this month in Native American History
by Phil Konstantin

Month of Purification and Renewal



February 1, 1917: By Executive Order, today, the Papago Indian Reservation in established in Arizona.

February 2, 1887:
A law is passed which will prohibit the use of Indian languages in schools.

February 3, 1847:
General Sterling Price reaches the fortified Taos Pueblo. Cannonade proves unfruitful, so Price retreats to the city of Taos.

February 4, 1861:
John Ward's step-son Feliz Tellez is kidnapped by Indians from Sonoita Creek ranch in Arizona. The U.S. Army sends George Bascom and 54 soldiers to find him. Today, Chiricahua Apache Chief Cochise is invited to talk with Bascom and is shocked when Bascom accuses him of kidnapping the boy. Cochise denies his involvement, but Bascom puts Cochise under arrest. Cochise cuts a hole in the tent and escapes, so Bascom holds Cochise's relatives as hostages. Cochise quickly seizes several whites has hostages, as well.

February 5, 1692:
Canadians and Indians attack the southern Maine town of York. Almost 50 settlers are killed, and at least 70 are captured.

February 6, 1854:
Texas passes a law allowing the United States to pick sites for 2 Indian reservations in Texas. One will be on the main fork of the Brazos River. The other is on the Clear Fork of the Brazos River.

February 7, 1983: The Inuit Circumpolar Conference is held at the United Nations.

February 8,1837:
During the 2nd Seminole War, a battle takes place between Seminole and American forces on Lake Monroe near today's Sanford, Florida. Colonel Alexander Fanning leads American forces against more than 600 Seminoles led by Chiefs Philip and Wildcat. Both sides lose a large number of men.  The arrival of a steamship with cannon ends the battle.

February 9, 1526:
Spaniards are living in the Cakchiquel Maya town of Iximche’in modern Guatemala. A few decide to desert and set a large fire as a diversion.

February 10, 1890:
The South Dakota "land grab" takes place. Parts of the Great Sioux Reservation are opened to settlers.

February 11, 1978: The "Longest Walk" takes place to protest Indian treatment.

February 12, 1599:
Seventy Acomas have been found guilty for battling Spaniards in a 1598 incident.  Today, Juan de Oñate orders their punishment.  Those who are 12-25 years-old will have a foot cut off.  All men older than 25 will have a foot cut off and spend 20 years as slaves. 

13, 1743:
Schaghticook sachem Mahwee is baptized in New York. He will be the first of his tribe to do so.

February 14, 1776:
The first Spanish arrive at todays' Needles, CA area.

February 15, 1870:
The second intercontinental railroad begins. It also goes through Indian lands.

February 16. 1863:
An Act (12 stat.l.652) states that all treaties between the U.S. and the "Sisseton, Wahpaton, Medawakanton, and Wahpakoota Bands of Sioux of Dakota are aborgated and annulled" in the state of Minnesota. This act took away their lands because of the "Santee Sioux uprising."

February 17, 1690:
While traveling through the area, French explorer Henri de Tonti visits the Natchitoches Confederation near today's Natchitoches, Louisiana.

February 18, 1833: The Ottawa sign a treaty (7 stat. 420) beside the Maumee River near today's Toledo, OH.

February 19, 1725
: Documents regarding the Delaware "Walking Purchase" treaty are discovered.

February 20, 1805:
Kagohami talks of a 120-year-old man to Lewis and Clark.

February 211911
: Comanche Chief Quanah Parker dies. His headstone (Ft. Sill, OK) reads, "resting here until day breaks and darkness disappears is Quanah Parker, the last Chief of the Comanches.  Died Feb. 21, 1911, age sixty-four years."

February 22, 1944:  Jack C. Montgomery, a Cherokee, is a First Lieutenant with the 45th Infantry in Italy. For his solo actions against three different enemy positions, he is awarded the Medal of Honor.

February 23, 1540:
According to some sources, Coronado's expedition begins preparations to get underway.

February 24, 1848: After the Cayuse attacked the Whitman Mission in Oregon, a war has been declared. Today, a fight takes place. The Cayuse lose 8 men, including Chief  Eagle.  Five warriors and 5 Americans are also wounded. 

February 25,  529:
Palenque Maya Lord Kan - Xul I ascends the throne. 

February 26,1860: The Wiyots are holding their annual ceremonies in the village of Tutulwat on a river island near today's Eureka, CA.  They Wiyot welcome everyone to the ceremony, including whites. Tonight, after the ceremonies are complete, a group of men from Eureka attack the participants and several nearby villages. 80-100 Indians are killed in the sneak attack. An annual vigil is now held on a nearby island to commemorate the event.

February 27, 1973:
The siege of Wounded Knee begins. It lasts until May 8, 1973.

February 28, 1835 General Edmund Gaines and 1,100 soldiers have been battling 1,200 Seminoles, under Chief Osceola, for two days. The fighting continues until March 6.

February 29, 1704: A battle that started yesterday at Deerfield, Massachusetts, continues.


Dates reprinted with permission by Phil Konstantin:
Background: Robert Kaufman Fabrics:

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