Kaw Mission State Historic Site

Kaw Mission State Historic Site 500 N. Mission Street, Council Grove, KS 66846-1433 620-767-5410 kshs.org/kaw_mission Fee required
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Kaw Mission is more than just a museum that tells the story of the building that was home and school to 30 Kaw boys from 1851-1854; it is a tribute to the Kaw (or Kansa), who gave our state its name. The Kaw lived in the Neosho Valley along the Santa Fe Trail for less than 30 years when, despite an impassioned plea by Chief Allegawaho, the U.S. government removed the Kaw to Indian Territory (now Oklahoma). Learn more about Chief Allegawaho, the Kaw, the Santa Fe Trail, and their stories when you visit Kaw Mission.

Pawnee Rock is located in the southwest corner of Barton County, with only about 100 yards separating it and the old San...
11/08/2019

Pawnee Rock is located in the southwest corner of Barton County, with only about 100 yards separating it and the old Santa Fe Trail. It is considered sacred ground for the Pawnee, who held
tribal councils on its flat top. Many Plains tribes reportedly used it as an observation point to hunt for buffalo herds. For travelers passing through the area, the landmark was the half way point on their journey on the Santa Fe Trail. Many travelers even took the time to engrave their names into the stone.
In 1909, through the efforts of the Woman's Kansas Day club, the remaining portion of Pawnee Rock became a historic site. The original rock had been much larger, but settlers used part of the stone for building use. In 1970 the site was listed in the National Register of Historic Places.

#SantaFeTrail #kansashistory #KansasStateHistoricSite

11/01/2019

This photograph shows a pictograph by a Pawnee artist. The pictograph was on a robe and was gifted to Agent Benjamin O’Fallon in 1819 while at a Pawnee council. It shows a Pawnee-Kansa battle where Kansa warriors had approached a Pawnee village to steal and attack. The Pawnee band was larger and all the Kansa, numbering 18, were killed.
Information from The Beginning of the West by Louise Barry
#kansashistory

In May of 1823, a Santa Fe-bound expedition of thirty-one men captained by Stephen Cooper and Joel P. Walker left Missou...
10/25/2019

In May of 1823, a Santa Fe-bound expedition of thirty-one men captained by Stephen Cooper and Joel P. Walker left Missouri. Each trader had one or two pack horses and an average of about $200 in goods. On June 1, on the bank of the Little Arkansas, Indians stampeded and ran off all but six of their horses. Cooper and five others returned to Missouri to buy more animals. When they returned to their group they found some 1,500 Kansa, who were on a buffalo hunt, camped nearby. Cooper took his company over the Cimarron desert route where they nearly died from lack of water. Walker later claimed that his men encountered a party of trappers on their way to Santa Fe. In the party of trappers was the brother of Joel P. Walker, Joseph R. Walker, famed Mountain Man who would be part of the Sibley Expedition in 1825. Walker also claimed that they were so desperate for water that they killed buffalo and drank the blood, which helped them reach Santa Fe safely. #kansashistory

#kansashistory #SantaFeTrail

Jacque Pregont will share with us about Amelia Earhart at this month’s Kaw Mission Councils program. Join us at 2 p.m....
10/20/2019

Jacque Pregont will share with us about Amelia Earhart at this month’s Kaw Mission Councils program. Join us at 2 p.m. today at Kaw Mission! There is a suggested donation of $3. Co-sponsored by the Friends of Kaw Heritage. #kansashistory
2019 Kaw Mission Councils

#Didyouknow that the mission took three months to construct?#kansashistory
10/18/2019

#Didyouknow that the mission took three months to construct?
#kansashistory

Even though tomorrow is our last day before beginning our winter hours, don’t forget we can still schedule tours this ...
10/11/2019

Even though tomorrow is our last day before beginning our winter hours, don’t forget we can still schedule tours this winter! Thank you for a great season, and we already can’t wait to see you all in the 2020 season! #kansashistory

May 17, 1857Excerpts from a letter from T.S. Huffaker to Col. A. Cumming:“The charge that I have advised the Indians t...
10/08/2019

May 17, 1857

Excerpts from a letter from T.S. Huffaker to Col. A. Cumming:

“The charge that I have advised the Indians to go on the plains to kill game is true, and if they had not done so, they would all long since have perished with hunger. They subsist by hunting and if you could be here and see their condition, would advise the same way most assuredly and so would Agent Montgomery if it were not policy for him to advise otherwise.

