December in Native American History
by Phil Konstantin            Copyright © Phil Konstantin (1996-2013)

December 1st
1805: To renegotiate the flint River Treaty of November 3, 1804, the United States invites 6 CREEK Chiefs to Washington to meet with Secretary of War Henry Dearborn. They agree to pay the CREEKs $206,000 for their two million acres instead of $200,000. But, the payments will be made over ten years, instead of in cash. The CREEK also agree to allowing a road through their lands. 1831: Peter Pitchlynn, and 400 other CHOCTAWs, board the steamer Brandywine in Memphis today. The steamer will transport them up to the Arkansas Post on the White River.
December 2nd
1761: No land grants for Indian lands in British territories now are made without the Crown’s approval.
1794: A treaty is concluded today with the ONEIDA, TUSCARORA, and STOCKBRIDGE Indians, at Oneida, New York. The treaty is a gesture of thanks for the tribes help during the Revolutionary war. They will receive $5000 for damages suffered during the war. Grist and saw mills will be built, and salary for their workers will be provided for three years. They will receive $1000 to build a church. No further claims will be made by the tribes. The treaty is signed by Thomas Pickering for the United States, and by 11 Indians.
Every: Today is the PAPAGO festival
December 3rd
1598: Zaldivar “discovers” ACOMA.
1837: Accompanied by CHEROKEE mediators, Mikanopy, and 30 other SEMINOLE leaders arrive at Fort Mellon, near St.Augustine, Florida, today, under a flag of truce, to discuss peace. The CHEROKEE mediators were there with the approval of the Secretary of War. General Thomas Jesup, much to the shame of the CHEROKEEs, takes the SEMINOLEs hostage. Jesup hopes to force the SEMINOLEs to surrender by holding their leaders as prisoners.
December 4th
1598: Spanish and ACOMA forces engage in a fight.
2000: Today, Secretary of Energy Bill Richardson signed an agreement which returns to the NORTHER UTEs approximately 85,000 acres of land in Utah. The land had been appropriated by the U.S. Congress took from them eighty-four years ago.
December 5th
1787: Today, an Indian war party will attack several settlements in western Virginia, along Hacker’s Creek. Four settlers will be killed in the fighting.
1835: Today, members of the Georgia Guard will arrest CHEROKEE Principal Chief John Ross at his home. Also arrested in historian John Howard Payne. Payne, the author of the song “Home, Sweet Home”, was writing a history of the CHEROKEE people. They are be arrested so they will not be able to attend the “New Echota Treaty” conference.
December 6th
1748: Shikellamy, also called Swataney, was an IROQUOIS Half-King in Pennsylvania, living among the ONEIDA. He attended many conferences in Philadelphia, and he was known for his oratory. He was instrumental in abolishing the sales of liquor to Indians in his area. Later becoming a Christian, he died at Sunbury (Shamokin) on this date. His name meant “Our Enlightener”.
1830: President Jackson supports CHEROKEE removal -p.55
December 7th
1804: Lewis & Clark go on a buffalo hunt with Big White.
1831: The CHOCTAW removal process has begun. Indian Commissioners John Eaton, and John Coffee, meet with the CHOCTAWs and the CHICKASAWs on Oaka Knoxabee Creek today. They again discuss the possibility of the CHICKASAWs sharing areas in the Indian Territory that have been set aside for the CHOCTAWs. They propose that the CHICKASAWs get 1/4 of the CHOCTAWs allotment. No agreement is reached.
December 8th
1780: John Sevier, and volunteers from North Carolina, soundly defeat the CHICKAMAUGA CHEROKEEs in a fight at Boyd’s creek, Tennessee. 1829: Today, in his first “State of the Union Address,” President Andrew Jackson will state his goal to remove all Indians in the southeastern part of the United States to lands west of the Mississippi. A law to that effect would pass Congress on May 28, 1830.
December 9th
1729: The NATCHEZ send 2 Indians to visit the TUNICAs today. The NATCHEZ want them to join them in a war against the French. The TUNICA will refuse.
