Chief Dull Knife (1810-1883)

Chief Dull Knife

Chief Dull Knife

  • This Northern Cheyenne leader was born Morning Star, but he later became known by the Lakota Sioux name Dull Knife.
  • Dull Knife was a fearless chief who has often been described as an “admirable outlaw”.
  • In 1868 he signed the Treaty of Fort Laramie, which ended the Red Cloud War and gave the sacred Black Hills to the Sioux nation.
  • Dull Knife’s Cheyenne allied with the Sioux after the Battle of the Little Bighorn.  His village was later attacked by vengeful soldiers at the Battle of the Red Fork.  Three of his sons were killed and the survivors were forced to surrender at Fort Robinson.
  • The remaining tribe was transported to Indian Territory in Oklahoma but, dissatisfied with the poor conditions, Dull Knife led an armed flight back up North to join the Great Sioux Reservation.  Unfortunately his people were captured and again taken back to Fort Robinson.
  • In 1879 he lad an armed escape from the fort.  The army massacred most of the escapees at an infamous spot later known as The Pit.  Dull Knife and a few of his braves escaped.
  • The chief died in 1883 and is buried on the Northern Cheyenne Reservation.
  • Today we remember Dull Knife as a warrior who fought for survival in a hostile world.  He originally hoped to live peacefully alongside the white settlers invading his lands, but when the government’s promises proved unreliable he went on the war-path for the Beautiful People and their freedom.

Sources:

Grinnell, George Bird. The Cheyenne Indians: Their History and Ways of Life  (Two Volumes). Lincoln and London: University of Nebraska Press, 1972.

Wikipedia, “Dull Knife Fight” at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dull_Knife_Fight

___, “Morning Star (Chief)” at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Morning_Star_(chief)

 

 

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