Geoff Mangum's Guide to Native American History & Culture

Prehistory, Contact to the End of the Indian Wars, and Modern Days

Catlin Village

This webpage features North America before the Europeans, and during the ensuing four centuries (1500-1900) of European dispossession of the native populations by violence and deceit, euphemistically termed "the clash of cultures", and with modern information on tribes and cultures. The collection of Google Maps contains about 15,000 feature-rich placemarks with live links to web resources organized topically and usually with dates, and the Google Earth viewer allows seeing the entire collection at once. The overarching idea is to portray accurately and in detail the great change that swept the American landscape between 1500 and 1900, or the first three centuries 1500-1800 of native-European contact before the creation of the United States (1791) and the following century 1800-1900 of federal warfare against the remnant tribes in pursuit of Manifest Destiny.

HOW TO: To view any one of the Google Maps for a subject, just click on the Map link. To view a single map in Google Earth, first download and install the Google Earth viewer, and then second either a) proceed from a single map to view solely that map on Google Earth by using the top right menu of the Google Map webpage ("View in Google Earth") or b) better yet view the entire collection by downloading the 40 "kml" files for all the maps in a batch to your computer desktop (or elsewhere) and then in the Google Earth viewer use File>Open from the top menu and select all the kml files to open. In order to download the entire updated collection of kml files for all 40 or so Google Maps, go to this FTP site and drag-and-drop the KML folder's contents to your hard drive: FTP site click here: Wait for the files to appear -- no password or anything is required other than to click this link.

If this is difficult for you, simply email me and I'll get the kml Google Earth files to you. Finally, once the kml files are loaded / opened in the Google Earth viewer, if the placemarks are too dense or you wish to see only certain subjects, use the left sidebar to select or deselect subjects. Current collection: approximately 15,000 placemarks. Updating is in progress and your assistance is welcome (email me). For further assistance and news of additions and changes, visit the Native America Project on Facebook.

MORE RESOURCES: In addition to the Google Maps, the Google Earth collection, and the Facebook page Native America Project, I have compiled a massive research library that is accessible online for research, with over 14,000 titles categorized along lines similar to the Google Maps (and I am adding to this collection steadily). The Native America Project Online Library is best used by selecting one of the main categories from the drop-down menu at top left, and then searching inside that category using the lower search window at top right ("search your library", not the "search site" window above it, which searches all libraries in the website).

For example, to search titles pertaining to the Creeks, select "Native America Project" and enter "Creek" in the window (367 current titles). The "Fur Trade" category has 666 current titles. To search Native American trails, choose "All Collections" and enter "trail" in the search window (528 titles, the world's most extensive research for early Indian trails). To search Native American trails in Ohio, select the "Transportation" category and enter "Ohio" in the search window (112 current titles). The "Native America Project" plus "Ohio" search generates 898 titles tracking the Native American experience in Ohio. Searching the "Online" category plus "Ohio" generates 385 titles that are available full-text immediately online, so 45% of all Ohio Indian titles are available full-text online. The "Online" category itself currently has 2,528 full-text titles, so nearly one in six of all NAP titles are available online, and most of these valuable works of history are otherwise completely inaccessible to almost everyone except professors with grants at high-endowment research universities, and these professors are not numerous or energetic about using these resources. This library is far more comprehensive than any research compilation generated heretofore in any University, and will reveal to any tenured history professor resources he or she in not familiar with within minutes. Likewise, any student of Native American history can accomplish in 2-3 minutes what would otherwise require several weeks to accomplish in traditional bibliographic research in libraries and online.

The NAP Library also IMPROVES current academic resources and makes them more accessible and usable. For example, the folks at the Research Laboratories of Archaeology (RLA) at UNC-Chapel Hill doubtless think highly of the RLA archive of Southern Indian Studies issued serially since the 1930s, but none of the archived materials appear in anything but PDF images and these materials are not searchable full-text. The NAP Library has done for UNC's RLA what they should have done decades ago, as I have crawled thru all the articles and indexed them individually into the NAP Library including live url web links to allow the researchers to open the document to read the content. There are about 430 titles from the RLA indexed and searchable in the NAP Library. Similar corrective work has been done for state and university archaeological and historical archives around the country, such as the Massachusetts Archaeological Society (111 articles indexed), the Connecticut Archaeological Society (104 titles) and many more.

As another example, there is a "Bibliography of Bibliographies" in the NAP Library that currently contains 887 titles, compared to standard academic bibliographies that contain perhaps 100 or fewer titles. A related collection in the NAP Library is Place Names in the United States and Canada of Indian Origin, currently containing about 300 titles and soon to grow to over 1,500. These are bibliographic titles. The ACTUAL place names or original Indian names for towns and villages and counties and states and rivers and streams and mountains and the like is another on-going compilation locating each place name on the Google Map series and making them available on the Google Earth collection: for this, as an example, Long Island, New York, alone has nearly 500 identified Indian place names that are being located, with the original meaning of the Indian word(s) for the locality. The Susquehanna Valley has nearly 400 identified Indian place names. New England has over 1,000. The same is being done for all US states and Canadian provinces. Altogether, this NAP online research collection is not only searchable online, but it is far more complete than anything that has ever existed for Native American history.

The complete Native American Project is a) colossal, and b) in progress. If you would like to volunteer assistance, please send me email at I have been asking for academic professors to support this project with direct or indirect assistance, including helping sponsor grant proposals for funding to take the NAP to the next level: online interactive maps and searchable databases, CD and DVD media productions for school and university students, tribal sponsored materials to promote education and travel and tourism, cooperative public educational programs, and the like. The response so far has been shamefully unenergetic. If you would like to tell others about this resource, you may want to download and print this one-page Native America Project poster (170 kb pdf download) to post on a bulletin board or to send out as an email attachment. Thanks.

TopHistorical Narrative

Guide to Google Maps

Native America Project: Alaska Native Communities

Native America Project: Canadian First Nations

Native America Project: Early Maps with Indian Sites (1)

Native America Project: Early Maps with Indian Sites (2)

Native America Project: Early Indian Paths and Settler Trails and Roads (1)

Native America Project: Early Indian Paths and Settler Trails and Roads (2)

Native America Project: Early Indian Paths and Settler Trails and Roads (3)

Native America Project: Early Indian Paths and Settler Trails and Roads (4)

Native America Project: European Exploration and Settlement (1)

Native America Project: European Exploration and Settlement (2)

Native America Project: IN PROGRESS LIST

Native America Project: Indian Archaeology Sites and Museums

Native America Project: Indian Art

Native America Project: Indian Biography (1)

Native America Project: Indian Biography (2)

Native America Project: Indian Casinos and Gaming

Native America Project: Indian Fur Trade and Trading Posts

Native America Project: Indian History Museums and Tourism

Native America Project: Indian Missions

Native America Project: Indian Online Bibliography (1)

Native America Project: Indian Online Bibliography (2)

Native America Project: Indian Online Bibliography (3)

Native America Project: Indian Online Bibliography (4)

Native America Project: Indian Place Names (1)

Native America Project: Indian Place Names (2)

Native America Project: Indian Powwows, Festivals and Conferences

Native America Project: Indian Schools

Native America Project: Indian Towns and Villages (1)

Native America Project: Indian Towns and Villages (2)

Native America Project: Indian Towns and Villages (3)

Native America Project: Indian Towns and Villages (4)

Native America Project: Indian Towns and Villages (4.1)

Native America Project: Indian Towns and Villages (5)

Native America Project: Indian Tribes with Federal Recognition (1)

Native America Project: North American Indian Wars (1)

Native America Project: North American Indian Wars (2)

Native America Project: Online Library

Native America Project: US-Canadian Forts 1500-1900 (1)

Native America Project: US-Canadian Forts 1500-1900 (2)

Native America Project: US-Canadian Forts 1500-1900 (3)

Native America Project: US-Canadian Forts 1500-1900 (4)

Native America Project: US-Canadian Forts 1500-1900 (5)

TopHistorical Narrative

TopPaleoindian & Archaic: 10,000 to 1200 BC

Laurentian Ice Sheet Withdrawal
Withdrawal of the Laurentian Ice Sheet between 18,000 and 8,000 years ago

The Ice Age freeze soaked up the waters of the ocean and lowered sea levels perhaps as much as 400 feet, opening a land bridge across the shallow Bering Sea between northwest North America and Siberia. The passage on the North American side of the bridge, however, was blocked by massive glaciers until the end of the Ice Age. With the gradual melting of the Laurentian Ice Sheet, a passageway into North America opened, perhaps 14,000 years ago. The migrant herds of Siberia crossed this land bridge of Beringia into North America, followed by their dependent hunter-gatherers, the Paleo-Indian peoples. As the ice continued to melt, the sea rose to previous levels and the land bridge was submerged. The indigent peoples of North America thereby first occupied the western hemisphere sometime before 12,000 years ago, arriving through Alaska and the Yukon into the midwest and thence southwest to Mexico and Central and South America and southeast towards Florida. The Paleo-Indian cultures slowly evolved into agricultural communities with seasonal migrations, and still later into more settled farming communities of the Woodland era.

