/tagged/American+Indian+history/page/2

Anonymous said: Your Native American Lands map is awesome, BUT [:)] present day Oklahoma has a ton of trust land. Though Oklahoma does not call its Indian Country "reservations," the Federal government classifies lands held in trust by the 29 tribes that were re-located to Indian Territory (OK) as such. Because the original lands were allotted to individual members per the Dawes Act of 1887, the Indian Country in Oklahoma is in a mostly checkerboard pattern. Good Luck if you try to document OK tribal lands!

Thanks! And yeah, I’d wondered why the original map showed so little land in present-day Oklahoma. I guess it’s because, like you said, most of the native-held lands in OK are allotments, meaning that they’re quite small and fragmented and would only be visible on a very large map. Also, the “present day” map only shows reservations, so I guess the map-maker omitted allotments, maybe because allotments are considered private property? I’m actually not sure how that works — reservations are kind of like foreign countries (countries that get bossed around by the US gov’t) but I’m guessing that the allotments were/are treated as private properties located in the United States. Ugh, so confusing.

Anonymous said: Hey, we just got a grant to educate people on the Doctrine of Discovery and were wanting to create this type of educational piece. Can we get your approval to use it? Yours is really good.

I’m catching up on my inbox so I’m sorry if this is totally irrelevant now, but:

To you, anon, and to anyone else who wants to use my gif of Native American land loss:

I think it’s totally awesome that people want to use the map as an educational tool and I’d definitely give you permission to use it but… I don’t actually own the rights to it! The original map belongs to Sam B. Hilliard of Louisiana State University, who died in 2011. I just rearranged it with Photoshop, so Dr. Hilliard would be the one to credit as the map creator. And I guess you could contact LSU if you’d like official permission to use it.

But yeah, as far as I’m concerned, knock yourselves out. I made the gif in order to educate myself and others, so I figure the more people see it, the better.

Indian Removal in the early 1800s

In the winter of 1802-03, Thomas Jefferson told Delaware and Shawnee delegates in Washington that he would “pay the most sacred regard to existing treaties between your respective nations and ours, and protect your whole territories against all intrusions that may be attempted by white people.” At the same time, Jefferson was implementing plans to dispossess the Indians of their lands.

Jefferson and others easily solved the dilemma of how to take Indian lands with honor by determining that too much land was a disincentive for Indians to become “civilized.”  Ignoring the role of agriculture in Eastern Woodland societies, they argued that Indians would continue to hunt rather than settle down as farmers unless their options were restricted.  Taking their lands forced Indians into a settled, agricultural, and “civilized” way of life and was, therefore, good for them in the long run.  As Indians took up farming, Jefferson wrote in 1803 to William Henry Harrison, governor of Indiana Territory, “they will perceive how useless to them are their extensive forests, and will be willing to pare them off from time to time in exchange for necessaries for their farms and families.”  To promote this process “we shall push our trading houses, and be glad to see the good and influential individuals run into debt, because we observe that when these debts get beyond what the individuals can pay, they become willing to lop them off by a cession of lands.” In this way, American settlements would gradually surround the Indians “and they will in time either incorporate with us as citizens of the United States, or remove beyond the Mississippi.”  …  The government could do little to regulate the frontier and protect Indian lands, causing Indians to fight for their land.  The government would have no choice but to invade Indian country, suppress the uprising, and dictate treaties in which defeated Indians signed away land.  […]

Jefferson’s strategy for acquiring Indian lands resulted in some thirty treaties with a dozen or so tribal groups and the cession of almost 200,000 square miles of Indian territory in nine states.  Jefferson regretted that Indians seemed doomed to extinction, but he showed little compunction in taking away their homelands.

First Peoples: A Documentary Survey of American Indian History by Colin Calloway

I realize that Jefferson’s 19th-century-speak may be a little hard to parse, so allow me to offer a summary of his plan to take Indian lands:

1. Promote trading between whites and Indians.

2. Encourage Indians to buy lots of stuff, causing them to rack up huge debts.

3. Indians are driven to sell off bits of their land to pay off their debts.

4. White settlers move into sold-off lands and live next to Indians.

5. Indians get exposed to and assimilated into the Borg white culture.

5b. Or they pack up and move away, conveniently leaving their land empty.

5c. Or alternatively, they get pissed off at the encroachment and use force to defend their home.

6. Oh dear, now that you’ve resorted to violence, we have no choice but to send in the US army and fight a war against you.  Why did you make us do that?  :(

7. Now that we’ve beaten the shit out of you, you have to do whatever we say.  And we say, give us the rest of your land.

Yep, that Thomas Jefferson was pretty smart guy.  So smart that he got his face carved onto the side of Mount Rushmore aka the Black Hills aka the location that Lakota people venerate in the same way that Muslims venerate Mecca or Jews venerate Jerusalem.  Talk about adding insult to injury.

Also:

My least favorite rationale for stealing Indian land: We’re doing it for your own good!

My other least favorite rationale for stealing Indian land: Those greedy Indians are hogging way more land than they actually need!  (Even though the whites were practically addicted to land-grabbing like it was some alternate form of crack cocaine.)

In 1970, the Massachusetts Department of Commerce asked the Wampanoags to select a speaker to mark the 350th anniversary of the Pilgrims’ landing.  Frank James “was selected, but first he had to show a copy of his speech to the white people in charge of the ceremony.  When they saw what he had written, they would not allow him to read it.” James had written:

Today is a time of celebrating for you … but it is not a time of celebrating for me. It is with heavy heart that I look back upon what happened to my People … The Pilgrims had hardly explored the shores of Cape Cod four days before they had robbed the graves of my ancestors, and stolen their corn, wheat, and beans. … Massasoit, the great leader of the Wampanoag, knew these facts; yet he and his People welcomed and befriended the settlers … little knowing that … before 50 years were to pass, the Wampanoags … and other Indians living near the settlers would be killed by their guns or dead from diseases that we caught from them. … Although our way of life is almost gone and our language is almost extinct, we the Wampanoags still walk the lands of Massachusetts. … What has happened cannot be changed, but today we work toward a better America, a more Indian America where people and nature once again are important.

