American Native Press Archives and Sequoyah Research Center
The Osage: A Historical Sketch [a machine-readable transcription]
By George E. Tinker
George Edward Tinker was born September 24, 1868, at Osage Mission, Kansas (present-day St. Paul), the son of George and Genevieve "Jane" Revard Tinker. The family was related to or associated with many notable figures in Osage history. In the 1890s "Ed" Tinker, as he was known, served on the Osage Tribal Council. He was engaged in several publishing ventures, including The Wah-shah-she News, a weekly newspaper published at Pawhuska, of which he was a co-founder and editor. In November, 1909, Tinker founded The Osage Magazine with Curtis J. Phillips, which later became The Oklahoma Magazine. He married Sarah Ann Swagerty in 1886.
When Tinker was writing for and editing The Osage Magazine, a major issue facing the Osage people was ownership of the mineral rights under their lands. Important oil and gas deposits had been discovered under Osage lands, and oil companies were eager to exploit them. While the federal government had allotted Osage lands in severalty in 1906, mineral rights, including oil and gas, were reserved to the tribe and royalties paid to the Nation instead of to the individual under whose land the minerals lie. Unscrupulous oil men, land agents, and other grafters attempted at this time to change the law to their advantage. Tinker's editorials against these attempts are included in his history.
The word Osage was evolved through mispronunciation and bad spelling on the part of the early French settlers, and equally erratic interpretation by the English of the true name of the tribe"Wa-Shah-She." The French called them "Wa-Sa-gee," and using the letters Ou to give the sound of W they wrote it Ouasages, which the English and Americans pronounced "Osages."
The latter name has now been adopted by the American Bureau of Ethnology and by the Indian Bureau, and will be used in this history. The Osages belong to the Dakota branch of the Sioux. Some may take issue with this statement and claim the Sioux are a branch of the Dakotas, but from personal knowledge and from the evidence of men better acquainted with the subject we maintain that seniority of name is with the Sioux.
The Sioux were divided into three grand divisions, the Nahkotas, Lahkotas and Dakotas, those living east of the Mississippi, those living between that stream and the Missouri, and those west of the Missouri. The three branches of the Sioux family were divided again into bands and tribes, their number reaching into scores, which dominated all the territory between the Great Lakes and the Black Hills of South Dakota, and as far south as the Arkansas river.
The Osages were the most southern branch west of the Mississippi, and stood guard for hundreds of years over the territory of the Sioux from that river west to the great plains. The borderline between them and the Natchez and Tensas on the southeast and the Kiowa and Comanches and Caddos on the southwest was usually the Arkansas river. Sometimes they warred with the Pawnees on the west and sometimes they were allies, but all territory lying between the Arkansas and Kaw rivers, and west from the Mississippi to the great plains was firmly held by the Osages against all others at the time of discovery by white men.
In writing history one must often arrive at facts by deduction where they are incomplete. This must be done in the present instance, as Coronado does not mention the Osages, but we have conclusive evidence that he was in their territory. Coronado says that he went eastward of the Rio Grande river three hundred leagues through sandy plains and vast treeless tracts inhabited with a species of terrible wild cattle of which they killed four score the first day they met with them. They continued their travels east by north, crossing shallow rivers with broad sand bars until they reached one where the trees grew luxuriantly and the soil was as rich as the best portions of Spain. This river is conceded by all writers to have been either the Kaw or Missouri. Some evidence that it was the latter was the finding of certain articles in the vicinity of Kansas City that undoubtedly belonged to Spanish people. One was a halberd, a kind of spearhead with a small battle axe attached, which was found in 1898 in excavating a cellar in the heart of Kansas City. It was several feet under the ground, and had been buried apparently for hundreds of years. These relics of the days of knighthood have not been in use since the Sixteenth Century, and the Spanish armies were the only ones visiting the shores of North America that early, or that would likely have them.
There have been two halberds found in the United States, the other one in Southern Tennessee and is supposed to have been lost by De Soto. Then we have the evidence that two of Coronado's men reached the main Osage village at or near the mouth of the Osage river. These men became detached from the main columns and wandered on foot for over two years in the forest of Missouri, Arkansas, Louisiana and Texas, before they reached the Spanish settlements in Mexico. Coronado estimated their travels to have covered over 20,000 miles and their miraculous escape from wild beasts and savages forms one of the most romantic chapters in all history.
A band of Osages hunting near the head waters of the Osage river were very much startled one day by the discovery of the two strange beings crouched in the thickets under a low bluff on which the Osages stood. The Osages had drawn their bows and arrows and were about to shoot when their leader motioned them to hold and whispered to them that the strangers were men. But what strange men they were and what queer skins they wore. The strangers were trying to start a fire and one of them took off his hat and fanned the flame with it and what a queer looking man he was with black beard all over his face with only his nose and eyes and forehead bare. The Osages slipped away out of sight to consult and determine what to do. They immediately decided to capture these strange beings and examine them farther, which they accomplished by crawling through the thickets and springing out upon them before they were discovered. Great was the consternation of the poor Spaniards when they found themselves suddenly in the hands of these wild men, and no doubt they expected death but they were strong men and showed no fear even if they felt it. And great was the wonder of the Osages when they examined the Spanish dress, its queer structure made of cloth, which they had never seen. But the hats seemed strangest of all. The Osages decided to carry them to their great village and let the head chief, Wah-Kon-tah, see them, which was several days' travel. When the head chief saw them he sent runners after all the bands of Osages, calling them in from far West and from the banks of Arkansas. This took several weeks, but the great chief was determined to find if any of his people had ever seen any one like the Spaniards, and if any could be found who could converse with them, for so far they had not been able to get any information about who they were or where they came from. When all the Osages had been called together the Spaniards were put in the center of a great council and questioned by the different chiefs, but none could make themselves understood or could understand what the captives said. But finally one of the Spaniards seemed to realize what they wanted and motioning the Osages to follow, he led them down to the river and on a sand bar drew a picture of a large boat and showed them by signs that they had come across a great river in it. Then Wah-Kon-tah, the great chief told them to go back the way they came and never to come into his country again. And the Spaniards were glad to be allowed to depart, although they did not understand a word the chief said.
The next white men the Osages saw was but a few months later, and this time it was a company of cavalry. A band of Osages far to the southward, it is told, heard a great noise passing through the forest. At first they thought it was a large drove of game, but soon their ears heard strange sounds, such as they had never heard before. They slipped quietly through the woods, keeping well behind trees and bushes till they came upon a sight that well nigh froze the blood in their veins. Here again they saw the strange white men with the black beard on their faces and wearing the queer hats, but this time they sat upon strange animals, the like of which none had ever seen or heard tell of. There was a great company of them and their coats that were made of iron, shone in the morning sun with dazzling and awful brightness and swinging from their girdles were long sharp knives. Some of them carried these long knives in their hands and when they struck at little limbs that hung in their way, the limbs fell from the trees as if by magic. The jingling of their spears and the rattle of the long knives against the stirrups produced the noise the Osages had heard. Skulking in fear from this terrible scene, the Osages waited till the cavalcade had passed long out of sight ere they dared to venture out to examine the trail and inspect the tracks made by the strange animals. This done, they departed rapidly to their home country to tell the great chief what they had seen. When they arrived there their story was scarcely believed, but soon rumors began to come in from other tribes far to the south to the same effect. So the great chief, Wah-Kon-tah, named these strangers "The Long Knives," and that is the name applied to white men to this day.
That this story is not myth is proven by the fact that at no time in the history of this country has there been any except the Spaniards under De Soto and Coronado wearing mail armor and long swords passing in a part of the world where the Osages would see them. Whether this was part of Coronado's band or De Soto's is impossible to say, but it is more likely to have been De Soto's for he is known to have crossed the Mississippi near where Memphis now is into Arkansas the same year that Coronado was in Kansas, and the Osages living in the neighborhood of where Fort Smith, Arkansas, now is, would be likely to meet up with them. After this it was may years before the Osages again saw white men, and again it was the Spaniard that came their way.
In the year 1625, Juan de Onata, founder of Santa Fe, went as far north and east as the Pawnee village, near where the Republican river crosses the Kansas-Nebraska line. From there he turned southeast and went as far as the mouth of the Kaw river. After this there were frequent expeditions made by the Spaniards from Santa Fe for a number of years, and treaties of friendship with the Osages early established. About the year 1650 one of these expeditions was violently attacked by a large war party of Wah-Sho-hres (now called the Missouris), and badly cut to pieces. The cause of this unwarranted attack as given was the friendship of the Spaniards for the Osages. The Missouris lived on the north bank of the Missouri river and were the implacable enemies of the Osages. War between these two powerful tribes was incessant until the Missouris were almost utterly destroyed by smallpox, contracted from the French.
The Spaniards determined to chastise the Missouris, and sent out a strong company the following year to attack them. The plan was to go to their friends, the Osages, and get their help. Under Osage protection, they intended to cross the Missouri river and utterly destroy the villages of the Missouris. Now the Missouris were also a branch of the Sioux and many of their words are similar, or the same as spoken by the Osages, and when the Spanish interpreter met a large body of Indians south of the Missouri river and addressed them in Osage, he was answered in the same language, and he had no doubt that he was talking to Osages. He told the Indians what their mission was, and that his commander wanted them to assist in the destruction of their ancient enemies, the Missouris. The Indians answered that they would hold council among themselves and let the Spaniards know in a short time what they would do. It was a large party of Missouris they had met, and the sagacious chief of that tribe only retired to plan and make the destruction of the Spaniard more certain. Upon their return they told the Spaniards that a large village of Missouris were camped on the south bank of the river under the bluffs not many miles farther on, and that they would have a guide to go with them to show them the trail while the Indian were to go below and strike the village from the far side. It was to be a night attack and seemed so well planned that the unsuspecting Spaniards fell into a death trap from which no one except the priest escaped alive, and he was held prisoner. Later he escaped and reached the Osages and was by them years afterward returned to his people in Santa Fe.
The battle must have been a veritable slaughter pen, the guide leading the Spaniards through a narrow canon that cut through the high bluffs down to the river, while hundreds of savages lay in ambush and attacked them, in the narrowest and most advantageous place. The Spanish troops in America had met with a second "noche triste" (night trials.)
The scene of this massacre, as pointed out by the Osages, was in what is now Saline County, Missouri. After this terrible disaster the Spaniards did not often visit the banks of the Missouri and the Osages did not see much of white men for many years.
The Spaniards still kept in touch with the Pawnees, for their flag was flying over the Pawnee village in 1806 when visited by General Pike. Pike induced the Pawnees to haul it down and replace it with the Stars and Stripes. The Osages seemed to have retained their friendship for the Spaniards, and sometimes went to Santa Fe to trade, but their furs being little in demand and cloth and other Spanish goods scarce in Santa Fe, there was little to encourage these trips.
But in 1673 came Marquette, the French missionary who had been told by the Peorias and other Indians along the upper Mississippi of the powerful tribe of Osages and its wonderful warriors. Two years later, 1675, Marquette founded the mission and trading post at Kaskaskia, Illinois, and thus began that intimacy between the French and the Osages which was never broken. In 1682 they were visited by La Salle, and in 1719 Lieutenant Du Tissenet, another French explorer. In 1723 Etienne Venyard Du Bourgmont  visited the Osages on the Missouri and loaded the chiefs with presents and established a firm and lasting friendship between them and the French. The policy of the French colonial authorities was to win the confidence and good will of all Indians they came in contact with so that commerce between the two might not be interrupted by quarrels. In this, they differed from the English and Spanish, who had a bad habit of taking by force that, which could not be got otherwise. The success of the French policy is a matter of history, for they never lacked for Indian allies in their wars against the English.
By the beginning of the eighteenth century, the wild horses had become plentiful and all plains Indians went to the buffalo grounds mounted on ponies and armed with long spears which very materially increased their capacity for killing the game and procuring meat. This new era made a great change in the life of the Osages as they were far better provided with meat than before. But it, no doubt, proved a bad thing in the end, for less attention was paid to the raising of corn, in which the Osage women are said to have excelled most all other Western tribes. By the middle of the eighteenth century the French and Indian war with the English began to be felt as far west as the Mississippi, and when the French learned that General Braddock was preparing to attack Fort Du Quesne on the Ohio, they sent to Kaskaskia for help. The Osages, though living beyond the Mississippi from Kaskaski, were well known to the French settlers there and the reputation as bold and intrepid warriors induced them to send the French emissary on to the Osage country to secure if possible a great war party to go east and fight the English under General Braddock. About one hundred and fifty Osages volunteered to go, although warned by their head chief, who was too old to go with them, that they were going into a far off country and would meet with an enemy that was a stranger to them and no doubt a bold and dangerous one.
When the Osages got to Fort Du Quesne they found a great many Indians there, some of them from tribes the Osages had never before met. Perhaps, never again were there so many different tribes of Indians drawn together as congregated around the council fires at For Du Quesne early in July 1755.
The Indians, lured by the liberal reward offered by the French and the hope of plunder, were eager for the battle, and great was their anger and chagrin when on the near approach of General Braddock, the contemptible Contretour, commander of Fort Du Quesne, announced that he would evacuate the fort. It was then some of the Western tribes, including the Osages, appealed to Captain Bojeau, the second in command, to stand and fight. "You have led us here, far from our people, across great rivers and through the wilderness, to fight and not to run," they told him. "You make us cowards in the eyes of the English as well as yourselves." Captain Bojeau was more that willing to lead them and finally persuaded Contretour to let him at least make some show of resistance. But many of the Indians had by this time become defected and about four hundred only assisted the small body of French under Captain Bojeau in the terrible massacre that followed. The Osages were among these who fought, and came out of the battle, if it can be called a battle, laden with plunder and prisoners.
The cowardly Contretour, one can hardly write of him with calmness, permitted the savages to do what they pleased with their prisoners, and all through the pitiless, pitchy night their death cries echoed along wild Monongahela hills.
"So terrible were the screams of the tortured," said Colonel Smith, a prisoner of the French previous to battle, "that I sank into a sickening faint and prayed for death that I might be relived from listening to them. How could a human being who had the power to stop it, like Contretour, sit calmly by, the livelong night and make no effort?" But Contretour, who paid a bounty for the scalps of women and children, was capable of anything. How he stole the fruits of victory from Captain Bojeau, and sent that brave young man to France in chains, is reserved for another article. Many histories claim that Bojeau was killed in battle, but that was not true. Far better for him if it had been.
After the battle of Ft. Duquesne the Osages, drunken with victory and besotted with spoil, returned homeward and reached there after an absence of seven months. They left Ft. Duquesne short of much of the supplies that had been promised them and became so reduced for something to eat they had to kill some of the horses to live on. This statement seems almost incredible when one contemplates the vast herd of game that must of [sic] swarmed through Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois at that time, but it is the story of Che-to-pa, told after he became a chief of the little Osage and is probably true. * * *
But they had increased their friendship with the French and were now known from New Orleans to Quebec. The following from French explorers will give an accurate idea of the extent of their territory and influence:
In "Henri de Tonty's Memoirs," published in Paris in 1693, he makes the following reference to the Osage Indians, in his trip down the Mississippi river to bring back the men of the ill-fated expedition of LaSalle. He says: "We arrived on the 17th (October, 1689) at an Illinois village at the mouth of their river. They had just come from fighting the Osages and had lost thirteen men, but they brought back 130 prisoners."
In Tonty's account of the route from Illinois, by Mississippi river, to the Gulf of Mexico, he says: "The rivers of the Missouri come from the west, and, after traveling 300 leagues, arrive at a lake, which I believe to be that of the Apaches. The villages of the Missounta, Otenta , and Osage are near one another, and are situated on the prairies 150 leagues from the mouth of the Missouri."
Again, he says of his downward voyage: "We descended the river (Mississippi), and found six leagues below, on the right a great river (Missouri), which come from the west, on which are numerous nations. We slept at its mouth."
Jean Francois de St. Cosme, a priest of the Seminary of Quebeck, left Canada in the summer of 1698 and descended the Mississippi river by way of Green Bay and the Wisconsin river. He went as a missionary to Cahokia and later to Natchez and has left the following account of the Missouri river:
"On the 16th of December, 1699, we embarked on the Mississippi river and after making about 600 leagues (1650 miles), we found the river of the Missourites, which comes from the west and which is so muddy that it spoils the water of the Mississippi, which, down to this, is clear. It is said that up this river are a great number of Indians."
In another place he mentions meeting with the Arkansas Indians. "We told them," he says, "we were going further down the river among their neighbors and friends, and that they would see us often; that it would be well to assemble all together, so as more easily to resist their enemies. They agreed to all of this and promised to try to make the Osages join them, who had left the river of the Missourites and were now on the upper waters of their own river.
Father Membre says that in 1682 the greater part of the seventeen Illinois villages were driven across the Mississippi by the Iroquois, who pursued them until they took refuge with the Osages. Father Douay, in 1687, says that the Osages had seventeen villages on the Osage river, and that the Arkansas Indians, who had formerly lived in that section, had been driven out by the Iroquois some years before, and with some Osages had settled on the Arkansas. Henri de Tonty states that the Osages, in 1693, were then in the prairies 150 leagues from the mouth of the Missouri. This would be about 400 miles, which is very near the distance by the river route to where the prairies on the Osage set in, or between Osceola, in St. Clare county, and Papinsville, in Bates county, Missouri. This is the locality in which, as will hereafter appear, Du Tisne found them twenty-six years afterwards, 1719, and where they remained until they began their gradual removal to the Indian Territory in 1796. Father St. Cosme, in 1689, confirms the statement made by Douay, for he says the Osages had left the river of the Missourites and were on the upper waters of their own river. The map of Delisle published in 1703, which gives the location of many of the western tribes, lays down four villages of the Osages on their river. Three are high up on the river, apparently near Osceola; the other is located about where the town of Warsaw stands. There are none laid down nearer the mouth of the river.
From this testimony left us by the early explorers, which must be reliable, as it comes from so many different sources, it appears that the Osage Indians, at some time previous to 1682, dwelt near the mouth of the Osage river, either on the banks of that stream or on the Missouri. There is no question that about that time the lower Missouri tribes were attacked by the wild men from the East, the cruel and blood thirsty Iroquois, who, as they were armed with British muskets and the Missouri tribes had only the primitive bow and arrow, drove the Osages higher up their river, and the Missourites to the mouth of the grand river. The beautiful country near the mouth of the Missouri was thus early abandoned by the red men.
The following letter, written by Du Tisne after his return from his last expedition, to Bienville, the commandant at New Orleans, throws much light on the different Indian tribes then inhabiting the Missouri Valley. It was written at the old French village of Kaskaskia, which was located near the east bank of the Mississippi, on the Kaskaskia, about fifty miles below the present city of St. Louis:
"Sir-* * * You know, sir that I have been obliged to leave the Missourites, as they did not wish me to go to the Panioussas ; hence I was compelled to return to the Illinois to offer to M. de Boisbriant (commander of the post) to make the journey across the country, and he granted me permission to do so. The journey was attended with much trouble, as my men fell sick on the way; my own health keeps well. I send you with this a little account of my trip.
"I went to the Osages and was well received by them. Having explained your intentions to them, they answered me satisfactorily in regard to themselves; but when I spoke of going to the Panis (Pawnees) they all opposed it, and would not assent to the reason I gave them. When I learned they did not intend to let me take my goods I had brought, I proposed to them to let me take three guns for myself and my interpreter, telling them, with decision, if they did not consent to this I would be very angry, and you indignant; they then consented. Knowing the character of the savages I did not tarry long, but set out at once; and in four days I reached the Panis, where I was badly received, owing to the fact that the Osages made them believe that our intention was to entrap them and make slaves of them. On that account they twice raised the tomahawk above me; but when they learned the falsehood of the Osages, and saw my bravery when they threatened me, brutal as these people are, they consented to make an alliance and treated me well. I traded them my three guns, some powder, pick axes and some knives for two horses and a mule marked with a Spanish brand.
"I proposed to them to let me pass through to the Padoucas (Comaches). To this they would not consent at all, being mortal enemies to them. Seeing their opposition, I questioned them in regard to the Spanish; they said they had formerly been to their village, but now the Padoucas prevented them. They traded me a very old silver cup, and told me it would take more than a month to go to the Spanish. It seems to me that we could succeed in making peace between this tribe and the Padoucas, and thereby open a route to the Spanish (in Mexico); it could be done by giving them back their slaves and making them presents. I have told them that you desired that they be friends. We might also attempt a passage by the Missouri, going to the Panimahas  and carrying them presents. I offered M. de Boisbriant to go there myself, and if you desire it I am ready to execute it, so as to merit your protection.
"I have written to the chief of the Cadodaquious, and have asked him to give you advice of it. A Mento chief had charge of the letters. I had seen him among the Osages and he had sold some slaves for me to the Natchitoches. It is from him that I learned of the arrival of M. de La Harpe  with the large boats at the Nassonites . He tells me that in a month he will return to the Natchitoches and, by the direction he has shown me, the route to the Osages is south a quarter southwest. The villages of the Mentos are seven day's journey from the Osages toward the southwest. He has promised me to come to the Illinois and bring some horses, as have also the Panis, who ought to come next spring.
"The Osages not wishing to give me a guide to return to the Illinois, I was obliged to come by means of my compass, with fourteen horses and my mule. I had the misfortune to lose six of them and a colt, which is a loss of more than 900 lives to me. I refer you to M. de Boisbraint for the many difficulties I have passed through. I hope, sir, since being one of the oldest lieutenants of the country, you will do me the favor to procure me a company. I shall try to meet your kindness by my faithfulness to the service. I am, with profound respect, etc.,
The following is an extract from Le Harpe's relation of Du Tisne's journey among the Missouris, in 1719, translated from Margy's Memoirs, by Mr. E. A. Kilian, secretary of the Quivira Historical Society:
"From the village of Kaskaskia to the Missouri is 32 leagues (75 miles). The Missouri is very turbid and full of obstacles from driftwood and extensive shallows and a strong current. It flows from the Missouries (the village) north-northwest, although it makes many times a complete circumvolution of the compass. It is well wooded with walnut, sycamore, and oak trees. Very fine soil and some rocky hills are seen. At intervals on the west side of the stream two fine rivers flow into it. The first is the Blue river (the Gasconade), which is not great in importance. The second is the river of the Osages, whose village is 80 leagues (about 200 miles) above to the southwest. A pirogue  can go 20 leagues (55 miles) above that village.
"The river of the Osages is 10 leagues (25 miles) above the mouth of the Blue river and 40 leagues (110 miles) above the mouth of the Missouri. In the vicinity of the Osages there are lead mines in abundance, and it is also believed there are silver mines.
"The distance is 80 leagues from the mouth of the river Missouri to the village of that name. The prairie begins 10 leagues (27 miles) beyond their village. This would be a good place to make an establishment; the Missouries are jealous because the French go to other nations. They are people who stay only at their village in the springtime. One league southwest of them is a village of the Osages, which is 30 leagues (82 miles) from their great village. (The writer is now referring to the village of the Little Osages, on the Missouri river, near the mouth of the Grand river). By the Missouri one can go to the Panimahas, to other nations called Ahauches , and from them to the Padoucas.
"* * * * The village of the Osages is situated on an elevation a league and a half (about 4 miles) from their river to the northwest. This village is composed of 100 lodges and 200 warriors. They stayed in the village like the Missourites, and pass the winter in chasing the buffalo, which are very abundant in these parts. Horses, which they steal from the Panis, can be bought of them; also deer skins and buffalo robes. They are a well built people, and deceitful; they have many chiefs of bands, but few have absolute authority; in general, they are treacherous and break their word easily. There is a lead mine 12 leagues from here, but they do not know what use to make thereof.
"From the Osages to the Panis is 40 leagues (110 miles) to the southwest, and the whole route is over prairies and hills abounding is cattle. The land is fine and well wooded. There are four rivers from the Osages to the Panis, which have to be crossed. The most considerable is the Atcansas, which has its source toward the northwest a quarter north. Du Tisne crossed it. * * * This river of the Atcansas is 12 leagues (33 miles) east of the Pani's village. It is situated on the bank of a creek, on a hill, surrounded by elevated prairies. * * *One league to the northwest, on the same stream, is another village, as large as the first one. There are in these two villages 300 horses, which they value so much that they do not like to part with them. This nation is very brutal, but it would be easy to subdue them by making them presents of guns, of which they have much need; they have only six among them all. There are many other Pani's villages to the west and northwest, but they are not known to us.
"According to the reports, it is fifteen days' journey to the Padoucas, but they encounter them frequently in six days' journey. They have a cruel war now between them, so that they nearly eat one another up. When they go to war they harness their horses in a cuirass of tanned leather. They are clever with the bow and arrow, and also use a lance, which is like the end of a sword inserted in a handle of wood. Two days' journey to the west a quarter southwest is a salt mine, which is very beautiful and pure. Every time they give food to a stranger the chief cuts the meat into pieces and puts them into the mouth of those they regale. Le Sieur Du Tisne planted a white flag the 27th of September, 1719, in the middle of their village, which they received with great pleasure."
The location of the village of the Great Osages on the Osage river, when visited by Du Tisne, is not easily determined. When Pike came up the Osage in 1806 they were seated on the Little Osage river in the northern part of Vernon county, Missouri, a beautiful prairie country, which extends far westward. Du Tisne's description would fix the location near Osceola, in St. Clair county, which was probably the true location of the village in 1719. The Osages, like all other tribes, were migratory, and may have moved their village higher up the river, or there may have been more that one village.
It is stated by Du Tisne that he traveled four days in a southwesterly direction in going from the Osage village to the Pawnees. He estimates the distance at 110 miles. He also says the Pawnee villages were twelve leagues, or thirty-three miles, west of the river he calls Atcansas. He undoubtedly meant the Neosho, a branch of the Arkansas. The locations of these villages are unknown, but from the distance traveled, the course and the distance from the Neosho river, they were probably situated on one of the cabin creeks, in what is now Cherokee county, Oklahoma near Vinita.
Extracts from a letter written at "Kaskasquias" October 20, 1721, by Father Pierre Francois Xavier de Charlevoix, who was the most intelligent and reliable of all the early French explorers and historians. He says; " * * *After we had gone five leagues on the Mississippi we arrived at the mouth of the Missouri, which is north-northwest and south-southwest. I believe this is the finest confluence in the world. The two rivers are much of the same breadth, each about half a league; but the Missouri is by far the most rapid, and seems to enter the Mississippi like a conqueror, through which it carries its white waters to the opposite shore without mixing them; afterwards it gives its color to the Mississippi, which it never loses again, but carries it quite down to the sea.
"The Osages, a pretty numerous nation settled on the side of a river that bears their name and which runs into the Missouri about 40 leagues (110 miles) from its junction with the Mississippi, send once or twice a year to sing the calumet amongst the Kaskasquias, and are actually there at the present. I have also just now seen a Missourite woman, who told me her nation is the first met with going up the Missouri, from which she has the name we have given her, for want of knowing her true name. It is situated 80 leagues (220 miles) from the confluence of that river with the Mississippi.
* * * *This woman has confirmed to me what I had heard from the Sioux, that the Missouri rises out of some naked mountains, very high, behind which there is a great river, which probably rises from them also, and which runs to the west. This testimony carries some weight, because of all the savages which we know none travel farther than the Missourites."
Delisle's map of Louisiana and Mississippi, in the second volume of French's Louisiana, shows a village of the Omahas on the eastern bank of the Missouri, far above the mouth of the Platte, and near it three villages of the Iowas (Aiaouez), while opposite the mouth of the Platte (River des Panis), and east of the Missouri river, is situated the Otoes (Octotata) village. Another "Iowa" village is placed some distance east of the Missouri river and of the "Canses" villages, at the mouth of Independence creek. French quotes Le Suer's spelling of these names "Ayavois," "Octotata," and "Maha."
"According to the tribal traditions collected by Dorsey, the ancestors of he Omaha, Ponka, Kwapa, Osage and Kansa were originally one people dwelling on Ohio and Wabash rivers, but gradually working westward. The first separation took place at that mouth of the Ohio, when those who went down the Mississippi became the Kwapa or down-stream people, while those who ascended the great river became the Omaha or the up-stream people. This separation must have occurred at least as early as 1500, since it preceded De Soto's discovery of the Mississippi. * * *The Omaha group (from whom the Osages, Kansa and Ponka were not yet separated) ascended the Mississippi to the mouth of the Missouri, where they remained for some time, though war and hunting parties explored the country north westward, and the body of the tribe gradually followed these pioneers, though the Osage and Kansa were successively left behind.
In many respects the Osages were the most remarkable of all the western tribes. They, with the Missouri, are the first of which we have any data. They were distinguished by Marquette in 1673 as the "Ouchage" and "Autrechaha" and by Penicaut in 1719 as the "Huzzau," "Ous," and "Wawha." They were one of the largest and most powerful tribes west of the Mississippi, and they have remained longer in the same locality; they have been the most peaceable of all the Western tribes and have given the government less trouble; they are the tallest and best-proportioned Indians in America, few being less than six feet.
The tribe was evidently a numerous one when first visited by the French, for Douay says in 1687 that they occupied seventeen villages. Like all our aborigines, contact with civilization rapidly diminished their numbers, for by 1804 they had decreased to 2300 warriors.
