Shortly after the start of President Ulysses S. Grant’s “Peace Policy” toward Native Americans, the Camp Grant Massacre occurred in southern Arizona on April 30, 1871. The local Apache had recently agreed to live at Camp Grant via an order by Lieutenant Royal E. Whitman, who also pledged to provide the tribe with food.Unfortunately, public opinion turned against the military in Arizona, declaring them unable to protect the territory’s citizens. A handful of Americans, some Mexicans, and some rival Native American tribesmen sneaked up on the peaceful village in the middle of the night.Most of those killed were women and children because the men were out hunting for food. The perpetrators of the massacre had used unfounded claims of Apache depredations to justify murder. Although 104 men were charged with murder, all were acquitted at trial.
Photo credit: Southern Arizona Guide