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it was an accident. Our last fracas was with Antoine. drunk. Where he got his liquor, I don't know, unless some Frenchman came along. There had been a couple passing during the winter who told us if we did not go away from there the Indians would scalp us and that we had no right there. Asking them how they knew we had no right there, their reply would be Maj. Sarpy said so. This was a Frenchman, a trader, who lived at St. Mary's, opposite Bellevue. Antoine was full and wild. We could hear him yell every once in awhile. At last he made a break for our cabin, with an old sword and three or four Indians after him. We shut the door and he pounded at it with his sword till he broke it; then the others got him away. Fred Vogleson got back about the first of February, how I do not remember. We were glad to see him; but the poor fellow had frozen his feet so badly that he could not get around; when they began to slough the stench was sickening in the cabin. He bore his suffering with fortitude, and we could do nothing for him. Through January and February, I do not think there was a cloud in the sky, yet the snow did not melt on the south side of the cabin. We were living on soda-bread, salt pork which had become rusty, beans and coffee. About the last of the month I was taken with scurvy in my knee. Looking at it, I found it was blue. Thinking that I had strained it and that it would soon get well, I did not pay it attention for some time; but it became more painful. I examined it and found it more black. I put cold water on it, which I continued to do a week, it getting worse all the time. Then I poulticed it, all to no effect. The other knee commenced in the same way. Not knowing what to do, I commenced to consult the Indians. They would wash their mouths and chew up roots and spit on it, making signs, continuing the same treatment every day for three weeks, when they came to the conclusion that it would have to be scarrified and the bad blood taken out. Antoine was chief doctor. I made up my mind to bear it till we could get away. In March the snow began to go away, the river rising surrounded us with water; the Indians filed to the bluffs. On the first of April, a steamboat came up loaded for Fort Randal, but not being able to stem the current, she unloaded opposite to us, and sent her yawl over. It came within ten feet of our door. I think Detwilder and one other man came in it. Our baggage was loaded on; Harry, Vogleson and I
bidding good bye to the boys were soon on the boat.
examined me and pronounced my disease scurvy, and supplied me
Within an hour after eatOn the following day we
with canned fruit to eat between meals. ing a few peaches, I became very sick. arrived at Sioux City, where the town turned out as was the custom, on the arrival of a boat. As soon as we were seen, they greeted us with cheers. When the boat landed it was hand-shaking for some time, they giving us a regular ovation. I was cared for tenderly, taken to the Hagy House which was the Terrific when we left. Here we held a levee, receiving congratulations and telling our story. Doctors Cook and Shelly amputated Fred's toes at the first joint and prescribed a vegetable diet with vinegar for me. Raw potatoes I could not eat, but onions and vinegar were palatable. Vegetables were scarce, but the boys vied with each other in hunting them up. Every once in awhile, I could hear the leaders of my arms snap, as they were straightened out. Inside of three weeks I threw my crutches away; Harry and myself took stage to Council Bluffs, where I disposed of my furs; he and I went to look for a team. Finding a man who would sell us two yoke of oxen, a wagon and a load of corn, we bought them; and driving to a livery stable, we put up there and sold the liveryman two thirds of the corn. Buying a breaking plow, four bushels of potatoes-paying twenty dollars for them-a bushel of beans, one hundred pounds of bacon, a keg of molasses, one of vinegar, one hundred pounds of sugar, coffee and garden seeds, axes, spades, ammunition, and whatever we thought we should need for the season, we started on our return to Nebraska. At the Little Sioux we bought three bushels more potatoes and some butter; at Sioux City we got an augur or two and a whetstone, the half of it I have yet, and a little cook stove. Taking Fred and our blankets we proceeded on our way, crossing all streams on snow bridges the tenth of May. On the 12th we arrived at our destination on the Bazill, in a snow storm; the snow covered the ground four inches deep, but went off that night. The following day, we put up our cabin. After getting the things partially fixed, we went to the town-site, leaving Fred at our camp. Meeting the Indians first who appeared surprised to see me, we would shake hands and say "How, How." Going to the cabin we found Small all right, with five or six others. After exchanging news, which took the greater
part of the day, we returned. As soon as the ground got a little dry, we went to plowing for a garden and potato patch. After three days hard work, we had got one and a half acres loosened up in a weed patch at the foot of the ravine. Taking our hoes we leveled off the ground and planted a patch of beans sixty feet square, and beds of various garden vegetables. The balance we planted in potatoes, keeping a few for Sunday dinners. Then we went to breaking sod for corn, I driving, Harry holding the plow. As I had to watch where I was driving, I could not look back, but had to keep whipping all the time, the oxen pulling all they could. When Harry said "Wo," looking at him I saw the sweat streaming from his face. Asking him what was the matter, he said the blamed plow wanted to turn over. We had pulled it sixty rods tolerably straight, cutting three inches deep and sixteen wide. The whole lay under the sod. After he and the cattle had got their wind, I said "Lets go on." He said "You try it;" I took hold of the plow and started, and the plow shoved out of the ground on the land side. Backing up I got it in place again. Putting my back against the land side handle and seizing the other with both hands, we started. I held it up for two rods, when out it came. Talking with him I found out that they generally broke two inches deep, and that he had never broken any himself. We were down three and a half or four inches; setting the gauge wheel down to make it run shallower, I found that it run easier for the cattle but not much for us. We then thought it too dull. We got an ax and hammer and went to pounding it, and in doing so got the lay bent up a little, and it did better. We got sixteen acres broke and planted in sod corn on Harry's, and two acres on my claim. Result: our corn was frost-bitten, our beans never set till September, the potatoes we had to sit up nights to keep the Indians from stealing. We had onions, radishes and summer truck. I will not go over the history of Knox county any further. Those who wish to know more, I refer to Mr. Draper's history.
