[A news story, dated October 9, 1885, reveals further evidence that the word ‘redskin’ was not historically spoken in reverence for Native Americans, but instead as an identifier during extermination efforts.
The clip, published by theAtchison Daily Championin Atchison, Kansas, tells of settlers in Arizona fanning out across the state to “hunt for redskins, with a view of obtaining their scalps.” Scalps taken from the bodies of dead Indians were valued at $250, according to the report. The campaign was allegedly launched in an effort to end the Apache Wars – a period between the mid to late 19th century when the Apache resisted American encroachment and the imposed reservation system.
“It is believed that several New Mexican cities and counties will adopt this plan of exterminating the savages,” the report reads.
Arizona resident Bobby Wilson, Sisseton-Wahpeton Dakota, toldICTMN that the word ‘redskin’ is unambiguously associated with the killing of Native Americans. “People make this crazy argument that ‘redskin’ is some kind of Indian term, but when you take a look at something like this, ‘redskin’ is clearly referring to a bounty [on] dead human [beings],” he said.