Saturday, July 30, 2016

Ancient Wonders of North America: Tenochtitlan

Tenochtitlan is located where down town Mexico City is today.  It was originally built on an island.  Legend says the people were told to look for a place with an eagle on a cactus with a snake in its beak.  This is where they found the eagle.  Tenochtitlan means the place of the prickly cactus.  The city was built with canals through the city for travel from one spot to another.  The water was too salty to drink, so aqueducts were built to transport water.  The city was built in about 1325 AD.  This was the city to which Cortez was lead when he conquered the Aztecs.  Montezuma was worried about the legend of a white God appearing among them and for this reason Cortez was able to gain entry to the city. 

Ancient Wonders of North America: Teotihuacan

Seven Wonders of Ancient North America, Michael Woods and Mary B. Woods, Twenty-First Century Books, Minneapolis, MN, 2009.

Teotihuacan is an ancient Aztec city about thirty miles north of Mexico City.  It includes a Pyramid of the Sun, Pyramid of the Moon and Avenue of Death.  Teotihuacan was first settled in BC 100 and by 100 AD was the largest city in the New World with over 125,000 residents.  People are not sure where these people have gone, but the Aztecs claimed them as ancestors.  It is believed to have been burned and sacked in 550 AD and totally uninhabited a couple hundred years after this.  It could well have been a place where people from many different groups met.  The influence to Teotihuacan is very wide, with it obsidian products being traded extensively.
Today Teotihuacan is known because of its large pyramids.  Also there are ancient murals which are very well preserved.  At one time the actual city covered a broad area, and much of this is now covered by business and residences, and a military base.  Teotihuacan is also a UNESCO Heritage site.

Temple of the Incsriptions: Palenque: Seven Wonders of Ancient North America

Seven Wonders of Ancient North America, Michael Woods and Mary B. Woods, Twenty-First Century Books, Minneapolis, MN, 2009.

Temple of the Inscriptions is a Mayan ruin in Southern Mexico.  It is in the ancient Mayan city of Palenque.  This is a modern Spanish name.  The ancient name of the city is Lakamha meaning big water.  Inside the Temple of Inscriptions was found a stairway leading to a stone slab.  Under this slab was found the coffin of Pakal who ruled in the 600s.  He had a face mask covering his face which had been made of pieces of jade.  Pakal was identified because archeologist learned how to translate the inscriptions in the tomb.  After 900 ad the town was abandoned, and became overgrown and hid by vines.  The area as of 1930 has been a National Park.  It is also a UNESCO World Heritage site. 

Book Review: Bill O'Reilly's Legends & Lies

Book Review: Bill O'Reilly's Legends & Lies by David Fisher, Fox News, Henry Holt and Company, New York, 2015. This book, among other things, explores our perception of the Old West and where it comes from. Among other things he talks about dime novels, Wild West shows, movies and television.  It is interesting how our perception of the West differs greatly than the actual experience. Dime novels often glorified western characters, including badmen.  Then there was the Buffalo Bill Wild West Show and others like it which attempted to bring the West to people, but could not replicate things exactly.  Early television and movie included the often racist depictions of those in this industry.  Native Americans were rarely showed in a good light, and most often played by White actors.  This book tries to cut through some of this misperception.  It is able to accomplish this but no book could truly correct our entire misperception and bias.

Cliff Palace: Seven Wonders of Ancient North America

Seven Wonders of Ancient North America, Michael Woods and Mary B. Woods, Twenty-First Century Books, Minneapolis, MN, 2009.

Cliff Palace is part of the Mesa Verde archeological site and National Park.  This is the largest of the cliff dwelling in North America.  It was inhabited for about seventy-five years in the early 1200’s b the Anasazi or ancient Puebloans.  It is presumed that the dwelling was made on the cliff for protection from others as this was a time of great competition with other groups due to drought conditions and less resources.  It is also felt that the continuing drought also spelled the doom of the dwelling, as drought conditions made it so food was more and more scarce.  Cliff Palace has many kivas, or round religious rooms which often go into the ground.  The great quantity has led some to speculate that Cliff Palace may have been a religious center.  Cliff Palace was in ruins in the 1800s, but has since been restored by the National Park Service. 

Friday, July 29, 2016

Chapter Review: Jack Jouett, the Ride that Saved America, Glenn Beck

Miracles and Massacres: True and Untold Stories of the Making of America, Glenn Beck with Keven Balfe and Hannah Beck, Threshold Editions, Mercury Radio Arts, New York, 2013.

Silhouette of Jack Souett, only known likeness made while he was living.
In this book, Beck brings to light little known stories about American history.  The first is that of Jack Jouett, whose ride should be just as famous as that of Paul Revere.  However these heroics were more towards the end of the war, June of 17821.  Jouett discovered that Colonel Banastre Tarleton was on the move in Virginia, with the intent of capturing Thomas Jefferson and Monticello.  He had discovered this by taking the clothes of a British captive, and using them to visit a tavern frequented by the British.  He had heard the word in a conversation, and with that knowledge was on his ride, going over back roads, where branches cut his face.  He also traveled at night, in all effort to beat Tarleton and his men.  It wasn’t just Thomas Jefferson who needed to be saved.  There were other officers in the area, as well as important communiques that needed to be guarded.  Jouett arrived at Monticello early in the morning, and quickly explained the situation to Jefferson.  He was able to get away with important papers.  However his home was invaded and inhabited by the British for a time.  Others with Jefferson also fled.  Jouett then headed to his father’s inn.  General Edward Stevens was staying at the inn recovering from a wound.  The dressed the general in shabby clothes,  and Jouett wore a bright Continental uniform, shedding his British uniform which was now rags after the ride.  The general was able to mount a horse, and leave with several Continentals.  Jouett showed himself to the British, who began pursuing him.  He lead them on a wild ride through the countryside as the general made him escape.  Thus two rides, one that saved Thomas Jefferson, and the next save General Stevens. 

Friday, July 15, 2016

Book Review: The Great Basin Indians

The Great Basin Indians: Daily Life in the 1700s, Karen Bush Gibson, Bridgestone Books, Mankato, MN, 2006.
My only complaint about this book is I was wanting more, but when you read a children's history book there isn't more.  However a quick review of what there is.  A map shows five nations. The Goshutes are not included.  Shoshone have two groups, mostly in Utah and then in Wyoming.  Bannock are in Utah.  Paiute have two areas as well, northern Nevada and Oregon and southern Utah.  Utes are mostly in Colorado.  Washoes are in western Nevada.  
Those who lived on the desert were much influenced by the environment.  They were unable to farm due to the environment. They gathered grass seeds, nuts, berries, insects and small game. They were nomadic, and formed small groups of a few families.  Some traveled form area to area with the gathering.  Others travelled form the valleys in winter to the mountains in summer to avoid the heat. Some formed larger groups, tribes which were run by a chief or council. The decisions made included where to gather or hunt, and when to go to war.  The more eastern groups had access to buffalo, and lived in tepees.  The more western groups built wickiups from branches bark and grass.
The piñon hunt in the fall was important. There were also rabbit round ups.  Netting would be used to entrap the rabbits.  They also fished.  Some groups would smoke salmon.  Milkweed fibers were used for clothing.  Rabbit skins and buck skin would also make nice clothing.  Buffalo was often too heavy for clothing, but good for ground cover and tepees.  
This book mentions a game called kill the bone. Also round dance in Autumn with the piñon harvest and bear dance in spring.

