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Zebulon Pike trip and Pawnee Indian Village correspondence

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[Indians.]

[Pawnee]

 

[Coues]

 

Cable Address:

Coues, Washington.

Home Address:

1726 N Street, Washington, D.C.

Office Address:

Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C.

 

January 7th, 1896

 

E.D. Hauey, Esq.

Cortland, Kas.

 

My Dear Sir:

 

I am deeply interested in the matter of which you write, viz. the finding of the site of the old Pawnee Village visited by Pike in 1806.  If you will read carefully what I say on the subject you will find that I was obliged, to my great regret, to leave the position of the village in doubt, on page 410 of my edition of Pike’s Expeditions, published last year by Francis P. Harper of New York (prospectus enclosed).

 

I had in fact trailed Pike right to the vicinity of Cortland and Scandia; but when I had got him there, I could find no account of any Pawnee village, and nobody could tell me anything about it.  I then had to fall back upon the only information accessible to me, viz. Josiah Gregg’s map of 1844, which locates Pike’s Pawnee village further N. and W., on the Republican river, but over the Kansas border in

 

[Page 2]

 

vicinity of Red Cloud, Webster Co., Neb.  This now seems to have been a mistake, and I wish I had stuck to what was my own private judgment, derived from very careful study of Pike’s route, that the village was in the vicinity of Courtland and Scandia, in Republic Co. Kas.

 

It now remains for you and your associates to determine the matter, and place it beyond doubt, as a contribution to permanent history.  This will prove an important matter, and redound greatly to the honor and renown of all concerned.  Please present my respectful compliments to the members of the associations, and my wish that they will succeed in determining all the points involved, and put them on permanent record.  You did well to communicate with the secretary of the State Historical Society, and I hope you will also keep in communication

 

[Page 3]

 

with me, and let me know promptly the result of your investigations, which I shall await with eager interest.  I hope you will work up the whole subject into good shape, and I shall then be happy to cooperate with you in bringing it properly before the public, not only of your own state, but of the whole country.

 

With great regard,

Very truly yours,

 

Elliott Coues

 

[Page 4]

 

[Ind. Pawnee]

 

(Copy)

 

[Mr. Hauey.]

 

[Coues]

 

Washington, D. C., January 18, 1896.

 

[E D Hauey, Esq Courtland Kans.]

 

Dear Sir,---

 

I congratulate you on the organization of the Pawnee Republic Historical Society, which I am glad to see, includes the ladies, and which I have no doubt, will do good work.

 

I should judge you are quite right in claiming the site of Pike’s Pawnee Village at the bluffs on the Republican river opposite Republic City, a little below the mouth of White Rock Creek.

 

I had trailed Pike exactly to the site of present village of White Rock, but then became a little undecided in my mind on account of the alleged position of the village on Gregg’s map of 1844.  I ought to have had more confidence in my own judgment.  Gregg’s position is far out of the way, as I now see.  So is Scandia, which has also been claimed as the right place.  I have no doubt your Society has the right of it.

 

I send you by same mail with this, a map on a large scale, showing all the topographical details very clearly.  Please do not fold it or let it get soiled and return it after you have laid it before the Society.  Please stick a pin in the precise spot of the Pawnee Republic.  I have marked where I suppose it to be, and also Pike’s camps of September 23 and 24.

 

Where do you suppose Pike was camped between September 25 and Oct. 7.  It was not exactly at the Pawnee Village, and I think a little further north.

 

[Page 5]

 

What you say of the old Pawnee Trail to Buffalo Creek is interesting.  The distance “18 miles” is just about right.  But now please inform me exactly where this old trail struck Buffalo Creek.  Was it nearest to Jamestown, or Randall, or Jewell?  You will find me speaking of this old trail on page 420 of my book, and fetching Pike there to Buffalo Creek, but I did not know exactly where the trail crossed the Creek.  You will find my book all right about the place where Pike struck the Arkansas River, close to Great Bend.

 

Very truly yours,

 

(signed) Elliott Coues.

 

[Page 6]

 

[Ind.]

[Pawnee]

 

Cable Address:

Coues, Washington.

Home Address:

1726 N Street, Washington, D.C.

Office Address:

Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C.

 

[Coues]

 

March 1st, 1896

 

Gomer T. Davies,

Eortor Republic City News,

Secretary Pawnee Republic Historical Society.

