[REPORT ON TRIP TO THE TERRITORY.]
JUNE 23, 1881.
ED. COURIER: It is now customary, I believe, when a party makes a trip anywhere, especially to the Indian Territory, for someone of the number to furnish an account of the same to the newspapers. As one of a squad of nine, who recently made a pilgrimage to the land of the Kaw, I will try to inform your readers of some of the matters and things connected therewith.
The party consisted of F. S. Jennings, Judge Tom Soward, W. R. Stivers, J. H. Albro, Will Whitney, L. H. Webb, E. P. Greer, James Kelly, and last but by no means least, Sol Burkhalter. The latter gentleman furnished the rigs and was of course wagon-master.
Grouse Creek was reached by noon of the first day, said day being, curiously enough, Thursday, June 9th, 1881, which should have been mentioned sooner.
Here a halt was called for dinner, and here also the verdancy of the party began to crop out. The temporary camp was made in a dense jungle on the lee side of a hill with a perpendicular front some twenty or thirty feet high. Underbrush, weeds, nettles, vines: pooh [?], but wasn't it hot! Not a breath of air stirred a leaf in that miserable forest. Yes, it was hot, and some of us thought that spot would compare favorably with a modified hades according to the new version. But we had the shade.
While some of us built a fire and got dinner, Mr. Jennings, Judge Soward, and Will Stivers went in quest of game. Soon word was sent to send another gun and more ammunition, which request being speedily complied with, such a roar of musketing opened out as I'll wager, the waters of the Grouse had not heard for many a day. Presently the mighty nimrods returned.
"Where's your game?" chorused we of the bread and butter stay-at-home brigade.
"It crumbled in a hole," mourned the Judge, "but I think it's certainly wounded."
"By the bones of my grandfather," howled Webb (he never swears), "if those three big stout men with two double barreled shotguns and a rifle, haven't been banging away at a poor little squirrel.
After dinner the company was formally organized by electing Jim Kelly to the office of _______. Brother Greer made the point that this being a civil company, the title should be "president." This however was promptly rejected. "What?" said the Judge "Suppose we have trouble with the redskins, which is more than likely, how would it sound to say our President marched us up the hill and then marched us down again. I move it be Captain." But here the beneficiary declared that would be no miserable captain and unless he be at once made Colonel, he would resign and leave the company to its fate. This settled it and the train moved out after dinner in the following order.
1. The elegant three-seated barouche containing the colonel, the major, the judge, Dr. Webb, Sergeant Whitney, and wagon-master Burkhalter, followed by the baggage wagon in which on the seat were Captain Albro and Chaplain Greer, with Will Stivers behind to look after things generally. Brother Greer drove the team, that is he drove it to the foot of the first hill, when the team stopped and would not be driven any further. We all got round the wagon, however, and pushed it up the hill notwithstanding the remonstrance of the team.
This Grouse Creek, I verily believe, is enchanted, or at least this company was, for all at once we couldn't agree as to which side of the stream we were on. Of course, it made no difference, only it depended on a proper solution of this confounding mystery whether we were going up or down, towards or away from the Territory. Finally we came to a standstill and waited for two gentlemen who were plowing in a field to come to the end of their rows, which were headed off by the road, or more properly cow-path, we were then on. But our consternation was only increased when on inquiring, we found those gentlemen seemed to be as much at a loss as we were ourselves. One said we were on this side of the Grouse and would have to cross over to arrive at our destination; the other said as he had been in the country but a short time and was, unfortunately, from Missouri, really knew nothing about it. Just here a bright intelligent looking girl with a hoe in her hand, cut the miserable knot, not with the hoe, however. She explained by saying that dame nature had, right there, succeeded in reversing the old order, and made the bed so crooked that for a full half mile the water actually ran up stream. But I think if we could have told these good people where we wanted to go lucidly and plainly, they could have told us how to get there. But we couldn't.
(To be Continued.)
That Trip to the Territory (continued from last week)...
June 30, 1881.
The caravan here parted in the middle, Chaplain Greer believing as he could successively steer the local columns of the COURIER, he certainly ought to be able to steer a two-horse wagon to the mouth of Grouse Creek. So he left us and drove out of sight into the wilderness. We, that is the other rig, took the opposite course. We drove into a pasture fenced with brush; out of that into a cornfield fenced with stone, and traveled down a row of corn about two miles--so we thought--let down a pair of bars and brought up in a cowpen. We were, however, more fortunate here for we found a man who could and would not only tell us where to go, but could actually tell us where we at that moment ought to be, instead of driving over his corn and garden patch, as we had done. Will Whitney, however, very adroitly mentioned "that those were the finest hogs he had seen in a long time," which somewhat mollified the old man, who then told us how to get out. Thus, you see, kind words never die; and a little taffy, which Mr. Whitney after told us, was cheap, applied to the slab sides and ungainly snouts of the old man's hogs, and got us out of an embarrassing dilemma.