I have lived among these people more than six years. I have always labored for their best interests and sometimes have become responsible to the traders for help to go out to kill game to subsist on. If you consider this criminal, I am guilty, but it was aimed for the good of the Indians. The Indians say we may make white men out of their children, but that their habits are formed and that they will kill game for a living.

The statement that my course is not such as it should be as a citizen of the Indian country is so indefinite that I cannot reply, but will state in regard to my course that I have lived in Indian Country and have been charged in this way before I cannot tell why Agent Montgomery has made such statements. I hope the Department will view this subject impartially and that innocent persons in the Indian Country may not suffer because personal enmity exists in the mind of the Agent towards such persons. These are the facts in the case,

T.S. Huffaker”

#kansashistory

As the 2019 season comes to an end next week, we would like to take a moment to thank you all for another successful yea...
10/04/2019

As the 2019 season comes to an end next week, we would like to take a moment to thank you all for another successful year! We appreciate your interest and love for learning about the Kaw Mission and Last Chance Store. It has been our pleasure to serve you and we hope to see you all in 2020. If you haven’t made it to Kaw Mission this year, there is still time before we close on October 12! #kansashistory

Early explorers to Kansas discovered a plethora of animals and birds. One of the most unique birds to be found in great ...
10/01/2019

Early explorers to Kansas discovered a plethora of animals and birds. One of the most unique birds to be found in great numbers was the Carolina Parakeet. It was described as a small green neotropical parrot with a bright yellow head, reddish orange face, and a pale beak.

Many journal and Diary entries mention the Carolina Parrot. In 1804, William Clark mentions “I observed a great number of Parrot queets this evening.”

Lt. James W. Albert’s reports in 1847, while traveling on the Santa Fe Trail, that, “The day was stormy and cold, but we pressed on until we reached ‘Council Grove.’….Paroquettes were sweeping rapidly in large circuits among the topmost branches of the ancient denizens of the forest, and their screams shrill and grating echoed through the lofty arches of boughs, now shorn of their summer glory.”
Albert also mentions seeing a great number of Prairie Hens.

By the time Kansas began to be settled in 1854, the Carolina Parakeet numbers were greatly reduced, mainly from overhunting and capture for pets. By 1880, the parakeet was extinct in Kansas and sadly the last surviving bird died in the Cincinnati Zoological Gardens in September 1914.

#kansashistory #CouncilGrove

Our Kaw Mission Councils has been quite successful, as you can see from these pictures from our July event! Join us in O...
09/27/2019

Our Kaw Mission Councils has been quite successful, as you can see from these pictures from our July event! Join us in October as we learn about Amelia Earhart from Jacque Pregont! #kansashistory

May 17, 1857Excerpts from a letter from T.S. Huffaker to Col. A. Cumming:“I see from a letter to Northrup & Chick from...
09/24/2019

May 17, 1857

Excerpts from a letter from T.S. Huffaker to Col. A. Cumming:

“I see from a letter to Northrup & Chick from the Indian Office that Agent Montgomery has made certain charges against me of which you require an explanation.

1st in regards to sending a delegation to Washington.

Of this I had no knowledge until the arrangement was made among themselves. They told me they intended to go I asked them to remain until the agent returned. They said he might not return soon and they could not wait because their country was taken by the white man and they must know where their Great father intended they should live, that they must plant corn some where this spring. They asked me for money to pay their expenses, I told them I would not furnish any money, but gave a letter to Northrup & Chick at Kansas stating to them the object of their visit having it with them to do as they thought best. Further than this I had nothing to do in sending the Delegation.

As to reaping a benefit in case of a treaty, this is all new to me and am unable to answer this properly.”

#Kanza #kansashistory

Have you been wanting to visit Kaw Mission? Tomorrow we are participating in Smithsonian Magazine Museum Day Live!  This...
09/20/2019
Visit A Participating Museum For Free on 9/21/19

Have you been wanting to visit Kaw Mission? Tomorrow we are participating in Smithsonian Magazine Museum Day Live! This offers two free admissions per household and address. To participate visit smithsonianmag.com/museumday and print your free tickets! #kansashistory

Join us for Museum Day on Saturday, September 21, 2019.

“We left our encampment early the next morning, and about noon came to a large settlement or town of prairie dogs, whi...
09/20/2019

“We left our encampment early the next morning, and about noon came to a large settlement or town of prairie dogs, which appeared to cover a surface of ten acres. They burrow in the earth, are of dark brown color, about the size of a pup five or six weeks old, which they nearly resemble in every respect except the ears, which are more like those of a possum.” – William Becknell in his recollections regarding arriving at the Arkansas River in Kansas.

