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Account of provisions and supplies issued to destitute Shawnees

Account of provisions and supplies issued to destitute Shawnees
Creator: Abbott, James Burnett
Date: 1861
This account book belonging to an Indian agent named James Burnett Abbott lists the names of Shawnee Indian heads of household, the number of family members within their household, and the amount of pork, corn, and meal provided by the government to each Shawnee. The Shawnee had emigrated to Kansas after the Indian Removal Act of 1830. Only an excerpt is included here.


Amelia Josephine Labedia to James W. Denver

Amelia Josephine Labedia to James W. Denver
Creator: Labedia, Amelia Josephine
Date: March 8, 1857
Amelia Labedia, a Native American from one of the New York Indian tribes, wrote this letter of complaint to James W. Denver, Commissioner of Indian Affairs. She was angered by white squatters who mistreated these native tribes by burning down their houses, ransacking their fields, and driving them off their land. White settlers had no legal claim to these lands, but they settled on them nevertheless. The New York Indian tribes--which consisted of the Seneca, Onodaga, Cayuga, Tuscarora, Oneida, St. Regis, Stockbridge, Munsee, and Brothertown nations--had been given land in Kansas Territory according to the treaty of 1838.


A story of the Shawanoes (Shawnee)

A story of the Shawanoes (Shawnee)
Creator: Rayner, John Allen
Date: 1886
This reminiscence by George Bluejacket, a Shawnee (Shawanoe) Indian originally from Ohio, tells the creation story of the Shawnee people as well as the history of his own tribe. Although his story ends before the Shawnee were relocated to Kansas (then called Indian Territory), it appears that he relocated with the rest of his tribe. The reminiscence was recorded by John Allen Rayner, and the first page of the document is an explanatory letter written by Rayner.


Bark house, Kickapoo Reservation

Bark house, Kickapoo Reservation
Creator: Parkman, Mary
Date: 1935
This photograph, taken in 1935 as part of the New Deal Federal Indian program, depicts a bark house on the Kickapoo Reservation in northeast Kansas. This was the home of Marie Pewamo, who is presumably the woman standing out front. This style of house had been used since the nineteenth century by both the Kickapoo and Pottawatomi tribes.


Black Hawk, Sauk Indian

Black Hawk, Sauk Indian
Creator: Catlin, George, 1796-1872
Date: 1832
This portrait, painted by the well-known artist George Catlin, depicts the fierce leader of the Sauk and Fox tribe after his arrest in 1832. Black Hawk and some of his tribe had resisted their removal to lands west of the Mississippi River, but the Black Hawk War, as it came to be known, ended in defeat. The original of this portrait is on exhibit at the National Portrait Gallery, which is part of the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C.


Chronology of the Iowa and Sac and Fox Indians in Doniphan County, Kansas

Chronology of the Iowa and Sac and Fox Indians in Doniphan County, Kansas
Date: 1882
This chronology details major events occurring between 1837-1855 among the Iowa and Sac and Fox Indians who had been relocated to Kansas after the Indian Removal Act of 1830. Topics mentioned within the chronology include warfare among relocated tribes, the arrival of white emigrants, disease, mission buildings, and treaties ceding land to the United States government.


Council meeting at Kickapoo Agency

Council meeting at Kickapoo Agency
Creator: Baldwin, Royal
Date: 1857
This is a transcribed copy of a conversation between Keotuck and his fellow Potawatomi leaders and their Indian agent, Royal Baldwin. The Potawatomi and Kickapoo had been living on the same lands, and since they had just planted their crops, the Potawatomi were expressing their desire to remain settled on this land. Apparently the United States government had not given the Potawatomi their full annuity payment and had asked them to move, but Keotuck's band protested because they had paid 8,009 dollars to remain with the Kickapoo. The back of the document includes a transcription of the compact joining the Kickapoo and Potawatomi, written in 1851.


Delaware Indians to T. Hartley Crawford

Delaware Indians to T. Hartley Crawford
Creator: Delaware Indians
Date: January 6, 1840
This is a copy of a letter that Isaac McCoy sent on behalf of the Delaware Indians. McCoy was a missionary in Indian Territory (present-day Kansas), and Crawford was Commissioner of Indian Affairs. In the letter, the Delaware asked for government patents that would prove their ownership of their new lands in Indian Territory. Apparently, some of their lands had also been claimed by Kansa Indians. The Delaware refer in this letter to a treaty signed on September 24, 1829, and express their desire to be permanently settled in this new territory. However, the Delaware did not enjoy a permanent home in Kansas--treaties in 1854 and 1860 diminished Delaware lands and, in 1867, the Delaware were moved to present-day Oklahoma.


