Miscellaneous Tid-Bits With Regard To The American Indian Part I

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Custer Massacre (A)

Maj. Gen. George A. Custer led with his regiment Gen. Terry's column in an expedition against the Sioux Indians in 1876. June 25, coming upon an encampment of Indians on the Little Big Horn River, in Montana, he divided his regiment (the Seventh Cavalry) into several detachments, one of which, under Maj. Reno, was ordered to attack in the rear, while Custer led 5 companies to the front. Reno was driven back and the Indians fell upon Custer and massacred his entire command of about 276 men.

Wyoming Massacre (B)

July 3, 1778, Col. Zebulon Butler, of the Continental Army with a force of about 300 Militiamen, mostly old men and boys, marched out of Forty Fort, in the Wyoming Valley, about 3 miles above Wilkes-Barre, Pa., to drive off an invading party of some 800 Indians and Tories under Chief Joseph Brant and the British Colonel Walter Butler. The Indians burned the forts in the upper part of the valley and forced the American militiamen to retreat in disorder. Of the 300 who left the fort in the morning the names of 162 officers and men are recorded as killed in action and the massacre which followed. Butler, the British officer in command, reported the taking of 227 scalps and only 5 prisoners. Col. Zebulon Butler with 14 men escaped from the valley.

Albany Convention of 1754     Volume: I Page: 274

In 1754 when hostilities were about to begin between the French and English in America, the lords of trade recommended that an intercolonial convention be called to "confirm and establish the ancient friendship of the Five Nations" and consider plans for a permanent union among the colonies. On June 19, commissioners from Massachusetts, Connecticut, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Pennsylvania, Maryland, and New York assembled at Albany, and, after arranging for the participation of the Indians in the war, adopted, with some modifications (July 11), a plan of intercolonial union proposed by Franklin. This plan provided for the appointment by the crown of a president-general, who was to nominate military officers, commission all officers, and have veto power over the acts of the Grand Council; and for a Grand Council, to be made up of representatives chosen by each colony to have more than seven members nor less than two. This council was not to be prorogued, dissolved, or kept in session longer than six weeks against its consent, and with the approval of the president-general, was to manage Indian affairs, authorize new settlements, nominate all civil officers, impose taxes, enlist and pay troops, and construct forts, all of its acts to be valid unless vetoed by the crown within three years. The plan was everywhere rejected by the court and the royal governors, because it gave too much power to the colonies; by the colonies, because it gave too much power to the king. It is notable as being the first comprehensive scheme of union formally proposed to the various colonial governments in America. Consult: New York Colonial Documents, Volume VI.; and R. Frothingham, Rise of the Republic (Boston, 1872).

Algonquian Stock      Volume: I  Page: 343-344

The most widely extended and most important Indian linguistic stock of North America, formerly occupying nearly the whole area (with the exception of that occupied by the Iroquoian tribes) stretching from Labrador to the Rocky Mountains in the north, and extending southward to Pamlico Sound on the coast, and to the Cumberland River in the interior. It included several hundred tribes and sub-tribes speaking probably forty distinct languages, besides a large number of dialects. Both linguistic and traditional evidence point to the north Atlantic coast, from the St. John to the Delaware River, as the region from which the various cognate tribes migrated westward and southward.

From the fact that the earliest settlements in Canada, New England, New York, New Jersey, and Virginia were all made within the Algonquian area, the history of these tribes is better known, and their languages have been more studied, than those of any others north of Mexico. For full two centuries they opposed the advance of the white man step by step, under such leaders as Opechancano, Philip, Pontiac, and Tecumseh, with the final and inevitable result of defeat, suppression, and swift decay. The number of the Algonquian stock (1902) is about 82,000 souls, of whom about 43,000 are in the United States, the remainder being in Canada, with the exception of a few hundred refugees in Mexico.

The principal Algonquian tribes were the Algonquin, Amalecite, Micmac, Nascopi, Cree, Abnaki, Pennacook, Massachuset, Wampanoag, Narraganset, Mohegan, Mahican, Montauk, Lenape or Delaware, Nanticoke, Powhatan, Pamlico, Shawano, Ojibwa, Ottawa, Menominee, Potawatami, Sack, Fox, Kickapoo, Blackfoot, Cheyenne, and Arapaho.

