Hugh Munro, Jr.[1]

Male 1799 - 1896  (96 years)

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  • Name Hugh Munro 
    Suffix Jr. 
    Born 25 Aug 1799  L'assumption, Montcalm Co., Quebec, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Christened 26 Aug 1799  L'assumption, Montcalm Co., Quebec, St Surplice Cath Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Gender Male 
    Died 1896  Browning, Glacier Co., MT Blackfoot, Indian Res Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Buried 1896  Holy Family Ceme, MT, Blackfoot Indian, Reservation Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Person ID I103892  Alger
    Last Modified 30 Sep 2021 

    Father Hugh Munro,   b. 15 Oct 1764, Albany, Albany Co., New York, USA Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 22 Sep 1825, St. Esprit, , Quebec, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 60 years) 
    Mother Angelique Leroux,   b. 6 Nov 1765, Montreal/L'assum, Quebec Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 22 Nov 1837, Montreal, , Qu?bec, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 72 years) 
    Married 4 May 1793  L'assumption, Quebec, Canada, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Family ID F37440  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family Sinopah Kit Fox Woman,   b. 1796-1798, Dakota Territory Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Abt 1880, , , , Canada Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 82 years) 
    Married Abt 1820  Northwest Terr Find all individuals with events at this location 
     1. John William Munro,   b. Abt 1823, Fort Benton, Montana Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 12 Aug 1908, Blackfoot Res, , Montana Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age ~ 85 years)
     2. Felix Munro,   b. Abt 1828,   d. Bef 1908  (Age ~ 79 years)
     3. Amelia Munro,   b. Abt 1830-1840,   d. Aft 1920  (Age ~ 81 years)
     4. Elizabeth Munro,   b. Abt 1833, Maria's Creek, Glacier Co., Dakota Territory, USA Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Yes, date unknown
     5. Margaret Munro,   b. Abt 1842,   d. Bef 1908  (Age ~ 65 years)
     6. Francis Munro,   b. Abt 1846, Dakota Territory, USA Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Abt 1922  (Age ~ 76 years)
     7. Munro,   b. Abt 1848,   d. Yes, date unknown
    Last Modified 31 Jul 2015 
    Family ID F40471  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Notes 
    • !An interesting addition to the preceding family group is the documentation of the life of Hugh Munro or "Rising Wolf" of the Blackfeet indians in the Centennial Canadian Issue (No. 10. 1967) of the Clan Munro Magazine from Scotland. J. W. Schultz wrote two books* on the life experiences of Rising Wolf (Hugh Munro) from direct acqauintace with him in his later years. Hugh states he spent his early years roaming the outdoors near his Quebec home, spending only enough time at his studies to learn to read and write. At 15 years of age he joined the Hudson Bay Company as an engage' and journeyed west. He never returned to eastern Canada or saw his family again.
      There are a number of his descendants among the Blackfeet Indians; a grandson, William Jackson, was a scout for Custer, later becoming a partner of the author Schultz.

      Schultz states in his narrative of Hugh Munro's second year with the Blackfeet (RED CROW'S BROTHER, James Willard Schultz, Houton Mifflin Co, 1927) the following about the Glacier Park area: ...We came to a beautiful lake, the second one of the lakes of Two Medicine Lodges River. At its head was a pine-clad, steep mountain which Red Crow said was named Rising Bull. It did have the appearance of the sharp back of a buffalo getting up onto its feet. (1) And just to the north of us was another and still higher mountain, of reddish rock, which was I-kot-ei Is-tuki (Red Mountain), one of the great peaks of the range. (2)

      (1) Later named Sin-o-pah-ki Is-tuk-i (Fox Woman Mountain). Fox Woman was the faithful wife of Rising Wolf (Hugh Munro) (2) In 1896, after our old friend died, and we buried him in the Two Medicine Valley and in sight of this mountain that he loved so well, we named it for him: Rising Wolf Mountain.

      George Bird Grinnell, who wrote many articles and books about his experiences with the Indians, also was also a friend of Hugh Munro. In his book PAWNEE,

      BLACKFOOT AND CHEYENNE (Scribner's 1913) he related the following about lakes in the Montana mountains (Glacier Park):
      This region is known throughout northern Montana as the St. Mary's Lake country. In a narrow valley running back into the mountains lie two great lakes, the upper about 12 miles long, and the lower seven. These are enlargements of the St Mary's River, a branch of the Saskatchewan. Here, forty-eight years ago (about 1837), Hugh Monroe [sic], a devout Catholic, assisted by a party of Kootenai Indians, set up on the shores of the lower lake a great cross made of two pine trees, and called the lakes St. Mary's.


      BIO:LA PAROISE DE L'ASSUMPTION - REPERTOIRE DES BAPTISMES 1724-1800 Publication # 17 (1981) LaCentre de Genealogie S.C. Ottawa, Canada Children of Hugh and Angelique Munro:

      TBL:#6318 MUNRO, HUGH Born: 25 Aug 1799 Baptised: 26 Aug 1799

      BIO:BAPTISMS, MARRIAGES AND SEPULCURES of PAROISE St. Surplise, L'Assumption de la Vierge Marie, de Montcalm, Quebec; diocese of Montreal, Quebec. (1724-1876) Mf # 1018241, SLC, UT 1994 VBM

