Gray Foot’s Treasure

by | Aug 7, 2017 | Treasure Stories | 0 comments

South Dakota Indian legends and other sources tell of a Santee Indian named Gray Foot, who told his sons in a deathbed confession that he had buried a flour sack partially filled with gold coins near Long Lake in what is now Marhsall County. He said he was a member of a band of Santees, who attacked an agency – possibly the one called the Lower Sioux or Redwood Agency, near the present site of Morton, Minnesota, during the Minnesota Massacre of 1862. During the raid, most of the soldiers stationed at the agency were killed.

After the massacre, the Santees discovered that a payroll had arrived just prior to the attack and that a table in one of the agency buildings was heaped with gold coins. Each Indian took a portion of the payroll, with Gray Foot recalling that he stuffed a flour sack nearly full, tied it to his horse and escaped westward.

Following the raid, the War Department issued a warning that any Santee with gold in his possession would thereby be considered guilty of murder. This, said Gray Foot, caused him to bury his share of the stone gold between two straight willows at the east end of Long Lake in August of 1862. The treasure has never been reported found.