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Pat Hennessy


Thanks to my historian friend, Dr. Sam Dicks, Emporia State University, I got data on events that took place prior to the time that the Traveler got on microfilm.
Almost without exception all of Sam’s data came from the Topeka Commonwealth, which was considered the No. 1 Kansas newspaper at one time inasmuch as it was printed daily and covered events all over the state of Kansas.
Sam xeroxed items and sent them to me. I put everything I could read on the computer. He has been working on two of the founders of Arkansas City: Norton and Kellogg. Both played a very important role at the future Emporia State University.
Here goes...
                                                THE INDIAN SITUATION.
The Commonwealth, Sunday Morning, August 9, 1874.
Yesterday we published a full description of the expedition now outfitting at Fort Dodge, to be sent against the Indians, acting in conjunction with similar expeditions from New Mexico and Texas. The blast from the bugle-horn of the fighting Quaker, Miles, has proven to be worth a thousand men of his peaceful persuasion in putting the Indian question in the way of settlement. The military household have better means of knowing the movement of the Indians than the department of the interior, and this very extensive warlike demonstration would not be made causelessly. In very truth, we believe that we are on the eve of an Indian outbreak in the southwest as grave and extensive as that which Custer settled by the decisive battle of the Washita, when Black Kettle was killed, a thousand ponies slain, and a large number of squaws taken prisoners. That memorable occasion extracted the fight from the Cheyennes and Arapahos, and they have been measurably quiet ever since. A sufficient time has elapsed, however, for them to recuperate, and their discomfiture then has sufficiently faded from their memory to allow entrance to the idea that they are strong enough to engage the whole United States army.
Our correspondent says that it is believed that the Indians to the number of three thousand are now uniting on the Staked plain. This is a vast, trackless desert covered with shifting sand, which can only be traversed by the aid of stakes set in the ground, hence its name. Its topography is thoroughly familiar to the Indians, who have the advantage of superior knowledge in choosing it as their refuge. The voice of the council which met in the Red hills, which has already been discussed at length in the COMMONWEALTH, was undoubtedly for war, and the following tribes will probably be found to be uniting together: Comanches, Cheyennes, Kiowas, Arapahos, a goodly sprinkle of young Osages, a handful of Kaws, and a few Apaches. The first four mentioned tribes will probably send out a large proportion of their available strength, and those who are left behind will relieve the tedium of reservation life by short sorties to scalp and rob along the cattle trail. The Indians mean war, in our judgment, but may be deterred from overt demonstrations by a show of strength and readiness on the part of the soldiery.

We have been contemplating for some time saying a few words on the general aspects of this Indian business, especially as it effects Kansas, and the aforementioned expedition furnishes our cue. We may premise what we have to say by the proposition, which we do not think will be controverted by anyone informed as to the facts, that the Quaker policy has been a lamentable failure. The state of Kansas is largely and materially interested in the successful management of the Indians by the general government, and therefore, we second the policy proposed by Senator Ingalls, of abolishing the board of Indian commissioners and removing the control of these national wards from the interior to the war department. The late Indian excitement on our southern border has cost this state a prospective population of at least ten thousand people, besides which it demoralized the settlers in the border counties. The government of the United States is indirectly, and the Quaker Indian superintendent and the agents under him are directly, responsible for the murder of about twenty of our citizens. These murders were, for the most part, committed by Osages, a tribe ostensibly peaceful, and of whom their agent, Gibson, would be willing to swear, if a Quaker were allowed by his religion to make oath, that they were all exemplary Sunday school scholars, and hadn’t been off their reservation for a year. We have been to some pains to ascertain the outrages traceable to this tribe which have occurred during the past year or two, every one of which could be verified as the work of Osages if necessary. The following is the list.
Moseley, shot on Medicine Lodge creek by Big Hill Joe’s band of Osages, July 6th, 1872.
Floyd and Percy, living on Beaver creek, Cowley County, shot and scalped by the same band, January, 1872, near Timber Mountain.
Fred Pracht, shot and pierced with a spear at Caldwell, June, 1871.
Four men from Independence, Missouri, killed near the mouth of the Medicine Lodge in November, 1872.
A wolf hunter killed near Mule creek, November, 1872, by the Little Osages.
A lone Texan, on the Shawnee cattle trail, killed at the order of Big Hill Joe on the Osage Reserve in July, 1873.
Chambers, killed by the Black Dog Osages, near Sewell’s ranche, June, 1873.
Griffin, killed by Black Dog Osages, July, 1872, near the Cimarron.
A carpenter, killed while journeying alone down the Arkansas river in a skiff in June, 1874, not more than two months ago.
W. H. Wheeler, of Arkansas City, disappeared on the Osage Range, January, 1872, and has never since been heard from.

