Neosho Indian Agency (Oklahoma)
Indian Tribes Associated With This Agency
Quapaw, Seneca, Mixed Band of Seneca and Shawnee, Wyandot, Ottawa, Peoria, Kaskaskia, Wea, Piankeshaw, and other small groups of Indian who formerly lived in Kansas and moved to the old Quapaw and Seneca reserves, Osage, and Kansa (Kaw).
The Neosho Subagency was established in 1837 on the Neosho River in what is now northeastern Oklahoma. Before it was fully operating, the Seneca and the Seneca and Shawnee were assigned to the Cherokee Subagency and the Quapaw in Indian Territory were assigned to the Osage Subagency. During its early years, the Neosho Subagency dealt primarily with the Quapaw who were then living along the Arkansas River in Arkansas.
The Neosho Subagency headquarters, nevertheless, was located originally on the Seneca Reserve in Indian Territory. It was locate from 1841 to 1845 on Seneca and Shawnee land, but moved back to the Seneca reserve in 1845.
In 1851, the Osage Subagency in Kansas was combined with the Neosho Subagency to form the Neosho Agency. Until the Civil War, the agent operated first out of the old Neosho Subagency offices, but then moved to Crawford Seminary on Quapaw land.
During the Civil War, the Neosho agent first moved to Fort Scott, Kansas and then to Baldwin City until 1869. From 1869 to 1871, the agent resided most of the time in Montgomery County, Kansas. After 1867, the Neosho Agency gradually became responsible for the Wyandot, Ottawa, Peoria, Kaskaskia, Wea, Piankeshaw, and other small groups of Indian who formerly lived in Kansas and now were moving to the old Quapaw and Seneca reserves. In 1871, the Neosho Agency also acquired the responsibility for the Osage Indians and the Kansa (Kaw) Indians in northeastern Indian Territory.
During 1871 and 1872, the Neosho Agency was moved from Kansas to a site at Deep Ford on Bird Creek, the site of Pahuska, Oklahoma. On 22 December 1874, the Neosho Agency was renamed the Osage Agency.
Agencies and subagencies were created as administrative offices of the Bureau of Indian Affairs and its predecessors. Their purpose was (and is) to manage Indian affairs with the tribes, to enforce policies, and to assist in maintaining the peace. The names and location of these agencies may have changed, but their purpose remained basically the same. Many of the records of genealogical value (for the tribe and tribal members) were created by and maintained by the agencies.
Letters received by the Office of Indian Affairs from the Santee Sioux Agency, 1831-1875, have been microfilmed by the National Archives as part of their Microcopy Number M234, Rolls 530-537. Copies are available at the National Archives and at the Family History Library and its family history centers (their microfilm roll numbers 1661260 thru 1661267).
- Hill, Edward E. The Office of Indian Affairs, 1824-1880: Historical Sketches. New York, New York: Clearwater Publishing Company, Inc., 1974, pp. 106-107.
- American Indians: A Select Catalog of National Archives Microfilm Publications. Washington DC: National Archives Trust Fund Board, National Archives and Records Administration, 1998, Microcopy M234, p. 8.
- American Indians: A Select Catalog of National Archives Microfilm Publications. Washington DC: National Archives Trust Fund Board, National Archives and Records Administration, 1998.
- Hill, Edward E. (comp.). Guide to Records in the National Archives of the United States Relating to American Indians. Washington DC: National Archives and Records Service, General Services Administration, 1981.
- Hill, Edward E. The Office of Indian Affairs, 1824-1880: Historical Sketches. New York, New York: Clearwater Publishing Company, Inc., 1974.
- Historical Sketches for Jurisdictional and Subject Headings Used for the Letters Received by the Office of Indian Affairs, 1824-1880. National Archives Microcopy T1105.
- Preliminary Inventory No. 163: Records of the Bureau of Indian Affairs. Washington DC: National Archives and Records Services. Available online