List of Indian massacres

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Grave in the Ba Dah Mod Jo Cemetery, also referred to as the Fort McDowell Yavapai Nation Cemetery, is dedicated to the men, women and children who were massacred by the soldiers of the US Army in Arizona in what is known as the Skeleton Cave Massacre.

In the history of the European colonization of the Americas, an atrocity termed "Indian massacre" is a specific incident wherein a group of people (military, mob or other) deliberately kill a significant number of unarmed, defenseless people — usually civilian noncombatants — or to the summary execution of prisoners-of-war. The term usually refers to the killing of unarmed Native American women, children, and elders by colonists and the colonizing military forces. In historical usage, it has also been used by colonists to describe the actions of Native Americans killing colonists.

Overview[edit]

"Indian massacre" is a phrase whose use and definition has evolved and expanded over time. The phrase was initially used by European colonists to describe attacks by indigenous Americans which resulted in mass colonial casualties. While similar attacks by colonists on Indian villages were called "raids" or "battles", successful Indian attacks on white settlements or military posts were routinely termed "massacres". Knowing very little about the native inhabitants of the American frontier, the colonists were deeply fearful, and as time passed, "far more white Americans eagerly consumed Indian atrocity stories around the family table and in popular literature and newspapers than ever interacted with Indians or witnessed an Indian raid." Emphasis was placed on the depredations of "murderous savages" in their information about Indians, and as the migrants headed further west, fear was the prevailing emotion behind their thoughts and actions concerning Indians. In some instances motivated by politics, in Colorado for example, "stories in the News continued to stir those fears: wild rumors of Indian conspiracies were heralded as fact; any violence at all between whites and Indians was reported as an Indian 'massacre'".[1][2]

The phrase eventually became commonly used also to describe mass killings of American Indians. Killings described as "massacres" often had an element of indiscriminate targeting, barbarism, or genocidal intent.[3] According to one historian, "Any discussion of genocide must, of course, eventually consider the so-called Indian Wars", the term commonly used for U.S. Army campaigns to subjugate Indian nations of the American West beginning in the 1860s. In an older historiography, key events in this history were narrated as battles.

Since the late 20th century, it has become more common for scholars to refer to certain of these events as massacres, especially if there were large numbers of women and children as victims. This includes the Colorado territorial militia's slaughter of Cheyenne at Sand Creek (1864), and the US army's slaughter of Shoshone at Bear River (1863), Blackfeet on the Marias River (1870), and Lakota at Wounded Knee (1890). Some scholars have begun referring to these events as "genocidal massacres," defined as the annihilation of a portion of a larger group, sometimes to provide a lesson to the larger group.[4]

It is difficult to determine the total number of people who died as a result of "Indian massacres". In The Wild Frontier: Atrocities during the American-Indian War from Jamestown Colony to Wounded Knee, lawyer William M. Osborn compiled a list of alleged and actual atrocities in what would eventually become the continental United States, from first contact in 1511 until 1890. His parameters for inclusion included the intentional and indiscriminate murder, torture, or mutilation of civilians, the wounded, and prisoners. His list included 7,193 people who died from atrocities perpetrated by those of European descent, and 9,156 people who died from atrocities perpetrated by Native Americans.[5] Many of the incidents included on this list are not mentioned in Osborn's book.

In An American Genocide, The United States and the California Catastrophe, 1846-1873, historian Benjamin Madley recorded the numbers of killings of California Indians between 1846 and 1873. He found evidence that during this period at least 9,400 to 16,000 California Indians were killed by non-Indians. Most of these killings occurred in what he said were more than 370 massacres (defined by him as the "intentional killing of five or more disarmed combatants or largely unarmed noncombatants, including women, children, and prisoners, whether in the context of a battle or otherwise").[6]

List of massacres[edit]

This is a listing of some of the events reported then or referred to now as "Indian massacre". This list contains only incidents that occurred in Canada or the United States, or territory presently part of the United States.

Pre-Columbian era[edit]

Year Date Name Description Reported native casualties
1325 Crow Creek massacre 486 known dead were discovered at an archaeological site near Chamberlain, South Dakota. The victims and perpetrators were both unknown groups of Native Americans. 486 [7]

1500–1830[edit]

