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Red Cloud

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Red Cloud summary: Red Cloud was a Lakota Indian chief. He was born near the Platte River forks in 1822. He lived in Nebraska, and his early years were spent observing his tribe fight against neighboring tribes of Crow and Pawnee. In 1841, he killed a rival of his uncle, the chief who had raised him. This divided the tribe to a degree, but forged Red Cloud’s reputation as a warrior. Red Cloud’s territory included a large expanse of land, some of which contained gold. This brought miners and military men who began to set up forts and the Lakota resented the intrusion on their land. Red Cloud, not wanting to see a repeat of the pushing out of the Lakota from their own land that occurred in 1862 and 1863, planned an attack on the forts.

Their efforts were so successful that the government made the Fort Laramie Treaty in 1868, which gave the Lakota the Black Hills and other land in South Dakota, and the majority of both Wyoming and Montana. By 1874, however, the treaty was broken. War resumed, but a series of attempts at peace making occurred as well, both on the part of Red Cloud and the American government. Rather than fighting the army, as neighboring chiefs were doing, Red Cloud fought to preserve the rights of chiefs. He was integral to Red Cloud’s War which was a name that the US Army gave to a series of conflicts between their forces and Native Americans. He died in 1909.

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