September 7th, 2011 § § permalink
Shadow Catcher- Edward S. Curtis and North American Indians
Edward S. Curtis (1868-1952) life long dedication , who gave his entire life and fortune to record on photographic film the memories of the last Native Nations of North America from the Apache, down in the South, to the Nunivak in Alaska.
In 1906 J.P. Morgan offered Curtis $75,000 to produce a series on the North American Indian. It was to be in 20 volumes with 1,500 photographs. Morgan was to receive 25 sets and 500 original prints as his method of repayment. 222 complete sets were eventually published.
Curtis’ goal was not just to photograph, but to document, as much American Indian (Native American) traditional life as possible before that way of life disappeared. He wrote in the introduction to his first volume in 1907: “The information that is to be gathered … respecting the mode of life of one of the great races of mankind, must be collected at once or the opportunity will be lost.”
Curtis made over 10,000 wax cylinder recordings of Indian language and music. He took over 40,000 photographic images from over 80 tribes. He recorded tribal lore and history, and he described traditional foods, housing, garments, recreation, ceremonies, and funeral customs. He wrote biographical sketches of tribal leaders, and his material, in most cases, is the only recorded history.
Laurie Lawlor reveals that “many Native Americans Curtis photographed called him Shadow Catcher. But the images he captured were far more powerful than mere shadows.
The men, women, and children in The North American Indian seem as alive to us today as they did when Curtis took their pictures in the early part of the twentieth century.
Curtis respected the Indians he encountered and was willing to learn about their culture, religion and way of life. In return the Indians respected and trusted him. When judged by the standards of his time, Curtis was far ahead of his contemporaries in sensitivity, tolerance, and openness to Native American cultures and ways of thinking.”
Edward S. Curtis photography work can be seen here:
Edward S. Curtis Collection at library of Congress
Smithsonian Institutions Frontier photographer Edward S. Curtis
The Curtis Collection Homepage
August 10th, 2011 § Leave a comment § permalink
Ignoring the service of Delaware and Shawnee to the Union, the Kansas legislature in 1863 called for the removal of all Indians from Kansas.
On July 4th, 1866 the Delaware signed their final treaty with the United States which allowed the Secretary of the Interior to sell their remaining Kansas lands to the Missouri River Railroad Company.
Individual Delaware, if they wished, could keep their 80 acre allotments and become American citizens, but in a situation reminiscent of the burnings in the Wyoming Valley in 1763, the Delaware Council House mysteriously burned afterwards. Most Delaware took the “hint,” and of the 1,160 Delaware in Kansas, 985 of them decided to move to Oklahoma.
The main body of Lenape arrived in the northeast region of Oklahoma in the 1860s. Along the way many smaller groups left, or were told to stay where they were. Consequently today, from New Jersey to Wisconsin to southwest Oklahoma, there are groups who retain a sense of connection with ancestors who lived in the Delaware Valley in the 17th century and with cousins in the Lenape diaspora.
The two largest groups are the Delaware Nation (Anadarko, Oklahoma), and the Delaware Tribe of Indians (Bartlesville, Oklahoma), the only two federally recognized Lenape (Delaware) tribes in the United States.
The Oklahoma branches were established in 1867.
The Delaware were required to purchase land from the reservation of the Cherokee Nation; they made two payments totaling $438,000.
A court dispute followed over whether the sale included rights for the Delaware as citizens within the Cherokee Nation.
While the dispute was unsettled, the Curtis Act of 1898 dissolved tribal governments and ordered the allotment of tribal lands to individual members of tribes. After the lands were allotted in 160-acre (650,000 m²) lots to tribal members in 1907, the government sold “surplus” land to non-Indians. It soon became obvious that the land was not suitable for subsistence farming on such small plots.
In 1979, the United States Bureau of Indian Affairs revoked the tribal status of the Delaware living among Cherokee in Oklahoma.
They began to count the Delaware as Cherokee. The Delaware had this decision overturned in 1996, when they were recognized by the federal government as a separate tribal nation.
The Cherokee Nation filed suit to overturn the recognition of the Delaware. The tribe lost federal recognition in a 2004 court ruling in favor of the Cherokee Nation, but regained it on 28 July 2009.
After recognition, the tribe reorganized under the Oklahoma Indian Welfare Act. Members approved a constitution and bylaws in a May 26, 2009 vote.