Year Date Name Description Reported casualties Claimants
1539 Napituca Massacre After defeating resisting Timucuan warriors, Hernando de Soto had 200 executed, in the first large-scale massacre by Europeans on what became American soil. 200 [8]
1540 October 18 Mabila Massacre The Choctaw retaliated against Hernando de Soto's expedition,[9] killing 200 soldiers, as well as many of their horses and pigs, for their having burned down Mabila compound and killed c. 2,500 warriors who had hidden in houses of a fake village. 2500 [8][10][11]
1541–42 Tiguex Massacres After the invading Spaniards seized the houses, food and clothing of the Tiguex and raped their women, the Tiguex resisted. The Spanish attacked them, burning at the stake 50 people who had surrendered. Francisco Vásquez de Coronado's men laid siege to the Moho Pueblo, and after a months-long siege, they killed 200 fleeing warriors. 250 [12][13]
1599 January 22–24 Acoma Massacre Juan de Oñate led a punitive expedition against the natives in a three-day battle at the Acoma Pueblo, killing approximately 500 warriors and 300 civilians. King Philip III later punished Oñate for his excesses. 300 [14][15]
1601 Sandia Mountains Spanish troops destroyed 3 Indian villages in the Sandia Mountains, New Mexico. According to Spanish sources, 900 Tompiro Indians were killed. 900 [16]
1610 August 9 Paspahegh Massacre Lord De la Warr sent 70 men to attack the Paspahegh Indians. They destroyed their main village near Jamestown, killing between 16 and 65 people. The wife and children of the village chief were captured and shortly afterwards put to death . 16-65 [17][18]
1622 March 22 Jamestown Massacre Powhatan (Pamunkey) killed 347 English settlers throughout the Virginia colony, almost one-third of the English population of the Jamestown colony, in an effort to push the English out of Virginia. 347 (English) [19]
1623 Wessagusset affair Several Massachusett chiefs were lured to Wessagusset under peaceful pretenses and put to death. Other Indians present in the village were also killed. 4 (Native leaders) + unknown number of other Native Americans [20][21]
1623 May 12 Pamunkey Peace Talks The English poisoned the wine at a "peace conference" with Powhatan leaders, killing about 200; they physically attacked and killed another 50. 250 [11]
1637 April 23 Wethersfield Attack During the Pequot War, Wongunk chief Sequin attacked the Puritan town Wethersfield, Connecticut with Pequot help. Six men and 3 women were killed and 2 girls kidnapped. 9 (settlers) [22][23]
1637 May 26 Mystic Massacre In response to the Wethersfield attack, English colonists commanded by John Mason, with Mohegan and Narragansett allies, launched a night attack on a large Pequot village on the Mystic River in present-day Connecticut, where they burned the inhabitants in their homes and killed all survivors, for total fatalities of about 600–700. 600–700 [24]
1640 July Staten Island 80 Dutch soldiers under Cornelis van Tienhoven attacked a village of Raritans on Staten Island over stolen pigs. Van Tienhoven intended only to demand payment, but his men wanted to massacre the Indians and he eventually consented. [25]
1643 February 25 Pavonia Massacre In 1643 the Mohawk attacked a band of Wappinger and Tappan, who fled to New Amsterdam seeking the protection of New Netherland governor, William Kieft. Kieft dispersed them to Pavonia[26] and Corlears Hook. They were later attacked, 129 being killed. This prompted the beginning of Kieft's War, driven by mercenary John Underhill. 129 [27][28][29]
1643 August Hutchinson Massacre As part of Kieft's War in New Netherland, near the Split Rock (now northeastern Bronx in New York City), local Lenape (or Siwanoy) killed settler Anne Hutchinson, six of her children, a son-in-law, and as many as seven others (servants). Susanna, one of Hutchinson's daughters, was taken captive and lived with the natives for several years. 15 (settlers) [30]
1644 Massapequa Massacre John Underhill's men killed more than 100 Indians near present-day Massapequa. 100+ [31][32]
1644 March Pound Ridge Massacre As part of Kieft's War in New Netherland, at present day Pound Ridge, New York, John Underhill, hired by the Dutch, attacked and burned a sleeping village of Lenape, killing about 500 Indians. 500 [11][33]
1655 September 11–15 Peach Tree War In retaliation for Director-General of New Netherland Peter Stuyvesant's attacks to their trading partners and allies at New Sweden, united bands of natives attacked Pavonia, Staten Island, Colen Donck and other areas of New Netherland. [34]
1675 July Susquehannock Massacre After a raid by Doeg Indians on a plantation in Virginia, a party of militiamen crossed the Potomac into Maryland and killed 14 Susquehannocks they found sleeping in their cabins. 14 [35]
1675 July Swansea Massacre Wampanoag warriors attack the town of Swansea, Massachusetts, killing 7 settlers. This attack marked the beginning of King Philip's War. 7 (settlers) [36]
1675 December 19 Great Swamp Massacre Colonial militia and Indian allies attacked a Narragansett fort near South Kingstown, Rhode Island. At least 40 warriors were killed and 300 women, children and elder men burnt in the village. 300 [37]
1676 March 26 Nine Men's Misery During King Philip's War, warriors subjected nine captive soldiers with ritual torture and death. 9 [38][39]
1676 May Massacre at Occoneechee Island Nathaniel Bacon turned on his Occaneechi allies and his men destroyed three forts within their village on Occoneechee Island, on the Roanoke River near present-day Clarksville, Virginia. Bacon's troops killed one hundred men as well as many women and children. 100–400 [40]
1676 May 10 Turner Falls Massacre Captain William Turner and 150 militia volunteers attacked a fishing Indian camp at present-day Turners Falls, Massachusetts. At least 100 women and children were killed in the attack. 100 [41]
1676 July 2 Rhode Island Militia volunteers under Major Talcott attacked a band of Narragansetts on Rhode Island, killing 34 men and 92 women and children. 126 [42]
1680 August 10 Pueblo Revolt Pueblo warriors killed 380 Spanish settlers, and drove other Spaniards from New Mexico. 380 (Spaniards) [43]
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, in response to widespread French attacks on Mohawk villages in present-day New York. 90 (French) [44]
