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

January 1st:
1756: After the attack of the Christianized Indian village of Gnadenhutten, near modern-day Leighton, Pennsylvania on November 24, 1755, by other Indians, British troops are sent in to patrol the area. Today, 2 groups of DELAWAREs, one led by Chief Tedyuscung, attack the troops and farms in the area. Twenty soldiers and several settlers are killed, and the village is burned. The Monrovian Missionaries would abandon the area. They and many of their Indian converts would move to Ohio, and establish another village named Gnadenhutten.
1805: Lewis & Clark attend a party with the local Indians.
1889: Wovoka has a ghost dance vision.
January 2nd:
1838: By today’s date, 3538 CHICKASAWs have arrived in eastern Indian Territory at Fort Coffee.
1881: According to Army reports, Major George Ilges, and a force of 300 men, and 2 pieces of artillery, encounter a group of approximately 400 Poplar Camp SIOUX from Montana on the Missouri River. The SIOUX flee into the woods, but a few cannon rounds induces them to surrender. Ilges will capture over 300 SIOUX, 200 horses, 69 guns of various type, and a sizable quantity of supplies. Eight SIOUX will be killed in the fighting, and 60 will escape.
January 3rd:
1541: On this date, de Soto visits the main CHICKASAW town. He wants to visit Caluca, and he gets guides and interpreters from the CHICKASAW.
1879: U.S.Army Captain Henry Wessells at Fort Robinson, in northwestern Nebraska, receives orders from General Sheridan and Secretary of the Interior Carl Schurz which states that Dull Knife and his CHEYENNEs return to their reservation.
January 4th:
1818: After the fighting in Fowltown, on the Flint River in Georgia opposite Ft. Scott on November 21, 1817, most of the CREEKs have abandoned the village. Today, forces under Andrew Jackson occupy the village. They will methodically destroy it to keep the “Red Stick” CREEKs from returning.
1874: Eskiminzin of the ARAVAIPA APACHE, survivor of Camp Grant massacre and arrested as a “military precaution”, escapes from San Carlos with many of his band. He will return in 4 months because most of his people are sick and hungry.
January 5th:
1806: Sacajawea tells Lewis and Clark she wants to see a dead whale washed up on the beach in Oregon.
1852: One in a series of treaties with California Indians is signed today at Temecula. The treaty is to set aside land and to protect the San Luis Rey Indians from Europeans.
January 6th:
1864: To force the NAVAJOs to move to the Bosque Redondo Encampment, the Army gets Kit Carson to mount an expedition against the NAVAJOs in the Canyon de Chelly. Captain Albert Pfeiffer, and a small force, leaves Fort Canby on this date to meet Carson at the canyon. Carson is called “rope thrower” by the Indians.
1975: The last full-blooded MANDAN dies today in Twin Buttes, North Dakota. She was Mattie Grinnell, and she lived to be 108 years old.
January 7th:
1802: President Thomas Jefferson believes that the Indians have more land than they need. He feels that if they become indebted at the government trade houses, they will sell their lands to pay the debts. He has also voiced the opinion that if they become farmers, they will need less land. Today, he will address the WEA, POTAWATOMI, and MIAMI Indians on that latter issues. He extols the virtues of renewable food and clothing supplies. “We will with pleasure furnish you with implements for the most necessary arts, and with persons who may instruct you how to make and use them.”
1806: Black Fox (Inali) is the Principal Chief of the CHEROKEEs and a signatory to the treaty. He will receive $100 a year, as a part of the treaty. The CHEROKEEs will cede almost 7,000 square miles, in Tennessee and Alabama under this agreement. The treaty will be repudiated by most CHEROKEEs. Lands given away will include the Great Island of the Holston River.
January 8th:
1700: Today, Pierre le Moyne, Sieur d’Iberville, will establish a fort and trading post post on the Mississippi River a few dozen miles south of present day New Orleans. It is his hope to establish friendly relations with the lower Mississippi valley Indians to keep them from allying with the English or the Spanish.
