Chapter 26 Terms
Indian Territory (Oklahoma)
- the Great West, by 1890, had been carved into states and the four territories of Utah,
Arizona, New Mexico, and Oklahoma, which was also known as Indian territory.
Sand Creek Massacre, 1864
-- At Sand Creek, Colorado, Colonel J. M. Chivington’s militia massacred in cold blood
some four hundred Indians who apparently thought they had been promised immunity. Women were shot praying for
mercy, children had their brains dashed out, and braves were tortured, scalped, and unspeakably mutilated.
Custer’s Last Stand, 1876
-- Colonel Custer’s Seventh Cavalry, nearly half of them immigrants, set out to suppress
the Indians and to return them to the reservations. Attacking what turned out to be a superior force of 2,500 well-
armed warriors, the “white Chief with Yellow Hair” and his 264 officers and men were completely wiped out in 1876
when two supporting columns failed to come to their rescue.
Chief Joseph and Nez Perce', 1877
-- One band of Nez Perce' Indians in northeastern Oregon were goaded into
daring flight in 1877, when U.S. authorities tried to herd them onto a reservation. Chief Joseph finally surrendered his
breakaway band of some seven hundred Indians after a tortuous, seventeen-hundred mile, three month trek across
the Continental Divide towards Canada. There Joseph hoped to rendezvous with Sitting Bull, who had taken refuge
north of the border after the Battle of Little Bighorn (Custer’s Last Stand). Betrayed into believing they would be
returned to their ancestral lands in Idaho, the Nez Perce's instead were sent to a dusty reservation in Kansas, where
40% of them perished from disease.
Geronimo and the Apache
-- Geronimo, whose eyes blazed hatred of the whites, led the Apache tribes of Arizona
and New Mexico. They were pursued into Mexico by federal troops using the sun flashing heliograph, a
communication devise that impressed the Indians as “big medicine.”
Helen Hunt Jackson
-- a Massachusetts writer of children’s literature who pricked the moral sense of Americans in
1881 when she published A Century of Dishonor. The book chronicled the sorry record of government ruthlessness
and chicanery in dealing with the Indians. Her later novel Ramona, a love story of injustice to the California Indians,
sold some 600.000 copies and further inspired sympathy for the Indians.
Battle of Wounded Knee, 1890
-- When the “Ghost Dance” cult spread to the Dakota Sioux, the army bloodily
stamped it out in 1890 at the so-called Battle of Wounded Knee. In the fighting thus provoked, an estimated two
hundred Indian men, women, and children were killed, as well as twenty-nine invading soldiers.