Pawnee and the Kansa Indian tribes

(Frank) Today on Around Kansas we start with the story of the war between the Pawnee and the Kansa Indian tribes. Then we take another look at the partial skeleton found in 1940 that is thought to be that of Amelia Earhart. Next enjoy a poem from Ron Wilson and we’ll end with Sarah Josepha Hale, the woman who passionately lobbied to have Thanksgiving recognized as a national holiday.

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(Frank Chaffin) It’s Wednesday, only two days till the weekend. I’m Frank. (Deb Goodrich) I’m Deb. (Frank) And this is Around Kansas. Good morning. (Deb) Happy Thanksgiving. Next week is everybody getting their shopping ready? You’ve got your turkey bought, or shot, or cleaned, or whatever you’re going to do with it. Because you don’t want to wait till next week because the shelves will be cleaned and you’ll only have the tofu turkey left. We had one of those one year. (Frank) Or you can go out and shoot one. (Deb) It’s horrible. Turkey season, I was going to do a story on turkey season and then I got sidelined with something else. Jackrabbits. We’re going to talk about Jackrabbits in one of the shows coming up. Do you know when the season for jackrabbits starts, Frank? (Frank) [Laughs] I have no idea. (Deb) January 1. Do you know when it ends? (Frank) No. (Deb) December 31st. It is jackrabbit season all year long. [Laughs] (Frank) I have several in my yard. They run around all over, and there’s a fox too. Let’s get the races on every now and then. (Deb) So if you miss the chance to get your turkey for next week, you can get a jackrabbit anytime. [Laughter] (Deb) All right Frank. We’ve got a lot of stuff coming up. They are celebrating or just celebrated the Year of the Cowgirl out in Dodge City, the Kansas Cowboy Hall of Fame, except they ended up in all cowgirls this time. Next week we’ll have a segment talking about who this year’s inductees are or were. That’s very, very exciting. We’ve got screenings of the Home on the Range documentary coming up. That will be in January. We’ll keep you up to date as they come on. But the first one that we know of is January 12th at the Orpheum Theater in Wichita. I think the tickets are on sale. You can look at the Orpheum Theater’s website to order tickets for that and there will be others. There will be, of course, one in Smith Center where the Smith County, where the Home on the Range is actually located. One in Kansas City is already set and there are going to be others throughout the State. We’ll keep you posted. You’ve ever been to the Orpheum Theater in Wichita? (Frank) No. (Deb) It’s one of those beautiful old theaters Frank that you love so much. You’ve got to get down and see it sometime. It’s really a wonderful theater, and having the opportunity to see the Home on the Range documentary there will be really nice. Be really something. (Frank) So- (Deb) So I was in Hollywood. Yes. Oh my gosh. It’s been a long time since I’ve been to Southern California. (Frank) Can I touch you? (Deb) [Laughs] Yes, really. I met some of the coolest people. Talented people. Oh my God, Frank. And the young people, what the young people are doing. Then you see–I was actually out there to pitch a movie idea from a book that a friend had written, and then got to pitch some of my own ideas. I got ideas, people. But seeing what so many of the young people had come up with, their ideas, and their talent, and ability, and how hard they worked, were so inspiring, so encouraging. You can laugh about California and Hollywood all you want to, but there are some really wonderful, talented people. I get off the plane and I call Uber to come pick me up. It’s a two-hour drive. Of course, it’s only 10 minutes but not really, it was actually up in Woodland Hills. [Laughter] (Deb) This Armenian cab driver or Uber driver, wonderful gentleman, and two hours we’re best friends by the time we get there. I’m telling him about living in Kansas. He’s never been to Kansas. Of course, Western Kansas is even a little different from right here. I’m telling him about it and as I would tell him things, he’d just turn and look at me and like, “Really?” [Laughter] (Deb) Exactly. We’re on the freeway and he’s like, “You got to be kidding.” I was talking about my dirt roads, “Dirt roads? What’s wrong with you people?” I’m like, “You know? I kind of like it. It keeps the traffic down a little bit.” But it was hilarious and this guy was like, “Really, really?” We’d be talking about hunting and I’m like, “We got pheasants near.” “You got pheasants in the yard?” [Laughter] (Deb) Everything I said it was like it– and he’s lived all over Europe and a couple of places in the US, and he was just like– just couldn’t imagine western Kansas. Yes. I invited him to come out and see for himself what it was like. (Frank) At 85 miles an hour, you did what? [Laughter] (Deb) Exactly, everything. It was so funny. I’m like, “We’ve got horses and mules.” “Mules?” [Laughter] (Deb) It was a trip. It was really a trip. (Frank) Well, we’re glad you’re back safely. (Deb) Thank you. I was so glad to be back. [Laughter] (Deb) So glad to be back. It was a nice place to visit but I’d much rather live here. (Frank) Oh my. (Deb) We got some great stories, stay with us.

