Historical Society of Montana.

Contributions to the Historical Society of Montana (Volume 9) online

. (page 1 of 32)
Online LibraryHistorical Society of MontanaContributions to the Historical Society of Montana (Volume 9) → online text (page 1 of 32)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook

Montana siaie uuiaiy

3 0864 1004 2287 5

^^ M& //**








Preface 7

Officers of the Society 9-10

Sixteenth Biennial Report (1921-1922) of the Historical

Society 11

In Memoriam, James U. Sanders 22

Lieut. James H. Bradley manuscript :

History of the Sioux 29

General George A. Custer and the Battle of the Little

Big Horn, by Major E. S. Godfrey 141

Notes of the Little Big Horn expedition under General

Custer, by Mark Kellogg 213

Lieut. James H. Bradley manuscript :

Hunt's expedition to Astoria 226

Sir George Gore's expedition, 1854-1856 246

Sun River stampede ~ 251

Blackfoot Avar with the Whites 252

Characteristics, habits and customs of the Black-
feet Indians 256

Present strength of the Blackfeet (1876) 287

Statistics of various tribes 288

Indian traditions 288

Arrapooash 299

Tattooed Forehead — a Chief of early times 307

Redsticks and Foxes 310

Separation of the River and Mountain Crows 312

St. Peter's Mission 315

Sketch of the Fur Trade of the Upper Missouri

River 317

The Oregon Trail — Capture of an emigrant train.... 335




A. J. Tullock, Harvey, Major Alexander Culbert-
son, Mackey, Beckwourth, Meldrum, Hunter,

La Rue 340

Notes on the business of I. G. Baker & Co 345

A large meteor 348

Elkhorn monuments 349

Garrison 350

Fort Union 351

Affairs at Fort Union 351

Fort Campbell 351

Hundred governors rule Montana in two centuries, by

J. U. Zanders 1 352

Index 360

— 6 —


In this volume the Montana Historical Library presents
the remainder of the contributions of Lieutenant James
H. Bradley. Other manuscripts of his were published in
Volumes II, III and VIII. His work, based upon close
observation and information obtained largely from first-
hand sources, began in 1871 when he was stationed at
frontier army posts, most of the time at Fort Benton and
Fort Shaw, and ended with his death in the Battle of the
Big Hole in 1ST".

Historical writing is based upon material such as is
found in the Bradley contributions. Much of it was ob-
tained first-hand from men who were leaders in shaping
the destinies of this region. The observations on the beliefs,
habits and customs of the Blackfeet Indians are especially
valuable, dealing with them in a period before tribal ways
and manners had been corrupted by contact with the white

It is fitting that a Montana library is in a position to
publish a "Histoiw of the Sioux.'' While much of the
narrative deals with regions other than in Montana, the last
great battle of the Sioux nation — the Custer massacre — was
fought in this State, as a result of which the Indian power
on the continent was broken forever. To aid in an under-
standing of this battle, the account of Custer's campaign
as described by Major Godfrey, and the notes of Mark
Kellogg, a war correspondent who went to his death with
Custer, are presented. AYhile much of the material on the
Sioux given bv Lieutenant Bradley can be found in Neill's
"History of Minnesota," printed in 1873, that book is now
out of print and is to be found only in collections of

Acknowledgment is herewith made to Mrs. E. P. Quain,
of Bismarck, X. D., for the notes by Mark Kellogg, to the
Century Company, of New York City, for the reprint of

— 7 —


Major Godfrey's account of the (Mister battle, and to Mr.
David Hilger, of Lewiston, for the memorial sketch of Mr.
J. ['. Sanders.

While this volume was being prepared for the printer,
Mr. J. T. Sanders, the librarian of the Historical Society,
was suddenly removed by death (April 17, 1023). Deeply
interested in Montana, an authority on its early days, in
the assemblying of the material for this volume lie found
the pleasure of a life work. A suitable sketch in his
memory is included in this volume.

Elizabeth McDonald, Acting Librarian.

Montana Historical Library,
Helena, Montana,
May 9, 1923.








