By the middle of the 19th century, a vast new territory from New Mexico all the way to California beckoned settlers and homesteaders. But as their wagon trains rumbled west from Missouri, along major arteries such as the Santa Fe Trail, they cut through the heart of Indian country and came under frequent attack.
More than a century and a half after these violent events, History Detectives takes a closer look at an old paper that shows President Millard Fillmore engaged in what appears to be an unusual act for the time - sparing the life of a Native American convicted of murder.
In the paper the President commutes the death sentence to life in prison for a solitary Native American named See-See-Sah-Mah, convicted of murdering a St. Louis trader along the Santa Fe Trail. Fillmore’s pardon saved See-See-Sah-Mah’s life, but why?
See-See-Sah-Mah Case File
- Also with Tukufu Zuberi Our Colored Heroes Is this a WWI recruitment poster... or something else?
- Related Investigation Red Hand Flag Is this peculiar flag one that African-American soldiers marched under in the war to end all wars?
- Also with Tukufu Zuberi Independence Trumpet Is a Pennsylvania man's trumpet somehow tied to the Revolutionary War?
- Related Investigation Theremin How did this strange instrument help spark a rock n’ roll revolution?
- Also in Season 7 Cemetery Alarm Was this explosive device used to stop a morbid black market trade?
- Also in Season 7 St Valentine's Day Massacre Was this weapon fired in one of the nation's most infamous crimes?
This is a place for opinions, comments, questions and discussion; a place where viewers of History Detectives can express their points of view and connect with others who value history. We ask that posters be polite and respectful of all opinions. History Detectives reserves the right to delete comments that don’t conform to this conduct. We will not respond to every post, but will do our best to answer specific questions, or address an error.