AS a minister of the Gospel, Bishop Hare found a people with primitive religious instincts responsive to the spiritual elements of Christian belief. Again and again his thought reverted with satisfaction to one of his first journeys and the meeting with a chief who, receiving him courteously inside a tepee, listened unmoved for some time to the message he brought. "As I talked on, however," said Bishop Hare, "an Indian motioned to another near by to lend him his pipe. Tobacco pouch and pipe were produced, and the owner, having filled the bowl with tobacco, handed the stem to his companion and touched a live coal to the tobacco. The latter took a puff or two, and, as the smoke was wafted by the heat of the fire towards the sky, lifted the pipe, pointing it toward heaven, and simply but reverently said, 'I smoke to God.'" Bishop Hare liked also to tell of a chief who once illustrated for him the religious courtesy of the Sioux by saying, "We Indians have no paper from God [no Bible]; but we pray to God; and when we think we have something that will please Him, like a piece of meat, or skin, we lift it up and ask Him to take it and have "pity on us." Their sense of chivalry appealed to him, their vigor of thought and speech. "You white men come to teach us!" said one of them. "You white men killed the Son of God. Our people never did anything like that." Their mysticism touched him. "These Indians," he said, in the course of an early speech in New York, "generally do not pass the age of sixteen or seventeen without getting in some way or other a deep sense, a vivid sense, of some particular spirit who shall be their patron God. It is very common for their boys of that age to go aside and seclude themselves, fast days and nights, until they have got their bodies in such condition that all sorts of strange hallucinations come over them. Then they think they see a muskrat coming to them, or an elk, and it is singing a song, and they hear the muskrat say that if in the hour of extremity they will appeal to him and sing that song, this spirit will always come to them and be their guardian spirit. Our boys here of sixteen or seventeen never--at least I did not--fast day and night for two or three days to get a keener sense of the invisible. I say these people are an intensely religious people. You must not hand them over to mere civilization."
The singing muskrat and elk are characteristic figures in the folk-lore which provided the Sioux with their religion. The primitiveness of it all may be illustrated by a Dakota tradition narrated with much earnestness by the old Chief Red Cloud to members of the Black Hills Commission visiting the Red Cloud Agency in September, 1876. It was printed in the June, 1878, number of Anpao or The Daybreak, a Dakota journal established by Bishop Hare. If the legend seems unduly long, its significance and this opportunity to put it on record may plead in extenuation.
"Red Cloud began by asking Gen. Gaylord, then legal adviser for the Interior Department, whether he, or any of the gentlemen present, had ever heard of a mule's giving birth to a young one. When all had said 'no,' with some surprise at his curious inquiry, he replied that neither had he or any of the Dakotas heard of such a thing yet, but that after we were all dead it would occur, and with that event the Indian and white races would become one people, and there would be no more wars or trouble between them, for they would then both be alike in appearance, interests, customs, habits, etc. God, he said, has particularly favored you white men in all respects, and given to the Indian that which was of less value, yet we Indians have ever listened to His words, and been content with our lot as assigned to us by Him, while you white and highly favored ones, have always been disobedient and dissatisfied. He gave to the whites the land of the East, toward the rising sun, in which direction ever we must look for light and warmth, and from whence comes most that must administer to life and happiness; a land rich, productive, beautiful and salubrious: but He gave to us the Western land, where the warmth of day is extinguished, and darkness rises over the world; a land by no means to be compared in other respects with yours, sterile, unlovely, and waste. Yet the Indian has ever been satisfied with the country in which God put him, loving it with a strong love, and desiring to hold it firmly, but never to push out from it into that better country allotted by God to his brother, the white man. On the other hand the white man, highly favored as he was, ever rebellious against God's designs for him and discontented with his lot, has never ceased to covet his red brother's country, and turning his back upon the light, and leaving behind him what God in His wisdom knew to be the best of the world and so had given to the white man as his share, has always tried to crowd the Indian; throwing away that which was best and his own by Divine appointment to steal that which was worst from his less favored brother. Again God sent to the white man his only Son to be his guide and teacher--the best gift possible for him to bestow--but they despised His teachings and crucified their Saviour. To the Indians God sent his daughter--a woman. She came on earth about the same time His Son came to the whites, and lived and taught among a tribe of the Dakotas on the upper Missouri. They loved, respected and obeyed her, and have ever treasured her words as the words of God to them, and looked forward to the fulfillment of her prophecies for their people. She came in a cloud from Heaven, and was first seen by two young men who were out hunting buffalo. One of these youths was virtuous and desired only what was pure and good, the other was of bad character and evil habits. As they went over the prairie far from their homes, they saw at a short distance from them a beautiful white maiden with golden hair and perfect form. As they stood filled with admiration for her graceful form the bad young man suggested that this was an opportunity which they should not lose to obtain for themselves a woman of such rare beauty, and proposed that they should seize and take her captive. The other protested strongly against such a wicked act, but to no purpose. His companion rushed forward and was about to lay his hand upon her when suddenly with a noise like that of a powerful whirlwind both she and the young man were enveloped in a cloud. This cloud took the form of a cone, beautiful from the top to where it rested on the earth with colors in order: at the top bright scarlet, then blue, yellow, white and black. The white and black represent the white race, and the others are the colors of the Indians. Scarlet being at the top meant that it was the highest order, and hence the Dakotas prize it above all the rest and use it and the others for painting themselves, ornamenting their pipes, blankets, etc. The cloud gradually arose and disappeared from sight but nothing was ever found of the bad young man but his bones lying on the prairie where the cloud had rested. The maiden told the good young man that she would meet him at a certain time in a particular lodge and vanished from sight. She met him according to this appointment, and as the Dakotas had no books she gave to them a pipe (which they still have) that his people might remember her words and the future of the Indian race which she revealed to him as follows: It was that the Indian, from the first the less favored race, was to be the first to pass away, or rather to be merged into the more favored one. There were yet ten generations to come, and at the end of those generations a mule should give birth to a young one, and with that event the Indian race and white race should become one. 'Now,' said Red Cloud (somewhat in error as to his chronology), 'seven of those generations have passed away and but three yet remain to the Indian. This is the decree of God, made known to us by his daughter--you have not the power to alter that decree or to hasten the set time--let us live in peace until the appointed season, and then the Indians will cease as a race, and the white man will possess both them and all else.' "
The element of imagination revealed in this legend, joined with the other Indian qualities already mentioned, made the soil of their nature fertile for the labors of a man with just such a nature as Bishop Hare's. The chivalric and romantic elements in him responded quickly to corresponding traits in the Indians. This response was always under the control of a strong element of common sense. His own conception of his duty as a missionary was set forth clearly in a letter which he wrote in 1875 to a clergyman who was planning to join his force of workers: "You are about to enter a work where a hopeful and kindly heart and a high sense of duty are the first requisites. I pray you to make the possession of them your earnest endeavor. Your duties will be to teach school daily and to prove yourself a friend of the Indians in every way, however practical and humble, which interested ingenuity can devise." Of the broader aspect of the duties of his clergy, he wrote, in extolling the services of such laymen as Mr. William Welsh:
"We want 'priests,' if that word conveys to the mind the idea that our ministers are not merely elected officers, but bear a commission from on high; we want 'priests,' if by priests are meant not only men whose lips keep knowledge, but men who delight in offering the sacrifice of prayer and praise, and clothing Divine service with holy beauty. But we want them not if by 'priests' are meant men who are mere clericals, who do not wish to think as laymen think; men who hate lay counsel and love to have their own way; men who, according to a living English writer's definition of a priest, are 'persons necessary to our intercourse with God, without being necessary or beneficial to us morally.' Such priests, we venture to affirm, will find in the end, in this age, that the only persons who want them are those whom one of the brethren has aptly termed 'silly women of both sexes.' "
To his own company of priests and deacons, he soon added the orders of native "Lay-Helpers" and "Catechists" whose duty it was to prepare the catechumens properly for the rite of baptism. The order of Catechists was a deliberate revival of an institution of the early Church, adapted equally to pagan regions of the new world and to the pagan world of old. A letter to his Catechists in 1877 shows with what painstaking detail he mapped out the functions of his subordinates. This carefulness for the minutiae of his task manifested itself in a multitude of forms, yet never blinded him, as the trees may obscure a forest, to his central purpose as a teacher and preacher of the Christian religion. In preaching to the Indians themselves he was fortunate in being able to exercise a native gift of directness and homely imagery closely akin to the Indians' own methods of expression. Of his words to them, delivered through white and native interpreters, there are of course but fragmentary records. In The Daybreak for July, 1878, there is the report of one of his addresses, interpreted by the Rev. Luke C. Walker, an Indian, which will give at least a partial impression of the character of these talks:
"The Jews," he said, "were the chosen people of God in the midst of a heathen world. They differed from other nations specially in three particulars, to-wit: they were the people of a Book, the people of an Oath, and a Royal people. The people of a Book in that they alone had the Word of God; the people of an Oath in that they were bound by an Oath to keep God's law, and He was bound by an Oath to protect them in it; a Royal people in that, through their relations to the King of kings, all things in His kingdom served them, and, in proportion as they themselves were faithful, administered to their comfort. So of all Christian peoples, and so too now of those Dakotas who had embraced Christianity. They were coming to be known among the other Dakotas as their people of a Book. They were different from the rest hi that they had books, and especially the Book of all books, God's written Word. They also were a people of an Oath. When urged to join in heathen dances and customs as of old, their reply was: 'No, we cannot, we have taken an oath to give up all these things and follow Christ.' Their baptismal and confirmation oaths made them now a peculiar people. They too were growing to be a Royal people. As for the untaught heathen, the sun burned them in summer, and they perished from cold and nakedness in winter; beasts and birds, even their own and only means of support, the buffalo, fled from them, and the earth produced nothing for their sustenance. Christian Indians, on the other hand, were learning to provide comfortable homes and warm clothing against the rigors of the climate; beasts grew tame at their hand and served them, the earth began to bring forth her increase in abundance for their support; they were a Royal people."
Stronger than all the other appeals which the Indians made to Bishop Hare was the appeal of their essential humanity. In June of 1873 he wrote: "The sum of the whole matter is this: the Indians are Men. We differ from them in degree, not in kind. Exactly where, or nearly where, they now are, we once were; what we are now, they will (if not absolutely, yet according to their measure) by God's blessing yet become. This is my wish. This is my prayer. This is my belief." Concerning the unexpectedness of their offenses against good order he wrote in later years: "All this is thoroughly Indian, but very thoroughly Indian because completely human." Because so human they deserved, in his eyes, the same opportunities for development that make other human beings what they are. So many of the opportunities are those of educational training that the problem of schools immediately presented itself with the force already indicated in the passage quoted from the "Reminiscences." The Indians were all as children, and all needed what good schools could give them. But there was no possibility of giving it to any but the young. Hence the early concentration upon the conduct of Boarding Schools. One good reason to hope for their success was naively expressed by a Christian Indian, formerly "one of the most exultant warriors of the dare-devil sort," who came to Bishop Hare in the early days and asked to have his grandchildren baptized. "Are their parents Christians?" asked the Bishop. "No," said the Indian, "they are not, but I am." He continued, "I have noticed that old antelopes are very wild and scary, and our hunters find it very hard to catch them. So they catch the young ones. The old ones come to seek their young, and then our hunters catch them too. And I thought, if you would take and baptize these little grandchildren of mine, you might catch their parents too."
The passage from the "Reminiscences" in the previous chapter will have shown the general ideas controlling Bishop Hare's course in the important matter of education. It is possible here somewhat to elaborate this showing by contemporary glimpses at the Boarding School work. The school at the Santee Agency under the Rev. S. D. Hinman was developed in less than a year from Bishop Hare's coming to his jurisdiction into Saint Mary's Boarding School for Girls. At the Crow Creek Agency another school for girls was soon opened, and at Cheyenne Agency a school for hoys. At Yank-ton Agency, which immediately became the Bishop's residence, he established Emmanuel Hall, a school for girls, and--most important of all, since he made it his home and looked to it primarily for the training of native teachers for the Indians--St. Paul's School for Boys. For all of these institutions there was abundant need. Though the Indians in general believed that their children would develop better if left wholly to themselves, there were those, besides the maker of the antelope similitude, who saw the value of the new opportunities offered to them. One of them was reported by Bishop Hare as saying: "My friends, all animals take care of their young. No--I am mistaken. One animal does not. It is the mud-turtle. It comes up out of the water, and lays its eggs in the sand, and then goes back to the water, and leaves them to take care of themselves. When the young turtles are hatched, they run right down to the water. I think the Great Spirit teaches them. Their parents do not.
"We Dakotas, my friends, are those mud-turtles. We are unlike other men. We have not taught our children. The Great Spirit has taught them direct, I think. Otherwise they could not have lived at all. And now I think that as the Great Spirit has been so kind to us when we were foolish, we ought to be very thankful to him and try, henceforth, to teach our children wisdom as well as we can."
The wisdom offered to them in Bishop Hare's boarding-schools--long before the principles of industrial training had won their present repute--was that which they needed most for everyday living. "The ideas which governed me," he wrote, "in laying out the whole boarding-school work of the jurisdiction, were, that the schools should be plain and practical and not calculated to engender fastidious tastes and habits, which would make the pupils unhappy in, and unfitted for, the lowly and hard life to which their people are called; that, as the Indians have not been accustomed to labor, the school training should be such as would not only cultivate their intellect, but also develop their physical functions and teach them to do well the common acts of daily humble life." The carrying of Christian influences back into their uncivilized homes was of course a fundamental part of the plan.
A letter written within nine months of the beginning of his work tells with what energy the useful service of St. Paul's School was instituted:
"YANKTON AGENCY, DAK., Jan. 5,1874.
