Sioux Indian Leader. His parents named him "Slow" because they did not see anything remarkable about him. When he was 14, he was considered very young to join a war party (1845). However, he was very anxious for a chance to prove himself. As they rest of his party waited for the enemy to approach nearer, he quickly charged towards an enemy on his pony, with the others changing strategy and following his lead. The enemy warriors were so shocked at the boldness of the attack that they retreated. Because his father was so proud of his son's early victory, he gave the name Sitting Bull to his son that the Buffalo God had given him. In 1856 Sitting Bull killed the chief of the Crows in combat and became the chief of the Strong Hearts warrior society. He played an increasing role in the ongoing conflict with Whites that escalated in the 1850s and 1860s. In 1864 he participated in the Battle of Killdeer Mountains and the Battle of the Badland; in 1865 he fought United States troops in the Battle of Powder River. The Indians thought of the Buffalo as a headstrong, stubborn creature that was afraid of nothing - a creature that has great endurance, courage and strength. These qualities were fighting qualities that people ascribed to Sitting Bull. When the Hunkpapa Sioux tribe began losing respect and faith in the Chiefs of their tribe, Four Horns decided it was time that a new chief was to be chosen. In 1867 Sitting Bull was inaugurated as head chief of the Teton Sioux with the belief that he would restore the honor of and rebuild the people's respect. Well known as an able buffalo hunter and a brave warrior who led charges against enemies, he was a popular figure within the camp. He also had a reputation as a peacemaker, settling disputes among his people. Sitting Bull felt for the poor and weak people of his tribe and showed his compassion by sharing food and even giving away his horses. He was also a sociable man who always had a good story or joke ready for those who would listen. Being extremely religious, it was said that Sitting Bull received everything he prayed for, and his prophecy gift was uncanny. In 1868 he showed his leadership by negotiated the Treaty of Laramie with Father Pierre Jeane DeSmet. Volitions of that treaty, and increasing White encroachment into Indian lands prompted Sitting Bull to assemble a force of Plain Indians in 1876 and prepare for war against the United States Army. Prior to the most significant fighting, he performed the outlawed Sun Dance ritual and prophesied the subsequent victory over General George Cook in the Battle of the Rosebud and the defeat of General George Custer in the Battle of Little Bighorn. Meeting with Colonel Nelson Miles after the battles, he took his people to Canada in 1877 under an agreement with the United States government in 1877. Some Americans objected to his exile and called for his extradition. In 1878 he again met with a United States Commission but refused to leave Canada. By 1881, insolated from his people in the United States and receiving no humanitarian aid from the Canadian government, he returned with his people to the United States and surrendered at Fort Buford. Between the years of 1881 to 1883, he was held in confinement at Fort Randall. During his confinement he made a deal with William "Buffalo Bill" Cody to perform in Cody's traveling "Wild West Show." After touring from 1883 to 1885, he once again returned with his people to the United States and Canada. Arguments with the Government continued and in 1888 he resisted the proposed breakup of the Great Sioux Reservation. In 1889 he attempted, unsuccessfully, to block cession of land to the government. In 1890, during an attempted arrest, he was killed by the Standing Rock Indian police, two weeks before the massacre at Wounded Knee Creek in South Dakota.
Bio by: K M