Apr 27, 2017 - Sale 2444

Sale 2444 - Lot 11

Estimate: $ 800 - $ 1,200
(AMERICAN INDIANS.) [Schuyler, Walter Scribner.] Pair of manuscript dispatches describing the end of the Sioux War. 2 Autograph Letters, each of them retained drafts, each 2 pages (9 x 6 inches), to "A.C. Snider"; condition strong. Camp Robinson, NE, [31 January] and 10 February 1877

Additional Details

A letter describing the peace mission which helped end the Great Sioux War. Walter Scribner Schuyler (1850-1932), a future Army general, was at this time a lieutenant in the 5th Cavalry under General George Crook. He apparently wrote these letters as news dispatches to Albert C. Snyder (1844-1891), then the Western Union telegraph operator in Cheyenne, WY. His undated first letter describes the demeanor of the Sioux who had already surrendered: "The change in the attitude of the Indians since the time when the disarmament took place is wonderful. One can scarcely believe that the Indians one now sees here submissively obeying the behests of the agent, can be the same as those whom in May last showed such supreme contempt for the government and its desires." He adds that "the Sioux and Arapahoe scouts who took part in the Powder River Expedition and the Mackenzie fight were mustered out and paid off yesterday . . . and are convinced that loyalty pays." This letter appeared uncredited in newspapers across the country, such as the Chicago Tribune of 2 February 1877, which described it as being from "a reliable party at Red Cloud dated the 31st ult."
On 10 February 1877, he wrote: "Spotted Tail, chief of the Sioux, with a body guard of 200 chosen warriors, starts today for the north on a self-imposed mission to obtain an interview with the chiefs of the hostiles now reported to be massed near the forks of Tongue River, and counsel them to accept while there is yet time the terms offered by the government, viz the surrender of their arms and ponies." Spotted Tail was a Brulé chief whose mission was instrumental in gaining the surrender of numerous Sioux and Cheyenne bands over the coming weeks.
These letters were found among the Schuyler family papers. See also Schuyler's later China diary (lot 88), as well as the papers of his father and sister (lots 260 and 261).
with--a group of 5 related newspaper clippings and a receipt issued by Schuyler for mattresses at Camp Robinson, 11 February 1877.