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Volume 99 / Number 1 / Spring 2018


Front cover: Engineer Cantonment, along the Missouri River north of present-day Omaha, with the steamboat Western Engineer in the foreground. Detail of watercolor by Titian Ramsay Peale, 1820 American Philosophical Society, Philadelphia (APSimg5646) Left: Gayle F. Carlson (1935-2015), former Nebraska State Archeologist, at the Engineer Cantonment site. This issue of Nebraska History is dedicated to our dear friend and colleague, who remarked at some point early in the 2003 field season that he could “die in peace, now that Engineer Cantonment has been found.”

Become a member! And receive four issues a year of this magazine. Subscriptions are $32 annually. Full memberships with additional benefits start at $40. See https://history.nebraska.gov/publications or call 1-800-833-6747 (402-471-3270). David L. Bristow, editor Ebbeka Design Co., design and layout

Nebraska State Historical Society Trevor Jones, Director Board of Trustees Kim Elder, Paxton, President Cherrie Beam-Callaway, Fremont, First Vice President Bryan Zimmer, Plattsmouth, Second Vice President Lance Bristol, Ansley, Treasurer Jeff Barnes, Omaha Spencer Davis, Bellevue Katherine Endacott, Pleasant Dale Heather Fryer, Omaha Tom Kraus, Madrid Marilyn Moore, Lincoln John E. Nelson, Omaha Vickie Schaepler, Kearney Connie Spellman, Omaha Eileen Wirth, Omaha Nebraska History (publication number ISSN-0028-1859) is published quarterly by the Nebraska State Historical Society, 1500 R St., Lincoln, NE 68508, and distributed to members as part of their dues. Single issues, $7. For rates on microfilmed copies of Nebraska History, write Böwe Bell & Howell, 300 N. Zeeb Rd., Ann Arbor, MI, 48106. Nebraska History publishes well researched articles, edited documents, and other annotated primary materials relating to the history of Nebraska and the Great Plains. See https://history.nebraska.gov/publications for guidelines. Communications should be addressed to the editor. Articles are reviewed by qualified scholars before publication; nevertheless, they reflect the research and opinions of their authors and do not necessarily express the views of the NSHS. Periodical postage paid at Lincoln, Nebraska, and additional mailing offices. Postmaster: Send address changes to the Nebraska State Historical Society, Box 82554, Lincoln, NE, 68501; phone 402-471-3270. © 2018 by the Nebraska State Historical Society. Incorrectly addressed magazines returned by the post office will be forwarded only on receipt of $3 to cover remailing costs.

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contents

Volume 99 / Number 1 / Spring 2018

Science and Survival at Engineer Cantonment Archeological and Natural History Investigations at the Winter Quarters of the 1819-1820 Stephen H. Long Expedition EDITED BY JOH N R. BOZELL, ROB ERT E. PEPPER L, AN D GAYLE F. CAR L SON

2 Part 1: Introduction and the Long Expedition · Robert E. Pepperl and John R. Bozell

12 Part 2: The Long Expedition Stay at Engineer Cantonment · Robert E. Pepperl 24 Part 3: Discovering Engineer Cantonment and the Archeological Investigation · Gayle F. Carlson, Robert E. Pepperl, and John R. Bozell

38 Part 4: Material Recovered from the Archeological Investigation · John R. Bozell, Robert E. Pepperl, Gayle F. Carlson, Carl R. Falk, and Karen A. Steinauer

46 Part 5: Science at Engineer Cantonment · Hugh H. Genoways and Brett C. Ratcliffe 58 Part 6: An Engineer Cantonment Bestiary: The Art of Titian Ramsay Peale · Hugh H. Genoways and Thomas E. Labedz 72 Part 7: Engineer Cantonment and the Archeology of Exploration · John R. Bozell and Robert E. Pepperl 79 Acknowledgments 80 Postscript: 100 Years of Nebraska History

The Nebraska State Historical Society collects, preserves, and opens to all, the histories we share.


Part 1

Introduction and the Long Expedition ROBERT E. PEPPERL AND JOHN R. BOZELL

T

Route of the Stephen H. Long Expedition, 1819-1820. NSHS, State Archeology Office. Prepared by John Swigart and Courtney Ziska

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he 1819-1820 scientific expedition led by Major Stephen H. Long is widely regarded as an important episode in the early history of the American West. During the journey from Pittsburgh to the Rocky Mountains and then back to the Mississippi River, the scientists documented botanical, zoological, geological, and topographical resources and features and made associated collections across tall-grass, short-grass, and alpine environments.1 Long subsequently labeled a large part of the area as a “Great Desert” and assessed the region unfit for subsistence agriculture. Less widely acknowledged

is the nearly nine months (September 17, 1819 – June 6, 1820) the Scientific Party spent at Engineer Cantonment on the Missouri River in eastern Nebraska, prior to setting out for the Plains and Rockies. The over-winter stay at Engineer Cantonment is arguably the most scientifically important single episode of the expedition.2 This government-sponsored effort also had a much larger military contingent under the command of Col. Henry Atkinson that was expected to initiate a planned series of army fortifications in the newly acquired Louisiana Territory. This Military Branch established their


fortified winter encampment on the river bottom a few kilometers upriver from Engineer Cantonment. The exact location is unknown. Here, more than 1,000 troops spent a difficult winter plagued by disease, including a deadly scurvy epidemic, and also endured devastating spring flooding. This site, initially called Camp Missouri, was renamed Cantonment Missouri once construction was complete. The Military Branch was eventually forced by the flooding to move to higher ground atop the nearby Council Bluff where this more permanent base for western military operations was named Fort Atkinson and remained an important frontier post for seven years. There is no known archeological evidence of Cantonment Missouri, but extensive archeological studies and reconstruction at Fort Atkinson have been carried out over a number of years by the Nebraska State Historical Society (NSHS). During the period 2002-2005, and in 2015, NSHS archeological research and cultural resource management projects resulted in the

Stephen Harriman Long (1784-1864) by Charles Wilson Peale, from life, c. 1819. Courtesy of National Park Service, Independence National Historical Park, Philadelphia

The steamboat Western Engineer, by Titian Ramsay Peale. Courtesy of American Philosophical Society, Philadelphia (APSimg2021)

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discovery, partial excavation of, and preservation of Engineer Cantonment. What began as a routine archeological surface survey and historic preservation compliance effort expanded into a significant and wide-ranging research project with local and national significance to several major disciplines including archeology, history, historic preservation, geography, zoology, and the history of science. This issue of Nebraska History is a summary of the Engineer Cantonment archeological research project.3 The Long Expedition played a significant role in pioneering natural science methods and knowledge, and the period of time spent at Engineer Cantonment became the primary opportunity for the scientists to meet their objectives.4 The cantonment provided a site for meeting with and gathering information about local native groups, as well as a base of operations for trips into the surrounding area to visit Native American villages for ethnographic studies. Their efforts in and around Engineer Cantonment also included the collection of data and specimens needed to describe and classify the biological resources of the study area. These events remain important contributions to modern biological systematics, taxonomy, and various types of environmental and historical studies. The entire journey, including the stay at Engineer Cantonment, was chronicled by expedition member Edwin James and his account is referred to throughout this issue.5 Left: Thomas Say, 1819, by Charles Willson Peale. Courtesy of Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University, Philadelphia, ANSP Archives Collection 2011-025 Right: Titian Peale II, 1819, by Charles Willson Peale. Private collection A scientist’s ‘uniform’ is most evident in the portraits of Say and Peale, highlighted by a gold seven-pointed star fastened to the upright collar of their dark-colored coats. These stars were specifically designed for the Long Expedition.

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Engineer Cantonment is likely the first, and perhaps only, example of nineteenth century American government-sponsored exploration where trained, field-experienced scientists gathered data within a single vicinity over an extended period of time. A renowned naturalist, Thomas Say, and two highly regarded artists, assistant naturalist and artist Titian Ramsay Peale and Samuel Seymour, the official expeditionary artist, spent their time at the cantonment carrying out biological and ethnographic studies consistent with their scientific mission. This unique experience produced written and graphic documentation of faunal and botanical observations, including descriptions of a number of previously unknown species, which is believed to represent the first American biodiversity inventory. Additionally important, original documentation provided narrative, cartographic, and pictorial records of central Missouri River tribes, including meetings between tribal leaders and government officials. Geologic, geographic, and other information gathered by the scientists, while both at the cantonment and on their round trip to the Rocky Mountains, proved to be of vital interest to military and commercial concerns and to later American migration and settlement. This collusion of scientific and military means to advance the western frontier illustrates a blending of expansionist goals with uniquely American Enlightenment ideals which characterized many aspects of the newly


established American government, economy, and society. The Philadelphia intellectual community, whose members included key political leaders and founding fathers, was called upon to help shape the expedition in a way that satisfied the needs for scientific inquiry, as well as serving the political and military agendas of the United States War Department, which sponsored the trip. The grand plans of the resulting large-scale venture captured the public imagination and served as a model for a succession of nineteenth-century, governmentsponsored western expeditions that followed. The early nineteenth century was an era of pioneering efforts in American continental exploration, featuring large-scale plans generally carried out by mixed parties of military and civilian personnel. Military and political objectives were key among the various motivations for launching both information gathering and troop movement endeavors.6 Following acquisition of the massive Louisiana Purchase, these objectives were focused on defining and protecting the boundaries and resources of this vast territory. These efforts not only set the stage for the expansionist agenda of the mid-to-late nineteenth century, but also contributed to the development of American science. In addition to producing major advancements in documenting New World natural history and indigenous cultures, governmentsponsored scientific exploration provided the first pictorial and cartographic records of the American West, significantly influencing the westward spread of commerce, infrastructure, and settlement.7 The Long Expedition was part of a much larger military mission initially planned as the Yellowstone Expedition and later renamed the Missouri Expedition when the enterprise’s agenda and scope were reduced. Through the use of a large military force and impressive technology, the Yellowstone Expedition was envisioned by Secretary of War John C. Calhoun to be a show of strength and resolve that would convince both the natives and British traders in the area of the government’s intent to extend and protect American interests in the upper Missouri region. Long proposed and organized the scientific component, which restarted the program of transcontinental exploration begun by Thomas Jefferson. The expedition set new standards for scientific exploration, helped to develop westernadapted transportation, and provided a model for government surveys of the western lands during the remainder of the nineteenth century. At the encouragement of Long and the American Philosophical Society (APS), the expedition was

Edwin James, date and artist unknown. Courtesy of History Colorado

to include scientific exploration—for the first time using experienced field personnel.8 Calhoun agreed with Long and the APS that the members of this exploring party were to be civilians with recognized expertise in the various fields of science. Long worked closely with the APS in selecting the scientific crew. Uniquely, this expedition was to be carried out by steamboat, a decision that followed years of incessant lobbying by Major Long who also designed the boat, which he named the Western Engineer. Even the military contingent used steamboat transportation, with a central goal being to make a grand impression of American power on the native inhabitants, the foreign trappers and traders they wished to expel, and also on American citizens whose support was needed for the success of the western campaign. The Western Engineer was the first steamboat to navigate the Missouri River as far as the Council Bluff. 9 Major Long was instrumental in assembling the exploring party (Tables 1 and 2). The military members included two other topographical engineers (Lieutenants Graham and Swift) to assist Long with producing accurate maps of the interior region. A third military officer (Major Biddle) was engaged as the expedition journalist, historian, and ethnographer. The civilian scientific crew was selected through a careful process with the assistance of Calhoun and a committee of the

