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Biographical Sketch of Bluford W. Starr

(See Ghigau)-Bluford West Starr, born September 1, 1858 near Ft. Gibson is the son of Bluford West Starr born March 5, 1826 and died April 7, 1855 and his wife Margaret Ann (McDaniel) Starr who died July 4, 1866. Bluford W. having been left an orphan at such an early age struggled against adverse conditions and gained a creditable education. His dominant characteristics are honesty and integrity. He a farmer, stockman and Mason. He married on November 10, 1887 Jessie Adel the daughter of Charles and Marion M. Hutch;, born Aug. 29, 1865 in Dane Co., Wisconsin. They are the parents of Charles Clarence, born October 1, 1888; Orange Walter born April 22, 1890; Glenn W. born July 6, 1892 and Jessie Marion, born December 24, 1894. Bluford W. Starr’s Cherokee name is Yona and he belongs to the Wolf Clan. He was elected a member of Council front Cooweescoowee District on August 7,...

Biographical Sketch of Mrs. Pearl V. Sisson

(See Cordery) Pearl Victoria, daughter of J. F. and Cecilia (Gibson) Haas was born at Tupelo, Lee County Mississippi on August 29, 1879. She married at Fort Gibson, Indian Territory December 4, 1893 Charles Harris Sisson, born November 26, 1859. They are the parents of: Charles Harris born November 5, 1894; Jessie May born July 2, 1896; Sue born December 14, 1898; Mary born January 13, 1900 and Emma Pauline born May 8. 1902. Charles Harris Sisson was appointed Circuit Judge of the Cherokee Nation on May 1, 1897 and elected to Council from Illinois District on August 3,...

Biographical Sketch of Mrs. John T. Mounts

(See Thompson and Thornton)—Evaline, daughter of Lawson and Elsie Jane Martin Runyan, born near Fort Gibson in 1882. Educated in the Cherokee Public Schools and Female Seminary. Married at Fort Gibson in 1912, John Thompson, son of David Albert and Caroline Harriette (Thompson) Mounts, born Thursday February 26, 1880. They are the parents of Thelma J....

Slave Narrative of Johnson Thompson

Person Interviewed: Johnson Thompson Place of Birth: Texas Date of Birth: December 1853 Just about two weeks before the coming of Christmas Day in 1853, I was born on a plantation somewheres eight miles east of Bellview, Rusk County, Texas. One year later my sister Phyllis was born on the same place and we been together pretty much of the time ever since, and I reckon there’s only one thing that could separate us slave born children. Mammy and pappy belong to W.P. Thompson, mixed-blood Cherokee Indian, but before that pappy had been owned by three different masters; one was the rich Joe Vann who lived down at Webber Falls and another was Chief Lowery of the Cherokees. I had a brother named Harry who belonged to the Vann family at Tahlequah. There was a sister named Patsy; she died at Wagoner, Oklahoma. My mother was born ‘way back in the hills of the old Flint District of the Cherokee Nation; just about where Scraper, Okla., is now. My parents are both dead now seems like fifty, maybe sixty year ago. Mammy died in Texas, and when we left Rusk County after the Civil War, pappy took us children to the graveyard. We patted her grave and kissed the ground,telling her good-bye. Pappy is buried in the church yard on Four Mile branch. I don’t remember much about my pappy’s mother; but I remember she would milk for a man named Columbus Balredge, and she went to prayer meeting every Wednesday night. Sometimes us children would try to follow her, but she’d turn around pretty quick and chase us...

Slave Narrative of Victoria Taylor Thompson

Person Interviewed: Victoria Taylor Thompson Age: 80 My mother, Judy Taylor, named for her mistress, told me that I was born about three year before the war; that make me about 80 year old so they say down at the Indian Agency where my name is on the Cherokee rolls since all the land was give to the Indian families a long time ago. Father kept the name of ‘Doc’ Hayes, and my brother Coose was a Hayes too, but mother, Jude, Patsy, Bonaparte (Boney, we always called him), Lewis and me was always Taylors. Daddy was bought by the Taylors (Cherokee Indians); they made a trade for him with some hilly land, but he kept the name of Hayes even then. Like my mother, I was born on the Taylor place. They lived in Flint District, around the Caney settlement on Caney Creek. Lots of the Arkansas Cherokees settled around there long times before the Cherokees come here from the east, my mother said. The farm wasn’t very big, we was the only slaves on the place, and it was just a little ways from a hill everybody called Sugar Mountain, because it was covered with maple sugar trees, and an old Indian lived on the hillside, making maple sugar candy to sell and trade. Master Taylor’s house had three big rooms and a room for the loom, all made of logs, with a long front porch high off the ground. The spring house set to the east, in the corner like. Spring water boiled up all the time, and the water run down the branch which we...

Slave Narrative of George Kye

Person Interviewed: George Kye Location: Fort Gibson, Oklahoma Age: 110 I was born in Arkansas under Mr. Abraham Stover, on a big farm about twenty miles north of Van Buren. I was plumb grown when the Civil War come along, but I can remember back when the Cherokee Indians was in all that part of the country Joe Kye was my pappy’s name what he was born under back is Garrison County, Virginia, and I took that name when I was freed, but I don’t know whether he took it or not because he was sold off by old Master Stover when I was a child. I never have seen him since. I think he wouldn’t mind good, leastways that what my mammy say. My mammy was named Jennie and I don’t think I had any brothers or sisters, but they was a whole lot of children at the quarters that I played and lived with. I didn’t live with mammy because she worked all the time, and us children all stayed in one house. It was a little one room log cabin, chinked and daubed, and you couldn’t stir us with a stick. When we went to eat we had a big pan and all ate out of it. One what ate the fastest got the most. Us children wore homespun shirts and britches and little slips, and nobody but the big boys wore any britches. I wore just a shirt until I was about 12 years old, but it had a long tail down to my calves. Four or five of us boys slept in one bed,...

