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    Depredations by Marauding Sioux Warriors: Two Important Witness Letters Written to the Governor of Iowa. Two pencil letters written on August 28th by Dr. Edwin Bruce, who in one letter signs as "acting captain for the present." In the first two pages, he advises that he has "the painful duty to perform to notify that I have just returned from reconnoiter of a Dessert [sic] masacree [sic] of our frontier settlers." He describes visiting cabin after cabin and finding the residents dead or gravely wounded. In one house a woman and three children were killed, "some shot through the head some through the heart and lungs...one little boy had his brains dashed out against the end of a log." He goes on to declare "The like of barberous [sic] brutality I never wittnessed [sic] before." He describes houses completely looted and others destroyed. He fears that the perpetrators "are still in the United States" and laments: "We are truly in a destitute condition we are out of arms and out of ammunition" and he beseeches the governor to send help. He says the settlements are now exposed to "merciless savages" who may do "untold damage" if not placed in check.

    In the second letter (3 pp), written later that day, Bruce reports more casualties and missing settlers, and advises that the survivors are banding together for safety and trying to build a fort. Food, ammunition, and medical supplies for their makeshift hospital are urgently required, he says, and requests "a case of amputating and surgical instruments." However, "the settlers are brave and undaunted and determined in their persuits [sic] and will defend there [sic] homes if they can but have the arms and ammunition and doe [sic] credit to our noble little State." Bruce closes by pledging that "if you want my cerves [sic] in this part of the state cerves [sic] it is at your disposel [sic]. I was an oficer [sic] in the Mexican War and can fight Indians if it is required for me to doe [sic] so."

    Two important, highly evocative letters which should really be read in their entirety, graphically present the reality of conflict between settlers and Native Americans on the Northern Plains. Both in excellent condition with very minor aging along fold lines, and very legible. Both docketed by the governor's office, identified as "about Indian outrages."


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    Auction Dates
    June, 2013
    22nd-23rd Saturday-Sunday
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