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Black Kettle


Born 1803 — Died 1868.


United States, as it is now known.

Also known as:

A peacemaker.

Not to be confused with:

Jack Black.

Claim to fame:

Cheyenne chief who continuously tried to secure peace with the United States while it tried to take the land where his Cheyenne people had lived for generations. He was initially a Dog Soldier, a warrior and fighter. In spite of his skill as a warrior, Black Kettle worked unsuccessfully to bring about peace on the Plains, forcing young men from his own tribe to lay down their weapons and avoid confrontation. He maintained his position even when renegade soldiers massacred 200 members of his band at Sand Creek. He signed a treaty that forced his people onto a tiny piece of a land, a "reservation," where many died of disease. Black Kettle and his wife were later killed in a brutal dawn raid by General Custer. Black Kettle's tent still flew the white flag of peace. Within a year the Cheyenne had given up hope of keeping their nation independent.

Unlikely to say:

"Me scalp-um," "How," "Me Big Chief" etc.

The stereotypes perpetuated in movies of Indians as bloodthirsty savages have not helped our understanding of their rich history and culture.

Who would play Black Kettle in a movie?

Graham Greene.

Who would not play Black Kettle in a movie?

Jack Black.

Favorite ice cream:

Vanilla Custer. Or cookie dough. Why not? Everyone likes cookie dough, don't they?

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