Slave Narrative of Morris Sheppard

Person Interviewed: Morris Sheppard Location: Fort Gibson, Oklahoma Date of Birth: November, 1852 Age: 85 Old Master tell me I was borned in November 1852, at de old home place about five miles east of Webbers Falls, mebbe kind of northeast, not far from de east bank of de Illinois River. Master’s name was Joe Sheppard, and he was a Cherokee Indian. Tall and slin and handsome. He had black eyes and mustache but his hair was iron gray, and everybody liked him because he was so good-natured and kind. I don’t remember old Mistress’ name. My mammy was a Crossland Negro before she come to belong to Master Joe and marry my pappy, and I think she come wid old Mistress and belong to her. Old Mistress was small and mighty pretty too, and she was only half Cherokee. She inherit about half a dozen slaws, and say dey was her own and old Master can’t sell one unless she give him leave to do it. Dey only had two families of slaves wid about twenty in all, and dey only worked about fifty acres, so we sure did work every foot of it good. We git three or four crops of different things out of dat farm every year. and something growing on dat place winter and summer. Pappy’s name was Caesar Sheppard and Mammy’s name was Easter. Dey was both raised ’round Webber’s Falls somewhere. I had two brothers, Silas and George, dat belong to Mr. George Holt in Webber’s Falls town. I got a pass and went to see dem sometimes, and dey was both...

Slave Narrative of Mary Grayson

Person Interviewed: Mary Grayson Location: Tulsa, Oklahoma Age: 83 I am what we colored people call a “native.” That means that I didn’t come into the Indian country from somewhere in the Old South, after the war, like so many Negroes did, but I was born here in the old Creek Nation, and my master was a Creek Indian. That was eighty three years ago, so I am told. My mammy belonged to white people back in Alabama when she was born, down in the southern part I think, for she told me that after she was a sizeable girl her white people moved into the eastern part of Alabama where there was a lot of Creeks. Some of them Creeks was mixed up with the whites, and some of the big men in the Creeks who come to talk to her master was almost white, it looked like. “My white folks moved around a lot when I was a little girl”, she told me. When mammy was about 10 or 12 years old some of the Creeks begun to come out to the Territory in little bunches. They wasn’t the ones who was taken out here by the soldiers and contractor men, they come on ahead by themselves and most of them had plenty of money, too. A Creek come to my mammy’s master and bought her to bring out here, but she heard she was being sold and run off into the woods. There was an old clay pit, dug way back into a high bank, where the slaves had been getting clay to mix with hog...

Slave Narrative of Harriett Robinson

Person Interviewed: Harriet Robinson Location: Oklahoma City, Oklahoma Place of Birth: Bastrop, Texas Date of Birth: September 1, 1842 Age: 95 I was born close to Webbers Falls, in the Canadian District of the Cherokee Nation, in the same year that my pappy was blowed up and killed in the big boat accident that killed my old Master. I never did see my daddy excepting when I was a baby and I only know what my mammy told me about him. He come from across the water when he was a little boy, and was grown when old Master Joseph Vann bought him, so he never did learn to talk much Cherokee. My mammy was a Cherokee slave, and talked it good. My husband was a Cherokee born Negro, too, and when he got mad he forgit all the English he knowed. Old Master Joe had a mighty big farm and several families of Negroes, and he was a powerful rich man. Pappy’s name was Kalet Vann, and mammy’s name was Sally. My brothers was name Sone and Frank. I had one brother and one sister sold when I was little and I don’t remember the names. My other sisters was Polly, Ruth and Liddie. I had to work in the kitchen when I was a gal, and they was ten or twelve children smaller than me for me to look after, too. Sometime Young Master Joe and the other boys give me a piece of money and say I worked for it, and I reckon I did for I have to cook five or six times a day....

Slave Narrative of Chaney Richardson

Person Interviewed: Chaney Richardson Location: Fort Gibson, Oklahoma Age: 90 I was born in the old Caney settlement southeast of Tahlequah on the banks of Caney Creek. Off to the north we could see the big old ridge of Sugar Mountain when the sun shine on him first thing in the morning when we all getting up. I didn’t know nothing else but some kind of war until I was a grown woman, because when I first can remember my old Master, Charley Rogers, was always on the lookout for somebody or other he was lined up against in the big feud. My master and all the rest of the folks was Cherokees, and they’d been killing each other off in the feud ever since long before I was borned, and jest because old Master have a big farm and three-four families of Negroes them other Cherokees keep on pestering his stuff all the time. Us children was always afeared to go any place less’n some of the grown folks was along. We didn’t know what we was a-feared of, but we heard the Master and Mistress keep talking ’bout “another Party killing” and we stuck close to the place. Old Mistress’ name was Nancy Rogers, but I was a orphan after I was a big girl and I called her “Aunt” and “Mamma” like I did when I was little. You see my own mammy was the house woman and I was raised in the house, and I heard the little children call old mistress “mamma” and so I did too. She never did make me stop. My...
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