Red Cloud

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Red Cloud
Maȟpíya Lúta
Birthplacenear North Platte, Nebraska
NationalityLakota Sioux
Known for Red Cloud's War

Red Cloud,

b. 1821 or 1822, d. 1909, Oglala Sioux chief, b. near the Platte River in present-day Nebraska. He led the Native American fight against the establishment of the Bozeman Trail (see Bozeman, John MBozeman, John M.
, 1835–67, American pioneer. A Georgian, he went to the gold fields of Colorado (1861) and Montana (1862). In the winter of 1862–63 he traveled with a companion from Bannack, Mont., to Colorado by a route lying E of the Bighorn Mts.
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.) in what became known as "Red Cloud's War" (1866–68). The Fetterman Massacre (see Fetterman, William JuddFetterman, William Judd,
1833?–1866, American army officer. In 1861 he enlisted in the Union army from Delaware; he served throughout the Civil War and was twice brevetted for gallant conduct. After the war he remained in the army and was sent, in Nov.
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) in 1866 led to partial abandonment of the trail. Red Cloud's hostility led the government finally to abandon completely (1868) the trail and the forts built to protect it. After signing a treaty he lived in peace with the whites, although he was later charged with duplicity in encouraging hostile Native Americans. Deposed as chief in 1881, he lived thereafter on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota.


See The Autobiography of Red Cloud: War Leader of the Ogalalas (1997), ed. by R. E. Paul; biography by B. Drury and T. Clavin (2013); J. C. Olson, Red Cloud and the Sioux Problem (1965).

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Red Cloud

(religion, spiritualism, and occult)

Red Cloud was the Native American spirit guide for British medium Estelle Roberts. In life he had been a Sioux. According to Maurice Barbanell, Red Cloud once explained that he learned English “as part of the equipment for his mission through Estelle Roberts.”

Red Cloud held a teaching circle every two weeks, “to propound the broader implications of the evidence which came at his séances.” His talks revealed a versatility of knowledge far beyond the scope of the medium. He was able to discuss science with scientists and medicine with doctors. He was an expert on ancient empires, lost cities, and the customs of bygone times. He also had a considerable knowledge of past and contemporary religions. Barbanell said that there was never any confusion at circles because Red Cloud was “the perfect spirit master of ceremonies (who) spoke in between every communication.”

There were many trumpet séances with Red Cloud, and he also specialized in apports. In fact he treated his apport séances like parties, often promising to bring to the sitters “anything within reason.” At one, Kenneth Evett hesitantly asked for an apport from Egypt. He received a beautiful scarab edged in gold. Some days later Evett took it to the Department of Egyptian Antiquities at the British Museum where it was confirmed as genuine and from Abydos. At that same séance Red Cloud produced sixty-two apports. Each dropped from the end of the suspended trumpet; some from the small end and some from the large end.


Barbanell, Maurice: This Is Spiritualism. Oxshott: The Spiritual Truth Press, 1959
Roberts, Estelle: Fifty Years a Medium. New York: Corgi Books, 1969
The Spirit Book © 2006 Visible Ink Press®. All rights reserved.

red cloud

indicates disaster is impending. [Eastern Folklore: Jobes, 350]

red cloud

indicates military conflict. [Eastern Folklore: Jobes, 350]
See: War
Allusions—Cultural, Literary, Biblical, and Historical: A Thematic Dictionary. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.

Red Cloud (b. Makhpiya-luta)

(1822–1909) Oglala Sioux chief; born near the Platte River in present-day Nebraska. He was chosen chief over the hereditary candidate because of his intelligence, strength, and bravery. Between 1865–68, he led and effectively won "Red Cloud's war," closing the Bozeman trail (in present-day Montana), and forcing the U.S. government to destroy its forts along the trail and to sign the Fort Laramie Treaty (1868), in which the latter accepted the territorial claims of the Sioux in exchange for peace. Although he did not hesitate to criticize the conduct of the U.S. government and its agents, Red Cloud never again went to war against the U.S.A. He made several visits to Washington, D.C., and did speaking tours in Eastern cities, lecturing in 1870 at the Cooper Institute in New York City. Despite his peaceful ways, he was removed by the government from his position as chief in 1877, and he and his people were removed to the Pine Ridge Agency in South Dakota.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.