Monday, August 29, 2005

Black Hawk

Black Hawk's Surrender Speech, August 27, 1832

You have taken me prisoner with all my warriors. I am much grieved, for I expected, if I did not defeat you, to hold out much longer, and give you more trouble before I surrendered. I tried hard to bring you into ambush, but your last general understands Indian fighting. The first one was not so wise. When I saw that I could not beat you by Indian fighting, I determined to rush on you, and fight you face to face. I fought hard. But your guns were well aimed. The bullets flew like birds in the air, and whizzed by our ears like the wind through the trees in the winter. My warriors fell around me; it began to look dismal. I saw my evil day at hand. The sun rose dim on us in the morning, and at night it sunk in a dark cloud, and looked like a ball of fire. That was the last sun that shone on Black Hawk. His heart is dead and no longer beats quick in his bosom. He is now a prisoner to the white men; they will do with him as they wish. But he can stand torture, and is not afraid of death. He is no coward. Black Hawk is an Indian. He has done nothing for which an Indian ought to be ashamed. He has fought for his countrymen, the squaws and papooses, against white men, who came, year after year, to cheat them and take away their lands. You know the cause of our making war. It is known to all white men. They ought to be ashamed of it. The white men despise the Indians, and drive them from their homes. But the Indians are not deceitful. The white men speak bad of the Indian, and took at him spitefully. But the Indian does not tell lies; Indians do not steal. An Indian who is as bad as the white men, could not live in our nation; he would be put to death, and eat [sic] up by the wolves. The white men are bad school-masters; they carry false looks, and deal in false actions; they smile in the face of the poor Indian to cheat him; they shake them by the hand to gain their confidence, to make them drunk, to deceive them, and ruin our wives. We told them to let us alone; but they followed on and beset our paths, and they coiled themselves among us like the snake. They poisoned us by their touch. We were not safe. We lived in danger. We were becoming like them, hypocrites and liars, adulterers, lazy drones, all talkers, and no workers.

We looked up to the Great Spirit. We went to our great father. We were encouraged. His great council gave us fair words and big promises, but we got no satisfaction. Things were growing worse. There were no deer in the forest. The oppossum and beaver were fled; the springs were drying up, and our squaws and papooses without victuals to keep them from starving; we called a great council and built a large fire. The spirit of our fathers arose and spoke to us to avenge our wrongs or die.... We set up the war-whoop, and dug up the tomahawk; our knives were ready, and the heart of Black Hawk swelled high in his bosom when he led his warriors to battle. He is satisfied. He will go to the world of spirits contented. He has done his duty. His father will meet him there, and commend him.

Black Hawk is a true Indian, and disdains to cry like a woman. He feels for his wife, his children and friends. But he does not care for himself. He cares for his nation and the Indians. They will suffer. He laments their fate. The white men do not scalp the head; but they do worse - they poison the heart, it is not pure with them. His countrymen will not be scalped, but they will, in a few years, become like the white men, so that you can't trust them, and there must be, as in the white settlements, nearly as many officers as men, to take care of them and keep them in order.

Farewell, my nation. Black Hawk tried to save you, and avenge your wrongs. He drank the blood of some of the whites. He has been taken prisoner, and his plans are stopped. He can do no more. He is near his end. His sun is setting, and he will rise no more. Farewell to Black Hawk.


For the speech and background on Black Hawk and "The Black Hawk Wars," go to:


Thursday, August 25, 2005

Chumash Tribe

NPR : Battle Brewing over California Tribal Expansion

August 25, 1737

August 25, 1737: An agreement was signed on this date by Thomas Penn and Munsee Chiefs Manawkyhickon and Nutimus. The agreement called for Indian lands to be sold along the Delaware river for the distance that a man could walk in a day and a half. This would be called the "Walking Purchase" and would be performed on September 19, 1737.


From: Lee Sultzman's Delaware History

In 1737 Pennsylvania authorities "found" the infamous Walking Purchase agreement, a treaty supposedly signed in 1686 in which the Lenape ceded the land between the junction of Delaware and Lehigh Rivers as far west as a man could walk in a day and a half (about 40 miles). This was bad enough, but Penn's son Thomas hired three of the fastest men in the colony and offered a prize to the one who could cover the greatest distance. Running on a prepared path, the winner went twice the distance the Delaware had anticipated which cost them most of the Lehigh Valley. Realizing they had been cheated, the Delaware expected the Iroquois to defend their interests, but the Iroquois were furious that the Delaware had signed a treaty without their permission. Pennsylvania also took the precaution of bribing them to stay angry and enforce the agreement. The ultimate humiliation came during a 1742 meeting of the Delaware, Iroquois and the Pennsylvania governor. When the Delaware sachem Nutimus rose to protest the Walking Purchase, the Iroquois representative Canasatego silenced him with, "We conquered you. You are women; we made women of you. Give up claims to your old lands and move west. Never attempt to sell land again. Now get out."


Wednesday, August 24, 2005

August 24, 1781

August 24, 1781: Joseph Brant and his Mohawk warriors tripped an ambush against the Pennsylvania militia led by Archibald Lochry on the Ohio River in Indiana. Brant routed the militia...


Russell Means

Affirming the sovereign powers of American Indian tribes, a U.S. appeals court on 8/23/2005 ruled the Navajo tribe may prosecute American Indian activist Russell Means even though he is not one of its members...

Tribe may prosecute famous American Indian activist - Yahoo! News

Monday, August 22, 2005


One of the great myths of the United States and the overall story of European dominance over our land is the myth that suggests the Americas were a lightly populated wilderness before Europeans arrived.

Although the truth has been known for a long time, historian Charles C. Mann has collected much of the evidence in a new book entitled 1491.

Here's NPR audio about the book:

NPR : '1491' Explores the Americas Before Columbus

Go here to read an excerpt from the book:

1491 book excerpt

Friday, August 19, 2005

N. American Scrapers

Great source for images of scapers found in North America:

North American Scrapers

Thursday, August 18, 2005

MAI: Mixed Feelings

The National Museum of the American Indian nears its first anniversary amidst mixed feelings by many. Here's an audio article about the MAI, what it is and how it is variously viewed:

NPR : The Mixed Reviews of the Museum of the American Indian

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Raymond Nakai

Former Navajo President Raymond Nakai, a leader in Native American higher education and father of renowned flutist R. Carlos Nakai, died late Sunday at age 86...

Raymond Nakai, 86, influential Navajo tribal leader

Monday, August 08, 2005

The Real Pocahontas

Although I prefer this sexier image of her, a more accurate image of Pocahontas is this one done in the 1600's:

I just completed reading about Pocahontas, her father Powhatan, and their people and related tribes -- and, of course, the Coat Wearers. Another classic case of "Everything We Were Taught Was Wrong." Some excellent resources are:

Thursday, August 04, 2005


A good source for basic histories of the FIRST NATIONS:

Compact Histories