Luther North-incredible Pawnee Indian War content! Two page type written letter from famous Indian wars historian Albert W Johnson, written to former Pawnee Scout Captain Luther North.
Incredible content typed on imprinted letterhead. Please read the transcription below.
“Albert W. Johnson
Pioneer Life, Trails, and Indian War History
Marine-on-St. Croix, Minn
March 31, 1932.
My dear Capt. North:
Your very kind and appreciated the letter of the 25th received, and I wish to express my gratitude and joy at receiving that clear and concise statement about the wonderful endurance shown by the Pawnee runner in making so swift and quick a time in negotiating a distance over a wild terrain. It seems almost impossible, but in the old days when fleetness was the order of the day and man and beast performed feats of prowess, all things as the old saying goes were possible, and your own observation and knowledge of the fact makes it un-disputable and prima facie. It is something that relates to the days when the West was young, and when life on the wide spreading plain was real and in enchanting. The buffalo was swift on foot, and the chase was an exciting event, and taught fleetness and persistence, as a necessary quality for a rich reward. It was a training and livelihood that required endurance and mastery of things as they were in those times. Again I thank you and want to say that you have done me a great favor in writing this splendid outline, so well sketched and precise. I am glad to have it in my files to enlarge up on some day, and as an historical fact connected with the great and wise Pawnee people who inhabited the region adjacent to your home.
That experience you had when freighting along the Platte when an Indian drew with bended bow aimed at your person, and the slight push of another at a critical moment, saving your life, and the reason you gave as the appearance of a cloud in the far distance which they quickly interpreted as a signal of danger threatening their squaws and papooses on the other side of the river, which in fact were soldiers coming, and that if anything was found wrong with your outfit, the penalty would have to be exacted. You say that you were 16 years of age at the time.
Can you fix an approximate date of the event of the fast Pawnee runner. It will be useful in more correctly interpreting the status of the country as to its condition before roads were constructed and villages built by the whites.
I surely appreciate your kind invitation to come down and to go with you over this
section of your state where your boyhood days were spent, and where so much of historical material regarding the Pawnee nation is to be found.
I see by the papers that “Bacon Rind” an old Indian at Pahuska, Oklahoma has passed to the happy hunting grounds. I presume you know something about him.
We are having very changeable weather these days, with cold and disagreeable conditions prevailing, but we are looking for spring to come now most any day. So far I have seen none of our early spring birds like the Robin and bluebird who usually appear before this. The Cardinal or Red Bird generally comes up here around the first part of June.
I was down to see my wife at the hospital yesterday and found her gaining ground fast, and was able to sit up and eat a hearty dinner in my presence. It is truly wonderful what the medical profession has accomplished in modern time, and the victories it has gained over disease. Her case was desperate, she was anemic because of the long-suffering she had endured from the abnormally large gall stones and to top off run down to the lowest ebb, when she was examined by the x-ray and it was discovered what was really the trouble, but there was no time to waste for building up as the operation must be made without delay. At the second operation for taking the bladder which had become greatly inflamed and bursted, she had gained quite a bit of strength, which was needed to stand this more severe operation which she submitted to on the 11th. Last week for a couple days the doctor was worried that she could hold nothing on her stomach, and she was being fed artificially through the arm to maintain a semblance of strength. Saturday last began to climb the grade and could hold her food and now she relishes it with the exception of coffee, meats and potatoes. She is surely doing fine now, and I am so glad to have this good news for you dear help meet Mrs. North. I told my wife about Mrs. North’s thoughts of her, and her affectionate regard, which gladdened her to know, and felt so kindly and lovingly towards her for her concern.
I must close to get this on the mail as the mail carrier is due in 20 minutes.
Albert W Johnson
In fine condition as shown. True Western history documented from one of the famous commanders of the Pawnee Scouts!
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