July 30th, 2011 § Leave a comment § permalink
Haskell Indian Nations University – Lawrence, Ks
Haskell Indian Nations University is a unique and special place. Although it originally started as an assimilation school like other government-run Indian boarding schools, Haskell’s destiny was different than that of other schools. Haskell is the only government boarding school that has evolved into a four-year university for Native students. It is also the only inter-tribal college, accepting students from all federally recognized tribes.
In 1884 a government boarding school was established in Lawrence, KS, called the U.S. Indian Industrial Training School. The school opened in September 1884 with three buildings and 31 students from the Ponca, Sac and Fox, Shawnee, Kiowa, Comanche, and Chippewa Muncee tribes. This government boarding school was part of the federal government’s assimilation policy. This policy involved removing Indian children from their families, sometimes forcibly, and placing them in schools far from their homes for a period of up to four years to give them training in domestic and farming skills. The assimilation policy was put in place to remove all connections to the tribes and cultural influences to “assimilate” the students into the dominant culture. This policy was very traumatic for Native families, and the effects of this boarding school era are still affecting families today.
In the beginning years Haskell was run as a military school where the students made their own uniforms and grew and preserved their own food. The rules were very strict—no speaking a tribal language, no conversing with siblings, no practicing of tribal customs and traditions. Their traditional clothing and personal items were removed, their hair was cut, and they were forced to march to classes and to church. In those beginning years, the children were taught to speak English and classes were at an elementary school level.
By the end of the first school year, there were 400 students coming from tribes from all around the country. Eventually the level of education was increased and went up to the high school level. A Commercial Department taught business classes, including the first typing class in Kansas in 1895.
A Normal School prepared students to become teachers. By 1933, Haskell got the first Native superintendent, Dr. Henry Roe Cloud. Dr. Roe Cloud was a progressive educator and the first Native person to graduate from Yale University. During his time at Haskell, Dr. Roe Cloud reversed the assimilation style emphasis on the curriculum and actually changed the curriculum to emphasize Native culture.
As students got their education at Haskell, they stayed on as staff and faculty. One notable individual, George Shawnee, got his degree at Haskell and stayed on as staff for 40 years, and saw 9,000 students go through Haskell. As these staff and faculty stayed at Haskell, they slowly turned the school around. By the 1930s, people who came to Haskell loved the school and learned trades such as printing, nursing, business, and other vocational-technical trades such as electricity and refrigeration, as well as receiving high school diplomas.
In 1970, the level of education increased to that of a junior college and the name was changed to Haskell Indian Junior College. And in 1993, Haskell introduced the first four-year baccalaureate degree program in elementary teacher education and the name was changed to Haskell Indian Nations University.
Today there are four four-year degree programs— elementary teacher education, business, environmental science, and American Indian Studies. There are several two-year associate degrees offered. There are on average 950 students each semester, coming from approximately 130 different tribes, and from about 35 different states. Almost the entire faculty is Native and all classes are taught from a Native perspective.
July 27th, 2011 § Leave a comment § permalink
Delaware Kansas Reservation
Both the White Church and White Church Cemetery were founded in 1831 by Rev. Thomas Johnson and his brother, Rev. William Johnson as part of a Methodist Mission to the Delaware Indians. This is the oldest church in Kansas City, Kansas.
This cemetery is the last resting place for many of the Delaware Indians that were served by the Mission as well as the pioneers involved in service to the Mission and the Delaware tribe.
That part of the country on the north side of the Kansas River was first settled by the Delawares in 1829. They came from Ohio, and brought with them a knowledge of agriculture, and many of them habits of industry. They opened farms, built houses and cut out roads along the ridges and divides, also erecting a frame church at what is now the village of White Church. The population of the Delaware tribe when it first settled in Kansas, was 1,000. It was afterward reduced to 800. This was in consequence of contact with the wilder tribes, who were as hostile to the short-haired Indians as they were to the whites. Still the Delawares would venture out hunting buffalo and beaver, to be inevitably overcome and destroyed. Government finally forbade their leaving the reservation. The effect of this order was soon apparent in the steady increase of the tribe, so that when they removed in 1867, they numbered 1,160. The ruling chiefs from 1829 to 1867, were Ne-con-he-con, Qui-sha-to-what (Capt. John Ketchum), Nah-ko-mund (Capt. Anderson), Kock-a-to-wha (Sar-cox-ie), Charles Journeycake, Qua-con-now-ha (James Sacondine or Secundine), Ah-cah-chick (James Connor) and Capt. John Connor.”