What the Massachusetts Department of Commerce censored was not some incediary falsehood but historical truth. Nothing James would have said, had he been allowed to speak, was false, excepting the word wheat. Most of our textbooks also omit the facts about grave robbing, Indian enslavement, and so on, even though they were common knowledge in colonial New England. Thus our popular history of the Pilgrims has not been a process of gaining perspective but of deliberate forgetting.

Lies My Teacher Told Me by James W. Loewen

Considering that virtually none of the standard fare surrounding Thanksgiving contains an ounce of authenticity, historical accuracy, or cross-cultural perception, why is it so apparently ingrained? It is necessary to the American psyche to perpetually exploit and debase its victims in order to justify its history?
– Michael Dorris, quoted in Lies My Teacher Told Me by James W. Loewen
People throughout California regularly burned their land. By doing so they created an environment very much to their liking — one that provided the best habitat for game, one that encouraged the growth of favored food and basketry plants. The landscape of old California, in other words — meadows, oak savannahs, “park-like” areas of great boled oaks and clear understory — was not a “natural” landscape. It was a landscape created by people, in many ways as “artificial” as the farmlands of Europe. Thus, when Spaniards and then others first arrived in California a couple of centuries ago, they did not find (as they fondly imagined) a “pristine wilderness.” They found what was in many ways a garden, a land very much shaped by thousands of years of human history and adapted to human needs.
The Way We Lived: California Indian Stories, Songs, & Reminiscences by Malcolm Margolin

In California and Oregon, things were much worse. As Mooney acknowledged in 1910, “the enormous decrease [in California’s native population] from about a quarter-million to less than 20,000 is due chiefly to the cruelties and wholesale massacres perpetrated by the miners and early settlers.” Actually, the original indigenous population of California was probably three times Mooney’s estimate and still numbered about 300,000 in 1800. Sherburn F. Cook has compiled an excruciatingly detailed chronology of the actions of self-organized white “militias” in northern California, mostly along the Mad and Eel Rivers, for the years 1855-65. The standard technique was to surround an Indian village… in the dead of night, set it ablaze and, if possible, kill everyone inside.

"Much of the killing in California and southern Oregon Territory resulted, directly and indirectly, from the discovery of gold in 1849 and the subsequent influx of miners and settlers. Newspaper accounts document the atrocities, as do oral histories of the California Indians today. It was not uncommon for small groups or villages to be attacked by immigrants… and virtually wiped out overnight."

…Thornton has observed that, “Primarily because of the killings — which some scholars say had been… over 700,000 — [the population] decreased almost by two-thirds in a single decade: from 100,000 in 1849 to 35,000 in 1860.” By 1900, the combined native population of California numbered only 15,377.

Demography of Native North America by Lenore A. Stiffarm; middle section is quoted from American Indian Holocaust and Survival by Russell Thornton

Over the next two centuries [after 1540], wars of outright extermination had been fought by British colonists against “the Indians of Virginia” and nations such as the Pequot (who were among those who had fed the Plymouth Colony on the first “Thanksgiving” in 1620). […]

By the mid-19th century, U.S. policymakers and military commanders were stating — openly, frequently, and in plain English — that their objective was no less than the “complete extermination” of any native people who resisted being dispossessed of their lands, subordinated to federal authority, and assimilated into the colonizing culture. The country was as good as its word on the matter, perpetrating literally hundreds of massacres of Indians by military and paramilitary formations at points all over the West. A bare sampling of some of the worst must include the 1854 massacre of perhaps 150 Lakotas at Blue River (Nebraska), the 1863 Bear River (Idaho) Massacre of some 500 Western Shoshones, the 1864 Sand Creek (Colorado) Massacre of as many as 250 Cheyennes and Arapahoes, the 1868 massacre of another 300 Cheyennes at the Washita River (Oklahoma), the 1875 massacre of about seventy-five Cheyennes along the Sappa Creek (Kansas), the 1878 massacre of still another 100 Cheyennes at Camp Robinson (Nebraska), and the 1890 massacre of more than 300 Lakotas at Wounded Knee (South Dakota). As the U.S. Bureau of the Census put it in 1894:

"It has been estimated that since 1775, more than [8,500 Indians] have been killed in individual affairs with [whites]… The Indian wars under the government of the United States have been more than 40 in number. They have cost the lives of… about 30,000 Indians… The actual number of killed and wounded Indians must be very much greater than the number given, as they conceal, where possible, their actual loss in battle… Fifty percent additional would be a safe number to add to the numbers given."

This comes to a minimum of 56,750 Indians killed outright by Euroamericans militarily pushing into native lands during a period roughly conforming to the century spanning the years 1775-1875. Thornton, who has examined the matter closely, suggests that the official number is far too low and might “easily” be doubled.

Demography of Native North America by Lenore A. Stiffarm

During 1763, while striving to defeat Pontiac’s confederation of Ottowas and other peoples:

Sir Jeffrey Amherst, commander-in-chief of the British forces, wrote in a postscript of a letter to Bouquet [a subordinate] that smallpox be sent among the disaffected tribes. Bouquet replied, also in a postscript, “I will try to [contaminate] them with some blankets that may fall into their hands, and take care not to get the disease myself” … To Bouquet’s postscript Amherst replied, “You will do well to [infect] the Indians by means to blankets as well as to try every other method that can serve to extirpate this exorable race.” On June 24, Captain Ecuyer, of the Royal Americans, noted in his journal: “…we gave them two blankets and a handkerchief out of the smallpox hospital. I hope it will have the desired effect.”