"The Little Osage separated form the Big Osage about 100 years since, when their chiefs, on obtaining permission to lead forth a colony from the great council of the nation, moved on to the Missouri; but after some years, finding themselves too hard pressed by their enemies, they again obtained permission to return, put themselves under the protection of the Grand village and settled down about six miles off.
"The Arkansaw schism was effected by Mr. Pierre Choteau, ten or twelve years ago, as a revenge on Mr. Manuel De Sezei (Liza or Lisa), who had obtained from the Spanish government the exclusive trade of the Osage nation, by the way of the Osage river, after it had been in the hands of Mr. Choteau for nearly twenty years. The latter, having the trade of the Arkansaw thereby nearly rendered abortive the exclusive privilege of his rival."
The history of Vernon county, Missouri, 1887 says that a number of young men from both the Big and Little Osages, influenced by French traders, removed about 1796 under Cashesegra or Big Track, to the Verdegris.
While the Osages were a brave and warlike nation, and were frequently at war with the Kansas, Pawnees, Iowas, Sacs, and Foxes, and other tribes, they always maintained peaceable relations with the whites. This was, no doubt, through the influence of the French traders, who, as early as 1693, began trading with them, and, frequently intermarrying, acquired a wonderful influence over them.
The Osages in their hunting excursions roamed over all the vast territory from the Mississippi to the Rocky Mountains, and a good story is told by General Rozier, in his History of the Mississippi Valley, of an occurrence that took place at an early day near Ste. Genevieve, where General Rozier was born, and where he lived and died:
"In 1797 a wedding party of young people consisting of a proposed bride and groom and a half dozen other couples, left their home on Big river to go to Ste. Genevieve to be married, there being no priest nearer. On arriving at Terre-Beau creek, near Farmington, they encountered a roving band of Osage Indians, who were out on a prairie horse-racing. The party was soon discovered by the Indians and followed. On being captured, they were stripped of all their clothing, both men and women, and turned loose on the prairie, as naked as they came into the world. No violence was offered as the Indians considered it only a good joke; but they kept their clothing, and the young people were compelled to return home in this terrible plight. The wedding was postponed for a year, but the young couple finally married, and their descendants are yet living in St. Francois county."
After the fall of Quebec, September 13,1759, France decided she could not hold any of her possessions in America, and four years later, 1763, she sold Louisiana to Spain, and her old Indian allies had nothing to show for the part they had taken in her wars against the English. This led to much uneasiness among the Indians along the Ohio and Tennessee, and in 1768 a grand council was called by the Cherokees to meet on the northern bank of the Ohio for the purpose of organizing all the Indians against the English. The Osages were present at this council, but refused to have anything to do with further wars against the white people.
This brought on a quarrel between the Cherokees, Iroquois, and Potawatomies against the Osages that lasted for many years and would eventually have wiped the Osages off the map but for the friendship of their French neighbors in Cahokia, Kaskaskia and St. Louis, the latter a new trading post on the west bank of the Mississippi. Hostilities between the Osages and Cherokees began in 1785 upon the advent of the first Cherokee west of the Mississippi and lasted many years. This body of Cherokees settled on the White and St. Francis rivers in Arkansas and sought to drive out the Quapaws, who were under Osage protection. The Cherokees were armed with rifles, while the Osages had only a few of these weapons which they had received at Ft. Chartress  on their way to Ft. Duquesne, and were unable to drive the Cherokees out of their country. Neither could the Cherokees dislodge the Osages from their stronghold at the mouth of the Verdigris or between that and the Grand river. Previous to the founding of St. Louis, 1765, the Osages had succeeded in driving the last village of Missouries across the Missouri river, and a few years later they were decimated with small pox and no longer able to fight the Osages. The Osages also suffered from the disease, but not as heavily as the Missouries.
The ceding of Louisiana by Spain back to France and its sale by France to America occupied less than three years. Thus while the Nations were playing football with an empire its citizens hardly knew from day to day who their over lords were. Upon acquiring the territory President Jefferson immediately set about occupying it and exploring its furthermost boundary. He sent Lewis and Clark up the Missouri river in 1804, and two years later he sent General Pike to explore the country between the Missouri river and the Rocky Mountains. Pike was ordered by General Wilkinson to visit the Osages and to return to them some forty prisoners taken from that tribe by the Pottowattomies and which had been taken away from the Pottowattomies by General Anthony Wayne. Wayne had sent them as far as Vincenes on the Wabash where Pike found them waiting, for they did not dare cross the prairie of Illinois without escort, for fear of falling into the hands of the Iroquois.
Pike left St. Louis July 15, 1806, and reached the Osage river four weeks later. He was much disappointed at the attitude of the Osages and charged them with being ungrateful for what his government had done in restoring their prisoners. He does not seem to have taken into consideration the fact the Osages were friends of the French and looked with natural distrust upon any other white people. Pike was instructed to take the variation of the latitude needle and get the latitude with exactness. On August 28, 1806, he wrote as follows: "Camp Independence, near the Osage town. Since our arrival here I have taken several observations and find the latitude to be 37 deg., 26 minutes, 17 seconds north. In this western traverse of Louisiana the following general observations may be made. From the Missouri to the head of the Osage river, a distance of 300 miles, the country will admit of a numerous extensive and compact population. From thence to the Arkansas, Kiowa, and La Platte rivers and their branches only a limited population seems possible. The inhabitants would find to their advantage to pay most attention to their raising of cattle, horses and sheep, all of which they can raise in great abundance, the earth producing spontaneously sufficient for their support both winter and summer, by which means their herds might become numerous; but the wood now in the country would not be sufficient for a moderate population for more than fifteen years, and then it would be out of the question to think of using it in manufacturies, consequently houses would be built of mud brick like those in New Spain; but possibly time may make a discovery of coal mines, which would render the country habitable."
Pike erred in more ways than in his judgment of the country. He said the Pawnee language was more like the Sioux than the Osages, when in fact it is not at all like the Sioux. He said the Osages were excelled by most other tribes in the quality of their ponies, when in fact the Osages exceed all other tribes except the Nez Perce in fine horses and that they knew how to capture the wild horses of the plains is proven by all the travelers of that day, like Washington Irving and Col. Boone. Pike got horses from the Osages and guides to go on to the Pawnee, whose villages, known as the Pawnee Republic, were near the mouth of Whiterock creek on the Republican river, a few miles below the Kansas-Nebraska line.
In 1804 the government took steps to stop the bloody war against the Osages, that war being waged by the Sac and Fox and other tribes. The first treaty entered into with the Osages was the treaty of Fort Clark, afterward known as Fort Osage. Fort Clark was about thirty miles east of where Kansas City now is. The following is the treaty in full:
Articles of a treaty made and concluded at Fort Clark, on the right bank of the Missouri, about five miles above Fire Prairie, in the territory of Louisiana, the tenth day of November, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and eight, between Peter Chouteau, Esquire, agent for the Osage, and specially commissioned and instructed to enter into the same by his Excellency Meriwether Lewis, Governor and Superintendent of Indian Affairs for the territory aforesaid, in behalf of the United States of America, of the one part, and the chiefs and warriors of the Great and Little Osages, for themselves and their nations respectively, on the other part.
Art. 1. The United States being anxious to promote peace, friendship, and intercourse with the Osage tribes, to afford them every assistance in their power, and to protect them from the insults and injuries of other tribes of Indians, situated near the settlements of the white people, have thought it proper to build a fort on the right bank of the Missouri, a few miles above the Fire Prairie, and do agree to garrison the same with as many regular troops as the President of the United States may, from time to time, deem necessary for the protection of all orderly, friendly and well disposed Indians of the Great and Little Osage nations, who reside at this place, and who do strictly conform to, and pursue the counsels or admonitions of the President of the United States through their subordinate officers.
Art. 2 The United States being also anxious that the Great and Little Osage, residents as aforesaid, should be regularly supplied with every species of merchandise, which their comfort may hereafter require, do engage to establish at this place, and permanently to continue at all seasons of the year, a well assorted store of goods, for the purpose of bartering with them on moderate terms for their peltries and furs.
Art. 3 The United States agree to furnish at this place, for the use of the Osage nations, a blacksmith, and tools to mend their arms and utensils of husbandry, and engage to build them a horse mill or water mill; also to furnish them with plows, and to build for the great chief of the Great Osage, and for the great chief of the Little Osage, a strong block house in each of their towns, which are established near this fort.
Art. 4 With a view to quiet the animosities which at present exist between the inhabitants of the territory of Louisiana, and the Osage nations, in consequence of the lawless depredations of the latter, the United States do further agree to pay to their own citizens the full value of such property as they can legally prove to have been stolen or destroyed by the said Osage, since the acquisition of Louisiana by the United States, provided the same does not exceed the sum of five thousand dollars.
Art. 5 In consideration of the lands relinquished by the Great and Little Osage to the United States as stipulated in the sixth article of this treaty, the United States promise to deliver at Fire Prairie, or at St. Louis, yearly, to the Great Osage nation, merchandise to the amount or value of one thousand dollars, and to the Little Osage nation, merchandise to the amount or value of five hundred dollars, reckoning the value of said merchandise at the first cost thereof, in the city or place in the United States where the same shall have been procured.
And in addition to the merchandise aforesaid, the United States have, at and before the signature of these articles, paid to the Great Osage nation, the sum of eight hundred dollars, and to the Little Osage nation the sum of four hundred dollars.
Art. 6 And in consideration of the advantages which we derive from the stipulations contained in the foregoing articles we, the chiefs and warriors of the Great and Little Osage, for ourselves and our nations respectively, covenant and agree with the United States, that the boundary line between our nations and the United States shall be as follows, to-wit: Beginning at Fort Clark, on the Missouri, five miles above Fire Prairie and running thence due south course to the river Arkansas, and down same to the Mississippi; hereby ceding and relinquishing forever to the United States, all the lands which lie east of the said line, and north of the southwardly bank of the said river Arkansas, and all lands situated northwardly of the river Missouri. And we do further cede and relinquish to the United States forever, a tract of two leagues square to embrace Fort Clark and to be laid off in such a manner as the President of the United States shall think proper.
Art. 7 And it is mutually agreed by the contracting parties that the boundary lines hereby established shall be run and marked at the expense of the United States, as soon as circumstances or their convenience will permit; and the Great and Little Osage promise to put two chiefs from each of their respective nations, to accompany the commissioner, or commissioners who may be appointed on the part of the United States, to settle and adjust the said boundary line.
Art. 8 And the United States agree that such of the Great and Little Osage Indians as may think proper to put themselves under protection of Fort Clark, and who observe the stipulations of this treaty with good faith, shall be permitted to live and to hunt, without molestation, on all that tract of country west of the north and south boundary line, on which they, the said Great and Little Osage, have usually hunted or raided; provided, the same be not the hunting grounds of any nation or tribe of Indians in amity with the United States; and on any other lands within the territory of Louisiana, without the limits of the white settlements, until the United States may think proper to assign the same as hunting grounds to other friendly Indians.
Art. 9 Lest the friendship which is now established between the United States and the said Indian nations should be interrupted by the misconduct of individuals, it is hereby agreed that for injuries done by individuals, no private revenue or retaliation shall take place, but instead thereof complaint shall be made by the party injured to the other, by the said nations or either of them to the Superintendent or other person appointed by the President to the chiefs of the said nation; and it shall be the duty of the said chiefs, upon complaint being made as aforesaid, to deliver up the person or persons against whom complaint is made, to the end that he or they may be punished agreeably to the laws of the state or territory where the offense may have been committed; and in like manner, if any robbery, violence or murder shall be committed on any Indian or Indians belonging to either of said nations, the person or persons so offending shall be tried, and if found guilty, shall be punished in like manner as if the injury had been done to a white man, and it is agreed that the chiefs of the Great and Little Osage shall to the utmost of their power exert themselves to recover horses or other property which may be stolen from any citizen or citizens of the United States, by any individual or individuals of either of their nations; and the property so recovered shall be forthwith delivered to the Superintendent or other person authorized to receive it, that it may be restored to the proper owner; and in cases where the exertions of the chiefs shall be ineffectual in recovering the property stolen as aforesaid, if sufficient proof can be adduced that such property was actually stolen by any Indian or Indians belonging to the said nation, or either of them, the Superintendent, or other proper officer, may deduct from the annuity of the said nations respectively a sum equal to the value of the property which has been stolen.
And the United States hereby guarantees to any Indian or Indians of the said nations respectively, a full indemnification for any horses or other property which may have been stolen from them by any of their citizens: Provided that the property so stolen cannot be recovered, and that sufficient proof is produced that it was actually stolen by a citizen of the United States. And the said nations of the Great and Little Osage engage, on the requisition or demand of the President of the United States, or of the Superintendent, to deliver up any white man resident among them.
Art. 10 The United States receive the Great and Little Osage nations into their friendship and under their protection; and the said nations on their part, declare that they will consider themselves under the protection of no other power whatever, disclaiming all right to cede, sell or in any manner transfer their lands to any foreign power, or to citizens of the United States or inhabitants of Louisiana, unless duly authorized by the President of the United States to make said purchase or accept the said cession on behalf of the government.
Art. 11 And if any person or persons, for hunting or other purpose, shall pass over the boundary lines, as established by this treaty, into the country reserved for the Great and Little Osage nations, without the license of the superintendent or other proper officer, of the Great or Little Osage, or either of them, they shall be at liberty to apprehend such unlicensed hunters or other persons, and surrender them together with their property, but without other injury, insult, or molestation, to the Superintendent of Indian Affairs, or to the agent nearest the place of arrest, to be dealt with according to law.
Art. 12 And the chiefs and warriors as aforesaid promise and agree that neither the Great and Little Osage nation will ever, by sale, exchange or as presents supply any nation or tribe of Indians, not in amity with the United States, with guns, ammunition, or other implements of war.
Art. 13 This treaty shall take effect and be obligatory on the contracting parties as soon as the same shall have been ratified by the President and by and with the consent of the Senate of the United States.
In testimony whereof, the said Peter Chouteau, commissioned and instructed as aforesaid, and the chiefs and warriors of the Great and Little Osage nation of Indians, have hereunto set their hands and affixed their seals.
We, the undersigned chiefs and warriors of the band of Osages, residing on the river Arkansas, being part of the Great Osage nation, having this day had the foregoing treaty read and explained to us, by his Excellency Meriwether Lewis, Esquire, do hereby acknowledge, consent to and confirm all the stipulations therein contained, as full and as completely as though we had been personally present at the signing, sealing and delivering the same on the 10th day of November, 1808, the same being the day on which the said treaty was signed, sealed and delivered, as will appear by a reference thereto.
Done at St. Louis, in the territory of Louisiana, this 31st day of August, in the year of our Lord, one thousand eight hundred and nine, and of the independence of the United States the thirty fourth.
The treaty of Fort Clark was the most far reaching of all the treaties ever made by the United States with any Indian tribe, and it was followed by important results. It gave to the United States for immediate settlement by white people, all of the state of Missouri, except a strip on the western border twenty-five miles wide, running from Fort Clark on the Missouri river due south to the Arkansas river. But it was of much greater importance to the Osages than it was to the United States. It gave to them protection against encroachment by other tribes they had long needed. It practically confirmed their claims to the country between the Kansas and Arkansas rivers. It proved that the Osages were at that time considered the most important tribe the government had to deal with in the southwest and should put at rest the claim of the people of Kansas and the Kaw Indians, that the latter was entitled to as much consideration and as much territory as the Osages. The truth is, the Kaws, were ever an insignificant branch of the great Sioux family, hanging on the Osages for protection against the Pawnees, receiving small consideration from other Indians and French traders and deserving less.
Upon their slow voyage up the Missouri river on their way to the Pacific ocean in 1804, Lewis and Clark established Fort Clark and named it in honor of the junior member of their exploring party. After the ratification of the great Indian treaty of 1808, and as a tribute to the Osages, the name was changed to Fort Osage. Afterward it was changed to Fort Sibley in honor of George C. Sibley, who succeeded Pierre Choteau as agent at Fort Osage. If any are now curious to know the exact location of this fort let them set up a compass on the west line of Missouri south of the river of that name and run due east twenty-four miles, then due north to the Missouri river and they will find the town of Sibley, Jackson County, Missouri, once Fort Osage and still earlier Fort Clark.
The treaty of 1808 was immediately followed by the opening of trade with Mexico and the establishment of the old Santa Fe trail, which from Fort Osage ran for two hundred miles west through their territory and by 1820 had become a great thoroughfare, employing six thousand men and its trade at that time was nearly a million dollars a year. It is to the credit of the Osages that they gave these wagon and mule trains, across their territory, little trouble, while Pawnee, Southern Cheyenne, Arapahoes and Kiowas were constantly attacking them from the time they left the Osage territory till they reached the Rocky Mountains. And this too, before a right-of-way across their lands had been asked for. It was this policy on the part of the Osage Chiefs that made the government of the United States their friend, a friendship that was as well deserved as it was welcome. Of course, there were some goods stolen from wagon trains that were probably justly laid to them but when one considered the influence of other Indian tribes that were openly making war against the Santa Fe traders, the peaceful attitude of the Osages is astonishing.
"As soon as we got out of the sand buttes, near the mouth of the Walnut river (near Great Bend, Kans.) and into the country of the Osages we always felt comparatively safe," said an old freighter of that period.
The advent of the United States authority meant much to the Osages. It meant that distressful war between them and the Iroquois in which the Osages usually got the worst of it, because of lack of fire arms, was to cease. The French could have stopped the war, but they were anxious to placate the Iroquois and win them from the English, so they did but little to arm the Osages, although they sought to bring about peace between that tribe and all others. The United States government on the other hand cared nothing for the trade of any tribe of Indians, except to maintain peace and as soon as they assumed control west of the Mississippi, Indian war suddenly ceased. The treaty of 1808, at Fort Clark, provided for a garrison of troops to help maintain peace, also a cloth factory which was following out the policy established by General Washington, and this was the last factory built by the government in any Indian country.
The establishment of this factory and fort also put an end to the quarrel between the Choteau Company and Lisa, Benoit & Co. The Choteau company had a charter for the exclusive trade on the Missouri river give to Maxent, Laclede & Co. in 1763 by France just before she secretly sold Louisiana to Spain. This charter had been respected by Spain till the year 1800 when she gave the right to trade on the Missouri river to a Spanish citizen of New Orleans, Manuel Lisa, who, under the name of Lisa, Benoit & Co. took possession at once, forcing the Choteau Company to withdraw to their posts on the Arkansas river.
Pierre (Peter) Choteau was the greatest Indian trader of all times and exerted a greater influence over the Osages and other tribes usually than did their own chiefs. He persuaded a lot of Osages to leave the Osage and Missouri rivers under Kan-sah-se-gra and move to the Arkansas and join Gra-moies' band, who was under his influence. This removal of Kan-sah-se-gra and his band southward left Paw-hu-scah in undisputed control of the Osages that remained north under Lisa, Benoit & Co.and he was recognized by the Spanish government as head chief of all the Osages. The return of the little Osages under Num-pa-Walla to the protection of the Great Osages about this time gave Paw-hu-scah a majority of the combined tribes and made his supremacy permanent. The purchase of Louisiana by the United States put an end to Lisa's Charter and the Choteau Company re-established their post on the Missouri and Osage rivers. John Pierre Choteau, nephew of Peter, had a post established near the Osages when Pike reached them in 1806, which lead to bitter personal quarrels between the members of the different companies. The final overthrow of the Spanish company and their surrender of all their possessions from St. Louis to the Rock Mountains to the house of Choteau was one of the greatest commercial achievements in the west and made the name of Pierre Choteau second only to that of John Jacob Astor in the fur trade. Then Choteau bought out Astor and hired his manager McKenzie, and under the name of the American Fur Co., he gave the Hudson Bay Co. the only rival it ever had. A biography of the Choteau family who were so closely related to the Osages, it is not amiss in this sketch, and will prove of general interest.
We find living in New Orleans about the middle of the last century [i.e., the eighteenth], under the governorship of the Marques de Vaudreuil-Cavagnal, one Marie Therese Bourgeous, born in that city in 1733, who at the age of sixteen had married on Aguste Rene Chouteau, a native of New Orleans, and finding him of an uncertain temper, abusive and violent of conduct, had left him and returned to her friends, taking their only child, Aguste, who had been born on the 26 of September, 1750. Upon the subsequent whereabouts or ultimate fate of M. Chouteau, pere, history is silent. In providing the name for a family that was to become famous in the annals of the new world, he seemed to have fulfilled his destiny. Five years later there appeared at New Orleans one Pierre Laclede Liguest (there is doubt concerning the last of these names, and as it is seldom used, the point is unimportant) a native of Bearne, not for from Pau in the Pyrenees; an attractive and energetic fellow of thirty or thereabouts, who had journeyed to the Mississippi in search of the proverbial fortune. He seemed to have found it almost immediately, in the person of Mme. Chouteau--still young and unencumbered save by the youth Aguste, with whom he established domestic relations, and in the friendship of M. de Kerlerec, who had succeeded to the governorship upon the promotion of the Marquis de Vaudreuil to the governor generalship of Canada, through whom he was enabled to secure a valuable contract to feed the French garrisons. In pursuit of this vocation he encountered one Gilbert Aguste Maxent, another solider of fortune, who was equally energetic and similarly ambitious, and who was also most influential at the vice-regal palace. In 1763, just before Louis XV, in a moment of bibulous generosity, had ceded the Louisiana Territory to Spain, de Kerlerec was recalled and sent to the bastile for safe-keeping, but not before having made over to Messieurs Maxent and Laclede the most valuable grant in his gift, an exclusive privilege to trade with the Indians on the upper Mississippi and its tributaries. "Thus does the fate of empire on a trifle rest."
These enterprising gentlemen seem to have lost no time in taking possession. They left New Orleans on the 3rd of August, 1763, with a party of trappers, hunters, and tradesmen, about thirty in number, for the purpose of locating the first of their proposed chain of trading posts, taking with them Mme. Chouteau and her son Aguste, together with the four children who had been the result of her second union. The party landed at Fort Chartres on the 3rd of November, where they spent the winter, but early in February, 1764, young Chouteau, then a robust youth of fourteen, was sent with a part of workmen to a spot on the west bank which Laclede had selected, to clear the ground and erect habitations. Here they were joined during the spring by another small party from New Orleans and later by discharged soldiers and others from Fort Chartres.
As regards the naming of the new settlement there is much to dispute. A favorite legend fixes the date of the completion of the village at the 25th of August which being the fete day of Saint Louis, suggested the name. It is a fact, however, that for many years, after the custom of the fatherland, the 25th day of August was observed at St. Louis as the fete day of the settlement. From this date the firm of Maxent, Laclede & Co., the owners of the village and all its suburbs as well as the sole purveyors of trade for all the country to the westward, seems to have flourished. Agust Chouteau, whose business abilities developed with the trade, became the confidential clerk and agent of the company, its chief clerk and finally its manager; so that when in 1778 old Pierre Laclede died, young Chouteau was selected by the governor to administer the estate. So well did he perform this duty that Mr. Maxent, who appears to have been at the best an inactive member of the firm, found it practicable to withdraw from the business, and young Aguste, associating his younger brother, John Pierre, who by this time had reached his majority, picked up the trade where Laclede had dropped it, and for the succeeding quarter of a century proceeded to amass a respectable fortune.
In the meantime Victorie, the eldest daughter of the Chouteau-Laclede union, had married Charles Gratiot; Palagie, the second, had espoused Sylvester Labadie and Marie Louise, the third, Joseph M. Papin, all gentlemen of wealth and standing, and all interested in the Indian trade. John Pierre had established intimate relations with the Osages and other tribes to the westward, and was regarded by Jefferson and Madison, no less than by Meriwether Lewis and William Clark as possessing the best knowledge of the Indian character of any man living, and by each of these officials was instructed with many confidential missions. A son of John Pierre, by name Aguste Pierre, penetrated to the headwaters of the Arkansas, and died at his trading post in 1839; another son, Francis Gratiot, ascended the Missouri and founded Kansas City at the Mouth of the Kaw. But this is to anticipate.
A Treaty Made and Concluded by, and Between, William Clark, Governor of the Missouri Territory, Superintendent of Indian Affairs, and Commissioner in Behalf of the United States, of the One Part, and a Full and Complete Deputation of Considerate Men, Chiefs, and Warriors, of all the Several Bands of the Great and Little Osage Nations, Assembled in Behalf of their said Nation, on the Other Part, have Agreed to the following Articles:
Art. 1- Whereas, the Osage nations have been embarrassed by the frequent demands for property taken from citizens of the United States, by war parties, and other thoughtless men of their several bands, (both before and since their war with the Cherokees) and as the exertions of their chiefs have been ineffectual in recovering and delivering such property, conformably with the condition of the ninth article of a treaty, entered into with the United States at Fort Clark, the tenth of November, one thousand eight hundred and eight; and as the deductions from their annuities, in conformity to the said article, would deprive them of any for several years, and being destitute of funds to do that justice to the citizens of the United States, which is calculated to prompt a friendly intercourse, they have agreed, and do hereby agree, to cede to the United States, and forever quit claim to the tract of country included within the following bounds, to-wit: Beginning at the Arkansaw River, at where the present Osage boundary line strikes the river at Frog Bayou; then up the Arkansaw and Verdigris to the fall of Verdigris river; thence, eastwardly, to the said Osage boundary line at a point twenty leagues north from the Arkansaw river; and, with that line, to the place of beginning.
Art. 2- The United States, on their part, and in consideration of the above cession agree, in addition to the amount which the Osages do now receive in money, and goods, to pay their own citizens the full value of such property as they can legally prove to have been stolen or destroyed by the said Osage, since the year one thousand eight hundred and four then provided the same does not exceed the sum of four hundred dollars.
Art. 3- The articles now stipulated will be considered as permanent additions to the treaties, now in force, between the contracting parties, as soon as they shall have been ratified by the President of the United States of America, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate of the said United States.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, the said William Clark, commissioner as aforesaid, and the considerate men and chiefs aforesaid, have hereunto subscribed their names, and affixed their seals, at St. Louis, this twenty-fifth day of September in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and eighteen, and of the independence of the United States the forty-third.
Articles of a Treaty Made and Concluded at St. Louis, in the State of Missouri, Between William Clark, Superintendent of Indian Affairs, Commissioner on the part of the United States, and the Undersigned, Chief, Headmen, and Warriors, of the Great and Little Osage Tribes of the Indians, Duly Authorized and Empowered by their respective Tribes or Nations.
The Great and Little Osage Tribes or Nations do, hereby cede and relinquish to the United States, all their right, title interest and claim, to lands lying within the State of Missouri and Territory of Arkansas, and to all lands lying West of the said State of Missouri and Territory of Arkansas, North and West of the Red River, South of the Kansas River, and East of a line to be drawn from the head sources of the Kansas, Southwardly through the Rock Saline, with such reservations, for such considerations, and upon such terms as are hereinafter specified, expressed, and provided for.
Within the limits of the country, above ceded and relinquished, there shall be reserved, to and for, the Great and Little Osage Tribes or Nations aforesaid, so long as they may choose to occupy the same, the following described tract of land: Beginning at a point due East of White Hair's Village, and twenty-five miles West of the Western boundary line of the State of Missouri, fronting on the North and South line so as to leave ten miles north, and forty miles South of the point of said beginning, and extending West, with the width of fifty miles to the Western boundary of the lands hereby ceded and relinquished by said Tribes or Nations; which said reservations shall be surveyed and marked, at the expense of the United States, and upon which, the Agent for said Tribes or Nations and all persons attached to said agency, as also, such teachers and instructors, as the President may think proper to authorize and permit, shall reside, and shall occupy and cultivate, without interruption or molestation, such lands as may be necessary for them. And the United States do, hereby, reserve to themselves, forever, the right of navigating freely, all water courses and navigable streams, within or running through, the tract of country above reserved to said Tribes and Nations.
In consideration of the cession and relinquishment, aforesaid, the United States do, hereby, agree to pay to the said tribes or nations, yearly, and every year, for twenty years from the date of these presents, the sum of Seven Thousand Dollars, at their Village, or at St. Louis, as the said tribes or nations may desire, either in money merchandise, provisions, or domestic animals, at their option. And whenever the said annuity or any part thereof shall be paid in merchandise, the same is to be delivered to them at the first cost of the goods at St. Louis, free of transportation.
The United States shall, immediately upon the ratification of this convention, or as soon thereafter as may be, cause to be furnished to the tribes or nations aforesaid, six hundred head of cattle, six hundred head of hogs, one thousand domestic fowls, ten yoke of oxen and six carts, with such farming utensils as the Superintendent of Indian Affairs may think necessary, and shall employ such persons, to aid them in their agricultural pursuits as to the President of the United States may seem expedient, and shall, also, provide, furnish, and support for them, one blacksmith that their farming utensils, tools, and arms may be seasonably repaired; and shall build, for each of the four principle chiefs, at their respective villages, a comfortable and commodious dwelling house.