1778: Virginia annexes land. December 10th
1834: William Marshall, representing the United States, and POTAWATOMI Indians will sign a treaty today at Tippecanoe. Six sections of land will be traded annual payments of $1000, and a small amount of supplies.
1836: The second part of the fifth group of “friendly” CREEKs, approximately 1600 in number, arrive at Fort Gibson, in eastern Indian Territory. The total of both groups will be 2237. The gains will come from stragglers of earlier groups.
December 11th
1753: French, under Legardeur de Saint-Pierre, are at Fort le Boeuf on French Creek, near present day Waterford, in northwestern Pennsylvania. Major George Washington arrives today delivering a message from Virginia Governor Dinwiddie. The message says the French are trespassing, and to leav
1833: Captain Page, and almost 700 CHOCTAWs, reach their destination at Fort Towson, in eastern Indian Territory. The others in the group had split off and gone to Fort Smith.
December 12th
1729: Today, the YAZOO Indians will attack French Fort St.Pierre in southern Louisiana. The YAZOO have joined the NATCHEZ in their fight against the French. They will kill all 17 of the soldiers at the fort. They give the women and children to the CHICKASAWs as slaves.
1791: Report of St.Clair’s defeat reaches the Army. December 13th
1763: Lancaster County, Pennsylvania faces a series of Indian attacks.
1801: In treaty negotiations which begin today at Fort Adams, Missisissippi, between the CHOCTAW and the United States, the U.S. agrees to provide training in the spinning of cotton and spinning wheels. The conference will last through December 18th.
December 14th
1703: Today, a small militia from the Carolinas, of 50 men led by Colonel James Moore, and almost 1,000 CREEK Indians, attack the APALACHEE Indian village of Ayubale, near modern day Tallahassee. After a 9 hour battle the Carolina-CREEK allies are victorious. The APALACHEE were allied with the Spanish. Upon hearing of the battle, Spanish soldiers would march from a nearby fort to counterattack on January 15, 1704. Moore’s force would defeat the Spanish, as well. According to Moore’s records, over 200 of the pro-Spanish Indians would die in the fighting.
1742: Settlers have finally moved into the valley of Virginia. Indians from the north have attacked several settlements and CATAWBAs Indians in the area. A European militia is formed to find the war party. Today, in what would be the first significant engagement in the valley, the Indians and the militia would fight on the North Fork of the Potomac River. Numerous Indians, and 8 settlers, including Captain John McDowell, will die in the fighting.
December 15th
1855: Governor Stevens gets NEZ PERCE honor guard. 1869: The military guard at Bunker Hill Station, Kansas, repels an attack by Indians with no significant injuries.
December 16th
1811: The New Madrid earthquake takes place today on the Mississippi River. Many tribes will tell tales of this event for generations.
1834: Signed at Potawattimie Mills, Indiana, today, a treaty ceding 2 parcels of land for $700 and the canceling of some outstanding debts by the POTAWATOMI Indians and William Marshall.
December 17th
1754: According to some reports a land cession agreement is reached today by representatives of the British and the “SIX NATIONS.”
1890: Sitting Bull and the police killed during his arrest are buried with honor. Today, members of the HUNKPAPA SIOUX arrive at Big Foot’s camp of MINNECONJOU SIOUX seeking refuge. However, today will also see the issuing of an arrest warrant for Big Foot, himself, for his part as a “trouble maker” in the ghost dance religion.
December 18th
1812: After successfully attacking, and burning, 2 peaceful MIAMI and DELAWARE Indian villages, and fighting to a draw in another village, yesterday. Col. John Campbell, and almost 600 American volunteers have camped for the night near on of the destroyed villages on the Mississinewa River. They are there to prevent the hitherto peaceful tribes from joining Tecumseh’s Rebellion, and attacking William Henry Harrison’s rear flank as he engages Detroit. The MIAMIs consider yesterday’s attacks on villages who had pledged not to support Tecumseh’s “Rebellion” as nothing more than an unprovoked massacre. Today the MIAMI’s mount a retaliatory raid against Campbell’s camp before dawn. They will kill 10 soldiers, and wound 48 more, before they withdraw. Campbell will give up his expedition along the river after this attack.
