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Peace Attempts with Western Prairie Indians, 1833

What was known as the Treaty of Dancing Rabbit Creek was entered into in Mississippi with the Choctaw Indians September 27, 1830;1 pursuant to the terms of the treaty, in 1832 the movement of the Choctaw to their new home between the Canadian and Red rivers was under way but they were in danger from incursions of the Comanche and Pani Picts2 or Wichita, and the Kiowa tribe, who came east as far as the Washita and Blue rivers; these Indians had also evinced a hostile attitude toward white citizens and had attacked and plundered Santa Fe traders, trappers, and other unprotected travelers. A party of twelve traders had left Santa Fe in December, 1832, under Judge Carr of Saint Louis for their homes in Missouri. Their baggage and about ten thousand dollars in specie were packed upon mules. They were descending the Canadian River when, near the present town of Lathrop in the Panhandle of Texas, they were attacked by an overwhelming force of Comanche and Kiowa Indians. Two of the men, one named Pratt, and the other Mitchell, were killed; and after a siege of thirty-six hours the survivors made their escape at night on foot, leaving all their property in possession of the Indians. The party became separated and after incredible hardship and suffering five of them made their way to the Creek settlements on the Arkansas and to Fort Gibson where they found succor. Of the other five only two survived. The money secured by the Indians was the first they had ever seen.3 Colonel Arbuckle on May 6, ordered4 a military force to Red...

Washington Irving at Fort Gibson, 1832

The McIntosh Creeks had been located along Arkansas River near the Verdigris on fertile timbered land which they began at once to clear, cultivate, and transform into productive farms. The treaty of 1828 with the Cherokee gave the latter a great tract of land on both sides of Arkansas River embracing that on which the Creeks were located. This was accomplished by a blunder of the Government officials, in the language of the Secretary of War,1 “when we had not a correct knowledge of the location of the Creek Indians nor of the features of the country.” This situation produced much unhappiness and contention between the people of the two tribes. The Indians had other grievances, and the Creeks took the lead in calling the attention of the officials to their needs by the preparation of a memorial in which they complained of frequent attacks upon them by bands of wild Indians from the south and west of their location. They asked the Government to appoint a commission to meet with them for the redress of their wrongs, and to call a council of the different tribes for the adoption of measures to establish peace and security in their new home. The Creek memorial and a long report by the Secretary of War on February 16, 1832, were transmitted to Congress by President Jackson,2 who recommended that three commissioners be appointed as requested in the memorial, and recommended by the Secretary. It appeared from the report of the Secretary of War that there were then west of the Mississippi twenty-five hundred Creeks, six thousand Choctaw, thirty-five hundred Cherokee and...

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...

Establishment of Fort Smith in 1817

The white population in Arkansas in 1817 had increased to several thousand, whose protection, as well as that of the Cherokee people living in that territory, from the continued hostilities of the Osage, required the establishment of a military post at the western border dividing the white settlements from the Osage. From Saint Louis came further news of threatened hostilities by the Osage near Clermont’s Town, and a report1 that Major William Bradford with a detachment of United States riflemen, and accompanied by Major Long, topographical engineer, had left that city for the purpose of establishing a military post on the Arkansas near the Osage boundary. Major Stephen H. Long, at “Post of Ozark fifty miles up the Arkansas,” reported2 that he was ordered on a mission to the Forks of the Arkansas thence across country by land to Red River; thence to return by land to Saint Louis. “On the Arkansaw near the place where the Osage line strikes this river, I am to select a position for a military post to be under the command of Major Bradford, who is now at this place with his company, destined for that command. This business I am in hopes to accomplish by the first of December.” The point chosen by Long and Bradford for a military post was at the junction of the Poteau and Arkansas rivers called by the French, Belle Point, and after some years known as Fort Smith, after General Thomas A. Smith.3 On this expedition, Long ascended as high as the falls of the Verdigris, and made an observation of the longitude and latitude at...

1860 Census West of Arkansas – Creek Nation

Free Inhabitants in “The Creek Nation” in the County “West of the” State of “Akansas” enumerated on the “16th” day of “August” 1860. While the census lists “free inhabitants” it is obvious that the list contains names of Native Americans, both of the Creek and Seminole tribes, and probably others. The “free inhabitants” is likely indicative that the family had given up their rights as Indians in treaties previous to 1860, drifted away from the tribe, or were never fully integrated. The black (B) and mulatto (M) status may indicate only the fact of the color of their skin, or whether one had a white ancestors, they may still be Native American.