(Further Resources: PBS: America's Stone Age Explorers; The Peopling of the American Continents; NPS Archaeology Program: Kennewick Man. For an alternative view that Native American peoples originated on the North and South American continents independently of the Euro-Asia peoples, see Vine Deloria Jr., Red Eath, White Lies: Native Americans and the Myth of Scientific Fact (New York: Scribner, 1995). The dating of the peopling of the Americas is drawn in question by recent archaeological settlement remains said to date to well earlier than the latest opening of the Beringia land bridge, which implies arrival by water routes and possibly from western Europe or Oceania instead of from northern Asia.See generallySettlement of the Americas for the different theories.)

  Early   ca. 11,450 to 10,900 BC
  Middle   ca. 10,900 to 10,500 BC
  Late   ca. 10,500 to 9,450 BC
  Early   ca. 9,450 to 6,900 BC
  Middle   ca. 6,900 to 3,900 BC
  Late   ca. 3,900 to 1,200 BC
  Early   ca. 1,200 to 390 BC Adena Culture
  Middle   ca. 390 BC to 500 AD Hopewell Culture
  Late   ca. 500 to 1000 AD Mississippi Culture
  Early   850 to 1150 AD Caddoan
  Middle   1150 to 1350 AD Cahokia, Moundville, Etowah, Ocmulgee
  Late   1350 to 1700 AD Lamar, Fort Ancient

TopWoodland: 1200 BC to 1000 AD


Southeastern Woodland Sites

Woodland Sites

TopMississippian: 850 to 1500 AD

Adena Pipe
Adena Culture Pipe, Ohio River Valley (ca. 1000 or 500 BC - 100 AD)

Ohio Archaeology

View Larger Map

With the spread of maize culture up from Mexico around 1200 BC in the Southwest and 100 BC in the East, vast, highly stratified native empires eventually emerged throughout the American interior, with the Hopewell Culture of the Illinois and Ohio River Valleys and then later along the Mississippi Valley with the Mississippian Culture.

Hopewell Map
Hopewell Culture, Illinois and Ohio River Valleys (200 BC - 500 AD)

(Further Resources: Hopewell Archaeology; Hopewell Earthworks and Hopewell Culture; Woodland and Mississippian Tradition, Beloit College (WI); NPS Archaeology: Ancient Architects of the Mississippi; Illinois State Museum: Prehistoric and Historic Native Americans; Max Baldia's The Mississippian Period of the Woodland Culture Area in the Eastern US)

The mound-builders of Mississipian Culture featured centralized agricultural chiefdoms and sun-worship ritual.

Mississippi Culture (700 AD - 1600 AD, florished ca. 1200 AD), Mississippi Valley and Southeast

The town of Cahokia opposite modern St Louis, was the largest of these chiefdom towns, and lasted about 500 years. Cahokia was once the home of nearly 40,000 inhabitants around 1100 AD / CE, and thus stood as the largest city in America until Philadelphia gained a population of 40,000 around 1800. Other cheifdoms persisted in the Mississippi Valley and the Southeast into the contact era, and were visited by early Spanish explorers.

(Further Resources: Index of Native American Archaeology & Anthropology Resources on the Internet; North American Archaeology; Native American Archaeology Resources on the Internet; Center for the Study of the First Americans).

Cahokia ca. 1100

Most contact-era tribes, however, were only a faint echo of these earlier Mississippian mound-building cultures, widely dispersed and sparsely occupying the eastern woodlands and coastal areas with only a few notable confederacy with centralized power. Columbus arrived in the Carribean and the coast of Central and South America in 1492 when the Mississippian cultures were rapidly dissolving into smaller, less centralized groups.

Southeastern Mississippian Sites

Mississippian Sites

(Further Resources: Cahokia Mounds (IL) State Historic Site; Ancient Architects of the Mississippi; The Mississippian and Late Prehistoric Period (A.D. 900 - 1700); Etowah Indian Mounds (GA) State Historic Site; Ocmulgee National Monument (GA); Moundville (AL) Archaeological Park; Town Creek (NC) Indian Mound; Caddoan Mounds (TX) State Historic Site; Pinson Mounds (TN) State Historic Park; Toltec Mounds (AR) Archeological State Park; Dickson Mounds (IL) Museum).

