Rosebud and The Bozeman Trail

Rosemary told me I was an eighth Cherokee because her grandmother, Mary Heil, was full blooded Cherokee. I think Mary was Sioux. Being of Native American blood was not as popular as it is today. Being Cherokee was more Whiter. When you look at the features of my grandmother, Mary Magdalene Rosamond, you see the high cheekbones of a native American. When I lived with Mary when I was seven, she would have me help her wash her long black hair that was course. At the end of her life, her native side came out. At family gatherings she was like an alien amongst us.

When I read about Eugene Hollowhornbear, I went into a trance, and was on his trail in a spiritual way. Native American Justice is not like English Justice. Too bad the owner of ‘Oakland History’ wiped out this historic event. On February 5, 2015, I called for another Ghost Dance, because, I COULD SEE what was coming. I believe Rena is part Sioux. When we lived in a tent for fifty days, we were home. We were so close in a way that Native Americans had to be in order to survive. She only complained once. We moved about the beautiful landscape, in a ballet.

I am doing Eugene’s genealogy. It appears he is kin to Chief John Grass.

What disturbs people about the way I write, is the Poetic Trances I have gone into most of my life. There is a Shaman in me. One minute one is reading cold hard facts, and then I am waxing poetic. The transition fro poet to writer was hard. Now, throw in the way I first read the Bible at forty years of age. I am a very Tribal Person. I worship women, or, at least I did. Lately they give me no respect. I suspect it is because they refuse to honor Chiefs, Medicine Men, and Poets.

That many women voted for Trump, tells me some women want money and power. To make America great again, is to exclude Native American like never before.  All their wants are like a cloud of destructive locusts coming across the plain. The White Man did evil things for his white wife, and her children. They took everything from the wives of the Chiefs. No one dare point this out – till now! Trump opens up protected lands to a new Manifest Destiny that was authored by Senator Thomas Hart Benton. Equal Rights means Equal Responsibility for the Mass Destrucion.

For three years I have made visions of a gathering in Bozeman Montana. I changed the location to Wilkes Barry Pennsylvania. I may not go to Oakland due to my feet swelling up. I am diabetic and can not walk far. I wanted to visit the graves of my parents. I can do all this in Cyberspace, and a space I can go to.

Jon Presco

‘The Nazarite’

Virgin Mary of Rosebud






Briar_Cliff_University_dedication,_1930tttI am going to do three things today…

1. Stretch and gesso a large canvas in order to do a portrait of my late sister
2. Contact my friend Joy about scanning the photos of the Jesuits she owns who befriended her people, the Hunkpapa Sioux.
3. Begin another Ghost Dance

Before Christine Rosamond Benton became a famous artist, she wanted to be my Muse. She saw me render beautiful images of my girlfriends. That no artist painted a portrait of Rosamond, is an astounding oversight that will end.

Joy was my last attempt to have a girlfriend. She is kin to Chief Gall and John Grass, two Sioux Chiefs that were at the center of the Ghost Dance, and fought Custer at Wounded Knee Montana. Joy and her sister own the ritual wear of their tribe. I have dined with these outstanding people. I have beheld the treasure trove of photos and documents Joy owns, many of the them of the Jesuits. I have seen an ancient treaty that needs to be in a museum.

I am going to begin a new Ghost Dance that will bring the spirit of Pope Francis to the Native Peoples of the upper plains and the North West. From Missouri to Oregon there will be a revamping, if not dismal, of Senator Thomas Hart Benton’s
‘Manifest Destiny’. In one year I will ceremoniously tear up and burn a copy of this document so it can not be used by the white supremacists of the NPI, a group of racist red-neck propagandist disguised at historians.

May the new Ghost Dance drive these devils back to Georgia where they came from. A new proclamation will be written that will establish who is the rightful owners of America, and who will carry forth a Spiritual Message that will unite a vast majority of peoples so that we may live in Peace and Harmony.

