Native American Population Decline

During the Nineteenth Century

Matthew McCarthy



Section I: Introduction

Statistics show a large decline in Native American population throughout the nineteenth century. There was an estimated 88-90 percent decline in Native American population from the time the Europeans landed in 1492 (Ubelaker, 1988) to the lowest recorded value of 228,000 in 1890 (Thornton, 1987). Over the course of the nineteenth century the United States signed over 375 treaties with Native American tribes and increased their territory over 500%. Westward expansion of the United States had a direct impact on the population of the Natives throughout this time. Other factors besides westward expansion affected Native populations, including disease, emigration, and warfare. This project will analyze the link between those factors and territorial expansion of the United States. Upon looking at the statistical information it is easy to conclude that regardless of what the method of eradication, the Native American Indians were headed towards extinction by the end of the 1900’s. Some aboriginal tribes from Texas have no remaining ancestry (1987).

This project will use a regression analysis to compare the population data of Native Americans during the nineteenth century against populated land area (>1.9 persons per square mile) of the United States government. In comparing the two variables it was noticed that the population declined sharply throughout the century while the size of the United States grew exponentially. The analysis will determine the strength of the relationship between the two variables, if one exists at all. Determining this relationship will illustrate regardless of how the population declined during the nineteenth century, territorial expansion was ultimately the root cause of the decline.

Over the past few decades, public school systems have begun to look at population decline in more depth. Most text books have few pages on controversial matters, such as the Trail of Tears or the Indian Removal Act, available to students studying American History. Many more text books have five or six times as much positive information, often glamorizing characters like President Andrew Jackson, the man responsible for forcefully removing the Cherokee Nation (Loewen, 1995). This project will highlight this period not just as a positive movement in the American frontier, but also as a dark and somber part of American history.

It is necessary to combine two disciples to fully explain and present this project. In order to show how the westward expansion of the United States is related to the decline in Native American population will require a combination of Database Systems and Geography. Using GIS software and other statistical packages this project will show the strength of the relationship and display the results on a map for easy reader comprehension. This information is made available to the public for free using the blog

This project will require building a database of information including population statistics and land cessions throughout the 19th century in order to display as a graphical map. The land cessions made by the Native Americans to the United States government will represent land ceded to the United States government and United States settled land will represent square miles of populated land area.

Compiling this information is only part of the process. As noted above the project will rely on more than one field of study, which leads me to my concentration of Geographic Information Systems (“GIS”). GIS is an area of study that combines Information Systems (Database Systems) and Geography to produce valuable data management tools that can analyze data in ways incomprehensible to a geographer during the early 1900’s.

This project is important for a few reasons. First, the brief understanding that most have of what occurred between the United States government and the Native Americans during the nineteenth century is not sufficient. Text books have refused to examine this period in the same light as this project will. Second, this project will answer the question of whether or not the United States expansion is the cause of near Native American extermination. Finally, the above referenced question is important in order to determine if this period could be considered an American Holocaust, or genocide brought on by the American government. Any student of American history or geography should find this study comprehensive for the causality of the Native American societal decline. The history of the Native American should be a lesson for all governments, most importantly, the United States of America.



Section II: Background Literature Review

Christopher Columbus’ expeditions to the New World could easily be argued as the greatest impact in the Western Hemisphere. Tribes of Native Americans were living in America for as many as 40,000 years before Columbus arrived. The first humans appeared in Africa around 200,000 years ago (Gugliotta, 2008). It took a little longer than 150,000 years for those peoples to traverse the globe and make their way to North America. After their arrival, they expanded over the next 20-40,000 years, and it can be assumed that there were large populations of tribes throughout all of North America and South America. During this time the Natives established themselves in America.

Just as consequential as the aboriginal humans establishing themselves in the Americas 30-40,000 years ago was the “discovery” by Christopher Columbus. Two worlds unbeknownst to each other collided, and it was quite possibly the most significant encounter in the history of mankind. Over the next 100 years disease, warfare, and slavery would nearly extinguish the Natives from North America. In Hispaniola, the island Columbus and his men conducted themselves on after his arrival, one estimate of the native population in 1496 is approximately 3.7 million.   This figure seems high, but according to multiple journal entries by Columbus and his crew, it was an extremely densely populated island, and his estimates are around 1.1 million aboriginals (Paquette & Engerman, 1996). However, over a 99% reduction in population occurred over the next 50 years. By 1540 only 250 original inhabitants remained (Traboulay, 1994).   The Spaniard’s methods of eradicating the Natives were atrocious.

