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Chickasaw Religion

The ancient Chickasaws, unlike their kindred, the Choctaws, entertained no superstitious views in regard to the eclipse of the sun or moon; regarding it as a phenomenon inexplicable, and to be the height of folly to be alarmed and worried over that which they had no control a sensible conclusion indeed. They called an eclipse, either of sun or moon, hushi luma (sun hidden). Sometimes a total eclipse of the sun was termed hushi illi (dead sun), and sometimes hushi kunia (lost sun). They called the moon hushi ninak aya (the sun of the night). The traditions of the Chickasaws are silent in regard to the flood; at least nothing has been preserved upon that subject rather strange! Since the Choctaws, to whom they were so closely allied by consanguinity, and the Cherokees, Muskogee’s, Shawnees and many other tribes spoke of it in their traditions. Pakitakohlih (hanging grapes), from which the present town Pontotoc, Mississippi, derived its name, was a town known to the French, in the days of Bienville, by the name Chikasahha; and afterwards to the English as “Chickasaw Old Town”; then to the Americans as “The Chickasaw Old Fields”; and was, according to Chickasaw tradition (no doubt correct) the same “Old Town” in which De Soto wintered with his army in 1540, and over whose heads the Chickasaws burned to expel him from their territories, after his insolent and unjust demand; but which they afterwards rebuilt. The venerable “Old Town” was known to the Spaniards at an early day by the name Chicaco; and truly no spot of ground in the Southern States has deservingly greater military...

Slave Narrative of Robert Williams

Williams doesn’t know the year of his birth or the place, but he remembers of being “taken” from a plantation somewhere around Pontotoc, Mississippi, when he was a young fellow and here’s the way he tells it. I was a great big boy when the Civil War was going on, so I remember some things about it, but the children didn’t know about things then like they do now. Nowdays we wait and let the young folks talk, but in slave times they didn’t. The master done the talking and everybody better listen! Austin Williams was my father. Nancy was my mother’s name. And I was a little fellow when they took me away from my parents. I never did know where they come from. I had a sister name of Martha. Master told me there was other sisters. But I don’t remember them. Remember Martha, though, because one time I hit her in the face with a rock and was pretty scared about it afterward, and sorry, too. Guess I got a whipping for being bad. My first master was old John Meyers. He the master that sold me from my own folks, and after that I move around all the time without knowing why all the moving. Then one of my masters told me I was being sold, and that was why I was on the move. There was Master Williams, Robert Williams, the same as my own name; and there was Master Sanders and Master Dowell, and maybe some more. But after the freedom I took the name of Master Williams and I keep it ever...

Biography of James Augustus Carter

JAMES AUGUSTUS CARTER. This gentleman is the able and efficient editor of the Baxter County Citizen, a paper published in the interests of the section and of the Democrat party. It is a breezy, spicy sheet and from its columns something useful and interesting may always be gleaned, especially in the editorial department, for Mr. Carter is a forceful and elegant writer and does not hesitate to give his unbiased opinion of all matters of public interest. He is a native of Pontotoc County, Miss., where he was born October 30, 1858, a son of Benjamin F. and Mary C. (Dixon) Carter, who were born in Mississippi and South Carolina, respectively. The father died in 1861 while serving in the Confederate Army at the untimely age of twenty-seven years, and his widow afterward married J. M. Wylie, with whom she moved to Arkansas in 1868, locating seven miles south of Mountain Home, where she died a few days after her arrival. The subject of this sketch received his education in the Mountain Home High School, and after finishing his scholastic course he was engaged in teaching for a few years. In 1882 he was elected county assessor, was reelected in 1884, and after the expiration of his term of office he engaged in mercantile pursuits with A. A. Wolf, with whom he was associated eighteen months. He then purchased the Baxter County Citizen in July, 1886, at which time the circulation of the paper was but 350, but under his management this has increased to 1,000 or more, and the patronage is continually growing. Mr. Carter has always worked...

Biography of Capt. James Berrien Harper

CAPT. JAMES BERRIEN HARPER. He whose name heads this sketch is one of the substantial citizens and successful agriculturists of Barren Creek Township, Baxter County, Arkansas, but was born in Franklin County, Ga., November 17, 1833, a son of Andrew Knox and Anna (Little) Harper, natives of Virginia and Georgia, respectively. When a young man the father went to Georgia and was married in Franklin County, and in 1839 moved to Pontotoc County, Miss., where he made his home until his death in 1851, at the age of fifty-six years, his wife having died in Pontotoc County when forty-one years old. The father was a successful business man, was original and independent in his views, and was an active and earnest member of the Methodist Church. Six children were born to himself and wife, only two of whom are now living: James Berrien and Hattie T. (Bacon). the latter residing on Florida coast. The Harpers are of Irish origin. Capt. James Berrien Harper was educated in the common schools of Pontotoc County, and since his sixteenth year he has had the cares of a family on his shoulders, for after the death of his father, he took his place as well as he could and cared for the younger members of the family. In January, 1862, he enlisted in Company E, of the Third Mississippi Infantry, but after the capture of Ft. Donelson he became a part of the Forty-third Mississippi Infantry, and was elected first lieutenant of Company E, just before Gen. Grant closed the lines around Vicksburg. He was also at Corinth. Abbeville and Grenada, was in...

