Sunday, March 17, 2019

Still In Green Though

Cow Island
I found a book a few years ago called “Historic Kansas” which was written for Kansas’ territorial centennial in 1854 and republished in 1974. It talks a lot about people, places and things that existed before the 1860s which is really cool. One thing that caught my eye was the history of Cow Island, or Isle de Vache as the French traders called it.

Cow Island was located in the Missouri River just a little southeast of Atchison. French traders would use the island to keep cows thus earning it the name. The island was used for many Indian Councils and Lewis and Clark also stopped at Cow Island during their expedition. Lewis and Clark didn’t see any Indians on or near Cow Island but did see deserted villages. In 1818 a military post was established on Cow Island, called Cantonment Martin which was abandoned in 1826. Cow Island would not be used again until the Civil War when Kansas Volunteers used the island as a base of operations against Iatan, Missouri immediately across the river.

The Flood of 1881 changed the course of the Missouri River placing Cow Island in Missouri however in 1900 a court ruled that Cow Island was still a part of Kansas. The court found that: “Where a river forms a boundary between two states, the exact line is the center of the navigable channel, rather than of the river from bank to bank. If there is a gradual or imperceptible change in the course of such stream, the ‘river as it runs’ — that is, the channel of the river as it runs — will remain the boundary. But if there is a sudden avulsion, the river seeking a new course and leaving the old bed as dry land, as in this case, the new course of the stream will no longer mark the boundary; the boundary will remain as it was before the sudden change — that is, in the middle of the navigable channel as it existed just before the sudden shifting of the course.”

Further research shows Cow Island was formally annexed to Missouri sometime in the 1920s by an act of the Kansas Legislature. Currently, Cow Island is located just south of Iatan, Missouri. The Iatan 1 and Iatan 2 coal-firing power plant has been built on Cow Island. A Lewis and Clark historical marker memorializes Cow Island immediately in front of the power plant.

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First, I want to take this opportunity to thank Chip that today's strip has nothing to do with St. Patrick's Day.

Second, Brutus' "underearning", which isn't even a word and I'm pretty sure the editor probably thought he was going blind when he glanced over this strip, is not his fault. Do you really think Brutus could handle a career change this late in his life just to earn slightly more money? I mean, look at him. He's pathetic.