Timeline of the Lipan Apache Tribe, 17th - 21st Centuries

Timeline Contributors: N McGown Minor, HR Walking Woman, D Pompa

Date                   Event
ca. 1600 Lipan Apache enter Texas from Great Plains; claim area around San Antonio as homeland and call it "Many Houses;" Lipans develop a tribal identity−Lipan means "Light Gray People."
ca. 1650 Lipans develop a trade route to the Pecos Pueblo by following Rio Grande upriver to the Pecos. Lipans call Pecos Pueblo "White House."
ca. 1670 In response to severe drought, Lipan tribe splits into 2 divisions: Plains Lipans (who move into upper Colorado River region) & Forest Lipans (who return to San Antonio area). Plains Lipans acquire horses from Jumanos and pueblos of New Mexico. Forest Lipans acquire horses from pueblo of La Junta (Presidio, TX).
1674 Mission San Ildefonso de la Paz founded on Rio Escondido of Coahuila near later site of villa of Zaragosa. San Ildefonso soon abandoned.
1700 Comanches enter Texas and begin to contest the Plains Lipans for control of the high plains of Texas.
1703 Mission San Francisco Solano revived on site of older San Ildefonso mission (Coahuila).
1708 San Francisco Solano moved to the Rio Grande.
1716 Presidio San Antonio de Béxar and small church founded at San Pedro Springs (Texas) but both burn down within 2 years.
May 1718 Béxar presidio moved to a site west of the San Antonio River. The Solano mission on the Rio Grande is dismantled and moved to the San Antonio River; renamed Mission San Antonio de Valero.
1715-1720 Comanches and Lipans fight epic 9-day battle in Red River Basin. Lipan corpses are "left in piles like leaves."
1720-1725 Lipans begin sporadic raids against San Antonio; horse thefts escalate- up to a quarter of presidio’s saddle horse herd stolen at one time. Presidio troops begin retaliatory military campaigns. Nicholas Flores y Valdez follows Lipan horse thieves to Brazos River, attacks a ranchería, captures Lipan prisoners and recovering horses.
1726-1730 All quiet at San Antonio; no raids.
1730 56 Canary Island settlers arrive at San Antonio; are offered land west of presidio but deem area too exposed to Lipan raids. Settle between presidio and mission. Found villa of San Fernando de Béxar.
1730 The Lipan Apache declare war on San Antonio; attacks escalate on anyone who ventures out of villa.
1731 On Sept. 18th, over 500 Lipan warriors ambush and attack 20 Spanish troops. Just when Spaniards think the end is near, Lipans break off attack.
1745 On the night of June 30th, over 300 Lipans attack the Béxar presidio, setting fire to many buildings; when soldiers fire guns, Lipans break off and run down side streets seeking to attack from another direction; the Apache attackers are run off by a large body of mission Indians.
1749 The Lipan Apache and Spanish at San Antonio celebrate a grand peace; Apache hostages are released and a large pit dug in Military Plaza. A live horse, war club, arrows and lance are placed in the pit and covered with dirt to signify the end of a state of warfare.
1750 Smallpox breaks out in Lipan camps along Guadalupe River. Lipans are convinced that epidemic was caused by mission clothing worn by newly-released hostages. Lipans move their camps to upper Nueces River. Lipans establish stolen- horses-for-guns trade with east Texas tribes.
1751 A large group of Lipan traditionalists who wish no contact with Spanish other than raiding, and led by Bigotes (Whiskers or Mustached One), break away and cross the Rio Grande into Coahuila. This break-away group calls itself Kuné tsa (Big Water People) and camps along Rio Escondido and Rio San Rodrigo (Coahuila).
1753 On Feb. 1st, villa of San Fernando de Austria is founded on Rio Escondido (Coahuila); first settlers come from families of San Juan Bautista
1754 First mission dedicated to converting the Lipan is founded at the site of the old mission of San Ildefonso (Rio Escondido, Coahuila) on Dec. 21st. Mission San Lorenzo lasts one year; during night of Oct. 4, 1755, Lipans revolt, burn mission and ride away.
1757 Second Lipan mission established on San Saba River of Texas near Menard. Mission San Sabá is burned down in 1758 during an attack by Comanches and Wichitas.
1761 Third Lipan mission is founded on upper Nueces near Camp Wood, Texas- San Lorenzo de la Santa Cruz. A second small mission is founded several miles south near Montell, Texas- Nuestra Señora de la Candelaría; both missions abandoned by Lipans within 4 years.
1763 In March, Lipans attack villa of San Fernando de Austria (Coahuila), entering town by a ruse; 7 settlers killed, 40 horses stolen.
1780 Terrible smallpox epidemic ravages Lipan camps in Texas and then spreads to camps in Coahuila. So many Lipans die that priests a la Bahía fear the numerous corpses will cause other disease. Lipan shamans, seeking an herbal cure for small- pox, adapt the use of peyote from Carrizo Indians.
1760-1780 Lipan Apaches raid intensely in south Texas, Coahuila and Nuevo Leon. A series of military campaigns fail to "tame" them until 1800.
1813 Apache Creek, formerly known as Charquito de Los Apaches, and Alazan Creek, territories and campsites of Lipan Apache, form a confluence to each other. On June 20, 1813, this territory was the battleground during the Battle of Alazan Creek in what is now Texas during the Mexican War of Independence. Far behind the enemy and encircling the battlefield, Lipan Apache and Tonkawa allies of the Army waited to chase and capture any runaways.