From the above lands ceded and relinquished, the following reservations, for the use for the half breeds hereafter named shall be made, to-wit: One Section or six hundred acres for Augustus Clermont, to be located and laid off so as to include Joseph Rivar's residence on the East side of the Neosho, a short distance above the Grand Saline, and not nearer than within one mile thereof; one section for each of the following half-breeds: James, Paul, Henry, Rosalie, Anthony and Amelia, the daughter of She-Me-Hunga, and Amelia, the daughter of Mi-Hun-Ga, to be located two miles below the Grand Saline, and extending down the Neosho, on the East side thereof; and one section for Noel Mongrain, the son of Wa-taw-nagres, and for each of his ten children, Baptiste, Noel, Francis, Joseph, Mongrain, Louis, Victoria, Sophia, Julia and Juliet; and the like quantity for each of the following named grandchildren, of the said Noel Mongrain, to wit: Charles, Francis, Louisson and Walsh, to commence on the Perra; one section for Susan Larine; one section for Marguerite Reneau; one section for Thomas L. Balio; and one section for Terese, the daughter of Paul Louise; which said several tracts are to be located on the North side of the Maria de Cygnes, extending up the river, above the reservations in favor of Mary and Sarah Williams, in the order in which they are herein above named.
And also fifty-four other tracts, of a square [section?] each, to be laid off under the direction of the President of the United States, and sold, for the purpose of raising a fund to be applied to the support of schools, for the education of the Osage children, in such manner as the President may deem most advisable to the attainment of that end.
Forasmuch as there is a debt due, from sundry individuals of the Osage tribes or nations, to the United States trading houses, of the Missouri and Osage Rivers, amounting in the whole to about the sum of four thousand one hundred and five dollars and eighty cents, which the United States do hereby agree to release; in consideration thereof, the said tribes, or nations, do hereby release and relinquish their claim upon the United States for regular troops to be stationed for their protection at Fort Clark, and also, for furnishing of a blacksmith, at that place, and the delivery of merchandise at Fire Prairie, as is provided for in the first, third, and fifth articles of the Treaty concluded on the tenth day of November, one thousand eight hundred and eight.
It appearing that the Deleware nation have various claims against the Osages, which the latter have not had it in their power to adjust, and the United States being desirous to settle, finally and satisfactorily, all demands and differences between the Delewares and the Osages, do hereby agree to pay to the Delewares, in full satisfaction of all their claims and demands against the Osages, the sum of one thousand dollars.
With a view to quiet the animosities which at present exist between a portion of the citizens of Missouri and Arkansas and the Osage tribes, in consequence of the lawless depredations of the latter the United States do, furthermore, agree to pay to their own citizens, the full value of such property, as they can legally prove to have been stolen or destroyed by the Osages, since the year eighteen hundred and eight, and for which payment has not been made under former treaties: Provided, the sum to be paid by the United States does not exceed the sum of five thousand dollars.
It is further agreed on, and by and between the parties to these presents, that there shall be reserved two sections of land, to include the Harmony Missionary establishment, and their, on the Marias des Cyne; and one section to include the Missionary establishment above the Lick on the west side of the Grand River, to be disposed of as the President of the United States shall direct, for the benefit of said Missions, and to establish them at the principal villages of the Great and Little Osage Nations, within the limits of the country reserved to them by this Treaty, and to be kept up at said village so long as said Missions shall be usefully employed in teaching, civilizing and improving the said Indians.
To preserve and perpetuate the friendship now happily subsisting between the United States and the said tribes or nations, it is hereby agreed, that the provisions contained in the ninth article of the Treaty concluded and signed at Fort Clark, on the tenth day of November, one thousand eight hundred and eight, between the United States and the said tribes or nations, shall in every respect be considered as in full force and applicable to the provisions of this Treaty, and that the United States shall take and receive, into their friendship and protection, the aforesaid tribes or nations, and shall guaranty them to, forever, the right to navigate freely, all water-courses or navigable streams, within the tract of country hereby ceded, upon such terms as the same are or may be navigated by the citizens of the United States.
It is further agreed, that there shall be delivered soon as may be, after the execution of this treaty, at the Osage Villages, merchandise to the amount of four thousand dollars, first cost in St. Louis, and two thousand dollars in merchandise before their departure from this place; and horses and equipage to the value of twenty-six hundred dollars which, together with the sum of one hundred thousand dollars, to be paid Paul Loise, and the like sum to Baptiste Mongrain, in money, shall be in addition to the provisions and stipulations hereby above contained, in full satisfaction of the cession, hereinbefore agreed on.
Whereas, the great and Little Osage tribes or nations are indebted to Augustus P. Chouteau, Paul Balio and William S. Williams, to a large amount, for credits given them, which they are unable to pay, and have particularly requested to have paid, or provided for in the present negotiation; it is therefore agreed on, by and between the parties to these presents, that the United States shall pay to Augustus P. Chouteau, one thousand dollars; to Paul Balio two hundred and fifty dollars, toward the liquidation of their respective debts due from the said tribes or nations.
These articles shall take effect, and become obligatory on the contracting parties, so soon as the same shall be ratified by the President, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate of the United States.
In Testimony Whereof, The said William Clark, commissioner as aforesaid and the deputation, chiefs, and head men and warriors, of the Great and Little Osage Nations of Indians, as aforesaid, have hereunto set their hands and seals, this second day of June, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and twenty five, and of the independence of the United States the forty-ninth.
Pierre Chouteau Jr., the founder of old Fort Pierre, was born in St. Louis in January 19, 1789. He was the second son of Major John Pierre Chouteau, Sr., who was born in New Orleans, October 10, 1758, and came to St. Louis in 1764. Chittenden is authority for the statement that Aguste Chouteau was grandfather to the subject of this note; but Billon in his "Annals of St. Louis" does not name Major John Pierre Chouteau as one of the sons of Auguste, nor could this be, for Auguste Chouteau was born September 26, 1750, and came up with Laclede in 1764 and assisted in establishing the post of St. Louis, and John Pierre arrived there the same year in September. The evidence seems to establish the fact that Auguste was uncle to Pierre Chouteau, Jr.
Pierre Chouteau Jr., was the most illustrious member of the numerous Chouteau family, the family itself having been perhaps the most prominently identified with the growth of St. Louis of any in the southwest, as it certainly was with the development of the fur trade of the west and northwest. From his earliest manhood, he proved to be the leading spirit in the founding of the vast system of pioneering involved in establishing outposts for traffic with the Indians in the almost boundless extent of wilderness which the Louisiana Purchase had brought within the scope of American enterprise. In his family he was known as Pierre Cadet Chouteau; was his father's clerk in the fur business at the age of fifteen. He went with Julien Dubuque to the lead mines of Galena on the upper Mississippi in 1806, and in 1809 ascended the Missouri with his father, who was at that time agent of the Osage, in the service of he Missouri Fur Company. After becoming of age he engaged in business on his own account and in 1813 he formed a partnership with Bartholomew Berthold, his brother-in-law, which continued until 1831. He made several trips up the Missouri river on the company's steamboat, and was at old Fort Pierre in June, 1832, when the post was named for him. He was a member of the firm of Bernard Pratte & Co., which became the agent of the western department of the American Fur Company, and a leading member of the succeeding firm of Pratte, Chouteau & Co., which purchased that department in 1834. In 1838 the firm was changed to Pierre Chouteau Jr., under which style of business of the American Fur Company was carried on over twenty years. Mr. Chouteau in after years and with the growth of his great wealth became interested in other industrial enterprises, such as railroads, bonds, etc. and for many years he resided principally in New York, where he became a leading financier. He possessed in a very high degree the mercantile instinct, and this, combined with his strict adherence to systematic methods and conservative calculating, equipped him for successful action wherever his genius sought exercise. It is said that he accepted conditions as he found them and did not attempt to raise the standard of business morality above its normal level; would reinforce his agents on the upper river in any measure which the strenuous times in frontier competition usually demanded, but that whoever among his employees attempted to embark in a rival trading business met the crushing force of his powerful company, which was applied without mercy. And if some of the undercurrents which swept across the seas of the Hunt-Astoria expedition were fully revealed the opposing hand of Chouteau would undoubtedly appear. He schemed incessantly to build upon the ruins of Astor's brave and hardy but ill-fated efforts to unite St. Louis with the Pacific by a succession of trading houses. He was very liberal towards all scientific expeditions, large or small, and by virtue of the facilities which he was able to furnish thorough the river craft owned by the company contributed much to their success. Large accumulations of rare natural and scientific specimens were gathered at his home in St. Louis, the result of these labors of explorers into the far northwest, and many writings of more or less consequence were given him in return for his assistance; the greater part of which materials were unfortunately burned in various conflagrations in St. Louis. However, the long series of years during which the American Fur Company and its immediate predecessors were engaged in the Indian trade and the incidental development of the country brought within the files of the company historical evidences of incalculable value, constituting by far the greatest contribution of the raw material of history of any organization ever formed west of the Alleghanies for business purposes. Though before the era of typewriters, the immense correspondence of the American Fur Company was still not so large but that Mr. Chouteau preserved a copy of every letter, which mass of information is still preserved in archives at St. Louis.
The only son of Pierre Chouteau Jr. was Charles P. Chouteau who was born in St. Louis December 2, 1819, and who died there in January, 1900. The present Pierre Chouteau of St. Louis is a son of Charles P. Chouteau.
His nephew and niece, James and Mary Chouteau, half bloods of the Osage tribe, are said to be the first children baptized in the state of Kansas. This baptism, which may have been performed just across the line in Missouri, was administered by Rev. Father Quickenborne in 1822, who was with the Osages that year.
In 1810 Chouteau Sr. resigned the agency of the Osages and was succeeded by George C. Sibley, who was the government clerk at Fort Osage. Sibley was a native of Massachusetts, born in 1782, but had lived in North Carolina before coming to Fort Osage. He entered the Indian service at Fort Osage in 1807, and three years later was made the agent in charge. In 1811 he explored the territory of the Osage to its western boundary, going as far as the Salt Plains on the Nesqua-ton-ka, which was the south western boundary of the original claim of the Osages from the earliest date of their history. Major Sibley was one of the most efficient agents the Osages ever had and this exploring trip of 1811 was made to permanently establish their western border and to secure them in their just possession. The boundary as established was recognized in the treaty of 1825 and secured to the Osages the very tract of land from the sale of which the trust fund of $8,450,000 was built up. Sibley deserves a monument from the Osages, and yet not a school building, nor a street in Pawhuska has been named for him. In 1825 he was one of the commissioners appointed to lay out a new route to Santa Fe. The commission composed of Benjamin H. Reeves, George C. Sibley, and Thomas Mather met at Council Grove in 1825 and negotiated a right-of-way form the Osages and Kaws of a strip of land two miles wide for a road way and grazing ground for the wagon train engaged in the Mexican trade.
They live in one village on the Osage river seventy-eight miles, measured, due south of Fort Osage. They hunt over a very great extent of country, comprising of the Osage, Gasconade and Neozho river and their numerous branches. They also hunt on the heads of the St. Francis and White River and on the Arkansas. I rate them at about 1200 souls, 350 of which are warriors and hunters, fifty or sixty superannuated and the balance of women and children.
About 140 miles southwest of Fort Osage; one village on the Neozho river. They hunt pretty much in common with the tribe of the Osage river, from which they separated six or eight years ago. This village contains about 400 souls of whom about 100 are warriors and hunters, ten or fifteen aged persons and the rest are women and children.
Three villages on the Neozho river 120 to 140 miles southwest of this place (Fort Osage). This tribe comprising all three villages, and comprehending about twenty families of Missourians, who are intermarried with them. I rate at about 1000 souls, about 300 of which are hunters and warriors, twenty or thirty are superannuated persons and the balance women and children. They hunt pretty much in common with the other tribes of Osages mentioned and frequently on the head waters of the Kansas, some of the branches of which interlap with those of the Neozho.
First their colonies settled on the lower Arkansas and White Rivers but when their hunting parties saw the vast herds of buffalo that ranged the prairies farther west they began to encroach upon the Osage territory along the Neosho and Verdigris rivers. Great pressure was brought to bear upon the National government to give them a reservation that touchs the grand prairie. The citizens of Tennessee, Georgia, and North Carolina were demanding the removal of the Cherokees from their states while the Cherokees themselves wisely demanded a reservation that gave them timber for their dwellings and at the same time put them in touch with the buffalo. They also refused to go into territory that was remote from the white man's protection and where wild and savage tribes of Indians would be a constant source of danger. Therefore, they picked upon the southern territory Osages for their home in the west and this was the cause of the Osage and Cherokee war. It is true they were old enemies, having disagreed at the Cherokee council of 1768, but the advent of the Cherokees west in 1808 reopened old wounds and made many new ones. The war lasted for twenty years, or from 1808 to 1828 and terminated with the battle of Claremore (Gra-Moi) Mound, September of that year. The western Cherokee having taken possession of their new territory by the treaty of May 1828 were no doubt patrolling their frontier at the time. At any rate the Cherokees under Tachee are said to have come in contact with the southern band of Osage under Gra-Moi (mispronounced Chermont or Claremore) near a great mound and to have defeated the Osages. There is practically no data of this battle and if it did take place as stated it was the last one between the Osages and Cherokees. In 1819 the Cherokees had over 100 Osage prisoners, and travelers in Tennessee at that time saw the Cherokees dancing over Osage scalps sent to them from beyond the Mississippi. The government had by the treaty of 1818 secured from the Osages 7,000,000 acres granted to the Cherokees ten years later. In this treaty of 1818 the United States secured the entire tract of land known afterwards as the Cherokee Nation by promising to pay clams against the Osages to the amount of $400,000.00 and the continuance of the annual distribution of merchandise promised under a former treaty.
But this treaty was never ratified by Gra-Moi, head chief of the southern Arkansas band of Osages and he refused to remove his band from that territory. This was the most arbitrary and unfair treaty the government ever made with the Osages but is was followed seven years later by a more liberal one in which all the chiefs and head men of the Osages concurred.
The following excerpt from the report of Lieut. James B. Wilkinson of his last trip down the Arkansas river, after separating from Gen. Pike and bearing date, New Orleans, April 6th, 1807, will throw some light on the Pawhuska and Gra-Moi controversy, but Wilkinson was in error in saying that Paw-hu-scah was a creature of Pierre Chouteau. Paw-hu-scah, as has been said, was under the influence of the Spanish fur company of Lisa, Benoit & Co. The excerpt follows:
About fifty or sixty miles up the Verdigris is situated the Osage village. This band some four or five years since, were led by the chief Cashesegra to the waters of the Arkansas, at the request of Pierre Chouteau, for the purpose of securing their trade. The exclusive trade of the Osage river having been purchased from the Spanish government by Manuel Lisa of St. Louis, but though Cashesegra by the nominal leader, Claremont, the Builder of Towns, is the greatest warrior and influential man and is now more attached to the Americans than any other chief of the nation. He is the lawful sovereign of the Grand Osages, but his hereditary right was usurped by Pawhuska, or White Hair, whilst Claremont was yet an infant, White Hair in fact is a chief of Chouteau's creating as well as Cashesegra and neither have the power or disposition to restrain their younger men from the perpetration of an improper act, fearing least they should render themselves unpopular.
The land secured by the treaty of 1818 was ten years later traded to the Cherokees for lands in Tennessee and Georgia, acre for acre, a deal which saved the government several million dollars. Then followed the golden age of the Osages. They were under protection of the government forts on the Missouri and Arkansas, and yet it was but a day's ride to the buffalo. They had a market for their furs and robes and their hunting and trapping ground reached from the Mississippi to the Rocky Mountains, for their treaty rights gave them permission to hunt and take fur in the territory they had sold in Missouri and Arkansas. Trading posts were on all the large rivers where they could get what ammunition they needed without delay. They had all the benefits of the white man's government without its burdens, or the silly restraint of his laws. They had the freedom of trackless forest and pathless prairie and yet were but a few day's ride from a garrision of troops that would protect them if attacked by the wild Comanches and Kiowas in superior numbers. The western part of their country was filled with droves of wild horses which they looked upon as belonging especially to them and from which they captured new supplies every year. Sometimes they rode them down and lassoed them singly but more often they surrounded them in droves and heading them towards their home country followed them day and night till they were utterly worried down and subdued. The return of a band of young men bringing in a drove of new horses form the plains was the occasion of great rejoicing in an Osage village, which lasted several days. Truly it is hard to give up such a life for the plodding conventionalities of civilization where men think it is an honor to meet once a year and pass laws that circumscribe your liberties.
Whereas, the Congress of the United States of America being anxious to promote a direct commercial and friendly intercourse between the citizens of the United States and those of the Mexican republic, and to afford protection to the same, did, at their last session, pass an act, which was approved March 3, 1826, to authorize the President of the United States to cause a road to be marked out from the western frontier of Missouri, to the confines of New Mexico, and which authorizes the President of the United States to appoint commissioners to carry said act of Congress into effect, and enjoins on the commissioners so to be appointed that they first obtain the consent of the intervening tribes of Indians, by treaty, to the making of said road, and to the unmolested use thereof to the citizens of the United States and of the Mexican republic; and Benjamin H. Reeves, Geo. C. Sibley and Thos. Mather, commissioners duly appointed as aforesaid, being duly and fully authorized, have this day met the chiefs and head men of the Great and Little Osage nations, who being all duly authorized to meet and negotiate with the said commissioners upon the premises, and being specially met for that purpose, by the invitation of said commissioners at the place called the Council Grove, on the River Ne-o-sho, one hundred sixty miles southwest from Fort Osage, have, after due dilberation and consultation, agreed to the following treaty, which is to be considered binding on the said Great and Little Osages, from and after this day:
ART. 1 The chiefs and head men of the Great and Little Osages, for themselves and their nations, respectively, do consent and agree that the commissioners of the United States shall and may survey and mark out a road, in such manner as they may think proper through any of the territory owned or claimed by the Great and Little Osage nations.
ART. 2 The chiefs and head men as aforesaid, do further agree that the road authorized in article one shall, when marked, be forever free for the use of the citizens of the United States and the Mexican republic, who shall at all times pass and repass thereon, without any hindrance or molestation, on the part of said Great and Little Osages.
ART. 3 The chiefs and head men as aforesaid, in consideration of the friendly relations existing between them and the United States, do further promise for themselves and their people, that they will on all fit occasions, render such friendly aid and assistance as may be in their power, to any of the citizens of the United States, or of the Mexican republic, as they may at any time happen to meet or fall in with on the road aforesaid.
ART. 4 The chiefs and head men as aforesaid, do further consent and agree, that the road aforesaid shall be considered as extending to a reasonable distance on either side, so that travelers thereon may, at any time, leave the marked track, for the purpose of finding subsistence and proper camping places.
ART. 5 In consideration of the privileges granted by the chiefs of the Great and Little Osages in the three preceding articles, the said commissioners on the part of the United States, have agreed to pay to them, the said chiefs, for themselves and their people, the sum of five hundred dollars; which sum is to be paid them as soon as may be, in money or merchandise at their option, at such place as they may desire.
ART. 6 And the said chiefs and head men; as aforesaid, acknowledge to have received from the commissioners aforesaid, at and before the signing of this treaty, articles of merchandise to the value of three hundred dollars; which sum of three hundred dollars, and the payment stipulated to be made to the said Osages in article five, shall be considered and are so considered by said chiefs, as full and complete compensation for every privilege herein granted by said chiefs.
The picture is entitled I mk odalta-de Pai, "Summer that they cut off their heads." This picture commemorates one of the most vivid memories of the older men of the tribe-a wholesale massacre by the Osage, who cut off the heads of their victims and deposited them in buckets upon the scene of the slaughter. Set-t'an, the author of the calendar, was born this summer. The picture of a severed head with bloody neck and a bloody knife underneath is sufficiently suggestive. The absence of the usual figure of the sun-dance lodge shows that no dance was held this summer, owing to the fact that the Osage captured the taime medicine at the same time. The massacre occurred just west of a mountain called by the Kiowa, K'odalta K'op, "Beheading mountain," on the head waters of Otter creek, not 2 miles northwest from Saddle mountain and about 25 miles northwest from Fort Sill.
It was early spring and the Kiowa were camped at the mouth of Rainy-mountain creek, a southern tributary of the Washita, within the present limits of the reservation; nearly all of the warriors had gone against the Ute, so that few, excepting women, children, and old men, were at home. One morning some young men going out to look for horses discovered signs of Osage and immediately gave the alarm. According to one story, they found a buffalo with an Osage arrow sticking in it; according to T'ebodal and other old men, they came upon the Osage themselves and exchanged shots, wounding an Osage, but with the loss of one of their own men killed. On the alarm being given, the Kiowa at once broke camp in a panic and fled in four parties in different directions--one party toward the west, another toward the east, and two other bands, among whom was T'ebodal, then a boy, went directly south toward the Comanche. Three of these escaped, but the fourth, under A'date, "Island man," thinking the pursuit was over, stopped on a small tributary of Otter Creek, just west of the mountain.
Early in the morning, almost before it was yet light, a young man (whose grandson was present during T'ebodal's narration) went to look for his ponies when he saw the Osage creeping up on foot. He hastily ran back with the news, but all the camp was still sleeping, except the wife of the chief A'date, who was outside preparing to scrape a hide. Entering the tipi, he roused the chief who ran out shouting to his people, "Tso batso! Tso batso!" --To the rocks! To the rocks! Thus rudely awakened, the Kiowa sprang up and fled to the mountain the mothers seizing their children and the old men hurrying as best they could, with their bloodthirsty enemies close behind. The chief himself was pursued and slightly wounded, but got away; his wife, Sematma, "Apache-woman," was taken, but soon afterward made her escape. One woman fled with a baby girl on her back and dragging a larger girl by the hand; and Osage pursuing caught the other girl and was drawing his knife across her throat when the mother rushed to her aid and succeeded in beating him off and rescued the child with only a slight gash upon her head. A boy named Aya, "Sitting-on-a-tree" was saved by his father in about the same way, and is still alive, an old man, to tell it. His father, it is said, seized him and held him in his teeth, putting him down while shooting arrows to keep off the pursuers, and taking him up again to run. A party of women was saved by a brave Pawnee living in the camp, who succeeded in fighting off the pursuers long enough to enable the women to reach a place of safety.
The warriors being absent, the Kiowa made no attempt at a stand; it was simply a surprise and flight of panic-stricken women, children and old men in which everyone caught was butchered on the spot. Two children were taken prisoners, a brother and sister--about 10 and 12 years of age respectively--of whom more hereafter. The Kiowa lost five men killed and a large number of women and children; none of the Osage were killed, as no fight was made. When the massacre was ended, the enemy cut the heads from all the dead bodies, without scalping them, and placed them in brass buckets, one head in each bucket, all over the camp ground, after which they set fire to the tipis and left the place. When the scattered Kiowas returned to look for their friends they found the camp destroyed, the decapitated bodies lying where they had fallen, and the heads in the buckets as the Osages had left them. The buckets had been obtained by the Kiowa from the Pawnee, who procured them on the Missouri and traded them to southern tribes. For allowing the camp to be thus surprised the chief, A'date, was deposed and was superseded by Dohate, "Bluff," better known as Dohasan, who thenceforth ruled the tribe until his death, thirty-three years later.
Among the victims of the massacre was a Kiowa chief who had been present the previous winter at the attack on the American traders. His friends buried with him a quantity of silver dollars which had formed his share of the spoil on that occasion. An old woman, the last remaining person who knew the place of sepulture, died a few years ago.
In this affair the Osage also captured the taime medicine, already described, killing the wife of the taime keeper a she was trying to unfasten it from the tipi pole to which it was tied; her husband, An-so-te, escaped. In consequence of this loss there was no sun dance for two years, when, peace having been made between the two tribes, as will be related farther on, the Kiowa visited the Osage camp, somewhere on the Cimarron or the Salt fork of the Arkansas, and recovered it, afterward giving a horse in return for it. Dohasan, who conducted the negotiations, asked the Osage about it and offered a pinto pony and several other ponies for it. The Osage said that they had it and went home and brought it, but in a token of their friendship refused to accept more than a single pony in return. On this occasion both taime images were captured, together with the case in which they were kept.
Two points in connection with this massacre deserve attention. First, the Osage war party was on foot; this, as the Kiowa state, was the general custom of the Osage and Pawnee, more especially the latter, who are sometimes called Domank-iag,"Walkers," by the Kiowa and was occasionally followed by other tribes, including also the Kiowa. Grinnell states that the Blackfeet always went to war on foot. There was an obvious advantage in the practice, as a foot party could more easily travel and approach a hostile camp without attracting observation, relying upon themselves to procure horses to enable them to return mounted.
Secondly, it is to be noted that the Osage beheaded the Kiowa without scalping them. This, the Kiowa say, was a general Osage practice; in fact, according to the Kiowa, the Osage never scalped their enemies, but cut off their heads and left them unscalped upon the field. They kept tally of the number killed, however, and when an Osage warrior had killed four he painted a blue half circle, curving downward, upon his breast.
After the massacre at K'odalta K'op already described, the Osage returned to their own country, where there was a soldier camp (i.e. Fort Gibson), bringing with them the Kiowa girl Gunpa-ndama (Medicine-tied-to-tipi-pole) and her brother, taken at the time of the massacre. The woman captured at the same time had escaped and made her way back to her people. At Fort Gibson the soldiers told the Osage that they and other Kiowa were all alike Indians and they should be friends. They then bought the two captive children from the Osage and proposed that some of the Osage should return with them (the soliders) to the Kiowa country, there to give back the children to their friends and invite the Kiowa to come down to the fort and make a permanent treaty of peace and friendship between the tribes. The Osage agreed, and accordingly a large party of soldiers, accompanied by a number of Osage, with the girl Gunpaudama, set out for the Kiowa country. The little boy had been killed by a sheep before starting. With them went also the famous trader, Colonel Auguste Chouteau, called "Soto" by the Kiowa, the first American trader known to the Kiowa, Wichita, and associated tribes. Up to this time the Kiowa had been at war with the Osage and had no knowledge of our government, and these dragoons were the first United States troops they had ever seen. The soldiers first met the Comanche, who told them that the Kiowa were near the Wichita village at the farther end of the mountains. When the troops arrived at the village the Kiowa were afraid and kept at a distance until they saw the girl, which convinced them that the soldiers were their friends. The girl was given back to her people, and at the request of the soldiers a number of Kiowa, including the head chief, Dohate, returned with them and the Osage to the camp at Fort Gibson. They do not remember whether any of the Apache went.
There the soldiers entertained the Kiowa with food, coffee and sugar, and gave them blankets and other presents. A treaty of peace was made between the Kiowa and soldiers (i.e., Americans), and the Osage and other Kiowa were invited to trade with Chouteau, who promised to bring goods to their country. Since that time the two tribes have been friends. Hitherto the Kiowa had never had any traders in their country, but after this peace a regular trade was established. The first trader, whom they call Tome or Tome-te (Thomas?) came soon afterward and built a trading post on the west side of the Cache creek, about 3 miles below the present Fort Sill, but he did not stay long.
In 1827 the Government sent out Maj. Langham to survey the northern boundary of the Osage lands, but he was interrupted and driven off by the Osages. In 1836, Jno. E McCoy was appointed to carry out the work left by Maj. Langham. The trouble with the Osages over this line was that the treaty said it was to run due west and the Indian's idea of west is toward the sun-set which in summer is several degrees north of due west.
On the 25th of May,1836, I commenced the survey of the northern boundary of the Osage reservation, by order of General William Clark, Superintendent of Indian Affairs. The eastern boundary of this reservation and the southern as far as the Arkansas river, had been surveyed by Major A. L. Langham, in the year 1827 or 1828. Major Langham had been interrupted in his work by the hostility of the Osages, and his lines had been left incomplete.
From time immemorial the Osages had been known as restless, troublesome outlaws, not particularly dangerous to life, but decidedly so to property of any kind, especially horses which fell in their way. They neither know nor wanted to know where the lines of their reservation ran, and when they saw the lines of demarkation being drawn so near to them, they determined to prevent Major Langham from defining any limits. While in camp writing one day, a large party of naked, painted, yelling Osages came suddenly upon a colored employee, who happened to be some distance from the camp. He of course broke toward the camp, but the yelling savages were with him notwithstanding, administering blows with ramrods, bows and other missles, in a ceaseless torrent at every jump. At camp they made no halt, but in solid phalanx dashed through, trampling down tents and camp fixtures; and the major with his writing apparatus was rolled to the ground. Then the savages wound up the demonstration with an impromptu war dance, and an emphatic demand for the surveyor and his party to vamoose, with which command they complied with alacrity. In consequence of this interruption of Major Langham's survey, thus leaving his work incomplete, my survey of 1836 became necessary. My survey commenced at the point where Major Langham had established the northeast corner of the Osage reservation, in accordance with the treaty of 1825, about 26 miles west from the Missouri state line. The terms of the treaty provided that this point should be five miles east and ten miles north of White Hair's old village, and Major Langham placed this corner of the reservation accordingly. This point also became the northeast corner of the Cherokee neutral land.
At a point nearly thirty-one miles west we reached the Neosho river, about three or four miles above the village of the Little Osages. Between forty and fifty miles out we crossed several main tributaries of the east fork of the Verdigris river. At sixty-one miles, we crossed the west fork of the Verdigris. At ninety-six we reached a tributary of the Arkansas river, then known as Little Neosho river, and at 124 miles we reached a stream then called the Little Arkansas river, also a tributary of the Arkansas. Our line crossed the Little Arkansas about a mile and a half before we reached the main Arkansas and about five miles above the confluence of the Little Arkansas with the main stream. This was 124 miles from the point of beginning. Our line terminated opposite an island covered with cottonwoods, near the west bank of the Arkansas river.
