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Chronicles of Oklahoma
Volume 11, No. 4
December, 1933


Page 1073



There were, in 1888, under the superintendency of the Seneca agent, seven distinct and separate reservations. This small agency, in the northeastern corner of Oklahoma, or what was then Indian Territory, was the haven for the remnants of some fifteen or more Indian tribes, all of which but two—Quapaw and Modoc—originally came from the Great Lakes region. In 1904 there were 1469 members of these tribes living within the confines of the agency, of which less than half were fullbloods.

SENECA: The name Seneca is derived from the Anglicized form of the Dutch enunciation of the Mohegan rendition of the Iroquoian ethnic appellative Oneida, or, strictly, Oneniute a ka, meaning "people of the standing or projecting rock or stone." Their language stock is Iroquoian.

The Seneca of Oklahoma were found in historical times on the southern shore of Lake Erie. They were never allied with the Seneca of New York but were probably a subjugated tribe under their jurisdiction. Chief Good Hunter assured Henry C. Brish that they were a remnant of Logan's tribe and that Logan was a Conestaga or Mingo maternally. Brish says, "I can not to this day surmise why they were called Senecas. I never found a Seneca among them. They were Cayugas—who were Mingoes—among whom were a few Oneidas, Mohawks, Onondagas, Tuscarawas, and Wyandots."1

In 1817, for accession to a treaty in which most of the Ohio tribes took part, but which concerned the Wyandots mostly, the Senecas on the Sandusky river were given a grant of 30,000 acres and an annuity of $500. The next year a treaty was made with the Wyandot, Seneca, Shawnee, and Ottawa in which the grant was changed to a reservation. Ten thousand acres were added to the reservation. In the treaty of 1817 a grant of 48 squares was given to a mixed group of Seneca and Shaw-

Page 1074

nee around Lewiston; in 1818 this tract was also made a reservation after having had added 8960 acres to it. It was then divided and the northern half was given to the Seneca group. The two tribes, however, acted as one until after the treaty of 1867.

Dissatisfied with their habitat, the Senecas expressed a desire to move west of the Mississippi, so in February, 1831, the Sandusky group gave up their reservation and accepted in its stead a tract of land in the northeastern corner of the Cherokee country 15 miles from east to west and seven miles from north to south comprising about 67,000 acres in all. There were about four hundred Indians in this group. Five months later the Senecas and Shawnees at Lewiston, about three hundred in all, entered into a similar treaty with the United States and accepted a tract contiguous to the Seneca containing about 60,000 acres.

Desirous of confederating and sharing their land in common, these two groups made a treaty with the United States the year after their arrival into this new country whereby the two groups were allowed to confederate. Since they were inconvenienced by the division of their lands by the Neosho River, they ceded all their land west of the river to the United States for an equal acreage east of the river and adjoining the eastern area. The reservation was then divided, the northern half being given to the mixed group of Senecas and Shawnees and the southern half being given to the Seneca of Sandusky.

An agency was established for this reservation four miles out of Seneca, Missouri. The Senecas retained this land until 1867 when the United States, in order to relocate Eastern tribes residing in Kansas, by treaty, gave to the Wyandot tribes the northern half of the Seneca reservation and to the Peoria tribes the northern half of the mixed Seneca and Shawnee reservation. The western quarter between the Grand and Spring rivers was sold to the Ottawa tribes. The Shawnee were given the remaining portion of the reservation and the Seneca were confederated with the Sandusky Seneca.2

Page 1075

EASTERN SHAWNEE: The name Shawnee comes from shawun, "south" or shawunogi, "southerners." The language stock of the tribe is Algonquian. Being a very populous tribe, the Shawnee roamed through South Carolina, Tennessee, Pennsylvania, and Ohio.

In 1795, by a joint treaty of peace with the other Indian tribes of Ohio, in which they relinquished their claim to more than two-thirds of the state of Ohio, the Shawnee in this area were given a small tract of land.