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APS. Those civilians who ultimately joined the scientific party included: Thomas Say as zoologist; Dr. William Baldwin as botanist and surgeon; Augustus Edward Jessup as geologist; Titian Ramsay Peale as assistant naturalist and scientific illustrator; and Samuel Seymour as topographic artist. Baldwin died during the first leg of journey, never arriving at Engineer Cantonment. Jessup resigned for health reasons shortly after arriving at Engineer Cantonment. Also, Biddle was re-assigned to the military branch of the expedition. Following establishment of quarters at Engineer Cantonment in the fall of 1819, Long returned to Washington for revised orders. While back east he enlisted Captain John R. Bell to replace Biddle as journalist, and selected Dr. Edwin James to serve as physician and botanist in place of Baldwin, and also to replace Jessup as geologist. The expedition was also assisted in many ways by Indian Agent Benjamin O’Fallon,10 by fur trader, interpreter and agent John Dougherty,11 and by fur trader Manuel Lisa.12 Key members of the original exploring party that remained for the trip west from Engineer

Cantonment included: Major Long, Lieutenant Swift, Thomas Say, Titian Peale, and Samuel Seymour. Lieutenant Graham was assigned to return the Western Engineer downstream and then to bring it to Cape Girardeau to meet the overland exploring party in the fall. Given the change from steamboat transportation to travel by horseback, the support crew also changed and included hunters, baggage handlers, and interpreters, instead of the boat crew that brought the expedition to Engineer Cantonment. The military escort and other expected supplies were severely reduced, due in part to a revised austere budget. Major Long had requested 100 men from Cantonment Missouri to serve as a military escort, but received only six men from the Rifle Regiment along with a seventh added from the Corps of Artillery.13 A small military and civilian escort accompanied the scientific party throughout their journey from Pittsburgh to Engineer Cantonment. These individuals are identified by Major Long’s letter to the Secretary of War.14

Table 1. Personel comprising the Long Expedition Name and Assignment

Personal Information

Comments

I. Personnel for Initial Stage of the Journey: Pittsburg to Engineer Cantonment A. MILITARY SCIENTISTS:

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Major Stephen H. Long, Commander and chief topographer; age 35

(1784-1864) From New Hampshire farm family; graduated from Dartmouth College; commissioned second lieutenant in Army’s Corps of Topographical Engineers in 1814; briefly taught mathematics at West Point; was assigned to a number of military surveys between 1816 and 1819 to establish forts in the frontier, primarily east of the Mississippi River; lifelong career as topographical engineer included significant work with railroad development and navigation improvements on the western rivers

Lobbied successfully to get the expedition sponsored by the War Department and supported by the intellectual community in Philadelphia; also sought funding for post-field work-up and reporting

Major Thomas Biddle, Jr., Journalist, historian, and ethnographer; age 29

(1790-1831) From prominent Philadelphia family; viewed the expedition as “interesting and enterprising,” applied for the journalist position and was hired; does not seem to have provided records or notes on the trip of any kind

Quarreled often with Long; left the scientific party after 3 months; transferred to Colonel Atkinson’s staff


Lieutenant James D. Graham, First Assistant Topographer; age 20

(1799-1865) From Virginia; graduated West Point in 1817; in 1819 was 20 years old, second lieutenant in artillery

Successful career as topographical engineer; responsible for several important boundary surveys

Cadet William H. Swift, Second Assistant Topographer and commander of the guard; age 19

(1800-1879) From Massachusetts; graduated West Point in July, 1819, and commissioned second lieutenant in the Corps of Topographical Engineers while on the expedition

Promoted to Captain while serving on the U.S. Coast Survey until resigning from the Army in 1849 to head up several railroads

B. BOAT CREW: Nine military and four Military personnel: Sergeant Samuel Roan and civilian crew (plus eight privates; civilian crew: steam engineer, pilot, 2 boys) carpenter, and clerk; also two cabin boys

The carpenter and military escort were the likely builders of Engineer Cantonment

C. CIVILIAN SCIENTISTS:

Dr. William Baldwin, botanist and surgeon; also to report on Indian diseases and health; age 41

(1779-1819) Physician and highly respected scientist with interest in botany; medical degree from University of Pennsylvania in 1807; practiced medicine and also conducted botanical research; had hereditary pulmonary disease; selection of Baldwin caused John Torrey to decline position as geologist (applied as botanist)

Was too ill to continue and resigned from the Expedition at Franklin, Missouri during trip up Missouri River; died two months later of tuberculosis

Thomas Say, zoologist; served as ethnographer, and journalist; age 32

(1787-1834) Philadelphia apothecary; active field work; broadly interested in documenting animal and insect life; became co-founder of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia in 1812; prone to illness throughout his short life

Known as father of American conchology and father of American entomology

Titian R. Peale, Assistant Naturalist (and artist); age 20

(1799-1885) Son of renowned artist and natural history museum owner; trained artist and experienced naturalist; accompanied Say on 1818 Florida Expedition

Also skilled in specimen mounting and collecting

Augustus Edward Jessup, Geologist; age 30

(1789-1859) Massachusetts native; Philadelphia manufacturer with active interest in geology and mineralogy; his research was sufficient to get him elected to the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia at an early age

Jessup’s interest in chemistry allowed him to improve paper production and succeed as a paper manufacturer and paper mill owner

Samuel Seymour, landscape artist; age 40 (?)

(1779?-1823?) British-born painter; apparently working in Philadelphia along with his uncle as an engraver; appointed official artist/illustrator

Seymour seemingly disappears after return from 1823 expedition

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Part 2

The Long Expedition Stay at Engineer Cantonment ROBERT E. PEPPERL

Right Above: Engineer Cantonment (Missouri River) with Western Engineer in foreground, by Titian Ramsay Peale. Courtesy of American Philosophical Society, Philadelphia (APSimg5646) Right Below: Engineer Cantonment site (March 2003) with arrow depicting location of cabins on Titian Peale images. NSHS, State Archeology Office

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he Long Expedition began in Pittsburgh in early May 1819 and over-wintered at Engineer Cantonment on the Missouri River from Sept 17, 1819, to June 6, 1820, while awaiting new orders. The revised mission involved an overland journey to the Rocky Mountains and concluded with the return to Fort Smith, Arkansas, in September 1820. After meeting as planned with the steamboat Western Engineer at Cape Giradeau, the scientists used various methods to make their own way back east to prepare reports.1 On September 19, 1819, the Long Party began construction of their quarters adjacent to a small harbor suitable for mooring their boats for the winter, and near Fort Lisa, the trading post operated by the well-known fur trader Manuel Lisa. The selected location of Engineer Cantonment is only briefly described in James’ official report on the expedition:

Further description of the winter quarters site is offered later in the Account text:

The position selected for the establishment of winter quarters for the exploring party, was on the west bank of the Missouri, about half a mile above Fort Lisa, five miles below Council Bluff, and three miles above the mouth of Boyer’s river. At this place we anchored on the 19 th September, and in a few days, had made great progress in cutting timber, quarrying stone, and other preparations for the construction of quarters. Cliffs of sparry limestone rise in the rear of the site we have selected, to an elevation of near three hundred feet . . .2

The several weeks following the scientists’ arrival were filled with setting up the winter quarters, initiating scientific studies, hosting a variety of formal councils and informal visits with Native Americans, and preparing for Major Long’s return to Washington. The expedition report provides little information concerning the composition of the cantonment and construction of buildings, making the archeological investigations all the more important. Prior to Long’s departure, Jessup had decided to resign his position on the expedition and return back east. In taking his leave of those remaining at the cantonment, Long issued orders that assigned specific tasks for each of the scientists to carry

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(this place)…., a very narrow plain or beach, closely covered with trees, intervenes between the immediate bank of the river, and the bluffs, which rise near two-hundred feet, but are so gradually sloped as to be ascended without great difficulty, and are also covered with trees. This spot presented numerous advantages for the cantonment of a small party like ours. Here were abundant supplies of wood and stone, immediately on the spot where we wished to erect our cabins, and the situation was sheltered by the high bluffs from the northwest winds. The place was called Engineer Cantonment.3


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out over the winter months. These additional directives, reinforcing and supplementing their initial orders, were as follows:4 • T homas Say was to “examine the country, visit the neighboring Indians, procure animals, &c.,” with the support and assistance of Lieutenant Graham who would also cover any necessary expenditures; • Say was to be accompanied by Samuel Seymour and Titian Peale whenever their particular services were required; • Mr. Dougherty had permission from Major O’Fallon to assist in all matters concerning contacts with the Indians and was to be consulted in all efforts to visit or to acquire information from local tribes; • In addition, the scientists were to consult Long’s initial orders of the past March, including the objectives and questions provided by the Philosophical Society of Philadelphia, and Secretary of War, Calhoun, as well as Jefferson’s instructions to Lewis and Clark; • And finally, Lieutenant Graham was instructed to continue taking “every opportunity for celestial and barometric observations, and calculate latitude, longitude, magnetic dip and variation, with the utmost precision,” an attention to detailed, accurate observations that represented a hallmark of the Long Expedition and set high standards for subsequent American exploration. Graham was also to continue his usual meteorological observations with assistance from Lieutenant Swift or anyone else in the party when it would not interfere with other duties. Councils and Interactions with Local Tribes

A

series of councils were held at Engineer Cantonment that involved most of the local tribes. A major objective of the expedition was establishing formal governmental contacts with the upper Missouri tribes. The formal council meetings at Engineer Cantonment were conducted between October 3 and October 11, when Major Long returned to Washington. After that date, formal meetings were moved to Camp Missouri where O’Fallon, and possibly Dougherty, presided. Each meeting involved hundreds of native guests, including both leaders and warriors. Numerous

