Transcribed from:
Gray's Doniphan County history: A record of the happenings of half a hundred years. By P. L. (Patrick Leopoldo) Gray. Bendena, Kan.: The Roycroft Press, 1905. 3p. l. [11]-84, 166, [2] p. front., plates, ports. 24 cm.


GRAY'S DONIPHAN COUNTY HISTORY.

CHAPTER I.

CORONADO.

There are two sentences in Coronado's letter to his King which seem to prove that he once stood with his thirty companions on the bank of the Missouri river, near the present site of White Cloud, where he erected a wooden cross with the following chiseled inscription: "Francisco Vasquez de Coronado, General of the Spanish Expedition Arrived Here."

In order that our readers may read and decide for themselves, we reproduce Coronado's letter complete.

Translation of a Letter From Coronado to the King, October 20,1541.

Holy Catholic Caesarian Majesty: On April 20, of this year I wrote to Your Majesty from this Province of Tiguex, in reply to a letter from Your Majesty, dated in Madrid, June 11, a year ago. I gave a detailed account of this expedition, which the viceroy of New Spain ordered me to undertake in Your Majesty's name to this country, which was discovered by Friar Marcos of Nice, the Provincial of the Order of the Holy Saint Francis. I described it all, and the sort of force I have, as your Majesty had ordered me to relate in my letters; and stated that while I engaged in the conquest and the pacification of the natives of this province, some Indians who were natives of provinces beyond these, had told me that in their country, there were much larger villages and better houses than those of the natives of this country, and that they had lords who ruled them, who were served with dishes of gold and other very magnificent things; and although, as I wrote your Majesty, I did not believe it before I set eyes on it, because it was the report of Indians and given for the most part by means of signs, yet as the report appeared to me to be very fine, and that it was important that it should be investigated for Your Majesty's service, I determined to go and see it with the men I have here. I started from this province on the 23rd of last April, for the place where the Indians wanted to guide me.

After nine days' march I reached some plains, so vast that I did not find their limit anywhere that I went, although I traveled over them for more than three hundred leagues. I found such a quantity of cows in these, of the kind that I wrote your Majesty about, which they have in this country, that it is impossible to number them, for while I was journeying through these plains, until I returned to where I first found them, there was not a day that I had lost sight of them. After seventeen days' march I came to a settlement of Indians who are called Querechos, who travel around with these cows, who do not plant, but eat the raw flesh and drink the blood of the cows they kill. They tan the skin of the cows with which all the people of this country dress themselves here. They have little field tents made from the hides of the cows, tanned and greased, very well made, in which they live while they travel around near the cows, moving with these. They have dogs which they train to carry their tents, poles and belongings. These people have the best figures of any I have seen in the Indies.

They could not give me any account of the country where the guides were taking me. I traveled five days more as the guides wished to lead me, until I reached some plains with no more landmarks than if we had been swallowed up in the sea, where they strayed about, because there was not a stone, nor a bit of rising ground, nor a tree, nor a shrub nor anything to go by. There is much very fine pasture land, with good grass. And while we were lost in these plains, some horsemen who went on a hunt for cows fell in with the Indians, who also were out hunting, who are the enemies of those I had seen in the last settlement and of another sort of people, who are called Teyas; they have their bodies and faces all painted, are a large people like the others of a very good build; they eat the raw flesh just like the Querechos and live and travel around with the cows in the same way as these. I obtained from these an account of the country where the guides were taking me, which was not like what they had told me, because they made out that the houses were not built of stones, with stories, as my guides had described it, but of straw and skins, and a small supply of corn there.

