December 2001 Newsletter from
"On This Date in North American Indian History"
by Phil Konstantin
Copyright © Phil Konstantin (1996-2002)

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                December 2001 Newsletter 
                                                         Phil Konstantin 
                                                         Dec 02, 2001 11:30 PST  

  Start of the December 2001 Newsletter


  I hope this message finds you well. It is a clear morning here in San 
  Diego, California. Our rainy season (if you can call it that) starts in 
  November. We are between rain fronts. Being a semi-arrid region, we can 
  use the precipitation. I am doing fairly well. A couple of days after 
  returning from Mexico, I broke one of the toes on my right foot. I was 
  trying to avoid stepping on a cat, and I hit a doorjam with my foot. 
  There is not a lot you can do for a broken toe. During my trip to 
  Mexico, I lost about ten pounds. Since I have returned, I think I found 
  most of them. :-)


  The Link of the Month for December 2001 is "Spanish Conquest of Native 
  America" at

  To quote the site: "This Site provides a Twenty-first Century glimpse at 
  the oldest written history of America." It is very well designed and 
  provides LOTS of information. There are maps, travelogs, detailed 
  articles, pictures. and much more. If you have any interest in the 
  history of the original "explorers" of the United States, this is the 
  site to visit. I highly recommend it.


  The Chemehuevi Tribe is trying to contact enrolled members to make sure 
  they have their correct addresses. The tribe has some funds to 
  distribute. If you know any Chemehuevis, they are asked to contact:

  Chemehuevi Indian Tribe
  c/o Tribal Secretary/Treasurer
  P.O.Box 1976
  Havasu Lake, California 92363


  I noticed in November that Carol Gallagher (Cherokee) has been appointed 
  as an auxiliary bishop in the Episcopal Church. If the appointment is 
  ratified by the Church's governing body, she will become the first 
  American Indian female bishop in a major Christian group.


  The United States Department of the Interior has announced a place to 
  restructure the handling of tribal trust matters. This restucturing 
  involves the creation of a new agency: the Bureau of Indian Trust Assets 
  Management. This proposal comes with some considerable controversy. Some 
  tribal leaders have complained that it was proposed without tribal 

  You can read the press release here: 

  This is sure to generate considerable news for some time.


  As you may recall, Jim Thorpe (Sac and Fox) was voted the "Best Athlete 
  of the Century" by several sports organizations. It took some effort, 
  but Jim Thorpe will grace the cover of the breakfast cereal Wheaties. 
  Here are some websites which discuss the effort:


  Hee is a website which discusses the efforts of the Cayuga Indians of 
  New York to get reparation for lands they relinquished 200 years ago.


  I was remiss by adding this e-mail in one of the earlier newsletters. 
  With all of the other things I have been doing, this message was 
  mislade. In any case, if you can assist Joseph, please contact him 
  directly. The e-mail was dated November 13, 2001.

  "I was hoping you (or someone you know) could assist my office up here 
  on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, South Dakota. The problem is one 
  that we believe other reservations may be facing in the next 3-4 years.

  A number of years ago, dissatisfied with the amount of protection that 
  the BIA police were capable of, the Oglala Sioux Tribe (OST) 638'd the 
  Department of Public Safety. Despite the fact that BIA was supposed to 
  act in complete cooperation with our tribal police, they have resisted 
  at every opportunity. Recently they have indicated that they "need" to 
  resume responsibilities in areas such as law enforcement here.

  Our Tribal Council does not want the BIA Police Force back for numerous 
  reasons. The residents of the reservation do not want the BIA Police 
  Force back. Our Department of Public Safety does not want the BIA back. 
  Yet, instead of going along with the wishes of the people of the Pine 
  Ridge Indian Reservation, the BIA is currently preparing to take matters 
  into their own hands. Last Friday, they said they would be hosting 
  "Contract Negotiations" during this week.

  The BIA has lost and is still unable to locate the monies and land that 
  it was supposed to be holding in trust for the Indian People. They were 
  ordered by the US Supreme Court to answer questions concerning this 
  situation. If they are unable to fulfill their job responsibilities, why 
  on earth, should we allow them to basically "take over" the extremely 
  important matters of law enforcement here?

  Please, anything that you or your friends can come up with will be of 
  great use. The Oyate are calling for a meeting this week to discuss the 
  BIA and what can be done to prevent their take over of our government.

