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Old October 13th, 2012, 05:23 PM   #11

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Medicine Lodge Treaty - Satanta


The great Kiowa chief, Satanta was deeply involved in the events which led up to the Red River War. The Civil War and its immediate aftermath provided an opportunity for the Comanche and Kiowa to push the lines of settlement back in Texas. They took advantage and developed a pattern of peace with the United States to include large reservations while at the same time, they actively raided the Texas settlements including murder, kidnapping, and large scale animal theft. The horses, cattle, and captives were then traded to Comancheros for guns, ammo, and other goods. Naturally this pattern was intolerable in the eyes of the government.

The Medicine Lodge council was arranged was held in southern Kansas in 1868. The Indian commissioners met with representatives of the southern Plains tribes. Primarily they were the Cheyenne, Arapaho, Comanche, and Kiowa. The council would be less a meeting between peoples than a situation where the commissioners told the tribes what was to happen. Primarily, the Indian lands would be converted from large reservations that included most of the Great Plains to much smaller tracts located in western Oklahoma (Indian territory). In return, the tribes were to receive annual annuities (cash and supplies) and summer hunting rights to the great plains as long as the buffalo remained. Treaty terms included safe passage for all railroads and termination of all raids against Texas and the US.

The gathering included a regular 'whos who' of Indian chiefs. Among them was the great Kiowa leader, Satanta. A reporter at the event described him: "By his defiant and independent bearing, he attracted all eyes. A solid chest; a large head, with busy, glittering orbs; fine ears, not too large; long, wavy, shining black hair; straight, broad nose, with expanded nostrils; heavy jawbone; large mouth, square chin, and short muscular neck. He is little above the ordinary height. His person is compact throughout. Agile and strong, he would certainly be a most formidable enemy to encounter alone on the prairie, especially with the words of "Wild Bill" ringing in the ears, "that man has killed more white men than any other Indian on the Plains, and he boasts of it."

During the following days many chiefs spoke to the gathering. Sometimes to the commission and sometimes among themselves. Satanta was consistently negative to the treaty terms and spoke quite eloquently against it several times. "I love the land and the buffalo, and will not part with any. I want you to understand also that the Kiowas don't want to fight, and have not been fighting since we made the treaty." (prior treaty granting the great plains to Indians. It should be noted that his claim of not fighting did not extend to making peace with the Texans below the Red River.)

Even with the objections, the Treaty was successfully concluded. Satanta signed with the other chiefs and collected the various presents for his tribe. As for Wild Bill's quote concerning Satanta's bragging, that very behavior would eventually land him in very hot water. I have been continuing a course of study on the Indian Wars of Texas. This thread has been a part of that and also some blog entries. Earlier this evening, I added a new part on Satanta's run in with General Sherman.

http://www.historum.com/blogs/baltis...wa-chiefs.html

More to come as my study of events continues.
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Old October 14th, 2012, 11:49 AM   #12

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Medicine Lodge Treaty - Kiowa & Comanche


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The Medicine Lodge meetings opened on Oct. 19, 1867 (not 1868 as incorrectly stated in the post above). Satanta of the Kiowa occupied the place of honor in the proceedings. Senator John Henderson spoke first: Paraphrased: To the Cheyenne, Comanche, Kiowa, Arapaho, and Apache/Kiowa tribes of the southern Plains, we made the treaty on the Little Arkansas with you two years ago in hopes there would be no war between our peoples. Unfortunately, you have been raiding the railroads, scalping women and children, etc. We do not like war and are here to discuss the matter. First, tell us what complaints you have about agents or soldiers abusing the treaty, we promise no reprisals for complaints. However, we also intend to do justice for harms against Indians or whites. We have many presents for those who promise peace in the future and accept our land proposals. We will also build schools, churches, teachers and agricultural implements for the tribes.

Satanta spoke next: PARAPHRASED: We came a great distance to see you but please understand, it is the Cheyenne who have been fighting you, the Kiowa have not broken the treaty of two years ago. All the land south of the Arkansas belongs to the Kiowa and the Comanche. I don't want to give any of it away. I don't want the schools, etc. I want my children to grow up as Kiowa on the plains. I will continue to keep the peace and I thank you for the generous presents. QUOTED LAST PARAGRAPH: "Hearken well to what I say. I have laid aside my lance, my bow, and my shield, and yet I feel safe in your presence. I have told you the truth. I have no little lies hid about me, but I don't know how it is with the commissioners; ar they as clear as I am? A long time ago this land belonged to our fathers, but when I go up to the river, I see a camp of soldiers, and they are cutting my wood down or killing my buffalo. I don't like that, and when I see it, my heart feels like bursting with sorrow. I have spoken."

Ten Bears of the Comanche spoke next. His brief words spoke volumes about the Medicine Lodge Treaty negotiations: " Of myself I have no wisdom, but I expect to get some from you--it will go right down my throat. I am willing to do what you say."

Tosh-a-Way of the Penateka Comanche spoke in a calm, argumentative voice: PARAPHRASED: The Penateka were the greatest band of the Comanche until we started listening to the promises of the government. If there is no improvement by next spring as a result of this treaty, "I and my young men will return with our wild brothers to live on the prairie."