 

Dear Sir:

 

I acknowledge with pleasure the reception of your interesting letter of Feb. 21st, relating to this supposed location of the Pike camp of 1806, and to the good progress made by your society in promoting historical research.  You already know the great interest I take in this matter; indeed, I shall consider it fortunate rather than other=wise, if my own leaving of the location of the Pawnee village open in my book leads to such active endeavor and fruitful results as those of your Society.  At present I see no reason to doubt that you have the right of it, and that when you have fully formulated your results there will remain no question

 

[Page 7]

 

of the exact location of the Pawnee villages or of Pike’s memorable camp.  You will see by the large map which I sent, and which I believe is now in Thos. Johnson’s or Mr. Hanie’s hands, that I trailed Pike directly to White Rock; and all your present researches confirm the impressions I formed at the time, though I did not venture to commit myself to final conclusions.  The doubts of my own work which then arose in my mind was mainly due to the Gregg map of 1844, which puts the Pawnee village near Webster City, Neb.  But I am now satisfied that this is an error.

 

I appreciate the compliment of your invitation to be present on the occasion to which you refer, but must leave the matter open for the present.  I am overwhelmed with literary work, and

 

[Page 8]

 

see my way clear to command the time for so long a journey.  But it is within the bounds of possibility, of suitable arrangements for my visit can be made by your Society.

 

With regards,

Very truly yours,

 

Elliott Coues

 

P.S. Kindly continue to send me whatever may appear in your paper on the subject.  I think I have all the articles you have published hitherto. 

 

[Page 9]

 

[Ind.]

[Pawnee]

 

Cable Address:

Coues, Washington.

Home Address:

1726 N Street, Washington, D.C.

Office Address:

Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C.

 

[Coues]

 

Jan. 20th, 1896.

 

Mrs. Geo. Johnson,

White Rock, Kas.

 

Dear Madam:

 

I beg to acknowledge your interesting letter of Jan. 16th.

 

I have now no doubt that you are right in locating the Pawnee Village which Pike visited in 1806 as that one which stood at the bluffs across the river from the present site of Republic City.

 

In trailing Pike through Kansas, by the text of his narrative, I brought him exactly to White Rock, Sept. 24, 1806, and believed his village was in that immediate vicinity.  But his text is not very clear regarding the exact position of the village he visited: his map is very badly out of drawing; and Gregg’s map of 1844, which professes to actually dot Pike’s trail, fetches him up on the Republican in the vicinity of present Red Cloud, Nebraska.  Also, I found others claiming Scandia, Kas. as the place.  Having never been myself on the spot, I was thus left in an uncertainty, and so expressed myself in my book.  I ought to have had more confidence in my own original and independent determination, and if I had stuck to it should have been all right.

 

[Page 10]

 

However you are now putting the case in its proper light, and doing an important piece of historical work, in which I trust your society will persevere until the facts are fully set forth and acknowledged by all.  I also think that the spot should be marked by some sort of a monument, suitably inscribed to perpetuate the memory of the red village and of Pike’s visit thereto.  Nor impossibly, also your society could acquire a plot of ground, in its position of the original Pawnee village, and set it apart as a historical park.

 

I have recently been in correspondence with Mr. Hauey of Courtland, who first wrote to me on the subject, and to whom I have sent a map which I have desired him to lay before your society.  This is engraved on a very large scale, showing all the details of Topography in the vicinity; and I have marked in ink upon it the positions I had determined.  Please examine this map carefully, and see if I have things right on it according to your own determinations: and if not, mark on it in pencil any corrections which seem to be

 

[Page 11]

 

required.

 

Acting upon your suggestion, I have addressed a letter to Passo assist Engineer Bailey of the Navy.

 

I shall be pleased to hear from you further on the subject.  Meanwhile I remain,

 

With respect,

Very truly yours,

 

Elliott Coues.

 

[Page 12]

 

State of Kansas.

Historical Society.

 

Topeka, Kas., June 11, 1896.

 

Gomer T. Davies, Esq.,

The Republic City News,

Republic City, Kansas.

 

My Dear Gomer,--

 

I am sorry I am bothering you people so much respecting our exploration of the Pawnee Republic.  But Prentis does not reply to my inquiries as to when he can go.  Besides it so happens that through this month I am busier than ever before in my life.  We have in press the 5th Volume of Collections of our Society, a large book.  It will take the whole month through to get it out.  Every moment of my time will be occupied in preparing copy, proof reading, and indexing.  I will certainly visit you early in July, whether I get anybody to go with me or not.  Please ask my friends to join you in being very patient, and oblige

 

Yours truly,

 

J.G. Adams

 

[Page 13]

 

State of Kansas.