1689 Zia Pueblo Governor Jironza de Cruzate destroyed the pueblo of Zia, New Mexico. 600 Indians were killed and 70 survivors enslaved. 600 [45]
1690 February 8 Schenectady Massacre As part of the Beaver Wars, French and Algonquins destroyed Schenectady, New York, killing 60 Dutch and English settlers, including ten women and at least twelve children. 60 (Dutch and English) [46]
1692 January 24 Candlemas Massacre During King William's War, 200–300 Abenaki and Canadiens killed 75, took 100 prisoner and burned the encroaching town of York, Maine district of the Province of Massachusetts Bay 75 (non-Indians) [47]
1704 Apalachee Massacre English colonists and Creek allies under former Carolina Governor James Moore launched a series of brutal attacks on the Apalachee villages of Northern Florida. They killed 1000 Apalachees and enslaved at least 2000 survivors. 1000 [48]
1704 February 29 Deerfield Massacre During Queen Anne's War, a force composed of Abenaki, Kanienkehaka, Wyandot and Pocumtuck, accompanied by a small contingent of French-Canadian militia and led by Jean-Baptiste Hertel de Rouville, sacked the town of Deerfield, Massachusetts, killing 56 civilians and taking more than 100 as captives. 56 (non-Indians) [49]
1711 September 22 Massacre at Bath The Southern Tuscarora, Pamplico, Cothechneys, Cores, Mattamuskeets and Matchepungoes attacked settlers at several locations in and around the city of Bath, North Carolina. Hundreds of settlers were killed, and many more were driven off. Hundreds (settlers) [50]
1712 Massacre at Fort Narhantes The North Carolina militia and their Indian allies attacked the Southern Tuscarora at Fort Narhantes on the banks of the Neuse River. More than 300 Tuscarora were killed, and one hundred were sold into slavery. 300 [50]
1712 May Fox Indian Massacre French troops with Indian allies killed around 1,000 Fox Indians men, women and children in a five-day massacre near the head of the Detroit River. 1000 [51]
1713 March 20–23 Fort Neoheroka Militia volunteers and Indian allies under Colonel James Moore attacked Ft. Neoheroka, the main stronghold of the Tuscarora Indians. 200 Tuscaroras were burned to death in the village and 900–1000 others were subsequently killed or captured. 200–1200 [52][53]
1715 April 15 Pocotaligo Massacre Yamassee Indians killed 4 British traders and representatives of Carolina at Pocotaligo, near present-day Yemassee, South Carolina. 90 other traders were killed in the following weeks. 94 (traders) [54]
1715 April Massacre at St Bartholemew's Parish At the onset of the Yamasee War, Yamasee Indians attacked St Bartolehew's Parish in South Carolina, killing over 100 settlers. Subsequent attacks around Charles Town killed many more, and in total, about 7% of the colony's white population perished in the conflict. 100+ (settlers) [55]
1715 May Schenkingh Plantation A band of Catawba and Cherokee warriors attacked Benjamin Schenkingh's plantation where about 20 settlers had taken refuge. All were killed. 20 (settlers) [55]
1724 August 24 Norridgewock Massacre Captains Jeremiah Moulton and Johnson Harmon led 200 rangers to the Abenaki village of Norridgewock, Maine to kill Father Sebastian Rale and destroy the Indian settlement. The rangers massacred 80 Abenakis including two dozen women and children and 26 warriors. The rangers suffered 3 dead. 80 (26 warriors) [56]
1729 November 29 Natchez Massacre Natchez Indians attacked French settlements near present-day Natchez, Mississippi, killing more than 200 French colonists. 200 (French) [57]
1730 Massacre of Chawasha village Governor Perrier ordered 80 black slaves to attack the village of the Chawasha Indians. At least 7 Indians were killed. 7 [58]
1730 September 9 Massacre at Fox Fort A French army of 1,400 soldiers and their Indian allies massacred about 500 Fox Indians (including 300 women and children) as they tried to flee their besieged camp. 500 [59]
1745 Massacre at Walden Upon hearing of an impending French and Indian attack upon the Ulster county frontiers, British colonists massacred several peaceful Munsee families near Walden, New York. On March 2, 1756, white vigilantes murdered 9 friendly Munsee Indians at Walden. 9+ [60][61]
1747 October Chama River Spanish troops ambushed a group of Utes on the Chama River, killing 111 Indians and taking 206 as captives. 111 [62]
1755 Jul 8 Draper's Meadow massacre 5 settlers killed by Shawnee Indians at Draper's Meadow, Virginia 5 (settlers) [63]
1757 August 9 Battle of Fort William Henry Following the fall of Fort William Henry during the Seven Years' War, Indians allied with the French killed between 70 and 180 British and colonial prisoners. 70–180 (British) [64]
1758 March 16 San Saba Mission Massacre A large party of Comanche, Tonkawa and Hasinai Indians attacked the mission of San Saba, Texas, killing 8 and burning down the mission. 8 (missionaries) [65]
1759 October 4 St. Francis Raid During the Seven Years' War, in retaliation for a rumored murder of a captured Stockbridge man and detention of Captain Quinten Kennedy of the Rogers' Rangers, Major Robert Rogers led a party of approximately 150 English regulars, volunteers and Mahican into the village of Odanak, Quebec. They killed up to 30 Abenaki people, among them women and children, as confirmed via conflicting reports. 30 [66]
1763 May Capture of Fort Sandusky During Pontiac's War, a group of Wyandots entered the British outpost Fort Sandusky under peaceful pretexts. The Wyandots then seized the fort and killed its 15-member garrison along with several British traders. 15+ (British) [67]
1763 June 23 Clendenin Massacre Shawnee massacre of Clendenin adult males, captured women and children including John Ewing of Virginia.
1763 September 14 Devil's Hole Massacre During the Seven Years' War, Seneca allied with the French attacked a British supply train and soldiers just south of Fort Niagara. They killed 21 out of 24 teamsters from the supply train. 21 teamsters + 81 soldiers (British) [68]
1763 December Killings by the Paxton Boys In response to Pontiac's Rebellion, frontier Pennsylvania settlers killed 20 peaceful Susquehannock. 20 [69][70][71]
1764 July 26 Enoch Brown school massacre Four Lenape Indians killed a schoolmaster, 10 pupils and a pregnant woman. Two pupils were scalped but survived. 12 (non-Indians) [71]
1774 September Spanish Peaks Spanish troops surprised a large fortified Comanche village near Spanish Peaks (Raton, New Mexico). They killed nearly 300 Indians (men, women and children) and took 100 captives. 300 [72]
