Native American History From European Contact to Wounded Knee
Native Americans in North America: A More Than 12,000 Year Legacy Anthropologists have identified three major variations of the foraging subsistence pattern: 1. pedestrian (diversified hunting and gathering on foot) 2. equestrian (concentrating on hunting large mammals from horseback) 3. aquatic (concentrating on fish and/or marine mammal hunting)
Native American Culture Areas Who Were the Indians?
Cultural patterns and societies were largely shaped by a specific natural environment • Important factors: • Climate and the availability/variability of animal and plant species – Deer/Polar Bear/Buffalo • The density and distribution of population and its impact on the forms of cooperation between individuals and groups within society – Cahokia/Plains/Woodlands • The political and religious features of community life – Kinship/Clan/Tribe/Nation/Shamanism/Priest Cult
CAHOKIA PLAINS INDIANS
Egalitarian societies are comprised of people who are considered to be equal amongst one another and choose the amount of power given to individual members of a certain group. Inuit Hunting Seal Laws were not written, but rather communal understandings. Punishment for breaching laws were mild, usually aimed at injuring a man's position in society (through gossip, ridicule or ostracism). Inuit punishments were not created to reprimand the criminal, but to reestablish the desired peace.
One thing the Indians had in common was the use of stone tools. All made a variety of hammers, scrapers, knives, arrowheads, and spear points from stone. They had no access to sharp metal tools until the arrival of the Europeans. Most Europeans viewed the Indians as “primitive and savage.”
Much of the credit for European military success in the New World can be handed to the superiority of their weapons. Humans’ ability to transform mineral ores into useful materials has shaped the course of human history. Those civilizations that have been armed with a greater range of metal technologies have always defeated their rivals.
THE EURASIAN ADVANTAGE By geographic chance, America inherited different native grass and animal species. On such coincidences the destinies of millions of people throughout history have turned. Cereal Grasses of Eurasia A. Oats; B. Barley; C. Bread Wheat; D. Rye Domesticated Animals of Eurasia The goat, the sheep, the pig, the horse, and – our champion – the cow. Their ability to provide meat, dairy and draft while reproducing themselves and eating nothing but grass, has made cows a source of wonder throughout human history – objects of worship, even – to which European civilization may owe its very existence.
The Spread of Ideas Writing — and printing — acted as an additional agent of conquest for the Europeans. Printing gave Europeans access to a wealth of historical, cultural and military knowledge from previous eras, which the Indians — a non-literate society — could never have had.
The encomienda itself was a grant of Indians within a geographic region, which were given to an encomendero, the Spaniard who received the grant of Indians. Spain in the New World The Encomienda System Origins of the Slave Trade As large numbers Indians died under cruel working conditions. Landowners in New Spain began to look for alternative sources of labor.
The story of France's colonial empire began on July 27, 1605, with the foundation of Port Royal in the colony of Acadia in North America, in what is now Nova Scotia, Canada. A few years later, in 1608, Samuel de Champlain founded Quebec, which was to become the capital of the enormous, but sparsely settled, fur-trading colony of New France
The British Empire A number of English colonies were established under a system of Proprietary Governors, who were appointed under mercantile charters to English joint stock companies to found and run settlements.
The period after European contact and before complete Euro-American domination may be considered a “middle ground,” a time when neither Native Americans nor Europeans were the supreme rulers of a given territory and when the ties between Indians and whites were stronger than their differences. The 1600s and 1700s. Decline Timeline • East Coast: The period of decline set in before 1700 • Great Plains: Stealing of the first horses from the Spanish ranches in New Mexico about 1600. The decline did not come until the buffalo were almost exterminated in the 1870s and 1880s. • West Coast: The impact of the gold rush of 1849 was so sudden that the period of prosperity failed to materialize at all and that of decline began at once.
The Treaty of Easton, signed between the Lenape and the English in 1766, removed them westward, out of present-day New York and New Jersey and into Pennsylvania, then Ohio and beyond. Where do the Indians go? Forced Migration! One rationale for these treaties was that Indians were migratory hunters who only followed the game and had no attachment to any particular lands.
