at peace with all other tribes. 
The Piegans number- about three hundred and fifty lodges. The 
principal chiefs are Lame Bull, Low Horn, Middle Sitter, Mountain 
Chief, Little Grey Head, and Little Dog. This has been probably the 
most warlike of the four tribes, but since the treaty they have remained
at peace with all other tribes, and have not in a single instance gone 
contrary to the advice received from the agents of the government of 
the United States. 
The Bloods number about two hundred and fifty lodges. The 
principal chiefs are Ouis-tag-sag-nate-que-im-the Father of all Child- 
ren, the Calf Shirt, the Feather, the Heavy Shield, and Nah-tose-ous- 
tah. In less than ten days after the signing of the treaty a party 
started to war from the camp of the principal chief of the tribe; from 
that time until the first of February many others left for the same 
purpose. The chiefs then visited me, and stated that the young men 
had supposed the Crows were not included in the treaty of peace; that 
they would carefully explain the matter to them, and that the war 
should positively cease from that time. I cannot ascertain that any 
war parties have started since. They are proud,haughty, and treach- 
erous, and until an example is made of some of them no dependence 
can be placed upon their promises; and I consider it absolutely neces- 
sary that every individual who has led a party to war since the treaty 
should be arrested and punished, to save trouble hereafter. In order 
to have the desired effect, this should be done by the United States 
troops.  They evidently intended to entirely disregard the treaty 
made by them last fall, and to treat the whole matter as a farce got 
up for their amusement, expecting the other three tribes would join 


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