Butler  County,  Kansas

Indian Tidbits

Old "He Dog's" Recommendation

Many years ago it was a common thing for "Heap Big Indians" to roam around over the state, in little bands, begging and stealing. They lived vagabond lives and no dog or cat was safe when they were around. Every Big Chief of these bands carried letters of recommendation from somebody, which always produced a guarantee that they were "Good" Indians. One spring a heap big Indian applied to a citizen of El Dorado for a certificate of character, which was promptly furnished, and ran about as follows:

"To whom it may concern: The Bearer, Old He Dog is a drunken old thief and will steal everything he can lay his hands on. Kick him off your place, when he comes around. Yours truly, John Smith."

It is needless to say that Chief He Dog came to grief, shortly afterwards and the fashion of getting certificates of character from the "pale faces," soon went out of fashion. - El Dorado Republican.(The Kansas Semi-Weekly Capital, page 6, February 9, 1900)


Temple Friend, another captive, was brought to the agency with Adolph Kohn. He had forgotten his name, and could only speak the Comanche language. He thought that his father's name was John, but whether it was the first or last name he could not tell. He recollected that his mother and aunt were killed. The hair of the boys had not been cut since they were captured. It was shaved off, and they were bathed, dressed in citizen clothes, and placed in the agency school, where they soon learned to speak English. I had notices of Temple Friend put in the Texas and Kansas papers, and wrote to L. S. Friend, a Methodist minister, thinking that the boy might be his grandchild that he had for some years been looking for. He spent several weeks at the agency the previous summer to see if he could procure him. On reading my letter he was satisfied that he was his grandchild, and he started from El Dorado Kansas the next morning to the agency with his horse and buggy. When he arrived there my wife and I went with him to the schoolhouse. It was the custom for all the children to speak to us when we went there, and young Friend came in with the others. When he spoke to my wife she told him to speak to this old gentleman. He put his arm around him fondly and recognized his long-lost boy. As soon as he could control his feelings he said, "Temple Friend."

The boy looked at him with surprise. His forgotten name seemed to be remembered, and he said, "Yeah." His sister's name, "Florence Friend," was then spoken. With amazement he again replied, "Yeah."

The grandfather stated that the boy had been stolen in Texas five years before, and his mother was shot with an arrow, which went through both arms and her breast, knocking her down, and she pretended to be dead. The arrow looked as if it passed through the vital organs, and she was left for dead after taking off a small scalp which she endured without moving a muscle. When the Indians went into the house she knocked one of them with a flatiron, which showed her bravery, and for that reason they took a small scalp. After the Indians left she went to a neighbor's dwelling and had the arrow extracted, and she recovered from the injury. Brother Friend told me that he had traveled about fifteen thousand miles in the vain endeavor to recover the boy, having been to the Apache reservations in Arizona and New Mexico, hoping to find him, as those Indians raided so much in Texas. Several times he had been to the Kiowa and Comanche agency. He had a standing reward of a thousand dollars for his recovery, but at length obtained him free of cost, for which he felt very thankful.

These were all the captives that I heard of, and hence I could now talk about the Texas Captives. "Horseback" was the principal spokesman, but there were some of the Quahadas present. They claimed to have surrendered all of the white children, and now wanted all of their women and children. I told them that they might have come to the agency at any time before their women and children were captured, and they might have been friends, but now I had no control over therm. They belonged to the soldiers in Texas. They then wanted me to write to Colonel McKenzie and tell him how good they had been in delivering all the white children they had, and how good they intended to be in future, and now they wished to have their women and children returned to them. I wrote what they desired, and then on my own account wrote the Colonel that they had surrendered four white children, and so far as appeared that was all they had, and I would like him to please return a few of the women. I didn't think it best to return all of them at that time.

After the Moxie and Friend boys commenced speaking English, I asked them why they ran away from the soldiers, instead of running to them, as they would have been so glad to have taken care of them and to send them to their homes. One of them replied it was because they were foolish little boys, and the other assented to it. Often have I since thought that there are many little boys and girls and grown up people who act very much like those white boys in the Comanche camps. They were far from their Great Father's home and in the enemy's camp. And when they had the opportunity to go to the soliders, who would direct them to their Father's house, they went flying off in the opposite direction. We have all been away from our Heavenly Father's house, and in the camp of our enemy. As those captive boys rode Indian ponies, probably racing and having jolly times in their camps, so do many go to riding hobby ponies in Christian lands, and having their jolly times while away from their Heavenly Father's house. Some will ride a whiskey-pony, but don't intend to ever let it get the advantage of them. Its course is always down and down, and never up. Some will ride a lying hobby horse, some a thieving one, some a swearing one, some a skeptical one. Many seem to be riding a blind hobby horse, drifting they know not where. While they are riding their hobby horses, seeking to have good times on them, here are the soldiers of the cross, under the direction of the "Captain of the hosts of the Lord." - ministers of the gospel, Bible School Teachers, Christian Endeavorers, and many other soldiers, striving to induce them to abandon their hobby horses in the enemy's camp and ride the King's horse in "the highway of holiness." Many listen to them and make the exchange, and if faithful to the orders of their captain they uniformly realize a better and more satisfactory time than they had in the enemy's camp; and they have the assurance that when through riding on the highway of holiness, they will be promoted to a mansion prepared by the Captain and wear "a crown of righteousness," "a crown of glory," "a crown of life." The exchange is on condition of repentance towards God and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. When a person will not make the exchange, does he not seem like the 'foolish little boys" with the Comanche Indians?

Colonel McKenzie honored my request and sent back five Comanche women, one of whom was taken sick and died on the way. When the four reached the agency, I asked them how they had been treated by the officers and soldiers. They replied that they had uniformly been treated kindly and with respect, and had not been abused in any way. I asked them how it compared with the treatment of the Indians towards white women when they took them prisoners. They said that Indians never treated white women with the kindness that they had received, but always abused them. (Source: Our Red Brothers and the Peace Policy of President Ulysses S. Grant by Lawrie Tatum, published 1899, pages 140-144)


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