February in North American Indian History

by Phil Konstantin

Copyright © Phil Konstantin (1996-2012)

The following are some random events from my book.

February 1st

1834: The state of Georgia has begun the process of seizing CHEROKEE property. Much of the land will be given to white settlers under a lottery. The CHEROKEEs are forced out at gunpoint, in many cases. Today, CHEROKEEs will begin arriving at the Cherokee Agency in eastern Tennessee to be moved to Indian Territory. The first boats will leave the agency on March 14, 1834.
1839: CHEROKEE Chief John Ross, and 228 other CHEROKEEs arrive today in Little Rock, en route to the Indian Territory, as part of their forced emigration. Quatie Martin Ross, Chief Ross' wife, will die today. She will be buried in Little Rock.
1917: By Executive Order, today, the PAPAGO Indian Reservation in established in Arizona. The act will be amended on February 21, 1931, and on October 28, 1932.

February 2nd

1887: A law is passed which will prohibit the use of Indian languages in schools.
1945: In 1905, the SHOSHONE and ARAPAHO tribes of the Wind River Reservation ceded a large part of their reservation to the United States. According to Federal Register Number,10fr02254, they will get a small part of that land back, today.

February 3rd

1838: The ONEIDA sign a treaty today.
1847: General Sterling Price reaches the fortified TAOS Pueblo. Cannonade proves unfruitful, so Price retreats to the city of Taos.

February 4th

1847: General Sterling Price returns to the fortified TAOS Pueblo, and 2 hours of cannonade are, again, unsuccessful. Price's troops attack and make some headway.. The cannon is moved closer, and now breaches a wall. The troops swarm through a hole in the church, and through other buildings. Many of the PUEBLO Indians try to escape, but are cut down by volunteers stationed on the east of the pueblo. One of the leaders of the revolt, Jesus de Tafoya, is killed in the fighting.
1861: John Ward's step-son Feliz Tellez is kidnapped by Indians from his rancho on Sonoita Creek in Arizona. Ward complains to the army, and they send Second Lt.George Bascom, and 54 soldiers to find him. Today, CHIRICAHUA APACHE Chief Cochise is invited to talk with Bascom in Apache Pass, in southwestern Arizona. Cochise brings some family with him to the parlay in Bascom's tent. Cochise is shocked when Bascom accuses him of kidnapping the boy. Cochise denies his involvement, but Bascom does not believe him. Bascom then tells Cochise he is under arrest. Cochise cuts a hole in the tent, and escapes. Bascom will keep Cochise's relatives as hostages. Cochise will quickly seize several whites has hostages, as well.

February 5th

1692: Today, Canadians, and Indians will attack the southern Maine town of York. Almost 50 settlers will be killed, and, at least, another 70 will become captives. Some sources list the date of this battle as January 25th.
1802: Orono was a PENOBSCOT Chief. During his life he was converted to catholicism, he fought in the French and Indian wars against the British settlements in New England, he fought on the American side during the Revolutionary War, and he is believed to have been 108 years old when he died on this date.

February 6th:

1793: After William Blount gained the promise of CHICKAMAUGA Chiefs to stop their raids and murdering of European settlers on May 29, 1792, the rampages continued. Today, Blount returns to the CHICKAMAUGAs at Coyatee with the same request and an offer for the Principal Chiefs to visit the "great white father" at Philadelphia. The Chiefs will consider the offer, but within the next few months the village will be attacked by Europeans. This will harden the CHICKAMAUGAs, and some of their CHEROKEE neighbors, hearts. The attacks will eventually continue.
1854: The State of Texas passes a law, today, which allows 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, will be on the Clear Fork of the Brazos River.
1861: Cochise leaves Lt.George Bascom a note offering to exchange hostages. Bascom agrees to the exchange if Cochise will include the kidnapped boy Feliz Tellez. Cochise says he never had the boy, and the exchange does not take place. Cochise's hostages will be found dead in a few days.