1774 April 30 Yellow Creek Massacre Daniel Greathouse killed members of Chief Logan's family. [73]
1778 July 3 Battle of Wyoming During the American Revolutionary War, following a battle with rebel defenders of Forty Fort, Iroquois allies of Loyalist forces hunted and killed those who fled; they were later accused of using ritual torture to kill those soldiers who surrendered. These claims were denied by Iroquois and British leaders at the time. 340 [74][75][76]
1778 August 31 Stockbridge Massacre An ambush by the British during the American Revolutionary War that left nearly 40 natives dead. 40 [77]
1778 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. 46 (settlers) [78]
1780 June 27 Westervelt Massacre Seventeen Dutch settlers killed and two taken captive out of a caravan of 41. The settler caravan was traveling between Low Dutch Station, Kentucky and Harrod's Town, Kentucky. The victims were all scalped and sold to the British for a bounty. 41 (Dutch) [79]
1781 September 1 Dietz Massacre During the Revolution, Iroquois allied with the British attacked the home of Johannes Dietz, Berne, New York, killing and scalping Dietz, his wife, their daughter-in-law, four children of their son's family, and a servant girl. 8 (Dutch) [80][81]
1781 September 1 Long Run Massacre Thirty-two settlers killed by 50 Miami people while trying to move to safety, additionally approximately 15 settlers and 17 soldiers were killed attempting to bury the initial victims. 64 (settlers) [82][83]
1782 March 8 Gnadenhütten massacre During the Revolution, Pennsylvania militiamen massacred nearly 100 non-combatant Christian Lenape, mostly women and children; they killed and scalped all but two young boys. 100 [84][85]
1788 Kirk Family Massacre A party of Indians killed 11 members of the Kirk family (1 woman and 10 children) on Nine Mile Creek 12 miles south of present-day Knoxville. 11 (settlers) [86]
1788 Massacre of the Old chiefs In retaliation to the Kirk Massacre, Old Tassel and 4 other chiefs of the Cherokee peace faction were lured into a trap and axed under a flag of truce in Chilhowee. 5 [87]
1791 January 2 Big Bottom massacre 14 settlers were killed by an Indian war party in Stockport, Morgan County, Ohio. 14 (settlers)
1791 November 4 Fort Recovery Massacre At present day Fort Recovery, Ohio, an army of 1,500 Americans led by Arthur St. Clair, was ambushed by an army of Miami Indians led by chief Little Turtle. 200 to 250 civilians were killed. 200–250 (Americans) [88]
1805 January Canyon del Muerto Spanish soldiers led by Antonio Narbona massacred 115 Navajo Indians (mostly women, children and old men) in Canyon del Muerto, northeastern Arizona. 115 [89]
1812 August 15 Fort Dearborn Massacre
(Battle of Fort Dearborn)
During the War of 1812, Indians allied with the British killed American soldiers and settlers evacuating Fort Dearborn (site of present-day Chicago, Illinois). In all, 26 soldiers, two officers, two women and 12 children, and 12 trappers and settlers hired as scouts, were killed. 54 (non-Indians) [90]
1812 September 3 Pigeon Roost Massacre During the War of 1812, twenty four settlers, including fifteen children, were massacred by a war party of Native Americans (mostly Shawnee, but possibly including some Lenape and Potawatomis) in a surprise attack on a small village located in what is today Scott County, Indiana. 24 (settlers) [91]
1813 January 22 River Raisin Massacre During the War of 1812, Indians allied with the British killed between 30 and 60 Kentucky militia after their surrender. 30-60 (Americans) [92]
1813 August 30 Fort Mims Massacre After a Creek victory at the Battle of Burnt Corn, a band of Creek Red Sticks attacked Fort Mims, in what today is Alabama, killing 400-500 settlers, slaves, militiamen, and Creek loyalists and taking 250 scalps. This action brought the US into the internal Creek War, at the same time as the War of 1812. 400-500 (settlers) [93]
1813 September 1 Kimbell-James Massacre Immediately after departing Fort Mims, Red Sticks warriors led by Josiah Francis (Prophet Francis) attacked the Kimbell and James families seeking refuge near Fort Sinquefield. At least 15 were killed, mostly women and children. 15 (settlers) [94]
1813 November 3 Battle of Tallushatchee 900 Tennessee troops under General John Coffee, and including Davy Crockett, attacked an unsuspecting Creek town. About 186-200 Creek warriors were killed, and an unknown number of women and children were killed, some burned in their houses. many [95][96]
1813 November 18 Hillabee Massacre Tennessee troops under General White launched a dawn attacked on an unsuspecting Creek town (the village leaders were engaged in peace negotiations with General Andrew Jackson). About 65 Creek Indians were shot or bayoneted. 65 [97]
1813 November 29 Autossee Massacre
(Battle of Autossee)
Georgia Militia General Floyd attacked a Creek town on Tallapoosa River, in Macon County, Alabama, killing 200 Indians before setting the village afire. 200 (including warriors) [98]
1817 Late September Scott Massacre A supply boat under the command of Lt. Richard W. Scott was attacked by Seminole Indians on the Apalachicola River. 40-50 people on the boat were killed, including twenty sick soldiers and seven wives of soldiers. One woman was taken prisoner, and six survivors made it to Fort Scott. 40-50 (settlers) [99]
1823 February Skull Creek Massacre After Coco Indians killed two colonists under unclear circumstances, the colonists got together twenty-five men and found a Karankawa people village on Skull Creek. They killed at least nineteen inhabitants of the village before the rest could flee, then stole their possessions and burned their homes to the ground. 19+ [100]
1824 March 22 Fall Creek Massacre Six settlers in Madison County, Indiana killed and robbed eight Seneca. One suspect escaped trial and another was a witness at subsequent trial. Of those charged with murder, one man was hanged January 12, 1825, and two were hanged June 2, 1825. The last defendant was pardoned at the last minute. 8 [101]
1826 Dressing Point Massacre A posse of Anglo-Texan settlers massacred a large community of Karankawa Indians near the mouth of the Colorado River in Matagorda County, Texas. Between 40 and 50 Karankawas were killed. 40-50 [102]

