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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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Kansas Memory Blog

The Kansas State Journal

Posted by Jocelyn Wehr (Digital Archivist) on Jan 7, 2011

The year 1861 was an eventful time for the state of Kansas and the nation. The April 18th issue of the Kansas State Journal proclaimed the start of the Civil War, and at that time, Kansas had been a state for less than three months. The Kansas State Journal, like the majority of other publications in Lawrence during this period, was known for its Unionist affiliation. Josiah C. Trask and Hovey F. Lowman established this “family Republican newspaper” in February of 1861. In the editorial salutatory, they state that “while each of the Free-State journals in the Territory have contributed its full share towards securing our release from political and social thralldom, it cannot be denied that each, to some extent, has fanned the flame of factional strife.”


Learn more about this tumultuous period in Kansas history, and celebrate the 150th anniversary of statehood by exploring the pages of other Civil War era newspapers such as, the Big Blue Union, the Independent, the Smoky Hill and Republican Union, and the White Cloud Kansas Chief, which are now fully-accessible on the Chronicling America website.

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