February 7th

1861: Convinced that they will get better treatment from a southern government than from the one in Washington, D. C., Today, the CHOCTAWs will announce their support of the Confederacy.
1876: The War Department authorizes General Sheridan to start operations against the Indians.
1983: The INUIT Circumpolar Conference is held at the United Nations.

February 8th

1831: The MENOMINEE sign a treaty today (7 stat.342).
1837: During the 2nd SEMINOLE War today there will be a battle between SEMINOLE and American forces on the bank of Lake Monroe, near modern day Sanford, Florida. The Americans will be led by Colonel Alexander Fanning. Over 600 SEMINOLEs, led by Chiefs Philip and Wildcat, will participate in the fighting, which begins with a SEMINOLE attack before dawn. Both sides will lose a considerable number of men. The deciding factor in the battle will be the arrival of a steam ship with a cannon. Fort Monroe was built on the site of the battle.
1887: The "Dawes Severalty Act" regarding land allotments takes effect (24 stat 388-89).

February 9:

1526: Spaniards are living in the Cakchiquel (Kaqchikel) Maya town of Iximche’ in modern Guatemala. A few decide to desert. They set a large fire as a diversion.
1611: There has been a long period of fighting between the Indian tribes of the Powhatan Confederacy and the English colonists in Virginia. While leading a Paspahegh war party near Jamestown, Chief Wochinchopunck is seen by the colonists. A fight ensues, and the Chief is killed.
1690: 300 Indians and French sneak into the stockade at Schenectady, New York during a snowstorm. After posting warriors at each building, a signal is given, and the primarily Dutch occupants are attacked. Sixty settlers are killed, and twenty-seven are captured. Mohawk Indians attempt to rescue some of the captives as they are marched off to Canada, but they meet with little success.

February 10:

1763: "The definitive Treaty of Peace and Friendship between his Britannick Majesty, the Most Christian King, and the King of Spain is concluded at Paris the 10th day of February, 1763." England claims sovereignty over all Indians east of the Mississippi River, as a part of the Treaty of Paris.
1890: The South Dakota "land grab" takes place . Parts of the Great Sioux Reservation is opened to settlers.

February 11:

1715: The Tuscarora (Coree) Indians led by Tom Blount, sign a peace treaty with the English settlers in North Carolina. This ends much of the fighting in the area. Some sources say it is signed at a fort called Nooherooka by the Indians.
1861: In Arizona, Lieutenant George Bascom has discovered the bodies of the six hostages that had been held by Cochise. The bodies are buried. Today, three of Cochise's relatives that Bascom held hostage, and 3Coyotero Apache prisoners are hung over the graves of the white hostages.
1978: The "longest walk" takes place to protest Indian treatment.

February 12:

1599: Of the seventy Acomas tried for battling with the Spaniards on December 4, 1598, all seventy are found guilty. Today, Juan de Oñate orders their punishment. All men over twenty-five years old have one foot cut off and serve as slaves for twenty years. Everyone from twelve to twenty-five only have a foot cut off.
1806: A Clatsop gives Lewis and Clark three dogs to replace a stolen elk.
1881: Major George Ilges, and soldiers of the Fifth Infantry, arrest 185 Yanktonni Sioux, including forty-three warriors, in their camp at Redwater, Montana. Seven guns, and fifteen horses are seized.

February 13:

1743: Schaghticook (Schaghticoke) sachem Mahwee is baptized in New York. He will be the first of his tribe to do so.
1879: According to Army reports, Victorio, and twenty-two Warm Springs Apache Indians, surrender to Lieutenant Charles Merritt, of the Ninth Cavalry, at Ojo Caliente, New Mexico. The Apaches lived in Mexico for years eluding the Army's attempts to move them to the San Carlos Reservation on September 2, 1877.

February 14:

1776: The first Spanish arrive at what eventually becomes Needles, California.
1873: Congress creates the office of Indian Inspector. The initial three inspectors are appointed by the President for four year terms. They inspect the operations of Indian Officers in the field.
1969: The Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribe of the Flathead Reservation enact a resolution prohibiting the hunting or killing of Mountain Sheep.