TopInitial Contact: 1500-1600

At this time, the original inhabitants of America numbered between six and nine million people (and more than this in Mexico), with over two million east of the Mississippi and another two to three million is Canada, in many hundreds of different tribes and thousands of towns and villages from coast to coast, concentrating generally along river valleys. On the threshold of European contact, these diverse North American tribes spoke nearly 300 different languages.

Contact-era Algonkian Pomeiooc Village, NC Coast, ca. 1590

Indian Languages Map
Pre-contact distribution of North American language families north of Mexico
296 languages grouped in 29 families

(Further Resources: Native Languages of the Americas).

TopEuropean-Indian Encounters 1500 to 1700

From the outset, Spanish conquistadors slaughtered and enslaved the inhabitants of the Carribean, Mexico, South and Central America, and the Gulf Coast, reaching into the Southwest of Texas, New Mexico and Arizona between 1500 and 1700. The entrada conquests of Cortes, Coronado, and De Soto, and others were followed by the Catholic friars and their missions and presidios with the exploitation of native peoples restrained within the royal encomienda system (quas-public plantations granted to imminent subjects investing in settlement efforts operated with forced indigent labor). De Soto's entrada forces in 1540 massacred nearly all the 5,000 inhabitants of the fortress town of Mabila in Alabama (a late Mississippian Culture) in a day-long engagement of guns and steel against arrows and sticks. A great many deaths occurred when De Soto ordered the town burned with the people trapped inside.

De Soto burning Mabila (AL) after massacre of around 5,000 people in one battle (1540).

The English arrived a century late to North American colonization with the failed Roanoke attempts on the North Carolina outer banks (1580s-1590s) and then Jamestown in Chesapeake Virginia (1607) and Plymouth Massachussetts (1620) establishing presence along the eastern Atlantic seaboard. The French made several abortive efforts in the southeast of the Carolinas, Georgia and Florida before concentrating efforts along the St Lawrence in Canada and thence down the Mississippi into Texas and the Gulf States. Incipient efforts by the Dutch (Hudson Valley in New York and New Jersey) and the Swedes (in Delaware and New Jersey) yielded to the British. Of the three empires it was said that the Spanish converted or killed the Indians, the British cheated them and enslaved them, and the French married them.

Between 1650 and 1715, the British enslaved and sold between 24,000 and 51,000 Indians captured by client tribes like the Westos and later the Shawnee on the Savannah River, paying slavers with flintlock rifles and exporting most captives to the Barbados sugar plantations. In 1693 and again in 1738, as a provocation to their neighboring antagonists the British of Carolina and Georgia, Spanish Florida declared that freedom and land would be given to runaway slaves escaping from their British Masters. By 1738, over 100 black former British slaves held Fort Mose as paid Spanish troops two miles north of the Castillo Fort at St Augustine. After the 1739 Stono Rebellion in Charleston, in which 80 rebelling slaves were hunted down and killed as they headed south, the British invaded St Augustine in 1740, with militia troops seeking to recapture or kill the runaways. After the English captured Fort Mose, however, the blacks and Spanish launched a devastating surprise attack and ended the invasion.

Ft Mose 1740
Battle at Fort Mose, St Augustine FL (1740)

By the mid-1600s, the continent was divided by three powerful and warring European empires competing for the economic riches of the newly discovered continents of the west. The British held the Atlantic seaboard from Maine to the Carolinas, the French had riverine trading communities strewn along the St Lawrence, the Great Lakes, and down the Mississippi Valley into the "Old Southwest" of the Gulf Coast, and the Spanish had the gold of Mexico and the Andes funding the Treasure Fleet wealth that sustained dominance of South and Central America, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Florida, with contested presence in Georgia and the Carolinas. Other than the Spanish borderlands of the Southwest of Texas, New Mexico, and Arizona, and a scattering of French trading posts extending westward beyond the Great Lakes region, the Trans-Mississipi West was largely terra incognito to the Europeans.

1742 (Spanish areas in Yellow, British in Red, French in Green)

While the three empires contested their claims militarily at their mutual borders, the actual possession of the land differed considerably. Spanish claims on American soil consisted principally of military installations and Catholic missions strung along as a frontier buffer line in northern Florida and the Southwest of Texas and New Mexico. The French concentrated administrative centers near Quebec and Montreal on the St Lawrence but actual settlements in the frontier areas were mostly isolated trading posts without permanent settlement. British settlements were more mercantile in character, with substantial intercolonial trade networks, urbanization, and large-scale agricultural operations, with client tribes in the nearby backcountry serving as defensive buffers. The empires competed fiercely for Indian trade among the tribes between them.

