Saturday, October 25, 2008

Chief Yellow Bear

He was a chief of the Southern Arapaho tribe. His Indian name was Wuk-Nee-Haw-Nay. He was the highest ranking warrior in the lodge and signed the Medicine Lodge Treaty in 1867. This treaty granted the Southern Arapaho a reservation between the Arkansas and Cimarron Rivers in the Indian Territory (presently Oklahoma). In 1880 he was a member of the delegation that went to Washington DC to discuss reservation boundaries. Yellow Bear and his nephew, Chief Quanah Parker, went to Ft. Worth, Texas to discuss overdue money from leased tribal reservation lands. The two of them checked into the most modern hotel in the city, the Hotel Pickwick. Yellow Bear decided to retire early, but Quanah went with a friend for a social visit. Two hours later, Quanah returned to the hotel room, and retired for the evening. In turning off the gaslight, it is speculated either he blew the light out, not realizing the consequences, or he did not turn the valve completely off. Whatever the reason, he awoke sometime later, roused Yellow Bear, and both struggled across the floor, Quanah falling near a window, but both lost consciousness. Almost 13 hours later, the scene was discovered, and Yellow Bear was dead, and Quanah survived.

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