February 15:

1831: The United States Senate passes a resolution asking President Jackson if he is going to live up to the Indian Trade and Intercourse Act passed on March 30, 1802. If he is not going to live up to this law, they want to know why. He responds a week later.
1870: The second intercontinental railroad starts . It also goes through Indian lands.

February 16:

1863: An Act (12 stat.l.652) states that all treaties between the United States and the "Sisseton, Wahpaton, Medawakanton, and Wahpakoota Bands of Sioux of Dakota are aborgated and annulled" as far as occupancy or obligations in Minnesota are concerned. This act took away their lands in Minnesota because of the "Santee Sioux uprising."
1911: President Taft issues several Executive Orders which allow the sale, use or manufacture of alcoholic beverages in former Indian Reservations which have been ceded to the United States. The tribes which had ceded the land are the Chippewas of Lake Superior, Pillager, Red Lake, Pembina; and the Lake Traverse Sioux. President Taft also issues Executive Order Number 1299 which states that Pillager Chippewa lands in Minnesota ceded to the United states by the treaty of August 21, 1847, will no longer be held in trust as "Indian lands."

February 17:

1690: While traveling through the area, French explorer Henri de Tonti visits the Natchitoches Confederation near what is now called Natchitoches, Louisiana.
1793: In Pensacola Florida, Creek Chief Alexander McGillivray dies.
1909: Geronimo (Goyathlay) dies at Fort Sill, Oklahoma.

February 18:

1833: The Ottawa sign a treaty (7 stat. 420) at Maumee.
1867: The Sac and Fox sign a treaty (15 stat.495). They sell much of what remains of their reservation.
1876: Twenty-Fifth Infantry soldiers fight some Indians in the Carrizo Mountains in Texas. According to army documents, no casualties are recorded.

February 19:

1725: Documents regarding the Delaware "Walking Purchase" treaty are discovered.
1778: Virginia Governor Patrick Henry is upset by the actions of several white "frontiersmen" against the Indians. They have killed Shawnee Chief Cornstalk, and four other Shawnees, who have lived in peace with their neighbors. Today Governor Henry writes a letter to Colonel William Fleming. Suggesting that perhaps the murderers are British agents trying to instigate a fight with the Indians to divert troops away from the Revolutionary War.

February 20:

1805: Kagohami talks of a 120-year-old man to Lewis and Clark.
1832: Northeastern District Choctaw Chief, Peter Pitchlynn, and his followers, arrive in Fort Smith, in western Arkansas, . Floods, cold weather, low rivers, and mud have delayed their trip considerably.
1893: A Congressional Act modifies the White Mountain-San Carlos-Camp Apache Reserve, in western Arizona Territory. It is amended further on June 10, 1896. At its' largest, it comprises 2,866 square miles, and be occupied by Arivaipa, Chillion, Chiricahua,Coyotero, Membreno, Mogollon, Mohave, Pinal, San Carlos, Tonto, and Yuma-Apache tribes.

February 21:

1861: Camp Cooper is officially decommissioned and abandoned. It is located on the Clear Fork of the Brazos River, not far from Fort Griffin in modern Throckmorton County, Texas. The camp is established to keep watch over a nearby Comanche Reservation.
1911: Comanche Chief Quanah Parker dies. He is eventually buried at Fort Sill, in south-central Oklahoma. His headstone 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." Some sources say he died on February 23rd.

February 22:

1676: According to some sources, 300 Indians attack Medfield in Massachusetts, near Boston. They kill twenty settlers and take many more captive. Some settlers say King Philip is involved.
1856: Many Rogue River War volunteers are at a party away from camp, when Indians attack the camp. Twenty-four whites are killed, including a Captain and an Indian Agent. This is the beginning of a series of raids along the river.
1944: Jack C. Montgomery, a Cherokee, is a First Lieutenant with the Forty-fifth Infantry in Italy. For his solo actions against three different enemy positions, he will be awarded the Medal of Honor.

February 23:

1540: According to some sources, the Coronado expedition begins preparations to get underway.
1877: Lieutenant J.F. Cummings, and Troop C, Third Cavalry, attack a group of "hostiles" near Deadwood, Dakota Territory. One Indian is killed. 624 head of live stock are recovered.