      TBL:BAPTISM: de Hugues Munro: Le vingt Six Aout mil Sept Cent quatre vingt dix neuf par moi Fretere Soussigne a ete Baptiste hughes ne' hier de legitime Mariage de Monsieur hughes Munro, Merchand et da Dame Angelique Leroux les fere et Mere de cette Paroisse. Le Larein a ete' Monsieur Charles Dorion et la Mareine Marguerite Dorion. Les quels out Signe avec vour ainvique le Fere present. deap mot interlique's et deux ralure valable. [Signed] Hugh Munro Charles Dorion Marguerite Dorion

      *James Willard Schultz, "Rising Wolf, The White Blackfoot: Hugh Munroe's Story of His First Year On The Plains", "Red Crow's Brother: Hugh Munroe's Story of His Second Year On The Plains", Houghton Mifflin Co., Boston, N.Y., 1919 & 1927. In 1951 Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer released part of his story adapted as the Western "Across The Wide Missouri" with John Hodiak as Hugh Munro.

      BIO:Biographical information of Hugh Munro is mainly contained in the volumes on the Blackfeet Indians written by James Willard Schultz who was a contemporary of Hugh in the last two decades of his life. Schultz describes Hugh as: "slender, but not tall with brown hair and blue eyes." (The blue eyes are a legacy still seen in various present descendants!) He records the following from his conversations with Hugh "Rising Wolf":

      TBL:NOTE:Biographical data provided by J.W.Schultz has proved grossly inacurate in some areas. It must be kept in mind that Schultz was a "story-teller" and consigned his recollections to paper long after Hugh Munro had died. Some of his narrations are "composites" of experiences written in a manner to provide a a free flowing story.

      TBL:Hugh was born in the Three Rivers area of Quebec where his father, Capt. Hugh Munro of the British Army was associated with his mother's family in business.
      His mother was of a noted family of French emegres' and her father owned a fine mansion in Montreal as well as a large estate in the Three Rivers area where they lived. His childhood days were quiet enough as he played with the peasant children. A Jesuit Father, residing with the Leroux household, taught Hugh a smattering of reading and writing in both French and English. The gift of a light smooth-bore gun was a turning point in his young life. From that time on he spent most of his time hunting in the forest surrounding the settlement. At age 12 he killed his first deer; at 13 he shot two black bears. An old pensioner of his mother, a half-breed Montagnais Indian, too old and feeble to do much for himself, taught him to trap beaver, otter, fox, fisher, martin and mink. Every spring his grandfather sold the pelts for him in Montreal for a good price.
      In the autumn of 1812, during the months of the War, his grandfather sent for them to live with him in Montreal. Hugh disliked city life as he could neither hunt nor trap, and he did not understand the "town boys" whose interests were so unlike his own. Mornings he had to attend the parish school, but afternoons he escaped to row on the river or visit in the warehouses of the Hudson Bay Company with which his grandfather was affiliated. There he met voyageurs and trappers from far places. They presented a exotic picture with their buckskin clothes, fur caps and colorful beaded moccasins. He became fast friends of both the French and English factions and spent many happy hours listening to their tales of wild adventures, of fights with Indians, encounters with fierce bears of the Far West, and of the perils of canoe trips on madly running rivers. He began to beg his family to let him join "The Company" and go West.

      BIO:Young Hugh would have been living in a "family of women" at L'Assumption. He was preceeded in birth by five sisters [two surviving] and followed by another two sisters and only one brother - five years his junior. He would have had every opportunity to taste the excitement of the voyageurs, fur trappers and traders from even his own front doorstep. L'Assumption lies in a noted horeshoe bend of the l'Assumption River and the canoes were all beached at one end of l'Assumption's main street - Rue la portage'-, carried up the street and launched again at the other end. Fronting on the upper portage landing were all the commercial establishments of this important trading town: the Custom House, the North West Fur Offices, and all the merchant establishments serving the area. Little wonder that this first son of Hugh and Angelique, who was a notorious "truant" from the classroon - by his own admission "not a scholar" - begged early and long until he finally convinced his parents to let him join the furtrading adventure !

      BIO:His father finally agreed saying: "He is obviously born for the adventurous life, and nothing else, so we may as well let him begin now and grow up to a responsible position with the company." His mother shed many tears but finally agreed to let him go after securing a promise from him that he would return for a visit at the end of his 5 year indenture. Angelique spent many tearful hours sewing and packing his clothing, and assembling a kit that included a razor for a lad too young yet to need to shave ! She slipped a Missal between his shirts and prayed for his safe return. Hugh, ever the practical Scot, handed his son a pair of dependable flint-lock pistols, and followed them up with a few basic rules from the " Army rank and file" to help keep him out of the worst troubles and temptations. "Just remember your heritage and depend on it," he admonished. "You are a Scot and a MUNRO. For centuries Munros have been courageous adventurers and Highland warriors. You have that courage - you will do well."

      BIO:Very early on the morning of May 3rd, 1814, almost four months short of his sixteenth birthday, he signed his Articles of Appreticeship to the Hudson Bay Company for five years at 20 pounds per year. As the heavily loaded canoes bobbed beside the quay Hugh endured the tearful kisses of his mother and her admonitions to remember his prayers. The proud Scottish father could only gaze into the bright blue eyes so like his own, grip the hand of his young son and mutter, "Keep your nose clean and your hair on !" before Hugh scrambled aboard the wallowing canoe. As they turned out into the river and the voyageurs sang and dug in their paddles Hugh waved and watched until the little knot of figures on the quay faded from view, little knowing that he would never see Montreal or his family again.