"My Dear Miss Emery:
"Very happily I am able to begin a letter about St. Paul's Boarding School on this Feast of the Epiphany, for it has all along been my hope in planning the school and in putting it into operation, that it would prove to the wilder tribes about us through the reports of travelers what the heaven-given star was to men of old, who sat in darkness, a bright interesting attractive sight awakening from their slumber and starting them off to find the Light.
"Now for some report of the School and its workings:
"The School building is completed, furnished throughout, and occupied, and has been for three or four weeks. I say completed, not absolutely, for the attic is not yet fitted up for a second dormitory as I intend that it eventually shall be, nor is the woodwork of the building painted, but all is done that it was purposed to do at first, my object being to keep the first expense down to the lowest figure possible.
"The building is of chalk stone and built rather with view to comfort, economy and practical use than with an eye to beauty. Beauty, especially with a stone building and in this far-off place, is a costly luxury. All I claim for it is that it is substantial, well adapted to its end, and a structure such as a practical business man if he had given largely towards its erection would not be ashamed to see.
"Its situation is commanding, being upon the slope of the bluff towards the Missouri River and high above all the other buildings about.
"It is a little over forty feet front, fifty-six feet deep, with a wing on the west twenty-eight feet by sixteen. There is a fine cellar, eight feet high, cemented, and dry as a second floor room in New York, under the whole house, so good indeed that it will be possible to partition portions of it off, when that course becomes necessary, for a dining-room and kitchen for the scholars.
"The attic has a sloping roof, but could be readily fitted up so as to accommodate ten double beds. The building is divided into two parts in both the first and second stories by a hall which runs the extreme length from the front to the rear. The rooms on the right of the hall as one enters are for the Mission family and for guests. On the first floor, first the parlor, then my bedroom, then my study, then Rev. Mr. Cook's bedroom, and last the office, where Mr. Cook is on hand to receive the Indians who come by the dozen during each day to complain, to consult, to seek help and to chat, and others reserved for the use of visitors and for other purposes.
"On the left of the hall on the first floor are the schoolroom, the dining-rooms, one for the Dakotas, and one for the family, and the kitchen. Upstairs, corresponding to these rooms, is a large dormitory, part of which is partitioned off for the Niobrara Storeroom until a better place can be had. We began operations by admitting five picked boys a little over two weeks ago and since then have admitted four more. There was no lack of applicants for admission, but I limited the number because only a portion of the sheets and pillow cases, shirts and drawers prepared for us by friends at the East had arrived, and also and chiefly because I thought that the school had better be a growth than a sudden creation, in order that those who are in authority in it might become accustomed to their duties, and in order that I might imbue a few with the spirit and drill them in the habits which I wish to prevail in the School and thus secure a power ready at hand to influence for good those who will be admitted a little later. The plan has worked admirably thus far, and I would not have believed that the first two weeks of our experiment could bring so few frictions and annoyances. The boys admitted are all thus far Yanktons. I expect to have soon some Poncas (among them there, one of the three children who were adopted by the Mission during the time Mr. Dorsey and his mother, Mrs. Stanforth, were at Ponca) and some Santees, whom I have not been able to unite hitherto, on account of smallpox.
"Of the boys admitted, one is twelve years old, one thirteen, three fourteen, two fifteen, one seventeen, and one is twenty-one.
"My plan is to make the School so far as possible self-serving, i. e., to make the boys take care of themselves and of the house. For this purpose they are divided into three squads and to each squad is assigned for one week one particular department of work. One squad is the Dormitory Squad, whose duty is to make the beds and keep the dormitory and some other rooms in order. Another squad is the Table Squad, whose duty it is to set the table and wash the dishes, etc. A third is the Outdoor Squad, whose province it is to bring wood, run errands, go for milk, etc. Each day when the several squads have discharged their respective duties, they all unite and work at leveling and cleaning up the grounds, and it is a pleasant sight to see them busy with pick, shovel, and wheelbarrows and merry all the while as larks. They take to work better than I dared expect. Perhaps novelty gives the task a charm. By ten o'clock all manual work for the morning is over and the boys go into school for two hours. Then dinner and recess till two o'clock, then work again till three, then school till five. God bless the work thus happily begun and prepare us who are here and those who help us at the East for what must come--some trials and discouragements!"
Bishop Hare's son recalls a visit to his father at the School, where he arrived even before the pupils were received. "The plaster in it had not dried; there was no means of heating it except by sheet-iron stoves placed in each room. The only fuel was cottonwood, which burned like tinder, and made the stove red-hot for half an hour and then rapidly died down unless refed. On going to bed at night the room was comfortably warm. On arising in the morning its temperature was often below zero and the dampness in the plaster had turned into frost on the walls. When the cottonwood fire got fairly started, this moisture would trickle down the walls. This went on for many days and nights. As all food had to be hauled by wagon for sixty miles, it was most limited in variety and none too good. The only water obtainable was that of the muddy Missouri River flowing at the rate of four miles an hour under eighteen inches of ice, and it was customary to send a wagon loaded with barrels to the river, to cut a hole in the ice, fill the barrels with water, and drag them about half a mile up the bluff to the School. There was, therefore, no water for ordinary bathing and very little for any other purpose. The cold was so great, I remember, that even the chickens, which were allowed to roost in the stable where the horses were, all lost their combs through frostbite. At this time the Indians were still disposing of their dead on scaffolds, and erected one not far from the schoolhouse, upon which they laid a corpse, and then killed a horse underneath in order that the warrior might have something to ride on in the Happy Hunting Grounds. Meat was obtained by killing a steer, quartering, and then laying it at the foot of the haystack where it remained frozen for as many days or weeks as passed before it was devoured."
Writing to the Secretary and General Agent of the Indian Commission in New York, Bishop Hare himself described the effects of a winter storm in his new residence:
"YANKTON AGENCY, Jan. 8, 1875.
"We have now a terrific storm upon us; the mercury 23° below zero; wind blowing almost a hurricane. We quail before it in our stone building. God pity the poor Indians in their tepees! . . . The boys while asleep instinctively hugged themselves, heads and all, under the clothes, and I believe slept through it all. The Dormitory looked this morning more like a snow-bank than a bedroom.
"On the sounding of the 'Rising Bell' the boys were lifted from their snowy beds and carried to the other end of the room, from which they scampered away, without much regard to appearances, crying out, 'Osnido! it's very cold!' to the warm wash-room on the floor below.
"Our water privileges hardly deserve the name. When the water for this large household of fifty people has to be dipped in buckets from the river and hauled in barrels a quarter of a mile, while the temperature is so low, that which is water one moment is (to exaggerate a little) ice the next. The boys who constitute the Water Squad have done their duty nobly throughout this whole cold term of ten days, during which the mercury has each morning ranged from 5° to 23° below zero. The Wood-Chopping Squad deserves equal credit. Our consumption of fuel in this school and in Emmanuel Hall near by is enormous. The boys have to cut all the wood in the open air and, even with the violent exercise of wood-chopping, it is a question often whether they can generate as much heat as old Boreas can cold. Of course we save them all we can, and they are required to do nothing which the head master and other teachers do not join in.
