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February 29, 2016

Timeline of US Indian Massacres

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An atrocity called an “Indian massacre” is a specific incident wherein a group of people (military, mob or other) deliberately kill a significant number of relatively defenseless or innocent people—usually civilian noncombatants or to the summary execution of prisoners-of-war. Here is a timeline of significant massacres that occurred in the United States between 1539 and 1911.

1539   Napituca Massacre After defeating resisting Timucuan warriors, Hernando de Soto had 200 executed, in the first large-scale massacre by Europeans on what became American soil.

 

1540 October 18 Mabila Massacre The Choctaw retaliated against Hernando de Soto’s expedition, killing 200 soldiers, as well as many of their horses and pigs, for their having burned down Mabila compound and killed c. 2,500 warriors who had hidden in houses of a fake village.

 

1541–42   Tiguex Massacres After the invading Spaniards seized the houses, food and clothing of the Tiguex, and raped their women, the Tiguex resisted. The Spanish attacked them, burning at the stake 50 people who had surrendered. Francisco Vásquez de Coronado’s men laid siege to the Moho Pueblo, and after a months-long siege, they killed 200 fleeing warriors.

 

1599 January 22–24 Acoma Massacre Juan de Oñate led a punitive expedition against the natives in a three-day battle at the Acoma Pueblo, killing approximately 800. King Philip III later punished Oñate for his excesses.

 

1601   Sandia Mountains Spanish troops destroyed 3 Indian villages in the Sandia Mountains, New Mexico. According to Spanish sources, 900 Tompiro Indians were killed.

 

1622 March 22 Jamestown Massacre Powhatan (Pamunkey) killed 347 English men, women and children throughout the Virginia colony, almost one-third of the English population of the Jamestown colony, in an effort to push the English out of Virginia.

 

1623 May 12 Pamunkey Peace Talks The English poisoned the wine at a “peace conference” with Powhatan leaders, killing about 200; they physically attacked and killed another 50.

 

1637 April 23 Wethersfield Attack During the Pequot War, Wongunk chief Sequin attacked the Puritan town Wethersfield, Connecticut with Pequot help. About 30 settlers were killed, including women and children.

 

1643 February 25 Pavonia Massacre

In 1643 the Mohawk attacked a band of Wappinger and Tappan, who fled to New Amsterdam seeking

the protection of New Netherland governor, William Kieft. Kieft dispersed them to Pavonia and Corlears Hook.

They were later attacked, 129 being killed. This prompted the beginning of Kieft’s War, driven by mercenary John Underhill.

 

1643 August Hutchinson Massacre As part of Kieft’s War in New Netherland, near the Split Rock (now northeastern Bronx in New York City), local Lenape (or Siwanoy) killed Anne Hutchinson, six of her children, a son-in-law, and as many as seven others (servants). Susanna, one of Hutchinson’s daughters, was taken captive and lived with the natives for several years.

 

1644 March Pound Ridge Massacre As part of Kieft’s War in New Netherland, at present day Pound Ridge, New York, John Underhill, hired by the Dutch, attacked and burned a sleeping village of Lenape, killing about 500 Indians.

 

1655 September 11–15 Peach Tree War In retaliation for Director-General of New Netherland Peter Stuyvesant’s attacks to their trading partners and allies at New Sweden, united bands of natives attacked Pavonia, Staten Island, Colen Donck and other areas of New Netherland.

 

1675 July Swansea Massacre Wampanoag warriors attack the town of Swansea, Massachusetts, killing 7 settlers. This attack marked the beginning of King Philip’s War.

 

1675 September 18 Bloody Brook Massacre During King Philip’s War, Indian warriors ambushed and killed 60 soldiers of Deerfield, Massachusetts.

 

1675 December 19 Great Swamp Massacre Colonial militia attacked a Narragansett fort near South Kingstown, Rhode Island. At least 40 warriors were killed and 300 women, children and elder men burnt in the village.

