Sitting Bull: One of South Dakota’s ‘Great Faces’

Hunkpapa Lakota leader, warrior and holy man Sitting Bull was respected for his bravery and insight. After the Battle at Little Big Horn, Sitting Bull became known around the world, and he is one of South Dakota’s Great Faces.
 
Sitting Bull was born about 1831 in present day South Dakota. At only 14 years old, he went to his first battle and had his first encounter with the U.S. Army.
 
By 1876, Sitting Bull’s leadership inspired thousands of Lakota people to stand with him and defeat Gen. George Armstrong Custer’s troops at the Battle of Little Big Horn. Custer’s defeat spurred the U.S. Army to aggressively purse the Lakota people. Eventually, the Army caused the Lakota forces to divide and many Lakota chiefs to surrender.
 
On July 19, 1881, Sitting Bull also surrendered because of the lack of food and buffalo. He gave his son his rifle to surrender to the cavalry men hoping he would “become a friend of the Americans.” Yet Sitting Bull still wanted it to “be remembered that I was the last man of my tribe to surrender rifle.”
 
He died Dec. 15, 1890, and was buried at Fort Yates, N.D. In 1953, his remains were moved to Mobridge, S.D., where a granite monument marks his grave.
 
– Taken from South Dakota’s Great Faces weekly press release series, a project of the South Dakota Office of Tourism designed to highlight those who have had a significant impact on South Dakota, particularly within the visitor industry.

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Seth Tupper

Seth Tupper was born and raised in South Dakota and earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from South Dakota State University in 2001. After college, he worked at a newspaper in Minnesota and then returned to South Dakota in 2003 to join the staff of The Daily Republic in Mitchell, where he is currently the publisher. Seth has won numerous awards for his writing, including the 2007 Outstanding Young Journalist award in the daily newspapers category of the South Dakota Newspaper Association’s Better Newspapers Contest. Seth’s day-job and freelance work have granted him opportunities to meet hundreds of South Dakotans and travel across much of the state. He also spends a lot of his free time exploring South Dakota’s state and national parks, hiking trails and kayak-friendly rivers.

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