"I went down to Emmanuel Hall this morning soon after breakfast to see how they fared there. The storm had evidently been playing hide and seek through the old church and as if to put the best face on its sacrilege had left as the only token of its pranks in holy places the most delicate festoons and tracery work of snow as light as gossamer. Emmanuel Hall, which adjoins the church on the west, being new and well built, had stood the storm pretty well, but the force of the driving wind manages to sift the snow, which in this country is as light as a feather and as fine as dust, through cracks and crannies which are so small that the eye cannot easily discern them, and therefore though I say that Emmanuel Hall stood the storm pretty well, I do not mean to deny that the snow was gathered together out of some of the more exposed rooms by the shovelful."
In quite another vein, the vein in which he spoke to children and to Indians, is the following letter. Though addressed to younger readers, it tells so much of the life and work of the early boarding schools that it should not be lost.
"YANKTON AGENCY, DAK., Nov. 30, 1877.
"To the Children of the Church, and Other Benefactors of Boarding Schools in the Missionary Jurisdiction of Niobrara.
"MY DEAR FRIENDS: It is Thanksgiving Day. We have had a bright and pleasant Fall, but to-day is terrible. The mercury is down to a few degrees above zero. The wind has blown a gale for two days and two nights, and it blows a gale still. It rattles the windows. It howls around the corners of the house. It scours the gravel from our walks. It has parched the earth so that it has cracked like the mud at the bottom of a dried-up pond in the heat of summer. The Missouri River even, one of the longest of rivers, which was a great rushing torrent a mile wide last June, has left almost all its bed uncovered, sunk into its lowest channel and put on a coating of ice, as if it had done airing itself and was prudently wrapping itself close in a white blanket for a long winter night's sleep. Look which way one will, but one living creature is to be seen, a solitary Indian who has dismounted from his saddle, and is running ahead of his horse, pulling him by the bridle, and stamping his feet to keep himself warm.
"But I am not thinking of the biting wind which howls outside. I am sitting in my room and have just fallen into a reverie. And in my reverie, I seemed to myself to have a vision of all the young people whom I love--the children who have written me letters and cheered my heart, the children of the Sunday-schools and Bible-classes which I have addressed, and the children who support Scholarships in my Boarding Schools--and from the East and West and North and South, they all seemed to come trooping toward me. I forgot all about the wind and cold, so distinctly did I seem to see their smiling faces, and so warm did my heart grow as their bright eyes seemed to say, 'Some of us have never seen you; but we all love you, Bishop, for your work's sake.' Closer and closer they seemed to press about me, when suddenly I was roused from my reverie by hearing them say, 'Bishop, tell us all about your Mission to the Indians.' By all means, dear children. Not only tell you about it, but show it to you.
"The bell is ringing for our Thanksgiving dinner. Suppose you and I all go down to the dining-room together. What do we see? A long table; on the table turkey, cranberry-sauce, and whatever good things our thoughtful lady helpers have been able to get together; and around the table an eager throng. At one end the missionary, Mr. Cook; at the other the headmaster of St. Paul's School, Mr. Young. At the middle, on one side, the Bishop, with the house-mother, Miss Ives, on his right, and her associate, Sister Mary, on the left; opposite, Raeburn, a teacher; while everywhere else are crowding, yet orderly, thirty-one Indian boys, all of them empty yet big with expectation. I need not tell you how the dinner disappeared. You know yourselves from experience how it is with Thanksgiving dinners.
"But now the dinner is done, and I call the whole party to order, and address the boys as follows: 'Boys, when white people have a feast like this, they think of their friends who are absent. Let us think now of our absent fathers and mothers, and brothers and sisters, and our friends and benefactors, and, as we do so, let all of us take our cups into our hands, and pray God to fill their cups with peace and happiness.' Every boy seizes his stone-china mug, lifts it, and a smile on every face and a hearty 'How! How!' from every lip, tell that the white Bishop's heart and the Indian's heart have flowed together. 'Now, boys, we sit in a warm room, and have had a good dinner; let us remember how many to-day are cold and hungry; how many old Indian women are shivering in their wigwams as they hold their long thin fingers to the fire. Sha'n't we think of them, and pray God to think of them?' A shadow passes over their faces, for they have known what life in the wigwam in bitter weather is, and they respond to my sentiment in a subdued 'How!' And so toast after toast is given, enthusiasm kindles, and in the conviction that our boys are happy, the missionary, the headmaster, the Bishop (and even our lady-helpers!) are boys again.
"Now how much more attractive Indians are when you love them than when you fight them! How much better it is to give them Christian education than to let them grow up wild to entrap and massacre our soldiers, as these boys' fellow-countrymen did with Ouster's gallant troop! I have heard it said, 'Indians were made to be food for powder.' But has not our Thanksgiving dinner clearly shown that turkeys were made to be food for them?
"But a scene like this which I have described will gladden your eyes at a good many other schools besides St. Paul's. Let us hurry in imagination down to Emmanuel Hall (a few hundred yards off) and look in upon Mrs. Draper and Miss Hicks and their flock of twenty girls; and then off to St. Mary's Boarding School among the Santees (it is a day's journey, but in imagination we can make it in a trice) and salute Miss Kerbach and Miss Norris and their score of Santee girls; and then five days' travel up the Missouri River (stopping for a moment to say, 'How d'ye do!' to Mr. Burt, whom we shall find unpacking boxes containing articles for the Boarding School which he expects to open in a few weeks) to the Yanktonnais Indians, where we shall greet Mrs. Duigan and her school of twenty-four, 'all so happy,' she writes me, 'that I sometimes think that some great trouble will come to us.'
"Now for another journey, and in three days we find ourselves at one of our most distant Missions with Mr. and Mrs. Swift and Miss Bell, near the Cheyenne River Agency. Want of accommodations keeps their school down to ten. Indeed, want of accommodation keeps every part of their work down. Rarely have I participated in services more moving than those I have joined in this Mission. To confirm twenty-four adults on a Sunday morning, as I have done here, among some of the wildest tribes of Sioux, and in the afternoon see a whole congregation, young and old, a chief and some head-men stand up to answer together some of the questions of the Catechism, is enough to make the coolest lift up his hands and exclaim, 'What hath God wrought!'
"I wish that there were time for me to take you on a visiting tour to all our churches as well as to our schools, for, after all, our Boarding Schools are but a small portion of our work; but I must bring this long letter to a close. . . . And before I say Good-by, let me tell you that since I began to write this letter (in which I have been several times interrupted) the evening has been stealing on, the gale has subsided, quiet reigns, and the stars are shining.
"Your very grateful and affectionate friend,
"WILLIAM H. HARE,
"Missionary Bishop of Niobrara."
A year after this letter was written Bishop Hare told something of the efforts the Indian boys themselves made to enter St. Paul's School. He had recently met on the prairie two boys trudging from their homes at Santee, thirty-five miles away. A white boy driving with him--indeed his own son, then about fourteen years old--exclaimed that he would never walk thirty-five miles to go to boarding-school, and Bishop Hare admitted that as a boy no more would he have done it. But another Indian boy made his way on foot to St. Paul's from Flandreau, a hundred and fifty miles away, and two others from Cheyenne Agency, a distance of two hundred miles.
