James McLaughlin (Indian agent)
|This article relies largely or entirely upon a single source. (August 2010)|
James McLaughlin 1910
|Born||12 February 1842
|Died||28 July 1923
|Known for||US Indian Service Agent who ordered Sitting Bull's arrest|
US Indian Service Agent James McLaughlin (1842–1923), son of Felix and Mary Prince, was born and raised in Avonmore, Ontario, Canada. He moved to St Paul, Minnesota in 1863 (age 21), where he met and married his wife Marie Louise Buisson, a Mdewakanton mixedblood, in 1864, and obtained his United States citizenship in 1865.
In 1871 he was hired as a blacksmith and general overseer at Fort Totten, North Dakota, but studied to become an Indian agent. He was appointed agent of the Devils Lake Agency in 1876. In 1881 he was promoted and transferred to the larger Standing Rock Sioux Agency. A photograph of him and the Standing Rock delegation, including Sitting Bull, along with US Commissioners and other Sioux chiefs, was taken in Washington DC on 15 October 1888. The men were meeting to discuss Sioux implementation of the Dawes Act which called for breaking up the reservation's lands into allotments to individual Indians and opening up the remaining land for white settlement.
He is most known for ordering the arrest of Sitting Bull on 15 December 1890, resulting in the latter's death the following morning, which then set the stage for the Army-Lakota confrontation on Pine Ridge at Wounded Knee two weeks later.
Indian agents were frequently given a military title commensurate with their civil service status. McLaughlin is referred to as both Major in his early years and Colonel after he became an Indian inspector for the Bureau of Indian Affairs in 1895.
In 1910 he published a memoir of his life entitled, My Friend the Indian.
- Col. James McLaughlin, 1917 Indian Census Roll, Standing Rock (Sioux) p203, National Archives & Records Administration, ancestry.com
- Major James McLaughlin Heritage Center, Box 665, McLaughlin SD 57642, (605) 823-4411
- Report on the December 1890 killing of Sitting Bull
- My Friend the Indian
- Major James McLaughlin Papers
- Major James Mclaughlin Rodeo
- Chief Gall's Life on the Standing Rock Reservation