June 1, 1934: A legal definition of “Indian” is made today.
June 2, 1999: American Indians filed a class action lawsuit against the major tobacco companies charging that they were excluded from the $206 billion settlement reached with 46 states last November.
June 3, 1833: Today, Secretary of War Lewis Cass gives orders directly to the U.S. Marshal’s office to remove white settlers and trespassers from Creek lands in Alabama.
June 4, 1871: Gen. George Crook takes command of the Department of Arizona, today. He believes the Indians should be treated fairly, but kept under control.
June 5, 1866: This day will start the formal treaty conference at Fort Laramie in southeastern Wyoming. Leaders from many tribes and bands will be present. The purpose of the treaty will be to allow passageway for trails, roads and railroad lines across Indian lands. The meeting will be postponed for almost a week, at Red Cloud’s request, to allow for the arrival of additional Indians.
June 6, 1868: On this date, Capt. D. Monahan and troops from troops G and I, 3rd Cavalry, leave Fort Sumner in western New Mexico. The troops are chasing a group of Navajo Indians, who have been accused of killing four settlers about 12 miles from the fort. After following their trail for 100 miles, the army surprises the Navajos, who are in a ravine. The army reports killing three Indians, and wounding 11; the rest escape. No soldiers are killed.
June 7, 1494: The “new world” is divided between Spain and Portugal by the Catholic church.
June 8, 1871: When confronted at Fort Sill, in south-central Indian territory, about knowing anything about the attack on the wagons loaded with corn on May 15 on the Butterfield trail, Satanta said he was the leader of the raid. Satanta tells the agent that Santak, Big Tree and others were with him. Gen. Sherman places the three Indians under arrest and handcuffed. While being transported back to Fort Richardson in north-central Texas, Satank manages to work free from his handcuffs. He then attacks a guard with a hidden knife. Satank grabs a rifle from another guard, but he is shot and killed by the remaining soldiers. His body will be thrown in a ditch, and the group will continue to Texas.
June 9, 1870: Ely Parker (Donehogawa), commissioner of Indian Affairs, invites Red Cloud and several other Sioux to visit him and the Great Father in Washington. Red Cloud meets President Ulysses Grant. Red Cloud tells Grant the Sioux do not want a reservation on the Missouri River. Red Cloud also talks about some of the promises made in the treaty, which were not actually included. They have a cordial meeting, but Grant knows the difference between the items promised, and the items actually in the treaty are grounds for contention in the future. He suggests the Indians be read the treaty in its entirety soon.
June 10, 1872: An Act of Congressional today (17 stat. 391) will further define the Sauk and Fox reserve in Kansas.
June 11, 1752: Today, while at a conference with British authorities, Chief Shingas will be named sachem or king of the Delawares by Tanacharison of the Iroquois. The Delawares were subjugated by the Iroquois.
June 12, 1855: Walla Walla Conference: Gov. Stevens bypassed the entire structure of the American Constitutional System, giving Congress sole power to ratify treaties.
June 13, 1715: As a part of the Yamasee War, South Carolina militia, led by George Chicken, battle coastal Indians. The fight, which took place near the ponds on Goose Creek, resulted in a defeat for the Indians. The Indians sustained 40 fatalities. Many of the coastal Indians would withdraw their support for the war after this defeat.
June 14, 1671: France claims most of America.
June 15, 1742: According to some reports, a conference regarding friendship and land cessions was held for the next four days between representatives of the British in New York and the Six Nations.
June 16, 1636: Jonathan Brewster, trader from Plymouth, conveys message from Uncas, chief of the Mohegans, that the Pequots plan a preemptive strike against the English.
June 17, 1967: John Stands in Timber, Northern Cheyenne, whose grandfather was killed by Custer, dies. He was the self-appointed keeper of the oral literature of his tribe, and with anthropologist Margot Liberty he produced the classic book “Cheyenne Memories,” in which he recounts his people’s traditions.
