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Marking at Historic Congressional Cemetery

The District of Columbia State Society sends greetings to members of the Continental Society Daughters of Indians Wars and extends to all an invitation to a marking at Historic Congressional Cemetery in Washington, DC.

Wednesday April 1, 2020

1:00 pm — Meet at the Holiday Inn Central 15th and Rhode Island Avenue, NW, Washington DC.

Transportation provided by members of the District of Columbia Society, CSDIW

Or some may wish their own transport to the Cemetery 1801 E Street, SE, Washington, DC.

Walking tours are available of the Native American graves and other notables.


2:00 pm — CSDIW Marking of the grave of Scarlet Crow (Kan Ya Tu Duta), Wahpeton Sisseton Sioux

A gathering in the historic Chapel will immediately follow, then return to the Holiday Inn


Those buried at Historic Congress Cemetery include 36 Native American leaders, diplomats and tribal members who of whom ended up there after falling ill during visits to the nation’s capital to fight for rights, negotiate treaties or settle debts owed to them. Scarlet Crow (Kan Ya Tu Duta) of the Wahpeton Sisseton Sioux Tribe was adamantly against the treaty his nation was in Washington D.C. to sign. On Feb. 24, 1867, he disappeared from the barracks where his delegation was staying on New York and 19th streets. His fellow tribesmen were immediately concerned and requested an official search. An ad was placed in the lost-and -found section of the Washington Chronicle containing his description and a reward for information leading to his return. Two weeks after his disappearance, his remains were reported in the woods near the Aqueduct Bridge. According to the papers published by the University of North Dakota in 2006, his remains were found by a man named John Birch and a boy named Joseph Golden who were searching for a lost cow. They reported the body to a county officer who claimed the reward and reported it to Indian Agent Joseph Brown.

Crow appeared to have hung himself from a branch with a strip of his own green, three-point blanket. Agent Brown on the scene noted that the knots in the blanket were not the kind used by Native people. The rest of the blanket was tucked in around Crow’s body, suggesting someone else had been there. Additionally, the branch couldn’t support the weight of a small child. He appeared to have been well-fed and only recently deceased. The Indian Agent suspected that people who had reported the body were responsible and advised against paying the reward. The Agent didn’t want to set a precedent of paying rewards for dead Native delegates, but he also did not want to accuse them without evidence, so the reward was paid. The short-lived investigation ended, and suicide remains the official cause of death. Scarlet Crow’s son, Sam Crow, petitioned Congress for a headstone in 1912. Congress finally placed a marker on his grave in 1916 — 49 years after his death.

Historic Congressional Cemetery reminds us of the stories that show a long political relationship between Native Nations and the U. S. government. It is appropriate that the evidence of this history is buried in one of the oldest cemeteries in Washington D.C. These leaders are buried alongside Congressmen, the first woman to run for president, and the first director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. They remind us as a nation that we come from many backgrounds, perspectives and cultures. This is the history that made America the country it is today. These men deserve to be remembered as part of that history. (from https://blog.nmai.si.edu/main/2013/01/introducing-buried-history-edition-1-foul-play.html)