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.
TREATY BETWEEN THE YANKTONAI, HUNKPAPA, AND BLACKFOOT SIOUX AND THE ARIKARA, HIDATSA, AND
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—
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.
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.
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.
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.
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,
this 29th day of May, A.D. 1875, in presence of
Lieut. Colonel 17th Infantry
Commdg Fort A. Lincoln D.T.
L.B. Sperry John Burke
Gros Ventres, and
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]
Flag Lance [x] Bear’s Rib [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,
and Gros Ventres Agent L.B. Sperry Mandan
one copy forwarded to Headqrs, Dept. Of Dakota
one copy retained at Post headquarters
1st Lieut 7th Cavalry