~ August 13, 1881 • Black Hills Weekly Pioneer ~
Spotted Tail’s Death.
From Mr. Yentzer, the newly appointed operator at this place, we are enabled to place before the readers of the PIONEER the particulars that led to the death of the noted chief Spotted Tail, at the hands of Crow Dog. For the past six or seven years there has been a feud between these two chiefs, which has all grown out of jealousy and envy on the part of Crow Dog, who had been insidiously at work to supplant Spotted Tail and become head chief of the Brule Sioux. To this end he has on all occasions tried to impress the other Indians that the government was showing partially to Spotted Tail, and that he was constantly receiving presents that ought to have been distributed among the tribe. Last Fourth of July that warriors at Rosebud agency held a council, at which Crow Dog was the first to speak. His whole speech was of the most abusive character against Spotted Tail, and the charge of favoritism was again indulged in. When he had finished his violent harangue, Standing Elk arose and delivered a short speech, which took sides with neither party. He said the Indians ought to be satisfied with their condition and with the great father, as he was doing all could for them. He furnished them with food and clothing and agricultural implements. He concluded by saying that he hoped this trouble would end where it was, as it did no good and grieved the Great Father. When Standing Elk had finished Spotted Tail arose and spoke for a few moments, then throwing off his blanket he strode up to where Crow Dog was sitting, he struck himself on his breast, over his heart, and dared Crow Dog to empty his chambers into his heart, taunting him with being a coward, squaw and a woman. Crow Dog replied that he was not ready then, but the time was not far off and that he, Spotted Tail, would get it when he least expected it.
This ended the council. Spotted Tail’s sons tried to prevail upon their father to go home but he would not, and they then threw off their blankets and taking their Winchesters kept constant guard over their father. No hostile demonstration was made on the part of Crow Dog and it was hoped that the matter would end without bloodshed. But this hope was futile. Crow Dog was only watching his chance. When Spotted Tail started for Washington he followed him, and riding up to the ambulance placed his revolver against his head and fired, killing him instantly. After the cowardly assassination he went to Niobrara to escape the vengeance of Spotted Tail’s sons and friends.
~ September 3, 1881 • Black Hills Weekly Pioneer ~
His Arrival and Reception in Deadwood.
Thursday’s Sidney coach brought in Frank Moulton having in custody Crow Dog, the murderer of Spotted Tail; Captain Montgomery and Lieutenant McComb, Fifth cavalry, stationed at Fort Niobrara, of which post the captain is commandant, and several other passengers. The arrival created considerable excitement at the stage office, and as the illustrious red man alighted at least one hundred pairs of eyes rested upon him. He is a fine specimen of the aborigine, being 48 years of age, about five feet, ten inches in height, and weighs about 180 pounds. He was dressed in a blue shirt, sack coat, blue, army pantaloons, moccasins and hat. His face, ornamented with a small goatee, was illuminated with smiles as the crowd pressed around him, and as be conversed in Sioux vernacular with Bill Gay, an old acquaintance. He was at once transferred to the custody of Deputy U.S. Marshal Gray, and escorted to jail.
Last evening a PIONEER reporter enjoyed a pleasant interview with Captain Montgomery to whom Crow Dog surrendered after the murder. The captain’s sympathies, if we mistake not, incline towards the prisoner, who will submit a good and strong defense—justifiable homicide. Briefly told the cause of killing was as follows: Crow Dog as chief of Indian police was deposed by Spotted Tail for the purpose as Crow Dog believed, of creating a vacancy for Treading Bear, previously arrested by Crow Dog and tried in Nebraska for murder. Of course the greatest friendship did not exist between the two braves, and the preferment extended by Spot to Standing Bear, naturally engendered bitterness towards Spot in the breast of Crow Dog. It was while the latter with his family was returning from a council at which delegates were selected to go to Washington, that the tragedy occurred. Crow Dog was standing by the side of his wagon when Spot appeared riding directly towards him. His squaw and papooses, cognizant of the existing ill-feeling, set up a cry alarm, when Crow Dog, passing around his wagon, picked up his rifle and fired. Spot fell a corpse, and his murderer at once departed for Fort Niobrara, and surrendered. He insists that Spot drew a revolver and was about to shoot, when for self-protection, he, (Crow Dog), used his rifle.
The representations which have been the rounds of the press, that Spot had seduced a relative of Crow Dog and was shot for the act, is unfounded. One of Spot’s squaws had run away with one of the police and was subsequently reclaimed by the old chief, and out of that circumstance grew the report.
Captain Montgomery speaks well of Crow Dog as a brave, reliable and honest Indian.
~ August 13, 1881 • The Black Hills Weekly Pioneer ~
Bull’s Last Butchery.
It has recently come to light, says the Montana Record, that some seventeen Nez Perces were massacred by the Sioux under Sitting Bull in the north a month or six weeks ago. It will be remembered that after the surrender of the Nez Perces to Gen. Miles in the Bear Paw mountains in 1877, a fragment of the band escaped, fled across the boundary line, and associated themselves with the Sitting Bull band. These massacred Nez Perces were the remnant of these fugitives, many of them having drifted away from the Sioux. The cause of the massacre, so far as we are able to ascertain, was some sudden quarrel that broke out in the lodges. The Nez Perces were killed to a man.