Monday, February 13, 2012

The Treaty of Fort Abraham Lincoln, or The Treaty of 1875

Soldiers practice on the parade ground of Fort Abraham Lincoln. The Commissary sits in the background (left) and Captain Tom Custer's bachelor officer's quarters (background, right).
The Treaty of Fort Abraham Lincoln
The Treaty of 1875
By Dakota Wind
FORT ABRAHAM LINCOLN, D.T. (MANDAN, N.D.) - In May, 1875, Fort Abraham Lincoln served a purpose much the same as the United States serves in the Middle East in recent times, that of intermediary between two warring nations. It worked then about as much as it works today.


Fort Abraham Lincoln was built partly on the remains of the Mandan Indian village site, On-A-Slant, located on the west bank of the Missouri River, across from Bismarck, Dakota Territory. Fort Abraham Lincoln is also built at the convergence of the Heart River and Missouri River, where in 1803, a battle between the Ihanktowana Dakota and the previous claimants to this locale was fought, it ended in victory for the Dakota and the contested land became part of “Sioux” territory.


After the treaty was signed, a great celebration at Fort Abraham Lincoln ensued lasting several days. There was feasting and dancing, but after the parties returned to their respective agencies, conflict resumed.

The Indian Scout standing on the porch wearing a military blanket is often misidentied as Bloody Knife, an Arikara Indian and General Custer's favorite scout. Bloody Knife stood about 5'7". The Indian in this picture is most probably the Hunkpapa Lakota Indian Scout Long Soldier who stood at 7' (observe his height in relation to the front door). Long Soldier served at Fort Abraham Lincoln. A leader of his band of Hunkpapa, he signed the treaty of Fort Abraham Lincoln.

Fort Abraham Lincoln served as host to the Hunkpapa Lakota, the Sihasapa Lakota, the Ihanktowana Dakota (Yanktonai), the Sahnish (Arikara), the Hidatsa (Gros Ventres), and the Nu’Eta (Mandan). Here follows the text of the Treaty of Fort Abraham Lincoln:


TREATY BETWEEN THE YANKTONAI, HUNKPAPA, AND BLACKFOOT SIOUX AND THE ARIKARA, HIDATSA, AND MANDAN

May 29, 1875

Whereas war has prevailed for many years between the Sioux Indians on one side and the Arickaree, Mandan, and Gros Ventres on the other, and whereas, it is now the desire of the Yanctonnais, Uncpapa and Blackfeet bands of the Sioux Nations and of the Arickaree, Mandan and Gros Ventres to put an end to such hostilities forever:--


We, the undersigned chiefs and headmen of the tribes and people above named do solemnly and in good faith promise—


First


That we the undersigned chiefs and headmen of the Sioux Nations and the people we here represent will from this day forward live in peace and friendship with the chiefs and headmen of the Arickaree, Mandan and Gros Ventres and the people they here represent, and that we will exert all our power and influence over our people to prevent them or any of them from committing any unfriendly or hostile acts against the Arickaree, Mandan and Gros Ventres.


Second


That we the understood chiefs and headmen of the Arickaree, Mandan and Gros Ventres tribes of Indians and the people we here represent will from this day forward live in peace and friendship with the chiefs and headmen of the Yanctonnais, Uncpapa and Blackfeet bands of the Sioux Nation and the people they here represent, and that we will exert all our power and influence over our people to prevent them or any of them from committing unfriendly or hostile against the people of individuals of the tribe of Sioux represented in this council.


Third


That we the chiefs and headmen of the Yanctonnais, Uncpapa and Blackfeet tribes of Sioux will use all our power and influence toward preventing Sioux of the Cheyenne River Agency from committing hostile or unfriendly acts against the Arickaree, Mandan and Gros Ventres.


Fourth


That we the undersigned chiefs and headmen of the Arickaree, Mandan and Gros Ventres of Indians will use all our power and influence towards preventing hostile or unfriendly acts on the parts of the people we represent against the Sioux of the Cheyenne River Agency.


Five


That if any of the chiefs and headmen who have signed this treaty shall learn that their young men are engaged in organizing expeditions or war parties intended to or likely to violate this treaty, they will forthwith inform their Agents in order that he may take such measure as will prevent any violation of the treaty made and entered into this day.


Done at Fort Abraham Lincoln, Dakota Territory, this 29th day of May, A.D. 1875, in presence of


                                                                        W.P. Carlin


                                                                        Lieut. Colonel 17th Infantry


                                                                        Commdg Fort A. Lincoln D.T.


L.B. Sperry                                                      John Burke


U.S. Indian Agent for the Arickarees,      U.S. Indian Agent for the Sioux Tribes


Gros Ventres, and Mandan Indians.


Arickaree      Son of the Stars        [x]        Lower             Two Bears                  [x]


                        White Shield              [x]        Yanctonnais  Mad Bear                  [x]


Gros Ventres Crow Breast              [x]                                Bulls Ghost                 [x]


                        Lean Wolf                  [x]        Uncpapa       Running Antelope   [x]


Mandans       Bad Gun                    [x]                                Thunder Hawk          [x]


                        Flag Lance                [x]                                Bear’s Rib                  [x]


                                                                                                Slave                          [x]


                                                                                                Long Soldier              [x]


                                                                                                Bears Eye                   [x]


                                                                        Blackfeet       The Grass                   [x]


                                                                                                Fire Heart                   [x]


                                                                                                Sitting Crow              [x]


                                                                        Upper             Wolf Necklace         [x]


                                                                        Yanctonnais  Black Eye                   [x]


Signed in Quadruplicate


one copy given to Sioux Agent John Burke


one copy given to Ree, Mandan and Gros Ventres Agent L.B. Sperry


one copy forwarded to Headqrs, Dept. Of Dakota


one copy retained at Post headquarters


                                                                        James Calhoun


                                                                        1st Lieut 7th Cavalry


                                                                        Adjutant