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This Week in Aboriginal History: Cabrillo embarks on West Coast exploration

By Carl A. Ellis, Friday, June 29, 2018

June 22, 1763: At the outbreak of the Seven Years War, colonists from west Pennsylvania had fled to safety at Fort Pitt (present-day Pittsburg). When the fort is attacked, the Indians find it too well fortified to take by force, but keep it under siege throughout the month.  

June 23, 1704: James Moore, former governor of South Carolina, leads a force of 50 British and 1,000 Creek Indians in attacks against Spanish settlements. In an attack on a mission in Northwestern Florida, they take many Indians as slaves and kill Father Manuel de Mendoza.  

June 24, 1832: The Supreme Court rules that the Rev. Samuel Worcester, convicted of living and working among the Cherokees without a permit or oath of allegiance to the state of Georgia, unfairly attempted to exercise control over the Indians contrary to federal law and treaties.

The court eventually strikes down most of the anti-Indian laws passed by Georgia, including those seizing their lands and nullifying tribal law. Before the trail, President Andrew Jackson officially states he has no intention of supporting the Cherokees over the state of Georgia.

“John Marshall has rendered his decision; now let him enforce it,” Jackson said. He ignored the Supreme Court ruling and continued to move Cherokees out of the south and into Indian Territory.

June 25, 1876: Lakota and Cheyenne warriors annihilate Col. George Custer and his troops in the Battle of Little Big Horn. It’s a significant defeat for the U.S. Army, which reports the loss from Custer’s command of 13 officers, 189 enlisted men and four civilians.

June 26, 1791: Negotiators led by William Blount, superintendent of Indian Affairs for the Southern District of the United States, begin work on the Treaty of Holston, which establishes terms with the Cherokee people. The treaty, signed July 2, establishes perpetual peace and friendship between the United States and the Cherokees.

June 27, 1542: Juan Cabrillo leaves Mexico to explore the Pacific Coast. Cabrillo will be the first European to land in San Diego Bay and will go as far north as the Rogue River in Oregon.

June 28, 1878: Tambiago, a Bannock Indian, is hanged at the Idaho Territorial Prison. He was convicted of killing an unsuspecting white man delivering cattle to the Fort Hall Indian Agency in Idaho. The random killing was the result of frustration over food shortages and a perceived lack of respect for treaty provisions caused by the presence of military and settlers in Indian areas.

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