Sicangu/Lakota Historical Timeline

(this is a work in progress)


Taken from the following sources: Among the Sioux of Dakota by D.C. Poole; With My Own Eyes by Susan Bordeaux Bettelyoun; The Brule Indian Agencies: 1868-1878 by Richmond Lee Clow in SD Historical Collections, Vol. 36; Brule: the Sioux People of the Rosebud by Paul Dyck; The Great Father: The United States Government and the American Indians by Francis Paul Prucha; Spotted Tail's Folk by George E. Hyde; The Oregon Trail by Francis Parkman; and Sioux of the Rosebud by Henry and Jean Hamilton.

1670-1700 “…the Sioux were more faithful to their promises, friends to peace, benevolent and hospitable to strangers, humane to their conquered and captive enemies ...” Emma Helen Blair's interpretation (1911) of Nicolas Perrot and the Jesuit Relations descriptions of the "Sioux"

1819 The Upper Missouri Agency was established to maintain responsibility for any tribes along the Missouri River.

1823 Spotted Tail was born near present-day Pine Ridge, SD.

1836 The Sioux, Ponca, and Cheyenne become part of the Upper Missouri Agency.



1854 August 19 Brave Bear/Conquering Bear, leader of the Sicangu, was killed when he refused to give up a Minneconjou visitor who had killed a cow left along the road near Fort Laramie by a Mormon emigrant. The Sicangu then killed Lt. Grattan and his 28 men.

1855 September 3 Little Thunder's camp (Brave Bear’s successor) of 250 is attacked by the U. S. military led by General Harney on Blue Water Creek near present-day Ash Hollow, Nebraska. 86 Sicangu were killed and 70 women and children were taken hostage in this retalliation for the Grattan affair.

1855 September 18 Spotted Tail and 2 of Brave Bear/Conquering Bear's brothers surrendered for the Grattan killing and were sent to Fort Leavenworth for the winter.

1856 September - Spotted Tail and Brave Bear/Conquering Bear's brothers received a presidential pardon and returned home.

1862 July 28 the Santee uprising occured in Minnesota.

1864 General Alfred Sully chased the Santee into eastern Dakota and fought with the Lakota at Kill Deer Mountain.

1866 The Upper Missouri Agency was located near Crow Creek on the Missouri River in Dakota Territory. Jurisdiction was restricted to the Lower Yanktonai and Sicangu living nearby.

1868 The Fort Laramie Treaty forced military rule upon the Lakota through the Agency system by establishing the Great Sioux Reservation which comprised all the land in present day South Dakota west of the Missouri River. Three smaller sub-agencies were created to better serve the needs of the Lakota and the government. All were located on the west bank of the Missouri River to ensure easy transportation of supplies and troops. Grand River was the northern most agency, Cheyenne River was the central agency, and the southern Whetstone Agency served both the Sicangu and the Oglala. Spotted Tail refused to settle along the river because of the rampant alcohol trafficing and the demoralization of the people involved with alcohol. Instead his camp roved 25-100 miles west along the south fork of the White River.




1874 The Upper Missouri Agency becomes the Crow Creek Agency.

1880 Spotted Tail visited his children at Carlisle Indian Industrial School in Pennsylvania. However, he removed them all from the school and took them home to Rosebud when he found that they had been baptized as Episcopalians, given Christian names, dressed like soldiers, and were not learning English.


1889 There were more than 5,000 people registered at Rosebud Agency.

1889 May 4th the Crook Commission held a council at the Agency in front of the log house of Louis Roubideaux, the interpreter. The Sicangu were forced to give up nine million acres of their land.

1897 A portion of a letter from Chas. E. McChesney, United States Indian Agent, to the Commissioner of Indian Affairs, describing the cattle losses resulting from the previous winter.