The Shawnee joined the Seneca in acceding to the treaty of 1817 and were granted three tracts of land; at Wapaghkonetta, 10 miles square; on Hog Creek, 25 square miles adjacent to the aforementioned tract; and at Lewiston, 48 square miles—to be shared with the Seneca living there. It is with this last group that we center our interest at present, for the subsequent removals of this group of Shawnee is identical with the already discussed Lewiston Seneca.


QUAPAW: Ugakhpa, "downstream people," is the Siouan name for this tribe of southern Sioux and are one of the two divisions of the Dhegiha groups of Dorsey, the other group consisting of the Omaha, Kansa, Ponca, and Osage. They were known to the early writers as Akansa or variations of that name. They were found by these early writers near the mouth of the Arkansas, but probably came originally from northern Illinois, migrating southward along the course of the Mississippi River.3

Ranging over a large area in southern Oklahoma and Arkansas and northern Louisiana, they relinquished their claim to this land to the United States by a treaty at St. Louis in August, 1818, and accepted a reservation in Arkansas on the Arkansas River. This land also became desirable to the United States, so in November, 1824, by a treaty at Harrington's, Arkansas Territory, the Quapaw ceded their rights to the reservation and agreed to settle among the Caddo in the southwestern corner of Arkansas. The Caddo allotted to these newcomers a tract on the south side of the Red River on the Bayou

Page 1076

Treache. They were not long to remain here, however. Their lands were subject to annual inundation. Their crops were flooded and sickness prevailed. During the few years that they remained here almost one-fourth of their population died. The Caddo refused to incorporate them into their tribe and would not give them other land, so there began a slow migration of Quapaw back to their old reservation on the Arkansas. But here they were molested by the white settlers who had come in after 1824. By the request of both settler and Indian, the Government consented to replace the Quapaw, so in the treaty of May, 1833, the Quapaw relinquished their rights and title to the Bayou Treache reservation and were given in exchange 150 sections of land west of the Missouri State line in Indian Territory and adjoining the northern boundary of the Seneca reservation. When the Kansas-Indian Territory boundary line was established it was found that 12 sections of this reservation were in Kansas, so in the general removal treaty of 1867 these sections were ceded to the United States for $1.25 per acre.

The Quapaw retained their reservation until 1867. At that date they ceded to the United States, for $1.15 per acre, about 25 sections of their reservation lying east of the Grand River for the purpose of locating the Peoria Indians.


OTTAWA: Being great traders, the Ottawa derived their name from the Algonquin adawe, "to trade" or "to buy and sell." They probably came from the north of the Great Lakes with the Chippawa and Pottawatom, with whom they were in close contact until their removal to Kansas Territory4; but their home was in Ohio when the government of the United States began its program of Indian removals.

The Ottawa participated in the several Ohio Indian treaties and in 1807 and 1817 they were given several small reservations in the State of Ohio.

Several Ottawa bands expressed their consent and desire to remove west of the Mississippi so, in August, 1831, the Blanchard Fork and Oquanoxie's village bands ceded to the government

Page 1077

their claims to all lands in Ohio for 34,000 acres in eastern Kansas on the Osage River. The two bands of Roche de Boeuf and Wolf rapids were granted 40,000 acres adjoining the Blanchard's Fork grant for their cession of Ohio lands, but were given three years in which to move.

Expressing a desire to unite and become citizens of the United States, a treaty was made in June, 1862, whereby the lands held were allotted in severalty to the members of the tribe and a provision was made that the Ottawa should become citizens in five years. After the allotments were made, the remaining land was put up for sale.

By the treaty of 1867 the Ottawa were removed from their lands in Kansas and were placed on the southwestern quarter of the quartered Seneca and Shawnee reservation.