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Black Indian Biography: Seminole John Horse

Florida was untamed country.  For this reason many people escaped to Florida.  This included black slaves (Maroons), and Creek.  The runaway Creek Indians became known as Seminoles, and the escaped slaves as Black Seminoles.  These two groups became allies in Florida.
John Horse (aka Cowaya and Juan Caballo) fit both these groups, as was common.  His father was Seminole and his mother African American.  African Americans brought knowledge of agriculture they had learned in Africa.  They also could speak English.  John Horse was useful as an interpreter.
Florida eventually came under American rule, and the Indian Relocation Act asked for all Native American to move to Indian Territory.  The Seminole refused to go.  Eventually they were defeated in the Second Seminole War and signed an agreement with the guarantee that the Black Seminole could go with them.  However the government vacillated, as there were those who looked on the blacks as valuable property.  However John Horse, Osceola and Wild Cat were tricked and taken prisoner.  Osceola died in prison.  John Horse and Wild Cat fasted until they could fit through the bars, and made their escape.  The war continued; but it was impossible for the Seminole to win.  They finally relented and went to Indian Territory.  However they were placed next to the Creek, and there was bad blood because of their history.  The Creek were more numerous, and the Seminole were at a disadvantage.  Wild Cat and John Horse traveled to Washington to lobby for their people.  The government did not listen, and in fact again threatened to take the Blacks and make them slaves.  Both Wild Cat and John Horse lead groups into Mexico where they made arrangements to protect the Mexican border for territory.  Slowly many of the Seminole returned to the United States.  The Civil War removed the threat of slavery.  The U.S. Government offered jobs as scouts to many.  Many returned and the Black Seminole group of scouts was a formidable collection of men.  However their families were not given land as promised.  They had to follow the military camps, and when their spouses became old and retired to were put out.  John Horse, who had returned to the U.S. tried to negotiate with the government to no avail.  He eventually returned to Mexico.  He died in Mexico City.

Cahokia: Ancient Wonder of Ancient North America

Taken from Seven Wonders of North America by Michael and Mary B. Woods, Twenty-First Century Books, Minneapolis, MN, 2009.
artist rendition of Monk's Mound and playing area.

Cahokia was at one time the largest city in North America.  20,000 people resided in Cahokia.  At the time this was as large as the large European cities.  Cahokia was inhabited from about 1150 A.D. to the 1400s.  The people farmed the rich, fertile soil of the Mississippi basin.  This city was in the proximity of East St. Louis on the Illinois side of the Mississippi River.  The people of Cahokia were mound builders, but later than the mound builders of the Ohio region.  cahokia had distinct classes, a ruling class and the working class.  The ruling class ate better diet, and aged more slowly.  A skeleton was found inside a mound.  About sixty other people had been sacrificed and buried with him.  He appeared to be forty, but may have been older again because of his better diet his skeleton may have appeared younger than he was.
The largest mound in Cahokia was Monk's Mound, so called because monks later inhabited the area and farmed in the rich soil.  This mound was as big as the Egyptian and Mexican pyramids.  It would have taken years to build, as the workers would have hauled the dirt one load at a time.  There was also a large playing area nest to the mound for playing a sport called chunky.  It is assumed the people of Cahokia melded into the local tribes, but by the time Europeans arrived the city was deserted, and Europeans had a hard time grasping that the Indians really made such a town.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

The Iroquois Confederacy: Ancient Wonder of North America

One of the Ancient Wonders mentioned in the book, "Seven Wonders of Ancient North America" is not a place or a thing, but an idea.  The idea of living peacefully.  The Native American groups of the northern New York area, spilling into Canada, lived a live of violence, fighting one group against another, which included cannibalism.  Hiawatha and the Peacemaker saw a different way.  Dreams played an important part.  The negotiated and brought five tribes together into a confederacy.  Originally five tribes joined the confederacy.  They were Seneca, Cayuga, Onondaga, Oneida and Mohawk.  They were joined later by a sixth, Tuscarora.  They were the confederacy of the long house.  The confederacy originally formed in the 1100s, and it is still going today, making it the longest democratic system in the world.  Ideas from the confederacy were used in shaping the Constitution.

Brichetto Tomb: Tracy California

The Brichetto tomb is high on a hill overlooking the gold course at the intersection of 120 and 580.  You can see it from the freeway.  I drove up by the golf course and captures some distance shots, and close shots belong to someone else from the internet.  G. Joseph Brichetto came to the United States from Italy.  He had only $40.  However when he died he was worth over $300,000, which was a big deal in 1916.  He was a wheat farmer, and much of San Joaquin was devoted to wheat farming at the time.  He built a place for all of his children to be buried.

Book Review: September 11 Then and Now

September 11 Then and Now, Peter Benoit, Scholastic, New York, 2012.
This book, although written for youth, is a very good a succinct history of 9/11.  He tells the story of what happened with each of the four plains.  It also talks about the planning that went into this event, which started with a garage bombing I 1993.  The terrorists were hoping one building would topple into the other, killing everyone.  Ramzi Yousef was sentenced to life in prison, and Khalid Sheikh Mohammed confessed to helping plan the event and being part of al-Qaeda. 
Osama Bin Laden and Mohamed Atta spear headed the attack in 2001 in which hijackers took control of planes with box cutters and knives.  They then flew the planes into the two World Trade Center towers and the Pentagon Building.  The fourth plane crashed into a field. 
In the World Trade Center he rescue effort got many people below the explosions out, but those above the explosions were doomed, except for a handful who found a way to the roof.  Most of the roof access was locked, and the smoke too heavy for helicopters to land. 
This book also talks about the consequences, going to war against the Taliban, the after effects to health to the rescue workers and others, and of the country coming together.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Jellyfish Cove: Ancient Wonders of North America

This is taken from the book Seven Wonders of Ancient North America, Michael Woods and Mary B. Woods, Twenty-First Century books, Minneapolis, MN, 2009.

Jellyfish Cove (L'Anse aux Meadows)
This site is in Canada, Newfoundland.  What makes this site unique is dwellings left by the Vikings in North America.  For many years there was a legend of the Vikings coming to North America.  This site proves that they actually did.  It was discovered in 1960 by Norwegian archeologist Helge Ingstad.  He originally discovered mounds, and then he found a cooking pit.  Now there is a restored village.  It is thought the Vikings were there around 1000.  That would be almost 500 years before Columbus.

