The Diaries of John Gregory Bourke Volume 5
May 23, 1881--August 26, 1881
Publication Year: 2013
Published by: University of North Texas Press
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Title Page, Copyright, Dedication, Quotes
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Author’s Note and Acknowledgments
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...and given up. The fact is that this has been the most difficult volume so far, for two reasons. First was the Bourke material itself. In large sections, the ink had faded until it was barely legible. In transcribing the pages, I had to read them over and over, usually with a lighted magnifier. This is particularly true of the entire manuscript volume ...
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Introduction to Volume 5
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This volume, fifth in the series of John Gregory Bourke’s monu-mental diaries, represents his activities during a period of just over three months, beginning May 23, 1881, through August 26, 1881, and from about one-third of the way through Manuscript Zunis. This volume opens at Wingate as he prepares to visit the Rio Grande pueblos, and finally, to attend the Hopi Snake dance. It concludes at Fort Apache, Arizona, which is astir with excitement ...
Part 1: Back to the Southwest
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In this section, John Gregory Bourke continues the ethnologi-cal work among the Navajos and Zunis, the beginning of which was described in Volume 4, Part 3 of this series. That volume concluded on May 22, 1881, after Bourke returned to Fort Wingate, New Mexico.1 This, however, was merely a turnaround, because the following day, he is heading back to the Navajo Agency at Fort Defi-ance, Arizona.2 Bourke was tapped for the job by Maj. John Wesley ...
1. Return to Navajo Country
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May 23rd 1881. Drove to Fort Defiance, (Navajo Agency.) 50 miles. Saw a dead burro on the road: and in cañon, not far from the “hay stacks” (p. [Vol. 4, page 377 of this series]) noticed outcroppings of coal. Came up with a party of three young Mormons with whom I entered into conversation. They told me that sion of the Atlantic and Pacific R.R., under contract of J. W. Young, (son of the prophet.) They were now returning to Utah and by slow ...
2. Frank Cushing and the Zunis
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May 28th 1881. Saturday. Colonel Bennett and I started for [Fort] Wingate. On the road, we met a half dozen Navajoes bringing salt from the Salt Springs, 60 miles South of the turning to the South East, struck across country by an almost un-broken trail to Sheridan, the nearest station on the A.& P.R.R.1Reached Wingate at 3 P.M., read my mail and called upon General [Luther P.] Bradley and family. Had the great pleasure of meeting ...
Part 2: The Great Lakota Sun Dance
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As stated in the background to Part 1, popular belief demanded that native customs should ultimately disappear. Heading the list of offending traditions was the Sun Dance of the Lakotas, which Bourke attended in 1881. As Julia McGillycuddy, wife of the Oglala agent Valentine McGillycuddy, later wrote, “The subjection of the Sun Dancers to physical torture was contrary to the ideas of civilization and retarded the progress of the red men.”1 Bourke ...
3. The Sun Dance
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June 17th 1881. Friday. Left Omaha, Neb., on U.P. train for Sidney, Neb. In same car with me were Lt. E. Z. Steever, 3rd Cavalry, on his way to Rock Creek, Wyo. to engage in an explo-ration of the Big Horn Mtns; and Mr. M. H. Goble, Freight Auditor of the U.P.R.R., who gave me a most interesting account, derived from personal knowledge, of the stupendous financial operations of that Capt. [William Curtis] Forbush, 5th Cavalry, Lt. [Homer Webster] ...
4. “This Is the Way We Have Been Raised”
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...canvas and branches of ten feet, extending completely around the circle to shelter the singers and spectators. The structure, by hard work, was finished about 2 o’clock in the afternoon, by which time Agency, our own party from the military posts and a small delegation of cow-boys from the cattle ranches 50 or 60 miles distant. Such ...
