Unit One: The Wild West. The Great Indian Wars Or Frontier Wars. The Frontier Wars. As westward expansion grew due to the increase of railroads through the plains, so did conflict as more people moved in.
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Unit One: The Wild West The Great Indian Wars Or Frontier Wars
The Frontier Wars • As westward expansion grew due to the increase of railroads through the plains, so did conflict as more people moved in. • The settlers not only fought themselves over the “virgin” land, but also fought the indigenous inhabitants of the plains, the Plains Indians. • A series of wars broke out between the Native Americans and the U.S. (Calvary) called the Great Indian Wars or the Frontier Wars to finally settle the Indian question.
Indians, What to do? • The first Indian policy used by the Federal government was to move the Indians out of land occupied by white settlers and move them into the Great Plains (Great American Desert). • The next phase was to make treaties and place the Indians on Reservations (land specifically laid out and lived on by the Indians) for their safety. • The last phase was the only good Indian is a dead Indian, which led to the basic genocide (mass killing of a group of people) of whole Indian tribes.
The Trojan Horse • In 1851, the Plains Indian tribes signed the Treaty of Fort Laramie which allowed for the safe travel of white settlers through Indian lands and for the building of roads and forts. • For their cooperation the Natives would receive an annuity ( a sum of money or goods paid yearly) of 50,000 dollars. • The Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) as part of the department of the interior was given power over the disruption of goods and money. • The BIA hired Indian/white agents to be assigned to each tribe to deliver resources, but most were swindlers and corrupt, selling supplies and loaning Indian money to white settlers.
Broken Promises • As white settlers moved through the plains they killed off in large numbers the Indians main food source the buffalo. • Also white settlers squatted on Indian lands, diverted water sources, attacked Indian villages, and began to mine for minerals on Indian land. • These “attacks” on sacred Indian lands and broken treaty promises led to the start of the Frontier Wars.
The Sioux Uprising • The Santee Sioux led by Ta-oya-duta “little crow” began to attack white settlers along the Minnesota River Valley, due to white encroachment and the failure of Indian Agent Thomas Galbraith to give the Sioux their annuities. • The Sioux attacked the town of New Ulm, Fort Ridgley, and home sites across the Dakota Territory. • Little Crow and the Sioux were defeated at the Battle of Wood Lake by Colonel Henry Sibley, which led to the execution of 39 Indians.
Colorado War • In 1861 the Chiefs Black Kettle and White Antelope signed the Treaty of Fort Wise which gave away a large sum of land and forced the Tribes on small reservations • Not all the tribes agreed to follow the treaty that which they did not sign and refused to move off lands for white settlement. • In 1861 Governor of Colorado John Evan issued the militia headed by John Chivington to force the Indians on to the reservations.
Colorado War • The U.S. Army Major Edward Wynkoop told the Indians to camp outside of Fort Lyon where they would be protected. • Wynkoop was replaced by Major Scott Anthony who gave orders for a surprise attack that led to a massacre of the Indians known as the Sand Creek Massacre. • The Massacre of Sand Creek united the Tribes in their hatred of the white man and the want for revenge for the attack.
The Great Basin • In the Great Basin region hostilities developed between the Navajos and Apache against the American military. • The American Colonel Christopher “Kit” Carson was sent to force the surrender of the Natives. • The Navajos were forced to leave their homelands in1864 to reservations in New Mexico known as the Long Walk. They were eventually allowed to return to Arizona. • The Apache fought until their last war chief Geronimo surrendered in 1886.
Great Basin Wars Camp Bosque-Redondo “Long Walk” The Long Walk Kit Carson Geronimo
The Nez Perce War • In the 1870s gold was found on the Nez Perce land of Idaho and also ranchers wanted the land for cattle. • The Nez Perce were told to leave and move onto a reservation by O.O. Howard, but refused and arm conflict began. • The Nez Perce were able to defeat the U.S. Calvary at the Battle of White Bird Canyon, but were sent on retreat in the Battle of Big Hole • The leader of the Nez Perce, Chief Joseph, led his people in an escape to Canada known as the Great Flight, but were caught five miles from Canada and sent to Oklahoma.