(Frank) And we’re back. We were talking about Hollywood but the only thing going through my head is, “Do you know the way to San Jose?” I don’t know if you know that song but- (Deb) What has that got to do with Hollywood? (Frank) Well because all of those people that go there expecting to be stars in a week and — Do you know the song? (Deb) Yes, I do. Now, I’ll tell you a couple of the people that I got to meet that are very well known performers. One of them was Tanya George and she is a veteran of Star Trek. She would guest-star in the series. The Love Planet, she was the Goddess of Love and she’s the one that saved Scotty one time. He was all in the doldrums and she does a dance and Scotty’s all happy again, living on the Love Planet. She was the loveliest lady. Oh my goodness. I enjoyed her so much. Enjoyed her so much. She’s one of the people I got to meet. Still very busy writing, acting, just doing all kinds of things. That was really cool. (Frank) Bet all the stars that never were, are parking cars and pumping gas. Do you know the- (Deb) Yes. And they’re still are working on things. All this has totally nothing to do with our next story. Except one of the guys, one of the actors that I met, Don Reid, who used to be in Dynasty and all kinds of stuff, Marshes, Crush the Dennis. We’re visiting and he loves history and history of the West. I told him I was on the Gunslingers series and he was like, “Wow.” He was all excited about that. We get to talking about Buffalo Bill. He said Buffalo Bill’s my great-great uncle. I said, you’re kidding? I’m sending Don, Don the stuff is on the way, all this information about his great-great uncle that he didn’t know, and I’m being Buffalo Bill’s press agent, I was spreading the word. Before Buffalo Bill was here, before Buffalo Bill’s out fighting with the Indians, we’ve got a lot of tribes in Kansas that are actually fighting each other. That’s what this first segment is about. It’s about the relationship between the Kaw, or the Kansa, and the Pawnee, and I think this stuff is pretty cool. Let’s see what you think. (Frank) It took us a long time to get there but- (Deb) Round and around and around. On his way west in 1842 explorer John C. Frémont encountered a cluster of burned and blackened lodges scattered along the east bank of the Vermillion River. The destruction was evidence of a long and often bloody war between the Pawnee and the Kaw or Kansa. The Kansas State Historical Society posted the account online at Kansapedia, a treasure trove of history on the web. The village observed by Fremont was situated near present day Belvue. This abandoned Kansa village had been attacked and burned earlier that spring by the Pawnees. The burning of the village was in retaliation for a massacre of Pawnees perpetrated by Kansa warriors in December 1840. Sixty-five Kansa warriors had surprised a Pawnee camp whose warriors had left on a buffalo hunt. The Kansa killed more than 70 people, mostly women and children, and captured 11. The two tribes had been enemies longer than anyone could remember. From the 1500s, if not earlier, the Pawnees had lived and hunted in present-day Nebraska and Kansas. By 1700 the Kansa had migrated from the Ohio River Valley and established a village on the west bank of the Missouri River in present Doniphan County. By 1840, the Kansa were living in three villages—the Vermillion River village and two others near present-day Topeka. The Pawnees were the dominant power of the Central Plains by the 1800s. Their hunting grounds covered much of the High Plains, and this meant conflict with almost every other plains tribe including the Kansa. The arrival of Euro-Americans brought the fur trade to the plains, and competition between the tribes for the harvest of pelts became fierce. By the late 1700s Pawnee and Kansa warriors had become expert horsemen and were better able to travel long distances to raid each other. Most of these raids were essentially horse-stealing expeditions, but some escalated into violent encounters. The U.S. government frequently attempted to arrange truces between the Pawnees and the Kansa, but these efforts met with little success. In 1830 pressure from the Kansa and their Osage allies forced the one band to abandon its village in present Republic County and to rejoin the other Pawnee bands to the north in the Platte River Valley. By the 1870s, however, both the Pawnees and the Kansa were reeling from poverty, disease, and the loss of their lands. In June 1872 a large band of Pawnees traveled from their Nebraska reservation to smoke the pipe with the Kansa on their Council Grove reservation. The weeklong celebration concluded with an exchange of gifts and expressions of good will between the ancient enemies. At long last the Pawnees and the Kansa were at peace.

