Notably, there are about 82,000 feral horses that roam freely in the wild in certain parts of the country, mostly in the Western United States. While genus Equus, of which the horse is a member, originally evolved in North America, the horse became extinct on the continent approximately 8,000–12,000 years ago.
In 1493, on Christopher Columbus' second voyage to the Americas, Spanish horses, representing E. Catullus, were brought back to North America, first to the Virgin Islands ; they were reintroduced to the continental mainland by Hernán Cortés in 1519. From early Spanish imports to Mexico and Florida, horses moved north, supplemented by later imports to the east and west coasts brought by British, French, and other European colonists.
Native peoples of the Americas quickly obtained horses and developed their own horse culture that was largely distinct from European traditions. Horses remained an integral part of American rural and urban life until the 20th century, when the widespread emergence of mechanization caused their use for industrial, economic, and transportation purposes to decline.
Modern use of the horse in the United States is primarily for recreation and entertainment, though some horses are still used for specialized tasks. A 2005 genetic study of fossils found evidence for three genetically divergent equip lineages in Pleistocene North and South America.
Recent studies suggest all North American fossils of caballine-type horses, including both the domesticated horse and Przewalski's horse, belong to the same species: E. ferns. Remains attributed to a variety of species and lumped as New World stilt-legged horses belong to a second species that was endemic to North America, now called Haringtonhippus Francisco.
Digs in western Canada have unearthed clear evidence horses existed in North America as recently as 12,000 years ago. Other studies produced evidence that horses in the Americas existed until 8,000–10,000 years ago.
Equine in North America ultimately became extinct, along with most of the other New World megafauna during the Quaternary extinction event during the Pleistocene-Holocene transition between 15,000 and 10,000 years ago. Given the suddenness of the event and because these mammals had been flourishing for millions of years previously, something unusual must have happened.
The first main hypothesis attributes extinction to climate change. For example, in Alaska, beginning approximately 12,500 years ago, the grasses characteristic of a steppe ecosystem gave way to shrub tundra, which was covered with unpalatable plants.
However, it has also been proposed that the steppe-tundra vegetation transition in Bering may have been a consequence, rather than a cause, of the extinction of megafaunal grazers. The other hypothesis suggests extinction was linked to overexploitation of native prey by newly arrived humans.
The extinctions were roughly simultaneous with the end of the most recent glacial advance and the appearance of the big game-hunting Clovis culture. Several studies have indicated humans probably arrived in Alaska at the same time or shortly before the local extinction of horses.
Horses returned to the Americas thousands of years later, well after domestication of the horse, beginning with Christopher Columbus in 1493. These were Iberian horses first brought to Hispaniola and later to Panama, Mexico, Brazil, Peru, Argentina, and, in 1538, Florida.
The first horses to return to the main continent were 16 specifically identified horses brought by Hernán Cortés in 1519. Subsequent explorers, such as Coronado and De Soto brought ever-larger numbers, some from Spain and others from breeding establishments set up by the Spanish in the Caribbean.
The first imports were smaller animals suited to the size restrictions imposed by ships. Starting in the mid-19th century, larger draft horses began to be imported, and by the 1880s, thousands had arrived.
Formal horse racing in the United States dates back to 1665, when a racecourse was opened on the Hempstead Plains near Salisbury in what is now Nassau County, New York. There are multiple theories for how Native American people obtained horses from the Spanish, but early capture of stray horses during the 16th century was unlikely due to the need to simultaneously acquire the skills to ride and manage them.
It is unlikely that Native people obtained horses in significant numbers to become a horse culture any earlier than 1630–1650. From a trade center in the Santa Fe, New Mexico area, the horse spread slowly north.
The Comanche people were thought to be among the first tribes to obtain horses and use them successfully. By 1742, there were reports by white explorers that the Crow and Blackfoot people had horses, and probably had them for a considerable time.
The horse became an integral part of the lives and culture of Native Americans, especially the Plains Indians, who viewed them as a source of wealth and used them for hunting, travel, and warfare. In the 19th century, horses were used for many jobs.
In the west, they were ridden by cowboys for handling cattle on the large ranches of the region and on cattle drives. In some cases, their labor was deemed more efficient than using steam-powered equipment to power certain types of mechanized equipment.
At the same time, the maltreatment of horses in cities such as New York, where over 130,000 horses were used, led to the creation of the first ASPCA in 1866. In the 19th century, the Standard bred breed of harness racing horse developed in the United States, and many thoroughbred horse races were established.
