The history of the horrors and heroisms which reached us during the six weeks in which Ft. Abercrombie held out until relief came, would make a volume, and cannot he written here. The unimaginable tortures and indecencies inflicted on brave men and good women, are something for which the Christian supporters and excusers of the Sioux must yet account at the bar where sentimental sympathy with criminals is itself a crime; and where the wail of tortured infants will not be hushed by reckoning of bad beef and a deficiency in beans.
While the Sioux sat in council to determine that butchery, some objected, on the ground that such crimes would be punished, but Little Crow, leader of the war party, quieted their fears by saying:
“White man no like Indian! Indian catch white man, roast him, kill him! White man catch Indian, feed him, give him blankets,” and on this assurance they acted.
One thing was clearly proven by that outbreak, viz.: that services to, and friendship for, Indians, are the best means of incurring their revenge. Those families who had been on most intimate terms with them, were those who were massacred first and with the greatest atrocities. The more frequently they had eaten salt with a pale-face, the more insatiable was their desire for vengeance. The missionaries were generally spared, as the source through which they expected pardon and supplies. The Indian was much too cunning to kill the goose that laid the golden egg. The tribe do not object to the conversion of individuals. Saying prayers does not interfere with their ideas of their own importance. Preachers do not labor with their hands, and Indians can join the clerical order or get religion, without losing caste, for labor to them is pollution.
Two wagon loads of arms and ammunition en route for Hole-in-the-day, were intercepted during the massacre, and for want of them he was induced to keep quiet. For being such a good Indian, he had a triumphal trip to Washington at government expense, got ten thousand dollars, and a seventh wife.
A MISSIVE AND A MISSION.
Soon after the people had returned to such homes as were left them, I received a letter from General Lowrie, who was then in an insane asylum in Cincinnati. I caught his humor and answered as carefully as if he had been a sick brother, gave an extract in the Democrat, accompanied by a notice, and sent him a copy; after which he wrote frequently, and I tried earnestly to soothe him. In one of his letters was this passage: