Kaskaskia Confederacy

The Kaskaskias made a treaty at Vincennes in 1803, in which it is recited that they “are the remains, and rightfully represent all the tribes of the Illinois Indians.” They ceded more than eight million acres in the heart of Illinois, reserving only three hundred and fifty acres near the old town of Kaskaskia, with the privilege of locating another tract of twelve hundred and eighty acres in the tract ceded. In 1818 the Peorias, part of the Illinois Indians, who had to that time lived apart, united with the Kaskaskias. All of them ceded their lands in Illinois and received a reservation of six hundred and forty acres on the Blackwater River, near St. Genevieve, in Missouri. The Weas and Piankashwas were closely related to the Miamis. They ceded their lands in Indiana in 1818—the Piankashwas earlier—and were moved west of the Mississippi in that year. They were settled near St. Genevieve, also. There these tribes became united with the Kaskaskias and Peorias. But, like the Delawares and Shawnees, they wandered at will in the West. The existence of Peoria and Piankashaw towns on the White River, near the site of the present town of Forsyth, Mo., had been noticed. These towns had been established before 1828. October 27, 1832, a treaty made with the Kaskaskias and Peorias assigned them one hundred and fifty sections of land west of the State of Missouri, on the waters of the Osage River. This reservation was to include a Peoria town which had already been established on the north bank of the Osage, or Marais des Cygnes, a few miles below the present site of Ottawa, Franklin County. The Peorias had arrived in 1827.

On the 29th day of October, 1832, the Piankashaws and Weas were given a reservation extending from that of the Kaskaskias and Peorias to the west line of the State of Missouri, containing two hundred and fifty sections of land. These reservations were in what are now Franklin and Miami counties.

In the treaty made on the 30th day of May, 1854, it is recited “that the tribes of Kaskaskia and Peoria Indians, and the Piankeshaw and Wea Indians, having recently in joint council assembled, united themselves into a single tribe, the United States hereby assent to the action of said joint council.” In this treaty it was provided that the lands should be allotted to the Indians and the surplus land sold for their benefit. Baptiste Peoria was accused of having secured proceeds of the sales of land allotted to pretended parties, who did not exist. The fraud caused many lawsuits. These Indians were settled at the Quapaw Agency, in the Indian Territory.

The Presbyterians established a mission among the Weas and Piankashwas. It was commenced in 1834, and seems to have been abandoned in 1838. The Methodists had a mission among the Peorias about the same time. The Baptists established a mission about one mile east of the present town of Paola, and the mission prevailed and prospered. It was commenced about the year 1839. Dr. David Lykins was the missionary in 1844, and he continued to live in that country after the Territory of Kansas had been organized. In some authorities it is said that Dr. Lykins founded the mission about 1840. Later he took an active interest in politics, on the pro-slavery side. He was a member of the first Territorial Legislature, and Miami County was first named Lykins County, in his honor.


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