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Sun Sep 22, 2019, 08:58 PM

PLIGHT OF NATIVE AMERICANS #2 The Eastern Atrocities

Last edited Sun Sep 22, 2019, 10:21 PM - Edit history (1)

The Initial Invasion

It began in 1607, in an English settlement, named Jamestown, Virginia, a when a foreign force catastrophically and irrevocably changed the lives of thousands of people, who had been living on American soil since time immemorial.

The Piscataway tribe was among those who lost all of their land, their traditional culture and even most of their lives within a few decades of Jamestown's establishment. These English invaders included Capt. John Smith, who, despite the Hollywood movies, did not marry the girl nicknamed Pocahontas. In actual history Smith embarked on an exploratory expedition in 1608 to get a more detailed picture of the land. The map that he produced shows hundreds of human settlements, ranging from little hamlets to large towns governed by important chiefs. Every river and tributary swelled with these agricultural Algonquian-speaking peoples, who lived in longhouses, in extended family groups called clans. This place was anything but a no man's land.

The invaders built Jamestown right in the heart of a fertile 6,350-square-mile area, called Tsencomoco, where a powerful elder chief governed at least 14,000 individuals. This powerful chief, named Powhatan, was not unaware of Europeans, since Spaniards had been making forays into the area and kidnapping his tribesmen since the early 1500s. Less obvious to Powhatan was that this little band of struggling English colonists, seemingly unprepared to survive - for even a season - would eventually take over his world.

The technological ability of the early English to use their military might to conquer the land for their sole benefit was unprecedented from an Native point of view. Before encounters with the English, the Chesapeake native societies had never known that indiscriminately killing all the women and children in their villages was an acceptable method of conquest.

Preceding facts were documented by Dr. Gabrielle Tayac, a Piscataway Indian, with a PHD from Harvard, who works for the Smithsonian institute.

Biological Warfare used against Native Americans

“Ottawa” is from the Native American word “adawe” meaning to trade, which was appropriate because of their extensive trading with other tribes and eventual involvement with the French. In 1615, Champlain recorded meeting the Ottawa, near the French River in Canada. The Ottawa were very important to valuable French exports, from America. They traded with other tribes for their fur and then traded fur with the French. The Ottawa were allies of the Huron and the French, during the French and Indian war. The French and Indian War (1754–1758) pitted the colonies of British America against those of New France, each side supported by military units from their parent country and by Native American allies.

One of the greatest chiefs on the American continent was Chief Pontiac. Pontiac led a loose confederacy consisting of Ottawa, Ojibwa, Pottawatomies and other tribes. After the French signed a peace treaty, in 1763, Pontiac and his confederacy were left to fend for themselves against enraged settlers, supported by English troops. Immediately after the Treaty of Paris ended the war, Chief Pontiac began to organize other Native American tribes against the British, which led to the Pontiac Uprising.

During Pontiac Uprising, in 1763, Native Americans besieged Fort Pitt. They burned nearby houses, forcing the inhabitants to take refuge in the well-protected fort. The British officer in charge, Captain Simeon Ecuyer, reported that he feared the crowded conditions would result in disease. Smallpox had already broken out. On June 24, 1763, William Trent, a local trader, recorded in his journal that two Indian chiefs had visited the fort, urging the British to abandon the fight, but the British refused. Instead, when the Indians were ready to leave, Trent wrote: "Out of our regard for them, we gave them two Blankets and a Handkerchief out of the Small Pox Hospital. I hope it will have the desired effect."

It is not known who conceived the plan, but there's no doubt it met with the approval of the British military in America and may have been common practice. Sir Jeffery Amherst, commander of British forces in North America, wrote July 7, 1763, while probably unaware of the events at Fort Pitt: "Could it not be contrived to Send the Small Pox among those Disaffected Tribes of Indians? We must, on this occasion, Use Every Stratagem in our power to Reduce them." He ordered the extirpation of the Indians and said no prisoners should be taken. About a week later, he wrote to Bouquet: "You will Do well to try to Innoculate (archaic term for infect) the Indians by means of Blanketts as well as to try Every other method that can serve to Extirpate this Execrable Race."

The Trail of Tears

At the beginning of the 1830s, nearly 125,000 Native Americans lived on millions of acres of land in Georgia, Tennessee, Alabama, North Carolina and Florida In some cases this was Holy Land their ancestors had occupied and cultivated for generations. By the end of the decade, very few natives remained anywhere in the southeastern United States. Working on behalf of white settlers who wanted to grow cotton on the Indians’ land, the federal government forced them to leave their homelands and walk thousands of miles to a specially designated “Indian territory” across the Mississippi River. This difficult and often deadly journey is known as the Trail of Tears.