WYANDOT: Wendat is the Huron name for a confederation of Iroquoian tribes living south and east of Georgian bay. The name was corrupted by the English into Wyandot. The Wyandots themselves are actually Hurons. After being harassed in the East by unfriendly Iriquois, and driven south by the Sioux, a small group settled in Ohio about 1749 and there became known as Wyandots.5

In 1795 they relinquished their claim to the greater part of Ohio and were left to roam over the area. Between this date and 1842 they ceded claims to land and were granted reservations under several treaties.

By the treaty of March, 1842, the Wyandots ceded to the United States all their claims to land in Ohio and Michigan and accepted in exchange a grant of 148,000 acres west of the Mississippi. No definite provisions as to location of the grant were made so in December, 1843, the Wyandots bought from the Delaware in Kansas 36 sections (the Delaware granted to the Wyandot three more) on the Missouri River for $46,080. The Wyandots relinquished their claim to the 148,000 acres promised them by the treaty of 1842 and received as compensation, $185,000.

Page 1078

By a treaty in January, 1855, the Wyandot dissolved tribal relationships to become citizens. They ceded all claims to land and annuities under previous treaties and accepted $383,000 to be made,in three yearly payments. In the treaty of 1867, however, the Seneca cession made in the same treaty was given to those Wyandots who had not yet assumed citizenship for a future home.


KASKASKIA: The name of this tribe is probably derived from kaskaskahamw, "he scrapes it off by means of a tool." This tribe was the leading tribe in the Illinois confederacy which included, among other tribes, the Kaskaskia, Mitchigamia, Cahokia, Tamaroi, and Peoria. They were found at the mouth of the Kaskaskia River in southern Illinois, but in 1803, in conjunction with the Mitchigamia, Cahokia, and Tamaroi who at this time were confederated into the Kaskaskia tribe and became a part of it,6 the Kaskaski ceded to the United States all their claims to land in Illinois except 350 acres near Kaskaskia and another tract of 1280 acres that was never located.

The Kaskaskia and the Peoria decided to unite and move west of the Mississippi River so in 1832 they entered into a joint treaty with the United States in which they ceded all claims in Illinois and Missouri and moved to a tract of 150 sections in eastern Kansas set aside for Illinois Indians. Thereafter their treaties were made in common with the Peoria.

In 1854 the reservation was ceded in part to the United States and the rest was allotted to the members of the tribes. Nine and a half sections were reserved to be held in common and the rest was held open for sale.

In the same year the Kaskaskia, Peoria, Piankishaw, and Wea, in a joint council, united themselves into a single tribe. The Piankishaw and Wea, in the general treaty of this year, ceded their reservations in Kansas to the United States and joined the Kaskaskia and the Peoria in the general allotment of land. Thereafter the actions of the tribes were made in common.


Page 1079

In the treaty of 1867 the Confederated tribes ceded their grants in Kansas to the United States and removed to the Indian Territory where they occupied the cessions made to the United States by the Quapaw and the Seneca and Shawnee. By the same treaty the Miami tribes in Kansas were allowed into the confederation with equal rights to land allotments.

PEORIA: Their name comes through the French Peouarea from the Peoria piware, "he comes carrying a pack on his back." Late in the eighteenth century they were located on the banks of the Illinois River near Peoria. In 1768 a part of the tribe went to Missouri; and when, in 1832, their grant of 1818 was ceded to the United States, most of them joined their tribesmen who had moved to Kansas.

In 1818, for agreeing to the Kaskaskia cession of 1803, the Illinois Peoria were given a pecuniary consideration and a land grant of 640 acres around the Peoria village in Missouri Territory.

After the union with the Kaskaskia in 1832 the removals of the Peoria is identical with the removals of the Kaskaskia.

In 1854 they numbered about 259 persons.


PIANKISHAW: A subtribe of the Miami but later a separate people, the Piankishaw derive their name from payangitchaki, "those who separate." Living in Indiana and northern Illinois, by 1805 they had ceded to the United States most of their claims to land in this area. In 1820 they moved with the Wea to southern Illinois and Missouri.

