This Month in Native American History
by Phil Konstantin

StrawBerry Moon

Black Ash Basket, St. Regis Mohawk Tribe

June 1, 1934: A legal definition of "Indian" is made by the United States government
June 2, 1752: Diego Ortiz Parrilla, Lieutenant Colonel of the Royal Armies, Proprietary Captain of the Dragoons of Veracruz, Governor and Captain-General of the Provinces of Sinaloa and Sonora in the Kingdom of New Andalucia declares the estalishment of a permanent Spanish community at what would become modern Tubac, Arizona. This would be the first significant Spanish settlement in Arizona.

June 3, 1823: Yesterday a trapper is killed in a Arikara village. The Arikara warriors attack Jedediah Smith and his forty men who are camped on the nearby river. There are also ninety men stationed on boats in the river. Fearing for their lives, the men in the boats refuse to come help Smith's men. Fifteen men are killed and almost as many are wounded in the fighting before they can swim out to the boats and flee.

June 4, 1696: A second Pueblo revolt takes place in modern New Mexico. Participating tribes were the Cochiti, Picuris, Santa Fe, Santo Domingo, Tano, Taos and Tewa. Twenty-one settlers and soldiers, and five missionaries are killed in the fighting. The revolt would not be long lived.

June 5, 1836: Of the 407 "friendly" Seminoles who left Tampa Bay on April 11, 1836, only 320 arrive in their new lands in the Indian Territory (present day Oklahoma). Eighty-seven of the Seminoles die during the rigorous trip.

June 6, 1962: The Fort Apache Scout is first published.

June 7, 1494: The "new world" is divided between Spain and Portugal by the Catholic church.

June 8, 1758: General Jeffrey Amherst is leading a force of more than 10,000 soldiers on a fleet of almost fifty British ships. They land and attack the French fort at Louisbourg, Nova Scotia. The French forces are led by Chevier de Drucour. He has 3,100 soldiers, 1,000 Canadians and 500 Indians at his disposal. The French also have a fleet in port. The fighting continues until July 26th. The British are victorious. Fearing they will be executed, many of the Indians will flee because the British offer terms of surrender only to the French troops.

June 9, 1870: Ely Parker (Donehogawa) commissioner of Indian Affairs invites Red Cloud, and several other Sioux to visit him, and the Great Father, in Washington. Red Cloud meets President Ulysses Grant. Red Cloud tells Grant the Sioux do not want a reservation on the Missouri River. Red Cloud also talks about some of the promises made in the treaty which were not actually included. They have a cordial meeting, but Grant knows the difference between the items promised, and the items actually in the treaty are grounds for contention in the future. He suggests the Indians be read the treaty in its entirety soon.

June 10, 1909: The U.S. Supreme Court confirms and approves Guion Miller's new tribal rolls of the Eastern Cherokees who are entitled to share in the distribution of a $1,000,000 fund the Court established in 1906.

June 11, 1848: Alexander Barclay establishes a trading post and fort and the juncture of the Sapello and Mora Rivers in northern New Mexico. The Santa Fe Trail runs past the post. It will eventually become a part of the later constructed Fort Union, one of the largest military outposts in the American Southwest.

June 12, 1755: Massachusetts posts its "Scalp bounty."

June 13, 1660: Wamsetta, a Wampanoag, and his younger brother, Metacomet (various spellings), have requested "English" names from the Plymouth court. Their names are officially changed to Alexander and Philip Pokanoket. Philip is eventually called "King Philip."
June 14, 1867: According to the Constitution of the Coeur d'Alene Tribe of Idaho, The Coeur d'Alene Reservation is established by Executive Order.

June 15, 1742: According to Maya engravings, King Itzamnaaj B'alam II (Shield Jaguar) of Yaxchilan, Mexico dies.

(see my photos of Yaxchilan on my page at )

June 16, 1802: A treaty (7 stat. 68) with the Creeks is concluded near Fort Wilkinson, on the Oconee River, near present day, Milledgeville, Georgia. New tribal boundary lines are established, which cede lands along the Oconee and Ocmulgee creeks, and the "Altamaha" tract. The tribe receives $3000 annually, and some Chiefs get $1000 a year for ten years. The tribe gets $10,000 now, and $10,000 is set aside to pay tribal debts to local white traders. The Creeks also receive $5000 for lands that have been seized. They also get two sets of blacksmith tools, and trained blacksmiths to use them for three years. The United States gets the right to establish a garrison on Creek lands. The treaty is signed by thirty-nine Indians. The Americans are represented by General James Wilkinson, Benjamin Hawkins and Andrew Pickens.

June 17, 1579: Sir Francis Drake lands north of San Francisco, probably at what is today called Drake's Bay, in California. He reports the Indians to be "people of a tractable, free and loving nature, without guile or treachery."

June 18, 1934: The Indian Reorganization Act (48 Stat.
984-985) takes place. Among other things, it is to "permit any Indian to transfer by will restricted lands of such Indian to his or her heirs or lineal descendants, and for other purposes. To authorize the sale of individual Indian lands acquired under the Act of June 18, 1934 and under the Act of June 26, 1936."

June 19, 1541: Hernando de Soto's expedition meets the Casqui Indians near modern Helena, Arkansas. There has been a drought in the area, and the padres offer to help. A large cross is erected and the Spaniards join in prayer. Soon it starts to rain. The Casquis become allies of the Spanish.

June 20, 1763: As part of Pontiac's rebellion, a force of Senecas, Ottawas, Wyandots, and Chippewas attack Fort Presque Isle, at present day Erie, in northwestern Pennsylvania. They have had the fort under siege since June 15th. The soldiers numbering less than three dozen, surrender when the fort goes up in flames. All but Ensign John Christie and two others escape. The rest are killed.

