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
TRACING “TRAILS OF BLOOD ON ICE”:
A COMMEMORATION OF
FROM CONFEDERACY-CONTROLLED “INDIAN TERRITORY”
During the bitterly cold winter of 1861/2 some 9000 Creek, Cherokee, Shawnee, and Seminole Indians, a number of them with African ancestry, and several hundreds of blacks who had been slaves to Indians, fought their way toward Kansas in order to escape the Confederacy and link up with Union officials. Nearly a third 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 demand fulfillment of the many promises long made to them by the Federal Government. The former slaves sought their freedom, promised to them by 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 Humboldt area.
SPEAKER -- CHIEF PERRY BEAVER
PRINCIPAL CHIEF, MUSKOGEE (CREEK) NATION
For a MAP of the route of the Escape (done in the 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 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"
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 AFRICAN AMERICAN AND
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