This news troubled me greatly, to find myself on these limitless plains, where I was in great need of water, and often had to drink it so poor that it was more mud than water. Here the guides confessed to me that they had not told the truth in regard to the size of the houses, because they were of straw, but they had done so regarding the large number of inhabitants and the other things about their habits. The Teyas disagreed with this, and on account of this division between some of the Indians and the others, and also because many of the men I had with me had not eaten anything except meat for some days, because we had reached the end of the corn we had carried from this province, and because they made it out more than forty days' journey from where I fell in with the Teyas, to the country where the guides were taking me, although I appreciated the trouble and danger there would be in the journey, owing to the lack of water and corn, it seemed to me best, in order to see if there was anything there of service to your Majesty, to go forward with only thirty horsemen, until I should be able to see the country, so as to give your Majesty a true account of what was to be found in it. I sent all the rest of the force I had with me to this province, with Don Tristan de Arellane in command, because it would have been impossible to prevent the loss of many men, if all had gone on, owing to the lack of water and also because they had to kill bulls and cows on which to sustain themselves. And with only the thirty horse men whom I took for my escort, I traveled forty days after I had left the force, living all the while on the flesh of the bulls and cows, which we killed at the cost of several of our horses which they killed, because, as I wrote your Majesty, they are very brave and fierce animals; and going many days without water, and cooking the food with cow dung, because there is not any kind of wood in all these plains, away from the gullies and rivers which are very few.

It was the Lord's pleasure that after having journeyed across these deserts seventy-seven days, I arrived at the province they call Quivera, to which the guides were conducting me, and where they had described to me houses of stone, with many stories; and not only are they not of stone, but of straw, but the people in them are as barbarous as all those I have seen and passed before this; they do not have cloaks, nor cotton of which to make these, but use the skins of the cattle they kill, which they tan, because they are settled among these on a very large river. They eat the raw flesh like the Querechos and the Teyas; they are enemies of one another but are all the same sort of people, and these at Quivera have the advantage in the houses they build and in planting corn. In this province of which the guides who brought me are natives, they received me peaceably, although they told me when I set out for it that I would not succeed in seeing it all in two months, there are not more than twenty-five villages of straw houses there and in all the rest of the country that I saw and learned about, which gave their obedience to your Majesty and placed themselves under your overlordship.

The people are large. I had several Indians measured and found that they were ten palms in height; the women are well proportioned and their features are more like Moorish women than Indians. The natives here gave me a piece of copper which an Indian chief wore around his neck. I sent it to the viceroy of New Spain, because I have not seen any other metal in these parts except this and some little copper bells, which I sent him, and a bit of metal which looks like gold. I do not know where this came from, although I believe that the Indians who gave it to me obtained it from those whom I brought here in my service, because I cannot find any other origin for it or where it came from. The diversity of languages which exists in this country and my not having anyone who understood them, because they speak their own language in each village, has hindered me, because I have been forced to send captains and men in many directions to find out whether there was anything in this country which could be of any service to your Majesty. And although I have searched with all diligence I have not found nor heard of anything, unless it be these provinces which are a very small affair.

The province of Quivira is 950 leagues from Mexico. Where I reached it, it is in the fortieth degree. The country itself is the best I have ever seen for producing all the products of Spain, for besides the land itself being very fat and black and being very well watered by the rivulets and springs and rivers, I found prunes like those of Spain, and nuts and very good sweet grapes and mulberries. I have treated the natives of this province and all others whom I found whereever I went, as well as was possible, agreeably to what your Majesty had commanded, and they have received no harm in any way from me or from those who went in my company. I remained twenty-five days in the province of Quivera so as to see and explore the county, and also find out whether there was anything beyond which could be of service to your Majesty, because the guides who had brought me had given me an account of other provinces beyond this. And what I insure of is that there is not any gold nor any other metal in all that country, and the other things of which they have told me are nothing but villages, and in many of these they do not plant anything and do not have any houses except of skins and sticks, and they wander around with the cows; so that the account they gave was false, because they wanted to persuade me to go there with the whole force, believing that as the way was through such uninhabited deserts, and from the lack of water, they would get us where we and our horses would die of hunger. And the guides confessed this, and said they had done it by the advice and orders of the natives of these provinces. At this, after having heard the account of what was beyond, which I have given above, I returned to these provinces to provide for the force I had sent back here and give your Majesty an account of what this country amounts to, because I wrote your Majesty I would do so when I went there.

