Showdown at Council Grove

By "The Cowboy" Jim Gray


Throughout the later part of the summer of 1867, negotiations were made between frontiersmen and plains Indians. Groups of Comanche, Cheyenne, and others met at Jesse Chisholm’s trading post at the mouth of the Little Arkansas River (Wichita). There was quite a bit of movement between that post and Chisholm’s post on the North Canadian River in Indian Territory. The object of all that activity was a peace treaty between the United States government and all the plains tribes, especially in relation to the use of traditional hunting lands in Kansas.

George Bent described the scene in his book, Life of George Bent: “The great camp was in a beautiful hollow through which flowed Medicine Lodge Creek, with its lovely wooded banks. This was a favorite place for the summer medicine- making of the Indians and also for their winter camps.”


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