The general pattern of Indian response to white settlement: • Initial period of increased prosperity brought on by trade with whites • Followed by a period of decline after the spread of disease, and the game, furs, and land for Indians became scarce. Native American prehistoric population of about 2,500,000 in what is now the United States (excluding Alaska), 1890 numbers fell to a low of about 250,000
Smallpox Disease was one of the leading causes of population decline, for the Indians had no immunity to many diseases brought in by settlers from Europe and slaves from Africa. Some estimates are as high as 95% of the population. Malnutrition due to depletion of game and other food sources was also a critical factor in the decline of population. In addition, armed conflicts with whites and enemy Indians. These various disturbances led also to generally inadequate child care.
Indian Religious Beliefs • Life after death. • Ghosts, gods, and anthropomorphic spiritual personalities with intelligence, emotions, and freedom of will to intervene in human affairs. • All Indians further believed in a supernatural power, shared by spiritual personalities, human beings, and the entities of the natural world. • Their religiousness was an attempt to understand, enter into relations with, appease, revere, and, if possible, manipulate these sources of existence in order to promote their own lives and the lives of their relatives.
Shamanism Shamanistic traditions have existed throughout the world since prehistoric times. Every Native American community had its medicine men and women, shamans, or priests. These were persons who had especially close contact with the supernatural and who interceded on behalf of others thought to have less ability to communicate with the spirits.
Native American Prophet Movements Contact with Christians proved traumatic for Native American religions, as both civil and religious authorities attempted to repress native spirituality and force conversion. Over the past three centuries, this attempt has provoked the rise of various native religious movements. The Longhouse Religion, also known as the Handsome Lake cult, or Gai'wiio (Good Message in Seneca) is a religious movement started by the SenecaChief Handsome Lake (Ganioda'yo). Founded in 1799, it is the oldest active prophet movement in North America.
O Kee Pa The Mandan Sun Dance Ordinarily held by each tribe once a year in early summer, it was an occasion for purification and strengthening and an opportunity to reaffirm basic beliefs about the universe and the supernatural through rituals. The ceremony originated with the Lakota Sioux.
THE TREATIES 1778 Treaty between United States and Delaware Indians, the first United States and Indian treaty, is negotiated in which Delaware tribe is offered the prospect of statehood. THE PIPE, JOHN KILL BUCK “ ARTICLE 1. That all offences or acts of hostilities by one, or either of the contracting parties against the other, be mutually forgiven, and buried in the depth of oblivion, never more to be had in remembrance.”“ Article 6...” the United States do engage to guarantee to the aforesaid nation of Delawares, and their heirs, all their territorial rights in the fullest and most ample manner, as it hath been bounded by former treaties, as long as they the said Delaware nation shall abide by, and hold fast the chain of friendship now entered into.” Treaties Between the U. S. and Native Americans
1778 Iroquois Indians under Joseph Brant and British regulars attack American settlers on the western New York and Pennsylvania frontiers. In 1779, the Americans launch a counteroffensive that lays waste to Indian towns and crops, and breaks the power of the Iroquois League. The Wyoming Valley "massacre" was a military battle in the American Revolutionary War that took place in Pennsylvania's Wyoming Valley on July 3, 1778, in which more than three hundred Americans died at the hands of Loyalist and Iroquois raiders.
1780-1800 Smallpox and measles among Indians in Texas and New Mexico. In 1782-83, a smallpox epidemic among Sanpoils of Washington. 1781-89 Under the Articles of Confederation defining federal and state relationships, it is accepted in principle that the central government should regulate Indian affairs and trade. “Under the Protection of the United States” In 1818, a House committee report noted, “in the present state of our country, one of two things seems to be necessary. either those sons of the great forest should be moralized or exterminated: humanity would rejoice at the former, but shrink with horror at the latter.” In 1789 - Congress establishes a Department of War and formally grants the secretary of War authority over Indian affairs.
1787 Northwest Ordinance calls for Indian rights, the establishment of reservations, and sanctity of tribal lands, echoing the British Proclamation of 1763, but it also sets guidelines for the development of the Old Northwest, leading to increased white settlement. Late 17th Century Commentary “Oaks, walnuts, hickories, maples, and elms were present in abundance, as were tulip trees, Kentucky coffee trees, honey locusts, persimmons, and sumacs. Many of the larger trees were a spectacular size. Rivers held schools of carp, catfish, perch, and sturgeon. Flocks of tens of thousands of passenger pigeons darkened the sky overhead. Bison roamed in great herds, and bears, wolves, and wildcats flourished in the woods and ravines.”