I have done all I possibly could to serve your Majesty and to discover a country where God Our Lord might be served and the royal patrimony of your Majesty increased, as your loyal servant and vassel. For since I reached the province of Cibola, to which the viceroy of New Spain sent me in the name of your Majesty, seeing that there were none of these things there of which Friar Marcos had told, I have managed to explore this country for 200 leagues and more around Cibola, and the best place I have found in this river of Tiguex where I am now and the settlements here. It would not be possible to establish a settlement here, for besides being 400 leagues from the North Sea and more than 200 from the South Sea, with which it is impossible to have any sort of communication, the country is so cold, as I have written your Majesty, and apparently the winter could not possible be spent here, because there is no wood, nor cloth with which to protect the men, except the skins which the natives wear and some small amount of cotton cloaks. I sent the viceroy of New Spain an account of everything I have seen in the new countries where I have been, and as Don Garcia Lopazde Cardenas is going to kiss your Majesty's hand who has done much and has served your Majesty well on this expedition, and he will give your Majesty an account of everything here, as one who has seen it himself, I give way to him. And may our Lord protect the Holy Imperial Catholic person of your Majesty, with increase of greater kingdoms and powers, as your loyal servants and vassals desire.

From this province of Tiguex, November 20, in the year 1541. Your Majesty's humble servant and vassal, who would kiss the royal feet and hands.

FRANCISCO VAZQUEZ CORONADO.

NOTE: - The sentences referred to in the letter are: "It was the Lord's pleasure ....... I arrived at the province of Quivera ...... on a very large river." The river of "St. Peter and St. Paul" had been designated "a large" river and when the Teucarea was reached, and it was found to be a larger body of water than the river of "St. Peter and St. Paul" it was described as "a very large" river, which is fair evidence that the Missouri river is the body of water referred to.

The other sentence is: "Where I reached it, (Quivera) it is in the fortieth degree." If Coronado reached the Missouri in the fortieth degree, he stood in the vicinity of what is now White Cloud, and it was there he erected the cross, bearing the chiseled inscription, "Francisco Vazquez de Coronado, General of the Spanish Expedition to Quivera, reached this spot."

In the absence of all genuine proof, we are left to accept the evidences that appear in the journals which is that the Great Knight reached the bank of the river Teucarea, in the fortieth degree.

There is, however, a wide divergence of opinion in this matter. On the map in Winship's Coronado, giving the supposed route of Coronado from the city of Compostela, Mexico, to the northern boundry of Kansas, the nearest approach to the Missouri river is about one hundred and fifty miles. General Simpson outlines the route bringing it a little nearer to the Missouri. Colonel Inman holds that the general and his forty horsemen reached the Missouri at the spot where Atchison town now stands, while D. W. Wilder is rather inclined to include both Doniphan and Brown counties in the path of the Knight's journey. This question may never be satisfactorily settled, but the mistake made by the bold adventurer must be apparent to all. In seeking gold, he spurned turning the rich soil wherein lay a real mine; which, for over half a century has been yielding the yellow metal in paying quantities to the industrious inhabitants. Poor short-sighted knight! His reward was disappointment. All that he received was a hatful of mulberries and a few sour wild grapes. May his weary soul rest awhile.


The Platte Purchase.

In August 1821 when Missouri was admitted into the Union, her western boundary line ran straight north from the northwest corner of Arkansas through the mouth of the Kansas river to the Iowa line. Between the Missouri, the Iowa line and the western boundry line of Missouri, lay a triangular plot of land belonging to the Indian Territory. This became the "Platte Purchase" land and included all the lands now lying in Atchison, Nodaway, Holt, Andrews, Buchanan and Platte counties, in northwestern Missouri.

