Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Book Review: Images of America: New Almaden

Images of America New Almaden, by Michael Boulland and Arthur Boudreault, Arcadia Publishing, Charleston, South Carolina, 2006.
I have been fascinated by the mercury mining operation south of San Jose.  This would be the most productive mine in America over its history producing $200 million dollars worth of mercury.  The cinnabar was originally mined by Native Americans and used for body paint.  The mining operations began with the Indian cave.  
Henry Halleck, later of Civil War fame was an early manager, commissioned the building of Casa Grande which was the residence for the manager during the years. The house is still used as the museum. 
The ore was processed in the area close to the house.  The major mines were on the hill.  1000 men were employed in the heyday.  There were two communities on the hill, Spanishtown and Englishtown.
The mining company went bankrupt when mercury was no longer needed to process gold.  Only minor comebacks since that time with final production in 1976.  The area is now a county park.
This book is mostly a collection of photographs.  It is very nice.

Monday, May 30, 2016

Native American Biography: Flat Mouth, Ojibwa

Flat Mouth succeeded his father as chief of the Ojibwa (Chippewa).  His father had used poisoning of his enemies to gain and maintain power.  Flat Mouth spurned this practice.  This was because of the influence of the teachings of Tenskwatawa.  However he did not send forces to help Tecumseh, his brother.  Instead he remained friendly to the Americans.  He also spurned the British.  Flat Mouth's Chippewa were one of the few tribes to be allowed to stay on their home land.  

Native American Biographies: Creek White Sticks vs Red Sticks, Menewa and William McIntosh

Menewa was the lead of the Red Sticks (warring group of the Creek Indians.)  William McIntosh had committed a murder, and Whites took their anger out on Menewa, burning his village.  After this he joined the Red Sticks.  He fought Andrew Jackson during the Creeks War.  Menewa was appointed executioner of William McIntosh after he had ceded 25 million acres of Creek land.

William McIntosh lead to pro-American group of the Creek Indians, known as the White Sticks.  He and his followers sought close relations with the Americans, even at the cost of ceding Creek land.  As a result of ceding the remaining land of the Creeks east of the Mississippi he was murdered.

Native American Biographies: Tecumseh and Tenskwatawa: Shawnee

Tecumseh tried to form a Pan American alliance in order to drive the White settlers into the sea.  Tecumseh was born, and raised in turbulent times.  The Shawnee fought for the British during the Revolutionary War.  The treaty gave their traditional lands to the United States.  After the war the U.S. government made a series of treaties with the Shawnee, always with minor chiefs, which were of questionable value, but through which they hoped to take the Shawnee land in Ohio.  Many Shawnee refused to recognize the treaties.  Tecumseh took part in many raids on the Whites.  His brother became a prophet (see below) who taught how the Indians could rid themselves of the Whites.  Tecumseh, during the time of the War of 1812 began attempts to forge a large political and military force, based on his brother's teachings.  Tecumseh was absent for the largest battle, and his brother lead the Native American forced, but did not do so well.  William Henry Harrison defeated the Indians at the Battle of Tippecanoe.  As a result the British and the Indians found themselves slowly pushed out of the United States.  After the battle Tecumseh eventually sustained a mortal wound trying to halt Harrison's advance.
Tenskwatawa when he was about 30, fell into a trance and had a vision.  After the vision he took his new name, but also had and vision of how the Indians could defeat the encroachers.  He had been taught in magic and medicine by Penagasha.  When he recovered from the trance, he began to preach a new gospel given to him by the Master of Life.  His message was one of revitalization; of how they could make themselves whole again.  This new gospel involved throwing off all things white, particularly whiskey and sexual promiscuity.  With this new religion, Tecumseh, his brother was able to forge a Pan American alliance among several tribes.  Governor William Henry Harrison of Indian was worried about this alliance, and marched at the head of a large force to Prophetstown.  Tecumseh was away, buy Tenstwatawa promised them that his magic would be sufficient to give them victory.  It wasn't.  After this defeat the influence of Tenstwatawa faded.  He eventually moved to the Shawnee Reservation in Kansas.

Native American Biographies: Northern Cheyenne Chiefs Who Fled the Reservation

Living in Indian Territory was hard for some who were not use to the terrain and weather of Oklahoma.  Two Cheyenne Chiefs decided to leave.
Little Wolf and Dull Knife
Little Wolf, Northern Cheyenne.   Little Wolf fought alongside Crazy Horse and Gall.  He at first had a peaceful attitude towards the white settlers, but that attitude changed after the massacre of Black Kettle and his people.  He fought in the Bozeman Trail Wars and the Fetterman fight.  He signed the Fort Laramie Treaty of 1868.  He was also active in the fight for the Black Hills under the leadership of Sitting Bull.  His village, which was also the village of Dull Knife was attacked in November 1876.  Forty Cheyenne were killed.  However just as devastating was the destruction of food supplies. Also the temperature dropped and many more died form the elements.  He surrendered the following May, and about 1000 of his people were sent to Indian Territory where they continued to die.  LIttle Wolf and Dull Knife failed to convince authorities to let them return to Montana, but they lead about 350 Cheyenne for home.   The groups split on their way home.  Little Wolf evaded the troops sent to find them.  The next year, march of 1879 he surrendered near the mouth of Powder River.  They were returned to Fort Keogh, Montana and promised a reservation in their own territory.  Many of his men subsequently served in the U.S. Army as scouts.

Dull Knife and Little Wolf share the same history, but their groups had different results after they separated.  They both are connected to an incident at the Upper Platte Bridge in 1856, the first significant conflict between Cheyenne and U.S. Troops.  Like Little Wolf, Dull Knife had been a peace chief until the killing of Black Kettle.  He fought with Sioux and Arapaho.  He was involve din the peace process at Fort Laramie, and then also signed a peace treaty allowing a fort in Powder River Country.  Thus his leadership was questioned by some.  In 1873 Dull Knife and Little  Wolf lead a delegation to Washington, D.C. to explain they had not given up their land and did not want to move south to Indian Territory.  The matter slid for some years, but after the Battle of Little Big Horn the government was determined to move all Indians south.  In November of 1876 Colonel R.S. MacKenzie and his men attacked the village of Dull Knife and Little Wolf.  Then without food and shelter, the Cheyenne began to surrender.  Those who surrendered were sent south.  Of the 1000 sent south, over 600 were ill within the first two months.  Many died.  As a result Dull Knife and Little Wolf decided to travel the 1500 miles north to their traditional territories.  They lead 350 people, including 92 men.  The split up, Dull knife seeking shelter with Red Cloud.  During a blizzard, the 150 with Dull knife were surrounded by troops from Fort Robinson.  It was determined they should be sent back to Indian Territory.  They refused, and so they were shut into barracks with no food, and with no wood for heat.  After six days, they made a break, many escaping through the windows.  Half of the men were killed before getting out of the building.  Most were rounded up within a half mile of the barracks.  Dull Knife escaped with seven others.  Of those who fled the barracks 64 had been killed and 78 captured.  Seven escaped, including Dull Knife.  He was captured when he went to the Red Cloud agency for help.  He was returned to the reservation Little Wolf had obtained and the Cheyenne were officially granted the Tongue River Reservation in 1884, a year after the death of Dull Knife.

Native American Biographies: Plenty Coups: Crow

More than anyone Plenty Coups was responsible for the U.S. Army having a supply of Indian scouts.  Plenty Coups was the principal chief of the Crows during the later stages of the Plains Wars.  It was he who decided to ally his people with the U.S. Army and cooperate with them.  As such they fought against traditional enemies, Sioux, Arapahoes and Cheyenne.  When he was nine one of this brothers was killed by the Sioux, creating a life long enmity.  Crow scouts were attached to General George Armstrong Custer and some of them died at Little Big Horn.  Plenty Coups encouraged his people to farm.  He himself opened a store so his people would have fair prices.  He visited Washington, D.C. several times.  During WWI he encouraged his young people to join the military, and thereby forfeit the idleness and alcoholism on the reservation.  He represented all Native Americans at the dedication of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.