1814 The Lipan Apache fight along side rebels fighting for Mexican independence at Battle of Medina.
1827 Villa of San Fernando de Austria changes name to San Francisco de Rosas.
1836 Lipans watch Battle of Alamo unfold and want to assist Alamo defenders. Lipan proposed aid is based on friendship with Hispanic Tejano defenders, not on ties with Bowie and Travis, and dates back to Royalist-Republican battles of 1814, particularly the Battle of Medina.
1840-1880 Lipans from both sides of Rio Grande raid in Texas and drive stolen stock into Mexico to sell in border towns.
1850 Villa of San Fernando de Rosas changes name to Zaragosa (Coahuila). Zaragosa "adopts" the Lipan Apaches, offering them a settlement area at Hacienda Patiño. Villa of Musquiz (Coahuila) "adopts" Kickapoo, who had crossed into Mexico ca. 1850. Lipans and Kickapoo begin to fight each other in Coahuila.
1850 Smallpox epidemic in Texas drives many Texas Lipans into Mexico or New Mexico.
1854 The Texas legislature sets aside over12 leagues of land to be used by the U.S. government for Indian Reservations. A four-league area adjoining the Brazos Reserve is selected for the Apache tribes of West Texas (e.g. the Lipan Apache Tribe). However, believing that the Apache would not move into this reserved land, U.S. Supervising Indian agent Major Robert S. Neighbors requests a reservation for them west of the Pecos. The U.S. government does not set up this Pecos reservation in time before the whole Indian reservation system in Texas is abandoned.
1869 Mexican troops from Monterrey brought to Zaragosa to eliminate the Lipan Apache, who are blamed for causing trouble. Troops attack many Lipan camps; survivors flee to the Mescaleros in New Mexico.
1870 Numerous Lipan Apache jacals are occupied by the descendants of those who lived at the confluence of Apache Creek and Alazan Creek. Many were bird sellers, rustlers, and worked the surrounding fields forming a distinct community. Foodways, lifeways and culture flourish.
1873 US Army commander Ranald Mackenzie orders the calvary to cross the Rio Grande River border to attack Kickapoo, Lipan, and Mescalero camps close to El Remolino (Coahuila). Many Kickapoo are killed and captured; Lipan and Mescalero with camps further away are warned and they escape. All three camps are burned to the ground.
1872-1875 US Army in New Mexico begins to force Mescalero Apaches and a few Lipan Apaches onto a reservation in New Mexico.
1875-1876 US Army troops undertake joint military campaigns with Mexican Army to eliminate Lipans from Coahuila.
1881 A large campaign by Mexican Army, in coordination with the US Army, unsuccessfully attempts to corner the Lipans living in Coahuila and Chihuahua and the US side of the border.
1902-1930 Indian Town, as the Lipan enclavement between Apache Creek and Alazan Creek came to be known, is mentioned as culturally and architecturally different than the surrounding non-Native communities in the local paper. It is composed of those of the Little Breech Clout Band as well as those of other Lipan bands that knew of this community. Some of the residents are buried in Indian Town’s San Fernando cemeteries. In the 1930s, this area is known as San Antonio’s West Side with public housing known as Alazan-Apache courts.
1909 William "Pussyfoot" Johnson went against Lipan peyoteros in Los Ojuelos, TX, such as Valentine Pampas (Valentin Pompa), and destroyed by burning hundreds of thousands of their peyote buttons. This was the first documented case for religious freedom. Johnson was the Chief Special Officer-Indian Territories appointed by President Theodore Roosevelt to enforce regulations against alcohol on reservations.
1970 The Lipan Apache Poca Ropa band formalize their social gatherings as pow-wows in McAllen, Texas. The pow wows eventually morph into two annual pow wows: the Lipan Apache Tribe's Homecoming Spring pow wow and Fall pow wow, each celebrating 50 years in 2020.
1978 The United States Geological Survey creates the "Indian Land Areas Judicially Established 1978" map portraying the results of cases before commission in which an Indian tribe proved its original tribal occupancy of a tract within the continental United States. Tract # 137 on the map outlines the Lipan Apache Tribe's land in South West Texas. See Map Here or With Index Here.
1999 The Sun Otter and Poca Ropa bands, both amalgamations of other Lipan bands that sought refuge with them beginning in the late 1800's, formally acknowledge their community's status as the Lipan Apache Tribe and plan federal acknowledgement of the Lipans' legacy and status as a tribe.
March 2006 A federal agent raids the annual spring pow wow, interrupting the ceremony by entering the sacred circle and seizing eagle feathers. Robert Soto begins his court fight to have the feather returned.
2009 Representatives of the Lipan Apache Tribe are invited to celebrate the Lipans long history with Muzquiz, Coahuila and meet with the Lipans ensconced in the nearby Santa Rosa Mountains.
May 2010 Lipan youth, Adriel Arocha, wins case to wear his hair long in school in the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals because of his status as a member of the Lipan Apache Tribe. The win is based on religious freedom and is a ruling that applies to all students of Texas.
2012 The Lipan Apache Tribe of Texas give formal notice that they intent to seek federal acknowledgement, and the BIA assigns the tribe petition no.333.
March 2016 The Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals rules unanimously that the seizure of 42 eagle feathers in the 2006 pow wow violated Robert Soto's rights under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act. In March 2016, the feathers are returned to Soto and an undisclosed number of tribe members win access to using eagle feathers in their Lipan ceremonial practices.
Oct 2020 The City of Presidio, TX, and Presidio County turn over the Cemeterio del Barrio de los Lipanes/Cemeterio de los Lipanes to the Lipan Apache Tribe.