Red Cloud, Chief of the Oglala Sioux, c. 1870
Grant's new policies toward Native peoples were largely ineffective; the army tended to do as it pleased. In 1870, with tensions mounting, a delegation of twenty-one Indians that included Red Cloud traveled east to confer with Grant. Two years earlier, Red Cloud had led the most successful war against the United States by any Indian nation. The trip became a public relations coup when newspapers followed it. In Washington, Red Cloud spoke "to the point" and "without ambiguity." Grant received him, promising that he "desired to live at peace with the Indian nations." The crowd in New York City responded to Red Cloud's "magnetism" with "tumultuous applause."
Photograph courtesy of the Library of Congress