Indians have ever been undesirable neighbors. The Iowas and Sacs and Foxes were not only undesirable neighbors of the settlers of Worth, Gentry, DeKalb, Clinton and Clay counties, but also were in their way. To reach the Missouri river, then the only mode of transportation, these men were obliged to travel south to the mouth of the Kansas, and this seemed a difficult thing to have to do while there was a shorter way across. They could not travel through the Indian lands while the Indians were there, and it became necessary that the Indians, long used to moving, should again "move on." The territory being vacated, such beautiful land should not be permitted to lay idle while the industrious Missouri farmers were so anxious and willing to breakup its prairies and sow them in grain. The will of the white men to possess the lands having prevailed, the way to obtain them was not long in suggesting itself. A "committee" composed of E. M. Samuel, D. R. Atchison, W. T. Wood and Peter H. Burnett was selected to obtain full possession of this three cornered paradise. The committee soon made a favorable report, and Explorer William Clark, at that time agent for all the Indians west of the Mississippi, was sent to have a talk with the Indians. He met them in council at Fort Leavenworth, in September 1836, and the result was that the lands of the Indians passed into the hands of the whites and the "Platte Purchase" was made. For their home and hunting grounds the Indians received $7,500 in cash, and 400 sections of land across the river, in what later became Doniphan and Brown counties. Besides these considerations the government agreed to build five houses for the Iowas and three for the Sacs and the Foxes; promised to send an interpreter for each tribe, a farmer to teach them the art of agriculture, a blacksmith to sharpen their implements, and a teacher to teach them the wisdom of books. Lest the noble red man fall in doubt and question the honesty and liberality of the white man, the government further agreed to break out 200 acres of land, to furnish seed to sow the same, and to send provisions for one year. Later another promise was made to build two ferries that the tribes might pay an occasional visit to the old Missouri shore.

The treaty bore the signature of William Clark, Superintendent of Indian Affairs for the United States, and also the signature of many of the Indians. Mohoska, White Cloud; Nauchening, No Heart; Wachenome, Orator; Neomone, Raining Cloud; Newanthauchu, Hair Shedder; Manhawka, Bunch of Arrows; Chatauthene, Big Bull; Manomone, Pumpkin; Congu, Plum, Wauthaueabechu, One that eats Rats; Chateathau, Buffalo Bull; Chataharaware, Foreign Buffalo, signed for the Iowas.

Cahaqua, Red Fox; Peshawka, Bear; Pecauma, Deer; Neboshoana, Wolf; Suquilla, Deer; Askepakekaasa, Green Lake; Wapasee, Swan; Nochatauwatasa, Star; Cancacarmack, Rock Bass; Seasoho Sturgeon; Peachimacarmack, Bald Headed Eagle, and Peachimacarmack, Jr. signed for the Sacs and Foxes.

S. W. Kearney, John Dougherty, A. S. Hughes, George R. H. Clark, Wm. Duncan, Joseph V. Hamilton, Joseph Robidoux, Jr., Wm. Bowman, Jeffrey Dorion, Peter Constine, Jacques Mette and Louis M. Davison signed as witnesses.

Thus was closed that famous deal in real estate known as "The Platte Purchase," and it is not known that the white man ever regretted having made the deal.


Indian History.

