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Ex-Student Denies Agent Jensen’s Charges

This news account appeared in The Red Man and Helper, volume III, number 17, Carlisle Indian School, Carlisle, Pennsylvania, December 5, 1902. It features a letter written by Louis Bayhylle, a Skidi born about 1872 to Baptiste Bayhylle and Isabella Luper, both Skidi. When Louis Bayhylle wrote the letter, he was married to Maud Echo Hawk, a Chaui and an adopted daughter of Echo Hawk (a Kitkahahki / Chaui uncle of Maud). Louis and Maud had one child who died in infancy right around this time, and Maud died in 1905. Louis next married Skah-pah (Leader) Bayhylle and they had three children.

It will be remembered that in a special to a number of leading papers dated Washington, D.C. Oct. 31, and which we printed with comments in The Red Man and Helper in our issue of November 7, that one Agent Erwin, (Found on investigation to be Agent Jensen not Erwin) in charge of the Ponca, Oto, and Oakland reservation charged in his Annual Report that:
“Hardly any of the young Indians” says the report,” those who have graduated from the non-reservation schools, as well as those who have attended for a number of years, do any work at all. It can be set down as a perfectly safe rule that as a class the young Indians are the most worthless ones in the tribe. Nearly all of the work done by the tribes is performed by the middle-aged, able-bodied ones who cannot write or speak English. The educated Indian coming from the schools usually gives the excuse that he has nothing with which to work – neither money, implements, nor stock of any kind. This is true, but I notice that they manage to live on their annuities and lease money and buy horses, buggies, etc. on credit and borrow money from the banks with very little prospect of ever being able to pay their debts.”
At the close of the comments we invited these former Carlisle students to write us, promising to give as wide a circulation as we can to what they may say in reply to their agent.
From a representative young man of the Pawnee tribe comes this letter:

Pawnee, Okla. Nov. 19, 1902.

I thank you first, for your paper you sent me, so I can see how some people talk of us. I am glad that it is not so with our ex-Carlisle students of Pawnee.
I want to tell my friends that Mr. Jensen might have known how the Pawnees are, and not say so toward all of the Carlisle students. Mr. Jensen has nothing to do with the Pawnees now, and he might have meant his people where he is agent over. I want my friends to think better than that of us. For what few there is left of the Carlisle students among us, are doing the very best they can. I will make a small report of us in this letter, which I hope will be a little more pleasing than that has been said of us.
We can almost hear our old motto ringing in our ears as of old, “God helps those who help themselves.”
I am working in one of the principal banks here in Pawnee City, the First National Bank.
Stacy Matlock is out at Utah, working at the Utah agency as clerk. Mark Evarts works on a farm, and does what he used to be taught while east. Samuel Townsend has held several different positions as foreman of a printing office, and is now working at the Pawnee agency at present. Robert Matthews was clerking in a dry goods store, but sickness caused him to stay at home. Wilkie Sharp and Frank West, I am sorry to say, are both dead.
We are all married, excepting Samuel Townsend, and keeping house for ourselves.
This leaves us well. Hope our old friend the Red Man may seem more encouraged. I am really thankful for the good old school and its teachers, that I ever went there to school, for I can and do learn more and more every day I live.

Yours truly,
Louis Bayhylle