Stephen Long By Asha hanson

Stephen Harriman Long was born December 30, 1784 and had a family of 12 other siblings. After he graduated college, he joined the army and taught at a military academy of engineering.
Long went on a few very small exploration trips in 1816, exploring some Wisconsin rivers and northern Mississippi. He then married Martha Hodkiss in 1819 and later that year he went on his first big expedition on General Atkinson’s Yellowstone expedition.
Several years later, Stephen was the leader of one of the first scientific expeditions. He brought scientists, painters, a naturalist, a physician, and others, with a total of nineteen men on the team.
They explored along the Platte mountains, and over five separate expeditions, the team covered a total of 26,000 miles. Over these five trips, they discussed peace treaties and made new borders with spanish colonies, met the Oto indians, and discovered and name Long’s Peak, and The Rockie Mountains.
Long later was ordered by the American government to explore further into Kansas and meet with the Native Americans to resolve past conflicts the Native Americans had with other European explorers. They entered Kansas by traveling by boat down the Missouri River, and began exploring three miles south of the Kansas River. The expedition team then camped nearby several Kanza villages.
They later moved on and camped in Topeka and observed other Native Americans in the area. Long and his team held a council meeting with several of Kansas’s indigenous tribes including the Osage, Kanza, Pawnee, Ponca, Omaha, Sioux, Padouca, Bald Heads, Comanche, Sauk, Fox and Iowa.
On behalf of the American government, Long negotiated a peace treaty to resolve past conflicts between European explorers and the indigenous tribes, in order for the tribes to submit to the government. Long's team of explorers gave the Native Americans cloth, tools, weapons and other supplies in return for their cooperation.
While roaming through Kansas, the team took detailed descriptions of the land and the indigenous people. In his journal, Long is quoted to say the land from Nebraska to Oklahoma was “Unfit for cultivation and of course uninhabitable by a people depending upon agriculture," and he nicknamed the area “The Great Desert."
I did not find any documented proof of the implications, but because of Long's describing it as a barren desert, I can only assume that many farmers were at first discouraged from inhabiting the "desert" land. I can also assume that areas from Oklahoma to Nebraska would not be the first choice for many explorers launching expeditions. Long's peace agreement with the indigenous people most likely created an era of agreement and trade between the tribes and explorers and would protect the involved parties from conflict.
Sources: http://www.nebraskastudies.org/0400/frameset_reset.html?http://www.nebraskastudies.org/0400/stories/0401_0111.html http://www.legendsofkansas.com/longsehttp://www.topogs.org/b_long.htmlxpedition.html

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