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speeches were given by the governmental hosts and the native chiefs, and tribal dances were performed to honor their hosts and the occasion of their meeting. On October 3, roughly a hundred Oto and a number of Ioway arrived at Engineer Cantonment. After the leaders were seated, one of the principal chiefs, Shonga-tonga (the Big Horse) introduced a series of dances accompanied by native instruments and songs performed to honor the occasion.5 Although most of the dancers were veteran warriors, three were young warriors painted entirely black to signify their position as peacekeepers assigned to preserve order at the ceremony. The three included Ietan or Sha-mon-ekus-se, who later became the well known principal leader of the Oto during the 1830s and also visited Washington; Ha-she-a, known as Cut-Nose, due to losing the tip of his nose in a quarrel with Ietan; and Wa-sa-ba-jing-ga, called Little Black Bear. The council with the Oto continued on October 4, with more than 200 of the three related nations in attendance, including about 100 Oto, 70 Missouri, and 50 or 60 Ioway who “arranged themselves, agreeably to their tribes, on puncheon benches, which had been prepared for them, and which described a semicircle, on the chord of which sat the whites, with Major O’Fallon and his interpreters in the centre. Sentinels walked to and fro behind the benches; and a handsome standard waved before the assembly.”6 A detailed pictorial record of this event is illustrated in Samuel Seymour’s watercolor painting titled, “Oto Council” (right). O’Fallon addressed the Oto, followed by replies from the chiefs, and ended the meeting by distributing presents, including guns, tobacco, and blankets, to the attending tribes. Cut-Nose, Little Black Bear, and Black Bird also presented their robes to O’Fallon.7 The next day, October 6, about 70 Pawnee representing the Grand Pawnee, Pawnee Republicans, and Pawnee Loups (French name for the Skidi, or Wolf Pawnee) arrived near Engineer Cantonment around noon. The scientists visited the Pawnee in the evening, joining those at the Grand Pawnee fire and smoking with their hereditary chief, Long Hair. The Pawnee Loups with their leader Knife Chief sat at another fire, while the third was occupied by the Pawnee Republicans (who had robbed a contingent of the Long Party in August while traveling through modern-day Kansas), and their chief, Dorian who was of mixed heritage.8 The Tappage Pawnee band was apparently not represented. The following morning the Pawnee seated themselves on the benches


provided at the council circle and were addressed by O’Fallon, who recited their offenses and admonished them to reform their behavior and to return the stolen items. By the close of the meeting, much of the stolen property had been returned and the Pawnee promised that the offenders would be punished.9 Seymour’s drawing of this meeting titled, “Pawnee Council” (p. 16), provides a view of the council circle from a different orientation than the Oto meeting. This image shows the harbor and a single boat, possibly the Western Engineer, in the background, instead of the bluff as in the illustration of the Oto council. Again, based on the details of this image, it would appear that the councils were held in the wooded area directly north of the cantonment buildings. A third council was held at Camp Missouri on October 14 when 400 Omaha gathered at O’Fallon’s request and chose to air some of their own concerns and grievances.10 Big Elk (Ongpa-ton-ga) spoke for some time comparing the good will of his people towards the whites as opposed to the duplicity of the Pawnee who would flatter to receive presents and then do ill deeds,

complaining about the disparity of treatment of the two nations, “Never has one of my nation stained his hands with the blood of a white man. I do not understand, my father, your mode of treating those well, who treat you ill,” referring to the council meeting and presents, including sabers given to the chiefs, which the Pawnee received.11 He also expressed his belief that so many soldiers were unneeded in this area where there was no substantial threat from the native groups and that they would be more useful being moved upriver where there was conflict. He voiced related concerns that hunting by the soldiers would drive away game needed by his people to survive. Small groups of individuals from several tribes visited the cantonment on a number of occasions and for a variety of purposes. On November 15, a small party of Sioux, three Tetons, and one each of the Yankton and Shawnee divisions, came with the intention of examining the steamboat and were treated to a tour that included seeing the steam engine in action and demonstrations of the various weapons that it carried, including the air gun and two howitzers.12

Oto Council, by Samuel Seymour. Courtesy of Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University, Philadelphia, ANSP Archives Collection 79

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Pawnee Council at Engineer Cantonment, 1819-1820, by Samuel Seymour. Courtesy of Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Yale University

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Big Elk, the principal chief of the Omaha, along with Big Eyes, a fellow chief, also known as Little Cook and Wash-co-mo-ne-a, came to the cantonment simply for a social visit, arriving March 8 and bringing jerked bison meat for the scientists.13 Anticipating that the scientists must find the Omaha strange for always moving about in the winter cold when they have warm houses in their village, Big Elk explained his presence saying, “our poverty and necessities compel us to do so, in pursuit of game; yet we sometimes venture forth for our pleasure, as in the present instance, to visit the white people whom we are always delighted to see.”14 The visitors stayed through much of the next day and upon leaving were presented with small gifts including tobacco. Guidelines for Say’s ethnographic work were based primarily on Jefferson’s instructions to Lewis and Clark, along with specific guidance and

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questions compiled by a committee of scientists at the APS, several of which were physicians and were most interested in questions concerning diet, disease, and other health-related issues. In addition to his personal contacts with the Indians, Say also learned much about the various Missouri River and Plains tribes from John Dougherty, who had been assigned to assist Say. Dougherty had acquired a thorough knowledge of the various tribes during the ten years he spent traveling throughout the area after joining Lisa’s Missouri Fur Company in 1809 and later serving as interpreter and sub-agent for Benjamin O’Fallon, a position he continued to hold during his work with the Long Expedition. Other traders working for Lisa would return from the field with news concerning a variety of activities occurring in the native communities they were serving and provided another important


source of information for Say, largely concerning difficulties the tribes were having with disease and the very cold winter of 1819-20. Say’s ethnographic information also came from meetings with a number of Native Americans at Engineer Cantonment and at least one documented trip away from the Cantonment. He reports that John Dougherty, who had lived for a time in the Omaha village, was the source for much of his information on the Omaha.15 Both Omaha and Oto, ranging from chiefs to trappers, appear to have made frequent visits to Engineer Cantonment and nearby Lisa’s Post for a variety of purposes. These visits provided ample opportunities for Say to supplement John Dougherty’s information on these two nations. Other tribes, particularly the Pawnee, are mentioned in these contexts far less often. A trek to the Pawnee villages was undertaken by O’Fallon, Dougherty, Graham, Say and a military escort from April 20 until May 6, 1820, and included visits of roughly three days at each of three villages.16 On this westward journey to the Pawnee villages, Say describes virtually daily encounters with members of the Oto and Omaha tribes. During the first two days he met several Oto and Omaha hunters and trappers. On the following day, April 23, the travelers spent a “short time” with a party of Omaha headed by a man known to traders as Voleur, at “the relics of whose former village” Say’s group had seen on Shell Creek, and also along this same creek had observed a large earthen excavation measuring about 60 m long, 40 m wide, and 9 m deep that was revered by the Pawnee and known as Pawnee Medicine. Say conjectured this feature might initially have had a defensive purpose, and was perhaps built by the Arikara.17 On April 27, the party moved on toward the village of the Pawnee Loups (Skiri or Skidi Pawnee), passing the Republican village at 6.5 km distance and continuing on another 5 km to the Pawnee Loups living at the Palmer site. When they were within 3 km of the village, they were asked to stop and allow time for the chiefs to adequately prepare themselves to greet the representatives of such a “great and powerful” nation.18 In a short time, a large number of warriors suddenly appeared over the rise and after a series of maneuvers charged O’Fallon’s party until they were encircled by “three or four hundred mounted Indians, dressed in their richest habiliments of war,” rushing around them in every direction, “with streaming feathers, war weapons, and with

loud shouts and yells.”19 The simply dressed chiefs approached the party in a statelier manner, shaking hands with all and expressing great pleasure at seeing them, adding that their grief over recent losses in battle would now be replaced by joy.20 It was on the return trip to the village that they first saw Petalesharoo, whom they knew of by name and reputation, but had never met. This man, a recognized leader at a young age, is most noted for his daring and heroic rescue of a young female captive, the intended sacrifice to Venus in the Great Star ceremony.21 Although Petalesharoo’s rescue had already become public knowledge when he visited Washington in 1821, Say might well have been the first to describe the actual ceremony, presumably based on information he obtained during his visit.22 Petalesharoo performed a second rescue the following spring when he managed to save a small Spanish boy by substituting a “large mass” of merchandise as the sacrifice, an act Say suggested might put an end to the use of human sacrifice. 23 Departing the Pawnee Loups village on April 29, the party headed back to the Republican village where they were greeted by the chiefs in a manner signifying their “penitence for their offences,” recognizing that a war party from their village had earlier robbed Say’s exploring party near the Kansa village. While shaking hands with each, Say closely scrutinized all, trying to identify those who had been involved, but he could recognize only one.24 In a council with the chiefs, O’Fallon once again spoke at length, admonishing the Pawnee Republicans for their unacceptable behavior and offering them “peace or war.”25 Better conduct in the future was promised by the chiefs. The principal chief expressed regret that their poverty allowed them to present only “four horses, sixteen bison Robes, and a package of dried meat,” while also acknowledging that the chief (also named Petalesharoo) who had made a promise at Engineer Cantonment to punish the warriors who had robbed Say, failed to do so and had left the village.26 O’Fallon was not pleased and denigrated the man, indicating he would be denied dignity should he encounter this chief in a future council. That night the impoverished village lost 140 horses in a Kansa raid. Natural History Studies and Experimentation

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ay and Peale worked as a team in documenting biological diversity in the cantonment locality, with Say taking the lead

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responsibility in writing the scientific descriptions and naming all new species. Known as an excellent shot and with considerable skills learned in his father’s museum as well as in the field, Peale probably handled most of the collecting and specimen preparation tasks as well as illustrating the wide variety of identified species, particularly those that served as type specimens for naming and describing new species. One of the most cited examples of the lengths Say and Peale went to in collecting specimens involves Peale’s numerous attempts to outwit and trap a very wary and crafty “prairie wolf” or coyote.27 The first attempt employed a specially constructed “live trap” (large baited box tilted up at one end on a stick) clearly demonstrated the difficulty they would face trying to trap this animal. A very large box (nearly 2 m long and wide) was constructed with a plank floor. This method failed when the coyote burrowed under the wooden floor and pulled the bait down through a crevice between the floor planks. Other methods generally involved a number of variations on each and included a large wooden cage with a hole in the top as the only opening—which the animal refused to enter. Another involved a large double “steel trap” hidden in the leaves with bait suspended above that was also rejected, even after the leaves were burned to remove the scientist’s scent. In fact, when bait was hung at a number of locations surrounding the trap, only the bait above the trap remained in place the following morning. The final attempt involved a “log fall trap” where one log, raised at one end on “an upright stick, was resting upon a rounded horizontal trigger stick” on the lower log, and was positioned to fall on the lower baited log. Unfortunately, only a few of the other scientific endeavors and living activities at the cantonment are described in similar detail. This type of experimentation provided insights concerning the intelligence, ingenuity, and behavior of this wily animal. Following eventual capture using a falling log set-up, Peale made a number of sketches of the coyote (see p. 51) and Say provided the systematic description and scientific name for this new species that had been previously observed, but was not adequately documented by Lewis and Clark to be assigned a formal scientific name. Although dealing with paleontological materials was not specifically identified as an objective for the scientists, several members of the expedition, particularly Say, actively hunted for fossils whenever the opportunity arose. The notably

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fossiliferous Pennsylvanian limestone exposed in the nearby quarry presented an excellent opportunity that Say utilized to identify several new fossil species during his stay at the cantonment. Thirty of their “most important” finds are described in footnotes.28 Five of these were named as new species.29 Based on the footnotes included in the Account, Say did not limit himself to the adjacent exposure and appears to have examined some part of the bluffs extending south, at least to the vicinity of the Platte River since two of the new fossil species identified while at the cantonment were from rocks on the “Missouri near the Platte.”30 It may have been Say’s search for fossils in the quarry that led him to discover three new species of snakes that were revealed when their hibernation was interrupted by workers quarrying stone for Camp Missouri chimneys.31 In addition to their officially defined studies, which included daily recording of routine meteorological observations, the scientists also occupied themselves in a few more spontaneous observations. Some were quite straightforward data collection, such as measuring the width of the Missouri River in various places, comparing the depth of ice on the river and the Boyer River, and comparing the temperatures of the water in a spring and in the river with the atmospheric temperature.32 Other measurements made of the Missouri’s flow were more complex. Finding a break in the ice on February 24, Graham and Say conducted the usual series of six experiments, successively measuring the time it took a porter bottle to float to the length of its cord, the mean of which gave the velocity of the river. However, they recognized that this only measured the surface stratum where they reasoned additional friction from the ice would impede the measurement, so they decided to find an average at different depths, and found the velocity at 10 feet in depth to be “greater by almost 452 yards per hour.” 33 Hunting Trips