      BIO:There were five boats in the flotilla, each one loaded with 4 to 5 tons of goods for the Indian trade. Everything was done up in waterproof packages of 100 pounds each. The heavy goods were mostly guns, powder and balls, and flints, tobacco, beads, beaver traps, brass and copper wire, axes, copper and brass kettles of various sizes, and small hand mirrors. The lighter goods were blankets, woolen cloth, needles, awls, thread, and trinkets to strike the Red Man's fancy. It was not a very valuable cargo in Montreal but at Mountain Fort in the Rocky Mountains it was of enormous value. There a gun was worth sixty beaver pelts, and even a twist of tobacco sold for two beaver skins !

      BIO:The voyageurs paddled up the St. Lawrence River and turned into the Ottawa River which they ascended as far as it was navigable. They then portaged the boats from lake to lake until, early in September, they arrived at York Factory on the Saskatchewan River close to Hudson Bay. There they wintered and set out again as soon as the ice went out in the spring. At last, on the 10th of July, 1815, after many weary days of rowing and cordelling up the swift Saskatchewan River, they arrived at Mountain Fort. The fort biuldings, built of logs and roofed with poles and earth, were in a heavily timbered bottom above the high-water mark of the river. It was enclosed in a high, log stockade with a bastion on one corner in which there were two small cannon. It was later to be known as BOW FORT as the stream it was on was a main tributary of the Saskatchewan River known as the Bow River. [This location is now near Calgary, Alberta, Canada.]

      BIO:Camped in the vicinity and milling about the grounds of the Fort were thousands of Indians awaiting the annual arrival of the company's flotilla of boats loaded with trade goods. There were three tribes of the Blackfoot Confederacy as well as Gros-Ventures and Saksikas making over 30,000 Indians at the fort. Hugh saw the smoke curling from countless numbers of tall tan tipis through the roiling dust created by the mounted Indian riders yiping around the camp area, and the children racing about in play. He was speachless with excitement and fascination as he viewed the exotic scene - even more wonderful than any of his wildest imaginations !

      BIO:Hugh was acknowledged by James Hardesty and immediately put to work inside the Trading Post. First the cargo had to be unloaded and inventoried into the proper books, bundles, barrels and bins. Then the long days of trading began. From dawn to dark Hugh fetched, weighed, counted and carried. The factor and clerks took the furs, examined them for condition and grade and tallied them. Then the bargaining and trade began with the Indian through the interpreter. As items were chosen they were piled upon the counter after many comments and examination and fingering of the available goods. With silent wives and eager children looking on, the transaction is finally completed and the brave packs up and leaves as another takes his place.

      BIO:To Hugh the days seem endless. He toils away in the dimly lit back rooms preparing stock and delivering items to the counter. Hardesty and the clerks leave little opportunity for him to watch the bargaining and trade, or interact with the Indians waiting in the store. After dark there are still furs to stack and bundle for the long voyage to Montreal. He thinks about the thousands of tipis camped along the river and wonders if he will ever get out into the day light again ! This was not what he had bargained for ! He thought he would be outdoors among the trappers and Indians, and able to live and hunt in the wild. How could he possibly spend the next five long years of his life doing this ?

      BIO:In desperation he finally manages to find time between duties to escape outside occasionally and talk with the post interpreters and employees. In hunting and trapping they soon found he was not the "greenhorn" they had expected, and recognized his keen interest in the Indians. Hugh had a good ear for languages and was quick to pick up the universally used sign language of the Indians and traders. They quickly began to take him on their evening "visiting rounds" among the Indians at the camp. Soon Hugh was able to go alone and found several Indian youths near his age that he could "talk" to. He began to spend most of his free time with Red Crow, a member of the Small Robes band. Hugh envied Red Crow's freedom to hunt and trap and his nomadic life, as well as his large hospitable family.

      The Hudson's Bay Company was eager to expand fur trading with these tribes, but suffered by a lack of interpreters of the Blackfoot tongue. The Blackfoot Confederation did not allow encroachment on their traditional hunting and trapping areas by white trappers or other tribes. They "discouraged" tresspassing by hunting down and killing any outsiders found in their territory.

      BIO:Factor James Hardesty was quick to note Hugh's interest in the Indians as well as his eagerness to be out doors. He also watched the growing friendship with Red Crow and saw an opportunity that would be of benefit to both "The Company" and the Blackfoot. Hardesty had often thought that the ideal way to stabilize his fur trading relationship with the elusive Blackfeet would be to send a white trapper or agent to live and travel with them and learn their language. So far he had not been able to suggest this possibility to any of his agents or employees for two reasons. First, he had noone who would be willing to embark on what they would consider a virtual death sentance as a tresspasser into Blackfoot country ! And second, the Blackfoot were so aloof that a suggestion of this kind could be mistaken in it's intent, and he would break his tenous trading hold on them and lose them to the North West Company.

      BIO:Despite his proclivity to join the Indians Hugh was bound by his contract with the Hudson Bay Company, and soon settled into the annual acivities and routines of the forts. He thrived on the expeditions and trips into the wilds and endured his time within the company forts. The following summarizes his experiences during his sojourn with Hudson's Bay.