(Frank) We are back again. (Deb) You got a really cool story coming up and everybody loves — Of course everybody loves Amelia Earhart, one of the great mysteries of modest American history, but the world. Her stories just fascinated the world. (Frank) Yes. It is — So many times somebody says we have found the plane, we found and what island she might have been on, and it is a great mystery and I don’t think we ever really going to know. (Deb) With your story if I was reading it we might be a little bit closer and- (Frank) Possibly. (Deb) –the investigations and your story highlights this, technology. As technology becomes more sophisticated, there are more ways to look at the same body of evidence that people have had just sitting around for years. That’s one of the fascinating things to me as an historian because that happened with civil war history, with all kinds of things, with the new technology and new scientific advances, you can apply those. Well you did the segment on the FBI lab here on the Washburn’s campus. (Frank) Forensic science it’s unbelievable now and with that — I mean that’s in the story, I’m not going to give away the story but they are using forensic science now to see if what they have found could be Amelia Earhart’s remains. (Deb) Isn’t that amazing? (Frank) It is amazing. (Deb) And that’s a great tool for getting kids involved in Science and History too. It’s really is. I think this is a fascinating story. Good job Frank. Let’s took a look. (Frank) There is a newly discovered similarity between Amelia Earhart and the castaway whose partial skeleton was found on Nikumaroro in 1940, according to a release from the Earhart Project. The bones, suspected by their discoverer of being Earhart’s, were dismissed by British authorities after a doctor judged them to be male. The bones were subsequently lost and the entire incident forgotten until the Earhart Project discovered the original British files in 1998. The file included the skeletal measurements the doctor made. An evaluation of those measurements by forensic anthropologists led to the conclusion that they were “consistent with a female of Earhart’s height and ethnic origin.” That was eighteen years ago. Recently, in preparing an updated evaluation of the bone measurements, one of the doctors noticed a peculiarity among the arm bones, the forearm was the proportionately longer bone of the arm. Statistically, women born in the late 19th century had an average radius to humerus ratio of 0.73. In other words, if the castaway was a middle-aged, ethnically European woman, she had forearms considerably longer than average. Researchers wondered if Amelia may have had similarly longer than average forearms. To answer that question we called on forensic imaging specialist Jeff Glickman. Selecting an historical photo of Amelia where her bare arms were clearly visible, and working with Dr. Richard Jantz to identify the correct points on the shoulder, elbow and wrist for comparing bone length, Jeff found that Earhart’s humerus to radius ratio was 0.76, virtually identical to the castaway’s. The match does not, of course, prove that the castaway was Amelia Earhart but it is a significant new data point that tips the scales further in that direction. Amelia was born in Atchison, at her grandparents’ home, in 1897. She and her navigator disappeared while attempting to circle the globe in 1937.