We have many legendary accounts of the character and doings of the aboriginal owners of the land now known as Kansas, but the first date entered in authentic history directly relating to our own little corner of the state records the arrival of M. DeBourgmont, commander at Ft. Orleans, and his expedition at the Kanza village at the mouth of Independence river, on the morning of July 8, 1724. At that time the Kanza Indians were the undisputed owners of the lands of northeastern Kansas, and no doubt they had been in possession for at least half a century, Father Marquette, on his map of the Missouri and Mississippi country, made in 1673, located them (the Kanza) in practically the same region. The land was retained by them, and they held practical dominion over it until about fifty years after the visit of Bourgmont. About that time (1775) the Iowas and Sauks, who had been making war on the Osages along the lower Missouri, came west, crossing the Missouri above the month of the Kansas River, and invading the Kanza country in quest of game, and for the purpose of enriching themselves at the expense of the Kanzas. Although the Kanzas were a brave and warlike race, they were at a disadvantage in repelling the invaders, who were armed with the arms of the whites, purchased or stolen from the white traders on the Mississippi. Beyond a doubt, between 1775 and 1815, the land which we now occupy in peace, was the scene of many bloody encounters between the invaders and defenders. The dust of the century covers the ancient battlefields, and the bones of fallen warriors have long since fallen into dust; yet here and there in the upturned soil we still find broken spearheads, arrow points and stone tomahawks, the last witnesses of the bloody strife of long forgotten days.

From 1775 to 1825 the Kanzas held their lands with difficulty, the government eventually coming to their assistance, buying their land and offering them new quarters further west. The relinquished territory was soon occupied by the Iowas and Sacs and Kickapoos, the the[sic] former receiving the northern, while the latter were given the southern lands of the territory which, in 1855, became Doniphan County.

THE KANZA INDIANS. - The Kanza lndians being for so long a time identified with the territory now belonging to Doniphan County, a separate sketch of them may well find place in this volume. We have traced them from the time of Father Marquette's discovery of the "Pekitanoui" (Missouri) river in 1673, to their quarters in the West, and now we may, with interest and profit, again go over the ground to examine into their habits, character, etc., and their relationship with other tribes and nations, coming at last to learn what has been their ultimate fate.

Father Douay of the LaSalle expedition, 1687, found that the Kanzas, as well as nearly all the other tribes on or near the Missouri, except the Pawnees, spoke the Dacotah language. It is evident from this that the ancient landlords of these hills were descendants of a great nation of red men which has occupied the valley of the Mississippi for hundreds of years. While the Kanzas retained many of the wild traits of their war-loving ancestors, they showed themselves capable of harboring great friendships - especially for the representatives of the French government. Bourgmont with his army of Osages and Missouris were kindly received by them at their village at the mouth of Independence. They came to meet their visitors with the pipe of peace and with offerings of fruits, and according to Bourgmont's chronicler, they prepared for the visitors as many as six meals a day.

About the year 1815, the demon in their nature began to show itself. White men passing up the Missouri, or venturing across the prairies to the Rocky Mountains were attacked by them and robbed of their goods and supplies. Each year their insolence increased until in 1819 they attacked Capt. Martin's command which was on its way to a point on the upper Missouri. Shortly after this occurrence, Indian Agent Major Thomas O'Fallon called a council of the chiefs of the different tribes, and a meeting was held on Cow Island in the Missouri, near the present site of Atchison, on the 24th of August, 1819. The Major made a speech, fired a cannon, shot off a few rockets, hoisted a flag and proved to the red men in many other ways that he was a "good fellow." He obtained a promise from the chiefs that the rights of the whites should be respected ever thereafter.

When not annoyed by the encroachments of the whites, or by the raids of other thieving bands of Indians, warriors of this tribe were peaceful enough; but there were just enough of these disturbances to keep stirred the fires of resentment and revenge. In 1840 these Indians were visited by Father DeSmet. In his "Sketches" Father DeSmet mentions "their unsatiable blood lust, and measureless, ingenious cruelty to their prisoners and foes." However, he does not fail to give them credit for their good qualities. "However cruel they may be to their foes the Kanzas are no strangers to the tenderest sentiments of piety, friendship and compassion. They are often inconsolable for the death of relatives, and leave nothing undone to give proof of their sorrow. Then only do they suffer their hair to grow, long hair being the sign of mourning. The principal chief apologized for the length of his hair, informing us of what we could have divined from the sadness of his countenance, that he had lost his son. I wish I could represent to you the respect, astonishment and compassion expressed on the countenances of three others, when they visited our little chapel for the first time. We showed them an "Ecco Homo" and a statue of Our Lady of the Seven Dolors, and the interpreter explained to them that that Head, crowned with thorns, and that Countenance, defiled with insults, were the true and real image of God who died for the love of us, and that the heart they saw pierced with seven swords was the heart of His mother, we beheld an affecting illustration of the beautiful thought of Tertullian, "that the soul of man is naturally Christian."

