A history of Republic county, Kansas
A single county in the great state of Kansas occupies but an insignificant place on the map of the world, and its people and its story are comparatively unknown. Yet the grand river of national history is formed by the union of many rills of traditions and record, flowing from a thousand counties and states all over the land. The tracing of one of these rills to its source is the province of the present little volume. It is the aim of this work to collect and preserve some of the facts of the early settlement, subsequent growth and development of one of the leading counties of a young, yet great and glorious state. The families who were early on the ground, and whose members have contributed to make the county what it is, are worthy of remembrance; and their difficulties and sorrows, labors and patriotism, should not be allowed to fall into oblivion. By a knowledge of these, the present generation will be instructed, and the future will be guided. All history, if properly written, is profitable; and there is not a country, or a city, or a hamlet, on the globe, whose history might not be more or less valuable to posterity. We trust this little volume will be the means of preserving from the empire of decay a host of incidents, of recollections and of anecdotes relating to the land of pioneers and first settlers of the county, which, in the estimation of the historian and student of history, are of priceless value, but which otherwise would soon fade from the memories of the living.
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On the 15th day of July, 1806, Zebulon M. Pike, a young army officer, being at that time only twenty-seven years of age, left Belle Fontaine, a small town near the mouth of the Missouri river, to make explorations in our newly acquired territory known as the Louisiana purchase. The party consisted of twenty-three white men, and a party of fifty-one Indians of the Osage and Pawnee tribes, who had been redeemed from captivity among the Pottawatomies. These he was to take back to their friends on the head-waters of the Osage river, on the border of what is now Kansas. The safe delivery of this charge at the point of destination, seems to have been the primary object of the expedition. This being accomplished, he was to push on to the seat of government of the Pawnee Republic and establish as far as possible friendly relations and a good understanding between the various Indian tribes as well as to cultivate the friendship of all of them towards the government of the United States. He was also instructed "to remark particularly upon the geographical structure, the natural history and population of the country through which he passed, taking especial care to collect and preserve specimens of everything curious in the mineral and botanical worlds, which can be preserved and are portable." This expedition was planned in April, 1806, on the return of Lieut. Pike from a successful tour of discovery and exploration to the head-waters of the Mississippi. He was chosen to conduct these expeditions on account of his great proficiency in mathematics, astronomy and the languages.