1830–1911[edit]

Year Date Name Description Reported casualties Claimants
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. 15 (settlers) [103]
1832 August 1 Battle of Bad Axe Soldiers under General Henry Atkinson, armed volunteers and Dakota Sioux killed around 150 Indian men, women and children near present-day Victory, Wisconsin. The US suffered 5 dead. 150 (including warriors) [104]
1833 Exact date unknown Cutthroat Gap Massacre The Osage tribe attacked a Kiowa camp west of the Wichita Mountains in southwest Oklahoma, killing 150 Kiowa Indians. 150 [105]
1836 May 19 Fort Parker Massacre Comanche killed seven European Americans in Limestone County, Texas. The five captured included Cynthia Ann Parker. 7 (Europeans) [106]
1837 Amador Massacre Mexican colonists under Jose Maria Amador captured an entire rancheria of friendly Miwok Indians in Northern California and killed their 200 prisoners in two mass executions. 200 [107]
1837 April 22 Johnson Massacre At least 20 Apaches were killed near Santa Rita del Cobre, New Mexico while trading with a group of American settlers led by John Johnson. The Anglos blasted the Apaches with a canon loaded with musket balls, nails and pieces of glass and finished off the wounded. 20 [108]
1838 October 5 Killough Massacre Indians massacred eighteen members and relatives of the Killough family in Texas. 18 (settlers) [109]
1838 or 1839 Exact date unknown Webster Massacre The Comanche killed a party of settlers attempting to ford the Bushy Creek near present-day Leander, Texas. All of the Anglo men were killed and Mrs. Webster and her two children were captured. [110]
1840 March 19 Council House Massacre The 12 leaders of a Comanche delegation were shot in San Antonio, Texas, while trying to escape the local jail. 23 others including 5 women and children were killed in or around the city. 65 Comanche including 35 women and children were present. 7 Texas militia were also killed at the court house mostly from friendly fire. 13 captives were killed in retaliation by the Comanche. 35 [111]
1840 August 7 Indian Key Massacre During the Seminole Wars, Spanish-speaking Indians attacked and destroyed an Indian Key settlement, killing 13 inhabitants, including noted horticulturist Dr. Henry Perrine. 13 (settlers) [112]
1840 October 24 Colorado River Volunteer Rangers under Colonel Moore massacred 140 Comanches (men, women and children) in their village on the Colorado and captured 35 others (mostly small children). 140 [113]
1840 Exact date unknown Clear Lake Massacre A posse led by Mexican Salvador Vallejo massacred 150 Pomo and Wappo Indians on Clear Lake, California. 150 [114]
1846 April 6 Sacramento River massacre Captain Frémont's men attacked a band of Indians (probably Wintun) on the Sacramento River in California, killing between 120 and 200 Indians. 120-200 [115]
1846 May 12 Klamath Lake massacre Captain Frémont's men, led by Kit Carson attacked a village of Klamath Indians) on the banks of Klamath Lake, killing at least 14 Klamath people. 14+ [116]
1846 June Sutter Buttes massacre Captain Frémont's men attacked a rancheria on the banks of the Sacramento River near Sutter Buttes, killing several Patwin people. 14+ [116]
1846 December Pauma massacre 11 Californios were killed by Indians at Escondido, California, leading to the Temecula massacre. 11 (settlers) [117]
1846 December Temecula massacre 33 to 40 Indians killed in revenge for the Pauma Massacre at Escondido, California. 33-40 [117]
1847 February 3–4 Storming of Pueblo de Taos In response to a New Mexican-instigated uprising in Taos, American troops attacked the heavily fortified Pueblo of Taos with artillery, killing nearly 150 rebels, some being Indians. Between 25 and 30 prisoners were shot by firing squads. 25-30 [118]
1847 March Rancheria Tulea massacre White slavers retaliate to a slave escape by massacring five Indians in Rancheria Tulea. 5 [116]
1847 March 29 Kern and Sutter massacres In response to a plea from White settlers to put an end to raids, U.S. Army Captain Edward Kern and rancher John Sutter led 50 men in attacks on three Indian villages. 20 [116]
1847 late June/early July Konkow Maidu slaver massacre Slavers kill 12-20 Konkow Maidu Indians in the process of capturing 30 members of the tribe for the purpose of forced slavery. 12-20 [116]
1847 November 29 Whitman massacre Cayuse and Umatilla warriors killed the missionaries Dr. Marcus Whitman, Mrs. Narcissa Whitman and 12 others at Walla Walla, Washington,in retaliation for the belief that Whitmans were responsible for the deaths of 200 natives from measles, triggering the Cayuse War. Subsequently the U.S hanged 5 volunteers, including tbeWaiilatpu Leader Tiloukaikt. 14 (missionaries) [119]
1848 April Brazos River A hunting party of 26 friendly Wichita and Caddo Indians was massacred by Texas Rangers under Captain Samuel Highsmithe, in a valley south of Brazos River. 25 men and boys were killed, and only one child managed to escape. 26 [120]
1849 March 5 Battle Creek massacre In response to some cattle being stolen, Governor Brigham Young sent members of the Mormon militia to "put a final end to their depredations". They were led to a band, where they attacked them, killing the men and taking the women and children as captives. 4 (more by some accounts) [121]