With "all outdoors" as home to run away to, there were some at first who fled from the restraints of a routine life. There were difficulties, too, with parents; some half or wholly hostile; others so friendly that they made themselves a nuisance by sitting about with loaded rifles on their knees to guard the teachers against possible attacks; all ignorant of the rights of privacy and walking unbidden into any room the teachers might occupy. But one by one the difficulties were overcome. A wise accommodation of means to ends appears in an account of an early commencement at St. Paul's where the "meritorious," the "very meritorious," the "most meritorious" pupils received as prizes respectively a pair of chickens, a pig, and a heifer apiece, to be held conditionally until the school course was finished, and to become their absolute property when they should graduate with the certificate given to those who have won their teachers' commendation. In manifold ways the basis was laid in the work of the boarding-schools for an ultimate success with the mission at large which must have seemed in those days of small beginnings hardly more tangible than a dream.
It was an immediate observation by Bishop Hare on going into the Indian country that the missionaries had it "as their lot to see attention on the qui vive when they speak of rations, and flagging when they tell of the Bread which endureth unto eternal life." Eager as he was to do something for their souls and minds, their bodies were the object of their own chief concern. "The idea seized them," wrote Bishop Hare in his second Annual Report, "that the Chief Holy Man (as they call the Bishop) has the ear of the Great Father (i. e. the President), of whom they have heard as the wonderful chief who lives in a big white house in Washington and sends Indians immense supplies of flour and beef." Whether called upon to represent the government officially, as he sometimes was, or standing inevitably as the most conspicuous exponent of white civilization among the Sioux, he soon became known, both to Indians and to whites, as the Indian's friend. "We all remember," he once wrote, "when it was thought by some of our emigrant population an offense for which a man's head should be broken--that he undertook to teach a negro. It is a similar offense in the eyes of some people out on the frontier to undertake to befriend an Indian." To be their champion when he undertook their cause was almost to stand in the place of a Robert Gould Shaw--before the obloquy was lost in glory.
In the first year of his work in Niobrara he saw that if the missionary body which he represented was to nominate certain Indian Agents, their acts should fall under his immediate supervision, since he was "the man on the ground." It was like him, therefore, to ask the Indian Commission of the Church to extend his power in this direction. "I could not have laid out for myself," he wrote to the Secretary of the Commission, December 29, 1873, "any work from which my soul recoils more than that which I have sketched. I have more than once deprecated the suggestion that it fell naturally to my position. But experience has taught me that if the Church is to do her work among the Indians well, I must not only be willing to receive such duty from the Executive Committee, but must ask it of them." All this was long before the days of the Indian Rights Association, and it may well be imagined how advantageous to the Indians it was to have a friend on the spot so vitally interested in their fair treatment by the agents.
It was not long before the Government recognized the value of such fair-minded service as he was ready to render. In January and February of 1874 affairs at Red Cloud Agency took on an alarming aspect. An Indian war was feared. Bishop Hare, to quote his own words, "was invited by the Government to visit, with three others, the disturbed district, pacify the Indians if possible, and make such recommendations as should seem to us desirable, assurance being given us that any policy we might agree upon would be carefully followed by the government." In the statement from which these words are copied it also appears that Bishop Hare made it a rule never to receive any per diem or other pay for the time and labor spent at the request of the Government, and never to act for the Government except for Indians who were under his Episcopal care, or in reference to Agents unless they were nominees of the Episcopal Missionary Committee. A passage in his Second Annual Report (1874) describes, partly in the words of his report to the Government, the situation with which he and his colleagues were called upon to deal, and sets forth with vigor his views on the uses of the military in the Indian country at the time in question:
"The disturbances on the Red Cloud and Spotted Tail Agencies during the latter part of last winter were of so severe a nature that alarm spread over the western country, and the conviction was prevalent that a general Sioux war was impending. There were some who believed that the turbulence of the Indians was owing to the wrongdoing of their Agents. These Agents had been nominated by the Executive Committee of the Indian Commission of our Church. I had reasons to believe that they were honorable men. I was of the opinion that the cause of the trouble should be sought elsewhere than in the misbehavior of the Agents, and when I was requested by the Government, which had committed these Indians to the special oversight of our Church, to act as a Commissioner to visit them and investigate the condition of affairs, I did not feel at liberty to decline. The conclusions which were arrived at during that visit were confirmed during a second visit some months later and abide to-day; and as a like condition of affairs will probably come to be whenever large numbers of other Indians find themselves, as they will, in circumstances like those which are now under consideration, and as it is important that the charity of the people of the Church towards these Indians should be built up upon a true impression of their temper and condition, I give these conclusions here, almost in the words in which, as chairman of the Commission, I reported them to the Government. I believe that they will appear to fair-minded persons to be a priori reasonable as they were discovered upon actual examination to be fact. If true, their acceptance ought not to be hindered by the disposition to think that because the Indians have been often wronged, they are always in the right.
"The Indians who have caused so much anxiety are the Ogallallas and the Upper Brulés, connected respectively with the Red Cloud and the Spotted Tail (Whetstone) Agencies. They are among the most distant of the Sioux from civilizing1 influences, and the last who have accepted a position of dependence upon the Government. Their Agencies are the resort during the winter of multitudes of northern Indians (Minnecorijous, Sans Arcs, Uncpapas, etc.), variously estimated at from 10,000 to 15,000 in number, who range over districts still further removed from civilization and the power of the Government, and who, when driven in from their roving life upon the plains farther north by the rigors of the winter, come to the Red Cloud and Spotted Tail Agencies, attracted by the rations which the Government dispenses there.
"The wilder spirits among the Ogallallas and Upper Brulés find in these sojourners congenial company. Combined they constitute a turbulent party, which for the time rules the Agencies with a high hand. The better-disposed Indians have not yet reached strength enough, either in number or character, to resist these impetuous hordes from the north and their abettors. Those who sincerely desire to learn a better way dare not raise their heads; and those who favor progress in quiet times, because it seems the winning side, are politic enough to float with the tide when its tumultuous waters run the other way. From the time of the arrival of these outside bands, white men living on the Reservation are careful not to expose themselves after nightfall, and those who for months have been accustomed to travel through the country alone without fear of molestation, seek an escort of friendly Indians. The Agents are subjected to intimidation and to the most violent and unreasonable demands, while now and then small war-parties dash off into the adjacent country in the hope of happening upon a stray soldier, or finding an opportunity of running off stock.
"This turbulence usually continues and increases until it reaches its climax about the time when the severity of winter is relaxing and the visitors from the north are beginning to make their preparations for a return to their wild northern retreats.
