Clement A. (Clement Augustus) Lounsberry.

Early history of North Dakota; essential outlines of American history online

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Online LibraryClement A. (Clement Augustus) LounsberryEarly history of North Dakota; essential outlines of American history → online text (page 1 of 83)
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Founder of the Bismarck Tribune





1919 /


Copyright igig by


Washington. D. C.

Published iqig

To THE North Dakota Pioneers
and their successors, the fathers, mothers
and children of the North Dakota of today,
this work is affectionately dedicated, by

The Author.
Washington, D. C, February 2-], 1919.


"I hear the tread of pioneers,
Of nations yet to be,
The first low wash of waves where soon
Shall roll a human sea."

— John G. W'hitticr.

More intensely interesting than a fairy tale is the story of the development
of the great Northwest. It is a story of adventure and of daring in the lives of
individuals not unmixed with romance, for there were brave, loving hearts, and
gentle clinging spirits among those hardy pioneers, and many incidents and choice
bits of legend have been handed down, which I hope may serve to make these
pages interesting.

It is a story with traces of blood and tears, illustrating "man's inhumanity to
man," for there were some among the early traders who had little regard for the
expenditure of these precious treasures, in their pursuit of "Gold! gold! gold!
gold !" that is "heavy to get and light to hold," as suggested by Hood — the

"Price of many a crime untold


Pow widely its agencies vary.
To save, to ruin, to curse, to bless.

As even its minted coins express.
Now stamp'd with the image of good Queen Bess,

And now of a Bloody Mary."

It is a stor}- of man's love for man, in the work of the early missionaries, who,
in obedience to the command of the Master, went forth into the wilderness to lift
up and benefit the "untutored" savage, who only "sees God in clouds, or hears
Him in the wind," and to bring refuge to his white children, who had blazed
the way, and who were languishing in despair. It is a story of heroic deeds,
of patriotic devotion to duty, of suffering and bloodshed and of development.

Whether I am the one to write the story, let others judge.

"Let us probe the silent places, let us seek what luck betide us ;
Let us journey to a lonely land I know.
There's a whisper on the night wind, there's a star agleam to guide us,
And the Wild is calling, calling — let us go."

—Robert IV. Service. '■The Call of the Wild."

My family in all of its branches were among the early settlers of New York
and New England, frontiersmen and participants in all of the early Indian wars.
My mother's people suffered in the Wyoming massacre. Among the slain in




that bloody affair were seven from the family of Jonathan Weeks, her paternal
ancestor, who with fourteen fatherless grand-children returned to Orange County,
New York, whence he came, abandoning his well-developed farm near Wilkes-
barre, as demanded by the Indians.

I knew many of the people directly connected with the Minnesota massacre
of 1862, and the incidents leading up to it, and the campaign following — settlers
in the region affected, prisoners of the Sioux, traders, soldiers, missionaries, men
in public life, and many of the Indians. One of the stockades built by the settlers
for defense, was situated on the first real property I ever owned, and in a log
house within the stockade, my first child, Hattie, wife of Charles E. V. Draper of
RIandan, N. D., was born.

In July, 1873, I established the Bismarck Tribune, the first newspaper pub-
lished in North Dakota. There were then but five villages in North Dakota —
Pembina. Grand Forks, Fargo, Jamestown and Bismarck ; no railroad, excepting
the Northern Pacific under construction ; no farms, no agriculture, e.xcept the
cultivation of small patches by Indians and half-bloods, or in connection with the
military posts or Indian agencies ; no banks, no public schools, no churches. It
was my fate to be one of five (John W. Fisher, Henry F. Douglas, I. C. Adams,
Mrs. W. C. Boswell and myself) to organize the Presbyterian Church Society
at Bismarck, the first church organization in North Dakota, in June, 1873, and in
the autumn of that year I was instrumental in organizing the Burleigh County
Pioneers, developed through my direction into the North Dakota State Historical
Society, of which I was the first president.

