Itinerary of Delegates in Washington, 1857-1858

Group photo of Dakota delegation, New York City, 1858. Photographer unknown. PM 2004.29.5858.
Smutty Bear, Ma-to Sa-bi-tshi-a, 1790-1865. Chief, Yankton Dakota Nation. Portrait by Julian Vannerson and Samuel A. Cohner, 1858. PM 2004.1.125.1
Man and Chief, Petalesharo, 1797-1858. Chief, Skidi Pawnee Nation, Wolf Clan. Portrait by Julian Vannerson and Samuel A. Cohner, 1858. PM 2004.1.125.26
Scarlet Night, Han-ye-tu-du-ta or Scarlet Crow, 1830-1867. Headman, Re-mi-ni-ca Band, Santee Dakota Nation. Portrait by A. Zeno Shindler, 1867. PM 2004.1.144.38
Hole-in-the-Day, Pug-o-na-ge-shuck or Bugonegijg, 1825-1868. Chief, Anishinaabe (Chippewa/Ojibwa) Nation. Portrait by Julian Vannerson and Samuel A. Cohner, 1858. PM 2004.1.125.25
Passing Hail, Wa-su-Hi-ya-ye-dan, ?-1867. Chief, Mdewakanton Dakota Nation. Portrait by Julian Vannerson and Samuel A. Cohner, 1858. PM 2004.1.125.5
Feathers in the Ear, Wi-yo-komi. Chief, Yankton Dakota Nation. Portrait by A. Zeno Shindler, 1867. PM 2004.1.144.5
Fish Rising Above Water, Mokohoko or Jumping Fish, ?-1878?. Chief, Asakiwaki (Sac) Nation, Sturgeon Clan. Portrait by Julian Vannerson and Samuel A. Cohner, 1858. PM 2004.1.125.38
Bear in the Fork of the Tree, Na-ta-wa-kwut, Nesouaquoit, or He of the forked tree, 1797-?. Chief, Mesquakie (Fox) Nation, Bear Clan. Portrait by Julian Vannerson and Samuel A. Cohner, 1858. PM 2004.1.125.37

"I have come a long way and intend, while in your village, to walk your streets as a proud man."—Little Crow to Acting Commissioner Charles E. Mix, during an interview with Dakota delegates, March 15, 1858 (Office of Indian Affairs, 1858)

Click here for more information about these nineteenth-century delegates.

In the winter of 1857-1858, ninety delegates from thirteen tribes traveled to Washington, D.C. through arduous conditions, leaving some of their own as fatal victims of illness, accidents and crime. Although there are no records detailing the delegates' personal experiences while in the capitol, which included meeting President Buchanan, presented here is a list of delegate activities compiled from newspapers and from government accounts.

Monday, January 4, 1858

Yankton delegation met with Commissioner of Indian Affairs, Charles Mix. Twenty Indian delegates toured Smithsonian Institution, including Stanley's Indian Gallery. Many placed tobacco offering on the North tower and pray. Later, delegates performed a "war" dance in the conference room.

Friday, January 15, 1858

Dakota, Pona, Potowatami, Pawnee, and Winnebago delegates visited the Navy Yard and the U.S. Arsenal. The Secretary of War presented each chief with a gun.

Saturday, January 23, 1858

Delegates attended several public balls.

Wednesday, January 27, 1858

Pawnee, Ponca, Potawatomi, Sioux, Sac, and Fox delegations viewed troop demonstrations at the marine barracks. In the afternoon, they were persuaded to perform a "war" dance, followed by lunch in the mess hall.

Saturday, March 13, 1858

Santee Dakotas arrived from northern Minnesota and over the next week attended the theater, visited the U.S. Penitentiary, and met with J. Thompson, Secretary of the Interior.

Saturday, March 27, 1858

The Dakotas met with Commissioner Mix in the first treaty negotiations.

Monday, March 29, 1858

Dakotas toured the Arsenal and performed a "war" dance. Little Crow spoke about the capture of Inkpaduta during the Spirit Lake Uprising. John Other Day and Iron Shooter were applauded by the ladies present.

Tuesday, March 30, 1858

All tribal delegates attended the funeral for Tuck-a-lix-tah, a Pawnee delegate who died on March 29.

Monday, April 5, 1858

Yankton Dakotas met with Commissioner Mix.

Friday, April 16, 1858

Dakotas posed for Julian Vannerson at McClees Studio.

Monday, April 19, 1858

Yankton Dakota signed a treaty. Little Crow and Commissioner Mix debated this same treaty.

Sunday, May 3, 1858

Dakotas performed dance and music at the Union Hotel.

Friday, May 28, 1858

Dakotas posed for Vannerson at McClees Studio.

Saturday, May 29, 1858

Dakotas visited Arlington Springs resort.

Saturday, June 19, 1858

Mdewakanton, Wahpekute, Sisseton, and Wahpeton Dakotas signed treaties.

Monday, June 21, 1858

Mdewakanton, Wahpekute, Sisseton, and Wahpeton Dakotas visited Commissioner Mix for the last time and received "good conduct" medals.