After the advent of European diseases, which decimated the American peoples between 1500 and 1700, the early Eastern Indian wars (Powhatan War, Pequot War, King Philip's War, Iroquois Beaver Wars, Tuscarora War, Yamassee War, and others) and European empire wars conducted partly on the continent (Queen Anne's War, King William's War, King George's War, the War of Jenkins' Ear), next wreaked further death, disorder, and dislocation upon the Indian peoples of the East. The burgeoning European population on the Atlantic seaboard balanced the declining native population at about 250,000 each between 1720 and 1740. The native population had lost 90 to 95% of its people during the first two centuries.

(Further Resources: Timeline of European Disease Epidemics Among American Indians; Population history of American indigenous peoples; David Stannard, American Holocaust (Oxford Univ. Press 1992) (excerpts); Charles C. Mann, 1491: New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus (Knopf 2005); Jared Diamond, Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies (W.W. Norton 1997); PBS: Guns, Germs and Steel)

TopFrench-British Conflict: Deerfield Raid 1704

Abigail and Josiah and the Raid on Deerfield Massachussetts, 29 Feb 1704

In February of 1704, Jean-Baptiste Hertel de Rouville led a party of forty-seven French Canadians and two hundred Aln™ba [Abenaki], Pennacook, Kanien'kehaka [Mohawk], and Wendat [Huron] allies 300 miles through the winter snow from Quebec in an attack on Deerfield, Massachussetts, to staunch English expansion northward. Attacking two hours before dawn on February 29, the force massacred 56 townspeople (22 men, 9 women, and 25 children), burned the houses, and carried off 109 captives back to Quebec, with 21 dying or being executed along the month-long journey. Only about half the townspeople remained alive in Deerfield. The remarkable story of two children taken captive indicates volumes about life in early frontier America.

Deerfield Raid 1704

Abigail Nims, age 4 at the time of the Deerfield Raid, was born 27 May 1700, in Deerfield MA to Godfrey Nims and the widow Mehitable Smead Hull. Josiah Rising was born 21 Feb 1694 in Suffield CT to John Rising and wife Sarah Hale, who died 11 Oct 1698, and he was 10 years old living with his uncle Mehuman Hinsdale in Deerfield at the time of the Raid. The two were taken separately and held as adopted captives by the catholic Iroquois -- the Kanienkehaka (Mohawk) -- at Sault-au-Rˇcollet or Nouvelle Lorette mission in Quebec, a fortified Indian school operated by French nuns located just north of Montreal.

Abigail Nims' Capture

Josiah was given the Iroquois name Shoetakani ("he whose home has been taken"), and Abigail was called Touatogouach ("she carries water" or "she picks things out of the water"). Upon baptism as catholics, Josiah was renamed Ignace Raizenne and Abigail was renamed Marie Elisabeth. In 1713 Josiah's Jesuit protector Abbe Maurice Quere arranged the freedom of both Josiah and Abigail. Both Ignace and Marie Elisabeth rejected returning to the English in 1713-1714. Marie Elisabeth was in fact redeemed and returned to Deerfield but refused to stay and returned to Quebec. Elisabeth and Ignace then married at Sault-au-Rˇcollet on July 29, 1715, when she was 15 and he was 21. The couple settled in 1721 on granted lands at the new settlement of Oka, 30 miles west of Montreal on the Ottawa River (homestead pictured below). Marie Elisabeth died 3 Jan 1747 in Oka, Deux Montagnes, Quebec at age 47. Ignace died some 24 years later, 30 Dec 1771, at age 77. Later descendants produced a six-part YouTube narrative of their lives:

Queen Anne's War -- The Deerfield Massacre (1704) and the Childhood Captivities, Iroquois Adoptions, and Later Marriage of Josiah Rising and Abigail Nims (1715) -- Six YouTube Episodes

Raizenne Home

Abigial's father Godfrey was one of the earliest settlers in Deerfield, arriving in 1670 as a shoemaker and farmer. He married twice and raised 15 children by two widows he married, Mary Miller Williams, widow of Zebediah Williams, who had been killed earlier by Indians, in 1677 (she died 11 years later in 1688) and then Mehitable Smead Hull in 1692, widow of Jeremiah Hull.

