Morning Star (chief)

Morning Star (Cheyenne: Vóóhéhéve, also known by his Lakota Sioux name Tamílapéšni, Dull Knife) (born c. 1810, died 1883), was a great chief to the Northern Cheyenne people during the 19th century. He was noted for his active resistance to Western expansion and the Federal government. It is due to the courage and determination of Morning Star and other Cheyenne leaders that the Northern Cheyenne still possess a homeland in their traditional country (present-day Montana).

Although he was known as "Dull Knife" (or Motšêške Ôhnêxahpo in Cheyenne, a translation of his Lakota name) to local settlers, U.S. military leaders, and other American Indians, his Cheyenne name is Morning Star. A Cheyenne warrior in every sense of the word, Morning Star was described by many writers of the century as "an admirable outlaw" compared to others like Rob Roy and William Wallace.

In 1868, Morning Star represented his tribe at the signing of the Treaty of Fort Laramie. Following "Custer's Last Stand" at the Battle of Little Bighorn in 1876, Morning Star allied with the Sioux and other tribes against the United States. However, after a disastrous raid (the Dull Knife Fight) by American soldiers in which 153 lodges were destroyed and 500 war ponies captured, most of the Cheyenne were eventually forced to surrender. They were transported to the Indian Territory in Oklahoma.

Eventually, unable to hunt, the tribe suffered from starvation and disease until September 1878 when Morning Star began to lead the tribe north back toward their ancient homelands. Fighting through, the Cheyenne were able to outmaneuver Federal troops in the Nebraska Sand Hills until they were captured near Fort Robinson in Nebraska. The tribe was said to have taken apart their guns, hidden under blankets or worn as necklaces and bracelets by children. On January 8, 1879, the tribe again tried to escape north when most of the Cheyenne, mostly women and children, were killed by Federal troops. However a few of the tribe managed to escape, including Dull Knife.

Morning Star died in 1883 and was buried on a high hill at Lame Deer, Montana, near the Rosebud River (now known as Stillwater River), overlooking the land where he had led his people.

Chief Dull Knife College in Lame Deer, Montana was named in his honor.

His photograph, as Dull Knife, appears in Dee Brown's 1971 bestseller Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee.

Famous quotes containing the words morning and/or star:

    I get up in the morning with an idea for a three-volume novel and by nightfall it’s a paragraph in my column.
    Don Marquis (1878–1937)

    I have drunk ale from the Country of the Young
    And weep because I know all things now:
    I have been a hazel-tree, and they hung
    The Pilot Star and the Crooked Plough
    Among my leaves in times out of mind....
    William Butler Yeats (1865–1939)