Information courtesy of Santa Fe Trail by David Dary

#SantaFeTrail #kansashistory

May 9, 1857Excerpts from a letter from Northrup & Chick to A. Cummins:“ We told the Kaw chiefs they needed to get agen...
09/17/2019

May 9, 1857
Excerpts from a letter from Northrup & Chick to A. Cummins:

“ We told the Kaw chiefs they needed to get agent’s permission before going to Washington—refused them financial support---Huffaker had written N&C [Northrup & Chick] saying “the Indians want to borrow money from you to pay their expenses, if you see proper to credit them they will pay you.” We decline and told them to return home which they did.---We do advise the Kaws to go on the Plains to hunt buffalo because it is their primary means of sustenance---WE sell goods to Kaws on credit, when they have a good hunt, they pay us back, and …..” When they fail to make a good hunt, there is great suffering and they are forced to steal or do the best they can.”

“The Kansas Indians formerly raised some corn before the whites took the Country within and around it. They had small patches of corn planted in secluded spots & from which they could guard their stack---

“But since the Whites have settled the Country having no fences the Indians can raise no crops---Hence the Buffalo is their only reliance against starvation---Maj. Montgomery knows these facts as well as any man, But in order to prejudice the Department against us, he makes a parade of this matter, as if were it not for us, the Indians would stay at their homes and cultivate their lands.”

We’re out six thousand dollars supplying the Kansas Indians. “No man who has much feelings can long trade with poor Indians, without occasionally giving them a small credit to go in their hunt to get something to eat---If they succeed they will pay honourably.”

To be continued…
#KanzaPeople #Kansashistory #CouncilGrove #SantaFeTrail #LastChanceStore

A letter from Agent Montgomery to Col. A. Cummings, on March 30, 1857 reported that on March 28, a small party of the Ka...
09/13/2019

A letter from Agent Montgomery to Col. A. Cummings, on March 30, 1857 reported that on March 28, a small party of the Kaw Indians including the principle chief of the tribe and Baptiste James, an interpreter, started for Washington City. They left for the purpose of negotiating a sale of their lands. They also left without his knowledge or consent and are not a recognized delegation of their tribe. They are supposed to have been stimulated to this course by their late missionary, T.S. Huffaker, now a clerk with the trading house of Northrup & Chick, which is known today as Last Chance Store, and is requesting that this visit may be disapproved by the Department.

In a letter from Cummings to Charles E. Mix on April 15, 1857, he summarized Montgomery’s letter about the Kaw delegation and suggests that Northrup & Chick license to trade in Indian country be revoked if Montgomery’s allegations against Huffaker are true.
To be continued…

#KanzaPeople #LastChanceStore #KansasHistory

The Council Grove Democrat reported on July 6, 1866, that Council Grove’s population was 800. While the population was...
09/10/2019

The Council Grove Democrat reported on July 6, 1866, that Council Grove’s population was 800. While the population was in the hundreds, they were “doing business of two and a-half million, annually.” They are not getting a daily mail as they feel is necessary but instead are getting “no mail at all.” The excerpt speaks of how someone “is at fault” and ask the question “Who is it?”
#kansashistory #councilgrove #CouncilGrovephoto1873

In 1866-1867, the Kanza found themselves in a less than a prosperous time with their tribal numbers reaching just over 6...
09/03/2019

In 1866-1867, the Kanza found themselves in a less than a prosperous time with their tribal numbers reaching just over 600. They had planted crops, but still needed meat and robes, and so they headed off for their winter hunt in September of 1866. During a hunt the tribe would split up into small groups, mostly comprised of the different villages or bands. They would camp along the Little Arkansas, Smokey Hill near Fort Harker in Ellsworth County. This particular year the hunts were poor due to a cold winter and a wet spring. The cold destroyed half of their pony herd and the Cheyennes stole ponies from Chief Watiangah’s band. The tribe only received a $700 from the sale of fur and bison robes. To make an already difficult situation worse, the Kanza discovered that during their hunt, white squatters had moved into their stone government houses. What corn they had stored was either stolen or had molded. They received blankets, flour, and beeves upon request by the Indian agent. #kansashistory

Council Grove PressMarch 16, 1861“The brick storehouse of Hays & Simcock (present day Trowbridge building) is nearly c...
08/30/2019

Council Grove Press
March 16, 1861

“The brick storehouse of Hays & Simcock (present day Trowbridge building) is nearly completed. It presents a fine appearance and materially to the business look of Main Street. There is no point west of Kansas City that offers so many inducements to business men of all kinds, as this. With a good policy carried out by energetic men, the immense table of the west could be entered at the Grove. Manufacturers of all descriptions, are needed and would find the location a lucrative one.”

