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Newspaper Page Text
17. THE OGLALA LIGHT.
Nevertheless, the last years of Chariot's life were darkened by the duplicity and tyranny of the whites, to whom he was so faithful, and thier government. When the cession treaty of 1855 was signed by Victor, passing all of the lands of the Flatheads to the govern ment, It was provided that Victor's particular tribe should continue to have the lands in the Bitter Root which their people had held for ages. In 1871, when Chariot had become chief through Victor's death, white settlers had grown so numerous in the Bitter Root that, at their demand, the government undertook to remove Chariot and his people to the Jocko or Flathead reservation, and 500,000 was appropriated in 1872 to reim burse them. Chief's Name Forged to Treaty. James A. Garfield, as commissioner visited the Batter Root th negotiate a treatpof 1855 the government agreed to survey the Bitter Root valley for the Flatheads, and to provide them with farmers, schoolmasters, carpent #rs, blacksmiths, and the like. Gen Gorfield, in his report, state that for seventeen years the government had failed to keep its word in respect to these matters, and Chariot reminded was in war. Daring the Nez Perce the commissioner of this bad faith, war in 1877, when Chief Joseph and his followers were in the Bitter Root •alley Chariot refused to take Joseph's hand, despite that they were kins men, because it was stained with the blood of white men, and he declared he wonld attack Joseph with all his tribe if the latter dared molest a white settler in the valley. Continued on page 38, and refused to move. Gen. Garfield, however, negotiated a treafy With the Flathead by which they agreed to give up their Bitter Root lands and go to the Jacko or Flatehdad reservat ion. The treaty was signed by Gen. Garfield and by Arlee. second chief, and Adolph, third chief of the Flat heads, but not by Chariot Without his signature and agreement, however the government proceeded to act. Some miscreant in the Indian de partment, whose identity was never public, signed Chariot's name to the treaty the commissioner of Indian Affairs published the treaty with the name attached and many interested persons believed or pretended to be lieve that Chariot signed it. For thirty-two years Chariot protested at this fraud, and he and about forty families of loyal Flatheads refused to leave the Bitter Root in 1871, convinc ed that the government was false in its averments and promises to the Indians. But late, in 1891, he was persuaded to go to the Flathead reservation. It was not till 1904, that Judge William Sloane, himself a famous Montana pioneer and friend of Chariot for fifty years, secured a certified copy of the Garfield treaty and discovered and made known to Chariot the manner in which the signature had been affixed to it, and cleared the aged chief of the unjust charge of violating his own treaty that had weighed so heavily upon him for so many years. Courage Holds to ike End. He died with the same unflinching Second column.