It did. The disease spread rapidly among the Mingo, Delaware, Shawnee, and other nations of the Ohio River Valley, killing perhaps 100,000 people and bringing about the collapse of Pontiac’s military alliance.

Demography of Native North America by Lenore A. Stiffarm, with the middle paragraph quoted from The Effects of Smallpox on the Destiny of the Amerindian by E. Wagner Stearn and Allen E. Stearn

extirpate = to root out and destroy completely

[Regarding the ordeal of the Navajo during 1864-68]: This occurred as a result of the Kit Carson Campaign to destroy Navajo agricultural capacity, at the conclusion of which some 9,000 Navajos surrendered. After being gathered together at Fort Defiance, Arizona, the prisoners were then force-marched more than 300 miles — an ordeal called “The Long Walk” in Navajo tradition — to be interred at the Bosque Redondo, adjacent to Fort Sumner, southeast of Santa Fe. The site had been selected as the location for “concentration and maintenance of all captive Indians [in] New Mexico Territory,” but no preparations had been made to accommodate them. Over the next four years, the Indians were forced to live under guard, in holes in the ground, on perpetually short rations, and with a paucity of medical attention. As many as 3,500 of them died during their captivity.
Demography of Native North America by Lenore A. Stiffarm
Even though European settlers imposed new architectural styles and new ideas of urban planning on America, they usually built over existing Indian settlements rather than clearing out new areas of settlement. Subsequent generations of Americans usually forgot that their towns and cities had been founded by Indians. Myths arose about how the colonists literally carved their settlements out of the uninhabited forest … The new settlers of America [merely] continued the same settlement patterns already firmly established by Indians… along the rivers and coasts, with only minimal settlement of the plains and mountains… Few Americans bother to mention that the city of Washington [D.C.] arose on top of Naconchtanke, the main trading town of the Conoy Indians.
Indian Givers by Jack Weatherford
In actuality, fully two-thirds of all the vegetal foodstuffs now consumed by humanity were under cultivation in Native America — and nowhere else — at the moment Columbus first set foot on Hispaniola. An instructive, but by no means exhaustive list of these crops includes corn, potatoes [about 3,000 varieties], yams, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, squash [about 600 varieties], pumpkins, most varieties of beans, all varieties of pepper except black, amaranth, manioc (tapioca), mustard and a number of other greens, sunflowers, cassava, some types of rice, artichokes, avocados, okra, chayotes, peanuts, cashews, walnuts, hickory nuts, pecans, pineapples, bread fruit, passion fruit, many melons, persimmons, choke cherries, papayas, cranberries, blueberries, blackberries, coffee, sassafras, vanilla, chocolate, and cocoa. In order to raise this proliferation of food items, American Indians had perfected elaborate and sophisticated agricultural technologies throughout the hemisphere long before the arrival of the first European. This included intricate and highly effective irrigation systems, ecologically integrated and highly effective planting methods such as milpa and comico, and the refinement of what amounted to botanical experimentation facilities, among other things.
The Stone Age Revisited by M. Annette Jaimes, quoted in Demography of Native North America by Lenore A. Stiffarm

The issue goes to the concept of the “Norman Yoke,” an element of juridical philosophy arising among medieval Anglo-Saxons and subsequently incorporated into the British variants of the Doctrine of Discovery and Rights of Conquest. In simplest terms, the concept, as it was eventually articulated in John Locke’s philosophy of Natural Law, held that any “Christian” (read: European) happening upon “waste land” — most particularly land that was vacant or virtually vacant of human inhabitants — assumed not only a “natural right,” but indeed an obligation to put such land to “productive use.” Having thus performed “God’s will” by “cultivating” and thereby “conquering” the former “wilderness,” its “discoverer” can be said to “own” it. It was upon this peculiar doctrine that Chief Justice of the Supreme Court John Marshall, in his 1823 opinion in the Johnson v. McIntosh case, based the notion that the U.S. holds “inherent and preeminent rights” over Indian lands.

For Marshall’s utilization of the idea of the Norman Yoke to work out for the United States, it was/is necessary to believe that there were very few native people prior to the onset of the European invasion of North America. A substantial precontact native population would imply that the land was for all intents and purposes not vacant. […]

For Eurosupremecists, either historical or contemporary, to admit that the precontact Native North American population had been fifteen million rather than one or two million would compel their admission of a number of other uncomfortable facts. For instance, the larger population figure could only have been sustained by a primary reliance upon extensive agriculture rather than hunting and gathering. This, in turn, means that precontact American Indians were primarily “sedentary” rather than “nomadic,” cultivators of the land, and residents of permanent towns rather than wandering occupants of a “barren wilderness.”

Demography of Native North America by Lenore A. Stiffarm

Regarding the two numbers s/he throws out: They’re both estimates of the pre-European-contact native population of the continental United States.  1-2 million is an old estimate that was derived through pretty shoddy estimation methods and was biased by the wish to downplay the size of the native population and shore up the myth of “No really you guys, the continent was practically empty so it’s totes okay that we stole it!”  15 million is a more recent and much more accurate estimate.

