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A brief sketch of Indian tribes in Franklin County, Kansas in 1862-1906

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A Brief Sketch of Indian Tribes in Franklin Co Ks in 1862 – 1906


By Jos Romig Missionary


For the benefit of the future generation of the county.


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Sept ‘06



The High water of the Kaw river of 1844: Spring day until May, then it rained for 40 days.  At the mouth of the Kaw the bottoms were covered with 14 feet of water. – So says Jotham Meeker in a history of Wyandott County.


Wm Kilbuck says at Munsee, west of Wyandott and on the north side of the river the water came within about two feet of going over the high ground where the Mission stood and where the graveyard is still to be seen 


Sebilla Elliott, now go, says the water sent from bluff to bluff.




Plot of Chippewa Grave Stones.


[Not transcribed]


On several stones is marked “1870” and “1871”  This is the date of placing the stone, so Mrs. Julia Bittenbender informs me.


Other graves are now marked by marble tomb stones.  Some are unknown.


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To be kept for the Historical Society of Franklin Co. Kansas


Franklin County Kansas


Forty Years ago – A bit of history.


At the time referred to 1862- Kansas was still a vast sea of prairie grass, and the Indians occupied many prominent places in the State.  Betwen Leavenworth and Lawrence, on the north side of the Kaw river was the Deleware Reservation extending a good many miles east and west, north and south.  At this time Leavenworth was the emporium of the State and likewise that of much of the territory beyond.  Kansas City at that time scarcely existed, and the Missouri river was not navigable on account of hostile forces of the Civil War.  Lawrence, the next town in size had a population of about 2000.  The Kaw river then was crossed by ferry boat, nor were there any railroads in the State.  The Hannibal and St Jo. R.R. with a terminus 37 miles below at Weston on the river was our nearest Station.  Near Topeka was the Pottawatomie reservation where still some of that tribe of Indians live.  About fifteen miles South of Lawrence a person would come upon the Ottawa lands.  This reservation must have been some 15 x 20 miles and lies wholly within the present Franklin County.


The Ottawa Indians at this time were a highly civilized Indian as compared with others.  They lived in houses, and


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dressed like white men.  They all had teams and small farms, from a few acres up to 20 or more.  They were however widely scattered up and down the river and creeks.  Their annuity was not so large as to do them any harm.  They were therefore obliged to be more or less industrious.  At that time it was possible to hire an Ottawa Indian to work by the day or by the month something which was not always the case amongst Indian tribes.


From a religious and educational point of view there was much to be said in their favor.  They then had no missionary residing amongst them, yet they kept up regularly their Sunday School and Social Service as also a prayermeeting on a Wednesday afternoon.  They also hired a teacher and kept public School.


As to whether they had any written code of civil laws I do not know, but of one fact I am aware they required marriages to be according to Church rules or civil law.  Not having any ordained person amongst them they frequently called upon me, or more generally presented themselves at the Chippewa Mission on a Sunday to have that ceremony performed.  Parties, married otherwise could not inherit property from each other according to their rules.  But it must not therefore be supposed that I had a monopoly in the business of marrying couples, at least not financially so.  Once, when


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called some five miles to marry a couple the Indian handed me a slip of paper before the ceremony.  I found it to contain a two dollar bill.  At another time an Indian stepped out into the streets of Ottawa and handed me a dollar bill.  As I could not speak Indian nor he english I looked puzzled to know what it meant – when another Indian on the side walk spoke up and said:  “You married that man about a year ago.”


Of all the Indian marriages these two are the only ones that ever paid me anything.  Marrying people like all other missionary services was generally considered as free – of “grace” and not of pay.


Their principal men were so far as I know Chief Wilson, Wm Hurr, J. T. Jones, James Wiss 2n Chief and Jos. King.  J T Jones, commonly called, “Tawa Jones, was of part white blood.  He was a well educated man having been sent to some eastern school.  He married a white woman, a teacher in their mission school, and they lived about eight miles north of Ottawa on Ottawa Creek where he had a farm and also kept a stopping place for travelers.  Mr. Jones accumilated quite a considerable amount of property.  At his death this property was estimated to be worth $60,000 which property he donated to the Baptist Church, leaving his wife an ample support. – Mrs. Jones lived to be 92 years old.  She died about 1903. – During the


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“Border” troubles of 1857 Mr. Jones house was burned at night by the hostile element and he was fired upon while trying to escape.  Later he put in a “handsome” bill of $25 000 against the Government for damages but was allowed only a much less amount.