Horse-drawn sightseeing bus, 1942At the start of the 20th century, the United States Department of Agriculture began to establish breeding farms for research, to preserve American horse breeds, and to develop horses for military and agricultural purposes. However, after the end of World War I, the increased use of mechanized transportation resulted in a decline in the horse populations, with a 1926 report noting horse prices were the lowest they had been in 60 years.
In 1912, the United States and Russia held the most horses in the world, with the U.S. having the second-highest number. There were an estimated 20 million horses in March 1915 in the United States.
But as increased mechanization reduced the need for horses as working animals, populations declined. A USDA census in 1959 showed the horse population had dropped to 4.5 million.
Numbers began to rebound somewhat, and by 1968 there were about 7 million horses, mostly used for riding. ^ One hypothesis posits that horses survived the ice age in North America, but no physical evidence has been found to substantiate this claim.
“Evolution, systematic, and paleogeography of Pleistocene horses in the New World: a molecular perspective”. “Ancient DNA Clarifies the Evolutionary History of American Late Pleistocene Equips”.
^ Hartman, Peter D; Paula, Grant D; Machete, Ross DE; Scott, Eric; Cahill, James A; Choose, Brianna K; Knapp, Joshua D; Stiller, Mathias; Woollier, Matthew J; Orlando, Ludovic; South on, John (November 28, 2017). “A new genus of horse from Pleistocene North America”.
“Rapid body size decline in Alaskan Pleistocene horses before extinction”. “Steppe-tundra transition: a herbivore-driven biome shift at the end of the Pleistocene”.
“A calendar chronology for Pleistocene mammoth and horse extinction in North America based on Bayesian radiocarbon calibration”. ^ Slow, Andrew; Roberts, David; Robert, Karen (May 9, 2006).
“On the Pleistocene extinctions of Alaskan mammoths and horses ". Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (19 ed.).
“New carbon dates link climatic change with human colonization and Pleistocene extinctions”. “Iberian Origins of New World Horse Breeds”.
Report of the Chief of the Bureau of Animal Industry, United States Department of Agriculture. Horses in Society: A Story of Animal Breeding and Marketing, 1800–1920.
Image credit: Panel Uchorczak/Shutterstock It is commonly believed that horses are native to the European lands, when in reality, their ancestors came over from the Americas via the Bering Bridge 1 million years ago. Horses agility and intelligence contributes to their pest-like behavior of consuming crops in large amounts, which is unfavorable to farmers.
As the only method for transportation, their purpose was also to help with carrying loads for settlements and to trade with the Indigenous peoples. The name Phipps was given to the earliest species by Thomas Henry Huxley, an English biologist and anthropologist who specialized in comparative anatomy, upon his visit to the United States in 1876.
Literally meaning “dawn horse,” Phipps was described as a “timid forest animal” standing at about 13 inches tall, with a hunched back, leopard-like spots, and four toes on each foot. Having acquired an additional tooth for grinding to feed on tough plants, it also presented itself with a sturdier body.
It not only looked like today's, with its elongated snout and long legs (albeit still with three toes), but it also demonstrated agility and intelligence through its ability to escape and out-trick other species as well as humans who made attempts a domesticating the Merrychipus. Equus managed to make its way through Alaska into Siberia via the Bering Bridge, about 1,000,000 years ago, spreading by land through Asia and Europe all the way to Africa.
Although it remains uncertain why they went extinct on these lands, evidence suggests that humans might have had something to do with it, as they first made their way to the Americas from Siberia by crossing the Bering Strait around that time. The other two theories state that infectious disease and climate change with a consecutive decline in vegetation might have also been the contributing factors.
A little-known fact is that horses, wild horses specifically, can be regarded as pests, as they are capable of consuming large amounts of land resources at a time, including feed for farmers' cattle and the products that farmers grow themselves, such as cabbage, carrots and leafy greens. I was reading a recent article about wild horses and their origin in North America.
This article made me wonder if there were native horses in North America before the Spanish arrived. Forty-five million-year-old fossils of Phipps, the ancestor of the modern horse, evolved in North America, survived in Europe and Asia, and returned with the Spanish explorers.
The early horses went extinct in North America but made a come back in the 15th century. Quick links: Horses have played a significant role in the history of North America and throughout the world.
The evolution of horses in North America begins 60 million years ago with Phipps. It was a small animal, standing only 13 inches and had an arched back similar to some deer.
Their teeth indicate the Phipps was a roaming animal that sustained itself on foliage, like leaves and other plant foods. He had examined the collection of ancient fossils gathered from the Great Plains and the Rocky Mountains.
Mr. Huxley believed these fossils bolstered the theory of evolution, by tracing Phipps to the modern horse. It made its way on the scene with small developmental strides over Orohippu, with more grinding teeth, a more substantial body, and changes to its feet.
