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Descendants of John Saxton Kent of North Bridgewater, MA

HON. JOHN SAXTON KENT, ex-mayor of the city of Brockton, and one of that city’s leading manufacturers, is as well one of the most enterprising and progressive citizens who have made their way to success in this Commonwealth. Merit commands recognition, and the deserving find doors opening and the way growing plainer as they go onward. In the life of Mr. Kent we have a noble example of the result of pluck, untiring energy and perseverance, combined with natural business acumen, he being the architect of his own successful career, and having acquired, through his own capabilities, a place among the foremost and prosperous shoe manufacturers of the State. Mr. Kent is a native of Brockton, which at the time of his birth was known as North Bridgewater, born April 18, 1860, only son of Patrick and Susan (Saxton) Kent. Patrick Kent, the father, came to North Bridgewater in 1854, and has been a respected resident of the community in which his long and industrious life has been spent. For about forty years he was a trusted employee of the well known firm of Howard & Clark, furniture dealers, since which time he has been living retired, enjoying the comforts of life surrounded by his children and grandchildren, and although in his eighty-third year is still possessed of his faculties and good health. Mr. Kent was united in marriage with Susan Saxton, who passed away in Brockton in June, 1905, aged seventy-four years, the mother of three children: John Saxton is the subject of this review: Mary Alice is the wife of William H. Fitzpatrick, of Brockton, where they...

Earliest Known Traders on Arkansas River

With the help of contemporary records it is possible to identify some of the early traders at the Mouth of the Verdigris. Even before the Louisiana Purchase, hardy French adventurers ascended the Arkansas in their little boats, hunting, trapping, and trading with the Indians, and recorded their presence if not their identity in the nomenclature of the adjacent country and streams, now sadly corrupted by their English-speaking successors.1 French Influence in Arkansas One of the first of the French traders up the Arkansas whose name has been recorded was Joseph Bogy, an early resident of the old French town, Arkansas Post, from which point he traded with the Osage Indians in the vicinity of the Three Forks. On one of his expeditions he had ascended the Arkansas with a boatload of merchandise, to trade to the Osage near the mouth of the Verdigris. There on the seventh of January, 1807, he was attacked and robbed of all his goods by a large band of Choctaw Indians under the famous chief, Pushmataha.2 When charged with the offense, Pushmataha admitted it and justified the robbery on the ground that they were at war with the Osage, against whom they were proceeding at the time; and that as Bogy was trading with their enemies, he was a proper subject for reprisal. Bogy laid a claim before the Government for nine thousand dollars damages against the Choctaw, based on the protection guaranteed by his trader’s license. This claim was pending until after 1835, before it was allowed. Among the interesting papers in connection with the claim, is Bogy’s report of having met on...

Establishment of Fort Gibson in 1824

By Act of Congress of March 2, 1819, Arkansas Territory was established July 4, embracing substantially all of what are now the states of Arkansas and Oklahoma; though the civil government of Arkansas Territory was limited to that section lying east of the Osage line, divided into counties, and embracing approximately the present state of Arkansas. That west of the Osage line was the Indian country, and in later years became known as Indian Territory. James Miller1 of New Hampshire was appointed the first Governor of Arkansas Territory, and among the duties of his office was that of supervision of the Indians within his jurisdiction. After the battle at Clermont’s Town an effort was made to induce the warring tribes to enter into a treaty of peace. This was accomplished in October 1818,2 in Saint Louis, in the presence of William Clark, the Governor of Missouri Territory. Directly after Governor Miller assumed his duties as executive, he was required to intervene between the Osage and Cherokee in an effort to prevent imminent hostilities growing out of the killing of a number of Cherokee hunters by a band of Osage under Mad Buffalo. In April 1820, Governor Miller departed from the seat of government at Arkansas Post, on his mission to the Cherokee and Osage. He was gone two months, and prevented temporarily at least – the threatened renewal of warfare by the Cherokee. He went first to the Cherokee settlements, where he sought to dissuade the members of that tribe from further hostilities by his promise that he would endeavor to secure from the Osage the murderers of their...