Native American Biography: Petalesharo: Pawnee: Ended Human Sacrifice Amon His People

Many Pawnee claimed the name Petalesharo.  It was likely a titled.  The best known person to carry this name.  He actively curtailed the practice of human sacrifice.  The Pawnee would kidnap or capture a girl about thirteen years old.  They would treat her well for a year, before making her a sacrifice.  Petaleshara rescued one such maiden, cutting her bonds just before she was sacrificed.  He then escaped with her, fed her, before returning her to her own people.  Petalesharo was a contemporary of President James Monroe and visited Washington, D.C.

Native American Biography: Tonita Pena: San Ildefenso: Artist

Tonita Pena is mostly a self taught artist.  She started with crayons.  Then archeologist Edgar Hewett kept her supplied with water colors and paper.  She was the mother of eight children by three different men.  She also tended 100 fowl, had hogs and a flower garden.  She was a very busy woman with household responsibilities.  She would find time to pain at night by kerosene lamp.  She painted on wood, masonite, canvas and paper.  She used water colors, pen, colored ink and oils.  She mostly painted women at work and dance scenes.

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Native American Biographies: Elizabeth Peratrovich, Tlingit, Civil Rights

If you talk about civil rights, Elizabeth Peratrovich should be part of the conversation, if that conversation includes all people.  She championed the first anti-discrimination law in the United States.  The Tinglit people live in South West Alaska and occupy the rain forest and Alexander Archipelago.  The tribal boundaries also extend into Canada.  In 1924 the U.S. Government granted citizenship and the right to vote to all native Americans.  However Indians still faced discrimination.  She was born Elizabeth Wanamaker, and married Roy Peratrovich when she attended college in Bellingham, Washington.  They eventually moved back to Alaska and joined the Alaska Native Sisterhood and Alaska Native Brotherhood respectively.  They both became presidents of their local chapters when the moved to Juneau.  Natives were not allowed to attend public school in Juneau.  A law suit forced integration.  However signs saying "No Natives Allowed" or "No Dogs or Indians Allowed" were common in the area.  The Pertroviches could not but a home where the chose.  They took the discrimination issue to the territorial legislature.  Elizabeths testimony on discrimination was the determining factor to swing the vote.  The anti-discrimination law outlawed discrimination in housing, public accommodations and restaurants in Alaska.  It was the first explicit anti-discrimination law in the United States.  It was signed in 1945.  The date of signing, February 16 is now Elizabeth W. Peratrovich Day in Alaska.

Native American Biographies: Lynn Riggs, Cherokee Playwright

Lynn Riggs is the best known of Native American playwrights.  He wrote several plays, but the one that had the most influence is Green Grow the Lilacs.  This play was musicalized by Rodgers and Hammerstein into Oklahoma.

Native American Biographies: Comanche Leaders

Quannah Parker is of mixed ethnicity.  His mother, Cynthia Ann Parker was taken captive by the Comanche and when she became of marrying age she married Peta Nocona.  Quannah was their first child.  His mother would have another couple of babies.  Texas Rangers attacked and liberated his mother, and sister.  His father and brother were killed.  Quannah was left without a family.  He was adopted by the Quohada Comanche.
Quannah was a warrior during the 1860s.  By distinguishing himself in raids he was made a sub-chief.  During the 60s the Comanches killed many people upon the plains.  The government took notice, and sent peace negotiators.  Medicine Lodge Treaty was accepted by many groups.  Many groups signed the treaty, and moved to reservations.  Parker was not among them.  Most of the Comanche sub-chiefs vowed not to be forced onto a reservation.  Many raids were made against the Comanche, but usually failed to find them.  At Adobe Walls, Texas the Comanche fought a hard fight.  This was a large scale attack after Isatai, a medicine man had guaranteed the  bullets could not hit them if they did a Sun Dance.  The promise failed, and many warriors were killed.  After this other sub-chiefs accepted reservation life.  Parker led his men to the reservation in 1875 and turned himself in.  After being so against reservation life, he now accepted it and promoted assimilation.  He became a judge for Indian people.  After fighting against the railroad, he now became an investor.  He was popular amonst WHites as a speaker, perhaps because of his mixed heritage.

Isatai was a medicine man who predicted that the White bullets would not hit them if they performed a Sun Dance.  Sun Dance was not a usual practice for the Comanche.  They did it anyway.  They attacked a buffalo hunting camp.  The buffalo guns killed many of  the warriors.  After this Isatai lost favor.  Quannah Parker would never trust medicine men again.

Native American Biography: Gertrude Simmons Bonnin: Sioux


Bonnin Indian name Zitkala Sa meaning Red Bird, was born of a Sioux mother and a White father in 1875 on the Pine Ridge Reservation.  She left the reservation when she was young to be educated at a Quaker School.  She then went on to Earlham College and upon graduation taught at Carlisle Indian School.  However she didn't stay at the school long as she conflicted with the attitude of assimilating and taking away the culture of Native People.  She also studied violin at the Boston Conservatory of Music.  She grew up during a time when educational practices were geared towards assimilation of Indian children.  However she used her education to advocate tolerance of Indian differences.  She worked for the Bureau of Indian Affairs at Standing Rock Indian Reservation and met and married Captain Raymond Talefase Bonnin.  He was assigned to the agency on the Uintah Ouray Reservation and Bonnin lived and worked with the Ute people for fourteen years.  While there, with William F. Hanson they wrote a Native American opera, "Sun Dance Opera" for which Bonnin wrote the libretto and songs.  It premiered in Utah in 1913 to great local praise.  Many Utes participated in the dancing parts.  Leading vocal roles went to non-natives.  It was the first opera co authored by a Native American.  She wrote stories for Harpers Monthly and Atlantic Monthly.  She would publish a couple books of autobiographical essays and stories.  She was also active in American Indian movements joining the Society of American Indians and organizing the National Council of American Indians.

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Native American Biographies: Colorado Ute Chiefs: Colorow and Ouray


Colorow was chief of the Yampa Band of the Ute Nation.  The occupied the area around the Yampa River in northwest Colorado.  Colorow was large sized.  He could also be belligerent.  He had signed a couple early treaties, but was passed over when the government searched for a more conciliatory chief with whom to negotiate the removal of the Utes from Colorado.  The Yampa were combined with the White River near Meeker, Colorado.  Troops were coming to the reservation and Colorow felt their intent was to forcibly remove them.  The negotiated a halt, but the troops came anyway and were ambushed.  At the same time the agency was attacked, workers killed and women taken captive.  As a punishment the White River Band was ordered to Utah.  Colorow changed his allegiance to the Uncompaghre.  However the too were removed.  In a show of defiance Colorow and his men charged the federal line as they prepared to leave. The federal strength convinced them to pull up short.  As allows in the 1873 agreement Colorow and his month would annually return to the Yampa River area to hunt.  Colorado passed a law saying all must abide by local laws, including game laws.  Game wardens met them.  Shots were fired and a squaw camp burned with hides.  Judge before reaching Utah they were caught by the wardens and locals and a pitched battle took place.  Colorow was wounded.  Troops from Fort Duchesne arrived to escort the Indians home.  Fifteen had been killed.  Colorow would die from his wound a year later.
Ouray was chief of the Uncompaghre Ute Band.  He was also chosen by the United States Government as being the lead person with whom to negotiate in terms of treaties.  The Uncompaghre generally lived in the mountains of central Colorado.  they would also venture onto the plains to hun buffalo.  They saw there territory decreased on a couple of occasions, but still held most of western Colorado.  However and incident occurred in which the White River Utes attacked the BIA agency and killed the agent and several worker.  They also kidnapped several women.  Ouray and the Uncompaghre were not involved.  In fact Ouray arranged for the return of the women.  For whatever reason, this incident put into play a move to remove all the Utes from Colorado.  Ouray negotiated with the government to make the best deal he could.  There was some hesitance on the Native American part because Ouray received a stipend for his efforts from the government.  A deal was struck to remove the Uncompaghre to Utah.  However signatures were needed to ratify the treaty.  After obtaining the signatures from his own band, he traveled to the Southern Band to get signatures, and died enroute, August 1880.  A negotiator bribed Utes for the remaining signatures and the Uncompaghre were removed to the Uintah Ouray Reservation in 1881.   Ouray never lived on the reservation that bears his name.
Ignacio was leader of the Southern Utea.  He was a member of the Wiminuche Ute Band.  They were a semi nomadic tribe, venturing into San Juan, Colorado, New Mexico and Utah.  During several treaties their area was reduced.  they first accepted a large reservation in western Colorado, which was later reduced.  Gold had been found in the area.  They finally accepted a smaller reservation in southwestern Colorado.  Ignacio's father was a medicine man.  He was killed by a man's family he had been treating when he died.  Ignacio took revenge on the family, killing all twelve members.  The southern Utes recognized Ignacio as their leader and not Ouray.  Ouray deferred to Ignacio in matters dealing with the southern Utes.  When Ouray died Ignacio was recognized as the chief for the southern Utes by the government.  They were able to stay in Colorado.