Dinohippus fossils have been found in North America and date from 13-5 million years ago. The stay mechanism allows horses to stand for extended periods without exerting much energy.
1-4 million years ago, Equus, the modern horse, debuted in North America. It is unclear precisely what caused the extinction of horses in North America, but there are three viable theories: human overkill, climate change, and infectious disease.
Humans crossed the Bering Sea and arrived in North America close to the time horses became extinct. Equus survived by crossing the Bering land bridge that connected Alaska to Siberia.
The Bering Strait land bridge allowed horses and other mammals to travel from Alaska’s northern slope when food supplies dwindled and return during times of abundance. When the Ice Age ended, sea levels rose to cut off animals’ natural food sources.
The flooding of the Bering Strait land bridge resulted in the extinction of many large mammals in North America. Infectious diseases could have been the cause of the rapid extinction of horses ; however, there is little science to support this theory.
Christopher Columbus is credited with bringing horses back to North America in 1493. Some horses escaped or were abandoned and populated large areas of the southwestern United States.
European settlers brought horses of varying breeds to North America. Horses flourished on the new continent, and they were used for transportation, ranch work, hauling freight, and farming.
They theorize the Native people subdued the wild Spanish horses in the mid 16th century. In the southwestern United States, a wealthy Spaniard established a settlement, which included livestock and horses.
Over some time, the Native American helpers recognized the value of horsemanship and learned how to handle horses. Horses were probably first ridden about 5,500 years ago on the plains of northern Kazakhstan, according to a 2009 study conducted by the University of Peter in the United Kingdom.
Archeologists uncovered evidence that indicates horses were selectively bred, used for milk, and possibly ridden. Through the use of new scientific techniques, the team of researchers confirmed bit damage caused by horses being harnessed or bridled.
Related articles: To read more about the native horses of North America, click here. The last prehistoric North American horses died out between 13,000 and 11,000 years ago, at the end of the Pleistocene, but by then Equus had spread to Asia, Europe, and Africa.
In any case the domesticated horse probably did not arise at a single place and time, but was bred from several wild varieties by Eurasian herders. In recent years, molecular biology has provided new tools for working out the relationships among species and subspecies of equips.
For example, based on mutation rates for mitochondrial DNA (mt DNA) Ann Forster, of the Zoological Institute at the University of Helsinki, has estimated that E. Catullus originated approximately 1.7 million years ago in North America. Her examination of E. samba mt DNA (preserved in the Alaskan permafrost) has revealed that the species is genetically equivalent to E. Catullus.
That conclusion has been further supported by Michael Forfeited, of the Department of Evolutionary Genetics at the Max Planck Institute in Leipzig, Germany, who has found that the variation fell within that of modern horses. Indeed, domestication altered them little, as we can see by how quickly horses revert to ancient behavioral patterns in the wild.
The wild horse in the United States is generally labeled non-native by most federal and state agencies dealing with wildlife management, whose legal mandate is usually to protect native wildlife and prevent non-native species from having ecologically harmful effects. Jay F. Kirkpatrick, who earned a Ph.D. in reproductive physiology from the College of Veterinary Medicine at Cornell University, has studied fertility control for wild horses.
Patricia M. Fabio, a research fellow at the Science and Conservation Center, earned her Ph.D. in environmental history from Texas A&M University. Her interests include reproductive physiology, the monitoring of wild horse ranges, and the evolution of equips.
TRUE OR FALSE: The Spanish explorers’ horses were the first of their species to set foot on the North American continent. As a result, the conquistadors were able to vanquish large numbers of Indians with a relative handful of men.
Of course, the Indians eventually overcame their fear and acquired horses of their own, gathering strays or stealing from the settlers’ bands and becoming expert horsemen. Sign up for The Ride, Horsehide ’s free newsletter, which brings you educational trivia questions plus a wealth of other great information every week.
Its popular knowledge that European colonists brought horses over to America during the 15th and 16th century to be traded with the Native Americans, hence the Thanksgiving association. Around 10,000 years ago, some of these wild horses crossed over the Bering land bridge that connected early America and Asia.
The ancient wild horses that stayed in America became extinct, possibly due to climate changes, but their ancestors were introduced back to the American land via the European colonists many years later. This is where problems emerge, because although they were once native to America thousands of years ago, horses are still technically a recently introduced species to the American plains.
However, their populations grew too quickly, and they began to compete with farmers for the natural resources that the land held. The horses we see today are all examples of selective breeding via humans over the years, but they’re also a shared part of our mixed Native and European histories.