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number of hunting trips are noted, some part of which were probably focused on collecting scientific specimens, though the objective of most was more likely for procurement of fresh meat for subsistence. Several trips were made to the Boyer River which entered the east side of the Missouri a few miles downstream from the cantonment. On February 12, Say, Peale, and Dougherty traveled to the Boyer to obtain fish, whether for science or subsistence purposes is


not specified. While encamped at a pond near the Boyer, the party cut holes into the fifteen-inch-thick ice and caught an otter and a number of small fishes, including three new species, several being identified as the genus Gasterosteus.34 Oddly, no fishes are noted in the list of species identified at the cantonment. According to the Peale Museum accession book, Major Long on March 23, 1821, delivered nine (unfinished) sketches of fish made by Peale. Only two of these, however, appear to be represented in the APS collection of Peale’s work.35 The most notable hunting expedition by Peale and Dougherty involved a trip made sometime between February 12 and February 22, 1820, when they accompanied an Oto “hunting party to near the ‘Sioux River’.”36 This probably refers to the Little Sioux River located in present-day Iowa. The mouth of this stream is a short distance to the northeast of Engineer Cantonment on the east side of the Missouri River. Peale documented this trip in a number of sketches that he later converted into drawings and paintings. These include what might be considered his best-known image, a sketch of an Oto man on a charging horse aiming his bow and

arrow, presumably at a nearby bison. On this hunt, Peale and Dougherty managed to kill twelve bison, a feat that was celebrated with a dinner and ball at Cantonment Missouri and by a dinner party for eleven people at Engineer Cantonment where they roasted the entire hump of a bison.37 On March 19, 1820, Peale, Swift, and Dougherty left the cantonment again to hunt on the Boyer.38 They traveled in a pirogue, presumably an open boat similar to the two used by Lewis and Clark. Another trip to the Boyer was made on April 12 by Say, Seymour, and Lieutenant Graham, along with Lieutenant Talcott and an unnamed soldier from Cantonment Missouri, traveling in what Say refers to as “our small row boat,” possibly the same boat as the pirogue noted above.39 Their objective was to ascend the Boyer to the point it flows through the bluffs. On the morning of the second day on the Boyer, the party awoke to the loud calls of the sandhill crane. Say spent some time observing and describing the birds while awaiting return of the soldier sent on an errand to the cantonment.40 Peale was not on this trip but previously had made at least three drawings of sandhill cranes at the cantonment,

Otos Hunting, 1820, by Titian Ramsay Peale. Courtesy of American Philosophical Society (APSimg2689)

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Part 3

Discovering Engineer Cantonment and the Archeological Investigation GAYLE F. CARL SON, ROBERT E. PEPPERL , AND JOHN R. BOZELL How the Site Was Found

Discovery of buried archeological ruins of Engineer Cantonment structures using mechanical trenching, April 2003. NSHS, State Archeology Office

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inding Engineer Cantonment had long been recognized as an important goal among Nebraska archeologists and historians.1 The Long Expedition is mentioned in early Nebraska histories and for nearly a century, finding the archeological remains of the cantonment had been

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viewed as critical in generating further studies and knowledge of the expedition and placing it in the context of broader scientific and national interests. Knowledge of Engineer Cantonment’s whereabouts was lost after its abandonment. In 1839, French scientist Joseph Nicollet visited the abandoned Lisa’s Post and mentioned that


Engineer Cantonment was half a mile farther north, but did not specifically say that he visited it.2 By the time Euroamerican settlement of the area began in the 1850s, much of the knowledge regarding its earlier history was lost. During the following century, historians and archeologists pondered the evidence and made limited unsuccessful field searches. The general belief came to be that commercial quarrying, flooding, or cutting by the Missouri River had destroyed Engineer Cantonment or altered the landscape so extensively that it would never be found. Interest in finding the site was rekindled in 2002-03 when two NSHS archeology projects were implemented along the Missouri River bluffs and bottomland north of Omaha.3 These projects were designed to learn more about the notoriously rich archeological record of the Ponca Hills district, and to discover specific sites in response to a proposed widening of a county road that runs along the base of the Missouri River bluffs. The road construction project had the potential to adversely impact Engineer Cantonment if it indeed still remained intact. Engineer Cantonment was frequently referred to in the journals and official accounts of the Long Expedition, and its surroundings were the subject of illustrations by Peale. Additionally, a copy of a sketch map made by Lieutenant Andrew Talcott, engineer for the Missouri Expedition, indicates that it was drawn at a station in the rear of Engineer Cantonment. A comparison of Talcott’s map with the modern U. S. Geological Survey topographic map for this vicinity indicates that there are a few locations that closely approximate that shown on the modern map. Information obtained from on-the-ground inspections of these areas plus the available documentary evidence reduced the search area to approximately one mile of bluff edge. According to James, the quarry that supplied limestone for Cantonment Missouri was about 90 m

below (south of) Engineer Cantonment, which also fit well with one particular location.4 A clear view of the bluff edge was possible early in 2003 when the trees were still without leaves. One location close to the northern edge of a modern quarry was found to match the Peale sketches remarkably well. Peale’s illustrations show a long section of the bluff line, as well as a distinct wide ravine descending from summit to base near the middle of the view. One tworoom log building is depicted near the base of the ravine, and what appears to be a portion of a second building extends to the left behind the first structure. The front building is situated close to the bank of what is likely an oxbow cutoff of the Missouri River. The steamboat Western Engineer and several keelboats are shown anchored in the harbor in one version of the Peale artwork. The 2003 location was photographed and compared with the Peale sketches. This further strengthened initial field impressions. In April 2003, a mechanical trenching machine (used for laying buried utility cable) was brought to the site. Several long trenches were placed through areas that appeared to most closely match the location of the cabin(s) depicted by Peale. A short distance northeast of a ravine mouth (matching that drawn by Peale), small fragments of burned and unburned limestone appeared in the backdirt and walls of the trench. This suggested the remains of a buried fireplace or foundation. The relationship between this location and the modern ravine to its rear corresponded remarkably well with the building locations and ravine as depicted in Peale’s illustrations. Next, archeologists took a sample of soil from the trench in the vicinity of the burned limestone and passed it through fine-mesh sifting screens. They found items including a plain flat brass button, glass trade beads, lead balls, an early 1800s trigger guard, animal bone fragments (some of Detail of cabins from Engineer Cantonment with Deer in Foreground, by Titian R. Peale. See complete image on p.47 Detail of cabins from Engineer Cantonment (Missouri River) with Western Engineer in foreground by Titian R. Peale. See complete image on p.13

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Engineer Cantonment Structure 1 fireplace excavation in progress. From left, Tony Schommer, Amanda Davey Renner, and Erin Dempsey, 2004. NSHS, State Archeology Office

Serving platter on floor of Structure 1. The reassembled platter is pictured on p. 43. NSHS, State Archeology Office

which were burned) and a bottle glass fragment. The most diagnostic items, the brass button and the trigger guard, were similar to specimens found during archeological excavations at Fort Atkinson (1820-1827).5 The final preliminary field effort was a geophysical survey (ground-penetrating radar and magnetometry). The magnetometer produced a large structural signature with the limestone concentrations exposed by trenching near the center.6 From this initial field evidence, it appeared that the site of Engineer Cantonment had at last been found. Archeological Excavation

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rcheologists completed systematic excavations intermittently during the 2003, 2004, and 2005 field seasons with limited follow-up work in 2012, 2013, and 2015.7 The excavation program was under the direction of the NSHS State Archeology Office, with assistance from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Archeological Field School, the University of Nebraska-Kearney, and many dedicated volunteers. The excavations focused on the one obvious cantonment structural

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Engineer Cantonment Structure 1 fireplace excavation in progress. Karen Steinauer, 2003. NSHS, State Archeology Office

ruin (identified as Structure 1) recorded during the mechanical trenching and geophysical survey. Test excavations were also conducted in other portions of the site in search of additional Long Expedition-related buildings and features. A possible second building site and outside fireplaces were discovered. As with most modern archeological excavations, a grid of 1 x 1 m squares was imposed over the site as a horizontal provenience (or location) system and was tied to the county road and other cultural and natural features. Material from each one of these squares was collected separately. Vertical provenience was tracked by arbitrary 10 or 20 cm levels or natural soil zones. When archeological ‘features’ such as posts, hearths, walls, and pits were discovered, each was given a separate provenience. Soil was passed through ¼ inch and 1/6 inch screens, and recovered materials were bagged in the field by specific horizontal and vertical provenience. All materials were bagged with the exception of the large amount of limestone rubble, which was weighed by provenience in the field and discarded. In addition to the 1 x 1 m excavation squares, a series of mechanical cores and backhoe trenches was excavated at various locations to gather information about the landscape and

search for other archeological deposits related (and un-related) to Engineer Cantonment. The investigations included excavation of 70 1 x 1 m units, 18 mechanical cores, and 5 backhoe trenches. Although Engineer Cantonment was the focus of the investigations, evidence was uncovered related to a later farmstead above the cantonment ruins and an 800-year-old Native American camp buried about six feet below. Much of the Engineer Cantonment archeological record remains preserved at the site. The site area covers about 3.5 acres (15,000 square meters); far less than 1 percent of that was excavated. Approximately 60 percent of Structure 1 is intact and presumably a large number of exterior hearths and activity areas also remain unexcavated. General Site Layout

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he Long Party arrived at their wintering site on September 19, 1819, ready to begin construction with plenty of time to erect at least two log structures before winter weather set in. Exactly how many buildings were constructed, how they were used, and how the twenty or more individuals being housed there were distributed among the buildings—in view of their varied military and civilian status—are matters not

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Engineer Cantonment Site Plan

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Structure 1 Possible Structure 2 1 x 1 Meter Square Backhoe Trench Cable Trench Mechanical Core Outside Fireplaces Roasting Pit Burned Limestone Slabs Harbor Plan view of Engineer Cantonment excavations and discovered features. NSHS, State Archeology Office. Prepared by Courtney Ziska, John Swigart, and Tiffany Napier

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well-addressed in any of the available archival materials. Placement of the winter encampment appears to have been carefully considered, taking into account available resources and expected over-winter conditions. The chosen site is adjacent to an oxbow harbor for the boats, where a slight rise in elevation at the base of the bluffs provided some protection against flooding. The selection of a slight rise to build the cabins on is the primary reason why the resultant archeological site was not washed away by frequent Missouri River down-cutting and channel shifting during flood events. The high bluff shielded the camp from the prevailing northwest winds of winter. A limestone quarry was nearby and ample timber was available for construction and firewood. Manuel

