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Following the admission of Missouri to statehood in 1821, the opening of the Santa Fe Trail that same year, and especially the need to establish reservations for the emigrant Shawnee, Delaware and Kickapoo, the Kaws agreed to a reduction of their 20 million-acre domain, comprising roughly the northern half of future Kansas, to a 2 million-acre reservation 30 miles wide beginning just west of future Topeka and extending west to a line to be marked by government surveyors.For this huge cession the Kaws were awarded a ,500 annuity for 20 years, a quantity of cattle, hogs and domestic fowl, a government blacksmith and agricultural instructor, and schools to be funded from earlier Kaw land sales in the Kansas City area.The Act provided approximately 400 acres of land under government trusteeship to 249 persons whose names were placed on the final allotment roll and was largely the work of Charles Curtis — a distinguished one-eighth blood member of the tribe who eventually served as Vice President of the United States under President Herbert Hoover, and who in 1902 was a Kansas congressman and member of the powerful House Committee on Indian Affairs — and a small group of Kaw leaders headed by Chief Washungah.A significant minority of full-bloods, whose political power in the tribe had declined dramatically since the forced removal from Kansas, opposed the Allotment Act, and, until the tribe was reorganized under federal authority in 1959, factionalism and political struggles over tribal affairs were commonplace.
This he did with the help of Indian Agent Richard W. The 1846 treaty required the sale of the 2 million-acre reservation to the government for just over 10 cents an acre.
After much negotiation with various federal and local officials, the cemetery was relocated to Newkirk, Okla., and the council house to a 15-acre tract a few miles northwest of the former Beaver Creek trust lands.
By subsequent Congressional action, the new council house tract was enlarged to include approximately 135 acres, which presently are administered by the Kaw Nation as official trust lands.
The money received was to be divided between a 30-year annuity at ,000 per year, ,000 for educational and agricultural improvement, a ,000 grist mill, and a concentrated 256,000-acre reservation at present-day Council Grove, extending south into Lyon County, Kansas. Unrau has emphasized in The Kaw People, no longer were the Kaws being encouraged to become sedentary farmers; “now they were being forced to change their way of life.” But urged on by railroad developers, the Council Grove bankers and merchants, and even some members of the Kansas Territorial leadership, the white land-jobbers could not be contained.
A census in 1855 revealed that at least 30 white families had located illegal claims in the very heart of the new Kaw reservation, but when a federal agent attempted to evict the squatters, his cabin was burned, and he and his family were forced to flee to Missouri. government began talking about a complete removal of the tribe from Kansas.