Female 1796-1798 - Abt 1880

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  • Name  Sinopah KIT FOX WOMAN 
    Born  1796-1798  Dakota Territory Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Gender  Female 
    Died  Abt 1880  , , , Canada Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Person ID  I30859  Munro
    Last Modified  20 Oct 2009 

    Family  Hugh MUNRO, Jr.,   b. 25 Aug 1799, L'assumption, Montcalm Co., Quebec, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 1896, Browning, Glacier Co., MT Blackfoot, Indian Res Find all individuals with events at this location 
    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
    >2. Felix MUNRO,   b. Abt 1828,   d. Bef 1908
    >3. 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
    >4. Amelia MUNRO,   b. Abt 1830-1840,   d. Aft 1920
    >5. Margaret MUNRO,   b. Abt 1842,   d. Bef 1908
    >6. Francis MUNRO,   b. Abt 1846, Dakota Territory, USA Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Abt 1922
     7. MUNRO,   b. Abt 1848,   d. Yes, date unknown
    Last Modified  20 Jan 2009 
    Family ID  F10648  Group Sheet

  • Notes 

      BIO:George Bird Grinnell in one of his books about the Indians - PAWNEE, BLACKFOOT AND CHEYENNE (Scribner's, NY, 1913) documents Indian accounts of the coming of the white men and the acquisition of horses by the Blackfeet.

      TBL:"..I presume that their first horses may have come into the hands of the Blackfeet in about 1804-6 or in the very earliest years of the present century (1800). This would agree fairly well with the statement of Mr. Hugh Munroe, who says that in 1813, when he first came among this people, they has possessed horses for a short time only, and had recently begun to make war excursions to the south on a large scale for the purpose of securing more horses from their enemies. Hugh Munroe's wife, who was born about 1796-98, used to say when she was a small girl the Piegans had no horses, dogs being their only beasts of burden.."

      BIO:Sinopah, the daughter of Pikuni Chief Lone Walker by one of his nine wives, was only about seventeen years old when Hugh began his travels with the Small Robes band. As a constant companion of her brother, Red Crow, Hugh would be in intimate contact with Sinopah for several years before their marriage by "Indian Custom" in about 1820. Although women may have married young, it was the custom among the Pikuni in these early years that the young men had to achieve a certain maturity in life experience as well as age before they married. At twenty-one years of age, Hugh was marrying at an early age - perhaps allowances were made for his unique status in Lone Walker's family. In a culture where most young women were the victims of "arranged marriages," one wonders if perhaps this marriage was an exception? Perhaps Hugh was repeating the action of his father in becoming enamored of a young woman he could not forget ! The union of Rising Wolf and Sinopah seemed to be one of genuine love and affection and lasted well over fifty years. Together they raised a happy, close-knit family - surely a reflection of their own love for each other.

      BIO:In the sketchy records that survive among the Blackfoot accounts, seven children are documented for Sinopah and Hugh. It is most likely that there were also other children born besides those documented as there are long periods between some of the birth dates. Many infants and children were lost among the Blackfoot families during the years of harsh winters and disease epidemics.

      BIO:Sinopah and Hugh spent many years of their life trapping above the 49th Parallel in Canada, although Hugh also later anchored his life around Fort Benton, the American Fur Company post on the Missouri River, in the present state of Montana. After the Civil War, when the area became over-run with traders, soldiers, miners and other "riff-raff" of impending civilization, Rising Wolf and Sinopah left Fort Benton to go north to the "Saskatchewan Country" to trap for beaver in the spring of 1873. (See William Jackson account) Their grandson stated that he never saw his grandmother again - she died before Hugh returned to the Blackfoot reservation in the late 1880's. No record has been found of her death.


      BIO:The Blackfoot were a confederacy of three tribes with an Alongquian background also known as the Siksika: the Blackfoot proper, the Blood or "Kainah" and the Piegan, or Pikuni, meaning "Small Robes," located along the foothills of the Rocky Mountains, south of the Marias River.

      BIO:Each of the three tribes was divided into autonomous bands, with the Piegan having at least 23. In the winter the bands lived separately, usually in sheltered river valleys. In summer the bands would gather by tribe to hunt buffalo and celebrate the Sun Dance. Each band was led by a head man; the head men together formed the tribal council, and selected the tribal chief. The Blackfoot were famous horsemen, hunters and warriors who were greatly feared by their enemies.

      BIO:The Blackfoot religion was very rich in both group ceremony and personal expression. Medicine bundles, consisting of a collections of sacred objects, were owned by individuals as well as bands and societies. Group ceremonies, such as the annual Sun Dance, were occasions for personal sacrifice and offerings.

