The official site of Kaw Nation


Notes presented here are designed to clarify why one piece of information was used over another. History is not always clear with what is the truth, what is assumption, or misunderstood. As time moves on, so do the definitions of the situation you perceive. In order for us to understand one another, here are a few clarifications:

  1. There are 125 different pronunciations and spellings for “People of the South Wind,” according to William E. Unrau. It is my understanding the “Kanza” name is the one people prefer. Kaw Nation is their official title. These two names will be used unless the reference is a quote, title of a book or specific to the statement in history. This should make it easier to distinguish the reference between the Kanza People and the State of Kansas.
  2. The publication was not intended to produce a literary book of the Kanza People; it was to supply relevant dates and references important to the history of the Kaw Nation. Individuals searching for information should be able to look up dates and key words with very little effort.
  3. There is a reference to Superintendent William Clark; this is the same William Clark who traveled with Meriwether Lewis across the continent. In 1807, he was appointed to the position of Superintendent of Indian Affairs for the Louisiana Territory out of St. Louis.
  4. In my research, there was a great deal of information on Charles Curtis. Very little information was put in the timeline about him, due to space issues and publication costs. However, if you wish to know more about his life in Kansas or his years in a political office, there is a museum dedicated to him in Topeka, Kan.
  5. Some information on the Dhegiha People was taken from a new book recently published. This book is a collection of research by Mr. Richard Edjing, a friend of mine. He was the archeologist for the Fort Leonard Wood Military. While this book is not readily available, Kaw Nation has two copies in its Kanza Museum Archives and the Kaw Nation Library in Kaw City, Okla.
  6. There have been some concerns the dates were printed in error to a particular historic event. History is an unexpected partner when researching. It would seem the date published in your favorite book of history might not be the only historic date published for this event. It is difficult to determine the correct date should you find more than one. The dates chosen for the publication, however, were found in two or more credible texts. The Timeline Booklet is not a book of history; it is only a reference book that is designed to give you a starting point. Due to the publishing guidelines, space and cost, not all of the references could be printed in the booklet.
  7. There was a question regarding the reference of 1848 of two categories. The Commissioner of Indian Affairs divided the lands into plush and fertile for white settlement, or inaccessible and not good for crops or Indian lands. The land in reference was fertile lands held in 1848 by the Omaha, Otoe, Missouri, Osage and Kanza. Most tribes soon found they were being transferred to Oklahoma Territory, which is the second category. If you are still not clear, please contact Crystal Douglas at our toll free number, 1-866-404-5297.
  8. The Seasonal Lodging (tepee) photos on the first page of the timeline booklet is believed to have been taken in Kansas in the 1860s during a Kanza summer buffalo hunt. Only one reference to this was found, and we were unable to locate the original photo.
  9. Louis Jolliet and Father Jacques Marquette’s map shows the location of the Kanza Village in Missouri (1673) and can be found in the Newberry Library in Chicago. www.newberry.org
  10. The story about the Kanza in 1673, published in the Boy Scout book in the 1890s, “Ranch of the Ox Hide” is not available in print. However, the entire book can be viewed online. Search under Henry Inman, 1898. http://www.archive.org/
  11. Someone brought to my attention the 1872 reference to the removal of the Kaw to Indian Territory was not the correct date; it should be June 1873. The 1873 date is correct; it was typed in error on the booklet. Please accept my apologies for the error.
  12. Another question was the outbreak of smallpox affecting the population of the Kanza people in Kansas. In my research there were four outbreaks of smallpox while the Kanza were in the Kansas territory. This reference is meant to show one of the reasons for the decline in population. It was suggested the outbreak was in the summer of 1855. According to Morehouse’s book written in 1908, the timeline article is correct according to his publication. Please keep in mind there were more than one village and more than one outbreak. Smallpox records do provide reasons for the decline in populations and becomes an excuse for areas having population decline with no apparent reason. When you are researching the reasons for population decline, the first is starvation, the second is disease, and the third is genocide by a rival group.


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