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Chronicles of Oklahoma
Volume 12, No. 3
September, 1934
SEVENTY-FIFTH ANNIVERSARY OF WICHITA AGENCY

C. ROSS HUME

Page 364

In the summer of 1835 following the Dragoon Campaign, representatives of the Wichitas and Comanches and the United States made the first treaty of friendship, under which each party was authorized to go over the lands of the other, and each was to abstain from war. A similar treaty was made in 1837 between the Tawaccaroes and Katakas (Kiowa—Apaches).

The Wichitas moved their main village from Red River to the vicinity of Fort Sill, where they remained for almost twenty years. The Government did not assume further control over them, or interfere with their wanderings.

In 1855 the United States leased from the Choctaw and Chickasaw Nations the lands between the 98th and 100th meridians and from Red to Canadian Rivers for the purpose of locating the "Wichita and other friendly Indians", and this became known as the Leased District.

In 1858 the Wichitas were camped near Rush Springs where they were visited by a band of Comanches. Major Van Dorn, in charge of the troops at Camp Radzaminski (near Snyder) learned of this visit and made an attack on the camp, killing a large number of Indians. The Wichitas, fearing revenge, hastily left this camp and went to near Ft. Arbuckle and were placed in charge of Agent Blain and for several months were fed by the Government.

In July, 1835 the Caddo Indians made a treaty with the Government by which they sold their reservation in Northwestern Louisiana and agreed to move beyond the borders of the United States. They moved into Texas and acted as a buffer between the frontiersmen and the Plains Indians. After Texas independence was accomplished several treaties were made between these Indians and the Republic. In 1846, after Texas became a state, the United States made various treaties, and in 1854 two reserves were created by General Marcy and Major Neighbors on the Brazos River, where these Caddo and other Indians were gathered and promised help and protection. Conditions became so serious in 1859 that the United States decided to remove the Texas Reserve Indians and affiliate them with the Wichitas in the Leaseed District.

Page 365

A council was held at Ft. Arbuckle about July 1st, 1859, which was attended by the Wichitas and affiliates and Reserve Indians, and agents of the United States, and it was determined that all should be removed to the vicinity of Anadarko.

The Wichitas, under Agent S. A. Blain came to the vicinity of Verden. The Texas Reserve Indians started from their two reserves on the Brazos, united at Red River.

1859 Report . . . Letter from Robert S. Neighbors, Supt. of Texas Reserve Indians to A. B. Greenwood, Commissioner of Indian Affairs, August 18, 1859. p. 329. "I have the honor to report that I left Brazos Agency, Texas with Indians of that reserve, on the first instant, after having instructed Agent Leeper to move forward with the Comanches and form a junction with me on Red River."

"Agent Leeper, with all the Comanches, marched on the 30th ultimo, under an escort of one company of infantry, under Capt. Gilbert. Our escort consisted of one company of infantry and two companies of the second cavalry, all under the command of Major G. H. Thomas." (This was later Gen. Thomas, Rock of Chickamauga.)

Both parties arrived at the crossing of Red River on the evening of the 7th instant, where the parties on the 8th crossed over.

"We arrived at Major Steen's crossing of the False Washita on the 16th. Having communicated with Agent Blain, who was camped five miles below, and finding that he had not designated the point for the Wichita Agency, I, on the 17th, moved up the river about four miles, where I have established my camp." (The crossing was at Verden, and the camp about where the poor farm now is, east of Anadarko.)

Letter of Neighbors to Greenwood. Sept. 3, 1859. p. 332. "Agent Blain has selected the site for his agency on the south side of False Washita, about four miles above Major Steen's crossing, on the side of the old Kechsi village, and the Indians have made their selections at from three to ten miles from the agency."

From this correspondence we can say that the Agency was established about four miles west of Verden, at Anadarko, between August 17th and Sept. 3rd, in the year 1859, and our Wichita Agency is now seventy-five years old.

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