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Lisa’s trading post and lime kiln were also in the immediate vicinity, providing access to goods, a connection to St. Louis, social interaction, and possibly, labor supplied by Lisa’s employees. Peale’s images strongly hint at the presence of a second structure behind the prominent front building. We believe, based on all available archeological evidence, that this rear building is what became the focus of our investigation and is referred to as Structure 1. The single building illustrated in full view seems to be at slightly varying distances from the harbor in the several versions of this drawing, but is clearly not far from the oxbow cut bank. Indeed, one watercolor rendering (with a deer in foreground) shows the building’s reflection in the water. Most importantly,


with respect to orientation, this building appears to be sited at least roughly parallel with the bluff face, and is placed near the mouth of the distinctive ravine cut in the bluff face—a feature that remains currently identifiable and was the basis for discovering the location of this site. The search for the second building involved a strategy of systematic testing to the southwest and northeast of Structure 1. While the southwest test area produced some cantonment-era fireplaces, mortar, and sparse material culture, there were no discernible architectural features. The series of test units to the northeast of Structure 1 produced more interesting results. While clear wall lines and floor were not uncovered, abundant limestone and archeological debris potentially related to a cantonment-era structure was markedly more common in this area than to the southwest of Structure 1. This northeast test area is slightly lower in elevation than Structure 1 and appears to be damaged to a certain extent by farmyard activity. 8 If a second building is located in the northeastern test area as we believe, this structure would be the front building shown in Peale’s illustrations. Two important natural features remain extant at the site. Deep mechanical backhoe trenching discovered buried silt deposits that appear to relate to the old channel or ‘harbor’ depicted in the Peale paintings. A shallow curving swale with a vegetation change is also evident in the field across from the site area that almost certainly relates to this former channel. The ravine that is so prominent in Peale’s work is also intact. If this ravine and the distinctive bluff line flanking it had been removed, very likely the site would not have been discovered. Structure 1

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he plan for how buildings were to be constructed at Cantonment Missouri provides a general characterization of the type of structures likely built at Engineer Cantonment.9 The Cantonment Missouri buildings were of horizontal log construction with a board shed roof and interior double fireplace for two separate rooms. This shed roof structure is also broadly similar to what Peale seems to be depicting in his Engineer Cantonment renderings. Two rooms are implied by the exterior fenestration visible in the façade of the front building shown in Peale’s art, where each half of the building has its own door flanked by two small windows. A massive limestone debris field was uncovered that represents a dual fireplace that

occupied the center of Structure 1, as it would in a double-pen (divided two-room) plan. A double-pen plan would have been useful in providing separate quarters to the various groups making up the Scientific Party, assuming there could have been an effort to maintain a separation between the civilian and military members of the expedition. Evidence for a wall between the two rooms was found in an excavation unit that is roughly aligned with the center line of the central fireplace. The wall is evident by the distinct absence of stone in a narrow vertical section of the excavation profile.10 Peale’s drawings suggest these rooms could have at least one dimension as large as 7.5 m, using the fenestration as a basis for scale. Based on the scale indicated by the spacing of the windows and doors, this façade probably has an overall length of at least 14-15 m. This would allow each room to have an interior dimension along this wall of around 7 m, and suggests the depth of these rooms would likely be of a similar dimension. Again, the scale implied by the Peale drawings provides a basis to estimate roughly the height of this wall to be around 3.6 m. This height would be adequate to accommodate at least a partial loft which could have provided storage space and perhaps a sleeping area. Current field evidence for Structure 1 substantiates these general dimensions. The total length of the structure was about 49 ft or 15 m. This would be similar in size to the two-room log house built for the interpreter at Fort Leavenworth in 1836 but substantially larger than the barracks rooms planned for Cantonment Missouri measured.11 Given the plain white surface of this building shown in Peale’s renderings, it appears to have been constructed of logs faced with a whitewash or stucco of lime applied to at least the exterior surface. It is noteworthy, though, that the initial Peale sketch shows several parallel horizontal lines at the top of the structure, possibly representing logs. Whitewash or stucco would have been readily available from Manuel Lisa’s nearby lime kiln. A treatment of this kind would not only improve the appearance of the structure, but also could serve several practical purposes, including protecting the structure from insects and weather-related damage, as well as helping to seal small cracks in the daubing.12 A sample of what appears to be lime mortar was recovered archeologically. The between-log spaces would have been filled with a readily available rigid material, which in this case is likely limestone. Cracks between this rigid filler would then be packed with a soft material, such as moss, clay, or dung, and the exterior

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Engineer Cantonment (Missouri River), by Titian Ramsay Peale (original drawing, with ink stain). Courtesy of American Philosophical Society, Philadelphia (APSimg4886)

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PEALE’S VANTAGE POINT

HARBOR

COUNCIL AREA

PARADE GROUND FRONT BUILDING? STRUCTURE 1 (REAR BUILDING) RAVINE

Above: Aerial view showing location of Engineer Cantonment features. NSHS, State Archeology Office. Prepared by Courtney Ziska

Surface

Left: Engineer Cantonment Structure 1 excavation profile. NSHS, State Archeology Office. Prepared by Courtney Ziska, John Swigart, and Tiffany Napier

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Engineer Cantonment North-South Profile in Structure 1 at Eastern Edge of Fireplace

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Detail of Engineer Cantonment Structure 1 excavation. NSHS, State Archeology Office Prepared by Courtney Ziska, John Swigart, and Tiffany Napier

North Room

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Boards/Rafters Smudge Pit Forge Area Double Fireplace Walls Estimated Wall Magnetic Anomaly

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Engineer Cantonment Structure 1

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Distribution of materials related to blacksmith work discovered at Engineer Cantonment. This distinct distribution pattern demonstrates why it is important for archeologists to precisely record the location of finds. NSHS, State Archeology Office. Prepared by Courtney Ziska, John Swigart, and Tiffany Napier

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Engineer Cantonment

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Note: Dots Represent Number of Fragments, Not Piece Plotted Artifacts

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surface would be sealed with a daubing material involving some type of mortar. This mortar could be a mix of lime and water, or could be some other available material—such as mud, clay, or dung—to which is added some sort of binder, such as straw, sand, animal hair, sawdust, or ashes. Several linear bands of ash and charcoal are oriented to the east-west axis of the building. Several other vaguely linear “patches” of burned earth and charcoal were also recorded in excavation notes. This is the only possible evidence of structural burning, and could perhaps represent remnants of charred floor, or more likely, roof boards. Given that the building was intended to be temporary, it would seem most likely that it had a dirt floor, perhaps covered with grass, straw, thatch, hides, or some other type of matting. The very low frequency of nails compared to more permanent establishments like Fort Atkinson also argues against a substantial board floor.13 Exterior walls are tentatively defined on the basis of faint evidence of material that might have underlain the exterior sill logs. No footings were expected, and none were identified. The most likely foundation would have simply involved a log sill underlying the log walls, although several small piles of limestone were found that appear to be ‘shims’ for leveling the wall lines.14 The structure had a large common double fireplace with two openings, one for the northern room and one for the southern room. The double fireplace would have had a single common chimney. The fireplace is represented by large, dense field of limestone debris covering over 12 square m of the interior of Structure 1. While it is evident that the fireplace proper was made of limestone blocks, the material comprising the common chimney is less evident. There was no brick recovered, eliminating this as the chimney construction material. More likely the chimney was made of limestone blocks or even wood. The fact that mortar was more common in the fireplace area may be suggestive of a wooden chimney, since historically these were lined with mortar or some type of clay or daub to prevent them from catching on fire. Only two post holes were found. They are a pair, each about 20 cm in diameter and about 40 cm apart. They are not far from a smudge pit discussed below. The function of these posts is not clear but a wind break between the fireplace and the door is one possibility. The post pair may also be related to scientific work or placed to shore-up a sagging roof. While we have assumed that each room had

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its own external doorway, convincing evidence of them was not found, though two iron door-bolt keepers were recovered, one in each of the two rooms of Structure 1. One was near the eastern (front end) wall which is shown to have had two doors in Peale’s depiction of the building, while the other was in the vicinity of the northern (side) wall which is not shown to have any fenestration. The Peale images suggest two front windows in each of the two rooms comprising cantonment buildings. The distribution of window glass fragments does not demonstrate any obvious pattern except that glass is not particularly common and is scattered randomly throughout the structure. Other possible building hardware was not common and includes several iron rings and rods recovered from both rooms, as well as the northeast test units. Based on the distribution of certain artifact types, there seems to be at least a minimal basis for suggesting that food preparation might have been a principal function of the north room, although food consumption appears to have taken place in both rooms. If a cook was available to the camp as a whole, as appears to be implied in the discussion of a bison hump roast feast (see below), it is possible that food preparation, cooking, and dining might have been conducted on some more collective basis than being left to the responsibility of individual rooms or other subgroups.15 A small, circular, undercut pit filled with charred corncobs is located on the floor of the south room. This feature conforms in size, form, and content with what have been identified as smudge pits.16 Ethnographic observations indicate widespread use of smoke generated by smoldering corn cobs, rotted wood, or fine wood chips and bark in small pits (ca. 6 to 18 inches wide and 6 to 24 inches deep) to complete the process of tanning hides and pelts. It is possible that the scientists might also have used this Native American method of hide smoking for their own purposes, including tanning hides for use as clothing and preparation of scientific specimens. Perhaps smoke from an interior smudge pit might also have been useful for pest control, both within the pelts of prepared specimens and within the cantonment building. The pair of closely-spaced post holes mentioned above was discovered about 1 m to the north of the smudge pit. These could indicate the presence of a rack(s) used for processing scientific specimens. The presence of abundant “dust shot” and other small-diameter shot is uniquely indicative of the scientific work being conducted at Engineer Cantonment. The most likely purpose would be in


The U-shaped soil stain is outline of a roasting pit discovered at Engineer Cantonment. It is similar to one described by Thomas Say, which was used to prepare a bison hump meat feast, described on p. 20. NSHS, State Archeology Office

procuring small birds or other delicate specimens that could not be obtained by trapping or other means. The Engineer Cantonment lead shot and ball collection is dominated by small shot, and the majority of that was recovered from the north room. Larger military-type balls, like those common at Fort Atkinson, are rare from the Engineer Cantonment excavations. Larger lead balls would be specifically associated with the large military muskets, as opposed to the smaller smooth bores and smaller caliber rifles used by the civilian weapons most likely carried by the scientists.17 The small shot concentrations co-occur with two iron pegs that appear to be the same as one represented in Peale’s drawing of a hawk hanging from a peg at Engineer Cantonment. This suggests that these were specimen processing areas or places where scientific hunting equipment was stored or prepared for use. Two such areas are indicated, one near the fireplace in the north room and the other at the south wall in the south room. In fact, if there is sufficient evidence to identify this as an area where specimens were hung for initial cleaning and processing, either for preservation or for cooking, it is at least possible that Peale’s sketch was made at the south wall. While it is possible that these two co-occurrences are coincidental, the association in these two contexts, one in each room, is of notable potential interpretive value.