My autobiography ‘Bond’s With Angels’ has carried me to a place where the Great Spirit dwell with the Mother of the true Messiah, that came to America, and took root as a million blades of grass. The Blue Angel my sister’s saw as children, was that of the Virgin Mary who came in spirit to the Sioux People. With the history of my kindred with the Nez Perce who fled into Montana with Chief Joseph, arrives an entitlement and responsibility few human beings have ever owned. Mya the Spirit of the Blue Angel be my inner voice and guide. May Jesus keep granting me the Spiritual Courage he promised so the dream of Universal Peace will be the map we all find in our heart.

The new Ghost Dance will confront the epidemic of the drug meth in Montana. I see parades twice a year down the main street of Bozeman. Drug manufacturers, dealers, and users will lose their coat of inviviblity. The Ghost Dancers will give sanctuary to, and found treatment centers, for, those who are addicted.

I am going send an invitation to Pope Francis to come to America, and walk the trail of Jesuit Father Pierre-Jean De Smet. This Papal visit will end at Briar Cliff college co-founded by my kindred, Mother Mary Dominique Wieneke of the Order of Saint Francis. The Father in Rome took the name of this Saint, who went amongst the least of us, who brought mercy to the disenfranchised who were promised to be the first to enter the Kingdom of God. Let us establish a Kingdom of True Humility in America that serves the people from the ground we walk on to the Heaven where our Unified Dream – soar! Let this humility be a shining example to all the people’s of the world.

So be it!

Jon Gregory Presco

The Father Comes Singing

There is the father coming,
There is the father coming.
The father says this as he comes,
The father says this as he comes,
“You shall live,” he says as he comes,
“You shall live,” ‘he says as he comes.

Among the Potawatomi, de Smet founded (1838) his first mission, near present-day Council Bluffs, Iowa. In 1839 he journeyed along the Missouri River to pacify the Yankton Sioux and the Potawatomi, his first recorded negotiation in what was to become a celebrated career as peacemaker. Learning of the friendly Flathead Indians and their desire for a priest, he left in 1840 on the first of his numerous trips to their homeland in the Bitterroot mountain area in Montana Territory. For them he founded St. Mary’s Mission, near present Missoula, Montana, in 1841. Between 1842 and 1844 he toured several European countries to solicit funds. In 1844 he helped establish St. Ignatius’s Mission, about 30 miles (48 km) north of Missoula.


Dramatic Scene Before Agent


She Claims to Be Mother of the Red
Messiah — Chief Gall, Though Skeptical,
Is Not Prepared to Say the Thing
is Impossible.

Standing Rock Agency, N. D.,

Nov. 15. — “Bring in the Virgin Mary” was the order of the Indian who officiated as bailiff of the Indian court, of which Chief John Grass and two other Sioux are members. Out from the murmuring crowd in the large room came Waltitawin (scarlet woman), the wife of Iikpoga and a member of the Walokpis band of Sioux Fearlessness was the leading element of her attitude as she stood gracefully before the railing, behind which sat the agent and his interpreter, and looked indifferently at John Grass and the two other Indians who composed the court.

“Who are you, and what is your name?” were the first questions asked her. Drawing herself to her full stature of nearly six feet she told her name, then, bending slightly forward with her hand pointed upward, she said in a low tone, with intense earnestness: “I am the mother of Christ who is now upon this earth, making preparation for rebuilding it. The earth is to belong solely to his chosen people, and this continent is to be extended much further west, taking in a part of the great sunset water. The eastern part of the continent will be abandoned, all but in the western part where great herds of buffalo will wander as in days long ago, and with the disappearance of the whites from the earth will come the resurrection of all the Indians who now sleep, and forevermore they will wander over the earth with no one to question their rights to kill the buffalo, none to say: ‘Do this or I will put you in the guard house.’ ”

With a gesture to attract the particular attention of Major McLaughlin, she drew an imaginary line upon the floor and stepped over it, saying: “In those days there will be no reservation, no messenger from the Great Father to say to the Indians: ‘Come back here; stay on your reservation.’ ” She continued to expatiate upon the rosy-tinted dawning of the Indians millenium morning until stopped by the court.

She refused to tell any thing about the orgie of the Ghost Dance beyond the fact that she had been proclaimed by the members of the order to be the Virgin Mary.

