OSAGE MISSION AND SCHOOL RECORDS: SCOPE AND CONTENT

Records pertaining to the Osage Mission and Manual Labor School for Osage Indian boys and girls at present-day St. Paul, Neosho County, Kansas. Included is a pupils' attendance and account book with appended correspondence, 1847-1866; a pupils' account book, an English-Osage dictionary, ca. 1885; and a pupils' attendance and financial account book with appended correspondence and financcial reports, 1855-1881. The principal correspondent was Father John Schoenmakers, S.J.

Gift of the Congregation of the Passion (Passionists), St. Paul, Kansas, 1982.

Processed by Mark G. Thiel, 1986, and microfilmed, 1986.


Historical Note

From 1825-1871 the Osage lived on a reservation in Neosho County, Kansas, which was then replaced by the current reservation in Oklahoma. By the 1840s, the U.S. government promoted English language literacy and Euro-American life skills and agricultural practices. Under government sponsorship, Jesuit missionaries (Missouri Province, St. Louis, Missouri) and Sisters of Loretto (Nerinx, Kentucky) taught Osage and Quapaw Indian boys and girls at the Osage Mission and Manual Labor School on the Osage Reservation, in Kansas,1847-1872.

Subsequent Catholic schools were located in Oklahoma on the Osage (near Fairfax, Pawhuska, and Skiatook) and Quapaw (Miami, Oklahoma) Reservations. For more information -- see the corresponding entries in the Guide to Catholic Records about Native Americans in the United States (link below).


Scope and Content

The records list pupils' names, dates of attendance, and tuition payments with some comments. While most are brief, a few are extensive, noting tribal affiliation, family background, scholastic achievement, and practice of the Catholic faith. Most pupils are identified as members of the Osage or Quapaw Nations.

The books in folders 1 and 3 contain appended handwritten copies of outgoing letters and reports about the school by Father Schoenmakers and U.S. Indian Agent Andrew J. Dorn to the Commissioner of Indian Affairs and the School Office of the U.S. Indian Department. Also included in the folder 1 book are appended outgoing letters regarding the mission, which were sent to General Thomas Ewing, the Commissioner of Indian Affairs, and others.

Restrictions: This collection is not restricted with respect to personal privacy rights and the microfilm reels are available via interlibrary loan.

Reformatted records: Records that have been microfilmed are so noted, most of which are available throughout the United States via interlibrary loan. These and other records are or can be made available in digital formats via email. Reformatting fees may apply. Ask an Archivist for details.

Osage Mission Records 1847-1881 (Series 1)


Related Resources

  • Native America Collections: Checklist to Marquette special collections about Native Americans.
  • Search the Collections (see sidebar)
  • Guide to Catholic Records about Native Americans in the United States: Guide by the Marquette Archives to Catholic records about Native Americans not in the Marquette Archives. However, many  records describes relate to records in the Marquette collections. The repository entries provide contact information, brief record descriptions, and chronologies of Catholic institutions. The Native groups served and the associated Catholic organizations are identified.