Carlisle Indian Industrial School


CHAUNCEY  YELLOW  ROBE

  • Rosebud Sioux
  • Indian Name (translated): "Kills in Timber"
  • Arrived Carlisle Indian School November 14, 1883
  • Age at Arrival: 16 years
  • Previous Schooling: None
  • Graduated, class of 1895*
  • *NARA database of Genevieve Bell

     Chauncey Yellowrobe has been to Washington on a short visit, where he interpreted at the examination made in the Indian office of the Indians travelling with Buffalo Bill.  Acting Commissioner Belt says of Chauncey: �We thank you for sending so capable an interpreter as Yellow Robe was found to be.�

    INDIAN HELPER, November 21, 1890

    THE INDIAN BOYS AS ATHLETES.

    .
    At a contest of indoor sports held in the gymnasium last Thursday, Chauncey Yellow Robe won the 100 yd race making the distance in 13 1/4 seconds. In the first heat Louis Caswell made the best time (12 3/4 seconds) but could not keep his speed in the final heat. In the standing high jump Eustace Esapoyhet was the winner, clearing the stick at 4ft. 2in. Levi St. Cyr was the next best clearing at 4ft.l in..........
    INDIAN HELPER, March 27, 1891

    The Women�s Indian Association of Lancaster, hold a meeting tonight which Capt. Pratt, Mrs. Campbell, Dennison Wheelock, Linnie Thompson and Chauncey Y. Robe expect to attend.

    INDIAN HELPER, November 6, 1891

    The members of the Standard Debating Society have elected the following offices for the ensuing term: President, Samuel Townsend; 1st. Vice President, Charles Dagenett; 2nd Vice President, Arthur Johnson; Recording Secretary, Albert Bishop; Assistant Secretary Chauncey Y. Robe; Corresponding Secretary, Fred B. Horse;  Treasurer, George Ladeaux; Reporter, Richard Davis; Marshal, Staily Norcross.

    INDIAN HELPER, December 4, 1891

    The startling word has come that we were a little premature in printing the obituary notice af our young friend Richard Yellow Robe of Rosebud, S. D. He is not dead. Clarence White Thunder who brought the news direct from Rosebud declares that Richard�s own father told him so, which is about as straight as news can possibly come. His many friends rejoice to hear that he is getting better, and no one could have been more glad than his devoted brother Chauncey.

    INDIAN HELPER, October 21, 1892

    Chauncey Yellow Robe says the hot weather causes no lack of visitors at the World�s Fair.
    They come whether the weather be good or bad, hot or cold.

    INDIAN HELPER, July 21, 1893

    (Continued from the First Page.)

    ........plan was the best and cheapest and I took the road. I got off a half hour before and landed in good time at the homelike abode of Miss Folsom and her boys, three in number, who are helping her to take pare of the Hampton exhibit, and Chauncey Yellow Robe, who takes care of the Carlisle Exhibit.  She very kindly allowed me to enter as one of the family, and we, the original American, the African and Caucasian, sat down as brothers and eat from the same board, a happy and most contented family. Our first impression of the Fair? Why, on entering the grounds, the blazing whiteness and the inspiring grandeur of the
    scene is overpowering. One feels at first as though she was in dreamland, traversing among palaces and temples pictured in fairy tales, or those lands of magnificent architecture, described in ancient Roman, Grecian and Egyptian history. The first impression to every one must be that of the magnitude of the fair, .............

    INDIAN HELPER, August 4, 1893

    It is to all of us as Chauncey said the other day, �When I first came, I. walked hastily through the buildings and saw how big and beautiful they were but there was so much I could not understand, it made me tired to look, and I did not see much. But now,� he says, "I�m beginning to see and learn and understand.�

    INDIAN HELPER, August 11, 1893

    Chauncey Yellowrobe is occasionally heard from, in his work at the Genoa, Nebraska, School. He says he is teaching the boys ruilit:rry trlcatic:N anti et~joya llis 4Iii~ie3.  feelu Letter lli~n I1r ever�tiltl iiJ IJis lil�ch. iit?

