Today in AFJ History

October 12, 2013  

1870: Negotiations in Indian country

Chief Red Cloud (seated, second from left), Young Man Afraid Of His Horse (standing, second from left), and other Native Americans in a photo dated between 1860 and 1880.

From the archive: October 1870

Editor’s note: These talks, held at Fort Laramie in the first week of October 1870, followed the 1868 treaty that ended the two-year Red Cloud’s War.

Secretary Cox [Interior Secretary Jacob Cox] has received the following dispatch from Special Indian Commissioners Brunot and Campbell: “Red Cloud and Man-Afraid-Of-His-Horse, of the Ogallallas; Roman Nose, of the Minnecujons; and a medicine man of the Northern Cheyennes, with other principal chiefs and about 7,000 Indians, are here. We have had three days’ talk with them. They insisted upon having a trading post on the Platte [River], but will agreed to have it located at Rawhide Buttes, and to protect it. We are satisfied that they all desire a permanent peace, and that the influence of Red Cloud and of all the chiefs will be used effectually to maintain it…”

From a PBS series on the American West: “The peace, of course, did not last. Custer’s 1874 Black Hills expedition again brought war to the northern Plains, a war that would mean the end of independent Indian nations. For reasons which are not entirely clear, Red Cloud did not join Crazy Horse, Sitting Bull and other war leaders in the Lakota War of 1876-77. However, after the military defeat of the Lakota nation, Red Cloud continued to fight for the needs and autonomy of his people, even if in less obvious or dramatic ways than waging war.”