Upper Arkansas Indian Agency

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United States Gotoarrow.png American Indians Gotoarrow.png Colorado Gotoarrow.png Indians of Colorado Gotoarrow.png Upper Arkansas Indian AgencyUnited States Gotoarrow.png American Indians Gotoarrow.png Kansas Gotoarrow.png Indians of Kansas Gotoarrow.png Upper Arkansas Indian AgencyUnited States Gotoarrow.png American Indians Gotoarrow.png Oklahoma Gotoarrow.png Indians of Oklahoma Gotoarrow.png Upper Arkansas Indian Agency


The Upper Arkansas Agency was established in 1855 to serve the Indians living along the Arkansas River in what is now eastern Colorado and western Kansas. The principal tribes for which this agency was responsible were the Southern Cheyenne and Arapaho, although the Kiowa, Comanche, Apache (Kiowa-Apache) and Caddo were also under their jurisdiction for a time. These tribes had previously been assigned to the Upper Platte Agency.

In 1864, a separate Kiowa Agency was created, which took jurisdiction over all but the Cheyenne and Arapaho tribes.

The agency moved often and was at the following locations for the years listed:

1855-1861 -- at Bent's Fort in Colorado
1861-1862 -- at Fort Wise in Kansas
1862-1866 -- at Fort Lyon in Kansas (with a short stay at Fort Zarah in Kansas)
1866-1869 -- at Fort Larned in Kansas
1869-1874 -- at Darlington, Oklahoma, due to the move of the Cheyenne and Arapaho to Oklahoma.

In 1874, the name was officially changed to the Cheyenne and Arapahoe Agency.


Letters received by the Office of Indian Affairs from the Upper Arkansas Agency, 1855-1874, have been microfilmed by the National Archives as part of their Microcopy Number M234, rolls 878-882. Copies are available at the National Archives and at the Family History Library and its family history centers (their microfilm roll numbers 1661608 thru 1661612).


  • 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.
  • Marquette University. Guide to Cathoilic-Related Records in the Midwest about Native Americans.
  • Preliminary Inventory No. 163: Records of the Bureau of Indian Affairs. Washington DC: National Archives and Records Services. Available online