Red Cloud’s War • In 1863 gold was discovered in Montana bringing in many white settlers into the Northern Plains region. • To get the gold from Montana to Fort Laramie in Wyoming a stagecoach trail was created called the Bozeman Trail through Indian territory. • In 1867-1868 a Peace commission was sent to handle Indian complaints and uprisings, the new treaties placed Indians on smaller reservations and took from them the best lands for farming, hunting, and also precious mineral reserves (gold).
Red Cloud’s War • Chief Red Cloud of the Lakota refused to sign any more treaties and threatened resistance to any white encroachment. • Chief Red Cloud with the aid of Crazy Horse led raids against the Bozeman trail effectively shutting it down. • To protect the route Captain William Fetterman was sent with the 18th infantry, but was defeated in the Fetterman Massacre or the Battle of a Hundred Slain.
Red Cloud’s War • The U.S. government decided to change its policy and make peace with the Sioux. • In 1868, Red Cloud met with U.S. officials and signed the Treaty of Fort Laramie (1868) which created two large Sioux reservations around the Black Hills region of the Dakotas. • The other tribes (Kiowa, Comanche, and Apache) signed the Treaty of Medicine Lodge (1867) in which they gave up large tracts of tribal lands and agreed to live on smaller reservations for Federal annuities.
Battle of Little Bighorn • In 1874 gold was found in the Black Hills in an expedition led by George Armstrong Custer, which led to white settlement in the Great Sioux territory. • The Sioux did not like the white encroachment and the Great Sioux War (1876-1877) began. • The most notable battle of the conflict was known as Custer’s Last Stand or the Battle of Little Big Horn where Custer with 210 men of the Seventh Calvary Unit were defeated by 2,500 Cheyenne and Lakota braves.
The Ghost Dance • The Result of Custer’s Last stand was a general united sentiment by the American people against the Native Americans. (The only good Indian is a dead Indian) • After a series of defeats dealt to the Native Americans, they began to look inward to themselves to reconnect with their heritage and culture, also to fight off white assimilation. • The Sioux spiritual leader Kicking Bear started a circle dance which was expanded by Chief Sitting Bull known as the Ghost Dance Movement.
Battle of Wounded Knee • The spreading of the Ghost Dance and the congregation of Indian chiefs like Big Foot, Crazy Horse, Red Cloud, and Sitting Bull at Wounded Knee Creek alarmed the U.S. military and it was thought that the Indians were planning a massive Indian uprising. • To quall the movement the Seventh Calvary was sent in to arrest Sitting Bull, but turned into a bloody massacre known as the Massacre of Wooded Knee where three hundred Indians were killed. • The Massacre of Wounded Knee ended the Great Indian Wars.
Tears on the Plains Crazy Horse Monument (Privately funded) George A. Custer Chief Sitting Bull Battle of Little Big Horn The Ghost Dance
Dawes Severalty Act of 1887 • The Plains Indians at the end of the Great Indian Wars signed the Dawes Severalty or General Allotment Act of 1887 introduced by Senator Henry Dawes. • The Act divided Indian tribal lands into individual parcels that each male and his immediate family were to live and farm on. • The Act also led to further encroachment of white settlement and railroads into the tribal lands.
The Death of Indian Culture • The Dawes Act also effectively led to the death of the Indian culture by the forced assimilation (forcing a group of people to adopt another’s culture) of white culture on the Indians. • Native American boys were sent to white boarding schools to be educated and Christianized to “ease” the transition from a savage to civilized person. • This made the children feel isolated and alone, most turned into alcoholics or committed suicide. • Native life on reservations was not much better because of the culture shock of assimilation.