Capt. John Ketchum, one of the most noted chiefs of the Delawares, died in August, 1857. He lived near White Church on the Lawrence road, and at the time of his death, which occurred at an advanced age, he was almost helpless. His funeral was attended by a large number of Indians, who came in their colored blankets and painted faces, carrying their guns. They were mounted on horseback, and as the procession slowly followed the remains of their chief along the windings of the forest road, they seemed truly the sorrowful survivors of a once powerful race.
July 27th, 2011 § Leave a comment § permalink
Delaware Kansas Reservation
Grinter Place is a house on the National Register of Historic Places above the Kansas River in the Muncie neighborhood of Kansas City, Kansas.
The house was constructed by Moses Grinter where he and his half-Lenape (Delaware) wife lived until he died in 1878 and she in 1905.
Grinter wife’s Indian name was “Windagamen,” which meant “Sweetness.”
She was one of a couple dozen Delaware women who became U.S. citizens when the territory became a state.
Near this place, the Delaware Crossing (or “Military Crossing”; sometimes “the Secondine’”) allowed passage from the old Indian trail where it met the waters of the Kaw River.
Around 1831, Grinter, one of the earliest permanent white settlers in the area, set up the Grinter Ferry on the Kansas River here. His house, the Grinter Place, still stands at 1420 South 78th Street.
The ferry was used by individuals such as traders, freighters and soldiers traveling between Fort Leavenworth and Fort Scott on the military road. Others would cross this area on their way to Santa Fe. The area was home to the first non-military post office in Kansas.
Moses Grinter played such a central part in the lives of the Delaware as a trader and ferry operator. His place of business and residence were the center of activity of the Delaware residence in Kansas. Being married to a Delaware woman, he was also a part of their social and family activities.
July 26th, 2011 § Leave a comment § permalink
Shawnee Indians, along with many other eastern tribes, including Delaware, were moved to present-day Kansas in the 1820s and 1830s. Upon relinquishing their lands in the East, Shawnees received a large tract of land (about 1.6 million acres) west of Missouri in an area sometimes called the Great American Desert.
In July 1830 Chief Fish, leader of the Missouri Shawnees, requested a missionary through their Indian agent George Vashon. A missionary society was formed in September 1830. Reverend Thomas Johnson, a Methodist minister, was appointed missionary to the Shawnees and his brother William, missionary to the Kansa tribe.
The Reverend Thomas Johnson was born in the Shenandoah Valley in Virginia and later moved to Missouri. He married Sarah Davis at Clarksville, Missouri, in 1830, and that same year he arrived with his new bride in present-day Turner, Wyandotte County, Kansas.
Johnson proposed to the missionary society that a central school be built to serve many tribes. A site was chosen where a branch of the Santa Fe Trail passed through the Shawnee lands.
Building began, and the school opened at the present Johnson County location in October 1839. Indian children of many tribes were sent to this school to learn basic academics, manual arts, and agriculture. Some of the tribes represented were the Kaw (Kansa), Munsee, Delaware, Ottawa, Chippewa, Otoe, Osage, Cherokee, Peoria, Kickapoo, Potawatomi, Wea, Gros Ventres, Omaha, and Wyandot.
At the height of its activity, the mission was an establishment of more than 2,000 acres with 16 buildings, including the three large brick structures, which still stand, and an enrollment of nearly 200 Indian boys and girls from the ages of five to 23.
The manual training portion of the school ceased in 1854. In 1858 Reverend Thomas Johnson turned the school over to his oldest son, Alexander, who ran the mission until it closed in 1862.
Thomas Johnson was murdered at his home in Missouri on January 2, 1865. The murderers were believed to have been Southern sympathizers who apparently were angered when Johnson, a proslavery man for many years, had sworn an oath of allegiance to the Union at the start of the Civil War. Johnson is buried in the Shawnee Methodist Mission cemetery (three blocks east of Mission Road on Shawnee Mission Parkway) along with several members of his family.
After several months of legal battles, the mission property was deeded to the Johnson family and was owned by various individuals until the State of Kansas acquired it in 1927. Since that time it has been administered by the Kansas Historical Society and today operates as Shawnee Indian Mission State Historic Site.