Historical Society.

 

Topeka, Kas., July 7, 1896.

 

Gomer T. Davies, Esq.,

Republic City, Kansas.

 

Dear Sir,---

 

Mr. Cowgill and myself propose to go up to your valley by the Rock Island train next Monday evening the 13th, reaching Scandia early next morning.  I have written this also to Mrs. Johnson.  If a different time would suit you people better, please advise me.  I called on Noble Prentis last week and found him lamed by an accident, so that he cannot travel at present.  There seems to be really no prospect that he will be able to join us in our visit to you at any time.

 

It may be that Dr. Thompson of our place will go up with Mr. Cowgill and myself.

 

Yours truly,

 

J.G. Adams

 

[Page 14]

 

[Ind. Pawnee]

 

Cranberry Inn.

Cranbury,

Northcarolina.

3250 Feet

Above Sea Level

 

Wallace Hahn

 

July 26th, 1896

 

Dear Sir:

 

Yours of the 20 finds me away from home, in a mountain resort for the summer.  I write now to acknowledge its reception with thanks, and to say that I will answer it more fully later on, when I shall have returned to my home in Washington.

 

Wishing you all success in your investigations,

 

Very truly yours,

 

Elliott Coues

 

[Page 15]

 

[Ind. Pawnee]

 

[Coues]

 

Oct. 1, 1896

 

Dear Sir:

 

On my return from a long absence in the mountains of North Carolina, I find your favor of July 20th.

 

I congratulate you on the success you have had in locating the old Pawnee village.

 

I have no doubt you are right, and no criticism to pass upon any of the points you submit to my decision in your letter.

 

Present my regards to the members of your association, and believe me,

 

Yours very truly,

 

Elliott Coues.

 

E.D. Hauey, Esq--

Courtland, Ks.

 

[Page 16]

 

J & N may have the original of & keep them need not new copies until called for.

 

E.D.H.

 

[Page 17]

 

[Ind. Pawnee.]

 

1726 N st., Wash. D.C. Dec. 5/96

 

[Coues]

 

Dear Mrs. Johnson:

 

I am much obliged for the interesting papers you have sent me, and especially for the photograph.  But a singular accident happened, which spoiled the latter.  I tried to soak it off the board, to insert it as an extra page in my private copy of Pike, and this obliterated the picture, it nary of the kind that will not stand wetting.  Could you be good [xxxxxxxx] to send me another, unmounted?

 

With regards,

Very truly yours,

 

Elliott Coues.

 

[Page 18]

 

Mrs. George Johnson,

Pawnee Republic Historical Society

White Rock

Big Blue Township

Republic County

Kansas.

 

[Page 19]

 

[Back of envelope]

 

[Page 20]

 

[Calderhead]

[Ind. Pawnees.]

 

House of Representatives U.S.

 

Washington, D.C., (Marysville, Kan) 8.30, 1901

 

Hon. Geo. W. Martin

Topeka Kan.

 

Dear Sir:

 

I inclose Dept. letter relative to cannon for the Pawnee Village monument you spoke of in your recent letter.

 

For the only way that I can see that a gun can be had is to let the D.A.R. Port at Belleville or the City of Belleville ask for it and pay the freight, and thus let it turn the gun over to the Hist. Society, and the Society can refund them, if it can.

 

I will be ready at any time to ask for the gun if the requirements named the letter are complied with.

 

Very Respectfully,

W.A. Calderhead

 

[Page 21]

 

[Buffington, A.B.]

[Ind.]

[Pawnee.]

 

All letters must be addressed to “The Chief of Ordnance, U.S. Army, Washington, D.C.”

 

SUBJECT Condemned cannon.

 

Office of the Chief of Ordnance A

United States Army

 

Washington August 27, 1901.

 

In replying refer to No. 36938.

 

Honorable W.A. Calderhead, M.C.,

Marysville, Kansas.

 

Sir:-

 

I have the honor to acknowledge receipt of your letter of 21st instant, stating that the Historical Society of the State of Kansas is erecting a monument upon the site of an old Pawnee village in Republic County, where Lieut. Zebulon M. Pike, on the part of the United States, induced the Indian to haul down the Spanish flag and fly in its place the stars and stripes, in 1806, etc., and stating your desire that the Society be furnished with an old Spanish cannon to plant opposite the monument, or if this cannot be obtained, one of the condemned pieces from Benicia Arsenal would be acceptable, and asking if this can be accomplished.  In reply I would state that the Department has now no captured Spanish cannon for distribution.

