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Letter by L.F. Pearson (U.S. Indian Agent)

to Col. Henry J. Aten (Allotting Agent)

January 19, 1896

Chief Wis-Ki-Ge-Amatyuk (Wish kee gee amtyk/Smoke that Travels/Powerful Wind)

Also known as Captain John Buckshot, who is the brother of Chief Wahquahboshkuk (Wak-Waboshkok/Roily Water) Sons of Chief Shaumquesteh (Shaum-Num-Teh/Potawatomi Medicine Man), who was a son of Chief Sen noge wone.

Letter below describes the activities of Wis-Ki-Ge-Amatyuk (Wish kee gee amtyk) who was known by whites as Captain John Buckshot. He is described as a highly respected chief and holyman of the Prairie Band Potawatomi Indians. The letter describes the desire of the United States government to paralyze the actions of Wis-Ki-Ge-Amatyuk and his traditional ways and values as they felt his influence was much too great to be ignored. The letter also describes his family such as his brother by the name of Wahquahboshkuk (Wak-Waboshkok/Roily Water), their father Chief Shaum-Num-Teh (Shaumquesteh), and his father Chief Sen noge wone.

Letter property of Kansas State Historical Society

Above: Wahquahbeshkuk/Wahquahboshkuk/Roily Water

brother of Wis-Ki-Ge-Amatyuk (Wish kee gee amtyk)



January 19, 1896

 Col.Henry J. Aten

 Dear Sir,

 I have received your concern and also wish to subdue the influence of the indians of the Prairie band who has antagonized our determination of bringing tranquility to the frontier of the Kansas plains.

 In doing so I believe that it is imperative to bring attention on the leading insurgent of the indians who exerts such a strong unfavorable influence upon many members of the tribe from which he belongs and continues his inherent barbarism that is injurious to our government and the prosperity of these people. I have been informed by the indians the identity of the culprit as being a one Wish kee gee amtyk the leading medicine man among the Pottawatomies.

 It was determined by J.A. Scott that the indian above mentioned is called by whites, Captain John Buckshot or simply Captain John. It is also said he is a chief of the Pottawatomies of the Prairie band, but is rumored by those within the tribe with no logic that he is pronounced more a unique holyman of unbelievable capabilities. He is praised like no other indian I have ever witnessed. All Pottawatomies trust and reverence for him is so profound that the uncivilized portion of a considerable number of the tribe continue to believe and follow his ignorant superstitions. This making him a threat to our cause.

 To my knowledge he is the brother of a one Wak waboshkok and they together are the sons of a one Chief Shaumquesteh, an influential chief of the tribe who is said to have been a son of Sen noge wone. It is known Shaumquesteh had grown angry in years past in disputes over land granted. This anger appears to have been inherited by his sons who now cause trouble.

 I was informed Wish kee gee amtyk was entitled land on Mill Creek were he was known to have lived and led one hundred and fifty men women and children of the Prairie band.

 It is of the utmost importance that a one Wish kee gee amtyk who continues his teachings and influence of encouraging the faith and ways of ancient days be paralyzed. As the Prairie band our the heart and spirited of the Pottawatomies, it is he who influences even that of the most influential chiefs and headmen of the indians who respect him to a great extent and there fore question their own decisions. He has been the inception of disobedience towards government, the agency, boarding schools, and has condemned the missionaries for a great many years past preaching his heathen ways.

 His element of traditionals still clings to preserving to ancient barbarism and will not cultivate the soil or place their children in school, despising the principles of civilization.

 We must bring the indians of the Prairie band to the realization of the errors of his ways so that he may not infect the more industrious and intelligent portion of the tribe. He is a obstinate spirit that is determined to continue with resistance and hostility and must be removed or punished.

 I respectfully request to withholding or relinquishing any or all allotments and annuities to the indian above mentioned to produce an effect making he and family the power of example.

 It is said by those that will speak that he maybe camped on Cross Creek but is known to make retreat to his northern brethren for heathen practices of superstition, of rising dead ancestors to help bring power back to their people. These rubish acts create more infection towards our cause of bringing prosperity and civilization for their advancement.

 In seeking his whereabouts I have been informed he carries a high status from years past also as a decorated brave who is possibly marauding with a comparative few that maybe hostile if confronted. He is a wanderer who seeks solitude in the wild conjuring spirits.

 The unintelligent among them continue to speak of him with foolishness as if he was a ghost with the capability of disappearing implying that there maybe difficulties in locating his whereabouts. His conduct for disobedience and malice towards government is tangible and must be ceased.

Very Respectfully -


L.F. Pearson

United States Indian agent.