      TBL:Hugh Munro entered the service of the Hudson's Bay company and was appointed apprentice in the Edmonton District. His "parish" was entered in the company books as "Canada."
      During the summer of 1816 he was at Carlton House under John Peter Pruden. In the fall of 1818 he traveled with Francis Heron from Carlton House to Edmonton House and apparently spent the winter of 1818-19 there. In May 1819 Heron left William Flett in charge of Edmonton House with Munroe as one of his assistants. At the end of outfit 1818-19 Heron reported Munro as being "not of much use at present, but may be of some service hereafter." Munro remained at Edmonton except for short excursions to the Beaver River and Acton House (the post in opposition to Rocky Mountain House of the North West Company), until January 19, 1820 when he was sent to Summer Berry (Pembina) River to remain there until spring. On May 4, 1820 he arrived at Edmonton House having been directed to abandon the post at Pembina River since the Indians were leaving that quarter. From the middle of May until nearly the end of November Munro was stationed at Acton House; on his return he remained at Edmonton House until February 19, 1821 when he was sent to Carlton House for supplies, returning March 30.
      Later in the spring he was at Moose Lake where he remained until June 4. He spent the summer in various short expeditions from Edmonton House to Pembina River and Moose Lake. On September 8 he started from Edmonton for Moose Lake, but this post was abandoned shortly afterwards in favor of Dog Rump Creek House, situated about three miles above old Buckingham House. Munro apparently served at Dog Rump Creek House under Patrick Small, returning to Edmonton House on April 28, 1822 with letters "from several parts of the country."
      On June 5, 1822 Munro arrived at Carlton House from Edmonton. From there he was sent to Cumberland House on July 28 in order to join the Bow River expedition. He was recorded in Bow River accounts 1822-23 as a clerk with a family of one. In the spring of 1823 he was sent with the Piegans to learn thei language and began his long sojourn with the Piegans.

      BIO:Between the Saskatchewan and the Missouri Rivers Hugh camped and hunted over a great stretch of country that no white man had ever seen. At the Falls of the Missouri River he crossed the trail of Lewis and Clark; between the Missouri an Yellowstone River traveled country not yet seen by whites. Through his efforts
      the Piegans made peace with the Crows and persuaded them to go north to Mountain Fort to trade their winter furs. Hugh and the Piegans returned to the fort in the New Grass Moon - April, 1824. During Hugh's second year with the Piegans they hunted and trapped in the area now included in Glacier National Park. There he saw the "Lakes Inside" and mountains held sacred to the Blackfeet. And so Hugh fulfilled his contract with Hudson Bay and then became a "free trapper," returning to the post during the trading season as interpreter and occasional employee.

      BIO: George Bird Grinnell relates the following story told by Hugh:

      TBL:"I was often detailed by the Hudson's Bay Company to go out in charge of a number of men, to kill meat for the fort. When the ground was full of holes and wash-outs, so that running was dangerous, I used to put on a big timber wolf"s skin, which I carried for the purpose, tying it at my neck and waist, and then to sneak up on the buffalo. I used a bow and arrows, and generally shot a number without alarming them. If one looked suspiciously at me, I would howel like a wolf. Sometimes the smell of the blood from the wounded and dying would set the bulls crazy. They would run up and lick the blood, and sometimes toss the dead ones clear from the ground. Then they would bellow and fight each other, sometimes goring one another so badly that they died. The great bulls, their tongues covered with blood, their eyes flashing, and tails sticking out straight, roaring and fighting, were terrible to see; and it was a little dangerous for me, because the commotion would attract buffalo from all directions to see what was going on. At such times I would signal to my men, and they would ride up and scare the buffalo away."

      Bio:No record has been found of the origin of Hugh's Pikuni name "Rising Wolf." Among the animals especially respected among the Blackfeet and supposed to have great power, are the buffalo, the bear, the raven, the wolf, the beaver and the kit-fox. The wolves were the people's great friends; they traveled with the people.If a person was hungry and sang a wolf song, he was likely to find food. Men going on a hunting trip sang these songs, which would bring them good luck. The Blackfeet had great belief in visions and dreams, and an animal coming to a man in his dream with a message important to his life, was then regarded as his special protector.

      BIO:In 1922 Schultz recorded this narrative by Frank Munroe, son of Rising Wolf:

      TBL:My father was "iksatosim." ("Of the sun." Or, "great medicine.") Soon after he took my mother for his woman, before any of us children were born, he one night had a powerful vision. A wolf came to him and said, "I am chief of these great plains, and I have taken a liking to you; therefore I am going to tell you how to make something that will preserve you in times of danger. Go and get the tail feathers of an owl, skins of weasels and minks, and make a war bonnet." In his dream he collected the feathers and skins and made the bonnet, but it did not please the wolf; he took it apart, rearranged the materials, singing all the time as he put it together. When he was satisfied with his work, he put the bonnet on my father and walked around and around him, looking at it, still singing, and at last said, "There, it is as I wanted it. This will preserve you from the enemy; you and any relative or friend to whom you may lend it. And do not forget this, my song that goes with it, and which you are to sing when you put the bonnet on and face danger. However, your possession of the bonnet, just your having it near you, in your lodge, on your person or your horse when travelling, will itself protect you from the enemy." My father's shadow came back into his body. He awoke and thought about his wonderful vision and then woke Fox Woman and told her about it and she was glad. "Sun is kind! He has pitied you; he has caused his child, Chief Wolf, to give you the one thing you need to become a warrior of our tribe ! Make the bonnet at once, so that I may no longer fear for your safety when you go out to hunt and trap."
      My father made the bonnet, just as his vision had directed, and kept singing the song over and over until he knew he would not forget it. He carried that bonnet in a painted and fringed rawhide cylinder that he made, and as Chief Wolf had predicted, it helped him safely through many a place where his life was in danger. Time and again he lent it to my grandfather, Lone Walker, and Three Suns, my uncle, and they wore it on raids against the enemy, and with great success. In his old age he gave it to Three Suns; it is now in Three Suns' grave, down below here on the Two Medicine River.