I was at Bismarck when a party of Northern Pacific surveyors started west
to survey the line of the road from that point to the Yellowstone River in the
spring of 1873, and saw the smoke of battle and heard the crack of rifles, as the
engineers were forced to fight, even before they got as far west as the site of

I saw Gen. George A. Custer as he marched to his last battle — the massacre
of Custer and 261 men of the Seventh United States Cavalry on the Little Big
Horn, by the Sioux. -Accompanying him was Mark Kellogg, bearing my com-
mission from the New York Herald, who rode the horse that was provided for
me — for I had purposed going but could not — and who wore the belt I had worn
in the Civil War, which was stained with my blood.

I saw the wounded brought down the Yellowstone and the Missouri, by Grant
Marsh, on that historic boat, the Far West, and the weeping widows whose hus-
bands returned not.

The trail of blood, beginning at the Atlantic, taking a new start at the Gulf,
extending to the Pacific, and, returning, starting afresh on the banks of the
Missouri, came to a sudden check on the banks of the Little Big Horn : but it was
not ended, the blood already spilled was not enough. The Seventh LTnited States
Cavalry, Custer's Regiment, was again baptized in blood at Wounded Knee, and
the end was not reached until the tragic death of Sitting Bull, Dec. 13, 1890.

We have the Indians with us yet — in many instances happy and prosperous
farmers, their children attending the schools and universities, the male adults
having taken lands in severalty under the Federal Allotment Act. being recognized
citizens of the United States, and entitled to the elective franchise in the State
of North Dakota.


If I dwell upon Indian affairs, it is because I have been interested in the
Indians from childhood. After the battle of Spottsylvania I lay in the field
hospital beside an Indian soldier, wounded even worse than I. Not a groan
escaped his lips. I admired the pluck and courage, and the splendid service
of the Indian soldiers from the states of Michigan and Wisconsin in the Civil
War. I have seen them in battle. I have known their excellent service as
Indian police, I have seen them in their happy homes, when roaming free on the
prairie, and I know their good points. Although I shall picture the horrors
of Indian wars in a lurid light. I have no sympathy with the idea that "the only
good Indian is a dead Indian," and I am glad to know that they are no longer
a "vanishing race," but their numbers are now increasing, and to feel that they
have a splendid destiny before them.

I have seen the growth of North Dakota from the beginning. I have per-
formed my part in its development, but in the words of Kipling's Explorer:

"Have I named one single river? Have I claimed one single acre?

Have I kept one single nugget? — (barring samples?) No, not I.
Because my price was paid me ten times over by my Maker,
But you vv'ouldn't understand it. You go up and occupy."

I feel it a duty, as well as a privilege, to contribute these pages to its history.

Clement Augustus Lounsberry.
Washington, D. C, February 27, 1919.


The author desires to acknowledge the receipt of historical data and other
means of information necessary to the compilation, from the following persons:

Canada: A. M. Edington, Montreal Star.

Louisiana: Colonel William O. Hart, New Orleans.

Massachusetts: Hugh C. Cormack, Boston and Montreal.

Edward J. Holmes, Harvard Law School Association, Boston.

Professor Lee S. McCollester, D. D., Dean of Crane Theological School, Tufts
College, Med ford.

Joseph Sargent, Secretary Harvard Law School Association, Boston.

Professor Ezra R. Thayer, Dean of Harvard Law School, Cambridge.

Brevet Captain William H. Wade, Seventh Mass. Vol. Inf., War of 1861, and
Mrs. Wade, Fall River.

Thomas Weston, Jr., Harvard Law School Association, Boston.

Mississippi: Thomas H. Herndon (Washington, D. C).

Xe2v York: Henry Winthrop Hardon, counselor at law. New York City.

North Dakota: John E._Blair, former Secretary of the College of Law of the
University of North Dakota, Spokane, State of Washington.

Mrs. Minnie Clarke Budlong, Secretary of the Library Commission, Bismarck.

