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Indian massacre

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

In the history of the European colonization of North America, the term "Indian massacre" was often used to describe either mass killings of Europeans by indigenous people of the North American continent (Indians) or mass killings of indigenous people by the Europeans and by Americans of European origin.

Determining how many people died in these massacres overall is difficult. In the book The Wild Frontier: Atrocities during the American-Indian War from Jamestown Colony to Wounded Knee, amateur historian William M. Osborn sought to tally every recorded atrocity in the area that would eventually become the continental United States, from first contact (1511) to the closing of the frontier (1890), and determined that 7,193 people died from atrocities perpetrated by whites, and 9,156 people died from atrocities perpetrated by Native Americans. Osborn defines an atrocity as the murder, torture, or mutilation of civilians, the wounded, and prisoners. Different definitions would obviously produce different totals.[1]

List of massacres

This is a listing of some of the events reported then or referred to now as "Indian massacres":

From 1500 up to 1830

Year Date Name Description Claimants
1539   Napituca Massacre After defeating resisting Timucuan warriors, Hernando de Soto had two hundred of them executed, in the first large-scale massacre by Europeans on what became American soil. Duncan, E., Hernando de Soto, pp. 286–291.
1540 October 18, 1540 Mabila Massacre Hernando de Soto’s expedition ambushed by Choctaws,[2] killing horses and pigs, as well as 200 Spaniards, who burned down Mabila compound & killed c. 2,500 warriors who had hidden in houses of a fake village.[3] Duncan, E., Hernando de Soto, pp. 376–384; Steele, I., Warpaths, p. 15.
1541-42   Tiguex Massacres After the invading Spaniards seized the houses, food and clothing of the Tiguex, and raped their women, the Tiguex resisted, which led to a Spanish attack that burned fifty people at the stake who had surrendered. Francisco Vázquez de Coronado’s men then laid siege to the Moho Pueblo, and after a months-long siege, they slaughtered two hundred fleeing warriors. Sauer, C. Sixteenth Century North America, p. 141. Flint, R., No Settlement, No Conquest, pp. 144-153.
1598   Acoma Massacre In retaliation for the killing of 11 Spanish soldiers, Juan de Oñate led a punitive expedition to slaughter the natives in a three-day battle at the Acoma mesa, killing approximately 800. The King of Spain later punished Oñate for his excesses.[4] Weber, D., The Spanish Frontier in North America, pp. 85–86.
1622 March 22 Indian massacre of 1622
(Jamestown Massacre)
Powhatans (Pamunkey) killed 347 English men, women and children throughout the Virginia colony, almost one-third of the English population of the Jamestown colony. [5]
1623   Pamunkey Peace Talks The English poisoned the wine at a "peace conference" with Powhatan leaders, killing about 200; they killed another 50 manually. Steele, I., Warpaths, p. 47.
1637 May 26 Mystic Massacre English colonists commanded by John Mason (c.1600–1672), with Mohegan and Narragansett allies, launched a night attack on a large Pequot village on the Mystic River in present-day Connecticut, burning the inhabitants alive and killing the survivors, with about 600-700 killed. Cave, A., The Pequot War, pp. 144–154.
1643   Pavonia Massacre In 1643 an Iroquois tribe, the Mohawks, attacked a band of Wappingers and Tappan, who fled to New Amsterdam seeking protection of New Netherland governor, William Kieft. Kieft dispersed them to Pavonia[6] and Corlears Hook. They were later attacked, 129 being killed. This prompted the beginning of Kieft's War, driven by mercenary John Underhill.[7][8] [9]
1644 March English Massacre of sleeping village At New Amsterdam at present day Pound Ridge, New York, John Underhill, hired by the Dutch, reproduced successful Fort Mystic strategy of burning a sleeping village, killing about 500 Indian people. Steele, I., Warpaths, p. 116.; Trelease, A., Indian Affairs in Colonial New York; The Seventeenth Century, pp. 79–80.
1676 March 26 Nine Men's Misery 9 captives tortured & killed during King Philip's War [10]
1680 August 10 Pueblo Revolt Pueblo warriors killed 380 Spanish settlers, and drove the other Spaniards from New Mexico. [11]
1689 August 5 Lachine massacre 1,500 Mohawk warriors attacked the small settlement of Lachine, New France and killed more than 90 of the village's 375 French residents. [12]
1690 February 8 Schenectady Massacre French and Algonquins destroyed Schenectady, New York, killing 60 settlers, including ten women and at least twelve children. [13]
