August 2, 2022

History on the Lawn: Sitting Bull and the Events Leading to the Battle of the Little Big Horn

DEADWOOD – Deadwood History, Inc. and the Deadwood Historic Preservation Commission will host a presentation by Bill Markley, South Dakota Humanities Council Speakers’ Bureau Scholar, author, and historian, at 12:00 p.m. on Friday, August 19, 2022, at the Historic Adams House, 22 Van Buren Street, Deadwood.  The lecture is free.  Please feel free to bring your lunch and a lawn chair.  For more information call 605-722-4800.  In case of inclement weather, the lecture will be moved to the Homestake Adams Research and Cultural Center (HARCC), 150 Sherman Street, Deadwood.

In 1874 Lieutenant Colonel George Armstrong Custer led an expedition into the Black Hills where his prospectors discovered gold along French Creek, setting off a stampede to the Black Hills and leading to violent confrontations with the Lakota and other tribes. But before that happened there had been constant warfare with those tribes which had not signed the 1868 Fort Laramie Treaty. Sitting Bull was one of those leaders. When railroad survey teams passed through their hunting grounds in Dakota and Montana Territories, Sitting Bull and others fought to expel them. One of the military leaders assigned to protect the railroad surveyors was Custer. What happened during those clashes? What was Sitting Bull doing as prospectors invaded the Black Hills? What were Sitting Bull’s actions leading up to and during the Battle of the Little Big Horn? These and similar topics will be discussed in this presentation.

Bill Markley’s book Geronimo and Sitting Bull: Leaders of the Legendary West, released May 2021, is the third book in the Legendary West series. The first book, Wyatt Earp and Bat Masterson chronicles their adventures; and the second, Billy the Kid and Jesse James; tells their tales. Along with coauthor Kellen Cutsforth, Markley explores ten historical controversies in his  Old West Showdown.  Markley has written additional nonfiction books including Dakota Epic, his journal written while working as an extra in Dances with Wolves; and a historical novel, Deadwood Dead Men, set during August 1876. A member of Western Writers of America, he writes for True West, Wild West, and Roundup magazines. His second book with Kellen Cutsforth, Standoff at High Noon, a sequel to Old West Showdown, explores ten more Old West controversies, was released October 2021, and Wild Bill and Buffalo Bill, the fourth book in the Legendary West series, will be released August 15, 2022.

History on the Lawn is co-sponsored by the Deadwood Historic Preservation Commission, Adams-Mastrovich Family Foundation, Deadwood History, Deadwood Chamber & Visitors Bureau, Saloon No. 10, Black Hills Pioneer, Deadwood Mountain Grand, Riverfront Broadcasting, Silverado Franklin Hotel & Gaming Complex, and the South Dakota Humanities Council, an affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities.


We inspire the global community by preserving and celebrating the cultural heritage of Deadwood and the Black Hills in the context of the American West through exceptional exhibits, innovative educational programs, and access to extensive collections in unique settings.

Adams Museum, Days of ‘76 Museum, Historic Adams House, Homestake Adams Research and Cultural Center (HARCC), and The Brothel Deadwood.


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