"The past winter was no exception to the general rule. Comparative quiet prevailed at both Agencies during all last summer and early fall, but, upon the incoming of the northern Indians, trouble at once began. The most extravagant demands were made for rations, and enforced by intimidation. The efforts of the Agents to make a census of the people (which was essential to the proper regulation of the issue of rations) were thwarted and defied. When registration was notwithstanding attempted, the Agents were forcibly restrained, and their lives were threatened, and they were informed that should they dare to pass beyond certain limits, which were marked out for them, they would do it at their peril.
"Early in February, a war-party, one or two hundred strong, was organized--perhaps there were several of them--and started on a marauding expedition for the settlements farther south.
"There is no exact information as to the amount of stock which was run off by these parties; but within ten days, a man named King, a hunter, was shot on Laramie Fork; Edgar Gray, a teamster, was killed on the Running Water; Lieutenant Robinson and Corporal Cole-man, while absent from their train, were pursued and killed near Laramie Peak; and Frank D. Appleton, clerk, was shot dead (as is supposed, by one of the above-named war-party on its return) within the stockade of the Red Cloud Agency.
"There is sufficient evidence that the better spirits discountenanced these lawless proceedings; that the murder of Appleton moved one of the chiefs to tears; that the Agents were able to form a number of the Indians into a guard to protect themselves and their Agencies; that one Indian, and he a northern man, demanded the return of stolen horses from a war-party of which his nephew was a leader, and when it was refused, shot him and rescued the stolen property by force; and that another defended his agent at the peril of his own life. But, notwithstanding, turbulence seems to have reigned for some time almost supreme.
"To add to the difficulty of the situation, these Agencies have been the refuge of white desperadoes (thieves, gamblers, whisky peddlers, cut-throats and jail-birds of every sort), whom the agents, being destitute of force to uphold their authority, have been unable to control or remove.
"Under these circumstances I have urged that the Government was bound to uphold its Agents and enforce order by the presence of troops. It was manifest that thus only could the Government save its Agents from the necessity of being the toys or tools of lawless savages, and becoming a hindrance rather than a help to their real progress, and put at their command sufficient power to enable them to discharge their duties and to make their reasonable demands respected; thus only to secure to the better-disposed Indians another resource than falling in with the proceedings of the wild and riotous, or else becoming their victims; thus only to insure that brute violence should no longer keep at a distance those missionary and educational instrumentalities which the better Indians desire, and their friends are ready to provide; thus only to enable the Agents to be a power 'for the punishment of evil-doers and for the praise of those that do well,' and to drive away from among the Indians the white desperadoes and fugitives from justice who have hitherto frequently been able not only to make the Agencies their refuge, but to exert a very sensible influence there. The corrupting influence of private soldiers, which will at once occur to many minds as an objection to this plan, is not to be feared among the wilder Sioux as much as elsewhere, as the women are generally virtuous, and these bad influences might be reduced to a minimum by the placing of the post at a short distance from the Agencies and by the exclusion of the Indians from their precincts.
"The policy thus sketched has met with not a little unfavorable criticism. That it is justly liable to it I do not believe. We look in vain among the more advanced communities for civilization so general and complete that order is preserved without an appeal to force. A police more or less completely organized and equipped is a prominent feature of every community. Why then should it be expected that nothing more than moral suasion will be needed in the management of a people not only uncivilized, but savage and wild, who this day believe, and act upon the belief, that, as one of them told me, 'the Almighty has written it in their hearts that they should kill Pawnees and other Indians who do not belong to their tribe'; who are wont to vent the wild sorrow and exasperation in which the death of a loved relative plunges them, by hurrying off to a white settlement and killing a white man; who put in terror of their lives those among them who are disposed to farm or in any way adopt the path of wisdom; whose natures are occasionally swept by such fearful gusts of passion that they need to be protected from themselves; and who not merely have been, but are to-day, guilty of all the atrocities which precede and the abominable and hideous superstitions which accompany the scalp dance.
"Manifestly Nature here is too savage and violent to be approached only by moral suasion. The situation is too intolerable to be left to the solution of time. The Church as the messenger of righteousness as well as of peace, while she carefully refrains from using force herself, should countenance its use by the proper authority, in order that lawless men may see that there is such a thing as Government and that it 'bear-eth not the sword in vain.' In the organized society the magistrate calls upon the police to wield that sword. In unorganized societies, such as exist in the wild Indian country, he must call in the aid of the military.
"That all the Indians, the majority of whom are perfectly peaceable, should be placed in the charge of the military, or that any Indians should be transferred to their sole control, follows no more from the advocacy of their due employment in subordination to the civil power in suppressing violence, than their use by the civil authorities in suppressing riot in our cities is an argument for a universal military despotism. As a matter of experience, the mere presence of the military accomplishes generally all that is needed. A sense of responsibility is begotten all around, in white men and red men. Fugitives from justice slink away or are 'on their good behavior.' The wild Indian curbs his violence or vanishes to parts where government is yet unknown. The better-disposed Indians, delivered from the domineering threats of the mere barbarian, begin to plant the ground and become advocates of civilization, schools and churches. As a fact the Red Cloud and Spotted Tail Agencies, notorious for their scenes of violence, have, under the good influence of this cooperation of the troops with the Agent, become within six months a safe field not only for Christian Missions but for woman's part of Christian Missions.
"Of this plan of administration among turbulent Indians I have been the open advocate. The man who pursues a straight road will probably cross the path of those who follow tortuous courses and cannot hope to advance far without being assailed. I have met with a measure of such experience. Of course a favorite mode of attack will be to impute to me some course of conduct inconsistent with my office--e. g., as a minister of the Gospel of peace. To such attacks I have not replied. But it may not be out of place for me to state here that while I should have no more hesitation in seeking the protection of the military, if proper occasion should arise, in protecting me from the lawless, while I sought to minister to those who were disposed to listen to me, than I should have as a city pastor in appealing to the police to shield me from rowdies who hindered me on the way to my church, I have as a fact made it my habit to travel through the country and to appear in the most tumultuous scenes without any firearm or weapon whatever, and without any protection save such as was afforded by the presence of friendly Indians. The only exceptions to this rule have been two occasions when I acted as one of a Government commission and my ecclesiastical character was entirely laid aside." . . .
It was in the performance of the special work for the Government which has just been described that Bishop Hare considered his life in more imminent danger at the hands of the hostile Indians than at any other time in his career. The circumstances are reported by his son. Accompanied by a small troop of United States Cavalry, the commissioners met several thousand of the disaffected Sioux in council. The commissioners sat in chairs with an interpreter beside them. The cavalry were mounted behind. The chiefs and leaders sat in a great semi-circle in front. Back of them were hundreds of young bucks galloping madly hither and thither shooting their rifles in the air and giving vent to wild cries. As Spotted Tail finished a spirited and clever speech in which he virtually told the commissioners to go back to the East and mind their own business, he suddenly gave a signal, as a result of which every unmounted Indian ran to his horse and flung himself in the saddle, grasping his gun. Bishop Hare and his colleagues and the handful of cavalrymen expected to be massacred then and there, as they would have been if any soldier, determined to sell his life dear, had fired a shot. Seeing the self-control of the whites, Spotted Tail gave another signal, and with a wild whoop the whole tribe wheeled and disappeared at a gallop over the hills. Turning to the commissioners Spotted Tail said: "You see I could have killed you in a minute by raising my hand. Go back to the Great Father in the White House, and tell him what I have done and what he must do."
