Pub. date: 2009 | Online Pub. Date: June 02, 2009 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412971928 | Print ISBN: 9781412950855 | Online ISBN: 9781412971928| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Native American Massacres
J. Michael Olivero
According to President Abraham Lincoln, the difference between a “massacre” and a “battle” is that there is wanton killing of noncombatants in a massacre. The concept of an Indian massacre might conjure the notion of the slaughter of White settlers or Indian ambushes of military personnel of the U.S. government. Indeed, there were atrocities and massacres committed by Indians against White settlers. Some of these massacres were used to justify atrocities and violence against the Indians—it was claimed that such actions showed that the Indians were “savages” who deserved harsh treatment. However, it was the Indians who suffered the greatest atrocities and massacres at the hands of White people and the U.S. government. With the coming of the Europeans to the Americas, vast Indian civilizations fell as the land and way of life of Indians was stripped through treaties, the breech of treaties, and ultimately the forced placement on reservations. ...