Wm Hurr still living was an intelligent Indian who spoke english fluently.  For a number of years he preached amongst the Sac and Fox Indians in the Indian Territory.  About 1862-3 the Ottawas made a treaty to become citizens of the United States and to sell their surplus lands, and they then soon began to draw heavier annuities, but I do not think these larger amounts tended to improve their condition much.  The young men soon began to quit work and to put on style – a new saddle and bridle, and a new hat with showy hat band.  Nor did the older ones all escape the injurious effects of “too much money.”


Some years later they sold out and removed to the Indian territory where they now live near the Kansas line.  The number of the Ottawa as given in Ind Report of 1864 was 208.


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The Chippewa and Munsee Indians.


These people lived just west of the Ottawas.  Their small reservation of 2 x 6 miles was wedged in betwen that of the Ottawas on the east and of the Sac and Fox on the west.  Altho only a small people, only 80 in number in 1864 yet there is much of interest in their history Es-ton-quit, or Francis McCoonse, the Chippewa Chief was originally from Canada, or the Islands of the Detroit river.  He was in part of French descent, at any rate he spoke French fluently.  As a man he was of medium hight, well proportioned and of a wiry frame. – a man of unbounded energy and determination.  In his earlier day he was one of a delegation of twenty one Indians who visited England to see their Great Father King George III  And as he could speak French this brought him into no small noteriety.  None of the others could be spoken with except through an interpreter.  After spending six months at the court of England they spent a similar length of time in France.  Indians there attracted a great deal of attention, and Estonquit never forgot the distinction shown him then and there. 


His family still holds a chest presented to him by one of the nobility, marked, De Esta  In fact it seems to be this distinction or its effects upon him which led him to remove to the United States.  The country there


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was seemingly not large enough to contain, a Sub-ordinate Chief and his superiors.  This Statement however, may not be quite correct Altho I was so stated.


Besides other qualifications he also posed as an Indian doctor and at one time he set up shop in Detroit to the displeasure of the regular profession.  He understood the circulation of the blood, and some of his herb and root medicines were quite effective in many common or chronic cases.  In testing the vitality of a patient he would give white snuff.  If the patient sneezed three times “he live three days and me doctor him.  If he sneeze twice he live two days – may be get well- may be die – me no like to try.  If he sneezed only once, he live one day – no use try.”  But he made considerable money at times.  But to return:  In 1836 he made arrangements to come to Kansas with his band of 200 Indians.  They were to cross lake Erie, go down the Ohio canal, down the Ohio river, and up the Mississippi and Misouri rivers to the Kansas line.  But the night before they set sail most of his people decamped and and left him and his family and a few followers alone.  He said “Some one Stole them away.”  It is probable that they did not wish to go with him, and deserted him at the last moment when it was too late to gather them up again.


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Amongst the persons of note amongst his people were his son in-law Antoin Gokey, for a number of years U. S. Interpreter for the Sac and Fox Indians at Greenwood and Quenemo, then the U. S. Indian Agency.


Edward McCoonse, son of the Chief, &c was for nine years clerk and interpreter for the once noted Perry Fuller, trader and U. S. Ind. Agent.  “Ed.” as he was commonly called certainly was an able man in many respects.  He was deep and logical in thought and one of the clearest interpreters to pronounce Indian names I ever met with.  But he was also well schooled in the underhanded methods of Indian traders of those times, nor did he fail to practice some of those lessons in his own behalf on some occasions


Another man of note was Wm R Turner, a Pottawatomie half breed brought up in the family of the Baptist Missionary, Father Meeker.  He was Son-in-law to Eston quit the Chief and thus became a Chippewa.  He was very fond of reading, and as an example of his intelligence I will note that at one time in conversation upon religious subjects I asked him whether he had ever read any of Richard Baxter’s works.  To which he replied in the negative.  He then asked me whether Baxter did not live in the times of Cromwell.  I said he did.  His next question was “Why did not the English retain the liberal


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form Government they had under Cromwell?  I answered this question as best I could, but I was very glad that he did not keep on asking questions for I feared he would get me into “deep water.”