1704 February 29 Deerfield Massacre A force composed of Abenaki, Kanienkehaka, Wyandot and Pocumtuck, led by a small contingent of French-Canadian militia, sacked the town of Deerfield, Massachusetts, killing 56 civilians and taking dozens more as captives. [14]
1757 August 9 Battle of Fort William Henry Following the fall of Fort William Henry, between 70 and 180 British and colonial prisoners were killed by Indian allies of the French. [15]
1759 October 4 Rogers Raid on Odanak Village In retaliation for the rumored murder of a captured Stockbridge man and detainment of Rogers' Rangers Captain Quinten Kennedy, Major Robert Rogers led a party of approximately 150 English regulars, volunteers and Mahicans into the village of Odanak, Quebec. They killed up to 30 people, among them women and children, as confirmed via conflicting reports. [16]
1763 September 14 Devil's Hole Massacre Seneca double ambush of a British supply train and soldiers, just south of Fort Niagara. They killed 21 teamsters from the supply train and 81 soldiers who attempted to rescue the train. [17]
1763 December Killings by the Paxton Boys Pennsylvania settlers killed 20 peaceful Susquehannock in response to Pontiac's Rebellion. [18][19][20]
1764 July 26 Enoch Brown School Massacre Four Delaware killed a schoolmaster, 10 pupils and a pregnant woman. Two pupils were scalped but survived. [20]
1774 April 30 Yellow Creek Massacre Members of Chief Logan's family were killed by Daniel Greathouse. [21]
1778 July 3 Battle of Wyoming Following a battle with rebel defenders of Forty Fort, Iroquois allies of Loyalist forces, hunted and killed those who fled and were later accused of then torturing to death those who surrendered. These claims were denied by Iroquois and British leaders at the time. [22][23][24]
August 31 Stockbridge Massacre A battle of the American Revolutionary War that rebel propaganda portrayed as a massacre. [25]
November 11 Cherry Valley Massacre British and Seneca forces attacked the fort and village at Cherry Valley, New York, killing 16 rebel troops and more than 30 settlers. [26]
1781 September 1 Dietz Massacre The home of Johannes Dietz, Berne, New York, was attacked by Indians during the Revolution. Dietz, his wife, their daughter-in-law, four children of their son's family, and a servant girl were killed and scalped. [27][28]
1782 March 8 Gnadenhütten massacre Nearly 100 non-combatant Christian Lenape, mostly women and children, were attacked by Pennsylvania militiamen. All were killed and scalped except two young boys. [29][30]
1782 May 10 Corbly Family Massacre Indians attacked the family of John Corbly, a Christian minister in Greene County, Pennsylvania. Mrs. Corbly and three of their children were killed and two daughters were scalped, but survived. The Reverend Corbly escaped. Daughters of the American Revolution Magazine, R.R. Bowker Co., 1925, Item notes: v.59 1925 January–June p. 234
1812 August 15 Fort Dearborn Massacre
(Battle of Fort Dearborn)
During the War of 1812, American soldiers and settlers evacuating Fort Dearborn (site of present-day Chicago, Illinois) were killed in an ambush. In all, 26 soldiers, two officers, two women and 12 children, and 12 trappers and settlers hired as scouts, were killed. [31]
September 10 Zimmer Massacre Four settlers were killed in an attack believed to be by aggrieved Lenape, in Ashland County, Ohio. Howe, Henry., Howe's Historical Collections of Ohio, Volume 1 .pp. 257–258, 1907
September 15 Copus Massacre Three militiamen and one settler were killed; two militiamen and a settler's daughter were wounded and two Indians were killed during an attack on the Ashland County, Ohio homestead of Rev. James Copus. Howe, Henry., Howe's Historical Collections of Ohio, Volume 1 .pp. 258–259, 1907
1813 January 22 River Raisin Massacre Between 30 and 60 Kentucky militia were killed after surrendering. [32]
August 18 Dilbone Massacre Three settlers (David Garrard and Henry Dilbone and wife) were killed in Miami County, Ohio. The Indian believed to have killed the settlers was later shot and killed. Sutton, R., The History of Shelby County Ohio, p. 122 published 1883
August 30 Fort Mims Massacre Following defeat at the Battle of Burnt Corn, a band of Red Sticks sacked Fort Mims, Alabama, killing 400 civilians and taking 250 scalps. This action precipitated the Creek War. [33]
1818 April 22 Chehaw Affair U.S. troops attacked a non-hostile Muscogee village during the First Seminole War, killing an estimated 10 to 50 men, women and children. [34]
1824 March 22 Fall Creek Massacre Six settlers in Madison County, Indiana killed and robbed eight Seneca. One escaped trial and one was a witness at subsequent trial. One was hanged January 12, 1825 and two were hanged June 2, 1825. The last defendant was pardoned at the last minute Wikipedia Article

