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United States History

Native Americans

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Creation stories | Paleo-Indians | Woodlands | Moundbuilders | Anasazi | online resources | Indigenous Geography


Inuit and Aleut | Athapascan | Algonquin | Muskogean | Caddoan | Iroquois
Uto-Aztecan/Tanoan | Siouan | Yuman | Pomo | Mangue | Matagalpan | Other Languages


Ice Age, Beringia, Paleo-Indians (c. 40,000 - 10,000 B.C./B.C.E.)

PALEO-INDIAN PEOPLE (15,000 - 7,000 B.C./B.C.E.)




(c. 1000 B.C./B.C.E. - A.D./C.E. 1000)





Inuit and Aleut
* | Athapascan * | Algonquin * | Muskogean * | Caddoan * | Iroquois *
Uto-Aztecan/Tanoan * | Siouan * | Yuman * | Pomo * | Mangue * | Matagalpan * | Other Languages *

INUIT (Alaska - Eskimos) and ALEUT * (Alaska) [.971] [ARCTIC AND SUBARCTIC]

ATHAPASCAN (Alaska, Canada), HAIDAN (Queen Charlotte Islands), TLINGIT (Northwest Coast - Alaskan panhandle) [.972] [SUBARCTIC]

ALGONKIUN * (ALGONQUIN) [.973] - Subsistence source: maize [NORTHEAST - eastern area]

MUSKOGEAN [.973] - Subsistence source: maize [SOUTHEAST]

  • Choctaw * tongue - Subsistence source: Maize, fish [SOUTHEAST] (Mississippi)
    • Image * of "Ball-play of the Choctaw-Ball Up", 1834-1835 - George Catlin
  • Chickasaw * tongue - Subsistence source: Maize [SOUTHEAST] (Mississippi)
    • 1538-1543 - Hernando de Soto (1500?-1542) - sailed from Spain to Florida marching for four years with his army through southeastern North America and crossing the Appalachian Mountains, exploring Mobile Bay, the Yazoo Delta, and Oklahoma and dying along the way while his group went on down the Mississippi River across the Gulf of Mexico to Rio Panuco. He establishes the first contacts with several Muskogean tribes, and with the powerful Cherokees. De Soto leads the first armed conflict of Europeans against Native Americans, in what is now Alabama. [see: Trail of * Tears, 1838]
    • Indian Removal Act * of 1830
  • Creek * tongue (Muskoke) - [SOUTHEAST] (Georgia and Alabama)
    • Red Eagle (William Weatherford) (1780-1822) organized the Creek tribe but was beat in the War of 1814.
    • During the American Revolution, under emperor Alexander McGillivray, they allied themselves with the English
    • 1813 - In the summer of 1813 *, during the Creek * War, the Creeks attacked Fort Mims in Alabama.
    • 1814 - After the battle of Horseshoe * Bend, the Creeks surrendered * to Major General Andrew Jackson.
    • 1825 - Menawa *, the "Crazy War Hunter" * from his bravery at the battle of Horseshoe Bend in 1814, led a raiding party which killed Chief William * McIntosh because of his conciliatory efforts to the English. In 1825, the Treaty of Indian Springs * was signed.
  • Seminole * tongue - Subsistence source: Mix of wild and cultivated food sources [SOUTHEAST] (Florida)
    • Billy Bowlegs * (Holata Micco) (ca. 1810-ca. 1864) was involved in the Third Seminole War *. He had served * in the Union Army during the Civil War. [image *]
    • Image - "Co-ee-ha-jo, a Chief" - 1938 (Smithsonian American Art Museum) - George Catlin

CADDOAN [.973] [PLAINS AND PRAIRIES] (Texas, Oklahoma, North Dakota)

  • Caddo * language - Subsistence source: maize [PLAINS AND PRAIRIES] (Texas)
    • Caddoan * cultures in Red and Arkansas river valleys of Oklahoma and Texas and parts of Arkansas and Louisiana
    • Conflict with DeSoto in 1541
    • 1690 - 1720s - - The Apache Indians in Arizona and New Mexico are weakened as their eastern enemies - Pawnees, Wichitas, and other Caddoan tribes, acquire guns. Raids from the north by Utes and Comanches further hamper the Apache.
    • Council Springs Treaty (1846) acknowledges the United States government as their protector
  • Wichita * language - Subsistence source: Maize [PLAINS AND PRAIRIES] (Oklahoma, Texas)
  • Pawnee * language - Subsistence source: Hunting, maize [PLAINS AND PRAIRIES] (Nebraska)
  • Arikara * language - Subsistence source: Hunting, maize [PLAINS AND PRAIRIES] (Missouri River and along the border of North and South Dakota)

