Collection: Indian Wars and Captivities

History of the Indian Wars

Our relations with the aboriginal inhabitants of this continent form a distinct and very important, and interesting portion of the history of this Republic. It is unfortunately, for the most part, a history of bloody wars, in which the border settlers have suffered all the horrors of savage aggression, and, in which portions of our colonial settlements have sometimes been completely cut off and destroyed. Other portions of this thrilling history, evince the courage, daring, and patience of the settlers, in a very favorable point of view, and exhibit them as triumphing over every difficulty, and finally obtaining a firm foothold on the soil. In all its parts, this history will always possess numerous points of peculiar interest for the American reader.

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General History of the Western Indian Tribes 1851-1870 – Indian Wars

Up to 1851, the immense uninhabited plains east of the Rocky Mountains were admitted to be Indian Territory, and numerous tribes roamed from Texas and Mexico to the Northern boundary of the United States. Then came the discovery of gold in California, drawing a tide of emigration across this wide reservation, and it became necessary, by treaty with the Indians, to secure a broad highway to the Pacific shore. By these treaties the Indians were restricted to certain limits, but with the privilege of ranging, for hunting purposes, over the belt thus re-reserved as a route of travel.

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Indian Hostilities in California and New Mexico – Indian Wars

In New Mexico, which became a part of the United States territory at the same time as California, the Indians are numerous and far more formidable than those farther west. The Apache Indians and Navajo Indians are the most powerful tribes west of the Mississippi. Being strong, active, and skillful, war is their delight, and they were the terror of the New Mexicans before the territory was occupied by the United States troops. The Pueblo Indians are among the best and most peaceable citizens of New Mexico. They, early after the Spanish conquest, embraced the forms of religion and the manners and customs of their then more civilized masters. The Pimos and Maricopos are peaceable tribes who cultivate the ground and endeavor to become good citizens. They are much exposed to the irresistible attacks of the Apache Indians and Navajo Indians, and, very often, the fruits of their honest toil become the plunder of those fierce wanderers.

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