    INDIAN HELPER, December 13, 1895

    Chauncey Yellowrobe, class �95, has been transferred as disciplinarian from the Genoa, Nebraska, Indian School, to Ft. Shaw, Montana

    INDIAN HELPER, September 11, 1896

    Chauncey Yellowrobe, class 95, likes his new place very well at Ft. Shaw, Montana. He enjoys the cimate there, and his work. They have already had snow. He speaks glowingly of the scenery around the school and of the beautiful sunsets, yes, and of the sunrise as well. He is enjoying good health. Having sold his wheel �I have no machine to carry me but by shoes,� he says.

    INDIAN HELPER, Oct 16, 1896

    A recent letter from Chauncey Yellowrobe, class �95, shows that he is greatly interested in his work at Ft. Shaw, Montana. He has 15 boys divided into three companies aud is teaching some forms of military tactics. He realizes that it is cold there with mercury down to 23 below zero, and is afraid he will have to live with an overcoat on his back. Benjamin Caswell, class �92, who is teaching at Belknap, is expecting to pay Chauncey a Christmas visit.

    INDIAN HELPER, Dec 11, 1896

     On Friday morning, July 23rd, at Ogden, Utah, Miss Burgess saw Edwin Schanandore, '89, Levi Levering, '90, and Chauncey Yellowrobe, '95. Miss Ericson and Mr. and Mrs. Campbell were also there, all in attendance upon the Indian Teachers' Institute.  An enjoyable Carlisle re-union during the half-hour's wait of the Overland Limited might have been arranged had the dates of the Association been remembered.   The young men used well the time in asking questions about Carlisle and their friends here.  In the report of Thursday's proceedings of the Convention, given by the Ogden Daily "Tribune" mention was made of Levi Levering and Edwin Schanandore entering with spirit into the discussion of the question: "Indian employees in the Indian Schools."  Through private correspondence we learn that Mr. Schanandore made quite a hit in favor of the Indian.  In the same paper favorable mention was made of a paper presented by Miss Ericson on "Sloyd."

    INDIAN HELPER, August 6, 1897

       Chauncey Yellowrobe, class '95, has come back to us, not, as he says, to go to school, but to work.  Since he left Carlisle he has occupied responsible positions as industrial teacher and disciplinarian at Sisseton, S. Dak., at Genoa, Nebr., and at Fort Shaw, Montana, having been promoted each transfer.  He comes to us from Ft. Shaw to act as Assistant Disciplinarian.  Mr. Yellowrobe feels at home here, and has gone to work with sleeves up, so to speak.  We are glad to have him with us again.
     

    INDIAN HELPER, October 29, 1897


       Assistant Disciplinarian Yellowrobe has taken a flying trip to Bucks County on school business.
     
    INDIAN HELPER, January 21, 1898

    Assistant Disciplinarian Chauncey Yellowrobe has gone out to visit boys in country homes.

    INDIAN HELPER, January 28, 1898


      We hear very little direct from Mr. Yellowrobe, who is at present visiting the boys in country homes, other than an occasional report, but the following extract from a letter will serve to show the impression he is making among our patrons:   "Mr. Yellowrobe, your inspector, called a short time ago, and I found him most entertaining.  You certainly did more to show your patrons and American citizens generally the possibilities in the Indian, by sending him out, than you could possibly have done in any other way.  Always before, I had believed that the saying about the Indian returning to his blanket was quite true, but now I know, that instead, he can become an educated gentleman without even the suggestion of "blanket!" I was very glad of the opportunity his call afforded me.  MKB, Yardley, Pa."
    INDIAN HELPER, Feb 11, 1898

       Assistant-Disciplinarian Chauncey Yellowrobe has returned from his country trip among our boys.  He visited the homes and schools of all, and his report in the main has been gratifying.

    INDIAN HELPER, February 25, 1898

       If you want to know who is the best runner in the school, ask Mr. Yellowrobe.

