1867 - Second Removal Era

The second removal era commenced in Missouri, Kansas and Nebraska when settlers began moving onto Indian owned lands that were never given up in treaty.

        In 1867, federal authorities had decided to begin a campaign to forcibly remove all Native Americans from the central section of the Great Plains.  The fact that most of this land was already set aside as Indian land in the Horse Creek Treaty of 1851 had no bearing on the objectives of the War Department and the Indian Office, which were united in this objective.


      When asked by members of the press in Washington D.C.  to describe Indian reservations, General Sherman (rights) responded: "Indian reservations are parcels of land, set aside for the exclusive use of Indians, surrounded by thieves."

         General Sherman proposed moving the Sioux north of the Platte, thereby creating a broad belt of land running east and west "in which lie the two great railroads, and over which passes the bulk of travel to the mountain territories…I bet you will submit this proposition to the honorable secretary of the interior, that we may know that what we do does not violate some one of the solemn treaties made with these Indians."

          Indian Commissioner Lewis V. Bogy reminded Sherman that the western lands "...yet belong to the Indians; it has not been seceded by them." But for Sherman the realist, theoretical question of land titles based upon treaty promises were ephemeral concerns.  He had developed the pragmatic mind of the military achiever and viewed the military as the right tool for solving the nation's 'Indian problem."