Descendants of Indian warrior donate rare Lewis and Clark document

Thursday, August 19th 2004, 12:57 pm
By: News On 6

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) _ Descendants of an American Indian warrior Thursday formally donated to Oklahoma a rare document signed by Meriwether Lewis and William Clark.

The certificate of friendship was given by Lewis and Clark to Otoe warrior Big Ax, 200 years ago Thursday.

Lewis and Clark handed out several certificates as they explored the western United States two centuries ago. Only two are known to still exist.

The certificate is being donated by Otoe-Missouria tribal member Joan Aitson. She's a descendant of Big Ax and found the certificate and a handwritten speech delivered by Clark in her grandmother's steamer trunk.

Governor Brad Henry accepted the documents on behalf of the Oklahoma Historical Society.

The documents will be the centerpiece of an exhibit on American Indians when the historical society's new museum opens in November 2005.