Pending an interview with the woman’s husband, and consideration by the court as to the disposal of her case, she was sent to the guard house, to which she walked with the air of a theatrical martyr. The last case tried by the court for the day was that of an Indian who blonged on the Rosebud reservation, and was wandering around among the Indians of Standing Rock without a pass from the Rosebud agent or commission from the agent at Standing Rock. He was supposed to be the bearer of messages from the Indians of the Rosebud Agency relative to the coming of the Messiah, and when arraigned before the court and questioned as to his mission he explained that his wife belonged to the Standing Rock Agency, and that he went to the Rosebud agent and requested a pass to go visiting his wife’s relatives, but that the agent refused to give him permission. Then he concluded he would come to Standing Rock to live, and he wished to be taken upon Major McLaughlin’s list. He was questioned as to his belief in the coming of the Messiah, and it was found that he not only believed that the Messiah was coming and that he would bring with him the buffalo, but he would also have the power to furnish each Indian with a spring wagon by the mostion of his hand. This man was sent to the guard house to be confined until morning, when he was to be taken to the line between the two agencies, and, after being warned not to return, was to be turned loose upon his own reservation.

Chief Gall treated the matter very seriously and said to a reporter: “I listen. Since this excitement has come upon my people I sit and listen and wonder if these things can be possible. When they tell me that the buffalo are coming back and that there is to be a resurrection of our fathers I shake my head. They tell me that the Messiah can make spring wagons with a motion of his hand. I think this can not be. But sometimes I think of the wonderful things which white men believe in their religion, and I am not so sure that these Indians are wrong. I went to the office of a St. Paul paper and talked through a machine to some one a long way off, and since then I can not say that any thing is impossible. Your people believe that in the beginning of the world wonderful things were done by men; the Indians believe that in the future wonderful things may be done by men. It seems to me tha the Indians are not justly accused of being crazy, for believing that what has happened once may not happen again, I listen. But I take no part in the dance, and I do not lend my sanction to it. The Indians want the good old times, to most of them known only by tradition, without stopping to think how much better they are situated now than if the Government were to withdraw its support. Yesterday 140 cattle were killed here and distributed among the people. This shows to me that the Government does not want the Indians to starve.”

Jack Wilson, the prophet formerly known as Wovoka, was believed to have had a vision during a solar eclipse on January 1, 1889. It was reportedly not his first time experiencing a vision directly from God; but as a young adult, he claimed that he was then better equipped, spiritually, to handle this message. Jack had received training from an experienced holy man under his parents’ guidance after they realized that he was having difficulty interpreting his previous visions. Jack was also training to be a “weather doctor”, following in his father’s footsteps. He was known throughout Mason Valley as a gifted and blessed young leader. Preaching a message of universal love, he often presided over circle dances, which symbolized the sun’s heavenly path across the sky.
Anthropologist James Mooney conducted an interview with Wilson prior to 1892. Mooney confirmed that his message matched that given to his fellow aboriginal Americans. This study compared letters between tribes. Wilson said he stood before God in heaven and had seen many of his ancestors engaged in their favorite pastimes. God showed Wilson a beautiful land filled with wild game and instructed him to return home to tell his people that they must love each other, not fight, and live in peace with the whites. God also stated that the people must work, not steal or lie, and that they must not engage in the old practices of war or the traditional self-mutilation practices connected with mourning the dead. God said that if his people abided by these rules, they would be united with their friends and family in the other world.
In God’s presence, there would be no sickness, disease, or old age. Wilson was given the Ghost Dance and commanded to take it back to his people. He preached that if the five-day dance was performed in the proper intervals, the performers would secure their happiness and hasten the reunion of the living and deceased. Wilson said that God gave him powers over the weather and that he would be the deputy in charge of affairs in the western United States, leaving current President Harrison as God’s deputy in the East. Jack claims that he was then told to return home and preach God’s message.