- Subsistence source: Beans, maize, squash and wild animals

  • Iroquois * - Subsistence source: Beans, maize, squash and wild animals
    • 1390 - The Great Binding * Law is proclaimed by Huron * prophet Deganawidah, establishing the Five (later Six) Nations of the Iroquois Confederacy. The five original nations are the Oneida, Onondaga, Mohawk, Seneca, and Cayuga. Some sources date the founding of the confederacy in the mid-1500s.
    • 1560 - 1570 - - The leaders of the Seneca, Cayuga, Onondago, Oneida, and Mohawk tribes, after a period of internal warfare, unite and establish the Iroquois Confederacy (League of the Iroquois, or Five Nations). Some sources indicate that Confederacy was founded with The Great Binding Law of 1390.
    • 1609 - Samuel de Champlain (1567?-1635), with a party that includes 2 Frenchmen and about 60 Native Americans, heads down the St. Lawrence River. Near Ticonderoga, his group encounters approximately 200 Iroquois. The Iroquois, who have never seen firearms, flee.
    • 1693 - A large party of Iroquois is defeated at the St. Joseph River (central Michigan) by French troops.

    • Cayuga
    • Mohawk
      • 1676 - Mohawk girl, Catherine (Kateri) Tekakwitha, converts to Catholicism at age of 20, baptized by Jesuits, and later becomes the first known Native American nun. [image of "Lily of the Mohawks" *]
      • Theyanoguin * (King Henrick), Mohawk statesman, supported the British in the French and Indian Wars.
      • Joseph Brant * (Thayendanegea) (1742-1807) fought in the American Revolution on the side of the British. He served as a missionary and translated the prayer book. [images * by George Romney, 1776, and Gilbert Stuart, 1786]
      • 1730s conflict with the British *

      • Swamp, Chief Jake. Giving Thanks: A Native American Good Morning Message. NY: Lee & Low, 1995. (24 ps.) [MOHAWK] (Drawing on Six Nation (Iroquois) ceremonial tradition, the text speaks concise thanks to Mother Earth, to water, grass fruits, animals, to the wind and rain, sun, moon and stars, to the Spirit Protectors of our past and present, ``for showing us ways to live in peace and harmony,'' )
    • Onandago
      • 1657 - Following a peace treaty with the Iroquois, a group of French colonists leaves Montreal and winters in Onondaga country (upstate New York).
    • Oneida * and *
    • Seneca (New York)
      • Red Jacket * (Otetiani) (1750?-1830) and his tribe aided the British during the American Revolution.
  • Tuscarora - Subsistence source: Maize [SOUTHEAST] (eastern North Carolina *)
  • Wyandot * (Huron) - Subsistence source: Maize [NORTHEAST] (northeast of Lake Huron)
    • 1609 - French forces accompany a war party of Wyandots (Hurons) and Algonquins to Lake Champlain for an attack against the Mohawks. The Wyandot and Algonquin party is successful, and several Mohawk leaders are killed. [Huron contact 1611 * wampum * belt | 1635 Father Jean de Brebeuf * letter of trading relations]
    • 1615 - Champlain's French and Huron forces at Lake Oneida suffer a major defeat, causing many Hurons to question the wisdom of their alliance with the French.
    • 1615 - 1630s - - The Hurons (Wyandots) have a vast trading * network. Graves from this period show goods from Mexico, the Gulf coast and the Minnesota River areas.
    • 1620s - 1636 - - At its height, the Huron Confederacy has 30,000 to 35,000 people. Two allied tribes include the Wyandot or Tobacco Nation (15,000) and the Attiwandaronk or Neutral Nation (12,000). This alliance dominates the native trade in the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence region.
    • 1622 - 1631 - - French Jesuits begin missionary work among the Hurons. The Iroquois react violently to these activities by torturing and killing several missionaries and eventually destroying the Huron Confederacy.
    • 1635 - By this date, beavers are virtually eliminated in Huron country.
    • 1640 - The beaver population is decimated in Iroquois country, and the Five Nations do not have enough furs to trade for what they need from the Dutch.
    • 1660 - 1670 - - Wyandots and Ottawas establish a trade with French colonists. By 1670 there are 50 tribal villages on the bay.
  • Erie - Subsistence source: [NORTHEAST] (Pennsylvania, New York, Oklahoma)
    • 1653 - 1656 - - The Erie tribe is virtually annihilated by the Iroquois.

