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Little Arkansas Treaty

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Title: Little Arkansas Treaty  
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Subject: Sand Creek massacre, Kiowa people, Satanta (chief), Kicking Bird, Comanche Campaign, Galvanized Yankees
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Little Arkansas Treaty

The Little Arkansas Treaty was a set of treaties signed between the United States of America and the Kiowa, Comanche, Plains Apache, Southern Cheyenne, and Southern Arapaho at Little Arkansas River, Kansas in October 1865. On October 14, 1865 the United States and all of the major Plains Indians Tribes signed a treaty on the Little Arkansas River, which became known as the Little Arkansas Treaty. It is notable in that it lasted less than two years, and the reservations it created for the Plains Indians were never created at all, and were reduced by 90% eighteen months later in the Medicine Lodge Treaty.

The full treaty can be found online at [1]

the bloody war

The Civil War was ending, and the Union did not want to have to keep hundreds of thousands of men under arms to defend immigrants against Indian attacks. Therefore the government sent highly respected Commissioners to the Plains Tribes, and asked them to meet and talk peace.

Chiefs and Commissioners in attendance

Among the Native American Leaders in attendance were Chiefs Black Kettle and Seven Bulls (Cheyenne), Little Raven and Big Mouth (Comanche), Poor Bear, Old Fool Man, and Crow (Apache), Little Raven, and Storm, (Arapaho), Satanta and Satank (Kiowa). Federal commissioners with great prestige and standing among the Indians were General Harney, Colonel Leavenworth, Kit Carson and William. Bent.

For the United States, the signatories of the treaty were:
  • John B. Sanborn,
  • William. S. Harney,
  • James Steele,
  • William. W. Bent,
  • Kit Carson,
  • Thomas. Murphy,
  • Col. J. H. Leavenworth, black bear
Commissioners on the part of the United States.
For the Native Americans, the signatories of the treaty were:
  • Kou-zhon-ta-co, or Poor Bear, head chief, his x mark.
  • Ba-zhe-ech, or Iron Shirt, his x mark.
  • Az-che-om-a-te-ne, or the Old Fool Man, chief, his x mark.
  • Karn-tin-ta, or the Crow, chief, his x mark.
  • Mah-vip-pah, or The Wolf Sleeve, chief, his x mark.
  • Nahn-tan, or The Chief, his x mark.
On the part of the Kiowa-Apaches (Or Plains-Apaches)
  • Moke-ta-ve-to, or Black Kettle, head chief, his x mark.
  • Oh-to-ah-ne-so-to-wheo, or Seven Bulls, chief, his x mark.
  • Hark-kah-o-me, or Little Robe, chief, his x mark.
  • Moke-tah-vo-ve-ho, or Black White Man, chief, his x mark.
  • Mun-a-men-ek, or Eagle's Head, headman, his x mark.
  • O-to-ah-nis-to, or Bull that Hears, headman, his x mark.
On the part of the Cheyennes
  • Oh-has-tee, or Little Raven, head chief, his x mark.
  • Oh-hah-mah-hah, or Storm, chief, his x mark.
  • Pah-uf-pah-top, or Big Mouth, chief, his x mark.
  • Ah-cra-ka-tau-nah, or Spotted Wolf, chief, his x mark.
On the part of the Comanches
  • Ah-nah-wat-tan, or Black Man, headman, his x mark.
  • Nah-a-nah-cha, Chief in Everything, headman, his x mark.
  • Chi-e-nuk, or Haversack, headman, his x mark.
On the part of the Arrapahoes
  • Satanta, White Bear, chief, his x mark.
  • Satank, or Big Bear, chief, his x mark.
  • Wa-toh-konk, or Black Eagle, chief, his x mark.
  • Sa-tim-gear, or Stumbling Bear, chief, his x mark.
  • Sit-par-ga, or One Bear, chief, his x mark.
On the part of the Kiowa

What both sides wanted

The white representatives wanted peace, unmolested traffic on the Santa Fe trail and limitation of Indian territory. The Indians demanded unrestricted hunting grounds and reparation for the Chivington massacre of Black Kettle's band. Treaties made here gave the Indians reservations south of the Arkansas, excluded them north to the Platte and proclaimed peace. Several white captives were released, among them a woman and four children from Texas, the Box family, taken by a war party under Satanta.

The aftermath

This is one of the shortest treaties in history. None of its major provisions were ever implemented. Both sides charged violations and warfare continued until the Medicine Lodge treaties of 1867. [2] There is a monument one mile west of the Little Arkansas River, on the Council Grounds, in Kansas, commemorating the Treaty.


  • Cozzens, Peter, ed. (2003). Eyewitnesses to the Indian Wars, Volume Three: Conquering the Southern Plains. Mechanicsburg, PA: Stackpole Books. ISBN 0-8117-0019-

External links

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