1850 Feb 8 Battle at Fort Utah Governor Brigham Young issued a partially extermination order of the Timpanogos who lived in Utah Valley. In the north, the Timpanogos were fortified. However, in the south, the Mormon militia told them they were friendly before lining them up to execute them. Dozens of women and children were enslaved and taken to Salt Lake City, Utah, where many died. 102 + "many" in captivity [122]
1850 May 15 Bloody Island Massacre Nathaniel Lyon and his U.S. Army detachment of cavalry killed 60–100 Pomo people on Bo-no-po-ti island near Clear Lake, (Lake Co., California); they believed the Pomo had killed two Clear Lake settlers who had been abusing and murdering Pomo people. (The Island Pomo had no connections to the enslaved Pomo). This incident led to a general outbreak of settler attacks against and mass killing of native people all over Northern California. Site is California Registered Historical Landmark #427 60-100 [123][124][125]
1851 March Oatman Massacre Royce Oatman's emigrant party of 7 was killed by Mohave or Yavapai Indians. The survivors, Olive and Mary Ann Oatman were enslaved. Olive escaped five years later and spoke extensively about the experience. 7 (settlers) [126]
1851 Old Shasta Town Miners killed 300 Wintu Indians near Old Shasta, California and burned down their tribal council meeting house. 300 [127]
1852 Hynes Bay Massacre Texas militiamen attacked a village of 50 Karankawas, killing 45 of them. 45 [128]
1852 April 23 Bridge Gulch Massacre 70 American men led by Trinity County sheriff William H. Dixon killed more than 150 Wintu people in the Hayfork Valley of California, in retaliation for the killing of Col. John Anderson. 150 [129]
1852 November Wright Massacre White settlers led by a notorious Indian hunter named Ben Wright massacred 41 Modocs during a "peace parley". 41 [130]
1853 Howonquet Massacre Californian settlers attacked and burned the Tolowa village of Howonquet, massacring 70 people. 70 [131]
1853 Yontoket Massacre A posse of settlers attacked and burned a Tolowa rancheria at Yontocket, California, killing 450 Tolowa during a prayer ceremony. 450 [132][133]
1853 Achulet Massacre White settlers launched an attack on a Tolowa village near Lake Earl in California, killing between 65 and 150 Indians at dawn. 65-150 [134]
1853 Before December 31 "Ox" incident U.S. forces attacked and killed an unreported number of Indians in the Four Creeks area (Tulare County, California) in what was referred to by officers as "our little difficulty" and "the chastisement they have received". [135]
1854 January 28 Nasomah Massacre 40 white settlers attacked the sleeping village of the Nasomah Indians at the mouth of the Coquille River in Oregon, killing 15 men and 1 woman. 16 [136]
1854 February 15 Chetco River Massacre Nine white settlers attacked a friendly Indian village on the Chetco River in Oregon, massacring 26 men and a few women. Most of the Indians were shot while trying to escape. Two Chetco who tried to resist with bows and arrows were burned alive in their houses. Shortly before the attack, the Chetco had been induced to give away their weapons as "friendly relations were firmly established". 36+ [137]
1854 May 15 Asbill Massacre Six white settlers from Missouri attacked previously uncontacted Indians in the Round Valley, massacring approximately 40 of them. 40 [138]
1854 August 20 Ward Massacre Shoshone killed 18 of the 20 members of the Alexander Ward party, attacking them on the Oregon Trail in western Idaho. This event led the U.S. eventually to abandon Fort Boise and Fort Hall, in favor of the use of military escorts for emigrant wagon trains. 18 (settlers) [139][140][141]
1854 Dec 25 Fort Pueblo Massacre 16 settlers were killed by Utah & Apache 16 (settlers)
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 County, California. [142]
1855 September 2 Harney Massacre US troops under Brigadier General William S. Harney killed 86 Sioux, men, women and children at Blue Water Creek, in present-day Nebraska. 27 US soldiers also died in the skirmish. About 70 women and children were taken prisoner. Women and children accounted for about half of the Sioux deaths. 86 (including warriors) [143]
1855 October 8 Lupton Massacre A group of settlers and miners launched a night attack on an Indian village near Upper Table Rock, Oregon, killing 23 Indians (mostly elderly men, women and children). 23 [144]
1855 December 23 Little Butte Creek Oregon volunteers launched a dawn attack on a Tututni and Takelma camp on the Rogue River. Between 19 and 26 Indians were killed. 19-26 [145]
1856 June Grande Ronde River Valley Massacre Washington Territorial Volunteers under Colonel Benjamin Shaw attacked a peaceful Cayuse and Walla Walla Indians on the Grande Ronde River in Oregon. 60 Indians, mostly women, old men and children were killed. 60 [146]
1856 March Shingletown In reprisal for Indian stock theft, white settlers massacred at least 20 Yana men, women and children near Shingletown, California. 20 [147]
1856 March 26 Cascades Massacre Yakama, Klickitat and Cascades warriors attacked white soldiers and settlers at the Cascades of the Columbia River for controlling portage of the river and denying them their source of nutrition. Nine Cascades Indians who surrendered without a fight, including Chenoweth, Chief of the Hood River Band, were improperly charged and executed. 17 (settlers) [148]