With opposite sentiments, Poor Bear of the (Kiowa)Apaches completed the first day with a speech denying his tribe participated in any violence against the whites and suggesting immediate delivery of the presents.
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Old October 16th, 2012, 08:03 AM   #13

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Medicine Lodge Treaty - Kiowa & Comanche


On day 2 of the treaty negotiations, the chiefs were again given an opportunity to speak. A couple of short speeches from Ten Bears and also Satanta followed but they had mostly spoken all they needed to the day before. The speeches show a certain frustration and awareness that negotiations didn't seem to be getting them anywhere. The commissioners listened patiently but didn't really say much themselves. At the end of day 2, Senator Henderson spoke for the government. It was clear really was there to lay out terms and not to negotiate anything.

I put more of the speeches into a blog entry that combines the information here and goes a little bit deeper into the Treaty.

http://www.historum.com/blogs/baltis...ge-treaty.html


The signed on day 3. Presents were given out in quantities rarely seen before and all were impressed. The Comanche and Kiowa went away happy enough. After all, their hunting rights to the Great Plains had been continued. Or had they?

Several problems would crop up in the coming years. The biggest problem being that Indian hunting rights to the Great Plains were an illusion. The buffalo herd was destroyed within a decade thereby extinguishing the rights. Furthermore, the state of Texas never really acknowledged any rights to its territory and maintained the commission had no authority to grant privileges to its land.

more to come.
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Old October 16th, 2012, 08:12 AM   #14

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Keep up the good work B_, I'm enjoying the thread.
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Old October 16th, 2012, 08:30 AM   #15

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Thanks TJ. Nice to know someone is enjoying the thread.

Last edited by Baltis; October 16th, 2012 at 09:01 AM.
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Old October 25th, 2012, 07:49 AM   #16

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Been continuing my quest for knowledge concerning the Red River War. Most recently looking at the history of Comanche relations with the State of Texas. By the time of the Medicine Lodge Treaty, Texas had been governed by five different entities in four decades. The Comanche and Kiowa tribes had long been accustomed to treating America and Texas as separate nations and they had no intention of stopping. The commissioners for the United States explained that Texas was back in the Union and the war was over. The tribes understood but still believed that history was on their side. They had a long-standing special hatred for Texans and never actually considered an end to their raiding activities. In fact, only three months after the treaty was signed, Big Tree led the first of many raids of early 1868. These raids were especially brutal. The war party arrived at the home of Daniel Menasco about 3 in the afternoon just as Joe Menasco tried to ride away with his daughter and several small children. The old man was killed and scalped while Elizabeth was taken captive along with 4 small children. The youngest child (18 months) started to cry and was bashed against a rock. The 8 year old started to cry so they killed her also. Later that night the weather turned cold. Instead of giving Elizabeth a blanket the Indians stripped her nearly naked on the back of her horse. After a while she fell unconscious in the snow and was left for dead. Fortunately, she woke a few minutes later and crawled to a neighbor's home where she was treated for frostbite.

Anyway, relations were not good. I also completed a somewhat lengthy blog entry summarizing Comanche/Texas relations prior to the Red River War.

http://www.historum.com/blogs/baltis...ons-texas.html
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Old November 5th, 2012, 09:46 AM   #17

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Moved forward this week from the history of Comanche relations in Texas and their long history of raiding in the state to the solution. Said solution to come in the form of Colonel Ranald S. Mackenzie. He was transferred to the Texas Frontier around 1870 and commanded the Buffalo Soldiers. Later Mackenzie was given command of the 4rth Cavalry along with most of the frontier forts in Texas. His 1871 and 1872 expeditions into the Llano Estacado (the Staked Plains) broke the back of Comanche resistance. They rose again for the Red River War in 1874 but Mackenzie already knew the routes into and out of the plains along with knowledge of the various canyons that traditionally sheltered the Comanche villages. I typically ran a bit long for a thread post and placed my latest into the continuing blog on the Red River War serving as companion to this thread.

http://www.historum.com/blogs/baltis...mes-texas.html

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Quanah Parker

Last edited by Baltis; November 5th, 2012 at 09:56 AM.
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Old November 5th, 2012, 10:35 AM   #18

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Keep on posting Balt., this is informative to read.
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Old November 7th, 2012, 04:09 PM   #19

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I've bumped into a research block on something. The battle at Adobe Walls (part of my next blog entry) came in June 1874. When Quanah and the others were beaten off at Adobe Walls, they went on a raiding spree. One source goes so far as to say there may be 190 killings. Now that would be a huge number by Texas frontier standards. Especially in such a short time. (These raids were over by August). As far as specific acts go, I can only find reference to one killing by the Kiowa with the story being they went home after collecting one scalp.

Leaving the Comanche to do all this other raiding. Anyway, I am light on sources that would give me more specifics on that year depradations in TX. Its really odd not to have some specific examples to go along with claims of such raiding activity. These same texts would normally provide examples of murders, etc. Anyway, tonight I am wondering if these 190 killings exist at all. As I said, it would be a huge number. During very busy years of raiding on the frontier, 50 to 70 are high numbers of murders.
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Old November 7th, 2012, 04:59 PM   #20

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Well, find what you can and do what you will. I'm hooked on reading your threads.
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