In the Fall of 1877, a Northern Arapaho delegation visited Washington D.C. to request that the President of the United State not send them to the Indian Territory in Oklahoma. In 1878 the Arapaho were settled on the Wind River Reservation permanently. Their Southern Arapaho relatives were moved with the Southern Cheyenne to western Oklahoma, where their descendants remain today.
Isolated Incidents (1878-1882)
On September 1878, Northern Cheyenne, attempting to leave their prison reservation in Oklahoma to return to their lands in Montana, are pursued by U.S. troops and armed American civilians. The Indians would be hit by constant strikes during their return journey through Kansas, Nebraska, Dakota, and Wyoming until they were almost all lost. Very few who started the journey survive this tragic event of 1878-79.
On September 12, 1878, fugitive Bannock Indians who had escaped from their reservation on September 4th, were caught by Lieutenant Hoel S. Bishop and a 30-man detachment of Company G, 5th Cavalry, and some Shoshone scouts. Finding them on a tributary of the Snake River near Jackson Hole, a fight broke out. One of the Indians was killed and the remaining seven were captured.
On April 29, 1882, at Fort Washakie, an Indian called “Ute Jack”, a White River Ute at the Shoshone Agency, was allegedly stirring up trouble. Lieutenant George H. Morgan took six men of Company K, 3rd Cavalry, to investigate. When Morgan went to arrest Ute Jack, he resisted, wielding a knife, and attempted to escape. The soldiers shot him in the arm, but, he ducked into a tipi and grabbed a carbine, then killed a sergeant of the detachment. When Major Julius W. Mason, of the 3rd Cavalry, arrived with more soldiers, Jack was finally captured and killed.
In the summer of 1882, some Northern Indians robbed the camps of A. S. Bruce and Andy Larson on Beaver Creek. They were followed by Bruce and others and over-taken on Big Popo Agie River below Lander. A sharp engagement followed in which two Indians were fatally wounded. This same party of warriors also came upon a Mexican by the name of Artecinario and a white man by the name of Lew Blanchard on the Bighorn River and killed them both.
This was the last known killing in this area.
By Kathy Weiser-Alexander, updated November 2018.