The Natchez and the French

But alas for the poor Natchez! An evil day brought the pale-faces among them in the year 1716, who built the Fort Rosalie among them and in it garrisoned, as a matter of course, a body of soldiers as a protection in their intended aggressions upon and usurpations of the Indians rights; and from that day the sun of the Natchez’s happiness began to wane, but to speedily set forever in the oblivion of utter extermination. As an introduction, Cadillac, on his way up the Mississippi river to search for gold and silver, stopped at Natchez. As soon as the Indian chiefs learned of his approach they marched out in state to meet him, and according to their custom, presented the calumet of peace to him in token of their desired friendship with him. Cadillac became greatly offended at what he regarded as presumption of the Indians in supposing that he would contaminate his pure patrician lips with the touch of their vile pipe. He accordingly treated the peace desiring Indians as uncouth animals thrusting themselves into his august presence; and un ceremoniously departing without having consented to smoke with them, he impressed the Natchez who could not comprehend his rough manners toward them, or understand the nature of his pride, with the belief that he meditated war upon their tribe and was secretly preparing to make an at tack upon them; and finding a few French strolling about in their village after the departing of Cadillac, and regarding them as spies, they killed them. Hence the origin of the first misunderstanding between the Natchez and the French.” Then following in the wake...

Views on the Choctaw and Fables – North American Indians

The territories of the Choctaws in 1723, in which year the seat of the French government in Louisiana, then under Bienville, was definitely transferred from Natchez to New Orleans, then containing about one hundred houses and three thousand inhabitants, extended from the Mississippi River to the Black Warrior, east: and from Lake Pontchartrain to the territories of the Natchez, west, and Chickasaws, north. They possessed upwards of sixty principal towns, and could muster, as was estimated, twenty-five thousand warriors. The Choctaws called all fables Shukha Anump (hog talk) as a mark of derision and contempt. Some of their fables, handed down by tradition through unknown generations, were similar in the morals taught by those of the famous Esop. One of these Shukha Anumpas was that of the turkey and the terrapin: A haughty turkey gobbler, with long flowing beard and glossy feathers, meeting a terrapin one bright and beautiful spring morning, thus accosted him with an expression of great contempt; “What are you good for?” To which the terrapin humbly replied “many things.” “Name one,” continued the turkey. “I can beat you running,” said the terrapin. “What nonsense!” “I thought you were a fool, now I know it,” continued the turkey. “I repeat it, I can beat you running, distance half a mile” continued the terrapin. “To prove you are a fool in believing such an absurdity, I’ll run the race with you,” responded the turkey with marked disgust. The day was appointed, the distance marked off, and the agreements entered into, one of which was, the terrapin was to run with a white feather in his mouth by...

Missionaries among the Native Americans

According to traditional authority, the morning star of the Choctaws religious era, (if such it may be termed) first lit up their eastern horizon, upon the advent of the two great Wesley’s into the now State of Georgia in the year 1733, as the worthy and congenial companions of the noble Oglethorpe; but also, it flashed but a moment before their eyes as a beautiful meteor, then as quickly went out upon the return to England of those champions of the Cross, leaving them only to fruitless conjecture as to its import; nor was seen again during the revolutions of eighty-five long and weary years. Though tradition affirms, there were several missionaries (Roman Catholic) among the Choctaws in 1735; and that the Reverend Father Baudouin, the actual superior general of the mission resided eighteen years among the Choctaws. With these two above named exceptions, I have seen no record of the White Race ever manifesting any interest in the southern Indians welfare either of a temporal or spiritual nature, from the earliest trading posts established among them in 1670 by the Virginia and Carolina traders, down through slowly revolving years to that of 1815; at which time may be dated the establishment of the first Protestant mission among the southern Indians. This mission, which was named Brainard, was established among the Cherokees by Rev. Cyrus Kingsbury, under the jurisdiction of the Old School Presbyterian Board of Foreign Missions, in Boston, Massachusetts, who arrived in that Nation, in company with; his assistant laborers, Mr. and Mrs. Williams, January 13th, 1815. In 1818, Mr. Kingsbury, in company with Mr. and Mrs. Williams,...

Prominent White Men among the Chickasaws

At an early day a few white men of culture and of good morals, fascinated with the wild and romantic freedom and simplicity of the Chickasaw life, cast their lot among that brave and patriotic nation of people. I read an article published in Mississippi a few years ago, which stated that a man by the name of McIntosh, commissioned by British authorities to visit the Chickasaw Nation and endeavor to keep up its ancient hostility to the French, was so delighted with the customs and manners of that brave, free and hospitable people that, after the accomplishment of his mission, he remained among them; then marrying a Chickasaw woman he became identified with the tribe; that he became an influential character among the Chickasaws; that he found the whole Nation living in one large village in the “Chickasaw Old Fields”; that he persuaded them to scatter, take possession of the most fertile and watered lands, and live where game was more plentiful; that he planted a colony at a place called Tokshish (corruption of Takshi-pro. Tark-shih, and sig. Bashful) several miles south of Pontotoc; that this colony became the favorite residence of the white renegades, etc. All of which is without even a shadow of truth. True, a man by the name of McIntosh once visited the Chickasaw Nation as stated; but after his diplomacy was accomplished, departed and returned no more. There never was a McIntosh identified in any way with the Chickasaws at that early day, nor has there been one from that day to this. The only white men adopted and identified with the Chickasaws at that early...