1857 Mar 8–12 Spirit Lake Massacre Thirty-five to 40 settlers were killed and 4 taken captive by Santee Sioux in the last Indian attack on settlers in Iowa. 35–40 (settlers) [149]
1856–1859 Round Valley Settler Massacres White settlers killed over a thousand Yuki Indians in Round Valley over the course of three years in an uncountable number of separate massacres. 1000+ [150][151]
1859–1860 Jarboe's War White settlers calling themselves the "Eel River Rangers", led by Walter Jarboe, kill at least 283 Indian men and countless women and children in 23 engagements over the course of six months. They are reimbursed by the U.S. government for their campaign. 283+ [150]
1859 September Pit River White settlers massacred 70 Achomawi Indians (10 men and 60 women and children) in their village on Pit River in California. 70 [152]
1859 Chico Creek White settlers attacked a Maidu camp near Chico Creek in California, killing indiscriminately 40 Indians. 40 [153]
1860 Exact date unknown Massacre at Bloody Rock A group of 65 Yuki Indians were surrounded and massacred by white settlers at Bloody Rock, in Mendocino County, California. 65 [154]
1860 February 26 Indian Island Massacre In three nearly simultaneous assaults on the Wiyot, at Indian Island, Eureka, Rio Dell, and near Hydesville, California white settlers killed between 80 and 250 Wiyot in Humboldt County, California. Victims were mostly women, children and elders, as reported by Bret Harte at Arcata newspaper. Other villages massacred within two days. The main site is National Register of Historic Places in the United States #66000208. 80–250 [155][156][157][158]
1860 December 18 Battle of Pease River Texas Rangers under Captain Sul Ross attacked a Comanche village in Foard County, Texas, killing at least 14 unarmed people. 14 [159]
1860 September 8 Otter Massacre Near Sinker Creek Idaho, 11 persons of the last wagon train of the year were killed by Indians and several others were subsequently killed. Some that escaped the initial massacre starved to death 11+ (settlers) [160]
1861 Horse Canyon Massacre White settlers and Indian allies attacked a Wailaki village in Horse Canyon (Round Valley, California), killing up to 240 Wailakis. 240 [161]
1861 Cookes Canyon Massacres Apaches massacred hundreds of Americans and Mexicans in and around Cookes Canyon, New Mexico over the course of several months. Hundreds [162]
1861 September 21 Fort Fauntleroy Massacre Soldiers massacred between 12 and 20 Navajos at Fort Fauntleroy, following a dispute over a horse race. 12-20 [163]
1862 Upper Station Massacre California settlers killed at least 20 Wailakis in Round Valley, California. 20 [164]
1862 Big Antelope Creek Massacre California settlers led by notorious Indian hunter Hi Good launched a dawn attack on a Yana village, massacring about 25 Indians. 25 [165]
1862 August Kowonk Massacre A posse of 25 California settlers killed 45 Konkow Indians on their reservation in Round Valley, California. 45 [166]
1862 August–September Dakota War of 1862 As part of the U.S.-Dakota War, the Sioux killed as many as 800 white settlers and soldiers throughout Minnesota. Some 40,000 white settlers fled their homes on the frontier.[167] 450–800 (settlers) [168]
1862 October Massacre at Gallinas Springs Soldiers under Capt. James Graydon's shot an aged Mescalero leader who was approaching with his hand up as a sign of peace. 11 other Mescaleros were also killed, including a woman. 12 [169]
1862 October 24 Tonkawa Massacre During the U.S. Civil War, a detachment of irregular Union Indians, mainly Kickapoo, Lenape and Shawnee, accompanied by Caddo allies, attempted to destroy the Tonkawa tribe in Indian Territory. They killed 240 of 390 Tonkawa, leaving only 150 survivors. 240 [170]
1863 January 29 Bear River Massacre Col. Patrick Connor led a United States Army regiment killing up to 280 Shoshone men, women and children near Preston, Idaho. 21 US soldiers were also killed in the fight. 246-280 (including warriors) [171][172]
1863 April 19 Keyesville Massacre American militia and members of the California cavalry killed 35 Tübatulabal men in Kern County, California. 35 [173]
1863-1865 Mowry massacres 16 settlers were killed in a series of Indian raids at Mowry, Arizona Territory 16 (settlers) [174]
1864 Cottonwood 20 Yanas of both sexes were killed by white settlers in the town of Cottonwood, California. 20 [175]
1864 Massacre at Bloody Tanks A group of white settlers led by King S. Woolsey killed 19 Apaches at a "peace parley". 19 [176][177]
1864 Oak Run Massacre California settlers massacred 300 Yana Indians who had gathered near the head of Oak Run, California for a spiritual ceremony. 300 [175]
1864 Skull Valley Massacre A group of Yavapai families was lured into a trap and massacred by soldiers under Lt. Monteith in a valley west of Prescott, Arizona (Arizona). The place was named Skull Valley after the heads of the dead Indians left unburied. [178][179]
1864 November 29 Sand Creek Massacre Members of the Colorado Militia attacked a peaceful village of Cheyenne, killing up to 163 men, women and children at Sand Creek in Kiowa County. 70-163 [180][181]
1865 March 14 Mud Lake Massacre US troops under Captain Wells attacked a Paiute camp near Winnemucca Lake, killing 32 Indians. One soldier was slightly wounded during the attack. 32 (including warriors) [182]
