Hey, Don't Do That - Not Here!

Often, when doing research, for a new book I run across stories that are just too good to not pass on.

The Trader
Such is the tale of early Wyoming, would be trader, H. E. Palmer. Shortly after the Civil War, Palmer came west intending to set up a post to trade with both Indians and whites. The war in the east may have been over in 1866, but in the west, it was only beginning. Palmer hired three interpreters, all part Native Indian, brought along four wagon loads of goods and built a store.  The store on Clear Creek, near present-day Buffalo, he built with the best available material – sod.
Nice Soddy south of Scottsbluff,  Nebraska

His Grand Opening
His first customers, a group of Cheyenne warriors arrived and Palmer was ready to trade. He offered his pipe, well packed with tobacco, and all smoked. Palmer was sure this, a sign of peace would be great for his trading business. Instead of buying they tossed aside everything but their weapons and told Palmer to leave.  The chief told Palmer they would let him and his men go if they would get off this Buffalo land immediately.

Well – That Didn’t Last Long
After leaving with nothing but their wagons and the clothes on their backs the Cheyenne took the sod trading post apart and relayed the sod where it had been pulled from the earth. Like many hunting and wandering people, the Cheyenne did not farm and could see no reason to destroy mother earth by taking up the sod, even if it were to build a trading post that would soon be lost in history.
It is interesting to note that Indians on the Plains to the East had been building with sod for generations, but not out here. Wyoming was teepee country.

The Buffalo in History
“Historically the Buffalo had more influence on man than all other Plains animals combined. It was life, food, raiment, and shelter to the Indians. He buffalo and the Plains Indians lived together, and together passed away.”

Walter Prescott Webb from, The Great Plains, published 1931, Ginn and Company
Post a Comment