Native American Biography: Southern California Indians

Juan Antonio Cahuilla  Juan Antonio, powerful chief of the Cahuilla in southern California was a friend of the whites.  What he did, saved hundreds of lives if not more, and made life in the California early days safer.  Early on he helped early White explorer in the area, including Daniel Sexton and Lieutenant Edward F. Beale.  This support included keeping them safe from Ute warriors lead by Walkara who use to invade the area looking for Mexican horses.  He was awarded a pair of military epaulets for him assistance.  He supported the Californios during the Mexican-American War in fighting against Luisenos who had killed several Californios.
Antonio did more for the settlers.  They had greater issues with bandits than Native Americans.  Especially with John Irving and his men.  They were killing locals, raiding the area and stealing cattle.  Juan Antonio and his men tracked them down, and killed John Irving and all his men but one.  White settlers weren't sure what to think however.  Indians killing whites couldn't be a good thing even if it ridded the territory of these bad men.  When Antonio Garra rebelled against white encroachment, he as well as whites asked for Juan Atonio's help.  Antonio was still loyal to the Whites, and helped capture Garra, and gave him over to the whites who tried him and hung him.  the Cahuilla were devastated by small pox, and many died, including Antonio in 1863.

Antonio Garra Cupeno  Garra opposed White expansion into Southern California.  He was upset as miners, ranchers, Mexicans and Mormons came into the area.  He wanted to organize a united revolt of California Indians.  He also said he could transform enemy's bullets to water.  Several bands joined him, and others stayed neutral.  The influential chief Juan Antonio however chose to support the Whites and captures Antonio Garra, turned him over to the Whites, and thus ended the campaign.  The Whites tried and hung Garra.

Native American Biographies: Seneca (Iroquois Confederacy) Leaders

Red Jacket  Seneca  Red Jacket distinguished himself as an orator rather than a fighter.  He received his nickname of Red jacket because of his fondness of wearing red jackets, first given to him by the British.  At the Council of Oswega he and Cornplanter urged Iroquois neutrality during the Revolutionary War.  When the council as a whole voted for aiding the British he joined with this decision and fought with the British.  He did not distinguish himself in battle, leaving the field on a couple of occasions.  However he often served as speaker.  He participated in many treaty conferences, arguing against Indian assimilation.  President George Washington gave him a medal.  He never rose to become a member of the Iroquois Council.  This may have been because of conflict he had with Handsome Lake.  Handsome Lake thought he was a hypocrite.  Red Jacket did not like religious people, and could not see how Christians could not reach agreement on their religion.

Handsome Lake Seneca.  Handsome lake was a Seneca Chief during the Revolutionary War.  However, he is most noted as a Seneca Prophet.  He founded the Long House Religion which is still practiced by Seneca in Canada, Oklahoma and New York.  Practice of this religion started after Handsome Lake had a vision when he was ill.  His vision taught him about the Great Spirit, and was called the Good Word.  He had many subsequent visions.  His visions have similar qualities to Biblical visions.  He prescribed different punishments in hell for different sins.  This is how he excoriated Red Jacket, talking about his future punishments in hell.  He did no use alcohol, and encouraged others to abstain.  When Handsome Lake died the Seneca were divided into two factions, those who followed him and those who wanted the old ways.  By the Civil War those seeking the old ways had disappeared.  They had either become Christian or joined his movement.  By the Civil War almost all the Seneca People were religious, either Christian, or Long House or both. 

Cornplanter Seneca.  Cornplanter was the son of a Seneca woman and a Dutch father.  He has half-brother to the prophet Handsome Lake.   He was teased for having light skin as a child.  He argued for Iroquois neutrality during the Revolutionary War.  However his view did not prevail and he sided with the British as was the Iroquois Council decision.  He fought in several engagements, and at one point came upon his father, but refused to take him prisoner.  After the war he emerged as a proponent of peaceful relations with the Americans.  He did not like their tactics of taking Seneca land, but also maintained that peaceful relations were best.  He promoted America to other tribes.  Cornplanter met George Washington, and requested technical assistance for his people.  Washington recommended the Quakers who established a model farm and school for the Seneca.  The relationship between the Seneca and Quakers continues to this day.   He assisted the state of Pennsylvania in obtaining the Erie Triangle as part of the state.  A few years later, Pennsylvania erected a monument in his honor, the first monument to honor a Native American in the United States.

Native American Biography: Joy Harjo: Creek Poet

Joy Harjo, Creek,  Joy Harjo is noted for her poetry, screenplays, lectures and also as a jazz musician.  She received her M.F.A. from the University of Iowa.  She has held many teaching positions.  Her poetry has won many awards. 

Perhaps the World Ends Here - Poem by Joy Harjo

The world begins at a kitchen table. No matter what, we must eat to live.

The gifts of earth are brought and prepared, set on the table. So it has been since creation, and it will go on.

We chase chickens or dogs away from it. Babies teethe at the corners. They scrape their knees under it.

It is here that children are given instructions on what it means to be human. We make men at it, we make women.

At this table we gossip, recall enemies and the ghosts of lovers.

Our dreams drink coffee with us as they put their arms around our children. They laugh with us at our poor falling-down selves and as we put ourselves back together once again at the table.

This table has been a house in the rain, an umbrella in the sun.

Wars have begun and ended at this table. It is a place to hide in the shadow of terror. A place to celebrate the terrible victory.

We have given birth on this table, and have prepared our parents for burial here.

At this table we sing with joy, with sorrow. We pray of suffering and remorse. We give thanks.

Perhaps the world will end at the kitchen table, while we are laughing and crying, eating of the last sweet bite.


This poem says copyrighted so her is the link.  Eagle Poem  http://www.poetryoutloud.org/poem/175881

Documentary Review: American Experience: We Shall Remain: After the Mayflower

In this first episode at a series looking at Native American history after the coming of the Europeans deals with the Pilgrims and their relationship with the Wampanoag people.  The Wampanoag had gone through a devastating plague just before the English arrived at Plymouth Rock.  This plague was likely brought to them by European fishermen who had started to have contact with the Native Americans along the coast.  As a result, the English found a territory underpopulated.  The disease had taken a great many lives.  Chief Massasoit watched the Pilgrims with caution.  It wasn't for three months after they landed that the Native Americans finally decided to make contact with them.  Because they had brought their children and wives, it was felt they could be trusted.
This story deals with the many years of peaceful relationships between the British and the Massasoit.  This helped the Pilgrims get established.  The story of the first Thanksgiving is fascinating, as Massasoit attends with many of his warriors.  The bring five deer to contribute to the feast.
There is a period where Massasoit falls ill, and he is nursed back to health by a friend from amongst the pilgrims.  By the first year of the Pilgrims coming to America there was a peace treaty in place between the two peoples.
Before Massasoit passed away he asked the British to give his sons Christian names.  His older son was given the name Alexander, and the younger Phillip.  The peaceful relations between his people and the British would last even beyond his death in 1661.  His son Alexander continued the peace.  However when his next son, Phillip, took over as chief things began to deteriorate.  Phillip (Metacomet) could see that the British intent was to take over, and that his people would only be second class citizens in their own country.  The British tried to extend their laws to his people, and it just didn't fit.  He felt disrespected, and no longer an equal.  Finally he formed an alliance with several neighboring tribes, and initiated a war against the British.  It was very effective against those communities that were not well defended.  Many towns were burned, and many settler had to retreat to larger communities.  However, the Mohawk aligned with the British, and killed 500 of his warriors in an attack.  After that Phillip and his people did not have the strength to carry on.  Phillip visited the community of his youth, where he was killed.  His body was dismembered, and parts given to different people for their part in his death.  His head was mounted on a pike and placed at the entrance to Fort Plymouth as a warning against others who may attack.  His wife and son were captured and sold as slaves in Bermuda.

