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Cover Story
War and Peace Section

Peace on Paper, War on the Plains
By Robert M. Utley
Although many well-intentioned people strived for a fair and humane Indian policy, treaties, reservations and attempts at assimilation did not end native resentment or the bloodshed out West.

Mapping the Indian Frontier

Best of the Indian Fighters
By Charles M. Robinson III
When Indians broke treaties, intentionally or otherwise, soldiers took to the field to subdue the “hostiles.” But only some of the commanding officers were equal to the task and, even then, not every time.

Crook at the Infernal Caverns
By Gregory Michno
George Crook is considered one of the West’s best generals, but in September 1867, he had his hands full as Paiute and Pit River Indians defied him from their rock fortress. Upon hearing the Indians’ diabolical yells, Crook reportedly said, “I never wanted dynamite so bad.”

Bidwell: Forgotten Founder of Tombstone?
By Robert F. Palmquist
Thomas J. Bidwell was dead, but his heirs claimed he had been a partner of mining entrepreneur Richard Gird, and now they wanted a share of the Tombstone, Arizona Territory, silver bonanza uncovered by Gird (pictured here) and the Schieffelin brothers, Ed and Albert.

Latter-day Scoundrel Sam Brannan
By Will Bagley
Mormon Sam Brannan found ways to make loads of money in gold-rich California, but when Brigham Young demanded a portion of the wealth for good old Salt Lake City, the onetime church elder defied the prophet by rejecting the church and keeping the gold.

Editor’s Letter


News about an Elfego Baca statue and about the man who supposedly wounded stagecoach robber Black Bart. Plus acclaimed author Robert Utley’s Top 10 achievers of the Wild West.

By Johnny D. Boggs

Michael F. Blake has a few things to say about the October 1881 street fight near the O.K. Corral and even more to say about the way Hollywood has portrayed that riveting event.

C.S. Fly is well known for capturing “wild” Apaches with his camera, but here he has taken a tamer portrait of a Tombstone woman dressed for a ball.

Gunfighters and Lawmen
By Larry Wood

Hobbs Kerry was not so much naive as reckless, but in any case, his ride with the most famous of long riders, the James-Younger Gang, was a short one.

Pioneers and Settlers
By John Koster

The Marquis de Morés came into the Badlands from France in 1883 with a chip on his shoulder. He intended to turn the western Dakotas into a cattle kingdom, but the results were pas trés bon.


Indian Life
By J. Jay Myers

The Hopi Snake Dance is not just another rain dance; Hopis have traditionally viewed snakes as messengers to the spirits of the earth, from which all living creatures originated.

Western Enterprise
By Richard Selcer

With so many thirsty clients waiting to be served, it’s no wonder the saloon business was a golden parachute for so many Westerners.

Ghost Towns
Chloride, New Mexico Territory, was a Black Range silver mining town that prospered even though its founder was killed by Apaches.

Art of the West
By Johnny D. Boggs

Minnesota artist Arnie Lillo employs sheet metal to tell the thrilling story of the James-Younger Gang’s disastrous raid at Northfield.

Must-read books and must-see movies about the so-called Indian problem of the 19th century. Plus reviews of recent nonfiction books and the DVD documentary Our Spirits Don’t Speak English: Indian Boarding School.

History of the Indian Tribes of North America is a fine, classically illustrated set of books.



Hostility between whites and Indians shifted west of the Mississippi River in the 1850s, and the U.S. government hoped to settle the so-called Indian problem with something besides guns. Treaties, reservations and attempts at assimilation became the order of the day, but warfare on the Plains continued through the 1870s, and the last major battle was at Wounded Knee in 1890. Was this cultural clash inevitable or was there a better Indian policy the United States could have adopted? Share your opinions in our forums.

Great Indian Leaders

A Lot of Gall: Award-winning author Robert W. Larson tells the tale of a Lakota chief to remember.
Some Satanta: The Kiowa chief was considered a rustic philosopher and an orator by Easterners, but in Texas he was viewed as a murderer.
And Three More: What do Tecumseh, Red Cloud and Sitting Bull have in common? Well, for one thing, they are all featured in this article.
Plus more on the life and works of artist Arnie Lillo

“I read everything about Indians in the magazine and at the Web site” —Anonymous

On the cover: The Oglala Sioux He Dog (1840–1936) fought at the Battle of the Little Bighorn and elsewhere during the Great Sioux War of 1876–77. He surrendered with Crazy Horse in May 1877, and after Crazy Horse’s death that September, he visited with President Rutherford B. Hayes in Washington, D.C. But he later fled to Canada to join Sitting Bull in exile. He Dog surrendered for good in 1880 and spent most of the rest of his life on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota. (Library of Congress)