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CLAREMORE (?-1828)

The principal chief of the Arkansas Band of Osage, Claremore was formally known as Gra-mo'n (Arrow Going Home) and is believed to have been the son of Gra moie (Moving Hawk) or Gra-to-moh-se (Iron Hawk), a hereditary Osage chief. French and Spanish officials in Louisiana knew Gra moie by several names, including Glamore, Clarmont, and Clermont; Americans called his son "Claremore." Gra moie died circa 1795.

Claremore was young when his right to succeed his father was usurped. He subsequently moved from the Osage villages in Missouri to the Three Forks vicinity of present Oklahoma, where many Osage had relocated under Cashesegra (Makes Tracks Far Away). Because of their proximity to the Arkansas River, these Osage were designated the Arkansas Band. Claremore was more influential than Cashesgra and became their leader.

Claremore's village was located along the Verdigris River northwest of present Claremore in Rogers County. Western Cherokees and their allies destroyed the settlement during the so-called Battle of Claremore Mound in autumn 1817. Claremore, a noted warrior, and his braves were absent when the attack occurred. The settlement reportedly consisted of three hundred lodges and three thousand inhabitants circa 1820. Because of his village, Claremore was also called To-Wo'n Ga-Xe (Town Maker).

Claremore had good relations with whites. He welcomed the Union Mission in 1820 and accepted a treaty with the United States in 1825. Under that agreement the Arkansas Band of Osage promised to rejoin their tribe in Kansas, which they did in 1839. Claremore died at his village in May 1828. The town of Claremore was named in his honor.


BIBLIOGRAPHY: Louis F. Burns, A History of the Osage People (Fallbrook, Calif.: Ciga Press, 1989). John Joseph Mathews, The Osages: Children of the Middle Waters (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1961). Willard H. Rollings, The Osage: An Ethnohistorical Study of Hegemony on the Prairie-Plains (Columbia: University of Missouri Press, 1992). Terry P. Wilson, "Claremore, the Osage, and the Intrusion of Other Indians, 1800-1824," in Indian Leaders: Oklahoma's First Statesmen, ed. H. Glenn Jordan and Thomas M. Holm (Oklahoma City: Oklahoma Historical Society, 1979).

Jon D. May

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