January 23rd: The Marias Massacre

January 23, 2023

The Marias Massacre, also known as the Baker Massacre, was a tragic event that occurred in Montana in 1870. On January 23 of that year, a group of U.S. cavalrymen, led by Lieutenant Colonel Eugene Baker, were sent to the area to capture or kill a band of Native Americans who were believed to be hostile. The group targeted was led by Heavy Runner, a chief of the Piegan Blackfeet tribe.

When the cavalrymen arrived at the camp, they discovered that it was mostly made up of women and children. Despite this, they ordered the group to surrender and, when they did not comply, began firing on them. In total, 173 Native Americans were killed, including Heavy Runner and his family.

The Marias Massacre was one of the most brutal acts of violence against Native Americans in the history of the United States. It was met with widespread condemnation and sparked outrage among the Blackfeet people. The event is considered a dark chapter in American history and is still remembered and mourned by the Blackfeet people today.

The Marias Massacre was a tragic example of the violent treatment of native people by the American government during the 19th century. It was carried out under the guise of “pacification” and “civilization” of native tribes, which was a widespread policy of the American government at the time. The massacre, along with other similar incidents, resulted in the loss of thousands of indigenous lives and the displacement of native people from their ancestral lands. The Marias Massacre is a reminder of the atrocities committed against native people in the history of the United States and the ongoing struggle for indigenous rights.

References:

https://www.legendsofamerica.com/na-mariasmassacre/

https://www.historynet.com/montana-territory-massacre-blood-snow/

https://www.greatfallstribune.com/story/news/2020/01/16/montana-blackfeet-nation-tribe-baker-massacre-150th-anniversary/4434910002/

 

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