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Irregularities at the Pawnee Agency

by Stanley Clark

November 1943 (Vol. 12, No. 4), pages 366 to 377

THE Pawnee Indians moved voluntarily from their homes along the Republican river in Nebraska to Indian territory and settled near Black Bear creek in 1874-1875 in order to get away from the menacing Sioux. More primitive leaders still sought to live by the chase and looked forward to roaming the Western plains again with no fear of hostile attack. This hope was stimulated by Indian Bureau officials, and the Pawnee agent found himself confronted by the task of civilizing and stabilizing his charges and at the same time granting their requests for periodic hunts. 1

The spring of 1876 was a particularly trying one for the Pawnees. There was much sickness; hardly a lodge had escaped sieges of malaria or pneumonia, which, coupled with indifference to sanitary rules and intolerable living conditions, greatly increased the mortality rate. To add to the general despondency unseasonably heavy rains in March brought the Black Bear and its minor tributaries to flood stage. Huddled inside rude shelters, idle and morose, the Pawnees were solely dependent upon their weekly rations for sustenance, and these grew scant. 2

William Burgess, agent, wrote to Washington repeatedly during the late winter months in regard to the decreasing store of supplies but officialdom had to move within circumscribed limits, ever under the alert supervision of the Board of Indian Commissioners. Burgess was denied the possibility of making an open-market purchase because congress had adjourned the preceding year without taking action on a Pawnee relief bill, and there were no funds available for the agent's use. None of the local jobbers in Coffeyville, Kan., one hundred miles away, could afford to credit the agency with ad-



ditional supplies as there was no assurance that funds would ever be made available to take care of accumulated debts. 3 Timorous and indecisive, Burgess realized at last that urgent action was necessary. After consulting his family and the agency employees, he made the three days' trip to Coffeyville. 4 Finding no merchant who would accommodate him, he began to bombard Washington with telegrams.

Notwithstanding the flooded condition of the country the Pawnees were scattering from their reservation and seeking food wherever they could find it. Many were driven to the digging of roots and the gathering of mushrooms. Others made their way into Kansas to beg from the townspeople of Arkansas City, Coffeyville, and Independence. 5 Their presence aroused the fear of citizens there and congress was appealed to for their removal. 6

Quick action resulted; on April 3, the bill for the sale of the Pawnee reservation in Nebraska, which had been reported out favorably by the committee on Indian affairs, was read, and passed after Rep. Andrew R. Boone of Kentucky convinced the house that action was necessary to keep the starving Indians from committing depredations in the border towns. 7 Rep. Julius H. Seelye of Massachusetts inserted an amendment in the bill which provided funds for temporary relief to cover the exigency that had arisen. Nor did the senate waste any time in its discussion. On April 5, in response to a message from President Grant, the senate also passed the measure. 8

On the same day John Q. Smith, commissioner of Indian affairs, sent a telegram to Burgess authorizing the immediate expenditure of a sum not to exceed $10,000 for purchases in open market. 9 Stacy Matlock, Pawnee agency trader, contracted to deliver 30,000 pounds of flour at $3.75 per hundred-weight, 4,250 pounds of bacon at


sixteen cents per pound, and 24,750 pounds of corn meal at two cents per pound. 10

Agent Burgess sent emissaries to various refugee camps and gathered the Indians back upon the reservation. 11 He knew that beef at the agency would cause the Indians to forget quickly their most recent suffering, and now, armed with authority to buy, Burgess found the cattlemen more willing to deal with him.

At this time the cattlemen had a closely knit organization that controlled the beef contract business with the various Indian agencies. Chief of the contractors was Thomas Lanigan of Fort Smith, Ark., and associated with him as subcontractors were William C. Hasten, T. F. Eldridge, and Joseph Leach.

Government contract specifications called for corn-fed beef; only steers and cows were acceptable; none should be over seven years old nor should any animal weigh less than 600 pounds, while each delivery should average 700 pounds; and no animal was to be accepted which would net less than fifty percent of its gross weight. This last proviso was made to bar inferior Texas longhorns. 12

In theory, purchases were carefully supervised by the Board of Indian Commissioners, and when possible its members performed their work with scrupulous attention to detail. There were too many agencies and too few commissioners, however, with the inevitable result that sometimes no member could function during a particular crisis.

