Although Lewis and Clark state that the Cheyenne, Arapaho, Kiowa and other western tribes occasionally came to the Mandan for purposes of trade, it is with the Arikara that the Cheyenne are mentioned in the literature as being most often engaged in commerce. This is true at least until 1811 or 1813, and probably later. But the western bands of the Dakota, who, from the latter part of the eighteenth century on, were the bane of the Upper Missouri tribes because of their plundering raids, had a special affinity for the Arikara, whom they attempted to keep under their constant domination. This was a considerable source of annoyance to the Cheyenne, and, as indicated above, probably prompted them to seek additional avenues of trade through a more permanent peace with the Hidatsa and Mandan. Until that time, relations between the latter tribes and the Cheyenne were rather tenuous and suspicious, because of the friendship of the Cheyenne with the Arikara, who often assisted the Dakota in their depredations against the Mandan-Hidatsa villages. Furthermore, the Arikara were competitors of the Mandan-Hidatsa in that they invariably attempted to prevent traders coming up the Missouri from St. Louis from proceeding farther to the former tribes. In addition, it was to the Arikara that the Cheyenne brought the trade of the other nomadic Plains tribes. The relations of the Cheyenne and the Sioux were also of a very tenuous nature, as the latter resented their trading with the Arikara for objects they themselves (the Sioux) could supply. However, the Mandan-Hidatsa assumed friendly relations to exist between the Cheyenne and Sioux also. Thus, when during the visit of Lewis and Clark among the Mandan in 1804, "Six Chiens . . . arrived with a pipe and said that their nation was at one days march and intended to come and trade Ec. . . . The Mandans apprehended danger from the Sharhas (Cheyenne) as they were at peace with the Sioux; and wished to kill them and the (three Arikaras who accompanied the Cheyenne)."1 While one of the important purposes of Lewis and Clark was to establish peace among the tribes they met in their explorations, the existence of such a complicated competitive situation for which the Sioux were really basically responsible, was hardly conducive to the success of the explorers' good intentions. It is interesting to note in this____________________
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Publication information: Book title: The Cheyenne in Plains Indian Trade Relations, 1795-1840. Contributors: Joseph Jablow - Author. Publisher: University of Nebraska Press. Place of publication: Lincoln, NE. Publication year: 1994. Page number: 51.
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