Charles Jackson to Oliver Otis Howard, February 15, 1875

Jackson, a young soldier from Maine, is in trouble and writes to Howard for help.

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U.S. Military Prison
Fort Leavenworth Kansas
February 15th 1875

Dear Sir
I wrote to you over a month ago but as
I have received no answer I presume it never reached
you. You may possibly recollect me when I tell you
that my mother is Mrs Susan W. Jackson of Portland,
Maine, sister of Mrs Edward Waite, and Mrs Wm.
H. Mills of Bangor.

I am in great trouble and I
know of no one to look to for help but you. In July
1873 being out of employment I enlisted in the 3d
U.S. Infantry under an assumed name John Fenwick
but I certainly intended to serve my time and did
serve well for the first six months, when I commen-
ced drinking and was induced to desert. I do
not blame anyone but myself although I was ill
treated by the 1st Sergeant of my company. I was
arrested last summer tried convicted and sentenced
to three years confinement at this place. I did
not take a cents worth of property belonging to the

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I beg and implore you Sir to use your great influence
to effect my release or at least to have my sentence
mitigated not for my sake but on account of my poor
mother whom I have not seen for over ten years.

solemnly promise you Sir If I am released to go
home, never to touch a drop of liquor again and do
my utmost to become an honest sober man.

Do not for Gods sake turn a deaf ear to my appeal.

Very Respectfully
You Humble Servt
Charles Jackson
alias John Fenwick
enclosed I send a copy of my sentence

Brig. Gen. O.O. Howard U.S. Army

Cite as: Charles Jackson to O.O. Howard, 1875 February 15, ALS, Oliver Otis Howard Papers, Bowdoin College Library, Brunswick, Maine.

Rev. Henry W. Stratton to Oliver Otis Howard, May 22, 1876

Stratton writes about his congregation and the YMCA that Howard founds in Portland, Oregon.

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Albany Oregon
22 May 1876

Gen. O.O. Howard
Portland Oregon

Dear Brother
Seeing by the papers
that you exchanged with Bro. Knight
last Sabbath. I am emboldened to ask
of you a similar favor. For several reasons
I very greatly desire you to visit my people,
& the present seems to be a favorable occasion.
I am obliged to be in Portland the Sabbath
before the Congregational Association meets,
as a supply for Dr Lindsleys pulpit. I wish
to remain during the sessions of the Association.
I shall be busily occupied day & night with
other matters from the 9th to the day of the meeting.
I have not been able to do any work of
consequence for some weeks past. & will have
no time for pulpit preparation for the Sabbath
after the meeting. The Congregational Church
here needs cheering up & quickening,
which- with Gods help- I believe you can

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do perhaps better than any one else.
Many of our people, in both churches
would like to see & hear you. I hope
the time may not be far distant when
your Y.M.C.A. may be the centre about
which- to some extent revival interests-
may gather for a thorough work of grace.
I will do what is necessary. Either
by exchange- if the pulpit of your church
is not already supplied, or by paying
your expenses, & giving you entertainment
here, as you may require. Please consider
& if possible consent to come to Albany
and preach for the United Congregational
and Presbyterian Churches. Sabbath June 18th.
You can leave Portland at 4 P.M. Saturday
& return by 10 A.M. Monday morning
if you are pressed for time.

Truly Yours
Howard W. Stratton

Cite as: Howard W. Stratton to O.O. Howard, 1876 May 22, ALS, Oliver Otis Howard Papers, Bowdoin College Library, Brunswick, Maine.

John B. Montieth to Oliver Otis Howard, March 19, 1877

Indian Agent Montieth urges Howard to come talk to Chief Joseph about the Nez Perce relocation.

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Office Indian Agent,
Nez Perce Indians,
Lapwai, Idaho Territory, March 19th, 1877

Enclosed please find a copy of
a letter I have addressed the Hon Comr.
of Indian Affrs. It appears from
the interview I had with Ollicut, referred to
 in my letter to the Commissioner, that
Joseph has been told that you were com-
ing up to see them.

I think if you could spare the time to
come here and see Joseph, and impress upon
his mind, that it is the unalterable purpose
of the Government, that he and his people
shall be removed to and located upon this
reserve, or some other one, the desired result
would follow in a short time. They are
now waiting for some one to come and have
 a final talk. And as stated in my letter to

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the Commisr., Ollicut said, they were
waiting for you to come.

