Promise: Bozeman's Trail to Destiny


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About the Crow: Crows are first mentioned in Lt. Templeton's diary (from 1866) where he describes meeting Jim Bridger who told him that he had gotten permission to hunt all through Crow country from chief Long Hair more than 20 years earlier. Templeton also talks about meeting a band of Crow warriors and their wives "the finest looking Indians that I have ever seen" and watching them cross the Big Horn River to reach Ft. Smith. He also mentions Crows hunting buffalo near the fort and coming in for rations and to trade. Templeton met a group of Sioux (Beckwith thought they were Crow at first) who had been over to the Crow village trying to get them to join with the other Indians against the whites (which the Crow threatened to do if the whites didn't do something decisive about the Sioux). He was also present when the Crow came to tell the people at the fort that Beckwith had died. Crows warned the army about the Sioux gathering their forces in order to attack Ft. Phil Kearney and later were the ones to bring the news about the Fetterman massacre to the fort. According to Sonny Reisch the Powder River country didn't really belong to any one tribe - many tribes had their sacred places within it - and the arbitrary setting of boundaries in the Fort Laramie Treaty (1851) was totally invalid. Includes a short section by Joe Medicine Crow. According to him practically all of the Trail ran within Crow country. Crows were friends of the whites and didn't kill Bozeman; Joe thinks it was his partner Tom Cover who shot him. According to him the Crow didn't trade at Fort Smith and they didn't ?hand around? it. Some Crow warriors stayed around the fort to help the soldiers, including hunting buffalo in order to feed the whites. Tells a short version of the Crow victory over the Sioux and Cheyenne along Pryor Creek. According to Joe the white soldiers' diaries about the events in those days are not reliable, nor are books about people like Jim Bridger. He thinks the worst was Beckwourth's account of his time with the Crow; no old Crows had any recollections of any of Beckwourh's alleged deeds. Iron Bull carried mail for the military from Ft. Smith to Ft. Phil Kearney for $100.00/month. He says that the Crow would never have even considered joining the Sioux to fight the whites - they were bitter enemies. According to Joe Pierre Chienne wrote the Crow provisions of the 1868 Ft. Laramie treaty "that have served the tribe well". He thought that by agreeing to the reduction of their land base to 8 million acres in that treaty "the Crows felt better able to protect that area and sought to use the U.S. Army to help with that." Has Joe's interpretation of the battle of the Rosebud. The Crow alliance with the whites was advantageous to the Crow in the long rung - after the Indian wars, the Crows were essentially left alone and got to keep most of their land, while the defeated Cheyenne and Sioux were treated as virtual prisoners of war. According to Mesteth (a Sioux) the Lakota were "defending" the Powder River country against the Crow! Tim Lame Woman (a Cheyenne) mentions that the Nez Perce were allies of "our enemies, the Crows." Has a short recap about Beckwourth and his time with the Crow in the notes (p.204).The notes also mention a battle between the Crow and the Cheyenne that gave its name to the Crow Standing Off Creek. The battle was fought in 1820; Crows eventually prevailed but lost over 20 warriors.

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