A meeting of indigenous dynasties.
In the year 1866, delegates from the Choctaw, Chickasaw, Cherokee and Pawnee Nations visited Washington D.C. The official business was drafting a formal resignation treaty as allies to the Confederacy following the ending of the Civil War. During the final diplomatic visit which proclaimed the surrender and its resulting treaty to be law, they found themselves in the same city as Queen Emma Kaleleonālani, or simply put, Queen Emma of Hawaii. This would be her most famous visit to the United States Capital in which she was raising funds for the St. Andrew’s Priory School. Here are parts of the original newspaper article ran in Washington D.C. in 1866, marked by italics.
“The Visit of Queen Emma to Mount Vernon – Her Reception of the Indian Delegation Last Evening.
Her Majesty, Queen Emma, seems determined to enjoy her brief sojourn to the national capital, and with that intent daily visits different points of interest in and around the city. Having made the tour of the city, she expressed a desire to visit Mt. Vernon, and in accordance with the United States revenue steamer Northern Light, Captain McGowan was fitted up for her accommodation, and at 11 a.m. yesterday she embarked, after having inspected the navy-yard, escorted by Acting Rear Admiral Radford, Capt. Balch and Commander Brown. After a pleasant sail down the river, during which the Queen seemed greatly interested in the scenery on either shore, the party reached Mt Vernon, having during the passage partaken of an elegant collation served on board. Arrived at Mt. Vernon the Queen and her party spent several hours pleasantly in a ramble through the old mansion and adjoining grounds, after which they embarked, reaching town at 7 o’clock, p.m.”
Upon hearing that Her Majesty was in the area, the delegates made it known to the Commissioner of Indian Affairs that they wished to visit the Queen if it would be agreeable to her. She expressed herself willing to receive them, and on August 17th, at half past eight o’clock she received the representatives of the tribes.
“On her return to the city last evening, she immediately proceeded to the hotel and dined privately at half-past 7. At half past 8 o’clock, according to appointment she received the delegates of the Chickasaw, Choctaw, Cherokee and Pawnee tribes of Indians now in this city on business with the Commissioner of Indian Affairs.”
The Chickasaw Delegation consisted of Governor Winchester Colbert, ex-Governor Edmund Pickens, and E. S. Mitchell.
The Choctaw Delegation consisted of Governor and Principal Chief Peter P. Pitchlynn, ex-Governor Alfred Wade, James Riley and Alfred Wright. Rev. Alfred Wright of the Choctaws was accompanied by his two children, Eliphet Nott and Frank Hall. Gov. Pitchlynn was accompanied by his three children, Thomas, Edward Everett and Sophia, and his grandchild, Edward Everett Pitchlynn.
The Cherokee delegation consisted of Judge Richard Field, W. P. Adair and J. R. Ridge.
The Pawnee delegation consisted of Chief Big Bear, Bob White, Kahk, Pete, Buck, Billy Hubby, a papoose, and Skoodux, a child. The Pawnee delegation was in charge of Colonel E. C. Ford, Major W. P. Goff, and Major W. S. Codman of the 107th United States Colored Troops.
“The visitors, having been shown to the parlor, were presented by Mr. Mix to Mr. Odell Consul General, who presented them to Her Majesty. Her Majesty took each of the visitors by the hand, and received them cordially. The Queen seemed much pleased at the little papoose carried on the back of the child. The delegates were shown to seats, and some time passed in conversation. Her Majesty examined the tomahawks, bows, arrows and shields of the Pawnees and asked many questions to their use. She expressed a desire to hear the Indian language, and Governor Pitchlynn addressed her in the Choctaw tongue which was interpreted by Mr. Wright. After a conversation of about fifteen or twenty minutes, the visitors again took the Queen by the hand after which they retired. Her Majesty was attired in a black dress, and wore a white flowing veil. She was attended by Consul General Odell; R.S. Chilton of the State Department, and Miss Spurgin, her lady attendant. The Queen will leave for the city tomorrow, for Niagara Falls.”
Photo Alfred Wade, Oklahoma Historic Society
Photo Queen Emma, Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division. Brady-Handy Photograph Collection
Original Article Credit: National Republican, Washington, District of Columbia 17 Aug, 1866 page 2.