About this Famous Person
31st Vice President of the United States
Source : Tim DOWLING
Born in Topeka, Kansas Territory prior to its admission as a state in January 1861, Curtis is notable as an Executive Branch officer born in a territory rather than a state of the Union. Curtis was nearly half American Indian in ancestry. His mother, Ellen Papin (also spelled Pappan), was one-fourth French, one-fourth Kaw, one-fourth Osage, and one-fourth Pottawatomie. His father, Orren Curtis, was an American of English, Scots and Welsh ancestry. His paternal grandparents were William Curtis and Permelia Hubbard. William's parents were Thomas Curtis and Eunice Peet from early Connecticut. On his mother's side, Curtis was a descendant of the chiefs White Plume and Pawhuska, of the Kaw and Osage, respectively.
From his mother, Curtis first learned French and Kansa. As a boy living with his mother and her family on the Kaw reservation, he started racing horses. Curtis was a highly successful jockey in prairie horse races. On June 1, 1868, one hundred Cheyenne warriors invaded the Kaw Reservation. Terrified White settlers took refuge in nearby Council Grove. The Kaw men painted their faces, donned their regalia, and rode forth on horseback to meet the Cheyenne.
- Category American politician