this month in Native American History
by Phil Konstantin

Moon when the limbs of trees are broken by snow


January 1, 1877:   Nelson Miles leads his troops from Fort Keogh, MT, along the Tongue River in search of  Crazy Horse and his followers. Today is their first skirmish with Indians. According to army reports,  600 lodges on the Tongue River are abandoned as Miles moves through the area.

January 2, 1848: Peter Skene Ogden arranges for the release of captives during the Cayuse attack on the Whitman Mission.

January 3, 1895: On November 25, 1894, the army arrested 19  Hopi "hostiles" for interfering with "friendly" Hopi activities on their Arizona reservation. The  prisoners are held in Alcatraz prison  from January 3, 1895 to August 7, 1895.

January 4, 605: Palenque Maya Lord Ac - Kan ascends the throne.

January 5, 1806: Sacajawea tells Lewis and Clark she wants to see a dead whale which has washed up on the beach in Oregon.

January 6, 1706: The Spanish are trying to improve relations with the Pueblos of modern New Mexico. Governor Francisco Cuervo y Valdez and  Captain Alfonso Rael de Aguilar meet with leaders from all the nearby tribes. Among the Indians is Don Domingo Romero Yuguaque,  Governor of the Tesque Pueblo.

January 7, 1781: The Mission San Pedro Y San Pablo De Bicuner is established in today's California, where the Anza Trail crosses the Colorado River. The mission is built on Quechan [Yuma] Indian land.

January 8, 1700:
Pierre le Moyne Sieur d'Iberville establishes a fort and trading post on the Mississippi River near today's New Orleans.  He hopes to establish friendly relations with the area's Indians to keep them from allying with the English or the Spanish.

January 9, 1790: Spanish and Indian forces under Commanding General Juan de Ugalde attack a group of 300 Lipan, Lipiyan, and Mescalero Apaches at what they called the Arroyo de la Soledad. The Spanish soundly defeat the Apache. The Spaniards name the battlegrounds the "Cañón de Ugalde" in honor of their commander. Modern Uvalde, Texas gets its name from this spot.

January 10, 1839: John Benge and 1,103 other Cherokees arrive in Indian Territory (today's Oklahoma). Ninety-seven Cherokees died along the way.

January 11, 1851: As a part of California's "Mariposa Indian Wars," Sheriff James Burney leads a force of settlers against the local Indians. The battle is a draw.

January 12, 1880: Leading "buffalo soldiers," Major Albert Morrow  attacks Victorio and his Warm Springs Apaches near the Puerco River in New Mexico. The fighting lasts until sunset, when the Indians escape. One soldier is killed, and one scout is wounded.

January 13, 1729: Measles, which are spreading through "New Spain," strikes Pima workers at the mission San Ignacio de Caburica.  Father Campos baptizes 22 Pimas "in periculo mortis" because they are so close to death. This epidemic kills many Indians.

January 14, 1971: A November 7, 1970 election by Louisiana's Chitimacha Tribe is ratified by the Assistant Secretary of the Interior, Harrison Loesch.

January 15, 1832
: The Chickasaw meet at their council house. They approve President Jackson's removal proposal but will not cooperate with efforts to share new lands with the Choctaws.

January 16, 1805: The Mandans parlay with the Minnetarrees according to Lewis and Clark.

January 17, 1800: Congress passes "An Act for the Preservation of Peace with the Indian Tribes." Among its  provisions: "That if any citizen or other person residing within the United States, or the territory thereof, shall send any talk, speech, message or letter to any Indian nation, tribe, or chief, with an intent to produce a contravention or infraction of any treaty or other law of the United States, or to disturb the peace and tranquillity of the United States, he shall forfeit a sum not exceeding two thousand dollars, and be imprisoned not exceeding two years."

January 18, 1870: "He That Kills His Enemies" dies from wounds near Fort Buford, ND.  His stone reads: "He That Kills His Enemies - Indian Scout- January 18, 1870 - Died of Wounds"

January 19, 1777: Several Oneida chiefs meet with Colonel Elmore at Fort Schuyler. They want the army to tell the Mohawks that the great council fire of the Onondagas as been extinguished.

January 20, 1830: Red Jacket (Sagoyewatha) dies. The Seneca chief, who was born around 1779, is respected as a great speaker and for his refusal to adopt white ways.

January 21, 1731: Led by Chief Farine, Natchez Indians in Louisiana are attacked  by French and Tunica forces. After three days of fighting,  the Natchez promise to surrender the next morning. Many of the Natchez escape during the night, including Chief Farine.

January 22, 1855: The Treaty of Point Elliot is signed in Washington. The Tulalip, the Kalapuya, the Swinomish, and the Snoqualnoo Tribes  are among the signers.

January 23, 1689: Saco, in southwestern Maine is attacked by Abenaki Indians.  Nine settlers are killed in the fighting.

January 24, 1835:   Indians have been stealing horses from Monterey, CA, ranches. Mexican Governor Figueroa warns  ranchers not to mount punitive expeditions against local Indians.  On more than one occasion, the Mexicans killed innocent Tulare Indians in their efforts to punish the thieves.

January 25, 1968: The United States decrees that the Mescalero Apaches [NM] should receive $8,500,000 for lands taken from them in the 1800s. The Mescaleros refuse because, by law, they cannot share the money with the Lipan and Chiricahua Apaches. A future ruling allows this.

January 26, 1716: Cherokee Chief Caesar has told the English in South Carolina that he will never fight them and that the Creeks want peace, also. Today, 16 Creek and Yamassee representatives arrive at Tugaloo, a  Cherokee village  in Georgia.  The Creeks urge the Cherokees to join them in an attack on South Carolina settlements. This so angers the Cherokees that the representatives are killed.

January 27, 1863: General Patrick Connor and hundreds of California volunteers attack  Northern Shoshone on Idaho's Bear River. The soldiers report 224 warriors are killed, including Chief Bear Hunter. Other sources put the number nearer to 400, including many women and children.  This is called  "The Bear River Massacre." Other sources says this happens on January 29, 1863.

January 28, 1908: Government lands set aside for the Navajo Indians in New Mexico conflict with lands set aside for the Jicarilla Apaches. This will be corrected.

January 29, 1881: The Eight lodges of Iron Dog and sixty-three of his followers surrender to Major George Ilges' forces in Montana. Thirteen horses, and five guns are seized by the troops.

January 30, 1838: Seminole Chief Osceola dies at Fort Moultrie in Charleston, South Carolina. Some say he died from a throat disease, others say malaria, but others say he dies of a broken heart.

January 31, 1833: The Mi’kmaq Waycobah First Nation reserve of Whycocomagh #2 is established in Nova Scotia.

Dates reprinted with permission from Phil Konstantin

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