In a short time after bidding good bye to the old man of the good hogs, we arrived at the house of Drury Warren, a gentleman well and favorably known to some of our crowd. Mr. Warren, however, was absent in the territory at the big "round up," he having some six hundred head of cattle on the range on Black Bear Creek.
Having heard Mr. Warren speak favorably of some of us, and representing ourselves as "some of our best citizens of Winfield, we soon got into the good graces of kindly Mrs. Warren: to about half a bushel of onions, and permission to drive through the field, thus cutting off some three miles of long, hilly road. Let me here remark that Mr. Warren has one of the most valuable farms in Cowley county, or I might say, in the state. He has 520 acres in a body. Two-thirds of it lies in the rich bottom at the very mouth of Grouse Creek, which is in corn, and such corn! The like of which is duly seen on the Illinois and Sangamon river bottoms, and there but seldom.
Here we passed out at the south gate of the state and entered the Territory when Messrs. Greer, Albro, and Stivers caught up with us and when your correspondent shot a squirrel, found a nice spring of water, and where we camped for the first night.
Nothing of any importance happened to us except the bites of some huge mosquitos, which happened rather often.
The next morning we tried fishing in the raging Arkansas with but poor success. An old blood-thirsty villain of a fisherman, who I have no doubt now was anxious to get us away from there, told us of a good place where he said we would find bass in abundance, well on toward the Kaw agency. Here trouble commenced. Some wanted to pull up stakes and go at once, some wanted to send a scouting party first to spy out the land and report. But the goers-at-once being in the majority, carried the point, so strike the tent, hitch up, and pull out was the order.
Sometime that afternoon we overtook an Indian afoot, leading a dog. Someone of our party asked him some questions, which he wouldn't answer. Then someone asked him what he intended doing with the dog. He then very politely told us to go to hades, saying, however, the old version pronunciation of that word.
We pitched our tents on the banks of the Arkansas River that night. Another meeting was held at noon to determine whether or not we would move again. The colonel, by virtue of his office, of course, presided. The debate was long, learned, and dignified. Greer, Webb, Stivers, Whitney, and Albro, for the move, ably presented their side of the case.
"You see, gentlemen," said Webb, "that we are on the very verge of starvation. No water, nothing to eat."
"That shows," said Jennings, "that you do not know what you are talking about. Here we are on one of the most delightful spots the sun ever shone upon. Look at that mighty river and tell me that there is no water. Look at the countless turkey tracks, and tell me there is no game, nothing to eat. Why, we are here in the very bowels of plenty, and I, for one, won't move a peg."
The motion was, however, put and carried, so move it was. That same evening the company arrived at the mouth of Otter Creek, where it empties into the Grouse, and once more the tent was pitched. The next morning, it being Sunday, it was agreed that no fishing, hunting, or euchre be indulged in but that this Sabbath be spent quietly and reverently as became our best citizens.
After breakfast some of the boys thought they would have some fun at the expense of the others. Word was accordingly passed along that a meeting would be held to consider the propriety of returning to the camp vacated the day before. The president being in the seat of course, proclaimed and made known that a meeting would be held at once. Every member being present the trouble began.
"Now, may the devil take me," said Chaplain Greer, "if this move don't beat all the moves I ever heard of."
"I opposed coming here in the first place, but now that we are here, I propose to stay," said Jennings.
"Me too," said Judge Soward, "let go who will, I shan't."
"Question! Question!" shouted the mob.
The motion being put, the chair declared it carried unanimously. That was a straw too much.
"Give me my blanket," groaned Greer, "I can hire a farmer to take me home."
"Give me my things," howled Jennings, "I can walk."
"Don't take my gun," yellowed Judge Sowrad, "I won't budge an inch."
Seeing that the joke had gone far enough, the boys were informed of the "sell" and soon all was again serene.
Monday morning, Mr. Greer, having been really in bad health when he started, was found to be much worse. It was accordingly decided to send him home. He was taken by Mr. Burkhalter to Arkansas City, put aboard the train, and we saw him no more.
And, now to conclude, for every good writer must conclude, I have endeavored to chronicle events just as they transpired. If perchance there may be a few little things that didn't happen exactly as I have said, I certainly cannot be held responsible.
ONE OF THE NINE.