Agent Burgess knew he had to act quickly to avert serious trouble from the runaway Pawnees. The cattle interests also knew that purchases were urgent.

While in Coffeyville, Burgess contracted for eighty-two head of cattle for immediate delivery. 13 It was an unseasonable time for making such a purchase. Grass-fed cattle were in their poorest condition. Despite this, Burgess had to pay $3.50 per hundred-weight, a top price for very poor cattle. Most dealers were reluctant to sell at any price, for in the next three months of good grazing their cattle would take on considerable weight.

The cattle were delivered at the Pawnee agency under rather extraordinary circumstances. 14 On the way to the agency, a drive


of approximately 120 miles which led through the Osage reservation, the cattle were thrown off the route into an out-of-the-way place and hidden all day in order to avoid an Indian inspector, then driven by the Osage agency in the middle of the night. 15

On arrival at the agency, the cattle were corralled and weighed in the presence of Burgess. 16 According to testimony gathered the next year, the weighing was done in this manner: As ten animals were driven up to be weighed, two cowboys stepped on the scales, thus increasing the recorded weight by that amount. Finally the herd foreman told the boys that since they weighed almost as much as a cow they had better not get on the scales again as the cattle were weighing too much. 17 The herd was then accepted by the agent.

The Indians quickly consumed the cattle, but the deal remained to haunt the official career of Burgess. The attempt of the government to prosecute the principals who had disposed of the herd gave pause to many not too scrupulous contractors while the investigation was under way. 18

At the fall letting of beef contracts the Board of Indian Commissioners contracted with Thomas Lanigan for 1,500,000 pounds for the Pawnee agency. 19 Only healthy, merchantable beef cattle averaging 700 pounds were to be delivered, with a minimum weight of 550 pounds. 20 Lanigan was permitted to furnish a greater proportion of cows to steers than the customary one to four ratio. Since cows could be purchased for one-third less than steers, this 1877 made a tour of investigation of certain agencies. He, in turn, was closely followed by William M. Leeds, representative of the Board of Indian Commissioners, who was at Pawnee in January, 1877. The board of inquiry visited Pawnee in the summer of 1877 and besides investigating the investigations of Investigator Galpin, proceeded to gather affidavits and sworn statements from various agency employees about the personnel and the method of supervision and contracting of Agent Burgess. The report of 65 pages, testimony of 546 pages, and appendix of 99 pages is exhaustive and complete.


concession meant a neat profit to the contractor but inferior beef for the Indians.

In the summer and fall months of 1876, the death rate among the Pawnees increased, largely due to malaria and pneumonia aggravated by malnutrition. In two years preceding the fall of 1877, some 800 tribesmen out of 2,376 had died.

The question of what was wrong at Pawnee began to embarrass Washington. Investigations were started that did not stop until a victim, Burgess, was found, and passions were aroused that were not appeased until the commissioner of Indian affairs himself was summarily removed from office. 21 S. A. Galpin, chief clerk of the Bureau of Indian Affairs, and William Nicholson, head of the Central Superintendency, appeared at the agency on December 24 as major inquisitors ; in less than two weeks the powerful non-sectarian Board of Indian Commissioners had its representative, William Leeds, on the scene searching out irregularities. After the new Secretary of the Interior, Carl Schurz, took office, he was quick to capitalize upon any event of the preceding administration that might portray him in the better light. Schurz refused to retain J. Q. Smith as his Indian commissioner and started an exhaustive search by a board of survey for irregularities in the Indian Bureau. 22

The board members, Joseph K. McCammon of the Attorney-General's office, Maj. Thomas H. Bradley, of the U. S. army, and George M. Lockwood, chief clerk of the Interior Department, had many clues concerning the cattle deal engineered during the exigency in April of the preceding year when beef had been accepted that was clearly below the government's standard. It uncovered irregularities in the method of weighing in the beef and also gathered data that pointed to the possibility of collusion between the cattlemen and the agent.

