The talking lasted 12 hours. Several times, the Ute negotiators returned to their camp; the soldiers could do little but wait. Each time negotiations resumed, the Utes refused to return to the Utah reservation they’d left five months earlier before crossing Wyoming in the summer of 1906. Civil officials were frantic. But the Utes, disgusted with losing still more of their land to the allotment system, were positive they would not go back.
In 1905, Congress ratified an agreement with the Eastern Shoshone and Northern Arapaho by which the tribes ceded 1.5 million acres of reservation land north of the Big Wind River. Tribal leaders questioned the final terms, however, and payments were slow in coming and fell far short of promised levels.
With the buffalo gone and poverty, hunger and disease increasing, the Eastern Shoshone and Northern Arapaho tribes came under intense pressure in the 1890s to sell their land. In 1896, they sold the U.S. government a piece of their reservation ten miles square—including the splendid hot springs at present Thermopolis, Wyo.