March in North American Indian History
by Phil Konstantin

Copyright Phil Konstantin (1996-2014)

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March 1st

1831: According to a Georgia law, today is the deadline for all whites to be out of CHEROKEE lands deadline.
1851: Today, Governor McDougal, of California, will write to the President stating there are over 100,000 hostile Indians in California. He will inform the President that an uprising is going on. This information is false, and the Governor never specifies who's revolting or where the uprising are located. He requests permission to call out the militia as U.S. troops.
1856: A big "peace" conference is begun today by General William S. "White Whiskers" Harney.

March 2nd

1867: An act is passed today which will purchase a reserve for SAUK and FOX of 4.5 square miles.

1876: The Secretary of War is impeached for taking bribes to make political appointments.
1989: The NAVAJO Code Talker Monument is erected.

March 3rd

1819: The United States starts its Indian "civilization" program.
1513: Today, Ponce de Leon will leave Puerto Rico. His destination is Florida and the fountain of youth. De Leon will claim Florida for Spain.
1988: The Alaska Ntive Claims Act is amended.

March 4th

1643: Today, the CANARSEE Indians will negotiate a peace with the Dutch in Fort Amsterdam. The CANARSEE are the Indians who sold Manhattan to Peter Minuit for $24 in trinkets, even though they did not own it.
1829: President Jackson gives his "just policy for Indians" speech today.

March 5th

1831: Today the Supreme Court decided the case of the CHEROKEE Nation v. Georgia. The court decided that the CHEROKEEs are not a "foreign state", and therefore the court has no jurisdiction in the dispute. However, the court does decide that the CHEROKEEs are a distinct political society capable of governing itself, and managing its own affairs. (See March 3, 1832)
1861: The Confederacy appoints, today, Albert Pike, of Arkansas, to negotiate treaties with the Indians in the region. He will establish the "United Nations of the Indian Territory" as an Indian confederacy to oppose the government of Abraham Lincoln.
1891: The city of Phoenix offers a $200 bounty for dead Indians.

March 6th

1777: Today, 70 SHAWNEE warriors, led by Chief Blackfish, will attack some settlers near Harrodsburg, Kentucky. One of the men, James Ray, managed to escape and warn the settlement of the war party. The SHAWNEE will attack Harrodsburg tomorrow.
1873: After hearing from Hooker Jim of the "trap" at the Fairchild ranch, Captain Jack has his sister Mary Write a letter to the commissioners. The letter states Captain Jack's wish for both sides to forget the killings on both sides and for the slate to be wiped clean. Captain Jack wants no more killing, but he will not give up his people to be hanged. He states he has not asked for the whites who have killed his people (MODOCs).

March 7th

1524: Giovanni da Verrazano, sailing for France, anchors near Wilmington, North Carolina, in the "Dauphine".
1782: Monrovian missionaries had converted many DELAWARE, MAHICAN, and MUNSEE Indians to Christianity. They had established villages in Pennsylvania in 1746, but moved to the Muskingum River in Ohio in 1773 after their old villages were attacked by other Indian tribes. Unfortunately, at the outbreak of the American Revolutionary war, the "Moravian" Indians found themselves directly between American and British forces, and their allies. Both sides believe they "Moravians" were helping the other. Today, Col.David Williamson, and American soldiers from Pennsylvania, surrounded the peaceful village of Gnadenhutten (the 2nd village of the name, the 1st had been in Pennsylvania), and herded the occupants into 2 houses. While some of the militia refused to participate, the majority of the soldiers decided to kill all of the "Moravians." After allowing them to have a final prayer, the soldiers killed the 96 Indian men, women, and children in cold blood. (Some sources say this happened on the 8th.)
1862: The Battle of Pea Ridge takes place through tomorrow. Many Indians will be fighting on both sides of the Civil War battle. My Great, great, grandfather John Bell Adair was one of the Cherokees involved in this battle.
You can see his picture by clicking here

March 8th

1865: The WINNEBAGO sign a treaty reagrding the Omaha reservation.
1880: Company K, 5th Mounted Infantry, from Fort Keogh, in east-central Montana, has been pursuing a band of Indians with stolen horses for 60 miles. They manage to cut the Indians off, and capture 13 horses, and 16 mules, north of the Yellowstone River.