An incident in my own experience in this survey of the Osage reservation line similar to that related of Major Langham, I will here mention. Like him, I had no military escort. My company was composed of seven or eight poorly armed men. The jar I had with the Osages arose from the fact that their north line, which I was running, crossed the Neosho only about three miles above the chief town of the Little Osages, numbering at this time about one thousand souls. This line curtailed their tribal limits much more than they had anticipated. From time out of mind the Osages and the Kaws were almost the sole occupants of the vast region extending from the Mississippi and the Arkansas indefinitely. With their vague ideas of land rights, dimensions, and treaty obligations, no wonder that they were reluctant to have the limits to their possessory land rights defined by the surveyor's compass. Many miles before I had reached the river Neosho we were met by numbers of their young men on horseback. At these times only the usual courtesies were given which were commonly exchanged between the Wah-sah-she (Osages) and the Moh-he-ton-ga (Americans), namely: first, an emphatic "How" from each party; and secondly, an urgent request from the Indians for tobacco, or anything else in sight. We were liberal with our tobacco in the instances here mentioned, so much so that members of our party were left a short supply of the article. Before reaching the camp near the Neosho I began to realize that there was trouble ahead, for I was met with a protest against our further progress and a request that I should go down to see the big chief. To this latter I assented; and early in the morning after our arrival in the vicinity I moved my entire party to the river, as near the Indian town as practicable, under guidance of a few stalwart Indians who had remained with us all night, no doubt for the object of watching and reporting our movements.
The town was situated on a high prairie hill a mile or so west of the Neosho and fifteen or twenty miles up the river from White Hair's town. After crossing the river, the crowd of men, women and children and dogs gathered around us uncomfortably thick, and with a noticeable absence of politeness due to visiting strangers. I placed the pack horses in a sharp bend of the river where there was a perpendicular bank. With one of my chain-bearers, Charles Findlay, I proceeded on horseback, escorted by our guides or guards, and made my way to the lodge of the big chief of the Little Osages. There we tied our horses to the door post of the royal residence, which was a structure about one hundred feet long by twenty feet wide, constructed of bark over a framework of poles. This was in the center of the city of more than a hundred lodges, of smaller dimensions than that of the chief. With compass under arm and a formidable bunch of papers, the young representative of our young republic entered the audience chamber of the great Ka-he-ga.
The door was at one end of the chief's lodge, and at the farther end sat his highness, a "sure-enough" big chief in size, weighing well nigh, I estimated, three hundred pounds. Upon a raised platform which ran all around the lodge were crowded several hundred stalwart, naked savages, notables of the tribe. Our reception was decidedly cool, without a sign of recognition, with not even a friendly "How?" By long intercourse with Indians I had acquired considerable proficiency in sign language. To my inquiry for an interpreter I received no response. After waiting a while I opened my proceedings by showing my compass and papers, exhibiting authority from the great chief at Washington for what I was doing, and stated finally that I should continue to run the line. My talk was given with a limited knowledge of the Osage language, and by the use of signs common to all western tribes of Indians.
The chief then began to talk, and he talked both loud and fast. He said their line was away up north: that I should not run the line where I was running it; and he intimated by significant gestures with his hands in the vicinity of his topknot, that if I attempted to do so there would be a raising of scalp-locks. I believed this to be only bluster, aimed to scare us back, or make us pay something for going on. I told him if we were stopped or molested, the soldiers, of whom these Indians had a wholesome dread, would come down and wipe them out.
After spending an hour and a half with no results, Findlay and I took our departure, first expressing, as I left, my purpose to go on west, and the chief responding that if we did we would be struck by his young men. We found our horses at the door, with the tail of my horse completely denuded of hair. I was glad to get the horse, even with his corn-cob tail. Near the outskirts of the town a noise greeted us somewhat as if bedlam had broken loose. I conjectured it to be a ruse to scare us, or get us into trouble, and told Findlay not to look around but to preserve a slow gait and dignified composure. But the noise apparently increasing and nearing us, I looked around to see a sea of heads moving towards us, and one head in the center higher than all the rest. That head had a familiar look. We halted to see the outcome, and Bill Cantrell, one of the men left at the camp at the river, rode up on our bald-faced mare, escorted by near a thousand yelling, screeching, howling men, women and children and dogs. Poor Cantrell's face was about as white as the bald faced mare he rode. His teeth were so dry he could not get them together. "Why, what in the world are you doing here?" said I. In response in dry sepulchural voice, he conveyed the pleasant intelligence that the boys at the river were all killed and he alone had escaped to tell the tale. "Nonsense," said I. "These Indians dare not attempt to kill us, otherwise they could wipe us out in two minutes." He declared, however, that he had left the men and the Indians fighting at the camp with knives and clubs. I told him and Findlay to come on slowly whilst I galloped down to ascertain the facts, I found the men and horses all safe, without an Indian in sight. Soon after I had left the camp with Findlay the Indians had made an effort to rob the outfit. But a few of the men showing fight, with knives, a few arms, and my Jacob's staff, they were routed without bloodshed, after a brief struggle. While this flurry was in progress, Cantrell and one other, both mounted on horses, crossed the river, and attempted to fly towards home. A company of mounted Osages pursued them, headed them off, and drove them back across the river.
In the month of May, 1863, the time when the events herein occurred, the town of Humboldt was the extreme southern town occupied by the United States forces in this section of the country. The garrison at the time mentioned consisted of Troop G. Ninth Kansas cavalry, commanded by Capt. Wiloughby Doudna, numbering 100 men.
The country to the south was occupied by bands of Indians belonging to the Osage tribe. These bands were camped over the country in villages, but made their general headquarters at Osage Mission, where the priests maintained a position of neutrality, extending hospitality to Union and Confederate forces alike.
South of the country ranged over by the Osages, was the nation of the Cherokees. The majority of these latter Indians were active sympathizers with the Confederacy, and it was from them, and particularly the Indian contingent commanded by Standwaite, who twice raided and once burnt Humboldt, that the border towns had most to fear. Thus it was that the Osage country was the scouting ground of both armies.
Scouting was the main duty devolving upon the garrison at Humboldt, as no supply trains went south of there, and those coming had their own escort. One scouting party of fourteen men, commanded by a sergeant, left Humboldt and were gone ten days, going south of the present site of Arkansas City into Oklahoma, and sighting Cody's Bluff, a famous landmark of those days. Frequently these scouting parties would meet like parties sent out from the garrison at Fort Scott, and occasionally a party of the enemy would be encountered, with an exchange of compliment. In spite of the ceaseless scouting, the country to the south was, to the little settlements and handful of troops, an ever present source of danger and dread from out of which, at any moment, might come their destruction and death.
One afternoon, just after the troops had had dinner, two Indians rode up to the camp in the public square, and reported to Captain Doudna that their band had had to fight with some white men and that the white men were dead. They would make no further statement, except that it had been a big fight, and that the chief wanted the captain to come to his camp.
It must be borne in mind at this time the identity of the dead men was unknown. They might be a stray scouting party of our own or the enemy's, or they might be an advance party of an approaching hostile force. In the latter event there was no time to be lost. The horses and men were seasoned to rough riding and before midnight the command rode up to the camp of Indians and, picketing their horses, lay down in the tall grass to sleep.
Sleep, even to tired troopers hardened by two years' campaigning on the plains, was well nigh out of the question. On a rise in the ground near our bivouac were bodies of two warriors slain in the fight. Painted and decked for the long journey to the happy hunting ground, they had been placed in a sitting position with their backs to a tree. In front of each warrior was a squaw, sitting flat upon the ground, her hair hanging over her face, and at intervals her low, mournful moans rose in a tremendous wavering cry which once heard is never forgotten, and its unutterable sadness cannot be expressed in words. Besides the mourning cries of an Indian squaw, the distant howl of the coyote is cheering and the lonely call of the whippoorwill is mirth-inspiring. Other squaws, scattered through the grass and in the camp, occasionally added their voices to the cries of the two principle mourners. Few, if any, of the troop slept that night, but at last the morning brought welcome relief from that night of horror. Escorted by about 100 mounted Indians, we rode to the scene of the first encounter. Here it is best to tell the story as gathered from the Indians, simply stating that, from what had already been learned from the Indians, we were fairly certain that the dead men were not our comrades in arms, but either a party of the enemy or one of those bands infesting the border who claimed either side, as suited their convenience, and preyed upon both. The Indians were exceedingly anxious as to the outcome of the investigations, fearing they had committed an overt act in attacking the party and would suffer the displeasure of the government.
Two days before the messengers arrived in Humboldt, a small party of Indians, numbering eight or ten men, had started from the Big Hill village to the Mission. When not far from their camp they discovered the traces of a recently abandoned camp and at once took up the trail, soon overtaking a mounted force of white men. This party numbered twenty or twenty-two men and had no wagons. Riding up to this party the Indians inquired who they were, and received the reply that the party was a detachment of Union troops, and were a part of the command stationed at Humboldt. To this the Indians replied that they knew the troops then at Humboldt and failed to recognize any familiar faces in the party. The Indians stated that the government held them responsible for what occurred in their country, and asked the party to accompany them to Humboldt, to be identified by the commander of the post, when they would be allowed to go anywhere they pleased. To this the white men would not consent, and started to continue their march. The Indians, growing more suspicious and insistent, sought to restrain them, and in the altercation which followed one of the whites shot and killed an Indian.
The Osages, being outnumbered, drooped over on their ponies and were soon out of range. Racing for their village, they aroused the camp, with the news of the killing of one of their number by the war party of strange white men.
They struck the party of white men about five miles from a loop in the Verdigris river. Over that entire five miles there was a running fight. The little party of whites, hemmed in on all sides by the circle of death, was striving to beat off the Indians and reach the timber they could see in the distance. In this running fight the Confederates, for so the whites proved to be, lost two men, whose bodies were abandoned where they fell. Being well armed and in the open, they were able to keep the Osages at some distance and killed at least one. The timber they fought so valiantly to gain proved their undoing. Not being acquainted with the country, they entered it where it ran back into a loop in the river. Back from the edge of the timber they were forced by the ever overlapping Indians. Step by step they retreated, contesting every foot of ground. The odds were too great, and they found themselves forced to the bank of the river and out onto a sand bar at the water's edge, under a terrible fusillade from the Osages, now concealed and protected by the timber.
Wrong though these men were, and on a mission which almost bars them from our sympathies, yet we cannot but feel proud that they faced their doom with that of unflinching bravery which the men of the nation have ever displayed. To the last cartridge they held their enemy at bay, and when they had been fired, the survivors stood in a little group, their dead around them, and met the rush of the Indians with clubbed carbines and revolvers, and fell, one upon the other. It was brave blood that reddened the little sand bar in the Verdigris that day.
Captain Doudna and his detachment went over the scene of the running fight and into the timber, which showed the marks of the heavy firing. Down on a sand bar, in a space some four rods square, were found the almost nude bodies of the Confederates, badly decomposed, and horribly mutilated. The heads, besides being scalped, had been, according to the Osage custom, severed from the bodies. Long gashes had been cut the entire length of their bodies. The night was a terrible one, even to men accustomed to Indian butcheries. We had come prepared to bury the dead, and digging a trench, we cut hooked sticks from the bushes and dragged the bodies into the trench. The men engaged in the work had sponges containing asfortids  tied over their faces, but in spite of that the stench was so terrible and the sight so loathsome that many were made sick and all had to be frequently relived.
One of the dead men, who, from what we could learn, had been in command of the party, was entirely bald, but had a very long and heavy full beard. This beard had not been scalped but the beard had been removed, and was hanging on a pole with the scalps in front of a tepee in the village. The bodies of the two men killed in the running fight were buried on the prairie where we found them. Of one body only the skeleton remained; the other had not been touched by the wolves.
After the burial the troops returned to the Big Hill camp, and were entertained with a war-dance in honor of the victory. Prior to the dance the mounted warriors were drawn up in line, and on the fact that their front exceeded the front of two troops of cavalry is based the estimate of their fighting force.
The captain, in the meantime, was endeavoring to ascertain the identity of the dead men. Numerous articles of Confederate clothing and equipment in the possession of the Indians plainly showed to which army they had belonged. The predominance in the plunder of officers' uniform and equipment led to the belief that it was no ordinary scouting party. Captain Doudna stated to the chief and head men that he had no desire to take the horses and arms they had captured, that they could keep them as spoils of war, but he wanted all papers that had been captured. The Indians replied that they did not have any papers; they had taken a few but they were so bloody that they had thrown them into the river. This proved to be false, and the captain, suspecting as much, was insistent, and finally, after some time, numerous papers were produced. It came out afterwards that the demand for the papers was unexpected, and the Indians being fearful of anything written, and not yet certain that they would be held blameless in this matter, had been gaining time for Big Joe, a mission-educated Indian, to read the papers. Big Joe having satisfied himself that there was nothing harmful to the Indians, they were turned over.
Captain Doudna made careful examination of the papers, assisted by members of the troop, and the investigation brought to light the astounding fact the party had been composed entirely of commissioned officers, one ranking as colonel and the others being captains and lieutenants. Only the name of one officer, Captain Harrison, is now recalled. Papers signed by Gen. Kirby Smith, then commanding at Little Rock, were found. From these and other papers it was learned that the massacred party constituted a commission to treat with the tribes of the West and Southwest and incite them to war. The officers composing the party were to divide up among the tribes and endeavor to secure co-operation, and to receive supplies and to assist the Indians in every way in the war of extermination which was to be waged more particularly by the wild tribes on one side and the no less savage foe on the other; it would have been a wonder if Kansas had not been wiped out. So the Osages as they swarmed through the timber in the bend of the Verdigris, were, though they knew it not, striking a blow for the security of more than one frontier home and settlement and making a mark on the pages of Kansas history.
It is a matter of regret that this incident, like so many others of war-time history, so little is now known. The name of only one man of the party, Captain Harrison, remains. A diligent inquiry by one who is well acquainted in the tribe and possessing the confidence of the Indians has resulted in the finding of only one Indian who admits being present at the fight. Indians know nothing about the statutes of limitation and while they will talk freely concerning intertribal wars, they are silent when it comes to discussing dead whites.
A love-letter taken from one of the bodies by a member of the burial party remained in his possession for a number of years. It was written from Cross Hollows, Miss[issippi], and the name of writer was signed in full, the surname being Vivian. This letter was shown to a lady visiting in Iola, who recognized the name of the writer as that of a former schoolmate in southwest Missouri, before the war. At the outbreak of the war, Miss Vivian had accompanied her parents to Mississippi and the other lady had come to Kansas and lost trace of her former schoolmate. The letter has passed into the keeping of that lady.
It will be remembered that in giving the strength of the Confederates it was put at twenty or twenty-two men. The bodies of two were found on the prairie and eighteen or so on the sand bar. Leading from these bodies were the boot tracks of two men walking side by side and close together, as if one might have been supporting the other. There were no tracks leading back to the bodies. Careful search up and down both sides of the stream failed to disclose any tracks coming out of the water. It is probable that these two men were shot while in the water, in attempting to swim across the stream. It is possible they made good their escape.
This fact and the incident of the letter are related here, and the name Captain Harrison is given, in the hope that they may meet the attention of someone who can give additional information concerning this event.
The subsequent general uprising of the Indians that very year, which has often been attributed to the machinations of the Confederates, gave us a taste of what we might have experienced if they had acted in unison, and been led and directed by the men whose career came to an abrupt end in the loop of the Verdigris. Kansas has much charged against the Indians on her books, and it is but due to the Osages that this little item of credit should not be overlooked.
Editor's NoteThe Osages now believe that this band of men had deserted and were trying to get to Mexico or so far away from the war that they would no longer be mixed up in it. They regret very much the killing of this entire party but it must be remembered that one of their tribe was killed first.
The Indian has ever been considered the legitimate prey of the white man by the commercial world, and this idea seems to have gained considerable hold on the Indian offices and the Congress of the United States.
The allotment of Indian lands, and the opening of the Indian reservations to white settlement in Oklahoma by Congress has been prompted in every case by the clamor of the homeseekers of bordering states, and not by any wish of the Indian, or any apparent desire on the part of Congress to better the condition of the red man. And upon the opening of an Indian reservation the homeseeker has come, and with him countless numbers of grafters without regard for the laws of God or man. These grafters have been able to combine the moneyed interests, and control the courts to the extent that it is common talk that the value of real estate doubles as soon as the title passes from the Indian. The Osage reservation is not an exception to the rule. The Osage Allotment Act was approved and became a law June 28, 1906, providing for the allotment in severalty to the members of the Osage tribe all the lands of the Osage reservation and reserving to the tribe in common the oil, gas and mineral for 25 years.
Seventh. That the Secretary of the Interior, in his discretion, at the request and upon the petition of any adult member of the tribe, may issue to such member a certificate of competency, authorizing him to sell and convey any of the lands deeded to him by reason of this Act, except his homestead, which shall remain inalienable and non-taxable for a period of twenty-five years, or during the life of the homestead allottee if, upon investigation, consideration and examination of the request he shall find any such member fully competent and capable of transacting his or her own business and caring for his or her own individual affairs: Provided, That upon the issuance of such certificate of competency the lands of such member (except his or her homestead) shall become subject to taxation, and such member, except as herein provided shall have the right to manage, control and dispose of his or her lands the same as any citizen of the United States: Provided, That the surplus lands shall be nontaxable for the period of three years from the Approval of this Act, except where certificates of competency are issued or in case of the death of the allottee, unless otherwise provided by Congress: And provided further, That nothing herein shall authorize the sale of the oil, gas, coal, or other minerals covered by said lands, said minerals being reserved to the use of the tribe for a period of twenty-five years, and the royalty to be paid to said tribe as hereinafter provided: And provided further, That the oil, gas, coal and other minerals upon said allotted lands shall become the property of the individual owner of said land at the expiration of said twenty-five years, unless otherwise provided for by Act of Congress.
The surface of the lands of the Osage tribe not being enough to satisfy the greed of the grafters, they are now making an effort to get their clutches on the oil that is now being produced and paying a handsome revenue to the tribe, by attempting to have repealed that part of the Osage Allotment Bill which reserves to the tribe in common for 25 years the oil, gas, coal, and other minerals covered by the lands of the Osage Reservation, and the following petition is now being circulated among the members of the tibe by the oily-tongued agents, with stories of thousands that would be paid to the individual for his royalty, should the change asked for in the petition be made:
1st. Under the Act of Congress of June 28, 1906, commonly known as the Allotment Bill, the minerals are reserved to the tribe, and the allottee, to whom land has been allotted as an individual, has no right to the same for a period of twenty-five years.
3rd. That in said Act of Congress, provision is made for the granting of certificates of competency to the members of the tribe, which certificate of competency carried with it the right of the members, to whom the same is granted, to dispose of his or her surplus lands subject to the mineral rights reserved to the tribes.
4th. That under and by virtue of the Act of Congress of March 3, 1909, upon application of any member of the Osage Tribe of Indians, Secretary of the Interior may sell any of the surplus lands belonging to such member subject to the mineral rights reserved to the tribe.
5th. A large number of the members of the tribe have made application to the Secretary of the Interior for certificates of competency, and others have made application to the Secretary of the Interior to sell their surplus lands under the Act of Congress of March 3, 1909.
6th. That in the allotment and the division of the lands between the members of the Osage Tribe of Indians, the same was so done as to give to each and every member of the Tribe some of the mineral lands belonging to the tribe, so that no member, or practically no member received his entire allotment without receiving a share of the mineral lands.
7th. That at least eighty (80%) per cent of the lands in that section of the Osage Reservation which is known as mineral lands is unfit for agricultural purposes, and more than one half is very poor grazing land.
8th. Because of the restrictions against the right of the allottee to convey the mineral with the surplus, lands situated within the mineral district bring very poor prices, except where the same is good farming land, and under the conditions that now exist, a very large part of the land situated within the mineral district not suitable for farming purposes will not bring to exceed $2 to $2.50 per acre, but if the mineral rights could be sold with the surface, said lands would bring to the allottee many times that amount and, in some instances, almost fabulous prices.
9th. Very little or none of the development is going on at this time in the Osage Indian Reservation by the company, having the lease thereon, or by its sub-lessees, and your petitioners believe that very little more development will go on so long as the mineral rights are reserved to the tribe.
Speculators in oil land and others seeking to get possession of the surface of these lands at a very small price prefer to withhold the development until such time as the mineral rights will go with the surface.
10th. We believe that very great detriment is being done to members of the Osage Tribe of Indians by reason of the mineral rights being reserved to the tribe, and believe that if the mineral rights were to go with the surface, in cases where it was desired to sell the land, a very much greater price could be obtained, and in cases where it was desired to retain same, a very much better rate of royalty could be obtained by the allottee than is now being obtained under the present lease, and very much more development would be carried on than is now being carried on under present laws.
Wherefore, Your petitioners respectfully ask that an Act of Congress be passed providing that the allottee shall own the mineral as well as the surface of his allotment, and that the royalties derived under the present lease be paid to the owner of the allotment.
The above petition, to the casual observer, seems innocent enough, but what of the members of the Osage tribe that would thus be cut off from their part of the oil money by an arbitrary act of Congress? Have they no rights for Congress to consider? Has Congress, under the constitution, any right to take the property of any one and bestow it upon another without due process of law? And is not the mineral right of each individual member of the Osage tribe as much his or her property as any other property? I think so. And now let us see who would be benefited and who would be robbed by this proposed change.
An investigation of the records will show that the Osage tribe is now receiving royalties from approximately 900 oil wells with a total production of about five million barrels of oil. The records with further show that these 900 wells are located on the allotments of less than 250 of the 2230 enrolled members of the Osage tribe. A further investigation will show that of the 250, that under the proposed change would be beneficiaries, less than fifteen are full-blood Osages, and that 150 of these beneficiaries are either white men that have inherited the lands of their children or wives, or the wives and minor children of the white men, leaving a total of less than 100 members of the tribe who would actually be benefited by this change, and that to the detriment of the rest of the tribe. That with these actual conditions showing upon the face of the agency records, these grafters are smooth enough in their various ways to obtain the signature of the simple Indian to their petition is amazing. They go farther than that. Not wanting to incur the expense of paying a lobby in Washington, they have been able to induce a great many of the Indians to sign contracts to pay various sums of money to their attorneys for their proposed effort in obtaining this change, thereby inducing the Indian to pay for being robbed. And some of these contracts carry the stipulation that in the event of the Indian receiving the mineral under his allotment, a percentage of it goes to the attorneys. In other words Congress is asked to set up a lot of attorneys and some intermarried white men in the oil business.
In the spring of 1819 Rev. Father De la Croix came to the Osage on the Marmaton river in Missouri about twenty-five miles east of where Ft. Scott, Kansas, now stands. In July, 1819 he baptized the children of Noel Mongrain at that place. In 1822 he baptized Anthony Chouteau who was born in 1817. Liguest Chouteau stood godfather in the christening of Anthony. In 1822 he also baptized Peter Lambert, born 1818 of Joseph Lambert and Mary, an Osage woman. In August, 1822 he baptized Peter Papin, one Perrier, Captain and Paul Lambert. In May, 1822 Father Quickenborne baptized James and Mary Chouteau, children of Francis Chouteau and Mary, another Osage woman. It has been claimed that the last two were baptized a few miles west of Harmony Mission within the present boundary of the state of Kansas. If that be true they were the first children to receive baptismal rites in the territory now included within the state of Kansas.
The Jesuit Fathers were always welcomed by the Osage. Their patience and fortitude during epidemics of smallpox and measles among the Indians won the admiration of the red men, and they deserve the highest praise history can record. Glorious, indeed, is the record of these self-sacrificing followers of the meek and lowly Jesus. Rev. Father De la Croix was succeeded by Father Quickenborne, and he by Rev. Father Bax, and he in turn by Father Schoenmakers in 1847.
Meanwhile the Osage were visited in 1836 by Rev. Father DeSmet, perhaps the most gifter writers of all the Jesuit brotherhood. History owes much to the gifted pen of this wonderful man who had penetrated as far west as the Big Horn mountains and Crow Indian country as early as 1834. In 1836 Father DeSmet was with the Osage a few weeks and baptized many Osage children, among them being Jane Conway, now living at Pawhuska. Several years later he was again with the Osage and performed the marriage ceremony of Aunt Jane Conway to Mr. Tinker, father of the present Tinker family of Osages. Father DeSmet made many trips to Europe and solicited funds with which to carry on his work among the Indians of the Northwest. His zeal kept him in touch with all the Jesuit missions west of the Mississippi, although he spent most of his time among the Sioux. His letters were published by the church and form one of the best books for historical research of the Indian tribes living between the Mississippi river and the Rocky mountains.
It will be noticed that in this letter Father Bax alludes to the abandonment of a Presbyterian mission that had been established at Harmony, this mission being one of several successive attempts at mission work among the Osage and other southwestern tribes, beginning at a point a few miles above Fort Gibson on the west bank of the Grand river in 1822.
The Reverend Father infers that the cause of this failure was the reluctance of the Indians to adopt the doctrine of Calvinism, but the Osage tell a different story that, unfortunately, does not reflect that same spirit of heroism that was displayed by the Catholic missionaries and that so strongly appealed to the hearts of the Indians. The Osage version of the affair is that an epidemic of measles was raging among all the tribe and the Indians sought safety in flight, scattering in various directions to escape the terrible ravages of the disease, leaving the missionaries alone at the mission with a number of Indian children who were attending school. The Indians believed that their children would be better cared for there than if they were taken away. On their return a few weeks later when the disease had spent its force, they found the mission deserted and the dead bodies of several of the Indian children lying in the beds. Evidently the epidemic had broken out in the school and the missionaries had deserted their post, leaving the children to die of disease and hunger. Naturally comparing this act or desertion (regardless of the fact that they had themselves ran away) with the heroic self-sacrifice often displayed by the Jesuit missionaries, the Indians were inclined toward the latter and the result was an almost universal acceptance of the Jesuits in preference to any other missionaries.
The following letter was written by Father Bax to Father DeSmet who was then in Belgium on one of his many trips to Europe in quest of funds with which to carry on his work among the American Indians. The letter conveys a very accurate idea of conditions among the Osage at that time. This is the first time that this letter--or any of the many that were written by these Jesuit missionaries--has been printed, except in a book published about the time the letters were written and used exclusively as a church publication.
Already three years have elapsed since we commenced the toils of our mission. I will say nothing to you of the embarrassments inseparable from such an enterprise: you are too well acquainted with this ground and are aware, also, that to prepare it for cultivation exacts the courage that Christian charity alone can inspire. I will not, therefore, stop to relate the obstacles, the fatigues of every sort, that we encountered in our route. At present, the burden is alleviated, particularly since the arrival of a teacher and of a brother, the affairs of the mission are extending, and wear a much more favorable aspect.
I profit by my earnest leisure moments to satisfy the desire that you have several times testified to me, of having some details concerning our dear mission of the Osages. I hope in this way to offer you a slight testimony of our gratitude for the interest you take in our labors and in our successes. These marks of attention, on your part, reverend Father, give us the assurance that, if momentarily you remain remote from your dear Indians, your heart nevertheless sighs continually towards our poor and isolated children of the wild solitude.
You are aware that this mission was, during several years, in the hands of the Presbyterians. They were obliged to abandon it in 1845. Those gentlemen were forced to come to this resolution by the Indians themselves, who were fully determined never to adopt the doctrine of Calvin. In the course of the same year, Major Harvey, superintendent of the Indian tribes, having assembled in Council the different tribes of the Osage nation, exposed to them, in the liveliest colors, the advantage of a good education; he added, that if such should prove their will, their Great Father (The President), would send missionaries to instruct their children. At this proposition the Great Chief replied, in the name of the Council:
"Our Great Father is very kind: he loves his red-skinned children. Hear what we have to say on this subject. We do not wish any more such missionaries as we have had during several years, for they never did us any good. Send them to the whites; perhaps they may succeed better with them. If our Great Father desires that we have missionaries, you will tell him to send us Black-gowns who will teach us to pray to the Great Spirit in the French manner. Although several years have elapsed since they have visited us, we always remember this visit with gratitude, and we shall be ever ready to receive them among us, and listen to their preaching."
The superintendent, a just and liberal man, wished only the welfare of the Indians. Although a Protestant, he communicated this reply to the Government, and supported and confirmed it with his own remarks and observations. In pursuance with his advice, the President had recourse to the Superiors of our Society, requesting them to assume the charge of this mission.
At first the Father Provincial offered some objections, knowing that no one had yet been able to succeed in ameliorating the condition of this people, under the double relation of spiritual and temporal. In the interval, the Indians were in the most painful uncertainty, not knowing whether the "Great Father" would grant or refuse them their petition. But they were soon satisfied; our Society accepted the mission.
In the autumn of 1846, the Reverend F. Schoenmakers quitted St. Louis to go to the Osages, with the intention of returning, after having examined the state of affairs, the houses, etc. He came back to St. Louis in midwinter, and his second departure was retarded until the following spring.
After Father Schoenmakers had left them, the poor Indians counted the days and the hours until spring, at which time he promised to return to them; but they waited in vain. The year glided past; they lost all hope of seeing him again. Nevertheless, they were resolved to accept none but Catholic missionaries.
