Sitting Bull

Tell them at Washington if they can find one man among them who speaks the truth, to send him to me, and I will listen.

(1831 - 1890)

 Perhaps the most famous of the 19th century Indian leaders, Sitting Bull was the revered spiritual leader of the Hunkpapa Sioux

 He was also a great orator and warrior.  "Tell them at Washington if they have one man who speaks the truth to send him to me, and I will listen to what he has to say," he said, challenging the United States to honor just one of its many treaty obligations.  He famously foresaw the demise of Col. Custer and the Seventh Cavalry during a Sun Dance he held just a week before the fated battle, on June 25, 1876.  Following the battle, Sitting Bull took his people to Canada, then returned when conditions became desperate.  He and his followers surrendered at Fort Beauford, on the Missouri River, just a few miles from the Fort Union trading post. Click here for more on Sitting Bull

          Historian Judith Nies writes that the selection of Sitting Bull to be a central leader for the many diverse Sioux bands was unprecedented, but the Sioux believed this was necessary in order to confront the mounting crisis with the whites.  Sitting Bull was a holy man as much as a war chief, and his people believed his success derived from the strength of his visions.  He himself believed his powers came from being in harmony with the powers of the universe.. Click here for more on Sitting Bull, the spiritual leader