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Black Kettle,d. 1868, chief of the southern CheyenneCheyenne
, indigenous people of North America whose language belongs to the Algonquian branch of the Algonquian-Wakashan linguistic stock (see Native American languages). The Cheyenne abandoned their settlements in Minnesota in the 17th cent.
..... Click the link for more information. in Colorado. His attempt to make peace (1864) with the white men ended in the massacre of about half his people at Sand CreekSand Creek,
Colorado, site of a massacre (1864) of Cheyenne by Col. John M. Chivington and his Colorado Volunteers. The Cheyennes, led by Black Kettle, had offered to make peace and, at the suggestion of military personnel, had encamped at Sand Creek near Fort Lyon while
..... Click the link for more information. . 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 CusterCuster, George Armstrong,
1839–76, American army officer, b. New Rumley, Ohio, grad. West Point, 1861. Civil War Service
Custer fought in the Civil War at the first battle of Bull Run, distinguished himself as a member of General McClellan's staff in the
..... Click the link for more information. . 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.
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Black Kettle (b. Moketavato)(?1803–68) Southern Cheyenne peace chief; born near the Black Hills in present-day South Dakota. Despite his attempts at accommodation, his band was massacred at Sand Creek, Colo., in 1864. He continued to seek peace but was killed with his tribe in the Washita Valley, Okla., in 1868.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.