Winfield Courier, November 6, 1884.
Messrs. J. J. Jones and Will Smith, of the Washington Civil Service, were in the city this week visiting with their old friend, Mr. N. A. Haight. They were in the government survey of the Indian Territory with Mr. Haight for five years. This was an extremely AWild West@ in those days, some eleven years ago, and the wonderful changes were astonishing to them. Having cast their last vote in 1873 before going to D. C., at what was then their residence, Arkansas City, they put in their votes while here for the straight ticket. The law makes the residence of civil service employees in non-suffrage Washington only temporary.
Arkansas City Republican, November 7, 1886.
The party of hunters who came here from St. Joe and went to the Territory returned yesterday laden with game. They report a successful hunt. The party was headed by Wm. Wyeth. They returned home this morning.
Winfield Courier, November 20, 1884.
According to the report of Commissioner Price, for 1884, the Indians have made considerable progress towards civilization, and it is claimed that in the near future they will be a help rather than a burden to the Government. The Commissioner suggests that Congress should pass stringent laws prohibiting the sale of arms and ammunition to Indians. We have always thought that it would be wise to refuse ammunition to an Indian, unless he could satisfy a government agent that he had recently killed one bad Indian and wanted to kill another.
Winfield Courier, December 4, 1884.
SECRETARY OF INTERIOR.
The Secretary of the Interior offered his third and last annual report November 28. It is very long, covering forty pages of printed matter. He favors permitting the Indians to lease their grass lands. He thinks the Indians can be almost wholly supported by these leases. He wants to disarm the Indians and gives a long history of the Indian schools, what he thinks finally will result in making the Indian self-supporting.
AIn my last report I called attention to the occupation of certain Indian reservations by stockmen with their herds, under an arrangement made with the Indians. I decline to treat these arrangements as leases made on the part of the Indians, but did treat them as licenses on the part of the Indians recognized by section 2117 of the revised statutes. I do not understand that the parties so occupying these lands with the consent of the Indians are there in violation of law, but their condition is not a satisfactory one either to themselves or the department. The department in allowing them to remain reserved the right to put them off such reservation, notwithstanding such permit or license, if the department considered it necessary to do so in the interest of the Indians.
AHow far the government may disregard the license so given by the Indians is a question that need not be discussed until it is presented; but should the department attempt such exclusion against the wishes of the Indians, it would certainly lead to trouble. The amount paid for such privileges is understood to be about two cents per acre for the lands so occupied. This amount is not a fair compensation at this time for the use of such lands, or for at least a considerable portion thereof.
AMuch of the land so occupied could be leased at from four to six cents per acre. The Cheyenne and Arapahoe Indians attempted to lease 3,867,880 acres of their reservation, leaving unoccupied by stockmen about 430,000 acres. From the land so occupied by stockmen, the Arapahoes and Cheyennes received last year 2 cents per acre, amounting to $77,357.60, or an average of $12.33 per capita. As it is believed that this reservation might be leased at from 4 to 6 cents per acre, the amount may be increased to $24.66 or $26.99 per capita. It is believed that the cattlemen will very readily consent to double or treble the price paid if they can have some assurance that they will not be disturbed at the whim or caprice of the Indians. The amount now received, $12.33 per capita, is a sum quite sufficient, if the department could control its payment to the Indians, to aid very materially in their support and civilization. A family of five persons would receive $61.65 per annum at 2 cents per acre. At 6 cents per acre the amount would go far toward their support without further aid from the government.
AOther tribes also have good grazing lands that might be leased at good profitable rates, leaving the Indians a sufficient quantity of land for their own use, either for agricultural or grazing. Some legislation should be had on the subject to enable the government to demand and receive for the Indians the full value for the occupation of their lands, and to pre-gold to the treasury not made up to a sufficient extent by receipts of gold from other sources, a question must soon arise for the decision of the departments as to whether it will continue to make in gold, or its representative, payments now made through the clearing house, or use in its payments silver dollars, or their representative certificates, in some proportion to the relation in which silver dollars in the treasury not held for certificates outstanding, bear to the available assets and to an extent similar to that in which they are used at other offices of the treasury. During the fiscal year $126,152,572 in national bank notes were presented for redemption, being 22.83 percent more than the preceding year. Of the amount presented $86,922,000, or 68.90 percent, came from the four cities of New York, Boston, Philadelphia, and Chicago. An increase of 22.83 percent, in the amount of bank notes presented for redemption, reflects the condition of the mercantile monetary affairs of the country as shown by reports of increasing business failures and clearing house transactions, and it is a continuation in the course that bank note redemption has been pursuing year by year, since the aggregate amount during ten years expressed in round numbers $1,404,000.000.@
Winfield Courier, December 4, 1884.
