26. Native Americans, relations with United States,1776-1860

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    He traversed the Mississippi Valley, seeking to revive Neolin’s pan-Indian alliance of the 1760s. He called for Indians to stick together and in 1810 he called for attacks on American frontier settlements.
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    War of Independence

    For Indians, American Independence meant a deprivation of freedom. Congress declared in the immediate aftermath of independence that by aiding the British in the War of Independence, the Indians had forfeited the right to their lands; although some tribes sided with the enemy, others aided the patriots and some played no part in the war at all.
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    He was a Shawnee religious prophet who called for complete separation from whites, the revival of traditional Indian culture, and resistance to federal policies. He preached that white people were the source of all evil in the world, and Indians should abandon American alcohol, clothing, food, and manufactured goods. His followers gathered at Prophetstown, Indiana.
  • Smallpox

    Smallpox wiped out more than half the Piegan Blackfoot. This is just one example of how tribes were affected by foreign diseases.
  • Westward Expansion of White Settlement

    This implied one of three things, the removal of the Indian population to lands even farther west, their total disappearance, or their incorporation into white “civilization” with the expectation that they might one day become part of American society.
  • Treaty of Paris

    Americans won the recognition of their independence, and they gained control of the entire region between Canada and Florida east of the Mississippi River. The British abandoned their Indian allies, agreeing to recognize American sovereignty over the entire region east of the Mississippi River, completely ignoring the Indian presence. Independence offered the opportunity to complete the process of taking Indian land in upstate New York, the Ohio Valley, and the southern backcountry.
  • Peace Conferences

    At Fort Stanwix, NY (1784) and Fort McIntosh near Pittsburgh (1785), American representatives demanded and received large surrenders of Indian land north of the Ohio River. The treaties secured national control of a large part of the country’s western territory.
  • Trading between the White Man and the Indian

    Trading between the White Man and the Indian
    Many Indians acquired such things as colorful cloth that was permanently incorporated into their dress, household cooking utensils, hunting rifles, along with the technology for logging and agriculture as they soon settled into log cabins and communities that mirrored many white settlements. The white man absorbed the snowshoe, canoe, tobacco, and corn whereas the Indian absorbed the rifle, the kettle, and many household items into their culture. Some Indians adopted Christianity.
  • Northwest Ordinance

    This stated that "the utmost good faith shall always be observed toward the Indians . . . in their property, rights, and liberty they shall never be disturbed."
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    Assimilation Attempts

    Congress authorized President Washington to distribute agricultural tools and livestock to Indian men and spinning wheels and looms to Indian women. This was not the traditional way of life for Indians, but the only way Indians would be accepted into American life and be considered “civilized” would be to do things the American way and to reject their own ways of communal landholding, etc.
  • First U.S. Census

    The first United States Census count did not include Native Americans, but it did include slaves and free African-Americans.
  • Little Turtle

    Little Turtle
    The Miami Confederacy, led by Little Turtle, defeated American forces led by the American governor of the Northwest territory, Arthur St. Clair, and inflicted 630 deaths which was the costliest loss ever suffered by the US Army at the hands of the Indians.
  • Battle of Fallen Timbers

    Battle of Fallen Timbers
    3,000 American troops under Anthony Wayne defeated a British supported force of Native Americans under the leadership of Little Turtle. Little Turtle's forces at the Battle of Fallen Timbers were defeated which led to the Treaty of Greenville.
  • Treaty of Greenville

    Under the Treaty of Greenville twelve Indian tribes ceded most of Ohio and Indiana to the federal government. This treaty established the “annuity” system. For the most part, treaties were essentially ways of transferring land from Indians to the federal government or the states. Usually, a treaty was agreed to by only a small portion of a tribe but the whole tribe was then forced to accept its legitimacy.
  • Annuity System

    Under this system, yearly grants of federal money were given to Indian tribes that institutionalized continuing government influence in tribal affairs and gave outsiders considerable control over Indian life.
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    Age of Prophecy

    Movements for the revitalization of Indian life arose among the Creeks, Cherokees, Shawnees, Iroquois, and other tribes. Indians must refrain from fighting, gambling, drinking, and sexual promiscuity; Indians could regain their autonomy without directly challenging whites, preached Handsome Lake of the Seneca.
  • Jefferson and the Indians

    He pursued efforts to purchase Indian lands west of the Appalachian Mountains; he encouraged traders to lend money to Indians so that accumulating debt would force them to sell some of their holding. He had long favored the removal beyond the Mississippi River of Indian tribes who were not civilized, and the Louisiana Purchase made this policy easier.
  • Louisiana Purchase

    Louisiana Purchase
    Jefferson bought French claims in Great Plains for 60 million francs. The United States did not own the land at this point because it was inhabited by Native Americans.
  • Sacajawea

    She was a fifteen-year-old Shoshone Indian woman who was the slave wife of a French fur trader. She served as Lewis and Clark’s interpreter.
  • Battle of Tippecanoe

    Battle of Tippecanoe
    A battle between frontier troops and Native Americans near the Shawnee village of Prophet’s Town. While the founder/leader of the village (Tecumseh) was traveling, Governor William Henry Harrison marched almost 1000 men to Prophet’s Town. About 450 natives attacked the troops along the way, but they were overpowered. Harrison burned Prophet’s Town and claimed a great victory. Acts of revenge by the natives, possibly encouraged by the British in Canada, helped bring on the War of 1812.
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    War of 1812

    This was a two-front struggle, against the British and against the Indians. The war completed the conquest of the area east of the Mississippi river, which had begun during the Revolution. Never again would the British or Indians pose a threat to American control of this vast region. The war also broke the remaining power of Indians in the Old northwest and reduced their landholdings in the South.
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    Creek War

