Little Raven (Arapaho leader)

Southern Arapaho chief

Little Raven, also known as Hosa (Young Crow), (born ca. 1810 — died 1889) was from about 1855 until his death in 1889 a principal chief of the Southern Arapaho Indians. He negotiated peace between the Southern Arapaho and Cheyenne and the Comanche, Kiowa, and Plains Apache. He also secured rights to the Cheyenne-Arapaho Reservation in Indian Territory.

I would like to shake hands with the white men, but I am afraid they do not want peace with us.


  • I would like to shake hands with the white men, but I am afraid they do not want peace with us.
  • It will be a very hard thing to leave the country that God gave us. Our friends are buried there, and we hate to leave these grounds.... There is something strong for us — that fool band of soldiers that cleared out our lodges and killed our women and children. This is hard on us. There at Sand Creek — White Antelope and many other chiefs lie there; our women and children lie there. Our lodges were destroyed there, and our horses were taken from us there, and I do not feel disposed to go right off to a new country and leave them.

Quotes about Little RavenEdit

  • Chief Little Raven was a warrior, diplomat, orator and a leader who had tried to achieve peace with the pale face newcomers. However, his best intentions were destined to fail. The Fort Wise Treaty of 1861 which many Arapaho refused to sign, pushed them out of their homeland in the Cherry Creek and South Platte valleys. Three years later, the Colorado Volunteers, led by John Milton Chivington, massacred many Arapaho at Sand Creek. Chief Little Raven and his followers survived the Sand Creek Massacre because he was clever enough to camp away from the army designated site. Chief Little Raven also signed the Little Arkansas Treaty of 1865 and the Medicine Lodge Treaty of 1867 establishing the Cheyenne and Arapaho reservations in the Oklahoma Indian Territory.
    In recognition of his efforts to keep the peace, President U. S. Grant awarded Chief Little Raven a peace medal. As he traveled to Washington, D.C. to accept the medal, he said that he wasn’t trying to make peace because he had never been at war. Chief Little Raven died in 1889 spending the last years of his life trying to help his people adjust to reservation life. A street near the South Platte River in lower downtown Denver bears his name and commemorates the Southern Arapaho encampment that once existed there.

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