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This is a portrait of Catherine (Kate) German, who was taken captive with her sisters, Sophia, Julia, and Adelaide, by Cheyenne Indians after their family was killed. On September 11, 1874, the John German family, consisting of his wife and seven children, was attacked by a band of Cheyenne east of Ft. Wallace, Kansas. Only the four youngest, Sophia, Catherine, Julia, and Adelaide, were spared and taken captive. The two youngest, Julia and Adelaide (aged 7 and 5), were subsequently abandoned on the prairie in what is now the Texas panhandle. Sophia and Catherine were kept by their Cheyenne captors. Fort Wallace received word of the killings and began the search to find the girls and to negotiate their release. They found Julia and Adelaide, who had survived on their own for 6 weeks, and on February 26, 1875, the Cheyennes released Catherine and Sophia. The two girls were reunited with their younger sisters at Ft. Leavenworth, Kansas.


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Kansas Memory has been created by the Kansas State Historical Society to share its historical collections via the Internet. Read more.



About Kansas Memory

The advent of the Internet and digitization offer historical repositories limitless potential for sharing our unique historical resources with others. Resources that were once only available to a limited number of people who came to the research room that was open to the public on a set time schedule are now available to the whole world 24 hours a day and 7 days a week.

Kansas Memory has been created by the Kansas State Historical Society to share its historical collections via the Internet. It supports the mission of the Society--to identify, collect, preserve, interpret, and disseminate materials and information pertaining to Kansas history in order to assist the public in understanding, appreciating, and caring for the heritage of Kansas. Kansas Memory provides a very tangible means of fulfilling the vision of the KSHS, which is to enrich people's lives by connecting them to the past.

The value of the site is in its rich content--letters, diaries, photographs, government records from the State Archives, maps, museum artifacts, and historic structures in Kansas. We will be adding additional content continually.

The site is intended for the use of anyone interested in any aspect of Kansas History. However, the primary audiences that drove decisions about the basic operations of the site and various functional requirements were middle and high school teachers and students. The browse design is based on the Flamenco project, which met the Kansas Memory project team's goal of allowing browse access to a large body of resources in multiple ways using general everyday terms. A special interface was developed for teachers to provide quick access to historical items that support the teaching of selected Kansas and U.S. history standards. The "My Memory" feature allows users to create their own subset of Kansas Memory content that may be useful to their specific needs.

The design features that are available at launch are only a starting point. In the future, we hope to incorporate additional functions.

The Information Network of Kansas grants program provided funding for some of the technical infrastructure and for the creation of the content for the teachers' portion of Kansas Memory. KSHS content from Territorial Kansas Online, a project supported by funding from the Institute of Museum and Library Services, is incorporated into this site.

Kansas Memory has truly been a team effort, with numerous staff from the Library and Archives Division contributing to this project. The KSHS IT staff have provided brilliant technical expertise to make our wishes a reality.

We welcome your comments about the site and your suggestions for content and future technical features.


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This website was developed in part with funding provided by the Information Network of Kansas.