In 1832, in a joint treaty with the Wea, they ceded to the United States all their lands in Illinois and Missouri and moved to a grant of 250 sections in the reservation set aside for the Illinois Indians in Kansas. In 1854 the two tribes confederated with the Kaskaskia and thereafter their grants and cessions become part of the general history of this group.

WEA: The name Wea is propobly a contraction of the local name wawiaqtenang meaning "place of the round, or curved, channel."

Page 1080

The tribe is a subtribe of the Miami. Their early home was in Illinois, greatly dispersed throughout the state. The Wea entered into the various treaties between the Ohio Indians and the United States and in 1818, for relinquishing their claims to all lands in Indiana, Ohio, and Illinois, they were given a reservation in central western Indiana. In 1820 they ceded their reservation to the United States and in company with the Piankishaw removed to southern Illinois and Missouri. The two tribes merged here and their history becomes homologous.


MIAMI: The Miami are Algonquin and get their name from omaumeg, "people who live on the peninsula." They settled in historical times on the mouth of Green Bay in Wisconsin but gradually moved southward into the Wabash country. The Miami also figured prominently in the early Ohio and Illinois treaties and in 1818 consented to give up most of their claims in Indiana and moved to several small reservations within the state. In 1828 they were joined by a subtribe known as the Eel River Miami and a part of this tribe followed the Miami westward.

By 1838 the Miami had ceded most of their land claims in the Great Lakes region to the United States and in that year, for still another session, they asked that provisions be made in the treaty whereby they might have a reservation west of the Mississippi when they decided to emigrate from their present home. In 1840 they ceded the rest of their land and were given a reservation of 500,000 acres—to be occupied within five years—in Kansas below the Peoria reservation. In 1854 they ceded all but 70,633 acres of this reservation and in 1867 joined the Peoria in removing to Indian Territory where they were incorporated within the Peoria tribes.


MODOC: The Modoc (from Moatokni, "southerners") are a Klamath tribe once living in the Lost River Valley in southern Oregon. In 1864 the Modoc joined the Klamath and the Yahooskin band of Snake Indians in ceding their claims to the Oregon lands. They moved to the Klamath reservation but were

Page 1081

not contented there and gradually drifted back to their old home on the Lost River. The attempt to remove Chief Kintpuash (Capt. Jack) and his band, who had returned to the Lost River in 1870, led to the Modoc war of 1872-'73. After the brutal assassination of two peace commissioners by the Modoc in April, 1873, the campaign was pushed with vigor, and in October of the same year Kintpuash and five of his leaders were hanged at Fort Klamath. The tribe was then divided and one group was sent to the Klamath reservation from which they had fled. The other group, about 147 in all, was sent in the same year to Indian Territory. Their destination was the Quapaw reservation, but Capt. M. C. Wilkinson, special commissioner for the removal of the Modoc, finding the Quapaw element hostile, recommended the Shawnee reservation. On their arrival in the Indian Territory they settled on the Shawnee reservation near the Seneca agency. In June of the next year the Modoc bought of the Shawnee a tract of land 2½ miles square in the northeastern corner of the reservation and in March of the following year Congress confirmed the sale, paying the Shawnee $6,000 for the tract.

Quapaw Agency, Indian Territory

Peoria, Kaskaskia, Piankishaw, Wea     172
Miami     92
Quapaw     251
Wyandot     325
Ottawa     162
Shawnee     93
Modoc     51
Seneca     323
               Total     1469


Hodge, Frederick Webb—Handbook of American Indians North of Mexico; Bureau of American Ethnology; Bulletin No. 30; 1907.

Kappler, Chas. J.—Indian Affairs, Laws and Treaties; vol. II; Senate Report; 58th Congress, 2nd Session; Document No. 319; 1904.

Page 1082

Paullin, Charles O.—Atlas of the Historical Geography of the United States;Carnegie Institution; 1932.