5. A Brief Trip to New York
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June 23rd 1881. It rained with great force for an hour early this morning. Breakfasted and set out for Fort Robinson which we reached at half past one in the afternoon. Lunched at Major J. M. Hamilton’s, took my place in the stage, said good-bye to every-body at the post, and set out at 4 P.M. for Sidney, Nebraska, 125 Before leaving the subject of the Sun Dance, I take pleasure in remarking that it is rapidly being shorn of many of its former bloody ...
Part 3: The New Mexico Pueblos
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In this section, Bourke recounts a trip to the various pueblos be-tween Santa Fe and Taos, then those to the south along the Rio Grande. Besides his ethnographical observations, he frequently mentions the Taos Revolt against the United States in 1847, and the Pueblo Revolt of 1680, which expelled Spaniards from New Mexico for twelve years. Although both these uprisings are generally known, a brief explanation is in order, particularly considering the complex ...
6. Back to New Mexico
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July 10th 1881. Left Denver for Santa Fé by the picturesque line of the Denver & Rio Grande R.R., crossing the Rocky Mountains at the Veta Pass. Arrived at the terminus Española, N.M., at the convenient hour of 8 A.M; had a very poor breakfast and then started by stage for Santa Fé. Encountered a violent rain and hail storm in the mountains near Pojuaque1 and was thoroughly drenched before reaching end of my journey. Met Lieut. [John] Mix, Goodwin, ...
7. Picuris and Beyond
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We left San Juan for the Pueblo of Picuris, ascending the lovely valley of the Rio Grande, at this point green with maturing harvests—half a mile in width & many miles in length. Passed through Plaza Alcalde, Capillito, Villita, and Lucero, small Mexican towns of no importance. Asked the road from a batch of native laborers, mending a ditch; all stopped work to answer our questions and gave us minute directions. This is a charming trait in ...
8. Taos and Taos Pueblo
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During his stay in Taos, Bourke visited Charles Bent’s widow, who gave him a vivid, eyewitness account of the attack on her home and her husband’s death. During the interview it was that Mrs. Bent told Bourke, who duly noted it down, that the great explorer and scout, Christopher (Kit) Carson had been her son-in-law. Bourke even met the lady in question, writing, “Mrs. Bent, is very bright and speaks our language fluently. . . .”1 The ...
9. The Rio Grande Pueblos
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After breakfast, started for San Juan by the “river” road, 45 miles. We could not have selected a finer day; it was lovely, cool and bright—and as for our mules, two days’ rest and Trotted across the Taos valley, 5 miles, passing clusters of “ran-chos” at short distances; there the road took across a mountain the lower skirts covered with a thick matting of large “chamisa” or sage-brush, and the higher elevations with piñon, some pine, and a great ...
10. Ceremony in Santo Domingo
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July 25th 1881–July 27th 1881. (inclusive.) Weather-bound at Santa Fé. For more than a week, as may be gathered from my notes above, the storms have been extremely severe and almost continuous, flooding the cañons and carrying away rails and & Santa Fé, and Atlantic and Pacific Rail Roads. These wash-outs have caused serious interruption to mail and travel and have been the reason why I have remained so long in this place, much to my ...
11. The Dance
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While the procession was forming, we had plenty of time to hunt up Padre Ribera and sample his breakfast. We were welcomed with cordiality and introduced to all the morning, Father Ribera must be held in high repute by his flock. Three young girls had been detailed to cook, clean dishes and set the table—as many more old women, chapéroned, superintended, impression that they were rendering invaluable services, and half ...
Part 4: The Hopi Snake Dance
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In his transcriptions of Bourke’s Southwestern experiences in New Mexico Historical Review, Lansing Bloom skips this section entirely, instead referring the reader to Snake-Dance of the Moquis. There is no question that many parts of the published book are verbatim from these entries, but here Bourke goes into substantially more ...
