Thursday, June 21, 2012




The writer of this letter is Loafer Redhorse, a son-in-law 
of the Titon Chief, Swift Bear, whose band have colonized
 as homesteaders along the Niobrara River near the mouth of
 Keya Paha River.
Their colony is one hundred and thirty miles from 
Rosebud Agency, to which they belong.Their settlement 
we call Burrell Station in honor of Dea. Burrell, of Oberlin, 
who gave the money to build the school-house and home 
for the teacher. Mr. Francis Frazier, son of Pastor 
of Santee, has now been their teacher two years. 


Loafer Redhorse
       Loafer Redhorse is anything but a loafer. He is one of the most

industrious men. He is one who would naturally be first in war, as he

says, and now also is first in following the plow, and learning the ways

of the white man. Among other things it is interesting to know what he

thinks of prohibiting the use of the Dakota language.

MY FRIENDS: Let me speak now. I am sad because of one thing which I will

now speak of. Since our school-house (the Burrell station school) was

built, I, with my children, have attended with a glad heart just as if

it were my own. And now I hear that it is likely to be closed, and I

will speak about that. And this is why I have something to say. The

scholars who go out from the Brules to go to school, come back without

knowing anything, for the reason that they don't teach them anything

except to work. That is the reason they don't know anything, I think.

And I will tell how it was with us under Indian customs since the time I

had understanding. Then the Indian tribes were happy. Into whatever

country was good they roamed just as they pleased. At that time,

although there were many Indians on all sides, there was a great country

in between full of buffalo. It seemed to be the buffalo's country. And

the Indian people were made happy because of the buffalo. The people

would move their camps and pitch their tents again and the buffalo would

come right in among their tents with a great noise. Then it was that the

people had great joy.

And there was another thing that the people rejoiced in greatly. I will

speak of that also. That was in war. When they went to war and came near

the enemies' dwellings and saw the enemy there they would choose out

about ten of the bravest young men and dispatch them to kill some of the

enemy. Then they would draw near to the houses, and soon though there

might be five whose hearts were not able for it, the others would go on

and kill a man at his house. And the great joy that I spoke of was thus:

of the five who had killed an enemy but only four of them could take the

glory, but their names would be praised throughout the whole Indian

nation; they would be glorified and considered as chiefs. But most of

all, he who first killed the enemy he would be the chief. And then when

they had returned home even the women would rejoice greatly. They would

dance night and day, all of them. And as I, myself, was chief, I

considered this the very greatest joy. Such were our customs.

But now from the place I now occupy, I look back and remember these

things. And though the Indian people had all of these customs, I know

not one of them that made the people prosper or brought life to them. I

have not seen that brought life to the people. And thus from where I am

now, I am always looking to the future. On this account I am looking

forward. The Indians have been told the words of the Grandfather, (the

President). And they tell us that by these words the people will


"Plant; by that you shall live," the Grandfather told them. And now I

know a little that the Grandfather spoke the truth. The Grandfather

gives me food for six days, but even though I eat a very little each

day, in three days I have eaten it all up. But now I have raised corn

and though I abide here eating nothing else, by it I live. And also to

go from my place to where the Grandfather gives me rations takes one

week to go and the same to come back and I stay over a few days to rest

when there, and so it altogether covers over three weeks or more.

Therefore, though I have settled here and desire to busy myself in all

the white man's ways that I am able, I have not yet become independent.

And therefore, I earnestly wish, if it were possible, that the

Grandfather would enable us to receive a year's rations at a time, and

then we would make speedy progress in the white man's way.

And because of this also, the children do not advance much in their

learning. For when we go after the food they also go along. If they

should stay behind, food is scarce, therefore they go along.

And now I hear it said that schooling in the Dakota language is to be

altogether stopped, and on this account I am sad. For in the

school-house here they learn well and also they pray. It is because they

do these things in the Dakota language that we have been brought to

understand them and to love them, and gladly live in accordance with

them. Then also if it was all done (the teaching and praying) by a white

man we would understand nothing about it, and so I do not think it would

be well.

And now this is the last thing I want to say. The Grandfather has for

his own the Indians all over the land, and he always helps them

according to what may be for their welfare. Now he is measuring off the

land for them, but I hear it said that he measures it very, very small,

and I am sad about that. If only he would have mercy and measure it off

for them largely, that is what I think. A good while ago the Grandfather

made a treaty with the Indians and promised to give them three hundred

and twenty acres, and according to that I have chosen my homestead and

that suits me. Therefore I prize the Grandfather's word and measure

myself by it. And thus I possess myself and my children.

Although we are not many people here, yet I always command them to give

heed to the words of the Grandfather. And I bear witness to their

constant attendance at the house (the school and church) that stands

here. Although I am wholly an Indian, yet these are my judgments and so

I tell them. And I write them in order that some may think about the

Indians. My friends, I wish you to hear these words and so I write them.

I shake hands with a good heart.

LOAFER REDHORSE, Burrell Station, Rosebud Agency, D.T.
Sioux County, ND - 1900 Census (Partial)Surnames Index  
NTHIUS ?         Parry          13                  260a-02a
PATERSON            Anton A.    19                  260a-02b
PFEIFFER            Louis M. H. 81                  260a-02b
REED                Daniel W.   82                  260a-02b
RHOADES             Elmer F.    83                  260a-02b
REE ?               Nettie      36                  260-53b
REED                George W.     40                260-01a
REEDY               Thomas        6                   260-22a
RENOWN ?            W. Mrs.       24                 260-43b
RIVERS              Anthony       11                  260-26a
W-DE-KA-TOW       wife            21                   260-38a
MAZA                Suite          5                   260-40a
McALLISTER          Geo. W.        44                  260-01a
          Son                      24                  260-28b
SHOOT PLENTY        none           12                  260-49a
SHOOT THE BEAR      Martie & Ottilia 34                  260-40b
SHOOT THE BUFFALO   none            1                   260-28a
SHOOT THE ENEMY     Thos. & Josephine 26                  260-43b
SHOOT THE ENEMY     none               9                   260-36a
SHOOT THE GYI ?     none               36                  260-35b
NG HEART        none                   26                  260-35b
STUPID-CLOUD        John               31                  260-13b
SUNDAY OR PHILIP    Richard & Mary     30                  260-45b
         Mrs                            9                  260-48a
RED THUNDER         ???? & Josephine   31                  260-37b
       Taman ? & Maggie            6                   260-43a
RATTLING THONGS ?   Edward & Louisa   26                  260-32b
RECLINING BEAR      Joe             27                  260-45b

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