April 1, 1866: Congress overrides President Johnson’s veto of the Civil Rights Bill, giving equal rights to all persons born in the U.S. (except Indians). The President is empowered to use the Army to enforce the law.
April 2, 1975: A three day National Conference on Indian Water Rights is convened today in Washington, D.C. Representatives from almost 200 tribes will attend the meeting.
April 3, 1861: White settlers are illegally moving onto Sioux lands near New Ulm, Minnesota. In an effort to improve their illegal standing, today, they petition President Lincoln for protection against the Indians.
April 4, 1840: Comanche Chief Piava arranges an exchange of two prisoners with the residents of San Antonio. Two captives from each side are released.
April 5, 1832: After being removed from Illinois in 1831, Black Hawk, and his Sac followers lived in Iowa. Wanting to return to their old home land, today, Black Hawk, and almost 1000 of his tribe, will cross the Mississippi River back into Illinois. Not much later, they will be attacked by the whites.
April 6, 1875: Black Horse in one of several Southern Cheyenne being sent to prison in St. Augustine, Florida, from the Cheyenne and Arapaho Agency (later called Fort Reno) in west-central Indian Territory, to for their part in the uprisings in Indian Territory, and Texas. While handcuffed, he attempts to escape into the rest of his tribe. He is pursued and mortally wounded by the Army guards under Cpt. Andrew Bennett, 5th Infantry. Several shots miss Black Horse and hit other Cheyenne. The Cheyenne retaliate with a hail of bullets and arrows while almost half the group flees the agency to hide in nearby hills south of the Canadian River. Lt. Col. T.H. Neill, and one company of Infantry, and the troops of Cavalry, pursue the Cheyenne. A fight begins when the soldiers catch up. The fight continues until after sunset. The next day, eleven Indians were found dead. Nineteen were wounded in the engagement. Most of the Cheyenne would eventually return to the agency. Another group of 60-70 Cheyenne, characterized as “some of the worst criminal elements of the tribe” by the Army, flee north to the Platte River country.
April 7, 1788: First settlers arrived at the site of Marietta in Ohio country (Northwest Territory). Gen. Arthur St. Clair followed on July 9 as governor of the Northwest Territory.
April 8, 1944: Ernest Childers Creek from Oklahom is awarded the Medal of Honor for his leadership, initiative and bravery during World War II. He is one of five Native Americans awarded the Medal of Honor in the 20th century.
April 9, 1754: An Indian slave trader sent a letter to South Carolina Gov. J. Glenn asking for permission to use one group of Indians to fight another: “We want no pay, only what we can take and plunder, and what slaves we take to be our own.”
April 10, 1871:On this date, Apaches raid the San Xavier mission, south of Tucson, and steal livestock.
April 11, 1968: The American Indian Civil Rights Act is passed. It includes several titles specifically applying to the U.S. Bill of Rights to Indians in their relations with tribal governments.
April 12, 1870: By executive order, the Fort Berthold Reservation is created in western North Dakota. The reservation is home to the Mandan, Hidatsa and Arikara tribes.
April 13, 1933: Ben Nighthorse Campbell, Northern Cheyenne, is born in Auburn, California. He will become a judo champion, a renowned jeweler, and a U.S. senator from Colorado (1993-2005). For a time, he is the only Native American in Congress.
April 14, 2007: The Morongo Indian reservation in southern California and its 775 adult members reportedly received seven-tenths of their casinoís profits which amounted to roughly $15,000 to $20,000 per person, per month. In 1989 the tribeís average, annual household income was $13,000.
April 15, 1879: Thirty Apaches escape the Army camp of Ojo Caliente, New Mexico, and eventually return to Mexico.
April 16, 1550:Charles V orders a stop to Indian land conquests.
April 17, 1683: According to some sources, representative of Pennsylvania purchase several tracts of land near Schuylkill from the Delaware Indians.
April 18, 1818: Andrew Jackson defeated a force of Indians and African-Americans at the Battle of Suwanee, ending the First Seminole War.
April 19, 1991:Mississippi Choctaw voters reject a referendum proposal (a first) to allow disposal of manufacturing waste products on land near the reservation the tribe proposes to purchase and lease for the landfill.
April 20, 1537: Today, Hernado de Soto receives royal permission to “conquer, pacify, and people” the land from Rio de las Palmas to Cape Fear (Florida) on the Atlantic.
April 21, 1782: The Presidio, overlooking San Francisco, was erected by the Spanish to subdue Indians interfering with mail transmissions along El Camino Real.
April 22, 1889: At high noon, an estimated 50,000 land-hungry people race across a starting line to lay claims on some two million acreas of ìunassignedî land in Indian Territory ñ now Oklahoma. This land rush, and several more, open up additional Indian lands to non-Indian settlement.
April 23, 1637: Chief Sequin, Wongunk, gave settlers land to establish the village of Wetherfield on the Connecticut River. The settlers, who promised he could live there under their protection, eventually ordered him to move. Today Sequin leads his Wongunk forces and 200 Pequot warriors in an attack on Weatherfield. They kill nine settlers and take two hostage.
April 24, 1802: Today, the state of Georgia will cede its western lands to the U.S., with the proviso that the federal government obtain the title to Indian lands as soon as “can be peaceably obtained on reasonable terms.”
April 25, 1645: Settlers in New Amsterdam gained peace with the Indians after conducting talks with the Mohawks.
April 26, 1906: Difficulty in completing tribal rolls and resistance to the allotment process prevents the anticipated demise of the Cherokee, Chickasaw, Choctaw, Creek and Seminole tribes in Oklahoma, so Congress passes an act that extends indefinately the existance and governments of the five tribes. A law is passed granting the U.S. president power to pick the Cherokee Chief.
April 27, 1763: Today, Pontiac will hold a council with a large group of Ottawa, Wyandot and Potawatomi Indians. He will tell them of his plans to attack Fort Detroit. He will extol the virtues of returning to the old Indian ways, before the coming of the Europeans.
April 28, 2007: The Sand Creek National histoic site in Colorado is dedicated. It is a memorial to the masacre of over 150 peaceful Cheyenne and Arapaho Indians by a militia led by Colonel John Chivington.
April 29, 1700: Lemoyne d’Iberville today visits a Pascagoula Indian village, one day’s walk from the French post at Biloxi. The Pascagoula have been hit hard by disease brought by the Europeans. D’Iberville is impressed by the beauty of the Pascagoula women.
April 30, 1961:The Menominee tribe of Wisconsin is terminated from its trust status as a federally recognized sovereign Indian tribe. The tribal rolls are closed, all federal services ended, and the tax exempt status of reservation lands eliminated. Nearly 10 years later, the Menominee regain federal recognition from Congress.