  • Cherokee * - Subsistence source: Hunting, maize [IROQUOIAN LANGUAGE] [SOUTHEAST] (Carolinas, Georgia, Tennessee)
    • Contact with DeSoto in 1540 at their Echota capital near present-day Madisonville, Tennessee
    • 1808 - Chief Charles Hicks documented the Cherokee legal code
    • 1808 - Sequoya * (Si-kwayi) (Alabaman Cherokee) (1760?-1843) developed an 85 character alphabet after 12 years of work. In 1828, he was a representative of the western tribes in Washington, D.C. after they were forced to move to Indian Territory in the 1830s. Sequoia trees are named for him.
    • Osceola (1800-1838) led the Seminoles to their second war in 1835, with an uprising that killed an Indian agent.
    • 1828 - Cherokee-Phoenix (bilingual newspaper) published at New Echota
    • Cherokee: Georgia * Trail of Tears * (1838 *): Cherokee [map *] Indians begin walk from Georgia to Oklahoma (see:973.572)
    • Student challenge * focusing on Trail of Tears`
    • 1838-1839 - Chief John Ross (1790-1866) forced to give up lands and to be moved to new lands in Indian Territory
    • John Ross (1790-1866) allied the Cherokee with the Confederate States of America in 1861.

and PENUTIAN [CALIFORNIA] [.974] - Subsistence source: Small game


    • Arapaho * tongue - Subsistence source: Large game, buffalo [PLAINS AND PRAIRIES] (eastern North Dakota and western Minnesota)
      • Chief Powder Face
      • Chief Little Raven (Hosa) signed the Medicine Lodge Treaty in Octobe 1867
      • Ghost Dance ritual (1890)
    • Pueblo - Subsistence source: Wild plants, maize, small game [SOUTHWEST] (New Mexico) (Hopi and Zuni are related pueblo-dwelling tribes of a different linguistic group)
      • 1400 - The last pueblo community in southern Arizona, Casa Grande, is abandoned, due in part to Apache raids.
      • Spanish contact in 1540 with Francisco Vasquez deCoronado searching for seven cities of gold.
    • Shoshone * - Subsistence source: Mix of animal and wild plant foods [SOUTHWEST - Great Basin] (Colorado, Idaho, Nevado, Utah, Wyoming)
      • Sacagawea (Bird Woman) (1787?-1812)
      • Washakie (1804?-1900) was friendly to white people and made war against his Indian neighbors. In the 1840s, he helped immigrants moving west on the Oregon Trail. In the 1850s, he aided Mormons in the Utah Territory. In 1876, He sent warriors as scouts for U. S. troops against the Sioux. He spent his later life trying to negotiate lands and rights for his people.
    • Comanche - Subsistence source: Buffalo, other game [PLAINS AND PRAIRIE] (northern Texas)
      • Image - "Comanche Village, Women Dressing Robes and Drying Meat", 1834-1835 - (Smithsonian American Art Museum) George Catlin
      • 1834 - Ishacoly (Traveling Wolf) and Tabequeva (Sun Eagle) made contact with Colonel Henry Dodge of the U. S. Army.
      • Gold rush and annexation of Texas brought many people through their territory and caused friction. Santa Fe Trail raids in 1864 pitted them against Christopher Kit Carson.
      • Quanah Parker (1845-1911) was the son of Chief Nokoni and Cynthia Ann Parker, a white woman who had been kidnapped as a child in Texas and had grown up with the Comanche. In 1875, he led his people against white settlers to stop the slaughter of buffalo. He moved his band of followers to a reservation near Fort Hill in what is now Oklahoma.
    • Hopi * - Subsistence source: Maize, wild plants [SOUTHWEST] (Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico) [Pueblo]
    • Kiowa * - Subsistence source: Buffalo [PLAINS AND PRAIRIES]
      • 1700 - 1724 - - The Ute * [*] and Comanche tribes become allies against Apaches, Pueblos, and Spaniards in northern New Mexico. Ute-Comanche raids probably are a factor in splitting the Apache tribe into northern Kiowa * and southern Jicarilla-Lipan branches. Utes later become allies to the Jicarilla Apaches.
      • Texas Kiowa *
      • Sitting Bear, a Kiowa Chief, was killed escaping in 1871
    • Paiute * - Subsistence source: Wild plants, small game [GREAT BASIN] (Utah, Nevada, California, Arizona)
      • Pre-contact California tribal territories * maps
    • Shoshone (Shoshoni) * - Subsistence source: Mix of animal and wild plant foods [GREAT BASIN] (Colorado, Idaho, Nevada, Utah, Wyoming, Nevada)
    • Ute - Subsistence source: Large game [GREAT BASIN] (eastern Utah, western Colorado, northern New Mexico)