If you conclude to come, please telegraph
me when you will be at the Agency, and
I will send for Joseph and have him here
so you will not be detained. If you
can possibly come I would urge you to
do so.

The reports that are being published
in various papers, pertaining to Joseph’s
movements, are groundless. The fact is
there is certain class who are afraid
that there will not be an Indian war.
I am Sir
Very Respectfully
John B. Monteith
U.S. Ind Agt
Genl. O.O. Howard
Comd. Dept Columbia
Portland Oregon

Cite as: John B. Monteith to O.O. Howard, 1877 March 19, ALS, Oliver Otis Howard Papers, Bowdoin College Library, Brunswick, Maine.

T.W. Osborn to Oliver Otis Howard, October 24, 1877

A friend offers advice to Howard on how to conduct himself in the face of criticism of his Nez Perce Campaign.

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Great Southern Railway Co.
Secretary’s Office.
170 Broadway.
New York Oct. 24 1877
North Adams

Genl. O.O. Howard:
Portland Oregon.
Dear General:

I have watched the
course of your late Indian
campaign with great interest
and more so especially, as I
saw the disposition of the press
of the country to criticize you
harshly and as I knew most
unjustly. So far as I could
judge your pursuit of Joseph
and your engagements with
him displayed more ability
and energy and resulted in
closing an Indian war more
speedily than anything ^ campaign we have
before seen no matter by whom
controlled or executed.

I desire to make a sug-
gestion. You probably have seen

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but little of the comments
made by the press upon yourself
and the campaign. In a word
they have been silly and severe.

I would suggest that in writing
your report that you put it
in such form and language
that the full magnitude of
your work shall be apparent
and show that the final capture
of the band was a result fol-
lowing of necesity to whoever
should block the line of Joseph’s
march and at the same time
make a refutable fight. This
will in no way detract from
the honorable ^ course and gallant fight
of General Miles. But it will
put the campaign made by
yourself in its true light and
meet properly many things said
unjustly of yourself.

I am making a visit here
^with my brother. Give my kind
regards to Mrs. Howard.

Very truly, &c. T.W. Osborn

Cite as: T.W. Osborn to O.O. Howard, 1877 October 24, ALS, Oliver Otis Howard Papers, Bowdoin College Library, Brunswick, Maine.

William T. Sherman to Oliver Otis Howard, December 12, 1877

Sherman denies Howard’s request for a leave to travel east and discusses his views on Native American issues.

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Headquarters Army of the United States,
Washington, D.C., Dec 12 1877

General OO Howard-
Portland Oregon.

Dear General,
I have your letter
of Nov 27 and assure you
of my disposition to stretch
my friendship to the extremest
limit in your interest. I
saw the Secretary of War about
it yesterday to know if he
had any possible pretext on
which he could order you East
for a time, but he said not
We have so many officers as
you know adrift on nominal

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duty that I am ashamed
to ask for any more-

As to those Indian prisoners
still in your hand, most
assuredly we don’t want them
as we already have at Fort
Leavenworth 431 to provide
for until the Indian Bureau
can make arrangements to provide
for them in the Indian Territory.
Those you have should be taken
to the Nez Perce Agent at
Kamiak, or Fort Lapwai
to be engrafted on the Tribe
located on that Reservation.
We cannot indulge their
sentimental preferences. They
went to war, and must
now submit to whatever

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fate is allowed them, thankful
that their lives are spared.

Those captured at the Bear Paws
Mountain are not sent back
to Lapwai, because it is judged
that it would or might cause
trouble with other Indians of
that quarter who would conclude
that they might fight and be
pardoned when tried. Now
these are lost to their tribe-
dead as to them. and the Spokanes-
Umatillas & Flatheads will take
warning. The same reasoning
does not apply to these captu-
red by you at Clearwater.
These you may admit to the
Agent of their tribe under
the original orders which led

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to the War.

I will bear in mind your
desire to come East next spring
and will if possible endeavor to
save you the expense – which is
all you desire--for you know
you can come at any time at
your own option and cost.

Truly yr friend,
W.T. Sherman

Cite as: W.T. Sherman to O.O. Howard, 1877 December 12, ALS, Oliver Otis Howard Papers, Bowdoin College Library, Brunswick, Maine.

James H. Wilbur to Oliver Otis Howard, June 28, 1880

Wilbur reports on the status of relations with Yakoma Indians.

