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Cheyenne(shīăn`, –ĕn`), indigenous people of North America whose language belongs to the Algonquian branch of the Algonquian-Wakashan linguistic stock (see Native American languagesNative American languages,
languages of the native peoples of the Western Hemisphere and their descendants. A number of the Native American languages that were spoken at the time of the European arrival in the New World in the late 15th cent.
..... Click the link for more information. ). The Cheyenne abandoned their settlements in Minnesota in the 17th cent., leaving the region to the hostile Sioux and Ojibwa. Gradually migrating W along the Cheyenne River and then south, they established earth-lodge villages and raised crops. After the introduction of the horse (c.1760) they eventually became nomadic buffalo hunters. The tribe split (c.1830) when a large group decided to settle on the upper Arkansas River and take advantage of the trade facilities offered by Bent's Fort. This group became known as the Southern Cheyenne. The Northern Cheyenne continued to live about the headwaters of the Platte River. For the next few years the Southern Cheyenne, allied with the Arapaho, were engaged in constant warfare against the Kiowa, Comanche, and Apache. Peace was made c.1840, and the five tribes became allies.
The Cheyenne were generally friendly toward white settlers until the discovery of gold in Colorado (1858) brought a swarm of gold seekers into their lands. By a treaty signed in 1861 the Cheyenne agreed to live on a reservation in SE Colorado, but the U.S. government did not fulfill its obligations, and they were reduced to near starvation. Cheyenne raids resulted in punitive expeditions by the U.S. army. The indiscriminate massacre (1864) of warriors, women, and children 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 their chief, Black Kettle, had offered to make peace and, at the suggestion of military personnel, had encamped at Sand Creek near Fort Lyon
..... Click the link for more information. , Colo., was an unprovoked assault on a friendly group. The incident aroused the Cheyenne to fury, and a bitter war followed. Gen. George 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. destroyed (1868) Black Kettle's camp on the Washita River, and fighting between the whites and the Southern Cheyenne ended, except for an outbreak in 1874–75. The Northern Cheyenne joined with the Sioux and overwhelmed Custer and his 7th Cavalry at the Battle of the Little BighornLittle Bighorn,
river, c.90 mi (145 km) long, rising in the Bighorn Mts., N Wyo., and flowing north to join the Bighorn River in S Mont. On June 25–26, 1876, Sioux and Cheyenne warriors defeated the forces of Col. George Custer in the Little Bighorn valley in Montana.
..... Click the link for more information. in 1876. They finally surrendered in 1877 and were moved south and confined with the Southern Cheyenne in what is now Oklahoma. Plagued by disease and malnutrition, they made two desperate attempts to escape and return to the north. A separate reservation was eventually established for them in Montana. There were almost 12,000 Cheyenne in the United States in 1990.
See G. B. Grinnell, The Fighting Cheyennes (1915, repr. 1956) and The Cheyenne Indians (2 vol., 1923, repr. 1972); E. A. Hoebel, The Cheyennes (1960); D. J. Berthrong, The Southern Cheyennes (1963); J. Millard, The Cheyenne Wars (1964); John Stands in Timber and M. Liberty, Cheyenne Memories (1967); P. J. Powell, Sweet Medicine (2 vol., 1969); J. H. Moore, The Cheyenne Nation (1987).
Cheyenne,city (1990 pop. 50,008), alt. 6,062 ft (1,848 m), state capital and seat of Laramie co., SE Wyo., near the Colo. and Nebr. lines; inc. 1868. It is a market for sheep and cattle ranches and a shipping center with good transportation facilities. Manufactures include dairy, wood, petroleum, and metal products; feeds, lumber, machinery, and construction materials. The city was established after the Union Pacific RR selected the site for a division point in 1867. It was made territorial capital in 1869. In the 1870s the development of cattle ranching and the opening of the Black Hills gold fields stimulated the city's growth. Cheyenne revives its past annually with a Frontier Days celebration, first held in 1897. Landmarks include the state capitol and the supreme court building, which houses the state historical museum and library. Nearby is Francis E. Warren Air Force Base.
Cheyenne,river, 527 mi (848 km) long, rising in E Wyo. and flowing NE to the Missouri River near Pierre, S.Dak. The Cheyenne basin is part of the Missouri River basin project. The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation has established a project on the Belle Fourche River, the Cheyenne's main tributary; the Rapid Valley irrigation project in the Cheyenne valley; and the Angostura Dam, for irrigation, hydroelectric power, and flood control, on the Cheyenne itself.
an Algonquian-speaking Indian tribe of North America (seeALGONQUIAN LANGUAGES). Until the late 17th century the Cheyenne lived in settlements along the Minnesota River, in what is now Minnesota, and engaged in land cultivation. They were subsequently pushed by Sioux tribes to the South Dakota prairie. By the late 18th century the Cheyenne had become nomadic hunters of bison; their society was a military democracy. In 1832 the tribe split up into the Northern and Southern Cheyenne. In 1851 settlers began seizing the lands of the Cheyenne; despite stubborn resistance the tribe was overcome and was resettled on reservations in Montana, Wyoming, and Oklahoma. Today the Cheyenne, who according to the 1970 census number approximately 6,900, mainly work as hired laborers. Their religion combines Christian dogma and rituals with tribal cults.
a city in the western USA; capital of Wyoming. Population, 44,000 (1975). Cheyenne is a railroad and highway junction and the center of a large agricultural region. Industry in Cheyenne includes meat processing, oil refining, and the production of chemicals. Crude oil is produced and lignites and uranium ore are mined in the area.