Ex-Governor John Burke, United States Treasurer, Washington, D. C.

Charles Cavileer, Pembina (deceased).

\>ry Rev. Thomas Egan, Rector of St. Mary's Cathedral Rectory, Fargo.

Adjutant General G. Angus Eraser, Bismarck.

Thomas Hall, Secretary of State, Bismarck.


Major John G. Hamilton, Grand Forks.

Ex-Governor Louis B. Hanna. former Congressman, Fargo.

Governor Lynn J. Frazier, Bismarck.

Mrs. Kate T. Jewell, Bismarck.

W. R. Kellogg, Jamestown.

Professor Orin Grant Libby, Secretary of the North Dakota Historical
Society, Professor of History in the State University, Grand Forks.

Judge Charles A. Pollock. Fargo.

Captain W. A. Stickney, National Guard, Bismarck.

Nezv Mexico: Ex-Governor Andrew H. Burke, Roswell.

Oklahoma-: James A. Emmons, Pawnee.

Pennsyli'anki: T. Hanlon, City Clerk of Erie.

Virginia: Rear Admiral Harrie Webster, U. S. N. (retired), Richmond.

Washington, D. C: Amhersi W. Barber. Surveying Division, U. S. General
Land Office.

H. P. McLain, Adjutant General, U. S. A.

Frank Bond, Chief Clerk, General Land Office.

Mrs. Marie L. Bottineau Baldwin, Secretary of the New North American
Indian Association.

Henry N. Couden, Chaplain U. S. House of Representatives.

Captain E. W. Deming, U. S. A., artist. '

Charles M. Gandy, Colonel Medical Corps, U. S. A.

C. F. Hauke, Chief Clerk. Office of Indian Affairs.

F. M. Hodge, Ethnologist-in-charge Bureau of American Ethnology, Smith-
sonian Institution.

Major James McLaughlin, Indian Office, U. S. Department of the Interior.

Colonel George H. Morgan, U. S. A.

Rev. J. Henning Nelms, D. D., Rector of Ascension Church.

Franklin D. Roosevelt, Assistant Secretary of the Navy.

Lieutenant Charles C. Slayton, U. S. N.

Major Richard R. Steedman, U. S. A. (retired).

Wisconsin: D. F. Barry, Superior.

Wyoming: Rev. John Roberts, D. D.

Minnesota: James J. Hi'l, Great Northern Railroad Company ; II. E. Stevens,
Chief Engineer Northern Pacific Railroad Company; J. M. Hannaford, \'ice
President Northern Pacific Railroad Company, St. Paul.

publisher's preface

■Part One, Early History of North Dakota, was published in 1913, and three
years later was merged into North Dakota History and People, published by the
S. J. Clarke Publishing Company of Chicago, in connection with two volumes of
biographical sketches. The historical features embraced in that work, with added
matter and illustrations, are now presented in four parts, complete in one volume,
carefully indexed, for home and school use, representing many years of pains-
taking research with verification.

Liberty Press.
Washington, D. C, February 27. 1919.




