• Conflict with Indians

    As the pioneers moved west, they built cabins, claimed land for farms, and hunted animals and birds. The Indians felt angry and afraid.

    They believed the earth belonged to everyone and couldn’t be claimed by one person. They also believed in living simply and using resources carefully, only taking what they needed. The two groups were so different in their ways of living and thinking. They were bound to have conflict.

    Fun Facts

    • The settlers gathered in fighting forces. Sometimes they would attack Indian villages, killing the Indians or burning their houses to the ground. The Indians were stealthier, usually attacking one lone farm or cabin. They also burned buildings to the ground, killing the inhabitants or kidnapping children, adopting them into the tribe.
    • One woman defended her home from an Indian attack by burning a feather mattress in her fireplace. The Indians tried to slide down the chimney, but were sickened by the smoke. The woman killed them with an axe.
    • Indians often scalped their victims as trophies of their bravery. They cut the skin and hair off the person’s head, drying it and hanging it from their belts. They sometimes shot flaming arrows at cabins, starting fires. When the settlers came out of the cabins, the Indians shot them.
    • Settlers began building forts called stockades. The stockades had high walls and buildings. From this vantage point, men could shoot at the Indians.

    Questions and Answers

    Question: Were the Indians and settlers ever friends?

    Answer: Yes, the two groups sometimes did become friends.

    Learn More

    Find out more about Indian and pioneer relations.

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