 

Your attention is invited to the Act of Congress approved May 22, 1896, under which donations have recently been made.  This act limits the organizations to which cannon can be donated to -

 

(1) Soldiers Monument Associations,

(2) G.A.R. Posts; and

(3) Municipal Corporations.

 

[Page 22]

 

Unless application is made to this office for cannon by the official heads of one of the three organizations enumerated above, there is no authority of law that would enable this Department to comply with your request.

 

From the facts stated in your letter it would seem that the State Historical Society is not entitled to a gun under the above cited law.

 

Respectfully,

 

[signed] A. B. Buffington

 

Brig. Gen. Chief of Ordnance

 

[Page 23]

 

[Brookings]

[Hist c/28]

[Ind. Pawnee]

 

The Hastings Museum

A.M. Brooking, Director

Hastings, Nebr.

 

January 24th 1927

 

W.E. Connelley.

Topeka Kas.

 

Dear Mr Conelly;-

 

Your favor of the 21st inst. at hand and also the copy of the Kansas findings of the Pike Pawnee village.  I enjoyed reading it for I am not thoroughly sold on either site.  There is always so much confusing testimony on all these matters that a real student must always have an open mind especially when it comes to old Pawnee villages.  I have studied the Pawnee migration for years and think I have visited about every permenant site in the State.  In fact I wrote a history of the tribe several yrs ago which I have been constantly revising ever since and expect I shall continue to do as long as I live.  I agree with you in your estimation of our esteemed ? secretary and we have been off of each other for some time.  I published the first account of Hills discovery and Sheldon said there was nothing to it.  Later Hill and he made some sort of a deal and he wrote an article which was almost a duplicate of mine except that he stated so and so to be a fact where as I had mentioned them as being probable.  You have never seen him mentioned my name in connection with any discoveries but the fact is that the first two years I was associated with Hill in all of them.  I personally dug out the big Spanish medal.  I have no sore spots and do not crave noterity but mention it to show you how the wind blows.

 

You have made out a good case and I hope to receive the Nebr side of it soon.  I do not know just what to think of the Committees idea of a small pox village for I dug into dozens of graves and found them no different from a similiar number from a village on the Loup.  My idea and I have

 

[Page 24]

 

a reference to it on page 7 vol. 20 Nebr His Pub. is that the Republican Band left that river about the year 1809 and settled at horse creek twelve miles west of the present town of Fullerton.  Can you give me any authority for them still being on the Republican in 1832.?  I can revise my writings again in that case.

 

I have it that the old dissention in the tribe caused them to abandon the horse creek site and at least a part of them moved to a site which I have located about four miles west of the Grand Village in the vicinity of Clarks Nebr.  I wish you might sometime read my history and tell me where I am wrong for I have hoped to finally succeed in making it as near historically correct as is possible.  Just now it is in no shape to show to any one.

 

We have a wonderful collection of Indian material in our museum here and I would enjoy showing it to you if you could run up some time.  I might also be able to give you some low down on this Pike controversy that neither of the associations have found.  When the smoke blows away I may decide to show you both something new privately.

 

I was down at Webber Kansas a few days ago and found a very interesting village site on the Warne farm.  Some shell tempered shards interested me for I have not found any of this this far west.  I hardly think it Pawnee culture.  I note that you are looking for a mounted Buffalo.  The last one killed in the United States is at Leadville Colo.  It is not well mounted but is for sale.  We have one in the museum which I mounted last year which might be bought, wish you could see it.

 

Yours very truly.

 

[signed]

 

A.M. Brooking.

 

[Page 25]

 

[Ind. Pawnee]

 

The Hastings Museum

A.M. Brooking, Director

Hastings, Nebr.

 

Jan 18th 1928

 

[Brookings]

 

W.E. Connelly.

Topeka Kas.

 

Dear Mr Connelly;-

 

Am enclosing check for dues which I have overlooked until now.  I note that our Nebraska Society has its Pike dope out.  They seem to have made out a case but there are some discrepantces and I will enjoy seeing your side of the matter.  I expect this will be another site which will remain a mystery.

 

I have enjoyed reading the Wild Bill stories for it all helps to bring out the facts as far as they may be obtained-Just the other day some Fairbury people were in our museum and the matter was mentioned and I remarked that I thought so far it had only been proven that the McCandless bunch were not horse thieves and the man in the party said that old timers living there still told stories about them being robbers of emigrants passing thru, and so it goes.

 

Yours sincerely,

 

[signed]

 

A.M. Brooking-Director.

Item Description

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