    • Zuni * - Subsistence source: Maize [SOUTHWEST][Rio Grande, New Mexico, Arizona] [Pueblo]
      • 1581 - In their exploration of New Mexico, Spanish explorers visit Zuni and Piro pueblos. The Pueblo Indians attack and kill those coming to convert them.

    • Chinook - Northwestern United States coast) [NORTHWEST]
    • 1578 - 1579 - - English adventurer, Francis Drake, explores the California coast, where he encounters the Coast Miwok, a Penutian tribe of north-central California, who occupy a large part of the region that is now Marin and Sonoma counties.


    • Catawba - Subsistence source: Maize [SOUTHEAST] (southern South Carolina)
    • Crow - Subsistence source: Buffalo and other game [PLAINS AND PRAIRIE] (Knife River, North Dakota, Montana)
      • Chief Plenty Coups (1848-1932) led his forces alongside the U. S. Army and Colonel George Armstrong Custer * against the Sioux led by Sitting Bull *, Crazy Horse, and other Cheyenne leaders. Custer was defeated at the Battle of Little * Big Horn * in 1876.
      • Fort * Laramie Treaty of 1868 * consolidated them onto a reservation in southeastern Montana.
    • Winnebago * - Subsistence source: Hunting, maize [NORTHEAST] (western shore of Lake Michigan)
    • Osage - Subsistence source: Hunting, maize [PLAINS AND PRAIRIES] (Kansas)
      • Maria Tallchief (1925-) was a ballerina in a dance company.
    • Dakota (Sioux) (Lakota, Nakota, Otchente Chakowin) - Subsistence source: Buffalo [PLAINS AND PRAIRIES] [Images*]
      • c. 1600 - In the area that is now North Dakota, several Native American groups begin migrating to new homes. The Cheyenne move to the Sheyenne River valley; the Kidatsa migrate westward to the Missouri River; and the Sioux migrate out of the Minnesota woodlands onto the Plains [see: 1800s * Sioux * timeline]
      • Sitting Bull * (Tatanka Iyotake) (1834?-1890)
      • Crazy Horse (Ta-sunko-witko) (1844-1877) fought Custer in 1876 and won.
      • Chief Joseph (In-mut-too-yah-lat-lat) (1840-1904) [Nez Perce*] led a retreat through Idaho and Montana in 1877. He spent most of his life fighting wars.
      • Sioux milestones * in the Dakotas (1800-present)
      • The Battle of Wounded Knee, * South Dakota, the last major Sioux and US Army battle (see: 978.3)

      • Rappaport, Doreen. The Flight of Red Bird. NY: Dial Books for Young Readers, 1997. [YANKTON - NAKOTA - SIOUX] (South Dakota) (Experiences of Yankton Indian woman, Red Bird, through her own reminiscences, letters, speeches, and stories of the late 19th and early 20th centuries)
      • Mitchell, Barbara. Red Bird. NY: Lothrop, Lee & Shepard, 1996. [NANTICOKE HERITAGE] (Katie, also known as Red Bird, joins her family and other Indians at the annual powwow in southern Delaware near Millboro, DE. , where they celebrate their Nanticoke heritage with music, dancing, and special foods.)
    • Assiniboin (Stoney) - Subsistence source: {PLAINS AND PRAIRIES] (western Saskatchewan)
    • Mandan - Subsistence source: Hunting, maize, pumpkins, squash [PLAINS AND PRAIRIES] (Missouri River, central North Dakota)
      • Charles Bird King * is best known for his portraits of the Native American dignitaries who came to Washington to confer with government officials. "A History of the Indian Tribes of North America" between 1836 and 1844, featured portraits by King and other artists, along with biographies of the subjects. [Images 1 *]
      • George Carlin (1796-1872) * visited * the Mandan in 1832 and kept papers * on his travels. [Images of his month long study 1 | 22 | 3*]

