Indigenous Peoples & US Government Chronology

1830 - 1890 - 1998

1830

Indian Removal Act passes Congress, calling for relocation of eastern Indians to an Indian territory west of the Mississippi River. Cherokees contest it in court, and in 1832, the Supreme Court decides in their favor, but Andrew Jackson ignores the decision. From 1831-39, the Five Civilized tribes of the Southeast are relocated to the Indian Territory. The Cherokee "Trail of Tears" takes place in 1838-39.

1830

Influenza epidemic among tribes of British Columbia. In 1830-33, there are outbreaks of European diseases in California and Oregon.

1830-36

George Catlin travels among and paints the Plains Indians.

1832

Black Hawk War in Illinois and Wisconsin between combined Sauk and Fox tribes and the United States.

1833-34

Missouri River Expedition of two Europeans, Prince Maximilian and the painter Karl Bodmer.

1834

Congress reorganizes the Indian offices, creating the U.S. Department of Indian Affairs (still within the War Department). The Trade and Intercourse Act redefines the Indian Territory and Permanent Indian Frontier, and gives the army the right to quarantine Indians.

1835

Texas declares itself a republic independent from Mexico. The Texas Rangers are organized to campaign against the Comanches.

1835-37

Toledo War among the whites (also called the Ohio and Michigan Boundary Dispute).

1835-42

Second Seminole War. Osceola dies in prison in 1838.

1837

Smallpox epidemic among Mandan, Hidatsa, and Arikara tribes of the upper Missouri. From 1837-70, at least four different smallpox epidemics ravage western tribes.

1839-42

Mayan ruins rediscovered in Central America by John Lloyd Stephens and Frederick Catherwood.

1841-42

John Charles Fremont (U.S.) explores the Far West with Kit Carson as a guide.

1843

Russian-Greek Orthodox Church establishes the first mission school for Eskimos in Alaska.

1844

The first issues of the Cherokee Advocate are published in Oklahoma. Federal soldiers confiscate the press.

1845-48

War between the United States and Mexico over the American annexation of Texas. With the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo in 1848, the Spanish Southwest and its many Indian tribes become part of the United States.

1846

Oregon Country becomes part of the United States as a result of a settlement with England.

1846

Paul Kane travels among and paints Indians of southern Canada and the American Northwest.

1847

Mormon settlers reach site of present-day Salt Lake City.

1847

Outbreak of measles among the Cayuses.

1847-50

Cayuse Indian War in Oregon.

1848

Commercial whalers first arrive in Alaska.

1848-49

Gold discovered in California, starting the California Gold Rush and attrition of California and Plains Indians.

1849

Bureau of Indian Affairs transferred from the War Department to the Department of the Interior.

1849

The Courthouse Rebellion in Canada, involving the Metis of the Red River.

1850

The first of a series of treaties between Canada and Canadian tribes are enacted, a policy continuing until 1923.

1850-51

Mariposa War in California between miners, and Miwoks and Yokuts.

1850-60

Cholera epidemic among the Indians of the Great Basin and southern plains.

1851

Yuma and Mojave Uprising in California and Arizona.

1851

Treaty of Fort Laramie between whites and tribes of the northern plains.

1853

Gadsden Purchase. American acquisition from Mexico of lands in New Mexico, Arizona, and California.

1853-54

Liquidation of northern portion of the Indian Territory, with creation of the state of Kansas and Nebraska Territory.

1853-56

United States acquires 174 million acres of Indian lands through 52 treaties, all of which are subsequently broken by whites.

1854

Commissioner of Indian Affairs calls for end of the Indian removal policy.

1854

Grattan Affair in Wyoming, involving the Sioux.

1855

Walla Walla Council in Washington between white officials and tribes of the Columbia Plateau.

1855-56

Yakima War in Washington, involving the Yakimas, Walla Wallas, Umatillas, and Cayuses.

1855-56

Rogue River War in Oregon, involving the Takelmas and Tututnis.

1855-58

Third Seminole Uprising in Florida.

1857

Battle of Solomon Fork in Kansas, involving the Cheyennes.

1858

Coeur d'Alene War or Spokane War in Washington involving the Coeur d'Alenes, Spokanes, Palouses, Yakimas, and Northern Paiutes.

1858-59

Colorado Gold Rush (Pike's Peak Gold Rush).