(Ron Wilson) You wouldn’t have a Roy Rogers without a Trigger, you wouldn’t have a Lone Ranger without a Silver and in the history of the cowboy the horse was the essential partner. This poem is entitled, Here’s to The Horse. The history of the west from the earliest time is based on the wonderful species equine. The animal of which I speak of course is that wonderful critter we call the horse. Without the horse how would life be changed for the Plains Indians or the cowboy on the range? The horse is more than a hardworking steed; he is a faithful companion a quiet friend indeed. A trained horse with a good rider at a rodeo makes a team that puts on a great show. There is nothing better than sitting in the saddle on a trail ride or gathering cattle. So let’s all give thanks for this discourse, for the wonderful critter we call The Horse. Happy Trails.

(Frank) And here we are again. Paul Harvey had another show later on in his career and it’s called The Rest of the Story. It was usually something unusual about something that you thought you knew and then of course it was like, “And that’s the rest of the story”. (Deb) I love those segments. I bought the book. He actually published a couple hundred of them maybe and I bought that book. I love it, some of the best research and most interesting stories. One of my favorites was on Patrick Henry because I grew up in Virginia and of course I lived in Patrick County and I worshiped Patrick Henry, the voice of the rebellion. His wife was insane and rather than put her in an asylum, he locked her in the basement because it was more humane. It just breaks your– and here’s the man give me liberty or give me death. It’s just heartbreaking on so many levels. (Frank) [Laughs] I didn’t know that. (Deb) I know that’s– Oh honey, I’m so full of this useless stuff but yes. (Frank) That is the rest of the story. (Deb) Yes. Really. What were you saying? Back to what you were saying Frank. (Frank) [Laughs] The only reason I bring that up is because you’ve got a story about Thanksgiving and it’s the rest of the story. (Deb) Thanksgiving of course is a Yankee holiday and in the South it wasn’t even recognized for a long time because Abraham Lincoln is one that made it an official holiday. By the time I grew up thank goodness, some of the animosity had [laughs] gone down and we learned the pilgrim story and all that good stuff. But it was not as big a holiday in the south for a few years. (Frank) Instead of turkey, we’re going to have possum and grits. (Deb) What’s wrong with that? When her husband died suddenly in 1822, Sarah Josepha Hale found herself and her five children in dire need of a steady income. Friends backed the anonymous publication of a collection of her poetry and she began to submit stories and poems to literary magazines. Sarah quickly gained the attention and respect of editors of the leading periodicals. Though a prolific writer, she is most remembered for, “Mary Had a Little Lamb.” Asked by a Boston publishing firm to edit the first American magazine written for women, Sarah moved her family from New Hampshire to Boston in 1828. She applied scrupulous editorial standards to the Ladies’ Magazine, accepting only original material and soliciting female writers. When Louis Godey purchased the magazine, she became the editor of Godey’s Lady’s Book. She moved to Philadelphia and made Godey’s the leading American women’s literary and fashion periodical for the following four decades. Though not a supporter of women’s suffrage because of the corrupting nature of politics, she consistently advocated education, exercise, property rights and sensible fashion for women. She ardently lobbied to have Thanksgiving recognized as a national holiday. It had been regularly celebrated by different parts of the country, but not uniformly. During the Civil War, Sarah wrote to President Abraham Lincoln and he delivered. In October 1863, Lincoln declared: I do therefore invite my fellow citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are at sea and those who are sojourning in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next, as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens. Sarah passed away at the age of 89 and her body rests in Philadelphia’s Laurel Hill Cemetery. She is certainly not forgotten, and Carol Lieberman, of the Union League Civil War Roundtable, portrays Sarah at numerous events, including the recent unveiling of an historical marker in her honor. As you sit down to your turkey dinner, sing a round of Mary Had a Little Lamb and toast the remarkable widow, Sarah Josepha Hale.

(Frank) That’s it. We’re done for today. I’m Frank. (Deb) I’m Deb. (Frank) We’ll see you somewhere – (Frank and Deb) – Around Kansas.

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