The Rosebud Indian Reservation (RIR) is an Indian reservation in South Dakota, United States. It is the home of the federally recognized Sicangu Oyate (the Upper Brulé Sioux Nation) – also known as Sicangu Lakota, and the Rosebud Sioux Tribe (RST), a branch of the Lakota people. The Lakota name Sicangu Oyate translates into English as “Burnt Thigh Nation”; the French term “Brulé Sioux” is also used.
The Rosebud Indian Reservation was established in 1889 by the United States’ partition of the Great Sioux Reservation. Created in 1868 by the Treaty of Fort Laramie, the Great Sioux Reservation originally covered all of West River, South Dakota (the area west of the Missouri River), as well as part of northern Nebraska and eastern Montana. The reservation includes all of Todd County, South Dakota and communities and lands in the four adjacent counties, which had at one time been entirely part of the reservation.

Born in present-day South Dakota around 1840, Gall was said to receive his nickname after eating the gall of an animal killed by a neighbor.[3] He grew to be a giant of a man weighing close to 300 pounds.

He was recognized as an accomplished warrior during his late teens and became a war chief in his twenties.[4] Leading the Lakota in their long war against the United States, he served with Sitting Bull during several battles, including the famous Battle of the Little Bighorn in 1876.

Grass led his warriors at the 1873 battle of Massacre Canyon in Nebraska, in which a Lakota war party attacked a group of Pawnee on a buffalo hunt. A monument commemorating the event, one of the last large battles between Native American tribes in the United States, was placed near the site of the canyon. Carved upon the 35-foot granite obelisk is the face of John Grass, slightly higher and opposite the carving of Ruling His Son’s face, a Pawnee chief also at the battle that day.[4]

During the time of the Ghost Dance movement and the Wounded Knee Massacre, Grass advocated peace with the United States, which did not earn him the respect of many Hunkpapa leaders. Chief White Bull described Grass as: “A good talker… not a thinker or a smart man… could always say yes but never no.”[1]

John Grass, Mato Watakpe or Charging Bear (1836–May 10, 1918) was a chief of the Sihasapa (Blackfeet) band of Lakota people during the 1870s through 1890s.[1] He fought at the Battle of the Little Bighorn in Montana.

A year ago I posted about my friend, Joy, who descends from the
Lakota Chiefs, John Grass, and John Gall. Joy showed me her family
photo album where her grandfathers are standing with what looked like
Catholic priests. I believe they were Benedictine monks from the
Einsiedeln monastery in Switzerland where a Black Madonna is revered.
It is alleged the Knights Templars revered the Black Madonnas and
were the Bankers of the World.

“In 1854 a colony was sent to the United States from Einsiedeln to
work amongst the native Indian tribes.

My Rosemont/Rosamond ancestors revered a Black Madonna at Janskirk
church in Holland and were members of the Swan Brethren.

I am considering founding the Bank of God based upon my discovery
that Jesus had restored the Jubilee where debts are forgiven and
slaves set free. I believe Jesus celebrated the Shavuot on the Mount
of Olives and established a New Pentecost that returned the land to
the Children of God. This led to a war with Rome in 68 A.D. that
resulted in the destruction of the temple.

I believe there are prophecies coming together in America, where the
Meek will inherit the Earth. I believe Bankers owe the American
People for SAVING them, and they should tithe to the Bank of God that
will make sure our Nation’s wealth will directly trickle down to the
poor, the hungry, and the disenfranchised.

Jon Presco


“He was questioned as to his belief in the coming of the Messiah, and
it was found that he not only believed that the Messiah was coming
and that he would bring with him the buffalo, but he would also have
the power to furnish each Indian with a spring wagon by the motion of
his hand. This man was sent to the guardhouse to be confined until
morning, when he was to be taken to the line between the two
agencies, and, after being warned not to return, was to be turned
loose upon his own reservation.

Chief Gall treated the matter very seriously and said to
a reporter: “I listen. Since this excitement has come upon my people I
sit and listen and wonder if these things can be possible.”

Albert Grass was the son of John Grass, Jr. and Annie Two Bears was the mother.
— LaDonna Brave Bull Allard

Grass talks about ancestors, about 1915:

Chief Grass told me that he could count many grandfathers; that they had borne the name of Mato Watakpe or Charging Bear, because it was a good name and through their works had now become famous in Indian History. He had always remembered that his name was Mato Watakpe, and so had tried to live right and not bring dishonor to the name and thus to his father’s fame and memory.

