The Cheyenne Tribe Being Expelled From Their Lands

716 words - 3 pages

In 1830s the U.S. congress began developing Indian policy with the main objective of removing all Native Indian Tribes out of any organized “state.” The plan was to allow the Indians to settle to the west in “Indian country” and never be disturbed again. However, the country’s population continued to grow, the Civil war had ended, freed slaves and those exhausted from war began to cry for new opportunities. The government found that if America was to flourish economically that they needed to encourage the settlement of the west. The west promised vast resources, in lumber, gold and farmland. As people began migrating west they began to encroach on Indian country. As the Indians were pushed from their land and the emigrants depleted their resources, many tribes began to rebel and resort to violence.
The Cheyenne is a Great Plains tribe that settled in Minnesota and then migrated to the Dakotas and then spread into Wyoming, Colorado and Montana. The Cheyenne people were once a sedentary people but converted to nomadic lifestyle on the plains. Like many Plains Indians their sustenance depending largely on buffalo hunting. When emigrants began moving into their territory and depleting their resources, killing over 4 million buffalo between 1872 and 1874. (Gillon p. 620) The tribe divided to the North and South in search of sustenance.
Continued American expansion on the Cheyenne land and competition for resources caused a series of violent battles between the Cheyenne and Americans. In 1864 a Colorado militia led by Colonel John Chivington surrounded a band of Cheyenne led by Black Kettle and slaughtered 98 women and children. (Gillon p.620) The Cheyenne began to retaliate against whites in a series of small attacks. Following these attacks Colonel Custer in 1868 at the battle of Washita River killed another 100 Cheyenne women and children. On June 25, 1876 Colonel Custer and the U.S. Army’s Seventh Cavalry was sent in to push the Sioux out of the Black Hills. (Gillon p.621) However, the northern Cheyenne had banded together with the Sioux and surrounded and slaughters Custer and his men. (Gillon p.621) This event the...

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