Mr. Turner in the earlier day had the finest apple orchard in Franklin County.


About 1859 a Chippewa woman, married to a Miama Indian, living east of Franklin county was killed by her husband in a family difficulty.  This act the Chippewa Chief regarded as a wrong to himself and his people not to be lightly passed over.  He accordingly gathered up a band of Chippewas, a few Pottawatomies and Ottawas, armed them and proceeded to the Miama reservation to avenge the insult that wishing to be unfair, when they got near there he sent in a runner (Mr. Turner) to notify the Miamas to get ready and come out and fight.


The Miamas were taken by surprise and were unprepared for war, they therefore talked compromise.  The difficulty was settled by the Miamas agreeing to pay two thousand dollars damages; $500 in cash, $500 in goods out of the store and $1000 on a years time.


Just in what manner the $500 in goods was distributed I was not informed but one big Indian told me that he did not think the old man did quite the fair thing with him.  He said that all he got was a cotton vest and calico enough for one shirt  The $500 in money the Chief was


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The Chippewa and Munsee or Christian Indians. Franklin County, Kansas.


Geo. W. Martin, Secretary State Historical Society.


In Franklin County, about eight miles west of Ottawa and a little South there is located a small band or bands of Indians known as the Chippewa and Munsee or Christian Indians.  Altho a small body their history is yet one of considerable interest.  Their reservation of two by six miles was wedged in between that of the Sac and Fox on the west and of the Ottawas on the east.


The Chippewa band was composed of Es-ton-quit, or Francis McCoonse as Chief with his family and a few relations and followers may be not more than 40 all told.  But Es ton quit was quite a noted character in those parts in his day.  In his younger days he lived in Canada – in fact there was some French Canadian blood in his veins and he spoke the French quite fluently.  He was once of a delegation of twenty one Indians who visited England to pay their respects to their Great Father King George, and as he was the only one who could speak any other language than the Indian language he came into considerable noteriety.  After spending six months in England they spent a like period at the French Capitol.


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The distinction thus attained he never forgot, in fact it is said this was the cause for his moving to the States.  There was not room for him as second Chief to live with his superior.


Altho he had a band of 200, as he claimed, yet at the last moment before taking Shipping “Some one stole away his people” and left him with a few followers to migrate  to Kansas.  Most likely his people deserted him the night before sailing, not wishing to go with him.


Es ton quit was not only a Chief but he was quite a doctor and with his herbs and teas he was quite successful especially with Chronic complaints.  At one time he set up shop in Detroit to the Chagrin of the medical profession.  Later in Kansas he made frequent trips especially into Arkansas to practice his profession, and he usually returned after an absence of a month or two with quite a number of ponies and some money.  He always made sure of his pay before treating his patients.


Physically Es ton quite was of a wry constitution, of great energy and of equal determination.  He always made his will felt and he never let things become monotonous if they did not go his way.


Some of his prominent men were: his Son “Ed” Mc Coonse, for some nine years interpreter for the once noted trader and Ind. Agt. Perry Fuller, Another was his son-in-law


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Antoine Gokey, for many years interpreter for the government, or the traders at the Sac and Fox Agency, at what is now Quenemo Osage County.  Wm Turner, also a son-in-law of the Chief, was a half breed Potawatomie brought up in the family of the Baptist Missionary Meeker amongst the Ottawas.  He was a very intelligent man and very fond of reading.  A third Son-in-law was Louis Gokey also an interpreter for many years.  Louis Gokey was a very quiet steady Christian man.


But the writer can say not all was always quiet and steady.  Sometimes night in that community in the earlier days of Missionary work assumed quite a hilarious aspect.  But on the whole the Community was industrious and when a school was established a more willing and better class of scholars could not have been desired.


We come now to the Munsee or so called Christian Indians composing for fifty years a part of this groupe of Indians.  The history of the Munsee or Christian Indians is no less interesting if not far more so.  To know who they were and where they came from we must go back quite a good many years.