12. Keam’s Ranch
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August 7th 1881. Keam, Moran and myself left at 8 o’clock for Moqui Agency, and villages, viâ old Ft. Defiance. An exhila-rating, lovely morning greeted us as a harbinger of success. Passed a Navajo Indian, on horseback, carrying the U.S. mail. The country, in many gentle little hollows, is full of wild potatoes, a fa-Often while sketching industriously some glorious effect of light and shadow upon a mountain rich in the dazzling brilliancy of early ...
13. The Hopi Pueblos
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August 11th 1881. My long 5 mile walk, with Garryowen last night induced a refreshing sleep. Towards morning, the flies became a little troublesome, but not enough to do much harm. The cook surprised us at breakfast with a “punkah”,1 rigged the rafters and operated by a pulley and a cord, the last ending in which Keam took good care should not be rudely dissipated. Much good solid work was extracted from this bright youngster by this ...
14. The Festivities Begin
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August 12th 1881. Roused out of bed at 4 a.m., before daylight, at which early hour, the Moquis were already astir, most of them dressed for the festivities of the day. Squaws were actively at work getting out from underground [illegible] earthen pots of fragrant mush, covered with corn-husks [illegible], dust.1precipice, where they could been seen running a foot-race. They first sang a song, whose notes reached only [illegible] perfect distinct-...
15. The Snake Dance
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Our party took station on the 2nd story of a Moqui house near the Sacred Rock, about ten yards in one direction from the Sacred Lodge of cottonwood boughs, covered with [a] buffalo robe. (The only buffalo robe, by the way, to be seen in these three villages) and about same distance in another from the side of the sandstone cliff, upon which they are built, is an irregular rectangle, of 50 yards in length and 20 square in breadth, altho’ at ...
16. Bad Trails and Bad Weather
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August 15th 1881. The sun is struggling through clouds. We have some hopes of better weather, and if we can secure a guide will start to complete the tour of the remaining pueblos of the Moquis and possibly make a trip to the Cohoninos and return-ing, will move down, by way of Sunset Crossing, to Camp Apache.1In front of Keam’s store, high upon the opposite side of the ca-ñon in a niche in the vertical face of the rock is a pyramidal pile ...
17. The Last of Hopi Land
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August 18th 1881. Nahi-vehina and Gordon were out long before daylight, hunting for the mules and pony. They found them on the grassy ramp by which we had climbed the depression in the face of the mesa yesterday; this must have been 5 or 6 miles back. No trouble was had in driving them back to the ambulance. ruin; we inferred as much while passing there yesterday evening from the quantities of pot-sherds [sic] scattered over the knolls. In ...
Part 5: Journey’s End
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As noted in earlier volumes of this series, Bourke held many prejudices. He was contemptuous of blacks, and his com-ments on Jews sound chillingly like the dire predictions of Joseph Goebbels in the twentieth century.1 In short, despite his Irish heritage and Roman Catholicism, he was typical of mainstream white, Anglo-Saxon prejudices of his era. Some of his greatest vitriol was reserved for the Mormons. During a stopover in Salt Lake City ...
18. The Arizona Mormons
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August 20th 1881. (Saturday) Awakened long before dawn, harnessed mules and were on the trail before daybreak. Did not have any breakfast, as Smallwood was such a slow cook, he would surely delay our departure for several hours. Moved three miles or more, halted in a little arroyo full of tiny, trickling springs, tected from mules, ponies or burros which might desire to enter, by further, in a direction of a little West of South, the country greatly ...
19. Cooley’s Ranch and Fort Apache
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August 25th 1881. The tinkling of bells and the moo-oo-oo-ing of kine broke our slumbers long before dawn. Gordon, as usual, was first up, and employed his time in looking after his team and greasing the wagon. Smallwood was then called and began preparing breakfast, consisting, as did last night’s sup-squatted on the ground alongside our meal, hoping to be able to eat it with comfort, but a lively spattering of rain drove us within ...
Appendix: Persons Mentioned in the Diary
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Page Count: 560
Illustrations: 71 b&w illus. 4 maps.
Publication Year: 2013