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Early Native American History

Native Americans were living in the United States ages before the white men first stepped foot on their land. In fact ice ages before. It is speculated that they began living in the U.S. at about the time of the last ice age.
They were known to have emigrated from Asia mostly, but some came from India. That is where they got their name “Indians”. Christopher Columbus and all the other early settlers thought that they had reached the Indies, but had really reached the U.S. That is when they thought they were “Indians”. Later many problems arrived between the whites and the Native Americans.

Eastern Woodland Indians

The “Five Civilized Tribes”

The “Five Civilized Tribes” of the United States of America is as follows: The Choctaw, Chickasaw, Cherokee, Creek and the Seminole. These tribes of Indians got their civilized nickname from their advanced systems of government (and law enforcement), and education. These tribes were the first to become educated and many other things.

The Creek: They were led by William McIntosh, and lived in what is now Georgia.

The Cherokee: They were led by Sequoyah, lived in the Appalachian Mountains by Tennessee, and get their language from the Iroquois.

The Chickasaw: They lived near Mississippi, and were almost always getting in battles with the other tribes. They were known as the fiercest fighters.

The Choctaw: They have three villages, each ruled by a chief, which made up the Choctaw civilization. They played ball games (maybe like baseball) and were known for their peaceful way of life.

The Seminole: The Seminole lived in Florida, were part of the Creek Confederation, and fought with the Chickasaw often.

Sauk and Fox

The tribe was first found in the eastern woodland area in 1869 by a French group of explorers. This tribe is commonly known also as Asakiwaki or its name Sauk and Fox.

Location: Eastern Woodland area

Language: They speak algonquin mainly but can be found speaking dielects of this language

Branches of the tribe: One of the tribes is the Sac and Fox in Mississippi in Iowa and in Kansas.

The Sauk and Fox all separated from its main group in the 1830's and has 360 members in its original tribe area of 23.639 sq mi. You can also find many other1 from its major group in like Richardson City, Nebraska, Brown County, Kansas and in Falls City, Nebraska.


Squanto was a Patuxet Indian who helped the Pilgrims after their first winter in the world found by Christopher Columbus and his crew. Squanto was kidnapped by the Europeans, but still helped them in their time of need. During his stay in Europe, he learned their native language and became a helpful guide for the colonists.

When he finally was able to settle in his Wampanoag home, he first met with the pilgrims that would come to know and love him. He stayed with the colonists when they had hardly any food. He taught them to grow corn and other various food items. He helped them stay alive during their first winter by teaching them to catch fish and eels. He helped them to build houses for their families. He was their interpreter for them to the Wampanoag tribe. A quote by William Bradford says: “He was a special instrument sent by God for their good beyond their expectations.”

Squanto died sometime in November 1622. Americans still know and honor Squanto for the 400 years after his death because without Squanto, we might not have a very pleasant America.

Wampanoag Tribe

The Wampanoag tribe were a very important Indian tribe in the United States history. They were the first native Americans to befriend the English Pilgrims when they settled in the New World. One of the most important Indians in our history, Squanto was a member of the Wampanoag tribe.

Some basic facts about the Wampanoag tribe is the following:

Name: Wampanoag means the “eastern people”.

Language: The native language is Algonquin.

Sub-Tribes: They have many including the Coaxet, Pokanoket, etc.

Culture: They are a “horticultural people” who support their needs by hunting and fishing. The chief passes on his role to his son. The “sachems” (king or chief) were known as higher up, but there wasn’t much royalty involved with the sachem. The sachems weren’t that well off. They had to work for their living just like any other member of the tribe.
The Wampanoag tribe was a key to America’s success even though they don’t get much credit for it.

Ojibwe Tribe

The Ojibwe tribe was mainly found in the Sault Ste. Marie area at the outlet of Lake Superior. The French even referred to them as the Saulters because of the area that they found them. The tribe was eventally moved to prairie provinces of Canada, then ending up stretching all the way from Quebec to British Columbia.

Name: The tribe had many different names that people have reffered to them as: Ojibway, Chippeway, Aanishanabe, Anishinabek are some of them.

Language: Algonquin it was one of the most popular languages of the Native Americans.

