August: This Month in Native American Hi


this month in Native American History
by Phil Konstantin

Blackberry Patches Moon
of the Wishram people

August 1: 1813: Today, Fort Stephenson, at modern Fremont, Ohio, will be attacked by British Major Henry A.Proctor, and 1200 British and Indians. The fort is defended by Major George Croghan, and 120 men. The Americans will fire only when the British and Indians are at close range. During the two day battle, the Americans will have only one man killed. The British and Indians will sustain more than 1200 casualties.

August 2: 1792: MOHEGAN Samson Occom dies today in New Stockbridge, New York. A protégé of Rev. Eleazar Wheelock, Occom will learn numerous foreign languages, become an ordained minister, be the first Indian to preach in England, minister to many Indian tribes, and be instrumental in the establishment of Dartmouth College in New Hampshire.

August 3: 1889: General Crook, and the other treaty commissioners, were having no luck in convincing the large groups of SIOUX and the Standing Rock Agency to agree to move to smaller reservations, and to sell their "excess" lands for $1.50 an acre. Sitting Bull continued to "disrupt" the meetings with his angry denunciation of any attempts to sell Indian lands. Crook decided he would make more progress by talking to the tribal leaders individually. On this date, without informing Sitting Bull, Crook held a final meeting. Local agent James McLaughlin had his tribal police surround the meeting site to prevent any of the rabble-rousers from attending. Eventually, Sitting Bull worked his way past the police, and addressed the meeting. Sitting Bull was incensed because he had not been informed of the meeting. McLaughlin told the meeting that everyone knew of the meeting. At that time, Chief John Grass, and many of the other Chiefs came forward to sign the treaty, and to break up the large reservation. Sitting Bull vented his frustration at the other Chiefs, but he was out voted.

August 4: 1862: In July, the money promised to the SANTEE SIOUX in Minnesota was scheduled to arrive. When Little Crow, and the other SIOUX, reported to their reservation's upper agency on the Yellow Medicine River, they were told the money had not arrived. The winter had been bad, and the summer crops were poor. Little Crow asked Agent Thomas Galbraith to open up the local warehouse, which was full of food. Galbraith said there would be no food if there was no money. On this date, Little Crow, and 500 SIOUX warriors surround the badly outnumber soldiers guarding the warehouse. The SANTEE break in and start unloading supplies. The commanding officer of the garrison, Timothy Sheehan, understands the frustration of the hungry Indians, and he convinces Galbraith to officially issue the food to the SANTEE. Little Crow also gets a promise that the lower agency will also issue supplies. The SANTEE then leave peacefully.

August 5: 1881: The Crow Dog murder case goes to the Supreme Court.

August 6: 1846: The old settlers and the new emigrants factions of the CHEROKEE have been arguing over who has legal control of the CHEROKEE Nation since the late 1830s. It has even been proposed that the nation split into two tribes. Today, the different sides will sign a treaty in Washington, D.C. The treaty will confirm that there will only be one CHEROKEE Nation.

August 7: 1869: A solar eclipse is draw on Lone Dog's chronicle of the years.

August 8: 1699: The TOHOME Indians live along the gulf coast in Alabama and Mississippi. Tiday, in Biloxi, they will formally establish peaceful relations with the French.

August 9: 1911: Ishi ("the last of his tribe") comes into Oroville, California.

August 10: 1815: The half brother of Cornplanter, Skaniadariio (Handsome Lake) was born near Ganawagus, New York sometime around 1735. He fought in many battles during the French and Indian Wars, and during the American Revolution. Later he would battle alcoholism. One day a vision led him to give up drinking and to promote traditional Indian ways among his people. He became a Chief among the SENECA based on his wise council. He once spoke before President Jefferson on behalf of his people. His teachings have been handed down among the IROQUOIS. He died today in Onondaga.

August 11: 1988: The ALEUT receive restitution for losses in WWII today.

August 12: 1878: The PAIUTE Chief Oytes, and his followers, will surrender today. This will effectively end the PAIUTEs' participation in the BANNOCK war.

August 13: 1587: Manteo, a CROTAN Indian has converted to the Church of England. Today, he is baptized by Sir Walter Raleigh. In respect for his help with Raleigh's colonists, Raleigh gives him the title of "Lord of Roanoke and of Dasamonquepeuk."

August 14: 1559: Tristan de Luna y Arellano has been appointed to establish Spanish settlements on Pensacola Bay by the Spanish Viceroy in Mexico. Today, his expedition of 13 ships, several priests, 500 soldiers, and 1000 settlers will arrive in Pensacola Bay, in Florida. Much of the expedition will be killed or starve because of a hurricane which struck the area a few days later.