Given that the two major concentrations of lump lead also occur in these two areas, production of lead shot would also seem to be a feasible activity in these two areas. The distribution of gunflints and gunflint debris is generally scattered, but one concentration can be identified at the northernmost corner of the central fireplace where five squares contain nearly half of the total gunflints.18 This concentration, which is fully within the north room, also produced a notable diversity of other artifactual materials, including pipe fragments, tableware, creamware, pearlware, stoneware, buttons, lump lead, strip lead, lead balls, shot, and—importantly—dust shot, which would indicate an association with the scientists. The greatest number and diversity of identifiable associated weapon types, most of which are rifle and pistol sizes, occur in the northern part of this structure. Engineer Cantonment would have had need for blacksmithing and gunsmithing, as well as general repair facilities for maintaining the various types of gear. The archeological investigation produced potential evidence of a forge location between the estimated west wall and central fireplace of Structure 1. A concentration of coal, coke, and slag in an area of very darkly stained soil represents the probable location of a forge for smithing and other repair and maintenance activities.19 Most

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Part 6

An Engineer Cantonment Bestiary: The Art of Titian Ramsay Peale HUGH H. GENOWAYS AND THOMAS E. L ABEDZ

All images in Part 6 appear courtesy of the American Philosophical Society, Philadelphia

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eginning in the mid-1950s many of Long Expedition artist Titian Ramsay Peale’s images have come into institutional holdings, particularly the American Philosophical Society, American Museum of Natural History, and Library of Congress, where they have been made freely available to researchers and for exhibitions.1 This has allowed a rediscovery and reevaluation of Peale’s works by art historians,2 historians of science,3 and scientists.4 Art historian Barbara Novak listed Peale among the artist-scientists that reached “‘heroic’ status” because of the risks and hardships that he and others undertook in the exploration of the American continent.5 Haltman credited Peale and his fellow artist on the Long Expedition, Samuel Seymour, with innovating “such hybrid pictorial forms as wilderness landscape . . , natural history illustration featuring specimens in representative environments . . , ethnographic portraiture . . , and genre painting . . . .”6 Art historian Amy Meyers placed Peale’s landscapes within the convention of the picturesque, which was popular in Britain and America during this time period. In the picturesque convention the artist takes the unfamiliar and renders it to be comprehensible and accessible so that it encourages the entry of the spectator.7 As Meyers observed: Right Above: This beautiful little mammal is the eastern chipmunk (Tamias striatus), which occurs in the forests and woodlots of the eastern United States. Nebraska lies at the very western edge of the geographic range of the species and the record from Engineer Cantonment is the northern-most along the Missouri River. This species is still a member of the Nebraska fauna, inhabiting the bluffs and woodlands bordering the Missouri River and its larger tributaries, but no populations are known north of Omaha. (APSimg5729)

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By blending the full-fledged landscape with the specimen drawing Peale defines the organism more specifically . . . . The emphasis on place in Peale’s studies from the Long expedition reveals an interest not only in classification of species but in their geographical distribution.8

In fact, from a scientific viewpoint, Peale’s images present information on the identifying characteristics of the organism, its geographic distribution, and its ecology. Gall believed that Peale “should be counted as one of America’s early lithographers and the first to use the new technique for a zoological publication.”9 Some of Peale’s early animal lithographs were based on work from the Long Expedition. Peale’s influence is probably most noticeable among the other, more-widely known artistnaturalists—John James Audubon, Karl Bodmer, and George Catlin. Each of these men had passed through Philadelphia and visited the Peale Museum examining specimens, sketches, and completed paintings resulting from the Long Expedition, prior to their own passages into the west and the territory of the Louisiana Purchase.10 Charlotte Porter, a historian of science, noted: “These

Right Below: In this watercolor Peale presents the head of a male Wood Duck (Aix sponsa). Peale gives us a life-like rendering of the head of this beautiful duck with a boldly marked head including white stripes and a pattern of green and purplish extending into its crest. (APSimg5668)


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similarities need not be considered coincidental, for before he went west, [Alfred Jacob] Miller, like George Catlin and Karl Bodmer, visited Peale’s museum.”11 Porter continued to comment: “Peale’s drawing abilities, however, were outstanding, and his studies of mammals collected on the Long Expedition from 1819 to 1820 comprise a large group of illustrations of high quality.”12 Indeed, it is our opinion that the quality of Peale’s images of mammals from the Long Expedition are superior to those of any of the other artist-naturalists mentioned here. His images have scientific accuracy as well as an artistic appeal. The following pages present a ‘bestiary’ of Peale’s zoological illustrations. These works include completed watercolors, works in ink and pencil, field sketches, and detailed studies for later development into completed works. There are also landscapes shown earlier in this volume of Engineer Cantonment and its environs. These landscapes, as well as drawings with backgrounds come to us as 200-year-old “photographs” of the appearance of eastern Nebraska. These are probably the oldest images available for this region and it is fortunate that a person with both a scientific and an artistic eye created them.

Left Above: In this watercolor Peale records a male and female Yellow-headed Blackbird (Xanthocephalus xanthocephalus). Written in a very small handwriting at about “ground level” under the male’s tail is the note: “killed near the Ottoe village 14th May 1820.” According to the Expedition journal, the permanent village of the Oto nation was: “composed of large dirt lodges, similar to those of the Konzas and Omawhaws, and is situated on the left bank of the river Platte, or Nebraska, about forty miles above its confluence with the Missouri.” (APSimg5673) Left Below: This pencil sketch by Peale is of three American White Pelicans (Pelecanus erythrorhynchos) providing a study of the posture of the birds while feeding. The nuptial tubercle seen on the top of the bills of Peale’s pelicans is a fibrous plate that drops off when the mating season is completed. (APSimg5670)

NOTES 1 American Philosophical Society “Titian Ramsay Peale Sketches, 1817-1875,” Mss.B.P31.15d (Philadelphia: Archives of the American Philosophical Society, 2001), 550.0 items; Delores M. Gall, “Titian Ramsay Peale: An American Naturalist and Lithographer,” Yale University Art Gallery Bulletin 38, no. 3 (winter 1983): 6-13; Kenneth Haltman, Figures in a Western Landscape: Reading the Art of Titian Ramsay Peale from the Long Expedition to the Rocky Mountains, 1819-1820 (Unpublished Ph.D. dissertation, Yale University, 1992); Kenneth Haltman, Looking Close and Seeing Far: Samuel Seymour, Titian Ramsay Peale, and the Art of the Long Expedition, 1818-1823 (University Park: Pennsylvania State University Press, 2008); Robert C. Murphy, “The Sketches of Titian Ramsay Peale (17991885),” Proceedings of the American Philosophical Society 101, no. 6 (December 1957): 523-531; Charlotte M. Porter, “The Lifework of Titian Ramsay Peale,” Proceeding of the American Philosophical Society 129, no. 3 (September 1985): 300-312.

Gall, “Titian Ramsay Peale: An American Naturalist and Lithographer”; Haltman, Figures; Haltman, Looking Close; Barbara Novak, Nature and Culture: American Landscape and Painting 1825-1875 (Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press, 2007, 3rd ed.); Edward J. Nygren, ed., Views and Visions: American Landscape Before 1830 (Washington, DC: Corcoran Gallery of Art, 1986). 2

3 Charlotte M. Porter, “Bibliography and Natural History: New Sources for the Contributions of the American Naturalist, Titian Ramsay Peale,” in Contributions to the History of North American Natural History, ed. Alwyne C. Wheeler (London, UK: Society for the Bibliography of Natural History, 1983), 2: 73-84; Porter, “The Lifework of Titian Ramsay Peale,” 300-312. 4 Hugh H. Genoways and Brett C. Ratcliffe, “Engineer Cantonment, Missouri Territory, 1819-1820: America’s First Biodiversity Inventory,” Great Plains Research 18, no. 1 (Spring 2008): 2-31; Neal Woodman, “The Stephen H. Long Expedition (1819-1820), Titian R. Peale’s field illustrations, and the lost holotypes of the North American shrews Sorex brevicaudus Say and Sorex parvus Say (Mammalia: Soricidae) from the Philadelphia Museum,” Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington 122, no. 1 (January 2009): 117-29. 5

Novak, Nature.

6

Haltman, Looking Close.

Amy R. W. Meyers, “Imposing Order on the Wilderness: Natural History Illustration and Landscape Portrayal,” in Views and Visions: American Landscape Before 1830, ed. Edward J. Nygren (Washington, DC: Corcoran Gallery of Art, 1986), 105-131. 7

8 Myers, “Imposing Order on the Wilderness: Natural History Illustration and Landscape Portrayal.”

Gall, “Titian Ramsay Peale: An American Naturalist and Lithographer.” 9

10

Haltman, Looking Close.

11

Porter, “The Lifework of Titian Ramsay Peale.

12

Porter, “The Lifework of Titian Ramsay Peale.”

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Left: This image of a hanging bird by Peale is of a Rough-legged Hawk (Buteo lagopus). This illustration also includes a study of the eye of the hawk. The overall appearance of the hawk in the drawing is that of an immature bird, when the eye color is much paler than in the adult. (APSimg2028) Above: This watercolor shows Greater Sandhill Cranes (Grus canadensis tabida) near the Bowyer (=Boyer) River along the eastern side of the Missouri River across from Engineer Cantonment on April 13, 1820. This is the Greater Sandhill Crane based upon the longer bill in proportion the length of the head, which is easily determined based on Peale’s drawing. (APSimg2035)

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Above: One of Peale’s sketches and partial watercolor, which may serve as a study of the species for a later painting, is of a male Pectoral Sandpiper (Calidris melanotos). Thomas Say described and named this bird in 1823 as new to science based on specimens from Engineer Cantonment as Pelidna pectoralis. (APSimg5672) Below: It is interesting that Peale chose this death pose for his adult male Scarlet Tanager (Piranga olivacea). It tells us some interesting things about the collecting methods being used by members of the Long Expedition. (APSimg5396)

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Top: This sketch and beginning of a watercolor by Peale is of an American Tree Sparrow (Spizella arborea). The completed characters that are immediately evident are those that undoubtedly identify the bird as an American Tree Sparrow. (APSimg5665) Below: The muskrats (Ondatra zibethicus) shown here are common inhabitants of wetlands, marshes, lakes, streams, and rivers of Nebraska and are distributed widely throughout all of the United States. Peale has depicted this pair of muskrats in a riverine situation, probably the Missouri River or one of its tributaries, oxbows, or slough. (APSimg5722)

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Above: This watercolor by Peale is of long-tailed weasels (Mustela frenata) demonstrating both summer and winter pelage colors. The background animal is a long-tailed weasel in summer pelage, with a bicolored coat, reddish brown on the back and a very light buff color on the belly. The white animal in the foreground is a long-tailed weasel in winter pelage. (APSimg5730) Right: This beautiful little rodent is the meadow jumping mouse (Zapus hudsonius). It is easily recognized by its coloration including the dark brown back, yellowish buff sides, and white belly. The hind feet are disproportionally large and are used to make kangaroo-like hops that measure up to three feet. (APSimg5506)

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Above: Peale’s watercolor is of a bobcat (Lynx rufus) in repose. The Expedition journal records the following upon the departure of a group from the Omaha Tribe on 7 April 1820: “Before they went, they presented to us a wild cat, which they had shot, but we advised them to keep it to eat on the way home, upon which they thanked us for it . . .” (APSimg5711)

Below: Peale’s pencil drawing depicts a North American river otter (Lontra canadensis) at an ice hole with a fish as a prey item. The notation in the lower left corner is “Rivière aux Bowyer [=Boyer River], Feb 1820.” (APSimg5395)

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Above: The American bison (Bison bison) is one of the iconic animals of the American west where it formed great herds on the grasslands of the Great Plains. The journal of the trip states: “22nd [Feb]. Messrs. Dougherty and Peale returned from a hunt, having killed twelve bison, out of a herd of several hundreds . . . .” (APSimg2031)

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Right Above: This watercolor presents two American badgers (Taxidea taxus). This species occurred throughout the western two-thirds of the United States and adjacent parts of southern Canada and northern Mexico. (APSimg2026) Right Below: This illustration of two shrews with only limited background is one of Peale’s most scientifically valuable works from the Long Expedition. The upper shrew is the holotype of the northern short-tailed shrew, Blarina brevicauda, and the lower is the holotype of the North American least shrew, Cryptotis parva. These two shrews were described as new to science by Thomas Say based specimens from Engineer Cantonment. (APSimg5387)