      BIO:Frank also related how the sign of Rising Wolf protected them from attack by friendly Indians in many campsites during their trapping and traveling days. Once when Frank was only eight or nine years old Rising Wolf left the Pikuni camp on the Bear River and came north to the Two Medicine Lodge country to trap beaver. They had set up camp in a grove of cottonwoods and his brother, Little Wolf (John), was driving the horses to the ridge to graze for the night. Suddenly, a gun boomed, and a bullet struck a tree in front of him. As soon as he called for help the shooter called out in good Pikuni that he was a friend. They embraced his brother and came down to the lodge where they were welcomed by his father. The friendly Kooteni Indians apologized for mistaking their camp for that of some Cree Indians. After eating and smoking they suggested that Rising Wolf mark the trail to his camp and surrounding trees with his sign to prevent friendly indians from mistaking him for an enemy. The following morning his father blazed trees along the trail and around the camp, and on the white surface painted in black the sign for his name: a man and a wolf rising. And thereafter he did that at every camp that they made, and so more than once saved them from attack from war parties of tribes that were friendly to them.

      BIO:"When we had grown a little older, my brother and I made the name signs for him. My brother was angry because I could make the best signs. They were like this":

      PICTURE:20F*Drawing by Heavy Eyes of Rising Wolf's Name Painting

      BIO:Although documentation is scarce and scattered, various records for Hugh and his family show that for the next fifty years he roamed the western wilderness with the Piegans, ranging from below the Yellowstone to the far north of present Edmonton, Canada. Sometime in the 1820's he married - according to Indian custom - Sinopah (Kit Fox Woman) daughter of Lone Walker, Chief of the Piegans and Small Robes Band. Together they raised at least seven children in the Indian community and were successful in living through the epidemics of smallpox, scarlet fever, "coughing fever," starvation winters and intertribal warfare that decimated the tribes. The lack of documentation of Hugh's life depended a great deal on the seclusion of the Blackfeet from white intervention until the 1855 "Lame Bull Treaty" which first opened their living area and hunting grounds to white men and the Army.

      BIO:Early records of the Blackfeet Nation did not include a census or name list until 1888 when all United States Blackfeet were confined to the designated reservation in Montana, and the Northern Piegans were required to live north of "The Line" (49th parallel) in Canada. Even those early records of the Indian Agency are sketchy and incomplete with no birth and death documentation. The Jesuits kept records for the Missions and schools but most early records of the Jesuits were destroyed in at least two disasters: once when lost in the sinking of a boat, and secondly when the Mission Church at St. Mary's Mission in the Okanogan valley burned. Other records were inadvertantly destroyed with some obsolete notes and papers. While some of his children were eventually listed on the Blackfoot Rolls, Hugh (as a white man) was not enrolled or named on the Indian census.

      BIO:Occassional glimpses of Hugh occur in writings of western adventurers and U.S. Government records. He meets Sacajawea, guide to Lewis & Clark, in the late 1820's. He befriends and trades with James Kipp in the 1830's and knew George Catlin, Prince Maxmilian and the artist, Karl Bodmer. Among others his friends among the Mountain Men were Jin Bridger, Kit Carson, Johnson, and Peter Ogden. He guided the Jesuits, Father Lacombe and Father DeSmet, in their travels among the Blackfeet in the 1840's and 1850's.

      BIO:At one time or another he is associated with the Hudson's Bay Company, the North West Company, the Missouri Fur Company and the American Fur Company as well as trapping as a "free trapper." He is a friend of Alexander Culbertson, James Dawson, Kenneth Mackenzie and other Factors, as well as a succession of Indian Agents. He was known and respected at Forts Rocky Mountain House, Bow, Union, Lewis, Benton, Belnap, Shaw, MacKenzie, McLeod and Carson. He also eventually made and maintained a friendship with tribesmen of the Blood, Gros Venture, Siksika, Crow, Cree, Sarsi, Kootenai, Pen d'Orille, and Flathead Indians, and shared their hunting and trapping grounds.

      BIO:As a Christian and devout Catholic he erected a cross at St. Mary's Lakes with Father Lacombe, and yet is known for his respect of the Blackfoot religion. His children and descendants were known as "some of the more Christian of the mixed-blood families of the Reservation." He acknowledges that he believes in "dreams" that are warnings of events, and carried a "war bonnet" that he was convinced had protected him on several occassions.

      BIO:In 1865 he is the "Post Hunter" at Fort Benton, and in 1887 is reported as living in Canada and at Fort McLeod. Late in his life he relates his life experiences to George Bird Grinnell and James Willard Schultz.

      BIO:By 1880 the buffalo had virtually disappeared from the Great Plains, and the Blackfeet became dependant on beef rations and U.S. Government supplies. Hugh makes the difficult transition to reservation living, spending time with his children and grandchildren in areas on the Two Medicine River, the Marias and areas included in the present Glacier National Park.