1865 July 18 The Squaw Fight/The Grass Valley Massacre While searching for Antonga Black Hawk, the Mormon militia came upon a band of Ute Indians. Thinking they were part of Black's Hawks band, they attacked them. They killed 10 men and took the women and children captive. After the women and children tried to escape, the militia shot them too. 10 men + unknown women and children [183]
1865 Owens Lake Massacre White vigilantes attacked a Paiute camp on Owens Lake in California, killing about 40 men, women and children. 40 [184]
1865 Three Knolls Massacre White settlers massacred a Yana community at Three Knolls on the Mill Creek, California. [185][186]
1865 September Bloody Point Massacre A wagon train of 65 settlers was massacred by Modoc Indians near Lake Tule in Oregon. One man survived and alerted the Oregon militia who buried the bodies. 65 (settlers) [187]
1866 April 21 Circleville Massacre Mormon militiamen killed 16 Paiute men and women at Circleville, Utah. 6 men were shot, allegedly while trying to escape. The others (3 men and 7 women) had their throats cut. 4 small children were spared. 16 [188]
1867 Aquarius Mountains Yavapai County Rangers killed 23 Indians (men, women and children) in the southern Aquarius Mountains, Arizona. 23 [189]
1868 Campo Seco A posse of white settlers massacred 33 Yahis in a cave north of Mill Creek, California. 33 [190][191]
1868 September 24 Massacre at La Paz A group of teamsters attacked a sleeping Yavapai camp in the outskirts of La Paz, Arizona, killing 15 Indians. 15 [192]
1868 November 27 Washita Massacre
(Battle of Washita River)
During the American Indian Wars, Lt. Col. G.A.Custer's 7th U.S. 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 and as low as 17. Before returning to their base, the cavalry killed several hundred Indian ponies and burned the village. 21 US soldiers were also killed. 17-75 [193][194][195][196][197][198][199][200][201][202][203]
1870 January 23 Marias Massacre US troops killed 173 Piegan, mainly women, children and the elderly after being led to the wrong camp by a soldier who wanted to protect his Indian wife's family. 173-217 [204]
1871 Kingsley Cave Massacre 4 settlers killed 30 Yahi Indians in Tehama County, California about two miles from Wild Horse Corral in the Ishi Wilderness. It is estimated that this massacre left only 15 members of the Yahi tribe alive 30 [205]
1871 April 30 Camp Grant Massacre Led by the ex-Mayor of Tucson, William Oury, eight Americans, 48 Mexicans and more than 100 allied Pima attacked Apache men, women and children at Camp Grant, Arizona Territory killing 144, with 1 survivor at scene and 29 children sold to slavery. All but eight of the dead were Apache women or children. 144 [206][207]
1871 November 5 Wickenburg massacre Indians attacked an Arizona stagecoach, killing the driver and his five passengers, leaving two wounded survivors. 6 (settlers) [208][209]
1872 December 28 Skeleton Cave Massacre U.S. troops and Indian scouts killed 76 Yavapai Indians men, women and children in a remote cave in Arizona's Salt River Canyon. 76 [210]
1873 June 1 Cypress Hills Massacre Following a dispute over stolen horses, American wolfers killed approximately 20 Nakoda in Saskatchewan. 20 [211]
1875 April Sappa Creek Massacre Soldiers under Lt Austin Henly trapped a group of 27 Cheyenne, (19 men, 8 women and children) on the Sappa Creek, in Kansas and killed them all. 27 [212]
1877 August 8 Battle of the Big Hole US troops under Colonel John Gibbon attacked a Nez Perce village at Big Hole, in Montana Territory. They killed 70 to 90 including 33 warriors before being repulsed by the Indians. 31 US soldiers were killed. 70-90 (33 warriors) [145][213]
1879 January 9–21 Fort Robinson Massacre Northern Cheyenne under Dull Knife attempted to escape from confinement in Fort Robinson, Nebraska; U.S. Army forces hunted them down, killing between 32 and 77 of them including at least 14 women and children. The remains of those killed were repatriated in 1994. 12 U.S. soldiers were also killed. 32-77 (including warriors) [214][215]
1879 September 30 Meeker Massacre In the beginning of the Ute War, the Ute killed the US Indian Agent Nathan Meeker and 10 others. They also attacked a military unit, killing 13 and wounding 43. 11 [216][217]
1880 April 28 Alma Massacre The Apache chief Victorio led warriors in an attack on settlers at Alma, New Mexico. On December 19, 1885, the Apache killed an officer and four enlisted men of the 8th Cavalry Regiment near Alma. 35-41 (settlers) [218]
1890 December 10 Buffalo Gap Massacre Several wagonloads of Sioux were killed by South Dakota Home Guard militiamen near French Creek, South Dakota, while visiting a white friend in Buffalo Gap. [219]
1890 December Stronghold South Dakota Home Guard militiamen ambushed and massacred 75 Sioux at the Stronghold, in the northern portion of Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. 75 [219]
1890 December 29 Wounded Knee Massacre Members of the U.S. 7th Cavalry attacked and killed between 130 and 250 Sioux men, women and children at Wounded Knee, South Dakota. 130–250 [220][221]
1911 January 19 Last Massacre A group of Shoshone killed four ranchers in Washoe County, Nevada. On February 26, 1911, an American posse killed eight of the Shoshone suspects and captured four children from the band. 5 (4 ranchers & 1 policeman) + 8 (Indians) [222][223][224]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

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