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Beneath the Backbone of the WorldBlackfoot People and the North American Borderlands, 1720-1877$
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Ryan Hall

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9781469655154

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: May 2021

DOI: 10.5149/northcarolina/9781469655154.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM UNIVERSITY OF NORTH CAROLINA PRESS SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.northcarolina.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of North Carolina Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in NCSO for personal use.date: 21 September 2021

Nefarious Traffic

Nefarious Traffic

(p.144) Chapter Six Nefarious Traffic
Beneath the Backbone of the World

Ryan Hall

University of North Carolina Press

This chapter demonstrates how tensions escalated between Blackfoot people and newcomers between 1861 and 1870. The Montana Gold Rush, increased settlement, the U.S. Civil War, and the collapse of the fur trade narrowed Blackfoot avenues for diplomacy during the early 1860s. In the late 1860s these escalating tensions exploded into open conflict in what had recently become Montana Territory, culminating in the U.S. Army’s massacre of an entire Piikani band in 1870, known as the Marias Massacre. The massacre, coupled with a devastating smallpox outbreak and settler pressure, devastated Blackfoot people’s ability to resist American expansion. By the 1870s, Blackfoot people in Montana faced little choice but to settle on a shrinking reservation or flee across the border to Canada.

Keywords:   Marias Massacre, Border, Montana Gold Rush, Civil War, Settlement

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