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Native Americans
The Rogue and Red River Wars

The Rogue and Red River Wars
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 7 to 9
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   6.83

     challenging words:    leader-prophet, remainder, better, profitable, starvation, federal, rebellious, settlement, bleak, panhandle, killing, subdue, encampment, rancher, attempt, death
     content words:    Rogue River, French Canadian, Rogue River War, Red River War, Southern Cheyenne, Quanah Parker, Adobe Walls, Red River, Fort Sill, Indian Territory

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The Rogue and Red River Wars
By Mary Lynn Bushong

1     The Rogue River people and territory of Oregon got their name from French Canadian trappers. There were many different small tribes in this area, but the trappers did not bother to learn to tell them apart. Instead, they called them all coquins or rogues.
2     The Rogue River War began in October 1855. Most of the native people had already given up large portions of their territory through treaties. For the most part, the Rogue River people were considered friendly and lived peacefully.
3     In October, a mob of men from a local mining town attacked an encampment of native people. They killed 27 of the natives. Some people say that the attack was revenge for the killing of a miner. There was no evidence that the miner was killed by a native. Others say that the war was an excuse to give idle miners something to do. Many of the people believed that the only good Indian was a dead one. They didn't care what tribe the Indians belonged to.
4     The natives began to fight back. They killed a few miners and settlers as they tried to hold onto the remainder their land. The miners had already spoiled many of the rivers, muddying the waters and killing off the fish. Most of the large food animals were gone. Settlers had cut down the forests and taken over the meadows where the native people had gathered seeds and roots for food.
5     The army moved in to help most of the coquins get to reservations safely. The reservations were mostly sections of land that were poor and not profitable for farming. For people already starving and falling prey to disease, it was a bleak time. The war was over in a year, but much damage was done.

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