This Week in History: August 11-17


Fort Laramie Aug 15/63
Dear Father,
I arrived on Tuesday 11 after a very pleasant and speedy  journey.

I am treated with the greatest kindness by everybody particularly by Mr. Bullock.

Major McKay the gentleman who has command of the garrison has  showed me a great many marked attentions.

Day before yesterday I went to the distribution of annuties on  the Major’s own horse which is very beautiful and at the same  time most spirited animal that I ever rode.  Mr. Bullock kindly  gave us a letter of introduction to Maj. Loree the Indian agent.

[Pg. Break] He was exceedingly polite and said that he thought if the Indians knew who I was that they would give me a dog feast.

Mr. Burdeau was introduced to us and spoke to me most touchingly  of you.  He told me that you had raised him up. [See Notes on  this next part] I was also introduced to Friday who when I said  on going away and offering my hand to him “Come Friday let us  shake hands for old acquaintance sake” filled up instantly and I  was very much afraid that he would cry. [See Notes]

The country around here is very much dried up.

Mr. Ward’s mule train started this morning.

On Monday I go out on my first hunt.

I shall send a letter to mother and one to grandmother under your care to St. Louis.  You will oblige me exceedingly if you will  send them to whom they are addressed [spelled adressed].

I am now going out to try my gun with David who is going to try  one of Mr. B’s.  And now dear father I must close expecting an  answer to this letter from your
affectionate son
Hugh.

P.S. I have just returned from shooting.  None of us hit the center but of four shots two came about the length of your finger from the black spot.  All of them said that I could have killed an antelope.  The distance was about 75 feet.  I hope you will excuse this as

[Pg. Break] I have written it in a great hurry.

I have made a mistake in spelling the Major’s name it is spelled  [spelled spellt] Mackey.

[On the second page, Hugh writes about Friday.  This is on the back of the copy:

From Across the Wide Missouri by Bernad Devoto
page 29: The Prairie Traveller (1833)

… Campbell was also taking to the mountains an Arapaho boy who had been in school in St. Louis and whose strange, affecting story someone should tell in full.  Tom Fitzpatrick had found him lost and starving in the southwestern plains two years before, had called him Friday, and informally adopted him, and had sent him East for some education.  Now he was returning to his foster father and his country, a divided soul, an Indian who had learned to feel the emotions of a white man.]

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