Monday, April 11, 2016

Native American Biography: Black Kettle and Little Robe: Cheyenne Peace Chiefs

Black Kettle
Sometimes, in dealing with White opportunists, it does not pay to be a peace chief.  Chief Black Kettle was likely the most firm and loyal of the peace chiefs.  He encouraged peace and accommodation with the Whites.  He even went so far as to use his own money to help in the release of whites who had been kidnapped.  When his people were starving, he went to Fort Lyon and was told to move to the Sand Creek area.  However shortly after going there, his camp was attacked.  He and his wife survived, but the Sand Creek Massacre lives in infamy to the detriment of John Chivington and the governor of Colorado, who knew where Black Kettle would be as they had told him where to go, and then the lead the attack against him.  Black Kettle waved and American flag thinking the attackers did not know of the agreement at Fort Lyon.  However they did know, and were just taking advantage of the peaceful nature of the group.
Oven though he had survived this attack, within four years he and his wife were killed in another surprise attack by troops answering to George Armstrong Custer.
Little Robe
Little Robe was another peace chief.  However he faired better than Black Kettle.  He was a contemporary with Black Kettle, an upon Black Kettle's death inherited the role of the primary peace chief among the Cheyenne.  He traveled to Washington to negotiate peace.  He settled into reservation life, but would never let children from his band attends White schools.

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