August 15: 1642: In instructions to the Pennsylvania Governor John Printz, of New Sweden, the Queen of Sweden wished for "the wild nations" to be treated kindly, and in a humane manner. She also stated that the Indians were the "rightful lords" of this land, and must be treated accordingly.

August 16: 1812: SHAWNEE Chief Tecumseh has been commissioned as a Brigadier General by the British. With his Indians forces, he will be instrumental in the surrender of American force at Fort Detroit, today.

August 17: 1876: President Grant, by Executive Order today, corrects a survey mistake, and returns Uncompahgre Park, and some prime farm land, to the UTE Reservation.

August 18: 1863: As a part of the Canyon de Chelly Campaign, Kit Carson, and General James Charlatan, were trying to starve the NAVAJOs into submission. Today, General Charlatan will put a bounty on NAVAJO livestock. Every good horse or mule would bring twenty dollars, quite a sum for those days. Each sheep would earn one dollar.

August 19: 1854: a MINICONJOU SIOUX, named High Forehead, kills a sickly cow near Fort Laramie, in southeastern Wyoming. The cow's owner complains to the fort's commander. A brash Brevet Second Lieutenant John L.Grattan, and 30 volunteers leave the fort today to find the SIOUX involved. Grattan goes to Conquering Bear's BRULE SIOUX camp near Ash Hollow, and demands the Indian who shot the cow. Grattan makes numerous threats at the SIOUX, but they won't hand over High Forehead. During the parlay, a shot rings out, and Grattan's artillery gunners open fire on the camp. Conquering Bear tries to get both sides to stop shooting, but he is hit by an artillery round. Eventually, all but one of Grattan's men will be killed in the fighting. You can see where this happened on my website at

August 20: 1851: One in a series of treaties with California Indians is signed today at Lipayuma. This treaty says it will set aside lands for the Indians and protect them from Americans.

August 21: 1871: Treaty Number Two (Manitoba Post Treaty), is concluded between the Canadian Government, and the CHIPPEWA. They sell 35,700 square miles of land, in exchange for certain reservation lands, an annuity, schools and other items.

August 22: 1862: Today, 800 SANTEE SIOUX will attack Fort Ridgely, in south-central Minnesota. The fort is defended by approximately 150 soldiers, and two dozen volunteers. The SIOUX will sneak up to the fort, and try to set fire to it. When the SIOUX attacked, the Army responded with an artillery barrage. Little Crow will be wounded in the fighting, and Mankato will take over. The artillery will make the difference in the fighting, and the SIOUX will retreat.

August 23: 1724: British forces under Capt. Moulton stage a surprise attack on an ABENAKI village at Norridgewock.  27 people, including a resident French priest Father Rasles, would be scalped by the English. The village would be burned. This would be a big blow to the spirit of the local Indians.

August 24: 1869: For his actions on July 8, 1869, Mad Bear will receive the Congressional Medal of Honor today.

August 25: 1737: A agreement will be signed today by Thomas Penn and MUNSEE Chiefs Manawkyhickon and Nutimus. The agreement will call for Indian lands to be sold along the Delaware river for the distance that a man could walk in a day and a half. This would be called the "Walking Purchase" and would be performed on September 19, 1737.

August 26: 1858: In what would be called "The Battle of Four Lakes," force under Colonel George Wright fight for about three hours with COEUR d'ALENE, COLUMBIA RIVER, COLVILLE, KALISPEL, and SPOKANE Indians. The Army will defeat the Indians.

August 27: 1832: Black Hawk surrenders.

August 28: 1676: The last Indian surrenders in the King Philip's War.

August 29: 1758: The First State Indian reservation, in New Jersey, is established today.

Timucua Indians

August 30: 1690: A combined force of British, YAMASSEE and YUCHI Indians attack the Spanish mission of San Juan de Guacara in northern Florida, today. Many TIMUCUA Indians in the area have been converted to Christianity or are loyal to the Franciscan monks. All of the TIMUCUA Indians at the mission will be killed in the fighting.

August 31: 1905: Today, Ely Samuel Parker (Donehogawa) dies in New York City. During his lifetime he will be a SENECA Chief, an engineer, a lawyer, the New York City Building Superintendent, a Brigadier General in the Civil War where he will write the surrender papers signed at Appomattox, and the first Indian Commissioner of Indian Affairs. Born in 1828, he will be buried in Buffalo, New York.

Dates reprinted with permission by Phil Konstantin:

 This Month in NA HistoryNative Village Home Page