John Paul Gries, 1990. "Factors Affecting The Development Of Gold And Silver Mining In The Black Hills, 1875-1919", Metallogeny of Gold in the Black Hills, South Dakota, Colin J. Paterson, Alvis L. Lisenbee, Tommy B. Thompson
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To verify persistent rumors of gold in the Black Hills of Dakota, the Department of the Army directed General George A. Custer to make a reconnaissance of the Black Hills in the summer of 1874. While camped near the present site of Custer, two practical miners accompanying the expedition dug an 8-foot deep trench in the alluvium of French Creek, and established the presence of gold - quantities unknown. A news dispatch was sent to Cheyenne immediately, and on August 27,1874, the Chicago Inter-Ocean announced to the world that the Black Hills contained gold. Although the Hills were not officially opened to white settlement until February 28,1877, a gold rush followed immediately upon the initial press release.
The first prospectors swept through the Hills like a swarm of locusts, starting in the southern Hills, and ending up on the creeks around Deadwood, Lead, and Tinton. When the prime placer ground in the northern Hills was taken up, staking of gold and silver lode claims spread out from the northern Hills center of activity.