Imagine you live in a nation where the government owns your property. It has a powerful agency called the Bureau of Caucasian Affairs to control wards of the state, including you. The agency supervises your family and decides what is best. It handles your money, enforces morals, personal appearance, and manner of dress. It provides state-approved religion, schooling, and food for your community. This is all done by the superintendent — a government bureaucrat placed in charge of your community with complete control over it. No one can leave without his permission. Like a god, he makes the laws and acts as the police, prosecutor, judge, and jury. The courts cannot review his actions, for they are all, by definition perfectly legal.

Sound like totalitarianism? Nope, it is the abuse of guardianship. For several generations, the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) used its trustee powers to become an intolerant and all-powerful ruler of Indian people, and the courts allowed this anomaly to happen.

In the Courts of the Conqueror by Walter Echo-Hawk

Anonymous said: Your Native American Lands map is awesome, BUT [:)] present day Oklahoma has a ton of trust land. Though Oklahoma does not call its Indian Country "reservations," the Federal government classifies lands held in trust by the 29 tribes that were re-located to Indian Territory (OK) as such. Because the original lands were allotted to individual members per the Dawes Act of 1887, the Indian Country in Oklahoma is in a mostly checkerboard pattern. Good Luck if you try to document OK tribal lands!

Thanks! And yeah, I’d wondered why the original map showed so little land in present-day Oklahoma. I guess it’s because, like you said, most of the native-held lands in OK are allotments, meaning that they’re quite small and fragmented and would only be visible on a very large map. Also, the “present day” map only shows reservations, so I guess the map-maker omitted allotments, maybe because allotments are considered private property? I’m actually not sure how that works — reservations are kind of like foreign countries (countries that get bossed around by the US gov’t) but I’m guessing that the allotments were/are treated as private properties located in the United States. Ugh, so confusing.

Anonymous said: Hey, we just got a grant to educate people on the Doctrine of Discovery and were wanting to create this type of educational piece. Can we get your approval to use it? Yours is really good.

I’m catching up on my inbox so I’m sorry if this is totally irrelevant now, but:

To you, anon, and to anyone else who wants to use my gif of Native American land loss:

I think it’s totally awesome that people want to use the map as an educational tool and I’d definitely give you permission to use it but… I don’t actually own the rights to it! The original map belongs to Sam B. Hilliard of Louisiana State University, who died in 2011. I just rearranged it with Photoshop, so Dr. Hilliard would be the one to credit as the map creator. And I guess you could contact LSU if you’d like official permission to use it.

But yeah, as far as I’m concerned, knock yourselves out. I made the gif in order to educate myself and others, so I figure the more people see it, the better.

Indian Removal in the early 1800s

In the winter of 1802-03, Thomas Jefferson told Delaware and Shawnee delegates in Washington that he would “pay the most sacred regard to existing treaties between your respective nations and ours, and protect your whole territories against all intrusions that may be attempted by white people.” At the same time, Jefferson was implementing plans to dispossess the Indians of their lands.

Jefferson and others easily solved the dilemma of how to take Indian lands with honor by determining that too much land was a disincentive for Indians to become “civilized.”  Ignoring the role of agriculture in Eastern Woodland societies, they argued that Indians would continue to hunt rather than settle down as farmers unless their options were restricted.  Taking their lands forced Indians into a settled, agricultural, and “civilized” way of life and was, therefore, good for them in the long run.  As Indians took up farming, Jefferson wrote in 1803 to William Henry Harrison, governor of Indiana Territory, “they will perceive how useless to them are their extensive forests, and will be willing to pare them off from time to time in exchange for necessaries for their farms and families.”  To promote this process “we shall push our trading houses, and be glad to see the good and influential individuals run into debt, because we observe that when these debts get beyond what the individuals can pay, they become willing to lop them off by a cession of lands.” In this way, American settlements would gradually surround the Indians “and they will in time either incorporate with us as citizens of the United States, or remove beyond the Mississippi.”  …  The government could do little to regulate the frontier and protect Indian lands, causing Indians to fight for their land.  The government would have no choice but to invade Indian country, suppress the uprising, and dictate treaties in which defeated Indians signed away land.  […]

Jefferson’s strategy for acquiring Indian lands resulted in some thirty treaties with a dozen or so tribal groups and the cession of almost 200,000 square miles of Indian territory in nine states.  Jefferson regretted that Indians seemed doomed to extinction, but he showed little compunction in taking away their homelands.

First Peoples: A Documentary Survey of American Indian History by Colin Calloway

I realize that Jefferson’s 19th-century-speak may be a little hard to parse, so allow me to offer a summary of his plan to take Indian lands:

1. Promote trading between whites and Indians.

2. Encourage Indians to buy lots of stuff, causing them to rack up huge debts.

3. Indians are driven to sell off bits of their land to pay off their debts.

4. White settlers move into sold-off lands and live next to Indians.

5. Indians get exposed to and assimilated into the Borg white culture.

5b. Or they pack up and move away, conveniently leaving their land empty.

5c. Or alternatively, they get pissed off at the encroachment and use force to defend their home.

6. Oh dear, now that you’ve resorted to violence, we have no choice but to send in the US army and fight a war against you.  Why did you make us do that?  :(

7. Now that we’ve beaten the shit out of you, you have to do whatever we say.  And we say, give us the rest of your land.

Yep, that Thomas Jefferson was pretty smart guy.  So smart that he got his face carved onto the side of Mount Rushmore aka the Black Hills aka the location that Lakota people venerate in the same way that Muslims venerate Mecca or Jews venerate Jerusalem.  Talk about adding insult to injury.

Also:

My least favorite rationale for stealing Indian land: We’re doing it for your own good!

My other least favorite rationale for stealing Indian land: Those greedy Indians are hogging way more land than they actually need!  (Even though the whites were practically addicted to land-grabbing like it was some alternate form of crack cocaine.)

