Chapter 9, Note 38 (pages 188 and 267)

Conditions were grim during the months at Browning. (p. 188)

Chapter 9, Note 38 . . . for sources and discussion of Rocky Boy’s band during early 1912. (p. 267)

 

A return to transient life in the harsh winter months must have come as a heavy blow to Rocky Boy’s band. Rocky Boy wrote to friend Postmaster E. H. Cooney, requesting aid for his band in the form of blankets and clothing.[1] By late January, the Department of the Interior suspected that some of Rocky Boy’s band had again began wandering in search of resources.[2] In investigating their movements, it was also Flathead Reservation Superintendent Fred Morgan revealed that a number of Crees had previously been in Billings, but since moved to the Crow Reservation. Likewise, a number of non-resident Crees were lodges on the Flathead Reservation.[3] Ironically, a story of Rocky Boy’s band being “satisfied with the home life, being contented and happy” written by George Clinton ran across the United States. Ran with title variations from “Rocky Boy is Happy.”[4]

As debate over finding a new site developed, someone suggested they be moved to the southwest and located on a reservation on the Colorado River. This was quickly ruled out. As one memorandum explained, Natives from northern Canadian climes were unlikely to adapt well to the southern climate of the Colorado River.[5]

[1] See “Rocky Boy in Ill Fortune,” Great Falls Daily Tribune, January 6, 1912.

[2] C. F. Hauke to Flathead Indian School, January 29, 1912, Dusenberry Fonds, GA.

[3] Fred Morgan to Robert G. Valentine, March 2, 1912, Dusenberry Fonds, GA.

[4] Logansport Pharos (Logansport, IN), March 15, 1912; Fort Wayne Journal-Gazette (IN), March 18, 1913; The Soda Springs Chieftain (ID), March 28, 1912; Stevens Point Daily Journal (Wisconsin), March 30, 1912; Bessemer Herald (MI), April 6, 1912; and The Daily Free Press (Carbondale, IL), June 6, 1912.

[5] E. R. Merritt, Memorandum for the Second Assistant Commissioner of Indian Affairs, April 5, 1912, RG 75, RB Files, NARA-DC, Part 4. $185,000 was appropriated in February, 1912, with the reimbursement of Blackfeet Indians for Rocky Boy allotments as one of the reasons. See U.S. Department of the Treasury, Blackfeet Indians: Letter from The Secretary of the Treasury, 62nd Cong., 2nd sess., H.R. doc. 553, February 20, 1912, Serial 6326.

 

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