Before the French and Indian war in the earlier history of our Country the Moravian Church established a mission amongst the Indians.  And this mission was carried


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on and drifted westward until we find its last remnant located as above given in Franklin county Kansas – a part are also located in Canada.


Under the leadership of David Zeisberger, the distinguished missionary these Christian Indians were conducted to the territory of Ohio where during the years of 1772-1782 they founded four prosperous mission stations on the Muskingum, now the Tuscarawes river in Tuscarawes County.  The principal station was named Quadenhuetten (Tents of Grace).  But the war of the Revolution played havoc with this mission.  The location of these mission stations placed them about half way between the British at Detroit and the American outposts at Pittsburg and Wheeling.  Both sides were apprehensive that the Christian Indians might be rendering aid or information to the other side.  In the autumn of 1781 the Commandant, Major de Peyster of Detroit sent forces and had the Indians with their missionaries removed to the northern part of the state near lake Erie.  Here amidst the severities of winter and with no supplies they were compelled to seek subsistence.  In the following Spring, 1782, a party of these Indians returned to their former station to get supplies of corn when the American forces under Col. Williamson came upon them and under pretences of friendship and with promises of taking them to a place of safety took advantage of


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them, confined them in their mission building and the next day put them all to death and burned their buildings over them.  This is known in history as the Massacre of the Christian Indians at Guadenhuetten Ohio March 8 1782.  There perished here 29 men; 27 women; 34 children.


Seventy years ago, in 1837, a large part of these Indians decided to return to the States from their home then at Fairfield Upper Canada under the leadership of their Missionary Vogler.  They first located near Wyandott on the north bank of the Kaw river, then they moved to near where Leavenworth City now is located; and in 1859 they moved to Franklin County and united with the above mentioned Chippewas.  Here they have resided ever since, now fifty years, and here still reside a goodly number of their people  But they are now citizens of the United States, becoming such fully on Nov. 8, 1900 when they received patents for their various allotments of land, and also on that same day were paid their Trust fund in full, $43,000, an average per capita of $494.


In 1862 the writer was sent to these Chippewa and Munsee or Christian Indians to re-establish the mission amongst them.


The country was then still new.  Ottawa was not yet started.  And all around us were located other tribes of Indians, - the Sac and Fox


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the Ottawas; the Delewares between Leavenworth and Lawrance, and for a year and a half – from Sept 1862 to May 1864 – some four thousand five hundred refugees of Creeks and Cherokees were camped along the Maries des Cygne river near the Sac and Fox Agency, now Quenemo, as refugees from the war in the Indian territory. 


After an absence of 29 years the writer again returned to these people in 1900 and remained amongst them until 1905, when the Moravian Missions long supervision ceased.


There are however a few note worthy persons to be mentioned still living.  One is Sebilla Elliott, now some ninety years old, who was one of the emigrants from Canada in 1837.  Another is Wm H. Kilbuck, a dignified and highly respected person 70 years old.  His great grand father was Chief Gelelemend of the Delewares who was with the American and British forces under General Braddock at the defeat at Fort Duquesne.  In that engagement Gelelemend’s life was saved from the French bayonets by Colonel Henry of the American forces.  Out of gratitude for this act the Chief adopted the name of Henry in addition to his other name.  And ever since all of his descendants have retained the name of “Henry” as for example Wm Henry Kilbuck, Rachel Henry Kilbuck.


A third person is Ignatius Caleb, a most excellent Christian man, and one whom             


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the writer heard say a few years ago that ‘for forty years he had not touched whiskey.’



Another person of note is John H. Kilbuck, son of Wm. H. Kilbuck, a highly educated Christian Indian who has for more than twenty years been a noted pioneer missionary in Alaska, known from the Aleutian Islands to (point) Barrow.


Yours respectfully,

Jos. Romig , Ex-Missionary,

Independence, Kansas.

October 1st 1907.


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State Historical Society

Topeka Kansas.


The Chippewa and

Christian Indians of

Franklin Co. Kansas



Jos. Romig


1862-1871 and

Again 1900-1905.


