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I. The Lewis and Clark Expedition. - -reasons for going illegal -flora and fauna -reconnaissance -potential for the fur trade -“King-making” -stop intertribal warfare -check out fur potential. -word got out about the abundance of fur-bearing animals before Lewis and Clark returned

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--reasons for going illegal

-flora and fauna


-potential for the fur trade


-stop intertribal warfare

-check out fur potential


-word got out about the abundance of fur-bearing animals before Lewis and Clark returned

-Manuel Lisa, a Spaniard with experience in the fur trade, set out in 1808

-he built Fort Manuel in what is now Montana

-little success because of opposition of the Blackfeet, loyal to Canadian companies


-Arikara war

--in 1823 the Arikara killed about a dozen trappers along the Missouri River/part of their blockade to prevent the Dakota from getting more arms

--a month later the U.S. Army assembled 230 soldiers, 750 Dakotas, and 50 trappers under Colonel Henry Leavenworth to retaliate

--they defeated the Arikara but it was a small pox epidemic in the 1830s that almost wiped them out


-Indian hostility (primarily the

Blackfeet) made it too dangerous

to trap in the northern Rockies and

plains, using the outpost system

-so in 1823William Ashley moved

operations southward and placed an

add in a St. Lewis news paper, offering

good money for trapping


Rendezvous system

-trappers moved up a river or stream, leaving traps for beaver

-then reversed, going down the river and

collecting the trapped animals

-often “mountain men” lived with Indians, married an Indian women, and picked up a great deal of Indian lifestyle

-each summer Ashley came to a mountain

valley with goods and money

-all involved traded and had a big party

ii from separation to concentration
II. From Separation to Concentration
  • -in 1824 Secretary of War, John C. Calhoun came up with the idea of a “Permanent Indian Frontier”
  • -he selected “transitional” lands so displaced eastern Indians could continue to farm and thus not become a financial burden for the federal government

Bent’s Fort

-in 1833 Charles and William Bent along with Ceran St. Vrain set it up to trade with southern Cheyenne and Arapaho

-for many years it was the only permanent

settlement along the Santa Fe Trail

-it provisioned the Army, Mexicans, Indians, and travelers of all types

-southern Cheyenne and Arapaho did well

trading furs and products of the hunt but while nothing compared to what Americans did later, they began to kill buffalo faster than they could reproduce


-Charles Bent married into a wealthy Mexican family, enhancing trade with Mexicans

  • -William married Owl Woman, from a prominent Cheyenne family, becoming a major player in Cheyenne history and relations with the U.S. government
  • -the fort thrived until it was
  • mysteriously abandoned in 1849

-Colonel Henry Dodge

-expeditions in 1832 and 1833 failed to contact and pacify southern plains Indians after William Bucknell laid out the Santa Fe Trail in the early 1820s and trading traffic led to Indian raids by southern plains tribes along the route

-Dodge’s attempt in 1834 did not

accomplish much more


thirty Cherokee, Delaware, Osage, and Seneca volunteers served as guides and hunters

    • all departed Fort Gibson and made contact with Comanches and Wichitas but accomplished little
  • -a fever broke out among Dodges’ men,
  • many died
  • Indians were not impressed
  • -the Santa Fe Trail remained a
  • dangerous trading

II. Concentration-beginning of the 1840s groups of settlers crossed the plains, going to the Willamette Valley of Oregon or the Central Valley of California -they usually traveled in groups for protection because Indians considered this trespassing -they tried to make the “overlanders” pay tolls and sometimes if denied, Indians attacked the wagon trains

  • -

Treaty-making on the high plains

  • -First Treaty of Fort Laramie (1851) for the northern plains and the Treaty of Treaty of Ft. Atkinson (1853) for the southern plains
  • -the goal in general was to "police" the high plains and stop Indian attacks on “overlanders”
  • - -it was hard for the military to identify which Indianswere involved

-Americans demanded protection in what

they considered to be their land

-most Indian bands refused to participate or agree to the treaty



  • -Indians were to stay within lands defined by specific boundaries
  • -the government acknowledged Indians’ rights to these designated lands
  • -it could also set up military posts along the Overland Trail
  • -both sides agreed to pay for any damages
  • -each Indian nation was to receive
  • $50,000 and annuities for 50 years
  • -but Indians ended up with 15 years of annuities
  • because the Senate has constitutional authority to ratify treaties and changed it without Indian
  • knowledge or consent

Mormon Cow Incident

-Brevit 2nd Lt. John Grattan at Fort

Laramie eager to teach the Lakota a lesson

-August 18, 1854, a Mormon cow

wandered into a Brule camp under

Conquering Bear along the Platte

-visiting Minniconjou High Forehead

-Conquering Bear wouldn’t give up

High Forehead, so Grattan orders

to fire canon which kills the headman

but no one else

-Indians kill all 30 troops


Manypenny Treaties (CIA)

-government eager to open up

Kansas and Nebraska

  • -agents between 1853 and 1857 negotiated 52 treaties, with
  • mostly village agriculturalists -Indians lose over 15 million acres

-Manypenny had doubts


-1854 and 55 Dakotas, especially Brules, Oglalas, and

Minniconjous mad and raided along the Oregon Trail,

including a stage with $10,000

  • - Secretary of War Jefferson sent Harney
  • sent into the field by to enforce the treaty

-the government called in the “friendlies” then

went after the rest

-only real battle was called “Blue Water” where

Indians lost 85 with 70 women and children

taken captive

-headmen Spotted Tail, Red Leaf, and Long

Chin surrender

-“hang around the fort” became

the term used by Indians for these types


Battle of Antelope Hills

-not all Comanches recognized the

Treaty of Fort Atkinson nor the

distinction between Texas and the U.S

and continued to raid in Texas

-Twiggs and troops sent out to enforce

the treaty

-Texas sends Rangers under Captain

  • “John Rip” Ford

-May, 1858, Rangers with Tonkawa and Anadarko scouts found a Comanche encampment

-4 whites killed/76 Comanches: 76 killed, 18 prisoners and 300 horses


Battle of Rush Springs

-Comanches hit Choctaws,

Chickasaws, and Wichitas

-some Comanche leaders knew

of pending retaliation, so went

to Fort Arbuckle and tried to

convince military not to react

-troops under Major Earl Van

Dorn in 1858

-white casualties: 6 dead and 9

wounded/Comanche: 56 men

and 2 women killed/25 wounded

-more raiding in response