"Look at me - I am poor and naked, but I am the chief of the nation. We do not want riches, but we want to train our children right. Riches will do us no good. We could not take them with us to the other world. We do not want riches. We want peace and love." (Red Cloud)
A lot of ink has been spilled covering the lives of history's most influential figures, but how much of the forest is lost for the trees? In Charles River Editors' American Legends series, listeners can get caught up to speed on the lives of America's most important men and women in the time it takes to finish a commute, while learning interesting facts long forgotten or never known.
Among the Oglala Lakota, one of the most famous bands of the Native American tribe known as the Sioux, the longest and most effective leader was Makhpiyaluta, better known as Red Cloud. Though he has not been remembered as vividly as another member of the Oglala Lakota, Crazy Horse, Red Cloud led the group for 40 years, in war, in peace, and on a reservation, becoming so esteemed and influential that Americans began to mistakenly take him for the leader of the entire Sioux tribe.
In the 1860s Red Cloud was at the forefront of skirmishing among whites and Native Americans along the frontier in Wyoming and Montana, which came to be known as Red Cloud's War. After that, however, Red Cloud continued to lead his people to reservations first near the Black Hills and later westward after the Battle of the Little Bighorn.