The board was led to believe that Lanigan, Hasten, Leach, Eldridge, and Crowell were really partners in a pool that had defrauded the government. In April, 1876, some eighty head of beef cattle were sold at or near Coffeyville by a dealer at $2.50 per hundredweight gross to Joseph C. Leach, who told the dealer the cattle were for the Pawnee Indians. The cattle were of inferior


quality, having been wintered on the range, and were mostly yearlings and two-year-olds. They were hardly fit for food. 23

Eldridge and Leach certified that on April 28 they delivered to R. C. Crowell eighty -two head of cattle weighing 74,456 pounds gross at $3.10 per hundredweight. Now if these men were partners, this was merely a book transfer which gave them a chance to raise the price of the cattle sixty cents per hundredweight. Furthermore, the eighty-two head purchased by Leach at $2.50 per hundredweight had averaged only 620 pounds, grossing 50,840 pounds; these cattle averaged 902 pounds. Much evidence was gathered to show that the herd, costing $1,271, was represented to the government as costing $2,308.13. The difference, a profit of $1,037.13 on a $1,271 investment, was alleged by the board to have been unlawfully earned. The cattle were accepted by Agent Burgess as weighing 73,718 pounds, an average of 899 pounds. He paid $3.50 per hundredweight for the herd, a total of $2,580.13. 24

The board of survey probed into the agent's apparent abuse of his open market purchasing privilege. Its members, McCammon, Bradley, and Lockwood reported that the cattle were salted and fed with fresh grass immediately before delivery that the rule that cattle should not stand in water or be fed for at least twelve hours before delivery was openly disregarded, and that cattle belonging to the Osage agency were accepted at Pawnee with the Osage brand upon them. Some of the later deliveries were not properly weighed in order to see that each animal met the minimum requirements of the Indian Bureau. A few heavy cattle were accepted as average representatives of a large herd of inferior yearlings, two-year-old steers, and cows; even two-day old calves were accepted by the agent as weighing hundreds of pounds.

When Superintendent Nicholson and Chief Clerk Galpin had inspected the agency herd at Pawnee in December, 1876, they were of the opinion that Burgess had accepted many inferior cattle. They believed, however, it was not because of any fraud by the R. C. Crowell Co., who represented Lanigan, and the agent, but rather because of Burgess' general laxity and want of force, "which were likely to prove quite unequal in dealing with positive men." 25


Leeds was much perturbed when he found that no record had been kept of the individual weights of the cattle received for beef. He noted that on November 18 a delivery of 475 head was made, but the number of cows, steers, and calves had not been registered and only the total weight of 420,039 pounds was on file. Of the entire number received, about one-fourth had died before his visit. He attributed this unusually heavy loss to the fact that Lanigan had delivered so many old, unsound cows. Leeds also found that of fifty calves "which were weighed and accepted on a contract which calls for the delivery of good beef cattle, weighing not less than 550 pounds, but thirteen have survived the severe weather of December and January." 26

Agent Burgess had enough, and asked to be relieved from his duties. 27 The commissioner of Indian affairs replied that his resignation would be effective as soon as a successor could qualify. 28

When Schurz moved into the Interior Department he felt that the Indian Bureau needed a house cleaning from top to bottom. 29 With this in view, by a letter of June 7, 1877, he empowered the board of inquiry mentioned above to investigate charges against Galpin and to ferret out all irregularities in the bureau. 30


Although the board's report was not published until the next year, Schurz was soon aware of its activities. Before it held hearings, he knew that Lanigan had the contract for furnishing 1,500,000 pounds of beef to the Pawnees. 31 He was also familiar with the report Leeds had made for the Board of Indian Commissioners. As the board of inquiry proceeded to uncover new allegations pointing toward a conspiracy in the beef deliveries at the Pawnee agency of the preceding year, Schurz had the satisfaction of realizing that his suspicion all was not well in the Indian Bureau was being borne out by the evidence uncovered. When McCammon, Bradley, and Lockwood found that Galpin was acquainted with the beef contractors and, furthermore, that he was inclined to doubt the allegations against Masten, Eldridge, and Leach, the secretary began to feel sure that there was treachery in high places in the Indian Bureau. Schurz called Galpin to task for withholding information about the Pawnee agency. The chief clerk lamely replied that he had filed the allegations away and had forgotten about them.