1860

British government transfers control of Indian affairs to the Canadian provinces.

1860

Paiute War (also called the Pyramid Lake War) in Nevada, involving the Southern Paiutes.

1861-65

Civil War. In 1861, the Confederate government organizes a Bureau of Indian Affairs. Most tribes remain neutral. The South, however, makes promises to Indians concerning the return of their tribal lands to encourage their support. After the war, as punishment for their support of the Confederacy, the Five Civilized Tribes are compelled to accept a treaty relinquishing the western half of the Indian Territory to 20 tribes from Kansas and Nebraska.

1861-63

Apache uprisings under chiefs Cochise and Mangas Colorado in the Southwest, resulting from the Bascom Affair.

1862

Homestead Act opens up Indian land in Kansas and Nebraska to white homesteaders, who are deeded 160-acre plots after inhabiting them for five years.

1862-63

Santee Sioux stage an uprising in Minnesota under Chief Little Crow. In 1863-64, it spreads to North Dakota and involves the Teton Sioux as well. Thirty-eight Indians are sentenced and hanged.

1863

Shoshoni War (also called the Bear River Campaign) in Utah and Idaho, involving the Western Shoshonis.

1863-66

Navajo War in New Mexico and Arizona. In 1864, Navajo prisoners are forced on the "Long Walk" to Bosque Redondo. Manuelito surrenders in 1866.

1864-65

Cheyenne-Arapaho War in Colorado and Kansas. In 1864, Chivington's Colorado Volunteers kill more than 300 Indians in the Sand Creek Massacre.

1864

Indians regarded as competent witnesses under federal law and allowed to testify in trials.

1865

United States gives contract to Protestant missionary societies to operate Indian schools.

1865-66

Jesse Chisholm, a mixed-blood, opens the Chisolm Trail.

1865-73

Mexican Kickapoo Uprising in the Southwest.

1866

Railroad Enabling Act appropriates Indian lands for railway use.

1866-68

War for the Bozeman Trail in Wyoming and Montana, involving the Sioux, Cheyennes, and Arapahos under Chief Red Cloud. A second Fort Laramie Treaty resolves the conflict in 1868.

1866-68

Snake War in Oregon and Idaho, involving Northern Paiute bands of Yahuskins and Walpapis.

1867

British North American Act establishes Confederation of Canada. First Dominion Parliament assembled. In 1868, an Indian Act shapes new administrative machinery for Indian affairs.

1867

United States purchases Alaska from Russia, adding Eskimo and Aleut population to its own.

1867

Hancock Campaign against the Cheyennes and Arapahos on the central plains.

1867

Treaty of Medicine Lodge in which Plains tribal leaders accept permanent lands within the Indian Territory.

1867

"Peace Commission" makes a survey of Indian affairs and recommends that the current treaty process be abandoned. This commission and the Nez Perce Indians negotiate the last of 370 treaties between the federal government and tribes.

1868

Commissioner of Indian Affairs estimated that Indian Wars in the West are costing the government $1 million per Indian killed.

1868

Indians are denied the right to vote as a result of the 14th Amendment.

1868-69

Southern Plains War (also called the Sheridan Campaign), involving the Cheyennes, Sioux, Arapahos, Kiowas, and Comanches.

1869

President Grant's so-called "Peace Policy" is inaugurated and lasts until 1874.

1869

Brigadier General Ely Parker (Donehogawa), a Seneca, becomes the first Indian commissioner of Indian Affairs, serving until 1871.

1869

Transcontinental railroad completed; the Union Pacific and Central Pacific join up at Promontory Point, Utah.

1869

Hudson's Bay Company sells its vast holdings of land (Rupert's Land) to the Dominion of Canada.

1869

First Riel Rebellion in Canada of Red River Metis.

1869-70

Smallpox epidemic among Canadian Plains Indian including Blackfeet, Piegans, and Bloods.

1869-72

John Wesley Powell, geologist and ethnologist, explores the Colorado River and Grand Canyon.

c. 1870-90

Use of peyote spreads from Mexican Indians to Comanches, Kiowas, and other tribes.

1870

President Grant gives control of Indian agencies to 12 different Christian denominations instead of army officers.

