in the East who were in sympathy with the Indians. It met the fate of the Wah- Sha-he [sic] News, a later paper ordered off the reservation by Agent Freeman." 1
Editor of the Indian Herald was Dr. W. McKay Dougan, a physician born August 19, 1846, in Randolph County, North Carolina. He was educated at the University of Louisville and served in the Confederate Army. After serving as physician and editor at Pawhuska, he moved to Perry, Oklahoma Territory, where he practiced medicine.
Each number reminded readers that the journal was "devoted to Indian civilization," and its content certainly bore the policy out. Articles furnished statistics that purportedly showed "progress in civilization." These statistical data were broken down into categories such as acres under cultivation, families with horses, and numbers of men and women in "citizen's dress." Other stories reported on individual cases of "progress," which were measured in bushels of grain grown and numbers of livestock raised. From time to time, interviews with individual Indians appeared, most of which portrayed the Indians as most determined to take on the trappings of white society. Other stories written for Eastern consumption were those describing Osage customs.
In addition to reports of "progress" for the readers in the East, the Indian Herald also published local news items and carried local advertising. Obituaries were printed, as was news from other agencies, temperance articles, and news stories about illegal whiskey trafficking.
The newspaper covered legislation and policy making that concerned the Indian people and was not afraid to take issue with the government's policy or the agents of that policy. For example, a statement on the masthead on June 20, 1876, asserted that the subjection of the Indians to military control during a time of peace was contrary to the U.S. Constitution and paved the way for military control of the civilian population. Gibson, who had protected the Osages from unscrupulous traders, left the agency in 1876. The June 20 issue indicated that the relationship between the Herald and the new agent was not totally amicable:
"We desire to say to our readers, especially those who have some knowledge of the first year's life of this paper, that the present U.S. Agent has no connection with and assumes no control over the publication." At various times, the Herald spoke out against the vagaries of the reservation system and other policies that resulted in suffering among the Indian people.
The Indian Herald was published as late as January, 1877. How long it continued is uncertain.
Bibliography: Frederick Webb Hodge (ed.), Handbook of American Indians North of Mexico ( Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1910), 2:233