Horses allowed humans to travel farther and faster, instrumentally help out armies during battles, and develop the country through labor-intensive agriculture. Today, veterinary technicians such as the graduates of Before work with horses and many other animals to provide the care they need to thrive.
Small and Large Animal Training Facilities including on-site surgery, radiology and dental suites. This accreditation is a requirement in order to take the Veterinary Technician National Exam for credentialing upon graduation.
Course Curriculum specifically designed to provide the students the skills and opportunities they will need to be successful in the Veterinary field. The map at left is from Story's Illustrated Guide to 96 Horse Breeds of North America by Judith Dotson.
Pope Alexander VI in 1493 granted Spain dominion over all lands, discovered or undiscovered, in the New World. Expeditions that sought out new lands and treasures brought horses with them from the islands.
The earliest exploratory expeditions went to Mexico in 1517 (Cordoba) and 1518 (Bridalveil), but did not bring horses. By June of that year, he established the settlement of Villa Rica de la Vera Cruz.
During this time, Cortés received reinforcements and supplies, including more horses from Cuba. Over the next few decades, more Spanish settlers came to the Mexican mainland bringing with them livestock from the Islands.
From 1535-1542, explorers with Francisco de Coronado reached as far north as areas that are now in Arizona and New Mexico, including the Grand Canyon, and into Texas, Oklahoma and Kansas. This area of Mexico is relatively isolated on the coast because of the high mountains with dense cloud forests, so the horses remained relatively pure.
Preliminary results of genetic tests done by Dr. E. Gus Cochran at Texas A&M University on our Aliens show them to be closest to the Warrant horses (also called Min ho) of Portugal, a primitive horse of the Iberian Peninsula. This gave plenty of opportunity for native peoples to take horses and other livestock, and for feral herds to develop.
Over the centuries, these Colonial Spanish horse populations have bred within their own herds and have remained relatively genetically pure. Hardy Else in the book “Born Survivors on the Eve of Extinction” writing about Spanish Mustangs suggests that it is because the Spanish Colonial horses are clannish, avoiding horses of other breeds.
Many of the Horse Breed accounts overly simplify history and include unsubstantiated conjecture, resulting in some erroneous beliefs and conclusions. What we now consider Aliens are the result of nearly 500 years of natural selection within the feral herds in southern Mexico.
Records also show that these horses were brought along with missionaries as they established outposts throughout Mexico and what is now southwestern USA. Settlements in South America apparently tended to keep their horses under closer control with very selective breeding programs.
Similarly, Danilo de Narvaez brought 40 horses with supplies to establish a settlement near Tampa. Hernando de Soto came ashore near Tampa Bay in 1539 with 200 horses and his expedition traveled throughout Florida north through the Carolina's, into Tennessee, south into Alabama, west into Mississippi, Arkansas and finally Texas.
Pedro Menéndez de Avilés founded Saint Augustine on September 8, 1565, which was thereafter continuously settled. However, English settlers came to Florida during the 17th and 18th Centuries bringing with them their draft horses.
“His record as a councillor of his people and his policy in the new situation that confronted them was manly and consistent, and he was known for his eloquence.” “American Horse's record as a councillor of his people and his policy in the new situation that confronted them was manly and consistent, and he was known for his eloquence.
His father Sitting-Bear, the leader of the True Galas, was killed in battle while he was still very young, and he was raised by an uncle. As a youth, American Horse participated in war parties against the Crow and Shoshones.
American Horse was about ten years old when he was attacked by three Crow warriors, while driving a herd of ponies to water. He yelled frantically at the ponies to start them toward home, while he dropped off into a thicket of willows and hid there.
In the midst of the excitement and preparations for the attack, young American Horse caught sight of a close by, fat, black-tail deer. Unable to resist the temptation, he pulled an arrow from his quiver and sent it through the deer's heart.
Then with several of his half-starved companions, sprang upon the yet quivering body of the animal to cut out the liver which was sometimes eaten raw. One of the men was allegedly knocked down by the last kick of the dying buck, but the warriors swallowed a few mouthfuls liver before rushing upon and routing their enemies.
It is still told of how American Horse killed game and feasted between the ambush and the attack. On August 31, 1876, about a month after the Battle of the Little Big Horn, American Horse shot and killed Sioux Jim.
Colonel Ronald S. Mackenzie, who had just arrived at Camp Robinson, received word that Sioux Jim was in the Value or Loafer village, led by Chief Blue Horse. Early that morning, Major Gordon led four companies of cavalry to the village, said to number about 50 lodges near the agency, to arrest Sioux Jim.
Chief Blue Horse was arrested for a short time for not following Mackenzie's order to report northern “hostile” Indians slipping into his Waffle village. “Shortly after the troops left, Sioux Jim came back to the village where American Horse attempted to arrest him.