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July 24th, 2011 § Leave a comment § permalink
In August, 1829 the Ohio Delaware ceded their reserve and agreed to join the Delaware west of the Mississippi. The thought of another 100 mouths to feed made the Delaware on the James Fork agree to exchange their Missouri lands for a new reserve in northeast Kansas just north of the Shawnee – subject to their approval (they had learned).
The new location proved satisfactory, and in December, 1829 the Delaware arrived in Kansas and settled on the Missouri River north of its junction with the Kansas (Kansas City). Unfortunately, much of Delaware’s new land had formerly belonged to the Pawnee, and the United States had neglected to inform the Pawnee before relocating the Delaware. In 1831 a Delaware hunting party on the plains was attacked by Pawnee warriors.
Meanwhile, the Kansas Delaware signed a treaty at St. Louis in October surrendering the abandoned lands of the Spanish grant given the Cape Girardeau Delaware (Absentee Delaware) who had moved to Texas. The Absentee Delaware were living in Mexican territory at the time and received nothing for their old lands, but the Delaware chiefs from Kansas who signed on their behalf got $100/year for life.
The following March, the Pawnee attacked another Delaware hunting party only this time a Delaware chief was killed. The Delaware formed a war party and burned the main Pawnee village on the Republican River. To avoid a war, the government negotiated a treaty with the Pawnee in 1833 recognizing the right of the Delaware to hunt in the area. It also threatened to stop the Delaware’s annuity payments if they did not stop attacking the plains tribes! This ended most confrontations, but in 1835 a Delaware hunting party killed 12 Pawnee they caught trying to steal their horses.
Many Delaware became professional buffalo hunters which created problems and confrontations with the other plains tribes, especially the Sioux and Cheyenne. Delaware hunting parties were attacked: by Santee Sioux near Des Moines, Iowa in 1841; Sioux and Cheyenne on the Smokey Hill River in Kansas in 1845; and by Sioux on the upper Platte in 1852. The Delaware, Shawnee and Kickapoo also joined the Potawatomi during a brief war between the emigrant tribes and Pawnee during 1850.
After agreeing to removal in 1829, it took the Ohio Delaware almost three years before they joined the other Delaware in Kansas in 1832. Two groups of Moravian Munsee also left their reserve in southern Ontario in 1837 and 1838 and emigrated to Kansas.
Despite these new arrivals, the Delaware still had more than enough land to sell some of it to the Wyandot when they were removed from Ohio to Kansas in 1843.
The Absentee Delaware (Red River Delaware) from the old Cape Girardeau Band remained in Texas and allied themselves with the Texas Republic in 1836. In 1854 they were moved to a reservation with the Caddo and Tonkawa on the upper Brazos River. They served as scouts for the Texas Rangers until 1859 when they were expelled to Oklahoma and settled at the Wichita Agency (Anadarko) with the Caddo, Tonkawa, Kitsai and Wichita. By 1874 they had merged with the Caddo and by the turn of the century had almost disappeared as a separate group (less than 100). They were considered as part of the Wichita and Affiliated Bands until given a separate identity and federal recognition.
From their reserve in northeast Kansas, the Delaware became very much a part of the American movement across the west.
Delaware scouts served with Colonel Henry Dodge’s 1835 expedition to meet the Comanche, and in 1837 eighty-seven Delaware enlisted in the American army and saw service in the Seminole War. Delaware also served as scouts and buffalo hunters for immigrant wagon trains crossing the plains during the 1840s and 50s. They participated in all three of the Fremont expeditions (1842, 1844, and 1845), and during the last one, twelve Delaware who had volunteered as scouts ended up serving as American soldiers in the capture of California during the Mexican War (1846-48). Another 30 Delaware joined Alexander Doniphan’s Missouri volunteers and saw service as part of Stephen Watts Kearny’s conquest of New Mexico.
By 1854, “civilization” had once again caught up with the Delaware in Kansas, and Congress was ready to open Kansas and Nebraska to settlement. In May the Delaware were pressured into signing a treaty reducing their reserve to 275,000 acres with the excess land to be sold at auction to whites. By the end of the month, Congress had passed the Kansas-Nebraska Act, which not only opened the area to settlement, but allowed slavery to be decided by “popular sovereignty.”
In a prelude to the Civil War, thousands of white men arrived on the lands of red men to kill each other over the enslavement of black men. The result was a period of lawless mayhem known as “Bleeding Kansas.”