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Left Above: Peale presents a “family portrait” for the pronghorn (Antilocapra americana) showing an adult male and female and a pair of fawns. This is one of the earliest portrayals of the pronghorn and certainly of a family group. The Lewis and Clark Expedition made the pronghorn known to American science when they shot an individual in what is today southeastern South Dakota. (APSimg2039) Left Below: Peale’s depiction of the red fox (Vulpes vulpes) is probably his least successful execution of a mammal from Engineer Cantonment. It is interesting that color and color patterns are perfect, but the pose with stiff legs lacks the nimble, inquisitive nature of “the fox.” (APSimg5721)

Below: This is the Great Plains wolf (Canis lupus nubilus) of western lore, known for hunting and killing bison. Peale has left us the first image of this magnificent animal and it certainly ranks as one of the best illustrations yet available. Peale depicts the wolf feeding on the remains of a male white-tailed deer and it is joined by three Black-billed Magpies. (APSimg5397)

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Part 7

Engineer Cantonment and the Archeology of Exploration JOHN R. BOZELL AND ROBERT E. PEPPERL

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ost will remember grade school American history classes featuring oversized maps with sweeping colored lines and arrows tracing the routes of Coronado, DeSoto, Lewis and Clark, Pike, and others. Those maps and the accounts of expeditions do not typically involve stationary places. By their very nature, “expeditions” do not stay in any one place for extended periods of time and do not leave an archeological record. In addition to Engineer Cantonment, attempts to discover sites associated with major expeditions have met with limited success and an even greater amount of frustration. Scholars have identified places that expeditions visited, such as Indian villages and major geologic landmarks, and have also noted forts and other facilities that developed as a result of expeditions. Success in identifying places directly and solely associated with expeditions has been far less common. Several attempts include: • While several Native American villages visited by Hernando de Soto’s 1539-1543 expeditions have been identified in the southeastern United States, actual features associated with de Soto have never been confirmed.1 • Francisco Vázquez de Coronado’s 1540-1542 journey from Mexico to central Kansas was the first major European incursion into the Central Plains. Several locations of mid-sixteenth century Spanish artifacts have been found in Texas and New Mexico, but features directly related to Coronado have remained elusive.2

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• Between 1679 and his death in 1687, French explorer René-Robert Cavelier, Sieur de La Salle journeyed through the Mississippi River valley from the Gulf to present-day Minneapolis, the Illinois River valley, the Great Lakes region, and east Texas. In the process, LaSalle established a series of French forts. The precise locations of these or the earliest features are generally unknown with the notable exception of Fort St. Louis in southeastern Texas near Port Arthur.3 • L ater French journeys by Etienne de Bourgmont in 1714 and Pierre and Paul Mallet in 1739-1741 traversed the Central Plains and other regions. Visits to native villages—such as Bourgmont’s stop at the Oto village near Ashland, Nebraska and the Mallet Brothers wintering at Arkansas Post (actually a series of sites)—are documented, but specific archeological deposits associated with these journeys are not known.4 • Don Pedro de Villasur’s 1720 journey into central Nebraska from the Southwest ended in disaster for the party when they were attacked by a combined force of Pawnee and Oto warriors in league with the French. Repeated efforts have been made to find the location of the Villasur camp and battle site with no real success. Similarly, while the Villasur party likely visited the Native American settlement at El Cuartelejo in western Kansas, direct archeological deposits associated with Villasur have not been found.5


• Zebulon Pike’s journey across the Southern Plains and Front Range of the southern Rocky Mountains also is associated with specific known places such as Pike’s Peak and the Kitkahaki Pawnee village in Webster County, Nebraska. The only places that are the result solely of Pike are a stockade he built in JanuaryFebruary of 1807 and two other temporary habitations in Colorado. The stockade in south-central Colorado has been reconstructed based on Pike’s general description but the exact location has never been confirmed archeologically.6 • T he Lewis and Clark Expedition spent the winter of 1805-06 at a “fort” built by the expedition members called Fort Clatsop at the mouth of the Columbia River in northwest Oregon. Although the location of the fort

and a description are well documented and a reconstruction has been made (with buildings that look remarkably similar to the Engineer Cantonment structure), repeated archeological projects have failed to identify archeological features associated with Lewis and Clark. Numerous pit features that have been suggested to represent privies or fireplaces associated with Lewis and Clark have recently been more clearly defined as natural features related to forest fires and tree removal.7

Reproduction of the Segesser hide painting of the 1720 Don Pedro de Villasur Expedition massacre by Pawnee and Oto warriors near Columbus, Nebraska. The much-faded original resides at the Palace of the Governors in Santa Fe, New Mexico. This replica was painted by Curt Peacock, NSHS

The above-noted research and other failed historic and archeological attempts to explore particular places associated with specific interior of North America expeditions, seem to suggest that Engineer Cantonment may be an entirely unique type of archeological resource. Not

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only has it been definitively linked to the Long Expedition, but the site retains well-defined and archeologically informative features and material culture. The study of the archeological ruins of Engineer Cantonment has not only resulted in a clearer understanding of this singularly scientific expedition, but has also added to our overall view of early nineteenth century material culture, architecture, trade, and subsistence on the central Great Plains. Since the material culture reflects an extremely short span of time (nine months), it is of particular value in ongoing development of chronological, stylistic, and functional datasets for Euroamerian and post-contact Native American archeology on the Great Plains. The window glass chronology is a case in point. The Long Expedition was the first governmentsponsored scientific expedition in America. It was specifically designed to gather information on the plants, animals, geography, and people of the interior of the continent. The journey was remarkable in the sense that it used trained scientists, naturalists, and artists to accomplish its goals. While scientific data were collected throughout the expedition, Engineer Cantonment is the only real base of operations where science was carried out and is available for archeological investigation. Certainly they spent a few days here and there at places like the Kansa and Pawnee villages, but there are no specific archeological materials or features associated with those visits. The contribution of the Long Expedition to development of early American science is evident from the Engineer Cantonment stay. The expedition members have been acknowledged for their pioneering efforts in western transportation, as well as in art and pictorial representation of the expedition and the various cultural, biological, botanical, geological, and topographical observations made during the journey. In addition, a record of detailed ethnographic information for the previously undocumented Plains tribes was made possible by the extended stay at Engineer Cantonment. The archival information preserved from the Long Expedition—including illustrations, notes, and publications—can now be productively augmented by the systematic archeological information and collections generated from Engineer Cantonment. Taken together the information is a remarkable record of the history of science and exploration in America.

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Finding Engineer Cantonment and the Value of Archival Information

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he discovery of Engineer Cantonment is testimony to the use of archival documents in archeological inquiry. This is particularly true of the artwork. More than any other piece of information, the Peale illustrations of Engineer Cantonment led to the site’s ultimate discovery and archeological exploration. Historians and archeologists pondered generalized descriptions of Engineer Cantonment’s whereabouts for a full century, eventually narrowing down the location to several miles of Nebraska Missouri River bluff edge. However, it was the close and critical assessment of the topography that Peale depicted which ultimately bore fruit. It has become apparent that many of the dozens of Peale and Seymour illustrations made during the journey can be trusted in their accuracy. These artists were tasked with producing scientific illustrations, which they did profusely. The major topographic features in the Peale paintings include the meandering oxbow channel, two prominent bluff tops with sloping ridges to the north and south divided by a steeply incised ravine, and the subtle low rise upon which the Long Party built their cabins. Examination of the current landscape, and consideration of modern aerial photos and the subsurface archeological and geomorphic work, attest to the near-perfect accuracy of those 195-year-old illustrations. Similarly, the Seymour depiction of the Pawnee Council (looking northeast across the Missouri valley to the Iowa Loess Hills in the distance) is quite accurate, based on examination of modern topographic maps. The use of accurate historic illustrations in archeological and historical inquiry is certainly nothing new. Use of the wonderfully accurate work of Karl Bodmer during investigation of Lucien Fontenelle’s Post and Fort Clark are obvious cases in point. Now we can comfortably add the efforts of Peale and Seymour to the list of archeologically important artistic assets.8 Peale and Seymour’s accuracy and attention to detail is particularly important to those natural scientists studying their wonderful depictions of plants, insects, birds, and mammals. Other cultural features are depicted in the collections, such as Native Americans hunting, tipis, a Kansa village and lodge interior, and even the Oto village near Yutan seen incidentally in the far background of a painting of a pair of yellow-headed blackbirds. This remarkable view shows specific locations of burials and even what appear to be lodges under construction. This type of information is critical


to understanding the content and character of this known archeological site. Aside from depictions of cultural features and animals, the character of the landscape and changes in the past two centuries are important to botanists, geomorphologists, and geologists. As but one example, the dramatic changes in tree cover and Missouri River channeling near Engineer Cantonment have major relevance to understanding the ever-changing process of landscape evolution. The written documents embodied chiefly in the James accounts have proven to be highly accurate with regard to locating and investigating Engineer Cantonment. The narrative describes the cantonment as consisting of more than one building on a slight rise, and also accurately describes the harbor immediately to the east. Again, these consistencies with archeological information support confidence in many other aspects of the narrative, particularly with respect to ethnographic observations. It is certain that the archeological site under investigation is, indeed, Engineer Cantonment. The site matches prior knowledge and descriptions of Engineer Cantonment nearly exactly in location, topographic setting, age and type of material culture, building size, and architectural style. The only two other contemporaneous Euroamerican sites in the same general vicinity are Manuel Lisa’s Post (ca. 18121824) and Cantonment Barbour (1825-1826), neither of which has been discovered archeologically. Lisa’s Post was variously reportedly as being between “0.5 and 1 mi” south of Engineer Cantonment. Cantonment Barbour is simply known to have been built nearby after both of these sites had been abandoned. Lisa’s Post was described by expedition member Captain John Bell as “a large and extensive Indian trading establishment.”9 Cantonment Barbour may have housed up to 200 soldiers and civilians in an estimated 20 or more buildings. In either case, the little terrace/fan landform upon which Engineer Cantonment is situated would have been far too small to accommodate the area needed for either of these two sites. Future Research

