Post by bandboxtroop on Aug 25, 2008 0:33:52 GMT -5
Uh first off the savages knew the value of paper money. Read Wooden Legs account of his kill under Reno's position. Yes money was used by hostile children to decorate mud poneys. At Slimm Buttes and Dull Knife battle over 1000 in green backs were recovered.
Post by thehighwayman on Aug 25, 2008 6:44:30 GMT -5
“I took a folded leather package from a soldier having three stripes on the left arm of his coat. It had in it lots of flat pieces of paper having pictures or writing I did not then understand. The paper was of green color. I tore it all up and gave the leather holder to a Cheyenne friend. Others got packages of the same kind from other dead white men. Some of it was kept by the finders. But most of it was thrown away or was given to boys, for them to look at the pictures.” From Wooden Leg: A Warrior Who Fought Custer by Dr. Thomas B. Marquis, 1931. ----- “We got off our horses and went and took the rings and money and watches from the soldiers. We took some clothes off too, and all the guns and pistols.” Flying Hawk - Interviewed by M. I. McCreight, 1928 ----- Interview with Mrs. Spotted Horn Bull, From the St. Paul Pioneer Press, May 19, 1883: It was with a tone of most noticeable regret that the woman told of the quantities of bank notes found and wasted, being utterly ignorant of the value of the, to them, curiously painted parallelograms of green paper. She naively said -
"We know better about them now, and wouldn't lose them as we did at that time."
Let's not forget that the NAs began trading with the palefaces since the 1700's and the spanish since the 1500's. Hides, gold, silver, you name it, they knew what the palefaces wanted. Use of script, letters of credit for trade goods, etc. was all common place. The NAs spent a lot of time at forts, trading posts, mountain man camps, and and sutlers stores. I'm sure many, but maybe not all, were aware of the use of green backs and coinage. I suspect on June 25th, that greenbacks were thrown away because in their celebration, they didn't think they would ever use it again. And later on, it probably wasn't a good idea to walk into a trading post carrying greenbacks that could have had only one source(LBH).
I'm glad you guys are back to my thoughts on paper currency!
As I said, the ignorance to money will vary from tribe to tribe, family to family, and band to band. Many Indians have different exposures to the white man.
I'd say that the Indian LEADERS are more likely to be ignorant than the common Indian warrior who has to function in the realer world. Kings do not buy eggs from the super market, and the figure heads of the tribe, like what we'd see with Sitting Bull, will not catch on as quickly as the common Indian who does their work and might sometimes live away from the tribe.
There's also the factor of Indians who simply do not want to operate in things that seem strange to them. I've called Crazy Horse something of a realist, some one who would rather thrive in his own world than struggle in another's. Right from the bible, in the Book of I Corinthians 14:19 it reads "Yet in the Church I would rather speak five words in my understanding, that by my voice I might teach others also, than ten thousand words in an unknown tongue". Crazy Horse was one of those Indians who didn't want to fiddle with white man's technologies, innovations, or currency. Crazy Horse did not approve of leaders who were so willing to negotiate with outsiders of strange customs and different tongues. Custer will sympathize with this belief, he wished the Indians to remain somehow with remnants of their uncomplicated and effective lively-hoods. Adaption is a hard sell, especially when your tampering with things that work. Edison innovated himself into a brilliant genius by applying methods which were considered grossly "uneducated", and you can imagine how hard he fought against the advanced and "nerdy" braniacs who stepped up as competition. Its not easy to give up a sure thing to operate and function in some one else's way. But the "old fashion" customs of Edison or Crazy Horse are not destroyed by inefficience to work, but rather by their masters who will not use their ways properly. Edison and Crazy Horse are geniuses in deed, but they fight dirty and they are stubborn. Thats where they lose in the long run, and forfeit great successes.
After winning Little Bighorn, the Indians wouldn't have had much use for money since they were drifting farther and farther away from any acceptance in the white man's world. There's far less trade going on for hunted men, and they knew it. After killing Custer, they made their last attempts to live untouched from the new world ahead............. this here, THEIR last stand, quickly came to an end. But the Indians would have thrived longer if their priorities had been sorted in order, THEY should have traded in their blood thirsty raids and accepted more productive military strategies. The Indians failed to apply themselves to the "better angels" of their nature, and thus they could not fight to hold onto the better angels of their world. Noble causes are always won, one way or another. But the Indians performed a lot of injustice and they paid the price for that they reaped.