The Delaware, Wyandot, and Shawnee sided with the anti-slavery forces and offered to defend Lawrence against possible attacks from Missouri. In 1860 the Delaware signed the Treaty of Sarcoxieville agreeing to allot their remaining lands.
The treaty was an good example of corruption and bribery of tribal officials. While each individual Delaware was given only 80 acres, the head chief received 640 acres and the other chiefs 320. In addition, the treaty authorized the chiefs to draw annual salaries of $1,500 from tribal trust fund. Excess land was to be sold to Leavenworth, Pawnee & Western Railroad.
Although they were still not citizens at this time, the Delaware declared for the Union at the outbreak of the Civil War. Ultimately, 170 of the 200 able-bodied Delaware men of military ages served in the Union Army – mainly in the 6th and 15th Kansas Volunteer Cavalry.
In 1862 a group of Kansas Delaware and Shawnee attacked the Wichita Agency in southern Oklahoma which had been seized by the Confederates. The agency was destroyed forcing the Tonkawa who lived there to pack up and head back to Texas. Very few of them made it. Their old enemies, the Comanche caught them in the open east of the Wichita mountains and killed almost all of them. During the war, Delaware soldiers also fought several engagements against Confederate Cherokee, Choctaw and Chickasaw units.
Did you know the name “Kansas” is a Siouan Indian word?
It comes from the tribal name Kansa, which means “south wind people.”
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July 10th, 2011 § Leave a comment § permalink
Joplin is a city in southern Jasper County and northern Newton County in the southwestern corner of the US state of Missouri.
Although often believed to have been named for the ragtime composer Scott Joplin, who lived in Sedalia, Missouri, Joplin is named for Reverend Harris Joplin, an early settler and the founder of the area’s first Methodist congregation.
Joplin was established in 1873 and expanded significantly from the wealth created by the mining of zinc; its growth faltered after World War II when the price of the mineral collapsed.
The city gained travelers as Route 66 passed through it; “Joplin, Missouri” is among the lyrics to Bobby Troup’s legendary song, immortalizing the city among others on the famous highway.
While Joplin was first settled for lead mining, zinc, often referred to as “jack”, was the mineral resource on which the town built its economy. As railroads connected Joplin to major markets in other cities, it was on the verge of dramatic growth.
By the turn of the century, the city was becoming a regional metropolis. Construction centered around Main Street, with many bars, hotels, and fine homes nearby. Joplin’s three-story “House of Lords” was its most famous saloon, with a bar and restaurant on the first floor, gambling on the second, and a brothel on the third.
Trolley and rail lines made Joplin the hub of southwest Missouri and, as the center of the “Tri-state district”, it soon became the lead and zinc mining capital of the world.
In 1933 during the Great Depression, the notorious criminals Bonnie and Clyde spent some weeks in Joplin, where they robbed several area businesses. Tipped off by a neighbor, the Joplin Police Department attempted to apprehend the pair. Bonnie and Clyde escaped after killing Newton County Constable John Wesley Harryman and Joplin Police Detective Harry McGinnis; however, they were forced to leave most of their possessions behind.
After World War II, most of the mines were closed, and population growth leveled off. The main road through Joplin running east and west was designated as part of US Route 66, which became famous as more Americans took to newly constructed highways. The roads provided improved access between cities but also drew off population to newer housing and eventually retail centers.
In the 1960s and 1970s, nearly 40 acres (16 hectares) of the city’s downtown were razed in an attempt at urban renewal, as population and businesses had moved to a suburban fringe along newly constructed highways.
The Connor and Keystone hotels were notable historic structures that were demolished, as was the Liberty Building. Christman’s Department Store stands but is abandoned, as is the Joplin Union Depot, since railroad restructuring and the decline in passenger traffic led to its closure.
Other notable historic structures in Joplin include the Carnegie Library, Fred and Red’s Diner, the House of Lords, the Frisco Depot, the Scottish Rite Cathedral, and the Crystal Cave (filled in and used for a parking lots).
On May 6, 1971, Joplin was struck by a severe tornado, resulting in one death and 50 injuries, along with major damage to many houses and businesses.
On May 22, 2011, an EF-5 tornado first touched down near the western edge of the city among large, newer homes, at about 5:41 pm CDT and tracked eastward across the city and across Interstate 44 into rural portions of Newton and Lawrence counties.
