Black Hills Exploration Ends

A Golden Agricultural Paradise
Bear Butte, Dakota
August 15, 1874

Upon orders from General Phil Sheridan, an official army expedition into the Black Hills started out from Fort Abraham Lincoln on July 2.  Colonel George Armstrong Custer led the expedition of 1,000 men, including a geologist.  His assignment?  Explore the country and report in detail what it is like.
Preliminary findings are exciting.  The heavily wooded Hills has many valleys covered with the best of grasses.  The soil is beyond all doubt of the most fertile character.  Pure spring water abounds.  Of greatest excitement is the discovery of gold which may be as rich as to yield $100 per day per prospector. 

The Black Hills expedition has found the Hills the most desirable portion of Dakota.  Although the Black Hills is the most sacred of Lakota places, very few Indians have been encountered by the expedition.  Some worry that the Lakota will view the expedition as a treaty violation. 

By Dr. D. Jerome Tweton


Originally published as The North Star Dakotan student newspaper, written by Dr. D. Jerome Tweton and supported by the North Dakota Humanities Council

Subject Matter

Social Studies

North Star Dakotan:

Journals and Art Work: The Indian People, The Trade, and The Land

The Indian People

The Purchase and Exploration of Louisiana

The Fur Trade

Dakota Territory

The Military Frontier

The Reservation System

George Armstrong Custer and the Battle of the Little Bighorn

The Great Dakota Boom, 1878-1890

Reservation Troubles, 1886-1890

The Making of a State and a Constitution

The North Dakota Economy, 1890-1915

Life on the Indian Reservations

The North Dakota National Guard and the Philippines

North Dakota, The Great War and After

The Nonpartisan League's Rise to Power

The Nonpartisan League in Power

The Nonpartisan League's Decline

The 1920s

1930s: North Dakota's Economic and Political Climate

The New Deal in North Dakota

The Road to World War II

North Dakota and American Society

North Dakota Optimism and Economic Developments

North Dakota and Political Change