Chief Red Cloud (Makhpiya-luta) Red Cloud

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Chief Red Cloud (Makhpiya-luta) Red Cloud

Lakota: Chief Maȟpíya Lúta Red Cloud
Birthdate: (87)
Birthplace: North Platte, NE, USA
Death: Died in Shannon, South Dakota, USA
Place of Burial: Pine Ridge Reservation, Shannon, South Dakota, USA
Immediate Family:

Son of Lone Man (Brule Sioux) and Walks As She Thinks (Oglala Sioux)
Husband of Pretty Owl
Father of Louise Richard; Red Spotted Calf . . and Jack Red Cloud, Chief of the Oglala Lakota Sioux
Brother of Red Cloud II .; NN Sister[s] of Red Cloud . .; Brother of Red Cloud .; Lone Man . . and Big Spider .
Half brother of White Hawk . . and Four Times Hunka . .

Occupation: Head Man of Oglala Sioux tribe
Managed by: Erin Spiceland
Last Updated:

About Chief Red Cloud (Makhpiya-luta) Red Cloud

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Birth: 1822 Lincoln County Nebraska, USA

Death: Dec. 10, 1909 Pine Ridge Shannon County South Dakota, USA

Red Cloud, "Head Man" of the Oglala Lakota, for years frustrated efforts of the United States government to open up the West. From 1859 on he and his warriors, living near Fort Laramie, Wyoming attacked whites 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, which Red Cloud signed, seems to have been a turning point for the war chief. After visiting Washington, D.C., he agreed to settle down as a reservation chief. According to Sitting Bull and Crazy Horse, he sold out to the whites, permitting corrupt and inadequate 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.

Family links:

  • Chief Red Cloud*

Burial: Red Cloud Cemetery Pine Ridge Shannon County South Dakota, USA

Red Cloud, Webster County, Nebraska

The region of present-day Red Cloud was intermittently occupied and used as hunting grounds by the Pawnees until 1833. In that year, a treaty was signed in which the Pawnees surrendered their lands south of the Platte River. According to George Hyde, it is likely that the Pawnees did not realize that they were thereby giving up their lands, and that they were led to believe that they were only granting the Delawares and other relocated tribes permission to hunt in the area.

In 1870, the area that is now Webster County was opened to homesteaders. In that year, Silas Garber and other settlers filed claims along Crooked Creek, just east of the present-day city. In 1871, the town, named after the renowned Oglala Lakota leader Red Cloud, was voted county seat of the newly formed county. The city was platted in 1872.

The author Willa Cather lived in Red Cloud for several years with her family, starting in 1884 at age nine. She used the town as inspiration for several in her novels, including Black Hawk in My Ántonia. Several 19th-century buildings described in her books are included in the Willa Cather Historic District, the largest district dedicated to an author that is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Her family house is part of the district.

Red Cloud (Lakota: Maȟpíya Lúta) (1822 – December 10, 1909) was an important leader of the Oglala Lakota. He led from 1868 to 1909. One of the most capable Native American opponents the United States Army faced, he led a successful campaign in 1866–1868 known as Red Cloud's War over control of the Powder River Country in northeastern Wyoming and southern Montana. The largest action of the war, the Fetterman Fight (with 81 men killed on the U.S. side), was the worst military defeat suffered by the U.S. on the Great Plains until the Battle of the Little Bighorn ten years later.

After signing the Treaty of Fort Laramie (1868), Red Cloud led his people in the important transition to reservation life. Some of his US opponents mistakenly thought of him as overall leader of the Sioux (Dakota, Lakota, and Nakota). The large tribe had several major divisions and was highly decentralized. Bands among the Oglala and other divisions operated independently, even though some individual leaders, such as Red Cloud, were renowned as warriors and highly respected as leaders.

Red Cloud was born close to the forks of the Platte River, near the modern-day city of North Platte, Nebraska.His mother, Walks As She Thinks, was an Oglala Lakota and his father, Lone Man, was a Brulé Lakota leader. They came from two of the major seven Lakota divisions.

