“7. Mato Watapke, Charging Bear, the first son of Used As Their Shield, is better known to white history as ‘John Grass’ – John Grass of Sioux wars and treaty fame. To the Sioux he was known as the Sovereign who “with the Pipe held before him”, led his people along the compulsory new road white men had made with their sharp guns and cannon.
As a youth and young warrior he knew the wonder of this shining land even as he realized the blight that threatened it. At the age of fourteen he had been taken by his father and grandfather to the Laramie Treaty of 1851 and there witnessed at first hand “the pattern of the white brother’s behavior”. In 1864 he watched his people struck by General Sully as they peacefully hunted buffalo and he vowed he would find a way to “the stand between them and white soldiers”. This book is an effort to show his struggle. He was a sovereign from 1873 until his death in 1918 at the age of eighty-one.”
Re-printed at this website by permission, direct quotes from manuscript
“John Grass – American Indian Patriot” (loose leaf) written by Angela A. Green Boleyn, held in the Archives of the
South Dakota Historical Society © Registration Number TXu000562111 Date 1993-03-26