When all our preparations were completed, Father Schoenmakers, myself, and three coadjutor brothers, quitted St. Louis on the 7th of April, 1849, and we arrived on the bank of he Neosho, a tributary of the Arkansas situated about 130 miles from Westport, frontier town of the state of Missouri.
To you, my dear Father, who have many time traversed the great wilderness of the West, in its whole extent, from the States to the Pacific, who have traveled over the Rocky Mountains and their valleys--our pains, troubles and fatigues must appear truly insignificant. But this trial was very severe to us, who were entering, for the first time, into the immense prairies of the Indians, which we had only measured according to the deceptive images of our imagination. Truly, the reality appeared to us very different. We endured hunger, thirst, and cold. For a fortnight we were obliged to pass our nights in the open air, in the dampest season of the year, each having naught for a bed but a buffalo-hide and a single blanket.
About 100 miles from Westport we had a panic. Arrived at a place named "Walnut Grove" we perceived, in the distance, a large troop of mounted Indians, who turned directly toward us. Unaccustomed to such slights, we were seized with great anxiety, which soon changed to genuine fright; for we saw those savages, on approaching us, alight from their horses with extraordinary agility. At once they took possession of our carts and wagons, which we fancied destined to pillage. They examined our chest and our baggage as minutely and coolly as old custom-house officers. Happily we recovered from our fright. We presented them some rolls of tobacco. They shook hands with us in token of friendship. Soon after we lost sight of them, congratulating ourselves at having escaped at so trifling an expense. An idea, however, occupied us; they might repent of their benevolence toward us, and attack us and steal our horses during the night. We consequently left the ordinary route and went and camped far in the plain. These Indians, as we learned later, belonged to the nation of Sauks, and had been paying a visit to their allies, the Osages.
On the 28th of April we reached our destination, to the great surprise and delight of the Indians; for, as I have already observed to you, they had resigned the hope of seeing us. It would be impossible to paint you the enthusiasm with which we were received. They considered us as men whom the Great Spirit had sent to teach them the good news of salvation; to trace out to them, also, earthly peace and plenty.
At the first sight of these savages, and finding myself surrounded by these children of the desert, I could not suppress the pain I felt. I saw their sad condition. The adults had only a slight covering over the middle of their body; the little children, even as old as six or seven years, were wholly destitute of clothing. Half serious, half jesting, I thought that a truly savage portion of the Lord's vineyard had been given to me to cultivate; but I did not lose courage. The object of my desires, and the subject of my prayers, during many long years, had been to become a missionary to the Indians. That grace was obtained, I felt contented and happy.
On our arrival, we found the houses unfinished, very inconvenient, and much too small for the great number of children; they were also very badly situated, not being, as they should have been, in the center of all the villages which compose the mission. From this resulted an increase in the number and difficulties of our occupation.
The population of the tribes (comprised under the name of Great Osages and Little Osages), is nearly 5,000 souls, of whom 3,500 reside on the banks of the Neosho; and others on the Verdigris, a little river smaller than the former, although the valleys and prairies that it waters are more favorable to culture.
The Osages who remain on the banks of the Neosho are divided into several villages. The Little Osages form a population of 1,500 souls and are twenty-two miles from the mission. The village of Nanze-Waspe contains six hundred inhabitants, at a distance of twelve miles; the village of Big Chief is composed of three hundred souls, four miles; the Weichaka-Ougrin, of five hundred, three miles; Little Town numbers three hundred inhabitants and is thirty miles distant; Big Hill or Passoi-Ougrin, situated on the Verdigris, forty miles off, has a population of six hundred souls; les Cheniers, or Sanze-Ougrin, amount to nearly seven hundred, fifty-five miles; the Black Dog, or Skankla-Sape, village sixty miles off, contains four hundred inhabitants. The two rivers on which they dwell empty into the Arkansas. The lowlands are generally swampy, but the plain of the Neosho is sandy.
To this last reproach, I am grieved to say they have given occasion; they are passionately fond of intoxicating liquors. The effects of this vice had become so terrible, that on our arrival, entire tribes were nearly destroyed. In the spring of 1847, in one village alone, thirty young men, in the prime of life, were victims to strong drink. I have met men, women and children, in a complete state of intoxication, dragging themselves to their wigwams like so many brutes. This spectacle, my dear Father, drew forth many tears and sighs from those who had been selected and sent to labor for the happiness and salvation of those unfortunate beings. It was extremely painful to look at these sons of the wilderness delivered to the enemy of God and man. Thanks to our Lord, the evil was extirpated at its root; the advice of a kind and very worth agent of the government, as well as our own efforts, have succeeded so well that drunkenness had been almost completely banished. Daily prayers are offered that this crime and all miseries which arise in it train, may not appear among us. At present, the Indians themselves comprehend the necessity of temperance. Several among them come frequently to tell me, with great simplicity, that they do not fall into this vice anymore. These savages exhibit in their stoical resolutions, a degree of courage that should excite a blush on the cheek of many a white man.
Those who call them thieves and assassins have calumniated them. Some bands of thieves, going from the north to the south, cross the settlements of the Osages, as well as those of the whites who inhabit the frontiers. It is their trade to steal everything and carry all away, and in such a manner that the Osages have been accused of the thefts. We may say as much of the Pillages committed on the route to Santa Fe.
According to my experience, there are few nations, in this region, as affable and as affectionate as the Osages. Indeed, it may be said that it is natural to them to wish to live in peace and perfect friendship with all whom they know. Peace and harmony reign among them: no harsh words ever escape their tongues, unless when they have drunk to excess. Now they are at peace with all the tribes, except with the Pawnee-Mahas, whose manner of acting towards them would inspire aversion in civilized people as well as in barbarians. Scarcely are the Osages gone to hunt, than the Pawnees, who wait for this moment, fall on their undefended villages, pillage the wigwams and steal the horses. The Osages have frequently made peace with this nation; but the treaties have hardly been ratified ere the prefidious enemy renews its attacks.
I have long, but vainly endeavored to put an end to the cruel mania of taking off the scalps of the dead and wounded. In this project, as in many others, I have been checked by the bad counsels and bad examples of the whites. I should be pleased to be able to tell the savages, with whom I am charged, to imitate the whites, and it would be most agreeable to me to propose them as models of imitation; but my words would be very ineffectual. Here, as formerly in Paraguay, the Indian derives no advantage from the vicinity of the whites; on the contrary he becomes more artful, more deeply plunged in vice, and finding no blasphemous words in his own tongue, curses his God in a foreign language.
To demonstrate to you the evil effects of the proximity of the whites, I will cite you a little anecdote. The fact occurred about a year ago. I was giving instruction in a village named Woichaka-Ougrin, or Cockle-Bird. The subject was intemperance. I spoke of the evil consequences of this passion, of its effects on the health, of the rapidity with which it conducts men to the tomb, or separates them from their wives and children, whom the Great Spirit has entrusted to them. I added that the pleasure attending drinking was extremely short, while the punishment would be eternal. As I was concluding, Shape-shin-kaouk, or The Little Beaver, one of the principal men of the tribe, arose and said to me:
"Father, what thou sayest is true. We believe thy words. We have seen many buried because they loved and drank fire-water. One thing astonishes us. We are ignorant; we are not acquainted with books; we never heard the words of the Great Spirit; but the whites, who know books, who have understanding, and who have heard the commandments of the Great Spirit--why do they drink this fire-water? Why do they sell it to us? Or why do they bring it to us, while they know that God sees them?"
I will now enter into some more particular details concerning our missions and our labors. Immediately after our arrival in the spring of 1847, our first care was to prepare a school. It was opened on the 10th of May. The scholars were not very numerous at the commencement; some half-bloods and three Indians were the only ones that presented themselves. The parents, full of prejudices against a "school" gave for excuse, that the children, who had been confided to the former missionaries, (the Presbyterians), had learned nothing, had been whipped every day, made to work continually, and at last ran away. These reports spread far and wide. The most efficacious correction that a father could employ against a child was to threaten it with being sent to school. I had proofs of this a short time after our arrival. In one of my visits to a village of Little Osages, called Huzetga, having an interpreter with me, I entered the lodge of the first chief. On presenting myself, I offered my hand in token of friendship.
"Who are you," said he to me. "Rapouska, or missionary," was the reply. During some moments he hung his head without uttering a word. Then raising his eyes, he said, in bad humor: "The missionaries never did any good to our nation." The interpreter answered that I did not belong to the class of missionaries that he had seen; that I was a French tapouska, a Black-gown, who had come at their request and at that of their Great Father. Then serenity reappeared on the visage of the chief, and he cried out: "That is good news." He immediately offered me his hand, called his wife, and ordered buffalo soup, wishing to feast my arrival. He proposed several questions relative to the manner in which I would educate the children if they were sent to me; he declared to me that he did not approve of whipping the children; he asked me, in fine, if we would instruct aged persons. When I told him that we came to instruct everybody, to announce the word of God to the whole nation, he expressed much delight and gratitude. As soon as he knew us and learned the object of our visit, his prejudices and his apprehensions vanished.
At my first visits the children would not approach me. I dissipated their fears by giving them cakes or marbles, with which my pockets were always filled. They became familiar, and in a short time they were extremely attached to me. The first who came to school, being very happy, expressed their satisfaction and their delight to their parents praising the care of the Black-gowns in teaching and feeding them. This news spread abroad. Now the children entreat the parents to suffer them to go to the mission; the parents never refuse them, for the Indian is full of indulgence toward his little ones.
Before the close of the year, those who were received and those who desired to be admitted, surpassed the number that we could lodge. We have ever since been crowded. In a house built for twenty persons only, we were obliged to lodge fifty children. In order to take measures, the nation assembled and requested the agent to petition their Great Father to augment and enlarge the house of the mission. The Government acceded to this demand.
The chiefs cannot be too much praised for the good example that they have given to the nation, and the ardent desire that they manifested for the education of their daughters. When they first made me this latter request, I found myself singularly embarrassed for the means of realizing so laudable a project. Father Schoenmakers resolved to interest a kind and fervent community of nuns in the education of the Osage girls. With this intention he went to St. Louis, but he knocked in vain at the door of several convents in the city, for the enterprise frightened everyone. He was not discouraged. At length he succeeded in obtaining the good and charitable Sisters of Loretto, in Kentucky, for the education of the girls of this remote mission. In the autumn of the year 1847, four Sisters arrived to share our labors. Their sufferings, their trials, and their privations were very great. They were obliged to sleep in the open air. That did not hinder two other Sisters from coming to join them a little after in their heroic enterprise. Their patience, their kindness, their courage, and their perseverance have gained the esteem, affection, and love of everyone. They are succeeding: they have already produced a considerable change, and are doing great good. The talents displayed in the direction of their school, and the rapid progress of the children are admired by all the strangers who visit the community.
In 1807 the Government built its first military post on Osage territory at Fort Osage in the Missouri River. In 1817 Fort Gibson was founded on the Arkansas river. The Osage early became friends and ally of the United States troops on the western frontier and assisted them in many ways in their expeditions against other Indian tribes.
When the great Santa Fe trail across their territory became a mighty highway of wagon commerce, the government for protection of the wagon trains of this highway built Fort Lyon near the mouth of the Walnut river in what is now Barton county, Kansas, and later Fort Larned and Fort Dodge on the same trail. The Osage, because of their sagacity and fidelity were employed as trailers and scouts around these Government posts. Generals Dodge, Sherman, Sheridan, Custer, and Forsyth have each, in public documents, paid tribute to the skill and daring of these Osage scouts, for they always traveled in the lead of the army, protecting it from surprise or ambush on the part of the enemy.
Among the more noted of these Osage scouts were Hard Rope, Little Beaver, Big Wildcat, Tah-Le and Toby Mongrain. A noted example of the prowess of these scouts was the recapture from the Cheyennes and Arapahoes of Mrs. Annie Brewster Morgan and Miss Sarah White, two young Kansas women, in March, 1869. They had been captured in the great raids of August, 1868, of Cheyennes and Arapahoes on the settlers of northwestern Kansas along the Soloman and Saline rivers and their tributaries. It will be remembered that these Indians visited Fort Hays that year and were given ample supplies by the war department sufficient to last them on their home journey. This was on the third of August. The next day they had departed from the fort, and five days later the outrages on the Saline began.
On August 12, 1868, Mrs. Annie Brewster Morgan heard a gun fired in the direction of the garden of her home on the upper White Marsh branch, in Ottawa county, Kansas. Looking out of the cabin door she saw her husband, to whom she had been married but a few months, lying on the ground about the middle of the garden and a band of Indians rushing up to the door. She had no time to escape, and was soon tied on a pony and hurried away, the Indians not stopping to scalp her husband, who was not dead, but unconscious from a shattered leg. On the same day about fifteen miles from the Morgan home the White family was attacked and all were murdered except Sarah, a sixteen-year-old girl.
The Cheyennes hurried the captives away to the south three hundred miles to their home village on the Washita. These women had never met before and knew nothing of each other until they met on their way to the Washita. They were later traded from one chief to another until finally both came into possession of one man. It will be remembered that these outrages led to the winter campaign of 1868-69, inaugurated by the War Department. It was believed that a winter campaign would find all these Indians on their reservations where a just punishment could be meted out, and the whole tribe be made to realize and feel the power of the "mailed hand" of the Government.
Governor Samuel J. Crawford, of Kansas, was invited by General Sheridan and the War Deparment to raise a regiment of Kansas troops to assist in this winter campaign. The Governor complied, and farther, he resigned his office to become colonel of regiment which was known as the 19th Kansas. Among the members of the 19th was young Brewster, the brother of Anna Brewster Morgan, the captive woman. The Kansas regiment, for lack of proper guidance, did not reach Custer's command in time to participate in the battle of Washita but on the evening of that day, as Custer was slowly retreating from the horde of Indians who had rallied from near-by camps and were hanging upon the rear of his army, Colonel Crawford overtook Custer's wagon train and when Custer arrived he was delighted to find himself reinforced and able to withstand farther attack.
Hardly could the troops of the 19th be restrained form opening fire upon the hordes of painted and mounted Arapahoes and Cheyennes that rode in circles around the camp of the now impregnable army. Custer, upon securing his camp and wagon train in a safe position, ordered all hostilities on the part of his troops to cease. Loud were the protests against this order on the part of the men of the 19th, who were more than eager to avenge the outrages committed upon the settlers of their state a few months before. But the general could not be moved, although until pitch dark, the painted warriors of the Washita, continued their wild riding and hurling of insults at the troops, sometimes coming close enough to spit at them and to in various ways demonstrate their venomous hatred of the white enemy.
"I never walked so far to see a circus in my life," said a member of the Kansas troops. But the Kansas boys all lived to thank General Custer for his wisdom and foresight in suspending hostilities. Custer was thinking of white prisoners that he knew somewhere among these Indian tribes that were confronting him. These Indians were mostly Arapohoes whose village was six or seven miles below that of Black Kettle, and they had not been able to get into the main battle of Washita, but had come up later and joined in the pursuit of Custer. Had they been camped with Black Kettle at the time that Custer struck his village it is probable that the entire command would have been annihilated and the story of the massacre of the Little Big Horn, eight years later would never have been written.
Next day Custer succeeded in getting a conference with some of the Arapahoes in which he induced them to repair to Fort Sill where General Sheridan would be met and ample supplies for their winter's rations would be provided.
In searching over the battlefield of the Washita on November 27, four days after the battle, for Major Joe. H. Elliot and his command of fourteen men, who had been separated from Custer in the course of the battle and had not been heard of since, the searchers discovered the dead and mutilated bodies of their comrades some two miles below Black Kettle's village where they had been surrounded and held for two days until their ammunition was expended and the inevitable slaughter had taken place.
On the way back to camp, Doctor Bailey, of Topeka, surgeon of the 19th and member of the searching party, discovered the body of a white woman and a little boy two years old. The woman had been shot in the forehead and the child killed by striking his head against a tree. The mother had a piece of bread concealed in her bosom, as though she had attempted to escape from the camp. The next morning the woman was laid on a blanket on her side and the boy on her arm, and the men ordered to march by to see if possibly someone might identify her.
It was Mrs. R. F. Blinn, captured by the Kiowas, October 9th, with a train going from Lyon to Dodge. Her husband was killed at the same time. The body of the woman and child were taken along, and finally buried in the government cemetery at Fort Arbuckle. On the 2nd of November a number of Mexican traders had been in the Kiowa camp, and she had taken the opportunity to send out a letter by them. It is dated Saturday, November 7, 1868, and reached civilization and her relatives by a circuitous journey several weeks later. The letter follows:
"Kind friends, whoever you may be, I thank you for your kindness to me and my child. You want me to let you know my wishes. If you could only buy us of the Indians with ponies or anything and let me come stay with you, and I would work, and do all I could for you. If it is not too far to their camp and you are not afraid to come I pray that you will try. They tell me, as near as I can understand, they expect traders to come and they will sell us to them. Can you find out by this man and let me know if it is white men? If it is Mexicans, they would sell us into slavery in Mexico. If you can do nothing for me, write to W. T. Harrington, Ottawa, Franklin county Kansas, my father; tell him we are with the Cheyennes, and they say when the white men make peace we can go home. Tell him to write to the Governor of Kansas about it and for them to make peace. Send this to him. We were taken on the 9th of October, on the Arkansas, below Fort Lyon. I cannot tell whether they killed my husband or not. My name is Clara Blinn. My little boy, Willie Blinn, is two years old. Do all you can for me. Write to the peace commissioners to make peace this fall. For our sakes do all you can and God will bless you. If you can let me hear from you again; let me know what you think about it. Write to my father; send him this. Good-by.
It can well be imagined that the discovery of the dead and mutilated troopers and the murdered white woman and child added fuel to the fire of revenge that was already burning in the hearts of the 19th Kansas. But Custer assured them that in getting the Arapahoes and the Kiowas to go to Fort Arbuckle and Fort Sill the ice had been broken for a general peace, and that the white captives among the Cheyennes would be discovered and released.
Arriving at Fort Sill, they found General Sheridan already there, and after several days council with Yellow Robe, chief of the Arapahoes, they were convinced that the Cheyennes who had fled from the battle of the Washita westward had with them the captive women, Mrs. Morgan and Miss White.
Indian messengers from the now peaceful Arapahoes were sent after the runaway Cheyennes to induce them to come in and make peace. After weeks of waiting the peace messengers returned with the statement that the Cheyennes refused to come in or make any overtures of peace whatever. Custer then asked permission of General Sheridan to take fifty men and with the famous California Joe for a guide set out to overtake the Cheyennes, as he believed if he could get in touch with Little Robe and Medicine Arrow, the head Chiefs, he could persuade them to make peace. On his insisting he was allowed to undertake this expedition.
This was one of the most hazardous undertakings ever heard of. It meant that fifty men went out in the midst of winter--the hardest winter ever known in the southwest--to intercept four thousand warlike, angry Cheyennes and make peace with them. What would have been the result had this small body of men overtaken the Cheyenne village, one shudders to conjecture. But Providence, or the sagacity of the Indian in eluding his pursuers, no doubt saved General Custer and his command in the expedition. When they arrived at the point in the Wichita mountains where the Arapahoes said they would find the Cheyenne village, no trace of it could be found. After two weeks scouting over the country west of the Wichita mountains, in which they found not trace of the runaway tribe, they found themselves on the point of starvation and a messenger was sent back to Fort Sill to forward a supply train to meet them on their return trip. After resting their starved and worn out horses for two days the command started to return to Fort Sill, meeting the supply train the second day of the return journey.
Great was the disappointment of the Kansas troops at Fort Sill when the expedition returned without result. After two days' rest at the fort, the impetuous Custer again entered General Sheridan's tent and asked permission to make an expedition in force against the Cheyennes.
General Sheridan readily consented, and the expedition was made up as proposed and was on its way in three days. And here is where the sagacity of the Indian in trailing an enemy is shown to be superior to the white man. Going back over the same territory he had traveled under the guidance of California Joe, one of the best white scouts the army ever had, wherein he had found no trace or trail of the Cheyennes, Hard Rope, one of the Osage scouts, picked up a dim Indian trail. It was the trail of the traveaux of a single lodge and was at least a month old. The Osage scouts decided that the trail led southwest while the army was traveling northwest, in which direction the Osage believed the winter camp of the Cheyennes would be found. A council of a few moments between Hard Rope and Little Beaver, who could speak a few words of English and was spokesman for the Osage scouts took place. General Custer was told that in their judgment the trail led southwest, but that the village would be found to the northwest. They said this trail indicated that the lodge of a single hunter was on its way to join the lodges of other scattered bands of hunters and that it indicated that at the approach of spring the Indians were congregating with the idea of moving northward as soon as the grass was sufficient enough to sustain their ponies.
All day long the army hung on this dim trail, following Hard Rope and Big Wildcat, who were in the lead to pick out of this trackless wilderness a trail over a month old which had been burned over by prairie fire and all trace, to the eye of the white man, absolutely obliterated. " No bloodhound," said General Custer, "could equal these Osage trailers, for it was impossible for us to see any marks or evidence of the trail until pointed out by them. Sometimes it was a broken down weed, sometimes a scant mark where a traveaux pole had raked across a dry buffalo chip, but always there was some evidence which Hard Rope could point out to prove that he was still holding on to it."
Just at sundown of a hard and wearisome day's march and some fifteen miles from where they first encountered this trail they came to a little stream of clear water bordered with a few scattered trees, and in the valley of this stream was the plain evidence of a recent camp ground of several lodges. This camp had not been abandoned over two weeks and sure enough, as the Indians had predicted, the trail from this camp led them northward.
Next morning the order of march was carefully arranged. Hard Rope and Big Wildcat took the trail and led out a half-mile in front, followed by General Custer, Colonel Cook, and the other army bringing up the rear. This was done that the sharp eye of the Indian would always be in the lead and prevent any surprise on the part of the Cheyennes. That day the army passed three distinct camp grounds, showing that the army was traveling three times as fast as had the Cheyennes.
The trail from here became a broad one, over one hundred lodges being the estimate of the Osage. Little Beaver warned General Custer to be on his guard continually, for he said the Cheyenne ponies were weak and could make but a few miles a day, and as the Indians did not suspect they were being followed, the evidence showed they were deliberately moving toward a central point where the entire tribe might be overtaken at any time.
The next day it rained nearly all day but the army made ten and twelve miles. Everything now indicated that the Cheyennes were but a day or two ahead. The army started at daybreak the next morning, Hard Rope and Big Wildcat taking the lead as usual and, while showing no fear of being in this advanced position their precaution was watched with admiration by the commanding general and his army. When they approached an elevation or a hill, one would hold the ponies while the other went forward on foot cautiously crawling to the crest and peering over. If all was clear in front he signaled his companion to bring on the ponies and they would ride forward.
About the middle of the afternoon of this day, Hard Rope, who was making a reconnoisance on foot to the top of a hill, was seen to drop close to the ground and hurry back to this pony which he mounted and came galloping back to General Custer. He said that a large drove of ponies in charge of herders was less than a mile away moving slowly down a little valley. He thought a great camp of Indians was near.
Custer sent Colonel Cook back to have the army close up and to bring forward a body of fifteen troopers for personal protection to follow him. In company with the four Osage scouts and his Cheyenne interpreter Romeo, the General went immediately forward but they found nothing of the horses or Indians in the valley where Hard Rope had seen them. They had gone out of sight around a bend in the valley a mile below. Making for an elevation to the right of the valley to get a better view they saw an Indian's head appear above the hill and in a moment forty or fifty others. Riding a short distance ahead of his small guard, Custer signaled the Indians for a conference. One of them soon rode down to him and told him that Medicine Arrow, the head chief of the Cheyennes, was but a short distance away. Custer sent him on ahead to inform Medicine Arrow of his presence and demanding a conference. This the chief at once granted, coming out to meet him on the way.
Medicine Arrow then invited General Custer to return with him to the village and the General, accompanied by his small body of troopers, rode into what proved to be the main village in which fully four thousand Cheyennes where gathered. Here a conference of an hour or more took place, the white men and Osage scouts keeping a sharp lookout for the white captive women they were sure were in this village.
Custer asked Medicine Arrow to select him a camp ground which the chief did, accompanying Custer to the spot. This camp ground was about three quarters of a mile away, and wholly out of sight of the Cheyenne village--a very suspicious circumstance and with the general was by no means pleased.
After the departure of Medicine Arrow Custer asked the Osage if they had seen anything in the village to indicate that the white women were there. They answered in the negative, but Hard Rope said the women were there.
The general himself was very suspicious. He had with him a Cheyenne Girl named Mo-nah-see-tah, the daughter of Chief Little Rock, who was killed at the battle of Washita and where the girl was made prisoner. He brought her along thinking she might be of service, and he told her he would restore her to her people. She was very bright and had become much attached to the army. Therefore the general believed that she could tell him for certainty if the captive women were in the camp. Telling her whose camp they had overtaken, he asked her if she knew whether or not the white women were in this camp.
Soon the promised delegation of Cheyenne chiefs came into the camp but Medicine Arrow was not among them. He had not said he would come back, but Custer expected him. There were fully a hundred in the party, however, and they partook of the feast spread with great relish and everything passed off pleasantly until it was pointed out to the General that one by one his guests were silently departing. This convinced the General that Hard Rope's statement was right and that the Cheyennes were again running away.
He decided that peaceful overtures were going to fail and that a bold stroke would be the only effective strategy. Therefore, while the trooper's bands were playing, he quietly notified his officers to rally around him one at a time so as to excite no suspicion on the part of the Indians. Meanwhile, the troops were notified to be ready for an emergency at a moment's warning.
When his men had placed themselves in position he indicated to them four chiefs whom they were to seize. As this was done pandemonium broke loose. For a few moments it seemed that a battle was inevitable. The younger men of the Cheyennes, numbering fifty or sixty persons, circled around their captured chiefs flourishing their weapons and demanding their release. Only for the fact that the chiefs themselves ordered their men not to fire, bloodshed would have been inevitable.
Custer's troops, especially the 19th Kansas, were as ready for a fight as were the young Indians, and only the command of the general himself prevented them from shooting into the howling band of Indians began to break away a few at a time when they found the road open for escape. Evidently their impression at first was that they had been trapped and were the victims of treachery. As soon as they had left and quiet was restored, General Custer notified the chiefs that he know of their design to run away and that he also knew that they had in their possession two white women whose immediate release he demanded. He told them that he would hold them hostages for the welfare of these women and that he would continue to hold them until the women were restored and the Cheyennes had made peace and returned to their reservations on the Washita.
The most influential one of them, Little Robe, he sent to bring in Medicine Arrow, telling Little Robe to return with him as he would not again capture or hold him. Medicine Arrow refused to come but sent word back by Little Robe that if Custer would release the other chiefs they would talk about giving up the white women with them, and it was a great relief to Custer to know positively that they were there.
Meanwhile the Cheyenne camp had moved about ten miles down the Sweetwater. General Custer had notified them that if they undertook to move farther he would send the army after them, wisely concluding, however, that it was best to carry on peace negotiations at this distance and thus avoid the friction of too close proximity to the army.
Several days of parleying ensued with no result, when on the 21st day of March, Custer decided to bring things to a crisis by a bold stroke. The son of one of the chiefs who was being held captive had come to see his father, and Custer seized this opportunity to send his ultimatum to Medicine Arrow, which was that unless the women were delivered safe to him by sundown the next day he would hang the three chiefs then in his possession. Early the next morning he began preparations for the hanging, the three prisoners looking on with sad and dejected faces. Plainly they feared the women would not be given up. Great anxiety prevailed throughout the entire camp, for upon the result of this ultimatum hung the lives of three chiefs and the welfare of the two white women and the probability of a terrible battle.
About four o'clock on the afternoon of the 22nd of March, 1869, the look-out at Custer's camp announced a single Indian had come into view on top of a hill in the direction of the Cheyenne camp. He seemed to stop and signal to someone behind him, and soon about twenty horsemen came into sight riding toward General Custer's camp. All eyes were turned on the band of horsemen. Custer took his field glass and stepped forward.
All agreed that it must be so, and their hopes rose high at the prospect of their immediate release. Young Brewster, who had been disarmed and kept under guard by Custer's orders to prevent his killing Cheyennes on sight and precipitating a fight, was now brought forward and allowed to stand by the general as the latter with field glass was viewing the approaching Indians.
"Not yet," said the general. But he told the officers of the 19th Kansas to ride forward and meet them and escort them in. But young Brewster, unable to longer restrain himself, broke away and reached the captive women about the same time the mounted officer did. Taking the taller of the two women in his arms, for she proved to be his sister, he told her the welcome news that here husband was not dead, but was in the hospital at Fort Hays where she would soon meet him.
Then the whole 19th Kansas pressed around General Custer and shook his hand and thanked him for his wisdom and foresight in restraining them from farther bloodshed on the Washita and for the heroic self sacrifice he had personally made to recover the captured relatives of their friends.
The Osage scouts too were thanked by the Kansas boys for the part they had played in the rescue, and the general himself said that to them much of the credit for the success of the expedition was due.
The following beautiful and thrillingly interesting letter of Father Bax is the last that good man ever wrote. In this letter he mentions the scourge of cholera that raged among the Indians. The Father, in the midst of his gentle ministry among the afflicted, was himself stricken and called beyond to his heavenly reward. Just before his death he wrote a short note in which he very briefly mentioned the spreading of the disease and closed with the words: "No one knows who will be the next to go." He was himself numbered with "the next to go."
