Letter wrote to his sister about the 1868 dustup at Council Groves at the Indian Agency

Submitted by Helen Farnsworth

Will Farnsworth Letter to Akins

(This unsigned carbon of a letter is from Will to his older half sister Minnie Akin and her husband Henry. Will and Minnie's father had been appointed Indian agent to the Kaw Indians in Kansas during the 1860's. I will transcribe the letter in a "as found" condition as to spelling.)

Edificio High Life


Mexico D.F.

March 11th, 1927

Mr. H. C. Akin

422 South Birch St.

Santa Ana Cal.

Dear Henry and Minnie:

I am enclosing an article which appeared in the San Francisco Chronicle some date the early part of this year. I picked it up at the Club in the shape you find it. A very interesting article by Charles Curtis, which by the way you may have already seen. It seems to me that Charlie got a very interesting story out of his former life, but there are some statements that rather suprise me and I am sure you and Minnie will remember the incidents of the fight at the Kaw Reservation between our tribe and the Sheyenne Indians.

I believe you and Minnie were on the ranche out of Councel Grove at that time. You will remember that our family was at the agency at the time this fight took place and watched the fight from the second story of the Agency building, it having taken place on the side hill in front of the Agency.

I distinctly remember of the stray, arrows landing in the Agency yard. As I remember the circumstances the Kaws went into Sheyenne Indian district several falls on their usual hunting trip and they killed so many Buffalos and has so much meat and hides that they did not have sufficient ponies to pack it and stole Sheyenne Indian ponies for packing. The Sheyennes of course got tired of this and notified the Kaws that they were coming to the Agency to revenge the wrong doings of the Kaws. The entire Tribe of the Kaws assembled in the Neosho river bottom near the Agency Farm where they awaited the arrival of the Sheyennes for about two weeks. They found three hours or less mostly with bows and arrows, there only being about three old muzzle loading rifles uses.

As far as we could judge there were no casualties, at least not amoung the Kaws Tribe, if there were any amoung the Sheyennes, they were carried off. The Kaws drove the Sheyennes away on their return to their reservations after leaving Councel Grove they commenced to burn settlers' houses wagons etc, and mire (?) stockk.

You will remember that father later received instructions in Washington to go over the Sheyenne route and take claims from settlers, which he did, and on which trip I accompanied him. We having made the trip in a buck'board.

Charles states that he run 60 miles from the Agency to Topeka in 20 hours, which sounds good, but it has always been my understanding that it was 90 miles from the Agency to Topeka.

This article gave me the first information of Charlie being a Kaw. I do not remember of his ever being at the Agency. If I am not much mistaken we knew him to at Topeka as being a half-breed of Potowatomie.

It is only my idea and desire to clear up some of these points in my mind, there is no desire to spoil this interesting story if we could.

If you reply to this and make copies, I would like to have you send a copy to Rua and the Chronicle article. I am sending her a copy of this letter. I am attaching a copy for Kate.

I arrived here February 13th after stopping at several places, and was pleased to hear fully from Minnie and Addie.

It is wonderful that Betty Jo pulled through as she did after her terrible siege it must have been a great strain for Tom, Cecil and all of you.

Things here are very quiet,



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