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Thematic Time Period -- Indian Territory, 1820 - 1854 (Remove)
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Business and Industry -- Occupations/Professions (Remove)
Page 1 of 3, showing 10 records out of 21 total, starting on record 1, ending on 10

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Title | Creator | Date Made Visible | None

Johnston Lykins

Johnston Lykins was a well-known missionary, physician, and translator who worked with the Pottawatomi and Shawnee Indians who had moved to Indian Territory (present-day Kansas) after the passage of the Indian Removal Act in 1830. In 1831, after serving as a missionary to the Indian tribes in Indiana and Michigan, Lykins and his first wife Delilah (McCoy) Lykins moved to Indian Territory. Lykins and his father-in-law, Isaac McCoy, established the Shawnee Indian Baptist Mission in present-day Johnson County, Kansas. In addition to his responsibilities as a physician, Lykins worked as a translator and developed a system of Indian orthography that allowed the Shawnee people to read and write in their native language. He edited and published the first paper printed in Shawnee, called the Sinwiowe Kesibwi (Shawnee Sun). In the spring of 1843, Lykins founded a mission among the Pottawatomi near what is today Topeka. Due, perhaps, to inter-denominational conflicts and other problems with the mission, Lykins left the Pottawatomi mission and moved to Kansas City, Missouri. He served as the second mayor of Kansas City in 1854, and he remained in residence there until his death in 1876.

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Jotham Meeker to Rev. Lucius Bolles

Meeker, Jotham, 1804-1855

This fascinating letter by Baptist missionary Jotham Meeker describes recent Ottawa converts to Christianity and the Ottawa chief Ottowukkee?s passionate stand against further missionary efforts. Apparently, just as Ottowukkee was about to drive the missionaries out of the area, he was struck by a sudden illness. According to Meeker, many of the Ottawa believed his sickness was a sign of God?s judgment. Also, Meeker discusses David Green, a native convert who has joined Meeker as a missionary at the Ottawa Mission (near present-day Ottawa, Kansas). The recipient of this letter, Reverend Lucius Bolles, was Meeker?s contact on the Baptist Board of Foreign Missions.

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Jotham Meeker journals

Meeker, Jotham, 1804-1855

The journals of Jotham Meeker, in three volumes, describe his daily activities as an Indian missionary, printer, and minister in Michigan and Kansas territories. In 1825 Meeker served as a teacher and preacher among the Pottawatomis, the Ottawas, and later the Chippewas in Michigan. The Board of Baptist Missions sent Meeker to Indian Territory in 1833 in an area that would later become Kansas. Due in part to the Indian Removal Act of 1830, the U.S. government was relocating many Eastern tribes west of the Mississippi River. Meeker was assigned to the Shawnee tribe as a printer-missionary. By February 1834 he had set up his printing press at the Shawnee Baptist Mission in present Johnson County, Kansas. In May 1837 Meeker began his own mission among the Ottawas near present Ottawa, Kansas. Meeker died at the Ottawa mission in January 1855. A full transcription (PDF) is available below under "External Links." Images of the original journals are followed by images of the typescript copies. Funding to digitize these journals was donated by Dr. A. Allan Schmid.

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Jotham Meeker to Rev. Lucius Bolles

Meeker, Jotham, 1804-1855

In this letter, Jotham Meeker, a missionary to the Ottawa Indians, provided a description of his work teaching the Ottawa how to read and write in their own language. According to Meeker, the Ottawa were eager for their children to learn English as well. Meeker's mission was located near present-day Ottawa, Kansas. Reverend Lucius Bolles, the recipient of this letter, was Meeker?s contact at the Baptist Board of Foreign Missions.

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Isaac McCoy

A portrait of missionary Reverend Isaac McCoy at age 47. Copied from a painting. Born the son of a Baptist preacher in Uniontown, Pennsylvania, in 1784, McCoy spent his youth in Louisville, Kentucky. He married at age nineteen and moved to the Indiana Territory to preach in communities of settlers, French traders, and Indians. While there, McCoy witnessed what he considered the degradation and suffering of tribes at the hands of whites. He was one of the first to suggest the removal of Eastern tribes to the West. McCoy achieved mild success operating missions in Michigan and Indiana Territory, and training future Kansas missionaries, such as Jotham Meeker, Johnston Lykins, and Robert Simmerwell. He spent progressively more time in Washington D.C., lobbing for the establishment of reservations in the future states of Kansas and Oklahoma. McCoy found sympathy for his proposals, and in 1830 personally surveyed future Indian lands in what would become Kansas. The following year McCoy moved his family to Westport, Missouri, near present-day Kansas City.

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Jotham Meeker to Rev. S. Peck

Meeker, Jotham, 1804-1855

Jotham Meeker, misionary and printer, arrived in Kansas in 1833 and set up a printing press at Shawnee Baptist Mission. Meeker joined the Ottawa Indians in 1837 and founded a mission on the Marais des Cygnes River where present day Ottawa stands. The Ottawa Indians began moving to Kansas from Ohio in the early 1830s. Meeker opened his letter with personal matters and them turned to affairs concerning the Indians in Kansas. He talked about cholera, which killed many Indians in the summer of 1849.

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Johnston Lykins' Shawnee verb conjugations

Lykins, Johnston, 1800?-1876

In his journal Johnston Lykins, a missionary to the Shawnee Indians in Kansas Territory, jotted down verb conjugations for the Shawnee alphabet he had developed while working at the Shawnee Mission. The notes include both singular and plural forms of the verb ?to strike? in English and in Shawnee.

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Jotham Meeker to Rev. Crosby

Meeker, Jotham, 1804-1855

In this letter to Rev. Crosby, of the Baptist Board of Foreign Missions, missionary Jotham Meeker expressed his interest in bringing the Christian gospel to the Ottawa Indians. Meeker was currently stationed at the Shawnee Baptist Mission in Indian Territory (today part of northeast Kansas). He was particularly concerned about their opposition to missionaries. Meeker also wrote about the influx of Indian tribes who were embracing agriculture.

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Reverend Charles Bluejacket

Charles Bluejacket, a mixed-blood Shawnee Indian, came to Kansas (then called Indian Territory) in 1832. He was a well-respected man among the Shawnee Indians, and he became an ordained Methodist minister in 1859. He moved to new Indian territory in Oklahoma in 1871. This photograph, which depicts Bluejacket in his late thirties or forties, was most likely taken in the 1860s or 1870s.

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No-tin-no to D. D. Mitchell

No-tin-no

No-tin-no, a leader of the Ottawa nation, wrote this letter to the Superintendent of Indian Affairs, D. D. Mitchell, concerning a shipment of farming implements that the government had promised to the tribe. The Ottawa were frustrated by the delay, and No-tin-no stated that if he did not hear back from Mitchell, he would write to the President of the United States himself. The letter was dictated to Jotham Meeker, a missionary and printer at the Ottawa Baptist Mission near present-day Ottawa, Kansas.

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