1996: The last native speaker of the CATAWBA language, Red Thunder cloud, dies today in Worcester, Massachusetts. He is 76 years old.
January 9th
1789: The treaty with 6 different nations, which is signed today, refers back to the treaty signed on January 21, 1785. Two Indians will be held as hostages until prisoners held by the Indians are returned. New tribal boundary lines will be established. The Indians will be able to hunt in the lands which are ceded in this treaty, if they do so peacefully. The governor of the Northwest Territory must issue all trade licenses for trade with the Indians. No U.S. citizens will be allowed to live on Indian lands, without the Indians approval. Lands set aside for trading posts in the earlier treaty are confirmed. Signed by 28 Indians, and General Arthur St.Claire at Fort Harmar, near present day Marietta, Ohio.
·         1756: The British Indian Land Commission adopts a law which says that they must approve all sales of Indian lands
1843: Today, all of Pascofa’s APALACHICOLA “SEMINOLEs” (they were really CREEKs who had fled the creek wars and joined the SEMINOLEs) will surrender to Col.Ethan Hitchcock. This will bring an end to this Seminole war. The group will include a total of 50 people.
January 10th
1806: Lewis and Clark meet Shahawacap, CATHLAMAH Chief.
1879: President Rutherford Hayes, by Executive Order, adds to the Gila River Reserve in Pima Agency. This reserve was established February 28, 1859. The order also add to the Pima and Maricopa Indian Reservation. This second part of this order will be canceled on June 14, 1879.
January 11th:
1698: Four French missionaries have been staying with the QUAPAW Indians, on the Mississippi River. They travel downstream, and reach a TUNICA Indian village today. Missionary Davion will decide to stay with the TUNICA to preach to them.
1886: The 1st infantry has engaged APACHEs in the Sierra Madre Mountains of Mexico. For his actions today against “hostiles” under Geronimo and Natchez, First Lt.Marion Maus will be awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor.
January 12th:
1803: The SENECA treaty of June 30, 1802 is ratified, and publicly proclaimed.
1864: The NAVAJOs have been ordered to move to the Bosque Redondo Reservation in New Mexico. Many who decide not to go move to the Canyon de Chelly. Kit Carson has been directed to force the NAVAJOs to move or to be killed as “hostiles”. Carson and Captain Pfeiffer advance to the canyon. On this date, Carson enters the west end of the canyon. They encounter a band of NAVAJOs, and kill 11 of them. While in the canyon, Carson will order the burning of the NAVAJOs’ food and cherished peach trees.
1971: The N.A.A.C.P. Legal Defense Fund, Inc. Today alleges federal funds for Indian education are going to “every conceivable school need except aiding the 177,000 Indian children in public schools.” Their study indicates federal money is going to white schools, or to lower white taxes.
January 13th:
1756: For the next five days, Pennsylvania authorities, and local Indians will hold a council in Carlisle, Pennsylvania. Governor Morris, and several other prominent people will represent the British. The Indians will be represented by Aroas (Silver Heels), Belt of Wampum, Canachquasy, Isaac, Jagrea, Seneca George, and several others. These discussions will lead to the eventual declaration of war against the DELAWAREs and the SHAWNEEs by the British, later in the year.
1834: Joseph Rutherford Walker leaves Monterey, California in route to the east. He will “discover” Walker Pass through the southern Sierra Madre Mountains. This pass will become part of a major emigrant trail to California.”
1902: A law is passed disallowing long hair on Indian men.
January 14th:
1833: Reverend Samuel Worcester is a missionary to the CHEROKEE Nation in Georgia. The state of Georgia ordered all whites living with Indians to swear allegiance to the state of Georgia. Reverend Worcester refuses to do so. On September 16, 1831, Reverend Worcester was sentenced to 4 years at hard labor in a Georgia prison. Even though the Supreme Court rules that it is unconstitutional for Georgia to jail Reverend Worcester, he will not be released until today.
