Published on January 1, 2013 by Amy
American Horse was a chieftain of the Oglala Sioux during the Wars of the 1870s. He was also the nephew of the elder American Horse and son-in-law of Red Cloud.
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Born as Wasečhun Tashuηka to Sitting Bear in the Black Hills of present day South Dakota, American Horse became known as a prominent warrior during the Bozeman Trail War in 1866. Representing his tribe, American Horse was one of the signers of a treaty between the Sioux and the United States government in 1887 in which the lands of the Sioux Reservation in the Dakota Territory was reduced by half. However, with the opposition against the treaty by over half of the Oglala, encouraged by the Ghost Dance uprising as well as the recent death of Sitting Bull, American Horse withdrew from the council and led by Big Foot, prepared to make a stand against the Federal government. However they were later persuaded by American Horse to agree to the terms of the treaty and later settled on the Pine Ridge Reservation.
American Horse later led a delegation to Washington, D.C. in 1891, where he successfully gained government support for improved rations and humane treatment of the Sioux. He, along with other Sioux leaders, toured with Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show. He later died in Pine Ridge, South Dakota on December 16, 1908.