1845 - Kearney expedition

      Col. Stephen Watt's Kearney, guided by Fitzpatrick, leads five companies of the First Dragoons along the Oregon Trail to Fort Laramie.  While there, Captain Philip St. George Cook, who accompanied the expedition, reported: "The Fort swarmed with women and children whose languages - like their complexions - is various and mixed, Indian, French, English, and Spanish.  Here, barbarism and a traditional civilization meet on neutral ground…represented chiefly by females…while the male representatives of civilization have the orthodox, although questionable aids of alcohol and gunpowder, avarice, lying and lust."

      Such were the men at the vanguard of Euro-American society as it pressed westward toward the gold fields of California. 

      Kearny called a council of the Sioux. More than a thousand warriors showed up.  He told them: "I am opening a road for the white people, and your great father directs that his red children shall not attempt to close it up - there are many white men coming on this road moving to the other side of the mountains - they take with them women, children and cattle - they all go to lay their bones there and never to return - you must not disturb them in their persons or molest their property - should you do so, your great Father would be angry with you and cause you to be punished. "

       Kearny believed his expedition had been a success, that the Indians gotten the message.  Future expeditions would serve to remind them to behave themselves because there was no place they could go that the Dragoons couldn't follow.

       On December 2, 1845, Polk told Congress: "The exhibition of this military force among the Indian tribes in those distant regions and the councils held with them by the commanders of the expeditions, it is believed, will have a salutary influence in restraining them from hostilities among themselves and maintaining friendly relations between them and the United States."

       The white men, including Kearney, were completely fooled by their own cultural sketomas.   Thomas Fitzpatrick told them so, and unwisely, they ignored his warnings.