Lost Bird Timeline                                       

April 29, 1868A treaty at Fort Laramie, one of a long series, ends fighting and designates Indian lands.
June 23, 1871Clara Bewick and Leonard Colby are married.
1874An expedition led by George Armstrong Custer discovers gold in the Black Hills.
June 25, 1876The Battle of the Little Big Horn becomes the latest and most spectacular of a series of confrontations between U.S. troops and tribal warriors.
1877Congress votes to confiscate the gold-bearing Black Hills and requires Indians to remain on the reservations.
1883Clara Colby founds The Women’s Tribune, destined to become the suffrage movement’s leading newspaper.
Fall, 1883The last buffalo hunt.
March 2, 1889Congress votes to take control of some 9 million acres of Indian lands, and sets rules requiring reservation residents to stay on the reservations.
Spring 1890The Ghost Dance religion gains popularity on the Sioux reservations.
November 1890The Home Guard militia is formed in South Dakota.
Dec 14, 1890Sitting Bull murdered.
Dec 28, 1890Big Foot’s band encounters the U.S. Cavalry near Wounded Knee Creek.
Dec 29, 1890Wounded Knee massacre.
Around Jan. 1, 1891Lost Bird found.
Jan 14, 1891Gen. Leonard Colby of the Nebraska National Guard poses as a Seneca, gaining possession of Zintkala Nuni, the Lost Bird.
May 1, 1891Clara Colby returns from Washington, D.C., to meet her new daughter.
June 1891Leonard Colby is appointed Assistant Attorney General of the United States.
1892-1893Leonard Colby uses his connections, his claims of Indian heritage and his relationship with Lost Bird to garner lucrative tribal contracts. Later, he loses his job and comes under investigation for actions as Assistant Attorney General.
May 1893Clara Colby discovers that her husband is the father of her former nursemaid’s illegitimate baby.
Dec 1894Leonard Colby is found innocent of fraud charges.
June 3, 1898Leonard Colby is commissioned as a brigadier general as the Spanish American War looms. Clara Colby, recently reconciled with the general, seeks war correspondent credentials.
1899Leonard Colby is openly living with his mistress, Maud Miller.
1903Leonard Colby beats charges of embezzlement from the Nebraska National Guard.
Spring 1906Zintka runs away from boarding school, joins a Wild West show and searches for her roots in South Dakota.
April 3, 1906Clara Colby and Leonard Colby are divorced.
June 14, 1906Leonard Colby marries Maud Miller.
January 1907Zintka comes back to Clara Colby who sends the girl to her newly wealthy father and stepmother.
April 1, 1908Zintka, now pregnant, is placed by her father in the Mitford Industrial Home, a severe reformatory school.
April 22, 1908Zintka’s son is stillborn, but she remains in the dreary school for a year.
April 1909Zintka returns to Clara Colby and marries Albert Chalivat, a young friend of Clara Colby’s.
May 1909Zintka discovers her husband has given her syphilis, then incurable, and the illness leaves her an invalid for nearly a year.
1909Clara Colby, further impoverished by caring for Zintka, closes The Women’s Tribune.
August 1910Zintka returns to South Dakota and spends a year searching for relatives.
1912Zintka goes to Hollywood and works as an extra in Westerns.
May 1913Clara Colby sues her ex-husband for back alimony, but drops the suit when the general promises to send money. However, she does not get any payments.
May 31, 1913Zintka marries Bob Keith, a Hollywood cowboy.
October 1913Zintka and her son, Clyde Keith, leave Bob Keith.
1914Zintka joins Buffalo Bill Cody’s Wild West Show.
March 1915Zintka marries Dick Allen, a calliope player and clown with the show.
Spring 1915The Allens, now with two small children, leave the Wild West Show to work in vaudeville in San Francisco, but times are tough.
July 1915Clara Colby and Zintka are together for the last time for a week, appearing together at the Federal Suffrage Association gathering at the Panama-Pacific Exposition in San Francisco.
Spring 1916Zintka loses her youngest child to illness and gives up the other to an Indian woman in better circumstances. Her husband’s continuing ill health means she must find a way for them to survive.
Sept. 7, 1916Clara Colby, impoverished, her health destroyed by campaigning for the vote in all kinds of weather, dies of pneumonia at her sister’s home in Palo Alto, Calif.
Early 1917A sensational newspaper story helps Zintka raise enough money to visit South Dakota one last time.
1918Zintka and Dick Allen give up on vaudeville and move in with his parents in Hanford, Calif.
Feb. 14, 1920Lost Bird dies in Hanford, Calif., during an influenza epidemic
Aug. 26, 192019th Amendment is ratified, giving women the right to vote.
1924The Indian Citizenship Act grants citizenship to American Indians.
Nov. 15, 1924Leonard Colby, now a judge, dies in Nebraska.
July 11, 1991Lost Bird’s remains are reburied at Wounded Knee.
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