      BIO:Hugh always intended to keep his promise to return to Montreal to visit his parents, but somehow it was just never a good time to be gone so far away. He procrastinated from year to year. Then word arrived that his father had died, and his brothers said he should come East to help settle the estate and his inheritance. Once again Hugh just could not leave - now it was because of his wife and new baby. Across the long miles finally came the papers for him to sign to provide directions in administrating the land he had inherited.

      BIO:After living with the Pikuni Hugh had his own ideas about the land, who owned it - or even IF it should be owned ! He signed the papers to accommodate his brothers, Horatio Munro and Francois LaRocque, and told them to do as they liked with the land as he had no use for it. After all, he freely roamed over hundreds of square miles, he had no need to "own" a few square feet in Ontario!

      BIO:Again Hugh felt guilty about his promise to his now widowed mother. Still he procrastinated - it was the wrong time of year - Fox Woman needed him - there was another new baby to look after - they had to have the income from this season of trapping - he couldn't leave the Fort without an interpreter.... Then, long months after the actual occurance, word arrived at Fort Benton that his mother was already gone - at rest these many months in her d'Esneval tomb. He sighed, and yet was relieved. Now he had no reason to go East, and he need never again have to consider taking that long trip back to Montreal.


      BIO:Glimpses of Hugh's life were recorded in the Hudson Bay records. After several years as a free trapper Hugh again enlisted as an "interpreter" at Bow Fort and Rocky Mountain House in 1832-34; his family now consisting of 1 woman, 3 boys and 1 girl. From 1837-1844 he is again engaged at Edmonton House, and later it is reported he was again in Edmonton but left in 1870 and returned to Montana. In 1888 he was at Fort McLeod where he was the subject of letters from Father Lacomb to HBC discussing his "infermity and destitution." Family recods show that Hugh spent most oif his last years in Montana, often living with his grandson, William Jackson. With his advancing rhumatism the last years are quiet ones for Hugh as he spends the long summers in the sun within sight of his beloved mountains, and the winters before the cabin fire. Finally, in 1896, in his 97th year, Hugh is also delivered of his earthly cares and laid to rest in the fields beside the Holy Family Mission Church and overlooking the Two Medicine River, only a short distance from the great "buffalo jump" where he and the Pikuni so often drove the buffalo. Although no stome marks his grave, no visitor to this lonely spot would deny that his spirit lingers on in the soft moaning of the prairie wind.

      BIO:The best marker and memorial of his long life among his beloved Piegans in the western wilderness is the tall, red wedge of mountain towering over Two Medicine Lodges Lake and valley bearing the name "Rising Wolf." Nearby to the south lies the mountain named "Sinopahki Istuki" - Kit Fox Woman Mountain - for his faithful Piegan wife.

      TBL:[NOTE: In the forward to Warren Hanna's JAMES WILLARD SHULTZ, RECENTLY DISCOVERED TALES OF LIFE AMONG THE INDIANS (Mountain Press Pub, Missoula MT, 1988) Hanna relates that most of Schultz's works were written and published AFTER 1904 (when he fled from Montana to avoid a poaching charge)and eventually relocated in Southern California. Of MY LIFE AS AN INDIAN, Shultz's most popular work, Hanna states: "The title suggests an autobiography, but it was in fact a romatic novel centered upon his wife and their life together." Shultz was nearly 50 when his first book was published in 1907 and did not take up "full-time" writing until about 1912 - long after the death of Rising Wolf and his grandson William Jackson. Research in legal records has proved that dates and other details in Shultz's biographical narratives may be in error, although the general substance of these works is truthfully protrayed. VBM]


      TBL:1730 First horses seen by Blackfeet, being ridden by Shoshoni warriors.
      First guns also seen, used by Crees and Assiniboines. Arrival of first
      trade goods such as glass beads and metal arrowheads. 1780 HUDSON BAY COMPANY builds Buckingham House along the Saskatchewan River;
      first trading post close to Blackfoot country. 1781 Smallpox epidemic strikes Blackfoot camps for first time; over half the
      population dies. The disease was picked up when Blackfoot warriors raided
      a very sick Shoshoni camp in the Bow River country. 1784 The NORTH WEST COMPANY of independant fur traders and trappers moves into
      Blackfoot country to compete with Hudson Bay Company. Guns, knives, axes
      and arrowheads began replacing primitive weapons. Blankets, materials,
      pots and awls helped to make Blackfoot tribal household life easier.
      Tobacco, beads and paints became first luxury items. 1787 David Thompson, of the Hudson Bay Company, becomes the first trader to
      winter with the Blackfoot (Piegans) along the Bow River. All these early
      trade encounters took place in Canada. 1794 Economy: 14 Beaver pelts = 1 trade gun
      1 Beaver pelt = 20 rounds of shot with powder
      30 Beaver pelts = 1 large keg of "Blackfoot Rum," made by
      mixing 4 or 5 quarts of pure alcohol with
      about 7 gallons of water. 1799 Rocky Mountain House built by North West Company, west of Edmonton,
      Alberta, becoming main Blackfoot trading center for some years. 1806 Piegans meet part of Lewis & Clark expedition in their territory, now in
      Montana. Fight breaks out and one Piegan is killed, starting bad
      relationship between Blackfeet and American white men. 1809 Economy: 1 common horse = 1 gal. "Blackfoot Rum," 2 fathoms of twist
      tobacco, 20 balls with powder, 1 awl, 1 scalper, 1
      fleshing knife, 1 gun worm, 1 P.C. glass, 1 fire
      steel, and 1 flint.
      Richest Piegan in that year said to own 300 horses.
      Population estimate: Lodges Warriors Persons
      Piegan ......... 350 700 2,800
      Siksika ........ 200 520 1,600
      Kainah ......... 100 200 800 1815 A 17 year old boy from Montreal named Hugh Munro becomes the first "white
      Blackfoot" marrying SINOPAH, the daughter of Piegan Chief LONE WALKER, of
      the Small Robes Band and learning the life
      of her people. He remained with the Blackfeet near Browning, Montana,
      until his death in 1896, being survived by many descendants. 1819 "Coughing" epidemic - one third die. 1821 Missouri Fur Company sends American trappers into Blackfoot country for
      furs. Piegans resent their intrusion, saying they stole the furs and
      traded guns to enemies, besides. A large war party annihilates most of
      the trappers in an ambush before the first year is through. 1823 Population estimate: Siksika...500 lodges Blood...300 lodges
      Piegans...550 lodges Total...10,800 persons 1831 James Kipp, of the American Fur Company, befriends the Blackfeet and
      offers to trade for their furs, rather than sending trappers out after
      it. They agree to let him build Fort Piegan on the Missouri River in
      their territory. The first few days of trade brought in 6,450 pounds of
      beaver, which his company sold for $46,000. The Bloods did not like
      this, so they burned the post down after the trading season was finished. 1832 Blood head Chief Bull's-Back-Fat brings the first delegation of his
      people to Fort Union in Assiniboin country, where they make peace with
      that tribe. George Catlin becomes the first white man to paint Blackfeet,
      calling them "perhaps the most powerful tribe of Indians on the
      continent." Catlin estimated 500 lodges of Piegans, with the Small Robes
      Band as the largest with 250 lodges. 1833 German Prince Maxmilian spends late summer with the Blackfeet. Estimates
      Confederacy population at 18,000 to 20,000. The Prince and artist, Karl
      Bodmer , witness an immense battle between Piegans and Cree and
      Assiniboin warriors, ending peace. Piegans eventually win fight although
      with heavy losses. 1835 Blackfeet bring 9,000 Buffalo robes to trade at new Fort McKenzie, 32
      days travel by boat, upriver, from Fort Union, at the junction of the
      Missouri and Marias River. 1837 Smallpox again strikes the Blackfeet, arriving with infected people and
      clothing aboard a steamboat. Two thirds of the Confederacy is said to
      have died. Over 10,000 buffalo robes were brought in for trade the next
      winter. A frontier journal from that year notes that 40 to 50
      independant trappers were being killed in Blackfoot country each year. 1841 Blackfeet brought in 21,000 robes for trade. Some Indian hunters became
      eager for trade goods start killing buffalo for hides. Professional
      white hunters kill even greater numbers of buffalo, mainly for tongues and
      hides. Father DeSmet baptized first Blackfeet to Christianity. 1844 Good relations between Blackfeet and traders break off after troubles lead
      one trader to fire a cannon into an innocent group of Piegans, killing 10
      and wounding others. 1845 Another smallpox epidemic strikes the Blackfeet. 1846 Fifty families of Small Robes band of Piegans wiped out by Crow attack,
      ending this group's often independant journeys, sometimes in company of
      the Flathead tribe. Blackfeet bring another 21,000 buffalo robes to trade
      to the new Fort Lewis, near the later Fort Benton. Head trader is
      Alexander Culbertson who is married to Medicine Snake Woman, daughter of
      Blood head chief. 1847 Culbertson moves Fort Lewis 3 miles down and across the Missouri River,
      renaming it Fort Benton. This becomes the most important trading center
      in Montana. Supplies travel 2,415 miles upriver by steamboat from St.
      Louis. Economy: 1 Buffalo robe = 25 loads ammunition, a gallon kettle,
      three knives, or 1 1/2 yds. of calico.
      3 Buffalo robes = 2 1/2 point wool blanket
      10 Buffalo robes = 1 trade gun (cost $4. back East) 1853 Observers wrote that the "quantity of buffalo is almost unbelievable,"
      and that "the entire country of the Blackfeet perhaps the best Buffalo
      Country in the N.W." Gov. I.I. Stevens meets head men of the Blackfoot
      Confederacy on behalf of the U.S. Government and proposes a great peace
      council to end war between the tribes, and to guarantee peace between the
      Blackfeet and the whites. Chiefs agree to council.
      Population estimates: Lodges Persons Warriors
      Blood.............. 270 2,430 810
      Siksika ........... 290 2,600 870