In 1970, the Massachusetts Department of Commerce asked the Wampanoags to select a speaker to mark the 350th anniversary of the Pilgrims’ landing.  Frank James “was selected, but first he had to show a copy of his speech to the white people in charge of the ceremony.  When they saw what he had written, they would not allow him to read it.” James had written:

Today is a time of celebrating for you … but it is not a time of celebrating for me. It is with heavy heart that I look back upon what happened to my People … The Pilgrims had hardly explored the shores of Cape Cod four days before they had robbed the graves of my ancestors, and stolen their corn, wheat, and beans. … Massasoit, the great leader of the Wampanoag, knew these facts; yet he and his People welcomed and befriended the settlers … little knowing that … before 50 years were to pass, the Wampanoags … and other Indians living near the settlers would be killed by their guns or dead from diseases that we caught from them. … Although our way of life is almost gone and our language is almost extinct, we the Wampanoags still walk the lands of Massachusetts. … What has happened cannot be changed, but today we work toward a better America, a more Indian America where people and nature once again are important.

What the Massachusetts Department of Commerce censored was not some incediary falsehood but historical truth. Nothing James would have said, had he been allowed to speak, was false, excepting the word wheat. Most of our textbooks also omit the facts about grave robbing, Indian enslavement, and so on, even though they were common knowledge in colonial New England. Thus our popular history of the Pilgrims has not been a process of gaining perspective but of deliberate forgetting.

Lies My Teacher Told Me by James W. Loewen

Considering that virtually none of the standard fare surrounding Thanksgiving contains an ounce of authenticity, historical accuracy, or cross-cultural perception, why is it so apparently ingrained? It is necessary to the American psyche to perpetually exploit and debase its victims in order to justify its history?
– Michael Dorris, quoted in Lies My Teacher Told Me by James W. Loewen
*snerk*

*snerk*

(Source: fuckyeahnativeamericans)

People throughout California regularly burned their land. By doing so they created an environment very much to their liking — one that provided the best habitat for game, one that encouraged the growth of favored food and basketry plants. The landscape of old California, in other words — meadows, oak savannahs, “park-like” areas of great boled oaks and clear understory — was not a “natural” landscape. It was a landscape created by people, in many ways as “artificial” as the farmlands of Europe. Thus, when Spaniards and then others first arrived in California a couple of centuries ago, they did not find (as they fondly imagined) a “pristine wilderness.” They found what was in many ways a garden, a land very much shaped by thousands of years of human history and adapted to human needs.
The Way We Lived: California Indian Stories, Songs, & Reminiscences by Malcolm Margolin

In California and Oregon, things were much worse. As Mooney acknowledged in 1910, “the enormous decrease [in California’s native population] from about a quarter-million to less than 20,000 is due chiefly to the cruelties and wholesale massacres perpetrated by the miners and early settlers.” Actually, the original indigenous population of California was probably three times Mooney’s estimate and still numbered about 300,000 in 1800. Sherburn F. Cook has compiled an excruciatingly detailed chronology of the actions of self-organized white “militias” in northern California, mostly along the Mad and Eel Rivers, for the years 1855-65. The standard technique was to surround an Indian village… in the dead of night, set it ablaze and, if possible, kill everyone inside.

"Much of the killing in California and southern Oregon Territory resulted, directly and indirectly, from the discovery of gold in 1849 and the subsequent influx of miners and settlers. Newspaper accounts document the atrocities, as do oral histories of the California Indians today. It was not uncommon for small groups or villages to be attacked by immigrants… and virtually wiped out overnight."

…Thornton has observed that, “Primarily because of the killings — which some scholars say had been… over 700,000 — [the population] decreased almost by two-thirds in a single decade: from 100,000 in 1849 to 35,000 in 1860.” By 1900, the combined native population of California numbered only 15,377.

Demography of Native North America by Lenore A. Stiffarm; middle section is quoted from American Indian Holocaust and Survival by Russell Thornton

Over the next two centuries [after 1540], wars of outright extermination had been fought by British colonists against “the Indians of Virginia” and nations such as the Pequot (who were among those who had fed the Plymouth Colony on the first “Thanksgiving” in 1620). […]

By the mid-19th century, U.S. policymakers and military commanders were stating — openly, frequently, and in plain English — that their objective was no less than the “complete extermination” of any native people who resisted being dispossessed of their lands, subordinated to federal authority, and assimilated into the colonizing culture. The country was as good as its word on the matter, perpetrating literally hundreds of massacres of Indians by military and paramilitary formations at points all over the West. A bare sampling of some of the worst must include the 1854 massacre of perhaps 150 Lakotas at Blue River (Nebraska), the 1863 Bear River (Idaho) Massacre of some 500 Western Shoshones, the 1864 Sand Creek (Colorado) Massacre of as many as 250 Cheyennes and Arapahoes, the 1868 massacre of another 300 Cheyennes at the Washita River (Oklahoma), the 1875 massacre of about seventy-five Cheyennes along the Sappa Creek (Kansas), the 1878 massacre of still another 100 Cheyennes at Camp Robinson (Nebraska), and the 1890 massacre of more than 300 Lakotas at Wounded Knee (South Dakota). As the U.S. Bureau of the Census put it in 1894:

"It has been estimated that since 1775, more than [8,500 Indians] have been killed in individual affairs with [whites]… The Indian wars under the government of the United States have been more than 40 in number. They have cost the lives of… about 30,000 Indians… The actual number of killed and wounded Indians must be very much greater than the number given, as they conceal, where possible, their actual loss in battle… Fifty percent additional would be a safe number to add to the numbers given."