Native American Biographies: Red Cloud: Sioux Chief

Red Cloud Oglala Sioux: Red Cloud resisted European Westward expansion, and then when he saw that it was inevitable he helped his people adjust to the new way of life.  As a young man he went on war parties against the Crow, Ute and Pawnee.  He took his first scalp at age sixteen.  His exploits were well known, killing four in one battle, and capturing 50 ponies in another.  He was involved in an incident where he killed the leader of the Koya Band of Oglala which lead to a split with the Bad Face or Old Smoke Band to which Red Cloud belonged.  Over the years there was a greater and greater White presence, rail roads, telegraph wires and pioneers.  Gold was discovered in the Montana area.  When forts were built to defend the Bozeman Trail the Sioux and Cheyenne finally had too much.  Some Sioux agreed to the forts, but Red Cloud held out.  This lead to what later became known as Red Cloud's War.  He and his man almost completely closed travel on the trail.  He gained victory over Captain William J. Fetterman and 82 soldiers were killed.  This was the worst defeat for the U.S. on the plains until Little Big Horn.  The U.S. government dealt with Red Cloud as the head chief of the Sioux, although he was not.  Red Cloud hoped to gain a permanent reservation and withdrawal of troops on Sioux lands.  He felt this was better policy than the extermination of the Indians which some Whites proposed.  A reservation was granted, but then gold was discovered on part of the reservation.  This lead to the Sioux War of 1876-77.  Red Cloud cautiously talked against this conflict.
Red Cloud lived in a tumultuous period.  The economic system of the Sioux was totally disruptive with the over=hunting and demise of the buffalo.  On the reservation, there were continued efforts to destroy traditional culture.  In this environment Red Cloud tried to balance his response.  There were political conflicts with Indian agents.  However there was also negative talk from Indians thinking he had given too much, or was too accommodating to Whites.  During the Ghost Dance Movement, his silence was interpreted as acceptance.  He was balancing on a tight rope.  He was not able to satisfy everyone. 

Friday, May 27, 2016

Native American Biography: Cheyenne Peace and War Leaders the 1860s Conflicts

Lean Bear was a peace leader of the Cheyenne, unlike his brother Bull Bear.  Lean Bear attended a peace meeting with President Lincoln in 1863 with other Native American Peace leaders.  The next year troops attacked a group of Cheyenne who had stolen three cows.  Lieutenant George Eayre was looking for a fight and determined to attack the next Cheyenne he saw.  As they approached Lean Bear's camp, Lean Bear and other leaders rode to meet them to offer peace.  The soldiers went into battle formation and attacked.  Lean Bear was shot off his horse, and then again on the ground.  He held the peace papers signed by President Lincoln in his hand, a peace medal around his neck.
Bull Bear was one of the Cheyenne Dog Soldiers.  This is a police group for the Cheyenne, but also they fought the Americans.  Bull Bear became more violent after his brother's death.  He was forced to sign several treaties, but also returned for the next fight.  He fought in the Hancock Campaign which sought to remove all Indians from Kansas, the Sheridan Campaign in Colorado, and finally the Red River Campaign.  He finally retired to the Cheyenne Reservation.
Roman Nose was a Southern Cheyenne leader.  He was determined to stop the railroad.  He often attacked workers.  He had been given a special war bonnet by a medicine man.  The bonnet protected him from bullets and arrows.  Major George A. Forsyth and a group of 50 special scouts were sent to stop him.  The night before battle Roman Nose ate food in a manner against the medicine of the bonnet.  A purification ceremony was needed.  However when the fighting started he rushed in and was killed by a rain of bullets.
Tall Bull was the noted leader of the Cheyenne Dog Soldiers.  He battled the American soldiers at Beecher Island where Roman Nose died.  The massacre of Black Kettle and his camp effected him, so his moved his own camp to the Republican River where his camp was attacked.  He was killed a few months later near Summit River, and his wife and daughter taken prisoner.  

Native America Biography: Standing Bear, Ponca

Standing Bear was chief of the Ponca.  There is no way to hide it, the Ponca got a raw deal.  A treaty of 1858 guaranteed tho Ponca a reservation on their traditional land.  However an 1868 treaty with the Sioux put the Ponca land inside the Sioux Reservation.  When the government corrected this seven years later the gave money to compensate for Sioux attacks, and moved all the Ponca to Indian Territory.  In 1879 Standing Bear and a few followers walked back yo Nebraska.  General George Crook returned them.  The Ponca were dying.  Nearly a fourth of the remaining Ponca had died by 1879.  Standing Bear wanted to bury his son who had died on traditional land. He and about 70 others again made the trip.  Again General Crook met them.  However the newspapers had picked up the story, and a couple lawyers helped him in the Standing Bear vs. Crook case.  The first ruling was if Standing Bear was a citizen.  He testified, "My hand is not the same color as yours, but if you pierce it, I shall feel the pain.  The blood will be the same color.  We are men, the same God made us.. . . .All I ask is what is mine--my land, my freedom, my dignity as a man."  The courts ruled he had right to babe as corpus and ruled those with hi could stay.. The ruling did not apply to Ponca still in Oklahoma.
The La Flesche helped the Ponca Tribe when they were shipped to Indian Territory.

Native American Biographies: Carlos Montezuma; Yavapai MD

Carlos Montezuma was born into conflicted times.  He was born in central Arizona in 1867.  Americans were mining and settling on territorial land.  There was also conflict with the Pimas.  He was abducted by the Pimas and sold into slavery in Mexico.  He would never see his parents.  A photographer named Carlos Gentile took pity on the boy and purchased him and took him to Chicago.  He had the finest schools.  For a tome he was the Ward of a Baptist minister.  He received his M.D. in 1889 from Chicago Medical School.  He worked at the Carlisle Indian School, Western Nevada Shoshone Agency and Colville Agency in Washington.  He clashed with the assimilation practices and eventually went into private practice.  He took an active roll in advocacy for Native Peoples, that they should control their destiny rather than government agents.  He founded the Society of Native American in 1911.  He published a newspaper, Wassaja, which gave him a platform to talk about his views of Native Americans and government.  He contracted tuberculosis and died too young. His ideas were ahead of their time. He was frustrated but his ideas would take hold 50 years later in the 60s and 70s.  He was also frustrated in another sense.  He courted the Sioux maiden, author Gertrude Simmons Bonnin but she rejected him.

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Native American Biography: Chief Moses

Chief Moses was from the Eastern Washington area and the Kowachinook Tribe.  He gained his nick name Moses from his time at the Spaulding Mission School.  He played a significant role in bringing the chiefs of the area together to sue for Native American lands and rights.  He claimed to represent all the tribes of the Upper Columbia RIver Basin.  He visited with Chief Joseph of the Nez Perce, Kamiakin of the Yakima and other prominent leaders.  This was in response to Colonel George Wright's efforts to force the native American onto reservations.  Finally in 1884 he accepted what became known as the Moses Agreement and left his lands and settled on the Colville Reservation.  Moses Lake is named for him.