Disbursements to Cherokees under the Treaty of May 6, 1828

Abstract of disbursements and expenditures made by George Vashon, Indian Agent for the Cherokees west of the Mississippi, under the stipulations of the Treaty with said tribe of 6th May, 1828, between the 16th September, 1830, and the 31st December, 1833. In total this list represents 390 Cherokee families and 1835 individuals who each received 25.75 as part of their payment under the 5th article of the treaty of 6th May, 1828.

Andrew Ayers Martin’s DNA Results

Andrew Ayers Martin (Cherokee) I would be happy to share these profiles with Dennis. I am attaching the initial analysis on my DNA done at Ancestry as well as the breakdowns done on the FTDNA results by analysis at GedMatch. The proportions of Middle Eastern and Mediterranean DNA are relatively stable. Some others not related to me whose families have traditions of being part Cherokee show similar percentages. The stable proportions are consistent with the Hardy Weinburg principle of biology. Only my uncle [kit 185473] shows detectable Amerindian DNA at 1.83%. My uncle and daughter show Red Sea [Jewish] DNA. My relatives have been in Northeast Georgia since the 1700’s, and my ancestor Lt. Simon Terrell was a part of the original Wofford Settlement. I grew up in Toccoa, hearing stories about how my Ayers and Massey ancestors were part Cherokee. My grandmother has an unusual last name: Acree. My GGG uncle Dr. Richard Banks vaccinated the citizens of Northeast Georgia including the Cherokee against small pox, and for his service Banks County was named for him in 1858. My ancestor James Yarbrough, a Revolutionary soldier who served under Col. Jacks and General Elijah Clarke, was killed in the Creek Indian Massacre of 1792, as was Major Jesse Walton of Traveler’s Rest, whose wife was a Martin, and whose son in law Joseph Martin inherited the place called Jarrett Manor then sold it to the Wylys who sold it to the Jarretts. In some reports to Jacks and Clarke, James Yarbrough was killed by white Indians, consistent with the Bohurans described in the Early History of Jackson County, Georgia. We...

Charlie Whitener’s DNA Results

Charlie Whitener (Eastern Band of Cherokees) I appreciate all your writings on southern Native Americans. My family reflects all your writings. We believed we were all northern European with a strong Cherokee heritage. My dad once lived on the reservation land in Murphy, NC But between my dad and mom and myself we reflect southern European and SE European and North Africa and Sudan and Arabia and SA and Tuscan and Italian etc. My dad has since past.   He did the National Geographic DNA test. My mom and my identical twin used the Family Tree DNA lab. However, the results were very similar. Her mtdna we thought would be native but it’s H7. This likely H7b. which is...

Richard Stewart’s DNA Results

Richard Stewart (Shawnee or Cherokee Descendant) My name is Richard Stewart.  I have had several ethnicity DNA tests done, but I find my self less than satisfied with the results.  I will attempt to find other test results in my archived mail.  My first DNA test showed 8% NA but came out East Asian as is often the case. Another test showed three NA matches out of a total of 20.  Below is the last test I’ve taken.  This was done in part to determine a base line for Melungeons.  I do not strongly identify as a Melungeon.  I was born and raised in southern West Virginia believing I am Scots-Irish and English as is the case with most people.  We did believe we had some Native American ancestry. This was not the case obviously. If I cannot locate other tests, I will attempt to obtain copies.  One test showed NA from both my parents through Hispanic connections.  I keep hoping for a more refined DNA test to be made available.  My tests were done by Don Panther Yates at dnaconsultants.com and one from Family Tree with my yDNA.  The latter showed only European matches but did seem consistent with my other tests as far as European matches. Rick Stewart Richard C. Stewart 18 Marker Ethnic Panel DNA Fingerprint Report for Richard C. Stewart DNA Results Showing Mixture of Melungeon Melungeon (n = 40) 1.63E+13 Slovenian (n = 193) 1.75E+14 Polish – Podlasie  (n = 842) 2.39E+14 Belarusian – Northeastern Poland (n = 212) 2.42E+14 Polish (n = 870) 2.52E+14 Polish – Southeastern (n = 714) 2.79E+14 White – U.S. (n = 302)...
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