Agreement with the Sioux, 1856

Agreement with the Sioux, 1856

War Department,
Washington, May 10, 1856.

Sir: I have received from Brevet Brigadier General William S. Harney the minutes of a council held by him with nine bands of the Sioux Indians, at Fort Pierre, N. T., beginning the 1st and ending the 5th of March, 1856.

The bands represented are as follows :

The Two Kettle, Lower Yanctons, Oncpapas, Blackfeet Sioux, Minnecoujas, Sans Arc, Yanctonnais, two bands, and Brules of the Platte.

The principal chiefs of the bands, according to the above order of arrangement, are as follows:

The Long Mandan, the man that is struck by the Ree, Bear Rib, the Fire Heart, One Horn, Crow Feather, Black Cat Fish, (chief of the ''Band that wishes the life''—Yanctonnais,) Two Bears, (chief of the "Honepatela Yanctonnais,") and Little Thunder.

The following articles were agreed to by the head chiefs and delegates in the council :

1. That all Indians who have committed murders or other outrages upon white persons, shall be delivered up for trial to the commander of the nearest military post.

2. That all stolen property of every description in the hands of any Indian shall be restored to its rightful owner; for which purpose the chiefs must be responsible that it is taken in without delay to the nearest military post. A description of the manner in which the property was taken from its original owner, &c., must be left with the commanding officer, to enable him to return it accordingly.

3. The Indians must not obstruct or lurk in the vicinity of roads travelled by the whites, nor in any way molest a traveller through their country; they must, on the contrary, extend protection to all whites found in their country by permission of the proper authorities; and they are required to deliver at military posts all offenders of any of their bands against any of our people or their property. In case any band shall refuse to make this engagement, then all the others shall bind themselves to have no intercourse with them, and to give them no encouragement or assistance whatever.

4. Hereafter all stolen property, of any description, must be immediately returned to the nearest military post, by the chief of the band in which the theft was committed; at the same time the Indian so offending will also be brought in and delivered up.

5. The chiefs must compel their bands to obey them. If they cannot do so, they must report the fact at once to the nearest military officer, who will have it enforced. The chiefs will be held responsible for the good conduct of their bands.

6. The Indians will inform the General who they recognise as chiefs of the different bands, that there may be an understanding between the General and themselves as to who they are to obey.

7. The Sioux war parties must not hereafter go down into the Pawnee country, or be found anywhere near the big road on the Platte: if they do, the chiefs of the bands to whom these war parties belong will be required to report the fact immediately to the commander of the nearest military post, that he may send and bring them back and punish them. Should the chiefs neglect to do this, the whole band will be punished.

8. To save the necessity of killing so many buffalo, which will soon be killed off, the general recommends to the Indians to raise stock and to cultivate the soil, raise corn, pumpkins, &c. If they desire to do so they should select some good place near a military post when the land can be ploughed for them, and where they can receive advice and assistance, and the President will be requested to assist them.

9. The trade in horses and mules must be stopped; it encourages the young men to steal.

On their part, the United States will engage:

1. To protect the Sioux from imposition by the whites; and to effect this, all whites found in their country or passing through it, who may commit any offence against them or their property, may be taken up by them, no greater violence or force being used than may be absolutely necessary, and delivered at the nearest military post, to be proceeded against according to our laws.

2. The Sioux will have their annuities restored to them—these annuities to be always sent to, and distributed from, the most convenient military post.

3. On a compliance by the Sioux with the obligations on their part, enumerated in the first arid second clauses of the foregoing, all the Indian prisoners in our hands who may not be implicated in any murder, robbery, or other high crime against our people, will be set at liberty.

The above articles were agreed to in council at Fort Pierre, March 5, 1856) by:

The Long Mandan, principal chief of the ''Two Kettles.''
The man that is struck by the Ree, principal chief of the "Lower Yanctons.''
Bear Rib, principal chief of the "Oncpapas."
Fire Heart, principal chief of the "Blackfeet Sioux."
One Horn, principal chief of the "Minnecoujas."
Crow Feather, principal chief of the "Sans Arcs."
Black Cat Fish, principal chief of the '' Band that wishes the life—Yanctonnais.''
Two Bears, principal chief of the'' Honepatela Yanctonnais."
Little Thunder, principal chief of the " Brules of the Platte."

Brigadier General Harney having recognised the chiefs named herein as the only head chiefs of their respective bands, and so declared in council, proposed that each chief should have a certain number of soldiers in each band to maintain order and enforce its laws and recommends that these soldiers receive from the government a uniform dress with badges to designate the band and rank of each and that for the time they may be employed in discharging the duties appropriate to their position as a tribal police; they shall be subsisted at the expense of the government.

In accordance with the proposition of Brigadier General Harney, in relation to this organization, the following list of ''soldiers'' was named by the principal chiefs at the council:

Little Thunder, chief of the Brules, four chief soldiers and one hundred soldiers.
One Horn, chief of the Minnecoujas, ten chief soldiers and sixty soldiers.
Crow Feather, chief of the Sans Arcs, ten chief soldiers and sixty soldiers.
Fire Heart, chief of the Blackfeet, ten chief soldiers and sixty soldiers.
Bear Rib, chief of the Oncpapas, ten chief soldiers and seventy soldiers.
Two Bears, chief of the Honepatela Yanctonnais, ten chief soldiers and sixty soldiers.
Black Cat Fish, chief of the ''Band that wishes the life—Yanctonnais,'' four chief soldiers and fifty soldiers.
The Man that is struck by the Ree, chief of the Yancton, four chief soldiers and fifty soldiers.
Long Mandan, chief of the Two Kettles, four chief soldiers and forty soldiers.

I recommend that the foregoing articles and stipulations be regarded as a valid compact, to be faithfully observed by all officers and agents of the United States, and that the necessary appropriations be asked to carry it into effect.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant.

Secretary of War.

The President of the United States.