Helena, Montana.


Great Falls. Montana.



Helena, Montana.



Board of Trustees,









Missoula, Montana.



Helena, Montana.



Helena. Montana.


Helena, Montana.

Board of Trustees,





Sixteenth Biennial Report, 1921-1922
Historical Library

Helena, December 4, 1922

To Honorable Joseph M. Dixon,
Governor of Montana.
Dear Sir :

We have the honor to present our report of the condition
of the Historical and Miscellaneous Department of the State
Library and to submit herewith the report of the librarian
thereof made to our board on the 2nd instant.

In the 1923 Report and Legislative Budget which we sub-
mit we recommend the following:

Change of the name of this department of the State
Library back to its original name of Historical Society of

Increase in the salaries of the librarian and the assistant.
The salaries heretofore provided are entirely inadequate for
the services rendered.

Sufficient amount for printing and binding publications
as it is five years since the Society has published a volume.

Attention to the matter of marking historic sites in the

State and particularly in the matter of perpetuating the

original names of mountains, rivers, creeks, valleys and
other landmarks.

We particularly commend to your consideration and of
the forthcoming session of the Legislative Assembly the in-
terest and welfare of this valuable Society with its oppor-

— li —


tunities for perpetuating the story of the State which
should be of interest to everyone iii this region and to plead
for substantia] support in its efforts in this direction. We

Very respectfully,

Your Obedient Servants,

J. H. T. Ryman, President,
Mrs. Josephine Hepner,
David Hilger,
James T. Stanford,

Trustees of the Historical and Miscella-
neous Department of the State Library.


Historical Library

To the Honorable J. H. T. Ryman, President, and the Board
of Trustees of the Historical and Miscellaneous Library
of the State of Montana:

Gentlemen :

I herewith present the sixteenth biennial report of the
librarian of the Historical and Miscellaneous Library for
the vears 1921-22.

The library is pleasantly located in the east wing of the
capitol building-, and if it were not for some additional space
in the basement where many valuable volumes are shelved
and only accessible to students inclined to delve into history,
the institution would be seriously crowded for quarters.

Your librarian took office June 1, 1922, and was for-
tunate in securing the services of Miss Elizabeth McDonald
as assistant librarian on September 1, 1922. Miss McDon-
ald has been an assistant librarian in the Butte Public
Library for a number of years, and in the meantime had
taken a course in Library Economy at Columbia Univer-
sity in Now York City, and also had had periods of train-
ing in the public library of that city and also in private
libraries, and I believe the observations of the board will
verify her efficiency in the large field of labor ahead of us
in this department of the State Library.

The present name of Historical and Miscellaneous Li-
brary is not a happy one and I earnestly desire, to urge
the resumption of the old name of this department of the
State Library. The miscellaneous feature of its collection
will be better understood and as fully described by the re-
sumption of the name given to it by the First (Bannack)
Legislative Assembly of the Territory of Montana on Feb-
ruary 2, 1805. Every State in the Union has an historical

— 13 —


society on which is, by custom or statute, devolved the duty
of gathering not only books historical of the region but of
collecting relics and mementoes of the pioneers of their
mountains and valleys and those who preceded and followed
the pioneers. Its relations to the Law Library are so re-
mote, it would seem that it might be given a separate and
distinct title as suggested and it seems that this deference
is due to the memory of the scholars who fiftv-eight years

ft/ t/ O ft/

ago had the foresight to ask our first legislature for a
charter to perpetuate the story then being enacted and now
forming one of the most interesting chapters in the western
inarch of civilization.

It is believed that the legislature will gladly approve of
this suggestion. The State Law Library is limited to books
by the scope of its field of research. The historical field
which this department is expected to harvest is not limited
to books by the scope of its field of research and the very
law which denominates it (Section 1548 of the Political
Code) as "the Historical and Miscellaneous library" pre-
scribes that the librarian of this department (Section 1560,
Political Code) "shall preserve specimens of the metals and
minerals, of the flora and fauna of the State, together with
natural curiosities and antiquities, preserving, designating
and displaying the same."