Schurz at once wrote him a curt letter of dismissal in which he said: "In my judgment an officer who fails to see the importance of prompt and vigorous prosecution of dishonest practices, or where, seeing it, foregoes and neglects it, cannot safely be entrusted with any responsibilities in the management of Indian affairs. Your services will therefore from today be dispensed with." 32

The board of inquiry had met at Independence in September to begin the examination of open market purchases of beef made by Burgess the year before as well as the method for filling the regular Lanigan beef contract by the subcontractors. 33 The board found some hesitancy on the part of witnesses to testify against the powerful cattle interests. This hesitancy was heightened when one of the key witnesses, a cowboy named Parish Owens, who had taken part in the delivery of April, 1876, and whose testimony promised to be sensational, was killed by Clark Nichols, another young cowhand, at Coffeyville, though the killing had nothing to do with the alleged beef conspiracy. 34

Because of the reluctance of witnesses to testify and because


of their fear of intimidation, a detachment of troops an officer and ten enlisted men was sent from Fort Gibson to the Osage and Pawnee agencies. 35 The district attorney thought this precaution hardly necessary, but he did take a more active interest in the case and sent D. W. Dunnett, a lawyer of Coffeyville, to the Pawnee agency to examine witnesses and practices there. 36

As a result of the investigation an indictment for conspiracy was found against Burgess, Masten, Leach, and Eldridge. United States District Attorney George R. Peck asked Judge John F. Dillon to order another grand jury to assemble at the next term of the circuit court for the purpose of procuring other indictments. He felt that the chief contractor, Maj. Thomas Lanigan, might be incriminated. 37

The executive committee of Friends on Indian affairs in charge of the Central Superintendency, meantime, viewed with uneasiness the unfavorable publicity reflecting upon its appointee. The committee requested the commissioner of Indian affairs, E. A. Hayt, to prevent the publication or circulation of charges against employees recommended by the Quakers until the employees had had a hearing. The committee reminded Hayt that "when we accepted the great trust given to us by President Grant, it was expressly agreed that in case of any complaint against any of the agents or others who should be appointed at our recommendation that we should be promptly informed so that full and careful attention should be paid to it, and that such parties should have reasonable opportunity to reply to any complaints before they should be pronounced guilty." 38

Dunnett remained at Pawnee gathering evidence. At this time Hayt had a special henchman acting as clerk at the agency who dispatched lengthy and informative letters to the commissioner that reflected upon the past agents as well as the present one. 39 Much data concerning the general conduct of the agency was ready when the grand jury met in April, 1878.

It was alleged that Burgess had issued a voucher totalling $869.80


to Stacy Matlock, the Pawnee trader, for 240 bushels of corn at seventy-five cents a bushel ($180), 650 bushels of potatoes at eighty cents a bushel ($520), and 8,490 pounds of corn meal at two cents a pound ($169.80) . Matlock testified that he did not furnish the supplies mentioned; he had, however, sold Burgess sugar, coffee, tea, and other groceries and this was the only way he could get his Pay.

Another voucher was made to J. W. Williamson for 500 bushels of corn delivered at the agency at seventy cents a bushel ($350). The voucher showed that the corn was hauled about seventy-five miles at a cost of over fifty cents a bushel. Williamson testified he was employed as assistant farmer at the agency for seventy-five dollars per month. Burgess, in paying his salary, issued him this corn voucher for $350, of which he received only $100, the balance going to Trader Matlock, and to George Howell, agency clerk.

Burgess had issued a third voucher to J. E. Gillett for 200 bushels of corn at seventy-three cents per bushel ($146). Gillett was the butcher employed at the agency. He knew of no reason why this voucher was issued to him as he had never furnished any corn to the agency. The only reason he could think of was that he was promised seventy-five dollars per month salary yet was carried on the rolls at only sixty dollars, but he was always paid the extra fifteen dollars each month. 40

An indictment was returned and filed April 20 with the names of twenty-five witnesses thereon, and Attorney General Devens instructed the district attorney to commence criminal proceedings against Burgess et a. 41 But the legal machinery moved slowly and as one continuance followed another prosecution became more and more remote. George R. Peck, district attorney, was succeeded by J. R. Hallowell who wanted to become more familiar with the facts in the case before its trial. 42

