Chiefs of the Osage Receive Strange Letters

July 12, 1926
The Daily Journal Capital
Microfilm Roll: MN00270

On this day in Osage country, The Daily Journal-Capital published an article discussing strange letters that Osage Chiefs received.

According to the article, several prominent Osages were receiving letters asking for money from people all over the nation. During the early- to mid-1900s, an oil boom occurred within the Osage Nation. The Osages were very wealthy, earning headrights from mineral leases. In response, men and women from around the nation began sending letters asking for large sums of money and some went as far as to propose marriage. Throughout a period of just one week, the Chief received letters from strangers across several states including Texas, Kansas, Idaho, Montana, Ohio, and North Carolina.

A letter from a woman living in Dayton, Ohio stated, “My good friends and God bless you. Please send me $50,000. I have nothing to eat, no clothes, no home, no work. I am in poverty.” Another woman out of Ohio “insinuated clearly that if the chief were unmarried she would be most happy to come and work among his people as she [was] a gifted pianist, nurse, and accountant with the interest of Indian in her heart.” She went on to explain that if “the dear chieftain be married… [she] would appreciate it if he would give the letter to an unmarried chief who is a worthy and honorable man.”

Morgan M. Guzman

“Chiefs of the Osage Receive Strange Letters from Many States Asking for Money.” The Daily Journal-Capital. July 12, 1926, p. 1. Microfilm roll number MN00270. Sequoyah National Research Center, Little Rock, Arkansas.

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