The Arikara War: The First Plains Indian War, 1823, by William Nester, paperback (good/very good condition) 


Taking place in 1823, the Arikara War is noted as the first Plains Indian War between the United States and the western Native Americans.  The Arikara, also known as the Arikaree or Ree Indians, were a semi-nomadic group who lived in tipis on the plains of South Dakota for several hundred years. Primarily an agricultural society, they were often bullied by their nomadic neighbors, especially the Sioux. Occupying a central location for trade between the Indians and the white settlers to the east, they also began to come into conflict with the many traders encroaching upon their lands.


Though the Arikara were never noted for their friendliness to white settlers, tensions reached a new high when a chief’s son was killed by a trading company employee. Furious with this event and losing control of their lands, the Arikara attacked a trapping expedition of the Rocky Mountain Fur Company who were traveling along the Missouri River on June 2, 1823, resulting in about a dozen of the trader’s deaths.


Afterward, the survivors of the fur company retreated downriver where they waited more than a month for reinforcements so they might retaliate. The U.S. Army sent some 230 soldiers, 750 Sioux, and 50 trappers under the command of U.S. Army Colonel Henry Leavenworth, to take vengeance on the Arikara. After the attack on the Indians on August 9, 1823, some 50 of the Arikara lay dead. Six days later, on August 15th, the military forces burned an Arikara village, where they later built an American post as a message to other “unfriendly” Indians, including the Crow and the Blackfoot.

The Arikara War: The First Plains Indian War, 1823

SKU: 2-310