 

Year Date Name Description  
1832 May 20 Indian Creek Massacre A party of Potawatomi, with a few Sauk allies, killed fifteen men, women and children and kidnapped two young women, who were later ransomed.  
1832 May 24 St. Vrain massacre 4 settlers were killed by Ho-Chunk while delivering dispatches during the Black Hawk War near present-day Pearl City, Illinois  
1832 June 14 Spafford Farm massacre During Black Hawk War, five men were attacked by a Kickapoo war party near present-day South Wayne, Wisconsin. Four whites and one Indian died.  
1832 August 1 Battle of Bad Axe Soldiers under General Henry Atkinson and armed volunteers killed around 150 Indian men, women and children near present-day Victory, Wisconsin.  
1833 Exact date unknown Cutthroat Gap Massacre The Osage tribe attacked a Kiowa camp west of the Wichita Mountains in southwest Oklahoma, killing 150 Kiowa Indians.  
1835 December 28 Dade Massacre During the Second Seminole War, Seminole killed almost all of a command of 110 American soldiers in Central Florida. All but two of the soldiers were killed; and one survivor died a few months later from his wounds.  
1836 May 19 Fort Parker Massacre Comanche killed seven European Americans in Limestone County, Texas. The five captured included Cynthia Ann Parker.  
1837 April 22 Johnson Massacre At least 20 Apaches were killed near Santa Rita del Cobre, New Mexico while trading with a group of American settlers led by John Johnson. The Anglos blasted the Apaches with a canon loaded with musket balls, nails and pieces of glass and finished off the wounded.  
1838 October 5 Killough Massacre Indians massacred eighteen members and relatives of the Killough family in Texas.  
1838 or 1839 Exact date unknown Webster Massacre The Comanche killed a party of settlers attempting to ford the Bushy Creek near present-day Leander, Texas. All of the Anglo men were killed and Mrs. Webster and her two children were captured.  
1840 March 19 Council House Massacre The 12 leaders of a Comanche delegation (65 people including 35 women and children) were shot in San Antonio, Texas, while trying to escape the local jail. 23 others including 5 women and children were killed in or around the city.  
1840 August 7 Indian Key Massacre During the Seminole Wars, Spanish-speaking Indians attacked and destroyed an Indian Key settlement, killing 13 inhabitants, including noted horticulturist Dr. Henry Perrine.  
1840 October 24 Colorado River Volunteer Rangers under Colonel Moore massacred 140 Comanches (men, women and children) in their village on the Colorado and captured 35 others (mostly small children).  
1840 Exact date unknown Clear Lake Massacre A posse led by Mexican Salvador Vallejo massacred 150 Pomo and Wappo Indians on Clear Lake, California.  
1846 March Sacramento River Captain Frémont’s men attacked a peaceful band of Indians (probably Yanas) on the Sacramento River in California, killing between 120 and 200 Indians.  
1846 December Pauma massacre 11 Californios were killed by Indians at Escondido, California, leading to the Temecula massacre.  
1846 December Temecula massacre 33 to 40 Indians killed in revenge for the Pauma Massacre at Escondido, California.  
1847 February 3–4 Storming of Pueblo de Taos In response to a New Mexican-instigated uprising in Taos, American troops attacked the heavily fortified Pueblo of Taos with artillery, killing nearly 150, some being Indians. Between 25 and 30 prisoners were shot by firing squads.  
1847 November 29 Whitman massacre Cayuse and Umatilla warriors killed the missionaries Dr. Marcus Whitman, Mrs. Narcissa Whitman and 12 others at Walla Walla, Washington, triggering the Cayuse War.  
1848 April Brazos River A hunting party of 26 friendly Wichita and Caddo Indians was massacred by Texas Rangers under Captain Samuel Highsmithe, in a valley south of Brazos River. 25 men and boys were killed, and only one child managed to escape.  
1850 May 15 Bloody Island Massacre Nathaniel Lyon and his U. S. Army detachment of cavalry killed 60–100 Pomo people on Bo-no-po-ti island near Clear Lake, (Lake Co., California); they believed the Pomo had killed two Clear Lake settlers who had been abusing and murdering Pomo people. (The Island Pomo had no connections to the enslaved Pomo). This incident led to a general outbreak of settler attacks against and mass killing of native people all over Northern California. Site is California Registered Historical Landmark #427  
