November 28th: The Treaty of Hopewell Is Signed, Cocoanut Grove Fire and Other Events of the Date
A number of important events have taken place on November 28th in U.S. history. Here is our take on the most interesting and valuable of them.
1785 – The Treaty of Hopewell is signed
There were three treaties with this title in American history, so we have to point out that today’s date marks the anniversary of the first of them.
The first Treaty of Hopewell was signed between the U.S. representative Benjamin Hawkins and the Cherokee Indians and laid out a western boundary for American settlement in South Carolina and its surroundings. Another interesting historical and linguistic fact, the treaty also gave rise to the sardonic Cherokee phrase of “Talking Leaves,” since they claimed that when the treaties no longer suited the Americans, they would blow away like “talking leaves.” A description of the boundary is found on Article 4 of the accord:
“The boundary allotted to the Cherokees for their hunting grounds, between the said Indians and the citizens of the United States, within the limits of the United States of America, is, and shall be the following, viz. Beginning at the mouth of Duck river, on the Tennessee; thence running north-east to the ridge dividing the waters running into Cumberland from those running into the Tennessee; thence east-wardly along the said ridge to a north-east line to be run, which shall strike the river Cumberland forty miles above Nashville…”
This treaty was a really controversial one, as the Cherokee people complained that around 3000 white settlers of the de facto State of Franklin were already squatting on the Cherokee side of the agreed line, between the Holston and French Broad Rivers. The Cherokee continued to dispute that region until a new border was defined by the 1791 Treaty of Holston.
1862 – American Civil War: Prairie Grove Campaign: The Battle of Cane Hill
This battle which was a part of the Prairie Grove Campaign of the American Civil War was fought in the early stage of it, on November 28, 1862 in Washington County, Arkansas.
This was part of a Confederate attempt to drive the Union forces back into Missouri and recapture ground lost during the Pea Ridge campaign of early 1862, when Union forces had secured parts of northern Arkansas. During the Battle of Cane Hill Confederate General Thomas C. Hindman moved his army of around 11000 soldiers into Fort Smith, Arkansas, and prepared to move across the Boston Mountains into the extreme northwestern corner of the state.
Awaiting Hindman there was Union General Blunt with approximately 5000 soldiers of his own. The Confederate general hoped to attack Blunt's force, which was over 70 miles from the nearest Union reinforcements, and he partly succeeded, so the battle ended with in a minor tactical Confederate victory with both sides losing up to 45 soldiers killed after nine hours of fighting.
1942 - Cocoanut Grove Fire
The deadliest nightclub fire in US history occurred on this date 76 years ago in Boston, Massachusetts. The Cocoanut Grove was one of the most popular places in the city during the post-Prohibition 1930s and 1940s, when alcohol was allowed. Official reports state that fire started at about 10:15 pm in the Melody Lounge downstairs.
Goody Goodelle, a young pianist and singer, was performing on a revolving stage, surrounded by artificial palm trees. The lounge was lit by low-powered light bulbs in coconut-styled sconces beneath the fronds.
The fire that occurred at the Cocoanut Grove killed 492 people (this was 32 more than the building's authorized capacity, since it was overcrowded at that moment) and wounded hundreds more. The scale of the tragedy shocked the nation so badly that it even briefly replaced the events of World War II in newspaper headlines and led to the reform of safety standards and codes across the US, as well as to major changes in the treatment and rehabilitation of burn victims worldwide.
These are the most notable events in U.S. history that occurred on November 28th, at least in our view.