February 24:

1730: With both sides running out of ammunition, the French, and the Natchez Indians agree on a peace settlement. The Natchez release all of their prisoners, and the French withdraw to the Mississippi River. The French are anxious to make the agreement because their Choctaw allies express a desire to quit the fight. The prisoners are released to the Choctaw, who demand a ransom for their services. The Natchez eventually escape into the woodlands.
1848: As a part of the war against the Cayuse who attacked the Whitman Mission in Oregon Country, a fight takes place. The Cayuse lose eight men, including Chief Gray Eagle, and have five warriors wounded. Lieutenant Colonel Waters, and four other soldiers are wounded.
1897: Api-kai-ees (Deerfoot) is a Siksika (Blackfeet) man known for his ability as a long distance runner. He is well known in the Calgary area where a local freeway bears his name. He dies today.

February 25:

529: Palenque Maya Lord Kan - Xul I ascends the throne according to the museum at Palenque, Mexico.
1799: Congress passes "An Act Making Appropriations for Defraying the Expenses Which May Arise in Carrying into Effect Certain Treaties Between the United States and Several Tribes or Nations of Indians."
1875: After the battle of Palo Duro Canyon, Lone Wolf, and his followers, head across the plains. But after a relentless search by the Army, on this date Lone Wolf, and 252 Kiowas, finally surrendered at Fort Sill, in south-central Oklahoma. Lone Wolf eventually is sent as a prisoner-of-war to Fort Marion, in St.Augustine, Florida.

February 26:

1757: Built by Pennsylvania troops at Shamokin on the Susquehanna River at the juncture of several Indian trails, Fort Augusta is surrounded, and briefly held under siege by Indians. The Indians leave after a few days, but return in a few months.
1860: The Wiyots lived on the upper California coast between the Little River and the Bear River. An annual ceremony lasting over a week is held in the village of Tutulwat on an island in the river in what is now Eureka, California. By Wiyot tradition, everyone is welcome at the ceremony, including whites. Tonight after the ceremonies are finished, a group of men from Eureka sneak into the village and attack the participants. Several other nearby villages are also attacked. An estimated eighty to 100 Indians are killed in the sneak attack. An annual vigil is now held on a nearby island to commemorate the event.

February 27:

1699: Fearing an English take over of the Mississippi Valley, Frenchman Pierre le Moyne, Sieur d'Iberville is granted permission to establish a series of forts along the lower Mississippi River. He begins his voyage up the Mississippi. Some sources list this event as happening on March 3rd.
1836: General Edmund Gaines has marched from Tampa Bay to Fort King in central Florida to put down the Seminole Uprising. When he arrives in Fort King, he does not find enough supplies to feed his troops or mounts. Gaines orders his 1,100 troops to return to Tampa Bay. While attempting to cross the Withlacoochee River, Gaines is attacked by a Seminole force of 1,500 warriors. Gaines builds a stockade, and send for reinforcements during the battle. After ten days of fighting, both sides agree to a truce, with formal peace talks to come later.
1973: The siege of Wounded Knee begins. It lasts until May 8, 1973.

February 28:

1675: The Mission Santa Cruz de Sabacola El Menor is dedicated. The mission is for the Sawoklis Indians on the Apalachicola River.
1837: A few Creek Indians attack the Alberson homestead on the Alabama-Florida. The Creeks are reported to have killed the entire family.

February 29:

1704: The battle started yesterday at Deerfield, Massachusetts continues.
1836: General Edmund Gaines, and 1,100 soldiers have been engaged in a battle with a force of 1,500 Seminoles, under Chief Osceola, since February 27. The Americans built a stockade on the 27th. The Seminoles mount a major attack on the stockade. Many men are wounded on both sides during the attack. The fighting continues until March 6, 1836.
1936: An election is held to approve a Constitution and By-laws for the Santee Sioux Tribe of the Sioux Nation of the State of Nebraska. The vote is 284 to 60 in favor.


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