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The Columbia Press

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This Week in Aboriginal History: Sand Creek Massacre occurs during peace talks

By Carl A. Ellis, Thursday, December 6, 2018

Nov. 30, 1864: More than 700 Colorado volunteers attack Black Kettle and his Cheyenne and Arapaho followers using four cannons at Sand Creek in southeastern Colorado. The Indians had been told to camp in the area while awaiting a peace conference with Colorado authorities.

Fourteen soldiers die and 40 are wounded. The exact number of Indians killed in the Sand Creek Massacre is widely disputed, with estimates ranging from 70 to 500 men, women and children.

Leader White Antelope is killed while attempting to surrender.

Dec. 1, 1613: Colonists at Jamestown kidnap Pocahontas, holding her for ransom in hopes of forcing her father to free English hostages and return stolen tools.

Dec. 2, 1536: Jacques Cartier sails for France from Canada with kidnapped local chief Donnacona, who later died in France. Prior to his death, Donnacona describes a mythical kingdom with great riches called Saguenay.

Dec. 3, 1837: Mikanopy and 30 other Seminole leaders arrive at Fort Mellon, near present-day St. Augustine, Fla. They’re accompanied by Cherokee mediators and come under a flag of truce to discuss peace. The mediators were there with the approval of the U.S. Secretary of War. Gen. Thomas Jesup takes the Seminoles hostage, hoping to force the tribe to surrender by holding their leaders as prisoners.

Dec. 4, 2000: Secretary of Energy Bill Richardson signs an agreement returning 85,000 acres in Utah to the Northern Utes. The land had been appropriated by the U.S. Congress 84 years earlier.

Dec. 5, 1787: An Indian war party attacks several settlements along Hacker's Creek in West Virginia. Four settlers die in the fighting.

Dec. 6, 1831: President Andrew Jackson, in his third annual Message to Congress, praises Indian removal from certain lands as beneficial for the states and union as a whole, and “equally advantageous to the Indians.”

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