Grass talks about his Father, 1915:

Chief Grass said to me, “My grandfather was born somewhere in Nebraska. The time those men fought the Rees with the soldiers was about 91 years ago (Blue Thunder Count 1831-32 “Below Fort Yates above Grande river, Mandan Gros Ventre and Ree had a village, a double one there. Soldiers and Dakotah attacked village. Eight Dakotah dilled. Soldier French and Dakotah”). My grandfather was one of the leaders in that time. I got my name by fighting the Rees when I was seventeen years old. My grandfather gave me his name with a dog feast and the sun dance was made then.”

The Bozeman Trail was an overland route connecting the gold rush territory of Montana to the Oregon Trail. Its most important period was from 1863–68. Despite its name, “the major part of the route in Wyoming used by all Bozeman Trail travelers in 1864 was pioneered by Allen Hurlbut”.[1] Many miles of the Bozeman Trail in present Montana followed the tracks of Bridger Trail, opened by Jim Bridger in 1864.[2] The flow of pioneers and settlers through territory of American Indians provoked their resentment and caused attacks. The challengers to the route were newly arrived Lakotas and their Indian allies, the Arapahoe and the Cheyenne. The United States put emphasis on a right to “establish roads, military and other posts” as described in Article 2 in the Fort Laramie Treaty of 1851. All parties in the conflict had signed that treaty. The Crow Indians held the treaty right to the contested area and had called it their homeland for decades.[3] They sided with the whites. The U.S. Army undertook several military campaigns against the hostile Indians to try to control the trail. Because of its association with frontier history and conflict with American Indians, various segments of the trail are listed on the National Register of Historic Places (NRHP).

Hollow Horn Bear (Lakota name Matȟó Héȟloǧeča) (ca. 1850 – 1913) was a Brulé Lakota leader during the Indian Wars on the Great Plains of the United States.

Hollow Horn Bear was born in what today is Sheridan County, Nebraska. He was the son of chief Iron Shell. Although he initially raided the Pawnee, he later was involved in harassing forts along the Bozeman Trail with other Sioux leaders between 1866 and 1868. During this period, he became famous as the chief who defeated Capt. William Fetterman. However, he began to favor peace with the whites during the 1870s. He became a celebrity in the East, and was present at several functions as a native representative. He was featured on a 14-cent postage stamp and on a five dollar bill.

Hollow Horn Bear featured on the 14-cent stamp.

He was appointed the head of Indian police at the South Dakota Rosebud Agency, and arrested Crow Dog for the murder of Spotted Tail. He was also involved in treaty negotiations. In June 1895 he demanded the removal of J. George Wright, an unpopular Indian Agent, over the reduction of Indian rations and fright allowances. Hollow Horn Bear issued 21 days’ notice to the Agent to abdicate and for the Whites to leave the Reservation. In September 1895 Agent Wright imprisoned Hollow Horn Bear in the agency’s guardhouse but, subsequently, released him. In 1896 Wright was promoted to the position of Indian Inspector, with authority that extended over numerous Indian Reservations and agencies. In 1905, Hollow Horn Bear was invited to take part in the presidential inauguration of Theodore Roosevelt, and in 1913, he led a group of Indians to the inauguration parade of President Woodrow Wilson. He caught pneumonia during the visit and died.

In 1863 John Bozeman and John Jacobs scouted for a direct route from Virginia City, Montana to central Wyoming to connect with the Oregon Trail, then the major passage to the West Coast. Before this, most access to the southwestern Montana Territory was from St. Louis via the Missouri River to Fort Benton. Thence travelers went by the ‘Benton Road,’ around the Great Falls and through the Chestnut, Hilger and Prickly Pear valleys (current site of Helena and Broadwater County, Montana).

The overland Bozeman Trail followed many north-south trails the American Indians had used since prehistoric times to travel through Powder River Country. This route was more direct and better watered than any previous trail into Montana. Bozeman’s and Jacobs’s most important contribution was to improve the trail so that it was wide enough for wagons. But there was a major drawback — the trail passed directly through territory occupied by the Shoshone, Arapaho, and Lakota nations.