Anecdotal stories from Bartolome de Las Casas, an ordained priest who in the early 1500’s made several trips to the Caribbean, detailed the ruthlessness of the Spaniards. One entry read, “They laid bets as to who, with one stroke of the sword, could split a man in two or could cut off his head or spill out his entrails with a single stroke of the pike. They took infants from their mothers’ breasts, snatching them by the legs and pitching them headfirst against the crags or snatched them by the arms and threw them into the rivers, roaring with laughter and saying as the babies fell into the water. ‘Boil there, you offspring of the devil.”

Why is this important to this study? The Europeans did not view the Aboriginals as anything more than a slave. The autocratic takeover of the islands and speed the tribes were wiped out is a foreshadowing of the next four hundred years. There had already been great destruction of the Natives before the 19th century and the numbers during that time were reduced by 80-90% (Traboulay).

After the “discovery” made by Columbus and for the next three centuries the landscape of the world would be forever changed by the transatlantic slave trade, the annihilation of South American civilizations, the destruction of the Native American peoples and culture, and the worldwide epidemic exchange between Europeans and the New World. In the 16th century, more than five million Natives lived in the conterminous United States area (Thornton). By the nineteenth century, that number had been reduced 90 percent to 600,000 (Thornton).  Traditional Native medicine was ineffective against the diseases brought by Europeans. Smallpox and other endemics had the ability to destroy 90-95% of a tribe due to the close living conditions used in many Native societies (Taylor, 1997). After settlers began forming colonies the Natives immediately began to lose control of their land. The colonists had advanced weaponry compared to the Natives primitive bow and arrow and when conflicts became more frequent the British began arming the Native tribes to help combat the revolutionary colonists. By aligning themselves with the British, the Natives were able to withstand the advancement of the colonists a few more years. However, when the Treaty of Paris was signed in 1783 their alliance with the British became the last excuse the Americans needed to take all lands up to the Mississippi River (Gibson). The last two decades of the 18th century would be the framework for the next 100 years.

Congress assigned the Indian affairs to the Secretary of War in 1786 under authority of the Articles of Confederation. Since the Indian tribes were generally aligned with the American enemy (Great Britain), national leaders agreed that they waged “unprovoked war” against America. The Natives betrayal against the young republic annulled all previously signed treaties and because the new government lacked funds, they took this new land by “right of conquest.” This conquest led to many conflicts and the Northwest Indian War (Little Turtle’s War) between the Natives and settlers. Over 1,500 Ohio Country settlers perished in the reignited war with Natives between 1783 and 1790; disputes over land the early Americans settled on because of their “right”. Fighting continued until the United States and Britain signed the Jay Treaty. This treaty concluded the British involvement in the new country and required their evacuation by June 1, 1796 (Gibson).

Warfare was the major cause of diminishing Native population prior to the 1800’s, not westward expansion. There are two major reasons why the study cannot begin until this time. First, the territory of the United States increased relatively slowly for the first thirty years, and therefore is not part of this study. Table 1.1 highlights the U.S. territory and population numbers for the 19th century which will be the focus of the paper.

  Table 1.1

table1.1Settled Land Area (>1.9 persons per square mile) from (Otterstrom, S., Earle, C., 2002) Native population from (Reddy M., 1995)


Hundreds of treaties were signed by Native tribes over the next 100 years, ceding nearly all land to the United States government. President Thomas Jefferson stressed that the Natives were “equal” in “body and mind”, a view not expressed by many during the time. He wanted them to adapt to the farming style of Anglo-Americans which would require only a fraction of the land their culture was accustomed to. Continuing his policies for the next decade created unrest between settlers and the government. With the purchase of Louisiana, American settlers wanted the Natives exiled to the frontier. Thus began the War of 1812 and the end of the “Indian problem” for the United States (Hyatt and Nettleford, 1995).