1835: Today, near Micanopy, Florida, a military baggage caravan has separated from its main force while marching from Jacksonville to Wetumpka. A group of SEMINOLEs, led by Osceola, will attack the soldiers, killing most of them. This battle will be called the “Battle of Black Point”; and, according to some historians, will be the first battle of the Second SEMINOLE War.
December 19th
1675: NARRAGANSETTs under Chief Canonchet battle with Plymouth Governor Josiah Winslow with 970 men from Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Plymouth. Statistics of the fight are: colonists lose 70-80 men, 150 wounded, Indians lose 600 dead, half of them warriors.
1813: Today, a combined force of Indians warriors and British soldiers will attack, and capture Fort Niagara, in New York. The American defenders will sustain 60 fatalities and 350 will be captured. Later, the victorious Indians would also capture nearby Lewiston.
December 20th
1803: New Orleans becomes part of the United States.
1812: Sacajawea dies @ Ft. Manuel, South Dakota, according to some sources.
December 21st
1759: According to some reports, a conference covering peace and the resumption of trade is held for the next 8 days between representatives of the British in North Carolina and the CHEROKEEs. 1804: The 2 treaties the CHEROKEEs signed with Return Meigs are sent to the Senate today for consideration. The CHEROKEEs will give up over four million acres for almost $20,000.
December 22nd
1769: The SHAWNEE capture Daniel Boone
1830: The State of Georgia prohibits whites from being on CHEROKEE land without a permit.
December 23rd
1804: MANDANs offer Lewis and Clark food as trade.
1813: Today, almost 850 militia from Natchez, led by Brigadier General Ferdinand Claiborne, and 150 CHOCTAWs, led by Chief Pushmataha, will attack the Red Stick CREEKs at a secret holy site, called the Hickory Ground, in present day Lowndes County, Alabama. Although Red Stick Chief William Weatherford (Lume Chathi – Red Eagle) will survive by jumping off a cliff on his horse into the Alabama River, the CREEKs will lose the battle. This will be called “The Battle of Econochaca” or “The Battle of the Holy Ground.” Along with losing approximately 33 Red stick warriors, the CREEKs will lose many prophets, as well. This will be a serious blow to their moral. The Americans reported only 1 soldier being killed.
December 24th
1721: Today, French explorer Benard de la Harpe will start an expedition up the Arkansas River. Leading 16 men, he will travel all the way to the mountains. He will return and recommend establishing a trading posts along this route to New Mexico.
1776: Washington asks the PASSAMAQUODDY for help in the Revolutionary War.
December 25th
1611: In September, Sir Thomas Dale is leading a band of Jamestown colonists up the James River with the intention of establishing a new settlement. When they reach an APPOMATTOC village, 20 men are killed in the night by APPOMATTOC women who had invited them to spend the night with them. Today, Dale will burn the main APPOMATTO village as retribution for the earlier attack. Dale would eventually build a settlement called Bermuda Hundred at that spot. 1780: John Sevier, and additional troops from Virginia, burns the CHEROKEE town of Chota, Tennessee, and several nearby villages. December 26th
1620: The Plymouth Plantation is established. 1734: Rev.Richard Treat of Glastonbury, Connecticut, will start teaching English, and religion, today to the WANGUNKs, close to Middletown.
December 27th
1761: Europeans have established several settlements in the “Long Canes” area of southern Carolina. Today, CREEKs, under Chief “The Mortar”, will attack the area killing 14 settlers.
1763: Angry white vigilantes, called “the Paxton Boys” will break into a building housing the 14 CONESTOGA, Pennsylvania Indians not killed in the attack on December 14th. The whites will kill all of the Indians, including women and children, while they prayed. Benjamin Franklin will write the broadside “Narrative of the late massacres in Lancaster county” condemning the white attackers for brutalizing the innocent Conestogas.