Supreme Court: Cherokee Nation v. Georgia – 1789 The federal government alone is given the power to regulate commerce with foreign nations, among the states, and with Indian tribes. “No person shall be permitted to trade with the Indians without a license; . . . traders shall sell their goods at reasonable prices, allow them to the Indians for their skins, and take no advantage of their distress and intemperance; . . the trade to be only at posts designated by the commissioners.” THE FACTORY SYSTEM US Constitution, Congress, Section 8, Clause 3: To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian Tribes...
1790-99 - Four Trade and Intercourse Acts regulate Indian commerce and create the "factory system" of government trading houses. Lasted until 1822. • The federal government wanted to control the Indian fur trade as a means of "civilizing” the Indians in order to acquire their hunting grounds. • The government believed if trade goods were provided at a fair price it would keep the Indian villages close to the factory posts, and eventually lead to the Indians assimilation into the white man culture. "Osage Warrior"
“Hang around the Forts” Many Indians were infatuated with European culture. Technology – Steel, Guns, Trinkets/Beads Animals – Horses, Pigs, Cows Religion – Christianity and its Story Of an Executed God Alcohol – Vision/Dream Quest “My son cannot pull back the bow of his father.” Pigeon's Egg Head Going to and Returning from Washington
1802 - Federal law prohibits the sale of liquor to Indians. • Roots of the epidemic of alcohol-related problems among many Native North Americans are related to: • European arrival. • The role of alcohol in frontier society, and colonial and postcolonial policies. • Heavily influenced by the example of White frontiersmen, who drank immoderately and engaged in otherwise unacceptable behavior while drunk. • Whites also deliberately pressed alcohol upon the natives because it was an immensely profitable trade good. • Alcohol was used as a tool of "diplomacy" in official dealings between authorities and natives.
1803 - Louisiana Purchase adds a large Indian population to the United States. In 1804, the Louisiana Territory Act shows the intent of the United States to move eastern Indians west of the Mississippi. Mandan Rain Dance Mandan Buffalo Dance Captains William Clark & Meriwether Lewis The Corps of Discovery reached the Mandan villages in the fall of 1804 and stayed the winter in Fort Mandan
The Louisiana Territory was neither an “unoccupied frontier” nor a “wilderness" when Lewis and Clark arrived. Indian societies possessed philosophy, laws, order, and religion, none of which were ever mentioned in Clark's paternalistic journals. Impact of the Expedition on the Indians: In addition to the impact of disease there was an erosion of both the economic and political structure of the tribes.
1808 - American Fur Company is chartered by John Astor. In 1810-12, an Astorian overland western expedition established trade relations with Indians. The first of the Astor family dynasty and the first millionaire in the United States, making his fortune in the fur trade and real estate industries.
1809 - Treaty of Fort Wayne. General William Henry Harrison obtains 2 1/2 million acres from Indians in Ohio and Indiana. In the treaty the United States acquired three million acres of land with a single document. In another deal he paid the Indians one penny for each 200 acres and transferred 51 million acres to the United States. When the Shawnee chief Tecumseh tried to organize resistance Harrison led a force of 950 men against his Indian Confederacy, defeating 650 warriors at Tippecanoe Creek on November 7, 1811. General William Henry Harrison
Andrew Jackson was a forceful proponent of Indian removal. In 1814 he commanded the U.S. military forces that defeated a faction of the Creek nation. They lost 22 million acres of land in southern Georgia and central Alabama. 1818 - Jackson's troops invaded Spanish Florida. to punish the Seminoles for their practice of harboring fugitive slaves and gained more land. From 1814 to 1824, Jackson was instrumental in negotiating nine out of eleven treaties which divested the southern tribes of their eastern lands.
1822 - Office of Indian Trade and Indian trading houses (the "factory system") are abolished by Congress, at which time provisions were made for the licensing of independent traders, who were better able to meet the booming demand for furs. Land Speculation and the Fur Trade – Two Major Forces in the Conflict Between Indians and the United States
Attempts to Assimilate into American Culture From 1809-21 Sequoyah single-handedly creates a Cherokee syllabic alphabet so that his people's language can be written. • Alphabet, Newspapers, Towns • Planters and Farmers • Some Owned Slaves Ross, one of the richest men in North Georgia before 1838 had a number of ventures including a 200 acre farm and owned a number of slaves. He was forced to move in the Trail of Tears. He lost everything. John Ross
MANIFEST DESTINY 1823 U.S. Supreme Court decision Johnson v. McIntosh "tribal rights to complete sovereignty were necessarily diminished by the principle that discovery gave exclusive title to those who made it." “It is to be presumed that in this matter the United States would be governed by such considerations of justice as would control a Christian people in their treatment of an ignorant and dependent race.”