Population: The population of the tribe was about 35,500 when the British had found them. The tribe eventually over the years had turned out to be about 190,000 when they were last counted very recently.

The Mystic Massacre

Believing that the English had returned to Boston, Massachusetts, the Pequot sachem Sassacus took many of his own warriors to make raid on Hartford. But John Mason had gone to visit the Narragansett, and then joined him with hundreds of his warriors. Also many Niantic warriors joined Mason’s group. On May 26, 1637, with about 400 fighting men, Mason attacked Misistuck by when they were off guard. He somewhat thought that "six or seven Hundred" Pequot were there when his forces assaulted the palisade. About 150 warriors had attended Sassacus, so that Mystic's people were m mainly made up of Pequot women and children. Surrounding the palisade, Mason commanded that the area be set on fire. Justifying his action later, Mason declared that the holocaust against the Pequot was also the act of a God who "laughed his Enemies and the Enemies of his People to scorn making [the Pequot] as a fiery Oven. Thus did the Lord judge among the Heathen, filling [Mystic] with dead Bodies." (This was a quote that Mason said). Mason suggested that any Pequot attempt to escape the flames, that they also should be killed. Of the 600 to 700 Pequot at Mystic that day, but only seven were taken prisoner while seven others made it into the woods to escape.

The Narragansett and Mohegan warriors who had fought with John Mason and John Underhill's militia were scared by the actions and "manner of the Englishmen's fight . . . because it is too furious, and slays too many men.” Taken back by the "total war" strategies of the Puritan English, and the horrors that they had personally seen, the Narragansett came home.

Thinking the mission was accomplished, John Mason set out for home. The militia became lost for a little bit, but in doing so Mason barely missed returning Pequot Indians who, seeing what had happened, he chased to the Puritan forces to little use.
Mystic Massacre
Mystic Massacre

Plains Indians


Sacajawea was born sometime in 1788 into a tribe of the Shoshone Indians. At age 13, she was taken into marriage with a French hunter. When she became pregnant, the Corps of Discovery arrived to stay during the winter. With them came Meriwether Lewis and William Clark (Lewis and Clark). They interviewed many trappers to translate and they decided on Sacajawea’s husband Toussaint Charbonneau. They picked him because of Sacajawea’s ability to speak the Shoshone language. Lewis and Clark took them along on their expedition and they couldn’t have picked anyone better.

Sacajawea led them through all the mountains and forests to lead them to the continental divide. To thank her for her work, Lewis and Clark invited she and her husband to live with them in St. Louis, Missouri. She then died on December 20th, 1812.

This is her on the Golden coin (worth 1 dollar).

Sitting Bull

Sitting Bull was a chief of the Sioux tribe, born in South Dakota. When he was born he was given the name of Jumping Badger and was given the nickname of Hunkesni, or Slow. The name was given by his way of deliberate pace and way of life. Sitting Bull eventually became a warrior in one of the common ceremonies used to promote him into becoming a warrior. As Sitting Bull started to get into being a warrior he eventually became part of three different wars like the Red Cloud War, Black Hills War and the Battle of Little Bighorn where he killed General Custer. Sitting Bull after the war, settled down and was eventually promoted as the Chief of the tribe. Sitting Bull then was forced to surrender to the U.S. government over being put in a reservation along with 200 other tribe members. He later died in the reservation after participating in the Ghost Dance movement where he was arrested and then killed in December 15,1890.

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Red Cloud's War

Red Cloud's War was mainly a territory war that was fought over Powder River Country in 1866 to1868. Red Cloud was the chief of the Ogala Lakota Sioux who led the war against the United States. The American side was led by a Colonel Carrington with 750 troops after being continuously warned not to do it. Carrington was not a regular fighter he was normally an engineer and political appointee so he didn't have any experience in combat. He took 200 calvary mounts and ended up resorting to Fort Reno then went to Fort Phil Kearny, then to Fort C.F Smith.

