August 12th, 1833

12 August: In the morning, nice, clear weather, sunshine, warm. Last evening Spotted Elk had brought another large whiskey keg to be filled. Mr. Mitchell had given him so many gifts that [the agent] flatly refused, whereupon this very self-important [chief], whose head had been completely turned, was very offended; [he] threw down his splendid new hat and left. This morning, however, he had it fetched. Mr. Mitchell knew very well that giving this man too many honors would excite envy, but he did this deliberately to humiliate the other chiefs and draw them away from the English. This morning, as the horses of the fort were being herded through the river, the Indians stole three of them. At 7:30, 68°F or 67 3/4°F [20°C or 19.9°C].

Toward noon the Piegan band, whose chief, Kutonä́pi, we had visited yesterday, arrived amidst rifle fire. One cannon shot was fired, and the chief and his men marched in and, with the foremost warriors, took their places in the space assigned them. A Piegan medicine man visited us and unwrapped the big medicine pipe (calumet of the French), which he had wrapped for safekeeping in several covers. It was decorated with feathers of all kinds and unwrapped with great care, while those standing nearby made room. Mr. Bodmer sketched him with his pipe in hand. His name is Hotokáneheh.M11It must be written as “Hotokáneheh,” and in French it is la Tête de Robe. At twelve o’clock, 75°F [23.9°C].

In the afternoon, toward evening, we had a sad incident in the fort. A Blood Indian (who the previous year had always behaved very well here and had even kept order among his own countrymen) was often in the fort [this year, too, and] at the present time was sitting with several of the engagés in one of their rooms. Suddenly a shot rang out and Martin, a young man, was dead. The Indian was rather taken aback; all the whites surrounded him, but he insisted the pistol had gone off by accident. Since opinions were very divided, and no one took revenge on the Indian immediately, Mr. Mitchell had him taken out of the fort with instructions never to enter it again. Several hotheads among the whites insisted that the Indian should have been shot to death immediately; this would have been the Indian way of revenge, but the initial moment was over.

Spotted Elk and the chief Kutonä́pi seemed very enraged at the Blood Indians. The former drove all the Indians out; with his rifle butt [he] struck a completely innocent Gros Ventre, who was standing by peacefully, and wanted to shoot the perpetrator to death if he were brought back. Kutonä́pi delivered a vehement speech in which he coarsely set forth the affronts of the Blood Indians to the whites and demanded that revenge [be taken]. But Mr. Mitchell stayed his course. Everyone remained calm.

At nine o’clock the interpreter Berger returned from his journey to [visit] an absent Piegan band, which he had left on the upper bank of the Musselshell River. It consists of 250 [tipis] and will arrive here in a week.

Monday, August 12, 1833
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Zachary Joyce