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Notable Native Americans - Page 2

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Adoeette, aka: Big Tree (1845?-1929) - Known as Adoeette to his Kiowa tribe, he was known to the white man, as "Big Tree.” In consequence of George A. Custer's vigorous campaign on the Washita in the fall of 1868 the Kiowa and confederated tribes were forced to move to a reservation in southwest Oklahoma. However, by 1871, Big Tree, along with Chiefs Satanta and Setangya, and other Kiowa warriors were dissatisfied with the reservation system began to make a number of attacks on wagon trains in Texas.

 

In May, 1871, Big Tree accompanied a large party of warriors led by Satanta, and attacked a wagon train, killing 7 men and taking 41 mules. For their part in this attack, the three chiefs were arrested at Fort Sill, Oklahoma to stand trial in Texas.

Satank was killed while resisting a guard and Big Tree and Satanta were tried in Texas and sentenced to death; but Texas Governor Edmund Davis, overruled the court and the punishment was changed to life imprisonment. However, Kiowa Chief Lone Wolf negotiated for their early release and the pair were allowed to leave prison in October, 1873, conditional upon the good behavior of their people.

 

 

Adoeette, aka: Big Tree

Adoeette, aka: Big Tree (1845?-1929)

 

 

 

The following year, Satanta and his warriors were back on the warpath, attacking buffalo hunters and engaging in the what is known as the Second Battle of Adobe Walls which occurred on June 27, 1874. He was later captured and committed suicide in prison. Big Tree, with other chiefs believed to be secretly hostile, were confined as prisoners at Fort Sill, Oklahoma. After his release, he continued to live on an allotment from the reservation until his death in 1929.  Big tree was one of the models for the Indian Head Nickle.

 

American Horse (1800-1876) - See HERE.

 

Big Elk (1765-1846) - Known as Ongpatonga to the Omaha tribe, Big Elk earned a reputation as a warrior when he was still very young, primarily in skirmishes against the Pawnee. When Omaha Chief Washinggusaba (Black Bird), who was known as a tyrant, died in 1800, Big Elk, who had gained a reputation for fairness in making decisions, became the principal chief. Afterwards, the Euro-Americans began to pass through Omaha Territory. In 1821 and 1837, he traveled to Washington, D.C. to negotiate treaties and became known as a spellbinding orator. He continued to lead the Omaha Indians until died of fever in 1846. He was buried in Bellevue, Nebraska, at a site called Elk Hill, but to the Omahas, called Onpontonga Xiathon, meaning, "the Place Where Big Elk Is Buried."

 

Big Foot, aka: Sithanka, Spotted Elk (1826?-1890) - A Hunkpapa Sioux Chief, he was known as Sithanka or Spotted Elk to his people. He was the son of Chief Lone Horn and became chief of the Cheyenne River Reservation upon his father's death. A much respected warrior and a negotiator, he received the name of "Big Foot" from the white man, a derogatory name to him and his people. During the 1870s, he aligned himself with Sitting Bull and Crazy Horse, but saw no major action during the war of 1876-77. Following the Sioux War, he and his band were placed on the Cheyenne River Reservation, where he encouraged his people to adapt. However, short on rations and poor living conditions, he encouraged his people to join the "Ghost Dance" movement. Alarmed by this unknown religion, the government outlawed the practice, but it quickly spread through through a number of Indian camps including the Cheyenne River Reservation. After Sitting Bull was killed on the Standing rock Reservation in 1890, his followers fled to seek refuge with Chief Spotted Elk. In December, 1890, fearing reprisals against his band, Spotted Elk led some 300 men, women, and children from the reservation intending to join other Sioux bands in the Badlands. Having no intention of fighting and flying a white flag, the group was intercepted by troops on Wounded Knee Creek and surrendered. However, in an attempt to disarm the Indians a conflict occurred which resulted in the killing of almost the entire band by U.S. Troops. Big Foot, along with hundreds of others died on December 29, 1890 in what has become known as the Wounded Knee Massacre.