      BIO:The buffalo skin tipi was the usual house style of the Blackfoot as well as other nomadic Plains Indians. The women constructed and put up the tipi. Other duties of the women included dressing hides, making clothing, gathering, cooking, storing food, carrying food and water, and all work connected with packing and moving camp. Women owned the tipis, travois, household implements and the horses they rode.

      BIO:The Blackfoot were primarily buffalo hunters, but supplemented their diet by gathering wild foods such as turnips, potatoes, onions, cherries, plumbs and berries. Meat and plant foods were usually dried and stored. Pemmican was made of dried, pounded meat mixed with dried berries or chokecherries and stored in skin bags. They also hunted or trapped deer, elk or antelope, but buffalo was the preferred game, providing them also with food, shelter, clothing, tools and utensils.

      BIO:Decorative art included quill work and beadwork, usually applied to clothing. Women wore a long one-piece skin dress belted at the waist. Men wore skin shirts, leggings and moccasins.

      Ref: Clan Munro files - Munro, Henry Dallas - GEDCOM file HMUNRO.GED dated 9
      Oct 1996

      The following account is extracted from "Montana Its Story and Biography" Vol. III; Tom Stout, editor; copyright 1921; p. 1438. Since this narrative says Sinopah was 92 years old, it must have been written about 1880-1890.

      The romance in the life of the aged lady, known to her tribe as the Fox woman, but to her white neighbors as Mrs. Mary Monroe, reads like a novel, but it is true, and the fact that she and her husband lived very happily together after consummating their love affair, is also authentic.

      Coming to the tribe of Blackfoot Indians a youth of eighteen years as a representative of the great Hudson Bay Company, Hugh Monroe, a Frenchman, was hampered in his dealings on account of his fear of them which grew out of his not understanding them or their methods of doing business.

      While trying to negotiate with them for the purchase of their furs, he happened to see the daughter of the chief, known to her people as the Fox woman, and a love which never died was kindled in his breast, but he was not permitted to speak with her, nor could he tell if he had made a favorable impression upon her, for the little Indian maiden modestly dropped her eyes and ran away.

      Rendered almost desperate through learning of the presence of another suitor who was a member of her tribe, Hugh Monroe sought some other means to recommend him to her father and in vain, until one day he saw the chief trying to light his pipe. Holding out his hand he motioned to the chief to let him have it, and the surrounding Indians thought that had sealed his fate, as the pipe was not for the hands of strangers.

      Probably, however, the chief knew more of this young man's character than he had hitherto admitted, for to the surprise of all, he gave it to young Monroe and stolidly watched him. This was long before the days of matches, and travelers like young Monroe carried what was called a sun glass with them. By directing the sun's rays on the glass he was able to light the pipe, and after taking a puff of it to see that it was properly lighted, he handed it back to the chief. The latter uttered a cry which made the young man feel that his last hour had come, but which was merely a summons for his warriors with whom he held a conference, all of them smoking the pipe young Monroe had lighted.

      As a result of this conference he was made a member of the tribe and the husband of the Indian princess. They were married according to Indian custom, the man raising his right hand in the presence of the chief and promising to remain with and care for the woman the rest of her life. He was furnished with a wigwam, richly supplied with furs, and the chief taking him to his band of horses told him to take what he wanted of them.

      The confidence displayed in him was never regretted. He took his wife's name of Fox among the Indians as was their custom, and lived with the tribe the remainder of his life, learning their language and wearing their dress. He and his wife had ten children.

      She survives him and is now ninety-two years old. Mrs. Monroe is cared for by her niece, Mrs. Maggie Fox, a daughter of Edward and Maggie (Monroe) Houseman. Mrs. Maggie Fox has two daughters and one son, namely: Edith D., Olive C., and Cecil. These children have been well educated and attended both the Government and public schools of Montana. The daughters have magnificent heads of hair reaching to their knees.

      Mrs. Fox's mother was a very handsome French half-breed, who was also noted for the luxuriance of her hair. When sitting in a chair she could throw her hair over the back of the chair and it would reach to the floor in great waves.

      Leonard Fox, husband of Mrs. Maggie Fox, was a veteran of the war between the North and South.

      The Fox residence is at Glacier Park, where the family is engaged in ranching. Their neighborly kindness has made them a large circle of friends. [1]

  • Sources 
    1. [S8] Clan Munro files - Redden, Virginia, Virginia Redden, Flathead County, Montana Biographies Forum - Mrs. Mary Monr oe (Reliability: 3).