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Monday, May 16, 2022

DAR speaker to share stories of growing up on Osage Indian Reservation

Maryann Esenwein

Members of the John Bartram Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution will learn firsthand about the fight for survival of the Osage and Quapaw Indian Tribes.

The group’s guest speaker at its Friday, Feb. 19 meeting will be Maryanne Esenwein. She grew up in Oklahoma on the Osage Indian Reservation with her mixed Osage and white family. She will present her story, “Prairie Tales: An Intimate Portrait of an Osage & Quapaw Family,” at the meeting, which begins with check-in at 9:30 a.m. and gets under way 30 minutes later.

It is believed that the Osage and the Quapaw tribes lived in the Ohio and Mississippi River Valleys since 700 BC. They were forced to migrate west when the Iroquois began invading their homelands in search of new hunting grounds in the late 1700s.

By the early 19th century, the Osage had become the dominant power in the area of present day Kansas. But the tribe became the victims of the white man’s “manifest destiny” policies and were forced by the United States government to move to Indian Territory in present-day Oklahoma.

Esenwein also is a proud fifth generation DAR member, living in Florida and active in multiple chapter and state positions. In her spare time when she is not with her husband James, a retired Air Force officer, and stepson Alex, she volunteers with her Kappa Gamma Sorority Alumni Association, Space Coast Military Spouses and visits Disney World.

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