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Book Review: Jim Thorpe Legendary Athlete

Native American Biographies: Jim Thorpe Legendary Athlete, Barbara Long, Enslow Publishers, Springfield, NJ, 1997.

When Jim Thorpe participated in the 1912 Olympics in Sweden, the king of Sweden declared Thorpe the greatest athlete in the world.  He won the pentathlon and the decathlon.  He came home and proved his athleticism by being a pioneer in professional football, and also playing professional baseball.  Thorpe excelled at football, at Carlisle University, playing for Pop Warner.  He would play defense, offense and kick.  He excelled at kicking.  As a result he scored more points than the normal athlete.  He would run for a touchdown, and also kick field goals.  Even after retiring he entertained crowds at halftime by showing his kicking prowess, standing in the middle of the field and kicking in turn both directions. 
Jim Thorpe was of Fox and Sauk ethnicity.  He is a descendant of the famous Sauk Chief Black Hawk.  He had a twin brother, but when he went hunting with his father his brother was left behind because he was ill.  He would die before they could see him again. 
Thorpe would marry three times, and was the father of 8 children.  His oldest son died of juvenile paralysis and Thorpe described this as the hardest time of his life.  He had three more daughters with his first wife, four sons with his second.  When he was elderly he remarried his third wife.  His first two marriages ended in divorce.  It is hard to maintain a family and travel as much as is required of an athlete. 
A few years after winning the two Olympic gold medals, it was discovered that Thorpe had been paid a nominal fee to play baseball.  As a result he lost his amateur status and the medals were taken away.   They were given back to the family after his death, and an appeal based on the Olympic rules that medals could not be taken away so long after they were given. 
At times Thorpe struggled to make a living after he retired form sports. 

American Biography: Frank and Jesse James

Jesse James, Civil War
Frank James
Frank and Jesse James weren't ready for the Civil War to end.  There was too much bad blood floating around, and they took up a life of crime, mostly bank robbery as a way to still hurt the North.  Some of their robberies specifically targeted old enemies, who were often murdered during the robbery.  John Edwards, a newspaper man with Southern sympathies found in the James brothers people who could use to promote the South.  Edwards had been a Colonel in the Confederacy.  He helped turn the James Brothers into folk heroes, while he tried to instill pride into southerners.  Although Missouri had officially remained in the Union, many from Missouri fought with the South.  Frank, 21 and Jesse 16 served with William Quantrill's raiders.  This was a guerrilla outfit.  They used ruthless tactics.  Quantrill's men carried off daring raids.  Trying to stop the raids the Union went after those associated with Quantrill.  When some of the wives and women were killed, Quantrill brought all his men together, and launched an attack against Lawrence, Kansas.  A third of the town was burnt down, and over 150 men and boys killed.  Frank James was involved in this massacre.  The Union pursued the raiders, and found Frank James' unit.  Frank escaped, and when he returned Jesse was with him.  Jesse James was involved in a raid on a train.  They captured twenty-two of Sherman's men headed home for furlough.  They were stripped, shot, and their bodies mutilated.
As the war ended, Quantrill was wounded and later died.  The exact history may not be known, but one story has Jesse James trying to surrender.  Under flag of truce, he was shot through the lungs.  His life would hang in the balance for eight weeks.  He was taken home, and he would later marry one of his nurses, Zee Mimms.  Frank James surrendered in Kentucky, and on his  way home would have a gunfight with four Union soldiers, killing two of them.
The James brothers were permanently scarred by the war.  Others also scarred joined them including Cole and James Younger.  Many other raiders stayed together, and began robbing banks.  After a hold up, Arch Clement was found my a militia in a bar and killed.  Several other members were caught and hung, and some drifted away.  However the Youngers and James and a core group continued on.  They were able to get away with tens of thousands of dollars (which would be millions today.)  They moved on to trains, first in Adair Iowa, where they derailed the train, killing the engineer and injuring passengers.  The Pinkerton Detective Agency was formed to pursue the James'  They caught Reuben and Zerelda Samuels, while their nine-year-old son slept.  The surrounded the house and threw in an incendiary device.  When it exploded Zerelda's arm was almost torn off (it was amputated) and Archie was killed.  Eight Pinkertons were indicted for murder, but never tried.  John Edwards continued to promote them, railing at the carpetbaggers and sympathy for the men who fought them.
The James Younger gang erred in going north for a bank robbery, Northfield, Minnesota.  The town was heavily armed, and everyone in the gang was wounded, two were killed.  The three Younger brothers were captured.  Frank and Jesse laid low for three years.  Jesse was the person who got back into robbing first.  He was the leader of the gang now.  His brother initially declined, but eventually joined him.  New blood was needed, and Charley Ford became a part of the gang.  His brother Bob also joined.  However these two were talking to the police, and planning the demise of Jesse James.  When Jesse turned his back to hang a picture, Bob Ford shot him in the back of the head, killing him.  Rather than a $10,000 reward, the brothers received $600,  The governor divided the money between several parties, himself included.  Bob Ford was not seen as a hero, but a coward for having shot Jesse James in the back when he was unarmed.  Frank James arranged his surrender.  He was tried on only two murder-robbery charges, and acquitted in both cases.  He tried his hand at a wild west show with Cole Younger.  He would die of a heart attack.

Based on Bill O'Reilly's Legends & Lies by David Fisher.

American Biography: Buffalo Bill Cody

Buffalo Bill's life spanned a significant period in the West.  He went from the "Wild West" with Buffalo hunts and Indian fights, to portraying the nostalgia for the West after this period had past.  His first trip west was with the army and the Utah War.  He also served in the Civil War for the Union.  He gained his knick-name by participating in the U.S. policy of ridding the plains of the buffalo, and forcing the Indians to change their nomadic life style.  He killed 69 buffalo in one day, and over 4000 in an 18 month period.  He was involved in the Indian Wars, and killed and scalped Cheyenne Chief Yellow Hair, "The first scalp for Custer." he said.
In 1883 Buffalo Bill decided to create a new kind of entertainment, a spectacle of the Old West.  He started with the Wild West, Rocky Mountain and Prairie Exhibition.  He quickly graduated to his famous Wild West Show.  His show would have a cast of hundreds, cowboys and Native Americans.  He would entertain through out the United States and Europe.  He would entertain dignitaries and royalty, allowing them to ride the stage coach when it was robbed.  His company included Sitting Bull, Annie Oakley, Will Rogers, Iron tail, Mexican Joe, Be Ho Gray, Dr. D.W. Carver and many others.
More than anyone else, Buffalo Bill created the sense of what the Wild West was like.  He show influenced opinion and knowledge on the history of the West.