YUMAN [.975] [SOUTHWEST] [southeastern California, Colorado River Valley)
- Subsistence source: Maize and other cultivated plants [Images
* : Lure of the West

    • Cocopa - Subsistence source: Wild plants, small game, maize [SOUTHWEST] (southeastern California)
    • Havasupai * - Subsistence source: Wild plants, maize [SOUTHWEST] (Arizona - Grand Canyon area)
    • Kamia - Subsistence source: Acorns [SOUTHWESTERN CALIFORNIA] (San Diego)
    • Maricopa - Subsistence source: Wild plants, maize [SOUTHWEST] (southeastern California)
    • Mohave (Mojave) - Subsistence source: Wild and cultivated plants [SOUTHEASTERN CALIFORNIA]
    • Yavapi (Yavapai) - Subsistence source: Wild plants, small game [SOUTHWEST]
    • Yuma * - Subsistence source: Maize and other cultivated plants [SOUTHWEST] (southeastern California, Colorado River valley)

POMO [.975] [NORTHERN CALIFORNIA] (Russian River; north of San Francisco Bay)
- Subsistence source: Mix of animal and wild plant foods, expecially acorns




  • BEOUTHUKAN (Newfoundland)
  • KLAMATH-SAHAPTIN [GREAT BASIN] (northeastern Oregon)
    • Cayuse
    • Chimakuan
  • SALISHAN - Subsistence source: fish
    • Chehalis
    • Chelan
    • Chemakum
    • Chinook * - Subsistence source: Fish, game (Northwestern United States coast) [NORTHWEST]
      • Contact with explorer John Meares who arrived at Willapa Bay in 1788
      • John Wesley Powell's survey found 500 Chinook left in 1885
    • Bella Coola * - Subsistence source: Fish [NORTHWEST COAST] (British Columbia)
      • Contact with Sir Alexander MacKenzie in July 1793
    • Keallam
    • Coeur d'Alene - Subsistence source: Large game [GREAT BASIN] (Northern Idaho)
    • Colville - Subsistence source: Fish, game [GREAT BASIN] (Northern Washington and southern British Columbia)
    • Lummi - Subsistence source: Fish [NORTHWEST COUAST] (Puget Sound)
    • Nisqualli - Subsistence source: Fish [NORTHWEST COAST] (southern Puget Sound, Washington)
    • Okanogan (Okinagan, Okanagan) - Subsistence source: Large game [GREAT BASIN] (Southern British Columbia)
    • Samish - Subsistence source: Fish [NORTHWEST COAST] (Puget Sound, Washington)
    • Spokan (Spokane) - Subsistence source: Fish, large game [GREAT BASIN] (eastern Washington)
    • Tillamook - Subsistence source: Fish [NORTHWEST COAST] (northwestern Oregon coast)
  • WAKASHAN linguistic group
    • Makah - Subsistence source: Fish [NORTHWEST COAST]
    • Nootka - Subsistence source: Fish [NORTHWEST COAST] (Vancouver Island, British Columbia)
    • Kwakiutl - Subsistence source: Fish [NORTHWEST COAST] (central British Columbia)

NEW PUBLICATION AVAILABLE - From Caravels to the Constitution by Marjorie Duby.
at Creative Teaching Press.

Content: Blackline masters - Using word searches, hidden messages, analogies, anagrams, and creative puzzles, students will learn about history while they apply critical-thinking skills. This resource provides students with opportunities to organize and analyze information and to draw conclusions. Extension activities promote practical, informative, narrative, and expository writing skills to help meet the standards. 112 pages [LW405 - From Caravels to the Constitution - $13.99]

As of December 4, 2003, you are visitor to use this timeline.

[Inquiry Unlimited * | Our Grade 5 classroom was formerly sited at http://lee.boston.k12.ma.us/d4/D4.html | Looney Lobster * | Eureka * | Revolutionary Period Index *

Last modified: August 25, 2014.
Copyright 2000. All rights reserved.

This website and its contents were compiled and arranged by Marjorie Duby using other websites, almanacs, and chronologies focusing on 17th century American history, but using "The Peopling of America: A Timeline of Events that Helped Shape Our Nation" as the framework.

Disclaimer: The staff of Inquiry Unlimited attempts to provide appropriate, informative educational links. We check and update links frequently. We cannot be responsible for the content, use of, or quality of materials on any website other than our own. To the best of our knowledge, graphics on this site are public domain. If you find otherwise, please notify us and we will remove them immediately.