The witnesses scattered, meantime. Three J. K. Berry, Henry Spraul, and Newton Becker cowhands who on that long-past day in April, 1876, helped deliver the cattle to the Pawnee agency, had no fixed abode and were likely to be on any of the cattle trails from Texas to Montana. 43 George F. Howell, agency clerk under Bur-


gess, was living at his old home in Mt. Ephraim, N. J. 44 Others were equally scattered, so much so that the United States marshal at Fort Smith as well as Dunnett thought it useless to try to subpoena them. 45

Other factors entered into consideration at this time. Hayt was summarily dismissed by Schurz from his position as commissioner of Indian affairs, much to the joy of Kansas politicians and the Society of Friends. The Quakers, goaded by Hayt's system of sending a spy to act as clerk at the Pawnee agency as well as by his abrupt dismissal within eighteen months of two successors to Burgess nominated by the society, at last informed Schurz that they declined to make any further nominations of agents or employees for the Pawnees and relinquished all responsibility for conducting the agency. 46 They had continued in active opposition to Hayt as long as he remained in office and were very active in expunging from the records of the Board of Indian Commissioners the resolution of praise offered at the time of his appointment. 47 Nor were the Kansas politicians too anxious to see the cattle interests successfully prosecuted. Sen. P. B. Plumb was attracted by the great profits to be made in leasing grazing land in the Indian territory, while at the same time he and Sen. John J. Ingalls had come to control the appointments to the various agencies bordering upon the southern boundary of their state. 48 Neither senator experienced the same zeal for civil service reform that motivated the Secretary of the Interior, since both of the lawmakers sympathized with the viewpoint of the Kansas contractors and cattlemen.

Schurz had been out of office hardly a month when the case against Burgess, Masten, Leach, and Eldridge was dismissed. 49 Thus closed unsuccessfully the first attempt at prosecution of an Indian agent. 50 Under the dominant leadership of Secretary Schurz the Indian Department had veered away from the Quaker agent policy of President Grant whereby Indian agencies were placed



under the direct supervision of church organizations. Schurz used the Pawnee agency as a testing ground to show that church affiliation was not enough to assure successful administration in the agencies. With the withdrawal of the Hickside branch of the Society of Friends from Pawnee, a forerunner of church withdrawals from other agencies, and the growing preponderance of senatorial power over agency appointments, political rather than church preference became the chief qualification for entrance into the Indian service.

The irregularities at the Pawnee agency, a minor incident in Indian Bureau maladministration, were magnified to national importance by the reforming Secretary of the Interior. The attendant investigation and publicity contributed to a closer supervision of open-market purchases made by Indian agents and to changes made in the record-keeping of finances in the Indian Bureau. More powerful responsibilities were delegated to the Board of Indian Commissioners.

Years later the Pawnee Indians made an unsuccessful attempt to recover from the United States the funds alleged to have been dissipated by Agent Burgess. 51 The government contended that the testimony offered was insufficient to establish the fraud charged against Burgess. Although the Pawnees lost in their effort to recover the misspent tribal funds, the indictment and threat of prosecution of the former agent had acted as a deterrent to contractors who continued to supply the agency.