Royce, Charles C.—Indian Land Cessions in the United States; Bureau of American Ethnology: 18th annual report, 1896-97, part 2.

Annual Reports of the Department of the Interior; 1904, Indian Affairs, Part I;


1785—Jan. 21—Fort McIntosh; Wyandot, Delaware, Chippewa, Ottawa.

1789—Jan. 9—Ft. Harmar, Ohio; Wyandot, Delaware, Ottawa, Chippewa, Potawatomi, Sauk.

1791—Mar. 3—Act of Congress; Piankishaw, Kaskaskia.

1795—Aug. 3—Greenville, Ohio; Wyandot, Delaware, Shawnee, Ottawa, Chippewa, Potawatomi, Sauk.

1803—June 7—Ft. Wayne on the Miami of the Lake; Delaware, Potawatomi, Shawnee, Miami, Eel River, Wea, Kickapoo, Piankashaw, Kaskaskia.
     —Aug. 7—Vincennes, Ind.; Eel River, Wyandot, Piankashaw, Kaskaskia, Kickapoo.
     —Aug. 13—Vincennes, Ind.; Kaskaskia.

1804—Aug. 27—Vincennes, Ind.; Piankashaw.

1805—July 4—Ft. Industry, on the Miami of the Lake; Wyandot, Ottawa, Chippewa, Munsee.
     —Aug. 21—Grouseland, near Vincennes; Delaware, Potawatomi, Miami, Eel River, Wea.
     —Dec. 30—Vincennes, Ind.; Piankashaw.

1807—Nov. 17—Detroit, Mich.; Ottawa, Chippewa, Wyandot, Potawatomi.

1808—Nov. 25—Brownston, Mich.; Chippewa, Ottawa, Potawatomi, Wyandot, Shawnee.

1809—Feb. 28—Act of Congress; Alabama, Wyandot.
     —Sep. 30—Fort Wayne, Ind.; Delaware, Potawatomi, Miami, Eel River Miami.
     —Oct. 26—Vincennes, Ind.; Wea.

1816—June 4—Fort Harrison, Ind.; Wea, Kickapoo.
     —Aug. 24—St. Louis, Mo.; Ottawa, Chippewa, and Potawatomi residing on Illinois and Milwaukee rivers and their waters.

1817—Sep. 29—Foot of the rapids of the Miami of Lake Erie; Wyandot, Seneka, Delaware, Shawnee, Potawatomi, Ottawa, Chippewa.

1818—Jan. 3—Contract; Piankishaw.
     —Aug. 24—St. Louis, Mo.; Quapaw.
     —Sep. 17—St. Mary's, Ohio; Wyandot, Seneca, Shawnee, Ottawa.
     —Sep. 20—St. Mary's, Ohio; Wyandot.
     —Sep. 25—Edwardsville, Ill.; Peoria, Kaskaskia, Mitchigamia, Cahakia, Tamaroa.
     —Oct. 2—St. Mary's, Ohio; Wea.
     —Oct. 6—St. Mary's, Ohio; Miami.

1820—July 6—L'Arbre Crache and Michilimakinac, Mich.; Ottawa, Chippewa.
     —Aug. 11—Vincennes, Ind., Wea.

1821—Aug. 29—Chicago, Ill.; Ottawa, Chippewa, Potawatomi.

1824—Nov. 15—Harrington's, Ark.; Quapaw.

1825—Aug. 19—Prairie Du Chien, Mich.; Chippewa, Sauk & Fox, Menomini, Iowa, Sioux, Winnebago, and a portion of the Ottawa, Chippewa, and Potawatomi living on the Illinois.
     —Nov. 7—St. Louis, Mo.; Shawnee nation residing in Missouri.

1826—Oct. 23—Near the Mouth of Mississinewa river on the Wabash; Miami.

1828—Feb. 11—Wyandot village near the Wabash in Indiana; Eel River or Thornton party of Miami Indians.