After the War of 1812, lands were “purchased” from the Natives and they were removed to the western territories. The settlers believed “the American aborigines, with but very few exceptions, never possessed the soil on which they trod any more than the air which they breathed.” They never felt guilty of the fate of the “doomed”, because they never cultivated the land, which to them was the requirement of ownership (Grund, 1837). Today a different view of possession is observed. Whenever land is taken without treaties or in violation of treaties, it seems reasonable to believe the ownership was not properly attained and possession must be transferred back to the original and rightful owner (Hendrix, 2005). The view of the settlers would mean that because a homeowner in the 21st century has not cultivated on their soil, they do not own the house or the land it sits on. What action would we as Americans take today if the government seized our land and property because they had “right to conquest”? There would most assuredly be civil uprising, and possibly Civil War.

Between 1784 and 1894 the Native Americans ceded land to the United States government at an incredible rate. In a series of maps produced by Charles C. Royce in the two-part Eighteenth Annual Report of the Bureau of American Ethnology to the Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution, 1896-1897, it shows the increase of U.S. territory during that time. With 375 treaties and 67 maps (Map 1.2 shows Nebraska cessions), this report is one of the most incredible sources of geographic history from the 19th century. Each table contains the map number assigned by Charles Royce, the name of the map or maps on which that number appears, the counties encompassed by the treaty as traced by the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act staff, the tribal name used in the treaty, and the name of the present-day Indian tribe or tribes when it was possible to ascertain those names.

Map 1.2

nebraskamaphighlightMap with land cessions made in Nebraska and corresponding schedule number 426(Royce). See Image 1.1 for the corresponding schedule for map of Nebraska and highlighted land cession area number 426, ceded on Oct 14, 1865.

Image 1.1


Disease, emigration, and warfare were some of the major reasons for catastrophic Native population decline during the 1800’s. Outbreaks of disease wiped out millions of Natives although some epidemics were a result of biological warfare. There is a well-documented instance where smallpox-carrying blankets were intentionally distributed to a number of tribes. In 1763 Sir Jeffrey Amherst, commander of the British forces wrote in reply to a plan with those intentions, “You will do well as to try to inoculate the Indians by means of blankets as well as to try every other method that can serve to extirpate this exorable race.”(Thornton) However, these epidemics were not as catastrophic during this time, due to the advancements in medicine and availability the Natives had to vaccinations and medical care that did not exist in prior epidemics. Emigration to different land led to a decline in population most likely because the Natives were unable to adjust to a new lifestyle. The decline due to emigration is believed to be the minimalist of the causes (Ramenofsky, 2003).

The Indian population of the Northwest coast fell from 125,000 in 1780 to 100,000 in 1825. Natives learned to consume Brandy, wine, beer, coffee, tea, sweets and bread. Alcohol led to sexual promiscuity and sexually transmitted disease such as Syphilis. Obtaining guns through trade of furs led to deadly warfare between rival tribes (Sturtevant and Washburn 1998).

Warfare is thought to be the most significant cause of native population decline (Thornton). Conflicts were prevalent between tribes and against Americans. Some massacres wiped out entire tribes and survivors were, in most cases, forced to abandon their culture (Ramenofsky). Over 45,000 Natives were killed in wars or conflict between 1789 to 1890. This modernization and acculturation of Indians led to a decline of self-identifying Natives, who feared persecution if they identified as anything other than white. This would continue until late in the twentieth century, when Native Americans began to accept and cherish their heritage (Erickson, 1997).

Something that cannot be quantified is the loss as a result of depression and other psychological factors. Currently some of the highest rates of suicide and alcohol related deaths are from those residents on Indian Reservations (US Census 2010). The life expectancy for residents living on some Reservations is around 45 years old, the lowest in the Western Hemisphere outside of Haiti (Anderson, 2008).

There were five general patterns of displacement in total. The first is drifting, as tribes migrated away from (or rarely towards) non-Indian settlements by choice. Trading with the Natives was common practice throughout the country. Second was banishment as some tribes were prevented from entering certain areas. Third, some were forcibly moved to a new region. This was referred to as relocation. Indian reservations and the Trail of Tears are prime examples of this practice. Fourth is Concentration, where tribes consolidated into a smaller region of existing territory. As settlers encroached on their territory they began to concentrate into smaller regions together for safety. Finally, there is extinction. This happened mostly as a result of disease, warfare, or when Natives assimilated into non-Indian population (Carl Waldman, 1995).