1879: Dull Knife’s CHEYENNE escapees from Fort Robinson, have fortified a position 20 miles from the fort, in northwestern Nebraska. They, again, fight with troops, who use artillery. The artillery is ineffectual, and the Indians escape in the night. The Army estimates their numbers at 45, including 19 warriors. CHEYENNEs captured on January 22, 1879, will say Dull Knife was probably killed during this fight.
January 15th:
1704: On December 14, 1703, 50 South Carolina militia under Governor James Moore, allied with 1,000 CREEK warriors will capture the Spanish Mission of Ayubale in northern Florida. Today, the Spanish Governor of Florida, Juan Ruiz Mexia, will launch an expedition of Spanish soldiers and APALACHEE Indians to re-capture the mission. In the subsequent battle, the Carolina-CREEK forces would be victorious.
1756: After the DELAWARE uprising, many settlers moved to Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. Today a group of settlers, and some friendly Indians will leave the village in hopes of returning to their farms. A group of DELAWAREs will attack the party, and kill all but one of the settlers, and many of the Indians.
1864: Sixty starving NAVAJOs surrender to Kit Carson after the Canyon de Chelly fight.
January 16th:
1831: Mushulatubbe (“Determined to Kill”) says he will step down as Chief when the removal of the CHOCTAWs to Indian Territory begins. He recommends that Peter Pitchlynn replace him as Chief of the Northeastern District.
1854: Citizens from Yreka, California, confront SHASTA Indians over stolen cattle. Four whites are killed. This helps to rekindle the Rogue River War.
January 17th:
1524: Verrazano first lands in North Carolina. He has a baby kidnapped.
1813: As a part of the Detroit campaign, General James Winchester’s forces of 700 Kentucky soldiers attack British and Indian forces at Monroe, Michigan, then called Frenchtown, on the Raisin River. They liberate the village. A counter attack will be waged on January 22, 1813.
1873: After a fight, during efforts to get the MODOCs to return to their reservation, the MODOCs move into the northeastern California lava beds. Captain Jack, Hooker Jim, Curly Headed Doctor, Boston Charley, and Scarface are some of the MODOCs who fight the Army on this day. One the first day, several soldiers are killed. The MODOCs suffer no fatalities. By placing himself in a position which was exposed to the Indians and surviving, Major John Green was able to motivate his troops. For his actions, Major Green was given the Congressional Medal of Honor. Contract Surgeon John O. Skinner was also awarded the Medal of Honor for rescuing a wounded soldier while under heavy fire.
January 18th:
1958: The LUMBEE break up a KKK meeting and make national headlines.
1983: Jim Thorpe’s Olympic medals are given to his heirs.
January 19th:
1847: In Don Fernandez de Taos (now just called Taos, New Mexico), recently installed Governor George Bent is trying to keep Mexican and PUEBLO Indians from revolting (an earlier revolt was prevented). A number of PUEBLO Indians demand the release of some Indians being held in jail. Words are exchanged, and a fight starts. People are killed on both sides. Governor Bent will be attacked, killed, and scalped. The Indians’ plan is to kill all of the Americans they can find. Near Mora, 8 Americans are captured, robbed, and shot. Many Mexicans would join the revolt against the Americans who had captured Santa Fe de San Francisco (now just called Santa Fe, New Mexico) on August 18, 1846.
1870: On this date, Brevet Col.E.M.Baker, and troops F,G,H, and I, 2nd cavalry, and 55 mounted infantry, leave Fort Shaw, near Great Falls, Montana. Their goal is to find, and punish, Mountain Chief, and his band of PIEGANs, believed to be on the Marias River.
January 20th:
1805: Lewis and Clark repair Indian tools for food.
1830: Red Jacket (Sagoyewatha) was a SENECA Chief born around 1779. While he was often called a coward in war, he was respected as a great speaker, and for his refusal to adopt white ways. Following the way of many before him, he would eventually become an alcoholic. He would die today.
January 21st:
1674: Father Pierre Millet “foretells” the coming of today’s lunar eclipse, using an almanac. Challenging IROQUOIS shaman to predict the time or date of the eclipse, which they don’t, Millet will make religious inroads among the IROQUOIS by his successful prediction.