Bishop Hare's course, both in the holding of Indian Agents strictly to account and in advocating the free use of troops where needed, inevitably provoked opposition. In a letter to his sister, July 12, 1874, he wrote: "Thanks for the newspapers, which I like to see. I have taken my stand and expect to be reviled, sometimes by rogues and sometimes by sentimental philanthropists." How truly through it all he was the Indian's friend the events which followed the discovery of gold in the Black Hills gave him abundant occasion to show. In natural beauty, as in natural resources, there was no portion of the Sioux Reservation so desirable as that which contained the Black Hills. "The Indians' attachment to it," wrote Bishop Hare, "is a passion. And well it may be, for this district is the kernel of their nut, the yelk of their egg." But for the gold found in it, the Indians would probably have been welcome to occupy it for an indefinite period. This discovery created a state of affairs in which it became clear at once that the rights of the Indians to an undisturbed possession of their lands, under the treaty of 1868, were in serious danger. In looking back upon this passage of Dakota history, Bishop Hare said in the "Reminiscences" at his fifteenth anniversary:
"The discovery of gold, in 1875, in a part of the great Sioux Reservation, known as the Black Hills, set a large part of our western population aflame, and hundreds of adventurers during that year, in open violation of the law and the proclamation of the Executive, invaded this portion of the Indians' land, and took possession of it.
"I was outspoken in my denunciation of this flagrant violation of the sacred obligations of a great to a weak people. I foresaw, however, that no power on earth could shut out our white people from that country if it really contained valuable deposits of gold or other mineral. I went, therefore, to Washington and urged upon the President that a commission of experts should be sent out to explore the country, and that, should they report the presence of gold, steps should be taken to secure a surrender of the tract in question from the Indians on equitable terms. This was eventually done.
"The Government had at first been prompt and decided in requiring the removal of the intruders; then it weakened and prevaricated; and soon the desire for the acquisition of this country was so ardent and influential, that the Government was practically driven to negotiate with the Indians to secure a voluntary sale of the coveted territory, as the only resort from the danger of a popular movement which should snatch it from them by force.
"The Black Hills were thus thrown open to settlement, and I made there my first efforts in the line of establishing the Church among the white people of Dakota."
Before the situation reached a critical stage, Bishop Hare placed himself admirably on record in the following letter to President Grant:
"YANKTON AGENCY, DAK., June 9, 1874.
"To His Excellency, U. S. Grant, President of the United States.
"SIR: In the month of February a Commission, of which I had the honor to be the Chairman, was appointed by the Honorable Secretary of the Interior to visit the Red Cloud and Whetstone Agencies and to make such recommendations as upon examination should seem to them judicious as to the line of policy to be pursued toward the Indians connected with those Agencies and towards the Indians from the North, large bodies of which Indians had made the above named Agencies their resort during the past winter.
"That Commission unanimously recommended that a special effort should be made this summer for the conciliation of the Northern Sioux, and that, in order to deter them from pushing south as winter approaches to draw rations at the Red Cloud and Whetstone Agencies and thus increasing the dangerous element on the northern border of Nebraska, an Agency should be established for these Indians near the Black Hills, or elsewhere, in their own part of the Sioux Reserve.
"I had the privilege of bringing this recommendation of the Commission before your mind in the personal interview with your Excellency with which I was favored in April last. It was approved and adopted by the Honorable Secretary of the Interior and I have now in my possession a letter from the Department of the Interior continuing the Commission and instructing it to put into effect the recommendations rehearsed above.
"On returning from Washington to this part of the country, I found, to my surprise, that the newspapers were teeming with news of a military expedition fitting out for the heart of the Sioux country, the Black Hills, and with proposals that Sioux City and other towns should not fail to be represented in the large party of adventurers who were prepared to follow in the wake of the military.
"Having learned from the Secretary of the Interior that such a military expedition is preparing, I gladly avail myself of an invitation given by him to address you on the subject, and beg to present the following points:
"1st. That the appointment of a commission to invite a delegation of Northern Sioux to make a friendly visit to Washington and accept the bounty of the Government, and the invasion of their country by a military expedition are incompatible. Either course may be pursued, but not both.
"2d. That such an expedition would, almost beyond a doubt, provoke an Indian war. The Yellowstone Expedition of last summer, though it did not invade the territory assigned the Sioux, so greatly alarmed and excited them that warriors hastened to resist it from most of the Sioux tribes, and confronted it, it has been reported, several thousand strong. What may be expected then as the result of an expedition which not only invades the Sioux country, but penetrates it through and through and cuts into that particular part of it which, by common consent, is the hive of the hostile Sioux, their place of council when war parties are sent out, their retreat in times of danger, and the pride of the nation? Acting under the peace policy, the Commissioners recently sent out by the Secretary of the Interior recommended that a feeding agency protected by a friendly garrison should be planted near this part of the Sioux country. This plan followed out would, I believe, get the Northern Sioux under control and yet preserve the peace. An invasion of the Black Hills means, I fear, or at least will surely result in, War and war to the knife.
"3d. That this invasion of the Indian territory will almost beyond a question be made the occasion of the inroad of large numbers of rapacious and unprincipled civilians. Indeed, as the extracts taken from the Sioux City Journal which I enclose clearly indicate, a party is already organizing with that intent. Such intrusion, as the Report of the Indian Peace Commission of 1867 (comprising Generals Sherman, Augur, Harney and others) emphatically represents, have been the most frequent causes of our past Indian troubles.
"4th. That the exasperation which would ensue from such an expedition would seriously imperil the existence of the struggling but numerous missions, which, encouraged by your policy, the Episcopal Church is nourishing among the Sioux, and endanger the lives of her missionaries. . . .
"5th. That in 1872, as recorded by General Walker, late Commissioner of Indian Affairs, an expedition was projected and partially organized in Dakota for the purpose of penetrating the Black Hills for mining, and lumbering, and an invasion of the Territory was imminent, which would beyond a peradventure, General Walker remarks, have resulted in a general Sioux war. In this case the Executive acted with great promptness. A proclamation was issued warning evil-disposed persons of the determination of the Government to prevent the outrage and troops were put in position to deal effectively with the marauders.
"No one can read the papers hereabouts without coming to the conclusion that the military expedition now projected will be used by bad men for the accomplishment of that wrong which your own action, to the joy of good men, discountenanced and thwarted in 1872.
"6th. That the proposed military expedition would be a violation of the national honor, which in the treaty of 1868 pledged the Sioux the safety of their Territory both from invasion and intrusion. It cannot, indeed, be affirmed that all the Sioux have observed the obligations laid upon them by this treaty, but neither can it be maintained that they have as a people so violated it as to effect, ipso facto, its annihilation, nor has the United States declared it annulled. It may be well to declare the abrogation of the treaty of 1868. Until that is done what but some emergency can justify military invasion of their land?
