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This Week in Aboriginal History: Activists occupy BIA offices in Washington D.C.

By Carl A. Ellis, Thursday, November 8, 2018

Nov. 2, 1972: Hundreds of Indian activists occupy the Bureau of Indian Affairs building in Washington D.C. as part of the “Trail of Broken Treaties” protest. Their goal is to gain support for a policy of self-determination for American Indians. The government promises to refrain from making arrests, and it pays the Indians’ expenses to return home.

Nov. 3, 1755: Massachusetts Bay Colony issues a bounty for the scalps of Penobscot Indians.

Nov. 4, 1833: Lt. G.J. Rains of the 7th Infantry, the disbursing agent for the Choctaws, reports that a fifth of the 3,000 Choctaws in Indian Territory (present-day Oklahoma), have died from “the climate, the flood on the Arkansas River, and no scientific medical care” since the beginning of fall.

Nov. 5, 1812: Secretary of War William Eustis reports on Indian attacks advising President William Henry Harrison that “the Miamis, as well as the other Indians, must be dealt with as their merits and demerits may in your judgment require.”

Nov. 6, 1864: Col. Kit Carson and his troops leave Fort Bascom in western New Mexico en route to the Texas panhandle, where they plan to “punish” the “hostile” Comanches and Kiowas in the area.

Nov. 7, 1811: Prophetstown Indians attack Gen. William Henry Harrison’s force of 760 men, killing 60 and injuring 128. Harrison estimates more than 100 Indians are killed. The Kickapoos say 25 of their tribe died in the fighting. Harrison destroys the stronghold and cornfields at Prophetstown, angering and scattering Tecumseh’s followers.

Nov. 8, 1762: As a part of the Treaty of Fountainbleau, Spain acquires all of French Louisiana west of the Mississippi River for helping France in the “Seven Years War,” also called the “French and Indian War.”


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