1698: French missionary Father de Montigny reaches the TAENSA Indian village on the Mississippi River, today. He will stay with them to instruct them in his religion.
1785: A treaty signed today calls for Indian hostage to be taken until all Indian prisoners (white and black) are returned. The 4 tribes acknowledge the sole sovereignty of the U.S. new tribal land boundaries are established. No U.S. citizens may live on Indian lands without Indian approval. Land for a military post is set aside at Detroit and Michillimachenac. Signed by 13 Chiefs at Fort Macintosch, in western Pennsylvania.
1805: The DELAWARE treaty of August 18, 1804 is ratified.
January 22nd:
1599: The Spanish attack the ACOMA PUEBLO.
1855: The KALAPUYA sign a treat at Pt. Elliot today.
January 23rd
1689: Today, Saco, in southwestern Maine would be attacked by ABNAKI Indians, one in a series of attacks on the settlement. Nine settlers would be killed in the fighting.
1812: After Tecumseh visited the CREEKs, he told them to wait for a sign which would tell then it was time to begin their uprising against the Europeans. Tecumseh said he would stamp the ground and make every house in Tuckabatchee fall down. Today, the CREEK Nation will be shaken by an earthquake. Many of the younger braves will feel this is the awaited for sign. They will be cautioned by calmer heads to wait for a less ambiguous event.
January 24th
1806: Today, CHEROKEE Chief Doublehead, and 16 others, sign a land cession treaty in Washington. They give up lands on the north side of the Tennessee River and near CHICKASAW lands for a little over $10,000 and a cotton gin and a gristmill. The Chief Do not represent the CHEROKEEs. When the rest of the tribe hears of the treaty, it will be repudiated, at once. Doublehead will be killed for making the agreement.
1814: Today, Andrew Jackson’s force of American soldiers and Indian allies hope to spring a trap on the Red Stick CREEKs, led by William Weatherford. As Jackson’s forces start to cross Enitachopco Creek in Alabama, they will encounter the Red Sticks. Jackson’s initial feint is unsuccessful because his troops do not hold their ground. After assuming personal command of the battle, Jackson rallies his troops, and inflicts considerable losses on the Red Stick Creeks. The CREEKs will lose 189 warriors during this battle and the battle of Emuckfau 2 days ago. Jackson’s force will sustain 20 fatalities.
January 25th
1692: Today, just before dawn, the village of York, Maine, is attacked by 150 ABNAKI warriors, led by Chief Madockawando. The ABNAKI will kill more than 4 dozen settlers, and almost 8 will be taken as prisoners, and then sold or used as slaves. The village and surrounding farms were burned for miles.
1856: The second half of the QUINAULT and QUILEUTE treaty will be signed at Olympia, Washington today. The first half was signed on July 1, 1855.
January 26th
1716: CHEROKEE Chief Caesar has told the English in South Carolina that he would never fight them. He also told the Europeans that they had nothing to fear from the CREEKs, because they wanted peace, too. He offered to arrange for leading CREEKs to go to Charles Town to arrange a peace. Today, 16 CREEK and YAMASSEE representatives arrive at the CHEROKEE village of Tugaloo in northeastern Georgia. The CREEKs and the YAMASSEE know of the CHEROKEE’s desire to remain neutral, or at peace. Rather than talking about peace, the representatives urge the CHEROKEEs to join them in their plan to attack the South Carolina settlements. This so angers the CHEROKEEs, that the representatives are killed.
1875: As many as 40 “Mexican Indians-cattle thieves” allegedly attack a corporal, and 4 soldiers from troop G, ninth cavalry, 18 miles from Ringgold Barracks, Texas. Two of the troopers are killed in the attack. Col. Edward Hatch, and troops B, and G, 9th Cavalry, capture several of the suspects. A coroner’s jury will find 9 “Mexicans” guilty of murdering the troopers.
January 27th
·         1756: As a part of the Pennsylvania DELAWARE uprising, a war party from Susquehanna will attack several settlements in Juniata and Perry counties. During the series of attacks, the DELAWAREs will kill almost two dozen settlers.