June 18, 1999: The Native American Church of North America made an agreement with U.S. Department of Defense officials at its 50th annual convention to allow Native Americans to use peyote in religious services.
June 19, 1971: The Mohawk Nation honors New York tribal members Ray and Christine Fadden. For over 20 years, Ray taught young Mohawks about their culture. He also founded the Six Nations Museum in Onchiota, which exhibits an impressive collection of historical Iroquois artifacts.
June 20, 2011: A U.S. federal judge agreed to a $3.4 billion settlement over mismanaged Indian royalties. The 15-year suit represents the largest ever approved against the U.S. government.
June 21, 1856: Non-hostile Indians along the lower Rogue River and at Fort Orford in southwestern Oregon, are put on a boat to be moved to a new reservation between the Pacific Ocean and the Willamette River. It is called the Grande Ronde Reservation.
June 22, 1763: Colonists in the west Pennsylvania had, at the outbreak of war, fled to safety in the large Fort Pitt (present town Pittsburg). But even this fort was attacked by indians — mainly Delaware Indians — however, without being able to take it. Instead, they kept it under siege until the whole month of July out.
June 23, 1704: Former governor of South Carolina, James Moore, led a force of 50 British and 1,000 Creek Indians against Spanish settlements. They attacked a mission in northwestern Florida. They took many Indians as slaves and killed Father Manuel de Mendoza.
June 24, 1832: Rev. Samuel Worcester has been arrested and convicted of living and working among the Cherokees without having a state permit or having sworn an oath of allegiance to the state of Georgia. Today, the Supreme Court rules that the state of Georgia has unfairly tried to exercise control over the Cherokees contrary to federal law and treaties. The court will strike down most of the anti-Indian laws passed by Georgia, including those seizing their lands and nullifying tribal laws. Before the trail, President Andrew Jackson officially stated that he has no intention of supporting the Cherokees over the state of Georgia. Speaking to the court’s decision today, Jackson would be quoted as saying, “John Marshall has rendered his decision; now let him enforce it.” Jackson would ignore the Supreme Court ruling and continue in his efforts to move the Cherokees out of the south and into the Indian territory.
June 25, 1876: In the Battle of Greasy Grass — aka The Battle of Little Bighorn, aka Custer’s Massacre — Lakota and Cheyenne warriors annihilate Col. George Custer and his troops. Col. George Custer is commanding troops C,E,F,I and L; Maj. Marcus Reno has troops A,G and M. Capt. Frederick Benteen leads Troops H,D and K. Capt. Thomas McDougall guards the supply wagons with Troop B. It is a significant defeat for the U.S. Army. Army reports list 13 officers, 189 enlisted men and four civilians are killed in Custer’s command. Reno’s troops split from Custer’s. According to army documents, Lt. Donald McIntosh, Lt. B.H. Hodgson, 46 soldiers and one civilian are killed. Capt. Benteen, Lt. C.A. Varnum and 44 soldiers are wounded in the fighting, which lasts through tomorrow. Army reports do not list how many Indians were killed or wounded in this defeat for the army. The following soldiers receive Congressional Medals of Honor for action.
June 26, 1791: American negotiators, led by William Blount, will begin the Treaty of Holston negotiations today with the Cherokees. The treaty will be signed on July 2, 1791.
June 27, 1542: Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo will leave Mexico today to go up the Pacific coast in exploration. Cabrillo will be the first European to land in San Diego Bay, California. He will go as far north as the Rogue River in California.
June 28, 1878: Tambiago, the killer of Alex Rhoden on Nov. 23, 1877, which led to the Bannock War, is hanged at the Idaho territorial prison.
June 29, 1704: The same force of 50 South Carolinians and 1,000 Creeks, which attacked the Mission of San Pedro y San Pablo in Patale on June 23, attack the Spanish San Damian de Cupahica Mission near modern-day Tallahassee, Florida. The mission will be destroyed. Many of the local Indians will be taken as slaves.
June 30, 1793: Battle at Fort Recovery, Ohio, raged for two days.