The Treaty of Fort Laramie

The famous Great Council of 1851 (Treaty of Fort Laramie) is well recorded in History books, especially Wyoming History. But by 1890 when Wyoming became a state the famous treaty location was actually in Nebraska. Fort Laramie (Wyoming) itself only covers a few acres and at the time of the Great Council camps of both whites and Indians were spread out for miles. Grass was eaten down to nothing pushing all involved farther and farther from the actual fort as the government waited on gifts from the east to arrive.

This treaty was supposed to solve the problem of Indian wars against the white men on the plains but many historians point to this as the beginning of the Plains Indians wars of the west. The council that tried to keep Indians away from the trails by giving payments to the tribes for the game they lost after being relocated away from the North Platte River. Although all tribes were invited it was the Sioux, Arapaho and Cheyenne that were closest to the trails and most dangerous to travelers, these tribes were among the first and longest lasting of the Plains Indians trying to stop expansion into their territory.

The United States government made only one payment thus breaking the treaty that they had pushed so hard for. The treaty would be redone in 1868, but it to would also fail and wars on the plains would continue until 1890 and Wounded Knee.

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