Creator: Museum of the Rockies

Language Note: This collection is in English.

Summary Note: The materials in the United States Grand Jury Crow Indian Agency Fraud Hearings Collection consist of affidavits, letters, and a statement. The printed documents reflect the grand jury hearings of the United State District Court in Virginia City, Montana into the allegations of fraud posed by Captain Edward Bell against Dexter E. Clapp and Nelson Story in 1876.

Provenance Note: The documents were transferred from the Museum of the Rockies in April 1985.  Additional photocopied documents, a typed transcript, and a reel of microfilm from the Montana Historical Society Manuscript Collection 39 was added in July, 2017.  It had formerly been accessioned as collection number 1064.

Historical Note: In February 1876, Captain Edward Ball of the Second U. S. Cavalry leveled charges against Dexter E. Clapp and Nelson Story alleging fraud perpetrated against the Crow Indian Agency in Montana. The charges in question included bribery, providing inferior pork and cattle, payment for merchandise not delivered, and "cheating the Indians out of their supplies." E. C. Kemble, United States Indian Inspector, investigated the accusations directed against Clapp and Story. Kemble compiled two reports in November 1876 that prompted rebuttal by Clapp and Story in December 1876 and January 1877. Judge H. N. Blake, United States District Court 1 in Virginia City, Montana, presided over the grand jury hearings in April 1876. Clapp resigned from the agency in May 1876, but neither he nor Story were indicted and the matter was dropped.

Content Description Note: The printed documents in the Crow Indian Agency Fraud Hearings Collection include affidavits, letters, and statements. The documents relate to allegations of fraud at Montana's Crow Indian Agency in 1876, leveled by Captain Edward Ball against Dexter E. Clapp and Nelson Story. The affidavits detail Clapp's recollections on the receipt of shipments and refute allegations of bribery, as well as Charles Rich, John Goewey, and Warren Allen's verification of pork presented to the agency. Letters outline the charges against Clapp and Story by Ball, rebuttal of the charges leveled, as well as a description of Ball's character. The statement provided by Story refutes the charges levied by Ball.  Folders 7-12 represent photocopies, microfilm, and a typed transcription of materials from the Montana Historical Society Manuscript Collection 39.

Restrictions Note: This collection is open for research.


Box 1
1. "The Honorable Commissioner of Indian Affairs : Sir, I respectfully submit the following
reply to the charges and allegations of E. C. Kemble; . . ."
2. "In the matter of the investigation into the affairs at the Crow Agency and the conduct of the
late agent, Mr. Clapp, and Nelson Story"
3. "Sir, I have the honor to report for the information of the Department, . . ."
4. [Affidavit, 1876 Apr 18] / Dexter E. Clapp
5. [Affidavit, 1875 [i.e. 1876] Apr 17] / Charles Rich, John Goewey, Warren Allen
6. "To the people of Montana : having seen in the Madisonian newspaper a copy of the
signatures of about ninety citizens . . ."
7.  Major James S. Brisbin's Report of Indian Frauds made to General Sherman.
8. Typed transcript of folder 7
9.  Exhibits a-e
10. Exhibits f-q
11. Exhibits s-x
12. Microfilm of MHS Manuscript Collection 39

Contents | Special Collections

Updated: 7/18/17