Native americans

Native American Timeline

  • Oct 12, 1492

    Christopher Columbus Discovers the New World

    Christopher Columbus Discovers the New World
    In 1492, Christopher Columbus would set his sights on the rocky beaches of America, instigating the very first contact between Native Americans and the outside world. Upon meeting the natives, he confessed that they were like simple-minded savages, easily subjugated by the European explorers. This first encounter would spark an era of exploration and discoveries on the American mainland, as well as introduce the natives to the outside world. Link
  • Period: Oct 12, 1492 to

    Native American History

  • Aug 13, 1521

    Herman Cortez conquers the Aztec in Mexico.

    Herman Cortez conquers the Aztec in Mexico.
    During the 1500s, the Spanish raced to lay their claim on the New World, with Herman Cortez, a Spanish explorer, landing in Mexico. Cortez would immediately spark a war with the neighboring Aztec. He would view the Aztec as savages, and felt himself superior. After five years, the Spaniards would be victorious over the Aztec but at a high cost from both sides. This war would cause a negative effect on the natives, as the Spanish would demonstrate the more harsh aspects of exploration. Link
  • Jan 1, 1552

    Bartolone de Las Casas

    Bartolone de Las Casas
    One of the very first European settlers to arrive in the New World, Bartolone would be one of the first to openly protest against the inhumane treatment of the Native American peoples by the Spanish. Seeing that exploration had a very high cost, he adcovated highly to prevent these horrible atrocities, even appealing towards the Spanish government. However, his most prominent contribution to save the Indian tribes would come in "A Short Account of the Destruction of the Indies." Link
  • Founding of Jamestown

    Founding of Jamestown
    In 1606, King James 1 of England gave a charter to a group of entrepreneurs to build a settlement in North America, the first of hopefully many. Upon arriving in 1607, the group of settlers would build a settlement in Virginia, but soon find themselves at odds with the nearby Indian natives. Since the settlers were complete strangers to the new land, and most of them considered themselves "gentlemen", not workers, Jamestown would enter what is now known as the "Starving Time." Link
  • Bacon's Rebellion

    Bacon's Rebellion
    In the late 1600s, Virginia militia began attacking nearby Indian tribes over trade disputes. The Governor of Virginia, Sir William Berkley, sought immediate action against the natives. The frightened Virginians soon found a leader in Nathanial Bacon, who disagreed with the Virginia government. Berkley and Bacon would soon find themselves on opposing sides, inciting Bacon's Rebellion. After the abrupt death of Bacon, harsher policies against Indians would be implemented in nearby states. Link
  • The French and Indian War

    The French and Indian War
    The French and Indian War was the climax to decades of hostilities between England and France over North America. The French would ally themselves with the Indians in an attempt to gain full terrotial domain over North America. Starting in 1754, the war would span over a decade, with the British eventually gaining the upper hand. By 1763, a peace treaty had been signed to end the war. The native tribes would bear the brunt of the war, as their land would be devastated by the conflict. Link
  • Proclamation of 1763

    Proclamation of 1763
    With the end of the French and Indian War, colonists rejoiced, believeing that the westward territories formerly owned by the French would be theirs for the taking. However, their celebration was cut short when the British Parliament issued the Proclamation of 1763, prohibiting the colonies from expanding westward to the Ohio Valley and Mississippi River. The Indians, now without their French allies, would also struggle to reclaim their former land thanks to these territorial barriers. Link
  • Treaty of Paris

    Treaty of Paris
    Decades of English taxes and territorial barriers had finally take its toll on the colonists, who incited their own war for independence against the English mainland. Finally, in 1783, England and the colonies would sign a peace treaty in Paris, formally ending the American Revolution. Although, the natives would get the short end of the stick, as their land would be controversially ceded to the new United States, who wanted their territoray as a means of westward expansion. Link
  • Treaty of Greenville

    Treaty of Greenville
    Indian hostilties still remained after the Revolution, mainly over their land being ceded to the newly formed United States without their consent. In 1794, Native American tribes fought with American forces over control over the Northwest Territory, leading to a near five-year struggle. Finally, in 1795, a treaty was forged between the natives and Americans in Fort Greeneville, Ohio. The Treaty of Greeneville created a compromise that benefited both sides, finally appeasing the natives. Link
  • Louisiana Purchase

    Louisiana Purchase
    The Louisiana Purchase was a land agreement between the United States and France that gave the U.S approximately 827,000 square miles of land west of the Mississippi River. President Thomas Jefferson himself approved the notion, citing westward expansion as critical towards growing America as a nation. However, the natives who formerly resided in the Louisiana territory were either forced off their land or made to sign treaties in order to tether them to the United States. Link
  • Lewis and Clark Expedition

    Lewis and Clark Expedition
    The new land was largely unexplorered by American settlers, inspiring President Jefferson to request an expedition to survey these unknown lands. Once the request was ratified by Congress, he appointed Meriwether Lewis and William Clark to oversee the expedition. On May of 1804, Lewis and Clark would set out on a two-year trek across the western U.S, encountering hostile native tribes along the way. The expedition did succeed in establishing relations with the natives of the region. Link
  • Tecumseh and The Prophet

    Tecumseh and The Prophet
    Admist the border warefare between Native Americans and U.S military over the Ohio Valley in the early 1800s, one man, Tecumseh, and his brother, The Prophet, would attempt to unite the natives into a collective confederacy against the invading settlers. Tecumeh would be revered by his fellow natives for his unwavering leadership and loyalty to his people. He would be killed in battle in 1813, but his legacy would live beyond the grave, making him a folk hero to both Indians and Americans. Link
  • Creek War

