This Month in Indigenous History

August 16, 2018


August 14, 1872: At Pryor's Fork, Montana, a railroad surveying expedition is attacked near the mouth of the river by a larger number of Sioux and Cheyenne. The fighting lasts several hours, leaving one man dead and five wounded.


August 15, 1952: Public Law 280 places tribal lands in California, Minnesota, Nebraska, Oregon, and Wisconsin under the criminal and civil jurisdiction of the state. The bill does not provide for tribal consent or even consultation.


August 16, 1865: While construction begins on Fort Connor, near present-day Sussex, Wyoming, Pawnee scouts trail a band of Cheyenne who were raiding along the Platte River. They catch up with the raiders on the Powder River about 50 miles north of Fort Connor. The Cheyenne assume the approaching Indians are Cheyenne or Lakota, because they made a friendly sign. Suddenly the Pawnees charge in, killing 27 Cheyenne, including Yellow Woman. A wounded Cheyenne rolls himself over a steep cut bank, but a Pawnee sees him, climbs down, and kills him with a saber.


August 17, 1755: Almost 400 Indians attack John Kilburn’s stockade at Walpole, Connecticut. After a day of fighting, the Indians withdraw.


August 18, 1812: Tribal chiefs refuse Governor William Henry Harrison’s invitation to attend a peace council at Piqua, Ohio.


August 19, 1762: Governor Thomas Velez Cachupin tries a number of Indians at Albiquiú, New Mexico, for witchcraft. They are condemned into servitude.


August 20, 1789: An “Act Providing for the Expences Which May Attend Negotiations or Treaties with the Indian Tribes, and the Appointment of Commissioners for Managing the Same” is approved by the United States.


August 21, 1831: The Shawnee at Wapakoneta and the Seneca on the Sandusky River relinquish their reservations by treaty and move west.


August 22, 1806: Zebulon Pike’s expedition reaches a village near the Osage River in present-day Missouri.


August 23, 1876: “Treaty 6 Between Her Majesty The Queen and The Plain and Wood Cree Indians and Other Tribes of Indians at Fort Carlton, Fort Pitt and Battle River with Adhesions” is signed in Canada.


August 24, 1721: After decades of dispute with colonists at Noank, the Pequot give up their planting rights in exchange for clear title to Mashantucket.


August 25, 1607: Some 200 Indian warriors storm the unfinished stockade at Jamestown, Virginia. Two are killed and 10 seriously wounded before they are repelled by cannon fire from the colonists’ moored ships.


August 26, 1842: The Caddoes sign a treaty with Texas, and agree to try to convince other tribes to sign.


August 27, 1878: Captain James Egan and Troop K, Second Cavalry, follow a group of Bannocks who have been stealing livestock along the Madison River. Near Henry’s Lake, Egan’s forces skirmish with the Bannocks and recover 56 head of livestock.


August 28, 1607: Colonists complete James Fort in Jamestown. Hostilities end when Powhatan commands local chiefs to live in peace with the English.


August 29, 1758: The first reservation is established in Brotherton, New Jersey, for the Lenni Lenape.


August 30, 1645: A peace treaty between the Dutch and several tribes is signed at Fort Orange in present-day Albany, concluding a protracted conflict in the area.


August 31, 2009: Florida Governor Charlie Crist signs a gambling pact with the Seminole, who agree to pay Florida $12.5 million a month for 30 months after running illegal slot machines and blackjack.


September 1, 1875: The second Sioux War erupts after the Sioux refuse to sell the Black Hills to the U.S.


September 2, 1779: General John Sullivan and his force of 4,500 men level Catherine’s Town, New York, attacking Indians suspected of being British allies.


September 3, 1783: The Treaty of Paris is signed by the U.S. and Britain, ending the Revolutionary War.


September 4, 1863: The Concow-Maidu are forced from their ancestral home in present-day California. Many die along the way. One group of 461 Concows leaves Chico, but only 277 survive trip to Round Valley.


September 5, 1877: Crazy Horse is fatally bayoneted by a U.S. soldier after resisting confinement at Fort Robinson, Nebraska. A year earlier, Crazy Horse was among the Sioux leaders who defeated George Custer’s Seventh Cavalry at the Battle of Little Bighorn. After the victory, U.S. Army forces pursued Crazy Horse and his followers. The tribe suffered from cold and starvation, and on May 6, 1877, Crazy Horse surrendered at the Red Cloud Indian Agency.


September 6, 1778: A network of trails from Detroit and the Illinois settlements to Fort Pitt and Kentucky is the scene of many skirmishes. Fort Laurens is constantly under attack and will be evacuated in 1779.


September 7, 1972: The Commissioner of Indian Affairs extends federal recognition to the Chippewa Tribe of Sault Ste. Marie in Northern Michigan.


September 8, 2000: The Bureau of Indian Affairs marks its 175th birthday, at which Assistant Secretary Kevin Gover offers a formal apology to American Indians for the agency’s misdeeds.


September 9, 1836: Alexander Le Grand is appointed Indian Commissioner by Texas leader David Burnet. Le Grand is charged with negotiating a peace treaty with the Comanche and the Kiowa.


September 10,1874: Captain Wyllys Lyman and 60 men from the Fifth Infantry are escorting a wagon train at the Washita River in present-day Oklahoma when they are attacked by Indians. The soldiers remain barricaded for several days until relief arrives from Camp Supply in the panhandle of Indian Territory.


September 11, 1965: Construction of the Kinzua Dam on the Allegheny River forces Pennsylvania’s last Native Americans, the Senecas, to Salamanca, New York, on land flooded by the dam.


September 12, 1874: Major William Price and the Sixth Cavalry with a few “mountain howitzers,” battle a sizable group of Indians along the Washita River in Texas. Two are killed and six wounded.


September 13, 2011: A federal order to restore civil rights to descendants of the “Cherokee Freemen,” former slaves of the Cherokee who were later denied tribal membership, throws a special election for chief into turmoil. The tribe says they will not be dictated to by the U.S. about the treatment of African-Americans.


September 14, 1726: A land cession agreement is reached by representatives of Great Britain and the Cayuga, Onogada, and Seneca Tribes.


September 15, 1830: The Choctaw sign a treaty exchanging eight million acres of land east of the Mississippi for land in Oklahoma.


September 16, 1893: After the Cherokee are pressured into selling land to the U.S. government, a “run” of 100,000 purchase land in the Cherokee Strip of Indian Territory, present-day Oklahoma.


September 17, 1778: The first federal treaty is enacted with the Delaware Tribe.


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