The appended story of he massacre of Confederate officers by Osage Indians is of even more thrilling interest than the original story of that gruesome tragedy as published in the February Osage. In this, Col. Warner Lewis, of Montgomery City, Missouri, tells of his being the sole survivor of that calamity. It was heretofore believed that not one survived. The editors have appended certain notations with Col. Lewis' version with that of the Osage Indians as they relate the incident.
These two bring our series of sketches up to the close of the Civil War, closing what we for convenience term the second period of Osage history. The third and last period is in many respects a more thrilling story than any yet recounted in this remarkable series. This will begin in the next number of OSAGE.
This third period witnesses the end of the old rule wherein the licensed trader was also the Government Agent, and introduces in its stead the Quaker regime inaugurated under President Grant. It also includes the land controversy in Kansas and the claims of the Joy Railroad Company and the efforts on the part of the citizens of Kansas to oust the Osage from their state. This movement being made before Congress had time to buy the lands from the Indians, almost forced upon the Osage the fraudulent Joy treaty, which was, however prevented by the heroic efforts of Major Isaac T. Gibson, Quaker agent appointed by President Grant.
Nothing astonishes the whites more than the extraordinary progress of our little Osages in the different branches taught them. Such are: reading, writing, arithmetic, geography, needlework, embroidery and drawing for the girls. To these dispositions all join a very decided taste for music, and find great pleasure in singing pious canticles.
They are, besides, very polite, docile, and obedient. As soon as they perceive a white, their first movement is to go and present him the hand. Their sensibility and good dispositions have often alleviated the pain that we experienced when our means would not suffer us to provide for their necessities.
If it happens that one of the Fathers is absent during three or four days, they are on the watch for the moment when he is expected. As soon as they perceive him, which sometimes takes place at a distance of three or four miles, nothing can hinder them from running to meet him, and crying out: "Father, how are you? How do you do?"
The greater number among them are remarkable for truly admirable sentiments of devotion. Hence religion is the most efficacious means for correcting the faults usual at their age. The most powerful rebuke that we can make them is to ask them: "My child, when you were baptized, did you not promise God that you would be good?" Of a considerable number, we may report great progress in the catechism. Forty have made their first communion. These last visit the Blessed Sacrament with as much regularity and devotion as the most fervent among the faithful.
The above, Rev. Father, gives us the highest consolation. Hardly two years since, these little neophytes were running naked in the woods and on the plains, addicted to every kind of vice, and having no knowledge of their creator, nor of the end of their creation. Never has the goodness of God been more manifest to me; never have I seen the divine influence more generally felt and better appreciated; never before this day, have I been so intimately convinced that the Lord offers to all nations, to every family and to each individual, the means of being saved, and of being united to the Holy Church.
What happened to us on the day of our arrival here, serves as a powerful confirmation of this truth. It was reported to us that an Indian had just died in a village about four miles distant. I expressed to my informant the grief this misfortune caused me. He told me that another man, in the same place, was at the point of death. In the hope of arriving in time to baptize him, I set out immediately. Arrived at the place where the Neosho divides into two branches, I found the water so swollen that it was impossible to pass them, and would be so during several days more.
On the fourth day (it was Sunday), a half-blood passed the river on the trunk of a tree to come and hear mass. I questioned him concerning the state of the sick man. He had been in his agony during four days; he had never shown an excellent deportment, and had manifested an earnest desire to see the Blackgown who had come to announce the word of God to his nation. I mounted my horse directly, with some apprehension that my guide might delay my arrival. In this I was mistaken for he reached there more quickly on foot than I on my horse
I found my Indian extremely ill, evidently he was hastening rapidly to eternity. As soon as I entered the lodge he saluted me with joy and affection. I made him comprehend, by means of the interpreter, that I came to speak with him on the Great Spirit, and instruct him in the truth necessary to salvation. "I thank thee, Father. Your words are kind and consoling; my heart is overjoyed that thou hast come." Such were the words he addressed me with a dying voice. I spoke to him of the dispositions requisite for receiving baptism, and told him, among other things, that he must renounce all the bad actions that he might have committed, be contrite for them, and never again do evil, though he might be restored to health; that if he was sincerely disposed to act thus, the Great Spirit would forget all the sins of his past life. "Father," he replied. "I always wished to be good; I never stole; I never became drunk, I have never killed. However, I have offended the Great Spirit. I repeat my desire to please him, so that, if I die, he may have mercy on me ,and grant me the grace of being admitted into his presence." Fatigued with the effort, he had made to speak, he kept silent during several moments: then again opening his eye, he said: "Father, if thou believest me worthy of receiving baptism, thou wilt grant me a great favor and many blessings." Fully satisfied with the lively desire that he manifested, I administered that sacrament to him. Scarcely was the regenerated in the healing waters of the baptism than he expired, and went to enjoy the happiness reserved to the children of he Church.
The consoling death of this Indian was followed by a most distressing scene I had ever witnessed demonstration of sorrow so profound. The men, throwing off that stoical indifference which appears so natural to them, heaved deep sighs and shed torrents of tears, the women, with disheveled hair, shrieked and gave all the signs of despair over which reason cannot predominate. I buried the Indian on the following day in accordance with ritual of the Church. The whole village was present at the ceremony. The assistants witnessed the attention and respect which we pay to the dead with a deep gratitude. From that time forth, we have always assisted the sick in their agony. The time for instructing them is very short, and their ideas concerning religion are more than imperfect: but, on the other side, they have all the simplicity and good will of children, and their dispositions are most consoling.
A few days ago I baptized the oldest man in the nation. Impossible to tell you the impressions I experienced when pouring the holy water over that head, whitened with length of years. Baptism is one of the sacraments of our holy religion that the Indians understand the best and it is the one that they are most desirous in receiving.
Some incidents, that a few would style providential, and others accidental, have contributed much to augment in this tribe faith concerning the efficacy of that sacrament. I will cite but one example.
One eveningIt was during the autumn of 1818an Indian arrived at the Mission. Grief and anxiety were depicted on his face. As soon as he perceived me, he said to me: "Father, come without delay, for my wife is dying. All despair, and I consider her already dead. Thou didst tell us to call thee when anyone was sick or in danger of death. I wish her to learn the words of the Great Spirit before she dies. This is why I come to call thee." I had just arrived from a village called Cairra-Shinka, or Little Village, situated thirty miles from the Mission. I was exhausted with fatigue. But how resist an invitation so pressing, and above all, in a circumstance so grave? After a moment of repose, I set out with the man. Arriving at the village at midnight, I found the lodge filled with women and children, crying and singing the Indian death-song. I besought them to conclude these lugubrious accents, and approached the sick women, extended on a buffalo-hide, and scarcely covered with some tattered blankets. She was unconscious. As she appeared to me not likely to soon return to herself I resolved to remain until morning. An Indian had the kindness to lend me his blanket; I wrapped myself in it and endeavored to take a few hours' rest. But it was vain. I never passed such a miserable night. The women and the children recommenced their frightful clamor; the dogs of the wigwam passed back and forward over me with such steady regularity that it would have been quite impossible to me to count the number of visits. About daylight, the patient began to give some signs of life; but she could not yet speak. As soon as she had recovered her senses entirely, I made her a short exhortation. She appeared attentive, and gave signs of real joy. I baptized her and departed. Two hours after my leaving she was perfectly recovered. She arose, took her infant, and nursed it.
Not long after, I returned to the same village, and found myself immediately surrounded by men, women and children, shouting, unanimously, "Komkai,"we are very glad to see you. This word is used for giving a cordial reception. After recounting to me the fact, and the cure of the sick woman, they brought me twenty-five children to baptize. "Father," they said to me, "we believe thy words. We know that baptism comes from the Great Spirit. We are poor, ignorant people; we cannot read the book that contains the word of the Great Spirit; but thou wilt explain it to us, and we will believe thee." I have had very evident proofs of the sincerity of their good intentions, and of their firm resolutions not to offend God, after having received baptism.
About a month ago I stopped at an Indian wigwam. Its inmates had not been able to go to the chase on account of the illness of their little daughter. Her mother told me that they were suffering with hunger, and that they had not eaten meat for a long time. She added that she had seen a stray ox in the forest, belonging to a white man, and that she would have killed it had she not recalled the promise that she had made at her baptismrather to die than to do that which is sinful that she preferred to die of hunger to offending the Great Spirit; and, that if she had killed the ox, the Great Spirit would no longer have had compassion on her in her misery. This little recital pleased and edified me. I could not refrain from reflecting, that the condition of the world would be widely different did all Christians remember as faithfully and practically their baptismal vow as did this poor Indian woman.
So far we have baptized more than five hundred persons. One hundred adults and children have had the happiness of receiving the sacrament of regeneration before dying. When the Indians are well taught, we have not much to fear in regard to their exemplary conduct. The greatest obstacle for us is in the difficulty that we experience in acquiring their tongue. It contains very few words, and those quite inconvenient for expressing abstract ideas. These people have some confused ideas of a Supreme Being, of the immortality of the soul, of the bliss or of the chastisements of the future life; but these ideas are mingled with material and superstitious notions. The following is an example:
They believe that those whom the Great Spirit admits into his happy abode will there receive an abundance of buffaloes, moose, deer, and corn: that when a person dies, his soul continues to inhabit the place in which it quitted the body; that souls sometimes return from the other world, to take and conduct there other souls. For this reason they fear to travel in the dark, especially when anyone is very ill; they think that then there certainly is some spirit fluttering about in the air. Some of their Vig-kontah (jugglers) pretend, on many occasions, to have the power of chasing this spirit, and of saving the life of the person who is dangerously sick. When there is danger of death, the most superstitious have frequent recourse to these "medicine men," a horse, a mule, or even several must reward these impostors who by this trade had gained, in one spring only, thirty-two horses. Their efforts tend principally to persuading the poor Indians not to call upon us in their maladies. They declare, with the greatest assurance, that they will annul the efficaciousness of our power.
Last spring I went to pay a visit to the Little Osages. The day of my arrival, I baptized three persons, who were dangerously sick; they died the next day. Some days after, a malignant fever broke out, and proved fatal to many. The jugglers attributed the cause of the scourge to my presence, declaring that I annihilated their power over the spirits. It is afflicting, but also somewhat laughable, to see these jugglers endeavoring to drive away the spirits. They make themselves as hideous as possible, equip themselves with all their instruments and weapons, discharge their guns, brandish their clubs and tomahawks, beat the drum, and have recourse, in fine, to whatever can produce a noise in a word, they employ all imaginable tricks to deceive these poor Indians. But their power, which was formerly very great, is beginning to decline. The esteem which the savages had for them is daily diminishing. The Indians are attached to us, principally, say they, because we have no wives and children. "If you had," they say, "you would do like the missionaries (the Presbyterians) who preceded you; you would think too much of your families, and you would neglect the red man and his children."
I often go and visit them in their villages, and I am always received with the greatest civility. A crier precedes me, to announce my approach. When they are all collected in a large wigwam, or beneath the wide-spread branches of some stately tree, I begin my instruction. They listen most attentively. When I have done speaking, the chief rises, and addresses his tribe some words of paternal advice, and repeats what the missionary has said or makes comments on it. One Sunday a chief named Pai-nonpahe, of the Great Hill village on the Verdigris river, came to see his two children , who were boarding with us. A short instruction, which I gave after mass, produced such an impression in his mind, that, when returning home, he said to a half-breed who accompanied him: "I begin now to discover what we must do to be agreeable to the Great Spirit, and to become happy in this life and in the other."
The excellent health enjoyed by our children at the mission school greatly astonishes the parents. Indeed, thus far, sickness has been unknown among them; not one of them has died since we have been here. This contributes much to augment the confidence which the Indians feel towards us, and dissipates all their fears during the season of the great hunts, in which they are obliged to remove from us for several months.
When the frightful ravages caused by the cholera along the river Kansas, at Westport, and in other places, were known here, the Osages, panic-struck, immediately resolved to go and seek safety in the plains. Some desired to conduct their children with them; but the majority opposed it, in the firm persuasion that they would be in security under the care of the Black-gowns, and protected by the Son of God and his Holy Mother. They, therefore, retired to the plains, and left their children with us. They had been but a short time in their new abode when the cholera declared itself in the most terrible manner, and carried off a great number. Perceiving their error in having fled from the mission, they hastened to return, and encamp, as they said, quite near the kind Fathers. The consequently hastened with such precipitation that they made no provision and traveled day and night. In proportion as they reached their own lands the scourge diminished. The last case of death occurred at fifteen miles from the mission.
The greatest difficulties we encounter arise from the half-bloods, almost all of French origin. They have nothing of the Catholic but baptism, and an inviolable attachment to their creed, of which, for want of instruction, they know almost nothing, and they practice still less. They have, again and again, proved to the Protestant ministers that their efforts to make them change their religion were absolutely useless.
Another obstacle for us is the mode of life that the Indians are obliged to lead, in order to procure the provisions that are necessary for their subsistence. They commonly pass six months of the year in the chase, which forces them to remove from us, and exposes the morality of those who would wish to live as exemplary Christians, to great temptations and dangers. I hope that this state of affairs will change; for many are already convinced that they cannot long rely on the game; and that they should have already commenced cultivating the grounds, had they but the means necessary.
A deputation of the nation, composed of the principal chief, of five warriors, and an interpreter, went to pay a visit to the "Great Father." President Taylor received them with the greatest kindness, and encouraged them to commence cultivating their lands. I cannot express to you the gratitude that I experience when I think of the truly paternal care lavished on my dear savages by their "Great Father" and by all officers employed in the Indian department. The savages have been greatly flattered by it. I am fully convinced that great good will result from it.
This, Rev. Father, is but an imperfect sketch of the state of our mission, in which we hope to gather many fruits of salvation, if it please God that we remain in it. Pecuniary difficulties have placed, and still place us in very critical positions; but, Rev. Father, the assistance that we sometimes receive from the Propagation of the Faith, from some generous hearts and friends of the Indians, relieves us. We hope in divine providence for all and in all. "God is faithful." Commend us to the prayers of your pious congregation, and of your kind community in St. Louis.
The February number of OSAGE contained a thrilling story of a terrible human tragedythe massacre in 1863 of a party of Confederate officers by a band of Osage Indians at a point on the Verdigris river about eighteen miles north of the Kansas-Oklahoma line.
In that account of the supposed utter annihilation of the party of twenty-two Confederates it was stated that all of the Indians who took part in it are dead and that the inherent reticence of the Indian to talk concerning any encounter with whites had sealed their lips while living, so that there was but the ghost of a chance that any additional information would ever be secured.
But Fate sometimes weaves her web with slender threads. That story in the February OSAGE fell into the hands of Mr. G. G. Lewis of El Reno, editor of the El Reno American, and he printed a part of it. The father of Editor Lewis lives at Montgomery City, Missouri, and he in turn read the partial story in the American.
The gruesome narrative seemed strangely familiar to the elder Lewis, a gray-haired Confederate colonel, and he secured a copy of the February OSAGE. As he surmised, the story was that of the most terrible chapter from his own life, but contained certain inaccuracies and surmises that he wishes corrected. He is the sole survivor of that awful slaughter with its more awful and savage aftermath.
In the February OSAGE, it is stated that the bodies of twenty Confederate officers were found by the Federal soldiers who visited the scene immediately after the Indians had sent them the news of the slaughter. There was an indication that possibly two white men escaped, as there were tracks of two leading away from the place where the last stand was made down to the water's edge. But it seemed impossible that these two had escaped drowning or death in the wilderness.
In May, 1863, an expedition was organized on the western border of Jasper county, Missouri, under command of Colonel Charles Harrison, who had been commissioned by Major General Holmes* to proceed to New Mexico and Colorado for the purpose of recruiting into the Confederate service the men who had fled there from Missouri and other states, to avoid being drafted into the Federal armyof whom there was then supposed to be a large number, anxious to make their way into companies, regiments and brigadesand as soon as this was done to drop down into western Texas and then unite with the main army. The plan appeared feasible, though very hazardous; so much so that many of those who had at first volunteered, finally refused to go.
Colonel Harrison appeared to be the man above all others to lead such an undertaking, since his entire life had been spent upon the western plains, and he had been a protégé of the celebrated Indian fighter, General Kit Carson. He was tall, athletic, and almost as brown as an Indian, of whose blood he was said to have a mixture. He knew no fear, and he staggered at no hardships. On the early morning of the 22nd day of May, 1863, the mules were packed with rations for the men, rank and file. The starting point was Center creek where it crosses the line of the state in Jasper county. The route pursued was westward over the trackless prairie in the Indian Territory about 15 or 20 miles south of and parallel with the Kansas state line.** There was no human habitation to be seen and no living person discoverable, and no incident worthy of note until the afternoon of the second day. After crossing a ravine fringed with brush and small timber, we halted on an eminence just beyond for rest and rations; our animals were tethered to grass or left to roam at will, whilst we were resting under the shade of some scattering oaks, inapprehensive of danger.
We had begun saddling up to renew our journey when we discovered a body of men coming on our trail at full gallop. By the time we were all mounted they were in hailing distance, and proved to be a body of about 150 Indian warriors.*** To avoid a conflict we moved off at a brisk walk, and they followed us. We had not gone far until some of them fired and killed one of our men, Douglas Huffman. We then charged them vigorously and drove them back for some distance. My horse was killed in this charge, and I was severely wounded in the shoulder with an arrow. I mounted the mule from which Huffman was killed. The Indians kept gathering strength from others coming up. We had a running fight for eight or ten miles, frequently hurling back their advance onto the main body or with loss.**** Our horses were becoming exhausted, so we concluded to halt in the bed of a small stream that lay across our path, to give them rest. The Indians here got all around us at gunshot range, and kept up an incessant fire. We had only side arms and pistols and were out of range. Here Frank Roberts was shot through the head and fell from his horse. I immediately dismounted the mule and mounted Roberts' horse. This incident was the saving of my life. Colonel B. H. Woodson of Springfield, Missouri, preferred this mule to his horse, and mounted it. When our horses were rested, we made a dash for liberty. On ascending the bank of the stream, the saddle of Captain Park McLure of St. Louis slipped back and turned, and he fell into the hands of the savages.***** Col. Harrison was shot in the face and was captured. Rule Pickeral had his arm broken.
We broke the cordon as we dashed out, but from now on the race was even and our ranks much reduced. It was about two miles to the Verdigris river. When we were in about two hundred yards of the timber, Woodson was caught. I tried to get the men to halt and give them a fire so as to let him get into the timber but did not succeed. We could not cross the stream with our horses, owing to the steepness of the banks on both sides. I went down to get a drink and heard the Indians coming to the bank below us. John Rafferty stood on the bank above me, and I said to him, "Follow me." He obeyed. We made our way up the stream under cover of the bank for about half a mile, and noticing some fishing poles and some fresh tracks, and hearing the barking of dogs on the other side of the stream, we concluded it safest to secrete ourselves in some dense bushes near the prairie until the darkness of the night came on.
We had just escaped a cruel death from savages. We were without food and about eighty miles from a place where relief could be obtained. We were without animals to ride, and our journey lay through a trackless prairie beset by hostile Indians.
We dared not attempt to travel by day, for fear of being discovered by roving bands of Indians and put to death. By accident I lost my boots in the Verdigris river, so we took it "turn about" in wearing Rafferty's shoes, and used our clothing to protect our feet when not wearing the shoes.
We concealed ourselves by day and traveled at night, with only the sky for our covering and the stars for our guide. Just before we reached the Neosho river we frightened a wild turkey from her nest, and secured nine eggs in an advanced stage of incubation. Rafferty's dainty appetite refused them, but I ate one with relish and undertook to save the rest for more pressing need.
We found the Neosho river not fordable, and Rafferty could not swim, so we constructed a rude raft with two uneven logs and bark. I put the eggs in the shoes, and the shoes between the logs, and undertook to spar Rafferty across the river. When we got midway of the river, Rafferty became frightened, tilted the raft, and we lost both the shoes and the eggs. On the morning after the second night the Missouri line appeared in sight, and we nerved ourselves for the final struggle. We reached the neighborhood from which we had started about 11 o'clock footsore, wounded and half dead. The good women concealed us in the brush, and there fed us and nursed our sores until we were strengthened and healed. Rafferty was soon after killed, so that I, only, of the eighteen men who entered upon that fatal expedition, survived the war.
On the 28th day of May, 1863, Major Thomas R. Livingstone made a report to General Price from Diamond Grove, Missouri, in which he said, among other things: "A party of 16 men under command of a so-called Colonel Harrison were attacked and killed by Indians upon the Verdigris river west of Missouri, while on their way to the West," etc. A few days after the above tragedy an account was published in the Fort Scott paper in which it was stated that sixteen men were killed by Indians, and their heads cut off and piled up on the prairie.
Continuing his letter, with which Col. Lewis accompanied his story as above given, the writer makes a suggestion that may find a response in the generous hearts of those in position to grant the request. He says:
"It would be a generous recognition of the heroism of this band of gallant soldiers if the owners of the ground containing their bones, would dedicate it to me as a perpetual remembrance of their deeds, and the only survivor to give a true history of the tragedy."
*Col. Lewis corrects the OSAGE statement that these commissions were issued by Gen. Kirby Smith. Also he discredits all theories and rumors as to the real object of this party of commissioned officers, as he declares they had no intention of inciting Indians to warfare, and, he writes, "We had not been marauding in Missouri nor elsewhere, but many of our party were connected with the most reputable families of Missouri." He entirely discredits the theory that the party were endeavoring to escape the war and make their way into Mexico.
***The February OSAGE story says that a small party of Indians first saw the Confederates and inquired of them as to who they were and what was their mission, the Confederates claiming to be Union troops. The Indians sought to force the party of whites to go with them to the Federal post for identification and that on refusal to comply an altercation arose and one Indian was killed. The Indians then fled to their village, secured a large party of warriors and followed the part of whites to its annihilation. This Col. Lewis specifically denies, and in a letter to the Editors says: "We did not see a living soul before the fight began."
*****Gra-tah-moie, an Osage medicine man, then a young warrior eighteen years old, said that in the running fight before the last stand was made, he knocked one of the white me from his horse by a death blow with an Osage mace. This was probably Captain McLure.
Probably the most important question before the people of Osage county, regardless of whether the citizen is or is not a member of the Osage Indian tribe, is the removal of restrictions and the elimination of all conditions that tend to cloud the land titles or in any way hinder transactions in real estate.
And this question, so vital in the Osage country, is of scarcely less interest throughout the state, so closely knit together are her various interests. Particularly in the oil districts are the statistics herewith given of particular significance.
Previous transactions by Congress relating to this question have not always been quite clear of understanding, and those Congressional enactments that did seem clear to our citizens have received unfortunate interpretationor misinterpretation by the government, leaving much business in a chaotic state.
But the Department of the Interior places a different interpretation on this enactment and refuses to pay over the money without further Act of Congress. This refusal leaves many citizens in debt with judgments and costs piling up against their real estate and clouding titles that would otherwise be clear.
Many of these judgments are not valid but they are a bar to free and untrammeled trade, and they compel the land owner to incur extra expense in granting title. Invariably they are compelled to accept less for their land. All of this could be avoided by paying over to each individual his or her portion of the trust fund, with the certificate of competency, thereby protecting the land which is the most valuable part of their possessions.
The question of allotting the mineral rights is leading to still more complication of real estate titles in Osage county. Some of our eminent attorneys are endeavoring to secure to the allottees the mineral that belongs to their allotments. These attorneys are drawing contracts that bind the allottee to give them ten per cent of all mineral that may be found on their allotments. Of course, to make these contracts valid against real estate, they have to be put on record, and when so recorded they become a cloud on the title to the land to be reckoned with.
Some may look lightly upon these contracts, but when certificates of competency have been granted, these contracts will hold against the land, and the passing of title to a third party will not vitiate them, for the attorneys can claim that suits are pending to procure the mineral rights with the surface rights. A client cannot withdraw from or compromise a suit in Oklahoma without the approval of his attorney. Therefore a purchaser of such land will find that he has bought something with a string to it.
We are also opposed to the allotment of the mineralafter the surface has been allotted with the understanding that the mineral would be communal. It would be robbing the many for the benefit of the few. The following table has been prepared to show who would be benefited by such an allotment. It is not necessary to say who would be robbed. The remainder of the tribe would hold the sack.