  Please accept my most sincere thanks in advance of you kind 
  consideration and valuable cooperation in this delicate matter. If you 
  require additional information or have questions, I may be reached at 
  this email address   or via
  telephone at (605) 867-5141.


  Joseph RedCloud


  Here are some random historical events for December:

  December 1, 524: Palenque Maya Lord Chaacal I dies according to the 
  museum at Palenque.

  December 2, 1794: A treaty (7 stat. 47) is concluded with the Oneida, 
  Tuscarora, and Stockbridge Indians, at Oneida, New York. The treaty is a 
  gesture of thanks for the tribes help during the Revolutionary war. They 
  receive $5000 for damages suffered during the war. Grist and saw mills 
  are built, and salary for their workers are provided for three years. 
  They receive $1000 to build a church. No further claims are made by the 
  tribes. The treaty is signed by Thomas Pickering for the United States, 
  and by eleven Indians. 

  December 3, 1598: Juan de Zaldivar "discovers" the Acoma. 

  December 4, 1833: Twenty-one Chickasaw Chiefs arrive at Fort Towson, in 
  eastern Indian Territory (present day Oklahoma). They assess the lands 
  the United States wants them to move to when they are removed from 
  Alabama. Meeting with local Choctaws about buying land from them proves 
  to be unfruitful. 

  December 5, 1855: The Columbia River volunteers, under Nathan Olney, are 
  near Fort Walla Walla, in southeastern Washington, when they encounter 
  Pio-pio-mox-mox's (Yellow Serpent) band of WallaWallas. Pio has looted 
  the Hudson Bay Company's Fort Walla Walla, but he has always been 
  neutral or helped the Americans in the past. He advanced under a flag of 
  truce and wanted to return the booty. But an agreement cannot be 
  reached. Pio refuses to fight, and Olney's men take Pio, and four 
  others, prisoners. 

  December 6, 1866: Red Cloud, Crazy Horse, Yellow Eagle, and High Back 
  Bone, and their followers, have been harassing Colonel Henry 
  Carrington's troops from Fort Phil Kearny, in northern Wyoming. They 
  stage several raids and ambushes along the road from the fort to the 
  nearby woods. Colonel Carrington leads his troops in some of the 
  fighting. Several soldiers are killed in the fighting. Carrington is 
  called "Little White Chief" by the Indians. This skirmish sets the stage 
  for the "Fetterman Massacre" on December 21, 1866.

  December 7, 1868: Sheridan and Custer leave Camp Supply (Oklahoma) 
  leading 1,600 soldiers and 300 supply wagons. They are en route to Fort 
  Cobb. It is primarily meant as a show of force to the local Indians. It 
  proves the army can march during the winter months.

  December 8, 1818: Secretary of War John C. Calhoun presents a report to 
  the House of Representatives. Among the report’s proposals are: tribes 
  should no longer be treated as sovereign nations; Indians should be 
  saved from extinction; and Indians should be taught the correctness of 
  the concept of land ownership.

  December 9, 1861: Colonel Douglas Cooper, again encounters the pro-Union 
  Creeks and Seminoles, under Chief Opothleyahola, in a battle on Bird 
  Creek, north of Tulsa. Many of his Cherokee troops, under John Drew, 
  defect and join the pro-Union forces. Cooper withdraws to Fort Gibson. 
  This is often called the "Battle of Chusto-Talasah," or the "Battle of 
  Caving Banks."

  December 10, 1850: Federal agents sign a treaty with the Lipan Apache, 
  Caddo, Comanche, Quapaw, Tawakoni and Waco Indians near the San Sabá 
  River in Texas.   

  December 11, 1833: Captain Page, and almost 700 Choctaws, reach their 
  destination at Fort Towson, in eastern Indian Territory (present day 
  Oklahoma). The others in the group have split off and gone to Fort 

  December 12, 1531: According to most sources, Juan Diego 
  (Cuauhtlatoatzin), a Nahua, sees the apparition of the Virgin Mary on a 
  hill called Tepeyacac in Mexico again. He first saw her on December 9th. 
  According to Juan Diego, the Virgin Mary instructs him to carry some 
  roses in his macehualli (a cloak) to the local Bishop as proof of her 
  appearance. When the macehualli is opened before the Bishop, an image of 
  the Virgin Mary appears on the cloak among the rose petals. The 
  macehualli is still on display in the church (Our Lady of Guadalupe) 
  built to honor the event.