A Summary of the Fate of Godfrey Nims' Family

strikethrough = died in Raid;
italics strikethrough = died in captivity;
= survived captivity
underlined = survived Raid and not captured
[brackets] = died prior to the Raid

Spouse #1, [Mary Miller Williams] (died in 1688)

    1. Mary Williams, stepdaughter b. December 24, 1673. Godfrey's stepdaughter later married Nathanial Brooks in 1695 at Deerfield. Nathanial, Mary, and two young children [step grandchildren] were all captured in the 1704 raid. Nathanial [step son-in-law] later was redeemed; the fate of the two children is unknown. Mary Williams Brooks, on the 8th day of the forced march, relayed that she had been "disabled by a fall on the ice, causing a miscarriage during the night. I will not be able to travel far, and I know they will kill me today." Speaking with her minister, also one of the captives, she asked, "Pray for me that God would take me to himself." They parted and she went calmly to certain death, March 7, 1704. [Captured at age 30 in the Raid and suffered miscarriage on the way to Quebec, then killed as unable to travel; husband redeemed; two children apparently died in captivity].
    2. Zebediah Williams, stepdaughter b. 1675; captured by Indians with stepbrother John Nims on October 8, 1703. Died a captive in Canada on April 12, 1706. [Captured five months prior to the Feb 1704 Raid at age 28 with younger stepbrother John; held captive two and a half years then died in captivity].
    3. [Rebecca Nims], b. August 12, 1678; died August 30, 1678. [Died in infancy 25 years before the Raid].
    4. John Nims, b. August 14, 1679; captured by Indians October 8, 1703, and escaped from Canada in 1705. Married his step-sister Elizabeth Hull on December 19, 1707. He died December 29, 1762. [Captured at age 24 with elder sister five months prior to the Feb 1704 Raid, held two years, escaped, and married his step sister and lived to age 83].
    5. Rebecca Nims, b. August 14, 1679, a twin of John [captured five months earlier]. Married Philip Mattoon [son-in-law] January 15, 1702/3. She was killed in the 1704 raid on Deerfield, age 24. Philip was captured and died on the forced march to Canada. The Infant Mattoon [grandchild] was killed in the Raid. [Killed in Raid, age 24].
    6. Henry Nims, b. April 29, 1682 [22 at the time of the Raid]; killed in 1704 at Deerfield. [Killed in Raid].
    7. Thankful Nims, b. August 29, 1684; married Benjamin Munn January 15, 1702/3; d. July 11, 1746. [Survived Raid without capture, then age 20 and recently married; may have lived elsewhere with husband?].
    8. Ebenezer Nims, b. March 14, 1686/7; captured and taken to Canada in the 1704 raid; redeemed in 1714; returned to Deerfield with fellow captive and wife Sarah Hoyt. [Captive ten years from age 17 to 27; redeemed].

    Spouse # 2, Mehitable Smead Hull [Captured in Raid, killed on the march to Quebec]

    1. Elizabeth Hull, stepdaughter b. December 23, 1688; married step-brother John Nims as noted above; d. September 21, 1754. [Survived Raid, age 16, without capture, may have lived elsewhere?].
    2. [Jeremiah Hull], stepson b. January 15, 1690; burned to death in the house of his father Nims, when that home was destroyed by fire, January 4, 1693/4. [Died in house fire at age 13 ten years before the Raid].
    3. [Thomas Nims], b. November 6, 1693; d. at the age of three, September 10, 1697. [Died in childhood at age 3+ seven years before the Raid].
    4. Mehitable Nims, b. May 16, 1696; killed in 1704 at Deerfield. [Killed in Raid, age 7].
    5. Mary Nims, b. February 28, 1698/9; killed in 1704 at Deerfield. [Killed in Raid, age 5].
    6. Mercy Nims, b. February 28, 1698/9; a twin of Mary, also killed in 1704 at Deerfield. [Killed in Raid, age 5].
    7. Abigail Nims, b. May 27, 1700 [3+ at the time of the Raid]; captured in the 1704 raid at Deerfield, and taken to Canada as captive. She remained in Canada the rest of her life, marrying fellow captive Josiah Rising, (Ignace Raizenne.) [Captive from age 3 to age 13, redeemed and returned to Deerfield in 1714, but refused to stay and returned to Quebec, where she married Josiah and lived in Oka].

The toll of Godfrey's family members killed or taken captive in the 1704 raid on Deerfield doubtless hastened his death in early 1705: his second wife captured, dying on the forced march to Canada. One son killed, and one captured, to be redeemed ten years later; four daughters killed that day; one daughter captured and taken to Canada, never to return. A step-daughter, Mary Williams Brooks, and a son-in-law, Phillip Mattoon, captured and killed on the march; a grandchild, infant Mattoon, killed in the attack. Earlier in 1703, a son and stepson captured and taken to Canada, where one escaped and the other died captive. Ironically, Godfrey as a youth before moving to Deerfield had teamed up with two other teenages and stolen silver from a neighbor's house on a Sunday in order to fund their running away fom the Puritans to move north and live among the French. Godfrey was sentenced to public whipping and fined triple the value of the silver.