I. In the Beginning 3

I. (Continued) Outlines of American History 8

II. Occupied for Indian Trade 17

III. The Buffalo Republic 32

IV. Founding of Pembina 40

y. The Louisiana Purchase 53

VI. "When Wild in Woods the Noble Savage Ran" jj

VII. Graft in the Indian Tr.\de 88

VIII. The Northwest Territory — A Chapter Apart 99

IX. The War of 1812 117'

part two

X. Early Exploring Expeditions 143

Xi. The Conquest of the Missouri 158

XII. The Conquest of the Missouri (Continued) 170

XIII. Including the Sioux Massacre of 1862 190

XIV. In the Sioux Country 209

X\'. Dakota Pioneers 224

XVI. The Conquest of the Sioux 241

XVII. The Conquest of the Sioux (Continued) 252

XVIII. Dakota Territory 263

part three

XIX. Dakota Organized 275

XX. Dakota in the Civil and Indian Wars 286

XXI. Politics in Indian Affairs 3^ -

XXII. Transport .^TioN Development 33°

XXIII. Red River Valley Old Settlers' Associ.'Vtion 356

part four

XXIV. Division of the Territory 369

■ XX\'. The North Dakota Constitutional Convention 3S7

XX\T. The State 422





XX Vn. The Codes of North Dakota 446

XXVTII. The Supreme Court 453

XXIX. Prohibition 470

XXX. The Press of North Dakota 483

XXXI. Naming North Dakota Counties 496

XXXII. Stories of Early Days 501

XXXIII. Pioneer Settlers and Settlements 524

XXXIV. History of Banking in North Dakota 546

XXXV. History of Methodism in North Dakota 554

XXXVI. Historical Sketch of the University of North Dakota. . 565

XXXVII. North Dakota Volunteers 577

XXXVIII. The Political Revolution in North Dakota 603

XXXIX. Founding of the Catholic Church in North Dakota 610

XL. Early Presbyterianism in North Dakota 615

XLI. Origin of the School Land System 628

— A Last Word 630



Portrait of the Author Frontispiece

Presidents of the United States, 1789 to 1829 8

George Washington, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, James Madi-
son, James Monroe, John Quincy Adams.

Presidents of the United States, 1829 to 1849 16

Andrew Jackson, Martin Van Buren, William H. Harrison, John
Tyler, James K. Polk, Zachary Taylor.

Presidents of the United States, 1849 to 1869 30

Millard Fillmore, Franklin Pierce, James Buchanan, Abraham
Lincoln, Andrew Johnson.

Presidents of the United States, 1869 to 1889 112

Ulysses S. Grant, Rutherford B. Hayes, James A. Garfield, Chester
A. Arthur, Grover Cleveland.
Presidents of the United States from 1889 to the Present, 1918 (for Cleve-
land, see page 112) 130

Benjamin Harrison, William McKinley, Theodore Roosevelt, Wil-
liam H. Taft, Woodrow Wilson.
Dakota Pioneers: Enos Stutsman, Judson Lamoure, Hugh S. Donaldson,

Charles E. Galpin 226

Xoted Sioux: Sioux Warrior, Crow King. John Grass, Running Antelope. . 240

A group of old time traders 3°8

Robert Wilson, John Smith, "Jack" Morrow and A. C. Leighton.

Koted Sioux: Chief Gaul, Rain-in-the-Face, Sitting Bull and Bull Head 312

Dakota Pioneers : Charles Cavileer, Jean Baptiste Bottineau 326

Dakota Pioneers : Colonel Harry Brownson and Clerks 338

Dakota Pioneers: Erastus A. Williams, Clement A. Lounsberry at 21, Alan-
son W. Edwards, Linda W. Slaughter 39^


Meriwether Lewis and William Clark 60

Chief Little Crow 19°

General John B. S. Todd 218

Joseph Rolette 230

Governor William Jayne 262

Chief Red Cloud 306

Governor William A. Howard 3^0

Dr. Henrs- R. Porter and Charles Reynolds 320




Alax Bass 330

Richard F. Pettigrew, Jefferson P. Kidder, Henry C. Hansbrough and Mor-
gan T. Rich 370