This comes to a minimum of 56,750 Indians killed outright by Euroamericans militarily pushing into native lands during a period roughly conforming to the century spanning the years 1775-1875. Thornton, who has examined the matter closely, suggests that the official number is far too low and might “easily” be doubled.

Demography of Native North America by Lenore A. Stiffarm

During 1763, while striving to defeat Pontiac’s confederation of Ottowas and other peoples:

Sir Jeffrey Amherst, commander-in-chief of the British forces, wrote in a postscript of a letter to Bouquet [a subordinate] that smallpox be sent among the disaffected tribes. Bouquet replied, also in a postscript, “I will try to [contaminate] them with some blankets that may fall into their hands, and take care not to get the disease myself” … To Bouquet’s postscript Amherst replied, “You will do well to [infect] the Indians by means to blankets as well as to try every other method that can serve to extirpate this exorable race.” On June 24, Captain Ecuyer, of the Royal Americans, noted in his journal: “…we gave them two blankets and a handkerchief out of the smallpox hospital. I hope it will have the desired effect.”

It did. The disease spread rapidly among the Mingo, Delaware, Shawnee, and other nations of the Ohio River Valley, killing perhaps 100,000 people and bringing about the collapse of Pontiac’s military alliance.

Demography of Native North America by Lenore A. Stiffarm, with the middle paragraph quoted from The Effects of Smallpox on the Destiny of the Amerindian by E. Wagner Stearn and Allen E. Stearn

extirpate = to root out and destroy completely

[Regarding the ordeal of the Navajo during 1864-68]: This occurred as a result of the Kit Carson Campaign to destroy Navajo agricultural capacity, at the conclusion of which some 9,000 Navajos surrendered. After being gathered together at Fort Defiance, Arizona, the prisoners were then force-marched more than 300 miles — an ordeal called “The Long Walk” in Navajo tradition — to be interred at the Bosque Redondo, adjacent to Fort Sumner, southeast of Santa Fe. The site had been selected as the location for “concentration and maintenance of all captive Indians [in] New Mexico Territory,” but no preparations had been made to accommodate them. Over the next four years, the Indians were forced to live under guard, in holes in the ground, on perpetually short rations, and with a paucity of medical attention. As many as 3,500 of them died during their captivity.
Demography of Native North America by Lenore A. Stiffarm
Even though European settlers imposed new architectural styles and new ideas of urban planning on America, they usually built over existing Indian settlements rather than clearing out new areas of settlement. Subsequent generations of Americans usually forgot that their towns and cities had been founded by Indians. Myths arose about how the colonists literally carved their settlements out of the uninhabited forest … The new settlers of America [merely] continued the same settlement patterns already firmly established by Indians… along the rivers and coasts, with only minimal settlement of the plains and mountains… Few Americans bother to mention that the city of Washington [D.C.] arose on top of Naconchtanke, the main trading town of the Conoy Indians.
Indian Givers by Jack Weatherford
In actuality, fully two-thirds of all the vegetal foodstuffs now consumed by humanity were under cultivation in Native America — and nowhere else — at the moment Columbus first set foot on Hispaniola. An instructive, but by no means exhaustive list of these crops includes corn, potatoes [about 3,000 varieties], yams, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, squash [about 600 varieties], pumpkins, most varieties of beans, all varieties of pepper except black, amaranth, manioc (tapioca), mustard and a number of other greens, sunflowers, cassava, some types of rice, artichokes, avocados, okra, chayotes, peanuts, cashews, walnuts, hickory nuts, pecans, pineapples, bread fruit, passion fruit, many melons, persimmons, choke cherries, papayas, cranberries, blueberries, blackberries, coffee, sassafras, vanilla, chocolate, and cocoa. In order to raise this proliferation of food items, American Indians had perfected elaborate and sophisticated agricultural technologies throughout the hemisphere long before the arrival of the first European. This included intricate and highly effective irrigation systems, ecologically integrated and highly effective planting methods such as milpa and comico, and the refinement of what amounted to botanical experimentation facilities, among other things.
The Stone Age Revisited by M. Annette Jaimes, quoted in Demography of Native North America by Lenore A. Stiffarm

The issue goes to the concept of the “Norman Yoke,” an element of juridical philosophy arising among medieval Anglo-Saxons and subsequently incorporated into the British variants of the Doctrine of Discovery and Rights of Conquest. In simplest terms, the concept, as it was eventually articulated in John Locke’s philosophy of Natural Law, held that any “Christian” (read: European) happening upon “waste land” — most particularly land that was vacant or virtually vacant of human inhabitants — assumed not only a “natural right,” but indeed an obligation to put such land to “productive use.” Having thus performed “God’s will” by “cultivating” and thereby “conquering” the former “wilderness,” its “discoverer” can be said to “own” it. It was upon this peculiar doctrine that Chief Justice of the Supreme Court John Marshall, in his 1823 opinion in the Johnson v. McIntosh case, based the notion that the U.S. holds “inherent and preeminent rights” over Indian lands.

For Marshall’s utilization of the idea of the Norman Yoke to work out for the United States, it was/is necessary to believe that there were very few native people prior to the onset of the European invasion of North America. A substantial precontact native population would imply that the land was for all intents and purposes not vacant. […]

For Eurosupremecists, either historical or contemporary, to admit that the precontact Native North American population had been fifteen million rather than one or two million would compel their admission of a number of other uncomfortable facts. For instance, the larger population figure could only have been sustained by a primary reliance upon extensive agriculture rather than hunting and gathering. This, in turn, means that precontact American Indians were primarily “sedentary” rather than “nomadic,” cultivators of the land, and residents of permanent towns rather than wandering occupants of a “barren wilderness.”

