This Community of Cultures: The Shawnee and Delaware Indian Experience in Eastern Missouri from 1780-1830



The ancestors of five federally recognized Native-American groups: the Shawnee Tribe , The Delaware Nation , The Delaware Tribe , the Absentee Shawnee Tribe , and the Eastern Shawnee Tribe of Oklahoma lived in eastern Missouri between 1780 and 1830.

Not native to this region, these Eastern Woodland Tribes had been pushed increasingly farther west of their ancestral lands by the encroaching British and American settlers. After the French and Indian War, the tribes settled in the Northwest Territories, today’s Ohio and Indiana. However, the treaties which permitted this were not kept by the Americans which provoked the Indian Wars fought against Gen. Anthony Wayne.

The most famous Shawnee chief, Tecumseh, attempted to form a pan-tribal alliance of Indians from tribes living all along the Ohio and Mississippi River Valleys. He and his brother, “the Prophet”, advocated a return to traditional Indian ways.

Some members of his Shawnee tribe and their close allies, the Leni-Lenape (Delaware) tribe, did not subscribe to his opinions. These factions moved to the west side of the Mississippi River where they lived under the protection, invitation, and ultimately a land grant from the Spanish king in a series of villages between St. Louis and Cape Girardeau.

This exhibit introduces the story of these tribes in this region. It is located in the stone cottage behind the Bolduc House. This project is a cooperative effort of the Missouri Humanities Council , us, and the five tribes.




Flags of the Tribes on Display in the Stone Cottage

 Flags of the Tribes on Display in the Stone Cottage

The stone cottage was built in 1958 by Dr. Ernest A. Connally who supervised the restoration of the Louis Bolduc House. He surmised that there may have been an outdoor kitchen in a similar building just west of the Bolduc House.

 Front of the Stone Cottage
1785 to 1803 time line  

An illustrated time-line connects the individuals, events, and cultures whose lives and stories intersected in this region for the fifty years from 1780-1830

The display tables are cedar, a wood considered sacred to these tribes. This table features a water drum and some modern shakers and instruments made by a Shawnee artisan. Our visitors can touch these items.

Inside the Stone Cottage
Inside the Stone Cottage

The Doctrine of Discovery is the international law based on a set of papal bulls which gave the European Catholic and, later, Protestant monarchs the moral authority to take land and enslave peoples in Africa, Asia, and the Americas. It was used as late as 1970 by our country’s courts to adjudicate issues relating to Native American tribes. An attempt is being made by the Anglican Church worldwide to get the doctrine overturned.

The exhibit includes 18th century Indian artifacts from the region as well as replica pottery made by our own Liz Manns, a Chippewa belt, and a painted Western Sioux pouch.

This belt is from the late 19th century.

Inside the Stone Cottage
Baskets in the Stone Cottage

These baskets were donated to the exhibit by the Eastern Shawnee Tribe of Oklahoma. They sit on top of a buffalo robe along with an 18th century corn masher. The photograph above this display is what the Apple Creek area looks like. A hand-drawn 1969 map of Appleton, Missouri, places the original site of Chillicothe near the southwest edge of town. Chillicothe is a Shawnee word which means “big village.”

The exhibit in our stone cottage provides visitors with information about these tribes during the time they lived in this area. Native American flute music is playing in the background. While here you can watch a series of short videos to see how these tribes lived, made their canoes, dwellings, pottery, etc. You can also see videos of the tribal members today

This is a Sioux Indian pouch from the late 19th century.

Baskets in the Stone Cottage
Three Crops in a Three Sisters Garden

We are also creating a child-sized Eastern Woodlands Indian Village outside. In 2011 we installed a pit kiln where our Native American ceramics class fires their pieces. We also started a Three Sister’s Garden. In 2012 we will add other components. Watch this website for more information.

Look at me! Look at ME! This is MY Website! Mine!

 Look at me! Did you think I would not be on this page?

 Here I am! Me! It's me, Zuts! ME!!!

Zuts