Sunday, June 11, 2017

The Life of Charles Curtis - Article No. I (b)

(Nom-Pa-Wa-Ra - He who scares all men)

White Plume was born about 1763 and was past seventy years of age when he died. He was described by Catlin as "A very urbane and hospitable man of good, portly size, speaking some English and making himself good company for all persons who travel through his country and had the good luck to shake his liberal and hospitable hand". Father P. J. De Suit, the Jesuit Missionary, in speaking of White Plume said, "Among the chiefs of this tribe are found men really distinguished in many respects. The most celebrated is White Plume".
John I. Irving in his Indian sketches says, "His hair was raven black and his eyes as keen as a hawk's. He was White Plume -Chief of the Kansas Nation".
White Plume was head Chief of the Kansas Tribe of Indians and was one of the ablest and most progressive Indians of his day. He became a warm friend to Lewis and Clark and was of great help to them in their work among the Indians of that section of the country. He was the first Indian Chief for whom the Government built a stone house in the Territory of Kansas.
Before White Plume became head Chief of the Kansas Indians he married a daughter of Pawhuska. The oldest daughter of White Plume married Louis Gonvil, a Frenchman who was an Indian trader and a man who had been reared among the Indians of the Plains. As a result of this marriage there were two daughters; Josette and Pelagie Gonvil. After the death of his first wife Louis Gonvil married the second daughter of White Plume, and as a result of this second marriage two children were born; Julie and Victorie Gonvil. These four daughters are mentioned in the Treaty between the United States and the Kansas Indians, made at the city of Saint Louis in 1825, and each of these daughters were given an allotment of one mile of land on the north bank of the Kansas River. Kaw mile four, upon which North Topeka, Kansas, is now located was ceded to Julie Gonvil. These four daughters married French Traders. Julie married Louis Pappan, who had been sent to trade with the Indians of the Plains by the American Fur Company. His people originally came from the North of France to Canada and from there they moved to St. Louis. Members of the old Pappan family still live in St. Louis.

After the marriage of Julie Gonvil to Louis Pappan they built a log house on the north side of her allotment and lived there until they removed to the Kansas Reservation near Council Grove, Kansas. There were seven children born as the result of this marriage. The eldest daughter, Helene Pappan, when old enough was sent to St. Louis to be educated.