|All 't No. No. of Wells.||No. Barrels. Full Bloods Marked with "+"|
|2142||1||Gra-scah||Lot 2, Sec. 15-27-12||25.65+|
|1518||14||Lee Martin||SW1/4 Sec. 15-27-12||359.17|
|1841||1||Nora Rogers||E1/2 SE1/4 Sec. 16-27-12||25.65|
|1518||9||Lee Martin||NW1/4 Sec. 22-27-12||230.90|
|2151||6||Heirs Amos Swain||E1/2 NE1/4 Sec. 21-27-12||153.93|
|1328||2||Ellen Hildebrand||W1/2 SE1/4 Sec. 21-27-12||51.30|
|1841||2||Nora Rogers||W1/2 SW1/4 Sec. 22-27-12||51.30|
|2151||3||Heirs Amos Swain||N1/2 SE ¼ Sec. 21-27-12||76.95|
|1336||4||Letitia Hildebrand||S1/2 SE1/4 Sec. 21-27-12||102.62|
|2066||1||Louis F. Wilkie||SW1/4 NE1/4 Sec. 29-27-12||25.65|
|2066||1||Louis F. Wilkie||NE1/4 except SW of NE, Sec. 29-27-12||25.65|
|2066||4||Louis F. Wilkie||E1/2 SE1/4 Sec. 29-27-12||102.62|
|2065||6||Heirs Arnold Wilkie||W1/2 SE1/4 & E1/2 SW1/4 Sec. 29-27-12||153.93|
|2065||1||Heirs Arnold Wilkie||SW1/4 SE1/4 Sec. 28-27-12||25.65|
|1335||1||Heirs Rosa H. Swain||NE1/4 SW1/4 Sec. 28-27-12||25.65|
|1340||6||Heirs Ruby Hildebrand||W1/2 NE1/4 Sec. 32-27-12||253.18|
|2065||7||Heirs Arnold Wilkie||W1/2 SE1/4 Sec. 32-27-12||391.60|
|1936||1||John Tayrien||E1/2 NW1/4 Sec. 5-26-12||53.37|
|1920||3||Geo. L. Wilkie||NW1/4 Sec. 3-26-12||****|
|1310||1||Willie Haynie||W1/2 NE1/4 Sec. 9-26-12||****|
|1311||1||John C. Haynie||S1/2 NE1/4 Sec. 9-26-12||****|
|1309||5||Mary Haynie||Lots 3 & 4, Sec. 10-26-12||35.50|
|1951||3||Andrew Tayrian||E1/2 SE1/4 Sec. 9-26-12||21.30|
|1960||12||Rena Toothacher, nee Beggs||Lots 1 & 2 and SW1/4 NW1/4|
|1525||2||Claude Martin||Lots 3 & 4, Sec. 15-26-12||****|
|1960||2||Rena Toothacher, nee Beggs||W1/2 SW1/2 Sec. 15-26-12||****|
|1958||6||Cyprian Tayrien||SE1/4 Sec. 16-26-12||****|
|1936||4||John Tayrien||NW1/4 N1/4 Sec. 21-26-12||58.30|
|1937||1||Mary L. Tayrien||NE1/4 NW1/4 Sec 21-26-12||14.58|
|1030||10||Nelson Carr||SW 1/4 Sec 22-26-12||91.76|
|1030||1||Nelson Carr||NW1/4 NW1/4 Sec. 27-26-12||9.18|
|1742||1||Charles Revard||NE1/4 SW1/4 Sec. 30-26-12||12.00|
|1749||2||Francis Revard||S1/2 SE1/4 Sec. 30-26-12||24.00|
|2034||8||Elsie L. Voils||NW1/4 Sec. 34-26-12||71.48|
|1029||1||Roy B. Burton||N1/2 NW1/4 Sec. 33-26-12||8.94|
|1965||9||Agnes Thomas||S1/2 NE1/4 & S1/2 NW1/4 33-26-12||80.41|
|2033||15||Kathleen M. Voils||Lot 4 & W1/2 SW1/4 Sec. 34-26-12||354.11|
|1966||2||Maggie C. Thomas||SE ¼ & SW1/4 Sec. 33-26-12||36.00|
|2033||1||Kathleen M. Voils||N1/2 NW1/4 Sec 3-25-12||6.69|
|901||5||John D. Aikin, Jr.||NE1/4 Sec. 4-25-12||34.66|
|1923||3||Addison L. Swanson||S1/ SE1/4 Sec. 4-25-12||****|
|1925||2||Joseph N. Swanson||B. NE1/4 Sec. 9-25-12||****|
|2056||3||Merritt J. Wheeler||Lot 4 & W1/2 SW1/4 Sec. 10-25-12||20.03|
|2056||11||Merritt J. Wheeler||Lot 1 & NW1/4 NW1/4 Sec. 15-25-12||154.28|
|2154||9||Louise Wheeler||Lot 2 & SW1/4 NW1/4 Sec. 15-25-12||126.23|
|1889||2||Gertrude Soderstrom||SE 15 A in NE1/4 Sec. 16-25-12||28.05|
|1890||6||Alta A. Dickey||NE1/4 exc. 15 A Sec. 16-25-12||84.15|
|1889||2||Gertrude Soderstrom||N1/2 SE1/4 Sec. 16-25-12||107.70|
|2154||19||Louise Wheeler||SW ¼ Frac. Exc. 20 A Sec.15-25-12||1023.19|
|2057||2||Geneva Wheeler||W1/2 SW1/4 SW1/4 Sec. 15-25-12||107.70|
|1937||3||Mary L. Tayrien||S1/2 SE1/4 SE1/4 Sec. 16-25-12||161.56|
|1627||4||Heirs John Pappin||N1/2 SE1/4 SE1/4 Sec. 16-25-12||215.40|
|2123||3||Hanna N. Soderstrom||E1/2 SW1/4 SE1/4 Sec. 16-25-12||161.56|
|1080||19||Jessie M. Clem||NW1/4 Frac. Sec. 22-25-12||1442.40|
|899||12||Heirs James B. Adkins||NE1/4 Frac. Sec. 21-25-12||910.98|
|1080||13||Jessie M. Clem||SW1/4 Frac. Sec. 22-25-12||798.78|
|1094||11||Woodie Conner||SE1/4 Frac. Sec. 21-25-12||675,04|
|878||1||Lizzie Alberty||NE1/4 Sec. 28-25-12||****|
|1657||1||Gurney Miles||Lot 4 Sec. 34-25-12||****|
|2132||2||Gladys Tayrien||W1/2 SW1/2 Sec. 34-25-12||****|
|1028||15||Polly Buxbaum Horn||Lots 3 & 4, & E1/2 NE1/2 Sec. 3-24-12||260.60|
|1028||2||Polly Buxbaum Horn||NE1/4 SW1/4 Sec. 3-24-12||48.18|
|2201||5||Alta J. Doolin||Lot 6 & S1/2 SW1/4 Sec. 3-24-12||120.41|
|1837||16||Granville Rogers||E1/2 NW1/4 & Lots 1 & 2 Sec. 15-24-12||466.50|
|1837||4||Granville Rogers||Lot 3. Sec. 15-24-12||78.60|
|1639||5||Mary E. Palmer||Lot 4, Sec. 15-24-12||98.25|
|1636||1||John F. Palmer||NE1/4 NE1/4 SW1/4 Sec. 15-24-12||19.65|
|2171||2||Martha M. Palmer||S1/2 NE1/4 SW1/4 Sec. 15-24-12||39.30|
|1638||2||Mable Palmer||E1/2 SE1/4 SW1/4 Sec. 15-24-12||39.30|
|1640||3||Clementine Palmer||W1/2 SW1/4 SW1/4 Sec. 15-24-12||58.95|
|1502||7||Mary I. Mathews||W1/2 SW1/4 Sec. 15-24-12||137.55|
|1778||5||Iode Revard||SW1/4 Sec. 18-24-12||98.25|
|1637||1||Martha Palmer||NW1/4 NE1/4 SW1/4 Sec. 15-24-12||19.65|
|1639||6||Mary E. Palmer||Lot 1, Sec. 22-24-12||144.54|
|1501||5||John Mathews||N1/ NW1/4 Sec. 22-24-12||120.45|
|2090||14||Andrew W. Siggins||S1/2 NW1/4 & Lot 2 Sec. 22-24-12||337.26|
|1782||7||Cleo Revard||W1/2 NW1/4 Sec 19-24-12||168.63|
|1779||3||Opal A. Revard||E1/2 NW1/4 Sec 19-24-12||72.27|
|1117||2||Laura Cunningham||S1/2 NE1/4 Sec. 19-24-12||48.18|
|2090||24||Andrew W. Siggins||SW1/4 & Lots 3 & 4 Sec. 22-24-12||201.62|
|1416||12||Frank Labadie||SW1/4 Sec. 19-24-12||288.94|
|1534||3||Emma McGath||SE1/4 Sec. 19-24-12||72.23|
|773||14||Hlu-ah-to-me||Lot 1 & N1/2 NW1/4 Sec. 27-24-12||196.01+|
|1079||8||James J. Clem||Lot 2 & S1/2 NW1/4 Sec. 27-24-12||112.00|
|1534||12||Emma McGath||NW1/4 Sec. 30-24-12||168.00|
|1535||3||John W. McGath||E1/2 & NW1/4 NE1/4 Sec. 30-24-12||42.00|
|1916||1||Alice Stobaugh||S1/2 NW1/4 Sec. 29-24-12||14.00|
|1079||10||James. J. Clem||N1/2 SW1/4 Sec. 27-24-12||331.10|
|1498||3||Bertha M. Mackey||SE1/4 SW1/4 exc. NE1/4 Sec. 27-24-12||99.33|
|1751||1||Emanuel M. Revard||NW1/4 SW1/4 SW1/4 Sec. 27-24-12||33.11|
|1116||1||Heirs Bertha M. Cross||SW1/4 SW1/4 SW1/4 Sec. 27-24-12||33.11|
|1724||4||Ethel Reece||SW1/4 SE1/4 Sec. 30-24-12||132.44|
|921||3||Paul C. Barber||SW1/4 Sec. 30-24-12||33.11|
|E. 1-3 Lot 67|
|1116||2||Heirs Bertha M. Cross||N1/2 NW1/4 NW1/4 Sec. 34-24-12||104.70|
|1710||1||Henry Prue||S1/2 NW1/4 NW1/4 Sec. 34-24-12||52.35|
|1496||5||John F. Lynn||NW1/4 ex. NW1/4 Sec. 34-24-12||261.75|
|1713||1||Chas. F. Prue||NE1/4 Sec. 34-24-12||52.35|
|W. 2-3 Lot 67|
|2219||21/2||Amy Murply||SW1/4 Nw1/4 Sec. 32-24-12||449.25|
|2063||1/1/2||Susan Wheeler||S1/2 SE1/4 NE1/4 Sec. 31-24-12||269.55|
|1724||13||Ethel Reece||N1/2 SE ¼ NW1/4 Sec. 31-24-12||2336.08|
|1723||4||Hallie Reece||SW1/4 NW1/4 Sec. 31-24-12||718.80|
|1474||16||George F. Lombard||SW1/4 Sec. 31-24-12||1241.76|
|1716||5||Anna B. Prue||E1/2 SW1/4 Sec. 33 & NW1/4 SW1/4 Sec.||388.05|
|923||2||Harry Baylis||W1/2 SE1/4 Sec. 31-24-12||155.22|
|2063||5||Susan Wheeler||E1/2 SE1/4 Sec. 31-24-12||388.05|
|2219||8||Amy Murphy||SW1/4 Sec. 32-24-12||620.88|
|1505||2||Sarah J. Mathews||W1/2 SE ¼ Sec. 32-24-12||155.22|
|1497||2||Secilia E. Mackey||E1/2 SE1/4 Sec. 32-24-12||232.83|
|2184||5||Clifford R. Perrier||NE1/4 Sec. 6-23-12||1273.13|
|325||6||Hun-tsa-moie||Lots 3, 4 & 5, Sec. 5-23-12||1527.76+|
|1102||2||Lula Collins||Lot 1, Sec. 5-23-12||509.26|
|995||1||Mary J. Brown||W1/2 NW1/4 Sec. 8-23-12||26.65|
|2184||5||Clifford R. Perrier||SW1/4 NE1/4 Sec. 8-23-12||133.23|
|2184||2||Clifford R. Perrier||NW1/4 SE1/4 Sec. 8-23-12||505.93|
|905||6||Ida Barber||SW1/4 SE1/4 SE1/4 SW1/4 Sec. 8-23-12||1517.80|
|1379||2||Jessie James||W1/2 SW1/4 Sec. 8-23-12||505.93|
|1674||3||Elizabeth Perkins||NE1/4 NE1/4 Sec. 17-23-12||1246.84|
|1468||4||Irene Lombard||N1/2 & SE1/4 NW1/4 Sec. 17-23-12||1662.46|
|1472||2||Nina Lombard||S1/2 NE1/4 Sec. 17-23-12||831.23|
|1473||5||John Lombard||NW1/4 NE1/4 Sec. 17-23-12||2078.07|
|W. ½ Lot 74|
|1472||4||Nina Lombard||Part of N1/2 SE1/4 Sec. 17-23-12||1359.71|
|1528||8||Lenora McCarty||SW1/4 SE1/4 S1/2 NE1/4 SW1/4 17-23-12||2719.41|
|1531||1||Edna McCarty||SE1/4 SE1/4 S3c. 18-23-12||339.93|
|E. ½ Lot 74|
|1472||5||Nina Lombard||Part of N1/2 SE ¼ Sec. 17-23-12||512.84|
|1528||2||Lenora McCarty||Part of SW1/4 SE1/4 Sec. 17-23-12||205.13|
|408||1||Allen Webb||W1/2 NE1/4 Sec. 20-23-12||459.19+|
|1325||4||Rosa Hewitt||NW1/4 Sec. 20-23-12||1836.76|
|1465||1||Coanie M. Liese||E1/2 NE1/4 Sec. 19-23-12||459.19|
|1473||1||John Lombard||SE1/4 Sec. 20-23-12||42.66|
|1994||1||Tom Tinker||Lot 4 Sec. 3-21-12||39.35|
|1994||10||Tom Tinker||Lots 5 & 6, & SW1/4 Sec 3-21-12||393.46|
|1775||4||McGuire N. Revard||Lot 1 & N1/2 Sec. 10-21-12||157.38|
|1391||3||Albert A. Kennedy||NE1/4 Sec. 4-21-12||74.53|
|1391||1||Albert A. Kennedy||N1/2 SE1/4 Sec. 4-20-12||24.84|
|1390||2||Mable Kennedy||E1/2 NE1/4 SW1/4 Sec. 4-20-12||48.16|
|1642||1||Marion H. Pease||S1/2 SW1/4 Sec. 4-20-12||24.84|
|1642||3||Marion H. Pease||S1/2 SW1/4 Sec. 5-20-12||74.53|
|1641||1||Minnie A. Pease||SW1/4 Sec. 9-20-12||47.10|
|1387||1||Thelma Kennedy||E1/2 NW1/4 Sec. 16-20-12||47.10|
|1388||7||Cordelia A. Kennedy||W1/2 NW1/4 Sec. 16-20-12||329.68|
|1384||1||Agnes Kennedy||N1/2 NE1/4 Sec. 27-20-12||****|
|503||2||Charles Brave||SW1/4 Sec. 14-23-12||33.49+|
|1803||6||Louis Rogers||NE1/4 Sec. 14-23-12||89.53|
|1805||3||Louis T. Rogers, Jr.||S1/2 & NW1/4 NE1/4 Sec. 11-23-11||258.11|
|1843||4||Lewis A. Rogers||NE1/4 SE1/4 Sec. 36-24-11||44.97|
|1843||2||Lewis A. Rogers||E1/2 NE1/4 Sec. 36-24-11||115.75|
|1215||2||Martha Dunham||E1/2 NE1/4 Sec. 35-24-11||115.75|
|1046||10||William Callahan||N1/2 SE1/4 & S1/2 SW1/4 25-24-11||848.89|
|1046||12||William Callahan||S1/ NE1/4 & S1/2 NW1/4 25-24-11||740.48|
|1417||3||G. V. Labadie||N1/2 NE1/4 Sec. 25-24-11||184.87|
|1439||4||Martha Leahy||NE1/4 SE1/4 Sec. 24-24-11||96.31|
|2087||6||Sallie H. Hooper||NW1/4 SE1/4 & NE1/4 SW1/4 24-24-11||144.47|
|17||2||To-sho-ho||NW1/4 SW1/4 Sec. 24-24-11||48.15+|
|524||3||Russel Warrior||S1/2 SE1/4 Sec. 24-24-11||72.24+|
|1430||4||Martha Leahy||SE1/4 NE1/4 Sec. 24-24-11||190.40|
|1325||7||Rosa Hewitt||SW1/4 & NE1/4 NE1/4 Sec. 24-24-11||333.22|
|2088||3||Elnora J. Wyrick||NW1/4 NE1/4 & SE1/4 NW1/4 24-24-11||142.81|
|17||2||To-sho-ho||SW1/4 NW1/4 Sec. 24-24-11||95.21+|
|1865||1||Heirs Julia Ann Scott||NW1/4 NW1/4 Sec. 24-24-11||47.60|
|1076||1||John R. Clem||W1/2 NW1/4 Sec. 222-24-11||****|
|1865||1||Heirs Julia Ann Scott||W1/2 SW1/4 Sec. 13-24-11||55.80|
|2986||2||Adah M. York||SE1/4 SW1/4 & SW1/4 SE1/4 12-24-11||111.61|
|2218||11||Lillian M. Jones||N1/2 SE1/4 SE1/4 Sec. 13-24-11||111.61|
|1076||3||John E. Elem||S1/2 SW1/4 Sec. 15-24-11||167.41|
|2218||7||Lillian M. Jones||NE1/4 Sec. 13-24-11||269.90|
|1874||1||Susan Simpson||NW1/4 Sec. 13-24-11||38.56|
|1332||4||David Hildebrand||½ SW1/4 Sec. 15-26-11||****|
|1297||4||Rosalie Hampton||NW1/4 SW1/4 Sec. 34-27-11||47.61|
|1315||1||Mary E. Slaughter Harri||NW1/4 NW1/4 Sec. 22-29-11||1.71|
|1315||7||Mary E. Slaughter Harri||SW1/4 SW1/4 Sec. 15-29-11||11.98|
|1177||6||Clement DeNoya, Jr.||E1/2 SW1/4 Sec. 15-29-11||10.27|
|1219||1||Leo B. Easley||N1/2 NE1/4 Sec. 17-29-11||18.38|
|1220||2||John W. Easley||N1/2 NW1/4 Sec. 16-29-11||36.75|
|1831||1||Cecilia Rogers||NE1/4 Sec. 16-29-11||18.38|
|1705||11||James L. Potter||SE1/4 Sec. 16-29-11||202.17|
|1705||2||James L. Potter||NE1/4 NE1/4 Sec. 21-29-11||36.76|
|1106||1||Geneva M. Conness||SE1/4 NE1/4 Sec. 21-29-11||18.38|
|402||1||E-gro-tah||W1/2 NE1/4 Sec. 21-29-11||18.38+|
|1032||10||Gertrude C. Rutter||SE1/4 NE1/4 Sec. 33-27-11||44.40|
|1071||2||Henry Chouteau||SE1/4 Sec. 33-27-11||11.30|
|1310||2||Willie Haynie||SW1/4 Sec. 4-26-11||25.89|
|1311||1||John C. Haynie||E1/2 SE1/4 Sec. 5-26-11||19.25|
|251||2||He-he-kin-to-op-pe(Mary June)||NW1/4 NW1/4 Sec. 16-26-11||18.73|
|1341||2||Joseph Hildebrand||E1/2 NE1/4 Sec. 21-26-11||24.37|
|1383||2||James F. Jones||S1/2 & NE1/4 SE1/4 Sec. 2026-11||20.32|
|1383||1||James F. Jones||E1/2 NW1/4 Sec.33-26-11||11.04|
|255||1||Richard Kenny||W1/2 NW1/4 Sec. 33-26-11||11.04|
|539||1||Beh-gah-hah-she (Brave)||NE1/4 Sec. 16-24-11||48.90+|
|539||4||Beh-gah-hah-she(Brave)||E1/2 SE1/4 Sec. 16-24-11||160.23+|
|1187||8||James C. Deal||E1/2 NE1/4 Sec. 21-24-11||639.66|
|2089||2||Clara Siggins||NW1/4 NE1/4 Sec. 28-24-11||40.83|
|1419||3||John Labadie||E1/2 NW1/4 Sec. 28-24-11||61.24|
|2090||2||Andrew W. Siggines||NE1/4 SW1/4 Sec. 28-24-11||56.09|
|2089||1||Clara Siggins||SE1/4 SW1/4 Sec. 28-24-11||28.04|
|1272||1||S. J. Gilmore||N1/2 NE1/4 Sec. 31-24-11||37.12|
|1074||1||William L. Clem||N1/2 SW1/4 Sec. 5-23-11||40.35|
|2204||3||Robert M. Hunt, Jr.||SW1/4 Sec. 12-27-10||****|
|1405||2||Rita Labadie||S1/2 NW1/4 Sec. 13-27-10||****|
|2204||6||Robert M. Hunt, Jr.||N1/2 NE1/4 Sec. 14-27-10||136.31|
|1401||1||Charles Labadie||SE1/4 Sec. 23-27-10||48.06|
|1035||1||Charles E. Carpenter||SE1/4 Sec. 24-27-10||36.03|
|1033||2||Mary E. Carpenter||E1/2 SW1/4 Sec. 24-27-10||72.07|
|1401||2||Charles Labadie||SW1/4 SW1/4 Sec. 24-27-10||72.07|
|1405||1||Nita Labadie||E1/2 NE1/4 Sec. 26-27-10||48.06|
|1415||3||Charles W. Labadie||E1/2 SE1/4 Sec. 36-27-10||48.19|
|929||1||Anna Bellieu||SW1/4 exc. 30 A. in SW cor. 27-27-10||****|
|1414||1||Robert E. Labadie||SE1/4 & E1/2 SW1/4 Sec. 35-27-10||****|
|581||1||Heirs Cerena June||NE1/4 Sec. 29-25-10||****+|
|577||3||Heirs Hlu-ah-to-me||SW1/4 Sec. 1-24-10||****+|
|234||4||Mon-shon-tsa-e-tah||SE1/4 Sec. 2-24-10||21.77+|
|1621||3||Lester Pappan||E1/2 NE1/4 Sec. 11-24-10||32.70|
|1816||3||Mary E. Rogers||S1/2 SE1/4 Sec. 11-24-10||60.17|
|531||5||Che-sho-shin-kah (Henry Red Eagle)||SW1/4 Sec. 12-24-10||220.85+|
|532||2||Rosa Red Eagle||NW1/4 Sec. 12-24-10||88.34+|
|536||1||Louis Red Eagle||W1/2 SW1/4 Sec. 13-24-10||****+|
|1820||4||Eldred T. Rogers||SE1/4 Sec. 14-24-10||35.07|
|1819||6||Coaina Rogers||N1/2 NE1/4 Sec. 23-24-10||243.47|
|1805||1||Louis T. Rogers, Jr.||E1/2 SW1/4 Sec. 23-24-10||40.58|
|1834||1||Helen C. Rogers||SW1/4 SE1/4 Sec. 23-24-10||40.58|
|1294||5||Orel Hardy||E1/2 NW1/4 & W1/2 NE1/4 26-24-10||174.75|
|671||2||Hun-kah-she||S1/2 NW1/4 Sec. 30-24-10||36.37+|
|1814||2||John R. Rogers||SE1/2 NE1/4 Sec. 25-24-9||36.37|
|1811||1||Heirs Minerva Rogers||SE1/4 Sec. 25-24-9||18.19|
|1140||2||Eliza Dennisen||E1/2 SW1/4 Sec. 20-21-9||18.42|
|1218||7||Emerine Hanelson||SW1/4 SW1/4 Sec. 20-21-9||64.45|
|71||2||Me-heh(Margret Little)||NW1/4 SW1/4 Sec. 20-21-9||18.42+|
|70||3||Hum-pah-to-kah||NW1/4 Sec. 29-21-9||40.35+|
|70||4||Hum-pah-to-kah||E1/2 NE1/4 Sec. 30-21-9||67.56+|
The royalty from oil for November, 1909, amounts to about 50,248.50 barrels. Of this amount, if royalty had been individualized during November, 1909, only 168 or 7.5% of the tribe would have received any royalty, and of this number 148 Mixed Bloods would have 47,088.41 barrels, or 93.7% of the entire royalty and 20 Full Bloods the remainder, amounting to only 3,160.49 barrels, or 6.3%. Of the Mixed Bloods, 24 receiving 10,453.55 barrels have white husbands, and 31 receiving 7,569.34 barrels are minors having white fathers, making a total of 18,022.89 barrels, or nearly 36% of the total royalty controlled by the white men, and this does not take into account the lands that have been or may be sold under certificates of competency.
The royal for November, 1909, amounted to 22.53 barrels per capita to the entire tribe, and it will be noted that from the above schedule that of the 168 who would receive royalty, if the mineral rights went with the surface of the land, that 32 would receive less than they do at present.
It is not generally known that the Osage entered into a treaty with the Confederate government, but the following from the records in the possession of the Oklahoma Historical Society is authentic. It will be noticed that the Little Osage did not join in the treaty, but provision was made for them to do so later, but they never accepted the proposition. Pah-hu-scah signed, together with all his sub-chiefs, but never went South, and later he allied his band with the Union troops at Ft. Scott; while Little Bear, chief of the Little Osage, joined the 9th Kansas Infantry, which was mounted for a part of the time and is known in the records both as infantry and as cavalry. The only bands of Osage that joined the Confederate army were Black Dog's band and the Grah-moie band under Big Chief.
The Confederate government violated its part of the treaty in its failure to comply with its promises. The following excerpt from a letter of S. S. Scott, commissioner to the Indian tribes to the Secretary of War at Richmond, under date of January 12, 1863, fully explains the feelings of the Osage:
"In the month of August of that year (1862), information from sources entitled to credit was communicated to the Confederate government of a nature calculated to excite some apprehensions on its part with regard to the permanency of its relations with certain of the Indian tribes. Regarding the conditions and feelings of small tribes located in the northeast corner of the Indian countryOsages, Quapaws, Senecas and Seneca Shawneesbut little is known. Their country, exposed to invasion by the Kansas desperadoes, has been under the control of the North almost from the date of their having entered into treaties with this government. On account of this, 150 families of the Great Osages left their homes long ago and took refuge with the Creeks. Three of the leading men of theseBlack Dog and two othersvisited me at Fort Smith on the line of Arkansas and the Indian country. They seemed to believe that the majority of the Osages were still true and loyal, although fear kept them from making any decided manifestation of it. They assure me that no acts of hostility had been perpetrated upon the Confederate States. The other bands had sided with the enemy."
Articles of a Convention entered into and concluded at Park Hill, in the Cherokee Nation, on the second day of October, A. D., one thousand eight hundred and sixty-one, between the Confederate States of America, by Albert Pike, their commissioner, with full powers, appointed by the President, by virtue of an Act of the Congress in that behalf, of the one part, and the Great Osage tribe of Indians, by its chiefs and head men, who have signed these articles of the other part.
ARTICLE I. The Great Osage tribe of Indians, and all the persons thereof do hereby place themselves under the laws and protection of the Confederate States of America, in peace and war, forever and agree to be true and loyal to them under all circumstances.
ART. II. The Confederate States of America do hereby promis and firmly engage themselves to be, during all time, the friends and protectors of the Great Osage tribe of Indians, and to defend and secure them in the the enjoyment of all their rights; and that they will not allow them henceforward to be in any wise troubled or mokested by any power or people, state or person whatever.
ART. III. The Confederate States of America do hereby assure and guarantee to the Great and Little Osage tribes of Indians the exclusive and undisturbed possession, use and occupancy during all time, as long as grass shall grow and water run, of the country heretofore secured to them by treaty with the United States of America, and which is described in the treaty of the second day of June, A. D. one thousand eight hundred and twenty-five, as being bounded thus, that is to say: Beginning at a point due east of White Hair's village, and twenty-five miles west of the western boundary line of the State of Missouri, fronting on a north and south line, so as to leave ten miles north and forty miles south of the point of said beginning, and extending west, with a width of fifty miles, to the western boundary of the lands ceded and relinquished by said nations by that treaty, which lands shall not be sold or ceded by the said tribes, nor shall any part thereof, to any nation or people, except to the Confederate States, or any individuals whatever; and the same shall vest in the Confederate States in case the said tribes become extinct or abandon the same.
ART. IV. The right is hereby reserved by the Confederate States to select, in any unoccupied part of said country, a tract of two sections of land, as a reserve and site for an agency for the said tribes, which shall revert to the said tribes whenever it shall cease to be occupied by an agency.
ART. V. The Confederate States shall have the right to establish in the said country such forts and military posts as they may deem necessary, and shall have the right to select for each such fort or post a tract of land one mile square, on which such fort or post shall be established: Provided, That is any person or persons have any improvements on any tract so selected, the value of such improvements shall be paid by the Government to the owner thereof.
ART. VI. No person shall be permitted to settle or reside upon the agency reserve when it shall have been selected except by the permission of the agency nor upon any reserve for a fort or military post, except by the permission of the commanding officer; any such reserve, for the agency or the forts or military posts, shall be within the sole and exclusive jurisdiction of the Confederate States.
ART. VII. The Confederate States shall forever have the right of free navigation of all navigable streams and water courses within or running through the country hereby assured and guaranteed to said tribes.
ART. VIII. The Confederate States hereby guarantee that the country hereby secured to the said Great and Little Osages shall never be included within the bounds of any state or territory, nor shall any of the laws of any state or territory ever be extended over or put into force within any part of the said country and the President of the Confederate States will cause the said tribes to be protected against all molestations or disturbance at the hands of any other tribe or nation of Indians, or any other person whatever; and shall have the same care and superintendence over them as was theretofore had by the President of the United States.
ART. IX. The members of the said Great and Little Osage tribes of Indians shall have the right henceforward of hunting and killing game in all unoccupied country west of the possessions of the Cherokees, Seminoles, Choctaws and Chickasaws, without molestation from any quarter, being, while engaged therein, under the protection of the Confederate States.
ART. X. There shall be perpetual peace and brotherhood between the Great and Little Osage tribes of Indians and the Cherokees, Mus-ko-kis, Seminole, Choctaws, and Chickasaws, and the bands of Wichitas, Cado-Ha-da-chos, Ta-hua-ca-ros, A-na-dag-cos, Ton-ca-wes, Ki-chais, Ai-o-nais, Shawnees, and Delawares living in the country leased from the Choctaws and Chickasaws, and the Pen-e-tegh-ca, No-co-ni, Ta-ne-iweh, Ya-pa-ri-ca, and Co-cho-tih-ca bands of the Ne-um or Comanches; and every injury and act of hostility which either has heretofore sustained or met with at the hands of the others shall be forgiven and forgotten.
ART. XI. The Great and Little Osage tribes of Indians and the several other nations, tribes, and bands shall henceforth be good neighbors to each other, and there shall be a free and friendly intercourse among them. And it is hereby agreed by the said Great Osage tribe, that the horses, cattle, and other stock and property of each nation, tribe, or band, and of every person of such, is his or its own; and that no person belonging to the Great Osage tribe shall, or will hereafter kill, take away, or injure any such property of another tribe or band, or of any other tribe or band, or in any other way do them harm.
ART. XII. Especially shall there be perpetual peace and friendship between said Great Osage tribe and the Cherokees, Mus-ko-kis, Seminoles, Choctaws and Chickasaws, and the chiefs and headmen of the said Great Osage tribe shall do all in their power to take and restore any Negroes, horses, or other property stolen from white men, or from persons belonging to either of said five nations, and to catch and give up any person among them who may kill or steal, or do any other evil act.
ART. XIII. In order that the friendship now established between the said Great Osage tribe of Indians and the Confederate States and the other Indian Nations, tribe and bands aforesaid, may not be interrupted by the misconduct of individuals, it is hereby agreed that if injury is done by individuals, no private revenge or retaliation shall take place, but instead thereof complaint shall be made by the said Great Osage tribe of Indians, when any individual thereof is injured, to the agent of the Confederate States for the Osages and other tribes, who shall investigate the complaint, and, if he finds it well founded, shall report the same to the superintendent, who will cause the wrong to be redressed, and the person or persons doing the wrong to be arrested, whether he be a white man or an Indians; and he shall be tried for the same agreeably to the laws of the Confederate States or of the State or Territory against which he may have offended, and be punished in the same manner and with the same severity as if the injury had been done to a white man. And it is also agreed that if any member of the Great Osage tribe shall do any injury to property of any white man or of any member of any other Indian nation or tribe under the protections of the Confederate States, the offender shall be given up to the agent, the wrong shall be redressed by him, and the offender be tried for the offense agreeably to the laws of the Confederate States, or of the state, territory or nation against which he may have offended; provided, that he shall be punished in no other manner nor with any greater severity than a citizen of the Confederate States, or of such state, territory or nation would be, if he had committed the same offense.
ART. XIV. It is hereby further agreed that the chiefs of the Great Osage tribe shall use every exertion in their power to recover any horses or other property that may be stolen from any citizen of the Confederate States or from any member of any other Indian tribe under the protection of the Confederate States by any person whatever, and when found within the limits of their country; and the property so recovered shall be forthwith delivered to the owner or to the agent to be restored to him. If in any case the right to the property claimed is contested by the person in possession, the agent shall summarily investigate the case, and upon hearing the testimony of witness, shall decide the right to the property, and order it to be retained or delivered up accordingly. Either party may appeal from his decision to the superintendent, whose decision shall be final in all cases, the property, in the meantime, remaining in the custody of the agent. If in any case the exertions of the chiefs to cause the restoration of stolen property prove ineffectual, and the agent is satisfied from the testimony that it was actually stolen by any person belonging to the Great Osage tribe, he shall so report to the superintendent, with a copy of the testimony; which shall for that purpose always be reduced to writing; and the superintendent shall, if satisfied from the testimony, deduct from the annuity of the tribe a sum equal to the value of the property stolen.