The very first killing was on the Americans which was a small 2nd calvary that was led by Horace S. Bingham. The calvary was dead set on attacking the Indians in the wood train. The tribe eventually had massacred the troops and pushed the survivors back. While in succeeding in killing Lt. Bingham Captain James Powell led another garrison into the wood train. Powell was then practically demoted and was left behind by a man named Lt. Fetterman. This little fight was later called the Fetterman Massacre. Carrington had told Fetterman not to cross the Lodge Trail, but to wait near the trail. After they had set up a warrior of the Ogala tribe named Crazy Horse came across as a decoy. Just as the Indians wanted Fetterman had taken the bait and started in pursuit of the decoy into Peno Valley where 1,000-3,000 Indians waited. As soon as Fetterman's men crossed it the warriors immediately opened fire killing the American soldiers in what seemed in groups. All Americans were killed everyone of them. Carrington sent more men only to have 20 men out 90 plus some to come back alive. All they had to say was that the whole garrison was killed and saw Fetterman and Brown another commander kill each other (to avoid capture). Then after about a coupple weeks of careful planning the Indians attacked the fort that Carrington was at. The Indians prevailed only untill the Treaty of Fort Laramie which was signed by the Indians with them in control of the land.

Black Hills War

On June 17, 1876, Crazy Horse led a combined group of approximately 1,500 Lakota and Cheyenne in a surprise attack against Brevet Brig. Gen. George Crook's force of 1,000 cavalry and infantry and 300 Crow and Shoshone warriors in the Battle of the Rosebud. The battle, although not substantial in terms of human loss, delayed Crook from joining up with the 7th Cavalry under George A. Custer, ensuring Custer’s subsequent defeat at the Battle of the Little Bighorn.

At 3:00 p.m. on June 25, 1876, Custer's 7th Cavalry attacked the Lakota and Cheyenne village, marking the beginning of the Battle of the Little Bighorn. Crazy Horse's exact actions during the battle are unknown. Possibly Crazy Horse entered the battle by repelling the first attack led by Maj. Marcus Reno, but it is also possible that he was still in his lodge waiting for the larger battle with Custer. Hunkpapa Warriors led by Chief Gall led the main body of the attack, and once again Crazy Horse's role in the battle remains ambiguous. Some historians think that Crazy Horse led a flanking assault, assuring the death of Custer and his men, the only fact that can be proven is that Crazy Horse was a major participant in the battle.

In September 10, 1876 Captain Anson Mills and two battalions of the Third Cavalry captured a Minicoujou village of 36 lodges in the Battle of Slim Buttes, SD.[11] Crazy Horse and his followers attempted to rescue the camp and its headman, (Old Man) American Horse. He was unsuccessful and American Horse and nearly his entire family was killed by the soldiers after holing up in a cave for several hours.

Battle of Little Bighorn

One of the most famous, most violent of the Indian wars was the great Battle of Little Bighorn fought on the ground near Little Bighorn River in the Eastern Montana territory. The two tribes were set at about 949 lodges and about 1800 warriors altogether. The 7TH cavalry led by General George Armstrong Custer who was considered one of the best at that time in America.

The battle all started with Major Reno’s attack after being given orders by Custer. The attack was given without knowing how strong or big the village was. When Reno had crossed the mouth of Little Bighorn he immediately sent Custer a message and set up camp waiting for the reply. The reinforcements never came or even a reply from Custer after he saw the tribes. When it never came it had he advanced northward toward the tribe and at a few hundred yards a way he set up a skirmish line. He started firing along with his men and after about 20 minutes of the long range shooting he lost only 1 man. When it was over he saw that the odds were against him and saw the Indians mounted for a mass attack on them of around 500 warriors. The Indians had hit them on their exposed side forcing them back to the timber in a loop of the river. At the loop in the river, the Indians pinned them down and forced Reno to make a disorderly retreat across he river to the high bluffs on the other side. As they retreated the Cheyenne attacked them at close quarters as a revenge thing. Reno later reported that three officers and 29 troopers were killed during the retreat and fight with the Lakota and the Cheyenne. Some of the men from the cavalry were left behind in the timber but many had eventually found their rejoined the detachment.

As Reno and his detachment soon came together with the cavalry of Capitan Benteen who came from the south of them. Capitan and his group had been lateral scouting when Reno’s messenger had come across them and taken them to the site. McDougall and the pack train from the home base then reinforced the two forces. With 14 officers and 340 troopers in the detachment they had already an all-around defense and dug rifle pits on the bluffs.

