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01. The New Encyclopedia of the American West, Howard L. Lamar (September 23, 1998), Yale University Press

02. The Lakotas and the Black Hills: The Struggle for Sacred Ground; Jeffrey Ostler, — Viking Adult, July 22, 2010

03. The Conjectural Maverick, Maverick Trails

04. Maverick, Stage West (1957), Warner Bros. Pictures, Inc.

05. Maverick, Stampede (1957), Warner Bros. Pictures, Inc.

Dakota Territory


Territory of the United States, originally organized by an organic act of Congress on March 2, 1861, which included much of what was later to become the Montana and Wyoming territories.[1]


Named for the Dakota branch of the Sioux, the predominate tribe occupying the land at the time of the Louisiana Purchase, of which Dakota was originally the northernmost portion. The territory was divided into two regions for statehood on November 2, 1889, becoming the states of North Dakota and South Dakota simultaneously.[1]


Upon its creation in 1861, the territory's capital was established in Yankton.[2]


During and after the Civil War, the Army established forts throughout the territory to protect settlers in Dakota, Minnesota and Iowa, as well as river traffic along the Missouri. The encroachment of the military and settlers raised hostilities amongst the Sioux.[2] By 1868, the Dakota Territory was reduced to the boundaries of the modern-day Dakotas.[1]


The 1868 Treaty of Fort Laramie created the Great Sioux Reservation, an area restricted to the Sioux. Hostilities lessened until gold was discovered in the Black Hills, precipitating a stampede of fortune hunters into Indian land.[2]


Stage West: In June of 1875,[3] Sam Harris discovered a pocket of free gold in the Black Hills. Shot by Wes Fallon in July of 1875 and left for dead, Harris was found the next day by Bret Maverick, who helped him all he could, to no avail. Before he died, he showed Bret the location of the Harris Mine and asked him to take the gold to his wife at the Packsaddle Station[4] in Nebraska.[3] Bret buried Harris at the mine and was chased across the Great Sioux Reservation by angry Indians until he lost them[4] near the Nebraska border.[3]


As more gold seekers and settlers invaded their land, the Sioux reciprocated, leading to the Great Sioux War of 1876. In the meantime, mining camps such as Deadwood and Lead were booming.[2]


In retaliation for Indian hostilities, and to gain undisputed access to the rich resources of the Black Hills, the U. S. government rescinded the Treaty of Fort Laramie with the Act of February 28, 1877, taking back the Black Hills and other lands from the Sioux.[2]


Stampede: In April of 1877,[3] Bret Maverick and Dandy Jim Buckley had partnered in a search for $40,000 in stolen Wells Fargo gold dust in the vicinity of Vermillion. They managed to recover the buried treasure[5] across the Missouri River[3] in Whiskey Flats,[5] Nebraska,[3] but Bret concocted to turn it in for the ten percent reward in Vermillion rather than keep the stolen money.[5] In May, Bret and Buckley rode from Vermillion up the Missouri River to Fort Pierre where they again crossed the Missouri to follow the Fort Pierre to Deadwood Trail into Deadwood itself.[3] On the trail through the Black Hills, they met Noah Perkins, who they recruited to fight Battling Kreuger at Tony Cadiz's Golden Nugget Saloon in Deadwood. Once in Deadwood, Perkins backed out of the fight and, to protect the thousands of dollars he, Buckley and other Deadwood townsfolk had bet on the fight, Bret fought Kreuger himself.[5]

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