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Thursday, January 12, 2023

Who was Porcupine, Cheyenne Chief and Apostle


Who was he?

Porcupine 1848-1929

In his older years


I would like to tell you about a man whom history seems to have forgotten or never really told of…  . I am surprised however at the write up in WIKI. I would recommend a read of the WIKI ditty. The article is actually not half bad… with some untrue statements… Porcupine was not a Medicine man by his own admission. However he was a chief, one of the last of the Dog Soldiers, apostle and as it seems, a friend of Christ. Of all the things said about him which made him a supposed criminal, he was guilty of only protecting and trying to live his way of life in which the encroaching Europeans were steeling from him and his people. Prohibiting their religious freedoms? Hypocrites! But then, according to the powers that be of the time, the native people  were barely human. 

Thomas B. Marquis seems to be the main source for info in the WIKI ditty, a man who said he met Porcupine, but some of the testimony he gives is believable but more so I find hard to believe…


“As a "bad Indian" he was of the most gentle type. The high regard for him was not restricted to his own people ... Even the missionaries liked him, their only condemnation being that he was an apostle of paganism.”


— Thomas B. Marquis


But let me tell you what WIKI and apparently Marquis neglected to tell you as to why Porcupine is so well remembered by some of us… 

So… let’s tell you of the actual event told by F. K. UPHAM, in the Boston Journal and Later published in the longest continuously published periodical of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and show you why some took notice of Porcupine… 

The following is dubbed as the Walker Lake Incident… but it didn’t happen at Walker Lake. For the serious researcher you’ll have to pay close attention, this event appears to be a fulfillment of at least 4 prophecies of the past… I could not tell the magnitude of the importance of this event, however I gave it my best shot… I am confident I know the place where this actually happened and there is an amazing pictograph panel there to evidence it, I call it the Ferron Friends Panel of which you can read… almost the whole story in the back of the book, NephiteNorth.

Sand Painting copy of the Ferron Friends Panel

Done by my friend Tom Clah, Navajo



The following testimony of Porcupine, who participated in the Walker Lake event, was included in the Millennial Star Volume 52, p-532-5, in August 25, 1890:


Fort Custer, Montana, July 5th. The reading room of the officers' club at Fort Custer on Saturday night was a scene of unusual interest. Hither had come the general who commands the post and his adjutant, these occupying a prominent position near to the entrance of the long room in question. Seated by the walls, along the sides and ends, were the officers of the garrison, with their wives and members of their families: added to all of these was a sprinkling of civilians, somewhat noticeable owing to the absence of the blue and gilt of the customary uniforms at a military post. Perhaps forty persons had so assembled.


The occasion of this was the appearance of the disciple Porcupine, a Cheyenne Indian, recently returned from a pilgrimage to visit the new Christ of the Indians at some remote and mysterious point toward the setting sun. For months past the various Indian tribes of the Northwest have been greatly exercised over the coming of this Messiah; so great has been this interest, that from way down in the Indian Territory and Texas have come messages of inquiry from the Southern Indians asking information from their Northern brethren, saying that they, too, had received the "glad tidings of great joy," and were prepared to come and sit at the feet of this great stranger. The wild Western air has been filled with strange rumors of super naturalism, and a feeling of intense anxiety has found its way among all the Indian tribes.


Some time last winter this Cheyenne Indian, Porcupine by name without the permission of his agent, started on his pilgrimage to find the Great One of whom the Indians had heard. He had neither money nor a supply of food, and was accompanied by his faithful squaw and two other Indians from the reservation of the Northern Cheyenne’s, on Tongue River, Montana, 60 or 70 miles from here. They traveled far to the westward, and saw much they had never seen before, after reaching the railroad, going much of the way by rail on which they ,were permitted to ride without charge at other times on foot; though always without money, both Indians and white men giving them food as they journeyed. But like certain wise men who once before made a pilgrimage, they found their reward and were content.


The recent return of Porcupine to the reservation made the Cheyenne’s more than usually restless and excited. Early in May the Indian agent had called for military protection, and Major Carroll, with three troops of the first cavalry, was sent to his agency by General Brisbin from this post, where they have since remained. Cattle belonging to the settlers had been killed. A man by the name of Ferguson suddenly coming on a party of Cheyenne’s at a remote place in the hills in the act of cutting up one of his steers which they had just shot, was himself killed that he might not be a witness against them. The Indians were duly arrested and turned over to the civil authorities, and they now await their trial in the jail at Miles City. A general feeling of alarm existed among the scattered settlers in the surrounding country, many of them moving their families to Miles City for safety. The settlers armed themselves for the protection of their isolated ranches, and the races watched each other anxiously for a time. It is believed, however that the presence of the troops will prevent farther trouble, and matters can be adjusted by the authorities at Washington, which it is claimed, can best be accomplished by the removal of the Cheyenne.


The reappearance of Porcupine among such conditions added to the complications with which the Indian agent had to contend, and he requested by telegraph of the Interior department at Washington that Porcupine might be arrested by the troops, which request was at once responded to by the War Department, and the arrest promptly ordered. Porcupine immediately expressed his willingness, and in fact a wish, to go without delay to Fort Custer and explain his position, and what he knew of the Savior who has come to his people. The agent withdrawing his request for the arrest, Porcupine came to Fort Custer. To hear his story was the occasion of the assembly on Saturday night, already referred to. This somewhat lengthy explanation seems necessary to a full understanding of the matter.


