Tensions between Native Americans and Whites

1800's

On January 30, Seminole leader Osceola died from complications of malaria at Fort Moultrie, South Carolina. He led a valiant fight against removal of his people to Indian Territory, but eventually the Seminole were forcibly relocated. 1838
In the first Battle of Seattle, settlers drove Indians from their land so that a little town of white folks could prosper. The sloop Decatur fired its cannon, routing the "Indians.” Two settlers were killed. January 26, 1856
In the first Battle of Seattle, settlers drove Indians from their land so that a little town of white folks could prosper. The sloop Decatur fired its cannon, routing the "Indians.” Two settlers were killed. 1836
On January 30, Seminole leader Osceola died from complications of malaria at Fort Moultrie, South Carolina. He led a valiant fight against removal of his people to Indian Territory, but eventually the Seminole were forcibly relocated. 1838
For decades, the Nez Perce were among the friendliest of all western Indians toward whites. In 1805, they saved Lewis and Clark from starvation while they were on their expedition. The Nez Perce Indians had never killed a white person. The Americans’ hunger for land and riches finally broke their friendship. In the 1860s, white miners swarmed over Nez Perce land, in search for gold. This caused great tension between the Indians and whites.
The U.S. government presented Chief Joseph with a terrible choice. "You can give up your land peacefully and move to Lapwai," they told him, "or army troops will come and force you to relocate there." Fearing a war he could not win, Chief Joseph agreed to move. “I would give up everything,” Chief Joseph said, “rather than have the blood of white men upon the hands of my people.”
After refusing to move into the Indian reservation that the American government gave to them, a small group of New Perce Indians clashed with the U.S army near the Big Hole River in the state of Montana. A United States army officer named John Gibbon led an army of 206 American soldiers, and the leaders of the Nez Perce, Chief Joseph and Looking Glass, confronted the U.S army with 200 Indian Warriors. The results of the Battle of Big Hole came inconclusive.
A couple of small wars popped up as Indians resisted and rebelled against the force of white settlement. More and more, government officials saw Indians as a nuisance and standing in the way of the agricultural and industrial development and progression in the West. In 1867, U.S. Congress tried to separate Native American Indians and settlers by moving the Indians from their home onto reservations. In exchange for their land, Native Indians were promised food, farm tools, and schools where their children would learn to “live like whites people.”
The Battle of the Little Big Horn/Custer’s Last Stand: The Battle of Little Big Horn was one of the most famous battles in this long struggle, was fought close to the Little Big Horn River in the present state of Montana. This conflict began when soldiers, who were led by a former Civil War officer named George Custer, found gold in the Black Hills of the Dakota Territory. Within a couple of months, 15,000 gold-hungry whites were rushing over the Sioux land. Rather than making the miners leave, the government basically forced the Sioux to sell their land. The American army was ordered to force all of the indians out. In June of 1876, army scouts reported that several thousand Sioux and Cheyenne Indians were camped beside the Little Big Horn River. Officer Custer was ordered to locate the Indian camp and then wait for reinforcements to come. When Custer located the camp, he didn't attack at first. His troops split up and then they attacked. They soon met up with angry indian warriors. Custer and all his men—about 260 American soldiers—were killed.
American settlers had been gradually forcing American Indians from their land ever since the first colonists arrived in North America. Even still, by the start of the Civil War, the West was populated by mostly Indians and huge herds of buffalo that they followed. Then, in 1862, Congress passed two laws that caused a new interest in the West; the Homestead Act and the Pacific Railway Act.
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