Native American Biographies: Carl Sweezy: Arapaho Artist

Carl Sweezy was a pioneer in using Native American art style and moving it from book-style ledger drawing to devoting the Native American style.  He was employed by James Mooney, Smithsonian Museum anthropologist to restore old  shields and copy designs.  Mooney liked his style of painting and encouraged him to continue.  He depicted buffalo hunts Sun Dance, Little Big Horn and ceremonies.  He detailed Native American dress.  His paintings are displayed at the National Museum of the American Indian and many venues in Oklahoma.

Native American Biographies: Nancy Ward: Cherokee "Pocahontas of the Cherokee"

Nancy Ward is unusual in that she was a female chief.  She married King Fisher, who was killed fighting the Creek.  She took her place and fought so valiantly that she was declared "most Honored Woman.  She was also quite becoming, and received the name Wild Rose because of her cheeks.  She married an English trader.  She always sued for peace with White encroachers.  During the Revolutionary War she did not waver in this conviction.  It was decided the Cherokee would attack the Whites and force them back over the Appalachians.  Ward warned the Whites by releasing three prisoners.  She thus prevented much loss of life.  

Native American Biography: Seminole Wars


There are three distinct Seminole wars.  Some of the players only fought in one war, and some in all three.  Andrew Jackson was often the opposing general.
Peter McQueen was the son of a White father and Indian mother.  He considered himself Creek and affiliated with the Redsticks who favored preserving the old ways.  While bringing supplies to his band, he was attacked by local militia at Burnt Corn Creek in the battle that touched off the Creek War.  The tide turned against the Redsticks and McQueen lead his people into Florida and joined the Seminoles.  McQueen passed away in 1818 but his band of warriors would fight with Osceola in the Second Seminole War.
Osceola claimed both his parents were Creek, and his mother later married James McQueen.  More likely James McQueen was his father.  He was the grand nephew of Peter McQueen.  He most likely was of mixed race, including some Black.  He was too young to fight in the Creek War.  However he was caught in the migration south.  He and his mother were separated demo James McQueen, and became a part of e Seminole People.  Osceola participated in the First Seminole War.  He was captured but Andrew Jackson let him go because he was so young.  Osceola was not an hereditary chief, nor an elected one.  He was vehemently opposed to e Seminole removal to the West.  He had a seething conflict with the local Indian agent Wiley Thompson.  Reportedly Thompson sold out Osceola's mulatto wife the slave hunters.  At a council held by Thompson he insisted on abiding to the original treaty with Indian removal.  Osceola put a knife through the papers.  Osceola killed a chief who supported emigration.  He later killed Thompson.  He and his men attacked a baggage train.  His men attacked a column of 100 troops, killing all but three.  Osceola and his men attacked another party of regulars in the First Battle of the Withlacoochee and killed many.  Osceola was wounded in the engagement.  This began the Second Seminole War which raged for seven years.  Osceola was the main focus of federal efforts until his capture.  Osceola's warrior included many escaped slaves and he fought to protect them.  Osceola was able to free 700 Indians held in detention.  Osceola suffered from malaria, and accept an invitation to talk under truce.  This lead to his capture.  He was transferred to Fort Moultrie and died from his declining health.  Depression contributed to his health issues of malaria, toncillitis and abscesses. 
Micanopy was a Seminole leader by birthright and the closest to a chief during the Second Seminole War.  He had considerable holdings of land and slaves.  He refused to sign the Treaty of Payne's Landing. He supported Osceola and Wildcat, young people who could resist Seminole removal.  He and Osceola lead the group that attacked Major Francis Dade's men, leaving only three alive.  He had his doubts about the cause and surrendered.  He was kidnapped back by Osceola but hen retaken when Osceola was captured under flag of truce.  He went West and found the Seminole were part of the Creek aRea.  This caused friction.  After several years he negotiated a Seminole area in Indian Territory.
Wildcat was the most aggressive of the Seminole warriors, fighting in the Second Seminole War.  He was the nephew of Micanopy.  He was captured and jailed.  He escaped through a small window 15 feet above the floor.  Four years later he was recaptured and sent West.  He lived with the Cherokee, fearing reprisals from the Creek.  He and his people went to Mexico where they were granted land.
Billy Bowlegs was the primary leader in the last Seminole War 1855-58.  By this time most of the Seminole had already been removed to Indian Territory, except those who lived deep in the Everglades.   In 1832 he signed the Treaty of Payne's Landing.  He fought in the Second Seminole War even after Osceola was captured.  This included attacking a trading post and killing most of the garrison.  He finally surrendered in 1842.  He did not leave Florida however.  In 1850 government official began to pressure him to leave and offered money.  He still resisted.  In 1853 all remaining Indians in Florida were declared outlaw.  In 1855 government surveyors and soldiers penetrated the area where Bowlegs and his people lived.  Bowlegs lead the attack on the intruders, and three years of guerrilla warfare followed.  In 1858 Bowlegs finally accepted a large financial settlement to move to Oklahoma.  During the Civil War he resisted the call to serve with the Confederacy and instead went to Kansas to enroll with the Federals.  This was not expected as he was a slaveholder.  He died of smallpox during the war while serving in the army.
Arpeika was the only Seminole leader to avoid premature death or removal to the West.  He fought in the Second Seminole War despite his advanced age.  He warned Osceola and other leaders against trusting the Americans and their flag of truce.  They did not head his warning.  While most Seminole were removed, he stayed and fought in the Third Seminole War alongside Billy Bowlegs.  He was not only a warrior but also a medicine man.  He hung on in the Everglades and died at about 100 years of age close to Lake Okeechobee in 1860.


Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Native American Biographies: Apache Wars: Cochise, Geronimo,

Mangas Coloradas was the father-in-law of Cochise.  He fought the Mexicans and then the Americans with Cochise.  They used guerrilla tactics.  A long peace was disrupted when prospectors found gold in the territory where Mangas and his people lived.  During peace negotiations he was taken and whipped badly.  Lieutenant George N. Bascomb charged that the Apache had kidnapped a halg-breed boy.  The Chiricahua blamed this on other Apache.  Prisoners were murdered back and forth.  Mangas Coloradas was wounded in fighting in 1862.  Cochise took him to a doctor in Mexico, and he slowly healed.  In 1863, thinking of an earlier peace treaty he had signed, Mangas pursued talking to Captain Edmond Shirland.  He traveled unarmed under a flag of truce.  Later his body was found in a ditch, his hands and feet had been burned with bayonets, his body full of bullet holes, and he was decapitated.  From this point the Apache pursued war.
Cochise was an Chiricahua Apache chief who conducted a war against the U.S. starting in 1861.  Cochise was trained to be a chief.  His father was killed most likely due to Mexican Treachery.  War raged between Cochise and the Mexicans for most of his life.  He raided into Mexico almost all of his life. Apache-Mexican wars had been going on for hundreds of years.  As the Civil War commenced, something happened which lead Cochise to a violent struggle with the Americans.  Cochise was captured, and three of his relatives were ordered tortured and killed in retaliation for the murders of three U.S. Citizens.  Cochise would carry out a violent struggle of retaliation with the Americans for the next ten years.  The first four he was relatively free to do as he pleased, and the Civil War caused people to be worried about other things.  Cochise became chief of the Chiricahua and planned and lead many raids.  After the war the Federals and Mexicans both pursued Cochise.  This made it more difficult.  Cochise was also getting older and had less heart for fighting.  He finally pursued peace with the Americans.

