Sitting Bull – One Of The Outstanding Icons Of The Nineteenth Century Indian Defiance Of American Expansion Essay

Throughout United States history, we learn about various important people who left a mark to this country. One of the outstanding icons of the nineteenth century Indian defiance of American expansion was Sitting Bull. He led his Lakota people from their prime mid nineteenth century. Which led to the decline of their culture in the face of superior technology and as well as the increasing numbers of the whites.

His story begins in a village a few miles below where it is now present-day Bullhead, South Dakota. For the first years of his life he lived an “active and vigorous life”, giving him his reputation of a viable leader early on. As Sitting Bull grew older, the warrior aspect of male life came more into play. At the age of fourteen, the young boy “learned his lessons well” and joined a mounted war party, in which he was responsible for “picking out the enemy” and “charged at the rival warrior” and struck him with his coup stick.1 Word of his heroic deed quickly spread around his village leading to him being dubbed Sitting Bull. This was done by his father, Jumping Bull, who said his son was like a “beast that the Lakota respected…for its tenacity.”

With time Sitting Bull became the Chief of Hunkpapa in 1857, due his common sense and demonstration of his abilities as a warrior, and leader. He was often tested in his abilities when it came to dealing with the whites. He dwelled with the whites along the Powder River in Wyoming, where he learned their combat methods and was left in awe of their weapons. The year of 1867 the whites traveled to Lakota territory in hopes of making a treaty that limited the Lakota into what is present day western South Dakota.

Although, Sitting Bull was against the treaty, other Lakota had made their mark on the paper, which lead to the Treaty of 1868.Sitting Bull was a great military and spiritual leader during the Sioux war. The war was between the US government and the Sioux, Lakota and Cheyenne. The US desired the black hills of Dakota, due to the discovery of gold, the Sioux resisted. Even, with the US ransacking their villages, it was no match for the combined forces of Sitting bull and Crazy Horse. After the battles of Little big Horn and Rosebud, the Lakota where forced under military control. Except for those who were able to get away with Sitting bull and go north, which lead to them seeking refuge in Canada. They stayed in Canada for about four and a half years. Following the destruction of the bison herds the Lakota in exile where facing hard times. With time sitting bulls band dwindled down as they reunited with relatives. After months of communication with Canadian Officials and US Army messengers, “Sitting bull led his remaining band back to the United States in July 1881 and formally surrendered.”

In conclusion, once Sitting Bull had surrendered there were conflicts between US officials and agencies on as to where they should place Sitting bull, due to the fact that he was a great influence among his people.

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