MURDERED BY COW-BOYS.
Last Thursday Joseph Mitchell and Net S. Andrews, two cowboys, rode into the village of Ashland, in Ford County, about fifty miles from Dodge City, and in a drunken spree killed two men and wounded one woman. The sheriff of Dodge City left immediately for there and on his arrival captured Mitchell, the other getting away. A mob took the prisoner away from the sheriff and hung him.
Winfield Courier, December 4, 1884.
SECRETARY OF THE TREASURY.
The annual report of the treasurer of the United States shows the net revenues of the government of the United States was less than in 1883 by $40,767,712. The decrease in receipts from customs was $19,630,007; in receipts from miscellaneous sources, $8,849,248. From the aggregate of those items should be deducted an increase of $1,854,840 in receipts from the sales of public lands, a net aggregate of 244,126,244, being a decrease from the amount in 1883 of $21,281,893; surplus applicable to the reduction of the public debt to the amount of $104,393,624. A decrease of $28,345,818 from that of the previous year.
The items or expenditures showing the decrease are as follows.
On account of war department, $11,469,946.
Interest on public debt, $4,581,752.
There was an increase of $2,242,411 in the expenditures on the account of civil and miscellaneous, and $2,000,164 in the expenditures on the account of the navy department.
The disbursing officers of the United States had to their credit on the books of the treasury at the close of the year $32,463,980. The statement of the assets and liabilities for September 30, 1884, shows the general balance was reduced from $163,232,463 in 1883 to $149,525,062 in 1884, a reduction of $13,707,400. The aggregate amount of gold and silver coin and bullion held by the treasury increased from $352,510,809 in 1883 to $395,216,297 in 1884, an increase of $42,705,487. The gross assets increased from $455,119,817 in 1883 to $519,690,249, an increase of $63,570,431 from November 1, 1883, to November 1, 1884. The reserve decreased $12,752,255, or from $166,822,545 to $148,070,290. There were nominally outstanding at the close of the fiscal year silver certificates amounting to $120,891,691, an increase of $32,274,890. During the year the amount held by the treasury increased from $15,996,145 to $23,384,680, thus leaving actually outstanding $97,607,011, an actual increase of $24,886,325.
The amount of standard silver dollars coined up to September 30, 1884, was $182,380,829, of which the treasury held $142,349,409. Of this amount $7,094,881 was for the redemption of silver certificates outstanding. Amount in circulation $39,801,953, or about 24-8 percent of total coinage. As usual the amount outstanding reached the highest point in December, when it exceeded $41,000,040, an aggregate never before reached. The decrease in June was not as great as in previous years, probably owing to the scarcity of one and two dollar notes, and on September 30 the amount was $680,717 greater than the same date in 1883. Counterfeits of various kinds amounting to $11,000 were detected during the year. As a consequence of the inability of the treasury under the existing practice to use either silver dollars or silver certificates in its settlements with the New York clearing house; whereby far the greater part of its disbursements are made available, gold ran down from $155,429,600 on January 1, 1884, to $116,479,979 on August 12, 1884, while the silver dollars and bullion on hand represented by silver certificates outstanding, increased during the same period from $27,266,037 to $48,603,958. As a temporary expedient to stop this drain of gold from the treasury, the assistant treasury of New York was directed to use in payments to the clearing house, United States notes to the extent of one-half payments, but the amount of these notes in the treasury which, at the time of the commencement of this mode of payment, had accumulated beyond its needs, had now become so much reduced they are no longer available for such payments to any considerable extent.
If a return to the former practice of making payments entirely in gold or gold certificates shall result in the continuous loss of vent [??] claimants holding such licenses or privileges.
[The above sentence makes no sense whatsoever...think the typesetter missed some words.]
Such occupants are not on the reservation in violation of law if they have the consent of the Indians; yet should their conduct be such as to convince the department that their presence is injurious to the Indians, it is difficult to tell the result of an attempt on the part of the department to remove them if the Indians continue to consent to their remaining.
While there can be no objection to allowing the Indians of the Indian Territory to lease their lands for grazing purposes, there is a serious objection to allowing the Indians on reservations outside of the Indian Territory to lease lands valuable for agricultural purposes for the purpose of grazing only.
If the reservation is larger than is required for the use of the Indians occupying it, there should be a reduction thereof, and all this not needed for the use of the Indians should be opened to settlement. The time has passed when large and valuable tracts of land fit for agriculture can be held by Indians for either hunting or grazing lands to the exclusion of actual settlers.
