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Kansa Indians. Name derived from that of one of the major subdivisions; a shortened form Kaw is about equally current. Also called:
Kansa Connections. The Kansa belonged to the Siouan linguistic stock and constituted, with the Osage, Quapaw, Omaha, and Ponca a distinct subgroup called by Dr. J. O. Dorsey (1897) Dhegiha.
Kansa Indians History. According to tradition, the Kansa and the others of the same group originated on Ohio River, the Kansa separating from the main body at the mouth of Kansas River. If the Guaes of Coronado were the Kansa, the tribe was first heard of by white men in 1541. During at least a part of the eighteenth century, they were on Missouri River above the mouth of the Kansas, but Lewis and Clark met them on the latter stream. They occupied several villages in succession along Kansas River until they settled at Council Grove, on Neosho River, in the present Morris County, where a reservation was set aside for them by the United States Government in 1846, when they ceded the rest of their lands. They remained on this reservation until 1873 when it was sold and another reserve purchased for them in Oklahoma next to the Osages. Their lands have now been allotted to them in severalty.
Kansa Population. Mooney (1928) estimates a Kansa population of 3,000 in 1780. In 1702 Iberville estimated 1,500 families. Lewis and Clark (1804) give 300 men. In 1815 there were supposed to be about 1,500 in all, and in 1822, 1,850. In 1829 Porter estimated 1,200, but the population as given by the United States Indian Office for 1843 was 1,588. After this time, however, the tribe lost heavily through epidemics and in 1905 was returned at only 209. The census of 1910 gave 238, but the United States Indian Office Report of 1923 gave 420. The census of 1930 returned 318. In 1937 the number was given as 515.
Connection in which the Kansa Indians have become noted. The Kansa will be remembered particularly from the fact that they have given their name to Kansas River and the State of Kansas, and secondarily to Kansas City, Missouri, and Kansas City, Kansas. It is also applied to places in Walker County, Alabama; Edgar County, Illinois; Seneca County Ohio; Seneca and Delaware Counties, Oklahoma; and in the form Kaw, to a village in Kay County, Oklahoma, and a station out of the Kansas City, Missouri, P. O. Kansasville is in Racine County, Wisconsin.
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