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Native American history

Edmonia Lewis

The American sculptor was a celebrated artist in her day, but she receded from the spotlight; her final years remained a mystery for quite some time. Her marble works are striking examples of the neoclassical style popular at the end of the 19th century.

The Dakota War of 1862 and the Whitestone Hill Massacre

In 1862, murder led to war between the Dakota and the United States. What followed was a campaign of retribution against multiple indigenous peoples, many who had nothing to do with the prior conflict, ranging from Minnesota into Dakota Territory.

The Orphan Tsunami

In January of 1700, a tsunami struck the coast of Japan. While the connection between earthquakes and tsunamis was known, it actually took a very long time to figure out where the catalyzing earthquake had taken place.

Mary Alice Nelson, aka Molly Spotted Elk

Molly was born on Indian Island, Maine, and she turned to dance to help her family make ends meet. But because audiences and companies in the U.S. pushed her toward stereotypical depictions of Native Americans, she eventually took her dancing to France.

St. Clair's Defeat, or the Battle of a Thousand Slain

In 1791, a confederation of Native American tribes destroyed about half of the American army. The catalyst for that conflict was a lengthy period in which unfair treaties, biased against native peoples, were all too common.

Olive Oatman

In 1851, Olive Oatman's family was attacked while traveling near the Gila River in Arizona. Olive was taken by her attackers, and lived for five years with Native Americans before being ransomed by the U.S. government.

Archaeology Interview: Harvard Indian College

Holly chats with archaeologists Patricia Capone and Diana Loren about Harvard's Indian College, the school's importance to Colonial history and the ongoing archaeology of Harvard Yard.

The Sham Battle and the Cochecho Massacre

It was half performance for the British troops, and half actual sham, and it led to an attack on Dover by the Pennacook tribe in 1689.

Poverty Point

Poverty Point is a collection of earthwork mounds and ridges situated next to Bayou Maçon in Louisiana. It has features that make it unique among Native American sites, and there are still many questions surrounding its purpose and construction.

Maria Tallchief

This Native American dancer was the first grand ballerina of the United States. Through her partnership with famed choreographer George Balanchine, she helped shape ballet in America and served as an inspiration for artists from all backgrounds.