Eastman's map of Kansas and Nebraska territories showing the location of the Indian reserves according to the treaties of 1854

Eastman's map of Kansas and Nebraska territories showing the location of the Indian reserves according to the treaties of 1854
Date: Between 1854 and 1856
This map shows the locations of the new or reduced lands of Indian tribes according to the treaties of 1854. With the passage of the Kansas-Nebraska Act in 1854, the former Indian Territory was opened to white settlement, and the government looked for ways to relocate the native tribes who had made their homes in Kansas. To create more land for white settlement, George Manypenny, the Commissioner of Indian Affairs, negotiated treaties with Indian tribes that ceded much of the Indians' lands to the government. This land could then be sold to white emigrants. Naturally, these events helped to exacerbate existing tensions between settlers and Native Americans, contributing to the Indian Wars that occupied the U.S. Army during and after the American Civil War.


Gottlieb F. Oehler to Eli K. Price

Gottlieb F. Oehler to Eli K. Price
Creator: Oehler, Gottlieb
Date: July 11, 1859
Gottlieb F. Oehler, a Moravian missionary working with the Chippewa and Munsee Indians in Kansas Territory, wrote this letter to Eli Price regarding the mistreatment of Indians and whites' disrespectful attitudes toward Indian lands. Oehler was appalled that white squatters frequently settled on Indian land with no response from the federal government, who should have protected Indian land claims. While most white Americans agreed with the government's approach to removal, Oehler hoped that Price would speak out against federal policies and educate the public in the eastern United States about the treatment of Indians out west.


Group of four Sac and Fox chiefs

Group of four Sac and Fox chiefs
Date: Between 1860 and 1869
This formal photograph, taken in Washington, D.C. during the 1860s, depicts four Sac and Fox chiefs from Kansas. They are dressed in traditional Sac and Fox clothing. The photographer remains unidentified.


Indian farm in Delaware Reservation, Kansas. 311 miles west of St. Louis Mo.

Indian farm in Delaware Reservation, Kansas. 311 miles west of St. Louis Mo.
Creator: Gardner, Alexander, 1821-1882
Date: 1867
This stereograph was taken by Alexander Gardner in 1867. It depicts an Indian farm located on the Delaware Indian Reservation in Kansas (approximately 311 miles west of St. Louis, Missouri). The Alexander Gardner Collection contains 170 photographs taken along the Union Pacific Railway, Eastern Division. It covers a geographic area stretching from Wyandotte (in present-day Kansas City) to west of Hays, Kansas. The image was taken from Alexander Gardner's series, "Across the Continent on the Union Pacific Railway, Eastern Division."


Joe Topash

Joe Topash
Creator: Parkman, Mary
Date: 1935
This photograph of Joe Topash, an Indian farmer, was taken in 1935 as part of the New Deal Federal Indian program.


John Dougherty to William Clark

John Dougherty to William Clark
Creator: Dougherty, John
Date: November 10, 1831
John Dougherty wrote this letter from Fort Leavenworth to the Superintendent of Indian Affairs, William Clark (of Lewis and Clark fame). As Indian agent in Kansas Territory, Dougherty had seen the effect that hard liquor had on the local Indian tribes, and he believed that it should not be allowed into the territory. To back up his position he included a copy of a letter by J. L. Bean.


Johnston Lykins

Johnston Lykins
Date: Between 1840 and 1860
Johnston Lykins was a well-known missionary, physician, and translator who worked with the Pottawatomi and Shawnee Indians who had moved to Indian Territory (present-day Kansas) after the passage of the Indian Removal Act in 1830. In 1831, after serving as a missionary to the Indian tribes in Indiana and Michigan, Lykins and his first wife Delilah (McCoy) Lykins moved to Indian Territory. Lykins and his father-in-law, Isaac McCoy, established the Shawnee Indian Baptist Mission in present-day Johnson County, Kansas. In addition to his responsibilities as a physician, Lykins worked as a translator and developed a system of Indian orthography that allowed the Shawnee people to read and write in their native language. He edited and published the first paper printed in Shawnee, called the Sinwiowe Kesibwi (Shawnee Sun). In the spring of 1843, Lykins founded a mission among the Pottawatomi near what is today Topeka. Due, perhaps, to inter-denominational conflicts and other problems with the mission, Lykins left the Pottawatomi mission and moved to Kansas City, Missouri. He served as the second mayor of Kansas City in 1854, and he remained in residence there until his death in 1876.


Johnston Lykins' Shawnee verb conjugations

Johnston Lykins' Shawnee verb conjugations
Creator: Lykins, Johnston, 1800?-1876
Date: 1842
In his journal Johnston Lykins, a missionary to the Shawnee Indians in Kansas Territory, jotted down verb conjugations for the Shawnee alphabet he had developed while working at the Shawnee Mission. The notes include both singular and plural forms of the verb "to strike" in English and in Shawnee.