It is believed by people living in Kansas, adjacent to the Osage reservation, that the recent murders in Barbour County, in this state, were committed by a mourning party of Osages, nineteen in number, that left the Osage agency, going north, but a few days before the scalping occurred. Agent Gibson knew of the going out of this mourning party, and he also knew that its object was to take scalps, yet he neither informed the military or the interior department. The yearly meeting of Quakers would have passed a resolution asking his resignation had he done so, and, indeed, Agent Gibson would have had another and more potent inducement to conceal the actual state of affairs. He would, by exposing the treacherous cut-throats, have been abetting the killing of the goose that laid the golden egg. He and Superintendent Hoag, who could not but have had information of the facts, are therefore to be deemed justly accessories of the murders of these settlers for not speaking up like Miles and asking for military aid. From thoroughly reliable and honorable gentlemen residing in the southwest, we are informed that this man Gibson is an unscrupulous and avaricious old trickster, who holds his humane office solely for its illicit gains. His brother-in-law, Hyatt, is the Indian trader for the tribe, and they stand in together on the profits. There are worse scandals connected with his name in reference to certain school mistresses on the reservation, which, owing to public satiety of this sort of discussion, we refrain from characterizing in detail.
The following is the list of murders supposedly committed by this Osage mourning party inside the borders of the state of Kansas.
On the 19th day of June (thought to be Cheyennes, but now known to be Osages), murdered John Martin. On the same day and by the same band, the following were killed: Keneda, two and a half miles southwest of Medicine Lodge, and Kime, three and a half miles west of Medicine Lodge. On the 20th of June a boy named Coon was killed on Mule creek, one mile east of Smallwood City, in Comanche County, believed to be by the same band. On July 3rd, Thomas Calloway [Calliwell], George Faun [Fawn], Patrick Hennessey [Hennessy], and Ed Cook, having in charge a supply train of three wagons, were killed on Turkey creek, eight miles south of Mosier’s ranch on the Fort Sill cattle trail. Hennessey was captured and tied to the wheel of one of the wagons and the sheaf oats carried for forage was piled around him and he was burned alive. While his body was still burning, Mosier, the proprietor of the ranch above mentioned, and a man by the name of Marion, rode out to recover the bodies. They hitched the horses they were riding to one of the empty wagons, and were about dragging in one of the dead bodies when the Indians returned upon them, circling about the wagon, and firing upon them. Mosier and Marion made a run for it, and escaped, but not until they had satisfied themselves that the greater number of the attacking party was Osages. Yet Agent Gibson has not communicated a word to the department as to these outrages committed by the tribes under his charge, or, if he has, it has never reached the war department or the public. The Osage reservation lies along the northern boundary of the Territory contiguous to Kansas. It is no more than right to ask the government that our citizens shall be protected from such dangerous neighbors, and that measures be taken which will keep this most cowardly and treacherous of all the plains Indians in check. We are inclined to believe it is a good sound drubbing they need worst of all, with the incidental extermination of the Kiowas, a tribe which does not number more than three hundred warriors, but is at the bottom of all the deviltry on the plains. Gen. Sherman has some such notion, and is putting his views into active execution. We think the outcome of all this hurly-burly is that the national policy of nurturing serpents in the governmental bosom will give place to the more rational and practical, and to all concerned, the most humane plan of turning the Indians over to the control of the military and placing them under military surveillance.


Cowley County Historical Society Museum