Steele Collection MS 2008.

Letter from David Paterson to Sam Steele (20 November 1912)


November 20 1912

Dear Colonel Steele.

Regarding your query for the reason of Graburn’s murder, Weasel Moccasin told Jerry that Graburn had been monkeying with a young girl, a daughter of one of his women, but not one of Weasel Moccasins own. Star Child wanted this girl himself and it seems that they had a scrap over her and that Graburn struck Star Child in the face, this happened some time before the murder, and Star Child laid for Graburn to get what he thought was an opportunity. Jerry Potts and I were in the Blood Camp nearly every day during the Spring of 1881 looking for evidence & watching for Star Child to come from across the Line, and he used to tell me as nearly as he could in English what was said. The girl herself acknowledged there had been a fight.

I was not present at the whole of the proceedings in Camp, as after the first day, I was kept on the move between the fort and the Blood Reserve bringing in Indians who were wanted. I knew nearly the whole tribe then and could make myself understood fairly well, and Jerry was needed as Interpreter in the Post.

I always thought they let him go to prevent trouble, but of course after working on the case I might have thought the evidence was conclusive to the Judge and Jury as it was to my mind and had been prejuged [sic] etc.

Yours faithfully,

D. Paterson

Bruce Peel Special Collections


“Steele Collection MS 2008.,” Bruce Peel Special Collections Library Online Exhibits, accessed September 25, 2021,