Manual Training School, 1880. Photo
Lot 24, BAE 23 Inv. 00509700
village, north and south Blackbird Creeks, near Blackbird Hill.
Photograph by William Henry Jackson, 1868-69. Neg. No. 4038.
Breakfasted on corn beef and coffee. This 7. A.M. the bay mare
balked, not a step would she go, so she was unharnessed. I had
passed up the hill from the camping ground to save my weight
in the pulling. As I was writing this journal, the mare made
off for home, Wajapa running to head her off by the creek, the
mare gained and Mr. T. jumped on the other horse and galloped
to the rescue, a lively hunt and the refactory animal was captured.
The other horse was put in but as the mares back was
very sore Wajapa started to walk, leading her, up over steep
hills, up, up, up, as we wish greatly to reach Santee for church
and to see the Indians. Another trial was made with the mare.
She went, but would not pull, the yellow horse doing all the
work. At last we came in sight of the Indian tents but before
that learned from a white settler just on the line we were four
miles out of our way. We went on and in going down and up and
up gully, snap went a whiffle-tree on the bay mares side
and the wagon began to descend. Wajapa managed to turn the horse,
stopped and after a half hour of work, Mr. T. galloping off
to a sioux tent, getting a stick and tied with ropes and started
Mr. T. said "Some fellers would swear. Ive been
thinking whether it would do any good. I never had such a streak
of luck as this since we started". He didnt swear!
Just as we started we came to another gully, a pitch like a
- - [drawing]- with mud at the bottom. S. and I got out, wagon
went over in safety. Then the rope was discovered to be too
slender and another halt was made and a piece of lariat cut
off and tied on and at 10.30 were off once more.
Santee sioux tents, here and there, a tall dance pole like
a great tent pole on a hill we skirted.
A shed like a high table by every little log or frame house,
here hangs the corn, long yellow fringe, the husks are only
loosened but still clinging to the cob, the stalks braided,
Susette asked Wajapa to sing as he drove. "What is there
for me to be so happy about that I should sing", he made
Shortly after we entered the Reservation. Wajapa pointed out
the plateaus where, when he was a boy, the Omahas camped. While
there, there came a fearful storm, the creek raised and the
water rose to the top of the hill, fifty feet. Two little girls
were drowned, packs carried off by the flood, and the place
is known as "The place where the Omahas were flooded".
Buffalo grasses are scarce, the bluejoint crowds it
Wajapa says it seems as though after the white men came in
two years the buffalos were gone.
Wajapa says that the Indians call the bluejoint, Red Grass.
It comes where the white people are while the other fine grass
follows the buffalo. He thinks the white race may have sprung
from Red grass, there is such an affinity - believes the white
people are this grass.
Over sandhills, desolation let loose. Mr. T. rode up one of
the hills to see if we were well on our way. At a turn of the
road he returned, said he had stirred up a den of rattle snakes.
The yellow bluffs of the Missouri came in sight. We seemed perched
high in the air. The land appears of little value. As we went
over one of the hills we met a wagon load of people. They accosted
Wajapa but he could not understand. Then a handsome woman talked
English to us. We told her we were on our way to Mr. Riggs.
Bye and bye the Mission buildings came in sight, a pretty village.
We rode down the steep hills and on to the level ground, passed
the Episcopal Mission, on by the Govt. School, and leaving Mr.
Riggs Mission at the right went on past the hill were the Indian
men in their tent over a rise and down by the creek where we
camped, ate our dinner and then the tent was rigged up on a
pole and the carriage pole, and S. and I made our toilet for
"Meeting". All the Indians came down to the point
to water their horses. Women came, girls came, and when they
spied us hid in the bushes. Horses hobbled on front feet, got
caught in quicksands. [?] making little speed.
The Meeting very interesting.
The Sioux a fine looking race of men. The women good looking,
often. They all stoop, and bind their shawls about their shoulders,
which increases the difficulty. Some had tattooing on their
foreheads. All looked keen yet not with a wide outlook.
Hymn in Dakota service. Missionary Meeting native preachers
and missionaries. Mr. Williamson presided with a native preacher.
The Indians raised over five hundred dollars the past year
to defray missionary expenses among their own people.
Mr. and Mrs. Riggs took us to their home, lovely sitting room,
extension full of flowers, library and study opening off.
Mr. Hall of Fort Berthold there, and old Mr. Riggs - the father,
Miss Illsley of New Jersey, there to teach music, having been
at Yankton. Mr. Williamson of Yankton and others.
Prayer meeting in the evening - the christian self devotion
very marked. So full of simplicity. The women prayed most earnestly
for patience and to be careful in their lives and not lose courage
in their work. One felt that these were the picked and advanced
guard in the Lords Army.