(Further Resources: Suffield (CT) Historical Society, Rising Family History; Geneaology Records of Sˇquin-Laderoute family; Nims Family Association, The Story of Godfrey Nims; Genealogy Josiah-Ignace Raizenne; Wikipedia: Queen Anne's War; Attack on Deerfield; Interactive Map of the 300-Mile March to Montreal; Fate of Deerfield Captives; Indian Massacres; Wikipedia: Raid on Deerfield).

(Books: Charlotte Alice Baker, True Stories of New England Captives Carried to Canada During the Old French and Indian Wars (1897) [online edition] [Abigail Nims: pp 85, 235-241, 243-249, 253, 255] [Josiah Rising: pp 226-227, 235-241, 243-244, 246-249, 253, 255-256]; Emma Lewis Coleman, New England Captives Carried to Canada Between 1677 and 1760 During French and Indian Wars (Portland ME: The Southworth Press, 1925), [Abigail Nims Rising: vol. I, pp 45, 239; vol. II, pp 35, 58, 102, 103-112, 166] [Josiah Rising: vol. II, pp 35, 58, 103, 106, 107-112, 166]).

Rising Tree in Deerfield
Spruce from the Rising Home in Oka
brought and planted by author Alice Baker in Deerfield in 1889;
the tree remained until destroyed by storm in Sep 1999.

The above photo was made in 1908.

TopEuropean-Indian Encounters 1700 to 1781

By the 1720s, the eastern Atlantic seaboard was effectively cleared of major Indian warfare until the outbreak of the very violent French and Indian War in the mid-1750s. During this time, the European emigrant population surged, and the expansion of European towns and settlements overwhelmed the native people in search of cheap land. Colonial elites made vast land grabs of Indian territories in anticipation of selling the land to the migrating settlers. The Virginia-based Ohio Company of Colonel George Washington and Governor Dinwiddle and simlar land speculation companies directed government policies and often supplied military force to wrest vast lands from the Indians, being forced further west with each decade straight into conflict with other native groups.

The European powers continued battling each other for control of native lands and trade supplying tribal proxies with arms and other supplies and pitting tribes against one another, until Britain emerged as the dominant North American regime in 1763 with the conclusion of the French and Indian War (1754-1763). After the French and Indian War ended with the 1763 Treaty of Paris awarding Britain all French possessions in North America, the Pontiac Rebellion in Michigan, Ohio and further east of that same year served to remind the war-weary, treasury-depleted British that conquest of the French did not amount to conquest of the Indian tribes inhabiting the Trans-Appalachian Wilderness. In response, while defeating the rebellion with the assistance of France b cutting off the supply of armaments and food, the British government confined the settlers east of the Appalachian boundary by the Royal Poclamation of 1763 in an effort to avoid settler-Indian conflicts and the expense of another protracted war. This confinement by London authorities denying the colonials access to the coveted Northwest and Kentucky lands of the Indians served as a principal irritant leading to the outbreak of the American Revolution in 1776.

1763 Proclamation Line
British North America after the Treaty of Paris (1763) --
the shape of the 13 colonies in the run-up to Revolution 1763-1776
(NH, CT, MA, RI, DE, NY, NJ, PA, MD, VA, NC, SC, and GA).

Just before the American Revolution broke out and in the early years of that war, American militia battled the Shawnee in Kentucky, West Virginia, and Ohio (Lord Dunmore's War), and battled the Cherokee in the Carolinas, Georgia and Tennssee. Throughout the Revolution, the British and Americans utilized native tribes as surrogate troops and the Americans under General Washington also took the occasion to dispossess lands controlled by eastern tribes in the Pennsylvania-New York area, principally the Iroquois Confederation with the Sullivan Campaign.

TopEuropean-Indian Encounters 1781 to 1860 Trans-Appalachian

After the American War of Independence, "American Europeans" swarmed across the Appalachian Frontier into Ohio and Kentucky with the backing of the new federal military and dispossessed all Northwest tribes between the 1780s-1790s (Little Turtle's victory at Harmar's Defeat, Blue Jacket's victory at St Clair's Defeat, and General Wayne's defeat of Blue Jacket at the Battle of Fallen Timbers) and 1808-1814 (General Harrison's victory over The Prophet at Battle of Tippecanoe and the defeat of Tecumseh at the Battle of the Thames). The British again used tribes to engage the Americans in the War of 1812, and American-Indian warfare took place along with battling the British in the Northwest and the "Old Southwest" of Alabama, Florida, and Louisiana. But with the final defeat of the British, the Indian combatants lost their supply of armaments and other material support for waging war with the on-coming Americans. Late resistance outbreaks nonetheless occurred in the 1820s (Winnebago War) and 1830s (Blackhawk War).