1952: Phil Konstantin, author of these pages and a member of the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma, was born today. Thanks, Mom and Dad!
December 28th
1791: Today, CHEROKEE Chief Bloody Fellow, and others, arrive in Philadelphia to meet with President Washington. The meeting will be delayed by Secretary of War Knox until the CHEROKEEs have been outfitted in “more proper” clothing. The eventual meeting would lead to an addenda to the Holston Treaty which will be signed on February 17,1792.
1835: 2nd SEMINOLE War: Wiley Thompson, SEMINOLE Agent, Lt.Constantine Smyth, and Erastus Rogers, are killed by anti-removal SEMINOLEs at Fort King, near present day Ocala in the northcentral part of Florida. Major Francis L.Dade’s company of troops are marching from Fort Brooke on Tampa Bay, to Fort King. Near the Little Withlacoochee River, near present day Bushnell. They will be attacked by 180 SEMINOLEs. Of a total of 112 soldiers, only 3 will survive. Chief Micanopy is credited by many as firing the first shot which killed Major Dade. Chief Jumper killed Dade’s adjutant. Only 3 SEMINOLEs will be killed. Osceola led the SEMINOLEs on several skirmishes this day. Today will be considered the start of the Second SEMINOLE War by the U.S. Army.
December 29th
1776: John McClelland’s station was a settlement near present day Lexington, Kentucky. Today, MINGOs, under Chief Pluggy, will attack the stockade. Men would be killed on both sides, including both forces leaders. The Indians would eventually give up the attack.
1830: Nine local missionaries, issue a proclamation defending the CHEROKEEs against the actions of Georgia. Georgia is trying to remove the cherokee from their lands, in New Echota, today. Eventually. Georgia will pass a law sentencing anyone living in CHEROKEE territory to 4 years of hard labor, if they have not sworn allegiance to Georgia.
1890: Wounded Knee Battle or Massacre (depending on which version you read) The Army will give Congressional Medals of Honor to the following soldiers: Sergeant William G. Austin, for “using every effort to dislodge the enemy”; company E musician John E. Clancy: “twice voluntarily rescued wounded comrades under fire of the enemy”; Private Mosheim Feaster, company E, for “extraordinary gallantry”; First Lieutenant Ernest A.Garlington for “distinguished gallantry”; First Lieutenant John C. Gresham for leading an attack into a ravine; Sergeant Richard P.Hanley, company C, for recovering a pack mule loaded with ammunition, while under heavy fire; Private Joshija B. Hartzog, company E, 1st artillery, for rescuing his wounded commander while under heavy fire; Second Lieutenant Harry L. Hawthorne, 2nd artillery, for distinguished conduct; Private Marvin C. Hillock, company B, for distinguished bravery; Private George Hobday, company A, for conspicuous and gallant conduct; Sergeant George Loyd, company I, for bravery, especially after being severely wounded through the lung; Sergeant Albert McMillian, company E, for leading by example; Private Thomas Sullivan, company E, for conspicuous bravery; First Sergeant Frederick Toy, company C, for bravery; First Sergeant Jacob Trautman, company I, for “killing a hostile Indian at close quarters” and remaining with the troops even though he was entitled to retire; Sergeant James Ward, company B, for fighting after being severly wounded; Corporal Paul Weinert, company E, for assuming command of his artillery piece when his officer was wounded; and Private Hermann Ziegner, company E, for conspicuous bravery.
December 30th
1805: The PIANKESHAW sign a treaty today (Wabash).
1847: During the CAYUSE War, Col. Gilliam, and 160 men, are attacked by some Indians near Wailatpu.
December 31st
1794: After agreeing to a peace with the United States on November 7th, today the CHEROKEE and CHICKAMAUGA Indians, and the U.S. will exchange prisoners, this will effectively end the CHICKAMAUGA War.
1813: Indian, and British forces, under General Phineas, will attack Buffalo, New York today. They will burn the small village to the ground. Settlers will return soon, and rebuild.