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The Meeting of Folsom and Nittakachih

When the council, convened for the adjustment and final distribution of the annuity, adjourned in such confusion, together with the animosity manifested and openly expressed by both contending parties the one toward the other, (a similar scene never before witnessed in a Choctaw council) I feared the consequences that I was apprehensive would follow; but hoped that the conflicting opinions then agitating my people would be harmonized upon calm reflection and the adoption of wise and judicious measures. But when I ascertained that Nittakachih and Amosholihubih were truly assembling their warriors, I began to view the matter in its true and proper light. I knew those two chiefs too well to longer doubt the full interpretations of their designs as set forth in their actions; for they both were men who indulged not in meaningless parade, or delighted in empty display. Inevitable war kindred against kindred and brother against brother with all its horrors and irreparable consequences now seemed to stare me in the face, with no alternative but to speedily prepare to meet it; therefore Le Flore and myself, after due deliberation, resolved, if we must fight, to confine the fighting as much as possible within Amosholihubih’s and Nittakachih’s own districts. We at once took up our line of march south toward Demopolis, which was in the district of Amosholihubih, and where they had assembled their warriors. At the termination of our second days march, we ascertained through our scouts, that Amosholihubih and Nittakachih were also advancing with their warriors to meet us. In vain I still sought for some pacific measures that might be advanced to stop...

Memoirs of the LeFlore Family

The Cravat families of Choctaws are the descendants of John Cravat, a Frenchman, who came among the Choctaws at an early day, and was adopted among them by marriage. He had two daughters by his Choctaw wife, Nancy and Rebecca, both of whom became the wives of Louis LeFlore. His Choctaw wife dying he married a Chickasaw woman, by whom he had four sons, Thomas, Jefferson, William and Charles, and one daughter, Elsie, who married- a white man by the name of Daniel Harris, and who became the parents of Col. J. D. Harris, whose first wife was Catharine Nail, the fourth daughter of Joel H. Nail. The descendants of John Cravat are still among the Choctaws and Chickasaws, and known as prominent and useful citizens in the two nations. The LeFlore family of Choctaws is the descendants of Major Louis LeFlore, and his brother, Michael LeFlore, Canadian Frenchmen, who, after the expulsion of the French from the territories of Mississippi by the English, first settled in Mobile, Ala., then a small trading post. After remaining there a few years, Louis moved to the now state of Mississippi and settled on Pearl River, in the county of Nashoba (Wolf). Thence he moved to the Yazoo Valley, where he lived until he died. As before stated, he married the two daughters of John Cravat, Nancy and Rebecca. By the former he had four sons in the following order of their names: Greenwood, William (who was drowned in Bok Iski-tini), Benjamin and Basil; and five daughters, viz: Clarissa, Emilee the names of the others not remembered. After the death of Nancy he...

Memoirs of Nathaniel Folsom

I will here present to the reader the memoirs of Nathaniel Folsom the oldest of the three brothers who cast their lot in their morning” of life among” the Choctaws, and became the fathers of the Folsom House in the Choctaw Nation, as related by himself to the missionary, Rev. Cyrus Byington, June, 1823, and furnished me by his grand-daughter Czarena Folsom, now Mrs. Rabb. “I was born in North Carolina, Rowan County, May 17th, 1756. My father was born in Massachusetts or Connecticut. My mother was born in New Jersey. My parents moved to Georgia, and there my father sent me to school about six months, during which time I learned to read and write. My mother taught me to read and spell at home. My father had a great desire to go to Mississippi to get money; they said money grew on bushes! We got off and came into the Choctaw Nation. The whole family came; we hired an Indian pilot who led us through the Nation to Pearl River, where we met three of our neighbors who were re turning on account of sickness. This alarmed my father, who then determined to return to North Carolina. We came back into the Nation to Mr. Welch’s, on Bok Tuklo (Two Creeks), the father of Mr. Nail. At this time I was about 19 years of age. At that place we parted. My father knocked “me down”. I arose and told him I would quit him, and did so by walking straight off before his face. I do not remember what I did, but I always thought I...