1871

Treaty-making period formally ends as Congress passes law forbidding further negotiations of treaties with Indian tribes. The Cherokee Tobacco Case of 1870, ruling that the Cherokees are not exempt from taxes on produce (as established in an earlier treaty), sets the stage for the new law. Indians are now to be subject to acts of Congress and executive orders.

1871

General Sheridan issues orders forbidding western Indians to leave reservations without permission of civilian agents.

1871

White hunters begin wholesale killing of buffalo.

1871

Indian burial grounds invaded by whites seeking bones for manufacture of buttons.

1872-73

Modoc War in California and Oregon. Indian leader Captain Jack hanged in 1873.

1872-73

Crook's Toronto Basin Campaign against the Apaches and Yavapais in the Southwest.

1873

First International Indian Fair held in Oklahoma.

1874

North West Mounted Police organized in Canada.

1874

Gold discovered in the Black Hills of South Dakota. Treaties protecting Indian lands ignored by miners.

1874-75

Red River War on the Southern Plains, involving the Comanches, Kiowas, and Cheyennes, under Quanah Parker.

1876

Canada enacts Canadian Indian Act which defines Indian policy and gives individual Indians the right to seek enfranchisement as Canadian citizens by renouncing their rights and privileges as Indians.

1876-77

Sioux War for the Black Hills, involving the Sioux, Cheyennes, and Arapahos, under Sitting Bull and Crazy Horse. In 1876, the Battle of Little Bighorn.

1877

Blackfeet cede land to the Dominion of Canada.

1877

Flight of the Nez Perce under Chief Joseph in the Northwest.

1877-80

Apache Resistance in the Southwest under Victorio.

1878

Bannock War in Idaho and Oregon, involving the Bannocks, Northern Paiutes, and Cayuses.

1878

Congress makes appropriation to provide for Indian Police, a policy which in 1883 brings about the Court of Indian Offenses with authorization for tribal units to administer justice in all but major crimes. In the Major Crimes Act of 1885, federal courts are formally given jurisdiction over Indian cases involving major crimes.

1878-79

Flight of the Northern Cheyennes under Dull Knife on the plains.

1879

Sheepeater War in Idaho.

1879

Ute War in Colorado.

1879

Richard Pratt founds the Carlisle Indian School in Pennsylvania, with the philosophy of assimilating Indians into white culture.

1879

Bureau of American Ethnology, a branch of the Smithsonian, is founded for anthropological studies.

1879

Federal Court at Omaha, Nebraska, responding to a habeas corpus trial brought by Standing Bear, a Ponca, gives Indians the right to sue.

1879-85

Many "Friends of the Indian" organizations are founded, including Indian Protection Committee, Indian Rights Association, Women's National Indian Association, and National Indian Defense Association.

1881

Sitting Bull and his band of 187 surrender to officials at Fort Buford, North Dakota.

1881

Court of Claims is opened to Indians when the Choctaws are granted access to it.

1881-86

Apache Resistance under Geronimo in the Southwest. Geronimo surrenders in 1886.

1884

Canadian Parliament passes the Indian Advancement Act, encouraging "Democratic" election of chiefs by Indian bands. The Mohawks at St. Regis, Ontario, resist the provision, wanting to keep their traditional method of choosing leaders.

1884

Canada outlaws the Potlatch Ceremony among Northwest Coast Indians.

1884

Congress acknowledges the rights of Eskimos to Alaskan territorial lands.

1885

Last great herd of buffalo exterminated.

1885

Second Riel Rebellion of Metis living along the Saskatchewan River in Canada. Cree Indians surrender to Dominion troops.

1885

Canadian Pacific transcontinental railroad is completed.

1886

Mohawk Indians of the Caughnawaga Reserve in Quebec are trained in high-steel construction to work on a bridge across the St. Lawrence River. This starts a tradition among the Iroquois.

1887

Congress passes the General Allotment Act (the Dawes Act) in which reservation lands are given to individual Indians in parcels. Indian lose millions of acres of land.

1889

Two million acres of the Indian Territory are bought from Indians and given to white settlers for the Land Run.

1890

Ghost Dance Movement led by the Paiute prophet Wovoka gains influence among western Indians. At Wounded Knee, United States troops massacre 350 Sioux Indians en route to a Ghost Dance celebration.

1998

San Carlos Apache Tribal Government is taken over by the people. The first time since confinement the people gathered as the nation.

 

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