Governor Arthur C. Mellette 372

Governor Nehemiah G. Ordway 378

Walter A. Burleigh 382

Oscar Shemian Gifford 384

Alajor James McLaughlin and Luther Sage Kelly (Yellowstone Kelly).... 418

Governor Eli C. D. Shortridge 426

Governor E. Y. Sarles 430

Governor John Burke 432

Governor Louis B. Hanna 434

Senators Lyman R. Casey and Gilbert A. Pierce 440

Senators Porter J. McCumber, Asle J. Gronna, and Members of Congress

Patrick D. Norton, Geo. M. Young and John "Si. Baer 442

Governor Lynn J. Frazier 606

Reverends O. H. Elmer and I. O. Sloan 618


Territory of Louisiana, 1682-1762 52

Louisiana purchase modified by treaty with Spain, 1819 54

Louisiana, the territory actually delivered, 1804 56

Louisiana purchase and later annexations 58

Great Northern Railway Line, 1914 342

Counties and Congressional districts of North Dakota 602


The First Encounter, — Attack on the Xarragansett Indians at South Kingston 4

Seven Bears at the River, — The Wounded Bear 20

Hunting the Grizzly Bear, — Herds of Bison and Elk on the Upper Missouri 26

Black Diamond (the famous buffalo) 32

Running the buffalo 36

Steamer Selkirk. — Old Fort Pembina, 1840-84 40

Ball Play of the Dakota ( Sioux) Indians 44

United States Flag adopted June 14, 1777 64

A Mandan Village, — Winter Village of the Minetarees 68

Sakakawea, "The Bird Woman" (statue) 74

Portrait of Virginia Grant, granddaughter of Sakakawea ; Sioux women

dancing 76

Fort Clark on the Missouri, February, 1834, — Fort Union on the Missouri,

1834 80

Dog Sledges of the Mandan Indians, — Interior of the Hut of a ]\Iandan

Chief 82

Ponca Indians Encamped on the Banks of the Missouri River, — The Voy-

ageurs at the Portage 92

Red River Cart, 1801-1871, — Grand Forks in 1874 148



Steamer "Yellowstone" ascending the Missouri River, 1833, — Snags, Sunken

Trees on the Missouri 158

Upper Missouri River Scene at "'Drowned Man's Rapids," Steamer "Rose-
bud'" Homeward Bound, — Steamer "Josephine," 1876 ife

Fort Union, 1864 1 70

Horse Racing of Sioux Indians, — Fort ]\IcKenzie, August 28, 1833 176

Sioux Warriors ( Deming) 240

W'hitestone Hill Battle Monument 294

Steamer Far West 324

Main Street, Bismarck, 1872-3, — Indian Travois 334

Views of Minot, 1887-1893 340

First House in Burlington and First Postoffice and Postmaster in Xorth-

western North Dakota '..... 3S6

The March of Civilization ( Sitting Bull and other noted warriors following

the flag) 420

State Flower, — The Wild Rose 422

Battleship "North Dakota" 436

Norwegians Dancing near Red River in Abercrombie, — Girls in Norwegian

Peasant Dress, Abercrombie 500

North Dakota State Flag 576



Tol. I— 1


Early History of North Dakota



"Swiftly walk over the western wave, Spirit of Night."

— Shelley.

In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth, and the earth was without form,
and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon
the face of the waters. And God said, Let there be light, and there was light.

— Holy Scriptures.

Long before the earth took form, the universe existed. Compared with the
whole, the earth's proportion is that of a thought snatched from a busy Hfe,
a leaf from the forest, a grain of sand from the seashore, a chip from the work-
shop of Eternal Energy.

Perhaps it existed in impalpable dust, or fragments left when other worlds
or celestial bodies were created, hurled together by Almighty Force, forming a
burning mass, still burning in the interior, changing but not destroying the
material of which it was made. Gases from the flames still form, and finding
vent at some weak spot, the explosion and the earthquake follow, and portions
shake and tremble, cities are destroyed or buried, and the face of the earth is

Perhaps a crust formed upon the surface of the burning mass when this old
earth was young, which, shrinking as it cooled, gave the mountain ranges and
the depressions which make the beds of the seas and oceans, and out of the vol-
canoes, belching forth their clouds of smoke and gases, came the "darkness"
which "was upon the face of the deep," and when the darkness disappeared, and
life and growth became possible, "the morning stars sang together," for a new
world was born.