American Biography: George Armstrong Custer

Having come upon the camps of Crazy Horse and Sitting Bull, Custer but have thought he was headed to a great victory.  Custer had a strategy he had used before.  He planned to get behind the encampment, capture women and children and elderly and use them as negotiating collateral or at least human shields.  This strategy had worked for him before.  Native American warriors were very protective of their women and children.  He split his 800 men into three columns.  Captain Reno was to attack from the South, forcing the encampment to respond.  He would then swoop down out of the mountains in the rear with his larger force.  He knew he was out numbered.  It wasn't until later he realized the actual size of the encampment.  Captain Reno's attack was repelled.  They only made it to within a mile of the encampment, and turned around and retreated, suffering many losses.  Worse for Custer was the the Native Americans guessed his strategy, and were waiting for him when he initiated his attack.  Custer's men did not retreat, but penetrated the Native American forces, until they were completely engulfed and their fate inevitable.  Neither Captain Reno nor Captain Benteen who had been called back from a scouting mission came to his aid.  They remained dug in on Reno Hill.
When hearing of the battle President Grant would say, "I regards Custer's Massacre as a sacrifice of troops, brought on by Custer himself; that was wholly unnecessary--wholly unnecessary."

Before these events Custer had a significant military career.  He was still a struggling student at West Point when the Civil War commenced.  He was from the lower part of the class, and often received demerits.  However they were rushed through, and Custer was with the troops at First Big Run, having found his own mount.  He became a part of General McClellan's staff.  He was also brash and aggressive, and a bit impulsive.  He was also criticized for his pursuit of praise.
Custer and his cavalry had a major role at Gettysburg.  He had been promoted to brigadier general just before the battle, and at 23 the youngest general.  His troops charged into Jeb Stuart's calvary, and repulsed their attack.  He thus protected the Union line from Stuart's flanking moves.  Stuart was forced to withdraw, the first time in the war his calvary had been stopped.
He fought with General Sheridan in the Shenandoah Valley.  At the end of the war, his cavalry got in front of Lee, and prevented his escape, and thus forced his surrender at Appomattox.
Custer came out of the Civil War as a national hero.  During the war he he also married.  His wife would go with him to his outposts throughout his career rather than be left behind.  However he still wanted to fight, and used his influence to become Lieutenant Colonel of the Seventh Calvary fighting the Plains Indians.  However he discovered the same tactics would not work.  The Indians would attack and then dissipate, and they were hard to find.  At one point Custer became discouraged, and left the field of battle returning to his wife.  He was court-martialed and found guilty of desertion, and suspended for a year.  However he was recalled more quickly than this because of the need.  The Indians were becoming more bold.  He was ordered to destroy villages and kill warriors.  In pursuit of a group that had been attacking settlers, he cam upon a village of Cheyenne.  Rather than wait for his scouts intelligence he attacked, and killed Black Kettle and many of his men.  Black Kettle was a peaceful Indian and was displaying a white flag of truce.
Custer's was involved in the discovery of gold in the Black Hills, or at least protecting the prospectoers.  This was significant as this area was holy ground to the Sioux.
Custer's rush to fame would prove fatal to he and his men at the Battle of Little Big Horn.  Custer would always wear buckskin into battle.  He said this was so his men could easily identify him and gather around him.  That Custer was failed by Benteen and Reno is true.  When Benteen arrived on the scene he reinforced Reno rather than Custer.  This was an order from Reno, his commanding officer.  Reno was accused of incompetence or drunkenness. This was not substantiated.

Saturday, July 9, 2016

American Biography: Kit Carson

Kit Carson ran the gamut as far as his own history.  He was a Mountain Man, scout and guide for the military, fought in the Mexican American War and the Civil War, and was an Indian fighter and Indian advocate.  He was born in 1809 and lived 59 years.  He left home at age 16.  He traveled west with a fur harvesting expedition.  He joined John C. Fremont in exploring and mapping the Oregon Trail and parts of California.  Fremont and Carson would save each other several time from Indians.  He also saved Fremont and his company from starvation when they were caught in the snow.   Again with Fremont he was instrumental in the American uprise in California which lead to California being liberated from Mexico and becoming part of the United States.  He then served as a scout for General Kearney.  He was appointed agent for the Ute and Jicarilla Apache Indians.  Carson led Union forces in New Mexico against the Confederate.  He then carried on fight Native Americans in the area, Kiowa, Apache, Navajo and Comanche.  He became the commanding force in fighting the Navajo and their forced march.  His commanded officer, general James Carleton declared that the Indians must be beat and forced to move.  And on point Carson resigned his commission; but he took it up again.  He didn't attack their warriors, but their food supplies, starving them out.  Kit Carson became a man of legend in the adventure stories written about him.  After subduing the Navajo, he was promoted to general, and put in charge of calming the Kiowa, Comanches and Cheyennes.  Carson ended up in a situation similar to Custer's Last Stand.  His scouts underestimated the force against him, and the risked being engulfed.  Carson used two howitzers and back fires to keep the Indians at bay, and his men were able to make their escape.  The Kiowa call this the time they repelled Kit Carson.
Carson had three wives, and ten children.  His first wife he one after defeating a French Man in a duel at a rendezvous.  He was forcing himself on her, and Carson took offense.  Her name was Singing Grass.  She died giving birth to his second daughter.  His first daughter was raised by his sister.  He then married a Cheyenne woman but she left him to travel with her people.  He then married a Mexican woman.  He became Catholic to marry her, and they had 8 children together.
Kit Carson became one of the most revered men in the United States.  More than 50 novels were written about him.  However Carson was never one to be overly proud of himself.  He passed away just a month after his wife due to heart problems.

Friday, July 8, 2016

Biographical Book Review: Charles C. Rich: Mormon General and Western Frontiersman

Charles C Rich: Mormon general and Western Frontiersman, Leonard J. Arrington, Brigham Young University Press, Provo, Utah, 1974
I have been fascinated by this book.   This is a story of an apostle, who experienced many of the early events of the church.  He participated in Zion's Camp, and saw the Lord defend his men through a storm which prevented the gentiles form being able to mount an attack.  He was at Far West when the prophet was taken.  He served missions to England in the early days of the church.  Perhaps one of his most important places in church history was the establishment of San Bernardino in California, which was established as a place for the Saints to rest if they should come around the Horn and up to California and then on to Utah.  I never realized much of the history of this community, and how the Mormons eventually left.  The Church was paying an incredible amount of interest on the property.  They often would have to go to members and ask for donations, this included John Horner who became a wealthy farmer in the Bay Area after traveling to California on the Ship Brooklyn.  Even with donations, in seems there was always another payment due.  Persecution also found its way to San Bernardino, with non Mormons wanting to take over the property of the Mormons.  Finally Brigham Young decided it was time to give up the property rather than making the payments.  He called Charles Rich and other leaders on missions to Europe.  The church owned property was let go.  Some Mormons on private property continued on, but most returned to Utah.
Charles Rich subsequently was called to found the area around Bear Lake and the Utah County is named for him.  This area is incredibly cold in the winter, and the cold weather caused some problems with people being snowed in for months during the winter.  He passed away in Paris, Idaho in 1883.  He was 74 years old.  