He was an erect handsome, and perfectly developed young Indian, standing fully six feet in height, with a pleasant, sprightly face, the mobility of his features indicating anything but the traditional Indian. Clad in a garment of striped wool red and white, the stripes several inches broad, evidently made from blankets, belted at the waist and extending to the knee, with a tuft of eagle feathers knotted in his scalp-lock, certainly he was not lacking in the picturesque. Squatting the fashion of his race, near the center of the room, just in rear of him his squaw and the two companions of his pilgrimage, through an interpreter he told what he had seen of the Christ who had now come.


His story was prefaced as all Indian " talks" are by the information that what he was now about to say was " the truth " and pointing to his mouth he indicated that his words would go straight to the front "neither to the right nor the left, he had "no forked tongue." Then rising to his full height, he assumed the exact attitude which we have been taught to believe that Jesus took when blessing the disciples the upper portion of the body slightly inclined forward, the arms extended to full length, with the hands dropping downward the eyes closed, Then he trembled violently from head to foot, alternately changing the position of his bands to across his breast, then to the waist with the left hand, the right dropping by the side. In this position he remained fully five minutes, during which the heads of his Indian companions were dropped in silence, and the room was so still that the fall of a pin might have been heard. Having completed this, seemingly a silent prayer, he resumed his former place on the floor and began.


On the wall hung a large military map of the United Sates, indicating the various army posts of the West, and so nearly as the mysterious location could to established where the Christ had been found, it was possibly in the vicinity of Walker or Pyramid Lake in Nevada. It was in the mountains. Porcupine found himself with many strange Indians, whose language he could not speak, and who like himself, had come from far off, but all had come to see the Christ. At sundown the Indians collected in large numbers, and after it became dark he appeared to them, a large fire being built to throw the light on him. He was not as dark as an Indian, nor as light as a white man, and his dress was partly like each. He sat for a long time in perfect silence, with his head bowed, during which time the Indians neither moved nor spoke. They were told that if they even whispered the Christ would know it and be displeased. After a time he raised his head, and then Porcupine saw that he was fair to look upon, that his face had no beard, and was youthful, and that his bright hair extended to the waist. Porcupine had heard that the Christ of the white man had been nailed to a cross, and, looking, he was able to see the scars of the nails in the hands of the Indian's Christ when he raised them. In his feet he could not see the marks of the nails by reason of the moccasins, but he was told they were there, and that in his side were spear marks which were concealed by the shirt he wore. Porcupine was told that his own coming had, with eleven others been foretold by the Christ, who had sent for him, and that was why he had involuntarily taken the long journey; that all the heathen tribes there represented had been influenced in the same manner, though all had not been individually called, as he had.


The Christ spoke to them and took Porcupine by the hand, and told them, that they were all his children. He talked to them until it was day, telling them that he had made them, and all the things around them; that in the beginning God had made the earth, and after a time had sent him on the earth to teach the people what was right, but the people were afraid of him, and "this is what they did to me," showing his scars. He said when he found the children were bad he went back above, and promised to return after many hundred years. Now the time was up, and God had told him the earth was old and worn out, and had sent him again to renew it, and make things better. He said that all the dead were to be resurrected and brought back to life on this earth, which was now too small to hold them all, but he would do away with heaven and make the earth large enough to hold them all. He spoke about fighting, that it was bad, and that Indians must not do it any more; that the earth hereafter, was to be all good and everybody must love one another. He said he would send those among them who could heal wounds and cure the sick by a laying on of the hands, and that the good would live here forever and the buffalo would Come back He said it was wrong to kill men of any kind, that here after the whites and the Indian would become one people; that if any man disobeyed these teachings he would be banished from the face of the earth; that the Indians must believe all that he now told them, and not say that he lied, for he would know their thoughts, no matter in what part of the world they were, and they could not expect to deceive him.


Among those whom Porcupine saw were some who seemed like white men, but they all I seemed good, there was no drinking or fighting, and all listened and believed what the Christ said to them. During Porcupine's stay of many days the Christ several times repeated these talks, and told the Indians that when they returned to their people they must tell them all these things. But he was not at all times visible, and could disappear at will.


"He is here among us tonight, and knows all that we are talking about," said Porcupine.

Porcupine continued: "When I heard all these things I came back to my people, and they listened to me. Ever since I heard these things from the Christ I have thought they were good. I can see nothing bad in them. I knew my people were bad, and I got them together and told them. I warned them to listen, for it was for their own good. I talked to them four nights and five days, and said just what I said here tonight. I told them, these were the words of the Almighty God who was looking down on them and knew what was in their hearts. I wish some who are here had heard my words to the Cheyennes. They have been bad and fools and the sin of the killing of Ferguson will be visited on the whole tribe. I am sorry to say that there are one or two Cheyennes who do not believe what I have said. I wish these and some of you, would go back with me and see that I have spoken the  truth. When you have seen the Christ once you can see him in your sleep, that is, if you have shaken his hand; and through him you can go to heaven and see your friends who are dead. I see him often in my sleep and he told me there was trouble for the Cheyennes. The next night he came to me and told me that all would be well in the end" Of Porcupine's sincerity there can be no doubt. As he says himself, he is "no medicine man," and seems to have no wish to become one. That he has seen the person whom he describes as "the Christ" there seems to be no question. F. K. UPHAM, in the Boston Journal.


Porcupine in 1910


 If this didn't leave you with that WOW! moment... 

seeing what a miraculous event this was 

and how it connects to so many things....

well... you missed something...

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