Surely a field of research was assigned to this institution
at its birth which has been carried through the Territorial
and State laws for nearly sixty years which removes it from
the position of a department of a library, as now denomi-
nated, and makes it the Historical Society of Montana.

Progress in the cataloguing of the volumes of the library
is proceeding, slowly it may seem to the casual observer,
but with satisfactorv advancement. Cataloguing a librarv

t, O O ft-

is a science to which institutions of learning assign trained
educators, and it is the desire of your librarian and of Miss
McDonald when the work is completed that it shall be a
model and that it shall be in accord with the system
adopted by all the great libraries of the land. The expen-
sive stacks for books and newspapers were about filled


when we entered on onr duties, but it seemed to us that
there was a defect in the design of the stacks, particularly
those prepared for the newspapers in placing them flat on
rollers and the rearrangement which we tried of arranging
them like books is a success and promises to economize
space effectively.

During the war this department was compelled to sub-
scribe for nearly all of the State papers which it endeavored
to preserve for its future files. On presentation of the sub-
ject to the publishers of the daily and weekly press of the
State, this department has been placed on their complimen-
tary lists as it is usually called, although we feel that in
so doing they are only performing a duty to the State which
enures to their own credit and benefit and that the library
reciprocates amply in binding and preserving and making
accessible their publications for future generations. This is
one of the most interesting and valuable sections of the
library. These papers are the diaries of their various com-
munities and of the regions adjacent and every paper pub-
lished in the State should be preserved and will be if the
publishers will co-operate and they will be bound as
promptly as circumstances will permit. Many of our sister
and neighboring States pay considerable attention to the
preservation of their newspapers. Minnesota and Kansas
have wonderful collections and nearly complete files and as
a result the future historian in these States will not need
to go far afield for data.

This institution has not grown as it should during a very
vital period of its existence. Born during the gold rush to
Montana, few felt inclined to perpetuate the daily routine
of the settlements, gulches, valleys, stampedes, wars, raids,
which now must be gathered from the few survivors. Much
good work has been done by those interested but a great
deal of the fruits of their labors became the fuel and victim
of fires and floods, and their work has gone on to date re-
sulting in a collection creditable to any State but which
will call for the exercise of renewed zeal to save much of


Much of the story of Montana in its earliest history lias
gone to other States ever with a watchful eye for a chapter
rivaling fiction and the collection of such material has be-
come popular with individuals able to gratify their craving.
All of the people of Montana in possession of journals of
our formative period and of accounts of historical incidents
transpiring within our borders should remember and send
them to the Historical and Miscellaneous Library.

Acting Governor Tufts, addressing the Territorial Legis-
lature on December 7, 18(58, in speaking of the Historical
Society of Montana, said:

"The importance of this institution to the territory
is incalculable. Properly conducted it may be made
an epitome of the territory itself, and henceforward
at all times illustrate its progress and development
more thoroughly than could be done by any of the
ordinary researches of visitors, strangers and sa-

Governor Potts during his long tenure of office was «,
friend of the Historical Society of Montana and secured
meager appropriations for its support.

The librarian of the Historical Society twenty-six years
ago in stating the scope and province of this institution
and duties devolving on us and the opportunities which are
ours, said :

"The old affairs of the frontier are fast disappear-
ing and the new come to take their place; the frontier
itself has passed into the Pacific sea; the countless
vast herds of bison have gone, and the deer and elk,
the bighorn and the pronghorn yearly shrink in num-
bers; the free roving life of the Indian is being ex-
changed within the reservations for that of 'hewers of
wood and drawers of water,' and the barbaric splendor
that once made his race so picturesque is even now
seldom seen and will soon be known but in the more
fortunate museums; the trappers and traders with the
talcs of their romantic lives and their reminiscences of


