Pawnee Rock in Barton County, Kansas — The American Midwest (Upper Plains)
“A Rallying Point for the Indians”
No one actually knows how Pawnee Rock was named. Josiah Gregg, who had been over the Santa Fe Trail eight times beginning in 1831, wrote: the attention of the traveller is directed to the ‘Pawnee Rock' so called, it is said, on account of a battle’s having once been fought hard by, between the Pawnee and some other tribe.
We passed the Pawnee Rock, a huge boulder which for centuries has been a rallying point for the Indians, and still stands, in its solitary majesty, one of the mighty landmarks of this continental journey.
Joseph Allyn Pratt, associate justice, Arizona Territory
Each summer the Pawnees left their villages in Nebraska and northern Kansas and journeyed south to the Arkansas River region to hunt buffalo. The annual migration placed them in the Pawnee Rock vicinity during the peak travel months of the Santa Fe Trail. Because the trail travelers and the Indians usually left each other alone, outright fighting was unusual. Tensions erupted only eighteen times in a twenty-nine-year period between 1822 and 1851. Most of the fights were within twenty-five miles of this site.
On occasion the Pawnees battled their traditional enemies – the Arapahos, Cheyennes, Comanches, and Kiowas. All of these nomadic tribes depended upon buffalo and plants from this area. Heavy
Erected by Kansas State Historical Society.
Marker series. This marker is included in the Santa Fe Trail marker series.
Location. 38° 16.32′ N, 98° 58.917′ W. Marker is in Pawnee Rock, Kansas, in Barton County. Click for map. Marker is along the walking path atop Pawnee Rock, at Pawnee Rock State Historical Site, off SW 112th Avenue/Center Street. Marker is in this post office area: Pawnee Rock KS 67567, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. “One of the Grandest Sights Ever Beheld” (a few steps from this marker); "Along Came the Line of Wagons" (a few steps from this marker); Santa Fe Trail (a few steps from this marker); Marking the Rock (a few steps from this marker); William Becknell (a few steps from this marker); "A Point of Red Rocks" (a few steps from this marker); a different marker also named “One of the Grandest Sights Ever Beheld” (within shouting distance of this marker); Santa Fe Trail Monument (within shouting distance of this marker). Click for a list of all markers in Pawnee Rock.
Also see . . .
1. Santa Fe National Historic Trail. (Submitted on April 7, 2013, by William Fischer, Jr. of Fort Scott, Kansas.)
2. Santa Fe Trail Association. (Submitted on April 7, 2013, by William Fischer, Jr. of Fort Scott, Kansas.)
3. Pawnee Rock State Historic Site, Kansas. (Submitted on April 7, 2013, by William Fischer, Jr. of Fort Scott, Kansas.)
Categories. • Animals • Industry & Commerce • Native Americans • Roads & Vehicles •
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by William Fischer, Jr. of Fort Scott, Kansas. This page has been viewed 323 times since then and 76 times this year. Photos: 1, 2. submitted on , by William Fischer, Jr. of Fort Scott, Kansas. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.