And that world took its course among the planets, the portion receiving the
direct rays of the sun becoming tropical, while immense bodies of ice formed at
the poles. "The testimony of the rocks" indicates that wlien the ice was broken
loose, and plowed over the surface of the earth, it was miles in depth. It broke
down, and ground to gravel and dust, mountain ranges, leaving here and there



the boulders, forming new valleys and new plains, burying the immense mass of
vegetation of that earlier period, giving to the world its fields of coal.

■ Perhaps, under this enormous accumulation of ice, the earth was changed in
its axis, possibly by some convulsion of nature. The fact that a large portion of
North Dakota was, time and time again, beneath the waters, is apparent to any
observer, and in all of the eastern part of the state, the work of the ice is as
visible as the stitches of a seamstress upon a completed garment.

Neither life nor light was possible in the earth's earlier stages, and after the
creation of all other forms of life, man appeared, and into his organization there
was carried every element in nature, whether on the earth, in the waters which
surrounded the earth, or in the atmosphere— whether in the chattering ape or
creeping thing, in beast or bird, in fish or fowl, in life-supporting or life-destroying
principle, and to all these life was added, breathed into inan, created indeed
from the dust of the earth by Divine Energy. And what is life? We may fol-
low matter and find it in its changing form, but when life passes from its earthly
tenement, who can say whither it goeth ?

Man ate of the tree of knowledge. That was God-given, and its use brings
its reward and its punishment, but death is essential to development, and is as
natural as birth. The seasons come, and the seasons go ; winter has its work
no less than summer ; the flowers bloom and fade, and so man is born, matures,
and falls into decay, and, like the dead worlds which have performed their mis-
sions, passes into dust to be born again into some new form of life.

"The stars shine over the earth,

The stars shine over the sea;
The stars look up to the mighty God,
The stars look down on me.
• The stars have lived a million years,

A million years and a day ;
But God and I shall love and live

When the stars have passed away."

— Rev. Jabez Thomas Sunderland.

When man appeared upon the face of the earth the strenuous life began.
Doubtless from the beginning he "earned his bread by the sweat of his brow"
and the quiet life of Abel invited the first flow of human blood, which has formed
a continuous trail that marks the course of human development. Without blood-
shed there has been no advancement, without bloodshed no redemption ; no great
reforms have ever gained a masterly headway without bloodshed ; no nation has
ever been established without its baptism of blood.

Persecution in the old world led to the peopling of the new, and every step
in the development of the new world is marked by huinan blood. There was
war between the French and the English colonists, war between the Dutch and
their neighbors, and cruelty in most revolting form by those who sailed under
the flag of Spain and gained a permanent foothold in the country west of the
Mississippi River. And from the beginning the whites were at war with the
reds, driving them from one section, then another, destroying their homes, taking
from them their wealth of game, and planting within their breasts hatred almost
undying. Who does not remember the pathetic words of Tah-gah-jute called

From Abbott's King Philip.

Ficiiii Al)'s Kill- Philip.' 1 ■


"Logan?" He was the son of a white man reared among the Indians, and was
known as a Mingo chief — a common term for those Iroquois living beyond the
proper boundaries of the tribe. He was named for James Logan, colonial secre-
tary of Pennsylvania, his father's friend. All the members of his family were
killed in the spring of 1774, while crossing a river in a canoe, and after the
defeat of the Indians in the bloody war which followed, instead of suing for
peace with the rest, he sent this message to be delivered to John Murray Dun-
more, the last royal governor of Virginia.


"I appeal to any white man to say if he ever entered Logan's cabin hungry,
and he gave him no meat; if ever he came cold and naked, and he clothed him
not. During the last long and bloody war, Logan remained idle in his cabin, an
advocate of peace. Such was my love for the whites that my countrymen pointed
as they passed by, and said, 'Logan is the friend of the white man.' I had even
thought to have lived with you, had it not been for the injuries of one man,

Online LibraryClement A. (Clement Augustus) LounsberryEarly history of North Dakota; essential outlines of American history → online text (page 1 of 83)