Geronimo was a leader in the Apache-American war which was an outgrowth of the war with the Mexicans.  Hostilities toward the Americans did not start until Americans began immigrating to the New Mexico-Arizona area after the Mexican-American War.  From 1850 to 1886 Geronimo and other Apache leader conducted raids of American settlements.  Geronimo was not considered a chief, and his followers only numbered between 30 and 50 warriors.  Geronimo's mother, wife and three children were killed in a raid by Mexican scalp hunters when the warriors were away.  After this incident, he had a trance like experience in which he was told, "No gun can ever kill you. . . .And I will guide your arrows."  With this message of power Geronimo was a fearless warrior.  He was wounded on occasion, but always felt bullets could not kill him.  After the experience with the Mexicans, he became bitter towards Mexicans, and killed many of them.  AN earlier peace treaty guaranteed Geronimo's homeland for the Chiricahua.  However after the death of Cochise the government wanted to move them to the San Carlos Reservation in the Gila River area.  Geronimo resisted and his band conducted raids on the Americans from 1874 to 1877.  He was captured for the only time in 1877, and released.  He was told not to leave the reservation, but he soon was back in Mexico conducting raids.  In the press he was blamed for all Apache crimes.  With the promise of protection, he returned to San Carlos Reservation in 1879.  Things were peaceful, until the death of Nakaidoklini.  This triggered another escape, and he went into hiding in Mexico.  He attempted a raid on the reservation, to gather reinforcements.  This almost lead to Geronimo's death, and the forcing of many to go with him who really didn't want to go.  General George Crook pursued peace with him.  In 1883 his entire band returned to San Carlos.  He did not adjust well to reservation life, and they again left in 1885.  5,000 troops pursued them, aided by 500 scouts.  Still the evaded capture until the agreed to meet with General Nelson Miles.  This time Geronimo was not returned to the reservation, but to Florida prisoner of war camp.  He was eventually shipped to Indian Territory in Oklahoma where he adapted to reservation life.  He was invited to Washington to meet President Ted Roosevelt.  When he was in his 80s, he was returning home form sells bows and arrows.  He had been drinking, and fell off his horse into a creek bed.  He died several days later of pneumonia.
Victorio lead his band in raid against the U.s. and Mexico.  Some say he was a captured Mexican, but Apache sources agree he was native born Apache.  He experienced the encroachment of Mexican miners and American prospectors and ranchers.  He signed a peace agreement and requested a reservation.  He was Mimbreno Apache, and they were required to settle on reservation with Chiricahua, where they suffered conflict.  He and 200 Apaches left the reservation.  They were asking to be returned to New Mexico, but were returned to the San Carlos Reservation.  Victorio fled with 50 warriors.  When he learned of an order for his arrest, he continued to terrorize New Mexico, Arizona and Mexico.  The U.S. troops pursued him, but only haphazardly.  As a result Victorio had success.  He knew the terrain.  He also knew where to fortify.  His ranks where swelled by other renegades.  However in 1880 he was ambushed by a group of scouts.  Victorio was wounded, and 50 of his best warriors killed.  He escaped with his remaining men to Mexico.  They were trapped by Mexican troops in October.  After the battle Victorio lay dead, by his own hand as were his warriors.  The women and children were taken prisoner.  Victorio was doomed to attrition, when those he fought received reinforcements, and eventually brought overwhelming numbers against him.
Nana kept going where Victorio let off.  He had fought with Victorio, but was not killed in Mexico and was able to escape.  The Mexican soldiers made lots of money that day, receiving $50,000 for the scalps of 62 warriors and 16 women  They also sold 68 women and children into slavery.  At age 70 Nana terrorized New Mexico until he surrendered to general George Crook.  However in 1885 he broke loose with 140 Chiricahua.  He surrendered to General Crook again in 1886.  When the terms of surrender were changed, Crook resigned.  He with 38 Chiricahua kept five thousand soldiers busy.  He was eventually removed as a prisoner of war to Florida.  However he survived to return before his death.
Nakaidoklini was the Apache prophet.  He lived on the San Carlos Reservation.  He preached of dead Apache leaders being resurrected.  They would come back and help the Apache defeat the soldiers.  They performed a resurrection dance.  Nakkaidoklini danced with the warriors, anointing them with sacred pollen.  His arrest was ordered.  Colonel Car traveled to the reservation with calvary and White Mountain Apache scouts.  When the arrived to arrest him Nakaidoklini surrendered.  The scouts however rebelled, and in the ensuring scuffle Nakaidoklini was killed.
Natiotish was upset by the killing of the prophet and led his his band of warriors on a raid of the San Carlos Reservation, killing four policemen.  He was pursued by Captain Adna Chaffee.  Natiotish planned an ambush, but Chaffee had been warned and reinforced.  At the battle of Big Dry Wash the warriors of Natiotish were out  fought.  The abandoned their guerrilla tactics and many were killed, including Natiotish.  The survivors returned to the reservation.
Naiche was a close associate of Geronimo.  He was the son of Cochise.  With Geronimo he led many raiding parties.  Geronimo was the natural leader, but Naiche was the leader by right.  Geronimo always showed Naiche respect by putting Naiche on his right.  In 1886 he and Geronimo and Nana met with Lieutenant Marion Maus to discuss surrender.  The federals were holding Indian hostages, including Naiche's wife and son.  They would be transported to Florida.  Naiche would return as an Apache Scout and help hunt Apaches still living in the Sierra Madre area.  In 1993 he was moved to Oklahoma still as a prisoner of war.  In 1912 he accomplished the release of the Apache prisoners of war through congressional action.
Mangas Coloradas was the father-in-law of Cochise.  He fought the Mexicans and then the Americans with Cochise.  They used guerrilla tactics.  A long peace was disrupted when prospectors found gold in the territory where Mangas and his people lived.  During peace negotiations he was taken and whipped badly.  Lieutenant George N. Bascomb charged that the Apache had kidnapped a halg-breed boy.  The Chiricahua blamed this on other Apache.  Prisoners were murdered back and forth.  Mangas Coloradas was wounded in fighting in 1862.  Cochise took him to a doctor in Mexico, and he slowly healed.  In 1863, thinking of an earlier peace treaty he had signed, Mangas pursued talking to Captain Edmond Shirland.  He traveled unarmed under a flag of truce.  Later his body was found in a ditch, his hands and feet had been burned with bayonets, his body full of bullet holes, and he was decapitated.  From this point the Apache pursued war.

Native American Biography: Black Hawk and Keokuk: Sauk

Black Hawk represented the warring faction of the Sauk tribe, and Keokuk the peace faction.  Black Hawk grew up in the Rock River area.  He learned to hate the White encroachers when a party of Sauk traveled to St. Louis to sue for the release of a Sauk brave.  The governor of Indiana territory got them drunk, had them sign papers ceding all territory east of the Mississippi, paying them with the money he had spent on getting them drunk.  The treaty did not go into effect for a couple years, but when it did the people were furious as they were kicked off their property.  Black Hawk aligned with Tecumseh during the War of 1812 fighting with the British against the Americans.  Most of the Sauk moved across the Mississippi for United States protection during the war.  Those who had stayed chose Keokuk as their chief while Black Hawk was away.  However it was Black Hawk who rallied the Sauk after the war.  The treaty of Ghent had caught him off guard, and he continued his own person war against the Americans.  Keokuk continued to argue for winter hunt in 1829, when they returned their territory had been occupied their village of Saukenuk.  Most of the Sauk moved to Iowa, but Black Hawk refused.  In 1831 Saukenuk was destroyed.  Black Hawk's people escaped across the river.  The Black Hawk War occurred in 1832.  White Cloud, a Winnebago prophet inspired Black Hawk.  He crossed the river at the head of 600 warriors, Fox and Sauk.  However he had hoped others would join him, and this did not materialize.   Black Hawk and his warriors fought north, into Wisconsin.  Those who were left attempted to cross the Mississippi River, facing a war ship and the federals.  Many who managed to cross were killed by the Sioux.  Black Hawk made it to a Winnebago village where he was forced to surrender.  He was taken south to meet President Andrew Jackson, and imprisoned at Fortress Monroe.  He was confined a year, then sent on a tour of the East.  The leadership of the Sauk had passed to Keokuk.
Keokuk while Black Hawk was away, Keokuk, a peach chief was chosen as war chief of those who remained in Saukenuk.  there were rumors of an approaching American force, and many wanted to flee.  Keokuk suggested they stay and build defenses, which they did, but the army never came.  They remained in Saukenuk on the eastern side of the Mississippi until 1829, when they were told they would have to leave to comply with previous treaties.  Keokuk with many Sauk complied.  Black Hawk did not which lead to the Black Hawk War.  Black Hawk was defeated and Keokuk took over leadership of his people.  He made further concessions, and eventually all the Sauk territory in Iowa was also ceded and the Sauk were forced to Kansas.
White Cloud was known as the Winnebago prophet.  He was a prophet and medicine man.  Prophetstown, Illinois, the place of his birth, is named after him.  He predicted that the British and others would come to the aid of Black Hawk during the Black Hawk War.  When this did not happen he lost his influence.  He was taken prisoner with Black Hawk, went to Washington to meet Andrew Jackson, and then Fortress Monroe in Florida before being allowed to return to the West.