"I have written, Mr. President, in no spirit of opposition to the discreet employment of the military in controlling Indians. The recommendations contained in pages 7 and 8 and 13 of the Report on the condition of the Sioux lately presented by me as Chairman is clear proof that I hold a contrary opinion; nor in the spirit which would discourage thorough castigation of all marauding bands, who, in my judgment, ought to be punished more severely and persistently than they generally have been; and if war ensues from this administration of justice, let it come and be so rigorously prosecuted that it shall be plain to all the United States means that every soul within its domain shall obey its will. I have written in the fear that the expedition at present under discussion, which I believe to be dangerous, may be at the same time gratuitous, and bring the nation no honor.
"Thankful that in appealing to you, Mr. President, I appeal to the ear of moral courage and justice, and cordially acknowledging how much the Indians and those who would do them good owe to your administration, I beg to subscribe myself, with great respect,
"Your obedient servant,
"WILLIAM H. HARE,
"Missionary Bishop of Niobrara."
In spite of all efforts to restrain private adventurers, they thrust themselves during 1874 and 1875 into the Indians' country and began taking possession of it. "The Government has been prompt and decided," wrote Bishop Hare in his Report for 1875, "in requiring the removal of the intruders; but the popular desire for the acquisition of this country has been so ardent and influential that the Government has been practically driven to negotiate with the Indians to secure a voluntary sale of the coveted territory, as the only resort from the danger of a popular movement which should snatch it from them by force. . . . I was invited by the Government to take charge of the necessary negotiations, but I thought it unwise to have a hand in proceedings which were so liable to misconstruction." At his suggestion the Rev. Mr. Hinman was made a member of the Commission. Though standing thus in the background, he could exert a valuable influence. A passage from a letter to the Secretary of the Interior will show with how true a sense of justice it was brought to bear:
"1345 Pine St., PHILADELPHIA,
"March 5, 1875.
My Dear Mr. Delano:
. . . "Before the Commission enters upon its duties; however, I think it of the highest importance that the attitude of the Government on the Black Hills question should be publicly and definitely settled. Is it not possible for the Government to weigh all the evidence and decide officially whether or not it indicates the presence of gold in paying quantities? This decision, it seems to me, should be made public. If it is in the negative, it should be followed by a declaration of the determination of the Government to exclude all whites and hold the country for the Indians. If in the affirmative, then, as the past seems to show that it is vain to resist the mob of adventurers under such circumstances, it seems to me that the Government should do the just and only practicable thing, buy the Black Hills country from the Indians for a fair equivalent. If, however, it. is not mineral wealth but lumber or agricultural capabilities that render the Hills attractive, they should be preserved for the benefit of their present owners at any cost, for these are blessings of which the Sioux have almost none."
The result of the negotiations was that the Indians sold their lands. In all the train of circumstances attending the relations between the Sioux and the Government at this time, the Custer Massacre of June, 1876, was the event which drew the attention of all the world to the distracted Indian country. In Bishop Hare's mission the outbreak of the hostile spirit bore its tragic fruits in the murder, near Cheyenne Agency, of a new recruit to his staff--the Rev. R. Archer B. Ffennell--by two Indians with a real or imagined grievance, who had vowed to kill the first white man they met. The conduct of the Christian Indians, throughout the whole resurgence of the spirit of barbarism, gave good proof that the seeds of civilization were taking root. But Bishop and clergy and all the lay helpers of the mission, men and women, were forced to realize that their lives were surrounded with danger. A vivid impression of the conditions under which they were laboring at this time, is conveyed in a recent letter from the Rev. Henry Swift, attached in 1876, and for some years afterwards, to the Cheyenne Agency Mission, and now a chaplain in the United States Army. He renders concrete the spirit of Bishop Hare's work and the nature of the hazard from which the military might be needed at any moment to redeem it; and with it this portion of our record shall end:
"FORT SAM HOUSTON, TEXAS,
"April 17, 1911.
. . . "The country was rugged, largely desert (bad lands) and occupied by the wilder of the Indians. In our earlier years the element of danger was constantly present; while to traverse the field of our mission work, embracing then seven stations, involved always much hardship. Bishop Hare went over the field with me every year, camping out often under the stars, beset by floods, with miry roads, scant food, and discomforts of every kind. It was often a great grief to me to have him exposed to exceptionally severe conditions, but he was ever cheerful, plucky, and making light of everything. Several times we were in actual danger. In 1876 my colleague, the Reverend Archer Ffennell, was killed by two hostile Dakotas. His mission, St. John's, three miles from the Agency, was temporarily abandoned, until I could reach it from a point twenty-five miles beyond. The country was then swarming with hostiles, and the Agency people, the military, and the friendly Indians, protested against even myself going up to reoccupy St. John's. A few days after Bishop Hare arrived, I asked him if he was willing to go up to St. John's with me. He answered cheerily, 'Yes.' The military insisted on our having an armed escort. I did not think it necessary, or even wise, as manifesting a distrust of the people. I put the case to the Bishop and he very promptly decided that we should go, unarmed and unattended; so I drove him up. The result was as I had anticipated. The people fairly thronged us, lamenting over the death of Mr. Ffennell and ready almost to kiss the hem of the Bishop's robes.
"Another tune I was with him at the Lower Brule Agency. The Indians were at a white heat (they were all wild and turbulent then) over the arrest of one of their number for an attempt to assassinate the Post Trader. The commanding officer of the Post (Major Joe Bush) warned us not to put ourselves into the hands of the Indians, that our lives would not be worth a moment's purchase. There were with us the agent, Dr. Livingstone; the sub-agent, Major Gregory, and the Revs. Messrs. Burt and Cleveland. We went to meet the Indians in council about half a mile away from the Post. They trooped in by the hundreds, armed to the teeth, all mounted and smeared with red paint, some with black, which was ominous. The Bishop made them a speech and told of the work we hoped to do. When he had finished, their head chief advanced and with frenzied gestures told him and us that they cared nothing for school or church, or to hear of any of those things, that all they desired was that the young man imprisoned be forthwith released. Of course the Bishop and the Agent both had to deny the demand. The request was repeated. They fairly danced with rage, shaking their fists in our faces, and finally moving back a little they mounted their horses, and with guns in hand, bore down on us in an ominous circle. We were never nearer death than at that moment. But like a flash a sudden panic overtook them, we knew not why, and one and all started to fly, urging their horses to the utmost. In a moment they had vanished, and then, turning and looking towards the Post, we saw why all this had happened. There were two loaded cannon pointed grimly in our direction and a whole company of soldiers standing at arms. Major Bush had seen in what peril we were and had acted promptly. Once an interviewer asked Bishop Hare if he had ever been in peril from the Indians. He answered 'Yes,' but refused to go into details. I give them now.
"The term 'Apostle to the Sioux' belongs to Bishop Hare preeminently. His was the initiating hand, his the fostering care, and under God's grace to him is due the stable establishment of the numerous missions, which to-day are his monument."