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This is a portrait of Catherine (Kate) Elizabeth German, who was taken captive with her younger sisters, Sophia, Julia, and Adelaide, by Cheyenne Indians after their family was killed. Kate was born on March 21, 1857. 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 four of the children, Catherine, Sophia, 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 March 1, 1875, the Cheyennes formally released Catherine and Sophia German at the Darlington Agency in Indian Territory (Oklahoma). The two girls were reunited with their younger sisters at Ft. Leavenworth, Kansas in June of 1875.

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Omar Hawkins photograph collection Omar Hawkins photograph collection

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Item of the Week

20th Kansas Regiment Band, Manila, Philippines

On December 10, 1898 the Treaty of Paris was signed between the United States and Spain ending the Spanish-American War. The treaty was passed in the United States Senate on February 6, 1899 by one vote. This photograph represents the 20th Kansas Regiment Band with their instruments in Manila, Philippines near the end of the war. Can you notice the similarities between bands over 100 years ago and today?

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Selected Kansas newspaper titles digitized and available on Chronicling America.
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