Decades before the Bozeman Trail cut through the plains of present Wyoming, the expanse “… was made busy by Crows and white trappers and traders …”.[4] According to the Fort Laramie Treaty of 1851, most of the Bozeman Trail ran across Crow Indian treaty territory.[5] “For the Crows, the Bozeman Trail introduced them to a relationship [emigrants and army personnel] that would profoundly affect the tribe in coming decades”.[6]

To complicate the matter, the southeastern part of the 1851 Crow domain was taken over by the Arapahoe, the Cheyenne and the Lakota. They had invaded the western Powder River area during the 1850s and after “large scale battles” won this buffalo rich Indian land from the original tribe around 1860.[7] The principal Bozeman Trail conflict took place along the roughly 250 miles of southern wagon wheel tracks through this particular area. Usually, the emigrants could breathe again, when they started on the last nearly 190 miles of the trail westward from the crossing of the Bighorn River to the city of Bozeman.

The Trail, the Travel and the Travelers[edit]

During the few years the trail was open to emigrants, 3500 traveled it. Indians killed between 40 and 50 of them. The short cut was at the time “most often called the road to Montana” and not the Bozeman Trail.[8] While short in bee line, the actual road from the Oregon Trail to the mining towns was much longer due to the hilly and undulating terrain. Shorter or longer stretches of the route were altered every year to avoid the worst stages. The journey took around eight weeks. Many of the travelers had prepared themselves for the arduous trip by reading John Lyle Campbell’s popular guidebook. Drowning and fatal accidents with firearms occurred. Some travelers came down with critical diseases as “mountain fever” (Colorado tick fever) and never made it to their destination. Game like elk, mountain sheep and bear was shot an occasion, also buffalo. “The men are killing them in large numbers. I feel sorry to see such destruction. They leave tons of good meat every day to be devoured by wolfs at night”, lamented travelers Richard Owen in 1864. The travelers grouped in organized “trains” with chosen people holding posts such as captain, train marshal and orderly sergeant. One train was made up of “wagons … 150, men … 375, women … 36, children … 36, oxen … 636”. Every fifth of those crossing the plains via Bozeman Trail was a woman or a child. Each wagon paid the train pilot, maybe six dollars in 1864. Being a route used by single emigrants and small families at first, the trail transformed towards a supply route with freight wagons carrying equipment and necessities of life to the new, western towns.[9]

First travelers and Indian campaigns[edit]

Bozeman led the first group of about 2,000 settlers on the trail in 1864. Indian raids on white settlers increased dramatically from 1864 to 1866, which prompted the U.S. government to order the Army to carry out military campaigns against the Shoshone. Patrick Edward Connor led several of the earliest campaigns, including the Bear River Massacre.[10] and the Powder River Expedition of 1865. He also fought the Arapaho at the Battle of the Tongue River.[11]

Post-Civil War travel[edit]

In 1866, after the American Civil War ended, the number of settlers who used the trail en route to Montana gold fields increased. Around 1200 wagons brought some 2000 people to the city of Bozeman following the trail that year.[12] The Army called a council at Fort Laramie, which Lakota leader Red Cloud attended. The Army wanted to negotiate a right-of-way with the Lakota for settlers’ use of the trail. As negotiations continued, Red Cloud became outraged when he discovered that a regiment of U.S. infantry was already using the route without receiving permission from the Lakota nation. Thus Red Cloud’s War began.

It was impossible for the army to undertake significant negotiations about the traffic through the western Powder River area and the future use of it with Red Cloud and any other Lakota. In 1851, the United States had acknowledged the tract belonged to the Crow and was obliged by that. The Lakota tribe itself had recognized the same.[13]

That same year, Nelson Story, a successful Virginia City, Montana, gold miner originally from Ohio, used the Bozeman Trail to successfully drive about 1000 head of longhorn cattle into Montana. The U.S. Army unsuccessfully tried to turn Story back to protect the drive from Indian attacks, but Story brought cattle through to the Gallatin Valley and formed one of the earliest significant herds in Montana’s cattle industry.[14]

About Royal Rosamond Press

I am an artist, a writer, and a theologian.
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1 Response to Rosebud and The Bozeman Trail

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