The Kanzas believe in a Great Spirit and a Happy Hunting Grounds. To them marriage was a solemn and important thing, and was celebrated with becoming ceremonies. None but a chaste squaw might become the wife of a chief, or even an ordinary brave. The women had supreme control of domestic affairs, and took pride in excelling in the neat and convenient arrangement of things both within and without their simple abodes.

In the year 1815 the first treaty between the United States government and the Kanza Indians was "made and concluded," It was a peace treaty, by which all past wrongs and injuries inflicted and suffered by both sides were forgiven and friendly relations established for the future. The Indians made their treaty with August Cheteau and Nini n Edwards, United States Commissioners.

By a second treaty made in June, 1825, the Kanza Indians ceded their lands to the government and followed the fatal march of their race toward the western horizon, bidding farewell forever to the hills and streams that had been their home and hunting grounds for more than one hundred years.

Emigrant Indians.

The emigrant tribes to the territory relinquished by the Kanza Indians, and now included in our County, were the Kickapoos, the Iowas and the Missouri Sacs and Foxes.

THE KICKAPOOS. - These Indians originally came from the Ohio river country. About 1803 they moved west of the Mississippi, occupying the territory of the Osage river in Missouri. In 1832, they ceded those lands to the government and in 1836-7 were removed to new quarters in the "Indian Territory," of which the lands now known as Kansas were then a part. The tribe, divided into many bands, numbered at that time less than 500 souls. Their reservation included all of the land now included in Doniphan County lying south of the line running west from a point on the Missouri river near where the old town of Bellemont stood, and passing just south of the present site of Highland. We have the names of but a few of the principal chiefs. Wathena was chief of the little band whose village was located on the site of the town that perpetuates its name. Peataquork and his band were quartered somewhere near the western part of the county, and Kennekuk, the prophet and farmer, perhaps was located with his charge near the south central portion. The last named died near the old stage station in Atchison county which bore his name, and where he is said to lie buried in an old well. Early white traders with the Kickapoos were; Peter Cadue, Josephus Utt, J. F. Foreman, Benjamin Harding, Major Vanderslice, W. P. Richardson, J. R. Whitehead, and others.

The Kickapoos, unlike so many of their race, were industrious and ambitious to learn and follow the ways of their white brothers. They planted corn and raised pumpkins, watermelons and squashes. The stone weapons of warfare found on their lands were not of their manufacture, nor were they made use of frequently, for the Kickapoos were neither warriors nor hunters while they resided in this country. During their residence in the fertile valley of the Independence there was a long reign of peace. The bloody battlefields of the fierce Kanzas were clean washed by the rain, and the graves of fallen warriors were leveled by washing soil and covered with carpetings of grass. So the white man found it when, in 1854, he came with his plow and oxen to furrow its loamy soil and build his cabin on the banks of its silver streams.

THE IOWAS. - The Iowas came from the north Mississippi regions to the lands now included in southern Iowa and northern Missouri. In the year 1837, together with the Sacs and Foxes, they were assigned to new quarters in the "Indian Territory," just north of the Kickapoos, i. e., the lands lying in what now is Doniphan County, Kansas, and Richardson County, Nebraska.