Algonquin Tribe      Volume: I Page 344

An important Indian tribe formerly centering about Nipissing Lake and the middle Ottawa River, Ontario. The name (more properly Algomekin) signifies people "on the other side" of the river. French missionaries began work among the Algonquins early in the seventeenth century, and soon discovered their language to be the key to all the numerous dialects now included by philologists under the Algonquian stock. In consequence of destructive wars waged against them by the Iroquois, the tribe rapidly declined, some fleeing to the Upper Lakes, where, with other refugees, they became known later as Ottawas; while others, retaining the old name, were gathered into mission villages under French protection. There are now about 960 Algonquins settled in several villages in Quebec and Ontario, exclusive of those confederated with Iroquois at the Lake of Two Mountains, in Quebec, and at Gibson, Ontario, to the number of perhaps 250 more.

Beauchamp, William Martin (1830--)       Volume: II Page: 641

An American ethnologist and clergyman, born in Coldenham, Orange County, N.Y. He graduated at the DeLaney Divinity School, and from 1865 to 1900 was rector of Grace Episcopal Church in Baldwinsville, N.Y. In 1886 he was made examining chaplain for the diocese of Central New York. He has made much valuable archaeological research, particularly concerning the Iroquois Indians, and has a large collection of Indian relics. He was detailed in 1889 by the United States Bureau of Ethnology to survey the Iroquois territory in New York and Canada, and prepared a map which indicates the location of all the known Indian sites in that region. An enlargement of this map was published in his Aboriginal Occupation of New York (1900). His other works are: The Iroquois Trail (1892); Indian Names in New York (1893); Aboriginal Chipped Stone Implements of New York (1897); Earthenware of the New York Aborigines (1900); Wampum and Shell Articles Used by the New York Indians (1901); and Bone and Horn Articles Used by the New York Indians (1902).

Blackfoot     Volume: III Page: 140

An Algonkian tribe of the Plains, formerly roaming over the country about the head of the Missouri, from the Yellowstone northward to the North Saskatchewan and westward to the Rocky Mountains. They are now confined to reservations in Montana and the adjoining territory of British America. The name Blackfoot is said to have been given to them from the fact that when they first appeared in the Upper Missouri country their leggins were black, as a result of their traveling over the recently burned prairie. They call themselves "plains men" or "people of one language." They are divided into three great sub tribes: The Siksika or Blackfoot proper, Kaina or Blood, and Pikuni or Piegan, each in turn being subdivided into bands. they have also a well-developed military organization, with promotion and degrees of rank. Associated with them are the weaker tribes, Arapaho, Gros Ventres, and Sarsee. Less than a century ago they were one of the strongest and most warlike tribes of the Plains, being estimated as high even as 40,000 souls. They still number over 5000, of whom about 2100 are on the Blackfoot Reserve in Montana, the others being in British America. Grinnell (Blackfoot Lodge Tales, 1892) has made an interesting study of their mythology.

Black Hawk      Volume: III Page: 141

(1767-1838) A celebrated chief of the Sac Indians. In 1788 he succeeded his father as head chief of the Sacs. In 1804 the Sacs and Foxes agreed, for an annuity of $1000, to give up to the United States their lands east of the Mississippi; but Black Hawk promptly repudiated this arrangement, and in the War of 1812 took part against the Americans. The cession of the disputed territory was again provided for by treaties in 1815 and 1816, the latter being signed by Black Hawk; and in 1823 the majority of the Sacs and Foxes, under Keokuk moved across the Mississippi, a new treaty being signed at Prairie du Chien, on July 15, 1830. When the whites began to occupy the vacated lands, Black Hawk threatened retaliation, and by crossing the Mississippi with a small force in June, 1831, precipitated the Black Hawk War. The Indians were defeated by General Dodge, near the Wisconsin River, on July 21, 1832, and by General Atkinson, at the Bad Axe River, August 1-2, and Black Hawk surrendered on August 27. He and nine other warriors were held for a time as hostages, and after being taken to several Eastern cities, were confined in Fortress Monroe until June 8, 1833. The Sacs and Foxes under Keokuk soon moved to a reservation near Fort Des Moines, where Black Hawk died. October 18, 1838. Consult: Patterson, Life (Boston, 1834); Drake, Life (Cincinnati, 1846). Also consult an article, "Story of the Black Hawk War," by Thwaites, in Vol. XII. of the Collections of the Wisconsin Historical Society (Madison, 1885-).

