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

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.]