History of Kansas

Kansa warrior

This illustrated article provides interesting facts, information and a history timeline of the Native American Indians of Kansas.

The climate, land, history, environment and natural resources that were available to the indigenous Indian tribes in Kansas resulted in the adoption of the Woodlands culture and some adopted the Great Plains Indians culture.

Discover the history, interesting facts and information about the way of life of the Kansas Indians before the arrival of the white European settlers and colonists.

History of Native Americans
Native Indian Tribes Index

History of Kansas Indians
Factors that contributed to the history of the state are detailed in the History Timeline. The history timeline shows the impact of the new comers to the state.

Stone Age History of Kansas
The American Native Indians who lived in what is now the present state of Kansas led a Stone Age lifestyle - they only had stone tools and weapons, had never seen a horse and had no knowledge of the wheel. The history of the Kansas Indians are detailed in this article.

Map of Kansas
The map of Kansas provides a bird's eye view of the location of the tribal territories and homelands of the Kansas Indians in relation to the present day United States of America. The map indicates the location of the State and the American Native Indians of Kansas.


State Map of Kansas

State Map showing location of Kansas Indians

State Map showing location of Kansas Indians


Names of the Kansas Indian Tribes
The French arrived c1750, and formed an alliance with the Kansa Indian tribe, they were interested in the lucrative fur trade. The Kansa tribe, also known as the Kansas or Kaw tribes, originally inhabited eastern and central Kansas. They were typical Plains Indians. There are many famous Native American tribes who played a part in the history of the state and whose tribal territories and homelands are located in the present day state of Kansas. The names of the Kansas tribes included the Arapaho, Cheyenne, Chippewa, Comanche, Delaware, Kansa, Kiowa, Missouria, Osage, Otoe, Pawnee, Illinois and Iroquois.

Kansas - Indian Territory
Indian Territory was a vast area of U.S. federal territory on the Great Plains reserved for Indians from the 1830s to the 1880s. In the 1870's the deliberate great slaughter of the northern bison herds began designed to prevent the Native Indians continuing the Great Plains lifestyle. Indian Territory eventually became the states of Kansas, Nebraska, and Oklahoma. By 1907, when Oklahoma was admitted as a state, Indian Territory ceased to exist.

Fast Facts about the History of Kansas Indians
The way of life and history of Kansas Indians was dictated by the natural raw materials available in the State of Kansas. The natural resources and materials available provided the food, clothing and houses of the Kansas Indians. Fast facts about the history, culture and life of the State of Kansas Indians. Discover facts and information about the history of the State of Kansas Indians.

  • Name of State: Kansas
  • Meaning of State name: From the Kansas River which was named by the French after the Dakota Sioux Indian word "Kanze" meaning "south wind."
  • Geography, Environment and Characteristics of the State of Kansas: Hilly plains in the east; central prairie and hills; high plains in the west
  • Culture adopted by Kansas Indians: Woodlands culture and some adopted the Great Plains culture
  • Languages: Muskogean
  • Way of Life (Lifestyle): Hunter-gatherers, farmers, fishers, trappers
  • Types of housing, homes or shelters: Tepees, Chickees, Wigwams (aka Birchbark houses) and Longhouses

History Timeline of the Kansas Indians
The history and the way of life of Kansas Indians was profoundly affected by newcomers to the area. The indigenous people had occupied the land thousands of years before the first European explorers arrived. The Europeans brought with them new ideas, customs, religions, weapons, transport (the horse and the wheel), livestock (cattle and sheep) and disease which profoundly affected the history of the Native Indians. The history of the State and of its Native American Indians is detailed in a simple History Timeline. This Kansas Indian History Timeline provides a list detailing dates of conflicts, wars and battles involving Kansas Indians and their history. We have also detailed major events in US history which impacted the history of the Kansas Indians. In the 1800's conflicts erupt between the white settlers and Native Kansas Indians including the Apache, Arapaho, Cherokee, Cheyenne, Chippewa, Comanche, Delaware, Fox, Illinois and Iroquois. The Native Kansas Indians were gradually forced to cede their lands.

