Indian/White Relations, 1897.

“The past year has been a fairly successful one with these Indians notwithstanding the loss of cattle. The winter set in very early, at the end of October, and from that time on until spring came the ground was covered with snow. At times it was 16 inches deep on the level, while the ravines were drifted full. The loss of cattle has been considerable but no greater than in the sections of country adjacent to the reserve. Prairie fires early destroyed the grass on a large portion of the reserve, and the snow covered the rest so deep that it was difficult for range cattle to obtain food. In consequence, there was more drifting of cattle to the settlements south of the reserve in Nebraska than usual, and in such cases the Indians were made to pay, and often excessive damages were obtained by the white settlers, because it was cheaper to pay what they demanded than to carry the matter into court. In this way these Indians have paid not less than $1,000 the past winter, and have paid it without saying a word in opposition, even when they knew excessive damages were being exacted. When the cattle of white men drift on the reserve and onto the allotments of these Indians and consume the Indians hay, the white men seem to think it is very hard on them if any effort is made to prevent it.”

Chas. E. McChesney
United States Indian Agent
To the Commissioner of Indian Affairs,
25 August 1897

horse border