    INDIAN HELPER, March 8, 1898

    Assistant-Disciplinarian Mr. Chauncey Yellowrobe, if off on his annual leave.  At present he is rusticating in the mountains of Pennsylvnaia, but rather expects to strike west ere long.

    INDIAN HELPER, July 8, 1898

        Mr. Joseph Blackbear who has charge of the large boys' quarters in the absence of Disciplinarian Mr. Thompson and Assistant Disciplinarian Mr. Yellowrobe, says the rush of getting the home pupils off is over, Cornelius Jordan being the last to go.  The system of sending pupils home in small parties is much more satisfactory all around, than to have large parties go all at one time.  About fifty in all have gone home since the close of school.

    INDIAN HELPER, July 15, 1898

      Chauncey Yellowrobe is again on duty after a vacation and rest at the shore.

    INDIAN HELPER, August 5, 1898

      Chauncey Yellowrobe, a graduate of the Indian School, who has been acting efficiently as assistant disciplinarian here for some time past, has secured a position as disciplinarian of the Indian School at Fort Lewis, Colorado, and leaves tonight for his new field of labor.  He is a Sioux and a very fine example of the educated American Indian. -[The Daily Herald, Aug. 24.
      Mr. Yellowrobe left yesterday morning, and carries with him the best wishes of a host of friends, all of whom can but respect and admire the indomitable pluck and perseverance which have ever dominated him from a youth when from the Indian camp he entered Carlisle, unable to speak English and was dressed in Indian attire, up to his present status of dignity, manliness and true business ability and power.  Mr. Yellowrobe's Sioux tongue will not bend easily to some of our English twists and turns, but this is no drawback to him and is something which he will yet conquer by the same determined effort he has made to reach the point in language already attained.

    INDIAN HELPER, August 26, 1898

    WHO IS MR. ROBE?
     -----------

      Mr. Robe is delighted over the chainless safety received on Christmas. -[Fort Lewis Outlook.   Naturally we wonder if this is our Mr. Yellowrobe, class '95, who went sometime since to Ft. Lewis.  There are various Robes among the Indians, such as Bearrobe, Buffalorobe, etc., and it seems important to the Man-on-the-band-stand for a man to retain his family or surname if he does not wish to lose his identity and lineal descent.  If Mr. Wheelock should begin to sign his name Mr. D.W. Lock, he would soon lose his identity.  If the Mr. Robe is our Mr. Yellowrobe we congratulate him and hope that he will hereafter allow no question about his name, but write the surname in full.
    INDIAN HELPER, January 27, 1899

      Chauncey Yellowrobe directs a change of address from Ft. Lewis Colorado, to Rosebud Agency, South Dakota.
     

    INDIAN HELPER, May 5, 1899


       In a business letter asking change of address we see that Mr. Chauncey Yellowrobe, '95, of Carlisle, has been transferred to Ft. Shaw, Montana.  It will be remembered that Mr. Yellowrobe was Disciplinarian at the Ft. Shaw Government school several years ago.
    INDIAN HELPER, September 8, 1899

      HOW THE NEWS OF DR. WILE'S DEATH WAS RECEIVED BY EX-STUDENTS AND GRADUATES AWAY FROM US.

    --------
      Chauncey Yellowrobe, '95, now at Ft. Shaw, Montana, as an employee says:
      "I am indeed greatly grieved at the loss of your school chaplain.  I can hardly believe Dr. Wile is dead.  The light of Dr. Wile's life will always shine in the hearts of many of Carlisle's students."
    INDIAN HELPER, November 17, 1899