1851 March Oatman Massacre Royce Oatman’s emigrant party of 7 was killed by Mohave or Yavapai Indians. The survivors, Olive and Mary Ann Oatman were enslaved. Olive escaped five years later and spoke extensively about the experience.  
1851   Old Shasta Town Miners killed 300 Wintu Indians near Old Shasta, California and burned down their tribal council meeting house.  
1852   Hynes Bay Massacre Texas militiamen attacked a village of 50 Karankawas, killing 45 of them.  
1852 April 23 Bridge Gulch Massacre 70 American men led by Trinity County sheriff William H. Dixon killed more than 150 Wintu people in the Hayfork Valley of California, in retaliation for the killing of Col. John Anderson.  
1852 November Wright Massacre White settlers led by a notorious Indian hunter named Ben Wright massacred 41 Modocs during a “peace parley”.  
1853   Howonquet Massacre Californian settlers attacked and burned the Tolowa village of Howonquet, massacring 70 people.  
1853   Yontoket Massacre A posse of settlers attacked and burned a Tolowa rancheria at Yontocket, California, killing 450 Tolowa during a prayer ceremony.  
1853   Achulet Massacre White settlers launched an attack on a Tolowa village near Lake Earl in California, killing between 65 and 150 Indians at dawn.  
1853 Before December 31 “Ox” incident U.S. forces attacked and killed an unreported number of Indians in the Four Creeks area (Tulare County, California) in what was referred to by officers as “our little difficulty” and “the chastisement they have received”.  
1854 January 28 Nasomah Massacre 40 white settlers attacked the sleeping village of the Nasomah Indians at the mouth of the Coquille River in Oregon, killing 15 men and 1 woman.  
1854 February 15 Chetco River Massacre Nine white settlers attacked a friendly Indian village on the Chetco River in Oregon, massacring 26 men and a few women. Most of the Indians were shot while trying to escape. Two Chetco who tried to resist with bows and arrows were burned alive in their houses. Shortly before the attack, the Chetco had been induced to give away their weapons as “friendly relations were firmly established”.  
1854 August 19 Grattan Massacre After a detachment of 30 U.S. soldiers in the Nebraska Territory opened fire on an encampment of 4,000 Brulé Sioux, killing Chief Conquering Bear, warriors attacked and killed all the soldiers and their civilian interpreter.  
1854 August 20 Ward Massacre Shoshone killed 18 of the 20 members of the Alexander Ward party, attacking them on the Oregon Trail in western Idaho. This event led the U.S. eventually to abandon Fort Boise and Fort Hall, in favor of the use of military escorts for emigrant wagon trains.  
1855 January 22 Klamath River massacres In retaliation for the murder of six settlers and the theft of some cattle, whites commenced a “war of extermination against the Indians” in Humboldt County, California.  
1855 September 2 Harney Massacre US troops under Brigadier General William S. Harney killed 86 Sioux, men, women and children at Blue Water Creek, in present-day Nebraska. About 70 women and children were taken prisoner.  
1855 October 8 Lupton Massacre A group of settlers and miners launched a night attack on an Indian village near Upper Table Rock, Oregon, killing 23 Indians (mostly elderly men, women and children).  
1855 December 23 Little Butte Creek Oregon volunteers launched a dawn attack on a Tututni and Takelma camp on the Rogue River. Between 19 to 26 Indians were killed.  
1856 June Grande Ronde River Valley Massacre Washington Territorial Volunteers under Colonel Benjamin Shaw attacked a peaceful Cayuse and Walla Walla Indians on the Grande Ronde River in Oregon. 60 Indians, mostly women, old men and children were killed.  
1856 March Shingletown In reprisal for Indian stock theft, white settlers massacred at least 20 Yana men, women and children near Shingletown, California.  
1857 Mar 8–12 Spirit Lake Massacre Thirty-five to 40 settlers were killed and 4 taken captive by Santee Sioux in the last Indian attack on settlers in Iowa.  
1858-1859   Round Valley Massacres White settlers killed 150 Yuki Indians in Round Valley, California. Massacres continued through the spring and summer of 1859. In April 1859, in revenge for the killing of 3 cows and 1 stallion belonging to a white man, California militiamen massacred 240 Indians on the Eel River. On 1 May, Major Johnson reported that six hundred Yukis had been massacred by white settlers “in the last year”.  
1859 September Pit River White settlers massacred 70 Achomawi Indians (10 men and 60 women and children) in their village on Pit River in California.  