T

he linear terrace topographic feature upon which the site rests, covers about 6,000 m2. This tract encompasses an area reasonably large enough to include two (or more) buildings, outside activity areas, and council areas. Including backhoe trenches and hand-excavated units, the archeological investigation opened about 200 m2

of the central portion of the site complex (about 4 percent of the site area) and the geophysical survey covered a 40 x 40 m block or 1,600 m2. Only about 40 percent of Structure 1 was excavated. While this sample has proven exceedingly productive in terms of addressing research themes, clearly there is much about this site that we do not know. At this juncture, there are no systematic plans for additional investigations. We are very grateful to the Gibreal family for donating the property and to the Nebraska State Historical Society Foundation for accepting it. This will allow the site to remain protected in perpetuity and available for research and interpretation. There are several high priority research agendas which could fruitfully be explored. The most important would be to confirm the presence of the second structure. Evidence has shown that Structure 1 is likely the obscured rear building in the Peale illustrations, and that the front building is in a roadway and farmstead-disturbed area northeast of the Structure 1, although this remains to be confirmed. Based on the archeological work undertaken, additional testing northeast of Structure 1 would certainly result in a larger sample of artifacts and limestone. Careful plotting of material could result in confirmation of a building in this area. Additional efforts in Structure 1 would be productive from several perspectives, but more testing along wall lines to better define the basic architectural methods would be the highest Structure 1 priority. The backhoe trenching revealed exterior hearth areas and a roasting pit, clearly indicating Long Party activities took place both indoors and outdoors. Additional exterior block excavations could increase understanding of the range of activities carried out at the site. Excavation units placed near the rear of Structure 1 suggested some type of blacksmithing activities and it would be useful to more clearly identify where and what this comprised. No latrine pits were discovered and they are typically rich in material culture. The most likely location for privies and other trash disposal features would be along the base of the bluff, an area that was only lightly explored through several test units. Although it would be difficult, a close analysis of the topography in the Seymour Pawnee and Oto council paintings could produce a better target location for where these events took place. Similarly, some additional mechanical geomorphic coring could more definitively identify the harbor and shoreline in front of the cantonment. Finally, now that we have a firm location for Engineer Cantonment,

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The Yutan archeological site (25SD1) is a major OtoMissouria village which is visible in the background of a Peale watercolor (shown in full on p. 60). This site has been investigated by NSHS archeologists. The left detail depicts village burials; the right detail shows the village itself, including earth lodges under construction. Courtesy of American Philosophical Society, Philadelphia (APSimg5673)

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Excavations in search of the second Engineer Cantonment structure. From left, Mindy Potmesil, Polly Wimberly, and Karen Steinauer. NSHS, State Archeology Office

Only a small portion of the Engineer Cantonment site has been excavated and numerous additional features and artifacts remain sealed below the surface. NSHS, State Archeology Office. Prepared by Don Cunningham

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the two other “missing” contemporaneous (and by all accounts, nearby) sites, Cantonment Barbour and Lisa’s Post, may be somewhat easier to locate. Careful consideration of all archival sources and maps coupled with additional field explorations may yield productive results.

NOTES 1 Kristin Ohlson, “Searching for De Soto,” American Archaeology (Fall 2014). 2 Donald J. Blakeslee and Jay C. Blaine, “The Jimmy Owens Site: New Perspectives on the Coronado Expedition,” in The Coronado Expedition from the Distance of 460 Years, Richard Flint and Shirley Cushing Flint, eds. (Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 2003); Clay Mathers, Charles Haecker, James W. Kendrick, and Steve Baumann, “Before the Signatures: A New Vazquez de Coronado Site at the El Morro National Monument, West-Central New Mexico,” CRM: The Journal of Heritage Stewardship 7, no.1 (2010); and Bradley J. Vierra and Stanley M. Hordes, “Let the Dust Settle: A Review of the Coronado Campsite in the Tiguex Province,” in The Coronado Expedition to Tierra Nueva: The 1540-1542 Route Across the Southwest, Richard Flint and Shirley Cushing Flint, eds. (Niowt, CO: The University Press of Colorado, 1997), 249-61. 3 Texas Historical Commission, The LaSalle Project. Electronic document, http://www.thc.texas.gov/preserve/ archeology/la-salle-archeology-projects, accessed Jan 19, 2015. 4 Donald J. Blakeslee, Along Ancient Trails: The Mallet Expedition of 1739-1740 (Niwot, Colorado: University Press of Colorado, 1995); Roger E. Coleman, “The Arkansas Post Story: Arkansas Post National Monument,” Southwest Cultural Resources Center Professional Papers No. 12 (Santa Fe, NM: National Park Service, 1987). 5 Benjamin J. Bilgri, “Ambushed at Dawn: An Archeological Analysis of the Catastrophic Defeat of the 1720 Villasur Expedition,” Master’s thesis, Department of Anthropology (Lincoln: University of Nebraska, 2012); Christopher Steinke, “Leading the ‘Father’: The Pawnee Homeland, Coureurs de Bois, and the Villasur Expedition of 1720,” Great Plains Quarterly 32 no. 1 (2012): 43-62. 6 Joseph S. Mendinghall, “Pike’s Stockade,” National Register of Historic Places Inventory-Nomination Form. (ms on file, Keeper of the National Register, Washington D.C.: National Park Service, 1975). 7 Julie K. Stein, Roger Kiers, Jennie Deo, Kate Gallagher, Chris Lockwood, and Scotty Moore, A Geoarcheological Analysis of Fort Clatsop, Lewis and Clark National Historical Park. Report submitted to Lewis and Clark National Historical Park (Seattle: University of Washington, Department of Anthropology, 2006). 8 Richard E. Jensen, “The Fontenelle and Cabanné Posts: The History and Archeology of Two Missouri River Sites, 1822-1838,” Publications in Anthropology No. 11 (Lincoln: Nebraska State Historical Society, 1998); W. Raymond Wood and Robert M. Lindholm, 2013 Karl Bodmer’s America Revisited, Landscape Views Across Time (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 2013); and W. Raymond

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Wood, William J. Hunt, and Randy H. Williams, Fort Clark and Its Indian Neighbors: A Trading Post on the Upper Missouri (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 2011). John R. Bell, “The Journal of Captain John R. Bell, Official Journalist for the Stephen H. Long Expedition to the Rocky Mountains, 1820,” The Far West and the Rockies Historical Series 1820-1875, Vol. 6, Harlin M. Fuller and LeRoy R Hafen, eds. (Glendale, CA: Arthur H. Clark, 1957), 86. 9


Acknowledgements

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any people and agencies were involved in the successful completion of the Engineer Cantonment research project. Cooperating agencies that provided funding and other assistance include: Nebraska State Historical Society (including the Nebraska State Historic Preservation Office); the Nebraska State Historical Society Foundation; Nebraska Department of Transportation; University of Nebraska-Lincoln; University of NebraskaKearney; Federal Highway Administration; US Fish and Wildlife Service; Fontenelle Forest Nature Association; Oregon Public Broadcasting and the program History Detectives; and the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission. A variety of other individuals with a deep interest in preserving the history and archeology of this portion of Nebraska helped in many ways. These people include: Peter Bleed, Brian Carter, Bill and Rosemarie Davis, Paul Demers, Jeremy Dillon, Mark Deetz, the Duda Family, Kira Gale, Gary Garabrandt, Ron Hunter, Mark Lynott, Ross Rasmussen, Julie Reilly, Douglas Scott, John Slader, Robert Stratbucker, Thomas Thiessen, LuAnn Wandsnider, and John Webster. Kelli Bacon, Don Cunningham, and William Billeck made the artifact photographs. Courtney Ziska, John Swigart, and Tiffany Napier produced the maps and line drawings. Katie Paitz, Nic Fogerty, Nolan Johnson, and Cassie Clark provided editorial assistance. The field investigations would not have been possible

without students of the 2003-2005 and 2015 University of Nebraska-Lincoln Archeological Field Schools and more than eighty volunteers. Special gratitude is extended to Herb and Gloria Gibreal, pictured above. In addition to a financial contribution, the Gibreals donated the land upon which Engineer Cantonment sits to the Nebraska State Historical Foundation. This gift ensures this important historic site remains protected and available for future research and interpretation.

Gloria and Herb Gibreal donated the Engineer Cantonment site to the Nebraska State Historical Society Foundation.

AUTHORS John R. Bozell. State Archeologist, Archeology Division, Nebraska State Historical Society Gayle F. Carlson. State Archeologist (deceased), Archeology Division, Nebraska State Historical Society Carl R. Falk. Consulting Archaeologist, PaleoCultural Research Group, Fairfield, PA Hugh H. Genoways. Professor and Curator Emeritus, Division of Zoology, University of Nebraska State Museum Thomas E. Labedz. Collections Manager, Division of Zoology, University of Nebraska State Museum Robert E. Pepperl. Independent Archeological Consultant, Phoenix, AZ Brett C. Ratcliffe. Curator, Division of Entomology, University of Nebraska State Museum Karen A. Steinauer. Curator of Anthropology, Archeology Division, Nebraska State Historical Society

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P.S.

100 Years of Nebraska History

Front page of Volume 1, Number 1. Early issues of Nebraska History were printed on newsprint in tabloid format.

“The first number of a new monthly publication, ‘Nebraska History,’ published by the Nebraska State Historical Society, is just off the press,” reported the Daily Nebraskan on March 7, 1918. Addison Sheldon had been trying for five years to start such a magazine, first proposing it as a publication of the Nebraska Legislative Reference Bureau before that agency merged with the NSHS. In the premier issue Sheldon wrote that the magazine would “aim to present in clear and attractive form fact, story, comment, and criticism” as “popular literature, as distinguished from academic.” The monthly magazine became a quarterly within a year, and even that schedule proved daunting. The issues came later and later, falling so far behind that Sheldon skipped the 193031 issues to catch up (which is why we’re only now beginning Volume 99). He hired a talented associate editor in 1934, but Mari Sandoz didn’t stay long. Her first book, Old Jules, was published a year later, launching her career as one of Nebraska’s most noted authors. Founded during the First World War, Nebraska History continued publication throughout the Second, printing on cheap, pulpy paper during wartime shortages. After Sheldon died in 1943, his successor, James L. Sellers—a University of Nebraska history professor—began emphasizing scholarly articles, as we do today. Decades later, improvements in printing technology allowed better photo reproduction and use of color, so that Nebraska History could both show and tell our state’s past. Sheldon would be proud to see his little magazine filling some thirteen feet of shelf space, and would be astonished to find back issues available online (a concept that would take some explaining). What began as an effort to preserve pioneer reminiscences has grown into the most extensive body of Nebraska historical knowledge in existence, an ongoing, generation-spanning project to interpret the past. —David L. Bristow, Editor

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• nebraska history


Back Cover: The present site of Engineer Cantonment, corresponding to the scene on the front cover. Right: Pawnee Council at Engineer Cantonment, 1819-1820, Samuel Seymour. Courtesy of Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Yale University

Nebraska State Historical Society Foundation Board of Directors Trixie Schmidt, President Sue Tricker, Treasurer Allison Petersen, Secretary Rod Basler Lizabeth Bavitz Nancy E. Davis Steve Guenzel Kirk Jamison F. William Karrer Martin A. Massengale Robert McFarland Michael Nelson Ryan Sailer L. Joe Stehlik Carol Zink The Nebraska State Historical Society Foundation is a public, nonprofit, 501(c) (3) organization founded to solicit, receive, and manage gifts of money and property to assist the Nebraska State Historical Society in its mission. Private funding secured by the Foundation helps support the Society’s efforts to acquire, preserve, and exhibit Nebraska’s historical treasures.

You can help ensure that the record of the past remains available for future study through a contribution of money or property to the Nebraska State Historical Society Foundation. The Foundation supports the NSHS in its mission and can provide information and assistance regarding planned giving in confidence and at no cost or obligation.

Nebraska State Historical Society Foundation Leslie Fattig, Executive Director Email: lfattig@nshsf.org 128 N. 13th St., Suite 1010 Lincoln, NE 68508 402-435-3535 | www.nshsf.org


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NEBRASKA STATE HISTORICAL SOCIETY

P.O. Box 82554 Lincoln, Nebraska 68501-2554 Publication No. (ISSN 0028-1859)

Profile for John Klopping

Nebraska History Spring 2018  

Nebraska History Spring 2018  

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