"Council Oak at Council Grove, Kansas"
on the
Santa Fe Trail

Council Oak

     In March, 1825, the Congress of the United States of America passed an act to authorize the then president, John Quincy Adams to appoint three commissioners to carry out the process of marking a road to Santa Fe and get the treaty with the Indians. These commissioners were Benjamin Reeves, George C. Sibley and Thomas Mathers. These three commissioners met with the Chiefs of the Great and Little Osage Nations at Council Grove on August 10, 1825. Gathered in the shade of this big oak on this hot August day, agents of the Osage tribe and the U.S. government signed a treaty giving Americans and Mexicans safe passage along the Santa Fe Trail through Osage territory in return for $800.

     A shelter east of the Neosho River bridge, in Council Grove, Kansas protects the stump of the Council Oak. Before the Council Oak blew down in a windstorm in 1958, the tree stood 70 feet tall and measured 16 feet around.

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