     FT. SHAW TO THE FRONT.
     -------

      We see by the Great Falls Tribue, Montana, that a fine performance was given recently at the Grand Opera House, by the pupils of the Ft. Shaw Government School for the benefit of the soldiers' monument fund.  It is said that there had never before been a more thoroughly pleased audience in the Opera House, and that the work of the students reflected great credit upon the school and its management.  Chauncey Yellowrobe, a graduate of our school, ('95) appears to have made a hit.  His remarks were earnest and forcibly delivered, says the Tribune, and the whole audience frequently applauded his expressions.  He made a plea for non-reservation schools for the Indians.  He eloquently urged that the Indians are anxious for communication with the whites and for citizenship, and modestly cited himself as an instance of what the non-reservation schools may accomplish.  "Five years ago I left Carlisle," he said, "and I am still on the warpath toward civilization."  The audience heartily approved his suggestions, having abundant evidence of what one non-reservation school had done.
    INDIAN HELPER, July 6, 1899


     
     

    CHAUNCEY YELLOWROBE.
    ----------------

    We see by The June Statement, issued by the Mutual Life Insurance Company that Chauncey Yellowrobe who graduated from Carlisle in 1895, is a policy holder, and his photographs  as he arrived at Carlisle with the contrast picture taken after his graduation are given conspicuous place first page.  He tells the story of his life in an interesting manner, how up to the age of fifteen he had been educated in all pursuits of his people. their methods of warfare, how to make and use the bow and arrow, to ride bareback on a pony at full speed, foot-racing, wrestling and the traditions and legends of the tribe, when he came to Carlisle with Colonel Pratt. The first few month's trials here in a new land among strangers, and not being able to speak in English, is vividly told. Chancey�s father is a noble type of American Indian and his mother was a niece of  Sitting Bull who defeated Genera1 Custer and his entire command on the Little Big Horn.

    RED MAN AND HELPER, July 12, 1901


    An excellent letter from Cbauncey Yellowrobe, �95, now at Rosebud, South Dakota, shows up tbe Indian situation in no  uncertain terms. He is fearful that the Indians are to be exterminated through whiskey. The way the law protects the Indian on the reservation border is something like this: If an Indian goes off the reservation and buys whiskey from a white man and then
    sells it to his tribal brother he is breaking the United States law but not so with the white man who sold it to the Indian. Whiskey is one of the greatest evils on the reservation today, our correspondent thinks.
    RED MAN AND HELPER, December 25, 1903


    "
    "

    Chauncey Yellowrobe when he entered Carlisle and when he graduated in 1894
    _____________________________
    Announcements have been received of the marriage of Mr. Yellowrobe on May twenty-second at Rapid City, South Dakota to Miss Lillie B. Sprenger, of Tacoma Washington.
    _____________________________
    Mr. Yellowrobe has filled several positions of trust in the Indian Service and is held in the highest esteem by all who know him.  His many Carlisle friends extend their heartiest congratulations to the newly married couple."

    JUNE 15, 1906 CARLISLE ARROW


    Chauncey Yellow Robe, who graduated in 1895, has been doing well since he left the school, and is at present instructor in farming at the Rapid City school.

    INDIAN CRAFTSMAN, October 1909


     

    Chauncey Y. Robe writes from Rapid City, S. Dak., that he is still employed at the Rapid City Indian School as disciplinarian.
     

    CARLISLE ARROW, May 15, 1914

           Received from Marjorie Weinberg,  from The Rapid City Daily Journal, dated Tuesday, February, February 5, 1924.

    Indian School Quint To Play Flandreau

                    Chauncey Yellow Robe's Indian basketeers are to meet the pride of the Flandreau Indian School, Wednesday night, at the local school's gymnasium.  The game will begin at eight o'clock.
                    Flandreau's strength is not known although the school generally commands respect of all oppenents on the gridiron in the football season.
                    The local Indians have had a couple of games, trouncing Pine Ridge as well as the Deadwood high school team.  It is one of the best teams the school has ever had and a contest from the first whistle is certain for Wednesday night.