stirring times along the 'untrodden ways,' the accounts
and experiences of those who 'blazed the trails' into
this, then, terra incognita and founded the government
upon which our present statehood is builded ; these are
all passing beyond our view. This State was the last
stronghold of a warrior race, within our borders were
played the closing scene in the drama enacted by the
contending forces of barbarism and civilization upon
this continent, and through the future chronicles will
Montana be known as the land of western romance;
she whose soil is consecrated by the blood of a knightly
Custer's band; where Logan, Bradley, English and
their comrades died, where Hale and Biddle fell ; where
Miles and Gibbon and Crook and Howard and Sully
campaigned ; over whose mountains and through whose
valleys and defiles passed the warrior Joseph on that
march the like of which few ages can boast; upon
whose rolling prairies battled and skurried the fierce
hosts of Gall and Crazy Horse and Red Cloud, of
Lame Deer and Two Moons and countless other chief-
tains, and of that unscrupulous schemer, Sitting Bull,
the medicine man; and upon whose kindly bosom
sleeps many a nameless hero of our early time. What
a vast mass of wonderfully interesting and valuable
material might be gathered. Already much from our
past that we should possess is irretrievably lost to us,
but much still remains which in a few 3^ears will be
beyond our recall, and we here make our earnest ap-
peal to all Montanans, individually and collectively,
to aid us in the laudable enterprise of saving to the
State such proper material as may now be obtained.
Montana has given much that was valuable to outside
institutions heretofore, and too little has been saved
for the use of her own people. Let us do in this direc-
tion what we can for our own State by adding our
contributions to her history through the Historical So-
ciety or by placing some object of interest in its cus-
tody to be preserved for the benefit of present and
future Montanans. This, the Historical Society of the


State of Montana, is a State institution, it belongs
absolutely to the people of the State of Montana, and
they should, one and all, take a personal pride and
interest in its development and in advancing its aims.
Because of its character and because it is a State in-
stitution, tbe Society naturally becomes the proper
custodian of all matters and objects of interest and
historic value relating- to Montana. "
Much remains to be done and we hope to receive the
hearty co-operation of all the people of the State and trust
that they will become better acquainted with their Histori-
cal Library and render it all assistance in their power.

There are many historic places iu Montana, some of
which should be acquired and preserved and some of which
the sites should be marked with bronze tablets. While a
start has been made in this direction, Montana is very
backward in the work. Much interest is expressed in the
subject, but the movement seems to be waiting for someone
to take the lead and it seems as though there is no more
appropriate organization than the Historical Society of
Montana with the approval of the Legislative Assembly.
This Society has already co-operated in a small way with
the Society of Montana Pioneers and others in properly
marking with a bronze tablet the spot where gold was dis-
covered in Last Chance Gulch.

The Society of Montana Pioneers and some of its friends
have suitably marked the Mullan Road by monuments along
its line from Fort Benton to the western border of the
State towards Walla Walla,

The most wonderful exploration expedition of all time
revealed only a hundred and seventeen years ago the hidden
wealth of this Empire State of the West when Lewis and
Clark reported to President Jefferson the details of their
exploration of Louisiana and their trip to the mouth of the
Columbia river, and submitted their journals of each day's
incidents. The most interesting relic of this expedition left
to Montana was Captain Clark's autograph and date,
"Wm. Clark, July 25, 1806," crudely carved on the north-


east wall of Pompey's Pillar below Billings and it was left
to the interest of Col. J. B. Olough, engineer of the Yellow-
stone Division of the Northern Pacific Railroad, under in-
structions of President Villard forty years ago to cover
this invaluable relic with an iron grating to protect it from
vandals and that great transcontinental line is entitled to
the thanks of every citizen of Montana for its foresight
in this matter. On their outward journey through Montana
in 1805, following up the Missouri and Jefferson rivers
which they named, and the Beaverhead and down the Bitter
Root, they traversed or followed the border of seventeen
counties and passed the sites of nine county seats of today.
Returning the next year, separating, possibly Lewis visited
five other counties and Clark going down the Yellowstone
traversed ten of our counties and visited the sites of the
county seats of nine of them. I have followed the course
of this trail for the purpose of suggesting that it should be
marked at prominent points by bronze tablets or otherwise
and as a protection such tablet or monument should be
erected at some city or settlement and the Society enabled
within reasonable limits to co-operate with counties or so-
cieties for that purpose. Such tablets would cost in place
about five hundred dollars (|500.00) and means to sub-
scribe half that amount would give direction to a realiza-
tion of a very worthy object. Until the trail of Verendrye
into Montana in 1742-3 is more definitely and reliably de-
termined, its marking must be deferred. St. Mary's Mis-
sion at Stevensville should be preserved and possibly might
be secured and cared for. What remains of old Fort Ben-
ton, built seventy-six years ago, should be preserved. Many
other historic places should be preserved which it is impos-
sibly to enumerate here.