Page 1083

     —Aug 25—Winnibago and united tribes of Potawatomi, Chippewa, and Ottawa.

1829—July 29—Prairie Du Chien, Mich.; Chippewa, Ottawa and Potawatomi nations of the waters of the Illinois, Milwaukee, and Manitowoc rivers.

1831—Feb. 28—Washington, D. C.; Seneca of Sandusky river.
     —July 20—Lewiston, Ohio; Seneca and Shawnee (mixed band residing at and around Lewiston).
     —Aug. 8—Wapaghkonnetta, Ohio; Shawnee (residing at Wapaghkonnetta and Hog creek).
     —Aug. 30—Miami bay of Lake Erie; Ottawa (residing in Ohio).

1832—Jan. 19—McCutchensville, Crawford County, Ohio; Wyandot (band residing at Big Spring).
     —Oct 26—Castor Hill, St. Louis County, Mo.; Shawnee and Delaware late of Cape Girardeau.
     —Oct. 27—Castor Hill, Mo.; Kaskaskia and Peoria, which, with the Michigamea, Cahakia, and Tamaroa bands, now united with the first two named tribes, formerly composed the Illinois confederacy.
     —Oct. 29—Castor Hill, Mo.; Piankashaw and Wea.
     Dec. 29—Seneca Agency, on headwaters of Cowskin river; United Seneca and Shawnee.

1833—Feb. 18—Maumee, Ohio; Ottawa Indians residing on the Indian reserves on the Miami of Lake Erie and the vicinity thereof.
     —May 13—Quapaw.
     —Sep. 26—Chicago, Ill.; Chippewa, Ottawa, Potawatomi.
     —Sept. 27—Chicago, Ill.; Chippewa, Ottawa, Potawatomi.

1834—Oct. 23—Forks of the Wabash, in the state of Indiana; Miami.

1836—Mar. 28—Washington, D. C.; Ottawa and Chippewa.
     —Apr. 23—Wyandot tribe in Ohio.

1838—Nov. 6—Forks of the Wabash, in the state of Indiana; Miami.

1840—Nov. 28—Forks of the Wabash, in the state of Indiana; Miami.

1842—Mar. 17—Upper Sandusky, Crawford County, Ohio; Wyandot.

1843—Dec. 14—Agreement between Delawares and Wyandots.

1846—June 5 and 17—Agency on Missouri river near Council Bluffs and Potawatomi creek; Potawatomi, Chippewa, Ottawa.

1848—July 25—Act of Congress; Delawares arid Wyandots.

1850—Apr. 1—Washington, D. C.; Wyandot.

1854—May 10—Washington, D. C.; Shawnee.
     —May 30—Washington, D. C.; Kaskaskia, Peoria, Piankashaw, Wea.
     —June 5—Washington, D. C.; Miami.

1855—Jan. 31—Washington, D. C.; Wyandot.
     —July 31—Detroit, Mich.; Ottawa and Chippewa of Michigan.
     —Aug. 9—Executive order; Ottawa and Chippewa of Michigan.
     —Sep. 10—Executive order; Ottawa and Chippewa of Michigan.

1856—Apr. 21—Executive order; Ottawa and Chippewa of Michigan.

1862—June 24—Washington, D. C.; Ottawa of Blanchard's Fork and Roche de Boeuf.

1864—Apr. 16—Executive order; Ottawa and Chippewa in Michigan.
     —Oct. 14—Klamath Lake, Ore.; Klamath and Modoc tribes and Yahooskin band of Snake Indians.

1867—Feb. 23—Washington, D. C.; Seneca, Mixed Seneca and Shawnee, Quapaw, Peoria, Kaskaskia, Piankishaw, Wea, Ottawa of Blanchard's Fork and Roche de Boeuf, and certain Wyandot.

1874—June 23—Agreement; Modoc and Eastern Shawnee.

1875—Mar. 3—Act of Congress; Modoc and Eastern Shawnee.

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