Demography of Native North America by Lenore A. Stiffarm

Regarding the two numbers s/he throws out: They’re both estimates of the pre-European-contact native population of the continental United States.  1-2 million is an old estimate that was derived through pretty shoddy estimation methods and was biased by the wish to downplay the size of the native population and shore up the myth of “No really you guys, the continent was practically empty so it’s totes okay that we stole it!”  15 million is a more recent and much more accurate estimate.

Imagine you live in a nation where the government owns your property. It has a powerful agency called the Bureau of Caucasian Affairs to control wards of the state, including you. The agency supervises your family and decides what is best. It handles your money, enforces morals, personal appearance, and manner of dress. It provides state-approved religion, schooling, and food for your community. This is all done by the superintendent — a government bureaucrat placed in charge of your community with complete control over it. No one can leave without his permission. Like a god, he makes the laws and acts as the police, prosecutor, judge, and jury. The courts cannot review his actions, for they are all, by definition perfectly legal.

Sound like totalitarianism? Nope, it is the abuse of guardianship. For several generations, the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) used its trustee powers to become an intolerant and all-powerful ruler of Indian people, and the courts allowed this anomaly to happen.

In the Courts of the Conqueror by Walter Echo-Hawk
Indian Removal in the early 1800s
"Considering that virtually none of the standard fare surrounding Thanksgiving contains an ounce of authenticity, historical accuracy, or cross-cultural perception, why is it so apparently ingrained? It is necessary to the American psyche to perpetually exploit and debase its victims in order to justify its history?"
"People throughout California regularly burned their land. By doing so they created an environment very much to their liking — one that provided the best habitat for game, one that encouraged the growth of favored food and basketry plants. The landscape of old California, in other words — meadows, oak savannahs, “park-like” areas of great boled oaks and clear understory — was not a “natural” landscape. It was a landscape created by people, in many ways as “artificial” as the farmlands of Europe. Thus, when Spaniards and then others first arrived in California a couple of centuries ago, they did not find (as they fondly imagined) a “pristine wilderness.” They found what was in many ways a garden, a land very much shaped by thousands of years of human history and adapted to human needs."
"

In California and Oregon, things were much worse. As Mooney acknowledged in 1910, “the enormous decrease [in California’s native population] from about a quarter-million to less than 20,000 is due chiefly to the cruelties and wholesale massacres perpetrated by the miners and early settlers.” Actually, the original indigenous population of California was probably three times Mooney’s estimate and still numbered about 300,000 in 1800. Sherburn F. Cook has compiled an excruciatingly detailed chronology of the actions of self-organized white “militias” in northern California, mostly along the Mad and Eel Rivers, for the years 1855-65. The standard technique was to surround an Indian village… in the dead of night, set it ablaze and, if possible, kill everyone inside.

"Much of the killing in California and southern Oregon Territory resulted, directly and indirectly, from the discovery of gold in 1849 and the subsequent influx of miners and settlers. Newspaper accounts document the atrocities, as do oral histories of the California Indians today. It was not uncommon for small groups or villages to be attacked by immigrants… and virtually wiped out overnight."

…Thornton has observed that, “Primarily because of the killings — which some scholars say had been… over 700,000 — [the population] decreased almost by two-thirds in a single decade: from 100,000 in 1849 to 35,000 in 1860.” By 1900, the combined native population of California numbered only 15,377.

"
"

Over the next two centuries [after 1540], wars of outright extermination had been fought by British colonists against “the Indians of Virginia” and nations such as the Pequot (who were among those who had fed the Plymouth Colony on the first “Thanksgiving” in 1620). […]

By the mid-19th century, U.S. policymakers and military commanders were stating — openly, frequently, and in plain English — that their objective was no less than the “complete extermination” of any native people who resisted being dispossessed of their lands, subordinated to federal authority, and assimilated into the colonizing culture. The country was as good as its word on the matter, perpetrating literally hundreds of massacres of Indians by military and paramilitary formations at points all over the West. A bare sampling of some of the worst must include the 1854 massacre of perhaps 150 Lakotas at Blue River (Nebraska), the 1863 Bear River (Idaho) Massacre of some 500 Western Shoshones, the 1864 Sand Creek (Colorado) Massacre of as many as 250 Cheyennes and Arapahoes, the 1868 massacre of another 300 Cheyennes at the Washita River (Oklahoma), the 1875 massacre of about seventy-five Cheyennes along the Sappa Creek (Kansas), the 1878 massacre of still another 100 Cheyennes at Camp Robinson (Nebraska), and the 1890 massacre of more than 300 Lakotas at Wounded Knee (South Dakota). As the U.S. Bureau of the Census put it in 1894:

"It has been estimated that since 1775, more than [8,500 Indians] have been killed in individual affairs with [whites]… The Indian wars under the government of the United States have been more than 40 in number. They have cost the lives of… about 30,000 Indians… The actual number of killed and wounded Indians must be very much greater than the number given, as they conceal, where possible, their actual loss in battle… Fifty percent additional would be a safe number to add to the numbers given."

This comes to a minimum of 56,750 Indians killed outright by Euroamericans militarily pushing into native lands during a period roughly conforming to the century spanning the years 1775-1875. Thornton, who has examined the matter closely, suggests that the official number is far too low and might “easily” be doubled.

