Trevor S. Lies
Department of Psychology
University of Kansas
OOPS! Trevor was supposed to hide this page from the public! But since you are here, feel free to read ahead.
This page serves as an in-progress workspace for me to collect historical documents related to a growing project investigating the psychology of a place (Cheney, KS). I am interested in learning more about the psychology of the early years of this place as a way of understanding the present moment.
In particular, I am collecting information related to 1) how people talk about and understand land in the context of colonial westward expansion, and 2) how people talk about and represent Native and Black Americans throughout history.
It is not well organized. It is akin to a folder of papers with jagged sticky notes protruding from all sides.
The Last Indian Scare?
In the book "The History of Wichita and Sedgwick County" (1910), O. H. Bentley details "The Last Indian Scare" which he notes occurred in the area of Sedgwick, Wichita, Kingman, and Harvey counties. He describes this as the "last Indian scare we ever had in this part of the country."
A differing account of the "last Indian scare" appears below in three separate newspaper clippings from the Wichita Eagle which describes an "Indian scare" in the same region but in 1885. The writer describes how, despite rampant fear and "excite[ment]" from the settlers, he "has seen no one that could truthfully say that they had seen a hostile Indian within the state."
The hysteria of the moment is an important demonstration of white settler anxiety with regard to whether they would indeed be able to have a comfortable future in this space.
History of Wichita and Sedgwick County - 1910
Wichita Eagle - 8, 9, 17 JULY 1885
Land for Sale
One important socioeconomic force that helped shape this space in the late 19th century was the U.S. federal government's incentive for settlers to "settle and make profitable large sections of country." Settlers understood the land as virgin grounds that had not yet realized their full productive potential.
The realization of that potential required three things: the mass (and rapid) slaughter of bison which sent ripple effects through the local ecologies, the removal of Natives, and finally, the extension of vast railroad networks to facilitate the transport of resources.
These three factors combined with government incentives for settlement to allow settlers to pick and choose where to live and reap profits from the land. As such, the local ecosystem consisting of deep biodiversity and deep prairie roots transformed into spacious green factories for the agricultural development of beef, wheat, and corn.
27 OCT 1854 Wichita Eagle
Plot of Marshall, KS (1878)
3 JUN 1884 Wichita Eagle
22 MAY 1884 Wichita Eagle
4 JUN 1884 Wichita Eagle
16 APR 1886 Wichita Eagle
2 FEB 1895 Wichita Eagle
2 FEB 1895 Wichita Eagle
26 JUL 1906 Cheney Sentinel
7 NOV 1912 Cheney Sentinel
28 SEP 1906 Cheney Sentinel
04 MAY 1916 Cheney Sentinel
30 NOV 1906 Cheney Sentinel
Plot of the early city of Wichita, KS
25 OCT 1923 Cheney Sentinel
1 NOV 1923 Cheney Sentinel
Minstrel Show in Cheney, KS. Date unknown
Final Minstrel Show in Cheney - Cheney, KS 1962
History of minstrel shows in Cheney, KS
2 MAR 1958 Wichita Eagle
What sociohistorical forces produced early Cheney, KS?
Removal of tribes from the region (assurance of white settler futurity)
Slaughter of bison
Construction of Santa Fe Railroad
Racially homogeneity of settlers
Contrast from growing (racialized) city of Wichita
Evolution of rhetoric/ideology over time
How does language change (e.g., how Black people are referred to)
Prominent Cultural Ideals Characteristic of the Period (1875 - 1910)
Land is a resource. People before us cleaned it up (no more "Indian scares") and now we can do agriculture here.
Need to settle the land fast (with government incentives, with help from the Santa Fe railroad)
Generally not in the picture/area
Exist locally as stereotypes, caricatures