1. Charles N. Searing to E. A. Hayt, November 21, 1877, in Office of Indian Affairs, Pawnee, P-590/1877. Agent Searing, writing relative to the Indians going on a buffalo hunt, quotes from a letter of Supt. William Nicholson written at Baltimore, March 6, 1877: "In a conference recently held by the Commissioner of Indian Affairs and the Committee of Friends having charge of Pawnee Agency and myself, the following conclusions were reached: there is not enough money to buy so much sustenance as last year and as soon as the crops are laid by in the summer the Indians must be allowed, under proper regulations, to go to the plains and endeavor, as far as practicable, to subsist themselves and secure lodge skins, and later in the season, robes." (Hereafter Office of Indian Affairs is cited as OIA. These documents are in the Interior Department records, National Archives, Washington, D. C.)
2. S. A. Galpin to J. Q. Smith, January 26, 1877, in OIA, Pawnee, G-79/1877. Galpin, chief clerk of the Indian Bureau, in the winter of 1876-1877, made a tour of investigation of certain agencies in the Indian territory. His Report Upon the Condition of Certain Indian Agencies in Indian Territory Now Under the Supervision of the Orthodox Friends was published in pamphlet form in Washington, 1877, but his detailed and comprehensive treatment of the Pawnee agency was not included in the published document. He reasoned that there were two explanations for the high death rate: First, it resulted from the Indians' natural unwillingness to submit to medical aid, and second, that through unconcern the supply of quinine and other medicines was exhausted at the height of the "sickly season."
3. Burgess to Smith, April 2, 1876 OIA, Pawnee, B-427/1876.
4. Ibid., May 11, 1876 OIA, Pawnee, B-583/1876.
5. Ibid., March 29, 1876, in OIA, Pawnee, B-413/1876; also ibid., April 2, 1876, in OIA, Pawnee, B-427/1876.
6. Typical was the telegram from William C. Masten, mayor of Coffeyville, to Secretary of Interior Chandler, April 3, 1876: "Number of Pawnee Indians are prowling around the border seeking aid. Trouble is anticipated unless speedily relieved." OIA, Pawnee, M-274/1876. Also that of B. T. Brock, sheriff of Montgomery county, Independence, to John Q. Smith, commissioner of Indian affairs, April 4, 1876: "Many Shawnee [Pawnee] Indians are entirely without food. They are troubling our citizens. They claim there is nothing to eat at their reservation. Cannot something be done?" OIA, Pawnee, B-430/1876.
7. Congressional Record, 44 Cong., 1 Sess., v. IV, Pt. 3, pp. 2161, 2162.
8. Ibid., pp. 2181, 2213. Seeley's amendment, which was inserted in the bill to take care of the contingent exigency, was worded: "And provided also, That so much of the residue of the three hundred thousand dollars aforesaid as may be needed for the immediate necessities of the aforesaid Pawnee Indians may be expended in the purchase of supplies therefor in open market." 19 U. S. Statutes at Large, 29, 30.
9. Smith to Burgess, April 5, 1876 OIA, Pawnee, M-572/1876.
10. Matlock to Smith, July 10, 1876 OIA, Pawnee, M-572/1876. The supplies were delivered on April 17.
11. Burgess to Smith, May 11, 1876 OIA, Pawnee, W-583/1876.
12. Nicholson to Smith, July 17, 1877 OIA, Central Superintendency, C-914/1877.
13. R. C. Crowell to Smith, June 6, 1876 OIA, Pawnee, C-488/1876.
14. Report of Board of Inquiry convened by authority of letter of Secretary of Interior of June 7, 1877, to investigate certain charges against S. A. Galpin concerning irregularities in the Indian Bureau (Washington, 1878). As noted above, Galpin in the winter of 1876.
15. The coming of an inspector was always an event of ominous disquiet. Contractors, traders, and agency employees were usually forewarned of his impending arrival by their friends in the border towns. For an interesting study of the animus toward inspectors see the chapter entitled "When Big Cats Were Around," in Clark Wissler's Indian Cavalcade (New York, 1938).
16. Departmental regulations were very strict about the certification of vouchers, etc., and required the affidavit of an inspector certifying to the propriety of all purchases. In this case Agent Burgess did the inspecting.
17. Report of Board of Inquiry, p. xxx. See also the testimony "Irregularities at Pawnee Agency," pp. 527-546.