Kansas History Timeline

History Timeline of the Native Indians of Kansas

10,000 BC: The first indigenous people were of the Paleo-Indian culture who lived in caves or were Nomadic Hunters

1000 AD: Woodland period with permanent houses and farming

1541: Francisco Vasquez de Coronado (1510-1554) explores Kansas

1600: Kansa and Osage Indians arrive in Kansas

1724: 1724 French explorer Etienne Veniard de Bourgmont (1698-1725) claims the region for France 

1762: France lose Kansas to Spain

1763: Treaty of Paris

1775: 1775 - 1783 - The American Revolution.

1776: July 4, 1776 - United States Declaration of Independence

1803: The United States bought the Louisiana Territory from France for 15 million dollars for the land

1804: 1804-1806 Lewis and Clark Expedition

1812: 1812 - 1815: The War of 1812 between U.S. and Great Britain, ended in a stalemate but confirmed America's Independence

1825: Treaties were negotiated between the US and the Kansa and Osage tribes for a cession of Kansa-Osage land onto which eastern Indians could be moved

1830: Indian Removal Act

1832: Department of Indian Affairs established

1834: The First Dragoon Expedition of 1834 (also called the Dodge-Leavenworth Expedition or Pawnee expedition) was the first official contact between the US government and the Plains Indians including the Pawnee and Comanche

1857: Battle of Solomon Fork

1858: 1858-1859 - Wichita expedition in Indian Territory

1860: Kiowa and Comanche expedition, Indian Territory. To remove the Kiowa and Comanche from the area of the Arkansas River.

1861: 1861 - 1865: The American Civil War.

1862: U.S. Congress passes Homestead Act opening the Great Plains to settlers

1863: 1863-1869 War against the Cheyenne, Arapaho, Kiowa and Comanche Indians in Kansas, Nebraska (Territory), Colorado (Territory) and Oklahoma Indian Territory

1864: General Samuel R. Curtis was sent to Fort Riley, Kansas to subdue the hostility of the Indians

1867: Kidder Massacre - Cheyenne and Sioux Indians ambushed and killed a 2nd US Cavalry detachment Beaver Creek, Kansas

1867: The Battle of Beaver Creek and the Battle of Beecher Island

1867: Medicine Lodge Creek Treaty negotiated in Kansas, results in bands of Comanche, Kiowa, Cheyenne and Arapahoe Plains Indians moving to reservations in Indian Territory.

1868: The last Indian raid in Kansas. The Cheyenne Raid led by Dull Knife aka Morning Star

1874: 1874-1875 - Campaign against Kiowa, Cheyenne and Comanche Indians in Indian Territory

1878: The last battle to take place in Kansas was the Battle of Punished Woman Fork in Scott County on September 27, 1878.

1887: Dawes General Allotment Act passed by Congress leads to the break up of the large Indian Reservations and the sale of Indian lands to white settlers

1969: All Indians declared citizens of U.S.

1979: American Indian Religious Freedom Act was passed

History Timeline of the Native Indians of Kansas

State of Kansas History Timeline

History of Kansas Indians - Destruction and Decline
The history of the European invasion brought epidemic diseases such as tuberculosis, cholera, influenza, measles and smallpox. The Native Indians of Kansas had not developed immunities against these diseases resulting in huge losses in population. Exploitation including the leverage of taxes, enforced labor and enslavement were part of their history, taking their toll on the Kansas Indians.


  • History of Kansas Indians
  • Interesting Facts and information about the Kansas Culture and History
  • Names of indigenous Kansas tribes of Indians
  • Fast Facts, History Timeline and info
  • Map of Kansas
  • History Timeline of the Kansas Indians

State of Kansas Indians - Additional Pictures and Videos
State of Kansas Indian History. Discover the vast selection of pictures and videos of Native Americans. The pictures show the clothing, weapons and decorations of various Native American tribes that can be used as an educational history resource for kids and children. We hope that this article on the History of Kansas Indians  will assist in your studies or homework and that you will enjoy watching the videos featuring many pictures of the Native Americans. A great historical educational resource for kids on the subject of the History of Kansas Indians..


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