Generally there was a cycle of displacement as well. First there was a period of acceptance, peacemaking, and treaty making, even mutual aid and trade, between the early settlers in a region and Native Peoples. Often Indians willingly ceded land in exchange for goods or the promise of annuities. Peace generally lasted several years. Second, settlers trespassed on Indian lands and appropriated territory. This led to reprisals by Indians against settlers, leading to fear mongering in the non-native Political powers. Third, federal, state or territorial leaders called for military action, leading to building forts therefore attracting more settlers. Fourth, Indian peoples overwhelmed by superior numbers and arms sued for peace and were forced to negotiate new territorial cessions and withdraw farther into the wilderness. (Waldman, 1995)

The American Bison was a main staple in the plain Indians lives and the “most economically valuable wild animal that ever inhabited the American continent” (Hornaday, 1889). Everything was used from the Bison; garments from their skins to fuel from the buffalo chips. The American government realized the Native dependence of Bison and formulated a plan to exterminate the Bison and ultimately exterminate the Natives. Map 1.2 on the following page shows the extraordinary drop in Bison number which following a century long massacre were nearly exterminated by the late 1800s’s.

Map 1.2


Adapted from a drawing of William Temple Hornaday in “Geographisches Handbuch zu Andrees Handatlas, vierte Auflage, Bielefeld und Leipzig, Velhagen und Klasing, 1902”

The near total annihilation of the American Bison was a “systematic slaughter” (Hornaday) that took place primarily from 1830 to 1838. The herds had been driven to the west in previous centuries by encroaching settlers. From 1870 to 1880 another slaughter took place. In just 3 years over 3.5 million buffalo were killed, of which 3.2 million were killed by “professional” white hunters. By 1880 the destruction moved to the Northern herd and by January 1, 1889 it was estimated that only 635 Bison remained in the wild in all of North America. Starvation and Cannibalism ensued for Native Americans in the Northwest Territory, where of a party of twenty-nine Cree Indians, all but three perished in the winter of 1886 (Hornaday).

The conterminous United States is over 2.4 billion acres, all of which at one time did not belong to any European. It is unknown how much of the territory was populated by aboriginals, but their total land has been reduced to 56.2 million acres held in trust by the United States government to either tribes or people. A total of 326 Indian land areas exist in the United States, the largest being the Navajo Nation Reservation in Arizona, New Mexico, and Utah, which covers 16 million acres. (Bureau of Indian Affairs, 2014)

An interdisciplinary approach will help to understand this project more effectively. Mapping the reduction in Native American population and land area is a vital aspect of this project. Understanding the historical events leading up to the 19th century is critically important to comprehend the visual component of the maps. A brief knowledge in statistics and geography is required in order to display and understand the visual and geostatistical components of this project. All these facets together combine to create a comprehensive study focused on answering questions by analyzing geostatistical datasets and producing maps to effectively communicate the results.


Section III: Methodology and Research Approach   

During the late 1700’s to the Mid-1800’s nearly all land in the United States was bought or ceded by foreign governments. Map 1.2 shows the areas such as the Louisiana Purchase and Mexican Cession that added an enormous amount of territory to the United States. Shortly after a purchase or cession like this the land was cleared of Native Americans through cessions or treaties. Events covering the same area of land were typically within a decade of each other. The Cession data used in the map was compiled from Royce’s report and a detailed reproduction similar to Map 1.3 was made using GIS software and can be found in Index I.

Map 1.3


Data used in the study (table 1.1) is a combination of Census data and estimated data from multiple experts in the field. As noted above, prior to the 19th century there had already been a great reduction in population figures. Comparing tables 1.2 and 1.3, the disparity between the aboriginal figures and that of the 19th century is catastrophic.

Table 1.2 

Twentieth-Century Population Estimates of Aboriginal North America (Reddy, 1995)


Table 1.3

American Indian Population in the United States, 1800 – 1890 (Thornton, 1981)


The Native population reduced during the 1800’s at the same time the United States was expanding its territory, and this was the final reduction in Native American population. The goal of this project is to answer these questions:

  1. What is the relationship between the population figures of Native Americans and the expansion of the United States?
  2. As settled land increased was there an inversely proportional reduction in Native population size?