Native American Biographies: John Grass: Sioux

John Grass was a Sioux leader.  He attended the Indian School in Carlisle, Pennsylvania.  He used his knowledge to better his people.  He fought at the Battle of Little Big Horn.  He was a friend of Gall.  In later life he was most known as a rival to Sitting Bull.  The Indian agent Major James McGlaughlin set Grass up as the Sioux leader after Sitting Bull surrendered in 1881.  Over Sitting Bull's objections, Grass was manipulated into signing a treaty breaking up the Sioux Reservation.  During the Ghost dance movement Grass advocated for peace, which did not make him popular among the Sioux.  Reduced property rights, and the federals did not provide food as promised lead to much poverty, which created the environment for the Ghost Dance movement to begin with.  When treaty obligations were not met by the government. Grass traveled to Washington as part of a commission to try to convey Lakota grievances.  He was known as a good talker, but also as a "yes" man.

Native American Biography: Nez Perce Wars: Chief Joseph, Lawyer, Looking Glass, White Bird, Yellow Wolf, Ollokot, Toohoolhoolzote

Lawyer received his name from Chief Joseph.  Lawyer was negotiating treaties, giving away Nez Perce land.  Chief Joseph would say He talked to much and gave away land that didn't belong to him.  Washington territorial governor Isaac Stevens had designated Lawyer  to talk for the Nez Perce.  Old Joseph and Young Joseph argued against the treaty.  They lead the antitreaty Nez Perce.  However he negotiated another treaty giving away even more land.  However, as treaties were broken, he traveled to Washington D.C. to protest.  Lawyer died before the great march.
Joseph the Younger, known as Chief Joseph attempted to retain the freedom of his people.  However they saw their land taken away.  The treaty of Walla Walla in 1855 was the beginning of this.  However the Nez Perce retained 50 percent of their land, Whites were not yet interested in the barren rugged territory.
However when significant amounts of gold were discovered this changed.  At first the Nez Perce hoped to supervise.  However the encroachments became more numerous.  The federal government proposed a further reduction of 75 percent.  Old Joseph refused.  This created a split in the people. Lawyer negotiated the reduction.  The split was between treaty and nontreaty bands (about a third).  Old Joseph refused to leave the horse breeding, raising area of Wallowa Valley.  At this time Old Joseph passed away, and Chief Joseph continued the fight.  Old Joseph told him to never sell the bones of his ancestors, who were buried in the land.  At first President Grant chose to divide the area between the Nez Perce and settlers.  However he changed in mind a couple years later, and offered the Nez Perce land in Indian Territory in Oklahoma.  Thus they would vacate their land in Washington and Idaho.   Troops under General O.O. Howard were sent to remove the Indians.   A council was held, and the decision was made to move to Canada (where Sitting Bull had previously fled) rather than accept the U.S. demands.  Howard was determined, and thus began the Nez Perce War, which would be appropriately named, the Nez Perce Chase.  This was a chase of 111 days, with the federals pursuing them with orders to deliver them to Oklahoma.
Hostilities began when a Nez Perce, Wahlitits killed for white men, avenging the death of his father.  This was the first white killed by Nez Perce for a generation.  The hostilities against the federals began with an engagement against cavalry.  A peace truce was fired on by a volunteer militia traveling with the cavalry.  This lead to a brief skirmish in which 34 cavalry were killed, and the Nez Perce gained valuable rifles and arms.  As a result units from all over the United States came to assist in the maneuvers.
Ollokot served as chief strategist.  He and other chiefs, Looking Glass, Toohoolhoolzote, preferred to fight.  However Chief Joseph continued a retreating, fleeing strategy.  They wre able to flee for 1170 miles, through Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Wyoming and Montana.  There were sharp engagements, but each time they managed to escape, leaving many behind.  The New Perce were weakened, while the federals continued to receive reinforcements, including General Nelson Miles (later of Wounded Knee fame) with 600 calvary.  Thirty miles before the Canadian border the Nex Perce stopped to recruit, thinking they had met their goal.  This allow Miles' cavalry to out flank them.  They held out for several days, but finally, after council Chief Joseph determined to surrender.  Toohoolhoolzote, Ollokot and Looking Glass were dead.  Through interpreter Joseph said to Generals Howard and Miles, "Hear me, my chiefs.  I am tired; my heart is sic and sad.  From where the sun now stands I will fight no more forever.  The Nez Perce were herded into box cars and shipped to Oklahoma.  Chief Joseph and many of the warriors were first taken to a prisoner of war camp in Kansas.  Many more died, not use to the climate.  They were finally allowed to return to the Colville Reservation in Washington, but never to their priced territory.  Joseph would also say, "You might as well expect the rivers to run backward as that any man who was born free should be content when penned up and denied liberty."
Looking Glass served as war leader for the fleeing Nez Perce.  Looking Glass advised against war, however when hostilities came.  He lead the entire operation, and went slowly and confidently at first as they encountered no resistance.  However the soldiers caught them, inflicting many casualties.  Looking Glass was held responsible and relieved of his position.  He became the last casualty of the war.
Toohoolhoolzote was chosen to speak for the Nez Perce at the peace meeting with General Howard before the war.  The federals were demanding that the Nez Perce leave their land within 30 days.  Toohoolhoolzote contended this did not give them time to prepare, or to properly see to their herds.  When Howard would not budge, he looked at the general and said, he had "simiakia" and would not go.  In other words he had Indian pride which the general had offended, and would not concede.  Toohoolhoolzote had advocated peace.  However he was killed at the Battle of Bear Paw.
White Bird, along with Old Joseph had refused to sign the peace treaties offered by the federals.  He fled with Chief Joseph.  He was a skilled marksman which helped the fleers in many situations.  He along with twenty other Nez Perce leaders and 200 total did make it to Canada where they joined Sioux Chief Sitting Bull.  White Bird did not return from Canada like Sitting Bull, and was the victim of murder, when as a medicine man he could not cure two dying Indian patients.
Yellow Wolf was an important warrior in the Nez Perce conflict.  He grew up in the Wallowa Valley in Oregon, and did not want to leave.  His mother was Chief Joseph's cousin and he was of Chief Joseph's band.  He was too young to attend the peace treaties.  He fled with Chief Joseph, and was one who did not surrender.  He made it to Canada, and a few years later decided to return to Wallowa.  However he discovered that this was not possible.  He surrendered to the Nez Perce agency, and was transported to Oklahoma.  Rampant disease led to his being allowed to return to the Colville Reservation where he lived until his death in 1935.
Ollokot was the younger brother of Chief Joseph.  He lead the young warriors.  Remarkably, the Nez Perce only had 200 warriors in their group, about 600 total.  Ollokot lead the fight at Battle of White Bird Canyon where the defeated a much larger contingent.  He also aided their escape at the Battle of Big Hole as his young warriors held down a large military group while the main body fled.  At the Battle of Canyon Creek his warriors again paralyzed General Howard by stealing his mules.  However Ollokot was killed during the first day of fighting at Bear Paw.  Chief Joseph ackowledged his brother when he surrendered.  "He who lead the young men is dead."

