|This segment comes from "They Touched the Pen", the Mandan,
Hidatsa, and Arikara Treaty of Fort Laramie September 17, 1851.
An Exhibit at the Three Tribes Museum, New Town, North Dakota,
"Grandfather. Your talk is very good. My ears and the
ears of my people have not been on the ground, they have been
open and we feel good in our hearts at what you have told
us . The ground is not now as it used to be. We come here
from a long way off from the Missouri River. We come hungry
for we are very poor and could find no buffalo, but we found
friends and they gave us something to eat. This made our hearts
glad. We are poor and we live far away; but we will do the
best we can to satisfy our Grand Father. We hope he will send
us more buffalo."
of WAHATA-UH, an Arikara Chief
Treaty Grounds near Fort Laramie, L.T.
September 8th, 1851
The Missouri Republican
"Years ago, back in 1851, the United States commissioned
a number of men to come up and meet with us at Fort Laramie,
Wyoming. We had representatives there, and we drew up obligations
and agreements and declarations between the United States
Government s and ourselves. Those agreements and declarations
and treaties are still binding with us."
of Martin Fox, Hidatsa
October 9, 1945
THE LONG JOURNEY TO FORT LARAMIE - 1851
July 31 - The Mandan, Hidatsa, Arikara and Assiniboine
delegation leave Fort Union and follow the
Yellowstone River to the southwest. They are
accompanied by Alexander Culbertson, Agent
in charge at Fort Union, and Fr. Jean-Pierre
DeSmet, Jesuit Missionary
Aug. 7 - In the evening sky, the delegation observes
four circles of azure, purple, black, and white
around the moon. This causes the travelers
some concern. (see Frontier, Dipps)
Aug. 11 - The delegation arrives at Fort Sarpy
at the mouth of the Rosebud. They wait 6 days
for Crow leaders who do not show up.
Aug.17 - They leave Fort Sarpy following the
Aug. 22 - Reach headwaters of the Rosebud and
follow what will later become "The Bozeman
Trail." Camped north of what is now Buffalo,
Wyoming, by a small lake now named "Lake
DeSmet." They then crossed the Big Horn
Aug. 27 - Travelers reached the Powder River
and met 3 Crow Indians. They follow the serpentine
Powder on an arduous journey through what they
would later call "The Valley of a Thousand
Sept. 1 - Arrived at the Red Buttes east of what
is now Casper, Wyoming. Fr. DeSmet estimates
they are 160 miles west of Fort Laramie.
Sept. 2 - Reach the Oregon Trail which the Indian
leaders call "The Great Medecine Road
of the Whites."
Sept. 7 - Delegation arrives at Fort Laramie
at sunset and finds that treaty site has been
moved to Horse Creek about 30 miles southeast.
Sept. 8 - The Mandan, Hidatsa, Arikara and Assiniboine
delegation arrive at the Treaty Grounds on
Monday and take their place at the Council
completing their journey of 800 miles.
Sept. 17 - Fort Laramie Treaty is signed by the
Chiefs, the Commissioners and interpreters.
for the Long Journey from Warren: 1855,
National Archives Record group 77, file Q579-50.
"In the early days, treaties were made by Four Bears, and
we do not want to break them."
of George Parshall
May 27, 1946
"In the years that have come and gone, the time when
Four Bears was alive (his statue is standing in front of the
office), he was the one who made treaties with the Government
that this land be ours forever. For that reason, we are here
today. As I said before, we were here before the white man
ever came and we are going to remain here forever."
Words of James Driver, Sr.
May 27, 1946
"Under the Four Bears treaty, the Government promised
that the Indians would continue to live on their land forever.
Now the United States becomes a poor guardian for its wards."
Words of Thomas Spotted Wolf
September 25, 1947
"In the treaty of Fort Laramie, Wyoming, September 17,
1851, the Fort Berthold Indians were assured by the Federal
agents that their land would be secure and would be free from
danger of dispossession in the future for any reason whatsoever.
… The Indians had great faith in this treaty and always
hoped someday everything would be righted."
Words of Carl Sylvester, Hidatsa
May 2, 1948
"The history of the reservation as given by the Indians
is substantially correct. So far as I have been able to determine,
these Indians were at their present reservation location 140
years ago, when Lewis and Clark went through that country.
They have never been removed, as many other Indian tribes
have, from their original homeland. The Fort Laramie Treaty
of 1851 is only one of a series of treaties, going back, as
far as I know, to 1825, recognizing the rights of these Indians
in that area. … Originally, the area was very much more
extensive than the area which they now hold. I have here a
map showing the original extent of the Fort Berthold area
as recognized back is 1851. …
Felix S. Cohen, Associate Solicitor,
Department of the Interior
October 9, 1945