From 1830 through 1911

Year Date Name Description Citations
1832 May 20 Indian Creek Massacre A party of Potawatomi, with a few Sauk allies, killed fifteen men, women and children and kidnapped two young women, who were later ransomed. [35]
August 1 Battle of Bad Axe Around 150 Indian men, women and children were killed in Wisconsin by soldiers under General Henry Atkinson and armed volunteers. [36]
1835 December 28 Dade Massacre A command of 110 American soldiers was attacked and defeated by a force of Seminole in Central Florida. All but two of the soldiers were killed, one dying a few months later from wounds received in the battle. Axelrod, Alan, Chronicle of the Indian Wars, p. 146
1836 May 19 Fort Parker Massacre Seven men were killed by Comanches in Limestone County, Texas. [37]
1838 October 5 Killough Massacre Indians massacred eighteen members and relatives of the Killough family in Texas. [38]
1840 August 7 Indian Key Massacre Florida Indians attacked and destroyed Indian Key settlement, killing 13 inhabitants including noted horticulturist Dr. Henry Perrine. Knetsch, Joe. Florida's Seminole Wars 1817-1858, p. 128
1847 November 29 Whitman massacre The murder of missionaries Dr. Marcus Whitman, Mrs. Narcissa Whitman and twelve others at Walla Walla, Washington by Cayuse and Umatilla, triggered the Cayuse War. [39]
1850 May 15 Bloody Island Massacre The murder of 60-100 Pomo people on Bo-no-po-ti island near Clear Lake, (Lake Co., California), by Nathaniel Lyon and his U. S. Army detachment, in retribution for the killing of two Clear Lake settlers who had been abusing and murdering Pomo people. (The Island Pomos had no connections to the enslaved Pomos). This incident led to a general mass killing of native people all over Northern California. Letter, Brevet Capt. N. Lyon to Major E.R.S. Canby, May 22, 1850.[40]
1853 Before December 31 "Ox" incident Unreported number of Indians were killed in the Four Creeks area (Tulare Co., California) in "our little difficulty" and "the chastisement they have received" Letter, Bvt. 2nd Lieut. John Nugens to Lieut T. Wright, December 31, 1853.[41]
August 19 Grattan Massacre After opening fire in an encampment of 4,000 BruléSioux, killing Chief Conquering Bear, all members of a detachment of 30 U.S. soldiers were killed in the Nebraska Territory. {29 killed/1 mortally wounded & 1 Civilian Interpreter killed} [42]
August 20 Ward Massacre Eighteen of the 20 members of the Alexander Ward party were killed by Shoshone while traveling on the Oregon Trail in western Idaho. This event led to the eventual abandonment of Fort Boise and Fort Hall, in favor of the use of military escorts. [43][44][45]
1855 January 22 Klamath River massacres In retaliation for the murder of six settlers and the theft of some cattle, whites commenced a "war of extermination against the Indians" in Humboldt Co., California Crescent City Herald, quoted in Sacramento newspaper.[46]
1860 February 26 1860 Wiyot Massacre
(Indian Island Massacre)
About 188 Wiyot, mostly women and children, were killed by white settlers in Humboldt County, California, during one of three simultaneous assaults on the Wiyot [47][48][49]
1861   Cooke's Canyon Massacres Apaches massacre hundreds of Americans and Mexicans in and around Cooke's Canyon, New Mexico over the course of several months.  
1862 August–September Dakota War of 1862 As many as 800 white settlers and soldiers were killed throughout Minnesota and some 40,000 white settlers fled their homes as part of the U.S.-Dakota War[50] [51]
October 24 Tonkawa Massacre Accompanied by Caddo allies, a detachment of irregular Union Indians, mainly Kickapoo, Delaware and Shawnee, attempted to destroy the Tonkawa tribe in Indian Territory. One hundred and fifty of 390 Tonkawa survived. [52]