Winfield Courier, December 4, 1884.
SECRETARY OF WAR.
Secretary of war, Robt. Lincoln=s annual report, was made public on November 28. It covers thirty pages and is very exhaustive and comprehensive, giving in detail receipts and expenditures amounting to upwards of forty-two millions of dollars. He estimates that the military establishment for the next fiscal year, including the river and harbor and public works and fortifications, will amount to fifty millions of dollars. As to military claims against the government, he says that Kansas, in 1882, sent in vouchers amounting to $349,300.95.
The result of the examination of the claim of the state of Kansas in the bureaus of the war department was found to fall short of the requirements of the act, and after the papers and vouchers in this claim, amounting to about 2,500 in number, had been referred and re-referred, it was deemed advisable to convene a board of officers to examine and report upon the case. This was done in July last, and the claim, after then undergoing a careful examination in this office, was returned to the treasury department with a favorable report upon expenditures of the state to the amount of $332,308.13.
The renewed invasion of what is called the Oklahoma country in the Indian Territory, by intruders determined to settle upon lands there, in defiance of law and of executive proclamations, has required movements of considerable number of troops, but the intruders have been again removed beyond the limits of the Territory, and a new military district has been organized, called the district of Oklahoma, under command of Col. Edward Hatch, of the 9th cavalry, with a view of preventing a re-occurrence of this trouble. Information received at the war department indicates that the persistent leader of these intrusions is an adventurer who has found a profitable source of money making in organizing colonies to go into the Territory.
As I have heretofore stated, the only offense committed by him and those whom he deluded into joining these colonies is the fine which may be imposed under the section 2148 of the Revised Statutes, and the fine cannot be collected; and I renew my recommendation that an amendment of the statute be made providing for imprisonment, as it is believed that such a punishment would prevent his vexatious raids and save a very large expenditure now incurred in the movements of troops employed in executing the law.
The report goes fully over the north pole expedition under Greely, and the failures of final success in rescuing that officer and his men.
Arkansas City Republican, December 6, 1884.
A jolly party of eight Suckers from Braidwood, Illinois, consisting of Hon. P. M. Sollady, the mayor; W. J. Stewart, chief of police; F. E. Munn, city attorney; U. Goldfinger; L. Wolfe; E. D. Phillips; D. Husband; and Thos. Fleming arrived here Thursday and put up at the Windsor. They were en route for Dodge City, but hearing of Arkansas City, threw their tickets away and came here. These genuine Suckers supposed that Kansas was made up of green Jayhawkers. They visited the Oklahoma boomers in the territory, camped on Chilocco Creek Thursday, and by a great deal of begging procured permission to share the boomers= hospitality for the evening. The fine clothes of the Suckers created a temptation among the boomers to have them soiled. At the still hour of midnight, when all were sound asleep, several of the frontiersmen dressed in the guise of the noble redman and came down on the tent in which our Illinois friends were staying with a swoosh. Their yells were enough for the Suckers. The campfire showed they were surrounded by Indians. With cries of AOh, Lord! Lord! I wish I was home and was not here,@ each Sucker skipped to the state line, instead of going to the point intended they were to go into the territory. Splash! They went across the Chilocco, legs and arms puffing only as Suckers do. They flew on. After running some more they ran into the camp of Uncle Sam=s soldiers. Thinking it was more Indians, they turned to fly in another direction, but the quick ear of the sentinel had heard them. In a deep guttural voice, he commanded a halt. It scared them more. The voice, the dark complexion of the negro, and the Suckers= imagination made Indians of the soldiers. As the sentinel=s voice smote their ears down, they went on their knees and with clasped hands began to beseech of AMister Indian@ that he not hurt them. The sentinel seemed to understand the situation. He called assistants and to continue the joke, they bound and gagged them. With yells the negroes began to dance around the frightened party. At this point of the programme, they all swooned away. When daylight came, to their great chagrin, they found they were in the camp of the U. S. Army. Now they are trying to smooth the matter over so their friends at home will not find it out. They were all day yesterday walking back to Arkansas City.
P.S. The tail end of this item is a Agoak.@ These worthy gentlemen are still here prospecting and may locate with us. At least we hope they do.
Winfield Courier, December 18, 1884.
The Indians in the Territory are getting stirred up over the ravages of white hunters on their game. Trouble is feared for some of the hunters.
Winfield Courier, December 25, 1884.
Another Territory Tragedy. The Wellington Press chronicles another of those revolting and dastardly deeds which are so often committed in the Indian Territory.
