The Moravian Munsee of Kansas

Moravian Munsee

Another small band of the Christian Indians moved to Kansas and were permitted to settle on the Delaware reservation. They had a town near the Kansas River, near the present town of Muncie, in Wyandotte County. Later they moved to a beautiful location in Leavenworth County, now the National Military Home and Mount Muncie Cemetery. A small band of Stockbridge had been permitted to settle there, also, but these returned to Wisconsin after a residence of a few years. In the treaty of May 6, 1854, with the Delaware, the Moravian Munsee, called also the Christian Indians, were assigned a reservation. It included the fine location mentioned above, and consisted of four sections of land. They lived on their reservation but four years after it had been set off to them. By act of Congress they were authorized to dispose of the land, and they sold it to one A. J. Isacks.

Kaskaskia Confederacy

This was not a true confederacy, but an association of tribes which resulted from circumstances over which none had much control.

The Kaskaskia made a treaty at Vincennes in 1803, in which it is recited that they “are the remains, and rightfully represent all the tribes of the Illinois Indians.” They ceded more than eight million acres in the heart of Illinois, reserving only three hundred and fifty acres near the old town of Kaskaskia, with the privilege of locating another tract of twelve hundred and eighty acres in the tract ceded. In 1818 the Peorias, part of the Illinois Indians, who had to that time lived apart, united with the Kaskaskia. All of them ceded their lands in Illinois and received a reservation of six hundred and forty acres on the Blackwater River, near St. Genevieve, in Missouri. The Weas and Piankashwa were closely related to the Miamis. They ceded their lands in Indiana in 1818—the Piankashwa earlier—and were moved west of the Mississippi in that year. They were settled near St. Genevieve, also. There these tribes became united with the Kaskaskia and Peorias. But, like the Delaware and Shawnees, they wandered at will in the West. The existence of Peoria and Piankashaw towns on the White River, near the site of the present town of Forsyth, Mo., has been noticed. These towns had been established before 1828. October 27, 1832, a treaty made with the Kaskaskia and Peorias assigned them one hundred and fifty sections of land west of the State of Missouri, on the waters of the Osage River. This reservation was to include a Peoria town which had already been established on the north bank of the Osage, or Marais des Cygnes, a few miles below the present site of Ottawa, Franklin County. The Peorias had arrived in 1827.

On the 29th day of October, 1832, the Piankashaw and Wea were given a reservation extending from that of the Kaskaskia and Peorias to the west line of the State of Missouri, containing two hundred and fifty sections of land. These reservations were in what are now Franklin and Miami counties.

In the treaty made on the 30th day of May, 1854, it is recited “that the tribes of Kaskaskia and Peoria Indians, and the Piankeshaw and Wea Indians, having recently in joint council assembled, united themselves into a single tribe, the United States hereby assent to the action of said joint council.” In this treaty it was provided that the lands should be allotted to the Indians and the surplus land sold for their benefit. Baptiste Peoria was accused of having secured proceeds of the sales of land allotted to pretended parties, who did not exist. The fraud caused  many lawsuits. These Indians were settled at the Quapaw Agency, in the Indian Territory.


The Presbyterians established a mission among the Wea and Piankashwa. It was commenced in 1834, and seems to have been abandoned in 1838. The Methodists had a mission among the Peorias about the same time. The Baptists established a mission about one mile east of the present town of Paola, and the mission prevailed and prospered. It was commenced about the year 1839. Dr. David Lykins was the missionary in 1844, and he continued to live in that country after the Territory of Kansas had been organized. In some authorities it is said that Dr. Lykins founded the mission about 1840. Later he took an active interest in politics, on the pro-slavery side. He was a member of the first Territorial Legislature, and Miami County was first named Lykins County, in his honor.

The Quapaw are the Arkansas Indians. They were once a powerful tribe, claiming a vast territory which extended from the Mississippi to head waters of the Red River. As the tract remained at the time of the cession, it was bounded on the north by the Arkansas and the Canadian rivers, on the south by the Red River down almost to Shreveport, thence to the Mississippi River.

The Quapaw represented the southern division of the Siouan family. Much of the land ceded by the Osages belonged of right to the Quapaw, and especially that bordering on the Mississippi in Missouri and Arkansas. It has already been noticed that this was the tribe called the Escanjaques by the Spaniards in their early explorations. At that time their possessions west of the Mississippi were not so extensive, the land of the Caddoan approaching that great river closely, especially below the mouth of the Arkansas.

In 1834 the Quapaw were assigned a reservation on the Neosho. It extended north of the south line of Kansas, as later established, some twelve sections of land being found to be in Kansas. This they disposed of in 1867. The Quapaw had never occupied this land, so never lived in Kansas.

Otoe and Missouri

The Otoe and Missouri are tribes of the Siouan family. They were placed on a reservation in the country about the Nemaha River, in what became Kansas and Nebraska. By a treaty made September 21, 1833, they ceded their country south of the Little Nemaha. The remainder of their lands were ceded to the United States by a treaty made March 15, 1854, and they were assigned a diminished reservation on the waters of the Big Blue River. This tract was twenty-five miles long—east and west—by ten miles wide. It was surveyed to please the Indians from some point called by them the “Islands.” The south boundary fell two miles below or south of the north line of Kansas. They lived there until the white people crowded them out, moving to the Indian Territory in 1881. It required twenty years to quiet the title to this reservation. As usual, the Indians received only a small part of the value of the land.


Some of the principal authorities upon which this chapter is based are indicated in the text. Of those not mentioned there, the Eighteenth Annual Report of the Bureau of Ethnology, the treaties made with the Indians, and the article by Miss Anna Heloise Abel in Volume VIII, Kansas Historical Collections, were of most service and most frequently consulted. The article of Mrs. Ida M. Ferris, “The Sauk and Foxes in Franklin and Osage Counties, Kansas.” in Volume XI, Kansas Historical Collections, I found of much value.

The Handbook of American Indians, by the Bureau of American Ethnology I found indispensable.
Holcomb’s History of Vernon County, Missouri, is scholarly and accurate. It has much on the Osage Indians.

The various maps and manuscripts in the Library of the Kansas State Historical Society contain information not to be found elsewhere.


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