Edited April 2018---- click here to return to KIAANAFH main page
TRACING TRAILS OF BLOOD ON ICE:
THE FIRST-EVER COMMEMORATION OF THE SPECIAL ROLE PLAYED BY
AFRICAN AMERICANS AND BY THE TOWN OF HUMBOLDT, KANSAS
IN ONE OF THE MOST DRAMATIC SAGAS OF SURVIVAL, STRENGTH
AND TRIUMPH IN AMERICAN HISTORY!
A COMMEMORATION OF
INTO KANSAS FROM CONFEDERACY-CONTROLLED “INDIAN TERRITORY”
During the bitterly cold winter of 1861/2 thousands of Creek, Cherokee, Shawnee, and Seminole Indians, a number of them with African ancestry, and several hundreds of blacks who had been enslaved, some by Indians, fought their way toward Kansas in order to escape the Confederacy and link up with Union officials. Hundreds of them were brutally killed along the way or died in Kansas awaiting the promised help from Washington that was too slow to come. The Indians were seeking help to liberate their land and people, and to demand fulfillment of the many promises long made to them by the U.S. Federal Government. The former slaves sought their freedom, promised to them by the exodus and Creek Indian leader, Opothleyahola, for assisting the escape. That promise was kept and ultimately became the basis for many Freedmen gaining full citizenship rights, land, and capital in the liberated lands of the Creek and Cherokee Nations. Many blacks stayed in Kansas, some of them with descendants still living in the greater South-East Kansas area.
KEYNOTE SPEAKER -- CHIEF R. PERRY
PRINCIPAL CHIEF, MUSKOGEE (CREEK) NATION
For complete video coverage of this ceremony, go to the KIAANAFH main webpage (link is at top right, above).
For information about a 4-county Heritage Tour area inspired by and based on the story commemorated in this Humboldt, Kansas ceremony, "Tracing Trails of Blood on Ice" Brochure page 1 click here
For a rough estimate of the route of the Escape (cir. early 1860s), click here
For a selected READING LIST regarding these events and their background, click here
To see photographs from this ceremony, click here
For a copy of the full program of this ceremony, click here
To access an
on-line version of an article about this story and ceremony that was
published in the
Jan-Dec 2001 Negro History Bulletin, click this link "Tracing Trails of Blood on Ice"
For a verbatim tanscript of the most recent and authoritative discussion of "The Legacy and Future of Black/Indian Relations" held at the 57th Annual Meeting of the National Congress of American Indians, NCAI Session Transcript
The principal funding for this program came from KIAANAFH members.
Partial funding was provided by the Kansas Humanities Council, a nonprofit cultural organization encouraging the appreciation of history, heritage, and values
THE KANSAS INSTITUTE FOR
AND NATIVE AMERICAN FAMILY HISTORY
Mr. Eric Kirkwood
2530 N. 54th St.
Kansas City, KS 66104
KIAANAFH BOARD OF DIRECTORS
(Kansas area ancestral base in parentheses)
Dr. Khadijah Matin
Ms Geri Sanders
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