 

Big Mush (??-1839) - Though little is known of Chief Big Mush, or Gatun-wa-’li to his people, he was known to exercise authority in civil matters during the time that some Cherokee bands made their home in northeast Texas. Thought to have lived in the northwestern part of Rusk County, he was closely associated with Chief Bowles in 1827 and was one of the signers in the treaty made with General Sam Houston to assign the lands to the Cherokee; however the Texas Senate refused to ratify the treaty which soon led to the Cherokee War. Big Mush was killed in the Battle of the Neches, along with Chief Bowles on July 16, 1839

Black Elk (1863-1950) - Known as Hehaka Sapa to his people, Black Elk was a famous Lakota holy man. He participated in the Battle of the Little Bighorn when he was just 12 years-old. In 1886 Black Elk joined Buffalo Bill Cody’s Wild West Show and toured eastern cities and even Europe. In 1890, he was wounded in the massacre that occurred in Wounded Knee in 1890. Living on the reservation, he was baptized as a Catholic and took the name Nicholas Black Elk. Serve as a spiritual leader among his people, he saw no contradiction in what he found valid in both his tribal traditions and those of Christianity. He then began to travel helping to convert Arapaho, Winnebago, Omaha and others to Christianity. In later years he combined his missionary work with showmanship at various tourist attractions in  South Dakota, using his reputation as a Lakota holy man to draw visitors. He died in August, 1950.

Chief Bowles - Known to the Cherokee as Diwal'li, Bowles was born in North Carolina around 1756. He was the son of a Scottish father and a Cherokee mother. In 1810, his band moved to better hunting grounds near New Madrid, Missouri and then two years later to northwestern Arkansas. In 1819, they relocated to what they hoped would be their permanent home in northeastern Texas. There, he became the "peace chief" of a council that united several Cherokee villages. The Cherokee were welcomed by the Mexican government, who saw them as a barrier to white settlement and Bowles began to negotiate with them to obtain permanent title to the land, but were never finalized. After the Texas Revolution, Bowles once again began to negotiate with Sam Houston for possession of the lands. On February 23, 1836, in a treaty made by Houston signed a treaty that, though substantially reducing the Cherokee landholdings, would give them permanent title. Unfortunately for the Cherokee, the Texas Senate would not ratify it. Houston's successor, Mirabeau B. Lamar, opposed all Indians in the new republic and ordered Bowles and his people to leave Texas. This led to what is known as the Cherokee War. On July 16, 1839, Chief Bowles was killed in the Battle of the Neches, the last engagement between the Cherokee and whites settlers in Texas.

 

Crazy Horse (1842-1877) - See  HERE

 

Crow Dog (1833-1910) - Born at Horse Stealing Creek in Montana Territory, Crow Dog was from a family of esteemed warriors and he, too, would grow to build his own reputation in numerous battles. Crow Dog was present when Crazy Horse was killed at Fort Robinson, Nebraska in 1877 and helped prevent a retaliatory attack on U.S. Army soldiers at the fort. From 1879 to 1880, he became the police chief at the Rosebud Reservation. In the meantime, Crow Dog developed a serious animosity with Chief Spotted Tail, who had been accused by Red Cloud of taking proceeds from the sale of tribal land and had been roundly rebuked by Crazy Horse, before he was killed, for signing away the freedom of his people. When Crow Dog heard rumors that Spotted Tail was selling Lakota land to the railroads and building himself an enormous white-styled mansion with the proceeds, Spotted Tail was called before the general council by Crow Dog's White Horse Group.

 

Spotted Tail denied the charges and the council voted to retain him as head chief, but Crow Dog continued to assert the chief's complicity in various crimes against the people. Frustrated, Crow Dog carried out his own death sentence on Spotted Tail on August 5, 1881 and Crow Dog was convicted of murder in Dakota Territory. However, he was later freed when the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the territorial government had no jurisdiction over the crime. Later, Crow Dog was one of the leaders in popularizing the Ghost Dance among the Lakota. He was adamantly opposed to U.S. Army occupation of the Indian reservations and became one of the last holdouts after the massacre at Wounded Knee in December, 1890. Crow Dog spent the last years of his life in relative peace on the Rosebud Sioux Reservation in South Dakota.

 

 

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