1811 Tecumseh War
Tecumseh War, the final stage in the Sixty Years' War
against the Indians of the Northwest (1754-1814),
continued an additional 20 years by resistance in
The Winnebago War (1827) and the Black Hawk War (1832)

Indian Leaders in the Sixty Years' Wars in the Old Northwest 1754-1814 & Black Hawk War (1832)


Chief Pontiac (Ottawa)


Blue Jacket

Chief Blue Jacket (Shawnee)

Little Turtle

Chief Little Turtle (Miami)

Joseph Brant 1776

Joseph Brant (Mohawk)

Shooting Star Tecumseh

Chief "Shooting Star" Tecumseh (Shawne)

Black Hawk

Black Hawk (Sauk and Fox)

Mop-up campaigns raged in the Southeast in the Creek Wars, the Cherokee Removal, and the Seminole Wars from the early 1800s to nearly 1850. The Seminoles (remnants from the earlier Creek War who sought refuge in the swamps of Florida) defended themselves through three bloody wars with the federal American troops between 1814 and 1858, and were never completely ousted despite removal of several hundred Seminole to a separate reservation in the Oklahoma Indian Territory.

Indian Leaders in the Southeastern Removal Wars 1800-1850

William Weatherford

William Weatherford "Red Eagle" (Red Sticks Creek)
Fought Removal



Menawa (Red Sticks Creek)
Fought Removal

William McIntosh

William McIntosh (Creek)
Ceded lands, assassinated

Opothle Yoholo

Opothle Yoholo (Creek)
Led migration west


Chief Osceola (Seminole)
Fought removal

Billy Bowlegs

Chief Billy Bowlegs (Seminole)
Fought removal

John Ross

John Ross (Cherokee)
Opposed removal in legal actions

Major Ridge

Major Ridge (Cherokee)
Ceded lands, assassinated

TopEuropean-Indian Encounters 1803 to 1900 Trans-Mississippi

The Louisiana Purchase in 1803 sparked a flood of migration beyond the Mississippi, spearheaded by fur trading companies and later by gold rush fever with the protection and support of an expanding network of military fortifications, and this unbridled influx provoked the century-long western Indian Wars.These legendary wars on the Northern and Southern Plains, Texas and the Southwest, and Old California of the Spanish and Mexicans, often entailed explicit genocidal campaigns of ruthless brutality against the women, children, and elderly of Indian communities. State militia forces openly carried out extermination raids on defenseless villagers.

Col. Chivington's Sandcreek Massacre, Nov 29, 1864, Colorado
(50-60 elderly men and over 100 women and children were slaughtered and mutilated
while under peace protection of federal forces by 800 drunken Colorado militiamen)
The Judge at the Court Martial of Chivington pronounced Sand Creek "a cowardly and cold-blooded slaughter, sufficient to cover its perpetrators with indelible infamy, and the face of every American with shame and indignation."

TopClosing of the Frontier

Remnant "hostiles" were imprisoned within reservations located on undesired, harsh lands where the federal government assumed a caretaker role and prevented civilian militia groups from murdering the defenseless Indians. The end of this period of dispossession and tragic conflict coincided with the presentation by Frederick Jackson Turner of his milestone paper on the closing of the American Frontier at the 1893 Columbian Exposition in Chicago, celebrating the 400th anniversary of the "discovery" of America by Columbus. William F. Cody staked out the acreage directly across the grand entrance to the Columbian Exposition and staged his Grand Extravaganza called "Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show", featuring Sitting Bull among other notable Chiefs of the recent Wars.

Columbian Exposition

The Midway at the Columbian Exposition (1893 World’s Fair) featured a “Bazaar of Nations” with villages “peopled by natives from every clime.” Among the peoples on display at this “bazaar” were American Indians. This photograph shows a group of Plains Indians, one of whom is dressed in a suit and top hat, greeting a visitor. The display of American Indians as an exotic curiosity is especially poignant in view of Wounded Knee, the last military action directed at Native Americans, which had occurred just three years previously (1890), and historian Frederick Jackson Turner’s pronouncement at the Fair that the frontier was “closed.”

Dispossession of Indian Land 1492-1890

Dispossession Map



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