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September 16, 2002

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Highlands Ranch High School - Mr. Sedivy
Highlands Ranch, Colorado

Colorado History

- Colorado History -
The Cheyenne Migration to Colorado


The Cheyenne Tribe
The Cheyenne were an Algonquin woods tribe from Minnesota and Manitoba. The name "Cheyenne" came from the Lakota meaning "red talkers." The Cheyenne call themselves people who are related to each other, also known as the "Cut Arms" probably because of sun dance scars.

In the 17th century, they were centered in the valley of the Minnesota River. Then pressure from another Algonquin tribe forced them to Eastern North Dakota. They were hunters and fishers, the women gathered berries, and they lived in wigwams that they built from birch branches.

Tipi construction
How a tipi was constructed. Click the tipi for a more detailed diagram.


Indian Domino Theory
The Cheyenne were being pushed by the Chippena, and in turn, the Chippena were being pushed by others. This is known as the Indian Domino Theory.

Indian Territories in 1840
Indian tribes and their territories in 1840.
Click the map for a more detailed enlargement.

During the 18th century, the Cheyenne tribe was on the Cheyenne River, which is where they called home. While in eastern North Dakota, they hunted and had agriculture. They had even acquired some horses. Now, the Cheyenne were being attacked by both the Assiniboin from New Mexico and the Sioux-Lakota. The Cheyenne were almost exterminated.

Cheyenne Sun DanceCheyenne Warrior
Left: Cheyenne painted for a sun dance.
Right: Sketch of a Cheyenne war cheif by Frederic Remington.

The Cheyenne continued west to badland country on the Little Mo River in western North Dakota, settled in and built earth lodges. But, the attacks continued. A story goes that the Assiniboin chased a Cheyenne woman, and she fell off of a cliff. This is how they got their first guns.


Changes in Cheyenne Society
The Cheyenne abandoned their earth lodges and "voeo repies" made of animal skin. They stopped growing corn and headed to the Black Hills of South Dakota. By now, the Cheyenne had many horses.

Buffalo Hunting on Horseback
A mounted hunter draws his bow.

They had made the transition from woods tribe to Plains tribe - the Buffalo replaced corn and skunk meat. Then the Cheyenne became associated with another Algonquin tribe, the Arapahoe. Alegoned sweet medicine gave them new cultures and rituals. The Cheyenne learned how to form lodges and hunt. Bear Butte is a sacred place to the Cheyenne.

The Cheyenne moved further west following the buffalo herds. They left the Black Hills to the Sioux-Lakota. The North Platte River formed the area of the Northern Cheyenne, and after the split the South Cheyenne took the South Platte Valley to the Arkansas valley. One theory was Bent's Fort. Then the Cheyenne found new enemies: the Crow, Commanche, Kiowa and Pawnee.

Pawnee earth lodge village
Pawnee earth lodge village in present day Nebraska.

Pawnee Warrior
A Pawnee warrior after a victory, with hands painted on his chest as a sign that he
had killed an enemy in hand-to-hand combat.


The Cheyenne in Colorado and Wyoming
By 1849, the good times were gone for the Indians. With whites on the Overland Trail heading for California and gold, it was only a matter of time until the spark would turn to flames. The Teton Lakota (Sioux) occupied northern Colorado and southern Wyoming. These were the Plains Lakota.

Sioux Encampment
A Sioux encampment. Horses were so crucial to the Plains Indian's way of life
that the US Army made killing them a major objective.

Pile of 40,000 buffalo hides
Pictured in 1874 are 40,000 buffalo hides waiting to be shipped to eastern markets.

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- Colorado History In Depth -
Lecture Notes, Reading, and Information:

| The Cheyenne Migration to Colorado |
| The Gratlan Affair, Massacre, Fort Laramie Treaty |

The Cheyenne Social Club
| A Cheyenne War Story: Wolf Road, the Runner |
| Cheyenne Traditions and Beliefs, Sacred Stories |
| Horses, Warriors, War Pipe, Sweatlodge Ceremony |
| Cheyenne War Parties and Battle Tactics |
| The Scalp Dance and Other Cheyenne Dances |

Fort Union
| The Sante Fe Trail and Fort Union |
| Sumner - Ninth Military Department / The First Fort Union |
| Early Arrivals to Fort Union, Daily Life at Fort Union |
| Captain Grover - The New Fort Union, the Confederate Threat |
| Fort Union Arsenal, William Shoemaker, End of Fort Union |

Americans from the East
| Thomas Jefferson, the Louisiana Purchase |
| The Expedition of Zebulon Pike |
| Pikes Peak or Bust / Colorado Gold Rush |

Colorado's Role in the US Civil War
| The Civil War, Fort Wise / Fort Lyon |
| Mace's Hole, Colonel Canby, F.C.V.R. | Fort Weld |
| The Pet Lambs, John Chivington |
| General Henry Sibly, Battle of Valverde, Fort Union |

Cripple Creek District Labor Strikes
| The Western Federation of Miners / State Militia |
| The 1893 - 1894 Strike | The Strike of 1903 - 1904 |
| The Mine Owners Association |
| Crimes and Military Rule in the Cripple Creek District |
| Marshall Law in Cripple Creek District / End of the Strike |
Early Cripple Creek District
| Photos, Fire, and Life in Cripple Creek |
| Other Colorful Towns in the Cripple Creek District:
Gillett - Colorado's Only Bullfight, Victor, Independence
|
| A Guide to the Miners' Gritty Lingo |

More Colorado History Information
| Bent's Fort Photos, Personalities, Plans, and More |

| What Was Easter Like at Bent's Fort? |
| Colorado Trivia, Miscellaneous Old Photos,
Western Personalities, Forts, and More
|

| Lullabies for Jittery Cows - Cowboy Ballads |
| Heraldry of the Branding Iron |
| Project Aims to Clear Infamous Cannibal, Alferd Packer |
|
Lead Gives Alferd Packer's Story More Weight |
| Legendary Colorado Love Stories: Baby Doe Tabor & More |
| Colorado Pioneer Women: Elizabeth Byers |
| Early Denver Jokes / The History of April Fools' Day |


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Highlands Ranch High School 9375 South Cresthill Lane Highlands Ranch, Colorado 80126 303-471-7000

Mr. Sedivy's History Classes
| Colorado History | American Government | Advanced Placement Modern European History | Rise of Nation State England | World History |
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