Brant, Joseph (Thayendanegea) (c.1742-1807)       Volume: III   Page: 423

A celebrated Mohawk Indian chief. When very young he became a favorite of Sir William Johnson, who sent him to Dr. Eleazar Wheelock's school, at Lebanon, Conn., out of which later grew Dartmouth College. Here he obtained a fair education and joined the Episcopal Church, of which he remained a member throughout life. For some time he was a missionary among the Mohawk Indians, and he translated into their language the Prayer-Book and parts of the New Testament. He was early distinguished for his physical prowess, and rendered valuable services to the English in both the French and Indian and the Pontiac wars. In 1774 he became the secretary of Guy Johnson, superintendent of Indian affairs, and throughout the Revolutionary War he served against the Americans, leading numerous sanguinary raids, participating in the Cherry Valley and Minisink massacres, and taking an active part in the battle of Oriskany.

He was not, however, present at the Wyoming massacre, as he is represented to have been in Campbell's Gertrude of Wyoming; and he seems, for the most part, to have treated his captives with great humanity, and to have steadfastly opposed, and, wherever possible, prevented torture. After the war he used his influence to preserve peace between the various Indian tribes and the whites. In 1786 he visited England, where he was entertained by many persons of prominence, and became acquainted with such men as Burke and Sheridan. With money collected on this trip he built the first Episcopal church erected in Upper Canada. John Fiske has said of Brant that he "was perhaps the greatest Indian of whom we have any knowledge," and that "certainly the history of the red men presents no more many-sided and interesting character." Consult: Stone, The Life of Joseph Brant-Thayendanegea, Including the Indian Wars of the American Revolution, new ed. (Albany, 1865).

Cayuga      Volume: IV   Page: 386
The smallest of the five tribes of the original Iroquois Confederacy. They formerly dwelt on Cayuga Lake, New York, but on the outbreak of the Revolution most of them, together with the Mohawks, joined the British side and removed to Canada, whence they never returned. They may number perhaps 1000 souls, of whom about 170 are living with the Senecas in New York, a few are with the Senecas in Indian Territory and the Oneidas in Wisconsin, while the main body is on the Six Nations Reserve on Grand River, Ontario. The name seems to refer to a cranberry swamp.

Cayuse     Volume: IV   Page: 386
A warlike tribe formerly occupying the Blue Mountain region, adjoining the Columbia River, in northwestern Oregon, and now gathered upon the Umatilla Reservation in the same country. In 1847 the smallpox, before unknown among them, carried off a large portion of the tribe, and believing that it had been introduced by the missionaries, they attacked and destroyed Waiilatpu Mission, which had been established among them a few years before. They are now officially reported to number 365, most of them intermarried with other tribes, and only some half-dozen individuals speak their own old language, which thus far remains unclassified, but may prove to be of Shahaptian stock. They acquired the horse at an early day, probably through Mexico and California, and were instrumental in its distribution among other tribes, whence the application of their name to the Indian pony.

Conestoga (Iroquois)     Volume: V  Page: 265

Formerly an important tribe of the Iroquoian stock, occupying the country on the Lower Susquehanna and about the head of Chesapeake Bay in Pennsylvania and Maryland, and claiming dominion over several smaller tribes on both sides of the bay. The name is said to mean "people of the forked roof-poles." The French called them Andastes, while to the Virginia tribes and the Southern colonist they were known as Susquehannas. They lived in palisaded villages, and when first known were a powerful people, bidding defiance to the invading Iroquois, by whom, however, they were at last overcome about 1675. A part fled south through Virginia and took refuge in North Carolina, under the name of Meherrin. Others were deported to the Iroquois country, whence they were afterwards allowed to return, and settled at Conestoga, near Lancaster, Pa. Here they rapidly wasted away, until 1763, when the few that remained were massacred by a mob during the excitement provoked by the Indian wars.

