Sunday, April 12, 2009

Wiki Error

Yesterday I posted a picture of the monument around the corner from my house. Feeling remiss, I bothered to look up the treaty commemorated on that stone and found this entry at Wiki. I also found this error in the entry, "There is a monument one mile west of the Little Arkansas River, on the Council Grounds, in Kansas, commemorating the Treaty."

The monument, the plaque-adorned boulder I pictured, is not west of our river, it's east and no where near a full mile away from its banks.

I did find fascinating the names which appear on that treaty, all of whom no doubt wandered through my yard during the two months of their council. One of these was Chief Satanta, properly Set-t'ainte, the Kiowa word for White Bear. Set-t'ainte is quoted saying,
I love the land and the buffalo. I will not part with it. I want you to understand well what I say. A long time ago this land belonged to our fathers, but when I go up to the river I see camps of soldiers in these banks. These soldiers cut down my timber, they kill my buffalo. And when I see that my heart feels like bursting.

A council along the Little Arkansas River is just such a place and time the chief might have been describing. I would hazard a guess that the great oak out front was alive at the signing of this failed treaty, autumn of 1865, and witnessed the entire proceedings. If I could speak to that oak, imagine what I might learn.

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