Did You Know?

Did You Know?
Did You Know?

The title “From Tepee to the Capitol” got my attention and well it should have. I consider myself rather interested and about half knowledgeable in history, yet this phase of American History had completely avoided my reading - a half American Indian elected as Vice President of the United States!

In the year 1863 three year old Charley Curtis was effectively left as an orphan when his Kaw Indian mother was killed in a Cheyenne Indian raid on the Kaw Tribe near Topeka, Kansas. Charley’s mother had been educated at a Catholic Mission at St. Mary, Kansas. She had married Orren “Jack” Curtis but he had seen little of Charley and his Mother. As a Union soldier he was assigned to Missouri. He had hanged three ex-Confederated Soldiers for bragging they had served in the Confederate Army. Captain ”Jack” Curtis served only a year in the Missouri penitentiary for the crime. After his release he never took responsibility for his son, Charley.

Charley, living with his Indian grandmother, was 8 years old on June 3, 1868, when 100 mounted Cheyenne warriors attacked his Kaw tribe that lived on a reservation at Council Grove. The Kaws took shelter in the Quaker School. Charley was dispatched as an excellent rider to secure help from the U.S. Government at the Capital 60 miles away in Topeka. Gov. Crawford was infuriated that the hostile tribe had ventured so far east.

 

 

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