Memoirs of the Durant and Crowder Families

Durant Louis Durant, a Canadian Frenchman, was the proprietor of the Durant family among the Choctaws, who came, as before stated, to the Choctaw Nation with the two brothers, Lewis and Michael LeFlore about the year 1770. He, as his friends and contemporaries, the two LeFore brothers, also selected a wife among the Choctaw forest flowers, but whose name has been lost amid the vicissitudes through which her people have passed. They had three sons, Pierre, Charles and Lewis; and two daughters, Margaret and Syllan. The father and three sons served under their renowned chief, Apushamatahah, as allies of the Americans in the Creek war of 1812. Pierre had seven sons, viz: Fisher, George, Jefferson, Sylvester, Isham, Ellis and Joseph. Ellis and Sylvester served in the Confederate army during the civil war of 1861, the former in the rank of major. Alexander Durant, one of the Supreme Judges of the Choctaw Nation, (with whom I am personally acquainted) is a son of George Durant. Fisher Durant had three sons, Bissant, Dixon and Jesse. Dixon is a minister of the Gospel. He is a poor man in a pecuniary sense, but rich in a spiritual sense. He seems to live alone for the cause of his Divine Master and the salvation of his fellow men. Ah! If the world’s Christians were all such Christians as Dixon Durant, the devils kingdom on earth would soon be overturned, and that of the World’s. Redeemer permanently established thereon. God be with you, my Christian brother! Though poor in worldly goods, and unknown to earthly fame, yet of you, will it not be said in the day of final accounts, as of the poor widow who cast...

Memoirs of the Harkins Family

John Harkins, a white man, is the father of the Harkins family of Choctaws. His advent to the Choctaw nation was, as near as can be ascertained, about the year 1800 or soon afterwards. He was a man of high-toned principles, and contemporary with the Folsoms, Nails, Pitchlynns, LeFlores, Durants, Cravats, Crowders, and others of the long ago, who married among the Choctaws; all men, who, having cast their lot among that people made their interests their own, and sought, by every means in their power to elevate them in the scale of morality and virtue. John Harkins married a daughter of Major Lewis LeFlore, by whom he had four sons Willis, George, Richard and James. Willis married Salina Folsom, oldest daughter of Col. David Folsom. They had two sons, George W. and Crittendon, and one daughter, Salina. Col. George W. Harkins was a graduate of Danville College, Kentucky. He was a man of acknowledged abilities; a lawyer by profession, and a fine jurist and wise counselor. He for many years acted in the capacity of delegate to Washington in attending to the national affairs of the Chickasaw Nation, with which people, though a Choctaw by consanguinity, he cast his lot. He was a bold, vigorous and able defender of the rights of his people in the Congress of the United States; and by energetic and fervent perseverance, with solid learning, he rose to eminence in the spheres of an active life, as well as in his profession. He died in August 1891. Salina, the only daughter, is a lady of fine literary attainments, and high cultivation of both mind and heart;...

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,...

Choctaw Culture

The Choctaws, like all of their race, had no written laws, and their government rested alone on custom and usage, growing out of their possessions and their wants; yet was conducted so harmoniously by the influence of their native genius and experience, that one would hardly believe that human society could be maintained with so little artifice. As they had no money, their traffic consisted alone in mutual exchange of all commodities; as there was no employment of others for hire, there were no contracts, hence judges and lawyers, sheriffs and jails were unknown among them. There were no beg gars, no wandering tramps, no orphan children unprovided for in their country, and deformity was almost unknown, proving that nature in the wild forest of the wilderness is true to her type. Their chief had no crown, no sceptre, no bodyguards, no outward symbols of authority, nor power to give validity to their commands, but sustained their authority alone upon the good opinion of their tribe. No Choctaw ever worshiped his fellow man, or submitted his will to the humiliating subordinations of another, but with that sentiment of devotion that passed beyond the region of humanity, and brought him in direct contact with nature and the imaginary beings by whom it was controlled, which he divined but could not fathom; to these, and these alone, he paid his homage, invoking their protection in war and their aid in the chase. The ancient Choctaws believed, and those of the present day believe, and I was informed by Governor Basil LeFlore, in 1884, (since deceased) that there is an appointed time for...

