This week in 1894

January 8th, 2013 by admin

“My heart is not bad. . . . I did not kill the cowboys…I have killed many Indians, but never killed a white man; I never pulled a gun on a white man. The great father and the men under him should talk to me and I would show them I am innocent. The white men are going to kill me for something I haven’t done. I am a great chief myself. I have always been a friend of the white man. The white men will find out sometime that I am innocent and then they will be sorry they killed me. The great father will be sorry, too, and he will be ashamed. My people will be ashamed, too. My heart is straight and I like everybody. God made all hearts the same. My heart is the same as the white man’s…My heart knows I am not guilty and I am happy. I am not afraid to die. I was taught that if I raised my hands to God and told a lie that God would kill me that day. I never told a lie in my life…”

— Chief Cha Nopa Uhah, convicted of murder, hanging, South Dakota.
Executed December 28, 1894

Sioux Chief Cha Nopa Uhah, or Two Sticks, led a small band of Ghost Dancers in raiding a herd of cattle close to South Dakota’s Pine Ridge Reservation. When tribal police attempted to arrest the band, the Ghost Dancers opened fire and succeeded in killing all but one of the police officers. According to authorities, they then returned to the cattle ranch and killed four cowboys. Eventually, a group of more than fifty chiefs agreed that Two Sticks was the instigator of the altercations, and they gave him up to the state of South Dakota. Upon seeing the gallows, he said. “Washta you bet,” meaning “Good you bet.”

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