In order to answer the first question a correlation analysis is necessary. Using the software package SPSS, a Pearson Correlation test is used to determine the strength of the relationship. The test statistic is located in Figure 1.1.

Figure 1.1figure1.1

This procedure must be run first to determine if there indeed is a relationship and how strong that relationship between the two variables is. After running the test, the r value is used to determine if the relationship is positive, negative, or does not exist.

In regards to the second question, a regression analysis will be run again using SPSS. This time I will run a regression test using the curve estimation tool. The test statistic for this test is located in Figure 1.2. This test does a bivariate (two variables) analysis examining the influence of one variable on the other. The variable creating the influence (Settled Area, X-Axis) is called the independent variable, and the variable receiving the influence or effect is the dependent variable (Native Population Size, Y-axis). The two methods used are linear regression analysis and logarithmic curve estimation to plot the observed and expected figures of the study.

Figure 1.2


The regression analysis is the main statistical analysis of this study. The population of the Native Americans depends on what influence the settled area has on it. Running the analysis will produce a statistic that will determine what percentage of the population size can be attributed to the settled area. This statistic, termed the adjusted coefficient of determination (r2), will determine the strength of the relationship.

Section IV: Analysis


Test Hypothesis are as follows:

Null Hypothesis:                     H0: ϴ = 0

No association exists between size of the United States Territorial expansion (Settled lands having population density ≥ 2.0 persons per mile2) and Native American population decline during the nineteenth century (1800-1890).

Alternative Hypothesis:          H0: ϴ < 1

An inverse association exists between size of the United States Territorial expansion and Native American population decline during the nineteenth century (1800-1890). As Settled lands increase for the United States there is a direct relationship with decreasing Native American population totals.

Pearson Correlation

stats2            Correlation is significant at the 0.01 level (1-tailed).

Analysis of the Pearson Correlation test:

                Using the R value of -.958 and a p-value of .000 it is concluded that there is a strong negative correlation between the two variables


Analysis of the Regression Analysis:

r2 =   1.398E11 / 1.416E11 = .987

F = (.987(10-2))/(1-.987) = 609.747 (p=.000)


The r2 for the Logarithmic test indicates that 98.7 percent of the variation in Native American decline can be attributed to the Settled Territory of the United States. The Linear Regression analysis attributes over 91 percent of the population decline to the westward expansion of the United States. Therefore, the null hypothesis is rejected and there is indeed a very strong negative relationship between the increase in settled lands for the United States territory and the resulting decrease in Native American Population. This trend continues and even slows down as the settled lands become increasingly larger. When the populated area stops increasing dramatically, the Native Americans numbers begin to level off.

This project further studied what would occur if the study was expanded until 1950. After this time period population figures have an increased level of statistical error. Major world events took place throughout the expanded time, including two world wars and Native Americans became less a threat to American civilians during a cultural adjustment period (Snipp, 1997).   As evident in table 1.4, the population exploded from 1950 to 1960; largely impacted by the 1959 admission of Alaska to the Union. United States populated area remains relatively unchanged (actually diminishing slightly) despite the expansion of United States territory by nearly twenty percent. Including all the figures leading up to 1960 in the study still yields an adjusted r2 of 0.723.

Table 1.4 (US Census)


The data is conclusive, that when even accounting for population growth in the twentieth century and a reduced expansion rate of the United States government, nearly three quarters of the decline in population can be attributed to westward expansion.  


Why is this important? Without prior knowledge of the statistics another hypothesis could be formed. As the territory of the populated United States expands the population of Native Americans either remains unaffected, or increases at the same pace as the national population. In this hypothesis the population of the United States essentially absorbs the Natives into citizenship. To put this another way, hypothetically, what would happen today if Canada ceded all land to the United States unexpectedly? Would Americans rush onto the new land and forcefully remove the already established owners? Would Canadians population figures start to diminish? Would their numbers grow without restriction? Presumably yes, their numbers would increase at the current rate, taking into consideration current political policies. This analogy helps reaffirm the study’s findings that the population would only diminish for negative reasons which exist today in only hostile areas around the globe.

Despite a near genocidal extermination Native American population numbers have surged in recent decades. It has been discovered that self-identification of Natives from one census to the next has produced wildly different figures. First observed during the 1970 Census, the percentage of Natives rose 149% until 1990. The logical explanation was that people who had not identified themselves as Native Americans in previous years had done so the next Census (Ericksen, 1997).