Chief American Horse the Elder (Basic Chasuble) (1830-September 9, 1876) is renowned as a great warrior for his leadership, Spartan courage and honor. On September 9, 1876, American Horse the Elder was mortally wounded in the Battle of Slim Buttes fighting to protect his family and defending against the white invasion of the “Pasha Saga” Black Hills.
American Horse the Younger gained influence during the turbulence of the Great Sioux War of 1876-1877. He was the son of Sitting Bear, leader of the True Galas, a band of Gala opposed to the Smoke people In 1890, American Horse the Younger told Charles A. Eastman that he succeeded to the name and position of his uncle American Horse the Elder who was killed at Sim Buttes in 1876.
For the next four months, Crazy Horse resided in his village near the Red Cloud Agency. American Horse and other Gala leaders believed that Crazy Horse was a threat to order, and he made it fairly plain that he hated the whites, and he intended to attempt to return to his old wild life in the north at the first opportunity.
Worried that further resistance would compromise peace negotiations to be held in Washington, D.C., Gala leaders discussed how to “quiet” Crazy Horse and “bring him into a better state of feeling.” Rumors of Crazy Horse's desire to slip away and return to the old ways of life started to spread at the Red Cloud and Spotted Tail agencies.
Hearing that affairs at Red Cloud were nearing a crisis, Gen. Crook hurried to Fort Robinson. However, he was stopped by Woman's Dress who bore a message from the agency chiefs warning Crook that Crazy Horse had stated his intention to kill him in the coming council if the general did not meet his demands.
Crook was convinced that Crazy Horse meant what he said, and returned to Camp Robinson sending out a message for the chiefs to come there for the council. The chiefs told Gen. Crook that they did not approve of Crazy Horse's conduct and were ready to follow the general's lead.
They then consulted and informed Crook that they were willing to act, but that Crazy Horse was a desperate man and some thought it would be better to kill him. On the morning of September 4, 1877, eight companies of the Third Cavalry and four hundred friendly Indians moved against Crazy Horse's village, only to find that it had scattered during the night.
On the morning of September 5, 1877, Crazy Horse and Lieutenant Jesse M. Lee, the Indian agent at Spotted Tail, departed for Fort Robinson. Once inside, Crazy Horse struggled with the guard and Little Big Man and attempted to escape.
Chief American Horse was one of the first Wild Wester's with Buffalo Bill Cody. The seven Bands of the Gala Lakota are the Value (Loafers), Ite Sick (Bad Face), Type (Broken Off), Azana (Shred Into Strips), Tapioca (Split Liver), Alabama (Shove Aside) and Kayaks (Little Wound).
In 1849, Old Chief Smoke moved his Value camp to Ft. Laramie, Wyoming when the U.S. Army first garrisoned the old trading post to protect and supply wagon trains of white migrants along the Oregon Trail. Old Chief Smoke was aware of the power of the whites, their overwhelming numbers and the futility of war.
By the late 1850s, some Lakota from the wild buffalo-hunting camps began to disparage Old Chief Smoke's camp at Ft. Laramie and call Old Chief Smoke's community Value (Loafers), meaning they were like men who lived with their wives' relatives, that is, hangers-on, loafers. During the increasing strife of the 1860s, the Ft. Laramie took on a military posture and was the primary staging ground for the U.S. Army during Red Cloud's War.
The Value were aware of the power of the whites, their overwhelming numbers and the futility of war. The U.S. Army concluded that, even if there were doubts about their reliability, the Value's role as scouts, civil administrators and mediators was absolutely essential.
The Value were the first Gala Lakota to send their children to the Carlisle Indian Industrial School in Carlisle, Pennsylvania, for a formal education, and the first to go Wild Westing with Col. Buffalo Bill Cody and his Wild West. Blue Horse, American Horse, Three Bears and Red Shirt all served as U.S. Army Indian Scouts with U.S. 4th Cavalry Regiment ; were first Gala Lakota to send their children to the Carlisle Indian Industrial School in Carlisle, Pennsylvania, for a formal education; all led Lakota delegations to Washington, D.C.; and went Wild Westing with Buffalo Bill's Wild West.
Red Cloud sitting right. Chief American Horse was a delegate to many peace conferences in Washington. During the tumultuous times from 1865 to 1877, American Horse advocated yielding to the government at any cost, being no doubt convinced of the uselessness of resistance.
In the crisis precipitated by this event, American Horse was again influential and energetic in the cause of the government. He was always noted for his eloquence, which was nearly always conciliatory, yet he could say very sharp things of the duplicity of the whites.
