Red Cloud Letter

The Case:

A Nebraska man obtained a curious letter from his grandfather, who spent time on South Dakota’s Pine Ridge Reservation during the early part of the 20th Century.

The letter is from the sculptor of Mount Rushmore, Gutzon Borglum, to a Lakota leader named James Red Cloud. It makes several ambiguous references to treaties between the U.S. government and the Lakota, and, moreover, to Borglum’s desire to help the tribe.

How was a leader of the Lakota people connected with creator of a monument that was regarded by many as a desecration of sacred land?

History Detectives journeys to South Dakota’s Black Hills for the answer.

Discuss this story

Season 5, Episode 7

Gwen Wright Location:
South Dakota

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