Cree     Volume: V  Page: 553

(Possibly a corruption of creek). One of the largest and most important tribes of Algonquian stock, living Chiefly in the British American territories of Manitoba, Assiniboia, Saskatchewan, about Lake Winnipeg and the Saskatchewan River. They are on friendly terms with the Assiniboin, but until brought under Government control were constantly at war with the Sious and Blackfeet. They have numerous bands, commonly grouped under two main divisions, viz. Plains and Wood Crees. Soon after obtaining firearms from the traders, they began a war of conquest against the weaker Athabascan Tribes, as far even as the Great Slave Lake and the Rocky Mountains, but afterwards retired to their present position. In language and customs they differ but little from the Ojibwa, to whom they are closely related. They number now probably 10,000, on several reservations with the territories mentioned.

Delaware     Volume: VI   Page: 89

One of the most important tribes of Algonquian stock, originally occupying what is now New Jersey and the Delaware River basin, eastern Pennsylvania, and southeastern New York. They call themselves Lenape, "true men," and claimed and were accorded precedence over nearly all the other tribes of Algonquian kinship. They had a number of sub tribes in three principal divisions, of which the Munsee or Wolf tribe differed considerably from the others. They were friendly with the Dutch and Swedish colonists, and in 1682 made the celebrated treaty with William Penn, which was faithfully kept on both sides for over half a century. German Moravian missionaries, among whom were the devoted Zinzendorf, Zeisberger, and Heckewelder, labored among them with great success. Through the aggression of the later settlers, backed by the powerful Iroquois, they were finally compelled to retire to the Susquehanna and upper Ohio region, in consequence of which they became embittered against the English colonists and threw their whole strength with the French side in the French and Indian War of 1754-63. In the Revolution they joined with the British against the Americans, and, with other tribes of the Ohio Valley, continued the struggle until crushed by Wayne and compelled to accept the treaty of Greenville, by which, in 1795, the allied tribes ceded nearly all their ancient claims in what is now Pennsylvania and Ohio. During this struggle occurred the massacre of the peaceful Christian Delawares at Gnadenhuetten, Ohio, in consequence of which the remaining converts fled to Canada. By successive removals the larger portion of the tribe drifted from Indiana to Missouri and Kansas, a considerable band settling by Spanish permission in eastern Texas. The main body removed in 1867 from Kansas to the Indian Territory and became incorporated with the Cherokee Nation. The whole tribe, including the Munsee, numbers now about 1750, distributed as follows: Incorporated in Cherokee Nation, 780; on (late) Wichita reservation, Oklahoma, 95; Munsee, with Chippewa, in Kansas, 55 (?); Munsee, with Stockbridge, at Green Bay, Wis., 210 (?) "Moravians of the Thames," Ontario, 355; "Munsees of the Thames," Ontario, 120; Delaware, with Six Nations, on Grand River reserve, Ontario, 135.

Erie    Volume: VII    Page: 185

An Iroquoian tribe, formerly holding the east and southeast shores of the lake of the name, in the present States of New York, Pennsylvania, and Ohio. They were nearly destroyed by the Iroquois about 1656, in a short but fierce war of conquest, those who survived being incorporated with the Senecas. The name is said to signify a wildcat.

Esopus War   Volume: VII   Page: 210

An intermittent conflict between the Indians and the Dutch settlers at Esopus (now Kingston) in Ulster County, N.Y., which began in the summer of 1658. Some Indians employed as field hands by the Dutch, while drunk and boisterous, were fired upon by the farmers. This gave rise to a series of bloody reprisals on the part of the savages, the most serious of which was the destruction of the village of Wiltwyck (the Dutch equivalent for the Indian Esopus), when 40 women and children were carried off as prisoners and 21 men were killed. Governor Stuyvesant of New Netherlands, in retaliation, immediately sent up a force sufficient to punish the Indians, which it did thoroughly. In May, 1664, a treaty of friendship was concluded.


Website: The History Box.com
Article Name: Miscellaneous Tid-Bits With Regard To The American Indian Part I
Researcher/Preparer/Transcriber Miriam Medina


BIBLIOGRAPHY: From my Collection of Books: The New International Encyclopedia; 1902-1905 Dodd, Mead and Company-New York Total of 21 Volumes and (A-B) "A Compilation of the Messages and Papers of the Presidents 1789-1897". By James D. Richardson--a Representative from the State of Tennessee. Publisher: by Authority of Congress--1899. Ten volumes total. Copyright: 1897 by James D. Richardson.
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