“His record as a councilor of his people and his policy in the new situation that confronted them was manly and consistent.” Wild Westing was very popular with the Lakota people and beneficial to their families and communities, and offered a path of opportunity and hope during time when people believed Native Americans were a vanishing race whose only hope for survival was rapid cultural transformation.
During a time when the Bureau of Indian Affairs was intent on promoting Native assimilation, Col. Buffalo Bill Cody used his influence with U.S. government officials to secure Native American performers for his Wild West. In 1886, American Horse replaced Sitting Bull as the Indian headliner for the 1886-87 seasons.
A journalist asked American Horse what he thought of the East, and he replied, “I see so much that is wonderful and strange that I feel a wish to go out in the forest and cover my head with a blanket, so that I can see no more and have a chance to think over what I have seen.” On March 31, 1887, Chief American Horse, Chief Blue Horse and Chief Red Shirt and their families boarded the S.S. State of Nebraska in New York City, leading a new journey for the Lakota people when they crossed the sea to England on Buffalo Bill's first international to perform at the Golden Jubilee of Queen Victoria and tour through Birmingham, Salford and London over a five–month period.
The entourage consisted of 97 Indians, 18 buffaloes, 2 deer, 10 elk, 10 mules, 5 Texas steers, 4 donkeys, and 108 horses. Buffalo Bill treated Native American employees as equals with white cowboys.
Wild Wester's received good wages, transportation, housing, abundant food and gifts of clothing and cash from Buffalo Bill at the end of each season. Female performers were paid extra for infants and children and supplemented wages by making and selling Lakota crafts.
Shows hired venerable elder male Indians to appear in the parades to ensure that young men acted with consideration and politeness when visiting host communities, and rules were self-policed by traditional Gala Lakota chiefs and former U.S. Army Indian Scouts. Carlisle was the first Indian boarding school located far from the reservation, in an Eastern environment far from the influences and support of native cultures.
Carlisle was a unique school and produced a new generation of Native American leadership. American Horse was one of the earliest advocates of education for the Indian, and his son Samuel and nephew Robert were among the first students at Carlisle.
While recruiting at Pine Ridge, Captain Richard Henry Pratt met heavy opposition from Red Cloud who was distrustful of white education, and who had no school age children. American Horse had grown into an influential tribal politician and was the head of a large household with two wives and at least ten children.
He had become a shrewd politician and his friendliness with whites was a calculation to win concessions for himself and his people. Above all, American Horse prided himself in his sagacity, It was glaringly apparent to him that his offspring would have to deal with whites, and perhaps even live with them, whether they liked it or not.
Charles A. Eastman recalled, “His daughters were the handsomest Indian girls of full blood that I ever saw.” Maggie dictated this letter to an interpreter for publication: “Carlisle Barracks, PA, Jan. 24, 1881.
My dear father: AMERICAN HORSE:- I want to tell you something, and it makes me feel very glad. You wrote to my cousin Robert and told him that you had a house to live in, and lots of pigs and cows and such things, and I was very glad.
Carlisle Wild Wester's were attracted by the adventure, pay and opportunity and were hired as performers, chaperons, interpreters and recruiters. Wild Wester's from Pine Ridge enrolled their children at the Carlisle Indian Industrial School from its beginning in 1879 until its closure in 1918.
They wanted their children to learn English, trade skills and white customs. “It was during the last struggle of his people, at the time of the Messiah craze in 1890-1891 that American Horse demonstrated as never before the real greatness of the man.
I saw American Horse walk out of the agent's office and calmly face the excited mob. He stood before them like a statue and the men who held the two policemen helpless paused for an instant.
Jack Red Cloud, son of the old chief rushed up to him and thrust a revolver almost in his face. American Horse did not flinch but deliberately reentered the office, followed by Jack still flourishing the pistol.
Others of the police force had time to reach the spot, and with a large crowd of friendly Indians had taken command of the situation. Six Native American chiefs on horseback adorned with face paint and headdresses, followed by the 46-piece Carlisle Indian School Band and a brigade of 350 Carlisle Cadets at arms attended the parade. Six tribal leaders (l to r) Little Plume (Began), Buckskin Charley (Ute), Geronimo (Chihuahua Apache), Qua nah Parker (Comanche), Hollow Horn Bear (Brulé Sioux), and American Horse (Gala Sioux) on horseback in ceremonial attire. On March 4, 1905, Wild Wester's and Carlisle portrayed contrasting images of Native Americans at the First Inaugural Parade of Theodore Roosevelt.