    Creek War
    The Creek Indians, formerly allies of the British during the War of 1812, would seek war against the U.S Military over the dispute of their land in Alabama and Georgia. The result was a bloodbath for the Creeks, whose primtive weapons were no match for long-range weapons and cannons. On August 9th, 1814, the Creeks would surrender their arms, as well as most of their territory to the U.S. Link
  • Indian Removal Act

    Indian Removal Act
    With the ratification of this act, President Andrew Jackson was able to cede unsettled land west of the Mississippi River to the U.S, forcing the Native Americans out of their homelands and into designated Indian reserves within state borders. Though most of the tribes cooperated peacefully, several did not, but through several skirmishes, the native people were forced off their land which they had lived on for thousands of years. Link
  • Worcester v Georgia

    Worcester v Georgia
    In the early 1800s, Georgia would launch a relentless campaign to remove the Cherokee Indians, who had held territory within the state borders. The Cherokee attempted to create a constitutional government for themselves, while establishing themselves as a single nation. The Cherokee would present their case to the U.S Supreme Court over the constitutionality of Georgia law. The Cherokee's plea would be answered, as the Supreme Court would finally strike down Georgia's extension law. Link
  • Trail of Tears

    Trail of Tears
    A long-time advocate for the removal of Indians from their homeland, President Andrew Jackson enfored the Indian Removal Act to the letter, forcing the Native Americans to give up their land in exchange for designated colonies. Seeking to expedite the process, the U.S army forced the Indians at gunpoint to march off their land, before looting their homes. Bound in chains, several Indian tribes began the long, grueling march towards their "new homes" in what is now the "Trail of Tears." Link
  • Oregon Trail

    Oregon Trail
    Expanding westward, pioneers and settlers began openly trespassing through Native American land on the Oregon Trail. While the interactions between the Indians and pioneers were initially hostile, their relationship would improve over time. They would even began trading various resources like buffalo robes and mocassins for knives and food. Some tribes even helped the pioneers navigate through the unknown territory, and reach their westward destinations. Link
  • Gold Discovered in California

    Gold Discovered in California
    On January 24th, 1849, James Wilson Marshall made a discovery that would change the landscape of the United States. Finding flakes of gold in a river surrounding present-day Coloma, California, Marshall had no idea what he really founded: a golden oppurtunity. Now with California firmly under U.S control, California quickly became a mining paradise. Unfortunately, the Native Americans would pay their price, as their numbers in the western territory had dropped to a mere 170,000. Link
  • Passage of the Homestead Act

    Passage of the Homestead Act
    Signed by President Abraham Lincoln himself, the Homestead Act of 1863 gave homesteads, or ownership to land, to those who applied to it to little cost. This proved problamatic for the Native Americans, as their prized land soon became the property of white settlements. Because of this, they were relocated to reserves that had a fraction of the land they once owned where disease and famine ran rampant. Their children were sent to boarding schools in order to learn the American way of life. Link
  • Sand Creek Massacre

    Sand Creek Massacre
    On November 24th, 1864, several hundred members of the Colorado militia would embark on what is now infamously known as the "Sand Creek Masacre." Led by U.S Colonel John Chivington, the militia attacked nearby Cheyenne and Arapaho villages, massacring over two-third of the native population. Amongst those killed would be women and children, their bodies mutilated beyond recognition. However, this atrocity would go unpunished in court, despite seveal eye witness accounts. Link
  • Diminished Buffalo Herds

    Diminished Buffalo Herds
    Once a mainstay of the North American landscape, buffalos had enough meat to feed entire native villages. For centuries, the natives used buffalos as a primary source of food, as well as weapons made from their horns. However, that would all change when settlers began permeating the area in the late 1800s. Already at odds with the Indians, settlers would kill thousands of buffalo each year, often exporting their hides for money. By the 1870s, more than 1.5 million buffalo were dead. Link
  • Gold in the Black Hills, and the Ft. Laramie Treaty

    Gold in the Black Hills, and the Ft. Laramie Treaty
    The Black Hills gold rush ran rampant throughout the entire western United States, as thousands of minesr flocked to the southern Hills in the search for gold. However, low returns had disillusioned the miners, until 1876, where a pair of miners singehandedly discovered the most significant gold vein in U.S history, producing over 25 percent of the world's gold supply for the next 100 years. Once again, the gold rush had forced natives off their land. Link
  • Battle of Little Big Horn

    Battle of Little Big Horn
    By late 1875, Sioux and Cheyenne Indians left their reservations, infuriated over how white setttlers had taken over their territory in the Black Hills. Collectively united under the warrior Sitting Bull, the natives seiged one last war against the U.S army. In the Battle of Little Big Horn, the combined Sioux and Cheyenne forces managed to emerge victorious in what was the Indian's greatest victory, but at a heavy cost. The Little Horn River was stained with the blood of hundreds. Link
  • Nez Perce War

    Nez Perce War
    For generations upon generations, the Nez Perce tribe lived peacefully on their own territory. That was, until the intrusion of white settlers. Tension between the Nez Perce and settlers had been building for the last decade, but it finally escalated into war when a group of settlers killed Nez Perce Indians. The war in fact would last most of 1877, with heavy casualties on both sides. Finally, on October 5th, Chief Joseph of the Nez Perce formally surrendered, ending the war. Link