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Michael W. Sutton to John Pierce St. John - Page
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In this brief letter, Michael Sutton, the county attorney of Ford County, Kansas, wrote to Governor St. John regarding warrants for the arrest of the Cheyenne Indians who had been accused of committing depredations against white settlers in western Kansas. This group of Cheyenne, led by Dull Knife, had fled their reservation in Indian Territory (present-day Oklahoma) in order to return to their native homeland in the northern Great Plains. Because they had stolen property and killed around 40 settlers in their journey through Kansas, a number of Kansans, including Sutton, argued that these Cheyenne should be arrested and tried in Kansas courts. Sutton wrote in the letter of his concern for the safety of frontier settlements and his desire to prevent a similar situation from occurring in the future. Six of these Indians, including Wild Hog, Run Fast, Frizzly Head, Young Man, Old Man, and Crow would be charged with murder in June, 1879, and for a time Sutton served as the prosecuting attorney in their case. They would eventually be acquitted of all charges.

Creator: Sutton, Michael W.
Date: January 15, 1879

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Michael W. Sutton to John Pierce St. John - 1

This letter can be grouped with other sources related to the "last Indian raid in Kansas," as this event has come to be called. Other selections include a picture of the six Cheyenne who were put on trial, a newspaper article about the trial (which includes the native perspective), drawings created by the prisoners while incarcerated, and a map of the Cheyenne's route through Kansas. This story can be particularly useful for demonstrating how native groups resisted the reservation system.

KS:7th:3.1:Federal Government and Indian Lands (2005)

Item Number: 210413
Call Number: Governor's Records, St. John, Correspondence Received, Box 15 Folder 9
KSHS Identifier: DaRT ID: 210413

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