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Black Kettle

Black Kettle, d. 1868, chief of the southern Cheyenne in Colorado. His attempt to make peace (1864) with the white men ended in the massacre of about half his people at Sand Creek. Despite this treachery on the part of the whites, he continued to seek peace with them, and in 1865 he signed the Treaty of the Little Arkansas. The government ignored its guarantees, and Black Kettle tried again to negotiate, signing the Medicine Lodge Treaty of 1867. The Cheyenne might have retired to the reservation provided for them, had it not been for Gen. George Armstrong Custer. On Nov. 27, 1868, Custer and his 7th Cavalry attacked Black Kettle's camp on the Washita River without warning and killed the chief and hundreds of Native Americans.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

See more Encyclopedia articles on: North American indigenous peoples: Biographies


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