Biography of Joseph M. Henley

JOSEPH M. HENLEY is one of the most prominent, enterprising and progressive tillers of the soil in Buckhorn Township, and his residence on Gobler Flat. He was born in Franklin County, Ga., in 1847, but his father, John S. Henley, was born in Washington County, Tennessee He was a minister of the Methodist Church and preached the gospel in his native State, Virginia, West Virginia, Georgia, North Carolina and South Carolina until his death in 1865, at about the age of seventy years. He supported the principles of the Democrat party throughout life, and at two different times represented Rabun County, Ga., in the State Legislature During the Civil War he was a Union man. He was well educated, mainly by his own efforts, and by trade was a cabinet maker. He sold goods in North Carolina and Georgia, and was shrewd and successful in the conduct of his affairs, but was always generous in the use of his means, and being sympathetic, kind-hearted and charitable, no one ever left his house hungry nor in sore want. He was married three times: first to Mary Syller, then to Mary E. Patton, and afterward to Minerva Mclntire, the last mentioned being the mother of the subject of this sketch. Mr. Henly now says he received his education in the Confederate Army, for he entered the service when he was but fifteen years old, becoming a member of the Fourteenth Georgia Infantry. On account of disability he was discharged from active service, and was then on detail at Athens, Ga., from December, 1864, until the surrender. He was at Atlanta during...

Biography of Capt. Lewis A. McPherson

CAPT. LEWIS A. McPHERSON. He whose name heads this sketch is a prominent and well-known citizen of Mountain Home Township, and resides in comfort near the town of Mountain Home. He was born in De Kalb County, Ala., October 2, 1840, his parents being William Wilson and Hannah (Palmer) McPherson, who were born in Tennessee and Kentucky, respectively, and in 1844 came to Arkansas from the State of Mississippi, having for some time been a resident of Marion County. At the time of their location in Arkansas, there was but one cabin on the spot where the flourishing town of Yellville now stands, and they located about two and a half miles south of this point. After residing in this State until 1849 the family returned to Mississippi, and located in Pontotoc County, where the father made his home the balance of his life, although his death occurred in Arkansas in 1888, at the age of eighty years, while on a short visit to his son. His entire life was devoted to tilling the soil, and although he acquired a goodly property much of it was swept away during the Civil War. He was for some time a soldier in the Confederate service, and was lieutenant of his company in the Forty-first Mississippi Infantry, and the year that he was in the service he was on duty along the Mississippi River. He was always a Democrat in politics, and with his wife, who died in Mississippi, he was a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church South. To their union four sons and three daughters were given, of whom the...

Chickasaw Tribe

Chickasaw Indians. An important Muskhogean tribe, closely related to the Choctaw in language and customs, although the two tribes were mutually hostile. Aside from tradition, the earliest habitat traceable for the Chickasaw is north Mississippi. Their villages in the 18th century centered about Pontotoc and Union counties, where the headwaters of the Tombigbee meet those of Yazoo river and its affluent, the Tallahatchie, about where the De Soto narratives place them in 1540, under the name Chicaza. Their main landing place on the Mississippi was at Chickasaw Bluffs, now the site of Memphis, Tennessee, whence a trail more than 160 miles long led to their villages. They had two other landing places farther up the Mississippi. Adair, who for many years was a trader among the Chickasaw and gives a full and circumstantial account of them1, states that in 1720 they had four contiguous settlements, and that the towns of one of these were: Chook’heereso Hykehah Phalacheho Shatara Tuskawillao Two of the other settlements of which he gives the names were Yaneka, 6 miles long, and Chookka Pharáah (Chukafalava), 4 miles long. Romans2 describing their country and villages, says that they “live nearly in the center of an uneven and large nitrous savannah; have in it 1 town, 1½ miles long, very narrow and irregular; this they divide into 7 (towns) by the names of: Amalahta ‘hat and feather’ Chatelaw ‘copper town’ Chukafalaya ‘long town’ Hikkihaw ‘stand still’ Chucalissa ‘great town’ Tuckahaw ‘a cert’n weed’ Ashukhuma ‘red grass’ Formerly the whole was inclosed in palisadoes.” Chickasaw Indians History The warlike Chickasaw claimed other territory far beyond the narrow limits...

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