1859   Chico Creek White settlers attacked a Maidu camp near Chico Creek in California, killing indiscriminately 40 Indians.  
1860 Exact date unknown Massacre at Bloody Rock A group of 65 Yuki Indians were surrounded and massacred by white settlers at Bloody Rock, in Mendocino County, California.  
1860 February 26 Indian Island Massacre In three nearly simultaneous assaults on the Wiyot, at Indian Island, Eureka, Rio Dell, and near Hydesville, California white settlers killed between 200 and 250 Wiyot in Humboldt County, California. Victims were mostly women, children and elders, as reported by Bret Harte at Arcata newspaper. Other villages massacred within two days. The main site is National Register of Historic Places in the United States #66000208.  
1860 December 18 Pease River Massacre Texas Rangers under Captain Sul Ross attacked a Comanche village in Foard County, Texas, killing indiscriminately a considerable number of Indians.  
1860 September 8 Otter Massacre Near Sinker Creek Idaho, 11 persons of the last wagon train of the year were killed by Indians and several others were subsequently killed. Some that escaped the initial massacre starved to death  
1861   Horse Canyon Massacre White settlers and Indian allies attacked a Wailaki village in Horse Canyon (Round Valley, California), killing up to 240 Wailakis.  
1861   Cookes Canyon Massacres Apaches massacred hundreds of Americans and Mexicans in and around Cookes Canyon, New Mexico over the course of several months.  
1861 Sep 2 Gallinas Massacre Four Confederate soldiers were killed by Chiricahua Apache warriors.  
1862   Upper Station Massacre California settlers killed at least 20 Wailakis in Round Valley, California.  
1862   Big Antelope Creek Massacre California settlers led by notorious Indian hunter Hi Good launched a dawn attack on a Yana village, massacring about 25 Indians.  
1862 August–September Dakota War of 1862 As part of the U.S.-Dakota War, the Sioux killed as many as 800 white settlers and soldiers throughout Minnesota. Some 40,000 white settlers fled their homes on the frontier.[151]  
1862 October 24 Tonkawa Massacre During the U.S. Civil War, a detachment of irregular Union Indians, mainly Kickapoo, Lenape and Shawnee, accompanied by Caddo allies, attempted to destroy the Tonkawa tribe in Indian Territory. They killed 240 of 390 Tonkawa, leaving only 150 survivors.  
1863 January 29 Bear River Massacre Col. Patrick Connor led a United States Army regiment killing 280 Shoshone men, women and children near Preston, Idaho.  
1863 April 19 Keyesville Massacre American militia and members of the California cavalry killed 35 Tehachapi men in Kern County, California.  
1863-1865   Mowry massacres 16 settlers were killed in a series of Indian raids at Mowry, Arizona Territory  
1864   Cottonwood 20 Yanas of both sexes were killed by white settlers in the town of Cottonwood, California.  
1864   Massacre at Bloody Tanks A group of white settlers led by King S. Woolsey killed 19 Apaches at a “peace parley”.  
1864   Oak Run Massacre California settlers massacred 300 Yana Indians who had gathered near the head of Oak Run, California for a spiritual ceremony.  
1864   Skull Valley Massacre A group of Yavapai families was lured into a trap and massacred by soldiers under Lt. Monteith in a valley west of Prescott, Arizona (Arizona). The place was named Skull Valley after the heads of the dead Indians left unburied.  
1864 November 29 Sand Creek Massacre Members of the Colorado Militia attacked a peaceful village of Cheyenne, killing at least 160 men, women and children at Sand Creek in Kiowa County.  
1865 March 14 Mud Lake Massacre US troops under Captain Wells attacked a Paiute camp near Winnemucca Lake, killing 32 Indians. One soldier was slightly wounded during the attack.  
1865   Owens Lake Massacre White vigilantes attacked a Paiute camp on Owens Lake in California, killing about 40 men, women and children.  
1865   Three Knolls Massacre White settlers massacred a Yana community at Three Knolls on the Mill Creek, California.  
1865 September Bloody Point Massacre A wagon train of 65 settlers was massacred by Modoc Indians near Lake Tule in Oregon. One man survived and alerted the Oregon militia who buried the bodies.  
1866 April 21 Circleville Massacre Mormon militiamen killed 16 Paiute men and women at Circleville, Utah. 6 men were shot, allegedly while trying to escape. The others (3 men and 7 women) had their throats cut. 4 small children were spared.  
