Location: Little Rock Arkansas

Governor Houston at His Trading Post on the Verdigris

In February, 1828, the vanguard of Creek immigrants arrived at the Creek Agency on the Verdigris, in charge of Colonel Brearley, and they and the following members of the McIntosh party were located on a section of land that the Government promised in the treaty of 1826 to purchase for them. By the treaty of May 6, 1828, the Government assigned the Cherokee a great tract of land, to which they at once began to remove from their homes in Arkansas. The movement had been under way for some months when there appeared among the Indians the remarkable figure of Samuel Houston. The biographers of Houston have told the world next to nothing of his sojourn of three or four years in the Indian country, an interesting period when he was changing the entire course of his life and preparing for the part he was to play in the drama of Texas.

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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 Miller 1James Miller was born in Peterboro, N. H., April 25, 1776; entered the array as major in 1808, became Lieutenant-colonel in 1810,...

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Expeditions of Fowler and James to Santa Fe, 1821

When Pike returned from his western expedition and related his experiences in Santa Fe and other places among the Spaniards, his accounts excited great interest in the east, which resulted in further exploits. In 1812, an expedition was undertaken 1American State Papers, “Foreign Relations” vol. iv, 208. by Robert McKnight, James Baird, Samuel Chambers, Peter Baum, Benjamin Shrive, Alfred Allen, Michael McDonald, William Mines, and Thomas Cook, all citizens of Missouri Territory; they were arrested by the Spaniards, charged with being in Spanish territory without a passport, and thrown into the calabazos of Chihuahua, where they were kept for...

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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 report 1Niles Register, (Baltimore) vol. xiii, 176. that Major William Bradford with a detachment of United States riflemen, and accompanied by Major Long, topographical engineer, had left that city for the...

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The Cherokee Revolt – Indian Wars

From the removal of the Cherokee Indians from Georgia and Tennessee to Arkansas and their establishment upon the reservation allotted to them by treaty with the Government in Arkansas, they have, until the period of this outbreak to the narrative of which this chapter is devoted, been considered as among the least dangerous and most peaceable of the tribes in that region. But through various causes, chief among which has been notably the introduction among them of a horde of those pests of the West the border ruffians; these half wild, half-breed Nomads were encouraged by these Indians, as it appeared, for the sake of the liquor traffic. According to the official accounts of this attempt to reopen hostilities, it appears that on the 11th of April, 1872, it originated with a man named J. J. Kesterson, living in the Cherokee nation, near the Arkansas line, about fifty miles from Little Rock. On that day he went to Little Rock, and filed information against one Proctor, also a white man, married to a Cherokee woman, for assaulting with intent to kill him while in his saw mill, on the 13th of February. Proctor fired a revolver at Kesterson, the ball striking him just above the left eye, but before he could fire again Kesterson escaped. Proctor, at the time, was under indictment in the Snake District for the murder of his...

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Biographical Sketch of Mrs. J. H. Wiener

(See Grant)-Herbert, son of John Martin, and Corinne E. (Washburn) Thompson, married Clarkie A. Lee, and they were the parents of Hallie C. Thompson, born August 28, 1873, at Goodie’s Bluff in Cooweescoowee District. She was educated at Little Rock, Arkansas, and taught six years in the public schools at Vinita, and two years in Willie Halsell College of the same place, and was associate reporter of the Vinita Daily Chieftain for seven years. She married at Vinita July 17, 1905, J. H., son of Henry and Rebecca Wiener. Mr. and Mrs. Wiener are members of the Christian church. He is a prominent farmer and stockman near Vinita, and owner of the Cabin Valley farm. Mrs. Wimer’s half sister, Ethel Thompson, married J. F. Nolan, and lives in New Mexico. Mr. Wimer’s first wife was Ella Franklin and their three children were as follows: Rebecca D., born March 5, 1895, married Clyde C. Thompson; Jacob F., born March 15, 1897, and married Bettie Lomax;. Parmelia Ellen Wimer, born September 5, 1900, and makes her home with her...

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Slave Narrative of Rev. Wamble

Interviewer: Archie Koritz Person Interviewed: Rev. Wamble Location: Gary, Indiana Place of Birth: Monroe County, Mississippi, Date of Birth: 1859 Place of Residence: 1827 Madison Street, Gary, Indiana Occupation: Wagon-maker Archie Koritz, Field Worker Federal Writers’ Project Porter County-District #1 Valparaiso, Indiana EX-SLAVES REV. WAMBLE 1827 Madison Street Gary, Indiana [TR: above ‘Wamble’ in handwriting is ‘Womble’] Rev. Wamble was born a slave in Monroe County, Mississippi, in 1859. The Westbrook family owned many slaves in charge of over-seers who managed the farm, on which there were usually two hundred or more slaves. One of the Westbrook daughters married a Mr. Wamble, a wagon-maker. The Westbrook family gave the newly-weds two slaves, as did the Wamble family. One of the two slaves coming from the Westbrook family was Rev. Wamble’s grandfather. It seems that the slaves took the name of their master, hence Rev. Wamble’s grandfather was named Wamble. Families owning only a few slaves and in moderate circumstances usually treated their slaves kindly since like a farmer with only a few horses, it was to their best interest to see that their slaves were well provided for. The slaves were valuable, and there was no funds to buy others, whereas the large slave owners were wealthy and one slave more or less made little difference. The Reverend’s father and his brothers were children of original African slaves and...