18. This fact is clearly brought out in the letter of J. R. Hallowell, United States district attorney, Kansas, to Attorney General Charles Devens, April 19, 1880, in regard to the case of U. S. vs. William Burgess, et al., conspiracy to defraud the United States, in which Hallowell wrote: ". . . the effect of this prosecution has been of benefit to the government in staying the desire of Indian contractors and agents to become suddenly rich by speculations." OIA, Pawnee, 1-485/1880.
19. "Contract made at the Annual Letting, St. Louis, September 6, 1876," in Report of the Secretary of the Interior, 44 Cong., 2 Sess., House Executive Document No. 1, Pt. 5, p. 560 (Washington, 1876, Serial 1749).
20. Nicholson to Peck, August 22, 1877, in OIA, Pawnee, J-597/1877. George R. Peck was the United States district attorney at Topeka, who began the prosecution of Agent Burgess.
21. New York Tribune, January 29, 1880, mentions that all the denominations were active against Commissioner Hayt but none more so than the Hicksite branch of the Society of Friends.
22. Ibid., January 31, 1880, had the following comment in an editorial: "It is no secret in Washington that the President consented with very great reluctance to the removal of Mr. Hayt's predecessor, Mr. John Q. Smith, and that he never was convinced of its wisdom; but Secretary Schurz would not on any condition consent to his retention. He was determined to 'reform' the Indian service, and must be allowed to choose his own assistants to carry out the policy he had marked out for himself. . . ."
23. Report of Board of Inquiry, p. xxix. Exhibits 40, 41, 42, 116, pages 21-30, 81-84 in the appendix pertain to the Pawnees.
24. Presumably the drive of 120 miles from the place of purchase to the place of delivery caused a gross shrinkage of 738 pounds if the figures on the voucher of R. C. Crowell Co. were correct. However, if the cattle were the same recently purchased by Leach, the apparent difference in weight of 23,616 pounds left some doubt as to the honesty of the transaction, so much so that the evidence was later submitted to a grand jury.
25. Nicholson to Peck, August 22, 1877, in OIA, Pawnee, J-597/1877. In his report to Smith, January 26, 1877, Galpin pointed out many items as evidences of shiftlessness in the management of the agency. He included this paragraph in his report: "Whatever of success may have attended Agent Burgess' efforts while on the reservation in Nebraska where they (the Pawnees) were fully located and nearly self-supporting, with suitable buildings, and the whole course of the agency business was running smoothly in established channels, I do not consider him to possess enough of firmness, of executive ability, and administrative capacity, to manage with proper economy, and attention to detail, the establishment of this agency, and to turn again in the direction of self-support the energies of this disheartened and to some extent, demoralized tribe." OIA, Pawnee, G-79/1877.
26. Leeds to Kingsley, February 5, 1877, in OIA, Central Superintendency, K-101/1877. E. M. Kingsley was chairman of the purchasing committee that had charge of awarding contracts.
27. Roberts to Smith, March 2, 1877, in Department of the Interior, Appointment Division, Indian Agencies, Box 68 (1849-1878), National Archives.
28. Smith to Burgess, March 14, 1877, in OIA, "Record of Letters," Book No. 132, p. 528. Charles N. Searing, who was acting at the Santee agency, was recommended by the Committee of Friends for the appointment. He relieved Burgess May 16, 1877.
29. The Advance, Chicago, November 22, 1877. Hayes had Smith confirmed as consul general at Montreal. Schurz carefully surveyed the field before appointing Ezra A. Hayt, a former member of President Grant's Board of Indian Commissioners and for some years publisher of the Christian Intelligencer, of New York, to the important position of Indian commissioner. Hayt had been a successful merchant and business man. The Board of Indian Commissioners presented a resolution to Secretary Schurz commending his appointment of Hayt. See New York Tribune, January 12, 1880.
