George Conrad, Jr.

George Conrad was an enslaved person on a 900 acre farm in Kentucky. Mr. Conrad enlisted in the army in 1883 and took part in the fighting with American Indians during that time.  In this excerpt, he describes an example attempts by the US Army to force assimilation on Indians in Oklahoma.
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I laid there ’til August 8, then we changed regiments with the 5th Calvary to go to Nebraska. There was a breakout with the Indians at Ft. Reno the 1st of July 1885. The Indian Agency tried to make the Indians wear citizens’ clothes. They had to call General Sheridan from Washington, D. C., to quiet the Indians down. Now, we had to make a line in three divisions, fifteen miles a part, one non-commissioned officer to each squad, and these men was to go to Caldwell, Kansas and bring him to Ft. Reno that night. He came that night, so the next morning Colonel Brisbane and General Hatch reported to General Sheridan what the trouble was. General Sheridan called all the Indian Chiefs together and asked them why they rebelled against the agency, and they told them they weren’t going to wear citizen’s clothes. General Sheridan called his corporals and sergeants together and told them to go behind the guard house and dig a grave for this Indian agent in order to fool the Indian Chiefs. Then, he sent a detachment of soldiers to order the Indian Chiefs away from the guard house and to put this Indian agent in the ambulance that brought him to Ft. Reno and take him back to Washington, D. C., to remain there ’til he returned. The next morning he called all the Indian Chiefs to the guard house and pointed down to the grave and said that, “I have killed the agent and buried him there.” The Indians tore the feathers out of their hats rejoicing that they killed the agent.

Formerly enslaved person
Birth Year (Age)Interviewer
WPA Volunteer
Enslaver’s Name
George Conrad, Jr.1860 (77)UnknownJoe Conrad
Interview LocationResidence StateBirth Location
Oklahoma City, OKOklahomaHarrison County, Kentucky
Themes & KeywordsAdditional Tags:
Assimilation, Equality,First person, Indians, Assimilation, Veteran,