Glenn's Expedition.Of all the expeditions that visited Kansas, or some portion of it, in the early part of the 19th century, less seems to be known regarding that led by Col. Hugh Glenn than any other. It appears to have been merely a party of adventurers, acting without official authority, and with no other object in view than to see the country and learn something of its possibilities. The best, and perhaps the only, account of the expedition is that found in the journal of Jacob Fowler, who was the chronicler of the undertaking. This journal was edited and published by Dr. Elliott Coues a few years ago, and from it the following facts regarding the expedition are taken.
Fowler and a few associates left Fort Smith, Ark., on Sept. 6, 1821, crossed the Arkansas river and made their way to the Neosho, near where Fort Gibson was afterward built. Hugh Glenn was a well known Indian trader, and at that time had a trading house on the Verdigris river, about a mile from its mouth. From the Neosho, Fowler's party moved on to Glenn's trading house, where the time until Sept. 25 was spent in "making arrangements for the journey to the mountains." A company of 20 men was formed, including Jacob Fowler and his brother Robert, Nathaniel Pryor, who had been with Lewis and Clark, several Frenchmen and a negro belonging to Jacob Fowler. Under command of Col. Glenn the expedition set out up the Arkansas valley. Fowler, who kept the journal, was not much of a speller, but what he lacked in a knowledge of orthography he made up by the zeal with which he kept a detailed record of each day's march. On Oct. 6 he says:
"We now steered north leaveing the River (the Arkansas) on our lefft hand Beleveing the High Hill and Bluffs Near the River Wold he difequal to pass With loaded pack Horsesat six miles over High Rich lime stone Pirarie We Camped on a Crick 60 feet Wide Wheare We killed some turkeys in the Evening."
Coues thinks that this "crick" was the stream known as Grouse creek, which flows in a southerly direction through Cowley county, Kan., and empties into the Arkansas river near the southern boundary of the state. For the next 30 days the expedition was in Kansas. From Grouse creek it moved west for a few miles, then turned north, and on the 9th it struck the Whitewater (Walnut) creek somewhere between the present towns of Arkansas City and Winfield. On the 11th it again turned west, and two days later was about where Wichita now stands. The remainder of the course through the state was along the Arkansas river. According to Coues the camp of the 17th was not far from the present town of Ellinwood in Barton county; the Pawnee fork was crossed near Larned; the camp of the 25th was near Ford, in Ford county, and that of the 27th was not far from Dodge City. On the 29th the camp was pitched near Pierceville, Finney county, and on the 30th the expedition halted for the night about 8 miles west of Garden City. Fowler's journal for the 31st says they had reached a point where "a great many trees appear to Have (been) Cut down by White men and a french trading Camp Have been latly burned down Soposed to he Shotoes." (See Chouteau's Island.)
On Nov. 1 the expedition "lay by to Rest Horses and dress Skins and prepare for winter. This morning the first Ice We seen frose in the Kittle about as thick as the Blaid of a knife and Ice floted down the River."
All of the 2nd was spent in camp, but on the 3d the expedition proceeded on up the river and that night camped near the present village of Kendall, not far from the boundary between Kearny and Hamilton counties. Here another short rest was taken, and on the 5th the expedition moved on westward, entering Colorado either that day or the one following.Pages 752-753 from volume I of Kansas: a cyclopedia of state history, embracing events, institutions, industries, counties, cities, towns, prominent persons, etc. ... / with a supplementary volume devoted to selected personal history and reminiscence. Standard Pub. Co. Chicago : 1912. 3 v. in 4. : front., ill., ports.; 28 cm. Vols. I-II edited by Frank W. Blackmar. Transcribed May 2002 by Carolyn Ward.
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