The struggle for control of the Black Hills region is a story in itself. If one were to pick a defining moment in the story of the Black Hills coming under the control of the United States, it would likely be the Custer Expedition of 1874. In 1872, Secretary of the Interior Columbus Delano, in part, set the stage for the expedition to the Black Hills.
Unfortunately, there is not much information available about Deadwood’s first newspaperman Albert W. Merrick (portrayed by Jeffrey Jones in HBO’s DEADWOOD). Here is what we do know. Merrick was born about 1839 in New York. That is all that we can determine until he surfaces again some twenty years later in eastern Nebraska Territory.
Historical Black Hills characters, both factual and fictional, have taken center stage in the successful HBO series DEADWOOD." Al Swearengen is portrayed in the HBO production as the ruthless owner and manager of the Gem Theater in a way which, for the most part, is historically accurate.
Annie Donna Tallent is recognized as the first white woman to enter the Black Hills region, arriving with the Gordon-Russell expedition in 1874. The Gordon-Russell party entered the Hills looking for gold, in violation of the 1868 Fort Laramie Treaty that recognized the Black Hills as a part of the Great Sioux Reservation.
The following is a brief summary of the complex events leading up to the battle of The Little Bighorn, the battle, and its aftermath. The Fort Laramie Treaty of 1868 created a reservation consisting of that portion of the present state of South Dakota lying west of the Missouri River; the section of current-day eastern Wyoming east of the Bighorn Mountains and north of the North Platte River; as well as lands in Nebraska north of the Platte River were designated as unceded Indian territory.
From the earliest accounts (including the Kiowa, Kiowa-Apache, Arikara, Arapaho, Mandans, and the Hidatsa), to later occupants like the Crow, Cheyenne, Teton Dakota (Sioux), and European Americans, the land now known as South Dakota has been home for many people and cultures.
Calamity Jane was a hard drinking woman who wore men's clothing, used coarse language, chewed tobacco and was reportedly quite handy with a gun. Historians often dispute certain details of her autobiography, and some portions have been proven to be false, but . . .
I remained around Deadwood locating claims, going from camp to camp until the spring of 1877, where one morning, I saddled my horse and rode towards Crook city. I had gone about twelve miles from Deadwood, at the mouth of Whitewood creek, when I met the overland mail running from Cheyenne to Deadwood. The horses on a run, about two hundred yards from the station; upon looking closely I saw they were pursued by Indians.