Before Columbus came to America, the population of Native Americans - the first, aboriginal peopes - was about 5 million. By 1890, it was 250,000. During the same period the white population in the U.S. increased from o to 75 million. As it did so, it usurped the ancestral lands of the Indians who had inhabited the continent for centuries and destroyed both the delicate balance of their economy and an age-old way of life. Pivotal events such as the removal, in the 1830s, of the Southeastern tribes to whatwas called Indian Territory, the Long March of the Navajo to imprisonmentat Fort Sumner in 1864, and the tragedy at Wounded Knee in 1890 marked the advance of a new culture that, by the end of the century, had savagely replaced a much older one.