Crazy Horse

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Crazy Horse was the respected war leader of the Lakota, who was one of the few to stand up to the U.S. federal government. His whole life was in to preserve the Lakota with its traditions and way of life.

He was born during the years of 1840 and 1845 due to the lack of information from the tribes asked. Crazy Horse was born with the name "In the Wilderness" or "Among the Trees" which meant one with nature and was nicknamed Curly for he had hair just like his mother. Crazy Horse was soon after put in ceremony for becoming a warrior.

On December 21, 1866 Crazy Horse and six other warriors, both Lakota and Cheyenne, decoyed Lt. William Fetterman, 53 infantry men and 27 cavalry troopers under Lt. Grummond from the safe area of Fort Kearny on the Bozeman Trail into an ambush. Crazy Horse personally led Fetterman's infantry up what Wyoming locals call Massacre Hill while Grummond's cavalry followed the other six decoys along Peno Head Ridge and down towards Peno Creek where some Cheyenne women were taunting the soldiers. At that moment, the Cheyenne leader Little Wolf's and his warriors closed the return route to the fort. They had been hiding on the opposite side of Peno Head Ridge. Meanwhile, the Lakota warriors came over Massacre Hill and attacked the infantry. There were additional Cheyenne and Lakota hiding in the buckbrush along Peno Creek behind the taunting women, effectively surrounding the soldiers. Seeing they were surrounded, Grummond headed back to Fetterman to try to repel them in numbers --they were wiped out. The warrior contingent was comprised of nearly 1,000 warriors. In some history books it is known as Red Cloud's War however Red Cloud was not present that day. The ambush was the worst Army defeat on the Great Plains at the time. This event was known as the Fetterman Massacre.

On May 5,1877 5years after the massacre Crazy Horse and other Oglala leaders arrived at the Red Cloud Agency in Nebraska. Crazy Horse, Little Big Man, Iron Crow and other met Lt. William P. for a solemn ceremony of surrender of the Indians. Four months later Crazy Horse had lived at Camp Robinson, was asked to fight with the Americans against two convicts and there army. Both Crazy Horse and another leader Touch the Clouds said no regarding to the surrender. Crazy Horse eventually said yes (according to another tribe member he said) "We will fight till all Nez Perce was killed". A guard who was standing by had misinterpreted what he said thinking it was" we will fight till no white man is standing" this later resulted in conflict. On September 5, 1877 Lt. Lee was given orders to arrest Crazy Horse and his brigade. The guard Lt. Lee brought with him, had tried to arrest him struggled and right next to the guardhouse Crazy Horse was stabbed with a bayonet. His parents then took his body to a memorial next to the state highway called Wounded Knee and buried him there.


The names Sequoyah or Sequoia are both different spellings given by missionaries that are Mormon, said to be as dishonest proceedings of the Cherokee name Sogwali or Sikwâ'yǐ. It is believed to be obtained from the Cherokee word siqua. The word siqua means hog. This is either a source to a child with a deformation of some kind or an injury that later on that left Sequoyah crippled. It is well known that his mother was a Cherokee and belonged to the paint clan. Mooney says that she was the niece of a Cherokee chief. His father was either white or part-white and part Native American. Different things differ as to the exact way Sequoyah's father looked, any (including Mooney) suggested that he might have been a fur trader or even the son of Christopher Gist or Nathaniel Gist. They were traders for George Washington.

Sequoyah did not speak English so many people thought this could be a sign that his father had left him and his mother. Earlier on in 1808, Sequoyah had left and went to the Willstown of Alabama. When he was there he decided to be a silversmith. Many people thought that Sequoyah fought against the Red Sticks in 1813 and 1814 in the Creek War. But they do say that if he really was crippled or disabled, he would have most like not fought in the war. But the disability could even be from the battle alone.
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Catholic Missions

Catholic Missions originated in California, mainly. They were drivin out due to "manifest Desteny." They were more-or-less a pour group. They wernt treated as equil traiders, just worthless humans. They mainly focaused on fishing, due to the fact that they were living near a ocean. They were more traditional, they still made there Tee-pees. About the time that White men came they didnt want to put up a fight, but that came bact to huant them, due to the fact that they started to be pushed more and more. They eventualy died out. Illniss and shortige of supplies kicked in. Esentualy whiping them out.