"
"

During 1763, while striving to defeat Pontiac’s confederation of Ottowas and other peoples:

Sir Jeffrey Amherst, commander-in-chief of the British forces, wrote in a postscript of a letter to Bouquet [a subordinate] that smallpox be sent among the disaffected tribes. Bouquet replied, also in a postscript, “I will try to [contaminate] them with some blankets that may fall into their hands, and take care not to get the disease myself” … To Bouquet’s postscript Amherst replied, “You will do well to [infect] the Indians by means to blankets as well as to try every other method that can serve to extirpate this exorable race.” On June 24, Captain Ecuyer, of the Royal Americans, noted in his journal: “…we gave them two blankets and a handkerchief out of the smallpox hospital. I hope it will have the desired effect.”

It did. The disease spread rapidly among the Mingo, Delaware, Shawnee, and other nations of the Ohio River Valley, killing perhaps 100,000 people and bringing about the collapse of Pontiac’s military alliance.

"
"[Regarding the ordeal of the Navajo during 1864-68]: This occurred as a result of the Kit Carson Campaign to destroy Navajo agricultural capacity, at the conclusion of which some 9,000 Navajos surrendered. After being gathered together at Fort Defiance, Arizona, the prisoners were then force-marched more than 300 miles — an ordeal called “The Long Walk” in Navajo tradition — to be interred at the Bosque Redondo, adjacent to Fort Sumner, southeast of Santa Fe. The site had been selected as the location for “concentration and maintenance of all captive Indians [in] New Mexico Territory,” but no preparations had been made to accommodate them. Over the next four years, the Indians were forced to live under guard, in holes in the ground, on perpetually short rations, and with a paucity of medical attention. As many as 3,500 of them died during their captivity."
"Even though European settlers imposed new architectural styles and new ideas of urban planning on America, they usually built over existing Indian settlements rather than clearing out new areas of settlement. Subsequent generations of Americans usually forgot that their towns and cities had been founded by Indians. Myths arose about how the colonists literally carved their settlements out of the uninhabited forest … The new settlers of America [merely] continued the same settlement patterns already firmly established by Indians… along the rivers and coasts, with only minimal settlement of the plains and mountains… Few Americans bother to mention that the city of Washington [D.C.] arose on top of Naconchtanke, the main trading town of the Conoy Indians."
"In actuality, fully two-thirds of all the vegetal foodstuffs now consumed by humanity were under cultivation in Native America — and nowhere else — at the moment Columbus first set foot on Hispaniola. An instructive, but by no means exhaustive list of these crops includes corn, potatoes [about 3,000 varieties], yams, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, squash [about 600 varieties], pumpkins, most varieties of beans, all varieties of pepper except black, amaranth, manioc (tapioca), mustard and a number of other greens, sunflowers, cassava, some types of rice, artichokes, avocados, okra, chayotes, peanuts, cashews, walnuts, hickory nuts, pecans, pineapples, bread fruit, passion fruit, many melons, persimmons, choke cherries, papayas, cranberries, blueberries, blackberries, coffee, sassafras, vanilla, chocolate, and cocoa. In order to raise this proliferation of food items, American Indians had perfected elaborate and sophisticated agricultural technologies throughout the hemisphere long before the arrival of the first European. This included intricate and highly effective irrigation systems, ecologically integrated and highly effective planting methods such as milpa and comico, and the refinement of what amounted to botanical experimentation facilities, among other things."
"

The issue goes to the concept of the “Norman Yoke,” an element of juridical philosophy arising among medieval Anglo-Saxons and subsequently incorporated into the British variants of the Doctrine of Discovery and Rights of Conquest. In simplest terms, the concept, as it was eventually articulated in John Locke’s philosophy of Natural Law, held that any “Christian” (read: European) happening upon “waste land” — most particularly land that was vacant or virtually vacant of human inhabitants — assumed not only a “natural right,” but indeed an obligation to put such land to “productive use.” Having thus performed “God’s will” by “cultivating” and thereby “conquering” the former “wilderness,” its “discoverer” can be said to “own” it. It was upon this peculiar doctrine that Chief Justice of the Supreme Court John Marshall, in his 1823 opinion in the Johnson v. McIntosh case, based the notion that the U.S. holds “inherent and preeminent rights” over Indian lands.

For Marshall’s utilization of the idea of the Norman Yoke to work out for the United States, it was/is necessary to believe that there were very few native people prior to the onset of the European invasion of North America. A substantial precontact native population would imply that the land was for all intents and purposes not vacant. […]

For Eurosupremecists, either historical or contemporary, to admit that the precontact Native North American population had been fifteen million rather than one or two million would compel their admission of a number of other uncomfortable facts. For instance, the larger population figure could only have been sustained by a primary reliance upon extensive agriculture rather than hunting and gathering. This, in turn, means that precontact American Indians were primarily “sedentary” rather than “nomadic,” cultivators of the land, and residents of permanent towns rather than wandering occupants of a “barren wilderness.”

"
"

Imagine you live in a nation where the government owns your property. It has a powerful agency called the Bureau of Caucasian Affairs to control wards of the state, including you. The agency supervises your family and decides what is best. It handles your money, enforces morals, personal appearance, and manner of dress. It provides state-approved religion, schooling, and food for your community. This is all done by the superintendent — a government bureaucrat placed in charge of your community with complete control over it. No one can leave without his permission. Like a god, he makes the laws and acts as the police, prosecutor, judge, and jury. The courts cannot review his actions, for they are all, by definition perfectly legal.

Sound like totalitarianism? Nope, it is the abuse of guardianship. For several generations, the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) used its trustee powers to become an intolerant and all-powerful ruler of Indian people, and the courts allowed this anomaly to happen.

"

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Female, bi, cis, white, USAmerican, recent college grad, animu/mango fangirl. Posts an odd mixture of social justice srs bizness, incoherent fandom squee, and Zero Punctuation screencaps. See also: the_sun_is_up@LJ.

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