Title: Chief No Neck's Story

Periodical: World

Date: July 30, 1890

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He Declares Buffalo Bill Treats the Indians Well.

One of Buffalo Bill's Indians sailed up the Bay yesterday with a present of $100 in his pocket and a handsome suit of clothes on his back, and said Buffalo Bill had given them to him with admonition to tell the newspapers a good story when he reached New York. He came on the Kaiser Wilhelm. Springing lightly over the taffrail, he picked up the fresh trail of Gen. J. R. O'Beirne, Emigration Commissioner, and silently tracked him to his tepee in the Barge Office. [drawing] H. T. SMITH CHIEF NO NECK. "How! How!" he grunted in fine Sioux linguals. "Me Tahu-Wanicxta: me No-Neck. Minnecour chenumpa mi a cour?"

The General complied and handed him his cigarette case. Then No-Neck, who was billed among the second-cabin passengers as Low-Neck, and laughingly spoken of as Chief Decolleté, proceeded to make himself at home. His handsome silk umbrella—imported duty free—was deposited in a corner, his heavy winter overcoat was pulled off and his raven locks were arranged with the aid of a nice pocket-brush and sweetly scented with Parisian musk and he was ready for the council, arranged by cablegram from the other side. Interpreters Crager and Father F. M. Crafts seated themselves near the chief. No-Neck's appearance was that of an extra good liver, and to prove that he had not been starved by Buffalo Bill he was weighed on the baggage scales of Barney Biglin. Two hundred and six and one-half pounds was his weight. If he did not smoke about one hundred cigarettes a day he might weigh more.

Speaking of the treatment he and his fellows received, he said they were given bread, meat, coffee, tea, milk in cans, butter, rice, barley, prunes and bacon. They also received $25 a month. He got $30 because he was Chief of Police of the Wild West Show. Sick Indians, he said, are sent back to this country. Five have died and are buried in graveyards, with their names painted on slabs. The doctors gave them medicine, but they were afraid of it. They were also afraid to go to hospitals.

"Of all the countries I have been in," said No-Neck, "to me the United States is best. Too little ground for the number of people over there. If Buffalo Bill gets any more Sioux from the reservation he must give them $50 a month."

"What did he tell you when he gave you the $100?" he was asked.

"He said, 'When you go over say that you were treated well.'" was the reply.

"Would you tell a different story for $100?"

"Yes. But they did not teach me to tell this story. What No-Neck has spoken is true. No-Neck loves his own country best and would not go back to the Wild West Show."

Title: Chief No Neck's Story

Periodical: World

Source: McCracken Research Library, Buffalo Bill Center of the West , MS6.3772.009.04 (Crager scrapbook)

Date: July 30, 1890

Topic: Lakota Performers

Keywords: American Indians Atlantic crossings Passenger ships Sioux Nation Translators United States. Office of Indian Affairs

People: Craft, Francis M., 1852-1920 No Neck (Tahu Wanica) O'Beirne, James Rowan, 1844-1917

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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