    The Creek War was instigated by General Andrew Jackson who sought to end Creek resistance to ceding their land to the US government. The Creek Nation was defeated and at the Treaty of Fort Jackson, the Creek lost 14 million acres (two-thirds of their tribal lands). To count the Creek dead, whites cut off their noses, piling 557 of them. They also skinned their bodies to tan as souvenirs. This was the single largest cession of territory ever made in the southeast.
  • Battle of the Thames

    Pan-Indian forces led by Tecumseh were defeated and he himself killed by an American force led by William Henry Harrison.
  • Battle of Horseshoe Bend

    Battle of Horseshoe Bend
    An army of Americans and pro-assimilation Cherokees and Creeks under the command of Andrew Jackson defeated hostile Creeks known as the Red Sticks here in Alabama. Jackson required the Indians, hostile or friendly, to cede more than half their land to the federal government in terms of surrender.
  • Jackson and the Indians

    His vision of democracy did not include Indians who he believed should be pushed west of the Mississippi River. He led troops into East Florida in 1818 where he executed many Indian chiefs. He supported Georgia’s effort to seize Cherokee land and nullify the tribe’s laws.
  • Johnson v. M’Intosh

    The Court proclaimed that Indians were not in fact owners of their land but merely had a right of occupancy due to the inaccurate statement made by Chief Justice John Marshall that Indians had lived as nomads and hunters, not farmers. This decision struck a big blow against Indian efforts to retain their lands.
  • Office of Indian Affairs

    The Indian Office federal agency was established by the Secretary of War and operated under the administration of the War Department. The Office becomes the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) in 1849.
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    During the 1830s, most of the other southern tribes bowed to the inevitable and departed peacefully. But the Seminoles of sparsely settled Florida resisted. The Indians were assisted by escaped slaves as Florida had been a refuge for fugitive slaves from South Carolina and Georgia, to whom Spanish officials offered freedom. Georgia sent the militia into Florida to recapture them, but it was driven out by Seminole and African-American fighters.
  • Indian Removal Act

    Indian Removal Act
    This law during Jackson’s administration provided funds for uprooting the Five Civilized Tribes (Cherokee, Chickasaw, Choctaw, Creek, and Seminole). This law repudiated the Jeffersonian idea that civilized Indians could be assimilated into the American population. The Cherokee established schools, adopted written laws and a constitution modeled on that of the U.S., and many became slave owning farmers (qualities of republican citizens). Jackson still referred to them as savages.
  • Cherokee Nation v. Georgia

    In this case, Marshall described Indians as wards of the federal government who deserved paternal regard and protection, but they lacked the standing as citizens that would allow the Supreme Court to enforce their rights. Therefore, the justices could not block Georgia’s effort to extend its jurisdiction over the tribe.
  • A Son of the Forest

    A Son of the Forest
    William Apess, a descendant of Metacom, published this, the first significant autobiography by a Native American. This book appealed for harmony between white Americans and Indians.
  • Black Hawk

    Black Hawk
    The last Indian resistance to the advance of white settlement in the Old Northwest was when federal troops and local militiamen routed the Sauk leader Black Hawk who attempted to reclaim ancestral land in Illinois.
  • Worcester v. Georgia

    The Court declared that Indian nations were a distinct people with the right to maintain a separate political identity. They must be dealt with by the federal government and not the states, and Georgia’s actions violated the Cherokees’ treaties with Washington. However, Jackson refused to recognize the validity of the Worcester ruling.
  • Indian Intercourse Act

    Indian Intercourse Act
    Congress created Indian Territory in the west that included the land area in all of present-day Kansas, most of Oklahoma, and parts of what later became Nebraska, Colorado, and Wyoming. The area was set aside for Indians who would be removed from their ancestral lands which, in turn, would be settled by non-Indians. The area steadily decreased in size until the 1870s when Indian Territory had been reduced to what is now Oklahoma, excluding the panhandle.
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    Second Seminole War

    As a result to this war, 1,500 American soldiers and the same number of Seminoles were killed, and 3,000 Indians and 500 blacks were forced to move to the West. Osceola was a prominent leader of the Seminoles. A few Seminoles did manage to stay in Florida.
  • Texas Constitution

    Mexico had abolished slavery and declared persons of Spanish, Indian, and African origin equal before the law. The Texas constitution adopted after independence not only included protections for slavery but also denied civil rights to Indians and persons of African origin. Only whites were allowed to purchase land.
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    Trail of Tears

    The removal route from Georgia to the area of present-day Oklahoma came to be called this. Federal soldiers forcibly removed the majority of the Cherokee tribe led by John Ross that adopted passive resistance. The army herded 18,000 men, women, and children into stockades and then forced them to move west. At least one-quarter died on the Trail of Tears.
  • Indians in California

    The gold rush and absorption into the United States proved to be disastrous for Indians here. Gold seekers overran Indian communities. Miners, ranchers, and vigilantes murdered thousands of Indians. Determined to reduce the native population, state officials paid millions in bounties to private militias that launched attacks on the state’s Indians. Although California was a free state, thousands of Indian children, declared orphans or vagrants by local courts, were bought and sold as slaves.
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    California Gold-Rush

    White miners organized extralegal groups that expelled “foreign miners” (Mexicans, Chileans, Chinese, French, and American Indians) from areas with gold. The state legislature imposed a tax of $20 per month on foreign miners, driving many of them from the state.
  • Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo

    Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo
    Over 150,000 Indians inhabited the Mexican Cession. For the Indians whose homelands and hunting grounds suddenly became part of the United States, the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo referred to them only as “savage tribes” whom the U.S. must prevent from launching incursions into Mexico across the new border.
  • California's State Constitution

    California’s state constitution of 1850 limited voting and the right to testify in court to whites, excluding Indians, Asians, and the few blacks in the state.