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Movie Review: ***^Ephraim's Rescue

Ephraim’s Rescue

This movie tells the story of a very fascinating man, Ephraim Hanks.  It also tells of Thomas Dobson, as he was one of the recipients of Ephraim’s miracles, and responded by dancing a jig.  Ephraim had a sense of listening to the Lord, and knowing what he should be about.  This sense comes to his benefit on several occasions.  He also was prepared to take part in the rescue, by his life and circumstances.  He also had the gift of healing healing, and this gift he was able to use in healing the Saints in his community, the handcart pioneers, and on one occasion an Indian boy. 
I find anything about the handcart pioneers emotional, and this was no different.

Civil War Movies: Movie Summary

Civil War Movies: Movie Summary

*****Gettysburg (1993) (Jeff Daniels, Martin Sheen,
****^ Lincoln
****  The Outlaw Josey Wells  (1976) (Clint Eastwood and Chief Dan George)  This movie is a bit too violent, but I have enjoyed ever since seeing it in the theater as a youth.  Clint Eastwood is really good.  The ending is a bit strange.
**** The Littlest Rebel  (Shirley Temple) (1935)
***^ Column South (1953) (Audie Murphy)
***^ The Littlest Colonel (Shirley Temple) (1935)
***^ Gods and Generals (2003) Author Michael Shaara.  This is a prequel to Gettysburg, but just doesn't quite hit the mark in the same way.
***^ An Occurence at Owl Creek Bridge (Ambrose Bierce)
*** Ambrose: Civil War Stories(2006) Three short stories: One Kind of Officer; A STory of Conscience; An Occurence at Owl Creek Bridge;
** Yellowneck (1955)

American Biography: Doc Holliday

Doc Holliday was a man who ran both sides of the law.  And he really was a doc, a doctor of dentistry.  However when he contracted tuberculosis not many people wanted to see him any more.  He was advised to head west to drier climates to prolong his life.  That is what brought him West.  He became a gambler, and a drinker, and used laudanum, and had a very bad temper.  He was never convicted of a crime, but was arrested 17 times.  His love was Mary Katherine Horony "Kate" or "Big Nose Kate."  She too was hot tempered.  Soon after they hooked up, she got to break him out of jail after he killed another gambler who was cheating.  He befriended Wyatt Earp and his family.  He was terribly loyal in this friendship, and help Earp escape several tight situations.
Of course both he and Wyatt Earp are best known for a gun fight in Tombstone, Arizona.  This involved the Earp brothers, Marshals in the local town against a criminal gang known as "The Cowboys."  The sheriff supported the Cowboys, who were cattle rustlers.  The area was close to the border with Mexico and they played both sides.  Several of the Cowboys threatened Earp.  This lead to Earp and his brothers, Virgil and Morgan and Doc Holliday going to a vacant area by the OK Corral to disarm the gang. When Billy Clanton and Frank McLaury went for their guns, Virgil Earp said, "I don't want that." but it was already too late.  Shots rang out, in fact over 30 shots.  When it was over three of the Cowboys were dead, and the fourth ran off.  Morgan and Virgil were both wounded.  Doc Holliday had been hit in the hip, but the leather from his belt prevented a wound.  Virgil was untouched.  When the sheriff approached Wyatt to arrest him, he just said, 'I won't be arrested today."
This killing set off a feud war.  The town eventually became too dangerous for the Earps.  Morgan Earp was shot and killed.  But bodies of the Cowboy Gang seemed to be piling up.  The gang was decimated.
Later Doc moved to Colorado, and the Earps to California.  However Wyatt came to visit Doc and he was much thrilled by the visit.  The consumption was over taking Doc and he was dying.  He spent his last two months in bed, and died in his stocking feet.

Book Review: America's Art

America’s Art: Smithsonian American Art Museum, Theresa J. Slowik, Abrams, New York in association with Smithsonian American Art Museum, 2005.

This book of art very much reads like a history text.  It covers very briefly the history of the United States, from early settlers, the land, the fight for liberty, early farming, Westward expansion, the Civil War, the Rise of Industry, the cities, The renaissance, the Southwest, the Great Depression, folk art, WWII, and then our current state of being with the technology revolution. 

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

American Biography: Annie Oakley

Annie Oakley is known for her sharpshooting skills.  She was amazing with a gun.  As a young woman, she supported her family by hunting.  She would supply several local restaurants with fresh game, and was able to support her family.  When she was 15 she won a shooting contest with proclaim sharpshooter Frank Butler.  Butler knew a good thing, so he married her.  He promoted her above himself, and in a few years Oakley and Butler became part of Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show.  She paid off her mother's mortgage on the farm.  (Her father had passed away.)  Annie was only five feet tall.  Sitting Bull, who also traveled with the show for a time, befriended Oakley and called her Watanya Cicilla meaning Little Sure Shot.  She traveled all over the United States with the show, and even to Europe.  In 1901 she was in a train accident, and was recovering for some time.  She had five operations on her back.  She left the Wild West Show opting for quieter more peaceful show.  She was in a play written for her call "The Western Girl."  Some of the shooting tricks Oakley performed include shooting a hole in a dime, shooting a cigarette in her husband's mouth and shooting over her shoulder using a mirror.  There were other women sharpshooter, but none had the style and grace of Annie Oakley.  In 1904 a story was published in the Randolph Hearst newspapers claiming Oakley was addicted to cocaine.  Oakley sued for libel and won.  The Butlers never really settled down.  They preferred living in motels or resorts.  
Excerpts taken from WIkipedia and Bill O'Reilly's Legends & Lies: the Real West by David Fisher.

Monday, July 4, 2016

Documentary Review: We Shall Remain: Wounded Knee

This is the last of the five episodes presented by PBS through their program American Experience.  This feels focuses on the take over of Wounded Knee by Oglala Sioux and American Indian Movement activists in 1973.  They occupied the town for 71 days.  Part of their goal was to oust Tribal Chairman Richard Wilson.  They also wanted to reopen some o the original treaty negotiations.  When two of the occupiers were killed by Federal Marshals, they occupiers gave up.  The government never really et wit them, and they arrested many of those involved.  The community had one of the highest murder rates in the country after this uprising, much of this blamed on Wilson and his GOONS, Guardians of the Oglala Nation.  This movie only mentioned briefly the Wounded Knee Massacre.