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going to take to Kansas City and put it into the bank.  This however he did not do but some days later he returned with a new buggy or carriage and a set of new harness.  The other Indians were not satisfied with this proceeding and they at once dispatched a messenger to the Miamas telling them not to pay another cent of the remaining $1000.


Shortly after this the Chief paid a visit to his friends in his newly acquired possession.  He went by way of the Ottawas, then north to Mineola and Centropolis and home by way of Greenwood.  About a mile west of his home his carriage struck a stump and he was thrown out against a log injuring his spine so that for nearly two years he had to lie on his back in bed.  It was in this situation I first saw him in March of 1862, and even after he was obliged to walk with one or two canes.  About this time, too, the Indians substituted a Council instead of the Chief to transact all official business with the Government, not however without the strenuous opposition of Es-ton-quit.  Altho disabled physically he had not lost his mental energy and determination and in consequence he often made things lively for the council, and the Government officials and missionary.


The Chief always took a deep interest in the prospective school and when it was begun he often visited it.  He even went so far once, when a slight difficulty occurred between his boy and a larger Munsee boy, to come into


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the School and begin to cane the supposed offender and to order the boy out of School But the teachers presence quickly ended that proceeding.  He however was always insistant with his own children and all others that they be obedient and industrious and a more obedient and willing school I never saw.  They did not know otherwise than to do just as they were told to do.


After the School had been in operation about a year one day the old man came to me in the field.  He held something in each hand.  When he came up to me he put out his left hand holding a “Green back” bill saying: “How much that?”  I replied:  “Twenty dollars.”  Then he put out the other hand and asked: “How much that?”  I said, “Five dollars.”  Then to make sure he repeated the operation with the words, “How much you say that?  How much you say that?”  When I repeated my answers he said, “Well that’s what my shildren (children) said,”  He evidently had tried them and he was now satisfied that he could depend upon them.  Silver and gold coin he could tell but printed government bills were too much for him.


He never after came back to ask similar questions, and he was one at least who could appreciate education.


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The Munsee or Christian Indians.


The Munsee or Christian Indians have a no less interesting history Altho more as a people than as individuals.  They are a remnant of a body of Christian Indians who figures way back in Colonial times.  One of their number, Ge-lel-e-mend, a Deleware Chief was with Braddock at his defeat near Fort Duquesne


The chief’s life was saved from the French bayonets by Col. Henry of the combined British and American forces.  In consequence of this act and out of gratitude to Col. Henry the Chief took or added the name “Henry” to his own name, and ever since then all of his lineal descendants, the Kilbucks, have kept the same name, “Henry” whether it was a man or a woman as for example “Wm Henry Kilbuck.”  “Rachel Henry Kilbuck.” 


The history of these people carries them from Pennsylvania to Ohio in 1772 where they with their Missionaries Zeisberger and Heckewelder founded three or four unission Stations on the Muskingum river, now called the Tus-ca-raw-es, and a branch of the present Muskingum river.  Here they were prosperous and successful until the Revolutionary War brought them into new troubles.  Located almost in a direct line and about half way between the British at Detroit and the American forces and militia of Fort Pitt and Wheeling, and also being surrounded by Indian emissaries


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of the British they were constantly threatened with serious trouble – the British suspecting them of being in sympathy with the Americans because they would not join with the other Indians against the Americans.  And the Americans on their part suspecting that the Christian Indians aided the British and hostile Indians by entertaining them.  At one time a reward was offered by the British Commandant at Detroit for the heads of Missionary Zeisberger, Chief Gelelemend and White-eyes.


In the Autum of 1781 the Mission was temporarily broken up by the British, and the Indians and their missionaries were taken to northern Ohio where they suffered severely during the winter for want of shelter and food.  In the Spring of 1782 a large delegation returned to Gua-den-huetten their principal station to gather their remaining corn in the fields and to bring back supplies.  While doing so the American militia under Col. Williamson came suddenly upon them, and with promises of protection and of taking them to a place of safety they had them give up their arms after which they corralled them in the Misson Church and the next day destroyed the whole of them, burning the buildings over them.  This is known as The Massacre of the Christian Indians at Guadenhuetten, Ohio. March 8th 1782.  