Settlers often feared and resented Native Americans they encountered: To them, American Indians seemed to be an unfamiliar, alien people who occupied land that they wanted (and believed they deserved). Some officials in the early years of the American republic, such as President George Washington, believed that the best way to solve this “Indian problem” was simply to “civilize” the Native Americans. The goal of this civilization campaign was to make Native Americans as much like white Americans as possible by encouraging them convert to Christianity, learn to speak and read English, and adopt European-style economic practices such as the individual ownership of land and other property (including, in some instances in the South, African slaves).

In some cases, Choctaw, Chickasaw, Seminole, Creek and Cherokee people embraced these customs and became known as the “Five Civilized Tribes.” But their land, located in parts of Georgia, Alabama, North Carolina, Florida and Tennessee, was valuable, and it grew to be more coveted as white settlers flooded the region. Many of these whites yearned to make their fortunes by growing cotton, and they did not care how “civilized” their native neighbors were: They wanted that land and they would do almost anything to get it. They stole livestock; burned and looted houses and towns; committed mass murder; and squatted on land that did not belong to them.

State governments joined in this effort to drive Native Americans out of the South. Several states passed laws limiting Native American sovereignty and rights and encroaching on their territory. In Worcester v. Georgia (1832), the U.S. Supreme Court objected to these practices and affirmed that native nations were sovereign nations “in which the laws of Georgia [and other states] can have no force.” Even so, the maltreatment continued.

Indian Removal Act

Andrew Jackson had long been an advocate of what he called “Indian removal.” As an Army general, he had spent years leading brutal campaigns against the Creeks in Georgia and Alabama and the Seminoles in Florida–campaigns that resulted in the transfer of hundreds of thousands of acres of land from Indian nations to white farmers. As president, he continued this crusade. In 1830, he signed the Indian Removal Act, which gave the federal government the power to exchange Native-held land in the cotton kingdom east of the Mississippi for land to the west, in the “Indian colonization zone” that the United States had acquired as part of the Louisiana Purchase. (This “Indian territory” was located in present-day Oklahoma.)

The law required the government to negotiate removal treaties fairly, voluntarily and peacefully: It did not permit the president or anyone else to coerce Native nations into giving up their land. However, President Jackson and his government frequently ignored the letter of the law and forced Native Americans to vacate lands they had lived on for generations. In the winter of 1831, under threat of invasion by the U.S. Army, the Choctaw became the first nation to be expelled from its land altogether. They made the journey to Indian territory on foot (some “bound in chains and marched double file,” one historian writes) and without any food, supplies or other help from the government. Thousands of people died along the way. It was, one Choctaw leader told an Alabama newspaper, a “trail of tears and death.”

The Indian-removal process continued. In 1836, the federal government drove the Creeks from their land for the last time: 3,500 of the 15,000 Creeks who set out for Oklahoma did not survive the trip. By 1838, only about 2,000 Cherokees had left their Georgia homeland for Indian territory. President Martin Van Buren sent General Winfield Scott and 7,000 soldiers to expedite the removal process. Scott and his troops forced the Cherokee into stockades at bayonet point while whites looted their homes and belongings. Then, they marched the Indians more than 1,200 miles to Indian territory. Whooping cough, typhus, dysentery, cholera and starvation were epidemic along the way, and historians estimate that more than 5,000 Cherokee died as a result of the journey.

By 1840, tens of thousands of Native Americans had been driven off of their land in the southeastern states and forced to move across the Mississippi to Indian territory. The federal government promised that their new land would remain unmolested forever, but as the line of white settlement pushed westward, “Indian country” shrank and shrank. In 1907, Oklahoma became a state and Indian territory was gone for good.

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Arrow 15 replies Author Time Post
Reply PLIGHT OF NATIVE AMERICANS #2 The Eastern Atrocities (Original post)
Jeffersons Ghost Sep 2019 OP
Jeffersons Ghost Sep 2019 #1
G_j Sep 2019 #2
real Cannabis calm Sep 2019 #6
pangaia Sep 2019 #3
Jeffersons Ghost Sep 2019 #4
ismnotwasm Sep 2019 #5
Jeffersons Ghost Sep 2019 #8
Hermit-The-Prog Sep 2019 #9
real Cannabis calm Sep 2019 #10
Jeffersons Ghost Sep 2019 #11
Hermit-The-Prog Sep 2019 #12
Jeffersons Ghost Sep 2019 #13
Hermit-The-Prog Sep 2019 #14
Jeffersons Ghost Sep 2019 #15
mjvpi Sep 2019 #7

Response to Jeffersons Ghost (Original post)

Sun Sep 22, 2019, 09:16 PM

1. With 36 replies and nearly 2,000 readers...

In the preview, where the intention was to feature Native Americans #1 The Wild West and preview this thread, ANYONE would expect plenty of replies, readers and recommendations on this OP.

Here is the preview:

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Response to Jeffersons Ghost (Original post)

Sun Sep 22, 2019, 09:24 PM

2. Thank you


Suggested reading for anyone who hasn’t, Bury My Heart At Wounded Knee.