March 9th

1728: The YAMASSEE have left their old lands in South Carolina, and moved to Florida. Many are now living near the Spanish Mission of Nombre de Dios near St. Augustine. Their anger at the Carolinians has not abated; and, they continue raiding the British settlements. Today, a force of 250 volunteers from Carolina, under Colonel John Parker, attack the mission. Thirty warriors will be killed, and many YAMASSEE will be taken as slaves.
1935: Officers of tribes are now considered U.S. Officers

March 10th

1865: The PONCA sign a treaty regarding 30,000 acres of land (14 stat.675).
1930: Today, under authority of an act passed by Congress (24 stat. 388-89) on February 8, 1887, an executive order will be issued which will extend the trust period on land allotments made to members of the "PRAIRIE Band of POTAWATOMI Indians in Kansas."

March 11th

1824: John C.Calhoun, Secretary of War, creates the Bureau of Indian Affairs, within the War Department. Thomas McKenney is appointed its' first head.
1856: The NEZ PERCE join Col.Cornelius for a fight against the YAKIMA.

March 12th

1848: Throughout his life, CHEROKEE Chief Tahchee, also known as Captain William Dutch, was known as a fearless warrior. Tahchee was one of the original groups of CHEROKEEs to move west of the Mississippi river. He became a major political force in the "old settler party". He fought many fights with the OSAGE Indians who leaved near the CHEROKEEs. Eventually, he would become a scout for the U.S. Army, where he reached the rank of Captain. Tahchee will die today in Indian Territory.
1858: The PONCAs sign a treaty (12 stat.997) on this date which grants them a permanent home on the Niobrara River, and protection from their enemies, both white and Indians. For these privileges, the PONCAs give up a part of their ancestral lands. Unfortunately, several years later, a mistake by a government bureaucrat will force them to share land with the SIOUX. Repeated protestations over this error will go unheard. The PONCAs would live in constant fears of attacks from the SIOUX.

March 13th

1862: A treaty is concluded today between the United States and the KANSA Indians.
1864: The first group of NAVAJOs finish the "Long Walk" to Fort Sumner on the Bosque Redondo Reservation, in east-central New Mexico, on this date. During their march, 13 of the 1,430 who started the trip will be kidnapped by Mexicans or will die.
1970: Today, a legal inquiry into the boundaries of the Fort Berthold Indian Reservation in North Dakota are made.

March 14th

1493: Columbus writes a letter today describing the generous nature of the Indians he has encountered. He will describe them as "men of great deference and kindness."
1833: The Secretary of War has the Indian Department issue orders, again, to U.S. Marshals to remove whites from CREEK lands.

March 15th

1858: After fighting the Americans for almost 25 years, today one of the last of the SEMINOLE leaders, Billy Bowlegs, will be surrender with 163 of his followers. They will be shipped west.
1869: Today, Col.George Custer, and his troops will discover 2 CHEYENNE villages, of over 250 lodges, on Sweetwater Creek near the Texas-Oklahoma boundary. The CHEYENNE had been order to report to their reservation. Custer captures 4 Chiefs. He threatens to hang the Chief unless the CHEYENNE surrender. Both of the villages decide to give up.

March 16th

1621: Samoset meets the Pilgrims.
1830: After some "politicking", Greenwood le Flore is elected as Chief of the CHOCTAW Nation, during a "rump" council, today. Previously, there were 3 regional Chiefs. Le Flore is in favor of selling the CHOCTAW lands, and moving to Indian Territory.