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A large granit monument now marks the site of this tradgedy.  Ninety Indians perished here – 29 men, 27 women and 34 children.  President Roosevelt refers to or speaks of this event in one of his books, -


Next we find the remnant of these people located in Canada where for a while they were safe from the storms of war and otherwise.  In 1837 the larger part, 175, decided to return to the States and they came to Kansas, first to Munsee near Wyandot, then to near Leavenworth and in 1859 they migrated to Franklin Co and united with the Chippewas, above referred to a mere handful of the once noted Christian Indians. *  In the Spring, of 1862 March 10th the writer came here to re-establish the mission, After a successful work of ten years he was followed by the Revds L. Ricksecker, C. R. Kinsey and Charles Steinfort.  March 1st of 1900 the writer again took charge of the field for five years when age and infirmities compelled him reluctantly to retire and leave the mission to the care of other churches.  The Moravian Church having relinquished it’s control of the Mission five years previously upon the Indians becoming citizens and devoting their energies to other fields. -  The writers work was voluntary the past five years.


On Nov 8th, 1900 these united bands of Chippewas and Munsees received patents for their lands, and were paid the full


*Sebilla Elliott, mother of Mrs. John Plake and James Elliott is one of the original emigrants from Canada who came to Kansas in 1837.  She is still living (1903) at the age of 88 years.


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amount of their trust funds, $42 000, averaging per capita nearly $500.


The writer therefore has been a witness to the opening and close of that mission as well as a witness to many other facts of interest but belonging more to properly the history of the mission itself than to the history of the county.


One fact or two to which I would like to call attention is the two Indian cemeteries.


The Munsee or Christian Indian graveyard on the Hill is deeded to the care of the Moravian Historical Society, Bethlehem  Pa. but it needs ever to be guarded against desecration, should the present Indians all be gone.  There are no curios of any kind buried with the dead.  The Chippewa grave yard near the river has likewise been paid for and the title should be vested in some Historical Society.  There are a number of fine large tombstones here of sand rock 2 ½ x 7 feet by six or seven inches in thickness placed there by the Indian themselves.  Some are inscribed with name and ornaments, others are simply plain.


Jos. Romig,


Independence, Kans. 1895.


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The Sac and Fox Indians


At one time these Indians and part of their reservation formed a part of Franklin County, their agency being at Greenwood.  Here there were five trading stores.  Later the Indians sold a large strip off of their reservation on the east and moved their agency to where Quenemo now is located.


The Sac and Fox Indians always were an interesting people.  They were full bloods and retained their Indian customs and costums, dressing in buckskin and blankets and hence called “blanket” Indians.  They lived almost altogether in wigwams scattered up and down the river and creeks.  They numbered at this time between eight and nine hundred.  They were a peacable and quiet people, spending their time in hunting and fishing, sometimes going out on to the buffalo grounds for big game.  But this was a little dangerous as they were liable to be attacked by the wild Indians.


The Sacs as Indians were said to be the finest specimen of manhood to be found amongst the race of red men – tall, straight, smooth and athletic.  Nor were they deficient in intelligence.  A fair example may be given by the remark made by Shaub-ca-ca, the Sac orator as he was called.  A young sprig of an official from Washington was at the agency.  In conversation the young official turned


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to “Shaub” and asked him what he thought of the white man?  To which the Indian replied, “They are all damned rascals.”  The official then inquired “whether he did not think there were some exceptions.”  To which the Indian made answer.  “None ever come around the agency.”  This is more or less on a par with the white man’s opinion, that “there is no good Indian but a dead one.”


Their Chief Keokuk was a fine looking and intelligent man.  His father, old Keokuk lived to be near a hundred years old, and he lies buried somewhere near Greenwood. 


With these notes I send copies of photographs of both Keokucks, a Sac brave, a Sac family and a Sac wigwam – This last was taken by photographer Barker of Ottawa in 1870 some twenty two miles up the river from Ottawa, myself and Ed. McCoonse, interpreter, being of the party.  These photoes are all good representations of those people.


