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They made us many promises, more than I can remember, but they never kept but one; they promised to take our land, and they took it.
Red Cloud, or Makhpiya Luta, 1822-1909, head chief of the Oglala Lakota, a Sioux Indian group, for years frustrated efforts of the United States government to open up the West. From 1859 on he and his band, living near Fort Laramie, Wyoming attacked white immigrants encroaching on Indian territory along the North Platte River. By 1865 he was effectively discouraging white intrusion by way of the Bozeman trail. Red Cloud led the 1866 massacre of 80 troops from Fort Kearney, one of the posts built to protect the trail, an event that led to the abandonment of the trail by the whites in 1868. A peace treaty of that year, which Red Cloud signed, seems to have been a turning point for the war chief. After visiting Washington, D.C., where he perhaps was impressed by the numbers and power of white people, he agreed to settle down as a reservation chief. According to some of his contemporaries, such as Sitting Bull and Crazy Horse, he sold out to the whites, permitting corrupt and deplorable conditions on Sioux reservations. He lost his status as head chief in 1881. After the Wounded Knee massacre (1890) he lived quietly on Pine Ridge Reservation.
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