this month in Native American History
by Phil Konstantin



freezing moon




November 1: 1837: The steamboat Monmouth is carrying 611 Creek Indians heading for Indian Territory (present day Oklahoma). During the night,  it strikes the Trenton, which is being towed downstream. The Monmouth breaks into two pieces and sinks within a few minutes.  311 Creeks are drowned. The Monmouth had been condemned for normal shipping, but was still used to transport the Creeks. Four of Jim Boy's children are among the dead.

November 2: 1770: Spanish and Opata Indians forces, led by Bernardo de Gálvez, are on a mission to punish the Apache. Early today they discover an Apache camp near the Pecos River in modern Texas. The Spaniards and Opata attack. They kill 28 Apaches and  capture 36. They then return to Chihuahua, Mexico.

November 3: 1786: To confirm the Creek Nation boundary lines, Georgia's government invites Creek leaders to a conference on Shoulderbone Creek. Only a few chiefs, including Fat King and Tame King, attend. The Georgia militia threatens to execute the Creeks if they do not agree to boundary lines favorable to Georgia. A treaty is signed under duress by the Creek Chiefs attending the meeting. This action stokes the flames of the Creeks’ passions against the settlers.

November 4: 1493: Columbus lands on Guadaloupe in the Caribbean.

November 5: 1775: Kumeyaays attack the Mission San Diego de Alcala. The Mission is destroyed in the fighting.

November 6: 1867: Engraved on a marker in the Fort Buford (North Dakota) cemetery: "Cornelius Coughing - Private, Company C, Thirty-First Infantry- Nov. 6, 1867 - Killed by Indians . . . one of the wood wagons was attacked by a party of Indians in the thick brush about two miles from the post. There were four guards and a driver with the wagons. The body of Private Coughlin was found this morning in the bushes badly mutilated; he remained with the wagon discharging his piece until killed. The Indians (under Sitting Bull) captured four mules."

November 7: 604: Palenque Maya Lady Kanal - Ikal dies according to the museum at Palenque.

November 8: 755: Maya King K'ak' Ukalaw Chan Chaak (Smoking Axe) ascends to the throne of Naranjo in Guatemala

November 9: 1761: The Mi’kmaq of La Heve sign a treaty with the British of Nova Scotia

November 10: 1970: Today and tomorrow, the first college graduate is elected President of the Navajos.

November 11: 1865: Medicine Bottle and Little Shakopee, two of the leaders of the Santee Sioux uprising, are executed at Pine Knob. They  had escaped to Canada, but Canadian officials helped Americans kidnap them, then return them to the United States.

November 12: 1602: Sebastian Vizcaino’s expedition stops in modern San Diego, California. Cautiously, the Kumeyaay briefly contact the Spaniards.

November 13: 1833: Just before sunrise, there is a phenomenal meteor shower seen all over North America. This event is recorded on Kiowa picture calendars as the most significant event of the year.

November 14: 1638: According to some sources, the first Indian reservation is established at Trumbull, Connecticut.

November 15: 1876: Colonel Ranald Mackenzie, ten troops of cavalry, eleven companies of infantry, and four companies of artillery leave Fort Fetterman, Wyoming, for the Big Horn Mountains and the Powder River. This is called the "Powder River Expedition" by the army.

November 16: 1990: The Native American Grave Protection Act takes place.

November 17: 1938: A Creek election is authorized by the U.S.  The Creeks will vote to approve a Constitution and By-Laws for the Thlopthlocco Tribal Town of the Creek Indian Nation of the State of Oklahoma. The election is held on December 27, 1938.

November 18: 864: The Great Ballcourt at Chichen Itza is dedicated by the Maya.

November 19: 1923: The "Treaty Between His Majesty the King and the Mississauga Indians of Rice Lake, Mud Lake, Scugog Lake and Alderville" is signed in Canada.

November 20: 1965: An election for an amendment to the Constitution and By-Laws of the Moapa Band of Paiute Indians is held. It is approved by a vote of 32 to 11.

November 21: 1978: Amendments V through VIII to the Revised Constitution and By-Laws of the Sisseton Wahpeton Sioux Tribe of South Dakota become effective after approval of the BIA.

November 22: 1873: President Grant adds to the Colorado River Agency.  The new land is 376 square miles in size. It is home to: Chemehuevi, Walapai, Kowia, Cocopa, Mohave and Yuma Indians.

November 23: 1872: Comanche Ten Bears dies on the reservation. Ten Bears represented the Comanches on a visit to Washington, and at many great councils.

November 24: 1812: As a young boy, Spemicalawba (called Captain Logan or High Horn), is captured by General James Logan. General Logan raises him until he is returned to the Shawnee during a prisoner exchange. Logan is Tecumseh's nephew,  and he tries to temper Tecumseh's feelings toward the Europeans. Spemicalawba, who becomes and American Scout during the War of 1812,  is killed on this date during a scouting expedition. Buried with military honors, Logansport, Indiana is named after him.

November 25: 1894: Members of the Gusgimukw tribe hold a "winter fest" at Fort Rupert on Vancouver Island, British Columbia.

November 26: 411: Maya King Siyaj Chan K'awill II (Stormy Sky) ascends the Tikal throne in Guatemala.

November 27: 1915: Private Albert Mountain Horse is buried in Fort Macleod, Alberta. He is the only Blood Indian to go to the front lines in World War One. He dies due to exposure to poison gas on the battlefield.

November 28: 1862: A skirmish involving pro-confederacy Indians takes place near Cane Hill in Arkansas.

November 29: 1836: Five years ago, several Nez Perce travel to St. Louis to ask for someone to come to their land to teach them about religion. In response to that request missionary Henry Harmon Spalding travels to Idaho. He sets up a mission today on some land given him by the Nez Perce, 12 miles south of modern Lewiston.

November 30: 1769: Gaspar de Portolá has led an expedition to explore parts of the central California coastline. While near San Jose Creek, a group of local Indians provides them with some food.


Dates reprinted with permission from Phil Konstantin

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