30. The chief clerk of the Indian Bureau was by law the acting commissioner when a vacancy occurred in the bureau headship or when the commissioner was absent from the office. Chief Clerk Galpin, at his own request, was relieved from duty pending the investigation of the charges preferred against him. See Boston Daily Advertiser, June 13, 1877. Schurz, at the same time, appointed another board to examine into the money and property accounts of the various agencies. See Topeka Commonwealth, June 8, 1877. Indian Commissioner Smith, although a good friend of President Hayes, realized that Schurz would not let him remain in his present position. Rumor had him accepting the position of commissioner of agriculture (Boston Daily Advertiser, March 26, 1877) or an appointment to the Belgian mission (Chicago Inter Ocean, September 22, 1877), but he was finally placed as consul at Montreal. Schurz was trying, meantime, to find a commissioner of his own choosing. Joe Medill, publisher of the Chicago Tribune, had intimated that he would like the place (Chicago Inter Ocean, June 13, June 14, 1877); the position was tendered to F. Rawlings of North Carolina, effective August 1 (Topeka Commonwealth, July 26, 1877); E. A. Hayt was settled upon at last and he accepted October 1, 1877. See Chicago Inter Ocean, September 18, 22, October 26, 30, 1877.
31. Lanigan to Commissioner, May 5, 1877 OIA, Central Superintendency, L-229/1877.
32. Topeka Commonwealth, January 8, 1878, quoting letter from Schurz to Galpin, January 7, 1878.
33. Peck to Devens, November 3, 1877, in OIA, Pawnee, 1-802 V 2 /1877. This is a copy of a letter from the office of the district attorney, Topeka, to the Attorney General, and forwarded to the Secretary of the Interior.
34. The two young men were engaged in digging a grave when Owens provoked a scuffle. Getting the worst of it, he reached for his gun which Nichols took from him, and when the enraged Owens got his rifle, he was shot by Nichols in self-defense. See report of D. W. Dunnett, filed with other bundles of the Central Superintendency for 1877 in the National Archives.
35. "Special Order No. 197," headquarters, Department of the Missouri, October 31, 1877, in OIA, Central Superintendency, W-1072/1877 (copy). The troops were ordered withdrawn December 5, 1877 OIA, Central Superintendency, W-1247/1877 (copy).
36. Peck to Devens, November 3, 1877 (copy forwarded by the Attorney General to the Secretary of the Interior) OIA, Pawnee, 1-802 y 2 /1877.
37. Peck to Devens, October 25, 1877 (copy to Schurz), in OIA, Pawnee, 1-765 V 2 /1877, and ibid., November 3, 1877 (copy to Schurz), in OIA, Pawnee, 1-802 V 2 /1877.
38. Benjamin Tatham to E. A. Hayt, November 14, 1877 OIA, Central Superintendency, T-485/1877.
39. Hertford to Hayt, November 29, 1877, in OIA, Pawnee, W-598/1877. This clerk, Joseph Hertford, was no respecter of agents. He reported directly to Commissioner Hayt or to William Leeds, former traveling representative of the Board of Indian Commissioners who replaced Galpin as chief clerk and often acted as commissioner. His letters are long, detailed, picayunish, and officious. No agent felt free serving under his petty surveillance.
40. Peck to Devens, April 24, 1878, in Department of Interior, Appointment Division, Indian Agencies, Box 68 (1849-1878).
41. Devens to Schurz, June 3, 1878. Ibid.
42. Devens to Hallowell, September 15, 1879. Hallowell Papers (Kansas State Historical Society).
43. Hallowell to Devens, April 19, 1880 OIA, Pawnee, 1-485/1880.
44. Howell to W. A. Johnston, assistant United States district attorney, September 29, 1879. Hallowell Papers (Kansas State Historical Society).
45. D. P. Upham to Hallowell, April 7, 1880, and Dunnett to Hallowell, March 13, 1880. Ibid.
46. Roberts to Schurz, March 21, 1879 OIA, Pawnee, R-224/1879.
47. New York Tribune, January 12, 1880.
48. Devens to Hallowell, April 3, 1880, enclosing a communication from Rossington to Ingalls, urging the senator to use his influence in quashing the case of U. S. vs. Burgess et al. Hallowell Papers (Kansas State Historical Society).
49. "Journal 'G,' " United States district court for Kansas, April 14, 1881 (Topeka).
50. No agent had ever been brought to trial, according to testimony of E. A. Hayt, commissioner of Indian affairs, on December 7, 1878, taken by the joint committee appointed to take into consideration the expediency of transferring the Indian Bureau to the War Department, 45 Cong., 3 Sess., Senate Miscellaneous Document No. 53, p. 330 (Washington, 1879, Serial 1835).
51. On February 2, 1911, Senate Bill No. 10,830 of the 61 congress was passed which permitted the Pawnee tribe to sue the United States. The case was referred to the court of claims where a petition was filed October 3, 1913. Among the several claims was one for $8,000 as damages alleged for frauds perpetrated on the plaintiff by their agent in furnishing supplies to the tribe. In the decision given December 6, 1920, this claim was not allowed. See The Pawnee Tribe of Indians vs. 'The United States in court of claims, No. 17324 Congressional, 66 Cong., 3 Sess., Senate Document No. 311 (Serial 7794).