The Slaughter of the Buffalo

  • Colin G. Calloway
Part of the The Bedford Series in History and Culture book series (BSHC)

Abstract

In the Treaty of Medicine Lodge with the southern plains tribes in 1867 and the Treaty of Fort Laramie with the Sioux in 1868, the United States government guaranteed to the Indians the right to continue hunting on certain lands “so long as the buffalo may range thereon in such numbers as to justify the chase.”1 But even as the American peace commissioners offered the Indians assurances that they would be allowed to continue their buffalo-hunting way of life, the United States was poised to destroy that way of life by systematically slaughtering the buffalo herds.

Keywords

Europe Tuberculosis Turkey Hunt Smit 

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Notes

  1. 1.
    Charles J. Kappler, ed., Indian Affairs: Laws and Treaties. 2 vols. (Washington, D.C.: U.S. Govt. Printing Office, 1904), 2:1002.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    The standard work on the buffalo, its place in Indian life, and its destruction is Frank Gilbert Roe, The North American Buffalo: A Critical Study of the Species in Its Wild State (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1970).Google Scholar
  3. 4.
    Dan Flores, “Bison Ecology and Bison Diplomacy: The Southern Plains, 1800–1850,” Journal of American History 78 (1991), 465.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 5.
    Henry M. Stanley, My Early Travels and Adventures in America and Asia. 2 vols. (London: Sampson, Low, Marston and Co., 1895), 1:203, 204, 270.Google Scholar
  5. 6.
    Flores, “Bison Ecology and Bison Diplomacy,” 465–85. Yellow Wolf’s speech is in Appendix to Report of the Commissioner of Indian Affairs, 1847, Senate Executive Document, No. 1, 30th Congress, 1st session, p. 242, and quoted in Stan Hoig, The Peace Chiefs of the Cheyennes (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1980), 32–33.Google Scholar
  6. 7.
    David D. Smits, “The Frontier Army and the Destruction of the Buffalo: 1865–1883,” Western Historical Quarterly 25 (1994), 313–38; quote at 333. William A. Dobak questions Smits’s evidence of Army involvement in the destruction in Western Historical Quarterly 26 (1995), 197–202.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 9.
    John G. Neihardt, Black Elk Speaks: Being the Life Story of a Holy Man of the Oglala Sioux (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1988 ed.), 213.Google Scholar
  8. 10.
    Charles S. Brant, ed. The Autobiography of a Kiowa Apache (New York: Dover Publications, 1991 ed.), 52.Google Scholar
  9. 11.
    John C. Ewers, Indian Life on the Upper Missouri (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1968), 173.Google Scholar
  10. 12.
    Russell Thornton, American Indian Holocaust and Survival (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1987), 52.Google Scholar
  11. 14.
    Frank B. Linderman, Plenty Coups, Chief of the Crows (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1962), 311.Google Scholar
  12. 15.
    Karen Daniels Peterson, Howling Wolf: A Cheyenne Warrior’s Graphic Interpretation of His People (Palo Alto, Cal.: American West Publishing Co., 1968), 21.Google Scholar
  13. 16.
    James Mooney, “Calendar History of the Kiowa Indians,” 17th Annual Report of the Bureau of American Ethnology, 1895–96, part 1 (Washington, D.C.: U.S. Govt. Printing Office, 1898), 349.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© BEDFORD BOOKS of St. Martin’s Press 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • Colin G. Calloway
    • 1
  1. 1.Dartmouth CollegeUSA

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