Johnston Lykins Journal Entries

Johnston Lykins Journal Entries
Creator: Lykins, Johnston, 1800?-1876
Date: February 23, 1842-March 5, 1842
Dr. Johnston Lykins, a Baptist missionary to the Shawnee Indians in Indian Territory (present-day Kansas), edited the Shawnee Sun, a newspaper printed in the Shawnee language. In these journal entries from 1842, Lykins wrote about his efforts to teach Shawnee pupils how to read under this alphabet (the Shawnee language had no written system). Lykins also spent some time traveling to visit and treat the sick.


Johnston Lykins journal entry, July 18, 1831

Johnston Lykins journal entry, July 18, 1831
Creator: Lykins, Johnston, 1800?-1876
Date: July 18, 1831
In his journal, Dr. Johnston Lykins, a Baptist missionary to the Shawnee Indians in northeast Kansas, recorded that many of the Shawnee villages were alarmed about an outbreak of smallpox. Lykins offered his assistance by vaccinating the natives.


Johnston Lykins journal entry, October 27, 1832

Johnston Lykins journal entry, October 27, 1832
Creator: Lykins, Johnston, 1800?-1876
Date: October 27, 1832
According to this journal entry, Johnston Lykins and his fellow missionaries at the Shawnee Mission in Indian Territory (now northeast Kansas) had written to the school board requesting permission to provide meals for the students. Their request was denied, and the missionaries feared that their students would no longer attend classes.


Johnston Lykins journal entry, undated

Johnston Lykins journal entry, undated
Creator: Lykins, Johnston, 1800?-1876
Date: Between 1826 and 1842
In this undated journal entry, Johnston Lykins, a Baptist missionary to the Shawnee of northeast Kansas, gives his perspective on how the U.S. government and Indian agents have treated emigrant Indians in Kansas. He also discusses how many of these Indian tribes are suffering from starvation.


Jotham Meeker to Rev. Crosby

Jotham Meeker to Rev. Crosby
Creator: Meeker, Jotham, 1804-1855
Date: January 10, 1834
In this letter to Rev. Crosby, of the Baptist Board of Foreign Missions, missionary Jotham Meeker expressed his interest in bringing the Christian gospel to the Ottawa Indians. Meeker was currently stationed at the Shawnee Baptist Mission in Indian Territory (today part of northeast Kansas). He was particularly concerned about their opposition to missionaries. Meeker also wrote about the influx of Indian tribes who were embracing agriculture.


Jotham Meeker to Rev. Lucius Bolles

Jotham Meeker to Rev. Lucius Bolles
Creator: Meeker, Jotham, 1804-1855
Date: November 29, 1833
In this letter Jotham Meeker, a Baptist missionary to the Shawnee in Indian Territory, discussed the Ottawa Indians who were residing on Shawnee lands. Meeker spoke to several Ottawa chiefs about spreading the Christian gospel, and he hoped that he could work among them as a missionary. Also, Meeker discussed how the Ottawa may be forced to move once other tribes take possession of land in Indian Territory. He also mentioned the Methodist mission established among the Potawatomi. Reverend Lucius Bolles, the recipient of this letter, was Meeker's contact at the Baptist Board of Foreign Missions.


Jotham Meeker to Rev. Lucius Bolles

Jotham Meeker to Rev. Lucius Bolles
Creator: Meeker, Jotham, 1804-1855
Date: February 13, 1839
In this letter, Jotham Meeker, a missionary to the Ottawa Indians, provided a description of his work teaching the Ottawa how to read and write in their own language. According to Meeker, the Ottawa were eager for their children to learn English as well. Meeker's mission was located near present-day Ottawa, Kansas. Reverend Lucius Bolles, the recipient of this letter, was Meeker's contact at the Baptist Board of Foreign Missions.


Jotham Meeker to Rev. Lucius Bolles

Jotham Meeker to Rev. Lucius Bolles
Creator: Meeker, Jotham, 1804-1855
Date: March 11, 1840
This fascinating letter by Baptist missionary Jotham Meeker describes recent Ottawa converts to Christianity and the Ottawa chief Ottowukkee's passionate stand against further missionary efforts. Apparently, just as Ottowukkee was about to drive the missionaries out of the area, he was struck by a sudden illness. According to Meeker, many of the Ottawa believed his sickness was a sign of God's judgment. Also, Meeker discusses David Green, a native convert who has joined Meeker as a missionary at the Ottawa Mission (near present-day Ottawa, Kansas). The recipient of this letter, Reverend Lucius Bolles, was Meeker's contact on the Baptist Board of Foreign Missions.


Jotham Meeker to Rev. Lucius Bolles

Jotham Meeker to Rev. Lucius Bolles
Creator: Meeker, Jotham, 1804-1855
Date: October 30, 1834
Jotham Meeker, a missionary to the Ottawa Indians, wrote this letter to his contact on the Baptist Board of Foreign Missions, Reverend Lucius Bolles. From this letter, it appears that the Ottawa had become more interested in Christianity. Furthermore, Meeker wanted an assistant to help in printing evangelical materials; this would allow him to devote more time to religious instruction and language education.


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