1863 January 29 Bear River Massacre Col. Patrick Connor led a regiment killing at least 200 Indian men, women and children near Preston, Idaho. [citation needed]
April 19 Keyesville Massacre White settlers and members of the California cavalry killed 35 Tehachapi men in Kern County, California. [53]
1864 November 29 Sand Creek Massacre Members of the Colorado Militia attacked a peaceful village of Cheyenne, killing at least 160 men, women and children at Sand Creek, Colorado. [54]
1848–1870 American invasion of California Central and Northern California In less than fifty years, the 150,000 Californian natives that survived the Spanish/Mexican experience were about 90% eradicated by the American settlers, with several thousand killed during a twenty-year period of military operations, while the natives killed less than 300 invaders. Cook, S., The Conflict between the California Indian and White Civilization, p. 352.; Starn, Orin, Ishi’s Brain, pp. 110–113.
1867 July 2 Kidder Massacre Cheyenne and Sioux ambushed and killed a 2nd US Cavalry detachment of eleven men and Indian guide near Beaver Creek in Sherman County, Kansas [2]. [55]
1868 November 27 Washita Massacre
(Battle of Washita River)
Lt.Col. G.A.Custer's 7th cavalry attacked a village of sleeping Cheyenne led by Black Kettle. Custer reported 103 – later revised to 140 – warriors, "some" women and "few" children killed, and 53 women and children taken hostage. Other casualty estimates by cavalry members, scouts and Indians vary widely, with the number of men killed ranging as low as 11 and the numbers of women and children ranging as high as 75. Before returning to their base, the cavalry killed several hundred Indian ponies and burned the village. [56][57][58][59][60][61][62][63][64][65][66]
1870 January 23 Marias Massacre White Americans killed 173 Piegans, mainly women, children and the elderly. [67]
1871 April 30 Camp Grant Massacre Led by ex-Mayor of Tuscon, William Oury, who armed them, eight whites, forty-eight Mexicans and over 100 Pimas attack Apache men, women and children at Camp Grant. Over 100 dead. Terrell, J., Land Grab, pp. 4–10.
1871 November 5 Wickenburg massacre Arizona Stage coach attacked-driver and five passengers killed. [68]
1873 June 1 Cypress Hills Massacre Approximately 20 Nakoda killed by American wolfers in Canadian territory following a dispute over stolen horses. [69]
1879 January 8 Fort Robinson Massacre Northern Cheyenne under Dull Knife attempted to escape from confinement in Fort Robinson, Nebraska; about fifty survived. The remains of those killed were repatriated in 1994. [70]
1879 September 30 Meeker Massacre Indian Agent Nathan Meeker and 10 others killed by Utes; likewise a military unit is ambushed and 13 killed and 43 wounded. The Beginning of the Ute War Wikipedia Article Nathan Meeker
1880 April 28 Alma Massacre Settlers were killed by Apaches led by Victorio at Alma, New Mexico. Likewise on December 19, 1885, an officer and four enlisted men of the 8th Cavalry Regiment were killed by Apaches near Alma, New Mexico. See P.Reed, Albuquerque Tribune story 22 December 2005 listed under References of Bibliography under article Alma, New Mexico {Reference only}
1890 December 29 Wounded Knee Massacre Members of the U.S. 7th Cavalry killed 128 Sioux men, women and children at Wounded Knee, South Dakota. [71]
1911 January 19 "The Last Massacre" Twelve Shoshone killed four ranchers in Washoe County, Nevada. On February 26, 1911, eight of those involved were killed by a posse; the remaining four were captured. [72][73][74]