The Meeting in 1811 of Tecumseh and Apushamatahah

The meeting in 1811, of Tecumseh, the mighty Shawnee, with Apushamatahah, the intrepid Choctaw. I will here give a true narrative of an incident in the life of the great and noble Choctaw chief, Apushamatahah, as related by Colonel John Pitchlynn, a white man of sterling integrity, and who acted for many years as interpreter to the Choctaws for the United States Government, and who was an eye-witness to the thrilling scene, a similar one, never before nor afterwards befell the lot of a white man to witness, except that of Sam Dale, the great scout of General Andrew Jackson, who witnessed a similar one that of Tecumseh in council assembled with the Muskogee’s, shortly afterwards of which I will speak in the history of that once powerful and war-like race of people. Colonel John Pitchlynn was adopted in early manhood by the Choctaws, and marrying among them, he at once became as one of their people; and was named by them “Chahtah It-ti-ka-na,” The Choctaws Friend; and long and well he proved himself worthy the title Conferred upon, and the trust confided in him. He had five sons by his Choctaw wife, Peter, Silas, Thomas, Jack and James, all of who prove to be men of talent, and exerted a moral influence among their people, except Jack, who was ruined by the white man s whiskey and his demoralizing examples and influences. I was personally acquainted with Peter. Silas and Jack, the former held, during a long and useful life, the highest positions in the political history of his Nation, well deserving the title given him by the...

Letter from Greenwood Leflore – February 18, 1834

WASHINGTON CITY, February 18, 1834. SIR: The undersigned respectfully represents, that in many instances complaints have been made of the course pursued by the present locating agent of the Choctaws, granted to them by the treaty of Dancing Rabbit creek, and particularly with regard to the 14th article, the 19th article, and the supplement treaty. He therefore prays that William Armstrong, whom he hereby recommends as a suitable person, may be appointed an agent to examine an adjust those -claims, consisting of the claims of Capt. Red Dog, or Offehoma, and Capt. James Shields, these claims having been sold by the government: the claim of Capt. Shields was located by the locating agent; afterwards the location was set aside by said agent and the land sold, which it is believed was done in violation of the provisions of the treaty. The case of Capt. Red Dog, or Offehoma, was never located, though fully embraced by the treaty. It is believed that injustice has been done in the case of David Coconona, who was entitled to one section of land under the 19th article of the treaty, to be governed by sectional lines, and half of which has been awarded to another person. The case of Consha is also a claim requiring examination, being secured to her under the 19th article; but of which she has been deprived by the act of the locating agent, by giving preference to a claimant under the 14th article of the treaty. The claim of George W. Harkins, embraced in the supplemental treaty, is also one to which I would call the attention of...

LeFlore Choctaw Family – List of Mixed Bloods

When prominent mixed-blood families began to emerge from the Choctaw people in the early 1800s they usually did so where one or both parents were mixed bloods themselves. A case in point is the Leflore family. According to Cushman,1 the brothers Michael and Louis were living in[90] Choctaw country as early as the late eighteenth century.2 Cushman has the LeFlores in Mobile not long after the end of the French and Indian War and identifies them as French Canadians who entered Choctaw country as traders, Louis marrying into the mixed-blood Cravat family already in residence there (see Chart 16). J.F.H. Claiborne claimed to have personally known Louis LeFlore and recounted that: “Louis Le Fleur…owned one of these boats [used in trade with Panton & Company in Pensacola and Natchez], and in this business laid the foundation of his large fortune. When 1 knew him, in my early life, he had established an extensive plantation and cattle ranche [sic] in the Yazoo prairies, in the present county of Holmes, where he died a few years after the last treaty with the Choctaws. He had one hundred slaves and as many Indians, living about him. He was a small man, a Canadian, speaking a singular patois of provincial French and Choctaw, and though over eighty years old, was an indefatigable hunter, spending whole days in the overflowed prairies and swamps. He told me that he had been a great dancer in his youth, in Canada, and was called the flower of the fete. Hence the name Le Fleur, and the sobriquet superseded his original name.”3 Claiborne also stated that: Key to Chart Probable...

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