“We take great deal of pleasure in seeing our merchants buying furs and robes. The poor Kaws need the provisions and clothing that they exchange for these necessary articles of commerce. Furs and [ Bison] robes are associated with everything that is pleasant and refreshing. Just imagine that the robes we see the savages, through our office window, bartering away to S.M. Hays & Co. and Malcom Conn, will next winter be wrapped around many happy loving hearts, swiftly gliding along with merry sleigh bell.”
#Kanzapeople #SethHays #kansashistory

Council Grove PressApril 27,1861“The Green Wood treaty secures to the Kaw tribe of Indians a tract of land nine by fou...
08/27/2019

Council Grove Press
April 27,1861

“The Green Wood treaty secures to the Kaw tribe of Indians a tract of land nine by fourteen miles, making 126 sections, divided into subdivisions of forty acres (the amount to be assigned to each individual), making 2,016 tracts, to be divided among 850 men, women and children. The treaty provides that these lands shall be located in a compact body, which will require no more than one-half of the land within the bounds of the diminished reserve, and leaving them, as will be seen, a considerable margin.”

Col. Dickey, the U.S. Agent for the tribe, proposes to locate the Indians on the west part of the reserve, south on one mile on the north side, so that no Indians will be nearer than two miles to Council Grove. Also, that no Indians will be located east of two miles west of the mouth of Rock Creek; thereby, as will be readily seen, leaving unoccupied by any member of the tribe about fifty-four square miles. This arrangement is satisfactory, and we unhesitatingly say, great credit is due the Agent, who has from the beginning manifested an anxious desire to do justice to the whites, as well as the Indians.

The treaty provides that all the lands within the reservation, after the allotment is made, will be disposed of by the Secretary of the Interior as other lands belonging to the tribe. Hence, we say to the people interested: Abstain from interference with the design of the Government; peaceably meet and petition the President and Senate of the Unites states, and in due time all things will be made right.”
#kansashistory

08/25/2019

Join us today at 2 p.m. for the next Kaw Mission Councils, a series of lectures and events focused on the rich history of women of Kansas. There is a suggested donation of $3. Co-sponsored by the Friends of Kaw Heritage. Today’s topic is “Dolly Curtis – Little Sister/Big influence” – Charles Curtis’ sister presented by Deb Goodrich. #kansashistory

Our community band and ice cream social event earlier this month was a success! #kansashistory
08/23/2019

Our community band and ice cream social event earlier this month was a success! #kansashistory

Kanza Marriage Ceremony as described by Thomas Sears Huffaker“The marriage ceremony is somewhat elaborate. The marriag...
08/23/2019

Kanza Marriage Ceremony as described by Thomas Sears Huffaker

“The marriage ceremony is somewhat elaborate. The marriage contract is made between the relatives of the bride and groom, who are not consulted in the matter. It is simply a sale and purchase. The relatives of the man got to the relatives of the girl and agree upon the consideration. Often the girl is not more than five or six years of age. When the time for the conferring of the contract arrives, if the families live in villages the family of the groom moves his tent near the family of the girl. On the day fixed for the final ceremony the tent of the groom is vacated by the family. The presents of the groom’s relatives are left in the tent, except the ponies, which are tied outside, and four women relatives of the groom remain in the tent. The bride is clothed in all the fine and costly things that her family are able to furnish. She is then placed upon the finest horse possessed by her family, it having been decorated with costly coverings. A gun is then discharged at her tent to notify the four women at the groom’s tent that the bride has started for the groom’s tent. The four women leave the tent to meet her. She is taken by them from the horse, wrapped in fine clothing and carried by the four women into the tent and seated upon the ground uncovered. The friends of the groom are then notified, and he is brought into the tent and seated near the bride, when they both partake in a wedding feast, seated back to back, ‘sight unseen.’ After the repast is ended the relatives and friends of both parties are admitted to the tent, a general feast is had, and the delivery of the presents. Thus the ceremony is ended. If the wife is not of mature age she becomes one of the family of the groom until she is old enough to take charge of her own house.”

#kanzapeople #ThomasHuffaker #teacherattheKawMission #Kansashistory

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500 N Mission St
Council Grove, KS
66846-1433

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