Harper's Weekly Magazine
30 April 1870


Our Indian fellow-citizens, it is well known, entertain very lax notions respecting the sanctity of the marriage tie--which, in fact, they consider any thing but a tie. The noble red man not only regards his wives as inferiors, but in the light of goods and chattels, and when tired of them trades them off in barter, or swaps them for another's. Our illustration on this page is an accurate sketch of the kind of trade that frequently takes place among them--an old, homely wife swapped for a young and pretty one, and a horse thrown in to boot. The women submit, knowing very well that they can't help themselves.

Our second illustration on this page records a very curious incident that took place recently at Fort Shaw, Montana. The Piegan Indians, being about to sue for peace, as a preliminary step, killed "Pete," one of the principal murderers of white settlers in that region, and brought his head to General De Trobriand as a pledge of their sincerity. The face of the dead "brave," deeply pitted with small-pox and scarred with wounds, presented a ghastly spectacle when uncovered in the General's presence; but as a token of their desire to cultivate more friendly relations with the whites it was more eloquent than words.