June 21, 1856: Non-hostile Indians along the lower Rogue River, and at Fort Orford, in southwestern Oregon, are put on a boat to be moved to a new reservation between the Pacific Ocean, and the Wallamet River. It is called the Grande Ronde Reservation.

June 22, 1839: Elias Boudinot, first editor of the Cherokee Phoenix, Chief Major Ridge (Kahnungdaclageh) and his son, John Ridge (Skahtlelohskee) are members of the Cherokee "Treaty Party." They have generated many enemies by their stand agreeing to the removal of the Cherokees from their lands east of the Mississippi River. They signed the peace treaty which gave away Cherokee lands east of the Mississippi River. They moved to Indian Territory (present day Oklahoma) with the rest of the Cherokee Nation. Early this morning, John Ridge is dragged from his bed, and stabbed to death. Chief Major Ridge is shot and killed at
10:00 am in another part of the reservation. Later that day, Elias Boudinot is stabbed and hacked to death. These murders are committed by Cherokees for what they feel is their treasonous betrayal of the nation. A Cherokee law, which Chief Ridge helped to make, gives the death penalty to any Cherokee who sells or gives away Cherokee lands without the majority of the tribe's permission. These deaths are considered the execution of that law. Chief Stand Watie, brother to Elias, and nephew to Major Ridge, manages to avoid the warriors who planned to kill him.

June 23, 1865: General Stand Watie, and his Cherokee Confederate sympathizers, surrender. Stand Watie is the last Confederate General to officially surrender.

June 24, 1763: As part of Pontiac's rebellion, a group of Delaware surround Fort Pitt, in present day Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The commander, Captain Simeon Ecuyer, has 338 soldiers in the fort, and he will not surrender. Not having enough warriors to attack the fort, the Delaware leave the fort with a few blankets as a present. Unknown to the Indians, the blankets came from a infirmary treating smallpox. The Delaware are the first to be affected by this form of biological warfare during the rebellion. Some sources says this happens on July 24th.

June 25, 1876: At the Battle of the Little Big Horn, Colonel George Custer is commanding Troops C,E,F,I, and L; Major Marcus Reno has troops A,G, and M. Captain Frederick Benteen leads Troops H,D, and K. Captain Thomas McDougall guards the supply wagons with Troop B. It is a significant defeat for the U. S. Army. Army reports list thirteen officers, 189 enlisted men, and four civilians are killed in Custer's command. Reno's troops split from Custer's. According to army documents, Lt. Donald McIntosh, Lt. B.H. Hodgson, forty-six soldiers, and one civilian are killed. Captain Benteen, Lt. C.A. Varnum and forty-four soldiers are wounded in the fighting which lasts through tomorrow. Army reports do not list how many Indians were killed or wounded in this defeat for the army. The following soldiers receive Congressional Medals of Honor for actions during this battle today and tomorrow: Private Neil Bancroft, Company A; Private Abram B. Brant, Co. D; Private Thomas J. Callen, Co. B; Sergeant Benjamin C. Criswell, Co. B; Corporal Charles Cunningham, Co. B; Private Frederick Deetline, Co. D; Sergeant George Geiger, Co. H; Private Theodore Goldin, Troop G; Private David W. Harris, Co. A; Private William M. Harris, Co. D; Private Henry Holden, Co. D; Sergeant Rufus D. Hutchinson, Co. B; Blacksmith Henry Mechlin, Co. H; Sergeant Thomas Murray, Co. B; Private James Pym, Co. B; Sergeant Stanislaus Roy, Co. A; Private George Scott, Co. D; Private Thomas Stivers, Co. D; Private Peter Thompson, Co. C; Private Frank Tolan, Co. D; Saddler Otto Voit, Co. H; Sergeant Charles Welch, Co. D; Private Charles Windolph, Co. H.

(see my photos of the battlesite on my website at )

June 26, 1874: The Comanches under Quanah Parker decide to punish the white hunters for killing their buffalo herds and taking their grazing lands. Joined by Kiowa, Cheyenne and Arapahos, they set out for the trading post called Adobe Walls in the panhandle of Texas. Medicine man Isatai of the Comanche promises the bullets of the white men will not harm them. A buffalo hunter named William "Billy" Dixon sees the Indians approaching, and he is able to fire a warning shot before the attack. The Indians charge the trading post. There are twenty-eight men, and one woman, in Adobe Walls. The buffalo hunters there have very accurate, long-range rifles with telescopic sights. Dixon is reported to have knocked an Indian off his horse from
1538 yards away with one of these rifles. The adobe walls provide very good cover for them. Slightly more than a dozen Indians are killed in the fight, and Isatai is humiliated. The Indians give up the fight as hopeless, and they leave. Some sources report this fight happening on June 27, 1874 and lasting until July 1st.

June 27, 1542: Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo leaves Mexico to go up the Pacific coast in exploration. Cabrillo is the first European to land in San Diego Bay, California. He goes as far north as the Rogue River, in California.

June 28, 1878: Tambiago, the killer of Alex Rhoden on November 23, 1877, which led to the Bannock War, is hanged at the Idaho Territorial prison.

June 29, 1906: The Anazasi ruins at Mesa Verde are declared a National Park

June 30, 1520: According to some sources, Montezuma dies. Some say he is killed by other Aztecs. Others say he is stabbed to death by Spaniards under Hernan Cortes.

Dates reprinted with permission by Phil Konstantin:

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