In 1868 the Sac & Fox Indians made a treaty and sold out and removed to the Indian Territory where they now reside.  But one fact is worthy of note here.  Moko-ho-ko and his band of 159 Indians refused to agree to the treaty, and they remained for nine years on their old grounds supporting themselves entirely by their industry.  The Government refused to pay them annuity until they


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removed south.  They would take jobs of grubbing, making rails and posts, cutting corn or anything of the kind.  Sometimes in midwinter when work was scarce and they were in need they  would go to town and borrow $100 or $150. and then in the Spring when grass was good and their ponies in fine condition they would sell off a bunch of ponies and pay off their obligation.  Finally, however, in 1876 they were obliged to move south and give over their lands to settlers.  But no sooner did they arrive in their new home than they set to work to prepare fields and to plant corn.  Thus their compulsary industry proved a benefit to to them.  However in the Autumn the other lazy Indians came around and helped to eat up and feed up their corn crop.  This was a little too much of socialism and most of the industrious ones also quit labor.  One old Indian however, could be seen still out in his field with hoe in hand and blanket thrown back over his shoulder.  In the Autumn when his crop was made and gathered into the crib he went and got a padlock and made sure as to who would get the benefit of his labors.  If I am allowed to make the philosophical remark here, a conclusion arrived at after long experience and observation, I would state that right here is the key to the whole problem to the Indian’s civilization and de-


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velopment:   First necessity to compel him to work, and Second, Protection in the fruits of his industry.  Annuities are a detriment to the Indian in general.  One official said:  “It is no use to try to do anything until that money is all gone.”  Another remarked upon this subject:  “The government could not have devised a better method of exterminating the Indians.”  All efforts are more or less futile until this system is changed to the normal one of nature and providence adopted that man should develop by exercise and not by idleness.


J. R. Indepn Ks 4:14, ‘06


An additional note


In the Autumn of 1862 the Government brought north and located along the Maries des Cygne river some four thousand five hundred Cherokee and Creek refugees.  They were located up and down the river near the Sac Agency (now Quenemo)  Here they remained until the Spring of 1864 when they returned to their homes in the Indian Territory, the exigencies of the Civil War having subsided sufficiently to permit them to return.  A few miles east of Ottawa were 500 Senecas and Quapaws likewise refugees provided for by P. P. Elder of Ottawa.  Indians were plenty in those days.  J. R.


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Mr. H. F. Sheldon


Dear Sir


I herewith submit to you for the benefit of the future historian of Franklin County Kans a brief sketch of some of the Indians as I knew them betwen the years of 1862 and the present time 1906.  It is but an imperfect narrative of the many things to which some of us were witnesses, and the account may prove more interesting to the future generation than to the present one.  Hence I try to preserve some of the cardinal facts.


The photo of Old Keokuk here with presented is almost an exact picture of Es-ton-quit or Francis McCoonse except the necklace of bear claws should not be there.


Hoping these few lines may be of some interest to you and to others I remain


as ever

Jos. Romig



P.S. June 30’’ 1908.


There ought to be a title secured to the Chippewa graveyard.  It was paid for (25$) years ago by the tribe.  The title now rests, I think, with Mrs. Julia Bittenbenders son Harry Bittenbender and wife.  That graveyard is and ought always to be an interesting spot.  The Munsee graveyard as elsewhere noted is deeded to the Moravian Historical Society of Bethlehem Pa.


Please correct grammar in my composition.  J. R.


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[In Ignatius] Caleb and You Veix –


[Che[a]swas] Land 2 ½ miles by 7 or 8


Chippewas came in 1854

Munsees “ “ 1860

Ottawas “ “ 1836

Sac & foxes “ “ 1844


Chippewas numbered about 80 in 1854.  Chief Es-ton-quit. (Francis McCoonse) Antoine Go-Key son-in-law, was U. S. Interpreter for Sac & Fox Indians – Another Son in Law was Wm R Turner, a half breed Pottawatomie brought up by Rev Jotham Meeker – who brot the Ottawas to this country & spent the last 18 years of his life with them – Turner having married a daughter of Es-ton-quit became a Chippewa – To him belongs the [honor] of having planted & grown the first apple a Peach orchard in Franklin co – I saw it in full bearing in 1861 & 1862


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Mrs Cook - Chippewa 


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