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An Early Colonist Describes "the Nature and Manners" of the Algonquian People

Thomas Hariot was an astronomer and mathematician who traveled to Roanoke Island on one of Sir Walter Raleigh's early expeditions to the New World. Encountering local Indian populations, Harriot learned the Algonquian language and later published an [...]

William Penn Describes the Lenni-Lenape Indians of Pennsylvania

This account of Native American life in Pennsylvania was published by the colony's founder, William Penn, who hoped to encourage settlement in the colony. Describing the physical appearance, diet, shelter, rituals and mannerisms of the [...]

A Native American Chief Explains the Source of Indian-Settler Conflict

Red Cloud, an Oglala Lakota chief, led a two year war against white settlers and railroad outposts between 1866 and 1868. Red Cloud's War, sometimes called the Powder River War, took place in parts of the Wyoming and Montana territories that were [...]

Federal Agents Offer Solutions for "Solving the Sioux Problem"

Native American warriors in the 19th century attacked the various people and institutions that threatened their way of life on the Great Plains. As these reports from various federal agents, including the Commissioner of Indian Affairs and General [...]

Native American Warriors Describe the Threats to their Way of Life

Native American warriors in the 19th century attacked the various people and institutions that threatened their way of life on the Great Plains. In these speeches to federal agents during the Indian Wars of the 1860s, Indian leaders attempt to [...]

A Reformer Praises the Carlisle School

Richard Pratt, an officer of the United States Cavalry, became obsessed with the assimilation of Indians into U.S. "civilization." Pratt believed that Indians could only survive if they adapted the values of the white man; it was necessary to "kill [...]

White Leaders Predict the Disappearance of Mexicans and Native Americans in California

With the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo in 1848, the United States gained over half a million square miles of new lands in the Southwest. However, American settlers who traveled west to settle the land were not moving into unoccupied territory. [...]

California Gold Diggers

This lithograph of miners on the shore of the Sacramento River captures the crowded, thrilling early days of the California Gold Rush. People from diverse racial, national, and class backgrounds all participate in one way or another. In the [...]

Early Accounts of Indians in the California Gold Rush

Newspaper reports, letters, and guidebooks from the early days of the Gold Rush clearly indicate the presence of Native Americans working as miners. Reports from 1848 and early 1849 estimate there were about twice as many Indian miners as white [...]

A White Californian Argues for Indian Indenture

White Californians complained that the new American government, which took over California after the Treaty of Guadalupe-Hidalgo in May 1848, was not doing enough to control and regulate Indian labor. In the chaos of the Mexican War, many Indian [...]


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