    CARLISLE INDIAN TO RUN FOR CONGRESS
            -----------------
    Chauncey Yellow Robe, Dakota, Mentioned
            ------------------
    An exchange says:
      One of the possibilities of the next campaign in South Dakota is that of a full blooded Sioux Indian, getting into the race for congress from the third congressional district, according to a recent dispatch from Pierre, S.D., as published in various newspapers in the East.
      The Indian in question is Chauncey Yellow Robe, a nephew of old Sitting Bull, the noted Indian fighter in the Northwest of half a century ago, and has been urged as the Democratic candidate to oppose William Williamson in the next campaign.  He has an education and presided at the ceremony by which President Coolidge was made a member of the Sioux tribe at Deadwood last August.
    Carlisle Indian
      Yellow Robe is one of the Indians brought here by General Pratt in the early days of the Carlisle Indian School and he was one of the first to graduate.  His picture was frequently used in Indian School publications to depict the difference between his appearance when he arrived in Indian costure, and after he was educated.  He was a bright young man and popular with town folks, as well as at the school.
            -The Evening Sentinel, Monday, December 12, 1927

    NY TIMES, TUESDAY, APRIL 8, 1930
       -----------------
    CHIEF YELLOW ROBE, SIOUX EDUCATOR, DIES;
    DEVOTED MOST OF HIS 63 YEARS TO HIS PEOPLE.
    -----------

      Chief Chauncey Kills in the Bush Yellow Robe, a full-blooded Sioux Indian who spent his mature life in substituting education for the tomahawk of his forefathers and was a tribal brother of former President Coolidge, is dead.
      Chief Yellow Robe, as he was more commonly known, died of pneumonia on Sunday night in the Rockefeller Institute Hospital, York Avenue and Sixty-eighth Street, ending a picturesque and notable career.  He was born on the Rosebud Indian Reservation 63 years ago.
      The chief was widely known as one of the best educated full-blooded Indians in the United States.  For thiry-two years he had been actively engaged in Indian service work for the Federal Government.  He had planned to run for Congress next Fall in response to the urging of friends in South Dakota, according to his friend, Princess Atalie, Cherokee soprano, of 216 West Fifty-eighth Street.
      Chief Yellow Robe was born before the days of the Custer Massacre, 1876, in which two of his maternal uncles participated and which they later described to him.  When he was about 12 years old, his father sent him to the Carlisle Indian school at Carlisle, Pa., where he entered one of the first classes.  After his graduation, he took up his life work, that of furthering the interests of his people.
      He taught in the Indian Service schools in South Dakota and in several other States.  In 1924 he presided at the ceremonies in which President Coolidge was adopted as a member of the tribe with the title of Chief White Eagle.
      Before coming to New York to spend this Winter, Chief Yellow Robe went to Northern Alaska in an expedition of the American Museum of Natural History for the filmiing of a motion picture depicting the life of the Indian before the advent of the white man on this continent.  This film, which is to be released shortly, according to Princess Atalie, was taken with an all Indian cast, Chief Yellow Robe playing the leading role as well as helping in the technical direction.
      This Winter he lectured in New York on behalf of his work for his people.   He became ill of pneumonia a week ago.  Funeral arrangments have not been completed, pending word from the Masonic Lodge in South Dakota of which he was a member.
      Chief Yellow Robe married a white woman, who predeceased him.  He leaves three daughters, Rosebud, the wife of A.E. Seymour, a New York theatrical manager; Chauncine, 16 years old, who is employed in the R.H. Macy store, and Evelyn, 8 years old.


    CORRECTIONS TO OBITUARY RECEIVED BY YELLOW ROBE FAMILY BIOGRAPHER, M. WEINBERG:

           There are many errors in the obit.  I've corrected the following:
            Kills-in the Wood, or Timber------not Kills in the Bush
            Chauncey may have been much older that 63 at the time of his death.
            He said he was 15 years old when he arrived at Carlise.  His birthdate has varied by as much as 7 years.
            It was in August of 1927, that he presided at the Coolidge ceremony, recognizing Coolidge's administration for finally making  American Indians citizens in 1924.
           Chauncina, not Chauncine.
                                                                        from email received April, 2000.