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Harper's Encyclopedia of United States History (ed. Benson Lossing) 2 0 Browse Search
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Harper's Encyclopedia of United States History (ed. Benson Lossing), Pawnee Indians, (search)
Pawnee Indians, A warlike tribe of North American Indians, which lived in villages of earth-covered logs, on the borders of the Platte River, in Nebraska and Kansas. They appear to be of the Illinois family, divided into several bands, and were continually at war with the Sioux and other surrounding tribes. Hostile to the Spaniards, they have ever been friendly to the Americans. Sometimes they sacrificed prisoners to the sun; cultivated a few vegetables; and shaved their heads, excepting the scalp-lock. The women dressed decently, and the men went on a hunt regularly to the plains for buffalo. At the beginning of the nineteenth century they numbered about 6,000, with 2,000 warriors. In 1833 they were seated upon a reservation north of the Nebraska River, and made rapid progress towards civilization, when the fierce Sioux swept down upon them, ravaged their country, and killed many of their people. Driven south of the Nebraska, they lost nearly half their number by disease.