Title: No-Neck Has Spoken

Periodical: Journal

Date: July 30, 1890

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A Brave Fresh from Europe Defends Buffalo Bill.

Most of the Indians' Troubles Were Due to the Wild Dissipation at the French Capital.

By far the most distinguished saloon passenger who landed from Europe yesterday from the North German Lloyd steamer Kaiser Wilhelm II. was No-neck, the Sioux chief, who has been travelling with Buffalo Bill in the Wild West combination now performing among the palefaces in Europe.

No-neck was met by the Rev. Father Craft, the Indian Missionary at the Pine Ridge settlement, who is also a chief of the Sioux tribe, and Interpreter George C. Crager, of the Department of Indian Affairs.

Later in the afternoon No-neck told the reporters what he knew about the treatment received by the Indians travelling with the Wild West Show. The Rev. Father Craft acted as interpreter.

No-neck is a typical Indian, standing about 5 feet 10 inches tall, heavily built, and has long black hair, flat features, a well-formed and smiling mouth, and that impenetrable stolidity of expression which has rendered the red man's features anything but a reflection of his thoughts.

He was dressed in a dark-blue suit of [drawing] No Neck Himself. clothes, cut in the latest European style, and a flannel shirt, ornamented with the aces of every suit in the pack. He wore a huge sombrero.

During the council he toyed with an Indian straw fan and smoked cigarettes.

The chief said that Colonel Cody provided meat, bread, coffee, tea, milk, butter, bacon, prunes, rice, barley and other cereals for his Indians and paid them $25 a month. He received $30 a month, being chief of police in the Indian camp. The Indians thought that good pay when they first went to Europe, but after they got into civilized fashionable life and stayed out at night they did not think that sufficient.

He said that those taken sick were sent home. Buffalo Bill has a doctor in camp in all the cities and one of the tepees is set aside for a hospital.

After the Rev. Father Craft had explained to the chief that complaints of ill treatment had been made by the Indians who arrived here some weeks ago, No-neck proceeded with his story.

His replies were sometimes directly to the point, but when he did not wish to answer a question he smiled in a bland and childlike manner and gave some reply which displayed such cunning ignorance as would have delighted the District-Attorney if he wanted to empanel him on a jury.

He said that Rocky Bear and Red Shirt had trouble after the show left Paris, Bruin being jealous of favors shown by the Parisienne belles to the other gentleman. In consequence Red Shirt came home.


Buffalo Bill, evidently knowing the temptations of the wicked continental cities, told his Indians that they must not go out at night or go with the gay and frivolous young women who see Paris by gaslight, and told No-neck to enforce that order.

"When I tried to do so," said the chief, "the braves had no ears and paid no attention." In consequence of their dissipations they were attacked with various forms of debility which are the inevitable result of fashionable life as lived by our own gilded youth.

"Rocky Bear," the chief said, "did not try to enforce Buffalo Bill's orders and was a sad rake himself, doing considerable mashing among the continental belles."

This was all told by No-Neck with a most solemn face, and he was equally unmoved apparently when he admitted to Father Craft, amid loud laughter, that, as he found he could not keep the Indians in the way they should go, he thought he might as well take a hand himself and he sallied forth and saw the elephant on his own account.

He would not say whether he had any complaint against Colonel Cody or Mate Salisbury, and evaded the question by smiling in a bland manner and saying that his wife and three children had died while he was away and he was glad to get home.

He said: "I like the United States better than any country I have visited. Europe too little ground for big heap people." Thus showing that the old man is a keen observer of the labor problem, which he further showed when he said: "If body wants any more Indians from Pine Ridge he must pay them $50 a month."

In describing his parting with Buffalo Bill he said: "Colonel Cody gave me a suit of clothes, paid my wages, and gave me $100 besides, telling me at the time that I should meet the newspaper men, and I was to give a good report of the treatment of the Indians."

Then rising from his chair in a grave and dignified manner he said in solemn tones: "All I have spoken is truth. What I said they did not teach me."

And after shaking hands all round he drove to the Occidental Hotel, where he will remain until he leaves for Rushville, Neb., en route for the Pine Ridge settlement, this afternoon.

Title: No-Neck Has Spoken

Periodical: Journal

Source: McCracken Research Library, Buffalo Bill Center of the West , MS6.3772.009.01ab (Crager scrapbook)

Date: July 30, 1890

Topic: Lakota Performers

Keywords: American Indians Fashion Missionaries Passenger ships Sioux Nation Translators United States. Office of Indian Affairs United States. Office of Indian Affairs. Pine Ridge Agency

People: No Neck (Tahu Wanica) Red Shirt, 1845?-1925 Rocky Bear Craft, Francis M., 1852-1920

Places: Paris (France) Pine Ridge Indian Reservation (S.D.)

Sponsor: This project is supported in part by a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Geraldine W. & Robert J. Dellenback Foundation.

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