Indian Removal Act In 1838 and 1839, as part of Andrew Jackson's Indian removal policy, the Cherokee nation was forced to give up its lands east of the Mississippi River and to migrate to an area in present-day Oklahoma. The Cherokee people called this journey the "Trail of Tears," because of its devastating effects. The migrants faced hunger, disease, and exhaustion on the forced march. Over 4,000 out of 15,000 of the Cherokees died.
1835 - The Texas Rangers are organized to campaign against the Comanche. 1835-42 - Second Seminole War. 1837 - Smallpox epidemic among Mandan, Hidatsa, and Arikara tribes of the upper Missouri. From 1837-70, at least four different smallpox epidemics ravage western tribes. 1834 - Congress reorganizes the Indian offices, creating the U.S. Department of Indian Affairs (War Department). The Trade and Intercourse Act redefines the Indian Territory and Permanent Indian Frontier, and gives the army the right to quarantine Indians.
In the United States, an Indian reservation is land which is managed by a Native American tribe under the United States Department of the Interior's Bureau of Indian Affairs. The land is federal territory and Native Americans have limited national sovereignty.
Westward Expansion The Peace Commission at the Fort Laramie Treaty 1868 • The pattern is set: • Treaty • Treaty is Broken • Move the Indians to Reservations 1853-56 - United States acquires 174 million acres of Indian lands through 52 treaties, all of which are subsequently broken by whites.
1845-48 - War between the United States and Mexico over the American annexation of Texas. Many Indian tribes become part of the United States. 1846 - Oregon Country becomes part of the United States as a result of a settlement with England. 1849 - Bureau of Indian Affairs transferred from the War Department to the Department of the Interior. 1850-60 - Cholera epidemic among the Indians of the Great Basin and southern plains. 1851 - Yuma and Mojave Uprising in California and Arizona.
GERONIMO Mexican soldiers massacred his first wife and three children during a supposedly peaceful trading session in 1858, and as a result he hated all Mexicans for the rest of his life. Geronimo (June 16, 1829–February 17, 1909) was a prominent Native American leader of the ChiricahuaApache who long warred against the encroachment of the white man on tribal lands. Geronimo died on Feb. 17, 1909, a prisoner of war, unable to return to his homeland. Famous Chiefs
The Dawes Act and Assimilation Indian children, seen as the key to assimilation, were forcibly taken from their homes and sent to school. In 1887, the government instituted the Dawes Act to accelerate assimilation by dissolving the reservations and allotting land to individual Indians. Most tribes resisted, refusing to give up their culture and unique ways of life.
"...the real aim of [the Dawes Act] is to get at the Indians land and open it up for resettlement." - Senator Henry M. Teller, 1881 Congressman Henry Dawes once expressed his faith in the civilizing power of private property with the claim that to be civilized was to "wear civilized clothes... cultivate the ground, live in houses, ride in Studebaker wagons, send children to school, drink whiskey [and] own property." Studebaker Wagon
To get on the Dawes Rolls, Native Americans had to "anglicize" their names. This bit of "melting pot" chicanery allowed agents of the government, to slip the names of their relatives and friends onto the Dawes Rolls and thus reap millions of acres of land for their friends and cronies. Tom Torlino, a Navajo who was "civilized" at an Indian Training School Land held by Native American tribes before the Dawes Act and 100 years later.
Native children at the Carlisle Indian school in Carlisle, Pennsylvania. This school forced native children removed from their home to be acculturated to white culture. Many of the children died because of bad food and conditions.
We Must Civilize and Educate the Indians A conversation between Chief Joseph of the Nez Perce tribe and one of the government commissioners who was trying to convince Chief Joseph of the advantages of having a government funded school located on the agency. Why do you not want schools?" the commissioner asked. "They will teach us to have churches," Joseph answered. "Do you not want churches?" "No, we do not want churches." "Why do you not want churches?" "They will teach us to quarrel about God, Joseph said. "We do not want to learn that. We may quarrel with men sometimes about things on this earth, but we never quarrel about God. We do not want to learn about that."