The lure of gold on Sioux land in the Black Hills was heating up in 1875. Since the Panic of 1873, America's economy was suffering, and the word of General Custer's 1874 strike was spreading. Prospectors were desperate enough to risk trespassing into hostile Sioux country with the high hopes of striking it rich. The Sioux didn't tolerate the transgressions, nor hesitate to kill any interloper they found.
The U. S. Army was taking less and less trouble to stop the gold-seekers. The 1868 Treaty of Fort Laramie, which had curbed much of the Sioux aggression, had become an inconvenience to both sides. In May, chiefs and headmen of the Sioux tribes went to Washington to speak directly to President Grant, seeking assurance that the government would stop the interlopers on their land. The government countered by offering to buy the land back from the Sioux for $25,000 and removing them to Indian Territory. The offer, distasteful to the Sioux, was refused.
Gold-seekers and fortune-hunters continued to pour into the the Black Hills, and hostilities escalated. Rather than enforcing the treaty and keeping the interlopers away from Sioux land, the Army began fighting the Indians again.
By 1876, when the lure of boom towns would begin to outweigh the risk of hostile Indians, Bret and Bart Maverick would have easier decisions. But in 1875, the threat of actually getting killed still kept them (for the most part) away from the Black Hills. Yet, something took Bret deep into the Great Sioux Reservation, and he was not anxious to return until things got a lot safer.
Otherwise, the brothers spent most of their time in the West, from the Wyoming Territory to their home state of Texas. They didn't find much time to spend plying their trade on the Mississippi or in New Orleans this year, but they did manage to get away to New York for a change of scenery, and opportunity.
01. The Lakotas and the Black Hills: The Struggle for Sacred Ground; Jeffrey Ostler, — Viking Adult, July 22, 2010
02. Sioux Delegation of 1875; American-Tribes.com (retrieved January 18, 2015)
03. Maverick, Stage West (1957), Warner Bros. Pictures, Inc.
04. Maverick, Burial Ground of the Gods (1958), Warner Bros. Pictures, Inc.
05. Maverick, Maverick Springs (1959), Warner Bros. Pictures, Inc.
The Sioux Delegation, Omaha, Nebraska, en route to Washington D. C., 1875.
LEFT TO RIGHT: Sitting Bull, Louis Bordeaux, Swift Bear, William Garnett, Spotted Tail, Julius Meyer, Sitting Bull.
Maverick Trails is not endorsed, sponsored or affiliated with Warner Bros. Entertainment, Inc. or the Maverick franchise.
Maverick™ and its various marks are trademarks of Warner Bros. Entertainment, Inc., © 1957, 1994
©2014, 2015, 2016 Maverick Trails