This plan, new or unknown to us, has been followed for
many years by other countries and States and it is gratify-
ing to all people to take an interest in the early incidents
of their communities and these are first sought out by
strangers and tourists and are au introduction to the his-
tory of all regions.


I believe that it is the province of this library to urge
the rest oration of many of the names of mountains, rivers,
creeks, valleys and other landmarks given to them in the
exploration and pioneer periods of our history and changed
by newcomers to oiu* State. All can recall instances of this
wrong in their own sections. One glaring example of this
tendency to substitute new names is shown in the case of a
stream rising on the eastern slope of the Judith mountains
and flowing east and parallel to the Missouri river through
Fergus county and entering the Musselshell river near its

Quoting from Lewis' journal of May 20, 1805, he says:

"About five miles above the mouth of (Mussel) shell
river a handsome river of about fifty yards in width
discharges itself into the Shell river on the starboard
or upper side. This stream we call Sahcagerweah or
Bird Woman's river after our interpreter, the snake

This creek, fifty miles in length, considered of sufficient
importance to be described as a river by Lewis many years
ago, was changed to "('rooked Creek" and has so been
marked on the maps of Montana for many years, and it
will take the action of a Legislative Assembly to correct
the inexcusable blunder and to respect the desires of the
leaders and members of the expedition to leave the name
of their invaluable guide and interpreter on the geography
of the province and of the States which should be carved
from it. Niames of other streams to honor other members
of the party have been changed and should be restored.

The accessions to the museum during the past biennial
period have not been numerous but those received have been
of much interest.

The accessions to the Library Department have been
more extensive, although consisting mostly of public docu-
ments, national and State, which in many instances are
interesting, and when they fall into the right hands are

<— '7 u <J

useful and valuable, and as one of the few depositories in
the State the librarv is favored.


The accessions may be classified as follows:

Periodicals, including newspapers 292

Philosophy 6

Religion 5

Sociology 41

Useful Arts 38

Fine Arts 1

Fiction 23

Poetry 1

Biography 5

History and Travel 115

State Documents 410

Government Publications 251

Government records from Fort Assinihoine 135

Lack of funds has prevented the library from securing
many volumes in the clearing houses of valuable libraries
which pertain in many cases primarily and in very many
cases secondarily to the early history of this region.

J. U. Sanders, Librarian.


By David Hilger

James V. Sanders, librarian of the Historical Society of
Montana and secretary of the Society of Montana Pioneers,
died in Helena on April 17, 1923, from injuries received in
an automobile accident.

One by one the Grim Reaper is gathering the men and
women who performed an important part in the early his-
tory of Montana, and one by one they are crossing' the Great
Divide from whence no man retnrneth.

James Upson Sanders was born at Akron, Ohio, on July
12, 1859. He was named after James Upson, his nncle, a
noted coal operator of Tallmadge and afterward of Cleve-
land, Ohio.

James was the eldest son of the noted pioneer and states-
man, Wilbur Fisk Sanders and Harriet Peck (Fenn) San-
ders; the former died in Helena, July 7th, 1905, and the
latter died in the city of Butte, September 23rd, 1909.
There were five children, all boys, born to this union, viz. :

Online LibraryHistorical Society of MontanaContributions to the Historical Society of Montana (Volume 9) → online text (page 1 of 32)