The Conservative (Nebraska City, Neb.) 1898-1902, August 16, 1900, Page 10, Image 10

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    10 Conservative.
rose in time , by his account , to the head-
chieftainship of the tribe. He also mar
ried among them. Ho keeps count up
to the ninth bride , but there the render
loses track of them.
The smallpox part of Rev. Mr. Allis1
story is , however , quite curious. It is
on record that the terrible epidemic of
this disease which caused 1838 to be
known as the great smallpox year was
already under way in the year pre
ceding ; but as to Jim Beckwourth'a
having been instrumental in causing it ,
the evidence seems to be negative. This
is the only mention of him in this con
nection with which I am acquainted.
There have been very many epidemics
of different kinds among the western
Indians. Captain Jonathan Carver , for
instance , in 17G6 passed through a vil
lage of the "Ottigaumies" in Wisconsin ,
which ho found "deserted on account of
an epidemical disorder that had lately
raged among them and carried off more
than one half of the inhabitants. " What
this may have been I do not know , but
it was smallpox that nearly extinguished
the Omaha Indians about a hundred
years ago. Lieutenant Pike mentions
this ( calling them the Malmws ) and an
other writer sets 1802 as the date of the
occurrence. In 1832 the Pawnees are
said to have lost one half their number ,
and in 1888 the Mandaus were almost
entirely destroyed , both by smallpox.
The Crows had it in 1851 , according to
Dr. Hale.
As to the Blackfeet , if Kit Carson's
memory for dates can be relied on , they
suffered from it in 1834 , losing thousands
of their number. But an early traveler
(1839) ( ) says this of them : "In 1828 they
stole a blanket from the American Fur
Company's steamboat on the Yellow
stone , which had belonged to a man who
had died of the smallpox on the passage
up the Missouri. The infected article
being carried to their encampment ,
spread the dreadful infection among
the whole tribe. " He says further that
the bones of 7,000 to 8,000 Blackfeet lay
unburied along the Yellowstone , "even
to this hour. "
Now Beckwourth cannot possibly
have introduced this disease among the
Blackfeet in either IE 28 or 1884 because
he was through all that time a Crow
and engaged in mortal war with the
Blackfeet. It is curious , however , that
he did make a journey from St. Louis to
Fort Cass sometime in 1887 , and from
the circumstantial nature of his record
of that part of his life it must have been
on this journey , if ever , that Mr. Allis
ran across him. But he was engaged in
a life and death race , and had a prom
ised reward of $5,000 for accomplishing
it in time. He says it took him 58 days ,
"as the traveling was bad. " It is possi
ble , though hardly likely , that he had
smallpox on the road , recovered and
completed his journey in that space of
time. He mentions no particulars of
that trip at all. In the summer of 1888
he crossed the plains from Independence
and was pi ostrated by sunstroke near
the Platte , but that was in July , so it
will not do for Mr. Allis.
The only mention of smallpox in Beck-
wourth's own book is in an account of
the Pawnees. "Some of the bands
have been reduced to one-half by this
fatal disease , " he says , "in many in
stances introduced designedly among
them by their civilized brethren. "
This leads up to the most curious ac
count of the disease that I have seen :
that given by Charles Larpeiitour of
how it came among the Assinuiboines ,
who were near neighbors of both the
Crows and the Blackfeet. The steam
boat St. Peter brought it in June , 1837.
"Immediately on the landing of the
boat , we learned that smallpox was on
board. Mr. J. Halsey had the disease ,
of which several of the hands had died ;
but it had subsided , and this was the
only case on board. Our only appre
hensions were that the disease might
spread among the Indians , and prompt
measures were adopted to prevent an
epidemic. As we had no vaccine matter
we decided to inoculate with the small
pox itself ; and after the systems of
those who were to be inoculated had
been prepared according to Dr. Thomas'
medical book , the operation was per
formed upon about 80 Indian squaws
and a few white men. The smallpox
matter should have been taken from a
very healthy person ; but unfortunately
Mr. Halsey was not sound , and the op
eration proved fatal to most of our
patients. About fifteen days after
ward there was such a stench
in the fort that it could be smelt at the
distance of 800 yards. Some went
crazy , and others were half eaten up by
maggots before they died. The tribe
was reduced more than one-half by next
spring. "
Among all the tribes , the mortality
from , the disease seems to have been
made greater by the Indians attacked
running into some stream of water ,
after steaming themselves in the vapor
baths with which they are wont to treat
all sicknesses. The same thing , by the
way , is said to have happened among
the nations of various wild countries ,
as the islands of the Pacific.
Mr. James P. Beokwourth seems ,
therefore , to be not guilty of the small
pox epidemic , whatever other misdeeds
may rest upon his head.
Nebraska City , Neb. , Aug. 10 , 1900.
N °
cleaner record , no
man a clearer vision , no man is a more
sincere patriot , than James H. Eckels.
Ho tersely says :
"No issue set forth , no matter how
cunningly devised and arranged , can be
made paramount to the issue of Mr.
Bryan himself. No man is fitted for
the presidency who proclaims , in the
midst of a demonstrated better condi
tion of affairs , the reverse to bo true in
order to foment a discord which will
gain to himself and party a political ad
vantage. Mr. Bryan hardly appeals to
the thoughtful citizen when upon one
hand he is presented by the populists
and on the other by Tammany. The
joining hands with the one constitutes
an offense against safety in government
al administration ; the alliance with the
other an offense against political
decency. "
LUC ° ln de ° lnred
against swapping
horses in the middle of a dangerous ford
and now the question is whether the
republic can be bauefited by trading off
an "Elephant" for a "Jackass" which
has been spavined , foundered and has
also the poll-evil , nervous prostration ,
the big head , and is wind-broken , just
at a time when endurance , steadiness of
gait and a capacity for carrying things
safely are requisites to national pros
perity ?
said : "Monarchy
is a merchantman which sails well , but
will sometimes strike a rock and go to
the bottom ; whilst a republic is a raft ,
which would never sink , but then your
feet are always in the water. "
And the Bryauarchists would have
had water all over the raft if they could
command it for a brief period. The raft
is victualed for a four years' cruise , and
will float better with little wind than
with a tempest. The raft needs a
thinker more than it needs a talker and
a compass more than a phonograph.
PHOTOGUAPH.1US August 29fch ,
1900 , Colonel Wil
liam J. Bryan will be photographed
milking his famous cow , " 16 to 1" .
Clark of Montana , holds her by the
horns and Oroker , of the New York
ice trust , keeps off the flies with a dust
brush of liquid air frozen at a recent
interview between himself and Dave
The picture is to be very realistic. It
will show the colonel barefooted , a stone
bruise on his left heel and only one gal-
Ins and that fastened to the rear of his
trousers with a husking pin. If plain
people yearn for anything in plain dem
agogy , plainer than "this paramount" ,
they are irrational.
PARA. leader with the
matchless tongue
said that the free coinage of silver at
the ratio of sixteen to one in unlimited
bulk by the government of the United
States was in 1896 "tantamount" to all
other questions. "Tantamount" as thus
used , by our peerless one , means equal ,
equivalent , equipollent to all other pub-