1814: Today, in modern day Macon County Alabama, American forces of almost 1,000 militia and Indians will be camped on Callabee Creek near the scene of the battle of Autossee, last November. Red Stick CREEKs will attack their encampment. The Georgia militia and the “friendly” Indians will have 22 killed and almost 150 wounded. The Red Sticks will suffer as well, but they will force the American expedition to leave the area.
1863: General Patrick Connor, and almost 300 California volunteers will fight Bear Hunter’s NORTHERN SHOSHONE on Bear River, north of the Idaho-Utah boundary. The soldiers will report 224 of the warriors will be killed in the fighting, including Bear Hunter. Other sources will put the number nearer to 400, including many women and children. Connor is called “Star Chief” by the Indians. This will be called the “Battle of Bear River” by the Army.
January 28th
1833: Today, a CHEROKEE commission of John Ross, John Baldridge, Richard Taylor, and Joseph Vann, address the Secretary of War in Washington, D.C.. They again state their unwillingness to negotiate with the federal government about removal, while the federal government is not living up to its previous agreements to protect them from the illegal actions of the State of Georgia. The CHEROKEEs are told their only hope is for removal. During subsequent discussions, President Jackson offers the eastern CHEROKEEs 3 million dollars for all of the lands east of the Mississippi River, excluding North Carolina. John Ross asks the President how he will be able to protect the CHEROKEEs in Indian Territory, if he cannot protect them from Georgia. The commission feels that the gold mines on CHEROKEE lands are worth more than the President’s offer.
·         1854: In Oregon, 30 miners attack a peaceful Indian village on the Coquille River. Sixteen Indians are killed.
January 29th
·         1675: Today, John Sassamon will be found under the ice of Assawompsett Pond, 15 miles from the Plymouth. A Christian Indian, and educated at Harvard, Sassamon had recently left living with the whites to become Philip’s aide. He would the leave Philip, return to the colony as a preacher for the local Indians. He would tell the colony of Philip’s plans to attack, but he would not be believed. After his body was found, witnesses would testify in court that 3 WAMPANOAGs murdered Sassamon. Some time later, 1 of the 3 would confess on the gallows, after his rope broke while being hanged. He would be hanged anyway. This episode, was the spark Philip needed for his war.
1832: Folsom’s CHOCTAWs finally reach the Kiamichi River area, their new home. Several people, and lots of animals, die while en route. Cholera will strike all of the groups.
January 30th
1712: Near New Bern, North Carolina, TUSCARORA and COREE Indians have built a fort they call Narhantes. Today, as a part of the TUSCARORA War, several hundred Indians and a few dozen South Carolina settlers, led by Colonel John Barnwell, will attack the fort. The defenders will suffer 62 fatalities, including 10 women. The attackers will lose 6 Indians and 7 Europeans. Sixty of the attackers will be wounded in the fighting which lasted a little less than an hour.
1838: SEMINOLE Chief Osceola dies today at Fort Moultrie, in Charleston, South Carolina. It is believe he has some sort of throat disease, others will say malaria, other say of a broken heart.
January 31st
1646: Jesuits “predict” a lunar eclipse for the HURONs of Ossossane. This accurate prediction, made with the use of an almanac, will lead to many religious conversions.
·         1786: The “SHAWNEE Treaty” signed at Fort Finley by 8 SHAWNEEs. Three Indians will be held hostage until all U.S.citizens held as prisoners are returned. The SHAWNEE will acknowledge the sovereignty of only the United States over the lands ceded by the British under the Treaty of Paris, in 1784. New boundary lines are established for SHAWNEE lands. No U.S.citizens may stay on Indian lands, without Indian approval.
1870: The first acts are taken to establish the White Mountain-San Carlos-Camp Apache Reserve in western Arizona territory, by the Military Division of the Pacific. Major engineer H.M.Robert forwards a map of the proposed reserve to military headquarters in San Francisco for consideration.