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Slave Narrative of Katie Rowe

Person Interviewed: Katie Rowe Location: Tulsa, Oklahoma Age: 88 I can set on de gallery, what de sunlight shine bright, and sew a powerful fine seam when my grandchillun wants a special purty dress for de school doings, but I ain’t worth much for nothing else I reckon. These same old eyes seen powerful lot of tribulations in my time, and when I shets ’em now I can see lots of l’ll chillun jest lak my grand-chillun, toting hoes bigger dan dey is, and dey pore little black hands and legs bleeding whar dey scratched by de brambledy weeds, and whar dey got whuppings ’cause dey didn’t git out all de work de overseer set out for ’em. I was one of dem little slave gals my own self, and I never seen nothing but work and tribulations till I was a grown up woman, jest about. De niggers had hard traveling on de plantation whar I was born and raised, ’cause old Master live in town and jest had de overseer on de place, but iffen he had lived out dar hisself I speck it been as bad, ’cause he was a hard driver his own self. He git biling mad when de Yankees have dat big battle at Pea Ridge and scatter de ‘Federates all down through our country all bleeding and tied up and hungry, and...

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Slave Narrative of Tom W. Woods

Person Interviewed: Tom W. Woods Location: Alderson, Oklahoma Place of Birth: Florence, Alabama Age: 83 Lady, if de nigger hadn’t been set free dis country wouldn’t ever been what it is now! Poor white folks wouldn’t never had a chance. De slave holders had most of de money and de land and dey wouldn’t let de poor white folks have a chance to own any land or anything else to speak of. Dese white folks wasn’t much better off dan we was. Dey had to work hard and dey had to worry ’bout food, clothes and shelter and we didn’t. Lots of slave owners wouldn’t allow den on deir farms among deir slaves without orders from de overseer. I don’t know why, unless he was afraid dey would stir up discontent among de niggers. Dere was lots of “underground railroading” and I rekon dat was what Old Master and others was afraid of. Us darkies was taught dat poor white folks didn’t amount to much, Course we knowed dey was white and we was black and dey was to be respected for dat, but dat was about all. White folks as well as niggers profited by Emancipation. Lincoln was a friend to all poor white folks as well as black ones and if he could a’ lived things would a’been different for ever’body. Dis has been a good old...

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Biography of Robert M. Divin

This venerable citizen and esteemed gentleman and resident of Vale is one of the substantial men of Malheur County and is well and favorably known throughout the precincts of this region, being a man of stanch integrity, and always manifesting those qualities of worth and merit that redound to the good of all. Mr. Divin was born in Lincoln County, Tennessee, on December 17, 1831, being the son of Irbin F. and Hannah Divin. The father died when our subject was two years of age, having removed with the family to Washington County, Arkansas, where the death occurred. There were but few settlers in that section then, and there Robert M. lived and attended school in the rough log houses of the time, gaining a training there from which fortified him for the battle of life. He remained with his mother until he had reached the age of manhood, and in 151 he married Miss Mary J. Kellam, a native of Little Rock, Arkansas. He was occupied on a farm until 186o, then removed to the frontier of Texas among the savage Commanche Indians. Here Mr. Divin and his family endured hardships and deprivations and sufferings from the savages that are calculated to dry up the cup of joy from the human breast, but they bravely fought their way through them all. The father for three years being a...

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Biography of Hon. Samuel Leslie

HON. SAMUEL LESLIE. Among the representative and venerable citizens of Searcy County, Arkansas, and one who is a splendid type of the enterprise, industry and self-reliance of the early Arkansas pioneer, it is a pleasure to introduce to the readers of this volume the subject of this sketch. Considerably more than half a century ago he braved the dangers, trials and privations of pioneer life in order to establish a home and competency for his growing family, and where now are waving fields of grain then stood the mighty monarch of the forest. He was born in Barren County, Kentucky, October 25, 1809. Samuel Leslie is a son of John and Jane (McElwee) Leslie, the latter having been born in South Carolina. It is thought that Mr. Leslie was born while his parents were en route from Pennsylvania to the South, and he and his wife were married in York District, S. C., from which place they removed in 1807 to Kentucky, and when their son Samuel was about two years of age to Tennessee. Here the mother died when he was about eight years of age, but the father survived until 1840, his death occurring in Carroll County. Mr. Leslie was a farmer and mechanic, having served three years at wagon making and seven years as a weaver, and through unflagging efforts lie became possessed of a competency....