Six famous Native American Chiefs, Geronimo (Apache), Qua nah Parker (Comanche), Buckskin Charlie (Ute), American Horse (Sioux), Hollow Horn Bear (Sioux) and Little Plume (Blackfeet), met in Carlisle, Pennsylvania, to rehearse the parade with the Carlisle Cadets and Band. Theodore Roosevelt sat in the presidential box with his wife, daughter and other distinguished guests, and watched West Point cadets and the famed 7th Cavalry, Gen. George A. Custer's former unit that fought at the Battle of Little Bighorn, march down Pennsylvania Avenue.
The Wigwam was a retreat for Progressive Era politicians, businessmen, journalists and adventurers; the Eastern home of Gala Lakota “Skate Wicca”; Chief Flying Hawk's second home for 30 years and a Native American heritage center. Du Boys, a north central railroad hub on the Eastern Continental Divide, was always a welcome rest stop for weary travelers.
Wild Wester's needed a place to relax, and The Wigwam was a warm and welcome home where Indians could be Indians, sleep in buffalo skins and tips, walk in the woods, have a hearty breakfast, smoke their pipes and tell of their stories and deeds. On one occasion 150 Indians with Buffalo Bill's Wild West camped in the forests of The Wigwam.
Chiefs American Horse, Blue Horse, Jim Grass, Whirlwind Horse, Turkey Legs, Lone Bear, Iron Cloud, Bear Dog, Yellow Boy, Rain-In-The-Face, Hollow Horn Bear, Kills-Close-To-Lodge, Red Eagle, Good Face (Eta Waste), Benjamin Brave (Olivia) and Thunder Bull visited The Wigwam. On June 22, 1908, Freight was adopted as an honorary Chief of the Gala Lakota people and named “Caste Take (“Great Heart”).
On that occasion, Col. William “Buffalo Bill” Cody was in Du Boys, Pennsylvania, with Wild West Congress of Rough Riders. Twelve thousand people a day attended Cody's Wild West performances and 150 Galas were in town with 150 ponies.
Likewise, 1876 is “Maria flute Sunkist” or “They took horses from Red Cloud” (the U.S. Army did after the Battle of the Little Big Horn), 1877 is “Tank with kepi” or “When they killed Crazy Horse” and 1890 is “Stanza kepi” or “When they killed Big Foot” (the Wounded Knee Massacre). In 1879, American Horse drew the winter count in a sketchbook at the request of William H. Cor busier, an Army surgeon.
American Horse said that the winter count had been kept in his family for generations, passed down from his grandfather, to his father, to him. “Chief American Horse died from natural causes in his house near Kyle, Pine Ridge, South Dakota on December 16, 1908.
^ Ostler, “The Plains Sioux and U.S. Colonialism from Lewis and Clark to Wounded Knee, (2004) at p.44. He returned to his own camp and told his men that Sioux Jim meant mischief, and in order to prevent another calamity to the tribe, he must be chastised.
^ Elbert D. Relish, “American Horse (Wasechun-Tasunka): The Man Who Killed Letterman”, Annals of Wyoming 63, no. Apparently, American Horse later gave the war club to his friend, rancher James Cook.
The so-called Letterman massacre club is on display at Agate Fossil Beds National Monument in Nebraska that used to be part of the Cook ranch. Army surgeon autopsy reports and Indian accounts of the battle say that Letterman was knocked down by American Horse with a 3-foot-long war club.
The alleged club is on exhibit at Agate Fossil Beds National Monument. ^ See Madonna Blue Horse Beard, “Lakota Teaching Project” “Archived copy”.
CS1 main: archived copy as title (link) ^ The Smoke People were one of the most prominent Lakota families of the 18th and 19th centuries. ^ George E. Hyde and Harry H. Anderson, “Spotted Tail's Folk: A History of the Brulé Sioux” (1961) at p.117.
^ Stephen Ambrose, “Crazy Horse and Custer: The Parallel Lives of Two American Warriors, (1996) at p.156. ^ Eastman, p.172-177 ^ Hepper, “Buffalo Bill's Wild West and the Progressive Image of American Indians”.
Other major shows included Pawnee Bill, Cummins Wild West, Miller's 101 Ranch and Sells-Floto Circus. ^ Hepper, “Buffalo Bill's Wild West and the Progressive Image of American Indians”.
^ Calls the Name and other women supplemented wages by making and selling Lakota crafts. Show Indians created and sold goods to museums, collectors, and customers across Europe and the United States.
Hepper, “Buffalo Bill's Wild West and the Progressive Image of American Indians”. Performers' newborn babies became part of the villages set up outside show areas.
Indian policemen selected from the ranks of the performers were given badges and paid $10 more in wages per month. Its usage began in the early days of the Buffalo Bill Cody Wild West shows.