AIt seems that a party of boys were out hunting, and on arriving at a point near the Canadian River, and about 130 miles below Caldwell, they came across the bodies of three men, wrapped up in blankets, and all bound together with buckskin thongs. They had the appearance of hunters, and were only a short distance from a Cheyenne camp. It is believed that these men were hunting, were captured by the Indians, bound firmly with thongs, wrapped up in blankets, and all bound together with buckskin thongs. They had the appearance of hunters, and were only a short distance from a Cheyenne camp. It is believed that these men were hunting, were captured by the Indians, bound firmly with thongs, wrapped up in a blanket, placed out upon the open ground and there allowed to die of starvation and exposure, the appearance of their bodies giving evidence that their death had been caused in this manner. The boys who found them were terribly frightened, and hastened to the nearest white settlement, where they told their story, and word was sent here to Sheriff Henderson, who left for Caldwell Thursday. He will notify the government officials, and will doubtless be governed by their orders as to the disposition of the bodies. The clothes worn by these unfortunate men were such as to proclaim them well-to-do gentlemen, and no doubt were connected with an eastern party of hunters.@
Arkansas City Republican, December 20, 1884.
A Hunt Down on the Cimarron.
The following bit of hunting experience was written by one of the hunting party composed of Drs. Love, Mitchell, Hart, Rev. J. O. Campbell, and others.
AOn the 23rd of November last a something on four wheels, which on close inspection proved to be a wagon, hid by its miscellaneous load of tents, blankets, and other necessaries for a hunting jaunt drew up in front ot the Hotel de Windsor to receive its last but most precious cargo, viz: The Patriarch, the celebrated Indian fighter from Ohio, and the French cook (brought out from New Orleans especially for the occasion), who were to proceed the distinguished nimrods and prospectors of the expedition, composed of His Reverence, a great medicine man, a Love of a baker, and Fritz, our boy, who were to follow the next day, which would allow ample time for the Indian terror to clear the country of any objectionable bands of red men before the rear guard should join them at Salt Fork.
AThe commissary department, after about eight hours hard driving over soft roads, pitched its tent on Duck Creek (called a creek by courtesy, for there was very little of that fluid that constitutes creeks) for the night. After a hasty meal rapidly prepared by the culinary artist. all hands turned in to dream of the numerous quantities of game to be slain by their party.
ANovember 24, 5:30 a.m. All hands up, each one very stiff but smiling as pleasantly as a basket of chips and almost upsetting each other in their ludicrous endeavors to appear agile and refreshed by their first night=s slumber in a tent on very damp ground. (Please drop the final letter in damp, and you will have my opinion of that same ground born that first and fully grown and developed by the last night=s experiment of that trip.) Horse hitched and fed, off we go, towards Salt Fork, which point we expected to and did reach by afternoon, where we were soon joined by the nimrods. My countrymen, what a noble sight was presented to us as the chariot drawn by two elegant chargers rushed into view--about ten minutes after a terrific discharge of fire-arms.
AAnd would=st thou have me paint the scene then listen.@
AFritz (first cousin of Oliver Twist) with eyes fixed on the provision wagon handled the ribbons seated next to our Love of a pastry cook, who looked as if he could rise on any occasion to show how well bread he was. The back seat was occupied by our learned medico and His Reverence, who presented a beautiful study in red, black, and blue. (Caused by an ambitious attempt to introduce his novel method of shooting a gun heavily charged, held a foot from the shoulder.) Result, one chicken, one black eye, one skinned nose, and a wish I had stayed at home look upon his countenance.
AAfter a short consultation, each member was assigned to duty. The Patriarch as chaperone, the Doctor as guardian of the bodily welfare of the horses, the Terror as tent pitcher and chief of the fire department, assisted by His Reverence, whose additional work wood necessitate his chopping for the fire.
AOne day and a half on the road and only one dozen quails and four chicken, rather a poor showing but still enough to enjoy a royal repast prepared by our culinary artists and embellished by one baker. After supper we gathered around the camp-fire and told Sunday school stories until 8 p.m., when we passed off for slumber in the following order, which was kept up (or rather down) during the remainder of the trip. The Terror and the cook (the lion and the lamb shall etc.); the Doctor and His Reverence (birds of a feather, etc.). The Patriarch and the pastry cook (whom we shall in the future call Biscuits for short) and Fritz were soon wrapped in blankets and the arms of morpheus.
ANovember 25, 1 a.m.
>What time is it,= from the cook.