Native American Biography: Hosteen Klah: Navajo Medicine Man and Weaver


Hosteen Klah was a bit of an enigma, as he was a medicine man as well as a weaver.  Medicine Man is generally a male function in the Navajo culture, while weaver was generally a female function.  He combined the two by weaving designs of sacred sand paintings into his weavings.  At the time this was considered sacrilegious by many, and still by some today.  Being a medicine man he was able to do as he wished. Most of the furor would go away after the weavings were sold off the reservation.  He showed weavings at two World Fairs.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Native American Biographies: Modoc Wars: Captain Jack, Hooker Jim, Scarface Charlie, Winema, Schonchin Jim

Captain Jack
Captain Jack aka Kintpuash, struggled his whole life to preserve Modoc Independence.  This tribe straddled the California Oregon border.  He encouraged peace and trade with the Whites most of his life.  However when he was still young, Chief Old Chief Schonchin Jim negotiated a treaty with the settlers.  He said he would not harm and newcomers, and kept his word.  However they had to give up all of their land in California, and move onto a reservation with the Klamath in Oregon.  The Klamath were their traditional enemies.  After moving to the reservation, the Modoc felt the Klamath were treated better.  They long for their home.  Finally Captain Jack had enough, and returned to California.  Of course the local troops were sent to force them back to Oregon.  Captain jack lead his people to an area in the lava rocks, which was naturally defended.  The troops had great difficulty.  Captain jack was able to defend the area with few men.
Hooker Jim had taken a different strategy to the plight of the Native Americans, that of seeking revenge by killing Whites whenever he could.  The were escaping pursuit, and also fled to Captain Jack's stronghold.
While they negotiated, slowly General Edward Canby and his men slowly surrounded the area.  They had a thousand soldiers.  Canby continued to negotiate with them.  Hooker Jim convinced Captain Jack that Canby was the problem.  SO they bush whacked the negotiating party, killing Canby and several others.
Hooker Jim betrayed Captain Jack, leading the federals to his camp.  He was taken prisoner.  Captain Jack was tried without representation and sentenced to death.  He and a few others were hung.  Hooker Jim escaped for his treachery.
Winema aka Toby Riddle was Captain Jack's cousin.  She advocated for a peaceful resolution to the Modoc War.  However her cousin did not agree with her.  Winema often served as translator as she was fluent in both English and Modoc.  She had married a white rancher, and lost status among her people for a time, but her skill as an interpreter restored her status.  She had heard of the treachery Captain Jack had put in play for Canby and his men.  She warned them, however they didn't head her warning.  Winema was able to rescue one negotiator.  Following the Modoc war she went on tour, presenting a dramatization of her life, "Tragedy of the Lava Beds."  This informed the public of the Modoc troubles.  She was also granted a government pension which she used for the benefit of the Modocs.
Scarface Charlie received his name from a childhood accident where he fell from a coach and either hit a rock or the wheel.  He was Captain Jack's war chief.  Captain jack never lost a battle when Scarface served as chief.  He advocated peace, but was a very good tactician.  He was involved in all the major battles.  However in the battle in the lava beds, Captain Jack himself served as War Chief.  The Battle of Hardin Butte (Thomas-Wright Massacre) is one of the best laid battle plans in history.  WIth only 22 soldiers they ambushed 80 infantry.  After killing 27 and wounding 17, they found they couldn't get to the rest.  Scarface said, all you fellows that ain't dead had better go home.  We don't want to kill you all in one day."  Even though Captain Jack was executed, Sarface was spared becasue of his mercy in battle.  "The Bismarck of the band . . . a warrior in arms against our troops and today there are no regrets that he should be pardoned and at large."  Scarface became chief of the Modocs, and he and the remaining Modocs went to Indian Territory.

Native American Biographies: Black Elk: Sioux Prophet

Black Elk L and Elk
Black Elk, daughter Lucy Black Elk and wife Anna Briggs White
Black Elk when he was nine, had a vision of two people coming to Earth.  From that time on he could hear voices others could not hear.  He also had a premonition he was to do something for his people.  He spent his life trying to determine what this might be.  He continued to have visions through his life.  He traveled with Buffalo Bill's Wild West show visiting London.  He was also a witness of the events at Wounded Knee, coming late to the massacre, and charging soldiers with his horse, and rescuing the wounded.  He was grazed by a bullet during the affair.  He felt he had been given the opportunity to save his people, but had none been strong enough to do so.  In 1904 we was baptized to Catholicism.  He took the name Nicholas, and was known as Nicholas Black Elk.  In his later years he encouraged all people to be spiritual.  He didn't care if it was a Native spirituality or Christian.  He felt all people needed to have a better side.  He was a leader in the revival of the Sun Dance.  He passed away in 1950.  He had said you would know when he died because there would be events in the heavens.  And so it was.  When he died there were lights in the heavens, not just scattered but everywhere.

Native American Biography: Delaware Prophet and Pontiac

Pontiac
Delaware (Delaware) and Pontiac (Ottawa) had similar goals, to create a Native American Pan American alliance.  However they had different means, Pontiac had violent intentions, to throw off the British, while Delaware had peaceful intentions.  Delaware Prophet got his mandate from the Master of Life and a mystical experience.  He hoped to bring people together spiritually, and taught that they must throw off white ways, alcohol included.  He was well received.  He also denounced evil practices such as war dances and medicine making.  He promoted return to the old ways.  Pontiac believed he benefitted greatly from adherence to Delaware Prophet's teachings.  The prophet predicted his eventual victory.  Delaware isn't dead to attack the fort at present day Pittsburg.  However his plans were known.  Instead the laid siege.  In the meantime the defeated eight British forts, and inflicted over 2000 casualties.  However Indian life is not conducive to long affairs.   The warriors have families to feed.  Pontiac's strength was also reduced due to illness.  The had been given blankets infected with smallpox.  Pontiac negotiated peace, gaining a pardon. Delaware Prophet lost his influence after Pontiac was defeated.  Little is known of the prophet after this.  Pontiac was murdered in Cohokia, Illinois some years later, which lead to a brief war to avenge his death.  He was killed by a Peoria Indian, who may have been ordered by the British to prevent another uprising.  In Pontiac we have and example of resistance to European incursion.  This pattern would last for many years.

Native American Biography: Charles Curtis: Vice President

The highest political office ever held by someone of Native American descent in the U.S. is vice president held by Charles Curtis of Kansa ethnicity.  Curtis grew up in Kansas and established a law practice in Topeka.  He ventured into national politics at the age of 33, becoming a congressman.  He took an active roll in Indian affairs serving as chairman of the Committee on Indian Depredations.  He served there until 1907 when he became part of the Senate.  He served the Senate for 18 years, and became first the Republican Whip and then the Senate majority leader.  In 1929 he began serving as Vice President with President Herbert Hoover.  He is the last individual to be single and serve as vice president.  Curtis was a widower at the time.  He and his wife Annie Elizabeth Baird had three children.  After serving as vice president he returned to law.  He passed away a few years later.  He is buried in Topeka, Kansas.

Native American Biography: Josiah and Milly Francis


Josiah and Milly Hayo Francis are father and daughter.  Josiah is of mixed parentage, but identified with the Creek and Seminole.  He was of the Red Stick warring faction of the Creek and supported Tecumsah in his efforts to form a Pan American Indian Alliance.  He fought against Andrew Jackson who referred to Francis as a prophet.  When the Creek lost the first war, they had to give up millions of acres.  Francis was forced to sign the treaty.  In 1815 Francis journeyed to England to recruit English support for the Native Americans.  He was captured in 1818 and Jackson ordered his execution.
During the first Creek war, Josiah Francis had captured George McKinnon and order his execution by fire.  His daughter Milly Hayo Francis plead for his life from his father.  She said she would burn with him.  He was released, and stayed with the tribe until he was sold as a slave to the Spanish.  After the death of her father, Milly showed up with a group of women and children at an army post.  McKinnon, who had escaped was there and spared her life.  She refused his offer of marriage, feeling he must have felt obligated.  For her support during the first Creek war, Milly was granted a government pension, which she never received.  She did walk the trail of Tears and lived her final years in Oklahoma.