ART. XV. The Confederate States hereby guarantee full and fair payment to the owner of the actual and fair value of all horses and other property stolen from any person or persons belonging to the Great Osage tribe, by any citizen of the Confederate States, or by any Indian of any other nation or tribe under their protection, in case the same cannot be recovered, and upon sufficient proof being made before the superintendent or any agent of the Confederate State for any of such nations or tribes that such property was actually stolen by a citizen or citizens of the Confederate States, or by an Indian or Indians of tribes under their protection.
ART. XVI. An agent for the Great and Little Osage tribes, the Quapaws, Senecas, and Seneca and Shawnees shall be appointed by the President, and an interpreter for the Great and Little tribes of the Osages, for their protection and that their complaints may be heard by and their wants made known to the President. The agenty shall reside continually in the country of one or the other of said tribes or bands, and the interpreter shall reside among either the Great or the Little Osages; and neither of them shall ever be absent from their posts, except by the permission of the superintendent.
ART. XVII. None of the braves of the Great Osage tribe shall go upon the war path, against any enemy, whatever, except with the consent of the agent, or unless it be to pursue hostile bands of white men or Indians entering their country and committing murder, robbery or other outrage when immediate pursuit is necessary; nor shall hold any talks or councils with any white men or Indians without his knowledge or consent. And they especially agree to attend no councils or talks in the country of any people, or with the officers or agents of any people, with whom the Confederate States are at war; and in case they do so, all the benefits secured to them by this treaty shall immediately and forever cease.
ART. XVIII. The Confederate States shall not permit any improper person to reside or be in the Great or Little Osage country, but only such persons as are employed by them, their officers or agents, and traders licensed by them, who shall sell to the Osages and buy from them, at fair prices; under such regulations as the President shall make from time to time.
ART. XIX. To steal a horse or any other article of property from a white man or an Indian not at war with the Confederate States shall always be regarded as disgraceful, an the chiefs of the Osages will dicountenance and prevent it by every means in their power. For if they should not there never could be any permanent peace.
ART. XX. The Confederate States wish the Osages to settle upon and cultivate their land, build houses, dig wells, and by industry become enabled to support themselves; and in order to encourage and assist them, and because of the chattels and articles promised to the Great Osages and Little Osages, by the treaty of the eleventh day of January, A. D. one thousand eight hundred and thirty-nine, a considerable portion never was furnished them, to-wit: 1,200 XXX, 700 plows, 700 sets of horse gear, 800 axes and 800 hoes, the Confederate States agree to give them 1,200 breeding hogs, 50 yoke of oxen with ox wagons, horse gear, plows, yokes, axes, spades and hoes, and other useful implements, to the value of $15,000, at the first ??? in the place in the Confederate States where the same shall be purchased. Of which stock 900 hogs, 40 yoke of oxen, and such implements as aforesaid to the value of $11,000 shall be given to the Great Osages, and the residue to the Little Osages if any unite in this treaty. But such stock and implements shall only be issued from time to time and to such persons as shall be reported by the agent to the superintendent to be engaged or ready to engage in farming, and who will take care of and profitably use the same, and be benefited by them, and not sell, waste, or destroy the same, upon which reports, and so only the superintendent shall cause the issue to such persons only of so much of said stock and so many of said implements as he would be entitled to upon a distribution of all per capita; and it shall be the duty of the chief and of the agent to see that what is so issued is not destroyed or wasted; and if waste or destruction can in no otherwise be prevented, to reclaim the same and issue them elsewhere.
ART. XXI. The Confederate States also agree to build and put in running order a grist and saw mill, at some suitable point in the Osage country, and to employ a miller for each mill for the term of nine years from the date of this treaty and an assistant to each for the same time, the latter to be selected from the Osage Nation, and each of them to receive $225 per annum as his compensation; and each miller shall be furnished with a dwelling place; this article being agreed to by the Confederate States because the mill supplied by the United States, under the treaty of the year one thousand eight hundred and thrity-nine, was burned down after being in operation only six years.
ART. XXII. The Confederate States also agree that the agent for the Osages shall be authorized to employ, for and during the term of ten years from the signing of this treaty, ten agricultural and other laborers, to assist the Great and Little Osages in opening and preparing for cultivation their fields, and building their houses, who shall be, at all times, under the control and direction of the agent.
ART. XXIII. For the same purpose the Confederate States will also provide, furnish and support for a during the term of twenty years from the date of this treaty, for the Great Osages upon and after the ratification of this treaty, and for the Little Osages when they shall become parties to this treaty, to each a blacksmith and an assistant, who shall be one of their own people, and for each, annually a sufficient supply of coal, with 500 pounds of iron and 50 pounds of steel to the blacksmith for the Great Osages, and 250 pounds of iron and 25 pounds of steel to the blacksmith for the Little Osages, that their farming utensils, tools and arms may be reasonably repaired; and also one wagon-maker for each; and will furnish each smith and wagon-maker with the necessary tools and with a shop, and the wagon-maker with the necessary wood and other materials from time to time.
ART. XXV. The Confederate States also agrees to furnish each warrior of the said Great Osage nation, who has not a gun, with a good rifle and a supply of powder and lead and percussion caps or flints as soon as it may be found practicable. The arms and ammunition are never to be given away, sold or exchanged and the chiefs will punish anyone who so disposes of either; and the Confederate States will severely punish any trader or other white man who may purchase either from them.
ART. XXVI. No state or territory shall ever pass laws for the government of the Osage people; and except so far as the laws of the Confederate States are in force in their country; they shall be left free to govern themselves, and to punish offenses committed by one of themselves against the person or property of another. Provided, That if one of them kills another without good cause or justification, he shall suffer death, but only by the sentence of the chiefs, and after a fair trial, all private revenge being strictly forbidden.
ART. XXVII. Every white man who marries a woman of the Osages, and resides in the Osage country, shall be deemed and taken, even after the death of his wife, to be an Osage and a member of the tribe in which he resides, so far as to be subject to the laws of the tribe in respect to all offenses committed in its country against the person or property of another member of the tribe, and as not to be considered a white man committing such offenses against the person or property of an Indian, within the meaning of the Acts of Congress of the Confederate States. All Negroes and mulattoes, bond or free, committing any such offense in said country shall, in like manner, be subject to the laws of the tribe.
ART. XXVIII. The Confederate States shall have the right to establish, open and maintain such military and other roads through any part of the Osage country as the President may deem necessary, without making any compensation for the right of way, or for the land, timber, or stone used in construction the same; but if any other property of the tribe, or any other property or improvements of an individual, be used or injured therein, just and adequate compensation shall be made.
ART. XXIX. The Confederate States may grant the right of way for any railroad through any part of the said country but the company to which any such right of way may be granted shall pay the tribe therefore such sum as shall, in the opinion of the President, be its fair value; and shall also pay to individuals all damages done by the building of said road to their improvements or other property to such amount in each case as commissioners appointed by the President shall determine.
ART. XXX. The agents of the Confederate States for the Osages and other bands shall prevent all intrusions by hunters and others upon the lands of the Osages, and permit no white men or other Indians to settle thereon, and shall remove all such persons, calling, if necessary, upon the military power for aid, and the commanders of military posts in that country shall be required to afford them such aid upon his requisition.
ART. XXXII. The Great and Little Osages may allow persons of any other tribe of Indians to settle among them, and may receive from them, for their own benefit, compensation for such lands as they may sell or assign to such persons.
ART. XXXIII. No citizen or inhabitant of the Confederate States, or member of any friendly nation or tribe of Indians shall pasture stock on the lands of the Osages; but all such persons shall have full liberty, at all times, and whether for business or pleasure, peaceably to travel in their country, on the roads or elsewhere, to drive their stock through the same, and to halt such reasonable time on the way as may be necessary to recruit the stock, such delay being in good faith for that purpose and for no other.
ART. XXXIV. Any person duly charged with a criminal offense against the laws of the Confederate States, or of any state or territory, or of any Indian nation or tribe under the protection of the Confederate States, escaping into the Osage country, shall be promptly taken up and delivered by the chiefs of the Osages on the demand of the proper authority of the Confederate States, or of the state or territory, nation or tribe within whose jurisdiction the offense shall be alleged to have been committed.
ART. XXXV. In addition to the laws of the Confederate States expressly applying to the Indian country, so much of their laws as provides for the punishment of crimes amounting to felony at common law or statutes against these laws, authority, or treaties, and over which the courts of the Confederate States have jurisdiction, including the counterfeiting of the coin of the United States or of the Confederate States, or the uttering of such counterfeit coin or securities; and so much of the said law as provides for punishing violations of the neutrality laws, and resistance to the process of the Confederate States and all Acts of the Provisional Congress providing for the common welfare, as far as the same are not locally inapplicable and the laws providing for the capture and delivery of fugitive slaves shall be in force in the Osage country; and the district court for the Chalaki district when established, shall have exclusive jurisdiction to try, condemn, and punish offenders against those laws, to adjudge and pronounce sentence, and cause execution thereof to be done.
ART. XXXVI. Whenever any person who is a member of the Great or Little Osage tribe shall be indicted for any offense in any court of the Confederate States, or in a state court, he shall be entitled as of common right to subpoena and, if necessary, to compulsory process for all such witnesses in his behalf that his counsel may think material for his defense; and the costs of process for such witnesses, and of the service thereof, and fees and mileage of such witnesses shall be paid by the Confederate States, and whenever the accused is not able to employ counsel the courts shall assign him one experienced counsel for his defense, who shall be paid by the Confederate States a reasonable compensation for his services, to be fixed by the court and paid upon the certificate of the judge.
ART. XXXVII. It is hereby declared and agreed that the institution of slavery in the said Great and Little Osage tribe is legal, and has existed since time immemorial; that slaves are personal property; that the title to slaves and other property having its origin in the said tribes is to be determined by the laws and customs thereof; and that the slaves and personal property of every person domiciled in the country of the said tribes shall pass and be distributed at his or her death in accordance with the laws, usages, and customs of the said tribes, which may be proved by oral evidence, and shall everywhere be held valid and binding within the scope of their operations. And if any slaves escape from any of the said tribes, the laws of the Confederate States for the capture and delivery of fugitive slaves shall apply to such cases, whether they escape into a state or territory or into any Indian nation or tribe under the protection of the Confederate States; the obligation upon such state, territory, nation or tribe to deliver up the same being in every case as complete as if they had escaped from a state, and the mode of procedure the same.
ART. XXXVIII. In consideration of the loyalty of the Great Osage tribe and of their readiness to place themselves under the protection of the Confederate States, and of theri poverty, and of the great losses in horses and other property sustained by them at the hands of lawless persons for many years, the Confederate States do hereby agree to expend for the benefit of the Great and Little Osage tribes, for the full term of twenty years from the date of this treaty, the sum of $15,000 annually, of which sum $5,000 per annum shall be added to the interest on the school fund of the nation, hereinafter provided for, and $10,000 shall be divided fairly in each year, after the Little Osage tribe shall have united in this convention, between the two tribes in proportion to the number of souls in each; and the sum of $10,000 shall, in each year, be applied to the superintendent to the purchase of such articles of clothing, household goods, utensils, blankets and other articles as shall tend to the comfort of the Osages and encourage them in their endeavors to improve, and which articles the agent shall distribute among them in the same manner and nearly as possible as money would be distributed per capita: Provided, That in the distribution, any person may be excluded by him if reported by the chiefs to be worthless, idle, dissolute, or a bad and mischievous person, and that he may do the same upon his own knowledge taking care, as far as may be, that only the good and worthy shall be the recipients of the bounty of the Government of the Confederate States.
ART. XXXIX. It is hereby agreed and ascertained that by the sixth articles of the treaty with the Great and Little Osages, of the second day of June, A. D. one thousand eight hundred and twenty-five, it was agreed that from the lands ceded and relinquished by the Osages by the treaty, a reservation should be made of fifty-four tracts of land a mile square each, to be laid off under the direction of the President of the United States and sold for the purpose of raising a fund to be applied to the support of schools for the education of the Osage children, in such manner as the President might deem advisable for the attainment of that end; that fifty-four sections of land were accordingly selected and afterward sold, and the proceeds of the same amounted to $31.724.02, which sum remains invested as follows, that is to say:
And as it will be useless for the Osages hereafter to expect anything from the justice of the United States, and the Confederate States do not desire that they should hereafter look to that quarter for any moneys, it is therefore further agreed that the Confederate States will hereafter pay annually, on the first day of January in each year, perpetually, commencing with the year one thousand eight hundred and sixty-two, for the benefit of the Great and Little Osages tribes, the sum of $1,903.44, being the annual interest on said sums of money so as aforesaid in U. S. stocks and stock of the state of Missouri, at the rate of 6 per cent per annum, and will look to the state of Missouri for the payment of the principal and interest of said sum of $7,000, as invested in stocks of that state, to which sum shall be annually added, on the same day, commencing with the same year, the sum of $5,000, part of the annuity provided for in the thirty-ninth article of this treaty, and the whole shall be applied by the agent to the support and maintenance of the Osage manual labor school, now in operation at the mission on the Neosho river, as the said interest has heretofore been applied.
ART. XL. A tract of land of the quantity of two sections, or two tracts of one section each, to be selected by the agent of the Confederate States for the Osages and other tribes, and in which or one of which the present site of the mission and its buildings is to be included, is hereby forever dedicated to the use of the Osage manual labor school, to be under the exclusive control of those who have charge of that institution, and for its exclusive use; and not to be sold or disposed of, or applied to any other use or purpose whatsoever.
ART. XLI. All just claims and demands against the United States, of the Great Osage tribe, or of any individual or individuals thereof, not herein specified arising or due under former treaties with the United States, are hereby assumed, and shall, after the restoration of peace, be investigated by the President, and, so far as they are found to be just, shall be paid in full by the Confederate States; and all provisions of the several treaties with the United States, made by the Osages, under which any rights or privileges were secured to the Great Osage tribe, or to any individual or individuals of the same, and the place whereof is not supplied by any provision of this treaty, and the same not being obsolete or no longer necessary, and so far as they are not annulled, repealed, changed, or modified by subsequent treaties or statutes, or are not so by this treaty, are hereby continued in force as if the same had been made with the Confederate States.
ART. XLII. A general amnesty of all past offenses against the laws of the United States or of the Confederate States, committed before the signing of this treaty, by any member of the Great Osage tribe, as such membership is defined by this treaty, is hereby declared; and all such persons, if any, charged with any such offense shall receive from the President full and free pardon, and if imprisoned or held to bail, before or after conviction, shall be discharged.
ART. XLIII. The Confederate States of America hereby tender to the Little Osage tribe the same protection and guaranties as are hereby extended, and given to the Great Osage tribe, and the other benefits offered them specifically by this treaty; and if the said Little Osage tribe shall give no aid to the enemies of the Confederate States, and shall within one year from the day of the signing of this treaty, enter into a convention whereby all shall unite in this treaty and accept and agree to all the terms and conditions of the same, then it shall, to all intents and purposes, be regarded as having been made with them originally, and they be deemed and taken to be parties thereto, as if they were now to sign the same.
ART. XLIV. This convention shall be obligatory on the Great Osage tribe of Indians from the day of its date, and on the Confederate States from and after its ratification by the Senate or Provisional Congress.
In perpetual testimony whereof the said Albert Pike, as commissioner with plenary powers, on the part of the Confederate States, doth now hereunto set his hand and affix the seal of his arms; and the undersigned chiefs and headmen of the Great Osage tribe of Indians, do hereunto set their hands and affix their seals.
The loyal Osage were of great service to Kansas and the Union cause, as they held the frontier against the Cheyennes and Arapahoes and gave assistance to the Union troops at Fort Gibson and Fort Scott. It was to them the loyal Creeks under Apothlayola fled when driven north by Stand Watie.
Long Pole, a Little Osage, performed one service that brought a letter of thanks from President Lincoln and the War Department. He carried on foot, an important dispatch from the commander of a small body of troops stationed at Osage Mission to Fort Scott, fifty miles away, and returned with the reply in twenty-four hours.
The war had scarcely ended when the people of Kansas began to look with covetous eyes towaqrd the Osage lands. A great cry went up to "drive the Indians out of Kansas." It was the same cry and inspired by the same spirit that drove the Cherokees out of Georgia. As a sample of what the Osage received in the movement, the following from the Erie, Kansas, Record is reprinted:
"Shoot the half-breed renegade and I will pardon you before the smoke gets away from the end of your gun," was the advice of Governor Samuel J. Crawford to Theodore Reynolds when informed of the trouble Reynolds was having with Augustus Captain, a half-breed Osage Indian, over a claim.
This drastic advice was given in the office of the old Erie Hotel in Erie in the latter part of the 60's and Judge J. A. Wells, who was proprietor of the Erie Hotel at that time says he remembers its occurrence as well as if it happened yesterday. He says the scene was a dramatic one, the governor of the state being surrounded by a party of earnest and honest frontiersmenmost of whom had seen service in the Civil warlistening to the stories of the troubles of some of these men who had come to Kansas and taken claims only to have them claimed by half-breeds and squawmen.
In the treaty of the United States government with the Osage Indians in the purchase of their lands in this county it was stipulated that not to exceed twenty-five half-breed Indians should be allowed to select as head-rights the north eighty acres of any quarter section upon which they had improvements. Certain chiefs of the Great and Little Osages were named to make these selections and the eighty acres recently purchased by Mr. Dutton was set off to one Peter Chouteau, a half-breed, and the United States government issued him a patent for the same.
And here is where the fireworks began. It was at the close of the great Civil war and the ex-Union soldiers were coming to the land of promise, Kansas, in the same spirit in which they had answered the call of Abraham Lincoln. Among that number that came to Neosho county was Theodore Reynolds. He admired the eighty acres that Augustus Captain was claiming as his head-right and proceeded to "jump" the same. His comrades in arms said he should have the half-breed's claim, that the half-breed had been a Southern sympathizer and even charged him with appropriating the settlers' horses and cattlethey did not call it stealing in those days.
The settlers made it so warm for Augustus Captain, the half-breed, that he moved on down to the Indian Territory, but he brought suit for the possession of his head-right. While public sentiment was in favor of Theodore Reynolds, it could not set aside a patent of the United States government and the half-breed, Augustus Captain, was given the land in a decision by the courts sustaining the granting of the patent.
It was one of the hardest fought legal battles ever tried in Neosho county. Judge L. Stillwell, now deputy commissioner of pensions at Washington, and his then law partner, Judge Bayless, now a millionaire attorney in Chicago, were the attorneys for Theodore Reynolds and Judson & Chase and Carwile & Moffitt were the attorneys for Augustus Captain.
Congressman Sidney Clark was another Kansas official who passed as a benefactor of the Osage, but it is well known that he secretly supported the Sturgis treaty until pressure by the people of his state, who sought homes on the Osage reserve, showed him that the disreputable treaty would fail and then he got over on the winning side and exposed the machinations of Sturgis and Joy, very much to the disgust of his former associates in the deal. [The newspaper account presumably ends at this point.]
Many years prior to the opening of the territory of Kansas for settlement, it had been the policy of the government, in treating with the Indian tribes in the more settled sections of the country, to give the Indians the privilege of selecting for themselves reservations in the uninhabited portions of the West. As a result of this policy, a number of Indian tribes in quest of new homes, with fair hunting grounds, and soil capable of producing maize with scarcely any labor, were induced to cross the Missouri and fix their abode in what became know as the Indian Territory, a portion of which is now Kansas, a land of genial climate and undulating surface, where the buffalo roamed in countless herds, and the deer, the wild turkey, the prairie chicken and the quail were always within reach of the hunters' arrow. These immigrant Indians were given land carved out of the domain which the government had acquired by purchase from the Osage and the Kansas or Kaw tribes, who were the primitive occupants of all the Kansas region, there still being left large areas to the Osage and the Kaws.
Among the tribes thus transferred west of the Missouri were the Iowas, the Kickapoos, the Delawares, the Cherokees, the Pottawatomies, the Sacs and Foxes, the Ottawas, the Shawnees, the Wyandottes, and the Miamis. The reservation selected embraced the choicest portions of the territory, abounding in fertile valleys and timber lands, which the Indian, as if by instinct, always selected for his wigwam.
On the opening of Kansas to settlement by white people in May, 1854, flood tide of immigration poured in from the north and the south, on one hand to make Kansas a free state, and the other to extend and perpetuate the domain of American slavery. Owing to this fierce political conflict, the territory became settled more rapidly than had ever been experienced before in the settlement of unoccupied lands on the frontiers of the West. On the admission of the state in January, 1861, nearly every Indian reservation within the limits of Kansas was surrounded by white settlers. The necessity therefore arose for further negotiations with the Indian tribes, one by one, to induce them to exchange their reservations in Kansas for lands in the Indian Territory. Gradually the Kansas reservations were alienated, and the Indians, tribe after tribe, receded to the south, beyond the boundaries of the state.
An additional provision in the Osage treaty of 1824 deserves at least a passing notice because it created a "buffer state" between Missouri and the reservation. The object was to prevent hostile incursions of one race upon the other. It cannot be said, however, that the land was absolutely surrendered to the federal government. It was simply neutralized, and the Osage retained a nominal interest in it by establishing a half-breed settlement between Canville Trading Post and Flat Rock creek. This was in accordance with a clause of the treaty which had set aside forty-two sections of land on the Neosho and Marais des Cynges rivers.
About 1825 some wandering Cherokees, an advance guard, so to speak, of the banished tribe, settled in the south-eastern corner of the "buffer state," and in 1836, the federal government having extinguished the Osage half-breed title, sold the whole of it to the Cherokees from Georgia. Henceforth it was called, very appropriately, the Cherokee neutral lands.
The Osage and Cherokees were apparently pretty well out of the reach of the very early settlers in Kansas. In 1867 the Osage consented to a division of their reservation, and four distinct tracts were laid off. The ceded lands, being those that passed directly to the federal government for $300,000, comprised a strip thirty by fifty miles in extent, lying immediately west of the Cherokee neutral lands. The trust lands extended along the northern part of the Indian Territory throughout its entire length. The deeded lands were sections that had been usurped by settlers, and squatters at a minimum price of a dollar and a quarter an acre. The diminished reserve comprehended all that was left.
In 1868 another attempt was made to secure land from the Osage. The result was the notorious Sturgis treaty or treaty of Drum creek, which emphasized the settlers' grievance that Indian land, instead of becoming public domain, passed to corporations. Constitutionally this was an invasion of the powers of Congress, because it anticipated and blocked the power of the legislative branch over the territory of the United States. Colonel Taylor, the commissioner sent out from Washington allowed Wm. Sturgis, president of the Leavenworth, Lawrence & Galveston railroad to be the controlling spirit, inducing the Osage to sell their entire diminished reservation, estimated to contain upward of nine million acres, to the company which he represented, at an average price of eighteen cents an acre. Col. Taylor, instead of representing the government, assisted a corporation to make a treaty for this great body of land.
No sooner were the people informed of the purport of the treaty, than indignation meetings were held in different parts of the state, to remonstrate with the United States senate and the president against the ratification of the treaty. The state officers of Kansas held a special meeting and requested the attorney general of the state, the late Col. George H. Hoyt, to proceed to Washington forthwith, and endeavor to prevent, if possible, the ratification of the treaty. A number of circular letters in the form of remonstrances, were addressed senators and representatives in congress, setting forth the obnoxious features of the treaty, in attempting to secure to one man, representing one railway company, nearly one-fourth the available soil of Kansas, and that for the pittance of 18 cents per acre, and on the conditions simply of building 100 miles of road, at the rate of 20 miles a year, without a single acre reserved for the state, and with no recognition of t he rights of the people to such an immense area of the public domain. To aid in defeating the ratification, the superintendent of public instruction also went to Washington.
Prior to the admission of Kansas into the Union, the policy of the government in the extinguishment of Indian titles had been to purchase the Indian reservation outright. In that case, the reservations reverted directly to the government, and the law governing public lands obtained. But later, companies and combinations, by urging their measures day and night in the lobbies of Congress, ostensibly on the plea of public interests, but really through motives of personal gain, managed to secure for themselves, and on their terms, nearly all the Indian reservations and trust lands in Kansas, and in some of the other newer states. Only a few in congress, and those chiefly from the frontier West, were aware of the vast public interests thus alienated in executive session of the Senate, and often by a simple vote of a mere quorum. The opposition to the ratification of the Osage treaty was the first note of alarm, and the facts involved needed only to be stated to incur a general condemnation.
The bad policy of the government in granting lands to railways was shown in a short time. The railway promoting era during and following the civil war led everybody to look lightly on Indian titles. Congress, by the act of March 3, 1863, had granted lands to the state of Kansas to aid in building railroads. Under formal certificate from the Department of the Interior, the Governor of Kansas issued patents to the Missouri, Kansas & Texas Railway Company and the Leavenworth, Lawrence & Galveston Railway Company, (now the Southern Kansas), as a bonus for building roads. The railway companies had plainly no right to the land, and Congress no power to make the grants, and the governor had no right to issue the patents. The act of congress provided that each alternate section, within certain limits, should go to any company building thro' the state. These two lines ran so that the grants overlapped on the Ceded Lands. Each road took its alternate section or sought to do so. This was a very neat and friendly arrangement between the railroads, but hard on the poor Osage.
On April 10, 1969, the lower house of congress passed a bill opening the Osage lands to settlement without treaty. At the same time the infamous Sturgis treaty was before the senate with fair prospects of being ratified by that body.
It was in this chaotic state of affairs President Grant found the Osages, and as usual with Grant, went immediately to the bottom of the trouble and stopped it by appointing a new agent over them and withdrawing the Sturgis treaty from the Senate.
 Fort Duquesne, where the Monongahela and Allegheny Rivers meet to form the Ohio (present-day Pittsburgh) had great strategic importance. During the Seven-Years War, or the French and Indian War, the British Commander Edward Braddock campaigned against the French garrisoned there.
 Pierre Margry, De'couvertes et Etablissements des Francais dans l'Ouest et dans le Sud l'Amerique Septentrionale (1614-1754). Memoires et Documents Originaux. Paris: D. Jouaust, 1875. Quivera is the name of Wichita homelands on the Arkansas River between present day Great Bend and Wichita, Kansas.
 Guillaume Delisle, prominent eighteen-century French cartographer. B. F. French, Historical Collections of Louisiana and Florida; Including Translations of Original Manuscripts Relating to Their Discovery and Settlement and Biographical Notes. New York: Albert Mason, 1875.
 Jean Pierre Chouteau, son of Marie Therese Bourgeois Chouteau and Pierre Laclede, an early trader in St. Louis. Choteau worked with his father and eventually established a fur-trading empire. His family continued in the tradition, and the Chouteau company became a power in Indian affairs, trade, and land dealings in the southern plains area.
 Firmin A. Rozier, 150th Celebration of the founding of Ste. Genevieve; Address of Hon. Fermin A. Rozier, Historian and Orator Selected for the Occasion, Giving a Full History of Ste. Genevieve, the First Permanent Settlement in the U. S. West of the Mississippi River. Delivered at the City of Ste. Genevieve, Mo., July 21, 1885. St. Louis: G. A Pierrot, 1885.
 Wilson Price Hunt, a colleague of John Jacob Astor, headed an expedition from the Great Lakes to the West in 1811 with some 60 men. Their goals were to establish fur trading posts along the Missouri River as they traveled and to reinforce the new company settlement of Astoria in the Pacific Northwest. Along the way, when Hunt was harried by Manuel Lisa's men and by hostile tribes, he split his forces and abandoned the planned route. This resulted in many deaths, desertions, and extreme hardships on the few survivors who made it to Astoria. See John D. Haeger, John Jacob Astor: Business and Finance in the Early Republic. Detroit: Wayne State University Press, 1991. Haeger makes no mention of Chouteau in connection with the affair.
 Thomas Jefferson suggested to a Cherokee delegation in 1808 that the tribe move west of the Mississippi. Subsequently, the government made serious efforts to move them out of the Southeast and into Arkansas Territory.
 Pierre Jean De Smet was a Belgian Jesuit missionary who worked among many tribes on the Great Plains and in the far West. He wrote many books about his experiences and helped to found St. Louis University.
 Henry Dodge, commander of Missouri volunteers in campaigns against various Indian groups, later territorial governor of Wisconsin. William Tecumseh Sherman, Civil War leader and later commander of U. S. troops against Indian nations on the Great Plains. Philip A. Sheridan, Civil War leader and later commander of U. S. troops against Indian nations on the Great Plains. George Armstrong Custer, leader of U. S. troops against Indian nations of the Great Plains, killed at the Battle of the Little Big Horn. George A. Forsyth, in command at Beecher's Island (1868), a battle between the Cheyennes and the U. S. Army that presaged the "Winter Campaign" of 1868-69.
 The travois was a conveyance used by the plains tribes to move their lodges and other belongings. Two poles, attached to a horse on either side, extended behind the horse with their ends trailing on the ground. A light frame between the poles held the cargo.
 William Sturgis, president of the Leavenworth, Lawrence & Galveston Railroad was attempting to obtain a cession of all Osage lands in Kansas to his company; James Joy, general manager of Missouri River, Fort Scott & Gulf Railroad.