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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 Blog

Hickock and Smith inmate files

Posted by Jocelyn Wehr (Digital Archivist) on May 28, 2013

Richard Eugene "Dick" Hickock and Perry Edward Smith, notorious murderers of four members of the Clutter family on November 15, 1959 in Holcomb, Kansas, were made infamous by Truman Capote's retelling "In Cold Blood". Hickock and Smith spent their time on death row at the Kansas State Penitentiary in Lansing, Kansas. Their inmate case files are now available on Kansas Memory.

These case files contain correspondence with the warden, prison officials, and family members, clemency requests, newspaper articles, and legal documents. Items of particular interest include last meal requests for Hickock and Smith (including shrimp and strawberries), fingerprints for Hickock and Smith, and an execution witness list for Hickock and Smith (including Truman Capote's signature).

Some materials, including those medical in nature, have been removed from public view in accordance with K.S.A. 45-221 and have been labeled with pages indicating their removal.

Also found in the files is a letter from Mack Nations, a reporter for the Wichita Eagle and Beacon, who interviewed and wrote about the two men before Truman Capote. In the letter, Nations threatens to sue Hickock should he disclose any information about the murders to another writer. Nations claims his "exclusive rights to any and all of that story forever." Nations' manuscript titled "High Road to Hell" printed in Male magazine in December 1961. Random House published Capote's "In Cold Blood" in 1966. Hickock and Smith were executed by hanging on April 14, 1965.

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