Thursday, June 8, 2017

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

If you need to start at the beginning - it is here.....Where to begin

In the years when the North American Indian ruled supreme over all of our country there lived west of the Mississippi two strong and powerful tribes of Indians: the Osages and the Kanza (Kansas or Kaw). These tribes had their enemies among the smaller tribes of the Plains but they were dominant over their respective domains until after the Louisiana Purchase by the United States and until the Government began making treaties with them for the relinquishment of their lands which they held by the right of occupancy. History does not tell us from whence they came but they were in possession and each claimed by the right of occupancy a vast domain which by means of many a hard fought battle with the other wild tribes of the Plains, they were able to retain.
When the United States became the owner of the lands covered by the Louisiana Purchase, it took the same subject to the rights of the Indians. The Osages occupied lands covering a large part of what is now the states of Missouri, Arkansas, and the southern part of Kansas. The Kansas Indians occupied lands north and west of the Osages and held lands from a little east of the mouth of the Kansas River west into what is now a part of Colorado and north into the state of Nebraska, and claimed a small strip in western Missouri, covering a part of the state in and around what is now known as Independence and Kansas City.
The authorities say that these two tribes were at one time supposed to make up one great tribe as their language and habits are quite similar and they were always friendly.  The members intermarried so that many families are of the blood of both tribes. There was an old legend among the Kaws that at one time there had grown up among the Osages a young and mighty leader who was ambitious. He was dissatisfied with the way the older chiefs of the Osages ruled the tribe and he and his followers made a fight against these older in power. He was defeated and he and his followers were driven across the Kansas River.  He refused to rejoin the old tribe and he and those who followed and remained with him were given the name of Kanza or Kaw, and they remained as a separate tribe thereafter.
All the old reports of the agents of the French Government and of the Indian traders and trappers tell how the British, immediately after the Louisiana Purchase, sent their trusted half breeds and other agents among the Osages, Kansas and other Indian Tribes who lived within the Purchase and attempted to win them over to the British.  But, the fact remains that when Lewis and Clark made their historic trip among the western Indian tribes they found the Osages in possession of that section of the country now covered by the State of Missouri, with their main village near the mouth of the Kansas River and they found the Kansas Indians in their village on the Kansas side at the mouth of the Kansas River. It is written that when the Pathfinders visited these two tribes they found them to be friendly to the United States. One report says that as they came in sight of the village of the Kansas Indians, which was on a high bluff or hill on the west side of the Kansas River where it emptied into the Missouri River, they saw the flag of the United States waving over the wigwam of the head Chief.  They reported that they were given a hearty welcome.

In the early days, Pa-hus-ca (now spelled Pawhuska) was the Head Chief of the Osage Tribe of Indians; he was known as White Hair and was a strong man and a great leader of his people. It is claimed that he signed the treaties of 1808, 1815, 1818, 1822 and 1825. He died soon after the signing of the last treaty. After his death and after the tribe was placed on a reservation in the old Indian Territory, they named the Capitol of their Nation after him. Pawhuska is still the principal town in Osage County, Oklahoma, which covers the lands formerly within the Osage Reservation.

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