      South Piegan ...... 200 1,800 600
      North Piegan ...... 90 800 270 1855 "Lame Bull Treaty" signed by 26 principle chiefs of the Blackfoot
      Confederacy defines tribal territories and proclaims peace between the
      tribes and the U.S. Government. "Major" Edwin Hatch becomes first
      Blackfoot Indian agent, with an office at Fort Benton. 1856 Major Hatch writes first annual report; reports he gave out treaty
      annuities to about 8,000 Indians. 1857 "Major" Vaughn becomes second Blackfoot agent - the only one for many
      years with good relationship with people. 1858 Agent Vaughn recommends government prohibition of trade in Buffalo robes
      to prevent senseless slaughter of the animals. The suggestion is ignored
      by everyone. 1859 Jesuits build first mission in American Blackfoot country, St. Peter's,
      near Choteau, Montana. Indians show some interest in these unuaual
      spiritual ways, but are still 100 percent devoted to their own faith.
      Missionaries plan to wipe out old Indian ways, while Indians only want
      Christian prayers as added blessings to what they already have. Father
      Lacombe is first missionary among Canadian Blackfeet, having arrived in
      1855. Agent Vaughn supervises first Blackfoot "farm," with limited
      success. 1861 Long-time alliance between Blackfeet and Gros Ventures ends when an enemy
      group steals horses from Gros Ventures and leaves some at Piegan camp,
      leading Gros Ventures to believe the Piegans stole them. 1862 Montana Gold Rush brings illegal miners to foothills of Rockies, well
      within hunting grounds reserved for Blackfeet by 1855 Treaty. Small,
      bloody encounters become frequent. 1863 Blackfeet see neither Agent nor annuities promised by 1855 Treaty. New
      Agent arrives at very end of year, describes Blackfeet as "degraded
      savages." Things get worse and liquor flows more freely. 1864 Scarlet Fever kills an estimated 1,000 Blackfeet. 1865 U.S. Government persuades a small group of leaders from Blackfoot
      Confederacy to sign a later unratified Treaty reducing official Blackfoot
      country by well over 2,000 square miles, in return for about one million
      dollars. Blackfeet and whites murder each other, even within Fort Benton.
      Governor of Montana fears war is imminent and helps plan military action
      against the Blackfeet, who avoid conflict by moving North into Canada. 1866 American whiskey traders driven out of Montana into lawlwss Alberta area,
      where they build Fort Stand Off and other liquor posts, increasing
      problems. North Piegan war party burns down Blackfoot agency farm on Sun
      River. Nearby Jesuit mission is abandoned. Head Chief Little Dog, and
      son, murdered by drunken Piegans near Fort Benton for being too friendly
      with whites. Economy: 1 buffalo robe = 2 tin cups whiskey
      1 fast horse = 4 gallons of whiskey 1867 Fort Shaw on Sun River becomes first U.S. Army post in Blackfoot country,
      near new Blackfoot agency. 1869 Smallpox epidemic kills 2,000 Blackfeet. Popular Montana rancher Matcolm
      Clarke is killed by relatives of his Blackfoot wife, leading to cries for
      revenge. 1870 Major Baker leads large cavalry force from Fort Shaw to arrest killers of
      Clarke. In the depths of winter they attack the wrong Piegan camp and
      kill 173 people, mostly women and children. This only armed conflict
      between Blackfeet and U.S. troops becomes known as the "Baker Massacre."
      The last large intertribal battle takes place near Lethbridge, Alberta,
      when Cree and Assiniboin forces attack a Blood camp on the Belly River,
      not realizing that angry and well-armed Piegan "reugees" from the Montana
      troubles are camped nearby. Attackers lose between 200 and 300 men. 1871 U.S. Congress declares end of treaty-making with Indian tribes and
      nations. Ranchers begin raising cattle along the Sun River, claiming the
      Blackfeet have too much land. 1873 U.S. Government arbitrarily moves southern boundary of Blackfoot country
      north by 200 miles, thowing open a huge piece of territory for
      settlement. Blackfeet are neither consulted nor paid. 1874 Mounted Police detachment brings law and order to Canadian Blackfoot
      country and builds Fort Macleod. Northern buffalo herd estimated at four
      million head, roaming Blackfoot country and centering around Sweet Grass
      Hills. 1876 New Blackfoot agency built on Badger Creek, within new reduced
      reservation in Montana. Blackfeet reject tobacco sent by Souix, asking
      them to join in battle against whites, after Custer's defeat. I.G.Baker of
      Fort Benton ships 75,000 buffalo robes to the East. Ranchers and settlers
      begin to arrive in Canadian Blackfoot territory. 1877 Treaty Seven is signed at Blackfoot Crossing in Canada. Siksika, Bloods
      and North Piegans separate from South Piegans and the U.S.Government,
      although members from all divisions continue to go back and forth across
      the border for some years, to collect treaty goods and payments. 1879 Buffalo virtually disappear from Canadian prairies, forcing government to
      issue beef rations to Canadian Blackfeet for first time. South Piegans
      make last great buffalo hunt in Judith Basin country of Montana. 1881 Mange epidemic said to have killed about half of Piegan horses, making
      younger warriors eager to raid enemy camps, in spite of peace treaties
      signed by older chiefs. Winter buffalo hunt in Montana not very
      successful. 1882 Large buffalo herd discovered on reservation, south of Sweet Grass Hills.
      Blackfeet make final tribal hunt. Each year more Indians depend on
      government agency for food as buffalo disappear. 1883 Only a few buffalo killed. About 3,000 Indians living by agency when
      rations start to run out in late winter. Government red tape holds up
      additional food; people start starving. Agency gardens a complete failure 1884 Last wild buffalo killed by Blackfeet; four lone animals near Sweet Grass
      Hills. "Starvation Winter" kills several hundred South Piegans
      (one-fourth to one-sixth of tribe) before sufficient rations arrive. About
      2,000 surviving South Piegans settle within 15 miles of their agency. 1889 Last Blackfoot war party to take enemy scalps - combined group of Bloods
      and Piegans. So-called "old days" are now over.

      Ref: Clan Munro files - Munro, Henry Dallas - GEDCOM file HMUNRO.GED dated 9

  • Sources 
    1. [S416] Clan Munro Database, Clan Munro Association, USA.

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