Kaw River

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KAW RIVER. Old-Time, Texas Style. USA, Texas. D Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). AA'BB (Brody): AA'BB'A"A"BB' (Phillips). The Kaw River is another name for the Kansas River, once navigated by steamboats. Before that however, the river needed to be forded or crossed by boat. The ill-fated Donner party crossed the Kaw twice in 1846 on their journey on the Oregon Trail, as remembered by one of the members of the wagon train:

The wagons were hauled as near the boat-landing as they could be by the teams, and then with their loads in them were lifted and pushed into the boats by the united strength of the men. By hard and unremitting toil the ... wagons ... were safely transported to the other side; and all our oxen, horses, and loose stock swam over, .... The fee for ferriage, per wagon, was one dollar. Two boats are employed, and they are large enough to transport two wagons each trip. The are pushed across the stream with long poles handled by Indians."

The Indians were from the Kaw tribe.

Source for notated version: Norman Soloman (Texas) [Brody]; Tim O'Brien [Phillips].

Printed sources: Brody (Fiddler's Fakebook), 1983; p. 155. Phillips (Traditional American Fiddle Tunes), vol. 1, 1994; p. 131.

Recorded sources: County 707, Norman Soloman- "Texas Fiddle Favorites" (1966). Biscuit City 1317, Tim O'Brien- "Guess Who's in Town."

See also listing at:
Jane Keefer's Folk Music Index: An Index to Recorded Sources [1]
Pete Martin's Texas transcriptions [2]




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