Documentary Review: We Shall Remain: Geronimo

Geronimo's sneer was from a bullet wound
This is the fourth of a five-part series from American Experience on PBS.  This film points to Geronimo as both a hero and a man whose pride brought down his nation.  Geronimo had a vision in which he was told he would be a fierce warrior and bullets would not kill him.  Many times he was captured and released, or negotiated to give himself up and then changed his mind.  One time he left the reservation after a peaceful medicine man, prophet was killed.  He was known simply as the Dreamer.  He was a peaceful man, focusing on living the Native ways, but also learning to coeXist with the Whites.
Geronimo was the last Native American fighting the Federal Government.  He and his people but a heavy price for this.  I had never realized before the consequences for his people.  The Chiricahua Apache were removed form the reservation and kept essentially as prisoners of war for over 20 years.  They were shipped to Florida, which was very poor for their health as they were use to more arid conditions.  Geronimo and those still with him, about 34 were taken to Florida, and then to Indian territory.  He become somewhat of a celebrity, and even became a part of Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show.  He was in President Ted Roosevelt's inaugural parade.  He asked the President if he could go home, but his request was declined.  He died in Indian Territory, after falling of a horse and contracting pneumonia.

Sunday, July 3, 2016

American Biography: David Crockett

David Crocket (he only became known as Davy late in life) was a frontiersman born in Kentucky.  He hunted bear and birds, trapped forest animals, planted crops and fathered two boys by Polly Finley who he married before he turned 20.  In 1813 he served with Andrew Jackson against the Red Sticks of the Creek.  Crocket performed well in battle, but he had a conflict with Jackson's ruthless tendencies.  Crockett's anger with Jackson would follow him into politics.
Crockett's political career began when his former commanding officer, Captain Matthews was a candidate for lieutenant colonel and asked Crocket to run for major.  However Crockett realized Matthews had picked Crockett to run against his son, hoping he was and easy candidate to beat.  He decided to run against Matthews instead, and became the commander of the militia.
Crockett's wife passed away, but he remarried, and now through his wife had some money.  Crocket would run for state legislature.  He wasn't a natural politician, and admitted this readily and made fun of himself, but would offer whiskey after his short words, and nobody would be left to listen to his opponent.  Crockett won.  When Crockett ran for Congress, he again ran a populist campaign.  He ran against Dr. William Butler, nephew of Andrew Jackson.  Crocket wore his buckskin clothes, while saying in the doctor's fancy house he the doctor walked on carpets better than most women's clothes.  Crockett again won.
The same year Andrew Jackson had run for president, and although he won the popular vote, he lost the electoral collage vote.  However Jackson's political hopes were looking up.  Crockett stood up for the rights of the poor and the down trodden.  Crocket supported Jackson in his next run for the presidency, which he won, but did not support his policies.  Crockett wrote a couple autobiographies, "The Life and Adventures of Colonel David Crockett of West Tennessee" and "A Narrative of the Life of David Crockett, written by Himself."  A big bone of contention between Crockett and Jackson was the Indian Relocation Act.  Crockett opposed, while this was Jackson's goal to repay those who had supported him.  Gerrymandering had made Crockett's reelection less sure.  He won one campaign but lost the next.  He had said if he lost, he would move to Texas, and he did.  However Crockett was not just leaving, he was also going to be part of something bigger than himself.  He joined the Texans in the Alamo.  There were more than 1800 Mexican soldiers under Santa Anna, the Mexican dictator, who laid siege to 175 Texans inside the Alamo in San Antonio.  It is known that Crockett entertained the men with his storytelling and his violin.  He also put a cannon out of action that moved too close with his sharp shooting.  When the North Wall of the fort was breached, many of the Texans escaped to the barracks and chapel.  Crocket and his men fought in the open, exhausting their ammunition, and then using their weapons as clubs.  Most historians believe Crockett died with a pile of Mexican bodies around him, being stabbed by a bayonet.  A diary found many years later said Crockett had been executed.  Of the Texans there were three survivors, a woman and her son and a black slave.
Excerpts from Bill O'Reilly's Kegebds & Lies: The Real West, by David Fisher, Fox News.

Native American Biographies: Chief Walkara (Shoshone or Ute)

Chief Walkara was chief of the Sanpete, Timpanogos band of Indians.  There is some confusion as to whether this group was Shoshone or Ute.  Walkara means hawk in Shoshone.  This group spoke a mixture of both languages.
Walkara lead his people on a very wide migration.  He was referred to as the greatest horse thief in history.  This was a great honor among Indian people based on a society of stealing horses from one another.  Walkara's travels put him in contact with Spaniards, California Indians, Apache, Navajo and many other groups.  He gained his fame as a great horse theif by stealing many horses from the Spaniards.
With the advent of the Mormon pioneers Walkara favored driving them out of the area.  However the views of his brother, Sowiette won out.  Walkara met with Brigham Young and they negotiated a peace.  Walkara was baptized.
However, subsequent to this there was a disagreement and Walkara was involved in Walker's War.  This name refers to James Walker Ivie who killed several members of Walkara's tribe in a conflict.  This war involved raiding of several Mormon settlements.  Brigham Young asked members to move from outlying farms into forts.  However the War was short lived, and after the war, 120 members of Walkara's band were baptized into the Mormon Church.  Walkara was likely rebaptized.
Walkara died of a lingering illness, likely pneumonia, in 1855.

Sanpitch was a brother of Walkara.  He was also the father of Black Hawk.  His murder in 1866 was one of the things which sparked the Black hawk War.

American Biography: Bass Reeves: African American Federal Marshall: The Real Lone Ranger?

Bass Reeves was an African American federal officer.  He was born into slavery in 1838.  Growing up he was such a good marksman, his master enrolled him in competitions.  When his master, George Reeves became sheriff and tax collector, he had Bass at his side.  Bass claimed to have served in the Civil War with his master, and thus earned his freedom.
The Lone Ranger was a fictional character.  However if his exploits and life were based on an individual, this would be Bass Reeves.  There are enough similarities to make you wonder.  Bass Reeves would give informants a silver dollar.  The Lone Ranger would leave a silver bullet.  Bass Reeves often would work alone on the trail of suspects, as would the Lone Ranger.  He would travel light and move fast, as did the Lone ranger.   When he got on a man's trail he wouldn't let it go until he had brought in his man.  He was considered one of the best trackers.  he had spent his time living with the Indians.  Bass Reeves would often go with a Native American companion, although this companion would change from time to time.  The Lone Ranger used Tonto.  Bass Reeves supported the law, bringing people back alive whenever possible.  He had a sense of fair play, as did the Lone Ranger.  He said, "Government law didn't send me out here to kill people, but to arrest them."
Bass Reeves serviced they most dangerous place in America, Indian Territory.  Of the 22 thousand white men in the territory, it was estimated seventeen thousand were criminals on the lam.  At the time, this area had the highest murder rate in the country.  To Bass Reeves and the other Federal Marshals came the job of cleaning this mess up and bringing law and order.  Bass Reeves worked with Judge Issac Park, who was known as the hanging judge.  The judge tried over 13,000 people, of whom 29 were hung.
On one occasion, he even had to arrest his own son who had shot and killed his wife.  He tracked him down, and brought him to justice.
However, even Bass Reeves would fall victim to White prejudice.  He had performed his job with honor, but when Jim Crow laws came into effect, he was forced to resign.  A Black man couldn't arrest a White criminal.  He then joined the Muskogee police department and walked a beat.