It was reported to have been about 0.75 miles (1.21 km) in width and 22.1 miles (35.6 km) long. About 8,000 houses, 18,000 cars, and 450 businesses were flattened or blown away in Joplin, particularly in the section between 13th and 32nd Streets across the southern part of the city.
The tornado narrowly missed the downtown area.
Total of 158 people died from tornado-related injuries as of the end of June, 2011.
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July 9th, 2011 § Leave a comment § permalink
The Battle of Wilson’s Creek
The Battle of Wilson’s Creek (called Oak Hills by the Southerners) was fought ten miles southwest of Springfield, Missouri on August 10, 1861. Named for the stream that crosses the area where the battle took place, it was a bitter struggle between Union and Southern forces for control of Missouri in the first year of the Civil War.
Border State Politics
When the Civil War began in 1861, Missouri’s allegiance was of vital concern to the federal government. The state’s strategic position on the Missouri and Mississippi Rivers and its abundant manpower and natural resources made it imperative that she remain loyal to the Union. Most Missourians desired neutrality, but many, including the governor, Claiborne Fox Jackson, held strong Southern sympathies and planned to cooperate with the Confederacy in its bid for independence.
When President Lincoln called for troops to put down the rebellion, Missouri was asked to supply four regiments. Governor Jackson refused the request and ordered State military units to muster at Camp Jackson outside Saint Louis and prepare to seize the U.S. arsenal in that city. They had not, however, counted on the resourcefulness of the arsenal’s commander, Captain Nathaniel Lyon.
Learning of the governor’s intentions, Lyon had most of the weapons moved secretly to Illinois. On May 10 he marched 7,000 men out to Camp Jackson and forced its surrender. In June, after a futile meeting with Governor Jackson to resolve their differences, Lyon (now a brigadier general) led an army up the Missouri River and captured the state capital at Jefferson City. After an unsuccessful stand at Boonville a few miles upstream, Governor Jackson retreated to southwest Missouri with elements of the State Guard.
Despite inferior numbers, Lyon decided to attack the enemy encampment. Leaving about 1,000 men behind to guard his supplies, the Federal commander led 5,400 soldiers out of Springfield on the night of August 9. Lyon’s plan called for 1,200 men under Colonel Franz Sigel to swing wide to the south, flanking the Southern right, while the main body of troops struck from the north. Success hinged on the element of surprise.
Ironically, the Southern leaders also planned a surprise attack on the Federals, but rain on the night of the 9th caused McCulloch (who was now in overall command) to cancel the operation. On the morning of the 10th, Lyon’s attack caught the Southerners off guard, driving them back. Forging rapidly ahead, the Federals occupied the crest of a ridge subsequently called “Bloody Hill.” Nearby, the Pulaski Arkansas Battery opened fire, checking the advance. This gave Price’s infantry time to form a battle line on the hill’s south slope.
For more than five hours the battle raged on Bloody Hill. Fighting was often at close quarters, and the tide turned with each charge and countercharge. Sigel’s flanking maneuver, initially successful, collapsed altogether when McCulloch’s men counterattacked at the Sharp Farm. Defeated, Sigel and his troops fled.
On Bloody Hill, at about 9:30 a.m., General Lyon, who had been wounded twice already, was killed while positioning his troops. Major Samuel Sturgis assumed command of the Federal forces and by 11 a.m., with ammunition nearly exhausted, ordered a withdrawal to Springfield. The Battle of Wilson’s Creek was over. Losses were heavy and about equal on both sides–1,317 for the Federals, 1,222 for the Southerners. Though victorious on the field, the Southerners were not able to pursue the Union forces. Lyon lost the battle and his life, but he achieved his goal: Missouri remained under Union control.
The Civil War in Missouri
The Battle of Wilson’s Creek marked the beginning of the Civil War in Missouri. For the next three and a half years, the state was the scene of savage and fierce fighting, mostly guerrilla warfare, with small bands of mounted raiders destroying anything military or civilian that could aid the enemy. By the time the conflict ended in the spring of 1865, Missouri had witnessed so many battles and skirmishes that it ranks as the third most fought-over state in the nation.
The Confederates made only two large-scale attempts to break the Federal hold on Missouri, both of them directed by Sterling Price. Shortly after Wilson’s Creek, Price led his Missouri State Guard north and captured the Union garrison at Lexington. He and his troops remained in the state until early 1862, when a Federal army drove them into Arkansas. The subsequent Union victory at the Battle of Pea Ridge in March kept large numbers of Confederate military forces out of Missouri for more than two years.
