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    Governor Newton Edmunds: Extraordinary Autograph Letter Signed, Dated July 18,1876, from the Former Governor of the Dakota Territory on Threat of Indian War. Banker and former Governor Newton Edmunds (1819-1908) may not yet have been aware of the defeat of Custer and the 7th Cavalry (the Little Bighorn is well over 600 miles west of Yankton, D.T. now South Dakota). Or he might have shared some of the same sources that informed the Poland Report (see lot number 11083) and believed that Indians all over Dakota and Montana were leaving their reservations to join the Little Bighorn victors. Whichever is the case, he wrote a perceptive and impassioned 3-page letter to Secretary of the Interior Zechariah Chandler to sound the alarm. Chandler (1813-1879) was Secretary for only two years, 1875-1877, but managed to root out much of the corruption in the Indian Bureau. Edmunds no doubt knew of and would have resented Chandler's devotion to President Grant's Indian "Peace Policy." This letter is an emphatic argument for mobilization. "A very large number of the young men (braves)," he wrote, "are out with Sitting Bull & are making war upon the government. . . . They are more than a match man for man for our troops. . . . [and] our troops have got to meet at least 6 to seven thousand in mortal combat if they meet them at all."

    With the letter is an albumen print (by the photographers Locke & Peterson, Deadwood) on an 8"x10" card of the Edmunds family and mansion.
    From the Glenwood Swanson Collection.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    June, 2018
    9th Saturday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 1
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
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