Excerpts from Bill O'Reilly's Legends & Lies by David Fisher

Saturday, July 2, 2016

Documentary Review: We Shall Remain: Trail of Tears

This show was hard to watch, but good to watch.  The Cherokee as a people did everything they could to appease the White Easterners.  Many accepted Christianity.  The Cherokee were one of the Civilized Tribes.  Some had Black slaves.  Many lived in fancy American style houses.  They had been granted their land, their reservation if you will.  However, many of their neighbors coveted the land.  However, when Andrew Jackson came into power as president, he came with a mandate from his constituents to remove the Indians to the West.  He was true to this campaign promise.  David Crocket and others opposed him in congress, but this opposition was not successful, and congress passed a bill in 1830 and President Jackson sign the Indian Relocation Act, authorizing him to remove the Indians. 
After passage of this act, the State of Georgia divvied up the Indian territory, and made it available to citizens of Georgia.  They began to push the Native Americans aside, and some were killed.  This issue went to the Supreme Court.  The court ruled that as the Cherokee were an independent nation, the state had no jurisdiction and they could not be removed without a new treaty.  Chief Justice John Marshall said, "The Cherokee nation, then, is a distinct community occupying its own territory in which the laws of Georgia can have no force. The whole intercourse between the United States and this Nation, is, by our constitution and laws, vested in the government of the United States."
However, President Jackson chose not to enforce the ruling of the Supreme Court.  He made it clear he would not interfere with the State of Georgia, and in fact encouraged them to keep the "heat on."  This continued pressure split the nation.  John Ridge and his son and Elias Boudinot argued that removal was inevitable and they should negotiate with the government for compensation for their lands.  John Ross, the tribal chair at this time (John Ridge had been) followed the wishes of his constituents and refused to negotiate a treaty for giving away their lands.  Ridge, his son and Boudinot signed a treaty document ceding their lands for lands in Indian territory, $3 million dollars, and a guarantee of assistance in moving.  This was known as the Treaty of Echota.  It passed the Senate by only one vote.  They left, with about 2000 others before the required date, and were helped to move and reestablish themselves.  
John Ross held out hope of a change in heart.  They gathered a petition signed by almost every remaining Cherokee, about 15,000 signatures.  However it was not to be presented to Congress.  Other matters took precedence, and when the day came for removal, military and locl militia forced Indians out of their homes with just the clothes on their backs.  The rounded them into cattle corrals.  
Some would stay for some time in these corrals, facing the weather as the first group to travel hit illness.  The rest wanted to wait for the passing of the sick season.  They finally began their journey in the Fall.  However the weather caught them.  This season was exceedingly cold, with considerable amounts of snow.  Because of the weather they were delayed, and consequently their food ran out.  Of the 16,000 being forced to travel, a quarter would pass away.  All would suffer hardship, hunger and fatigue.
Cherokee law had been passed stating that if you sold Cherokee land your life was forfeit.  This payment was extracted from Ross sr. and JR as well as Boudinot.
I think it is important to watch this movie even though seeing the suffering is hard.  As a country, we treated the native Americans very harshly.  At one point a commentator said these acts were akin to genocide.  

American Biography: Black Bart

The name Black Bart, is a self given name.  Black Bart's real name is Charles Earl Bowles.  He was born in England.  He made several prospecting trips, two to California and one in Montana.  He had married and had a wife in Illinois.  He also served in the Civil War with Sherman's march to the sea.  In Montana he had a promising claim, running water through a "tom," a flue which separated the gold from the rocks.  Some men moved above his claim, and cut off his water.  Bowles felt these men were affiliated with Wells fargo, and he took out his vengeance against the stage company.  His robberies all took place in the Northern California and Southern Oregon area.  His first and last robberies were near Copperopolis, a community not too far from where I currently live.  Black Bart needed certain conditions for his robberies.  He was afraid of horses, and consequently did not ride.  He would choose a place where he could walk, and an upgrade for the stage coach so the coach would be going uphill and slower.  His initials robberies he carries out a rouse with sticks placed to look like guns, and he would call to his men to shoot if the driver tried anything.  Black Bart would only steal from the stage coach box.  He would not steal from the passengers.  He also would not kill anyone.  He threatened with a gun, which was rarely loaded and was old and rusted.  
An unusual thing about Bart is that at a couple robberies he left verse, almost taunting those who were trying to stop him.  
I've labored long and hard for bread,
For honor, and for riches,
But on my corns too long you've tread,
You fine-haired sons of bitches.
— Black Bart, 1877
 Here I lay me down to sleep
To wait the coming morrow,
Perhaps success, perhaps defeat,
And everlasting sorrow.
Let come what will, I'll try it on,
My condition can't be worse;
And if there's money in that box
'Tis munny in my purse.— Black Bart

While Black Bart was robbing stage coaches, at least 24 robberies were credited to him, which is more than anyone in history, he lived in San Francisco under an assumed name, and passed himself off as a rich mining engineer named Charles Bolton.  
James Hume was a detective hired by the Wells Fargo Company to capture Black Bart.  He actually used skills of detection, which was unusual for the time, other than interviewing witnesses.  He took cast molds of footprints, he dug out bullets and buckshot to look for comparisons.  
Wells Fargo became smarter over time, fastening the black boxes to the coach.  Bart would have to take time to them them loose, and this lead to his capture.  At a robbery, near in location to his first, a passenger had been let off at the bottom of the hill.  It took enough time for Bart to remove the contents of the box, that they came upon bart while he was making his escape.  They fired four shorts, and hit him in the hand.  He also left quickly, leaving some of the items at his camp.  This included a bloodied handkerchief with a laundry mark.  With this mark, Hume was able to track him down, and discover his true identity.  Bart confessed and was convicted of the last robbery.  He was sentenced to San Quentin.  It is estimated he stole between twenty and one hundred thousand dollars (three million today.)  After his release, early for good behavior, he drifted into obscurity.
Excerpts form Wikipedia and Bill O' Reilly's Legends & Lies by David Fisher.

