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Battle of Buffalo Wallow: 1874



FROM UTAH. THE RED MAN . . .


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NEW-YORK TIMES, June 30, 1865

FROM UTAH. The Red Man -- What Shall be Done With Him?

GREAT SALT LAKE CITY, Friday, June 2, 1865.

What to do with the red men is still a problem which, it appears, cannot be satisfactorily solved. For this Spring there seems to be as much chance of difficulties with them, all around, as ever. We hear of Indian troubles from every quarter nearly. They are rampageous, in a limited way, and sometimes not so limited in California, Nevada, Arizona, New-Mexico, Colorado, Nebraska, Minnesota, Montana, Oregon and Utah, and probably will soon be, if they are not, in Dakotah.

In all the States and Territories afflicted, except this, the sentiment of extermination grows stronger and stronger, and it is generally conceded, whatever may be the ground of quarrel, that there will be no “good peace,” sure and certain, while there is a red skin above ground. How far this may be true, I shall not determine, but certainly experience goes in favor of that idea largely.

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The original cause of the multitudinous quarrels and the difficulties it is not easy to learn, but nobody is, by any means, anxious to bear the blame. There are a few notions and habits connected with Mr. Indian which are not exactly favorable to good neighborship with the whites. For instance, with the Indians, stealing is an accomplishment, and they will do it from friend or foe when they get a little “mad,” particularly when their larders run low.

If an Indian gets seriously “huffed” with his “father,” the agent, which is very apt to be the case, and not always the redskin’s fault, he must have his revenge, not particularly upon the agent always, as his native sagacity teaches him of a sort of sacredness of official character, or a least of greater danger in attacking the representatives of the government than private individuals, and consequently innocent persons have to suffer frequently from the imprudence of officials. The Indian’s wrath is poured out, with indiscriminate discrimination, upon the passing emigrant, or the industrious settler, and thus a general character is given to a murderous struggle which commenced with a few. Further, as in white society, so among Indians, there are a number of reckless fellows who occasionally will not be controlled by the more prudent, but will have their own wild way, and go on a “bust” sometimes. They will do a little stealing, get saucy, impudent, presuming, and when very “mad” will be cruel and kill. The whites, irritated and provoked, even when the Indians do not murder, but steal only, shoot at the marauders, if a sight can be obtained of them. Then the matter becomes serious, and the band or tribe take it up, for the Indians believe in the doctrine of Moses -- blood for blood.

A few weeks ago there were some difficulties with the Aboriginees in San Pete Valley, a hundred miles south, and two or three whites were killed or seriously hurt. The Indians in that case are reported to have come up from New-Mexico, pressed out of that territory by the troops. Recently a still more serious affair occurred in that county. The perpetrators are said to be a roving band from Grand River, Colorado, with three or four Utah Indians mixed up with them. About a dozen persons have been killed in that county this Spring, besides helping themselves liberally to stock.

The most recent difficulty is one of the most serious that has occurred in the territory, at least very lately. The beginning was on the 25th ult., in the murder of JEUS LARSEN, who was tending a large flock of sheep, four miles north of Fairview. He was shot through the neck and right side.

Next morning, twelve miles north of Fairview, a whole family, occupying a temporary shanty, were swept away. They are as follows: JOHN GIVEN, Sen., aged 45; ELIZA GIVEN, 40; JOHN GIVEN, Jr., 19; MARY, 9; ANNA, 5, five, and MARTHA, 3.

The father, mother and son were first dispatched. The father was shot through the chest and tomahawked in the forehead; the mother was shot through the head, under the ear, and tomahawked in the mouth; the son was shot through the chest, left arm and left thigh, and the finger of the left hand was almost cut off.

Two men -- CHARLES BROWN and CHARLES W. LEAH -- were sleeping in a wagon-box in the shanty. They say that four Indians did the first shooting. After the three elder GIVENS were shot, BROWN and LEAH leapt out of the wagon-box, when the Indians ran away. The two men then ran to the willows, and were shot at nearly a score times by the Indians. Being so hard pressed, BROWN and LEAH could not return to the shanty. The Indians entered it again, and then it was that Mrs. GIVEN was finished with the tomahawk. The little girls, crying over their parents, were next dispatched -- one being shot in the face, another in the lower part of the body, and the third tomahawked in the face.

The Indians took the flour, axes, guns, &c., from the shanty, and drove off 100 to 200 head of stock, horses and the best of the cattle. After the Indians had withdrawn, one of the men in the willows ran to the nearest settlement and gave the alarm. BLACK HAWK, it was reported, had been in the neighborhood of the catastrophe the night before.

On the 25th, DAVID H. JONES, while hunting horses three miles northwest of Fairview, was killed by the savages.

Last Monday night ninety of the settlers started after the Indians.

General B. M. HUGHES and party have left the city for Hobble Creek or Spanish Fork Cañon, Uintah Valley, and on to Denver, exploring for a wagon-road. Lt.-Col. JOHN has also started on the same route, with 180 of the Third Infantry C. V., for escort and assistance to Mr. HUGHES and party. If the party are successful, the overland mail will soon pass over that route in preference to the Bridger route.

 

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