Skip to content

Choose a Chapter | Purchase the eBook

1 The Collision Of Cultures
2 Britain And Its Colonies
3 Colonial Ways Of Life
4 The Imperial Perspective
5 From Empire To Independence
6 The American Revolution
7 Shaping A Federal Union
8 The Federalist Era
9 The Early Republic
10 Nationalism And Sectionalism
11 The Jacksonian Impulse
12 The Dynamics Of Growth
13 An American Renaissance: Religion, Romanticism, And Reform
14 Manifest Destiny
15 The Old South
16 The Crisis Of Union
17 The War Of The Union
18 Reconstruction: North And South
19 New Frontiers: South And West
20 Big Business And Organized Labor
21 The Emergence Of Urban America
22 Gilded-age Politics And Agrarian Revolt
23 An American Empire
24 The Progressive Era
25 America And The Great War
26 The Modern Temper
27 Republican Resurgence And Decline
28 New Deal America
29 From Isolation To Global War
30 The Second World War
31 The Fair Deal And Containment
32 Through The Picture Window: Society And Culture, 19451960
33 Conflict And Deadlock: The Eisenhower Years
34 New Frontiers: Politics And Social Change In The 1960s
35 Rebellion And Reaction In The 1960s And 1970s
36 A Conservative Insurgency
37 Triumph And Tragedy: America At The Turn Of The Century

Sources of Freedom. Crazy Horse, "I Have Spoken" (1877)

» Return to Document Reader
» Worksheet

The discovery of gold in the Black Hills led to the disintegration of the 1869 treaty between the United States and the Sioux and Cheyenne nations. Miners and troops streamed into the region. In June 1876, General George A. Custer and 250 federal troops were ambushed at Little Big Horn. A year later, the last of the Cheyenne and Sioux who had carried out that attack were hunted down. This speech records the last words of Crazy Horse, their chief. How did he explain the violent conflict with white settlers? What kind of life and society did he want for his people? What options did the United States give to the Sioux and the Cheyenne, and why did the discovery of precious metals cause the peace to break down?

My friend, I do not blame you for this. Had I listened to you this trouble would not have happened to me. I was not hostile to the white man. Sometimes my young men would attack the Indians who were their enemies and took their ponies. They did it in return.

We had buffalo for food, and their hides for clothing and our tipis. We preferred hunting to a life of idleness on the reservations, where we were driven against our will. At times we did not get enough to eat, and we were not allowed to leave the reservation to hunt.

We preferred our own way of living. We were no expense to the government then. All we wanted was peace and to be left alone. Soldiers were sent out in the winter, who destroyed our villages. Then "Long Hair" [George A. Custer] came in the same way. They say we massacred him, but he would have done the same to us had we not defended ourselves and fought to the last. Our first impulse, was to escape with our squaws and papooses, but we were so hemmed in that we had to fight.

After that I went up on Tongue River with a few of my people and lived in peace. But the government would not let me alone. Finally, I came back to the Red Cloud Agency.... I came here with the agent [Lee] to talk with Big White Chief, but was not given a chance. They tried to confine me, I tried to escape, and a soldier ran his bayonet into me.

I have spoken

Section Menu





Norton Gradebook

Instructors now have an easy way to collect students’ online quizzes with the Norton Gradebook without flooding their inboxes with e-mails.

Students can track their online quiz scores by setting up their own Student Gradebook.