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Slave Narrative of Cindy Kinsey

Interviewer: Barbara Darsey Person Interviewed: Cindy Kinsey Age: About 86 years of age “Yes maam, chile, I aint suah ezackly, but I think I bout 85 mebby 86 yeah old. Yes maam, I wus suah bahn in de slavery times, an I bahn right neah de Little Rock in Arkansas, an dere I stay twell I comed right from dere to heah in Floridy bout foah yeah gone. “Yes maam, my people de liv on a big plantation neah de Little Rock an we all hoe cotton. My Ma? Lawzy me, chile, she name Zola Young an my pappy he name Nelson Young. I had broddehs Danel, Freeman, George, Will, and Henry. Yes maam, Freeman he de younges an bahn after we done got free. An I had sistehs by de name ob Isabella, Mary, Nora, – dat aint all yet, you want I should name em all? Well then they was too Celie, Sally, and me Cindy but I aint my own sisteh is I, hee, hee, hee. “My Ole Massa, he name Marse Louis Stuart, an my Ole Missy, dat de real ole one you know, she name, – now – let-me-see, does – I – ricollek, lawzy me, chile, I suah fin it hard to member some things. O! yes, – her name hit war Missy Nancy, an her chilluns dey name Little Marse Sammie an...

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Slave Narrative of Lucretia Alexander

Interviewer: Samuel S. Taylor Person Interviewed: Lucretia Alexander Location: 1708 High Street, Little Rock, Arkansas Age: 89 Occupation: Washed. Ironed. Plowed. Hoed “I been married three times and my last name was Lucretia Alexander. I was twelve years old when the War began. My mother died at seventy-three or seventy-five. That was in August 1865—August the ninth. She was buried August twelfth. The reason they kept her was they had refugeed her children off to different places to keep them from the Yankees. They couldn’t get them back. My mother and her children were heir property. Her first master was Toliver. My mother was named Agnes Toliver. She had a boy and a girl both older than I were. My brother come home in ’65. I never got to see my sister till 1869. “My father died in 1881 and some say he was one hundred twelve and some say one hundred six. His name was Beasley, John Beasley, and he went by John Beasley till he died. “My mother died and left four living children. I was the youngest. “I got religion in 1865. I was baptized seventy-three years ago this August. “I ain’t got nary living child. My oldest child would have been sixty-four if he were living. They claim my baby boy is living, but I don’t know. I have four children. “The first overseer I...

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Slave Narrative of Amsy O. Alexander

Interviewer: Samuel S. Taylor Person Interviewed: Amsy O. Alexander Location: 2422 Center Street, Little Rock, Arkansas Age: 74 Occupation: Track laborer, Track foreman, Railroad builder [HW: Helps Build Railroad] “I was born in the country several miles from Charlotte in Macklenberg, County, North Carolina in 1864. “My father’s name was John Alexander and my mother was Esther McColley. That was her maiden name of course. “My father’s master was named Silas Alexander and my mother belonged to Hugh Reed. I don’t know just how she and my father happened to meet. These two slaveholders were adjoining neighbors, you might say. “My father and my mother married during the war. I was the first child. I had three half brothers and three half sisters from the father’s side. I didn’t have no whole brothers and sisters. I am the only one on my mother’s side. My father was not in the war. “I don’t know that the pateroles bothered him very much. My father and mother were well treated by our master and then both she and my father were quiet and their masters were good to them naturally. “During slavery times, my father was a farmer. My mother farmed too. She was a hand in the field. They lived in a little log cabin, one room. They had a bed in there, a few chairs and a homemade table....

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Slave Narrative of W. A. Anderson

Interviewer: Samuel S. Taylor Person Interviewed: W. A. Anderson (dark brown) Location: 3200 W. 18th Street, Little Rock, Arkansas Age: 78 Occupation: House and yard man [HW: Serves the “Lawd”] “I don’t know nothin’ about slavery. You know I wouldn’t know nothin’ bout it cause I was only four years old when the war ended. All I know is I was born in slavery; but I don’t know nothin’ bout it. “I don’t remember nothin’ of my parents. Times was all confused and old folks didn’t talk before chilun. They didn’t have time. Besides, my mother and father were separated. “I was born in Arkansas and have lived here all my life. But I don’t gossip and entertain. I just moved in this house last week. Took a wheelbarrow and brought all these things here myself. “Those boys out there jus’ threw a stone against the house. I thought the house was falling. I work all day and when night comes, I’m tired. “I don’t have no wife, no children, nothin’; nobody to help me out. I don’t ask the neighbors nothin’ cept to clear out this junk they left here. “I ain’t goin’ to talk about the Ku Klux. I got other things to think about. It takes all my time and strength to do my work and live a Christian. Folks got so nowadays they don’t care...

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