© 2024
Prairie Public NewsRoom
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

June 14: Aurickarees Find Refuge

Ways To Subscribe

On this date in 1824, the St. Louis Enquirer reported the latest news about Arikara refugees from the previous year's conflict. It said, “It now appears, that after they fled from their Villages, the Aurickarees sought the protection of the Mandans and obtained it on condition of future friendly deportment towards the whites … this was promised by all, except a small band who breathe nothing but vengeance, and separated themselves from the main body ... the latter built a Village in the timber below Tilton's Fort, and induced him to trade with them.”

The St. Louis Enquirer then reported that this band robbed three men from Henry Ashley's outfit, killed one man from William Tilton's outfit, and killed four men from the firm of Berthold and Chouteau. In response, Tilton abandoned his fort and fled to the Mandan Village. This would lead Mandan leaders to withdraw their protection for the Arikara. The band of Arikaras then formed a treaty with the Hidatsa, who, to quote the Enquirer, stipulated that in case “troops should ascend the river to punish their outrages, their allies should be left to meet their own fate.”

According to the Enquirer, a deputation of Arikara ambassadors were sent to Colonel Leavenworth, “with a tale of repentance and sorrow, and promises of future good conduct, upon condition of forgiveness for the past.”

These diplomats then referenced the fur traders who burned down their villages against the orders of Colonel Leavenworth. The fur traders who had become Leavenworth’s political enemies after the previous year's war. The Arikara diplomats were clever enough to take advantage of the Anglo-American infighting.

The notoriously expansionist St. Louis Enquirer would become alarmed that, in their words, Colonel Leavenworth “would ever feel bound to array himself on the side of the Indians against the traders...”

It was an unsettled time. It would be yet another year before Indian agent Benjamin O'Fallon and Colonel Henry Atkinson would negotiate their notoriously unequal treaties with the Arikaras and the Mandans.

Dakota Datebook by Andrew Alexis Varvel


Dakota Datebook is made in partnership with the State Historical Society of North Dakota, and funded by Humanities North Dakota, a nonprofit, independent state partner of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in the program do not necessarily reflect those of Humanities North Dakota or the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Related Content