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United States Indian Service,
Yakama Ind. Agency,
Fort Simcoe, W.T. June 28th 1880

General O.O. Howard
Dear Sir,
letter of June 22d is this hour Recd.
There is no trouble between the Indians
of this agency and the Piutes. The Indians
here Recd them kindly and have treated
them so Since they came among them.
They hire them and pay them wages
and I employ them and pay them
for their work. They have no reason
to complain. Were contented before
Sarah came back and urged them
to Return. Oits is well and working
and contented does not want
to leave.  Will write more fully in
a day or two.

Yours Truly
James H Wilbur
U.S Ind Agent.

Cite as: James H. Wilbur to O.O. Howard, 1880 June 28, ALS, Oliver Otis Howard Papers, Bowdoin College Library, Brunswick, Maine.

Chief Joseph to Oliver Otis Howard, June 30, 1880

Nez Perce Chief Joseph writes to Howard stating "You are always feeling kind towards the Indians," then cites death on the reservation and expresses the need for change.

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United States Indian Service,
Oakland Agency,
Ind Territory, June 30th, 1880,

Gen O.O. Howard.
My friend you know I have
been in Washington; I got to
Washington. I found many
friends there. All the Headmen
in Washington were glad to
meet me. I had a talk with
the Com of Ind Affairs. I
understood their talk with my
heart and kept it. I write to
you this day. You are my friend
have been and I think you are
the today. You are always feeling
kind towards the Indians. You
know about me and so do I about
you. I am trying to do what’s right,
I want for my people to join me
in the way am going to take.
I am now thinking about better 

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things for my people. I never
before expressed myself this way
or in this manner. So it may be
understood by you and others, I
know religion is good. It makes all
feel kind toward each other.
I wants you to know now I am
going to be Christian Man.
So I want you to make known
my wishes to all ministers the
 in the West especially to Dr.
 Lindsley of Portland Oregon.
I wish you all remember me in
your prayers &c.

 I wish you would help ^ me all you
can in my undertakings.
What I say now I say it in
truth and it comes from my heart.
My people have been suffering
great deal since I have been moved
to this country my ^ people dying off all
the time. I hope you will feel
for me and sympathize with me
and my people

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I have lost 153 of my people
since I was brought to Fort
Leavenworth up to present time
and people living in a country
where climat is very hot.
I want you to know just how
I am satuated. I remember the
counciles we had at Lapwai, Idaho
you and I could have agreed if ^it had not
been for other Indians. I regret those
days. I now see that you was talking to
me right. I am now trying to do better
hereafter. I know I got to do better
and I hope all you Government
Officers would do justices to me and
treat me as you aught to. I know
you feel kind towards me wherever you
are, I have had same feelings towards
you all the time, let us put away all
the wrongs done to each other during
the past. You know we are now at peace
to each other as friends. I hope we will
remain so as friends. We can and
all people get along as friends to each

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other. We all love friendship so we
hope the past offences may be
forgotten &c. than let us be friendly
true friends to each other Whites
and Indians. I feel now towards you
as my brother and will remain so to you
I take you as my true and best friend,
this I say out of my heart, your body is
like mine and your soul is like mine,
your heart is like my heart, your are
just the same under our Great Father
of all nations. So let us feel to each
other as such. I think this is the best
thing you and I can do. I hope you take
all this into your heart what I have said
you can let me know how you feel, so I
desire you assistances give me best advices
that you know in regard to my satuation
I know you will ^ do this for me as my friend
you know more than I do so you can tell
me what is best for me to do, I would
do as you tell me to, you told me at the
time of surrender that I could go back
to my country (Idaho). So I say as you
have disappointed me do something for
me now. It will be satisfaction to me to
know that if you can do something for me
for I know you think of ^ the promises made
to me by you as I have said above, I am
trying to take good advices hereafter
I will walk in the way of right. I think
I can be happy in doing so. So as I am
now trying to take hold of civilization
I hope ^ you help me in it. I want your assistances
as I have said. You can do this I
hope &c

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as I say I and my people are dying in
this country and the number I have giving.
I hope you explain to ^ me if I can at any
be in the better condition than I am in
now, you know about these things
you can tell me also what you think
since we parted. I have now expressed
myself to you. I hope you will say something
to me, you will express yourself to me
freely as to your own friend.

This I say to you as to my friend

Yours Truly
Nez Perce
Chief Joseph

James Reuben

Cite as: Chief Joseph to O.O. Howard, 1880 June 30, ALS, Oliver Otis Howard Papers, Bowdoin College Library, Brunswick, Maine.

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