Within a year after locating in their new lands they were visited by many traders, and by Rev. S. M. Irvin, representing the Presbyterian Board of Foreign Missions. Early in 1837 this zealus missionary organized the famous Mission near the present site of Highland. In 1845, with the assistance of Rev. Wm. Hamilton, he founded a school for the Indians, which was continued through many difficulties, and with varying degrees of success and failure, until 1854, for the Iowas and Sacs and Foxes had not the industry and peaceful ambitions of their southern neighbors, the followers of the great prophet and farmer, Kennekuk. Although the missionaries labored faithfully and continually for the spiritual and temporal welfare of their charge, it seems that little of the hoped for success was attained. Edward E. Hale, in his "Kansas and Nebraska," published in 1854, says, pages 22 and 23: "Just south of the north line of Kansas are a body of Iowas, removed from their old homes. They number 437. They have profitted but little from the payments annually made to them; are seduced into a loitering, lazy life, by emigrants passing to the Pacific; improvident in their habits, and consequently decreasing in numbers. From 830 they have diminished, in sixteen years, to 437; having been all that time receiving annuities from the government; and most of it under the care of missionaries and government agents. They wear no dress but the blanket. Their crops are short, and their houses, built for them by the government, have gone to decay. Of the Iowas and Sacs, nineteen girls and seventeen boys were last year (1853) at school. They live at the school, under the care of the teacher. There is not, in the Iowa reservation, one adult professing Christianity, and the reports of those in charge of them are are truly disheartening." By way of contrast the same author continues: "The Kickapoos are next south of them on the Missouri river; their condition is better than their neighbors, and the agent seems to consider that it will improve with the stoppage of their annuities, which, by treaty, were to cease last year."

The Iowas had four principal chiefs, White Cloud, Nohart, Walk-in-the-Rain, and Walking Cloud. One of the common warriors was Shoontunga (Little Wolf) but he was no common man, as Commissioner Manypenny discovered, when he came to treat with the Iowas. While the chiefs and other Indians were anxious to trade their lands to the whites whatever price offered, Little Wolf, patriotic as he was wise, fought the treaty and demanded an impossible price for the land. "We are willing to exchange our land for your gold," declared the eloquent redskin, with many a wild gesture of the right arm, and with the lightning of defiance flashing in his eye, "but you must give us pound for pound." However, his speech fell on unsympathetic cars. Commissioner Manypenuy knew that things were coming his way and the will of the government was accomplished during the next year when the treaty was concluded.

THE SACS AND THE FOXES. - This band numbered about 300 in 1837. They came from Missouri and were quartered on Wolf River between the Kickapoos on the south and the Iowas on the north, their allotment of land consisting of fifty sections. Three chiefs ruled the band, which was divided into many villages. Hooper's Ford district was the site of Peteokerna's band; Nesourquoit's warriors pitched their tents in the Bayne Bridge country, while Moless and his band found comfortable quarters and a health resort at the mineral springs in the hills near the present site of Highland Station. These Indians, although reduced in numbers to almost nothing, were not subdued in spirit. They came from fighting ancestors in the region of Lake Huron, and although they were many times driven from their lands, every foot of it was heroically contested, and when finally relinquished was red with the blood of as true patriots as ever faced death for their rights. Even during their residence here they were participators in a bloody battle with a disturbing band of roving Pawnees which came down on their reservation in 1844, and were the glorious victors.

As large game grew scarce on the reservation the warriors were sometimes obliged to do a little farming, but the science of agriculture had for them little fascination, and falling into the way of easy living, they contracted diseases which soon reduced their numbers to a sorrowful few.

On many Wolf River bluffs, and on the hills of Independence river are still visible the stone covered graves of their dead, and much of their history lies buried with them. The wand of civilization has touched its golden point to hill and valley and there has been a complete transformation which would bewilder the eyes of the aboriginal owners to see. But, alas! they are not here to see.

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Transcribed from Gray's Doniphan County history: A record of the happenings of half a hundred years. By P. L. (Patrick Leopoldo) Gray. Bendena, Kan.: The Roycroft Press, 1905. 3p. l. [11]-84, 166, [2] p. front., plates, ports. 24 cm.


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