Missouri Shawnee were the first
Indians removed to Kansas
Territory, which was then set apart for emigrant tribes by the treaties of
June, 1825, with the
Kanza and Osage. By a treaty made at
Missouri on November 7, 1825, the United States granted "to the Shawnee
tribe of Indians within the State of Missouri, for themselves, and for those
of the same nation now residing in Ohio who may hereafter emigrate to the
west of the Mississippi, a tract of land equal to fifty miles square,
situated west of the State of Missouri, and within the purchase lately made
from the Osage." The tract of fifty miles square was thus granted and
afterward surveyed and conveyed to the tribe on May 11, 1844.
The Shawnee had their ancient home in the basin of the Cumberland
River in Tennessee. Their territory was invaded by the Iroquois about the year
1672, and the vanquished Shawnee, fleeing to the South, were scattered over
various parts of the country -- settling in the Carolinas, at the
head-waters of the Mobile River, in Florida, and are related to one tribe
that went south to "New Spain."
After a short time, several of the tribes reunited
and returned to the vicinity of their old hunting-grounds, forming settlements
in the Ohio Valley, where Father Marquette related that they were "in such
numbers that they seem as many as twenty-three villages in one district, and
fifteen in another, lying quite near each other."
Several treaties of peace had been made previous to 1786, with
the Shawnee but that of January 31, 1786, was the
first concluded with them separately as a nation. By the provisions of this
treaty, which was made at the mouth of the Great Miami River, on the northwest
bank of the Ohio, the United States allotted to the Shawnee certain lands on the
Miami River, contiguous to the reservations of the Wyandot and Delaware
The Wyandot protested against this treaty, on the grounds that
the lands set apart for the Shawnee had been previously, by treaty, ceded to
themselves. The Shawnee remained on the land, however, sharing the Wyandot
hunting and fishing grounds, and it was in consideration of their forbearance at
this time that the Wyandot
would later request the Shawnee to cede to them a portion
of their reservation in the
Indian Territory, when they attempted to negotiate
for removal from Sandusky in 1832.
From the time of the
peace treaty which the Shawnee made
with William Penn in 1682 (the first treaty with the whites to which they were a
party), the Quakers took an intelligent and constant interest in
their welfare. Thomas Chalkley, a minister of the London society of the
denomination, who visited them as early as 1706, mentions among the
peculiarities of the Shawnee its custom of admitting women to its councils. He
said: "In the council was a woman who took a part in the deliberations of this
council, as well as upon all important occasions. On the interpreter being
questioned why they permitted a woman to take so responsible a part in their
councils, he replied that some women were wiser than some men, and that they had
not done anything for years without the council of this ancient, grave woman,
who spoke much in this council."
Philanthropic and religious enterprises were necessarily
suspended during the long-continued French, English and Indian wars, but after
the close of the war of 1812, the Quakers again resumed their labors among the
Shawnee, establishing a school, and building flour and saw mills at their
village in Ohio. Under the prudent and energetic superintendence of Henry
Harvey, the tribe made rapid advances in civilization, and in the year 1831, when
their lands were bought by the Government, preparatory to the removal of the tribe
to the West, the Ohio Shawnee were prosperous.
Delaware removed from the tract in 1815; the Shawnee
removed from their first location near the cape, and again removed as white
settlers encroached on their lands, until, by the treaty of November 7, 1825,
they relinquished all title to their Missouri lands, and moved to their
reservation in what is now the State of Kansas.
In 1831, a treaty was concluded
with the Ohio Shawnee, giving them a certain sum for their improvements in that
state, and land contiguous to the Missouri Shawnee in
present-day Kansas. A
portion of the tribe were removed in 1832; the remainder, in the fall of the
The good results of the habits of thrift and industry which
these Shawnee had acquired, aided and encouraged by the influence of the
missionaries, who soon settled among them in their new location, were, after a
few years, apparent in the comparatively comfortable houses and the
well-cultivated fields which multiplied on their reservation.
An act was passed in 1853, granting the Ohio Shawnee $66,000
additional compensation for their improvements in that state -- 24 years after
their removal. This sum was paid to the Ohio band at their reservation in Kansas.
On May 10, 1854, the tribe ceded to the United States the
entire tract set apart for them on November 7, 1825, and additional lands conveyed to the tribe
on May 11, 1844, containing about 1,600,000 acres. By a provision of the
same treaty, the United States retroceded to the tribe "200,000 acres to be
selected between the Missouri State line and a line parallel thereto and west of
the same thirty miles distant, which parallel line shall be drawn from the
Kansas River to the southern boundary line of the country herein ceded."
Three sections of land were to be set apart to the Missionary
Society of the Methodist Church South; 320 acres to the Friends' Shawnee Labor
School; 160 acres to the American Baptist Missionary Union; five acres to the
Shawnee Methodist Church; and two acres to the Shawnee Baptist Church -- all to be
considered a part of the retroceded 200,000 acres. The residue of the tract was
to be divided, each individual receiving 200 acres, and whatever remained to be set apart for any other Shawnee who might thereafter
unite with the tribe.
The privilege of selecting lands extended to every head of a
family who, though not a Shawnee, had legally married into the nation, according
to their customs, all persons adopted into the tribe, all minor orphan children
of Shawnee, and all incompetent persons, to have selections made adjacent to
their friends and relatives.
Joseph Parks and Black Hoof, principal chiefs, at the request
of the tribe, were allowed to select certain lands -- Joseph Parks' being equal to
two sections, including his residence and improvements; and Black Hoof's being
equal to one section, including residence and improvements. The treaty was
signed by Joseph Parks, Black Hoof, George McDougal, Long Tail, George Blue
Jacket, Graham Rogers, Black Bob, Henry Blue Jacket -- representing the bands that
were parties to the treaty of November 7, 1825, and August 8, 1831.
For the land ceded by the Shawnee, they were to
be paid the sum of $829,000, of which $40,000 should be invested for educational
purposes, $700,000 paid in seven equal installments, and the remainder within a
month of the time of the last annual payment.
A large part of the tribe left Kansas about 1845 and settled
on Canadian River in Oklahoma, where they became known as the Absentee Shawnee.
In 1867 the Shawnee living with the Seneca also from Kansas to the
Indian Territory and became known as the Eastern Shawnee. In 1869, by intertribal
agreement, the main body became incorporated with the
Cherokee Nation in the
Though the Shawnee were integrated with the
maintained separate communities and cultural identities. Known as the
Cherokee Shawnee, they would also later be called the Loyal Shawnee. Efforts
began in the 1980s to separate the Shawnee Tribe from the Cherokee Nation, which
finally culminated with the Shawnee Tribe Status Act of 2000, which restored the
Shawnee Tribe to its position as a sovereign
the largest part of the Shawnee Nation continues to reside in Oklahoma.
P.O. Box 189
29 S Hwy 69A
of Kansas, updated March, 2017.
|About this article: The
primary content for this article is an edited rendition of the Shawnee
IIndians as told
in William G. Cutler's History of the State of Kansas, first
published in 1883 by A. T. Andreas, Chicago, Illinois. Note that the article
is not verbatim as minor corrections for spelling and punctuation, editing
for clarity, and updates since the article was first written, have been
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