  1. ^ The Wild Frontier: Atrocities During The American-Indian War
  2. ^ Biography - Hernando de Soto - by Dr. Lawrence A. Clayton
  3. ^ De Soto's Trail: Courage and Cruelty Come Alive
  4. ^ Conquistador Statue Stirs Hispanic Pride and Indian Rage
  5. ^ Jamestown: Legacy of the Massacre of 1622 | Americans at War: 1500-1815 Summary
  6. ^ Wm Kieft and Pavonia
  7. ^ Winkler, David F. (1998). Revisiting the Attack on Pavonia. New Jersey Historical Society. 
  8. ^ Beck, Sanderson (2006). "New Netherland and Stuyvesant 1642-64". 
  9. ^ Churchill 1997, p. 198
  10. ^ [Nine Men's Misery]
  11. ^ Resistance and Accommodation in New Mexico
  12. ^ George, Charles; Douglas Roberts (1897). A History of Canada. Boston: The Page Company (no copyright in the United States). pp. 93–94.,M1. 
  13. ^ Konstantin 2002, p. 33
  14. ^ Konstantin 2002, p. 48
  15. ^ Konstantin 2002, p. 224
  16. ^ Bruchac, Marge, [1] Reading Abenaki Traditions and European Records of Rogers’ Raid], August 2006, pp. 3–4
  17. ^ Konstantin 2002, p. 260
  18. ^ Taylor, Alan, American Colonies, New York: Viking Press, 2001
  19. ^ "A Narrative of the Late Massacres...", Benjamin Franklin's account of the massacre and criticism of the Paxton Boys
  20. ^ a b "A Disquisition Portraying the History Relative to the Enoch Brown Incident", Greencastle Museum
  21. ^ Konstantin 2002, p. 106
  22. ^ Konstantin 2002, p. 181
  23. ^ Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission | The Battle of Wyoming and Hartley's Expedition
  24. ^ Wallace, Paul A. W., Indians in Pennsylvania, Pennsylvania Historical & Museum Commission, 2007, 200 pages, pp. 162–164, ISBN 978-0-89271-017-1
  25. ^ Konstantin 2002, p. 246
  26. ^ Konstantin 2002, p. 321
  27. ^ Priest, Josiah, Stories of the Revolution, first published 1836
  28. ^ Dietz Massacre
  29. ^ Tuscarawas
  30. ^ Konstantin 2002, p. 57
  31. ^ Konstantin 2002, p. 231
  32. ^ Konstantin 2002, p. 20
  33. ^ Konstantin 2002, p. 245
  34. ^ Andrew Jackson Learns of the Chehaw Affair The Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History
  35. ^ Konstantin 2002, p. 128
  36. ^ Konstantin 2002, p. 213
  37. ^ Konstantin 2002, p. 127
  38. ^
  39. ^ Konstantin 2002, p. 336
  40. ^ Heizer 1993, pp. 244–246
  41. ^ Heizer 1993, pp. 12–13
  42. ^ Michno 2003, p. 27
  43. ^ Oregon Trail in Idaho—Ward Massacre Site
  44. ^ Ward Massacre
  45. ^ Michno 2003, pp. 28–29
  46. ^ Heizer 1993, pp. 35–36
  47. ^ In 1860 six murderers nearly wiped out the Wiyot Indian tribe—in 2004 its members have found ways to heal
  48. ^ Michno 2003, pp. 72–73
  49. ^ Heizer 1993
  50. ^ Kunnen-Jones, Marianne (2002-08-21). "Anniversary Volume Gives New Voice To Pioneer Accounts of Sioux Uprising". University of Cincinnati. Retrieved 2007-06-06. 
  51. ^
  52. ^ Michno 2003, pp. 105–106
  53. ^ Keyesville Indian Massacre of April 19, 1863
  54. ^ Michno 2003, pp. 157–159
  55. ^ Michno 2003, pp. 201–202
  56. ^ ABC-CLIO Schools | Washita Massacre
  57. ^ Andrist, Ralph K., The Long Death: The Last Days of the Plains Indians, University of Oklahoma Press, 2001, 371 pages, pp 157–162, ISBN 978-0806133089
  58. ^ Brown, Dee, Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee, Henry Holt and Co., 2007, 487 pages, pp 167–169, ISBN 978-0-8050-8684-3
  59. ^ Churchill 1997, p. 236
  60. ^ Colorado Humanities | Sand Creek Memorial and Washita Sites
  61. ^ - Washita Battlefield, Oklahoma
  62. ^ Giago, Tim - Honoring Those Who Died at Washita
  63. ^ Native American Netroots | The 140th Anniversary of the Washita Massacre of Nov. 27, 1868
  64. ^ PBS - THE WEST - Washita
  65. ^ The Saint Francis Herald, "Cherry Creek Massacre recognized in magazine", St. Francis, KS, November 17, 2005
  66. ^ Zeman, Scott C., Chronology of the American West from 23,000 B.C.E. through the Twentieth Century, ABC-CLIO, 2002, 381 pages, p 155, ISBN 978-1-57607-207-3
  67. ^ Michno 2003, p. 241
  68. ^
  69. ^ Hildebrandt, Walter. "Cypress Hills Massacre". The Encyclopedia of Saskatchewan. University of Regina. Retrieved 2008-03-28. 
  70. ^ Michno 2003, pp. 322–323
  71. ^ Michno 2003, p. 351
  72. ^ Early Native Americans
  73. ^ The Last Massacre, The New York Times, Book Review, January 17, 1988
  74. ^ Policeman Edward Hogle, Nevada State Police The Officer Down Memorial Page


See also


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