In 1859, we organized a company of about sixty men with twenty teams to go to Pike's Peak. We started out under the commissioner system-three men to choose the road and to have command of the company. This commission consisted of R. N. Day, now of Tecomah, Wm. Benner, and another, whose name I have forgotten. We went up the Running Water, making a road to draw travel through
Knox county. We got along finely till after crossing the Long Pine, we came to the running Water bottom where we were met by twenty Sioux Indians who said that we should go no further, and that we must go back. Not being of the go-back kind, they were told to get out of the way, when they showed signs of fight. In a moment they were covered by twenty guns, and again ordered off, and they went threatening to meet us further on, but they did not. We crossed the Running Water a little west of where Fort Niobrara now is and got into the sands west of Valentine. We broke for the mouth of Snake river and re-crossed to the south side. Again following it up till we came to Harvey's route, we crossed to the Platte. Our organization was changed at the Snake River; why, I do not know, as everything was going finely. They elected me captain at this point. On the Platte bottom the roads were lined with men and teams; hearing that the ferryboat was gone, and that men were trying to get across in wagon boxes, I drove in where there were some fine large cottonwood trees and camped two miles from Laramie. Finding the trees large and hollow for some way up, we cut down the best three and made canoes of them eighteen feet long. Placing timbers across each end and lashing them to the corners, we had a boat that would carry a wagon and its load. After getting some wagons across, we tried to swim our cattle. Some went across,
others we had to tow. One man lost his wagon by his cattle getting on the canoes and upsetting them. We followed the Laramie to the Chugwater and then went up it after Majors and Russell. They had broken two hundred acres, but whether it was productive, I can not say. On the Lodge Pole at Cheyenne there were some vacant houses built by the soldiers. A day's journey south we met Mr. Greeley on his famous overland journey. He told us what he saw in the mines. Continuing along the mountains we crossed the Cache le Peau, and the Boulder where we had our Fourth of July dinner; and then we disbanded, going to the mountains in squads of five and ten.
* * * * Denver had about a dozen houses built of cottonwood lumber. One was an express office where you paid twenty-five cents to mail or receive a letter. Aurora was on the west side of Cherry Creek. Starting for the Missouri down the South Platte, I crossed it at Kearney on the Wood River. Dr. Henery had built a good log house at Grand Island. Columbus was a German colony at Loup
Fork. Fremont had two cabins half a mile apart. There I sold four dollars and ninety-five cents worth of gold dust, all I had. I also learned that the Indians were raising the devil on the Niobrara where I had some relatives. Thinking it my duty to return to them I went to Elk City: then striking north-east I met Judge Bowen; passing by Colby's on the Pappio, where Swyhart and another man lived, I came in on the hills west of Blair. Coming down to Cuming City, which was the largest place I had seen since leaving Sioux City-continuing to Dakota City, I learned that all was quiet at Niobrara." This had become as famous a saying at that time as the saying "all is quiet on the Potomac " did afterwards to the people of the northern states. It was late, if not winter, when I arrived at the picket post of civilization in the North-west. Of those who stood guard the first winter, Frederic Vogleson was killed by lightning, on his claim two miles up the Bazill from its mouth, James Small was killed by Indians in a cedar ravine some six miles up the Niobrara, Harry Huddleson is passing his declining years near Ponca. It is unnecessary to say that I am here in the best agricultural county that this sketch describes. Of those who went to Pike's Peak, I know only of R. N. Day and Foster, who resided here in Blair for some time.
Here you have my story written by request of Mr. Eller, from tablets of memory in the long past. Some are dim whilst others are as vivid as when first painted. Should it prove interesting, instructive, or amusing to its readers, I shall feel paid for the trouble.
GEORGE E. HOWARD:
TABOR, IOWA, January 28, 1891.
DEAR SIR:-Many thanks for your favor of the 17th inst. explanation with regard to the non-appearance of my article, is certainly satisfactory.
You ask that I send you a short account of Samuel Allis which you may print.
I have re-read his article in the History of Nebraska, and I think of nothing I can write of him which would add to the lustre of his name, so prefer to wait for the proof sheets of eternity to level that portion of his life which lay parallel with mine.