  You can see a copy of my photo of it on this page:

  December 13, 1640: A deed for Indian land is signed in New England. It 
  says, "It is agreed that the Indians above named shall have liberty to 
  break up ground for their use to the westward of the creek on the west 
  side of Shinecock plaine." In town meeting, 1641: "It is agreed that any 
  person that hath lotts up on Shinecocke playne in which there are any 
  Indian Barnes or wells lying shall fill them up."

  December 14, 1763: A band of almost five dozen frontiersmen, called "the 
  Paxton Boys," attack a peaceful Susquehanna Indian village in Conestoga, 
  Pennsylvania. They kill eight of the twenty-two inhabitants in this 
  unprovoked raid. "The Boys" continue their rampage during the next two 

  December 15, 1890: Sitting Bull is killed while being arrested at Fort 
  Yates, South Dakota by Eighth Cavalry soldiers and Indian police, near 
  Standing Rock on the Grand River in Montana.. Thirty-nine police 
  officers and four volunteers were assembled to arrest Sitting Bull. 
  Before it was all done, over 100 of Sitting Bull’s supporters arrived at 
  the scene. Several people are injured or killed in the subsequent 
  fighting. According to army documents, four soldiers and eight Indians 
  are killed. Three soldiers are wounded. Later this week, the editor of 
  the "Aberdeen Saturday Pioneer," writes a editorial about Sitting Bull. 
  One of the passages is as follows: "The proud spirit of the original 
  owners of these vast prairies inherited through centuries of fierce and 
  bloody wars for their possession, lingered last in the bosom of Sitting 
  Bull. With his fall the nobility of the Redskin is extinguished, and 
  what few are left are a pack of whining curs who lick the hand that 
  smites them. The Whites, by law of conquest, by justice of civilization, 
  are masters of the American continent, and the best safety of the 
  frontier settlements will be secured by the total annihilation of the 
  few remaining Indians." The author of this editorial is L. Frank Baum, 
  best known as the author of "The Wizard of Oz."

  December 16, 1811: The New Madrid earthquake takes place on the 
  Mississippi River around 2:30 am. Many tribes tell tales of this event 
  for generations. Many people say that Tecumseh predicted this 

  December 17, 1890: Sitting Bull and the police killed during his arrest 
  are buried with honor. Today, members of the Hunkpapa Sioux arrive at 
  Big Foot's camp of Minneconjou Sioux seeking refuge. However, today will 
  also see the issuing of an arrest warrant for Big Foot, himself, for his 
  part as a "trouble maker" in the ghost dance religion. 

  December 18, 1892: Congress approve a monthly pension of thirty dollars 
  for Lemhi Chief Tendoy.

  December 19, 1980: Chaco Canyon (New Mexico) is officially designated as 
  the "Chaco Culture National Historic Park." It is the home of many 
  Anazasi ruins.

  December 20, 1812: Sacajawea dies at Fort Manuel, South Dakota, 
  according to some sources. 

  December 21, 1866: Red Cloud, Crazy Horse, Yellow Eagle, and High Back 
  Bone, and their followers, have been harassing Colonel Henry 
  Carrington's Second Cavalry and Twenty-seventh Infantry troops from Fort 
  Phil Kearny, in northern Wyoming. They stage several raids and ambushes 
  along the road from the fort to the nearby woods. Captain William J. 
  Fetterman had once said. "a company of regulars could whip a thousand, 
  and a regiment could whip the whole array of hostile tribes." A convoy 
  of wagons carrying wood leaves the fort. It is attacked by a decoy group 
  of Indians. Following up on his claim that he "could ride through the 
  Sioux Nation" with just eighty men, Fetterman pursues the decoying 
  Indians away from the fort. Here the Indians’ trap is sprung. 
  Fetterman’s entire force of three officers, forty-seven infantry, 
  twenty-seven cavalry and two civilians are killed in the fighting. The 
  soldiers call this the "Fetterman Massacre." The Indians call it the 
  "Battle of the Hundred Killed." 

  December 22, 1898: President McKinley, by Executive Order establishes 
  the Hualapai Indian School Reserve for the purpose of educating the 
  Hualapai Indians in Arizona Territory. The reserve is in section 10, 
  township 23 north, range 13 west. 

  December 23, 1855: White volunteers surround a "friendly" Rogue River 
  Indian village they had visited the day before. The village is mostly 
  unarmed. The whites attack, and nineteen Indian men are killed. The 
  women and children are driven into the cold. The survivors arrive at 
  Fort Lane, in southwestern Oregon, with severe frostbite, and frozen 

  December 24, 2012: One interpretation of the Maya calendar predicts 
  today will be the end of world or the present creation. 

