Native Americans

The discoverer of the New World was responsible for the annihilation of the peaceful Arawak Indians

On April 17, 1492, Ferdinand and Isabella, the Catholic monarchs of Castile, signed the Capitulations of Santa Fe, the agreement by which Christopher Columbus, one-time wool-weaving apprentice in Savona, Italy, undertook a voyage of discovery to the western A Read more >>

In the snarled disputes over the Yazoo land claims in 1790 George Washington and an educated Creek chieftain turned out to be the diplomatic kingpins

Shortly past noon on April 30, 1789, a tall, somber man, dressed in a simple brown suit, was inaugurated as the first President of the United States at Federal Hall in New York City. Read more >>
One of the most exciting stories in American history is that of how the Indian got the horse and what this astonishing innovation did to change the culture of the red men of the Plains [see “How the Indian Got the Horse,” AMERICAN HER Read more >>

THUS SPAKE THE GREAT INDIAN CHIEF TECUMSEH, PREDICTING— SOME BELIEVED—THE SERIES OF VIOLENT EARTHQUAKES THAT STRUCK THE MIDWEST IN THE WINTER OF 1811–12

The town of New Madrid in southeastern Missouri looks out over a treacherous stretch of the Mississippi River, studded with bars and laced with stumpy shores—a graveyard of rivercraft, and haunted. Some of the ghosts are dead dreams. Read more >>
The dignified portrait, opposite, of Bear’s Belly, an Arikara Indian warrior of the eastern plains, wrapped in a bearskin, the symbol of his personal medicine—and the photographs of the other native Americans on the following pages—are a sampling of a wondrou Read more >>

Caught between two cultures, a young Sioux sought to make himself a hero—by killing an army officer

On January 8, 1891, newspapers throughout the United States headlined a tragic event in the Indian troubles rocking the Sioux reservations of South Dakota. Read more >>
At the time World War I was nearing its end, I was stationed at Fort Sill, Oklahoma, as an officer-instructor in light field artillery (horse-drawn three-inch cannon known as French 75’s). Read more >>

Isolation ends for “the People of Peace”

Perched on the edge of a rocky mesa six hundred feet above the desert of northeastern Arizona is the Hopi Indian village of Hotevilla. Read more >>

A FAMOUS HISTORIAN RECALLS THE COUNTRY WHERE HE GREW UP

First there was the ice; two miles high, hundreds of miles wide, and many centuries deep. It came down from the darkness at the top of the world, and it hung down over the eaves, and our Michigan country lay along the line of the overhang. Read more >>

The tragedy of Black Hawk, who became the eponym of a war he tried to avoid

On July 4, 1838, the people of Fort Madison, in the Iowa Territory, invited an old Sauk war chief named Black Hawk to be guest of honor at their Independence Day celebration. Read more >>
With the current wave of interest in black history, authentic Negro heroes have been eagerly sought in the American past. Read more >>
In the first years of the eighteenth century Peter Schuyler, mayor of Albany, was friend and protector of the Mohawk Indians. They camped familiarly in his parlor, dined at his table, and called him “Quider,” the Mohawk pronunciation of Peter. Read more >>

THE EARNEST QUAKER JOHN WOOLMAN PREACHED AND ACTUALLY PRACTICED THE BROTHERHOOD OF MAN

On October 19, 1720, was born one of the few saints and prophets this country has produced. Read more >>

Between the ages of fifteen and twenty, young Peter Rindisbacher captured on canvas the lives of Indians and white pioneers on the Manitoba—Minnesota frontier

On August 12, 1834, a twenty-eight-year-old Swiss-born youth named Peter Rindisbacher, who was just beginning to attract international attention with his colorful and realistic drawings of Indian life along the mid-western United States and central Canadian frontiers, died in S Read more >>

Supporters of the Carlisle Indian Industrial School believed that complete absorption of the Indian into American society was best for everyone

Brevet Major General G. A. Custer and about 215 soldiers of the 7th Cavalry had been massacred at the Little Big Horn only a little more than three years before. Geronimo and his Apaches would not surrender for another seven years. Read more >>

In words and pictures, George Catlin recorded the secret ceremony, a blend of mysticism and horrific cruelty, by which the Mandans initiated their braves and conjured the life-sustaining buffalo.

One innovation profoundly changed—and prolonged—the culture of the Plains Indians

Minnesota’s Sioux uprising began with senseless murder on a peaceful Sunday afternoon. Before it ended, the smell of death was everywhere

The Middle West has put its stamp on many artists’ work

It is a big country, sprawling all the way from the Alleghenies to the Rockies, and it puts its mark on the people who live in it. Its climate tends to be uncompromising— baking heat in the summer, hostile cold in the winter—and it has never done anything by halves. Where it had forests, they rolled for hundreds of miles, great stands of hardwood, green twilight under their branches; its open prairies were like the sea itself, rolling west in an unbroken treeless groundswell. Read more >>