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The Chickasaws

Conquest or Progress! It is the same, since it is with blood that the book of humanity is written. The pages here devoted to the narrative of the Chickasaw Indians is not an exception; theirs, too, is stained with the seemingly inevitable sanguinary horrors, but nowhere is the trace inexplicable. To some it may seem useless and even wrong to recall these pages of history so distant in the past, which began in wrong, continued in wrong and will end, so for as human observation can judge, in wrong, and then ask nothing better than to be forgotten. Alas, experience has shown that to change the mode of life of a primitive race is to condemn it to death; since always regarded as an inferior race by their conquerors, they have been swept away without justice or mercy a people who had existed in an unbroken line of descent from prehistoric ages unknown. East of the Mississippi River was also the Chickasaws hereditary domain, handed down through a long line of ancestry during ages unknown, and who, like the Choctaws, were first made known to the Eastern world by Hernando De Soto who invaded their country in the month of November, 1540; but beyond which, except through the tradition of the Choctaws and Chickasaws, as before related, the faintest glimmerings of vague tradition has afforded scarcely a ray of light to penetrate the darkness which envelops their history with its mantle of silence; yet has also opened a wide field to those dreamy speculations of which the imagination is so fond, and in which it so delights to indulge. Ah, would not there ancient history, if known, present as...

Elizabeth Patterson, Madame Jerome Bonaparte

The city into which Baltimore Town was legislated on the last day of the year 1796 already fostered within its limits the germ of the dual life, social and commercial, to which it has owed its subsequent eminence. Not infrequently, in the days of its inception, the same roof sheltered drawing-room and warehouse, the earlier merchants deeming it necessary to keep their growing interests constantly beneath their personal vigilance. Later, the commercial life crowded out the domestic life, and merchants built their dwellings stately bricks or frames, painted blue, yellow, or white, facing on avenues of locust-trees in another part of the town, all bearing quaint evidence of the far-away ports with which their vessels traded, while the whole town was permeated with the odor peculiar to shipping districts. The first theatre troupe that took the town by storm played in one of the old warehouses, whose walls re-echoed the approbation of the pleasure-hungry audience, among whom were no fastidious critics to pick flaws in “King Richard III.,” and still less in “A Miss in her Teens,” which followed. Baltimore never had the qualms of conscience which afflicted some of her puritanical sister towns concerning the pleasures in which she might rightly indulge. She looked out upon life, rather, with a liberality of mental vision which partook of the breadth of the seas her merchantmen traversed. The brick theatre built in 1781 became one of the most revered spots in the town, and when the actors came her way, Baltimore turned out en masse to give them royal welcome. At the close of the Revolutionary War a number of...

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...

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