Over 72 percent of Natives live outside of an Indian territory today (2010 Census) compared to just around 50 percent in 1990 (Snipp). Many self-identifying Natives are moving away from their territory to urban areas like Washington D.C. In fact, nearly 70 percent of the Native American population in the District was born elsewhere. The area had the highest growth rate for Native Americans during the 1980s and remains a target for educated, trained Natives (Shymway, 1995).

Health remained a concern among Natives all throughout the 20th and 21st century, especially for those living on Indian reservations (Table 1.5). Poverty for residents living on reservations is as much as twelve times the national average and extreme poverty is over five times the average for some (2000 Census). Suicide among 15-24 year olds is 3.5 times higher for Natives compared to all other U.S. races. For the same age category an individual is 4.5 times more likely to die from influenza than any other race. In 25-44 year olds alcoholism remains a problem still; the ratio is 7.9:1 for chronic liver disease and cirrhosis in Natives compared to all other races. Only those Natives living over 65 experience greater mortality rates than all other races in the United States (Indian Health Service, 2009).

Table 1.5 Extreme Poverty Rates for Residents of Indian Reservations (2000 Census)


Although Native bloodline still exists in America, they are greatly diminished (1.7% of the total population) and their culture has for all practicality been exterminated. From 2000 to 2010 the population of Native Americans rose 26.7 percent, compared to 9.5 percent for all other races (2010 Census),

Figure 1.3   


Figure 1.4      

housin2The story of the Native American race is not over yet, but it is truly a tragedy for the history of the United States. Still today, the treatment of Native Americans portray signs of discrimination and inferiority, but public outcry has helped shine a light on social affairs. Whether it be health standards or the racially charged name of a professional sports team, it is no longer acceptable to discriminate against a race of any kind. Hopefully one day, all boundaries are broken and a full assimilation of race exists in all society, not just cohabitating, but interculturally.

There were some significant restrictions and limitations to this study. Population figures in text books vary from as little as 2.1 million (Ubelaker) to a high of 18 million (Dobyns). Due to varying collection methods during the 19th century analysis of the information is difficult to substantiate. Statistical analysis works best with large data sets where there is less for interpolation. The figures presented in the study and used during analysis are from the seminal works on Native American anthropology by Thornton and remain the most compelling population study to date (Trigger, 1995).


Section V: Conclusion

Population figures declined throughout the 19th century until nadir of under 230,000. The regression analysis provides clear evidence that during that time, regardless of the method, the decline in population of Native Americans was clearly a result of westward expansion of the United States. There is a gap of about 10 years from the time land was ceded to a correlated change in population figures. The lag is due to the time it took to dislocate the Natives from the land and for the land to become repopulated with Americans. All regression tests used concluded that over 75 percent of the decline in population can be explained with the westward expansion.

As noted throughout, population figures used in the study are estimations by subject experts.   If in the future more accurate statistics become available, more research and modeling will need to be completed. The project is meant to be continued by scholars of many fields of study. With further research this project could hopefully help rewrite some textbooks used throughout the United States to reveal truths about the history of the United States that are controversial, but need to be discussed. Genocide should not exist today but we continue to see evidence around the globe. Discussing matters like this, and ensuring that they never happen again should be at the forefront of the political agenda for the sake of all humanity.

Without a comprehensive knowledge of interdisciplinary studies in Geography and Information Systems, creating these maps and analyzing this data would not have been possible. This project showcases a small portion of the capabilities GIS has to offer. Using the data compiled in this study can lead to further analysis incorporating data unavailable at the time the study took place.

By making this data available online for free this study can be further developed and incorporated into more comprehensive databases. As noted before this project would yield maps explaining the analysis contained throughout so that someone can easily comprehend the sometimes confusing statistical analysis. These maps can be found in the Indices as well as online.



Genocide: the deliberate and systematic destruction of a

racial, political, or cultural group (Merriam-Webster)






Section VI: Research


McGrew, Chapman, Monroe, Charles. 2000. McGraw-Hill Higher Education. An Introduction to Statistical Problem Solving in Geography. Second Edition.

Reddy M., D. 1995. Statistical Record of Native North Americans. Second Edition. Gale Research Co. Detroit, MA.

