SITTING BULL (c. 1837-1890), a chief and medicine man of the Dakota Sioux, was born on Willow Creek in what is now North Dakota about 1837, son of a chief named Jumping Bull. He gained great influence among the reckless and unruly young Indians, and during the Civil War led attacks on white settlements in Iowa and Minnesota. Though he had pretended tomake peace in 1866, from 1869 to 1876 he frequently attacked whites or Indians friendly to whites. His refusal to return to the reservation in 1876, led to the campaign in which General George A. Custer (q.v.) and his command were massacred. Fearing punishment for his participation in the massacre, Sitting Bull with a large band moved over into Canada. He returned to the United States in 1881, and after 1883 made his home at the Standing Rock Agency. Rumours of a coming Indian Messiah who should sweep away the whites, and Indian dissatisfaction at the sale of their lands, created such great unrest in Dakota in 1880-1890 that it was determined to arrest Sitting Bull as a precaution. He was surprised and captured by Indian police and soldiers on Grand river on the 15th of December 1890, and was killed while his companions were attempting to rescue him.
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)