>1 o=clock, go to sleep,= from the Terror, and the cook subsided until 5 a.m., when all hands turned out very sore but hopeful and soon camp was broken up and a fresh start made for the river. Half-way over, we stuck on a sand-bar. After some consultation, during which the wheels of the wagon were sinking rapidly into the sand, we concluded to have the least valuable articles, composed of the ammunition, tents, horse-feed, dogs, and cook on the bar to await the return of the other vehicle, which according to the cook=s story was a terrible time. However, all things must end sometime and the cook was soon dug out and carried to terra firma much to the amusement of the rest of the party. To make a long story short, after several small mishaps, we arrived at our destination on the evening of the 26th very fatigued, but still hopeful. The only thing worthy of note was the extreme length of the Indian Territory miles. That night we had quite an artistic meal, in preparation of which the two cooks allowed themselves off.
AThe next day everyone started off except the patriarch, who was feeling unwell (not being used to such rich living), and did not participate. After about four hours of fearful rough walking, the party re-assembled at camp with four quails. No one saw anything to shoot except his Reverence, who made several ineffectual efforts to kill four deer with no cartridges in his gun. The deer smiled, and so did we. Our hopes somewhat daunted, we soon turned in for the night very tired and sleepy only to be awakened about a dozen times by the cook, who could not sleep because he was cold and asked the Terror for the time. Patience ceased to be a victim and the Terror requested the cook to go to a perpetual kitchen and buy his own time piece in so terrible a voice that he observed a heavenly silence for the balance of the night.
ANext day the smiles were few and a new plan for slaying the deer was devised. The Terror and cook went out together leaving the rest of the crowd to push their own say into the woods and speculate as to how much of the cook would return. The pair got a few quails and then got lost. Of course, the cook knew the way best, and after wallowing about ten miles, acknowledged he ws wrong. The air was literally thick with howls from the Terror, who took offense (a wire one) and went in the opposite direction, meekly followed by the trembling cook, and they were in camp about two hours afterwards. Result of day=s sport, six quail, five tired men. Someone said after supper, >I want to go home;@ a dead silence, a murmur, finally a deafening uproar, a chorus of >so do I,= settled that we would start the next afternoon. Before retiring the party, minus the cook and boy, started after turkey. They succeeded in getting a few after a couple of hours shooting into a large number.
AWell, we started home the next afternoon after getting stuck in a creek and losing half our cooking utensils, wearing out the horses, and our good humor. We reached home after three days hard driving, sadder but wiser men.
AWe got about two dollars worth of game and a hundred dollars worth of experience. CRESCENT.@
Arkansas City Republican, December 27, 1884.
Work is progressing slowly on the bridge at Harmon=s Ford. The cold weather makes work almost impossible. At present teams are crossing on the ice.
Last Friday Dr. Chapel was summoned to Washington by the severe illness of Joe Perry. Under the skillful treatment of the Doctor, Mr. Perry is up and around.
Jayhawker tobacco is a new brand of smoking tobacco. It don=t like the tongue, because we have tried it and know. You can get it at McLaughlins= and the Diamond Front.
Hunters on the Pawnee Reservtion sometimes find game they are not seeking. Four residents of Winfield were recently arrested there by Indian police for trespass. We wonder if Capt. Nipp was not one of that quartette.
Arkansas City Republican, Saturday, October 17, 1885.
Homer Deets is a barber by occupation, but Homer will at times wander away from his laborious means of gaining a livelihood. He has a love for the softer sex, and a liking for the manly sports. Last week he determined to tear himself loose from the apron string of his fond dulcina and hie away to the hunting ground of the Indian Territory for a chicken hunt. Thursday morning, bright and early, the would-be-mighty nimrodCif could beCshouldered his (t)rusty Queen Ann rifle, and a bottle of the best bologna to aid digestion, and was gone no one knows where for the space of two days. He came home Saturday morning. During the day a representative of the REPUBLICAN, being without a fortune in his vest pocket, called at the Red Front to obtain a stand-off shave. Homer was giving a recital of his hunting exploits, and the following remarks smote upon our ear as we started to enter: AIf I had killed the one I shot at and the five other chickens I saw, I would have brought home a half-dozen, but you see when the gun went off it scared the first one and it flew away just as I was going to pick it up. Oh, how I wished for a handful of salt. If the gun hadn=t made such a noise when it went off, I would have had that chicken, sure.@ We turned sadly away, preferring to remain unwashed to hearing a continuation of AHomer=s hunting adventures.@
Arkansas City Traveler, November 3, 1886.
