Sunday, April 10, 2011

The Returns from Pembina

President Cleveland once asked Bishop Whipple what would be the effect of making the Indians voters. Then Bishop Whipple told him that it had been tried, and after listening to the story, President Cleveland gave up the idea....
1876 was a very contested
election
in general... 

In Dakota territorial days a law was passed allowing Indians wearing civilized dress to vote. In the following election, when both sides were claiming the victory, some one said: "Wait until you hear from Pembina." In Pembina lived a large number of the Pembina tribe of Indians, and there also dwelt the local political boss, "Jud" La Moure, famed for his sealskin overcoat and his qualities as a political fighter. When the returns came in from Pembina, it was found that the members of the tribe had all been put into hickory shirts and trousers on election day, between sunrise and sunset, and after exercising the inalienable rights of citizenship, at the dictation of the local boss, they returned again to their blankets, having decided the territorial election.
From:  The Bourbon News (Paris, KY) November 12, 1901