1867   Aquarius Mountains Yavapai County Rangers killed 23 Indians (men, women and children) in the southern Aquarius Mountains, Arizona.  
1867 July 2 Kidder Massacre Cheyenne and Sioux ambushed and killed a 2nd US Cavalry detachment of eleven men and their Indian guide near Beaver Creek in Sherman County, Kansas. General Custer was an after-the-fact witness at the scene.  
1868   Campo Seco A posse of white settlers massacred 33 Yahis in a cave north of Mill Creek, California.  
1868 November 27 Washita Massacre
(Battle of Washita River)
During the American Indian Wars, Lt. Col. G.A.Custer’s 7th U.S. Cavalry attacked a village of sleeping Cheyenne led by Black Kettle. Custer reported 103 – later revised to 140 – warriors, “some” women and “few” children killed, and 53 women and children taken hostage. Other casualty estimates by cavalry members, scouts and Indians vary widely, with the number of men killed ranging as low as 11 and the numbers of women and children ranging as high as 75. Before returning to their base, the cavalry killed several hundred Indian ponies and burned the village.  
1870 January 23 Marias Massacre US troops killed 173 Piegan, mainly women, children and the elderly after being led to the wrong camp by a soldier who wanted to protect his Indian wife’s family.  
1871   Kingsley Cave Massacre 4 settlers killed 30 Yahi Indians in Tehama County, California about two miles from Wild Horse Corral in the Ishi Wilderness. It is estimated that this massacre left only 15 members of the Yahi tribe alive  
1871 April 30 Camp Grant Massacre Led by the ex-Mayor of Tucson, William Oury, eight Americans, 48 Mexicans and more than 100 allied Pima attacked Apache men, women and children at Camp Grant, Arizona Territory killing 144, with 1 survivor at scene and 29 children sold to slavery. All but eight of the dead were Apache women or children.  
1871 November 5 Wickenburg massacre Indians attacked an Arizona stagecoach, killing the driver and his five passengers, leaving two wounded survivors.  
1872 Between August and October Jordan Massacre 3 settlers were killed and 1 woman abducted by Indians at the Middle Fork of Walnut Creek, Kansas  
1872 December 28 Skeleton Cave Massacre U.S. troops and Indian scouts killed 76 Yavapai Indians men, women and children in a remote cave in Arizona’s Salt River Canyon.  
1873 June 1 Cypress Hills Massacre Following a dispute over stolen horses, American wolfers killed approximately 20 Nakoda in Saskatchewan.  
1875 April Sappa Creek Massacre Soldiers under Lt Austin Henly trapped a group of 27 Cheyenne, (19 men, 8 women and children) on the Sappa Creek, in Kansas and killed them all.  
1877 August 8 Big Hole Massacre US troops under Colonel John Gibbon attacked a Nez Perce village at Big Hole, in Montana Territory. They killed 89 men, women and children before being repulsed by the Indians.  
1879 January 9–21 Fort Robinson Massacre Northern Cheyenne under Dull Knife attempted to escape from confinement in Fort Robinson, Nebraska; U.S. Army forces hunted them down, killing 77 of them. The remains of those killed were repatriated in 1994.  
1879 September 30 Meeker Massacre In the beginning of the Ute War, the Ute killed the US Indian Agent Nathan Meeker and 10 others. They also attacked a military unit, killing 13 and wounding 43.  
1880 April 28 Alma Massacre The Apache chief Victorio led warriors in an attack on settlers at Alma, New Mexico. On December 19, 1885, the Apache killed an officer and four enlisted men of the 8th Cavalry Regiment near Alma.  
1889 November 2 Kelvin Grade Massacre The Apache Kid (Haskay-bay-nay-ntayl) and his gang escaped police custody, killing two sheriffs and wounding one settler near present-day Globe, Arizona.  
1890 December 10 Buffalo Gap Massacre Several wagonloads of Sioux were killed by South Dakota Home Guard militiamen near French Creek, South Dakota, while visiting a white friend in Buffalo Gap.  
1890 December Stronghold South Dakota Home Guard militiamen ambushed and massacred 75 Sioux at the Stronghold, in the northern portion of Pine Ridge Indian Reservation.  
1890 December 29 Wounded Knee Massacre Members of the U.S. 7th Cavalry attacked and killed between 130 and 250 Sioux men, women and children at Wounded Knee, South Dakota.  
1911 January 19 Last Massacre A group of Shoshone killed four ranchers in Washoe County, Nevada. On 26 February 1911, an American posse killed eight of the Shoshone suspects and captured four children from the band.
Tribal Timelines
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