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Response to G_j (Reply #2)

Sun Sep 22, 2019, 10:35 PM

6. Wounded Knee was partially discussed in the "preview"

Here's a modern miscarriage of justice inflicted on the Sioux:

Wounded Knee: American Indian activists organize
The American Indian Movement (AIM) was founded in 1968 in an effort to stop police harassment of Indians in the Minneapolis area. Borrowing some tactics from the anti-war student demonstrators of the era, AIM soon gained national notoriety for its flamboyant protests. However, many mainstream Indian leaders denounced the youth-dominated group as too radical.

In 1972, a faction of AIM members led by Dennis Banks and Leonard Peltier sought to close the divide by making alliances with traditional tribal elders on reservations. They had their greatest success on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota, after a group of young whites murdered a Sioux named Yellow Thunder. Although Yellow Thunder’s attackers only received six-year prison sentences, this was widely seen as a victory by the local Sioux accustomed to unfair treatment by the often racist Anglo judicial system. AIM’s highly visible publicity campaign on the case was given considerable credit for the verdict, winning the organization a great deal of respect on the reservation.

More here:

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Response to Jeffersons Ghost (Original post)

Sun Sep 22, 2019, 09:36 PM

3. Quotes from other sources are supposed to be limited to 4 paragraphs, and should really be

IN QUOTES, or indicated as an EXCERPT.

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Response to pangaia (Reply #3)

Sun Sep 22, 2019, 10:19 PM

4. Thanks; however, I rewrote many quotes...

And each section, except the last one presents only 4 paragraphs.

After researching and editing for concise copy, I got a little lazy on the last section.

Other than your criticism, what do you think of the facts presented in the OP?

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Response to Jeffersons Ghost (Original post)

Sun Sep 22, 2019, 10:33 PM

5. I know this history

And I know how much it is simply ignored. Thank you for trying

I think Native youth, the generation after the millennials as well as millennials themselves seem to be coming into their voices. Many groups are speaking out about the missing indigenous women. (Another topic that gets little response in many places.) Lots of activism. Finding common ground with other indigenous people.

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Response to ismnotwasm (Reply #5)

Mon Sep 23, 2019, 07:43 AM

8. Thanks for the reply. Come on folks I slaved over this OP for hours!

What does it cost to show a little sensitivity toward Native Americans.

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Response to Jeffersons Ghost (Reply #8)

Mon Sep 23, 2019, 08:01 AM

9. yeah, well, get back to work. part 3 should bring us through 20th century and part 4, now

Thanks for a good read!

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Response to Hermit-The-Prog (Reply #9)

Response to Hermit-The-Prog (Reply #9)

Mon Sep 23, 2019, 02:39 PM

11. Thanks for the compliment Hermit...

And, did you read the much more publicized link in the first reply?

Although, as a result of massive readership, recommendations and replies in the preview, I expected more response to this actual, historic report.

And, I wrote this OP for the right reasons.

(1) I attempted to set the record straight on the suffering and demonization of Native Americans, who were invaded and - in many cases - slaughtered for their land.

(2) It was a learning experience, for me and hopefully a few readers.

(3) I enjoyed researching and writing an important addition to my journal.

(4) I hope I was able to increase sensitivity about the actual bigotry that some people still inflict on our Native American brothers and sisters.

You see, publicity and fame means very little, when compared to these achievements. On closer evaluation, the surprisingly few readers was not the disappointment I anticipated.

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Response to Jeffersons Ghost (Reply #11)

Mon Sep 23, 2019, 02:43 PM

12. looking forward to Standing Rock

I read and commented on the 1st one, although the comment was only to someone claiming you were rewriting history. Still waiting for them to provide any citation backing that up.

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Response to Hermit-The-Prog (Reply #12)

Mon Sep 23, 2019, 06:26 PM

13. Ghost Dance at Wounded Knee...

Was partially discussed in the preview. It brings the Native American Plight into modern times. However, your reply is intriguing, because, as I stated, these articles are a learning experience. I'm about to Google "Standing Rock." I heard about it a long time ago, but still remain ignorant.

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Response to Jeffersons Ghost (Reply #13)

Mon Sep 23, 2019, 06:57 PM

14. a link ...


Getting from where your Part 2 ends to that pipeline is a pretty long jump with lots in between.

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Response to Hermit-The-Prog (Reply #14)

Mon Sep 23, 2019, 07:49 PM

15. That's for sure; but I could simply jump...

Plight of Native Americans - Modern Injustices, or something similar.

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Response to Jeffersons Ghost (Original post)

Sun Sep 22, 2019, 10:59 PM

7. The most successful genocide in history.

On one hand, it’s hard to separate what happened in North and South America as far as destroying advanced civilizations but here in North America, we indeed finished what we started. I live in Montana. The poverty that exists hurts to think about. The book is still being written.

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