A New Nation Comes to the Indian Country
The Fur Trade New Settlers Miners Ranchers Missionaries and Teachers


Black Hills Gold Rush

In 1868, the United States signed a treaty with the Teton Sioux recognizing their ownership of the lands in Dakota Territory west of the Missouri River. Six years later, Colonel George Armstrong Custer led an expedition through the Black Hills in the western portion of these reserved lands to investigate rumors that the area contained gold.

Custer’s positive report set off a rush to the hills similar to the one witnessed by the Nez Perces a decade earlier. Thousands of prospectors trespassed on Sioux lands, many guided by this popular map published by Chicago’s Rand McNally Company.

In 1877, the Sioux were forced to cede the Black Hills to the United States. Ignoring the tribe’s protests Congress ratified the illegal agreement.

Rand, McNally & Co. Rand, McNally & Co.’s New Map and Guide to the Black Hills of Dakota: Illustrated: Showing Most Direct Railroad & Wagon Routes, and Route of Custer's Expedition, Being also a Correct County Map of Dakota and Nebraska, and Parts of Minnesota, Iowa, Kansas, Colorado, Wyoming, and Montana, 1875.

Click to Enlarge
Newberry Library