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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

Donation helps digitize stories of Native Americans

Posted by Jocelyn Wehr (Digital Archivist) on Oct 3, 2013

Thanks to a generous donation by Mr. Steve Peckel, in memory of author William Chalfant, over 100 additional photographs and four additional manuscript collections relating to Native Americans have been digitized and are now available on Kansas Memory. The Alex E. Case collection includes recollections of Cheyenne Indian raids in Marion County in 1868. The Allen M. Coville collection contains encounters with Kansa chief, White Plume. The Percival Greene Lowe collection describes negotiations with Pawnee tribal leaders. A series of Governor Samuel Crawford correspondence includes documents from men requesting commissions to join and recruit others for a battalion to protect settlers from Indian attacks. 


William Y. Chalfant (1928-2011) was a lifelong resident of Hutchinson, Kansas. His literary works include Without Quarter: The Wichita Expedition and the Fight on Crooked Creek; Cheyennes at Dark Water Creek: The Last Fight of the Red River War; Cheyennes and Horse Soldiers: The 1857 Expedition and the Battle of Solomon's Fork; and Hancock's War: Conflict on the Southern Plains.

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