Eastern Shawnee Reservation

The Indians of this reservation are called Eastern Shawnee to distinguish them from those in the Cherokee Nation. They came here in 1833. The others were settled in the territory of Kansas. Their reservation is close to and around the agency, and is a most desirable tract of land. Some indications of mineral are found on the eastern border.

These Indians number 79 in all, 33 males and 46 females, of whom 50 can read. Few look as though they had white blood in them, the purity of the Indian being very marked. They speak the Indian language, and many who can speak English will not do so if they can help it. They intermarry with other Indians, seldom with the whites. A few are quite refilled in their domestic affairs, but as a ride still hang to old customs. Some have good farms, especially along- the creek bottoms and on the prairie mesa: Many improvements were made last year. They know now where each tract lies and who owns it, which gives them more energy to work. Their houses are mostly built of logs, and not of the best quality; a few have frame houses, which are quite good: but on the whole the residences are poor.

In figure the men are larger and are more stoutly built than those of any other tribe at this agency. They are healthy in appearance and industrious. The women have the usual squaw appearance, and dress in citizens’ clothing, with few exceptions, without hats or bonnets on their heads. The children all show Indian blood. There is only one white man married to an Indian woman. The women are neither heat nor cleanly housekeepers.

There are no schoolhouses on the reservation, and the children are sent to the boarding school at the Seneca (Wyandotte it is sometimes called) reservation. As a rule, but few attend any school, and they are the most backward in education of any children at the agency. They can learn, but their parents do not care whether they do or not. There are no churches, and only a few of the Shawnees attend divine worship. They have no particular religious belief. The Society of Friends and the Methodists have missionaries here.

These Indians, while strictly farmers and stock raisers, are not as industrious as some of the other tribes, but since the allotment of their lands new energy is apparent. They are good traders. The tribe is increasing in number.

The chiefs are hereditary and have more influence and control than those of other tribes at this agency. They have councils that whites are not permitted to attend. They are law-abiding. They still keep up the stomp, dance, are more secretive about it than formerly, and have it once each year.

Polygamy in this tribe has been abandoned; but if it were not for the law it would be practiced by some. Crimes committed during- the year were confined to minor offenses. Whisky makes them a little quarrelsome, but on the whole they are good people, and are doing quite as well as some of the whites. All speak the Indian language.

Department of the Interior. Report on Indians Taxed and Indians not Taxed in the United States, Except Alaska at the Eleventh Census: 1890. Washington DC: Government Printing Office. 1894.

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