Post by bandboxtroop on Aug 26, 2008 12:33:38 GMT -5
The hostiles knew the value of money. Wooden Leg " In another pocket was a wad of the same kind of green paper taken from the soldiers the day before. It was to wet though. I threw it aside In this same pocket were four white metal peices of money. I KNEW THEY WERE OF VALUE IN TRADING, but did not know how much was their value. In later times I have learned they were four silver dollars. A young Cheyenne there said ,Give the money to me I did not care for it so I gave it to him. He thanked me and said I shall use it to buy for myself a gun. A Sioux picked up the wad of green paper I had thrown on the ground. It was almost falling to pieces but he began to spread out some of the wet sheets that still held together. Prettty soon he said This is money. This is what the white man uses to buy things from the traders." Later on Wooden Leg while playing the non hostile role that the Sioux and Cheyenne were so good at when they needed something form the white man went to Fort Robinson with a wad of green backs, and went to the traders store. " Where did you get this money?. My Sioux friend quickly answered. He got it from Custer. The trader said to me The soldiers are going to hang you. This startled me at first but both he and my Sioux friend laughed, so I knew he was only joking. Now what do you want? the trader asked, after they had joked me a little while." Strange just look at thelarge amount of Henry cartidges dug up at LBH. The indians were well armed and wouldhave purchjased these items from traders. And the amount of money captured was not that much. People say 25,000 was paid to the 7th and lost. Well only 5 troops were wiped out so that cuts the 25,000 in half and thats adding the Reno men killed. Many of the soldiers owed the sutler money so its probable that only 10,000 in cash was captured as they men were paid in greenbacks not gold or silver dollars. Around 1000.00 was recovered at Slim Buttes. And thatmoney was in that camp long after the battle because the hostiles knew the value of a dollar. You have to remember winter was coming on and the old game of becoming a good indian and buying from the agency trader was around the corner.
Post by thehighwayman on Aug 26, 2008 13:31:38 GMT -5
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. I’m sure the Indian opinions regarding, and perception of the white man’s money ran the full gamut in 1876. There cannot be any universal statement regarding their attitude about it.
Some 5,000 Plains Indians were estimated to have never submitted to any reservation system and had lived free in the ‘old ways.’ Cash (cold other otherwise) meant nothing to them. Others had been ‘civilized’ and no doubt knew money was of value to the whites. I’m not so certain as to how strongly they felt that they needed it, when the old system of bartering goods worked with the white traders well enough. Wooden Leg seems to have tossed or given it away freely (to some that were eager to get it) with little concern. Over 400 weapons, with lots of ammunition, was provided to them (cash free) by Custer’s men, along with knives, horses, a little clothing and miscellaneous items of interest - including money. Valued by some, merely souveniers or toys to others.
As Mrs. Spotted Horn Bull’s 1883 statement will attest, they certainly appreciated its value within a short time after the Little Bighorn fight. Geronimo ended up driving around the reservation in a car, and Quanah Parked lived in a two story house. They financed them some how, I guess, but I never heard of Indians pulling a bank job to get hold of any money.
Post by bandboxtroop on Aug 26, 2008 19:42:15 GMT -5
Highwayman I can assure you there were no 5000 Sioux and Cheyenne that never had met whitemen in the 1876 campaign we are talking about. The Sioux and Cheyenne were trading at the agency for years ,where do you think all those Henry rifles and cartridges were coming from that out guned Custer at LBH. They knew the value of money. As I stated in another post at Slimm Buttes over 1000 in greenbacks was recovered. Dull Knife battle even more money was recovered.
Post by thehighwayman on Aug 26, 2008 21:18:00 GMT -5
While I appreciate your assurance, bandbox, the fact is I said ‘5,000 estimated to have never submitted to any reservation’ and were living as they always had. Called Free Roamers by the white government. I did not say ‘had never seen a white man,’ and neither did I say the number was restricted to Sioux and Cheyenne.
5,000 is the official number that the US Government came up with for Indians of ALL tribes on the Plains. What ever extrapolation Terry and Custer used to divine the number of those that they might encounter from the 5,000 is unknown to me. Terry did factor the Free Roamers with the reported number to have been absent from the reservations for his estimation of how many Indians he was looking for and might encounter.
A number of accounts, given years later, by Indians who were present at the Little Bighorn made mention that they had never seen a white man. Not up close at least. A few mention their amazement with the pale color of the soldiers skin. Some of those people were actually teenagers at the time, but it never the less indicates that years might go by without contact with whites that were to be seen on the Plains.
While some Indians, without a doubt in my mind, might know that money carried some value, a number saw no reason to have it for anything they might need. I’m sure they were aware that money was significant to the whites. Whether they completely understood that significance or not, many of them make mention of the money in their accounts years later.
I’m unclear why you want to force your opinion that ‘Indians knew the value of money,’ (you don’t say some, many or even most), but rather, you imply that all of them did. I’m unconvinced, but by all means knock yourself out.
Post by bandboxtroop on Aug 27, 2008 11:12:10 GMT -5
If they didnt know the value of greenbacks why were they still carrying it months after LBH. Stacks of it was recovered at Slimm Buttes and Dull Knife battle. And I will state one more time cartridges cost money, the agency traders took the money. Wooden Leg even told the one trader he got the money from Custer's men and the guy still sold him what he wanted. Found in Dull Knife village was kegs of black powder and USDIA labled bags.