Natchez Trace

In 1792, in a council held at Chickasaw Bluffs, where Memphis, Tennessee, is now located, a treaty was made with the Chickasaws, in which they granted the United States the right of way through their territory for a public road to be opened from Nashville, Tennessee, to Natchez, Mississippi. This road was long known, and no doubt, remembered by many at the present time by the name “Natchez Trace.” It crossed the Tennessee River at a point then known as “Colberts Ferry,” and passed through the present counties of Tishomingo, Ittiwamba, Lee, Pantotoc, Chickasaw, Choctaw, thence on to Natchez, and soon became the great and only thoroughfare for emigrants passing from the older states to Mississippi, Louisiana and South Arkansas. Soon after its opening, it was crowded by fortune seekers and adventurers of all descriptions and characters, some as bad as it was possible for them to be, and none as good as they might be. One of the most noted desperadoes in those early days of Mississippi’s history was a man named Mason, who, with his gang of thieves and cut-throats, established himself at a point on the Ohio river then called “The Cave in the Rock,” and about one hundred miles above its junction with the Mississippi river. There, under the disguise of keeping a store for the accommodation of emigrants, keel and flat boatmen passing up and down the river, he enticed them into his power, murdered and robbed them; then sent their boats and contents to New Orleans, through the hands of his accomplices to be sold. He, at length, left “The Cave in the Rock,”...

Vaundreuil and the Chickasaws

At this juncture of affairs, May 10th 1743, the marquis of Vaudreuil arrived at New Orleans, and assumed command of the colonies, Bienville having been again deposed. As soon as the Chickasaws learned that Bienville had been superceded by a new governor, they sent four of their chiefs, at the close of the year 1743, to sue for peace; but Vaudreuil informed them he would enter into no treaty with them, unless they would drive all English traders from their territories; and not even then would he treat with them unless in concert with the Choctaws. Thus again were the Chickasaws baffled in their efforts to make peace! The four chiefs then requested time to lay his terms of peace before their, people. Early in the following year, the Chickasaws again sent an embassy to Vaudreuil and informed him they would accept his first proposition, if he would supply them with goods and ammunition as the English had done, but still Vaudreuil would take no action in the matter without first obtaining the sanction of the Choctaws. Great indeed was his surprise in learning that the Chickasaws and Choctaws were at that very time endeavoring to establish peace between himself, without his knowledge. Such a thing the French from the first had labored to prevent; therefore Vaudreuil determined at once to defeat the object, if possible, of all such negotiations between the two long hostile Nations, and immediately went to work for the accomplishment of that end; first, by postponing the making of a treaty himself with the Chickasaws; second, by using every means, right or wrong, to again revive the...

The Chickasaw War of 1739

Through the instigation of The French the war was continued between the seemingly infatuated and blinded Choctaws and Chickasaws during the entire year 1737, yet without any perceptibly advantageous results to either. A long and bitter experience seemed wholly inadequate to teach them the selfish designs of the French. No one can believe the friendship of the French for the Choctaws was unassumed. They were unmerciful tyrants by whatever standard one may choose to measure them, and without a redeeming quality as far as their dealings with the North American Indians go to prove; and their desire for the good of that race of people utterly out of the question; and with equal truth may the same be affirmed of the entire White Race, whose universal opinion was just wise enough to measure the Red Race by the standard found in their own souls; therefore the North American Indians were called savages, and have been so denominated to this day, and are now made the foundation of innumerable and ridiculous myths. But Bienville, still chafing like an enraged bear, under the mortification of his defeat by the brave and patriotic Chickasaws, which but increased his desire and determination to destroy them and blot out their very name, devoted the year 1739 to preparation for another exterminating invasion into the country of that seemingly indomitable people; and, as an introductory step to the more successful accomplishment and full realization of his designs, he sent an embassy, in March 1739, to the Choctaws to conciliate their good will and obtain their aid. And strange as it may appear, Bienville secured thirty-two villages out of forty-two to the interests of the French, while, through the...
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