The phrase “Show Indians” likely originated among newspaper reporters and editorial writers as early as 1891. Some believe that the term is derogatory describing the “phenomenon of Native exploitation and romanticization in the U.S.” Arguments of a similar nature were made by the Bureau of Indian Affairs during the popularity of Wild West shows in the U.S. and Europe.
^ Between 1906 and 1915, 570 individuals from Pine Ridge went Wild Westing with Buffalo Bill and other shows. Moses, “Wild West Shows and the Images of American Indians, 1883-1933,” (1996), pp.
^ Linda F. Wither, “The Indian Industrial School: Carlisle, Pennsylvania 1879-1918, Cumberland County Historical Society (2002), cover. “Battlefield & Classroom: An Autobiography by Richard Henry Pratt”, (hereinafter “Cutely”) (1964), p. xi-xvi.
Carlisle had developed something of a rivalry with Harvard, and though the Indians had never beaten the Crimson, they always gave them a game. You claim that the government has tricked your people and placed the lines of your reservation a long way inside where it was agreed that they should be.
That treaty says you agreed that the lines of your reservation should be just where these young men now out surveying are putting posts and markers. If anything happened when the paper was being made up that changed its order, if you had been educated and could read and write, you could have known about it and refused to put your name on it.
Do you intend to let your children remain in the same condition of ignorance in which you have lived, which will compel them always to meet the whiter man at a great disadvantage through an interpreter, as you have to do? As your friend, Spotted Tail, I urge you to send your children with me to this Carlisle School and I will do everything I can to advance them in intelligence and industry in order that they may come back and help you.
Robert W. Cutely, ed., “Battlefield & Classroom: An Autobiography by Richard Henry Pratt”, (1964) p.222-224. ^ Ann Rinaldi, “My Heart is on the Ground: the Diary of Nannie Little Rose, a Sioux Girl, Carlisle Indian School, Pennsylvania, 1880,” (1999), p. 177.
Jack Red Cloud was a leader in the ghost dancer movement with Kicking Bear, Short Bull and Two Strikes. ^ A week or so before the inauguration, six famous chiefs from formerly hostile tribes, arrived in Carlisle to head the school's contingent in the parade.
A dress rehearsal was held on the main street of Carlisle to practice for the parade. The Carlisle Herald predicted that the group would be one of the big parade's star attractions.
As the train rolled out of Carlisle, a heavy snow fell, but later the sun burned through, making for a fine day weather-wise. ^ Fifty-nine passenger trains arrived and departed from two railroad stations in Du Boys until c.1940.
^ Line Sandstorm, Ph.D., History in Pictures: Father Butcher and the Lakota Winter Counts, (2006). Freight, “Firewater and Forked Tongues: A Sioux Chief Interprets U.S. History”, (1947), p.163-168.
Pony of the Americas Other namesPOACountry of originated StatesTraitsDistinguishing features Appaloosa coloring, small size, suitable for ridingBreed standards Pony of the Americas is a pony breed developed in the state of Iowa in the United States. Today, the Pony of the Americas Club is one of the largest and most active youth-oriented horse breed registries in the US.
The registry is open, allowing blood from many other breeds, but has strict criteria for entry, including Appaloosa coloration, specified height and other physical characteristics. The Pony of the Americas Club will register the offspring of registered POA's, as well crosses with Connemara's, Galileo ponies, Australian Stock Horses, Morgans and Thoroughbreds, and the original Appaloosa and Arabian breeds.
These crosses are allowed into the registry as full members as long as they meet the physical breed requirements. An Appaloosa, one of the founding breeds of the Loathe POA was developed in the United States in the 1950s by Les Borrower, a Shetland pony breeder in Iowa.
The foundation stallion of the breed was an Arabian/Appaloosa/Shetland pony cross with Appaloosa markings named Black Hand. Borrower appreciated the stallion's conformation and disposition and decided to use him to develop a new breed of Appaloosa-colored ponies.
In 1954, Borrower and a group of associations founded the Pony of the Americas Club, with Black Hand receiving the first registration number. The club's goal was to develop a medium-sized pony for older children and small adults, with the coloration of the Appaloosa, the refinement of the Arabian and the muscle and bone of an American Quarter Horse.
Between the founding of the breed club and the present, the early Shetland blood has been almost completely bred out, in order to maintain and improve the small stock horse look sought by the breed founders. The Club has become one of the equine industry's largest youth-oriented breed registries, with over 2,000 members, and one of the most active, with over 40 affiliated chapters.
In 1973, the age limit for riders was raised to 18, and in 1987 it was decided that adults 19 and over could show horses two to four years old under saddle.