The End of Indian Kansas: A Study of Cultural Revolution, 1854-1871

The End of Indian Kansas: A Study of Cultural Revolution, 1854-1871

by H. Craig Miner, William E. Unrau
     
 

When Kansas became a U.S. territory in 1854 literally all of its land area was guaranteed by treaty to Indians. More than 10,000 Kickapoos, Delawares, Sacs, Foxes, Shawnees, Potawatomis, Kansas, Ottawas, Wyandots, and Osages, not to mention a number of smaller tribes, inhabited Kansas. By 1875 there were only a couple of bands left.

The forced removal of thousands

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Overview

When Kansas became a U.S. territory in 1854 literally all of its land area was guaranteed by treaty to Indians. More than 10,000 Kickapoos, Delawares, Sacs, Foxes, Shawnees, Potawatomis, Kansas, Ottawas, Wyandots, and Osages, not to mention a number of smaller tribes, inhabited Kansas. By 1875 there were only a couple of bands left.

The forced removal of thousands of Indians from eastern Kansas between 1854 and 1871 affected more Indians and occupied more government time than the celebrated exploits of the military against the more warlike western tribes. In this volume Miner and Unrau show Kansas at midcentury to be a moral testing ground where the drama of Indian disinheritance was played out. They relate how railroad men, land speculators, and timber operations came to be firmly entrenched on Indian land in territorial Kansas. They examine remarkable incongruities in Indian policy, land policy, law, and administration, pointing to specific cases in which legal maneuvers by the federal government—within the framework of treaties, statutes, and executive pronouncements—heped to insure the pattern of tribal destruction.

Separate chapters deal with internal factionalism in the Indian tribes, the practice of government chief-making, and the "Indian Ring"—the sub rosa alliances influencing the treaty or sale process. The authors also include revealing portraits of the individuals, from territorial governors to railroad officials, who helped engineer the end of Indian Kansas.

"There are no heroes in this narrative of fraud, corruption, and violence." (Choice)

Author Biography: Craig Miner is Willard W. Garvey Distinguished Professor of Business History at Wichita State University. Among his books are West of Wichita: Settling the High Plains of Kansas, 1865-1890; Wichita: The Early Years, 1865-1880; and Harvesting the High Plains: John Kriss and the Business of Wheat Farming, 1920-1950.

William E. Unrau, Wichita State University Endowment Association Distinguished Research Professor of History, has published widely in American Indian history. He is the author of White Man's Wicked Water: The Alcohol Trade and Prohibition in Indian Country, 1802-1892, and Mixed-Bloods and Tribal Dissolution: Charles Curtis and the Quest for Indian Identity

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Editorial Reviews

American West
The reader's perception of those brave, hard-working sod-house settlers may never be the same after reading this book.
From the Publisher

"This book recounts in detail the processes by which the Indians from east of the Mississippi were deprived of their lands in present-day Kansas. . . . There are no heroes in this narrative of fraud, corruption, and violence by the military, the executives of state and federal governments, legislators, businessmen, lawyers, settlers, and Indians."—Choice

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780700601615
Publisher:
University Press of Kansas
Publication date:
12/01/1977
Pages:
182

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