As was traditional among the matrilineal Lakota, in which the children belonged to the mother's clan and people, Red Cloud was mentored as a boy by his maternal uncle, Old Chief Smoke (1774–1864). Old Chief Smoke played a prominent, major role in the boy's early-mid life. He brought Red Cloud into the Smoke household when the boy's parents died around 1825. At a young age, Red Cloud fought against neighboring Pawnee and Crow, gaining much war experience.

Red Cloud's War was the name the US Army gave to a series of conflicts fought with Native American Plains tribes in the Wyoming and Montana territories. The battles were waged between the Northern Cheyenne, allied with Lakota and Arapaho bands, against the United States Army between 1866 and 1868. In December 1866, the Native American allies attacked and defeated a United States unit in what the whites would call the Fetterman Massacre (or the Battle of the Hundred Slain), which resulted in the most U.S. casualties of any Plains battle up to that point.

Red Cloud became an important leader of the Lakota as they transitioned from the freedom of the plains to the confinement of the reservation system. His trip to Washington, D.C. had convinced him of the number and power of European Americans, and he believed the Oglala had to seek peace.

In 1884, he and his family, along with five other leaders, converted and were baptized as Catholics by Father Joseph Bushman.

Red Cloud continued fighting for his people, even after being forced onto the reservation. In 1887 Red Cloud opposed the Dawes Act, which broke up communal tribal holdings, and allocated 160-acre plots of land to heads of families on tribal rolls for subsistence farming. The US declared additional communal tribal lands as excess, and sold it to immigrant settlers. In 1889 Red Cloud opposed a treaty to sell more of the Lakota land. Due to his steadfastness and that of Sitting Bull, government agents obtained the necessary signatures for approval through subterfuge, such as using the signatures of children. He negotiated strongly with Indian Agents such as Dr. Valentine McGillycuddy.

He outlived all the other major Lakota leaders of the Indian Wars. He died in 1909 at age 88 on the Pine Ridge Reservation, where he was buried. He is quoted as saying in his old age, "They made us many promises, more than I can remember. But they kept but one--They promised to take our land...and they took it.

Announcements of Red Cloud's death and recognition of his achievements were printed in major newspapers across the country. As had been typical of the US perception during Red Cloud's prominence in war, the article in The New York Times mistakenly described him as leader of all the Sioux bands and tribes, but noted his abilities as a leader and diplomat. While he was a prominent leader, the Lakota were highly decentralized and never had one overall leader, especially of the major divisions, such as Oglala and Brulé.

Red Cloud was among the Indians photographed by Edward S. Curtis. In 2000, he was posthumously selected for induction into the Nebraska Hall of Fame. He has been honored by the United States Postal Service with a 10¢ Great Americans series postage stamp.

Theodore Sorensen wrote in Kennedy that President John F. Kennedy considered naming one of the 41 for Freedom ballistic missile submarines after Red Cloud, but apparently bowed to Pentagon concerns that the name could be misinterpreted as being pro-Communist.

Red Cloud descendants have continued to be chosen as traditional leaders of the Lakota people:

Jack Red Cloud, (c.1858–1928) leader of the Oglala Lakota 1909-1928

James Red Cloud (1879-1960) leader of the Oglala Lakota 1928–1960

Charles Red Cloud (1888-1979) (brother of James Red Cloud), leader of the Oglala Lakota 1960–1979

Oliver Red Cloud (1919–2013), leader of the Oglala Lakota (1979-2013)

Oliver Red Cloud died July 4, 2013 at the age of 93.[9] He was the fourth-generation direct descendant of Red Cloud. Oliver was a leader of the Oglala Lakota people and Speaker of the traditional Lakota Sioux Nation. He was the Chairman of the "Black Hills Sioux Nation Treaty Council".

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Chief Red Cloud (Makhpiya-luta) Red Cloud's Timeline

North Platte, NE, USA
Age 30
December 10, 1909
Age 87
Shannon, South Dakota, USA
Pine Ridge Reservation, Shannon, South Dakota, USA