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July 8th, 2011 § § permalink
DELAWARE TOWN – fifteen miles southwest of Springfield, Missouri.
The Lenape-Delaware Presence in Southwest Missouri ca.1820-ca.1830.
From 1820 to 1830, when the first white settlers came into the region that now comprises Christian County, the only settlement of any consequence in the entire area that is now southwest Missouri was Delaware Town.
It consisted of the James Fork Trading Post (named so because it was situated on the James Fork of the White River), several homes, a warehouse, a building where cheese was made (all these structures were made of logs), several hen houses and corn cribs, the many lodges of the Delaware Indians who resided in the village of the principal chief of the tribe, Captain William Anderson, and a large horse-racing track where the Delawares raced their mounts and wagered on the outcome.
This was all situated on the main trail through the area at the time, the Delaware Trail, which later became known as the White River Trace. The trail forded the James River upriver from the present-day Highway 14 bridge, one of the first two bridges in the county was installed at the site in the late 1880s. That wooden structure was replaced by a metal truss bridge in 1904, but6 has since been removed entirely. No access to the river is now available at the site, but a nearby graveyard is named the Delaware Cemetery.
…by 1818, the advancing tide of settlers forced them to sign another treaty which would locate them on new lands in what is now Christian County.
In return the US government agreed to pay the tribe an annual annuity in silver totaling $4000, give them 120 horses, and provide them with a government-employed blacksmith.
Thirteen hundred and forty-six Delawares and their fourteen hundred horses were ferried across the Mississippi River in the summer of 1820 to take up residence on the new lands, which had been chosen for them by General William Clark of Lewis & Clark fame.
Other villages strung out along the banks of the James River were those of Captain Ketchum (Whose Lenape name was Tah-whee-lalen), Capt. Pipe (who was of the wolf clan), Capt. Patterson (Meshe Kowhay), Capt. Beaver (who was of the turkey clan), Natcoming and Suwaunock (Chief Anderson’s son).
The whites in the Delaware Town area at this time were William Gilliss (who owned the trading post and also had one on the banks of Swan Creek near what is now Forsyth), Joseph Philibert (who worked for Gilliss a the James Fork Trading Post), William Myres (who clerked for Gilliss at the Swan Creek Trading Post), James and Phoebe Pool (he was the government-paid blacksmith for the Delawares), Richard Graham (Indian Agent), John Campbell (Indian sub-agent), William Marshall (a competing trader who also built a crude mill on the Finley River near its mouth), James Wilson (competing trader who was located on the banks of the creek that would come to bear his name) and Solomon Yokum )who was ordered off the reservation by Campbell for selling whiskey to the Delawares).
There were also several slaves belonging to Gilliss who served as cooks and cheese makers. In addition, Baptiste Peoria, who was part Indian and part African, served as an interpreter and guide for Gilliss.
William Gilliss, the most successful of the traders, lived in a double-pen, dog-trot log house at Delaware town. Twice a year he’d dispatch Philibert and a helper to drive two wagons to the town of Ste. Genevieve on the Mississippi River to pick up supplies. It would take them 15 days to get there and much longer to return loaded down with trade goods.
The Delawares used their annual annuity from the government, paid in silver (one theory has it that Solomon Yokum, after being kicked off the reservation, melted down this silver specie to form his own Yokum dollars in order to hide the fact that he was still selling whiskey to the Indians) to purchase trade goods.
By the time they had come to Delaware Town, they had adopted many of the European ways of living, In addition to breechcloths, they wore white men’s clothing, used metal tools an d hunted with rifles. While some lived in the traditional rounded lodges made from tree limbs, brush, cedar boughs and animal hides, others resided in log cabins, with a dirt floor and a hole in the of to allow smoke from the cook-fire to escape.
William Gilliss followed the Delawares to Kansas after they signed the 1829 James Fork Treaty that removed them even further west. Their new lands were situated near the Missouri River, Gilliss became a wealthy man and was one of the founders of Kansas City.
By the end of 1830, the Delawares had left southwest Missouri. Looking at a map drawn by surveyor John C. Sullivan in 1824, it appears that the Delaware lands (stretching 70 miles east to west and e44 miles north to south) covered most of Christian County, as well as Stone and a portion of Taney, Barry, and Lawrence counties. During its heyday, the Delaware Town settlement was the place of importance in the Missouri Ozarks…
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