Thornton, Russell. 1987. American Indian Holocaust and Survival: A Population History since 1492. University of Oklahoma Press

Russell Thornton, and J. Marsh-Thornton. 1981. Estimating prehistoric American Indian population size for United States area: Implications of the nineteenth century population decline and nadir. American Journal of Physical Anthropology 55 (1):47–53.

Loewen, J. W. 1995. Lies my teacher told me: Everything your American history textbook got wrong. New York: New Press.

Hyatt, V. Lawrence, & Nettleford, R. M. 1995. Race, discourse, and the origin of the Americas: a new world view. Washington: Smithsonian Institution Press.

Taylor, D. 1997. The writer’s guide to everyday life in Colonial America. Cincinnati, Ohio: Writer’s Digest Books.

1930 Statistical Abstract of the United States. 1935. United States Census

Trigger, B., and W. Vashburn. 1996. The Cambridge History of the Native Peoples of the Americas. Cambridge University Press.

Traboulay, D. M. 1994. Columbus and Las Casas : the conquest and Christianization of America, 1492-1566. Lanham, [Md.]: University Press of America.

Grund, F. J. 1837. The Americans in their moral, social, and political relations. London: Longman, Rees, Orme, Brown, Green, & Longman.

Jackson, H. Hunt. 1881. A century of dishonor: a sketch of the United States government’s dealings with some of the Indian tribes. New York: Harper & Bros.

Gibson, A. Morgan. 1980. The American Indian: prehistory to the present. Lexington, Mass.: D.C. Heath.

Stannard, D. E. 1992. American Holocaust : the conquest of the New World. New York: Oxford University Press.

Ubelaker, Douglas. North American Indian Population Size, A.D. 1500 to 1800. American Journal of Physical Anthropology. 1988

Otterstrom, Samuel, Earle, Carville. The Settlement of the United States from 1790 to 1990: Divergent Rates of Growth and the End of the Frontier. The Journal of Interdisciplinary History, Vol. 33, No. 1. Summer. 2002.

Ericksen, E. 1997. Problems in Sampling the Native American and Alaskan Native Populations. Population Research and Policy Review, 16(1-2), 43–59.

Hendrix, B. A. 2005. Memory in Native American Land Claims. Political Theory, 33(6), 763–785. doi:10.1177/0090591705280658

JoAnn Pappalardo, Alan Friedman, & Debra Heller. 2009. Trends in Indian Health 2002-2003 (pp. 52–151). Indian Health Service. Retrieved from

Monsalve, M. V., Helgason, A., and Devine, D. V. 1999. Languages, geography and HLA haplotypes in Native American and Asian populations. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London. Series B: Biological Sciences, 266(1434), 2209–2216.

Ramenofsky, A. 2003. Native American disease history: past, present and future directions. World Archaeology, 35(2), 241–257. doi:10.1080/0043824032000111407


Sturtevant, W., and W. Washburn. 1998. Handbook of North American Indians: History of Indian-White relations.

Anderson, T. 2009, August 28. Native Americans and the Public Option. Retrieved December 01, 2013, from

Royce, C. 1896-1897. Eighteenth Annual Report of the Bureau of American Ethnology to the Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution. Retrieved from

Shumway, J. M., & Jackson, R. H. 1995. Native American population patterns. Geographical Review, 185–201.

Hornaday, William T. 1889. The Extermination of the American Bison. Report of the National Museum, 1886-1887, 369-548.

Snipp, M. 1997. The Size and Distribution of the American Indian Population Fertility, Mortality, Migration, and Residence. Population Research and Policy Review, 16(1-2), 61–93.

Genocide. 2014. In

Retrieved April 8, 2014, from

Hilliard, S., and D. Irwin. 1972. Indian Land Cessions.


  Section VII:


Nicole Smith donated digitized shapefile data used in the Cession maps.   The shapes were created using Sam Hilliard’s Indian Land Cession maps from 1972 which were a collaboration of the maps Royce produced in 1897. These shapefiles will be made available online to download using the blog mentioned above or by emailing

Index I: Cession Maps from Native American lands to the US government. (Shapefiles from Hilliard 1972)


Index II: United States Population Density (Per Square Mile) Maps (Otterstrom)