Home > PublicationsEncyclopedia >  Claremore Mound, Battle of

CLAREMORE MOUND, BATTLE OF.

The Battle of Claremore Mound occurred in October 1817 when Western Cherokee and their allies attacked the lightly defended village of Chief Claremore (Gra-mo'n or Arrow Going Home), leader of the Arkansas Band of Osage. During the assault, many Osage died on an adjacent knoll where they had fled for safety. The hill, known as Claremore Mound, is located north of Sageeyah near the south bank of the Verdigris River in Rogers County.

The bloodshed at Claremore Mound resulted from a long-standing struggle between the Osage and the Western Cherokee for control of present northeastern Oklahoma and northwestern Arkansas. The Arkansas Band of Osage (so called because of their proximity to the Arkansas River) had occupied Oklahoma's Three Forks area during the 1760s. Cherokee from east of the Mississippi began infiltrating the Arkansas River Valley soon thereafter. The Osage regarded the Cherokee as invaders. Osage efforts to defend their interests brought Cherokee retaliation, and vice versa. Approximately three thousand Cherokee resided in Arkansas by 1817, the same year in which the United States had guaranteed them land between the Arkansas and White rivers.

Early in 1817 Western Cherokee leaders invited the Eastern Cherokee to participate in a war against the Osage. Joined by the Choctaw, Chickasaw, Delaware, and others, including whites, a fighting force of about seven hundred assembled at the Cherokee agency near present Russellville, Arkansas. The attack occurred when Chief Claremore and the majority of his people were hunting bison on the plains. Women, children, and elderly men occupied the village when it was attacked. Roughly eighty Osage were killed, including sixty-nine women and children. An additional one hundred were captured, and the village was burned. Only one attacker died, and several were wounded.

Despite the establishment of Fort Smith in December 1817 and Fort Gibson in spring 1824, Osage-Cherokee hostilities continued. The Claremore band refused to comply with an 1825 treaty in which the Osage ceded their claims to northeastern Oklahoma. They continued to dwell near the Three Forks until 1839 when they removed to the Osage reservation in Kansas.

Jon D. May

See also: AMERICAN INDIANS, CHEROKEE, CLAREMORE, OSAGE

Bibliography

Brad Agnew, Fort Gibson: Terminal on the Trail of Tears (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1980).

Louis F. Burns, A History of the Osage People (Fallbrook, Calif.: Ciga Press, 1989).

Grant Foreman, Indians and Pioneers: The Story of the American Southwest Before 1830 (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press, 1930).

John Joseph Mathews, The Osages: Children of the Middle Waters (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1961).

Willard H. Rollings, The Osage: An Ethnohistorical Study of Hegemony on the Prairie-Plains (Columbia: University of Missouri Press, 1992).

Copyright and Terms of Use

No part of this site may be construed as in the public domain.

Copyright to all articles and other content in the online and print Encyclopedia of Oklahoma History is held by the Oklahoma Historical Society. This includes individual articles (copyright to OHS by author assignment) and corporately (as a complete body of work), including web design, graphics, searching functions, and listing/browsing methods. Copyright to all of these materials is protected under United States and International law.

Users agree not to download, copy, modify, sell, lease, rent, reprint, or otherwise distribute these materials, or to link to these materials on another web site, without authorization of the Oklahoma Historical Society. Individual users must determine if their use of the Materials falls under United States copyright law's "Fair Use" guidelines and does not infringe on the proprietary rights of the Oklahoma Historical Society as the legal copyright holder of The Encyclopedia and part or in whole.

Photo credits: All photographs presented in the published and online Encyclopedia of Oklahoma History and Culture are the property of the Oklahoma Historical Society and are held in the agency's Research Division Photo Archives.


Citation

The following (as per The Chicago Manual of Style, 16th edition) is the preferred citation for articles:
Jon D. May, "Claremore Mound, Battle of," The Encyclopedia of Oklahoma History and Culture, www.okhistory.org (accessed October 18, 2017).

About the Encyclopedia | Terms of Use | Using the Encyclopedia