  December 25, 1839: After the defeat at the Battle of the Neches on July 
  16, 1839, Cherokees under Chief "The Egg" attempts to escape to Mexico. 
  They make it as far as the Colorado River, before they meet resistance. 
  Colonel Edward Burleson leading Texan and Tonkawa forces engage them in 
  a fight. Seven Cherokee warriors are killed, and twenty-four women and 
  children are captured. Among the dead is The Egg. 

  December 26, 1862: The thirty-eight Santee Sioux condemned for their 
  actions in the "Santee Uprising" are hanged at Mankato, Minnesota. This 
  is the largest mass hanging in American History. 

  December 27, 1875: President Grant, by Executive Order, establishes 
  reservations for the Portrero, Cahuila, Capitan Grande, Santa Ysabel, 
  Pala, Agua Caliente, Sycuan, Inasa, and Cosmit Mission Indians primarily 
  in San Diego County, California. This order is modified on: May 3, 1877; 
  August 25, 1877; September 29, 1877; January 17, 1880; March 2, 1881; 
  March 9, 1881; June 27, 1882; July 24, 1882; February 5, 1883; June 19, 
  1883; January 25, 1886; March 22, 1886; January 29, 1887; March 14, 
  1887; and May 6, 1889.    

  1952: Phil Konstantin, author of these pages and a member of the 
  Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma, is born. Thanks, Mom and Dad! 

  December 28, 1520: According to some sources, Hernán Cortés and his army 
  start their second excursion to Tenochtitlán (modern Mexico City) from 
  Tlascala, Mexico. This time they have made and bring a group of smal 
  boats to use on the lake surrounding the city.

  December 29, 1890: The Wounded Knee Battle or Massacre (depending on 
  which version you read) takes place. According to army records, one 
  officer (Captain G.D. Wallace), twenty-four soldiers (including Captain 
  G.D. Wallace), and 128 Indians are killed. Thirty-five soldiers, and 
  thirty-three Idians are wounded in the fighting.The army will give 
  Congressional Medals of Honor to the following soldiers: Sergeant 
  William G. Austin, for "using every effort to dislodge the enemy"; 
  Company E musician John E. Clancy: "twice voluntarily rescued wounded 
  comrades under fire of the enemy"; Private Mosheim Feaster, Company E, 
  for "extraordinary gallantry"; First Lieutenant Ernest A. Garlington for 
  "distinguished gallantry"; First Lieutenant John C. Gresham for leading 
  an attack into a ravine; Sergeant Richard P. Hanley, Company C, for 
  recovering a pack mule loaded with ammunition, while under heavy fire; 
  Private Joshija B. Hartzog, Company E, First Artillery, for rescuing his 
  wounded commander while under heavy fire; Second Lieutenant Harry L. 
  Hawthorne, Second Artillery, for distinguished conduct; Private Marvin 
  C. Hillock, Company B, for distinguished bravery; Private George Hobday, 
  Company A, for conspicuous and gallant conduct; Sergeant George Loyd, 
  Company I, for bravery, especially after being severely wounded through 
  the lung; Sergeant Albert McMillian, Company E, for leading by example; 
  Private Thomas Sullivan, Company E, for conspicuous bravery; First 
  Sergeant Frederick Toy, Company C, for bravery; First Sergeant Jacob 
  Trautman, Company I, for "killing a hostile Indian at close quarters" 
  and remaining with the troops even though he was entitled to retire; 
  Sergeant James Ward, Company B, for fighting after being severely 
  wounded; Corporal Paul Weinert, Company E, for assuming command of his 
  artillery piece when his officer was wounded; and Private Hermann 
  Ziegner, Company E, for conspicuous bravery. 

  December 30, 1950: A Constitution and By-Laws for the Eskimos of the 
  Native Village of Buckland, Alaska is ratified by a vote of 17 to 13

  December 31, 1590: Spaniard Gaspar Castaño de Sosa is exploring the area 
  of what is now New Mexico. A few days ago, several men in his group have 
  a fight with some of the residents of the Pecos Pueblo. Sosa’s main body 
  reaches the pueblo. There is a brief fight, and Sosa takes some of the 
  Indians captive. Sosa would later return to the pueblo and get a better 


  That's it for this newsletter, although, I am sure I will think of 
  something else as soon as I send this out.

  Have a great month,


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