March 17th

1775: The "Sycamore Shoals" Treaty: the Transylvania Company, headed by North Carolina Judge Richard Henderson, will purchase most of western and central Kentucky, and north central Tennessee from the CHEROKEEs. They will trade $10,000 worth of trade goods and $2,000 for this very large parcel. The CHEROKEEs will be represented by Chiefs Attakullaculla and Oconostota. The treaty will be revoked by the governments of Virginia and North Carolina as far as a private company owning the land. However, the treaty will be used by the governments as a claim on CHEROKEE lands.
1854: KICKAPOO Indians have determined that 2 men of their tribe, Thunder (Piawataka), and Polecat (Chekaquah), killed Colonel Jesse Stem on February 12, 1854. Thunder is captured by the KICKAPOOs. While they are taking him to a nearby fort, a fight breaks out, and Thunder is killed (see March 29).

March 18th

1871: Indians make several sorties on a government wagon trail, near Fort Dodge, in southwestern Kansas. Three citizens are killed, while 5 Indians are wounded in the fighting.
1877: More Indians visit Col.Nelson Miles, the see if he will negotiate on surrender terms. Miles informs the large group of Chiefs, his terms have not changed, with the exception that they can surrender at an alternative agency than originally stated. Miles also informs them he will wait no longer for a reply. If the Indians do not surrender soon, his troops will be deployed against them soon. Little Hawk, Crazy Horse's uncle agrees to bring the Indians into Miles' camp or one of the agencies. Nine important Indians remain with Miles as hostages, as a sign of good faith.

March 19th

1840: The Southern CHEYENNE hold several white prisoners. They request a meeting to discuss peace, and to trade prisoners. Today, 65 COMANCHEs, including Muguara, and 11 other Chiefs, bring 1 prisoner, Matilda Lockhart, to the San Antonio council house. They tell the white representatives, Hugh McCloud (Adjutant General of the Texas Army), William Cooke, and William Fisher, that each prisoner must be released through an additional meeting. Lockhart was mutilated, while in COMANCHE hands, and this incenses the whites. Armed men surround the Indians, and tell them they will be hostages until all white prisoners are released. A fight erupts, and 7 whites, and 33 COMANCHEs, including all of the Chiefs, are killed. The other COMANCHEs are captured, but the story gets back to their tribe.
1851: According to the COSTAN internet site, one in a series of treaties with California Indians will be signed today at Camp Fremont. These treaties will purport to set aisde lands for the Indians and to protect them from angry whites.

March 20th

1699: Continuing his exploration up the Mississippi River, today, French explorer Lemoyne d'Iberville will visit the village of the HOUMA Indians.
1864: 800 NAVAJOs, mostly women, children and old men, begin the 300 mile march to Fort Sumner and the Bosque Redondo Reservation, in east-central New Mexico. The group would pick up 146 additional NAVAJOs during the march. A powerful snow storm strikes the ill-equipped marchers during the trip. By the time they reach the new reservation, 110 NAVAJOs will have perished.

March 21st

1841: According to government documents, 220 "TALLAHASSEE SEMINOLE" prisoners will board a boat in Tampa Bay, today. They are being sent to the Indian Territory. Fifteen of the Indians will die in transit.
1883: CHIRICAHUA APACHEs are raiding American locations then returning to Mexico. On this date, Chato, Bonito and Chihuahua raid a mining town near Tombstone. This is just the pretext General George Crook needs to mount a raid into Mexico to find the APACHEs.

March 22nd

1621: Massasoit, Quadequina, Samoset (a PEMAQUID), Squanto, and 60 warriors visit the Plymouth colony with great ceremony. They will freely give lands to the pilgrims. According to some calendars, this will happen on April 2nd.
1764: A slave held by the English flees and take refuge with the TUNICA Indians. The English set up a small expedition to retrieve the slave. Today, TUNICA, OFO, AVOYEL, and some CHOCTAW Indians attack a group of small boats carrying the English. Six of the English are killed, and they abandon their attempt.

March 23rd

1730: Today in Keowee, western North Carolina, Sir Alexander Cuming will hold a conference with 300 CHEROKEE Chiefs. Using threats and gifts, Cuming will get the CHEROKEEs to agree to acknowledge King George II of England as their sovereign.
1889: President Harrison says part of Oklahoma will be opened to the public.