Messrs. E. Graham, C. W. Dix, C. H. Cannon, and Dr. I. Pile, the party of Nimrods who invaded the Indian Territory to spread slaughter and devastation among the savage prey, returned home a few days ago invigorated with their pilgrimage. They drove as far as the North Canadian, camping some days in Oklahoma. They say no campers are there away from the line of the railroad, and those engaged on that work will have to leave when it is completed. We have not seen anything of the game they brought down, but undoubtedly it will be brought in by a train of freight wagons.
Arkansas City Republican, November 13, 1886.
A hunting party, composed of W. B. Mather, J. S. Brittain, N. W. Wyeth, Huston Wyeth, and Samuel Montgomery, all of St. Joseph, Missouri, arrived in the city last evening. This morning they were making the purchases of provisions and making necessary preparations to go down into the Territory.
Arkansas City Republican, December 11, 1886.
Troop L, commanded by Capt. Fobush, captured a party of hunters yesterday. They had in their possession 13 deer and as they could show no permits to hunt in the Territory, they are held as prisoners. The deer will be eaten by the soldiers and the firearms of the hunters will be confiscated. At present the Cherokee Strip is guarded by five commands, which patrol that region night and day from the Arkansas River to 100 miles west of Caldwell. No one can enter the Territory now without being subject to arrest, unless he has a permit from Capt. Fobush, the Secretary of the Interior, or the Secretary of War.
Arkansas City Traveler, December 15, 1886.
Caution to Sportsmen.
Tom Nicholson and Eugene Bogardus, of Dexter (the latter a son of the great shootist), returned to this city on Thursday from a hunting trip into the territory, bringing with them seven deer and a number of wild turkeys. They were adroit enough to avoid the military patrols, and thus got away with their spoils. This game preserve has become famed throughout the country as a sportsman=s resort, and we have hunting parties fitted out in distant states, who come here with the most improved fire-arms and depopulate the country wherever they penetrate. This is a gross injustice to the Indian tribes, whose dependence has been largely on the chase for sport, and who now find that the paleface has rendered their sportsmanship fruitless. The military stationed in the territory have instructions to capture all the hunting parties they encountered, and a number of luckless Nimrods have been overhauled, whose game was confiscated and themselves detained. Popular sentiment condemns the support of the red men by the government, and yet they are ruthlessly deprived of the means nature has placed in their way for sustenance.
Arkansas City Traveler, Wednesday, December 22, 1886.
To Hunters in the Territory.
A correspondent of the Courier, having returned from a hunting trip into the territory, and interviewed Capt. Forbush, in command of a cavalry troop, stationed on the Bodoc, the writer says he was requested by that officer to publish in the county papers that hunting in the Indian Territory will no longer be allowed. He says further:
He granted our party a pass for that purpose and referred the matter to department headquarters for their approval, which, under the circumstances, they did, but ordered him to do so no more and also instructed him that passes for hunting would only be regarded by him when issued by the department at Washington. We found Capt. Forbush a very obliging and gentlemanly officer, but his orders in regard to persons in the territory are very positive.
He said, ATell the people that no one will be allowed in the territory on foot or horseback unless they have proper passes and for lawful purposes, and I have no discretion in the matter.@
These orders were issued about December 1st, 1886. Capt. Forbush said that he was very sorry that the impression had got out that he personally had anything to say in the matter, and mentioned the fact of having to arrest the Messrs. Brooks and party, of Burden, and the confiscation of their game and guns, and he said he was obliged to have warrants issued against them as his instructions were positive in the matter.
We were detained at the picket post on Chilocco and went with an escort to Camp Martin before we were allowed to come out, as our pass did not say that we could hunt, but we were allowed so to do and the Captain said that the decision was made on the pass granted us.
Parties who are contemplating a trip in the territory for hunting will be obliged to give it up for they will not be allowed to bring any game out, and their chances of missing the guard are small as there is a complete line of picket posts and a patrol from post to post, with scouting parties out all the time. The Captain said his orders were to put out all intruders and allow no unauthorized persons to pass in, and that his reports of arrests were followed by orders to be more diligent and severe.
Arkansas City Traveler, December 22, 1886.
The four Brookses, David, Nathan, John, and Arthur, who were held to answer before Commissioner Bonsall to the charge of trespass and killing game in the territory, were dismissed when they appeared for trial. The commissioner dismisses all such cases when brought before him for want of jurisdiction. Hunting and trapping on Indian grounds are offenses against congressional law, but there seems to be a technical nicety in determining what cases should go to the district court and what to the circuit court. Commissioner Bonsall seems to have made up his mind that men arrested for taking wood and shooting game in the territory are not his meat, and accordingly he discharges all offenders of that class when brought before him.