North America 1876: Great Sioux War

Political map of North America & the Caribbean on 25 Jun 1876 (Closing the Frontier: Great Sioux War), showing the following events: British Columbia joins Canada; Modoc War; San Juan Islands award; Prince Edward I. joins Canada; Red River War; Mounties march west; Great Sioux War; Battle of Little Bighorn; Keewatin Act.

In 1874, gold was discovered in the Black Hills, part of the Great Sioux Reservation. When attempts by the US government to purchase the land collapsed in 1876, it decided to send in the cavalry to subjugate the more hostile Lakota Sioux and Northern Cheyenne living west of the Reservation. Despite a notable victory at Little Bighorn, the Indians were ultimately forced to surrender.

Main Events

20 Jul 1871 British Columbia joins Canada

After almost two years of negotiations, in which the Dominion of Canada agreed to take on the colony’s debts and promised to build a transcontinental railway connecting Vancouver to eastern Canada within ten years, the United Colony of British Columbia and Vancouver Island entered the Canadian Federation as the Province of British wikipedia

6 Jul 1872–4 Jun 1873 Modoc War

Modoc Indians fought a guerrilla war against the United States Army in southern Oregon and northern California. The US forces prevailed, however, and expelled all of California’s remaining Modoc to the Indian wikipedia

21 Oct 1872 San Juan Islands award

Under the terms of the 1871 Treaty of Washington, the United States and the United Kingdom agreed to resolve the San Juan Islands dispute by international arbitration, with Kaiser Wilhelm I of Germany chosen to act as arbitrator. After almost a year of discussion, the three-man arbitration commission set up by the Kaiser decided in favor of the United States on 21 October 1872. This decision ended the so-called Pig War, leading the British to withdraw from the islands on 25 November 1872, but angered the Canadians, whose interests had been overruled by the wikipedia

1 Jul 1873 Prince Edward I. joins Canada

Despite hosting the 1864 Charlottetown Conference on Canadian Confederation, the British colony of Prince Edward Island refused to join Canada when it was created in 1867. For a time the colony threatened to join the United States, before finally entering the Canadian Confederation in July 1873, after the Canadian government had agreed to take on its railway wikipedia

27 Jun–28 Sep 1874 Red River War

United States forces removed Comanche, Kiowa, Southern Cheyenne and Arapaho tribes from the Southern wikipedia

8 Jul–9 Oct 1874 Mounties march west

Twenty-two officers and 287 men of the newly formed Canadian North-West Mounted Police marched from Fort Dufferin, Manitoba, westward across the Canadian prairies to suppress Fort Whoop-Up, a notorious American whiskey trading post in what is now Alberta. The fort had been forewarned and was largely deserted, but the Mounties eventually caught up with and fined the perpetrators. This act asserted Canadian authority in the prairies north of the United wikipedia

8 Feb 1876–5 May 1877 Great Sioux War

The United States invaded Lakota Sioux and Northern Cheyenne lands, ultimately forcing them to wikipedia

25–26 Jun 1876 Battle of Little Bighorn

Combined Lakota, Northern Cheyenne and Arapaho forces defeated the US 7th Cavalry under George Custer near Little Bighorn River, wikipedia

7 Oct 1876 Keewatin Act

Under the Keewatin Act, the Dominion of Canada established the District of Keewatin from a portion of the Northwest Territories to the west of Hudson Bay. The new territory was created to administer the land between Manitoba and wikipedia