Native Americans and Hyrum City

Shoshone used to camp in the gulch where Hyrum Lake is now located
Cache valley use to be a part of the regular migration of the Eastern and Northern Shoshone.  The book "Home in the Hills of Bridgerland" documents some of the contacts between these migrating groups and the native Americans.  In talks of both Washakie and Sagwitch and their people coming through the area.  From the history of Emma Liljenquist the note:
Whenever we could hear the Indians coming, there was excitement.  The sound of the bells on their little dogs and the dragging of their tent poles on the ground always let us know when they were near.  Often the Indians came from Mt. Sterling over across the river which is now covered by the dam. . . .One day Chief Washakie, a very important Indian at that time, and a very good friend of the white people, came with a band of Indians.  They stopped outside our place.  There were about one hundred in all, men squaws, and papooses.  The Indian men usually rode on horses free from luggage while the squaws rode those which were loaded with tents, dragging poles, buckets and baskets and papooses.  This day they wanted watermelons.  Chief Washakie told my father what they wanted.  Father told him to help himself. . . .He was dressed extra fine.  He wore a [w]hite shirt and black trousers and a long linen duster.  He wore no hat and his hair was braided into two long braids which were wrapped with beads and [he wore] beaded moccasins.  The Indians usually camped down in the hollow which is now covered by water.  They always like to camp by the water so they could fish.
Early in the morning just as the sun was coming up, we could see the squaws coming up the hill.  They would spend the day going from house to house and at night would go back to camp loaded with provisions.  The Indians were quite friendly in this part of the state and would wander from door to door trading or swapping as they would say, their beads for flour, sugar, bread, or molasses which they like very much. . . .The Indians used to pick choke cherries and we would swap things for them.  I don't think I could eat one now having been picked by the Indians, but at that time we enjoyed them.
One cold wintry Saturday just after we had finished scrubbing the floor and had put some sacking by the door an Indian quietly opened the door and came in.  He said, "Heap cold, heap cold." and mother said to come in a sit by the stove and get warm and I will give you something hot to drink.  After he had eaten and gotten warm he got up to go and turned and said, "Good woman, heap good woman."  Mother died shortly after that.  One day this Indian came to the house and was carrying some fish he had caught and said it was for "Little mar" which was what he called mother and when we told him she had died he stood and wiped his eyes and cried and said "Too bad, too bad, good woman." and for a long time he used to come to see "Little Mary's papoose."
The also quote Lon Savage:
It was customary for the Indian women to go from door to door all over town begging for flour.  They carried a fifty pound sack and each place they called they were given a quart or so of flour.  While the women were begging flour, the men, headed by the chief, went in search of meat, the most usual person was the bishop.  A band came and established a camp that filled the whole street.  Their horses were staked along the ditch banks all over the neighborhood.  There must have been 100 men, women, and children.
Up in the center of town was the tithing office and a yard bard back in the center of the block.  There they found the bishop and he, adhering to the advice of Brigham Young "Feed the Indians, don't fight them."  At the Tithing Yard there were always kept a few head of cattle for emergency.  When the bishop saw the large number he called for help and killed a beef and parceled it out.  Each one was given his share in his hands without any wrapping.  When all were served they formed a line, single file, and marched to their camp holding their meat up so it was visible to all whom they passed. . . While the oldster were gone the older children were gathering wood.  Some were better educated and instead of gathering willows along the ditch banks, they went to people who had a supply of summer wood piled up and there the bedded wood.
Flour, meat and wood were now in good supply and preparation was made for the feast.  Fires were built all over the camping area and when a supply of live coals was ready the meat was roasted on the live coals.  Those who had stew meat hunted an old tin can for the stew pot.  Water was taken from the water ditch, not withstanding some of the horses were standing in the ditch up the stream.  The roasted meat was parceled out to each and held in the fingers.  The Johnny cake was made in a trough of flour and mixed with water form the irrigation ditch, on the flesh side os a piece of dried deer hide.  Mixed stiff, it was spread on live coals and soon the Johnny cake was ready.  Meat in one hand and Johnny cake in the other, the feast was in full swing.  When the stew was ready some cold water from the ditch was added to cool the soup.  They dived in the pot with their hands and fished out a piece of meat and a swallow of soup in the palm of the hand.  The feed over, they lay down and went to sleep.  Their hand were a good fly rendezvous and the dogs in camp licked some of the hands of the contented sleepers.
And then from the writing of Laurin Liljenquist:
An Indian named Sacquich [Sagwitch] and his squaw often cam to my father's home.  They would visit with us, eat our food, and ask for provisions to take with them.  They usually received whatever they asked for, is we were able to comply with their requests.  Sacquich and his squaw brought sacks of dried choke cherries and dried service berries each autumn and stored them in my father's cellar.  In the spring they would return for them.  The dried berries contributed to their food supply in the early spring.  These Indians never harmed us and we looked forward to their short visits.
Sometimes a group of Indians would go from cabin to cabin requesting food or any articles which would be useful or interesting to them.  This group of Indians would always dance to their own music at each home before making their wants known.
[One year] tepees were built all over the town and you could see Indian children playing outside.  Some of them rode wild horses.  The Indians used to tame wild horses for the White people, then they took some wheat or corn for pay.  They wanted money, but the Whites could not give them any because they did not have enough for themselves.  The Indians got angry, but it did no good.  The Whites had to build a corral for their animals so the Indians could not steal them. . . .At last the Indians became quite friendly with the Whites, and the Indian children and the White children began playing together.  The Indians had a big green place like a square where they all lived.  After they made friends with the Whites, they were the best people to live with there could be.  After that they were always friends.

Black Indian Biography: Edward Rose: Mountain Man

Edward Rose's origins are sketchy.  His date of birth was not recorded.  However he had a white father.  His mother was Cherokee and Black mix.  In 1807 he joined and expedition out of St. louis to establish fur trading outposts.  He already had a scarred nose and forehead. The crow would later name him Nez Coupe meaning Cut Nose.  Perhaps from a fight and a knife slash.  Washington Irving who wrote of the fur trade called him "dogged, sullen and silent."  He was prominent in several early expeditions, working for Manuel Lisa, Andrew Henry.  The first expedition, most of the men returned to the East as quickly as the could.  However Rose stayed.  He became partial to the Crow and lived among them.  In 18ll he lead a party lead by John Jacob Astor and Wilson Price Hunt through Crow territory.  For some reason Hunt thought he may be leading them to ambush, or talking some of his men into deserting and taking their horses.  Rose was dismissed.  The expedition became lost most of their horses and some died.  In 1822 William Ashley led an expedition to set up mountain men as trappers, instead of just trading with the Native Americans.  Rose was guide.  Jedediah Smith and Jim Bridger were part of this group.  This type of move irked the Indians who would be removed from trading furs.  The expedition was attacked by Arikara Indians.  Ashley wanted revenge.  Fourteen trappers had been killed.  A military force of 200 men under the command of Colonel Henry Leavenworth responded.  Joined by Sioux and mountain men they attacked the Arikara and there was a pitched battle for several days.  The Arikara sued for peace, and Rose was sent to negotiate the peace.  Leavenworth praise praised Rose as "brave and enterprising."  This group of mountain men became the first non-Indians to discover South Pass.  They also would make many other important discoveries in the West.  Rose went back to live with the Crow people and became a leader among them.  Rose likely dyed in a battle with the Arikara.  Old maps of the upper Mississippi Valley show a Cut Nose Butte, and mark his grave close to the Bighorn and Yellowstone Rivers.

Excerpts from Proud Red and Black: Stories of African and Native Americans, William Loren Katz and Paula A. Franklin, Antheneum Books for Young Readers, New York, 1993.