March 24th

1617: King James I, of England, decides the Indians of Virginia must be educated. Today he directs the Anglican church to collect funds to build churches and schools.
1880: Three Dozen SIOUX make off with 30 horses belonging to CROW Indian scouts, at Fort Custer, in south-central Montana. Captain John Mix, and 44 soldiers from Troop C, Second Cavalry, cover 65 miles in 11 hours to catch the SIOUX. During a skirmish, 16 of the stolen horses are recovered.

March 25th

1713: European and Indian forces under general James Moore, son of South Carolina Governor James Moore, have been attacking the TUSCARORA fort of Nohoroco, North Carolina, for several days. Today, they will finally capture the fort. During the fighting, 192 TUSCARORAs will be killed, and almost 400 will be taken prisoner. After this defeat, the TUSCARORAs will not be a significant force in North Carolina.
1899: Chief Moses, Chief of the Middle Oregon Tribes for the last 40 years, dies today. He will be buried in Colville Agency near Nespelem.
1916: Ishi ("the last of his tribe")dies.

March 26th

1682: Today, on the Mississippi River, la Salle first meets the NATCHEZ Indians. This will be the first recorded meeting of Europeans with the NATCHEZ. Fellow explorer Henri de Tonti will be the first to meet them.
1973: A Native American mass will be held in New York City at Saint John the Divine Cathedral. Almost 4,000 people will attend.

March 27th

1814: East of modern-day Alexander City, Alabama, Andrew Jackson, and 2000 whites, CHEROKEEs, CHOCTAWs and "White Stick" CREEKs, discover a fort built at the village of Tohopeka on a Horseshoe Bend in the Tallapoosa River, by "Red Stick" CREEKs. The Red Sticks are anti-white, the White Stick CREEKs are pro-white. Today, Jackson will attack the 800 to 1,000 Red Sticks, led by Chief Menewa. The CREEK village and defenses covered approximately 100 acres on the peninsula made by the bend in the river. To cross the river, Jackson's CHEROKEE allies, led by Chief Junaluska, will swim the river to steal CREEK canoes. Jackson's forces would eventually set fire to the Red Sticks' wooden barricade. In the end, only about 50 of the Red Sticks will survive the battle. Jackson's forces will lose 49 soldiers and 23 warriors killed, and 157 soldiers and 47 warriors wounded. Jackson's forces would capture approximately 300 women and children. The Red Stick leader William Weatherford was not at the battle. Weatherford would turn himself in later. This defeat would lead to the Treaty of Horseshoe Bend signed on August 9, 1814, whereby the CREEKs gave up 23 million acres of land to the United States.
1973: Sacheen Littlefeather refuses Marlon Brando's Oscar as a protest against media and governmental mistreatment of American Indians.

March 28th

1513: According to some sources, Ponce de Leon lands in Florida. It is also recorded as April 2nd and May 2nd.
1953: Jim Thorpe dies.
1957: A court rules today that Montana State Courts "are without jurisdiction to try an Indian for the crime of larceny committed somewhere within the external boundaries of the BLACKFEET Indian Reservation, although conceivably the offense could have been committed within the town of Browning, Montana located on the reservation."

March 29th

1676: As a part of King Philip's War, a band of NARRAGANSET Indians will attack providence, Rhode Island, today. All but one of the settlers will retreat to the garrison. The remaining settler will be killed. Many of the other structures in the village will be burned to the ground.
1797: The MOHAWK treaty is signed at Albany today by 5 Indians, including Joseph Brandt. All of their lands in New York are ceded for $1000.

  • March 30th

    1802: The Indian Trade and Intercourse Act today.
    1854: Indians successfully attack, and defeat a company of dragoons at Cieneguilla, New Mexico.

    March 31st

    1793: Moses Cockrell, and a few whites, are leading pack animals across Powell's Mountain. Today, they will be attacked by CHICKAMAUGA Chief Captain Bench, and his followers. All of the Europeans will be killed except Cockrell, who will escape after out running Bench.
    1877: In Arizona, parts of the White Mountain - San Carlos Reservation will be restored to public domain.

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